Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2008

The Triplets had their four-month appointment today. Can you believe it? Four months have passed since they were born and I still haven't gotten my shit together to write about the day of their arrival into the world. I suck. Needless to say, it's not that I don't care, it's just that I've been wrapped up in their lives and in caring for them. Yeah, that's it. Uh huh. Anyway, they will be 18 weeks old tomorrow. It's amazing how quickly time flies when you're having this much fun. And seriously, how come no one told me it was going to get to be this much fun? All of a sudden they've started noticing people and they're all smiley and interactive and loveable! I adored them before, but now, ohmygosh, it's a whole new level of love that I didn't even know existed! Seriously, I knew before how much I wanted to be a mommy, but if I'd known it would only get BETTER after they were born, well, gosh I'm not sure I would have been able to wait five years for these little monsters to arrive!

Anywhozit, they went in for their four month check up this morning and Sam and Abby are definitely growing, but Ellie… oh poor, sweet Ellie. She isn't! I don't know what to do with my poor Ellie-Bellie! Here are their current stats:

Sam: (my little piggie!) 10 lb, 6 oz 21.5 inches long
Abby: (my smiliest) 9 lb, 7 oz 21.5 inches long
Ellie: (my teeney beanie) 7lb, 8oz 21 inches long

Ellie last got weighed on January 4th and she was 7lb, 7oz. Seriously! I actually made the nurse re-weigh her today to make sure we'd read the scale correctly, because I just couldn't believe she'd only gained an ounce. My poor, tiny baby. So we don't know why she's not gaining weight. We know that she doesn't like to eat as often as the other two, that's for sure. But we also know that when she does eat, she's eating a sufficient amount (she gets about 3-4 ounces when she breast feeds…we've weighed her before and after feeding and she consistently gets that amount). In the past her weight gain has been borderline worrisome, but never really, really awful. Now, obviously, she's definitely giving us something to worry about. In a way, it's almost better because now at least we KNOW that it's time to be more aggressive and we know that we're not poking and prodding her for no good reason this time.

So here's the plan: We drew blood from her today to run a CBC and a full metabolic panel on her (she'd previously had a thyroid panel drawn which came back normal). We'll also have her stool checked for blood. We'll add 22 calorie fortifier to her EBM feedings to try and get some extra calories into her. We will bring her back next week to be re-weighed and bring a copy of her feeding log so that we can calculate how many calories per day she's eating. We will aggressively wake her to eat every three hours (we've tried this before with little success, but we'll do our best).

I love our pediatrician and I'm very glad that he's very level headed, but being very aggressive about working with us to find answers on this. We are relieved that her head circumference growth is exactly perfect on the growth charts, that her neurological development seems spot on, and that her muscle tone and motor development does not seem impaired. These are all good signs, so perhaps the weight gain (or lack thereof) needn't be so alarming, but we still definitely need to explore it.

After the appointment, I went off to my first day of work. It was a very, very short day since I just really needed to fill out some paperwork and do a little reading, but that was okay with me. I think I'm going to enjoy this job. I hope so, anyway. I came home to smiling babies and promptly pumped 15 ounces, a new record for me.

Finally, I leave you with some pictures of my gorgeous trio…

The Trio:

Sam Playing:

Abby, Cute as a Button:

Ellie Sleeping:

Read Full Post »

To Anonymous

Two posts in one night! Imagine that!

In my last post, Anonymous asked, “Why are you leaving the babies to go back to work??? Who is keeping them and is it really cost effective?” A couple people got defensive, rightfully so, on my behalf and anonymous responded again with, “UMMMM….I don’t know why everyone is so defensive…I was asking a serious question and wanting a valid response…”

Now, part of me doesn’t want to dignify this with a response because the tone of both of these comments is quite condescending and rude. And this is clearly someone who doesn’t read my posts very often or very thoroughly because the post RIGHT BEFORE THAT ONE CLEARLY EXPLAINED THE WHOLE WORK THING. So I suggest, Anonymous, that you simply go and read this post:

http://perkyovary.blogspot.com/2008/01/doctors-galore-and-your-questions.html

Scroll down to the part that says “Your Questions Answered” and then I even suggest reading the comments and seeing some of the other folks’ in the blogosphere’s perspective on this issue.

