Monday, July 29, 2013

A few hurdles...

I told you how Michelle fell last week and sprained her ankle, right?  Well, my body must really be into the idea of sympathy pains because this weekend we were just walking on a nice flat little path and I managed to roll my right ankle!  Seriously!  Besides our little stumbles of late, we have run into a baby prep stumbling block.  We haven't found a solution to the car seat dilemma!  I've done a TON of research on car seats and settled on two options, the Graco Snugride and the Chicco KeyFit.  The Graco is cheaper and we had 20% off so, after doing a test installation with Jess at Babies-R-Us, we bought three Gracos.  I did another installation on Thursday night and then went to meet with Nick, a very nice police officer at Penn State who does safety testing.  They weren't tight enough when I put them in and when he secured the bases they were too close together and we couldn't get all three seats in.  We spent an hour working on this trying every trick he knew and we still couldn't find a way to get all three in securely enough.  It drove Nick crazy that he couldn't find a solution for us so he contacted the "car seat guru" who trains the police and others to do safety checks.  She is going to meet with us next Monday or Tuesday to see if she can make it work.  If not, we'll try the KeyFit which should give us an extra 1.5" in extra wiggle room, but I'm worried that still isn't going to be enough.  It makes me a little nuts because we have read other triplet blogs and have seen other people make the Snugrides work, but it isn't easy!  The KeyFits are more expensive which is a bummer, especially since we won't have the 20% coupon, but spending an extra $150 on car seats is still a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new car.

Just in case, we have been casually perusing the internet for used Toyota Highlander Hybrids.  But our Rav is only worth like $6,000 at this point so even a 2006 or 2007 Highlander would involve some pretty significant moola.  And I don't know that we can afford that right now.  My student loans have been in deferment but now that I'm almost done with school those payments are starting up again which is not great timing.  There have also been some annoying changes at work that are impacting our finances too.  I figured we could spend an extra $200/mo in rent because we'd save that much in commuter gas, but now work isn't reimbursing mileage for the first 25 miles even though I live 4 miles from work so there goes that savings!  Oh and then there is the cut in days off!  I was under the impression that I would be getting about 20 days of PTO this coming year and recently found out I'm only getting 12!!  Sooooo...this time off after the babies come is going to hurt a lot more than we thought it was going to. =(  Needless to say things are going to be tight and buying a car or having a car payment is less than ideal.  It also means we are continually grateful for all the baby things people have been giving us because all those little purchases can add up quickly!  The cribs and car seats alone add up to about $1200!  Here's hoping we can find a safe car seat solution and that the Rav has another few years in it!!
our attempt at BabiesRUs that made us think it would work

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

24 weeks officially

 Well, today is officially 24 weeks!  If you remember seeing the post about key dates, this is one of them.  As of today the babies' survival rate goes up to 60%.  Obviously we want them to stay in there much longer, but their odds are getting better.  We had a little scare yesterday when Michelle tripped down a couple of steps while walking on campus.  Fortunately, I was only about a mile away when it happened and was able to reschedule my 11:30 kiddo so I could go pick her up right away.  Other than a sprained right ankle and a few scrapes and bruises Michelle is fine.  She was pretty shaken up and scared when it happened, as you can imagine, but it doesn't seem like she hit her belly and had no scary symptoms afterwards.  We called the OB just to let them know but they said not to worry it happens all the time and to call back if she had any bleeding, belly pain, or felt contractions.  Phew!  We both feel very thankful that it wasn't any worse and already today Michelle is walking better on her ankle.
24 weeks
22 weeks
In addition to thinking about and planning for babies we've actually gotten out and about a bit lately.  We went to Mt. Nittany winery to see a few minutes of one of our favorite local bands last Friday night.  And on Sunday we had our friends Maria & Craig over for dinner and Michelle, Maria & their little one, Cristina, all got in the pool to float for a bit.  For the last four days we puppy sat for my friend (and boss)'s golden retriever puppy, Tilly.  It was fun to watch her running around awkwardly but it also triggered a first round of baby-proofing because she was getting into all kinds of things!  Also gave us a glimpse of how ridiculously jealous poor Mr. Humphrey is going to be when these babies arrive.  He whined and whined and was generally pretty pathetic.  We got to see his upside down "poor me" pose all the time!!!


polka-dotted pregnant ladies in the pool (with a cute baby of course!)
more Tilly cuteness just cuz

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mature Mr. Humphrey enjoying the yard
and our lovely little flower garden

Monday, July 22, 2013

24 week ultrasound with a special treat for our readers =)

