Sunday, September 30, 2012


Ludvig is now a scout. On today's meeting the theme was "water". We went to small river close by and the kids were given the opportunity to fish and to learn hands on how the water can be cleaned in order to be good for drinking. Here's a few photos of it all.
Ludvig fishing.
The kids looking at the water straight from the river.
The water has now been filtered and looks quite clear.
Ludvig prepares a tube for the second step of the cleaning, when ions are removed.
And here is water from the river, filtered water and water clean enough to drink!


Thanks to all of you that have sent or in other ways have given us clothes for Elin, Oscar and Filip. Most of you have provided three sets of clothes that in some way are matched, or all the same. We must have ten different outfits so far that should make it possible for the three babies to wear similar clothes at the same time.

But we have not once been able to dress them in that way!

First reason: Clothes are a low priority these days. Yes, we do dress them, but we don't put in much effort in choosing - we just pick something that is in the right size whenever we need something new to put on. We seldom change clothes on the babies other than if it is necessary (due to some soft of "accident"). Pyjamas is something we never mind, accept if a change of clothes has become necessary in the late evening. Babies sleep as well in regular soft clothes as in a pajamas!

The mentioned "accidents" occur at least once every 24 hours, and often more often than that. On the two or three occasions when we have attempted on putting on matching clothes accidents has always struck, ruining that set of clean clothes.

Second reason: Oscar cannot wear the same size as Elin and Filip. So if we were to dress them in one of the matching sets we have, one or two would have clothes that do not fit... (Oscar is currently best fitted with a size 50, and Elin and Filip size 45. Shortly this will probably be 56 and 50.)

So, if you miss photos of babies in matching clothes, that's the explanation of why we never seem to produce such... (The only photos with matching clothes we do have are when the babies wear their fleece suits that are the only out-door wear we have at the moment.)

The wardrobe is at the moment pretty full of onesies (Swedish: "bodies") in a number of sizes, while the stock of pants, sweaters and sock could be improved. We'll see when we can get out of the house long enough to stock up some...
Oscar and Filip sleeping close together.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

1 month old!

These guys turned one month old today.
Oscar, Filip and Elin, one month old,
29 September 2012.
It's hard to imagine that it is only one month since they arrived - so much have passed during this time. The blog actually helps us to remember it all. We also discussed this with the kids, and at least Ludvid has a clear memory of many of the happenings of the month. I guess this is a month the four of us (Anna and I, Ludvig and Siri) will remember for as long as we will live.

Today's local paper featured an ad with Elin, Oscar and Filip:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Total denial

Filip and Oscar see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing - like the three famous monkeys!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

This has begun to sink in

I've lost count on the number of occasions when someone has asked "how does it feel to be expecting triplets" or "how does it feel to have triplets"? Up until now the honest answer has been that we don't know. But I guess this is about to change.

Early on in the pregnancy we thought we knew that we were expecting twins. We had been to two separate ultra sound scans confirming it. At this point I was feeling quite worried of it all. Questions about twins and thoughts about everything that we needed to get one extra off filled my head. I definitely had more worried thoughts than I had positive thoughts in my head these days.

When we in May found out that it was triplets something happened to my thinking. I left many of the thoughts of all the trouble to come behind. I just couldn't imagine how everything would develop and be. Most people we talked with said things like "oh, that will be so tough" but very little was said why and how it would get tougher.

After the weeks passed I still couldn't imagine the trouble to come, but I started to get glimpses of positive things that could come. I got good help here by a colleague of mine who is a triplet. She told me of her time growing up, when she always had two good friends close by and always had someone who could understand how life is. I started to get images in my head of Christmas in 5, 15 and 30 years time; of how many hugs you can get from five kids; how many laughs that will come; how much fun the five siblings will have together; and so on. Another colleague has told me afterwords that she could see in my face that my thinking really had improved.

A very good help in turning the thinking around came through Facebook. There is a network of Swedish triplet parents there, and these lovely people have provided so much positive coaching and real life experience. Thanks guys!

Now when Elin, Oscar and Filip have arrived, they are all doing good, and I now know some of how it is. Tough, yes, but is it so much tougher than having one baby that don't eat enough? Sleepless, yes, but is it so much tougher than having a baby with colic? Some things are off course tripled, like when it comes to changing diapers, but many things can't be tripled. Feeding three babies at the same time just needs a bit of extra imagination and three bottles, it doesn't take three times as long.

