Thursday, January 31, 2008

18 Days Old Now...

The boys are continuing to grow and develop well. Daniel, the biggest and middle child of the three weighs 4 lb and 1 oz now. He was supposed to graduate from his isolette last night to an open crib. He's taking two out of every three feedings from a bottle now. Nathan, the youngest, is not far behind, weighing 4 lb 0 oz now. He's actually taking every third feeding by bottle. Christopher the first born is lagging a little behind his younger brothers at 3 lb 13 oz. He's supposed to be taking every other meal by bottle. (And yes, it does seem a bit out of order to me that Chris is getting more bottles than Nate, but that WAS yesterday's order from the doc's.) Regardless, the boys are all doing great. We are still looking at another week and a half to two weeks probably before they will be released.

I also received a special blessing yesterday. Generally the NICU rules permit only grandparents and parents in to see the kids, unless you are a single parent and then they allow you to designate a consistent "support person". Given that situation, and the fact that I have zero family in the area and I'm not single, over the last week and a half, I have been the only one going in to see the kids, alone. Yesterday I received approval to have a support person of my choosing added to the kids' charts as allowed to go in with me any time to see the kids. So, now, the wife of the family I'm staying with while out here, is my "support person". "Grandma" Patten had a wonderful time with me and the boys last night, and we look forward to spending much more time together in the NICU over the coming weeks.

Thanks so much for everyone's continued prayers. I plan to post some new pictures in the next few days...

Friday, January 25, 2008


Daniel weighing in

Chris getting his bottle

Nate going to town

The boys are now 12 days old...and 12 days into their NICU hospital stay. But, they are making progress. Last night at the weigh-in, Chris weighed 3 lb, 7 oz, (gaining 2 oz), and Nate and Dan each weighed 3 lb 10 oz (gaining 1 oz). Watch out you 2...the little (older) brother is catching up.

Also, all three boys took part of a meal by bottle today, and (mostly) did much better than last week's attempt. Dan only took 6 CC's (about 1 tsp), and the nurse decided to try a different nipple with the other two. Chris and Nathan each took about 14 CC's by bottle over about 25 minutes (that's about half an ounce each). The boys all finished their meals by tube feeding. Based on that good work the decision was made to continue bottle feedings once a shift (once each 12 hours), and go from there. A "meal" right now is 30 CC's of formula for Chris, and 33 CC's for Nathan and Daniel.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers. The boys are all doing's only Mom that's a bit homesick right now. It won't be too many more weeks though, hopefully.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Into The Routine

Jeff doing the obligatory photo-op with Dan, Chris, and Nate before he had to leave

We had a great time Saturday afternoon rocking all three

All is tranquil in Daniel's isolette

Tranquility is shattered as the nurse takes Daniel for his bath. He was not a happy camper!

Over the course of the last week, I have slowly fallen into a routine (though I look forward to the routine at home!) I usually spend several hours in the NICU each day, and generally hold them during feeding times (and sometimes beyond). They are still feeding through a tube. Hopefully in another week or so we will be able to try bottle feeding again. Our new friends out her in CA who I am staying with have been up to the window a couple times, but only parents and grandparents are allowed inside the NICU.

Saturday afternoon, Jeff said his goodbye's to the boys, and had to return home Saturday night. Over the weekend the boys got back up to their birth weight. The boys were remeasured recently and their lengths were apparently off a bit at birth. Dan is 14 1/2", Chris is 14" and Nate is 14 1/2". To the best of our knowledge, the boys are all three identical, since some of the medical reports are saying their was only one placenta for all three!!! Wow! I've been trying to look for differences over the last day or so...I need to keep looking!

I miss everyone at home very much, most of all Jeff and Mary. I can't wait to get back, but I know I'm right where I'm needed right now. I talked to the Neonatalogist this morning and he thinks the babies will need another three weeks before they can go home.

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's Official!!!!!

I just wanted to let everyone know...our birth mother signed off her parental rights today. We are now legal guardians to Chris, Dan and Nate. Praise the Lord!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Chris, Dan, Nate. Nate is getting fed his formula through a tube

Chris, Dan, Nate

Chris, Dan, Nate

Nate opening his eyes

I'm writing this post somewhat as an update to fill in some details from the past week. Monday morning I received a call from some new Christians friends we have met locally who have offered me a place to stay (about 15 minutes from the hospital) for the next 3-4 weeks until the boys are released from the hospital. What a blessing!

The paperwork for getting "banded" for NICU access was finally prepared by Monday afternoon, and signed by our birthmother early evening. We were called and told we could come after 8 pm to get banded that evening. We arrived at the hospital at 8:30 approximately in the evening, and no sooner had we stepped off the elevator on the 2nd floor, but a fire alarm went off and a nurse instructed us to go sit in the waiting room. So we waited about half an hour, actually smelled some odors and saw fire department personnel come through (there was a small fire!), and finally all was clear. In the interim a nurse occasionally came through offering any visitors who wanted to, to take the staircase out the building, but we thought that since our boys were there, we weren't going anywhere! Then we were told we would need the birthmother to escort us down to the NICU and identify us personally for banding. As tired and not well as she was feeling, she absolutely insisted on doing that for us that evening. So we got banded for Chris, and went to see him, and were just moving on to Dan when there was a minor emergency in the NICU, and all visitors had to leave for 45 minutes. By then it was 10:30 pm (1:30 am in Jeff's mind), so we decided to wait until morning to finish the process.

