Sunday, August 29, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Grey is doing well. We are counting down the days til the week of Sept 6th when he will have his intestines put back together, and we can get that little man home!
I talked to my friend Kristi that was with us in the wreck, she seems to be doing ok. I on the other hand am having some numbness in my left leg and ankle.... I called the doctor, she told me to rest, ice and heat, and stay flat.... LOL, isn't that a funny concept!
I wanted to take time to blog about a cross I received a few years back from one of my patients I took care of in the St. Vincent's ICU when I worked there. Although I won't give out any names, (darn HIPPA) I just want to blog my feelings, and how motherhood has changed me, and how faith has molded me.
I took care of a man in the CICU at St. V's in 2003 I believe. A man that had a family of gold I think. This patient I never had the pleasure of talking to, never had the pleasure of encountering while he was awake, never had the pleasure of listening to him about his love for his family ..... but nevertheless, I know he was a special man. A man that had a strong enough family to sit beside him day and night. A man that's family came from different states to sit by him, talk to him, and just look at him while he laid in a coma. A man that didn't make it out of the ICU alive, but touched so many lives when he existed here on earth. This was evident by the amount of people at his funeral, and the genuineness of his family. One of only 3 funerals of all the patients I took care of that I have attended. I took care of this gentleman at a time in my life that was difficult. The economy had affected the job of my husband, I was married not to long before that, and I was having burn out in my career as well. At this time in my life, I needed them for me, just as much as they needed me to take care of their dad/husband. I know that sounds weird for a nurse to say, but there is no other way to put it; it is the truth. They renewed my love for my career, and more importantly renewed my need for faith.
One morning before this gentleman passed away, his son came to the nurses station and gave me a cross. He told me a story about this cross, that I never forgot. It was a cross that he had gotten on his honeymoon in the ancient city of Corinth in Greece. I believe it was at a small street vendor. He gave one to his mom, his wife, kept one for himself, later I learned he slipped one into the casket before it was closed, into his father's hand.... and gave one to me. He told me what I meant to their family, and how important his father was to him.... and he would miss him deeply. I took my lunch shortly after that, and cried. It hit me at that time what an important person my patient was, and how he was going to be missed so dearly by his family. This cross touched me so much. It has continued to touch me since that time.
I have prayed with this cross numerous times. Every time I look at this cross... I remember this family, and their father.... how awesome their love was for one another.
Most recently when Grey was sick, I prayed with this cross. After 7/23/10, I brought this cross to the NICU every day for quite some time, and when it was just Grey and I, I would stick my hands in the isolette, tell him I love him, and touch him with this precious cross. This cross has given me hope, given me faith, and given me the strength to go on when Grey was in the gravest of conditions. This cross is special.
After saying all this about this family, that patient, and this cross.... I have to say that I have nothing as special as the cross to give to the primary nurses that took care of our kids, and that now take care of Grey. Erin, Brooke and Becca... I cannot thank you enough for the love and care that you have given our kids, and now, especially Grey. I cannot thank you enough for the comfort that you have given us.
Laura, Kari, and Lindsey, I cannot tell you how it feels great to call in each night and know that you are taking care of Grey.... I know he is in good hands.
So this whole post is about the cross... and what it signifies to me... but also love and family. They are all important!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I thought I would do a then and now on the kids with pictures around birth, then where they are now etc.
This was Owen Travis Maurer in his first week of birth. He was 3lbs 3 oz. 15.5 inches long. He was baby A in-utero. Owen was the baby that liked to kick... ALOT! It was not uncommon for him to kick my bladder time and time again in one day. He always measured really well before birth, and was always the biggest. He was also the first to be born. This picture is a mirror image of Todd. The characteristics I remember about Owen were he startled alot. Premature babies have a reflex called the moro reflex, in which when they are startled, they flare their hands and their arms go up by their heads. If you look at yesterday's post, Owen is startling while in the bath. It's quite comical now, but when he was wrapped up in the isolette, it seemed tramatic to watch him startle at every little bump. Erin H was his primary nurse, and she knew just what to do for him when he was upset. She would hold him tight in his isolette, and wrap him up really tight in his snuggly, and bring his hands together in-front of his chest... and he would calm down immediately if he were crying. I do remember visiting the NICU one night once I had come home from the hospital, and he was under the bili lights, and he was so upset and mad he had his sunglasses on, that he ripped them off as we watched. He is a determined little guy. That wasn't the last time he took off his equipment, just one that stuck out in my mind. This is Owen under the lights still on the vent.
