Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Redux

There aren't adequate words to describe 2009 for this household.  A year that doubled the size of our family in three short minutes. 

So many changes.  So little sleep.  So much to be thankful for.

So with that, here are some scattershot thoughts on this - our most monumental year.
  • Thanks first to God for giving us four amazing, beautiful, healthy children.  Although I do look forward to the day when I can discuss with him the logic of sending three of them at one time! 
  • Besides being the best husband in the world, Carl has now earned a second doctorate in formula preparation.  By last count he has prepared approximately 18,260 ounces of formula in the past seven months.  (98 oz/day; 665 oz/week; 2,660 oz/month).
  • Joshua - no longer my baby.  You are smarter than we are and we love it!  Who ever thought my pregnancy pillow would take on second life as a giant worm?
  • Matthew - our mover and shaker.  I'm waiting for the moment when I turn around and you are running across the room at me.  It won't be long. 
  • Paige - the Zen baby.  I appreciate your amazingly calm disposition, sweetheart.  But your brothers are on the move and you need to learn to hold your own.  Taking the book back from William last night was a good start!
  • William - my gentle giant.  I can't wait until you can sing the songs along with me.
  • Haley the dog - Don't worry, Joshua still corrects me when I say we have six members in our family.  Despite your tense relationship lately, he loves you.  You'll be running around the yard together soon.
  • Did you know that the nurses in Mercy's NICU are angels?
  • A person can function on an average of 4 hours of sleep a night.
  • We have the best families in the world.  Their support has been amazing.  Enough said.
  • Everyone knows that baby laundry spontaneously regenerates.  Just imagine that cubed.
  • On a related note, laundry is more fun when done in a fancy new cranberry red front loading washing machine!
  • Professional house cleaners are not a want - they are a need.
  • You can fashion a dinner out of eggs, breadcrumbs and peanut butter.
  • Take me down to ExcerSaucer city where the toys are great and the babies are pretty!
  • Do not wrap your three-year old's Christmas present in a baby diaper box.
  • I remember 1999 turning to 2000 like it was yesterday.  Great conversation with great friends, much port wine and child-free frivolity ensued.  While I will see midnight this New Year's Eve, I highly doubt port will be involved.  (Unless you want to make the trip out, Jaz?  Then I'm sure we could find a way to incorporate port!)
  • How can a decade pass so quickly yet an hour with a crying baby in the middle of the night seems to last an eternity?
  • At the end of the next decade of this millennium my babies will be 13, 10, 10, & 10 respectively.  When I think about it that way, time can't go slowly enough.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Christmas Scene



     Mom, who’s Glee?

     What do you mean, sweetie?

               JOSHUA (EMPHATICALLY)
     Mom, who’s Glee?

     Honey, I don’t know what you mean.

     Mom, WHO’S GLEE???


     OHHHHH!!!...as they shouted out with glee! 
     Honey glee isn't a person in the song.  It means that they were happy! 
     Glee is another word for happy!

     That’s dumb.



Friday, November 6, 2009

525,600 Minutes

On November 6, 2008 we saw this:

On November 6, 2009 we have these:

What a year.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One I can hold, not squishy, with a little bit of green.

Any guesses on what today’s pithy title refers to?

Those were my eldest son’s requirements for his pumpkin patch pumpkin. Joshua attends an outstanding pre-school and this week the school arranged a field trip to a local pumpkin patch for its “Junior Bankers.” In addition to a fun hay rack ride, each child got to pick out a pumpkin to take home. And while the ceremonial picking of the pumpkin was supposed to be the highlight of the trip, ask any of the three year olds what the best part was and they will tell you without equivocation, “RIDING ON THE SCHOOL BUS!”

Did you know that God cares about field trips too? There were 32 three-year olds participating in the pumpkin fun and approximately 17 parents had signed up to go along. About a week before the adventure the school sent out an e-mail that indicated there may not be enough room for all parents on the bus. The e-mail encouraged parents to form car pools and even volunteered to coordinate the car pools if parents requested. I can only assume that the e-mail did not engender the hoped for response because the day before the trip an e-mail was sent to all of the parents indicating that only 6 parents would be allowed on the bus…and I was one of them!

I didn’t ask to be one of the six parents on the bus. I didn’t go to the director and indicate that I couldn’t possibly car pool since my van is, literally, filled with car seats. I didn’t raise my hand and demand special treatment since I am paying a small fortune to the day care every week. I didn’t try to explain to Joshua’s teacher the melt down I knew would come if Joshua got to school on Tuesday and learned that he had to ride the bus without Mom. I merely planned on being one of the first parents there so I could rely on a first come, first served argument, but in reality I knew that probably wouldn’t work. So I simply held my breath and hoped and prayed that I would be able to ride on the bus since that was really the source of Joshua’s excitement. Then the e-mail came out. I exhaled and, most importantly, I no longer had to hedge when Joshua bounced up and down with the thought of riding the school bus with Mommy.

Now I know there are many of you out there that will see all of this as merely a coincidence or a random event. And, who knows, maybe the school did select the parents at what they considered random. But I choose to see something bigger and, yes, even divine at my inclusion. Because my little three-year old has been through a lot this year too. And he needed something that was all his to share with only his Mom. While we can tell him over and over how special he is and how there are so many things he can do that the babies can’t do, sometimes he just needs something concrete. Sometimes, he needs an experience that puts him on top of a world without babies. Sometimes he needs to be able to act silly and look at trees and big trucks out the window of a big yellow school bus. I wish you all could have seen the joy on his little face.

So thank you, God, for the best ride on a school bus ever. And thank you for caring about the little things in life too.

And yes, Joshua got a great pumpkin. It was just the right size, wasn’t squishy at all, and on the back side was just a little bit of green.

Monday, October 19, 2009

One-Third of a Day in the Life

Mom and Dad have 3 jobs.

Job #1 starts around 5:30 a.m. and involves getting everyone up, ready and out the door by (hopefully) 7:30.

Job #2 is the actual job that pays us and allows for the purchase of food, formula, diapers, you know, those little things.

Job #3 begins at day care pick up and lasts until the blessed hour of (hopefully) 8:00 when all Gausmans 3 and under are in bed…if not yet asleep.

