motherhood, Uncategorized

FAQs

Okay so for the sake of maximizing my time (because you know I have so much of it now with two babies all over me…) I decided to make this post into a Q&A post as an update. Here are frequently asked questions by people on what life has been like since bringing Aria and Zion home:

How is home life now that you have two of your babies home?!

EVEN BETTER THAN WHAT I IMAGINED IT TO BE! I honestly was so scared and anxious the couple weeks leading up to their homecoming, and I think the NICU nurses could sense it from me as they kept giving me reassuring statements like, “You’ll do great, mama! You’re going to rock this!” I thought my bravado was pretty convincing but apparently not. Anyway, I’m surprised and a little cautious to use this word to describe the past few days but here goes… easy. It’s been relatively easy. BUT I use it VERY loosely! It’s been easy in the sense of being in the comforts of my own home and doing things my way. Being in the NICU was a valuable but challenging experience. Think of it as an extreme boot camp in parenting. The nurses taught us everything we needed to know in taking care of premature babies, but there were very strict protocols for the sake of protecting their health and keeping them monitored 24/7. There was always so much going on with their team of providers constantly coming in and out of the room. Rooming in with the babies during the transition between discharge and home was also very helpful but uncomfortable. We weren’t staying in some fancy five star hotel. The bed was small and squeaky and we couldn’t even eat in the room or store anything in the mini fridge except for my breast milk. So when we brought home the babies, our nicu routine was still in full gear but we could lounge around in our pjs and do things our way. Our babies have been on a three hour feeding schedule since day one, so they have been great eaters and sleepers; and all we really needed to do was continue following the schedule that we’ve become so accustomed to during their nicu stay. So basically all they’ve been doing on repeat is eat, poop, and sleep. And when you have years of childcare experience under your belt, mommyhood is a pretty smooth gig to get accustomed to. I’ll take all the “easy” while it lasts!

So then how/when will you be able to see Clara at the hospital?

This was yet another big fear of mine during the transition phase. Who’s going to watch my two kids while I go see my third? And now that I’m 100% responsible and on my own in taking care of the two, when would I even find the time to go see Clara? Well, to be honest, we still have yet to figure that out and will just have to take it one day at a time. Dad went back to work today after being off for the past three months, which has been a huge blessing in and of itself. Our initial plan will be for me to go to the hospital to see Clara in the evening after Dad gets home from work to watch the other two.

Don’t you have family nearby who can help?

Yes, we are so blessed to live so close to both our families who can always come over and help us out. With that said, I don’t want to depend on them so much especially in the beginning while I’m trying to get my own routine down at home. I do like occasional visitors but for the most part I like to work solo and soak up all of my precious time with my children.

Any ETA on when Clara will be coming home?

Clara’s been working hard on making progress to join her siblings and us as home. Yesterday she was able to wean down on her respiratory settings enough to start breastfeeding! She was such a pro the minute she latched onto me and it gave me ALL the happy feels! She also has been gaining weight and is at 6lb now! We think it’ll be at least a few more weeks maybe even a month or so until she can finally come home.

How are your fur babies doing with the babies being home and taking up all your attention?

Charlie and Barkley have been amazing big fur bros just as I had expected! Charlie mostly keeps to himself and away from the babies (so basically his usual self), Barkley is who really surprised us. He’s already so obsessed with his new siblings and wants to give kisses and snuggles every chance he gets! I can’t wait for them to become best friends forever.

Soooo when can I see the babies?

We’ve been slowly and cautiously allowing visitors to see Aria and Zion, obviously starting with our family. I say cautious because we are still heavily in the midst of a very nasty flu season so keeping the babies isolated and protected are our number one priority. I’m SO ready for the winter and flu season to be over so I can bring my babies out and about!

Is there anything I can do to help?

