June 28, 2012

Week 25- Another week closer to meeting our quadlings

I am afraid I am starting to bore people with my weekly updates because not much is changing except for my abdominal girth! We have now reached week 25 and I am shocked that we will be holding these "littles" in our arms in less than nine weeks. This excites me but makes me super anxious all at the same time. We have so much to do before we are ready for these babies. All the newborn clothes are in the attic, bottles are along side the clothes, no car seats bought, and cribs haven't even been ordered!! Yes I know we are pregnant but I am just not ready for our home to be full of chaos yet. The nursery is almost done and then I can start organizing it. We will also be heading to storage soon and getting the swings and bouncy chairs so we can get them all washed up. Nine weeks is the same as 2.5 months and that seems like a loooong time, right?!?

Our weekly doctor appointment again went great. The babies have all changed position which has made sleeping much more uncomfortable because I now have kids kicking me in the bladder and the ribs. I was amazed that they still have room to turn but now I am hoping they turn back to how they were before. Baby A & B were both breech (they are responsible for the bladder kicking). Some days I am waiting for one of them to just kick their way out because their kicks are that strong. Baby C is lying on my right side across my tummy horizontal. And Baby D is the rib kicker with its head down. All fluids looked good on the babies and my cervix was up again at 4.2cm. No orders for bed rest again and I am so amazed. I never in a million years thought I would see July from any other view point than my bed. This week I also signed the consent to have my tubes tied during the c-section. When they brought the consent in for me to sign I actually had a moment where I wasn't sure if I was ready to sign it. It is so permanent and truly means we are done having kids. I then quickly reminded myself that we will have seven kids and I did sign it but I never thought I would have the emotions that I did. They did forget to bring in the tummy tuck consent but the doctor did let me know that they will make the c-section incision in the same area that the tummy tuck will be so that I will only have one scar. I guess that will be almost as good as a tummy tuck!
Baby A
Another appointment next week and in the mean time we will just be hanging out growing babies. I do ask this week for some very specific prayers. Our friends the Herrington's who I have mentioned before when they were bringing Olivia home from Ukraine could use all the prayers we could give them. Their daughter Chloe who is not even two and also has down syndrome was recently diagnosed with leukemia. This news has brought back the many emotions of when Paul was diagnosed and I can not imagine having your child diagnosed with cancer. Starting in July Chloe will undergo chemotherapy for the next six months with the majority of this time spent in the hospital. Please pray that Chloe can continue to be the little fighter she is and allow her to continue to shine her joy with all those who are lucky enough to meet her. 

Week 25

The "Daring"

The "Goof"

The "Ham" who officially turned 2!


June 23, 2012

24 weeks- Viability & Happy Tears

We have officially made it to our first small hurdle...24 weeks. This is the point that the babies would have a chance to make it outside of the womb with medical intervention. This sounds like a huge hurdle but the chance of mortality and long term health issues is still really high if they were to be born. We are happily counting off the next four weeks until we hit 28 weeks. This is the point that things really start to change and the babies would have a much better chance of good outcomes. 

