Thank you for being faithful in your prayers. Here are some specific prayer requests:
- Please pray that my contractions will not increase in the upcoming weeks
- Please pray for the babies' cords to remain tangle-free
- Please pray for the babies' fluid levels to remain normal
- Please pray for our doctors and decisions they must make with this complicated pregnancy
- Please pray for Nick and my mom as they travel this weekend to "swap" places
This next year will be an exciting year for us and we welcome it with open arms! I can't wait to wrap my arms around our four little miracles and hear their first cry, see their first smile, bite my first baby butt (please don't think I'm weird...I've always wanted to nibble on my own baby's booty!), and have soooo many more firsts. I can't believe this is finally the year! I hope you and your family have a Great 2009!
I will leave you with my 23 week belly shot.
Yesterday we had an ultrasound appointment...ultrasound only, no doctor visit. All the babies are still growing and doing wonderfully! Their fluid is still adequate and cords still look good. Also, my cervix still measured very long, 4.4cm. Here are the measurements from our 22 week 3 day visit.
Sloan - 1lb 2oz - 22wks 4dys
BabyB - 1lb 1oz - 21wks 6dys
BabyC - 15oz - 21wks 5dys
BabyD - 1lb 1oz - 22wks 3dys
As you can see from their measurements, none of the babies are more than 1 week apart. In detecting TTTS, they allow for at least a 2-3 week gap in measuremnets...no sign of TTTS here!!! Thank you Lord!
I've had a few people ask for belly pics. So here is the latest at 22 weeks.
Back to the ultrasound...unfortunately, I don't have any pictures worthwile of showing. They literally look like blobs. I think its only going to get tougher to get good pictures as the babies get bigger. Today's ultrasound was only to check the babies' heartbeats and their fluid. Both fluid and heartbeats looked really good. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to measure to see how much they have grown, but that will come next week. But, we are so thankful to God that the babies still look good and there is no sign of TTTS.
Then we met with Dr. E for a little while. We decided that I will start to have appointments weekly rather than every 2 weeks just because of the extreme circumstances of the pregnancy. I think weekly visits will just give me a little more comfort and he supported that! Also, since my contractions are still few and far between, I can continue on modified bed rest (rather than going to strict bed rest.) Modified bed rest is just taking it real easy on the couch most of the time, but I am still able to get out every now and then. For instance, I can go to church on Sundays...which is a huge blessing! Of course, I will not be pushing myself too hard, but its nice to know that I can still get out if I feel as if I have a little cabin fever...this may not be a luxury I will have for very long!
After meeting with Dr. E, he had us meet with Dr. Slater Myer, a neonatologist at Good Sam Hospital. The purpose was for her to explain to us the risks and complications that premature babies of different gestational ages face at delivery. Nick was able to be on the phone to listen in as well. At some point, I will have to be hospitalized even if all is going well and there is no sign of preterm labor. The reason for hospitalization is for constant monitoring of our mono/mono boys. They definitely have the biggest risk for cord entanglement which can happen at any moment. The bigger they get, the less room they have and the more likely it is to occur. Please pray that our little guys stay still and will not get tangled up in one another's cords. Once they are safe and in my arms, they can be boys and wrestle all they like! I know we have to hear all the possibilities and be well-informed about decisions and complications that may occur...and I want to be knowledgeable about all of this. But we haven't forgotten Who is in control and that He has a plan for us and the babies. We pray everyday that He will continue to guide us in making decisions about the pregnancy.
Overall, we are very pleased with my appointment. I consider each day that passes with Sloan, Rocco, Madden & Jagger safe in my womb a huge blessing from the Lord above. We give Him all the glory!
P.S. All I want for Christmas is my hubby! 4 more days til I get to see my man! Please pray for Nick and my mom as travel on Sunday!
Our house - like we have never seen it!
From our front porch
Mom & Dad's house
I hope everyone in BR is enjoying the snow! We miss you all!
