Saturday, May 29, 2010

32 Week Milestone!!!

We have made it to 32 weeks, which is a HUGE milestone for the babies' development! The average length of holding triplets is 32 weeks, so we are doing very well. At this point, the babies should have developed the ability to breathe, although if they were to be born, they could still require breathing help, just not as extensive.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dr. Appt.

I had another appointment with my doctor yesterday. I am now seeing her on a weekly basis, just as a precaution to make sure everything is OK. When I see her, they do an ultrasound first, just to be able to find all of the heartbeats. The babies have moved positions a little and now the boy is kind of in front of baby girl C. It's hard to explain, but they have definitely been CRAZY active in the past couple of days! All heartbeats looked great and doctor said everything else looks good. One thing she does want to continuously monitor is my blood pressure. A typical problem for mothers of multiples when they get farther along in their pregnancy is developing pre-eclampsia (this could happen with moms of singletons, but happens more frequently with more babies present). This is a condition where the mother's blood pressure becomes dangerously high and the only way to help lower it is to deliver the babies. Thankfully, my blood pressure has always been normal (120/70 yesterday), and we hope it continues that way.

Quick update on my sister ~ she hit her 28th week mark yesterday and had a doctor's appointment also. Everything with her little boy is looking well also! She is carrying him very low and the doctor told her the baby is using her belly as a hammock and just "hanging out." We are so blessed that both of our pregnancies have been so uneventful. We're hoping that continues for another month :) Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, May 24, 2010

End in Sight!

I received a phone call today to schedule my C-section!!! The big day will be June 29th, if the babies can wait that long. (if it would have been scheduled one day later, Al and I would get 3 babies on our 3rd anniversary!) At that point, I will be 36 weeks and 4 days...WOW! If I counted right, that is another 35 days or so. The call caught me completely off-guard and while I have known that the babies truly could come any day now, having a definite end to this journey was quite overwhelming. Knowing Al and I will be responsible for three of God's beautiful creations is so emotional and something we don't take lightly.

I have been doing really well so far, but I am afraid the heat may become a killer :( Yesterday's main goal was getting my rings off. With some ice and Windex, the mission was accomplished a half hour later. Hopefully I can manage some sort of comfort level!

Friday, May 21, 2010

31 Weeks!

NICU tour

Al and I had a tour of the NICU since it is highly probable that at least one of the babies will be in the NICU. I was highly impressed and feel much better about the babies having to go there. The wing was remodeled within the last two years, and everything seems really nice. Each room has a maximum of two incubators for the babies. They do have two special "quad" rooms where there are two rooms connected with an adjoining door, like in a hotel. If all three babies needed to be in the NICU, they would give us one of those rooms. Each room is kind of like a "suite." It has one or two recliners with a hide-away bed. Visitors must be accompanied by the parents and wash their hands before they enter the ward, but they are welcome, with the exception of anyone under age 15. With that being said, I do hope Al and I get some time to bond with our new family before there are too many people wanting to meet the new Gahler's. After the visit, the NICU seems much less scary and I feel relieved to know what we could be looking at in the near future. (Although hopefully we won't have to visit their!)


Normally I try to keep a pretty positive attitude, but I do need to take a moment to vent about something that continues to irk me. I get the impression that people in the medical profession feel that their time is more important than everyone else's. Yesterday I made an appointment with MFM at 8:30, thinking that since I was the first one of the day, I would not have to wait long...WRONG! A half hour later, I was finally seen. Then today, I had an eye doctor appointment at 8:15, knowing I was the first one, even on the sign in sheet. I did not see the doctor until an hour and a half later. A regular checkup should not have to take 2 hours!!! I understand that as the day continues, doctors may get a little behind, but starting the first appointment of the day out late puts everyone behind for the whole day. How frustrating :(

Thursday, May 20, 2010

All 4 of Us are doing WELL!!!

We had a huge day of doctor's appointments today! We started the morning off getting the 4-week measurement ultrasound at MFM. I was very excited about this appointment to see how the babies were growing. Below shows their approx. weights 4 weeks ago, and then today.

Baby A - 2 lb. 3 oz. - 3 lbs. 5 oz.
Baby B - 2 lb. - 3 lbs. 6 oz.
Baby C - 2 lbs. 1 oz. - 3 lbs. 6 oz.

