Our Triplets stay in the NICU

Read about our triplet’s stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), plus more pictures.

Age: 6 Days (3/11/97)

     Everybody is doing great. Ricki came home on Monday night, but the triplets will probably remain in NICU until April. The nurses say they are doing great for being born at 32 weeks. They are in isolettes (like a greenhouse) to help keep them warm.
     The first several days they were placed under bilirubin lamps, because they were a little jaundice. They looked real cute wearing their sunshades to protect their eyes from the lamps.

     They all lost several ounces after their birth, but are starting to regain their weight. They are being fed Ricki’s breast milk by a tube that goes from their mouth into their stomach. The nurse said babies do not develop the sucking and swallowing reflex until the 34th week of pregnancy. Since today would have been week 33, they should start being fed with a bottle next week.
     It takes a while to get use to all the equipment, tubes and alarms in the NICU, but the nurses have been great about explaining everything and allowing us to be their parents.

Age: 9 Days (3/14/97)

     Zachary got his first bottle yesterday (he gets one bottle a day), and had no problems drinking from it. Of the 30 cc’s (one ounce), he drank 15 cc’s!!!! The nurse was very pleased with his coordination of drinking, swallowing, and breathing. Today his IV was removed and he drank all 30 cc’s during his bottle feeding!
     Hannah got off her nasal canula on Thursday! The doctor expects her to be off of her IV on Saturday.
     Lindsey is getting bigger and bigger everyday! As of this morning, she has gained back all of the weight she lost since birth.
     We’ve been able to change their diapers, bathe, and dress them. The nurses have been teaching us how to be parents of preemies. It’s very reassuring to have some one there “showing us the ropes.”

Age: 12 Days (3/17/97)

     All three are off their IVs.  Zachary weighs 3 lbs 15.5 oz, Hannah weighs 3 lbs 8.5 oz, and Lindsey weighs 3 lbs 0.5 oz. They are being fed between 25 and 36 cc’s of breast milk every three hours. Each is being fed by a bottle once a day; the rest by a tube. Their bottle feedings should increase as they get accustomed to drinking and breathing at the same time. Zachary and Hannah adapted quickly to sucking the bottle’s nipple; Lindsey still needs a little practice. All of the nurses say they are doing GREAT!

Picture of us giving Lindsey a bath while she is in her isolette. The isollete helps maintain their body temperature. You can see the cute signs the nurses made for each of them.
Picture of Zachary drinking from a bottle. Zachary and Hannah are getting two bottles a day; Lindsey gets one. They usually do not finish their bottles, but they are learning.

Age: 18 Days (3/23/97)

     Zachary is out of his isolette!! He has been maintaining his body temperature, so today they moved him to a bassinet. He weighs 4 lbs 5 oz, and is getting three bottles a day. Hannah weighs 3 lbs 12 oz, and is getting four bottles a day (half of her feedings). She adapted to the bottle very quickly. Lindsey weighs 3 lbs 3 oz, and is getting three bottles a day. All three are still getting fed every three hours. They are getting bigger and stronger every day!

Age: 25 Days (3/30/97)

     Everybody is progressing well. Zachary and Hannah are out of their isolettes. Both of them are on total bottle feeds. Zachary is getting 6 bottles a day and usually drinks 3½ ounces of milk per feeding. Hannah is getting 8 bottles a day and usually drinks 2 ounces of milk per feeding. Lindsey is getting 3 bottles a day and usually drinks 1 ounce of milk per feeding (the remaining 5 feedings are still by tube). Also, Zachary and Hannah are starting to breastfeed. Each has grown approximately an inch since birth.

  Zachary Hannah Lindsey
Current weight   4 lbs 15 oz     4 lbs 3 oz     3 lbs 9 oz 
Gain since birth   1 lb 2 oz 11 oz 9 oz

If all goes well the next few days, Zachary should be home by mid-week!! Hannah should follow in about a week, and Lindsey will probably remain in NICU until the end of April (their original due date). I finally finished the nursery today. We decorated it in the Disney Baby motif.

Age: 27 Days (4/1/97)

Zachary came HOME today after 27 days in the NICU!!! He weighs 5 lbs 2 oz.

Age: 29 Days (4/3/97)

Hannah came HOME today after 29 days in the NICU!!! She weighs 4 lbs 7 oz. Zachary has been home for 2 days and is doing great. Lindsey weighs 3 lbs 12 oz and hopefully will be out of her isolette by this weekend. Everybody has passed their hearing and eye tests.

Age: 33 Days (4/7/97)

Lindsey is out of her isolette!! Also, she is on all bottle feeds (no more tube)!! If all goes well the next 5-7 days she should be home next week. Zachary and Hannah are doing great. They are on a 4-5 hour feeding schedule. They went to the pediatrician on Friday and the doctor (and her staff) fell in love with them. She said they are very healthy considering they were 8 weeks premature. Other than not getting much sleep, we are doing fine. We have got into a good rhythm and schedule for feeding and taking care of the two of them. I hope we can have a smooth transition when Lindsey comes home.

  Zachary Hannah Lindsey
Current weight   5 lbs 10 oz     4 lbs 12 oz     4 lbs 1 oz 
Gain since birth   1 lb 13 oz 1 lb 4 oz 1 lb 1 oz

Age: 36 Days (4/10/97)

It is amazing what you can do on four hours of sleep 🙂
Lindsey should be home by Saturday!! Everybody is doing great and growing fast. We have Zachary and Hannah on a 4-5 hour feeding schedule. They usually nurse for about 15 minutes, then they get a bottle. Zachary drinks 4 oz and Hannah drinks 2½ oz. It takes about 1½ hours to feed and change the two of them, then we get four hours of freedom and the whole cycle starts again. When Lindsey comes home this weekend we will probably get some volunteer help to feed them. My job has allowed me to work from home for 6 weeks (I am generating an official Internet Site for them while at home). Being at home has helped a lot. I can’t imagine Ricki doing everything herself, it’s a lot of work to take care of two, and three will probably be even more time consuming. It is a very tiring, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. They are so cute and lovable.

  Zachary Hannah Lindsey
Current weight   6 lbs 6 oz     5 lbs 4 oz     4 lbs 7 oz 
Gain since birth   2 lb 9 oz 1 lb 12 oz 1 lb 7 oz

Age: 38 Days (4/12/97)

Lindsey came home today after 38 days in the NICU!! Our entire family is finally together at last!! She joins her brother Zachary, her sister Hannah, and our golden retriever Cleo. She weighs 4 lbs 9 oz and has grown 2 inches since birth. All three came home without requiring Home Monitoring.
     Cleo has been great with her new brother and sisters, although I don’t have much time to play catch or Frisbee with her anymore. We took the entire family for a walk down the street tonight. I walked Cleo and Ricki pushed the triplet stroller.

This concludes the NICU updates. Now we can start to raise our family. Do not worry, I will continue to update our site with the latest news.