Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Touring The NICU January 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:20 pm

Last night we had a tour of Sutter Memorial Hospital and a tour of the NICU lined up, but when we got there the tour director told us that they were not giving any actual tours that night because all of the maternity rooms were taken up. We were so disappointed! I could tell that it was time to pull the triplet card that usually works like a charm. When I told her that I am having triplets she immediately called for a wheelchair so I could get wheeled up to the 2nd floor for a personal tour of the NICU with a NICU nurse.

I was forewarned by someone in my multiples group that visiting the NICU can be very difficult because you see babies that are so tiny and frail looking. I had always kept this in the forefront of my mind so I wouldn’t be too shocked, and yesterday I gave Chris the same warning. He said he hadn’t thought of that before. I have also been told by EVERYONE I know who has delivered at Sutter that the NICU and the NICU nurses are the most fantastic and talented group of people.

There are two levels of care in the NICU – the intensive rooms of which there are two, and service the sickest and smallest of babies with a 2 to 1 nurse/infant ratio – and the step-down level rooms where the babies go when they’ve graduated from the more serious section of the NICU with a nurse/infant ratio around 3 or 4 to 1.

We met Emma in one of the step down rooms of the NICU. It was a shock at first to see how tiny she was. She was born at 28 weeks and was now 30 weeks. She was just a perfect little miniature person. Her little feet were smaller than my pinkie finger and her head was about the size of a fist. The NICU nurse went inside the room and got Emma out of her incubator and held her up for us to see. When she came out she said “you have three of those in your belly right now”. I found that hard to believe. Yes, Emma was small but didn’t seem small enough for me to have three of her in my belly. Amazing!

The whole experience was very inspirational. I have to keep these babies growing inside of me for as long as possible, despite my discomfort. Although 35 weeks is my goal, I would love to make it even longer, which is why I spend 95 percent of my days lying in bed resting. I don’t really have a choice but to lie in bed anyway because my body is starting to really feel the burden of all these babies. But when I feel frustrated that I have so many aches and pains and can’t sleep and have horrible heartburn, I am reminded of what my doctor told me at my last visit — that a lot of people are in the hospital full time at and before my stage taking terrible drugs to stop labor. And now I’m reminded of Emma and she inspires me to hang in there and focus on the big picture . . . healthy babies.


Sleep Deprivation and Barfing January 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 7:47 pm

Classy title isn’t it? Yes, I barfed last night. I am not really sure why. I started feeling nauseated around 6 last night. I don’t think I had eaten enough food in the afternoon and then I took a prenatal vitamin, which can cause nausea. Usually I am pretty tough and try not to spend too much time complaining but the barfing episode combined with the incredible lack of sleep brought me to tears. It was just me, my barf, and my tears sitting on the bathroom floor. Then Chris came to rescue me from my misery with the sympathy and the cold compress. I must say that in the end the barf was worth it because I felt exceedingly better. The bad part was that now I didn’t feel like eating anything and you can probably guess, when you are growing three babies inside your belly, food is a very very important aspect of life. I ate a bowl of cinammon Life cereal and went to bed knowing that I would pay for the lack of food later that evening. Sure enough, I woke up at 3:30 starving to death and in overall misery. I never went back to sleep. I could really use a heavy dose of some sort of drug right now – I don’t know which one I need and I would not be picky. But since that is not an option, I figure this sleep deprivation is good training for when the babies are home with us.
My next entry will be so pleasant, I promise.
Until then, the mothership is signing off.


28 1/2 Weeks January 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 12:07 am
Today Chris and I went to our 28 week perinatal doctors appointment. I never know what to expect at these appointments. Will my winning cervix start succomming to the pressures of all those babies? Will the babies growth start slowing down because of the lack of room in the uterus? Thankfully, my appointment today went really well and the doctors haven’t put me on bed rest but they have limited me to the following exciting activities: taking a shower, going to the bathroom, making myself lunch (frozen meal usually), and if I’m feeling really crazy I can go out on a short one hour errand.

Today the girl babies weighed in at 2.4 and 2.5 pounds while the boy baby weighs 2.6 pounds. They are still keeping up with a singleton baby at this point but this is the time when they may start lagging behind. Baby A and Baby C are head to head on the left side of my belly (see picture below) while baby B’s head is on the right side at Baby A’s feet.

It is getting harder to see all the cool details that we saw at the 18 week ultrasound because they are getting so cramped in there. But it is still so great to see their little legs and head and arms and hear each of their heartbeats.

My goal is to make it to 35 weeks. I have already reached a major milestone at 28 weeks. Now our babies have made it past the point of major developmental problems if they happened to be born now. My next milestone is 32 weeks when we can cross brain bleeds and a few other horrible sounding conditions off the list.

I am going to be able to reach my goal more easily now that my nanny Laura started this last Monday. Wow, what a relief. Ava took to Laura the first minute she came on Monday and they have been having a great time ever since. They play hard all day while I can sit and relax in my bed and incubate. It has been such a relief to have Laura here and have Ava accept her with open arms.

