Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Little Guys

At the zoo with Maw maw

On the Carasol with Maw maw

On the train with Uncle Jeff

Lake of the Ozarks

Father's Day Tractor Rides

Father's Day

At The Zoo

At the Zoo

Jason & Kyle on the Boat @ Lake of the Ozarks

Jason & Kyle are really being big boys .......... it sad that they have to endure such big changes so young. My extended family has been trying to keep them buzy throughout this last 6 weeks, but as we all know it's still not the same. They want Mom home, just as much as I want to be home.

My youngest (right now) calls me every morning before his daily ride with Dad and Jason too his destination for the day. When I left he was trying to put words together and couldn't converse well on the phone at all. Now, he says so many words together I have to ask him to try again or really decode as we go. I think he is learning so much right before my ears, sometimes my eyes. I noticed the other day he can decifer different colors and choose his options without having to whine for them. Dad must be working with him .......... at least it seems like it.

Jason isn't a phone person. He usually will be so active and focused on his current activity that talking to Mom is not an option at that time. When he visits, he is the first to say hi and come show me what is new or what he brought with him for us to play with. He always asks when I'm coming home and tells me what he has been up to. After reading this back to myself, I can't help but sit here and cry. I'm tired of having to not be with them. Last time Jason left I told him to make a calandar with his father for 2 1/2 more weeks and when he x's off all of the days I'll be home. - I can't believe their is an end in sight. Now it's adjusting to how do they get ready for four new siblings at home especially since their just finally getting their Mom back. This will be a big unknown - hopefully a nice smooth transition for everyone especially them.

I just thought I'd share more pictures of them with you from their favorite spots .....

Monday, July 28, 2008

JULY 26th - Article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Below is the link to the story.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the Lifestyles section on Saturday July 26th, 2008

Hope you like the article, we thought it was very nice and I was glad they cut off most of my belly. The title in the paper was much nicer than the title online, but the article is the same.


My BUSY Weekend

Well so far I've coasted into 31 weeks........................ or so I thought. As the weekend approached my Doctor and my family were discussing how far I could go and were trying to set a date for delivery. If your thinking this seems strange, it is if your caring only one baby, but with four, 34 weeks is considered full term, so that means 3 weeks if possible.

Well the if possible seems possible, but scheduling is not so easy ..... to deliver the babies it takes 2 OR rooms, one for me and my doctors and staff & the other one for the 4 babies to go into with their staff. All in all coordinating over 16-20 people maybe more with 2 units involved (Labor & delivery and the NICU .) Finally, it seems as though this crazy pregnancy has some schedule and consistency ............... BUT as Dr. B. stated that's if you can go that far so we can set a date, but it can all change in a day. So I know my date, but it's a distance still to go, so when I get closer you'll know too.

So it's Saturday, the date was set, family was visiting and helping me finish my scrap booking of Kyle's baby book, big brother t-shirts, & isolette pics for my babies to see when were not at the hospital .....Well...................... I started to feel different. My uterus was contracting and I was starting to feel cramping and pressure. Enough so that I decided to lay down and relax. I started counting these feeling I was having. They were 10-15 min apart. I notified the nurse and continued to rest and focus on relaxing. The Toco monitor was picking up the contractions also ............... So in came Dr. Webb a very nice and handsome fellow who I've met 1 other time prior to today. He decided we needed to check my cervix ............. it had thinned 70-80% and my safety net or cerclague might have opened or is loosening. He said you know what this he paused I could only think gee I guess it might be today, man I was hoping to go further, I can't believe it's my only nephew's birthday and I'm gonna do this to him, then my last quick thought was I guess Dr. Webb will be the Doctor Delivering me I hardly know him............................ his answer STRICT BED REST.
Auugh ....... I said what does that mean ............. no more wheelchair rides, just bed rest, bathroom privileges and a quick 10 minute shower. I replied, "I cannot wash my hair in 10 minutes, laughing", he said," just make them shorter". He put me on tocolytics (Procardia XL 30mg BID) to halt contractions and dilation. It's working!!!!!! He also said, "Jill you are and have been doing great", I agreed and said "I'm lucky I've made it this far without total bed rest and medication. I'm O.K. " He rubbed my shoulder and said "your gonna make 34 weeks." I think he was expecting me to cry, but instead I was elated not to have to deliver so unplanned instead. So the weekend continued and more steroids were administered to protect and mature the babies lungs and my bedhead and side laying have become my new comfortable position and look.

