{Quad Squad} The babies are here!!!!!

I am overjoyed to share with you all that our little quad squad has arrived!! After 13 hours of unrelenting contractions, a drastically shortened cervix and early preeclampsia, my doctor said today was the day!! At 29w5d, Trystan, Kailey and Harrison were born at 12:55pm and Logan finished out the gang at 12:56pm. For a few early photos and some extra details, hop on over to my mom's blog for her post today. I look forward to sharing more info on our precious four and tons of photos in the coming days!!


{Quad Squad} 29 Weeks!

Why hello there, I'm back! At least for this post, anyway. I hope you all enjoyed the great information my mom shared in her guest post last week—she'll also likely be posting the big news once the quads arrive! I've been "under the influence" quite a bit with the different medications they've got me on for everything from nausea and contractions to pain and that always lovely magnesium sulfate. I really can't believe that tomorrow marks seven weeks (that's 49 days) in the hospital and about 46 days on the mag.

The past two days have been pretty good, and today has been average as well. I'm extremely exhausted most of the time and have kept to my bed, staying horizontal to keep things calm and contractions to a minimum. I've had a few close calls over the past week where the contractions picked up and we all stood by to see what they would do. Some of them have gotten to the point of being painful, but eventually they would calm down. During the last bout, my doctor had me start another round of Indocin (to help slow contractions), which is that medication I can only take for 48 hours about once a week. Anything longer and you run the risk of depleting the babies' amnionic fluid levels. The fluid is able to replenish itself if it gets a little low, but push it too far and you might end up in a tricky situation. I just finished my last dose of Indocin last night, so now it's literally a waiting game. There's really nothing else they can give me if the contractions pick up again (I can't take Indocin until closer to the weekend and I'm already on 2 grams of mag per hour), so we've got our fingers and toes all crossed. Today I've had very few contractions, tonight or tomorrow could be a different story!

All that said, I've scooted my little quad-pregnant booty past the 29 week mark and we're now headed for 30. It's insane that I've held together for this long. I seriously don't think I have much longer. My stomach has grown even more and the quads are probably all weighing from 2.5 to 3.25 pounds by now. Their weights are good, their hearts and health look good and now the husband and I are just standing by to meet them! My skin on my stomach is starting to really hurt and my belly has taken on a weird oblong shape as it struggles to accommodate the quads. These babies are literally pushing the limits now. Each day, I'm amazed I've gone another 24 hours without bursting at the seams. Last week, I had a hard time of it—the days were passing by so slowly and I just didn't know how much more I could take. But sometimes you have to let it all out, take a deep breath and start over. The husband has stayed with me this Memorial Weekend and we've kept quiet so as to keep my body calm and at least make it a few days closer to 30 weeks if possible.

Yesterday morning he brought honey butter chicken biscuits from Whataburger for breakfast, delish! Then we had fajita tacos, chips and queso for our dinner last night and watched a movie. Today I've been napping most of the day and he's gotten some work done at the make-shift desk near my bed and even went jogging on an outdoor path near the hospital. He's been so awesome spending so much time with me up here, to the point that even the nurses comment how much better I do when he's around.I truly love him for his selfless support of me and our babies throughout this pregnancy and I can't wait to see him in action as a father.

Last weekend, for my 28 week celebration, the husband brought up these huge number balloons to help celebrate. I loved them!

And my mom and step-dad came up to the hospital, cake in hand, to spend time with us and relish the fact that I'd reached my main goal.

Yesterday, since I was having a good afternoon, one of my favorite nurses nabbed a wheel chair and took the husband and I to the OR so we could see where all the action will happen. It's literally down the hall and one turn from my hospital room, so very close. We were very happy to get a look inside, actually, since it will help us stay oriented when all the chaos starts. That way I can picture where I'm at and I'll know where the babies are going once they come out, versus trying to familiarize myself with a completely strange new place in the midst of all the rush. And of course we had to snap a super lovely picture of the husband and myself, looking hot and sexy as ever. (We're in the recovery room in the photo, which is right next to the OR.) He'd gone jogging in the heat just prior to our tour and I'd woken up not long before, so between the sweat stains and makeup-less face....well, it is what it is. ;)

There's a small room in between the two operating rooms that we saw, which is where they keep the warmers for the babies. Typically they have three warmers in there since that usually accommodates "normal" deliveries. However, with our quad squad we'll need a whopping four warmers. Just outside the OR in the hallway was a fourth warmer with a sign that read "For the Quads, Please do not move." Love it! It feels good to know they are ready and waiting for these little guys to arrive.

