Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Registering Begins

Billy and I made a trip to Babies R Us on Sunday to start registering for baby things. That place is incredibly overwhelming. We could hardly decide what side of the store we should even begin the process.

As we went up and down each aisle and scanned stuff, we realized that we really had no idea what we were doing. I had printed out several lists of what we would need from books and websites, but there were so many options within each category, that we were going crazy.

t started with the mattress covers/liners. There were 5 or 6 different kinds. Which ones were the best ones to use? We had no idea! Billy didn't even know what they were for. I had to explain that if a kid pisses like crazy one night or has some mad runny poopies, it could get right through to the crib mattress unless there was barrier there. Okay, it was decided these would be needed, but then the next question was, "how many?" We started wondering what happened if all of them did that one night, and we had to change all of the mattress pads. We registered for 6 of them, just to be safe. We were still left wondering if that would be enough. Who knows?

Then, we had to start thinking about how we were going to decorate the babies' room so that we could register for some crib sheets and accessories for the room. This is very difficult since we don't even have a room for these babies. Billy keeps saying we need a house with the babies' room before we start decorating it. I agree, but we need to register so we just have to wing it for now.

We decided we liked the idea of green and white stripes on the walls of our imaginary nursery. Then, each baby's bed would have blue or pink gingham sheets. That should look cute. It's gingham or polka dots. We registered for the gingham sheets, but we reserve the right to change our minds.

When we started looking at some of the items where the options are limitless, like baby carriers, pack and plays, strollers, etc., we had no idea what to do. I told Billy he would have to do some internet research to see what the best ones are. All of the pack and plays look the same basically. So, why is one $250, while another one is $79.99? If we register for the cheap one, will it somehow set our children up for future failure, or will it become a murderous death trap? I just don't know.

Then, we were back at the car seat issue. Although we determined that the Chicco KeyFit will fit 3 across in the back of the pilot, Chicco does not make a triple or even a double stroller. On the other hand, there is a triplet stroller frame that I am registered for that is compatible with the Graco SnugRide car seat. Billy did not like the Graco SnugRide seat. He said it looked flimsy, and he couldn't release the seat from the base as easily as the Chicco. He kept shaking it and looking at it from all angles. He just was not pleased, but I can't think of another alternative. Chicco isn't right for multiples. The problem with the Graco, though, is that the base is just a little bigger than the Chicco, which could be disasterous in the back seat of the Pilot. I think we may have to do another test. The people at Babies R Us are going to hate us!

We are not done with the whole process yet, but at least we've begun, which is a big step. I should have a better idea of what we'll need after we hit this multiples consignment sale on Saturday. Billy is now coming with me, instead of Mems. He's going to be so grouchy that early, but you gotta do what you gotta do. After we go to the sale, we are spending some time with a family that has 3 year old triplet girls. They invited us over to see what it's like. Billy may pack up his stuff and disappear from my life after we return from that visit.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Who's Who in my Womb?

I had my appointments today with the perinatal specialist and the ob. The nurse at the perinatal specialist's office started measuring my cervix today to give us a baseline to use as comparison as we continue through the pregnancy. Each time I go in, they will measure my cervix to see if it is shortening, and if so, my activity will be more and more restricted. We got some good news today-I have a super long cervix! An normal/average cervix is about 4 cm long, but mine is 5.8 cm, which is crazy. This is good news because it means that even if the weight of the babies and their baggage (fluid, placentas, etc.) put pressure on my cervix, there is more space for it to shorten, without it being too problematic. This could mean delayed bed rest and/or being able to keep them in me for longer. We are so glad that finally there's something to help us feel better!

The other exciting news we got was that we know who our boy is and which ones are the girls. Baby C, who is furthest up in my uterus is the boy, and he looks like he has the most room. The girls are right next to each other closer to bottom of my uterus (Babies A & B). At one point during the ultrasound, the girls put their little heads together, and it looked like they were whispering to each other. I kidded that they were probably plotting ways they could annoy their brother up top. The ultrasound technician said that he would be a good husband because he's going to have to get used to being in tight quarters with women.

