Yesterday, the boys had their one month doctor's appointment, so Bob and I loaded up the suburban and took the family back to Grapevine. It was our first outing with the boys, and it took MUCH longer to leave the house than I thought. It probably would have gone more smoothly if I had gotten up earlier, but that seems to be the story of my entire life. Since we have switched from feeding every three hours to every four hours, we now start the round of eating at 9 which meant that Ryan finished up at 10:30 - the time we needed to leave the house to make it to the appointment on time. I ran very quickly to change my clothes and pack the diaper bag with essentials while Bob adjusted the straps on the car seats since we hadn't had the boys in there since Michael left the NICU. I hopped in the car, we pulled out of the driveway, and I realized that I forgot to grab baby blankets, but being in Texas in July, I thought, "no problem, they'll be okay." Bad mommy. I forgot about air conditioning, and when I ask you, when in the history of Texas has there been a day in July that was in the 70s? Oops.
James waiting for the doctor, patiently.
Mikey hanging out in the waiting room.
The visit to the doctor went very well. Everyone is getting so big! James is 6 lbs 6 oz, which puts him in the 3rd percentile for growth (Dr. G was very excited by this). He has a really big hernia in his belly button, so we are going to see the pediatric surgeon on Monday. Michael is 8 lbs 10 oz and is doing exceptionally well. He has started to projectile vomit which freaks me out. Thankfully, he only does this occasionally. I burst into tears the first time he did it - pretty scary stuff for a mom. Ryan is also doing well. I think he's overtaken Michael as the "moose." He is 8 lbs 15 oz. I can't believe my baby is almost 9 lbs. He is eating 4 1/2 oz a feeding, and Dr. G was really impressed at how well he is doing.
Dr. G's office is across the hall from Graham and Payne's, so we had to stop by and say hello. It was wonderful to see the girls. Pam was there, and she was my crying buddy - every time something a bit startling happened like getting put in the hospital, on bedrest, or begging to be put out of my misery and deliver, Pam would cry with me. It's good to have a crying buddy. Bob was very impressed that all of the ladies did the mommy sway at the same time. He took a video of the rocking. Ryan did a little work with Tamara - nothing wrong with a little child labor.
A baby for everyone!
Ryan hard at work.
After we left Graham & Payne's, we tried to stop by Dr. Clark's but his office was closed for lunch. Of course no trip to Baylor would be complete without a stop by the second floor. Melinda and Shelly were at the desk, so we wheeled the boys up for a visit. Only Ryan was awake, so he got all the lovin' attention. It was great to see them. We also stopped by the NICU to say hello.
By the time we headed back home, it was around 2, and we had missed the 1 pm feeding. The ride home was pretty smooth after James and Ryan had a little snack (Mike had a snack at the doctor's). It was a pretty great outing although it lasted a little longer than anticipated.
I've just finished the 1 am feeding (yippee, we just transitioned to four hours between feedings) and pumping, and I am about to take the boys back into our bedroom. While I sit here on the couch, I must say, that my children are extremely noisy. They are all sleeping, but it sounds like they are being beaten or are having to do some serious straining to push poop through their systems. They are noisy eaters too. Next time we have a chance, I'm going to make Bob video so that the kids believe me when I tell them that they sounded somewhat like a chorus of grunting pigs when they were little. You have to have proof of this stuff. The faces they make to go along with the sounds are pretty entertaining as well. Do you ever get tired of admiring your kids once you become a mom? I hope not.
Yesterday we got the boys all gussied up in matching outfits and prepared them for their 1 month old picture. As I mentioned when we posted it on the site yesterday, it's a great idea that we completely stole from the Hutton House which you can get to by the link on the right. They pose their twins girl every month in the same chair so you can see how they grow.
The actual one month picture is pretty good but I found it pretty comical in how we got that picture since the boys can't hold themselves up. Here is the behind the scenes video of that.
That also meant the great grandparents needed their picture with all the boys, here is their Great Gandfather behind the scenes. As Angela wrote yesterday, he normally isn't too fond of holding little ones while they are so small.
Then we had to get a solo shot with him and Ryan, whom we named him after. Ryan's middle name is Campbell, Great Grandpa's last name.
