Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Birth Story - One Crazy, but very special day!

October 26, 2011

Georgia Dawn - 5:27 pm, 2 lbs, 9 ounces
Mickey Aaron - 5:28pm, 2 lbs, 11 ounces
Jolynne Marie - 5:29pm, 2 lbs, 6 ounces 

As you know, our beautiful babies came into the world on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011, quite unexpectedly at 29 weeks 6 days. Since I have not had much time for anything but I wanted to post a quick update and how it all happened. I cannot possibly summarize everything that has gone on in the last 5 days but we'll start with day 1 and I will update more once I have more time.

It all started with our weekly doctor appointment Wednesday morning. They were going to measure growth on all three babies and do the normal check on me, blood pressure, protein, etc. etc. To back up a little, our appointment last week at 28 weeks, 6 days went well. All heart rates were looking good as with fluid levels. They gave me a Rhogam shot because I am RH negative and also steroid shots just as a precaution if the babies came early, this helps develop their lungs. It was our choice to do it, the doctors did not have any concerns, it was just in case.

At our appointment on Wednesday, the u/s tech was struggling to get their measurements, but what she came up with was that Georgia was only 2 lbs, 4 ounces, which is only 8 ounces bigger than she was a month ago. I started to become a little concerned right away. The next thing they noticed was that her cord blood flow was absent at times, so there might be an issue with the placenta and maybe she was not getting the nutrients she needed to grow. The other two babies looked good. While we waited for the doctor, I told Tommy that they better not tell us "lets wait and see" because I knew I would just worry. Based on everything I researched all the babies should be close to three pounds at this point so her only measuring 2.4 really concerned me. Well, they didn't say "lets wait and see". The doctor said we needed to go the hospital where they could monitor me closely to see what was going on with Baby A. She said she didn't think we would have to deliver or anything but at this critical time period, we just needed to watch her.

SO, Tommy and I headed down the street to the hospital. When I arrived at registration, I was told I was being directly admitted, which I didn't realize, I thought I would go through triage, they might run some tests and then I might be admitted for further observation, but at that point I realized I was not going anywhere. I was a little worried at this point also about Pepper who most of you know started having seizures the day before. We were supposed to pick him from the vet right after our appointment but Tommy called and we got that extended until close of business. Luckily he was doing better, I just didn't want to leave him home alone in case he had another seizure.

So, they did another ultrasound which confirmed there was an issue with Georgia's blood flow. Not only was it absent, it was now reversed, which means it had gotten progressively worse. We waited hours to talk to a doctor, they told me I could eat so we finally had lunch at the hospital around 2:30pm, a nice juicy cheeseburger and fries...I was starving at this point, as were my babies. The doctor came in at 3pm and very bluntly told us that if we did not deliver today or tomorrow, we could lose Baby A and that since she is identical to Baby B and they share a placenta, we could lose Baby B. The only reason why they would wait until the next day is because I had just ate. (Well, they said I could, so I did, I was not expecting this!) But they wanted to run one more test to make sure she could make it through the night, otherwise, it would be that night! Tommy quickly left to get Pepper and drop him off. 5 minutes later the doctor came in and said "call your husband, we are doing it at 5pm"! It was 3:30pm! Tommy got Pepper and came back by 4:30pm. Meanwhile I was suddenly terrified. I thought I had been ready for anything for weeks, but apparently I was not. I was very nervous and feeling nauseous, not to mention, I had just ate a big juicy cheeseburger and was a little worried I would not be able to keep it down during the surgery, but luckily that turned out to not be an issue. There were lots of people coming in and out of my room, poking me and talking to me about risks, the details of how it would happen, etc., but I was there alone, shaking and I don't think I heard anything they said to me. Tommy got back, my mom was there briefly too before they wheeled me away to get started. The C section went as great as can be expected. I was shaking the whole time (its the strangest sensation to be completely numb from the chest down) but in the end, all three babies came into this world beautifully. I got to see all three of them and kiss their faces before they were taken up to the NICU. Tommy went with them while they finished with me and took me to recovery.

