Saturday, August 30, 2008

Julia winks at her Daddy

Okay, maybe it isn't on purpose but it sure is cute. She is breathing now completely on her own. The only tube attached to her is the one you see in her nose that goes right into her stomach. That is how she gets my milk every three hours. She was so alert today the whole time I was holding her. Bill held Braddock -- we'll post that video, too -- and Griffin is almost there. He has tolerated his feedings so they are slowly increasing them. When the feedings are consistently tolerated, he will get his IV line out just like Julia and Braddock did. The big surprise of the day was that Julia had a shirt on when we arrived! We are washing up the little preemie clothes we have and taking them in for tomorrow. As she gets a little bigger, they'll fit better, but she looked might comfortable and warm today. It's such progress and we're so thrilled.

Here is video of Bill and Braddock. He was so calm that he fell right asleep.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Finally some more video!

I really do intend to get the video out every day but it just doesn't happen. There is no good excuse except that I just don't leave myself enough time to get it uploaded when I am ready to write a post.... wah wah wah, right? I'd better get real used to running out of time

Speaking of things, Thing 1 and Thing 2 and Thing 3 are all doing well. Julia is now completely off of any air flowing through her nose! At first we looked at her and didn't realize that the little tubes were missing. She just looked so cute and comfortable and then I recognized what was different. Her monitor shows her keeping her heart rate and oxygen levels right where they need to be so she should stay tube free for now. The doctor told us it could change but if she can do it on her own, they'll let her. One of the doctors called her a rock star and another said if she could talk, they'd have her teach the class on how to be a micro preemie.

The boys are doing well, too. Griffin is getting a little stronger every day and slowly starting to catch up to Braddock. In fact, he may weigh more than Braddock now or at least they are just about the same weight. Their weights are always given to us in grams so I need to figure out the conversion to know what they weigh. If only the metric system caught on here!?!

This first video is of Braddock when I held him a couple days ago. He loves to be held and does well maintaining his levels when he's out of the incubator.

Here is one of Julia

It's not that we have no video of Griffin; it just needs to be edited so that it will upload faster. We'll work on that this weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Time is every baby's best friend in the NICU."

...or so I was told yesterday by one of Griffin's nurses. For his little lungs to get stronger, he needs more time to grow. Patience has never been my strong suit so enduring the NICU is just one of the countless challenges we'll face as parents of multiples. Facing a challenge -- opposite from patience -- is one of my strengths, so we're in luck there. All three little DiMasi's are doing quite well. (I should mention that this picture is of me holding Braddock yesterday. He held my finger the whole time I held him. He was very alert when I first got him in my arms, smiling and sticking his tongue out. We have video I will put on tonight)
Back to the trio.... Julia is still sailing through this whole I'm a premature baby thing. She is now looking very feminine compared to her brothers. Her features are just so dainty. She is alert much more often than the boys. When she hears our voices, she always opens her eyes. Bill held her last night and changed her diaper. I wasn't there but I heard it was a funny scene when she had to tinkle after he took the dirty diaper off. She's captured her daddy's heart so quickly. He told me last night how she is the most beautiful girl in the world. I was only jealous for a nanosecond I swear!
Braddock is starting to grow now and he will probably be off the CPAP (the blue tubes in the picture) very soon because all his levels are staying very consistent. He is tolerating all his feeds and he has no iv's or lines. He has a funny personality. He really is smiling most of the time (even when he's sleeping) but when he cries, everyone around him hears it. His lungs are getting stronger because he really belts it out. For now I love the sound because it used to be so weak and barely audible. I'm sure once they are home and someone is always crying, I might not love it quite as much.
Griffin is holding his own. His level of oxygen is very low but he does have it. They seem to "chase" him all day trying to get the level just right. He needs a little more time than Braddock and Julia, but he will get there, too. He is looking more comfortable but he hates his tubes. He pulls at them a lot. I can't say I blame him. He's done the best with his weight gain. He's now 2 lbs 11 oz, so he has caught up to Braddock. Some of it is water retention but I can see he looks bigger and stronger every day.
so that is the update. Not much is changing but everything is stable and moving forward. That is all we can hope for at this stage. I will be heading over there very shortly and when I get back, I'll put some video on.
I should add that I'm feeling much better overall lately. I will be driving myself by this weekend and I'm moving around pretty well. I still have a long way to go before I'm jogging but the muscles are starting to strengthen now. One day at a time!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two weeks old today!

