Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas take 2!

Mere and Pops came for a visit - and to celebrate Christmas with the wee ones. They left today - leaving a weeping Mary Louise, "no Pops weave!" and David asking, "where going??" with a worried look. Their big gift to the kids? Shiny red tricycles - WITH horns!!! Let's just say it's all we've heard about since the initial delivery:

(no, she wasn't actually talking to anyone - but yes, that was our actual house phone...she's called India, Dominica - twice, Houma numerous times - and lefts messages that Mommom just loves, and she's called her Uncle Damon a number of times on my cell phone - as well as downloaded numerous videos to it - at least they're not obscene- yes, I put it out of reach usually but by golly if I slip up at all there's hell to pay!)
Proud baby girl:

In addition to the fantastic "bicycles", other from Mere and Pops included a doll with 2 outfits so Mary Louise can work with dressing / undressing. (Mostly undressing currently). A remote control car for David - he's getting really good already at navigating!, some combs just like Pops', some great books and some sweets.

All of this after receiving gifts from other family and friends (Mommom brought some of my childhood books over - LOVE)! Lucky lucky babies!

On the agenda for tomorrow? Cull the toys again!

We had a nice afternoon:
Brent worked hard in the yard as it was a really nice day outside. Mary Louise and David obsessed over watching:

I attempted some group shots - they turned out how they usually do...

Epic (albeit hilarious) fail. - but the album is pretty cute! (I'll give virtual daps to the person who comes up with the best caption for the above pic)

group shots attempt 1 2011

and so is this one:

watching Daddy cut the grass - Dec. 2011

Huge thanks to all of those who sent gifts, thoughts and prayers our way throughout the holiday. Wishing you all a wonderfully blessed and happy new year!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas little ones!

Merry Christmas little ones! Your precious lives have just begun...

You fill my world with love and light...

My sweet sweet babes, what examples of life!

Your grace and spirit shine and shine...

Moments with you are such precious time...

Memories kept within my heart, my soul...

It's such a privilege to watch you grow.

Thank you for choosing me to bear...
for charging me with your special care.
Merry Christmas little ones -
your stars are as bright as the yellow sun.

We had a wonderful quiet Christmas with Mommom, Uncle Kyle and Uncle Sean coming in for 2 nights before they left for Granny and Papa's in Florida. We expect Mere and Pops tomorrow - and Mary Louise and David think they have just done everything right to not only see some of their favorite people, but also open presents while everyone claps and carries on!

Brent and I THOUGHT we controlled ourselves quite well with the gift fact, I insisted we had PUH-lenty for the kids while he kept worrying over having "enough". As it turns out, it took Mary Louise and David all stinkin' day to open their gifts (of course they had to play with each one as they opened them) and we could have really stopped at just one! ha!

Their big Santa surprise was a toddler trampoline. It has been a big hit - especially with the nasty weather we've been having. It has certainly provided a much needed outlet for their everlasting energy when organized play just isn't in the cards.

On the illness front: Mary Louise has had quite a bit of coughing during the night but as of yet it has not be coupled with any congestion nor any symptoms during the day. So, for now, that's where we are. David is doing well, Brent seems mended and I am feeling fine once more.

Me and the Suga made 20 weeks on Christmas day!!! 5 whole months!!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

OB checkup and what a day!

19 weeks 3 days:

I went to my regular OB today for an ultrasound, cervical measurement and routine pregnancy checkup. Overall, things went well. The bottom lines are: the baby is very healthy and growing growing growing! and I am showing no (absolutely none!) signs of any abnormalities related to pregnancy / pre-eclampsia or incompetent cervix.

So there.

Mary Louise and David were up at 5:30am this morning and Mary Louise absolutely FLOODED their bed. Baths were a necessity - I didn't care what time it was. Brent got up to do my usual morning routine - dishwasher emptying, laundry starting, dog feeding, bed stripping, etc. etc. and I sat and bathed the wee ones who, upon waking up a little more, decided to have a little splashing floating fun rather than get upset about the whole thing.

At 10:30, though all pretty tired, we loaded up for speech therapy. I've been talking to the therapists for a number of weeks about updating goals and assessing milestones reached by Mary Louise and David. As of our last visit (Monday), they had suggested that Mary Louise graduate (yay!) but continue to come every session as support for David - essentially a prop - because they seem to work so well together. I later got a clarification (I was concerned about their limited benefits: our primary ins. policy approves 30 visits annually, our secondary policy is not accepted there - and the only place both policies are accepted here in our area has Mary Louise and David on the waiting list - supposedly for the past 5 months - as number 25 and 26...). Anyhow, Mary Louise's benefits would not be used if she went as support for David. However, after some thought and discussion with Brent, we agreed that David should at least try weekly visits independently. So we start with that the first week of January. He's generally shy and gets nervous pretty easily. But I feel that he'll do fine once warming up during the session. He will go once weekly for 1 hour rather than twice a week for half an hour (which is what we've been doing). I'm pretty sure Mary Louise will be a little upset about not getting to go - we'll have to have some special activities for her while we're gone - and if nothing else, she'll love the one on one Dada time.

All that to say that Mary Louise is being discharged from speech therapy!!!!!! Way to go baby girl!

David will continue on solo to work on annunciation and refining his speech. They are very pleased with his vocabulary!

We came home and got a visit from a neighbor. She brought Christmas presents for the kids: baby dolls with soft bodies and eyes that open and close. They are really beautiful and even have measurements: 12 inches in length - equal to Mary Louise's birth length. I just sat and stared as she carried hers around. It's dressed in a little pink onesie and has a pacifier and bottle. David's (yep - she brought a doll for him too) is dressed in blue with the same accessories. I didn't know how it would go over with David...or Brent...but thanked her over and over - what a lovely gesture! Meanwhile, Mary Louise and David were examining the gifts - Mary Louise immediately went to cradling, feeding, etc...

David looked the doll over - back to front - then quickly beamed it across the kitchen and giggled as it hit the back door with a thud and slid to the floor. Awesome.

The surprised neighbor sort of stared open mouthed for a minute as I assured her he was simply tired, it was nap time and I was sure he'd play with the doll later...

She smiled and left and we made our way up the stairs. By this time (oh 5 minutes later), Mary Louise was cradling both dolls and asking if they could "night night" with her. Of course I said yes...then I found out what Mary Louise really had in mind...

