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'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!!!!!!