And the laughs are definitely more frequent. And so are the smiles. And the photo opportunities are countless.

So, yes, this is getting to me and I realize it is for real. And the pros outweighs the cons already. This will be the trip of a lifetime.
Oscar and Filip are sleeping.
Elin is wide awake.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Free to go

Today we visited the hospital again for another check-up.

First we did a hearing check. With a rather high tech tiny machine they play low sounds into the baby's ear and then detects if the ear is working as it should. Perhaps the machine was a little bit too high tech, since it took quite a while for the staff to get it going, and then it actually only worked on Elin. The analysis on Oscar and Filip came out inconclusive. So we'll have to go back in a month or so.
Filip is having his ear checked.
We then went to the neonatal ward and all babies were weighed and measured.

Finally a doctor examined all three and decided we no longer need any regular check-ups the hospital. So we are now formally discharged from the hospital! A final small concern is how Oscar is eating (he sometimes eats too little and very slow), and if this continues to be an issue, we may have to go back. But that is up to us to decide.

The local health care center will probably be able to provide the care we will need over the coming months. We will be transferred into their care now, doing the check-ups that are done on any child there. We will however go back to the hospital for an evaluation in six weeks.

So now we are on our own, "trusted" in deciding for ourselves when and how to feed our babies, and so on. It all feels a bit scary, but most of all it's a relief! So now we're at home for real.

Today we also said good bye to grandpa Björn, how left for home after ten days with us. That ends a period of 27 days during when the children's grandparents have stepped in, taking turns in helping us, taking care of Ludvig and Siri, and (during the last week) supporting us all back home. Thank you, all! Your help has been invaluable! We now have to manage on our own for 28 hours, before grandma Margareta returns for ten more days! ;-)

Dead tired

Elin and Filip are dead tired after hearing check, measurements taken and doctor's exam, followed by a delayed, and very large, meal...

Bound for the next checkup

It's time for the next checkup at the hospital today, including a hearing check. (Pretty amazing that they already can check that the babies can hear or what may be wrong with their hearing!) Perhaps we will be released to go home permanently today?

Getting ready only took 25 minutes today - a new record for changing diapers and get dressed!

Filip rides in the green car seat, Elin in the petroleum colored and Oscar in the blue one.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Seven years down the road

Today seven years ago Anna and I got married. We've got plenty of good memories from that day. If someone had asked us on that day how life would develop over the coming seven years, I doubt that I would have been close to what actually happened.

We celebrated our anniversary by taking or first ever walk outdoors with our triplets in the pram. (We visited the local library and the pharmacy!) While walking I realized that my lovely wife in a way had come back to me on this special day. This was the first time in many months that we've been able to take a casual walk together - not having any complications to the pregnancy stopping us. I loved the moment, I think we both did.

We also celebrated the day with a lovely, home cooked dinner. And red wine for the first time since last winter!

Thanks for sharing this life with me, Anna. I love you!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Feeding headache

Feeding is our headache these days:

  • When is it time to feed them next time?
  • Is the milk still in the fridge?
  • Is the milk warm yet?
  • How much are we going to feed xx this time?
  • How much did xx eat last time, and is it then okay if he/she eat a little less this time?
  • Where is the third bottle?
  • Are ALL the bottles in the dishwasher at the same time AGAIN?!
  • Where is my third hand?

  • Filip eat 50 ml breast milk every three hours these days, Oscar and Elin 55 each. Bottles is the most common way, but Anna tries to breast feed one baby when that is possible.

    So far have we often been two to share the work of feeding three babies, so we are coming up to speed when it comes to feed two at a time. But every now and then one of us is tied up and the other needs to do the feeding alone. Then you would be nice with an extra arm... But we will get the hand of it and soon know all the tricks in the book!

    Friday, September 21, 2012

    Filip won the war

    You may remember that Filip didn't like the tube through his nose. He won his war this morning.

    He then pulled out his eighth (!?) tube in 23 days. (A tube may be used for seven days before being exchanged.) And since he is now good at eating from a bottle as well as nursing, we decided not to replace the tube. (I have been trained to put in a new tube, and had the things at home needed to do it.)

    Just a few hours later Oscar pulled out his tube, and we allowed him to join this brother being "tube less". Elin's tube was removed on Wednesday since it then was seven days old, and since she hasn't needed a tube since, all the babies are currently without tubes.

    I guess the babies had it their way!

