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.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Random ramblings from an infertile mother of triplets :)

This post will surely feel as if it came out of the blue. (You might even think I wrote it while consuming my favorite red beverage, but I didn't.) The babies are asleep, and though there are a thousand things "out of place" in my house that surely could use some attention, instead, I am doing one of the things I love most...blog hopping. I start at one of my favorites, then click to a blog that THAT person loves, and on an on. So tonight I happened to be on the "infertility blog" circuit.

I know what you're thinking. Ami, you have triplets. Surely you are not infertile. And while that may be true now... for many years I was. And it was the worst. If you've never been there, you have no idea. I just read the most eloquently written "RULES" a young woman wrote about what NOT to say to someone who is having trouble getting pregnant. It was as if she had taken thoughts right out of my head and put them onto her blog....Curious to hear a few (summarized in MY words?)

Do not suggest that I need to just "relax."

Do not suggest that I "just adopt". (Since when did adoption become 'just' something to do anyway? 'Just' belongs in front of phrases like, "Why don't you just paint your nails red instead of pink." Adoption is much more important than that...

Do not offer to loan me your husband's sperm.

Do not offer to 'give' me any of your children.

Do not try to make me feel 'lucky' to be childless by pointing out that ' you have 3 crazy kids to contend with because you get pregnant when your husband merely looks at you.'

Do not tell me this was meant to be. You are not God. Don't pretend to be.

Heaven forbid, if I should be blessed with a pregnancy and then stunned with a miscarriage, do not utter any of the following things to me:
- "There was probably something wrong with the baby anyway."
-"Maybe this was a sign."
-"At least you were only ___ weeks along."
-"You'll get pregnant again. There are other fish in the sea."

Anyway, I could go on and on...My point is, being infertile is something I am so thankful to have gotten beyond, but also something I am so thankful to have gone through. (Yeah, I pretty much never thought those words would leave my mouth.) Those years shaped me, readied me, prepared me for the day I would welcome perfect triplets into this world. I do believe I am less stressed about raising 3 babies because I am just so thankful that I am no longer crying into my pillow at night wondering why pot smoking teenage girls get pregnant and I can't.

Furthermore, and this is actually what prompted this post- let's just talk about triplets for a moment. I will never, ever forget the day I went for that ultrasound. I already knew I was pregnant, but hadn't seen any heartbeat yet. (Rewind to the pregnancy before in which I ALSO knew I was pregnant, but was saddened to learn shortly thereafter that there was no beating heart.) So you can imagine that it was with great trepidation that we went into the doctor's office that day to hopefully see that blinking sign of life flashing on the screen. And the fact that the phone calls I made that day went something like.... "They didn't see a heartbeat. (pause...wait for the devastated silence)....THEY SAW THREE!" still makes me smile.

But here's my beef. Again. The words, "You're pregnant with triplets" should never, ever be followed in the same breath, with the words, "But we can't let you carry all three."

And yet, they were.

I was reminded of my fury that day when I came across a blog in which the couple's Dr. was trying to help them decide how many embryos to implant in their IVF cycle. The doctor told them that he WOULD implant three if they wanted. Then he asked them if they'd be willing to reduce the pregnancy to twins if they should get pregnant with triplets. The couple said 'no.' And so, the doctor said that he would not, then, implant three. Just two. As if triplets are so bad.

And that, my friends, is what prompted this entry. :)

Trust me, I see the Doctors' rationale. I do. (And I'm actually glad that the above mentioned doctor preempted the stress I went through for THAT couple, by not allowing it to happen in the first place. ) But many doctors DO implant more than 2 embryos and thus, many couples pregnant with triplets are barraged with all of the following statements:

There are loads of complications that come with carrying triplets. (Though I had none.)

There are all kinds of health problems the babies could have. (Yet, my triplets are perfect.) And interestingly, I know quite a few sets of triplets who are ALL healthy and normal.

You aren't big enough to carry three babies. (Except that I am 5'2", 100 pounds & did just fine.)

