Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A more eventful than expected day...

Our day started out pretty well with only one hitch, a book left behind. The left behind book was our copy of "Are You My Mother" our traditional read for hospital stays. We read it everyday in the NICU and before any big procedure where mama is going to go away and the boys will be surrounded by strangers and machines. For those who are not familiar with the book, there is a little bird that hatches while mama is out getting the baby bird some food,  the baby bird hops out of the nest in search of his mother and the "snort" is a big scary machine and he helps the baby bird back into his nest and then mama comes home. It makes me think of all the monitors and machines in the hospital, they are kind of scary and unfamiliar, but they will help my baby birds get back home with me. Our copy was given to us by one of my nearest and dearest friends Rachael and I don't even know if she knows the significance the book has come to have for us. It is our hospital book and goodness knows, we've had our share of hospital. Well this morning it was trapped in the dark room where I only wanted to rise ONE baby bird not THREE as Victor and I were leaving at 5:30 am and the boys usually sleep until at least 7. Well when we arrived at the hospital, what did we find sitting on the bench in the waiting room:

So that made mama happy and Victor loves to read with us so it was just fine with him. When we got back to the pre-op room we had a lovely nurse who brought toys in for Victor to play with and the toys she had picked couldn't have been more Victor. He loves things that spin and will spin and spin and spin them so he was very happy to hang out in the crib while I answered and asked all the necessary questions. Victor did  a great job for the anesthetic as he listened intently to her story about a snoring bear as she helped him fall asleep. I've never been in the room for this procedure before, but was able to hold him while he went to sleep this time and it was very quiet and calm, but a little freaky seeing his little body start breathing really fast before it just went limp, but the anesthetists did warn me that this is exactly what would happen so I was prepared. After about an hour wait the surgeon was out to tell me that all went well. Both in-pulling eye muscles were moved about 6mm and it was completely as planned.

This is when the waiting got a little long, he said you can probably expect to see him in about an hour from recovery, but the hour past and knowing the eye doctor would give me a conservative estimate of time I was starting to get antsy. Just when I was about to start asking the nurses brought Victor in and he was groggy, and a little cranky, but snuggled right in and rested with me for a while.

When he fell into an actual sleep was when it got a little more interesting. He was alarming off with O2 sats in the mid-upper 80s. He looked great, pink and breathing comfortably, so for a while they tried other toes for the monitor and then they brought in a different monitor and nothing changed so he got to go back on oxygen for a bit and have an albuterol treatment. Once he did that he fared better for quite a while and we were just waiting on the anesthesiologist to stop in and give the official word on letting us go when he fell asleep again and started desating again. At that point she said we had to be monitored overnight which actually made me a little relieved. You never want any more time than necessary in the hospital, but you don't want to leave before you're ready and head right back either or worse, in the case of oxygen, have something serious go wrong in the night and not know because you are sleeping. 

We got admitted and headed up to the 6th floor where we just so happened to have a former NICU nurse from our early days in our room and she was wonderful! Victor got to eat and play and relax and show mommy his new straighter eyes!

When it came time for bed Victor fell asleep really easily and fast and I was looking forward to an early night of rest after our 5 am start to the day.

After he was asleep for about 45 minutes he started desating again and not coming back up on his own so he had some blow by oxygen and got it going, but woke up from all the bustling in the room and that was the beginning of 4 or 5 hours of rocking and walking and rocking and walking. He didn't want to be laid down, didn't want me to sit down and didn't want me to be still. We tried music, white noise, me singing, bouncing, rocking, giving him an extra bottle and every other trick I can imagine, but he would fall only asleep if I was standing up and rocking or walking and the minute I tried to sit down or lay him down he was awake and mad! He finally fell asleep for good at 12:30 in the morning and this time he slept for 5 hours straight (not nearly the 10-12 hours we can expect at home) with NO ALARMS! That was our ticket out! Breakfast and a little more play time and a lot of getting bored later we finally had the rounding docs in the room saying get out of here! 

Victor was happy as a clam to get to come home and it didn't take him long to head right for his favorite truck, after that we took a walk with our brothers and Victor's PT stopped by and was thoroughly impressed by how much better he is tracking already!

Mylo and Oscar were very happy to see their brother and mama after our long day away! 

Going to sleep in our own bed is much more pleasant than a hospital one. Good night sweet boy, get some rest. Your big, blue eyes could use it! 

Good night world!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Victor's Eyes

My sweet curly haired, cross eyed boy! 

