January 28, 2013

A schedule change gives us a life back

The babies are now 5.5 months (3.5 months adjusted) and we have been on a feeding schedule of every three hours since they were born. Three hours goes really fast when it comes to trying to fit a ton of stuff into that time period. And really we only got maybe two hours of that time because with diaper changes(x4) and the actual feeding that was all we were left with. And then the last month and a half the babies want to do this thing called play after they are done eating which often times involves mom and dad dancing around singing silly made up songs while juggling a baby or two from contraption to contraption. Our time has not been ours for a very long time. We have been so blessed though because since around Christmas the babies have been sleeping for 12 hours a night. The last hour of the 12 they play happily in their cribs. When people see us with the quads they often respond with "you must be so exhausted and not getting any sleep" and we happily report that not really because they sleep great at night. 

I remember when my friend Amber who has a beautiful set of quadlings of her own moved to four hour feeds. I was so jealous and it seemed like forever before we would even get to think about that because I believe mine were giving us only a five hour stretch at that time!! Amber's quads are only about 6 weeks older than ours and I have stalked followed her blog since I first found out we were expecting quads. I knew we were getting close to the point that maybe four hour feeds would work but I was thinking I would start solids first before this big change but I really didn't want to start solids yet because our pediatrician wants us to wait until they are 4 months adjusted before starting which would be the week of valentine's and we are having a lot of company during that week because the babies will be baptized on Feb 17. I don't want to throw in something totally new while everyone is here which means I wouldn't be starting solids til the end of February. I can not take another month of three hour feeds. This momma has had a couple bad days (post coming on how raising 7 kiddos is not always everything coming up roses) and I know it has a lot to do with our three hour time window. After all that I decided it was time. I talked to Amber on how she transitioned and set a date of Tuesday to do it. I had chosen Tuesday because I knew Paul would be working form home most of the day and if Thing 1, 2, 3 & 4 got really cranky daddy would be able to help back me up. Sunday night came around and I decided I wasn't waiting til Tuesday, it was happening Monday. I could do it. I went through 7.5 months of a quad pregnancy I could do a four hour feeding schedule.

Today was glorious. It went beyond my wildest dreams of good. They ate at 8 just like usual except I gave them each an extra 1.5 oz in their bottle. Each bottle will get more now because since we are going down to four bottles a day they need that 5th bottle amount added in to their other bottles. They all drank it with no problem and very little spit up which was a concern of mine. We then played and they went down around 9:15. And then the most amazing thing happened...they napped until 11:30. It was awesome. The big kids and I finger painted, I got ready, the big kids swam in the hot tub and played with very little arguing. It was just like it use to be. At 11:45 they were ready to eat and again had no problem with the extra volume. Tate actually left some in the bottle which is unheard of around these neck of the woods. Then all kids napped again from 1-3. After the 3:30 feed the big kids and I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and then it was bath time for the babies. They will get one last feeding around 7 after they wake from the little catnap they are currently having. 

Today was a good day. Most days when I am home alone I am anxious. Trying to cram so much into such small windows. I spend to much time telling my big kids "in a minute". I didn't have to hardly do that at all today. Voices didn't have to raise to a yelling volume. The big kid and I had fun which doesn't always happen when daddy is working. And the best part is I haven't even turned on the tv for them so that I could get a couple things done. I know I am making it sound like I added a whole three hours to my day when really it was only about an hour but that hour is exactly what our family needed. 

Hello four hour schedule, good bye every 3.

Love this view

"No mom I will not smile."

"Ok maybe just once."

January 27, 2013

A year ago today...

four embryos that had been frozen for over five years where placed in mommy's tummy. I remember that morning sitting reading magazines, that were a couple months old, in the waiting room of the fertility clinic. Over the years we have spent many hours waiting in that room. For some reason that room always feels cold to me. I always have a pit in my stomach that I know is anxiety. I always wonder how many months or years everyone else in that room has been trying to conceive and in the end will they get what they are so desperately hoping for...a baby?  A year ago I had these same feelings even though I already had three miracles at home. The reason being is that I knew I had four babies thawing and I was anxious to hear if any of them had made the thaw. I recall the phone call we got the night before like it just happened yesterday. We had just pulled into the garage and we were unloading the kids. The nurse called asking how many embryos we wanted to thaw and I said "just the two". She reminded me that we actually had four and I went on to explain that the doctor had told us only two were viable. As she was looking at their grading she told me that they really were not that bad of embryos and occasionally they had seen success with them. I didn't even have to ask Paul because I knew what he would say; thaw them all. After I was off the phone Paul asked me what that was about and I told him. Paul agreed that we would never discard any of our embryos and since two were supposedly none viable we may as well thaw them all. There is only a 40-60% chance of successful thaws on embryos but I knew all four would survive. I had never had an embryo not survive the thawing process.

