Tuesday, December 29, 2009

3 Weeks Old Tomorrow!

Wow, I can't believe that 3 weeks ago I went to sleep not knowing what would happen at 3 am... I've been talking to some friends the last couple days about the birth story, so I have been thinking about the actual water breaking, C-section, etc lately. What a crazy ride this has been! The great thing is that today was actually a good day!

Sofia is back to her old self it seems... Her heart rate is low and comfortable, she has had good blood gases and is just "being Sofia" again. Her second drainage tube is coming out and she will be extubated tomorrow! They will put her on CPAP and if that is too much then she will go back on the high flow like before. Her nurse told me that she'd be up for holding again later tomorrow! YAY! I love that I caught her eyes open in the pic below.

Madeline's odd little set-back went away just as fast as it came! She does have a high heart rate still but her blood pressure is where it should be with no meds AND she has had good blood gases! She had an esophogram today that showed no leak. Because of that, she got her FIRST feeding today! I dipped a Q-tip in my milk and put it in her mouth while she was being fed. She sucked on it a little bit. We want her to connote sucking with a filling belly!

Josephine had her surgery today and it seemed to be quite successful. Before the surgery, we were warned that one of the possible side effects could be damage to the vocal cord because it is in close proximity to where the surgeon would be working. I guess Josephine's vocal cords split in two and one half of it was probably damaged because the surgeon was unable to move it out of the way. This damage can result in a hoarse voice for a couple years (usually not longer than that). Not a bad deal, I believe, considering the one other worry from this surgery the doc mentioned is nicking the vessel and the baby bleeding to death. We are quite pleased with everything! When we went to visit tonight, her vent settings were already a lot lower than before. Her blood gases were even "too good", meaning they lowered the vent even more before we left! I hope she keeps this up! I think this surgery was a very good thing for her.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Roller Coaster Continues

Sofia is doing well today- her heart rate is back down to where it was before she got sick/the problems started (around 140-150s). She is on the lowest vent setting also with good blood gases! When we visited tonight she did have a major de-saturation (where the blood oxygen level went down) but I think that was just a minor blip. After the surgery she did have two drainage tubes but one was taken out today. The other one in her back will hopefully be gone within a couple days. Then we can think about holding her again! I can't wait to feel that little munchkin on my chest!

Madeline took a turn for the worse this morning, showing too low of blood pressures and acidosis of the blood. Since then, she's been put on blood pressure meds to help that out. She got better throughout the day luckily, and her last blood gas test result tonight was the best one she's had in the last couple days. I hope she keeps that up. She was going to possibly get fed today until all this happened. I think she was just feeling bad for her sister Josie, who didn't have the best night and day.

Josephine is on the schedule book for PDA ligation surgery tomorrow in the early afternoon. This is the same surgery Sofia had a couple days ago (minus draining air from the chest cavity). We got a phone call in the middle of the night last night because Josephine was needing a lot more help from the vent. She was de-saturating a lot and didn't have good blood gases. She wasn't too bad the whole day but needed a lot of adjustments on her oxygen levels. This surgery will be a good thing for her, I think. Surgery is surgery, though! Wish her luck!

We left the NICU tonight with everything pretty decent. When things are relatively quiet with our girls, my first thought is "RUN; before anything bad happens!! Gotta leave on a good note!" Goodnight!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Surgery Update

Sofia had her surgery earlier today and she seems to be doing fine. The other two were the same today...That's it! I really wish we could fast-forward Sofia's recovery to know it will be good in the long run. Oh well, I'm just glad to have this surgery behind us!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Surgery Scheduled...

Sofia is having surgery for her PDA- hole in the ductus- tomorrow (Saturday) in the morning. Wish us luck!
Josephine was extubated but then re-intubated today. She's doing fine. Madeline is doing the same also; no changes (which is a good thing for me!) I'm tired so I'm off to bed!

Please pray for Sofia

She is up and down on her blood gases and docs are talking about doing surgery to close her PDA- the hole in her ductus (within a day or two). It isn't a terrible surgery but she has been struggling lately so I'm worried about the stress of everything. The docs and surgeons of course will be absolutely certain she is stable enough before doing a surgery but I am just going crazy with worry. She's also getting a head ultrasound today to make sure she's done bleeding. Please pray for Sofia and keep her in your thoughts. The other girls are doing fine- Josie is getting extubated today to see how she does- if she fails to breathe affectively on her own then they'll re-intubate her but with a bigger tube so she won't have an air leak. Madeline is pretty much the same.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2 Whole Weeks Old!

So it's already been two weeks...In some ways it has gone by fast, but in other ways not so much. Each day, the hours seems to fly by but when I think of how many more days they'll need to get strong I get a little anxious!

Sofia is doing a little better today...she hasn't needed insulin for a whole day and she's weening off some of her meds (blood pressure). She is still on the jet ventilator since she's doing so well on it. If they lower her settings more and more then they will switch her over to the regular vent in no time. She does have a big sac of air stuck in her lungs which they are watching. It could resolve on its own or they could have to try to get rid of it. We found out yesterday that Sofia had a brain bleed: only a Grade 2 on her right side. We are told that Grade 1 and 2 are so mild that there are no difference in the long run between babies with no brain bleeds and babies with 1 or 2. They will give her another head ultrasound in a week to make sure it has stopped (they really do think it stopped because her hemoglobin is great and stable). I think the worst of whatever was going on with her is over: a slight infection and the brain bleed. Now she needs to rest and get back to her old self! She has noise reduction headphones on in the pic below because the jet ventilator is louder than the regular vent.

Madeline is doing just fine. She still hasn't been fed, though. They were trying to feed her the other day and couldn't because the tube was clogged. They have to put a new one in which won't be until Monday. They were going to do it today but she was acting up a little. Her oxygen settings were up and down a lot during the first part of the day. When they left her alone she was happy, though. They are testing for infection and giving her antibiotics just in case. She isn't acting sick any other way, so that's good. We didn't hold Madeline today because she just needs to rest. Tomorrow hopefully!

Josephine was a little star today. She's on the ventilator but has been doing good on all her gases. The tube for the vent is too small for her so there's sometimes an air leak, which is frustrating. They want to get her off the vent this weekend and just see how she does. If they have to put her back on the vent then they will at least put in a bigger tube to avoid that leak. Josephine is still getting milk and digesting a fair amount of it! Who knew I'd be so excited about digestion!!?

