Thursday, February 28, 2008

Picking up the pace

I've been thinking about going to the gym for a while now. I finally went today and it feels great ! It's been about 2 years since I stepped inside a gym so it really felt good to do something good for my body. When I started fertility treatments, I didn't want to jeopardize a possible pregnancy so I was extremely careful with my body. When I found out I was pregnant (with triplets!) after four years of trying, I became even more cautious. By the second trimester, I was too heavy to exercise. After a 2-year hiatus, I decided to go easy on myself and start slow - 15 minutes on the elliptical machine to get my heart rate up, 30 minutes for my arms/upper body. I heard the cycling classes are really challenging but a lot of fun. I'll have to work my way up to those cycling classes to avoid passing out I'm sure.

Friday, February 22, 2008

12-month doctor's visit

We took Faith and Erin to their 12-month checkup this week. I must say the last two doctor's visits were especially difficult. We were able to take all three of our girls to their 3-month and 6-month visits. Their 9-month visit was without Elyse. This week's visit was again without Elyse. Sitting in the waiting room was excruciating. Memories of the last time we brought all three girls simply flooded my mind. Taking three babies out in public always attracts a lot of attention for obvious reasons. For their 6-month appointment, I remember walking into the waiting room with Faith and Erin in the double stroller and Elyse in the baby carrier(I wanted to keep her close since her immune system was suppressed)....people immediately turned their heads and smiled or took a quick glance and looked away. The next thing most people do is whisper to each other about how many babies there are. That day one woman even came up to me and asked, "Are they all yours?". I said, "Yes." She shared with me that she gave birth to twins but one didn't make it. I thanked her for her openness. It is still truly a struggle to come to terms with the fact that Elyse is physically not with us anymore. We miss her dearly. She was such a gentle soul.... As for Faith and Erin, we needed to reschedule their 1-year shots because of Erin's temperature. She had a slight fever from a cold she probably caught from Faith. It's definitely a challenge to keep them from catching colds from each other. As for their height and weight, they're on track...although they're certainly not big babies.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

1st Birthday

I finally had some time to post photos of their first birthday. It is hard to believe how quickly they turned one. Faith and Erin looked beautiful in their Han-Boke (traditional Korean dress)that Susan's mom got for them & the red outfits that Aunt Song made for them. We are so blessed to have so many friends and family members looking out for them. Though both of them may not remember any of this, they will have photos, a video and messages in a bottle to describe what their first birthday was like.

I wanted to remember Elyse during the birthday celebration and had my mind made up to mention how grateful we were to everyone there for supporting and lovng Elyse so much while she was with us. But, when time came to stand in front of everyone to thank them, just the thought of mentioning Elyse's name stirred up so much emotion and memories that I could not go through with it. Birthdays are happy occasions and tears would not have been appropriate. I was so thankful to our friend and pastor Chris Lee who did a wonderful job of expressing what Susan and I intended to do.

I hope you enjoy the new pictures.

-Tim

Monday, February 18, 2008

An A+ for Faith and Erin !

Faith and Erin have been doing better each time they soothe themselves to sleep. We're so proud of them. On Sunday, because of a get-together at my parents' house, we were running a bit late for their bedtime routine. As soon as we bathed them, we put them in their cribs. They were all smiles when they got into their cribs and even when we left the room. There was absolutely no protesting. We were just ecstatic to have complete silence in the house almost immediately after they were in their cribs. I wonder how they'll do tonight....