The next morning we went and waited for our names to be called. My favorite medical assistant was working and it was so fun to see her again. We met with the doctor who told us all four embryos did survive and wanted to know how many we wanted to put back. We discussed our risk of multiples. Paul and I were really hoping for twins again but one would be fine also. We even told him that I did not want to get pregnant with all four like my co-worker had the previous year! He told us he was comfortable with transferring four. Our risk of triplets was 1% and quads was less then 0.5%. Paul and I didn't discuss it long because we did not feel it was our choice to throw our children down the drain to discard the one that we would not have transferred. We were lead back to the room were you have to put on booties and hair covers. They then take you to an even colder room than the waiting room. This room is sterile and cold but they try to brighten it by putting a cheesy cover over the fluorescent light and putting two chocolates on the hospital grade bedding. My bladders is now full because they need it to be this way to get the embryos in the right place. The nurse scans by bladder and it is not full enough for them even though it sure seems plenty full to me. I drink even more water and wait. The embryologist came in to show us a picture of our "babies". I remember her telling us that all four were blooming beautifully! As we waited for my bladder to fill I kept looking at the picture and guessing which two were the good ones. In my mind I was already preparing for twins. Finally it was time, the doctor and embryologist came in with all four of our "babies" in the smallest straw like catheter. Paul and I watched on ultrasound as our embryos were placed in my uterus. It was done in less than 30 seconds. We now had to wait in the cold room for 15 minutes for the embryos to make themselves comfortable. I really think the clinic does this to give you peace of mind that they are not going to just fall out. When the kitchen timer goes off I am off the ob table in no time to head straight to the bathroom with only a blanket wrapped around my lower half because that is how bad I had to pee. We then go home for my three days of laying low. I look at my "babies" first picture over and over praying that one or two stick. Four days later is when I know I am pregnant because I am already sick.

I could never have imagined a year ago that we would make the less than 0.5% statistic of having quadruplets. But I am so glad that all four embryos thawed and then stuck. Paul and I are so lucky. I look at them now and cannot imagine making the choice to discard one of them. Infertility is a tough road and we defiantly rode the roller coaster for many years. I pray that those who suffer from infertility will find the path that will lead them to their dream of having a family. Because when we sat in the waiting room seven years ago discussing our options I never could have dreamed that we would suffer from three miscarriages but be blessed with seven absolutely amazing miracles.
Our 4 "blooming" embryos
Our embryos at 5 months of age

January 26, 2013

Rylan's first haircut & some January pictures

So the last couple of days Rylan's hair has been bugging me. It had gotten really long and Paul had started calling him "hockey hair" and I am just not all for that look. I made an appointment for him to just get a little taken off and all nine of us went. Not that we were all needed but we all (at least the five oldest in the family) NEEDED to get out of the house. I figured there would not be many people in the kids salon and we could keep the babies in their car seat and avoid any nasty germs. I have been in love with Rylan's hair since the moment I saw it that dreadful night when he was one day old. I remember seeing his hair for the first time while they were trying to intubate him because they had taken off his bubble cpap hat. The thought kept running through my head while I was watching the nurses and doctors that I haven't even seen my little boys hair, please don't let him me leave me. His hair has always been awesome and I am afraid to say that I may have made a huge mistake in cutting it. Paul and I aren't in love with his hair anymore though we do love the little man something fierce. His haircut got a lot shorter than I wanted it to be. Oh well at least hair grows out. Maybe the hockey hair wasn't so bad. Now I am just hoping it come back with its wave.
"Hockey Hair"
It didn't look awful from the front but the sides and back were bad. This picture also shows how flat the back of his head is. We will be talking to his doctor about a referral this month.

Moral support

Tate knowing it would be a long time before he was ready for a hair cut choose to take a nap.

"This cape is pretty cool."

His curls...sigh...

Those clippers look huge against him!

My little baby is gone.

The only time he got sad

Waiting for their lollipop

My big boy

For comparison this was Drew at 3 weeks of age right before his first haircut
 Paul and I have been painting Drew's room so he no longer has a nursery theme. This is the 3rd time that room has been painted in the 8 years we have lived here. I think it is time to move! This morning while I was painting the trim the big kids were busy painting too.

Grandma & Grandpa Lesnau you will be the recipients of all of these!!
And now for some excerpt from our time spent in confinement at home.

Izzie always has a blanket up by her face when she sleeps

Our happy boy

A new feeding set-up when we are feeding quad style

Look ma no hands

Kenzie's definition of side lying feeds

Aubrey's creation

Isabella joining us at the dinner table

Couch potatoes...watching educational shows of course

"I will look at this stuff but there is no way that I am going to play with these obnoxious toys"

I had been having a really rough day but was able to smile when I walked out to this.

I am going through my sisters purse and she hasn't even caught me (& yes the cushion is missing after Aubrey touched wet paint and then came and spread it all over the cushion. It of course was dark navy blue...not a good day that day)

January 16, 2013

A guest post from the sisters!

Natalie and Aubrey have always been total mom and dad kids, as in they want to do whatever mom and dad are doing. This is great but also can be so annoying. I could give away all of the girls toys and they could care less. They love cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, folding clothes which I know sounds great but the problem is that at this age I have to redo everything they help with. And I just have the feeling that as soon as they are old enough to really help out they won't want to. 

