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Friday, June 29, 2012

Babies names... revealed!

Today I am officially 26 weeks and am so excited!  That brings viability up to 90% and now I am 6 weeks from my 32-week goal.  I have, of all things, a nasty head cold that started yesterday.  UGH- I am tired & having a hard time breathing & thinking & sleeping because of that... I also don't have much of an appetite either, but am forcing myself to eat when I should because I know the babies need it!!  Hopefully I can shake this in a day or two.  Even sitting and typing this is laborious right now!  Here is a picture snapped 2 days ago when I still felt OK:
Becky & belly at 26 weeks.
Speaking of the babies, yes.  We are spilling the beans about the names.  Totally Andy's doing, not my own!  On Fathers Day, we went out to eat with his family and at the end of dinner he looked at me and said with a twinkle in his eye, "Should we tell them?"  I knew what he meant.  Part of me wanted to keep it a secret, but honestly, it is kind of annoying (and very impersonal!) always referring to our children as "A, B, C and D".  So we told them.  Andy wanted to only tell family, but by the next week he had told a TON more people...  He cracks me up!  So here I go, telling everyone else.  Having 8 names all together to remember, maybe this is better so people will get the names correct by the time they're born!  Before I spill the beans, though, I made a cheeseball drawing a few weeks ago to show their location in my belly.  The babies have moved around a bit and it's certainly not to scale, but they are still in the same quadrants:

They are much more crammed in there than the picture depicts and I don't know if their heads are in the same position, but it hopefully gets the idea across.  OK, Names:

Baby A:  Lauren Faith
Baby B:  Hannah Grace
Baby C:  Tyler Allen
Baby D:  Tanner Andrew

So there you have it.  We are so excited to meet Lauren, Hannah, Tyler & Tanner!  Every day I feel relief when all have been accounted for by bumping in me, which usually is accomplished by 7 in the morning because they are so active!  Jenna is still doing so wonderful and is taking this in such strides.  She loves being able to name her brothers and sisters.  She is a goofy, wonderful, smart, imaginative, beautiful, and glorious kid.  We are blessed beyond belief to have her. 
Jenna dressing up in a shiny jingle outfit!

Next week we have our next doctor's appointment.  Thanks so much for all your encouragement and prayers!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

A peek into the future...

Today, we had 2 doctor's appointments:  our regularly scheduled ultrasound to get the babies vitals, and a consultation in the NICU with a Neonatoligists and Social Worker who will work with us when the babies arrive at the hospital.  Both appointments went excellent!
When we went to our regular ultrasound, we were happy to see that all the babies continue to have good heartbeats, and my cervix and the amniotic fluid levels in each sac are good.  Andy even sweet-talked the ultrasound tech to peek and "guestimate" how big "baby c" is right now- answered prayers, he has grown very well!!  We get measurements for all the babies again in 2 weeks, but it looks like he now is 1 lb, 4 oz!!!  Way up from 14 oz... PRAISE THE LORD!!  All 4 babies were wiggling around in my belly, so the best shot I got was of our little mover and shaker "B"... so precious!
Our "baby B" girl--- I love her profile, she is so beautiful!
 Then our doctor escorted us to the Children's hospital (Andy, of course, my chauffeur as I rolled in a wheelchair!).  We are SO blessed to live in a city where there is an AMAZING new hospital... it is brand-spanking new and full of so many thoughtful displays and amenities that every children's hospital should have!  As we checked in and made our way to the NICU area, we passed an ice-cream "stand" next to a kid-friendly pizza food court.  It is very colorful and fun & bright there, complete with a library that offers story time and a giant toy shop.  Jenna will love it there!

Once in the NICU, we met with one of the doctors and the social worker who will be assigned to us.  We toured the whole floor, and were very impressed with how well laid out and planned it is.  I am also so glad we now know more of what to expect; the doctor went over potential problems that might arise with the babies born premature, and thankfully nothing was shocking to me.  I have been trying to do my research and plan accordingly for what to generally expect and potential issues (if any at all), and so now I also have a visual for what our surroundings will look like.
 I am so glad we were able to do the tour today.  Overall, I feel an overwhelming sense of relief and gratitude that we are privileged to KNOW and plan on having this be a part of our story, versus many of the parents who might be shocked, saddened and/or grieved when the NICU becomes a part of their child's story.  (I like to know what to expect, even when we know we can't know what to expect... does that make sense??)

