6.24.2012

{Quad Squad} Three Weeks Old!

These days, I often find myself looking around our pod in the NICU at our four healthy little babies and I just can't believe I had quadruplets three weeks ago! They actually turned 33 weeks gestational age this Saturday and were born just over three weeks ago on May 31. Suddenly, the delivery seems like a dream and I gaze on each of our cute kiddos' faces and am so grateful God has blessed us with these miracles! Last week, they all reached their birth weights (babies can lose a bit of weight after birth and ours didn't take long to gain it back) and I tried to imagine them all back in my stomach. I have NO idea how they fit in the first place! I also didn't quite realize just how big I'd truly gotten. I only saw myself in a mirror now and then and I had gotten used to having such a big stomach that even in the final weeks, when it grew exponentially, I wasn't able to "see" the difference. It's amazing I didn't tip over on my face every time I stood up! Here is a photo about five days before I delivered...


Well, I've got lots of fun blog posts planned for the coming weeks. There's so much to share, especially the birth story!! I've been working on notes from that for awhile now. It's incredible how quickly the time flies at the moment. The husband and I spend all our extra time at the NICU with the babies, of course. I tend to be up there quite a bit during the day and he comes up after work. And the weekends are dedicated to visiting the NICU then trying to carve out a little time for us to go to dinner, catch a movie or do a few things around the house like set up cradle swings and pack-and-plays, wash baby clothes and organize bottles.

Last night, for instance, we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House down the hall from the NICU. They provide rooms during the day for parents to be able to take naps (perfect for when I'm up there 7-10 hours during a day) and then clean the rooms and reassign them for overnight stays. You put your name on the list and then the charge nurse makes up the final list based first on parents whose babies might be in delicate condition or who are preparing to take them home and then after that it's based on individual situations and needs. Having quads certainly earns us a stay now and then! It was great to be able to stay up late with the babies and we were even able to be right there when they moved Harrison from his isolette into an open crib!! Then we were able to run down and check on them for a second around 1am—Harrison was still doing great and all the girls were sleeping cozily—and then be there first thing in the morning. It enables us to get our visits in early and then head home and still have part of our afternoon left.


We stopped by our local Mexican restaurant for a late lunch and a margarita. Okay, so I had a margarita and a beer... and it may have been one drink too many! I got a little excited and ended up not feeling so hot when we got home. So one drink limit it is, lol. Probably best anyway since I'm currently breast pumping to be sure the babies get milk while they're in the NICU and are so little and young. I have to work pretty hard at it and it pains me to have to pump and dump after a drink (even though sometimes it's worth it!). Pumping has been exhausting and, while I have no intentions of being able to feed four babies and I have no problem with them getting formula, it's just important to me to do what I can for these early, early days.

But back to the BIG news—the babies!! They are doing so incredibly great. Many of you are probably wondering about Harrison and we simply cannot believe how fast he's made a comeback. Two weeks ago, my husband and I were crying our eyes out by his bedside as he dealt with some major lung issues, a brain bleed and a PDA in his heart (a partially closed valve) as well as pulmonary hypertension. You can read all about it in my last post. They are all common issues that preemies often face but poor Harrison kept getting hit with one after the other. At last they got him stabilized and then he really began impressing the socks off everyone. Sunday was his worst day when it all started and by that Thursday, he was off his ventilator!! They put him on a high flow nasal canula, the little tubes that stick in your nose, to help keep his oxygen flowing but it wasn't actually providing him oxygen or working his lungs. He was doing all that very well! Then a few days later, he kept pulling the canula out and sticking it in his mouth so the docs decided to let him try out breathing completely on his own. On top of that, two days ago he got his PICC line removed (a long term IV basically) so now he has no more needles or IV's! Just a feeding tube and his monitors like his sisters! Then last night, they made the big transition from his isolette into an open crib. We were very proud parents to say the least!! He has done so well in it, too, maintaing his body temp with the help of an extra blanket here and there. He'll likely start learning to nipple feed soon, followed by bottles.



All the quads have had their feeding tubes moved from their mouths to their noses to enable them to better practice sucking on their pacifiers, which will in turn prepare them to learn how to nipple and use the bottle. They are all mostly getting my breast milk fortified with extra calories, and it's supplemented with high calorie formula specifically for preemies/low birth weight infants as needed. It's hard to keep up with four hungry babies! Harrison has passed up his sisters already and is currently eating the most and still weighs the most. Here are their current weights:

Harrison, 4lbs1oz
Kailey, 3lbs9oz
Trystan, 3lbs6oz
Logan, 3lbs4oz

We are quite pleased that all the girls topped three pounds within three weeks of birth and they are steadily progressing toward four pounds. Harrison fits perfectly into his preemie outfits and will have to graduate to newborn sizes before long, while the girls have to room to grow in their preemie getup. But they're all so cute and are now wearing clothes every day, I love it! The girls still have some more weight to gain before they can be considered for open cribs but I've no doubt they'll be there soon.

LOGAN

KAILEY

TRYSTAN

HARRISON (Before getting his PICC line out)

It's been a really great week and a good weekend. My mom and my sister drove in town to see all the quads and yesterday they were ALL FOUR held at the same time! It was great, myself, the husband, my mom and my sister each had a baby in our arms. Plenty to go around! It was the same today once they met us at the NICU and I just loved seeing all our babies out of their beds and getting loved on together. We are so blessed!


I appreciate each of your prayers and your continued support of our growing "instant" family. I couldn't imagine my life without a single one of these kids. I am so proud of my body for growing these four amazing babies and I'm thankful for a fantastic supportive husband, for our wonderful families and for the privilege God entrusted us with of raising quadruplets. More posts to come, so stay tuned! :)

10 comments:

  1. Oh, just so precious. So excited to hear how well they are doing and you can actually see a little chubby cheek in Harrison developing. They will be home in no time and then the fun begins. So glad your family is close to be there for you. Thanks for sharing your sweet family with the world. Sherri

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  2. I LOVE THIS and I LOVE YOU!!!
    Your such an inspiration to me. You worked so hard to keep all those precious babies safe and look what a wonderful end result you got. You are one tough gal Mrs. Amber :)

    Those babies of yours are AMAZING, perfect in every single way. Cherish each of them, God has blessed you abundantly.

    Many continued prayers for you and the Quads

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  3. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. <3

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  4. I am so happy everyone is doing well! They are such miracles.

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  5. Simply beautiful and true miracles, especially litte Harrison.God has truly blessed you.
    Sounds like you are doing good, continue prayers for you and the little ones.

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  6. what a wonderful post filled with fabulous news and precious photos!

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  7. A beautiful post. Love the pictures. Won't be any time before you have those little sweeties home. Then the fun begins!

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  8. AnonymousJune 27, 2012

    So happy for you! We were praying for Harrison so hard here in Florida!! I can't wait till you can take them all home- then the adventures really begin!!

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  9. So Tiny and So Precious

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  10. I am 28 weeks tomorrow! Reading about your quads has been so helpful. On Friday I will have been here for 8 weeks!

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