Today we had a little funeral service for little James. It was very sweet, simple, and sincere. The pastor did a really good job; he actually has come to the hospital twice for us. On the day we found out James had a terrible brain bleed, he came down and baptised all four of our babies and he also came when he passed away to help us through everything and pray for us. The service today was just our family because we wanted it to be small. It was pretty emotional for all of us but made us feel better. We have a beautiful, tiny urn with the remains at our house now. He is with us! I really want to thank our families for being there for us during this time. We especially need to thank Dan's dad, Mike, who did the arrangements for the cremation and to the Holts for hosting our reception after the funeral. I was so happy that everyone who was there was able to make it! My uncle Steve drove from Willmar, family drove from Duluth, my brother-in-law Charlie drove in from Detroit yesterday, and my brother Ben was able to fly last minute from out east! Thanks EVERYONE!

I want to put on the sermon my uncle David gave on the Sunday after James' passing. I wish I knew how to link it to a separate page or something but I'm not tech-savvy. I'll just copy and paste! This makes for a long post, but it is definately worth reading...(this is the uncle who officiated our wedding, actually!) Merry Christmas, Everyone and Happy Holidays!!!

Giving Birth to the Gift of Love!
Luke 1:39-55
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Yesterday, while biking in my basement watching the weather for reports of the coming storm, one of the commercials on the television was for the Lexus automobile, and it really caught my attention. The campaign was titled, The December to Remember.

“Make this December one to remember. Now through January 4, visit the certified Lexus dealer nearest you to take advantage of extraordinary finance or lease offers. Search by zip code, state, dealer address or dealer name, and make a December memory that will last a lifetime.”

Make a December memory that will last a lifetime…

Without getting into the debate about what month of the year was Jesus actually born, it is clear that today’s scripture lesson describes a December memory that not only would last a lifetime, but till the end of history – for all eternity and for all time and for all people.

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

Yes, the birth of that December baby was truly a memory that will stick with us – for to this day, we celebrate that birth as a gift of love – Mary, the mother of Jesus, gave birth to the world’s greatest gift of Love!

And that birth has been a blessing to every generation since that first Christmas in Bethlehem!

We have been the beneficiaries of this amazing blessing – this amazing gift – the world has been the beneficiary of this gift of love!

Ben Johnson, in his Hymn of the Nativity, captured the meaning of this birth, this gift of love, when he wrote,

I sing the birth was born tonight….The author both of life and light.

God, in the baby Jesus, gave birth in this world to life, light and love.

But of course, Jesus is not the only baby to bring life, light and love into this world.

Four little babies brought life, light and love into this world last week in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, as my niece Martha gave birth to her quadruplets.

As some of you may recall, on Homecoming Sunday I shared the news that had come out of Minnesota this summer – namely, that Martha and Dan were expecting quads – naturally conceived – no fertility drugs!

And part of the background of this story is that it was after their wedding that I was biking and was savagely attacked by 10 of Santa’s reindeer! Although I did sustain a hand injury, I somehow survived this traumatic ordeal!

Well, for my niece Martha and husband Dan, December will be a memory that will truly last a lifetime. Martha went on home bed rest at 20 weeks, went into the hospital at 25 weeks, and last week, week 27, with the barometric pressure changing with last week’s storm that rolled through the Midwest, the water broke for one of the babies and the next day they delivered the quads – a boy, James, a little over 2 lbs, one girl Josephine, a little over 2 lbs, and Sofia and Madeline also just under 2.

Initially, all were on respirators, then, James and Josephine were taken off the respirators. And Sofia and Madeline were facing a few challenges, including Madeline needing surgery to correct some problems with her esophagus – a common occurrence we learned with premature babies. Her surgery was a success.

Then, word was received that James was having some cranial bleeding – another normal but nonetheless potentially serious situation for a preemie.

His situation became more and more serious, and one pediatric radiologist said this was the worst cranial bleeding.

Last night – amidst all the phone calls about whether to hold or cancel today’s services – I received the call from my sister and brother in law Jim that little James had died.

On Friday, Martha wrote in her blog,

James is our precious little boy and we love him so much. We love all of our little babies!

Then, last night, Martha wrote,

Today at 7:15pm James passed away gracefully in my arms from brain injuries. He is a fighter and words cannot explain how much we love him and how dearly he will be missed. We are comforted to know he is in a better place. We told him it is his job to watch over his three sisters so they can continue on to grow and get stronger. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and prayed for James; it means a lot to us. What we ask now is that you continue to pray for his three sisters because they have a really long road in the NICU ahead of them.
All babies are a great gift of love – and all babies that come into this world can be the source of so much joy – but sadness as well.
During that same Homecoming Sunday sermon this past September, I also shared the fact that 30,000 children die every year simply because they are too poor to live.
30,000 children die every year simply because they are too poor to live.

Daniel Matthews, rector at Wall Street's Trinity Church in New York City, reports how his grandson responded to a crèche scene in his family’s suburban neighborhood.
Although the créche in the yard remains empty until Christmas morning according to that particular family’s tradition, the house and lawn are overrun with decorations – lights and things on the roof and animals, and even all those blow-up figures of snow men, Santa, and reindeer. 

Stopping before the house one evening, the 6-year-old grandson wondered whether the neighbors couldn't afford a baby because they spent so much on decorations,
“Mommy and Daddy, did they run out of money before they could buy a baby Jesus?”
Sometimes, do we arrive on Christmas Day and wondered if we really have anything left for Jesus?
Do we really have anything left to really appreciate the greatest gift this world has ever seen?
To really appreciate the greatest gift of love this world has ever seen? 

A few years ago, one of America's biggest department stores tried marketing a doll in the form of the baby Jesus.
The advertisements described it as being washable, cuddly and unbreakable, and it was neatly packaged in straw, satin and plastic.
To complete the package, the manufacturer added biblical texts appropriate to the baby Jesus.

To the department store executives, it looked like a sure-fire winner, a real moneymaker. But they were wrong. It didn't sell. In a last-ditch effort to get rid of the dolls, one of the store managers placed a huge sign in a prominent display window. It read:

Baby Jesus 
Marked down 50%
Get him while you can!
The great Mystic of the Middle Ages Meister Eckhart once wrote,

There is only one birth- and this birth takes place in the ground and core of the soul…Not only is the Son of the heavenly Creator born in this darkness – but you too are born there as a child of the same heavenly Creator and none other.

