Thursday, May 29, 2008

2 Month Check Up

We went to the pedi today for our 2 mth check up. The kids are doing great! Their stats are...

Ian ~ 20.5", 8lb 7oz
Sofi ~ 21", 8lb 14oz
Gabi ~ 21", 9lb 3oz

My babies are all at least double what they weighed when they were born! I can't believe it. We had lots of questions that got answered. They are doing well w/ the amount they are eating. They were actually impressed that they were up to 4oz. She also stated that they are measured solely on their adjusted age so technically if they were only eating 2oz, she would have been happy. We are going to stay on the Enfamil Enfacare formula until they hit at least 4 mths which is our next check up. She could keep them on it until 6 mths but she is very happy w/ their progress as of right now. I asked her how much breast milk they should get for it to be effective & she said ANY breast milk is good. Out of their 7 bottles, they get 4 boobie milk ones so I think they are good for now. She also said not to expect them to eat much more at this point. 4oz is a good place to be. They may cut out another feeding but will make up for it the other feedings. Oh, Ian has also be dx w/ reflux. Since the Axid didn't do much for Sofi, both are being given Prevacid. Thank God! Hopefully feedings will go a bit easier for mommy from now on.

Now, we are having some head molding issues b/c of the lack of room they had while they were inside me. Gabi has it the worst by far & we are being referred to a specialist along w/ physical therapy b/c she has a condition called torticollis. It isn't a big deal but Gabi favors putting her head to 1 side which is causing the other side to tighten up. She can turn her head to the left but it takes effort. She may also need to wear a helmet b/c of the molding. The pedi said it is purely cosmetic & won't affect any brain development. WHEW! Honestly, I'm not worried b/c she is our advanced baby. Sofi & Ian have flat head to an extent & will now be sleeping on their sides.

Let's see, other than that they got their vaccines today. My babies barely cried! They couldn't believe how well behaved they were & how alert they were. I told them we had an eat/play/sleep cycle that we followed & both the pedi & nurse were very supportive of it. They said that it is good to put the babies on a schedule that they can rely on. It just so happens our visit fell in to the schedule quite well. We were back home for the 11am feeding w/ no issues.

Ok, that is my book for today!

Monday, May 26, 2008

What a long 10 days!

Sorry that I haven't posted in quite some time! This past week has been crazy! We have encountered many stressful situations & have been trying to get through them. Let me just start w/ a funny one. Ok, it isn't that funny but we had to laugh.

We had a dr's appt on Friday. I knew it was going to be tough b/c the appt was at 8:30am but we picked that time b/c the parking lot would be empty & it wouldn't be hot outside. The only bad thing is that the kids eat around 8am so that meant feeding them a bit early which of course didn't work out. I got Gabi fed, Ian partially fed & poor Sofi was the odd man out. We decided to feed her at the dr's office. We manage to get out the door & to the office on time. I go to sign them in & they have Gabi's name spelled wrong. Not that it mattered b/c they couldn't find us in the computer as having an appt that day. Yep, you read right. I told them I could have sworn the card they gave me said the 23rd. Well, sure enough I found the card. The date was the 29th. I asked if they could fit us in b/c getting 3 babies out the door & on time is a huge task but they said they couldn't b/c the kids weren't 2 mths yet & they were due for their vaccines. So I looked at the ladies & said we had a good practice run. Then I had to tell Todd. Oddly enough, he said the exact same thing to me. Thank God my husband has a good sense of humor! We both laughed & left the office.

Then, we found out today that a close friend of ours was in a serious car accident. Actually Monty, Stephanie & their son Fallon were together. Monty & Fallon made out w/ only a few scratches but Stephanie did not. She was life flighted to a hospital in Austin w/ serious head injuries. We know that she has a broken arm & leg also. They have drilled holes in her head to relieve the pressure. She is expected to pull through but we are not sure whether she has incurred any brain damage as of yet. Please keep the family in your prayers. They also have a daughter, Taylor, who was not with them at the time.

Ok, enough sadness! Goodness...let's see some interesting pics that I have been able to snap in the past week.

These 2 are from a midnight feeding. Yep, another bottle propping method being used! The only problem w/ propping is that normally the kids only cooperate 2, maybe 3 times & then it is time to find a new way to do it.

