As I sit next to Angela's hospital bed watching a very small, snowy television set it is easy to lose track of what is going on in the real world. Our window to the world has been facebook. It's been the best way for us to see what our friends are up to.
I'm not one to throw around the word blessed very often but I truly feel that way lately. Our friends and family have been great. The baby stuff we have accumulated through showers is breath taking. I feel like we could open up a wing of babies r us when the boys grow out of all this great stuff.
Phone calls and visits to the hospital have literally been God sends. Not everyone can make it out here so facebook is the way we keep up with everyday life. It's a lot of fun to see who wishes everyone a good day and who is having issues with their cable and internet connections.
I rarely post status updates on my twitter account which is linked to facebook as well. Last night I decided to post the following message: still trying to wrap my head around the doc telling us that the end is near.
You see, a day or two earlier the Doctor told us that the signs are starting to point towards the boys making an appearance sooner rather than later. Angela wrote about it in the blog a few days ago and every day the doctors just continue saying the same thing.
In addition to the blog we have spent a lot of time on the phone explaining to people what is going on.
What I didn't factor in was that we haven't been able to talk to everyone and facebook hits a lot of people quickly.
It didn't take very long to start getting responses like - what? Huh? Explain please?
I felt everyone who really cared knew the scenario and I was just trying to state the things running around my head. One of the many blessings I've discovered is that even if they are only seeing us on facebook, people still care.
It's pretty cool actually.
So then this morning I posted this - to clarify-we are at 30 wks-goal is 34-doc say signs say next week or so.
Twitter limits how many characters you can use and 9 times out 10 I don't need as many as they give to get my point across. Sometimes you need more than that.
Things with the boys are going great. It's just some signs within Angela say her body is ready for the boys to meet the world.
Keep checking here because it may only be a facebook style update but I will post here when the process starts. It may take awhile for a "normal" update but I will do what I can to keep all our friends in the know.
Yesterday, Bob, the boys, and I finally made it to the 30s. Everything is looking great and the boys are growing like little weeds (at least by how they seem to be in my throat and my thigh at the same time). Thus, now we've earned the silver medal. I do like earning medals. We are starting week six of our time here at Baylor and things are moving right along. Tonight, Dr. Clark came in to discuss my shrinking cervix. According to him, we are starting to see signs that the end is getting closer and that he hopes we can make it to 32 weeks. Pretty exciting news. I'm definitely looking forward to getting out of here and taking my babies home with me. If I quit itching and the diabetes goes away, I think I might actually be in heaven.
The past week has been a pretty great one. My brothers came for the weekend, and my wonderful husband - the Brat King - grilled brats for the nurses and the family on Monday. I was actually allowed to have half a brat - it was the most delicious homemade item I've eaten in quite some time. My cousin Amy stopped by, and we were able to share our bounty with our neighbors who were here at Baylor with their son. Overall, it was a nice day full of family and friends, and it was wonderful to have Bob here all day on a weekday.
Wednesday, we had two visits - one from my aunt and my cousin's sons and the other from our high school youth group. It was so much fun to visit with everybody. I don't think that we've ever had as many people in our room as we did on Wednesday. Bob says that you can tell how much my spirits are lifted by company, and I definitely have been feeling great this week.
Health-wise, things are starting to settle down. I'm taking some pills to help with my itching that seem to work pretty well - I'm not itch free, but I am much less itchy. The endocrinologist has actually decreased my dosage of insulin after some lovely episodes of "bottoming out" (Bob said it was a shameless ploy to get to drink juice - I'd rather have a big shot of chocolate cake). This weekend, I had to do a 24 hour pee test which showed that I have traces of protein in my urine (this means that I could be showing traces of preeclampsia), so from now on, I'll have to keep my pee on ice once a week to keep tabs on it. The boys are getting much easier to monitor - they actually stay on the monitor for longer periods of time rather than trying to escape all the time (they do still kick like crazy at the monitors, but we can keep their heartbeats on for much longer). Tomorrow, we should be finding out how much the boys weigh and such, so that's exciting.
This weekend is also shaping up to be a good one. Bob's sister and her husband are planning on coming for a visit. We're pretty excited to see them since we haven't seen them since their wedding. Overall, life is looking pretty good right now.
