Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Festivities

Ellis and his class had a Halloween program for all of the parents. As you can see they all dressed up in their costumes and sang songs to their parents. They did such a good job and we were such proud parents.

Indian Chief Ellis getting ready to sing

Hi, Ellis!

What a cute group of singers!

We love you, Ellis!

When we visited the girls yesterday we saw this sign hanging by the girls' bed. The nurses made it in celebration of the girls' being one month old.

Annie, Gracie, and Ruthie

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to...

Happy to be together

Mommy and Gracie

Annie covering up Gracie and Ruthie in the back

Annie, Gracie, and Ruthie

Growing Time!

Annie, Gracie, and Ruthie all had their baths tonight and were weighed again. We are happy to announce that all are gaining weight! Annie weighs 5 lbs 1 oz (2298 g), Gracie weighs 4 lbs 10 oz (2087 g), and Ruthie weighs 5 lbs 2 oz (2319 g).

They continue to maintain their temperatures as well! We are so happy for their continued progress. Thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chubbier Cheeks!

The girls continue to improve. They are getting chubbier cheeks, their oxygen saturation is staying more constant, and they are doing a good job learning how to eat! The optometrist checked their eyes and said everything looks normal for premature babies and that he would check in again in two weeks.

Annie, Gracie, and Ruthie

Annie, Gracie and Ruthie


Gracie and Ruthie

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Four Pounds and Growing!

Gracie reached the four pound mark on Monday! Annie and Ruthie were about 4 pounds 6 ounces.

Annie, Gracie, and Ruthie

Angie the Occupational Therapist came today and taught Ann-Marie how to do bone density massages. These massages are supposed to help with their growth. The girls liked the massages.

Tonight Ellis went to a Halloween Party. He dressed up as an Indian Chief and had a great time with his bow and arrow.
Notice the pumpkin in the back. We carved the pumpkin together on Monday and used it as a centerpiece at the Halloween party.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another Milestone!

On Friday the nurses turned off the warmer in their deluxe bed, put each one in a onesie, wrapped each one in a blanket, and put a hat on each one to see if they could maintain 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees F). They maintained their temperature so they moved on to a regular bed with no heating on Saturday!

We are so glad that they can maintain their own body temperatures. And we're also glad that they can be in the same crib. Their new crib gives them the closeness of being together with still some wiggle room so that they're not bugging each other. The change from one bed to another made them all quite tired. All day today (Sunday) they were still tired, so we didn't hold them much and let them sleep.

The test was done in their cadillac bed with the heat turned off. (Ruthie is on the left, then Gracie and Annie). The triplets passed the milestone of maintaining their own body temperature! Yeah!

The triplets' new bed! (the biggest crib the NICU has)

Annie (left), Gracie (middle), and Ruthie (right). Gracie's hand in front of her face is actually a common sign from preemie's that means "Please leave me alone now, I'm tired".

No bows to see with their little hats on, but the nurse wanted Annie on the left, Gracie in the middle and Ruthie on the right.

Name tags. The bed is much bigger than their other bed so getting close-up pictures of all three didn't work very well.

The closest picture I could get with all three.

Way to go Annie, Gracie, and Ruthie! We are so thankful you keep on growing!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Extra Extra, Read All About It!

This morning there is a great article in the Daily Herald about Steve Minton, the head neonatologist of the NICU at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. This October marked 30 years since he started the NICU.

A photographer for the newspaper came in while we were there holding our babies and asked if he could take a picture. We let him and the article included a picture of them!

Click on to read the article. Two pictures are published with the article, click on the second picture to see the triplets.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Four Weeks Old!

Today marked four weeks from when Annie, Gracie, and Ruthie were born. We are so grateful for their continued growth and development and appreciate everyone's prayers. We really feel the love and support from each of you. Thank you for making a difference in our lives!

Today the girls are doing great. The culture test on Annie's "stuff" from yesterday came back negative (no virus was present). Annie and Gracie's blood transfusion appears to be successful and their hemoglobin counts were up. Ruthie is also doing well and has not yet needed a blood transfusion. The oxygen saturation level continues to swing back and forth on all the girls, but the doctors aren't too worried as it appears to be a normal occurrence with many preemie babies.

Grandma and Papa Krueger helped give each of the girls a bath tonight. The girls love being fresh and clean!

