May 25, 2012

The "20's" and our anatomy scan

We have:

Four perfect little heads,

Eight perfect little arms with forty fingers,
Four perfect little beating hearts,

 Four perfect little spines,

Eight perfect little legs,

 Eight perfect little feet with forty toes,

the sum of these parts are four 
perfect little babies

made to perfection by God & loved by their 
mom & dad.

We are so in love with our little munchkins and can't wait to meet all of them! This week flew by and we have officially entered the "20's"! I feel like we have now rounded second base. From now until week 28 we will be making the stretch from second base to third. Then onto home base until week 32 and then after that each day will be a celebration at home plate after a grand slam. We are getting closer and closer and the anticipation of loving on them is building each day. In the last two weeks I have felt these babies come alive and they are moving all over. I love it and it has to be my very favorite thing about being pregnant. Paul felt the first baby move last night. I think Baby D was thanking his daddy for taking his mommy out on a fabulous date night! 

I want to thank everyone for their support last week. It was just one of those weeks and after I put it into words and admitted my fears I could face them head on. I am asked many times a day how I am feeling and for being twenty weeks with quads I can't really complain compared to my other pregnancies. Occasional back ache, round ligament stretching, getting up to the bathroom more times a night than I can count and just being plain exhausted most of the time would be on my list of biggest complaints but now that the nausea is completely gone day to day life is that of a full term pregnant person with a little more sleep. 

We had our doctors appointment on Tuesday which included lying on a table for two hours in a dark room so each baby could have their moment of fame on ultrasound. It was a long two hours only because it was nap time and I really do think I was falling asleep at times and I know Paul was because I was watching his head bop up and down! In the end we had a great report that all the babies parts were as expected and appeared normal. There were no evidence of clefts or other anomalies. We also got our first official weight on each baby and they weighed in at 10oz, 11oz, 12oz, & 11oz. These weights have them falling into the 35-76% for a singleton. I asked if we need to worry about the smallest one and the doctor laughed & said, "these are percentiles for singletons, they don't have charts for quads so they are all doing fabulous". We then moved onto how I was doing and the good old cervix. I actually got a "I can't believe how well you are doing" from the doctor and that was all I needed! Another week down without restrictions and I couldn't be happier. My blood pressure still remains low which will be watched closely throughout the remaining of the pregnancy and my weight is finally going up like it should. I gained 10lbs in three weeks so now up 23lbs for the pregnancy. Still hard to see that number on the scale but I also know its going to get a lot higher over the next 12 weeks. Thank God for plastic surgeons!!

I have to share a cute little story from Wednesday. We had to go pick up Paul's new work truck about two hours away from home. After pretty much being in the car for four hours the kids and I were ready to get out. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to pick up a couple of things for dinner. On the way into the store a lady kept looking at me. One of those moments when you are trying to figure out if you know them and I knew I didn't. She came up to me with a smile on her face and commented that I was the busiest person she had seen all day. Thank goodness my kids were actually behaving themselves and all just standing holding hands at that moment. I was thinking to myself if only she knew the whole story. So I told her thank you and was ready to continue picking up our groceries. She then pointed to my belly and asked if we were having a boy or girl. I now got a huge smile on my face and said we don't know but we are having four babies. The love her face showed was amazing. She congratulated us and said, "I now know you ARE the busiest mom I know." It was one of those moments that God gave me to tell me that what we are doing is all in His plans and we are not crazy. We will be busy but we will have seven little people to love unconditionally for the rest of our lives.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial weekend of bbq's, boating or just staying dry if you live in MN! We will be busy, or I should say Paul, expanding the nursery. SO excited to get this project done because we can then start preparing their nursery! 

Week 20: Momma and babies

May 19, 2012

Week 19- Hospital visits and mini melt-downs

Week 20 is just right around the corner and I feel like a teenager that is done being a teenager. It's time to make the big step into the "20's". 