The tone of your initial question, “why are you leaving the babies?” is rather accusatory. You make it seem like I’m doing something selfish without thinking of them. But I AM thinking of them. I was thinking that I would prefer that they live in a house rather than a tent and I happen to know that we cannot afford to pay our mortgage with just one salary. I have been out of work for seven months (three months on bed rest and four months since they were born) and we are out of reserves. We are out of money. If I were to stay home another month, we couldn’t continue to buy food, and I’m NOT exaggerating. Was it really necessary for you to add THREE question marks after your question? I understood you were asking a question without the extra punctuation. All you did was express your incredulity with those extra question marks which added to the accusatory nature of your question, which is why people jumped down your throat and defended me.

As for whether it’s cost effective, that is really none of your fucking business and I’m so damn tired of that question. But here is the final word on that question: Yes. It is cost effective. My nanny is well-paid, but not as well paid as I am. I have a longer explanation of the long-term cost effectiveness in the above-referenced post.

But do you know what REALLY pisses me the hell off? Your statement that you want a “valid” response. Fuck you. Seriously. I don’t curse a lot in my blog, really, but you deserve it. I don’t owe you any explanation at all, valid or otherwise. Going back to work is MY decision. If I go back to work just because I ENJOY work that’s a valid enough explanation for anyone, dammit. As it happens, I have NO desire to return to work, but I NEED to return to work and I don’t owe you (or anyone else) any explanation.

And I don’t give a damn whether that’s valid according to your definition.

Read Full Post »

To Anonymous

Two posts in one night! Imagine that!

In my last post, Anonymous asked, "Why are you leaving the babies to go back to work??? Who is keeping them and is it really cost effective?" A couple people got defensive, rightfully so, on my behalf and anonymous responded again with, "UMMMM….I don't know why everyone is so defensive…I was asking a serious question and wanting a valid response…"

Now, part of me doesn't want to dignify this with a response because the tone of both of these comments is quite condescending and rude. And this is clearly someone who doesn't read my posts very often or very thoroughly because the post RIGHT BEFORE THAT ONE CLEARLY EXPLAINED THE WHOLE WORK THING. So I suggest, Anonymous, that you simply go and read this post:

http://perkyovary.blogspot.com/2008/01/doctors-galore-and-your-questions.html

Scroll down to the part that says "Your Questions Answered" and then I even suggest reading the comments and seeing some of the other folks' in the blogosphere's perspective on this issue.

The tone of your initial question, "why are you leaving the babies?" is rather accusatory. You make it seem like I'm doing something selfish without thinking of them. But I AM thinking of them. I was thinking that I would prefer that they live in a house rather than a tent and I happen to know that we cannot afford to pay our mortgage with just one salary. I have been out of work for seven months (three months on bed rest and four months since they were born) and we are out of reserves. We are out of money. If I were to stay home another month, we couldn't continue to buy food, and I'm NOT exaggerating. Was it really necessary for you to add THREE question marks after your question? I understood you were asking a question without the extra punctuation. All you did was express your incredulity with those extra question marks which added to the accusatory nature of your question, which is why people jumped down your throat and defended me.

As for whether it's cost effective, that is really none of your fucking business and I'm so damn tired of that question. But here is the final word on that question: Yes. It is cost effective. My nanny is well-paid, but not as well paid as I am. I have a longer explanation of the long-term cost effectiveness in the above-referenced post.

But do you know what REALLY pisses me the hell off? Your statement that you want a "valid" response. Fuck you. Seriously. I don't curse a lot in my blog, really, but you deserve it. I don't owe you any explanation at all, valid or otherwise. Going back to work is MY decision. If I go back to work just because I ENJOY work that's a valid enough explanation for anyone, dammit. As it happens, I have NO desire to return to work, but I NEED to return to work and I don't owe you (or anyone else) any explanation.

