Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Learning Curves...

It seems like we try a billion different things before we find what will work for our trio, and even then, finding what works for each individual. Some days our routine goes smoothly and some days it crashes all around us. Some days I just want to cry at the end because I am exhausted and a little one is too beyond exhaustion to sleep (fighting it tooth and nail). Most days I just smile at my little bundles of joy, loving them, and every moment I get with them, good or bad.
No one could have ever prepared me for triplets. I don't think you can even truly comprehend the reality of living/ caring/ and raising triplets until you actually do it. I felt fairly prepared going into this. I read everything I could get my hands on, listened to everything on the triplet boards, etc, and I knew it was going to be really hard but I felt ready... Then "ready" went out the window when they came home. It is definitely a completely different life now but it is a wonderful one.
So if you see a mom of higher multiples, give her some props because I am sure she deserves it and doesn't really hear it. Being a HOM (higher order mom) is not easy in the least but the rewards are defiantly plentiful (the children).

Sunday, March 14, 2010

7 week old Routine....

For anyone who is wondering what our 7 week old babies routine is...

(All of these are give or take an hour depending on the day)
5am morning bottle, sleep
8am bottle, up a little (about 30mins), sleep
11 am bottle, afternoon nap (usually about 4 hour)
3pm bottle, up until next bottle
6pm bottle (working on 7pm bedtime...just started last night)
9pm bottle, sleep
12-3am bottle and sleep (after bedtime they only get fed when they wake up which is different for every baby during this stent)

Now let me say that our feed times last about 2 hours from the start of one baby to the finish of another. This is because we feed each baby one at a time (unless their is help available and then somehow it still seems to take that long). With reflux issues, bottle propping is not an option for our trio. There are also days where the babies don't sleep that much and the feeds run back to back, but this gives other new moms or expecting moms an idea as to what it is like. Also for the past two nights the babies have slept for about 5 hours after their bedtime bottle which is awesome!
We are still working on finding a bedtime routine that works for us.
As far as where the babies sleep/ are for that day.... We are working on them only being in their cribs and the nursery for their afternoon nap (11am) and for bedtime. After their 8am bottle they come into our room/ other parts of the house for the day. That seems to work the best right now. Having them in our room at night is more stressful. They don't sleep as long (I think due to the noise of us being up at that time, lights, etc) and we definitely don't sleep (what little we get) well because we are constantly checking them and hearing all their little grunts.
Another thing we are learning is to let them cry a little. I have been so concerned about letting them cry because for one crying can make reflux worse and two, they get each other worked up. I think this has caused issues with them being able to self sooth. Thus requiring someone to pick them up to calm them... and it is hard to put them down without them starting back up. So I let them cry yesterday while going down for their nap. Now it was not really the whole "cry it out" thing. They were all fed, changed, and layed in bed after about 10 mins of rocking. Also I stayed in there the whole time reading books to them. Caitlin started screaming to be held right after we put her down, which got Criton screaming. After about 15 mins though, Criton seemed to tune her out and feel asleep. Caitlin on the other hand went for about 45 mins until she calmed down. Of course Haley is our quiet one and doesn't really seem to be effected by the other two as much, so she slept through all of it. I hated listening to her cry but we can't keep picking her up and holding her constantly, and they all have to learn to sleep through the other one crying. Otherwise you have what we have been dealing with for the last 7 weeks... Caitlin and Criton crying, demanding to be held and Haley our quiet one, having to get put down to deal with the other two, and making it impossible for just one person to manage all three. Thank god Michael works from home, but that also means he is working round the clock inbetween feeds and crying fits, which doesn't work for anyone. So, as hard as it is, as along as all their needs are met (feed, clean diaper, physically ok) the only time they are going to get held for awhile (until they can self sooth and ignore the others cries) is during feeds and playtime. I know this sounds harsh, it breaks my heart, but we don't see any other way. Hopefully it works well and this will resolve quickly.

Baby Update...

