Ruth’s Reverie and Other Ramblings

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Blessings June 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruth @ 2:44 am

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name.  He has done great things!

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow will be one week since the arrival of our three little Blessings.  June 22, 2011 at 11:43, 11:44, and 11:45, my sweet babies, Jocelyn Rae (2 lb 5 oz, 15 1/2″), Kaitlyn Grace (1 lb 15 oz, 14 1/4″), and Aiden Matthew (2 lb 4 oz, 15″) were born.  Their gestational age was 31 weeks and 5 days.  The average delivery point for triplets is 32 weeks.  I am officially below average :P

It all happened so very fast, and this past week has been a whirlwind.  I don’t have much time to write, but I wanted to give everyone a quick update.  Last Tuesday, I went in for my weekly ultrasound and doctor’s visit feeling a little trepidation.  My at-home blood pressure readings had been trending slightly high for the past two days, and I had a persistent headache that wasn’t going away with Tylenol.  I had a bad feeling about this appointment.  When they did my blood pressure check in the office, it was more that slightly high, and my doctor told me I needed to be admitted to the hospital for a 24 hour observation to see if I might have preeclampsia.  We didn’t make it 24 hours.  Throughout the evening and into Wednesday morning, my blood pressures kept climbing and reached a scary level Wednesday morning.  That fact, plus the history of concern over the babies’ growth rates as well a borderline doppler reading the day before gave my doctor itchy fingers (his words, not mine) and it was time to deliver.  I was pretty scared, and though I admit I had packed my hospital bag Tuesday morning, I felt completely unprepared.

The delivery was smooth, and not as traumatic as I had imagined it would be.  (I was never too thrilled about the prospect of delivering by C Section.)  Before I even knew the doctor had started, my babies were born.  They are absolutely beautiful, and I couldn’t be a happier mamma.  John is pretty thrilled, too, and has been taking such good care of me.  He is absolutely adorable with his little babies.

The babies are in the NICU and the doctors say they may be there for six to eight weeks.  They are doing well, and every day we have updates that are encouraging.  Jocelyn was born with full lung function, so she has never needed breathing assistance.  Kaitlyn and Aiden need nasal cannulas for the first few days but are now able to breathe on their own as well.  They all needed IV’s and feeding tubes from the beginning, of course, but as of yesterday Aiden and Kaitlyn were tolerating their feedings well enough and getting the nutrients they needed enough so that their IVs were removed.  I expect that Jocelyn will have her IV removed tomorrow.  The nurses love to tell us how feisty and spirited they are.  One of them said little Kaitlyn was a spitfire, so I’m thinking it might be a good thing that mommy has a few weeks to recover before they come home.

On Sunday, I was discharged from the hospital.  It was really difficult for me to leave my babies behind, but I know that they have the kind of care that I can’t give them right now.  I am so thrilled with the neo-natologists and nurses at our hospital.  They are so kind and give my babies the best of  care.  I’m trying to balance rest and recovery with my own need to visit them and hold them and love on them.  Every day we have seen evidence that you all are praying for us.  God has truly been gracious.  We would ask for your continued prayers for the growth and health of our babies, for my recovery, and for wisdom in how to find balance in our new life at the NICU.

John is home with me this week, and we’re spending most of our days  at the hospital.  My mom arrives next Wednesday just after John goes back to work.  We’re taking it one day at a time, and trusting in God’s perfect plan.

Here are some photos of Jocelyn, Kaitlyn, and Aiden

 

 

 

30 Week Update June 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruth @ 8:33 pm

Today, at 30 weeks 4 days, we had our latest growth ultrasound.  Baby A weighs in at 2lb. 12 oz., Baby B weighs 2 lb. 6 oz., and Baby C weighs 2 lb. 1 oz.  While the babies’ growth for the past two weeks fell within “acceptable range,”  which I learned should be a minimum of 2 ounces per week, my doctor told me today he is still concerned about the progress of both B and C.  So, after my office check-up they sent me over to the hospital once again for another round of Biophysical Profiles.  From now until the birth, I’ll be having BPPs twice a week.   I also started a second round of steroid shots  (one today and one tomorrow) to stimulate their lung development in the event one or more of the babies don’t pass their profiles and they have to be delivered immediately. All three babies scored perfect 10′s on their BPPs today.  My cervix is still closed and the amniotic fluid is looking good.  Physically, I have been feeling good, albeit like I’ve gained a ton over the past week.  On the discomfort-o-meter I I fall well under “manageable.”