Why yes, yes there is. We’ve been blown away by the generosity and kindness of family, friends, and even strangers who have been sending so much love towards our new family of five. God really opened the hearts of others and continues to provide for us through the sweetest and most unexpected gestures. We’re so blessed to be surrounded by a community of compassionate folks. My beautiful friend set up a meal train for us to help us get by during this new and busy season of our lives of which we are still transitioning to and from the hospital. These days if I’m too busy feeding the babies and doing chores, I totally forget to eat. So if you have a heart for cooking delicious meals SEND THEM MY WAY, because I will eat ALL the foods!! Click here to sign up for a meal – thank you times a million!!

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motherhood, Uncategorized

Homecoming part 1!

It’s been a minute since my last update but for very good reasons. So much has happened with our trio these past few weeks! Here’s the quick version of our recent happenings:

  • Everyone received their 2mo immunization shots. It was a rough three days for Aria and Zion, but Clara our strongest was barely phased by the vaccines!
  • Zion was circumcised, and Dad and I got to watch!! It was traumatizing for Dad to say the least…
  • I tried tandem nursing for the first time, and it was so amazing to be able to watch two of my babies at the same time!
  • I got to dress up for the first time in months and went to my very first Mom’s Night Out with a bunch of local triplet moms in my area. It was so much fun and encouraging to meet other mamas who have been in my shoes and survived raising three babies at once!!
  • And last but not least, Zion was the first to be discharged tonight after 82 days in the NICU!! Aria is not far behind and will be discharged on Monday after 84 days! Although they’ve graduated from the NICU we are rooming in with them in the hospital in a transition room until next weekend so we can stay close to their sissy Clara a little while longer! But by next weekend, two out of three of our babies will officially be HOME! I can’t wait for them to meet their fur brothers Charlie and Barkley who have no idea what’s about to come for them.

One down, two to go!!

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motherhood, Uncategorized

38 Weeks, NICU Day 60

“When it rains, it pours, but soon, the sun shines again.”

It’s been one heck of a week getting through the holidays of trying to maintain enough energy for the babies and the rest of our families. But we made it through the New Year in one piece, whew!

We rang in 2018 in the NICU next to our babies, and I got a taste of my first overnight feedings of waking up every three hours to change diapers and feed them. Needless to say, I was playing major catch up on New Years Day, and thank heavens for my awesome husband who let me get some naps in throughout the day in between feedings and our family visiting.

Zion has been having some issues with his breathing and after a chest X-ray we found out that he developed chronic lung disease of prematurity. We’re hoping that with steroid treatments and nasal drops he’ll be able to overcome much of the long term effects associated with CLD. It scares me to death with how bad rsv and flu season have been this year and with Clara having gone through an infection herself that Zion will be next to catch something. Thankfully our hospital has gone to a more restrictive level of lockdown due to the flu going around to keep our babies protected. We’re thankful though that besides this and some reflux issues, he has been a champ overall and growing like a weed.

We arrived at the hospital with a heavy heart and feeling a bit discouraged after hearing about Zion. Then we saw that our primary nurse who during her night shift had left us a gift! She had a little photo shoot with our babes last night and made us a little collage with the best quote to remind us that:

“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

These words can’t be more vital to surviving the NICU. It’s easy to become disheartened when you receive bad news after bad news that makes it seem like you take two steps forward and ten steps back. But when you dance in the rain, you focus on the good and learn to celebrate the little victories. Like seeing your baby “smile” in their sleep. Or when they’re able to wean Clara’s ventilator settings down each day. And when you realize how all your hard work, commitment, and lack of sleep has been paying off through your milk supply.

Another big little win goes to Clara who was finally able to get her breathing tube taken out this morning!! We’ve been praying and longing for this day to come for our little girl who has been through so much. It’s an amazing feeling to see her finally make some real progress.

Just a few hours after being extubated, Clara was able to move into the same room as her siblings! This is the first time all three have been together since birth! Being able to look at all three of my babies at the same time once again reminded me that I gave birth to TRIPLETS. Holy cow. It hits me all over again. Moments like this remind me that storms don’t last forever.

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motherhood, Uncategorized

Mixed Feelings

Today marks 50 days in the NICU, and people have started to ask me when our trio will be coming home. It’s kind of a trick question, because the short answer to that is “I have no idea.” One thing I’ve learned about the NICU life is to not get so hung up on counting down the days, because you can set all the goals you want for your thriving baby and have absolutely 0% assurance that that goal will be met the next day or even the next week or two.