It is so hard to find the time to get on here and blog with triplets. All the babies are over 10 1/2 pounds and will probably be over 11 by their appointment next week if they keeps this up. For the past two nights the babies have slept for about 5 hours after being first put down to bed and then they pick back up their every 3 hour or so vigual... but at least we get one stent of five hours which is a godsend... hopefully it keeps up. Everyone is taking on average 4 ounces a feed, and yesterday evening they have been taking 5 ounces. Not sure if this is a fluke or a new trend.
Thurs we were able to get a little play time in the routine. Michael and I sat on the floor with the babies on their play mat and played for almost an hour. We did some tummy time, practice rolling, and just general chatting to them. It was awesome. I know in time there will be a lot more time to play and that right now is just survival mode with the triplets, but it was a good moment.
They are all smiling and I could swear I hear a tiny giggle every now and then (so waiting to hear them laugh). We are working on rolling over at the moment. Their head control is just astounding and Caitlin has got some incredible overall body strength (we think she will be the first to walk). They are very alert and pay attention to everything going on. It is amazing to watch their eyes light up. They seem to be right on target for their age...Yay!
It's funny how much trial and error we have gone through with these three to find what works for them.... Bottles, formula, diapers, soothing techniques, feeding schedules, bath times, etc. Since I had kids before you would think that it would be easy... but every baby is different. Eeven the triplets have their own uniqueness in most areas. It is amazing (and sometimes frustrating) to see just how different they are in their likes and dislikes, what works and what doesn't for each one.
None the less, we are exhausted and completely sleep deprived, but we love every moment we get with our little ones.


For anyone who has a really fussy baby, perhaps colic, or an unconsolable crying...
We have been having some issues with Caitlin screaming for hours on end for no reason except to be picked up and bounced. We had tried everything and nothing worked. Needless to say we felt at our wits end with this. Not only was she screaming but she was also getting the other two going (mostly just Criton but occasionally Haley). As usual we researched it like crazy and found Happiestbaby.com This pediatricians technique is amazing and really works. It shows you how to calm a baby in seconds.... and it calmed Caitlin in seconds. I would not have believed it if I did not experience it. Also White noise (including a hairdryer) works wonders for keeping them soothed. So for anyone who runs into this issue this is a must check out thing. If it worked for us I know it is real and not just another worthless gimmick. You can also find vidoes on it and learn the technique on youtube. It involves swaddling, turning them on their side while holding them, making a shush noise near their ear, lightly shaking (like a shiver), and giving them a pacifier all together. The videos can show/ explain it better, but it does work. Caitlin has been sleeping peacefully and isn't spastic when she went down or woke up for bottles.
Hope this helps some of you.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Formula and bottles.....

I haven't had much time to write lately. Triplets keep you very busy especially when you run into problems. The first problem came when we switched from buying the Parents Choice Gentle formulato the Meijer brand. On parents Choice they has gas and constipation issues but it got 10 times worse on the Meijer brand. Everyone was miserable, crying all the time, straining like crazy to get hard poos out, not sleeping well, etc. Needless to say it was a miserable time for everyone. Very stressful and severe sleep deprivation for everyone. So after a lot of research we switched to the name brand Enfamil Gentle ease formula. After 24 hours we were noticing a difference... the constipation was going away (it is fully resolved now).
Now with that being said things were still not great. Caitlin was extreamly fussy still and the gas was still really bad. Their sleep was also not that restful... constant moving/ grunting and the gas would wake them up and they would start crying. So once again I started to research things and came across a lot of people talking about the Dr Brown's bottles for colic, gas, etc. Tons of people were swearing by this bottle to fix the issues we were having so we decided to try it. Tonight was our first run and we noticed a big difference from the first feeding. These bottles are a godsend thus far. The babies are feeding within 30 mins instead of taking an hour per child. Caitlin was not screaming bloody murder for hours on end as she has been. All the babies are sleeping soundly and taking almost an ounce or more a piece.
So what I have learned.... Their is a difference in the generic formula vs the brand name, and in our case it was a huge difference. Also, bottles do matter. I would highly suggest and recommend anyone to just start out using the Dr Brown;s bottles. If you have any type of colic, gas or stomach issues...get these bottles. Bottles can make all the difference (we were using NUK's prior to this).
That is my experience thus far on this subject and the advice I can give.