Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We have three kiddos

Oh my gosh - we have three kids! Three babies! Three little people that will call us mom and dad! Agh! It WAS an absolute joyous day!

I'm not sure how to upload photos from the hospital yet - sorry! But, here are a few stats...

- Olivia Ann Byrne, Baby A, arrived first at 8:22am at 2 pounds and 12 ounces - and with a ton of dark hair on her little head. Must take after dad :)

- George Alfred Louis Byrne, Baby C, arrived second at 2 pounds and 10 ounces - and has recently decided that he likes both arms to stick stright out... try to swadle him and he pitches a mini fit :)

- Samuel Wright Byrne, Baby B, arrived third at 8:24am at 1 pound and 9 ouncex - he's tiny, but a real fighter... plus, he's got to be loving his new set-up, with lots of room and food :)

Today we are celebrating many highs! I got to see them twice, and DB was back and forth between the NICU and our room all day. Olivia is off the ventilator and requires minimum assistance with much of anything - she even tried a little pacifier. She is being fed what I can give her - yea! George is about to try going off the ventilator tonight, with hopes of switching to eating what I can give him soon. Samuel may also try to go off the ventilator tonight - from what it sounds like, he is currently acting his gestational age, instead of like a baby that is only 1 1/2 pounds.

Thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes! Today they were answered! DB and I are in awe every time we look at them, and can't wait for the day when we can hold them. Hopefully soon! So much to write... but so tired :) So far being parents is exhausting... and totally worth it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Please forgive the typos

Hi everyone! Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers! We are posting from MUSC... where we are at least 5 feet from the monitor! So, hopefully none of my typos are too hysterical :) To make a long story short, the babies will be here tomorrow... but of course I can't just cut to the chase!

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted - it's been an amazing last two weeks with lots of celebrations, both for our family and with friends! We hit milestones like 28 weeks (we are now 28 weeks and 5 days!) and a few weeks ago the babies started kicking ALL the time - we can feel and see their little bodies moving in my belly :) We've also been able to celebrate with wonderful friends - which, according to DB always lifted my spirits for days! I've even got GREAT photos to post - finally, but unfortunately they will have to wait...

How we got to MUSC...
I posted before that Baby B is smaller than A and C... what I'm not sure I shared is that it was a big enough differnece to be concerned, but not crazy concerned. I've been spending a lot of time lying down because that improves circulation and blood flow, hopefully helping Baby B to get more nutrition. On Tuesday morning I was working away (from home on my laptop), and Baby A and Baby C were kicking away... I have never felt Baby B move as much as his sister and brother, but for some reason I felt like I needed to check on him. After a chat with our doctors office we went in to check him out... and after lots of tests, it was determined that while all three babies looked great, had good strong heart beats, and passed their physicals, Baby B was now very significantly smaller than A and C. Off to MUSC in an ambulance... again, DB couldn't go along for the ride, but was close behind :)

The last 24 hours...
Lots of poking and prodding, but with the knowledge that we are in excellent hands :) An overview - all three still have strong heart beats, and are passing their physicals. Baby A and Baby C are almost 3 pounds each... they've grown an entire pound each in 2 1/2 weeks! They are in the 50-60th percentile for weight... and the scale is for singleton babies. Impressive :) Baby B is still only a little over 1 1/2 pounds... growing very little in the lsat 2 1/2 weeks, he has gone from the 17th percentile to now being in the 5th. He's not getting what he needs...

It's called Intra Uterine Growth Restriction, it can heppen with single babies and is fairly common in multiple pregnancies, and Baby B has this due to a little issue with his placenta. There are a few reasons this happens, but essentially in his case the blood flow to him is sometimes good, and sometimes reversed... in which case he simply isn't getting nutrients. The good news is that besdies his size, he looks great! The bad news is that he ends up hungry quite a bit, and there's just nothing anyone can do from the outside. We need to get him nutrients, so we need to get him out... and yes, we've asked, they can't take him out and leave the other two in :)

Our options were either to go ahead with delivery tomorrow (which is recommended), or to try to wait 3-4 days and then deliver. The thought behind waiting - more time inside is generally a great thing! The bad psrt about waiting - Baby B will most likely grow very little in that amount of time, if at all, and we risk not getting him what he needs. The possible consequences of option 2, and our trust in the knowledge of the doctors, meant option 1 would be our plan.

