Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Waiting Game

It's 8:45pm and we're in the NICU.  This is where we've spent each and every night since our girls were born.  We manage to squeeze in the time after the nurse's shift change at 7:30pm and before they kick us out for "sterile mode" at 10:00pm.  It's become our new date night.

We were expecting just another run-of-the-mill outing with our girls, but it wasn't to be.  We arrived at the hospital to find that Isabelle's stomach was swollen with air again.  The drain that they already placed in her stomach isn't helping the same way it did a week ago.  She's in obvious pain and it's so hard to sit idly by and wait for the surgeon to get to the hospital and place another drain in her belly.  Her eyes are open, but her arms and legs are all over the place.  They need to put the breathing tube back in so they can administrator the pain meds, but the first doc couldn't maneuver past her vocal chords.  They had to call Dr. Fitzgerald to the hospital and he had it in less than a minute.  He was in and just like that, he was on his way back to the ice rink.  Amazing.

We're still waiting for Dr. Mac for the actual procedure, but it's getting more and more difficult to wait.  Meg is obviously distraught seeing our tiniest suffer and I'm doing my best to be strong, hold her tight and let her know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Somehow, we just can't manage to hold back the tears. </p>

The doctor said that what's happening to Izzy isn't life threatening.  It's just difficult watching your kid suffer--a completely new and unwelcome emotion for me. 

We're going to stay here through the procedure until we can visibly see her belly return to normal and know that she'll be getting a good night's sleep.

Before bed tonight, we would really appreciate it if you could say a small prayer for Isabelle.

I'll post another update when we know more.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baby Radars and Energy Zappers

So, I learned something new recently (I'm sure this won't be the last time)--breasts, a.k.a. "baby radars,"  have an amazing ability to determine when babies are close by.  We've been keeping track of milk volume from pumping in a log that they gave us at the hospital.  The other day, Meg handed me the log to look at and asked me if I noticed any trends.  I didn't see it at first, but when she described the times she had spent at the NICU with our girls, and I looked at the corresponding pumping times that succeeded each visit, there was a drastic difference in the volume produced after spending time with our girls versus the other times.  It's as if they can sense that the babies are near and produce extra milk.  Maybe I'm the only person in the world who wasn't aware of this phenomenon, but I think it's pretty incredible.

I've made a few other observations about the pumping process, but the one that's the most noticeable is how Meg is literally transferring her energy from breast to bottle.  I can actually see her energy level drop from start to finish.

Over the last couple of days, the girls have all been making excellent progress.  Isabelle finally had her breathing tube removed, so all three are on nasal cannulas, breathing room air.  We haven't been given any guidance on when they'll take those off, but let me tell you, I can't wait to see their cute little faces without tubes and tape!  Also, this morning, they had their central lines removed from their belly buttons and had their picc lines put in.

I wasn't there this morning to take a photo, but because Isabelle had her breathing tube removed last night and was doing so well, Meg was able to hold her for the first time.  I'll get my chance on Tuesday night!  The other girls have been getting more than their fair share of cuddling.  Strike that.  You can never cuddle too much with these miracles.

Enjoy today's moment of bliss, below!

Madelyn, without a care in the world

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Hey, I'm expressing here!"

"It looks like an elephant's trunk spouting water!"

"I've got a gusher over here!"

What do all of these statements have in common?

They're all things that can be heard in an L&D room by a new mother who's just began pumping. 

Meg had just finished up a quick visit with the lactation consultant when I handed her an iron pill to take.  I mistakenly forgot to remove it from its pill package and Meg exclaims "I'm expressing!" which I took to mean that she wanted me to take the pill out because her hands were full.  Every time I play it back in my head, I imagine some New Yorker that I've just pissed off, raising his hands at me.  Too funny.  Now, anytime I'm preoccupied with something else and am asked to do something, you know which phrase I'm going to use.

