Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Holidays

Ok Ok Ok
We know
We have been terrible bloggers....
But we have an excuse (or THREE) remember!

Everything is great in our world.  Although we are tired, we are enjoying getting to know our kids.  All have different and unique looks and personalities.   They are all on a 4 hour schedule (give or take a half hour on either side) and are eating/pooping/crying like champs.   They just had their first round of shots today and they were great.  All are growing normally and are doing well.

Campbell:  Blond hair/blue eyes.  7lbs 12.5oz.   Loves to stay awake and look around.  She is the fairest of the three and the one that is most alert. 

Piper: Dk Brown wavy hair/blue eyes. 8lbs 6oz.     Loves to eat and suck on her pacifier....oh how she loves her pacifier and will let you know it if it's missing from her mouth.

Travis:  Brown hair/blue eyes.  8lbs 1oz.  Is still the most chill baby and only cries when he really wants to eat (or is getting messed with by one of his sisters). 

Travis - Piper - Campbell

This time last year, these kids were just a dream.  Jim and I have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas season.  As we close out the year, we want to give thanks to our families, our friends, the doctors and nurses, the blog followers and of course Momo for giving us an incredible year.   You have each supported us in your own way and we will never forget you for making this year so special.   We hope that you all have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends and we will see/post you in the New Year!!!.

Christmas 2011

Happy Holidays

JR, Jim, Campbell, Piper and Travis James.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

THANK YOU to Sharp Mary Birch Hospital and Travis is on the Move!

Travis is heading home.....sorta.

Yesterday, we heard that our insurance company had agreed to have him transferred from the San Diego Hospital where he and the girls were born to the hospital closest to our house....and it's happening today!   Like the San Diego hospital, the new hospital has a stellar reputation in neonatology and the good news it is within walking distance of our house.  

Travis' only remaining issue is to learn to eat all his feeds from the bottle.  The doctors thought this might take another week or so.  That said, he must have heard the rumor he was being transferred and wanted to make his SD nurses proud as he has taken the full bottle the last several feedings!   If that continues, we should have him home in the next few days.

Although we are very happy to have him closer, it's bittersweet.   We have been going to SD every week/weekend since Morgan was admitted into the hospital (August 4) so it has become our way of life.  In the process, we have fallen in love with San Diego and with the doctors and NICU staff at the hospital.  We know some of them will be lifelong friends.  We look forward to seeing them every year at the NICU reunion and on our frequent trips to SD to visit family

At the risk of forgetting someone, Amy C, Amy W, Alina, Craig, Dana, Dulce, Donna, Ellen, Erika, Heather, Keri, Kristi, Lauren, Marie, Marissa, Melissa, Dr Bernstein, Dr Suri and all the other doctors and nurses at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital, you have taken such GREAT care of our kids.  Campbell, Piper and Travis appreciate all the times you fed them, burped them, changed their diapers and loved on them day and night.  They appreciate the time you spent teaching their dads how to care for them when they get home.  Jim and I appreciate all that you have done for us since that first night in the NICU when we were emotional messes not knowing what to do or where to start.  Since then, you have given us the tools to care for our kids and showed us patience, compassion and respect at every step of the way.   Our children have been given a great start in life and have bright futures because of you and for that we are eternally grateful.

You are amazing people doing amazing work every day and we Thank You.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Campbell and Piper are going home tomor.....I mean THURSDAY....

Doctors said that the girls were ready last week but something about it didn't 'feel right' to us.   After spending the past 6 weeks with them, Jim and I have really gotten to know our kids.   Call it parental intuition but we just didn't feel in our gut that the girls were really ready.  So we pushed for one more week.   After doing some investigating, we found out that it was the insurance company pushing to have them released.  Go figure.  We were glad we pushed their discharge date as both girls were tested again yesterday and showed MUCH improvement on all the markers required for release.  The Doctors are now confident that they are, Thursday is the official date with no going back. . .

Again, here we go!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Interesting Article about Parenting later in Life.

Jim and I often get asked WHY we decided to have kids "at our age" or WHY, after 11 years together "traveling the world" and "enjoying the freedom without kids", we decided to add kids to our lives.  There are no easy answers to those questions.  As mentioned in some of our earliest blog posts, Jim and I struggled for years in answering those questions for ourselves.  Having kids is a very personal decision and therefore I don't think there is any right or wrong answer.  I  would assume that you would get different answers from every single person asked "Why".  That said, I found this article on another blog I follow (Thanks Doug!) and thought it captured some of the reasons we felt it was time to add children to our lives. Thought I would pass it along.


Older Parenting: A Modern Day Fountain of Youth

Is Older Parenting Worth It? YES!

Fathering in Your 50s: Is There a Difference?
My first psychology professor was Dr. Dick Bruce. He told a marvelous story about his family during Psych 100: When home for the holidays, one of his siblings complained that earning a Ph.D. seemed an impossible goal. The degree would take so long. Dr. Bruce's reply was "In 4 years you'll be the same age whether you go to school or not."
Fathering in your 50s is much like Dr. Bruce's thinking. If being older is the only reason we decide against having children, then we have allowed ourselves to be enslaved to age. Certainly anyone should consider factors like health, energy levels, or financial capacity when making the choice to have children. We can decide to have, or not to have, children in our 40s or 50s, but we will end up the same age, in 18 years, either way. When we magnify the negative meaning of age, we don't balance the benefits of having children at an older age. Once we place age into its proper perspective, we can see that there are many reasons to become an "older" father.

Our relationship with our parents can be complicated—even rocky. But whether they're young or old, dads are just as important as moms,

Staying Young  Fathers, like everyone, create beliefs about the meaning of age. How we define age then affects other parts of our lives: athletics, diet, vacationing.  My young children demand that I stay young. They want to play on the floor, run in the back yard, eat ice cream, and go on family vacations. I find that having young children keeps my perspective young, and my daily life more energetic. I have a youthful perspective, and my life shows it. 

Feeling Connected  As we grow older, experiences can reduce our feelings of attachment. Deaths, and other losses, push older men away from the vulnerability of deep connection. But, children express their love and affection so freely, so that avoiding a bond with them is impossible. I am not closed-off in other relationships, because my children keep me open to connection every day. 

Enjoying Life  The older we get, the more life feels like a grind. We ask ourselves, "Is there anything thing new or exciting in the world?"  Young children feel joy and are excited about just-about everything. They see fun in the mundane as boxes become forts. If we let them, they will take us along for the "joy" ride. Fathering in my 50s gave me back life's fun. My children make well-worn activities feel exhilarating again. 

Learning Fearlessly  All adults know the pain of embarrassing themselves while trying to learn something, but not doing so well. When men hit middle age, we discover how our bodies and minds have begun to falter (even when we try something well known). But, children approach learning new things (sports, reading, games, etc.) without fear. For example, my son is learning to read-and mastering a new word puts joy on his face, with no signs of worry. My son and daughter show me daily that I have nothing to fear if I try something new. I took up golf, as a serious pastime, last year.  And, I have fun learning to play. I thank my children for the courage to learn the game..... to enjoy the pars and the double-bogies. 