We are in the day-by-day zone now, it's all a waiting game at this point. I feel like I could possibly make it through to 30 weeks but am not sure about anything past that based on how I feel physically and the pressure and weight of these four babies. But stranger things have happened! The main focus right now is keeping me comfortable—even sleeping on my side is becoming an issue—and maintaining my spirits until the end. Many times, especially in the evenings when I'm alone, I log onto my blog from my phone and read all the incredible comments that everyone's left to encourage myself to keep going and stay strong. So thank you for reading! 29 weeks, one day and counting...


Hi! I'm Amber's Mom!

You will probably be hearing from me instead of Amber for the next few posts. She is a bit busy these days 'growing' her babies. 

This picture was taken last Saturday of Amber and one of her favorite nurses, Amby, as we celebrated the 28th week of this Quad Squad Pregnancy!

Now here we are just hours away from week 29!
Quite a bit has been happening as this amazing pregnancy winds down to the final weeks and days.

As the babies have grown it has become harder and harder for the heart monitor to detect four separate heartbeats. Amber now gets a sonogram every day and it has been fascinating to watch these little babies as they grow day by day.

Meet Trystan, our little Gatekeeper. She is the second largest baby so that means she is one tough little girl keeping her brother and sisters secure in the corral! Her head is pointing down now. Kailey is right behind her! Her head is pointing down also. I think Trystan has known the way out all along and was staying traverse so the others couldn't sneak past her.

All the pictures of her show her hands up as she shoulders the weight of all the others.
Now that she and Kailey are lined up Harrison decided to turn his head down leaving Logan hanging out at the top. She may not realize they are starting to line up yet!
Not that it will do them any good! When the time comes to deliver them, Amber and Mike have asked the doctor to try and find the boy first! He had never had that request before and said he would see if he could 'fish him out' ahead of the others!

I love seeing the sonograms! Even my untrained eye can tell a foot when I see one!

Or an arm and hand......this one belongs to Harrison.

The days have gone by so slowly. IV's, pain medicine and rounds of Indocin have become the routine of Amber's life. I admit - it is hard as a mother to see my child suffer as much and as long as she has! She is such a trouper! But now she is absolutely and completely worn out! It is a good thing the babies will be delivered by Caesarean section! Amber will not have the strength to PUSH!

To update you as to her current condition -
she is having hard long lasting contractions on a regular basis.
They have given her Indocin to try and slow them down as this has worked in previous weeks. So far, though, she is still contracting. The pain medicine is helping her and taking the edge off. She can no longer stand up other than going back and forth to the bathroom. Her 'normal' position is to lie on her side and stays horizontal as much as possible. Today her IV was leaking and the nurse had to put in a new one. Bless her heart - Amber has been poked and stuck and there is not one spot on her that doesn't hurt! The doctor seems to think she can hang on until early next week. However, it is good to know that HE is the doctor on call this weekend. Amber would prefer to deliver in a timely manner by having a day and time reserved for the OR. No middle of the night or a weekend or holiday for her if she can possibly help it!

Another of her nurses spent a good hour earlier this week preparing her for all she can expect once she DOES make that journey down the hall to the OR.
Then one of the NICU staff came down to discuss the plans and what to expect as far as the babies are concerned. The bracelets for the quads are already made and waiting.

As far as the conditions of the babies go - they are looking wonderful.
They regularly score and 8 out of 8 on the Biophysical Profile.
Each baby is most probably going to be around 3 pounds.......with Harrison being the heaviest followed by Trystan. Logan is the smallest. She's the one floating around on the top. They are starting to blink and the sonogram this morning showed Logan with her eyes wide open! She has a little pouf of hair!
They are all puffing away with their little diaphrams - practicing their breathing.
Their hearts remain strong and steady!

