So aside from getting fatter by the hour, (No, seriously) lots of other fun things went on this weekend too! Because we don't get to see them as often, it was nice to spend a lot of time with the Bunch side of our family! Don't know if they thought they were coming for a leisurely vacation or not, but they sure didn't! They were all busy bees! First off, we were all part of the crazy "Black Friday" shopping crowd! That's right! Being pregnant has not slowed my shopping down! We had a very leisurely attitude about the day, so we had NO stress on Black Friday! (We didn't buy much either, but that's beside the point!
Then, on Saturday, Brian and his dad built our babies a closet...with shelves and another rod to hang clothes! Yay! It's so cute! And thanks to my mom and aunt who already started buying the world of blue and green in sets of three, and his mom and dad and their diligence in buying diapers already, our closet already has stuff in it! Woo hoo!
Then we spent that evening doing crafts! Remember the little wooden letters? Colton, Ethan and Hunte_. ? Well, we painted those letters while Brian stained the plaques they will go on, (And yes, Michaels was STILL out of the letter 'r', so Hunter will just remain Hunte for another week or so...)and then I tortured Kristen while she painstakenly tried to teach me my new favorite craft...picture frames, and wooden letters made out of scrapbook paper and Mod Podge! Watch out world! If there's a flat surface, I WILL Mod Podge it! (Anabelle, I have a great new project to share with you! Sarah, I swear, this new project will decrease our time in Michael's by at least a whole hour!)
And thanks so Nana and Papa Bunch, our babies now have cribs! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Here's a picture of their adorable little beds! (Don't worry, I fully intend to sleep all three babies in the same crib until I'm told not to! But they at least have their beds when they decide they've had enough of their brothers! (Oh and for those who have voted and those who are wondering...despite the fact that I see the bright ABC theme is taking a slight lead over the plaid, we have decided to go with the plaid...I've been told my blog picture of the plaid is a bad picture...it is in fact, very sharp looking! Brown, Blue and Vanilla...if you want to see a better picture of it, go to JCpenney.com or Babies R Us.com and type in the search box "Mad About Plaid"...it shows some better pictures of it! :)
So anyhoo...that's all for now! Thanks again to everyone for the continued thoughts and prayers! It is because of all of you that my tiny little boys continue to get bigger and stronger! I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was as blessed as mine was. :)
This is the WHOLE Family! (Hardly...but this is who was here!) Back Row: Mom Daniels, Auntie Val, Aunti Kim, Emilio, Mary and Dad Daniels Middle Row: Brian, Dad Bunch, Kristen, Ami +3, Kirby, Mom Bunch Front Row: Rocco, Piper
Well, you know so much about Brian and me, (probably more than you ever needed or wanted to know...) so here are some pictures of our extended families! (Some of them!) These pictures are from Thanksgiving this year! What a wonderful day it was....raining hard all day long, windows in the house open enough to let in the cool breeze and smell of rain and an evening filled with FAMILY! For the second year, Brian's family drove into town to spend the holiday weekend with us and we all went to my mom and dad's house! Mary, & Emilio and Rocco the Bulldog joined us as well as Auntie Valerie and Auntie Kim! As usual, it was a relaxing, fun evening and one in which I had much more to be thankful for than usual...My goal was to gain at least 5 pounds this Turkey weekend and by the time the night had ended I had reached 118.4 pounds! (Not quite 5 extra pounds, but close...) But today, I hit an all time high! 119 pounds! For the first time in my life, I could actually donate blood, (if, of course I weren't pregnant with triplets!) Aahh...to live in a world where I am literally the only one trying to pack on calories while everyone around me is trying to avoid them! Let me tell ya, being pregnant with 3 babies is not easy when you're little like me! It's an absolute must that I gain a certain amount of weight and frankly, my belly is running out of room! This Thanksgiving, it honestly hurt!! But, I refuse to complain! I am so grateful for every ache, pain, & headache that comes my way! I've waited a long time for this! So anyhoo...I hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving....
This is the Daniels/Montes/Bunch Family: L to R: Piper, Brian, Ami +3, my mom, my dad, sister mary, bro-in-law Emilio and Rocco!
This is the Bunch Family:
L to R: Brian, Ami, sister Kristen, his mom, his dad, and Kirby!
