Saturday, March 29, 2008

CMV test results

My ob called me on Friday afternoon with the results of my cytomegalovirus test. Apparently, I had the antibodies, meaning I have been exposed to the virus. However, I had no evidence of an acute infection, which means that I was not exposed to the virus during my pregnancy. That is good news, but it still doesn't explain what is going on with Baby C's brain. We are just hoping that the next ultrasound will reveal that the problem has resolved itself.

In the last few days, I have started to fill up much faster when I eat. I used to be able to eat a decent sized meal a couple of times per day and several snacks in between, but now, I feel full after just a few bites of anything. I guess I'm going to need to focus on getting a lot of my calories and protein through liquids. I'll have to do more protein shakes.

Today, I reconnected with an old friend from high school who also has triplets. She saw one of my messages on the triplet group listserv and e-mailed me. We talked on the phone for a while, and she shared her triplet story with me. It's great to have a connection like that! I'm sure I will stay in touch with her in the upcoming months.

I have been suffering from evening headaches on and off lately. I asked my ob about them, and she said that sometimes during pregnancy, your vision changes. You may strain without knowing it to read or focus, and this could cause headaches. It makes sense because I get them most often if I've been looking at the computer, reading, or writing a lot. I was writing thank you notes today and got a killer one so I just put everything aside and closed my eyes for a while.

I went out looking at houses again on Friday with our agent. This time, I saw several that I liked, which was very promising. Billy didn't come with us, but I figured we could go back to the ones I liked and have him take a look.

Sometimes when I go look at houses, I think that the people who live in them are crazy. We saw one house that was a "hot mess," according to my agent. They had clothes all over the place, the beds weren't made, and the vents were all dusty. I was shocked that someone would allow a potential buyer into his/her home with it in that condition. "Hot mess" aside, I liked the house.

There was another one we saw that had an in-law/nanny suite off the den. The suite had a little kitchenette area, a bedroom and bathroom, and the laundry room was there too. Our agent was saying we could lock up our nanny there and have her do laundry all the time. Too bad there was also a separate entrance there where she could easily escape us and our little monsters!

Once we get a house, we'll need to start making more plans for our nanny. The main characteristics I'm looking for are that she be old, fat, terribly unattractive, and possibly have a mustache. Yeah, yeah, yeah...she needs to be good with the kids and speak Spanish, but the last thing I need is Billy having the hots for our nanny. Obviously he digs the Latina chicks. We can't have some 18 year old, hot Mexi living with us. My self-esteem couldn't take it.

I had some good news on the job front on Friday. Did I write about an interview I had a couple of weeks ago? Well, I had one. Yes, I know it's embarrassing to show up to an interview with a big belly, but I did it. I explained my "circumstances" to the woman who interviewed me. Luckily, I knew her through other work I have done so she took it all very well. She seemed very interested in me for the openings they had, but they really wanted someone who would be DC-based. When she called on Friday, she told me that they have someone leaving an Atlanta-based position this summer, probably around August, and asked if I would be interested in that. She even said that they would be willing to work with me to accommodate a part-time schedule for as long as I needed. I was blown away and super excited. They haven't talked money yet, but the position sounds really great, and they have my salary requirements so that's promising.

The lady said that she was worried I would find something else between now and then and was hoping I wouldn't take another job. I assured her that with my growing belly, my job opportunities were become more and more scarce. She thought that was pretty funny. She then said that I might fall so in love with the babies that I never want to leave them and go back to work. I said that was more likely to happen when you had one baby, but that when you had three, going to work would be like going on vacation for a few hours every day!

Sounds like some things are starting to come together for us. I was really worried about having to find a job after these babies showed up, but at least I now know there is something waiting for me. In the mean time, she asked if I would be interested in doing some consulting work for her company. That's a nice way to make a little extra cash, which will all be diaper money soon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Week 20 Check

I had my 20 week check today. Billy came along this time because he wanted to see how big the babies had gotten for himself. He was shocked to see how much they had changed since the last time he was with me for an ultrasound (around 13 weeks). We got a few good pictures that I'll scan in later and post.

Babies A & B currently weigh about 12 ounces and Baby C is our fatty at 14 ounces. Baby C is the boy. That doesn't make much sense because that's a total 38 baby ounces, which is a little less than 2 1/2 lbs total. Why have I gained 20 lbs!? I know that there's a lot of other stuff that's adding to the weight, like my placentas, the sacs, and the Krispy Kreme doughnuts I tend to crave.

Baby C had a little issue that we are tracking at this last check. He has some fluid on his brain and the amount was at the high end of normal. The perinatal specialist said that in 85% of the cases, the issue resolves itself, but she is paid to be super paranoid about everything so she wants to closely monitor it. She had me tested for the cytomegalovirus, which is a virus that anyone can catch (it's like a cold basically), but if a pregnant women gets it, her baby(ies) could have problems, like fluid on the brain. I should have the results back from that test in a few days. I will return to the perinatal specialist in 2 weeks, and she'll check the fluid again. I'm hoping there's no problem then, but if there is, she recommends we have an amnio.

As for my cervix, it's hanging in there. It has shortened a bit, but is still longer than average, which is great. My perinatal specialist said that I could continue to do whatever I wanted as long as I wasn't too uncomfortable. However, I am getting more and more uncomfortable doing little things. This was the first week that when I went to take Winnie out for our 30 minutes of daily walking time, I had to cut it short because I was feeling a little crampy. It's now up to Billy to exercise her more. Ha! We'll see about that.

In the last few days, I've been picking up on patterns of movement. Baby A (on my right) tends to move around a lot in the mid-morning. I could feel her Sunday at church and again yesterday and today around that time. Baby C (up top) seems to do his wiggling around at dinner time. Then, Baby B (on the left) likes to do her gymnastics at bed time. I'm very worried that they will continue these patterns when they are born, which means each one will be active at a different time of the day, and I'll never get any rest! I don't think I'll get much rest regardless of their patterns so I should just give up on that any way.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tiny Baby Movements

In the last couple of days, I've started to feel the babies move a lot more. I felt a few bubbles and flutters here and there since about 16 weeks, but lately, it's gotten to be more often and the feelings are more distinct.

Alice asked me around 18 weeks if I had felt them, and I said told her no. Then, I described how a couple of nights, I've felt gas bubbles, and I kept thinking I was going to have diarrhea, but nothing came. She said that it was no diarrhea gurgling, it was the babies. How awful that my first experience of feeling them I confused with about to have diarrhea. Now, I can differentiate. I'm getting to be a better mom.

It's funny that even with the little flutters I'm feeling, I can tell which baby it is. Billy and I had dinner at Mellow Mushroom on Friday night, and I could feel the boy moving up top. Then, last night, it was the girl on left that was moving around when we were in bed. This morning at church, the girl on the right was doing her thing. It's such a weird sensation. I can't even imagine what it's going to be like when they are big enough to kick.

On Saturday, I had my first baby shower! It was so exciting to be the one who they were having the party for. I've been to so many baby showers and hosted several, and I never thought my day would come. Saturday was my day, and it was great. My friends Jamie, Amanda, Kate, and Becky threw the party for me, and we had a wonderful time.

I think everyone who had not seen me in a while was expecting me to be a lot bigger. Most folks commented on how small I was and how surprised they were that I wasn't gigantic. I guess because my size wasn't freak show status, I disappointed some people. I told them just to give me time, and they probably wouldn't be disappointed.

After the shower, Billy and I went out to Suwanee to pick up some triplet stuff that a family out there wanted to give us. This was someone that contacted me through the triplet listserv I joined. They gave us 3 exersaucers, a triplet stroller, a double jogger, 2 play mats, and a bunch of toys. I couldn't believe their generosity!

The family had an older girl, the triplets (2 boys and 1 girl), and a younger girl! When they opened their garage, it was like Toys R Us in there. They said that we were doing them a favor by helping them clear out some of that stuff.

We talked to them for a little while to get some pointers about raising multiples. They said that they co-bedded them for the first few months, but that one of the boys was a little more restless than the other 2 babies so he was kicked out and placed in a crib on his own. The other 2 remained together for a couple more months. They also had live-in help for the first year, but she was only there Monday through Friday. She would go home on the weekends, which gave everyone a break from each other. After that first year, they got live-out help. They have no family in the area so they really had to do it all themselves. Thank God for family!

Speaking of family, today we had the typical Rodriguez-Preston family holiday event at my dad's house. We had lunch and then an Easter egg hunt for the kids. There were 17 adults there and 15 kids! My dad said that we were bumping it up to the next level next year because Liane and Jason would be back in Atlanta and able to attend, which will add 2 more adults and 3 kids at that point. Billy and I will have 3 more kids there also. Wow! That's going to be insanity.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Doggie Training and House Shopping

We had a very busy Saturday last weekend. We started off our day with an in-home dog training session. We have contracted with a company called "Bark Busters" to work with Winnie. A representative comes to your house every couple of weeks and meets with you and helps teach you how to train your dog. Winnie has many problem behaviors we are working on: excessive barking when she sees someone or a dog outside, general insanity when the doorbell rings or someone knocks at the door, pulling on the leash, jumping up on us when she is excited or when we are affectionate towards each other (she hates it when we hug and/or kiss), and being a cry baby in the car. She also has her redeeming qualities so don't think she's all bad from this laundry list of bad behaviors.

What we discovered is that she may have some mild separation anxiety issues. This makes sense because since I've been pregnant, I mostly work from home. She has gotten used to having me with her all the time, and she gets upset when she is far from me. I also give her a lot of attention throughout the day. She'll just come over and nudge me, and I stop what I'm doing and pet her for a few minutes. The trainer, Max, said that this had to stop because Winnie was training me passively. I have to work on ignoring her now. Max said that she would be ignored a lot once the babies arrived so she needed to get used to it. This makes me so sad.

Have you ever seen the old skit on SNL with Will Farrell training a dog by belittling it? Billy and I always quote that skit when it comes to Winnie. There's a part where the dog is refusing to eat his food, and Will Farrell gets down to talk to him and says something like, "Here's the deal, the Palm was all booked up, and they have a new chef at Morton's that I'm not sure about. So, you are going to eat this kibble because after all, you're an effing dog." Whenever I act too much like Winnie is human, Billy reminds me that she's a "effing dog."

Anyway, we've got our work cut out for us with getting her trained and ready for the babies to arrive. Max recommended that once we get our triplet stroller, I should start walking Winnie while pushing the stroller with no babies in it. Then, she'll get used to it, and it won't be such a big deal when the babies are actually in their spots. I'm going to look like a crazy lady walking around with an empty stroller, but I guess it will all help in the end.

Later that afternoon, Billy and I went out and looked at a few houses. I'm afraid that I'm going to go on bed rest and will have to leave buying a new house up to Billy. We would like to make sure we both are in agreement when it comes to what we are looking for in our home. We were definitely both in agreement that we did not like any of the houses we saw on Saturday. I guess the search will continue.

Saturday night we headed out to dinner with friends, and by the time we got home, I was exhausted. I had much more activity on Saturday than I was used to. My legs and back ached, and I was just drained. When we went to church on Sunday morning, we had to park a little ways away because it was Palm Sunday, which meant a packed house. I was complaining about my legs being sore, and I said, "My poor little legs are achy." Billy said, "I'm more worried about your poor, little cervix." We both giggled at that. He said he never thought he would be saying that, but I guess my cervix is our main concern since that is what will indicate when bed rest may be necessary. I took it easy on my cervix the rest of the afternoon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Which one of my sisters is pregnant?

I've already told some of you, but many do not know that one of my sisters is pregnant. She is due September 6, almost one exactly one month after my due date for a singleton. Which sister is it you ask....well, it's Liane!

Liane claims that she accidentally got pregnant the month after she donated eggs to us, but I don't think it was much of an accident. The doctor told her that her fertility would be greatly increased in the month following the donation and that she needed to be extra careful or abstain, if she did not want to get pregnant immediately. Looks like she didn't take either option and now she's having a baby.

It's like a brain teaser between her baby and my 3: One woman is having 4 babies that are biologically hers within a few months of each other by two different fathers. How can this be?

Alice said she already warned her that she wouldn't have the same kind of help she had with Cooper and Carley once she had this baby. When Liane had each of them, Alice went to Jacksonville to help for a week, I did the same, and my dad also helped for a week. Then, one of us would go down and visit almost monthly to help her out. This time, all of her human resources are going to be pulled in a different direction...to me! Alice told Liane that all of her energy was going to be sucked dry by my triplets.

Speaking of my sisters, I was e-mailing with Vivian yesterday about helping her out with Rose on Friday. I wrote that I was feeling miserable at night because I could just feel my stomach stretching out. I told her I was up 20 lbs, and I don't know where I'm going to put the other 30 lbs the doctors would like for me to gain. Vivian wrote me back that she peaked at a 20 lb weight gain with Rose, and she felt awful so she can't imagine how bad it's going to be for me. She peaked at 20 lbs?! That bitch. I'm only 19 weeks along.

When I was getting dressed this morning, I reached for one of my size small maternity shirts that I was wearing a couple of weeks ago. When I put it on, it was skin tight and looked obscene. I had reach back in my closet and pull out a medium sized shirt, and even that is looking pretty tight. Am I even going to outgrow maternity large? This is depressing. I'm so glad that I cleared all of my old clothes out of my closet so that I don't even look at that stuff and wonder if I'll ever squeeze my fat ass back into them.

When I was writing about getting a big butt in my last post, it reminded me of something Liane said after she had Carley that I thought was so funny. I had gone to Jacksonsville a few weeks after Carley arrived, and Liane was talking about trying to fit back into some clothes. She said she was losing weight more quickly than she did with Cooper, but that she still couldn't figure out why she didn't give birth to the twins that were growing in her ass. I'm hoping that none of the babies shift around to my rear end.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Triplets Group

I joined an Atlanta-based group specifically for triplet parents last week, and I've been overwhelmed by the number of people who have triplets around here and by their willingness to help and support each other. The group has about 250 members!

I sent out a message introducing myself and saying I was new to the group, and I had at least 15 people respond to welcome me, offer advice, invite me over to their homes to see their triplets in action, and/or give me free stuff. One woman sent me a whole list of items she just wanted to give me-for free! Billy said to ask her if she had a mini-van she could give us.

The group is e-mail based so there are many messages that get exchanged on the listserv daily. Some people send out messages about items they would like to sell, others are looking for advice on pediatricians, dentists, babysitters, etc. However, there are also some really strange requests. A couple of days ago, for example, someone sent out an e-mail asking if anyone had a Davy Crockett outfit she could borrow. That seemed very odd to me. I can not think of a single situation in my life when I would have or will need a Davy Crockett outfit, but maybe once I'm the mother of triplets, I'll need weird shit. I won't know until I get there.

On my end of things, I continue to have no appetite. I wish I was ravenous so that eating wouldn't feel like such a chore. As things stand now, I just make a mental note of when I eat and two hours later, I just eat something again, and on and on the whole day. I never really want or crave anything. I simply stuff my face with high protein food whenever I can. Most days go something like this:
8 a.m.-Protein smoothie (blend of yogurt, protein powder, and various frozen fruit and juices)
10 a.m.-PB&J Sandwich
12 p.m.-Hot turkey and cheese sandwich and veggie soup
2 p.m.-Yogurt with trail mix
4 p.m.-2 cups chocolate soy milk
6 p.m.-Rice and beans topped with cheese or some tofu dish (Meat still repulses me. I can not eat anything with chicken or pork. I can still eat ground turkey, but I'm getting rather sick of it so I'm trying not to eat it too much. I'm afraid that one more ground turkey dish will set me over the edge.)
8 p.m.-Hummus and crackers
10 p.m.-Bowl of cereal with 2% milk or protein milkshake (frozen yogurt, chocolate syrup, milk, and protein powder)

Just in case you were interested, I posted my belly pic for week 17. I thought that some of you out of towners might want to take a look at my ever expanding waistline.

I had a horrifying moment a couple of weeks ago when I stepped on the scale. I looked down to see if I had gained the 1-2 lbs I needed to gain that week, but I couldn't see the numbers! My stomach was bulging out so far that I couldn't see my weight! I had to push my butt back and lean over to be able to see it!

My next concern is having an ass as large as my belly. When we were at church last weekend, there was a pregnant lady whose butt size matched her belly size. I have a big ole butt to start off, and I don't want to carry around any of the babies back there. My jeans were feeling pretty tight around my booty this morning. I don't like where this is leading.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Consignment Sale

The big multiples consignment sale was on Saturday morning. Billy, Winnie, and I spent the night at Mems' house on Friday night because the sale was at a church out in that direction. We were able to spend some time with Mems and sleep in a little longer than we would have if we were coming from home.

We arrived at the sale around 7:45 a.m. I had signed up for the group that was putting on the sale so that we could get in earlier (8, instead of 9:30). I picked up my membership card and got in line. Yes, there was already a huge line of people waiting to get in when we got there! Billy looked around and said that all of the moms had crazy looks in their eyes. There were only 3 or 4 dads there. We started wondering if the people in line would run in screaming and pushing when the doors opened. We had all of these visions of consignment sale craziness!

The event was very well organized. They had people handing out maps to everyone in line to show how all of the sale items were laid out. They had everything you could imagine from shoes and clothes to strollers, cribs, gliders, and car seats. We decided that our strategy would be to head over to the large equipment area first to see if we could find our triplet stroller and/or the feeding table. No luck on the table, but they did have the triplet stroller that I have listed on this page, but it was the one compatible with the Evenflo car seat, instead of the Graco. At least we were able to see what it looked like. The thing was so long! We discovered that we should also get some toddler seats to snap in once the kids are no longer in the car seats so I'm adding that to my registry.

We ended up wandering around aimlessly a lot after that. We looked at a bunch of stuff and compared prices that we would have paid for the items new at Babies R Us. We learned that whatever we did not get from our baby showers, we would buy at the next sale in August because the prices were so good. They had pack and plays for $20, boppy pillows with covers for $8, and car seats for $25. If you've bought these items new at Babies R Us, you pay about $100+, $35, and $100+, respectively. We did buy one item: a Baby Bjorn baby carrier. It was only $18 and would have been at least 3 times that price at Babies R Us. We figure that when we're together, we can use a double carrier and a single, because a triple baby carrier is just too much. I don't think I could dangle 3 kids off of me.

When we went to check out, we were chastised for only buying one item. Most of the women there brought laundry baskets and were filling them with merchandise. Other folks raced right in and got the double strollers and loaded those up with more stuff that they were pushing around. Billy told the women at the checkout that this was our first sale, and we were attending for "educational purposes." We just needed a feel for what is out there. Luckily, one of the women at the checkout recommended that we join Atlanta Triplets and More. She said we would have better luck finding triplet-specific second-hand items with them.

We were going to visit the triplet family after the sale, but the girls came down with the flu, and I can't be exposed to that. We are going to reschedule with them, and I'm sure I'll have plenty to write about after that.

Instead of crazy triplet time, we took Winnie to play at the dog park after the sale. That was crazy enough. When we walked up to the park, all of the dogs were just kind of hanging around sniffing each other. We opened the gate for Winnie, and she charged in full speed. She started running from one end of the park to the other, and all of the dogs started chasing her back and forth. It was hilarious. All of the owners were thanking us for bringing her because she was the only one who would wear out the others. She is such a nut! She was filthy after that so we went straight to the doggy wash to get her cleaned up. She slept the rest of the day. I love it when she's exhausted.

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