O.k. so that was Saturday. ...... On Sunday, at 5 a.m I woke up with more contractions. My 2nd dose of procardia was due at 5:30 so I got up to go to the bathroom. As I walked across the room still asleep I didn't quite comprehend my pants were getting wet. I sat on the toilet and went to the bathroom and woke up enough to realize or think - Did my water just break? I stood up and waited for more fluid to be released but nothing happened so I lied down, and waited. 15 minutes later, the same thing happened only less this time ............. of course I called the nurse . The resident appeared to check my cervix for leakage - lets just say this exam was painful and very awkward, but no fluid leakage .................she also stated that my sutures were intact and my cervix was closed, as she finished the exam (this could only happen to me - the speculum was caught in the open position, the bolt to open the device wouldn't release with out some Kelly clamps to loosen the bolt so after a few minutes I was free and scared to death that this device was going to be caught/stuck there requiring more issues.) Oh well a little scare but no harm done. Apparently, the contractions and walking forced my bladder to release. Just one more thing to deal with. Dr Webb said, "he's was surprised it hasn't happened before now".

The rest of the day was set up for growth testing of the babies and a Biophysical profile. That requires a whole different blog so hang in their I'm catching up with time.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Visit Home in the Summer of 08

Lots of people have been asking me for updates especially about my visit home.............. my answer has been so far so good (not too much to complain about). I have been tolerating bed rest well (probably too well), preterm labor has been minimal per Dr. Bartelsymeyer, and my blood pressure has been 120-130's over 70-80's. My migraines have come in clusters usually causing a rough day with slight nausea and musculoskeletal pain, but when migraines are absent it been great, I'm relaxed, pain free and can usually focus on some of my various projects I planned on accomplishing.

My new limiting factor is my Belly - it's Hugh - I mean It starts from my hips and gets bigger and bigger till you get to the other hip. My most irritating or annoying thing which is minimal is my itchy stomach (a.k.a. developing stretch marks). I lather in Tummy Butter (4-6 times a day) to reduce the itch and hopefully the lines my skin wants to make. This belly makes for one big obstacle, since when I sit up my circulation is obstructed to my legs from the weight. If I sit too long my legs will turn purplish blue and my head will sometimes throb because it's trying to push the blood to my feet so hard, so blogging is getting more challenging, but I just plan to take my time and get it written sooner or later.

My visit home was great. We went to my Mom's house for a pool party and barbecue. Although, Chris, Jason & Kyle were unable to attend due to the little guys having a flu virus with the runs the night before, I still made the most of it. So watching them swim and enjoy summer was put on hold.
Usually every Sunday in summer my Mom and her Sisters ( Carol & Sandy) come over to swim along with their families and ours. So about 10 adults were there this time. My only downfall was that it was too hot for me to sit outside by the pool since I couldn't swim. I would dangle my feet for about 20 minutes or so in the pool then go inside to cool off. The best part was seeing everyone and the food (nothing beats real homemade food). Well the visit did take a toll when I returned. First of all it was hard to leave, I was sad to go back, but realized it was a nice break and I knew getting back to rest was what my body needed ( funny thing was I finally took naps for 2 days). So a new perspective is what helped me realize I can complete this task and I have my family to back me. It was a nice day and a great memory for the summer of 08.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Day Pass with My Family

Jason Queen of All Saints First T-Ball Picture

Kyle with his tackle Box

Jason & Dad Fishing @ Busch Wildlife

Kyle trying to fish all by himself.

Sandy & Kyle at the zoo! Thank God for Great Aunts (& Uncles too).

JellyStone over the 4th of July with Dad, Grandma & Grandpa

When your placed in the Hospital you think its just for a few weeks (especially when your due anytime as the docs tell you) then the weeks become a month and by the time you realize how good your doing on strict bed rest all you can think about is going home getting back to your real life .................... I just keep forgetting my real life is over ..................... I have a new and exciting one approaching, but I'm just not ready to give up what I have yet. Don't get me wrong I'm elated at our progress, these 4 little ones are fighters, but every time I see my 2 little guys visit I just can't help but think about them and what I'm missing in the real world. My husband is doing a fantastic job, but I can tell he probably is thinking the same thing ................ I'd love to get back to normal, with Jill home and helping me out. So I keep trying to remind myself that nothing is normal for us until everyone is home and we figure out just exactly what our new normal is.

