Sunday, December 9, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm going out on a limb and jumping on the "mommy bandwagon" for a minute to answer some crazy questions we get all the time now that we have multiples!  As you can imagine, over the past five and a half months we have gotten all kinds of crazy stares, comments, advice and questions regarding our ever changing life with on this blog post I'll share some of those questions we get, plus I'll answer them the way we've experienced it!

Usually, the first question that pops up when someone sees us pushing our bus of a stroller is:

Q:  Oh wow!  What are they?!

A:  Now I should really answer this and say something silly like "they're puppies!" just to throw people for a loop but I refrain and tell them that we have 2 girls and 1 boy.  In my defense, I really try to dress them very girly and very boyish so people can tell them apart.  I was kind of hoping that the pink car seats versus the green one would help but apparently not.

Generally, after I tell them that we have 2 girls and a boy, the next question I get is this:

Q:  Are they all identical?

A:  Again, I could be a smarty pants here and inform them of the anatomical differences between boys and girls and that it's completely impossible for boys and girls to be identical, but again, I refrain and gently explain that all three are fraternal, meaning that there were three separate eggs (thank goodness none of those decided to split!)

Naturally, the next question that comes to mind is this:

Q:  Are they natural?

A:  Aren't all babies natural?  Anyway, I usually don't hold back in telling people that I took a fertility drug called clomid for one month to help with some fertility issues.  I was super hesitant at first to take it, but after talking to many, many people, a few doctors, and doing my own research, I decided to take half of the prescribed dose one month and WHAM!!  Triplets!  Considering the low dose I took and how fast it all happened, the doctors still have told me that I might have been more prone to having multiples in the first place.  Triplets occur naturally about 1 in every 8000 births, but with fertility help, it's about 1 in 750 or so.

Continuing on with my conversation...

Q:  Were you expecting triplets?

A:  Absolutely not!  We were shocked at the first ultrasound!  I'll never forget that moment!

Q:  So whose family do they run in, your's or your husband's?

A:  Ok...this is a little lesson for everyone out there who doesn't understand multiples or has never had it explained to them before.  First, if someone takes fertility, it doesn't really matter if it's a genetic predisposition but I still explain this to people.  As of now, scientists don't believe that identical twins has anything to do with genetic's simply a freak thing that happens when an egg decides to split.  Fraternal twins can be a genetic thing...that simply means that if your mom or grandma has fraternal multiples and you are a girl then you may be predisposed to having them...if your a boy and your mom or grandma has fraternal multiples, don't worry...the guy's family history plays no role in the possibility of multiples since you don't have any eggs:)  Make sense?

Q:  How do you do it?  I could hardly do it with one!?

A:  Lots and lots of help!  I don't even pretend like we could have done this completely on our own!  I know people do (somehow!), but I don't know how they get through it!  More power to those people who do it all alone without family help and support!  We couldn't have done it with out them!  Not just that, but we've had nurses coming to help us a few nights a week so we can get some sleep...otherwise we would have been constantly running on about 4 hours of interrupted sleep and believe me, it seriously takes a toll on everyone since 2 people really have to get up to feed them in the middle of the night.

Q:  Is there a hotline or something you can call to get advice and help about parenting triplets or do they just send you home with them?

A:  I kind of have to laugh when I get a question like this (maybe not worded exactly like this but similar) because when I really think about it, society has a lot of confidence in people when they actually let you take home three babies (or one for that matter!) and don't give you a manual or anything to reference to help you figure this whole thing out.  Instead, you're just stuck sitting there staring at these babies (or baby) and have no idea what you've gotten yourself into.  As many of you know, parenting is an evolving changes from day to day.  You have to be able to adapt to your children and take things in stride.  We've had some really frustrating days, but it's all worth it when your baby snuggles up on you or smiles when they see you!

Q:  Do you ever have to do it all by yourself?

A:  Up until this point, there have only been a handful of days where I've been alone with all three babies, but from Thanksgiving until the 12th of December I will have to do it without some sort of family help.

Q:  How do you do it?!

A:  Routine, routine, routine!  I don't think I could get through the day without having some sort of routine laid out for them.  My general rule of thumb is that the babies eat, play and then sleep.  For those of you who have read Babywise, that's kind of what I an extent.  Here's what a typical day might look like:

6 a.m. - Babies all wake up and all get changed and fed...believe me it's better this way than having one up and two sleep another hour or something.  That rule about never wake a sleeping baby does not apply in this house!

6:30 a.m. - I pump.

7:30/8:00 a.m. - All of us go back to bed for a included.

9:15 a.m. - All of us wake up, diapers and clothes get changed

9:30 a.m. - All three babies start eating...I do kind of feed them all at the same time.  I sit on the floor amidst a sea of bouncy chairs and just take turns feeding two babies at a time.

10:15 a.m. - Playtime.  I put all the babies on floor mat gyms things and let them kick around.  Their new favorite toy is the exersaucer.

10:30 a.m. - I pump.

