Friday, September 11, 2009

Sophie is Home!

We are so happy... Sophie came home on August 31st. Chris and I are so happy to see her sitting at our house in her bouncy chair. It has been an adjustment for us... Sophie came home on Oxygen and with a g-tube (feeding tube) and with an oxygen alarm to let us know if she is having trouble breathing (a good thing... but it has many, many false alarms). Because of her current medical needs we also have nursing care in the house for her. We have a nurse in the house every day from 8-4. We also are working on getting a few night shifts (because of her alarm one of us has to be up and available to her all night). We are looking forward to a few nights off!

Chris started back at work this week. I go back to work on October 1st.

Thank you so much for all of your support and care! Chris and I will try to continue to update this on occasion with exciting Himmelet news! Feel free to also follow Maggie, Charlie, and Sophie's progress on Facebook (they have a Himmel fan group)- check with Chris or I for a link if you need!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

By the numbers:

72 days of bed rest
212 days pregnant
57 days Charlie was in NICU
59 days Maggie was in NICU
100 days the Triplets have been living in our world

The love and amazement we have for these babies: is immeasurable
The number of times Chris and I look at each other in amazement that we have triplets: many times daily!

It's been a long bumpy road. 312 days ago, I got pregnant. Somehow, we have all made it this far. Hopefully I can edit this post in the near future to add in when Sophie comes home. We are all waiting and praying for it to be soon :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wow... it's been a while!

Wow... it's been a while. I guess that is what going in to Boston every day for 8 weeks... then bringing home 2 babies and going in to Boston to visit the third does! I will try to get everyone caught up with the next few posts.

First: First Baths!



Yay for clean babies!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Maggie's NICU Spa Day (and a fun day for all)!

Mommy and Maggie right before her shampoo!

Yesterday when we were at the NICU I noticed that Maggie's hair was looking a tad yucky- so I asked her nurse last night if we could give her a bath. When we were told yes, I was thrilled! Today Chris and I headed into Boston earlier than normal so we could give her a bath- unfortunately traffic got in our way, so instead of a bath we gave her a shampoo! It was so much fun. Maggie and Charlie had a very fun nurse today who dubbed Maggie's shampoo as her "spa day in the NICU".... tee hee! Enjoy the pictures!

Maggie sporting the "Salon cape"... gotta keep those clothes dry!

Getting a warm towel massage!

Getting the shampoo rubbed in.. that feels good!

Rinsing her hair!

Yay, now I am nice and clean smelling!

Getting her hair dried (and sporting the ever fashinable "yeti" look).

It is very nice to be clean! Thanks Mommy and nurse Melissa (and my photographer, Daddy)

Today I also got to dress Charlie in a new outfit! While the nurses do an awesome job of picking out cute clothes for them (and I think love that part of their job), it is fun to pick out their outfits myself (such a normal mommy thing to do).

Sporting a very fashionable brown striped onsie!

Due to a "diaper problem", Charlie is now wearing a really cute light green onsie with a cute blue dinosaur.

We still get some of the best expressions from Charlie!

Chris also got to hold Sophie today. It is so nice to see more of her face- she has her new C-PAP nose prongs on. Despite having Daddy's undivided attention, Sophie decided that she wanted more people paying attention to her! She decided to sneeze out her C-PAP nasal prong while being held. Luckily, the nurses were very calm and replaced it quickly!

Daddy and Sophie. Sitting together, looking quite comfy.

Sophie's new purple hat.

A better facial shot than we have gotten in a long time! Sophie seems so much more comfy without her other C-PAP nasal prongs.

Hanging out with Daddy.

Weekend Update One

Maggie and Charlie hanging out together for a few minutes on Sunday!

It's been a crazy and fun weekend! Chris' Aunt Mary flew in to visit for the weekend on Friday. On Saturday Oma, Grumpa, Muti, and Chris' Aunt Mary came in with us to see the babies! It was a lot of fun watching them visiting with the babies. I also got the opportunity to hold Sophie, which is a wonderful experience everytime. Saturday evening we went out to dinner (Whitney was even able to join us which is always fun!!!). It is always a good time... we all gave the poor waitress a tough time!
Muti looking in at Sophie.

Oma looking at Charlie (in Mommy's arms).

On Sunday my mom came in with us... (my dad had been up most of the night so he decided to stay home and recover- he'll be coming in with us during the week). She enjoyed seeing the babies all dressed up! She thought they looked adorable (which they did!). We then went to my parents' house for a yummy dinner!
Mommy getting to hold Maggie and Charlie at the same time, for the first time!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Since I know what everyone who comes to look at this site is looking for: A baby update... we'll start with that.

The babies are awesome. Maggie and Charlie are officially considered Feeders and Growers. This means that they are not being looked at as a concern for major problems at this point- don't worry- they are still watched very closely. Now, for them the main focus is on getting some weight onto their skinny little bodies and watching them outgrow some of the typical preemie problems: mainly they need to learn how to take food by mouth (we'll start bottle/breast feeding for some nutrition in a week and a half or so), to stop having apneas and bradycardias (when they forget to breath or their heart rate drops), and when they can consistently maintain their body temperature without any additional help. Right now Maggie is 2lb 14 oz! Charlie is 2lb 10.6oz! The other really big news with them is they graduated to wearing clothes and being swaddled. They look really cute. They currently have some heat still in their isolettes mainly because the nurses are concerned with them using up too much energy keeping their temperatures stable, and right now we want their energy to be used to gain weight and grow!

Maggie in her very first outfit. So cute! A brown with pink polka dots with a sheep. It says: Baby Girl.

Charlie, all swaddled up... our little baby burrito. He loves to sleep when he is being held.