    Two days at home

    We were able to leave the hospital on Wednesday and go home. The triplets need to put on weight but are not in need of any medical treatment or monitoring anymore.

    In the last minute "our" doctor decided to allow us to stay at home for two nights before going back for checks today, Friday. Usually one night at the time is routine. I know now this was a very wise decision.

    The first night at home was one I'll remember. The babies decided on having a party that night; being awake and keeping their parents awake from midnight to 3.30 AM... And since they should eat at 6 AM we got something like two hours of sleep...

    If we had had a scheduled visit for checkups on Thursday, chances are that Anna and I would have taken the opportunity to move back to the hospital. The support there helped us a lot, making it possible to get enough of sleep.

    Instead we spent the Thursday at home and settled in a bit. And the second night was much better; we fed the triplets for half an hour at midnight and 3 AM, and again at 6 AM, and we all slept well in between.

    When we returned to the hospital today we were in good spirit. Oscar and Filip had put on weight at home, while Elin weighed the same as when we left on Wednesday. But that was acceptable.

    So the ward resupplied us with more dipers and a few other things and asked us to return on Tuesday, four days from now. I guess they trust is being able to take care of these three...

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    Back home

    We eventually got home today. It may only be temporary, but it is still home.

    I got to pick up Ludvig from school and Siri from day care. And we did manage to feed the triplets when we should, and we had dinner (thanks to Anna's parents). Not much, but it is a start.

    The test is now if we can feed the triplets enough, and make everything else work at home. We'll go back on Friday at the latest, to evaluate how it is working out.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    Going home test

    We have today agreed with the doctors and nurses that we tomorrow (Wednesday, 19 September), the day the triplets turn three full weeks, will try to go home! This is only sort of a "test", and we will be back on Thursday to evaluate and have check-ups done. It will still be a while before we can leave "for good"; for one thing we need to be independent of feeding through tubes before that will happen.

    But still, just be able to sleep in our own beds, and to be with Ludvig and Siri every day will make a big difference. Going back to the hospital for check-ups every day is something we can live with for quite some time (if necessary), since the hospital is only 15 minutes from our house.

    We have spent quite a lot of time preparing today. The hospital supplies us with lots of stuff just to be able to continue to take care of the triplets at home as if we still were still at the hospital. We now have a number of bags with diapers, syringes, bottles, vitamins and formula, and a breast pump to bring home. Just packing the car, including mounting the three baby seats, will take quite some time tomorrow.

    But, eventually we will get home!

    During the night the night staff will run a few more tests while feeding the triplets. This along with tonight's measurements are the last planned checks before our short leave.

    First time with bottles

    Today we introduced bottles for the first time. (This was actually the first time for any of our children to be bottle fed.) We do not believe that it would be possible to only breast feed the babies (like our older children) so we now work towards establishing a combo of both nursing and bottle feeding.
    Grandma Margareta helped us with the third pair of hands needed when we introduced bottles.
    So far the babies only manage to eat something like half of a full meal at one time, and we then feed the rest through the tubes.

    Three times OK

    Last night the ECG, breathing and oxygen levels of Elin and Filip were monitored. And they passed with flying colours! So now all three babies have an OK stamped in their butt!
    Screen shot from Disney's "Santas Workshop" from 1932.
    The consequence of this is that we no longer hook up the babies to any monitors at any time, as they are considered "medically stable" and we can move about in the hospital as we choose. So today we took a "long" walk (500 meters?) indoors to the main building to visit the pharmacy, buy a few things and to "show off" the babies for a few former colleagues.
    Along the way back we experienced how it might be to go for a walk in the future. The cashier in the mini-mart and two complete (lady) strangers stopped us to ask about the triplets and talk about them. It took 15 minutes longer to walk back than it took going to the main building...

    Karate kid

    Filip is defending his space in the bed. Perhaps he want to become a new Karate kid?

    Monday, September 17, 2012

    Tick boxes

    Today we have ticked of two (of many) things that needed to be done before going home will be an option.

    Last night Oscar was hooked up to a monitor that recorded his ECG, breathing and oxygen levels over eight hours. Before the doctors are willing to send home any preemie, they want to confirm these things are working as they should be. The results were seemingly satisfactory and from now on Oscar will be off the monitors day and night.

    We have also changed the frequency we feed the babies. Eating every other hour is good for growth, but it would be suicidal to try to keep that schedule once we go home. It would hade driven us nuts. So we are now feeding every three hours instead. It actually works so far - we had doubted that Filip would be able to take all the milk we need to give him in one go.