The first night all three babies were breathing on their own through c pap machines. They did very well with no issues. The next day Mickey had to be put on a breathing tube as his lungs were not as developed as his sisters. He is on room air with no extra oxygen but the machine is just helping him breathe a little. They dont know why he is a little behind his sisters developmentally (physically speaking), even though he was bigger than both of them. They think it might be that the girls had to fight a little harder in utero since they were sharing everything and he kind of had it made in there. He also has developed an infection and they are running more tests today. This has been going on a few days now.

Jolynne had to have surgery on Saturday, which I will detail in the next update. She is stable now, but in critical condition and this has been a set back for her. Saturday was a very difficult day for us to say the least. Georgia is doing fantastic and far ahead of her siblings at this point. She does not need help breathing at all, no infections, nothing so far. We are praying it stays that way!

As for me, I got an infection immediately following the surgery and was running a high fever for several days. This was frustrating as its hard to be completely present and focused on three babies while you cant get out of bed or think clearly with all the meds. Luckily I am doing better and got to go home yesterday. Now, I can be there 100% for my babies that need me.

The experience of this day is hard to put into words but this is the only thing I know to compare it to only in an opposites (positive) way. When my dad passed away, it was like something switched inside me and suddenly the world looked different to me and felt different to me, nothing was ever the same, including all the little every day things. I felt his absence everywhere. - Now that my 3 little angels are in the world, it is kind of the same, the world looks better and feels better to me, nothing will every be the same, only richer, and fuller. There is this light inside me that I cant explain. Its nothing I can touch but only feel and its absolutely wonderful.

These pictures are of Georgia - our rockstar. She's doing very well and we are crossing fingers it stays that way. We have already learned with her sister how quickly things can change in the NICU. Ironically, Georgia is the one they worried about on Wednesday and why they had to be delivered. Now she is the healthiest at this point.

This is Mickey - the stubborn one. He likes to do things on his own schedule, when and if he is ready. He is feisty, but I have been told they all are, which is a good thing to be in the NICU.

And this is Jolynne - our little fighter. She has been through a lot already. All the pictures of her are pre-surgery. The machine around her face in the pictures of me is just a c pap, the help inflate her lungs. She is still breathing on her own. Although since the surgery, she now has a breathing tube until she gets stronger.

More updates and details coming soon!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Peek a Boo

Look who decided to come out of hiding! Georgia Dawn! For the last couple of months she has been so low we could not even really see her head, but yesterday she decided to show her pretty face. Still lots of other body parts and such keeping us from getting a real clear view, but hey, we'll take it! The other two - they are not shy :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011

28 Weeks - Getting Closer to Meeting My Babies!

On Wednesday, Tommy and I had our latest doctor appointment so I wanted to update everyone on that. We also hit 28 weeks yesterday, if you can believe it! We are now in the home stretch! On Wednesday, the babies looked good. They did an echo cardiogram where they look at their hearts really closely for defects, not because they suspect anything, but because I guess these defects are more common with triplets. Everything they saw looked normal, thank goodness, but there were some things they could not see so they cannot check off the list just yet. Its very hard now that they are getting so big because there are always other arms and legs in the way of seeing what they need to. There really is not a lot of space in there and even though my stomach feels huge right now and very heavy, I still look down and wonder how 3 babies could possibly fit in there, but somehow they do. The only thing that was off as far as the babies go on Wednesday was Mickey's fluid level was 8.9cm and normal is below 8cm. The doctors don't seem worried about it, they said it could just be unexplained and when I asked how they knew it was unexplained, he said because he doesn't see anything else wrong with him, so I am doing my best to listen to the doctors and try not to worry but after everything we have been through, I am secretly worrying about it. If anything it would be a digestive issue because Mickey has his own placenta so he is not sharing, but if everything could go semi smoothly from here on out, I wouldn't mind one bit. I know things could be a lot worse, I have seen how bad they can get and I am very thankful my babies are ok, but I would be lying if I said I was not extremely exhausted emotionally and physically from this pregnancy. I am very, very tired, but very anxious and excited at the same time.

