Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Four Weeks

The triplets are now home, and we have been in the process of adjusting to this new big change in our life. Stephen has managed to take some additional time off of work which has been great. The amount of laundry that is produced by our new expanded family is unreal. We are constantly trying to clean up and catch up on the house, and are managing to fall slightly behind on the paper work. Most of the day there is one baby that is awake that requires holding. Occasionally all of them have slept at the same time, which is usually our opportunity to join them in a nap. I think we are getting used to the night routine, if you can call it a routine. Stephen and I will get up twice during the night for feeding time. We have used the time to talk, or to catch up on some of the of TV shows that we have recorded on our state of the art VHS recorder. If we manage a nap the following day, we consider ourselves fortunate. That has been the real secret to us keeping our sanity. Thanks to the extra vistiors who also help us get in an afternoon nap, it is appreciated.

During the week we have been the target for many acts of kindness. We have been overwhelmed with the great support from friends and family over this time in our life. Although our home seems crazy at the moment it would definitely be a little more insane without the help that we have received in the past while. Even the teachers at Avery's school put together a little fund raiser to purchase us some diapers. One teacher knitted each of the babies a little sweater and hat. These are people that we do not even really know. We are truly grateful for all of the kindness that has been shown.

As a gift my sister Holly brought her camera equipment, and all of her kids to boot, so we could get a photo shoot. This is one of the shots that she took. I love it. We are looking forward to seeing the rest of the shots. It was alot of work for her but also alot of fun, and we had a great time visiting with her family for the weekend. Thanks sis!

From left to right. Cohen, Andraya, and Sawyer just before we packed them up to bring them home from the hospital.

Here we have them all packed up the cars seats. Once we got them to the van we realized how difficult it was to get them all in. The seats are big enough that they are a tight squeeze into the back seat. I think we need to consider a larger van. I guess that will happen after we move into the bigger house.

Andraya and Sawyer.

We like to keep the trio with us in our bedroom so we can hear them at night. Cohen's oxygen concentrator is noisy and I am not sure that I would hear them over it, if they were in the other room. They all fit snuggly into this bassinet, which a friend lent to us. I wonder how long it will be before they have outgrown this little bed.

Coming Home

On Friday November 28th when the triplets were three weeks old we were able to bring them home. The night before we went to pick them up our house was ransacked by some unknown individuals who must have known they were coming home. We have inquired around town, but no one is talking. I suspect they know, but are turning a blind eye to the incident. I am sure that it must be the work of a secret combination. I have inquired of my friends who are all adiment that they were home in bed. All of them have a hint of frost bite on their noses though which is a little suspicious.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Triplets - Two Weeks Old

I have recently got a couple of comments about being behind on this blog. "They are two weeks old, not one!" They look very much the same as last week, but it has been eventful none the less. All of the babies have returned to and exceeded their birth weights. Cohen is now 5lbs 10 ounces. Sawyer is 4lbs 11 ounces,and Andraya is 4 lbs 10 ounces.

Cohen has continued to struggle with his breathing. We have tried a few times to reduce the amount of oxygen that he is on, but he has not responded favorably to room air yet. We are planning to bring him home with an oxygen tank. About three weeks after he comes home we will go to the Children's Hospital for assessment and testing of his lungs to see if he has outgrown his need for oxygen or not.

Sawyer has been the healthiest of the three. He was well enough to come home last week, but we thought it best not to split up the group. The doctors have detected some defect in his kidneys, called mild bilateral hydronephrosis. That just means that his kidneys don't dump the urine effectively into the bladder. It is a condition that is commonly outgrown within a few years. We are planning for some special imaging studies and a pediatric nephrologist to see him in the New Year.

Andraya had a brady with apnea on Saturday. She has to go five days without a brady before she can be released. A brady is when the heart rate slows down, and then picks up again. They are going to give her a stimulant (straight caffeine--yeah!) to help her get through five days with no more issues. Hopefully they can all come home on Friday, the 28th.

All babies are feeding well. They all have regular feeds of breastmilk from the bottle every three hours. The feeds take about 1 1/2 hours to complete with burps and cuddles. That does not leave allot of time between feeds, especially with pumping but they are growing well so it is worth it. I am looking forward to getting them home. In some ways they do not feel like they are completely ours yet. Life at home has returned to the same way it was before the triplets arrived. Raygan is very glad to have her Mom back after two weeks in the hospital. It was rough on her for me to be gone for so long. We feel like we have two very seperate families. Their arrival home will result in one more major adjustment--the next phase of this great adventure. It is a good thing that we have got such great support from family and friends.