We have had a busy last week with visitors. Last Friday I went to open the door expecting a baby sitter because I thought Paul and I were going out for the evening to find my little brother and sister at the door asking for a glass of water! My dad and his family came down from Oregon to spend the weekend. Everyone knew about it except me and if you know me I dislike surprises with a passion. It took me about five minutes to tell myself everything would be okay and that my house was clean enough to host company. It did explain my husbands behavior for the day. At one point I texted my best friend and told her I was running away with my seven kids and if she felt up to it she could check in on my husband. Let's just say it was a rough day prior to my dads arrival but Paul's weird behavior was due to trying to get ready for company without letting me know!! The rest of the evening was wonderful with the kids playing with their aunt and uncle, who are only 7 & 9, great food and going to bed way to late. On Saturday I left the kids with grandma and I went with Paul to the grand opening of the new ACN training center here in town. It was great to see so many people who are supporting us during this pregnancy. The afternoon was spent napping, swimming and going out for a great mexican dinner with friends. Father's Day started out with three very crabby kids who had not gotten to bed anywhere close to bedtime for two nights in a row. I think after church Paul was ready to ditch us for the golf course or anywhere that the rest of his family was not at! But after some naps the world was a little bit better. My family all came over and my dad made his famous ribs and they were so yummy. The kids swam the whole afternoon and continued even through dinner so finally at bedtime thy decided they were hungry. Amazing how it always happens at bedtime! 
Grandpa with his 9 grandkids (& 3 of his kids)
 On Tuesday we welcomed Paul's mom and grandma. Paul's mom will now be here through the summer and his grandma is staying with us for a week. It has been so nice to have them here. I have never been this caught up on laundry! I told Paul I may have to hire a live in housekeeper once they leave. If only but one can dream. It will take us all some adjusting to having someone else living with us. The kids seem to think that the grandma's are here to play with them during each waking moment and I have to learn to just let them do things. I feel very guilty watching them clean up and taking care of the kids while I am lying on the couch. I would much rather be helping in the kitchen or taking walks with them than being on the sidelines. 

On Wednesday the grandma's and I went to my weekly doctors appointment and this is were the happy tears come in. We first stopped for a nice lunch sans kids and had some very yummy salads. I even indulged in a snickerdoodle cookie knowing that the salad was not packed with enough calories. While waiting in line I had a lady who had been sitting come over to me to tell me I had the cutest baby bump she had seen in a long time. I looked at her and told her that I needed to let her know that their were actually four babies in my baby bump. She was so excited and so was I because sometimes when you are only 24 week but look full term you just need a little boost and this sure did it for me. Neither of the grandma's had ever seen an ob ultrasound so it was neat to share this experience with them. The babies are getting so much bigger and the days of seeing a baby's head and feet in one picture are long gone, unless their feet are up by their heads! My favorite ultrasound tech was scanning and it was a great appointment. Right away the tech mentioned that my cervix appeared nice and long which was music to my ears. I had been a tad worried because I know that I am counting down the weeks until bed rest starts and I just would like to avoid it as long as possible. I also get worried that if my cervix starts to shorten that other isues could start to arise that could affect the babies. We got the weights of each baby and let's just say we have some big babies!! Baby A (our little peanut) weighed in at 1lb5oz (41%), Baby B 1lb7oz (66%), Baby C is our chunky monkey weighing in at 1lb10oz (92%) and Baby D 1lb9oz (83%). All the percentiles are based off weights for singletons so quads measuring with percentiles in the 41-92% is awesome. Insert first happy tears here!

Baby A & B continue to be head down and more in the front of my tummy. Baby C has turned and is also now head down but is stuck behind babies A & B. Good thing he has a little extra chunk to him and can handle the weight of his siblings! Baby D is the smartest of them all and is laying across the top of my tummy with its head on my right side. This is the baby that I feel all the time and does not ever settle down. I took a picture the other morning of what my belly is starting to look like a lot more these days. I was on my bed and my hips were totally straight. I think someone was tired of their siblings kicking them and was trying to get as far away as they could. My belly button is no longer in the middle of my tummy because usually my belly is shifted one way or the other. Things could get very interesting in the coming weeks.
After getting the measurements of the babies the doctor came in and did the official cervix measurement which was 4.1cm. Insert second happy tears! The doctor than sat with us and reviewed everything with us. One of the reasons I LOVE this group is that I never feel rushed or leave without questions answered. Even though I meet with four different doctors depending on the week I always feel they are on the same page. It is so reassuring. There is now a plan in place for which medications I will receive before and after delivery for my bleeding disorder after meeting with the hematologist which will hopefully avoid the ICU stay like I had after the twins. I also reminded the doctor that I am not on bed rest yet and he exclaimed, "well you don't need to be." Happy tears #3! He asked when I would like to schedule delivery and I said once I hit 34 weeks and so that is what he wrote on my chart. I laughed and said if only it was that easy! I have a thing with even numbers and so I have decided that I am going to have four quadlings on September 4th at 34weeks 4days gestation all weighing over four pounds. We will see how close I get to my new goal.
Baby B