I put David to bed with little fuss. Mary Louise talked to the dolls. I offered to rock, read and anything else I could think of to no avail. Mary Louise talked to the dolls. I finally asked her to go to her "sleep room" and sit in bed quietly with them. She went - no fussing at all - and I rested. That child literally did not stop talking to those dolls for 3 hours!! No naps - no slowing down.

Brent got home from work and we got to chat for a minute before I had to go to the doctor. I couldn't find a sitter for today so I went alone. I was exhausted and nervous as I can't seem to let go of the fact that during the triplet pregnancy, I was doing the labs that got me admitted to the hospital at this time.

The waiting room was wild. One lady brought her 3 children and husband with her. While I can appreciate family affairs, her kids were 3 boys ranging (in appearance) from about 18 months to around 6 or 7 years. They played games by yelling at each other across the room, then argued over seating, tripped over me a few times, and generally climbed the walls. They were cute, but I just wasn't up for it today.

Finally in the back for ultrasound, I tried to relax and watch the show. The baby is doing really well and cooperated beautifully for photos! Heartbeat was in the mid 150's - normal. Measurements all right on target. Then the weight...ah the weight...11 ounces. He is one ounce bigger than Kuylen was at birth. I started to panic. Welcome to NICU PTSD.

I went down the hall for my blood pressure - tried to relax again. Took a few deep breaths...high reading...the first one in months...or heart sank. They put me in a room and my doctor came in to chat. He assured me things were going well and yet another theory for the extra protein - other than it's just my normal - was that the excessive amount of fluid I drink everyday (water mostly) flushes my kidneys so much that I just loose a bit of extra protein. Bottom line - he's not concerned. I go back in 4 weeks.

They re-took my b/p before I left and it was back down to normal. Panic attack over. Yep. I'm a frazzled, neurotic ninny. What else is there to say.

I'm so ready for bed! (oh - and I took my b/p again when I got home just to be sure and it was back to low 100's over 70's - so good) and another upside - my ankle is feeling much better today. I'll wear the brace a bit longer - but it's on the mend!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No better no worse

My OB called tonight to have a short discussion over my 24 hour urine results: .32 again. Meaning it's high - highest accepted normal for pregnancy is .3. Normal for non-pregnancy is .15. The .32 is marginally high and would be a possible marker for pre-eclampsia if I were showing more symptoms or further in pregnancy (it is relatively unheard of to have pre-e during the second trimester...yeah - except I'm really really familiar with this phenomenon...) Another explanation for the number is that I have some underlying renal insufficiency. In other words, my kidneys hate me. (The insufficiency can be easily explained with my hypertensive history - though I did have a full workup after the babies were born and there was absolutely no kidney damage shown...)

At any rate, there's nothing to do about it but continue monitoring. The positive side of this - sort of positive - is that the value is stable. I'll have another visit with the regular OB tomorrow - including an ultrasound. I'll feel a little better when I see that little one is growing well...

I did discuss the first value with the perinatologist last time I was there. He was unconcerned saying that it's not uncommon with a patient diagnosed with chronic hypertension even though I've been well controlled for some time.

Stress can also cause increased protein spillage. I'm pretty sure I don't need to go into anymore detail and just say that if another person in this house comes down with the snots, we're a bubble.

Mary Louise and David have been wild lately. Their new favorite thing to do is to use their potty seats as step stools to get into things like...a GIANT tupperware of flour and fill all the shoes by the door. Oh and while I clean up that mess (that happened yesterday when I went to the restroom for exactly 10.5 seconds), they quickly changed gears and worked together to get to a full box of dog treats...Chester, our mini dachshund...ain't so mini anymore - he is, however, very happy. Lizzie is fine - she never stops moving anyhow.

Speaking of...

Lizzie got crazy excited about going outside yesterday evening and barreled into my back off of the top step of the back porch. Of course my ankle gave out and now I sit in a brace with a super looking cankle in its place. I'm hoping with a day or 2 of as much rest as I can manage -with Thing 1 and 2 to chase -that I can get over it and move on (literally). I know - good luck to me!

Random story:
Last night David got up and went for a walk around the house around 3am. He's really quite funny - often talks in his sleep and has been known to "travel" a bit. We got him settled just in time for the little miss to wake and climb into bed with me. Almost an hour later, she was still tossing and turning and whining demands while still pretty groggy: "fock ock" (rock rock), "where dada?" (he'd begun coughing and went to rest in the next bed room), "Momma, go down-tairs?"...and on and on. Finally I just said, "Hush Mary Louise!" She smiled and said, " says neigh Momma." It took me a minute to figure things out - but she thought I'd said, "horse" rather than, "hush" and was answering my perceived barnyard trivia question while half asleep!

With the days of Christmas ticking down and the end of this year becoming a big blur, I'm really looking forward to the END of the third trimester (note - NOT second - the THIRD Suga!). I'm respectfully nervous - I know way too well that no matter what I do in prevention, things can always But right now, I really feel good and am trying to focus on and enjoy that...


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Feeding the ducks

We went to the lake this afternoon to feed the ducks. Mary Louise and David were beyond excited. We haven't been out very much lately with all of the sickness but try to take advantage of nice days while we still have them. It was cool but not freezing outside and today was quite sunny - not wet and muggy like it has been. So, we popped some pop corn, collected some old cereal, and made our way out.

I'm pretty sure it was a hit!

and the ducks got to eat **most** of the food we brought...

Mary Louise had a grand time bossing everyone around:

and we even witnessed an elusive "sharing" moment:


Just because:

It was a great way to end our day. I was feeling pretty crummy and the sun was setting so we didn't stay long - but did get to enjoy the Christmas lights on the way home.

Mary Louise and David both have coughs but seem to be holding steady. I'm really hoping to feel a bit better tomorrow...but at least, in general, there were 2 tiny smiles to be seen around here. It was a pretty good, quiet, stay at home with a little dose a fresh air mixed in kind of day - especially considering all the mess we've had here lately. Phew.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Old Man Winter - What the heck?!?!

