September 25, 2007

Another Surgery?

Although it does not dominate our thoughts, the shunt is always in the back of our heads. Niklas and Lukas, for example, are both pukers while Gabbie is not (she wouldn't dare waste food). However, when Niklas does one of his four-pump projectile fountain pukes, we can't help but wonder if it's shunt related. Usually he smiles when he's done to let us know we shouldn't worry and so we usually don't. Developmentally, Niklas could not be doing any better. Pam, our physical therapist, is generally in shock when she comes to our house because Niklas is doing so well. She constantly reminds us how lucky we are.

Today was our 6 month follow up at U of M in which Niklas received a CAT scan. He was such a good boy that he did not need sedation. He's a seasoned vetran. After the scan we met with the neurosurgeon to examine the pictures. The good news is that the ventricles are completely back to normal. The shunt is functioning perfectly and things look pretty good, but there is a pocket of fluid outside the ventricles that has just refused to drain. This pocket is not connected to the ventricles and so it doesn't get drained by the shunt. This was noticed at the last appointment, but neurosurgery just cranked up the shunt a notch and hoped it would go away. Now we are faced with the choice of whether or not to treat it, and either choice would be a perfectly legitimate one. On the one hand, Niklas is doing completely fine, so do we want to treat the patient or the CAT scan? On the other hand, is this something that could affect him in the future in a way we don't see yet? The good news is that we are not treating a sick kid here, so that makes things a little better. I would rather see an issue with a CAT scan than visible issues with my baby. Our neurosurgeon seems to lean towards fixing the issue as do Greta and I, although we both hate these kinds of decisions. Each surgery seems to get harder and harder as Niklas seems to be more aware of what is going on each time. In the long run, this will be for the better and I thank God for the incredible progress he has made. We are probably looking at the end of October for the surgery so, again, your prayers are needed. By the way, I love this picture (Niklas is wearing the dark stripes).

September 17, 2007

Tornadoes (Post 100)

I never thought that I would take to this blogging thing. Originally, I thought it would be cool to document the ultrasounds and sort of chart the growth of the babies. I never really anticipated that life would become what it has, but I guess you never do, and that is the fun of it. But here we are, 100 posts later.

I used to have this recurring dream that started sometime in college and occurred a couple times a month. It was always sort of the same, but each time the circumstances and setting changed a bit. My surroundings were always familiar, but varied from my childhood home in Dimondale, to the cottage in Cadillac to the house I live in now. Generally, I would look to the sky and see inclement weather approaching far off in the distance. Invariably, I watch in awe as one, then eventually multiple tornadoes spin out of the sky. I stand there in fascination and fear watching these multiple tornadoes spin around (I want to say that there were always three, but I don't really know for sure). I was a meteorology major for about 1 semester in college because of my interest in the weather, so each time the sight of the tornadoes would be captivating. I remain in complete awe until I realize that the tornadoes are headed directly at me. No matter the location, I find the best place for cover, feeling the vibration of the approaching storms. The house begins to rattle, the roof begins to come loose, and I become completely terrified of my impending doom. Just before what would be my certain death I, of course, wake up. I used to wonder what on earth this dream could possibly mean, but I think I know the answer now. The tornadoes are here.

September 15, 2007

Six Months Adjusted

Yesterday, the Triplets turned 6 months old adjusted. This means that it would have been their 6 month birthday had they made it to their expected due date of March 14th. Next week, however, they will actually be 9 months old. Time continues to fly, and these little people get more fun (and exhausting) every day. I used to wonder how my dad could just sit in a chair and instantly fall asleep , now I get it. In fact I just woke up from an "old man nap" a few minutes ago. I mentioned a while back that the exhaustion is a good thing, and I do stand by that. Life is never boring, and it never slows down. Tonight, Greta and I are actually going out to dinner. We have only been out together 2 other times since the babies have came home. That's it for today, as I have the mental capacity of a rock right now.