To be honest, I’m feeling discouraged today.  I have been so optimistic that we would make it at the very least to the middle of July, and possibly to the end of July.  Today that optimism has been shaken slightly.  I know many of you have been praying, and I SO appreciate it.  I would ask you to continue to pray.  Pray that my babies continue to grow and pass their BPPs.  Pray that my doctors would exercise the wisdom and experience that I am confident God has already given them.  Pray that I would find rest and peace in God’s sovereignty.  He knows the day and the hour that these babies must be born.  He knows how to quiet my heart.  Only He can give me the grace I need to be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6,7)

Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

Psalm 139

 

Mischief Managed June 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruth @ 9:16 pm

I’m gonna have to give these babies a stern talking-to when they come out! We had a little unplanned monitoring session at the hospital today because they were being awwwwfully quiet and still in there.  Then as soon as the monitors came out, babies started doing gymnastics and playing hide ‘n’ seek all over the place.  It took forever for us to get the data my doctor required–20 consecutive minutes with all three babies staying on the monitors doesn’t sound like it would be that difficult.  It’s a relief to know they’re ok, but really. . .  Such mischief!

 

Twenty-nine June 4, 2011

Filed under: A Day In the Life,Pregnancy — ruth @ 12:54 am

I really thought I’d be doing a lot more writing since I’ve been home on bed rest, but that has not been the case.  I’ve been feeling pretty dull-witted these days, like I don’t have anything interesting to write.  How can that be?  I’m gestating triplets… this is the most interesting thing that has ever happened to me!   I do keep busy most days reading pregnancy and parenting books (with a couple of novels thrown in here and there), writing thank you notes, organizing the house and preparing the nursery, and making “honey do” lists for John.  I’ve never been the most particular house keeper, but I didn’t realize how frustrating it could be not to be able to vacuum my own floor or scrub out my own bathroom.  Poor John.  He has been taking excellent care of me, but I know it’s not easy to come home from a long, stressful day of work to a needy wife with a to do list. He really is wonderful, and I try not to demand too much of him. :)

Today officially begins my twenty-ninth week carrying the triplets.  I’m amazed at how quickly time has been going by, especially since I’m resting at home.  It seems like it took so much to get to this point, and I just want to hit the pause button and enjoy this for a while.  On the other hand, I’m very eager to meet my sweet little girls and my baby boy.  I find myself imagining that I already know their personalities, and I can’t wait to see if I’m right.

At my twenty-four week growth scan ultrasound (right after the last time I posted) Babies A, B, and C weighed in at 1 lb 6 oz., 1 lb 2 oz, and 1 lb respectively, and my doctors were concerned that Baby C was lagging too far behind, so we’ve since been doing growth ultrasounds every two weeks rather than every four weeks.  It looks like we’ll continue with that schedule for the duration of the pregnancy.  This past Wednesday I had another growth report, and they’re currently weighing in at 2 lb 5 oz, 1 lb 13 oz, and 1 lb 10 oz respectively.  Each baby continues to progress at his or her own rate (Baby A is in the 27th percentile, and Baby C is in the less than 10th percentile compared to a singleton baby at this stage), and as long as they continue to show progress at each check, there won’t be any need for me to be admitted to the hospital for more intensive monitoring or to be delivered early.

