Friday, May 25, 2012

He's arrived!

Our new nephew has arrived!  Due to the amazing wonderfulness of modern technology, I was able to Face Time over my Iphone with my sister and her family just a little while after he made his arrival.  HE IS BEAUTIFUL!!  Let me go on the record and just say that my sister makes some darn cute kids.  And I couldn't help but have tears rolling down my face watching that little guy look up into Adina's face.  And more tears as I watched Aiden look at his new baby brother.  And then some more tears as it just really struck me that my sister and I are no longer the two little girls playing with dolls in the back of the family van.  She has created this beautiful family with Mark and watching the four of them together just made my heart smile.

Babies are totally little miracles.  Total miracles.  Seriously- how can you not feel like there is something greater than us in the universe when you look at that little creation?  I'm flying to Minnesota to meet him in person in two weeks and I cannot wait!!  As of right now, no doctor has told me that I can't fly, so I'm going.  Heaven help the doctor who tries to keep me away from my nephews!

On a side note, who the heck looks that good after pushing out a watermelon?  Only my sister...
Adina, Mark, and new baby

It's been pretty easy over the past week to get caught up in the scariness of triplets.  Somehow it seems a little daunting to have more babies than I have arms!  But today was a huge blessing watching my sister's family through the webcam.  It made me think of the three amigos as something other than the challenges that will be associated with them.  It opened my eyes to the fact that there are soon going to be sweet-smelling little balls of adorableness looking up at me too.  They'll hopefully have Jason's eyes and my nose.  They'll hopefully have Jason's patience and my ability to problem-solve.  I'm hoping they'll get my hairline but Jason's artistic talent.  If we're lucky, they'll have Jason's integrity and my sense of humor.  

Yeah, they're not going to allow me to have a nap till 2020 and my bank account will be small, but those little munchkins are going to be little miracles when they finally get here.  Someday when my nephew is old enough to understand, I'll thank him for the lesson he taught me today.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Oohhh- I almost forgot.  It's been cracking me up since Tuesday.  I was running errands that day and called Jason to see how his day was going.  Apparently my little researcher had been online at some point that day researching diaper delivery.

Jason:  "We can get the diapers delivered for an average cost of 20 cents per diaper.  But do you know how many a newborn goes through in a day?"

Brittany:  "No honey, I don't.  A lot?"

Jason:  "According to my research, it's 10-12.  That's a lot of diapers.  We might need to get a storage unit!"

Brittany:  "No, we just have to have them delivered more frequently."

Jason:  "Maybe we need to be more concerned about what we do with the dirty diapers..."

Yes, I love my sweet husband.  I think that's probably going to be the bigger issue!


The waiting game continues, although we have a little bit of news.  I got the call from the perinatologist, and we have an appointment scheduled with Dr. Gilbert on June 1st.  I breathed a little sigh of relief over this because that meant I wouldn't have to be missing any work or attempting to switch shifts with anyone.  In my mind, the less that I have do that right now, the better!  Of course Jason will have to miss some work, but I guess that can't be helped.

I'm very thankful that Jason is so willing and wanting to go to these appointments with me.  I know a lot of women may not necessarily get that kind of support from their partner, and it just makes me appreciate him all the more.  We're going into this endeavor as full teammates and partners.  (Thank God for that, because I would probably be a total slobbering basket case if I didn't have Jason right now!).  In fact, Jason's first words when I asked him if he wanted to be there for the appointment?  "Um, yeah.  I have a lot of questions that he needs to answer!"  You and me both, buddy, you and me both!!  The list of questions to ask the doctor grows by the day...

The last few days have been a bit more positive for us overall.  I think we're coming out of what I like to pleasantly refer to as the "shock and awe" stage and moving more into the "not really fully aware yet but naive and more optimistic" stage.  The first few days were a blur of tears, phone calls, and trying to force ourselves to eat.  All we could really talk about was the extraordinary change in plans, yet neither of us was truly ready to talk about it with any sense of logic or coherence.  Talking about anything else seemed like a waste of time.

We've now had almost a week to marinate in everything.  And we're getting back to a little bit more of a normal routine.  I'm getting to a routine of only crying once or twice a day (which Jason would joke about and say that's pretty much normal!) instead of every hour, so that's appreciated.  We're back to being able to talk about topics other than the three peanuts.  But we still spend a lot of time planning for them.  They are never far from my mind (and even if they were, my bladder would bring them right on back!).

I found out from one of my favorite patients yesterday that he had a dream a while ago that we were having multiples.  I was floored.  He insisted that it must have been brought on by one of the other nurses telling him.  His wife insists that he had the dream before I had told my coworkers.  At this point in the game, I suppose it doesn't much matter when he dreamed it.  Through a weird set of circumstances that would take too long to tell (and would involve me breaking some serious privacy policies), this patient was actually the third person in the world to know that we were pregnant (with Jason and me being the first two!).  Like I said, it's a LONG story, but suffice it to say, the simple moral of the story is this-  you never know where you are going to find support when you need it.

