Current Child Count

  • HOGAR DE AMOR I: 11 babies
  • HOGAR DE AMOR II: 6 boys
  • HOGAR DE AMOR III: 8 girls

Friday, March 12, 2010

first hours

Ohh there's so much to write about, but the trips are a full time job, besides the fact that I have two other full time jobs right now and it's my team's week to play at church.....

But in between feedings and work and phone calls, here's some of the highlights of yesterday!

These first 24 hours have been amazing! What a privilege to dress the three for the first time, to get to ask questions and learn all the details of the social story and medical history, and then carry them out of the hospital room! We were such an entourage - hospital staff, social services staff, my staff, and family memers - that people stopped whatever they were doing to watch us and wish the babies well.

First picture!! (by us anyway)

last hospital feeding before leaving

finishing via feeding tube (doesn't Tia Roxana look like a pro?)

Dressing "T2"

Gathering in the hall to leave, asking if there was an alternate route to escape the press

Maria snapped this picture - I felt so bonded with Baby #1, carrying her out of the hospital to my car in the big official procession. :)

Then there was the press! Even though no one announced the time we had settled on to pick up the babies, camera crews were already at the hospital covering the hunger strike going on in the entrance (yep, the hospital was actually closed), and I guess someone spilled the beans. We were filmed as we finished dressing the babies, as we walked to the elevator...and then they were waiting below when the elevator door opened! They followed us out to my car, which a volunteer had pulled up to the ER exit for us so that we could make a quick get away! We packed my car, as well as a taxi, and were off. We were barely home and staff started to call to say we were on the news.

After such a momentous arrival, the hard work began! Last night I had to run by the bridge kids, lead rehearsal at church, and buy a med for the triplets, but my mind is squarely in the pretty room we've set up (pictures to follow).

Getting their care all organized and set up has been a big project. I'm still getting the hang of it and figuring out the best way to clearly record everything. The babies are on several different supplements and medications, besides the feedings every two hours. Elena formatted a couple charts, and as I've added on we are currently recording: weight, temperature, feedings and how it went (each one receives a different amount), diaper changes, 3 medications, and night shifts! One day, once we're more into the routine and I can do it from memory (hopefully?!), I'll record a 24 hour schedule here so you can see what it's like: life with triplets!!

There was one moment yesterday when, uncharacteristically, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the myriad of details of their care. Just a few minutes after touching them for the first time as they lay in the hospital heating bed and it was still sinking in "there are THREE!" and "yikes, they still have feeding tubes!", I was handed 3 medical reports by my friend who just happens to be a neonatologist at the hospital. It's interesting how different this whole situation has been compared to the many other times when we've taken in preemies. Since the babies are famous in Bolivia and we were specifically chosen by authorities to care for them until the family is able to take over, it's just a whole lot of responsibility. I have a very dedicated team giving their all as well, apart from caring for the other 36 kids.

This is how I did the night feedings alone! The hand I was using for my camera was feeding the baby on the right via her feeding tube. (Elena, Katrina, Savannah, are you taking notes?! Just kidding...we'll learn from each other! But take it from me, by early morning and no sleep, I realized that organization is key, so as not to lose track of who and what and how much!)

So as it happened, I was the first person to care for them alone/all night straight out of the hospital (partially because I wanted to and partially because no other volunteer was available)...which means that I really feel like I'm in a dream now since I can count on one hand the hours of sleep I've had the past couple of nights. :)

I was busy making charts until 1:30am, and then was busy basically one hour out of every two preparing bottles/feeding tubes, feeding, then cleaning up, but the hot room and mosquitos made sure I didn't sleep in between. Of course I was listening to the babies too. Oh and there was the midnight run to the hospital for Baby #2's feeding tube to be reinserted!! At 2:45, I realized that Baby #1 had lost hers as well, but she is the best drinker so I insisted really hard all night and got her to take 90% via bottle, yeah!! The scariest was when Baby #3 developed a pretty high fever and had several crying jabs starting at 5:30am. I'm pleased to report that we finally got it down by mid-morning, and without meds. So each baby gave me a little bit of trouble last night, hehe.

It's nearly 1pm which means feeding time (surprise, surprise), so I'll just leave it at that for now!


Elena :) said...

this does not make me nervous for tonight at ALL!

Jennifer T. said...

Oh Elena, you made me laugh! :) You'll be perfectly fine...and the tias are just across the hall. Okay, my room is just across too, LOL!

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Oh how I wish that I could jump on a plane and come help you! When my kids are grown, I think that will be my calling ... traveling the world to take care of babies.

Next time I head to Argentina, I'll see about taking a side trip your way. :)

When my twins were born, my "older kids" were just 2, 3, 4 ... so I have experience taking care of a handful of little ones. I didn't have any "aunties" to help out, either.

Praying for sleep ... helpers ... organization ... and God's PEACE for you.


Laurel :)

Gallo Pinto2 said...

Oh man...I want a night turn with them! I'm dying being so far away...

and Ericko...did he need stitches? My poor baby!

Loving the posts about las trillizas de oro!

jag said...

You already sound like a pro at this triplet thing! Way to go on the first night!