Friday, January 30, 2009

Sandra does not look good in BLUE!

SHHH you have two more hours until dinner!

By the end othe waiting for dinner time, I needed a pacifier!

I'll hold yours, you hold mine!

Today Sandra gave us a huge scare. While Josh and I were down stairs chatting away we heard the monitor alarms go off. No matter what we are doing we stop and run as fast as we can to get to her. We have had false alarms but you never know unless you check on her. Luckily, we took the alarms serious, like always. Sandra was blue and choking on her vomit. She refluxed so bad, it was coming out her nose and mouth causing her to be unable to breathe. Josh starting suctioning her and I was undressing her and trying to stimulate. It was a long several minutes but she started breathing regularly again. Thank God she had her monitor on or we would never have known.

That happened around 6:00 pm. The commotion must have stirred the rest of the girls because until their next feed they were all extremely mad and kept me and Josh on our toes. Nothing worked; bouncy seat, swing, tummy time, laying on their backs holding them or even rocking them. We each had to hold two pacifiers in their mouths and wait until it was time to feed them again.
Well, today was Josh's Birthday. He wanted a double jogging stroller (they don't make a quadruplet one) and mushroom burger for dinner. With help from his mom and dad he got the stroller. I had the hamburger thawed but with the commotion going on with the girls I never got to make it. We ordered his next choice, PIZZA and Buffalo wings. We slammed it down during the 8:00 feed in between burping the girls.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On our own!

Makaila resting peacefully!

Superbowl dosen't start 'til Sunday Honey!

Slumber Party!

Resting up for play time!

Sandra just loves her swimming fishies!

Hannah enjoys her bouncy seat!

Sandra props with a giraffe toy!

Samantha enjoying her dinner!

Makaila and Hannah devour their dinner!

When we found out that Debbie may have to fly home, I asked for outside help. A very sweet and generous lady became our orgainizer and help was on it's way. We had volunteers for two to three of the feedings a day. We met many ladies that were all so kind and willing to help our family. On Sunday, the day Debbie left, Hannah woke up congested. Monday, Makaila and Samantha started followed by Sandra. No not agian! It was absolute horrible for the girls and us the last time they were sick. So, I decided to buck up and go in total RSV lock down, no more volunteers or visitors until April 1st. We are still receiving dinners every other night which is a HUGE stress reliever.

I am managing so much better than I thought I would. The dishes are actually clean, laundry done and I even vacuumed the up stairs today. Granted I have to stop ten times during a chore because one of the girls is fussy but I am getting it done. However, the Christmas tree is still up. I am hoping that Josh and I can get it down this weekend. I am very busy and at times hectic but who said being a quad mom was easy. During the feeds if someone is causing more challenges than necessary (usually Samantha latley) instead of stressing about it, I pick them up and give them hugs and kisses. I also think about how fortuneate we are with our four beautiful girls. I think about the less fortuneate moms and it gets me through the rough patches.

I find myself doing something I never thought I do. I smell so many butts a day it is crazy. You see the girls get a new diaper before every feed and if they poop. Well, they all have gas, so if I smell something I check by smelling butts. If it disapates, it was gas if it lingers they need a diaper change. Another thing I find myself doing is that I can not sit in a rocking chair without rocking now. I actually try not to rock and I still do.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Today, I decided to try to feed all four girls by myself at the noon feeding just to see if I can do it. To be honest, I felt that if I could do that feeding, I could do any of them. Three babies get medicine before that feed and one of them gets two meds. So, it definitely takes more time and patience. I was able to do it, and I still have all of my hair. After a while, I may have a permanent circle on my cheek from holding someones bottle with my face so I can use my hands. We did start to prop Sandra for partial of her bottles. She is doing much better at pacing herself. But I have to watch her ever so close because she did have a brady while being hand fed just yesterday.