And I don't give a damn whether that's valid according to your definition.

Read Full Post »

Ilahee asked:
as a breast feeding mom of a singleton, i’m curious as to what and how much you eat… are you still constantly hungry?

I’m supposed to eat 3500-4000 calories per day. In reality, I eat far less than that. I eat at least ine Quaker Oatmeal To Go bar per day, as that’s the only way I like oatmeal. When I do eat, I eat ridiculously sized portions, because I never seem to be hungry until I start eating and then I’m positively ravenous. I definitely crave more protein than I used to, and I have to work harder to make healthy choices because I don’t have so much time to make food, so convenience foods are tempting. Mostly, though, I have unquenchable thirst and I go through water like you wouldn’t believe.

Anonymous Wrote:
Is this the OB/GYN for whom you weren’t sure of the best way to switch to the perinatologist without harming the relationship? It sounds like things between you are well. How nice that he visited you in the hospital!
Would adding calories to any EBM feedings Ellie takes be useful? Is the issue more to figure out what is going on, why she isn’t eating enough, and that if it weren’t for the hunger strikes, she’d be gaining fine?

Yes, this is the very same OB/GYN, and things did work out fine. I told him he’d be delivering my next baby, darnit, because my NEXT baby is going to be a SINGLETON, so help me! It was lovely that he visited me in the hospital and if I ever get around to writing about my last couple days in the hospital and my birth story (yes, I was supposed to write that before I start work tomorrow…yeah, um, that just didn’t happen), I’ll write about that visit.

Adding calories to Ellie’s EBM feedings wouldn’t necessarily have been useful before because she really wasn’t getting any EBM feedings. Now that I’m going back to work she’s getting many more EBM feedings so it may be more worth it. HOWEVER, what it will accomplish is curing the symptom (poor weight gain), but it will be unlikely to solve the underlying problem, if there IS any underlying problem. The real question is why doesn’t she want to eat more often? Babies, as a general rule, do not go on hunger strikes, so why does she? Today she ate like a mad woman, but that’s unusual. Most days she has to be woken up every 4 hours and force-fed. Anyway, it’s not a bad idea, and certainly one we’ve thought about, but not necessarily one that fixes the problem.

My Reality writes:
I have a question. Can we have more pics of the trio? Please?

Yes! I’ll take care of that next!

Carol Asked:
Speaking of weight – how’s yours going? are you still losing? I’m down 23 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight now. Breastfeeding multiples is great!

I’m down 65 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, but that’s a little unfair considering that I lost about 30 pounds while I was pregnant. I lost another 35 pounds within a few weeks of delivering the triplets and have been holding steady since then. Considering how much I’m eating compared to how little I normally eat, I’m surprised I’m not packing on the pounds. Truth be told, I still have about 40 pounds to lose before I’m down to my “ideal” weight, so I have nothing to brag about!

On a personal note… a lot of people write that they are in awe of me for breast feeding triplets… If I could get my shit together to write my birth story, I’ve got a post brewing about bresat feeding also, but the long and the sort of it is that I can’t imagine it any other way. I can’t say that I believe formula would be any easier, and it would certainly be more expensive. We’ve had every single breast feeding problem you could ask for… plugged ducts, mastitis, thrush, latching difficulties, short frenulum, sore nipples, you name it, but I still cannot imagine not breast feeding them. They have received no formula since they were four days old and the three of them together received a TOTAL of fewer than three ounces of formula in their lifetime (not counting fortifying Abby’s EBM for a while), and I’m very proud of that. I’m terrified that when I go back to work I won’t be able to keep up with it, but I’m going to do my best. I’ve got 99 ounces of milk in the freezer to help me keep up in case I slip with the production at first, so I feel fairly confident that I’ll be able to keep up once I get a handle on my schedule.