Yes, that is an approximate 14.5 hour day. And we haven’t even counted the 11:00 p.m. feeding. On a good day when all the stars are aligned and smiling, this is what it looks like. You don’t even want to know what a bad day looks like!

5:30 A.M.
Dad is up and in the shower.
Mom catches a few more z’s.
Babies are starting to twitch, but no one is truly awake yet.
Joshua is usually still asleep, but he has been known to sneak into Mom & Dad’s room at this early hour (how did we get such an early riser?!?!?).

5:40 A.M.
Dad has probably fallen asleep in the shower.

5:45 A.M.
Dad is out of the shower.
Bottles are warming (Thanks Dad!).
Mom is either still catching z’s or tending to any awake baby or Joshua.
Mom is trying to deny the fact that she needs to get up and dress babies.

6:00 A.M.
Babies are (hopefully) mostly dressed.
Dad is (hopefully) mostly dressed.
Mom is (hopefully) sitting down to feed one baby.
Joshua is snuggling in to watch a Special Agent Oso while the babies get fed.

By 6:15 A.M.
Babies are all (hopefully) being fed.
2 are being “boppied” (yes it is a verb) and one is with Mom and Joshua having its young brain warped by the powers that are Disney.

6:30 A.M.
Special Agent Oso finishes his special assignment
Mom motivates Joshua to get dressed on his own by playing the “big boy” card. Thank God he can dress himself. Mom overlooks the bright red sweat pants with the orange t-shirt and the blue socks. And what size are those pants, Joshua? How can they be that short already?
Mom makes mental note to scouer the van for loose change for new pants for the 3 year old.

6:45 A.M.
Dad takes Joshua & a baby downstairs for breakfast.
Oops, you need to take two babies now…can’t leave Matthew on the bed since he can roll & William has lost all interest in the ceiling fan.
Don’t forget to feed Haley, and put the bottles together, and pack Joshua’s bag, and get anything you might need for the day, and put the car seats out, and start the dishwasher so there are clean bottles tonight…Prozac not included.
Meanwhile, Mom draws on all of those articles she read in days of old and really does reduce her “beauty routine” to 20 minutes.

7:05 A.M.
A time warp takes place and somehow we’ve accomplished nothing…

7:30 A.M.
We’re supposed to be leaving, but just now putting the babies in their seats. It will take another 10 minutes to actually get everyone in the car. William throws up everywhere…and oh yes, he needs a new diaper along with the new outfit.

7:40 A.M.
3 babies? Check!
1 Joshua? Check!
1 spastic yellow lab? Check!
Bottles? Check!
Joshua’s backpack? Check!
Badges? Check!
Mom & Dad? Check!
Pull out of the driveway….Don’t hit the trashcans on the way out.
Did I brush my teeth?

And that, my friends, is the end of Job #1. Job #2 is a breeze comparatively. And Job #3, well, I’m not sure you’re ready for that. Perhaps that will be next week’s post. :-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

William, my little William

Last night, William fell asleep in my arms.

It had not been an easy night. There was much crying and consternation from all four children. William had been particularly inconsolable as he wailed through the entire time it took to get all four children in their PJ’s and ready for the babies’ 7:00 feeding. Nerves were raw, words were harsh, and the enormity of the situation weighed on Mom and Dad’s every thought. It was one of those nights where we literally had to push ourselves through every action with dogged deliberateness because if we did not force ourselves to move and act we would be paralyzed by the sheer size of the tasks in front of us.

And then, with Paige and Matthew asleep in their cribs and Dad reading Joshua bed time stories, William fell asleep in my arms. He stopped crying. He stopped flailing. And he just was. I could feel his breath, somewhat labored from his cold. I could watch his dream smiles. I could feel his toes twitch periodically against my stomach. His arms were wrapped around me as if in a hug. He was beautiful and perfect and mine.

Every parent loves their children but there are moments when the intensity of that love hits you with such force it literally takes your breath away. Last night, looking into his face was the first time I had felt that way in longer than I care to remember. And, suddenly, everything seemed just a little bit more manageable. The laundry mountain seemed not quite so high. The bottles seemed not quite so numerous. The 5 hours of sleep we’ve been averaging seemed like more than enough. The road ahead was navigable again.

So I did my best to make a memory of that moment and I tucked it away as one of the reasons we’re doing all of this.

Thank you, William. Mommy owes you one.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ripping off the Band-Aid

I wish I could tell you how many times we’ve said to each other, “we really need to update the blog.” 10? 100? 1000? Where to start? What to write? Do I have time to upload that many pictures? So much has happened, yet so much is the same. But like all things big and daunting you just have to do it. So, with that I’m ripping off the proverbial band-aid and diving right in. Hold on tight…

The triplets are now 4 months old!!! We had their 4 month appointment on Tuesday, September 29 and all were pronounced strong and healthy, well, with the exception of William’s double ear infections. Our first round of antibiotics! Here are the stats:

24 ½ inches (50th percentile)
14 lbs. 6 oz (50th percentile)

25 ¼ inches (75th – 90th percentile)
14 lbs. 11 ½ oz (75th percentile)

24 ¾ inches (50th percentile)
16 lbs. 1 ½ oz (75th percentile)

And remember, those percentiles are on the REGULAR growth chart!!! No more preemie chart needed and such a long way from where we started!

They clearly all have their own personalities and likes/dislikes. It is a wild ride trying to figure out the cues of 3 babies. Luckily, we have the highly conversant Joshua to help “interpret” for us. He pretty much assumes that when a baby cries, Mom & Dad need to change a diaper.

Matthew is our mover! Mr. M (as he is called around here) is the wiggler and has mastered rolling over. This is pretty astounding for a 4 month old preemie. Joshua didn’t roll over until he was nearly 6 months old. In fact, Joshua could sit-up unassisted before he could roll with any proficiency. But Matthew just doesn’t like to be still. He is the most generous with the smiles and will gladly “tell” you about his entire day as long as you will listen. He is grasping rattles and toys when you hold them out for him and is very adept at taking his pacifier out of his mouth. Putting it back in is a bit challenging but he’s working on it.