Perhaps we should heed the sales pitch of those department store executives, maybe we should “Get Jesus while we can” –
…maybe we should get the Baby Jesus into our lives and let him be born once again in the ground and core of our souls.
Is it possible that we sometimes do arrive on Christmas Day and wonder if we really have anything left for Jesus?
Is it possible that we don’t always appreciate the greatest gift this world has ever seen?

Friends, Martha and Dan now have a December memory that will last a lifetime and that memory has changed their lives forever – and Martha’s own words could not be more poignant,
“He's our precious little boy and we love him so much. We love all of our little babies!”
And each one of us here also has a December memory that has changed our lives forever – and it is a December memory of a birth that has given us the most amazing gift of love the world has ever known!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Thank you

Thank you to everyone's very nice messages to Dan and I, whether over the comments, email, phone calls, etc. These past couple of days Dan and I are going through something no one should go through, I know that. James will ALWAYS hold a very special place in our hearts. The nurses sent home some very nice mementos including his hand and foot prints, a lock of his hair, and some of the blankets he used. They even sent a beautiful little box to keep it all in. The NICU nurses and doctors really have treated James and our family with so much respect.

As for the girls....our star, Sofia, had a couple steps backwards but we are confident she will be fine. Her breathing had become worse and she was put on the jet ventilator (same kind James was on). Her blood gases are a lot better since the switch. I think she just needed a break from working so hard. They are testing her for fungal or bacterial infections and have already started giving her antibiotics and anti-fungal meds just in case. There hasn't been anything growing on the cultures yet so we're crossing our fingers. Infections in preemies can be very treatable for some babies but for others it can be serious. We think Sofia is a strong enough fighter that she will be fine even if she does have an infection. Her blood glucose levels were high also, which can be a sign of infection, or it can be that she reached her threshold of how much sugar she can receive from the IV. She is on insulin for the time being, but the doctor told us that it won't turn into diabetes.

Madeline is stable but still on the ventilator. She can't get any milk yet because she has a small leak in her esophagus from the surgery. The surgeons expect that to heal up nicely on its own; she just needs time. We did start holding Madeline and she tolerated it very nicely! It is so special to feel that little body on my chest.

Josephine is stable as well but has high blood glucose like Sofia. She isn't acting ill but they are testing her for infections only to be safe. They aren't giving her antibiotics or anything unless she shows signs she's sick. She is on insulin, though.

Despite Sofia's little set-back, yesterday was a better day than Saturday. Everything with James is still feeling like a really bad dream and I wake up questioning whether it is real or not. I don't think we'll ever "get over it" but I know we will grow to accept it.

I cannot wait until they start growing quickly and get stronger lungs. It is hard to hold them when they are on the vents! We go to the NICU everyday wondering if it will be a good day or a bad day. Please keep the little ones in your thoughts! Have a GREAT Christmas and a Happy Holiday season.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Rest In Peace, Our Precious James

Today at 7:15pm James passed away gracefully in my arms from brain injuries. He is a fighter and words cannot explain how much we love him and how dearly he will be missed. We are comforted to know he is in a better place. We told him it is his job to watch over his three sisters so they can continue on to grow and get stronger. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and prayed for James; it means a lot to us. What we ask now is that you continue to pray for his three sisters because they have a really long road in the NICU ahead of them.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Week and 2 Days Old!

It's hard to find the time to update the blog! Whenever we're home we want to be at the hospital, as you can imagine. I'll just give you a little update, though.

Sofia is still "being Sofia", meaning she's doing very well. She had her first feedings of milk yesterday. They have to start really slowly and she doesn't digest it very quickly, which is typical. We've been holding her quite a bit and she just loves it. A couple times she was having a hissy fit, crying, but she settled the instant she was put on my chest. Nothing can beat that feeling, wow! Dan looks pretty happy with her in that pic below, huh?

Below I had to include a pic of her lounging on her tummy, just as happy as can be. Dan and I burst out laughing when we saw her. It didn't look comfortable at all but apparently she was because her heart rate and oxygen levels were good!

Madeline is still doing pretty well. She's still on the ventilator and has a drainage tube in her chest from the surgery. We really hope this tube can come out because then she can wean off the ventilator, plus we get to start holding her. It's killing us not to be able to hold both her and James. It is harder to bond when we're unable to hold. I wish the lighting was better in the pic below. It was darker in her room and you can understand why we don't use a flash.

Josephine is doing well also. Her blood gases have been coming back great so they are thinking of changing the settings on her ventilator. We'll hear today how much less support she needs. We have been able to hold Josephine a lot as well. Another piece of good news for the three girls is that they are coming off of the bilirubin lights! The nurses will continue to check their blood for bilirubin, but as of right now they don't need the lights. Without the lights they don't need to wear the covers over their eyes. Now we can see their darling faces that much better!

James is still under those lights, but hopefully for not much longer. He is still the worst off and it breaks our hearts. The damage to his brain is quite extensive and the doctors are saying it's not something that can repair itself. He had a couple more seizures so he had to be put on a second medication. Yesterday, he was having bad blood gas levels so they switched out his breathing tube. The switch-out was successful, but we haven't heard if it helped the gas levels. We just hope he is not in any pain; we can't stand that there's nothing we personally can do except just be there. It's hard for me to even write about him, let alone talk about him. He's our precious little boy and we love him so much. We love all of our little babies!

Thanks to everyone who has been giving us well wishes, emails/messages, etc. We especially need to thank our families who truly are there for us. It really helps that we have people behind us the whole way. Thank you so much. Wow, this post ended up being longer than I thought! Have a good weekend everyone!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Birth Story and Update

Hello everyone...wow this has been a roller coaster. A week ago I never ever would have thought that I would be delivering on Wednesday. Life is full of surprises like that, huh? Both Dan and I are drained- physically, emotionally, mentally.... We are in for a very long haul at the NICU but we are ready.