So far, another uneventful day in the NICU.  We were able to do more skin-to-skin with Sophie and Maddy, which is always incredible.  Last night, I noticed that my arm was getting pretty tired from holding Maddy.  I know, a tired arm from holding something less than three pounds.  I need to get the gym.  Anyway, they keep the isolettes around 98 degree and around 70% humidity.  It's pretty much like the tropics when you reach your hands inside.  When the nurses take the babies out and place them on your chest, they pretty much just stick to your skin.  So, I decided to let my hand go and she just stuck to my chest.  The friction is enough to keep them from sliding.  It's kind of like throwing your kid up against the velcro wall!

As far as feeding goes, both Sophie and Maddy are getting mom's milk through a tube, straight to their tummies.  They're both getting 1cc every three hours, so they're probably going to start upping the volume.  I think they're going to try with Izzy soon, but I'm not sure when.  Also, both Izzy and Sophie were off of the phototherapy lights for a couple of days, but they still have some bilirubin in their bodies, so they're going to need the lights on again for a little while.  "Hello, eye covers!"

I'll end on a bittersweet note.  Yesterday, Meghan had to check out of the hospital to come home.  As much as I don't like hospitals, I dislike not being just a few rooms away from our preemie girls even more.  We live pretty close to the hospital--about 15 minutes--but not being a temporary resident at the hospital, down the hall from the NICU, is tough.  I had heard that this was going to be an emotional day, and as such many tears were shed.  If you're wondering by whom, let's just say that Meg held it together like a champ.

Enjoy today's moment of bliss, below.

Today's moment of bliss

Friday, August 26, 2011

Making Progress Every Day (by Meghan)

Today was a day full of good news! I feel like we've been part of some amazing miracles in the process of bringing these girls into the world.  Every time I see Isabelle struggling and I get sad I think about the fact that at 4 days old she has already skirted death twice. Between the TTTS and the bad doplars at the end of the pregnancy, I feel like we've already had 2 miracles.  What more could we ask for?  But today I felt like the miracles just keep rolling in for these girls. 

First, Sophia and Madelyn started on breast milk yesterday.  For preemies this early and small, digesting can be a difficult task that results in some setbacks, but not for our girls.  They receive 1ml every 6 hours. At this point, they have been given 4 doses of milk. After the 6 hour period passes, the nurses check to make sure the milk was digested.  Each time both girls have been digesting the complete dose.  They're doing so well the doctors are planning to up the frequency and the amount of milk they receive within the next few days.

Isabelle is still on the breathing tube to help keep air out of her perforated bowel.  One positive aspect to this is she doesn't actually need the breathing tube for breathing purposes, which is wonderful.  Also, she is doing much better now than she was before the surgery.  They continue to run labs and x-rays and with each one she seems to be improving.  Today the neonatologist told us he continues to think she just has a spontaneous perforation and not NEC (necretizing entercolitis).   We are keeping our fingers crossed that he's right.   If it is NEC, the worst case scenario would be her bowel would need to be removed and she would need a colostomy bag.  There are many scenarios in between, but the hope is that it is not NEC but actually a spontaneous perforation, which would have no long lasting effects.  The plan is for her to come off of the tube either Tuesday or Wednesday.  They will start the small doses of feeding that Maddy and Sophie are on now and see how it goes.  We won't know if Izzy is in the best case scenario, worst case scenario, or somewhere in between for 1-2 weeks so keep the prayers coming for our itty bitty miracle girl.

Also today, all 3 girls had brain and heart scans done.  The ultrasound on the brain is to check for brain bleeds, very common in preemies, and the heart ultrasound is to see if the ductus closed, which needs to happen in order for them to start oxygenating their own blood.  As I was sitting in the NICU by myself today holding Maddy's hand and talking to her, the neonatologist came up behind me, put his hand on my back, and said, "No brain bleeds."  I started bawling and he hugged me and rubbed my back.  Then we both started laughing about how he told me.  He avoided saying, "So...I received the results from the brain scan..."  He knew in the few seconds it took him to say those words, I would already be crying and worrying and expecting the worse.  Instead the spit it out right away, rapid fire, so all he had to see were tears of joy.  When we went back tonight to hold the girls, he came by to let us know the girls echoes were all normal too.  Each day it feels like magic happens in that NICU!