Last week was again quiet and uneventful at the beginning. I continued to grow and tried to rest when possible. We had our weekly appointment on Wednesday and again got a great report. Cervix a little shorter (3.6cm for those following) but still long and closed. This was a measurement that was taken with very little time off my feet during the whole day. In the morning we all went to the airport to welcome Olivia home from Ukraine and snuggle with the most beautiful little princess for a fraction of a second as she was passed from one set of loving arms to another. Talk about one very loved little girl! We then came home and had a quick lunch before the babysitter came. Paul and I went to look at another van that will hold the Von Traps and are undecided between two. One is much more appealing on the outside but lacks many "upgrades" on the inside. The other looks like a mini semi truck from the front but has many nicer bells and whistles throughout the interior. Oh and a price difference of about $15,000 between the two but we will be having this car for probably the next ten or more years! We then headed to Sacramento early for a tour of the hospital I will be held captive in and where our "littles" will make their debut. I will summarize more of the hospital tour in a sec. We then went to the doctors appointment and got the above report. Still no bed rest but I have been cut off from long shopping sprees. No more Costco runs for me. I was so exhausted by the time we got to the appointment that I could hardly communicate with the doctor or the ultrasound tech because I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep. The appointment ended just in time to hit rush hour traffic so we stopped for a bite to eat before heading home and I officially had mini-meltdown one of the week. More coming on this too. By the time we made it home I found the couch and that is all I remember from the day.

Hospital tour: I have trained in the nicu at the hospital the babes will be born at but had never been to labor and delivery so I was excited to see where I would be in lock down and I wanted Paul to get a feel of the nicu. We had a wonderful lady from the hospitals moms of multiples program give us the tour and answered so many of our questions. We first went to the nicu and the neonatalogist (who I work with) were quick to make sure I was just there for a tour and not being hospitalized already. Paul got to see what a 30 weeker looked like and he couldn't believe how small he was and I was telling the nurse that he was a good size for 30 weeks! Guess that's what happens when I am use to taking care of babies in the 2-3 pound range. After the nicu tour we toured the labor and delivery unit. The hospital is old, as in they still have many shared rooms. They are currently building a new hospital but I am a year early to enjoy the new luxuries so I will have to make do. At least I get Sutter priorities for being an employee. I will be using that for all I can to get a private room when the time comes. We also got to see the OR room where I will deliver. They explained to Paul that he is to follow the babies and I will still be in surgery for at least 30 more minutes after the babies are out. He looked at me as if he was asking permission and I just laughed and said yes you go with the babies, I will be just fine!! Having the hospital tour took some of the anxiety away from knowing where to go when the time comes and also made us very excited for the day that we get to meet our "littles".

Mini-meltdown #1: We got to dinner and you have to remember I am exhausted at this point. After we had ordered Paul looked at me and said the most meaningful words to me, "I don't know about you but I can't wait to see our four babies." As we are getting further along it is becoming more and more real that we are going to be parents of quads but as the weeks get closer to viability and then the 28 week mark each week seems so much more important. The next 9 weeks are huge and we have to keep these babies inside me. This seems like such a daunting task for me right now. I am measuring 36 weeks already. For those of you who have been pregnant remember how your last month of your pregnancy was. You can't bend over, you get winded just walking to the door, the braxton hicks contractions from wearing pants that are squishing a little too tightly on your belly, and the stretching skin. Yes I just made a great infomercial for those who have never been pregnant but the problem is I don't just have four weeks left; I hopefully have 13-15 more weeks to go. It's only going to get worse from here. Issue #2: I am also having a hard time dealing with what I am not able to do with my older kiddos right now. Some days I feel like a totally inadequate mother. I have a hard time setting limits and telling myself I am just going to let things go and not do them. It is not my personality. Issue #3: And to top it all off we have nothing ready for these kids. As in no place to put them when we get home. We will hopefully be completing the closet in their nursery this coming weekend but then we have to wait for bunk beds to get here for the big kids before we can clean out the toy room (aka nursery). I already know that I will not be the one completing the nursery and it will be a surprise for me when I come home after delivery and I am okay with that. I just wish it looked like we are some what prepared for these kids. This was the basics of my meltdown and many of the above issues have continued to resurface this week. I  am hoping its hormones and I can get off this pity party ride soon because it is not fun.

The exciting news is we did confirm with a family friend/photographer that she would love to be in the delivery room to capture the miracle of out "littles" making their entrance into the world. I am so excited for this and don't feel bad at all that my mom won't be in the delivery room due to the already overcrowding of the room and the two person rule of who can come in with me. Now I just need to find someone to hand the video camera off to that day and we will have all our photography needs met!

Thursday: a day of recovery for me and the quadlings. I got up and took the girls to preschool and Paul took Drew on some man errands. I came home and was just going to lie down for 10 minutes. I was woken three hours later by two excited four year olds telling me all about their day at school. Oops!! Got up and had lunch and crawled back into bed for a two hour nap with the girls. Had another wake period of about two hours before I was back into bed because I seriously could hardly stand up due to being so tired. I guess Wednesday was just a little to much for this momma.

