If you're new to our blog, and would like to start from the moment I learned I was having triplets, click HERE :)
Posts about Colton's Cleft Lip and Palate surgeries as well as the Triplets' Cranial Bands are along the sidebar.

Monday, March 30, 2009

C-sections and bodily functions :)

Aah yes, I know you're intrigued now...there's just nothing like a blog about bodily functions! And you had to know what with everything else we've been through, I'd totally talk about them for ALL the world to read! :) There is officially no modesty left in this new mommy!
So today officially marks the ONE WEEK BIRTHDAY of our three babies! Amazing...1 week old, and already I've taken somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pictures...$55.00 to develop ALL of them....(even though half of them are the same exact pictures just a different day!) So let's see, if we average that, then we'll be looking at 1200 pictures and and $220 a month! Fantastic! That's almost as bad as formula or diapers!

So anyway, the babies were born on Monday....on which day I had my stomach neatly cut open, beat up a little, then stuffed full of my stretchy uterus once again, and finally sewn back up! That part was not so bad...(anesthesia is a wonderful thing)....it's the days AFTER the first day that I thought something HAD to be wrong!! As anyone who has had one knows, they cause a lot of bleeding afterward and the searing pain in my stomach was enough to make me want to beat the nurses who insisted that "getting up and walking is the best thing you can do!" Are you kidding me?? I just had three babies ripped out of me and you want me to get up and WALK?? (ok, in all seriousness, I loved every one of my nurses and I know they really do know their stuff.) But allow me to be dramatic for just a minute....the only thing I had going for me was knowing that I had three tiny babies waiting for me upstairs in the NICU. There is no incentive like that to make you get out of bed and walk....and I'm not talking a hop, skip and a jump. Nope. Out of my room, down one hallway, through the double doors, down a longer hallway, onto the elevators, up to the 8th floor, back down another long hallway, turn the corner, and finally, we're at the NICU! (Oh yeah, and then back the other way to go back to my room! ) Anyway, I'm still glad I had a C-section and I'm simply enjoying the fact that my belly is once again small enough that I can actually almost SEE my incision which, now that the staples are removed and pieces of surgical tape are in their places, it looks like the Cheshire Cat smiling up at me!

So that's the C-section....with surgery, and with being hospitalized comes a new found sense of publicity about things people typically don't converse about...namely, those numerous bodily functions we all do secretly and blame on other people. And that's what so unique about a hospital. It is the only place that the nurses and doctors cheer for you when your successfully resume one or all of these functions! But it doesn't come easy you know....

Let's start with peeing and bleeding:
Two topics that in my opinion, don't necessarily belong together. Fortunately, I spent the first 2 days and nights with a catheter which allowed me to sleep peacefully through the night without having to get up and waddle in severe pain to the bathroom. LOVE THE CATHETER. I never thought I'd see the day when those words left my mouth...But soon enough, the bliss has to come to an end. They actually want to see if I can pee on my own again! And they want to know how MUCH pee I can produce! Which means that for 48 hours, I have to actually tell someone every time I go pee! "That's a conversation that gets old fast..." God bless the nurses and patient care techs who had to come in and measure my pee bowl that, let's be honest, was no lovely shade of yellow...Oh no! With it comes all the insides of my uterus which turns that pretty yellow pee into a red bowl of nasty. Sorry to be so graphic, but inquiring minds need to know this stuff!! Anyway, let's top off this conversation by saying that for 48 hours, I successfully produced good pee! The nurses were pleased with my progress! Go me!

But let's move on to the Bowel Movements, the BM, if you will.

First of all, you know me too well by now to know that I refuse to refer to that specific function as a BM OR a Bowel Movement until I at least qualify for a senior citizens discount at the movies. So let's just call it what it is. Poop. Fortunately, no one was QUITE as interested in my poop as they were my pee. They would ask about whether or not I had pooped each day, and I unfortunately had to say no. The fact that they were giving me Colase (stool softener) each day should have been a clue that accomplishing this task was likely going to be no easy feat. And in fact, that blessed event did not happen until I was released from the hospital and had been in the comforts of my own home for a day and a half! But don't you worry, when it finally happened, I danced my way into the bedroom where Brian was trying to take a nap, and announced (as I danced) that I was doing the poopy dance! Woo hoo! And just like the nurses in the hospital, he actually cheered for me! He should really win a prize or something.