Paige is our Zen baby. When she was tiny she could truly sleep around the clock waking up only for feedings. She has more awake time now but is still so calm and relaxed it is scary. I’m not sure what she thinks of her Type A parents running around trying to schedule anything and everything. If left to her own devices I think everything around her would flow with the ease of a lazy river. She’s still known as “the peanut” given her tiny stature when she first came home but looking at her now you would never know that she was under 5 pounds when they discharged her and entrusted us with her care. Paige is also very generous with her smiles and loves to coo at you. She is still working on her core strength but her neck is getting stronger every day & I’m sure she’ll be rolling around with Matthew very soon.

William, ahh William. We’re still trying to figure him out. He can smile at you…when he wants to. He can lay contentedly…when he wants to. He can grab a scarf or toy and play with it…when he wants to. But truth be told, the “Big Man” simply likes to be close to you. He loves to be held and cuddled and is usually most-displeased when you have to put him down. He loves looking at his mobile (Herbie Husker!) and his neck and core strength are good. But of all the triplets he is the most preemie acting, meaning that we can truly see that cognitively and physically he is closer to his adjusted age than he is his chronological age.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with adjusted age vs. chronological age, it is something that doctors and parents pay close attention to with preemies. Chronological age is the age of the baby from the day of birth, i.e. the number of days, weeks or years old the baby is. So for the triplets, their chronological age is just over 4 months (or if looking at in weeks, 18 weeks on October 1). Adjusted age is the age of the baby based on due date. So, for the triplets, their adjusted age is not quite 3 months (or if looking at in weeks, 13 weeks on October 1 since their due date was July 1). For some preemies adjusted age never comes in to play and they hit all their milestones within the normal ranges for a full-term baby. For other preemies adjusted age is a huge factor and most be considered almost daily. I think our babies will probably fall somewhere in the middle.

For those of you who know us well it will come as no surprise that it is hard for us not to freak out when we compare William to Matthew. There is a stark contrast. But having triplets is nothing if not a lesson in patience and “letting go.” So we try very hard to look at all the babies as individuals and remember that if we didn’t have them to compare to each other we wouldn’t know any different! Besides, the doctor told us that Matthew is jumping so far ahead he is just making Paige & William look like they are lagging behind when, really, they are hitting all normal 4 month old milestones. Matthew is just hitting 6 to 7 month milestones a little early.

Joshua has adjusted amazingly well to all of this. For a long time he basically ignored the babies. Sure, he liked to get diapers but after that he was pretty much done with all things baby. Now that Paige and Matthew are starting to smile and interact he loves to show the babies how big boys get dressed, eat real food, play with action figures, do art projects and, most importantly, go to Jr. Bankers at school. As he is fond of telling you he is WAY too big for the baby room. We can’t say enough about Joshua’s day care (now known as pre-school!) and how happy he is there. We are confident that the consistent high quality care and attention he received and continues to receive from all of his teachers has grounded him and helped him adjust well to these monumental changes. Sure, he has his moments, but never once has he said he wants us to take them back and *knock on wood* we’ve only seen gentle touches and kisses. Let’s hope that continues…at least until they start getting into his stuff!

As for Mom & Dad we are surviving. Mom went back to work on August 31 and it was as difficult as you would imagine it to be. Having been immersed in the baby world (x3!) for such a long period of time getting back into the groove has been hard…harder this time than it was with Joshua. But, as we tell people when they ask us “how do you do it?” the answer is, you just do. Dad continues to be the champion multi-tasker. But he has recently admitted that from this point forward all weekends must have planned activities and errands. Otherwise, 48+ hours with 4 kids to 2 parents can be, well, downright dreadful. Sorry Paige, we’re going to have to be regimented for a while to come.

So, we hope you’ve enjoyed this peak into our crazy life. I could go on and on about schedules and feedings, day care drop-offs and pick-ups, the amazingly brazen comments we get from people when we take everybody out, the literal lack of time, the kindness and generosity of our friends and family through all of this…but then what would I have to blog about next week. That’s right, my hope is for one blog post a week. Will we be able to make it happen??? As we said way back on the first post when we started this adventure…stay tuned! More details and pictures to come!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Who needs sleep? Well you're never gonna get it...

Sorry that it has been so long since our last post. Things have gotten a little crazy! :)

For those of you who do not know, William came home on June 15 - which also happened to be Joshua's 3rd birthday. Here are the four kiddos on birthday/homecoming day. We're not sure if Joshua is telling us he's 3 or telling us we have three babies!

Life is somehow exponentially harder with 3 babies as opposed to 2. We are now in the midst of trying to find the happy medium between letting the babies decide when they are hungry and putting them on a "clock-feeding" schedule. Of course, once one baby wakes up we wake them all up to eat - we can't let them have total control!

They are doing well and gaining weight, though. At weight checks last week Matthew was 7 lbs 1 oz (4 lbs 6 oz at birth); Paige was 7 lbs 10 oz (5 lbs 2 oz at birth); and William was 7 lbs 12 oz (4 lbs 14 0z at birth). The doctor is very happy with their progress!

We can't believe they've been with us 5 weeks. The longest and shortest 5 weeks of our lives.

William on 5/28/09

William on 7/1/09 (their due date!)

Matthew on 5/28/09

Matthew on 7/1/09

Paige on 5/28/09

Paige on 7/1/09

Joshua and his babies!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When you dream, what do you dream about?

Today is the two-week mark from the birth of our triplets. And, the first day that we were able to get them all together for a picture with no (visible) cords, tubes, IVs, etc. Very exciting! We just had to share this picture:

In order, that's Paige, William and Matthew. (This picture inspired the post title, in case anyone was wondering.)

Everyone continues to do well. Paige and Matthew had their 2 week appointment at the doctor today, and they passed with flying colors. William continues to do well and will hopefully be home sometime early next week. Overall, things are going great. Thank you all for the cards, calls, e-mails and all of the support. We truly appreciate it. We'll post more soon. Seriously, we will! As soon as we get some sleep... :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's been.... One Week*

Well, we've made it through the first week! Shannon and Paige were sent home on Sunday! Matthew and William remain at the hospital, but it looks like Matthew will be discharged tomorrow. William is still working on remembering to breathe and he needs to learn to eat (minor things, right?) but he really is doing very well overall. He's on track to come home sometime next week. So, we're adjusting to life at home by adding one baby at a time. While not perfect, it does have its advantages.