Jason and I have some other exciting news as well- we should be announcing the birth of our new nephew any day now!! My sister and brother-in-law, Adina and Mark, were supposed to be induced today, but apparently the doctor had a different idea.  I'm heartbroken that I can't be there with them right now, but I'll be seeing them soon enough.

Love to all,
A Proud (but not very Patient!) Auntie

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back to work!

Jason and I both had our first days back to work yesterday after our whirlwind weekend.  I know that I was super excited to have a little emotional break from our personal news to just focus on my patients and their needs.  Sometimes the universe conspires to give you what you need right when you need it!  I worked with wonderful patients and thankfully none of them were needing to be sent to the ICU or needing to have a Code Blue called at the bedside... I don't think I had the emotional reserves yesterday to have handled that!  Instead, I got to dote on one patient in particular who has a particularly grim prognosis.  Nothing helps you to stop dwelling over your own perceived challenges like stepping into someone else's definite ones...

I absolutely love my job, and I love the oncology unit that I work on.  I was lucky enough to spend some clinical shifts on the unit during my second semester of nursing school, and I have to admit that I fell in love.  I fell in love with my patients and being a positive part of the journeys that they were on.  But more than anything, I fell in love with my coworkers.  I was so moved by the compassion that they showed for all of their patients' needs- physical, emotional, spiritual...  and I fell in love with how they took care of each other.  It felt like a family, and I connected with that sense of teamwork that they lived out through their treatment of each other and their patients.

I was lucky enough to be accepted for an internship on that same unit and spent three intense months seeing if I was capable of being a contributing part of that team.  And now, just a few short weeks away from my one year mark of being gainfully employed there, I thank God everyday that they continue to let me show up and be a part of the team.  It's very important to me to work with people that  inspire me and are willing to invest time in mentoring me, and I can honestly say that I won the lottery when I got hired there.

And apparently I won the lottery again, because they were as excited (and shocked!!) as anyone could hope for when I dropped the bomb on them.  I got hugs and smiles and jokes all day from everyone, and you would have all been so impressed with how they just seemed to embrace the news.  My boss started downloading forms for me from Human Resources (and even started filling out the basic info!) to let me know about different benefits available to us.  The first thing out of the nurse's mouth that writes the schedule?  "Well, I want to start working on the schedule so that we don't let you work three days in a row.  You're going to need to rest!"

No one had anything but positive things to say, and no one expressed anything about what additional responsibilities they might have to shoulder as a result.  Because I won't be able to work for as long as I want to during this pregnancy (my previous plan of asking someone to hold my pager for an hour or so while I go deliver the baby during my lunch break is obviously no longer a reality!), I am quite aware of the extra burden that this is going to put on my coworkers.  As I get bigger and move slower, I won't be able to help my fellow nurses out as much as normal.  They'll probably even need to help me more during my shifts.  Heck- I have this comical vision of throwing some wipes and new sheets from the doorway to my incontinent patients and asking them to clean up themselves.  :)  Hopefully it won't get that bad!

This is going to be a hard pill for me to swallow.  I'm not used to asking for a lot of help, whether it be personally or professionally.  I'm far more comfortable with being the one that others ask for help (perhaps that inspired my decision to pursue nursing in the first place).

I fear being seen as a burden, and I don't like being needy.  And having triplets is going to force me to face that fear.

I'm going to have to start really understanding that asking for help is okay.  I'm going to have to start making the connection between how much I gain from getting to help others and allowing others the opportunity to gain those same benefits from helping me.  I envision this as a lesson I'll need to revisit a lot.

Jason's coworkers were much the same.  They were so excited for us and apparently he was finding it a little tougher than normal to accomplish things as people kept stopping by his office and offering up their congratulations and excitement.  In fact, when he got to work, he was greeted with this sign on his office window that someone made!

I worry about Jason.  He's going to have a lot of responsibility placed squarely on his shoulders financially once I can't work anymore- this from a man who already works his butt off to provide for our household and our family.  This from a man whose internal sense of responsibility is already higher than that of the average dude.  He's already stressed over the fact that we'll need a bigger house in the future and whether we'll need a different car and how we'll pay for childcare... no one will ever be able to accuse him of shirking his responsibilities.  And since you know Jason's big into planning and researching before he makes a decision, you can only imagine how much internet research he's already done!  While I know that eventually we'll need to make these decisions, I will keep working hard to remind my sweet pumpkin that everything will fall into place the way it's supposed to whether we stress our or not.

