Friday, August 13, 2010


Alex at the rehab hospital after just relearning how to sit up.
You can really see his facial palsy and the result of the injury to his third cranial nerve (which controls his left eyelid)
Alex and I just before his eyelid surgery. The surgery was meant to help him open his eye a little so he would completely lose sight in that eye.
Trying to be a happy boy. This was when we were still at the rehab hospital.
You can see the lovely ng tube in his nose.
Alex and Daddy cuddling at the rehab hospital
Alex at the rehab hospital
Alex and his puppies in the PICU
Alex relearning to pull up during physical therapy

Here is a not so brief overview of how it all went down......
Thursday Alex woke up with a high fever (104) and it would not go down. I took him to the ER where I was told he just had an ear infection and they sent us home with some antibiotics. That night he started throwing up and continued to do so early the next morning. I called the pediatrician and they instructed me to take him to urgent care because they could give him fluids there if he was getting dehydrated. We were told at urgent care that he did not have an ear infection just a stomach bug and he was given anti-nausea medicine and pedialyte and sent home. As the night went on he was really sleepy but who wouldnt be after being so sick for two days. Early Saturday morning he was so lethargic and extremely hard to wake up. I rushed him back to the ER and they did a spinal tap revealing that he in fact had bacterial meningitis. After an ambulance ride to St. Francis Children's Hospital he was intubated and heavily sedated. We went on like this for several days. The next Thursday the doctors decided to turn of the sedation and let Alex wake up. This was suppossed to be our first indication of how much damage had been done by the meningitis and subsiquent inflamation. We were told the sedation would wear off after four hours. When four hours went by and he was still not awake I started to really panick. The doctor told us sometimes it can take up to six hours, so we continued to wait. Six hours, then ten, then twelve hours passed and there had not been much change. I don't think I have ever prayed so hard in my life and we have had a rough and very prayerful year already. Finally over the weekend he started to wake up a little and move his arms and legs. Alex could open his right eye and that pupil was reacting but the left was not. On Tuesday the doctors decided try and extubate him again ( the first time he had so much airway swelling that he could not breathe and when they were re-intubating him he coded). This time things went a little more smoothly and he was successfully extubated. He began to move his arms and legs a little more, but could not longer sit up or even role over. We also noticed that the right side of his mouth was droopy and would not move at all the few times he attempted to smile. He also could not open his left eye. We knew that he could possibly have some nerve damage from the meningitis and it was becoming apparent that he did.
Knowing Alex needed a lot of rehab the doctors discharged us from the PICU and sent us to an inpatient rehab hospital in Bethany. While in Bethany Alex received physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy several times a day. He made an extremely quick recovery when it came to his gross motor skills. After being there one week he could finally sit up again on his own with just a few wobbles and was trying to crawl again. He was however still being tube fed through a nasogastric tube. He was not interested in eating or especially drinking at all. It became apparent that this would be one of our biggest hurdles. He had a facial nerve palsy on the right which left him unable to suck or eat efficiently. I feel like he was so frustrated and it felt so different and hard that he wanted nothing to do with eating and drinking. I don't know exactly what he was feeling but that was my best guess from observing him. He also still could not open his left eye although he sure tried to pry it open by raising his eyebrow as high as he could. It was devastating watching him struggle to relearn simple activities that he had previously mastered and he was constantly agitated which made therapy session seem pointless sometimes. Many of the sessions he just ended up crying in my lap not participating at all.
After two weeks the therapists and doctors decided to discharge Alex so he could finally be home with his brothers. At this point he had not been home in a month and I had barely been home at all either. There were a few days when Justin stayed with him so I could see Connor and Cade, but basically I felt like I had missed out on an entire month of Connor and Cades lives. Thankfully I have AMAZING parents who dropped everything and moved into our house for a month to take care of Connor and Cade.
We were so excited to have our family back together, but it was a little bitter sweet because Alex was still being tube fed and not even close to where he was physically before the meningitis. I should also mention that I was left in charge of Alex's tube feedings which included replacing the feeding tube whenever he or one of his brothers pulled it out. Despite our best taping efforts it did come out often. We would have to hold him down kicking and screaming and thread the tube up his nose and back down into his tummy every time it came out. I can't even begin to explain how terrible it is to repeatedly do something like that to your child, but given the situation we had no choice. Without that tube he would starve and get dehydrated.
We started outpatient speech therapy to try and get Alex eating and drinking so that we could get rid of the ng tube. Slowly but surely he started eating, but it was clear that drinking would be our biggest challenge. He screamed at the site of a cup or bottle. His facial palsy eventually started to improve and he finally started drinking a little from a bottle and occasionally would accept a cup. Even now I have to keep track of how much he drinks to make sure we get enough fluids in him. I basically carry a cup around all day offering it to him.
Alex is still has a long way to go but overall has made a seriously miraculous recovery. Every time we see a new doctor or therapist, they are amazed that he can do the things he is doing. I attribute all of this to the power of prayer. We were blown away by the support and prayers that were given and said for our family. God truly is hearing and answering those prayers. Please continue praying for our sweet boy and we will keep you posted on how he is doing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Big Week for Big Boys

