Friday, April 18, 2014

33 Weeks on This Roller Coaster Ride

For those of you who look to this blog for my updates, forgive me for the lack of posts the last few weeks. My hotspot ran out of data, and my husband took the computer home for a while to work on some things. But now we are back in business!

Today I am 33 weeks and 2 days. Everyday I am surprised that I am still pregnant. Even the doctors and nurses look at my belly and can't believe that I am still holding these babies in. But I'm just going to keep at it one day at a time until delivery day. The doctor decided that day would APRIL 29!! That will make me 34 weeks, 6 days. I kind of wanted to ask if we could do it on day later to make it an even 35 weeks, and a better date of the 30th, but apparently there are no openings in the OR that day. So as long as these babies don't come on their own beforehand, the 29th will be the big day. It is so nice to see an end to all of this. It has been quite an interesting pregnancy for me.

I've been in the hospital for 7 weeks now. Most of the time, I'm ok with it. I try to keep my eye on the big picture and understand that I am here for a reason - to let these kids grow. But there are days and moments when I just breakdown. The most recent was this past Wednesday. It should have been a happy day because I had made it to 33 weeks. Instead, I woke up from a rough night's sleep. I didn't have any appetite at all, and when I did eat, I felt nauseous. I was sick of the hospital food. Sick of doing NST's every day, sick of not being home with Eleanor, sick of knowing there are a million things at home I could be doing to get ready for the babies, but instead, I do nothing. I called my mom to tell her she needed to convince me to not beg the doctors to deliver me that day. After I hung up, I got my lunch tray brought in. When moving my table, my lemonade fell and completely spilled all over the place. For a second, I thought maybe I could call the nurses to tell them my water broke. I knew it wouldn't work, but that's where my mind was. One of my doctors came in unexpectedly after I cleaned up the mess. I was kind of on the verge of tears, so I had to toughen up and cover my emotions. He and his wife had triplets, and I didn't want him to see me cry and feel bad for me and deliver me. Even though I did, I knew it was smarter to keep the babies in. 

After telling him I wasn't feeling well, he decided to run some tests. Turns out my platelet count is low, which doesn't necessarily mean anything, but it COULD be a sign of preeclampsia. My blood pressure has also slowly been creeping up. They said if I did have it, they would move up the delivery date. So far, my labs have been stable, and they are not planning on moving my date.

I have to say, I am overwhelmed at how many people are emotionally invested in this pregnancy. One little comment about a bad day on Facebook, and I have an outpouring of messages of support and love from hundreds of people. It really does make a difference. I feel like I'm not only growing these babies for their health, or for my satisfaction, but I'm doing it for everybody who's supporting us and praying for us. I don't want to let them down! But mostly I do it for the babies.

Do you know what other date got moved up? Our moving date! We don't know exactly when it will be, but we did find out that Spencer will have to go to Virginia for 4 weeks sometime in July. That's all I'll say about that, because I really don't know how we are going to manage these babies, packing, moving, etc a month earlier than planned. I'm just not going to stress about it until the time comes.

My stomach is no longer round. It is completely morphed depending on where the babies are located.

Big Mama

32 weeks
32 weeks from behind

I have good friends who bring me acai bowls.

Keeping herself entertained during a visit.

I ask for kisses all day long just so I can see this face.

33 weeks

Thursday, April 03, 2014

How to Survive a Triplet Pregnancy

When it comes to being pregnant with triplets, I won't claim to be an expert, but I will share what worked for me thus far. I'm 31 weeks, 1 day. I could have these babies tomorrow, or 3 weeks from now. Either way, this is what has helped me get to this point while still maintaining my sanity(although it is quickly on it's way out the door). Most of these can actually be used for any type of pregnancy(singleton, twin, etc).

1. Invest in a massive water bottle. I got this 64oz bottle from the drug store, and I have used it every single day. I wanted to know exactly how much water I was drinking to make sure I was getting enough. I have tried to drink 1.5-2 full bottles every day. I also like that this one is super easy to drink from, and it's not a problem if you're laying down in bed.