The one thing they love are their brothers and sisters (& sometimes Drew!). They want to hold them, burp them, feed them and anything else a mommy does. The problem with this is they are only four and they forget they cannot throw the real babies around like they can their dollies. We have limits of what the girls can and cannot do with the babies and they will try and stretch those to the max but the one thing we do know is that they love their four babies. Only once or twice have we gotten the "I wish you only had one baby" comment and this was because of two reasons; 1)I wouldn't have to pump if we only had one baby and 2)we could go do more things if a baby was all that we had to pack up. I really don't blame them and am amazed how well they adjusted to so many babies being added and the changes that took place over the last year. 

I thought it would be fun to get the low down from 2 four year olds on being the oldest of seven kids:

What is the best thing about being a twin?
N: We get sisters.
A: The best thing about being a twin is we are pretty. Boys are not very nice and girls are.

Do you like having Drew as a brother?
N: Yes, because he sleeps with me and he plays with me when I want him to. He's a good brother like that.
A: Yes, because if I didn't have a brother I wouldn't be happy because I wouldn't have a brother.

Do a lot of your friends have more than one baby at a time?
N: No
A: No

Do you wish your mommy would have only had one baby instead of four and why?
N: Yes, because one baby is easier for mommy and other kids don't have to help anymore.
A: Yes, because if you have four babies it takes a lot of care for them.

What's the best thing about having so many brothers and sisters?
N: They love me really much.
A: They are good and because I am happy with them and when I talk to them they smile and laugh. I think about Natalie & Drew in my dreams because Natalie isn't very nice but Drew is. I like to play out in the garage and have popcorn with them.

What's the worst thing about having so many brothers and sisters?
N: They kind of throw fits which make me sad.
A: We yell at each other and we don't do nice things to each other like fight and hit each other.

If your mommy and daddy could do one thing with you what would you want to do?
N: Go to Disneyland.
A: Art projects with mommy and daddy at Deborah's place.

Who's the boss in your family?
N: Mommy and daddy, is that right? Well maybe mostly daddy.
A: Daddy & Mommy. Daddy is the boss more, is he?
D: You mom

Should your mommy have any more babies?
N: Yes, because I love babies really much and they are so fun to play with. She should have 100 more.
A: Nooooo. Because they are too hard.

Who makes more noise; the babies or Natalie, Aubery & Drew?
N: The babies.
A: The babies.

How old are you?
D: Me 2

How many brothers do you have?
D: Me 2

How many sisters do you have?
D: 2 sisters mum

How old is your mom?
D: You 2 mum

Do you love your mom and dad?
D: Yup 

 So there you have it from a four year old perspective on living in a house with seven kids! (& a couple questions answered from a very smart 2 year old!!)

Aubrey has always had an interest in taking pictures. She is not allowed to take pictures with mom and dad's camera because point blank it is just way to expensive of a camera for her hands to touch. So she has taken over the cameras on our cell phones. It is always interesting to see what she finds picture worthy and at times I have literally had to turn the phone in multiple angles to figure out what exactly she took a picture of! So for Christmas Paul and I toyed with the idea of buying her an adult camera but then threw the idea aside until Paul called me one day from Office Depot and asked if I still wanted to get her a camera. He found the deal of the century. A $140 Kodak camera marked down to $39. SCORE!! She loves her camera and so do her brother and sister. I love sitting down in the evenings to see what they took pictures of and better yet are the videos. They are hilarious and at times better than what Paul and I capture on video. So now she has her own folder on the computer where her pictures go. She has pictures of people, of toys, of blurry objects I can't decipher and pictures of pictures. I will keep these so she can go through them some day and laugh like Paul and I do. But some of them are really fun and so the pictures below are captured by either Aubrey or Natalie!
We need to work on applying make-up but at least she picked a color to go with her jammies.


Yes Tate is in a pink towel. Colors don't matter around here. You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!!

Grandma & Grandpa Parsoneault

Drew Bear (Side story: the other day Aubrey was telling Drew that her name is Aubrey Nicole. She was saying it slowly so he could repeat it. She than told him his name was Drew Bear. Paul and I just looked at each other and laughed because she doesn't realize that his name is really Drew David because we never call him that! We didn't correct her either.)

Christmas gifts being played with.

Action shots!

Oh boy we are in trouble if this continues

The eyes crack me up.

Think of the make-up we will go through some day with four teenage girls. I shudder just thinking about it.

Meal time....

for all kids.



Peek a boo Tate

Tired mommy

Love this kid


Mesmerized by lights

A stole away

This is Kenzie but could easily be mistaken for a doll in this picture.

If paper is not available in this house apparently it is okay to color on your face

Daddy and his peanut

Cheesy daddy #1...



Intermission from cheesy dad....

Finally a decent shot.

Mommy and her boys

A day at a friends house, camera will travel.

Heart breaker

A new trick...

Natalie Ann

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