Friday, January 30, 2009

More Prayers, Please

Our babies all had cranial ultrasounds today, well I guess it was yesterday since it is 1am now! Anyway, George's and Emery's both came back normal. Elaina's showed Intraventricular Hemorrhage or IVH. IVH has 4 grades, Grade I being the least severe and Grade IV being the most severe. Her doctor said hers is uncomplicated Grade II, which means there is a small amount of bleeding on the brain without hydrocephalus. The information we received says that Grade I and Uncomplicated Grade II IVH are usually not at any greater risk of brain injury than premature infants who do not develop IVH. The bleeding is usually reabsorbed by the body. She will have another cranial ultrasound on February 3. Please keep our little girl in your prayers (along with her brother and his surgery on Monday) that the IVH does not worsen and that the repeat ultrasound shows the blood is being or has been reabsorbed.

We have had an emotional day. I knew there would be ups and downs with 3 babies in the NICU, but there isn't anything that can be said or that you can read on other peoples blogs that can really prepare you for it. I know my friends, old and new, that have been in this position have a lot of words of encouragement. Hearing about their experiences and seeing the beautiful faces of their little ones on the other side of all of this is so inspirational. I hope to be able to "pay it forward" when our family is on "the outside" and all of this is a memory.


Our little boy, so handsome! George has had some struggles since his arrival. Mainly a condition called PDA or Patent Ductus Arteriosus (google it if you want more info). The short version of this is that he has a vessel near his heart that in full term babies closes up on it's own with the first breaths/cries. George's PDA has not closed after 2 rounds of medication. After a repeat ultrasound, we found out today that our little guy has to have surgery to close it. The surgery will most likely be on Monday early morning. They will do a repeat echo on Sunday just to see if by some miracle, the vessel is closing on it's own. The surgery is routine, but I think the word "routine" goes out the window when it is on your own little boy, especially when that little boy doesn't even weigh 3 pounds (though he is very close!). Hopefully after he recovers he can get rid of that ventilator and he will grow big and strong!

Don't let her little size fool you! She was the first baby off the ventilator, graduated to a CPAP and now finally a nasal canula and has been holding steady! She is the first one we were able to hold. I think she is going to be our cuddler too! Her cry is very soft and sounds like a little kitty cat...her daddy calls her "kitten"! He finally has a kitten he isn't allergic to! She continues to get stronger every day!

Our biggest and first born! She started all of this when she broke my water! She too is a strong little girl...first to go off the CPAP to a nasal canula. However, our little blondie was having some breathing "episodes" quite frequently so she earned her CPAP back. The great news is she has only had a couple of episodes since going back on CPAP. Basically, she was "forgetting" to breath from time to time and sometimes she'd recover on her own and sometimes she needed to be reminded by a nurse or us. Her little cry sounds like a billy goat, but don't nicknames of billy or goat! haha! Though she did look a little like Benjamin Button the other day...that nickname won't stick either. Probably blondie, if she has a nickname at all. Her daddy never imagined he would have a blonde baby!

As for us, we are hanging in there! Our days basically consist of going to the hospital in the morning for a few hours, coming home to rest, eat & pump (well me at least!) and then going back up to the hospital for a few hours in the evening. We thank God every day for our precious little miracles. Sometimes it still doesn't seem real. Last night I was thinking, "are they gonna really let us take you all home someday?!" It is the most amazing feeling in the makes all the heartache that it took to get here just melt away. We both feel so full of love, like we never imagined! Thank you everyone for all your kind words and support. I'd love to be able to respond to all the comments individually, but there isn't much time right now...just know we are so appreciative!

"Kangaroo" pictures

One or both of us have finally been able to hold our babies! Ryan has not yet held Elaina, but hopefully, that will change tonight. He did hold George, though only for a moment. Unfortunately George wasn't tollerating going from Mommy to Daddy today and we had to put him back into his isolette. It was just a little too much for him.

Here are some pictures of us with the babies:

Mommy and Elaina:

Mommy and Emery "Kangarooing":

Mommy and Daddy with Emery:
George and Mommy "Kangarooing":

Emery Kangarooing on Daddy:

Kangaroo Care is skin to skin with the babies. We haven't been able to Kangaroo with Elaina yet because she has a umbilical line, which is very fragile while her brother and sister have PIC lines. Hopefully Elaina's veins will cooperate and she can get her PIC line soon too so we can Kangaroo with her. It is so good for the babies (and us!) is just this closeness you feel that words can't really express. Doesn't get any better than holding these little ones!Add Image

First, A Slight Rewind

Since I never got to post these, I figured I would play a little catch-up. These are the last belly pictures we have. Taken on January 18th at 29 weeks...4 days before the babies arrived.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day 2 Update

After a whirlwind 2 days, everyone is doing just fine.