2. Tums. I haven't had heartburn/acid reflux as much this time around, but when I do, these are magic and seem to work almost instantly.

3. Fish Oil. There are so many benefits to fish oil, I don't know why doctors don't include it in their prescriptions alongside pre natal vitamins. For triplets, I feel it especially important because almost all triplets are premature, and fish oil helps with brain development, and any extra development you can get, the better! And while I'm on the subject of pills(and not to bring so much obvious attention to it), I would absolutely recommend taking Colase regularly. I take it 3 times a day, and feel like any less only causes me unnecessary discomfort.

4. Pregnancy Pillow! Get one! My mom got this for me for my birthday this year, and it has been a lifesaver. Sleeping is getting more and more uncomfortable, so being able to have a pillow that I can tuck under my belly, between my knees, and anywhere else I need it, has been such a help. I also like it for when I'm sitting in bed on my lap top, I can just wrap it around my waist and have it be my lap top table.

5. Lotion. Whatever kind you like. I tried the cocoa butter, but it made my stomach break out like a mad man. I don't know if it was too thick and clogging my pores or what, but my skin did not like it. When I was home, I used a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil, which I loved, but it took forever to absorb, and stained my clothes easily. My friend gave me a sample of this lotion, and I have loved it. It is so silky and not greasy at all. It's made with coconut oil and aloe, so it soothes my skin almost instantly during my itching attacks. I knew I wouldn't find a miracle cream to prevent stretch marks, so my main goal was just to alleviate the itchiness, and this has done the trick.

6. Protein. It is recommended for triplet pregnancies to eat a high protein diet. Since the beginning, I have tried to always have protein bars and protein powder on hand. I've tried several different kinds, and like most of them. As for protein powder, I would add it to smoothies and oatmeal.

7. Leg compressors. This is more for if you are on bed rest, but even if you aren't on strict bed rest, near the end of a triplet pregnancy, you are probably going to be off your feet a lot anyways. The ones I use here at the hospital hook up to a pump and inflate every 20 seconds or so. It actually feels pretty good; like a massage. But if you are home, it's good to have to prevent blood clots.

8. Whatever your stress free food of choice is. Mine has been Oreos. I think such an important part is to stay relaxed, both in body and mind. So when I'm craving something sweet, I'm going to go for it. With no guilt. 

Other tips that I don't have pictures for:

Get informed. Read up as much as you can. I wanted to know every possibility of what could happen with a high risk pregnancy. I wanted to know what I could do personally to better my chances at a longer gestation and higher birth weights. I read books and blogs. I read a lot of really really tragic stories, but I wanted to to know the reality of the situation. Once I read everything I thought necessary, I decided to only focus on the positive stories. I got in touch with a girl who carried her triplets until almost 38 weeks. I used her as inspiration and asked her for advice throughout. When I was admitted at 24 weeks, and all the doctors and nurses thought I was going to have these babies, they told me all the statistics and complications that could arise. I was not surprised. I already knew everything. So I just shook my head and remained calm. The other triplet mom here when through the same thing at 23 weeks, and she told me that she started crying like crazy when they started telling her everything that could go wrong. Mental preparation makes a big difference!

You have to eat a lot. Like I said above, a high calorie, high protein diet. Instead of eating because you are hungry, eat to fuel your body and your babies. Especially in the beginning, when your stomach isn't smooshed. If I had an apple for a snack, I'd make sure to add some peanut butter. I tried to incorporate protein as much as I could. I've read that gaining weight early on, and doing it in a healthy way can help power up the placentas, as well as provide a good storage for later when your stomach can't handle as much food as it needs.

Listen to your body. This has been pretty key. Know when you need to sit down. Know when you need to call your doctor. I have been trying to really pay attention to the correlation between what foods I eat and how it affects contractions. I have found that my lactose intolerance is back, and when I eat dairy, I have way more contractions the next day. Or sometimes I have to lay back and try to put myself to sleep just to relax my body if I've done too much that day(mostly when Eleanor comes to visit and is jumping all over me the whole time). Taking a few deep breaths can do wonders. Sometimes, it's the opposite. If I've been in bed too long, my body is screaming for me to move. So I'll stand up, pace my room a few times, and stretch as many joints and muscles as I can. And it feels amazing. Sometimes you just need to get a little blood flow. Don't be afraid to be in charge if you are confident you know your body better than the doctors. If I didn't stand up to them last week, they may have well wanted to take the babies out when it wasn't necessary!