    The coming night Filip and Elin will be hooked up to monitors for their "checkup", and in parallel the new food regimen will continue to be tested. Will they sleep? Will they have gained weight tomorrow?

    Saturday, September 15, 2012

    Nothing new on the Aulin front

    Over the last couple of days I've had a hard time coming up with new topics to write about on this blog. Nothing new has really happened here.

    But, hey, that is a topic!

    "Nothing new" is the fact that Filip so far has put on 17% in body weight, on as many days. (His two minute older brother has put on 10% and his four minute older sister has put on 15%.)

    "Nothing new" is the fact that both Elin and Oscar are learning to breast feed and thus are we now and then able to decrease the amount we feed them through the tube. (If we remember to put them on the scale before and after they are being nursed, we then know how much they have actually eaten.)

    (We have also learnt that the proper term for the feeding tube is "nasogastric tube".)

    And Filip has started eating from a cup. If babies are too small or something else prevents them from breast feeding, you can do this. It is said to be the best way to prepare them for being breast fed later on, when a bottle may teach them the wrong technique making it harder to breast feed later on. So when ever Filip is awake at eating time, he gets 6-10 ml in a cup.

    Another "nothing" is the fact that the babies are now being fed well over two tablespoons of milk each every two hours. We started of with just little over one table spoon every hour.

    The heating mattress is also gone, and as long as mom and dad remembers to put on two blankets all three, especially Filip, holds their body temperature on their own just fine. That was the reason why we could go outside with them yesterday.

    So perhaps something is new around here? One thing (or the only one thing?) that is pretty much the same here may be the daily routine. And perhaps that is the key to the change?

    Fresh air visit

    We have today been outside with the triplets. Do be able to do that we needed to put on the smallest outdoor wear we have, suitable for a "normal" newborn. Only Oscar actually used the sleeves and legs... Filip and Elin didn't reach that far.
    Outside, on the ward's patio, we met grandpa, big brother Ludvig, big sister Siri and grandma and grandma. This was the first time the siblings saw each other without a window in-between, and the first time grandpa saw Elin, Oscar and Filip at all.

    Thursday, September 13, 2012


    On thing is clear after the last 24 hours. The babies are not yet synced with how normal people sleep.

    Last night we went to bed at midnight. The first couple of hours of sleep were all right, despite them being chopped in smaller pieces due to alarms going of now and then. (The sensors that we have on the babies fall off sometimes, making the alarm go off...)

    But after we had fed the babies at 3 AM all three suddenly decided to stay awake. And the kept us up too.

    The clock ticked slowly to 5 AM, when the staff came to get the babies to feed them. We then got 20 minutes of rest, before it all continued... It wasn't until after the meal at 7 AM that we finally got a little bit of more rest, before the days routine had to begin.

    Two people at this place have been yawning a great deal today... I guess we need to work on the timing issues a little bit in the future.

    Filip, a handy man does it himself

    Filip is proving himself as a handy man that takes care of things on his own if they aren't to his liking.

    Back when we were in the ICU Filip had extra oxygen through a CPAP in his nose. This he didn't like, I guess it was annoying. So he pulled it out of his nose a number of times - the nurses put it back in, and he pulled it off. Finally the staff came to the conclusion that he could have it his way, and from then he managed without any extra oxygen or extra air.

    Today it was the tube in his nose, through where he gets his food (like his two siblings), that he couldn't stand. So he pulled it out. We had to call a nurse assistant who helped us put in a new tube. He didn't like it either.

    While Filip got his new tube Oscar decided that he should be as good as his brother, so he pulled out hit tube. This time a nurse taught me how to put in a new tube.

    I guess Filip thanked his brother for the distortion, since he used the opportunity to pull out his brand new tube. Filip isn't the one that gives up very easily. So I got to train how to put in a tube one more time.

    Currently Filip has got that second tube still in place, but I doubt that the war over the tube is won - this was only the first battle, if you ask Filip.

    Filip is our sleepy head!

    Another thing Filip does on his own is to hold his hand over his ear when his sister makes to much noise!

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    Off the heat

    Today's biggest news is that the heat mattress has been removed. From now on we hope that the babies can control their body temperature on their own. An extra blanket is the only thing we've added so far, and they still keep a normal body temperature. And they sleep as well as ever, here illustrated by Elin.
    Today is also special since we today can celebrate that the babies now are two weeks old! Anna took the car and drove to our favourite steak house and picked up a very nice dinner for us. We put the babies in their pram and brought them with us to the common kitchen and enjoyed the best dinner in months!

