Happy Birthday!!!!! and lots of other stuff

Well, it's been a while since I last wrote and we have been busy, busy, busy! We got off to a great start with the arrival of my dad, stepmom, my lovely sister and her boyfriend who flew all the way from Oregon to be with us for the holidays. It was soooo happy they could come, I miss her terribly when she's not here. And the babes just love their Auntie Nomi. We met Garrett for the first time in person which was wonderful. Anyone who is great with my kids and loves my sister will always hold a special place in my heart.

So here's what we've been up to........

Are my babies actually ONE year old? I can't believe it. I've been pretty emotional ever since December 15th - the day a year ago that I was admitted to Northside...thinking I was staying for the weekend so they could "watch" me but instead having the c-section that would bring our three little miracles into the world. I remember only bits and pieces of those 9 nine days and I'm hoping that one day Richard will write a post to fill in my blanks. Or maybe I'm not meant to remember them in detail - the bits and pieces might be all my psyche can handle and my mind has just filtered out just enough for me to understand the sequence of events but maybe I really don't need to know every minute. So, let's see what I remember.....

I remember being told by a nurse in my perinatologist's office that they'd put me up on the high risk floor but instead I was put down on the L&D floor which is basically a dark basement - or so it seemed. I remember a nurse giving me the steroid shot and I was thinking - why are you giving this to me? I had read that you got that shot when you would be delivering the babies within 7 days...but I was going home (or so I thought). I remember the neonatologist coming down to do the consult and scaring us to death. I was sure I wouldn't bring home all three babies and if I did bring home just one she would have severe medical problems. I remember the medication getting my BP under control and when I didn't have to deliver that weekend I DID get a room on the high risk floor which was like a breath of fresh air (with a window). I remember being told I was lucky I had all girls. And I remember that awful beep on the BP machine, I knew when my BP was too high b/c the machine would do an immediate second reading. I remember lying on my left side, listenting to relaxation tapes, trying to will my body to hold the babies in as long as possible. I remember being told that we had to deliver on Wednesday the 20th. I remember feeling like a failure. I remember brushing my teeth at 4am and being wheeled down to get my epidural. I then remember being in the OR and then the recovery room. I thought we were in recovery for like an hour, but Richard says it was more like 5 hours...I'm sure my mom was freaking out!

The next thing I remember is being in a new room on the high risk floor and Richard showing me the first photos of the babies, which didn't really look like babies. So much so that there was no identifying feature for me to tell who was who which made me very sad. I was on what's called a "mag wash" which i think is Magnesium Sulfate (?) in addition to morphine and I was loopy, loopy, loopy for like a day and a half. Richard still kind of shudders when he talks about what I was like while I was on that stuff. I was with it enough to know I wanted to hurry up and get my IV's out so I could go see my girls. They'd let you go even if you had IV's, but I didn't want to go when I felt so incredibly out of it. I wanted to remember seeing my girls for the first time.

So Friday, after lunch Richard and my sister wheeled me to the NICU to meet my babies. I was terrified, and so sad and so scared. They were so tiny, so incredibly tiny. I couldn't imagine then that something that small could grow enough to be an actual baby! Well...that was year ago! Today, I've got Zoe who is 18lbs 4oz and 26" long, Lily who is 15lbs 8oz and 27" long, and Avery who is 17lbs 3oz and 27 3/4" long.....they've come quite a ways since 1lb 4oz, 1lb 6oz, and 1lb 10 oz! I mean they were literally the size of a banana and now they are healthy, happy little girls.

Avery is pulling up and climbing on anything and everything she possibly can, she's got one tooth coming in on the bottom (finally, it seems like she's been teething for months!) She has also entered that mommy separation anxiety phase where she not only needs to be in the same room as me, but must have her hands entwined in my hair at all times. She's been having a few difficulties at night but I'm sure it's because of the teething. She is eating so much these days! She loves a wide variety of foods and drinks her bottles like a real baby! She's immitating words and gestures and facial expressions and is such a ham for the camera.

Lily is working on crawling on her hands and knees instead of her belly and is just starting to pull up...but because of her tendency towards stiffness transitioning from sitting to crawling, crawling to sitting, sitting to standing is a little more difficult for her. We're working on it with her and she's doing great. She's a great solid food eater, still loves her banana yogurt and was the only one of the three who enjoyed eating her birthday cake. She does have some mild sensory processing issues but we'll be getting occupational therapy to work through those issues. Our GI doc wants to see her gain more weight but did not say we had to go back to the feeding tube, so that's good. She and Avery will get to transition to whole milk by mid February and Lily will get Carnation Instant breakfast added to hers for more calories. We will probably get a nutritionist involved as well just to really help with strategies to maximize her caloric intake. She talks and talks and talks...and has this beautiful kind of sing-songy sweet voice. She loves music and any kind of musical instrument we have. Namo (Richard's mom) got them this great little piano for Christmas and Lily plays with it all the time.