On a side note, I started the home contraction monitoring this week. I put on a belt with a sensor for an hour twice a day. After each session, the results are sent to a nurse through a wireless modem who calls me back within 30 minutes to let me know the results. Dr. Elliott likes to see no more than 3.5/hour on average (for a week.) So far, most of mine have been zero, but I have had a couple of sessions with one or two contractions...nothing to be too concerned with. My next appointment with Dr. E is next Wednesday...I can't wait to see how much the babies have grown! Mom is doing a good job of keeping me growing! :)
Baby A - 10 ozs - 19w 2d
Baby B - 10 ozs - 19w 5d
Baby C - 9ozs - 19w 0d
Baby D - 90zs - 19w 1d
As you can see, the babies are all still measuring on track. There amniotic fluid is still adequate and there is no sign of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. The babies are at greater risk for developing TTTS in the 2nd trimester. Please pray with us that the babies will all get equal amounts nutrients and bloodflow and that they will continue to grow at the same rate. After the ultrasound, we were sent to a consultation room where we met Dr. Elliott....finally! We have heard such great things about him and were so excited to meet him. He discussed with us the difficulties of our particular pregnancy, a plan of care, what to expect along the way and the decisions that will need to be made. It was so comforting to have a doctor that shares with you your need/desire to have a successful pregnancy with four healthy babies at the end of it all. He has an obvious passion for complex pregnancies. We are so thankful God has put him in our lives. As of now, I am not on bedrest. However, Dr. E thinks I will be in about 2 weeks....which is my next scheduled appointment.
The appointment went a little long and we were pressed for time getting accross town to get Nick and my dad on their flight back to BR. They made it with 7 minutes to spare!!! So tonight is our (me & mom's) first night without the men we love so dearly. Nick will be back here in about 2 1/2 weeks...which is not too long, but it is the longest we have been apart since we were married.
Thank you all for your comments and emails. They are always encouraging and uplifting to read. I have been so amazed by the support of all the quad moms and other HOM moms...thanks to you all! I am hoping that now that I am here and not as distracted with everyday life....I will have more time to respond to emails.
Love and Blessings,
The front door - I think it's missing and LSU flag or something?!?
I took this standing at our front door - I won't have to waddle too far to go for a dip!
My dad feeling quite at home!
I had a really good last weekend at home. I was able to say goodbye and deliver Christmas presents to my nephews and niece since I won't be here for Christmas. Also, one of my very good friends was married this weekend. I was able to go to their beautiful wedding on Saturday and enjoy the company of my closest friends. It was a special day for them and I am grateful to have been a part of it! Congratulations Tiffany & Brad! Believe it or not the hardest part of the weekend was leaving my puppies at home. I've had Buddy since I was 17 and Lucy is my little girl. They bring me so much joy at home and I know that they will be fine, but I will really miss them! Here is a pic that Nick took right before we left (L to R: Buddy, me, Lucy.)
All of the goodbye's were difficult but I know they are not forever! The next time I see everyone, I will be one very proud mama of four little miracles. Thanks for your prayers for safe travel. My first appointment with Dr. Elliott is on Wednesday...I'm very excited to meet the QuadFather!
3 girls and a guy
3 dudes and a diva
4 little hairy bullies (Nick has been known as the big hairy bully!)
and 4 little princesses!
And the winning sign IS........
Nick was right all along! We are so excited about are new family! Coincidently, we already had 3 boy names and 2 girl names picked out. We are anxiously waiting to meet:
Sloan Olivia - Baby A the girl
Jagger ???? (We are still working on a middle name for Jagger - have suggestions, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our dads (Big Pop & Grandaddy)
The winning corner!
Karoline and Mike Holmes
my mom and me
As promised, I also have u/s pics from this week.
This week will be a busy week for us. We are leaving for Phoenix on Sunday (11/30). My parents are driving - leaving on the 28th. Please pray for all of us while packing and traveling!
