Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our first night at CHOA

If you live in Atlanta you know that CHOA isn't some fancy getaway. It stands for Children's Health Care of Atlanta. We had a sick baby on our hands and had to head over there on Monday night. Here are how things transpired:

The babies all spent the night out on Saturday night because Billy and I went to a wedding. We were all excited about getting out, but in the few nights before the wedding, the kids had been fussy at night, and therefore, our sleep had been pretty limited. As the wedding got closer, we kept planning to leave earlier and earlier. At first, it was by midnight, then by 11, and finally we decided to get out by 10. If we would have kept talking about it, we might have skipped it entirely!

Back to the babies...when we heard back from our Saturday sitters (Mems, Alice, and Papa), we got some good and some bad reports. Mems had Abby, and she had done fine. Alice had Marie, and she had woken up several times at night unable to catch her breath. She was very congested, and since she's a thumb sucker, she has major problems if she can't breathe through her nose. Alice said she got so scared at one point that she almost called "9-freaking-1-1" (as she put it). She ended up putting saline in her nose and suctioning out the boogers throughout the night. She slept with Marie on her chest so that she could make sure she was breathing. The next morning, Marie barfed her guts out, and it had a ton of mucus in it. Yummy.

Papa also reported heavy congestion with Will. He also barfed. He had to sleep in a little baby papasan chair all night to keep the congestion out of his head. He was super pitiful because he kept trying to give little smiles, even though he felt terrible.

On Monday, their condition kept worsening, but Abby just seemed tired all day. She slept most of the time and ate very little. We thought she might just be starting to come down with something. We talked to the doctor, and they told us to bring in the sickest ones so we took off with Will and Marie.

Will and Marie were diagnosed with bronchiolitis. This is a respiratory illness that makes the bronchioles (tiny airways leading to the lungs) swell up. The inflammation and mucus make it hard for the babies to breathe. We were told to continue to suction out their noses well, give them plenty of fluids, and we had to start breathing treatments using a nebulizer. The nebulizer basically shots off a mist of medicine they have to inhale to help open up their airways. Needless to say, they despise this treatment.

The doctor told us that if any of them are panting, get listless, and/or run fevers, they need to get to the e.r. immediately. When we got back home from the doctor, Abby was even more pitiful. She couldn't even cry; she just kept moaning. I started crying just looking at her. I called the doctor's office, and they said to try a nebulizer treatment with her, and if she didn't perk up, we should go to the e.r. The treatment didn’t work so off we were. My dad stayed behind with the other two and his reinforcements: Maureen and Alice.

CHOA was very efficient, and we saw lots of other kids there with much more major problems. One child had a huge gash on his face that was bleeding profusely. Another little kid had a broken leg. There were all kinds of problems, and to top it off, most of the patients and parents there were Spanish speakers, and they only had 1 translator. I almost had to jump in one time to help out.

The admin guy who took our insurance info pulled up his screen with who was being admitted, and Billy was looking over his shoulder. There was a 14-year-old gunshot victim, and a girl with a "foreign object" in her lady business. Yowsa!

Anyway, Abby had to have her nose suctioned out, and it was very sad to witness. Now we have to do the same thing with all 3 daily. If you’ve ever seen the neti pot on Oprah, you’ll understand the nasal irrigation procedures. We have to shoot saline up into their right nostril until it shoots out their left nostril. Then, we suction out the left side. After that, we have to repeat with the saline in the left nostril until it shoots out the right. It really helps clear them out, but it doesn’t make them happy. It's like they are choking every time we do it. Between this and the nebulizer, we have very unhappy babies most days. They already resent us.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My snot-nosed kids

Tis the season for colds, flus, etc. All of my nieces and nephews walk around from now until next Spring with nasty runny noses constantly. I guess my kids are not going to be any different because it has already begun. My poor little babies all have colds. Will is worst off-he is just miserable, and it makes me so sad.

Two night ago, he was so congested that I had to steam up the bathroom and sit in there with him for 30 minutes to help clear him up. Then, he couldn't even sleep in his crib because of the post nasal drip. He had to sleep in his little papasan seat all night, and he looked so uncomfortable. Even through all this misery, he would still give me big smiles whenever I would talk to him. He was being such a brave little soldier!

