{Guest Post} A Beautiful Ruckus!

My friend, Rebecca, was kind enough to assemble this really informative guest post for you guys on what it's like to have and raise quadruplets. I love that she shares insight and experiences garnered over the past two years with her adorable crew—everything from dealing with the curious (not so nice) public to handling the rapidly changing family dynamic that is multiples. She survived the baby phase and is one of the many inspirational women that gives me the confidence of knowing I will, too! You can follow Rebecca and her crew at her own blog, A Beautiful Ruckus.

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I was so excited to get an email from Amber asking if I would guest post! I’ve been following her journey since I found out about her when she was pregnant. I always get a little on the wildly excited side when I find out that a new set of quads are on the way!

Of course, once the excitement of writing a post wore off, I realized that I actually had to write said post. How does one cram life with quadruplets into a few measly words?

We began our road to quadruplets like many other multiple parents to be…looking at a negative pregnancy test. We struggled with infertility because I hardly ever ovulate, and when I do, it’s completely inconsistent. That definitely hampers the ability to have kids. Because of that, we started pursuing our options by speaking with my OB-GYN. We weren’t interested in any of the more invasive fertility options right off the bat. We just wanted to know the basics…how do I get myself to ovulate?

The answer seemed simple enough: Use an ovulation drug! All the drug was meant to do was cause an egg to drop. That’s it. Boy, it worked like a charm. Two months of that, my ovaries got overly enthusiastic, and *BAM* quadruplets. 

27 weeks pregnant...six days before giving birth!

I’d be lying if I said I was “wildly excited” at first. Terrified and angry is a little more accurate. A higher-order multiple, high-risk pregnancy is no small thing. But, God was incredibly gracious to our family, and my husband took up the brunt of the housework while I attempted to grow four little kids at the same time.

They were born at 27 weeks, 6 days gestation and that was followed by three months of NICU time. We finally brought the last baby home from the hospital on their original due date. 

Caleb, Elijah, Elizabeth, and Abigail just after they came home from the hospital.
Photo by www.abundantmoments.com.
Next month, our kids will be two (already?!), and we are constantly running after our toddlers at this point! We have certainly had our ups-and-downs as every set of new parents experiences. Ours were just times four!

I think the hardest part of adapting to quadruplets is just the lack of resources and understanding that goes with it. It is never comforting to a mother’s heart to hear the doctor say, “We just don’t have enough information about quadruplet pregnancies to give you any sort of idea what’s normal.” Uh-oh!

8 months old by www.edahlphotography.com
Additionally, well-intentioned strangers also seem to want to share their wisdom about how things should be done. Coming from people who have no idea what it’s like to raise multiples, let alone quadruplets, it can be a little hard to swallow smart aleck retorts…especially when the same comments are made over and over again. I absorb as much as I can from more experienced moms (of any number of children!) but I do have a hard time when someone tells me what I should do.

A lot of the challenges have come from needing to find our own way of doing things by changing what normally works for a singleton or set of twins to fit what will work in our situation. It’s uncharted territory which makes it exciting and scary at the same time!

But it is easily one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done. This “raising quadruplets” project is really hilarious on so many levels. 

The kiddos in August 2012.
First of all, watching them interact is pure joy! They have this silly little game where they chase each other around screaming in delight. It’s noisy, but so sweet to see them playing together! Or when one of them is sad, another will bring over their special loveys to comfort them without me even asking. They know each other so well; it’s truly amazing.

Second, watching ourselves try to maintain some sanity while figuring this out is a riot! One of my favorite stories from our sleep deprived days involved my husband. He looked down at his feet and couldn’t find his socks. He was so exhausted that he literally didn’t know where his socks went or remember ever taking them off of his feet. And then of course, there is the job of simply stepping over the gate from our kitchen into our living room while navigating four short people who insist on watching our every move.

Third, if you ever want to know what people are really thinking, parade a set of quads past them. All of the social niceties and screens disappear in a blink. I don’t mind answering questions about how we ended up with quads or what it is like to raise them, but there is a nice way and a not-so-nice way to pry into someone’s personal life. I find the questions funny-even the rude ones-only because if I didn’t, I might find it irritating.

The biggest thing I’ve learned though is that our family has its own reality. There are many accepted ways of raising, feeding, putting to sleep, taking out to play, and all of the other parenting responsibilities that go with having children. They don’t all work at our house. Not because we have no interest in them, but because they simply can’t work with so many little ones. I used to kick myself for not being that mother I thought I would be, but now I’ve come to respect that I’m the best mother that I can be in this situation. 

October 2012 at the Pumpkin Patch.
To us, quadruplets are normal. While I still have a hard time believing we have quads, it doesn’t feel strange to us at all. That’s what we know. That’s what we’ve adapted to. And that’s what we enjoy!

So, going back to my goal of summing up our journey in a few words, I guess I would have to go with: Exhilarating, Exhausting, Hilarious, Terrifying, Fun, Exciting, Tedious, Cautionary, Hyper-Vigilant…but ultimately, Worth It.

2 comments:

  1. Well summed up, Rebecca! The best part is embracing that this is our normal and we do it all our own ways. I'm like you, I try just to laugh at the commentary of others. It's not worth getting wound up about and they just don't know better sometimes. Your crew is getting so big and cute!

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  2. I came through Rebecca's blog, but now I am gonna add your's to my list of "consistent reads" :D We have had infertility our whole married life (3.5 years) and just got insurance for the first time this week, so we are praying God sends us babies... although I'd be lying if I said I am hoping for quads. :-p ;-) Twins maybe, but I think quads take a VERY Special and strong momma...and I don't think it's me. ;-)

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