Baby C
The final tears of happiness came after my appointment this week and it regards just how amazing I feel. I really don't have much to feel bad about. I have really enjoyed this pregnancy since I got past the nausea and am amazed that we are to 24 weeks already. Yes, I am big for 24 week but I am carrying four babies. I have gained 32lbs to date and am okay with that. I by no means have the energy that I did before pregnancy but I make it through the days and still enjoy getting out of the house. Besides the one evening with a few contractions that sent me to L&D, I have had no pre-term labor, only a few contractions here and there and no shortening of my cervix. This gives me so much hope each day that I can continue to carry these babies. I pray that I can continue doing well for the next 10 weeks. I truly believe having a positive attitude helps a ton and so each day I think about the blessing that I am being given. This will be my last pregnancy so I am enjoying feeling the little lives moving around inside me which is the one thing I always miss after giving birth. It amazes me that in less than 10 weeks we will be holding our children in our arms. It still feels so surreal to me. Hang in there kiddos we only have 2.5 months to go until you are welcomed into this world. Please continue to be content until the end of August.

The following pictures are from each of my pregnancies at the 24 week mark. It is amazing the difference between one, two, and four babies!!
24 weeks with the girls


24 weeks with Drew
24 weeks with the "littles"


June 14, 2012

Week 23- Another week down!!

These weeks are flying by and I am getting more and more excited to put names to these little miracles of mine. I get so excited thinking about delivery day! The anticipation of meeting these "littles" that God has given our family and just knowing that we did everything we could to get them here safely gives me little butterfly's in my tummy. I just can't wait. I have loved all my labors and even though this time it will have to be a c-section I am sure the day will be just as wonderful as April 2, 2008 when we meet our sweet little girls and June 21, 2010 when we welcomed Drew into the world. 

We had another wonderful week of growing quads. Paul again worked on the nursery. We had a family friend that started the mudding process of the new walls and next weekend it will be finished. Paul and my step-dad then painted the old part of the nursery on Sunday and it looks so awesome. I can not wait to see it all finished. While the painting was going on my mom took the girls grocery shopping while I rested and I think she forgot how much work it is to take 2 four year olds shopping! When they got home my mom made about five meals for us to have frozen in the freezer for the week. It has been so nice to not have to think about preparing dinner. I just go to the freezer and choose! Thank you mom and Jerry for all you have done for us lately. My mom has been coming over every evening that Paul is gone to bathe the kids and help get them to bed. It has been wonderful to have her help in the evenings.

I am still feeling amazing. I really have to remind myself sometimes that I am carrying four babies and not just a full term kiddo. The things I have noticed this week is that I can constantly hear my heartbeat in my ears. It gets really annoying but the doctor confirmed that I am feeling it because of the blood volume that is circulating inside me. I also have a lot of pressure/pain down below. For those who have been pregnant it is the last month pressure you feel. I mentioned it to the doctor and she recommended a belly support band. I used one with the girls when my belly got really heavy but hasn't gotten to that point yet in this pregnancy. The doctor explained that just supporting my belly may help relieve some of the pain. So I will try that this week to see if it makes a difference. She also said the pain may never go away until delivery since this is my third pregnancy and the muscles are just weaker now. She said if it gets worse during the day then I know I need to rest more. The babies again looked great with good fluid levels and my cervix went from 3.4 to 3.9!!! I love anytime it is above 3.5. Again no new restrictions and we will have another appointment next week with a growth scan. Hoping for the babies to be between 1-1.5lbs. 

