Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bonding and Feeding Times!

On Wednesday, September 30th the doctors encouraged bonding time ("skin to skin") for me and Ann-Marie with our daughters. The time really helps the babies and the parents grow closer together, but it's limited to once a day as the triplets are still so small they mainly need time to sleep and grow with as few distractions as possible.

Also on Sep 30, Erica and Grandma and Papa Krueger helped with the feeding the triplets. Every three hours the babies are awakened to check their temperature (should be 37 degrees celsius), change their diaper, and be fed; Erica came at 4p to help and Grandma and Papa Krueger came at 7p to help.

Today, October 1st at 6:41 Annie was exactly one week old, at 6:42 Gracie was one week old, and at 6:43 Ruthie turned one week old. All three seemed very relaxed and adjusted to their new environment. Today Annie was consuming 12 mL every three hours, and Gracie and Ruthie were at 10 mL every three hours (a nice increase from 2 mL where they each started).

Mommy bonding with Annie

Although (unfortunately) a very obviously tired Daddy was so grateful for a chance to bond with Gracie

Cute little Gracie managed to get somewhat comfortable with the CPAP on her face (later in the day it came off).

Mommy with Ruthie (Ruthie is in a darker corner of the NICU and a lot of her pictures aren't quite as clear-flash is not allowed in the NICU)

Gracie got an X-ray to check the IV that was put directly into her belly button where the umbilical cord was removed. The results showed the IV was getting close to the liver, so the IV was removed from the belly button and inserted into her arm. (As a reminder, the IV is for lipids and vitamins and minerals that are pumped directly into the blood stream - not for feeding. A tube going in the mouth (if a CPAP is being used) or in the nose (no CPAP) is where Ann-Marie's breast milk is fed to the babies.)

Gracie just before the CPAP is removed on Wednesday night

Poor Gracie's nose was pretty sore after having the CPAP on for almost a week (nearly continously). Now that the CPAP is off, she is more relaxed and sleeps better. She is shown here with an oxygen tube that puts a tiny bit of air into the nose and helps her breathe.

Another angle of Gracie after having the CPAP removed

Ruthie's nose was equally as sore looking after having the CPAP removed (an hour or so after Gracie)

Erica's first time to check Ruthie's temperature. To check the temperature a thermometer is placed in the armpit and held there for almost a minute.

The thermometer made Ruthie open her eyes

Erica changing Ruthie's diaper (not easy with so many probes used for checking heart beat, respirations, oxygen level, and temperature)

Erica feeding Ruthie

Another angle of Erica feeding Ruthie (pushing the syringe gradually)

Now that Ruthie is fed and has her diaper changed everyone is happy!

Annie resting comfortably (she is not wrapped up in a burrito wrap because she still has the IV line through the belly button). On Friday the doctors are planning on removing it and making a new IV through the arm or leg or even head. Depending if everything goes as planned, in 5 days or so each of the triplets will be up to full feedings and won't need an IV because the breast milk will be in sufficient quantities to provide everything the babies need.

Annie just as relaxed as can be!

Ann-Marie, Grandma, and Papa getting ready to change Annie's diaper and feed her

Another angle with Ann-Marie, Grandma, Papa, and Annie

Lots of love for these little girls!

We decided we didn't love green as the color for Annie, and we found the nurses had a stash of yellow bows, so we are now using yellow as the color for Annie

Grandma weighing Gracie. After picking up Gracie, the bed zeros out the weight of the bed and so when Gracie is placed back on the bed her weight is measured.

Grandma Krueger feeding Gracie

What a good eater Gracie is!

Papa Krueger taking Ruthie's temperature

Ruthie with one hand on Papa Krueger and one hand on the oxygen line

Ruthie received a bath on Wednesday night!

Cotton balls and warm water for the face and a mild soapy pad to clean Ruthie's body

Ruthie just before her head is scrubbed. The head is done last as so much heat is lost through the head.

A soft bristled brush is used to scrub all around Ruthie's head

Now Ruthie's linens are all wet after the bath so Grandma lifted her and the nurse put down nice clean sheets

A chance for Grandma to gaze at her granddaughter

A strong friendship and love is taking form!

After the bath we forgot to weigh Ruthie so Papa helped out. Ruthie is gaining weight and is almost back to her birth weight!

Ruthie is now very comfortable on Wednesday night. Today, Thursday, we found that she indeed slept very well and seems much more content!

Papa feeding Ruthie

Ann-Marie's poor feet and legs were so swelled that they were hard to the touch and they hurt her like crazy

Grandma and Grandpa Bott watched Ellis since Friday night (Sep 25th) and brought him back this morning (Oct 1). Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Bott for your help!
Ellis is getting really good at tying his shoelaces.

After special permission the NICU doctor allowed Grandma and Grandpa Bott a visit even though they were not on the list of four visitors (as explained before it is difficult for them to come on a regular basis, so we asked Erica Groneman and Carissa Briggs who live closer to be the other visitors along with Grandma and Papa Krueger). We were so excited for their visit and they were so excited for their first sight of their new granddaughters!

Grandpa Bott with Annie

Kandis, one of our nurses, is such a great help. She requested to be a primary nurse on the triplets, which means if the schedule works out she is given preference to watch our babies.
Grandma Bott watches on as Ann-Marie changes Gracie's diaper.

Grandpa Bott, Ruthie, Daddy, and Grandma Bott

Thanks for coming Grandma and Grandpa Bott! Annie is resting peacefully.


  1. What a post! Full of so many wonderful pictures! I love seeing the interaction between everyone and the triplets increasing. And how nice that Grandma and Grandpa Bott were able to see the girls.

  2. I have got to learn to do my make up AFTER I read your blog each day. Every time I end up in tears. Your babies are definitely little miracles and I am so happy that things are going so well. Thank you for sharing this very special time with all of us. Off to fix my mascara....