A Final Word from an Older Dad  Yes, there are plenty of reasons to become a father in your 40s or 50s: Youthfulness, Connection, Joy, and Fearlessness are but a few. Parenting has challenges in your 50s, just like it would at any age.  But older parenting can reset the aging clock. You live a younger life, and your children benefit from your years of wisdom. Older fathering might not be a fountain of youth, but it will add years of happiness to your life."

Monday, October 24, 2011

A few new pictures and a Happy Birthday to Momo!

The kids are doing very well in the NICU.
Piper is eating all her meals from a bottle.  In fact, she was so bored with the feeding tube in her nose that she ripped it out herself!   (and we thought she was going to be the mild one)

Campbell is taking every other meal by bottle and doing well.

Travis is not yet interested in the bottle and prefers to snooze while being fed through the feeding tube....hoping that changes soon.

Doctors think Piper will come home in a week with Campbell coming home at the same time or shortly thereafter.  Travis is likely home in 3 weeks or so.  They are all healthy and growing fast.  All are over 4 lbs now and gaining weight everyday.  It won't be long now before the real fun begins and we can't wait.

Happy Birthday to Momo today!!!! 
She is spending her birthday at the hospital with Cora giving the kids lots of attention.  Looking forward to celebrating with her this coming weekend.

Here are a few pictures from this past weekend in the NICU.

Daddy giving Campbell her bath....terrified....(and I don't mean Campbell)

Piper getting her first bottle......loving it

Travis just looking around.....

That's all from here.
Until next time. . .

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

3 weeks 5 days old

Just a (very) quick update on the kids.

Doctors decided it was time to start trying to feed the girls by bottle.  Babies start learning to "suck/swallow/breathe" at about 34 weeks gestation.   Since our kids are just a little over 33 weeks, they told us not to get discouraged as it would likely "take a while".   Well, they don't know our kids.
Piper took 1/4th of her first bottle and Cam took half!   By the third bottle, they were taking the whole thing...and within 15 minutes...these girls are hungry!

Other news:
Campbell was first to move into an open crib.  She is now taking two bottles per 12 hour shift and weighs just under 4 lbs.

Piper moved into an open crib on Monday.  She is also taking two bottles per 12 hour shift and weighs 3lbs 9oz.

Travis was moved into an open crib on Tuesday.  He is not yet ready ("wimpy white boy") for the bottle and is happy with his feeding tube.   He had is nasal canula removed on Monday and is doing great without it!  He seems to have moved past all his pulmonary issues and is rapidly catching up to his sisters.

Doctors are thinking that we will be bringing the girls home in a 'couple of weeks' and Travis a week or two after the girls.....then the Real Fun begins.  Stay tuned.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pictures of Campbell, Piper and Travis

Campbell Bruner at 2 weeks old (aka Miss Feisty). Yes, she may look sweet but she is all business. Apparently she had had enough of the womb, being the first to rupture her bag and first to be born. She is long (90th percentile in length), blond hair with a very distinct personality. We’re envisioning her as the ring leader of her siblings. Can't wait to see if we’re correct.
Piper Whitsett at 2 weeks old (aka Miss Chill). She was 2nd to be born and, so far, is a classic middle child.  She is very quiet and sweet and, although she was having a bout of gas when we took this photo (thus the grin), she is truly happy all (most) of the time.

Travis James at 2 weeks old (aka The Fighter). Our little handsome man seems to have overcome his critical illness (pulmonary hemorrhage) during the first week of life and is now starting to catch up to his sisters. He gave us quite a scare and we are so relieved with his progress. He is now cruising under the radar of concern of the NICU nurses (which is just where we like it).   He better get his rest now because his sisters are certain to gang up on their baby brother when they all get home.
Thank you to everyone who reached out to us during Travis' health crisis.   We are eternally grateful to the doctors and nurses who saved his life.  They are amazing people doing amazing things everyday and have taught us not to take any day for granted.   We are thankful for all the love and support of our family and friends who were in touch with us during that difficult time.   These kids had our hearts from the moment they were born and we are so thankful to you all for helping us through that dark week.  

All our Love
JR, Jim, Campbell, Piper and Travis

Friday, September 30, 2011

One Week Ago

One week ago at the very moment of this post, Morgan called to tell us that her water had broken. 
That news changed our lives forever. 

We love this new life.  

Thank you Morgan.
For giving us life.
For giving us purpose.
For giving our lives meaning.

We love you.
JR and Jim

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birth Story

Friday night started out like all the other Friday's for the past 7 weeks.   Morgan was doing well and we were preparing for our weekend.  In this case, we were preparing for our baby shower (which deserves it's own post...but what an Amazing event!).  Jim and his brother had driven down to San Diego to introduce my mom and her husband to Morgan.   They had a great visit and all was good.   Everyone arrived back in LA late that afternoon/evening.   Jim and I were in the middle of opening up the shower gifts from my mom/husband (which also deserve a separate post!) when our cell phones rang (around 7:30 or so).   Jim took the call in the other room.   All I could hear from his conversation was our doctor's name and I knew something was up.   When Jim came back into the room, he announced that Morgan's water had broken!   We were all in shock I think.    (Things afterward are somewhat blurry but I will try and get this right.)
As was the plan, we called Cora who immediately drove to the hospital to be with Morgan.  We were told to 'take our time' as nothing would happen that night.   So, we 'took our time' and packed a bag in 30 minutes.   Now, if you know anything about us, I can pack a bag in 30 seconds (I may look like hell, but I can pack a bag quickly) but 30 minutes is record time for Jim!  HA   We got on the road around 8pm.   Since SD is usually 2 hours door-to-door, we expected to arrive around 10pm.   Although Jim doesn't like it, I have a lead foot under normal, it was particularly ironic when he looked at me at one point and said "you're driving like a grandma!"   Ha.   So, although I promised my mom that I would drive safely, I do admit that I broke that promise for a few miles that night.
Cora kept us updated with texts along the way and here are the actual texts between Cora and Jim (Sean is our doctor):
9:12pm  [J]  Ok. Is Sean there?
[J]  Do they have the viacord kits?
[C]  Havent heard him but they put me in a side hallway...
[C]  Yes, the kits are there :)
[C]  I think he is in there now...
[C]  I hate that no one can be in there with her until the actual c-section part!
{J]  Ugh. That sucks. I'm sure she's scared. We are in san clemente. The Daddy is hauling
{J]  We're 45 mins out. 
[C]  He is here, just talked to Sean.. Giving her spinal now, will start in 5 
minutes. Will take pics from my phone.
Be safe!! 
Love you guys so much!!
[J]  We love you! Good luck. Let God be with Dr D and Morgan. Babies are in good 
[C]  Yes!! Everything will be great. He says they'll be just fine and to tell you 
dont worry...
[J]  K. We'll try. 
[J]  Can u ask where we go when we get there?
9:31pm  [C]  OR recovery...
[C]  Pictures!! :-)))
[C]  First spinal didnt work, Sean is doing it again...
9:45pm  [C]  So couple more minutes...
[J]  Ok Just got to the 805. 
[J]  Please tell Sean we're at the 805 and 5 so 13 miles away
[C]  Doing it now...
[C]  I told him...
[J]  Delivering now?
9:50pm  [C]  All done! 
[J]  OMG. How are they?!!!
[C]  OMG
[C]  They look awesome!!
[C]  C was the boy!
[J]  LOL. What order?
[C]  Travis was last. 
[C]  They are crying!!
[C]  Awww. We are laughing!!!!
[J]  YAY!!!!!!!'
[J]  We are daddies!!!!
[J]  30 fingers 30 toes? Everything good?  We're almost there!!!
[J]  Big hug to Morgan and dr d!!

