Sunday, July 27, 2008

A few new pics

The first week is already very blurry to me. Sleep deprivation makes you forget everything.

Aunt Alice spent the first few days with us. She helped with bottle prep, diaper changing, feedings (especially night feedings), and everything else baby-related we have been doing. After she left, Aunt Teri came in for support. She was also wonderful with the babies. We celebrated her birthday on Sunday night, and she took off on Monday. She will be back soon for a week.

We took the little ones to the pediatricians' office for the first time the Thursday after they came home. It was such a production. There is so much work that goes in to an outing with them. I have to prepare the diaper bag, considering every possible scenario. What if they all pee or poop through their clothes? What if they get hungry? What if they get cold? I have to pack 2 additional girl outfits and 1 boy outfit, diapers, wipes, bottles, etc. That's just to be gone for about 2 hours. If we are out for longer, I have to take even more stuff!

We were like stars when we arrived at the office. Everyone kept saying how excited they were about the "Zeigler Triplets." We had several doctors and nurses stop by the newborn waiting room to gaze at our little ones and tell me how shocked they were that I carried them so long and that they were so healthy. We are truly blessed!

The babies weights were all on the rise by then, which made everyone happy. The nurse practitioner that we met with was giving us so much information that I thought my head was going to explode. There were different little things we had to do for Abby, Marie, and Will, and I was having trouble keeping it all straight. Marie kept crying, and I was so distracted. I came out of the appointment hoping I didn't miss anything too important. I must not have because over a week later, the babies are still doing fine.

One of the recommendations from that appointment was that we take the babies out for short walks every day. We have taken a couple of walks so far, and it's hilarious the looks we get from neighbors who drive by us as I push the triple decker stroller (pictured above), and Billy walks our nearly 100 lb lab. We are quite a large family these days!

I have to run and do some prep work before we make another outing today. We are going to my dad's house for lunch. We do this every Sunday, but this will be the first time we take the babies. It should be exciting!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My poor boobies

Being the mother of breastfeeding triplets is like being a cow, but I don't even think a cow is milked as often as I am. My boobies are in constant demand. We feed the babies every 3 hours, but each feeding takes about an hour to an hour and a half. Therefore, I get a free 2 hours max before somebody else needs to suck away.

During the break time, I try to keep up with making bottles (we are supplementing with formula), washing baby clothes, restocking diapers and wipes, etc. I also have to eat during the breaks. In fact, I'm eating more now that when I was pregnant. It's crazy!

So back to my ta-tas...they fill up with milk constantly because the babies eat all the time. Today, I made my first outing without the babies. Billy took me to Target, and it was so exciting! Isn't that sad? I was excited by Target, but think about it...I haven't been in to a store in months, except for the time that Mems took me furniture shopping in a wheelchair right before we moved in to the house.

We were at Target for a couple of hours, and I was ready to bolt because my titties started hurting. When we got home, Bill (Billy's dad/our weekend babysitter) had already fed a couple of the babies so I fed Marie, and then I had to go pump out what was remaining. My breasts are used to making enough for 3 so I had leftovers.

The breast pump really makes me feel like a cow. I connect this thing to both of my boobs at the same time, and it basically vacuums my nipple out and releases it over and over to stimulate milk production. I have this crazy bra I wear with it so that it's hands free, but really, what can you possibly do while having breastmilk sucked out of your body?

The only thing that would make me feel better about all of this is if my breasts were actually much bigger, but they are not. I waited my entire pregnancy to have bigger boobs, but it didn't happen. Now, I was thinking this breastfeeding thing was going to do it, but I was sorely mistaken. They may be a little fuller, but that's about it. What a joke!

I could go on and on about this topic, but one of my little suckers is calling for me. It's time to get milked-AGAIN!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Food Calendar

My Executive VP in Charge of Food Operations, Becky, asked me to please post this link for anyone who is interested in making a food delivery to us:

Thank you to everyone who has done it so far. We have enjoyed absolutely everything and appreciate you taking time out of your schedules to help us out!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I am now the mother of 3!

