February 23, 2008

Happy Gabbiversary!

Today marks one year since Gabbie came home from the hospital. Greta was so scared that she slept on the hardwood floors next to the crib so she could hear every breath. I remember being so terrified of bringing home a kid on oxygen, and soon we would have three. I can honestly say, I don't miss last winter very much. It was wonderful to bring the babies home, but nowadays things are much more fun. It certainly has been an action packed year.

Today, Greta noticed a tiny red bump on Gabbie that looked like a little bug bite. As the morning went on, more started to appear. Soon, all three of the babies had these little red dots all over their bodies. It looked as though we were facing a triple chicken pox infection. We called the doctor's office who informed us that this was probably a latent reaction to the chicken pox vaccination they received on the 13th of February. Apparently, reactions can occur up to a month later. As I write this, the bumps are almost gone and the babies are super happy. Whew! Grandma and Grandpa came in for the weekend so that we could go out to dinner tonight for Greta' birthday (which is the 25th), and I am glad we didn't have to cancel.

The pictures are of Gabbie from the day she came home and from her trip to Urban Toddler on Thursday, where she took on cashier duty. She has come a long, long way. Happy birthday to my Dad and Sister whose birthdays are both tomorrow.

February 17, 2008

Neurosurgery Update

Friday was our follow up appointment for the last surgery Niklas had at the end of October. Until now, he has had no problems with getting a CAT scan. This time, his little lip started quivering as soon as he was laid on the table. Shortly after, he started to panic. The more he panicked, the more he had to be restrained. The more he was restrained, the more he panicked. Eventually, he calmed down and the necessary pictures were taken. Niklas is a tough boy, but next time he will have to be sedated.

It seems as if we haven't received a conclusive report about Niklas since we learned of his condition last January. It's been an intense game of watch and wait. What I would really like to hear when we visit neurosurgery is "Everything looks great, see you in a year", but overall, things looked pretty good. The reason for the last surgery was to connect a bubble of non draining fluid to the area drained by the shunt (the ventricles). This bubble of non-communicating fluid was much smaller in Friday's ultrasound (good news!), however, the ventricle into which this fluid drained is now slightly larger. Dr. Maher explained that most likely this is simple physics at play. The fluid drained from the bubble into the ventricle and what we see makes perfect sense (even to me). Dr. Maher explained that his job is to take into consideration the chance that the enlarged ventricle is from another cause and to keep an eye on it. This is what I want from a doctor, someone to watch my kid like a hawk and make sure everything is the way it should be. So, I guess I'll let him worry about it since Niklas is doing fantastic, and that is all that really matters.

There were a couple other minor things brought up in our visit. First, Niklas's head chart showed a small spike. He is still in the 40th percentile, but this particular chart shows an increase. This doesn't bother me at all since head measurement tends to be so inaccurate. I am certain that the head chart at UM Neurosurgery looks completely different than the one maintained by our pediatrician. Not to mention Niklas hates having his head measured and tries to wrestle away the entire time. Each time it's a different nurse measuring the circumference in a slightly different way. Lastly, Niklas's shunt setting mysteriously moved (click here for previous story) from 1.0 to 0.5. Again, not a huge deal, but Dr. Maher says he never sees these things move and this is our third little incident like this. We both agreed that this does not warrant a surgery to replace the valve. Luckily, we now have the tools to monitor this situation.

February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

©2008 Greta Myers Photography

Now that all three kids are proficiently crawling, I am not sure depicting them as angels is necessarily accurate. They are all over the place at this point and, for the most part, it's hilarious. They are in the process of child proofing our house right now. The good thing is that all three kids understand the word "no", and 2 of them obey it. You're correct if you guessed that Lukas is the naughty one. When told "no" both Niklas and Gabbie immediately stop and pull away. Lukas grins and laughs. It's so fun now to come home from work and have three excited little people crawling to get to me. Today when I got home from work Gabbie greeted me with a "Bye-Bye" and a wave. I think She thinks it's like aloha.

Tomorrow is a big day for Niklas. This will be the first follow up since his latest shunt revision in October. The poor little guy (along with his siblings) got 5 shots yesterday and will now have to undergo a CAT scan tomorrow. We are really praying that things look good as we don't really want him to endure another surgery right now. Nonetheless, I couldn't be more thankful as our life couldn't be more blessed. I could not ask for a more perfect family (Greta really is an Angel). Greta found a quote today that I think sums up how we have dealt with all of this...

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance the rain

February 9, 2008

Catch Up

A couple of weeks back, we had a visit from physical therapy. We discovered that Lukas was right on track for his adjusted age and that Gabbie and Niklas were a bit behind. I think this sub-par report may have lit the fire of competition under them because no sooner than Pam leaving our house did those two start making progress. One of the big milestones, even bigger than crawling, is the ability to move back and forth between the sitting and lying down positions. Apparently, this takes an incredible amount of coordination so it is considered a pretty big step. Two weeks ago, neither Gabbie nor Niklas were doing this. Now they are both making these movements with ease. Although I was not here for the PT appointment, Greta told me that Pam was very excited, almost shocked, at the progress those two have made in the last 2 weeks. The prayers are much appreciated.

Gabbie started to crawl sometime last week and Niklas began to show his frustration at the fact that the other two could do something he could not. He wanted to crawl very badly, and last night he finally figured out the army crawl. Today, he moved across the floor to get his precious binky. Everyone has now learned to get down from the couch by rolling on to their stomach and sliding off. Niklas and Lukas are both pulling up on things and standing. Gabbie now says "Bye Bye Mama". It seems like something new is happening almost daily.

February 1, 2008

Little People

One year ago today, Niklas was returned to St. Joe's after his first brain surgery at U of M. I remember he had what seemed to be a giant bubble on the front of his head that looked as if it would never go away. Gabbie and Lukas were co-bedded for the first time, although we were doubtful it would last because Lukas was having a hard time maintaining his body temperature outside of the incubator. The babies weighed 13 lbs. combined!

I don't think there is a day that goes by where Greta and I don't thank God for this miracle. I am also glad that, for the most part, we were given the strength to enjoy our babies and shift focus away from what "could be". In the last post I mentioned how Gabbie and Niklas were a bit behind. Sometime between then and now, Gabbie started crawling, Niklas began getting up on all fours and rocking, and Lukas began pulling up on things and standing. They also had their first taste of Greta's slowly roasted leg of lamb and wild rice today. To our surprise they really enjoyed it and I am sure they will soon be food snobs. The trio continues to amaze me and give me deep belly laughs. Now, when people ask what it's like to have triplets my response is "absurd". Our life is completely ridiculous and it's awesome!

In the picture above, the trio is propped on the window sill. In my imaginary world, they are staring out the window waiting for me to come home from work.