We are having fun getting to know our trio! They are beginning to smile and laugh which is really rewarding when you are exhausted. They are also beginning to hold their heads up well but still have a ways to go. Here are some recent photos as we are trying to decided if bow bands are cute or dumb???
Ella watching Baby Einstein... Ella climbed in here herself I swear...
Slade thought the Longhorn game was super exciting...
Not so easy to get a group photo after all...this was the best shot...glad a pro is coming soon!
Slade waking up from a nap...
Claire starting on a laugh...
The whole gang watching a little tv (I know its a little early in life but I have to make food sometime!)
The babies are doing well at home and we are all surviving thus far! Ella is a crazy kiddo with major temper tantrums but is also the worlds greatest cuddler. Claire is calm and alert about 90% of the time but gets a bit grumpy in the evenings when Ella keeps her awake. Slade is the sweetest little baby who rarly cries and is always super patient. We are loving having them at home even though we are pretty exhausted. Here are some recent pics...
Claire enjoying thanksgiving dinner...
Daddy & the girls taking a nap... The babies re-united!
Claire loving her bouncy chair...
Auntie Kira and the trio
Slade a bit milk drunk with his belly hanging out...
Our family is complete, Miss Claire has arrived!! Our first night was long but wonderful, with someone awake each hour. My mom was kind enough to spend the night so Brian could get some sleep before work. Luckily, Brian has taken off a little work and will be home for the next 9 days so we can work out some type of schedule. If anyone wants to come visit and feed a baby or two during the day, just let us know:)
I may not post for awhile as I should be pretty busy over the next 18 years! If you want to contact me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you all for your support during our 4 month NICU stay! Its been a roller coaster, but one we are glad we've rode!
Wow, two babies crying at the same time for milk at 1am and 3am and 5am is interesting to say the least. I was lucky my sister had spent the night to help out since Brian had to be at work so I did live through the night. However, tomorrow night may be different as Claire will be joining us, yipppeee!!!
Thank you all for your sweet comments, I'm sorry I haven't had the chance to reply to everyone but know that I read them and they make me smile everyday!!!
We were surprised as can be when the Dr. called last night and said that he thought Ella may do better at home. He still had to check with the other "board" of doctors today since she still wasn't eating the required amount but he was thinking sometime this week. Well at noon today we got the call to come pick her up anytime. We were soooo excited! So my mom came over to watch Mr. Slade (thanks for all you do mom) and we headed to the hospital. It has been an uneventful afternoon and evening thus far and so far Ella is already eating more than she was in the hospital. Yeah Ella!
Just one baby to go and we are very hopeful that she will be home in the next week or so. Although we are sure to be exhausted, we are so ready to have our whole family intact!
Here is a picture of the nurse walking us out down part of the NICU hill... Welcome home Miss Ella!
Well I think I must of jinxed Ella by saying she may be home this week, as now she is eating worse than she has in a long time. Its so frustrating as her and Claire now know what to do, they just won't do it. There is a required amount of ml's each has to eat in order to go home and they just still aren't there. We really hate this and are working with the drs to try to figure out anything to help them get home faster. We've tried different formulas, different times of days to try eating and several different feeders, but not a whole lot of luck. Unfortunately its not an exact science and we are told time and time again, that we need to be patient. Well, honestly I'm sick of being patient. I'm temped to just beg them to let us take them home and see if they do better here with a regular schedule but if they fail they'd have to start all over with new doctors. Ahhhhhhh....I can feel the wrinkles forming!
Slade is doing well though. He wasn't eating enough and we changed his formula from neosure & breast milk to a thicker and higher calorie formula and he seems to be loving it. Now the only problem is that he likes to eat every 2 hours and sometimes eats so much he pukes. We love it though, the more he eats the better!
I have realized that I have a baby holding addiction though. It sounds like a good thing but I actually think its some form of weird post partum/ post NICU stuff. You see, I feel horrible guilt if I set him down. I feel like he is looking at me with such sadness even if he doesn't cry. I have no problem handing him off to be held or put down by others, but I myself, have a hard time doing it. At night its fine, but during the day I just only do things that I can do with one hand...thus the delayed blog post. Oh well, I guess I'll have to work on this issue once the girls come home as I know holding all three at once will be really hard! Here is a picture of him one of the few moments I put him down and then realized that even though he was asleep that he could probably sense my "neglect," ridiculous I know!
It is so great having Slade home. Even though it is tiring getting up multiple times per night, I was already kind of used to that due to the pumping. Brian had his first shot at it this weekend and I think he's glad that he goes back to work tomorrow and thus isn't responsible for any of the night feeds:) I realize however, that I'm going to love weekends more than ever as I get a good stretch of sleep when he takes the 2am shift. Slade seems to be doing well although we do worry sometimes that he isn't eating enough. I know what "dose" of food the girls are on in the hospital and so I try to convince him that he should eat the same amount or more. However, it turns out that he believes he is the boss of this situation and doesn't always agree. He saw the pediatrician the other day and she said he looks good. He's about in the 50th % for a one week old baby (using his adjusted age) although his head is a little bigger (you know all those Peterson/Milligan brains in there!). We will go back in a month to get his 2nd synagis shot for RSV and to make sure he is gaining enough weight. This is a picture of Brian and Slade enjoying their first UT football game together (Thanks Jen for the outfit!)
