September 28, 2015 – Moving day…

Hi there,

Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve checked in. As you can probably imagine, life has been pretty hectic since the boys were born! 🙂

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Rachel was discharged on Monday September 21st. We had hoped to stay in a “Boarder” room at Kaiser to be close to the babies while they were in the NICU. Unfortunately there were no “boarder” rooms available, so we spent the week at various hotels that were close to the hospital. This was an unexpected expense, but totally necessary so that we could be around the boys as much as possible. Recovering from a C-Section is ‘no joke!” Rachel in true warrior fashion – persevered and is feeling pretty good now. There is a still long way to go, but she is getting better with each passing day.

We were hoping to get the boys transferred to Kaiser Santa Rosa as soon as possible. It is much closer to our house. (20 minutes vs. 1 hour 10 minutes!). Kaiser Walnut Creek is a Level III NICU, while Kaiser Santa Rosa is a Level II NICU.

Here is a basic description of each NICU Level – (NICU = Neonatal Intesive Care Unit):

Level I (basic): a hospital nursery organized with the personnel and equipment to perform neonatal resuscitation, evaluate and provide postnatal care of healthy newborn infants, stabilize and provide care for infants born at 35 to 37 weeks’ gestation who remain physiologically stable, and stabilize newborn infants born at less than 35 weeks’ gestational age or ill until transfer to a facility that can provide the appropriate level of neonatal care.

Level II (specialty): a hospital special care nursery organized with the personnel and equipment to provide care to infants born at more than 32 weeks’ gestation and weighing more than 1500 g who have physiologic immaturity such as apnea of prematurity, inability to maintain body temperature, or inability to take oral feedings; who are moderately ill with problems that are expected to resolve rapidly and are not anticipated to need subspecialty services on an urgent basis; or who are convalescing from intensive care. Level II care is subdivided into 2 categories that are differentiated by those that do not (level IIA) or do (level IIB) have the capability to provide mechanical ventilation for brief durations (less than 24 hours) or continuous positive airway pressure.

Level III (subspecialty): a hospital NICU organized with personnel and equipment to provide continuous life support and comprehensive care for extremely high-risk newborn infants and those with complex and critical illness. Level III is subdivided into 3 levels differentiated by the capability to provide advanced medical and surgical care

In order to be transported to Kaiser Santa Rosa, several conditions needed to be met:

  1. +35 weeks gestation
  2. Weight +1500 g (+3.3 lbs.)
  3. Unassisted respiratory (breathing room air) or Low Flow Nasal Cannula, (no CPAP or High Flow nasal cannula)
  4. Availability (room for 3 babies) at the receiving hospital

I believe that some of the conditions above were a requirement of the transport provider, so that they could provide the safest conditions possible in order to move the babies between facilities.

Makani & Keoni were born with some respiratory issues (standard stuff, not life threatening). Makani was placed on a CPAP for the first couple of days and then a high flow nasal cannula for a couple of days. Keoni was on a low flow nasal cannula for a couple of days and Makani was placed on one on September 20th. All three boys were breathing room air, unassisted by the 23rd.

We were told on Thursday September 24th that the boys would be transferred to Kaiser Santa Rosa in the morning. The transport teams can only move 2 babies at a time, so 2 teams would be used. Later that evening we found out that Santa Rosa no longer had the room to take the boys! 😦  Expectations turn into resentments when they don’t go the way you that you expected – knowing this, we did not set our hopes very high until we actually saw the boys being loaded up in to the ‘Airborne Life Support Systems’ transport unit (see above)!

On Sunday afternoon we were told that they were moving the boys to Santa Rosa on Monday. 😀 Unfortunately, only one transport team would be used, so 2 boys would go in the morning (9am) & 1 in the afternoon (4:30pm)! 🙂 What could go wrong, right? Well, Kaleo & Keoni made it to the hospital in a little over an hour. We arrived at the hospital around the same time as the boys. Makani would have to travel solo on the evening transport. It was scheduled to go through rush hour traffic, so we didn’t expect to see him until 6 or 7pm. At around 630pm we got a call from Dr. Anderson, the Walnut Creek NICU doctor. He said that the ambulance broke down on the way and they had to send a new rig to transport him – FFS!!! Hahahaha, They actually had to turn around and go back to the hospital and feed Makani because it had been over 3 hours since his last feeding. After that, they would be on their way. They really made good time and our family was finally reunited around 8pm!

Whew, what a great feeling to have them all so close to home!!!

That’s it for now…

Mahalo Ke Akua!!!

