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Archive for September, 2008

My SuperStars!

Img_2711_3   Ellie and Abby have been getting physical therapy through the county’s early intervention services since May because of fine and gross motor delays due to their prematurity.  Sam could have qualified, but barely, and it wasn’t worth it, so we didn’t pursue it.  Besides, the physical therapist was here with the girls, so if she spotted something wrong with Sam, she could easily address it with him, if necessary.  As it was, he was moving along at the same pace as the girls, so no intervention was necessary.

The girls did so well with their first few appointments that we quickly moved from weekly to bi-weekly appointments, and soonafter moved to monthly appointments.  At our August appointment, Abby was doing so well that the physical therapist suggested that we might consider discharging Abby at the September appointment if she continued to follow the same rate of development.  Ellie, though, she thought she’d like to continue monitoring for a little while.  When she saw Ellie in August, Ellie had *just* started crawling (literally *that* day) and was dragging one leg behind her consistently.  We were having a hard time figuring out whether there was something wrong with her leg, or if she just hadn’t quite figured out that there were two legs that she could use. 

We agreed that the physical therapist would come to this appointment armed with her assessment Img_2714_2 forms just to see where they fell on the developmental scales and we’d make a decision together about whether to continue with therapy for Abby.  But, we were certain, we’d probably have at least a few more months of monitoring with Ellie because of that darned leg.  She was also, at that point, the one baby not standing. 

Well, a lot can happen in a month!  Ellie not only crawls…  Ellie has completely lost any sign of dragging that leg behind her.  Ellie not only stands… she stands up without pulling up on anything at all!   Ellie not only cruises …  she took two, count ’em, two steps in front of the physical therapist today!  In fact, Ellie tested out higher than Abby on both fine and gross motor skills.  Amazing.  Ellie tested at 11 months for fine motor and 12 months for gross motor.  Abby tested at 10 months for both!  Considering that they turn 12 months on Friday and that they’re 10 months adjusted, that’s absolute perfect for both of them!  (Since Sam isn’t receiving PT, he wasn’t tested, but he probably would have fallen around 11 months for fine motor and 12 months for gross motor- that’s my guess, anyway)

My little super stars have just done so well!  There are little things that they aren’t doing yet that we’d like them to be doing, but the bottom line is that they’ve been making positive progress all along and they are doing great.  No one is remotely worried.  The physical therapist did say she wouldn’t have discharged them if they weren’t still being seen by the special educator every week – this way they’ll still be monitoring their progress in case any concerns creep up over time, but for now – everything is perfect.

I know it’s illogical – because they’re just doing what babies do – but I’m just so proud of my little girls!   

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Birthday Party Take 1

Today was J’s birthday party – his birthday is Tuesday – and he had a blast. He had a racecar-shaped cake and a bunch of his friends at a local gymnastics place. They had a moonbounce and all sorts of fun things for the kids to bounce all over. They had a real blast. The best part for J, of course, was collecting his loot. He was just beside himself with the anticipation of getting to open his presents. When he finally did get to, he was absolutely giddy:

Next Sunday is the triplets’ 1st birthday party, but we’re doing something much more low-key. Just some quiet fun in the park with friends and some cake. We let the triplets have some of the birthday cake this week, and they definitely approved of the concept, so it was a good dry-run. 🙂 Next week I might even let them have icing. Depending on how brave I’m feeling.
Still not migraine-free, but I think the nortryptiline is helping a little as my pain level was down a little yesterday and I had a few hours here or there today where I didn’t have a migraine.  That’s definitely progress, even if it’s not perfect.

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Migraines Still

Migraines haven’t gone away.  Am still on hefty doses of prednisone.  As it is almost shabbos, I can’t elaborate too much, but the neurologist’s current strategy is to try adding a new drug.  So we’re trying nortryptiline.  It’s a tricyclic antidepressant, commonly used to treat chronic migraines.  I’ve used it before, and other drugs related to it.  I haven’t had great success with it as a standalone drug, but perhaps it’ll work in combination with the Topamax and the rest of the prednisone regimen.  Can’t hurt, right? 