Of course that meant Great Grandmother was not going to be left out.
And my mom, Grandma Newhouse certainly had to get in on the action as well.
As we approach the one month birthday of our three musketeers, my grandparents were finally able to come and see the boys. After weeks of waiting on doctors and nurses to call them back, Grandma (who has yet to find a great-grandma name) and Popo Gejo (who has a unique name to start) hopped in their pearly white convertible and headed to Haslet. I know that both of them were eager to come see their first great-grandkids, and Grandma was dying to be able to hold a boy or two (or three). Since they have arrived, I think she's started to get her baby fix, and Popo is still trying to stick to his no holding babies until they reach six months (although somewhat unsuccessfully).
We were lucky enough to convince G & PG to stay at our place for a day or two before they head over to Mom's place to stay. It gave us the opportunity to move upstairs and try the boys out in the nursery with monitors rather than keeping them in our room. Although I'm not quite ready to move the kids out of our room, I think they did pretty well in their own room. We were down the hall with the video monitor Zach & Mandy got us (thanks guys) on and Kathy slept in the adjoining room just in case. For the most part, things went really well. Last night, at the 2 am feeding, my children tried to challenge my motherly skills for all they were worth. At 2, when I peeked in the bed, James was asleep and Michael had his eyes half open. I thought that Mike would continue to sleep since he looked peaceful, so I warmed the bottles and changed James' diaper and clothes (apparently even if you point the pee shooter down, it has a mind of its own and will go off in various directions soaking said pee shooter owner's clothes). I had moved all of the newborn stuff downstairs, so I grabbed a 0 to 3 months onesie that Bob had gotten me as a Christmas gift - the Cowboy outfit. Things were going just fine, James was eating, I was rocking him in Lain's rocking chair when Michael started to scream. I decided to grab Mike and sit on the floor with the boys on my lap and feed them both. It was challenging but working when guess who started screaming as well, yep Ryan. So, I laid the boys on the floor, grabbed Ryan and his bottle and attempted (somewhat poorly) to feed them all. I held James and put Ryan and Mike between my feet and propped their bottles on my feet. It was comical but seemed to work well enough to get everybody a little food in their tummies so that I could finish feeding them one at a time. Apparently, Michael and Ryan had pooped up a storm. It was coming out the sides of their diapers for both of them. I made it through, but it was kind of challenging.
James & Michael with Grandma Newhouse
Daddy & Ryan
James checks out the whale while wearing his Cowboy duds.
Michael breaks free.
Napping on Mom & Dad's bed.
After passing out in the bed at 4 am, I slept until 10, then headed downstairs to celebrate our babies one month birthday. In honor of said birthday, the cameras came out in full force. Here are some of the better shots.
Grandma Newhouse and the one month olds.
Popo Gejo breaking his rule to pose with the boys.
Grandma enjoying getting her hands on all three boys at once.
July 22 is a very important day in our world. Bob has it engraved inside his wedding ring just in case he might forget. This is our third anniversary, and our best one yet. On our first anniversary, Bob gave me a palatial home that could house triplets. On our second anniversary, Bob gave me an "heirloom quality" dining room table which I lusted after for months and is currently the most expensive item in our home. For our third anniversary, Bob outdid himself again and gave me three beautiful boys that are healthy and now a month old! I don't know if all wives feel this way, but I'm pretty sure I'm the luckiest girl in the world with the best husband. It's hard to believe that it's been three years while at the same time it seems like forever and that my life didn't really start until I met Bob. Happy Anniversary, my love! Three years ago this was the best day in my life (only recently surpassed by June 24 this year). I'm sure that this year together will be the best one yet.
This past week, Bob has been fulfilling his fatherly duties and transferring the videos we've taken into computer friendly formats. Some of the videography leaves a little to be desired, but there are some gems amongst the raw footage.
Here are all three Newhouse boys leaving the hospital for the final time. Some lady in a yellow shirt is so excited to leave with all of her children that she has a small breakdown that her mother tries to capture on film - not cool.
On Saturday, we had our first photoshoot. Apparently triplets are quite challenging and take three hours to get just a couple of poses. Also, no one tells you that those naked pictures that are so cute result in lots of flying pee (literally). There were many golden showers but some cute pictures (I hope). It was necessary to be very quiet while we attempted to get the right shot, so there is not much conversation. James is in the middle, Ryan is on the left, and Michael is on the right.
