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Well-Child Visit, My Tushie - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
Well-Child Visit, My Tushie

Monday Ellie was sick all day – she had started throwing up Sunday night and threw up much of the day on Monday. She wouldn't drink anything and was screaming a lot, which is unusual for her, so I'd been on and off the phone with the doctor's office throughout the day. This should have been my first clue that Tuesday's "well-child visit" wouldn't be your standard, run-of-the-mill visit. Fortunately, by Tuesday, Ellie was totally fine – a completely happy, healthy baby.

My second clue should have come Tuesday morning when I took the J-man to school. Because my nanny had the day off from work (her father was flying in from Senegal), I packed the triplets into the car and we all took J to school. We traipsed all the way through the building, went down the elevator (have I mentioned that Abby is terrified of elevators? Sheesh!) and over to his classroom. J's teachers had never met the triplets, so they were really excited to meet them. Then we made the trek back out of the building, which took forever because of all the people who had to stop us to say, "OMGosh are those triplets??!?" Twenty minutes later I finally got to my van, loaded the babies in, climbed into the driver's seat and saw that I had just missed a call from J's teacher. I called her back and she said, "You're not going to believe this, but there's a water main break somewhere across the county, but they're shutting off the water in the building, so they're closing the school right now." Fortunately, she brought him out to me, rather than making me pack the babies back up and go back in to get him. So this meant taking all four kids to the pediatrician, like we're not enough of a three-ring-circus as it is. Oy. (To his credit, J was incredibly well behaved at the pediatrician, despite it being over an hour and a half there)

We got to the appointment and the first order of business was to get everyone undressed to be weighed and measured. The good news: Everyone's growing! J

Sam: 23 lbs. 14 oz. (40th percentile), 31" long (50th percentile), head circumference 48cm (80th percentile)
Ellie: 22 lbs. 4 oz. (40th percentile), 30.5" long (50th percentile), head circumference 48cm (85th percentile)
Abby: 21 lbs. 2 oz. (25th percentile), 30.5" long (50th percentile), head circumference 47 cm (80th percentile)

I noted that I'm really tiring of people telling me that my babies (Sam and Ellie, especially) are fat. People are downright mean about it sometimes. They tell me how huge these babies are. Dr. B. noted that people forget what a baby physique is supposed to look like and said that not only are the babies not fat, but he pointed out that each and every one of them has a weight percentile that is smaller than their length percentile, so they're doing just fine. He told me to stop listening to other people, and he also reminded me of how hard we worked to get these babies to grow, particularly Ellie. He's right, of course. J

He asked how Ellie was feeling, since we'd been on the phone so much the day before. "Oh she's great," I said, "It's like she was never sick at all. I don't know what I was ever worried abo…" and then Abby threw up. Cheese omelets everywhere. Hey, at least Dr. B. knows for sure I'm feeding them a nutritious breakfast, right? Sigh. The hard part was keeping Ellie and Sam from stepping in it, so Dr. B grabbed them, while I worked on cleaning up the mess and cleaning a screaming Abby up. At least she was only wearing a diaper. Once I got the mess somewhat under control, Dr. B. went off to get some wet paper towels and some Lysol to appease the J-man who was complaining about the stench. Dr. B. isn't fazed by much, and this was no exception. I was mortified, but he barely batted an eyelash. Once everything was cleaned up, we just continued on with the appointment.

Dr. B. asked me what things we needed to talk about and I talked with him about the fact that Abby doesn't sleep much – she wakes up a lot at night, doesn't nap much, and screams bloody murder at the sight of her crib. Only if she's visibly exhausted does she not put up serious protest. "You have to fix it!" I said. We talked about some various methods of working through it, but essentially, Dr. B. thinks that this is largely behavioral, not physical, and that it is likely her version of separation anxiety. He gave me some suggestions for how to approach it, but mostly said that what we are doing is the appropriate approach. So the good doctor doesn't have ALL the magic answers, but at least he had some validation for the approach we're already taking, and that's good enough for me for the moment.