The mothership is signing off . . . until next time.


Triplets?? How Did That Happen? January 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 12:58 am

This is my first post in our family website. 2007 has been a very interesting year for the Woolseys. I don’t want to bore everyone with the woes of my infertility, but I will just give a little background into what led us to conceive triplets.

A few years after having Ava, who took almost 2 years to conceive naturally, I experienced two miscarriages and went in to UC Davis Fertility Center to get some testing done and see why I seemed to have such a difficult time having babies. The answer came swiftly and severly – I was diagnosed by my doctor in January 07 with diminished ovarian reserve. What the heck does that mean? Well, the short answer is that my 32 year old ovaries are aging rapidly and not sending out their good quality eggs anymore. I was told I would most likely never have a child with my own eggs and In Vitro Fertilization would never work for me. In fact, he wouldn’t do IVF on me at all, despite the fact that our insurance covers the whole thing.

This was unacceptable to us. We immediately set up an appointment with the Roseville Clinic where there were two very good doctors who had been following my progress via emails and thought that I had a chance of having a baby through IVF.

Thus began my journey through IVF – the lab tests, the shots, the many drives to Roseville, the physical and emotional strain. There were two failed IVF attempts before the triplets were conceived. Chris and I gave ourselves a deadline of 2007 to make IVF work and then we were going to move on to Plan B which was adoption.

In July I was implanted with some beautiful embryos and a week later I told Chris that I know I am pregnant and I know for sure there is more than one baby growing inside me. A week after that I was given my blood test for pregnancy and my numbers were very high, which means most likely more than one baby. A week after that I had my first ultrasound. I told my doctor that I was scared about how many babies we would see in there. My doctor said he was scared also. What we saw were three perfect sacs and within them three little embryos with perfect heartbeats. We were speechless. I have to admit I never really thought that there would be anything more than 2 in there. In fact, I felt based on what the doctors had told me that I would be lucky if there was one that worked.

I made it through the first trimester but endured terrible nausea and a hunger that is indescribable. I also woke up in the wee hours of the morning with anxiety about our situation. How would we do this? Ava was hard enough, but now we were faced with caring for Ava and three tiny babies at the same time?? How would I survive? Should I request the prescription medication for myself now or wait and see how hard it really was going to be? I will never sleep again. I will never go on a vacation. I will never go on a date with my husband. These are the thoughts swirling through my head at 2 in the morning.

Since then, I have talked to a lot of moms of multiples and been pleasantly surprised about the amount of joy that their multiples bring to their lives, and how they have managed to balance their children with some independent time as well. Most have raised their triplets virtually on their own without outside help. Many of the moms even have outside jobs or part time jobs they manage along with the raising of multiples. I have been inspired and motivated. I still have days where I feel totally overwhelmed but I know that our big family will provide us more love and laughter than we could possibly imagine.


Making Room For 3 More Babies

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 12:57 am

So far we have rearranged three whole rooms in our house to accommodate our new enlarged family. Pool table – gone. That was the first thing to go. Now that it is gone I wonder why we didn’t get rid of it years ago. We tranformed our former billiard room into a very nice and functional playroom. Instead of billiard balls we have baby and kid books. Instead of billiard room themed art we have the new and deluxe “creativity center” for all the cutting, coloring, puzzle constructing and toys our kids hearts could desire. Instead of the pool table itself, we have vibrating seats and the craft table and chairs. There will eventually be a big gate that blocks the playroom off from the rest of the house so I can corral my herd into one safe area.

The room upstairs that used to be Ava’s playroom is now the baby nursery. Chris painted it a peaceful blue and painted big trees with birds on it which he traced from a projected computer image. It’s pretty cool. We have three nice cribs set up and ready to go. Many of my awesome friends have given me baby clothes to help dress all these little monkeys. Those clothes are in piles strewn about the baby room.

There is much more to be done but we have made good progress so far!


Bed rest??

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 12:57 am

Where is my doctor mandated bed rest? I am 27 weeks and am huge as a house. The babies weigh almost 2 pounds each and babycenter.com tells me they should be the size of an English hothouse cucumber. I am carrying around three large cucumbers not to mention the placentas and ambiotic fluid. It is a heavy load. Regardless, I just went to my 26 week appointment where my seemingly perfect cervix is preventing me from enjoying the relaxing surroundings of my bedroom all day. I have to admit though that Chris does make it possible for me to get quite a bit of rest whenever possible. He takes care of the house responsibilities, meals and Ava. The sad part is that he goes back to work full-time on Monday. My nanny starts a week from Monday and she will be a lifesaver I am sure.

The truth is that I am very fortunate to be mobile at this stage. I am lucky to have made it this far without bed rest. In fact, many moms carrying triplets are in the hospital on terrible medication to prevent contractions at this point. I cherish every week that I make it through without the worries of having my babies way too early.