This picture is hilarious! When Gabi gets hungry, she roots like crazy. The problem is that we have to wait for the bottle to get warm so we play this little game. Normally we call them "mommy kisses" b/c I'll kiss her & she'll try to latch on to my lips. Well, this time she found my nose!

These 2 are of Gabi right after she has had some boobie. We like to refer to her being "milk drunk" b/c she is totally relaxed & gets this really silly look on her face. She only does it when she breastfeeds too. It is the strangest thing but always gives us a good laugh!

Last but not least. This is me in Super Mommy mode. I can feed & comfort 2 babies at 1 time!

Well, I'm signing off. It is almost 1am & I have to wrap up pumping & get my 6 hrs of sleep. I can't wait for them to start sleeping through the night!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

All about feeding the babies!

I thought it would be interesting for everyone to see how I prepare bottles & how Todd feeds the babies since I touched on that topic before. It is quite a circus when we are all in the room w/ the bottles & babies.

Let's start w/ bottle preparation. I pump every 3 hrs, after the babies eat & store the milk in the frig. I'm not pumping too much but not too little to quit either. I get a good 6 oz every time which gives the kids 2 oz of milk & 2 oz of formula. So, I get all the bottles out of the frig & line them up on the counter. The only time they don't get breast milk is for the 11pm feeding & that is b/c formula takes longer to digest & since we are trying to get them to drop the 2am feeding, this is what we do. Breast milk digests very quickly & we want them to stay full longer. I also line up the bottles in a diagonal. Why? B/c it is easier to pour everything in the bottle. So, the breast milk goes in first & then I go back & fill all the bottles w/ formula.

Then, the next step is to put all the parts together of the Dr. Brown bottles. I put the straw insert for all the bottles & then I go back & put the nipples on. Mind you, the kiddos are using 2 different nipples, yep...a pain in the ass but necessary for them to eat well. Gabi has graduated to a level 2 while Ian & Sofi are still using a level 1 nipple. That is why you see that 1 bottle of the 3 has a cap on it. That tells me & anyone else feeding the babies that bottle is for Gabi.

There are 24 bottles. We have a 2 story. How in the world do I get them up there? Well, I have a box that I have made in to a milk crate. I put 18 bottles in there & the other 6 are being carried by hand. I'm waiting for someone to give me a 6-pack of beer so I can use the holder for the remaining 6.

Where do they go upstairs? We have a mini-frig. I put the bottles in from left to right in chronological order so everyone knows what set of bottles to get. We always take the bottles out about 15-30 minutes before to take the chill out. From there, they get put in the bottle warmer which all sits on top of the mini-frig. We also have some premade formula in the little basket in case the kids want more than their 4 oz.

On to the feedings. I am very methodical about it as you have seen in the picture I have posted before. Todd, on the other hand, is all about comfort. Here are some pictures of his unconventional feeding techniques minus the hat method in which he used a koozie that he sewed on to the bill of a baseball hat & then leaned over to feed the baby. Yes, that is true!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mastitis AGAIN & growth spurts!

Yeah, you read right. How come I am the one that has to experience everything? Come on! TWICE? Give me a break! I don't like my boob being all sore & red. Thankfully I was smart enough to figure out it was happening early on & got to Dr. Adam for meds quickly. Speaking of Dr. Adam...we had a wonderful visit even though I was going to get treated for this darn thing again. She was telling me about how well I did throughout the pgcy & that it was a pleasure working w/ me. I told her that I think of her often & actually miss seeing her. She is the most wonderful peri I know. She helped give us healthy babies & for that, I am forever greatful. She told me that I didn't have to come in here w/ mastitis to see her & that we needed to have coffee one morning together. I'm dead set on that happening when the trips get a bit older & I can leave them alone for a bit. I also gave her a picture, the one of me holding the trips that I posted in a previous post & she put it in her office under the glass on her desk. I wanted to cry. We gave each other a huge hug! I know there were many times that I came home crying b/c of what she told me but she really was looking out for the best interest of me & the babes. I strongly feel that her aggressive methods of treatment kept me going as long as I did. She knows her stuff & I wouldn't doubt for one minute what she decided was best for my treatment. Dr. Adam...I LOVE YOU!

