Sunday, February 25, 2007

Project Bambino- Part 1

Its amazing how time starts to fly once you have kids. Thinking I would never get to this part of my life's story, I promised myself that I would write it all down one day, starting from day 1, or BT (before triplets).

So here it goes.....

It might be a little surprising to hear that I NEVER wanted kids until I turned 25. I even had Drew that he didn't want kids either. No particular reason- just didn't want any. But something changed, and I can't put my finger on it. I guess I matured and the things I thought mattered really didn't anymore.

So the birth controls pills went in the trash and I was on a mission. Surely it should only take a couple of months to get pregnant. Life is that easy-isn't it? And just to throw some extra insurance in my quest- I started with ovulation predictor kits from month 1- I was going to nail this project down immediately.

Month one- Nope - didn't work- must be my body adjusting to coming off the BC pills
Month two- Nope- must be faulty ovulation kits
Month three- Nope-must be under alot of stress
Month four- Nope- maybe Drew spent too much time in the hot tub

Month five- STOP- we're moving to Vegas. Not wanting to be pregnant and adjust to life across the country, Project Bambino went on hiatus. So in September 2001, Drew and I, Moo and Sunshine departed Maryland to trek across the country to our new address, hoping my car and our entire house-full of belongings made it there also since they were in the hands of crazy Allied trucker man.

So we get to Vegas, get settled and fast forward a few months. Time to dust off Project Bambino and get started again. Just one small problem. Seems like I may have forgotten to pack my ovaries. Ovulation tests were all negative.

Crap- did I leave my eggs in Maryland?

to be continued...

You Go Dominic!!!

I have been a little concerned about the Dom.

He had high Apgar scores at birth, but he just does things at his own pace. Would not take a bottle until 38 weeks, then sucked it dry. My mother thinks he inherited my lazy bone.

Until yesterday, at 9.5 months (6.5 months adjusted) he WOULD not roll over. Just would not do it. Would go side to side- but the tummy was not a place he wanted to be. Put him on his stomach and all hell would break loose.

Yesterday- he just rolled over like he had been doing it for years. He also cut 2 teeth yesterday- both broke thru at the same time. Very efficient I must say.

I wonder if it's the introduction of the "Chicken Noodle" dinner. We finally got the green light for "meats". Not that they should be called that since they resemble pureed dog food.

Now if the chicken noodle got him to roll over- perhaps a nice filet mignon will get him to walk?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Luuucy, you got some 'splainin to do...


First- I would like to thank to appeals department of my insurance company for having enough common sense to pay the rest of my maternity bill. Since "Psychic" is not on my resume, shame on me for not knowing in advance that my water was going to break at 28weeks, therefore not notifying BC/BS in advance. I also appreciate their sense of humor-making me wait until the VERY LAST day to see if they were going to pay the appealed amount. You guys are so funny!

Second- Since apparently they did not appreciate me calling every 3 days to check the status- they got in cahoots with a fun little government agency I would like to call -


My joy at having won my appeal was short lived when I walked through the door to hear Drew announce- "Uh, we have a problem." This sentence is never good. ESPECIALLY when holding an envelope from the IRS.

Richard Hatch- move over- we're coming your way. Dibs on the top bunk.

The fun gents at Merrill Lynch brokerage house of morons decided to report that we sold a gazillion dollars in stocks. HUH? Now I now I lose my debit card alot, but I think I would remember this happening. Plus I would have ALOT of new Kate Spade handbags up in my closet. The stocks were worth about a tank of gas and a 3 Muskateers bar. However, someone had a liquid lunch and got a little type happy and inflated the number about 17 thousand dollars. Drew spent the morning trying to straighten out this debacle.

The irony.....the amount the IRS claims we owe is (drum roll) $7.00 more than the maternity bill was.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm laughing right into my bottle glass of wine.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A new threshold?

Many have now heard the story of the "World's Most Premature Baby". Born at 21 weeks 6 days, weighing only 10 oz (280g) and 9.5 in long, this baby is a miracle. This post is not about the baby, but some ethical issues that are now being discussed.

