Wednesday, June 11, 2014

1 month...

Johnathan is nearly 2 months old now, but we had some professional pics done by our friend and we wanted to formally introduce our newest addition, so here is Johnathan Michael!

Johnathan got his name from his great grandfather John. His middle name comes from St. Michael which is the patron of the parish where our family attends church. Johnathan means "God has given" and we truly believe God has given us a gift in this little boy! A very fitting name! Michael means "who is like God" and our hope for Johnathan Michael is that he will remember to be like Christ to those he meets in his life and model what it means to be a christian to those he meets in his life.

Here are some things we'd like to share about our little one:

When Johnathan was born we wondered who he'd look the most like, if anyone. What we have discovered in the short time we've had our precious boy is that he looks like a lot of different family members at different times. Right now he looks a lot like his sister Katelynn.

Johnathan enjoys being held, cooing and "playing" with his sisters and brother. He currently weighs 9 lbs 15 oz, which is exactly 3 pounds more than his birth weight! He wears 3 month clothes comfortably. His least favorite activity is tummy time. His favorite things are his binky and his swing!

Johnathan is sweet, happy and a cuddly little guy! We look forward to continuing to learn about our little one and sharing him with all of you!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

How do we get home from here?

April 19th, 2014: Going Home is so different with a term baby!

All I wanted was to go home, but so much stood in our way! We had several visits from the pediatrician because Johnathan lost 10% of his weight so there was great concern he wasn't getting enough!  I was also getting concerned as he grew increasingly frustrated at breastfeeding! He refused to latch and would just wail!  We finally got to see lactation again and they were able to get him to latch for the next feed which seemed like good progress.  Next came a meeting with occupational therapy and physical therapy for me! They realized I really do know how to move around on my own and with a baby very safely and that meeting ended with them just saying they didn't need to see me anymore! Things seemed to be looking up and we were headed toward discharge, but there was still a bit of reservation about how Johnathan wasn't latching and feeding strongly so another feeding consult and we developed a new plan. So now I am a pumping,  attempting breastfeeding and bottle feeding expert again. We are doing everything we can to keep him gaining weight while not giving up on breastfeeding.

Now with a feeding plan all that stood between us and home was discharge paperwork or so we thought!  Phil decided to start packing up the car at this point because it was just a waiting game. Well Phil quickly returned from his first trip to the car with terrible news! Dead car! No lights left on, no doors ajar so we were baffled except he saw something a little disturbing on the front seat of the car! Mouse droppings and a partially chewed napkin! At this point I was still coping well with everything happening!  Felt pretty strong, thinking I've lived through a NICU stay, I can live through one rough day with our new baby. So, the next step was to call AAA to have the car jumped. Two hour wait! So we decided it'd be fun to see who we knew in nicu. We asked our nurse if we could just go up and say hi. She agreed and we set off to do that when the nurse said, wait. I'll take you up. We didn't think much of it until we were mid unit with a screaming baby and she vanished! Now, I was frazzled. We figured she was taking us to the wall of hope entrance and we'd do what we always do! Oy, talk about flood of emotions and all I wanted was outta there! We got back to our room because one of our amazing nicu nurses showed us the way out of the unit and talked with us a bit and looked for nurses we knew! Well as you can imagine, now I was quite frazzled at this point! Finally,  the AAA guy to jump the car called and Phil went to meet him. He finally got the car running and Phil called me to come down. Only one small problem.  I had to get from the hospital room to the car with myself,  remaining stuff and a newborn baby! Beyond emotions at this point, I lost it! Finally able to think after about 15 min. I asked the front desk nurse to get transport to help with stuff and baby. Two great guys came up and took the stuff and the other pushed me while I carried Johnathan to the car! At last, on the road home!

All the way home Johnathan did great and the ride pain wise for me was doable! We settled in at home and everyone helped as we fed baby and I pumped. Everyone went home and my sister offered to be our back up help if we needed her! Phil and I got trio to bed, but Melissa was having constipation tummy trouble and kept waking. We still wanted to get organized so we had my sister come do baby Johnathan duty and constipated toddler duty while we organized for the night! Finally around 930 we were ready for bed and our first night with our new crew! Night one was ok! Through 3 toddler wake ups (Melissa) and a baby who didn't care to be put down more than a few minutes at a time, we arose Easter morning and I have no clue how we managed, but we made ,all 6 of us, dressed and ready for church on time! Grammy came and drove trio and we took Johnathan in the CRV,  as we hadn't figured out car seats all in van yet! Whoops! 

And so it began, we were no longer Two+ A Trio...we have become Two+A Crew!

