Archive for July, 2008

What the Frick?

Fever?   Check.
Mysterious Breast Pain?  Check.
Hard, warm, red area on my breast where the pain is?  Check, check and check.

Hello?  Déjà vu much?  Haven’t I been there, done that?  Like just recently?  The last few times this has happened, I’ve just let it go.  I’m wondering if I should call my OB since this is so close on the heels of the last episode.  I just feel ridiculous. 

I hate fevers. 

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Medication Changes

We saw the developmental pediatrician today.  We were going to spend about 10-15 minutes talking about medication and the rest talking about behaviour managment issues.  That was the plan.  But we’ve been trying to sort out the dose on the patch, and not been having QUITE as much success as we’d like, so we ended up spending the entire 50 minute session working out medication ideas.

Essentially, the patch is working really well.  But not exactly the way we’d like.  At the lowest dose the patch comes in, his hyperactivity/impulsivity was still not controlled quite enough.  At the next dose (50% higher), his hyperactivity/impulsivity was totally under control, but he became melancholy, lethargic, disinterested, and sad.  So we moved him to 1 1/4 patches of the lower dose, which is a pain in the neck, but doable.  Unfortunately, we still saw the mood side-effects, though to a lesser degree,  which is just not okay.  It’s very difficult, this balancing act.  It breaks my heart.  I don’t want to lose my vivacious little boy who is so full of life and love and energy and hope and beauty. 

Switching to another stimulant isn’t really the answer, because we’ve been there, done that, and getting him to TAKE it is impossible, plus it would be just like using the patch – they’re all closely related.  We know the patch is working, using more of another stimulant isn’t going to change what the patch is doing at this point. 

So we’re going to augment with another medication entirely and work with that.  We’ll give it a few days and see how it’s going and adjust the dose as necessary.  Dr. S. is going to Ocean City this weekend and into next week.  I feel like my lifeline is going away, even though he told me not to hesitate to call if I needed anything.  I don’t want to call him on vacation.  He reminded me that he knew when he decided that he would not sign over his practice except if he leaves the country, that this means that he gets interrupted on vacation for five minutes several times a day, and he’s okay with that.  Still, I don’t like it one bit.  That being said, we’ll probably NEED to be in touch, since we’re moving into starting a new medication and will need to be monitoring J pretty closely. 

We’re starting at a teeny, tiny, ridiculously small dose.  0.2 ml of the medication (there are 1mg/ml).  I’m hoping we can get J to even take it.  Really, really hoping.

I feel this tremendous responsibility to J through all of this.  I feel like we are manipulating him, in a sense.  I suppose in a way, we are, though we are doing so to help him be able to function in a positive way.  We want him to be able to learn optimally in a classroom, function socially like a normal preschooler/kindergartner, behave appropriate as a  typical  child in society.   We want him to feel like he is in control of his little world, and like he has a positive effect on the world around him.  We don’t want him receiving only negative feedback from  teachers and friends.  We don’t want him to be ostracized for his inability to control his impulses.  Still, this manipulation is a tremendous responsibility.  It’s difficult to know that we’re always making the right judgments.  I wholeheartedly believe that we are doing the right thing by choosing to medicate him, as we are also choosing a behavior management approach in tandem with the medication trial.  I just sometimes wonder if I’m adequately assessing the effects of the drug.  What if I had a bad day and I’m looking at his behaviors through tinted glasses one day?  What if I’m being unfair or biased?  What if I’m not the RIGHT person for this job?

People see me with my triplets and they say, "You must be so tired" or "It must be so hard to parent triplets."  But they never consider that the triplets are the easy part.  They practically parent themselves right now.  But every time I turn around, I feel like I’m doing the wrong thing with J.  What if I accidentally yell at him and scar him for life?  He’s so sensitive.  What if I don’t give him enough positive feedback today?  What if I don’t choose the right routine for him?  What if I can’t find the right scenario to help him control his impulses to avoid the temper tantrum or conflict in the store?  What if I make the wrong parenting choices today?  What if I give the wrong input to the doctor and we choose the wrong medication based on faulty input from me?  What if this has long term consequences that we didn’t know about?

These are the things they don’t tell you about in the parenting manual.  These are the things I’m kind of glad I didn’t know about ahead of time.  If I had, I might have chickened out and missed out on all the fun stuff. 