Once we were inside the hospital, it took us about 5 minutes to get our operating room outfits on.  As you can see on Morgan below, they are quite sexy and will likely be all the rage in Paris during next year's fashion week.

As we walked into the room, there were 3 isolets in a row with about a dozen people around the babies working on them.   They were only minutes old and were still being cleaned and evaluated.  The Doctor told us that they were screaming when they were born so all had good lungs and that they were very happy with their weights and coloring (especially for their 30 week 1 day gestation age).

Campbell Bruner was born at 9:48 weighing 3.4 lbs and 17.25 inches long

Piper Whitsett was born at 9:49pm weighing 3.3 lbs and 16 inches long

Travis James was born at 9:49 weighing 3.5 lbs and 16.5 inches long.

Shortly after seeing each of the babies for the first time (a moment we will never forget) we asked to see Morgan as she wasn't in the room with the babies.  The doctor pointed to what can only be described as a drive thru window.   The doctor raised the window and there she was, with Cora by her side,  looking happy and scared all at the same time.

Morgan immediately after delivery......Look at that smile!

The first thing she said was "Hi Daddies!  How are the babies?"  That is when I lost it.   Here she was.... in the most vulnerable position, still in the middle of her surgery with everything out on the table and all she can think about is us and our kids.   She is truly an amazing woman. . .
Doctor D said that Campbell had ruptured her bag and that there had been no stopping them from being born that night. 

I followed Campbell into the NICU and Jim followed with Piper and Travis shortly thereafter.   Once the kids were stable, we met up with Morgan in recovery and stayed with her until about 2:30 am.  

Although we missed the actual birth, it was an amazing night and we wouldn't have changed a thing.

JR/Jim in the recovery room

[We promise to post pictures of the babies soon....]

Monday, September 26, 2011

Circle of Life. . .

Travis holding Daddy's hand

They say having children is like having your heart walk outside your body for the rest of your life. . .I never knew how true that statement was until today.   Our hearts are full and our lives complete. . .

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Jelly Beans and Peanut have arrived!!!!

Morgan's water broke last night (30w1d) around 7:45.  As hard as she tried, Morgan couldn't stop the triplets from their journey to meet the world!

Campbell Bruner was born at 9:48pm weighing 3.4 lbs
Piper Whitsett followed at 9:49pm weighing 3.3 lbs
and Travis James finished the journey at 9:49 weighing 3.5 lbs

Morgan was a star (naturally) and did amazing during the birth. 
The babies are perfect and beautiful and healthy.

Doctors are taking good care all of them and we couldn't be happier.
More details later....the Daddies need some sleep.  It's been a crazy 24 hours.

Thank you to everyone for all their support!!!!
JR and Jim

Thursday, September 22, 2011

30 weeks.....Let them eat Cake!!!!!

Beautiful. . .

30 Weeks!!! (Hospital - 49 days)

Can't believe that we made it to 30 weeks.  Or, should I say, I can't believe Morgan has made it to 30 weeks!!!   Wow.   Looking back 7 weeks to the day Morgan was admitted into the hospital and then to the emergency cerclage a few days later, the thought of making it this far in the pregnancy was a mere fantasy.

We are so thankful to be here at 30 weeks and are humbled at all the love/support that we have received from so many people (some of whom we have not met).  We are thankful for our doctor(s) and nurses who have kept Morgan and the babies safe; to Cora and Maria at Modern Family Surrogacy for always being there for Morgan with food, support and girls movie night!; to all the volunteers who have stopped by to visit her or send her food; and to Morgan's family for taking such good care of her son and/or visiting her so often (even though some live 5 + hours away!).  Most of all we are thankful for Morgan who has continued to amaze us with her positive attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to keep our kids safe and sound.   Forty Nine days of bedrest is a LONG time and she has survived it with grace and confidence and she is cheering us on for more!

Thank you Morgan.  Your willingness to go the extra mile for us has turned 30 weeks from fantasy to reality and 32 weeks from a pipe dream into a real possibility.   We hope the time will pass quickly for you......and for us.   Although we know that the jelly beans and peanut need to stay right where they are for as long as you can carry them, we are really anxious to meet them......and to stop calling them the jelly beans and peanut!!  ha).  So here we go towards 32 weeks.  Just remember the motto. . .

"Keep Calm and Carry On".

We love you
JR and Jim

Thursday, September 15, 2011

29 Weeks (Hospital - 42 days)

Happy 29 Weeks to Momo!   She is doing great and we are getting closer.   We are only 3 weeks away from the 'average' delivery date for triplets.   Morgan has always said that she wanted to 'beat the average' so let's see what happens.  She still has such a positive attitude (which is 90% of the game) and is the favorite resident of the 4th floor at Sharp Mary Burch so we couldn't ask for anything more.

Since we are in San Diego every free weekend, Jim and I are trying to do as much as we can during the week to get everything ready.  We still have nursery furniture on back order and have yet to buy bottles/diapers/formula etc as we want to buy the brands used by the NICU. 

Still test driving SUV's to see if we (I) can avoid buying the dreaded MV.  We have selected the Honda Odyssey....but I swear I will find something that works better for least I am trying.

Our friends are hosting our baby shower next weekend and we cannot wait for that.  Ours will be the third shower among our group of friends (twins for M/C 5½ years ago and twins for D/R 2½ yrs ago) and if it's anything like the last two, it's going to be a really fun shower (and unique for those who have never been to a shower hosted by gay men).   The guys really know how to throw a party and a baby shower is another excuse to have a good time.   We have a lot of entertaining friends and we are very excited to see what they have cooked up.  My mom, her husband and Bubbles (all from Phoenix) and Jim's brother (from Dallas) are coming to the shower and we are really looking forward to having them here with us.  

We are on our way to 30 weeks!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Big Weekend in the Princess Suite at Sharp Mary Burch!

Morgan's younger sister got married this weekend.  Morgan was to be the Maid of Honor so this weekend was likely to be a difficult one.   We did our best to make it special for her.   Cora from Modern Family came up to the hospital and did Morgan's hair and make up (she looked beautiful), her Mom surprised her with the bridesmaid's bouquet and we all (dressed in red/black like the wedding party) watched the ceremony on Skype.   It was touching to watch Morgan glued to the computer watching for her son (a ringbearer) and her sister with her groom.    I think we cried as much as she did!  

We also took Morgan outside for the first time in 5 weeks!   There was a NICU Graduates Fair on the hospital grounds so we got to see many prior patients with their healthy babies enjoying the day and talking about their stays in the hospital.  Several women came up to Morgan (the only 'current' resident of the hospital to attend the fair and the only one in a wheelchair with IV's hanging from the IV pole!) and told her that they had spent weeks and weeks in the same room before they delivered.   There were several parents with set of triplets and parents with babies born at 24 and 25 weeks....true Miracle Babies.   We were fortunate to have been there to see how happy they all were and how truly talented the doctors and nursing staff are at this hospital.    It gave us hope that everything will be ok. 

