Wednesday, September 30, 2009

1st Night With Triplets & Baylee's 1st Doctor's Appt.

You would think the planner that I am, I would have figured out in the 4 months I was on bed rest how we were going to handle feeding three babies during the middle of the night. I guess it was denial and the feeling that we will deal with it when we get there....well, the time came last night. There we were, Brent, mom and I sitting in the living room at 9:30 looking at each other like, "Got any ideas?" We decided on a shift schedule. The triplets eat on an 8-11-2-5 schedule so two of us would get up to feed two of the shifts during the night at 11:00 pm, 2:00am or 5:00 am. One person would go get bottles ready; the other would start changing diapers. Each person picks a baby to start feeding and then whoever gets finished first feeds the last baby. It worked out very well we thought.
Brent is a morning person, I am not...especially when I am sleep deprived. He was very chipper on the way to Baylee's appointment this morning...I was not. :) But I felt much better this afternoon after a nap between their 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm feeding. I may have to designate those three hours my daily me/nap time while the girls are still sleeping after feedings and not sleeping through the night.
Today was Baylee's first doctor's appointment. When she was discharged from the hospital, she weighed 4 lbs. 7 oz. and today she weighed 5 lbs. 3 oz.! She's getting so big! :) She did so well at the doctor's office. She even somewhat tolerated the blood draw for regular testing while the nurse was tugging on her foot. I can't believe the girls are almost a month old ALREADY! Reagan and Addison will go for their first doctor's appointment on Monday.
I promise to post more pictures soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

They are all HOME!

Addison and Reagan were released from the NICU this morning! They are all home now and we are starting to get into a rhythm. In all, Baylee spent 19 days in the NICU, and Reagan and Addison spent 24.

After getting them home and feeding them, Grammy helped me place them all in one crib while they slept. I had to take a moment to just be in awe of what a miracle these little girls are and how happy and blessed we are to have them.
Baylee, Addison & Reagan

All three girls have been sent home with home monitors. Basically, they have little sensor pads on their chest that monitor their heart rate and respiration. Those sensors are hooked up to a little box that alerts us if their heart rate goes too high, too low or stops. Just in case...

More pictures to come as soon as I have a free hand to get my camera out. :)

To the NICU nurses, Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Patel:

Words cannot express how grateful we are for the wonderful care you gave our little girls during their stay at Hillcrest. It isn't easy to walk away from your children and trust that the person looking after them is treating them like their own, but you made us feel so comfortable while the girls were in your care. We slept easier and for that thank you, thank you! We owe you so much...much more than just the bill :). (That one was for you, Dr. Wheeler.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Baylee At Home...Reagan and Addison soon to follow

We have loved having Baylee at home! And I think she likes it a lot too. :) Her Grammy has been here helping to take care of her and she snapped this pic today while I was at the hospital with Reagan and Addison.
Baylee stretching out in her swing...

Her sisters have been doing great in the NICU, and we think they will come home very, very soon. They both weigh 4 lbs. 6 oz. as of last night.
Addison & Reagan snuggled up in their crib...

The best we can tell so far, this is the only physical difference between Addison and Reagan. Reagan has a small, red birthmark inside her left ear. It may or may not be a hemangioma, which would eventually just go away, but so far, if all else fails, we can use this to determine who is who.
Reagan's left ear...

We received the cutest onesies today in the mail from the triplets' great-grandparents, Mamaw and Papaw Chambers. They have the girls' names embroidered on the front. Thank you!

More to come when we get all three girls home!

Friday, September 25, 2009

They Love Each Other!

Holding hands...guess they made up after the hair pulling. :)

Addison & Reagan

So cute!

Baylee is HOME!

Wednesday evening Brent and I went to the hospital for "care by parent." Everything went very well and Baylee was discharged Thursday morning. She is home now and we are loving every minute of it. :) She did so great her first night home. She ate well, she slept great between feedings, she's such a great baby. The only hard part is that we still have Addison and Reagan at the NICU but they are still doing great! Reagan reached 4 lbs. yesterday! Today she weighs 4 lbs. 2 oz. and Addison reached 4 lbs. today! They are eating great and they are in an open crib together.

