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Archive for September, 2008

*Sniffle*

I’d like to tell you about the triplets’ first birthday, but I’ve been so busy this week.  I’d like to tell you how cute they were when they dove into their birthday cupcakes Friday after dinner, each with their own unique personalities, but I’ve been too tired at the end of each day to compose a post.   I’d like to write an eloquent post about the triplets first birthday party on Sunday, but the babies have been sick all week, which has been keeping me busy.  I’d like to tell you about their 12 month appointment with the doctor, but now I’m sick. 

So, in the absence of eloquence, I’ll leave you with a few stats and a couple quick pictures, and then… I’m off to bed:

Sam: 21 lbs, 4oz (23rd percentile), 29 inches long (19th percentile) Ellie: 20 lbs, 2 oz (30th percentile), 28 inches long (13th percentile) Abby: 19 lbs (14th percentile), 28 1/2 inches long (24th percentile)

I’ve had people tell me that my babies are really fat; that I’m feeding them too much… but I think it’s clear that they are not.  Even Ellie, my chunkiest, beautiful girl is only in the 30th percentile.  My babies are perfect.  I’ll tell you more about their visit to the doctor when I’m feeling better.

Now for a couple pictures before bed:

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Ellie loved her cake!

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Abby was snarly and threw her cake around, but she loved it!

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Sam got cake EVERYWHERE.

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Abba Dabba at One Year

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Abigail: My beautiful baby girl.   You were once so teeney and fragile, and now you are healthy and  perfect.  While once we were afraid to touch you, now you are delicate, yet strong.  You are my most reserved baby.  You seem to calculate your moves very carefully before deciding where to go, who to look to.  You used to be a little more fussy, a little more anxious than the other two, but now you are very calm and quiet.  You watch everything around you and only seem to make noise when you have something important to communicate.  You don’t babble much, but I know you will when you’re ready.  You are very smart and you know how to get attention.  We think you were meant to be a singleton, some days – you prefer your solitude, you don’t care for the other babies to be crawling in your space, you don’t like it when they touch you or the toys you’re playing with.  You respond better to adults when you are the only baby in the room.  You seem happiest when you have one-on-one time with an adult and the other babies are in another room.  You are my pickiest eater, but you certainly don’t seem to be suffering for it.  You were the second to roll over, the first to stand, the second to crawl, and you have absolutely NO interest whatsoever in walking.  You have seven teeth, one more than each of your siblings.  You were, in fact, the first baby to get teeth.  You used to be very stingy with your smiles, but now you freely give them away and you giggle for us, too.  You have ten perfect little fingers, and ten really long toes to go along with your really long skinny feet.  I wonder if perhaps someday you’ll be tall, like your father, though for now, you (like your brother and sister) are short.  No matter, because to me, you’re perfect.  I just love you so, so much my beautiful little girl.

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Ellie Bellie at One Year

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Eliana:  My happy baby girl. You are the one who is the easiest to get to laugh and giggle and smile.  It is such a blessing to have such a happy baby.  You are always smiling now.  We spent a long time worrying about you, but now you are healthy and thriving and gorgeous.  You were the last to roll over, the last to stand, the last to crawl, but the first to take a step, and you seem like you’ll be the first to walk.  You have six teeth and you love to chew on anything you can get your little paws on.  You like to play peek-a-boo with SuperNanny.  You are the most patient of the bunch and don’t mind waiting your turn when you have to.  We try not to take advantage of that wonderful trait of yours; and I hope that we are fair in the future about that.  Meanwhile, we thank you for being the "easy" one.  There had to be one easy one, right?  (and it’s not like you didn’t give us your share of trouble what with the bradycardias, the heart monitor, the failure to thrive…).  I just love you so, so much, my happy little girl.

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Sam-Man at One Year

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Pict03641Sam :  My snuggly boy.  You always have wanted to be as close to mommy as possible, even since your NICU days.  You turned toward my voice from the first time you heard me coming, and now you reach for me when you see me, and you crawl toward me as quickly as you can when I enter the room.  You love to eat anything I put in front of you, especially broccoli kugel.  You were the first to roll over, the second to stand, the last to figure out object permance.  You are the only baby who still uses a pacifier, but you only use it in the crib to sleep.  You look just like your father did at your age and you’ve got his gigantic feet, too.  You have six perfect little teeth, ten beautiful little fingers, and gigantic toes on those monster feet of yours.  I just love you so, so much, little man.