Well, I'll start with my birth story. I woke up at 3 am on Wednesday, December 9th to all this water coming out of me! I called in the nurse and she called the perinatologist on call that night. Meanwhile, they wheeled my bed down to a room in labor and delivery. The nurses tried to find all the babies on the monitors like before, monitored me for contractions, and started an IV. The doctor came in after not too long and checked the cervix. It was dilated only 1-2 cm and he really couldn't give me a time frame of when I could deliver. It was literally that day or a week or two...he just couldn't say.
I got wheeled down to my regular ultrasound appointment at 8am and all of the babies were looking fine. They weren't stressed; not even Baby A, the baby who's water broke. After I got back the contractions were getting stronger and stronger. My back was killing me but I didn't know if it was because I was on my back for so long or if it was back labor pain. The doctor (a different doctor than the on-call one) was concerned that these contractions were not going to slow down and I was truly in labor. She checked my cervix again and she got me at 3 cm and she even saw Baby A's hair. At this point we both knew we needed to deliver. The delivery team was ready for me, the neonatologists and their teams were ready. If we tried to wait another day or possibly two, the C-section could start to be a true emergency and who knows if the staff would be as ready and available. All I could think is "this is so surreal...I can't believe I'm delivering today".
They wheeled me in the OR and prepped me for surgery while Dan waited outside the room. I can't imagine what he was feeling. I got a spinal and they positioned me on the operating bed. Dan was allowed back in, along with his brother Pete, who was filming. I grabbed Dan's hand and wouldn't let go! Dan watched a lot of the surgery and once in awhile would say "you really don't feel that?!" That made me a little nervous! Once the babies started coming out, it was just so emotional. Baby A, Sofia Taylor came out first. I got less than a second to see her before they whisked her away. The monos, came out second; Madeline Sue followed by Josephine Louise. I didn't get any view of them. The big boy, James Daniel came out last, and I got a fleeting view of him as well. The pic below is Dan and I after the C-section in my hospital room. Still numb!

Sofia Taylor: 1.7 pounds, 14 inches long

Madeline Sue: 1.9 pounds, 14 inches long

Josephine Louise: 1.8 pounds, 13 inches long

James Daniel: 2.5 pounds, 15 inches long

Madeline and Sofia are in their own NICU rooms while Josephine and James share a room. We found out Madeline would need surgery to correct her esophogus, but we were assured the procedure was pretty common. (The surgery ended up being quite successful; more so than they thought considering her size.) All of the babies were doing well the first couple days, but the doctors told us the first couple days were called the Honeymoon period.

Saturday night at 3:30am I got a phone call from one of the neonatologists telling me that James was looking really pale which can mean he was having major bleeding in the brain. He was to get an ultrasound of the head in the morning. We found out he did, in fact, have bleeding of the brain; grade 4 on both sides, which is the most severe. At this point we were terrified of losing him. Later in the day the doctor said since he has been stable, it's just a wait and see for him. Today he is still somewhat stable but was having some seizures. The doctors have told us that he is in a really high risk for developing any number of problems, one being cerebral palsy. This will be a wait and see how severe the effects will be, but the chances of him being completely "normal" are so slim. This news is very heartbreaking, but we realize this comes with the territory of being so premature. Keep James in your thoughts and prayers. We think he will be a fighter.

The other three are doing pretty well. Sofia, the smallest, is surprising us as being the toughest one. She has been off the ventilator since Thursday. Madeline and Josephine are very close to coming off as well. Dan and I have started "kangaroo care" with Sofia and Josephine. Kangaroo care is holding the baby on your bare chest and covering the baby with blankets. The babies love it! Their heart rates go down and their oxygen goes up, showing they are very relaxed. It is so special to hold them this way! All three girls need to keep up how well they're doing. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well.

Kangaroo Care Pic

Thanks for all your support and congratulations.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Daddy's Big Announcement

I would proudly like to announce...

Sofia Taylor
Madeline Sue
Josephine Louise
James Daniel

They are all stabilized in the NICU and Martha is recovering in the postpartum unit. She will write a more thorough update tomorrow. Thank you for all of the warm wishes and prayers, and continue to keep the little ones and Martha in your thoughts.

- Dan

Not the greatest news...

A quick update from the hospital...Baby A's water broke last night around 3 AM. Martha was moved into a room in Labor and Delivery. The babies, along with Martha, are being closely monitored and are all doing well at the moment. The doctors told us it's tough to say when to expect the delivery, but it could be as early as today or as late as a few weeks.

Please say a little prayer for Martha and the babies and keep them in your thoughts.

- Dan

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

27 Weeks, ____ to go??

Here I am at 27 weeks! Nothing much has changed except I am getting bigger and more cumbersome; definitely at the point where it's uncomfortable. I could have more than a month to go still! I don't get how my tummy can get even bigger. I want to make it as long as I can but man, I hope the time goes by fast! My doctor today brought up that we can start tentatively looking at C-section dates. We are planning around 32 weeks. Of course, we might not make it to 32 weeks for whatever reason, but we can at least put a C-section on the schedule in case we do.

Today and yesterday we had growth ultrasounds for the babies. They are all growing just like they should. Baby A was estimated at 2 pounds and 2 ounces, Baby B was was 2 pounds and 3 ounces, Baby C was the peanut at 1 pound and 13 ounces, and Baby D was at 2 pounds and 2 ounces. I don't love the fact Baby C is behind by 5 ounces, but she is still within 13% difference (over 20% difference they start to get concerned). The doctor is not concerned, so I'm not either. All of the babies have plenty of amniotic fluid and are crazy active. Hopefully tonight, Dan is going to scan some ultrasound pictures

On Sunday Leah, Mike, and Anna (I don't know how they got her past the check point!) came for a visit. It was fun to see all of them! Dan has been here quite a bit; he even brought me Chipotle for lunch on Sunday! That was probably the most satisfying burrito I've had. It's great to have a break from the hospital food. My parents were in town Sunday night until this morning (and they brought me Cossetta's for dinner!) Dan's parents were at the ultrasound this morning, which was fun. Odin is at our house right now- I wish I could see him! The hospital does allow pets to make visits, so we will work out a time for that soon.
Ugh, I even look tired in the pic below! Dan looks cute though! :)

That is all for now- hope you all are having a great week (and enjoying the snow if you are in the area!)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

26+ Weeks!

Less than 2 weeks until we can breathe another sigh of relief! At 28 weeks they all have 95 or so % chance of survival...I think we will make it! I was going to put up another belly pic but I momentarily misplaced my camera cord. Arg! Oh well, as soon as I find it again I'll put up a pic. I also have some cute ultrasound pics to put up but I have to wait for Dan to scan them to the computer.