This is just a funny picture I thought I'd share! Instead of having to tell 5 thousand people at school today that we are having 3 boys, I took the lazy (no, pregnant!) person's way out! I blasted it across my belly! Now keep in mind that up until today, my kindergartners only knew I was having ONE baby, but I felt it was safer now to tell them the REAL truth! And since many of my kids can read, I knew they'd see it on my shirt soon enough anyway! So, covering my shirt with my sweater, I sat in my rocking chair and said, "Guess what kids?I got to go to the Doctor's office on Friday and they used that machine where they can see the baby!" And then I said, "and you're never going to believe what else they saw in there.." (Ok, now picture 26 hands shooting up in the air in rapid fire!) "I know! I know!" I heard many little voices say.... So I call on one little student, certain that they will guess correctly, only to hear this...."I know what they saw Mrs. Bunch! It was a puppy!" hee hee....Gotta love 5 year olds! I hope my own kids are that funny! :)
Ok, many have wondered where the names came from! So here it is...The first names: Colton, Ethan and Hunter came from hours of paging through baby name books and eliminating any name that formerly belonged to any student of mine. Amazingly, I've never taught a Colton, Ethan or a Hunter! The middle names however belonged to Brian's and my dad. Samuel is for my dad (Sam), Bradley is Brian's dad's name and poor Jackson, well, he was named after no one. Which is what led up to this new post! We decided that poor little Hunter would feel left out his whole life, so he shall now and forever on be named after his daddy! He will be called Hunter Brian! The teacher in me has decided that we will name the babies alphabetically by first name based on who is born first, second and third etc! That way I will always remember that Colton was first, Ethan was second, and Hunter was third! Gotta love teaching! So here's a picture of the wooden letter names and plaques I have begun...they were out of the letter 'r' for the time being...poor Hunte_. So our baby boys shall now and forever be called...
Well, this has been a BIG day in the Bunch household! Went to our first "formal" ultrasound (yes, the other 80 were informal :) )where we measured all their heads, their arm bones, leg bones, brains, etc. and thus far, everything looks GREAT! No red flags, nothing to be alarmed about! Yay! Very exciting! But if you didn't get it from the title of today's blog, the most exciting news is of course, I remain the PRINCESS of my household, as Brian and I are having THREE BOYS! That's right! What do they say? Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails? Well, we're gonna have lots of that! As you can all imagine, Brian is elated and very proud! (Mainly proud that his sons' penises are already SO visible at 15W 4D.... :) But I am also VERY excited! Up until just recently in fact, I was the only one, out of 52 voters who voted that the babies would be 3 boys! Hmm....is that a mother's intuition or what? Anyhoo...I am going to spend the next few months online learning how to play football, soccer, baseball, how to hunt, build tree houses, dig for earth worms in the backyard, catch frogs, ride skateboards, etc. And I couldn't be more excited! So for all my friends with boys, (Dawn Ball, my fellow mother of 3 boys, you in particular) please feel free to send me boy tips! So finally, the planning can really begin....for those who are wondering, the names we are going with are A.) Colton Samuel B.)Ethan Bradley and C.)Hunter Jackson (Oh and both babies A and B weigh 5 ounces and Baby C weighs 6 ounces! ) Hmm...I just had a thought, does this mean I should stop calling them A, B, and C? Now that they can have real people names?? Hmm...something to think about. So anyway, our lives are about to change, dramatically! And as I look to the future, I chuckle at the thought of my loving brute of a husband toting his 3 triplet boys into the bathroom at Disneyland, and teaching them how to pee in a toilet, and ahh, the three weddings that I will NOT have to pay for..... :) Life is Good. :) So anyway, I'm sure there's more I'm missing and I will probably come back and add more later, but I just wanted to get this up and running for all to enjoy with us!
This is Baby A's uhh, "member"... (ok, actually I THINK this is the picture of the penis. I'm not positive.) We literally had about 50 pictures taken and she didn't print all of them...but A was definitely a boy!) I tried to upload his profile picture but it would only let me upload 5 pictures at a time! Bummer!!
Below is Baby B's profile and below that is his "twig." Look to the image on the left, it's the little "stick" thingy between the two bigger knees or whatever those are!"
And there's no mistaking this one for sure! This is Baby C's profile and below that is his little butt, 2 legs and his dinker! Poor kid! That picture is sure to surface later on in life!
