{Quad Squad} Hospital Life

Well, I'm on Day Four of my long-term hospital stay and thankfully I can report that things are going better now than they have the past couple days. My wonderful doctor is very conservative with our quad pregnancy and is all about preventative measures, so when I came in on Monday he started me on an IV of magnesium sulfate to stop any contractions. I mentioned it briefly in my last post and also about the side affects that come with it—boy, those are no joke. That medicine is rough. Some people tolerate the side effects better than others, but I can not be counted among them. The first initial bad patch was the fluid restriction. Mag can cause your body to retain more fluids than necessary, which can result in major swelling and fluid spilling over into your lungs. So you are restricted to the amount of fluids you can drink and the nurses measures how much you take in and how much you expel to be sure they add up close enough and that you aren't retaining.

The husband and I getting ready to leave for the hospital. I'm 22 weeks here.
I can easily drink four gallons of water a day with this pregnancy, it's been that way since the beginning. I am always thirsty for water. So I went from that to just 1/2 a gallon for a 24-hour period. Not the happy camper was I. It was really hard for me and even affected my ability to eat because my mouth was so dry and I didn't have enough fluid allocation to properly wash down meals if I wanted to be able to have sips of water the rest of the day and through the night. I spent 22 hours on the magnesium before it finally took it's toll. I was trying to nap and suddenly woke up with a really hot face, chest tightness, throat swelling and soreness and dizziness. They took me off the mag, ran a blood panel, did an EKG test on my heart, took my vitals, gave me water and the doctor came to check me out as well. I could barely talk and I was really lethargic. After getting some water in me over the next several hours, I worked up to food and by late night was feeling much better. I got some sleep and woke up like a new person the next day.

"Here we go!"
But I knew we were going to try it all again, because the doctor really wants me to be having no contractions—that means no pre-term labor, which is what we want. So I geared up and gave it my best shot, we cut the dosage in half and started again. This time I only made it six or seven hours before my body started responding badly again with mind-splitting headaches, nausea and vomiting. They stopped the medication, I slowly started drinking more water and took most of the night to recover.

Waving our goodbyes, knowing I won't be home until the quads are born.
This morning, the husband (who was so sweet and slept over with me at the hospital because I was so sick) and I pow-wowed with my doc and came up with a new plan. I'm now back on the Procardia to help keep contractions at bay—it also lowers your blood pressure—and am on a contraction monitor around the clock. About once a week, he plans to give me Indomethacin (get details here) for a 48-hour period to calm any contractions and attempt to keep things docile. I can feel like crap for 48 hours, just not around the clock for weeks at a time! Please say a prayer that this plan works well, as we need at least three more weeks for these babies to grow and mature. I can't believe I hit our first "vitality marker" next week when I turn 24 weeks. Crazy! There's also the concern that my cervix has shortened from 4.4 to 3.6 cm, so we'll be keeping an eye on that as well. It really needs to stay around there and not change much and I'm hoping that this hospital bed rest and limited activity enables that to happen.

*Update: My contractions have increased, so I am now on the Indomethacin for the next 48 hours to see if they can be stopped. If they don't, I'll likely go back on the magnesium sulfate IV.

Yours truly holed up in "hospital jail."
Overall, hospital life stays pretty busy. Nurses take your vitals every few hours, check my contraction monitor, take the babies' heart rates once a day, bring me my medicine, apply my foot pumps (they inflate around my calves to keep blood clots from forming) and so on. Then there's the meal deliveries and random visits from staff members like head nurses, the local chaplain and such. Sometimes there's a knock on my door nearly every 10 minutes and other times it stays quiet for awhile. I'm doing better with sleeping at night as I get used to my surroundings, so hopefully soon I'll be able to take naps as well. I haven't been able to do much the past few days, but now that I'm feeling better I'm getting a little work done and plan to catch up on magazines and the Food Network. I stay fairly exhausted most of the time because of the medicine and, well, the fact that these four babies are now growing faster than ever. I'm hoping by next week I'll have adjusted to the contraction medication and gotten more rest and will be able to start accommodating visitors!

The glamorous hospital life.
A nutritionist met with me this week and thankfully wasn't as concerned with trying to stuff me full of calories I don't have a lot of room for, but rather focusing on foods that counted and giving me a high protein shake and protein powder twice a day. I'm also eating three meals and two small snacks—or attempting to eat that, anyway—each day to ensure I'm getting enough food to fuel the quads.

I can end this post with a good solid bit of news, fortunately. At my ultrasound yesterday, the babies ALL scored an eight out of eight on their biophysical profiles! This takes into account things like their lungs and breathing, hearts, movement, etc. I was definitely one proud momma! The tech said several times that they all looked so good for quads. Now we just  need them to grow, I'll be anxious to find out how much they weigh at our next anatomy scan but that's not for two more weeks I think.