I usually make you read everything before posting the pics, but this week I'll start off with the pics and fill you in on the details afterwards.  (and this isn't even the special treat! just wait...)

best she could do to get all 3 in one frame!
 I have NO idea what body parts those all are!
Baby A was facing Michelle's back most of the time so got this right at the end
Baby B.  A kept trying to sneak into her pics and photobomb her!
Baby C showing off her flexibility (yes, those are her toes by her mouth!)
By the numbers...all measuring ahead, though baby B only by 1 day
So, the appointments today all went well.  All the babies are growing well and the doctor was pleased that there is only a 6% difference between the largest (baby C) and the smallest (baby B). (up to a 20% difference is okay) Michelle's restless legs were bugging her so the ultrasound wasn't the most pleasant experience for her today. =( They checked the babies hearts and got to see a few things they didn't see on the anatomy scan last week, and as always, measured their growth.  I can't remember if I told you this after the 20 week visit or not, but Baby B & Baby C both had small choroid plexus cysts in their brains.  They told us not to worry because everything else looked good and they would likely resolve (but are sometimes associated with genetic SURE don't worry!!).  But it looks like the doc was right because it looks like all the cysts were gone today, which was great.  As you can see if you check out the measurements picture, Baby C and Baby A both weigh in at about 1lb 7oz and Baby B weighs about 1lb 6 oz.  Kinda crazy to see that big belly with only 4.5lbs of baby in there!  One of the things I like about the ultrasounds is getting to see them moving.  It's a little tricky to tell because it's hard to know if the ultrasound tech is moving the wand or if it's the baby moving, but sometimes you can tell.  To try to capture that I took a few short videos of the screen so here's your special 24 week treat friends... 
here's a video of Baby A's heart beating...when she adds the color it shows the blood flow
trying to find Baby B and zoom in on can see Baby A a little bit on the right
and my favorite video of the day...Baby C showing off getting her feet up by her mouth and then right at the end you can see her yawn (soooo cute!)  =)
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I figured some of our readers, maybe even the majority, have never had an ultrasound, or at least haven't for many years so I thought the videos would give you a better sense of what we see for the hour plus that it takes to do the measurements and check things for three babies!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Adjusting to new proportions...

Obviously Michelle is having to adjust to new proportions as her belly seems to grow daily now, but really we're both having to adjust!  I've really noticed that in the past week or so we bump into eachother more just doing our normal day to day things like passing eachother at the bathroom sink, or in our walk-in closet, and especially in the kitchen!  It's like I know she is there, but am not used to her taking up so much space!  She forgets too and has hit herself in the belly with the car door, cabinets, etc (which, by the way, hurts quite a bit based on her yelps)!

In the past week or so random people have started asking about the baby,'well, they THINK they're asking about one baby! =)  One woman casually said "August baby?" to Michelle the other day...and she was, like, "well, actually it's October-ish."  The cashier at Trader Joes the other day couldn't get over it when we told her it was triplets and sent us home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers "because you won't even be able to get flowers in water once those babies come!"

On Friday we had a regular OB visit in State College and I asked the OB to measure Michelle's fundal height because people have been asking me how big Michelle is now and I feel like comparing her belly to a singleton pregnancy would give people a decent idea.  So she did the measurement and at 23 weeks 2 days Michelle measured the same as a singleton pregnancy at 36 weeks!  So yeah, the woman who asked if it was an August baby was pretty spot on with her estimate!  But hopefully these babies will NOT be coming in August!!  I keep talking to the belly and telling the babies that I can't wait to meet them BUT that actually I can wait and that they shouldn't get any big ideas about coming out before October. =) 

You'll all get to see the next belly pic when we hit 24 weeks this Wednesday!  And tomorrow we head back to Danville for another full day of appointments including another growth ultrasound so there will be new pics!  Have I mentioned that I LOVE ultrasound days?!?  I don't love the drive to Danville, but I do feel like we're getting good care there and I love getting to see the babies and make sure everything is okay.  Tomorrow we also meet for a couple hours with a nurse who directs the childbirth education program there because she is essentially giving us a private class since we don't fit the mold so to speak and a regular class wouldn't really meet our needs.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trying to beat the heat

For those who haven't been checking the weather forecast for State College lately it is toasty here this week!  The thermometer has hit 90 degrees each of the past three days and it looks like that will continue for the next three days at least.  And "we aren't in Kansas, I mean Seattle, anymore" so it is not just hot, but ridiculously humid too! We spent a few hours at the pool on Sunday which was a nice temporary relief.  Our new house has casement windows which means no window unit air conditioners will work.  So I took a page from my dad's book on life "fixes" and installed a window unit in our front door!  You can see my handiwork in the picture below.  Michelle has definitely been struggling with the heat more than me...darn pregnancy hormones, etc.  Combine the heat with her trouble sleeping anyway lately and it's tough around here at night still.   The bedroom is too far away from the air conditioner so we blew up the air mattress and put it in the living room.  It's not pretty, and she did NOT sleep like a baby last night, but it's something.  The next plan is to buy and set up an inflatable pool on the deck or in the screen porch with a float. =) (you think I'm joking, but I just bought it on Amazon tonight!)

