Monday, November 30, 2009

An overdue catch-up of the last few weeks.

(The typo that was in the title shows what kind of last few weeks it's been.)

*The babies are starting to have more happy awake time. It seems that up until a couple days ago they'd usually just go from asleep to upset/crying. But now they like to interact with us or each other, and can actually be entertained. We might have even seen a few real smiles. They LOVE to be held. All the time. Ruby, sweet Ruby, is mostly an easy baby. She is great at entertaining herself. While the boys are just cranky more often than her. But they love the Moby. Looks like I'll be wearing that a lot these days. But it's so fun when I'm wearing it to look down and see their little faces as I putter around the house. And I love hearing their newly discovered voices as they coo and gurgle.

*At the doctor on Friday they got great reports:

Alex 8 lbs. 10 oz.

Ruby 7 lbs. 10 oz.

Bennett 7 lbs. 14 oz

All R and B are in the 50th percentile, and A in the 75th, for their corrected age (as if they were born on Nov. 21). Sounds good to me. Alex, the big boy, is quite a little chunk. Who knows why he is a whole pound bigger than the others, since they all eat mostly the same thing at the same time. He does dribble a lot less when he bottle feeds, and nurses a lot more efficiently. I'm sure the others will catch up soon enough. I love seeing their cheeks grow before my eyes. They got another set of vaccines, the poor dears. Oh, and no sign of the hernia for Bennett. Phew!

*At their latest eye exam, they all looked great. They still just need a little peripheral development, but no ROP to speak of, anymore. Let's hope it stays that way.

*They have their good nights, and their bad. When all the stars align, and they all sleep for at least 2 hours in a row (sometimes 3-4 if it's a really good night), we all wake up wondering if it really happened, since it's so rare. We take 3 hour shifts and it's pretty common to find that person sleeping with whoever decided to be fussy that night. But a lot of times more than one of us have to stay up and soothe the babies. As much as I absolutely love the newborn stage, they have been in it for quite some time and I'll be happy to welcome the new stage when it arrives. It might be nice to have a new set of ups and downs.

*Feeding times can either go really smoothly, or really crazy. Depending on if there are two or three of us here, or how many of them wake up at the same time. When all three are screaming, and only one or two of us are feeding, we have found ways to feed two, or even three at the same time with the proper positioning, while we watch them carefully since they still have a tendency to choke and dribble. It also gets a little tricky when they all have to burp. You can also find me nursing one (I rotate who gets nursed at each feeding) while bottle feeding another, or pumping while I bottle feed one or two. When they are all strong and efficient enough to prop the bottles, I'm so there.

*We made an entire Thanksgiving dinner. Too ambitious? Maybe. Did we enjoy it when we were done? Yes. So we ate at 7 pm with fussy babies in our arms. At least we got our fix of Turkey with all the trimmings. You kind of need it to welcome the holiday season, don't you think? We tried to make shortcuts, but kept adding things to the list. It was exhausting, and a huge mess, but at least we tried to be festive for the babies' first Thanksgiving. I must say, Mom was the one who took charge of the feast, and did most of her tasks with a baby in tow. What a woman. Words can't describe what she's done for us. But that's an entirely separate post.

*We've been getting some wonderful helpers from my ward. It's so great of them to dedicate their precious time to us. And man, is it nice. I have been able to clean the bathroom, get some exercise, take some naps, do some laundry, blog, take a long shower, and eat a meal without a baby in my arms, among other things. Things I kinda took for granted before. I don't know if I could ever thank my friends enough for what they're doing for us. They do have families of their own after all. I hope to pay it forward someday.

*We're had some out of town visitors lately. My dad came and hopped right into the baby fun. He changed, fed, rocked, swaddled, and everything else that these babies require. I guess once you step into this house, you better be prepared to get yourself elbow deep in babies. My sister Amber also came with her 7 month pregnant belly. She's always good for a laugh. And that we did, until we cried. It was nice to break up the monotony of the daily grind and add a little fun. The pictures tell all.

*We like to do "drive by outings" where we drive to our destination, babies included, but only one person runs in to Target, Five Guys, the Gap, Costco, or Einstein Bagels, to name a few. This is nice because the babies love the car, and we get to get out of this house without exposing them to too many germs.

*Some of my clothes are actually starting to fit again. Yes, they are more snug than they used to be, but at least I have more than a few shirts to choose from every morning. Not that I actually get ready for the day or anything.

*Here's a camera dump from the last few weeks.

I'm hoping to get a video post up soon. Hoping, being the operative word. I hope to get a lot of things done, of which only a few actually do.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy due date, babies!