My tips for being on bed rest:

- Get dressed every day. And sometimes, even do your hair and makeup. It makes you feel like a normal human being, and not a caged animal.

- If you're at the hospital, bring your own towel(the one they provided could hardly wrap around my right leg. I would have had to use at least 3 to wrap around my belly), toilet paper, pillows, entertainment, and snacks.

- Use the time to catch up with old friends or family members. Getting as much human interaction as possible will help keep your spirits high.

- Always have a list of things to do so you never get bored. Not once have I just sat in bed and twiddled my thumbs. I always have a tv show to look forward to, or a book to finish, or a blog to write, or a person to call. Don't allow yourself to have down time, unless you need a nap. In that case, sleep away, and get some rest!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

29 Weeks

29 weeks

Today marks 3 weeks of being in the hospital, and it seems that this whole bed rest thing is actually working out really well for the babies.

I just had a growth scan today and got an idea of how big the babies are. If these things are accurate, I've got big babies! Here are the results:

Let's talk about me first. I've gained 57lbs! Holy cow, wasn't expecting that much, but I'm ok with it. 

Now for the babies:

Baby A: 3 lb 15 oz - measuring 31weeks 5 days. He's the biggest of the 3, and by a long shot. I was so happy with these results. That's almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule! 

Baby B: 3 lb 3 oz - measuring 30 weeks 0 days. 

Baby C: 3 lb 5 oz - measuring 29 weeks 5 days. 

Now looking at my 57lb weight gain, it makes sense. I've got over 10lb of baby, plus 3 placentas, and massive amounts of fluid in each sac. 

All of them are measuring ahead of schedule. A and B did take their time to show us their practice breathing, but eventually they came through. 

There is another triplet mom that is 2 doors down from me that I've become friends with. Her due date was exactly 1 week ahead of mine. She just delivered her babies this past Monday, which was another reality check for me. These babies could come any day now, but we are still hoping they hold off for another few weeks. 

I still have contractions every day, which is still frustrating, but it hasn't been regular enough to think pre term labor is a concern. I haven't had my cervix checked since I've been admitted -and I'm ok with that too. I don't think I could do anything any differently if it were shorter or even if I were dilated. In fact, if I did find out I was already dilated, I'm pretty sure I would start worrying about it, and worrying would only cause more contractions.

I still haven't gotten the feeling of being totally bored here. I started watching Scandal, and got caught up to the current episode. I have visitors almost every day - Spencer, Eleanor, and Gary come at least every other day. I had one minor breakdown after Eleanor had spent the day with me, and she was so sad and emotional the whole time. It broke my heart thinking of her being sad without me being home. She's getting used to the set up now, and can spot "mama's doctor" from the highway. I save her my cups of peaches and Capri Suns from my meals, because that's what she goes for first thing. 

I appreciate everyone's support that keeps pouring in. I really can't say that enough!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Letting Go and 28 Weeks

We've made it to the 28 week mark, which is a big deal in the triplet world. Viability skyrockets - so the babies have a very good chance at survival if they were to be born now. Also, today marks 2 weeks in the hospital - and surprisingly, it's gone by pretty quickly. Small victories!

If you have a little girl at home, you might be hearing the phrase "Let it Go" a million times a day. I know I do. It's her favorite song. The more I hear it, the more I think about how it relates to my current situation. 

I've had to let go of a lot. Mentally and physically. Luckily I had some time to prepare for it. When I found out I was having triplets, I knew I would experience a lot of change, so I've tried to anticipate these changes with a positive attitude. 