Well, all I have to say is that Brian has been HARD at work in the nursery! He managed to finish all the painting, the chair rail and the crown molding! It looks so cute! I can't wait to put furniture in it! Which brings me to my next topic...show of hands here ...how many of you have ever played that game Tetris where you have to try and fit all the pieces together as best you can? Ok, well that is similar to how I would describe the process of trying to figure out how to fit 3 cribs, a changing table, a glider and possibly a dresser into that room. Let me tell you, it's not easy! It would be so easy to just randomly place 3 cribs in there, but when you have obsessive- compulsive-decorating-symmetry issues like I do, it really needs to be just right. Forget functionality! 3 babies or not, I still go for looks! So after about an hour of Brian and I tape measuring EVERY possible arrangement, he finally just left the room and probably decided (though he would NEVER actually admit it, god love him) that I have control issues and might be a little bit obsessed with where to put 3 cribs. So anyway, there I was with a roll of blue painter's tape and my imagination. Oh, and Piper. Because as usual, she does not leave my side, and she felt the need to help me envision where to put 3 babies too. (For which we temporarily subsituted teddy bears.) So by golly, I think I got it! So please enjoy the blue tape all over the carpet and just know that it is truly a functional piece to the completion of this room!
So my super duper handy-man husband has been hard at work in the nursery! He has painted both colors we had picked out (which you do not see in these pictures...I'll update that this weekend) and will be installing the chair rail and crown molding this weekend! Yippee! Here are a few pictures of work in progress! As you can see, Piper was a big help as well. She was literally inches from my face in hopes of savoring the last drops of my bowl of soup!
(Above): The lower half was painted a darker tan, the top half is a lighter tan, and where you see the blue tape in the middle is where the chair rail will go.
Brian hard at work, taping away!
Piper watching carefully to make sure my soup does not get up and walk away.
Ok, so we went for our 2nd appt. today at our UMC doctor! And yes, rest assured everyone, the 2nd visit was every bit as entertaining as the first! The Dr. saw us coming down the hallway, and puts both of his hands over his eyes as if to say, "Oh god, them again." To which I responded... "We're baaack!" And as he sees Brian, (he called him the bear last week, remember) he calmly and quietly says to a nurse who was sitting outside the sonogram room, "Don't turn around. It's behind you." :) Obviously all of this was in jest. How could he NOT be happy to see us and our 3 sac circus act? (Which, we are quickly realizing we are!) We checked in at the front desk and the woman said, "Oh yeah, you're the ones with the triplets! Marybeth, look, they're the ones with triplets!" But we're cool with it! After all, we were as surprised as anyone when this "turn of events" came our way!
So anyway, here's the weekly scoop! Everything looks great! The babies, though we actually did not get a measurement are CLEARLY bigger than last week. (Which was likely apparent to anyone who has seen ME in the past few days! My belly seems to have taken on a life of its own!) Their features are all more defined. You can see facial features, fingers, bones in fingers, etc. Their brain membranes look great and all three babies are movers and shakers! We were again assured, "Oh yeah, you're having 3 babies!" We're looking at a 30 week delivery, which is a little scary for me, but I am assured that they will be just fine living in the nursery for a little while. So for those who are trying to quickly do that math, 30 weeks is March 2. Quite a bit earlier than May 11, but keep in mind that that estimate/goal is only 2 weeks earlier than the average triplet delivery. (That makes it sound less scary!) But obviously, if I can keep cooking them a little longer than that, then that's what we'll do! But because of my size, that's the goal for now!
However, after about 20 minutes of looking at all the babies, over and over again, the Dr. said, "Well, I'm bored." Glad you're doing well, but I'm bored!" (Which is a great thing, don't forget, when you are having 3 babies...at the same time!) This is one time I was excited and relieved to be told I'm boring! Woo hoo!
So anyhoo, different doctor, different methods of taking pictures of babies! So I unfortunately do not have individual shots of Baby A, B and C. But I'm posting the ones I have! They're still cute as ever! Enjoy!
This is one of my favorite pictures! This is Baby B. We figure he or she is either sweet as a bug or is the trouble child! He's either sucking his thumb or putting his thumb on his nose as if to say, "Na Ne Na Ne Boo Boo!"
