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Archive for October, 2007

I had my six-week post-partum appointment yesterday. I have a clean bill of health. It’s kind of sad for me, really. It feels like I’m closing a chapter of my life. I’m officially not pregnant anymore. I mean, I haven’t been pregnant for six weeks now, but something feels different and final now. And I miss it. And I’m sad that this may have been my last pregnancy. Even though I have four children now, I never wanted to have just one pregnancy (well, two, but the first one doesn’t count in this sense).. I never thought I’d have three at once. I never thought this was how I would build my family. I don’t want this to have been my last chance. And if I were a fertile myrtle, it would be easy to say, “well, okay, so if you get pregnant again, so be it, and that’ll be great.” But we all know it’s just not that easy. So I know a lot of you are rolling your eyes that I have four kids and I’m not satisfied, and some of you probably think that this is just postpartum hormones, but I don’t think it is. I’m sleep deprived, overwhelmed, can barely imagine handling another infant right now, but I long for the experience again.

Today would have been an easy day for me to say that I never want to go through this again. I was supposed to take J to school, which would have meant piling the triplets and J into the van and getting him up to school. This doesn’t sound so hard, until you consider that all the babies have to be fed, changed, and put into car seats before they can be brought out to the car. Add that to the fact that J has to be changed, fed, and clothed and his lunch had to be made. Oh, and then there’s the fact that Sam was up ALL NIGHT. He will NOT stop eating. He just keeps going and going. He woke up screaming with hunger at 2am (an hour before I expected him to wake up) and nursed from 2-4:45 when my husband took him away and gave him a bottle so that I could get some sleep. He wasn’t just using me as a pacifier either, because he was really hungry and he would scream bloody murder if he unlatched, and he wouldn’t take a regular pacifier. He was still hungry even after the bottle. He whimpered and whined for an hour and a half until he started screaming at 6:45 begging for food. So I nursed him until almost 9am when I gave up and gave him a bottle and he was STILL hungry. Meanwhile, I had three other kids to take care of, and I had decided that the four year old wasn’t going to make it to preschool since none of us were dressed, fed or ready to go.

Today is the first day I have felt completely overwhelmed. But I STILL miss pregnancy. I still want to have another baby someday, even if people think I’m greedy for saying so.

Anyway, odds are good Sam’s just going through a ginormous growth spurt. Babies apparently go through growth spurts approximately every 3 weeks, and he’s six weeks old exactly today, so it makes sense, right? Apparently this should “only” last 2-3 days. Which would be totally manageable if he were a singleton, but hey, did I mention that there are TWO OTHER BABIES and a four year old to take care of? But this shall pass, right? Oh, and a friend of mine came and picked up J and took him to preschool an hour and a half late, but he got there regardless. Thank heavens. So the day is looking up, and I can do this. Parenthood certainly has its challenges, but I can do this, right? RIGHT?

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I had my six-week post-partum appointment yesterday. I have a clean bill of health. It's kind of sad for me, really. It feels like I'm closing a chapter of my life. I'm officially not pregnant anymore. I mean, I haven't been pregnant for six weeks now, but something feels different and final now. And I miss it. And I'm sad that this may have been my last pregnancy. Even though I have four children now, I never wanted to have just one pregnancy (well, two, but the first one doesn't count in this sense).. I never thought I'd have three at once. I never thought this was how I would build my family. I don't want this to have been my last chance. And if I were a fertile myrtle, it would be easy to say, "well, okay, so if you get pregnant again, so be it, and that'll be great." But we all know it's just not that easy. So I know a lot of you are rolling your eyes that I have four kids and I'm not satisfied, and some of you probably think that this is just postpartum hormones, but I don't think it is. I'm sleep deprived, overwhelmed, can barely imagine handling another infant right now, but I long for the experience again.