Sophie is also doing quite well. She has had her c-pap machine changed: instead of the large 2-prong c-pap that goes around her head she is now using the one prong c-pap that goes into one nostril. This is because the pressure of the other c-pap was irritating her nose. This was the same thing that happened with Maggie a few weeks ago. Luckily by changing the type of c-pap and using some ointment on Sophie's nose, it should be "all better" really soon. Sophie is also getting a series of Vitamin A shots- there was a study which showed that a series of 12 vitamin A shots helps reduce the long term effects of using mechanical breathing assistance. Sophie has been a lot more alert during care times and has been keeping her eyes open for longer periods. This is wonderful to see. She is such a strong little girl. The doctors tried one more time to do a lumbar puncture on Sophie the other day, however they were unable to use the fluid they got as it was tainted with blood. Due to this, the team has decided to continue Sophie's antibiotics for several more days- just to be on the safe side. Every time I look at Sophie I feel amazed that she is doing so well and so proud to be her mommy! Chris and I get the privilege of holding her every other day (because of her size). Since we take turns, this means I only get to hold my peanut every 4 days... but it is worth it to see Chris holding and loving on her!

Mommy cuddling with the little peanut: Sophie. How cute and tiny she is!

Now, to the reason I titled this post: Honored. I truly feel honored to be these little babies' mommy. I feel blessed beyond belief. But, I am also honored to be Chris' wife. It is amazing to watch him through this entire experience. First, when I was on bed rest he took care of me, the house, the laundry, and at times the grocery shopping. And let me tell you, staying home on the couch everyday often left me very cranky- and Chris was usually able to cheer me up and help my mood! Then when we got admitted to the hospital and I was scared and worried, he helped keep me calm and as relaxed as he could. In the operating room he was the biggest help... he talked to me and told me what was going on... and he took pictures of the babies so I could look at them while in recovery. In the hospital- he took great care of me, making sure I got pain medication when I needed them, that the nurses took care of me when needed, and that I took care of me. Then my incision opened, and he has been taking care of it every day... go surgeon daddy! But the most wonderful thing to me is to watch him taking care of our children... taking their temperatures, changing their diapers, calming them down, and holding them. I am honored to have him as my husband and the father of my children. I love you Chris!

Chris holding our little baby burrito: Charlie. He was wearing a cute little blue onsie underneath.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Holding Maggie for the First Time (or when I finally started feeling like a mom)

Unlike most moms I had to wait 5 days before I got to hold any of my babies. But 5 days after they were born on May 12th I got to hold my "biggest" daughter, Maggie! It was such an amazing feeling.
As you can see, when the nurse put her in my arms, I started to cry. She is so tiny, but so perfect.

I knew I was only going to get to hold her for a few minutes. The nurses were not sure how well she would do holding her temperatures up and she still had her umbilical lines in so we had to swaddle her as to make sure we were not taking any chances on pulling her lines out!

I had to call my parents and tell them I was holding Maggie. I started to cry again!!

On Friday all three babies had their umbilical lines removed (Maggie and Sophie now have a Picc line) (A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC or PIC line) is a form of intravenous access that can be used for a prolonged period of time (e.g. for long chemotherapy regimens, extended antibiotic therapy, or total parenteral nutrition).) Maggie and Sophie require their Picc line for total parenteral nutrition (TPN- a solution including all the salts, glucose, amino acids, lipids and added vitamins needed for nutrition ) which they will require until their stomachs are able to tolerate enough breast milk during a feed to provide them adequate calories. Charlie is already getting enough breast milk during feeds (with additional calories added) so he does not need TPN any longer!

As all 3 babies no longer have lines in their umbilical cords they can all be held. Chris and I are now doing what is called Kangaroo Care, where the baby is placed against our chest, skin to skin, with a blanket draped over them to keep them warm. This provides the babies with our body heat so their temperatures stay stable as well as providing a bonding and calming experience for both the babies and Chris and I! Right now we can do Kangaroo care every other day with Sophie. We are not sure if we will be able to do daily or every other day Kangaroo care with Charlie and Maggie.

But as of now I have held Charlie once, Maggie three times, and Sophie once.
Chris has held Charlie twice, and Maggie once. He will get to hold Sophie for the first time tomorrow!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Editor's Revisions

For those that read my previous entry, I realized after I posted that I left out a few key pieces of information that I had planned to include. So, here are the editor's notes:

Being born on May 7, the Triplets were at a gestational age of 30 weeks and 2 days. The average gestational age for delivering triplets is 32 weeks. "Full term" is 40 weeks, which means our 3 are approximately 10 weeks premature. We are all very impressed that Erin managed to carry these 3 as long as she did.

It is hard to judge exactly how long the NICU stays will last. For most babies, doctors predict they will stay until around their original due date. This is only an estimate as the circumstances of each individual child determine when they are able to go home. In our case, our "official" due date was July 14 (which also happens to be our wedding anniversary). Current thinking is that Maggie and Charlie may be ready to come home around this time. Because of Sophie's much smaller size, she has further to go. Best estimates right now are that she may be ready around 2 weeks after the July 14 date. So while we are officially parents, we have quite a wait before the kids are ready to come home. As difficult as this is to experience, and for others to understand, we have to remember that this is what they need right now. We'll keep driving in to see them and look forward to when they're ready to be home.

I think that's all the revisions I meant to include. I'm sure I'll come up with more as time goes on. Once again, thanks for all the support out there. We really do appreciate it.

-Papa Chris

Thursday, May 14, 2009

1 Week Old!

Wow, what a week it has been. This is a "Dad Entry". Since today marks the Triplets' 1 Week Birthday, I'm going to try to do some recap on the events of the week so we all feel caught up and you hear it from Dad's perspective (which is admittedly a bit rare in this blog).

On Wednesday 5/6 we went in for our weekly doctor's appointment. This appointment was different however, in that we were basically getting a 2nd level 2 ultrasound to check on things especially baby C (Sophie). Turns out things were looking less than good and the decision was made to admit Erin and do delivery in about 48 hours, pending a follow-up ultrasound the next day...