September 7, 2007

The Mad Pooper Strikes Again

Last night we were giving the babies their last bottle before bed. Often during a feeding, one of the three will fill their diaper and stink up the room. We thought this was the case with Gabbie, when all of the sudden Greta noticed what looked like a pile of dog crap on the floor. Gabbie had completely filled her diaper and the overflow left an impressive pile on our (fortunately) hardwood floor and a mess all over Greta's clothes. We are so lucky that this steamy dump didn't land on the couch or the carpet. When Gabbie is about 16 years old I will be directing potential suitors to this weeks blog posts. Needless to say, she needed a bath.

This week has been a difficult one for us. Anne (our daytime help) went back to school and can only help Greta between about 2 and 5 p.m. As a result, Greta is completely spent by the time I get home, and the kids seem to be a little crankier than normal. On top of it all, Lukas has started a new phase of constant screaming and whining throughout the entire day. The boy makes this awful, awful noise that completely rattles your nerves. I really hope this is a phase that passes because it is taking its toll on the both of us. Lukas has always been the most demanding, but this week he has taken it to new heights. But he is so cute...

September 4, 2007

Eye Exam

When new parents bring their babies home from the hospital, they will tell you how awesome it is. They will say how it is all worth it, that it is the most rewarding experience in the world, and that they wouldn't trade it for anything. I will be the first to tell you that they are lying. Bringing even a healthy newborn baby home from the hospital sucks. You are up every couple hours feeding. You are exhausted to the point of hallucination. You learn everything as you go along and worry about every little thing your kid does. It's completely miserable. When I look back on the fact that we had three little babies at home, on oxygen, that needed to be fed every three hours I wonder how we even survived. Now, was it all worth it? Absolutely! I think after about the 6 month mark, parenting becomes the most awesome and rewarding experience ever. All of that misery is completely justified when your babies start interacting with you. Parents have selective memory, which is why I don't remember the NICU or most of the first 3 months at home, but I remember all the laughs and good times. So remember, when new parents tell you how awesome it is, just smile and agree since they are in a state of temporary insanity and don't know what they are saying.

Today, we went to visit the eye doctor for the first time since last spring. I have to admit that sometimes I am just waiting for the hammer to drop. During our stay in the NICU there were many potential obstacles and it always seemed like one of the three was trying to overcome one of them. I fully expected to hear today that someone was behind in their sight development or that something would be wrong. I am not being pessimistic, but with 28 week preemies there is a pretty good chance that at least one of them is going to have some kind of vision problem. Amazingly enough, everyone was doing fine. Another sigh of relief and another hurdle leaped, although we are not completely out of the woods yet. The miracle that these babies are continues to amaze me everyday.

September 3, 2007

Summer Finale

I took Friday off to extend the holiday weekend and take the family on a second excursion to Cadillac. This time, the weekend was completely perfect. The drive to and from was uneventful. We did have to sit in any traffic, and we did not have to tolerate any crying in the car. The weather was nothing short of glorious, and to top it all off it was a perfect football weekend. MSU pounded UAB, but we all know that was not the news of the weekend. I know I run the risk of alienating some readers of this blog, but the fact that a #5 ranked U of M got beat by a Division I AA school made my football season. I cannot wait until November 3rd when the Wolverines take to the field in East Lansing to the tune of the crowd chanting "App-A-Lach-Ian". In fact, they will probably have to hear that chant in every stadium they enter this year.

In any event, it was a little sad to realize that the summer is over. At some point between June and now, the babies became fun. I have always enjoyed being with them, but this summer they went from being premature babies to little people that interact and love their mommy and daddy. There was no shortage of hands to hold and feed the babies up in Cadillac, although I think there may be one less as Gabbie completely crapped all over the 10 year old neighbor girl. Something, I imagine, she will never forget. Gabbie pooped all over the poor girl's pants and shirt. She crapped her own clothes, the couch, the blanket and amazingly the back of her head. But she's so cute...