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We Did It!

We did it!  A year ago, three little tiny lives entered this world. When I was waiting for the delivery to begin, I kept telling myself to remember what the neonatologist told me when I was first admitted to the hospital: they like it if the babies cry when they’re first born, but it’s okay if they don’t; it doesn’t mean something’s wrong. It’s okay if they don’t cry. I just kept repeating that to myself. There was so much noise in the delivery room, with so many people bustling around.  But all I could hear was the deafening silence waiting for my babies to be born. It’s okay if they don’t cry. It doesn’t mean something’s wrong. What would I do if they didn’t cry? Would I panic? Would I be okay? And then, suddenly, the doctor said, “Baby Boy!” I held my breath. It’s okay if he doesn’t cry. It doesn’t mean something’s wrong. 9:43am. And then, a tiny cry, a flurry of activity. Baby Boy Perky was whisked off to another room to be assessed and stabilized. There wasn’t enough room in my delivery room for three babies, you see. Seconds later, the next baby came out. “Hi Baby!” said the doctor. Baby What? ”Baby Girl!” It’s okay if she doesn’t cry. It doesn’t mean something’s wrong. A tiny cry. 9:44am. A flurry of activity. Time for Baby C’s arrival – It’s okay if the baby doesn’t cry. It doesn’t mean something’s wrong. “Baby Girl!” Before I could even think it again, the tiniest of cries, to match the tiniest of babies. 9:44am. Three healthy babies. Three beautiful tiny cries. One grateful mommy.

A year has passed. A year in which I’ve pumped 91 gallons of milk for my babies. A year in which we’ve changed over 6500 diapers. A year in which we’ve lost hundreds of hours of sleep that we’ll never re-claim. A year has passed in which we’ve learned just how huge our capacity to love our children is. A year in which we’ve discovered that it IS possible to juggle three babies, a four year old, two full time jobs (one for each of us) and still come out happy on the other side. Also a year in which we’ve discovered that yes, you can actually fall asleep standing up. Seth discovered that it IS possible to triple your caffeine intake. I discovered that there’s only so long that I can handle sleep deprivation, but the good news is that all the babies DID learn to sleep through the night about halfway through their first year.

I’m not sure how we got through those early weeks, to be honest. It’s a bit of a blur. Once the babies came home from the NICU, it was a lot of feed-a-baby, change-a-baby, feed-a-baby, change-a-baby, feed-a-baby, change-a-baby, pump, lather-rinse-repeat. But we did it!  We did it together. People ask me if I think that our marriage has suffered from the strain of having higher order multiples, but I think our marriage is much stronger because of it. Having triplets has just taught us that we are a team and we can make anything work together. It’s an amazing journey we’ve taken together.

These babies are absolute little miracles – all of them. There was a time that I didn’t know if I would ever have a baby to hold in my arms and today, when I sit down on the living room floor, my babies swarm over to me to be held. They fight to be the first one in my arms to get their hugs and kisses. They have come so far in the last year and I just can’t believe it.

A year ago Sam and Ellie were 3 pounds, 12 ounces each.  They each dropped below 3.5 pounds and were just over 4 pounds when they were discharged from the NICU 24 days after they were born.   Ellie struggled fro months with a failure to thrive diagnosis, refusing to eat, unable to gain any weight, worrying us all sick, until finally she started growing again.  Today, they are both just about 20 pounds.   A year ago, Abby was a mere 2 pounds, 11 ounces and she dropped to 2 pounds 4 ounces in the NICU.  When she was discharged from the NICU, she was still under 4 pounds.  Today, she’s over 17 pounds. 

A year ago my babies had to be taught how to eat; they didn’t have the "suck/swallow/breathe" reflex that full-term babies have, so they received a good deal of their nutrition via a TPN, and later, via gavage tubes, as they slowly learned how to bottle and breastfeed.  Today, they eat all the same things that we eat and they gobble them right up.  Ellie and Abby have really good pincer grasps, and Sam just rakes everything right up into his mouth.  They are all showing signs that they might like to try using a spoon all by themselves at some point, but Mommy isn’t quite brave enough to try that out just yet. 

