April 25, 2012

Week 15 and our Disneyland Adventure

I can not believe that on Friday we will be at week 16 already! So excited to see that number climb but boy does 28 weeks seem so far away. The babies and I continue to do well and they must be growing because otherwise I have no excuse for the expanding waist line. 

We had a wonderful five days in southern California at the happiest place on earth. I really don't know who was more excited, the girls or I. I heart Disney and couldn't wait to see the girls take it all in. They have been there before but I knew they didn't remember much from our previous trip. We drove down early Tuesday morning (3:00am) and arrived just twenty minutes after Paul's parents arrived at the hotel. We were so excited to have grandpa and grandma fly out from MN to join us. We had so much fun with them and enjoyed the five days we got to spend with them. We headed to downtown Disney and Aubrey just did not understand why we could not see the princesses or the castle. Trying to explain that she would see them all the next day was not easily understood by an excited four year old. After some lunch we spent the afternoon splashing in the pool. Okay the grandparents and the kids splashed. Daddy fell asleep as soon as he laid on a lounger and I was exhausted from our walking so I found a lounger too and watched the amigos have fun in the water. It was an early bed because Disney was awaiting us. 




Aubrey and Natalie could not get enough of the Disney characters. Aubrey especially was in love with the fairies, princesses, and Minnie. We took them to Goofy's Kitchen, which I highly recommend, and she could hardly sit still long enough to eat. As soon as she saw a character she watched them go from table to table until they reached ours. She was in heaven and would give them the biggest hug. I am sure by the time we left Minnie Mouse was thrilled because Aubrey could not get enough of her. The next night we watched the main street parade and Aubrey's eyes got as big as saucers when she saw the float with all the princesses. We got it on tape and I know it is a moment I will cherish forever because to her it was truly a magical moment. The girls also got their first taste of the big girl rides and loved every single one of them. Aubrey was very mad that she was not tall enough for California Screamin'! The only ride Paul would not take them on was Tower of Terror. He said he wanted them to sleep during the next month. I can not wait until next time we go so I can enjoy the rides with them. It's just not as much fun watching them go on the roller coasters. And Drew quickly learned arms up on the rides and it was just too cute.






We spent three days at the park from open to close and the kids did amazing. Drew and I did head back to the hotel each day to rest which we both needed. I, per my doctors orders, rented a scooter and after I figured out how to control the speed and not run people over or stop so fast that I took out the people behind me did well. I truly wanted a flag or banner that said "growing four" because I had a hard time with people looking at me and I am sure they were thinking "oh she just wants to use the handicap entrances". I struggled with this all week and I know it was just an issue that I had with myself. I stayed off all the fun rides but I did get a little risky when we rode pirates of the Caribbean three times and the swinging ferris wheel but don't mention it to my doctors!! Another issue I had with the scooter is how rude people are. I get that I am only 31 and can watch out for people that look at you and continue to walk right in front of you or make you stop so they can get ahead but not every one that uses a handicap device is 31. It was an eye opener for me. It was people of all ages from children to adults and I can guarantee that those children are only following in their parents example. There was even one time I literally could not move because there were so many people and no one would let me out. I had to ask my father in law to move the scooter because I couldn't. He then attempted and people were stepping over the scooter base so they could continue and not be slowed down by waiting for us to move. Other than a sore tail bone from sitting for three days and one breakdown moment between Paul and I about me disciplining from the scooter the babies and I did great.



The one thing I loved seeing was large families of five or more kids. It was those moments that I knew we are going to make it. If they could do it and have all five or six of their kids behaving and enjoying a family vacation then I know we will be able to do it too!

Now on to the babies...
They are all doing great. We had a doctors appointment Monday afternoon to check heartbeats, cervix length and each babies fluid level. The heartbeats were all between 148-153. Paul and I are a tad worried that we have all of one sex but only time will tell. Paul joked the other day that when we sign the consent to get my tubes tied during the c-section that he is going to only give consent if there is at least one boy in the mix. He said if he gets six girls and only one boy he is trying for another boy. It totally made me laugh but don't worry people there will be no more pregnancies for this momma!! The fluid levels all looked great for each baby and so no worries there as of this moment. And now my cervix, still closed and long for those that understand this terminology but it did shorten a little. We were 4.4cm last time and now 3.9 this time. The doctor did explain that a little shortening in the second trimester is very normal and is not yet concerning but it is not time to mess around. So she has taken me off work until these babies are born. She said my number one priority now is these babies; not my husband, not my other children. not my job and not the chores around the house. I am to be up on my feet a max of two hours before I am sitting or lying down. This is so much easier said then done for me. I am having a hard time being off work. I went through these same emotions when I was taken off work with the girls at 17 weeks. I would give anything to be a stay at home mom but for some reason I always feel like a failure and that I should be able to work longer especially because I still feel good. My attitude will improve and I know I need to do everything possible to get these babies here after 32 weeks. Oh and during my days of "leisure" as the doctor put it I am suppose to get in 150gm of protein! Okay I don't think an extreme wright lifter can consume that much. I will keep you updated on how well I achieve that goal. I am already leaning towards failure. 