Paul's mom and grandma arrive on Tuesday and I am so excited. It will be nice to have company and also to have more help around the house. The kids are also excited and need some activities to run off energy. They are starting to drive their mother crazzzy!! I am going to start working with a program online called care calendar to coordinate different things that we will need help with once the kiddos are born. It is a website that with a password that will be given out by Paul or I people will be able to sign up for talents that each person has. Whether it's helping bring meals, laundry, playing with the older kids, or coming over to help watch babies so that mom and dad can get some rest. As far as the feedings go we are planning on having a small group that we can rely on consistently to help with the feedings. Since they will be preemies and may not have the best eating ability when they come home we want to be able to teach a group of people what works best for each baby so that the babies can gain weight as they need to and have as few feeding issues as possible. We will also be bringing the kiddos home right at the beginning of RSV season and want to do everything to prevent the babies from getting this. We don't want to be rude to anyone but we want our babies health  to be our number one priority. If you are interested in being part of the group that helps with feedings let me know. We are hoping we can get people that can consistently fill a certain day of the week so we can get some kind of routine going.

Now for something a little fun!! We thought it would be interesting to start a poll to see what people think these babies are and when they will be born. A small prize will be given for the person closest with all guesses (don't expect the prize to be mailed the day they are born...we may be a tad busy for a little while!!). So either comment on the blog, facebook or email Paul or I with your guesses. Remember there are four babies to guess for. I will be 28 weeks on July 20, 32 weeks on August 17 and 34 weeks on August 31. My prediction for these babies are 3 little men and one princess born on September 2. Happy guessing!

Baby A (above)

Baby D sucking his/her thumb

Drew & Grandma having some kitchen fun

I just don't think all seven of our kids will be able to line up for morning cartoons on the coffee table! And yes Drew has a hair clippy in...it's what happens when you have two older sisters!

June 06, 2012

Still no bed rest at 22 weeks!!!

So this morning I decided to get the nasty glucose testing done that all pregnant women have to have done. Can I just say I dread this test so much. I had to do the one hour test with both the girls and Drew and still remember how yucky it made me feel with the girls. Well my doctor decided to have me do the two hour test this time. I had to fast for 12 hours prior to the test which is a long time for someone feeding a total of five people! I then have to get my blood drawn three times in a two hour timeframe...not bad, but the feeling of your blood sugar going sky high I could live without. I can't wait to get to the car and eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Don't think I have ever been so excited for protein! 

We did have a little excitement this week in quadville. On Sunday evening we went swimming and it felt so great to just float around. After we got the kids into bed I noticed my tummy was feeling tighter than usual and I was occasionally having a contraction. I told Paul I need to lie down and everything seemed to settle after some rest and fluids. But the next morning I noticed the same tightening so took it easy and rested from about 2-6 in the afternoon but I couldn't sleep because I was nervous and debating between going into the hospital or resting because I had just been too active. I talked to my mom and she was quick to remind me that it's not worth the risk of waiting so I made the call to my doctor and he had me come down to the hospital. My mom came over and Paul and I left. On the way to the hospital he was going a really weird way and I asked him if he remembered how to get there? He looked at me and said you need a Dairy Queen. Sure I was up for it but I really think he just wanted one! After we arrived at the hospital and got hooked up to the monitors I was able to show them a very nice contraction right away. I was having them about every 12 minutes which wasn't awful. They get worried when you have 6 or more in an hour. I was given some vesteril which slowed things down and was sent home at midnight. I slept like a baby once we got home and my awesome husband was kind enough to let me sleep til 9:30 the next morning! 

 I had a routine appointment the next day so I was interested to see if the contractions had done anything to my cervix and if bed rest would start. All the babies looked great and their fluid levels are still adequate. Baby A and B are both head down and Baby C and D are transverse butting heads in the middle. My cervix shortened from 3.7 to 3.5 which I immediately got nervous about. The doctor could tell right away that I was worried so he was very quick to let me know this is not significant. My cervix was still closed and no funneling so I got another good report on the all important cervix! I did get a prescription for the vesteril to take as needed if I notice the tightening or contractions starting up again. I had a discussion with the doctor about bed rest. I told him I don't want to wait to go on bed rest until we realize I should have gone on it two weeks ago. He said there are two reasons for bed rest; a shortening cervix or pure exhaustion. He explained that my cervix is still great and I'm still doing well with activity. He wants to continue to see me every week but is happy with how things are going. Yay, you gotta love when the doctor is happy!!