To begin with- the mother LIED about how far along she was in her pregnancy. This was a fertility pregnancy. Anyone who has gone through some type of ART procedure can tell you, to the day, how far along they are. But she chose to lie, knowing that resuscitation efforts would not be administered. The story says they thought they were delivering a 23 week baby. Was her OB ever consulted? Interesting because my medical file from my Peri's office was at the hospital the next day when my water broke, with every piece of history in there dating back to my IVF records that were transferred to him. His partner even knew my gestational age.

Statistically, infants born prior to 22 weeks gestational age have 0% chance of viability. At 23 weeks, those numbers only rise to 10-35%. Many hospitals have policies regarding medical intervention at certain gestational ages. Survival rates are just that- survival. There is a another set of percentages which outline the likelihood of disabilities.

Here are my concerns:

The media has glorified this and glossed over the important facts such as likelihood of disabilities etc. How many more women are going to lie about their due date when faced with pre-term labor because of the outcome of this particular story?

If this happens, what is the trickle effect going to be on NICUs across the country? When mine were born, the NICU was very overcrowded and short staffed, plus it was only 1 of 3 in the valley. PICU nurses and L&D nurses were being pulled into the Special Care nursery to help. More stable babies were being transferred to other hospitals. I know for a fact that Dominic, Aspen and Ryan bumped a set of twins out of of the NICU into Level 2. They were the most stable at the time to be downgraded and NICU needed the space. But were they actually ready? Or victims of overcrowded conditions?

Prematurity itself is on the rise. Now, there is talk of rethinking the 24 week viability mark. I do not agree with this. The facts & figures do not support it. It will place additional strain on the doctors and nurses- which also could lead to~ job burnout, increase in human error, diminished quality of care. There is a shortage as it is, without these qualified individuals, success rates could begin to falter.

Developmental services such as occupational therapy are in demand. The support system to meet the needs of developmentally challenged preemies in some areas lacks considerably, with long waiting lists and insufficient staffing. The infrastructure is not ready to meet the demand.

And finally- false hope. When my water broke at 28 weeks, I was told the numbers by the Neonatologist. I was fortunate to be able to hold on another 11 days. And at 29w3d, I still had a library list of issues that my preemies contended with. I saw the mother of the 25 weeker who was told that her baby was not expected to make it through the night. She looked like she just lost her soul, and she had no life left in her.

If only 1 out of 1000 premature 22 weekers survive, that means 999 parents will have their hopes and dreams crushed.

How far are we willing to compromise?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Can I get a side of syrup please?

I survived the inaugural mash-o-gram. I now am the proud owner of 1 flattened set of bahoobies similar to pancakes. But it didn't hurt nearly as bad as A-cup mamma alluded. Perhaps because I am more "bestowed" upon in the upper region. Good news - no alien inhabitants have made their home in my mammories. Bad news~ the oh so caring MD said I have "fat boobs". OK- maybe not those EXACT words- but damn close enough.

Other snippets of newsworthy info...
1] I have managed to lose my debit card for the umpteenth time. I should be on the frequent replacement list for Wells Fargo.

2] Drew shaved the cat bald. Actually, it looks like the kids shaved the cat. Not sure what effect he was going for, but there are some pretty interesting mow marks on Moo. Hilarious pictures to follow once I coax Moo out of hiding.

3] Ryan's crib mattress had to be lowered. He now stands himself up, and I don't need acrobatic flipping over the crib side in the middle of the night.

4] American Idol looks like it may royally suck this year.

5] The world's most premature baby born at 21w6d went home (A True Miracle!). Being a mom of preemies, I have some interesting thoughts about the argument now being made about revisiting the "viability benchmark" in premature infants, which may surprise most.

But alas, I am tired. So I will enlighten all tomorrow evening :)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Next up - botulism in my jelly

Only I would go on a raging PB&J craving during a salmonella outbreak in peanut butter. I consumed 96% of an 18 oz jar of that dang Peter Pan stuff by the time the news broke about the contamination. Drew matched the numbers to the lid like we were checking Powerball numbers and found out that we had indeed hit the lottery. Our prize- one recalled jar of peanut butter, which could, maybe, possibly, perhaps contain salmonella.