Today is May 24, and Bob and I arrived in hotel Baylor on April 24 and our 34 week due date is June 24 - I guess that means that we are at the halfway point. Every once in a while I toy with the idea of trying to make it to July 4th because I think it would be a really amazing day for a birthday, but as I get more and more wobbly and my pelvis is screaming in pain with every shift I make in this lovely bed, I reconsider.
Lately, our biggest concern has been when will the boys arrive. As we've spent more time here in the antepartum ward, we've come to realize that nothing is certain and that the babies can show up any time they'd like. This, of course, creates a quandary for both our parents - my parents have scheduled a vacation during the prime 32 week point of our pregnancy and Bob's parents are not sure when they should make the trek out from California. I, personally, would not be upset if we delivered tomorrow, but I know it would be best for the boys if we cooked them a little longer. Bob is also starting to feel as though this whole process is growing old. It seems as though we're just in a holding pattern (which I have definitely come to recognize as I watch the planes landing at DFW fly past my window). I'm ready to get this show on the road as well, but instead, we will both be content to sit here in our home away from home with our mini-fridge and snack/underpants bag.
This weekend, both my brothers were in town for a visit. It was great to see them. Zach and his wife Mandy came to visit with her mother who is currently having some medical issues, so Zach came by the hospital on his own. It was nice to see my brother who is currently one-third of a lawyer and genetically closest to me. Joseph was in town as well because he's got Monday off from his new job at OU as a student facilitator for incoming students. I've enjoyed having him hang around and entertain us with his various comedy routines - especially the one about how I sent him and Bob to the fabric store to get more yarn for the blankets I'm making. It was great to have the whole family in the room, and when they came to monitor the boys, I pulled up my shirt and watched both of my brothers squirm in discomfort at having to view my giant belly. After my tasty bacon cheeseburger (the weekend grill cook is pretty amazing), I was rolled down to the cafeteria to enjoy dinner with my mom, Faith, Joseph, and Bob which was sort of like watching ravenous wolves devouring their young - unfortunately I could only watch, but apparently the food from Bucca di Beppo is amazing. I don't think I've laughed that much at a meal I couldn't eat in quite a while.
This morning, Bob attended the Sunday School baby shower for the three couples who work with the youth group and are having boys in the next month or so. He gave our camera to Jordan, a very sweet young lady about Faith's age who documented the events for me. My favorite picture of the day was her self-portrait. It seems as though Bob was a little unsure of how to conduct himself at a shower - i.e. not noticing that the wrapping paper for all three couples was the same and so was the shape, so open those at the same time as the other two, but he did a fantastic job, and the kids were so generous. I wish I could have attended, but I have to say that I'm more impressed with Carrie's appearance as she is scheduled to deliver her baby boy on Tuesday.
After a particularly rough night last night, the lovely nurses at the hospital arranged a special treat for the prego. I'm itchy from some kind of biosalt imbalance for which I receive pills four times a day, my body aches like I've been held hostage in a Chinese prison for the last 10 years, and I've learned that sitting up is the best way to sleep and not get kicked all night long. Anyway, not to expound too greatly on my grievances, I was a little out of sorts this morning, and Shelly mentioned that there was a whirlpool bath that I could use to relax and maybe have a little relief from all my aches and pains. After lunch (at which point, I experienced the joys of a diabetic "bottoming out" and had to have restorative OJ), I showered in preparation for my whirl. I had to dispense with all modesty, but the nurses helped me into the tub and filled it with warm water and started the jets for me at which point I had to remind myself that I was not in heaven. The water helped to ease the pressure of three little men jumping around in my midsection. I stayed in the whirlpool for so long, that when I left, I was extremely pruney and very relaxed. While I twirled about in the bath, Bob stayed in the room and "watched" the Ranger game with his eyes sometimes opened. This new treat is now available to me every day, but I think I'm going to save it for the days when things are really sore as I'm not generally a person who likes to take a bath after a traumatic incident involving my first apartment, roaches, and the bathtub which still gives me shivers to think about. Just knowing this option is available makes the scratching, aching, and restlessness a little easier to bear.
