Thursday, January 29, 2009
The triplets are home!! They were discharged from the hospital on Sunday, January 25th at noon. Bronson, mom and I loaded up and drove them home. What an exciting day!!!
The adjustment of having three babies at home has not been quite what I expected. I was prepared for chaotic days and nights, running around the house changing, feeding and burping three crying babies. Well....it's more of a leizure time right now. Since they sleep most of the time, it's more like we get up every 3 to 4 hours, change their diaper, feed and burp them, then put them back down. Very relaxed. But I'm not so naive that I think this is the way it will be for a long time. My chaotic life is coming.
Here's what happened since my last blog: we were told that Preston would be coming home, but Elise may be staying. When we arrived at the NICU Friday morning, I talked with the neonatologist on duty that day and expressed my concern about leaving Elise behind. She completely understood. I also told her I would like to nurse her more often. After looking at her chart, the doctor informed me that they would be taking Elise's tube out that day and I can nurse upon Elise's demand. I could also nurse however long the baby wanted to nurse. I was so happy! That day proved to be a turn around for our baby girl. She took her bottle much better that evening. She also gained weight. She did the same on Saturday. One of the nurse practicioners said that if she gained weight Saturday night, they would be looking at discharging Elise on Sunday. It was a really good day. Prayers had been answered. God is so good!! It was as if a lightbulb turned on for our baby girl and she started doing what she needed to do.
We had our visit with the pediatrician on Tuesday. All of them had gained weight! Mollie is now 5 lbs 9 oz; Elise 5 lbs 5oz; and Preston 5lbs 6oz. We also went to the opthamologist on Wednesday. That went well. So far, so good. Their eyes are in great shape. We go back to the pediatrician next Tuesday for immunizations. Elise has her appointment with the cardiologist in March. Things are just moving along.
This week is family week for us. Bronson took off work to help me care for the babies. I must say he is going to be the best father in the world!! He is so good with all three of them. He's constantly getting up with me or his mom during the night for feedings and changing diapers. He's fun to watch!!
When we do start receiving visitors, it is so important for everyone to know that we are still inforcing the NICU rules. Please do not come over if you are currently sick (runny nose, fever, or cough) or have been sick in the last 3 weeks. When you do come over, you will be asked to wash your hands. Please no children under age 16 until at least April. Since the babies are preemies, they are extremely vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. It will most likely be April before we're able to take them to church. But, we need to do what's in the best interest of the babies. We definitely do not want to go back to the hospital for any reason.
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. We know that God has heard every one of you. We have been blessed beyond belief!! I will continue to share all the joys of being a parent and the exciting life of triplets.
Friday, January 23, 2009
It looks like Preston will be coming home on Sunday (if not earlier)! I'm really excited about this; however, I know what's coming. Having two babies at home and one in the NICU will be another challenge. But I'm up for it. We will still spend our days at the NICU with Elise. I can't believe how much Preston has grown! He's huge!! He's already 5 pounds, 2 oz. Pretty soon he will be 2 pounds over his birth weight. I'm so proud of him.
Now for Elise. My heart is breaking for her. She's still on the feeding tube. She gets fed 2 out of 8 feedings with the tube (in a 24 hour period). She tires so easily with the bottle. But when I nurse her, she's fine. I was a little upset yesterday when I arrived at the NICU. The plan was for me to nurse her at 8 am and 11 am, but the nurse suggested to bottle feed her both feedings. It did not go too well. She's supposed to finish her bottle in a 30 minute period and preferably in the first 15 to 20 minutes without stopping. Well, she has to be coaxed into finishing. You have to continuously work her to finish. This is not a good thing. I try to tell everyone to wake her up 20 minutes ahead of time to eat so she can be wide awake, but not everyone listens. On top of that, there's been a lot of nurses assigned to her in the last week that have never taken care of her before. So, I have to always tell them how she is. Please pray that she begins to have hunger pains at every feeding and she takes the bottle with some aggression.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Okay...here's the latest and greatest. Bronson and I got to do "care by parent" Saturday night. That's when we get to stay overnight at the hospital with our babies as a "crash course" on taking care of premature babies and of course, multiples by ourselves. I think we did a great job considering there's three of them and only two of us. We definitely did not get a wink of sleep!! But after it was all over, I believed we made a great team. There is one thing we learned....we will need a third person. No question about that!!