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Progress update on sleep-training

Babies really do adjust well to change just as I've been told by many moms out there. They are quick to let go of old habits. It has been almost a week since Faith and Erin got a crash course in sleep-training. The length of time it takes for them to go to sleep has definitely shrunk. I've been keeping them on a consistent schedule and routine. Between 6:45-7:00am Wake, milk; 8:00am breakfast; 9:30am-11:30am nap; 12:00 milk; 1:00 lunch; 3:00pm-4:30pm nap; 5:30pm milk; 6:30pm dinner; 8:30pm milk; 9:00pm sleep. I would definitely like to make some additional adjustments but this is their schedule for now. I'd like to have them go to bed at 8:30pm. Maybe I need to shrink their nap times.....or maybe I need to wake them up earlier, maybe at 6:30am....and put them to bed 15 minutes earlier each day...I don't think they're ready to take just one nap yet. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. For bedtimes, both Faith and Erin are now going to sleep on their own in about 10 minutes after some protesting, crying and rolling around in their cribs. When Tim and I leave them in their cribs for their nighttime sleep, they start crying immediately with their arms stretched out to us. This separation is probably more painful for me and Tim than for the girls. It breaks my heart to leave them crying and screaming. It feels like I'm subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishment. Just a couple of minutes after we leave the room, crying dies down and they each try to find a comfortable spot in the crib to lie down and soon fall asleep. I am just amazed. Naptimes have been more of a struggle for Erin. While Faith is falling asleep in about 10-15 minutes, it takes Erin about 20-30 minutes to fall asleep. I'm hoping that this will whittle down to 10 minutes to 7 minutes to just a few minutes (and without crying).

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Letting go

Since Elyse passed, I've been placing all of her belongings on my desk next to the crib she slept in. She really didn't own too many things....how much can an 8-month-old leave behind, really. A few weeks after she passed, I took out a onesie she used to wear a lot from the drawer and added it to the pile of things on my desk. I bought this for her because she outgrew all her onesies. Taking steroids causes excessive weight-gain. The collage of Elyse's belongings slowly accummulating on my desk included a notebook we kept since she was admitted to CHLA, her CHLA ID card we showed to registration before getting her vitals taken at triage at every chemo appointment, her ID band from Northridge Hospital, BMT pictures, clothes we received as gifts that I'll never see her wear, a lullaby CD she started listening to at the hospital when she was first transferred to CHLA, a notebook I started for BMT and post-BMT recovery notes, condolence cards from her memorial service, etc. I thought that I can't just leave her things on my desk forever. I have to admit...seeing her things on my desk everyday made me feel like a part of her was still near me. After four months, I finally decided that I should put them away in a box for safekeeping. I purchased a colorfully-striped fabric-covered box for Elyse's belongings. A few weeks ago, I finally mustered up the courage to put away her things. It was one of the more painful tasks. It was definitely a process of letting go.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sleep-training

I can't believe Faith and Erin are already one. They are such bundles of joy ! (most of the time...).however, when they struggle to go to sleep for naps and bedtime, joy quickly turns into anguish for both me and the girls. You know what I'm talking about, moms. So a few weeks before their first birthday, I realized that they really needed to be trained to fall asleep on their own. We thought this past Saturday night was a good time to start because it was an exhausting day for them (per all the experts (moms!!) i've talked to). We braced ourselves for the worst - continuous crying for 1-2 hours, crying 'til they throw up, etc. Saturday night we gave them a bath and then their milk. They both fell asleep drinking their bottle. So that was easy. Sunday night - the same thing. Tim and I looked at each other and smiled. Monday morning, training was underway. At around 9:30am, Faith and Erin were in their cribs. I turned on their lullabies CD, kissed them goodbye, left the room and closed the door. They struggled for about 20 minutes and went to sleep. For their afternoon naps, the same thing. For bedtime, they were up for about 20 minutes and fell asleep. Today was a different story. It took them 40 minutes to fall asleep in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon. I'm curious about tonight. I'll have to push forward with their training and schedule even though their crying is sometimes hard to bear. Any advice on sleep-training would be greatly appreciated ! I ordered Dr. Ferber's book and anxiously checked my mailbox everyday only to receive a defective copy...it was missing the first 10 pages ! So I had to order a replacement copy. It's on its way. My advice to first-time moms out there - train your babies to sleep on their own early on ! It's a good thing.