Yes, we've cried... and yes, we're scared... but we're also really excited to meet our babies, even if it's a little earlier than we hoped or planned. January 28th will be the day our three babies are born! Tomorrow will be one of best, and most joyous days of our lives! Please send out a few extra prayers between 7-9am (east cost time - west coasters, set an almrm :)). Next time we write, we will have met our children!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Our 26th week

What a great week! Of course the new photos totally knocked our socks off (see previous post)... I think we've looked at them almost every waking hour since... but besides that it was a relatively calm week :) YEA! We needed it...

We had two doctors appointments last week - both went really well! The first was here in town - everything checked out, so it was on to the Q&A portion of the visit. I swear, every week I have more questions! Which, I guess isn't too surprising :) It's just amazing how much there is to know! My favorite finding from this week still makes me laugh... I've been getting dizzy really easily, and figured it was due to either my shallow breathing (the babies are squishing my lung space) or low blood sugar. Turns out, it's simple... my blood literally can't get all the way up to my head! Forget the "I'm pregnant" excuse for things - this is SO much better :) ha ha! This is the way I understood it... first, the babies simply need a ton of blood, and second because my belly is so big it presses on arteries and stuff which makes it tough for the blood to run down and back up my legs... so when I've been standing for any period of time, the blood just can't make it up to my noggin. Too funny... until they restricted me from driving. ugh. But, DB, my MIL, and friends have been really kind about carting me around :) The good news is I'm still allowed an outing per day!

At the second appointment, at MUSC, we got the pictures I posted yesterday - incredible! They did echos on the babies hearts too - we already knew they each had four chamber hearts (yea!), but they looked even closer at the ventricles (?) and stuff. What I do know, they looked great! The only thing that was a bit concerning is they also looked at their growth... Baby A and Baby C are both almost 2 pounds each, but Baby B is lagging a bit behind. He's always been smaller, but he doesn't seem to be catching up. If he was 25% smaller, they would be more concerned, and the difference isn't that great... but the doctor did come talk to us so we could be aware. Baby A and Baby C are between the 40-50th percentile for growth (for single babies!), but Baby B is more around the 17th percentile. He needs some red meat and ice cream :) What stinks is there's nothing we can do to promote his growth (besides continuing to eat well and spend time laying down). They said that chances are his placenta is right between the other two, and it might just not have the space to grow as big as the other two. But, the good news is this does not mean he'll be small his entire life :) And, just because he's small, doesn't mean he's developing any slower than the others! So, overall, things are good, just something to watch for. We've been trying to encourage him to eat more :)

A good week!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Absolutely Amazing

DB and I are absolutely blown away! I guess every ultrasound gets to us, and makes it that much more real, but the 3-D this time... unbelievable. They actually look like babies! These are our kids!
They are perfect :)
(We got to see Baby B, but he was literally lying with his face and stomach cuddled right up against his sac (it doesn't hurt him, we asked :)), so we couldn't get any photos.)
Our little girl was posing :) She was ready for the photo shoot!

This foot picture was actually taken while we were looking at Baby A... he was kicking her and we got this great shot :)

Yes, he really is yawning! It's tiring getting all these photos taken!
With the 3-D's below...
the blurriness, or kind of distorted stuff, is due to fluids and cords and even other body parts getting in the way.
These photos completely took our breath away... and still do...

Isn't she beautiful!

Those are her toes up by her forehead! Their bones aren't quite as hard as ours yet :)

He's cuddling... kinda gross, but doesn't he look cozy?!

Two feet here - his is below his chin... and I think that's Baby B's over his shoulder. There's a sac separating them, but Baby B was kicking at the time this was taken :)

Oh my goodness...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Daily Bread

Besides being a bit crazy (see earlier post), Thursday was also an exciting day... the first day of our 26th week!! I can't believe it! Only 11 weeks to go until our ultimate goal of 36 weeks!

A few months ago our church started SOAPing... an acronym created around daily scripture readings. This was something I had been interested in, so I picked it up, trying to get in at least a few per week. Then, about a month later, a friend gave me a guide for daily scripture readings focused on being pregnant - it's too cool. Each day has a verse, thoughts for prayer, and then some great questions for a journal entry. So far I haven't writen on this blog about my faith, or my beliefs, but there have been a lot of "ah ha" moments for me since I started this book, and one in particular came on Thursday... which is where this post is coming from...