The other things they looked at today were the babies' kidneys, stomachs, brains, hearts, spines, and anything else we could see. We could see most of Baby C, even one of his little legs! Baby A showed us her hand. She had it resting on her head for a while, but she didn't want to show us her lady business. She kept her legs crossed tight for most of the exam. There was only one time that the ultrasound tech got a glimpse, and said she thought it was a girl.

My weight was up 7 lbs since the last visit, and everyone seemed pleased with my progress. My total weight gain has been about 14 lbs. I need to keep up at least a 1 lb gain/week. Once I get past 24 weeks, they want me gaining closer to 2 lbs/week.

The doctor said I probably wouldn't feel them moving for another couple of weeks. It's weird to see how active they are on the ultrasounds, but not be able to feel any of that movement inside of me. I'm sure once I actually start feeling it, I will be begging for it to let up because it will be so annoying with all 3 making a fuss in there!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Old Me, the New Me

I was just thinking about all of the physical and mental changes I have undergone in the last 16 weeks with this pregnancy, and I couldn't help but laugh at some of it. I figured I would share some of it with you so you'll understand better if I'm not quite myself.

The old me could run a marathon. I was in amazing shape just a few months ago. I would run at least 25 miles each week when I wasn't training for a race, and if I was training, that number would double. The new me can't walk up a flight of stairs or a slight incline without getting winded. Today, I actually had to sit down and rest after I took a shower. I was out of breath and my heart was pounding! This is so depressing because I know it's only going to get worse. If a shower is exhausting now, what's it going to be in a couple of months? Just standing up? Brushing my hair? Getting dressed? I may have to ask Billy to give me sponge baths and buy me a portable toilet to put right next to my bed. I think a bed pan is too much to ask.

The old me was focused and on top of things. The new me is scatter-brained and can't pay attention to anything for more than 30 minutes without having my mind turn to the babies. I used to be able to spend a certain number of hours each week working on my job, other times devoted to my dissertation, and I was always juggling 3 or 4 other small projects. Now, I can hardly keep up with my job, which is only part-time! I really need to be working on my dissertation, but I can't seem to keep my mind on it, and I really need to concentrate when I am analyzing the data and writing up my findings.

The old me would cook dinner every night and clean up afterwards. The new me can barely stand to handle food. I used to love to experiment with new recipes and ingredients. Now, I basically make the same 4 or 5 things all of the time. I can't stand chicken or pork. The only meat I currently eat is ground turkey. I have made pizza with ground turkey, tacos with ground turkey, lettuce wrap filling with ground turkey, turkey meatloaf, etc. Billy must be so tired of ground turkey, but I simply can't handle anything else. I feel like the guy in "Forest Gump" who named off every shrimp dish...shrimp scampi, shrimp creole, shrimp cocktail, etc.

After I'm done cooking, I don't have anything left in me to clean up most days. That's where Billy has to come in and take care of business. I used to not let him do the cleaning because he waits too long after dinner, and I hate to see dishes sitting around in the sink for hours. It grosses me out. Now, however, I have had to let that go. If he cleans up, it's on his time. The one thing he does really well is scrub all the pots and pans. He will not let up until every crumb is removed. My Caphalon has never sparkled like this before!

The old me did most of the cleaning around our condo. The new me sits on the couch while Billy vacuums and scrubs the bathtubs. I am still capable of dusting, toilet cleaning, laundry, and furniture polishing, but I can't push the vacuum, and I can't be exposed to the fumes involved with tub cleaning. Again, Billy is a champ at these chores. He vacuums every square inch of our place and empties the vacuum canister 3 or 4 times. He scrubs the tubs until all traces of mildew and soap scum are gone. Who knew he was so good at this? I'm enjoying having him as my man-slave! I hope he keeps it up.

