Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve!

Day 5 with having living triplets!  They are still doing awesome!  They are still progressing well and things are looking good!  Plus it snowed this morning, I don't know what that means, but it still snowed.  Now remember this is Albuquerque, not UT/CO/ID, or anywhere else north of here, but it still gets us excited to see some white on the ground.

Today was the day that Mommy Hutchings got released from the hospital!  Yay!  She was SO ready to get out of there, though her room was very nice (like a nice hotel room), she referred to her room as a "torture chamber".  She was there for 4 nights by herself, nurses coming in and out of her room on an hourly basis, she couldn't get any sleep, she was definitely ready!  I will say it again, she has just been a rock star throughout this whole pregnancy, delivery, and recovery.  Truly an inspiration, and like her doctor, I say that Emily is my hero!

Today the babies have done very well.  I went in to see them today at about 10 a.m. and the first thing that I noticed was that they were all in their cribs!  They don't need their heater beds anymore which is a huge step in their recovery.  Also, no more tanning beds either, well at least until Taya gets older and thinks she needs to have a darker skin hue.  One more HUGE step that happened today is that they ALL got their IV's taken out!  That means that they have been doing really well with the bottle feedings, they are now getting all of their necessary nutrients through the bottle and also the gavoge (the tube through their nose into their bellies).  They are definitely making progress and it is awesome to see those little guys improving.
Gotta Scrub-In to see Them!
Lots of bands!
The Boys' Room (Bennett on Left and Anderson on Right)
We did meet with the doctor today, and he said that we still have some time before they get to come home.  One thing that needs to happen is that they need to be taking 50 mL from a bottle 6 times in a 24 hour period.  They also need to have no "Brady Episodes" for 5 days.  A "Brady Episode" is when the heartrate drops rapidly below about 80, apparently this is a very common thing for preemies and they go away.  The boys both have had those the last 2 days, I don't think that Taya has had any.  Bennett had one yesterday, and has had 3 today.  He has been able to self-recover every time, except for the last one that he had this evening at about 7.  They say that this is nothing to really worry about, mainly because they have been self-recovering.  Anderson has had one or two, and he has self-recovered every time.  This all means that it is at least 5 more days before the boys can come home.  This is about the only "issue" that it going on right now.  The boys are still on oxygen, and they may have to up Bennett's oxygen level based on his little Brady Episodes.  
Also today, Emily attempted to breastfeed Taya.  She did really well, she latched on and sucked a little, but because it is not instant gratification for her, she kept falling asleep.  We are still hopeful that they will all breastfeed eventually, but they still need a little more time.  We will continue to try though every day.  I believe that is about it, it has been a great day for them!  Thank you to everyone out there that has prayed for these little miracles, and if you continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers we would appreciate it greatly!  
Anderson and Daddy
Bennett and Daddy
Taya and Daddy
Emily said that there were not enough pictures with me and the babies on here so that is why my face is on here so much today.  Oh, I almost forgot.  The nurses told us a story about Taya today.  They said that when they took the billi-lights off of Taya she was on her belly not wrapped or dressed, just kinda there.  Anyway, apparently she wanted out of her crib because she had crawled up to the top of her crib and luckily there was plastic at the top or else she probably would have fallen out!  Crazy girl.  Then they wrapped her up and put her on her back, and she did the same thing just on her back pushing up with her feet.  We are going to have to keep our eye on that one!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The Escape Artist!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Today is Ethan's Birthday, officially we can no longer call him "Baby", though he will always be "Baby".  Up until sometime this year when you asked him what his name was, he would reply, "Baby".  Classic little Ethan.  Today he turns 4 years old.  There are days when I feel like it was just yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital, and there are other days where I feel like he has been here forever!  What a great, fun, very literal, joy he has been to our family!  He will be an awesome older brother.  We have designated the older boys to be in charge of one of the triplets, and Ethan is in charge of Anderson.  Ethan will tell you that he is in charge of "Ander Boba Fett".