I don't have to tell you what an amazing Mother my daughter is!
She has taken good care of these babies.
It has been THE hardest thing she has ever done in her life! Never again will her body be asked to go to the lengths it has gone in order to carry and grow four babies.....at the same time!! These precious babies are every bit as awesome as their mother and father!

I close this post with gratitude for the prayers, concern and encouragement for my daughter and her family. I promise to post again soon!


{Quad Squad} 28 Weeks!!!!

I couldn't wait to post my 28 week photo, and thanks to my awesome husband I've got some huge balloons to go with it!! We are ecstatic to have reached our big major goal for this pregnancy.

My doctor came to check on me this morning and was very, very pleased with how I'm doing and how the babies' are progressing. Physically, things are getting rough for me. I'm generally in a fair amount of pain, I can no longer stand up straight, I have a lot of difficulty getting in and out of bed and I may have had to put a chair in my shower. But I haven't lost all my pride and I did straighten up long enough to take some photos this morning, slapping a big grin on my face to hide the discomfort. I want to look back on this and think, "Damn, I looked good for 28 weeks with quads!"

Though we're no longer counting down to any particular goal, my doctor seems to think 31 weeks will be my magic number. I'm a pretty small person to be accommodating four babies and he wants them to all reach three pounds and then he'll be satisfied. This is mainly to combat the weight they'll lose after birth while adapting to life outside the womb. Since the smallest baby, our little Logan, was an even two pounds earlier this week I've got some work to do. Bring on the protein shakes!

My doc seems to sense how hard my body is fighting for every 24 hours right now, though I know pain is certainly no indicator that it's time to deliver. I am game to go as long as possible with this pregnancy as safely as I can. These kiddos are definitely vying for space in my stomach as things become a little bit more snug in there each week but that just means they won't mind sharing cribs for their first few months. ;)

As we pass 28 weeks, there's a lot of good news and warm, fuzzy feelings to go with it. Doc says we are getting rid of risks like brain hemorrhaging, hearing and vision loss and complications, etc. He also mentioned that here in this particular hospital, 92% of 28-weekers go home. He has every intention of sending us home with four brand new little babies. 

My husband and I are so grateful that God has blessed us with this adventure and that He's steered us safely this far. We continue to pray for his protection, grace and strength to make it the rest of the way. Until then, we will enjoy every good milestone and every gifted day. My mom and step-dad are coming up to celebrate with the husband and I this afternoon (including cake!) and my dinner tonight is going to be filet mignon from Vic & Anthony's! Yum! I'll be sure to take photos and share the rest of our day in another post. For now, happy 28 weeks Harrison, Logan, Trystan and Kailey! 


{Quad Squad} The "Q Word"

It's 27.5 weeks, I'm nearly there! I've been pining away to reach 28 weeks so I can just breathe a sigh of relief and I'm so happy to nearly be there. Today has actually been pretty quiet, that's the "q word" that even the nurses use sparingly for fear of jinxing things. It just means there's not much happening and I'm staying pretty steady. The main thing that's changed is the amount of pain I'm in day to day. My pelvis feels like it's going to split in half sometimes and my hips and back have started throbbing. Plus I've started having some pain with my contractions, which have increased some from the usual, though still not regular.

This morning I woke up in a bad mood. (Probably not far fetched when going on over five weeks in the hospital.) I had woken up at 5am due to a fairly strong contraction that didn't feel very pleasant, immediately followed by another one. I called the nurse in to see how frequent they were happening and she said they were sporadic, every one minute to ten minutes. After emptying my bladder and drinking some cold water, they calmed down a bit. At six am, the nurse came in to draw some new blood work (they keep it current every three days) and then I fell back asleep for 30 minutes, followed by a headache and nausea when I woke up again. I angrily ate my breakfast (take that Fruit Loops!) and accepted some IV Phenegran, which got rid of the nausea and knocked me out for a nap. Talk about a productive day when you wake up, eat breakfast then feel that it's time for a nap, lol. But I'd just fallen asleep when they came to get me for my ultrasound to check my cervical length. I drowsily rode in the wheel chair over there and got good results, my cervix was 3.2cm long and still looking very stable. It was 2.6cm last week and fluctuation is normal, so it's reassuring to know it's not rapidly shortening just yet.