This whole last week I've been having ultrasounds at the clinic (a short wheelchair away) in the morning for biophysical profiles. We've been getting a lot of perfect scores; keep that up, babies! The ultrasounds have been at 8, so I've been getting less sleep. I have to order breakfast 45 minutes ahead of time which is annoying. I tried to pre-order breakfast tonight because I was told that you can do that by multiple people, but the lady told me I couldn't!! I think it depends on who answers the phone taking orders because some of them are crabby and some are very accommodating. It's just annoying that I could sleep an extra 1/2 hour if I didn't have to order in the morning. Every little bit of sleep is such a luxury because I wake up so often during the night. I guess this is practice for when the babies arrive??

The heart rate monitoring has been going better lately. We're able to get the monoamniotic twins more consistently. This means I probably won't be moving to the other hospital. Other good news is that I heard from a very experienced perinatologist (in his 70's) that he has never lost monoamniotic twins due to a cord accident after 26 weeks! It seems to be a bigger problem at an earlier gestational age. Most of the doctors and nurses have said that they only remember good outcomes for monoamniotic twins. I am feeling pretty confident!

My mom came today just for a little visit. (Drove all the way from Duluth late morning and left by 3:30! She said it was worth it though!) It was nice to just hang out for awhile- took my mind off everything. Dan is in Louisiana for a couple days so this broke up the lack of visitors. We're already almost to the weekend! That means no 8 am ultrasound at the clinic (the perinatologist who does rounds will just do a bedside one)! Well, I hope everyone has been having a great week!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Almost One Week Down!

Hello from the hospital! I was meaning to update the blog sooner, but I'm either really exhausted, or too much is going on here. I've had a lot of visitors so far including Dan's siblings/brother-in-law, Dan's parents and aunt, my parents, two of my brothers and my sister-in-law. My friend Marie came last night too! Obviously Dan has been here every day if not twice a day. Because it was Thanksgiving, there was a lot of family in town, so I'm sure my visitors will definitely start to wane. So far I haven't had much time to be "bored"!

The whole reason I am in the hospital is to monitor the monoamniotic twins, but this has proven difficult! One of my doctors ordered to have ultrasounds two times a day, one of them being a biophysical profile, and the other to just get a quick look at the heartbeats. I also get monitored for contractions twice a day. During the BPP, the doctor looks to see if the heart is beating normally, the amount of amniotic fluid, fetal movement, and whether the baby is practicing breathing movements. I may be missing one of the factors, but those are the basics. Every BPP I've received, the babies have all scored "perfect". Yay!

I've had some challenges here too, though. On Monday and Tuesday I got steroid shots to put my babies at an advantage if they did come sooner rather than later. The shots really affected my blood sugars, and I've had to take insulin ever since (only 2 units usually). The shots played with my emotions too so I was really teary. By Wed or Thur I was feeling better mentally. I've been getting a lot of contractions too, and the last couple days they've given me shots of terbutaline and pills of some other medicine helping to calm my uterus. Having contractions is to be expected since my uterus thinks I am overdue based on the size! The shot of terbutaline makes my heart race and gives me the shakes- no fun. I have to take the other pill every four hours (even during the night). I also found out that my thyroid is a little out of whack, so I started that pill this morning! (If I wasn't pregnant it wouldn't be completely necessary to be on meds though.) If it seems like there's a lot going on, you're right! I'm guessing it will only get more complicated. I would still say we are sailing smoothly. Just stay in there, babies!

The food is ..well, OK. I've been lucky that family has brought snacks and leftovers. (Including venison and lots of Thanksgiving food!) I am able to order two entrees per meal now and they are giving me a couple high calorie shakes a day. I've only had ONE dream about a Chipotle burrito (hehe)!

There is a possibility that I might have to move to another Allina hospital to better monitor the monos. I guess the nurses over there are able to do BPP ultrasounds. The doctors and nurses did say that the four will be easier to monitor by doppler when they get a little bigger, so I might not have to move. The other hospital doesn't have private NICU rooms like this one does, but they still have a really good reputation. We'll see what happens!

I wish I had fun pics to post, but maybe I'll put up another belly pic this week (scary!!) Until later...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

25 Weeks and Moved into My New Home

Hello! So I was admitted yesterday morning and it was pretty busy, with a lot of different workers stopping in my room ranging from nurses, dieticians, a neonatal doctor, and so many others. I don't even remember how many nurse shift changes there were! Overall, it feels good to know what it will be like and that I'm safe in here. On the negative side, while the food is decent for hospital food, the portions do not seem big enough and while I just tried to order two "entrees" for lunch, the lady said they're only allowed to send one entree. I am going to talk to either the nurse or the dietician to see if they can lift that rule for a hungry quad mom. I'm pretty sure they have that rule to avoid giving food to a patient's guest. No, that food was all for me- haven't you even met a pregnant lady, let alone pregnant with quads??

The monitoring of all four babies started yesterday. It is really challenging for the nurses to find and keep all four heart rates on the doppler (especially the monos being so close together). Last night we had to do it late because Dan and I went to a Mulitples Birth Class. The monitoring was bad so late at night because all I wanted to do was sleep and my back was very sore from the positioning. Once it was time to sleep, I couldn't fall asleep, of course, but that's not surprising. I usually take a bit to get accustomed to a new place.

A doctor comes every day for rounds, so that's comforting. Yesterday my doctor told me that if the doppler monitoring was smooth, I'd only be having one ultrasound a week instead of every other day which was the play before. I don't know which day this week it will be... I met a new (to me) doctor today who was very nice and thorough. He even prescribed me a couple more supplements: vit D and omega 3, which I was wondering whether I should be taking anyway. So far there hasn't even been enough time for me to be bored. A lot is going on! My brother Ben stopped by yesterday and today my brother Andy and his wife Aimee are visiting on their way to Duluth. Of course Dan is in and out too! He even brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers in a cute lil' snowman teapot! What a sweet hubby!

Dan and his hunting party got 5 deer this last weekend! Dan shot a 6 point buck, so of course he was pleased! This past Saturday I had my family/Duluth friends baby shower! I got many cute, useful, fun gifts. Thank you so much everyone! Lara organized the shower, and it was held at Dan's aunt Mary's house. Fun times! My parents were in town for a friend's birthday party so it was good timing for my mom! The next day my parents, Ben, and I watched the Vikings and just hung out. Below are some pictures from the shower...

This is a group pic of Dan's family.

Leah and Anna! Thanks for coming early, Leah, and welcoming the guests!

That "cake" on the table is made of diapers and useful baby stuff like wash cloths, baby wash, etc. Mary is creative, huh?