On Thursday 5/7 we anxiously awaited the follow-up and tried to deal with becoming parents earlier than planned and on short notice. At the follow-up things had gotten worse since the day before and so delivery was moved up. It was now around 3:30p.m. and the C-section was scheduled for 8:00! At this point, families started showing up. Both sets of soon-to-be grandparents came in not sure how to handle the imminent delivery of their grandchildren. There was excitement, to be sure, but also apprehension at how things might turn out.

By 8:00 we were prepping for surgery. Erin was carted off and I was made to wait and change into some extremely fashionable blue surgical attire. After some pacing and thumb-twiddling I was brought into the operating room. Skipping some gory details (pun intended) at 8:58 Maggie was born followed in the same minute by her brother Charlie. At 9:00 Sophie emerged. All 3 children were brought to neonatal teams in the OR while surgery was completed on Erin. Because Sophie was the most worrisome case they quickly brought her over to meet Erin and was then whisked away to the NICU followed shortly by her siblings.

Around 10:30 Erin was still recovering and I got to go to the NICU to meet the Triplets for the first time. A little later we brought Erin in on her gurney. After that, Erin was brought back down to the room and I brought each set of grandparents through. By the time all was said and done it was somewhere around 1:00 in the morning.

The morning of Friday 5/8 we were still reeling. We got up to the NICU about 12 hours after the kids were born to visit them. Later in the day, the Grandparents and some more family members came by, including Maggie, Charlie, and Sophie's Great-Grandmother! We were quickly learning how the NICU works and spending lots of time with medical personnel giving us tons of information to absorb. By now we had learned a few things:

Maggie and Charlie were doing well, but there was more concern over Sophie. Maggie was born weighing 2lbs9ozs, Charlie at 2lbs7ozs, and Sophie at 1lb4ozs. Maggie and Charlie were put on a breathing device called CPAP. This helps the lungs stay open while exhaling, but keeps the child breathing somewhat independantly. O2 is added to the air supply as needed. Sophie was intubated and on a ventilator. This is basically the machine breathing for you. Intubation also paralyzes the vocal chords, so while we heard Maggie and Charlie in the OR and since, we had yet to hear Sophie's voice at all. We had never heard her cry. This is in part because Sophie was born without a heartbeat... There I said it. Her initial Apgar was a 0. Maggie and Charlie had identical Apgar scores of 7 at birth and 8 after 5 minutes. At 5 minutes Sophie had moved up to a 2. With low Apgar scores at 5 minutes they do another test at 10 minutes. By this time she moved up to a 6.

So Maggie and Charlie were looking good, while Sophie was struggling. By end of the day Friday she was continuing to progress. We were anxious, but remaining optimistic.

Saturday 5/9 brought more visitors. Everytime we went up to the NICU we seemed to get more good news. Maggie and Charlie continued to do well and Sophie was working hard to catch up. She proves herself a fighter and just keeps taking tiny steps in the right direction. We're so proud of all 3 kids.

Sunday 5/10 - Erin's first Mother's Day. A crazy day of celebration and being overwhelmed. Families came back, but were nice enough to spread the times out a bit. Each visit to the NICU kept getting better. We were getting to know some of the staff now and enjoyed spending time with the 3 little ones. Erin received some very thoughtful Mother's Day gifts and cards. She even got some of the sweetest cards from the Triplets (as made by the NICU staff)! It was all very nice. At this time we also unveiled some gifts Erin found for our families. Grandparents all got "Proud Grandparent of Triplets" attire. There was even a shirt for Great-Grandma! It was very nice, but very busy. We were happy for a little more downtime on...

Monday 5/11 - Like I said, more downtime. We got to spend more time on our own with the Triplets. My parents did come by later in the day, but the activity was nowhere near overwhelming. Talk started of trying Maggie and Charlie off their CPAPs. Just waiting to see how they did, but all 3 kids were continuing to make strides in the right direction! We were also told that we might get to hold Maggie and Charlie the next day! (if only it were that simple!)

Tuesday 5/12 - The day we got discharged. Erin's recovery was going very smoothly and her time as an offical patient ended. We had been told about an extra room that would allow us to stay one extra night, so we signed up and after being discharged moved our stuff over. During this time, another new visitor came by and we took her up to be introduced. Everything was going smoothly and plans were still to try holding Maggie and Charlie for the 1st time starting at 4:00. Then it happened. We were down in our new little room just thinking about heading back upstairs when Erin's incision started to bleed. While this would have been a bummer anyway, we had already been discharged and she was no longer a patient... After a LPN came by out of the goodness of her heart we were advised to call the OBs office. By now it's 4:00 and everyone is closing and we're supposed to be up in the NICU. We end up having to go through GYN triage where they take their sweet time dealing with Erin's incision. Erin's parents showed up just as this was all starting and were sitting down in our room just waiting. My parents had decided to come in for the evening and showed up a little before we finally left triage. Didn't get readmitted, but had some more things to deal with.

We go meet our parents. Erin's parents had been there so long Erin took them in to NICU and I waited with mine (only 2 guests in NICU allowed at a time). Erin's parents decide to leave and I bring mine in. Finally, they say that Erin can hold Maggie. All that waiting and frustration, but it finally happened. We had to hold off on Charlie because his temps were on the low side, so he had to stay in the isolette where it was warmer.

