Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

So, these babies just need to stay in my belly for another 4 hours and then we'll have guaranteed that they have November birthdays!!  For the last 3-4 months, I've just been telling the boys to "Stay in my belly because I want your birth stone to be a topaz!"  Now, I don't even know what a topaz looks like and frankly I have no real preference for any stones in particular (except amethyst- love me some purple).  But I did not really want the boys to be delivered until November rolled around.  Apparently they were listening and obeying, which kind of proves that they will probably take after their daddy!  And I probably shouldn't count my chickens before they're hatched- I've still got four hours to go- but I'm so excited that they've made it this far.

Happy Halloween!  It has been so sweet to see parents and kids all over dressing up together for the holiday and to see the excitement that the kids have for trick or treating.  Next year, Jason and I will get to get in on the fun too!  I've never been a huge fan of Halloween- I've never had anything against it, but it just never grabbed me like some of the other holidays.  But the last few days have really made me realize that kids have a way of changing your perspective on things!

Happy Halloween from Coltrane and Hana!

Jason and I are just trying to stay as peaceful and calm as we can right now.  We are down to a single-digit countdown until the scheduled C-section!!!!!  I'm spending most of the days laying on my side and resting in bed at home, and Jason is spending most of his time keeping the house running and taking care of me.  But we are ready for these babes to come home- the nursery has been cleaned and polished one last time, my bag is packed for the hospital, the diaper bag is totally packed with outfits to bring our boys home in (thanks Pat!), dozens and dozens of bottles have been freshly cleaned and are drying as I type this, and I only have one more load of baby clothes and blankets to fold and put away.  Bring on the munchkins!

People are no longer just asking, "When are you due?".  
More frequently I hear, "How many are in there?!?"

Yep, I'm big  :)

One of Jason's childhood friends sent me this pic.
How sweet he looked in grade school- here's
hoping the boys look just like him!

The pumpkin that my carpal tunnel issues
wouldn't allow me to carve...  boo.

This is officially Friday's favorite
perch to hang out on these days

I've really had to modify how I do household chores-
I sit in a chair and bring the ironing board down
to my level.  Or I try to just get the cat to do the ironing.

Monday, October 29, 2012

All systems go...

I had my last official doctor's appointment at the perinatologist's office today.  A little bittersweet... my last ultrasound with Athena, the ultrasound goddess.  The last time I'll have to waddle in there with my ginormous belly.  The last time I'll get the eye-popping looks from other patients in the waiting room because of my ginormous belly (you just know they're praying they don't get this large!).  After I deliver the boys, I'll actually still be followed by the same group of doctors for the next six weeks, so it's not like I'll never see that office again.  I just will hopefully be able to see my own feet by that time (please let the tummy go down quickly after delivery!).  :)

The appointment went very well overall.  The ultrasound showed that the boys are all doing just fine.  They didn't measure their estimated weights, so it will be a nice little surprise to see how big they are when they come out.  But the boys do have plenty of amniotic fluid in each of their sacs- thank you God!  It's very normal for the amniotic fluid levels to be decreasing by this point, but it could be a problem if they decreased too much too quickly.  But that is not the case with my sweet pumpkins- they've got enough.

My blood pressure continues to stay in the normal range, which is just amazing.  Any elevation of my blood pressure could signal that something is going wrong with either the babies or with me, so I get so thrilled every time the results come back as "steady".  I've probably had my blood pressure taken more in the last few months than I have the entire rest of my life combined.  But part of that is actually my own doing- our grocery store has a free blood pressure machine in its pharmacy, so I make frequent trips over there mainly to check my BP (and I guess to pick up a daily snack or treat!).  

I've officially gained almost 75 pounds so far.  Wow.  Just wow.  Of course at this point, I'm probably carrying somewhere around 20 pounds of pure baby (not including placentas, amniotic fluid, etc.).  I can't wait to measure my "waist" circumference and weight right before I go into the operating room and again as soon as they let me get out of bed after the delivery.  They'll be pumping me full of fluids during the delivery, so that will probably skew the measurements a little, but I can probably plan on losing somewhere around 30-35 pounds during delivery- hooray!

Which I think my body will really, really appreciate.  I feel so very proud of what my body has been able to accomplish so far.  Nourishing three little munchkins for as long as it has is nothing short of a miracle, and the majority of the credit has to go to genetics and divine intervention.  Not every body could physically handle the rigors of carrying triplets, and we just lucked out that my body has been able to.  But it hasn't always been easy.  My back is now pretty much sore/painful most of the time, and I'm feeling discomfort in my hips/pelvis that defies reality.  I'm so congested, due to the hormones and edema, that I have to wear a nasal strip on my nose at night to make my snoring tolerable (prior to my third trimester, I rarely ever snored.  According to Jason, my snoring now could wake the dead... in another state...).  My carpal tunnel issues just get worse and worse by the day, to the point where I'm hardly able to open jars at times (I almost went over to the neighbor's the other day while Jason was at work to ask them to open the caramel jar!) and it was physically impossible for me to carve my Halloween pumpkin this weekend.  My toes are officially the size of sausages, at least when I get a quick glimpse of them from around my belly, which now rests heavily on my legs when I'm sitting upright.  And don't even get me started on how easily I get fatigued by the simplest of physical tasks...

But it's all worth it.  I know it sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm not actually looking for sympathy.  I share these things with you so that you can get a better sense of what it's like to carry triplets.  I'm sure a lot of singleton pregnancy moms have the same issues too.  

It's all worth it.  All of these physical issues signal to me that something amazing is happening in my tummy.  All of these physical issues help to remind me of how blessed I am to not have to live with them on a permanent basis when I'm not pregnant.  After all, I feel like one can do anything when they know there's a goal, an endpoint that they have to work towards.

