2 Home 1 To Go

I think the NICU spoiled my babies . . . And it’s ok. They had a rough start to their lives. A rougher start than probably anyone I know. And they fought and survived. So it’s ok that they’re spoiled. It just means that they’re loved. We have an amazing group of primary nurses, practitioners, doctors, therapists of all types, and techs who love our babies so much. What more can you ask for for your babies? Not much. That being said, my babies are spoiled rotten! The ones at home at least!

 
So the boys are 16 weeks old this week (a few days ago on Tuesday). That’s 4 weeks adjusted. So they’re basically like 1 month olds. 1 month olds who were born 3 months early. It’s still hard for me to fully comprehend the last few months. I’m sure I won’t fully wrap my arms around it for a long time. I may never fully understand why or just how much we’ve been through. But I do know that we’re triple blessed. And that we have lots of love. Lots of love from everyone around us. And lots of love to give these boys. 
 
This week has been crazy, which is why it’s Wednesday night and I’m sitting here with James just now beginning to write something. And why I’m finishing this hours later at home. And why it’s now Thursday and I’m finally actually posting this!

Here’s our weekly update:
 
Mason:
The biggest news of the week is pretty huge. Mason came home on Sunday! Woop woop! (That’s an official medical term that Dr. Miquel uses during rounds. It’s always good when you hear that!) Yay Mason! He’s doing great so far. He didn’t sleep well the first night (and neither did we) but he’s slept great since then. The days are a different story though! Mason is the super spoiled one! He’s very happy as long as someone is holding him. And he doesn’t care who it is! Apparently he doesn’t realize that he’s a triplet! We’re trying to break him of this but it’s so hard because he’s super cute and cuddly! 
 
Mason is on 1/2 liter oxygen like Logan so we now have 2 oxygen tanks and 2 sets of tubes running around our house. Luckily Mason’s pulse ox alarm doesn’t go off hardly ever. Mason was discharged with a full page of diagnoses like Logan. And pretty much everything is resolved! That includes his IVH (the brain bleeds). He had a normal head ultrasound last week! Yay! Mason’s only follow up appointments are with his pediatrician and the high risk newborn clinic. 
 
We went to the pediatrician on Tuesday and Mason looks great! He weighs 8 lbs 0 oz! He’s a big boy! And he actually slept 6 hours straight the night before his appointment so we asked if we have to wake him up to eat every 3 hours. Guess what? The doctor said he can sleep as long as he wants because his adjusted age is 1 month and he weighs 8 lbs.! We’re still waking him up though and he hasn’t missed any other bottles (but much slower than during the day).
 
Logan:
Logan is also doing great this week. He is really getting adjusted to being at home and he’s getting more curious about his surroundings. The other night I laid him on his play mat and he laid there for about 45 minutes just looking around. And he’s starting to make and hold eye contact which is huge! And tonight he rolled over all by himself! (See, when I post late I get to share more exciting news!)
 
Logan is much calmer than Mason! He goes straight to sleep at bed time. He is more independent and ok being putting down (most of the time). And he sleeps through Mason’s meltdowns! 
 
Logan  only weighs 6 lbs 7 oz as of last Friday so he still can’t sleep through the night. But hopefully soon! He does go right back to sleep after his middle of the night feeds though so it’s not too bad! 
 
James:
James has had a rough week. His reflux is really bad. Maybe worse than before. And I think he misses his brothers. He just seems so sad! I know I’ve said it before but it really breaks my heart when he cries because he’s in pain. I wish I could do something, anything, to make it to away. We did double his Prilosec on Monday and I think it’s starting to to help. 

James also started another round of steroids today to help his lungs. He’s not really making progress like he should so he needs some help. He’s on methyl prednisone, which is the same steroid they gave him to get off the ventilator. He’ll be on the steroid for 9 days. The plan is that he can get down to 1/2 liter flow by day 7 then we can think about starting oral feeds (finally).

I don’t know what it is about James but  he seems to get stuck and need more help moving forward sometimes. Maybe it’s because he’s the baby of the babies. Whatever it is, it’s frustrating because we thought he was the healthiest of our babies with the healthiest lungs. Maybe he’s a faker. Whatever it is, I just hope he can get better so he can come home! Unfortunately I think he’ll be living in the NICU for at least another month. Poor baby! 
 
