Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Love in a time of Scheduling March 31, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:36 am

Everything I read in multiples books and was told by moms of higher order multiples had something to do with organization and scheduling. We have found that in order to achieve success and not go crazy taking care of a 3 1/2 year old and one month old triplets this advice on organization is key. Every morning we gear up for the day and every evening we gear up for the next half of our shift in the middle of the night. This consists of cleaning a dozen bottles and filling them back up with pumped breastmilk. In the morning after the night shift has concluded, our bedroom where the triplets and Chris and I sleep looks like a war zone: empty bottles everywhere, washcloths saturated in spit up strewn about the floor, dresser and bed, baby clothes with spit up in piles all over the ground, breast pump accessories all over the night stand, and I could go on but I won’t. By mid morning everything has come back around to order and our daily routine is well underway. The babies are on a fairly strict schedule of feeding at 7, 10, 1, 4, 7 and 10. They wander off their schedule when they are too tired to get up in time for a feeding, which unfortunately usually happens at the first feeding of the morning — 7am. We end up getting them back on schedule either by 10 or 1.
Chris and I continue to dream about the day when the babies are sleeping in their nursery and we can have our bedroom back. Right now we do not sleep in the peace and comfort of what was formally our bedroom – we sleep in the middle of a tropical jungle where you can hear the sounds of wild parrots and other rare birds, chimpanzees, and as hard as it may be to believe, cheetas. I believe the cheetah noise is coming from our little delicate Violet while Preston is particularly good at the rare bird sounds. I have been religiously wearing my ear plugs since the second day they were home. Chris finally succombed to the noises of the jungle and is now wearing a pair of earplugs each night.

Although the 10, 1, 4 am feedings are somewhat torturous, Chris and I are managing a little better than I expected. I must say that half the time I do feedings in my sleep – I have to pump for 20 minutes while I am feeding a baby. This kind of rigorous activity at the wee hours of the morning is just inhumane but it is amazing what your body can adjust to when given no choice.

I have to say that these babies are so sweet and cuddly and enjoyable. I wanted to make sure with myself that I was able to enjoy these babies and appreciate them as tiny infants despite the work and lack of sleep, and not let this time slip away without being able to appreciate those special moments. I had such a special moment of love with Elsa last night. She was upset in her crib in the middle of the night and so I took her to bed with me and cuddled her up face to face and she just sat there with the most peaceful look on her face and in her eyes and stared at me for about 15 minutes until we both dozed off. Those are the special moments. Simple, but special. A brief moment in time but absolutely priceless.
I am determined to enjoy all these simple little moments with each of the babies despite our need to schedule and organize for the survival of us all.

For now, the mothership is signing off. . .

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Visitors March 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:26 am

Okay friends. I know you are overwhelmed just thinking about us here taking care of a crazy red-headed preschooler along with three premature triplet babies. I know you imagine us in our home running around like chickens with our heads cut off, in a zombie like state from the lack of sleep and napping at all hours of the day. I am here to tell you that while caring for so many little creatures so small is not easy or restful, we are doing just fine and welcome phone calls and visitors. Yes, we have had immense help from first my mom and sister and now Chris’s mom and dad, and could perhaps fall apart at the seams when Chris’s parents leave tomorrow, but for now we are taking care of these children with a happy spirit and loving heart. So, don’t be afraid to call, write or visit. Our only requirements for visiting are that you and those in your house have been healthy for a week and that you come during feeding times so you can help feed babies (7,10,1,4).
It is 8:35pm and rapidly approaching our bedtime so I must sign off now.
But before I do, I wanted to let you know that Brenda has put a smaller version of our pictures in a slideshow on her website if the big version was taking too long. Just go to bisharatphotos.com and click on “blog” and you will see where it says “triplet birth”.

 

Life With The Babies Home March 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 11:13 pm

I am trying to figure out whether I think life with the triplets home is easier or harder than I thought, different or the same as I thought it would be, and I have decided that I cannot decide. I definitely don’t think life with the triplets is necessarily hard right now but I think I may be in a time that can be described as the calm before the storm. The babies are now about 38 weeks old and they have been in the world for an entire month now. Their life right now is all about food. I have finally mastered the task of breasfeeding Elsa and Preston at the same time which I figure saves about 20 – 25 minutes of time feeding babies. Violet is too fidgety on the boob so she always gets a bottle. One of these days I will try to breastfeed her again. After I breasfeed I pump. It is a rigorous schedule of expelling milk from my body but I am still able to exclusively breastfeed the babies which makes me feel good about myself and it saves us tons of money in formula.

Our feeding day begins at 7am each morning and continues every 3 hours from there. So, the babies eat at 7, 10, 1, 4, 7, 10 etc. I like the schedule a lot because we are usually able to get the babies fed before we go to sleep at around 10 pm and then we are only woken up twice in the night. At 7am the babies are still sleeping but Ava isn’t. Unfortunately for Chris, he has Ava morning duty which begins around 6am and consists of two, not one, but two glasses of juice/water mix delivered to Ava and then back up to bed. Chris usually falls back asleep with Ava in her bed. I have the delightful task of bringing the most restless baby that morning into bed with me and we cuddle up and fall back asleep.