Elaina- Our first, and biggest baby is doing well, but has had a few issues that are being addressed. she is off the ventilator, but is now wearing a cpap mask to steady her breathing. She has had a few episodes where she forgets to breath, so they are treating her with caffeine to stimulate her. It has been working great. The doctor noticed a heart murmur and it was discovered that she has a vessel still open that should have closed when she was born. this is somewhat common in preemies and they have decided to just observe for 2 days to see if it closes on its own. If not, there is a medicine treatment available with a 2/3 success rate. She's a fighter, so we are hoping for the best. Either way they assured us that it will be corrected one way or another. We are praying for her. She is also under uv light to treat her jaundice. Also very common. she has beautiful blond hair and looks like mommy.

Emery- Our second, and tiniest baby is doing surprisingly well. She was the first off of her vent and also has the cpap apparatus to help her regulate breathing. She is feisty, but looks so sweet and is just tiny. She is also under uv light treatment for jaundice, but otherwise is doing very well. We think she is a little milkshake of mommy and daddy.

George- Our third born is still on his ventilator, but the nurses are working to ween him off... It is common for boys to take a little longer in the breathing department. He's just working a little too hard to come off yet... He pulls at his tubes alot, but seems to like being on his tummy, so that is how he is spending most of his time lately. He is also under uv light treatments for jaundice. He is also a feisty little guy with a strong grip. He has big hands and feet like daddy. Everybody says he is 100% boy. He has little black curly hair, and we think he looks more like daddy, but who knows at this point...

Mommy- Mommy is being a trooper. She has some pretty bad swelling of her extremities, but no complications from surgery. She gets to visit the babies a few times a day, but unfortunatley, they are not ready to be held yet, which is a bit hard to handle. Hopefully we'll get to hold them in the next day or two once they are a bit more stable and adjusted to being in the real world.

Daddy- Daddy is running on adrenaline still. Not much sleep, but hopefully tonight will be better.

We appreciate everyones thoughts and prayers during this emotionally and physically draining time. We've had lots of visitors and enjoy showing off our new family. Mommy will be coming home on Monday, but I'm sure we'll be visiting our little babies often. Our lives have a new purpose, and we wouldn't have it any other way. It's been a long time coming and we plan on giving them our all.

More pictures and updates to come. Stay tuned...

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!!

George Ryan Kolb- 2lb. 14oz. Emery Ruth Kolb- 2lb 8oz

Elaina Dee Kolb- 3lbs. 0 oz.

Mommy during delivery- She did great!

Getting ready for surger prep...

On January 22, 2009 we received the 3 most beautiful little miracles. Exactly 12 hrs. before our scheduled routine doctors appointment, at 3:30am, Lisa's water broke. Dr. Bryant told us to go to the birth center for observation. After almost hitting a deer on the way to the hospital (my heart is still skipping beats...) we finally made it in around 4:15am. There were no contractions, so the doctors gave lisa a steroid shot to strengthen the babies lungs just in case they had to be born, but the hope was to keep them in for a couple days, if not longer. Elaina had another idea... Lisa started having contractions and by the time dr. bryant arrived, they got stronger and he noticed that she was dialated to 5cm. Baby Time! At 10:03am, our first little miracle was born. Elaina Dee Kolb weighed exactly 3lbs. At 10:04, Emery Ruth Kolb arrived at 2 lbs 8oz. Also at 10:04, George Ryan Kolb arrived, weighing 2lb. 14oz. There were no complications, but due to the fact that they were only 29 weeks and 4 days along, their little lungs needed help. They were all put on ventilators, but were otherwise healthy and moving around. We had a big crowd in the waiting room including both sets of grandparents, Ryan's brother, sister and sister-in laws and Ryan's aunt faith and uncle dave. After a few hours, I was able to take everyone in to see lisa and also get a quick peek at the tiny little babies. Everyone was in awe over how tiny they are and how perfect they looked. They are truly little miracles. After 3 years of heartache, God has finally blessed us and we are truly humbled.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thank You

Thank you, everyone, for your encouraging words. I do feel like I have been complaining a lot and yesterday I had a melt down. I guess a little one on Saturday too. Saturday, we were getting ready to go to our nephews 2nd birthday party. I put on some jeans that were previously comfortable. By previously, I mean earlier that week. Well, now the water retention is so bad that my legs from mid thigh down are crazy swollen. I caught a glimpse of my self in the mirror, au naturale, and seriously, I look like Buda! So, these previously comfy jeans gave me sausage legs now. So, that was bad enough...then I asked Ryan to help me put on my Ugg boots. These boots have been the only thing I can wear on my feet (besides my slippers) for over a month now. Well, we got them on and they hurt sooo bad. I had to have him take them off immediately. That is when the water works started. Ryan cleared a path for me to get to the car (gotta love all this darn snow) so I could just wear my slippers over to the party. I made it through the rest of the evening.