A year ago they never cried and the only sounds they ever made sounded like tiny mewing kittens.  Now they babble and giggle, though less than most babies I hear.  I’m told that multiples babble and talk later than singletons and that this is totally normal development.  Ellie is the most interested in exploring the world of syllables and definitely is trying out her vocal chords.  Abby is the most quiet and reserved of the bunch, but is definitely giggly and happy.  Sam seems finally to be letting go of his enormously loud happy screech, which, while endearing, was quite ear-piercing. 

A year ago, the babies barely had the energy to move their tiny hands and feet.  Now they are crawling everywhere and our house is filled with baby gates and baby corrals.  They are all cruising, and Ellie has even taken a few steps.  Seth spotted Sam taking one step, but Abby has no interest whatsoever in walking. I think she thinks that if she walks, she won’t get picked up as often.

Each of my babies has come so far in the past year and I’m so proud of them.  Seth really said it best when he was looking at a picture the other day.  He said, simply, "I just love them so much!"

Me too.  I just love them so, so much.

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Time Passes

Karen_33_weeks A year ago tonight, my friend came and visited me in the hospital and took the last pregnancy belly shot of me that was going to be taken before I delivered my three babies.  I dragged myself out of bed and put on real clothes to get this picture.  I gave myself a demand dose of terbutaline to get me through the night because the contractions that resulted from that little bit of exertion were unbearable – but so worth it to get this last picture. 

Tomorrow at 9:43 and 9:44, my babies my babies will have been in this world for an entire year.    I just can’t believe it.   

I returned Maggie Moo today.  Maggie is my hospital-grade pump.  I’m still pumping, but not so much that I can justify the monthly fee anymore.  I never expected that returning a pump would be an emotional day for me, but it really is.  It’s moving on to a new stage of my relationship with my children, and I’m just not sure I’m ready to be done with this part of motherhood.  I worked so hard to have this – and now, with so little fanfare, I’m reaching the end of this part of mommyhood.  I’m only pumping once a day now.  Sam and Ellie nurse in the morning and right before bed, but honestly, they are nearly ready to drop both of those feedings, it’s me that’s holding on to them.  Soon this will all be a thing of the past.

Tomorrow I’ll post more about the triplets’ first birthday.  Once I figure out what to say.  For now… I’m at a total loss for words.

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Happy Birthday J-man!

Img_2724 My little man is is growing up!  Today was his fifth birthday and I just can’t get over how time flies.  It was nearly four years ago that he came into our lives.  I had no idea what an amazing difference he would make in our lives when we received that phone call four years ago.  Today I cannot possibly imagine my life without this bundle of energy, this joy of mine.

Four years ago, Seth and I received a phone call with an unlikely suggestion:  were we interested in hearing about a one year old who needed a home for a year, maybe more?  Maybe less?  Maybe forever?  Well, we didn’t know what we were getting into, but we definitely said we were interested in hearing more.  Just weeks later, the J-man was a fully integrated member of our family.  We’ve never looked back since, and we can’t imagine life without him.

Four years ago, J was walking and running and jumping.  He was pointing and babbling, but not talking.  He walked into our living room and found the few toys that had wheels – he was all boy, even then.  He ate cheerios, drank milk, and played with his food.  He giggled at the slightest attention, and loved to be read to.

Today, the J-man is still all boy, but even more so.  He still loves his cars and trucks, but is also obsessed with dinosaurs.   Lately, he’s also been all about the big-boy Legos and, most importantly, Bionicles.  He still likes Cheerios, but now he also loves Pizza, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets.  One of his favorite treats is Twizzlers, and he’s recently discovered that he likes plain Hershey’s chocolate.  He still loves to run and run and run and run and run.  And run.  And run some more.  He loves soccer and craves time for sports.   He is full of life and full of love for everyone around him.

I have never seen a better big brother in this world – he loves his three little siblings more than anything in the whole wide world.  He entertains them and plays with them and snuggles with them.  He used to ask when they would be big enough for him to hold and pick up and play with, and he’s so excited now that they are more interactive with him.  He makes them giggle at him endlessly and when they giggle, he runs to tell us – "Hey Eema and Abba, watch this! The babies are laughing at me!100_0253"  It is the most beautiful sound and sight in the world.

My beautiful baby boy is growing up.  He’s not the teeney little boy that came into our lives four years ago.  He’s a big kindergartner with opinions and thoughts and passions. 

My little boy is really a big boy now.  He’s becoming more independent with each day that passes.  He is a little person now and I’m having to learn to let him be his own person – easier said than done.

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