Right after I decided to give the feed a try Debbie decided to fly home to be with her mother. So, I am glad that I am able to do it alone. I am glad that Debbie is flying home to be with Grandma but the girls will miss her. Debbie does plan to come back once things have settled down in Missouri and will return with Stan. I know that since I was able to feed that Josh will be able to also. I think he will attempt it tomorrow. We are going to have to prioritize our doctors visits for now. My goal is to have Josh and I rotate the night feedings so that the other can sleep some. He will also have to take a shift of watching them when he gets home from work so that I can do necessities like shower. ha ha Between 8 am and noon it is crazy here. The girls reflux is at it's worst and there is allot of screaming and they need constant care. It is not unusual for me to be trying to console three at once.

The girls are growing and doing great! Their new weights are:
Makaila - 8 lbs 5.5 oz
Hannah - 8 lbs 1 oz
Samantha - 9 lbs 4 oz
Sandra - 6 lbs 3 oz

If I go a little longer than normal without a post, know that we are doing good just extremely busy. Please to continue to keep Josh's grandma and family in your thoughts and prayers.
Thanks to outside help, Josh's mom still being here and a fellow local busy quad mom, I was able to go for my testing yesterday. Thank you all! I survived and it went fairly easy. But, I was exhausted and nauses most of the day. I was not allowed go up and down stairs or carry a baby all day. The girls are upstairs so I had Josh assist me up and I stayed there the whole day. I wanted to be close to my babies. I wasn't able to do much with them until the 8:00 pm feedng though. I missed then so much and I was near them. The doctor told Josh that it showed acid reflux and he did two biopsies. I am confused! I have not had reflux since pregnancy. So, now my questions are; is it let over damage, where and what did he biopsy (stomach or esophagus), how long will the severe pain last and why did he put me on the same medicine that didn't work before? Monday I have to call to make a follow up appointment.

Josh took Samantha to pick up her new burn sleeve. I guess it was a lot further away then we were told and Samantha didn't like the long car ride. The sleeve did not fit and she got upset with them trying to shoove it on. So, all in all, it was two whole days wasted and an upset baby for no reason. Her next appointment with the plastic surgeon is on the 9th where I will get extra silicone and wraps and just use the interem one for the six month time frame.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Josh's Grandma (Debbie's mom) is in ICU with pnemonia, a viral infection and possibly congestive heart failure on a ventilator. Her blood pressure dropped to 50/30. I was trying to get Debbie to fly home but she won't, because she knows how hectic it is, even with her here. The doctors said to contact family members that she was not doing good. Well, a couple days ago our pastor called and asked if we needed help. Not knowing, if Debbie had to fly home or not, I said yes. It is crazy the amount of people that are litterly begging to help. We will have people here for the Noon and 4 pm and sometimes 8 pm. They are starting to bring dinners for us and are going to start to help with chores around the house. Maybe even take down our Christmas tree. ha ha We are lucky to have a very sweet lady coordinate so we do not have to handle all the phone calls or scheduling. She said she has gotten about 70 e-mails and her phone hasn't stopped ringing. I am torn about it all. First, we are over whelmed by all the support and kind people willing to help. But, the reason I didn't want outside help is because of the risk of more germs being brought into the girls fragile lungs during RSV season. But, it is looking like Debbie needs to fly home and we have help lined up and going. I am getting IV sedated tomorrow and swallowing a scope with a camera. The new idea is that I have stomach ulcers. Hannah's reflux is horrible. She is on Reglan and Previcid and still in a lot of pain. She is referred to GI also. Alright, it has taken me several hours to write this, I have four fussies. Please pray for Josh's Grandma and family!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Playing Catch Up!

First, let me catch you up on their last doctors visit. Remember Sandra had to go seven days without a brady in the hospital? When, now she has to have two months free of brady's on the monitor. YUK! I am already tired of the monitor. I am tired of seeing it in pictures, carrying it around, trying to stretch the cords as far as they go, hearing false alarms and just seeing her having to wear it. But I guess it is a good thing she still has it. She had a sleeping brady this morning. If she had waited 5 seconds, I would have been waking her up for a bottle. Luckily, it was a quick brady and she came back on her own. Sandra and Hannah are now both on reflux medicine. The doctor said it will not stop the reflux, it will just happen with a smile now. Apparently Sandra listened and Hannah didn't. Sandra is dealing with it much nicer. But Hannah still screams through hers. The poor girl!