Luckily, the old me is still intact when it comes to my emotions. I've heard that pregnant women get all crazy and hormonal. Fortunately, I have not had any emotional issues. I still don't cry easily or get upset about stupid things. Needless to say, Billy is thrilled that I'm not nuts. I don't think he could handle the thought of triplets, housework, and a crazy wife.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Car Seats

Billy and I went to Babies R Us yesterday to look at car seats and see if any would fit 3 across in the back seat of our Pilot. I wanted to go ahead and start registering, but Billy has a one track mind and could only focus on car seats yesterday. I think he was also anxious to come home and play on his XBOX. I wish that thing would break down so it wouldn't occupy so much of his time.

Anyway, back to the car seats. Billy extensively researched the width of various car seats online before we went to the store, and he knew that the Chicco KeyFit was the most narrow model they carried. Therefore, we had a couple of the guys who worked at the store bring 3 Chicco car seats out to our car and install them to see if they would fit. You should have seen people in that store staring at us as we came by with 3 car seats. I had to giggle to myself because it was such a ridiculous scene.

They were able to fit all 3 car seats in the Pilot, with barely a couple of inches to spare. It looks like it's going to work, but it's only delaying the inevitable. Once they graduate to the forward facing seats that are bigger, we won't have the room for them. It will definitely be mini-van time then.

In the afternoon, we took Winnie to the vet. She goes about every month for some small issue to which I usually overreact. Everyone at the vet's office knows me and her, and they all love her. Billy says its because she keeps them in business.

The latest thing was a little growth over one of her eyes. It had been there for about 2 weeks and the swelling had not gone down. It turned out it was basically just a zit. The vet popped it and sent us home.

We told the vet about our expanding family, and she must have been thinking that she felt sorry for our pediatrician. If I bring my dog into her office almost monthly for stupid things like zits, I am going to be at the pediatrician's office daily with three babies!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Out of the woods

I don't want to jinx myself, but I haven't thrown up since last Friday when I had my horrendous day of barfing. I think 14 1/2 weeks was my magic number. The only problem is that I thought I would be hungry once the nausea/vomiting subsided, but I'm still not really hungry. I know I need to eat so I force myself to get something down every hour or two, but I never really feel particularly like eating anything. Maybe that will change soon.

Now that I'm past the bad stuff, I've started thinking about all of the things we are going to need for these babies. I have had so many family and friends offer to give me or let me borrow baby items. That has cut back tremendously on what I will need to register for. The only problem is that there are several specialty items for triplets that normal retailers, like Babies R Us, don't carry. Amanda suggested I post my triplet "wish list" on the blog. I am going to get on that in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the idea, Amanda!

I am going to wait a little while because on March 1st, I'm going to a consignment sale for multiples. I'm going to look for some of the specialty items I'm interested in there and try to get some good deals. I heard this sale is insanse! It takes place a couple of times a year, and there is usually a line to get in. I joined the group that puts it on because as a member, you can get in to the sale an hour and a half before the public. I need to get a jump start on all of those crazy multiples moms! Mems is coming with me to help me knock down other triplet moms competing for triplet strollers and other high-end items.

I realized that we had a lot of prep work to do for these babies on Valentine's night. We went to a thing called "Love at the Zoo." It was a dinner event at the zoo followed by some presentations about animal mating behaviors. At dinner, they had us sitting at tables with other people. The Curator of Large Mammals was sitting at our table, and he was telling us about the elephant at the zoo who is currently pregnant. He told us that her bun cooks in the oven for 22 months, and her baby/calf usually weighs about 200 lbs! I said I sure was glad it wouldn't take me that long, and that I wouldn't have a baby that huge.

Of course, everyone then felt they could ask how far along I was, etc. Nobody wanted to say anything before that, even though I have a massive belly. I told them I was almost 15 weeks, and one lady at the table said she just looked fat at 15 weeks, but I actually looked pregnant because I just had a belly. I let them all know it was triplets, and after a few seconds where several of our tablemates tried to figure out it we were serious or not, one guy asked, "Are you guys ready for three babies?" My honest answer to him was, "Not a bit." It almost felt ridiculous to admit that we lived in a 2 bedroom condo with a 90 lb lab. Dear God, we really need to sell our condo!