That's right. The babies are due today. We can now officially start looking for developmental milestones. All that they've learned up until now has just been bonus. So they are pretty advanced at nursing/bottle feeding for newborns, if you think about it. I would've loved for them to make it longer in the pregnancy, but I have been able to cuddle and kiss them for two months longer than if they were born full term, so I consider myself lucky. We are so happy to have these three sweeties in our home (even when they are all being naughty). I love sleeping with them cuddled on my chest with a blanket over us. I love nursing them while I play with their little fingers. I love bathing them and washing their hair with those really soft brushes and Baby Magic baby wash. I love finding KC holding at least two of them after I have taken a good nap. I love the quiet after a feeding and they are all rocking in their swings breathing deeply. I love kissing their little lips. I just love this little family of mine. It's been an unforgettable couple of months. I love you, babies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Poem


to Alex, Benne
tt, Ruby

Six little ears
Three little noses

Thirty little fingers
Thirty little toeses.

Three little babies all in a row
identical twin boys,
one with nail-polished toe
girl a copy of her brothers,
but wears a red-honeyed bow.

Three little babies
lulled in their swings,
now to do the laundry
and other pressing things.

Three little babies
out for their first walk
soon a squeak, a grunt, a squawk
they're a hungry bunch.
They've only paraded half a block
and it's already time for lunch.

I asked Grandma Jan
when she was onesie folding
who was her favorite little babe
without a pause, she said,
"That's easy to answer

it's the one I'm holding."

By Great Grandma Julie.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dare I say. . .rested?

Thanks to some reflux meds for the boys, three swings, and a lot of hoping and praying, the babies all slept well last night. They still woke up for their feeds every 3 1/2 hours, but they ate quickly and went right back to sleep, which hasn't happened for quite some time. I haven't slept two or three hours in a row for weeks. This came just at the right time. Thank you so much babies. I can see the light! Let's hope this wasn't a fluke.

Maybe I'll feel up to posting some pictures since my eyes are actually staying open, and the boys aren't screaming due to reflux every 20 minutes, the poor little guys. We shall see.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baby Land.

What a week we've had. The days seem to go by so quickly when you are working around a 3 hour feeding schedule. We did fortunately find out that we don't need to wake the babies up in the middle of the night to feed anymore. That would've been nice to know. But the nurse that does our home visits says it's a-okay to leave them sleeping. Of course, ever since then they have been waking up like clock-work to eat when we've been waking them up in the past. And now even wake up earlier sometimes. And if one wakes up, we just wake up the other two, so we don't have to wake up an hour later to feed them. It seems they all take their turns being the fussy one at night, and sleep like angels during the day. Actually, it's usually one of the boys. Ruby is a little Angel day and night. So, it's all a game of what's-going-to-happen-tonight around here. I think I'd rather just set my alarm for 2 and 5 am to feed them like we've been doing, than be disappointed that they wake up. The nights can get pretty frustrating, especially since their not even technically born yet, so they still are a bit slow and uncoordinated. Sometimes each of us might get a couple hours of sleep during a whole night. But even as tired as I am, or as hard as it is to keep my eyes open in the middle of the night (my mom describes it as having toothpicks in her eyes), it seems that they are always so sweet, and lively at night, making it hard to be upset that they woke you up (though I still manage to harbor some harsh feelings at times). Especially Ruby. Her eyes get so wide when she eats. I love it. Those little faces aren't hard to love. And as a lot of you have reassured us, this stage doesn't last forever (I try to repeat this over and over to myself when I am having a meltdown).We try to make the monotony of the feedings fun sometimes by having bottle races, or watching movies. I really am trying to enjoy my tiny babies and sweet middle of the night moments while I have them. It seems every night one of them needs a little sleep on mommy's chest time, and I don't usually have a complaint about that.

So, onto some fun things going on over here. Auntie Melody and Gabe came to visit this past weekend. The time always goes by WAY too fast when we're together. It was so fun to see Gabe's big smiley face that I haven't seen since he was a newborn. And he has grown quite a bit. I'll miss those chubby cheeks and his chattering in the doorway bouncer. They fit right into our baby lifestyle. Melody helped out so much, holding and feeding as we needed her, provided her little one didn't need her at the moment. We had a great time comparing the sizes of Gabe and the triplets. They look a lot different in size now, but sometime down the road they'll be so close you'd never know there was such a difference. They are almost the same age, after all. We miss them a lot, and Juju and Jonny that didn't join them. Hopefully the Robinsons and the Rehjolecs will all be together someday and we won't have to say goodbye anymore. It really isn't fun to say goodbye. I can't wait until we're neighbors like we always said we'll be.

The weather was perfect for their stay, and we are able to take several walks. It was the most perfect fall weather you could ask for, and it was nice to get the babies out into the fresh air. It's a good way to get out without having to load them into the car, or exposing them to germs by going somewhere where there are a lot of people. I hope we get a few more days like that this year. This is the slide show from Melody's blog.

We love you guys!

