And Happy Birthday to Michelle!! I wish I had some fun pictures of you to put on here, I know there are some good ones out there. But Have a good Birthday in Vegas and enjoy the warmer weather for us. And here is our greeting Snowman that Ben created yesterday to greet Jim/Monica family when they stopped by. I was very impressed.
Here is our balancing Carter. He may be the smallest but still has some good skills.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 10:26 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
A little preview of some pics our friends the Dean's took for us. This is me cheating with my camera, so soon enough we'll put the final product on here, but these are our kids naked!! I think they turned out awesome. It really shows off how big they are getting and it is exciting. I love them small but hear the sleeping improves with the size. Let's hope so... they are already 8 weeks.
And Ben copying the boys- they were passed out- which was also amazing- and Ben happens to do the same thing..... more so in the middle of the night.... but whenever.
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 6:45 PM
Monday, December 15, 2008
So life is Great!! Ben is off of school for THREE WEEKS!! I love to have him home and always available to help so I am not alone feeding the babies. People/Friends have been fantastic with coming over to help out and hold babies, but they can never replace the beloved Husband. He is such a great helper. Here are some late photos of our great Thanksgiving party, our set up to feed three babies with two people. Ben and I got a good system when the babies are cooperating and we are not totally sleep deprived. And then Ben studying for boards and holding babies. Piece of Cake... who said triplets would be hard to take care of?? Ha Ha Now it is time to think about Christmas, can't believe it is almost here. Thanksgiving seemed like it was just last weekend, the days just blend together when we don't get to leave the house and do the same thing everyday. Oh, we did get some fun pictures taken so that will be a project for another day..
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 9:06 PM
Monday, December 1, 2008
The baby life continues for another week, it has been great having help once again- but here Ben and I are feeding the babies on our own. It isn't too bad with two people, but I'll soon find out what it is like with one person. We do have a life other than kids. Ben had the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through today off- so he made it Mountain Biking with Trevor and Brian and then joined in the Turkey Bowl (with the ward) Thursday morning. Then we had some friends over at our house for Thanksgiving dinner in our garage. The pics are on my camera which has not been downloaded, so I'll get around to that sometime so you can see something other than boring baby pics!
Tatum above and Linc Below- Tatum may look bigger but Linc really is the chunk of the bunch
And a lovely family pic that my mom felt inclined to take. Don't we just look soo Happy!! We did make it to church with my mom willing to watch the kids all by herself- what a lifesaver!
And babies waking up so time to go!!
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 2:55 PM
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We took some pics of the babes (Carter, Tatum, Lincoln) today since all three are now home and we have family here to help with the chaos of feeding and getting them to sleep. Also meaning we have help to take pics and clean up spit when it comes up. So here are some updates... Tatum and Linc are almost 6 lbs and Carter is about 4.7. Not too far behind so we are trying to feed him a little more and get him on the same schedule so he can attempt to catch up to the other two.
Here is Michelle's 4 month old Logan- he looks like a Monster next to Carter. And below is our Angel Tatum. Annie made some AWESOME head accessories so we tried out a couple.
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 2:57 PM
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
We have made it through a week with Lincoln and Tatum... Kind of getting the hang of things. Still trying to figure out the best time to take a nap, Poor Ben gets up at night too and doesn't get much of a nap in during the day with school and visiting Carter so we may become a mess here pretty quick. The much help from friends has been GREAT!! So thank you thank you. Folding Laundry or emptying the dishwasher- letting me nap.. Holy Cow, it is such a relief to have awesome friends. Lincoln especially loves the attention, it seems he can't get a good nap in unless it is in someone's arms. Now that we've got a pattern with two- We have news on Carter. His surgery went well last week. All was accomplished that was supposed to be and he got moved from the CICU to the NICU sooner than expected. He decided he would pull out his own breathing tube, so they thought he was ready to heal. Then he decided he didn't want to breath everyonce in awhile so he got the CPAP and then Tubed again for a day. Monday the docs decided he was doing well enough to pull out his IV's that were all over the place and his feeding tube- having the nasal cannula handy when needed for breathing but able to eat everything on his own. Today Ben calls to say he is ready to be discharged Friday morning. Good news... it should be. But- Ben is leaving for an interview, My fam. is coming back Friday later in the day, Linc and Tatum have doc appts Friday afternoon, and I am supposed to be picking Carter up in the morning?? We'll see how this turns out. But we are excited Carter has improved soo fast and we won't have to be making trips to the hospital to see the Little Trooper. So that is that. We'll try and get some pics of the three of them again when they are all back together!