Everyone is getting some sleep, though tomorrow will bring a new adjustment with Matthew's arrival. And, for those of you keeping score at home, Haley has returned to her overprotective, motherly self, and really likes to lick Paige's head. This, of course, does not sit well at all with Joshua, who is very stern with her about the fact that the baby is not to be licked!

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. We'll try to be more frequent with the updates. And we'll get more pictures up soon.

Goodnight from the Gausman 6 (+ Haley!)

*a shout out to BNL... if Carl was coming up with titles for the posts, they would all be song lyrics!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

30 Fingers, 30 Toes

Success! We are proud to welcome 3 beautiful babies into this world. It was an eventful day, though we were delayed in getting started. After being bumped from the OR twice, the triplets were finally delivered shortly after 9 AM. In respective order of arrival:

Matthew Wade
4 lbs 6 oz
18" long

Paige Naomi
5 lbs 2 oz
18 1/2" long

William Braden
4 lbs 14 oz
18 1/2" long

Mom is doing well. Currently the boys are in the NICU, for monitoring purposes, and Paige is in the regular nursery. All are doing well, and we've been able to spend a lot of time with Paige and we also got to hold Matthew in the NICU. It's been quite a day and we'll post more soon. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


We made it. 35 weeks. This is the goal we set way back in November when we first learned of the triplets’ existence. However, when the triplets are born tomorrow at 35 weeks, 1 day, we recognize it is the end of the easy part of raising triplets (and a singleton!) and the beginning of a whole new journey.

We’ve had so many people ask us if we’re ready. That is such a difficult question to answer. In some ways, absolutely, in some ways not even close.

Am I physically ready? Yes! Yes! Yes! There is simply no more room. Plus, remember the post from weeks back when I complained about only sleeping 4-5 hours a night? What I would give for 4 hours of solid sleep. At this point if I sleep for an entire hour straight it is a miracle. And that’s after I’ve been up for a few hours in between. I want to be able to walk again, I want to throw away the Zantac forever, and I want to be able to wear my wedding ring again. So, yes, I am physically ready.

Are we logistically ready? The nursery is done. The changing tables are stocked with diapers/wipes/creams. The clothes are washed, organized and put away. The bottles have been sterilized and are lined up in the newly christened triplet feeding cabinet in the approximate order we will need them. The care spreadsheets are done, printed, and assembled in their own notebook. The car seats are in the mini-van. The diaper bag is packed. Presents for Joshua from the triplets are purchased and wrapped. Stuffed animals from Joshua to the triplets are purchased. I’m sure we’ve forgotten something, but I can’t think of what it could be. Thus, logistically, I’d say we’re ready.

Are we emotionally ready? Ahh, isn’t that the $64,000 question. Can anyone ever be ready for the influx of 3 babies at once? I remember talking to a good friend when we were contemplating having a second baby. I told him that it is a really hard decision. On the one hand, by the time you start thinking about having a second baby you are in such a routine with your first child that you’re not sure you want to upset what has become very comfortable. On the other hand, you see all the mistakes that you made with the first one, all the small stuff you sweated unnecessarily, and you want to give yourself a second chance to just sit back and enjoy what you now know goes so quickly.

For us that “comfortable” pregnancy and newborn time was not to be. The triplets threw a whole new set of joys into the mix but I would be less than honest if I didn’t say that they also threw lots of new and different concerns into the mix too. But, you play the hand you’re dealt. And, in the end, I am sure that, for us, 4 children will be nothing less than 4 Aces.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers these past months. Tune in tomorrow for all the details – including the long awaited names!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Damn it Jim, I'm a lawyer not a engineer!

We’ve been thinking about car seats and how to arrange them in the minivan. Here are the variables to consider:

• 2 parents

• 4 children

• 4 car seats

• 1 convertible car seat

• 2 identical infant bucket seats

• 1 unique infant bucket seat

• 1 mini-van with five latchpoints

• 5 * 4! / 2 = 60 unique ways to place said car seats

• And don’t forget the yellow lab

• And don’t forget the need to hand the older child Cheerios, books, Spiderman action figures, water, etc.

• And don’t forget the need to monitor infants for spit-up, floppy heads, yellow lab licks, etc.

• And don’t forget the gear that goes along with three infants and a three year old

Maybe we should buy a second mini-van, hire a driver for the children and Carl and I can ride in peace in the first mini-van. That’s it!!! I’ll have Carl get right on that. :-)

By the way, a big thank you to CB, our math man on retainer, for the factorial equation above. Because, as you all know, we’re lawyers – not mathematicians. :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Final Countdown

Come on, you know that Europe's classic synth vibe is going through your head right now! If it's not, see here:

We had our last pre-natal appointment with the perinatologist on Thursday, May 21. Babies B and C scored 8 out of 8 on their BPPs. Baby A only scored 6 out of 8. His lower score wasn't really a result of anything "wrong" but with B & C's positions (essentially on top of A) and how much they all had grown, the sonographer could not measure A's amniotic fluid. However, we did see A practice breathing and we saw his heartbeat. Thus the doctor said he was OK going forward with the original plan of delivery on Thursday, May 28th.

So, as I sit here writing this on Sunday afternoon, we are literally four days away from being the parents of four children! I'm not sure what else there is to say. :)

Everyone enjoy the long weekend!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Beloved Little Petrie Dish

I had the most amazing blog post rolling around in my head this week.

We were going to provide the info on the last detailed growth scans and then show you the pictures of the nursery. The nursery pictures were going to be accompanied by some pithy commentary on the Daycare Chez Gausman. I mean, come on, when you walk in to a room with three cribs, a changing table, a rocking chair and a dresser one can't help but think day care. We were all going to have little bios as the "day care workers" and provide a tounge in cheek schedule for the babies. I'm telling you, it was going to bring on quite a few chuckles.