Friday: Paul is gone for the whole weekend so I pawned the girls off on my awesome sister for the night. The girls have been talking all week about spending the night at auntie Nikki's new house. They were so excited to just do girl things without Drew there. I was excited to drop them off, get Drew to bed by seven and then just have some quiet time without having to retuck kids back into bed for the fiftieth time. This quiet evening quickly came to an end as a lady re-ended me on the way home. Our truck was fine, hers not. Drew was safely tucked in his car seat and I was okay too except for some pain at the top of my uterus. Remember I am measuring the size of a 36 weeker, so a call was made to my ob who said I needed to make the 30 minute trip to the hospital to get monitored. Phone calls made, a Drew happily at the neighbors until my mom could get over and I and the quads tried out the information we received on Wednesday on how to get to triage. I wasn't really planning on using this information this soon! After three hours of being monitored and not a single contraction(!) I was sent home. My relaxing evening totally got thrown out the window but at least all the babies were okay.

So hopefully the next couple of days will go off without incident and fewer melt-down moments. We have the two hour anatomy scan on Tuesday, the last two days of preschool, swim lessons and a prenatal massage to check off our list this week. Oh and hopefully some more fattening up of babies too.

All four "littles". Baby D didn't get the memo that they were all suppose to be breech so he is the only one showing off his bottom!

May 10, 2012

A pretty boring week in quadville

I almost didn't do a post this week because I really don't have much to report on but then I decided if I didn't write I might have people thinking something was wrong. This week included registering, some outside fun and of course our weekly doctor visit. Oh and I think my tummy grows nightly. I am thinking about measuring it each night before bed for a week to see how much it grows during a week!

Paul and I had a date night and found ourselves at Babies R Us to register for these "littles". It was hilarious because as we were answering the questions for the lady to fill in on the computer she asked if we knew what we were having. Paul responded with "yes, four babies." The look of surprise and astonishment on the face of the two ladies behind the counter were some of the best yet. They quickly called over about six other employees and had to tell them. It took about an extra twenty minutes just to get the paperwork done because they kept asking questions and then when they found out we already have three kids which includes a set of twins it started all over again. We had fun registering for things and it was much easier than the first time we registered for the twins because we know what we will actually use this time around. After registering we went and enjoyed a very yummy dinner at P.F. Changs before heading home and crashing. It is amazing when ten o'clock seems late and that you must get home to let the babysitter go, not that I could have made it even 15 more minutes before I was asleep sitting upright!

It has been gorgeous this week so despite nasty allergies the kids and I have been spending a ton of time outside playing. I am doing my best to come up with activities that the kids can do while I sit in the shade in a lounge chair. This week we rode bikes, made chalk people, and ran through the sprinklers. The sprinklers were a huge hit and we will definitely be doing those again soon. The girls also started gymnastics two weeks ago and ask every day if it is Monday yet. They love it and are now coming up with little routines to do at home and somehow my couch has become the trampoline!

My favorite kid moment of this week was after naps on Wednesday Natalie and I had the following conversation;

Natalie: Mom, do you have a 'w' in your tummy?
Mom: What?
Natalie: Well you have all those other letters in            your tummy, do you have a 'w'?
Mom: (laughing) No we only have a Baby A, B, C, and D!!

I guess she took it literally when I was showing her where each baby was positioned in my tummy and calling them by their respectable letters! I love these moments in life were kids are kids

And now to the "littles"...only two more weeks and we will get to find out how big these kids are. I am excited to get the in-depth anatomy scans on the 22nd. This weeks appointment was a very quick one. We meet with the last of the doctors in the practice. We will just say so far she is our least favorite. The babies heart rates were all between 147-156 and all fluid level were good. We had the same ultrasound tech again this week as last so very poor pictures again. My cervix was unchanged since last week so yahoo!!! The doctor asked what my activity level was right now because she said I could continue what I have been doing. I told her I needed to be honest and that I am off work but I am still being a mom to three young kids with a two hour nap each afternoon. She said so far it is working and that I can keep doing the same but to have a plan in place for when it changes.

I continue to feel good. No more nausea and I am actually getting hungry at times. No weight check this week so I have no idea if I put on any weight. I did speak to the nutritionist and she said to do everything you have ever been told not to do. Full fat yogurt, full fat cheese, candy bars with nuts after every meal, load up the peanut butter, eat when I wake at night, cook in butter. So Paul hauled me off to Costco and we now have a pantry full of protein bars, chocolate covered almonds (my favorite), trail mix, and snickers bars (Paul's favorite). Paul was amazed how expensive junk food is! I can also tell you that I am doing okay with getting more food in since having ready to go snacks on hand but Paul is by far doing the best!!!