We also talked about the triplets' language development. Their expressive language development is definitely delayed, but that's to be expected with multiples, and if you account for the multiple factor, plus factor in their prematurity, we're not too worried. Their receptive language skills, on the other hand, are much more delayed, which I knew but I hadn't been sure how much to worry. We already have Early Intervention services for the babies, and when they suggested I have a speech consult for the babies, I said, "Okay, sure, whatever" thinking it was nothing all that worthwhile, but that it couldn't hurt. They did, indeed, qualify for speech/language therapy, which will start next month, but I still sort of shrugged it off. I told Dr. B. that I let the Early Intervention folks do my worrying for me. I told him that none of what they evaluated the babies for was anything I would have called them for on my own had they not already been involved with the EI program. But, Dr. B. who is anything but an alarmist, and who nearly always prefers to sit back and let normal development happen at its own pace said that this is the point where he would be telling me to get intervention if I hadn't already. There are a lot of little things that when you put them all together are starting to raise eyebrows, but for now I'll just leave that all for another post on another day. For now, it sounds like we're doing the right thing by getting EI Speech Therapy involved and at least we know we're moving in the right direction.

Ellie and Sam are expert walkers, and though Abby isn't walking, we know she can walk, but she seems to lack the confidence to do so. Dr. B said that often with early walkers, they just sort of take off without looking back. Ellie and Sam weren't early per their actual age, but if you factor in their adjusted age, they were a little on the early side. Abby is starting to push the later side, and he said with later walkers, they're a little older and more aware of the dangers around them, so they're far more cautious because they're afraid of falling down if they start walking. He thinks they're a little delayed with fine motor skills also, but nothing that can't be accounted for by adjusting their age, so he's not worried.

He otherwise declared them healthy (puke aside) and asked me how everything was going in general. I said that we are really blessed. We have three easy babies, and the best big brother in the universe. If anyone had been able to adequately convey to me how great this was going to be, maybe I would have freaked out slightly less in the early weeks of my pregnancy. He said that's a variation on the theme that he hears from a lot of twin moms who say that getting through the first year is so terrible, but that the rewards after that make it all worth it. I don't feel that the first year was awful at all – I do credit Seth and myself for a lot of it, because I think we did a very good job keeping our lives sane and making sure our babies didn't overwhelm us, but mostly, we had very easy, perfect babies. Though they had their challenges (especially Ellie with her heart monitor and failure to thrive diagnosis), all in all, they were not the burdens we were prepared for, they have been a joy from the very beginning. And look at them now? Three healthy, beautiful babies toddlers. I reminded Dr. B. how close I came to losing them at 22 weeks. These babies – these babies could have not been here at all. So if my biggest concern today is that their receptive language skills are delayed? Well, then I declare that they are perfect. Dr. B. said that's a very healthy attitude to have. And on that note, we said goodbye for another three months. At least, I *hope* I don't see him for another three months!

While I was waiting for the nurse to come in with their vaccinations (just 2 this time), Abby threw up again. This time, she was wearing a shirt, which was ruined, but fortunately, she wasn't yet wearing pants or socks… I cleaned things up as well as I could. The nurse came in to give everyone their shots and J went out to the waiting room, preferring not to witness such barbaric treatment of his siblings. When the nurse left, I got everyone dressed and Abby threw up again just before I got her into her fleece coat. Sigh. I cleaned it up (AGAIN) and got her back into the stroller bundled up in her coat, and went out to check out and make their next appointment. While I was making the next appointment, Abby threw up again. Sigh. Finally, we got into the car for the 15 minute drive home. We were 12 minutes into the drive when she threw up again, not much this time, because, let's face it, there wasn't much left.

I put Abby straight to bed, and put Sam and Ellie into high chairs to feed them a very late lunch and then put them down for a nap also. My mother in law picked up the J-man to take him out of my hair for the afternoon. The babies slept until nearly 5pm when Seth came home. If I'd been more alert, I might have taken this as a clue that something was amiss, but I just figured it was that they'd missed most of their morning nap and gone down later than usual… I got the kids out of bed and we were in the living room when Sam started throwing up. I whisked him off to the bedroom to strip him down and change his diaper so that I could get him into a bath – poor thing, he looked so sad and scared in the bathtub. L I put Sammy into PJ's and brought him into the dining room where the girls were standing watching Seth work in the kitchen. Suddenly, Ellie threw up. Ellie who had been totally fine for nearly 24 hours! Then we realized that Abby's diaper smelled like sewage, literally, so I changed her and threw Ellie and Abby into the bathtub and got both of them into PJs and put everybody to bed.

