Wednesday, April 16, 2008

6 weeks with quads

Yesterday, the girls turned six weeks old and I had my six-week post partum check-up. I can't believe it's been six weeks since that crazy morning on the day of delivery (check our website, under "Quads" and "Delivery/Birth," in case you are curious about that morning ;) ). So far, the girls are doing wonderful...all eating and gaining lots of weight (yeah, Bethany and Anna are almost 8lbs!), sleeping great and so cuddly! My doc said my incision and I look good. Yay! It's crazy to say, but I am sad to be "released" from PPA now. I got so used to seeing the folks there on a weekly basis and they were always so sweet and friendly to me. I enjoyed them!

Some things I've learned in being a mom of six-week old quads...
  • You need your systems! We have a system for feeding them, e.g. every three hours, staggered with two babies feeding at one time and the other two feeding about 30 minutes or less after the first two. We have a system on filling bottles and storing them, e.g. have bins with bottles, Dr. Brown vents, caps, nipples, etc. readily available for filling, have labeled shelf areas in the fridge (with "formula" and "breastmilk"). We have a system on daytime and nighttime feedings, e.g. nurse/bottle feed them breastmilk in the daytime and give them formula or fortified breastmilk at night. We have a system on identifying them, e.g. Suzan wears yellow, Anna wears pink, etc., etc., painted big toe toenails with "her color." We have a system of organizing their clothing, e.g. Suzan has a drawer with "yellow clothes," Anna's drawer has "pink clothes," etc., etc.
  • I didn't realize that my stomach muscles could separate so much! I guess it's a given, carrying four babies with a combined weight of more than 16lbs! I can fit four of my fingers between my stomach muscles. Ewe! Hopefully, with some help from a physical therapist or orthopedic surgeon, my stomach muscles will come back together on their own. We'll see?
  • We change a lot of diapers. Right now, with three of the girls at home, we change at least 24 diapers a day. Whew! With four, it will be at least 32 diapers at day. Praise God for the folks that have given us diapers!!!!
  • We need help! We have friends, family and folks from the church helping us out in the daytime. THANK YOU for your willingness to serve! We REALLY appreciate it! We have folks dropping off meals to us, as I can't imagine trying to figure out "what's for dinner" in between taking care of a baby or two (or three or four!), taking care of Jared, taking care of me, taking care of Paul, taking care of the house, etc., etc. Oh my! THANK YOU for the meals!! We also have help at night, which has been a huge blessing and opportunity!
  • You can feed two babies at once, either nursing or bottle feeding. Nursing two has been going well. Bethany is a great little eater. Suzan and Anna need a bit more experience with nursing (and I am guessing Brielle will need more experience with nursing too, just from talking with the NICU nurses about how she's been eating). We also learned how to bottle feed two babies at once, thanks to talking with another local quad mom.
  • Sleep is a must, for all parties involved!
  • Each baby has a different cry (and, most of the time, Mom can differentiate between them). Suzan has a short-lived cry and Anna and Bethany have a different sounding cry (although, since they are the identicals, their cries sound very similar - great! :P )
  • They are all so precious and sweet! You just want to hold and linger with each of them :) And with big brother Jared too!

It will be fun, and different and probably a lot more challenging, to see them get older...to see them smile, to "coo" at you, to get more mobile, to see their personalities come out more.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, you must have some crazy days ! Hoping you will put More pictures !!!!

The Kaylor Kastle said...

Your systems will save you and I'm so glad you have a quad mom as a mentor!

Anonymous said...

That really helps to go to your quad parents for lifesaving help, no use inventing the wheel twice. Cute you both can feed two at once, it must be a pattern feed-burp 1-burp 2; feed again and repeat. Now octopus arms would be mighty handy!So many fuzzy heads to kiss and little bodies to cuddle; savor the miracles in the middle of the business. Maria, your poor tummy will get better, walking for now with babies for some fresh air when able is good. Bring Jared and Paul along for company and all will enjoy the nice weather. I am so pleased the breast feeding is progessing. That will take adjustment for the babies having so many bottles in the hospital. There is nothing better than Mom's milk, they just need a little spring training! I am amazed at the breast milk you are providing for the little pinks, way to go! Sooo glad Brielle is gaining and her heart rate is stablizing. She is just plain growing and brain maturing. Just a normal little plant budding. Love Grandma Carlson

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