Moving on...let's talk about Gas.
Not the gas we see at every corner. No no. GAS. The kind we all do, secretly, and either blame it on others or simply act as though it never happened. See the following passage below, from Wikipedia.... :)

According to the The Alphabet of Manliness, the assigning of blame for farting is part of a ritual of behaviour. This involves deception and a back and forth rhyming game including phrases such as:
* He who observed it served it.
* He who first detected it ejected it.
* He who said the rhyme did the crime.
* Whoever spoke last set off the blast.
* The next person who speaks is the person who reeks.

Yes. This is the bodily function that EVERYONE seemed most interested in. How fascinating! Predominately because it was the one that was contributing MOST to my internal pain. Aside from having a giant stretchy uterus flopping around in my gut, there was also a GREAT deal of gas. And that bothered me, because trust me, it's unlike me to NOT be able to "release" it. But for whatever reason, I think my body was under so much stress from everyone asking if I'd "passed any gas" that it simply couldn't. Call it stage fright. Call it what you want. I could not fart. It wasn't for lack of trying either...three separate doctors actually tried to encourage me to get rid of the gas by assuming what they referred to as the Islamic Praying Position. You know, on your knees, butt in the air, arms stretched out in front of you so that the highest part of your body is in fact, your butt. (Gas rises, you know) :) So anyway, I figured I ought to give it a try...
There, trying to encourage me every step of the way of course, is my loving, gassy husband who has ZERO problems releasing his. He'd walk around the room, releasing audible toots and then turn to me and say, "And that's how it's done." Seriously. It didn't matter if we were in bed trying to sleep, walking to the cafeteria, watching TV, you name it. It became the mantra of the week...."And that's how it's done." Well, try as I might, I was unsuccessful for the first 4 days. Until finally, one night (actually in the wee hours of the morning, something like 3 a.m., there we slept soundly until the moment I felt a gurgle....I can't even describe my excitement at this point. And sure enough, in the dark comforts of my hospital room bed, I Ami Bunch, mother of triplets, farted. Out loud. Not even knowing whether Brian was awake or not, I excitedly, (but quietly ..it is 3 a.m. after all) utter the words I'd waited so long to say, "And that's how it's done..." To which I hear, "That's my girl!" And so that's how that story goes....I think I lost about 5 pounds that morning and I was feeling good!

Finally, I'll leave you with a "look ahead" to another post...Breast Pumping. :) A topic I believe deserves its own entry. So for now, I hope you enjoyed my real life account of bodily functions in a hospital! And just remember, if you should ever go down that road and YOU need to pass some gas, just remember the praying position. It's a god-send. :)

A look back...BIRTH DAY! March 23, 2009

Hello, hello, hello friends and family! I'm going to say "I'm sorry" for taking so long to get to another blog update, but I know that everyone understands why! My goodness! Hard to believe this new journey started just a week ago today. Many of you have heard the basic delivery details but I'll recap anyway mostly because I print these entries out for my own journaling purposes. Don't feel you need to read the whole thing....and don't worry...I'm already working on a fun entry FULL of pictures

Happy Birthday Babies!: March 23, 2009

One week ago today, March 23, 2009, in fact right about this time, Brian and I were getting ready to head out the door to UMC. I can't describe the feelings I had that morning...excited knowing I was about to meet my three babies, nervous about all that would be happening to me, scared that something would go wrong, and anxious to get on with this new chapter...

I did my hair, did my makeup, put on semi-cute comfy clothes, (yes, even knowing that as soon as I got to the hospital, they'd be traded for a not-so-cute hospital robe.) We threw our bags in the car, and climbed in. We said a prayer for everyone who would be involved in the day's activities, and prayed for a safe delivery for mom and babies...and then we were off...

We arrived at UMC at 8:15 (15 minutes earlier than we needed to be) :) Unfortunately, right off the bat, things were running a tad late due to the C-Section that was scheduled prior to ours. So it wasn't until about 9:15 that we were finally taken to the first room to begin getting prepped. (Now keep in mind that at this point, our families are downstairs expecting a 9:30 delivery...)