I know our girls are going to love each other and be great sisters, but I have to tell this funny story. Brent went to the NICU last night for Addison and Reagan's 8 pm feeding and I stayed home with Baylee. When Brent got there, the nurse told him that earlier that evening she heard one of the girls screaming and crying in the giraffe bed they were sharing. When she went to find out what was wrong she discovered Addison, fast asleep, had a hand full of Reagan's hair and she was tugging away at it. Reagan, of course, was screaming about the hair pulling. :) Ahhh, sisterly love.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Care by Parent...Baylee Coming Home!

Tonight, Brent and I get to do "Care by Parent" with Baylee. Care by Parent is where Brent and I stay overnight at the NICU in a room set up like a bedroom and take care of Baylee by ourselves for the night. If everything goes well, and we are confident it will, Baylee will be discharged tomorrow morning! All of the girls are eating well and gaining weight. Addison and Reagan are just a few ounces behind Baylee and won't be able to come home until they weigh around 2000 grams and are feeding from a bottle for every feeding. Right now, they are only bottle feeding 3 times a day. That could change to bottle feeding every other feeding as long as they keep eating as well as they are now.
We can't wait for Baylee to come home tomorrow! Her Gran will be here to help us care for her over the next few days since I will still need to be back and forth to the NICU for feedings with Addison and Reagan. Their Grammy will be here on Sunday help take care of Baylee for me until Reagan and Addison are home as well.
We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family! We love you all!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Two Week Birthday, Bottle Feedings and Baths!

Saturday marked the 2 week birthday of the Addison, Reagan and Baylee. The girls are doing great and progressing very, very well. As of today, Sunday, September 20th, Baylee is weighing in at 4 lb. 4.4 oz. Reagan is at 3 lbs. 12.8 oz. and Addison is at 3 lbs. 12.7 oz. Our awesome nurse, Candice, made the following cards for the girls to celebrate their 2 week birthday. She also took pictures of them and made the cards below.

Happy 2 Week Birthday to our sweet girls!

This past Friday was Brent's first chance to bottle feed Baylee since she was on two bottles a day. He did a great job! Baylee finished her bottle in no time.
Brent bottle feeding Baylee for the first time...

Saturday was also the first time Brent's parents Ron and Brenda (Grandaddy and Gran) were able to come into the NICU to hold Baylee. We won't be able to let grandparents hold Addison and Reagan until they are in an open crib like Baylee. Pretty soon they won't have to share holding time; there will be a baby for everyone to hold! :) Also, thanks to Dr. Wheeler, we are now allowed to have 3 visitors at a time in the NICU to see the babies but only parents and grandparents. Due to the H1N1 virus, they have limited visitation to the NICU to parents and grandparents only, which is fine with us. We feel more comfortable with the limited visitation as cases of the swine flu increase in the area.

Grandaddy and Gran holding Baylee for the first time...

Today was the first time we have been able to bathe Baylee. I had to sponge bathe her this afternoon because she hadn't lost her umbilical cord yet (which finally fell off tonight). Next time we will be able to put her in a bath.

Me bathing Baylee for the first time...

Baylee after her bath, feeling good and smelling wonderful! She is such a sweet baby. She didn't fuss and cry while I was working with her, she just peered out at us and when the water ran over her hair as I was washing it, she closed her eyes like, "ahhh, that feels niiiice."

We will most likely be bringing Baylee home before her sisters. She weighs more and is taking 38 mls for each feeding whereas Addison and Reagan are currently taking 35 mls. As of today, Baylee has been moved up to bottle feed for every other feeding. The next step for her will be a bottle for each feeding. Things are looking good for us to bring her home in the next week or so...we HOPE! Her sister's won't be far behind her, they are also gaining and their feedings have been going very well. Reagan downed her feeding from me tonight in 10 minutes. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Co-Bedding and Grammy Holding Baylee!