Today would have been an easy day for me to say that I never want to go through this again. I was supposed to take J to school, which would have meant piling the triplets and J into the van and getting him up to school. This doesn't sound so hard, until you consider that all the babies have to be fed, changed, and put into car seats before they can be brought out to the car. Add that to the fact that J has to be changed, fed, and clothed and his lunch had to be made. Oh, and then there's the fact that Sam was up ALL NIGHT. He will NOT stop eating. He just keeps going and going. He woke up screaming with hunger at 2am (an hour before I expected him to wake up) and nursed from 2-4:45 when my husband took him away and gave him a bottle so that I could get some sleep. He wasn't just using me as a pacifier either, because he was really hungry and he would scream bloody murder if he unlatched, and he wouldn't take a regular pacifier. He was still hungry even after the bottle. He whimpered and whined for an hour and a half until he started screaming at 6:45 begging for food. So I nursed him until almost 9am when I gave up and gave him a bottle and he was STILL hungry. Meanwhile, I had three other kids to take care of, and I had decided that the four year old wasn't going to make it to preschool since none of us were dressed, fed or ready to go.

Today is the first day I have felt completely overwhelmed. But I STILL miss pregnancy. I still want to have another baby someday, even if people think I'm greedy for saying so.

Anyway, odds are good Sam's just going through a ginormous growth spurt. Babies apparently go through growth spurts approximately every 3 weeks, and he's six weeks old exactly today, so it makes sense, right? Apparently this should "only" last 2-3 days. Which would be totally manageable if he were a singleton, but hey, did I mention that there are TWO OTHER BABIES and a four year old to take care of? But this shall pass, right? Oh, and a friend of mine came and picked up J and took him to preschool an hour and a half late, but he got there regardless. Thank heavens. So the day is looking up, and I can do this. Parenthood certainly has its challenges, but I can do this, right? RIGHT?

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Nameless No More!

Our little man has a name at last! Introducing….

Shmuel (Samuel) Mendel. We’ll call him Sam. He’s my beautiful boy and a real trooper. Mommy survived the bris, and baby is doing well.

We did a stealthy, unannounced bris in our home with little fanfare. I wanted as few people around these little babies as possible, and I got my wish. There will be time too ooh and aah over them later, but right now, it’s time to give them some space and let them be. So we VERY quietly made the arrangements yesterday and had an early morning bris today.

And now my little guy has a name. And I love him so much, just like his sisters. I can’t believe they are really here and they are really mine.

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Nameless No More!

Our little man has a name at last! Introducing….

Shmuel (Samuel) Mendel. We'll call him Sam. He's my beautiful boy and a real trooper. Mommy survived the bris, and baby is doing well.

We did a stealthy, unannounced bris in our home with little fanfare. I wanted as few people around these little babies as possible, and I got my wish. There will be time too ooh and aah over them later, but right now, it's time to give them some space and let them be. So we VERY quietly made the arrangements yesterday and had an early morning bris today.

And now my little guy has a name. And I love him so much, just like his sisters. I can't believe they are really here and they are really mine.

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Perspective

I still owe the tale of how I came to have a c-section at 33 weeks, and how all that went and all, and I’m still a bit upset about how it all came to be, and the fact that it happened when it happened, but here’s a bit of perspective about it…

The night before I delivered my three healthy babies, my doctor’s other hospitalized triplet patient went into labor at 24 1/2 weeks. She had been hospitalized after an emergency cerclage earlier in the week and it didn’t do enough. One of my worst nightmares throughout my pregnancy… a nightmare that almost came true for me several times. Worse, one of her triplets became septic and didn’t survive. The other two, so far as I know, are still in the NICU, but doing well, considering.

Maybe 12-13 days after they were born, I was in the NICU fairly late at night and I ran into the other triplet mama in the elevator on my way home. I know it was her because my husband had described her to me, having seen her around the NICU, but also because she had those three NICU bracelets on her wrist. Those three bracelets just like me. The three bracelets that meant everyone in the hospital seemed to know who we were just with a glance at our wrists. “Oh you’re the triplet mother!” “Oh, you must be Mrs. C!” “Hey, you don’t know me, but I peeked in on your triplets this morning and they’re adorable!” She had her three bracelets on, but more importantly, she had her eyes glued to the three bracelets on my wrist. She didn’t say a single word to me, not one, but she never took her eyes off my wrist. I wanted to pull my sleeve down over the bracelets, but I knew that would just draw even more attention to the awkwardness of the situation. I couldn’t say anything to her, because anything I said would have been wrong. I shouldn’t know her situation. I shouldn’t have known that she lost one, but NICU nurses talk, you know? I shouldn’t have known anything about her, but I did. I couldn’t tell her I was sorry for her loss, because we both knew that upstairs I had three healthy babies.