Mary Louise started with a little cough yesterday that got a little bigger today - and also joined with a runny nose. Awesome. If I weren't so frustrated, I'd laugh over this. David has a slight cough as well, my throat feels odd and Brent is just barely getting to that wretched night cough phase. I don't even know what round this is - but I do know that despite my best efforts, we seem to be drifting down the familiar weather change cold road once more (along with the rest of this area). I'm still holding out hope for no wheezing - but I'll admit, I'm a little obsessed with listening to everyone's breathing sounds today...

Mary Louise picked up their stethoscope today and told David to lift his shirt and "breef". I don't know if it's a little sad - or a little impressive that a 2 and half year old knows how to properly ask for Kleenex, blow her nose really well and deep breathe on command...I suppose in our situation, these are all HUGE accomplishments...

I've washed sheets, towels, and any thing else I could fit in the washer countless times. I've vacuumed, mopped, cooked chicken soup of all kinds, pushed fluids, forced napping, and kept us pretty stinkin' secluded (ok, really stinkin' secluded) over the past few weeks (but for the trips to the doctor and going to speech - we did visit a park one afternoon with a whopping one other kid there who was older and busy with his own games, etc.).

Nonetheless, here we are.

All I can say is a big boo on this. (believe me, in my mind I am much less filtered).



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A little of this and that

We went to the perinatologist on Monday for a check up. It was, by far, the best peri visit I've ever had (believe me, I've had a few nightmare ones). In fact, the doctor even appeared bored with us as I had absolutely nothing questionable going on. My blood pressure was a whopping 98/64!!!!!! At the doctor!!!! My cervix was still over 4cm (normal - long - very stable), the baby is growing right on target - but I did have to giggle a little when they did a head measurement that was rated a few days ahead of everything else (definitely my baby).

Mary Louise and David went back to their private speech sessions on Monday as well. They were so excited when we walked in that they climbed on every chair and danced around the waiting room (thankfully empty) while we waited for their therapists to call them back. Mary Louise will likely graduate from their program in the next couple of weeks but they have asked if they can see her back with David to help him along with the refinement of his speech. His vocabulary is great but he's still got a bit of work to do with gaining clarity and annunciation.

Unfortunately, Brent woke up sick the morning after my last post. So, he's been resting as much as possible and I've been wrangling babies away from "Dada" so that we don't go in for a full family round...whatever this would be...Brent is feeling better today -but was running fever last night. Another day or 2 of "keep away from Dada" and hopefully, this mean MEAN bug will be out of our house for good.

Mary Louise went back to the doctor (regular pedi) for a follow up visit after her hospitalization. Her chest was clear and she was deemed healthy once more. The doctor was concerned about her developing history with bronchial infections (2) and now pneumonia (1). That combined with her preemie history puts her at very high risk for reactive airway disease (asthma). If she did have asthma, she would get sick once more relatively quickly - another month or so - and I have breathing treatments and medication to start immediately if I notice a wheeze so that (hopefully) she doesn't end up in the hospital again.

(totally a favorite - totally)
If months go by and she doesn't get sick again, it was most likely a viral pneumonia as suspected that put her in the hospital. A little about asthma - it's always an allergic reaction from what I understand - it can be environmental, food related or a simple over reaction of the lungs when met with an inflammatory process - virus or bacteria. Hers would be the latter (we have no reason to believe either of them have allergies other than David's to penicillin). So if she gets a cold, it can get serious very quickly (if she has asthma). Make sense?? Of course we'll take things as they come - and I realize that plenty of people live with asthma just fine. But I won't tell you that this isn't nerve wracking and upsetting. After 2 and a half years of diligent pumping, I was hoping beyond hope that we could get beyond some of these classic preemie issues...though I will also keep things in perspective and remain WELL aware that this, in the grand scheme of things, is a minor bump as of now - and *may* not be an issue in the future. We'll see...

In other news, we did get a Christmas tree - which I begrudgingly decorated...I was really excited about decorating pre-plague. But Mary Louise's hospitalization and the sickness that ensued just about did me in...none the less, I was out voted - not only on getting the tree, but also on the size...seriously, who can say no to this?

or this?? (Mary Louise after her very first hair trim)

And here's a little fun comparison:
Now and then hats

Mary Louise wearing one of the first Mere couture designs:

She was around 2 months old here - wild.

The Bubs in his first Mere hat - we were stretching them a bit at that time - a week shy of 3 months old...

The album below - a mish mash of photos - if you have time and interest...

Thanksgiving  Early December 2011


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Checking in:

I am hesitant to put this in writing - but I THINK we are finally on the mend here. David got sick again Thursday and I was so frustrated, upset, over whelmed and utterly defeated that I couldn't even bring myself to blog about it. He's still got a cough but is getting better everyday. Mommom came after Uncle Collin left to help out for the weekend. I feel human again after all of the super wonderful family assistance but I think I might have just about done my "please God give me a break!" points in in one very busy week!

Brent was gone for 3 days making things very topsy turvy here. He had a great business trip (one that absolutely could not be rescheduled) and learned tons with the training offered so it was worth it but of course difficult with 2 sick babies and a half recovered pregnant Momma. Collin stayed in town until Brent returned and Ma Mere checked on us a number of times offering to come back in to help if needed. We got through.

I've gotten a bit behind on uploading again - am charging the camera as I write - and finally reset my You Tube password so I could upload videos from the hospital and beyond so a flood of fun is coming. (You Tube was blocked in the hospital and we've been so busy since that I'm just now uploading.)

Mary Louise in the hospital -a day or 2 in:

Feeling a bit better:

and a little better:

Home - back to her silly self!

Uncle Collin - the jungle gym:

Uncle Collin taught David and Mary Louise a few things while here - including but not limited to - how to make toot noises by blowing on their hands, and how to walk up to someone and flick them in the nose after making them look at absolutely nothing on their shirt. Wow. Thanks so much Uncle Collin. Can't wait for you to come back through town...

I'm pretty sure that's the video purge. Photos coming soon! Happy 18 weeks sweet Suga Bean! Hang in there in all of this craziness!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Because we just had to have one more thing...

Because we have gone through bacterial and viral infections, we (or I) should have seen this coming...