The side effects are bound to suck, though.  Here’s hoping the migraines go away.

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Some days I can’t figure out how to fill the void that is
between all the activity. I wonder how
it is that I ever could have thought that I’m busy. I wonder why it is that everyone seems to
think I have so much to do. Some days I
can’t figure out why it is that no one else can’t figure out how to accomplish
8 things at once, and why it is that I’m the only octopus around. 

 

Yesterday was not one of those days. Yesterday was jam-packed from the instant I
woke up.

 

5:28am: Sam woke up 2 minutes before the alarm went
off. Seth brought me the baby to
nurse. We love Seth. Seth rocks. Particularly since he also remembered to turn the alarm off in advance
of it starting to beep at me.

5:42am:  Seth took Sam from me, and brought me
Ellie. Somewhere along the way, he fed
Abby, but I’m not sure when. I’m sure
somewhere along the way, he also changed a few poopy diapers as that is
Standard Operating Procedure in Chez Perky first thing in the morning.

6:03am: Got up, handed off babies, got in the shower,
got dressed and got ready to leave for work. 

6:24am: Gave J-man kisses, snuggled babies, ate a banana,
took morning medicine (forgot to take Prednisone, suffered badly for it the
rest of the day), gathered my belongings, found my shoes and stole a bite of
Seth’s bagel.

6:51am: Ran out the door like a mad-woman.

7:06am: Arrived in office, put stuff down,
refilled candy jar, walked into client’s office

7:07am: Discussed changes to policy document with
said coworker

8:00am: Returned to my desk and worked on policy
documents, responded to user requests, performed account maintenance, responded
to emails. Checked my personal email
accounts twice and found some Multiples Club Board agenda items that needed to
be dealt with before tonight’s meeting – responded to those emails (5 minutes,
tops). Called my neurologist and waited
for his return call. Continued working
on policy documents (whoo hoo!).

9:46am: Neurologist returns my call. I explain that I am still not experiencing
any relief from the migraine that won’t stop (3 weeks and still going. Please help!). He suggests going back up to the highest dose
of Prednisone for three days this time before tapering off. Okey dokey. Return to desk and work until…

11:00am: pump

11:26am: Return to desk and continue to work. Nothing particularly interesting takes place
other than work, a little more work, and some more work.

12:45 (approx): Look up directions to tonight’s board
meeting and directions to J’s speech therapy appt. this afternoon. Estimate time to each and calculate what time
I need to leave work.

1:00pm: Return to work. Work some more. Nothing particularly interesting takes place
other than work, a little more work, and some more work.

2:40pm: Make a couple phone calls re: the J-man;
return to work, work, and more work.

3:00pm: Pack up stuff. Eavesdrop on a user having a fit at a
coworker over the usability of software application. Pray that she doesn’t notice me and aim her
vitriol at me. Grab 4 pieces of
chocolate to use as a bribe for the J-man after school.

3:07pm: Leave office.

3:28pm: Arrive at the J-man’s school to pick him
up.

3:45pm:  Leave the J-man’s school.

4:05pm: Arrive at the Speech Pathologist’s
Office.

4:17pm: Glance at clock and wonder if the Speech
Pathologist always runs late for the 4:15 appointment slot.

4:20pm: Speech Pathologist comes out and greets
us. Meets with me for about 25 minutes
and then spends some time with the J-man.

5:08pm: The J-man and I head home and navigate
through downtown traffic. Joy.

5:26pm: We stop for a Slurpee because J has been
totally fixated on Slurpees since the second I picked him up from school.