I am growing by the hour, moving less by the minute, and welcome my 25th week with wide belly!  We have been so blessed with people bringing meals... God has truly provided, and it  is neat to see that every week a few people will call or contact us and ask to bring a meal.  I had intended on putting out our care calendar with meals and house cleaning by now, but God has been orchestrating it just fine so far that we get the help when we need it!  We will need to officially do that at some point, but right now what a blessing to trust that He is providing for our needs day to day!
Becky at 25 weeks
 Again, we truly appreciate all the prayers and support.  Thank you so much, and God bless you!


Friday, June 15, 2012

24 wks... First Hurdle-- Cleared!!

You can't see it very well, but my shirt says "Expecting Quadruplets"

Today marks the beginning of my 24th week gestation with quads, and it is somewhat of a "milestone" in the medical prenatal world.  Before this week, the chances of viability (life) is much lower, but at this point the percentage raises significantly (74%!!!), and even more each week on.  Obviously in a regular single pregnancy there are 40 weeks to gestation, and by no means would I be breathing easily if I went into labor tomorrow or a water broke, but I am glad I have made it here thus far without any complications.  My next goal will be to reach 28 weeks, as the babies lungs (and other organs) will benefit greatly this next month to develop healthily -in utero-.  After that, my ultimate goal is to make it to 32 weeks (norm for quads is 31 weeks).  Please pray for perseverance & health for me and the babies!!

As I had mentioned in my last post, it feels like every week I go a notch lower in abilities, and this week has been no exception.  A few days ago I also started having a harder time catching my breath!  On one hand, what a great thing, because the babies are definitely growing!  On the other hand, I am always huffing and sighing and yawning and probably sound bored, but in reality all I am trying to do is catch my breath!!  I am also having a hard time getting around at all.  I do get in the kitchen here and there to grab water, a light snack, and I do shower still (but I have a shower seat I am borrowing that has come in VERY handy!).  Walking has become much more laborious and I am either almost always laying down or reclining now, and am often slightly uncomfortable (but that seems to go with the territory!).

It is a very weird time for me.  I love to have company, but talking can take my breath away (literally!) and so even visiting is becoming more difficult (but please, still come visit, people!!  I am bored!!!).  Thankfully we have had so much help from family and friends, people bringing meals, taking care of Jenna, that it is manageable.  Plus, as a friend pointed out yesterday, how awesome is it that I can be in the comforts of my own home as I grow past full term size, instead of being in a stuffy, sterile, boring hospital room.  AMEN!!!  I will take my peaceful, country setting with family around any day versus that!!!

Many of you have been praying for our little "baby C", thank you so much!  I am happy to say that I feel him several times a day-- as long as he is wiggling around in my belly, all is good!  I also feel the other 3 often.  I think it must be at least 100 times a day I feel the babies twitching and moving in my abdomen.  It is such a cool feeling!  However, my little baby C is being a stinker today!  This morning I got up and my left hip was killing me!  I felt him twitching in what literally feels like my left hip socket.  I can barely weight bear on my left (since I don't walk much this is not a biggie) but I am hoping he finds another comfortable spot soon!  That's it for now, but will keep you posted!

Thanks for all your prayers and support!



Thursday, June 7, 2012

23 week ultrasound


Today we had our ultrasound where they again do measurements and check everything.  Because Andy was busy, my mom came with me and was so excited to see a "quad" ultrasound!  Overall, things look good but PRAYERS are definitely appreciated.

First, GOOD NEWS!  My cervix is measuring very good, and so are the amniotic fluid levels for all babies.  Because I am now about or slightly past full term size, I was worried that the cervix might be thinning or fluids leaking, but no worries!  My doc said it is totally normal to be feeling huge pressure on my cervix when I get up and walk around, thus my mostly horizontal status these days.  All babies looked great on the monitor and all had heartbeats around 150 BPM, which is great.

However, it does look like our baby "C" (one of our boys) is lagging behind a little in size.  The other 3 were 1lb 4 oz, 1lb 3 oz, 1lb 1 oz, but our "C" boy was only 14 oz.  Not a huge difference between 14 oz and 1.1 lbs, but still lower than what would be expected and lower than the others.  The doctor did not seem too concerned at this point, but did mention it is something we need to keep an eye on.


