Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lucky Sevens

Yesterday Jeff and I went to see the maternal-fetal specialist for the first time. We had to meet with a genetic counselor first. She really wanted to show us how much higher the odds were that we'd have a baby with a birth defect because of my age. I pointed out that it was a little late for that since I was already pregnant. (OK, I was crabby. I already explained that I wasn't willing to take the risk of any of the screening tests, and that even if we knew we had a baby with a disability or defect, we'd still have the baby and love it. And yet we still had to sit through the statistical lecture on our odds.)

Once that was over we headed in for the mega ultrasound to measure the babies and look for any birth defects. I'm glad they didn't take my blood pressure. It was a very anxiety-inducing visit.

Thankfully, all is well. While the ultrasound isn't a guarantee that nothing's wrong, the doctor said everything looked great right now, and she doesn't expect to be at our delivery because there are no complications at this point. Great news!

The ultrasound tech said all three babies measure exactly on target. And, each one weighs 7 ounces. She suggested that we buy a lottery ticket for our lucky sevens!

Mystery Solved -- Translation for Chewbacca's Bed

The "aha!" moment came at 5 o'clock this morning. And although it was a little early for revelations, the context gave me the clue I needed.

Amelia woke up at 5 a.m. and Jeff brought her to bed hoping for an extra hour of sleep. He snuggled her up and she pushed him away and said "Chewbacca's bed," or, more accurately, "stoot otta bed." AHA! She's saying "Scoot out of bed." Or, in other words, "Move over and give me some room, Daddy."

Let's just say that Jeff was far less excited about solving the mystery than I was...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Olive You and Chewbacca's Bed

One of my greatest accomplishments as Mommy is interpreting toddler speak. Amelia is adding words by leaps and bounds, but it's not always easy to understand her. Armed with a few basic rules about Ameliaese, we do OK.

"puh" = "fuh" as in "pish" = "fish"

"st" = "sc" as in "stared" = "scared"

"bw" = "br" as in "bwead" = "bread"

"dl" = "ll" as in "pidlow" = "pillow"

Sometimes it takes days for us to figure out what she's saying. But when that "Aha!" moment happens, it's very satisfying. My favorite so far is "Olive you." That is "I love you."

If anyone has any guesses on "Chewbacca's bed," please let me know.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Trip to the Zoo

I'm actually talking about a trip to the zoo here. It's not a sarcastic reference to family chaos!

This morning we took Amelia to the zoo. We want to do as much as we can with her while Mommy can still get around. It was a beautiful morning and she had a great time. Watching her enjoy the dolphin show was great fun for Daddy and me.

I was careful to sit down whenever I could, and we didn't walk around much. Actually, Amelia's tolerance for walking just about matches mine these days. The difference is that Daddy can carry her!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Amelia is 2 today!

Today we are celebrating Amelia's 2nd birthday. We sent treats to daycare, and we'll have a little sugar tonight for dessert, too. Next year her birthday won't be nearly so quiet!

Like all parents, I find it hard to believe that my baby is growing up so fast. Time sure flies when you're having fun, doesn't it? Amelia has been a real joy to have in our lives, and I know she will be a great big sister.

Last night we visited with a couple we met through the local triplets group. They have a two year old and 7-month-old triplets. It was a great visit, and far less chaotic than I had prepared myself for. Amelia wanted to hold all the babies and play with them. Hopefully she'll feel the same about her siblings!

Happy birthday, Amelia. Mom and Dad are so very glad you're here!


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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Update from the Docs

I had another doctor's appointment today. If I seems like I have a lot of those, I do. Every two weeks. All four of us are doing well. No ultrasound today, but we heard all three of the babies' heartbeats, and everyone is going strong. Interestingly enough, all three babies' heartbeats sounded different, so it was easy to tell we were hearing three different babies, not the same baby three times.

Mom's gained 14 pounds--not enough, I'm told. So, I need to step up the caloric intake. My recommended is 4,000 calories a day! I am gaining girth, though. In the last week I grew a half inch, and I'm told that's nothing compared to what's coming when the babies hit their big growth spurt from weeks 18-22. Yikes!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Who Flipped the Switch?

Alright, who flipped the pregnancy switch? I was cruising along just fine and then BAM! Someone threw the pregnancy switch and all those usually late-term symptoms have kicked in. Backache and pelvic pain are the main problems right now, and the doc says it's my body telling me to just slow down and take it easy.

I do have to respect the fact that there are three babies in there, so my body's doing more work than it did with one. Since I'm usually active and very little slows me down, it's tough to just rest because I should rest. In a lot of ways, it's like the tail end of the flu. You are laying on the couch feeling pretty good, so you decide to get up and do something. Then once you are on your feet you realize that getting up may not have been the best idea in the world.

On the plus side, I'm nearly halfway through this pregnancy. The docs won't let me go past 36 weeks, and the average triplet pregnancy is 33 weeks. I'm at 16 weeks now. I hope to keep these babies cooking as long as possible, of course, but it sure won't be a 42 week pregnancy like I had with Amelia!