Today was the first time we have been able to bottle feed the girls. They all did so well that they are letting us bottle feed twice a day starting today!
Today was also the first time Grammy was able to hold the girls. Since Baylee is in an open crib, we can hold her at any time for as long as we want and that includes grandparents. :) Mom was so happy!
Grammy holding Baylee for the first time...
Addison and Reagan also started co-bedding this morning and it is just about the cutest thing you have ever seen! Immediately after they were placed in the same bed together, Addison reached out and grabbed the front of Reagan's onesie and held on. It wasn't that long ago that they were in much closer quarters. At least now they have a little leg room. :)

Addison holding onto her sister...

So sweet...

With their puppies and a picture of their sister in the background...

In case you are wondering how they are keeping Addison and Reagan apart, everything is color coded. Addison is red and Reagan is purple.

As soon as Addison and Reagan are big enough, all three will be able to co-bed together in a crib.

I am looking forward to tonight when Brent will have his first chance to bottle feed one or two of the girls. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bottle Feedings, Open Crib and Co-Bedding!

So many great things happened today, I don't even know where to start! All three of the girls had their first bottle feedings this afternoon and they did great! Baylee finished 35 ml's in 20 minutes, Reagan finished 33 ml's in 20 minutes and Addison finished 33 ml's in 15 minutes! Way to go girls!
Here are some pictures of things our nurse, Candice, put together for the girls to celebrate the momentous occasion!

Baylee is now in an open crib because she has reached the required weight and is able to regulate her own temperature! So she will no longer be enclosed in one of the giraffe beds. Reagan and Addison may be able to start co-bedding tomorrow! They will be placed together in one of the giraffe beds until hopefully, all three will be able to co-bed once Reagan and Addison reach the required weight.
As of tonight, Baylee is back at her birth weight of 4 lbs. 1 oz.; Reagan is over her birth weight at 3 lbs. 11 oz. and Addison is close to her birth weight at 3 lbs. 11 oz. Reagan and Addison seem to be in a battle to see who can gain faster, they are neck and neck!
Since the first bottle feedings with their nurse went so well, I get to bottle feed them once a day. I will start that tomorrow morning and then Brent will get in on all of the fun on Saturday.
Also tonight, our nurse walked over as we were packing up to leave and held up a small, plastic baggie and said, "Do you want to keep this, it's Addison's umbilical cord." I guess I looked at her like she was crazy, because she just started laughing when I said, "People actually keep that?!" She said some people do and others just say get rid of it. Now, I am in the camp which would not prefer to keep something that looks like a gross scab for a scrapbook or memory box, but hey, to each their own. But of course, Brent chimes in, "Let's keep it!" So we will see how Grammy reacts when I pull out the baggie tomorrow morning in an offering for Addison's scrapbook. I honestly don't think I missed out on not having my umbilical cord remains to look at when I grew up and I don't think Addison will either.

Each day seems to bring new progress for the girls! We are so thankful and grateful to God that they are thriving and we can't wait to bring them home. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Daddy's Little Girls

Brent had his turn holding all three girls last night in the NICU. They slept so peacefully and after a day at work, it was just what Brent needed.

Proud Daddy!

Addison, Baylee and Reagan with their Daddy

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Update and New Pictures!

The girls are doing so well! They are now at the "feeding and growing" stage in the NICU and they are gaining every day. :) They are all up to 30 cc's for each feeding (equal to 1 ounce) and are able to wear clothes because their IVs have been removed. They no longer need the IV fluids because their feedings have been increased. They are currently off of the photo therapy lights and each time we go see them they open their eyes and gaze at us more and more. We are so happy!
Yesterday evening, Brent took a few pictures of the girls in their clothes.
Addison - 09.14.2009

Reagan - 09.14.2009

(It looks like she has a tube in her mouth, but it is just the way she is laying)

Baylee - 09.14.2009

Then, this morning, when I arrived in the NICU to hold the girls before their 11:00 am feeding, our awesome nurse, Lindsey, (thanks again, Lindsey!) told me she would let me hold all three girls at the same time if I wanted to. Of course I did! She hooked up some mobile monitors to Baylee and Addison and brought them over to Reagan's bedside where I could hold all three of them. It was the best feeling to have all three in my arms sleeping soundly as I rocked.