Mary Louise started with a fungal infection today - yeast to be exact...when I say started, I mean the yeast came, and spread with a vengeance. I noted a little red patch earlier today. Mary Louise got a little fussy when I cleaned her during a diaper change - not like her at all - and told me her diaper hurt. She's had a very upset tummy since yesterday (the doctor is aware) but it's gradually getting better as she's no longer on antibiotics. This afternoon, I took a soiled diaper off and noticed the red patch had not only spread but taken over much of her left side (bottom) and where it wasn't tiny dots were beginning to show. I frantically called and made our pedi office find a near time for us to be seen.

We saw the internist an hour later and it was confirmed as yeast. The doctor also checked Mary Louise's mouth and throat for thrush, ears for any issues and listened to her chest (clear). Everything else was ok - so we got a topical cream (Nystatin) for the skin infection and were off. I picked up some probiotics on the way home as well as my sweet girl hasn't been too eager to gobble down vats of yogurt lately.

Uncle Collin has stepped in as an extra set of hands as Ma Mere and Pops went home yesterday.

Otherwise, Mary Louise is doing well - but is now walking as if she's ridden horses for the past 72 hours straight poor darling. The rash had actually spread again in the time it took me to get the meds (on the way home), feed her dinner and get her to her bath this evening. Hopefully, the ridiculous amount of medication I slathered on will improve things greatly overnight...

Our girl has certainly had quite a time and it's taking a toll - she's exhausted - tonight she actually fell asleep while holding the nebulizer in her mouth. Last night, she woke frequently and was wild with fear that no one was there and she was back in the hospital. It'll take some time, but I'm desperate for things to level out soon...


Monday, December 5, 2011

Homecoming and Baby Update

Mary Louise is HOME!!!!!!!!!!!! The orders were given this morning and a mere 2 or so hours later, we were out the door and headed home with out sweet girl. She was taken off of oxygen completely at about 11pm last night and maintained her oxygen saturation between 91 and 96% during her sleep.

She is doing pretty well - definitely happy to be home and happy to see her "Dae-VID" (she started calling him David just over a week ago). She has to take things easy though (which is much easier said than enforced) as she gets easily winded and still has considerable congestion. We have a new family member - "Margo Moo" the nebulizer. I had nothing to do with the name - it was absolutely on the box when the home respiratory supply company (what - didn't know those existed? yeah. me neither. I could have gone 10 life times without that knowledge too...) delivered it about 2 hours late to my house. I practically mugged the delivery guy and tore into the packaging to get Mary Louise her meds - then I had to beg said victim to show me how to use the thing. Ha - make fun if you want - but nurses always have respiratory therapists to call in the hospital - I have never ever had to administer a breathing treatment.

I have was less than spectacular...ok ok, I feel the urge to make a "that's what she said" joke here...never mind...

Both kiddos went to bed with minimal fuss after a horrific bath time - pretty sure they were just tired - but seriously, Mary Louise had not had a full bath since Thursday...

Things sound and look good so far - and I'm hoping I'll be able to relax into some sleep tonight rather than trying to sit up and watch the 2 of them breathe for ohhhhh the 100th ++++ time.

As far as our little Suga is concerned, my lab results came in today and I received an evening phone call from my OB a bit ago...(below is obviously personal lab results - very descriptive - but again, I need to write this somewhere that I have easy access to it for my own reference purposes...bear with me)

Most of the values are fine - BUT - (you knew that was coming) - I'll list the concerns below....
1. I was slightly anemic - solution: increase iron (I already take one supplement, and prescription prenatal vitamins - so...more than that.)

2. My cholesterol was a little high - but pregnancy increases cholesterol levels so it's really not a concern - also, my HDL tends to be high making my overall value on the high side normally. So, not a problem - though he felt the need to bring it up...

3. (the real concern): Typical parameters for protein levels (as a result of a 24 hour urine collection) of a pregnant woman is .3 (which, if you're curious, is double that of a non-pregnant woman...and I think man - so normal non-pregnant is .15). Mine is .32. So it's marginally elevated - but elevated just the same. If this was detected later in pregnancy, it could possibly indicate the very beginning of pre-eclampsia. Getting this value for a baseline can be attributed to a number of factors in this case:
     a. It could be MY normal during pregnancy
     b. There was a "large" amount of blood detected in my collection (explanation on this below) blood is    also detected as protein in this particular lab so it could have contributed to the elevation. (remember this is referring to MICRO not MACRO values so a "large" amount of blood would not be enough to be detected by me - or anyone looking at the sample.
      c. dehydration or missing collections - the latter didn't happen so doesn't apply. I can't guarantee that I wasn't mildly dehydration - the second half of this collection was done at the same time Mary Louise was being admitted to the hospital - I can say that I likely didn't drink as much water as I usually do that particular day - and I can say that I was hysterical for a decent amount of time that I don't know.

So...the blood detection was accompanied by a fair amount of bacteria detection. There is a likely possibility that I have a bladder infection (and didn't even know). I have been "going" more often - and in smaller amounts - but I thought it was just pregnancy - I was in the bathroom literally every 15 minutes with the triplets so this pregnancy is totally new territory to me. So, I'm starting treatment tomorrow for a bladder infection, and will repeat a UA next Monday. If the UA is negative, (which it should be after treatment), I will repeat the 24 hour urine collection. So - yay for more gas cans! (I still need to put that picture up) I wasn't expecting another so soon - but I'll take that to make sure things are continuing along safely...

good golly - are you getting a little tired of all of my precautionary care yet?? Bless my dear doctors - if I sneeze or wince they hear me and give me a call...ha - admittedly I'd much rather have this than the opposite extreme...but it is a little comical no?


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Doctor's visit

The doctor came in and explained that judging by the admit x-rays, they expect Mary Louise has a viral pneumonia - she shows mid line cloudiness on her x-rays. If it were a bacterial infection, she would need to stay in the hospital for 7 to 10 days for IV antibiotic therapy. As it is now, if she can wean off of her oxygen completely, she can go home. They will repeat her blood work before discharge to see if she needs oral antibiotics at home (indicated by an elevated white blood cell count...I think). This is the first time I've actually seen the doctor myself so I appreciated him catching me up on specific results, etc. He informed me that in the time she left the doctor on Friday and was admitted her that afternoon, he WBC (white cell count) had actually increased.

For now, she still needs her nasal cannula to maintain her saturation, we'll see how the night goes...the general plan is possible discharge in the morning - provided she can be weaned off of oxygen. If she cannot be weaned, blood work and chest x-rays will be repeated to assess for further progression of her infection.