Paul's mom is arriving on the 19th and I can't wait. I know I will be spending a lot more time resting than I have been and I know that is what I need right now. I am tired and I have a hard time doing much with the kids and I feel guilty for this. I know Grandma will have lots of fun projects, baking and outside time for the kids and I will be able to do the quiet activities of reading, singing them songs and just snuggling while watching a movie. 

On Friday we will be at 22 weeks and I am getting so nervous. At 24 weeks the "littles" will reach a point were they could survive outside the womb with lots of medical care but their mortality and risk of long term health complications are high. I am excited to get to 24 weeks and we are so close but I want to do everything I can to not have them born between 24 and 28 weeks. I will be so excited to check off each of those weeks with the munchkins still growing safely in my tummy. 

I do have to tell a story from the doctors office yesterday just to keep this blog real! I was lying flat after the doctor had checked my cervix and I was talking to him about my weight gain which is now up 30lbs...yikes! I was a little concerned about the weight coming on too fast now and what woman likes to see the numbers climbing on the scale even when you know how important it is. The doctor grabs my tummy, which when I am laying flat looks a little like bread dough, and starts literally squishing and kneading it! Okay talk about mortified!! I already have issues with my self confidence and here is a man telling me "this is what I call a belly of gold!" I just about died. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of "dough" I am going to have after these babies are born. So not excited for the post baby body with this pregnancy. 

Paul is gone for the next two days for work so the kids and I will be vegging out on the couch watching way to many movies and luckily grandma and auntie will come over to help with dinner and baths. We may even go through some of the baby clothes that have been gifted to us. So hoping for a quiet week until our next appointment on Tuesday. Again thank you everyone who has let me know that they are still praying for our "littles". It means so much to Paul and I.

Baby B (above)- the pictures are not as good as they once were because there is less room each week and they tend to be all curled up.

Baby C- a tad squished!
My little man!! Love him

Week 22- My wedding rings still fit but I hate having anything constricting on right now!

June 03, 2012

Week 21: Nursery remodel and Wedding Engagements

I have to start this post off by letting everyone know my little sister is getting married!!! I am so excited for her because though she knew a proposal was in the works she had no clue it was going to take place when it did. At least now when I find myself on bed rest her and I will have lots of fun looking through everything wedding! Brings me back to when I was planning my own wedding and here I am ten years later with 7 kids, a dog and two cats. Wonder were Nicole and Jess will be in ten years?!? I love you both and can't wait for the big day and Jess thank you for making my sister so happy.

Nicole & Jess

Last weekend was the big nursery remodel and I know I will never be able to live in a house that is under construction. Paul, my stepdad and my sister's boyfriend worked a very long Saturday tearing out walls and building new ones. Then Paul spent two more days hanging sheetrock. It was a lot of work but looks amazing. Paul keeps joking that he is going to take the babies room because it turned out great. We now just need to wait for the texturing guy to come over this week and then its time for paint. I will post pictures as soon as we have paint on the walls. We almost have a place to put these four little munchkins and that makes for a very happy momma!

Our weekly appointment showed absolutely no change in the good old cervix. My doctor took a look on ultrasound, did a couple measurements and said, "hurry up get off the table, get dressed and get out of here. Your doing so well I don't want to see you again until next week so go." So another week down. The weekly appointments do get tiring because it is a little bit of a drive to each appointment but I think knowing I get to see the babies each week helps the time pass so quickly. I only have about two more weeks that I can still get a cerclage if my cervix would shorten before the risk are higher than the benefits so hopefully there will be no changes in the next two weeks. 

The kiddos continue to kick away in my tummy and instead of just the little flutters they are now doing full flips, throwing right jabs and kicking each other back and forth. Very seldom is someone not moving. It could get very interesting in the next couple of weeks. Other than that not much more to report. I took a picture this week in the same shirt as my last picture so you can see how much growing happens in about a week and a half. 

19 1/2 weeks
21 weeks




(Please ignore the way I look in the 21 week picture. It was night time after a 100 degree day and a three hour nap! I just wanted to be able to compare one week to the next and the HUGE changes!!!)


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