The thing Bob and I look forward to the most in this whole lovely hospital experience is the growth scan of the boys. We were supposed to have our scan on Friday, but the doctor was running out of time and postponed it until later. On Sunday as Bob and I were napping - sleeping double in a single bed (which is pretty impressive considering my frontal protrusion), they called us for a scan. We were worried that something was wrong, but Dr. Payne just had a little extra time on his way to the gun range and worked in our growth scan. Since learning about the whole diabetes thing, one major side effect for the kids is that they are generally bigger than your average baby. Well, let me tell you, we've got quite a gang growing in my midsection. This has led to my pelvis aching and my upper thighs betraying me as I try to walk to the bathroom along with the itchiest stomach in the world, but every little ache and pain is worth it as our kids get bigger and healthier.
As always, the doc goes in A,B,C order as he scans the kids. Baby A was right on track for his age at 2 lbs 10 oz. We were relieved to hear that. Baby A has been spending the majority of his time somewhere in my upper thigh and kicking me like crazy when I lay on my left side. He does not appreciate being squished by me as well as by his brothers. Then the doc measured Baby B which he proclaimed was our "porker" at a whopping 3 lbs 8 oz. Baby B's paternal grandmother has now nicknamed him "Moose" which cracks me up. I do notice that Baby B doesn't seem to move around as much as the other two - it must be his love of food (he's definitely my child) has limited his space. Baby C, who has been riding this whole pregnancy out on the top of the heap is 3 lbs 4 oz. He is my squiggliest child as he never stays on the monitor and is always moving around the top of my belly in search of mischief - most of which involves kicking at that elastic band on my pants. All three boys are looking good as far as their fluid, and Bob asked the doc if he was a betting man how many more weeks we have in us. Of course, no one likes to venture a guess, but he says he's pretty sure we'll make it to 32 weeks. That made both of us feel pretty good. Although things can change on a dime with all of blood pressure, sugar issues, etc that multiples bring with them.
After our trip to the scan room, Bob and I watched TV and took a wheelchair ride. We met my mom & Faith in the parking lot. It was so beautiful outside and even just a few minutes in the sun felt great. Bob forgot the keys to the car in the room and had to head back up to get them, so while he was on that mission, I painted Miss F's fingernails. Sometimes, it's so much fun to be the big sister. I am also crocheting blankets for the boys, and Faith wanted me to teach her how to crochet. I think by the time she left, she was starting to get the hang of it. I learned how to crochet in 4th grade, so it seems only fitting that I teach my sister how to do it while she's in 4th grade. Perhaps the most joyful moment of the day (of course excluding the Ranger's win) for Bob was watching my mom eat a lemon. She has always loved to eat lemons with salt despite the trauma this may cause to the enamel on her teeth. Apparently she got a really sour lemon as this picture shows. I must say, I haven't seen Bob jump for a camera that fast in quite some time.
Today marks a momentous occasion in the lives of our unborn children. By starting week 28, the boys chances of being healthy and normal have increased to 90% even if they are born today. On the triplet websites, they refer to 28 weeks as winning the bronze medal (we're hoping to make it all the way to 34 weeks so that the time the boys spend in the NICU is minimal). I am so elated that we've gotten this far. It's odd how small little goals make the time pass more quickly, so now it's on to the next - 30 weeks and the silver.
This gestational diabetes thing is pretty much a pain in the butt or more accurately a pain in the fingers and the back of the arms. Since doing the glucose test on the Sunday before Mother's Day, we've known that my sugar was unusually high - I was over 300 on a scale where the high end of normal is 110. For about a week, they tried just to limit my diet, then on Thursday, they started me on insulin. Currently, I am receiving between 270 and 300 units of insulin. The joyous way the doctors came to this conclusion was to spend all day & night on Monday giving me a glucose test via finger pokes every two hours followed by a dose of insulin. I have become a human pin cushion. My fingers hurt so bad the next day that I didn't even use my computer to play solitaire much less to answer emails or do anything that involved typing of any sort. Thankfully, today, my tips have recovered. There are still many pokes of various kinds, but now it occurs much less often.
As I sit here in my bed reflecting on the past couple of weeks, I have to say the highlight of my days have been all of the visits from my wonderful friends and family. I am awed and humbled by how many people have taken the time to come by and just hang out with us. To those of you who have come by or called, I just wanted to say THANK YOU. You make the days so much brighter. I feel sorry for the ladies on this hall who don't get company.