The girls are all gaining good weight. I let the doctor know that we will continue to weigh at home and that it was too hard to bring them all in every two weeks. She was fine with us monitoring their weights at home. Yeah! Sandra and Hannah had their RSV shots this week. I must have tightened Sandra's car seat bed in too tight because we now can't get it out of the car. Josh and I are going to do our own car seat test on the 29th. If she passes, we will put her in a big girl car seat on the 30th to her next appointment.

I had my GI appointment yesterday since I am still having stomach pains. I will be having a EGD (scope down the throat to examine the digestive system) this Friday morning. Unfortunately, I have to be IV sedated and can't bring myself home. I am trying to find someone to come over that morning since we will miss the 8 am feeding. Wish me luck!

I feel like we are constantly playing catch up! Will I ever feel ahead of the game again? I doubt it! So, yes our Christmas tree is still up. Angus (the cat) loves it and the ornaments. And Maxine (the dog) loves to chase the cats under it. Heck, if I leave it up, it'll be one less thing to do next Christmas when the kiddos are mobile. Hum, I way to feel caught up. ha ha

S0, today G Ma and I played dress up with the girls. They had gotten some cute Christmas outfits that they had to wear. Yes, today the day that we welcome a new president, my girls are getting Christmas pictures taken. Well, we decided not to stop there. We actually got their Halloween costumes out and shoved them in. I do mean shove, they were preemie outfits. The hats all made rings around their heads. That is why all four have their pacifiers in their mouths in that picture, they weren't happy about the second round of dress up, 2 1/2 months late.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as we do!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sandra and Hannah are really struggling with reflux. They have to sit up and be close to us so that we can constantly clean up spit up. So, we bring them downstairs and put them on bouncy seats in a crib. I felt bad that Samantha hadn't been down with us in a while so I brought her down for a visit.

Sandra on reflux watch!

Maxine loves her sisters. She is so gentle with them. She sometimes beats us upstairs if one is crying.

And Josh wonders why he has so much cat hair on his clothes!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Too Cute!

This picture is so adorable I had to post it. Sandra has reflux so bad that she has never been able to lay flat. So, Josh came up with the idea of laying her on Samantha. It worked out great and the girls enjoyed it. Makaila and Hannah had a lot to catch up on and enjoyed each others company.

Brief Update!

A week of yet more appointments. Yesterday (Monday) Samantha had a plastic surgery appointment. The doctor is pleased with how her arm is healing and wants to see her again in a month. If he is pleased at that appointment, he'll see her in six months. Today Maxine has an appointment at the vet for her yearly vaccinations. Tomorrow, we will take all four girls to the pediatrician. We are having to take two cars because Sandra's car seat bed takes up two seats. Friday, Josh has a dentist appointment and the girls have an ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) evaluation here at the house. ECI will follow the girls and help with developmental needs. Since they were 10 weeks premature barbies usually don't catch up until two years of age.

Makaila is the most laid back and fusses the least. She is growing fast and trying to catch up with Samantha. She enjoys the swing and isn't bothered when her sisters are laying on her. Hannah is the hardest to burp. She loves to be rocked by her G-Ma. She struggles with reflux and is one of the fussy ones. She hates a dirty diaper and boy does she tell you about it. Samantha is a SOLID baby. She is the longest, thickest and heaviest. She is ready for the defensive line for the 49er's. She is laid back but when she has a burp she grunts. Sandra reminds me of a glass china doll. She is so petite and looks fragile. But looks can be deceiving. She is a wild woman! She rarely stays where we lay her in her crib, she wiggles down off her positioner. She loves her bouncy seat and at 6:30 pm every night requires to be rocked by mommy.

I have been what do you call it, I forget; oh yeah sleeping in the nursery. Or should I say laying down in there. Well, last night I was beyond tired. I dreamt that I was driving and had to pull over because Sandra had a brady. Just then, I opened my eyes and saw Josh running in the room and heard the alarms. Luckily, Josh woke up and also she did come back on her own. After that I was awake! She then had a really difficult time with reflux. I hope that the doctor tomorrow has some advise for her because the medicine doesn't help as much as I want it to.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Settling in nicely!