Remind me to slap Tinkerbell next time I see her.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Back to square 1...

This was a nightmare...

Drew and I left early (crack of dawn rooster early) Thursday morning to go to LA for Aspen's hip casting procedure. Thanks to lovely traffic on the 101- it became a 5 1/2 hour trip. We get to the hospital and wait. And wait. And wait some more. FINALLY, we are sent for xrays, then wait again. Then, we are assigned a room....with 3 other families....who do not speak any English.

Did I mention we have yet to see a nurse, or our doctor?
Quick bits of info - I am not in the medical field BUT, I have a mother who was in Peds at Hopkins for 20+ years. I was the annoying mother in the NICU that asked 1 million questions, and took notes every single day. I have seen the insides of enough hospitals in my life from my father heart attacks / lung cancer to know when something doesn't feel right- go with your gut.
Finally a nurse comes in to get info on Aspen. I explained that she went 10 weeks in-utero without amniotic fluid, her NICU history (apnea, bradychardia, anemia, PDA. low birth weight, etc) and advise her that she has CLD / BPD. The nurse looks at me (the nurse who is employed in a pediatric hospital) and asks "What is that?" I calmly explain it is chronic lung disease / bronchopulmonary dysplasia. She then goes over the surgery orders for the closed (positioning only) or open reduction (metal plates & screws to keep hip in place). WHAT? GET THE DOCTOR NOW!

The nurse leaves- I'm in tears. Drew is ready to take Aspen and run. So we sit and wait for the doctor. We are there for a closed reduction / casting only, and now they throw open reduction at us?

So we continue to wait. The whole time, not 1 nurse comes in to check on us, or the other 3 families in the room. Finally the anesthesiologist walks in. She starts asking about Aspen's lung issues and recent illness (she had brocholitis 2 weeks ago) then explains that she will need to be INTUBATED during the procedure which will be done under general anesthesia.


Drew is now po'd beyond repair, we still have not seen the doctor, and I explain to the anesthesiologist my concerns and that I am not comfortable with the risks. I also mention that we are under the impression it is a closed reduction only and why are they now mentioning open reduction?

She leaves the room. Drew and I are ready to escape when she comes back in and CANCELS the surgery because she is concerned about lingering effects of the brocholitis. Irony at it's best.

Thank goodness- now we do not have to jump out the window with Aspen and sneak to the car.

Finally the doctor comes in and explains that when he does the procedure, if he knew at that time an open reduction would be the choice, he would just go ahead and do it. Then he mentions he would only do one hip at a time. Which means twice as long in a cast. He tells us to reschedule for 1 month (yeah right). We then wait again to be discharged which took another hour 1/2, then drive back to Las Vegas.

1. If you think that I am going to take my child to a hospital with a nursing staff that never checks on patients and has no clue about preemie issues- forget it.
2. I will not allow Aspen to go through this procedure twice. I want both done at the same time, and I know it can be done that way since the original Ortho we saw said he does both.
3. Security sucks in this hospital.
4. Is it really necessary to put 4 families in 1 room?
5. Parental accomodations are terrible. One parent must stay at all times, yet there is no food available on weekends. We were not even confortable leaving to the room to use the restroom since no one checks on the kids and NO ONE in the room spoke ENGLISH!

So I am making an appointment with ANOTHER doctor locally to hopefully be able to have this done in Vegas. Thankfully my insurance is widely accepted, and I can even go out of state as long as the doctor is a provider for BC/BS. I only chose this hospital because of its othro reputation. I wish I had known about these other issues upfront. I put alot of emphasis on the nursing staff because in my opinion, you spend waaaay more time with the nurses than the doctor, and I must have a certain comfort level. When the trio was in the NICU, I hated 3 out of 4 of the Neonatologists, but I loved the nursing staff. They were attentive, caring and respectful. And since they spend hours with the kids, that is very important. They don't just round and leave like the 3 amigos did.

So we shall see...stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hmm, what shall I do today?

Choice choices...

Extra time on your hands? Need some ideas?