The neonatologist also took some time to check in with us about the overall progress.  Jeremy told you earlier that he expected the first 24 hours to be a honeymoon period and that the next 72 hours would be critical.  Today he told us we will be at the end of that critical period at 10 am tomorrow - 96 hours post delivery - and he thought all three girls were doing amazingly well.  This doesn't mean we won't have new issues arise or have set backs going forward, but the chances of survival at this point are extremely high.  So, after what I think must have been one of the most complicated pregnancies ever, it is finally safe to say we have 3 beautiful baby girls.  No matter what happens in life now, we are fortunate to have our beautiful miracles thanks to the Lord, great doctors, and lots of prayers and support from friends, family, and our internet followers. :)

Mom and Baby Sophia

Sophia being held tightly by cotton arms

Baby Isabelle recovering from her belly surgery

Uh oh, this kid (Madelyn) is still trying to block me from taking her picture.  Boy, is she in for it!

Our family with Nurse Melissa in the NICU (she's great!)

Proud Mama

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Triplet Poem to Share

It's Thursday morning, d-day +3, and all of my girls are doing very well.  I went back to work yesterday for a while, then went back to the hospital in the evening to make sure I didn't miss my first Kangaroo Care time with Sophia.  All I can say is, "Incredible."  What an amazing experience to have one of my < 3 lb daughters cuddled up on my chest, skin-to-skin, sleeping away with her mouth wide open.  I could've stayed there all night.  Unfortunately, I eventually had to share her with Melissa, an extremely friendly NICU nurse.

While I was holding Sophia, Meghan was able to hold Madelyn for the second time in one day.  When the nurse handed Maddy to Meg, she was kind of laying sideways, across Meg's chest.  Since she seemed to be doing so well in that position, they left her alone.  The real benefit to having her lay in that position is that Meg could just sit and stare at her tiny preemie features for an hour.  Priceless.

Meg and I took turns taking some video of each other, but I slept at home for the first night last night and the video camera is still at the hospital.  I'm going back there this afternoon and will try to work on getting the video uploaded.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a very sweet and relevant poem I received yesterday.




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Girls Are Here! (update #3)

We had a pretty exciting day here at Edward.  To put you all at ease, all of the girls are ok.

Let's start with the good.  Meghan was able to begin some Kangaroo Care with Sophia.  For the uninitiated, it's pretty much what it sounds like.  It's a technique that's practiced on preemies that's meant to imitate how certain marsupials carry their young.  Sophia was the only one that was ready to be held today.  What was supposed to be a one hour event turned in two of the most incredible hours we've ever experienced together.  I'll be honest, it hadn't really hit me yet.  There was no anxious build-up to a planned c-section.  The birth of our babies came unexpectedly and I really wasn't emotionally prepared for how quickly everything happened yesterday.  When I came around the other side of the NICU, one of the nurses, Maria, already had Meg set up in a chair with Sophia pressed up against her chest.  I felt a tremendous wave of emotions coming over me and finally just let it all out, as did Meg.  It was so incredible!  Even though she still had all of her wires and tubes attached, for those two hours, she looked like a perfectly healthy baby.  I think we were both surprised that we didn't cry yesterday, but we made up for it today.  Tomorrow, we get to hold Madelyn.  Hopefully, not too far off in the future, we'll get to do the same with Isabelle.

So, speaking of Isabelle, do you remember yesterday when I said that hours 25-72 could potentially be a little tenuous?  Well, we got our first experience (besides the TTTS) with being worried parents.  Apparently, Isabelle has what they refer to as a spontaneous perforation of her small intestines.  It's a possibility with most preemies and our super preemie just loves herself a good challenge.  The doctors think she has a small hole in her intestines and that gas is leaking into her abdomen.  We could visibly see that her stomach was distended and stretched to the max.  One of the neonatologists and a surgeon spoke with us and told us that they were going to have to make a small incision in her belly and insert a very small drainage tube.  Immediately, her stomach went back to normal size and they could see the gas leaving her belly.  The hope is that the small hole heals itself over the next week.  Depending on how her body reacts will affect the next potential treatment.  The only other negative side effect is that they had to put her breathing tube back in because the seemingly innocuous nasal cannula was actually blowing air that was seeping into her belly.  Like I said in the beginning, so far so good.  All of the girls are sleeping well tonight.