Seth wasn't feeling great, so he went to lie down. Meanwhile, my mother in law and brother in law, returned the J-man to the house and came bearing presents for Chanukah. So I made Seth get out of bed to come greet everyone. The instant Seth walked into the living room, he turned and ran straight to the bathroom and started throwing up, which woke Ellie up. So I went in and took her out of bed because she was screaming, but I looked over and realized that Sam was sleeping in a pool of vomit, and for good measure, his diaper smelled to high heaven. I calmed Ellie down, took Sam out of his crib, cleaned him off, changed his PJ's and held him for a while until Seth was well enough to change Sam's crib. I apologized to my MIL and BIL a few times, and they eventually excused themselves. Clearly this just wasn't a good night for the Cohens. Sigh. Poor Sam was so tired and sad. J was crying because he was scared about all the throwing up, so I was trying to calm him down also. Finally, I was able to put Sam back in his crib, Ellie calmed down, J realized the world wasn't ending and I thought everything was fine, but then Abby started screaming – her diaper needed to be changed. Throughout the night, I had to keep checking on the babies, because Sam kept throwing up, but never woke up when he did, so I had to make sure he was okay. I also had to keep changing diapers throughout the night. Finally at 5am, I couldn't take the crying and I made Seth go up to deal with Abby's cries, but when I heard they weren't stopping, I went upstairs to help and realized that there was too much poop and puke for one person to handle. So I dealt with her, while he dealt with changing sheets again. And then I collapsed back into bed.

It was a long and horrific day. Sam got really dehydrated. Ellie kept throwing up. Abby got better and worse again. Ugh. Several phone calls to the doctor's office. The works. Seth thought he was okay to go to the office, but it turned out, not so much, so he came home early. Today, he had no choice but to go to work, because there was no one to cover his shift. And today, Mommy got sick.

The only one who's been spared in all this mess is the J-man. Now, here's an interesting factoid about Norovirus (which is most likely what we have)… people with blood Type A or AB have an inherent immunity to norovirus. Seth and I (and consequently the triplets) are Type O+. We don't know J's blood type – but I'm going to place a small wager that it's A or AB…


28 comments or Leave a comment
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estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Science!! (this is all way above my head. I just knew that since Seth and I were both O+ all our kids were going to be)
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estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah, I'm not sure if it's total immunity, but there's some inherent immunity. It's a neat little factoid.
magid From: magid Date: December 26th, 2008 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Refuah shlaimah, all around.

Other than the norovirus, it's lovely to hear that they're growing well, and getting the services they need (or going to, anyway).
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks - We're doing okay now - I have something new (upper respiratory), but at least the babies are getting better.
arosoff From: arosoff Date: December 26th, 2008 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)
They're not fat! they're perfect. :P

interesting fact about the norovirus, nice to know Aliza will be immune to it! (She's A+)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know! They ARE perfect!

(it doesn't mean she's immune to a billion other stomach viruses...)
debsters1101 From: debsters1101 Date: December 26th, 2008 04:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I'm jealous of your pediatrician. I think if Shoshi had barfed at our dr he wouldve politely exused himself to go see another patient in the time it took me to clean up.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that's not cool. There's a reason my pediatrician IS my pediatrician. :) Jeff just grabbed Ellie and Sam and kept them out of the way while I cleaned up Abby and then he went and got paper towels to clean up the rest of the puke. He was great.
mindycl From: mindycl Date: December 26th, 2008 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. WOW!!! Youre drowning in vomit and diapers, and youre so calm about it? youre made of steel. Wowza.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Meh. There was really no good that could have come from panicking about it. So we just muddled through and made it work. Fortunately, the babies are mostly better, Seth is better, I'm over the stomach virus (though I now have some upper respiratory ick) and J-man never got it.
mindycl From: mindycl Date: December 26th, 2008 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and all four of us (dh, me, both boys) are A+. I dont know what norovirus is. but my kids have had viruses often, with no names.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
norovirus is a specific intestinal virus. It's been running rampant through my county recently. It is similar to rotovirus.
hannahsarah From: hannahsarah Date: December 26th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oy vey! I hope your nanny comes back quickly, and has the right blood type to be immune. I had the stomach flu of doom two months ago, and I was so sick that it really scared Rivka. She must have the immune blood type, because she didn't get it at all.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
My nanny justh had the 23rd off to pick up her father from the airport - and then the 25th and 26th off because I'd given her those days off already. I hope she wasn't sick while she was off! Ugh. She should be back tomorrow and I hope she's well. :)

The inherent immunity is specifically for the norovirus - not any other type of stomach bug. It's possible that Rivka just managed to skip that one.
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estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hooray for growing!
From: julierocket Date: December 26th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ai. Posts like this made me wonder how my mom did it with five (although, admittedly, no triplets in the bunch).