We were able to somewhat celebrate his birthday today.  Emily is still in the hospital, and the boys can't go back to her room, so we improvised and took the party to waiting lobby area in front of the NICU.  I made him some yummy cupcakes that we took with us, and took all of his presents there too.  He was so excited, and all the boys were thrilled to see Emily.  They haven't seen her since Wednesday night!  It was such fun because it was in a very different place than home.
Party Time!
Ethan had to have a "Soldier Party", his cupcake has the soldier on it!
Playing with his Loot!
Inside of the NICU, the triplets are doing fantastically!  All 3 of them took a bottle multiple times today!  They are progressing so well.  They are all still under the billirubin lights getting a nice little billi-tan.  The boys are still on oxygen.  Bennett and Taya are still on their heating tables, and Ander is still in his crib so he is still able to self-heat.  Bennett is on about 1.5 L of oxygen, so he is down a little from yesterday, and Ander is at 1/4 to 1/8 L, so he will most likely be off sometime tomorrow.  The nurses and doctors are still very pleased with their progress and the doctor told us tonight that she thinks they might be able to come home by next weekend!  That is about the news for today with them.  They are still rockstars, and they are doing awesome!
Me and Bennett
Bennett catching a few rays
Emily is doing awesome and will be coming home tomorrow!  She has passed all of her "tests" that she needed to pass in order to qualify to come home, she did all of that as of yesterday, but she wants to stay one more night to be close to the babies, because from here on out it will be a lot of driving back and forth to the hospital, but I think that she is ready to come home.  It gets very lonely by yourself in a hospital room.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 3

Here we are, Day 3!  Today was a good day.  We realized today that each of the kids is a rockstar at something...Taya doesn't need oxygen, Bennett is a good bottle feeder (today anyway), and Anderson doesn't need a heater (he "self" heats).  They are all just doing so amazing!

Again, I will start with Taya.  I failed to mention that yesterday right before she did skin to skin with Emily, she had her first little sponge bath, she didn't like it too well.  So, today (12/29) at about 6 a.m. the nurses decided that all of the babies needed to go under the blue lights for jaundice, they will stay under those for about 24 hours, none of them are particularly fond of being under those lights, especially Ander!  Back to Taya.  They put her in the little portable crib that most babies are in after birth, she was able to maintain her body temp just fine...for a few hours anyway.  About mid-day they had to put her back on the heater bed to keep her temp up.  At around 9 a.m. the speech pathologist came in to try a bottle feeding.  They put about 12 mL of milk/formula in a bottle and tested her for her suck/swallow/breathing motion, she couldn't quite grasp it, she got about 1 mL through the bottle and they had to put the rest through the NG tube.  Overall, it was kind of a "lazy" day for Taya, just laying under the tanning bed lights...what a diva--already!!!  Here are some pictures of her from yesterday and today:
Watch out boys, she's here!
Sponge Bath
In Heaven with Mommy
Next up the totem pole, Bennett.  He made some great progress today, and then decided to go back to the old ways, but it is progress!  They took him down from 2 L of oxygen to 1/4 L, he was doing great on that for about 2 hours, and then he started to need more, so they put him back on the hi-flow oxygen.  He stayed in his heater bed today since they didn't want him to use up all of his nutrients and energy heating himself, he still has to build up those lungs!  However, this monster decided he wanted the bottle!  The speech pathologist was amazed at how well he did.  It took a few minutes for him to figure out what he was doing, but when he figured it out, he went to town and downed all 13 mL of his bottle!  We were able to hold him for quite awhile this afternoon to give him a break from the billirubin lights, it was great!  Emily got to do some skin to skin with him and Anderson today.  They, like Taya, loved every second of it!
Daddy and Bennett
Blondie downing that bottle!
Momma's Boy!
Relaxation Time
Mr. Anderson.  Ander.  The chunker.  He today was not a happy camper under the lights.  We all believe it is because he was trapped in utero in the pelvis area, and he had his brother and sister right on top of him.  We guess that he didn't move a whole lot while he was in there, in other words, he just sat there and got chunky!  So now that he is out, he doesn't know what to do with all of his freedom, he has to be wrapped tight and he's happy, otherwise his arms just kinda flail everywhere and he doesn't like it!  He did great on oxygen today, he stayed at the 1/4 L all day, and tomorrow they will probably take him off of the oxygen!  Also, they put him in the portable crib, and he is continuing to maintain his body temp, so he is staying in the crib!  One step down and about 50 to go!  He is such a cute little chunky monkey!
Enjoying the tanning bed
Very content!
All covered up! 
Sweet Little Guy!
I will say, it is getting a little overwhelming (and difficult) trying to figure out who is who when looking back at all of the pictures.  If you will notice, there is a little "A" or "B" yellow sticky note on their cribs.  Taya is still easy because she doesn't have the nose tubes like the boys.  We need to figure out a way to keep it all straight!  Give us some ideas if you have any.  Till tomorrow!
Taya (12/28)
Anderson (12/28)
Bennett (12/28)

Update, Day 2

I wanted to take a quick second to write down what has been going on.  Yesterday (12/28/12), they all made huge improvements.  I need to start by saying Emily has the camera at the hospital, so I am only able to put a few pics up (from my phone, so not great quality), and I don't have any recent ones of Anderson.  So, hopefully tonight I will put up some more pics!