Wow! These girls continue to amaze me! I was so worried about the new schedule. It was difficult (but not impossible) with the four hour feedings with three girls. So, I was petrfied to add an additional three hour feeding for Sandra. In the hospital the nurses would feed Sandra early because she would scream so badly. But she must just actually wanted to come home with her sisters. She was still asleep when it was time for her to eat. So, we stretched it out and she put herself on a four hour schedule. It all happened so fast that I am still in shock! Thank you Sandra! She also has not had a sleeping brady since she has been home. She still does have her spit ups but we continue her on her reflux medicine three times a day. Hannah is getting better with her prop feeding each day. So far, one of us will feed Sandra (who still is fed by hand). While the other feed the other three girls by prop in their cribs. When Sandra is finished then that person will help finish with the propping. So far it is working out. Luckily, Josh's parents are here to help out where needed. Deb has been a great help around the house, feeding us and helping with the girls. We are so furtunate to have such great help. Stan leaves tomorrow and the girls will be sad to see their G-Pa go. Alright, here are a couple picture you all have been waiting for.

A true gift; holding all four at once! left to right; Sandra, Samantha, mommy, Hannah, Makaila

Sandra-AKA Peanut. She is wearing preemie shorts which are too big for her!

I love these blankets. A co worker of my sisters made these for us. Thank you!

Samantha AKA LT (little Teri)

Hannah AKA Banana because she goes bananas

Makaila AKA Messy Makaila because she wears more of her food than she eats!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sandra is home!

Sandra was on a 7 day count down to come home. She was to go 7 days without any brady's (mainly sleeping brady's). I called last night (day two) to check on her and she had had a brady. I called this morning and she failed her car seat test due to having a brady. I literally threw the phone down I was so upset. An hour later her doctor called and said she was sending Sandra home TODAY but with an apnea monitor and a special car seat where she lays down instead of sits up. This time I threw the phone in pure excitement. Josh told me not to wonder why the phone doesn't work in a couple days. ha ha She had her development test today and she passed with flying colors. She is amazing! Do not under estimate her because of her size. The therapist said she is very strong and she is. We are on a crazy schedule right now. Sandra eats every three hours while the other girls eat every four hours. So feeding schedules are: 12, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12. We are going to try to get Sandra to a four hour feeding but we have to do it very gradually since she has reflux and full bellies can cause her bradys. Her alarm already went off today while I was feeding her. But, I knew it was coming. So, I was stimulating her before the alarm even went off. We put our futon in the nursery where I will lay down and try to rest. The apnea monitor will alarm for high and low respitory and ligh and low heart rates. If she goes 20 seconds without a breathe it will sound. So, they recommend getting her to breathe within 10 seconds of the alarm. Today I did something that I have been waiting for since May 2008. I held all four girls at once. It was truly amazing! I loved it and plan to do it more often! I promise of pictures tomorrow (that is in between feeding).

This week was very busy with doctor appointments. Makaila passed her hearing test and the doctor wants to recheck her vocal cords in six months. He said that being on the vent she could have gotten nodules. They can go away on their own. Hannah and Samantha did not pass their hearing test. They did have normal readings on their ear drums though and will be retested in six weeks. Samantha got fitted for a silicone sleeve that will take a week to make. But they did give her an interem sleeve to wear until then. The girls still have their colds but tend to be doing a little better.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Adorable Makaila

This picture of Josh does have a story. We have found that you need three C's in raising multiples; communication, comprimise (with each other not with the babies) and comedy. Josh had shaved have his beard as a joke. But, after several hours he got frustrated because I didn't even notice and stuck his face in mine. So, I had to take a picture! I am not sure what is more funny; my oblivious mind or his hair style!

Three of our favorite four!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sandra update!