But then, my beloved little petrie dish (aka Joshua) brought home a cold that has knocked me flat. If it is possible, I feel like my head is going to explode before my stomach. Thus, tonight is just a bare bones update and some really cute pictures. Enjoy! :)

The doctor's appointment on May 14 went very well. All babies again scored 8 out of 8 on their BPPs. We got detailed growth scans as well. Baby A weighed in at 4 lbs. 13 oz., Baby B was 4 lbs. 9 oz., and Baby C was 4 lbs. 5 oz. We'll go back for one more set of BPPs on the 21st and then it is to the hospital on May 28. The C-Section is scheduled bright and early at 7:30 a.m. which means we have to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. No big deal for me since I'm awake 3/4 of the night anyway, but Carl might be a little worse for wear!

It crossed my mind last week that I did not mention we had passed the 32 week milestone. I'm not sure how I forgot to mention it since it is so huge. We were 32 weeks on May 6. 32 weeks is such a big number because it means that if the babies were born now there is a very good chance they would be able to breathe on their own with minimal assistance but would not have to be put on ventilators. So YEA for 32 weeks and thank you to everyone for the thoughts and prayers that got us this far. Here are the pics from last week. Baby C wasn't posing well, but here are A and B.

And finally, here are some pictures of the nursery. We're all very happy with the way it turned out. A special thank you to Carl's parents for lending their talents. We, literally, could not have put the nursery together without them.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rest for the Weary

And now, without further ado - the update.

We had our weekly appointment with the perinatologist on Thursday, May 7. All babies again scored 8 out of 8 on their BPPs. We actually got a few good pics this time which I will try to post later tonight.

Babies A and C were head down with Baby C in a "pike" position with her arms and legs in front of her head. Baby B was breech. Frankly, I'm amazed they can still move at all. We'll have detailed growth scans (with new weights) next week.

As for me, I think I was more tired and run down than I realized. Since stopping work last Tuesday basically all I've done is sleep. Granted, it is only for 2 hours at a time, but it is sleep nonetheless! I'm still tired, but the level of exhaustion seems a bit less.

We're in the final days & are busy with final preparations. We are praying for take home babies so we need to make sure everything is ready before we head to the hospital!

In other medical, but non-triplet news, Joshua had his final check with the ENT on Friday. His ears were pronounced perfect & we no longer have to go back for follow up visits. YEA!!!

Of course, there are three more waiting to follow in his stead so I'm under no illusions that we will not be seeing the ENT at some point within the next 12-18 months. :-)

Everyone have a great week! 17 days until triplets!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Perfection, the cavalry arrives & a birthday!

If I'm ever going to be considered a true blogger I'm going to have to do a better job of posting, huh? Sorry for the delay, but here, at long last, is the update!

We had our first set of BPPs for the babies on April 23. All babies scored perfect 8 out of 8s!!! There was no detailed growth scan that day as they only perform growth scans every 2 weeks.

So, it was back to the doctor on April 30 for BPPs and a growth scan. Once again, all babies scored 8 out of 8! They also performed a detailed growth scan. At 31 weeks 1 day:

Baby A (boy) weighed 4 lbs. 0 oz.
Baby B (boy) weighed 3 lbs. 9 oz.
Baby C (girl) weighed 3 lbs. 10 0z.

And yes, that is 11 lbs. 3 oz. of baby. :-)

They gave us the percentages for what that growth would be if the babies were singletons. Baby A would be in the 64th percentile, Baby B would be in the 46th percentile and Baby C would be in the 48th percentile. The doctors were really pleased with this growth rate, as were we.

It is so crowded in there. It is hard to distinguish anything when looking at the ultrasound - I am amazed at what the sonographers can see. Pictures at this point are pretty futile because unless you're a trained sonographer it just looks like white noise. :-)

In related, yes there really are three babies in there news, the doctor has indicated that if we truly want to make our goal of 35 weeks, the time has come to stop working. I'm working this coming Monday and Tuesday wrapping things up but will then be at home full time. It is a good thing that Carl's Mom arrived this week to stay for the duration. She has already been a great help with Joshua. And I know that both Carl and I truly appreciate having her here. Since I haven't been able to, oh, load the dishwasher, do laundry, bathe Joshua or do any sort of normal household work for a good two months now, the man deserves a break!

But, perhaps the most exciting news is....WE HAVE A SCHEDULED BIRTHDAY!!! That's right, assuming all continues to go well the babies are scheduled to be born on May 28th at 35 weeks 1 day. At that gestation, they may have to spend some time in the NICU, but their lungs should be well developed and the NICU stay will hopefully not be extensive.

We have been truly blessed with a complication free pregnancy thus far. We are just continuing to pray that it remains so. Thank you to all of you out there for the thoughts, prayers, support, texts, calls, e-mails and well-wishes. It has made all the difference.

27 days until birthdays!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

All is well!

Just a quick post to let everyone know that all the blood work came back within normal ranges! YEA!

Thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughs.

We'll update again after our appointment on Thursday.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Time keeps on ticking....

We saw the perinatologist on April 13 and I am once again happy to report that all babies are doing well! Although none of them wanted to really pose for pictures - it is getting very, very crowded in there.

It was a detailed growth scan so we now know how much babies weigh! Here are their respective measurements at 28 weeks, 5 days:

Baby A - 2 lbs. 15 oz. with a heart rate of 158

Baby B - 3 lbs. 0 oz. with a heart rate of 153

Baby C - 2 lbs 12 oz. with a heart rate of 155

So, that is a total of 8 lbs 11 oz of baby - exactly what Joshua was when he was born. :-) These weights are really very good for triplets and, actually, track pretty closely to what the babies would be if they were singletons at this gestation. While the chances of their survival now is quite good if they had to be born, our obvious goal now is to just keep them in for as long as possible and let them grow.

As for me, my blood pressure remains very low and I continue to gain weight. They keep telling me that the weight gain is going to slow down, but I've stopped believing them! As some of you know, we had our first mini-issue arise last week. I was exhibiting some of the classic symptoms of cholestasis of pregnancy. This is a rare condition that impacts gall bladder & liver function during pregnancy. Moms carrying multiples are more at risk because of the increased pregnancy hormones. Essentially, the gallbladder overproduces bile salts that the pregnancy hormones prevent the liver from processing. You then end up having an allergic reaction to the bile salts in your system. However, the first part of the tests they performed on me came back normal and we should have the second part of the tests back sometime this week. The doctors are very optimistic that all will be well and that I've just developed super-sensitive pregnancy skin.

