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Monday, July 30, 2012

Need to breathe!

Hello all!

Life is definitely changing for us!  One thing this Journey is teaching me is that there are more ups & downs, twists and turns than a roller coaster.  As soon as I get use to a new "phase", another one comes.  My husband probably would tell you that although I am a fairly flexible person, I takes me a while to get use to life changes... of which we have, and will continue to have, a plethora of!  From phase to phase... pregnancy, quad birth, NICU, their return home... you better believe God is doing a work on us!
Our new home away from home: Tyler & Lauren's Isolettes in our NICU room

All 4 of our babies on both sides of the room:  Clockwise from front left: Tanner, Hannah, then Lauren & Tyler on right (with one of our favorite nurses, Nurse Kathy, documenting in the middle!).  Yes, we take up most of the room.  There are 6 isolettes in all and 2-3 nurses staffed in the room at all times.

Saturday I spend more time in tears than not (HELLO, post-pregnancy HORMONES!!).  Since then I have felt a little more "stable", but it's an emotional ride.  I feel more distracted, ditzy, emotional, and overwhelmed than I ever have in my life!!  Between balancing being attentive to a 4 year old, trying to keep quality time with the husband, pumping every 2 hours, cleaning the house, catching up on tasks, updating friends & family, eating, sleeping, and driving 1/2 hour to spend a few hours in the NICU, I am learning the art of multitasking and prioritizing!  There is always SO MUCH TO DO... and thus, a reminder to myself:  I.  Need.  To.  Breathe.  (and pray... and take it one day at a time)!
I needed to go to a happy place just now.  Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh...  much better.

Our four beautiful miracles are stable and overall doing good!  While each day has its ups and downs, I feel we have turned a corner from fearing one of them might not make it to knowing they will live, but not knowing how their stories will unfold.  I try to visit for at least a few hours each day, and I rotate holding at baby each day.  The staff encourages "kangaroo care" skin-to-skin holds for at least an hour, so with four babies I usually only have the luxury of holding one every fourth day!  Once they are off cpap I will be able to hold 2 at a time.  Yeah!!!  I wish I could be there longer or go there several times a day, but this is often not realistic.  I just do what I can, and so does Andy.

Tyler continues to thrive outside of the womb.  Praise Jesus!  However, he was put back on oxygen via a nasal cannula because sometimes his O2 drops a little low (preemies often "forget" to breathe, as they are still practicing this in amniotic fluid until birth at 40 weeks).  We pray he does not need to go back on cpap!!  He still is the littlest, but gaining weight steadily.  Tyler is on a "full feed" (15 cc's- around a teaspoon!) and so was able to get his IV taken out!  He currently is 13" long and back to his starter weight, 1#14 oz.
"Hi, everyone!  I'm the laid back dude of the crew!"
Tyler getting cleaned up by Nurse Lori
Lauren is doing good.  She is still on cpap and tolerating full sized feeds like Tyler.  The medicine she took to close up her heart WORKED!  Answered prayers!  She needed a blood transfusion last week but is now doing well.  Another answered prayer is that she got to go off her IV because she is on a full feed!  She is gaining weight and had her chest tube removed on Friday, so I FINALLY was able to hold her!!!  Precious, just precious.  Mommy needed that probably even more than Lauren did.  I held her for 2 1/2 hours and could've held her all day long.  I held her again today.  She is such a sweetie and I am so glad I get to bond with her now too!  She currently weighs 2# 8oz.

Cuddling with my Lauren Bug!
A nurse cleaning up pretty Lauren's face

Sweet baby girl holding my thumb!

Mommy & Lauren

Hannah's first round of medicine to close her PDA valve did not work, but a second round did-- More praises!  She also FINALLY got a successful PICC line in (a reinforced IV that will not collapse).  Poor girl had 5-7 attempts before this one worked.  She has very tiny, spidery veins which makes the procedure very difficult.  She had a bad reaction to the pain meds given to her on the first attempt, so each other attempt has been without pain meds.  My poor girl!  She is up to almost a full feed and has a double chin starting!  She is still on cpap but hopefully will be off soon.  Hannah is our biggest at 17" long and 2# 15 oz-- almost a 3 pounder!!!
Sweet Hannah Bean with the picc line in her wrist
Tanner had a second round of medicine to close up his PDA valve also, and it resulted in making the hole smaller but still small to moderate in size.  The doctors feel that these often close up on their own, and so are hesitant to talk about any surgery until they wait a bit to see if it will close up naturally.  We are praying that it does indeed do that.  He is still on cpap but tolerating almost a full feed.  He and I had good cuddle time yesterday and I love exploring his face, praying over him, and singing to him!  He is almost as big as Hannah at 15 3/4" and 2# 11 oz.

Our Tanner man snuggling under some bean bags (positioned on his tummy & legs)

All the kids' favorite position:  on their tummy!  Tanner getting some zzzzz's

 Thank you all for your continued support, prayers, encouragement, and understanding as we tread on unknown and sometimes overwhelming ground.  God is good-- we know He planned this as a part of our lives and we feel privileged to have been chosen to raise a beautiful daughter and these four babies.  Yet, we more than often feel shocked and amazed that God seems to think we have the nuts-and-bolts skills to raise quadruplets and Jenna... and the answer, of course, is that WE DON'T!  When we try to do it on our own, the result is a mess.  I have already learned this and will continue to re-learn this over and over as I fail miserably when I take my eyes off My Helper!!  But, if Andy & I remember, and choose to rely daily on His strength, wisdom, guidance, and peace... that and taking the help He gives us, in the form of friends, family and His gifts, then I know we can get through this successfully.  I firmly believe these kids are for His Glory.  In 30 years if we are able to raise 5 somewhat decent adults out of this, the Good Lord knows it won't be because we are Dr. Spock.  It's because we took His lead.

Thank you all who have sent cards, gifts, well wishes, made meals, helped out, etc.!!!  I normally try to be so prompt with writing thank-you notes for gifts, but for the moment it might be safe to say that they will be coming a little later than normal.

My four small but very loved babies in the NICU are learning to breathe successfully on their own and thrive... and in the same way, I need to remember to breathe. and. take. it. one. day. at. a. time.




  1. Becky just wanted to tell you that you are doing an amazing job. I love seeing you pictures. Your little cuddle bugs remind me so much of what it was like.

    You are right you must remember to breathe. And get all the help you need.

    Sending you good thoughts. Praying for you and your blessings all six of them (hubby and Jenna included). Hope you have a wonderful week. =D

  2. Reading this post brings tears to my eyes, I remember being there not so long ago and feeling the exact same way. It was hard to pace myself but some says I just knew I had to let the stuff go that didn't directly impact my day. Trust me, the laundry, dishes and cleaning will all still be around when the babies come home, lol. don't forget to take a little time for yourself and don't be afraid to feel all that emotion and let it run its course. I was a basket case my first week at home. Each day is a fresh start, you'll figure it out just like you did the pregnancy! My husband and I constantly feel so humbled that God chose to bless us with the quads, would never dream of having it any other way. Hang in there, girl, things will just keep on changing from here on out!!

  3. Hang in there! Before you know it, the babies will be coming home and the nicu will be a thing of the past! Your little ones aren't too tiny, several are as big as mine! Glad to know you finally got to hold Lauren! That is the bet!