The past week has flown by. Adjusting to being the mother of 3 has been difficult, seeing as I've had to heal from major surgery and up my activity level considerably after having been on modified bed rest for months. Between taking care of my babies, I'm also trying to get settled in to a new house. So much to do and so little time, but I need to get you all the information you've been waiting for. I'll start with the delivery day and get you through the first week.

Last Friday (7/11), Billy and I left our home for the last time as just a couple. We headed off to drop our only child until then (Winnie) off at doggy day care for the day. Yes, it's ridiculous that we use such a service from time to time, but she loves it, and it exhausts her, which makes everyone happy. She was going to be spending the rest of the weekend at the Wagner Kennel (Alice & Kibby's house), and we wanted her to be tired so she would be invited back.

After doggy day care, we were off to Piedmont Hospital. When I arrived, everyone already knew who I was..."the triplet mom who had made it to 36 weeks!" They took me to a room and got me prepped for surgery. I was pretty nervous because I wasn't sure what to expect. They started off with getting in an IV and setting up 3 monitors on my belly for the babies' heart rates and an additional one for contractions. I had removed my terbutaline pump that morning, and when I arrived at the hospital, I was contracting. I guess that medicine was really doing its job!

Billy took the picture in the previous post of me in my hospital gown right before everything else started. I had no idea how huge I was at that point until I looked at the picture. That was quite a belly.

Anyway, they walked me to the operating room at around 12:10. Yes, I walked there...meaning they gave me no drugs before I walked in. I thought that surely they would give me a little something to take the edge off, but I got nada! It was really weird to walk into an operating room with no drugs in my system whatsoever.

I sat up on the table and the anesthesiologist started my epidural. That was a breeze. Then, my lower body went numb, and they moved my legs up on to the operating table. They put up a drape in front of me so I couldn't see the nasty stuff that was about to happen to my body. The nurse anesthetist told me that he wouldn't tie down my arms if I promised not to reach down to where they were working on me. Was he nuts? YUCK! Why would I want to touch anything that was happening down there? He said that some ladies just went out of their minds and did it without thinking. I told him he didn't have to worry about me doing that.

I don't know what was going on where the doctors were working, but at around 12:25, they went to get Billy and bring him in the room. He walked in, and we chatted for a few minutes. After a couple of minutes, a parade of people showed up in the room. There were 2 people assigned to each baby (nurse and respiratory therapist). That was 6 people in our case, plus our doctor, the assisting doctor, anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetic, 2 or 3 scrub nurses, and a few other random people dressed in scrubs. It was a big party in the operating room!

Ten minutes later, Dr. Kleiss told Billy to stand up and look over the curtain because our babies were coming! I thought there was going to be some pain, but I felt nothing. Abby came first, and Billy said, "There's one of the girls. She's huge!" Then, Marie and Will followed her just a minute later. It was absolutely amazing and surreal. Since I couldn't feel the lower half of my body, it seemed like the babies had just appeared out of nowhere. I only got to see them briefly before they took them away to wash them up. Billy went with our new little ones, and I had to stay behind to get put back together again.

It was the strangest sensation to have stay on that operating table after my babies had been born. The doctors were chatting to each other about where they went to dinner, their husbands, and a bunch of other day in, day out stuff. I kept thinking that maybe they should be paying more attention to what they were doing. At one point, my doctor looked over the curtain at me and told me I would feel some pressure because they were going to put my uterus back in. I didn't even know they had pulled it out. What else did they have out of place?

After they finished up in the operating room, they toted me off to a recovery room. I had to stay there for about 2 hours. I felt okay initially, but after a few minutes, I started vomiting and got the shakes. During that time, visitors were allowed to come and see me 2 at a time. Everyone who came back kept telling me how beautiful the babies were, and I was dying to see them again.

All of my family and Billy's, along with a good bit of extended family was at the hospital for my big day. They were all being called the "triplet paparazzi" because of the excitement and commotion they caused and, of course, all of the pictures they took. The Cubans are a loud and crazy group!