At this point, I do have a respectful request for everyone.  I am perfectly comfortable discussing the potential medical challenges that the babies and I are facing, including the labor process.  Between my nursing education, my research, and my job, I'm well aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park for me physically (let's be honest- at some point, I probably won't even be able to walk in any park!).  There are significant physical ramifications involved with carrying and delivering triplets, both before and after they are born.  I am ready to face head on whatever comes our way in that regard.  That may sound naive to you all, but I promise you I'm going into this with my eyes wide open.

But Jason is not quite at that point yet.  He's not had the exposure to these kinds of things before, and he is already scared enough for me in regards to the delivery process and the health of the three amigos.  And at some point, he'll need to face that.  But I don't feel that right now is exactly that time.  I don't feel like he's trying to avoid it- far from it, but we both want him to be more adjusted to the situation as a whole before he's forced to go down that particular road.  So my request is this- if you have questions or want to talk about the medical aspects right now, talk to me.  If you have more questions about the delivery, ask me.  Jason will eventually be available for those conversations as well, but for now, I'm your girl and am excited to talk with anyone about it.  Thank you too much!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sometimes a little humor helps...

Part of why I wanted to write a blog was so that I could keep track of all of the funny things that people, namely Jason, say in response to everything that's going on.  Some of our winners from the past few days...

"We can't even fit the babies in my back seat!  My backseat is only two bucket seats!"
-Jason (approx. 1 minute after leaving the doctor's office.  Of course he would recognize a car-related problem as his first concern with having triplets!)

"Our kids are going to have to learn to live with just first names.  We don't have the time or the creativity to think up more middle names for all of them too!"

"Do you think they'll have a table for each of us in the operating room when you deliver?  One for you, and one for me so that as soon as we establish that the babies are breathing, they can give me a vasectomy?"

"I already know what I want for Christmas.  Noise-canceling headphones."

"Well, I guess I used to be a good golfer.  I had a good run.  But that's all over."

"If I'm walking somewhere by myself, my personal theme song will be Just The Four Of Us."

"If anyone wants to start a baseball team, we've got the outfield covered."

"I may not have time anymore for band practice, but I can start my own band.  I'll teach one of them to play drums, one to play bass, one to play keyboards, and I'll play the guitar."

"Once we've got them doing chores, I am never going to have to clean my house again!"

"I just envision the two of us someday relaxing with cocktails in hand, one kid fanning us with a big palm frond while one's mowing the grass and the other's cleaning the house."

"You're kidding, right?!?!?"
-Pretty much everyone

"Who can we blame for this?"

"Do you think we should contact Ebay?  Maybe we can sell one."

"I've always had a fear that I'd accidentally leave my child at Target.  With this many kids, it's pretty much a guarantee now."

"I'm pretty much going to be spending the first six months as a human keg-erator."

"I really hope that they all turn out to be great kids, but if we end up turning one over to the penal system, two out of three isn't that bad."

"By the way, honey, any hopes of sympathetic sobriety out of me have been dashed."

What we know for sure...

Let's review what we know for sure!

Because of carrying triplets, our pregnancy is now automatically categorized as a high-risk pregnancy, so  we have been referred to a perinatologist.  Essentially, a perinatologist is a doctor that specializes in high-risk pregnancies.  Dr. Cueto does focus on high-risk deliveries, so we're in good hands there as well (we already have another appointment scheduled with him on June 6th).  The referral was put in on late Friday afternoon, so we should be getting a call from the perinatologist's office early this week.  The expectation is that we will be seen by the perinatologist within the next 2 weeks.  We were forewarned (!) that the appointment would be a pretty intensive one, with much more in-depth questioning and diagnostic work to be completed at that time.  On the positive side, we'll also be getting a more in-depth ultrasound as well, which means ultrasound pictures to share!!

At our appointment with Dr. Cueto, we asked if it was possible to hear any heartbeats.  While we were able to see the babies moving a little and actually SEE heartbeats, I needed to hear them as well.  Jason and I were able to hear one heartbeat for sure, but of course we don't know which of the three munchkins it came from.  My hope is that will be something that we can expand upon at the perinatologist's appointment.  Because apparently now I feel that it is okay to be demanding of God and insist on 3 heartbeats between 120-160 beats per minute!  :)

Another detail that we know for sure is that this automatically puts us in the C-section category as it is absolutely the safest for the babies.  I had previously been wondering how we were going to handle pain control during labor, as I've never had any surgeries and my usual form of pain control prior to pregnancy was to take 2 tylenol and a nap (not sure if "napping" constitutes a good birth plan!).  I had wanted to try to use as little pain medications as possible to protect the baby and deliver naturally, but Jason had been insisting that he wanted me to be as comfortable as possible.