Plus I like to think of it all in this way...  I used to get so mad when I'd have to stop at red lights, especially when I was on my way to work.  I didn't like having to stop and I always thought they were slowing me down!  But it occurred to me one day that perhaps what I saw as a negative (having to stop) was actually God's way of saving me from something much worse (a potential accident, etc).  Since then, it's been much easier to just accept the red lights and slow down.  

So yeah, all of these physical "maladies" are slowing me down and are super frustrating at times.  As a general rule, I don't like them.  But they've been saving us from potentially much worse things (premature labor, etc) and for that I am grateful.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

35 weeks

Happy 35 Weeks to everyone!  

It's official- we've made it to 35 weeks with triplets.  Wow.  What a journey we've been on and it's totally surreal to think that sometime within the next two weeks, Jason and I are going to have three little munchkins to hold in our arms!!  There's not complete consensus on this in the medical field, but a triplet pregnancy is most often considered full-term somewhere between 34-35 weeks.  Dr. Gilbert even told us that because the average triplet pregnancy lasts 33 weeks, some even consider triplets delivered at 33 weeks to be full-term.  Either way, most doctors would say that we are now carrying full-term triplets!!!!!!!

I didn't have any appointments outside of the house today, so I've spent most of the day in bed just laying on my side, which is how I spend most of my time these days.  I don't have the energy to do much of anything physically speaking, plus it's best for the boys at this point for me to just be peaceful and rest.  I feel a little bit like a chicken on a rotisserie because I try to rotate from my left side to my right side every so often so that I don't get too sore.  It gets a little monotonous, but I try to keep my mind occupied with books and movies, talking on the phone, planning things for the babes, etc.

As I was laying in bed today, my mind flashed back to my trip home to Minnesota last June.  Our nephew, Quinn, was only a few weeks old at that point.  On one of my mornings there, he and I got to snuggle in bed while everyone else in the house was still sleeping.  I remember being so at peace just cuddling with that beautiful little boy (seriously- my sister makes beautiful babies!) and being in awe of this tiny little person in my arms.  Even now thinking back to that morning, I'm smiling.  And today, I had the surreal thought that soon Jason and I are going to have THREE of those tiny little people to snuggle in bed with.  The thought just makes my heart smile- 

Jason and I are so excited that we will soon get to share these three little peanuts with everyone.  We've had lots of offers of help from friends and family and we will definitely be taking you all up on them!  I do, however, want to respectfully address some of our wishes for those coming to the house to visit and help with the peanuts after they're born.

As newborns, they'll have pretty weak immune systems to begin with, further complicated by the fact that they'll be born earlier than normal.  Because of those weaker immune systems, we really want to protect them from being exposed to germs and cooties in general.  Based on suggestions (and in some cases, stern warnings!) from our doctors, we would like to gently ask that people be mindful of the following...

-We will be asking all visitors to wash their hands frequently!  One of the best ways of preventing illness is hand washing, so we promise to be stocked up on some sassy hand soap for everyone to use, plus we now have hand sanitizer all over the house (I may have gone a little crazy with the hand sanitizer... sorry in advance!)

-Please, please, please: no visitors under the age of 14.  It's not that Jason and I don't adore our friends' children, but there is no way of getting around the fact that kids have cooties that we can't afford to have the munchkins exposed to.  Our doctors were pretty stern about wanting us to implement this rule.       As an oncology nurse, I personally work with cancer patients where pretty much everyone has a compromised immune system, and the policy on that unit is for no visitors under the age of 14.  I feel badly about having to turn away kids from our house, but I do promise that eventually this ban will be lifted.  Plus with three boys, I don't know if it's a good idea anyway to expose other peoples' kids to the chaos that will be the Deen household!  :)

-If you are feeling any signs of a cold or the flu, please let us know in advance so that we can set up a better time/day for you to visit.  Sniffles, coughs, stuffy nose, headache, fatigue, sore throat, any general aches or pains, or just not feeling good... we'll keep you in our thoughts and prayers until you're feeling better!

-We encourage everyone to be up to date on their seasonal flu shots and whooping cough vaccinations.  While we will be pretty big sticklers on the previous three safety requests, this last one is more of a "it would be nice, but we won't necessarily be requiring it" type of guideline.  :)

Thank you all in advance for being gracious about these requests.  My intention is not to insult by addressing them, but I feel like it is always better to put your expectations out there early so that we can avoid any issues later.  And I don't want to limit anyone's ability to be around the munchkins, but we do have to be mindful of what's best for everyone involved.  So I thank you for your patience, and I can't wait to welcome you to our home after the babes come home!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

BIG babies!

So I've been in a little bit of a state of shock and put off writing this entry...  please forgive me!

On Monday, Jason and I went to our last growth ultrasound.  We were so relieved to hear that everything is still progressing well/safely with the pregnancy.  My cervix is staying long and strong, my blood pressure is staying in its usual range, and I'm feeling okay.

The babies are still all taking a bath in big enough amounts of amniotic fluid.  While the amounts are slowly going down, this is a totally normal thing to be happening at this time in the pregnancy- nothing to be afraid of there!  The babies all passed their non-stress test Monday like the little champs that they are, so they just continue to be happy as little clams in my tummy.

The reason why I've been in a state of shock has to do with their weights... suffice it to say that as of Monday, I was carrying almost 18 pounds of pure baby!!!! 

Baby A, who has consistently been the smallest guy throughout the pregnancy, is now weighing in at 4 pounds 8 ounces, which puts him at the 9th percentile on the growth chart.  That may seem like a low percentile, but the important thing to focus on is that his rate of growth is steady- he keeps gaining weight like a champ!  Both the doctors and Jason and I have been worried about his growth over the past few months- worried that his growth would either slow down or stop.  But nope!  This little guy is a fighter and continues to astound us with his weight gains.