    A day at 95F

    So how is a day at the neonatal ward at Akademiska sjukhuset, two weeks in?

    We usually have an alarm set on 06.55. The babies are going to be fed at 7. After having prepared syringes with milk the evening before, it only takes a few minutes with the syringes in hot water from the tap, to heat the milk and have it in order to be able to give the babies food.

    Feeding should take 20 minutes (and is done every other hour), but our morning tempo is rarely that good. While feeding we usually find a number of things that need to be changed; diapers and bedding any day, and sometimes the tape that holds the feeding tube in place or something else. We are also constantly run out of something and we probably make twenty runs to the cabinets in the corridor every day. We consume lots of diapers, wipies of two kinds, feeding syringes in four different sizes, caps for syringes, pre-filled syringes with sterile water, bottles for milk in two sizes, three different part for the breast pump each time it is used, stickers with the kids ID number on (to put on bottles and syringes), and so on...

    Re-supply is usually done in parallel with us parents having a shower, fixing and eating breakfast. We have access to a kitchen and there we have one shelf in the fridge and one in the freezer. Bread, butter and milk is "on the house", and we have juice, yoghurt, serial, ham and cheese of our own.

    By now is it time for the babies next meal, at 9 AM. The things we didn't manage to do before that meal we do afterwards, and thus is the time to the 11 AM meal quickly spent...

    In the mornings the doctors have checked with the nurses how things have developed over the last 24 hours. If we get any changes in the amount of food that the babies should have, if any tests are to be taken, and so on - now is the time we are informed. We rarely meet the doctors in person any more - while at the ICU we met them many times a day. Information on weight, body temperature, amount of food, when the babies are fed, and so on is noted on paper charts we have in the room. Both nurses, nurse assistants and we parents note things here, so that everybody can follow the events.

    We have seldom been able to have lunch before 1.30 PM. Time files in-between baby meals, but after the 1 PM meal we are usually so hungry everything else need to be put aside.

    We fix lunch ourselves. We have bought some food and put in the freezer, but even better is the food my mom has made for us - pies, steaks, chicken. Yummy!

    During the afternoons we've had family visiting a few times. Adults may visit the ward itself, but children under the age of 6 are not allowed. Our older kids have visited the hospital and watched the babies trough the window.

    Anna use a breast pump every four to five hours. The milk is sent of to "the milk kitchen". They store it, fill bottles with the correct amount of milk and return them to us marked and ready to be heated and then given to the babies. Any excess milk is frozen and saved for future need. If there isn't enough milk for a baby, donated breast milk may fill out the demand, or powder milk can to be used. Anna currently has the upper hand in this demand/supply "battle" with our triplets. She does an astonishing job!

    Staff is changed in the mid afternoon. Each shift check up on us, do a few checks on the babies and helps us with what we need.

    We try to get outdoors at least once per day. We need to get some fresh air and get outside the "bubble" that isolates us here. If the kids haven't visited during the day, one or both of us have driven home to see them and to get new clothes and return laundry. We also try to keep some of the kids weekly routines; Scouts for Ludvig and swim classes for both Ludvig and Siri. (At home the grandparents take turn to take care of Ludvig and Siri and the house.)

    The night shift is on from 9 PM. They help us plan and get though the night. They usually take care of feeding at 1 and 5 PM (they sneak into our room and borrow the babies for 20 minutes), and supply us with warm baby milk at 3 PM.

    We try to hit the sack after feeding at 11 PM, but rarely go to sleep before midnight. So with some luck we will get three plus three hours of sleep during the night. At 3 AM I do the feeding and Anna runs the breast pump. The last two nights we got half (since someone didn't want to sleep) and we then tried to squeeze in a nap somewhere during the day.

    A day passes quickly and is, as you have seen, for the most part organized around the routine of feeding babies every other hour.

    Questions and answers, part three

    If you missed part 1 and 2 of the Aulin Triplets FAQ, please see FAQ part 1 and FAQ part 2.

    More frequently asked questions are:

    How long can you stay at home with your kids when you get triplets?
    If you get one baby in Sweden parents combined are allowed to stay at home with the child for a total of 480 days. 390 of these are with pay, approximately 80 % of the salary at your regular job. The remaining 90 days you are paid 180 SEK ($30 per day).