You may lose one or all of the babies. (Interestingly, I lost none.)

You will be on bedrest and unable to work. (Pretty sure I was not on bedrest for even 1 minute.)

Now, I know that all of these things DO happen. Obviously. Or doctors would not be so adamant about pushing reduction on pregnant women with more than 2 beating hearts inside them.

And yet, I still get so mad when I recall how I felt (how many of us felt) when we were given the suggestion that we should 'reduce' the pregnancy, so lightly, on a day that I had waited for, hoped for, cried for, for years. The happiest day of my life. The happiest day of my life you tell me you can't 'let' me keep all of my babies? That I will have to reduce the pregnancy to twins??

Reduce is something you do to fractions. Not to my 3 babies with beating hearts. I don't judge others who have chosen this path. That was for them to decide. For me, it simply was not an option.

It just irks me that 'triplets' are a bad thing in the medical world.

My life is perfect because of my three babies. (okay, okay....they might be technically be toddlers now...)

And I just felt like saying that. If you are pregnant with triplets. Be positive. Stay off the internet....You are in for the ride of your life. And if you can manage to always look for the rainbow through the rain, then you will rock mommy-hood!

Colton, Hunter and Ethan, here's to you! This mama's world would not be the same without any one of you. You are my forever rainbows on the rainiest of days. :) I love you, my toddler babies!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Before and After Helmet Heads!

You know...I often forget how long our kids wore their Cranial Bands (their helmets, as we called them.) While at the first few appointments, it seemed like they'd be wearing them forever, it now feels like it was only a month. Let me just say THANK YOU one more time to our orthotist, Liz Chabot. I actually miss visiting with her every few weeks at our helmet check-ups because she was just so pleasant and SO amazing with babies. Think about it. To be able to put a sock on a baby's head, then run a scanner wand all around them, WHILE clicking her measuring tape as a distraction, WHILE looking at her computer, and THEN putting a helmet on that baby?? That's amazing. To do that on THREE babies is freakin' genius! Liz, we were meant to meet you in this lifetime! Thank you for everything you did for us and for making helmet wearing no big deal!

So it occurred to me that I never showed you all the results of our head shaping project. Yes, all three babies had misshapen heads (Plagiocephaly & Torticollis). So at about 6 months old, we actually started wearing helmets. (Well, I say 'we' but i really mean 'they'.) :) The whole process started a few months before then, as we had to first go through the insurance maze, and then get fitted and wait for our helmets to arrive!

If you have a child who may need this type of corrective measure, it is NOT that bad! Honestly. It did seem very wrong at first to be putting our kids to sleep in what was essentially a football helmet, but not one baby ever cried about it. I honestly don't think they even noticed them.

They wore them for 23 hours a day. The other hour, we would remove the helmet, to let their heads "breathe" and also give the kids a bath AND give the helmets a bath! Because yes, after wearing a helmet for 23 hours in Arizona, their heads and their helmets get sweaty and stinky. We just washed the helmets with a mild soap and water, then rinsed them really thoroughly and then dried them off with a washcloth and even the hairdryer. We always found it helpful to then dust the inside of each helmet with baby powder. And then back on they'd go! We went for check ups about every 3 weeks. At these appointments, Liz would make sure the helmets weren't rubbing in any one spot. If it was, she would "shave" off some of the foam so that there was no abrasion.

The helmets are not designed to "squeeze" the head, but rather fit closely on the areas of the head that were protruding, leaving open spaces where the head "was supposed to go." The helmet encouraged the skull to grow into those open spaces. And they totally work! It was amazing to me how much better the babies' heads are! The photos I have below are before and afters from a bird's eye view. Hunter's got a stubborn head. Hers will continue to grow as she grows, but her head, in my opinion has the best before and after. (This picture doesn't really do it a justice. I'll see if I can find others for another post.

So anyway, here are our photos from our adventures in Helmet Land!