I also wanted to include a pic of Madelyn with her full-length body pillow.  She looks like mom used to, sleeping on her side with the babies.  Look at the size of that pacifier next to her head!

Also, I took this photo on Sunday night. We didn't know that we'd be delivering the next morning, but Meg's second true love--Abigail--thought she'd help out with the babies by warming them up and giving them a little purr action. She is in for one heck of a surprise when we bring home our three girls!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Girls Are Here! (update #2)

Wow, we’re already d-day +1! Time is flying by so quickly. I didn’t want Meg to be alone in the hospital, so I stayed over with her last night. She got the big cushy hospital bed and I got the couch that converted to a slab of concrete. It must be nice to be mom :)

I went back and read yesterday’s update and realized I didn’t really explain how we got to this point at 29 weeks and three days. During Meg’s weekly MFM appointment last Wednesday, they decided that they wanted to start seeing her three times a week for monitoring, as they were concerned about Isabelle’s cord blood flow. Basically, her end diastolic flow had been occasionally absent. They told us last week if they began seeing reverse flow that they would take the babies out to make sure that Izzy wouldn’t be at risk.

Well, what began as a very ho-hum Monday morning, turned into the most amazing day of my life when I received a call from Meg at 8:20am as I was pulling into the parking garage at work. Meg had her 8:00am appointment and as soon as the sonographer noticed that Isabelle had some reverse flow, they called the MFM into the room, he made an executive decision to get our girls out, and off to the OR they went.

While Meg was surprisingly calm, I was extremely panicked. These babies weren’t supposed to be here for another three weeks. Meg said, “Honey, they’re delivering the babies this morning. Go home and get our hospital bag and get over here.” Then, about ten minutes later, as I was minutes away from the house, she called back and said, “Forget what I said. Get to the hospital because they want to deliver within the hour.” I told her I was minutes away from home and received approval to pick up the items we needed, as they would wait for me if I could get there quickly.

I’m not exactly sure what happened, but my brain kind of stopped working. As soon as I walked in the house, I forgot everything I had been sent there to retrieve.   My wife must have figured this would happen because she left a list at home for me. When I finally arrived at the hospital, I couldn’t remember “Do I park in the North or the South parking lot for Labor & Delivery?” Even though Meg and I took an entire five-week, 10-class Marvelous Multiples baby session, which included a tour of the hospital, I completely blanked on how to get to L&D. After receiving instructions from some very nice ladies at the front desk who obviously witnessed this sort of behavior before from expecting dads, I finally found Meghan, who was already gowned up and ready to go into the OR.

I had to put on my own hazmat suit before being allowed to participate and couldn’t help but think of lunch lady references once I put on my hair head net. How childish am I?

They wheeled Meghan back to the OR first and came to get me once they had set up her spinal. She was feeling no pain. In fact, since our heads were behind the big curtain, neither of us realized they were actually cutting in to her belly until I saw a moderately red latex glove reaching up to adjust the light on the other side of the curtain.

They told us as they were pulling each of the girls out, but we didn’t hear cries right away. In fact, they had to put tubes down each of their throats so they could apply surfactant to their lungs. Once that was done, while we were still in the OR, we heard each of them cry before they were whisked away to the NICU. The original plan was for me to go with the babies, but they needed about an hour with them in the NICU before they would let me see them. At that point, Meg needed me more. The spinal had worked great, but as they were “cleaning up the insides,” Meg felt some uncontrollable visceral pain. They didn’t really prepare us for that. She was squeezing so hard, I thought she was going to snap my thumb right off. Well, we survived, thumbs intact.