Sandra had a sleeping brady last night. She had two during the day; one in a bouncy seat and one while pooping but the doctor wasn't concerned about those episodes. But when she does it during sleep it causes a lot of concern. Sandra has been eating three ounces every three hours. That is more than the girls at home eat. And remember Sandra only weighs 4 pounds 14 ounces. The doctor said she is eating three times what her size baby should eat. She actually compared her to a truck driver. The new belief is that she is over eating causing reflux. Imagine how many of you felt after Thanksgiving dinner. Sandra is doing that every three hours. So, they are going to limit her (at the higher end since she loves her bottle). But she starts a seven day count down yet agian. I am so frustrated and sad. I am tired of the NICU and want my baby home. I hope and pray that this finally is the answer.

This coming week is a very busy one with lots of doctor appointments...

Monday - my ultra sound of my stomach
Tuesday - Makaila, Hannah and Samantha see the ENT for hearing test and vocal cord exam
Wednesday - Makaila and Samantha Synigis shots (to help prevent RSV; which they have)
Thursday - Samantha gets fitted for a silicone sleeve at plastic surgery for her arm

Luckily help is literally on it's way. Josh's mom and dad are on their way. Stan will stay for 9 days while his mom for at least a month. Josh goes back to work on the 15th. Our goal was to have me able to take care of all four without any help during the day by then. Kinda difficult when they aren't all home. My New Year's Resolution is to survive and do it with a smile. I am managing so far but the smile aspect will be easier when all my babies are under one roof.

My plan was to wait on pictures until Sandra was home, since the girls home are sick and I wanted pictures with all four together. But I know you all can't wait that long. So, we will work on that this weekend.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Stop the Snot

I have seen enough snot this week to last a life time. Makaila, Hannah, Samantha and I all have the flu. Not a big deal for me being an adult. Except for the fact, that it is annoying and I am just plain tired from it. However, the girls are a completely different story. Remember, just taking a bottle is like running a marathon for them. Friday night I was actually scared because literally two minutes after bulb syringing their little noses they were full of snot again and struggling to breathe. I laid down at 5:30 am, when Josh took over, and was at it again at 7:30. We talked to the neonatologist about them. She said that babies are usually admitted into the hospital between days 3 and 5 of having symptoms. She also said not to lay them down and keep them elevated by putting them in a swing and increase their formula to prevent dehydration. Makaila was already a little dehydrated from losing so much secretion from her nose. Today is day 5 for Hannah, day 3 for Makaila and day 2 for Samantha. So we are not out of the woods yet. I think staying awake the other day, I got worse. So, last night after the 8:00 feeding I laid down to sleep (elevated but not in a swing). I woke up to Hannah screaming (not really unusual for her). I asked Josh if he needed help and he said no he just finished the Midnight feeding. I can't believe I slept that long (a whole 4 hours). Since the girls can't be left unattended in their swings, he gathered pillows and a blanket to lay by them. I went back to sleep and was ready again for the 4:00 am feedings. I am feeling better but Josh is exhausted.

I am sad to say that in 11 weeks of the NICU, yesterday was the first day that neither of us visited Sandra. I was heart broken and called often to check on her. The doctor said she would not hold it against us if we didn't visit, but if we did visit we need to wash our hands often. However, the three girls that are home require both mine and Josh's attention right now. Friday Sandra had n MRI of her brain. They did this because she is a micro preemie (under 1000 grams) of 785 grams birth weight. Her brain is of normal size and development. They did see some brain signals that may or may not be a reason for concern since she is developmentally the same as her sisters. It will be something that we watch (as a lot of things are with preemies). If at 6 to 9 months of age she is further behind her sisters, they will redo her MRI. I think she is begging to come home. She has not had a Brady in a while; not even an eating Brady. So, we are still on track to bring her home early next week. They are talking about adding a thickener to her food so that she will drink it slower. This is to prevent over exerting herself which could lead to a Brady.

Our friends Jonathan and Kerianne visited yesterday and brought us a much needed lunch. It was great to see them, and for them to have the opportunity to visit with the girls. We wish them all the best, but we miss them already because they have been such great friends and so helpful to our family.

Promise of pictures once Sandra is home!