Thursday, May 21, 2009


Ok, so today was another great day at the NICU that I couldn't resist posting another blog this evening. When I walked in today it took me a minute to realize it but Alexis is off her c-pap again!!! AND Addison is off her nasal cannula!! Addison is completely breathing on her own with no help!! YEAH!! We hope that the fourth time off the c-pap for Alexis is the charm!! The below picture is Addison enjoying her pacifier! She loved it! Now that she is totally off support she can start the pacifier. They both have played around with it a little but today was the first time Addison really dove in! As you can see she was making sure that no one was going to take it away from her!!!
As promised here are the answers to your questions about us and the girls. Some of these may be duplicates, but they are questions we get quite frequently so I figured I would re-post them...

1. Why are you so sensitive to people calling the girls "twins"? Technically our girls are not twins. I delivered three babies. They have another sister, who we have named Hope. Hope is in heaven acting as their guardian angel. I know that as the girls get older and my sensitivity fades, it will get easier, but we will always in our hearts, be parents to triplets.

2. What is a brady? You've referred to it in previous posts, but I don't understand what a brady is? Brady is short for bradycardia. It's normal for preemies to do something called periodic breathing; they take some deep breaths and then pause for five or ten seconds before taking the next one. Only when a pause lasts for 20 seconds, or is accompanied by a slow heart rate or change in the baby's skin color, is it considered apnea. Bradycardia in most cases is a result of apnea and is defined as the slowing of a baby's heart rate from its usual range of 120 to 160 beats per minute to a rate of less than 100 beats per minute. Right now the girls are only having 1-2 brady's a day....compared to the 15 or 20 they were having a few weeks ago.
3. How long were you on bed rest before you had the girls? I officially went on bed rest March 3rd....What was supposed to be just a routine ultrasound visit, turned into me going in for emergency surgery to have a cerclage put in.

4. Are you still pumping breast milk for the babies? This is very sad for me, but unfortunately the answer is no. I tried for one month. I would pump for an hour and only get a couple of milliliters. I was getting up every 3 hours during the night and not getting anything. My doctor even prescribed medication for me to take to help the milk come in and it did not work. Terry and I discussed this numerous times at length. We decided that it was more important for me to get my rest and recover from the delivery. I need to be fully recovered for when the girls come home. Trying to pump was causing me more stress than it was doing good. This was a VERY difficult decision for me to make.

5. How often do you visit the babies and for how long? We visit the girls every day. On a typical day we usually arrive at the NICU around 1:00ish and stay until they close at 6:45. The NICU closes from 6:45-8:00 (both a.m. & p.m.) every day for nurses & doctors shift change. Some days we go earlier and some days we go later. It really just depends on the day.

6. Why did the babies have blood transfusions? Doesn't this freak you out a little with all the diseases out there? Why didn't you as parents donate the blood? During the first weeks of life, many preemies have blood drawn frequently to monitor their blood chemistries. All of these draws deplete the number of circulating blood cells. Because a premature baby's bone marrow, which is responsible for making more blood cells, is still immature, it usually can't replace them fast enough. As a result of this they developed anemia. (low red blood cell count) Yes, I was totally scared about the transfusion, but was 100% assured that the Red Cross has a special pool of donors whose blood goes through extreme testing before it will even enter the hospital. I did ask about the potential of donating my own blood for the girls. They explained to me that only type O blood is used (the universal blood type) and that it takes up to 10 days for the blood to be cleaned and tested before a transfusion is done.

7. Who do the girls look like? I know I answered this before on my previous q & a blog, but things have changed. The girls are bigger now and have developed more. Alexis looks just like Terry in my opinion. She has his eyes, nose, everything. Addison on the other hand is starting to look a little like me. She does have Terry's pouty face and some of his mannerisms, but as they get bigger I'm sure their features will change even more.

8. I thought that since all three girls were is seperate amniotic sacks meant they can't be identical so I don't understand why you are waiting on the test of the placenta to find out? ok, so here is the definition of identical vs. fraternal twins taken straight from by book on Preemies.... Identical twins.... In the United States today, about one-third of twins are identical. These pairs, with their breathtaking similarities, come from the same egg and sperm. After the egg and sperm have joined, the resultant cell, called a zygote, starts to multiply into the millions of diverse cells that eventually compose a single baby. In identical twins, however, the resultant cell separates into two zygotes, each with the same genetic material. This kind of twinning happens in about one out of every 240 pregnancies. It takes place among all families and cultures and is not caused by fertility drugs. Fraternal twins.... On the other hand, fraternal twins are the result of two different eggs becoming fertilized by two different sperm. Although both zygotes share the same uterus, they are no more similar than any other set of siblings. This kind of twinning runs in families and is prevalent in certain ethnicity's. Africa sees the highest incidence of fraternal twins; Asia, the lowest. Fertility drugs increase your chances of having this type of pair. Most of the time, parents have to wait until birth to find out if their twins are identical or fraternal. Occasionally hints surface before then. For example, if the twins share the same amniotic sac, they are definitely identical. However, the majority of identical twins--and all fraternal twins--have their own amniotic sac, so you still may end up being in the dark until the delivery. And, of course, if ultrasound determines one twin to be a girl and one to be a boy, you can be certain they are fraternal.
In our case, all three girl had their own sacs. Two placenta's were delivered so we most likely had a set of identical's and a third. We just won't know for sure if Addison and Alexis were the identicals or not.
So, that's all the questions I have for now... please feel free to email me with any more.

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