An unexpected gift delivered...Becoming Two+A Crew

April 16th 2014- The birth story!

The night before the c-section Phil's mom came to our house to help with the triplets and to be here when we had to leave in the morning to get to the hospital for the C-section. My mom also came to help for a bit. We got trio to bed and Phil went to work as planned. At about 8 my mom went home and that left Grandma P and Mommy in charge! :) Daddy called soon after and let us know he was getting off work early! Everyone at his work knew he was having a baby the next morning so they allowed him to sign out early and come home to get some rest! The next morning we woke and got ready to leave for the hospital. I was very nervous at this point. I have had 23 major surgeries in my life but I always get nervous when they are going to put me to sleep. I was also nervous I wasn't going to know my nurses and they wouldn't know me. Luckily when we got to the hospital I was surprised to learn I knew both the nurses in charge of my C-section! They had taken care of me during my stay with the triplets and I was much happier. They prepped me for surgery and it became a waiting game. Once I was all prepared the doctor came in and said we were ready to go.  They wheeled me back to the operating room and told family to wait there. Unfortunately because I was going to have to have general anesthesia nobody was allowed in the delivery. Once in delivery I was introduced to all the people taking care of me and baby. The anesthesiologist had me drink some disgusting juice to help my stomach stay clear, then it was time to go to sleep. At 1:02pm on April 16th, 2014 Johnathan Michael entered the world weighing in at 6lb 15oz and 19 1/2 inches long! The next thing I remember is waking up and being asked if I was ready to hold my baby. I said "NO, I don't want to!" I was afraid I was not awake enough and I would drop him. They insisted I hold him and carry him to the room where we'd be staying! It is policy that mom carry baby with her if baby is healthy enough. I finally came around enough and was able to feel comfortable carrying him and they tucked him in my arms and off we went to the room.  Johnathan was perfect in every way and now it was time to focus on Mommy recovering and baby learning to eat.  The next several days we did just that. Mommy was recovering very nicely aside from being still very swollen and weak.  Johnathan on the other hand seemed to be nursing ok, but struggled to latch and turns out he was struggling to keep his weight up.  He ended up losing 10% of his weight before being discharged. We kept visitors to a minimum, only allowing family, a couple special NICU nurse friends and our photographer to visit. Despite Johnathan's feeding challenge we were discharged together on April 19th, 2014! The Day before Easter! What a special Easter gift to bring home a baby to our little crew!

A pregnancy....

Pregnancy isn't always how you plan it to happen!

Everything seemed to be going as planned and we were meeting regular pregnancy milestones. We even celebrated meeting the biggest milestone! 28 weeks came and went without much thought.  We were elated that our newest addition was cooperating and staying put.

 It wasn't until 35 weeks that things started to get exciting. We had a regular scheduled appointment and Non Stress Test.  While hooked up to the monitor the nurse asked if I had been having contractions and I had said "No, I didn't think I had". Then she asked if I had been feeling the baby move at all. I said "Yes, a lot". After a few minutes she said again "Are you sure you aren't feeling contractions, because that was a contraction".  I just told her that no I thought that was the baby moving. She then informed me that I was contracting every 5 minutes and I needed to monitor that now and let them know if contractions got closer together. Sure enough not more than a few days after my appt and first NST I was laying on the futon sleeping when I was woken up by intense pain and contractions that felt very close together. I called up to Labor and Delivery at they asked me to come in. By the time I arrived with Phil who had to leave work early to come get me, my contractions were 2 minutes apart and the nurse who checked me in was getting concerned that he couldn't get an IV started to get fluid into my system to slow down my contractions. Finally, the anesthesiologist was called and he was able to get an IV started and they slowed down my contractions. While I was there they checked my urine and sure enough another infection had cropped up. Seems as though I have a lot of those during pregnancy as I did with the trio. This time they were staying out of my kidney which is progress. So they started antibiotics and within 48 hours I was in good enough shape to go home. The doctor asked me to go on bed rest for the week until my next appointment.

During that next week things got very uncomfortable and I wasn't sure we'd make it much longer.  By the time the next appointment came around I had another NST scheduled and this time I knew about the contractions, but this time baby decided to drop heart rate during contractions which concerned the doctor. This began the multiple trips to have an NST. I'd have to go back the following day of every failed NST and if it happened too many times I'd be having a baby that day! 2 weeks in a row this happened and finally the nurse on during my last Saturday NST started an IV and she started talking about having this baby at 36 weeks. We agreed and started calling our parents. Finally the doctor came in and talked with us and said he'd changed his mind and he felt the baby was doing ok enough to wait a few more days and do another NST. So that Tuesday we went up for another NST! Finally baby passed and we went back to our regular scheduled C section plan! That Friday was the last of our appointments and the nurse explained what would be happening the following Wednesday! The birth of our newest family member!