Yesterday I had a growth scan for the babies, which I'd been eagerly anticipating for weeks! I only get one every three weeks, which feels like a lifetime but apparently is far enough apart to allow enough change in the babies to document. My two goals for this pregnancy are to get all the babies over two pounds and to reach 28 weeks. The latter is happening in just days so you know I was thrilled when we found out all the babies had packed on a pound or more! It was also a relief because the nutritionist had come by last week and weighed me. I'd only gained six pounds in four weeks, for a total weight gain of 36 pounds. I was a bit worried that perhaps the babies might not be getting enough calories, but turns out they are simply taking all my calories! At 27w3d, here are their weights:

Trystan Lee, 2lbs8oz
Kailey Lee, 2lbs4oz
Harrison Lee, 2lbs11oz
Logan Lee, 2lbs

There's always a big one and a little one in the group and we joke that Logan will be our gymnast. She's constantly in some new contorted position on the ultrasound! Last time her knees were in her nose and her toes on top of her head, and this time she was curled up with her knees in her chest. All the babies also had another bio physical profile done, which takes into account their breathing, movement, development, muscle tone and fluid volume. They all scored an 8 out of 8! And it's great that Harrison, our boy, is still the biggest as boy preemie babies tend to lag a bit behind girl preemies. So he'll need a head start! Each of the kiddos were practicing their swallowing, opening and closing their mouths, and were puffing their diaphragms in a breathing motion. Very good signs! The ultrasound tech even spotted tiny wisps of hair on Logan's head—amazing!

Other than the newfound pain and turmoil my body is now enduring, things are going fairly well. My mom and step-dad are back in town and mom's been spending time with me at the hospital during the day. It makes things so much more enjoyable and she's great at taking care of me! Today she cleaned out the mini fridge in my room while I napped then a friend brought lunch before we watched The Vow together since one of the nurses had loaned it to me. After that it was time to monitor the babies' heart beats, which is always a sight. Four monitors and four straps around my big ol' stomach with the nurses constantly adjusting them trying to keep them on the heart beats. I think as the quads get bigger they are able to move around a little less making them stay in place better. The nurses are grateful! Next was a shot of progesterone in my hip followed by a warm shower, which always feels so good. My stomach had turned into a square and my skin was starting to hurt from the pressure and the warm water always seems to help the quads relax and "group together" back in the middle instead of vying for escape out my sides! If you push down on one of the lumps that sticks out on my stomach, it'll produce three more on the other side. They are really packed in there!

Encouraging notes, cards and flowers have continued to make my day every time they arrive. I even got a thoughtful care package from one of my mom's blog followers up north, including Canadian Living magazine and some Canadian candies. I also received my monthly onesie stickers I ordered from the Etsy shop, Little Baby Bumblebee, to chronicle our quad squad as they grow!

As I approach 28 weeks, I seem to be getting even calmer. Last night I talked with the husband, worried that I might be too relaxed about everything. He reassured me that I've done everything possible to take care of these quads and stay pregnant as long as I can, so there's really nothing left to do except to stay calm and just wait out these last days and weeks. And as my mom says, it's really not up to me—my body will decide when it's ready! Some days I feel completely calm and at peace and other days I feel a little more anxious and nervous. And of course I'm a bit scared when I contemplate all that's going to happen, but I know that these quads can come any day now and God is in control. I feel like the pressure is going to be what triggers things. It's amazing my stomach has held together so well and supported such a crowd for this long. I'm carrying an estimated 17 to 18 pounds thus far and am glad I spend most of my time laying horizontal, there's no way I could walk around and lug that thing with me all day! Speaking of laying down, I thought it'd be funny to mimic an ultrasound picture of Trystan we got back at 23.5 weeks with her arm in the air. Power to the people!

As always, the husband and I both thrive on your great comments and prayers from countless folks who take time out each day to think about us and our quads. I look forward to updating with a 28 week post soon, stay tuned!


{Quad Squad} 27 Weeks & Happy Mother's Day!