Keoni (LL), Kaleo (Middle), Makani (LR)

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Here is Rachel 1 week, postpartum (she still looks great, doesn’t she???):

1week-PP

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September 13, 2015 – 33 weeks 3 days Kaiser L&D Walnut Creek…

Just a quick update to let everybody know what’s going on.

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Rachel has been having contractions & swelling in her lower extremities. We took her to Kaiser L&D Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & again on Saturday. During Saturday’s visit her BP was higher than normal & they had a +1 reading on protein in her urine. The decision was made that she be admitted for 24 hour urine monitoring. All of her symptoms are a warning sign of preclampsia.

She was transferred by ambulance to Kaiser Walnut Creek as they were the only level 4 NICU with available beds should the babies need to be delivered.

I met her at the hospital and we hunkered down for a long night of monitoring, paperwork & questioning. She was given a steroid shot before leaving Santa Rosa. This is administered to help develop the babies lungs should they need to be delivered.

Right now the plan is to stay pregnant for as long as possible. My gut feeling is we will probably be seeing these little guys before our scheduled C-Section on September 30th.

I will post updates soon!

Thank you all for your thoughts & prayers!

Mahalo Ke Akua

September 10, 2015 – 33 weeks (20 more days)…

33 weeks – Every day is another HUGE MILESTONE!!!

triplet-trouble

What a blessing it is for us to have made it this far. Rachel is definitely feeling the effects of carrying these babies for the last 33 weeks.

I am probably going to get in trouble for posting this picture, but I think she is beautiful, especially when she smiles!!!

At Kaiser OBGYN appointment

KaiserChair

We had to move our Friday appointment with her OB to Thursday afternoon. Rachel has had a lot of swelling in her feet and legs. We just felt like it was a good idea to go in and visit the doctor sooner, rather than later. Rachel’s blood pressure was in a good range 129/83, she weighed in at 204.5lbs! (mostly water weight I am sure!) Her doctor recommended that she rest as much as possible, drink lots of fluids & if she feels more than 5 contractions in an hour to call L&D in Santa Rosa right away.

Rachel needs to drink 4 to 5 of these 55 gallon drums of water per day:

KaiserCup

We left Kaiser and on our way home we stopped at target to pick up isopropyl alcohol for home made ice packs (recipe below) . Rachel had 5 contractions just on the way to Target!!! Following the doctor’s orders I tried to get her to call right away. We were told to go to Kaiser Santa Rosa as soon as possible, so off we went. After we arrived they took Rachel’s vitals – Blood Pressure, Urine, Blood Draw, Cervix. Everything was as expected. A little protein in her urine, blood platelets a little low, etc… Nothing new. They had a difficult time getting the monitor to work on Kaleo. He was being fussy and squirming all over the place. We were there until around 8pm and made it home by 9pm.

One cool side note – we heard a newborn baby cry out for their very first time as we entered L&D, a second baby cried out during our visit and then we heard a third one crying as we left. Hmm, a sign maybe??? 😀

Rachel’s feet and legs are swelling more & more with each passing day. I am not sure if it is the heat or the fact that she is carrying 3 babies. I had her try soaking her feet in an ice bath about a week ago and she DID NOT like that at all!!!

Here’s a tip that I found on the old interweb: Home made ice-packs.

  1. 2 cups isopropyl alcohol
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 2 – 1 gallon zip lock freezer bags (freezer bags are a heavier gauge plastic = more durable)
  4. Pour alcohol & water into a bag, try and remove all air bubbles prior to sealing the bag
  5. For added strength/peace of mind, place first bag into the second and repeat air bubble removal technique
  6. Freeze for about 10 hours
  7. Shazam!!!

9/11/2015

I just wanted to take a moment to remember all of the innocent people that lost their lives 14 years ago today. The world as I know it forever changed on that day – 9/11/2001

9/10/2015: Double Rainbow over the Freedom Tower – photographer unknown

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Ke Akua Ho’omaika’i – God Bless…

September 9, 2015 – Capturing the moment…

I asked Rachel a couple of weeks ago when we scheduled the C-Section for September 30th in San Francisco – to remind me to take a picture of the sunrise on the way down to the hospital! (It’s not like she will have anything else to worry about during the drive!). 😀

Sunrise

I think it would be a cool keepsake for the boys to have a picture of the sunrise on the day they were born. I have always been a morning person and I know that there is a FINITE number of Sunrises and Sunsets that I will experience in my lifetime. I like to take a moment and cherish each and everyone!