My wife is such a trooper. She didn’t end up falling asleep until around midnight last night and it was only because I needed to get some sleep and strongly suggested that we turned out the lights. I think she was on such a high yesterday. Besides that 15-30 minute clean-up period in the OR, she had a permagrin pretty much all day long. She was told not to stand or walk around during her first day, but by the evening, she was in the NICU, walking around with her IV bag, cleaning the babies with little wipes.

I even got in on the action and changed Isabelle’s diaper. I’ve faced some pretty tough challenges, but I’ve never encountered anything more intimidating than a 1 lb 7 oz girl with a wet diaper. Talk about scary! She looked so frail and I was so afraid that I was going to hurt her with my meat hooks. We both survived.

We went to bed last night with all of the girls doing extremely well. They all had just the nasal cannulas and were breathing on room air. The nurses in the NICU did tell us that the first 24 hours is considered the “honeymoon” period and that hours 25-72 could be a little unpredictable. Madelyn had a small bout with apnea earlier in the day, but by bedtime, that had disappeared. Besides being featherweights, none of our girls are having any obvious issues at this time.

Meg did well overnight and had her catheter and IV removed this morning. She’s up and walking around and even got to shower. She began pumping last night and I can already tell this is going to be an arduous process to keep up with. We’ll get through it though, just like we always do.

We’re off to see our babies and spend some time in the NICU. Enjoy the pics below!

Baby Madelyn - apparently the hair is a protective mechanism for preemies and it will fall off of the places where it doesn't belong

Baby Madelyn - apparently the extra hair is a protective mechanism that you see on preemies and will disappear as she grows larger

Baby Isabelle

Baby Isabelle - grasping Meg's finger

Look at those tiny digits

Apparently, there is a diaper size smaller than Preemie.  It's called WeePee.  How funny!

Isabelle's miniature foot and ankle.  The nurse was putting a bandage on after her heel prick.

Hi Baby Sophia!

Sophia was doing what I was thinking

Sophia taking her first look at us

Baby Sophia soaking up some fake sun with her eye protectors

Baby Isabelle catching some zzzzz's

Look at the small little red hand

Baby Isabelle taking a quick peek at us

Proud parents

Dad and Baby Madelyn

Dad and Baby Sophia

Baby Madelyn

Mom and her tiniest daughter

Dad being intimidated by someone weighing < 2 lbs

I'm not sure who was more scared

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Girls Are Here! (update #1)

We would like to introduce the world to the DeBauche triplets!
They arrived unexpectedly, but we are so excited to meet them.
First out, born at 10:09am, was Sophia Rose.  She weighed in at 2 lbs 15 ounces.
Second out, born at 10:10am, was Isabelle Grace.  She weighed in at 1 lb 7 ounces.
And for the finale, born at 10:11am, was Madelyn Jane.  She weighed in at 2 lbs 8 ounces.
They are all so small and beautiful.  Sophia grabbed my pinky, but even the tip of my pinky dwarfed her tiny baby hand.  They wouldn't allow cameras in the OR, but I'll get some photos when I go to the NICU soon.
So far, our basketball team is doing great and I'll continue to update throughout the day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The End is Near (by Meghan)

Wow!  It's been so long since our last post!  We apologize to all of you who have been emailing us to request updates.   You shall wait no more. :)

Well, today we're 29 weeks, but I'll need to go back a bit to fill you in all the way.  Our first glitch happened at 27 weeks and 5 days.  I went to my normal appointment at our MFM that Wednesday and sat for my hour-long appointment.  As far as I could tell everything was ok...then the doctor came in to talk to me.  My cervix had shortened to less than 2.5cm, so he wanted me to go to the hospital to have contraction monitoring and receive our steroid shot in case we had to deliver soon.   He told me I might not be going home so I started to get a little worried.

When I got to the hospital, they checked me in to a room in labor and delivery and had me change into a gown.  Actually checking in this early was a bit scary, but I kept telling myself they were just being cautious.  They gave me the first dosage of the steroid, which helps the babies' lungs mature more quickly, and hooked me up to the contraction monitor.  It showed I was having contractions every 6 minutes.  That coupled with the shortened cervix was concerning so they put me on Procardia to relax the uterus.  Luckily, after 5 hours in the hospital they sent me home for the night.  The next day I went back for the second steroid shot and more contraction monitoring.  The machine did not pick up contractions in regular intervals that day, which indicated the Procardia was working and I could go home until the next week.