Baby B's estimated weight is now 5 pounds 15 ounces, which puts him at the 75th percentile on the growth chart.  He's almost 6 pounds!!!  My little man just keeps hanging out in the middle of my tummy (remember he's the peacemaker of the bunch, keeping his two brothers connected!) and gaining good weight.  Way to go little one!

And then we get to Baby C.

Baby C's estimated weight is now 7 pounds 6 ounces.  Let me write that again so that we all know that is not a typo.  Baby C is estimated to weigh 7 pounds 6 ounces.  Wow.  Yikes.  Wow.  Dr. Gilbert laughed when I asked if we needed to be worried about Baby C trying to eat one of his brothers- obviously the kid is getting some calories in!

If I have learned anything during this pregnancy to pass on to others, here are two things that you all should know:

1.  It is probably not a good sign when your OB starts "numbering" your babies at your first ultrasound.  (i.e.  you are not having just one baby like you had planned on).

2.  It is probably not a usual thing to have your normally "calm as a cucumber" ultrasound maven blurt out "oh wow!" during your growth ultrasound.  This probably means that she is seeing something that she normally doesn't see everyday.  :)

Athena's "oh wow" moment came right before she told us what the babes' weights were.  And once we heard the weights, we were just as shocked as she was!  We've got some big, big babies hanging out in my tummy.  And while we are totally shocked, we are so thankful that they are growing and developing as well as they are.  I'm so proud of all of our boys!

And of course knowing how darn big these munchkins are helps me to be more forgiving of my body's need for sleep and rest and general level of discomfort.  I guess nurturing 18 pounds of baby is a pretty valid excuse...

So with those weights, there is a very real possibility that some or all of them may not even need to go to the NICU after they're born!  If we can keep them in for at least another week, even Baby A will probably be above the five pound mark, making all of the boys bigger than five pounds, which is absolutely astounding for triplets.  The doctors have warned us that there is a very real possibility that the babes might actually get to be discharged from the hospital at the same time that I am!!  Holy Cow!

Now of course there are still a lot of unknowns.  Just because they are all growing nice and big doesn't mean that they won't have any health issues or medical conditions that might keep them in the hospital longer after delivery.  And unfortunately we won't know about those, for the most part, until after the babies are born.  But things are looking very positive right now for everyone involved!  So we'll continue to keep our fingers crossed, prayers said, and hope for the best.

I actually had another non-stress test this morning (I have them every Monday and Thursday) and the boys all did amazing.  They all passed in less than 15 minutes and were very well-behaved for Fran, my  nurse.

So thank you everyone for being so loving and supportive of our three little munchkins- keep those prayers coming.  Keep your fingers crossed.  Keep sending positive vibes our way.  They're all working and we are so appreciative of everything!!  It just warms my heart so much whenever I hear that someone's keeping us in their thoughts or prayers...  :)

Monday, October 22, 2012


This just might be the worst part of being pregnant- the waiting game.  Waiting for the next appointment, waiting for the test result to come back, waiting a seeming eternity for the doctor to come into the room at the end of an ultrasound to see if there's going to be any change to the plan, waiting for the babies to come...  sometimes it seems like all I do is wait.

Wait for my next trip to the bathroom, wait to fall back to sleep after each nighttime bathroom trip, wait for the next carb- and protein-laden meal, wait for the next "funny/weird physical thing due to being pregnant" to manifest itself, wait for my hips/joints/belly to "settle" whenever I change positions, wait to find a comfortable position when the previous one proves to not be comfortable anymore...

Wait for the next kick from each baby to reassure myself that they're okay, wait whenever I feel a contraction to see if it's still just Braxton-Hicks or is it something more, wait for a few seconds whenever I stand up to see if this will be the time that my water breaks...

On the one hand, I hate waiting.  I hate the not knowing, the having to be patient while things that are out of my control continue to be out of my control.  When they were handing out patience, I was apparently too impatient to wait in line to get my fair share.

But on the other hand, I'm oddly at peace with the waiting.  Each day that passes seems to flash right on by- it seems like just a few minutes ago I was waiting for the results on Baby A's weight at our 32 week ultrasound and that was well over two weeks ago...  which means that while I've been waiting, the munchkins have been growing.  They've been getting bigger and stronger and more ready to survive and thrive outside the womb.  And that makes the waiting seem like a small price to pay if it means that the peanuts are benefitting from it all...

34 week belly
(sometimes I forget just how big it is
until someone who hasn't seen it in a while
reacts to its size.  Halloween seems like an
appropriate time to have this big of a belly
because I keep scaring friends and family
with it)

Friday, October 19, 2012

34 weeks!!!

We've made it- 34 weeks today everyone!!  I woke up with the biggest smile on my face today, just knowing that we've made it through so many hurdles with this pregnancy, and we're still going!  Each time I've set a goal to get to (20 weeks, then 28 weeks, then 32 weeks, and NOW we made it to 34!), I've gotten anxious as the goal approached- I would worry that we were going to get so close to the goal and then just miss it... and I'm so grateful that didn't happen.  Jason and I have been working so hard to just take care of these little peanuts in my tummy.  And it appears that they take after their daddy, as opposed to their rebellious momma, so far- they're following directions (stay in my belly!) like they should be!

So the next goal- always gotta have a goal- is to make it safely to our scheduled C-section on November 8th.  It's so strange to think that in just under three weeks, we'll finally get to hold our sweet little boys in our arms and snuggle them!  I can't wait to see their little faces and see what features they got from me and what features they got from Jason.  I can't wait to hear their cries (I'm guessing that will probably get a teensy bit old after a while!) and little baby noises.  I can't wait to smell their little baby smells.  And I can't wait to get to start learning about their personalities- separate from the kicks and movements that I feel in my belly...