Prep began with the dreaded hospital gown swap and then to another NST. One last time to hear all babies hearts beating together...Another rousing round of Colton's hiccups. :) All hearts were going strong. They knew they were coming out today! We were planning to have Cord Blood Collected through Cbr so we needed to prep for those as well. It's a lot of work and paperwork to do just one, so you can imagine the work needed for three. Let's just say that when all was said and done, my poor nurse Jeannine had collected about 12 vials of my blood...Because there was so much to be done and so many bar codes and numbers to keep track of, Brian even got in on the action, helping the nurses! Such a good husband.
All the while, there must have been 20 people in and out of that room. All of them VERY nice, introducing themselves and telling me how they were going to be involved in our delivery that day. And many of them asked if I minded if their med students were also in the OR to watch. At this point, I figure, the more the merrier!

Tony Lucas (anesthesiologist friend) came in and explained how the spinal would work and then gave me a nasty sea-water tasting shot of liquid that would help with acid build up in my stomach, hopefully preventing me from throwing up in the OR...great! Something else to worry about!

Now fast forward to about 10:30...still no delivery. Luckily, Tony went downstairs and saw our families and told them that the surgery would be a little later than originally planned...11:00 maybe.

Well, it was at 11:05, that the last vial of blood was taken, the last bit of paperwork filled out, the last monitor taken off my belly and the walk to the OR began. Part of the delay was also waiting for the "go ahead" from the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) that they were ready for the Bunch Babies! But finally, we start the walk....

This was the only time that Brian had to wait outside. I'm on the table, I've got a handful of nurses, a couple anesthesiologists and apparently a big needle. As I would have expected, my friend Tony jokes that this would be his perfect time to get back at me for anything I had done to him earlier in our lives....a good way to lighten the mood. Other than that, I have to say, he went into full professional mode...(which is good I suppose, because he's now seen far more of me than he probably ever cared to!) I got my spinal and there went all feeling in my lower half! At some point shortly after, I realize that I am lying on the table with about 25 to 30 people standing around, Brian is finally back with me and we're about to begin!

Between Brian and Tony, they made sure to tell me what was happening each step of the way...I have spent a week now trying to find words to describe what this felt like....anyone who has ever had a C-section can at least partly relate, but I'm pretty sure having 3 babies in there makes it just a tad different....all I can say is imagine what it would feel like to have someone's hands inside your gut moving, tugging, pulling, stretching, etc. The pressure I was feeling was much more than I had anticipated....but before I knew it, they were telling me Baby A- Colton Samuel had been born! 11:40 a.m., 4 lbs. 6 oz. I immediately felt lighter...weird. They whisked him away very quickly, so I did not get a chance to see him....Then Brian tells me they're going back in for the second baby. This time, the pressure was even worse. I remember squeezing Brian's hand so hard...And then I hear, "Baby B is born! It's a girl!" Hunter Olivia...11:41 a.m., 3 lbs. 2 oz.

**Ok, now let's take a time out. Remember-Throughout this pregnancy, Baby A was a Boy, Baby B was a Boy and Baby C was a Girl. So when I hear them say Baby B is a girl, I have a moment of panic that OMG we actually have 2 girls and a boy....

Thankfully, someone quickly brings her over the curtain so I can get a quick peek at her, and I was absolutely in awe of the precious, tiny, bright-eyed little girl before me. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. But we still had one more to go. At this point, I'm so ready for the tug of war in my uterus to be over...I cannot imagine the Octomom at this point....and before I know it, I hear "Baby C is here! It's a boy! " Ethan Bradley...11:42 a.m., 3 lbs. 15 oz. I just remember asking anyone who would listen, "Can someone tell me, did we end up with 2 boys and a girl?" And they all said yes! Whew! I also got a quick peek at Ethan who was just as tiny and just as perfect. And just like that- I was a mom. Brian was a dad. In a a matter of 3 minutes we had become parents to three incredibly beautiful babies who had no idea just how much they had been wanted...

Due to the fact that I apparently, lost a lot of blood in the delivery and the babies umbilical cords did not have enough blood in them to gather an adequate sample, we were unable to collect cord blood...oh well. So much for the 12 vials of blood I gave up earlier!

Unfortunately, the hard part was not necessarily over. While the babies were being examined, I had to be put back together. As Brian puts it, the 3 doctors are reaching in, digging around, and there on my belly is now my uterus! Nice and pink as Brian tells it! This is the part that made me the most nauseous...they literally have to pound the uterus and my stomach to get things back to where they are supposed to be inside. I am a very tough person, with a very high tolerance for pain, and THIS WAS UNCOMFORTABLE!!! They have to keep pushing with all their might on my belly to try and get out any blood clots which have formed. (And of which there were many!) Anyway, after the smell of cauterized skin...I finally realize they are stapling me up and I get to go the recovery room....