It’s harder for us to get up to the hospital to see James now that we have 2 babies at home, we’re back working a more regular schedule, and Addison just started back to school. Yesterday I went up to the hospital for about 30 minutes this morning before work then another 45 minutes after dinner. Today I only made it up there in the morning for about 30 minutes. Luckily we have our awesome primary nurses who James gets all to himself now. And they love him and know how to make him happy. 
 
I know we’ve been calling James the feisty one, etc. but I think he’s probably the calmest one of the three. He only cries when he’s hurting or when someone holds him down. And then he fights back! But he’s usually so sweet. Today he smiled for Brian. And Brian swears he did it on purpose. He posted the video on Facebook so check it out there. I teared up when he sent it to me!
 
Here’s some pictures from this week:
 
Mason getting ready to go:

 

 
Mason leaving the hospital (with his friend Logan of course). Mason in the front, Logan in the back.

 

Mason and Logan in the Mann Van (Logan on the left, Mason on the right, my worst enemy the pulse ox machine in the middle):

 

Mason and Logan at home right after we got home from the hospital (Mason on the left, Logan on the right).
 
Mason at home:
 
 


A few of Logan:

 
 
 
Sweet James:
 
 
 


 
Brother time:
James and Logan
 
Mason and Logan
 
Mommy time:
 
If you noticed in the pictures, all three of our boys LOVE their Wubbanubs (the pacis with the animals attached). Mason has a monkey, Logan has an elephant (Mr. Floppy Ears), and James has a giraffe. I love them too. Not only are they super cute, they are actually really good for the babies. They are weighted so their pacis don’t fall too far and they can sometimes get them back without my help. And they give the babies something to hold onto, which they all love, especially James.


Thanks everyone for your continued thoughts and prayers. I know it’s been a long time and we’re in the home stretch it seems but we still need it! And we still really appreciate it!


15 Weeks (and 1 Day) Old

Life got a little more hectic this week. In a good way of course. Now that Logan is home I’m being pulled in 4 directions instead of 3. I’m still trying to work some so I can take off more when all 3 boys are home finally. But it’s going really well. (If you missed it, I posted about Logan’s first few days home here.) Needless to say, I’m a day late posting this week. That may be a good thing though because I got some more news to report though. 
 
Mason and James are still in the NICU. It’s starting to get to me. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve passed the 100 day mark or if it’s because I know what I’m missing now that Logan is home or if it’s because we’ve been in the NICU longer than almost everyone else there right now or if it’s none or all of these things. But what I do know is that I’m ready for my babies to all be home. 
 
We had the greatest day ever last Wednesday with Logan coming home. I can’t even explain how happy we are to have him here. That makes the struggles from the NICU this week even harder though. We’ve had some steps back this week. But also some triumphs. 
 
Good news all around – all 3 boys had eye exams today and they all graduated! That means that the blood vessels are fully grown in their eyes so thier ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) will not progress and they don’t have the risk of retinal detachment. They just have normal preemie eye risks like near-sightedness (like lots of people have). Yay!

And Mason and James moved to big boy beds yesterday. They were getting too big for the little plastic bassinets and Brian was worried James would throw himself out of it!
 
Here’s the weekly update:
 
Mason:
Mr. Mason has had an up and down week. Last Thursday his blood gas wasn’t good so the doctor took him off the oral feeding pathway and decreased him to only 4 oral feeds per day. (The oral feeding pathway allows the baby to dictate when he increases his oral feeds. Because Mason’s gas wasn’t good, he doesn’t get to do that and he goes up only when the doctor writes an order for him to go up). But his gas was better Monday so she moved him back to 6 feeds per day again. 
 
Mason is very opinionated when it comes to eating. He’s doing great with bottles. No problems. Breastfeeding is another story. Mason either fights me and then goes to sleep or he does great. No middle ground with this guy. I’m hoping he doesn’t give up on breastfeeding! 
 