Although Morgan wasn't the Maid of Honor on Saturday, she was the Guest of Honor at the NICU Fair.  She showed such grace and confidence proving once again that she is the true Star in this journey...

We had another growth ultrasound this past Sunday and all the babies are growing fast: 
                                         Baby Boy B is 3 lbs 1 oz
                                         Baby Girl A is 2 lbs 11 oz
                                         Baby Girl C is 2 lbs 9 oz
The Doctor saw plenty of fluid around all three babies (to the point of ordering another Glucose screening on Morgan).  If Morgan were to have Gestational Diabetes, the babies would be increasing their 'output' of fluid (thus explaining the extra fluid in their sacs).   Women pregnant with triplets are significantly more at risk for GD than women pregnant with twins or a, needless to say, we were all a little worried.   If found to have GD, Morgan would have test her blood sugar every couple of hours and live on a very restricted diet for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Telling a hormonal pregnant woman with an extra 50 lbs and three very active babies inside her that she can only have some lettuce and a lemon wedge is not the way to keep her happy!  Needless to say, we were hoping for a negative test result.

Morgan woke up at 5:30 to drink the nasty glucose drink and had her blood taken for the next 3 hours.....and she passed!   No Gestational Diabetes!!!   She proved the Doctors WRONG.....again......and then she promptly ate the snickers bar I left with her on Sunday!   HA. 

The doctor also tested Morgan for the presence of Fetal Fibronectin.  Fetal fibronectin (also known as fFN) is a “glue-like” protein that bonds the developing baby to the uterus.   Fetal fibronectin is detectable in the birth canal at the end of pregnancy when the body is getting ready to deliver the baby.  Having a positive test result for fFN means that you have a higher probability to deliver within the next two weeks.   Having a negative test result for fFN means that you have about a 1% chance of delivering within the next two weeks.   Doctors typically don't test women carrying multiples as they most often have a positive test result for fFN throughout their pregnancy so the test results are not necessarily determinative of impending birth.   Although Morgan is carrying (very active) triplets she beat the odds (again) and has NO fFN in the birth canal!!!   We hope that means that she is sailing through 29 weeks and on to 30.....Go M!

Very Big Weekend in the Princess say the least.....

Congratulations Sharlene and Tyler! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

28 Weeks (Hospital - 35 days) - Happy 11th Anniversary.

           Morgan                                                                            Jim  
       Thank you                                                                        Thank you 
 We made it to 28 weeks                                                   We made it 11 years 

Two of the most generous and loving people I know.  I am so grateful and thankful to have you in my life....forever.

I Love You

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

27 Weeks 3 days

Spent the weekend with Morgan (and the jelly beans) in San Diego.
Ursula is still in control and she let us know it Saturday night.
Morgan's contractions spiked so the doctor on call (more conservative than our regular doctor) increased her Magnesium from 3g to 4g for two hours.  This increase scared us all as we were told by one of the nurses that this hospital never goes above 3g of Mag.   We since learned that, on rare occasions, the doctors will increase Mag up to 6g....but only in very rare instances.   The two hour increase slowed everything way down for the rest of the weekend.

Morgan had a really good day on Sunday as her Mom, Dad and two brother-in-laws (well, one brother-in-law and one brother-in-law-to-be as of this saturday!) were in for a visit.   It was really nice to meet her Dad (whom we had never met) and to see how much he loves his daughter and how he respects her and is proud of what she is doing.   You never know how a surrogate's family is going to react to the news of her decision to be a surrogate.  After all, their daughter is going to put her life on hold (at minimum) or her health in danger (at worse) for strangers.   We were a little nervous to meet her Dad but quickly realized that he was just like the rest of the family.   As we have said many times on this blog, Morgan's entire family is wonderful.  They are supportive, loving, respectful people and have made us feel part of their family from the start.  We are really blessed to have them in our lives. 

Here is another belly shot of Morgan at 27 Weeks 3 Days
Two more days until 28 weeks!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Egg Donor

In most of the blogs we follow regarding Surrogacy, the focus is on the surrogate (for good reason) but rarely a mention of the Egg Donor.  However, in our case, a lot of people have asked us about our Egg Donor.  How did we choose her?  What did we look for in an egg donor?   Did we meet her in person or was it anonymous?  What does she look like etc etc.   To respect her privacy, we will not mention her name or show any photos.  However, given that without her, none of this would have been possible, we feel it's important to tell.that part of the story.

It all started a little over two years ago when Jim and I decided to move forward with surrogacy.  
We had already secured an amazing surrogate "CJ".  We had become good friends with her and her husband as she was the surrogate who carried twins for our friends D & R.  We knew immediately that we wanted to work with her if she wanted to work with us and we were thrilled when she offered to be our surrogate.  She stuck by us through not one, but TWO attempts from which we withdrew out of (my) panic.  UGH!  When we finally decided that we were really ready to move forward, she said that her surrogate days were over (and who could blame her after the roller coaster we put her on!) as she was going to start her own surrogate agency and would not have the time/energy to start a new business and be a surrogate.  We understood.  Although she isn't carrying our babies, we are very happy to say that CJ is still our good friend, the owner of our surrogate agency (Modern Family Surrogacy Center - we are her first clients) and the person who introduced us to Momo.   We owe a LOT to her and we love all that she has done for us....we will never forget our CJ!

Back to the Egg Donor:  Jim and I were given a catalog of available egg donors to pick through.  We decided to each pick our top 5 choices and go from there.   Although we each had different characteristics/criteria that we were looking for,  we both wanted someone smart, attractive, athletic and with a personality.  Basically, we wanted someone that we would want to hang out with.  Out of all the girls we looked at (and there were many), 3 girls were in each of our top 5 and we both picked one girl as our number 1!  Given that, we had to see if she would 'match' with us.  When we told CJ who we wanted, she was ecstatic.   CJ said she was perfect for us in that she was smart, had the sweetest personality of all the girls she had met before, and the added bonus was that she was beautiful inside and out.    Although some IP's (Intended Parents in the surrogacy world) don't want to meet their egg donor, Jim and I felt that it was really important to meet the woman who would provide the 'beginning' of our family.  Obviously, superficial characteristics (height, weight, race, eye color, hair color etc) are important to most people when choosing an egg donor.  But in our case, personality and disposition were equally important as we felt those characteristics would likely appear in our future children.   As they say, "The Apple doesn't fall far from the Tree".  Also, if our children were to ever ask us about who she is or what she was like, we wanted to be able to give them honest answers to their questions.  For all those reasons, we had to meet her in person if she would agree.