In my office visit Wednesday the doc said from here on out, my appointments would be weekly again. There are so many risks to mom and babies in triplet pregnancies, they need to monitor my blood pressure and a few other things very closely, so I will have office visits every week and ultrasounds every other week. We were basically told on Wednesday to be prepared for them to hospitalize me at any time moving forward and to make sure we are ready for that. I guess it is pretty common for triplet moms to have to spend at least some time in the hospital before the babies come, Actually, I think I am pretty lucky I have made it this far without having to do that. I know a lot of others who have been admitted at 24-25 weeks, so I guess I am doing quite well, considering.

So, we are at 28 weeks and once we get to 31-32 weeks, if I have not had the babies they will schedule the C section for no later than 34 weeks. That's less than 6 weeks from now at the most . Holy Cow! 34 weeks exactly would be Thanksgiving Day, so we will have 3 new Tommy and Kara babies by Thanksgiving if not sooner. They said to determine when to deliver, it is based on several factors, one being the babies, do they still have room to grow, are they showing signs of distress, etc., and two, am I doing ok physically. Is my body still handling the pregnancy well, my heart, my kidney's, etc. The doc said we could possibly go longer than 34 weeks but that it is highly unlikely. So, the message was clear, and Tommy and I are ready for anything at this point. My goal, again, is to make it to at least 32 weeks (at least) and I think I can do it.

Please continue to pray for us and the babies if you can. Now is a critical time where anything could happen at any moment. I am a little nervous about the C section as we get closer but there is no way around it. Please pray that all continues to go well for us and that the babies and myself be healthy.

I am including some pictures below of Jolynne and Mickey. Georgia is so far down at this point we cant really see her head anymore. But she probably looks just like her sister since they are identical. The first pictures are of Jolynne. In one of them her feet and legs are bent completely over her head. The other pictures are of Mickey, you can even see him yawning.

Monday, October 3, 2011

26 weeks

Today is Monday, October, 3rd, and I am 26 weeks 4 days pregnant with these guys (and girls). Today is my first day off work and on leave. SO far, so good. I have been really concerned about boredom but its to early to tell if that will be an issue for me. I am enjoying not having to worry about getting something done and just resting whenever I want. The last two weeks have been pretty painful for me. Standing more than a minute or two is very hard because of all the pressure. My knees are very sore probably from lack of exercise. My back is killing me. My upper back just from how I am sitting and then my lower back and hips from sleeping on my side. Sleeping on my side, all the weight is on top of whatever hip I am laying on so I sleep on one side until I wake up and feel the pain and then I turn to the other side. When I lay down even on my side I start to breathe really heavy. I need to find out if this normal but I assume it is. I think pretty soon I may not be able to sleep laying down at all. I say all this not to complain, but just to document what I am experiencing. One day, I will look back and read this and laugh and who knows maybe it will help someone else having triplets know what to expect.

The worst part right now is the cramping. I get it all the time, cramping and pressure. I have still been unable to go a full two weeks without either a trip to the doctor or to the OB triage at the hospital. Two weeks ago we were at the hospital for the cramping, they monitored me for contractions and checked a few other things and all was good. Last week at the doctors office I mentioned the pain again, not because I cant take it, because I just want to be sure the babies are ok and that its normal. The doctors say go to triage twice a week if you have to, with triplets you cant be too careful, you never know when things are going to change. I told him its hard because I have never been pregnant before I don't know what is normal and whats not, and he said even if you had been pregnant before, you are having triplets and its very different from a regular pregnancy. So, as much as Tommy hates our trips to the hospital, we probably have a few more by the time the babies get here. We have been through too much and I am not risking anything when it comes to these babies.