But now because it is a given that we will deliver the babies via C-section, I don't have to worry about the pain control options because there really aren't many options at all!  I know I want to be as alert as possible for the munchkin's arrival, and I want Jason to be in the operating room with me and the little peanuts.  So I guess we've now got our birth plan pretty much figured out- keep both Jason and Brittany as alert as possible and get the babies out as safely as possible.  Check!

The other detail that is essentially a given is that these babies will be coming early.  HOW early is definitely unknown.  Dr. Cueto told us that if we made it to 36 weeks, we "will be popping open champagne and celebrating".  Our original due date was November 30th, which was the 40 week mark and the goal for most pregnancies.  At this point, I'm planning (at least in my head) on September babies.  The average triplet pregnancy lasts about 31-32 weeks (sometime in September).  The goal we've been given so far is to try for 35-36 weeks (sometime in October).  If anyone is saying prayers for us, please start requesting at least a 36 week pregnancy for us  (once again, I guess I am feeling like it is okay to just be specific in telling God what I want!).  The longer we can safely keep the babies in, the better chance they have of being healthy and getting to a safe stage of development and surviving/thriving outside the womb.

At this point, I've kind of exhausted the so-called knowns.  Here's just a short list of the unknowns and "to be decided" that I can think of right now...
-how early these babies are going to arrive
-how Jason and Brittany are going to keep their sanity
-health issues that the babies will arrive with
-how much help we're going to need after the babies are born
-how long I'll be able to work during this pregnancy
-if I'll have to go on bedrest
-whether the babies are actually fraternal or identical
-the babies' genders

I think I may have forgotten to highlight one of the definite knowns earlier and it is this- there is no one else in this world that I would want to be going through this with except Jason.  The last 48 hours have obviously thrown us into a mental/emotional/spiritual/physical tailspin, and I am so proud of how well he is handling everything.  That man has been my rock and my support for almost 6 years (May 28th is our 6 year anniversary!) and it provides me with such peace to know that he has not tried to pack a bag (yet!) and run away from this.  Instead, he has already been online researching stroller options for triplets and trying to find out how we'll fit 3 little peanuts in our cars.  He continues to touch my belly and talk to the babies and tell them to behave (they better be listening!).  He continues to hold my hand and wipe my tears and tell me that everything is going to be okay and we'll make it through this together.

I'm not quite sure what I did to deserve this man, but I'm thinking I was either Mother Theresa in a former lifetime or I'm going to have to be Mother Theresa in the next.  Either way, I am blessed with an amazing partner and we're being blessed with three little mini-me's.  I hope they are all just like him...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Holy Cow...

We've known since the end of March that we were being blessed with a baby.  The home pregnancy test was positive (as were the additional 5 that I took just to "confirm" the results) and so Jason and I started happily planning for the new little addition that would be coming into our lives.  Fast forward to May 18th, a day that will go down in infamy.  We were at just over 12 weeks into the pregnancy, and we excitedly showed up for our very first ultrasound with our OB/GYN, Dr. Cueto.  

In the weeks leading up to the ultrasound, I had been telling everyone that would listen that I just wanted to see a baby on that screen and hear a healthy heartbeat between 120-160 beats per minute.  Nothing wrong with being specific about what you want, right?  

Back to May 18th, 2012.  So both Jason and I were in the room with Dr. Cueto, making our introductions and getting acquainted.  He came highly recommended and I was pleased to see my initial impression of him was going to live up to the hype.  The doctor positioned me for the ultrasound and I was amazed to see the baby's image pop right up onto the screen.  But something unexpected happened.  Now I'm not an expert ultrasound reader, but I can manage the basics.  Imagine my shock/surprise/fear when I thought I saw TWO babies on the screen at the same time.  I remember hearing the doctor say something about baby #1 and baby #2... and then something about baby #3.  "Here's the first baby... and there's the second... and just over here is the third".  I'm pretty sure he said some other things too, but I clearly remember his first question to us as he was looking at the screen.  

"Did you use any fertility treatments?"

Um, no sir.  Not at all.  Other than keeping track of my cycle with an app on my phone (thank you technology!), we did nothing other than pop the daily prenatal vitamin, say lots of prayers, and cross our fingers.  We got pregnant during our third month of trying- there was NO time for fertility treatments!

So now that's where Jason and I are now at.  We are pregnant with triplets.  Three little peanuts are currently hanging out just waiting to meet all of you and make their mark on this world.  Jason and I are in absolute shock.  ABSOLUTE shock.  We are super excited, we are super worried and nervous, and we are super shocked.  

And that's where this blog will start.  There are going to be so many developments in the months to come, and we want to be able to share as much as possible with you, our loved ones.  My hope is that this blog will serve to bring everyone into the loop and allow you to know what Jason and I are thinking, feeling, and experiencing.