1] Relaxing day at the spa
2] Get run over by wild boars
3] Go have a mammogram

I think the choice is obvious- boob crunching it is!

Because I am a hypochondriac, catastrophizing, Googling maniac with a history of breast cancer on my mother's side of the family AND I have found a few articles that have mentioned a slight, small, minute, teeny increase in breast cancer in IVF patients- I am taking the plunge, or should I say- smash.

Thelma and Louise are getting steam rolled next Tuesday.

So, in order to prepare, I have come up with a list of pre-mammogram exercises that I shall be doing to better prepare myself for the procedure.

1] Drew is going to smash each breasticle repeatedly with the toilet seat lid. (double bonus- he will learn the seat actually does go down)

2] Freeze them and then try out his new grip vise he got for Christmas

3] Lasso them up with some rope and drag me around the house

But seriously, it can never hurt to be overly cautious, even though I am only (cough)31. So if you hear a loud yelp next week, that will be me having my bonding moment with the x-ray machine.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Productivity at it's best

I am a domestic rock star.

I accomplished today (in no certain order):
5 loads of laundry
4 successful solo feedings
3 entertained triplets
2 organized pantry shelves
1 30 minute nap
Eek- next thing you know I will be baking cakes and crocheting.

I even separated fruits from veggies!

Look how good they are being!

Drew was so shocked he stood dumbfounded in the kitchen. Next week- I shall attempt 1] learning to use my food processor, 2] finding the mates to 1 million pairs of socks.

And for those keeping score:

Fishtank 2, Me - 0 (There are actual fish in the thing now, I have named them Dumb and Dumber)

Total poundage melted off my "triplet tummy" - 18 pounds in 30 days

Total time on treadmill - 0 minutes (must work on this)

Friday, February 09, 2007

A bonding moment.....

I must find a new pediatrician.

Not that the one I have is bad- he's great.
But thanks to RYAN, he knows way too much about me now.
I have not researched coordination issues with preemies, but I'm pretty sure that Ryan has this skill covered. Especially since he simultaneously yanks my shirt down and kicks my purse off the exam table. So there I am, exposed bra, the contents of my purse splashed out on the floor. The finale? One tube of lipgloss and 1 SUPER absorbant tampon rolling towards the door.
All in front of the pediatrician.
Some pics of the now 9 month old trio! I can't believe how fast time has flown!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

In my opinion.......

One thing I decided very early on when I first started my blog is that I would refrain from 2 topics. Religion and Politics.

Guess what- can't keep my mouth shut anymore.

Now I consider myself an pretty open minded individual and very tolerant of other's beliefs. BUT, when you push a very sensitive button with me (and it takes alot to get me there) watch out- because then I morph into mega *itch.

And I will probably tick some people off.

First- I will start off by stating that no- I am not a heathen, and yes, I believe in God (I also believe in spirits, reincarnation etc- but not relevant at this time). I just do not believe in organized religion.

There are various reasons why I am no longer a Catholic, IVF and stem cell research being two of them.

So anyway- I am involved in a conference on infertility, with 2 local REs speaking about -infertility. You cannot talk about infertility without talking about in vitro fertilization. This conference is being held at a CATHOLIC HOSPITAL. They do not want the words" in vitro fertilization" used in flyers, yada yada.

Hmmm....this is going to get interesting. Should we make up code terms? Here's a suggestion:
"intra who-haa egg relocation"
Point to ponder.....If the brew ha ha is because they (Catholic church, or anyone else who shares this thought) believe that life begins at conception, and thus when the egg is fertilized it is a life....

Why can't children be born directly out of petrie dishes?


I have had 2 miscarriages, 1 failed IUI, and 2 failed IVFs. And those who know my 3rd IVF story know that I was hooked up on an operating table about to have a d&c when 1 heartbeat was found. Until that point- I had a non-viable pregnancy. NON VIABLE is defined as "not capable of living or developing." It was considered non-viable because there was no heartbeat.