At some point during this shoot, Ryan peed on James. I'm not sure what he did to deserve it, but I'm sure that Ryan had good reason - if nothing else, he's paying him back for shooting pee all over Grandma Kathy and hitting Michael (who was innocently laying on the blanket) in the head with his stream.
To Each and Everyone We Encountered Over the Past 3 Months at Baylor Grapevine,
Prior to April 24th my knowledge of hospitals and the people who worked in them was fairly extensive, if limited in its sources. What better places to learn from than St. Elsewhere, ER and Grey’s Anatomy? Basically hospital life can be summed up like this – in order to work at a hospital you must be a hard ass, you can’t let yourself care about the patients and can never show feelings. They must not be very good teachers because in every group of those doctors and nurses a few of them fight that edict and show some heart, but those are few and far between.
When Angela was admitted to Baylor Grapevine on that Friday morning for what became an 11 week odyssey for our family, my hope was for us to be very boring and not have to break the doctor and nurse code of getting them to feel for us. Because again, it seems when that happens, when patients get too close to the staff, something horrible happens.
Or at least it does to the patients that Dr. Carter and Izzie deal with.
Tuesday was the first day in 11 weeks and 2 days that Angela and I were not at your hospital, and while it was great not to be there, it was sad not to see the staff at what we now call a wonderful place.
We’d laugh when Angela would call it Hotel Baylor, but that place is better than any hotel I’ve ever been at and that is because of the staff.
I’ve been saying the last couple of weeks that if there is someone who adheres to the TV code of hospital staff conduct, we did not meet them. We never even encountered somebody who seemed to be having a bad day.
I mean no one.
We got to know almost everybody who came to the ante-partum area of floor 2 or later into the NICU on that same floor and down to the gift shop and cafeteria. Not only did we get to meet and interact with you, you got to know us and treated us with utmost respect.
I kept trying to remind myself that we aren’t special, we aren’t the only ones who have been put on hospital bed rest and then spent a few weeks in the NICU. It happens more than we think and often with more traumatic endings.
But you made us feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel and helped prevent a depression that could have very easily set in for both of us.
I apologize now because I am horrible with names, so if I don’t mention your name, hopefully you still realize how important you were to us. Here are some of things that I hope I don’t forget when I look at Angela and my boys who have all come out of this healthy as can be.
The many smiles and hello’s I received every time I walked past the desk into room 13. Desiree and Shelly talking Rangers with us and telling us stories about the outside world, Kyle talking about your sister who had triplets which is what brought you into nursing, Phoebe always telling us how great Angela is doing, Whitney making Angela smile with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day crafts, Megan’s smile as she made me feel better when I left late at night and wasn’t sure Angela was being honest about her pain. Maria making sure I had an ice tea every time she brought food and that Angela didn’t get any more yogurt.
Mama’s great burgers and cheese steaks, Rhonda and Tamara’s ability to tell us how they’ve seen it all with a smile and that Angela couldn’t be doing any better. Becky, Rhonda and Erin who each had our boys at birth and helped them through their first hours of life while repeatedly showing me how to change a diaper and not snapping at me as I kept screwing it up.
Stephanie, Rhonda, and Renee helping guide us through the last days of the NICU making sure we didn’t get too excited about them coming home early while making sure we were ready for it when it happened. The lady in the cafeteria who always asked how the boys were doing and made sure me and my dad were being taken care of properly.
I can’t say enough about Dr. Moser, Dr. Graham and Dr. Payne. It took us a bit to get used to the bam, bam style of the Dr.’s in the hospital but each one of you took the time when appropriate to make sure we understood what was going on and to assure us things were going well.
No one did that better than Dr. Clark. Angela always laughed that you seemed to come in as we were watching the Rangers and took the time to check out the score during the consults. That makes us smile, but more importantly, you took the time each and every day to answer every silly question we could think of and I’m sure we came up with a lot of them.
