Sunday, August 31, 2014

The triplets are one month old!

The babies are one month old today! 31 days! They will be 31 weeks on Tuesday. They have been doing pretty well. All 3 have had ups and downs. Here is a quick update on them:

-Now 2lbs10oz
-Had a Sepsis (blood infection) 2 weeks ago. Thank God it was caught in time because it did not spread to her spinal fluid which would have meant it spread to her brain (poor kid even had a spinal tap done). Had to be reintubated and put on antibiotics to recover.
- Is now on an NIV for oxygen support and puffs of air when she forgets to breathe. Rate is decreasing so she should be graduating to a regular nasal canulla for oxygen in a few weeks.
- Tolerates 23ml of breastmilk every 3 hours.
-Has been pretty alert lately and has big beautiful eyes!

-Now 2lbs2oz
- Was intubated, self extubated, put on NIV then cpap mask to help her breathe. The cpap mask put too much air in her abdominal and it looked very extended which made the docs think she may have NEC, a scary intestinal infection, so she was reintubated and her feeds were stopped. Blood culture after blood culture and X-rays proved that it was not NEC, nor a bacterial or viral infection and she was most likely just tired and needed a little break. An echo showed that her PDA (hole in the heart) is still present and this may also be why she keeps getting tired. She may need surgery to close her PDA. 
- Feedings resumed yesterday and started off slowly. Will build up to her max feed for her weight which is 18ml.
-Poor baby has been through the most so far. She looked pretty tired but is starting to look better!

-Now 2lbs10oz
- Is on an NIV for breathing support. His rate is being weaned and he might graduate to a high flow nasal canulla soon.
-Is on 23ml of breast milk every 3 hours. Has terrible reflux after feelings. Have tried different feeding styles- continuous, a little at a time, all at once. Nothing seems to help. :(
- Has something up with his kidney function because his electrolytes keep getting a little off. He gets extra Sodium. It could just due to prematurity or it could be a long-term problem.
- Has Apnea and Bradys when mommy holds him. The nurses says he gets to comfortable and forgets to breathe. Mama's boy!

Mom, Dad, and Noah:
We are hanging in there. We are excited to see the babies growing but get let down by the set backs like Cadee's Sepsis, Jude's kidney function questions and Aria's NEC scare. The babies are taking turns scaring mommy and daddy. If it's not one then it's another. We are looking forward to putting clothes on the babies soon and looking forward to 33-34 weeks when the babies' systems will continue to mature a little more which will result in less Apnea/Bradys, less breathing and oxygen support, and the ability to suck.

I want to thank everyone for their constant support! The outpouring of support is absolutely amazing. Thank you to those who have opened their homes and time to Noah so that mommy and daddy can spend time with the babies and so that we can be at the hospital learning about the issues they are facing. Thank you to those who ask us how we are all doing. Just knowing that people care makes us feel like we are not going through this alone. Thank you to those who have given us gifts and meals. Thank you for the prayers and warm thoughts. It is not easy to have three babies in the intensive care unit in the hospital on life support. We appreciate what many of you have done for us during this very difficult time.

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8




Daddy and Cadee.

Mother and daughters.

Mother and son.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Babies are 16 days old

Hello, everyone! I just wanted to give a quick update on the babies with recent pictures. Mind that I am not a medical person at all and I am getting a crash course in nicu terminology :) Also, I am writing this from my small phone so mind that too :) I am always either with the babies at the nicu or playing with Noah at home so it is hard for me to get to a computer.

- Finally got off the mechanical ventilator a week ago an has held her own being off. We think te ibuprofen helped to seal up her heart. The echo shows it is still there but small but just the fact that she is just on a niv and hasn't had to be on the ventilator shows proves that it helped. The blood transfusion probably helped her feel better as well. She does get "disats" a lot and "surfs" down to 80% saturation  with her oxygen though. She is increasing her feeding up 1ml everyday so today she is taking 10ml of breast milk every 3hours. Last night she weighed 2lb1oz so she is gaining weight. She tolerates her feeds very well. The goal is to get all 3 of them up to 15ml every 3hrs. For the most part, she is on 21% oxygen which is room air. She is peeing and pooping normally.

- She is being the "bad" one, meaning she is misbehaving a little. She was off the ventilator the first week of life but got tired and was reintubated. She was doing better and was extubated only to be reintubated two days later. The intubation process is no fun so the goal is is next time she will be extubated will be the last time. The doctors were wondering why she needs the help and they decide that her PDA (hole in her heart) was large and she, like her sis, needed to be treated with ibuprofen, however they ran some labs right before and discovered that she was anemic and needed a blood transfusion which she had yesterday. They also noticed her white blood cells were high (26, they should be 15) so they think she may have an infection so they are keeping an eye on it and will retest her white blood cell count tomorrow. It may be due to all the foreign stuff in her body like the picc line or the ventilator though. She will be treated with antibiotics if she has an infection. She is the smallest still at 1lb13oz yesterday. She is also on 10ml breast milk every 3hrs and is tolerating it well. She is peeing and pooping normally.