I'm getting my Master's in infant and toddler education with a certification in EI (Massachusetts, but my programmatic requirements to get the degree exceed state requirements to get certified for EI), so if you have any errant questions about EI or wanted to share anything of your experience, I'm game :)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm a big believer in EI - Julian was involved with our Infants and Toddlers program until he was 3 and the triplets have been involved since they were 6 months old (even though, really, back then they didn't really need it - they qualified essentially because they were preemies - and they were hitting developmental milestones that were 2 months behind their actual age... duh!). Now that they seem to actually NEED EI, I'm glad they're already in the program.
gishmak From: gishmak Date: December 26th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
oy! i hope everyone is feeling much better by now!!
re: baby weights. they sound perfect BH! Baby's often look chubby and aren't! My baby, for example, is somewhere about 40th percentile and has thighs of dough. B"H your kids caught up nicely. My baby, about a month younger than yours, was always bigger and now 2 of your yummies surpassed her!! (mine is just under 22 lbs)
happy chanuka!! hope it gets better!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it took them basically a year to catch up, but they did so slowly and steadily (except Ellie who had a long plateau, but we fixed that), which is exactly how they like to see preemies catch up.

Mostly everyone is feeling better - babies are *mostly* over the stomach thing. Seth and I are over it. Now I have a lovely upper respiratory ick. It's fun, really. :)
ichur72 From: ichur72 Date: December 26th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yikes, refuah shleimah to (almost) everyone -- glad at least one of you is immune!

Sounds like all the kids are doing well (virus aside), so B"H for that.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
yes, kids are doing well (virus aside), though we're jumping on the language issues. It says a lot that Jeff's raising eyebrows about it - he's not normally one to get worried. Sigh.
mortuus From: mortuus Date: December 26th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ugh! What misery all around. Condolences!

And that's interesting about the norovirus. Despite my love of viruses (yeah, there's something wrong with me), I didn't know that!

You and the three babies were in a dream I had several days ago. Nothing much happened in the dream, but it was pleasant enough. The five of us, plus my sister, were at some picnic in some park. We were sitting on blankets and talking, though I have no memory of what we were talking about. You and I kept trading off on holding Sam and Ellie, and my sister held Abby, totally charmed by her.

Sort of a random dream, but hey, you and the babies clearly charmed my subconscious :-)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are an odd duck with your love of viruses. Glad I could add a random factoid to your stockpile.

Your dream was right on with Abby charming your sister and not being traded off - she's always the one sitting in someone's arms away from the action. She doesn't like to be bothered by the other babies, and prefers to hang out with an adult who will just ooh and aah at her. :) Sam and Ellie are more rambunctious, so they trade off a lot. :)
journeytoernie From: journeytoernie Date: December 26th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
that is an interesting factoid about blood type a and ab. i wonder why that is.

i hope you all feel better soon. having one person throwing up is bad enough. but FOUR? yikes.

let's hope j man stays healthy
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
it was actually five of us throwing up. Seth me and the babies. Yuck. Fortunately, no more throwing up. J never caught it. I'm seriously putting money on him being blood type A or AB. :)

Everyone seems to be on the mend. Except me. I'm over the stomach bug, but now have some sort of horrible upper respiratory ick.
journeytoernie From: journeytoernie Date: December 28th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
i must have missed that you were throwing up....brain freeze or something.

i hate throwing up. i'm glad you're better now! well....for the most part.

i hate upper respiratory stuff. the stuffiness in your chest? ugh! that makes me crazy
skatured From: skatured Date: December 29th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
That norovirus is awful. We gave it to almost everyone that came to Morella's birthday party (about 30 people) who then went off and spread it around on their own.

I don't think the babies are fat at all! Man, 25th to 40 seems so .... normal to me! And I get comments all the time how tiny morella is, and what little peanut she is. :P
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