Otherwise, everything has been going remarkably smoothly with my pregnancy.  I have not been showing any signs of pre-term labor, which has amazed my doctors and nurses.  At the beginning, I read and heard so many of the worst case scenarios, that I really thought I’d be hospitalized or on very strict bed rest at this point.  The reality is that I’m still going to church every week, driving myself to appointments, getting my own meals, and otherwise getting around fairly well.   I will most definitely not be carrying the babies past 37 weeks though, possibly 35 weeks, so unless I go into labor earlier,  I have 8 weeks left at the most!  It really is unbelievable to me, and I cannot completely fathom how our lives will be changed once our little ones are born.

This week, we started weekly BPPs or Biophysical Profiles on the babies.  This is basically a weekly test where they monitor and score each baby based on his or her heart rate (resting, deceleration, and acceleration), breathing, body movement, muscle tone, and amniotic fluid–it’s really a combination of a non-stress test and an ultrasound which is done at the hospital and takes about 2 to 3 hours depending on the babies’ cooperation.  We are certainly checked and monitored constantly.  I now have a weekly OB appointment, a weekly BPP and a bi-weekly growth ultrasound as well as the home monitoring I’m supposed to do:  I take my own blood pressure daily; I monitor for contractions twice daily for an hour each time and submit a report to my home health nurse who calls me three times a week for updates; and I have now also started doing daily kick counts.  There are many, many things that I love about this pregnancy, and I do strive not to complain in general about the minor discomforts and inconveniences.  But if I’m being totally honest, I find all of this monitoring somewhat irritating.  I love my doctors and my nurses.  I appreciate that I’m getting expert medical care from people who have a great deal of experience with high risk pregnancies–in fact, just this week one of my doctors delivered quintuplets and made the local news.  He’s awesome!  But I guess since I’m spoiled by how smoothly things have been going for me, all the poking and prodding and questions feel excessive, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to get worse before it gets better. :)  Ah, well, if that’s the worst I have to complain about, then I have much to be thankful for… and believe me, I do not take for granted how good I feel or how smoothly things have been going so far.  In fact, there is NOTHING about this pregnancy, or the fact that there IS a pregnancy to talk about that I can take for granted.

Truly, I thank God for every moment of it!

 

Baby Updates May 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruth @ 12:25 am

I’ve completed two weeks of modified bed rest and so far so good, though I’ve been keeping pretty busy, and  MAY have done a few more things around the house the past two weeks than I’m exactly supposed to be doing–I can neither confirm, nor deny.  Anyway, I am now 24 weeks pregnant and determined to take my activity restrictions more seriously as we progress forward.  Onerous though my current limitations it may be,  I’d really like to prevent the need for anything more restrictive.  I am doing really well with no signs of pre-term labor at this point, and I’m so thankful for all the friends and family who are praying for us!  God is my help and strength.

Yesterday, I had a pretty rough beginning to my day.  I was supposed to go to my doctor’s office to get a steroid shot (to help the babies’ lung development in case of pre-term delivery) but I had to pick the steroid at the hospital pharmacy before taking it to my doctor’s office. When I arrived at the hospital (an hour late because a previous appointment was horribly delayed by some crazily inefficient insurance woman who arrived 45 minutes late), the prescription had not been filled yet, even though my nurse had faxed over the RX last week.  The pharmacy told me it would be a few minutes.  Fifteen minutes later I was told the pharmacist was working on it, and it would be 5 to 10 minutes.  Fifteen minutes later I was told once again it would be a few more minutes.  I now had 30 minutes to get my RX, walk over to my doctor’s office and get my shot before the nurse had to leave for the day.  I called the nurse just to let her know what was going on, and that I wasn’t sure if I could get there in time.  Not getting the shot yesterday wasn’t really an option because I was supposed to get a second shot 24 hours later at my scheduled OB appointment.  At this point, the man waiting in line AFTER me, received his RX and I began to have a major emotional melt down.  I found that I was completely unable to keep myself from sobbing in the middle of the hospital pharmacy.  It ended up taking an hour and fifteen minutes to get my prescription filled.  And THEN I got lost trying to find my way out of the hospital.  I can only imagine what I looked like: some crazy pregnant lady, tears streaming down my face, wandering down the halls looking for the right exit.  If it weren’t for the awesomeness that is my nurse who totally rearranged her schedule so she could wait for me, I don’t know what I would have done.