One fun thing this week is that we are indeed feeling the babies move more consistently.  It is funny because sometimes Michelle is feeling them and can't believe that we can't feel them on the outside.  Then other times I feel them on the outside but she can't feel them from the inside!  We both think baby C has flipped from breech to head down because there seem to be some definite kicks at the top right of the belly.  We will see for sure next Monday when we do the next ultrasound!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sleepless nights...

I just hit the "publish" button on the baby shower post that I wrote last night before we went to bed and the upbeat tone and joy from the weekend feels lost to me this morning.  Michelle has had a lot of trouble sleeping the past couple of nights.  Tuesday and Wednesday nights she had trouble falling asleep and woke up often throughout the night.  So last night at dinner we decided to try "winding down" earlier to see if that would help her fall asleep before midnight or 2am.  We got into bed around 8:30, watched one show on Hulu, and then Michelle took a bath because she was itchy and restless.  She looked like she was going to fall asleep in the bathtub so I was optimistic when she came to bed. We both fell asleep pretty quickly, but then Michelle woke up around midnight and couldn't get back to sleep.  I was in and out of sleep from 12-2:30 checking on her, listening to her distress over not sleeping, trying to come up with reasonable suggestions, and then dozing off again briefly. 

I am, and have pretty much always been, a good sleeper.  If you ask my mom she can regale you with stories about funny conversations she had with me while I was sleeping and hilarious things I did while sleep walking as a child.  While I think I have stopped sleep walking, Michelle can attest that sometimes I still talk in my sleep and sometimes I'm not very nice when I'm sleeping or half-awake.  I know this so I've been really trying to wake myself up and be nicer during these late nights (a skill that I'm sure will come in handy when the babies are here too).  As I'm sure Michelle would tell you too, I am a "fixer" by nature.  When someone has a problem I want to fix it and I have been working on knowing when being a "fixer" is okay and when she just needs me to listen and empathize.  Last night might not have been a stellar example because I know I just wanted to fix it for her and find a way for her to sleep.  She was sooooo tired and sooooo miserable because she couldn't sleep.  Ultimately, none of my wonderful suggestions (watching a movie, listening to a relaxation app on the iPad, etc) were of any use.  I tried to suggest that we just get up for the day and make breakfast at 3am because by this time I felt pretty wide awake, but Michelle wouldn't have it and made me go back to bed.  She woke me at 6 because she still hadn't slept and was so tired that she couldn't stop crying. =(  It was heartbreaking.  I got up and we took a short walk around the neighborhood and made a yummy breakfast of fresh blackberry pancakes, eggs, and bacon and then I sent her to bed to try to rest for an hour or so.  As I write this I think (HOPE) she is fast asleep and it will break my heart again to have to wake her in 10 minutes, but she has a stats midterm exam this morning at 9:30.

It isn't fair that she can be this tired and not sleep.  I feel sad to not be with awake with her and just "there" as she struggles with this and she feels sad that she's disturbing my sleep. It's a no-win situation.  Of course when you look on the internet for suggestions you just find everything we've tried which leads to a sense of hopelessness.  I know, or at least I think, that this negative association and sense of failure about sleeping is probably just making things worse but I don't know how to break that or alter that mindset.  In the past, when Michelle has had a run of insomnia (though I don't remember it ever being this bad) she's gotten "back on track" by taking Tylenol PM or something like that for a few nights.  Michelle's been really cautious about taking medications during this already high risk pregnancy, but I think it might be time to try some Tylenol PM tonight.  I did some research this morning and it looks like it's on the Category B list, or "highly unlikely to cause problems in pregnancy," which is good.  I think both mama and babies need her to get a good night's sleep tonight.  Here's hoping!!!  (see how I just ended this totally downer post on a positive and hopeful note!)  =)