I guess some of you are probably wondering about the title of this post. Well, thanks to the encouragement and support of other moms of multiples...especially Jaclyn Tubre and Bethel Ann Randall....we were informed of a doctor who is very experienced with caring for quads and other high order multiples. We got in touch with Dr. Elliott in Phoenix last week and spent a good hour and a half on the phone with him. We had been praying about our prenatal care, but it wasn't until we spoke with him that our prayer had been answered. We knew, without a doubt, that we needed to be in Phoenix in order to get the best care possible for our babies. So we have decided that I will be in Phoenix with Dr. Elliott for the duration of the pregnancy and until all the babies can come home. We are so blessed that we are even able to go at all. We could not do it without the support of our parents...especially my mom, who is also picking up and moving her life to Phoenix for the next several months. How incredible a mother's love is! Nick will be back and forth as much as he can, but still will be holding down the fort here. I will miss him terribly when we are apart but we both know we have to make this short-term sacrifice so that we know that we did everything to achieve the best possible outcome. We (me, Nick, my mom & dad) will be leaving the weekend after Thanksgiving. Nick and my dad will get us settled in our new apartment and then will head back to BR sometime that next week. My first appointment with Dr. Elliott will be on Wednesday 12/3. Although I am sad to leave my home, my family, my friends, and my dogs, I am a little anxious to get there and have my sole focus be on the babies growing inside my belly. Please pray for us while we are making this transition.
On a side note, Nick and I had an exciting night last night. We went to the Tubre's new home and met Jaclyn, Torey and the cupcakes! (Check out their blog - http://tubrequads.blogspot.com/) We were there for supper time, bath time and bed time. It was amazing to see! They are so awesome and Jaclyn and Torey were so kind to open their home to us so we can get a little taste of what we are in for! I have to say...Nick and I left there more excited than ever. We laughed about how we used to sit around pre-pregnancy and talk about how bored we were...we always wanted to have a little someone to love and play with. Well, soon we will have four little someones and I think we will have many, many years of fun and exciting times! I can't wait!
-Babies continue to grow at the same rate. We are in the second trimester and are at risk of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.
-Move to Phoenix
-My weight gain - I need to gain at least 35 more lbs in the next 9 weeks - this is my first goal...then I have more to go!
Baby A (Singleton - face down)
Baby B (face down)
Baby D - I just realized they gave us two pictures of Baby D and none of Baby C, but I can assure you there is a Baby C. They were all very active!
Here is their growth chart. All the babies measured 4 ozs....which is right on track with their gestational age. We are thrilled that all the babies are measuring the same. They also looked at the babies' bladders, brains, spines, kidneys and all looked great...praise God! There were no fluid abnormalities and the doctor said they were developing just as they should be. We go back for another ultrasound in two weeks. We should definitely be able to find out the sexes then...if the babies will cooperate!
The doctors never fail to remind us of the extreme circumstances and very high risk nature of this pregnancy. We believe that every birth of a newborn is a miracle and is God's amazing creation...Nick and I view our circumstance as a another great potential for God to shine. It is our prayer that God will work in such a way that everyone involved...doctors, nurses, friends, family...will KNOW that HE is the only reason for the outcome and He will be praised and glorified because of it! Thanks for your continued prayers.
P.S. My work family threw a surprise shower for me a couple of weeks ago. I will be posting pics of the shower soon. Stay tuned...
Nick, my dad and my brothers went to the LSU game in South Carolina this weekend, and then they ended up going to the Saints game since they also played in South Carolina. It was a weekend full of guy talk, guy smells, and football...he would say..."that's a good weekend!" I joked with him about how those days are numbered...no more spur of the moment trips to sporting events...at least for a little while, anyway!
While he was away, I did a little nesting. It was kind of nice cleaning out the babies' room. This room has served as our catch-all room for the last few years so you can imagine the junk that was in there. I can remember over the years just opening that door and just dreaming of the day when the room would be filled with all things baby...the furniture, the toys, those sounds, that smell! Sometimes I just sit and smile, knowing my dream (x4) is finally happening.