Wednesday 5/13 - The day we get kicked out of the hospital. Not a day we were really looking forward to. Leaving 3 kids in Boston while you go home an hour away is a bit weird, and not very pleasant. A lot of good things happened though: Maggie and Charlie were taken off CPAP. They are now breathing all on their own. Charlie took right to it (he hated having the CPAP on anyway). Maggie had a little more trouble, but has been able to stay off and is doing great. Hooray for no more breathing equipment! Just as important, Sophie went to CPAP being taken off her ventilator. She is now doing more independant breathing. She needs the extra help from CPAP, but it's one more move in the right direction! Charlie's temps were back up, so I actually got to hold him! Pretty surreal, actually. I almost forgot how small they are, but when I got into "baby holding position" I had to bring my arm in closer to adjust. I'm not particularly small, so holding him makes him look tiny. Hard to imagine what it will be like when it's Sophie's turn. Eventually we had to leave and come home. It wasn't easy leaving them, but it was good to get back to our own space. It's also nice that the NICU takes calls 24hrs a day, so you can always get an update.

Thursday 5/14 - The Triplets turn 1 week old! Our first day of driving in to visit went very well. I think we'll manage to find a routine fairly quickly. All 3 kids are doing exactly what they need to do. Erin got to hold Maggie again today. She and Charlie are still doing great without the CPAP. while Sophie's doing great with it. There's no doubt it will be a long road ahead, but we're on the right path and will get there eventually.

Extra credit to those who actually managed to read this entire entry. You're now pretty well caught up on the Triplets' first week of life. Thank you for all the support you've offered and so generously given. I hope we can continue to fill this blog with good news, and also that most entries won't be nearly as long winded as this one.

aka "Dad" --How cool is that?!?!

Friday, May 8, 2009

First Pictures of the Triplets!

Well, I have heard a call out for pictures loud and clear. Here you go! Just as a warning- these pictures are all from the NICU. The babies do have wires attached to them along with breathing equipment. If you are concerned: the babies are not in any pain and everything attached to them is a good thing and vital at this point. They are adorable and precious little (very little) ones!

Enjoy the pictures!

Maggie right after being settled into the NICU. At this point she is less than 1 1/2 hours old!

Charlie right after being settled into the NICU. He is less than 1 1/2 hours old!

And here is Maggie relaxing on her Sheep-skin bed at 12 hours old!

Charlie chilling out on his sheep-skin bed at 12 hours old!

Sophie looking quite comfy on her sheep-skin bed at 12 hours old!

Mommy changing Sophie's diaper for the first time! The diapers are so, so tiny!

Mommy also got to take Sophie's temperature! What a cute little girl!

The Himmel Triplets have arrived!

The Himmel Triplets have arrived. After meeting with the radiologist on Thursday afternoon we discovered that Sophia's umbilical cord blood flow was showing some reversal. Due to this, we decided to push up the delivery. We got back to our room and started to make some phone calls to gather our families all together. Around 6:30 pm, Erin was taken to Labor and Delivery (and chris went with her) for them to start her IV and get all the needed paperwork taken care of! At 8pm, Erin was taken to the OR to start her Spinal anesthesia. It took several tries to get it right... that was the tough part! Once the Spinal was settled the OR staff settled Erin and got her all ready. Chris was brought in (in his cute little blue OR suit) and got to sit next to Erin as they started the surgery. The surgery itself wasn't bad. I couldn't even feel the first cut or anything. It was odd at times when the doctor would start to push and pull... but no pain was felt!

Magdalena Ruby was born at 8:58pm and weighed in at 2lbs 9 oz.
Charles Thomas was born at 8:58pm and weighed in at 2 lbs 7 oz.
Sophia Sada was born at 9:00pm and weighed in at 1 lb 4 oz.

Maggie's appgar scores were a 7 at birth and an 8 at 5 minutes. We could hear her cry in the OR! Charles apgar scores were the same... and we also heard him cry! Sophia's apgar scores were not quite as good: she had a 0 at birth, a 2 at 5 minutes and a 6 at 10 minutes.

Once we got upstairs to the NICU to see the babies, Maggie and Charlie were on C-Pap with room air. They had lines in them for TPN (IV nutrition). Most of their lines are in their umbilical cords. Sophia was started on a regular ventaltor. As the evening went on she got tired and was changed to an Oscalating Ventalator. The great this is that as of this morning she was back on the regular ventaltor! Sophia also received platelets as her blood counts were a bit off.

Last night Grammy and Grandpa Hutch got to meet the babies and love them. Oma and Grumpa Himmel also got to meet the babies and touch each one. They were very patient waiting in the hospital room while everything took place downstairs!

This morning Chris and I went upstairs to check on the babies. Maggie and Charlie look great! They are both fairly happy. We even saw they enjoy sucking on pacifiers! The hope is to start them on Breast milk tomorrow! We were warned that both would likely be under bilirubin lights by this evening for Jaundice- which is very normal for their size! Sophia also looked quite good this morning. She is still tiny, but was very active kicking her legs and opening her eyes! She had a brain ultrasound done this morning and we were informed by her nurse that the ultrasound came back as normal! They have started her on antibiotics as a precaution while they continue to make sure that she is just a little thing and that there isn't anything else going on wrong with her! She was started under the bilirubin lights as well. There is talk of starting her on food fairly quickly! It's amazing. She is still very fragile, but things definitally look better for her today. Please keep up your prayers and good thoughts- they are certainly working!

I am doing okay today. Some mild pain around the c-section incision. Luckily the pain meds I have been given have made a huge difference! I have already walked a small amount to the bathroom and have stood up in the NICU when visiting the babies. I am trying to take it easy and not over do things. I am a bit tired... may try for a nap later on! I currently still have a catheter in as well as an IV... however it appears both will be removed around 9pm tonight. I am supposed to try to take a walk outside on the floor later today as well! I started pumping today and so far have done fairly well... I actually got a little bit out!

Today, my sister Tonya and my brother-in-law Andy stopped in to meet the babies! Later on, great-grandmother Muti, Chris' sister Whitney and Mere, as well Oma and Grumpa are coming by to meet (re-meet) the babies. Grammy and Grandpa are also stopping in shortly.