We are very excited for next week because the Herrington's will be arriving back from Ukraine with their daughter who is now forever theirs. A huge welcome home gathering will be had on Wednesday morning at the airport with many of their family and friends as they step off their airplane and are reunited with their other five children. So many of us have been blessed by knowing Beth and Lee as they made their journey to bring their Olivia Mae HOME!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and a blessed Mother's Day. I hope to be back on Sunday with a Mother's Day post. 

Week 18

Baby C...Praying we don't have another thumb sucker in the making!

May 03, 2012

A day short of 17 weeks!

Wow I can not believe I just typed that we are at 17 weeks. I am getting so excited to see these babies. We God-willing will not see these kiddos until after mid-August but I can not wait to hold each one of them. I was worried at the beginning of the pregnancy that I would not be able to bond with these kiddos like I had with Natalie, Aubrey and Drew during their pregnancy. There were two reasons for this; over-whelming shock and fear. I have overcome the shock part of this pregnancy but the fear is still there. I do not fear having four babies, instead I fear that I could lose one of these precious lives. But I can not control this and only God knows what He has planned for each one of these kids so for the last couple of weeks I can say I have started to bond and love these "littles" like only a mother can. There is nothing better than feeling a kick and knowing which baby is to my best guess. It still amazes me that I have FOUR babies growing inside of me!!

This week has been really good. The kids and I went garage saleing last Saturday and had so much fun looking for treasures. We found a bunch of clothes for the girls and their favorite find were two jump ropes that they are so proud of when they can jump over. Just don't stand too close when they are trying this because you may get included in the fun. We also stopped at a house that was meant for us. I even had to load the kids back up and go get Paul because I was so excited. We ended up leaving with baby clothes, a swing, an exersaucer, an infant bouncy seat, a floor mat, and a bumbo. I was so excited and when we got home all three kiddos tried and inspected every piece of equipment to make sure it would work for the little ones! We may have trouble keeping the older ones out of the baby stuff once they get here. I washed and hung the clothes on Drew's top clothing rack and he saw them they other day and just kept pointing at them and saying "no". I told him they were for the babies and he continued repeating "no, no". It was so funny and he may need some time to adjust to not being mommy's baby anymore.

We continued to have a fairly normal week with Paul working, kids at school two days a week, and me trying to get in as much rest as possible which is something to be laughed at with three young kids under foot. Paul was laughing at me last night because he thinks I am excited for bed rest. I told him he would be too if he could just carry these babies around for one day and continue to do the daily mom tasks. Laying in bed, reading a book or catching a tv show midday, having food brought in by the girls, followed by a nap doesn't sound bad at all most days. Not that I want this to come any sooner than it needs to but the sleep part sounds amazing! 

Wednesday was our weekly appointment and everything is still looking good. Heart rates were between 143-156bpm. My mom came with me and tried to get the tech and the doctor to tell her the genders but she couldn't win anyone over with her poor grandma look. The tech that I had was not my favorite and she did not get the best pictures but we know that the babies all had good heartbeats and fluid levels so I was happy. My cervix was also a little bit longer than last week so that made me smile the rest of the day. The only bad news was I am still not doing well with the weight gain. I actually lost two pounds this last week making a total weight gain of 13 pounds in 17 weeks. Not good when I should gain 45 pounds by 20 weeks. Yes I am suppose to gain between 75-80 pounds this pregnancy. I just don't see it happening!  So I am to call the nutritionist this week to set up an appointment with her and eat what I can. The good thing is I have not had to take my nausea meds the last three days and that has been huge. No appetite and nothing ever sounds good except fruit but at least the nausea is gone. So if anyone has some favorite recipes that they only splurge on once in a while send them to me so we can try them to fatten these babies up. Only requirement they must contain protein. 

So next doctors appointment is next Tuesday. In three weeks we will have our first anatomy scan which will tell us how big each baby currently is and check each body part to make sure everything looks correct. This is the scan where they picked up Drew's cleft lip. We continue to pray for the health of each of these "littles" and that they continue to grow. We also ask that my body can continue to do the job it needs to do to hold these babies in until at least 32 weeks. I hope to be back soon with some good news with a possible move to a larger house. Never thought we would rent our house out to rent a larger one but I never thought I would have quads either!

Baby B looking a little squished!

Baby D all stretched out

Week 17

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