Now that the boys are officially one we have been doing some very big boy things. It is funny how they all of a sudden don't seem like babies anymore. I'm always excited to see what they will do next but a little sad because before too long they will be all grown up. They are really loving all the new toys that they received for their birthday. They are now pushing cars around the hall and living room, diving into their ball pit and walking behind or along anything they can.
We have also made some MAJOR changes in boys diet. We got the OK from our pediatrician to switch from formula to whole milk. I can't even tell you what a financial relief that is. I'm not sure if you know, but they practically give milk away at the store! At least that's how it seems after buying specialty preemie formula for so many months. The boys adjusted to the new milk really well and we even dropped a bottle! We are now down to 3 bottles a day so 9 total for me to "make". I love being able to open the fridge and pour the milk in and presto! bottles made! So much easier than mixing formula everyday. It doesn't sound like that big of a deal but when time is so precious it really makes a big difference. We are also working on introducing more table foods to the boys. Our next step is to get off of baby food and on to all big boy foods. I think it will take a few more months to get there but we are definitely headed in the right direction. The boys and I took Justin out to eat at Red Robin for fathers day. Everyone was well behaved and the boys even split a grilled cheese! It is so nice to do normal things like that so we can start to feel somewhat like a normal family.
We also said goodbye to our old car seats and bought new forward facing car seats! It is soooo much easier to get the boys into the car now that they are forward facing and all sitting in the middle seat together. It is funny how such little things make such a BIG difference in our daily life.
Now that we are getting out more we have really realized what a spectacle we are. We can't go anywhere without people staring and whispering or even walking up to us and saying "wow I have never seen triplets before! Can I take a picture to put on my facebook page?" Yes, some weird (and scary looking I should add) guy wanted to put our babies on his facebook page. We just smiled and laughed it off and walked quickly in the other direction. So I guess we are sort of celebrities. Now, where is my stylist and my million dollar pay check? Just kidding! I know we aren't that special, but I do enjoy seeing people smile when we role by. Most often we just get and exaggerated "God bless you" or "you sure have your hands full". I'm sure those people are secreting thinking "thank God that's not me". What they don't know is that we really are the lucky ones. We get three times the laughs, hugs, and baby kisses. I can't imagine our lives any other way!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

God is Good!

What an amazing, terrifying, stressful, funny, beautiful year we have had. I can't believe my tiny babies are now one year olds. I am in awe of what God has done over the last year and a half. He has showed us that we are stronger than we ever thought and that He would see us through any situation. God is GOOD!
Connor, Alex, and Cade have come so far in one year. They truly are our miracle babies. So with that said we decided to have a big first birthday celebration. We cooked out (thanks Dad) and had cake and ice cream at our house with our close friends and family to celebrate the occasion.


One cake was not enough for Alex!

Playing in the ball pit. A present from Mommy and Daddy.

First ride in our new wagon. Thanks Nana and Papa!
First time in the real swimming pool.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pre Party Catch Up!