The top scan is the BEFORE 9-16-09
The lower scan is the AFTER 2-8-10
Total time: (about 5 1/2 months)
The top scan is the BEFORE 9-16-09
The lower scan is the AFTER (but not the final) I couldn't find that one at the moment...1-5-10 Total time: about 5 1/2 months
The top scan is the BEFORE 9-16-09
The lower scan is the AFTER 1-5-10
Total Time: 3 1/2 months

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gymnastics, Rodeo, Circus?

It's late at night, Brian's been out of town all week, & I've just spent the past 2 hours cleaning up the messes my kids are so great at making (mostly so my poor mom doesn't have to clean it AGAIN tomorrow when she "Bunchkin-sits.) And I am ready for bed. But first, I just wanted to share with the world what I live with...Do you see this little face above? That is my spunky little firecracker of a daughter. It's as if she channels spunkiness through her 'piggytails.' She is a pistol. And boy do we love her! On several occasions we've called her "PJ", short for 'poetic justice', aka, what went around 33 years ago, is coming back 'round'....

She is a ring leader of all things troublesome these days...That's not to say the other two aren't equally mischievous...Just look at the trouble they've been finding...

I'm considering relocating all the kitchen utensils to the playroom, since they are CLEARLY more fun than actual kid toys.
And my friend Nicole gave us this great horsey...Oh how we love the horsey.
Yeehaw! Giddy up horsey...I know what you're thinking. "This isn't so bad? What kind of trouble is she causing here? Well..... wait for it....wait for it.....
Aaaannnd.....now you know.
You've got to be kidding me Hunter Olivia.
Are we training for gymnastics here? The rodeo? The circus? All I know is that she has no fear and that is a little bit scary. I know Aunt Mary is chewing me out as she reads this. She would definitely NOT approve of the fact that I am allowing Hunter to stand on the pony while I take pictures!
Not even Ethan's violent shaking of the reigns could stop her! These two had quite a bit of fun together today!

As you can also see here...
Colton is obsessed with the toilet {gag}...He's clearly disgusted with something in that toilet bowl. Just look at that face and that adamant pointing. Whatever buddy. Clean it yourself, then.
And now he's digging through the trash can. Awesome.
And then there's sweet Ethan.....outside of the box.
Oh. Just kidding. Now he's in the box. Taking after his sister..
And that's all folks. I hope you are enjoying your evening. I'm off to bed!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Northern Exposure...

You'd think we were gluttons for punishment or something, what with the way we go road-trippin with our triplets all the time! But, I suppose the more you do it, the more you learn, and the easier it gets, right?

So this weekend, we took a road trip up north...to Flagstaff. If you know Brian at all, then you know how much he LOVES Flagstaff. I swear the smile on his face grew bigger every mile we were closer to the land of cool air, pine trees and Elk. He even promised that he would not get irritated with traffic, with babies, with me, etc. JUST because we were going to be landing in Flagstaff. (This might be part of his ploy to get us living there...)

As usual, the babies were great. The only thing that could have made it better was a swivel chair for me so that turning around to pick up sippy cups, toys, goldfish crackers, etc. didn't feel like such an acrobatic event.

I have to say, there were a couple of moments when I'd turn around for the 30th game of peek-a-boo, or high-five givin' that I'd think to myself, "Holy crap. I carried these three babies. They are mine." What a rush...

When did they grow up? Is it the tennis shoes that make them so old? This is us stoppin' to stretch...

Anyhoo, on the way up, we stopped for a snack, a starbucks and stretch. And some gratuitous photos on a boulder. Which, they loved. As you can see. (Actually, can you tell that we literally pulled Colton from a deep sleep just to take a picture?) What rotten parents we are!
So my Bunchkins aren't so much lovin the boulder. Whatever. They don't know what they're missing...
A picture with Dad...
And one with mom...
Thank God my friend Anabelle had "hand-me downed" us some boy shoes! I realized as we were packing that we only own sandals and what with the mountain climbing I knew they'd be doing, we were definitely going to need some closed toed shoes! So thank you cousin Jaxon for loaning us some shoes!
Little Princess? Well, she had to wait till we got there so we could go to Walmart and get her some new shoes! (And a new purse. Of course.)
It's like they're reading a treasure map, each pointing to the treasure!
"Hey mom! Whatcha doin way up there?"
And once again, Ethan is crying. I promise though he looks miserable in so many pictures, he really had a ton of fun! He's just much, much, much more sensitive than the others!
Down and dirty with daddy duty.
My Bunchkins...
And oh, it's moments like these, when I glance into the backseat late into the night and see this. Makes me think her brothers will always look out for her. He held her arm like that for a good half hour.
And the best part of the whole trip according to three toddlers? The luggage cart!
"What kind of new stroller is this Daddy?"
"We better check it out and see how it rides.."

