I left off by saying I'd been taken to recovery where my husband, mom and step-dad were all at my bedside. I was shaking quite a bit from downright fatigue, blood loss and the shock on my system from the delivery. Taking out four placentas and four babies after your body has gone through one helluva fight to maintain them is a wee bit of a change! The shaking was annoying, but so was the pain that came with it—I was trying to keep from shaking and it caused my stomach muscles to tense (or attempt to anyway) and it hurt like the dickens. Plus, I'd puked after eating too many ice chips and that hurt like, well, whatever hurts worse than the dickens. Shortly after, they asked my husband and parents to wait in my hospital room for me while they wrapped up my recovery stay and got me ready to wheel back in. Oh goody, I thought, I can get back to the privacy of my room.
They got my IV bags all situated and checked my incision, which was sealed with some nifty stuff called Dermabond. There were no stitches or sutures, they'd basically glued me shut! My OB later informed me that within about six hours after the incision is closed it becomes waterproof and it took less than two weeks to completely heal. The scar turned out to be minimal and the glue was easily removed using alcohol pads and peeling it off. I was a bit of a chicken for the first couple days and didn't want to look at my incision, relying on the nurses to check it. It literally felt like it stretched from hip to hip, which is because my stomach was so big when I delivered. But as my stomach slowly shrinks, so does the scar and it's like a third of the size it was before. I'm quite pleased with the results!
But anyway, before the nurse could take me to my room she had to be sure there were no major blood clots remaining in my uterus. To do this, she had to press down all over my stomach with her hands, exerting enough force to dislodge anything left behind. This hurt so bad I yelled. I have never felt such pain in my life. Fresh out of surgery having delivered four babies with rearranged organs inside and muscles that had torn apart from becoming so distended—ouch! I thought I might pass out for a second but no such luck, and off we went to my room.
At this point my nurse gave me a limited dose of Morphine (I think), which thankfully relieved the pain and knocked me out for awhile. I groggily slept off and on the rest of the day with my husband, my mom and my step-dad going back and forth between my room and the NICU. I had a catheter from the surgery so there was no need for me to get out of bed, thank goodness, since I could barely move without intense pain anyway. Once the drugs started wearing off, I had to rely on pain pills to get the job done.
The next morning, the nurse removed my catheter expecting me to be able to make it to the bathroom within the next few hours. My day nurse had arrived and I told her my stomach was starting to hurt because I knew my bladder was full (I drank like a horse from a trough while I was pregnant with the quads, averaging four gallons of water a day!). In fact, I had a huge bulge on one side of my stomach as proof! But alas, I couldn't even make it off the side of my bed. I managed to sit up in a stream of tears and cries, but the pain was so overwhelming I couldn't push myself any further. This went on the rest of the morning and my doctor prescribed some injections for the pain to help me get past the "hump." At last I was able to get up and make it to the bathroom but couldn't go anyway and had to get the catheter back for another day.
During all of this, I was having a very difficult time connecting the dots. Reality hadn't set in that I'd had four babies because I hadn't really seen them. All I wanted to do was get to the NICU! But I wasn't even able to get into a wheel chair, so how was I going to manage getting there? The charge nurse that day was absolutely wonderful and had often stopped by my room to chat and see how I was doing during my pregnancy. She arranged for me to get into a smaller bed so they could wheel me upstairs and into the NICU. They actually squeezed my bed into the pod where our babies were so I could see each of them in person! (All this time, I'd be looking at pictures and video my husband was bringing back from his visits there.) The entire process was painful and time consuming, but everyone was so incredibly patient and accommodating and it meant the absolute world to me.
Remember our tiniest baby, Baby D, the last to be delivered? She was 2 lbs 6 oz at birth. Well, she surprised everyone by coming off her oxygen by the day after delivery and she wasn't attached to anything except her standard monitors for heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. I got to hold her that very afternoon, on her second day of life. It was one of the most amazing experiences I'll ever have and it was incredibly surreal to cradle such a small living body in my arms. She was crying as the nurses gently maneuvered her out of her isolette and then she immediately settled down as they set her on my chest. A flood of emotions swelled over me. This is what all the struggling had been for, this is why I held out as best I could to carry four babies as long as my body would let me. This was the moment I'd been waiting for. It was all completely worth it.
Everything else faded away as I was wheeled to the bedside of each of my four new babies. They were all perfect in every way, beautiful newborns with strong little hands that gripped my fingers and squeezed my heart. By this time our little boy, Harrison, was already on a ventilator and went through a life-threatening struggle the following week—but my husband and I still treasured the fact that all the quadruplets had arrived safely and we were now proud new parents times four!
|Our boy on the ventilator with a chest tube for air pockets outside his lungs.|
But my incredibly supportive husband was right there alongside me and my mom, who'd been with us for a month now, helped me transition home and settle in. The nurse that admitted me when I'd first arrived to the hospital was, appropriately, the one to discharge me when I left. She, along with many other nurses at the hospital, had made such a difference in my stay. They were absolutely wonderful in their care and their support for me while I was there. They would often come in to chat when things slowed down for a few minutes, keeping me company on the long days that seemed to drag on forever and then keeping people away and keeping me comfortable on the bad days that were so hard to endure. I thank God every day for putting me in the right hospital with the right caretakers and the right doctor! I truly believe He guided each and every one of them to lead us to such a healthy delivery.
|Baby girl A, Trystan on day two.|
|Baby girl B, Kailey. She was a tummy baby at first and didn't want to sleep any other way!|
|The husband giving one of the babies a feeding through their feeding tube.|