CJ organized a breakfast and we all met in San Diego one morning in August of last year.  We were SO nervous.   We wanted her to like us and we needed to like her.  When she arrived, we were immediately struck by how beautiful she was.   We wanted pretty but we got Hot!  We couldn't help but think how our kids might look if she were to be our egg donor.   I guess that's how it starts in the 'real world' so why would this be any different?    That said, during the course of the breakfast, her inner beauty was what sealed the deal for us.  She explained her personal reasons for egg donation and what it meant to her to be helping families like ours become a reality.   She talked about her family and her friends and how much they meant to her.  She talked about the loved ones in her life and how she wanted to be a mother herself one day.  Needless to say, we fell in love with her that day.  She has an amazing personality.  She is very fun and playful.  The kind of person that everyone wants to be friends with.   She is funny and likes to laugh.  And, although she is all but 5 ft nothing and 100 lbs dripping wet, the girl can eat a steak...for breakfast!  Ha  (coming from Oklahoma, that was important to me)  She has a kind, sensitive and thoughtful spirit and seems to put others before herself.  She is close to her family and friends and sees to it that they are having a good time when they are with her.   Basically, we had found the kind of girl you bring home to Mom (the old fashion way) and she was perfect. We were thrilled when she chose to work with us.   Since that day, we have kept in touch.   She is, and will always be, a part of our lives.

CJ, Momo and our egg donor have given us THE most amazing gift and we will never forget who they are and what they represent in our lives and the lives of our children.   God Bless These Women. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

27 Weeks (Hospital - 28 days)

We have made it to 27 weeks with one week to go until we reach our current goal of 28 weeks!   Momo is doing great.  We had a little scare Sunday night as "Ursula" (Morgan's name for her uterus) got a little angry and started acting up.  Seems Ursula was contracting on regular intervals and, where Morgan hadn't felt any contractions since being admitted, she was feeling contractions this time.  The Dr ordered her Magnesium increased from 2.5 to 3.0 (which is the highest it can go).   After an uncomfortable night Sunday,  Ursula calmed down and the contractions have all but stopped again.  Whew!   They say this is going to be a roller coaster from here on out, and they are Right!   After having such a great ultrasound on Sunday, we were all very excited about the progress we were making and then Ursula let us all know that SHE is in charge here....!

Morgan took it all in stride (natch) and is back on her regular schedule.   Cora/Maria from Modern Family had to reschedule their weekly Movie Night with Morgan due to Ursula's temper tantrum but they are back on for Thursday night.  The Hospital food is still terrible.  When you have three babies to feed, you need up to 4000 calories a day....and Momo isn't getting that so we now have people signing up to take Morgan food on a daily basis so she has something to look forward to!

Thank you to those that have reached out to Momo by email ( !.   Keep them coming.  Although she can't respond (it's really uncomfortable to email while on your side/back), she reads every one and they have really brightened up her days/weeks in the hospital.  

This Monday is Labor Day or, in our case "No Labor Day", and we will be celebrating with Morgan in San Diego.   Hope you all have a safe/happy holiday.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Momo/Ultrasound/NICU Tour/Happy Birthdays

Introducing MOMO!

Isn't she stunning!!!!

Jim and I spent the weekend in San Diego visiting Momo.   She looks fantastic and we are still So Amazed at her attitude.   Although hospital bed rest cannot be easy, she makes it look so.   She has some excellent nurses taking care of her and her positive attitude is seen by everyone.   At one point, we were laughing so hard, we were told we needed to 'keep it down'....although i secretly think the nurses really like all the commotion in Momo's room as the other 'residents' of her floor are typically rather somber, depressed, angry or sad.   Momo smiles and laughs with everyone who comes into her room (otherwise known as The Princess Suite) so she get's lots of attention and we are happy about that.   She does have One Rule though:  To Enter Here,  You Must Bring Food!     So take note if you are visiting.....  HA.

Dr D came to see her yesterday and decided it was time for another ultrasound.  (We hadn't seen the babies since the 25th of July, so we were very excited to see how they were doing and how Momo's cervix was holding up after the surgery).   Dr was very happy to see that all the babies are weighing in at a little over 2 lbs each.   Baby A (girl) is still sitting very low on M's cervix.   Baby B (boy) has now turned breach and baby C (girl) has turned head down.   Each baby has plenty of fluid surrounding them (a good thing) and all baby's heart rates/growth rates are perfectly on schedule.   M says Baby girls A and C are the most active and Baby boy B is very chill (that is, until the heart monitors go on and he runs for the hills!)

The BEST news is that Morgan's cervix has doubled in size since the surgery!   Her cervix is measuring at 2.4 bed rest is really working for her and all the babies.   We were all very happy about that news and feel that we are going to be in good shape over the next few weeks while the babies continue to grow/develop.

We were pushing for M to have wheelchair privileges but the Dr said "not until 28 weeks"   We love our Dr D and, although M was disappointed, we know that he has Momo, the jelly beans and peanut's best interests at heart and 28 weeks is only 10 days away.   That said, he did allow us all to take the NICU tour so M could get out of her room for a half hour or so.

The NICU tour was enlightening, scary and sweet at the same time.   There were some very sick babies in there which was hard to see but the nurses are SO passionate about what they do, you could tell that all the babies were very well cared for (and Loved).   Each baby has it's own team of 2 specialized nurses at any one time who rotate on 12 hour shifts.  One Neonatalogist and one Anesthesiologist are on duty 24 hours a day so these babies have everything they need.   Although the NICU can be a very scary place, we felt comfortable knowing that if our babies have to spend time there, they will be in The Best place they could possibly be to get well enough to come home to us......

Happy 12th Birthday to my niece Madison yesterday, Happy Birthday to Bubbles today and a very Happy Birthday tomorrow to my partner, my love and A, B and C's Daddy.  Love you all. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

26 Weeks (Hospital - 21 days)

Here we are at 26 weeks!!!!! Morgan is still a Rock Star and handling everything (except the terrible hospital food) very well. Contractions have slowed or are non-existent and that is great news. Cora and all the girls from Modern Family Surrogacy Center (THE Best in the business in my opinion) have been taking care of her in our absence and doing an Amazing job I might add!

Vacation has been great but really missed being close to Morgan and the jelly beans so I am heading back from the East Coast early to avoid Irene and to see them all on Saturday!!!!

So happy to report that all is calm in our world at the moment. Next goal is 28 weeks!!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

25 Weeks (Hospital - 14 days)

Yesterday we were 25 weeks along. Morgan is doing great and settling in for what is hopefully a long stay. Jim and I are on the east coast for what is likely our last vacation for a while. All is good and stable in our world. Thank you to those who have reached out to us and to Morgan. Your support means to world to all of us. Next stop is 26 weeks!!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

24 Weeks (Hospital - 7 days)

We have made it through the first 'milestone' of 24 weeks when most doctors feel the babies are considered 'viable' and could live outside the womb.   Of course we hope to go the distance but it is nice to breathe a little easier knowing that we have reached 24.  Morgan is stable with 4 or so contractions per monitoring hour.   She cannot feel the contractions which the doctor says is good news.  He says that if Morgan were at home, rather than in the hospital (where they know everything), she wouldn't even know the contractions were there so he isn't concerned at the number.  He will be more concerned if the number or the intensity increases.   Rather than look so far ahead to 34 weeks, he (and we) are looking at 2 week goals.   Our first goal is to get to 26 weeks and we all think that is possible.   Morgan is still strong and chill and we are confident that the doctors are taking excellent care of her and that she is in the best hands.  So wish us luck as we move on to 26!