Well, this house is all baby these days, with the 'round the clock feedings, loads of laundry and constant hum of the dishwasher running to wash all the bottles. We also rearranged the furniture to make it easier to maneuver around this place. The babies just sleep in the living room in either the crib, the swings, or the moses basket. We usually take shifts sleeping on the couch to sooth whoever it fussy. Sometimes that person actually gets some sleep. It nice to have them in the open area so we all have a place to sit and feed, and it's closer to the kitchen to prepare bottles. It's amazing how transformed into baby-land this place is. Pacifiers everywhere, diapers withing an arms reach, empty bottles on the end tables, and burp clothes on all the arm rests.

Being preemies, they need a lot of follow-up appointments with several different doctors. On Tuesday we had one with the Pulmonary Pediatrician to talk about the boys' monitors. The doctor was happy that he didn't see anything alarming, and says that we can take them off the monitors when they are being supervised (which is all the time since they sleep in the living room, but we put them on in the middle of the night when we might be sleeping), and we are to go back in a month, which will be a couple weeks past their due date, to take them off for good.

That same day we had to see the Ophthalmologist for an update on their eyes. They have a mild form of ROP, Retinopathy of Prematurity, where the blood vessels in their eyes aren't growing properly. But like it said, it's mild, and we just have to keep a close watch on it so that if it doesn't resolve itself, we can have it corrected. It's pretty scary looking, what the doctor does. First they get a series of drops while we're in the office. We have to wait in the waiting room for about an hour and a half for their eyes to dilate, and then when we get taken back, they get some numbing drops. They are then swaddled to keep their arms out of the way while the doctor uses a speculum to pry their eyelids open. It is horrible looking, and the babies get very upset. I didn't watch, but KC had to hold them still while it was being done. The poor babies. It was only about 30 seconds to a minute of torture per baby, but it's so sad to hear them cry so hard. I always try to put my emotions aside during important procedures, since I know it's important. We get to go through all that again in about two weeks. Hooray.

And we went to the the pediatrician again today for some vaccines. The fun never ends. They didn't love it, but didn't cry for long either. I am supposed to wake them up to eat right now, but I'm afraid they;ll be really cranky when I do. Oh dear. They are turning into giant babies, Alex being the biggest at 7 lbs. 1 0z., Ruby second at 6 lbs. 11 oz., and Bennett 6 lbs. 10 oz. Soon I won't be able to hold them with one hand anymore. I am so glad they are growing like they should. We did find out that Bennett my have a hernia, and we're keeping a close eye on him to see if that's what it really is. The poor thing would need surgery. The doctor says it's a very short, outpatient procedure, and it's not something to be too alarmed about. But who wants surgery? We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. So we go back in two weeks. These trips to the doctor are wearing me out. Especially when they are after a fussy night, like last night. I wonder if I'll ever feel rested again.

I wanted to take some individual pictures. The pictures are a little dark, but I'm choosing not to care.




Oh, and we wanted to see how Alex likes the bumbo. Of course we know he's not big enough for it yet, but it was good for a laugh.

And a video for fun.

So, now that the honeymoon stage it over, I'm trying to evaluate how things are going. I knew having these babies would be a HUGE challenge, but also equally rewarding. I was right. We have are highs and our lows. Right now they are all sleeping, I think. I better get some rest. Or do the laundry. Or take a shower. Or eat something. Or pump. Or make my bed. No, rest sounds the best.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A few words to describe my life lately.

Very tired. Lots of bottle washing. Laundry galore. Feeding charts. Grunty noises. Burps. Hand sanitizer. Dr. appointments. Adorable faces. Poop analyzing. A few tears (mommy and babies). Very tired. Lots of smiles. Pumping. Nursing. Swings. Baths. cuddles. Cat naps. Millions of kisses. Did I say very tired?

It's been crazy at times, but also wonderfully wonderful. Enjoy the after-bath hairstyles.



P.S. If you look at the close-ups of the boys, you'll notice a chin zit that Bennett is sporting. It's been there for weeks. It used to bug me, but now I am very glad it's there because it's sometimes the only way to tell them apart (and Alex's painted toenail-sorry buddy) now that they are so close in weight and Alex's chub doesn't immediately give him away.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I should be sleeping.

Yes, sleep when the babies sleep. Isn't that the rule. I do my best, and sometimes actually succeed. But I just had to get a few things down.

We had a little photo session after their baths this morning. KC's sisters made them these cute onsies with their names on them. We have to give a picture of them to the NICU for the "Wall of Fame". I thought these little shirts would be great for that so everyone would know who is who. They were very cooperative, and were so awake and alert. Here are a few.

And I thought this was a great portrayal of our state of being after a night of feedings. Funny how they are in the same position. Like father, like son, eh?

I'm constantly in awe at what is taking place in my life right now. I do have my moments of weakness when I'm too tired/impatient to fulfill all my responsibilities as a mom of three, but I'm learning. Their little faces just make me melt every time I see them.