We will continue to have weekly appointments and I am not complaining one bit. I love seeing my "littles". And so for all of those where were commenting that it had been a while since my last post I made this one extra long to keep you reading for a while!! See you all next week unless something big changes between now and then.

Baby B on top, Baby A on bottom (head down, spine up)

Baby D

Baby C



April 13, 2012

Week 14- Half way to our first goal!

We have had a great last week. It started with Easter Sunday and a wonderful day spent as a family. We went to a very crowded church mass but I have to say for being a long mass with kids sitting on laps and no where for three kids under four to move they did awesome. Bringing along a baggie full of Easter candy may have helped!! Some days I just say use the tricks that you have at hand. We then came home and had a great lunch of Kraft mac & cheese. Isn't that on everyone's Easter menu? We then took a wonderful two hour family nap with a couple extra snoozes pushed before heading to my mom's. The girls were little fishes and swam in the hot tub the entire time we were there except during the egg hunt!! We had a fantastic ham dinner and then at nine my step-dad ushered us out the door because I think I was literally falling asleep at the table. 

Then Wednesday was another day of wonderful blessings. I started out the day by getting to see my "littles" and can I just say how excited I get every time I get to have an ultrasound, which is once a week so I am one lucky lady. The kids were all lined up in a row this week. I told them that if they would stack themselves a little better they would have a little extra room. Baby D does not think highly of the ultrasound probe and kicks it as soon as it is over him. Babies A & B had their heads resting against each other like their were cuddling. After all the heartbeats were measured the doctor came in to take a look at my cervix. It measured 4.4cm and I even got a high five. I told the doctor that it is amazing when the biggest compliment I can get these days is that my cervix looks great!! I have asked to have my hours reduced from 12 hour shifts to 8 hours due to the fact that by three in the afternoon I am exhausted. I come home from 12 hours of work and can hardly make it to the couch when I get home. I even do the kids prayers, songs and bedtime kisses from the couch on those days because I can't get up. I am hoping that by cutting out four hours each day I can work just a little longer so that I can have more time with the kids when they are born before I have to return to work. I will start these reduced hours on April 23rd. 

The doctor also said I can still go to Disneyland as long as I am on my scooter, no rides, and drink tons of water. On the way down and back I need to take a baby asprin to avoid blood clots and drink water so that I am peeing all the time because at least he knows I will be getting out of the car and stretching my legs as I run to the nearest restroom! The kids and even I am looking so forward to some Disney fun. There is something so magical about that place and I can't wait for Tuesday to get here. I go back to the ob on the 23rd to check on the kiddos and of course my cervix.

Also on Wednesday Paul had an all day final interview with a company and was told that evening that he would be receiving a job offer the next day. It was the best birthday present he could have asked for. We truly believe that God had a big hand in orchestrating this job. A staffing agency found him on career builder with an old resume, they called him and Paul didn't want to call back because it was a staffing agency. I convinced him that it wouldn't hurt. He had a great first interview and was asked to come back for a second. During the final interview they explained that they are a very family orientated business and want their sales managers home every night for dinner. They did ask Paul if he is planning on having any more kids and he responded with, "We may!" Won't they be shocked when they find out we are pregnant with four!! His offer did come on Thursday and it was even higher than what he had asked for. God is so great and we have been blessed and our prayers have been answered in regards to Paul finding a job that will allow him to be home with his family and help us financially with a family of NINE. He will begin his new adventure on April 23rd.

The last three weeks of this pregnancy have flown by. For the first 11 weeks everyday dragged by and I thought I would be pregnant forever and then all of a sudden things are going so fast. Even yesterday Paul and I were walking with the kids at the mall and he looks at me and commented that I am finally showing and you can tell I am pregnant. I told him sorry but it was bound to happen sooner rather than later! Some days I feel the kids move a ton and then some days like yesterday when I feel no one. My favorite part these days is when I get to tell someone we are expecting four. There is always a delayed response and I just wish I could record the faces and reaction when we share this news. The shock of it has certainly passed for us and now we just need to get the motivation to get ready for these little creatures. I think the kids bunk beds will be ordered next week so that we can start getting our home ready. The girls are very excited for their new beds. 