The past week has been a little more exciting than the previous one as it has been diagnosed that I have gestational diabetes (and perhaps I might have had diabetes before becoming pregnant due to my extremely high sugar numbers). This has resulted in the removal of pleasure from one of my great loves - eating. It's not hard to guess that I like food, but now I'm on a restricted diet that makes me feel like the cookie monster is growing inside me as they poke my fingers and administer huge quantities of insulin. Today, I had 4 graham crackers and a tiny little tub of peanut butter (about the size of butter or jelly tubs at Denny's) & it sent my sugar numbers over the moon. The doctor told me that it would take a bit to work out how much insulin and how many calories I need, but please, please, please tell me that one day I'll get to eat fruit again - because 2 grapes and a tiny cup of cantaloupe which I don't like does NOT count. I shouldn't complain because I know that things could be much worse, and it probably isn't horrible that I had to give up my secret stash of desk treats (the brownies, swiss roll cakes, and Twix I kept in my file cabinet as back up for hunger), but still, do they have to take away a girl's milk at breakfast and roll with spaghetti. Ah, the tragedy of eating "healthier."
On a brighter note, today was my first Mother's Day. Bob and I discussed not celebrating Mother's & Father's Days because we are only in utero at the moment, and I'm not sure it counts until you've changed a dirty diaper and taken a picture of your kid doing something cute. Despite this belief, there were many people who validated us as parents - I guess parenthood begins when you start to think of your kids first and yourself second (hence the reason I have been trying to eat yogurt and veggies). I received several lovely gifts - a plant, flowers, a plant to put in my Mother's Day craft project from here at the hospital, and surprisingly some things from my children. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, Bob took the boys shopping (on Amazon of course since he is violently opposed to stepping into any store other than a grocery store - and that is only by necessity). Today, all my boys managed to buy a card for mom & brought me stuffed animals of the Shrek Triplets. They are so cute, and I have them right by my bed so they'll be close. I also got a bracelet that will be engraved with the names of the boys and their birthstones when all of that info becomes final. I must say, I think I might have the best husband in the world.
Well, one of the things moms like to do is show off pictures of their kids. So, here are the latest additions to our sonogram pictures.
Here is our sweet Baby A giving us a good profile shot. This past week he seems to be hanging out somewhere around my left thigh, but if I lay on him wrong, he still manages to kick me like there's no tomorrow until I turn over.
This is the slightly cramped Baby B. If you look closely, he kind of looks like a squished alien, but I think that's because someone's hiney is resting on his head. Even so, as a mother always thinks - he is too cute. This weekend, as Bob and I listened to music, he was tapping his foot on my tummy to the beat, and Baby B kept tapping back. I guess this might be our little drummer boy.
Finally, Baby C giving us good face (in the words of Madonna). This guy is sitting on top of the heap closer to my lungs than my legs, and he certainly is trying to do his alien impression all the time as I feel him putting his butt against my belly and attempting to burst forth. Bob and I keep telling him that it's not time yet, but he doesn't seem to care about that. I do enjoy watching him make his way across my abdomen even if it does feel like he's trying to make a jailbreak.
All of the boys are very healthy and a little large for the stage that they are currently in due to my sugar issues. Every day, I get to hear their heartbeats and last week we got to watch the activity in their lungs. They are looking fantastic, and Bob and I are looking forward to Wednesday which will start week 28 (our first goal - there is a 90% chance that if the boys are born after week 28 that they will be healthy and normal).
Thanks for all of the prayers, calls, emails, visits, care packages - they really, really mean the world to Bob and I. We are blessed to have you all as friends.
This week Angela was granted wheel chair privileges which means for 30 minutes a day I get to take Angela on a spin around the hospital. It has been a lot of fun sticking her in corners and facing her towards blank walls. The thing about it is she is getting so stir crazy that she laughs when most think she should yell at me.
Even when I stick her in the corner of the elevator, hit the button to go to the next floor and leave the elevator. One day she'll be able to maneuver the chair well enough that she'll get off the elevator at another floor before it comes back down to me but for now she just laughs.
I figure that's a good thing because it ain't anything but fun to torture her.