Yesterday, upon waking up at 7am, I was hoping to see the swelling go down a little bit. I think it is here to stay until after the babies are born. I find myself looking at the calendar searching for the closest date these babies can be born safely, even thinking, "they would be ok if they were born at 30 weeks" or 31, etc. Enter second meltdown. Around midnight. Poor Ryan wakes up on the couch to his wife crying, yet again. I was overcome with guilt about even thinking that! All these babies need is for me to put on my big girl panties (well, actually literally too!) and suck it up and be a good mom. They NEED more time inside me. That is my job right now, to do what is best for them, swollen legs, carpal tunnel and everything else...I need to focus on what is best for them...not me. It's not about me anymore, it's about them and what they need. I know I will be a good mom, but last night, maybe blame hormones, I don't know, I was really starting to doubt myself about this. I want them out so I can be comfortable again...but not at the sake of their well being and health. I need to focus on that. I have made it to 29 weeks...I can do this for at least 4 more weeks, right?

So, thank you again for all of your encouraging truly means the world to me!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

28 Week Update

28 Weeks!!! This is a big deal when you are pregnant with triplets. My doctor said that at 28 weeks, they consider you to be in the "safe zone". Survival of triplets born at 28 weeks is excellent and usually without any major/long term complications. Yes, they would spend quite a bit of time in the NICU, but the big picture is very good. My goal is to still make it to at least 33 weeks.

Here is the covered 28 week belly picture:
Big 28 week belly:
Bare 28 week belly:
This week I have become increasing less comfortable. The water retention has legs feel like bruised tree trunks! I have started sleeping in the family room on the LaZBoy as it seems to be the most comfortable. Actually, any sleeping position has it's pros and cons these days. In the recliner, George and Emery have taken to wedging themselves right under my ribs and into my lungs, which can be both painful and hard to breathe. Sleeping in bed, I don't have the "burrowing" that comes with sleeping in the recliner, but about every hour the hip of the side I am sleeping on starts to throb so I have to roll over to the other side. Speaking of rolling over, I never realized what a feat this really is! There is no more of the quick easy half asleep side to side is a process. 1) remove the pillow supporting your belly, 2) remove the pillow between your knees, 3) remove blankets, 4) gradually try to roll to your back, 5) make sure all babies are "ok" with these movements, if not, they will let you know!, 6) slowly ease onto the opposite side, 7) reposition pillow between knees, 8) reposition pillow under belly, 9) pull up covers again, did I mention the carpal tunnel yet...not yet? see below, 10) get all adjusted, 11) realize you have to pee.
I have also developed carpal tunnel. I am now wearing braces during the night. This helps a little bit, so far. My hands are still a little sore in the morning, I call it "prenatal arthritis"! But if I have to grab or adjust any pillows or blankets in the middle of the night, I have to get creative as my thumbs seem to hurt the most.
At our last doctors appointment we scheduled our c-section for 3/9/09. Our nurse does seem to think that we will have February babies though. She said she thought 4 more weeks, this was 5 days ago.
So now that I feel as though I have complained this entire post, I have to reitterate that I feel incredibly blessed. After 3 1/2 years of trying to get pregnant we are so blessed to have these 3 little miracles growing inside me. I wouldn't change anything. As much as I feel "ready" to be done, I know they need more time to grow. I will do my best to be patient and grin and bear it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

And, last but not least, The 27 Week Belly

Ok...I think this will get the blog up to date! Here are belly pics from earlier this week (27w1d to be exact!)

It is funny, I have been getting a lot of people lately asking me, "when are you due?" When I tell them I have at least another 5-8 weeks to go the look on their faces is priceless! It gets even better when I tell them I am having triplets! haha! I am measuring over full term if there was only one baby in there. Ryan is baffled that I don't have stretch marks (knock on wood!). Wouldn't it be wonderful if it stays that way!?!?! I am slathering on the cocoa butter at least twice a day...I hope my diligence pays off!

Latest Ultrasound Pics

We had our latest ultrasound on December 30th. All the babies were doing great! Here are the latest pictures! We have also had a slight change in the middle names.

Triplet 1, Elaina "Lainey" Dee, profile, 26w2d:
Triplet 1, Elaina "Lainey" Dee, face (on right, belly on left with her arm up on top), 26w2d:
Triplet 2, George Ryan, profile, 26w2d:
Triplet 2, George Ryan, face (on left, belly on right, he's also waiving), 26w2d:
Triplet 3, Emery Ruth, profile, 26w2d:
Triplet 3, Emery Ruth, face (on left, belly on right, you can see her eye!), 26w2d:

The babies were also measured on this day.
Lainey - 2lbs 3oz
George - 2lbs
Emery - 2lbs 1oz
They are all so close in size which is great!