Things are looking good. Keep the babies in mind and keep all prayers and good thoughts coming! It has been a good day so far! We'll update with any changes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Week 30... the excitement begins.

Hi. Well I am writing this entry bright and early Thursday morning from my hospital bed at Beth Israel. To put it mildly, yesterday did not go the way Chris and I had hoped it would. We had our appointment at radiology and then with our doctor. When we met with the doctor he let us know that Sophia has not really grown (at least by what they can measure at this point) in the last 2 weeks. At this point she also has little to no discernible fluid around her. Maggie and Charlie are doing well. They keep growing and have good fluid levels. Because of this, I got my first of 2 steroid shots (and I checked... I will not be able to go hit a really good home run for the Red Sox nor will the babies after these) yesterday. The steroid shots should help the babies' lungs mature a bit as well as some vasular system and gut growth. This is important. Today we will meet with the NICU (neonatal Intensive Care Unit) staff as well as have some further testing done to make sure that the cord blood on Sophie does not reverse. As long as she remains stable from yesterday it sounds like the Himmel triplets will arrive Friday late afternoon/evening. I will update more after our consults today when I know more. At this point we know that Charlie and Maggie are doing well and should do alright in the NICU and we know that Sophie needs to be born and to go to the NICU in order to get the nutrients and oxygen to grow and thrive so this is the right thing to do. Just a bit scary to me.

Our current contact info:
Room: 638, Stoneman
Beth Israel, Boston

Room phone: 617-667-6272. You can also reach us on our cell phones at this point.

Chris is with me. I am so blessed to have him here. He really knows how to keep me calm and collected.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Week 29 Doctor's appointment

We had a very positive doctor's appointment this week! The doctor said that the babies heartbeats all looked good, amniotic fluid levels looked normal, and my cervix stayed stable! So, again I am home again for another week! I am so happy about that! Now I also know when I look down at my belly and see heads or bottoms pushing out which baby they belong to and what body part they are! Maggie is head down on my left side. Charlie is head down on my right side. And Sophie is located behind them with her head on the top!

Next week we go in for a longer appointment: we will go to Radiology who will use their "special machines" (as the doctor put it) to get more accurate measurements of all three babies.

Today, Chris finished putting the shelves up in the closet! We also have all the baskets we need to organize baby stuff (at least for now). Right now, Chris is working on washing all the baby clothes we have so that I can organize it tomorrow by sizes (we have been welcoming hand-me-downs)! Whitney finished re-finishing the dresser yesterday so we are just waiting for someone else to come by and help Chris put it in the nursery. It's all starting to come together! I am so happy about that! I am constantly amazed by how much "stuff" babies need!!!!

Tomorrow, Chris' aunt Ellen is coming to town to visit. She is staying next door with Muti (who is very excited!). We will be celebrating Muti's 85th birthday on Sunday (her actual birthday is Monday). I am so happy that I will be home for this... when we started talking about her birthday I was really worried that I would be in the hospital by then!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Updated pictures!

Thought I would share some updated pictures!

I got my hair cut recently. It was great, my sister's neighbor was able to come over and cut my hair at home!

It's a lot shorter than my normal... but now it does not get stuck under me when lying down.... and is much easier to care for. Thought somehow that might be important with 3 babies coming!

This picture was taken at one day prior to 28 weeks. I am amazed by how much bigger my stomach is getting!

Me standing up. Wow... I guess I do look pregnant now!

It's April... and I am outside, lying in the sun... in shorts!
I promise I wore sunscreen!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Week 28 Fun for all

This weeks doctor's appointment went well. We first met with the NICU (neonatal (infant) Intensive Care Unit) staff. The neonatalogist we met with was amazing. He was very kind and honest. He didn't use a lot of scare tactics but told us what we would see if the babies were born this week, at week 30, or at week 32. He told us all about what the babies would look like... what kinds of respiratory support the babies would need, and how the babies would get nutrition. The the doctor gave us a tour of the NICU. It was calm and organized inside. I felt like the babies will be safe and well cared for there.

Afterwards we went to see our normal Perinatalogist. It was a good appointment. We found out that all 3 have good amiotic fluid levels! This is an improvement for Sophia! Then we got new weights for the babies. Magggie measured at 2lb 6oz, Charlie measured at 2lb 4oz, and Sophie is still small at 1lb 10 oz. We go back next week for a quick cervix check and a quick ultrasound look at the babies: heatrates and amiotic fluid levels! Then when we are at 30 weeks we go in to Radiology to get more accurate weights. Radiology has machinery which should be able to get a better view of Sophie.

Tomorrow we will be having a final bash for Chris' birthday with some of his college friends and some other friends. It should be fun!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Week 27 Doctor's Appointment

Tonight Chris and I went into our standard Wednesday doctor's appointment. Maggie and Charlie looked "perfect". Sophie is still looking a little small and her amniotic fluid looks low. The doctor measured the blood flow through her umbilical cord. The flow into Sophie looks good, the return flow looked a little weak towards the end of a Cardiac cycle. The doctor said that this does not look "reassuring" but is not "ominous". This is good news right now. He said it is likely a placenta issue and is caused by there being 3 placentas so Sophie's is not implanted in an area with as strong a vascular system. We go back next week and he will look again at her size and the fluid levels. If they remain small/low then we will discuss closer monitoring (hospitalization?) and getting steroid shots to mature the babies lungs. He did tell us that there is a chance that next week it can be "all better". I was also happy to learn that it is not caused by anything I did: diet, fluid intake, and amount of time lying down will not affect this (although for all reading: I am still drinking ridiculously large amounts of water, eating the best I can, and lying down 90% of the time... much of it on my left side). Sophie could use some good thoughts sent her way... we are not panicking about this at this point, just being cautious.