Taya (we are leaving it spelled this way) was able to start on the NG tube, which is a tube that goes through her nose into her tummy and she is able to get the breastmilk/formula into her belly without burning any extra calories, and they have her on a 3 hour feeding schedule where I believe she is getting 5 mL every 3 hours.  We are able to hold her, and Emily did a skin to skin with her, and you should have seen the heavenly look in the eyes of Taya--and Emily for that matter!  They were both just in heaven!  So, today (12/29/12) they are going to put Taya on a bottle and have the speech pathologist observe how she does and will give the go ahead for straight bottle feedings from here out.  She is doing amazing!
Next up, Bennett.  He has progressed quite a bit too.  He was finally able to get that big mask off of his face, and get the little tubes into his nose for the oxygen.  He had the big mask on to basically help force oxygen into his lungs.  He is now doing just fine on the little nasal tubes.  He, like Taya, also started to get the NG tube, so he is able to get some nutrients into his little tummy as well.  Difference is that he started it later in the day than Taya, so he is not on the 3 hour schedule quite yet (he might be as of writing this post).  They are now slowly weaning him off of the oxygen.  We were able to hold him today for the first time!  Like I said, I don't have all of the pictures, but I will put some up! 
Bennett Day 1
Bennett Day 2
Now on to the chunky monkey, Anderson.  He too has progressed very well!  At the beginning of the day the nurses told us that he was on 2 L of oxygen, and by the time I left last night around 8, he was down to 1/4 L of oxygen, which means he is weaning himself off of it, and doesn't need as much assistance.  He like brother and sister is also on the NG tube, and he started about the same time as Bennett so he was still not quite to the 3 hour feeding, but because he is the chunkiest, he needed the most, 7 mL.  We were also able to hold him for the first time today.  In fact we got to hold him first thing in the morning!  I will put up a picture of him from early on Day 1 of Anderson:
Ander Day 1
Yesterday morning the check-in nurse at the NICU reception desk came in and told us, "They're here."  I had no idea what she was talking about, and she said that the media is here.  I thought when they told us the previous day the media was coming it was a joke.  Apparently not!  They came in and asked a few questions and took a bunch of pictures of us and the triplets.  I guess we are a big deal!  I am grateful though, because we were able to hold all 3 babies in the same room.  Emily held Bennett and Taya, and I held Ander.  It was really fun.  I felt like such a star!  Here is the link to the story:

Here's the official picture taken by Marla Brose of the ABQ Journal:
Taya's hat is kind of camouflaged against Emily's sweatshirt 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Introducing Our Rockstars!

They made it!!!  They are here, they are all healthy (minus a couple of little lungs), Emily is doing well, it has been a good day!  It has been a long day!  It started at 3:45 when I couldn't sleep from excitement.
Last Side View
We had to be at the hospital this morning at 5:30 a.m. for some blood work the anesthesiologist.  The nurse started by hooking Emily up to some fetal heart monitors, it took some time to find the heartbeats of the boys, and when they went to find Taya's the machine said that it wouldn't do another one because there were too many hearts to keep track of on one machine!  Can you believe it?  We had too many babies!  So they had to go and get another heart machine, and even that didn't help them find her heartbeat because she was so turned, and she was moving like crazy.  I could see Emily's tummy rolling like an ocean wave from 15 feet away!  It was really cool to see!  I think Taya knew what was coming and she was excited.

After about an hour of trying to get some heartbeats, the nurse anesthetist came in to go over the procedure, and then about 30 more people, nurses, nurse managers, doctors, friends of friends, anyone and everyone at the hospital came by to say hi, and congratulations, to us.  We are a big deal at this hospital today!  It was the talk of the whole hospital.  I was just standing in hallways, and I would get people saying congratulations, or I would tell them we were having triplets and they would say they have been waiting for this day for the last couple of weeks!  I'm not talking just the labor and delivery nurses, I'm talking the room service ladies, the janitors, everyone!