All three munchkins passed their non-stress test yesterday.  At each test, at least one of the boys decides to be a little obtuse- taking a nap when they should be moving, moving too much, continuously moving away from the monitor, etc.  And it's almost like they play "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to decide who is going to be the stinker of the day as it's never the same babe!

On the drive to Sutter Memorial Hospital yesterday (where the non-stress tests are conducted and where the boys will be born), both Baby A and Baby C were kicking and moving around like fiends.  It was almost like they were holding a soccer match in there.  But once we got to the hospital, ALL three decided to be little stinkers.  Baby A had decided to move deeper into my pelvis, and the nurse actually had the monitor almost right on my hip- usually he is the easiest to find.  Apparently he thought that was a good way to make the nurse jump through some hoops- I thought babies didn't play hide 'n seek until AFTER they were born!

Baby B passed the test yesterday the quickest (each of the babes has done this at least once!), but then decided it was a great idea to get the hiccups.  For a couple of minutes, the only sound you could hear was the "blip, blip" every few seconds from him hiccuping!  We were all laughing at the regularity of it.

Baby C must have tired himself out from the earlier soccer match with his brother because he basically slept through the first half of the test.  And of course we can't just leave him alone to sleep it off.  Poor little babe was getting poked and prodded by the nurse and myself, just trying to get him to participate!  Once he actually woke up, though, he performed like a champ.

The only slightly disconcerting thing from the test was that Baby A had some greater variability in his heart rate than he usually does.  At the end of the test, the nurse was quick to tell me that she wasn't overly concerned about it, but she did want to let the doctor know and see if they wanted to do anything about it (send me to triage? send me over to the office for an ultrasound?).  Interestingly enough, Dr. McElvey had actually come in to the room during my non-stress test (she was called in to assess a different momma, not me!) and had taken a glance at the heart rate strips at that point.  So I ended up having to wait around another 10-20 minutes for Dr. McElvey to show up and take a look at the entire test strip.  The nurse apologized to me for the additional wait as she didn't think it was going to change the plan of care at all (my next ultrasound is on Monday), but I was actually grateful that she made the call to the doctor.  I am not going to argue with getting additional expertise thrown in my direction!  I had actually noticed the greater variability myself earlier when I was looking at the strips (I'm not an expert by any means, but you start reading multiple strips twice a week and you start to pick stuff up, plus I may possibly have been reviewing my notes on fetal heart rate monitoring from nursing school!). So it put my mind at ease to have the true experts- the perinatologist and multiple nurses who look at these strips all the time- assess the strip and deem it to be just fine.  Whew!!

The nurses at the Antepartum Testing Unit (where the non-stress tests are done) are really starting to just grow on me.  They seem to enjoy working together and helping each other out.  They all get super excited whenever I show up ("I can't believe you've still got those babies in there!") and I just adore them.  They all seem shocked that I am still able to drive myself around- maybe it's because you can see my belly enter a room about five minutes before the rest of me.  I'm very blessed to be slightly taller than the average girl, so it helps me to be able to push the driver's seat back a little bit and still be a safe driver.

And I'm physically doing okay still.  My blood pressure was normal during the test yesterday, and my uterus wasn't contracting.  But it hurts more and more each day to move around and reposition myself.  Finding a comfortable position gets tougher as time goes by.  And the boys' movements can be kind of painful sometimes.  But all of these things tell me that the munchkins are growing and getting bigger and stronger, which can't be a bad thing. :)

I say a little prayer of thanks each night for whatever human discovered Protonix, my anti-heartburn medication.  I no longer wake up at night with massive heartburn- it's a miracle!  Now I just need to keep working on making my newly developing carpal tunnel pain issues better.  Due to hormones and the water retention of third trimester, it's not unusual to have pain and discomfort in the wrists, hands, and fingers.  It's getting to the point where I have a hard time even bending my fingers just a little without grimacing when I wake up, but the problem gets better during the day before it worsens at night.  I'm having to ask Jason to open almost all twist off tops on containers for me as I can't get my fingers to wrap around them like normal- it cracks me up to realize how much of an impact this pregnancy has on my daily activities.  Unlike non-pregnant people with carpal tunnel issues, I've found that typing actually helps the discomfort- weird!  Small price to pay for still being pregnant with these munchkins!

On a lighter note...
Jason told me last night that he has the perfect solution for resolving disputes between the boys when they get older.  He wants to build an octagon, a la the Ultimate Fighting Championship, in the backyard and will have the boys work out their differences there.  As he says, the "outcome will be decided in the octagon!"  I'm not a follower of mixed martial arts and I'm pretty sure Jason's just joking with me about an octagon, but if he brings it up with anyone, please try to discourage him.  :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I can't believe this, but I realized the other day that I forgot one of the songs for my pregnancy soundtrack.  If you are not familiar with the amazingness that is Paul Anka, you are missing out.  "Having My Baby" by Paul Anka is one of my guilty pleasures.  Picture an adolescent-aged Brittany rocking out to Paul Anka on her record player in her room... and knowing all of the lyrics.  Sad, but true.  I listened to two records from my parent's collection when I was growing up- Diana Ross and the Supremes  and Paul Anka (kinda makes you wonder about my parents' musical tastes, doesn't it?).  Anyway, this particular song is totally one of the cheesiest songs ever, but I can't argue with the fact that it now makes Jason and me giggle every time I play it.  Find it on YouTube- I guarantee it'll change your life, maybe not for the better, but it'll change your life...

Another non-stress test yesterday morning, and all of the boys passed!  They were pretty quiet and calm during the test, which is a little unusual for them.  I didn't have the heart to tell my nurse, Linda, that it might have something to do with the fact that I hadn't had my usual Starbucks Venti decaf Caramel Frappachino on the drive to the hospital.  It's the little treat I get for the boys and myself on days when we have medical appointments.  Regardless, we were able to wake the boys up with a couple of pokes and rubs on the belly.  This is a good thing- they definitely respond to stimulus!