Abby and Marie also have a cough and some congestion, but nothing nearly as bad as him. I don't know why he seems to get things worse than them. It's very strange. We were told during the pregnancy that white males had the worst outcomes in preemie births, and the doctor referred to it as "wimpy white male syndrome," but I didn't think it carried over into their lives beyond the preemie period. Well, I guess males are pretty wimpy when they are sick no matter how old they are....even some 32 year olds I know, but I'm not mentioning any names.

We took the kids to the md on Friday because they were due for shots, and they told us just to come in even if they were sick because they would check them out either way. They ended up not being too sick for shots, but I bet they wish they had been because they screamed bloody murder when they got them. I felt terrible.

One of the hardest parts about having triplets is that when it's just you and your husband, you can only comfort 2 babies at a time. Abby and Will had their shots first, so Billy grabbed one, and I grabbed the other immediately after their shots and held them and loved them. However, when Marie got hers, our hands were full, and the nurse had to pick her up and comfort her. I hated that I couldn't soothe her, but she did fine. We'll have to switch around the order next time so that she gets loved by one of us after shots next time.

They all were weighed are doing great. We have a new winner in the heavyweight division...Mr. Willers! He's up to 12 lbs 14 ounces. Abby is behind him at 12 lbs 9 ounces, and little Marie is 12 lbs 6 ounces. What's funny about Marie is that she looks super chunky, but it's because she's shorter than the other two. Abby's length continues to be amazing. She was in the 95th percentile for height for her age. That basically means that she is longer than 95% of other 4 month olds, which is totally amazing for a preemie. She's gonna be a tall girl.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Couldn't resist

Since you can't get enough of the Zeigler trips, here are a few more photos:


Will likes to stare at himself in the mirror. Why wouldn't he? He's so handsome!

Marie has trouble distinguishing between smiling and just opening up her mouth. This is a mix of the two.
Abby appears to be trying to do the "Macarena" in this shot.

Abby is drooling like a crazy beast these days. I have to keep a bib on her most of the time so that I can avoid changing her outfits several times.
Marie was very tired after Papa's house on Sunday. She needed a nap...poor little Sleeping Beauty...she always needs a nap.

Will was all dressed up like a big man on Sunday. He wanted to show everyone his more mature side.






Friday, November 14, 2008

Picture Update

Does Will look comfortable?
This is what we call the "daddy sleeping machine." At night, Billy holds each one of the babies and puts them to sleep. Abby loves it the most, but it works for the others also.

Winnie loves baby snuggles. Her head is the size of Marie's entire body. I had to closely monitor this situation because Winnie kept trying to put her head on Marie's chest, but that would crush her! She had to settle for resting her big noggin on Marie's legs.


Here is everyone on a chair at Papa's house a couple of weekends ago.



Relaxation

Becky asked if I ever just sit and relax when I'm at home with the babies. The answer is a big, fat "no!" However, that's not anything new for me. Even before the babies arrived, I lived by the motto, "relaxing is for losers." I was constantly on the move. When Billy would force me to sit and relax, I would multi-task. I may have been sitting on the couch, but I was also reading a book, or making my grocery list, or checking e-mail on the laptop.

When I got pregnant, I tried to relax more, and by the end of the pregnancy, I didn't do much besides sit around and watch tv. After a few weeks of that, I decided I had enough relaxing for a lifetime.

Now, I rarely even sit down at home, much less relax. If I'm sitting, it's because I'm pumping breast milk, and I usually have a baby next to me propped up on a boppy that I'm feeding at the same time or trying to entertain with toys. Sometimes, I pump and hold a baby, and he/she kicks the breast shields off my boobies.

Speaking of my boobies (my fave subject), Abby bit me last night while feeding. I guess it's not really "biting" if there are no teeth, but she definitely "gummed" me, and it did not feel good. Mental note, wean before they get teeth. YIKES!

Back to the relaxing thing. It's not even worth it for me to take it easy because if I do, it just means that I have double the work to do when I get up. There are always bottles to make and wash, laundry to wash, dry, fold, and put away, babies to comfort, boxes to unpack (still!), etc. Even if I'm sitting, my mind is racing, and I can never truly relax.