The nurse anesthetist (his name was Ray and he had a sweet handlebar mustache) came back in and told us that Emily was anemic--severely anemic.  She had a number of like 7.5 out of 50.  He told us that she would probably need a transfusion, and that it would be very likely, and had they found out about this earlier, she would have had to have one regardless before the babies came.  He told us of the risks involved and disappeared.  Shortly after his disappearance Emily's OB came in.  He is such a great guy!  If you live in ABQ and need an OB, Emily HIGHLY recommends him!  Dr. Hernandez came in and told us that because of the extremely low anemic levels they may have to move us to the hospital downtown!  That would be horrible!  He did say that if that happened he was going to completely cancel his clinical day and make the trip over there to deliver the babies, but he wanted it to stay here, and so did we!

Well, luckily we won!  We were able to stay here and I'm sure the biggest deciding factor in that was the higher ups of the hospital that said they need the publicity here!  See, this hospital opened Oct 24, 2011, it is a brand new hospital.  They want to be able to say that they delivered triplets, and that they can handle it.  They can handle it, and they did--beautifully I might add!

We were taken to the OR, I had to wait out in the hallway until they were ready to cut Emily open.  I ran into one of the dentists that I work with, Dr. Blair.  He had a bunch of cancellations, so he was willing to just go take a peek to see how it was coming.  He came back and said that everything was looking good, and there were a ton of people in the room just hanging out, ready for the babies, and that Emily was doing great!  Not much longer after Dr. Blair gave me the little update, one of the nurse's came to get me to come back.

Normally they do c-sections in a little room that is dedicated to c-sections.  Not this time!  We had a whole operating room to ourselves (with about 25 other nurses and doctors).  It was a madhouse!  I came in right as Dr. Hernandez was ready to cut into my wife.  I was in their for maybe 3-4 minutes and Ray told me to stand up and watch the babies come out.  I can't even begin to describe the feelings that were flowing through me.  It was such a blessing.  He pulled Anderson out at 9:20 a.m, and his stats were 6 lbs 1 oz, and 19 inches long (I was told later those are the stats of a healthy, full term baby at 39 weeks).  At 9:21 and 12 seconds Bennett was pulled out, his stats were 5 lbs 5 oz, 17 3/4".  And finally at 9:21 and 44 seconds, Taya was born.  I actually saw them cut into Taya's sack, and pull her out.
Anderson Bay

Bennett Dale

Taya Rebecca
From there I followed the triplets to the NICU where they put Anderson and Bennett on a nose tube, and they changed Bennett's nose tube to a mask.  Taya, the rockstar, had absolutely nothing wrong, she needed no oxygen tubes, well, she did need to get an I.V. for fluids as she was still not quite ready for a bottle.  Though, as soon as they left her kind of be alone, she started gnawing on her hands, trying to get anything in her mouth and she even started to suck on the binkie.  She is by far the most ready to be weaned from the I.V.  She might be ready to go home with Emily, the boys on the other hand not quite ready, might be a couple of weeks depending on how they progress, maybe sooner.

Other than that, Emily is doing really well considering.  She has been the talk of the hospital, no one believed that she was the one having the triplets because she walked into the OR under her own power, and she was just a little too calm about it all.  That's my wife!  The only time that she saw the babies was when they were being carted out of the OR, and they let her kiss Anderson and the other two just went out.  She wasn't allowed to go see them until she could get out of her bed and walk to the bathroom, then they would put her in a wheelchair and wheel her down to see the babies.  That didn't happen until 6:00 p.m.  She had to wait almost 9 hours to see them again, face to face.  However, she was the first one to hold any of the babies, and that was Taya.  The boys are not able to be held yet, maybe in the next couple of days.  It was so sweet to see her bond with them.
First View of Bennett

First View of Anderson

First View of Taya
My Girls!
The one sad thing about this whole experience is that our older boys can't see the babies at all until they come home because it is RSV season and they won't let any kids under the age of 14 in any of the rooms.  I feel bad for them, especially Cooper because he is really excited to see them.  How nice it has been though to have Gary and Becky, and my parents here to be able to take part in this awesome experience!  And a huge thanks to my parents these couple of days for watching the brothers!
Grandma with Taya
Grammy with Taya
We are having a dilemma that we didn't think we would have, the nurses and everyone else keep pronouncing Taya "Tie-ah".  We are considering changing spelling to Teya.  PLEASE let us know what you think.  Until something else remarkable happens, enjoy some more pictures:
Bennett at First Arrival to NICU 

Me changing Bennett, gotta love the tar poop!