They always check my blood pressure during the test, and yesterday it was 118/74.  Superb!  I am constantly worrying about my blood pressure as any elevation of it pretty much guarantees me a trip to the hospital to be monitored.  But so far it appears to be behaving and staying in the normal range.  Of course, worrying about it can also elevate it (sometimes I'm my own worst enemy), so I try to practice taking a lot of deep, calming breaths.  So far, so good.

I've officially gained 65 pounds- yikes.  It seems like such a scary number, but the doctors are not concerned about it at all- it actually makes them happy.  But when I think about how much weight that actually is, it kind of scares me!  It does help me to understand why I get so short of breath so easily.  The belly feels like it gets heavier and heavier every day.  It's now at the point where it is incredibly uncomfortable (even painful) to even roll over in bed, which of course is just ridiculous.  A month and a half ago I was able to work a 12 hour shift at the hospital... and now?  Just rolling over in bed hurts!  The change in my physical situation makes me just laugh when I'm able to step back and just look at it from a purely intellectual standpoint.

Jason was very excited to inform me the other day that he's been putting on sympathy weight for me.  My sweet pumpkin has gained about 4-5 pounds since we got pregnant!  Of course, I have to keep reminding him that the 4-5 pounds of muscle that he's gained from lifting weights at the gym (and frequently helping his preggo wife get up from the couch) doesn't exactly count as "sympathy weight". That man just makes me laugh.  What a goof ball.

Jason's been practicing his parenting skills on the puppies, mainly in the discipline realm.  Hana, our "puppy" of a year and a half, has developed a nasty habit lately of sprinting out the door to explore the neighborhood- not good.  After getting out of the shower the other day, I was confused as to why our bedroom door was closed.  When I opened the door to investigate, Jason told me that he had Hana  sitting by herself in the hallway on a "time out" to think about her behavior.  The poor little pup looked so sad all by her lonesome self, but Jason seemed pretty proud of himself for figuring out a suitable punishment for her misbehavior.  I can only imagine how he's going to handle having to someday help discipline three little boys.

Jason and I actually spend a lot of time these days discussing how we are going to handle the different aspects of parenting, from the smaller issues to the more significant.  How are we going to handle night feedings?  How frequently will they need to be bathed?  What methods of discipline are we going to use someday?  What are the most important values that we want to impart to our children?  All I can say is that these conversations get me so excited to have the little munchkins be here already so that Jason and I can really start to raise these boys to be loving, responsible, respectful little people.  But no matter how excited we are for them to be born, they will be grounded if they try to come out before our scheduled C section!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Moving past the pity party I threw for myself

Happy 33 Weeks!!

So I'm not too ashamed to admit that I may have had myself a little pity party on Tuesday and part of Wednesday...  Normally I try really hard to find the positive aspect of each thing that happens with this pregnancy, sometimes with more success than at other times.  I definitely failed in this aspect a few days ago.  I couldn't find a comfortable position and I felt like a whale.  I had heartburn like never before and I realized that I'm starting to have carpal tunnel issues (related to the pregnancy hormones- they'll resolve after I deliver the boys).  No food looked appealing and all I wanted to do was cry.  After watching some women's volleyball on TV and coming to the conclusion that none of those physically fit ladies were pregnant with triplets, I was feeling pretty darn sorry for myself.  Scratch that- totally sorry for myself.  But I am happy to say that after a little air guitar while listening to The Black Keys in the car while driving to my non-stress test, I left that pity party behind.  My apologies to my husband (and to any commuters driving by me on Thursday morning!) for having to bear witness to any of that madness.

Thursday's non-stress test was another successful one.  All three of the babes did just fabulously and passed.  I really appreciate the nurses showing me the munchkins' heart rhythm strips.  I'm not the most skilled at reading them, but I'm learning.  The doctor has told me on numerous occasions that they will modify my treatment plan if the twice-weekly appointments for these tests are too much for me to handle.  But I have to confess that I actually really look forward to them- seeing the heart rhythm strips is really reassuring and lets me know that our little babes are doing okay in there.

During the non-stress test, they also have a monitor on my uterus to see if it contracts at all.  On Thursday, I did have one contraction.  I was very excited to see that the babes handled the contraction like little champs and it didn't even phase them!  I've actually been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for a while now.  It's completely normal for a multiples momma to have them at this stage of the pregnancy.  For those who are unfamiliar with them, Braxton-Hicks contractions are basically the uterus' way of "practicing" for true labor contractions.  They don't mean I'm in labor, and they don't hurt me at all, although they scare Jason.  He keeps asking, "Is it time to go to the hospital now?", with a really scared look on his face whenever I tell him that I'm having one.

We had an ultrasound appointment today, and I am so excited to report that everything is going GREAT!!!  The babes looked good, their heart rates were in the normal range, and they all have ample amounts of amniotic fluid to bathe in.  My blood pressure is staying very steady- thank God!!  And my beautiful cervix continues to stay long and strong.  The only thing that got added to my treatment plan today was a medication to help with the increased heartburn (which brings my daily total of pills up to 19).

AND.... we have a scheduled end date for this pregnancy!  As of today, we have a date for a scheduled Caesarean section on November 8th at noon.  If the boys or my body decide on their own to go into labor before then, that will obviously negate the scheduled C-section.  I've been telling the munchkins for a while now that I want them to stay in until November so that their birthstone will be a topaz (I actually don't care what birthstone they have, but I do really want them to stay in until November!), so now the doctors are laying the groundwork for me to get my way!