Ready for the good news? It has to do with the “h” word. IF (that’s right all capitals) Mason has a good gas Thursday he can go to full oral feeds. Then IF (all caps again) he takes all of his feeds AND (more caps) has no other issues, he may go to the place we don’t say out loud (you may prefer to call it the zoo, Disney, or McDonald’s) on Sunday! Mason is notorious for having bad gases though so I’m optimistic but trying not to get my hopes up!
 
Mason pictures for the week:
 
Wearing Dad’s hat
 
 
 
Do you see those cheeks?! Mason got put on a diet momentarily (1 day) because he’s gained so much weight this week (10 oz. in 1 week!) but then he went back to 24 calories per ounce. FYI breast milk and regular formula is 20 cal per oz. Preemie formula is 22 cal per oz. We actually use more powder to make the milk (straight formula or breast milk) 24 calories. The doctor thought Mason was gaining too fast but the nutritionist said he’s doing ok and should stay on 24 calories. I hope he doesn’t get too fat! (a little fat is ok though)
 
Mason weighs 7 lbs. 8 oz. now! He weighs the same as James (but James took his time getting there)!
 
Logan:
Logan has spent most of the last week at HOME! After a brief adjustment period (of 1 day) Logan has done really well. I just posted about Logan over the weekend (Logan is Home) so I’ll just give a brief update on Logan. 


Logan went to his first pediatrician appointment on Monday. He weighs 6 lbs. 4 oz. (up only 2 oz. from his discharge weight) and looks great. Logan also had an eye appointment today. As I said above, his eyes look great and he graduated! 
 
We had some issues with the pulse ox monitor going off all the time so we talked to our neonatologists and ended up increasing his flow to 1/2 liter. That has helped tremendously! Now we can actually sleep! 


Logan has been out of the house several times since he came home. Mostly just to visit his brothers. So far he loves riding in the Mann Van. And this morning I took Logan to the hospital by myself (with his oxygen and pulse ox monitor) because his appointment started at the same time as Addison’s school. I had no trouble so I’m thinking I can do this!

Logan has decided he doesn’t like his crib during the day! He loses it if we put him in there! The good news is that he sleeps great in his crib at night. I think it may be because we swaddle him and turn all the lights off at night and we don’t do that during the day (?) so we may try that for nap time too.
 
Also thanks to Logan we have already washed the carseat! I’ll spare you the details but I’ll just say my husband is pretty awesome for cleaning up the mess!
 
Here’s a few more pictures of Logan:
 
 
After dinner time
 
James:
Mr. James has had a rough week. His reflux is really bad. I can tell he’s hurting and it breaks my heart. I wish I could do something to help him. Unfortunately all I can do is hold him and make sure his nurses know what he likes and doesn’t like. 
 
James took a pretty big step back this week. His gas was bad on Monday so he’s back up to 2 liters on his oxygen (insert frowny face). Hopefully if his gas is better on Thursday he can go back to 1 liter. His doctor told me it may take “a while” to get him better. I asked what “a while” means and she said a few weeks or a month. I’m thinking James will stay in the NICU for at least another month. He hasn’t even gotten to the point where he can even start attempting oral feeds. 
 
James also started blood pressure medicine this week for hypertension. His blood pressure was higher than mine! The good news is that the meds are working. We think his chronic lung disease is causing the hypertension. (Babies usually have secondary hypertension, meaning that something else is causing high blood pressure). His doctor ordered a renal panel and checked his kidneys and everything came back normal so that’s good news. 
 
Here’s a few pictures of James:
 
 


 
 
Addison:
Addison started school today! 5th grade! I can’t believe she’s that big already!
 
Here’s our obligatory first day of school picture:
 
 
And here’s Addison getting her back to school haircut. She’s not happy with me! If it were up to her she would never get her hair cut. So this once every year haircut (and only trimming off the dead ends) is torture!
 


And here’s my favorite picture of the week. My sister holding Logan and James who were both crying. So Lizzie cried with them:

 






Logan is Home!!!

