Saturday, December 17, 2011

Overdue update

Hi all.
I know I've really neglected this blog and updates but I've put all my energy and focus into my family and getting each other back.
I also realized that mentally I needed a break, I couldn't think about it for another second. It wasn't that it was all bad just overwhelming and consuming. I was ready for mindless, easy going days that didn't involve so many people. I've had that, we've redirected our entire family focus and come out stronger than ever.
I am finally back in a place where I am alright thinking about it and even writing about it. I recently decided to go back to school in addition to my full time job and while embarking on that journey discovered I really enjoy reading and writing. I've got some stuff started in the background, I'm not sure if anything while ever come of it but everyone keeps telling me I should write a book about our journey. We'll see...

As far as my recovery, I feel back to myself. I lost most of the weight and worried I'd have food issues. Unfortunately, they were opposite as expected and I love food...a little too much. Everything was so forced for so long that I do still food association issues. I have issues with avocados, shakes, eggs and straws. I have all my energy back and am back on an exercise regime. I do have a lot of expected loose skin on my belly. I'm going to give myself at least 1 year post before even considering corrective surgery. I feel ok with it all though, I know I deserve to be happy and I have a wonderful family that is still by my side.

The babies are all well. They were nearly 20 pounds each at 5 months old. They are in perfect health and meeting milestone of their birth age not their adjusted age. My IM is fortunate to be able to have hired some extra help during the day and at night. She seems so happy and at peace with her new life. She is a fantastic mom and really is the perfect person for this outcome. Friends have been telling her she needs to write a book too. Maybe one day we could write one together. Not sure who would read it though. :) We're hoping to visit them at their home one day in the next few years. They are always sure to keep in touch and my IF is still constantly thanking us.

I'm grateful it's over, relieved with the outcome and blessed to still have my family.

We learned a lot, made mistakes and grew as people. Life can be challenging and unexpected but we'll always manage if we have each other.

Thank you to all my dedicated followers. I deeply relied on your encouragement during my dark days and always felt better after hearing from you. Thank you for your prayers, they were obviously answered.

Love ya!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Long awaited update...2 weeks PP

Sorry for lack of posts!
I've been selfish with my time and spending it all with my kiddos and hubby. It's so wonderful to be home, free and driving. I'm taking it slow but feeling great. I love having my body back and have already reached my pre-pregnancy weight. I think the babies really took a lot more from me than I realized but I'll get it back! :) I wished they'd taken this ugly hanging belly "shelf" I have above my incision! I was surprised by how I felt after the csection, never had one before, it took me at least 4-5 days to feel like I could move around comfortably. Luckily, I had my mom and dad's constant help, couldn't have done it without them! But soon after that, I felt myself again. I honestly thought being on bed rest for so long would make it difficult to stand and walk after the babies were born but the only thing that slowed me down was how my belly felt. I've been pumping like crazy and have been able to stay ahead of what the babies are eating but I'm certain that will soon change as they grow and eat more.
We are going to be moving back home in a few weeks...soooo excited! My hubby had to start working again about a month ago so I've been here alone with the kids since the babies came. It's great but sometimes overwhelming. It was strange being a parent again and having to re-teach them that I do have authority, just like I did before. I do notice I get tired easier than I used to but that will get better once I can exercise and such. They have been really helpful and understanding through this whole process but especially now. I think they're just happy to have their mommy back and are happy with anything we do, big or small.
We purchased our first travel trailer the other day! We are so excited, I grew up camping and I can't wait to start our own traditions and memories. We've done lots of trips in the past but now we finally have our own things and equipment. Ahh, what a bright future we have ahead of us. I love my family!
My mom and dad are leaving on Friday to restart their full time RVing adventures. We usually don't see them for many months at a time so we're pretty sad to see them go. Especially after having the opportunity to spend so much time with them over the past 7 months. But, I know they are excited and I'm happy for them. Enjoy! Mmmwwah!

Now onto the babies...here's the breakdown
4 are breathing on their own, no assistance (most since birth)
2 have graduated to open cribs...next step, home!
1 suffered a brief NEC infection but was reintroduced to my milk today. Still growing and doing well but will have to catch up to the others' progress
1 was the smallest of the bunch but is eating a growing well
4 will go home when they have graduated to open cribs and do not have an apnea episode in 48 hours
4 are taking bottle feedings and spend their days doing kangaroo care with my IPs.

They are all loved and adored by their parents who haven't left their side since they were born. They get to do kangaroo care with 2 at a time so they can touch and see each other. My IM is loving this new life and has truly embraced her new future raising quadruplets. They are lucky babies to have the parents they have.

It's interesting how things change you, change your future and your state of mind. We're all on our own paths but when they cross, everything changes. I've learned many things from this journey but the thing that stands out the most is being grateful.
GRATEFUL for my family that stood by my side, never wavering, never frustrated or angry
GRATEFUL for the opportunity this created for my family to do the things in life that will bring us closer together, things that wouldn't be possible otherwise.
GRATEFUL for friends who were always there with supportive words and funny reminders.
GRATEFUL for God for giving me and the babies the strength and endurance to be successful.

Wow, I guess the hormones are really out of whack! I'm crying up a storm over here!!! :)

Thanks to all my followers who never stopped checking in on me!

Pictures...