Thank you for all your comments. Your support, encouragement and prayers mean everything to us. Our prayer has and will always be for a healthy pregnancy and 4 healthy babies and that God will be glorified through it all. Please pray with us that we make it to our goal of 30 weeks!
After we finished the ultrasound, we met with the doctor. This was the first time we met with this doctor. He went over with us again all the risks involved with the pregnancy. I have to say...if we let it...this news could be very discouraging and frightening. Good news is that we have the Lord on our side. If we stay focused on Him and take one day at a time, we will be fine. One of the reasons, I decided to do this blog is to keep our prayer requests specific. Although we are always praying for a healthy pregnancy and babies, I'm sure there will be different issues and concerns that will arise with each visit. Again, we thank you for praying for us...we could not get through this without prayer. We also know that we are not the only ones struggling or with needs and would be blessed if you let us pray for you as well. Just shoot us an email and we will commit to praying for you. Here are our requests after this visit:
- All babies stay on the same growth curve and that there will be no fluid abnormalities
- Babies will develop healthy
- Bedrest - probably in 6-8 weeks...lots to do before then!
Our next appointment is Monday 10/20. We will keep you posted!
I had my first appointment with my regular OB today. When I made the appointment last week, I was sure to ask what to expect at this appointment. The nurse just said it would be paperwork, bloodwork, and meeting with the doctor to discuss a gameplan...no ultrasound. Well, Nick is really short-handed this week at work and decided he could miss this appointment. Needless to say, they did do another ultrasound and we (me & my mom) got to hear the heartbeats for the first time. Nick was sick! Had he known, he never would have missed it.
Each time I see the babies, it becomes a little more real. But hearing that sound...those steady little beats, I felt a connection that I haven't felt yet. It is absolutely the most beautiful sound!
I don't have the pictures scanned yet, but as soon as I do I will post them. In the meantime, here are the results.
Baby A (singleton) - measured 11 wks 3 dys, 178bpm
Baby B - measured 11 wks 1dy, 167bpm
Baby C - measured 11 wks 1dy, 171bpm
Baby D - measured 11 wks 4dys, 167bpm
As of today, I am 11 weeks and 1 day and as you can see, the babies are right on track. Also, the nurse said that the heartbeats should fall between 120-180 and they do! We are so thrilled. Thank you Lord!
Tomorrow we will have our first appointment with a Maternal-Fetal Medicine doctor. The doctor will be specifically looking at the bloodflow of the babies and making sure each one is in their own little yolk sac. Please pray for good results from this appointment!
I have one more request. As you can tell by the time of this post, I am not sleeping well. When my head hits the pillow at night, I usually have no trouble falling asleep. At some point I wake up (usually after one of my many trips to the bathroom) and doubts, fears, and concerns start entering my head. As much as I want to turn them off and just roll over and go to sleep, Satan keeps them coming. Now I know some of you are probably thinking....well, she just better get used to those sleepless nights. And to that I say, when these sleepless nights are because of 4 precious angels given to me by God, bring it on! But when the sleepless nights are because of Satan and his antics, well...that's just not cool. I would ask for prayer for Nick in this department too, but it seems as though he is having no trouble at all. I actually hear him snoring as I type this! :) Even the dogs are getting very restful nights!
The day we found out was Sunday August 17th, 2008. We came home from church and I went in the bathroom to do the test by myself. I wanted to be able to tell Nick and enjoy his reaction...I never wanted to forget his face! As soon as I saw the plus sign...I couldn't contain myself. I ran into the living room where he was watching TV and asked him "Are you ready to be a Daddy?" He jumped up and we held each other while we laughed and cried! We hugged forever! God is so good!
FOUR LITTLE LAMBES! There are two placentas, one with one baby-the fraternal and in the other placenta - 3 identical triplets.
P.S. I am new to blog world...I promise they all won't be this long. Thank you for allowing us to share our journey with you. Please keep us and the babies in your prayers....we desire a healthy pregnancy and healthy babies...all the while God is being glorified!