Jason and I were literally on cloud nine after today's appointment, and it feels so good to have a tangible end date that we can work towards.  We really couldn't have gotten a better report today from Dr. McElvey.  All I can say is that I am so grateful, and to anyone who doesn't believe in the power of prayer-- I would beg you to reconsider that belief!  I hear over and over that people are praying for us (family, friends, coworkers' roommates, friends' cousins twice removed, strangers on the street... you get the point), and I just want to thank every single person for including our peanuts in their prayers and let you know that your prayers are not going unanswered!

Be afraid.  Be very, very afraid...
(picture was taken last night)
I'm planning to sit in a sports bra and pants
on our front porch on Halloween for 2 reasons:
1.  To scare people with my stretch marks and
massive belly volume
2.  To serve as a PSA to teens about the importance
of birth control

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Peaceful day...

It's been a wonderfully peaceful day here.  The temperature in Sacramento has been insane the past few months (90s in October?!?!?), but they are finally starting to calm down.  Jason and I really should have planned this all out better- being pregnant in Sacramento in the summer is not really a smart move on our parts.  Between the hormones and carrying all of this extra weight, I've basically just sweated my way through the summer!  Anything above 74 degrees, and I'm drenched (yuck).  So the past few days with temps finally in the 70s has been an absolute gift for me.  I don't think I've ever wanted fall weather so badly in my life.

And they've been gentle days for me because I really can't tolerate anything else.  It used to be that I spent a lot of time resting and laying on my side for the sake of the babies, trying to give them the best blood flow for growing and developing.  But it's become pretty obvious to me over the past week that I now have to spend my time resting and laying on my side for ME.  I don't have any stamina or energy to be up nearly as much as I want to.  I get short of breath just taking a shower.  Here's how I get ready these days to leave the house:

1.  Shower and towel dry as best as possible (you try drying off a beached whale- not easy).
2.  Sit and catch my breath for a few minutes.
3.  Get dressed (sometimes I need Jason's help with this- putting pants on is quite a chore these days).
4.  Sit and catch my breath for a few minutes again.
5.  Sit in a chair and comb out my hair.
6.  Continue sitting and resting for a few minutes because I just had my hands above my shoulders.
7.  Sit at my desk to put makeup on.

I can no longer do things as quickly or as efficiently as I used to.  I feel so very lucky in that this has all come on gradually, but it is truly ridiculous to think back to what I was physically able to do even just a few weeks ago and compare it with what I can do now.  Most of the time it just makes me laugh because it truly is absolutely ridiculous.  I used to tell people that I was "pregnant, not feeble" when people said I was doing too much, but now I feel pretty feeble!

I sat down in the shower last week to scrub my feet, and I wasn't able to get myself back up.  I literally had to sit there until Jason heard my shouts for help and came to my rescue.  This morning, I took a warm bath to relax my aching back a little, and it took me almost five minutes to get up onto the edge of the tub to even be able to reach my towel.  I can only use the stove to make dinner if I pull a chair up and actually sit by the stove.  I have to sit down to brush my teeth!

It doesn't bother me too much to have to deal with all of this- it's my current reality, and I feel blessed that it has come on so gradually.  Lots of triplet mommies have to deal with substantially more physical issues during pregnancy than I have had to.  If anything, it makes me feel just so grateful for the fact that when I'm not pregnant, I'm generally physically healthy, something that I think I've unfortunately just taken for granted for way too long.

And let's face it- I love an excuse to laugh at myself, which my current physical limitations definitely are giving me lots of opportunities to do (the new nickname I've given myself is Humpty Dumpty).  Alright, so I can't touch my toes right now without a lot of grunting... this too shall pass.  :)

And besides, it's all completely worth it to me when you think about what I'm going to be getting in return for all of these discomforts.  Three little munchkins to hold and adore- totally worth it.  Absolutely and completely worth it.

Thanks to the generosity of both Jason's
and my coworkers, we now have three high
chairs just waiting to be assembled!!

Just a snapshot of my first breakfast this morning-
raisin bran w/ whole milk, 3 hard boiled eggs, blueberry
bagel loaded with butter, lots of grapes, juice, fruit smoothie,
and cheese slices.  Yum.  Emphasis on FIRST breakfast
(I ate again a few hours later!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Nursery's done!

Another fun couple of days!  I had another non-stress test this morning.  They're getting easier with each one that I go to.  Linda, the nurse who's done all of mine so far, keeps remarking that she's shocked whenever I show up- she keeps expecting the babies to have popped out already!  True to form, all three babes passed again.  Today, the one that took the longest to pass was actually Baby A because he was almost TOO active during the test.  He was moving around like someone had given him an extra dose of sugar, which meant that his baseline heart rate was higher to start with and therefore we actually had to wait a little bit until he settled down a bit!  :)

The boys have really stepped up their movements over the past week, both in strength and in frequency.  Most of the time I LOVE this fact, but it's also made it a little bit more difficult to get comfortable at night (apparently they think it's awesome to keep Mama awake with their activities!).  I don't mind getting up frequently at night, but I do feel bad for Jason in that he has to deal with a whirling, grunting dervish (that's me) when he's needing to get good sleep for work.  Insomnia is hitting me pretty hard right now, but I try to look at it as a blessing- the munchkins are just trying to prepare me for after they're born and needing to be fed at least every 3 hours!

But I will gladly take any insomnia if it means that I get to feel and see the munchkins moving more.  It's so magical to just recline on the couch and watch their movements across my tummy.  Every once in a while I'm sure that one of their arms or legs is going to just break on through my already overstretched skin a la the movie Alien.  But most of the time their movements just make me giggle out loud.  It would appear that our boys are growing in size and strength!