She had a great visit with Ma Mere and Pops this afternoon and Uncle Collin is in town - he's like a circus ride by himself - so she is eating Goldfish crackers with him and they are "feeding" green frog as well - she's a very happy gal at the moment.

We got the kids "together" on Skype for a bit today. David talked quite alot - was jealous of Mary Louise's pop-sickle mostly - but loved seeing his "Dae / Meese". Mary Louise sat very quietly the entire time with a HUGE grin on her face. For now, we've found the next best thing to them actually being the same room.


Sleeping Beauty

Mary Louise rested reasonably well last night according to Brent with one or 2 interruptions: she likes to keep her slippers on but her oxygen sensor is on her foot. She seemed to be breathing well but not maintaining saturation with sleep so they apparently removed her slipper to check the sensor...enter 2am fit thank you very much...Brent was unsure of the level of oxygen she was getting but knew they'd not been able to really wean her overnight as they'd hoped. When I arrived, they had her down to 1/4 liter which is where she is now - but she had been awake all morning so we're all waiting to see how she does with sleep...

Brent reported that she was in good spirits this morning - asking for "swipes" (baby wipes) to clean her board books, playing with her Play-doh, Sticky Wickies and reading and coloring with her Dada. I got here around 11am and she pretty happily at a bit of melon, a chicken tender, all of the carrots in her soup and some of the soup liquid (it'd be great if she'd eat like this at home much less in the hospital!). She continues to drink well too. Brent said she did pretty well at breakfast too eating some oatmeal and pancakes.

She finally fell asleep on my shoulder a few minutes ago and I was able to gently transfer her to bed. She was holding steady at 90% for a good 20 minutes, but I just checked her monitor again and she is at 88% now.

She has begun to have a very productive and congested wet cough - a good thing as it means the mucous in her chest is beginning to break up. The nurse said she sounded quite good this morning but became more congested just before her breathing treatment was due. She blew her little nose really well with me to avoid suctioning there for now, but we'll see how the afternoon goes...She does not cough on command which would really help move things along - maybe I can come up with some sort of game to entice her? Any suggestions??

That's the news for now. We're still waiting to see the doctor this afternoon - who by the way remembers us well from the NICU even remembering David's name, our little Kuylen and where each of their isolettes were while they stayed there- amazing right?

I'm feeling much better after a couple of nights of decent sleep. Ma Mere has been getting up during the night and early morning with David which has been a HUGE help to me. I still have some congestion, but can actually breathe through my nose today!! woot woot!

David still has a bit of a runny nose and dry cough but it seems to be slowing and the cough is pretty much down to that pesky overnight periodic business. He's been pretty grumpy today and I think has had enough with the upheaval of his routine and environment - and he's wondering where the heck his "Meese" disappeared to...I'm hoping he can hang in there for another day or 2 without making himself sick again.

Mary Louise wasn't maintaining her saturation again while sleeping - they just came in to increase her oxygen supplementation again...1 liter. Boo on this...

Updates as we know more...I still can't quite believe all of this is happening...over 2 and half years without even so much as a breathing treatment, very few illnesses in general and now this...and now this...


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Night night little one

Mary Louise after her sound nap:

I'm not sure what's happening with my phone, but I've had to upload photos to Facebook then grab them from there for the blog today...I'll keep working at it...

Mary Louise woke up just before Brent came for the night. She was in pretty good spirits though still pretty tired. Her oxygen saturation remains great (high 90's) while awake - it's during deep sleep that's been the problem (around 87 or 88% and the doctor wants it to be maintained at at least 90%) so she is still on supplementation via cannula. She's done wonderfully with her fluid intake and has avoided IV therapy altogether. I'm hoping tomorrow we can get her to eat a little something (more than 1 to 2 mouthfuls) but we'll see. Seeing her get winded just walking down the hall (about 3 hospital doors) today really offered some perspective on how badly and how quickly her little body has reacted to this bug...we have quite a ways to go when she does get released...

The staff has been really wonderful where she is and accommodated us with every request. They were also very respectful of her nap this afternoon - so appreciated.

Brent is hanging in there and says he feels well and isn't too tired. He's certainly been the rock through all of this as, let's just say, I did not take the news of Mary Louise's pending admit very well (umm - nervous breakdown). Mary Louise seems more than happy to night night with her Dada though and is eating up the one on one attention from everyone- as is David who is getting the royal treatment at home with his grandparents. (Everyone is of course more than happy to give it!)

Having so many prayers, messages, support, attentive care and so many loving, helping hands has definitely made things much easier throughout!


Afternoon update:

I've spent most of the afternoon with Mary Louise. Brent is coming back (like the HUGE trooper he is!) to take the night shift in a bit. 

After throwing up much of the milk she was able to take in during a coughing fit, Mary Louise has been doing well with juice and pedia-lyte mixtures during the time I've been here. The doctor heard much better air movement throughout her lungs when he was in and they have been trying to wean her from the nasal cannula since he left. She was totally off of oxygen for sometime and even walked down the hall a bit before asking to be carried. But when she finally fell asleep this evening, her saturation kept dropping so she was put back on to allow comfortable rest. She is currently on 1liter after a half liter wasn't cutting it...

She does seem to be feeling a bit better - easily fatigued - but my feisty baby girl for most of the time she is awake. She has been asking repeatedly to "go home Momma" and "where David?". There is talk of possibly sending her home after blood work results come in tomorrow - but she needs to be able to function without her cannula. Her blood work in the morning will determine weather or not she needs to take further antibiotics at home.

Brent just text messaged me saying David is asking for his Momma. They have both done very well with all of this - but things have certainly been turned upside down in their routines and comfort zones. They have never been separated - at all. Though they don't really appear to rely on one another heavily for things, this experience has proven just what partners in life they really are...

Sweet babies. My loves.


So far...

Mary Louise was in fact admitted to the hospital for pneumonia yesterday afternoon. Brent has been by her side the entire time but for a few hours that I went to snuggle and try to get her to eat last night. Ma Mere and Pops made their way in yesterday afternoon to help us with whatever they could -and in particular, help to care for David. 