Good Friday

Good Friday may have not been quite as "good" as it sounds for Chris and I... but it ended well! On Good Friday during a yummy dinner of Chinese food, I started to have contractions. After we measured 4 within a hour (our cut off re: the perinatologist). We called and were told to come in. During the drive into Boston, we had another 3 contractions (1 every 18 minutes). Then as soon as we got to the hospital they stopped. I was hooked up to all sorts of machines which measured any contractions, and the babies heartbeats. They did a FFN test which tested whether or not I would go into preterm labor within the next week or two. After it came back negative we were released to come home. Since then I have only had 1 or 2 contractions a day. Not too bad! I kind of felt like the car with a rattle that you bring into the mechanics and stops rattling as soon as you get there!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Week 26 doctor's appointment!

Wednesday's doctor's appt. went very well. We got baby weights: Baby A (Maggie): 2lbs 1 oz. Baby B (Charlie): 1lb 10 oz. Baby C(Sophie): 1lb 4 oz. The doctor said Sophie looks small but that he had a lot of trouble getting good measurements as Sophie is tucked behind the other 2. The doctor wasn't too worried... said he would just keep checking on Sophie over the next few weeks!

I should get a call from the office tomorrow setting up appts. for me with physical therapy (I have lost a lot of muscle tone over the past 6 weeks of lying down and they are worried about my recovery unless we start a pt program) and a NICU consult for when I am 28 weeks.

I also had a glucose challenge test (1 hour test for gestational diabetes)- I passed it! Yay, no more gestational diabetes testing!

My cervix has stayed stable from last week, so that is also good! Chris and I go back next Wednesday. Things are definitally moving along. My belly is getting bigger. I no longer have an "innie- bellybutton". A few contractions on occasion, pressure if I stand "too long"... but they all go away quickly. Extra water and putting my feet up higher always stops everything, and I havn't had more than 2 contrations in an hour, normally it is more like 1 a day... not to bad!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Made it to 26 weeks... and opening day for the Red Sox!

Well, Thanks to a postponement due to rain yesterday, Opening day of the Boston Red Sox fell on the day I made it to 26 weeks! Wow. It's hard to believe that I have made it this far! Only 9 more weeks until these babies arrive (remember we are aiming for making it to our c-section at 35 weeks). Making it to 26 weeks means really good chances for these babies. I'll feel better though, once I get past 28 weeks. For most of the preemie world, 28 weeks is a huge milestone. It lowers the chances of long term developmental issues, and has a really good survival rate (80%) with 32 weeks being awesome with a survival rate of 90%. Also at 32 weeks usually the lungs are ready to support the baby and the baby is close to being able to suck, so feedings can be easier! 32 weeks is the average delivery age of triplets, but those who know me know that I can be an overachiever so I am aiming for 35 weeks... the longest triplets can stay in the womb! Some triplets at 35 weeks even go home from the hospital with their parents! ( Although I am preparing myself for a NICU stay of some length).

Last weeks appointment went alright... some slight shortening of my cervix, but the doctor just felt he wanted to keep monitoring it. I have been taking it really easy this week at home... hopefully there will be no more cervical changes tomorrow at my next appointment. And I gained some more weight! (I think this is the first, and only time I am excited about seeing my weight go up on the scale. I know it means the babies are growing!). Tomorrow I get to drink my "yummy" (if I keep telling myself that, maybe it'll be true) Orange glucose drink... we get to see if I fail my first gestational diabetes test. The doctor warned me that with 3 babies and placentas I most likely will! I am also hoping to get baby weights tomorrow! Chris and I should be having a consult with a NICU doctor in the next few weeks... just so we know what to expect.

I was looking at the Red Sox schedule (for those who don't know, Chris and I are going to be having the Triplets at Beth Israel Hospital which is in the Fenway area of Boston... it actually is the "Official hospital of the Boston Red Sox") so I figured I better find out if any games are going to be a problem. Let's just say, Chris and my rides into Boston shouldn't be too bad, but there are an awful lot of Wednesday night games (7pm) so leaving the hospital should be fun. I'm glad Chris is driving!

I'll try hard to update Thursday or Friday with results of tomorrow's appointment.

The Baby shower

Hi! Sorry to have taken so long to write an update.... it can be hard to type when you are lying down...

The baby shower was amazing. I really owe everyone who came a huge hug. It made me feel so loved to see so many faces- present co-workers, Chris' co-worker (and friends), high school and elementary school friends, family, and childhood neighbors, and current neighbors surrounding me. It was amazing when I realized that over 40 people stopped in. The only thing I felt bad about was that I didn't have enough time to spend with each person! The shower went by in a blur. These are definitely 3 very loved babies- and they aren't even born yet!

I spent the entire next week going through the presents and writing thank you notes!

I need to particularly thank Rachel (the best friend a girl could want) and my mom for organizing everything, my sister, father, and mother for helping Chris out by doing some cleaning prior to the party, and my mother-in-law, and Muti for bringing food and helping out!

Friday, March 20, 2009

23 Weeks and 3 days!

Hi everyone! I am so excited and proud to tell you that I had a great doctor's appointment this week. Everything continues to look stable and the babies are growing nicely. In fact, the appointment went so well that the doctor doesn't feel he needs to see me next week. He also took some of my restrictions off of me. I am allowed to move around for up to 15 minutes at a time... I am just supposed to make sure I rest between longer activities and lie down immediately if I feel any cramping or discomfort! Not bad. In fact the doctor recommended that since I don't get my big "outing" to Boston next week, Chris should take me out for lunch! We are hoping to work on that next weekend! It has definitely made all the lying down better.

I am also very excited about tomorrow- my baby shower will be happening at my house (since I am on bedrest and can't move too much) around lunch time. It is going to be so much fun to see everyone who can make it!