Our boys C & D are identical and seem to share the same placenta, so I asked if this was perhaps twin-to-twin transfusion where one baby takes more nutrients than the other.  He said it does not seem so because the amniotic fluid levels don't show any evidence of this.  Even though the doc is not worried much, he still was realistic in what this might mean in the future weeks to come if the trend continued...  i.e. we may need to deliver them all earlier than expected, or not deliver earlier but risk C's health or safety, or... the worst-case scenario... that C could die if he does not grow and thrive like the others (although he stressed this is not likely).  The good news is that the babies are always bumping around in my belly, and I do feel C often (actually, right now he is having a bout of hiccups!!)  :-).  I will be ever more conscientious of that little one from now on, along with the other sweet babies!

SO please pray that he continues to grow along with the others, even if he is a tad bit smaller, but that he stays healthy and they all grow and stay in me for a long time!!!

Here is where the faith rubber hits the road--- GOD IS IN CONTROL!  HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING, AND HE HAS A PLAN.  Whatever that plan is, blessed be His name.  It is one thing to breathe these words, another to believe them.  And I Believe!  (but when I have doubts, I am like the father in Mark 9:24: "I do believe, LORD help me overcome my unbelief!")  Isn't it cool that we have a God who created the universe and knows everything, and yet honors our belief, even when it is peppered with bouts of unbelief?!?  This is such an emotional roller coaster and I have learned I can easily get sucked into self-doubts, self-pity & self-focus.  Please pray for me to keep my thoughts not on my "self", but God-focused and on what HE wants to accomplish through this!  I am way calmer and much less hysterical and emotional when I can do this!;-)

Besides that, I am doing well.  In the past few days I have definitely slowed down even more.  I am all done driving, as it is way too uncomfortable.  Even sitting up for periods of time is really exhausting.  Most of the days I am laying down, drinking lots of water and trying to busy myself with reading books, sedentary play with Jenna, surfing in my ipad, chatting with others, or TV.  This picture pretty much is my life right now:

Complete with my belly band, 2 glasses of ice water by my side, phone, book, ipad, remotes, and of course my favorite accessory, Jenna!  It is frustrating just laying around because even trips to the kitchen now to make a snack are getting really difficult.  I am an independent girl, and dependency on others is a rude awakening for me!  However, if it keeps the babies safe, it is definitely well worth it!  And, thankfully, we have a ton of family and friends' support.

In the past I mentioned I am setting up a care calendar link.  I think we are just about there but our needs are very minimal right now.  One or 2 meals a week, housecleaning here and there perhaps... I will post it soon.  Or just call me.

Thanks again for all your support, thoughts and prayers!  Friends tell me of friends and family of theirs who are praying for us- people who have never met us, and only know of our situation through someone-who-knows-someone-who-knows someone... it is crazy to think about, and I truly believe in the power of prayer... so thank you so much, strangers (and the not-so-strangers out there)!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

22 weeks!

With each week down, I get more and more excited and glad that all continues to be well!  One thing I am noticing now, is that with every passing week my gears shift down significantly.  Without really even becoming aware of it, I find myself avoiding any extra walking and leaving the house/getting out.  It just seems like SO MUCH, and my poor body is running out of motivation to move!  Ironically, I am totally OK with this.  Partly, I think, because I was expecting this, and also because I know it's what I need to do to care for the babies, which I still feel is a huge privilege.  Most of all, I think I am OK with this because my family has been helping out HUGE with Jenna when Andy works and allowing me to do... no much!!

I had my first "alien belly" encounter this week!  I was laying down on the sofa and got up to get more water.  When I stood, I felt a huge tightness over my belly like a contraction, but it was much more on my right side.  I looked down, and the right half of my belly (my baby girl "B's" hangout) was literally raised about 2"!  I was appalled, mesmerized, & delighted all at the same time.  It felt like an alien was about to pop out and start dancing and singing (please tell me there are other SpaceBalls fans out there..).  I pushed her down and slowly my belly morphed into a regular large, round belly again.  From what I understand, this is the first of many crazy belly contortions that I will experience.  Crazy!

All continues to go well and as expected, thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!