When I was finally feeling better, I was moved to a regular hospital room, and they brought in the babies. I was so happy to be together with them and Billy as a family. It was a wonderful feeling. Billy had to introduce me to Abby and Marie and show me how he was telling them apart. I always thought that newborns all look the same, but right away, I could tell that Abby and Marie were very different. Will was his own little man also. We keep saying that he looks like a cross between a little, old man and a chicken.

We remained in the hospital until Tuesday. Although I was stunned that I felt nothing in the operating room, I was even more stunned by the amount of post-surgery pain. It was terrible once that epidural ran off. I was taking 2 Percocet every 4 hours plus 800 mg Ibuprofen every 6 hours, and I was still hurting. I was near death every time I had to get up from the hospital bed to go to the bathroom on Saturday. It was also painful to just move around in bed. I felt like all of my organs were swimming around in jelly inside of me, unattached to whatever they were supposed to attach to. At one point, I rolled on my side at night and felt like something was going to fall out of the side of my incision. However, by Sunday and Monday, I was feeling a little better.

While we were at the hospital, we took advantage of the situation to get some rest. We sent the babies off to the nursery at night and slept well. My milk had not come in yet so we were trying to get them to suck and then supplementing for formula. They immediately became pooping machines, which was not surprising with parents like us!

I was stunned by how quickly by body started changing. I had a coffee aversion throughout my entire pregnancy, but when I woke up the day after having the babies, I was thinking that coffee sounded good. Also, I enjoyed my freedom from lactose intolerance during my pregnancy, but the first time I had milk post-pregnancy, my symptoms returned. It's all so weird!

I can hear one of the babies crying so I have to cut this off. However, I will try to finish up the entry in the next couple of promises, though.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Introducing the Zeigler Triplets!

A quick entry for now to get you up to speed. We'll have more photos and details when we get home!

Everyone came along right on schedule Friday afternoon, July 11th. Not sure it could have gone any smoother. Here's the basic info:

(listed in order of appearance)
Abigail Eileen (Abby): 5 lbs., 14 oz.
Marie Liane (Marie): 5 lbs., 3 oz.
William Roland (Will): 5 lbs., 6 oz.

All terrific weights for triplets. Amazingly, all three went straight to the normal nursery here at the hospital (as opposed to the neonatal intensive care unit)...apparently this is completely unheard of, so we're thrilled. If all continues to go this well, the three amigos along with mom will be ready to come home tomorrow. As you'll see, Leslie did a wonderful job "cookin'" these babies (as she like to say). They're absolutely beautiful.

The doctors and nurses have been terrific here at Piedmont. If it's possible, I think some of the staff might be more excited than we are to see 36 week triplets with no need for the NICU! (But trust me, we're much more excited than they are.)

Thanks to everyone for all your love, support, calls, texts, emails, and kind thoughts.

(Sorry we couldn't get these pics up sooner, but we quickly realized we had the camera and laptop, nut were missing the USB cable to connect the two. I had to run back home quickly, so here's a few of my favorite photos from days 1 & 2! Enjoy. Of course, many many more to come...)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The final countdown

Hi everyone! I'm back for what will probably be my final entry before the arrival of our trio. My feet are getting worse every day, which I didn't think was possible, so I'll have to make this a quick update.

First of all, it's great to be in the new house. Thank you to everyone who helped us move and all the peeps who continue to drop by to help almost daily. There is really nothing I can do around here to settle in. It's incredibly frustrating, but I know it's what is best for the babies.

The babies' room is probably the most close to finished room in the whole house. I'll ask Billy to take some pictures of it and post them here, along with a finally picture of my belly. I know everyone wants to see how huge I am at this point. It's pretty impressive and disgusting. I never thought I could possibly stretch as much as I have.

Winnie seems to be settling in well here. She has so much space in and outside. However, she is almost always at my side. I was just in the bathroom brushing my teeth, and she was waiting patiently outside the door. Then, I walked into the room we are going to use as an office, and she followed me in and is now asleep at my feet.