There are different milestones each baby has to hit before they’re ready to come home; and there are many different factors that hold them back from being able to bring all three home at the same time (which by the way is not a common occurrence). Every baby must be able to “master” the suck-swallow-breathe coordination when feeding without having an episode for five consecutive days. They also must pass the car seat test where they need to be able to sit in a car seat safely for a period of time without having any breathing episodes.

It’s been so cool to watch each of our babies grow into their own little person and discovering their unique personalities and quirks about them despite all three being born on the same day. With that said, they each have been growing and progressing at their own pace.

Aria has been our biggest from the very start even in utero. As of today she’s a whopping 6.3lb nearly double Clara’s weight. She’s been breastfeeding like a champ since day one and is now breathing on room air (no oxygen assistance needed) due to being very stable respiratory-wise. She’ll most likely be the first to be discharged.

Zion has always been trailing closely behind Aria weighing 5.15lbs. He’s been prone to having more issues related to reflux and premature apnea but also eats like nobody’s business during breastfeeding time. He’ll most likely be the second to go home.

And last but certainly not least, Clara has had the most issues with her health as you know by now. Although born only minutes apart from her siblings, she is our little IUGR baby (intrauterine growth restriction). Weighing only 3.8lbs, we have seen more strength and spunk in her alone than we have from our other two combined. She’s our fighter girl because she’s gone through so much in the short time she’s been alive, but she lets us all know that she’s the epitome of tiny but mighty. Clara will most likely be our last one to come home as she has some catching up to do.

So with all that said, I’ve been having a lot of mixed emotions about my babies coming home. As excited as I am for all three to be together again, I also have a lot of anxiety about bringing them home and having to do it all “on my own.” Going back and forth from home to hospital each and everyday is not easy, but on the flip side it’s also nice having ’round the clock care from some of the best NICU nurses and be able to go home and rest at the end of each day. I feel like I should be more excited than nervous for their homecoming, but truth be told I’m scared. Extremely scared. Scared that I’ll be completely overwhelmed with or without help and have a total meltdown. Scared that one of them will have a serious apneic episode or catch a virus again and be rushed back to the hospital.

Fortunately, the NICU has been understanding of my fears and would never let them come home with me if they weren’t confident that they were ready to be off their care. They showed me their transition rooms that they offer to families before their little ones are discharged where parents can room in with their babies for a certain amount of time before they’re ready to go home for good without any monitoring. So hopefully with each baby being staggered I won’t be thrown into the fire with three babies all at once and be able to bring them home slowly and gradually.


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motherhood, Uncategorized

Welcome Back, Clara!

After spending 4.5 weeks at Riley Children’s Hospital, Clara finally came back to her siblings on Saturday!!! And although she is still working on getting back to feeling 100%, her panel came back negative for the virus! We’re so thankful and overjoyed that God heard our hopes and prayers of bringing her back before Christmas. Since she’s been back at Community Hospital and over the worst part of her virus, she’s been much more relaxed and happy. It’s been the most difficult thing as a parent to watch your child cringe and writhe in pain for a week. We’re so thankful for God’s faithfulness and His protecting hand over Clara.

Her transfer happened just in time as Aria and Zion just started breastfeeding a week ago, which naturally has been demanding more time and energy from me.

Breastfeeding has been the best and most rewarding thing about motherhood so far. I look down and I can’t believe that I’m literally feeding these babies with my body. I used to worry whether or not I’d be able to produce anything for my baby let alone three of them. So I was ready to be completely okay with bottles and formula knowing that they’d have to take bottles at some point regardless of how I’m able to feed them. The most important thing is that they get fed. I’m so relieved that I’ve been able to provide more than what all three of them need so far, and I’m hoping I can continue as long as my body will allow. Breastfeeding is beautiful. It makes me so sad that the world over sexualizes such a natural and essential thing, turns it into something sinful and makes us all feel ashamed and dirty for even thinking about them.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16

The Lord sees me and hears the longings of my heart. Even when I forget that He’s there and has my back, He does not forget nor forsake. He’s had Aria, Zion, and especially Clara in the palms of His hands even before they were conceived. God continues to use my littlest Clara to show me all the big things he can do in my life.