THE ESCAPE from the hospital, 2 days after the babies were born:
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Our new trailer (me 2 weeks post-partum)

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Here's a few more details about the birth:
I'd been having bad back pain constant for a few days and nothing was helping, vicodin or heating pads. On Saturday night every time I got up to use the restroom I would get naseous and get sick. By yesterday morning when the doctors rounded they saw how I was feeling and ordered blood work. My magnesium levels (the meds that stop me from contracting) were at a dangerous level so they had to turn off the medication. My body was also showing signs of my liver failing after they got the blood results. By around noon the doctor didn't like the way I was looking and feeling with my back so she decided to check me. I was 4 centimeters dilated with the lowest baby sitting right on my cervix and the bag bulging. Bad thing is I had that stitch in my cervix which meant I was tearing through, not good! So by 2:15 I was wheeled off for delivery. Luckily Hubby was down with the kids visiting and my IM only had a short drive. My IF was out of the area so he missed the birth.
All but The smallest baby are breathing room air but he's only on a nasal canula, not fully intubated, things could change from day to day with any of them but they look great now. My IM has spent all her time in there with them trying to comfort any that cry. They even let her hold 3 of them skin to skin last night.
I haven't seen the babies yet but my mom brought back some cute pictures she took for my kiddos and I to see. I should be seeing them in the next few hours once my bleeding is a bit better and I can sit long enough.

Well, that's it! We had a storybook happy ending! All the time, pain and frustration was worth it knowing there are 4 healthy as can be babies here now.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The quads are here!

Melissa's body decided it was time for the quads to get here, so they delivered them today at 33 weeks and two days.

All are doing great. Only one baby has needed oxygen so far. Here are their weights and lengths:

Baby A 3 lb 13 Oz 16"
Baby B 3 lb 13 Oz 16"
Baby C 3 lb 8 Oz 18"
Baby D 3 lb 13 Oz 18"

Melissa did great according to the nurses. She did not need blood and can already wiggle her toes.

Will update more tomorrow, time to rest.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

33 Weeks

Photobucket A belly comparison, it's grown a lot in just 1 week!

Day 64 in the hospital.
41 pound weight gain, belly measuring 48" around and 56 weeks pregnant.
Made it to 33 weeks, yay! I'm still chugging along trying to stay positive and occupy my mind. Just wish my back wouldn't hurt so much, it keeps me from sleeping and walking is becoming difficult (never thought I'd be saying those words). But the end is in sight and everything will go back to the way it was. My kiddos are here again for the weekend, for the last time before the big day! They are very excited to have their mommy back and enjoy the summer together. They all want to be here on the day I get released to see me leave through the doors and get into our car. It will be a wonderful happy day! I will be out in time for the 4th of July so we are making plans with my parents to find some local event to attend. It will be nice to not miss another holiday, I missed Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day is tomorrow.
I'm anxious to see how much the babies will weigh. I've read some stories of quads born at 34 weeks that were born between 4.5-5 pounds and only spent days in the NICU not months or weeks. I'm guessing that's how big these little ones will be! What a relief I already feel knowing I've done a good job and have done my best to give these babies a good start in life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

32 Weeks 5 Days

Day 61 in the hospital...12 more days until C-section!

Another smooth few days. Had a visit from my kids and my older brother and fam over the weekend. It was really nice and made the time go by quickly.
The first BPP scan was on Monday, everything looked great, all babies scored 8/8. The next will be tomorrow and I'm not expecting anything different.
I've been feeling really good, nothing really to complain about. Although my back gives me trouble but I can't imagine it wouldn't considering :) I'm starting to really feel big, my belly skin is hard and tight, not sure how it's managed to stretch this far. But it's reassuring because I know it means the babies are growing and getting stronger each day in my belly, not in a NICU with cords and IVs and no one holding them.
I'm still in disbelief sometimes that we've come so far and things are going along complication free right now (knock on wood). I've read so many quad blogs and it rarely seems the norm. I figured out, I read just over 30 blogs with the average delivery being 29.5 weeks and only 3 made it to where I'm at now. Only 1 made it to 34 weeks for her scheduled C-section....1!!! I have 12 more days to prove I too can be added to that category! I'm certain I'll be successful.

Here's my progress on baby cross stitch project #2
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My lovely daughter decorated my room with a beautifully long paper chain, I love it! She's so thoughtful and creative.
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

32 Weeks

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Day 58 in the hospital
40 pound weight gain
Belly measuring 47 1/2" around and 53 weeks pregnant
4 strong heartbeats moving all around

Amazing!!! So relieved to be at this point. Some thought it couldn't be done, but we did it! The risks to the babies drops significantly from this point on, I am so happy about that. I'm mentally preparing for NICU time but I know it will be much shorter than other quads.
I've been feeling good, I go outside in the wheel chair everyday. The doctor said it was fine if I wanted to sit in a chair in my room instead of laying in the bed all day. Although it's not comfortable for long, it's nice having that privilege. At this point mentally, I feel strong and capable of getting through the next 14 days. Each day seems all to similar to the one before it but it's doable, easy. Less interruptions, interventions and mental strain than before...I like it that way. Right now, I'm watching a TV series from Netflix on my IPad and finishing my second of four cross stitch projects for the babies. That pretty much fills my day along with my daily visitors. I am ok with that to get through each day. I'm anxious for the delivery and think about it often. But I know keeping my mind quiet and occupied is best. I feel supported and cheered on from every direction, we've accomplished so much, I'm still amazed!
I hope one day I can offer support to a fellow surrogate or expectant quad mom. And although this wasn't on my bucket list, I'm glad I was fortunate enough to have been apart of this amazing experience. With the help of the best doctors, nurses, family and friends, we have been successful!
Tomorrow we start 2 times per week bio physical profiles on the babies.
So, if my water doesn't break or I don't have a bleed, I don't develop sudden pre-e or there aren't any urgent problems with the babies...they will officially come into this world on June 27th around 9:30 am!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