    If you get more than one baby, the insurance system adds 180 days per additional child. So, we will be allowed to stay at home a total of 480+90+90 days. Out of these 480, will be with 80 % pay.

    I you have one child the parents are limited to stay at home simultaneously for a maximum 30 days. When both are at home, two of the days mentioned above are "consumed". But if you have more than one child, both parents are allowed to stay at home in parallel for as long as the days last. In other words, Anna and I can stay at home together for 240 days with 80 % pay.

    However, it is not possible to get a place in daycare before your child is one year old. (That's the "Swedish model" - parents are to stay at home with their kids the first year, and daycare is "designed" to be able to take care of kids aged 1 though 5.) In real life it is hard to get daycare unless the baby is 18 months old and/or if you ask for daycare starting in August (when some kids leave for school, there will be room for younger kids).

    Dads are in addition allowed two weeks of leave with 80 % pay the first two weeks after having a baby (or after the baby can leave the hospital after being born). These two weeks are multiplied if you have more than one child, so with triplets I can stay home from work the first six weeks after leaving the hospital.

    Our plan is to stay at home with the triplets for almost two years (probably until August 2013) by stretching these days out. We'll try to split this period equally and have a nice long summer together next year.

      Do you need to move to a new house now?

    No. We have a spare bedroom and can put a day bed in the common area upstairs. So as long as the triplets share one room we have room for all of us, and have somewhere for guests to sleep.

      Are there room enough in your car?

    Yes, we have a 7-seat minivan. We can squeeze in the whole family in that, and then have room to go and by milk, but not much more...

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Questions and answers, part two

    Here's two more frequently asked questions about the triplets:

    Do you have twins in the family?
    No, we don't. The triplets came as a big surprise for us. You don't need rudiment to have twins or triplets. 

    How do you pronounce the names (if you do not speak Swedish)?
    Elin - the Swedish E-sound is like the E in "(Lake) Erie" or "Eric". You the add how you pronounce the name "Lyn". So something like "Eelyn".
    Oscar - sounds similar to the name in English.
    Filip - sounds similar to Philip, but with a longer first I-sound. So something like Phiilip.

    We have also added a table where you can follow how the babies grow.


    Here's a table of how the babies have grown:

    29 Aug45 cm1775 g
    10 Sept
    1896 g
    11 Sept46 cm1918 g31 cm
    12 Sept
    1973 g
    13 Sept
    1993 g
    14 Sept
    2023 g
    15 Sept
    2083 g
    16 Sept
    2113 g
    17 Sept
    2133 g
    18 Sept48 cm2123 g32,5 cm

    29 Aug48 cm2189 g
    10 Sept
    2232 g
    11 Sept48,5 cm2273 g34 cm
    12 Sept
    2303 g
    13 Sept
    2323 g
    14 Sept
    2373 g
    15 Sept
    2388 g
    16 Sept
    2451 g
    17 Sept
    2478 g
    18 Sept50,5 cm2485 g35 cm

    29 Aug43 cm1540 g
    10 Sept
    1682 g
    11 Sept44 cm1708 g31 cm
    12 Sept
    1742 g
    13 Sept
    1773 g
    14 Sept
    1813 g
    15 Sept
    1838 g
    16 Sept
    1898 g
    17 Sept
    1918 g
    18 Sept44,5 cm1928 g32,5 cm

    Monday, September 10, 2012

    Questions and answers

    A friend sent us a list of questions, and since we start to get them from other people too, I decided to put them and the answers here on the blogg:

    Are they identical?
    Oscar and Filip could be identical twins, but we don't know. Babies of the same sex could have come from the same egg cell. A fertilised egg cell may split in two early on and then grow in the uterus looking like the embryos came from two egg cells. (If a fertilised egg splits late, the embryos may share a common placenta, and it would then be easier to see on an ultra sound scan that it is identical twins.) We cannot say for sure about Oscar and Filip. In a few months/years, when they have grown we could make a better guess. They do share the same blood type (we checked), so it is possible that they are identical - but right now they are to different in size and body weight that we can't make a good guess.

    How big are the babies now (12 days after being born)?
    Elin weighs 1896 g (birth weight 1775).
    Oscar weighs 2232 g (birth weight 2189).
    Filip weighs 1682 g (birth weight 1540).
    They all have put on something like 30-40 g per day over the last few days.