I'm only allowed up and down the stairs once a day. Therefore, I am going to descend in a few minutes, and I will not be back until tonight when Billy comes home to help push me up. Last night, I was out of breath for 5 minutes after climbing up the stairs.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support! We are so excited that the babies are coming soon. Although, I have to admit that I'm also a little scared. That's normal, though, right?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On the Books

Leslie got a call from her OB this morning, and was informed that her C-section has officially been scheduled for next Friday, July 11th at high noon. So that looks to be THE day. This brings about some serious t-shirt and paraphernalia options for the trips.

The doctor also made a point to prep Leslie for the celebrity treatment she will likely receive among the hospital's labor and delivery staff -- a 36-week triplet birth is almost unheard of!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Of Renovations, Moving, and Pending Babies

First and foremost, no babies yet. With the move, our computer (and accompanying internet) access has been lacking for a few days, so Leslie hasn't had a chance to give any updates. I figured I'd send out a quick update from my office while I could.

Leslie and the three amigos are doing great. We had what looks to be our last visit to the perinatologist (the high-risk doctor) today. She continued to give Leslie all kinds of well-deserved kudos for having such an amazing triplet pregnancy.

Each of the babies measured in at over 5 pounds today. Wow! Much better than we ever expected. Weight varied a little between all three, but with it being so much more difficult to get good readings through the ultrasound as they get bigger, we'll just stick with "around 5 pounds" for now.

The doctor also said that it will be no more than 10 days from now that we bring the trips into the world. So let Baby Watch '08 officially begin!

We closed on the condo yesterday, and all went smoothly! That was so relieving to finally get behind us and be able to move forward with the new house, which Leslie just saw for the first time since before we put an offer down. We were also able to sleep there for the first time last night.

Speaking of the new house, in the past week and a half, we've painted just about every wall and ceiling, done a semi-remodel of the kitchen and downstairs bathroom, partially flooded the basement (and subsequently shop-vac'd it dry), got all the trim and woodwork painted, partially set up the nursery, and then finally moved all of our stuff in on Saturday and Sunday.

On that note, I need to thank everyone who has been helping us get everything prepped and ready over there. The help has been beyond invaluable, and I can't begin to express how grateful I am of the willingness of people to give of their time and sweat. My dad has been there every single day and night that I have, working his tail off. He has been an amazing right-hand man. Can't imagine this without him. Mems has unpacked what seems like every box in the house and cleaned all the cabinets, set up the kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, and bathrooms. She even convinced Leslie to let her wheel her around in a wheel chair and take her furniture shopping on Saturday! Rolando has done a little of everything: packing, painting, running truckloads of our junk from his basement, and anything else we need. Maureen made us dinner for what seems like a month straight. Alice, Kibby, and Drew have painted walls and doors for us, given Leslie a place to take refuge from the craziness, and watched after Winnie. All while under going serious drama with their own big-time house renovation. Paul and Vivian created the nursery, schlepped boxes around, and did a lot of unpacking and getting things settled. Of course, I'm missing a ton of what these people have done, but my memory's a little shot lately, so I hope you get the picture!

To everyone else that's helped paint and lug around our furniture the last two weekends, thanks so much. Leslie's cousin Kelly painted all weekend long. Steve Harding spent almost an entire Saturday painting our walls and ceilings and drinking as much beer as we could provide. Mark Morris and TJ Hart not only painted for the bulk of a Saturday, but also came back to help move all of our stuff the next week. Anyway, I could go on and on (and already have), but thanks again to all of our laborers: Bill Wileman, Wes and Becky Neece, Mike Lott, Eric and Jennifer Cheek, Jeff O'Connor, Brent Rea, Spencer Koch, John Elliott, Rob Conners, and of course, Joe "Pops" Sce.

Finally, I know a lot of people are hoping for a final picture of Leslie before d-day. I'll see what I can do.