I'll relax again when I'm dead, I guess.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My eating habits

So, Holly posted the first question and asked about my eating habits since I'm the queen of the breast pump. Well, I am ravenous all the time. I would like to eat constantly, but I don't have time. The days that I work, I take tons of food and eat all day. There is a little kitchen on my floor, and I swear I walk down the hall to that kitchen 5 times a day. The people with offices along that hall must think I'm a pig. I should just keep a little cooler in my office, but I don't care. I'll walk up and down the hall as much as I want. They can suck it.


Seriously, I eat 2 bowls of cereal in the morning, juice and coffee. Then, by mid morning, I have a banana and a granola bar. By noon, I'm ready for lunch. I usually have a sandwich or a frozen meal and a yogurt with pretzels. Lately, we have had candy in the house and at work because of Halloween, and I'm constantly munching on it. That is definitely not going to help with my belly pooch.


I usually snack on hummus and pita chips in the afternoon, and I eat whatever is around until dinner. I then eat about 2 servings of dinner, dessert, and a bowl of cereal before I go to bed at night.

I'm also crazy thirsty. I could drink gallons of water a day, but when I'm with the kids, I don't have time. Therefore, once they go to sleep at night, I chug juice, water, gatorade, whatever we have around. I'm so incredibly dehydrated that I don't even have to get up to pee at night!

I read somewhere that a breastfeeding mom of a singleton needs an additional 500 calories a day. So, do I need 1500 for my three babies? I feel like I'm eating like I used to when I trained for marathons. I can't stop! I want to eat all the time. I'm off to get a snack....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

FAQ

I know I have lots of readers out there that follow the blog, and although I write about a lot of random stuff, I may not write about things YOU want to know. So blog followers, here's your big chance to ask your questions. If you have a burning question, please post it in the comments, and I'll try my best to answer it.


Lately, the most frequently asked question is, "Are you STILL breastfeeding those children?" The answer to that is yes. I currently pump milk about every 3-4 hours, and every day I produced approximately 60-70 ounces of milk. In between pumping sessions, I also nurse the kids from time to time, and they love them some boobie! Pumping is just more efficient and easy for me.


The next question is about the sleeping situation. Marie and Will are usually good for about 6-8 hours on any given night. Abby is a whole 'nother story. That child wants to eat every 3 hours. Vivian has been pushing us to start cereal in the bottle for weeks. I think I'm giving in tomorrow night. On my weekly trip to the grocery store tomorrow, I'm getting the cereal. I've got to at least give it a shot.

Another thing people wonder about is the amount of help we still have. I have to say, it is still tremendous. My dad is still with us every Tuesday and Thursday night, Billy's dad comes on Wednesday nights and sometimes a weekend night, and Vivian is usually with us on Sundays. Without all of this help, Billy and I would probably be filing for divorce (with neither one of us wanting custody of the children) by now because we would be the 2 most sleep deprived, cranky people in the world. I also probably would have been fired from my job because we need the help in the mornings so that I can get ready for work. Our nanny doesn't arrive until 8 a.m., but I leave around 7:15. If it our overnight helper wasn't here in the mornings, I would probably cruise into the office around 10 every morning, which wouldn't fly, especially since I usually leave around 4:30.

Most people want to know how we take them anywhere, and to tell you the truth, it's not easy. Most of the time, if someone wants to see us or the babies, they have to come to us. It takes us forever to get out the door with the babies and their related paraphernalia. We are always late. Tardiness is not anything new for Billy, but for me, it's very out of character, and I hate it. However, as the mother of triplets, I've had to learn to let go of little things like that.

Okay, now it's your turn. Post your questions in the comments. I'm ready to give you some answers!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Costumes

The girls were peas in pod last night, and Will was our little farmer man!

Can you see a theme developing with Abby...she does NOT like to have her picture taken. I feel like she's always crying in group shots.

Billy slaved over our jack-o-lanterns. He made a set of little ones with each of the baby's first name initial on them (A, M, and W).

He also made two for us...his is the Georgia (G) one and mine is the one with the scary face. Does that mean he thinks I look scary?
The number of trick-or-treaters was crazy last night. This neighborhood has a million kids in it. The triplets are going to have so much fun next year when they are a little more aware of what is going on.

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