Physically, I've had to accept the fact that my stomach would never look the same. Ever. I started growing very quickly - even right after I got my positive pregnancy test. And us Cheesman girls - when we get pregnant, we don't have cute little petite baby bumps. We get pretty large. Even with one. So I knew I would get massive with 3. And I have. This past week the stretch marks have started taking over. It's like one day my skin decided it had reached it's limit. Ever since then I have seen new marks every single day. While it is hard to accept and look at, I try to tell myself that the more stretch marks I am seeing, the bigger my stomach is getting, which means the more the babies are growing. And that's what I want! I am a little nervous because I still want to make it 4+ more weeks, and I can't really imagine what my stomach will look like at that point. But again, I'm letting go. Now is not the time to worry about stretch marks and future saggy skin.

I've also had to let go of any and all productive goals I had set. It is hard not to be home washing baby clothes and getting things ready for the babies. It's hard to not be taking pictures both for clients and myself. It's hard to not be the one at home potty training my 2 year old(although I'm sure many parents would love to hand that duty to someone else...*duty - get it?). It's hard to sit in a bed all day and try to think of things that I can do to make me feel productive - like organizing emails, pictures, etc. blogging, online shopping, etc. However, I am letting go. I am telling myself that I will never get a time like this to just relax. Relax and grow these babies. When I really think about it, this just might be the absolute most productive time in my life. A time so crucial to these 3 lives. Everything I do, don't do, eat, don't eat, etc. effects them for the rest of their lives. My goal is to give them the healthiest possible start to life, which means I HAVE to lay here and be what I used to think of as unproductive. 

Being pregnant with triplets is not easy. Being on bed rest is not easy. But I do want to make one thing clear. I'm no hero for doing this. I don't consider myself strong or superwoman for going through all this. I'm doing what ANYONE would do if in my same situation. I'm doing what is necessary. I have a lot of people who tell me these things, but I know that they would do the exact same thing if they had 3 lives in their hands(or belly). 

The 'Letting Go' will not stop once the babies are born. As you can imagine, life will probably be quite hectic once we are home with all 3. I'll write about it when the time comes, but for now, I will just have to prepare myself for what's to come. 

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Just the Three of Us

Before Eleanor joined our family, I wrote a post titled "Just the Two of Us". You can read it here. It's a documentation of what our easy, laid back life was like before Eleanor arrived.

I can't help but think of how drastically our lives are about to change with adding 3 more kids to the mix. I think that if it were just one more, it wouldn't be such a big deal to write a post about. But 3? That's huge. So now I want to write about what life is like with just the 3 of us, pre triplets(and pre hospital stay). 

On weekdays: Spencer leaves for work around 6:30-6:45. Eleanor will usually wake up anywhere between 7-8. When she wakes up, I wake up. She usually likes to sit and cuddle for a little bit before starting the day. We make breakfast and watch some tv. She always prefers for me to lay on the couch with her and cuddle while we watch. After a cartoon or two, we get dressed and ready for the day. We'll either go to the park, library, beach, or sometimes a friend's house. I try to get her out of the house every day so she's tired enough for a nap in the afternoon. We eat lunch, then it's nap time. Sometimes for both of us. If I don't take a nap, I'll catch up on cleaning, laundry, blogging, photography, etc. Pre-pregnancy, I would often get a workout in. She'll usually sleep 2-3 hours. When she wakes up, I try to entertain her with coloring, toys, play dough, or anything that doesn't involve the tv/computer/kindle. If I'm on top of things, I'll start planning dinner before Spencer gets home. But let's be honest, that usually doesn't happen. Once Spencer gets home, he'll play with Eleanor, catch up on PTI, SportCenter, or any game that he is interested in. He'll usually get a work out in. Dinner is thrown together, then it's bath time and bed time for little miss Eleanor. 

It's a pretty routine schedule, and I love it. I spend so much time one on one with Eleanor and feel so much pride with how intelligent and sweet she is. 

On weekends: If the weather is nice it is almost always a guarantee that we'll be headed to the beach. We pack a lot more than we did when it was just the two of us, but it's always worth it to bring the extra toys for Eleanor. The beach itself isn't as relaxing as it used to be, but it is so much more fun to have a kid to play with in the sand. We have found a system where we can take turns watching Eleanor while the other takes the SUP board out or go for a swim. So at least we get a little bit of free time. Overall, it's a different experience, but not at all any worse than pre kids. Just different. Eleanor loves the beach, loves the water, loves all the dogs of other beach goers. To see her so happy there makes us so happy.