One of the things that has suffered due to Angela being in the hospital for the rest of the pregnancy is house work. I do what I can but I can't justify to myself that I should be at home vacuuming or mowing the yard instead of being at the hospital with Angela. I've been trying to do my chores during my lunch hour but it takes more than an hour to do most of what I need to do. (The dresser took 3 lunch periods last week)
Up till now people have been pretty critical of me for not accepting help. It's been easy up until Angela checking into the hospital. There were only 2 of us, so doing all the housework was tiring but it wasn't difficult. Now I just don't have the time to do it all so I'm calling peoples bluff. If you are offering to help, let it be known, I am taking people up on it now. So, if you don't mean it, don't offer, I won't be offended.
The first person to get caught was Melanie. She offered to paint the nurseries and I called her bluff. You'll have to ask her whether or not she expected me to take her up on the offer but yesterday she came out to the house along with her neighbor Pam and her sister Margaret. In just about 5 hours they painted the two rooms, moved the furniture around, vacuum'd the house, cleaned out my fridge, took out the trash, cleaned the cat box, fed my dogs, almost lost the cat and from what I understand had a good time doing all of it.
This room here is the one formerly called the red room. I will move out the red furniture and start putting baby stuff in there as soon as I get some male help (Joseph and/or Stephen, that means you!).
Watch out folks, we've hit the time where favors are being turned in, I advise any and all to run for the hills.
To Melanie, Pam and Margaret, thank you very much. The three of you way over extended yourselves and we can't thank you enough.
Hi, I'm Faith, Angela's sister. I attend fourth grade. My teachers for homeroom/science/social studies/language arts and math are Mrs.B and Ms.McK. If you have ever heard of the M McK Foundation, that is Ms.McK's husband that died.
My sister is the one about to have triplets. When I first found out Angela was having triplet boys, it took me a while to take it all in. All I remember was saying,"What,they're all boys?"over and over again. Now I'm still a bit shocked, but I've gotten used to the idea. Sometimes I wish they were all girls because there will be no pink, but at least we get baseball. I wonder what you would have to do to take care of triplet boys. If you have any suggestions e-mail me using the site, and Angela & Bob will forward it on to me.
As our first week of hospital bed rest came to a close, Bob and I seem to have made some progress around this joint. Yesterday, Bob finished the dresser Melanie gave us, and it looks great. He said this one was much easier than the tall dresser which gave him fits. He sent me pictures, and the dresser looks great. I can't wait to see it in one of our two nursery rooms. Today, Daddy is going to the Home Depot to purchase two shades of paint for the nursery rooms. Our wonderful friend Melanie and her buddy are going to paint the rooms for us. We are so grateful to them. Since I haven't been able to go up the stairs in weeks and now I'm glued to this hospital bed, I figure the whole nursery is going to be a surprise for me.
Last night, Bob and I hosted a mini-birthday celebration for my cousin Amy who has reached the first of the unpleasant birthdays. (The one where you stop counting). It was nice to have her over and poor Bob was such a trooper as he sat in the room while we watched America's Next Top Model (I'm sure he's counting down the minutes until that show is over for the season). Since our scan days are Tuesday and Friday, my dad stopped by the house last night and let the pooches out to take care of business so that Bob could stay here. This meant another night on the tiny bed of torture. Bob is such a good sport because I KNOW (from staying with Beth) that those chair beds are about as comfortable as a bed of rocks. This morning, they came and wheeled me out to the scan room - which is quite a treat since it's the only time I get to see something other than this lovely room I've been placed in. Not only is it a ride out and about, but it is an opportunity to see the other ladies who are waiting for their scans. Most of them are here with twin babies, and apparently our reputation has made the rounds as I am referred to as "the one they told us about who has triplets." I guess even on bed rest, triplets are a novelty.
At 7 a.m., we saw Dr. Payne and he measured the boys. They are all looking good with lots of fluid in their sacs, and they are all over 2 lbs. Baby A is 2 lbs 3 oz, Baby B is 2 lbs 5 oz, and Baby C is 2 lbs 4 oz - this makes me feel good about the two pounds I've gained since being in the hospital - hopefully it's all their weight and not mine. :) Although, there are some very tasty cookies that make their way to my room everyday. Speaking of food, surprisingly, I have been less than hungry. Apparently my turb pump's constant drip into my leg makes me feel yucky and in turn, I don't really feel like eating (which for this large and in charge lady is almost a miracle). The shakes associated with the medicine seem to be getting better - not great but better, so that's reassuring. Hopefully my body will adjust, and I'll be back to eating and feeling like normal soon.