The kiddos move so much and it's so fun to watch them on the screen. At one point, Baby A (the strong little girl at the bottom of the pile that we lovingly refer to as the "gatekeeper" since she's holding everybody in) decided she really needed to relocate a bit. Her lungs started puffing like she was working up to it, then she surged forward, kicking Baby B in the head to accomplish her movement and re-situated in a new spot. And during a recent heart rate check, Baby D (our "trouble maker") must've gotten annoyed. The nurse was searching for her and all the sudden D kicked the doppler square on so hard it made the nurse's hand jump! And of course, Baby C (our boy) moves the most still, and seems to often be kicking and pushing his sisters over to make room. His new thing is to face downward and arch his back, which produces an odd-looking lump on my stomach. So to say their personalities are already forming is a bit of an understatement.

I'll be back with another update over the weekend and our grand baby name reveal! Thanks for reading and for all your wonderful prayers!

14 comments:

  1. Just started following your blog, glad to hear all the babes are doing so well!
    You're really an inspiration. When I complain about a back ache (and I only have one in the oven) I think of how positive and tough you're being for the quads.
    So excited to keep reading!

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    1. What a nice thing to say, Erin! And welcome to my crazy blog, ha. Glad to hear I can inspire someone, some days I feel like I'm a web of issues and other days are better. I think that goes for any pregnancy! Best wishes on yours!

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  2. Glad you're doing so well! I forgot to comment earlier as a former bedrest mom - if you start getting sore on the mattress see if they'll find you something else. I had some extra padding on mine, but if I would have been in much longer they would have provided me with the kind of bed they use in the ICU. It can help keep you more comfortable.

    Mom of a 31 weeker who did 17 days in-patient (although I hope you're there much longer!)

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  3. you are such a trouper..you must get that from your Mom....I love your quaud updates..

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  4. Keep those updates coming Amber! We have been praying for you and are so pleased to go on this journey with you through your posts. As soon as you are ready for visitors let me know and I will make a plan to stop by with some goodies for you (sans kiddos so you still get your rest!). Keep it up, you are doing a great job! You can do it!

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  5. Amber..Thanks for posting a update! SO glad you are feeling better, sounds like things were pretty rough those first few days. You have such a wonderful support team in your wonderful hubby and that "Great" Mom of yours..she is a inspiration to all of us "Grandmas", love reading her blog.
    Will continue the prayers and look forward to your posts.

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  6. Amber, it sounds like you are in the best hands ever. I loved seeing the picture's of (5) of your hairy kiddos. I know you miss them. Mike is the sweetest husband, I know you know that I just want you to know that everyone notices what a great guy he is.
    Our love and prayers are with you all!

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  7. I thoroughly enjoy seeing your photos and hearing the updates on both your blog and your Mom's.
    You're on my Prayer List and I pray for you and the babies each morning and throughout the day as you post updates. . .Glad your feeling better after a rough few days.

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    1. Amber I a so proud of you. Those little rascals are blessed to have such an amazing mom and dad. Sending you tons of positive vibes and good wishes. Hang in there kid!

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  8. Amber, you are amazing!
    How blessed your babes are to have such wonderful parents and such an amazing family!
    You have all been in our prayers since your Mom's first announcement!
    So happy to hear that the scores were good on the biophysical study! I wish you all sleep tonight!
    ~Lynne
    w/L.

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  9. I'm so glad to hear you are feeling some better and are up to posting. I've been keeping up with you through your momma & knew you had been very sick. Girl, you are so tough! You should be so very proud of yourself. Keep up the wonderful work :)

    I found it interesting that you said your boy kicks and moves the most. When I was pregnant with my son he NEVER quit moving. This pregnancy (a girl) is much different though. She moves very little in comparison to what he did.

    Can't wait for the name reveal!!!!

    Sending lots of love and prayers for you all.

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  10. I've been following your blog for a while and you are definitely a super mom! I'm on hospital bed rest with twins now and can't imagine having 2 more babies in my belly. I was on mag 2 weeks ago and it was definitely no fun. Hang in there! You are doing amazing!!!!

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  11. I am so glad I found your blog. I am currently 14 weeks with quads and you are the first blog/person that I have found who is also currently pregnant with four munchkins! I laid on the couch tonight and read from your 11 week post to today. You have done great and I hope the indomethicin works. Dreading the mag sulfate myself! I also have a blog at thelittlestlesnaus.blogspot.com. I would also love to chat via email if you need something to occupy your hospital time.

    Krista
    Kristalesnau@hotmail.com

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  12. Wow! I'm so happy fro you guys.

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