I've heard from many of you that you are praying for all of us. We appreciate that immensely. I'm sure with your prayers and the doctors' expertise we'll welcome three healthy babies this fall. Thanks for being part of the journey.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

And the Results Are In

According to the 31 of you who took part in the poll, Jeff and I are expecting all boys. Seriously? All boys? What are you thinking? Poor, sweet Amelia needs at least a sister out of this bunch!

Jeff has said from the beginning that if it's all girls he's remodeling the basement and moving in permanently. I said if it's all boys, we're adopting a sister for Amelia. No girl should have to grow up with only triplet brothers!

Right now our plan is to be surprised, but at least one of my sisters is lobbying very hard for us to find out if the babies are boys or girls or some combination. Reasons so far have included: "All the really cute newborn clothes are pink or blue." and "If you don't find out you'll have to come up with 9-12 names, and that's just crazy."

OK, the last argument has a little validity. Amelia was Baby Girl for a day while we decided which of our girl names would fit. But, we figure four girls names and four boys names will do the trick. Surely that's enough of a pool to find a name to suit each little blessing!

Of course my Mom, who has a nearly perfect track record when it comes to guessing the gender of her grandbabies, says she already knows what we're having. She's shared it so she has a witness that she's right, but no one's telling yet!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Comparing to Amelia

We got the camera out today - Mr. Scientific and all. It looks like Christy was almost right, at 16 weeks with triplets (right) she looks like she did when she was seven months with Amelia.

This pregnancy is moving along quite a bit quicker, as you might expect. It is quite different having an expectant wife and a little two year old running around the house. As you might guess, Amelia is a handful. She's a sweet little girl but it wouldn't hurt if she would sleep through the night. Amelia doesn't really know what's going on, just that there are babies in mommy's tummy. She told Sarah at daycare that mommy had four babies - I think that three at a time is more than enough.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mr. Analytical

Perhaps this will prompt Jeff to offer up a post of his own in self defense. Those of you who know my husband know he is a scientist by profession and an analyst by his very nature. Last night he looked at me and said, "We should take pictures."

I thought that was sweet. I'm getting big fast and we probably should record it for the triplets as part of the story of their birth.

Then he said, "I'd like to compare with the photos of you when you were pregnant with Amelia to see how far along you look."


OK, but I admit that I'm a little curious, too. I'm guessing I look about the same as I did at 6 months with Amelia.

What I do know is that I look WAAAAY more pregnant than I did at 15+weeks with my first. I didn't even tell anyone in my office I was pregnant that time until I hit 20 weeks. My doctor says I'll look full term by the time I'm 24 weeks. At the rate I'm going, I don't doubt that.

Gotta feed those babies!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Turtle Kind of Day

Today was a turtle kind of day. That is, a day when I had to move slowly and occasionally contemplate, with some sympathy, the plight of the overturned turtle who struggles to right himself. I'm not that big, yet, but some round ligament pain and general achiness brought on by overdoing it yesterday made it a little tough to move this body around.

Overdoing it? No, I wasn't running marathons -- just walking around Target after a long day at work. Sounds wimpy, I know, but you grow three babies, work full time and get anything else done and then we'll talk.

I checked in the with doctor and was assured that everything was OK, and admonished that it was time to slow down. So, I spent the day working from home today so I could stay off my feet and rest and recover. I'm fortunate to have both a job and an employer that makes that option possible. Ironically, just yesterday I talked with the bosses about working from home one day a week. I was planning to start next week, not the next day!

A good night's sleep (hopefully Amelia will cooperate on that front) and I'll be right as rain tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who has responded to our announcement with congrats and good wishes. We appreciate all of your support and prayers.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sweet Rewards of Mommyhood

Today was a long day, so I'll keep this short.

As I sat in the nursery and rocked Amelia before bed I felt the triplets start their dance party inside of me. I just smiled. Sometimes the greatest things in life are the simplest. It was the best part of my day.

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the moms, moms-to-be and wanna-be moms out there. If you want to check out my sister's tribute to my mom, go to: If you scroll about halfway down you can read about our mom, Alice Steinman, and how she was green before being green was cool.

Good night all.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Yesterday we took a tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Clarian North, where the three little beans will be delivered. Even if they are big and healthy, they'll go to the NICU for a thorough evaluation. We just hope and pray they don't have to spend much time there.

If they do, we know they will be in very good hands. The staff we met were very knowledgeable and friendly. The nurse who showed us around explained how they would handle triplets, the kind of care they might receive and how we are welcome to be in the NICU at all times with our babies. Clarian North has one of few NICUs in the country that has private rooms for the babies, making it much easier for mom and dad to stay with their little ones. They even have showers and washers and dryers there so family can stay round the clock if they like.

Clarian's NICU also has a family gathering room with TV, videos, games, and a special children's area so extended family and friends can be close by if they'd like. The NICU staff will be involved with the triplets from the minute they are delivered. We will have one NICU nurse, one respiratory therapist and one neonatologist per baby in the delivery room. That's nine people in addition to my doctors and anaesthesiologist. I hope there's enough room for Jeff! We've already joked that with a crowd like that we may as well pop popcorn and sell tickets.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mom's Night Out

Thursday night I went to a Mom's Night Out for a group for families with triplets or more. They were a great group of women, and it was good to connect with them. They answered my questions, but didn't scare me with their horror stories -- and I'm sure they all have some.