Owen always kept us on our toes in the NICU too. There were a few times that he needed to be "bagged" (putting the bag-mask to his face, and give him a few breaths like you see on tv...) because when he had reflux in the NICU, he would stop breathing. He slowly transitioned from looking like a little old man, to the "beefy" infant he is today. If 6.5lbs at over 2 months old is beefy... that is he! He was the first to really "take to" the bottle. Now he does a manuever that the NICU nurses called "sharking" the bottle, which really includes lifting his head with his mouth wide open to get to the nipple of the bottle. It's very funny.... he thinks he is constantly starving. He makes the funniest faces. In his 2 month pictures, I told Todd I thought he was dancing to the Madonna Vogue song... he does some weird things with his face and hands at the same time. He likes his swing, and is taking to the birp rags that we have used for him. I think he just might be a kid that really likes a blankey. When he gets really mad, he screams and it sounds like a little piglet. Just when you think you might be at wits end with him with his screaming, he will squeel like a pig... and well, you have to laugh! Owen also likes his pacifier. If he could keep it in his mouth better, that would be super! Owen likes to be awake from about 12am-3am every morning. Let's hope this changes!
Owen really reminds me of Todd's late brother Travis. Once you see baby pictures of them both... it is very evident they look alike. Owen reminds me of the exact reasons I wanted to have children of our own. I knew that the only way I could ever possibly give Todd a piece or a reminder of his brother back, would be if we had a child that looked or had mannerisms like his brother. I know typing that seems really weird, but truly that's how I feel, and of course that isn't the only reason we wanted kids.... but I remember Travis fondly, and I really wanted to keep remembering him. I think there will be pieces of each of the children that remind us of different people in both of our families, and that is joyful to me.
This is a current picture of Owen. He's a big boy. I think he is going to get along with Grey and Lillian very well. My vision for them is that they will be close, yet not have the "triplet" label on them constantly.
Personality traits of Owen lead me to believe he will be a strong-willed little man. He is determined, especially when it comes to eating. I look forward to seeing him grow, and be who he is, and do what he was sent here to do.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Grey is doing well. I was able to spend some time at the hospital with him alone today. I held him for about 2 hours, and he enjoyed that. We did some physical therapy while he was with me, and tolerated it quite well. I read to him, and he was awake for some of the time, which is nice to see. He is down quite a bit on his oxygen, which is great. We do have a date for his intestine to be put back together .... the week of Sept 6th.... which doesn't really satisfy me, but it'll have to do for now. His bilirubin did go up to 8, from 5... meaning his liver isn't really happy, but we knew that. It will recover, I'm just going to wait, and if it does get worse, we might have to have another discussion. We'll see. For now, I'm happy.
After bathes tonight, it was my daily bottle making session. 16 bottles are needed. (feeding 2 every 3 hours) 80ml (or cc's) each bottle x16 bottles = about 44 ounces, because 30cc=1 oz. Didn't realize you needed algebra to make feed babies did you? Well, I can never get the RIGHT amount in the bottles. We use the Dr. Brown's bottles, and the marking on the bottles is so light, and close together, it's hard to get the exact amount in the bottles. I also have a foam and bubble problem when I mix for 24 hours. But tonight, I started whisking it, and it turned out quite alright! This is all I need to make the bottles, and I wonder why I've had a hard time keeping things in the kitchen put away.
Neosure is the formula that we use, and we use about 1 can per day =$17.... wow.... wait til the Grey comes home on something like Elecare. Elecare is an amino acid formula (cause I will be out of breastmilk by then). The Elecare is easy for the gut to break down. Elecare is about $40 a can. I hope to become good friends with the Similac sales rep, in hopes we can get some to take home. I'll have to check with insurance too, and see if something can be worked out since it's a special formula for a medical reason... hmmm
Jasmine usually hopes to get a little taste of formula powder that falls on the floor....