We truly are in the home stretch now. We will start having Biophysical Profiles ("BPPs") weekly starting next Thursday April 23 until the babies are born. What is a BPP you ask? I'm so glad you asked!

A BPP is a test administered via ultrasound to assess each babies' health. The sonographer will look at each baby for its heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and the amount of amniotic fluid. Each category is scored. A score of 8 or more is perfect and all is well. If the score of one of the babies is 6 or 7 they may have us come back the next day to repeat the test. If the score drops to around 4 or below then it is a sign that there is more they can do for the babies outside of the womb as opposed to inside and the C-Section will be scheduled ASAP. Each baby will be assigned a score each time and my understanding is the baby with the lowest score controls.

For those of you that just MUST have more info :), see:


I think that's it. Consider yourselves officially caught up! More after our next appointment on the 23rd!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter egg hunt

Joshua had an Easter egg hunt at his day care today. It was great fun, and here are a couple of pictures from the big event!

Looking for eggs!

"I think I have my limit!"

"Look what I got!"

Sunday, April 5, 2009

We're getting there!

First let me say, I’m OK! My last blog post generated many a call and e-mail making sure that I wasn’t about ready to jump off the edge. I promise each of you that I really am fine!

Am I tired of being pregnant? Yes.

Is carrying triplets probably the hardest thing I’ve ever physically done? Yes.

Am I emotionally drained a lot of the time? Yes.

But will I make it through this & be OK? Absolutely! I have a great husband, an adorable child, a loving puppy & countless family and friends (both near and far) that are supporting all of us. So don’t worry everyone – we’re good!

In other news, we saw the perinatologist on Monday March 30th & once again, everyone is doing well. The babies were very active & looked great. In fact, the ultrasound tech told us a couple of times that we are growing 3 “beautiful babies.” :-) It was just a relational look so there are no updates on weight etc., but here are a few pics:

As for me, my blood pressure remains low & my weight continues to climb. Although they keep telling me that the weight should slow down now that we truly are approaching the end. We also had the test for gestational diabetes. And I am happy to report that I do not have to give up my nightly bowl of ice cream.

We go back on April 13 for detailed growth scans and will then go every week thereafter for Bio-Physical Profiles. More on the BPP’s later.

One final note, we will hit our first goal of sustainable viability on April 8 (28 weeks)! Only 4 weeks until 32 weeks and only 7 weeks to our overall goal of 35 weeks!!! We’re almost there!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Counting Down to the Second Good Day

There are some women who love being pregnant. I am not one of them.

To me, there are only two good days of any normal, healthy pregnancy. The first good day is the day you find out and the next 9 months are suddenly and wonderfully turned upside down and inside out by the impending and exciting prospect of your new son or daughter (or in the case of this pregnancy sons and daughter!)

The second good day is the day your child enters the world and the pregnancy is mercifully and finally brought to an end. Everything in between is varying degrees of discomfort, denial of some of your favorite things and a roller coaster of physical and emotional highs and lows and more lows.

This has not been an easy pregnancy, and while I've tried to only document the relatively good things on this blog the time has come to to vent! After all, we only have 9 weeks left until the second good day. :-)

Things I hate about being pregnant
  1. Not being able to pick up my son or run around with him in the backyard on the first spring like day after a very long winter - enough said.
  2. The lack of drinking options. I LOVE Diet Coke. Yet, nary a Diet Coke has crossed my lips in lo these 26 weeks. (I will admit to occasional caffeine intake this time around, though. You would too if you were growing 3 people and you were helping take care of an almost 3 year old!)
  3. Sleeping, at most, 4-5 hours at a time.
  4. The clothes. Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to accent a pregnant woman's growing belly with a bow above her stomach??
  5. The stock I've been forced to purchase in Zantac - although I have to say the Zantac stock is doing better than some of my other investments!
  6. Having to drink virgin Bloody Mary's during the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament.
  7. The constant low back ache.
  8. The constant fatigue.
  9. The constant knowledge that I have no idea what true fatigue is at this point.
  10. Leg cramps. I cannot eat any more bananas.
  11. Knowing I need to eat but having nothing sound or taste good (with the exception of those extra few scoops of ice cream).
  12. Seeing the inside of my doctor's office more than than the inside of any of my favorite restaurants. See No. 11
  13. To work or not to work?
  14. Day care or nanny?
  15. Not being able to take anything to get rid of this stuffy nose.
  16. Having to plan out trips up and down the stairs lest I become too winded. Remind me why we decided on a two story home instead of nice ranch?
  17. The prospect of having to lose all of the pregnancy pounds - again.
  18. Will we make it to 35 weeks?
  19. Will Joshua be able to adjust?
  20. Will the babies be OK?

The things I love about being pregnant

  1. It gave us Joshua.
  2. It will give us three new people just as precious.

Yes, I would say the good far outweighs the bad.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

24 Weeks 5 Days - but who's counting?

First – Thank you all for the great feedback on the names!! Great suggestions & it has definitely given us some more to think about and ponder. I’ll keep checking the comments so if there is anyone else out there who is infamous for suggesting baby names (Kevin) and still wants to post (Kevin) feel free to do so (Kevin). :-)

We had our appointment with the perinatologist on Monday the 16th & everything looks good.

In fact, the babies look great! Baby A is measuring 1 lb 13 oz (he’s always been the biggest!), Baby B is 1 lb 11 oz & Baby C (the girl) is 1 lb 10 oz. They are all a little ahead of schedule in terms of size and weight so everyone was happy about that. The doctor is keeping me on a two week schedule for now since everything is so thankfully boring. We won’t go back until March 30th.

Our doctor’s office also arranged a tour of the NICU at the hospital where we will be delivering. The charge nurse took us around & we were so impressed with the NICU and the staff. Carl & I decided that you have to be an angel to work there. They showed us a little boy who was born a week ago at 25 weeks 5 days. He was so tiny & there were so many tubes – he wasn’t even mine and I just wanted to pick him up and love him and somehow make him feel better. Definitely motivation to take it as easy as possible and grow the babies to 35 weeks!