These weights are AWESOME! There is very little discrepancy between babies and they are all on track for if there were only one baby. If you add them all up, you can see I have over 10 pounds of baby! The lady said everything looked so good, and my body must be made to carry multiples. The fluid around each baby looks great and their movement looks active as always. She also said that she could tell baby C was practicing breathing! She said she is doing this a little early, but that's a good thing!

The next appointment was with Dr. Kanios. She is basically just checking blood pressure, weight, and looking at my belly. She is very happy with everything and expressed how well everything is going. She did measure my belly, which is subjective, but according to her I am measuring about 40 weeks (I'm 31 tomorrow). She also mentioned that she talked with the specialists and they will not let me go over 36 weeks. That means babies will be here no later then June 25th - YIKES!

Last, we went back to MFM for the non-stress test. During the time I was hooked up to the monitors I did not have any real contractions. When the test is being done, the nurse looks at the heartbeats compared to the babies' movements. At 32 weeks, the baby's heart rate should increase at least 15 beats per minute when the baby moves. She was looking for an increase of 5-10 beats per minute since I am only 31 weeks. After the test, she was very impressed because all of the babies' beats were increasing well over 15 beats. YES! These babies are overachievers :)

Overall, it was a very long day, but between all the appointments I was able to get some errands ran. Tomorrow brings another big day as I have an eye doctor's appointment and then am going to tour the NICU (newborn intensive care unit).

Monday, May 17, 2010


Q - Are you comfortable?
A - Please walk to your pantry, strap 5 10lb. bags of sugar on your belly equivalent to the 50 extra pounds I am carrying, put a clothespin on your nose since I can only breathe half as much, then stay awake for 24 hours with only a couple of 1 hour naps. Then you can tell me how comfortable you are :) With that being said, I am trying my best not to complain because it is such a blessing and I truly do want the babies to stay put for a few more weeks.

Q - How long will the doctor let you go?
A - As long as I can at this point! If we get to 35 weeks, we may start discussing options, but until then, I'll just keep praying they stay put. The average for triplets is 32 weeks, and my goal for them is 34 weeks. At 32 weeks, they should have the capabilities of breathing on their own, and at 34 weeks, they learn to suck, swallow, and breathe at the same time on their own.

Q - Are they identical?
A - They are all in their own sac, so the answer would be no, they are fraternal.

Q - How big are they?
A - I go to MFM to have an ultrasound where they measure the babies weight every 4 weeks. I have not been there since April 20th, at which point they were 2lbs. 3oz., 2lbs.1oz., and 2lbs., for babies A, B, and C respectively. We will get new measurements on Thursday!

Q - Am I going to deliver vaginally?
A - No! It was not even an option for me because of there being three. At the last ultrasound, all of the babies were breech anyways.

Q- Do the babies move alot?
A - YES!!! It is constantly a three-ring circus in my belly. A few of the ultrasounds have shown various babies kicking each other. I guess the sibling fights have started already :)

Q - Do the babies switch positions?
A - Not really. Baby A (girl) is always on the bottom. Baby B (boy) is always on the left side. Baby C (girl) is always on the top right. While they do not switch basic locations, they are still flipping all over, sometimes head down, sometimes feet or bottom down.

Q - Are you going to breastfeed?
A - YES! I am adamant about this and am going to do my best to try to provide the best nutrients for the babies. I know it will be a full-time job, but these are my intentions and I am trying to keep a very positive mindset about this, even though there seems to be much negativity and doubt from people. If I cannot exclusively feed all three for some reason, my hope is that I can at least partially breastfeed them, supplementing with formula.

Q - Are you going to have three cribs?
A - Eventually. At the beginning, we plan on setting one up on the main floor of our house and two in the nursery upstairs. They will most likely sleep all in one crib while they still fit.

Q - I thought you weren't going to find out the genders of the babies. Why the change of heart?
A - After having many discussions and seeing the generosity of everyone through shower gifts and stuff to pass down, we decided it would be much easier to find out what we were having. If we had not found out, I could not imagine how much yellow and green newborn clothes I would be looking at now!

Q - Do you have names decided?
A - We have talked about this and are getting close to deciding, but it will remain TOP SECRET!! Even our parents do not know our options :) I have seen too many issues with people revealing their names early and we are trying to avoid all of it.

