Saturday, February 23, 2013

8 Weeks Old!

The little munchkins have hit 8 weeks!  They are growing like weeds, Bennett and Anderson are over 10 pounds, and Taya is about 9.5 pounds!  Luckily for us they are all sleeping through the night now!  They wake up usually between 4 and 5 and we plug them with the binkie and they go till 7!  That is a huge blessing for us, especially Emily!  As everyone knows, "a happy wife makes for a happy life!"  And according to the comedian Jim Brewer if a mother doesn't get sleep, it leads to murder!  So, it is beneficial for all involved parties that Emily gets her sleep! (Side note: she slept last night, so she won't murder me for writing this)
Taya, Bennett, Anderson
Anderson, Bennett
Happy Taya! She goes from peaceful to this in 0.2 seconds flat!
I feel like I need to say a huge thank you to all of our friends here in ABQ.  You have all been such a huge blessing!  It has been amazing to see how much help we have received, but mostly from who we have received it from!  I feel like I have gotten to know each of you a lot better as you come by the house and see the babies and just chat.  I will not lie, it is the hardest thing in the world for me to be on the receiving end of service.  It has been a huge adjustment to the pride I have and thinking that we can handle it, and we don't need any help.  I know that would never have been possible, but that is what my mind makes me think at times.  So, again, THANK YOU for all you have done, the meals, watching the boys, relieving Emily for a couple of hours so she can get out, just coming to visit, etc.  It really means a lot to us (it is very humbling as well)!
The Knights of BBQ (according to Cooper)
I know that blogs are for looking at pictures, so here you go:
Feeding time in the middle of the night! 
Taya really likes it dark when she sleeps!
These next pictures are from Day 1 (12/27/12) next to pictures from yesterday (2/22/13)




Sunday, February 17, 2013

From The Mother's View

This is Emily here.  I wanted to take a moment and write down my own thoughts on this amazing miracle that is happening/has happened in our lives.  Looking back now I can see how unique and fun the pregnancy experience was.  When I was in the midst of it I was either way too uncomfortable or way too scared out of my mind to appreciate it.  I wish now that I had taken more time to enjoy the experience and realize what a miracle my body was producing.  I already can't remember what it felt like to feel all 3 of them moving inside my body.  I have already forgotten the pain of it.  Actually, if I could I would do it a few years, but I would absolutely do it again.  It was a "one in a million" type of chance and I wish I had cherished it more.  
Bennett, Anderson, Taya and Mom

Anderson, Taya, Bennett
Bennett, Anderson, and Taya
Now, the most amazing part of all of this is how much fun I am having!  Totally unexpectedly, I am LOVING this experience!  I feel like I just cannot get enough of the babies!  For those of you who know me well you will know that I have always had a hard time connecting with my babies--usually I am far enough off of my rocker or I just take a while to adjust to letting someone else into my emotionally constricted heart!!  I was really worried about connecting with the babies since there were so many of them and since I knew they would be in the NICU for a while so it would further impede my ability to bond.  Wow!  Just the opposite!  The minute I saw the babies in their little cradles in the NICU (about 9 hours after delivering) my heart just melted.  I felt an instant bond with all of them with a little less of a bond with Anderson--let me explain.  He looked so different!  He was not familiar to me at all.  Bennett and Taya both looked like they fit into my family, Taya looking almost identical to Ethan as a baby.  Anderson looked like my Grandpa Heninger!  I don't even look like that side of my family!  It took me a while to really warm up to him but since we got to take him home first from the NICU I had a lot of time to bond with just him and, conversely, grew the greatest bond of all with him!
Luke, Bennett, Ethan, Taya, Anderson
Taya, Luke, Bennett

Jake Changing Taya
So, now they are home and I am expecting to be scared out of my mind and crazy busy and up to my knees in baby barf and stinks.  But, no!  It has been so much easier than I thought and so much more enjoyable.  I can't wait to wake them up and feed and snuggle them.  I can't wait for them to recognize me and give me that smile--you know, the one reserved for MOM.  They have started doing it a little this week and there is no greater reward for a mother.  I love that if they are crying I can pick them up and they will, without fail, stop crying in about 10 seconds.  I hate that I can't give each one of them enough time.  That is my biggest struggle-will they receive the emotional/physical love and touch that they need?  I literally cannot hold each one of them enough to adequately feel like I am giving them enough attention.  But that's okay.  That is just a natural effect of having triplets and they will survive!  I try to put them with each other a lot when they are awake so they feel some human contact!  Yes, they all sleep together but they are swaddled and I just want them to have human touch more!  