Just like her mommy-Freakishly strong.
Such big helpers. Helping daddy go return the luggage cart.

Yes. They were sad to see it go.
But, the next best thing to the luggage cart? THE HALLWAY! It's a raceway!
And they're off!

This is how you fit three pack and plays and 2 beds in a room. Similar to a sardine can really.
But who needs pack and plays when we can jump on mommy's bed??
And clearly the inventor of the lowly placed tissue dispenser did not have kids. Just sayin.
The majority of the reason we headed up North was to visit with some friends Brian has known for years! The Palmers are such a wonderful family, with 4 of their own kids (and Taylor the honorary Palmer for the day.) We hadn't been up to see them since I was 7 weeks pregnant with the babies. So it was so much fun to spend time with them.

Their kids are like the PERFECT babysitters. So responsible, so loving, and they totally 'get' kids. The weather was gorgeous, the grass was green-and soft, the giant trees provided the perfect amount of shade for trampolining and swinging....aaahh...what a day.

This is Taylor on the left (honorary Palmer) and their oldest son Kyle. (And Ethan)
In the background is Dad Jeff, and Brian, and in the foreground, Hunter is absolutely loving girl time with their oldest daughter Rachel and their youngest daughter Caitlin (who by the way, shares my birthday!)
This is their youngest son, Ryan. He was such a great entertainer!
Taylor and Ethan. Such flirts our boys are. :)
Ryan and Colton playing ball. (Isn't the grass beautiful??)
And because of this weekend, we now have to buy a trampoline for our little jumping beans. No kidding, with the net around the whole thing, it was like a giant pack and play for bouncing babies! I don't know that I've seen them have so much fun in a while. And no fear from any of them. Can't wait to see if Santa Claus comes through for us...

Having lunch on the grass
Hunter loved playing with Caitlin! She is such a good "big girl" friend!
Can you tell how much I loved the soft, green grass?

hee hee...

Little Girl Feet.
Little girl feet and buns
Ethan wants to go rock climbing

Swinging! What fun!

Maureen (the mom) and Ethan
Somebody likes his swing...
Just up from her nap. Hunter and I decided to go have a snack in the lobby dining room. We had some warm chocolate chip cookies and milk. :) Oh the simplicity of doing such things with just one child.
"Mommy does my hair look okay?"
Brian and I comment repeatedly how our kids resemble gophers poking their heads out of their holes as they wake up in the morning and pop up one by one! So funny!
Colton's doing a safety check for his dad. Making sure it's safe to start packing it up again.
Ethan is a lover of all things luxurious. Why sleep in a pack and play when mom's bed is right here??

Yep. Still Ethan.

Colton modeling he and his brother's new tennie runners!
On Sunday morning as we left town, we met Brian's mom and dad and cousin Carolyn and Mattie for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. Colton chose the Marine Corp rocking chair. Some day big guy. Some day.

Nana and sleepy Ethan
Papa and the Princess (with her new shiny purse she got.)

Again, waking Ethan just for a picture? So rude.
Carolyn and Ethan
Colton and Mattie
This I wil say. Ethan sure makes chillin' out look good. This is how he rolls.
Everybody's up for a game of peekaboo!

And that, my friends is a trip to the trees. If Brian has his way, we will someday be living there. Right next door to the Palmers in fact. :) Only time will tell... :)
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