31 Weeks 5 Days- Growth Ultrasound

Growth ultrasound today!
Day 54 in the hospital...19 more days until delivery!!!
Babies weights are estimated to be:
A- 3 lbs 10 oz
B- 3 lbs 10 oz
C- 3 lbs 12 oz
D- 3 lbs 7 oz
Awesome weights and measurements. The doctor said how amazing it was and how nicely by body is tolerating growing that many babies, so many things could go wrong. So, that's the last scan before delivery.
I'm still feeling good, going outside most days. Started watching tv series on Netflix with my Paid, watching 30 Rock right now for something funny to lighten each day. Then maybe onto a drama series.
My IM is feeling the pressures realizing it won't be much longer now! :)
She is frantically spending her days shopping and organizing in preparation for the babies. She has a nanny on board to look after her older children while she visits the NICU. Along with my breast milk, she has secured another person to donate for the babies and has a freezer all set up for the supply. I think she's nearly ready, I know I am! :)
Things are still looking a lot better for me, I feel great even with the strains of a big belly. I am trying to stay positive and just find ways to distract myself to get through each day. I look forward to visitors and doing my cross stitching for the babies. I try not to think about being bored or what I'd rather be doing, those are the harder days and I've made myself suffer through enough of those.
I'm finding it a lot harder to eat. My mom has been cooking and bringing me meals so I don't always have to eat the horrible hospital food. My stomach space is definitely limited so it takes me a long time to eat a whole meal. I have been doing quick shots of protein powder in water every morning and night so I can at least keep up on that. I take my prenatal, calcium, iron, potassium, omega fish oil and asprin each day. I don't feel like I can do anymore and although my weight gain has been minimal, the babies are growing fine. I think once this is all over I will have a lot of rebuilding to do but I'm ready! We're looking at nice treadmills for the house so I can use it while the kids are outside playing and I don't have an excuse to not go to the gym. I know what I need to do to get my body back and I'm looking forward to it! One day I might be able to have a nice little tummy tuck or laser surgery to fix all the marks but we'll see how much I can fix on my own.
I miss my hubby and kiddos but they should be coming back up to visit this weekend. My hubby commented that the last few weeks had flown by since he's been working and driving the kids around and such. Then I think he realized time doesn't just fly by for me, it drags, so he apologized :) It makes me so happy to know that my family is enjoying themselves and not upset that I'm not there.
19 more days...woohooooooooooo!!!!
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My countdown sheets my mom made for my room
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Monday, June 6, 2011

31 Weeks 3 Days

No such luck.

What a weekend! So, all labs still show I don't have anything to worry about pre-e wise, yet.
Last night I started having chest pain and decided to tell my nurse. I ended up with a blood draw, chest xray and an EKG. My chest and lungs looked fine but my mag results were high again. Also, my iron levels were horribly low (7) so they decided to start a blood transfusion right away (it's midnight by now). So, I was up all night with that and they decided to give me IV Lasix (sp) too since I was being given so many fluids. Ya, that's not fun (it makes you get rid of fluids), suddenly realizing you have to pee so bad it's painful! My poor nurse, she sat in my room with me all night.
So, the plan is still day by day, more monitoring and blood tests. Dr. E is stopping the oral Motrin (for contractions) at 32 weeks but has no plans to take off the mag (bummer!). He's saying unless my health situation drastically changes and he feels delivery is necessary, I stay pregnant! I know it's the best place for the babies, I guess we all hit a wall sometimes. I'm nearly there... 3 more weeks exactly! I'm going to force myself to be more positive and goal oriented. Maybe this stranger's blood was all I needed :)

Growth ultrasound on wednesday...excited to see how big they are now!

My hubby and kiddos went back home today after a nice weekend visiting. My hubby seemed extra sad this time but the kids are doing so well. It's funny how we have our ups and downs but we've come so far, there's no way we can fail now!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

31 Weeks 2 Days

Still here and preggo, things are getting a lot harder. Not much has changed. I'm still in the early stages of pre e so nothing drastic will be happening right now. We are talking about making some changes/compromises like turning off the mag at 32 weeks since my contractions are easily controlled with terbutaline and giving me more freedoms and privileges. Although, with the way I'm feeling I know my body and I don't think I'll make it much farther, we'll see.