Now I try to imagine how life will change with 3 infants. I don't think we'll make it to the beach while still in Hawaii. Like not even once. I just can't picture it. I don't even know how often we'll be able to make it outside! But hopefully we'll get the hang of it quickly and be able to settle in to our new life with the 3 additions. 

I wanted to document our family of 3 to represent the last couple of years here in Hawaii. So, when I heard that Natalie Norton, a photographer whom I have always admired, was coming to Hawaii and offering mini sessions, I jumped on board.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Back in the Hospital - 27 weeks

Well folks, I'm back in the hospital. This time for the long haul. But this time, I have internet(thanks to a friend who got me a hotspot)!!! So back to blogging I go.

I went to my regular appointment last week Wednesday(at 26 weeks), and the whole day seemed to be a case of deja vu. First we did a growth scan, and the babies all looked really great. Baby A measured 2lb 4 oz(67th %tile) Baby B was 2lb (52nd %tile) and Baby C was 2lb 1oz(57th %tile). Actually, I didn't write the exact numbers down, but it was something in that ballpark. For that gestational age, those are really really good numbers, so I was a happy mama. Then it came time for a cervix check, and this is when I relived that day a week and a half before. Cervix was shorter, contractions were coming regularly(still didn't feel most of them), so they decided to admit me right then and there. Went to labor and delivery and got hooked up, and everything was the same except for the didn't put me on the magnesium this time. I practically begged them not to, and I think they knew that it wasn't active labor since I had already experienced it before. 

Luckily this time I had prepared ahead of time and put aside all the clothes that still fit me as well as any toiletries or other things I'd want in the hospital. This way Spencer could just pack it up and bring it over. I'm now settled in to my long term room, and I've already been here a week. It went by quicker than I anticipated, but I have a feeling that the longer I'm here, the slower the days will drag by.

I'm getting to the point where I'm getting pretty nervous about a lot of things. I'm nervous the babies will come a lot sooner than I hoped. I'm nervous there will be long term complications if they do come early. I'm nervous that even if I do carry to at least 32 weeks, I'm going to have 3 babies, and I don't know what to do with 3 babies! I'm sure that having so much alone time is probably the root of the problem for all this uneasiness, but it's getting close to baby time whether it's next week or next month, and that is scary. I get Braxton Hicks all.the.time. I'm getting pretty sick and tired of them. It makes my stomach morph into all sorts of shapes and sizes, with the babies practically sticking out of it. It looks crazy, and feels uncomfortable. I have learned that when I get them, it usually means I need to use the bathroom, or have changed positions too quickly, or the babies are just moving too much.

Spencer and Eleanor can come visit any time they want. They can even spend the night if they want. We're trying to wait on that one though, so she can get used to saying goodbye and not think she can spend the night every time she comes. Yesterday when she came, she walked through the door, stopped, had the most excited look on her face, then sprinted to my bed. I wish I could have recorded because it was the sweetest thing ever. She loves to just sit in my bed with me, watch tv, and eat my snacks. She's getting better about saying goodbye. Most of the time if we bribe her with an Oreo, she'll gladly say goodbye and walk out the door. She's had a few nights where she has woken up in the middle of the night crying for me, and somewhat inconsolable. I told Spencer to not tell me about that anymore because it completely breaks my heart. 


Signing Time

I haven't really gotten bored yet. I think a lot of people are worried about me getting bored, but I have enjoyed catching up on movies, magazines, and books. And the staff is always in and out all day, so really I don't even get time for a nap even if I wanted. I have to do a NST(non stress test) every day, which sometimes can take up to 2 hours(like today). They have to get all 3 babies on the monitors, and keep them on for 20 minutes. If one of the babies comes off, they have to start over. I think there has only been 1 time so far that all 3 babies stayed on the monitor for the set amount of time. Every other time, there is always one stubborn baby who is doing flips and refusing to stay on, which makes it a very long process. 