People have been asking what they can do for us. Right now we just ask for prayers. I am still doing well. We do things a little slower than before and we might have a few more movie afternoons than I would ever have found acceptable but it works for us currently. We may have more needs as I go on bed rest but we thank every one for all of their support. We have also been asked about hand-me downs in regards to clothing and equipment and yes we will certainly take them off your hands if you are done.

Easter Sunday 2012

Sisters
Daddy and his boy


Natalie


The kids spent the morning jumping in the puddles

I don't think they could believe their mom was letting them get wet in their pj's!
14 weeks

All four babies: B & D are the ones you can see their whole bodies; A is bottom right and you can make out a face, eyes, and hand; C is a blur top right but is there.
Babies A & B  cuddling






April 06, 2012

Made it to the second trimester!

I had my first official ob appointment yesterday and it went great. All the kids continue to do fabulous and are all measuring within a couple days of each other. Since it is a tad difficult to listen for each kiddos heartbeat with a doppler, there's only five heartbeats inside me right now but whose counting, I got to have another peak with ultrasound. It is amazing how much they have grown in two weeks. Per my baby book they are approximately 3 inches from crown to rump and about 2/3 of an ounce. They also looked much less skeleton this time because their ears and eyes have moved into the correct position. Can you believe that their kidneys are already secreting urine into the bladder and the liver is making bile? It always blows me away what a miracle pregnancy is. Baby A, B, & D were busy moving all around and Baby C was asleep the entire time. During the ultrasound I couldn't stop smiling and giggling because it is so surreal to see what is going on in my tummy. It truly feels like everything I see on the screen should be occurring in someone else's womb. How can it really be me that is pregnant with quads? I left my appointment saying to myself, "I am pregnant with four babies." It was as if it finally hit me and I was filled with joy. It was a great feeling!


This appointment is when they usually run the first trimester screening for chromosomal abnormalities. They usually run a blood test and check the nuchal folds on the babies necks but because of how many babies there are the serum test is not accurate. We have never had prenatal testing done with any of our pregnancies and so we again declined any further testing and the measuring of their nuchal folds. If God gives us a child that is blessed with an extra 21st chromosome we will love them no differently than any of our other children.


During my appointment I finally got the correct date as far as the number of weeks that I am. I had always believed that my date should change on Fridays but the fertility clinic kept changing it so I stuck with the last day of Monday that they had given me. Well my ob cleared it up and I am officially 13 weeks today. I am in the second trimester!! This isn't that big of deal now but as I get farther along four days means a world of difference. We will have our first high five, cartwheel, hip hip hooray party when I turn 28 weeks. Okay maybe Paul will have to do the cartwheel since I will be larger than a full termer and on bed rest but it will be a big milestone. The chances of survival are much greater after 28 weeks. Then comes 30 weeks and an even greater party with Paul doing a triple sow cow (have no idea how to spell that!). Thirty weeks increases the survival rate even more and this is when each day means something. Each day past thirty weeks is three less days in the NICU for the babies. So four days greater along could mean 12 less days in the NICU. That is almost two weeks. A huge amount of time. Our last party and we will invite everyone for a catered meal in my hospital room is week 32. A goal I would love to beat by many days. These babies can come after this week and should do okay after some time in the NICU. Any extra days after week 32 will hopefully just mean less NICU time. My personal goal and I am saying this very quietly so not to jinx myself is week 34 but don't let these kiddos know that, don't want them pulling any funny jokes on their momma.


I am also going to quietly whisper that the vomiting has not occurred in the last four days. Yahoo!!! Still nauseous but it is so nice not worrying if what I am eating is going to come back up. I have also occasionally felt the first little flutters of these munchkins and I love it. There is nothing better for this mommy than to feel the kicks of her babies. I will probably change this tune in a couple of months and you can all remind me how much I love being a human punching bag.


Thank you for all the continued prayers and all the support that has been poured out to us. Everyone has been so amazing and we are so blessed. We ask you to say a little extra prayer this week for our friends the Herrington's who are in currently in Ukraine bringing their forever daughter, Olivia, home. Olivia sports an extra 21st chromosome and has lived ALL 14 months of her life in an orphanage. No one has ever come to visit her in the 14 months she has been there. For the first time in her life Olivia is learning what love means from a mommy and daddy. Please pray that everything continues to go well so that they can bring Olivia home to their other five beautiful children.
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