At the next MFM appointment one week later, this past Wednesday, August 17th, things got a bit scary again.  They told us the doplar measurements for our donor baby weren't looking as good as they had been.   During our scare with TTTS, her doplars showed lack of blood flow in the umbilical cord.  Over the weeks following the surgery, this reading got better and better.  However, as of Wednesday, instead of continuing on the improvement track, they seem to be getting worse.  Also, her weight gain, already slow, has slowed even more. Six weeks ago, Isabelle weighed 11 oz., measuring in the 7th percentile for growth.  The doctor had told us that was ok as long as she continued to grow and narrow the gap between her and the other babies.  Three weeks ago, she gained 6 oz, measuring at 1lb, 1oz. and falling in the 9th percentile.  This week she only gained 7 oz., measuring 1lb, 8oz. and dropping to the 5th percentile for her gestational age.

Her slow growth is probably attributed to the issues with the blood flow in the umbilical cord.  Although the doctors, decided she's growing enough to put off delivery for now, they seem very concerned.  My 1x/week appointment has been upped to 3x/week.  So now, I see the MFM Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and the OB on Tuesdays.  Four appointments each week! You may be wondering why.  The doctors explained that there is a high chance of Isabelle being stillborn if she stops getting nutrients from the placenta and we don't catch it in time.  They also believe there is risk of Sophia having a stroke if she senses something has happened to Isabelle.  The goal is to let them keep incubating as long as possible without pushing our luck too far and experiencing these complications.

Next week they'll check the umbilical cord blood flow on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and one more time on the following Monday.  As long as it's holding steady, they will let us keep progressing.  On Wednesday, August 31st, they'll do another growth scan.  Because only 2 weeks will have passed since the previous scan, they will probably not gain as much.  The doctor today said they'll be looking for her to gain at least 4 oz in those 2 weeks.  If she does, we'll be in the clear to keep going to 32 weeks.  If she doesn't we'll deliver then or within the next day or two.

All of that being said, there are a lot of positives to be thankful for.  First of all, we've made it to 29 weeks and we'll most likely make it to 30.  Something feels much better about getting to the 30s. :)

Second, I met with a neonatologist from the NICU today and had a great conversation with him.  He said he's very happy they were able to get the steroids in before we had to rush to delivery.  He explained to me what a big difference it makes for lung development in preemies and told me with as far along as we are we can expect healthy babies that should come home around their due date (November 4th).   They also told me we'll qualify for the Early Intervention program at the hospital.  From the beginning, we'll have a speech pathologist, working on swallowing and eating in general, a physical therapist, working with muscle movement, and other early intervention specialists whom I can't remember because it was information overload. :)  The greatest part of this though, is our girls will have follow-up appointments with these specialists until they're 3 years old.  Which means they will be helping me figure out when to worry about any type of special needs and make sure our girls are on the right track from the beginning.  For those of you in education and probably nursing and other health care fields, you know how important early intervention is and why this made me so excited.   What a wonderful resource!

Finally, let's not forget about Sophia and Madelyn.  The two of them are growing wonderfully!  Their last measurements were 2lb, 7oz (Maddy) and 2lb, 9oz (Sophie).  By our next growth scan both of them should be in the 3lb range, which is great for 30 weeks.  Also there is good news for Izzy too.  The doctors reassured us that development progresses in a standard way regardless of weight.  Even though her weight is behind the others, her lung and brain and other organ development should be standard for a baby at her gestational age, whether it be 29 weeks, 30 weeks, etc.  And, the doctor also told us sometimes the smaller of the multiples does better out of the womb than the others. Because they've been fighting to live and grow, when they come out they're more prepared to continue to do the same.  The other babies that had less stress in utero may not have as much fight in them. :)

Either way, we're nearing the time we'll finally get to meet our babies.  They'll be here sometime between now and September 15th.  With less than four weeks to go, we've been trying to get as ready as we can.   In the next blog post, we'll share some photos of the girls' bedroom, the playroom and a couple of bonus pics of our finished bedroom!