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Julian_wacky_hair_funny_face_2 We’re having a bit of a rocky time getting J’s medication dosage set.  It’s a fine line between hyperactivity and listlessness.  Frustrating, you know?  We don’t want to lose the beautiful, full-of-life boy that we love so much, but we do want him to be able to control his world a little better than he had been before.   A fine line, you know.  Still, he’s so yummy…  after all, who can pass up the opportunity to love this little boy!

He had a speech/language assessment this morning and apparently did very well with the therapist.  I don’t know the results yet, but I’ll keep you posted.  For all we’re paying for it, it better be one thorough report, that’s for sure.  He had a complete meltdown in the car as we were leaving and I felt terribly for him.  I wish I could do more to help him.  I fear that part of it is the medicine making him a little melancholy.  We might have to make another switch.  No one warned me about this part of motherhood.  The choices we make for our children.  The balancing act between helping them find control over their bodies, but keeping the happiness within.  I know we’ll find the right answer.  I know we’ll find the balance.  Right now it feels so out of reach, but I know in time it will feel within reach again.

Triplet_moms Sunday I took two of the babies down to VA to meet up with Jessica and Pam and one of Pam’s yummy triplets, Oliver.  Or was it Miles?  Or Linus?  Just kidding.  It was definitely Oliver.  Or Linus.  Or, um…  No, seriously. It was Oliver.  He was even wearing  a shirt that said "Oliver" on it.  A good time was had by all.  I brought Abby and Sam with me.  Jessica was sans children, which left her able to hold babies and feed them and love them and all sorts of good stuff.  We got lots of attention from other patrons at Starbuck’s which is a bit ridiculous, don’t you think?  Three women, three babies.  Doesn’t that seem totally normal?  We told a few people that between the three of us, we actually have 11 12 children and that turned a few heads.  Imagine if we’d brought all 11 12 children with us!  Sheesh!

Ellie_scoffs_at_failure_to_thrive_4 Not to leave my other darling child out of the picture.  After I came home from meeting up with Pam and Jessica, Seth and I went out to the container store for the aforementioned trip to the Container Store (rock on!).  And then we came home to feed the babies dinner.  When I cleaned up the babies with a washcloth, I couldn’t help but use the damp washcloth to give her the trademark mohawk!  So fun!  She’s such a happy baby, and here she is.  Finally, we scoff at "failure to thrive" diagnoses!  She’s healthy and beautiful and just… perfect.  We worked hard for this and I’m loving every second of it.

Does motherhood get anymore perfect than this?   Really?  I don’t think it does.  I waited so long for moments like these, and I’m so grateful for every one of them.  Thank heaven for digital photography, so I can capture so many of these moments.  I wish I were better about capturing more of them.  I’ve missed so many of them already.

In other moments in motherhood, ones that I’d rather not live through… my nanny asked for a raise today.  She asked for a good enough reason… that is, her rent is going up exponentially, and she simply needs more money in order to be able to afford it, plus she’s taken in her 5 year old niece just this week and will be taking care of her indefinitely (possibly forever) just as she’s found out about needing to change apartments to the higher rent (her landlord has decided to sell her current place, so she’s stuck moving – no choice).  Unfortunately, we honestly can’t even afford her salary now.  We’ve paid her out of money that has come from random sources, like our tax refund, Seth’s father’s (small) estate,  etc.  But we don’t know how we’ll pay her once we’re through with that (soon).  If we were to pay her any more than we are currently paying her, it would make more sense for me to just quit my job and stay home with the kids, but we can’t afford for me to do that either.  We pay her more than any of the other neighborhood nannies are making (admittedly, none of the other neighborhood nannies are watching triplet infants).  Sigh.  I hate that money ever comes between people.  She did call me later and tell me not to worry about it and that she’d work something out and figure it out, that she loves these babies and that she doesn’t want me to think that she’s going anywhere, because she’s not.  That reassures me, but I feel badly.  I wish I could give her the world, because I love her, but I can’t. 

No one tells you about this part of motherhood, either.  The part where you become this attached to their caregiver, because you know that you’re trusting this person with the most important things in the world – your children, and you know you want the best for them.

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You guys don’t give me enough credit.  Several of you have pointed out that my bin system of organization just won’t last as soon as the babies get their grubby little paws on them.  But hello?  Don’t you realize I can outsmart a 10 month old? 