Another week has passed and today our babies will be two whole weeks old. Last night Daddy held Braddock and I held Julia. The nurses made a "living room" for us in between Julia and Braddock's incubators so we could sit together and hold them at the same time. It's a little more complicated to hold Braddock and Griffin because of their CPAP tubes. We are grateful they made this possible for us. Griffin was held by me the day before but last night he was breathing a little better, so we wanted to let him rest peacefully. I am looking forward to the day when we can hold all three all at once. We're not there yet, but as they get bigger and stronger, that will be possible. I also changed Julia's poopy diaper and took her temperature after I held her. I was feeling like a proud Mom!
All three are doing well and growing a little bit bigger every day. Julia and Braddock's feedings are increasing rapidly. Griffin tolerated his feeding yesterday so every day his will start to increase, too. He had to stop the feedings when he had some medication, but he's back on track now. Beyond that, none of the three are on any medication. The doctors were doing their rounds when we were there last night and they said that our trio were doing well and just basically feeding and growing. We can't ask for more than that.
Bill and I even stopped for dinner on the way home. We couldn't remember the last time we had done this but it was before bed rest started so at least nine to ten weeks. It was a very nice evening.
We have received a lot of feedback about this site and we are so happy that everyone is reading and enjoying it. More video coming soon.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Some days are better than others

With babies in the NICU, you learn very quickly that there are ups and downs. The key is to know that is the case and be ready for whatever comes your way. The overall picture is very good. As the doctor put it to us, Julia is exceeding expectations for a premature baby at 30 weeks. Braddock and Griffin are just where they should be. That said, the little day-to-day setbacks are enough to make any parent cry. Just watching a 2 1/2 pound baby struggle to breathe and being unable to make it better just hurts. Griffin is having his moments more than our others. I held him today and he's just such a little champ. He slept most of the time I held him, which means he is comfortable and happy, but he also is working so hard for his breath. Normal stuff but gut wrenching nonetheless.

All three are right back at their birth weights and enjoying the milk I'm pumping like crazy. It won't be long until they start really growing. Me, being as impatient as I am, I want that to be yesterday. When I talk to the other Moms there, who have children who are further along, I learn more and more about how the process works. Every baby is different but the different stories mirror each other in many ways. I never understood anything about preemies or NICU's -- heck, I knew very little about multiple births -- and every day is quite an education. I find myself praying for all the babies in the room with ours because I realize what each of the families are going through.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And just like that they're ten days old

Here is a view from the NICU. all three of these isolettes are ours. We're really taking up quite a bit of real estate since it's not a very big room.
There is always a bell or a beep or some kind of alarm and they all mean different things. We've learned that most are not of major importance but the first few days our heads were on a swivel trying to figure out where each alarm was coming from. Our babies now have blankets over their incubators to keep the overhead lights and some of the noise from keeping them awake. I'm making special blankets with their initials on them that are all the same -- I shouldn't say "making." That's slightly more Martha Stewart than I can claim to be. I bought the blankets and I'm putting their initials on them. We'll get a picture of my creative endeavor just as soon as I get this project completed.
We cannot believe ten days have passed already. I wanted this c-section thing healed and done with by now (so naive) but it is slowly getting better. I think most of the aching and pain is coming from the eight weeks of bed rest more so than the surgery. I'll live. I'm also woefully disappointed that I still look pregnant. I swear no one else that I know that's had a baby still looks pregnant 10 days later! (again, so naive) But enough about me, you're here to read about Julia, Braddock and Griffin. I was thinking I ought to change it up when I refer to them.... sometimes Braddock, Julia and Griffin or Griffin, Julia... you see where I'm going with this. I tend to name them at A, B and C (their birth order) because they do everything that way in the hospital. But that may appear I'm showing favorites and we can't have that. All three are still doing very well. Griffin is struggling more than the other two, but the doctors still feel he's doing great. Julia is making this whole NICU thing look so easy that she's making the boys look bad. She's already a show off! Girls tend to do better than boys as preemies so this isn't a surprise. Looking at her progress, it's easy to feel a little down that the boys aren't quite where she is yet. We know that this is a roller coaster ride and they'll be not far behind. We're so impressed with the team of doctors and nurses. I got my first phone call from an orthopedic doctor asking for Braddock's mom. I smiled and cried and realized, yes, that was me! Some of the other mom's I've met who've been there longer are moving to the "step up" room in the NICU - closer to going home. It's reassuring to see that. Not too much else to update. Luckily, all three grand parents are here for the weekend, so the babies will be spoiled with attention!! We will get some new pictures and video uploaded over the weekend when Daddy's got a little free time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Griffin on the big screen

