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?!?!

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