Billy has started getting all into the prep work lately. He said that when he's feeling bored, he looks at triplet stuff online. His main area of interest has to do with car seats. He's been searching message boards to figure out if 3 of them are going to fit into the back seat of the Pilot. Then, he even looked at prices for mini-vans. I don't feel quite ready for a mini-van, but I don't know how things are going to go once these babies are here. I think 3 car seats are going to fit across the back seat of the Pilot, but I'm worried about how easy or hard it will be to get everyone in and out, especially the baby in the middle. We're just going to have to wait and see.

We were going to go to Babies R Us this morning to look at car seats and start registering, but Billy spent 4 hours online playing old Nintendo games instead. Again, I go back to my point that we may not be mature enough to handle these babies. Anyway, we decided Babies R Us would wait until Monday. He has the day off, and we figured that the crowds there would be lighter on a weekday than the weekend.

We also have started discussing baby names now. I guess the names Baby A, B, and C aren't going to work forever. We have come up with three, but we aren't 100% sure yet. Once we feel more certain, I will reveal some of the options.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Marvelous Multiples

I had a terrible day of barfing on Friday. I had gone nearly a week without throwing up, but Friday, it all went to shit. I ate my cereal and milk and was thinking I needed to have a shake with protein powder, but I just wasn't feeling right. I took Winnie out to do her business, and after I came inside, I threw up EVERY BIT of my breakfast. There was not a single Total flake left in my stomach. It was awful.

I picked up a smoothie at lunch time, and I had them add a scoop of my protein powder to it. I was able to drink most of that, but I wasn't feeling great. When Billy got home, we decided to go out to eat. I felt like a turkey burger so we went to Fudd Rucker's. I ate most of my burger and some fries. About 30 minutes after we got home, I was in the bathroom upchucking my dinner. It took about 6 violent vomiting episodes to get it all up. That was it. I gave up on eating for the day after that. The babies obviously were unhappy with everything I was giving them. Screw them. I went to sleep.

On Saturday morning, we had to rise and shine early to head off to our "Marvelous Multiples" class. This takes the place of a childbirth class for multiples. We learned about everything from steps you can take to prevent pre-term labor to what to expect in the delivery room to how to deal with the babies once you get them home. There were 10 couples in the class. We were the only triplet parents. Everyone else was having twins. I think they all thought they were going to have it rough until they met us.

Billy and I came out of the class feeling like we were baby-raising geniuses. One girl asked what the difference was between using a Diaper Genie and just throwing away dirty diapers in your trash can. I leaned over to Billy and said that the difference was that if you used your trash can, you would have a house that reeked of baby shit all the time. Then, one guy asked what a Diaper Genie even was. Another guy asked if his wife had to lean over the babies with her boobs hanging down to be able to breast feed them. There were some clueless folks in there.

In the afternoon portion of the class, we watched some videos, and Billy and I discovered that we weren't mature enough to have children of our own. In one of the scenes, there was a woman sitting on a birthing ball, and her husband was behind her massaging her legs. We both whispered to each other that it looked like soft-core porn and started giggling. Nobody else in the class was laughing. Then, in a later scene, this other lady's husband was helping deliver their baby, and he had removed his shirt and was just in his wife-beater. I told Billy I definitely didn't want him helping pull out any babies, and I certainly didn't want him in a wife beater in the delivery room. Then, we both started laughing again, and we couldn't stop. Our kids are doomed.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

If I'm awake, I should be eating

I met with my personal dietitian today, and she told me that basically if my eyes were open, I should be stuffing food down my throat. I'm actually supposed to consume at least 3000 calories a day and 120 grams of protein. Just to give you an idea of how much protein that is, here are some common "high protein" foods and how much protein they have in them:
1 oz meat = 7 grams protein
1 cup milk = 8 grams protein
1 egg = 7 grams protein
1/2 cup beans/lentils = 7-10 grams protein

If you start doing the math, you'll see that to get 120 grams protein/day, I would have to eat constantly. Luckily, she said that as my "insurance," I could use protein powder in shakes and pudding 1-2 times per day. Each dose of the powder gives me 20 grams of protein.