The babies are very good and quiet right now, with the excepetion of Violet who is never very quiet. She has so much to say already and likes to assert her opinions in a series of loud and cantacorous grunts that go on and on. She is most active and opinionated between the hours of 7 and midnight, unfortunately for us. Her brother Preston also gets a little more fidgety at night. Little Elsa is super easy going and consistently pleasant. Mostly she is either awake and content or asleep and content.

We have decided that Preston is indeed a Chris clone, while Violet is a child from my grandma Cora Traub’s mom’s side (complicated I know) with her small features and very petite frame. Elsa seems to look like me based on some baby pictures we dug up, except her dark coloring throws us all off. My grandpa refers to Elsa as “the dark one’ which is funny considering the red-headed coloring of all her other siblings.

Chris and I got an unexpected date night again last night. Chris’s parent’s are in town for 5 days and have kindly agreed to do the night shift with us and the babies. Last night they offered to stay with the kids and Chris and I snuck out for some fajitas and margaritas. We determined on our way home that Chris’s parent’s would be holding Violet and Preston while Elsa would be sound asleep in her crib. Sure enough that is the situation we came home to so I guess we know our babies already.

More later – the mothership is signing off for now. . .

 

The Woolsey Possy Is Home March 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 5:49 pm

First of all, I want to tell you that the very wonderful and talented Brenda Bisharat sent us all the pictures she took of the delivery of the babies. They are very cool and beautiful as only Brenda could do.
http://www.bisharatphotos.com
go to enter site
hit “proofing”
enter Woosley as the password. Notice the “s” and “l” are switched. And it is case sensitive. There are over 300 pictures so it takes a little time to get through.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Brenda. You are an amazing person.
I also wanted to let you all know that Brenda is nominated as Sacramento’s Best Photographer. If you want to vote for her, here is her info and voting just takes a minute:
http://kcra.cityvoter.com/brenda-bisharat-photography/biz/77750

Exactly three weeks from the day they were born and admitted into the NICU, Preston and Violet made their way home to Cameron Park. Elsa had arrived earlier in the week on Tuesday and so we had a little bit of time to adjust to a newborn in the house again.
It was very emotional for me taking the babies home yesterday. As I made my final expedition in the Lactation Station room at the hospital where I have spent so much of my time pumping, I got teary eyed thinking that this phase of life is officially over for me. As strange as it seems, I look back on my stay in the hospital, my C-section, the babies time growing big and healthy in the NICU and my time pumping in the Lactation Station as some of my fondest life memories. To think that we are officially closing this chapter of life and beginning the new chapter with the babies home brought a rush of emotion to me. When I left the hospital from my three week stay I had to say goodbye to all the special nurses who took amazing care of me while the babies grew in my belly. I could no longer ring the nurse at midnight for a couple of bowls of jelly, or first thing in the morning for my customary cup of cranberry juice. I guess I was going to have to get it myself from now on 🙂
I had the same type of emotions all over again yesterday as we loaded up the babies into their carseats and headed out. I had to say goodbye to my favorite nurses who loved our babies and took care of them with love and compassion. I was no longer a visitor in my babies lives, Chris and I were now full time parents. When you are bringing three babies home from the hospital, this thought is exciting and very scary at the same time.
As we left the hospital’s with the babies, we stopped by my nurse’s station to show them the end product of my hospital stay. They were truly beside themselves with happiness when they saw the babies and I promised to send pictures along the way. As we packed them up in the car, our favorite nurse Ann was there helping us and she teared up as we departed — she said she truly loved our little crew and would really miss them. It was an emotional day.
So, last night was predictably sleepless. Preston and Elsa were very peaceful and sympathetic to their mom and dad’s need for some sleep, but Violet sat in her crib and moaned and groaned and shreeked and sucked furiously on her binkie until it fell out, and then she shreeked again. I didn’t know a 4.6 pound baby was so loud, and neither did her brother and sister. Everytime she screamed, Elsa and Preston jumped in their sleep. We eventually demoted Violet to the pack n play in the family room with the special vibrating function, hoping for some peace but we learned you can run but you cannot hide from the Violet shreek. Chris ended up holding her and they slept together and there was at last a few hours of peace. We are hoping for a better night tonight.
Sleep or no sleep, the babies are so precious and we love them so much. Ava loves them also and she always says, “they are such cute babies”. It is sweet. All the kids look so different from one another and so far they all have personalities unique from one another. I have a feeling I am going to have to be Preston’s advocate with all those girls around him. He seems like such a gentle, mellow little boy.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off . . .

 

Clarification March 13, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 12:28 am

Okay you guys – I was just exaggerating on the number of diapers and washcloths and the actual price of $2,000 at the register. I have gotten emails from friends who can’t believe I had to buy that many and spend that much money. I know I will eventually use that many but for now we probably only have diapers in the hundreds 🙂 Forgive my hyperbole!

