Friday, April 30, 2010

We have hit another gear...

Well, as was put out, we were able to take someone home yesterday. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you are) it was only one somebody. Miss Chloe made her outside debut, as well as her hometown debut. Fenway met her with his usual curiosity, but seemed a little taken aback that she wouldn't acknowledge him. We now think that he sees her as the dominant figure and has bowed to her demands and wishes. First, why doesn't he do that for us? And second, I don't think this is the last we'll see of Chloe having people bow to her lists of wishes. We shall see.

As for the boys, they are doing well. Luke sabotaged Jackson the other night, so he wasn't able to go home (i.e. Jack got an eye infection), and then they were both put on roughly the same schedule: we are now expecting them both to come home sometime later next week.

This will give us some time to get adjusted to having children in the house and let Kristen recover a bit more. And boy do we need it! Last night was a straight doozy with Chloe not being comfortable yet in her new home. Hopefully we can get her on some kind of schedule by the time the boys come home, and then it will be back to square one. Sometimes I feel like I raided a village and took their children, bringing them home one at a time. But no...they are mine. My own little refugee family. This has gone from insane to INSANER! Our days will now be taking care of Miss Chloe at home and at least one of us getting down to see the boys and give them some Mama's Milk (their favorite). Hopefully we can survive this week. If we do, I will consider it a win. This could get bloody and we may take heavy casualties. Stay tuned....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

So much to do, so little time...

Things just got real! We found out today that not only will Chloe be home this week, but so will Jack! Thursday is the day. We are very excited about this, a little sad (I'll explain), and a lot FEARFUL. Obviously, we are very excited that 2 of the kiddos will finally be home. It is time to start this thing. But we are also very sad to have to leave Luke at the hospital by himself. He has made great strides the past couple of days, but still needs a little more time at the NICU.

So now we freak out and try to get ready. One thing we have to do is get our dog, Fenway, ready for the big day. So we brought him a blanket that each kid had used for the day. What did he do? Fen promptly grabbed one of the blankets in his mouth and went up to his bed. Don't know if that is a good or a bad sign for Jack. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

I need to get going, but wanted to post a couple more pictures. Here you go. Now off to wash 36 baby bottles that will be used for the feedings (they will use about 24 per day....the numbers all are totally MIND BOTTLING!)....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another week down...

Another week has passed/about to start with the babies in the hospital. This means they are that much closer to going home. Life has been pretty busy lately, so I haven't had much time to let everyone know what is going on. We have gotten into a routine of traveling down to the the hospital to make at least the two afternoon feedings for the day, and then get home around 8pm at night. By that time, we are spent! We will be SO glad when the time for driving every day to see/care for the babies is over. Yes, life will get crazy in ways we can't even imagine, but at least we won't have the commute. God continues to be good to us though, and we are thankful for His grace throughout this.

The babies are doing well. All three are making strides to come home soon, with Jack and Chloe neck and neck to see who comes home first. Little Luke is doing well, and should just be a little behind brother and sister. All three, right now, weigh around 5 pounds. Oh, and their poop is starting to smell. NO GOOD!

Here are some pics. Jack is laying on his mom, looking curious as always, and in the dog outfit (pulling on all his cords). Luke is the little guy looking at me like I am crazy and also in the white outfit. And of course, that is me holding my precious angel Chloe! Hope you all enjoy...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Pics!

Here are a few new pictures of the babes. They get better looking every day (they definitely get that from their mom). Little Lucas is trying to do anything he can to get his hands free, Chloe is obviously enjoying some much needed sleep, and Jackson is looking very intently at mom ! Enjoy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Visiting Us and the Triplets

We want our friends and family to know that they are more than welcome to come see the triplets at the NICU. Kristen and I plan on being there most days, although we don't have a set schedule yet per se. So if you are going to be in Everett, the surrounding Seattle area, or are willing to travel a bit, just call or text Kristen or me and we'll let you know if we are there at that time. We will have to be there to take you back into the NICU. If we are there, just check in at the front desk on the 2nd floor of the Providence Women's Pavilion and ask for us. All we ask is that you don't come if you or your children (even if they are not with you) are sick. Thanks and we hope to see some of you soon!

Welcome home, Kristen!

Yesterday, Sunday, we got a shot in the arm as Kristen was able to come home. So on Monday morning, for the first time since January 6th, Kristen was able to wake up in her own bed.