At our last visit the babies were growing quite well. Georgia was 1 pound 12 ounces, Jolynne was 1 pound 13 ounces and Mickey was a whooping 1 pound 15 ounces. Up until this point Jolynne has always been about a week behind and smaller than the other two and now she is only a ounce different than Georgia. All of their fluid levels looked great and they were moving all over the place. Its hard to get good pictures of their faces because there are arms and legs everywhere and so many shadows. There is just not a lot of space in there. If you think about it, that appoint. was a week ago tomorrow so the babies are probably all 2 pounds at this point, that's 6 pounds of baby, plus two placentas and all the extra blood and fluids, no wonder I can barely move.

I don't remember if I blogged about our tour of the hospital but I will summarize quickly. We got to see, the recovery area for after my surgery, the waiting rooms, the rooms where you stay if you are hospitalized before the surgery and the rooms where you stay after the surgery and then we saw the NICU. We saw the sweetest, tiniest babies and even though they were hooked up to machines, they looked precious. They were all miracles. I thought I would be scared to see them, but it was so reassuring to see how these babies were there beating all the odds and they were being taken such good care of.

This past Saturday Tommy went down to Tucson for a diaper party thrown by his family (so sweet). I could not go as I am not supposed to go on long car rides, I need to have my feet up and I get nervous being to far from the hospital in case something happens. I went over to my moms for the day so I didn't have to stay home by myself and we went down the street to get mani/pedis. When I was getting up to leave, I was bending over trying to pick my purse up off the ground and struggling a bit to do so. These two ladies were staring at me and commenting how difficult normal stuff like that must be and I said "yes, it is". They asked me the due date and I told them the usual spiel, I am 26 weeks but I am having triplets, I don't know when they will be here.We are planning on November as that is the average for triplets. One lady said she just had her baby in June at 24 weeks! She is still in the NICU at Banner Desert and told me the babies name. I swear it was one of the babies we saw during the tour. she said they are there every day and how wonderful all the doctors and nurses were there. She didn't have triplets but she has been through a lot.

So, as I mentioned Tommy had a diaper party on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who brought diapers and goodies, we will for sure need them. He brought me home some cake, hes a very smart man. He said we had 3 cakes, Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate, I said I will have some of all three :-).

I was looking back at some of the pictures I have posted on this blog and boy do I look tiny in some of them. I think in every picture I thought, how could I get any bigger than this and I did. I feel humongous now, I will post more recent pictures soon. The maternity pictures were me at 22 weeks, so that was a month ago already.

So, I have set two goals now that we are getting closer. The first is to make it to 32 weeks (at least) which would be November 10th, maybe I can go longer but things are getting harder for me, so I want to be realistic. the doctors say they will be thrilled if I can get to 32 weeks with triplets. And that would be about a 4 week NICU stay for the babies on average.

The second goal is that the babies need to all be weighing over 3 pounds. I think if I get to 32 weeks, they will be but you never know. There are all kinds of issues to worry about with preemie babies, but if they are under 3 pounds, there are even more.

The good news is, I am almost 27 weeks, and at 28 weeks, survival rate for babies born that early is 90%. I think Georgia, Jolynne and Mickey are pretty comfortable for now and I don't anticipate their arrival that early, but just in case I feel better knowing that.

The nursery as you saw is coming together nicely. We got the rocker/recliner last week and sometimes I just go sit in there in the quiet. It is my new happy place. The next step is getting all the little stuff and finding a place for all of it. I hope the babies like their room. I love it. I cant stay away.

Its weird to think we have made it this far. I have to admit I certainly was not sure if we would but I am so happy and feel so blessed to be at this point. I know I am super uncomfortable and not sleeping a lot but that's ok. Only a couple more months, if that and they will be here! I cant wait to see their sweet faces!