I had 5 extra embryos left over from that cycle. They stopped growing on day 6- they were non-viable embryos. I 100% guarantee you that if we had frozen embryos leftover, and Drew and I decided that we would not use them- I would, in 1 nanosecond, donate them for stem cell / scientific research. From a medical standpoint, no cardiac activity signals the cessation, or lack, of life. Autopsies are performed everyday in this country, yet not alot of people with their panties in a bunch over poking and prodding a deceased body. But mention IVF, stem cell research or anything similar and battle lines are drawn.

The Catholic church (and others) want to argue that each embryos is a life, therefore we are messing with a living thing during stem cell research.. They can say that it is stopping the "life" from continuing by manipulating it's genetic, chromosomal makeup. To argue this point, one would have to argue it on the assumption that every embryo is destined to become a life. If this was the case- IVF success rates would be 100%. Guess what- they aren't.

I would like to see a someone try and win that debate with a woman who just found out that her 5th attempt at IVF was a failure.

One last note- its very interesting that "faith based hospitals opposed to IVF" have no problem allowing babies created through these methods to be born there.....

ok- I'm done.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A 2nd mortgage......for shampoo

I finally got in to get my hair highlighted and cut. Very sweet of Tony considering I totally forgot when my appointment was and called to ask him, 1/2 hour after I missed it. But he forgave me, and didn't even take it out on my hair :)

However, I have been a tad lax in getting out and getting shampoo and conditioner. Not that I do not have any in the house. I have a "hair product graveyard" full of enough shampoo and conditioner to fill my pool. I just don't like them. So I pawn them off on Drew, who shaves his head bald, so they end up in the guest bathroom.

So last week after I realized that no matter how much I shook the conditioner bottle- it was empty- I ran downstairs and raided the bathroom. The only matching products- Suave (eek). Needless to say I got quite a STERN lecture today about that crap ( yes- I am a product snob).
So we walk over to the case to buy the Bumble and Bumble shampoo and conditioner that he used once on me and I looooved. Quite misleading since they should have it locked up behind bullet proof glass.


PER bottle

PER 8oz bottle. (little factoid- a can of Coke is 12oz)

Note to self #4- Spending $50.00 on 16 oz of shampoo & conditioner could land me in divorce court. PUT THE BOTTLE DOWN!

So off I slumped to the "value" section ($26.00 total for Big / Sexy Hair Soy Milk).
On a good note- I did come home and weigh myself- down another 1.5 pounds (probably from shitting my pants after finding out the price)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Happiest booger on the block...

For snotting all over the house, Ryan is a happy baby. Just do not attempt to wipe his nose- he is very anti kleenex. And my Purell attempt at keeping Aspen and Dominic germ free has failed miserably. The only healthy thing in the house is the dog. Drew and I even took turns sleeping all day today.

So between sucking boogers out of their noses with that little blue plunger bulb thinga majig, and target practice with the nebulizer since the Ped didn't order the mask, just the mouth piece, I instituted:
They may be sick, but they are well dressed. I am on this obsessive mission to have them wear everything at least once before I get rid of it. Which is why Aspen has been in a dress every day. I have tubs of clothes filled with stuff they never wore, or can no longer fit in that I swear I am going to organize for the Mothers of Multiples yard sale. I'll start tomorrow (or maybe Tuesday-nope, hair appt, looks like Wednesday may have to be the day.....ok- it may never get done).
"I see that kleenex behind your back!"

Friday, February 02, 2007

The vomit monster strikes

I have been VERY VERY VERY lucky thus far for the trio to have avoided colds, snot and hershey diaper explosions.

My streak has ended.

Chunky Monkey aka Ryan has a cold. He has left a trail of snot everywhere. But the finale for the day came in a wave of vomit all over me. 1 entire bottle + rice + bananas. It was one of those moments where you just sit still and think-"Hmm- what the hell do I do now?"

Screaming baby + vomit soaked mom = good times

I had puke in my bellybutton (which, since being pregnant with triplets, has remained the size of a port hole).

So short of quarantining Ryan in his room, I have separated Aspen and Dominic to opposite sides of the playroom, and stocked up on Purell. Tomorrow will be our very 1st sick visit to the Ped. just to be on the safe side.

Poor little guy is sawing logs in the crib right now- I will probably have to chip booger flakes off the sheet before I can even wash it.