Finally, two great things happened today: First, I got to meet Jessica and her Five Little Monkeys and her fabulous husband Jon today. They were fantastic and I’m so glad I finally got to meet them in person. Second, my friend Connie delivered her triplets at 34 weeks, 5 days gestation. She’s a superstar. She had 2 girls and a boy, just like me, so I have someone I can pass on lots of stuff to! I’m so thrilled for her and now I have to convince her to start a blog! 🙂

Read Full Post »

Ilahee asked:
as a breast feeding mom of a singleton, i'm curious as to what and how much you eat… are you still constantly hungry?

I'm supposed to eat 3500-4000 calories per day. In reality, I eat far less than that. I eat at least ine Quaker Oatmeal To Go bar per day, as that's the only way I like oatmeal. When I do eat, I eat ridiculously sized portions, because I never seem to be hungry until I start eating and then I'm positively ravenous. I definitely crave more protein than I used to, and I have to work harder to make healthy choices because I don't have so much time to make food, so convenience foods are tempting. Mostly, though, I have unquenchable thirst and I go through water like you wouldn't believe.

Anonymous Wrote:
Is this the OB/GYN for whom you weren't sure of the best way to switch to the perinatologist without harming the relationship? It sounds like things between you are well. How nice that he visited you in the hospital!
Would adding calories to any EBM feedings Ellie takes be useful? Is the issue more to figure out what is going on, why she isn't eating enough, and that if it weren't for the hunger strikes, she'd be gaining fine?

Yes, this is the very same OB/GYN, and things did work out fine. I told him he'd be delivering my next baby, darnit, because my NEXT baby is going to be a SINGLETON, so help me! It was lovely that he visited me in the hospital and if I ever get around to writing about my last couple days in the hospital and my birth story (yes, I was supposed to write that before I start work tomorrow…yeah, um, that just didn't happen), I'll write about that visit.

Adding calories to Ellie's EBM feedings wouldn't necessarily have been useful before because she really wasn't getting any EBM feedings. Now that I'm going back to work she's getting many more EBM feedings so it may be more worth it. HOWEVER, what it will accomplish is curing the symptom (poor weight gain), but it will be unlikely to solve the underlying problem, if there IS any underlying problem. The real question is why doesn't she want to eat more often? Babies, as a general rule, do not go on hunger strikes, so why does she? Today she ate like a mad woman, but that's unusual. Most days she has to be woken up every 4 hours and force-fed. Anyway, it's not a bad idea, and certainly one we've thought about, but not necessarily one that fixes the problem.

My Reality writes:
I have a question. Can we have more pics of the trio? Please?

Yes! I'll take care of that next!

Carol Asked:
Speaking of weight – how's yours going? are you still losing? I'm down 23 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight now. Breastfeeding multiples is great!

I'm down 65 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, but that's a little unfair considering that I lost about 30 pounds while I was pregnant. I lost another 35 pounds within a few weeks of delivering the triplets and have been holding steady since then. Considering how much I'm eating compared to how little I normally eat, I'm surprised I'm not packing on the pounds. Truth be told, I still have about 40 pounds to lose before I'm down to my "ideal" weight, so I have nothing to brag about!

On a personal note… a lot of people write that they are in awe of me for breast feeding triplets… If I could get my shit together to write my birth story, I've got a post brewing about bresat feeding also, but the long and the sort of it is that I can't imagine it any other way. I can't say that I believe formula would be any easier, and it would certainly be more expensive. We've had every single breast feeding problem you could ask for… plugged ducts, mastitis, thrush, latching difficulties, short frenulum, sore nipples, you name it, but I still cannot imagine not breast feeding them. They have received no formula since they were four days old and the three of them together received a TOTAL of fewer than three ounces of formula in their lifetime (not counting fortifying Abby's EBM for a while), and I'm very proud of that. I'm terrified that when I go back to work I won't be able to keep up with it, but I'm going to do my best. I've got 99 ounces of milk in the freezer to help me keep up in case I slip with the production at first, so I feel fairly confident that I'll be able to keep up once I get a handle on my schedule.