After a night of rest (David tends to sleep quite well these days only stirring a couple of times per night and typically going right back to sleep after a little bed check), I feel much better than I did yesterday - just coughing, sneezing and stuffy nose left...sounds crummy - but I am very very grateful to be sans the body aches and sore throat of yesterday. Ma Mere got up early with David this morning, so I was able to sleep in a little longer as well.

Brent reports that Mary Louise had a pretty good night last night drinking 2 pints of milk - she was on her third when I talked to him this morning - and even trying tiny bits off of her breakfast tray. She hadn't eaten anything and was only taking minimal liquids until last night - her diaper from the morning was totally dry. They've placed an IV in her arm for antibiotics and steroids but were considering IV fluid therapy if her intake didn't increase. I worked with her last night and got her to take some frozen juice, and half a pop sickle. She also ate a few bites of a hot dog and considered some strawberries before I spoke to the nurses about trying a bottle...which worked wonders not only for her sleep but also her intake in general (this is what she took the milk from). Resist the urge to point out how old these kiddos are...they take comfort in occasional bottles and at this point, I'd much rather her have full access to that than constantly running IV fluids. She is still working very hard to breathe and the respiratory therapist and pediatric intensivist both say they "hear nothing" in the lower lobes of her lungs - this means she is not moving air at all there - but the breathing treatments are helping and she is negative for RSV - 2 good things.

Though we really don't know everything about what's going on (do we ever??), she seems to have a virus (cold) on top of a bacterial (pneumonia) infection. The combination just really knocked her down and settled in her lungs very quickly. Her x-rays apparently don't look too bad considering how hard she is working to breathe but the doctor thinks they'll show a bit more fluid today as things were just getting started yesterday and as the mucous breaks up with the breathing treatments, the x-rays will show a bit more. 

David is hanging in there - they both really really miss one another and constantly ask about each other. They got to speak on the phone this morning which got smiles times 2. David isn't any worse with his cold and doesn't seem to be running a constant fever. He still has a runny nose and a bit of a dry cough that started today but doesn't seem any worse, is continuing to eat and drink quite well and is playing pretty regularly all things considered.

That's the update for now. I'm am, as always, incredibly grateful for the out pour of support and love from our family and friends.


Friday, December 2, 2011

A Big Bump in the Road

And I'm not referring to my growing baby bump either...Mary Louise and David relapsed with their colds yesterday. Again, Mary Louise notably worse than David. I'll give the general basics below and add more as we know more...

WEDNESDAY: David's nose was a little runny - no fever or any other symptoms - he seemed a bit tired and a little over grumpy...

WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY: I heard David snorting a little in his sleep. During the night, Mary Louise had a sudden coughing fit and begged to "fock kock" - I realize how that sounds if you say it aloud, but she means "rock rock" - ha - even at 3 in the morning it makes me smile to hear it and see her standing there with the blanket her Mere made her when she was born. As I rocked, I heard an all too familiar wheeze and knew we needed to get back to the doctor asap. We went as soon as we could get in mid morning - she'd already progressed to bronchitis - no lower chest congestion noted via stethoscope. David was diagnosed with a viral head cold - no chest congestion noted. Mary Louise was started on antibiotics mid day yesterday for her chest congestion - but was thought to also have the same viral cold.

By the afternoon, I was sick as well - thank Heaven Brent was home and local with work yesterday...

THURSDAY NIGHT: David went to sleep without much difficulty. He slept quite well with only a little tossing and turning.

I literally stayed up almost all night with Mary Louise - taking a short cat nap here and there. She was extremely restless for quite some time - but did well with rocking and settled in for a few hours at one point seeming to be resting comfortably. At 4am she woke again and sounded terrible. She was putting forth extra effort in breathing but her color (around her lips, nails, etc.) was good. She rested with Brent in the rocker for some time and they made their way to bed for a little.

FRIDAY MORNING: I was up at 6am with David. They came down at 7am and I listened to her chest. Brent and I made the decision to take her back in - she was working too hard to breathe and was obviously getting worse. Her MD office has lab and xray capabilities so we could do diagnostics there rather than sitting hours in the ER. I felt (and feel awful) but David seems on the mend - playing, eating, etc. Oh - and I'm in the middle of my 24 hour urine collection to boot...

Brent took her in first thing this morning. They see 2 different doctors at the office - the one first available this morning saw her a few weeks ago when this initially started. He is very serious, very dry, but I like that he is extremely thorough and cautious. Anyhow, they saw him...then Brent called...

They'd immediately done a breathing treatment with little difference noted. Blood work showed extremely elevated white cell count and very high viral loads. They are doing a chest xray and trying one other breathing therapy and making a decision on admitting her to the hospital. Her regular doctor who was at a clinic about 20 minutes away was called and is meeting Brent and Mary Louise to assess as well since he just saw her yesterday.

It's wonderful that they are being so proactive and seem to be doing everything to expedite the diagnostic and treatment process. Brent seems pleased with the care - Mary Louise is understandably scared but doing ok under the circumstances.

Ma Mere and Pops are dropping everything to come and help us for a bit...and I'll keep posting little updates here and on Facebook as I know more...


Monday, November 28, 2011

Little Happies

Things have been going well as far as the pregnancy is concerned. We had an appointment with perinatology last Monday and they noted no change in my cervix and a healthy baby with a great heart beat. The Dr. we saw was new to the group (since the triplet pregnancy) so I'd not met him prior. He was nice - as nice as a perinatologist can be...bless their hearts those men are some of the most sullen individuals I've ever seen - down trodden, sullen, dry, and straight to the point. I actually appreciate the last part though.

It was nice to have a new set of eyes on my chart. We discussed my history - again - and he seemed well versed on all of my past issues. For him, it all boiled down to the fact that it was a higher order multiple pregnancy. The outcome still warranted increased monitoring - because certainty is a luxury we just don't have (umm do we every in medicine???) - but right now, things are going great in all areas. He explained that an incompetent cervix would begin changing during weeks 16 through 20 - at least slight changes would typically be noted during this time. My monitoring would pick this up and intervention would be indication should any changes occur (intervention = cerclage). Last week and today (we went to my regular OB today) there were no cervical changes noted.