I'll try to update this early next week! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 18... still on bedrest!

I am so proud of myself... it is day 18 of lying on the couch/lying in bed- and I still can be socially appropriate when people come over! Yay! This past Wednesday I got to have another adventure into Boston. The adventure started with Whitney driving me to the Liberty Tree Mall to meet up with Chris (so he did not have to take any time off work for the doctor's appointment). I even got to go into Target to go to the bathroom! Then Chris and I drove into Boston. The poor doctor was running late due to several emergencies. I was very happy to wait- that it was not me who was having the emergency! The doctor said that I am doing very well and everything is staying stable. Basically I was told to continue doing what I have been- lying down in at least a semi-recline... on my side as much as possible, getting up for only 5 minutes or so per hour. It isn't fun, but as long as it continues to work it is worth it!

Today, Chris is upstairs putting together 3 cribs! It is going to be strange to see the 3 cribs put together. It makes the whole thing more real (not like bedrest hasn't made things real already!). It also sounds like we will have the triplet's dresser soon... Whitney has been refinishing a dresser she used as a kid. I can't wait to see it in the nursery.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Above are some photographs of Erin taken by Kristin Gleason Griffin. We think they turned out fantastic and had to share them with you. These are only the first few Kristin sent along, we're expecting a DVD with lots more (about 60 in total!). We hope you enjoy them!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What a week it has been...

Hi Everyone,

Sorry this post is so belated; I know a few of you out there have been waiting to hear what the hell happened last week. Here is the story:

On Wednesday 2/25 we went in to Boston for a standard appointment just to check in and make sure everything was progressing as it should... Well, as it turns out things were starting to progress as they shouldn't. The ultrasound showed that Erin had "funneling" in her cervix. Basically, her cervix was starting to shorten and open. While this may not have been immediately dangerous, if allowed to continue it would likely have lead to pre-term labor and other things that we didn't want to have happen. The solution to this was a surgical procedure called a cervical cerclage which involves putting a stitch around the cervix to keep it from opening any further, and ideally reverse some of the funneling. In this situation the sooner the procedure could be done, the better, so off we went to be admitted and got ready for a long night... Our appointment had started around 4:00 Wednesday afternoon. Erin was finally in surgery just after 10:00 that night. She came out around 11:00 and I was able to get up to see her in recovery by 11:30. We finally settled into a room just after 1:00 Thursday morning and started to get some sleep around 2:00. We saw another doctor on Thursday and had another ultrasound done at 11:00 to see how things looked then. Everything seemed to be ok, so we were released and made it home just after 1:00 in the afternoon.

Now the good news, the surgery went extremely well and everyone came out ok. This past Wednesday, 3/4 we went back in to see what the final results of the surgery were. Things are looking good at this point. There have been no problems stemming from the surgery, and the funneling seems to have been partially reversed. The trade-off, however, is that Erin is now on modified bedrest for the duration of the pregnancy. Luckily, in this case she doesn't have to actually stay in bed all day, but can hang out on the couch and watch TV and use the newly installed wi-fi connection on her brand-spanking-new laptop. She's told her limit is about 5 minutes of being up and moving out of every hour. This sounds extreme, but the times when she's needed to be up for much longer than that (making trips to Boston for instance) she can feel the difference and becomes quite uncomfortable. She has now survived her first full week on bedrest, and while not happy about it, is starting to adjust. She welcomes visitors almost any time, since I'm still working and gone for a significant portion of the day. She's also getting plenty of milage out of our phone plan and her laptop (thank goodness for wi-fi). Many people have also been extremely generous providing meals since, as most of you know, Erin does the cooking around here for very good reason.

Other news around here is that Whitney's actually made it back and living about 2 minutes away. We're all happy to have her around to pawn work off onto... We feel very lucky to have so many friends and family all offering support in their various ways. No doubt the road ahead will continue to be challenging, but we feel we've cleared one major obstacle, and with so many others helping, we're confident in our ability to make it through to the other side. Thank you all.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nursery and other "things"

I for one, can't believe that February School Vacation Week is almost over. It was way to short this year. But busy and productive (as long as you don't look at the piles of "stuff" I meant to clean up... I guess I have a day and a half to accomplish that right???).

This vacation, Chris painted the nursery. He got some help from (and we have to send out kudos to) Rachel. Wow.. it looks great. Once Chris gets the ceiling fan up and we move back a little bit of the furniture that will live in the room, we'll post pictures!

Chris and I also registered (figured, since bed rest is looming- or at least that is how it feel to me-- better do it soon) for all the "stuff" babies need. Wow... they need a lot huh? We tried to not register for the extras we won't need, but sheets, cribs, blankets, bottles, and car seats seemed important! We registered at for the cribs (the room has slanted ceilings so it was a bit of a challenge to find cribs which would fit). We went to Babysrus (store and online) for most of the stuff they seem to think we need. Lastly, has a few things which we were unable to find at Target or Babysrus. Do you know how hard it is to find thing that are "premie" sized??? What an eye-opener. And premie clothes are so small.... good god, are they really going to be that small!!!! With our little "brood" being born at 35 weeks (at best) I at least figured it made sense to have some stuff which they won't swim in, and if they don't need it, I am not removing tags and will return it or donate it to the NICU happily!

We have another doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Hoping to hear more good news. I always go to these appointments worrying that this will be the week I am told, "no more work for you- Bedrest". No real reason to think it will happen though. No cramping. No visable problems. That's good. My goal remains to make it to April School Vacation Week... then my leave through to the start of the new school year will be paid!

Oh, and for all who are interested- I still have a belly button. If your guess has gone by, feel free to guess again!

Will update with doctor's appointment info and hopefully nursery pictures on Wednesday/Thursday- Erin

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Final 33.33% of Names and Genders!