Finally, two great things happened today: First, I got to meet Jessica and her Five Little Monkeys and her fabulous husband Jon today. They were fantastic and I'm so glad I finally got to meet them in person. Second, my friend Connie delivered her triplets at 34 weeks, 5 days gestation. She's a superstar. She had 2 girls and a boy, just like me, so I have someone I can pass on lots of stuff to! I'm so thrilled for her and now I have to convince her to start a blog! 🙂

Read Full Post »

GYN Appointment
I had an OB/GYN appointment on Wednesday back with my regular doctor (no more perinatologist for me!). It was the first time I’ve seen him since a few days before I delivered when he came to visit me in the hospital, so it was good to see him, though I could have done without the exam! I was surprised at how many of my old feelings were still with me sitting in the waiting room amongst all the pregnant women there. You’d think having been through a pregnancy (one that lasted, even) and having three babies to show for it, that I wouldn’t still feel like a completely inadequate in a roomful of pregnant women. But I was never one of those women…I never had the luxury of taking my pregnancy for granted. I didn’t get to ever assume everything was fine because I had a pregnancy that was nearly guaranteed to result in a premature delivery and one in which things seemed to be going wrong every week (and I didn’t have as bad a time as I could have). Anyway, I don’t mind pregnant women…some of my best friends are pregnant women..I just find it overwhelming to be around that many at once.

The doctor asked whether my husband and I were doing anything about birth control. I missed my opportunity to answer with, “Well abstinence is the preferred method of Congress…” because I burst out laughing. Instead of lecturing me about the fact that there are lots of women who end up with an “oops baby” after years of fertility treatment, he just asked whether I’d be depressed if I ended up surprised by a pregnancy. After I stopped laughing, I told him I would die of shock because it would be the immaculate conception, but that we’d be thrilled to pieces. That satisfied him, so he was okay with me not doing anything to prevent it. I was actually a little surprised not to get a lecture about not wanting to be pregnant so soon after a triplet pregnancy and c-section (I got that lecture from the perinatologist while I was pregnant), but I’m cool with that. I’m very certain I’m not going to find myself surprised with a pregnancy anytime soon, or, like, ever.

I told him I was still bitter about the c-section and he said, “what do you mean?” He was shocked that I’d ever thought I could have a vaginal triplet delivery, and was surprised to learn that two of the perinatologists in the practice I went to have done (and were willing to do) vaginal triplet deliveries. I always knew that the odds were against me avoiding the c-section, but had Abby not been so little, they would have let me try it. Anyway, I told him that I’m all ready for my VBAC because I’m definitely going for a normal singleton pregnancy some day, darnit! I told him that HE was going to deliver my next baby because it was going to be JUST ONE. I’m not sure that I really have that much confidence that I’ll manage to get pregnant again, but I’m certainly going to try (while praying that the Big Guy Upstairs doesn’t have a sick enough sense of humor to send me quadruplets next time).