My post today shall be short and sweet. Yesterday I hit the 27 week mark in my quadruplet pregnancy and I'm completely elated. Just one more (hopefully short) week to reach my 28 week goal. I can't believe I've come this far and I am determined to get to my goal and then cruise a little farther. My husband brought up ribs from Chili's for my special meal yesterday to celebrate the new time frame, next weekend will be steaks! His parents are also in visiting for the weekend and brought flowers, adorable baby clothes and a set of four small rosaries they picked up for the quads while at the Vatican in Italy recently. I love them, they will be so special in the babies' room and a long lasting memento of our vigilant, prayerful journey.

I did start having some pains yesterday for the first time, I couldn't quite tell if contractions were completely to blame though. Two of the babies are sticking out really far in my stomach and often contort it into a square or you'll see a big lump literally sticking straight out under my skin. I feel perhaps this is a combination of even less available space in the womb right now as well as a few contractions that's pulling my uterus and my stomach tight around them. Either way, it was becoming more and more uncomfortable and starting to hurt a bit so the doctor on call this weekend upped my magnesium to two grams an hour again. Afterward, I started feeling nauseous (to be expected) and took some Phenergran and passed out for a solid two hour nap. I was very grateful the husband spent the night last night and we watched a movie when I woke up and relaxed together then went back to sleep.

Today I'm completely exhausted and feeling very weak and shaky. It's most likely the increased magnesium in my system, despite the fact that I slept better last night. Nausea is coming and going and I'm just wiped out. The babies are feeling very heavy and still forceful under my stomach at times, but other times I can feel my stomach relax some so I hope the mag is working. Everything hurts!

Before I close, I want to wish all of you mother's a wonderful Mother's Day! I'm so happy to have gotten to know so many of you fellow quad moms, not to mention all my friends and fellow moms who have tirelessly supported and encouraged me throughout this pregnancy. I don't even have my kids yet but I already understand how they truly change your life and I wouldn't wish things a bit different then the way they are now. My own mom has been a huge source of inspiration and encouragement and has never failed to be there for any single event in my life, especially this one! I am so glad to have her alongside me during this experience and I know she's going to be the best quad-grandma out there. :)


{Quad Squad} Triplets, Quads, Oh My!

At last I'm getting around to another blog update - you'd think I'd have nothing better to do in here, but somehow there's just always something going on. And I haven't been sleeping very well at night so the afternoon hours have been dedicated to trying to rest or nap. My stomach has gotten incredibly uncomfortable and I've been dealing with some pretty severe pelvic pressure, rib pain and other annoyances at times, making tossing and turning a nightly ordeal. Although I'm not sure how much tossing there is since I'm also getting too big to move without grunting and heaving followed by heavy breathing. Yeah, it totally sounds dirty but I promise you it does not look sexy!

Overall it's been one of my better weeks in the hospital so far, at least mentally. Even despite the discomforts of the pregnancy growing day by day, I've been in decent spirits this week and I'm happy to report I've nearly survived to another weekend—this one will be 27 weeks!! At this point, all I'm focused on is getting to my two goals: for the quads to all be over two pounds apiece and to make it to 28 weeks. That's not to say I won't stay pregnant and keep on going to 30 or even 32 weeks, but right now I just cannot think that far ahead. (That's over two months in the hospital if I do get that far!) I told my doctor I'm starting to feel like a ticking time bomb, I feel my body struggling to keep up and I know it's only a matter of time before it says it's had enough. That's how so many of these higher order multiple pregnancies go. It's terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. Fortunately I've got this great guy who tells me nearly every day now how excited he's getting and how petrified he is as well. I envision us having some hilarious, chaotic moments after getting these kiddos home!

He even surprised me by secretly having a talented friend of ours monogram the quads' security blankets. It was important to me that we got some for the babies to have in their isolettes while in the NICU after they are born. I was thrilled when he brought them up  this week - how did he ever even think of that!? He impresses me every day, I swear.