The bins that are within the triplets’ reach have diapers and towels in them.  These are easily re-stockable and re-foldable, and re-doable.  These do not require serious reorganization if they are dumped out (so far, by the way, my triplets haven’t shown the least bit of interest in the bins).  The bins with clothes on them are on shelves that are at MY eye level.  Now, I realize that I’m pretty darned short (five foot nuthin’), but I do believe I’m a bit taller than my 3 ten month olds, unless you stack them one on top of another, but they’re not that good at balancing… yet.

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We had a busy weekend, including having my grandfather visiting, having his dog with him, my mother in law’s cat here for the weekend, 13 people for dinner Friday night, an Emergency Room visit for Seth Saturday evening (nothing’s broken, but 14 xrays later, a sprained ankle, a sprained knee, and a bruised ego, and his prognosis is that he’ll be fine, though he might take as much as 6 weeks to feel totally normal again – no getting out of baby duty though), meeting up with some triplet mamas for coffee Sunday morning (me and two babies – more on that in another post), a trip to the aquarium for J with Grammy and Great Grandpa on Sunday, and a shopping trip to The Container Store for Seth, me and the triplets. You see, now that the babies are mobile, they have been messing with my system. Specifically, my system for organizing baby clothes. SuperNanny also messes with my system. I have a system for putting away the baby clothes on the two shelves below the changing table in the nursery. But SuperNanny, for all her super-ness, can’t seem to figure it out. She doesn’t fold clothes neatly, and doesn’t seem to put clothes in logical places (I put all the PJs together, all the onesies together, all the dresses together, etc. … she? does not). The babies also do not fold clothes neatly and do not put clothes in logical places. They, in fact, have taken to UNfolding clothes and dumping them all over the floor. So I can no longer completely blame SuperNanny for the disarray that the clothes are in. I could blame, her, I suppose, but it would be counterproductive. I didn’t take a before picture, but if I had, it would look something like this: Now that we’ve made a trip to The Container Store, and I have spent several hours going through the rubble, it looks more like this: And this: I feel much better now. We’ll see how long it lasts.

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Thoughts Meandering

I don’t know why but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the miscarriage that I had in October 2006.  Time passes so quickly – it’s hard to believe it was so long ago.  It was almost exactly two years ago that I got pregnant that time, for the first time.  And almost exactly two years ago that my grandmother died, and I didn’t go to the funeral because I was spotting and my doctor didn’t want me on a plane, but then the pregnancy stuck around and everything was fine, and I made it to a  heartbeat and I was told I had a 95% chance of carrying to term, and I graduated from ye old fertility clinic, and I had appointments with the normal, boring OB/GYN like a normal pregnant woman, not a crusty old infertile.  And then I hit 12 weeks, and SURELY I was golden.  I mean, sure, I was still spotting, but everyone said that was NO BIG DEAL.

But the spotting yielded to gushing and mind numbing cramping and the cramping yielded to contractions and then a nightmare ER visit, and a blur to a D&C with my amazing OB/GYN. 

And that nightmare?  I can live with that.  I can.  I honestly don’t sit around thinking about due dates and the singleton that wasn’t, for without that miscarriage, my triplets wouldn’t be here.  I do think about the day of the miscarriage, but I don’t think so much about it as a baby that was lost as a day of trauma that I survived.

Except for one thing.

The thing that really gets to me?  That I just can’t seem to get over?  The thing that’s just eating away at me for some ridiculous reason?  The so-called "products of conception" were mishandled in the emergency room.  And I can handle not knowing if there was a genetic reason for the miscarriage.  I can handle not knowing if there was a weird trisomy or monosomy or whatnot. 

But (and I’m not certain why), I really wish I knew if it was a boy or a girl.  I cannot for the life of me figure out why this would help me put some closure on the whole matter, but I just *know* that it would.

Two years is an awfully long time for something so stupid to haunt me, don’t you think?

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Hey, someday when I happen to have more sleep and more time on my
hands, remind me to tell you how the events of this week all managed to
converge in such a way that I happened to end up with my grandfather
staying with us for a week (and his little dog, too!), my
mother-in-law’s damn cat in my house, and 13 people for dinner tonight.

It’s quite a funny (and aggravating) story.  Did I mention I have four
kids?  And that I’m allergic to dogs?  And cats?  And that we already
have 2 cats of our own?

I think my house is beginning to look a bit like a clown car.