Pediatrician
I took Ellie to the pediatrician on Friday for a weight check. Well, I mean, all three babies went, but only Ellie got weighed and seen. I’ve known our pediatrician for about ten years (we used to attend the same synagogue, long before I had any kids), and I adore him. There are several other doctors in the practice, but I’ve made nearly all of our appointments with him because of Ellie’s weight issues. I prefer seeing him because he’s got a better appreciation of the trends we’ve been seeing with Ellie’s progress (or lack thereof) and because I just like him in general. One time when I saw another doctor for one of Ellie’s weight checks, she sort of shrugged me off as if I was overreacting. I admit that I was beginning to wonder if perhaps I was overreacting to Ellie’s lack of weight gain – she’s just so little compared to Abby and Sam. But she remains an enigma. She was 7 pounds, 7 ounces this week… which was only a 7 ounce gain in 17 days. Not terrible, but not quite what we would have liked to have seen, either. Even Dr. B said it would just be nice if she would go one way or another… slightly less gain and we would have known we needed to explore options, or slightly more and we’d know there was no problem whatsoever. She consistently gains less than he’d like to see her doing, but not so much so that it points to an obvious problem. He, like me, is somewhat worried, but not inclined to intervene too much at this point. She’s not showing any other signs of reflux (she rarely spits up, she’s not fussy when she goes on her all-too-frequent hunger strikes, she doesn’t quit in the middle of feedings, she doesn’t seem uncomfortable during or after feedings…), so trying reflux medication probably wouldn’t do anything other than giving us one more thing to have to keep track of on a daily basis. He doesn’t want to torture her with a huge blood draw for a metabolic screen, but he did do a small blood draw to check her thyroid hormone (T4, TSH), so we’ll see if that illuminates us at all.

The triplets are scheduled to return for their four month visit in two weeks, and he said we’ll just keep an eye on her until then and if I feel that things are taking a turn for the worse in the interim, I’m more than welcome to bring her in for another weight check. I doubt that I’ll feel the need, but you never know. It’s nice to know that they don’t think I’m just an overreacting new mom, but I do wish she would just gain a little more weight a little faster so we could stop worrying all together. Poor baby. The doc WAS impressed that Ellie is pretty consistently sucking her thumb. Thumb sucking is apparently a developmental milestone you expect of a full term baby at 3 or 4 months, so she’s about 2 months ahead of schedule. Go Ellie! Anywho, we’re back to our wait-and-see strategy with her, and that’s fine. I just wish she didn’t have hunger strikes!

Your Questions Answered
Allie posted this question in a comment recently:

Is it really going to be cost effective to pay for childcare for 3 kids?? I hear that childcare for 1 is bad enougth…but I can’t imagine paying for childcare for 3 newborns!!!! Won’t you just be working to pay for childcare costs??

I get this question (or similar questions) a lot and I don’t really understand it. No one knows how much I make or how much we’ll be paying a nanny, so why do people assume that it’s not cost effective? And why does no one ask my husband whether it’s cost effective for him to work?? We make the same amount of money! The truth is, it IS cost effective, not only in the short run, but definitely in the long run. I make more money than we’ll be paying the nanny. Does that mean we can afford a nanny? No. We still have more bills than we know what to do with. But we can’t pay much more than the mortgage and a few utilities with my husband’s salary alone and we’ve eaten through what little reserves we had with me out of work for the last seven months (bed rest for three months and almost four months since… time flies when you’re sleep deprived). Anyway, in the short run, yes, it is cost effective for me to work. It would not be if I made less money.

More importantly, however, it is cost effective in the long run. If I were to pull myself out of the job market until the kids went to kindergarten or 1st grade, I would no longer be marketable in my field because the standards and technology are changing too rapidly for me to keep up on my own. So even if we were losing money on a nanny at this point, it would be worth it in the long run because there is no other field that I’m qualified for in which I could maintain my current salary years down the road.

And while it’s true that I have little desire to return to work, I find it odd that no one seems to consider the possibility that maybe I like what I do. (I do like what I do, though I’d gladly give it up for the opportunity to stay home with my sweet babies if we could swing it financially). Anyway, enough of that…

Tinker asked:
How do you add calories to breastmilk? Feed it from a bottle and add a supplement of sorts? What kind of supplement?

You can fortify breastmilk by adding a higher calorie supplement to expressed breastmilk in a bottle. Breastmilk and standard formulas have 20 calories per ounce. Preemie formulas have 22 or 24 calories per ounce (I think there is also 27 calorie, but I’m not certain). So Abby used to get fortified breastmilk by adding 1/2 a teaspoon of preemie formula to 3 ounces of breastmilk, which raised it to 22 calories per ounce. She’s not getting extra calories anymore, though, because she’s done sufficient catch up growth.