Here is what the average day for me looks like:

5:45am - doctor comes in to check on me. checks my lungs, heart, and feet for swelling. asks if i've had any leakage of fluid, bleeding, or painful or regular contractions. 

6:15am - another doctor comes in and pretty much does the exact same thing as the first doctor. I've asked them why they do it twice, but have never gotten a good explanation.

6:30am - nurse or medic comes in to take my vitals

7:30am - breakfast is served

8:00am - nurse comes in to give me first dose of meds. I watch Live with Kelly and Michael.

9:00 - 11:00am - things usually slow down by this point. I shower and get dressed, read a book, get my vitals taken again at some point, and if I didn't sleep well the night before, try to get a quick nap in. This is also a good time to text/call family or friends and catch up. There is also a show on MTV called Ridiculousness that is so addicting, I can't stop watching it. It's an entire 30 minutes of youtube videos. Mostly the ones where people are doing stupid things and getting hurt, but there are also funny baby ones, etc. I get a good laugh every time I watch it. 

26 weeks


Fat Tuesday (26 weeks 6 days)

The Not-So-Terrible food

12:00pm - lunch is served, nurse gives another dose of meds. Spencer works close by, so he'll often come here to meet me for lunch. Sometimes Gary and Eleanor meet us for lunch as well.

1:00 - 2:00pm - NST time. We have found the babies to be somewhat calm during this time. I also use this time to catch up on facebook/instagram/blogs.

3:00pm - watch Ellen

4:00 - 5:00 pm- either watch a movie(Spencer's been bringing me RedBox movies), read a book/magazine. Probably get vitals taken again.

5:30pm - dinner is served

7:00pm - There is usually a tv show I look forward to at this time. 

8:00pm - nurse gives another dose of meds. They'll also bring in the doppler to check all the babies' heart rates. 

10:00pm - one last dose of meds. And then it's 'healing hours' for me. Which means I tell the nurses and techs that I don't want anyone coming in until 6:00am. That doesn't always work out for me. Sometimes housekeeping comes in to empty my trash, sometimes there is a medic who is filling in from a different floor who doesn't get the memo, and turns on all my lights at 4am to get my vitals. I try to be polite, but most of the time I pull off my sleep mask and say "why are you in here!?!?!". 

10:30pm-5:45am - try to get comfortable, fall asleep, wake up, realize I'm thirsty, get some water, go to the bathroom, probably have a few contractions, try to relax, change positions about a million times to get comfortable again, fall asleep, etc. etc. etc. repeat repeat repeat.

So as  you can see, it really isn't THAT bad. I found out I do have hospital privileges, which means I can take the wheelchair outside for some fresh air. You better believe I'll be taking advantage of that! In the mean time, I appreciate every text message, Facebook message, phone call, etc. They keep my spirits up and make every day better. So thank you! For now I'm taking it one day at a time. I have one more week to make it to my next goal of 28 weeks. Keep the prayers coming...we can do this!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

False Alarm Round 1 - The Good and Bad of My Brief Hospital Stay

I had been looking forward to last Wednesday since I found out I was having triplets. Last Wednesday was my 24 week milestone, which meant anytime after that day, the babies were considered viable and had a chance at surviving outside the womb.

Well, Wednesday came, and I had my weekly appointment. Before we get into that, let me backtrack a little. Knowing that we were nearing a time when the babies could come, I probably did a little too much the previous days. I wanted to live it up a little before the crazy began. Saturday night we went out to dinner with one of Spencer's mission friends. Sunday I went to an hour of church, then that night we drove down to do a nice little scenic sunset walk. Monday I went to the beach with some friends, and Tuesday we made a Costco run. And another backup point. My father in law is here to help. He came a few weeks ago, and is staying until the babies are born. He has been a LIFE SAVER already. He cleans, does laundry, cooks, and entertains Eleanor. Seriously, my life(and house) would be a disaster at this point without him. He came with me on all these outings, which helped, but still, I was leaving the house too much.

