Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for the Chaos

Braddock on his 1st Thanksgiving
Griffin is thankful for the rest

Julia in her first dress for the holiday

We served the homemade cranberry sauce in a ziploc throwaway container for our Thanksgiving feast. We didn't really serve anything now that I think of it. We put the food on the counter and said something to the effect of, "Come and get it." The smoke alarms went off shortly after the turkey went into the oven. We couldn't for the life of us stop for what felt like forever. I'm pretty sure that isn't good for infant ears. A lint roller got stuck to the foil covering the turkey. I only cleared the half of the dining room table where we'd be eating. The rest is covered in baby clothes, wipes, infant toys, medical bills and, oddly enough, a cake carrier. (Not sure how that got there since I am surely not making and carrying a cake anywhere anytime soon) We did eat off the wedding china because for some reason I thought that was important for the holiday. In hindsight, paper plates would have been easier. We ate almost as quickly as we could so that the babies didn't cry before we finished. Luckily, they didn't. It definitely took longer to clean up than to eat. What we learned is that for Christmas we'll have pizza. For the time being, it is just easier that way. Julia, Braddock and Griffin were our priority today, not the turkey or the stuffing. It certainly wasn't a Thanksgiving like I've been used to. I didn't spend time carving put a pumpkin and arranging flowers in it for a centerpiece. I didn't set the table a few days in advance and I certainly didn't clean the house. But I did feel more thankful than I've ever felt for anything in my life when I woke up to the sound of three crying babies looking for their Thanksgiving formula.
I hope you all had a terrific Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Where have we been?

I figured I better get up to my computer and let you know that we are just fine. My last post made it appear that maybe the wheels were coming off the bus and then there was silence. Well, as you might imagine, I'm not sitting down too much and my blog is an indulgence that sometimes has to wait. I find most things have to wait right now. Even personal hygiene. Dry shampoo has become a great part of my life. Sad but true.

Braddock, Griffin and Julia are all doing very well. They are all out of preemie clothes and almost out of the newborn size, too. It boggles my mind to think of them at birth and see them now. We looked back at the NICU pictures yesterday. I have a hard time doing that without crying. The funny part is that we thought they looked so good then. Little did we know... The biggest change is that it's been almost a week of longer stretches of sleeping at night. We've basically dropped one feed in the middle of the night. (knock on wood) I'll bet that now that I typed that tonight we'll regress to every three hours again. During the day it's still every three hours like clockwork. Julia could eat every two hours, I swear. If all the stars align just right, I can feed all three babies at once. I think it is probably quite a sight. I put two either in Boppys on either side of me or in bouncy seats right in front of me. The third one (Julia is the most agreeable to this) is in the Baby Bjorn. I get her bottle in first and then use my neck to hold it upright for her. Once she is eating I use my free hands to put the boys' bottles in their mouths. My arms get really tired as does my neck and back but if no one is too fussy, this works. I make it a daily mission to save time in some way that isn't dangerous and the last few days, I've gotten this down for a few minutes. The unfortunate thing is that someone gets to the point where they need a burp and the whole house of cards comes crashing down. The key to feeding like this is really the setup. Everything has to be in place and ready to reach before I sit down.

Some things I've learned some things about parenting:
(Every seasoned parent already knows this stuff but first-timers like me had to learn the hard way)
1. You shouldn't wear cashmere (or any dry-clean only fabric) while feeding or diapering babies. This seems so obvious as I type it. I have too much cashmere and not enough cotton, and until this stage in my life, I was of the belief that one couldn't have enough cashmere.
2. Don't pick a baby up over your head just after they've eaten.
3. Always cover a boy's penis when you change his diaper. ALWAYS. I keep learning this and then I keep forgetting which just makes more work and more laundry for me.
4. Don't taste just a little bit of the formula just because you are curious if it is good. It's not.

We'll be having a quiet Thanksgiving here at home. It is not lost on us how much we have to be truly thankful for.

I will take some pictures this week. I hate that I'm not taking more pictures or video but it seems like I always have a baby in my hands, sometimes two, so running to grab the camera isn't really an option. We'll work on that.

Enjoy the holiday.

Monday, November 17, 2008


It has been a blur, this past week. The days fly by faster than I can fathom. Everyone is growing well. Braddock seems to be healed from the surgery but he did get his casts back on yesterday. It seems a bit unfair that he's having all the extra medical attention but I'm sure Julia and Griffin would have likes his extra birth weight in the beginning so we'll call it even.