With her leaving the hospital, it meant we had to leave the triplets in their little rooms at the NICU. The drive home was a wave of emotions: on the one hand, Kristen was coming home. On the other hand, we were/are having to leave our new little lives at the hospital. Even though they didn't technically "stay" with us at the hospital, we could still just run down there whenever we wanted to to check on them and love on them. Now, being an hour and a half away, we are coming up with creative schedules to see them every day, calling at night to check on them, and getting Kristen well. Tough stuff.

I tell you what, this thing just hasn't been easy from the get go. Don't get me wrong: it has all been COMPLETELY worth it. I fall in love with those little babies all over again when I lay my eyes on them. But from how sick Kristen was, to working out the whole cross country move early, to Kristen being in the hospital/small deployment (!), to now living apart from the babies. The only thing that has given me hope/comfort many of the times is that God does have this under control. No way do I. And hopefully, this whole thing will make us all stronger as a family as we grow together. And while I know those babies are definitely in the right place right now, I can't imagine living apart from them for a couple of weeks while they are in the NICU. No good.

Please continue to pray for Kristen as she fights to get better and the babies, most importantly Lucas, who still continues to struggle a little since his crazy first day of life. Nothing crazy; he just is not taking to this thing called life as quickly as his siblings. Thanks.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 2: The Cooper 5 are all together!

Last night, around 6pm, Lucas and I were able to return to Providence hospital to be with the rest of the family. While having a great time hanging out on our own, it was time to get back with mama. All three babies are doing great, sleeping a ton and trying to learn how to eat.

Here in the second day, I have learned a few things that I might not otherwise have known:

1.) What the heck is with the tar in the diaper?! No wonder these babies are pissed.
2.) You no kidding can already start seeing their three different personalities. More on that later.
3.) Babies are not as breakable as I thought.
4.) I have now seen, over the last 24-48 hours, a little bit of what it means to be a "father" and "husband." Both are actually pretty incredible in their own rights.

These little people are amazing. No one has been more amazing though than Kristen. From being on bed rest in a hospital for all of 2010 to going through that major surgery, she has been amazing. And even through the massive pain she has been in (gut wrenching and heart breaking to watch from my perspective), she is still fighting through it to go down to the NICU and be with/feed the babies (I am relegated to diaper changer). It is an amazing sight and one I won't soon forget. A mother's love...

Please continue to pray for her as she continues the long, slow, and painful process of recovery and trying to get used to this new and amazing life. I'll post some more pics soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Answer to prayer

Lucas and I have been hanging out, waiting to see if we will get the transfer back to Providence. A couple of people who are working on this have stopped in a kept me up to speed. Apparently, these transfers have all but dried up over the last 2 years. They said to really be prepared that Lucas would have to stay here until discharged, and then be on his way home without mom.

Well, after having people start to pray, we just got word that the little guy WILL in fact be transferred back! There was no way you couldn't tell me that the God who kept those babies alive in Kristen couldn't work out an insurance deal. Easy stuff! So, later today we should be headed back. I feel like this tidal wave of stress, anxiousness, and exhaustion is about to overtake me. Hopefully, I can calm down and get a couple of hours of sleep tonight. We'll keep you posted.

Not so fun night

The main reason I wasn't able to get any pictures up last night is that we had a really crazy night. After being able to see the babies for a couple of hours (and actually feeding two of them), the triplets were taken down to the NICU for a checkup and observation. All of the babies were in good health, except for Lucas. Without going into it, they decided around 11pm that Lucas needed to be flown to Children's Hospital (that's right: flown! He now has one leg up on the others, and you knew one of the Cooper kids had to go flying on the big day, right??!!!!) for surgery. I drove down and was with him, actually getting to carry him to the operating room, which was good. I got about an hour of sleep, and around 5:30am, he was done and up in his room.

All went well, and he will be JUST FINE (thank God!!). So, Luke and I have been bonding. I have been able to feed him a little bit a couple of times. It is pretty amazing to look down at him and know he is my child. Unbelievable feeling. Now, hopefully, we get reunited soon with Mama and the other two.

Announcing the arrival of....

Jackson James (Jack), Chloe Elizabeth, and Lucas Samual (Luke) Cooper! At around 7:20 pacific time last night, Kristen gave birth to 3 beautiful, perfect babies. As was said in the last post, we got word during the middle of the afternoon it was going to happen. Kristen started getting prepped at about 6:45, and I was ushered into the OR at about 7:15. It was quite a sight: 18 doctors and nurses for the babies and Kristen (still don't know why there wasn't a team for me!).