Around 3:30 pm, the doctor came in to check on us and to give us the news that only Mollie would be going home. He felt that Preston and Elise were still not eating well on their own. I reluctantly agreed and said whatever it takes to get them home healthy. So, with tears in my eyes, we said good night to our babies and went home with one.
Last night was interesting to say the least. Mollie decided to "hang out" with her mommy from her feeding at 11 pm to her next feeding at 2 am. It was fun!! Maybe it was the new bed she was in or the fact that she knew her brother and sister were not with her. Or....it could be that she's just a baby and needs to cry it out. Although, I have rarely heard her cry. She broke me in last night (and this morning).
When we got to the NICU this morning, Elise and Preston had to have their feeding tubes reinserted. They went back to 6 of 8 feedings. We were told that they are just getting too tired. They're exerting too much energy; more than they should. It made me sad, but I'm glad that it happened in the NICU instead of after they came home. I would hate to bring them back. It has become a little more difficult traveling, but I can't stay home when my babies are up there. Mollie, mom and I pack up and get there to spend most of the day (not quite as early as before). I'm so thankful the doctor approved Mollie to come back. Usually once a baby is discharged from the hospital, they're not allowed back in the NICU. But because we don't have toddlers or other children at home, she's fine. That brings me to another point.....we would ask that no visitors come to the NICU anymore. Elise and Preston are way too exhausted to receive visitors. I'm trying to keep their stimulation level at a minimum. This may continue even when they come home. We'll have to see.
Out of all this, one thing has been made evident in my life: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which, surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Only God can grant that peace. And for the first time ever, I have experienced it. I have quoted that scripture time and again and used it to encourage many other people. But this time, I'm living it. God is carrying us all through this. It's an unexplainable feeling and "knowing" that I have about our situation. God still reigns. It is He who gives life. And His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. This didn't take Him by surprise. He knew it all along. And I trust that He will complete a work in us. Especially me. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
As for Elise, the PDA is not anything for us to be concerned about. The cardiologist said it should go away at least by age 2. He was checking her to see what options we should take for her anemia. Apparently, her bone marrow is not making enough red blood cells to replenish the ones my antibodies attacked. Tests do show that her body is trying to make them....just not fast enough. The three options we had were one, a blood transfusion. The problem with this is that it could cause infection (introducing new blood to her little body). The second option is to use a certain medicine; however, this will cause holes to be produced in the intestinal tract. Not good. The third option is to increase her fluids and monitor her blood count. The concern with increasing her fluids is pulmonary edema. That's what we needed the cardiologist for. He gave us the approval to try this option. Her fluids were initially decreased because of her PDA. Now, we're going to increase them to combat the low red blood cell count. Right now, her hemocritic is a 4.8. They will check it again on Sunday. It needs to increase....preferably to 10. I'm just glad we know exactly what to pray for. Bless her little heart. She is so fragile.
We received orders that Mollie will be coming home on Monday!! We're excited about that. There is a possibility that Preston may join her. That would be wonderful!! It will also be more difficult for me to travel with both of them back and forth to the NICU. But hopefully, it won't be for much longer.
Thank you once again for all your prayers. We can definitely feel them being answered.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Mollie had a "brady" yesterday and it prompted the nurse to document it. Also, some of the nurses have been hearing a heart murmur with Mollie, but it goes in and out. The doctor ordered an echocardiogram today and it seems like she may have a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO). This is when the valve between the 2 upper (aterial) chambers of the heart does not close. About 20% adults have this. We have a meeting with the pediatric cardiologist to discuss Mollie's and Elise's condition. The orders for Mollie's discharge has moved from this weekend to Monday. She may have to come home on an apnea monitor. That's fine with me. In fact, it serves as security. Other than that, Mollie has been doing very well on her feedings and she is gaining weight. She is now 5 pounds!