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motherhood, Uncategorized

Back and Forth

It’s been 35 days since the birth of our trio. 31 of those days have been spent going back and forth to two separate hospitals/NICU. Just when I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of this daily routine, it gets even harder; and I’m reminded all over again that the NICU life was never meant to be easy.

Last Thursday, Clara was all set to transfer back to our original hospital where she could be reunited with her siblings. But in true triplet fashion, I guess she didn’t want to go back and share mom and dad’s attention and got herself sick. Clara caught the metapneumovirus, a viral infection similar to the rhinovirus. As soon as labs came back positive for the virus as well as a urinary tract infection, Clara’s breathing became compromised and her vitals dropped immediately. Sam and I got a call in the middle of the night (something no parent ever wants to receive nor should) and were asked to come down to the hospital as soon as possible.

Bow as big as her heart

We were immediately met with a group of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists in her tiny little room all in yellow gowns and face masks. The tension and worry in the room was so palpable. Thankfully Clara’s heart rate and blood oxygen levels were able to come back up after a few hours with the aid of a high frequency oscillator that essentially did the breathing for her. I can’t even begin to express the range of emotions that swirl around you when you see your baby suffer. Beyond the overall sadness I feel every time I look at her and I see more wires than baby, I’m so frustrated. Frustrated that she’s had to fight so hard from day one and still can’t seem to catch a break. Frustrated over the unfortunate timing of her getting sick which prolongs her from being back with her siblings. Frustrated at the hospital and whoever the hell’s germs it was that gave this to her in the first place. Frustrated because I want to hold my baby knowing it would help her recover faster but not being able to even touch her because she’s in isolation. Frustrated that beyond pumping, there’s really not much else I can tangibly do for her at the moment.

Meanwhile, our other two rockstars Aria and Zion started breastfeeding this week! They continue to go up in their feedings and grow everyday. We’re trying our hardest to get sister Clara back with her siblings as soon as possible so our family can be together again!

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motherhood, Uncategorized

Making Progress.

It’s only been a week since my last update but it feels like a whole month has gone by. So much can happen in the NICU over the course of seven days, let alone 24 hours. It takes you on a ride of emotions where you’re constantly holding your breath until you get a slice of good news and you’re able to let out a sigh of relief.. only to reflexively put your guard up again just to brace yourself for the possibility of something else come up the next day.

Thanksgiving was a rough day to get through. I was feeling so much guilt and sadness over the fact that I couldn’t spend the day with my babies all at once. Having the baby blues and my hormones out of whack wasn’t helping either. The little crafts that our NICU nurses made helped brighten my day.

Thankfully the past couple days have been nothing but positive for all three babies. Aria and Zion are over 3lbs now and wearing clothes! My husband says they look like “real” babies now in their onesies–whatever that means haha. They are each feeding at almost 8oz of breast milk a day and getting hours of snuggles with mom and dad every day.

Clara has progressed leaps and bounds within the past week. She’s been working round the clock to catch up with her siblings and is now at 2lbs 1oz, feeding at almost 5oz of breast milk a day and lives for her snuggle time with us!

Yesterday we found out that as long as we keep seeing this rate of progress, Clara would be cleared to be transferred back to Community Hospital North and be reunited with her siblings! The chances of her having a tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) is looking fairly low and an esophagram would not be needed at this time. Praise God!! The doctors said they think the cause of her gas-filled belly may have just been due to a premature gut and because of her size, it just took a little more time for her gut to develop.

We also received news that insurance has approved for her transport back, which was another concern of ours. God has been so merciful to us in answering our prayers for our family to be back together again so soon. We have had an outpouring of family, friends, and even strangers reach out letting us know that Clara has been covered in prayer. It’s only a matter of time until they’re all home with us! Until then, we pray some more, wait some more, and let God take the reigns.

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