Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Babies Are Home...Life Since December 16th

"Before you were conceived we wanted you

Before you were born we loved you
Before you were here an hour we would give our lives for you
This is the miracle of life"

Gracie on left, Quinn and Harper
So tiring out of mama's belly

Hey Sis, these paci's are cool!!

Mama so tired & in love with little man 
At 5:05, 5:06 and 5:07 pm on Thursday December 16th 2010, our lives were changed forever. Many many prayers were fulfilled and answered with the first cry of our beautiful son, followed closely by the cry of daddy's little girls.. and not much after Scott and I crying like babies ourselves! (as a warning, this is a novel!)

At 35 1/2 weeks, we went in for our normal check-up w/ our Dr. - and as we sat in her office with my slightly elevated blood pressure, we knew today would be the day when our Dr. left the room to go "arrange things". I was for sure feeling different this week & with me heading towards a preeclamptic state, I was quickly talked into delivery since the chance of magnesium after delivery is high w/ preeclampsia.

So we find ourselves admitted and sitting back in the hospital..but this time, I am off trebutaline and just like that I go into labor with pretty strong contractions while waiting for surgery. I was so scared..not sure if I was scared of surgery or of three babies or sad that my pregnancy was over... but when it was time, I asked if I could walk to surgery, and off we go.. my first long walk since 27 weeks...

I won't go into details of a triplet c-section delivery.. but when you are laying on a table in a big white room waiting for your husband while your Dr. has a marker standing in front of 3 baby warmers asking " Alright Babe, what are the name of the babies so I can write them on the warmers?" - it goes from a pregnancy to a real life promise of three little people. Things went smoothly and my Doctors and many helpers were amazing.. however, the night wasn't my favorite of all time. I didn't respond well to the morphine and about itched my face off while being really confused in my recovery room.. I would wake up and think I was just still here on bed rest & wonder when we would take the babies heart rates. Then I would remember, oh yeah, they are here! And then I would look around and they weren't here. They got taken away pretty quickly and I was only able to kiss Quinn & Gracie on the face and just glance at Harper. I will never forget how warm and real their little faces felt. They were truly miracles. They were taken to NICU and we were given no information.. no weights, no updates, NOTHING! So hard! So eventually Scott and my parents went up to see them. And soon Scott came back down to tell my they were perfect and to announce just how healthy they were!! No oxygen and they were checking out totally perfect in every way!

Finally at midnight, in a gown, scratched up face from the itchy morphine and a puke bucket - I entered my babies room upstairs and for the first time touched and held the babies I had been holding and loving for so long. It was surreal. When we left I puked..partly morphine, partly heartbroken to leave.

The next morning was truly one of the weirdest days of my life. I woke up with no babies and Scott was in Fort Wayne to see his Dad, who had just been read his last rights. What a weird and awful twist of fate and circle of life. My hormones were down and I was craving my family. My mom and I got to go up to the NICU and when I got there, I met one of the lactation consultants. She was an angel..she rubbed my shoulders and never made me feel like I was crazy for wanting to feed 3 babies. ( I think if I carried them, I can try to feed them!) So my little trooper Gracie Jean and I finally got acquainted and practiced kangaroo care. Within 2 minutes she found her way and had latched on perfectly. The lac consultant said she had never seed a 35 weeker latch on that! Yeah! For the first time, I felt like a mommy. I stared out at the same parking lot that I looked at for 6 weeks while growing them, with Gracie latched on & sucking & swallowing (one of my many prayers we made it to the "suck and swallow age) and just had tears coming down my face. Every minute of bed rest worth it.

That afternoon our sweet Quinn and our peanut Harper came down to be with us in our room! It was awesome to have them with us, but really hard to not have our baby girl Gracie with us. We took turns visiting her and feeding her and feeding the babies in our room. Between the pain pills and chaos, the first night was a blur..but we did take advantage of the nice. I still got up every 2 hours to pump, but so nice to know we could sleep and they were in good hands. By 7 am, we both missed them so much and couldn't wait to have them back.