5:32pm: We arrive at home. I kiss the babies who are being fed dinner
(*sob* I’m missing it! This is normally
MY job!). I check my email, pack up my
computer, grab my Multiples Club Board of Directors Notebook, take some pain
medicine for my still-throbbing head (it won’t work, but I feel like I simply
must try *something*, right?), set up the computer for the J-man to distract
him while Seth finishes the babies’ evening routine, kissed the babies again,
grabbed a snack and got ready to head out the door.

5:50pm: Left the house on my way to the hospital’s
NICU Meeting.

6:02pm: Arrived at the hospital’s NICU
Meeting. Tonight they were filming for
the hospital’s fundraising gala which will benefit the Maternal Child Division
of the hospital, so it was really important that I be there. I was filmed talking about my triplets’ NICU
experience and how they’ve been doing since. Afterward, I talked with two families whose babies are still in the NICU
who were born at 24 and 25 weeks. One
baby has been in the NICU for 12 weeks and one baby was just born 2 weeks
ago. Both families are doing very well
and are getting a fair bit of support, but both have long commutes and need a
lot of support. It is because of
families like this that I have been working hard with the nurse navigator at the
NICU to establish a Parent-to-Parent support program through the March of Dimes
(or other program) . This is why I take the time to go to
these NICU gatherings; to take the time to support these families, because I
know they need it even more than I needed it when I was navigating the NICU
life.

7:02pm: Left the NICU meeting to head to my next
meeting, a Multiples Club Board of Directors Meeting. My bad luck that it all fell on the same
night – thanks to Labor Day last week.

7:31pm: Arrived at the Board Meeting. I hate being late. Fortunately, I was only the third person to
arrive, and I was much earlier than I’d expected to be.

9:40pm: Meeting adjourns. I talk with my committee co-chair by my car
for 20 minutes about various and sundry details until I realize that,
hello? I didn’t nurse my babies before
bed like I normally do and it’s been since 11am since I pumped. Ouch.

10:00pm: head home.

10:19pm: Arrive home

10:24pm: Sam starts screaming (did I mention Sam’s
started waking up at night and we’re not sure why? Maybe night terrors, maybe separation
anxiety, maybe teething, maybe a growth spurt, but whatever it is, it’s
heartbreaking).

10:26pm: Sam’s still not calm despite being in my
arms. Try nursing him.

10:40pm: Try putting Sam back in his crib. A phenomenal disaster and his screaming wakes
Ellie up.

10:41pm: I’m now holding Sam and Ellie. 

10:42pm: This is clearly not going to work; Seth
is now holding Ellie and I’m holding Sam. 

10:46pm: Holding them isn’t helping them fall
asleep, it’s stimulating them. Seth puts
Ellie back to bed. She falls right to
sleep. 

10:47pm: Seth puts Sam back into his crib. We hold our breaths, but he doesn’t start
screaming. A miracle. Still, we hold very, very, very, very still
for a few minutes for fear of disturbing anyone.

10:50pm: I pump while we watch a little TV

11:30pm: Prepare bottles, get unreasonably
frustrated with Seth for not having put away the bottles that the babies ate
before bed (not nice of me, no excuse), get into PJ’s, take medicine, hope that
head stops hurting eventually and….

11:44pm: crawl into bed while Seth re-sets alarm
for 5:45am instead of 5:30am.

 

And this morning…

The babies woke up at 5:44am. Good babies. But my head? POUNDING.

Just to reiterate, I couldn’t possibly have made yesterday happen without Seth.  There are plenty of days that Seth leaves before the kids are awake and returns after the kids are in bed (tomorrow may be one of those days).  But yesterday proved that Seth can turn around and do the same thing for me when he needs to.  I just try not to do that to him, because you know what?  I really, really, really missed my babies yesterday.

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Ellie Bellie Ballerina

My beautiful, graceful girl hasn’t had a whole lot of firsts… she’s had a lot of lasts, actually. She was the last to get the okay to be discharged from the NICU (though they were all discharged on the same night). She was the last to come off a heart monitor. She was the last to stand. The last to crawl.