Q - Are you ready?
A - I'm not sure anyone could ever be COMPLETELY ready for the huge change Al and I are about to experience, but we are excited. Yes, we know it will be the most dramatic change in our lives either of us has experienced and yes, I know we do not know what to all expect, but hopefully we will be able to embrace it all and thank God for the blessings we have been given.

Friday, May 14, 2010

30 Weeks!

Today marks the beginning of my 30th week! Even though it does not always seem possible, I believe the belly is getting larger!

In celebration of making it 30 weeks, I was lucky enough to have TWO dr. appointments. I went to Dr. Kanios's office first to have them check the length of my cervix to see if it was thinning at all, a sign of getting closer to delivery. The ultrasound lady said it was normal for moms of multiples to have a length of 1.5 cm at this time and singletons to have around 2 cm. Mine was 4.91 cm!!! She made the comment that if I were to be having these babies naturally, I was no where close to delivering :) Good news!!

The second place we went to was MFM to have a non-stress test done on the babies. Basically, I sat in a chair while they hooked little monitors on my belly for the babies' heartbeats. Unfortunately, they can only do 2 heartbeats at a time, so I had to sit through the test double the time (30 minutes). From what I understand, they are making sure I am not having contractions that are putting too much stress on the babies. They are also looking at the heart rates in accordance with baby movement. Anytime I felt a baby move, I was to push a buzzer. Around 32 weeks, the babies' beats are supposed to increase with movement. During the 30 minutes, I did apparently have 3 contractions, but they were very small, in fact, I did not even feel them. It sounds like that is normal, but if they increase to where I can feel them and they occur more often then I am to call the doctor. As of now though, everything looks great and we will just keep laying around!!

Congratulations Mike!

I am proud to announce that last Saturday my little brother graduated from The University of Toledo with a degree in electrical engineering!!! It does not seem that he is quite old enough for this prestigious piece of paper, but the university insists that he is. Because I had two other obligations that day and because I was unsure if I would be able to sit through a long ceremony, Al and I did not attend the actual graduation. We did meet up with the family for supper at Shorty's to celebrate though. Way to go Mike!!!

Here is a picture of us four siblings, Matt, Mike, me, and Becky. I like to think we are a great looking bunch! I am so excited that we are close and love spending time with each other. When we get together, it is typically non-stop laughing.

This is a picture of us two pregnant sisters. In this picture I am 29 weeks with triplets and Becky is 26 weeks with one. It is so awesome being pregnant together knowing that our children will grow up together being so close in age. She is due Aug. 17th, so my parents will go from zero grandkids to the proud grandparents of 4 kids! (2 boys and 2 girls!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blog (May 13, 2010)

If you are reading this, I am sure you know Al and I are happily expecting triplets!! We have been trying to start our family since we got married June 30, 2007. The journey we have taken has definitely been a roller coaster of emotions, going through 2 miscarriages, raging hormones, and many friends' and families' pregnancies. Though the journey was long and tough, I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and Al and I are now a stronger, more mature couple, ready and excited to tackle the task of raising a family.

I have wanted to start a blog for some time, but have not sat down to do it. The previous entries, I wrote from memory, but am sincerely going to try to keep up with this, as I think it will be a great way to document special moments and keep everyone updated. Unfortunately, I do not have time to continuously update everyone on what is happening, but with this blog, people can stay as “in the loop” as they chose. It is my hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy reading other friends’ blogs! Happy reading J

Dr. Appt. (May 11, 2010)

My appointment today was with Dr. Kanios, and thankfully was not very exciting. At this point, I have gained almost 50 pounds, which is right on track according to Dr. Luke, one of the leading nutritionist concerning triplet pregnancies. Unfortunately, the babies’ weights do not get measured when I see Dr. Kanios, so I am unsure how much they each weigh. If I had to guess, I would say that they are probably all near 3 pounds each. The next time they will get measured will be next Thursday, May 20th, when I go back to MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine), at the Toledo Hospital. When I go to the doctor’s office, I do always get an ultrasound, just to check on the babies’ heart rates. Trying to find all three heart beats by Doppler is too difficult, so they do an ultrasound to make sure they are checking each baby accordingly. The heart rates were 136, 150, and 147 for Babies A, B, and C respectively. We also discovered that they are all breech. They are still moving around a lot and that could change, but it does not matter too much, as the delivery will definitely be Caesarean.