Don't forget to email Morgan at

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Momo Bear []

JR and I get a lot of questions about the surrogate process… one of the most common is “How did you select your surrogate?”    I think what they really mean is “what do two gay men know about what it takes to carry a baby?”  Well we didn’t know very much that is true.  Other than medical history, previous pregnancies, and personality, we weren’t sure what else to consider.
We first met Morgan over the phone in January while we were on a ski vacation in Deer Valley.   She seemed very nice but I didn’t get too attached as I was still skeptical whether we were really following through this time (we got cold feet just before the previous TWO transfers… but that story will be told in another LONG blog entry).  As JR and I kept pushing the baby train forward, we decided to meet Morgan and invited her and her 6 year old son Robby to come stay with us in LA for the weekend.   When JR bent down to shake Robby’s hand, Robby said “I’m a hugger!” and proceeded to wrap his little arms around JR's waist.  At that point,we were hooked!  Anyone who could raise such an adorable boy like Robby is good enough for us.  Morgan is an amazing mother and you can tell that by the relationship she has with her son so we knew immediately that we had found our surrogate mother...and a bonus surrogate brother.  Our baby train was now full steam ahead. 
Up next for Morgan were weeks of daily shots (with long scary needles), oral meds, blood work, and many doctor visits but never a complaint.  Then the transfer of embryos, three days of complete bed rest, the surprise of triplets, and the months of morning sickness and never a complaint.  Then this past Saturday, when the doctor recommended an emergency cerclage (or corsage as “Bubbles” likes to call it) to keep those babies in, she was onboard 100% and said she would do whatever it takes to save the babies.   And yet still, after the drama of the surgery and the realization that her next 10+ weeks would be spent lying on her side in a hospital bed, she NEVER complained.  She would miss back-to-school shopping with Robby, afternoon swims in her backyard pool, baby showers in LA, and most importantly, standing up as the Maid of Honor at her sister’s wedding.  Ugh, we feel horrible and yet she is taking it all in stride.   She is disappointed, we know that.  But she is confident, resilient and strong in her conviction that our babies need her more now than ever and she is going to make sure she gives them everything they need until they are ready to meet the world.
Needless to say there were a lot of tears this past weekend.  Tears worrying about Morgan, about our babies and the pregnancy, but also tears of gratitude and pride that Morgan is our surrogate.   Thank you Momo.   You have shown us the true meaning of “Surrogacy” for not only are you carrying our children, but you are carrying our hearts.   We Love You.
So, in answer to the question: “How do you select your surrogate?”.  The answer is you look for a Mama Bear (or in our case a Momo Bear!)  You look for someone willing to protect her babies at all costs and has a family behind her who believes and supports all that she is doing.   JR and I didn’t realize how much Mama Bear we really had in Morgan until this past weekend.  We hit the jackpot with her and her entire family.   They are all sacrificing SO much to keep our babies safe and protected and we couldn’t be more grateful.
If you want to reach out to our Momo Bear and share your stories, or just wish her well and keep her entertained, we have set up a special email account for her to hear from you.     Please feel free to email her at  Help us to keep her spirits up and to remain strong.  She’ll be lovin on those three babies before you know it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Momo. . . and the (not so) Angry Uterus. . .

Just a brief update for those that don't know.   Morgan is in the hospital on bed rest but thankfully is doing great.   She had her 23 week appointment last Thursday and the doctor discovered that her cervix had shortened from 3.9 cm the week before to 1.5 cm.   She wasn't experiencing any contractions (or so we thought), but the doctor admitted her into the hospital immediately for observation.   The hospital nurses immediately set her up on monitors where it was discovered that she was having contractions (4 or more per hour).   The doctor put her on medication to stop the contractions and quiet her uterus down.  Friday afternoon she was still having contractions so he decided to wait another day before determining the course of action to take.

Jim and I drove down very early Saturday morning and arrived before Morgan woke up.   She was groggy and nauseous with all the meds but was in generally good spirits all things considered.   The doctor took another look and said her cervix had shorted to 1.2cm.  Since Morgan couldn't feel the contractions, the doctor didn't feel that they were strong enough to cause the cervix to shorten.  His conclusion was that the issues she was having were the result of an 'incompetent cervix'.   Had he known this, he would have put in a precautionary cerclage (a stitch to keep the cervix closed) around week 14 - 16 as waiting any longer brings greater risks.   Since we were at 23 weeks + 2 days gestation, he was conflicted.  He said due to risks and liability, 8 of 10 doctors would not perform a cerclage this late but he felt that if it were his own wife/child, he would go for it. 

We had two choices:  to 'wait and see' OR try the cerclage.   If we chose the first option, we risked that Morgan's cervix would continue to shorten and eventually her water would break and the babies would be born.  If we chose the cerclage, we risked infection to Morgan and/or the babies, risked a perforation of Morgan's bladder or risked rupture of one of the baby's membranes/sac and Morgan would go into labor immediately.   Since the earliest the babies are viable is 24 weeks, we were more likely to lose the babies if she went into labor this soon so neither choice was clear.

Jim and I looked at Morgan and she turned to the doctor and said "do whatever you need to do to keep the babies inside".   She said she was 'not going to give birth to the babies this early'.   She had no idea but her statement brought us to our knees.   We were so humbled by her at that moment and to this day don't know where her strength came from as we were all terrified of what might happen in the next few hours.   That said, she was adamant that it was the right decision and with Morgan's conviction, the doctor's confidence and our feeling that we would regret not doing 'everything' we could to save our children, we all gave our consent to perform the surgery.

After an hour and a half of waiting, worrying, talking to Morgan's mom, to Bubbles and to my mom, the doctor came out of surgery and told us that he was very pleased with the result.  He said the next 24 or 48 hours would be telling as Morgan's uterus would be 'very angry' and that she could expect a lot of cramping, contractions and pain/discomfort.   Although he was pleased with the surgery, we would just have to wait to see if the cerclage was successful.   Needless to say, we were relieved but still worried of what the next 24 - 48 hours would bring.  Would the cerclage hold and just how angry would her uterus be?

After a few hours we got a call from Morgan that she was awake and ready for us to come back in.   Fearing that she would be in extreme pain, we cautiously went back in.....only to find her in a great mood with color in her skin and a SMILE on her face!!!  What?   Jim and I were pale as ghosts and here she was a few hours post surgery and smiling!   She said that she 'could tell they did something down there' but she wasn't in that much pain....only some discomfort.   Wow.  This woman is a Rock Star! 

Sunday morning Morgan called us first thing and said she only had ONE contraction during the night and she was hungry!   Those were THE best words we have ever heard.   We arrived with breakfast and she looked Great!   The first thing she said was "What Angry Uterus?   Take that Dr. D!"  Ha  Leave it to Morgan to find humor in all this!   Although she will most likely be in the hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy, she is in good spirits and committed to keeping the babies in for as long as she possibly can and we are so thankful that we have this hurdle behind us. 

We drove home last night thinking that we were the luckiest guys in the world to have the team we have behind us..... Our children are already so loved and supported by amazing family and friends, an incredible and talented doctor and, most importantly,  a wonderful, supportive, committed woman who we are so very proud to say is not only our friend but a member of our family.
This weekend Morgan showed us the true meaning of Love.   They say "Love Makes a Family" and Morgan is forever a member of ours.    