Taya, Ethan, Bennett
Luke, Bennett, Taya
Taya, Bennett, Anderson
I have been having these terrible dreams lately that all end in someone dying.  This is not irregular for me as I have always tended to have morbid dreams (no, I don't know why so don't psycho-analyze me!!).  However, since I have been sleeping in short bursts instead of a long uninterrupted sleep I am remembering my dreams much more vividly.  Last night I had a terrible dream!  I dreamed that in the first few days that I had the babies home I had a breakdown and realized that I couldn't take care of them all and decided to give one up for adoption.  The weird thing was that my mom was there and totally supported the decision.  We had neighbors 2 houses down (not my actual neighbors but my dream neighbors) that was going to adopt one of the boy babies but I hadn't decided which one.  Well, the adoption took a few weeks and so it was just now (as in when they are 7 weeks old) that they were finalizing it and I had to choose which baby to give away.  Well, in my dream things had gotten mentally better for me and there was no way I could give away a baby let alone make a choice on which one.  Somehow the adoptive family sensed that and decided to kidnap baby Taya in the middle of the night.  For some reason they called me about 4 hours into the trip and said their car had stalled and they needed me to come rescue them.  I flew down the road so quickly that I drove straight off a really high bridge into raging waters and woke myself up right before I hit because I knew I would die.  My only thought while flying down into the water is "they will never get my kids" and I felt this overwhelming motherly bear instinct and sadness that I wouldn't be there to raise my children.  Okay--there is a point to this!  Partly because of my dream and partly because we just watched the movie Taken 2 and partly because I am reading the book by the Eyre's Joyful Mother, when I woke Taya up to feed I just held her so tight and told her that "I would never ever let anyone take you away from me!".  I know that is so cheesy but my dream was so emotionally powerful and I felt this need to just hold each one of the babies tight to me and tell them how much I love them.  

Taya, Bennett, Anderson
Bennett and Anderson
 Anderson, Taya, Bennett
Anderson and Taya
This is what being a mother is all about.  These feelings of "I would do anything in the world for you and I am the luckiest person in the world to have you in my life" are the most wonderfully God-sent urgings you can have.  I am so grateful to have this experience.  I almost feel like I cheated myself by not relishing in the joy of each moment with my other 3 children.  With the triplets I feel like each moment lost with them is irreplaceable and each moment spent with them is a little part of heaven.  I have never felt so fulfilled and so content in my life.  I am actually happy to spend my day at home which is crazy for me!  

Here are some of the things that I am loving and enjoying about each child:

Anderson-I love that you slept from 10 to 7 last night.  I hate that it makes me feel that you are getting way too big way too fast!  I want to slow down the clock and just keep you tiny.  You are so solid.  You feel twice as big as Taya (the smallest) even though you are only about 2 or 2 and a half pounds bigger.  I love that you are different from my other children.  I have loved looking at you and trying to figure your features out.  I love your pointy nose and luscious lips.  I love that your tongue is too big for your mouth and we have to make sure the bottle nipple goes over your tongue and not under.  I love your huge eyes.  I love watching you observe the world.  You love to open your beautiful eyes and just stare at everything in the room.  I love that you were the first one to really recognize me and smile at me.  It made me feel so special.  I love that you are Ethan's baby buddy.  He loves to take care of you and make sure you're happy.  If you are crying he will pat your tummy-usually too rough but he means well.  I love that Ethan felt so good about himself when he fed you your entire bottle yesterday by himself.  I love that he dressed you up in a batman mask and a star wars gun when I wasn't looking.  I don't love that he tries to feed you all kinds of things and sometimes presses on your stomach way too hard when trying to kiss you.  I love that you are almost always content.  You are the least fussiest of the babies but when you cry it sounds like a seagull.  I love that you are getting use to diaper changes and baths and don't scream the entire time anymore.  I don't love that you are almost too big to swaddle now.  I love to think about you smashed into the bottom of my tummy and you just sitting there all lazy and getting really big because you didn't have anyone kicking you in the head for space!  I love you!
Ethan and Anderson
Mom and Anderson
Bennett-I love that you have red hair, blue eyes, and a ruddy complexion.  I have no idea where that came from!  I love that you are out of my tummy because I always felt so bad for you in there!  You were so smashed with your knees to your head for most of the time.  You were so far over into my side it amazed me how much of my stomach was filled with baby.  I love that I felt so connected with you in the NICU.  You were so complacent there.  All of the nurses talked about how you were just so chill and okay with anything. You are the opposite now, which is okay.  I love that you typically wake up early from your nap so I can snuggle just with you--though sometimes I wish you would sleep for the whole nap!  I have loved watching Luke take care of you.  He has shown me how responsible he can be!  He is very protective of you and gets so concerned if you are crying.  He likes to pat your stomach if you are upset and is so gentle and loving with you.  He likes to lay down next to you and put his arm around your head and kiss you and snuggle you.  It is so sweet.  I love how you constantly look like a deer caught in headlights with your wide open eyes.  I love how much you smile in your sleep.  You are a happy dreamer.  I love that when I woke you up from your nap 4 days ago it was really the first time that you seemed to recognize me and you gave me the biggest smile.  It made me so happy.  I love that you put your legs up on Taya for the first nap after you got home from the NICU.  Then the next nap you moved your head right next to Anderson to fall asleep.  It was so sweet.  I love that you always act so famished when it is feeding time and then fall asleep about 10 seconds after you get the bottle in your mouth!  I love you!
Luke and Bennett
Luke, Bennett, and Taya
Luke and Bennett
Taya-I love that I finally got my girl and she is sweet and petite and dainty and pretty!  I love that I can finally dress someone in pink and put cute hair bows on a little head!  I love that I see a different kind of bum when I change diapers!  I love having more estrogen in the house!  It's you and me, baby girl, against all these boys.  I love that you have 5 older brothers who will fiercely defend you but that you will probably rule the roost!  I love that you were closest to my heart in my tummy.  I didn't love how you were constantly in my ribs and how you loved to tumble around in there!  I love that your head was almost always right by Bennett's in my tummy and you had a lot of bum wars with Anderson.  I love that your head is so tiny but your cheeks are so massive!  I love that you are probably the embryo that hid from us until I was 10 weeks. You are the one that gave us triplets instead of twins!  I love that you fought your way to life--the Perinatalist didn't think you would make it!  I love your tiny body and that you are our smallest even though you weigh almost twice your birth weight.  You feel so light when we pick you up.  I hate that you are getting so big so fast!  I hate that you are drinking 4 oz at each feeding now.  I just want it all to slow down!  I love your passion cry!  There is no prelude and building up to your cry, it is just immediate and full force and then over.   It really scares us some times and then we just have to remember that that is just how you cry and it does not mean you're dying with pain!  I love your sweet, sweet smiles and how they have increased dramatically just as of yesterday.  I love watching you wake up to the world.  I love that you love me to hold you!  I love that no one held you in the NICU until I got a chance to hold you.  They all knew how special you were to me and wanted  me to have that first experience with you.  I loved that you smiled even in the NICU.  I love that you were such a fighter your first days of life and then you just tuckered out.  You amazed everyone with your vigor and health and then you just decided it was time to let the brothers shine and decided to get on oxygen for the first time and stop feeding.  You little stinker!  I love that Cooper picked you to be his baby buddy.  He loves you so much.  He didn't see you for almost 3 weeks but would ask about you every day.  He couldn't wait to have a sister.  I love knowing that he will be the best big brother to you.  He will always make sure you are happy and he will always take care of you.  He loves to hold you and can even pick you up all on his own--it scares me to see him do it but he loves to be independent!  I love that he is so gentle with you as if he senses you are a girl and more delicate in nature.  I love that he can help feed you.  I don't love that you are constantly dribbling spit up from your mouth because I want you to always smell good but you always smell like throw up.  I love singing to you.  I love your big beautiful eyes.  I love that you look like Ethan because I know that you'll be really cute--hopefully not as much of a pest but with his sense of humor.  I love that you might have my color of eyes!  I love you!
Oh my goodness, I am so glad I got all of these thoughts written down!  This has been an amazing experience so far.  I know it is destined to get harder as my help stops and I have to actually put you all in car seats and take you places.  It is like a circus show when we take you out.  Everyone stops and stares and we still feel pretty inadequate at figuring out the logistics of carrying all 3 of you around places.  That is part of the fun and part of the adventure.  And, yes, I would absolutely do it all over again in a heartbeat!  It is so amazing to feel like our family is complete.  Finally complete...for now at least! (Jake just got scared!)
Bennett, Anderson, Taya
Jake, Anderson, Bennett, and Taya 
The Family!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! (yesterday)