Furthermore, my blood pressure is still behaving beautifully. I am having a full baseline pre-eclampsia work up done this week. This will offer values to compare future labs to so that change in kidney and liver function can be detected. I'm pretty sure I need to post a pic of my special friend - the "gas can", pee bucket I get to store my wee in for 24 hours - geez - it makes me feel like I'm exhibiting symptoms of dementia to save my own pee in the fridge. Honestly. Anyhow, I'll get to a pic later...

Things are currently looking so great that I get a week off next week - no cervical ultrasound. Then I am due for another peri visit the following week and an OB visit after that - we all family now! I joke that I should just apply for a job in the office so I can get paid to sit there for hours on end. They are great though - the ultrasound tech came back to the office just for me today as there was a mix up on appointment times and I was scheduled in the afternoon after he'd already left. Nice fix - and it means I don't have to go BACK and sit another day this week.

Speaking of ultra sounds....a never before blogged little sneak peek... at our sweet darling...

The Suga Bean!! (in the first, you can just see his/her little feet snuggled up at the far left)

Stew on that a bit - will be back with holiday stories and pics after a rest or 2...a HUGE and gracious thank you for the thoughts and prayers now and throughout this pregnancy. I wrap my sweet baby in love - both yours and mine - every second of every day. We are so humbly and eternally grateful.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sick days

While both David and Mary Louise seem much much better on this - day 3- of their bout with the "super snots", Mary Louise still sounds pretty bad as far as congestion and was up from 2:30 until about 5:30 this morning. David was up at 6am (or a bit before - Brent watched him while getting ready for work) so she and I have had about as much sleep as we did during their newborn days...ok - their newborn days were totally worse concerning sleep than last night - but I'm tired just the same and counting the minutes until I can justify asking them to go "night night" again.

What are we doing to pass the time inside?? Anything we can think of really - but remember, these kids LOVE their outside time. We did escape yesterday afternoon for a little while when I walked them around the block and put in a couple of miles. It wasn't too hot so they did well and seemed to appreciate the fresh air. I cancelled their therapy yesterday - we'll start up again next week with the private sessions and David will have his home session on Friday.

David has an occasional cough and spiked a low-ish temp this morning, but I'd expect his temp to resolve today and the runny nose to clear slowly over the next week or so. He seems to be feeling well overall - as long as he rests, etc. His appetite has been pretty good too - goodness knows that string bean can't afford to drop weight!

Mary Louise is still pretty congested in her upper chest - but is improving. Last night, she needed to sit up for awhile to clear it and sleep more comfortably - even with meds, and a humidifier with camphor and eucalyptus. It was just a rough night but I'm very thankful she doesn't seem to be getting worse and her fever has stayed at bay since last evening. I'd expect a funky cough and runny nose over the next 7-ish days for her as well. She's had some pretty bad reflux flares again with all of the extra mucous - and her appetite was HORRIBLE for the first day and a half but she's agreed to eat a little periodically since yesterday.

In the meantime, I'm doing all I can to catch up on dusting, vacuuming and mopping around here - as well as washing all of the linens. I don't want dander or dirt to exacerbate their breathing issues and I certainly don't want the "sickies" hanging out in our sheets, etc. (and yep - I have new toothbrushes at hand as well). Of course the vacuuming is much much easier said than done. I have a little sweeper that I can use - but the "big vacuum" can only be taken out if someone else is here to either do the work or watch the kids. Poor Mary Louise is absolutely petrified of that machine. I once tried to push the envelope and vacuum a throw rug - seriously, and 8 by 10 area - very quickly and she got so upset she burst the blood vessels in her nose and started shaking as if I'd put her in a pile of snow. Yep - that bad...

Anyhow, the fun we've had this morning was painting...nails that is: Mary Louise and David (yes, David - calm down, it comes off - don't act like putting color on a nail somehow effects testosterone levels) - besides, he only let me do one nail, in navy blue no less, then promptly stuck that finger up his nose and tried to use my nail file as a sword. All boy that one...

His one blue nail:

Her red sparkles (good gracious, my dad would throw a fit about this!):

of course we did the piggies as well - a little sloppy but the excess will wash off in a good bath - and honestly, how long do you think this will last on this rough and ready chickie anyhow?? (again, I'll vacuum down here this evening - please excuse the blegh)

Showing me their painted jewels while answering questions on Super Why - P.S. they have finally given Mary Louise an official name: Meese (or Meez - not sure how to spell that one). David is always ALWAYS translated to "Dae Dae". So if you ask for their names, those are the answers you'll get.

Mary Lousie kept her "pinky up" for about an hour post painting (because a little more sass is exactly what that child needs right?)...then was running around and tumbling with her nose pickin' bro once more.

Here's to a little more healing, and little less snotting, and a whole lot more rest!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No in between

Once again there are no "just snotty noses" in this house. When things go south in the health department, it happens quickly, furiously and seriously. Mary Louise and David were just fine - dancing and begging to go to the park and play just a little longer one afternoon. The next morning, Mary Louise sounded extremely congested and I heard a very slight wheeze in her upper chest. David was snorty and snotty and both had rising temps. We visited the pedi office yesterday and they did some blood work to confirm the bacterial infection(s): bronchitis and sinus infections all round. We started the loading dose of their antibiotics yesterday along with an expectorant for the mucous and an anti-inflammatory for fever.

They did relatively well last night all things considered - waking a few times - but just to whine and roll over, snuggle or want drinks. Mary Louise has certainly been hit the hardest.

They seem to be "getting rid" of some of the congestion today and their fevers are there but not quite as furious. So I think they are in the very beginning of mending. We are certainly taking it very easy today - and staying as quiet as possible by reading a mountain of books, doing puzzles and watching PBS...yeah. TV. They really like Elmo, Dinosaur Train and love to participate in Super Why activities. We try not to do this everyday, but really, if they learn their letters and want to read more because some cartoon or character on TV makes it look more fun, I'm ok with that.

My ultrasound yesterday went really well. My cervix remains unchanged and tightly closed. Length is still over 4cm. The baby is doing well - and we can actually find out the gender at this point...though we won't...but it's fun to know that quite literally everything is there in a tiny 4 to 5 inch perfect little bundle.We saw the facial profile, a tiny nose, fingers and toes, and lots of wiggles and flips. Apparently our baby is "extremely active" according to all of the ultrasound techs we've seen so far (3). (sound familiar to anyone besides me?? hmm?? *cough* Mary Louise and David?? *cough*)

We start p17 shots next week. I have my filled script here at the house and can do them at home - yay. A self  inflicted intra muscular injection? woot woot. Why not? Hopefully I can stave off the illness around here and keep the excitement at a nice minimum.