Now, for the kids. They are about 6 1/2 weeks. Tuesday was their original due date, May 13th. Seems like they decided it was time for a growth spurt which is what I understand to be normal right around this time. I am not kidding you, they have eaten up to 6 oz of milk/formula in a sitting at least twice a day for the past 3 days! I am filling their bottles w/ about 2 1/2 oz of breast milk & 1 1/2 oz of formula & they often need more but I am not ready to make the jump to a 4 1/2 to 5 oz bottle. I would say that about 4 of the 8 feedings, they finish their 4 oz in the 30 minute time limit. Yes, they have a time limit. Could you imagine feeding 3 babies at their leisure? HELL NO! Don't worry, they get their fill. We don't let them go hungry.

Back to the growth spurts. Boy, do they eat! I'm serious. We have also had to sneak in a snack between feedings b/c they get hungry. That is fine by me b/c I understand they are growing & it is obvious b/c they are getting HUGE! I just hope it doesn't last much longer. It is tough to hear them cry or to see them hungry so often. I know they are just as frustrated, poor dears! I just want them to be happy.

Here is a picture of the munchkins. You can see that Sofi & Gabi are starting to look more alike. I confirmed w/ Dr. Adam that they are indeed identical b/c they shared 1 placenta. I had only 2 placentas so there is no doubt or question about it!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

First, I want to say Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there. I also want to let everyone know that my best friend, Leslie, had her son today. His name is Ryan & he was 7lb 4oz, 20in long! Congrats mama! We waited for this our whole lives. Now we have kids only 6 weeks apart & hopefully we will raise them together when you move back to Texas.

Today was my very 1st Mother's Day & I knew that I wouldn't be getting much in the way of gifts b/c taking care of 3 babies takes up all our time so Todd didn't have the opportunity to go buy anything. I'm actually fine w/ it b/c to me, these holidays aren't about spending money to buy a gift, they are about creating memories AND that is EXACTLY what we did. Daddy & the kids all came to bed & we had breakfast in bed together. It was fantastic. I even got to feed Ian so it would officially be a family breakfast rather than me eating by myself. Todd must have left at some point after the 5am to go buy a dozen red roses, a card, & kolaches w/ apple fritters. He is so sweet! Here is a picture of us all enjoying the bed together. I told Todd that we needed to do this every weekend on Sunday.

I have to say that this day could not have been any better. Todd did all the feedings through 5pm which is the only feeding I have done today besides the 2am this morning. I even got to sleep until 11:30am! Yeah, I had to get up & pump after breakfast but at least I didn't have to feed kids either at the 8am or 11am. I got to just lay in bed. BEAUTIFUL!

I have also conquered the 2am feeding. We have still been battling scheduling conflicts so we are yet again trying a different approach b/c the one we had before wasn't working for Todd at all. Poor guy was coming home, going to sleep & messing up his schedule completely. So, now we are trying this...

2am ~ I feed alone.
5am ~ Todd feeds alone.
8am ~ I feed alone.
11am ~ I feed alone.
2pm ~ I feed alone.
5pm ~ Todd & I feed together.
8pm ~ Todd & I feed together (wasn't happening b/c he was falling asleep before & I didn't have the heart to wake him).
11pm ~ I feed alone (he was feeding & I was pumping before).

I think it is going to work out well for the both of us. Last night we had a trial run w/ the new schedule minus me doing the 8am, 11am, & 2pm feedings b/c of Mother's Day but I did all my scheduled feedings on Saturday while he worked on the AC unit & I was fine. Hopefully this is the right schedule for us.

You may be wondering how you feed 3 babies by yourself. Well, I took a couple of pictures to illustrate 1 of the ways we feed the babies. The Boppy pillows come in very handy now that they can fit. Before, the Boppies were too big for them. I would say that if your baby is much smaller than 7lbs, the Boppy is not an option. Once they pass the 7lb mark, it is easy to get them in there, roll up a receiving blanket to use as a make shift tray & then another receiving blanket to prop the bottle at the right height. Yes, there is a science to it all & once you figure it out, you have hands free feedings! Of course, it does get a bit hairy when you have to burp them. It's kind of like a conveyor belt...I just go down the line, pick them up & burp them. Let me note this, they do not burp nearly as much now as they did before. I think as they become more efficient suckers, they don't take in nearly as much air thus not as many burps. That is a good thing in the middle of the night! Here is what they look like all propped up & eating. This was taken yesterday during the day.