The pic below was taken yesterday morning before we left for the hospital. I am sure going to miss Odin! Don't forget me! (haha I know he won't...)

This is me in my new home. Looks fabulous, doesn't it?? I know you're jealous of me...Actually adjustable beds are pretty nice!

Another reason for envy: the view from my room. At first I said "Ugly!" to Dan, but he pointed out that it will be a lot more entertaining than just a view of other hospital windows or something. I wonder if the workers know they are being watched...haha! Next time I stay here I'm requesting either the ocean or mountain view.

Well, I can tell you no fun weekend plans or anything, but I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. I'm hoping I get some outside food and some family visitors! For sure my parents are coming on Friday (don't forget leftovers, Mom!!) Have a good, short work week, everyone! I'll probably be updating more since I personally get updates more now!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

24 Weeks: Viability, but Hospital in Sight

Wow, there's a lot to update today! I should have written yesterday to split everything up! I'll start with today's appointment. The babies are all growing! All four of them are within the normal range of what they should be. The nurse gave me a shot of RH immunoglobin because my blood type is O RH negative. I'm getting so many pricks and shots throughout all of this! Wait till they start me on insulin- oh boy...

The doctor informed me that I will be admitted to the hospital next week on Monday; not because of any current problems, but just to be safe and start monitoring the monoamniotic twins. I was a little surprised but know that it will be for the best. On Monday I will get my first round of steroid shots. Apparently it's kind of a painful shot in that the liquid is really thick. It's really weird that when I check in on Monday that I won't be leaving for hopefully a couple of months. I also realized how much I will miss Odin!! Life is officially changing.

We took a tour of the Labor and Delivery and the NICU today after the appointment. It was really interesting to see where my home will be! The NICU was especially emotional because we saw the rooms where the babies will be staying, complete with isolettes. We caught glimpses of some premature babies and that really hit me too.

Here are the stats for all the babies. Baby A is making me really proud; she is "cradling" my uterus, meaning there isn't a head, foot, etc pushing on my cervix. She is helping distribute the weight and she still has enough room for herself! Her estimated weight was 1 pound and 6 ounces.
Baby B is still breech and foot-to-foot with Baby A. His limbs are pretty long and his weight is estimated at 1 pound and 9 ounces. He was very active during the ultrasound!
Baby C is still the smallest but growing on track. She is estimated at 1 pound and 5 ounces.

Baby D is tied with Baby B with estimated weight: 1 pound and 9 ounces. All three of the girls' heads are close to each other while B is off in his own little corner. The picture below is labeled "C", but the tech changed her mind about who was who. Those monos are tricky!

It was so fun to see them again on ultrasound. Once we're in the hospital, I get an ultrasound every other day! The monos will be monitored everyday but how frequently/duration I am not sure yet. No sign of preterm labor, so we have to pray for the monos.

Last week my parents stayed for a couple nights to help out and keep me company. My dad went on a day trip to Willmar to see my grandma. My parents bought us a couple cribs from Ikea also! That made my day! On Thursday, my friend Leah Stellmaker came with her baby, Anna to visit and help out.

This past weekend was fun because my sister-in-law, Lara, and her son Dane stayed at our house. Dan's mom and grandma stayed at Dan's aunt's house. They all were helping out and keeping me company. They even went on a little shopping spree! Dan's grandma, Sue, bought us a nice armoire for the nursery, plus a travel crib that I registered for! The travel crib looks great- nice and compact and sturdy looking. Sue also sewed together a wall-hanging of animals and window valances for the nursery- so adorable! My mother-in-law, Deb, bought a nice changing table, plus she started painting the wood trim white in the nursery to brighten it up a little. Lara and I had a quiet movie night on Friday- very relaxing! There was so much going on during the weekend, so I know I didn't mention everything. Below are a couple pictures of Dan putting together the armoire. I'm so proud of my handyman husband! I wouldn't have a clue even WITH instructions!

Oh, and a great friend from St. Olaf, Chelsey, brought me Chipotle for lunch yesterday! YUMMMY! This weekend I am looking forward to a baby shower put on by Lara and held at Dan's aunt Mary's house. It will include Duluth friends and some family. Dan is planning to hunt again, but I hope he comes home early on Sunday since we will be preparing for Monday and spending our last little bit of time together at home before everything changes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

23 Weeks and Holding Out!

Only one more week until viability, our first goal! If our babies were born at 24 weeks they would have a chance to survive, but it would be likely that they could have some long-term consequences. Good thing that I am feeling no sign of preterm labor! Our next goal is 28 weeks, which is only 5 weeks from now! It feels so far away still, but when I think back to 5 weeks ago, it seems like yesterday!

I'm noticing even more movement this past week. Sometimes I will feel a big, hard lump in the middle of my belly- either a head or a butt? I love feeling the movement and the lumps! They are squirming around so much! I used to think I knew for sure who was kicking (except C and D), but now I'm not sure because they're about a foot long right now! When I feel kicking really low, it has to be A, though! I am also feeling a lot bigger right now. Changing sleeping positions or just getting up from a sitting position has been trickier because of that! And I'm only half way there in terms of weight gain!? Yikes!

My mom and dad came into town for a couple nights to help out and just hang out. It makes a big difference just having people around when Dan is at work because I don't get so lonesome! Tomorrow (Thur) one of my best friends, Leah, is coming from Duluth because her husband is flying out of Minneapolis to Chicago for a residency interview. More company! :) My sister-in-law Lara and her son Dane are driving from Detroit to arrive on either Thursday night or Friday. I'm so lucky to have these visitors!

We're in the middle of deer hunting season! I bet there are other hunting widows reading my blog out there...but luckily this past weekend I got to see a couple of friends (thanks Marie and Leah P!), so that kept me busy. This weekend will be fine too since Lara and Dane (and my mother-in-law!) are in town! Last weekend, Dan's group got four deer. Monday night they spent hours cleaning the deer (two were cleaned in Duluth, two in the cities). Dan's brother, Pete, started cleaning the deer at 12:30 pm to give them a head start!

I am finally finishing up my registries...it's so hard to figure out what we need! Some items we don't need multiples of, but others, yes. Any quad/triplet moms out there have any special insight? Well, have a great rest of the week and weekend! I can't wait to give you another update after our week 24 appointment!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

22 Weeks and All is Well

I just had my 22 week appointment which my mom got to come to also! She was excited to see the quads on ultrasound. They are all still growing on track and all of their heart rates are in the 140's. So far I've gained a little over 30 pounds. When I stepped on the scale, the nurse said "That's exactly what we wanted you to be at!" That made me happy! With the slightly different eating, nothing has been sacrificed yet. And look, my belly is even bigger than last week! Ahh!

