Friday, January 28, 2011

13 weeks

My husband and I made the 3 1/2 hour drive to Los Angeles yesterday to see our OB for the first time. Not the most sociable doctor but very experienced and knowledgeable. He did an ultrasound and measured all the babies. All four are still doing great and measuring ahead of gestational age. They each have their own placenta and don't seem to be any identicals. I brought a long list of questions we had for him, he patiently answered each one. He said I should expect to stop working around 18 weeks (this is earlier than I was expecting) due to the higher stress of my job. He also said I wouldn't have to be on bed rest unless there were complications. However, he would want me to be home "resting" around 20 weeks and no exercising. He said the average length of a quad pregnancy is between 28-31 weeks. But, as I've said before, we are not average! And we will beat the odds.
My IM is busy readying her home for quads to come home. She has 2 other little ones that keep her busy and is planning to come to the states in April and stay through the birth. So, she only has between now and April to get everything ready for them to come home.
We were hoping the doctor could have seen the babies sexes but he didn't say anything. He wants us to drive down every 2 weeks from here on out. Not looking forward to the drive but grateful to have the piece of mind to see how they're doing every 2 weeks. I am going to pin him down next time and make him see try to see if they are boys or girls. I know if I were out shopping for these babies right now, I'd want to know!
As far as weight gain, it hasn't gotten any better but I haven't lost any more, in fact, I'm back to my starting weight so I'm proud of that. I have a normal appetite now but I don't feel ravenous as I expected. I eat as normally as I would if I weren't pregnancy. I'm sure that will change soon though. Hope the grocery shoppers of the house know what's coming!
My youngest (4) keeps telling me how fat my belly is getting. She touches my belly and laughs. When we got back from our appointment yesterday, she asked me where the babies were, didn't the doctor take them out? She still has the innocence of understanding. I love it.
Now, my other 2 older children know exactly what's going and seem very excited. My mom jokingly gave me a little maids bell for Christmas and put it on my night stand. She said it's for bed rest and room service whenever I need it. My Abby (51/2) loves it when I ring it and is willing to get anything for me. It's cute to see how excited they are to be involved. I'm honestly surprised that they grasp the magnitude of the situation and how truly blessed these babies are to have overcome everything they have. It's obvious that they are thriving and I'm sure that all goes back to those positive people around me supporting me to get through each day.
I love my family, my IP's (my forever family) and I'm grateful for the role each person plays.
What a life we're living!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

12 weeks

We have officially entered the second trimester!!! So glad to be here and feel some relief.

Not much has changed pregnancy related lately. I am continuing to grow, daily at the astonishment of my husband. Although, I’m puzzled to figure that one out, he’s seen my belly grow on 5 other occasions. I know how intrigued he is with a pregnant woman’s body, at least he enjoys it.

Since this portion of pregnancy is usually the quietest, not as many doctor’s appointments or milestones occurring, the most important thing I have to focus on right now is nutrition. As I’ve said before, the requirements to maintain a high order pregnancy like this is unbelievable. I am hesitant to admit that I am feeling a little better and can eat more and more each day (hope I didn’t just jinx myself). Daily goals include 4,300 calories, 225 grams of protein, 2 liters of water (or more) as well as daily supplements (I think I counted around 12 pills each day). I have started a food journal to help track my daily progress and most of the food preparation, cooking and shopping is by my mom. I’m so grateful for her each day. I feel much more relaxed and able to think about the important things rather than if we’re out of milk.

My wonderful IM asked that my mom and I purchase and read a few good multiples books. Here’s the list for anyone interested:

“When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads” by Barbara Luke

“Having Twins and More” by Elizabeth Noble

Although both have great suggestions, there are also a lot of viewpoints rather than factual information. However, if you weed through and find the pertinent information, you can form your own standpoint and build your plan from there. My mom has been cooking many meals from Barbara Luke’s book and I’ve loved them all so far. It offers an easy to read layout of how nutritious each meal will be. My IM feels strongly about eating whole foods, organic products and green cleaning supplies. We have adjusted our entire family to eating and shopping this way. The studies associated with an organic lifestyle are all the more encouraging to forge ahead and continue on, pregnant or not. We have all been personally affected by disease, illness and cancer. If eating this way can help you or family be one step closure to healthy, why not?

So far in our journey we have been given assistance, advise and help from a Doula, a nutritionist, a nathropath, an acupuncturist, and a whole foods cooking instructor. Next, my hubby and I are off to see the OB for the first time in Los Angeles, Dr. Tabsh from UCLA Santa Monica. I am looking forward to the ultrasound as well as having a knowledgeable doctor such as him by our side. We will continue these drives to see him until we relocate to the area, most likely around April. My IM is also planning on flying over and staying from April on. I’m so thrilled knowing I get to see her and her beautiful babies. I keep having tearful dreams of seeing her little ones walk through the door and wrapping my arms around them, touching their skin and hair. It’s been over a year since I held the handsome little boy I birthed and I can’t wait to see how he’s changed. What beautiful children this couple creates, I can’t wait for the day when I get to see these 4 wonderful babies we’re growing in my belly.

My IM recently said to me how important your state of mind is. If you have in your head you can do something difficult, you’re more likely to succeed. I mentioned that the national average gestation for quads was around 30 weeks and based my timeline on that. She stopped me and mentioned their goal is to have me go many weeks past that average (besides, it’s only an average and I’m not average!). I agreed and appreciated the incentive. I have set my personal goal to gestate these babies to 35 weeks. I know I can do it, I will do it and I will shatter the average!!

35 weeks, here we come!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Belly Pictures

20 Weeks
19 Weeks
17 Weeks
15 Weeks
14 Weeks
13 Weeks
11 Weeks
10 Weeks

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

11 weeks

We've made it to 11 weeks. I'm feeling better each day, working through the nausea and lack of appetite. I haven't gained any weight yet but have stopped losing weight. My belly is officially growing and I brought out my old maternity clothes and got them all washed and ready to wear. Although, I cannot break down and put away my regular clothes yet, not sure I won't end up still trying to wear them, only problem is if I don't there's no room in my closet for the maternity clothes. So, in the basket they sit.

My mom is here and I couldn't be happier! She has been making wonderful organic meals for me and my family. It's so reassuring knowing she's here and the kids will be taken care of no matter what happens. She's doing the shopping and helps me clean up around the house. I feel so relaxed and at ease. We had a wonderful cooking session the other day with a woman that teaches the benefits of organic holistic cooking and eating. It was definitely a lot to take in and would take years to incorporate into our lifestyle but it was interesting and worth the experience.

We haven't made any decisions for sure yet but my IP's are doing their very best to research and contact the best OB's in California. They are trying the find a combination of a great and experienced OB along with a top children's hospital for the babies. The idea is to have an OB that has proven experience with having HOM born at a later number of weeks than the national average which is around 30-31 weeks. We also want the hospital to be capable of handling 4 babies and any medical needs they may have without having to be transported to a different hospital, those moments in transport are crucial and can be detrimental to their health. We know that it's important to stay goal oriented and support one another on the potential of this goal we all share. I know the hardest moments are yet to come and working on focusing on the ease things are at this point in the pregnancy.

We had another great ultrasound, the first in many weeks. I was able to have my mom come with me to see them for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised by how big and developed they all were. I was expecting blobs but they had defined arms and hands, faces, legs and feet. We had the same ultrasound technician as the first appointment when we found out there were 4 and she was glad to see the progress. All the babies are in their own sacs and have great heartbeats, around 170. They all measured right on target and wore wiggling all around. The only thing missing was my IP's. I'm sad they couldn't be closer to see these special moments with their babies.