From our perspective, a truer statement has never been made. One year ago today, I was driving in to work, fully ignorant to the fact that a few hours later, I would get to meet the three most amazing miracles I've ever known. I can still remember every single thought and sensation as Meg called to tell me to rush to the hospital because our girls were going to be delivered as soon as I could get there. Panic. Excitement. Fear. Joy. You name it, I felt it, and I've been feeling bits of that day every day for the past year, for which I am forever grateful and blessed.
I'm not gonna spend too much time reminiscing about the past, because it's EXTREMELY well documented already earlier in the life of this blog. What I will do is share some of the cutest photographs I have ever taken of my darling girls. We actually celebrated their first birthday while we were on vacation in Erie. For some reason, I decided to hold off on posting these pics until their actual birthday, which has been painstakingly difficult to do. In case you're interested, we got the tutus from someone on Etsy and Meg and her mom made the onesies.
Well, the day is here. My little girls turn one today. Who gets the present? You do of course--a blog post :)
Before I put you in to a picture-induced coma, it probably wouldn't hurt to give a short update on what's going on with everyone.
Let's start with Miss Izzy, because she has really been making some amazing progress recently. Ever since we started her on the Sildenafil a few weeks ago, she seems to have a lot more energy which has really allowed her to start pushing her physical boundaries. Those physical boundaries aren't really boundaries, ie. nothing permanent. I just think with the c.diff and lower oxygen saturation levels, she hasn't necessarily had the energy/motivation to push herself. Lately, she's been rolling to her tummy at night and actually sleeping. Meg caught her "rolling with a purpose" yesterday, actually using her rolling skills to get somewhere. If we help her stand up, she can hold on to the standing toys and keep herself up. While seated, her range of twisting motion has really increased, almost owl-like. She does a lot of rocking and it's so obvious that she just wants to stand up and run! Even though she can't, it's the will and purpose I can see in her eyes that ensures me that she'll be just fine. One thing is for sure, she does not want that nasal cannula on her face for a minute longer! That's good because we're hoping to ween her from the diuretics soon and hopefully the oxgen not too long after.
Unfortunately, she's not making much progress on the eating front. All of her feedings are still through the G tube and she seems to have no intention of letting anything in her mouth, unless she puts it there. Sometimes we make her laugh and stick some food in. It seems to work a little because she stopped gagging, which is something she used to do when food even touched her lips.
At one year old, she has the most amazing smile and a belly laugh that could draw a smile from a mime.
Next up is Miss Maddy. Maddy sure had me fooled. Four or five months ago, I would've sworn that she would be the "difficult" one. So far, she's proving me wrong and is our most easy-going girl. Her reflux is improving, but not fully gone. She spits up less, but it still comes up at the most inopportune times--which is just about every time :) She's not walking, but she's standing--albeit wobbly standing--she's standing just the same. I foresee steps in her future. I'm not exactly sure when, but she seems to be very interested in what Sophie's doing and, for the first time, we caught her actually following Sophie in to the corner to chew on books. Remember ladies, "Books are for reading, not for eating."
I would say that the only major changes with Maddy have to do with her therapy. For the first several evals, she didn't qualify for EI (Early Intervention). She's created a little gap between herself and Sophie around feeding and some development traits, so she now qualifies for speech and developmental therapy, which is a good thing in my opinion.
Other than that, she's an extremely happy baby and loves it when you sing the "Manamana" song to her. She chews on her hands and fingers in a way that can be viewed as anything except being cute.
Now, Miss Sophia. She is our attention getter. I hesitate on using that term to describe her, but she's a lot like her momma. She's developing a secure attachment to us and really hates it when she can't be a part of whatever is going on. Meg's mom told me that she never wanted to sleep because she was always afraid she'd miss out on something. Well, that's Sophie. It seems a little odd to classify her like that considering she's only one year old, but she wants to be where the action is.
She's still therapy-free and developing as expected. She's also the first to try and accomplish anything new. I would say that, at this point, she's the leader of the pack, which makes sense considering she was the largest at birth and had to deal with the least amount amount of physical difficulties from the NICU through now. There was a part of me that didn't want to write this, because I was afraid of how it might be perceived by my girls years down the road. But, having a trail-blazer can be a good thing. It's also good if that person changes over the years. They end up being short-term role models to developing minds that show them what they can and should be doing. Who doesn't see the value in that?
I have a separate blog post in mind for this, but all of the girls have teeth. Some more than others, but not by much.
Together, they make an awesome team. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, even at one year old! I have no doubt they will continue to push, support, and challenge each other (and us) in the years to come. What more could a triplet dad ask for?
Happy birthday babies! You deserve it. Enjoy being one. The world is your oyster. Now go find some pearls!
Izzy, warming up to the camera
If I've learned anything during my photography career, you have to keep the talent happy (and fed)!
My three beautiful babies!
As a side note, Sophie choked on this pretzel about two minutes later. She survived, but we learned a lessson (and so did she).
My beautiful mini-me
HI can barely take it when she squishes up her face :)
This lady is sooooo happy!
Kylie, spending some quality time with Miss Sophia
What's cuter than a diaper-butt in a tutu? If you know, please tell me.
Scott and Chris
Tim and Sophia
Kiel, on guard in the baby plaza
Carolee and Buddy joining the party
The party crew
tThis entire sequence of photos with Meg and Izzy just makes my heart melt. Izzy was so happy that she could dance and sing with mom.
I'm pretty sure that Meg was telling her the most important secret of the world. Can you guess what she told her?
Kelsie with Miss Fab, Sophia.
Jo Anne, messing with Maddy's hair. Just kidding, that was the wind's fault.
I've been waiting for months to capture Sophie's squishy face on camera. She won't do it on command and it's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time, especially when seen live.
Birthday cupcake time! Most of the images speak for themselves. Can you imagine what they were thinking?
Looks like lipstick
All the girls promptly needed baths! Back in to the cage they went, awaiting presents and cards!
We are so thankful for everyone that brought cards and gifts. Everything we received is extremely appreciated! We couldn't have asked for a better first-birthday celebration for our little ladies.