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 5:46 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
So we are a little slow with updating everyone on the big news, and people have asked so I am skipping a quick nap to give everyone some notice. Tatum has graced us with her presence- was discharged Sunday afternoon. We got our first family photo in Carter's room; Bob, Terri, Fern and Jay were even there to join in the blessed event!! (And my mom of course, she is included in everything this week!) Poor boys are already being overruled by the sister.
And one other landmark event- they got their first bath tonight and both Loved it!! Both totally chilled, stayed up for a bit, ate dinner and passed out sleeping. That is AWESOME for Lincoln. Yes- he is our rock star boy, but loves grunting at night instead of sleeping. I'll get those pics later....
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 9:33 PM
Friday, November 7, 2008
The last couple of days have been full of progress and happiness for the family. We were glad to have Dad McDowell up for the weekend. Here he is holding Lincoln. Carter is still as cute as ever and loves to be held by his Dad (he likes his mom too, but Dad is best!)
As for an update -
Lincoln is coming home today and was circumcised (ouch!) today. Over the last week he was moved to an open crib, wore his first clothes (doesn't he look like an old fisherman?), and got his low jack placed on his leg so he couldn't be stolen. He is eating well and growing (gained 7 ounces in the last 6 days) and his cheeks are starting to fill out. He continues to be our little Rockstar.
Tatum is now over her infection, off all the ventilators and assisted oxygen and is now taking bottle feeds. She is so much happier. She was very cranky with the tubes down her throat - often inconsolable as she pulled and pulled on the but couldn't make them budge. On Tuesday we were able to hold her for the first time - precious moments. She is now in an open crib and in clothes as she is regulating her own body temperature as well. With how much progress she is making we are hoping she will be coming home in a couple of days.
Carter is also doing well. He is over at Children's Hospital and will have his surgery Wednesday morning. The plan is to repair his coarct, close his PDA, and place a band around his pulmonary artery to narrow it slightly. The goal of all that is to improve his blood flow, improve breathing and allow him to grow well for the next couple of months. Later, (anywhere from 2-6 months) he will have his VSD (he actually has 2 of them) closed and the pulmonary band removed when he will be bigger, making it safer for him to be placed on a bipass machine for the next surgery. We are confident in his doctors and expect it all to go well. Hopefully he won't be in the hospital too much longer.
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 5:56 PM
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Another little update before we head out to the hospital yet again... Tatum is doing much better so thanks everyone for the love. She is now on a regular ventilator. She improved enough to get off the osscilating ventilator (a more heavy duty option) - and they are successfully weening her off several of the medications she has been on as she is improving. Carter looks like he is doing really well - breathing room air and no more bili lights to sunbathe under, but was transferred over to Children's Hospital - a ten minute walk from where Tatum and Lincoln are staying. He has what is called a coarctation of the aorta that if not corrected could have some serious problems (but fortunately is not affecting him a whole lot right now). The neonatal cardiac team at Children's is one of the best in the country so he will be in good hands. In a couple of weeks he will have a surgery to repair the coarct and at the same time they will fix his ventricular septal defect and his patent ductus arteriosus. It all sounds like a lot and is, but the doctors have reassured us that with the surgery he won't be set back a bit and will not be affected in the long run - such great news. Linc is our little rockstar. He is no longer aided by IV feedings, maintains his body temp well and is eating a ton. Hopefully he will come home soon. As is, we should get him home first, then sis later and finally Carter. I guess the kids want to break us in slowly.