On another note, this is wayyyyyy harder and extremely more depressing than I thought it would be. Having him home has made me miss the girls more than ever. I didn't realize how much I was missing out on until he came home. I also didn't realize how much they are missing. The nurses are great, but there is no one there to pick them up and cuddle them when they cry and hug them before they go to bed. I'm so anxious to have them home its sometime nauseating. With that said, Ella has been eating so extremely well so I'm predicting that she comes home by Friday. No Dr. or nurse has lead me to this so I may be way off but I just really feel that she is ready, so we'll see!
Oh and if you are planning on visiting the triplets before April, please take a look at this letter to help explain why we will be psycho diligent about hand washing and other precautions. Thanks! http://www.preemiecare.org/rsvletter.pdf
The girls new casa...
Ella & Auntie Kira (sorry I chopped off your head)
Mr. Slade has finally arrived in our home after much anticipation! He did great during his "rooming in" test and passed his hearing test with flying colors so he was released to our care. He has been doing terrific and we are just so happy to have him. The nights are a bit longer now but its so much better than just getting up to pump alone. We miss the girls though and can't wait to have them home with us as well. From now on we will rotate who visits them and who stays with Slade so that everyone gets some love. The fun has officially begun!
Well, the babies have finally reached the ginormous age of zero! They are now officially 40 weeks gestation and are no longer negative in weeks. They are beginning to enjoy things that typical babies would at birth like rocking, vibrating chairs and look at you when you talk. Its great!
Tonight Slade is doing a sleep study at the hospital to gauge his breathing patterns as a final step to ensure he will thrive at a home environment. As long as he passes this test, we will go to the hospital to "room in." In the NICU there is a little area with a set of suites with beds for mom and dad, a crib for baby and a bathroom. The night before you take your baby home, you stay in this room and do essentially a trial run as if you were home, but with a nurse right down the hall. They say this helps the parents to feel more secure since it is the first time they have seen there babies not hooked to a heart and breathing monitor and it can be terrifying. We are definitely nervous not to have that reassuring beep to tell us when something is wrong, but I think we'll be OK. We brought his car seat up to the hospital today to make sure he can sit comfortably in it and it not affect his breathing patterns. So tonight should be our official last night without a baby around and we couldn't be more happy!!
The girls are doing well too and are slowly but surly progressing. They are both eating about 6 out of 8 bottles, which is getting closer to what they will require to start their countdowns. We are still hoping for before Thanksgiving, but as long as they are healthy we are happy.
Mr. Slade continues to be a winning little white boy and has ate well and had zero heart rate drops, so far so good! Its so amazing that we may have a baby home next week. Not knowing exactly what day makes me feel like a person about to give birth, all sorts of anticipation, fright and excitement!
We will be working frantically over the weekend tying up loose ends. Our nursery is done for now and at least 1 bouncy chair is assembled. Still need to get the car seats in, assemble the other two bouncy seats, assemble the swing, wash all the linens and clothes, finish the beginnings of the baby books, return some of the newborn sized diapers and buy bigger sizes, have a home phone line installed, organize all the stuff we got out of the storage shed and get the carpets cleaned. YIKES!
Below is picture of the nursery thus far. Since we didn't find out the genders in advance, we decided to go with a neutral color scheme. We have hired a photographer for when the babies come home and their photos on canvas squares will end up on the back wall so its not so bland... But for now, we like the softness of the room especially since its attached directly to our bedroom (I'm actually on the bed taking this picture). I'm just so glad everything fit so they could stay in the room with us!
Hooray, Slade did so terrific over the last day with all of his bottles that his 5 day countdown has begun! Basically what that means is that he has to go 5 days with zero heart rate drops, eating consistently and gaining weight. If all of this happens, he then will do a sleep study and then come home! Now, if he even has one heart rate drop, the countdown with start over again. My expectation is that it will be more than 5 days, I'm betting on a week from tomorrow. However, when I asked the doctor she said he could be home as soon as Monday, wow! But I'm trying to not get my hopes up as it is pretty common to have a heart rate drop once getting off the caffeine like he has so well see! Oh and him and Ella tried out bouncy chairs today and seemed to really enjoy them:)
Claire too was doing so well that they now have moved her to eating every 4 hours and she can eat as much as she wants. They will be removing her tube as soon as she proves that she can handle eating and not losing weight. They have upped her calories since she is so small so hopefully that will help her chunk up a bit. We still think the problem is that she rarely to never sleeps and we aren't really sure how to fix that??? Oh and today our little redhead donned her first dress...sooo cute!
Ella is giving it a good effort and does terrific until she hits about 50cc's and then she is done. The problem is that she needs to eat 80cc's to maintain her weight and she is not willing to do that yet. They've moved her to eating only every 4 hours as well so hopefully she'll be a little bit more hungry and finish all her bottles.