Well, must go... it's about feeding time!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
This is the million dollar stroller, that will fit Grey's carseat right where the diaper bag is. BUT, it is also worth a million dollars. I couldn't do trips without this stroller. We do draw a lot of attention. People saying, "OH, they are so little!", or "OH look at those twins..." sometimes I correct them and say little Grey is in the NICU, sometimes I just smile and keep walking. Depends if it's worth the conversation. This stroller has a steering wheel... no joke, it steers the front wheels. It's the best invention ever!
Upon arrival Grey was in his crib, resting. Then once there, (Todd was working on the computer in Grey's hospital room) we put together a photo session with the kids. Grey got to take some of his new formula thru a bottle. That was a great feeling to feed him, even if it was only about a teaspoon... he seemed to enjoy it.
Here are some more photos!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
This was the first song I played for Lillian and Owen on their way home from the hospital. As there were many days and long nights that I drove back and forth to the hospital listening to that song, worried about Grey and sometimes either Lillian or Owen depending on what was going on, crying. But crying isn't anything new to me these days, as it seems like hormones have gotten the best of me. But honestly the words to that song is something that I've thought about for the past few weeks. I've never really thought of children the way I think about mine, or about any other human being like that for that matter. I guess I really didn't know what being a mommy would be like. I didn't really know what I would feel like etc. I can tell you what I feel like. Bringing home 2 babies after being in a relationship for 10 years, with nothing but Todd and I (and the dogs).... is overwhelming. Our dogs Jasmine and Hendrix haven't slept in days I don't think, but overall, they are doing well. I have been emotional. Todd has been the rock, and our families have been very helpful. For so many years hoping, and praying that this day would come, now that it has I don't know how to act. I can't really explain the feeling other than... overwhelmed. There are a few things that I can tell you for sure. I love my husband, I love our families, I love these beautiful children, and although anxiety seems to overcome me at times... I look forward to the rest of our lives with these children, watching them grow, and mold into the beings they will be.
Tomorrow is another trip out of the house. Todd is working from the NICU on Wednesdays until Grey is home. I will be taking the kids to see Grey, and daddy there with my mother in law. I'll try to get some pictures of our triplet stroller.... you'll surely get a kick out of that!
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
But, wow, the underestimation. Underestimation of the fatigue. You know, when I did transplant, I was up all night a lot of nights when I was on call. Still had to think on my toes, make sure that the right organ was coming for the right person, and also be able to help pick who was a good suit for the organ, or organs in many cases.... I think the difference is that even though being up all night, I had to go into work the next day and function, I could still sleep a full night that night and be back on the right track. This my friends, is constant.
I also underestimated the pull to be with Grey in the hospital, and the guilt. I tend to be a guilty person, feel guilt and responisibility for things that I shouldn't... it's hard to tell if this is the case or not.
I am glad to say though, that Todd and I can do this if need be. (Atleast just with Lilly and Owen here!!!) I've come to figure out that it isn't fun, although having a few days to realize what a long way we've come from infertility to here has been worth the sleep deprivation.... but I'm done.... bring on the help!
Friday, August 6, 2010
The dogs have really acted well. Of course they are a bit curious, but not to terrible. Will update tomorrow.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I went to a triplet mom meeting tonight. It was actually a better than expected meeting. I didn't join any of these groups while I was pregnant because I really didn't want any preconceived notions about having triplets. I didn't want to go tonight and hear how difficult it was to take care of trips, nor did I want to have a negative feeling when I left. But it was a really good experience. It was a bunch of women, that mostly suffered infertility just like some of the stuff that we went through. They talked kindly of the kids, and offered good advise on what to do when you get home, how much and when help was needed for them.... and also just a place to sit and have time with people that have been in your shoes, and made it out alive. The experiences ranged from women that took care of all 3 children when they came home by themselves with another sibling in the house, to women that had a night nanny a few times a week. I think its just interesting the different perspectives.