Thank you for all of your prayers, support, thoughts and kind words.
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 7:40 AM
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Here are a couple pics, not much with the looks department has changed, still have the cutest little features! All the babies have been under the bilirubin lights for a couple days, we'll see what today brings. Lincoln is the Best eater and so we get to hold him a little more to feed. It is fun to see them chowing down on the food rather than watching food get put into a tube. Carter is doing well and Tatum is still having a rough time. She has a few things wrong with her so there is a lot to try and treat and needs a lot of ventilation assistance. For now she is stable, but she has had some long days- not much rest with someone always moving or poking her- but is our little Angel Baby and is fighting through. No new pictures of Tatum... she isn't quite as fun to look at. So the first two are of Lincoln and the last is Carter being a stud!!
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 6:21 AM
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We'll get around to posting some more pics in a bit-- when Ben gets off school he can take care of that! Still hanging out at the hospital and trying to enjoy the room service! Tatum has been put on a ventilator still struggling with the breathing. The nurses are trying to find the right amount of help that she needs, but since she is a good size baby and fighting to help it is a little more difficult. Carter and Lincoln started eating from a bottle, and whatever they don't get from that they have a feeding tube rather than an IV- so an upgrade there... What else... Carter is a strong little boy but has little problems that arise and get blamed from only having a 2 vessel cord. He keeps getting new tests done and we keep awaiting the news. Lincoln is just Lincoln and loves to chill and cover his whole face with his beanie. That is that and we'll see what the day continues to bring!
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 1:55 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The babies are here - born at 1:25 (Tatum), 1:27 (B - Lincoln) and 1:27 (C - Carter)! 30 fingers and 30 toes - all healthy. Tatum weighed 4 pounds 13 ounces (the girl) and the twin boys Lincoln and Carter (finally decided on first names) were 4 pounds 3 ounces and 3 pounds 13 ounces respectively. Jen did great and is now recovering. I had a great time watching the C-section and then moving down the assembly line cutting the umbilical cords and holding the babies one at a time. They are incredibly cute. What can I say - Jen is a pretty woman! Tatum is the only one who needed oxygen support so far - she had a little extra fluid in her lungs - but should be just fine. Carter, although the smallest, is a feisty little boy and loves sucking on his binky. Lincoln is a hairy little boy - shoulders, belly, everywhere. I am just super excited and am running back and forth between the babies in the NICU and Jen in her recovery room, bringing more and more pictures.
Jen is now back in our room and trying to get some sleep. The medication they gave her for treating the pre-eclampsia is making her pretty nauseous. But she did get a chance to hold some of her babies (crazy to say that) as I wheeled her bed and all to their areas (her and Lincoln in this picture). I got to help bathe Tatum and Carter this evening - Carter screamed the whole time until I got to hold him. Lincoln loves to have his eyes open.
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 2:43 PM
Saturday, October 25, 2008
So surprise surprise.. babies should be coming tomorrow morning if things work out...
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 8:13 PM
I had a regular check up yesterday and scared the docs a bit with some high blood pressure and a massive headache, so instead of letting me go back to work I got admitted to Labor and Delivery. So I am just sittting here waiting for the 24 hour testing to get over with to find out whether they'll want to take the babies due to sever pre-eclampsia or send me home on bed rest. One bummer is there is no room in the NICU until tomorrow morning for the babies, so if the babies need to come out most likely it wouldn't be today anyway.. I don't know how ready we are for them to come out.. actually gave us a little scare but I think that is how it will always be. Ben got to go to his football game this morning- the playoffs- but lost so he is back with me and ready to take me on a walk so I can also enjoy the nice day outside. Who knows how many more there will be right???... And how long I'll be able to get around... Keep you posted!