Thought I'd share some pics:
The hospital bed rest preggo ladies convoy going outside for some fresh air.
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Our support group we made up. Except the one on the very right (triplets) decided to go into labor and delivered about 3 hours after this picture...boo!
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My silly girls
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Me and my girls
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

31 Weeks

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31 weeks! 50 days in the hospital. Belly measuring 53 weeks pregnant, 46" around, 40 pound weight gain.
Yesterday definatley had its ups and downs. After feeling symptomatic from the mag they decided to do a blood draw. My levels were in the toxic range so they had to turn off the mag for 2 hours then lower it to 2.5 from 2.75. All morning I still felt pretty crummy and noticed I wasn't peeing as much as before and blood pressure was higher but not too high.
They decided to run some labs and found out my uric acid levels were elevated and kidney function was worse, all early signs of pre eclampcia. This got Dr. Elliott to rethink his plans with me. He reluctantly decided to give me the steroid shots for the babies lungs knowing it causes contractions. So, I've spent the last 24 hours being given terbulatine shots, IV motrin and they increased the mag back up to 2.75. I'm contracting 8-12 times per hour, up from 2-3. Dr. E said we may not make it to 34 weeks, that is still the goal but we have to take it day by day now. They also started a 24 hour urine collection which will eventually be tested for protein, another indicator of pre e.
So, overall I've noticed increased swelling all over my body and lower urine output. Last night was a rough night with my back, didn't sleep well at all. I'm hoping that's not an indicator of things changing, who knows with me. I have my daily ultrasound in a bit so we'll see what they find there. Hopefully he'll be able to take a quick peak at my cervix.
I have to say that I definitely feel like I've turned a corner, things are getting a lot harder physically and I just have this feeling that it won't be much longer. It would be great to get to 32 weeks so the babies are that much bigger but I'm just proud to have come this far!

Day by day, hour by hour. I'll update if anything changes.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

30 Weeks 6 Days

I talked to my IM yesterday and I have to say I feel so relieved. I told her the delivery date and she seemed very happy with that. I asked if she was disappointed or bothered and she said no. I am so glad and grateful we can move past this now. It feels reassuring knowing there is an official "end date". Plus I think it makes it more real for her. My family seems happy and are supportive as always.
Yesterday morning I had this sudden pain/irritation downstairs. I hurried to use the restroom but nothing burned or hurt then. I told the nurse who promptly called the doctor. He used a speculum to check things out and tested for amniotic fluid. Tested negative for amniotic fluid and didn't appear to be a yeast infection. So, they tested my urine which came back with trace amounts of blood. They started me on antibiotics while they wait for the culture to grow, it can take a few days. I feel loads better now, just another day :)
My triplet neighbor texted and said she was having sudden pains too, back and belly. I told her she better not have her babies before I have the quads! She promised she wouldn't, we're both still here and preggo. :)
I miss my babies but they might be able to come up this weekend for a visit. My hubby is taking them to the beach today, they're really excited.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

30 Weeks 4 Days

Day 46...
Still nothing exciting here. Lots of new bed rest mommas have been admitted in the past few days here. I feel so bad for them.
I'm looking forward to Friday...31 weeks! That will 7 weeks in the hospital. I'm settled into a routine here and most of the nurses know me so the day goes by with ease. Sometimes I feel like this will never end, I here of ladies due after me come and deliver and go home already. I know the best place for the babies is in my belly but I feel so frustrated sometimes. I am grateful there are no complications and nothing seems to stopping us from getting farther along. In my head, I'm set at 34 weeks but my IM is pushing for farther, 35 weeks. I understand her reasoning but my body is already tired and doing more than it should. Plus, 10 weeks of mag is enough! I think I've given all I can them. At this point all I care about is the babies health and mine. Others can judge, put in their opinion but it's my body, my life that's being stretched so thin. I hate complaining or being negative but I just feel so beat down sometimes, like nothing I do will ever be good enough. I never wanted this experience to make me feel like I failed or wasn't good enough. I think what I'm doing, have done is really hard and hopefully nothing as hard will come my way again. I just can't wait to get out of here, I want to sit in a car, open the window and feel the air on my face. I want to smell the clean laundry my kids wear and lay in bed with them. I want to paint their nails, do crafts, go swimming, ride bikes, see a few good movies at the theatre....I 'm ready for my life back! All in all, I know this is my body and I decide what happens. The doctor promised 34 weeks and I'm standing strong with that! Sorry to disappoint but I've made up my mind!

***UPDATE***
Just saw the doctor. After feeling pretty down, I pressed him to give me a definite date for delivery. He'll be out of town on the day I turn 34 weeks so we settled for Monday June 27th...34 weeks 3 days. Hope that's good enough for my IM but at this point it will have to do, I'm already so mentally and physically strained. I am going to let her know this afternoon.
26 more days to go!