Ok, back to the appointment. We did the usual ultrasound. All the babies looked good. They check the heartbeat, fluid, bladder, and lastly, they do a cervical length measurement. This is where they got concerned. It had shortened from the previous week, even though it wasn't a scary short, they thought it was at least concerning. While they were measuring it, they asked if I was having a contraction. I didn't feel a thing, so I told them I didn't think so. They told me they were going to admit me and keep me for a few days for monitoring. While I agreed that it was the smart thing to do, I was supposed to go get a massage immediately after my appointment, AND my birthday was the next day. What a way to bring in my 30's.

They put a monitor on my belly to track all the contractions. Apparently they were coming every 3-4 minutes. I only felt about every 5th contraction, and even those didn't hurt. I could just tell an obvious tightening of my stomach. The staff got very concerned at this point and put an IV in. They had me on magnesium to stop the contractions. That stuff was terrible. Literally felt like my blood was on fire. And they didn't want me eating or drinking while on it. So now I'm hungry and on fire. They gave me a steroid shot to help the babies lungs develop if they were to be born in the next few days. That sucker hurt! 

One of the doctors comes up and literally one of the first questions out of his mouth was this: "If one of your babies is in distress, do you want to deliver all 3 to give that baby a fighting chance, or do you want to let that one go to give the other 2 a better chance?"

Wasn't expecting that one. I literally wanted to just say, "Hold on, let me ask my mom. I'm not old enough to be making decisions like these". But I didn't, and told him I'd like to talk to my husband about it. After that doctor left, I had at least 2 other people ask me the same question within an hour or so. They had the NICU doctor come up and tell me everything that could possibly go wrong with the babies if they were born that day(or week) starting from their head, down to their toes. While it sounds overwhelming, the whole time everybody was coming in and out and asking all these scary questions, I was feeling really calm about it. I knew I wasn't going to be having these babies that day(or that week for that matter). I knew these weren't the same type of contractions I had when I went into labor with Eleanor. The doctors were going off those silly contractions, which is their job, and which is why they were way more concerned than I was. I did sometimes get scared when I thought about what would happen if the contractions DID turn into labor contractions, but luckily that never happened. 

I started begging for food, because at this point it was about 5:00, and I hadn't eaten since breakfast. And, well, I'm carrying THREE WHOLE BABIES. They finally brought dinner, and what do you know, the contractions started slowing down after that. Spencer, Eleanor, and Gary came to visit, and once they came, contractions basically stopped. Eleanor was a little confused. I think she knew something was wrong, because she was very lovey on me. She kept trying to snuggle in with me and tell me to go to sleep, and then she would close her eyes and try to go to sleep. It was so cute and so sad. When it was time for her to leave, she had the most heartbreaking cry. I knew at that point it would be really hard if I had to be admitted long term.

I stayed in L&D for the night. It was miserable. The bed was uncomfortable. I had a hard time going to sleep on the magnesium. They came in at 1am to unhook me from the magnesium, then again at 2am to take out the catheter. After that, it took me another hour - 2 hours to go to sleep. Then they were back at 6am. They did another cervical length check, and my cervix had remained the same and stable, even after all the contractions the previous day. That was great news. That's actually all they care about. They say I can contract all I want, and as long as my cervix isn't changing, I am good to go. So, I was thinking maybe I'd get to go home soon. Nurses thought the same thing. But no. The doctor on call had a different plan, and told me he wanted me to stay until delivery. Booooo.

I stayed one more night in L&D. I had high hopes of getting better sleep since I wasn't hooked up to anything. Midnight came, and I had a knock at my door, and a nurse to come take my vitals. I turned all diva on her and asked why she was there, and was this really necessary. I need to sleep! Taking vitals doesn't take long, but once I'm awake, I have to use the bathroom, and then it takes a while to get comfortable, and then the babies are awake and having a dance party in my belly. Once morning came, and the doctors came to check on me, I told them I really didn't want anyone disturbing me at night. I also asked to get the IV needle taken out of my arm since they hadn't used it since the first day. They say they keep it in as a precaution. But seriously, that thing was annoying and sore. Such a princess I am. 