So as I'm sure you've all noticed in pictures and videos over the last year, Victor's eyes are not exactly straight. In so many ways it's a part of his "look" so I can't imagine what he will look like when they are, but it's time to get them fixed. Right now we know that he sees double because he grabs at things next to where they are, and we are pretty sure he gets headaches from the eye strain in the evening. The two hours after bed time are often full of rocking and snuggling and soothing cries of pain. Last night it was much more than two hours and could have been teeth, too, but it breaks a mama's heart. We've been patching daily for the last year to no avail so he is scheduled to have eye muscle surgery on Tuesday morning. At our pre-op appointment with the eye doctor we were given a best case/worst case diagnosis heading into surgery. He is the best case as far as his actual vision goes, both eyes are independently still seeing perfectly! This is huge and makes the patching worth while even if it didn't help his muscles re align. On the crossing front he is the worst case though. They have to move the eye muscles as much as possible for a first surgery. Which means he has a 1/3 chance of having to have another surgery 6 months or so down the line to complete the correction. So we are thankful for his vision and hoping that the surgery is the best case scenario. The surgery is bright and early on Tuesday we have to be at Children's by 6 am and he should be in surgery by 7:30. I'll keep everyone updated on here, but, as always, we welcome healing thoughts and  prayers of any kind!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Stealing and sharing are not the same...

Lots of life lessons are being learned in the Kokes house right now...well they are being taught anyway, I'm not sure if anyone is exactly learning them yet! It got me to thinking how confusing the rules of possession must be when you are first learning them. You are supposed to share your toys without being asked, but you aren't supposed to take others' toys without asking, and mom and dad, they take things all the time and they don't even ask just say "no" and walk away with whatever it was (remotes, dog toys, cell phones-all the fun stuff, right?). Hmmmmm. Three children in the center of the "Mine!" stage mean that these are the words I am speaking all the time and their corresponding actions:

"Sorry, he had it first"....(give toy back to original owner, thief child screams)
"Could you please share that?"  (setting toy back on the floor between two or more children-child trying to take off with toy screams while they try to take it and walk away with it again so they don't have to, other children who want the toy to stay scream)
"That's mommy's (or that's daddy's or Jovian's), not a toy." (Walk away with object, child who had forbidden object screams)

I could go on, but pretty much it is a cycle of someone taking and someone screaming.  We understand that this is all a part of learning how to live in a family and how to play nice so I try to see the humor in it as they move through this phase. They all have varying types of scream so there's no doubt who believes they've been wronged.

Mylo: foot stomp, cry, pout and hug mom or dad's leg to get them to right the wrong

Oscar: Pterodactyl screach and then look at mom and dad with helpless, "why aren't you doing something eyes?!"

Victor: two extremes, push the thief out of the way and take toy back without a sound or a cry of pure sorrow until his toy is back in his hands.

There are certainly breaks (many of them) between the stealing and screaming and these moments where they play together happily are a source of complete and utter joy in this house.

Oscar and Mylo reading a favorite book together! 
This little video captures a little bit of everything...2 minutes of triplet playtime, even with a little bit of the screeching  it makes me smile.

and there are also the times they spend cracking each other up; there is truly nothing better than that! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Home, Sweet, Home

A couple of blog followers have let me know that I shared the nursery in progress and some in progress art work for the boys' room when I was still pregnant but never shared how the nursery turned out. I guess it kind of slipped my mind since the nursery was really put together when the boys were still in the hospital so my mind and therefore, the blog, was filled with bigger things than decor. Well, as I hung their growth chart, the latest piece of art for their room, I thought it would be a perfect time to share the room that is all O, M, and V, quite literally!

The color scheme

and the Inspiration

The design for their room began the morning of the day that triple pregnancy landed me in the hospital for the first time. The print in this picture is a collaborative piece of art made with a group of about 10 women that I took a summer workshop with at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts as we learned about creating a font (and I learned how uncomfortable stools are when you are 15 weeks pregnant with triplets) . I've always loved typography and it just so happened that the color that the teacher had us do our print in was one of the accent colors I planned to do for the nursery so this became their first piece of art and the place where the rest of the room grew out of.  The rocker in the picture was handed down to us by a very dear family to us whose children I rocked in the very same chair when I nannied for them years earlier; it's hard to believe that they are soon to be headed for Junior High, and 3rd grade! My sweet and very talented niece recovered the rocker to match our room and the color scheme was born. 

I planned to do a big pencil drawn initial over each of their beds, but the size got shifted when I got put on bed rest and instead of the large singular piece of art I created a wall collage of smaller V's, O's and M's for above each of their cribs while I laid bed. These, I shared in progress, but here they are on the wall.

Victor's V's

Oscar's O's

Mylo's M's

The rest of the room was all about color adding pieces with lime green, turquoise  and brown to accent the bright orange walls brought together a room that was full of life for little boys who were sure to bring bright spirits to the space!
Oscar begins the tour saying, "this is where Victor and I sleep... 

and here's where we keep all our diapers and used to get diapers changed before we became super squirmy wormies"

Oscar continues the tour saying "here's our bookshelf and our growth chart...
and this is Mylo's side of the room"

So for those that had asked long ago how the nursery turned out, there is the very long overdue answer. I love it and I hope my boys do too!