We also started tummy time a couple of days ago. I wasn't sure whether it was a good idea but after getting many different mommies' advice, I started. It was great to prop them up on their Boppies (aren't these pillows great???) & WAAAA-LAAAA...they didn't have any problems! Their necks are getting much stronger although in the pictures it looks like they are all asleep.

Gabi on the Boppy, lovin' life!

Sofi w/ her Boppy, chillin' out!

Ianchito w/ his Boppy, cool as can be!

Besides all this, tomorrow they will be 6 weeks old. I can't believe 6 weeks have gone by! Seriously, it seems like yesterday that I was being wheeled down the hall to go to the NICU for the 1st time to see my babies. Now they are home, developing personalities & growing before my eyes. The girls are nearing the 8lb range from my best guess & Ian isn't too far behind. They are easily eating 4oz per feeding, most of it which is breast milk. Yes, I am still a mad woman & pumping! I hope to keep it up for at least 6 months. We'll see. Being attached to a pump which is much like a 4th child, isn't going to be easy.

Life has found a routine. I believe that it will get much more enjoyable than what it has been now that we found a schedule that will work for both Todd & I. If we can keep this up, we will make it through the 1st 3 months which I hear are the hardest. Well, we are 1/2 way there already so not too much longer!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Dreaded 2am Feeding

Yep, dreaded. I know it sounds silly but I had a little breakdown b/c I had to face the 2am feeding all by myself. I have no idea why. On Sunday night, I had to feed the trips by myself at 2am b/c Todd could not help since he has to work the next day. I know & support that he needs to sleep through that feeding but that left me to do it w/ no help. Through last Thursday night, his dad has been coming over to help w/ that feeding so this was new territory we were entering.

You may ask why? What is it about the 2am feeding that has you trippin' out? Honestly, I have no idea so I had to post a thread to my girls over at Triplet Connection about why I was so damn scared to do it on my own. Hey, at least I could admit I was afraid of the feeding. There are several reasons why as it turns out AND I am not the only one out there that also feared this feeding. What a relief to know my apprehension & fears was legit!

So, let's figure this out. Why would I be afraid of the 2am feeding? Well, the 1st thing that came to mind was that I wasn't going to be able to hold each baby & have that special 1 on 1 time w/ them. It is more like a fine tuned machine when you have to bottle prop. Everything has to be just right so the bottle stays up & the baby keeps sucking. This brings on the 2nd issue. What if they all need to be burped at the same time? do it 1 at a time. Yeah, I know, I was still scared about it.

What if they all started fussing or crying at the same time? How do I know which one to go to first? Seriously, this one really had me worried. I am one of those people that is self-sufficient so the idea of waking Todd up if something went wrong didn't even cross my mind. I want him to be able to sleep since he goes to work. I figure if it gets bad enough, he will understand me needing the help. So I let go the idea that I was totally on my own w/o help b/c the truth of the matter is that there is help if I truly need it.

Then it gets deeper...we get in to the phsycological aspect of the situation which I would have never considered but another triplet mom brought it up & it totally made sense. Todd & I waited so long for these babies & I want to love every single minute I have w/ them. I don't want to feel badly b/c I can't hold them. It makes me feel icky inside & then b/c I feel icky, I feel like I am not loving every minute I have w/ them. Does that make sense? Basically, here I am telling myself that I will love every minute & then I get this feeling of impending doom about the 2am feeding & it just makes me jump on that emotional rollercoaster again. The ups & downs are incredible!

Well...I bet you are wondering how the 2am feedings have been going. They have been going fantasticly well! Seriously, besides having to wake up in the middle of the night which sucks any way you look at it, the feedings themselves have been a sinch. Honestly, it is easier to do a middle of the night feeding than a day feeding. The kids know that after they eat, they go right back to sleep. There is no fidgiting or squirming around when they eat at 11pm & 2am. They are all about sucking down their bottles, getting their diaper changed & falling right back to sleep. Last night, we were finished in about 18 minutes. Yep, that is fed & changed. GO MOMMY!

I guess the whole point of this post is that being scared of being all alone in the middle of the night w/ 3 hungry children can be a challenge & frightening. After all, I am a 1st time mommy. I'm learning as I go along. If you have felt this way & beat yourself up over it, let it go. It is ok to have those feelings. Seriously, just make yourself do it & then your fears will go away.