Dad post #2 to complete the tally:

The level 2 ultrasound on Tuesday went great. We even got a 3d image of one of the babies! How cool is that?! So with the gender score tied at 1-1 we were dying to hear the result of the tiebreaker. And the verdict is...

Baby C is a GIRL! So the girls will outnumber the boys 2-1 or 3-2 if you count the parents. Our second daughter-to-be's name is Sophia Sada, so now we have Maggie, Sophie, and Charlie just waiting to be introduced to the world. Further updates will be forthcoming as events warrant (or when anyone feels like posting).


Thursday, February 5, 2009

66.66 % of Names and Genders!

For the first official "Dad" authored post I have the pleasure of announcing 2 of our expected children's names and genders.

We were back in Boston for an appointment on Wednesday 2/4, which put us at 17 weeks and 1 day. Erin and I had spent the previous evening discussing possible names. We have struggled a great deal on this subject, but had managed to come up with 2 boy names and 1 girl name. The evening of the 2/3 we managed to come up with a second girl name, since we both felt it important to have at least 2 of each ready... For whatever reason we had already decided we were not having all girls or all boys, we simply needed our doctor to confirm this for us...

The appointment went well and everyone (Mom included) are progressing as they should. And now for the moment you've all been waiting for... the verdicts are:

Baby A is a GIRL!! At least the doctor says there's an 85% chance she's a girl... hopefully she's not the troublemaker of the bunch already starting with the practical jokes...

Baby B is a BOY!! This one he seemed more sure about, and after reviewing the ultrasound pictures we can understand why... (wink wink)

Baby C is sitting cross-legged and feeling shy, so is still anybody's guess. It seems that Baby C is just full of surprises as this same child felt the need to remain completely hidden until week 12 and continues to keep the suspense building...

So on to the names. Like I said, we struggled over these, but finally came to some decisions we're both happy with.

Our young daughter to be is to be named Magdalena Ruby. Magdalena was Erin's paternal grandmother's middle name and Ruby was my father's biological mother's name. We plan on calling her Maggie except in those (hopefully rare) instances which cause us to call her by her full name.

Our young son to be is to be named Charles Thomas. Charles is Erin's father's middle name, and was his father's first name. Thomas is my father's name. We plan on calling him Charlie (Chuck and Chas are not to be responded to). Again, parental law dictates the use of the full name when the young man is not behaving like a true Himmel gentleman.

So there you have it. Magdalena Ruby Himmel and Charles Thomas Himmel - Maggie and Charlie. Baby C's forthcoming name will be disclosed once he or she takes the time to uncross his or her legs. Bets are now being taken, but the house gets 10%.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

16 weeks. And a contest!

Yesterday marked 16 weeks. It was a fairly exciting day.... first, the babies really like to dance and move around. Wow, I can only imagine what it is going to be like as they get bigger! I believe that one of them is going to become either a tap dancer or a trampoline artist. Wow... the bouncing on my bladder... yikes! Another one of the babies I believe has learned to make tools in utero- the other day it felt like the baby was writing graffiti on my lower rib... "baby was here"! I only hope this isn't showing us a future carreer. While I will love my kids, I am not so sure I want them to be either a tatoo artist or graffiti artist.

Yesterday I called the doctor because I was noticing strange pressure/,ild cramping pain. Actually had felt it a bit the day before, but kept telling myself- it's just stuff growing. Opps. The nurse I spoke to seemed a little concerned, but after going over all the locations of pressure and admitting that I had only been drinking 6-8 glasses of water (I swear... they said drink more than normal... that is much more than normal!), she told me to lie down. Put my feet up. Make my husband get anything I needed. And drink an additional 6 glasses of water before bed. I guess that if you don't get enough water your uterus become "grouchy". Okay. Got that message loud and clear! She also recommended staying home and taking it extra easy today (and yay.... I got a snow day so I get to hold onto that precious sick day). The take-away message: drink 12-14 glasses of water a day if you are having triplets.... and stay off your feet as much as possible (this may be the hardest for me).

Before I close I wanted to invite anyone reading to take part in a contest. It is the "when will Erin's belly button invert".

Chris and I noticed this morning that it is starting to change from an "innie" to an "outie". So, take a guess on what day it will "pop" and leave it in the comments. Don't forget to leave a name so I can get in touch with you if you win. The winner (the person who either guesses the correct day or the closest day) will win a small prize (chosen by me). To help you along today I am 16 weeks 1 day.

Well, I think I am going to take my "grouchy uterous" back to the couch to lie down some more.

No doctor's appointment today. Canceled due to the weather. Will go next week.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Week 15

It is amazing at how quickly Erin's belly grows!

People finally think Erin looks pregnant!

We are almost done with week 15. Slowly getting closer to our goal of at least making it to 32 week. This week Erin started to feel "something" going on in her abdomen... it felt like she swallowed a butterfly. One of the triplets has also taken to bouncing like a trampoline on her bladder (or at least that is how it feels!).

We will be 16 weeks on Tuesday and then have another perinatal appointment in Boston on Wednesday. We'll update again after that!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The beginning!

The Friday after New Year's Chris and I went to the OB's office for a routine ultrasound. It was at the end of 12 weeks. The week before during our OB appointment they were unsure if they could hear two heartbeats, so they wanted us to get it checked. Well, at the ultrasound appointment we quickly discovered that we are not destined to be the parents of twins... but instead Triplets!

It was a long weekend filled with panic and uncertainty. We went back to the OB's and were promptly given a referral to see a Perinatologist with Beth Israel hospital in Boston. Since we have met with him, Dr. Hamar, and he gave us a lot of really good information. All three babies look good. Currently they are all measuing within a day of each other, and are measuring right on target. They also all have nice strong heartbeats! Yay! We are now in week 14.

So, feel free to tag along on this crazy ride to Triplet happiness (or at least contentment we hope!).