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 12:45 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
So a Little Heads up on those who are interested in our not so exciting lives!! Ben started his Flag Football playoffs- was tied for first seed and then got stuck as third.. so their first week they played the DS2's who they've lost to in the past but actually beat on Saturday so Yippee!! The most exciting part about going to the game is the amazing weather. The week before was drizzling/sprinkling cold all day and last Saturday was Warm and Sunny. Hopefully next week is the same. Then an update on Babies... Tomorrow they make it to week 34 and now get Non-Stress Tested twice a week - so far everything looks great, they move like crazy and do what they need to do so I don't have to lay there for more than an hour. We had a full measurement Ultrasound last Monday and the girl weighed in at 4 lbs. 11 oz. and one boy (Baby C) was 4 lbs. 5 oz. Baby B wasn't measureable since Baby C is right on top of him, but they found a healthy heart rate and that means all is well!! Oohhh and our tree looked AWESOME with the color changing so had to take a picture. It is supposed to snow this week, but hopefully that falls through and our tree color will stick around a little longer.
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 1:28 PM
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Dad decided to come and join us for Labor Day. When he last came over the 4th of July we wanted to hike Long's Peak, but didn't have the time or energy for a 15 mile hike. On Saturday 8/30 (I know it took me a long time to get around to this) we left the house at 3 am with hopes of getting to the trailhead by 4:30. I ended up getting pulled over in Estes Park when I made an abrupt lane change in an attempt to make it to McDonald's for breakfast. Fortunately, the cop realized I was not drunk and allowed us to continue on, but McDonald's was closed - no breakfast.
We ended up starting up the trailhead at 5 am using a little flashlight to follow the trail with 3 L of water each and several snacks. As usual, Dad got in his mandatory minimum of 1 trip and fall before daylight. We made it just above the tree line to the tundra for a beautiful sunrise. We know Mom loved sunsets the best, but this made us think of her also. The hike through the tundra was about 2.5 miles of beautiful scenery as far as the eye could see - small flowers, grasses, tiny creeks and pools of water from snow melt off and awesome lakes below.
After the tundra came what is known as the Boulderfield. Why? Because the trail disappears leaving you to pick your way along from where you are to the visible destination above called the keyhole, climbing over one large boulder after another. No signs of plant life anywhere. You can see the gap called the keyhole in the range over my left shoulder - separating one side of the mountain from the other. Unfortunately, this was a fairly steep climb and we were now at 12,500 ft and running out of O2.
Once passing through the keyhole we made our way along the part called the "ledges" - named because just to the side there is a 1000 foot drop - but it made for a really nice view.
After that flat portion came another kick in the pants called the trough - a long, steep hill with more climbing of boulders. I had to set little goals for us - "lets just get to that next bulls-eye and then you can rest" or bribe dad by saying "when you get to that bulls-eye you can have your Baby Ruth." Seriously though, our heads were pounding from the lack of oxygen and we could only go so far before passing out.
After getting up the trough we entered what is known as the Narrows - another area where if you slipped you would stop about 1500 ft below - not good odds for survival. Again, fortunately it was rather flat to allow for some resting.
The last portion is known as the summit. Sadly enough, you could see the top of the mountain - probably some 300 yards away, but knew it would take at least 30 minutes to cover that distance. All joking aside, this part was probably about a 60 degree incline requiring a lot of movement on all fours.
But we finally did make it - arriving at 14,455 ft in altitude shortly before 12. Here we are on what seemed like the top of the world - everywhere we looked there was nothing higher than we were - quite a site.
We thought the way back down would be easy, but we were exhausted and crawling down boulders and over rocks takes more energy that I could have imagined. What's worse is that we both ran out of water with 4 miles to go. We were so glad when we finally made it back to the truck - 12 hours after we started at the trailhead. It was great bonding time and made for some amazing memories, but I don't know if I want to do it again any time soon.
Posted by Ben and Jen McDowell at 5:37 AM