Ellis was so sweet to draw a picture for Annie, Gracie, and Ruthie. He drew the three of them and him with hearts all around and we put it by their bed. Ellis loves his sisters and thinks about them often even when he can't see them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Little TLC

At 5:30 this morning, Ann-Marie called the hospital to see the results of the hemoglobin test (the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues in the body and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs). The nurse said the results were low and that the neonatologist recommended Annie and Gracie get a blood transfusion. The transfusion quickly gets the hemoglobin levels where they should be and usually helps the babies with their oxygen saturation (all three bounce high and low throughout the day with their oxygen saturation). So we gave our permission and they went ahead. Tomorrow they will draw blood from the girls and test the levels. Tonight when we saw them they looked fine.

In time the babies will be able to make more of their own hemoglobin and they won't have their blood drawn as much so the need of transfusions will be less.

The last couple of days Annie has seemed a little congested. Normally the nurse uses a BBG (baby booger grabber) and that clears out the nose just fine. Well tonight Annie was really working hard to breathe and I talked to the nurse about it. She tried the BBG, but nothing came out. The nurse then went to a respiratory specialist (available 24/7 at the NICU thank goodness) and he came over with a special tool for the BBG and reached way back into the nose. He pulled out a lot of "stuff" and Annie started breathing much better. Because the "stuff" was quite thick he asked to have a culture taken to see if Annie may have a virus. Tomorrow we'll find out the results of the culture, but for now we're glad that Annie isn't showing any other signs of a virus (no fever at all). The thickness may be related to several days worth of congestion that was not removed.

Tonight Ann-Marie met with an Occupational Therapist named Annie (what a great name!) that helped her get started on non-nutritive breast feeding. Ruthie and Gracie both tried and showed some interest, but they were tired and that was completely expected. I held Annie and she didn't try the non-nutritive breast feeding after all she went through earlier in just trying to breathe.

So our experience goes in the NICU, some days are up and some days are down. We've been told to expect that by many people so we just try to keep a smile on our face and plug onward.

Ruthie (left), Gracie (middle), and Annie (right)

Ruthie, Gracie, and Annie

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poco a poco

Every day we see a little improvement. The girls are filling out more and more and we notice a difference in their size.

At tonight's bath and weigh time, Annie past the 4 lb mark at 4 lb 2 oz, Gracie at 3 lb 11 oz, and Ruthie at 4 lb 3 oz.

Annie, Gracie, and Ruthie
Gracie (left) and Ruthie (right) carrying on a conversation with Daddy

Mommy with Gracie
Annie (left), Gracie (middle), and Ruthie (right)

Annie communicating with Gracie

Gracie and her sisters stretching

All clean and Annie (right) out for the count

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bath Time and Weigh Time!

Ann-Marie and I did our best at giving our girls a bath today. It was our first time to see them get a bath in a baby tub.

Just before bathing them tonight at 6:30 p.m., our nurse, Jody, weighed them. Annie weighed in at 1775 g (about 3 lbs 15 oz), Gracie at 1605 g (3 lbs 8 oz), and Ruthie at 1817 g (4 lbs).

We were so happy to see Ruthie reach 4 lbs and have Annie and Gracie coming right along. Before they move to a new bed that is not heated they are supposed to weigh 1800 grams. As parents we would like to see them move to a new bed together, but with Gracie being about a 1/2 lb less than the other two we're not sure what will happen.

Annie, Gracie, and Ruthie on Sat, Oct 17
Ruthie, Gracie, and Annie

Ruthie, Gracie, and Annie. This is the girls preferred head positions, looking at each other. On Saturday, Annie was on the left and Ruthie on the right. On Sunday, the nurse switched Annie and Ruthie because they're strong enough to turn their heads and they like to look at each other. To keep a balanced amount of time on each side of the head (to have round heads), the nurse resorted to switching the girls on the end.

Aunt Carissa came for a visit today. Here she is with Ruthie, Gracie, and Annie.

Time to wake's bath time!

Stretching after a nice long nap

A little more stretching and yawn

It never ceases to amaze us how the girls like to be right next to each other

OK, we're done stretching and we're ready for the bath now!

Ruthie weighing in at almost exactly four lbs (after you take off the weight of the blanket and diaper)

Mommy and Daddy getting Ruthie and Gracie ready for the bath

Our nurse, Jody, who's going to have watched our girls through the night for six days in a row!

Ruthie on the left and Gracie on the right

Mommy's a pro at giving baths!

We put their blankets right in with the girls for their bath. They both like to be covered up and it helps keep them warm.

Ruthie (left) and Gracie (right)

Ruthie getting her head scrubbed by Jody

Daddy switched from being camera man to give Annie a bath

Our wonderful nurse, Jody, getting our girls comfortable back in their bed

Our three little China Dolls!

All three are sucking on their pacifiers longer now! We put in their binkies for practice and muscle development while the feeding goes in through a tube.
The head rests were made and color coded by Jody to keep the girls heads straight so they get some time on the back of their head as well.