Tammy, Melinda, Kaley, and the daytime weekday staff. I didn’t have much experience with you since I was at work, but Angela considers each and every one of you as a friend and I’m not sure I could ask for much more than that. Having you there the day of the birth and afterwards as friends instead of staff has been a blessing that makes me damn near tear up as I think about it now.
As I made the 40 minute drive from Haslet to Baylor on a daily basis, I couldn’t help but notice on the GPS that I was passing at least 3 hospitals every time. I’m sure those are great places and we would have had a similar outcome there but I’m glad we didn’t have to find out.
Your smiles, patience, expertise, professionalism, faith and grace made our family as we know it today.
How cool is that?
On behalf of Angela, James, Michael and Ryan, I just can't thank you enough.
...when you're talkin' in your sleep. Being a new mom of triplets has lots of perks surprisingly. Both our moms are new grandmas, so they are more than willing to take a shift or ten with the babies. Today, my mom stayed with the kids while Bob, Kathy, and I took a small hiatus from reality at the movie theater. Right now, the boys are very easy to deal with for the most part. A typical day consists of a three hour "rotation" as Bob has termed it. We start with James - the first born always gets to be first. We change his diaper, feed him, burp him, snuggle him in thirty minutes or less then it's on to Michael and finally Ryan. Luckily for the most part, the boys know their schedule. They are usually awake a few minutes before and fall asleep soon after their time is over. So for every three hours of our cycle, an hour and a half is just watching them sleep. As Bob says, it's kinda boring, but we're both sure that sooner or later these little munchkins are going to wake up with a vengeance.
As of this moment, we are splitting the shifts at night so that Kathy does the 11, I do the 2, and Bob does the 5. This means that I have yet to have to get up for all three night time feedings. It's good, and it's bad. I don't wish for less sleep, but I do worry that I wont hear the boys cry when I'm on 24/7. Occasionally, the boys do make some noise during the night. Ryan talks in his sleep (much like his mother). He just holds a conversation in his dreams or something, and it's very cute to listen to during the day, and I think that I can identify it at night. Tonight, uncharacteristically, he was up over an hour before his time having made me a present of a serious poop. Bob had noticed before bed that Ryan hadn't pooped in two days, but I'm here to attest to the fact that all systems are go, go, go. Usually, our mid-night crier is Michael (in true middle child fashion). He wakes up and wants his pacifier. Tonight, he woke up because he needed burping. Bob did some kind of tuck and roll back into the bed with him, he burped (Michael not Bob), and fell back asleep. James typically doesn't wake up unless it's his time, and he has no qualms about letting you know that it's his turn. For someone so small, he's got some serious lungs. Since our last visit to the pediatrician, we have separated the boys for night time sleeping (cobedding is a big no, no in current thought). The fact that they are all over the room now makes it much easier to identify who is in need of late night attention in the dark.
Ryan and Stephen
James getting his first bath at home.
Michael & Dad - like father like son.
During the day, we put the boys in the crib together since we watch them pretty closely. I'm awake, they are asleep, so instead of doing useful things like laundry or cooking, I just watch them sleep. They are so cute lined up in a row and tucked into their swaddle me blankets (by the way, totally awesome product - thanks Lain). For some reason, our kids are squirmers, and they like to lift their legs high into the air so that while you watch them sleep, one of the boys will lift his legs then the next, then the next in some kind of strange dance of the swaddle mes. It is definitely entertaining.
Right now, I am watching Ryan and Michael sleep in the living room crib. James is in the bedroom with Bob - he's the only one with a crib tent for the moment (thanks to walmart.com, we'll have three in a couple of days), and since the cat is on the loose I'd rather watch the other two boys in here where I'm sure they are not being suffocated by my heat seeking missile of a cat. I have just finished pumping (which I am starting to HATE but I know it's best for the boys), and I really should be back in the bed for some much needed snuggle time with my husband (9 weeks is a long time to sleep in separate beds), but I am enjoying the swaddle me show.