Zoe is making huge strides!!! She had to go up on her her oxygen for a little while, but was not in distress, nor did she have increased work of breathing. Now, she's back down to 3/4 of a liter and was even down to a 1/2 today! Her pulmanologist is taking her steroid wean very slowly which I am very happy with. She has been wanting to sit up a lot lately! And she is getting so strong. She has four teeth! And has two more on the bottom that will probably break through in another month. She still loves to laugh and smile and she really wants to be a part of what her sisters are doing. She loves her Baby Neptune DVD (thank you Natali!) which we try to use for distraction during eating. Her eating has not been going too well...she is now allowing only tiny bits of food in her mouth which will then sit there and she won't swallow or it will take her forever to swallow. I'll be asking her GI doc for a referral to the feeding clinic at CHOA. We have a feeding therapist who comes to the house which is great, but I just feel like we could benefit from some additional resources and ideas. I know she will eat eventually, and for now I am thankful she has her g-tube, without it she would not get the nutrition she needs. She'll be going on thursday to have it changed our for a Mic-key button which is flush with the skin instead of the long tube she has now. Her teacher at the Speech School is really pleased with her progress. She is showing a lot of understanding and receptive language skills which her teacher says she sometimes doesn't see for years with kids with hearing loss. We are continuing to test and retest Zoe's hearing because her behaviorial responses still are not matching up with the computerized tests. All three girls will have their 1 year check ups next week.

Their party was a princess theme and was a small family affair. The girls were showered with gifts from friends and family eventhough we couldn't invite everyone (due to RSV season). Daddy made three pink cakes filled with banana pudding (since Mommy said they were to young for anything more sugary than that)...Avery started "patting her cake" (a rhyme we say every day) so everyone laughed which then made her burst into tears. Lily, carefully ate her pink frosting with her pointer fingers and Zoe slept (all the presents made her tired). They got lots of cute clothes, beautiful necklaces, a book that was written and illustrated by a local artist, baby dolls, and their very own baby laptop, to name just a few.

And then....it was Christmas and the gifts just kept coming! Grandma and Grandpa had to leave on Christmas Eve so we opened presents with them and took photos on that day and then on Christmas we opened gifts with Mimi, Nomi, and Garrett. We took all day to do this because the girls only have so long of an attention span and it takes a long time to open gifts for the babies when all they're really interested in is the wrapping paper! It was kind of nice spending the day to get through it all and later, when it was 8pm and the babes were asleep, I realized that we had not opened our gifts. It was then that it really hit me...I don't really want or need anything for myself anymore (sure a new pair of jeans is nice, or a gift certificate for a massage -thanks Richard, Grandma, Grandpa, Nomi, and Garrett) but all I really need is for my girls to be happy and healthy and enjoy life. I really would not have felt like I missed anything if I had not opened one gift for myself. Well, Saturday came and so did Namo and Fig...and so did MORE presents!!! I have to say, our house looks like a toy store and I will definitely start rotating the toys. Maybe next year I'll institute a rule of one gift per baby from each person who wants to give gifts and any money they would have spent on more stuff should go right into their college funds! I can probably get away with this for them for a few years anyway. I know everyone is being super conscious not to "gip" the babies with their b'day and Christmas being so close together but really, we have been so blessed with the generosity of all our friends and family that these girls will never want for anything, this I know for sure!

I'll post a new slideshow and some video in the next couple of days...but first I have to go feed little Lily.


McTriplet Mommy said...

The boys have missing the updates on their three little girlfriends! I was so happy to see this one! Happy birthday, girls!! :)

I know we've "talked" more in depth privately about all of this - but sometimes it just takes *time*. When Lorne turned one he could not sit up unassisted, he was on 3/4 - 1 LPM oxygen, he was a sick kid who didn't interact with us at all.

Now he's a three year old boy - all ALL senses of the word! He still has his Mickey (you'll love it - so easy to take care of) and we're working on that... but if you saw us at the mall today (yep - took all three to the mall withOUT a stroller at all!!!) you'd never guess where he came from. Walking around holding hands with his brothers, asking intelligent questions - just being, well, a three year old! :)

Wow... just think what the NEXT year will bring!!

Take care,

MaryBeth said...

Wow, I thought the number of toys and parts around here was rough... I can only imagine if my girls' b-day was as close to Christmas as yours! Yikes!! Sounds like the celebrations were all wonderful despite the overwhelming feeling of the presents.

Anonymous said...

Hi Keira!

I read your blog all the time! The girls look fantastic! It is so wonderful to know that they are doing so well. Anne Moroz showed me your Christmas card as she was making her rounds through the unit the other day and it was just precious! A very happy (a little late) 1st birthday to 3 of my favorite patients ever! I've been thinking about you all a lot as I remember I was taking care of them back-to-back-to-back at this time last year. The buttons you made were great! I have mine displayed proudly on my work bag. Best wishes to all the Sorrells for a very happy new year!

Lots of love,
Taryn Wilson, RN
Northside NICU

All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31