Made my way down to my new, long term room. It had 2 beds and a nice view. The bed was way more comfortable than the one upstairs. Ok, I'm getting tired of typing, and most of the details to follow are boring. So let's wrap this up. The girl in the room next to me was also expecting triplets, and admitted until she delivered. I went and introduced myself and had a good long talk with her. She is only a week ahead of me, and had been in the hospital for 2 weeks already for the same reasons as me. She was already sick and tired of being there, and desperate for some fresh air. It was good for me to get an idea of what a long hospital stay can do to a person.

Once Saturday came, a new doctor was on call. I've always liked this one way better than the one who was in charge during the week. He comes in to my room and gets straight to the point. He said there is no evidence that being hospitalized prevents pre term labor. There's no difference in laying in my hospital bed as opposed to my own bed at home. As long as I knew what signs to look for that could potentially be pre term labor, and to come to the hospital ASAP if I experienced any of those signs, I was free to go home! He also said he didn't want me laying in bed ALL DAY LONG, because that puts me at risk for blood clots and muscle atrophy, but I still need to take it easy. No cooking, cleaning, carrying Eleanor, etc. And if I do go out, I have to use my wheel chair. I packed my bags as fast as I could and told Spencer to come get me! We did do one last cervical length check, and my cervix was still the same, so I was on my way home. 

So now for the good and the bad. The good. There is comfort in knowing that if anything happened, I was already at the hospital, and I could get immediate care if needed. Call me crazy, but I also liked the food. I liked knowing I was getting plenty of calories, with a good balance of proteins and veggies. And really, it didn't taste bad to me at all. I liked having all that food without having to put a single ounce of cooking or preparation into it. I liked getting to know the doctors and nurses. They were all so sweet - especially on my birthday where they made me signs and brought goodies. I loved that hospital bed. Getting in and out was so much easier than my bed at home. I loved being able to adjust the back at night to give myself a nice incline. I liked being able to take showers and talk on the phone and take naps without being interrupted by my 2 year old. I missed her like crazy every other second, but it was nice to have a little rest and relaxation. Another good thing I am beyond grateful for is that I don't have to worry about money with any of this. I'm at a military hospital(a very very nice one), so all costs are covered. I can't help but think that I would be stressing out so much more if I had to think about paying for the hospital stay. I can't imagine the worry some parents go through if they didn't have good insurance(or none at all) and had to add financial stress to this situation.

The bad. I missed Eleanor like crazy. She came to visit every day, and every night she had to leave, she left with tears streaming down her terribly sad face. I would not be able to handle that for 2 months. It was hard for this mama to handle. Once I got home, I was SO happy to be woken up by a very happy 2 year old jumping on me and saying "HI MAMA!" as opposed to a doctor or nurse who just wants to ask a few questions. No wifi. Seriously! What hospital doesn't have wifi? Luckily I had my phone, so I did have some access to the outside world, but that was kind of a game changer for me. Every time I tried to take a nap, it seemed another doctor or nurse was coming in for one reason or another. We had to do Non Stress Tests every day. Basically they put one monitor for each baby on my belly to track their heart rate. They have to strap it on to stay for at least 21 minutes. If one baby gets off the monitor for more than a minute, they have to restart the entire 21 minutes. This became kind of stressful everyday because my babies are very very active. I actually don't think they ever got 21 minutes straight with all three babies, but every NST ended with a "that will have to be good enough" from the nurse. Overall, the NST would take at least an hour every day.  Knowing that you don't even have the option to go outside is a tough pill to swallow. To be cramped up in a hospital room for a long amount of time can get to be quite depressing, so I am so happy to have only stayed a few days, and not a few months.

Now what? I still go in every week for my appointments. There is still a chance I could go in this week and get admitted again. It could happen at any time. So I'll just be grateful for every day that I get to come back home. 

I'll be 25 weeks tomorrow. The next big goal is 28 weeks - when the survivability goes way up for the babies. Then the next goals will be 30, 32, and 34 weeks. I'd love to make it to 34 weeks - that is golden. But for now, every day these babies stay inside is something to be proud of. 

Admit Day 
Breakfast in bed on my birthday.

View from my room.
24 weeks, about to go home.