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No, really!  I DO have a life!  I have proof!  Here’s a picture of me having a good time with my friend Jo at the Indigo Girls Concert last Thursday.

See?  I really can have a good time, even when I’m away from the kidderoonies.  Truthfully, I spent most of my time there daydreaming about what my kids were doing, and I’m not sure if that’s sweet or pathetic, but that’s me now, right? 

Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all, and it was nice to have a night out with the girls.  Maybe I won’t wait until next year’s Indigo Girls Concert to have another night out.   We’ll see.  My next goal is to have another "date night" with Seth, but hopefully this one won’t be quite the disaster of the last one

Lots of people tell me I should just get up and go out, but I just don’t work that way.  I honestly don’t WANT to leave them with someone else.  I worked hard to get to where I am in my parent status, and I’d much rather be homebound for a few years than leave them in the company of others.  I don’t yearn for time away.  While I enjoyed the concert, I spent nearly the entire time thinking of my four children.  Believe me, I’m not desperate to be away from them.  I know that my time will come soon enough.   I know that in a blink of an eye, I will wonder where this time went.   

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Some Notes

  • I think I am getting mastitis again.  Ugh.  This would be episode number 4.
  • My doctor thinks I have premenstrual dysphoric disorder.  I’m pretty sure the shoe fits. This is ridiculous.  Before I had the babies, I never got my period, never ovulated.  Now I’m breastfeeding three babies.  THREE.  I should have a "get out of PMS free" card, and do I have one?  No.  Instead, I get PMS on crack.  She’d give me Sarafem, but isn’t overly keen on doing so while I’m nursing without buy-in from my pediatrician.  I’m not overly keen on talking to my pediatrician about this, and Seth’s minimal research on the subject has led me to suspect that I may be better off waiting the few months that are left until they’re not nursing anymore. I dunno.
  • J’s medication seems to be doing a brilliant job.  Brilliant.
  • The babies?  Still cute.
  • My family (including inlaws)?  Completely screwed up.
  • Too tired for a real post. 

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my life.  I am happy with my life and all the blessings in it.  I will gladly give up ever going out and I will happily stay in every night and stare at my gorgeous, thriving, healthy babies every night.  I will willingly collapse in bed, exhausted, at the end of each day, without a single thought to going out and doing anything else with my night, or spend my evenings doing laundry, dishes, making lunches, filling out paperwork for J’s school, sweeping the floor around the highchairs, washing bottles, or making baby food.  But I’m also not a martyr, so when the opportunity comes around for me to go out and do something fun, well, I’m certainly not going to turn it down.

Every year, my friend Jo and I go to see the Indigo Girls at Wolftrap.  Except, well, last year I was in pre-term labor and less than a month away from delivering the triplets, so I had to give up my ticket, which, yes, I’d purchased in vain hope of being able to go, but … well, not so much.  ANYWAY, the point is, last night, after I fed the babies dinner, nursed them one last time, put them in PJs and tucked them into their cribs, Jo and I went went to the concert, and it was a bunch of fun, and I have pictures to prove it… except…  I can’t get them off my camera!  I got home late last night, and I tried to get them off my camera, and… nothing.  My computer won’t recognize the USB device!  And so I tried Seth’s computer, but it won’t either, so it’s clearly a problem with the camera, not the computer, but WHAT could have happened?  Gah! 

Well, no matter, I had such a good time.  We got there early enough to hang out with another couple friends who had lawn seats, have a glass of wine and some yummy strawberries, talk, listen to the opening act, and just… be.  Then we headed down to our seats in the Pavillion and, boy, did we have GOOD seats!  Yay for Jo getting us the best seats so far!  🙂 

Lately, you know, I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed.  And it’s not the babies. It’s not J. It’s not motherhood, you see.  Motherhood is perfect.  The babies are amazing.  J is awesome.  It’s the rest of my life.  It’s fitting everything ELSE in.  It’s getting everything else to revolve around the four most important things in my life that’s overwhelming.  It’s hard to explain.  And I don’t feel this way all the time, it’s cyclical (more on this in another post), but it’s suffocating when it happens.  Still, in those couple of hours, all was right with the world.  Not a single moment went by that I wasn’t thinking of my beautiful blessings tucked in at home, but that is as it should be.  I am so grateful for the ways in which they enrich my life, the way they have filled the empty corners of my soul. 

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