-Jude, or shall I say Mr. Jude since that's what the medical team call him :) :
He graduated to a high flow nasal canulla from the niv but had to get back on to the niv because he was working too hard to breathe. So far, he's had less issues than the girls but things will probably change because with 3 one is likely to be "bad." For now, w are rejoicing that he is doing so well because boys typically are "whimpy white boys" in the nicu (my ob's term- Dr. M visits the babies a few times a week which I think is awesome). Jude weighs 2lbs3oz and is now tolerating 11ml of breast milk every 3hours. For the most part, he is on 21% oxygen which is room air. He is peeing and pooping pretty normally. He is having a renal ultrasound tomorrow just in case because his urine output was a little slow a few days ago.

Big brother Noah:
- He is adjusting pretty well considering his world is upside down now being one of four children. I imagine he will do the real acting out when the babies are home which should be around the beginning of November (around their real due date). He is going to be an excellent big brother though. He calls the babies "the trips." He is so funny. I want to thank everyone who has helped watching him for us while we visit the trips.

Mom and Dad:
Tim and I are adjusting with our new schedule with running back and forth to the hospital to be with the babies. It is very hard to see your itty bitties hooked up to wires and machines. It is hard on them, I know and that makes it hard on us. We wish we could take their places but we cannot. My ob doctor said a few days ago that they won't remember any of it but we will remember all of it. All we can do at this point is kangaroo them, put milk in their feeding tubes, change their diapers, take their temperature, and talk and sing to them. We pray for them constantly and pray that The Lord gives us strength as parents to get through this. I pray that the guilt that I couldn't carry them longer goes away. I don't always feel guilty but I sometimes feel a pitty party coming on and then I remind myself that God is in control.

Thank you, everyone for praying for my babies and our family during this time. I am so grateful for the thoughts and prayers and help. I am also grateful for the medical team at UMC for caring for my babies and nursing them to health. I just can't wait until the babies can come home with and we can begin the real adventure. I still can't believe that I gave birth to triplets.

Isaiah 33:2

O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.

Yesterday- Me holding the girls together for the first time.

Father and son yesterday.



Mr. Jude under the photo therapy lights last week.

Still in shock.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Birth Story

I published my last journal around 9:30pm on July 30th and I was 26w1d pregnant. I was reluctant to take an Ambien to help me sleep that night because I had a strange feeling something was going to happen even though I didn't have very many contractions the entire day. I told my nurse whom I've never had that I should be and easy patient for her. I fell asleep and woke up at 11:30pm with some menstrual-like cramping. I fell back asleep and was awoken by the same feeling at 12:30am. I tried to sleep but finally called the nurse at about 1:15am to let her know that the rhythmic cramping was not going away and I was bleeding too. She had a resident come in and check my cervix just in case. She revealed that I was 4-5cm dilated and said she was going to call Dr. Maciulla and told me to call my husband. Dr. Maciulla warned me that when I do go into labor that it might be a "Chinese Fire Drill," so I told Tim that it was time and to get there right away and he got his mom to watch Noah. In the meantime I put on some Christian music and just prayed that God would take care of my babies. Tim got there so fast it seemed like. He then called my cousin who is an OB at another hospital because we arranged for her to be a part of the birth. By the time my cousin got there I got checked again and I was still 4-5cm dilated but the pain was starting to get really bad. The contractions were coming every one minute it felt like. The monitor was not reading them well because they were so low. Tim said I sang through the contractions so nobody thought I was serious. It was more like a dead cat singing, lol. During this time it was decided with my cousin's expertise that a C-Section would be the best and safest for the babies. I then started to feel Aria descend and I felt like I needed to push. The resident checked me one more time and said "Yeah. She's complete. I'm going to call Dr. Maciulla." They decided not to give me an epidural for the pain because by the time it would go into effect it would be time for a spinal anyway. The next thing I knew, I was signing paperwork in between the heavy contractions for the C-Section and tubal litigation (yes, I am the only infertile woman who's requested that!) Every time I had a contraction from this point on I had to squeeze Aria in and it was the hardest thing to do and very painful. My cousin just kept saying "Don't bare down." I was finally wheeled off to the OR and was begging for the spinal but we had to wait until Dr. Maciulla got there. It felt like it took him forever. I know he bikes to the hospital from his home and I was asking if he was taking his bike. Finally he got there and they had to put the catheter in me before the spinal because that's how close I was to delivering Aria. There was no time to wait for the spinal to take effect. I had a contraction through the insertion of the catheter and my cousin told me that this is probably the last contraction I will feel in my entire life. I had one more but then the spinal went into effect and the drape was put up and the Dr. was asking me if I can feel it when he pressed on me. I couldn't feel when the knife was on me so it was time to begin the surgery. I felt touching but it was not painful at all. At 5:42am, Dr. Maciulla pulled out Cadence Rose first, my breech baby. He said "Here is B, do we have a time?" And she was whisked away. At 5:43am came Aria Marie, my baby A that was in the birth canal who apparently somehow moved up and flipped breeched after Cadence was pulled out. Tim leaned over and saw Aria. I asked my cousin how do they look and she said "They look like 26 weekers." Then, I felt some tugging up high and at 5:45am, Jude Joseph was pulled out vertex and was whisked away. Dr. Maciulla then took Tim to follow the babies to the NICU and the Resident OBs tied my tubes and sewed me up. My cousin made the entire experience so much better. She kept telling me how good I was doing. I was wheeled off to recovery and was desperate to see my babies and Tim took pictures of all three and sent them to me. I fell in love instantly! I was trying to feel better so I can be put in a wheel chair to see them but the spinal was taking forever to wear off. It made me incredibly itchy at first and then I felt incredibly nauseous. When I was sent to my post partum room I threw up and they gave me something for it and it instantly made me crash. When I woke up, I pumped and then saw the babies for the first time at about 3pm. I was so shocked to see how small they were because in the pictures they looked much bigger. They looked like little teeny tiny babies but all were stable and I fell in love even more. All three were on ventilators which is a long tube that goes in their mouth to their lungs and it helps them breathe.  Some family came that evening and we saw the babies again. I wanted to be with them 24/7 but I needed to heal from the C-Section. I started pumping right away and hope to not have to use donor milk. I got discharged on Saturday the August 2nd so it was very nice to be home again and with Noah and Tim. I miss the babies when I am home though. I visit them twice a day and do kangaroo care when I am there. I love my babies! I wish I could have held on to them longer of course, but I am lucky that they are doing as well as they are. I was starting to get greedy with holding them in after my water broke but am lucky I held them in that extra 13 days. Dr. Maciulla, my really prolife doctor who visits his NICU babies, told me today that the babies won't remember any of it but I will remember all of it and then he gave me a heart-felt hug. This is going to be the hardest thing but I am putting my trust in the Lord that He will watch over my sweet babies. Thank you Lord for my beautiful triplets!! Thank you for the amazing doctors and nurses who truly care about the well-being of our babies. Thank you to all my family and friends who have sent messages, called, helped with Noah, made us meals, and sent us gifts. We love you all!