Baby Shower Weekend

The table all "baby-ed" out!
Michelle's sisters, Jess and Tracy, and her mom planned and hosted a very nice baby shower for us this past weekend.  They definitely put a lot of time and energy into making this happen and we really appreciate it!  Jessica created nursery rhyme madlibs for each guest to fill out and Michelle or I read that person's madlib before opening their gift.  I think my favorite might have been the "pretty little zebra" version of Mary had a little lamb. =)  Our good friends Meredith and Maria duked it out in the clothespin game where everyone got three pins to start but lost one to anyone who called her out for saying any variation of the word "baby." Maria was also very good at the "match the celebrity baby name with the parents" game making it to the sudden death match with Mrs. Nelson and Katie.  All three of them got 100% correct!  I was just plain awful at this game, guessing on all but two, I think.  I mean, really, why do people name their children Bear Blu and Tallulah?! ***spoiler alert...we will NOT be choosing our names from this list!

All the ladies before the shower

It was great to have some of my family be able to make it to the shower too.  My mom flew in from Hawaii and Kate, Claude, and Abigail drove down from Minneapolis.  It was great to spend time with family and friends and we got lots of lovely gifts, including some fun homemade gifts (2 quilts, hat & bootie sets, and bibs).  And Tracy made three very cute diaper cakes for us. (see photo below...the elephant lost his bottom row in transit!)
The adorable diaper cakes from Tracy!
The our somewhat clashing outfits...oops!

Jessica explaining the madlibs game
Abigail giving a treat to Beckett
opening gifts...with some sleepy (or maybe just bored) looking puppies

We drove to Chicago on the fourth and our friends Mary & Brianne were hosting a barbeque at their house in Batavia so we dropped Humphrey off at Jessica's and went up there.  It was nice to spend time with everyone and get to hang out with our friends' kiddos too.  I got a few cute pics from the night so thought I'd add those too.
Sam racing mommy across the yard
Annie & Elise smiling for the camera
Michelle & Maria catching up

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

22 weeks here we come!

Wow!  22 weeks!  Crazy!  If these babies are "typical" triplets they could be here in ten weeks!  We sure hope they stay in there for longer than that and make it to 34 or even 36 weeks, but even on the long side it's only 14 weeks to go!  The babies are the size of papayas this week and hitting the 22 week mark means that if they were born today the doctors would try to save them.  Obviously we sure as heck don't want them to come any time soon, but it's still nice to know.  This past weekend we had our first baby shower in Chicago.  The drive there and back was pretty hellacious, but the time with family and friends was great!  (More on the baby shower in another post.)  As you can see in the pictures below the belly just keeps getting bigger!  We both think it's funny how her belly is pretty flat at the front.  It makes sense with the way the babies are hanging out in there, but it's still funny.  Some days the bottom really seems to stick out more and some days the belly looks a bit lopsided depending on how babies B and C are positioned. 

Michelle is really feeling the belly this week.  She seems more uncomfortable more often.  Yesterday the right left side of her abs hurt if she tried to sit up from leaning back on the couch or laying down.  Last night she hardly slept at all because her restless legs were bothering her even after taking the medicine for them and she couldn't get comfortable in any position.  She's also getting more intense round ligament pain when she rolls over in bed which makes sense I guess because those ligaments have the hefty job of keeping that big giant uterus in place.  Speaking of, can we just take a minute to reflect on what an incredible organ the uterus is?!  I mean, seriously, it has to stretch so much that it is mind boggling!  Michelle feels the best in the water so we really need the weather to start cooperating so she can get to the pool every day!  It's been raining so much you would think we were still in Seattle, although, from the Facebook posts I think it's been sunnier there! Hopefully we'll get to go to the pool later this week because it's supposed to be sunny!

Monday, July 8, 2013

I think I felt a kick!

I have been waiting and waiting until the day I could feel the babies kicking and I *think* I felt one last week.  Michelle was sitting at the table and thought maybe she felt baby A moving so I put my hands on her tummy to see if I could feel it.  Right away I thought I felt something like a bubble popping in her belly and then a couple seconds later I felt something more distinctly kick-like.  But I don't really know if I actually felt a kick because Michelle didn't feel it. Last night Michelle put my hand under her ribs on the left side, where baby B's feet are to try to get me to feel what she was feeling on the inside, but no luck. :(

 I can't wait for the day when I can feel kicks left and right and when there is no doubt that's what it is.  During the ultrasound we could clearly see all three babies moving around like crazy, but with three anterior placentas it is taking a lot longer for it to be obvious.  I know I'm super excited for it to be more obvious, but I also don't have to carry three kicking babies inside me for 14 more weeks!