The triplets are now 7 weeks old!  I can't believe how fast it has gone.  I also can't believe how amazingly well they seem to be doing and growing.  The smallest of them, Taya, is at 8 lbs 2.4 oz!  Bennett is at 9 lbs 2.7 oz.  We didn't get Anderson weighed, but that is one solid kid, I would guess he tops 10 lbs of pure solidness!  They have been a little fussy, but really nothing to complain about, the LOVE to be held and snuggled, so if any of you want to get a little triplet snuggle action, feel free to come over and get some.
Taya, Anderson, Bennett
A couple of things that have happened and will happen: first, I'm sure several of you have already seen the commercial since my sister put it on facebook, but here it is on the blog (I hope it works, if not I will try something else later).  They told us that it would begin airing yesterday here in NM, it is really weird to think that my little family (ok, big family) is going to be on TV.  Though I would imagine more people will see it here than on TV because everyone fast-forwards the commercials now, myself included.

Also, for those of you who are interested in the blessing of our babies, we have decided that will take place on Sunday, March 31.  That is Easter weekend, and if any of you are interested in coming out to that we would love to have you, and so would the babies! Our house is really small and already full, so you would have to find other sleeping accommodations, sorry.  We are doing it in conjunction with our nephew's baptism and his brother's Eagle Scout Court of Honor, that way we can minimize the trips to ABQ for the Jewkes' side of the family--you're welcome!
How can you resist? (Taya, Anderson, Bennett)
It really has become the norm for us to have the 3 babies.  I don't know if I could go back to just having one baby.  Whatever, that seems like it would be a breeze now (I know that even one baby is hard, but compared with the triplets at least our other babies have been a breeze looking back).  Our live-in help has now officially left us as of Wednesday, and it has been an awakening to the fact that they really were a huge help!  Thank you so much to my mom, and Emily's mom!  It is fun though to wake up at 4:00 am (yes, they are sleeping 5-6 hours a night! Awesome babies!) with all three and try to figure the best and easiest way to feed them.  My preferred method is to lay all 3 on pillows, put the burp cloth under their chin and prop their bottle with a little stuffed animal or blanket and make sure they keep the bottle in their mouth.  The hard part is when they all finish at the same time and cry to be burped at the same time.  Now, it is difficult to burp all 3 at once given that I only have 2 hands and need those 2 hands to burp 1 baby, so we have just gotten used to the fact that they will cry and there isn't anything we can do about it.  But we have it down to where it takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Like I said, we wouldn't trade these little guys, or this experience of triplets for anything in the world!  We love our little guys so much, and we have appreciated everyone who has helped us out by bringing meals, taking the older boys for playdates, cleaning our house, etc.  You truly have been life-savers and we certainly couldn't have done it at all without the help, so a million thank you's again!
Enjoy some pictures from the last week:
Family scripture time (no one is listening)
Anderson seeing what's going on over where we are
Luke and Bennett
Me and some of my boys!
Life between feedings

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wow, It's Been Awhile!

I looked at our blog today and realized that it has been a week and a half since I have last put something up! What a slacker I am!  Well...the babies are growing, like weeds, more like kudzu!  They have put on at least 3 and a half pounds each!  Taya and Bennett are officially off the oxygen...yay!  Basically our whole world (well, Emily's world anyway because I go to work) revolves around feeding three babies, changing three babies, bathing three babies, resting for about 2 hours in between, to wake up and do it all over again.  Every three hours the three babies are being fed, burped, changed, etc.  I have so much respect for my awesome wife and how she has handled this whole triplet lifestyle that we have embarked on.  She is awesome!
Courtesy of Captured by Emily
Huge thanks to my mom, she has been great!  It will be hard to have our live-in help be gone.  We have had either Emily's mom or my mom since the middle of December, that's 2 months of help!  That is going to be a rude awakening for us I think when it just disappears next Tuesday.  We have also had some amazing help from our friends here in ABQ, bringing us dinners, taking the older boys to play, cleaning our house, and anything else they can do to help.  What amazing friends we have!  A huge thank you to all of you!!

Our Little Helpers:

That really about sums it up.  I need to mention that we got our pictures back from our photographer Emily, and we are so pleased with them.  Please go to her website and check out a few of the shots she put on her website, and then click on Portfolio, then "Newborns" and the "Family" tab have some of the pictures (you will know which ones are ours because there are 3 babies in them).  We think that she did a really good job, and she was so patient with the babies, thank you Emily!
Here are a few of them (on the single pictures you will find their names):

Well, till next time!

Check out those lips on Ander!
Satisfied Anderson!