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.

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