Logan came home Wednesday after 99 days in the NICU. It’s pretty surreal really. I know it’s been a long 99 days (14 weeks and 1 day to be exact) but it still seems sudden. Like are they sure he’s ready? Logan? If you remember, Logan was the sickest of the 3. And he was intubated the longest. He just got extubated a month ago! No one would have ever guessed that Logan would go home first. (Actually one of our favorite nurses told me about a month ago that Logan was going to go home first and I thought she was joking!) In fact, the doctors, nurses, residents, and everyone else were surprised! Everyone (myself included) just knew he would go home last! 

Logan is a little fighter for sure. When the nurse read me Logan’s discharge papers, he had a full page of diagnoses. He’s had lots of issues. The good news is that they’re mostly all “resolved” and won’t have any long term effects on him. Yay! I guess this just shows how strong Logan is. There were some days that I was super scared for Logan. He had the doctors and nurses scared too. I think all the prayers and happy positive thoughts worked!

 
We’ve loved having Logan at home! He’s such a sweet little boy. It took him a day or so to get adjusted to living outside the NICU but he’s doing really well. 

Logan is used to lots of noise and commotion from his 99 days in the NICU so he doesn’t like quiet. So we keep music or a noise machine on for him all the time. He really loves music! His swing plays music but it stops after a few songs. Logan lets us know when the music stops! Logan also loves to swing! Good thing I got 3 swings!
 
We have actually been getting some sleep too! Logan has to eat every 3 hours so we’re getting up at 12, 3, and 6 but he goes right back to sleep for the most part. We went ahead and started a bedtime routine already so Logan knows when it’s bedtime. 
 
Logan also likes riding in the Mann Van. He just sleeps mostly. He’s only gone out once since we came home but so far so good. Because he’s a triplet he can go back to the hospital to visit his brothers. I’m ok with him going back to the hospital as long as it’s as a visitor not a patient!
 
Here’s the board at the hospital showing that Logan was discharged! (I probably wasn’t supposed to take a picture of the board so don’t tell anyone!)
 

 

Here’s Logan leaving the hospital:
 
 

 

Here’s a few pictures of Logan’s first few days at home:
 
I held him like this for over an hour when we first got home! So sweet!
 
 
 
 
He’s wearing blue jeans today! (And that’s a newborn onesie that’s swallowing him!)
 

And here’s what I get to watch on the monitor when Logan is supposed to be sleeping!

 

 

Logan is still on 1/4 liter oxygen so we have a lovely oxygen tank and a pulse ox machine at home (and a travel oxygen tank too). The pulse ox machine is the worst thing in the whole entire world. I’m not joking or exaggerating at all. I’ve wanted to throw it out the window several times  already! I swear it goes off every time Logan moves because it’s so sensitive! Luckily we only have to use it when we aren’t in the same room as Logan (which means we have to use it while we’re supposed to be sleeping). The oxygen isn’t too bad. Just lots of tubing from the oxygen tank to wherever we are in the house. The dogs have already learned to stay away from the cords!

Oh and the dogs LOVE Logan. They didn’t notice him at first but then we put him in his lounger (like a rock n play) and they sniffed him and fell in love right away. They want to be in the same room as him at all times. And when Logan cries they come get me! Logan doesn’t seem to care about being sniffed so that’s good! 

I’m planning to celebrate Logan’s “Coming Home Day” on August 6 every year (if Brian will let me)! Mason and James will get a day too. One of my triplet mom friends does this for her triplets and I love the idea! Each triplet gets his own special day. 
 
Having Logan home is somewhat bittersweet. I love that he’s home. But it makes it harder that Mason and James aren’t home. If that makes sense. Soon. I hope. 

Moving Down South

14 weeks old today. And big changes this week! Sorry for the late post. We’ve been busy getting the nursery ready. On that note, stay tuned for some big news this week. I don’t want to jinx it, but Logan is scheduled to go to a place that starts with the letter “h” tomorrow (Wednesday so probably today for most people reading this). We aren’t supposed to say it out loud. Kind of like Voldemort in Harry Potter. The nurses say he’s going to the zoo or Disney. But either way, whatever you call it, I’m pretty excited. And very nervous! Of course I’ll keep everyone updated. 
 