Now...onto my delicate Elise. She lost another 8 grams last night. She is anemic and in spite of being given iron, she does not appear to be gaining strength. She does not suck well and burns a lot of calories trying to nurse. She had a pretty dramatic Brady today while I was nursing her. Her heartrate dropped to 71 (normal is around 145) and her oxygen level in her blood went to about 60%. Her lips had started turning blue when she suddenly started her heart rate back up without CPR. When the doctor made his rounds today he addressed the anemia problem. He said that just before birth, my blood treated Elise's blood as foreign and my antibodies attacked. It is fairly common but because Elise is so tiny and premature, it caused her to be more anemic than the others. One option they are looking at is a blood transfusion. That would take care of the anemia problem and should "kick start" her instead of wearing her down trying to build her blood up from where it is now.
All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. There's a reason for the small setback. I may not know what it is, but He does and I trust in Him.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
We will still have to do the car seat challenge. That's when they have to be sitting in their car seats for one full hour without their monitors going off. I believe they can do it!
It will be one "tripped out" journey when they come home. So far, it's been quite a ride.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I finally have a routine now. For those who know me, if I don't have a schedule to follow, I go nuts! There's now consistency! I get to the NICU by 7:30 am. I nurse the girls at 8 (then pump). Preston is nursed at 11 (then I pump). Girls again at 2 (and you guessed it...I pump). And finally at 5, Preston again (then pump time). Between all of the nursing and pumping, I eat and rest. Please forgive me if I don't answer my phone as I don't interrupt any nursing time with the babies. Bronson gets there right after work at 5 for family time and then we go home during shift change. I spend 11 hours straight with the babies. As if I don't pump enough during the day...it continues all through the night. That's the reason for naps during the day. Call me crazy...but I believe it won't be this exhausting when they come home!! At least I won't have to travel back and forth every morning and evening.
Well, that's it for now. I will post more pictures later this week. They are looking huge!! Of course, they are just now beginning to fill out preemie sizes! Newborn outfits look huge on them!!
Friday, January 9, 2009
What a busy week so far!! The babies moved up to a much bigger crib. This thing is huge!! It takes up most of our space. But it's so much better. We all have space now to change them. As you can see in the pictures, the babies all had a little time with the physical therapist. They all did great. Mollie and Preston are sensitive to loud noises and Elise is sensitive to light. So, for right now, we need to be mindful of that while they're still in the NICU.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Preston moved in with the girls yesterday! Now, they're our three peas in a pod! We are so very excited. This is definitely a step toward the right direction. Now, they can breathe on their own, regulate their body temperature, and they're gaining weight every day. We're still working on getting their feeding tubes out. Elise did very well nursing yesterday. Mollie and Preston still need some work. But I know they'll come along. Your prayers are being heard!!!
It's beginning to get a little harder leaving them behind. Before, I was still in a healing process and it was okay for me to go home and rest. But now, I'm feeling much better and want to start taking care of them myself. I still have about another week before I'm completely up and running, but I feel 100% better than last week!
There is one thing I thought I would mention. Bronson will be taking off the first week they come home. It's going to be one hectic time with us trying to work around the babies and their schedule. Both our moms will be with us. That's 4 adults and 3 babies in our humble home. We'll be asking visitors to not stop by the first week. We'll need that time to adjust and not to mention, get some rest when the babies are sleeping. I'm finding out really quick that if I don't nap when they do while we're still at the hospital, I will burn out. I want everyone to come and see them, but at the same time I need rest so I can give them what they need. I know everyone will understand.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
When Bronson and I went to the NICU yesterday, we got a nice surprise....the girls are now in an open crib! We're extremely excited. It's just one more step in them coming home!! I can't wait. Preston is still in his little incubator. Bless his little heart! He's been having some "bradys" lately. His heart rate drops, but he picks it up again by himself. I really don't want him to have any more episodes. So, if you need something to pray about...that would be it. Yesterday he had an episode that lasted about 19 seconds. I was a little concerned. I'm not fearful of him having them, I just don't want him to have any more. They're all gaining weight. And hopefully, they will be feeding without the tube soon. But once again, it's a process. I will have the lactation consultant work with me and the babies. They have to make sure the babies breathe while feeding. I can't wait for that!
Other than that, they're doing great!