We go back to the perinatologist early next week, then begin preliminary pregnancy labs the following week - who wants to let out some cheers for saving your own pee for 24 hours!!? anyone? anyone? (I know Brent totally does!) More on that later...but not much more... I'm pretty sure you've just heard all you every didn't want to hear about a 24 hour urine collection. ha.

So happy and thankful things are still going well with Suga and loving the extra snuggle time with my tiny snotters.

Oh! Suga is about 4 ounces in weight now! - a whole quarter of a pound!! Right on track with heartbeat as well at 158. Head and abdomen are measuring appropriately - about 2 days ahead of schedule but during the second trimester, it is normal to fluctuate in gestational age and measurements collected during ultrasounds. Also, the placenta is well (and properly) implanted, aging normally and functioning well. My amniotic fluid is at a great level too. That's the Suga Bean run down for now!


Monday, November 14, 2011

My Be bopper

Mary Louise and David love music - especially something you can dance to. I loved it when she would let me put her hair in the little "Cindy Lou Who" do on top of her head. It would wave and bop with her little noggin. They still sit rear-facing in their car seats (don't judge - they'll sit that way until they really complain - or I suppose we'll have to turn them if the third car seat won't fit properly - we'll see.) I have mirrors above the seats so that I can glance and check on them every so often - and so that they can see me in my rear view mirror too. Many MANY times, we'll get in the car, I'll tune in some fun music, check my mirror to see them and to back out of the drive, and this is what I see...

It really makes me giggle every. single. time.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

14 weeks!

I think Mary Louise gets more excited than I do about taking new belly photos! Below was totally her doing - I asked Brent to take a couple of photos of my belly and Mary Louise said, "Momma? Bel-yee?? Momma? My bel-yee?

and without further ado - happy 14 weeks Suga!!

(David also gets quite excited about belly photos - and if you've followed from our humble beginnings, Lizzie is a constant in them as well.)

I'm feeling well - tired of course - but generally well. My right hip was almost constantly bothering me. Kuylen dropped there during his last few days in utero and as soon as my ligaments began to stretch once more, the pain came right back. I've done some yoga and stretching and I've had to take days off of walking and reduce my mileage considerably to get it to subside. But it has and I'm feeling better. My blood pressure continues to behave staying under the golden 120/80. (most of the time well under). Again, this is to be expected and my b/p should remain relatively low throughout the second trimester. During the third is when it would typically creep back up to normal and in the case of pre-eclampsia (please. no.) it would exceed "normal".

I feel little kicks and flips pretty often now - multiple times daily. Wild fun - it's very different with one vs. 3 little swimmers!

I'll have another cervical ultrasound this week then make my way to the peri's the following week.

I also begin meetings to discuss and plan the potential transfer of David's home speech services to the elementary school system after his 3rd birthday. (gasp!) I can't believe they'll be 3 so very very soon!!!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Such a fun age

So I am totally and hopelessly in love with Mary Louise and David's age. They are learning so much and surprise me everyday with how quickly they can change, mature, and understand their surroundings. We've been busy busy busy - which honestly is not anything different - but lately, we've been the fun sort of busy. Between the speech therapy sessions (by the way, Mary Louise cried and stomped her feet when it was time to go after the last one...I haven't broken the news to her that she'll soon be discharged but I'm preparing for the door slamming and throwing of dolls when she finds out! - and yes I did say she'll soon be discharged!!!!!!! The tentative plan is to do so by this year's end!), we have been frequently visiting the area parks and have stopped in at the Children's Museum here in town too...

Mary Louise on the fire truck display at the Children's Museum. This is just one of her "cheese faces".

and this is another - at the park:

Mary Louise and David have also been doing really REALLY well working together and getting along. The other day at the park, neither of them wanted me to push them on the tire swing - nope - they wanted to be pushed by one another and were more than happy to take turns!

They have started to demand (err, ask for) what they want or need and by golly, if I don't answer immediately, they'll repeat themselves as many times as it takes. I love to hear their thoughts and whims...

Their new favorite ways to slide:

(tell me they don't look unbelievably grown up...)

Their balance and agility has been improving as well. Toe walking, while still and issue, is on the decline:

We've also done a few small projects. Mary Louise and David LOVE painting and have become our little modern artists as of late:

They loved coming with me to choose frames and mats, then seeing their work "all fancy Momma!" after their paintings were secured and placed on this mantle.

The rest of the park photos:


Mary Louise and I doing silly self portraits while David was napping one day:


My cervical ultrasound for the week was on Tuesday. In case you're wondering, (I've gotten a number or messages about it), these ultrasounds are done externally unless the position of the baby prevents proper viewing. I have to say though, if the threat of  "the wand" comes up again, my dear docs may have a bit of a problem on their hands because I'm pretty sure I'd do a few back flips to try to coax little one into moving before allowing (uhem) things to get all up in my girly space again...Of course we took measurements of the Suga Bean as well. My cervix appears to be absolutely unchanged since 2 weeks prior at my regular OB office. My doctor wanted to compare Tuesday's scans to ones done with the same equipment by the same tech. He actually got a measurement of .1 cm longer this Tuesday. Since my cervix obviously isn't growing, this difference is considered negligible. So the measurement, as it stands now, is between 4.2 and 4.34cm in length. I will continue with these weekly measurements and begin P17 shots during week 15.

The baby was exactly where he (she) should be as far as length. Growth had gone from 2 to about 4 inches in just 2 weeks! The heartbeat was great -exactly on track - and we could see tiny hands and feet as he "danced" and wiggled about. It was wonderful!

Otherwise, the week has gone pretty well - but for Wednesday night when Mary Louise thought it best to have a 2am party session that ended in me (finally) getting up and rocking her to sleep between 3 and 4. So not cool. The upside though was that I somehow talked both kids into napping Thursday mid morning - then again today!! This has been unheard of in recent weeks and I've spent many an afternoon begging Mary Louise and David to play by the sofa or bring me books to read to them so that I could lie down for just a few minutes. So, as long as the napping streak lasts, I'll take it.

14 weeks on Sunday!!!!