In the meantime, we'll leave you with a photo of Abigail warming up one the babies' sleeping spots.

She wasn't the only one who wanted to help out... (thanks Patrick)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

27 weeks and 3 days pregnant (running short on time)

I was going to write about how busy I am lately or how frustrated Meghan and I get with doctors in a group practice that don't take the time to read Meg's chart before seeing her and insist that they'll "keep monitoring babies A and B to make sure they don't have to send her down to Miami for TTTS surgery." (By the way, this has happened three times!)  No, I won't write about that.  I'll keep this post positive, because hey, Meg is almost 28 weeks pregnant!  We'll hit that milestone this Friday in fact.  That's been a pretty big target to hit according to our MFMs.  They said that the babies have ~90% chance of being healthy in the NICU and avoiding major issues with prematurity.  Obviously, no one can predict whether or not any one of our girls will be free of the effects of TTTS, but getting them to 28 weeks sure does help with a lot of stuff.  In fact, Meg is showing no signs of stopping.  Her cervix is long and closed.  They told her that if it stays that way until 30 weeks, they'll stop measuring it because, at that point, if she did go in to labor, they would just deliver the babies.  We're still shooting for 34 weeks, which I can't actually believe is only six to seven weeks away!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Letters To My Daughters (#1)

Dear Isabelle, Madelyn, and Sophia,

You're still a couple of months away (hopefully) from taking your first breaths and melting our hearts, though to be honest, mine is already complete mush.  If you've gone back and read this blog from the beginning, then you've noticed that most of what your mother and I have written has been about our journey and experience with the pregnancy.  In fact, most of the posts on the blog aren't really written for you, but for our friends, family, and the small fan club that's formed around you!  Reflecting on this, I realized I wanted to write directly to all of you.  This actually serves a couple of purposes.  First, assuming that we'll have lots of time together when you get older, it will be fun to look back on the thoughts of an expecting father and compare them to a, then, experienced one.  Second, if something ever happens to me, and I don't get an infinite amount of opportunities to help mold your beautiful minds and share my experiences with you, then I want you to have pieces of my heart, in the form of these letters, to hold next to yours.  Before I get on to the main point of this letter, I want you to all know how much you mean to me.  You were all "daddy's little girls" since we saw our first ultrasound and no matter how tall you grow, you'll always stay that way in my heart.

An old friend shared a post recently with the thoughts, below.  I read through it and thought to myself, "This is one simple way to summarize a healthy approach to and outlook on life," and I wanted to share it with you.  There will be times in your life when you feel overwhelmed and may possibly be searching for some direction.  Don't over-think everything.  Most of life is pretty simple.  You'll be faced with tough decisions at certain points in your life, but there's a lot of living to be had in the in between and you need to do your best to enjoy it when you can!

"This is your life.
Do what you love, and do it often.
If you don't like your job, quit.
If you don't like something, change it.
If you don't have enough time, stop watching tv.
If you're looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Stop over analyzing.  Life is simple.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate every last bite.
Open your minds, arms, and hearts to new things and people, we are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them.
Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come once, seize them.
Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating.
Life is short.
Live your dream and share your passion."


P.S. - Don't use the third line as an excuse to quit every job.  There will be times in your life when you have responsibilities and obligations and those may trump your dislike for your current job.

P.P.S. - Your mother told me to tell you that you better not be allergic to cats or else she might have to make some tough decisions about who stays and who goes.  At this point, I'd say your odds are slightly better than a coin flip.

P.P.P.S - I want you to know that your mother is adorable.  I'm sure your thoughts on your mother will change over time, but she is a sweetheart who smiles at every opportunity and loves to laugh.  In fact, sometimes she laughs so hard she almost pees her pants.  You should know that, thus why I included a picture of her in today's letter.