I am so behind on blogging!!! We have been so busy the last couple of months. The boys are now pulling up on everything and walking along the furniture and behind push toys. I can't believe how big they are getting. We have been teething a lot around our house lately. Here is the official tooth count: Cade # of teeth 0! I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have said " now he MUST be finally getting a tooth", but to no avail our tooth count still rests at a big fat zero. We may need to look into getting him some dentures soon :). Alex's tooth count is at 3 1/2. He has his two bottom teeth and one and a half top teeth. Connor now has 4 teeth and I can see two more getting ready to come in on top. I'm still amazed that he was the first to get a tooth. That was not what I would have predicted, but lets face it nothing about the last year and a half of our lives have been very predictable!
The boys battled through two nasty viruses in April and May. They all had runny noses and coughs and we ended up with three ear infections (5 infected ears total) that took two rounds of antibiotics to cure. The first virus also really took its toll on Connor. He ended up with bronchitis and we were sent home with a nebulizer to give him breathing treatments at home. About three weeks later the boys caught another virus that was very similar. They had runny noses and were coughing. On the night before labor day Connor really started wheezing so being a Sunday I took him to the pediatric urgent care. They gave him several breathing treatments there and then sent us to St. Francis where he was admitted for three days. Poor little Connor was such a trooper! It is so hard to have a baby that wants to crawl around everywhere hooked up to oxygen and an IV and stuck in a hospital room. I really feel for parents that have children that need extended stays in the hospital. It is such a difficult situation to be in. I barely got to see Alex and Cade for those three days and that was so hard. Luckily my amazing friend Megan and my Mom and Dad came to the rescue and really helped out with the boys! We are truly blessed to have such great friends and family!
The only other new news is that I went back to work one day a week. We found a great babysitter that watches the boys one day a week so that I can work. It has been so nice and is the perfect balance for me. I get one adult day a week and I can keep my ultrasound skills up to par. I do have to admit that the first couple days that I was working I really missed the boys, but I think it has been a really good thing for all of us.

"We rollin"
The view from the boys bedroom gate

Justin holding Connor in the hospital
Connor cruising the hospital halls

Alex. Our future meteorologist?

Alex hated the pool on our first attempt

Connor and Cade had a blast

Ganging up on Daddy

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

I just wanted to say Happy Anniversary to my husband! I could not ask for a better husband or father for my children. You amaze me every day with your selflessness and your genuinely joyful spirit. I thank God everyday for blessing me with such an incredible man. Thank you for everything you do. You truly are the most amazing person I know!

Four years ago today in the Bahamas

Monday, April 19, 2010

Quick Catch-up! Things are Moving Fast!!

I don't even know where to begin! So much has happened in the last 3-4 weeks. Ok, deep breath...... Here we go!

March 29 Connor started crawling

April 1 Connor gets two bottom teeth

By April 2 Alex was also crawling

On April 3 I went to get my haircut and have lunch with a friend. This was my first real day away from the boys and first haircut since September. It was much needed and greatly appreciated, however Justin boxed the babies up and attempted to sell them to the highest Facebook bidder! Just kidding! Sort of.....

On Easter we took the boys to church for the second time! This was our family Easter pic just before we loaded up in the car.

On April 9 we took our first road trip! We went to Woodward and stayed with Papa and Nana. The boys got to meet their Grandpa Terry, Sammye, Great Grandma Hininger, and many other friends that came over to visit. We had a great time and the trip went so much better than we expected.

3 generations of Hininger men.
Alex and Great Grandma Hininger
Cade and Papa
Nana with Connor and Alex
Alex getting a bath in Nana's kitchen sink.

On April 13 the boys turned 10 months old!

On April 18 after many, many frustrating attempts Cade started crawling!

In the last few weeks the boys are starting to LOVE finger foods, especially Cheerios and Gerber puffs. This is exciting and frustrating because now they are uninterested in eating baby food, but can't eat table food very well. I tried to explain to them that cheese puffs are not a breakfast of champions, but they don't seem to care. Barkley is really enjoying lurking under the table at meal time!

The End!
Whew........ Hope you all made it through that marathon with me! I promise to keep things a little more abbreviated next time.