Monday, August 1, 2011

PLEASE. . . PLEASE. . . PLEASE. . . .NO MINI-VAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There, I said it....I''m putting it out into the UNIVERSE.
I'm hoping that someone, some 'Higher Power', hears me, grants this wish and convinces Jim that a MV (I can't even say the name) is a BIG MISTAKE!
I see all these other dads of multiples buying the Ford Expedition, the Mercedes/Lexus SUV or the Toyota Sequoia (my favorite).   All are great cars that will carry us and our circus act and still have room for the strollers, the diaper bag, the snack bag and Grandma,  Momo or Bubbles when they visit!
So do you think we could pick one of those great choices? NO!    Jim wants a mini-van period end-of-discussion.  Really?!?!  Can I bribe him into another choice?  um NO!
He has gone so far as to have narrowed "his" search down to the Toyota Sienna or the Honda Odyssey.   I guess the AMC Pacer and the Ford Pinto were no longer in production!   He says he will pick Black just to make it more 'cool'.......UGG
Isn't there a Porsche 4 seat passenger car we could outfit to accommodate us?   How about a BMW X 5 with a roof rack for the snack pack and Bubbles??? ha
I'm just hoping that Jim changes his mind and goes for something more.....well, I would say 'practical' but then that would BE the mini-van.  Maybe I'm hoping that he goes for something more.....affordable (ok - mini-van) or fuel efficient (Gawd - mini-van).  Is there really no other choice???
Ok, so I know having triplets is suppose to make me more responsible and mature...but truthfully, I just can't bring myself to the realization that we are quickly becoming 'those people' .......and you know what I'm talking about.  There has to be another way.  We papa/dad combos are usually known for our fashion, our design sense and our style.....and a mini-van just doesn't fit!
So, unless I can convince him otherwise, I am looking at a minimum of 60 months of hard labor in mini-van prison...
Where is Carson Kressley or Nate Berkus when I need them?   I'm sure they could whip up an alternative to the mini-van in two seconds and save me from the inevitable.....Oh well, I can wish can't I?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bubbles, Momo, Momo's Mama and the 20 week ultrasound. . .

I have been getting lots of angry emails about my posting habits (or lack thereof) so I thought I would combine a few posts into one.  So here goes:  

"Auntie" Bubbles (see prior post) came for a visit last week.   We couldn't wait to see her.  For years I have been referred to as Bubbles' "Second Husband" or her "Gay Husband".   Bubbles says "the role of the Second husband is to take care of me if anything ever happens to Fly Daddy" (see prior post).   That seems fair enough except Bubbles has a very nice life!!  Fly Daddy takes really really good care of her .  Needless to say, I am praying nothing ever happens to Fly Daddy not only because we love him too but because with three babies to care for I 'm not sure I can keep Bubbles in the lifestyle to which she has become very very accustomed.....   We always have fun with Bubbles (and lot's of champagne) when she is here and this trip was no exception.   In fact, Bubbles started her trip with a pub crawl in her local airport and by the time she landed, she was on a roll!   It didn't hurt that she was traveling with her friend (a mom with 3 boys under the age of 4) who knows how to appreciate her time away!    Since Jim had a business meeting, Bubbles and I went out to dinner.  We started talking about the babies and before you knew it we both started crying.  Oh Gawd, not a public cry!  And it wasn't a pretty cry either...I mean, c'mon, Bubbles had mascara rolling down her face in the middle of the freaking restaurant!  After we collected ourselves, we started laughing because we overheard the ladies next to us comment that 'we must be having marital problems!'   I just knew at any moment Bubbles was going to lean over and say "Oh we're having marital problems alright because my husband here is Gay and is now having triplets with his Husband!"   Ha!   That was just one of the many stories we had with Bubbles during her week here shopping for the babies, crying about the babies, having boozy lunches, more shopping for the babies, more crying and more boozy lunches.   Although we can do without the crying, we can't wait for Bubbles to come back and visit us!

We also had our 20 week ultrasound last week and everything looked good.   I think we scared the technician with all the people we had in tow.   Of course Bubbles cried within minutes of seeing 'her babies' for the first time....although it was a pretty cry this time.   Morgan, who is affectionately called "Momo" by her nephews,  looked great!  She looked so cute in her maternity dress.....and we just can't get over that baby belly!   We think the name "Momo" is perfect for her and we hope she let's the jelly beans and peanut call her Momo too.  Morgan's Mama came to the appointment and got to see the babies for the first time too.  We had actually met Momo's Mama last week when we surprised her by showing up at David's Bridal while she was shopping for her other daughter's wedding.   I walked up behind her and told her that I didn't think that color was right for her!   HA  It was like a bad ambush reality a cross between "Queer Eye" and "Say Yes to the Dress".  Well she gave me a look that I will never forget.   Like she thought we were some bad wedding stylists there to ruin her good time.  Her look even caused Jim to hide behind a row of wedding dresses thinking I had the wrong woman!  After a little back/forth, we all had a good laugh after we told her that we were the ones that got her daughter pregnant!  We also got to meet Momo's younger sisters (twins) who couldn't have been more sweet.  Although Jim and I were nervous at first, we fell in love with the whole family immediately.  They have truly embraced us and it feels great.   Since Momo's Mama carried twins herself, she knows a thing or two about multiples.  It was great having her at the ultrasound and  it was cute when Morgan told her mom that she had 'one upped' her with carrying triplets!   Speaking of the trips, they are about a pound each and all are growing at the same rate/size  The jelly beans (A and )B are head down and peanut (C) is head up.  

Morgan is really starting to feel them all kick and move now which makes this all the more real for Jim and I.   This week we say Thank You to Bubbles, Momo, Momo's Mama and the rest of her family for all they have done for us.  Without them, we wouldn't be enjoying this process as much as we have been and because of them, all is good in triplet world.

Until next time.... 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Grandma. . .

Of the many changes a pregnancy can bring, one is the new relationship you begin to have with your family. Taking on the role of a father brings a new sense of appreciation for your parents and all that they did for you growing up. To that end, my mom and I have become much much closer since she found out that we were having a baby (triplets about sent her over the edge...but that's another story).   I suppose that she had all but given up on the idea that she would have grandchildren from me so the minute she found out about our family, "Grandma" kicked into high gear!!!

You see, shortly after we told her our news, we received the following in the mail:

Mom made the burp pads in the back right.

Then, a couple of weeks later, we received this:

If that weren't enough, we received this a few weeks after that:

She made the 3 quilts in the front and all the receiving blankets in the back!

Mom said: "Well, I just couldn't resist. Kohl's has their Senior Citizen Discount on Wednesdays and they were also having a huge baby I just picked up a few things for the babies!" Ha! A FEW things? I love my mom and her generosity knows no end but our kids are going to be spoiled by her definition of a 'few'! Ha! I don't know if she learned this as a way of survival growing up with 7 brothers and sisters (she was next to the youngest)! or whether she learned to stock up in "Mom School", but either way, we have never been without. My mom is always one to plan ahead to make sure that the family has what they need and she is always there in any way she can to help so it’s no surprise that she is there for us as we prepare to become dads.