And so, we said nothing to each other, and I still regret that. All I could wonder was whether I would have taken off that third bracelet or not. I doubt that I would have had the courage to do so. I heard a week or so later that she had taken the third one off, and though I don’t know what to make of that, I hope it means that some small piece of her had started down the next step of the grief process towards healing.

My doctor was absolutely devastated. He never loses triplets. It just doesn’t happen in his practice. The earliest he’s had triplets deliver before was 26 weeks and that was with a totally non-compliant 18 year old patient. You could see the pain of the loss in his eyes, his body language, hear it in his tone… I cried for her, but I also cried for him, because it was so obvious how attached to his patients he becomes. He told me three days after I delivered exactly how worried he’d been about me at different points in my pregnancy… points that I’d already forgotten about. I’d forgotten about that weekend when he thought he might be delivering me at 27 weeks. I’d blocked out of my head exactly how scary things got when my cervix went down to under 1.5cm and the contractions wouldn’t stop. I hadn’t REALIZED how worried he had become when my blood pressure started to creep up. I never knew that he’d wondered whether he’d be delivering me soon when I saw him at 30 weeks. I never knew how concerned he’d been as my terbutaline dose crept up and up and up. He had provided excellent medical care, impressed upon me the need to follow all doctor’s orders. But he had NEVER allowed me to see his worry until after-the-fact. So I know that the sadness he felt over the loss of that triplet was real. I know he visited my triplets and her remaining two triplets in the NICU, which is apparently ridiculously uncommon in the NICU… OBs/Perinatologists apparently never make an appearance in the NICU.

When I found out I was pregnant with triplets, I wasn’t thrilled; I was terrified, I was angry, I was sad, I was self-pitying, I was worried. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I loved them fiercely, even as they were forming, and that nothing would convince me that I didn’t want them. But I wasn’t graceful. I blogged about it, knowing I would get a lot of crap for it, and I did get some pretty irate emails, but I’m not sorry that I wrote the truth. I tried to write the truth throughout my pregnancy experience. It wasn’t always a very pleasant pregnancy, though the truth is, now I miss being pregnant so much I can taste it, oddly enough. One of the best by-products of my honesty was the number of people who contacted me when they found themselves pregnant with triplets. They either left comments or emailed me privately to either commiserate or ask advice or just to connect with someone else who was living through the same thing. I feel a very, very special connection to each one of you who looked to me for advice or support, though I felt (and feel) unworthy of giving any such advice when I received such amazing advice from incredible triplet veterans like Jody and Jessica among others.

A week or so ago, I heard from one of my friends who was pregnant with triplets. A woman I had never met, who is far across the country from me, but a woman whom I respect and admire more than she knows. The last I had heard from her, her water had broken around 17 or 18 weeks into her pregnancy, and she was on strict-flat-on-her-back bed rest in hopes of holding on to those babies until viability at least. A terrible, horrible position to be in, for sure. But then I delivered my triplets and I’d been out of the loop for a bit, until she emailed me to let me know that she delivered the first of her three triplets at 19 weeks, on the day I was admitted to the hospital. He lived for about an hour and she got to hold him and love him and say hello and good bye to him. She miraculously held on to his sister and brother for another two weeks before delivering them at 21 weeks. They, too, lived about an hour, before she lost them. I cannot begin to describe how devastated I was when I read her email and watched the beautiful memorial video she sent me. I would share it, but I haven’t asked permission to do so, and it’s not my story to tell, except as it pertains to this post.