We're not sure which baby this is...it's kind of a jumble nowadays. There's not a lot of free space in there! If you really look closely, you can see facial features on this one! And this is all three HEADS. (and parts of their bodies.) We wanted to make sure to show off their exceptional brain membranes! So please enjoy them! :)
I just wanted to say "THANK YOU" to my Auntie Darlene and cousins Regan and Jenna for this very beautiful and incredibly thoughtful gift! It is far too cute not to put on the blog! It is a necklace with 3 peas in a pod! How cute is that? If you want to check out the website where it came from, it's sudlow.etsy.com. Thank you, thank you & thank you! I love it and am already wearing it proudly!
So now that our due date has potentially been moved up a few months, Brian and I took it upon ourselves to begin really thinking about the nursery. So today, we went to Lowes and picked out paint and purchased crown molding to put around the top edge of the room and chair rail to go around the middle of the room! We kep the paint colors pretty neutral since the "Alphabet Soup" bedding already has so many colors in it. So we'll do a darker tan on the bottom 2/3 of the room, then the chair rail, then the lighter tan on the top 1/3 and then the crown molding! I'm so excited! So I'll take pictures of the room as it slowly transforms from "junk room" to "nursery"!
This is another picture of the "Alphabet Soup" theme we're going to go with!
This is the chair rail, the crown molding and the two paint colors we picked...(kind of hard to see, I know)
This is Piper showing you the view of the closet, where she plans to sleep so she can protect "her babies."
Well, here we are....13 weeks pregnant! Seems like such a simple milestone. But not for us. Looking back at the disappointments that have plagued us the past three and a half years makes us cherish this milestone even more. Getting pregnant was never easy for us. I envied all of you who got pregnant so easily (and, as most of you know, I despised all of you briefly at some point in time). But I now understand with a much greater depth what it means to not take things for granted. All the failed pregnancy tests, the failed procedures, the disappearing embryos in our many IVFs, the devastation of a past miscarriage and the heartbreak of being told over and over again, "I'm sorry." All of these things make being 13 weeks pregnant with triplets, priceless. And as blessed as I am to have these 3 babies, I am even more blessed to have Brian to have gone through this with. I am convinced that he was put in my life for this reason. God must've known I wouldn't be able to get pregnant on my own and he picked the one person out there who is strong enough, humorous enough and stubborn enough to get me through this. Time after time, he would look at me and say, "We will be parents." And he believed it. I don't know anyone who deserves this more than he does. I'm so proud to call him the "daddy" of my 3 little babies.
But enough of the sappy stuff....WE FOUND A DOCTOR! As I mentioned in one of my last posts, we graduated from the fertility doctor and are now charged with finding someone to care for these babies for the last 6 months...(Ha ha...I'm hopelessly optimistic that this pregnancy will actually last 9 months .) Survey says...Not a chance! But that's ok...So last week we met with a Doctor at TMC (Tucson Medical Center) whom we really liked. We had planned on selecting their practice to seek treatment...until.....we were forced? Bullied? No...lovingly coerced into meeting with another doctor who comes highly recommended, especially for the care of triplets. (Yes mom, that was for you!) So we made our appointment and last Thursday, we raced across town to UMC (University Medical Center) for what may have been the most entertaining appointment of our lives.
It's hard to really capture the "essence" of this appointment in words, but just understand that this doctor could best be described as..."quirky", "entertaining", and quite possibly, "crazy". (Those were his words, not ours!) His language was, shall we say, "colorful?" But his demeanor immediately puts you at ease and makes you feel like you are a normal person going through a normal experience. Finally. He was fascinated by the sharp contrast in Brian's and my size, and made repeated comments about how freaking huge Brian is! Some of his first words after seeing me, then seeing Brian, then back to me, were "Are you crazy? What were you thinking having THREE of his kids?! They're going to be huge!" And at a later point in the conversation, after Brian made a comment about how, for his own sanity, there had better be at least one penis in the bunch, another doctor, a resident who was there learning, commented that in 3 recent sets of triplets they'd seen, ALL babies were girls. Well, upon hearing this, the Dr. looks at the resident and excitedly says, "Are you crazy? Did you not see how freaking huge he is?! Don't upset the bear!" Then, he turns back to the ultrasound monitor, pointing and says, "Um, I think I see penis, penis, penis!" (he didn't really). But my goodness was it funny! In fact, those poor babies probably thought we were going 4-wheeling down a bumpy dirt road. My belly was shaking almost the entire time and it was actually quite funny to watch them jiggling all around from my laughing!