Raygan with Andraya.

Riley and Andraya.

Xander with Sawyer. These two look alike, except maybe the size.

Avery and Andraya

Avery is already showing signs of being a great mother.

Here is Cohen with his oxygen tubes. He does not seem to want to let go of this.

This video shows the boys with their eyes open. I love it when they are awake, as rare as this is. I am sure that at some point I will wish for them to be asleep.

Friday, November 14, 2008

One Week Old

Today the triplets celebrated their first week in this world. It has been a very eventful week. All of them have made great strides. They are almost back to their biirth weight, and they are all beginning to get the hang of bottle feeding. Cohen is scheduled to have his IV removed this evening. Below are some of the pictures from Day 7.

Left to right are Andraya, Sawyer, and Cohen

Last night the triplets were put into one crib for the first time. It is so nice to have them all together in the same place. Sawyer and Andraya have been in the same bed for a few nights. It is nice that Cohen is now able to join them. He always seems to be a little left out.

Here is Andraya with her arm around Sawyer.

Andraya and Sawyer enjoying some time with mom.

From left to right are Cohen, Sawyer and Andraya.

Andraya and Sawyer together again. I actually got these two mixed up today. I know that they are different, but they do have some similar facial features, and they are exactly the same size. I wonder how many times I will mix them up.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Triplet Photos

Here is are the triplets on Day 5. From left to right are Sawyer Wayne Johnson, Cohen Dean Johnson, and Andraya Karen Johnson. Sawyer and Andraya share the same bed, and Cohen remains in an isolate until he is a bit better.

This is one of the first photos I have of Sawyer with his eyes opened. He becomes more and more alert as each day goes by. He is sleeping 90% of the time.
This is one of the first photos I have of Andraya with her eyes opened. She is awake about the same amount of time that Sawyer is.

This is Andraya at 10:00 pm on her first night in this world.

This is Sawyer just minutes after his birth.

Here is Cohen about 20 minutes after his birth. This is one of the only shots I have of him without some breathing apparatus on his face. The first few days of his life have been rough, but he is improving with time.

The Triplets Are Here

Nikola and I have been blessed with four beautiful children. Avery (12), Riley (10), Xander (5), and Raygan (2).

Our triplet story begins in March 2008. Nikola and I decided that we were not quite finished with our family. We decided to have just one more child. On May 6, 2008 Nikola returned from her ultrasound with a disk. Included on the ultrasound disk was three black spots indicating that we were expecting triplets.

The pregnancy proved to be the most challenging that we have ever experienced. It included allot of eating to keep up with the growth of the triplets, and a very tired mother. Nikola was hospitalized for the final two weeks of the pregnancy(which was difficult on her but she survived). According to the ultrasounds everything looked perfect.

Fast Forward to November 7th, 2008. Nikola was 34 weeks and 2 days into the pregnancy. We were scheduled for a C-section. What an amazing experience as we watched the doctor pull each baby out. I have included the video of that event which is completely decent, and shows only the babies popping out.

Deciding the names of three new babies proved to be a challenge. We did not have names picked at the time of their birth. We gave them nicknames so we did not have to call tham A, B, and C. Baby A "Moose" weighed in at 5lbs 2 ounces. He was larger than the other two by almost a whole pound. The name Moose was adopted from one of Nikola's coworkers who indicated that we were going to have "Moose triplets" Baby B "Rockstar" weighed in at 4 lbs 6 ounces, and was named by one of the doctors who took notice of the tongue sticking out regularly. Baby C "Angel" weighed in at 4 lbs 5 ounces. A truely appropriate nickname for any girl who has been stuck in the womb with two other boys for 7 months.

We now have real names for the babies. Cohen Dean Johnson, Sawyer Wayne Johnson, and Andraya Karen Johnson.

The first three days of life were spent in the NICU at the foothills hospital. Sawyer and Andraya showed great progress during this time. Cohen struggled a little more than his two wombmates. He needed some assistance with breathing. He continues to improve each day and requires less and less assistance as time goes by.

On November 10th Nikola was discharged, and the triplets were transfered to the Peter Lougheed where Nikola worked before taking maternity leave.