Psalm 95:2-3

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.
Here is a little summary of the last 10 days:

Cadence (Baby A now)

- Birth weight: 1lb13oz
- The doctor's tried to remove the ventilator and put her on CPAP when she was a day old and unfortunately she did not take it very well so they had to put it back in. She got it removed today!
-She stays somewhere between 21-30% oxygen.
- She had an ultrasound on Wednesday and she has no evidence of any brain bleeds (Thank God).
- She is tolerating 3ml of my breastmilk every 3 hours.
- I held her for the first time on Monday and have held her twice since.
- She had a blood transfusion yesterday to prepare her for intubation (taking out the ventilator).
- She goes back and forth on the lights to treat jaundice.
- She has a large PDA in her heart (hole) and it was treated with a three-day course of ibuprofin. We find out tomorrow during her heart echo if it worked.
- She is back up to her birth weight.
- She poops and pees pretty normally.

Aria (Baby B now)

-Birth weight 1lb10oz
- Ventilator was removed when she was a day old but she had to get reinubated a week later. During that week, she was on a cpap mask because she is so tiny (it looked so uncomfortable!)
- I have held her once.
- She is now tolerating 4ml of breast milk every 3 hours.
-She stays somewhere between 21-30% oxygen.
- She goes back and forth on the jaundice lights.
- She has no evidence of any brain bleeds (thank God!)
- Her heart echo came back that she has a small hole in her heart. Doctors are going to decide if she needs to be treated with ibuprofin.
- She now weighs a little more than her birth weight.
- She poops and pees pretty normally.

Jude (Baby C)

- Birth weight 1lb14oz
- Ventilator was removed when he was a day old. He is now on the nasal prong cpap.
- He was the first baby I held and when he was 3 days old. Since then, I've held him once and Tim got to hold him yesterday (9 days old).
- He is tolerating 4ml of breastmilk every 3 hours.
- He stays somewhere between 21-30% oxygen.
- He goes back and forth on the jaundice lights.
- He has no evidence of brain bleeds (thank God!)
- His heart echo came back and he has a small hole in his heart. Doctors are going to decide if he needs to be treated with ibuprofin.
- He is a little above his birth weight but not quite 2lbs yet.
- He poops and pees normally.


The proud triplet parents right after the birth. There wasn't even enough time to change into a hospital gown!

Tim filling out 3 birth certificates.
We are taking over the whole room!

Discharge day for mom.  Noah was so happy.

Me kangarooingAria.

Me kangarooing Cadence.
Tim kangarooing Jude.

Me kangarooing Jude.