After MONTHS of waiting and waiting and spending more time than we wanted to at Baylor, all of our boys are home! This weekend was pretty momentous in the lives of the Newhouse family. On Friday, James was released to come home, so Bob and Kathy brought Ryan back to the hospital in his car outfit to pick up his brother. Stephanie, our nurse, loaded us up with tons of goodies and we put Ryan and James in the double stroller and took them out to the parking lot for a ride in the Suburban. Just like when we brought Ryan home, Bob threw on some tunes by the Boss, and I held James' hand and watched him sleep his first car ride away. Every time we'd hit a bump, James would startle and splay his fingers then hold my hand again. He was so funny to watch. Upon arrival at our home, we brought the two boys in amongst much videotaping and camera flashing. (Since I was doing both at the same time, I don't necessarily recommend watching the video). We brought the boys in after a brief (but hot) chat in the driveway with our neighbors.
Once everyone was settled, the troops (our moms and Faith) showed up for a grand celebration - although this time without fireworks. We had a meatball & ravioli casserole thanks to the amazing food that Lainie, Vickie, and Anne prepared for us. Aunt Karen, Amy, and later Julie and Ellie joined the party to admire our two boys. Of course, Michael was still in the NICU at Baylor. Our party was missing a star participant.
(Ryan leaves the NICU)
From before the boys were born, both the doctors and the nurses told us that Michael would probably be the last to come home. For some reason, the bigger babies tend to spend more time in the NICU. Michael's only hold up was the fact that he didn't like to eat by himself. On Wednesday or Thursday, we realized that he could eat most of his bottle in one sitting before burping and then finishing his meal, otherwise, he sucked down too much air. Once we learned his tricks, it took just a couple of days to break him out of the NICU. On Saturday, I called Bob from the hospital and told him to quit mowing the lawn, prepare the brothers, and come pick up the rest of his family - it was time for Mikey to come home.
(James leaves the NICU)
Julie, Jonathan, David, Ellie, and Aunt Karen had stopped by the hospital to see Michael before they headed back to Nebraska. Everyone got to hold him except for Ellie who got to admire him through the window. I spent most of the time between when I called Bob to get the production started and the time he and the boys showed up, holding Mr. Mike. It was probably one of the last times I have strict one on one time with one of the boys, and I really enjoyed it.
(Michael leaves the NICU)
James and Ryan rode up the elevator in the triplet stroller complete in their car outfits to pick up the last of our crew. We did the check out process much more quickly the last time and brought Michael out to join his brothers in the stroller. I did get a little weepy once more as we rolled our family out of the hospital together. Michael's car ride home was pretty uneventful despite all of us worrying that Ryan would wake up and want to eat in the middle. When we got home, we unloaded everyone, videoed the whole process and took tons of pictures of the three boys laying in their bed together.
It's good to have the family home!
Here Bob and the boys video chat with Grandpa Newhouse in California.
It appears that our little guy, James will come home today after spending 16 days in the NICU. We should hear from the doctor in an hour or two to confirm that today is the day. James has been shoving his bottles down like a champ. He's supposed to eat 35 ml in 30 minutes each feeding and he's been taking between 40 and 50 in about 15 minutes. If he kept that up overnight the Doc will let us take him about lunch time today. The only other thing that could delay it is if the doc decides he is big enough (he just hit the 4 lb mark) for his circumcision today, he may have to stay a bit to make sure everything is ok. Although they did Ryan's in the morning and we were able to take him home around lunch, so that shouldn't be an issue.
I went on my first business trip in 3 months this week. I had stayed close to home when Angela went on bed rest and as a traveling sales guy by trade it was time to get out and hit the pavement again. It was odd leaving the family but the timing couldn't have been better. I got home last night and was able to run by the hospital for a feeding. I was able to go by Wednesday morning before my flight out, so my streak of 78 consecutive days visiting Baylor Hospital is alive!
We'll have to wait to talk to the doctor but that streak might be about to end. In the last day Michael has decided he wasn't going to be left behind and he had a streak of 12 consecutive bottles finished. If he kept that up overnight he will be put on the discharge train and could come home Saturday or Sunday.
I'd be lying if I told you I thought they'd all be home in 2 1/2 weeks. I'm not counting chickens yet but here's hoping the boys did well overnight.
Oh, one weird thing about being on the road Wednesday night. I went to sleep at about 9:15 which is way early for me but I did wake up for my normal feeding shift. I thought that was funny.
Here's Bob posing with all 3 boys right before Ryan was discharged to come home. Any more group shots will have to happen at home from this point forward.