The statistics between 28 and 30 weeks are generally pretty good, so I feel like once I turn 28 weeks I can breath a sigh of relief and then just coast day by day. No more weekly countdowns, every 24 hours I pass after that point will simply be a huge bonus! There isn't really a clear "cut off" point either, I could stay pregnant until 34 weeks and if my body was still handling it the doctors would let me. If it's not and there's something going on with the babies, then they'll deliver. Next week I get another growth scan and will see just how big these quadlings are getting, so I'm anxious to find out if I've met that two pound goal yet. I feel that I have, because my stomach is stretched beyond imagination. I have two constant "lumps" on the front of my belly where Harrison and Kailey are chilling. There's literally no other place for them to go.

At my regular ultrasound on Tuesday, my cervix had gone from 3.2cm to 2.6cm, but it's still above a 2 (which we want) and isn't changing dramatically so looks like my body is still planning to hang on to the quads awhile longer. All the babies looked great. They were bouncing around and knocking into each other, yawning, waving their hands in front of their faces and opening and closing their mouths. My husband happened to be up here working from my room and my dad had just gotten in town so they both were able to come along and see for themselves! It was really nice to share that with them. We didn't get any 4D pictures this time, but the tech did snap profile shots of each baby at approximately 26.5 weeks... this marks the first profile shots for babies A and D (Trystan and Logan) in months!! They are normally very hard to see well enough for pictures.

Today I got out of my room and ate lunch somewhere aside from my bed! It was revolutionary. My dad manned the wheel chair and I steered my IV pole down to the cafeteria. But it wasn't all smooth sailing. My stupid IV stand was starting to run out of battery so while he ordered our food and waited for it to be ready, my dad had to wheel me out to the hallway outside the cafeteria and plug me in! It was the only place we could find an outlet. Of course, he had to run back inside for a few minutes to actually get the food and pay, so I got a lot of questionable looks and nurses and doctors stopping to ask if I was okay! They thought I'd been abandoned at the plug in the hallway, lol! But we managed and enjoyed our lunch at a real table inside the eating area with frozen yogurt for dessert. I had every single topping on mine! My IV battery had started to die again so we paused at the outlet in the hallway again then wheeled it to the main lobby area for some people watching while we finished dessert. Right as we were getting done, my magnesium IV began running out and started beeping so we made it back to the room just in time. It's not like I get to leave often, sheesh! In typical dad fashion, mine said, "That was fun!"

I wanted to include this photo of my dad and I, but hesitated because I truly look like death. But, as I near these final weeks of this pregnancy, I've come to terms that not all photos will be flattering and not all days do I have a "glow." Which is normally bronzer, anyway. So this is what I look like on a day when I'm extremely exhausted (yesterday), have bags under my eyes and dirty hair. 'Tis a beautiful sight.

After my dad left to head back home today, I got a welcome visit from a fellow mom of multiples who has 16 month old triplets! They definitely livened up my normally quiet hospital room, in a good way, and kept me entertained for awhile. They are so adorable and were born in this same hospital, so I had actually connected with Momma Cherry prior to getting admitted for tips and info on what my stay would be like. (Though we discussed her good fortune to only being here a week before delivery!) The kids were really well behaved and cracked me up. When they first arrived in their little choo-choo-wagon, the boy was in the middle and was falling asleep sitting up. I could only think of my boy, Harrison, who will be subjected to three sisters and will certainly feel the same way!!

You can read all about the Cherry triplets and life with three cute little kiddos here. We barely remembered to snap a photo before they left. Again, I'm not looking at my best and I'm sort of squatted down like the hulk next to the little munchkins. (Yes, I can still momentarily squat at 26.5 weeks with quads.) But it was either that or have my big ol' stomach hovering over their heads!

It's been an active afternoon considering my normal schedule, so I must bid you good day and retire to bed to recooperate. I will literally be wiped out tomorrow more than likely, just seems to be the way things go. But I'm looking forward to a special meal this weekend to commemorate 27 weeks, time with the husband and a visit from his parents. Thanks to everyone for the continued prayers, I am eight days away from my target goal!!


{Quad Squad} 26 Weeks!