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My first completed counted cross stitch project for the babies...3 more to do!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Preggo women support group :)

Just thought I'd share...
There's a number of preggo moms here on bed rest for varying reasons. I convinced the nurses to let me make friends with my neighbors. In the picture with 3 of us, the girl in the middle has triplets and the one on the end has twins. So, 9 babies between us! We look pretty funny going done the hallways! We're all friends now on Facebook and text each other daily. The triplets are due a week behind me so I'm anxious to see who goes first...hopefully me! Glad to have support from every direction and something to look forward to every day.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

30 weeks

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Day 44 in the hospital
30 weeks! 46 1/2 inches around, measuring 51 weeks pregnant, 39 pound weight gain overall.
And nothing new to report.
If you were to have asked me if I ever could have spent 6 weeks in the hospital, I would have said heck no! I guess we're all capable of more than we think. I have been laying in the same hospital bed, in the same room with the same window view for 6 weeks now. And if the doctor keeps his promise, I have 4 more weeks until delivery.
For the first time in this pregnancy, any of my pregnancies for that matter, the discomfort is finally getting to me. I only get out of bed to go to the bathroom and just standing up my feet immediately swell and turn red. By the time I get back into bed after throwing myself in, it feels like I can't catch my breath. And even laying still for hours, I can feel my heart beating fast, I have lots of extra blood that my heart is pumping. The most comfortable position is on my left side and I swear my left thigh is developing a bed sore, it really hurts. And the stretch marks! Oh my, I never would have thought my belly could look like this.
All the complaining aside, 30 weeks is truly a triumph. The national average for quads is 29 weeks. I am so grateful for the wonderful staff here, they are constantly reminding me they can't believe I'm still here and pregnant. It's so nice having support coming from every direction.
The intended mom finally let her guard down once I got to 24 weeks and spent the day shopping for the babies, turns out by the afternoon I was admitted into the hospital in labor. So, ever since she's been too paranoid to do any shopping. I hope to be able to help out a bit after the babies are born. I still don't think I'll really get that I carried quads until I see the 4 babies after they're born! I can't even imagine taking them home, just glad it's not me! :)
Hubby and the kids are officially back home and Hubby starts work the beginning of next week. I know I'll be alright without seeing them each day but it won't be easy. They have adjusted so well and don't really seem too affected by all of this. I do notice my Abby is a little sad, she is really close with me so I know this must not be easy for her. Every time she comes to visit, she crawls into the bed with me and just lays by my side as I twirl her hair and we watch a show. She keeps asking me to do things with her that I used to do like paint her nails, go to the store or just play. She understands but it's heartbreaking to tell your kids sorry, I can't. Where's the fast forward button? Get me out of here! :)
There's a wonderful triplet mom next door and she's 1 week behind me. We go outside together a few times per week with the nurses and talk about what we're going through. I keep telling her, she better not deliver before me! Sometimes I feel like I'm going to be stuck here forever, they're just going to keep torturing me! :) I know this will be over soon, I have good days and bad days.

Thanks for all the support and words of encouragement, it means a lot to me!

Photobucket The whiteboard in my hospital room.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

29 Weeks

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All is quiet here, nothing new has happened...we like that.
My hubby and kids are back home and very happy to be there. I miss them but feel content knowing they're happy. I have my mom here and she's been great to me. She brought me my favorite Chipotle dinner last night to celebrate 29 weeks. My younger brother is here now too and my dad is coming out next week. It's nice to see them especially since after this is all over they'll be on the road again full-time RVing and we'll miss them.
Hubby and I are actively searching for an travel trailer to buy for our family so we can do fun trips. The right "one" hasn't come up yet :(
Stumbled upon a TLC show about multiples yesterday. I quickly texted my mom so she could watch too. They featured a couple on hospital bed rest pregnant with quads. Although, she ended up delivering hers a little after 30 weeks, it's nice to see a successful story. I'm certain we'll get to 34 weeks, there's nothing to stop me!
That's all for now :)

A little tour of my hospital room...exciting, I know!
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My IV poll, my lone standing, ever attached companion these days!
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My "kitchen" complete with mini-fridge and snacks!
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The window seat with a great view of a shopping center parking lot
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My bed side table

Thursday, May 19, 2011

28 Weeks 6 Days- Growth Ultrasound

Babies are looking good! They measured 2 lbs 7 oz, 2 lbs 8 oz, 2 lbs 9 oz and 2 lbs 10 oz. Their fluid levels are fine and they were practice breathing.
My IF flew in today and surprised my IM...no one knew he was coming. So, he got to see the scan and visit with the doctor. He was so pleased with the progress and everyone feels really confident that we'll make it to our goal. Dr. E said we'll start talking about a date at 34 weeks. My IPs would like me to go further but Dr. E explained the stress on my body versus one more week, the changes aren't significant enough. So, looks like around June 24th we're going to be having some babies! Yay!

Some fun pics of my stay...
Photobucket My hubby and son watching TV while visiting.
Photobucket The kids being entertained by my brother.
Photobucket A trip outside
Photobucket My beautiful girls
Photobucket Me and my hubby
Photobucket Mu hubby poking my belly

