Sunday, March 30, 2008

Good-bye Dr. Salmeen

March 30 - 27 weeks 4 days

It is 9:00 pm and we just had our last ultrasound with Dr. Salmeen (she is leaving for Alaska and will be VERY missed). Everything went well and the kids are still in the same spots; all head down (vertex) with Aidan low, low, low. But no change is good news. I am getting more uncomfortable and a wee bit crabby about this whole bed/hospital deal, but I know that it will all be worth it. As my new triplet mom friend, Greta, says, "Keep your eyes on the prize".

Yesterday Noelle measured me and I am 51 cm from pubic bone to the top of my uterus. Most often this measurement coincides with the number of weeks you are. So I am a 51 week pregnant lady. YIKES! This belly is certainly getting a bit tricky to lug to the bathroom and back. My waist around measured 120 cm.

As always thank you for your thoughts, prayers, comments, etc. I have been quite uncomfortable lately and therefore not great company, but I thank God every few hours for all of you and these precious miracles.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Still Tucked In

March 29 - 27 weeks 3 days

Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that there has been no change. 5 contractions an hour. Babies look good and are very active. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Doctors say Aidan mostly likely will not move up, but could stay where is he or decide to head out; let's hope he makes the right decision for all parties involved.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Rough Day

March 28 - 27 weeks 2 days

i am typing with one hand (left) tonight because i just got another iv in my right wrist. this morning Dr. Van de Vin did our ultrasound and no surprise...aidan is low, so low he said if he did a vaginal exam we would probably see hair. we are quite certain our children will be bald, so i guess we would see his head. i have had a great deal of back pain and pressure today, along with 5-6 contractions every hour. everyone started preparing today; bringing birth certificate papers, scrubs for Paul, a baby bed, premie stuff, baby bracelets for a, b and c, etc...

it is 9:15 and we have made it through the day. we thank God and pray the babies will stay put through the night. every hour counts.

i truly appreciate the calls, but am not up for talking. thank you for your understanding. please pray for us that these babies are strong and healthy. thank you for your support.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quick Update

March 26 - 27 Weeks

Just wanted to let everyone know that for the FIRST TIME EVER all three itty bitties received a perfect score on their BPP. We were very excited! Way to go babies! We are so proud of them! Dr. Salmeen spent some extra time with them (I think the boys may have a crush on her).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hello 27 Weeks!

March 26 - 27 Weeks

YAY, 27 weeks has FINALLY arrived! We have made some wonderful friends here at U of M and feel so fortunate to be taken care of by such amazing people. Thank you so much to all of the visitors that have come to see us. It really helps to pass the time. Love you all!

Today we had an appointment with Reena at the PAC to do a BPP (biophysical profile) and doppler. All of the kids had good blood flow (doppler). Brooklyn and Calahan got 8 out of 8 on their BPP's. Aidan got 6 out of 8 because he wouldn't practice breathe for 30 seconds. Yesterday Aidan's cute little bottom was plugging the exit, but today he is head down with his brother and sister pushing at him. Aidan and Cal seem to have switched roles; Cal is a crazy man and Aidan has been laying low lately. Brooke continues to kick them both. What have we gotten ourselves into? Life sure will be exciting at the Dood house when these cuties come home.

Most days we see the chief resident, Dr. Brincat (similar to Dr. Bailey on Grey's Anatomy) for our ultrasounds. She is FABULOUS and has made us feel so at home here (if that is possible). She likes to joke and is so incredibly personable. At night time we always have Dr. Salmeen, another fantastic doctor and wonderful person. She knows all of the kids and their personalities and is so nice to talk to. Both of these doctors spend lots of time with us. Now for the not-so-good news...they are both leaving this floor at the beginning of April. I feel so SAD about it. They have become our friends and we look forward to seeing them every day. We will definitely make do without them, but they have both really made a difference in our stay here.

Speaking of incredible people...Paul is the most wonderful person in the world. He has slept here every night. Did I say sleep? Let me rephrase that...he has stayed here every night on a reclining chair and leaves only for a few short hours at a time. He tries to make sure that someone is here with me because he doesn't want me to be alone. Despite being here for two weeks, he always makes me laugh and is so helpful!

We had a few slight mishaps this week, but nothing worth mentioning. However, I will say that we are thankful that Brooke, "Callaway Dude" and his headless brother continue to hang in there, despite their efforts to join forces and head south.

Today, Danielle (another favorite nurse), took the IV out of the top of my hand. LOVELY...that thing was driving me nuts. I will get poked later for my type and screen (every 3 days to have my blood on hand should we need it), but that is nothing like an IV in your hand.