We have reached another big goal in this pregnancy, 26 weeks! I was way too tired yesterday to update the blog, but am feeling a little better today so y'all get to hear all the exciting ongoings from my hospital room, lol. Thursday my contractions really started increasing, which I mentioned in my last post, but they were still irregular and not highly concerning like I'm-about-to-go-into-labor kinda deal. However, I hadn't had that many contractions in awhile and I felt my stomach never relaxed at all, it just never "let go" and my entire body was physically worn out by day's end. This slightly concerned me because sometimes you just have a gut feeling about things. I knew I needed some "help" to get over this hump and try to maintain smooth sailing to 28 weeks so I talked to my doc and we agreed to up my magnesium to the 2mg/hour. I did fairly well with this increase, although it made me completely exhausted, wore out my muscles and gave me double vision. (Try watching the Kentucky Derby race on TV with one eye shut and your hand holding up your other eyebrow. I still wasn't sure who won, ha.)

During the night and early hours of this morning, every time I got up for a bathroom break I felt like I was getting sick—like I was about to come down with something. By this morning, I recognized that lovely feeling as just a side effect of the mag. Body aches and pains, fatigue, nausea, etc. My doc's partner, or rather the one who actually owns the practice, made the rounds this morning. He's as nice as can be and the husband and I like him as much as our regular doctor. My husband sees them palling around the hallways sometimes walking in between buildings and they seem to work very well together and both have great experience. (There's four docs total in the practice that cares for me, but you still have your own individual doc. The others fill in as needed. They are all great!)

We discussed my current condition, how I felt and making it the next two weeks to 28. His decision was to decrease my mag back down to 1mg/hour (very tolerable for me at this point), give me 1/2 a round of Indocin (normally a 48-hour only medicine once a week, this time I'll just take it for 24 hours) and go ahead with my first round of steroid injections. As I write this, my right ass cheek is protesting that last decision, though with very little effectiveness since it already got poked and dosed. The steroids help grow the babies' lungs a little bit faster, so in the event they are born any day now, they'll have a leg up in the breathing department. Hugely important for preemies. And I've responded very well to the Indocin in the past, so we're confident this will help me get through the next 13 days to reach our 28 week goal. After that, every day will be a huge milestone and I will be taking things 24 hours at a time. No more week by week counting!

I feel more upbeat about reaching our goal and I'm surprised at how positive and energetic I sound through this blog post, even. Many of you kind folks have commented on my good attitude and positivity and I am glad it has sounded that way. There have been many days that I have not felt the least bit positive, which I know is normal, and sometimes I just have to sulk for awhile and wish I wasn't in this hospital anymore. But I also know that every day I lay in this bed, take these meds and will my body through another day, is less time these four little babies lay in the NICU. It's getting more and more real with each passing day, as well. They've prepared the NICU wrist bands that my husband and I will wear to gain access to our quad squad once they're born; I've received my first steroid injection, a sign that we are preparing for the eminent; the NICU nurses upstairs have received word that I'm down here cooking away and will be adding four teeny bodies to their unit soon; and my husband got me a calendar to hang on the wall so I can mark off each day that passes.

I'm glad for a good day every now and then to get me through the harder ones, and I know that things are only going to get tougher the longer I go. But reading your wonderful comments, sharing my journey with everyone and basking in the support of family and close friends has truly helped so much. Not to mention my amazing husband who has gone above and beyond throughout all this! So here's to another week under our belts and growing babies a little longer. :)


{Quad Squad} Fitting a Circle into a Square

Welcome to Day 25 of my lovely hospital stay. I can't believe it's been nearly a month—it has not gone by fast or anything, I just can't believe I've held out this long! If all goes well, I've got another month to go. Blech, I can hardly think about it. Tomorrow, Day 26 ironically enough, I hit 26 weeks, another big milestone on our goal list. From there, I intend to focus on the 14 days to get me to 28 (a fantastic point to reach with these quads and a huge improvement in their birth and health statistics). Then from there, I'll take a big breath to hopefully get me another 14 days to 30 weeks.