Baby A was measuring right around 22 weeks and one pound. She was so cute during the ultrasound. She was holding her hands in front of her face, shielding herself from her siblings that were bothering her! She really has to stand up for herself because she will be having the least amount of space. I included both a profile picture and then her defensive pose picture. We were able to get a lot of good pictures of A to make up for a lack of ones thus far.

Baby B was the biggest- no surprise there! He is the only one that is breech right now. He measured 22 weeks 4 days and his estimated weight was one pound two ounces. He wasn't putting on any shows but he looked very healthy!

Baby C was the smallest by a little, but was still within the range they wanted to see. Her gestational size was over 21 weeks and her weight was estimated at 14 ounces (only two ounces shy of a pound). She is the one we are thinking that has a bad cord insertion. Everything was looking good, though. (The second picture is Baby C's cute foot!)

Baby D was measuring the same size as Baby A- 22 weeks and one pound. I don't know why we didn't get any pictures of her! I think the tech just forgot to give us one. Both Baby C and D had their heads down, but their bodies were crossing each other like an X.

The doctor said that the five of us are still working harmoniously together. He said my GD is certainly no surprise and if I find it's hard to get enough calories without going over on my blood sugars, it isn't my fault- it is just time for insulin! Hopefully I won't be on insulin for a long time from now (but it might be a necessity no matter what on Thanksgiving! I'm not giving up the pumpkin pie!) I told the doctor how much I'm up (preparing food, letting the dog out, bathroom, etc) and he said since my cervix is still at an acceptable length (3.5 cm), then I can keep doing what I'm doing. The good thing is he said that my uterus is wide enough right now where most of the weight is supported by my pelvis rather than straight on my cervix! That was news to me! Overall the doctor seemed optimistic and happy with how things are going so far.

The Perinatal clinic didn't have the H1N1 vaccine available yet! The nurse didn't seem too happy...she said that some family practice clinics have been getting it but she doesn't know why a high risk pregnancy center wouldn't have the same priority! It's a little frustrating. I suppose I can start making the calls but I have a feeling that a ton of people are doing just the same.

This week we've had a lot of help: Dan's parents came on Sunday for one night. Dan's dad, Mike, fixed some of our drains and his Mom, Deb, cleaned up a storm, cooked, and did about a million loads of laundry! My mom came just last night and she brought a couple meals. She will do the dreaded grocery store trip as well! We are so lucky to have them as family! Plus, Dan's grandma, brother, and aunts and some of our friends have also made a couple meals for us! It would be too much of a burden for Dan to do EVERYTHING when he comes home exhausted from work! Thanks everyone, we love you!

Have a good week/weekend everyone! Thanks for reading even if the post was a lil' long! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fight For Preemies // Bloggers Unite

Fight For Preemies // Bloggers Unite

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Happy Halloween!!!

Hope you all got to do something fun for Halloween! I actually had a lot of fun carving pumpkins and passing out candy with Dan. We had to carve the pumpkins in record time! Dan was working on Saturday and came home after four and we have 6 pumpkins to carve before dark! We made it in time though! There's no way that anyone who came to the door had any idea why we chose to carve 4 little pumpkins "A, B, C, D". It kinda looked like we just couldn't think of something better! Oh, and one little family came and I didn't put it together fast enough but Dan said "I think those were triplets!" They were pretty little and so adorable! Taking the picture below took some talent- we put the camera on timer, but getting Odin in place and looking was a challenge- but it turned out perfect!

I'll wait till my next appointment to do a big update, but since the last blog I did feel my first kicks from outside! We haven't been able to sneak Dan in fast enough to catch them, but soon! Also, I have stayed under the 140 blood sugar cut-off for all but two meals so far. I'm already pretty annoyed about not being able to eat just WHATEVER and instead think of how many carbs it has. (Especially last night with Halloween candy!!)

I'll write again on Wednesday! GO VIKINGS!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

21 Weeks and Learning about GD

Officially 21 weeks yesterday! Every week when we take the belly pic I always think to myself "there's no way my belly will look bigger than last week's pic". Then I compare the two pics and see I have grown! It's so crazy! I have noticed that when I need to sit up from laying down, it's like I have no abdominal muscles! It will be very interesting getting back into shape eventually...

Last week after I wrote the blog, I got a message from the Diabetes and Pregnancy Clinic informing me I have a class to attend and until then "eat healthy". I thought to myself "Ok.....". Still not really any information. I did end up calling a nurse so I could find out my actual number after the one hour glucose challenge, which was 146. My dad said "Oh that's not too bad". I did some reading about gestational diabetes this past week and it scared me silly! Limiting my carbs- even the good carbs!? I could care less if I had to only give up sweets like cake, cookies, and candy, but to limit how much bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes? AND FRUIT AND CEREAL!? I was feeling pretty defeated but knew I'd wait until the class to see if I really was in a lot of trouble. My main concern was, how will I get enough calories to support a quad pregnancy while limiting carbs?

The "class" was actually a one-on-one info session with a nurse certified to educate in diabetes. The other women were together but I think I was separate because my case is a little unique. Plus they let me lay in bed the whole time since I am on bed-rest. First, she showed me how to use the blood glucose monitor. Yes, I get to stick myself with a needle... Actually that doesn't bother me at all, and I think it's really interesting keeping track of blood glucose levels. I'm supposed to collect my blood glucose in the morning before any meal, then after the three main meals. I need to be under 140 at one hour after all the meals. She told me I still can eat carbs, just limit how much at each snack and meal. The nurse also said that I can experiment with how many carbs my body can handle before I go to high, which I am pleased about. I'm supposed to eat every two hours (carbs are part of each meal/snack) but if I'm hungry in-between I can have as much protein or veggies as I want. I need to think of good protein ideas- my favorites right now are cheese, nuts, and meat (but meat isn't as convenient). Anyone have any good ideas, keeping in mind that I don't like peanut butter and artificial sweeteners? Anything that has more than 4 or 5 grams of carbs on the nutrition label will count as a "carb choice", so steer clear!