By the way we made it to our planned delivery date at 39 weeks gestation!

Friday, December 27, 2013

An unexpected gift...

When we posted this picture for Christmas, how many of you thought it was just an innocent sweet pic of the trio? How many were curious what was in the box?

Well for those of you who just thought it was a sweet and innocent picture of the trio, thank you for thinking they are sweet and innocent but, a family with a trio is always full of surprises!

For those of you who were curious what was in the box! Here's the answer :)
We have had many appointments at the UW and currently we are nearing 24 weeks. Things are going well so far and I am having nothing abnormal so far! Doctor is optimistic about going close to or all the way to full term this time. I am being seen by the same doctor that delivered the trio and barring anything out of the ordinary the plan is for the same doctor to deliver this little baby boy as well.  This wasn't a planned pregnancy by us, but apparently it was God's plan so here we are! The trio does know about their little brother and do occasionally talk about him or poke him. We have a name chosen and some of our family has heard it. We will reveal his name when he arrives to everyone :) For now, we welcome your prayers as we begin a new journey!

The Christmas Season...

The blog has remained quiet throughout Advent into Christmas because we have been busy enjoying our little family. It has been so fun this year watching as the trio has really engaged in the whole experience. Here's a recap of some of the things we've been doing:

Every Sunday in Advent we made it to church! We don't often get to church as a whole family. It's hard to focus at church at 2 years old! Advent and Christmas was a special time that we decided we all needed to be there!

We had our Christmas Photoshoot with our buddy Jace! The pictures on the blog are not his work! They are just from Mommy's cell phone! We'll show off our Christmas pics Jace took later on :)

We visited Santa at Santa Land in Macy's and saw our Aunt Madaline! We didn't care for Santa, but we love to see our Aunt Madaline.

We didn't get our own real Christmas tree so we helped Grammy and Boppa decorate theirs! We eventually decorated our own little fake one!

We visited zoo lights in Portland again this year! It was a bit wet and cold, but well worth the visit as usual! We were disappointed however that the train wasn't running this year!

There has been a lot of shopping! We bought presents for all our grandparents, aunts, uncles and relatives! It was fun to even participate in shopping for our own trio gifts! Mommy and Daddy wanted to make sure we got things we'd really like this year since we still aren't able to ask for things yet very specifically. There were a few things we didn't get to see before they arrived under the tree though!

We spent Christmas Eve with Grammy and Boppa and other extended family including our Auntie Shelley and Uncle Dominic in Olympia. We had a delicious soup dinner and yummy ice cream and cookie dessert. We opened lots of fun presents including new pj's for the trip to Portland and slippers too!

Christmas Morning was spent with Grandma and Grandpa Pitkin and Auntie Madaline. We got lots of great presents, but our favorite from this event was the "boom sticks"! We love to hit the floor and walls to make them light up.

Christmas Night we went to our Great Uncle and Aunt's house for a party. Ethan decided to sleep through the whole thing! Silly guy! He woke up just in time to see that he had presents to open at a later time and then back to sleep he went for the car ride home. Our favorite part of this party was HAM! YUM and seeing all of daddy's awesome cousins who would talk to us and play with us!

You would think the parties ended there, but that's not how the Pitkin Trio does Christmas! Since Christmas is a season, not  just a day, we also had a party on the 26th! It was a breakfast party at Grammy and Boppa's house with Christmas Waffles! YUMMY! And of course this party also had presents!

So there you have it! Christmas 2013 was a big success and the best part is, it's not even over yet! There's still more to the Christmas season and one more big party to attend in a couple weeks with more of Daddy's big family!

Merry Christmas everyone...we hope you had a wonderful time celebrating the best gift of all...Jesus!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween....It's only one day?

For many Halloween happens all in one's simply October 31st and there's nothing more to it. For us (the trio) it was much more than just a night this year. For the past 2 years Mommy and Daddy have kept us pretty secluded during the winter months with only a few outtings for neccessary appointments. Last year we were lucky enough to convince Mommy and Daddy to let us do a photo shoot at a Pumpkin Patch, but that was really all our Halloween entailed last year. We had to stay home and help answer the door for other lucky trick-or-treaters last year!

This year it was MUCH different! Halloween for us started with the pumpkin patch and ended with a big hoorah, we actually got to go out trick or treating! Thanks to Boppa that is! Mommy and Daddy were prepared to settle for just the pumpkin patch again this year and maybe even some cookie decorating if we were nice and good!