We made the big move to South on Saturday. Here’s a picture of the big move:
 

 

 
For everyone who hasn’t been in the NICU at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, South is where the babies go when they’re on the way out. We also have private rooms in South. 3 separate private rooms so it’s a little hectic. Luckily Mason and James are in adjoining rooms so it should get easier somewhat. I don’t know that the boys liked the move at first. They were all pretty fussy on Saturday. I don’t think they like the quiet. Except James. I think he did like the quiet. Mason now has a radio playing classical music in his room and he loves it. 
 
We roomed in on Sunday night. It was a crazy night! It’s intended to get parents accustomed to living with a baby. Not very realistic for us though because we won’t keep the babies in 3 separate rooms! I think we slept a grand total of 2 hours (non-consecutive of course). I was completely useless yesterday!
 
Have you ever heard anyone talk about growth charts for babies? You know, people will say things like “my son is in the 80th percentile for weight and 60th percentile for height.” Well I saw our growth charts today. We were on the preemie growth chart but we graduated to the big boy chart this week because we are past our due date (we use adjusted age not actual age). Any idea how we compare? Well pretty small. Even big boy James. Logan and Mason are both under the 3rd percentile for weight. James is around the 10th percentile. They are small for height too. Nothing to he concerned about though because they’re growing. 
 
Here’s your weekly update:
 
Mason:
Mason weighs 6 lbs. 14 oz. today. He’s a big boy!
 
Mason is now back to 1/2 liter oxygen. He’s also started on the oral feeding pathway this week. He’s up to Milestone C already, which is 6 oral feeds per day. He’s doing great with bottles and ok with breastfeeding. He latches on but only takes about 1/2 of his total feed so we supplement with a bottle after breastfeeding. 
 
Also, Mason did great on his eye exams last week and this week. His eyes are getting better. Eye doctor said we don’t have anything to be concerned about. 
 
Here’s a few pictures of Mason from this week:
 
 
Talking to Dad
 
 
I finally caught a smile on camera!
 
This is what happens when guys get too comfortable around a baby!


Logan:

Logan had a big week. He passed the big 6 lb mark and now weighs 6 lbs. 1 oz.! He’s on 1/4 liter oxygen now. He’ll stay on that even after he goes home. The doctors let him try no oxygen on Sunday and he didn’t like it. And because the babies are in charge, we had to give him his oxygen back. 
 
Logan’s eye exam is looking better. The doctor will still follow up in a week but they keep saying there’s nothing to worry about. Any vision issues would be minimal at this point because the blood vessels in his eyes are almost fully formed. 
 
Logan took his car seat test today. If you’ve ever had a NICU baby, you know what this means! (hint . . . it has to do with the “h” word). The car seat test is required before a baby can leave NICU. He had to sit in his car seat for an hour and a half without any issues. He did great and he passed! Look how tiny he is!
 
 
Hopefully I’ll post another Logan update this week!
 
Here’s a few pictures of Logan:
 
 
 
James:
James is being James basically. Ha! He’s had a pretty good week too. He weighs 7 lbs. 4 oz. now. He seems so big! But he’s not!
 
James is on 1 liter oxygen now. He’s still getting his feeds over the pump but now he gets his full feed over 45 minutes every 3 hours. So we’re making our way to regular feeds. I hope he gets there soon! We did get to try non nutritive breastfeeding one time this week. James did pretty good. He latched on immediately, but then he lost interest and went to sleep. Oh well!
 
James is still having issues with his reflux. But he seems to be getting better in my opinion. I mean he still has his moments but overall he seems much easier to calm down. And he’ll even calm himself down now sometimes (which he would not do before at all!)
 
James’s eyes looked normal again last week! Yay! 
 
Here’s a few pictures of James:
 


 
We had a pretty busy week on top of the move to South! I spent 5 hours Saturday at the Rhea Lana consignment sale. It was so worth it though! I got 2 more swings and lots of other good stuff for the boys at great prices! And we had some visitors too!
 
Teresa with Mason
 

Grandpa with James


Grandma with Logan


My parents came too! We love visitors!
 
Addison also had a big week. She tried out for the dance team. And she made it! Yay Addison! And she started volleyball. And school starts next week too! Here’s a picture Addison had my mother in law take of her. Brian thinks it’s hilarious!