Mommy with my little sweeties! Addison is peeking at Grammy taking the pic. :)

Reagan - 09.15.2009

Baylee - 09.15.2009

Addison - 09.15.2009

Hopefully, Brent will get his turn holding all three tonight.:) As long as all of their tube feedings keep going well as the amount is increased, they will start working on bottle feedings as the next step.

I will keep everyone updated as they progress.

Thank you so much for the prayers for our little girls!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another Day in the NICU...

Just as we had hoped, Addison followed her sisters and had her last line taken out of her belly button today so we were able to do Kangaroo Care with her today for the first time. All of their feedings have been increased and they are slowly gaining weight. Progress! Progress!
Kangaroo Care with Addison

Close up of Addison during Kangaroo Care

Brent had his turn at Kangaroo Care with Baylee this afternoon.

Kangaroo Care with Baylee

Baylee snuggled up in Daddy's chest hair :)

My turn with Reagan

The girls are one week old today. Their nurses put up these signs next to each of their beds.

Happy 1 week birthday precious babies!

New Pictures Of The Girls

Yesterday, after Baylee and Reagan had their last lines and oxygen removed, our wonderful nurses took the opportunity to take some close up shots of the girls while they didn't have any tubes or wires on their faces. They printed out copies for Brent and I to take with us and then they pasted a copy of each girls' picture inside their sister's bed so they can see their sisters all day. We have the best nurses! Thank you Kristi and Kaci!




The view from inside Baylee's bed with pictures of her sisters, Addison and Reagan

Kangaroo Care!

Another great day for the girls today!
Both Reagan and Baylee had the last line from their belly buttons removed and they are completely off oxygen! Yeay! Addison isn't far behind. She received a blood transfusion with Brent's donated blood today to try to help clear up a small heart murmur she has. Brent is a perfect match to all three of the girls and he directly donated blood to them so they could have it if needed. We hope Addison will be off her oxygen and have her last line removed soon after her blood transfusion.
Having Reagan and Baylees' lines removed meant we could start kangaroo care tonight. Kangaroo care is skin-to-skin contact with the baby. We open up our shirts and lay the baby on our chest and warm them with our body heat. They can feel our heartbeat and it is a great way for us to bond with the girls. We are allowed to do kangaroo care twice a day for 30 minutes.
Before we went to the hospital for kangaroo care, Brent took me out to dinner while the NICU was closed for their shift change. It was the first time I had set foot in a restaurant in 4 months. It was wonderful. We had a quiet corner to ourselves and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
I did catch myself thinking one that I am a mother, am I still allowed to be annoyed by people not controlling their children in public? Is there some parenting code where you have to be understanding even when the parents' of that child have completely zoned out and just don't care what their little angel is doing all over the restaurant? Hmmmm, you tell me.
Anyway, we were really looking forward to holding Reagan and Baylee tonight. We can't wait to get Addison in on the kangaroo care as soon as possible.
I have added some pictures of kangaroo care as well as some shots of Reagan and Addison without all of the tubes and wires after their CPAPs were removed.

Kangaroo Care with Baylee

Kangaroo Care with Reagan

Reagan after CPAP removal

Addison after CPAP removal

Brent and I will be spending the next few days of the weekend mostly at the NICU. I am still recovering from my c-section, but things are improving quickly. The most bothersome thing to me right now is my swollen feet, ankles and calves. I pretty much have huge cankles and there isn't anything I can do about it except for keeping my feet up and limiting my activity on my feet. I am trying to rest as much as I can, but it is very difficult when I want to be with the girls as much as possible in the NICU. Ahhh, guilt...part of being a parent, right? ;)

The triplets will be one week old tomorrow. :)