Several people have asked whether I will continue breastfeeding when I go back to work and the answer is, of course, yes. I’ll be pumping during breaks and overnight (and obviously breastfeeding whenever I’m home with them). I’m very pleased that I’ve made it this far without needing any formula (who can afford formula for three babies??), and my hope is to make it until they are at least 6 months adjusted before adding anything else to their diets.

Any other questions?

Read Full Post »

GYN Appointment
I had an OB/GYN appointment on Wednesday back with my regular doctor (no more perinatologist for me!). It was the first time I've seen him since a few days before I delivered when he came to visit me in the hospital, so it was good to see him, though I could have done without the exam! I was surprised at how many of my old feelings were still with me sitting in the waiting room amongst all the pregnant women there. You'd think having been through a pregnancy (one that lasted, even) and having three babies to show for it, that I wouldn't still feel like a completely inadequate in a roomful of pregnant women. But I was never one of those women…I never had the luxury of taking my pregnancy for granted. I didn't get to ever assume everything was fine because I had a pregnancy that was nearly guaranteed to result in a premature delivery and one in which things seemed to be going wrong every week (and I didn't have as bad a time as I could have). Anyway, I don't mind pregnant women…some of my best friends are pregnant women..I just find it overwhelming to be around that many at once.

The doctor asked whether my husband and I were doing anything about birth control. I missed my opportunity to answer with, "Well abstinence is the preferred method of Congress…" because I burst out laughing. Instead of lecturing me about the fact that there are lots of women who end up with an "oops baby" after years of fertility treatment, he just asked whether I'd be depressed if I ended up surprised by a pregnancy. After I stopped laughing, I told him I would die of shock because it would be the immaculate conception, but that we'd be thrilled to pieces. That satisfied him, so he was okay with me not doing anything to prevent it. I was actually a little surprised not to get a lecture about not wanting to be pregnant so soon after a triplet pregnancy and c-section (I got that lecture from the perinatologist while I was pregnant), but I'm cool with that. I'm very certain I'm not going to find myself surprised with a pregnancy anytime soon, or, like, ever.

I told him I was still bitter about the c-section and he said, "what do you mean?" He was shocked that I'd ever thought I could have a vaginal triplet delivery, and was surprised to learn that two of the perinatologists in the practice I went to have done (and were willing to do) vaginal triplet deliveries. I always knew that the odds were against me avoiding the c-section, but had Abby not been so little, they would have let me try it. Anyway, I told him that I'm all ready for my VBAC because I'm definitely going for a normal singleton pregnancy some day, darnit! I told him that HE was going to deliver my next baby because it was going to be JUST ONE. I'm not sure that I really have that much confidence that I'll manage to get pregnant again, but I'm certainly going to try (while praying that the Big Guy Upstairs doesn't have a sick enough sense of humor to send me quadruplets next time).

Pediatrician
I took Ellie to the pediatrician on Friday for a weight check. Well, I mean, all three babies went, but only Ellie got weighed and seen. I've known our pediatrician for about ten years (we used to attend the same synagogue, long before I had any kids), and I adore him. There are several other doctors in the practice, but I've made nearly all of our appointments with him because of Ellie's weight issues. I prefer seeing him because he's got a better appreciation of the trends we've been seeing with Ellie's progress (or lack thereof) and because I just like him in general. One time when I saw another doctor for one of Ellie's weight checks, she sort of shrugged me off as if I was overreacting. I admit that I was beginning to wonder if perhaps I was overreacting to Ellie's lack of weight gain – she's just so little compared to Abby and Sam. But she remains an enigma. She was 7 pounds, 7 ounces this week… which was only a 7 ounce gain in 17 days. Not terrible, but not quite what we would have liked to have seen, either. Even Dr. B said it would just be nice if she would go one way or another… slightly less gain and we would have known we needed to explore options, or slightly more and we'd know there was no problem whatsoever. She consistently gains less than he'd like to see her doing, but not so much so that it points to an obvious problem. He, like me, is somewhat worried, but not inclined to intervene too much at this point. She's not showing any other signs of reflux (she rarely spits up, she's not fussy when she goes on her all-too-frequent hunger strikes, she doesn't quit in the middle of feedings, she doesn't seem uncomfortable during or after feedings…), so trying reflux medication probably wouldn't do anything other than giving us one more thing to have to keep track of on a daily basis. He doesn't want to torture her with a huge blood draw for a metabolic screen, but he did do a small blood draw to check her thyroid hormone (T4, TSH), so we'll see if that illuminates us at all.