    Length is not something anyone in the medical staff monitor frequently, so we don't know how tall they are at the moment.

    How long will we have to stay at the hospital?
    Predictions of this kind are not something that the medical staff are likely to give. Setbacks can come any day with no apparent reason. What they do say is that you can plan to stay until the date when the pregnancy would have lasted the full 40 weeks, or October 11 in our case. If everything works out and you get out before that, take that as a nice bonus!

    A possibility in a few weeks time may be that we can leave the hospital for some hours at the time, or over night, to go home. How long and under what circumstances probably depends on what support the babies need and how often things need to be checked. Daily check ups was something we did with our daughter Siri for about a week after leaving the hospital.

    What are the requirements before you can leave?
    Before we can leave "permanently" the babies need to be eating by them self (nursing or from bottle) and be putting on weight. Currently they get most of their food through a tube. Anna have them all in hard training to teach them to nurse, but they are yet only "tasting" and are not getting very much in their stomachs this way. We plan to teach them to eat from a bottle too, but that comes later.

    The babies also will need to be able to hold their own body temperature on a steady level. Currently they need to sleep on a mattress heated to 36 degrees centigrade in order not to be cold.

    We haven't any strict goals when it comes to length or weight.

    No strings attached

    The biggest news from today in the "adventures of the triplets" is that the babies now are considered "stable" enough to be off from the monitoring of oxygen and EKG, as long as they are with us and we stay awake. With "no strings attached" is it now so much easier to do a lot of things. Changing dipers on three babies with wires all over was a challenge. And we were stuck in our room all the time and couldn't move a baby more than 3 meters from the crib.

    So today we started of by giving all three a much needed bath.

    We then on clothes on our babies for the first time ever (here at the ward they only wear dipers.), put them in a pram and walked 20 meters in the corridors over to the delivery ward, to take the official photo. The tour probably took an hour, since everyone we passed had to take a look and ask a few questions.

    This evening we I took the pram and kids to the kitchen and were able to eat together for the first time without any stress for the first time in 12 days. And we had to stop a few times on this tour too, to talk to people.

    Official photo

    The triplets are now "officially" on the web, as a "webbis". (The word is sort of a mould of the word web and the Swedish word for baby.) If you have a baby at Akademiska sjukhuset (the university hospital of Uppsala) the parents get to publish one of these photos on the hospitals web page.

    When we took the photo of Oscar, Elin and Filip today, it was the first time ever they were wearing clothes!

    Sunday, September 9, 2012


    Quite a few people ask us if we get any sleep these days, and if we do, how much? The answer is that "we do all right". We have a great deal to thank the night staff here for that.

    Since we moved out of the ICU to our own room at the neonatal ward, more and more of the babies care is something we do our self; feeding, changing dipers, checking their temperature, and so on. You can say It's a bit of a training camp to be ready when we get home.

    But feeding the babies every other hour through the night (and through the day) would be exhausting pretty soon. This is where the staff step in.

    Every night at about 9.30 the night staff walks from room to room and asks what support they can give during the night. We usually ask for help with feeding at 1 and 5 AM, and in addition help heating the food at 3 AM. (We're usually awake at about that time, since Anna needs to use the breast pump once in the middle of the night.)

    So during the last couple of nights we've experienced the following twice every night: Three of the night staff quietly sneak into our room and pick up a baby each and then leave the room as quietly as they entered it. I suppose that they return some 20 minutes later in a similar fashion - but I haven't seen or heard it myself - I've been asleep! And the kids must have been fed, since they continue to sleep!

    This way we have been able to get some 6-7 hours of sleep every night! THANK YOU, NIGHT STAFF! :-D

    First look

    Today big brother Ludvig and big sister Siri got their first look at the triplets. It had to be done through the window, due to visiting restrictions for kids under the age of 6. But it was successful anyway!
    Ludvig and Siri also took the opportunity to try out the new playground at the children's hospital (some 30 meters away from our room). The playground is made with all children in mind, and it is for instance accessible for kids in wheelchairs for example, and was opened the day after the triplets were born. The playground was made possible by Akademiska sjukhusets barnfond and its chairman Thomas Fogdö.

    A nights work

    The night staff kept them self busy last night! While feeding the kids (and letting sleep) they made these. Unfortunately one cracked while drying, but hey, there are more nights to come! ;-)
    The name and date is on one side, a hand print and a foot print on the other.