Daisy Girl got her hair cut on Tuesday and Paul sent me a picture. She is in good hands with Grandma and Grandpa and gets to play with Jacob and Cameron every couple of days. I miss her like CRAZY every day (she will always be my first baby)!! I think about her a lot and wonder if she will even know who I am when I do return home.

Not to sound redundant, but MUCH THANKS for the visits, cards, packages, e-mails, texts, thoughts, prayers, etc. They mean so much to us. We are constantly amazed by the kind gestures of all of our friends and family.

Our next goal is to make it to 28 weeks! These babies are doing so well. Paul and I are so proud of them. Although we are anxious to meet them; we cherish every moment that they stay put.

Love to All,
Paul, Kristin, A, B, C and D

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

25 Weeks 5 Days - March 17, 2008

Hello All! We made it a full week in the hospital! Once again, I would like to start by saying thank you to everyone for being completely amazing! Thank you for the prayers, visits, letters, e-mails, comments, etc. We are truly so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives and to have these three miracle babies still hanging out in my belly.

So much has happened in the last week, I am not sure where to begin. Last Monday we thought these babies were coming. A week later, they are staying put and growing! Your prayers are working! THANK YOU! I have been on several medications since we arrived. We had two steroid shots to help develop the babies' lungs. Every day I take two medications to calm my uterus (procardia and indocine). The doctors later took me off the indocine since it can be harmful to the babies. I also get a shot once a week to calm the uterus called progesterone. The nurses and doctors here are amazing and we feel quite lucky to be here. The doctors come to see us twice a day. They do an ultrasound on the babies each time. They check for several things: fine motor, gross motor, heartbeat and practice breathing. They get two points for each. We are hoping to have a perfect score for all soon. All of the kids usually get 6 out of 8 points.

On Thursday, my mom, dad and Maddie spent the day - they were great entertainment! Nurse Noelle showed Maddie the ropes and let her take all my vital signs-she's a very proficient nurse in-training! Maddie was a hit with all of the doctors and nurses...she proudly told them that while I only have three babies in my belly, and matter-of-factly announced their names -Aidan, Brooke, & Calahan, she has seven babies in her belly! (Let's hope that never comes true for her!). So, it's official...since everyone from our beloved niece to the doctors and nurses are now calling them by name, Babies A, B, and C are now officially known as Aidan Christopher, Brooklyn Kennedy, and Calahan Ryan!

Friday was a big day...I had an EKG (due to low blood pressure) and blood drawn to check my thyroid. Good news! My EKG came back normal-blood pressure is low simply due to triplets (go figure, they wreak havoc on your body!). My thyroid also came back normal. That night I started to have longer and stronger contractions. The doctors gave me a fast IV drip and put me back on the indocine.

What a delight to experience so many ultrasounds and get to know the individual personalities of our little bundles of joy!

Aidan is EXTREMELY low - he seems to like hanging out in my nether regions! We think he is the most anxious to meet us...I'm guessing he's going to be the kid who always has to be first in line. He'll be our little leader some day.

Brooke, our little princess is definitely not the most petite of our 2lbs, she's the biggest! It probably helps when you're living in your own apartment instead of trying to share a room with one of your brothers. Regardless of being in her own space, she somehow still feels the need to taunt the boys with lots of kicks (we like to think of them as love taps!)

Cal is the calm, quiet and collected one. With all the drama of his siblings, he just sits back and lets it all happen. Mr. Mellow will probably be the peacekeeper of the group (although with three kids, it might just be wishful thinking that one of them will be seeking peace!).

Getting to know our kids has been fantastic, and Paul has been such a gem through this whole experience. At this point, he's pretty much an expert and might as well be conducting the ultrasounds on his own! Between rushing back and forth to work and the hospital, checking in on our little Daisy, and sleeping in the chair next to my bed, Paul still finds time to get me ready for all of my appointments, cater to my ever whim, and even shave my legs (aren't I lucky to have him!!).

Bright and early Monday morning my sister was here for the long-anticipated PAC (Perinatal Assessment Center) appointment. It was an adventure for me, just getting the chance to be wheeled around the hospital to get there...I actually got to see something other than these four walls! We were greeted by our favorite receptionist Lori and our favorite ultrasound tech Reena (this was a great start to the appointment!). I'll get right to 25 weeks and 5 days, here are the stats: Aidan - 1lb, 13oz; measuring at 25 weeks & 2 days, in the 43rd percentile and his heartrate was 144, amniotic fluid is a little low, most likely due to the indocine, which is not a concern at this point. Brooke - joined the 2lb club! measuring at 25 weeks & 3 days, in the 59th percentile, heartrate was 136. Cal - 1lb, 14oz; measuring at 24 weeks & 5 days, in the 45th percentile, heartrate was 138. These babies continue working on growing!!