I'm not sure when I actually got in there, but sometime just before that, Brian finally went to find the family and tell them that the babies were here! Needless to say, they were a group of very relieved people! And slowly, Brian brought them one at a time up to see me in the recovery room.





My body was so relieved to be done housing 3 babies....my spine felt lighter which was an incredibly nice feeling....but the periodic pushing on my belly continued throughout the next 4 hours...just as the feeling in my legs slowly returned. All the while, everyone else has gotten to go into the NICU and see my babies. I was very saddened by this. I was excited that everyone could go meet the babies, but very upset that I still had not gotten to meet my own babies. After almost 4 and a half hours, I again asked the nurse taking care of me when I'd be able to see the babies. Bless her heart, she finally just said, "let's go!" I didn't know where Brian was at this point, and I was a little worried that he'd come back to the recovery room and not know what happened to me...but on the other hand, I was going to see my babies!

She literally wheeled my bed right into the NICU (which is not necessarily designed for a bed to be traveling through! But she did it! And I'll be forever grateful to her for that....oddly enough, no one else (family or friends) were in the NICU at that point, so it was kind of a nice way to meet my babies....Even with all the tubes and wires, they looked so peaceful. One by one, I sat at each babies' bedside and just looked at them. As you can imagine, I was overcome with emotion and tears...those 3 babies were mine. I had carried them for 33 weeks and felt every little movement they made,and now, there they were before me. It was the first time I felt that tug on my heart to make sure I gave equal attention to all three babies...

Before long, the others joined me in the NICU and together we all celebrated and marveled at the newest additions to our lives! After spending a pretty good amount of time in there, I finally got wheeled back down to my own room, where I'd spend the next 5 days.

I have to say, I feel sorry for anyone who is delivering babies anywhere else but UMC...I strongly belive the best nurses, doctors, Patient Care Technicians etc. are at UMC. I was continually amazed at what outstanding care the babies and I received! Thank you, thank you, thank you...

So that day came to a close...Brian and I went back up to the NICU later that evening to "tuck our babies in" and say good night...the start of our new routine. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Baby pics!

Dad and Ethan
Ami, Jen & Colton
Colton sucking on a pacifier! Hooray!
Ethan sleeping
Hunter sleeping

Mom and Baby Girl Hunter this morning
Like the babies' NICU name signs?

Gramma Bunch & Ethan

Gramma Daniels & Colton
Grampa "Sam" Daniels and his little namesake, Colton Samuel
Aunt Mary and her niece, Hunter :)
Grampa "Bradley Bunch and his namesake, Ethan Bradley

These are my anesthesiologists! The one on the right is my friend Tony! He was awesome to have in there! He kindly "dictated" what was happening to me each step of the surgery since I couldn't see anything!
Dr. Maciulla
Colton in the NICU
Hunter in the NICU
Ethan in the NICU

AT LAST!! Pictures of the babies!

Ok, so I'm all out of order...(I'm out of my usual blogging element) . Fortunately, Mary is loaning me her laptop so I can post some long awaited pictures! I uploaded them in the wrong order, but I'll go ahead and leave them...this time only! :) Then I'll get my act together!

So this is Ethan Bradley Bunch
3lbs. 15 oz....Born 3rd...at 11:42am
This is Hunter Olivia Bunch
3lbs. 2 oz.....Born 2nd at 11:41 a.m.
The little blue bundle is Colton Samuel Bunch
4 lbs. 6 oz....Born 1st....at 11:40 am
This is me getting prepped...
This is Brian getting prepped! He looks so official! He was about 1 of 45 people dressed in scrubs in our Operating Room!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The final belly and the exit stats!

Ok, so here it is! The final belly pic of the pregnancy! 32 Weeks and 6 days!! :( Tomorrow is D-Day! Who would have thought taking pictures of fat bellies would be so much fun! I'm contemplating doing the reverse after they're born...taking a picture a week until my belly is back in shape! Now that's incentive to get it back to normal!!

And my final weight....146.2 lbs. (started at 99 lbs).

Final belly...42 inches around!

I thought I would show up at the hospital tomorrow with this on my belly...just to make sure the doctors know what they're doing! :) Nothing like a little belly road map!

Let me tell you how difficult it was for me to write all over myself from this position. Trying to write upside down and underneath a bellybutton I haven't seen in months....VERY HARD!

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