I’ve never met my friend. She was, as Julie would say, a “friend inside the computer”, but that makes her no less my friend, and makes me no less attached to her story. That is one of the beauties of the blogosphere. We are all spread across the world, we’d probably never meet under normal circumstances, and if we did, who knows if we’d ever realize we had enough in common to be friends. But here inside the computer, look how much we find in common with one another! Look how attached to each other’s stories we become! This is a strange little universe we float around in, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I found love and support and humour and grace in the blogosphere when I thought I couldn’t have any of those things in this ridiculous journey, and I continue to find all of that and tremendous friendship. I grieve for my friends’ losses whether I’ve met them or not, and I take all of your stories very personally, even if I haven’t had a lot of time recently to peek in and comment. I will resurface at some point, and I vow to leave at least three comments per week from here on out, because isolation is not any fun and I miss all of you and I would hate to think that any of you think I don’t care anymore.

But mostly, to my friend who lost her triplets so tragically last month, know that my heart breaks for you and that it is not lost on me that no matter how much I would have liked SOME things to have gone differently, God gave me three precious gifts five weeks ago today. I will never lose sight of the fact that they could just as easily have been taken from me. I am so, so sorry for your loss and for the many losses I’ve seen in my time in the blogosphere. I rejoice with my friends when miracles happen, but my grief sinks just as low when tragedy strikes. I love all of you so much. Thank you for your support.

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Perspective

I still owe the tale of how I came to have a c-section at 33 weeks, and how all that went and all, and I'm still a bit upset about how it all came to be, and the fact that it happened when it happened, but here's a bit of perspective about it…

The night before I delivered my three healthy babies, my doctor's other hospitalized triplet patient went into labor at 24 1/2 weeks. She had been hospitalized after an emergency cerclage earlier in the week and it didn't do enough. One of my worst nightmares throughout my pregnancy… a nightmare that almost came true for me several times. Worse, one of her triplets became septic and didn't survive. The other two, so far as I know, are still in the NICU, but doing well, considering.

Maybe 12-13 days after they were born, I was in the NICU fairly late at night and I ran into the other triplet mama in the elevator on my way home. I know it was her because my husband had described her to me, having seen her around the NICU, but also because she had those three NICU bracelets on her wrist. Those three bracelets just like me. The three bracelets that meant everyone in the hospital seemed to know who we were just with a glance at our wrists. "Oh you're the triplet mother!" "Oh, you must be Mrs. C!" "Hey, you don't know me, but I peeked in on your triplets this morning and they're adorable!" She had her three bracelets on, but more importantly, she had her eyes glued to the three bracelets on my wrist. She didn't say a single word to me, not one, but she never took her eyes off my wrist. I wanted to pull my sleeve down over the bracelets, but I knew that would just draw even more attention to the awkwardness of the situation. I couldn't say anything to her, because anything I said would have been wrong. I shouldn't know her situation. I shouldn't have known that she lost one, but NICU nurses talk, you know? I shouldn't have known anything about her, but I did. I couldn't tell her I was sorry for her loss, because we both knew that upstairs I had three healthy babies.

And so, we said nothing to each other, and I still regret that. All I could wonder was whether I would have taken off that third bracelet or not. I doubt that I would have had the courage to do so. I heard a week or so later that she had taken the third one off, and though I don't know what to make of that, I hope it means that some small piece of her had started down the next step of the grief process towards healing.

My doctor was absolutely devastated. He never loses triplets. It just doesn't happen in his practice. The earliest he's had triplets deliver before was 26 weeks and that was with a totally non-compliant 18 year old patient. You could see the pain of the loss in his eyes, his body language, hear it in his tone… I cried for her, but I also cried for him, because it was so obvious how attached to his patients he becomes. He told me three days after I delivered exactly how worried he'd been about me at different points in my pregnancy… points that I'd already forgotten about. I'd forgotten about that weekend when he thought he might be delivering me at 27 weeks. I'd blocked out of my head exactly how scary things got when my cervix went down to under 1.5cm and the contractions wouldn't stop. I hadn't REALIZED how worried he had become when my blood pressure started to creep up. I never knew that he'd wondered whether he'd be delivering me soon when I saw him at 30 weeks. I never knew how concerned he'd been as my terbutaline dose crept up and up and up. He had provided excellent medical care, impressed upon me the need to follow all doctor's orders. But he had NEVER allowed me to see his worry until after-the-fact. So I know that the sadness he felt over the loss of that triplet was real. I know he visited my triplets and her remaining two triplets in the NICU, which is apparently ridiculously uncommon in the NICU… OBs/Perinatologists apparently never make an appearance in the NICU.