All right – off to rest. Everyone enjoy the first weekend of March Madness!


Monday, March 9, 2009

What's in a name?

Hello Blogosphere! We know you’re out there reading this (because you tell us you are!) but we thought we would try and get some interaction going. So to that end, a story:

When Joshua was born we did not know whether he was a boy or a girl. We, obviously, had a boy’s name and a girl’s name picked out. But oh the negotiation that went into those two names! For those of you who know us well it will come as no surprise that coming up with just two names involved many books, many spreadsheets, some whiteboards, and literally weeks of intense negotiations to reach a consensus decision. (As an aside, now you know one of the reasons why we decided to find out the genders this time. Can any of you imagine us coming up with three boys’ names and three girls’ names? Not to mention deciding which name should go with which if the genders were mixed. The permutations are staggering!!)

So, even though we know the genders this time, naming is still challenging. So, this is what we’re going to call the fun interactive portion of the blog! Post your best name ideas for the Gausman triplets in the comments of this entry with the following format:

Who you are:
Your Name ideas:
Why we should choose your names:

We’ve decided to stay away from alliteration (so no Dick, Darren & Doris) and rhyming is out as well (so no Huey, Dewey, & Louie). We like Biblical names (although Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego may be a bit over the top, Chris!). Otherwise, we’re very open.

So let us hear your ideas!!! Should we choose any of your names you’ll be awarded….OK, so you won’t be awarded anything. But you will have AMAZING bragging rights!

Being lawyers, we of course reserve the right to refuse all suggestions, :-) but we’re really looking forward to your thoughts.

Happy Naming!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

22 Weeks and Slowing Down

We had our 22 week appointment last Thursday. For those of you keeping score at home that makes just 13 short weeks until our goal due date. They didn't do full detailed scans of the babies this time, just hearbeats and what they call a relational look. Meaning, do the babies look bigger than last time and do they all appear to be growing at roughly the same rate. I'm happy to say that the babies passed with flying colors.

I am doing well too although the doctor has said that it is time to slow down. So, starting this week I will only be working half days. We haven't figured out how to tell Joshua yet that we won't all be riding together, but I'm sure he'll adapt. It will mean that he'll get to ride in the new van to school so hopefully that will make up for any pereceived shortcomings of the new commuting situation.

In other baby news, Carl & Joshua spent part of Sunday putting together the first crib. I think it looks great & was impressed at their handiwork. :-) One down and two to go. We also purchased a dresser and changing table this weekend. They aren't exactly the same color as the cribs (the cribs are a dark cherry & the dresser/changer are espresso), but as a good friend pointed out once we put the light oak rocker from Joshua's nursery in the room it will be a nice "amalgamation." We'll call it triplet chic!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

20 weeks and when are the babies due??

Babies and I had our 20 week appointment on Friday, February 13. Despite the superstitious day, we had a great appointment!

It was our long appointment where the ultrasound tech did the detailed scan of each baby. We have confirmed 2 boys and a girl (not that there was a lot of doubt on that) and they all look completely normal and happy. Well, except for Baby Boy B – he is breech and his brother and sister are head down so we saw him get kicked in the head a lot. Consequently, I’m not sure he’s all that happy! We’re hoping that the womb trauma doesn’t increase B’s need for therapy later in life. :-) Baby Boy A was weighing in at 13 oz. and Baby Boy B and Baby Girl C were coming in around 12 oz. Those are really good weights for 20 weeks!

Here are some pics. Only Baby B's 3-d picture came out well...and there were not great profile pics of Baby C. So, you get to see her foot. :-)

Baby A
Baby B

Baby C

My check-up was good too. I had gained weight again & my blood pressure continues to be low. I am having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions though (and an occasional real contraction) so I think the time is quickly approaching where I’m going to need to cut back work hours and find other ways to slow down. I am now on the 2 week appointment cycle and will see the doctor again on February 26.

In other baby news, the nursery is painted & is currently home to three large boxes, i.e. the cribs. Anyone who has an electric screwdriver is free to come over any time and start construction!

My co-workers threw a wonderful shower for us this past week. We were overwhelmed and humbled by their thoughtfulness and generosity. And Joshua was beside himself when he got in the van on Monday and saw all the “presents for babies.” Everything is now in the dining room (or the downstairs triage as I’ve taken to calling it) in desperate need of organization but Joshua is having great fun going through everything two, three, four, five, six times. :-) Interestingly, aside from the balloon that somehow made it from the shower to the house, Haley couldn’t be less interested in the growing piles of presents for babies.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me when the babies are due. Answering this question is actually more difficult than it may sound, but let me give it a shot. A pregnancy is considered full term at 40 weeks. 40 weeks for these babies would be July 1. However, 99.9% of triplet pregnancies will deliver before 40 weeks and, actually 37% of of triplets will deliver before 32 weeks and 92% will deliver before 37 weeks (From the book, When you're Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads by Dr. Barbara Luke). Thus, these babies will certainly be premature.

The next obvious question is, how premature? While there is no bright line, sustainable viability is usually thought to be around 27/28 weeks (April 1 or April 8). That is the first goal. However, our doctor told us that babies born after 32 weeks have a much, much better chance at normal development and usually have less serious complications. 32 weeks for us is May 6. That is the second goal. But, we clearly want the babies to have the best shot possible at normal development & want to reduce their time in the NICU so we’re shooting for past that date as well. (Of course being a couple of overachievers might have something to do with this!) The perinatologist told us at our first appointment that he would not let us go much past 35 weeks because at that point there is usually more they can do for the babies outside of the womb as opposed to inside.

So, our ultimate goal is 35 weeks with a birthday on or after May 27. For those of you who believe in praying specifically, there’s the date to keep in your prayers. And, for the record, we’re accepting all prayers, positive thoughts/energy/karma as can be spared.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It was time

There's nothing that keeps its youth,
So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes

Remember when we went to the midnight showing of “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” because we were excited to see it…and we could?

Remember all the seemingly deep conversations we had over hours and hours of cheap beer and munchies? (For my law school friends, one such conversation concerning the after life, ghosts & how life is as random as the gum that shoots down a gum ball machine particularly stands out. Anybody else remember it? Or was I the “sober” one that evening? )

Remember when we knew all the emerging new artists and saw them at small venues before most people had even heard of them? (How many people can say they saw David Gray at a little bar in Ballard with a mere 200 of their closest friends? I can.)