Jim and I worried (see former blog post) about whether it was right for two men to have kids. After some real soul searching, we came to the conclusion that all kids really need is Love. We have plenty of love to give....and, from the looks of it, our kids have a Grandma who already loves them as much as we do. Jim lost his mother a little over a year ago. We can't help but think she too would have been right there with my mom…. buying at Kohls on Wednesday's and sending her treasures our way.

Thank God for Grandmas and Thank God for Mom's.....ours have taught us a lot about compassion, commitment, understanding and most of all "Love". For that we are extremely grateful and humbled.... Thank you Grandma. . .

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Recap: Triplet Boot Camp.... Wow, where to start….

Part of the fun of being pregnant is getting to share the news with people.  The fun is more than just sharing our excitement, but also watching their reaction after announcing that “we’re pregnant!....with triplets!”.   Their face typically turns from joy to shock/horror.  Should we be scared?  What do they know that we don’t?    Their fear is likely the same as ours…. the unknown.   What better way to calm those fears (in theory) than to spend a day in the shoes of triplet parents.  And so began the concept of Triplet Boot Camp.
JR and I were invited by parents (“M” and “A”) of 10mo old triplet girls last Saturday to work and learn.  We arrived bearing coffee/pastries at 8:30am and within minutes were on the floor with their girls.  Our first lesson was “stranger anxiety” as the girls were trying to figure out who these strange guys/novices were.  Seriously, was it that obvious?   They decided to put us through our first test:  a chorus of crying and some spit up.  We managed to stumble through the test and all eventually calmed down (the babies did too).  Ok, that wasn’t so difficult.   Lesson #1:   Remain calm and confident.  Babies can & will sense your fear.
Next was putting them down for their 10am nap:  checking diapers, zipping into sleeping sacks, starting the white noise on the Ipod.  No fussing?  That was too easy.  Can’t imagine all 10mo old infants go down that easy.  Was it beginners luck, excellent parenting or just sweet natured babies?    I think it’s a combination of all the above.  All I know is that I hope ours will be as easy.  Lesson #1002:   Love a sleep sack.  Wonder if they come in my size (oh yeah, it’s called a Snuggie)
Getting to know “M” and “A” was awesome.   We have so much in common (other than just triplets).  What struck me was how easy they made parenting look.  Triplets are often referred to as “super twins”, which I guess infers they are the offspring of super parents.  Or perhaps it takes a super parent to raise them.  All I know is that these super daddies have it figured out; from strict scheduling to homemade baby food & wipes.  To video monitors, triple eating table (brilliant!), and all the priceless time to spend with their babies.   Lesson # 1208:  We have LOTS to learn from them.
After spending some time getting to know each other, baby duty started back at 11:30 by getting them up from their nap and changing my first diaper.!!! (Not sure why everyone is surprised that I’ve never changed a diaper until this very moment.)   My baby was calm and patient, staring at the mobile while I stumbled thru a FULL diaper (thank you sweetie), wipes, diaper cream, and wrapping a tight-ish diaper.  It wasn’t my best work but it should hold a blowout.  Lesson #1498:  With girls, wipe front to back. 
Next, the girls were fed lunch.   The babies are fed in a triple high chair of sorts.  Picture a Formica table with adjustable legs, 3 cutouts in the table top with drop-in seats, all facing the same direction.  We slid the babies into their seats and watched them get ready to eat (OMG how adorable).   “A” was amazing,  giving each a generous helping of puréed vegetables and praising the girls for a job well done.   Very good eaters and good sleepers… maybe these really are super  twins!  Again, couldn’t help but hope ours will be the same.   Lesson #1765:  Homemade baby food is found online but I think “A” has a second career coming with a baby cookbook!
With the babies fed and dressed, it was now time for the daddies to have lunch…in town!  WHAT?   We are leaving the house???  OMG!   So off we went strapping the triple stroller to the top of the SUV, 3 stroller seats inside the SUV, 3 babies into their car seats, (all while keeping cool  in the 100+ temps).   A true production, but manageable (we could do this! maybe).  The real production is the amount of attention that 3 babies get in public!   Of course who couldn’t resist three adorable babies dressed in matching pretty dresses??  Once settled at the table in their high chairs, the girls (all of 9+ months old) were absolute angels (yes, they must definitely be super twins).  I was amazed at this to say the least but I was more surprised by the forwardness of passers-by who could not help themselves from questions & comments.  Don’t get me wrong, it was all very sweet and positive.  These weren’t even my children but I was totally proud to be associated with them.  Although felt bad for “M” and “A” who could barely finish a bite before fielding another question.   Lesson#2155:  Patience is critical:  Not only for the babies but for the well-meaning public as well. 
Once back at home, we unload the babies from the SUV, then unload the diapers before going down for their next nap (sounded like a good idea for me also, but I digress…).  We talked about what happens after they’re born, the NICU, night nurse / doula for the first few months, then a nanny going forward.  The more time we spent with the triplets and their parents, the more confident we became that we could manage our own.  The unknown is becoming more familiar.  Lesson #3225:  Three babies at once ARE doable if you have the right attitude and the cooperation of your partner.  I think we have both.
Before we knew it, it was dinner time!   JR and I feel like pros by now.  Little instruction needed as we get the babies up, changed, and into their feeding table.  The girls loved eating pureed broccoli and salmon.   JR feeds, I wipe faces.   Lesson #4731:  Teamwork is critical (as is “A”’s recipe for broccoli-salmon!)
After dinner we all had swim time!   Outfit change into swim diapers (who knew?) and THE most adorable 2 piece bathing suits (well, just the girls as JR forgot his two piece) completed the package.  The girls have been taking swim lessons and anxious to show off their skills like floating on their back followed by a roll under water.  Yep, these girls have skills!
Bath time was next.  Now, this activity is an assembly line.  With spa music in the background, each baby gets special attention from bath to lotion from “A” and “M” (amazing to see) before their last bottle of the day.   While I get comfortable in the glider (nice!) with one of my 3 new bff’s, the lights are turned down and the music turns soft.   A beautiful quiet comes over the room.  Just “M”,”A”,  JR and I with 3 of the most adorable children I have ever had the privilege of getting to know.   It was truly a beautiful/emotional end to a wonderful day.  Bottles are done, babies are burped, sleep sack, white noise for the night and before you know it, Boot Camp is done.   NO!   I wanna spend more time with the girls!!!  Lesson #6798:  The days will go by quickly (as with their growing up) so cherish each day on its own.  
Though we were strangers at first, as the day wore on the smiles got a little wider and the hugs got a little tighter  and the laughs got a little louder (and I’m not just referring to the girls).  We completely  fell in love with that family that day and we missed them the next.  People often say that taking care of children is a lot of work.  That may be true.   But if JR and I can work as a team like “M” and “A”, the work will be manageable and the payoff will be WAY worth it. 
Lesson # 9209:  We went into this weekend hoping to learn how to take care of triplets but what we came away with was an experience we will never forget, friends we hope to have for a lifetime and the knowledge that our children will change our lives in ways we never expected…..And We Can’t wait!