The day ended much better than it started, though.  The ladies from my church threw me a baby shower last night, and so many ladies came to shower me with blessings.  It was a fabulous night.  My Mom-in-law gave a devotional, which was beautiful, and my Mom wrote a letter for her to read at the shower.  I was overwhelmed by the kindness of my friends and church family as well as by my Mom and Mom-in-law’s  words, so the day ended in tears, too.  But at least this time they were good tears.  This whole inability to control public outbursts of emotion is not something I’m getting used to any time soon.  :)

In other updates, my glucose test/gestational diabetes test came back perfect, which is something I was a bit concerned about, so that’s awesome!

AND, the best update I have is that John got to feel a baby kick for the very first time Sunday night.  It was so cool!  I’ve been feeling them flip and wiggle around inside me for a couple of weeks now, but I hadn’t really felt a full kick on the surface of my skin before. I was just relaxing on the couch, and I put my hand on my belly.  Just at that moment my baby boy kicked my hand!  I pressed down a little, and he did it again.  So I made John run over to feel, and sure enough, as soon he put his hand on my belly, Baby Boy gave one more solid kick to Daddy’s hand!  “That’s your son, John!”  I said.  I think I fell a little bit more in love with both my babies and my hubby in that one moment.

Tomorrow I have another ultrasound to see the babies’ growth progress.  I’ve only gained one pound in the last three weeks, so I’m excited to have some reassurance that they are, in fact, growing and doing well since their last growth assessment–at 20 weeks they were measuring at 11 oz., 11 oz, and 10 oz respectively.

 

Preparation April 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruth @ 4:37 pm

I knew the day would come when I would be on restricted activity with this pregnancy.  My doctor calls it modified bed rest, which basically means that I’m living like a bum for the next few months.  I can drive, go to church, go to appointments, make my own meals, etc.; but I’m not supposed to hit the mall, grocery shop, spring clean my house, do yard work and the like.  The time is now upon me.  It is day two of my bed rest, and I find I have a lot of time to think.

In preparation for this confinement of sorts, I saved my stacks of books on multiple pregnancies, early child care, and parenting philosophy to read until now.  I wanted to get all the physical preparation done for my little babies’ arrival before hand, so I could focus this time on preparing mentally for how we will parent them.  But let’s face it.  Is anyone ever really prepared to be a parent?  From all the feedback I’ve been getting, I think it’s pretty safe to say the answer is no.

Last week in church, the guest speaker quoted a verse that completely refreshed my thinking on this subject.  Proverbs 16:1 “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.”  Of course, his sermon was focused on the tongue, not child-rearing, but I guess my head is in a different place, and this verse really stood out to me in a different application.

The truth is that I could read all the parenting books in the world, but if my heart is not properly prepared, I will never have true parental wisdom.  That preparation comes from the LORD.  My earnest prayer is that the LORD will prepare my heart with wisdom that is from Him and not of myself.  It seems like a no-brainer, but I realized that if I am gain that wisdom then I must use the time I have wisely.  I must put my Bible reading and personal worship time as my highest priority.  Of course, it should always be the highest priority, but let’s get real.  Life happens, work happens, obligations crowd in, and we tend to go through the motions of our personal worship time out of duty or routine… or we skip it altogether because life is just too busy.  How many times have I sighed, “If only I had more time. . .”   Well, now is my chance to put my money where my mouth is.  For the next few months, I have more time than I’ll know what to do with it.  What I do with it will make all the difference in whether my heart is prepared.

Oh, Lord, the nursery can wait, prepare my heart first.

 

Metaphors March 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruth @ 4:20 pm

by Sylvia Plath

 

I’m a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.
Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.
I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there’s no getting off.

 

 
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