Anyway, when Rachel first started having contractions last Wednesday I thought it would be a good idea to start capturing the sunrise every morning (see cover photo) until the Scheduled C-Section on September 30th. There’s no telling when these boys will decide that they are ready to see the sunrise for themselves. 🙂

Rachel was having contractions when I got home from work last night. They weren’t painful, they were just consistent. She called Kaiser around 8pm and told them she was having 6+ contractions per hour since 6pm. They told her to try to rest and not do anything strenuous! Um, right – she has been on that plan for the last 2 months! 🙂 Anyway, around 9pm she assured me that everything was all right, so I went to bed (I am an early riser, remember?) I told her to let me know if she needs me – for ANY REASON! At around 1:30am I woke up and heard some sounds coming from downstairs. It sounded like Rachel was in pain, so I asked her if she was ok. Rachel is pretty low maintenance and doesn’t complain a lot, so of course she replied “No, I’m all right”. Being persistent, I got her to come clean and she said that she had been having regular contractions since I went to bed. Off we went for another visit to Kaiser L&D in Santa Rosa.

They took Rachel’s BP & had her submit a urine sample. They hooked her up to the baby monitors again – Same routine as last week. They told us that if the contractions didn’t start to dissipate and go away, they would need to consider sending her to Kaiser San Francisco. Fortunately they started to lessen around 4am. The doctor said that just by looking at her urine sample – she looked dehydrated. Rachel has been very religious about drinking A LOT of water. She probably drinks between 3,500 – 4,000ml of water a day (4 to 5 camelbak bottles full of H20). Yesterday was 100+ degrees, so I am sure that contributed to her dehydrated state.

The doctor asked if Rachel was in pain or having any trouble sleeping – “YES” to both! She asked if Rachel had tried Benadryl (nope, it didn’t work) or Ambien. Rachel tried taking Unisom, but I don’t think that really worked either. Anyway, she prescribed some Ambien to help her sleep and some Norco for pain relief. Hopefully these will help lessen her discomfort and allow her to get some rest…

The doctor’s final words to Rachel was to try and get some rest & ONLY 3 MORE WEEKS!!!

(Kaiser Labor & Delivery)

KaiserL&D

For now, I will continue to take a sunrise picture every day and capture the moment!!! 😀

Ke Akua Ho’omaika’i – God Bless…

men-make-triplets

September 8, 2015 – One day at a time…

On Friday we went to Kaiser to see Dr. Spivak. Rachel & the babies are doing well. Rachel is really uncomfortable and is a little delirious from the lack of sleep. Dr. Spivak scheduled us to go to Labor & Delivery in Santa Rosa on Sunday to get Rachel’s blood pressure checked and to take a urine sample. So far her blood pressure has been in a good range. Rachel had one high reading on Friday. It went back to normal on the next reading, but Dr. Spivak still thought it would be a good idea to go in on Sunday rather than wait until Tuesday (since it was Labor Day Weekend.)

We spent a couple of hours at the pool on Saturday, we are just trying to take things slow and easy! I have to commend Rachel for her toughness in these difficult times. She is in pain pretty much 24/7 and doesn’t get to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time. Yet, even through all of that, she still manages to smile and laugh at my silly jokes! 🙂

We went to Kaiser at 10am on Sunday. We figured we would only be there a short time – in and out in under an hour. Yeah, right! That didn’t quite work out as expected!!! We were there for almost 3 hours because of a complicated birth that our doctor was a part of.

The Good News (for the babies) – Rachel hit the 200 pound mark on Sunday! (See cover photo)

The Bad News (for Rachel) – Rachel hit the 200 pound mark on Sunday! (See photo below)

32weeks

After the doctor had delivered the baby, she came in to see Rachel. She did a quick sonogram, at first they said that they were going to try and hook Rachel up to the baby monitors, but they thought better of that, based on the complexity of trying to monitor triplet babies. 😀 Rachel’s blood pressure was good, she had a little bit of protein in her urine. This has been the standard result the past couple of weeks. Good news, nothing to really worry about!

Other than that, there’s not a lot of news to report this week.

Next up NST scan on Wednesday…

Ke Akua Ho’omaika’i – God Bless…

September 3, 2015 – 32 weeks TODAY!!!

32 weeks TODAY!!! 😀

Last night we made an emergency trip up to Kaiser Labor & Delivery in Santa Rosa. Rachel was having contractions and they were happening at frequent intervals. Following the doctor’s advice of ‘Better to be safe, than Sorry’ we decided to make the drive north. We left the house at 6:14pm (rush hour on the 101) and pulled up to Kaiser at 6:28pm. Only 14 minutes door to door, not bad! 🙂 I might have exceeded the 65mph speed limit once or twice in the commute lane, but HEY – I had the perfect alibi!!!

The Kaiser facility in Santa Rosa is pretty nice!

