As one chapter closes, another begins. Kristen's labor was even more premature than planned; but considering the sheer growth of her belly, it was obviously in Kristen and the boy's best interest to get this party started early. Fully informed of the most likely course of action, we understood that the boys would spend some time in the NICU and Kristen would most likely be discharged after only a handful of days. This was fine. It was planned for. And it worked out in the best way possible considering the circumstances.
The postpartum portion of the GBMC tour went by in a flash, but it allowed Kristen time to recuperate and heal from surgery and get some rest before the real fun was to begin. It was difficult for us to leave the boys in the hospital, but we had relief knowing they were in the hands of the amazing GBMC NICU staff. So for now, we'd need Kristen to rest and recover before our hat trick came home.
We were all so happy to have Kristen back home and it was cause for a celebration due to her rock star handling of the pregnancy and postpartum. While everyone was telling her to take it slow, I loved her stubbornness, from wanting to see the boys hours after major surgery to walking out of the hospital on her own. It is a testament to the stubborn love and dedication Kristen will most certainly provide to the boys as their mother.
Kristen's discharge was a major cause for celebration. I mean, she was in the hospital for 23 days without warning. Things still needed to be done in the house, but Kristen and the hospital were priority number one. Nobody could be more happy for her to be home than I was. Well, except for maybe Jersey, but she doesn't count.
Kristen and I both love Southern Tier's Pumking. Knowing this, I told her that we'd save our first bottle of the season for after she was discharged from the hospital. It also happen to be a football Saturday with Ohio State ironically playing Maryland.
In addition to the Stantz and Hewitt grandparents, the triplets' Uncle Matt, Aunt Kiki (Kim), and Cousin Rooney came to Baltimore to celebrate Kristen's discharge from the hospital and of course, to see the boys in the NICU. While we were home, Kristen and I were able to play with our nephew Rooney while imagining one plus two more little guys in about seven month's time. As you can see, Rooney would much rather wear Giants blue than Steelers black and yellow (only because Uncle Tommy is pushing it). Actually, Rooney is instinctively trying to remove the foreign colored hat from his head. That is one thing great about the family and our geographic history. The triplets and their cousin Rooney will have a natural Ravens-Steelers rivalry going on due to their birth locations, but at least the boys can all agree and root for the Giants. I mean, there is an AFC-NFC separation, so it's justifiable.
The following week, Kristen and I went to the NICU and noticed that the boys were in bassinets and not their normal isolettes. Whoa, this just got real. This was a huge step as it showed that the boys could retain their own heat; one of the criteria for getting them home. The nurses indicated that we would be able to take Trip home first, then the other two boys, but they weren't sure in what order. It would just depend on how the boys do on additional tests/steps.
Well, on Tuesday, October 20th, Trip was cleared to be discharged from the NICU. Even though we knew he'd be alright since he passed his car seat test, it was so unfamiliar to buckle such a small human into such a device. We had newborn inserts for the seats, but they weren't allowed to be used (legal reasons), so we had to pad the boys up with blankets.
It was so important for Jersey to be accepting of this crazy new lifestyle. She had already been introduced to the boys' smells, but first contact between any baby and dog is always a hesitant moment. We can't forget that animals are just that. But as we expected, Jersey was her happy sniffing self, cautiously content with these strange mini people that smell familiar.
The first night with Trip was so special (shhh, don't tell him, I don't want any of them getting a complex...). But seriously, it was amazing to have a baby at home. The adrenaline and caffeine were flowing and we enjoyed a bunch of firsts (changing, feeding) as well as nonstop gazing. The morning came and Grandma and Grandpop Stantz came over to assume their grandparently duties while Kristen and I headed to the NICU. We get there, and, yup Finn and Ollie were cleared for departure. Having already been through the process with Trip, we started getting the boys ready to join their brother at home.
While Dad carried Trip out of the hospital the day prior, Mom was given double duty with Finn and Ollie.
The boys are all secure with Kristen looking on from the middle row.
Now it was Finn and Ollie's turn to see their new set up.
The boys spent 33 weeks in Kristen's womb, then nearly two weeks separated in the NICU, so naturally Kristen and I could not wait to reunite them! After an exhausting past few days of car seat tests, circs, and outgoing exams, the boys could finally rest together in their new home.