Back at the room, Paul and I were both exhausted! The excitement of the morning was a little overwhelming and we both attempted a cat nap. It can be difficult to sleep with the influx of doctors and nurses!

Although we haven't been able to mention everyone by name, we've been blessed with so many visitors and continue to be thankful for all of your support and prayers. We are looking forward to this Wednesday, it will mark our next big milestone ... 26 weeks!!
Paul, Kristin, A, B, C & D

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One Day at a Time

March 12th, 2008 - 25 weeks

So much has happened since my last update. I am writing today from the hospital. I'd like to backtrack again a little bit to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone that has been thinking about us, praying for us, sending positive thoughts our way, visiting, sending cards, food, etc. Your generosity has most certainly been overwhelming and we truly appreciate everything!

On March 2nd, we had another baby shower; this time in Clarkston at my Mom's house. It was (once again) a very beautiful shower. I have such creative and talented friends and family! Thanks to my Sissy, Mom and Alicia for an amazing day. Paul wasn't able to make it because he was sick AND threw his back out two days prior. However, we were able to join via webcam. Which was pretty neat; like flies on the wall because no one could see us. I think being a spy would be pretty cool! Again we received so many wonderful gifts and were humbled by everyone's thoughtfulness.

The following week was filled with lots of visitors every day, which was so great and really passed the time. Again, I can't thank you enough!

March 9th was a very busy day for us! Pete had spent the weekend painting the babies' room. Then Paul and Pete put together our beautiful rocking chair (Thank you Citzy!) and another crib (Thank you Grandma & Aunt Judy!). Carol was busy all day washing bedding and blankets and organizing the piles and piles of goodies we have received from all of you (Thanks again for your kindness!). It was very difficult for me not to help them out, but I know my main focus is growing these precious babies! I can honestly say that Paul, Pete and Carol worked tirelessly that day and I was overwhelmed with joy that I have married into such an AMAZING, GIVING family (I couldn't be luckier).

On to March 10th...our routine doctor visit. We had a wonderful time checking out the babies. They are growing so big and look adorable. They all had heartbeats and were very active (nothing new to this big belly). Next up, the dreaded cervix. This number has haunted me since the 17th week when we had the cerclage put in. At last appointment, it was measured at 2.2 (with some discrepancy). On this day...we got a big fat ZERO. Not only a zero, but I was dilated to 2 and there was baby a's head once again heading near the opening (we can't blame the kid, he is completely squished by his brother and sister). After that information we were escorted by our very own Dr. Nugent (head honcho) to a room in the ICU, no stopping at triage-right to the room. Where we were greeted by our favorite nurse, Noelle (whom admitted us for the cerclage). She is an absolutely incredible person and had me shot up with our first steroid to develop the babies' lungs before we could blink. In a matter of minutes I was lying down, had an IV, blood drawn for my glucose (which came back normal) and meds to calm my uterus. The day was a whirlwind for Paul and I: meeting so many doctors, I couldn't count. We had to sign a c-section form, meet the head of the NICU unit (Dr. Bob Schumaker), the anestheologist, doctors on duty, living will person, etc...

Dr. Schumaker was very helpful. He sat with us for an hour and talked to us about what will happen with the babies should they be born in the next few weeks. He also took Paul on a tour of the NICU. He said we definitely don't want these babies coming now, but sometimes there is nothing we can do to stop them. At 25 weeks he gave them a 60% chance of survival with possible handicaps (mild to severe). He said for him, he breathes a sigh of relief at 28 weeks, so we would love to get to that point or beyond.

On Tuesday, March 11th, the contractions were coming stronger and more consistent than the day before. I was also on fire for most of the day. I don't think I have ever been so warm. In addition to those lovely symptoms, I was also having a very difficult time breathing. I was very nervous, but just kept talking to God and putting my faith in his plan. Of course it worked because here it is Wednesday morning and I am feeling pretty good. The contractions have slowed and I am not quite as hot. My belly feels strained today, but what do you expect with three beautiful bundles of joy dancing around in there.

Paul and I have decided to make short term goals for ourselves and our children. The first one being making it to today...officially 25 weeks! Goal accomplished! Our second major goal is just around the corner at 3 o'clock today. By that time both of the steroids I was given will have had enough time to do all of the work that they possibly could on the sweet babies' lungs. From there we will look forward to the passing of each Wednesday which will signify another week done for us. God willing, these babies will be born healthy and happy! With all of our friends and family rallying around us and praying, I have no doubt God has wonderful things in store for our family of six (Daisy girl included).

So, thank you for the positive thoughts and prayers! We cherish you all and feel so loved!

I am not so good with phone calls right now; a little bit weepy, but e-mails and text messages are great.

Take care and thanks for supporting us!

Until next time...