But even more important than the humor was the confidence he instilled in us. The first time he looked at all three babies on the ultrasound, he said with all the confidence of a top doctor, "These little buggers look great! They're going to be fine. You ARE going to have 3 babies." He also mentioned that I would have to get fat, but that I was not a china doll and I can do this. Frankly, that was all we needed to hear. Someone to finally boost us up, not freak us out. Whether he was blowing smoke or not, I don't really care. He made us believe we could do this. So....we made our follow up appointment and the decision was made! So we will be delivering our babies at University Medical Center, where there is a Level 3, world renowned neonatal intensive care unit to care for our babies when they are born. Triplets typically deliver at 32 or 33 weeks, possibly a week or two sooner because I am so tiny. So they will undoubtedly spend some time there, but were are confident they will be in good hands. So folks, so much for the due date of May 11....looks more like it'll be sometime in March. Say lots of prayers that I can keep these babies in even longer than that! So below is a picture of UMC, a place we will be spending a lot of time at in the next few months! :) Hooray! We found a doctor!
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Well, we can't be happy ALL the time!
Baby A: 4 lbs. 6 oz. 17 1/4 in.
Baby B: 3 lbs. 2 oz., 15 in.
Baby C: 3 lbs. 15 oz, 17 in.
COLTON'S CLEFT LIP and PALATE
One of our triplets, Colton, was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. He is the only one of the three to have this handsome feature! Much of this blog has been dedicated to writing about life with a child who has a cleft lip and/or palate. I have written about the day to day stuff, as well as documented both of his surgeries. I hope you'll find it helpful if you are also in this boat. If I've learned nothing else...I've learned this-It is no big deal. :)
As you may know, all three of our babies needed to wear Cranial Bands (lovingly known by us as their 'helmets') to correct their Plagiocephaly and Torticollis. We were fortunate to have Hanger Orthotics right in our town. The staff was unbelievably helpful and made such a difference in our babies' lives. If you'd like more information about the process, read the posts below!
To read about the first time we got the babies heads scanned, click here.
To see the babies on the day their helmets arrived, click here!
To view the BEFORE and AFTER scans of the babies' heads, click here.
Not long ago, we were just two people hoping desperately for a family of our own! After years of struggling with infertility, failed IVFs, miscarriage, etc. we finally got that wish! On March 23, 2009, our family of two became a family of five as we welcomed our triplets into the world! Baby boys Colton and Ethan as well as baby girl, Hunter make our family complete! And I cannot forget our 4-legged family members...Piper, the black lab wonder-baby sitter and Gracie and Jag our two cats keep our house full of love....and fur! We hope you enjoy our story.
Colton's Current Stats
COLTON 27 lbs. 31 inches
Favorite Toys: Lightning McQueen, any kind of car or truck
Favorite Movie(s): Cars, Ratatouille, Toy Story (all)
Biggest Accomplishments: Knows all his letters upper and lower case, knows all his shapes, counts to 10, knows about 16 sight words
Temperament: Colton is very sensitive. Does not like to be told 'no', loves to sleep
Favorite Foods: Macaroni and Cheese, Chocolate milk, strawberries, bananas
Ethan's current stats
ETHAN 21 lbs., 8 oz.
31 in. Pants: 18 month Shirts/Onesies: 18 months Pajamas (w/ feet): Size 18 month or higher Shoes: Size 4 Diapers: Size 3 or 4
Teeth: 2 upper, 2 lower
Crawling: Like a champ!
Walking: Not yet
Tricks: Blows raspberries on command or off, blows bubbles out his mouth, pulls himself up on furniture, claps
Favorite toys: Anything with wheels or things that spin
Who am I? Good question...these days I'd say first and foremost, I am a 35 year old mother of 3 (who happened to be born 1 minute apart!). Being a mother of triplets is the best title in the world. My 2 boys and a girl keep me laughing daily! Aside from that, I am a wife and kindergarten teacher...this blog is the story of my life. Hope you'll join me! :)