Friday, May 2, 2008

First-Time-Mommy Boot Camp

That is the reason I haven't been able to update at all. This week has been Mommy Boot Camp week. Todd went back to work on Monday & we have been adjusting to the new schedule. We have had help from his parents & mine to get through the week. Let me give you a snippit of how it goes starting w/ the 5pm feeding. That is when Todd gets home.

5pm ~ Todd & I feed the babies. Sometimes his mom is around to help. At some point after this feeding, we get to eat dinner on most days. I have had a couple of late night dinners by myself while making bottles though.

8pm ~ Todd & I feed the babies. He goes directly to bed & I stay up most nights until the 11pm feeding.

11pm ~ Todd & I feed the babies. Originally I was doing this one alone but w/ pumping, it makes it virtually impossible to do under an hour & 45 minutes. I was getting so tired that I was an emotional mess the next day. Not worth it so Todd started jumping in & it has gone well.

2am ~ Todd's dad arrives (yep, he is awake at that time so he drives over) & helps me w/ the feeding. It is so much better having a 2nd person there so I can pump & feed someone at the same time rather than doing it all on my own. After this feeding, I am off duty until 7:30am so I get to go to bed!

5am ~ Todd does this feeding either alone or w/ his dad. This is right before he goes to work so it works out nicely b/c he has had a block of sleep.

8am ~ Todd's dad has been around all week for this feeding also. God bless him! We do the feedings while I pump & are finished up by 9am. After they finish up, I put them in the Triple Decker stroller & we go for a 30-45 minute walk. It depends on how many times we are stopped during the walk. As soon as we get back, I have breakfast.

11am ~ Todd's mom comes in for the day & helps me w/ this feeding as well as washing bottles, doing laundry & any other little household chores. I also normally run out to do any errands right after this feeding. I have been able to get my returns done to Target & Babies R Us although I did forget 3 big things to return to BRU. Go figure but when you are in a hurry, you are bound to leave things behind!

2pm ~ I get back about an hour before this feeding & normally have to make bottles. Then Donna & I feed the babies. After this feeding, I get to do things around the house although time goes quickly. Sometimes Donna leaves at this point, other times she stays to help w/ the 5pm feeding.

5pm ~ We start the cycle all over again!

I do have the opportunity to shower at least once a day. Sometimes I jump in there a 2nd time to help let down my milk before I pump in the evening. It also gives me some much needed alone time to relax after a full day. Also, Todd has been able to nap between the 5pm & 8pm feedings a couple of times this week. He needs that sleep to be functional at work. Of course, we miss him here at home. I wish he could just stay home w/ me. We have so much fun together. He is an amazing father. Makes me fall in love w/ him all over again!

We made a big decision & moved the trio to their nursery. There was no point in keeping them in our room b/c we weren't sleeping in there. It has been an adjustment but now that they are in there, it is better. Todd & I actually get to sleep together for a couple of hours! It was weird at first to not have them in there but w/ all the little sounds they make, it is very difficult to get any kind of sleep. We were finding ourselves leaving the room to get an hour of uninterrupted sleep. Not fun! Ok, not only that but the nursery is so darn cute now that the cribs are in there that it is perfect & super cute!

Other than that, life is being lived in 3 hr increments. It is going by quickly. The trips will be 5 weeks old on Monday & their original due date is May 13th which is right around the corner. The girls are close to 7 lbs each & Ian is right around 6 lbs. They are growing quickly. It is still hard to believe that just over a month ago I was on bed rest & waiting for these babies to be born. WOW!

Here is a picture of about how many bottles we go through in a day. Yep, there are about 30 there & w/ the Dr. Brown bottles, there are all those parts too. I have to say that if you haven't dealt w/ any other bottles, the extra pieces are no big deal. Honestly, it is only 2 more than a regular bottle. Not only that but we tried Ian on some Evenflo glass bottles & his gas went out of control. We put him back on the Dr. Brown's & WAAAA-LAAAA! His gas has gone down considerably.

Oh, one last thing, Sofia was dx w/ acid reflux & is now taking meds to help her. Thank God for drs! She has become so much less fussy & is eating better. WOOOHOOO!!! Ok, time to relax. Bye!