I cheated yesterday...well, not on purpose, but before the info session we had to fill out a questionnaire. It said to list any pregnancy concerns and I wrote that lately I haven't been feeling the monos as much as baby B (baby A is still hard to feel very often). I thought it was weird I don't feel them that much because they were the first ones I felt. This wasn't a lie but I wasn't necessarily that worried. The nurses and doctors always tell me to say anything minor that I have been thinking about. Anyways, after the info session a nurse (and another nurse watching) did a quick ultrasound to check out all the heartbeats. I got to see my babies!! I think the nurses were just as excited as I was because they don't get to see quad ultrasounds very often. Now just one week till I get to see them next! The doctor told me after the u/s that at 21 weeks, they're still not strong enough to feel regularly, so that put me at ease also.

Hope everyone's weeks are going well. I'm jealous of everyone doing fun things this Saturday for Halloween. I get to at least see some trick-or-treaters!

One other thing: if anyone knows someone or is someone that is good at customizing blogpot blogs let me know! I need to spice mine up and find something else besides the templates they provide!

UPDATE: I was a little worried about taking my blood glucose after my morning meal. Everything I read about GD said that the morning meal is the hardest to control because your blood sugar skyrockets with not that many carbs. This morning I had a big bowl of oatmeal, carrots, and some cheese, thinking I was probably eating too much oatmeal. The number just came back as 120, so YAY! Tomorrow I'm going to see what happens with cereal (supposedly bad, especially with adding milk). It could be that adding the carrots and cheese helped balance out my carbs.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

20 Weeks- Bed Rest but Healthy!

Hello! I went in for my 20 week appointment this morning. The babies are still looking great! Unfortunately the tech didn't print off that many great pictures. We did get one of each but they're not really worth putting up. Two of the pics were just of the stomachs, one was a profile (but blurry), and the other one was of I don't even know what! The tech did quick measurements of the bellies for growth and Baby B was still the biggest (20 weeks 3 days). The other three were pretty much the same at 19 weeks 4 or 5 days. We didn't get any weight estimates. I guess next time they will check more thoroughly for growth. My cervix was measuring 3.7 cm, which is still good! I found out that I have gained 27 pounds so far! The nurse said I'm on track...

I figured that my mom and Dan's mom should each get a chance to see an ultrasound. It worked out that Dan's mom, Deb, could make it to this ultrasound, so that was fun to have someone else there. She was so happy to see her grandchildren! Hopefully my mom can come to the next one.

During the OB portion of the visit, the nurse had me drink the sugary, syrupy drink in order to do a 1 hour glucose check. It tasted like overly sweet 7-up and I would never drink it voluntarily! Anyways, after an hour she took my blood to test both my blood sugar and my hemoglobin. The nurse called me this afternoon and she told me my hemoglobin was fine, but my blood sugar levels are "very suspicious". This means I may have gestational diabetes. :( I thought I would pass the test with flying colors because there haven't been any road blocks yet and was used to only hearing good news. Gestational diabetes is a lot more likely with multiples, especially higher-order multiples. The nurse referred me to a diabetes pregnancy clinic to decide how to approach this. I don't have the clear diagnosis yet- I'm sure there will be more testing. The good thing is if I do have gestational diabetes, at least we are catching it nice and early.

I started bed-rest yesterday. I didn't know how strict it was, so I was pretty much laying at an incline all day. It was comfortable at first, but after awhile my back was getting achy. I got up to let Odin outside, to get food, to shower and use the bathroom. Today I talked to the doctor about how strict I should be. He said to just stay off my feet as much as I can, but I can be sitting up or laying down. It is such a difference to be sitting up! This will make it much more bearable! When it does become more strict, we will be sending Odin up to Duluth.

On my last blog entry I mentioned that Dan and I were going to the UMD football game because Dan's great-grandfather, Lloyd Peterson was honored. If you want to read about this man, check out this write-up. We got to sit in the VIP suite and enjoy some food. The Bulldogs crushed St. Cloud State and it was such a fun game to watch! The picture below shows Dan's grandfather holding the plaque standing with his four sisters. They were presented with the plaque during half-time. It was pretty cool! This weekend we are, surprise, staying in town. Hope everyone has a good week/weekend!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

19 Weeks - One Week of Freedom Left!

19 weeks- wow! Time is flying by! It seems like there is a lot to do this week before I am bed-ridden. The relief is that I have family and friends that have offered to help out- run errands or cook. No matter what, I'll figure out how to make do with this whole bed-rest business.

Last night Dan and I started our car search. This makes me feel like a real adult! We have to find a car big enough for 4 car seats, plus enough cargo room to fit belongings for get-aways AND Odin's house of a kennel. For even a weekend away we have to think about how much stuff we have to tote along with us that we didn't have to think about before. Portable cribs? Mounds of diapers, wipes, and clothes? Scary! I'm so used to buzzing around in either a Civic or a hatch-back Subaru. All of a sudden I'm going to have to learn how to parallel park a semi!? Well, we won't need one that big, but a whole lot bigger than what I'm used to. We probably won't buy a car until they are born or close to it, but since I'll be on bed-rest soon, I want to see these options in person.

So far I've gained more than 20 pounds and my belly is almost, but not quite cumbersome. It's still in the cute pregnant belly category although sooner rather than later I may start to get uncomfortable! I'm lucky so far though. I have been reading posts on a "Multiples due in March" forum on Babycenter.com, and some of the women as far along as me are complaining of things like carpal tunnel syndrome, water retention, bad heartburn, and just plain discomfort. I want to avoid all that as long as possible!

I included a picture from this past weekend up at Dan's cabin (outside of Cotton- north of Duluth). It's kinda cool to see the snow, the yellow fall leaves, and an open lake. None of us expected to wake up with snow on the ground! I knew it was in the forecast, but it was still surprising. Apparently the snow reached all the way south to Iowa! Then we got a blanket in the cities earlier this week. That has melted since, but wow! This is the earliest I've ever seen snow! I wonder if we'll get back to normal fall weather before true winter hits. I'm sure we will- I'll be optimistic! It's so odd that we basically went from 80's to 40-50's. Whatever happened to the 60's (my favorite fall weather!)?

This weekend is my last trip to Duluth before the babies come! We are going to the UMD football game because they are honoring Dan's great-grandfather, Lloyd Peterson. He was a former player for the U of MN football team and then coached UMD, basically turning around the whole program. It will be fun to be at that game! I know Dan is very proud of his great-grandfather.
Well, have a great rest of the week and weekend! I'll update after my appointment a week from today!