The triplets are scheduled to return for their four month visit in two weeks, and he said we'll just keep an eye on her until then and if I feel that things are taking a turn for the worse in the interim, I'm more than welcome to bring her in for another weight check. I doubt that I'll feel the need, but you never know. It's nice to know that they don't think I'm just an overreacting new mom, but I do wish she would just gain a little more weight a little faster so we could stop worrying all together. Poor baby. The doc WAS impressed that Ellie is pretty consistently sucking her thumb. Thumb sucking is apparently a developmental milestone you expect of a full term baby at 3 or 4 months, so she's about 2 months ahead of schedule. Go Ellie! Anywho, we're back to our wait-and-see strategy with her, and that's fine. I just wish she didn't have hunger strikes!

Your Questions Answered
Allie posted this question in a comment recently:

Is it really going to be cost effective to pay for childcare for 3 kids?? I hear that childcare for 1 is bad enougth…but I can't imagine paying for childcare for 3 newborns!!!! Won't you just be working to pay for childcare costs??

I get this question (or similar questions) a lot and I don't really understand it. No one knows how much I make or how much we'll be paying a nanny, so why do people assume that it's not cost effective? And why does no one ask my husband whether it's cost effective for him to work?? We make the same amount of money! The truth is, it IS cost effective, not only in the short run, but definitely in the long run. I make more money than we'll be paying the nanny. Does that mean we can afford a nanny? No. We still have more bills than we know what to do with. But we can't pay much more than the mortgage and a few utilities with my husband's salary alone and we've eaten through what little reserves we had with me out of work for the last seven months (bed rest for three months and almost four months since… time flies when you're sleep deprived). Anyway, in the short run, yes, it is cost effective for me to work. It would not be if I made less money.

More importantly, however, it is cost effective in the long run. If I were to pull myself out of the job market until the kids went to kindergarten or 1st grade, I would no longer be marketable in my field because the standards and technology are changing too rapidly for me to keep up on my own. So even if we were losing money on a nanny at this point, it would be worth it in the long run because there is no other field that I'm qualified for in which I could maintain my current salary years down the road.

And while it's true that I have little desire to return to work, I find it odd that no one seems to consider the possibility that maybe I like what I do. (I do like what I do, though I'd gladly give it up for the opportunity to stay home with my sweet babies if we could swing it financially). Anyway, enough of that…

Tinker asked:
How do you add calories to breastmilk? Feed it from a bottle and add a supplement of sorts? What kind of supplement?

You can fortify breastmilk by adding a higher calorie supplement to expressed breastmilk in a bottle. Breastmilk and standard formulas have 20 calories per ounce. Preemie formulas have 22 or 24 calories per ounce (I think there is also 27 calorie, but I'm not certain). So Abby used to get fortified breastmilk by adding 1/2 a teaspoon of preemie formula to 3 ounces of breastmilk, which raised it to 22 calories per ounce. She's not getting extra calories anymore, though, because she's done sufficient catch up growth.

Several people have asked whether I will continue breastfeeding when I go back to work and the answer is, of course, yes. I'll be pumping during breaks and overnight (and obviously breastfeeding whenever I'm home with them). I'm very pleased that I've made it this far without needing any formula (who can afford formula for three babies??), and my hope is to make it until they are at least 6 months adjusted before adding anything else to their diets.

Any other questions?

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »