Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My night at Piedmont

Yesterday around 2:30 p.m., I started experiencing some mild cramping. I decided to get on the couch, drink some water, and take it easy. However, at 4, the cramps had not let up so I called my ob. She called me back and told me to meet her at the hospital. Alice said to get ready because they were going to lock me up and throw away the key. I was very nervous that I would end up on hospital bed rest for the next 10 weeks of this pregnancy!

When I arrived there, they hooked me up to a monitor and were able to see that I was indeed having contractions. They gave me Terbutaline shots to get the contractions under control and that seemed to do the trick. Terbutaline is actually an asthma medicine, but is used for pre-term labor because it relaxes the uterus muscles. However, it does have side effects: rapid, pounding heart beat, jitters/shaking, and restlessness.

They held me overnight for monitoring, and although I didn't have contractions through most of the night, they started again around 5 a.m. I had to have more Terbutaline then. They had given me an Ambien the night before to help me sleep so I was so tired still at 5 a.m. Then, the Terbutaline kicked in, and I wanted to fall back to sleep so badly, but I couldn't because I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest and my body was shaking. That sucked.

The nurse said that my ob was saying I may have to go home on a Terbutaline pump and be on complete bed rest. The other option was to stay in the hospital for the duration of the pregnancy. I was starting to get very concerned about the situation.

Later in the morning, my perinatal specialist measured my cervix again. The main indications of pre-term labor are contractions AND cervical changes. Thankfully, my cervix was still long and closed. My ob referred to it as a "cervix of steel." Therefore, I was able to pack my bags and head home!

I am on an anti-inflammatory medicine every 6 hours for 48 hours. They think that this is a period of rapid growth for the babies and that their growth triggered the contractions. The anti-inflammatory should help my uterus.

I am also on modified bed rest. This basically means I can still get up and go to the bathroom, shower, prepare light meals, etc. However, I am no longer allowed to walk Winnie, do housework (how sad) and I need to limit my trips outside since I have to go up and down stairs. I am now a prisoner in my home, but that sure beat being a prisoner in the hospital!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Update on House

We went and looked at the house we liked on Saturday morning with my dad and Billy's parents. One of the little girls who lived there had posted a sign on her closet door that said, "Do not buy or get our house!" Obviously, she didn't want to move.

The people who lived there had written half a page in the packet of information about their home...how much they loved it and the neighborhood and how sad they were to be moving. Well, it turned out they were not really ready to leave this house behind because after we made an offer, they decided to take their house off the market. Can you believe that? Now we have to start our search all over again.

In some ways, it's fine that it happened the way it did because the house did need some work. The master bathroom and closets were very small and so were the secondary bedrooms. I was afraid that we would be very tight during the time that we have a live-in nanny.

The perfect house for us is out there somewhere. We will have to keep searching. If it takes longer than a week to find, though, it may be Billy who keeps searching without me. It is becoming more and more difficult to get around for me. When we are house hunting, it is especially hard because of all the stairs I have to climb. I usually don't go upstairs or downstairs at houses unless I really like the main floor. Otherwise, our agent goes and looks around and lets me know if she thinks it's worth it for me to make the effort. Most of the time, it's not.

I took Winnie back to the vet today to get her ACL checked again. She was doing much better, but yesterday, she had an energy burst and decided to orbit. This is when she runs around and around our condo at full speed for several minutes. She used to do it almost every night when she was a puppy. After her episode last night, she started limping again.

She still hasn't blown out her ACL, which is good news. However, the regular course of anti-inflammatory meds (10 days) didn't work. Therefore, she has to take them for an entire month. They really helped during the time she was on them so I'm hoping they continue to make her feel better. She is now resting comfortably at my feet. A visit to the vet wears her out! She loves everyone there and has to run around and lick everyone. They give her treats and belly rubs. She gets excited as soon as we get in the parking lot. Most dogs are scared of the vet but not Winnie!

Friday, April 25, 2008

OB Appt

I had my gestational diabetes test this morning. I had to drink 10 ounces of a nasty, orange-flavored, sugary syrup an hour before my appointment. Then, they drew my blood and will let me know next week if my blood sugar level is normal. If it is not, I have to do three hour test, where I drink even more sugary stuff, and they measure my blood sugar every hour. I'm at higher risk for gestational diabetes because this is a multiples pregnancy.

The other thing that started this morning was that my ob began checking my cervix "digitally" (yes, with her fingers) to make sure it was closed. That was uncomfortable. I don't know why she has to do that, since I have a vaginal ultrasound at my perinatologist every time to check my cervix. Apparently, it's standard operating procedure. Now, she has to check up in my va-jay-jay every two weeks that way. Yuck!

After the appointment, I headed out house hunting again. I found 2 that I wanted to show to Billy. He saw them both during his lunch hour, and we are ready to make an offer on one tomorrow. We are going back to it tomorrow morning one last time with Mems, Bill, and my dad. It always help to get other people's opinions. I'll let you know how that all turns out and will post pictures if we get the house. I don't want to jinx anything for now.

Winnie is doing well after her 10 days of rest and anti-inflammatory medication. She's still limping from time to time, but not very often. I will probably take her back to the vet to get re-checked next Monday. I want to get clearance before we resume normal activity. I feel like she's getting lazy...just like me. Hopefully, it will be okay for her to get a little more exercise.

I am again overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers! A couple of days ago, I received a package in the mail from a person in Gainesville, FL. I did not recognize the name, and I told Billy I didn't know anyone who would be sending me something from there. Well, it turns out that Vivian's mother-in-law, Pat, sent my name out to her friends so that they would pray for me and the babies. The lady that sent the package was one of her friends. The package had 6 handmade baby blankets in it. They are adorable! This lady doesn't even know me, and she made blankets for my babies. It's incredible.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

24 weeks

I just had my next check-up at my perinatologist, and everyone looked great! The fluid on Baby C's brain had come down, and everything looked perfectly normal. The doctor was amazed that the problem completely resolved itself in just the past couple of weeks. We are so grateful. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us. It really worked!

Baby A and Baby C are now 1 lb, 10 ozs and Baby B is 1 lb, 7 ozs. Dr. Mann said that they all looked beautiful and perfect and were growing at just the right rate. My cervix remains over 4 cm long and closed, which means I still don't need any bedrest.

A few nights ago, I told Billy that I felt like Baby A was flipping over. Sure thing, when we checked her out today, she was breech. Last time we were in, she was head-down. I can't believe I could feel that!

That's all for now. I have an appointment with my ob on Friday, and that's when I will take my gestational diabetes test. I sure hope I pass!

Monday, April 21, 2008

My weekend

This past weekend we had many exciting events. First, I got to see Rose dance in her debut ballet performance. It was hysterical! There were several groups that danced, and most were around Rose's age, but some were even younger. For the younger kids, the teacher would come out and perform with them. Even when the teacher was not on the stage, you could tell that she was behind the curtains to the left or right because all of the kids would stare off to that side and try to keep up with the correct moves.

There was a little boy in one of the classes, and when he came out, Billy immediately turned to me and said, "Our boy will not be taking ballet lessons." A few songs later, I could feel Will moving around, and I told Billy that perhaps Will liked the show and wanted to dance. My dad assured Billy that dance would be a great way for Will to pick up girls.

When Rose's group came out, they danced their little hearts out. Well, it looked more like a bunch of skipping, jumping, and bouncing around, but it was dance to them. After Rose's 1 minute performance, Vivian said, "Well, there goes $1000."

After the recital, I headed off to Mems's house to my final baby shower. That was a lot of fun. I got tons of great stuff. I still can't get over how generous everyone has been. It's so amazing to know how many people care about me and the babies.

On Sunday, we went out to Loganville to pick up the Triple Decker stroller that Mems bought us from a lady in my triplets group. We got to meet her little ones. They are a little over 1, and she has 2 girls and a boy, just like us! The kids were adorable.

She asked how far along I was, and when I told her 24 weeks, she was shocked. She went on hospital bedrest at 17 weeks until she delivered around 31 weeks. She spent 98 days at Northside Hospital. Can you even imagine that? Even worse was that her husband was living in LaGrange at the time, and could only come visit her once or twice a week. I am so grateful that I am continuing to hold up so well.

She showed us the babies' room and their playroom. When we left, Billy said that the babies' room smelled like a doo-doo diaper, and I told him to get used to that fine aroma...it will soon be filling our house every day. The playroom looked like a bomb went off at Toys R Us. The parents said that they clean it up at night, but they let the kids have at it all day long.

Finally, we put in an offer on a house this weekend, but it didn't work out. The sellers are just not willing to negotiate. They only wanted to come down $2000 from their listing price, and in today's market, we can find a better deal. Unfortunately, our better deal may mean moving out to the burbs. The more we think about it, the more we are convinced that we are better off in the East Cobb area because of the lower taxes and the great schools. I am so depressed at the thought of driving a mini-van and living in East Cobb, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Amnio Results

I just heard from my doctor's office, and it looks like Baby C's amnio came back fine. I'm so happy that everything is okay with him. I had tried not to stress myself out about it, but I felt so relieved when I got the good news.

Alice said that maybe he's just going to have the Rodriguez male "watermelon head." When Drew was born, he had a gigantic noggin. Alice was in labor for several hours, and the doctor had to use the forceps to finally pull the kid out. Then, he had a crazy cone head.

Cooper also had a big ole head when he was born. He actually had some fluid that accumulated in the front part of his head, around his forehead, that made his forehead protrude. However, it eventually went down on its own.

At least I don't have to push the big headed baby out. There's another good reason for a c-section!

This has to be a quick entry because we are off to Mems' house for dinner. I have another shower tomorrow afternoon and a dance recital for Rose. Should be a fun weekend!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My belly


I haven't posted a belly picture in a while. Here's one from last night. It's massive!

Winnie's Bad Leg

As if we don't have enough going on right now, Winnie is hurt. I took her to the vet yesterday, and the vet said, "Wow, we haven't seen Winnie is 2 months! I think that's a record." Isn't that sad? She's there monthly most of the time.

When we walked in the vet's office, one of the girls in the front saw us coming and asked, "What did Winnie eat this time?" I had to explain that although she did eat 4 bananas the day before, she was there for a limp. About the bananas...Billy left them out on the counter in the kitchen when he left for a softball game. When I came home, I found banana peels all over the place. She had eaten all 4 bananas, but left the peels in different rooms. I guess she was enjoying snacking in the bathroom, dining room, and bedroom.

Anyway, back to her latest injury. We had noticed that she was limping for the past week or so. However, it wasn't going on all the time. We thought she was better until I took her out to play fetch, and she came home limping again. We figured it was time to get her checked out. The vet felt around and determined that she had partially torn her ACL. She didn't think it was a complete tear and didn't want to recommend surgery unless it was blown. She said that surgery for a doggy ACL was around $2500. YIKES! For now, she prescribed an anti-inflammatory and said to rest her as much as possible, which is a nightmare. She's such a mess when she doesn't have an outlet for her energy. I am absolutely willing to deal with her crazy behaviors for 10 days of rest, if it will save us $2500.

When I was telling Alice about Winnie's condition, she said that it only costs $500 to put a dog down. Can you believe that!? She said that Winnie had already had a full life. The dog is only 1 1/2 years old. She's hardly had any life! Poor little Winnie.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cooper's Feelings

Cooper has gotten very into expressing his feelings lately, and he talked about his emotions a lot when we were watching him last week. He is so funny sometimes the way he goes on and on about how he's upset or sad. Liane said that there was an episode of "Barney" where the kids talked about feelings, and he picked it up from there.

One day, I was trying to feed him lunch, and he wouldn't eat anything I gave him. Then, he wanted cookies, but I said that if he wasn't going to eat his lunch, he couldn't have any cookies. He climbed off his seat, went under the table, and started crying. That went on for about a minute. When he came out from under the table, he said, "Wasie, I'm ready to listen now. I was so sad earlier, but I'm feeling better now." He then proceeded to eat some of his lunch and got his cookie. He said, "I'm so happy now."

At Alice and Kibby's house one day, Cooper was going on about how he was very sad that his mom was out of town. He would add a little fake cry here and there for effect when discussing this topic. Well, Kibby felt like he needed to straighten him out. He told Cooper, "Boy, men only have 2 emotions. We either feel happy, or we're pissed off." He didn't want Cooper fooling around with any sissy emotions he picked up from "Barney."

Friday, April 11, 2008

Amnio, Cramps, and the Aliens in my Belly

I ended up having to go to my perinatologist on Wednesday, instead of Friday, for my 22 week check. Billy was out of town at the Masters so Mems came with me to my appointment. I needed someone there for moral support because if Baby C still had the fluid on his brain, I was going to have an amniocentesis.

They started off with measuring my cervix. It was still long (over 4 cm) and closed tight. Then, they moved on to all of the usual measurements on the babies. When the ultrasound lady measured Baby A's bone length, she had to do it a couple of times because her bones were so long. She asked if somebody had long legs and arms in the family. Mems and I both said that it must be from Billy. In childhood pictures of him that I have seen, his legs go on forever. Well, it looks like Baby A is going to take after him. The girls were up to 1 lb and 3 ozs, and our boy was 1 lb 4 ozs. Those were perfect sizes for 22 weeks so everything seemed fine there.

When they looked at the boy's brain again, he still had the excess fluid there. The doctor explained that the normal range was up to 10, and his levels were around 9.9-10. She said it just looked different than the girls, and she wanted to make sure there was nothing going on. The elevated fluid could be due to a genetic issue, and the amnio will screen for that. We had some genetic testing done before the embryos were put in, but that only screened for 5 of the most common genetic defects. An amnio looks at many others. She told us that in cases where there is no genetic link to the fluid, and a baby has an elevated level, 93% of the time, it causes no problems whatsoever. In the other 7% of cases, the baby could experience some mild learning disabilities and/or motor function/developmental issues.

I decided to have the amnio, just to give me some peace of mind. The doctor said she would have done the same thing, which made me feel better about my decision. I was still a little concerned about the risk of miscarriage, but the doctor said the chances were about 1 in 1000, which seemed doable to me.

The procedure just involved Dr. Mann looking at my boy with an ultrasound, determining the best place to stick the needle to get some amniotic fluid, sticking a needle in through my belly to his sac, and draining some fluid. It stung a little when the needle went in, but other than that, I had no problems. I was instructed to go home, take it easy, drink plenty of water, and call if I had severe cramping or bleeding. I had to break the news to Alice that she had to care for both Cooper and Carley that night because I wasn't supposed to be doing any lifting or strenuous activity.

Everything went well on Wednesday night, but when I woke up on Thursday, I had terrible cramps on my left side. I became concerned after about an hour of the persistent pain and called my doctor's office. I was instructed to come in at 1. I spent the afternoon having blood work, ultrasounds, cervix checks, etc. Everything turned out to be fine, which was such a relief! I haven't had any cramps since then.

The only thing I continue to feel now are baby movements. The babies are so active and big that sometimes you can see them moving around in my belly. Billy was finally able to feel some kicks from Baby B the other night and last night, I lifted up my shirt when we were watching tv, and he was able to see areas of my belly move as the babies kicked and punched and flipped around. It's so freaky to see that going on and know that little living creatures are inside of you. Freaky, but amazing!

I won't have the results of my amnio back for about a week, but once I know what's going on, I will give an update. Until then, I've told myself I'm not going to freak out and worry. There is no need to work myself up over something that could be nothing at all.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Getting some practice

Billy returned from his Dadchelor party on Sunday evening. He was tired, but otherwise, in pretty good shape. However, he could not get any rest because Liane and Jason left town Sunday and the kids stayed behind. Carley is my chargee and Cooper is all Alice's until Thursday. I am counting down the minutes until Liane returns.

Carley likes to sleep in the bed with me because she is obsessed with kneading in my hair to help her fall asleep. She holds on to my hair and pulls and twists it. At the same time she sucks her bottom lip. Once she finally goes to sleep, she lets go of my hair, but if she stirs at night, she goes right back for it. She moves all around the bed like crazy all night, and I can't get any sleep because I'm so worried that she's going to fall off the side. I put a huge pillow (one of my pregnancy body pillows) on one side of the bed, but when I looked over in the middle of the night, she was on top of it with her head hanging off the side of the bed. I moved her back closer to me, but I was terrified that if I fell asleep again, she would end up splitting her head open from a fall. This has been going on since Sunday night...you can imagine how tired I am at this point.

I used to be able to handle Cooper and Carley much better, but I think because of the pregnancy, I just don't have much in me any more. I don't know how Liane handles it with her pregnancy. I guess you just have to adjust and make it work.

Liane has told Cooper and Carley about the baby in her belly. Carley will look at Liane's belly and say, "Hi baby!" It's so cute. When she saw me and my big belly, she said the same thing. I hope they don't see some fat lady somewhere because I'm sure that Carley will run up to her, pat her belly, and say, "Hi baby!" How embarrassing would that be?

The first night the kids were in town, I went over to Alice's house to help her with dinner and baths and then, I brought Carley home with me. When we had Cooper and Carley in the tub that night, Alice said to just imagine that I would have a third one in there. Crazy! I was tired (and drenched) after shampooing 2 heads and scrubbing 2 butts, 4 feet, and 4 little hands. They were squirming around, screaming, and splashing water the whole time. Then, they refused to get out of the tub. Billy had to wrap them up in towels and pretend like they were flying around to get them to want to come out and get dry. Then, the next ordeal began because they kept squirming away trying to run around naked and wet.

Finally, once everyone was dressed, Cooper decided that it was "party-time." He was jumping on the bed screaming, "It's party time!" He was sorely mistaken because it was in fact bed time. However, Alice always gives in, and she allowed Cooper to have his party time. Kibby came in and had a pillow fight with Cooper, and whenever Cooper hit Kibby with a pillow, Carley would say, "Sowy Kibby" and give him a hug. She thought Cooper was hurting him.

Carley, Billy, and I came back to our condo after party time. Then, we had to figure out how we were going to deal with Carley and Winnie. Whenever Carley sees Winnie, she points at her and says, "No, no, no, Winnie!" Winnie just wants to lick Carley to death, but Carley can only take so much of being attached by Winnie's massive tongue. Anyway, they ended up getting along just fine. We have a little squirt bottle with water that we use to deter some of Winnie's bad behaviors. If we just pick it up, she'll usually stop whatever she's doing. I gave the bottle to Carley, and she carried it around, which kept Winnie at a safe distance.

Although we love Cooper and Carley, we will be thrilled when Liane comes back to town. Kibby said he was going to push the kids out of the way when she got back to town to hug her himself and thank her for coming back. Kibby isn't a big hugger so that tells you how much these kids have beat him down.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Billy is having a "Dadchelor" party

There's not much to report on the babies this week. They just continue to grow and move around like crazy. This morning from 5 until 6 a.m., Baby A decided she was going to do some aerobics. I swear she was trying to break through my uterus. She was pounding on me from the inside. It was such a strange sensation. Most of the time I just feel flutters and light movements, but she must be getting strong.

I think that Billy will be able to feel the babies from the outside by the end of this week. Since their movements are becoming more predictable and intense, he should be able to feel it on my belly soon. I think that will be exciting for him.

The other big news on the Billy front is that he is heading off to Athens this weekend for his "dadchelor" party. This is like a batchelor party but minus the hookers. It's basically a way for him to say good-bye to the days when it was just us, and he didn't have to worry about a family. He had a good life-golfing, trips to Vegas, guys' golf weekends, happy hours, etc.-but now he must trade that in and be confined to the house with 3 screaming babies whenever he is not at work. Doesn't that sound like a good trade-off? Poor guy.

I asked Billy if he was planning to be totally cray this weekend, and he said no. However, when I asked him if he planned to behave like a responsible, soon-to-be father of triplets, he also responded no. I guess there must be happy medium. Billy seems to have a trouble finding that happy medium. I think this weekend is going to full of excessive drinking and the subsequent barfing that follows for Billy-always! There are just so many stories of Billy's barfing adventures that I can't even begin to tell them all here.

My big plans for the weekend includes lots of showers. I'm going to one for my friend, Amanda, who is due in May. She's having a boy this time! She has an adorable little girl, Caitlin, who is my Godchild. After her shower, I'll be off to another one for me. This on is being thrown by my sisters and is mostly for family. There will be lots of old, Cuban ladies there. They will all be thrilled to see my big belly, since they were always commenting on how skinny I was before I got pregnant and how that couldn't possibly be healthy.

In the Cuban culture, a little plumpness is valued. It is especially important for children/babies to be fat to Cubans. I was looking through my baby book the other day and noticed that I was fed rice cereal when I was only 3 weeks old! They did this to fatten me up, and boy did it work. In my 3-month old pictures, I had 3 or 4 chins and my arms and legs looked like little stuffed sausages. I hope I'm fattening up my babies enough in-utero!

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