Our first days at home with Ryan were pretty eventful. On Friday, we had a homecoming party followed by a fireworks show in the backyard, then on Saturday, we had another festive family evening followed by fireworks. Ryan seemed to be more interested in his bottle than the booming sounds coming from across the street as our neighbors launched a few fireworks from their backyards. It was great having all the company, but I did wish that we had a couple more kids sharing the evening here with us.
Here is Aunt Faith getting a lesson in diaper changes. She was so excited to get to hold one of her nephews, but she still refuses to change a diaper.
The animals were totally disinterested in Ryan. After months of worrying how they would all react, the actual encounter between baby and pet was pretty uneventful.
Ryan's first bath at home.
Those left behind...
James is doing well. After a rough night where he lost weight and was threatened by the doctor with a return trip to the isolette, James got on the ball and began keeping his temperature up, eating all of his bottles, and finally has made it to four pounds! He is 17 3/4 inches long now - amazing how fast you can grow without your brothers sitting on top of you.
Michael is great except for his refusal to eat for himself. Today, he ate his entire bottle for Grandma Newhouse, so that gives his parents a little bit of hope for the future. We need him to start eating all of his bottles, then he can come home. He's also grown, but his brother Ryan has surpassed him as far as weight goes - Michael is 5 lbs 14 oz and Ryan is 6 lbs. Both of the boys are 19 inches long.
Michael has taken to pulling his hat down over his eyes in an homage to Hip Hop/Gangsta style and/or Mush Mouth from Fat Albert.
Since Ryan was allowed to come home, we had to schedule a pediatrician appointment. Yesterday, I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Clark and was cleared to drive. Driving home from the hospital yesterday was FANTASTIC. I hadn't driven a car in over 3 months, so this morning, Ryan and I headed out for the pedi appointment all by ourselves. It was pretty strange driving my child around - at first I was very careful, but by the end of the ride, I realized that the poor child had been subject to my driving since November and he's still alive, so no need to stay in the right hand lane and abide by all the posted speed limits.
So, Ryan came home yesterday after only 9 days in the NICU. We can't wait to get his brothers home (they may still be a few weeks) but I have to say, I'm glad they weren't here last night.
I had the first late night changing/feeding which was scheduled for 12 am. Instead of going to bed I made the decision to just stay up and play some PS3, something I hadn't done in about 3 months. Well, I was having some internet issues so it took just about until the changing until I got that fixed.
All that meant is I tried to play a game while doing the feeding. I now know that won't work.
I started by changing his diaper and all was well, just a small poop. As I'm doing the wiping out comes a little more poop, I say, that's funny, I unlodged something. Then all of a sudden the friggin motherload starts coming out. Along with farts and everything. I realized I had the dirty diaper almost removed when this started.
Now the clean diaper isn't clean anymore because it was in position to get snapped on. That's ok but I had him stood up for the wiping and now poop is going everywhere.
Well, there goes that outfit.
He had poop up by his neck. How the hell did that happen?
I finally get him all washed up now it's time to put him in a new outfit.
In the NICU, they require outfits with snaps so they can run the monitor cords out of them. We don't require that here, so all the outfits are over the head ones and I'm here to tell you Ryan and I didn't do so well with that last night.
He wasn't happy with me at all.
Which woke my mom up and I tried to play like everything was ok but I had a disaster on my hands. She went back to bed and I finally got him clothed and tried to feed him.
By this time he was pooped and had no interest in anything but sleep. I had to keep him up though because there was no way he was going to fail his first late night feed at home under my watch.
What was supposed to take 30 minutes ended up taking an hour but finally about 1 I got him back to sleep and I crawled into bed.
Needless to say when the 3 am feeding arrived and Angela volunteered for it, I didn't fight that too much.
Before we took Ryan home we were able to get a family photo. Angela has James, I have Michael and Uncle Joseph has Ryan. Grandma and Grandpa Newhouse are there along with Grandma Ptomey.
Yesterday the boys hit the one week old mark. In my opinion, the bigger milestone was we were finally able to get a picture of all 3 of them together. I can't tell you how excited we were that Angela was able to get the boys off their monitors long enough to pose for this picture.