A lovely bit of news that I am so excited to report is that the nursery is finished!!  Our forest theme came together nicely, and I can't wait to bring three little peanuts home to their humble room.  I would never have thought it could take this long to get a nursery ready, but it seemed like every time I turned around there was another detail to account for and another aspect to consider.  Now I like to just go in there and touch stuff- rearrange the stuffed animals, make sure the diapers are neat, etc.  I've even got the outfits and blankets set out and ready that each munchkin will wear home from the hospital (and true to my "OCD-ish at times" nature, there are two outfits for each- based on their potential size!).

Both Jason and I are so excited for our babes to come home and just turn our lives upside down.  We were talking the other night and both of us admitted that we're so ready to be done with the "planning" and just get into the "doing" of having triplets!

32 week tummy
(the black is quite slimming)

My late morning "snack" today

Nursery pic- three cribs!

Changing table, woodland baby pics on the wall

Rug on the floor

Coming-home outfits and blankets for each munchkin:
2 outfits each to accommodate if they're preemie or newborn size!

Friday, October 5, 2012


32!  32!  32!  32!  32!  32!

We are officially at the 32 week mark!  Making it this far is a HUGE milestone!  Today, according to the doctors, is when we are officially 32 weeks along in this pregnancy.  According to me, it was actually yesterday (it's Leap Year- I think they forgot that extra day!).  No matter who you agree with, we've made it to the 32 week goal.  Making it to 32 weeks means that the boys' lungs are much more developed and will (hopefully) require less invasive help with breathing after they are born.  Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, and support in helping our family get to this point.

Yesterday was a full day for us.  I went to my scheduled non-stress test in the morning, and true to form, all of the babes did just great.  They all passed with flying colors.  Pheww!  Even though they call it a "non-stress" test because they aren't doing any interventions during the test to stress the babies, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's non-stress for Mama.  I made the nurse recheck my blood pressure  at the end of the test- much better!  Not only did the boys pass according to the 31 week gestational age criteria, they actually would have passed using the 32 week criteria (their heart rates need to go up a little bit more for a little bit longer after movements).  So proud of our little peanuts!

In the afternoon, Jason met me at the doctors' office and we went in for our ultrasound.  Dr. McElvey had given us a two week break from the ultrasounds, so I was pretty nervous (nervousness seems to be a common feeling for me these days) as to what we'd find out.  Nervous for lots of things- is my blood pressure staying low?  Are the babes looking okay on the ultrasound?  Do they still have enough amniotic fluid?  Have they gained enough weight to keep the pregnancy going?...

Whenever I was in the car or walking around yesterday, I listened to Bob Marley's music.  I think it really helped keep me calm, or at least kept me from totally freaking out.  I'm pretty sure that I only sang aloud when I was in the car, but I can't be too sure on that.  Sorry to anyone walking the hallways of Sutter Memorial hospital yesterday if you had to endure a poor rendition of "No Woman, No Cry".

Anyway, back to the ultrasound.  I don't know if I've ever been more proud of our babes!!!  All of them  looked great on the ultrasound!  They each have plenty of amniotic fluid still, their heartbeats are looking good, and they're moving around like is to be expected.  Because Baby A's slower weight gain has been a big concern for the doctors for the past month, they did the measuring to see how much estimated weight he's gained since the last ultrasound two weeks ago.

I am so proud to report that Baby A now weighs an estimated 3 pounds and 8 ounces!!  Our little peanut gained a full 12 ounces in two weeks, which means that his rate of growth actually picked up over the last two weeks in comparison with the previous three weeks.  So many prayers answered with this revelation.  The doctors have been telling us that, given how things have been progressing, the reason why they might have to intervene and deliver the munchkins would be if Baby A's growth slowed down.  I am just so eternally grateful that he's still growing and that we get to continue with this pregnancy.  We literally could not have asked for better news from the doctors yesterday!

One of Jason's big worries has been that I haven't been resting enough (I love this man so much!), and so he asked the doctor if I need to increased my bedrest.  Dr. McElvey was actually very positive with us and told us that whatever we've been doing is working!  I feel like I've been pretty good about resting in bed on my side as much as possible everyday, and so I'm thrilled that she didn't add anything to the regimen.  Plus I'm super excited that she doesn't think that I need to be on bed rest in the hospital- I'd much rather be in my own home, waking up next to my husband, cuddling with my puppies and kitty.  

The other new bit of news that we have is that the doctors will actually be working on scheduling us for a Caesarean section right around 36-37 weeks.  If something causes us to have to deliver before then, well so be it.  But at least now we know we have a potential end date.  Once they call us with the day, we'll let everyone know.  

I do have to report that Jason has been so amazing these last few weeks.  He's actually been amazing throughout the entire pregnancy as well, but I just want to give him some major props.  It is so hard for me to watch him take on more than his fair share of keeping this household running, especially when he does it with such a good, patient attitude.  I thank God everyday for his patience and efforts.  He's worked his butt off to make sure that the house still stands, the lawn's taken care of, and the pets are fed and loved.  

AND he's doing all of this while making sure that I'm being totally taken care of too- he's been so protective and so gentle with me.  He's quick to offer a hand to me when I'm trying to get up from the couch (it's tough when you're carrying about 60 extra pounds, with almost 14-15 pounds of that being total baby).  The other night, the poor man literally had to help me get out of the shower- I made the mistake of sitting down to scrub my feet and couldn't safely get up!  Jason's always making sure I've got more than enough food and drinks within easy reach.  People keep giving me props for carrying these little munchkins, but I truly feel like I've got the easier job right now when compared with my husband.  I don't think either of us anticipated how true our wedding vows would be when we said them three years ago.  I promise that from this day forward, you shall never walk alone.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pregnancy soundtrack

I had another non-stress test yesterday morning.  The boys all passed again!  They were moving and grooving in there, which made the nurse's job a little more challenging to make sure that each of their heartbeats was being monitored at all times.  It can be quite the ordeal for the nurse doing a non-stress test for triplets.  