There are 4 Doctors that round on me during the 7 day work week, I think 5 residents or so and a Nurse practitioner - all of them have become people you look forward to seeing, talking to, and enjoying their quick but routine company. Dr. Moore is a partner of Dr. Bartelsymeyer and she saw me today Saturday July 19th. After introducing her to my boys, I told her that I am going stir crazy in here and am ready to go home ( It feels like jail with hospitality )........... knowing full well this was not an option I just wanted her to know I'm getting done .... She replied with the best news a Bed rest victim could ask for ...... Would you like a pass to go somewhere??? Do you think I pondered that question long ........ I think I answered when .... she said today, tomorrow but only for 3 hours ............. I said tomorrow ... My family ( meaning everyone on my mom's side) swims at my parents house usually every summer on Sundays so this is where I want to be..... A little taste of the world outside and my normal life restored again for 3 hours. It will be hell to leave, but it will sure be great to get out, feel normal and enjoy my favorite thing ... family.

As for my pictures ......... I thought you'd like to see what my other world has been up too.. glad to see their enjoying summer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

29 Weeks and Counting

Well there still on track, growing together, have plenty of fluid around each of them, and having minimal contractions. Plus not to make light of the situation, but all of my babies are practicing breathing, scoring perfect on their Biophysical Profiles which makes for a steady and relaxed week(s). I constantly get asked what their weights are (which I would love to know each week also), but.................. the good thing is that they continue to grow together and on track .............. so that means no need to evaluate them any sooner than 3 weeks. In medicine more tests = more problems. Great for them, too bad for us !!!
I have had a few more headaches (almost daily) and bouts of nausea throughout the last week and a half. Apparently, My headaches are Tension migraines. They usually happen in the a.m. and will continually increase to nausea symptoms if I don't alleviate them with floricet. I seem to be getting more fatigued, but my mind doesn't seem to always listen to my body. So I have been put on a rest restriction between 2-4 to give myself down time. It's hard to nap daily then expect to sleep all night, but Ambien seems to help if I get too restless. I have been working on my multiples letters to companies after the babies are born, so we can just make copies of their birth certificates then send them out. These letters will help support our large family with diapers, food, etc.
This weeks highlight happened on Sunday, we met with Aisha Barton, a reporter for The Lifestyles Section of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. They interviewed Chris and I about having older children and being on bed rest with multiples. They took lots of pictures with my family in my St. John's dorm room and plan to publish the article on Saturday July 26th. We were glad to have the article focus on us with Jason & Kyle. It will be a great keepsake.
Hope your all enjoying the Heat and good barbecue - I'll be their next year with everyone..... It's still a dream even though reality is getting closer.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sometimes A Day Makes Such A BIG Difference

When your in the hospital, days change, usually the time spent throughout the day has some positives and usually a few negatives, but the fear of many unknowns consumes you. The nurses and doctors visit regularly making you feel comfortable that your here and that they are aware of your unique situation, BUT their is always something to be stressed or worried about when lives are concerned, especially little lives. When you think about special days, unique days in you life nothing more special comes to mind than seeing the ultrasounds of your babies.

As I think about my day, I'm glad that I get to be somewhere else in the hospital for a little while other than my room. This little retreat is 4 hours spent on the smallest and shortest bench, in a dark room, on your back. It doesn't sound like fun, but at the same time it helps you reinforce why your doing all of this and how unbelievable this miracle really is.

So It's Monday morning and I've been anxiously awaiting for 3 weeks to find out how well they are doing. It's funny how nervous and excited you get in just a few moments. As the stenographer preps me, the familiar questions arise ..... how many weeks are you, ..what are you having, ....if you don't mind me asking... what fertility did you do???? To there amazement and my world wind of a story we laugh and ease into the objective of the day. It's always the same scenario .... now which one is baby A .. a boy or girl. ( funny thing is they have guidelines from the last ultrasound to determine this question. ) Apparently as they get bigger the babies shift upward/downward via for extra space and room. As she scans Baby A she tells me how hard it is to get her to rotate and get measurements on her. (not a surprise since she is on the bottom and has been very difficult from day 1.) For those of you who have been pregnant, lying on your back is not a very relaxing position, especially since I get lightheaded and dizzy sometimes having to sit up just so I won't get sick. Apparently, her head has shifted into position for delivery and is very comfortable and complacent in this spot. So she gets the measurements as efficiently as possible and finally says .............. your Baby weighs 2Lbs. 7oz. I am shocked, tearing up, relieved and elated all at the same time. As Dr. B. stated the furthest baby is the one we get most concerned with the further you go along in this pregnancy. Usually this baby will not get the same amount of nutrients as the rest and will ultimately lag in weight sometimes determining the need to deliver. As I think about this little girl, she just keeps showing her brothers and sister and for that matter DR.B that shes not giving in and plans to be just as big and healthy as the rest. You Go GIRL... I'm so proud of her already.