Remember when one of the biggest decisions to make was whether we could make it to that 8:05 class a whole TWO days a week?

Remember when going out on the weekend was standard practice and done with barely a thought beyond which bar had the best special as opposed to an event planned with exacting precision?

Remember having standard orders at favorite restaurants where kids didn’t eat free on Tuesdays?

Remember road-tripping to Memphis because there was nothing else to do that weekend?

Remember when 9:00 (either a.m. or p.m.) was early?

Ahh, youth. Wasted on the young.

But nothing, save trees and truth, stays young forever. So, with that I am walking steadfastly away from the last illusions that I am in early adulthood and I embrace our purchase of:

the minivan.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Telling Joshua

Our 2 ½ year old son constantly amazes me. He is simultaneously loving, ornery, helpful, precocious, inquisitive, and sometimes naughty. But he constantly makes us laugh and serves to put things in perspective. How can you not find something positive to say when a little innocent face looks at you over the dinner table & asks, “what was fun for you today, Mom?” Never mind that your in-box is out of control, your co-worker just quit, you have 11 phone messages you didn’t have time to return AND it just took you 15 minutes to convince your son that yes, it is necessary to wash hands before dinner – especially since you have just filled the dog’s food dish with your hands.

So how to tell a 2 ½ year old that he will soon be the big brother of not one, not two, but three babies? To answer this question we turned to our old comfort; research. But even the Internet failed us on this one. Resources are scarce on how to tell a little person who has been the center of your world for his entire life that things are going to change so drastically that even his Mom & Dad can’t put into words how radically this is going to shake up life. In fact, Mom & Dad can barely grasp how they are going to handle this…let alone how they are going to help you handle this.

Left to our own devices, we developed a simple plan; buy a few books, talk about babies a lot & wait for the “perfect moment” to present itself. Of course, there was no perfect moment & while “The Bernstain Bears’ New Baby” is cute, Joshua seemed to gravitate more to Papa Bear’s wood working skills as opposed to Mama Bear’s growing tummy. When we found out the babies’ genders, we decided it was finally concrete enough to tell him. Over dinner that night we asked Joshua whether he would like to have babies in the house. He said yes & seemed excited. We were on a roll! Then we asked him if he would like to have three babies in the house. The immediate answer was, “Nooooo,” thus things went downhill fast. So we switched gears & said if we had three babies in the house, that would be one for Mommy, one for Daddy & one for Joshua and Haley. He pondered this for a moment. Nothing seemed to register so we flat out said, there are three babies growing in Mommy’s tummy & they are going to come and live with us after a while when they are done growing. Still nothing seemed to register & he asked to be excused and it was off to playing.

The next day as he and I were driving to the library for story time, out of the blue he said, “I don’t know what our babies’ names are.” My heart leaped & my mind shouted - HE GOT IT!! HE UNDERSTOOD!! As calmly as possible I told him that we didn’t have names yet and that was one of our jobs over the next few months. Always the helper he suggested “Shadow.” I told him we’d think about it. :-)

Now he will happily tell you that we are having three babies – two boy babies and one girl baby – and that it will take a while for them to get here. It is pretty much a non-issue to him right now & we’re OK with that. In the end, there is no way to really prepare him (or ourselves) completely for this, so we’ll just count on the adaptability and resiliency of children and just love him all the more.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

16 weeks & a Spoiler Alert!

I had the best intentions of posting between doctor visits, but, well, life got in the way. So without further ado, here is the update.

I'm apologizing in advance that there aren't any new pics in this post. Despite the fact that we saw the ultrasound tech twice (see below) the pictures we got this time just did not scan well. Hopefully next month's pics will be better.

Our 16 week visit with the perinatologist was on Thursday the 15th and everyone is looking great! I had gained weight (a significant amount of weight I might add) and I had never been so happy to see the number on the scale climb so quickly. I still have to be careful of what I eat, especially in the evenings as my stomach is still sensitive, but the nausea seems to have passed for the most part.

The babies are looking great! In fact, we actually got to peek at them twice. Apparently the ultrasound tech and the doctor had a miscommunication concerning what type of measurements she was to take. Initially, the ultrasound tech only looked at the babies' heartbeats & my cervical length. We asked if she was going to actually measure the babies & she said no, not this time. Seemed odd, but what do we know. When we saw the doctor at the end of the appointment he told us she was wrong and he actually did want her to take measurements. He told us we could stick around or come back in a few days. We decided to stay & it was a good thing we did because....we found out the genders!!!!!

So this is the spoiler alert part of the post. If you don't want to know the babies' genders (or "flavors" as our dear friend Kevin would say) stop reading now. Otherwise, here we go. (For reference purposes, I was 16 weeks 1 day at this appointment).

Baby A
With a heart rate of 161, measuring ahead of the curve at 17 weeks 0 days and weighing in at whopping 6 oz, Baby A is....

A BOY!!!

Baby B
Measuring 16 weeks 1 day, exactly on schedule, with a heart rate of 155 and weighing a more than respectable 5 oz, Baby B is....

A BOY!!!

Baby C
Baby C is following along in Brother B's footsteps and also measuring right at 16 weeks 1 day. Weighing 5 oz and with a heart rate of 164, Baby C is....


That's right, two boys and a girl! We are thrilled that they are all healthy and growing well , but I'll admit that I am quite happy that one is a girl. We both said from the beginning that healthy is obviously the most important thing, but that a mix of genders would be nice. Can any of you imagine having three 13 year old boys or three 13 year old girls...at the same time?!?! Although maybe in the end simply having three 13 year olds will drive us over the edge regardless of gender!

We weren't the only ones pulling for at least one girl. Miss Baby C will be the only granddaughter out of what will be 10 grandchildren on the Braden side (Shannon's Dad) and she will be only the second granddaughter out of what will be 8 grandchildren on the Blomgren side (Shannon's Mom). We're doing our best to bring some pink to our families.

There you go. That's the news from here. Now we're on to thinking about names. But that, is another post. :-)