Saturday, May 14, 2011

28 Weeks

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Huge milestone...28 weeks.
Everyone is thrilled, the doctors, my family, the intended parents and me! 46" around my belly but unfortunately lost 1 pound. So, I've gained 1 pound in the past 4 weeks. Hopefully it will start picking up soon.
Knock on wood...things have been great and quiet.
My contractions have stayed minimal, got to go outside again the other day, I'm feeling much more alert and less "magged" out.
Although, Dr. E did another fetal fibronectin test (tests for a certain hormone that is released when your body is likely to go into labor in the next 2 weeks) came back positive for the second time in a row. Obviously it doesn't mean much though since I didn't have any babies in the last 2 weeks. Also, with all the meds I'm on even if I did start to go into labor, the doctors would stop it right away, with little consideration of how I might feel :)
Next Thursday is our monthly growth ultrasound, excited to see how that goes.
They have also been checking the fluid levels around each baby since I'm on Motrin via ultrasound. Babies B and C (both girls) have low fluids. They said they want to see the pocket above 2 and they both measured around 2.5. Nothing to worry about now but they are watching it closely. Baby D (the biggest boy) continues to have extra fluid for reasons unknown. I secretly worry about him because on top of the fluid problem, he has a brief heart deceleration during an ultrasound the other day. That prompted the doctors to put him on the belly monitor for an hour. He did fine but his resting heart rate is very low, below the 120's which is interesting since he's the most active of the bunch. I pray there is nothing wrong with him or an urgent situation isn't a reason for delivery.
Photobucket Our celebration cake
Photobucket My beautiful flower table
Photobucket My daily check off calendar...we've come so far!
Photobucket Balloons to celebrate 28 weeks!
My family all came to my room last night with pizza, cake and balloons to celebrate 28 weeks. It was wonderful to finally be at this point, the home stretch. I've been in the hospital 4 weeks now and never thought I'd be strong enough to make it to this point. I do have bad days, days that whenever is see or talk to my husband I can't help but break down and cry (he has those days too) but I also have a lot of good days. We talk often of the future and the wonderful things we are planning to do. I tell the kids, once I'm out of here it will be summer time and we're going to buy water park passes and spend our whole summer together. My husband is going back to work at the end of this month which creates a difficult situation. He's bringing the kids back with him, his parents have offered to babysit at night and take the kids to a sitter in the mornings. They are planning to drive back down on his days off to visit but it will be hard not seeing them everyday. I just keep reminding myself, it won't be forever, this journey will be over soon. I know we can get through this.

Next big goal is 30 weeks...2 weeks from now.
Overall, hoping to stay pregnant for the next 4-6 weeks. So, we're about half way into my hospital stay...maybe :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

27 Weeks



Day 21 in the hospital...
Belly is 441/2 inches around...not growing that fast. I've gained 2 more pounds, so 39 pound gain overall. I have lovely stretch marks now on the underside of my belly. My little ones love rubbing my special "line cream" on my tummy each day. Goddness knows how appealing that's going to look when this is all done :)
I'm slowly getting my appetite back but stomach space is definitely an issue. Found out yesterday I'm anemic so they are trying iron supplements for now. I'm not at a dangerous level so we're just maintaining for now.
Thankfully, the doctor decided that after nearly 3 straight weeks of continuous contraction monitoring they pulled me back to twice per day instead. I'm so relieved and since, it has resulted in fewer terbutaline shots and night time disturbances. I feel much more relaxed, rested and a little freer. Each day seems to get a little better. I'm 1 week away from our next major goal...28 weeks. It feels like at this rate we will make it much farther giving these babies a much better outcome. Although, I always keep in the back of my head that a pregnancy like this can change in an instant. I feel blessed that I don't have gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, swelling or any other common HOM complications.
The doctor did decide that on top of daily ultrasounds to check heart rates they want to do weekly ultrasounds to check the amniotic fluid around each baby since I'm taking Motrin. Today's ultrasound was a little startling...baby B showed really low level (2.6) and baby D showed a really high level (10). The doctor said if B continues to be low they'll have to stop the Motrin. Baby D's levels being high is usually related to gestational diabetes however, that can't be this case for me. One of the other concerns is a birth defect kind of problem that wouldn't be determined until after birth. I just hope it is nothing and both resolve themselves. Everything else looked good though...2 lower babies are now breach and the 2 upper are laying sideways kind of butt to butt.
The kids are going to spend the weekend with my sister in law in our hometown while my hubby stays here alone. He's pretty excited and I think at this point welcomes the break. Although he's insisting on spending his time here in the hospital sleeping over and watching movies.
Our IP's kindly put our family up in a very nice apartment complex nearby the hospital. My family has a 3 bedroom, my mom a 2 bedroom and my IM is staying in the same complex with her children as well. Long story short, my hubby recently discovered the guy across the way who has 2 children that play with ours each day, is a tattoo artist. My hubby has been longing to add to his "collection" with something related to the kids. So, ever since the neighbor has been coming over and making house call tattoo time for my hubby. Needless to say now that he has a built in tattoo artist my hubby is now just a few tattoos away from having complete sleeves on both arms. It's wonderful seeing him so happy about it but it's definitely become an addiction. At least he has something to occupy his time now :)

Say a prayer for at least 1 more week of pregnancy!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

26 Weeks 1 Day

So, my hubby decided I needed some foot care...so sweet. He went out and bought a pedicure kit, nail polish (the girls picked the color) and remover. He spent a good hour carefully prepping my toes for polish and he did a great job.
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He also wants to do a hospital "date night" with me. My mom is going to stay over with the kids and he is going to sleep in my room with me. He wants to watch movies and just spend some time together. He has been very supportive during this difficult time...I knew there was a good reason for marrying him :)

I miss my friends and family and can't wait to get back home and see everyone.

My belly is still measuring at 44" around but the babies have dropped...2 are head down, very low and the other 2 are breach at the top. I'm sure I'll get rounder but as of this morning I seem to be "bulging" much lower down than before.

Friday, April 29, 2011

26 Weeks


Made it another week...14 days in the hospital.