When I found out I was pregnant with triplets, I wasn't thrilled; I was terrified, I was angry, I was sad, I was self-pitying, I was worried. It didn't take me long to figure out that I loved them fiercely, even as they were forming, and that nothing would convince me that I didn't want them. But I wasn't graceful. I blogged about it, knowing I would get a lot of crap for it, and I did get some pretty irate emails, but I'm not sorry that I wrote the truth. I tried to write the truth throughout my pregnancy experience. It wasn't always a very pleasant pregnancy, though the truth is, now I miss being pregnant so much I can taste it, oddly enough. One of the best by-products of my honesty was the number of people who contacted me when they found themselves pregnant with triplets. They either left comments or emailed me privately to either commiserate or ask advice or just to connect with someone else who was living through the same thing. I feel a very, very special connection to each one of you who looked to me for advice or support, though I felt (and feel) unworthy of giving any such advice when I received such amazing advice from incredible triplet veterans like Jody and Jessica among others.

A week or so ago, I heard from one of my friends who was pregnant with triplets. A woman I had never met, who is far across the country from me, but a woman whom I respect and admire more than she knows. The last I had heard from her, her water had broken around 17 or 18 weeks into her pregnancy, and she was on strict-flat-on-her-back bed rest in hopes of holding on to those babies until viability at least. A terrible, horrible position to be in, for sure. But then I delivered my triplets and I'd been out of the loop for a bit, until she emailed me to let me know that she delivered the first of her three triplets at 19 weeks, on the day I was admitted to the hospital. He lived for about an hour and she got to hold him and love him and say hello and good bye to him. She miraculously held on to his sister and brother for another two weeks before delivering them at 21 weeks. They, too, lived about an hour, before she lost them. I cannot begin to describe how devastated I was when I read her email and watched the beautiful memorial video she sent me. I would share it, but I haven't asked permission to do so, and it's not my story to tell, except as it pertains to this post.

I've never met my friend. She was, as Julie would say, a "friend inside the computer", but that makes her no less my friend, and makes me no less attached to her story. That is one of the beauties of the blogosphere. We are all spread across the world, we'd probably never meet under normal circumstances, and if we did, who knows if we'd ever realize we had enough in common to be friends. But here inside the computer, look how much we find in common with one another! Look how attached to each other's stories we become! This is a strange little universe we float around in, but I wouldn't change it for anything. I found love and support and humour and grace in the blogosphere when I thought I couldn't have any of those things in this ridiculous journey, and I continue to find all of that and tremendous friendship. I grieve for my friends' losses whether I've met them or not, and I take all of your stories very personally, even if I haven't had a lot of time recently to peek in and comment. I will resurface at some point, and I vow to leave at least three comments per week from here on out, because isolation is not any fun and I miss all of you and I would hate to think that any of you think I don't care anymore.

But mostly, to my friend who lost her triplets so tragically last month, know that my heart breaks for you and that it is not lost on me that no matter how much I would have liked SOME things to have gone differently, God gave me three precious gifts five weeks ago today. I will never lose sight of the fact that they could just as easily have been taken from me. I am so, so sorry for your loss and for the many losses I've seen in my time in the blogosphere. I rejoice with my friends when miracles happen, but my grief sinks just as low when tragedy strikes. I love all of you so much. Thank you for your support.

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Okay

  • Mastitis is mostly clearing up.
  • Milk production still down with pumping, but babies are nursing more often and seem satisfied, so I assume that they are getting what isn’t being expressed and that I am producing plenty.
  • Babies are great and growing.
  • People keep asking when the bris will be so that I can tell you our youngest son’s name… he can’t have a bris until he’s at least 5.5 pounds per the mohel we’ll be using. He is, today, 5 pounds 4.5 ounces. So by next week he should be able to have a bris.
  • Tomorrow is a grand experiment because I have to take the kids to the pediatrician.
  • All the breastfeeding has kept me from the computer most of the time, so no blogging. But soon, I think, I’ll carve some time.

Here endeth today’s update.

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