By Saturday afternoon Gracie was keeping her temp and keeping food down.. so finally we were a family all together! We had so many nurses coming in to just look to see the triplets that didn't have to go to the NICU

Headed home from hospital!!!
We got released Sunday at 9 am and we kept joking we will be here until 11:59 (insurance only covers until midnight on your 3rd day). Well, at almost 11:30, we are finally in the car. It was 33 degrees on the car temp, and as we drove home, my heart was so full to have my whole family in the same car! (Although a very funny scene, Gracie had to lay flat on a car seat bed because she "failed" her car seat test that checks oxygen levels for 90 minutes. So she was in the 3rd row with my mom sitting on the floor and Harper and Quinn sitting in the middle and me and Scott in the front. I think we drove 5 mph home)

It felt great to be home, but so scary. I never the knew the fear of a mother in your heart when you try to shut your eyes and all you can think about is checking their breathing, are they warm enough?, what if they spit up and choke..and on and on. So, needless to say, first night = no sleep. I was a walking zombie at our pediatrician appt. the next day. But all good news, no bilirubin issues and weight was good! And even better, we survived our first outing in the freezing cold. No showers and black circles, but we survived.

Are you my mama??
So enough about the first few days.. here is a little bit about our sweet babies that fill our hearts a little more each minute! And a quick side note about multiple spend so much time going over in your mind about the idea that you are having "triplets" and everyone warns you how much can go wrong with pregnancy, JUST how hard it will be (normally from mothers of singletons) and how tired we will be. how we should just plan for NICU, and you go over in your mind how will we ever do 3 at a time -- all the while forgetting you get the gift of 3 amazing and very individual children.  I used to think pregnancy was the best thing that you could experience, but when your baby or babies finally open their eyes, gain a little focus and look at you and you can say "Hi, I AM  YOUR mama.. who cares if you had them all at once and it's hard. It's a gift from God...and sometimes God gives you two, three or more times what you asked for.

Daddy and his buddy Quinn
Quinn Scott - weighing in at 4.15 lbs & 18 inches.. he is a gorgeous man. A dark haired and dark skinned little man that is a mini me of Scott. We call him our grumpy man because he always makes this scrunched up face like he can't be bothered. He started out sort of a lazy eater, but now latches on quick and can stay awake and breast feed with the best of them. He is just so sweet and I love looking at him & seeing Scott. He was the only warmer in view in the OR and I stared at him for the whole 20 or 30 minutes while they worked on me. I was in awe. I got to kiss his face before he went to the NICU.. very surreal.

Harper Jo & her long fingers
Harper Jo - 4.0 lbs and 17 inches Our perfect little fighting peanut. I felt her the most in my belly, and I had predicted she would be the feisty one. I saw her from a distance but didn't get to touch her in the OR, but I saw her right when she came out, and she was sucking her fingers and rooting her head within the first seconds of life! She has dark hair, too, and has the sweetest face. We aren't sure who she looks like!? Maybe my mom. She sticks her tongue out all the time or opens her mouth like a bird and often will just have one eye open. She just makes us laugh. She may be the smallest, but what she lacks in size, she makes up for in feeding (eats the best by far - breast or bottle, she doesn't care!) and in development. She was the first to open her eyes, the first to turn her head at our voices, the first to focus her eyes and look at us and the first to lift her head off your chest when you hold her. She is a little sweet pea and is just is as content as can be!

Happy Gracie Jean
Gracie Jean - 4.13 lbs and 18 inches. Oh our little Amazing Gracie. She is sweet as pie and melts your heart when she "smiles" but she lets you know when she isn't happy! Like I said above, she really likes to breast feed and if I'm holding her, she wants to "snack". She is the one that gave me confidence to keep going with pumping and fitting pieces of the puzzle together to breast feed 3 babes. She discovered her paci this week and when she drops it, you know! She spent a lot of time in my left hip during pregnancy, but holding her and looking at her dark curly hair with dark blue eyes, I don't care. She is happiest being cuddled & loves kangaroo care (baby skin to mama or papa or whoever skin)

Proud Papa 
Grandma and Harper Jo (has Grandmas middle name!)
We are now home and thankfully, Grandma Richards is here to help. We have systems down, that change and get perfected every day. We've been blown away with the way a little face will make a middle of the night feeding ok and the way a new development in a day will keep you going. Just another day in Paradise around here :)

Home for Christmas..all I wanted :)
I plan to keep chronicles of our sweet peas and welcome you to share them with us. May not be as "cliffhanger-ish" as the pregnancy, but I can't wait to print this blog and give it to each one of our they know just how much they, are and will always be loved and prayed for. Perfectly created and all here by no mistake!!

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