Here is our little buddy Griffin. He is lounging under the lights for jaundice and doesn't know that his dad is about to change him! He was off the lights for about a day and a half and then his Bilirubin numbers when back up, so today looks very similar to this video. He has all the tubes out of his umbilical cord now making it much easier to get a diaper on. We can't get over the small size of the diapers in the NICU. Griffin is a true fighter; he's had to work so hard to try to catch up to the other two. I have no doubt that he will do so quickly. Hard to show you how the boys are identical now but soon enough. More updates to come. Just wanted to have video of all three for now.

Julia's video debut

Here she is.... She's looking different already because some of the swelling in her face has gone down, but we wanted to give you a look at the prettiest little lady we've ever seen. I'll take some more video this afternoon and update tonight. She's really doing well. Up to 10 ml's of milk every three hours. Only four days ago it was 2 ml's, so she's a hungry little chicken! She's managed to stay off the CPAP for now and hasn't needed more time under the Bili lights. That may change today. She is her mother's daughter and I did like the tanning back in the day(not that i'm proud of that) so she may insist on the lights!
She's just so sweet. I have to edit the video of me holding her for the first time, so as to not bore anyone, and then we'll post that, too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Braddock in realtime

We will give you some video of our happy little Braddock. He is five days old in this clip and apparently couldn't be more content. They aren't awake much when they only weigh 2 and a half pounds, so this was a rare moment. As of today, he's gone back to his CPAP with 21% oxygen because he was having some episodes of holding his breath and dropping his blood pressure. Rather than chance it and make him labor more to breathe, they put him back on the CPAP. I hate seeing it because the tubes are much bigger and they have to wear a velcro mustache to hold it in place. He still looks very cute but I know it isn't as comfortable for him. That's the hardest part about being a preemie mom, in my opinion, not being able to hold them when they cry. We can put our hands on them to calm them which helps, but I just want to pick them up and make it better. Soon enough is what I keep telling myself.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday - One Week Old Today!

Welcome to our new page. We started this a long time ago when bed rest started, but in the hospital we were restricted access to all blogspot pages, so was our best option. Now that I'm on the outside, we can continue where we left off and have a place to send all those following the progress of Julia, Braddock, and Griffin. Yesterday at 2:23 (Julia), 2:23 (Braddock) and 2:24 pm (Griffin), we celebrated their first week of life. It's been quite a week!! Bill and I are just in awe of our babies and how they are progressing.

I'll introduce them first so that we have a starting point on our new page.

Julia: She was the first of the three to arrive, the loudest (not that her cry is more than a peep - but still louder than the boys). She has the most hair and the longest eyelashes I've ever seen on a baby. Her name is French or Latin meaning, "youthful, soft haired." Her features are so petite and precious. She was in a rush to get into this world - head down and ready to come out at 24 weeks. Watching her Dad hold her yesterday was one of the greatest pleasures I've ever had in life. She has his coloring and they seem to look very much alike.

Braddock: He was born just after Julia (in the same minute). He is our biggest baby, entering the world at a whopping 2 lbs 11 oz. Braddock is an English name meaning "Broad-spreading oak," or "of the mighty oak." We waited to name the boys until we saw them and he appeared to fit his name with one look! He is the calmest baby so far. He looks like a wise old man to me. His eyelashes are blond and his hair lighter than Julia's. He seems to always be smiling.

Griffin: He was born one minute after Julia and Braddock, and he was the smallest. He is also the feistiest of the three and the first to hold his pacifier. He pulls at his tubes -- not that I blame him! His name is Welsh meaning "Fighting chief, fierce," and he is certainly that. He was a little behind the other two but is catching up very quickly and almost back to his birth weight. He and Braddock are identical so they look just the same.

All three are just incredible to see. They are unimaginably tiny but perfect in every way. I look at them and wonder why we have been triply blessed. (Of course, they'll be in the NICU until October and then all bets are off as to what I'm wondering when I'm trying to feed three at 2 a.m. on zero sleep!) For now, we're just proud parents of three little miracles all lined up in a row.

So we'll start here and use this page as our way of sharing our journey -- however fast, slow, good, bad or chaotic -- with our trio. We are taking each day as it comes and hoping for a quick and uneventful NICU stay. On that front, so far so good....