She was, however, the first to take a STEP! The very first to make that first move toward walking.

Oh my!

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Last week, you may recall, I met up with Kelly and Keira and had a nice afternoon with just us moms, which was just amazing. But something was lacking that afternoon. Was it the pitter patter of little feet? The shouts of our angels voices? Could it be the cacophony of our kidderoonies we were missing? Not in the least! What we were missing was the ever amazing Jessica! So this afternoon, Seth and I packed up our four kiddos and met Kelly and her three kiddos at Jessica’s house with her five little monkeys and we had a blast. No one told me that it was "wear a pink shirt day," and yes, I DO own other blouses, it was total coincidence that I was wearing that same green blouse again today. Or um, maybe it was just a sign that I need to do laundry? That could be it.

I accidentally took a 30 mile detour on my way to pick up some toys from another triplet mama, Kelli, because I’m a total dope, so we were late, but a good time was still had by all. I had never met Kelly’s Ian or Emma before, only Maddie, so it was a true joy to see all three of her triplets together. Jessica’s Evan was feeling under the weather, poor thing, so I felt badly for him, but with 12 kids all in one place, what were the odds that everyone would be feeling 100%?

Can you believe we managed to wrangle 12 kidderoonies in one house? That’s because we are all three supermamas. That’s us! Not only do we all leap tall buildings in a single bound, we all have sidekicks. Mine’s named Seth. Jessica’s is named Jon. And Kelly’s is named Mike. J Now we just need to make some capes. Wait! We can’t make capes until we make some logos! (Are any of you creative enough to make a logo for a bunch of triplet/twin mamas? I’m totally incapable of anything artistic like that)

Why, not only did we manage to entertain 12 children ranging in age from 11 ½ months to nearly 5 years old, we even managed to feed them all! I am always in awe of how Jess manages to pull this off with her own kids, and she is never phased with the addition of one, three, seven extra kids into the mix. Cut up a few extra grapes, make a few extra grilled cheese sandwiches, pull up a few extra high chairs / booster seats and next thing you know, there’s lunch for a whole gaggle of children! We had so many children, we couldn’t even fit them into one picture! (everyone had just come in from playing in the swimming pool so they were hanging out in their diapers – a perfect way to have an easy cleanup after lunch).

While the "big kids" played and ate lunch, my three little monsters ate their lunch and then played in the living room and had a grand old time:

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I had gotten my migraine level down to a manageable 1-2 migraines per week, which I could totally handle, thanks to 150mg of Topamax per day and a little bit of sleep each day, Biofeedback, and decent (if not completely adequate) painkillers for the migraines that did sneak through.  But for the last 3 weeks solid, I have had a migraine every single day. It might just be one solid migraine.  I can’t even tell anymore.  It never quits.  I wake up with a migraine.  I go to sleep with a migraine.  I spend much of my day cringing in pain with the migraine.  I can barely function most nights because of the migraines.

I know if I could just break the cycle, I could probably get free of it for a while.  But how?

On my way down to Richmond yesterday, I called my neurologist out of desperation.  Normally, I’d wait until I was due to go in and see him, but I’ve been doing so well, I’m actually not due to see him again until January.  He called me right back (thank heavens for cell phones, right?) and suggested that I raise my Topamax dosage to 200mg per day for a couple of days and hope that it doesn’t make me too loopy (Topamax is not called Dopamax for nothing).  If that doesn’t help within a couple of days, I should come into the office and we’ll consider putting me on a course of Prednisone for a few days to try to break the cycle.  For some reason a steroid course often breaks these cycles. 

We’ll see what happens.  I’m betting I’ll be in his office on Friday afternoon.  I just need some relief.  I’m not sure I can make it through another weekend of this, and that’s saying a LOT.  I’ve been getting migraines since I was two years old and I have been dealing with this kind of cycle forever.  You would think I could with this by now.  But this time, with my reserves so low, I’m just not prepared to deal with it.

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