Here are some of the foods she recommended to me:
Greek Yogurt (called Fage)-I am supposed to coat it with honey and add nuts. 1 cup of the stuff with nuts gives me about 20 grams of protein. I just had some, and it was yummy! One little container of yogurt has 12 grams of fat and 210 calories! That's no light and fluffy Yoplait.
Whole wheat crackers/chips with bean dip or peanut butter or hummus
Trail mix
Hot ham & cheese sandwiches
Lentil soup
Chicken salad
Protein bars
Tuna (6 oz/week)

She also recommended that I switch to organic, low-fat milk, instead of skim. I'm supposed to have 100 ounces of fluid per day, but she wants me to switch 50 ounces of that fluid from water to juices, chocolate milk, or anything else liquid with calories.

I told her that I was having trouble cooking because the odors grossed me out. On her sheet of recommendations she wrote, "No Cooking! Eat dinner out." She said that if I missed one meal because of being repulsed by smells, I would not meet my protein requirements for the day, and it wasn't worth it.

She explained that this is the point in the pregnancy when I need to gain the most weight. With any pregnancy, an expanding uterus puts pressure on your stomach as you grow larger. It's even more so with multiples. Then, you become less hungry, and you get full faster. My overall weight gain goal should be 50 lbs!

She said not to wait until I'm hungry to eat. I must just eat, no matter what. She even said that if wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I should take advantage of the opportunity to eat. The thought of eating in the middle of the night makes me feel like some lazy, fat ass. I just got so hungry sleeping that I had to eat a hot ham and cheese in the middle of the night! Can you imagine? I just don't know what is appropriate for me to eat at 2 a.m. Is there a certain food that people eat at that time?

I should really stop typing and start eating. Women always say they wish they could eat whatever they wanted and not feel guilty. This is my chance. I just wish that I didn't feel so sick so I could actually enjoy becoming a pig. I hope I'm able to readjust my eating habits after these babies are born. I don't think that a carton of 210 calorie yogurt drenched in honey and nuts will be conducive to losing 50 lbs when this is all over.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

12 week check

We went to see the perinatal specialist again yesterday. She had to check in on the babies to make sure they were all doing what they were supposed to be doing at this stage. They checked their nasal bones, fluid behind their necks (indication of Down's Syndrome and other abnormalities), sizes, heartbeats, and other anatomical features. Everyone checked out just right. It looks like we have 3 good ones in there...even if they look like freaky little aliens.

The doctor told me I needed to meet with a dietitian to make sure I get proper nutrition. She doesn't want me to be my own dietitian so she referred me to someone. She said that the women who follow the proper diet have the healthiest, largest babies she's seen. I'm supposed to gain 24 lbs by 24 weeks. Then, I have to gain 1.5 lbs every week after that. I need to shoot for 100 grams of protein per day. That's more than double my usual protein intake so that should be interesting.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I caught a killer cold, which started moving into my chest yesterday. My ob became concerned about bronchitis so she prescribed antibiotics. Sweet Jesus! I picked up my Z pack yesterday and downed the first two pills in the pack like they were candy. I need something for this misery. I am allowed to take Robitussin at night to control the cough, but I use the term "control" loosely because my cough will not be controlled. Robitussin may make it slightly better, but I still spend half the night coughing. I've resorted to sleeping on the couch the last two nights. I sleep sitting up because the moment I slightly recline my head, I get post-nasal drip, which triggers coughing fits.

Billy told me to leave the door open from our bedroom to the den because he thought Winnie may come out and sleep with me on the couch, but that little bitch knows better. She slept all night long on my side of the bed. She was happy to have all of that space all to herself. Now, she's going to growl at me when I try to re-claim my spot in bed. Hopefully, I'll be back in my spot sooner rather than later.