I was a little leery of seeing the little alien looking things, but was amazed at what happened. Once the doctors started, it took all of 1 and half minutes to get all the babies out of there. So Kristen was in the hospital for almost 14 weeks, and it came down to 1.5 minutes. Crazy! Anyway, the first thing we heard was little Jack crying and I can't really describe to you what I saw. You parents know. But even with the goo all over him, he was still beautiful, and I was completely taken at how drawn to him I was. Then came Chloe and Luke, all great.

Stats: Jack - 4lbs 13 oz, Chloe - 5 lbs 2 oz, Luke - 5 lbs 12 oz. Can you believe that?! Kristen had almost 17 pounds of baby in her! Absolutely amazing. And I can't say that I have ever been more proud or more impressed with anyone than I am of Kristen. I know God and all the prayer did this, but Kristen had to carry them all, through three months of miserable sickness, and three more of being still in the hospital. You are my hero, babe, and I love you very much.

Here is a link for more pics of the triplets:


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ready for Take Off!

Okay, that was a quick hour. As I was finishing up my last post, the doc walked in and asked, "So, how would you like to have the babies today?!" Tonight, around 8 or 9, we will have 3 little babies. Unbelievable. I don't know how to put that in words.

I'll let you guys know how it goes. Please keep praying for this, that the babies would be good, and especially for Kristen, who is going to have a long day.

Holy cow. I can't believe this is about to happen.

Pins and Needles: One hour

Since Sunday, Kristen has started to swell dramatically, with her blood pressure rising along with her swelling. So, currently they are running a test to see if protein is starting to build in her kidneys. In about an hour, we will know if today will be the day!

I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

D-Day: April 20th, 2010

After weeks and months (literally) of waiting in will continue for another week and a half. The doctors set a date this week of April 20th for when they will bring the babies into the world. After all this time, I am very confident that Kristen will make the date, which will put the babies exactly at 36 weeks.

I have to tell you: while I am so thankful that the babies will be about as healthy as triplets can be coming into this world, I am freaked out to think about taking them home just a few days later (who knows: something may come up keeping one or more in the hospital, but odds are in favor of them coming home with us). So I had a meltdown of the higher order this week. It was good to get myself back under wraps and control, but I can really see how this could suck the life out of me if I let it. I think it will be good when the babies just get here, and all the anticipation and wondering about things will be over, and we'll just be in the trenches with them living our new life.

One week and a couple of days left before this happens. Pretty crazy to think. I'll try to get a picture of Kristen this weekend to show you her around 35 weeks. That belly is large and in charge!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Great Weekend ( babies, yet)

What a weekend: we were able to celebrate my birthday on Saturday, Easter was today (along with the first pitch of the baseball season), and the babies continue to grow. My birthday was good on Saturday, with Linda (Kristen's mom), and my aunt and uncle, (Pam and Johnny) joining us for some cake in the hospital room. Kristen kept saying to me that all of my birthdays since we have been together have been a bummer: we have literally moved on 3 or 4 of them, I was in Fallon or on the boat on work ups for one of them, and on this one, she is in the hospital. But I say this is the best one. She and the babies are healthy, we don't have any scenarios we dreaded just a short couple of months ago, I am not gone, and she is oh SO close to having these babies. Great birthday!

We were able to have a funny Easter today. With Kristen literally stuck to her hospital bed (in shirts that now only cover up about half of her belly!), we obviously couldn't go anywhere for church. So, I brought the church to us for some celebrating and communion. After reading some great scripture regarding Christ's resurrection (the basis for our beliefs and hope), we partook in communion with the usual: Cran-Grape juice and a 9-grain muffin from Starbucks! I don't know if Jesus and the Twelve did it up like that, but nothing like a ghetto communion to get you laughing.

Kristen has now been in the hospital almost 13 weeks, the first 3 or 4 of which we weren't sure that we wouldn't lose the Cooper Trio. But as she said a couple of days ago, why should we be SURPRISED that she has made it this far? Haven't we heard of people from all over the world (literally) praying for her and these babies?! We were very humbled the other day when one of her aunts told us of a class of kids who literally pray for her every day! Very humbling. If you want to hear of why we believe what we believe and why we have the hope that we have in Christ, please ask. I'd love to talk with you about it.