11:00/11:30 - Babies go back down for a nap, I make my lunch, fold some laundry, wash all the bottles from the day so far (6 of them!), make any extra bottles for the rest of the day that might not have been made the night before, let the dog out, if I'm lucky I'll take a shower...and before I know it the babies are up again.

12:30 p.m. - Usually someone tries to wake up around now so I end up getting them out of their crib and carrying them around with me or I put them in a swing until I get my chores done.

1:00 p.m. - Babies eat again

1:45/2:00 p.m. - Playtime again.

2:30 p.m. - I pump again.

3:00 p.m. - Nap time for babies, snack time for me.

4:30 p.m. - Babies are back up and eating again.

5:30 p.m. - Dinner time this point Brian is probably home and we're scavenging through the fridge trying to think of something easy to eat.

6:00 p.m. - Babies might take a cat nap here...if they don't this is generally cranky time:)  My favorite time of day - ha!  I'm pretty sure God makes babies cranky at the end of they day to test our patience.

6:30 p.m. - I pump.

7:00 p.m. - Bath time starts...this is crazy and deserves it's own blopic (blog+topic=blopic)

7:30/8:30 p.m. - Anytime between 7:30 and 8:30 we start feeding the babies dinner and finally they go to bed generally by 9.

9:00 p.m. - Brian and I finish any dinner that we didn't get to eat earlier, clean up the kitchen, wash all the bottles, clean up all of the bibs, burp rags, and full, stinky, diaper filled trash cans, take showers, let the dog out and play with her if we can, fold laundry, unload the dishwasher, etc...this list never ends.

10:00 p.m. - Sit down and relax if a nurse is coming...if one's not, then we measure out all the breastmilk and make bottles for the next day (it looks like a science experiment is going on over here when we pour out 18 bottles and fill up our fridge!) and then go to bed.

10:30 p.m. - I pump

11:00 p.m. - Nurse shows up!  Best feeling ever!  We go to bed and sleep until 6:30!

12:00 a.m. - Feed the babies whether they are awake or not (aka a "dream feed") and then cross our fingers and say our prayers that the babies sleep until about 6.  This is generally wishful thinking as someone usually wakes up because they have a wet diaper, are hungry or need their pacifier.  This is probably the hardest thing about multiples...they don't all sleep at the same time or wake up at the same time during the night so just letting one go while the other wakes up is not really an option.  We feed all of them regardless in hopes to prevent an unnecessary wake up!

4:00 a.m. - Bryce usually wakes up madder than a hornet because his diaper is about to explode...he pees a lot in his sleep.  I only note 4 a.m. since it's pretty typical and predictable...some people are probably asking why we don't change his diaper when we feed him at midnight and it's generally because he will wake up at midnight and think it's time to party - ha!

5:45 - 6:00 a.m. - Our day starts all over again.

Whew...I'm exhausted after just writing that!  Needless to say, everyone who steps foot in this house generally leaves exhausted...there's always something to be done and never enough time to do it!    Here are some recent pictures:)

 Our office turned "playroom"... and the babies current feeding station.  This is my set up when I'm home alone feeding all three babies.  Vida likes to join in on the action too!

 I needed a minute so I turned them towards the t.v.  You gotta do what you gotta do!

Happy, full and content and getting ready to go down for a nap!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ignorance is Bliss

Where do I begin!?  I don't even know how to explain in words how crazy and different our life is from a year ago!  To put it is nuts!  And I don't mean's like a jar of mixed never know what you're going to get - or is that about a box of chocolates?  Either way, life is crazy and out of control at times, but we're getting the hang of it, slowly but surely.  We definitely have those days where we think things are easy, compared to what they could be...but we also have those days where we feel like we've been hit by a train and we don't know how we're going to make it through.  Sometimes we just sit there and imagine what our world would be like if we had just one baby, or even two, how much easier and different our lives would be...we could do it blindfolded!  Of course I'm kidding...I know having one baby, or two for that matter, requires tons of attention, energy and sleeplessness (which we have been lucky to somewhat divvy up with all of the help we've had which we wouldn't have had if our circumstances were different).  I guess what I'm trying to say, is I know my life would probably be harder with just one baby than it is now, considering the outpouring of help that we've received from our families as well as from some helpful nurses.  They've honestly given us the gift of sanity because with out them, sleep and food would be nearly non-existant around here considering the amount of time it still takes to feed, burp and change three babies, not to mention they are starting to stay awake a lot more during the day which requires tons of attention...imagine trying to get any kind of nap in when there's three babies!  It's amazing how much such a small little baby can zap the energy right out of you!