During the test, I have to wear what I can only really describe as stretchy leg warmers, but they're for the tummy area to help hold the monitors on the skin.  Four separate monitors then get placed strategically on my belly-- three are to pick up and record the babies' heartbeats and one is to pick up any uterine contractions.  And when the babies start moving around a lot (like they were yesterday!), the nurse has to apply pressure to the monitor (effectively pressing down on my tummy!) to hopefully keep finding the heartbeat.  Additionally, I hold two buttons in my hand during the test, and whenever I feel any baby move, I'm supposed to click the buttons.  My nurse did a great job yesterday finding all of the heartbeats right away.  I think I was in the chair for less than two minutes (compared with almost 30 last week!) before she had each of the babes on the monitor.  I spent the next 20 minutes just "clicking" away.  

I feel like a bad mother at times while I'm hooked up for this test.  The nurse can usually look at the heartbeats and tell when the babies are moving.  And honestly- I don't always feel them.  Sometimes there's just so much going on down there that it almost seems like one baby's movements cancel another's out, leaving me feeling nothing.  And then I start thinking that I'm a bad mommy because I can't even feel my babies moving!!  :(  

But it is fun to have the test done too.  At one point, the nurse had to apply a lot of pressure to Baby C's monitor on my belly because he was moving so much- she made the comment that she could literally feel him rolling from front to back (or back to front- not sure) under the monitor.  All I care about at this point is that each of the boys is passing the test.  Usually one or two will pass very quickly and then I spend the rest of the test trying to cheer on the last baby...

If you know anything about me, you know that I love music- any kind of music.  My parents surrounded us with music when I was growing up.  I've been singing since I was a little girl and even went to college on a music scholarship (for voice).  To this day, I can't help but sing along to the radio in the car, regardless of how silly I must look to other drivers.   I actually met my husband at a jazz music festival- very appropriate!  

So it should come as no shock that I have a "pregnancy soundtrack" that I've been compiling over the last six months in my head.  It'll never be a bestseller on ITunes, but it's a totally random/odd mix of songs that speak to me personally.  I'm not saying that you need to rush out and listen to all of these songs, but they just may change your life...  :)

Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin
This song was actually performed live at our wedding three years ago, but I still love it.  The lyrics talk about how troubles may come, but it's most important to live in the moment and not worry about them until they arrive- something that's a little tough to do at times when you're carrying triplets.  But at least it helps me to remind me to be positive and just enjoy the journey!

One Thousand Years by Christina Perri
I heard this on the radio while waiting at a stoplight on the day we found out that there were three boys in my tummy.  For whatever reason, I actually listened to the words for the first time (I'd previously written it off as "that Twilight song").  The lyrics "how can I love when I'm afraid" and "I have died everyday waiting for you" just hit me- and I bawled like a baby at that stoplight.  Luckily no one was behind me...

Three Little Birds by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Jamaica, where the uncomparable Bob Marley hailed from, has had a special place in my heart ever since my first medical mission trip there.  The album that I most associate with this song, "Legend", has been one of my most favorite for forever.  And how can I argue with Bob telling me not to worry cuz every little thing is gonna be alright, especially when he informs me that there are three little birds telling me the same thing?  :)

You & Me by Dave Matthews Band
I feel so blessed to have the most amazing husband in the world.  I love that we've approached this entire pregnancy as a team effort, supporting each other through each development.  This song just exemplifies that to me.  I love the lyrics...
when the kids are old enough we're gonna teach them to fly
you and me together, we could do anything

Titanium by David Guetta feat. Sia
I've laughed everytime I've head this song since Dr. Veille first told me I have a "titanium cervix".  This is actually my cervix's theme song.  I'm laughing to myself right now having just typed those last two sentences.

Lucky by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillet
How lucky that I'm in love with my best friend?  How lucky are we to be adding on to our family?  Jason and I have actually performed this song before (in the comfort of our own home) with me on guitar and singing and him playing the bass.  Cute.  Nerdy, but cute.

You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne
Oh this man's voice has such soul in it.  Before when I used to listen to this song, it made me think of my husband.  And now, it still makes me think of Jason, but it also makes me think of these three little munchkins in my tummy and how they are probably the best thing that has ever happened to us.  How someday I'm going to be so excited to come home after a long day of work and just kiss their little faces.

Songbird by Eva Cassidy
This was the first song that Jason and I danced to as a married couple.  It has a special place in my heart, and I love every word in it.  Every single darn word.  Finding out that we were carrying triplets was such an absolutely surreal moment in my life- it didn't feel right and it didn't feel real.  But as time has passed-- I can't imagine it being any other way.  Having our triplets, while scary, just seems right.

Baby Mine by Bette Midler
I sing this song to the babes all the time.  It's from the Beaches soundtrack.

Gold On The Ceiling by The Black Keys
A totally unorthodox choice, but Jason and I did go to a Black Keys concert the week before our first ultrasound.  Plus you just can't listen to this song without getting happy and wanting to bust out some air guitar.  

Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson
Another song that just makes me happy and puts a smile in my heart.  I hadn't heard it in years until Jason and I had to make a run to the Home Depot for something for the babes' room.

In The Looking Glass by Lorie Line
Lorie Line is an amazing musician/composer/pianist from Minnesota.  I've loved her compositions for decades.  I've been playing this one on the piano just for the babes since the beginning of the pregnancy.  This song also holds the distinction of being the only complex song for the piano that I can play without sheet music...

So now that you rushed out and listened to all of these totally random songs on YouTube, you know why this will never be a bestselling soundtrack.  :)  But random as they are, each of these songs have been meaningful to me throughout this pregnancy...