At this appointment, the doctor and I discussed starting non-stress tests and how long they will let me go. I have my first non-stress tests tomorrow, Friday at MFM, since it marks the beginning of my 30th week! As far as how long they will let me carry the babies, it will just be a waiting game. Right now, we are just trying to go as long as possible. My goal is to carry the babies to at least 34 weeks. At 32 weeks, babies have typically developed enough to allow them to breathe on their own, and by 34 weeks they have learned to suck, swallow and breathe, no longer requiring a feeding tube. We are hoping and praying we do not deliver sooner than that.

29 Weeks! (May 7, 2010)

Everyone continues to ask about pictures to see how “the belly” is growing…so here you go! This was taken right before I went to the mother/daughter banquet with the Gahler’s. (I think the print of the shirt makes me look bigger than I am).

Injection (May 3, 2010) - 28w2d

At this appointment, I did not see Dr. Kanios, rather I just saw Lynne, the nurse. I had to go in for my Rho-gamm injection, since I have A negative blood type. I will receive another injection after the babies are born.

Answers (April 30)

No wonder I have been so tired lately! The doctor’s office called today to let me know they had the results of my lab work. My glucose testing was normal, so thankfully I do not have to worry about a special diet; however, my iron levels were low. I am dutifully taking my pre-natal vitamins every night, along with 2 extra iron pills and 5 folic acid pills, but it just does not seem to be enough. Apparently, the babies are taking all of my iron, leaving me with little energy. The nurse wants me to add another iron pill, resulting in over 1,000% of my daily value of iron!! Since then, I have started to take 2 iron pills in the morning and one at night. This has dramatically helped how I feel, and I hope it is now enough iron for all four of us.

Exhausted (April 29)

Today was one of the most exhausting days I have had! I felt like I did not have energy to do anything at all. At lunch, which Al was so awesome to prepare, I sat there and just looked at my plate. When Al asked what was wrong, I almost broke down in tears because I hardly had enough energy to pick up my fork to eat. My body felt so drained. Needless to say, not much was completed this day, but holding down the couch.

Frustrated! (April 28)

I just received a call from the lab where I had my glucose testing completed that there was a “lab accident” and they need me to come in again to redo the blood draw. Luckily, the glucose testing vile must have been ok, because I only had to get the hemoglobin test completed again, which was a simple draw, requiring no fasting (thank goodness!)

Glucose Test and Hemoglobin check (April 26)

Around 27-28 weeks, a glucose test is done to make sure I am processing sugar correctly and there are no problems, such as pregnancy diabetes forming. For this, they asked me to fast for 10 hours and then go to take the test. For the test, they give you a sugary liquid to drink and then after an hour, they draw your blood to see how your body reacts. Prior to having this done, I was warned by several people that the drink tasted awful; however, I did not find it too bad. Granted, it was not something I would pull out of the refrigerator if there were other options, but it was tolerable.

After the testing was complete, I had a scheduled doctor’s appointment, in which there was really no new news, which is what we like to hear. Dr. Kanios was pleased with how everything was going and from now on, would like to see me every week.

MFM appt. (April 20) - 26w2d

The appointment with MFM today went very well! At this appointment the babies were all measured by ultrasound. Of course, measuring the babies weight by this method is not completely accurate and can sometimes be off the actual weight, but at this point, while in the womb, it is really the only method that I know of that can be used. By looking at various measurements of the babies, such as head size, belly size, length, and so forth, the computer can generate an estimate of the babies’ weights. With this in mind, the babies weighed in very well! Baby A (girl), who is located on the bottom, was the biggest, coming in at 2 pounds 3 ounces. Even though there are three babies, the schedule is according to a singleton pregnancy. Baby A is actually a little ahead of schedule, which I find to be quite amazing! She also had a heart rate of 146 beats per minute. Baby B (boy), located on my left, was the smallest of the three, weighing approximately 2 pounds and having a heart rate of 143 beats per minute. Baby C (girl), on my right, did the most growing, weighing in at 2 pounds 2 ounces and having a heart rate of 140 beats per minute. At the last measurement, she was the smallest. All of the babies’ growth looks fantastic and right on track. It is also a very good thing that the babies are all growing at the same rate and the discrepancy between the babies is only 3 ounces! This is quite amazing.