Since I just joined the group, I got a couple books and lots of other good information. Anyone expecting multiples should get the book, "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy" by Dr. Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein. And get it as soon as you find out your coming bundles of joy number more than one.

If you can't find it at your local bookstore, it's on Amazon:

This is real, research-based nutrition for a multiple pregnancy. Women in Dr. Luke's Multiples Clinic who follow the guidelines in this book have triplets that weigh 35% more than the national average for triplets. When you consider than the average weight for a triplet at birth is only 3 pounds, a 35% increase makes a big difference!

The good news is that I'm eating a lot of the right foods. But, I haven't put on enough weight fast enough. Early weight gain would be crazy in a singleton pregnancy, but the average triplet pregnancy is 30 weeks -- 10 weeks shorter than with just one. That means there's no time to lose. Triplets generally don't get the advantage of those last two months of time to grow. So you've got to grow them big early!

With that, I think I'll go have a milkshake...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Another Doctor's Appointment

Fourteen weeks now, and the babies are doing great. They all measure at 15 weeks, and they are all the same size. That's fantastic news.

Despite the great news, it was a tough doctor's visit yesterday. He had to go through the litany of things that could go wrong. His responsibility to be thorough, he said. I appreciate that, and I'm sure it has to do with concerns about getting sued if something goes wrong that he didn't mention, but I left the office completely terrified.

Fortunately, I have family, friends and colleagues who were there to remind me that this is a blessing, and to help restore some of the joy that discussing risks and dangers -- however necessary that conversation may be -- takes away.

Today was still a little tough, but lunch with two caring friends who believe and pray that everything will be fine and we'll be welcoming three healthy babies into the world worked wonders for my spirits. And, of course, four roses from my husband didn't hurt either: one yellow rose for our sweet Amelia and three red roses for the triplets.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

Sharing the News

Once Jeff and I recovered from our initial shock, we starting sharing our news with family. But, we agreed to wait a while before telling the world about the magnitude of this pregnancy since the risks of loss were pretty high. We wanted to get everyone safely through the first trimester before spreading the exciting news.

I did have to give up and tell my colleagues that I was expecting at about 10 weeks, when I started to show. I held off on telling them that there was a little more to the pregnancy than I had originally let on. When I spilled all three beans, boy, did that news travel fast!

It seems that almost everyone has the same reaction: initial shock followed by laughter. The shock -- gasps, hands to the mouth, "Holy smokes!" -- we chuckle at, because it mirrors our own reaction in many ways. And we think people laugh because they are relieved that it's not them!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The End of The Beginning

We successfully made it through the first hurdle, the first trimester, with three babies still going strong. I gained 3 pounds and did manage, with a little creativity, to get through the first 12 weeks without wearing maternity clothes. I admit that I was glad to just give up and put on those stretchy pants at the start of the second trimester.

At the end of the first trimester, all three babies measured big for their age, and all were the same size. Both of which are great signs that things are going well so far.

I was lucky to escape morning sickness again this pregnancy, even with three times the hormones floating around. Anyone who suffers that malady has my utmost sympathy!

Here's hoping that the second trimester goes as well as the first. Now we're shooting for the 28-week mark, minimum, before these babies make their appearance.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Day We Got the News

March 10 was the day we found out that we were expecting triplets.

The second the ultrasound started, two little sacs leaped onto the screen. I said, "I see two."

The nurse said, "I see three." And there they all were.

The room immediately got 150 degrees hotter. I thought I was going to be sick to my stomach. A million thoughts went zooming through my head, but the whole time Jeff just held my hand and kissed my forehead and kept saying, "Everything will be fine," over and over and over.

Of course, we were thrilled to be pregnant, but three babies was more than we'd bargained for!

The doctor explained that it was not unusual to lose a triplet in the first trimester, while the others would be fine. He wanted us to know that was a possibility, but he said was not preparing us for that because all the heartbeats were good and strong and the yolk sacs looked great.

We left the doctor's office in a state of shock. We were joking and laughing (what else can you do, but laugh?), but were also a little frightened. I'm sure we looked pretty overwhelmed, too. We were happy, but that was clouded by concerns about potential complications, worries about losing a baby or having babies born too soon or too small.

The day we found out I wrote the following:
"I believe that God never gives us anything we can't handle. With a little time, I know we'll adjust to the news and come to enjoy this great blessing and challenge. But first there's just a little shock to get over."

Nice understatement at the end!

Welcome to Our Adventure

As Jeff and I have been telling people our BIG, BIG, BIG news that we have triplets on the way, everyone has asked that we keep them posted on how things are going. Thanks to technology, we can do that quickly and easily with this blog.

I'll do my best to keep this up to date so all of you can check in from time to time. Thanks for all of your support so far, and for keeping us in your prayers. Heaven knows we'll need all the help we can get!