* * * *
I stumbled across Texas Tales a little less than a year ago as I feverishly Googled “quadruplets”, “quadruplet pregnancy”, “pregnant with quads” and all things quadruplets. I wasn’t stalking quad blogs. Okay, I was stalking, but for good reason. I was hoping to find someone, anyone expecting quads who could offer support. There is plenty of literature about twin and even triplet pregnancies, but you are hard pressed to find anything about quadruplets or more. I hoped Octomom and Kate Gosselin weren’t the only ones would could relate to me. Once I reached Texas Tales, I immediately contacted Amber hoping for any advice tips or just someone to tell me I wasn’t a freak of nature. Little did I know, I would find a friend, confident, and cheerleader in Amber. She was about 7 weeks ahead of me in her quad pregnancy and always shared what to expect next. She offered countless words of encouragement during the dog days of bed rest, navigating the NICU, and then managing sleepless nights. In fact, she still does! I absolutely love seeing what her quadlings are doing because chances are mine will follow suit within the next two months. The best part is when I can snag her schedule and adapt it for my brood. Amber is now someone I call a friend, but we haven’t even met in person (yet!).
|My cousin took maternity pictures while I was on bed rest at 20 weeks. |
Here I am with our furbabies, Sasha and Lily.
By now, I’m sure you’re wondering how I became part of the 40/40 club. For exactly four years, my husband, George, and I traveled the painful, frustrating road of infertility. After the first few years, we eventually sought help from a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). Because infertility treatment was not covered by our insurance, we contemplated finances and decided where to draw a line in the sand. Our RE recommended we try IUI. IUI is considered low tech and is usually the place to start. After four failures, patients are encouraged to consider moving to IVF. George and I thought about this and decided we could financially and emotionally afford four IUIs and would abandon the idea of biological children if unsuccessful. The first two were total failures. We were overjoyed when the third resulted in a singleton pregnancy. At the first ultrasound, our RE found a strong heartbeat and boasted that 96% of the time when a heartbeat is seen the baby is delivered full term. A week later, as I confidently went alone to a follow up ultrasound, I learned that we fell into the four percent group where the baby could not survive. George and I were devastated by our loss especially with the impending holiday season. We didn’t know whether our baby was boy or a girl, but the loss pained us in an unexpected way. It was the loss not only of a baby, but of our dreams of having a family. After a lot of prayer, we chose to head to Mexico for Thanksgiving as a means of reconnecting with each other.
As it turned out, our last minute getaway resulted in a crummy resort and we doubted our decision to skip the family gatherings. I recall praying on our first night that we would find solace and hope that we would someday build a family together. That night was a restless one and we ended up getting up as the sun rose that morning. By 7:00 am, we had already eaten breakfast and began a long walk along the beach. About 30 minutes into our walk, we noticed a crowd forming for no apparent reason. As we approached, we quickly realized there was a clutch of sea turtles that recently hatched and began their journey to the sea. As I saw these tiny sea turtles make such a treacherous journey, an overwhelming sense of calm washed over me. Thankfully, my aviator sunglasses concealed the warm tears streaming down my cheeks. The scene unfolding in front of my eyes was absolutely incredible and I felt as if God was whispering directly into my ear that yes, we would someday have the family of our dreams. My hope was restored and I was ready to try again. When I rehashed the story of the sea turtles to a friend, she told me that sea turtles are symbols of motherhood and fertility. Amazing!
On New Year’s Day I underwent my fourth IUI full of hope. I vividly recall our RE saying our chances of multiples were very slim considering our previous failures. We were given a mere 15% chance of success at that. Two weeks after the procedure we were elated to discover a big fat positive on my home pregnancy test and were stunned when my blood work showed extremely high levels of HcG (pregnancy hormone). George and I hoped we might be expecting twins and feared the possibility of triplets. February 2, 2012 we went to our clinic for our first ultrasound hoping to see a healthy heartbeat. We were stunned when the computer screen revealed not two or three dark circles but FOUR! Our RE appeared a bit flustered by the revelation and left the two of us alone to simmer on the news. As soon as we were alone, I glanced at George and said, “We are meant to have quadruplets. Do you recall how many sea turtles we saw? FOUR.” Each of those fragile sea turtles made it safely to sea and I knew our tiny babies would all survive their treacherous journey as well.
On July 20, 2012 our quadlings, Rylin Skye, Harper Stone, Sydney Raine, and Mason River made their debut. We never could have fathomed how forty tiny fingers and forty tiny toes could turn our world upside down in such a beautiful way. They are all growing and thriving six month olds with a zest for life. Raising quadruplets is not for the faint of heart. It’s an incredible amount of work, but we would never change one thing!
|Here the quads were four weeks old and took their first picture together. They are all squished into Harpers’ crib in a single Boppy pillow. I am on the left and my sister, Courtney is on the right.|
|This is our first family picture taken in the NICU when the quads were five weeks old.|
A family friend hand made these beautiful sea turtle capes.
I feel incredibly honored to share our story here at Texas Tales. To find out more about our us and what we’re up to these days, please visit our blog at www.fourtoadore.wordpress.com.