 Halloween is Boppa's actual birthday and he had something better in mind! Boppa told Mommy and Daddy that it was his birthday present to take us out trick-or-treating. Let's not get ahead of ourselves here though. Let's start with the Pumpkin Patch.

A few weeks ago Mommy, Daddy, Auntie Shelley, Uncle Dominic, Grammy and Boppa all took us to a place called Hunters Family Farm. There were lots of neat animals there. We saw pigs, goats and even reindeer! Our favorite animal was the pony! We got to have our very first pony ride at the farm! It was so much fun and Mommy could remember loving pony rides when she was little like us too! There were some other fun rides at the farm as well. We all tried the bouncy dome thing, but that was not our favorite! We barely got on it so the nice man gave us our tickets back. Katelynn and Melissa tried out the carousel with Grammy, but it was way to fast for brother! It was one of those old ones that a person pedals to make it go around! It turned out to be too fast for Melissa too, but she lived through it by hugging Grammy!The best ride of the day was the BIG slide! We loved climbing to the top of the building and sliding down the big metal slide! Melissa wanted to do it many times and even was talking about it after we got home from the farm! After we did all the fun rides we could we loaded onto the tractor and rode out to the pumpkin patch fields and romped through to find our best pumpkins to take home! Ethan and Katelynn had a difficult time finding just the right one, but Melissa found hers right away! It was a tiny yellow pumpkin (not quite ready to be picked, but she wanted it). Unfortunately by the time we got it back to the tractor it was smooshed so she had to pick a new one, but not before we got a picture or two of her with it to remember! :) Here is a few pictures of our outing to the pumpkin patch!

What's Halloween without decorating a pumpkin right? So we took our pumpkins that we got at the pumpkin patch and we decorated them 2 year old style. We decided carving could wait a few more years until we are bigger and can be around knives safely. We found a much more fun way for us to do pumpkins this year. Mommy and Daddy found these neat no knife pumpkin decorations that turned our pumpkins into bats! So, Mommy and Daddy let us paint our pumpkins with finger paint and when they were dry they helped us poke our bat bodies into our pumpkins. Here's a few pictures of us decorating our pumpkins!

And what about cookies for Halloween? We don't eat a lot of candy yet since we are still pretty young, but we sure do love a good cookie! Our Great Aunt sent us a cookie decorating kit that was just right for our first Halloween Cookie experience. (we've done cookies before, but that was at Christmas last year and Mommy and Daddy had to help us a lot more then!) So, back to Halloween cookies. Since we had these great big cookies to decorate we decided to call for back up to help us! Uncle Dominic and Aunt Shelley came over last week and helped us decorate our cookies with Mommy while Daddy went to work! We had a great time frosting the cookies, our faces and anything else we could reach. We even snuck a few candy decorations to eat. Melissa really enjoyed candy corn! Here are some pictures from that event! See we told you, Halloween is much more than just one day! 

And last, but not least: TRICK OR TREATING! Remember this was a last minute decision. Boppa decided this was his birthday present from us the week before Halloween so we had to scramble for costumes! We must say, we think we did a fine job picking the best costumes ever for Halloween and it will be tough to top these next year! So what were we you ask? Well Ethan wanted to be a football player, so naturally his girls had to be cheerleaders right? Now to figure out which team we were going to support. You see Daddy is an Oregon Duck fan, so that was an option, but Boppa is a WSU Cougar so that would have been a good option, too, but our blood runs purple and gold naturally being born at the University of Washington! We were born Huskies folks, so there you have it! Purple and Gold for the win!

Now that we had our costumes figured out we had to decide where the best loot would be. Who was going to give us the best treats or tricks? We decided Grammy and Boppa had a really nice neighborhood with some people that Mommy trusted.  We were right! We got all kinds of yummy candy, but we also got juice pouches, tooth brushes and at Grammy and Boppa's we got new DVD's! The only problem we ran into was, we wanted to see more people.  That didn't stop us! We just hopped in the car and went to those other people we wanted to see! We got to see Our friends Annie and Phil who are long time park ranger friends of Boppa's and then we got to see our buddy Cindy who has spent many Friday afternoons with us since we were very little, she's also a park friend of Boppa's! Our favorite stop was to see Auntie Shelley and Uncle Dominic!  They gave us our favorite candy! Reeses peanut butter cups! What a fun night we had! Thanks Boppa for convincing Mommy and Daddy to let us go trick-or-treating this year!
 Here are some pictures of our adventures in trick-or-treating. 

There you have it folks! The Pitkin Trio has successfully experienced every aspect of Halloween and enjoyed every minute!