It did not take long to learn NICU regulations...washing from fingertip to elbows for three minutes when coming in, don't answer your cell phone unless you want to wash all over again, and use an alcohol sanitizer in between babies. So if I don't answer your phone call, it may mean I'm in the NICU.

By Wednesday, all the boys were off antibiotics and IV's. They are now getting all their nutrition as formula through a feeding tube. It will likely be another week before they attempt bottle feeding (preemies don't learn to suck/swallow/breathe until about 34 weeks). We have been able to do some diaper changes, and yesterday we "fed" them, by holding them and the syringe that releases the formula slowly into their feeding tube. Jeff learned not to try to adjust baby Dan's hat while holding the syringe. He tipped it and gave his gown and pants a nice meal of formula (baby Dan escaped unscathed!) As of yesterday Chris was taking 21 CC's of formula at a time, and Nate and Dan were getting 25 CC's at a time. (A teaspoon is about 5 CC's.) Generally, we only hold them once a day right now, since they all three have jaundice issues, and need to stay under the UV lights to help with that, as much as possible.

When we arrived up at the NICU yesterday, they had been moved over to the somewhat more mature side of the NICU, not that they are that mature, but that the NICU has a lot of very immature babies right now (sometimes it goes the other way). Also, it is beginning to sound like all three may be identical, the rarest form of triplets, since, according to one of the nurses, they were sharing one placenta, with three cords coming out of it.

Please continue to pray for the health of the babies, and for a smooth process of paperwork that will make us legal guardians over the next day or two.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Birth Announcement

Christopher "Chris" Michael, born 1/13 8:14am
3 lb 0 oz, 16 1/4" long

Daniel "Dan" Isaac, born 8/13 8:15am
3 lb 7 oz, 16" long

Nathan "Nate" Andrew born 1/13 8:16am
3 lb 5 oz, 15" long

Rebecca with Nate

Jeff with Chris, and Rebecca with Dan

Dan and Chris

The babies were born Sunday morning at 32 weeks gestation (8 weeks early). All three babies are doing great for their age and their prognosis is very positive. They will probably stay in the NICU for 3-4 weeks. Rebecca was able to go into the NICU and meet the babies on Monday morning. Jeff arrived Monday afternoon and we were finally "banded" late Monday night so that we could get unrestricted access to the NICU. Tuesday, we spent a good part of the morning holding the babies and talking to the nurses.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The boys are here!

I can't post a lot of details because I don't have a lot. But the boys are here. They were born about 9 am (PST), weighing 3 pounds approximately each. Everyone is doing fine. I have not seen them yet due to hospital regulations, and paperwork they have to get in order about the adoption, but hopefully that will change tomorrow and I will have pictures. More details to follow...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Interesting Week

This week has been a roller coaster in many ways, but God's peace has been amazing. I learned some new information, got some paperwork related to the adoption taken care of, and just came to understand the whole situation a little bit better in general.

I have had the opportunity to do some sightseeing. Tuesday I drove up the freeway just past Los Angeles and down Sunset Boulevard, through Hollywood, and partway into Beverly Hills (before a call from our birthmother called me back to Orange). Thursday, I toured the Crystal Cathedral. The church has a beautiful sanctuary building made of glass walls. Friday, I walked through Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney is free (including free parking). It's basically an open area of shops and restaurants set up as part of the Disneyland Resort. The Disney Store, believe it or not, has no Hewey, Dewey, and Louie merchandise (ugh!).

I was also introduced to a new single girl friend local to the area (a friend of a friend) who I was able to go out to dinner with Wednesday and Friday...thanks to some networking by Jeff's Mom.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

In California

After I left for California, Jeff was left behind with paint selections, nursery decor, and a nursery to put together with instructions. Just a hint, we are featuring three ducks...Huey, Dewey, and Louie. I have to give credit to my very creative sister who came for a visit last week, and helped figure out what all needed to be done by Jeff in the meantime to make the guest room a nursery (especially since duck merchandise is not easy to come by).

So, Thursday evening I somewhat nervously arrived in a new part of a large city I had never been in before, and made it out to the area where the birth mother lives. The trip was fine, other than a car seat that got lost by the airlines. However, that is minor considering it could have been my whole suitcase full of clothes.

Friday afternoon I met our Birth Mother for the first time in person. She was tired and uncomfortable, as you might expect if you were 31 weeks pregnant with triplets. I was even able to feel the babies moving through her belly. That was pretty cool. Over the weekend we have spent more time visiting together off and on, and getting to know each other better, as well as getting some "administrative" questions of hers and mine answered at a lunch with her attorney that is here locally.

Sunday I had the opportunity to attend a local Independent Baptist Church referred to me by my sister and brother in law's senior pastor (they live in CA). I met some wonderful new people and it was a refreshing time to spend with other Christian people.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Throughout December...

We had been waiting for the call from the adoption attorney's office for several months, so you can imagine I was bouncing off the walls when they said triplets..and Jeff was banging his head against the wall, "She's crazy!" After we conveyed our interest and were confirmed on the match (while in Texas for Thanksgiving), we hit the ground running with plans for the nursery, and how in the world we are going to handle three preemie newborns.

As the month progressed and the holidays drew to a close, various circumstances led us to believe that it was God's timing for Rebecca to head out to California. By the end of December, our Birth Mother was about 31 weeks pregnant (and who knows how much longer until the triplets would be born). So Rebecca flew out on the third of January.