After a few hard days mentally, I feel better. Had a nurse I didn't care for 2 days in a row, she made things worse. Hope she doesn't have me again anytime soon.
I get to shower every other day and if things go well (no terbutaline shots) I get to take a wheel chair ride outside. The kids were here the other day when i went outside for the first time, they loved overseeing the big event. It felt amazing to feel the sun on my skin and breath the warm air. I felt renewed!
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Our 25 week celebration cake...and Easter :)
I thought I was on a quiet streak with my contractions but the frustrations continue. The doctor did the second fetal fibronectin test the other day, came back positive, not a good thing but not completely predictive. Studies show out of quad pregnancies 35% deliver or go into preterm labor. But we have lots of medication options to fend it off if that happens. The doctors haven't waivered in their attitudes about getting close to our goal of 34 weeks.
Today my contractions spiked again...9 in 45 minutes so they upped the magnesium to 2.5 ml/ hour and gave me a terbutaline shot. I don't feel any different and so far haven't had any side effects from these lower mag levels. The terb is also very tolerable and only makes me a little jittery for about an hour. So far so good.
The next major goal is 28 weeks but we're all certain I'll get way past that. So far no swelling or elevated blood pressure. I lost some weight once being admitted but have gained back those 4 pounds plus 2, not great but alright. 39 pound gain so far.
Won't have another growth scan for 3 more weeks. Glucos test scheduled for whenever I don't have a terb shot...apparently that interferes with getting accurate results.

Pray for another few weeks of pregnancy...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

25 Weeks 4 days

Being in the hospital is definitely not my favorite place. After my doctor ordered that I was allowed to shower "if stable" it took the nurses 2 days to finally let me! I felt so frustrated and locked up, like jail might feel. Afterwards though, I feel like a new person with many more weeks left in me...until I want to shower again :) The nurses here are nice but some are just more rigid and uptight than others. My hubby and kiddos visit everyday and lay around with me.  My mom brings me fresh fruit, veggies and snacks to keep up with my organic 4000 calorie diet. I seem to keep losing weight the longer I'm here...it's weird....37 pound gain so far. 
I fill my days with going online with my IPad, cross stitching for the babies, coloring (my aunt brought me an "adult" coloring book...silly, I know but I love it...lol) and knitting; a hospital volunteer comes by every few days to teach patients how to knit certain things, I'm learning to do baby booties. 
I am doing my best to stay positive and admit I have my moments of weakness when all I want to do is cry and run out of here. 
The doctors are still fighting my contractions, daily. Yesterday I was contracting every 2-3 minutes for no reason, they gave me another shot of terbutaline and knocked them out. They still have me on the 2.25 IV magnesium level. I'm assuming if my uterus remains irritable they'll up the magnesium. We're still hopeful to make it to 34 weeks but my only fear is my body is going to keep fighting and after awhile become too powerful for all of these medications. I just pray we get to at least 28 weeks so the babies can have a chance...2 more weeks to go!
I had family stop by all weekend and enjoyed the distraction. I know this will be over soon, a distant memory and real life will start back up. I'm trying to appreciate what this situation has to offer, extra time together and to myself, but I had to admit, I really like and miss my busier life!
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

25 Weeks 3 Days


Day 10 in the hospital.
The roller coaster continues...
Things have been going well though. My contractions spike then quiet multiple times through each day and night. So, on top of being on continuous IV magnesium, I get shots of terbutaline in my arm whenever I have more than 6 contractions in an hour. There doesn't seem to be an reasoning for the spike, just an unhappy quad uterus. The doctor was hopeful things would quiet down this week but that doesn't seem to be the case. He did however put in my orders that I can shower as long as I'm stable. I'm so excited to know that I could potentially shower up to every other day if things go well. I'm slowly trying to push the nurses to trust me and giving me more freedoms. Up until now they all want to be called when I use the rest room or get up. I know it's a simple thing but a little bit of privacy and leeway would be nice. So far I haven't had any of the expected side effects of the magnesium and have no troubles walking around by myself. If I was fearful I would fall then of course I'd call for help. They are also concerned with me showering, I have a new IV line called a PICC line that's in my upper right arm. It does not have be replaced for months and they can even draw blood from it. Many chemo patients have them usually in an abdominal area. The nurses aren't used to them so it adds an extra level of uncertainty to me being able to bathe. We'll see what happens.

The kids made Easter wonderful and brought their baskets for me to see. We were visited by my Aunt and cousins on Saturday and my sister in law and her two boys came for a visit on Sunday. It was so nice to see everyone and visit.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

24 Weeks 6 Days

One day at a time, one day at a time...