Thursday night I'm a whirlwind of emotions... I'm excited to be home, in my own bed... I'm still nervous because I want everything to be perfect for our babies... I'm tired physically and mentally from the rollercoaster... I'm full of absolute joy that the babies are doing well... I'm thinking about work... I'm overwhelmed from the support by the man I married... I'm wondering what the next few days and weeks will hold... etc. So, I open up my book to the first day of the 26th week... the daily reading is titled Trusting God During Pregnancy... and the scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6... "Trust in the Lord will all your heart, lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Even writing this two days later, my eyes still water and my heart still swells when I think about this verse.

I'm still working on completely handing over all of my fears, but the knowledge that God loves me, loves DB, loves our babies, and has a plan, gives my heart moments of peace during some of the most confusing times.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2009! We are going to have KIDS in 2009 - and it's already here :) agh!

Well, I hope your celebration was more festive than ours... DB and I got to ring in the new year with Dick Clark this year... in a hospital room in Charleston. Certainly a year end "celebration" we will never forget! We did take time to make a quick video for our babies :)

So it turns out that I've been having contractions for almost two months - and had no idea! I actually wrote about them on this blog back in mid November! Well, at the time I just wrote about seeing the babies poke around in my belly... turns out that the reason I've been seeing my stomach raising and moving so dramatically was because I was contracting. So, from what I understand, I could see the babies because everything around them was tightening and they were more visible. Crazy!

Here come the details - kinda long :) But I did leave out a lot of the TMI!
On Tuesday I was re-reading one of my multiples books, and I got to the part about preterm labor and contractions. I'd read this info before, and my doctors have explained it to me many times, but for some reason when I read it on Tuesday I started to think... Plus, for some reason the part about first-time mothers not really knowing what to look for stuck with me :) So, we went in for our weekly shot on Wednesday at 9am, and I mentioned it to one of my doctors. She immediately put me on the monitor just to check everything out... and what do you know, I was having contractions every 7-10 minutes! What the?! From there, it got interesting...

They did a few tests and we got great news that my body is holding up really well! No changes = good news! We were sent over to the Beaufort hospital (literally a few steps away) where they rehooked me up to watch for contractions and we waited for more test results. I'm going to leave out the names of the tests because I will slaughter the spellings :) One was particularly tough to wait for - essentially if it comes back positive, it's very possible your body will try to deliver the babies within two weeks! Great news - it was negative! We breathed another huge sigh of relief.

So, my body is good, the other tests look good, we should be good! Right? Well, the contractions were still about every 10 minutes, so the risk of my body going into labor was still there even if it was low. We then started meds to decrease contractions - it's pretty cool, they're similar to meds for high blood pressure, from what I understand they help some of your major organs to relax - and I got a shot for the babies. This shot was the first thing I've recieved that really is specifically for their bodies, and not for mine. It helps their lungs get stronger, faster, just in case they come early. From what I understand, their underdeveloped lungs is one of the most scary things about babies coming early. (Okay, just a little TMI... after the last week, I literally have 3 needle holes on each hip! Shots in the bootie are okay because then you don't have to see the needle... but they're not kidding about it hurting! I can't even imagine getting this stuff shot into my arm!)

And then, the fun news... MUSC wants to see me. My doctors agree - if anything were to happen, I would need to be up there anyway, so off we go... in an ambulance! Yes, really! Go figure, the one thing DB actually found exciting about that day and he couldn't go with me. Poor guy! Honestly, it's not the most fun to ride in an ambulance, but the women who took care of me on the trip were awesome!

From here the story gets pretty simple... lots of monitoring the babies and me... an ultrasound to check out their movement, actions, fluids, etc... and lots of laying around. DB brought a few comforts from home, including photos of our dogs, a few books, and he even remembered clean underwear and toiletries :) At 7:30am on Thursday we are told that by that afternoon we'll know next steps... anything from being discharged today to being here for a while. Again, what?! This is so crazy because before being poked and prodded for the last day or so, I really thought I felt just fine!

Good news, by 2pm the contractions had slowed down, I got the follow-up shot for the babies lungs and a prescription for the meds to slow the contractions, and they sent us home :) YEA! Now it's off to a few days of recovery... lots of rest. Babies, big momma, and dad are all doing well :)