Tomorrow will be interesting. I will confess that I struggle with the thought of feeling like I can't take total care of my children and family if no help were available. I struggle with the thought of knowing my family would not be well cared for if it weren't for other people. It is along the lines of how I felt when I dealt with infertility. Inately, humans were designed to "survive and procreate". Thinking that I cannot do either of those things is difficult. So, the plan is Lil and Owen will come home tomorrow evening, and we see how it goes. They are heavily scheduled right now, they eat... then they sleep. they eat... then they sleep. Feeding every 3 hours will be tough, that is no joke. But I need to if anything else, be a family with them. There are few things more valuable than the feeling of being with my husband and taking care of the kids. From the time they were born, until now, we've been in an environment that isn't all that condusive to bonding, and family time. With monitors, cords, gowns, beeping, alarms, people walking in and out...I seriously want some time with us getting used to just "being us". So, I foolishly or maybe not so foolishly want to try this weekend with no help... just Todd and I. It's not to be a martyr, not to say we don't want visitors, not to say we won't ever ask for help... that I am not foolish enough to know... but it'll be interesting to see how we can do and go from there. I look forward to the first part of our family coming home.... and boy will there be a large celebration, and maybe a small coming home party when little Grey busts out of the NICU himself!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Grey is doing ok. Today he had a test to look at his small intestine, related to the fact he is not passing gas or stool now from his ostomy. It was normal. His wbc is still elevated, but down from a week ago. His platelets are stable.... so... we just wait. Todd and I both held him today. He had his eyes open and we talked to him etc. He appeared to be paying attention. He had visits from both his brother and sister today. Owen actually laid with him in Todd's lap for a while. WOW.... I gave birth to 3 "mini-me's" of Todd! I have to say I do enjoy Todd's features, but seriously... cut the momma a break! Nurse Brooke took a pic of them laying together, she's gonna get it to me later! I'll post it later.
Lilly and Owen are potentially on their way home Friday evening. Owen definitely is on his way home, Lilly might be next week. Either way, we are making progress all the way around. They both passed their carseat tests, and both passed their head ultrasounds. It really doesn't matter to me whether or not they come at once, or one at a time. Here is a pic of Lillian in her carseat! It gives you perspective on how little she really is. (4lbs 9 oz to be exact) I think this outfit makes her look like a cupcake! I'll get a pic of Owen when he is on the way home, and that too will dwarf him in the carseat!
Tomorrow I am attending a moms of multiples group meeting with another triplet mom from the NICU. I think it will be interesting. If nothing else, it's a change from the normal routine!
I think we are all set for the homecoming! I may or may not post tomorrow... depending on how much time I have after the meeting before bedtime!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Tomorrow my mom is coming to help clean the house in preparation for the kids coming home next week. Gotta love both the fact that someone is coming to help, and that my house will be spotless. Can't wait!
Thanks again for all the prayers, let's still hope and pray that this trend continues!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Grey is back on the CPAP. I can't say I'm surprised. At times he works hard to breathe. I have to remind myself where we have come since 7/23. Todd held him for about 90 minutes today, he liked that. He was really fiesty today. WBC are more of the same. I think he looked pretty good today though. He's not a happy little camper with his cpap on, but it's a necessary evil. Cultures are still negative. Praying tomorrow's labs are better.
Lilly and Owen did very well with their feedings today. They are still taking about 90% of their bottles a day. We were asked to take their carseats up to the unit tomorrow, as they have to pass their carseat study before they go home. Maybe looking at a Friday discharge, maybe later... hard to tell.
Todd put together the pack and plays, and will be working on the swings and bouncer seats early in the week. Nothing much more to say! Looking forward to positive things for all the kids this week! Grey's labs are just bound to improve!!
Grey was doing well today. He is still off his CPAP, and was a bit fussy today. I held him for about an hour or so, and read to him. It's so nice to see his eyes open. His WBC is still elevated. There has been no budge in that. Cultures are still negative. No fevers today. Let's hope and pray the labs normalize, and he is on the road to recovery. I called to check on him tonight, and he had gotten a bath... that HAS to make him feel better. The past 2 weeks, he has been too sick to get one.
Tonight Todd and I went out for a "Date". We went to dinner and a movie. It was called Inception... which I really had a hard time concentrating on. It was good, but a bit complicated.... to much for a pre-occupied mind! Dinner was at the Stoney Creek Dining Company in Noblesville. They have a great filet if you haven't been there! We had a good time. In the 10 years we have been together I don't think we have had this type of date; one which we talk about future family vacations, what we look forward to doing with the babies, and how we are going to handle 2 at home, and 1 still in the hospital. It's a sigh of relief that Lilly and Owen are doing super, and a struggle to keep my mind off of how Grey is doing every waking moment. We have a lot to prepare this week. I'm looking forward to it!