The social worker here said to think about my weekly goals rather than farther off goals, it can get too overwhelming. So, my goal is to make it to 25 weeks, I can do that, one more day!
The routine here at the hospital is beginning to be predictable...somewhat. Shift change is 7 so I get a new nurse in the morning and evening. The last few nights have been rough though. The nurse had to come in and wake me up every few hours because I'd had too many contractions. They would either have me use the restroom or give me a shot of tributaline. Last night my contractions really spiked and I had some spotting and cramping. So, they increased my magnesium to 2.5 from 2.25. They're trying the combination of mag, tributaline and oral motrin. My body is putting up a good fight, labor is something it's really good at! Right now, everyday and hour is bringing something different and unexpected. It's just a matter of going with the flow, doing what I'm asked and lying low. I was able to shower yesterday in a chair which was wonderful. Just changing my shirt is a feat, getting it through all the IV lines and monitor cords is a puzzle. At this point I'm only allowed out of bed to use the bedside commode. I spend my days with visitors...my hubby and the kids, my mom and brother, the IM and her children, employees and volunteers from the hospital, reading and doing crafts. I love seeing the kids each day, that's the highlight, but it makes me want to run out of here and be home with them. I just keep reminding myself that although this may feel like a long time right now, it's just a blink compared to the rest of my life.
Tomorrow is a growth scan of the babies...we'll find out how much they weigh and how everything else looks, I'm hopeful all is well.

So, tomorrow will be 25 weeks and my mom came up with a great idea...movie night to celebrate. We're going to have the kids bring in a good movie, blankets and pillows and lay around and watch a movie with me in my room...I'm really looking forward to it. Some of our relatives are planning to come by a visit this weekend as well. Gus gets to be the Easter bunny on Sunday morning. It's hard knowing I don't get to do it or see it but at least I'll know the kids are happy...that's my biggest joy in life!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

24 Weeks, in the hospital

Well, after my family spent the week contemplating what to eat or order to celebrate making it to 24 weeks, I landed in the hospital instead at exactly 24 weeks and 0 days. Starting late Friday morning noticed I was contracting more and started feeling pelvic and lower back pressure. Dr. E wanted to see me right away. By late that after an ultrasound confirmed I had funneling, a shortened cervix (from 4.5 to 2.1) and was sent straight downstairs to labor and delivery. After being admitted a few hours later I was started on IV magnesium...if you want a taste of hell, that's the stuff!!! Dr. E decided by 9:30 the next morning I would have my cervix stitched closed. So, I reluctantly entered the surgery room the next morning after not sleeping at all the night before.. With the medication you can't eat or drink, your muscles are practically paralyzed and you have horrible nasal congestion, cotton mouth and nausea, don't let you eat or drink, only have ice chips. The surgery went well but I spent all day in misery. Finally, after 24 hours of torture, they turned the meds way down. I feel almost 100% better. My contractions have gone down and things are looking good. The doctor said after about 72 hours on the mag your body stops having side effects and it can be turned up or down without me noticing...yay. He also said I'm most likely in here for the long haul, at least 10 more weeks, hopefully. Once my contractions have gone significantly down he's going to give the babies the steroid injections for their lungs (just in case they're born too soon). Obviously this was shockingly early to have happened and I was hoping for many more weeks at home with the family but we all know this is the safest place for the babies right now. The kids are looking forward to Easter and I'm expecting many visitors :)
My mom has brought me lots of crafts to do and the kids are going to bring their schoolwork with them each day.

Thanks for all the support and we appreciate prayers for me and the babies. I'll update again soon.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Monitored Contractions

Thought I would share how my contractions have been so far (no trips to the hospital, yet):
03/24: evening 7, retest 7 retest 6
03/25: morning 2 evening 5
03/26: morning 4 evening 14
03/27: morning 2 evening 2
03/28: morning 4 evening 4
03/29: morning 3 evening 3
03/30: morning 4 evening 4
03/31: morning 7, retest 4 evening 5
04/01: morning 3 evening 5
04/02: morning 3 evening 1
04/03: morning 3 evening 8, retest 7 retest 5
04/04: morning 3 evening 3
04/05: morning 6 evening 1
04/06: evening 4
04/07: morning 2 evening 3
04/08: morning 2 evening 2
04/09: morning 4 evening 3
04/10: morning 6, retest 3 evening 2

Saturday, April 9, 2011

23 Weeks


Woohoo for 23 weeks! Only 1 more week to go till viability! I know we'll make it to this very important milestone and way beyond.

We've had my IP's here in town for a week now, it's been great. It was wonderful to see the kids again and have the opportunity to visit with them. We have a long road ahead of but I'm so grateful to have them here by my side now.

My weight gain has gone well...35 pounds however I only have 1 more week to go until I hit the 24 week/50 pound weight gain point. Not sure how close I'll get but I'm just proud at what I've done so far, it wasn't easy.

The babies are all doing well, had another anatomy scan on Wednesday.
I am still using the contraction monitor twice daily and things really got out of control for awhile there but since Dr. E has put me on some new medication. Ibuprofen 600 MG and Nifedipine 10 MG...every 6 hours stairsteped every 3. It has been a huge help, almost cut my daily contractions in half. The only downside is I have to wake up at night every 3 hours to take the medication but it could be much worse! The goal is to stay out of the hospital and bed rest at home surrounded by my family. Every now and then I get to get out, my husband will push me at the store in my wheelchair...those are the best moments together with the kids. I also get to visit with my IP's every day since they're so close. It feels good being settled and building relationships with each other. This experience has already changed us so much, the relationship between my husband and I, the relationship between my IP's and I as well as with my family.
If things continue to go well, I'm hopeful that Dr. E might approve a trip with the family to a local amusement park. We are in such a wonderful area with so much to do, I'm just bummed that I don't get to go along and see the kids happy. But, like I said before it could be so much worse.

Keeping a positive attitude and certain things will continue to be well!