Then nonchalantly she moves on to Baby B. while I'm still reveling over Baby A's weight. Baby B lies on my right side, his head is up in my ribs and he doesn't budge from this spot. Although he is very active , his position makes for a very uncomfortable and nagging pain. I just try to remember if I push on him I am pushing on his head and that has to hurt worse than what I feel. Thank goodness he is easy to measure and soon Baby B. weighs..... 2Lbs. 9oz. Wow ..... That's great, the stenographer says.... I said yeah, with a big smile on my face...... then she said no your baby is practicing breathing .... that is really early..... WAY TO GO STEROIDS!!!! 28 weeks and my boys lungs are developing !!!! She shows me and we both laugh and watch in amazement.

Baby C is also a boy. He is directly across from Baby B, although he is lying head down above Baby A. So his Butt is on my other ribs ...... I wonder how I even breathe sometimes. He is My biggest baby .... weighing in at 2Lbs. 13oz. ..... He gained a whole pound in 3 weeks. The stenographer just elated at his size and said they are all looking so good ..... just what a Mom wants to hear, let me correct that Needs to hear.

O.K. one more................. Baby D a little girl and the last to be evaluated. So by now it's been 31/2 hours, 2 potty breaks, 1 maybe 2 readjustments and Tons .. I mean Tons of ultrasound gel slapped across my abdomen ( if they ever get the temperature right I'd really appreciate it.) So She get her measurements, explains that she is lying across my abdomen and weighs 2Lb. 10oz. Then we watch for breathing ......15 minutes later, she like her brother practices breathing.

What else can I say ........................... Except Some DAYS make such A BIG Difference.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Working towards 28 Weeks

Well I'm heading into 28 weeks completed. It seems as though the last week and a half went really fast. I've had lots of visitors, new people to meet (a.k.a. nurses, doctors, assistants, residents) and a new environment to get used too. I felt fine, wasn't having contractions, no blood pressure issues and/or swelling. I figured everything will be a piece of cake, just like it has been.

As I recall from my last letter, my glucose tolerance test was still undecided - I am not Diabetic !! I think I ate a load of candy and sugar once I was cleared and o.k. I still am having rare to infrequent contractions. I seem to have them prior to needing to go to the potty and/or just after. The physician said my uterus is very distended (that's an understatement) and that uterine irritability will and is going to happen. I saw the babies on ultrasound on Monday and Thursday, they checked their heart tones and fluid surrounding them to make sure they are all doing well. So far so good. As for growth, I will find out Monday what they all weigh. I cannot wait. I am very excited to find out.

As for the later portion of this week, I asked for physical therapy to see me. I needed something to do to keep my strength up and mind focused on something else besides lying in bed. As I think about being here, I'm not sad, just tired of resting, feeling fatigued, and lately having a constant migraine that has been continuous. ( This migraine is a problem - it is a warning sign that can signal PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension) or preeclampsia. Lately my blood pressures are starting to rise systolically - 120-130. Not to alarming yet, but they are starting to rise. Thankfully, I do not need blood pressure medicine to control it yet, but probably will be starting soon. Dr. Bartelsmeyer felt that I would be starting my steroid shots by the 28Th maybe 29Th week, but I started them today, 27 weeks and 5 days. This was a known fact I would be receiving them since it matures the babies lungs, is usually effective prior to 34 weeks and will only be a positive for the babies, but on the other hand it may start causing more contractions for me. We will see.

As I write today my mind struggles with wanting this to be over and knowing if it was over I would have a bigger haul in front of us. So BE POSITIVE is my mindset I have to rely on. I just keep thinking 2 more weeks then 2 more after that, I've already accomplished so much and have been here already for almost 2 weeks. I CAN and WILL do this - I HAVE TOO. I find myself letting these thing start to bug me, but I have no control. Now it's a race against time and what my body can endure. My mind is my responsibility ~ and I will take care of that.

As for my boys, Chris & I wanted them to get a chance to go on a mini vacation this weekend. So I booked a campsite at Jellystone Park Campground (the one next to six flags). Chris said they are having a great time swimming, roasting marshmallows, having breakfast with Yogi and Boo Boo and enjoying the parks playground, riding their big wheels and nighttime parades. I love the fact they are having a good time and look forward to sharing pictures with you all.

P.S. Molly and Callie I hope you had a great birthday weekend.. I miss you all and am looking forward to seeing you in October.
Thank you all for your support & prayers - lets keep rolling along. Jill