Other than that, I still have cankles, sleep is getting to be a challenge and I'm not feeling very "pretty" but it is all worth it and I can take it! I wouldn't change a thing and I am in awe every day at this big belly and the fact that there are THREE BABIES in there! I wonder if that ever seems "real"?!? haha!

Christmas pictures/Belly shots

I know I am WAAAYYY behind on are a few from Christmas day...I was 25 weeks 4 days:

Ryan and I (I don't think he can get his arms around the big belly!):
Belly to belly (hehehe!):
Since we won't be able to have more belly shots with Thor (sniff sniff) here is the last picture I have of Thor, with his cousin Georgie (clearly, she doesn't like attention on other dogs!):

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Very Sad Goodbye

Last Saturday, well I guess Sunday as it was after midnight, we had to put our beloved dog, Thor, to sleep. I have had Thor for just over 13 years. He was a member of the family and a best friend. I try to find comfort in knowing that he didn't suffer long. It all started the evening after Christmas Day. Thor seemed a little "off" at bedtime, but I figured it was from all the excitement of the day and all the people that were at our house for Christmas. Around 3am, he woke me up...he was pacing the upstairs hallway and he usually sleeps thru the night on his favorite dog bed in our room. I woke Ryan up and told him the dog needed to go outside. When he put Thor outside, he was retching, but couldn't throw up. Ryan called me downstairs and said something was wrong. Thor's stomach was very distended. I called the emergency vet and they said to bring him in immediately and that it sounded like a condition called "bloat". At the vet, they confirmed that Thor had bloat. Basically, the stomach overturns on itself cutting off the blood supply to his vital organs and filling the abdomen with gas. The vet gave Thor a 50/50 chance of surviving the procedure (putting him under, passing a tube down his throat into his stomach, removing the contents and then manipulating the stomach back to normal). She said he could need surgery to remove parts of his stomach and possibly his spleen. We both agreed that given his age, such a surgery could be more traumatic to him. We ok'd the first procedure. We had an emotional goodbye with our good boy and went home. The vet called me at 6am and said Thor tollerated the procedure very well and that his spleen was slightly enlarged, but was shrinking. She said he still wasn't out of the woods and still gave him a 50/50 chance of recovery. At 9am they called and said he was still sedate, but was improving. Around 6pm we got another call and he was still improving. They would try to re-introduce food and water around 5am the next morning (Saturday). According to the treatment log, Thor was sleeping soundly and comfortably. I called Saturday around noon for an update and they said Thor was keeping food and water down and no signs of re-bloating. Then the best words came...we could pick him up later in the afternoon!

We picked Thor up around 2pm. He was so sad looking. He couldn't control his bladder in the lobby and when we got him outside he collapsed in exhaustion. We questioned if it was too early to take him home but we were told the best place for him to recover was at home. My dad came over to help Ryan get Thor inside. Still on his favorite bed, they had to use it like a stretcher to get Thor inside. We put his bed in front of the fireplace and turned it on. We both laid with him and gave him lots of "scrubs" (aka pet him). I had to feed him "meatballs" of moist dog food the vet sent us home with and give him water thru a syringe. I was only able to get him to eat the meatballs that had his meds in them and this was basically force feeding. He had no interest...anyone who knew Thor knows this is very out of character.

Ryan went to make an appearance at a friend of ours 30th birthday party and I stayed home with Thor. My mom and dad came over in case I needed help. Before Ryan left he tried a few times to get Thor up to go outside...he wouldn't budge. When Ryan got home, he tried again. It was as if Thor was paralyzed in his hind legs. His breathing was also starting to appear labored. We called the vet again and she recommended bringing him back in for reassessment. She said he should have been moving around by now. I was a mess...I just knew that if Thor went back, he wasn't coming home. My dad and Ryan went. I told them if it was bad, I wanted to be there. My dad called my mom a short while later. It wasn't good. Thor was in pain. His heart was beating about 3x's faster than it should have been. The vet told Ryan she could try some things that would maybe buy us up to 2 months with Thor. I knew the quality of his life would not be there and that it would be selfish on my part to make him suffer any longer. Ryan and my parents were worried about me and they all thought it was best that I didn't go up there. Ryan promised me he would stay with Thor the entire time and tell him how much I loved him. He did just that and gave him "scrubs" the whole time. Ryan said that once he passed, he seemed to "smile". It was one of the hardest decisions, but I know we made the right one for Thor.

The next few days were very sad and while we are still sad today, I had a sense of peace once Thor's ashes were back here with us. We will probably bury him on a hill in our backyard this spring, once the ground softens. We are dog sitting my sisters golden retriever as well...and we were when all of this started too. Having her here has helped a little, I think. She goes home today, so we'll see how we feel after she leaves. She keeps looking around for Thor. :(

So many people have been very supportive and we are so thankful for that. I know that Thor will be watching over his little brother and sisters when they arrive in this world. I only wish he would be here to greet them too.