When we arrived, we were whisked off to the L&D department. Rachel had called ahead to let them know we were on our way, so they were expecting us. The first thing that they wanted was a urine sample. They test it for the presence of ketones, protein, low/high blood sugar and any other anomalies. Next, they took her vitals – blood pressure was good, so they had Rachel lie down and hooked her up to the fetal monitoring devices. Triplet pregnancies are fairly rare in our area, so the nurses had a little trouble finding the babies heartbeats. Most hospitals have the ability to monitor twins, but when it comes to triplets or more they have to add an additional machine which adds to the complexity of an already complex situation. They were able to get 2 pretty strong heartbeats and the resident Doctor came in to check Rachel’s cervix. Everything appeared to be fine, whew! Rachel experienced several more contractions while they were monitoring the babies. Basically, they need to monitor each baby for 20 minutes a piece to establish an adequate baseline of what is happening. They also hook up another monitor that records contractions as they happen. Another visit from the Doctor to do a quick sonogram to confirm the location of all three boys and we were ready to go!

A little over 2 hours had gone by and we were watching TV to pass the time. The nurse came back and asked us if we wanted some snacks. Considering that we missed out on a nice Rib-eye steak for dinner, this sounded like a pretty good plan!!! She brought Rachel a couple of bagels, peanut butter, jelly, cream-cheese, strawberry cake, watermelon and juice. For me, she had what the hospital labeled as ‘meatloaf’ (In TV dinner land – I had what you would call a Salisbury Steak dinner w/mashed potatoes & vegetables, plus a green salad! Hey where’s the apple pie?) See photo below – NUF said!!! 😀

KaiserL&DDinner

Anyway, we were there for 3 1/2 hours and they completed all of their tests. One more check of her cervix to make sure that it was still closed and we could go home. We were home and in bed by 11:00pm. What a day! At least this visit qualified as our first Non Stress Test, so we don’t have to do this again tomorrow!

I took this picture on the drive up:


KaiserL&DDrive

Next up – checkup with Dr. Spivak, 9/4/2015 (tomorrow)

Ke Akua Ho’omaika’i – God Bless…

September 2, 2015 – 31 weeks 6 days

Hi everybody! 🙂

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I know it’s been a few days since my last post. I had a difficult time getting Rachel to take this week’s picture – that’s why I have taken so long posting this update. She is feeling the effects more and more with each passing day!

31 weeks

Let’s see, what has happened this past week???

First and foremost, both of us are trying to live our lives one day at a time & not get too far ahead of ourselves. It sounds like an easy mantra to live by, but it is harder than it sounds!

I went to the SCMOM’s multiples swap on Saturday, they had a bag of clothes & a box of stuff set aside for us. They are all so sweet! We got a few things that we really needed, there was so much stuff there that it was OVERWHELMING to me!!! These were a pretty cool score though:

Shoes

Sunday was a pool day. Like I said earlier, Rachel has been really uncomfortable and about the only place she finds serenity is in the pool. (cover photo)

I also put together a few of the gifts that we received from friends & family at the baby showers. I don’t know how parents of multiples are able to put all of this stuff together. The instructions would be better off if you read them in Chinese as they make no sense whatsoever! I am a pretty mechanically inclined guy and I still had issues! 🙂

1 – Co-Sleeper:

CoSleeper

2 – My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Bouncers (*** 2 screws were missing from the packaging of one of the bouncers, so technically these are not ready yet***)

SnugaPuppy

3 – Auto Rock-n-Play Sleepers

Bouncer

I also installed musical mobiles that I got from the SCMOM swap onto each of the cribs!

It was a Busy Sunday for me!!! 🙂

On Monday we had an emergency visit to Kaiser. Rachel wasn’t feeling right, her feet & legs were swollen and we wanted to make sure that everything was ok. Her normal OB was out of the office so we were able to get an appointment with her alternate. She said that everything looks good, cervix – high & tight, blood pressure – good, babies heartbeats – strong. She couldn’t find anything wrong. She reminded us that it is better to be on the safe side and come in vs. thinking nothing is wrong and there being a problem.

Rachel is staying downstairs full-time now. We moved the glider chair and ottoman downstairs on Tuesday. (Thanks Justin!!!) That way she can sit in either the recliner or the glider – whichever feels more comfortable. We have a scheduled C-Section on September 30th (4 weeks from now!!!), but I am not sure she can hold out for that long. I think she is starting to feel some Braxton-Hicks contractions, but nothing major yet!

Please keep Rachel & the babies in your thoughts and prayers – it has been working so far!!!

Mahalo Ke Akua No Keia La / Thank you god for this day…