 

A Circus Act March 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 5:24 am
I had a triplet experience in Babies R Us today. What is the triplet experience you may ask? I had been warned about becoming a circus act once you are out and about with your triplets. There have been many a dialogue via email between members of my triplet group about how once you bring your triplets out into the world, you no longer can efficiently get through a store without being stopped by a hundred people wanting to know if the babies are triplets and how you take care of three babies at once etc. etc.

Today in Babies R Us, Chris and I experienced the before-bringing-babies-home triplet experience that I didn’t know was possible. We had 1/2 an hour to load up our shopping cart with all the Pampers preemie diapers that we could fit into our shopping cart, as well all the disposable washcloths that Babies R Us carried in stock today. We headed quickly up to the checkout line and began to unload the 4,562 diapers and 3,600 washcloths onto the counter. A lady behind us said – geez, what do you guys have twins or triplets or something?? We said, yes, triplets. “Oh my god I was just kidding,” she said. It went downhill from there. This nice lady wanted to know everything about the triplets and what we are going to do about taking care of triplets. It went on and on. Chris was politely answering all of her questions while I just wanted to buy my $2,000 in diapers and washcloths and be on my merry way. About 10 minutes into the triplet interrogation, a woman who worked behind the counter said to this woman, “there is a register that has been available behind you” and then the lady replied “I know, I know, but I am just so interested in their situation over here”. Yes, we are a circus act already!


We are hoping to get Elsa home tomorrow and Chris and I have had all this crazy adrenaline energy racing through our bodies in anticipation of getting one of our babies home. Elsa now weighs 4 pounds 3 ounces, while Violet weighs 4 pounds almost 3 ounces and Preston weighs 4 pounds 5 ounces. It is amazing how much they grow every day. Tonight Elsa took her bottle in 5 minutes, Violet took hers in 10 minutes and Preston took his in 15 minutes. This is a great feeding for all of them. The doctor expects that Violet and Preston will be home by the end of the week. We are excited and scared a the same time.

Since our babies are coming home this week, I called my friend Emily who had her triplets about 6 weeks ago to pick her brain about how it is going in her house with all the babies home. She is doing great and said it isn’t as difficult as she thought it would be, but she also has a night nurse. Chris and I have a lot of fear about how we will manage the night time when Chris has to work all day and I have 4 kids under 4 to take care of, with nanny Laura’s help of course. If anyone wants to offer night time service and help feed babies and change poopy diapers in the wee hours of the night, we are accepting all offers 🙂 It will be a sleep deprived 2008 for us but we are ready for the challenge.

I met with the lactation consulatant today and she laid out a very ambitious and overwhelming breastfeeding/pumping schedule for me to provide the most breastmilk to the babies. I thought to myself, how am I ever going to accomplish this? I am literally going to be a milk making machine – well, I guess I already am. I am now pumping out over 32 ounces of milk for the babies, and luckily they eat 32 ounces every day for now. It is amazing how a woman’s body can produce what it needs to feed three babies. When they get home I will do the best I can with breastfeeding and pumping without going absolutely crazy.

Hopefully tomorrow we will have one of the babies home and I can share the experience.

Until then, the mothership is signing off. . .

 

Growing Babes March 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 4:50 pm

The babies are now 35+ weeks and are doing so well. Elsa and Preston now weigh 4 pounds 2 ounces and little petite Violet who only started out at 3 pounds 3 ounces now weighs a hefty 4 pounds. They average a weight gain of almost 2 ounces a day which I find extraordinary. It must be that magic breastmilk. They are starting to get chubby cheeks and double chins but so far are keeping their spindly little legs and arms. I am sure the girls will be first to develop those little chubby rolls, as most girls do – lucky us.

I love to watch their little personalities grow. Elsa is the most alert these days. She has long periods of time where she opens her eyes and is just so at peace checking out the new world around her. Violet is very opinionated and stubborn, a complete spitfire like another little red head I know. She makes me laugh with all of her funny faces and dramatic stretching exercises. Preston is a very serious young man. He is the only one I haven’t seen smile yet. He has really woken up this last week and looks around with his big eyes. He is the spitting image of Chris. I think he is a very sensitive boy so far and will soon learn that he will need to get tough with all those girls around.

On Friday the doctor said that he thinks Elsa may come home this coming Monday or Tuesday because she is taking her bottles so well. I am not sure if that will actually happen but I do think all the babies may be home by this time next week. It will be an exciting and crazy time!

I am finally able to drive again and am functioning almost pain free. What an ordeal my body has gone through and it is just nice to be able to do things around the house and walk up the stairs to play with Ava in her bedroom. Now I just need to go shopping for some clothes so I don’t have to feel so frumpy anymore. It is difficult because I am inbetween maternity clothes and regular clothes which leaves me just wearing baggy non-maternity clothes every day.

The neonatal doctor told Chris and I to go out on a date this weekend because it may be our last for awhile, hinting at the fact that the babies will be home soon, so that is what we are doing. My parent’s are taking Ava for the night and we are heading down to the hospital for the afternoon and then going to dinner tonight. This will be my first dinner out, and perhaps my last, for a long time so I plan on living it up!

Until next time, the mothership is signing off. . .