In the wee hours of Monday morning, trying to feed all three -- frantically switching from one to the other to quiet the cacophony of cries -- for the first time I felt completely overwhelmed. And then I cried. I cried harder and louder than my tiny daughter and sons. When three babies scream all at once for what seems like hours and there's nothing you do can soothe them, it humbles you.

Like Superman, Bill stepped in, put me into bed, took over and I slept for almost four hours. I was able to get some perspective and ready to take on the next day. And last night the most miraculous thing happened. The midnight feeding turned into 1:30 am before Julia called my name the only way she knows how. Everybody ate quickly and without incident and I was back to sleep by 2:30. Julia didn't call me again until 5:00 am, but I was able to hold her for a minute and then she slept again until 5:48. I almost felt like I slept too long but it made the whole day seem easier. I even washed the floors in my free time...

Life is good here. These tiny people will continue to keep us on our toes and I'll continue to tell their stories.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Braddock Update

Braddock's hernia surgery was a success. Although he's a bit uncomfortable, he's on the mend. He was a champ and all the nurses LOVED him. I was with him all day and Dad is there for the overnight as I'm back home with Julia and Griffin, who -- oddly enough -- decided to projectile vomit all over Grandpa first and then Grandma as I walked through the door. Two impromptu baths and they were good as new. The throw up is probably not abnormal but I don't know that since I haven't been a Mom very long. Of course, I frantically called the pediatrician on the emergency line. They must love new mothers! Not too worry if it happens again because now we're armed with enough pedialyte to hydrate at least ten sick babies. They are acting completely fine now so I'm not worried.

I'm hoping to get at least sleep some tonight. Julia didn't want us to sleep last night, not even for one second. She had the energy of an entire circus from 10 pm until 3 am and demanded our full attention. No matter what I did, she wasn't relaxing. I think I better get used to a very nocturnal schedule for a while.

Here is a picture of Braddock post-surgery. He comes home tomorrow around 7:00 am and his brother and sister can't wait to have him back. One little glider sits empty and it just doesn't feel right.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wait a minute, which one are you?

Can you tell who's who? As Griffin gains weight, he and Braddock difficult to tell apart. Identical twins are the neatest thing to see! We laugh a lot about who we're holding because we tend to be wrong.
I can't really believe it has been so long since I last posted. The days are so exhausting and they FLY by. The babies have taken to crying lately and all at once seems to be the modus operandi. The funny/frightening thing is that they don't even have their full cries yet. When that happens, I'll just wear my ruby red slippers and click my heels three times.... oh wait... I am home. We'll I'll survive; all mothers survive, right?
We've been busy with doctors appointments. That and battling insurance which is such a pain in the neck. Our claims now total well over a million dollars for my care and the kids and the insurance company likes to make things difficult. I swear they are out to make people insane. The crazy part is that we have good insurance and it is this frustrating and time consuming. We're ready to tear our hair out with that but I won't go on about that.
Our little man Braddock is having surgery tomorrow morning for a hernia. I understand hernias in preemie boys are very common. We were wishing that this wouldn't be the case, but this poor little dude can't catch a break. It is a quick surgery and it should be done by 9:00 am. We'll have to stay overnight at the hospital with him because of his age but that is just for precautionary reasons. I'll be so thrilled for him when we no longer have all these appointments. I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, premature babies are such fighters. They start out with such a long road ahead of them and their resilience is truly amazing. I'm so proud to be their Mom.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My how we've grown

Julia is 7 lbs 5 oz

Braddock is 8 lbs 4 oz

Griffin is 8 lbs
Can you believe it? We went to the pediatrician's office yesterday and all three are doing very well, growing so big, and entertaining us all day long. They are such fun! Exhausting, too, but still fun. The boys are very difficult to tell apart now so that is a constant source of entertainment as well. I have a new best friend in Dunkin' Donuts coffee but I'm starting to get used to not sleeping more than 2.5 hours (as the best case scenario) at a time. I just keep reminding myself that eventually they'll sleep longer as they get bigger and stronger. We seem to have at least two doctors appointments each week and getting everybody ready to go is a trip. Amazingly we make it to our appointments on time... I'm not sure how but it is working out just fine. Grandma is here helping us and that is invaluable. I'll update again soon!