That said, I've been completely exhausted all week. My stomach is weighing more than 15 pounds, I'm guessing, and it's becoming really difficult to roll over in bed, get up and down for bathroom breaks and so on. Things seem to have shifted in my body, the pregnancy has truly become a strain on me. I know it sounds weird, because everyone assumes growing quadruplets isn't easy. And they're right. But it's been bearable up till now and really not as bad as I thought (other than the first four months I was deathly sick!). But this is a new kind of struggle I'm experiencing as my body now truly begins to push its limits, I can feel it. My stomach is so big and stretched so tight and the quads are becoming bigger and stronger and are pushing and shoving around in there. It's like trying to fit a circle into a square hole, there's just not enough give! Their moving around sometimes triggers contractions, and for the most part drinking water, staying calm and laying on my side helps keep the contractions smaller in number. But yesterday I had more contractions on and off then I'd had in awhile, and my stomach never felt like it relaxed at all. The tightness and discomfort that I get when I do feel contractions (no real pain yet) just never really went away. I feel it's a combination of me getting farther along and my body running out of room as the babies get bigger and my stomach struggles to keep up. 

After talking with my doctor this morning, they've upped my mag IV to 2mg/hour. I'm hoping I adjust to this okay and don't get as sick as I did last time. I'm sure I'll feel like total crap by this afternoon and through the weekend, but I'm bound and determined to give it my best shot. I assume we'll have to continue to increase the mag at certain intervals when the contractions start becoming prominent, it can certainly be what carries me through to 26 weeks for now. I can also take Indocin as needed if things heat up, but it's only good for 48 hours at a time—so we don't want to burn through that too frequently if it can be helped. Sort of like saving the reserves for the heat of the battle, type thing.

My mom has been here this week, which is always really nice. Something about moms just makes us feel better. She is so great helping me in and out of bed, fixing meals, filling my water, chatting when I'm awake, updating family and running interference with the 50 people that come by my room every day from hospital reps to food delivery and chaplains to lactation consultants. You can read her latest blog posts here and here.

I did have another big highlight in my week. My dog, Jersey, came to visit!!! I was sooooo excited to see her, it had been 23 days at the time and watching her come walking down the hall was the sweetest sight. A program at the hospital helps arrange for pet and owner visits and made it very easy for us to get her trip set up. My husband picked her up after work, a volunteer met them at the door and they made their way up to my room. I swear for a few seconds she didn't recognize me with that big bump on the front of my stomach! But after inspecting the whole room, she was quite happy to sit with me and get some lovin'. I fed her apple pieces and eventually she rolled over and laid down on her back, sticking all her feet up in the air, as is her typical lady-like fashion. Love my baby dog!!

She did so great in such strange surroundings and was happy to love on everybody and hang out with her momma. It truly was the perfect pick-me-up and I just couldn't believe she was in my hospital room!

Speaking of adorable animals, have I told you the story of my Cheap Ass Easter Bunny? The first week I was in the hospital, I wanted to have some flowers in my room that were a really bright color. It just seemed so lifeless in there. (Now I've got beautiful arrangements that friends have sent, and I love looking at them every day!) But my husband was always coming to the hospital straight from work and didn't really have enough time to find a grocery store or flower shop, plus he was always loaded down with stuff so carrying a vase wasn't quite feasible. So one day he stopped off to grab some food supplies at a nearby grocery store on his way and all their Easter stuff was 50% off. He saw this little purple bunny at quite the bargain and grabbed it for me. Now, y'all have to realize I'm not a stuffed animal kind of girl. While I admittedly enjoy pretty bouquets of blooms, I don't do girly gifts and typically definitely not stuffed animals!

I was in a mood when he tossed it on my bed that evening and I said, "What the hell is this? Why do I need a rabbit?!" He said he figured it was a bright color and would maybe work instead of flowers. "Ah," I said. "It was on sale because it's an Easter bunny. That's why you bought it!" He laughed and admitted it sort of was but still figured it'd be a nice gesture, but knew I probably wouldn't be crazy about it and we could set it aside.

Well, folks, that little bunny has sat on my dang bed ever since. I've cried into its head, I've cuddled with it at night and I use it to shield my eyes when the nurse has to put in a new IV and I can't bear to look. The husband likes to give me a hard time for hanging on to it so much and I give him a hard time for the reason he bought it. So the little stuffed animal has earned it's proper name: Cheap Ass Easter Bunny.

Week 26, rolling on...
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