As for the babies, all three are doing wonderfully!  They are all around 12 pounds which is crazy to think about since they were only 3ish pounds when they were born.  Whenever we take them to the doctor, they give us a measurement based on their birthday as well as on their due date.  So for example, when we went in for their 4 month check up last week, they give us a percentile measurement for a normal 4 month old, as well as for a normal 2 month old since the were really supposed to be born in August.  When the measure them based on a 4 month old baby, they are only in the 6th percentile or so, but when they measure them for a 2 month old baby (aka their adjusted age), they are in the 40-50th percentile still which is what we want.  Other than that, here's some information about the babies and us:

  • Started off as the biggest, now she's the smallest
  • She does have the biggest head though...90th percentile!
  • Smiles like crazy but stops when I get the camera out...she just stares at the camera perplexed.
  • Loudest baby and most impatient baby by far!
  • She still has her hemangioma on her lip, but it's totally a part of her and she wouldn't be the same without it!  It's her little beauty mark:)
  • We dotingly call her peanut, little one (she handed over her title of "the big one" when Bryce and Emma recently passed her up), and punkin
  • She is cooing and "talking" all the time too!
  • She can hold her head up but it's the least sturdy...probably because it's so big!
  • She rolls over from her stomach to back not consistently but she can do it!
  • She kicks her legs around like she's running a marathon while sitting in her bouncy seat!
  • Started off as the smallest, now in 2nd place.  She was in first, but Bryce recently passed her up!
  • Highest pitch voice...she'll be a soprano for sure!
  • Smiles a lot and love to just lay in her bed quietly and kick around!
  • We make fun of her looks like she has a Marine haircut because it's just growing in dark on top!
  • Still has her hemangioma on her leg although it seems to be going away
  • In the 80th percentile for length!
  • We call her peanut and punkin too!
  • She coos, talks and squeals all the time!
  • She can hold her head up no problem and can roll over from her stomach to back!
  • She kicks her legs around just like Ava does in their bouncy seats!
  • Definitely the biggest and sturdiest...he's dense if you ask me!
  • Deep raspy voice...he's all boy!
  • Smiles all the time and is such a flirt!
  • He looks like Charlie Brown...he looks bald and his head is super round!
  • He likes to stand up on your legs and "march" and make noises.
  • We call him Bryce-a-roni, little man, mister, buster, and charlie brown (ha)!
  • He coos and talks to us all the time and kicks around like crazy!
  • He will roll over too when he gets mad enough.
  • As the father of triplets, you have no choice but to be super involved in every aspect of taking care of babies...from feeding, to changing, to bathing, because unless there's three people, we're outnumbered and let me tell you, he's really jumped in head first to this whole baby thing and does a great job!  The babies just adore him and smile and coo when he hold them:)
  • He's become a great errand-runner on his way home from work...anything from Babies R Us trips to grocery stores.
  • I feel good, and although we have some nurses that help us a few times a week at night, I am still sleepy.  I get to sleep about 6-7 solid hours when they are here which is my sanity saver.
  • I am still pumping like a champ...I have a love/hate relationship with my "breast friend," aka my pump.  I know it's the best thing for the babies and I figure there's a reason I make so much milk, so I just keep on going.  They are still on 4 bottles of breast milk a day plus 1-2 of formula.
  • I'm 8-10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight and can fit in some of my pre-pregnancy pants, but my body will definitely never be the same after being pregnant with triplets.
  • Vida has taken on the role of big sister and is doing a great job.  It's funny because she kind of takes inventory on all the babies to make sure they are all here.  When one is out (yes I do get out with 1 baby at a time sometimes!) she had to recount them all when I get home to make sure all is right!  It's kind of funny really!
Quick Stats:
  • We've already changed as many diapers as someone with one baby would have in an entire year...6 times a day per baby (18 diapers a day) multiplied by 144 (days old) is about 2,592 diapers.  We'll take off about 500 and say those were done in the hospital so about 2,000 diapers changed at home.  In a 4 month period, that means we've used at least $380 worth of diapers...and that's on the cheap estimate at $.19/diaper.
  • We don't spend much on formula considering I'm still pumping, but we've figured that we would spend about $94 a week on formula and that's only if they are eating 5 times a day (they were eating 6) and if they don't eat any snacks in between...I'd say pumping is worth it (plus is burns calories!)
It's amazing how fast times flies.  We are in awe at how fast these little babies grow and change!  They are such a blessing and we know that we were chosen to be the parents of these three beautiful babies for a reason.  The memories of bed rest and NICU visits are already becoming fuzzy as it seems like that was so long ago...when in reality it wasn't.  I try to record all kinds of little milestones and memories we have of the babies but I just can't seem to keep up.  Instead, I'll settle with taking hundreds and hundreds of silly, pointless, pictures that I already treasure and wish I would have taken more of.  We are enjoying every minute of this crazy ride (sometimes it's a little bumpy though!).  I can tell you, I'm sure we wouldn't have such a wonderful and fun experience with the triplets if we had had one baby this case, ignorance is definitely bliss.

Emma, Bryce, Ava

Ava, Emma

Bryce, Ava & Emma with Grandee
Me and Ava



Emma and Ava

Ava, Bryce and Emma

Aunt Kim came to visit!  

Ava eating Bryce...he actually looks like he's ok with it too!



Papaw with Ava, Bryce and Emma





First Halloween


My little lion man!



Notice the "Bryce-a-roni" on the box?  My dad discretely wrote that on the box and put it back in the pantry for me to find!  He's not too happy about it!