Thursday, January 31, 2008

Good for Two Weeks

At my appointment this week the doctor ran a Fetal Fibronectin Test (FFN) again, as my last one was two weeks old. We just got news that it came back negative, which is good. That means we have perhaps a 1% chance of pre-term delivery occuring in the next two weeks. So hopefully this means we have a 99% chance of keeping these girls in utero until at least 29.4 weeks! Yay! My doctors really utilize the FFN test for high order multiple (HOM) or high-risk pregnancies. So if they are confident in it, so am I :)

Now, I could deliver for other reasons, one big one being pre-eclampsia. Because I am a HOM pregnant woman means I am at a much, much higher risk of developing pre-e. But again, my docs are the best and are watching me like a hawk. In fact, they are having me currently undergo a 24-hour test to see if pre-e is occuring or not. I pray that the test comes back negative and that the babies and I are safe from pre-e! You don't want to get pre-e. It's nasty and is very life threatening, to mom and babies. And the only cure is to deliver, no matter what the gestation age. Plus, the effects of pre-e can linger with mom postpartum. But I trust in God and his plan for us, no matter what happens!

Some other tests they are running: checking for anemia and gestational diabetes (again, both are at a higher risk to occur with HOM pregnancies) and checking my thyroid levels, as I have hypothyroidism, which is under control with medication. It will be good to see what these tests come back with. Thank goodness these can be treated for withmeds and such!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Our kids

Here are some pics of our kids. Jared was too cute "fishing" that I had to snap some shots :) The other pictures are from my ultrasound appointment yesterday.
Here's Jared with a fishing pole that Grandpa Guzman gave to him. Jared and Dad added the Coke can at the end :)

Jared casting away
And Jared with his catch of the day. More pics of Jared "house fishing" at our website, under "Jared" and "Three Years Old."
And some pics of some of the girls. We don't know who these are so your guess is as good as anyone else's ;)
A picture of someone's face
And a picture of someone's legs. There's a lot of babies and baby parts in there ;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Woo Hoo! Prayers Answered!!

I wanted to post that my ultrasound and OB appointment today showed that Baby A's Hydrops are totally gone. Praise God!! I can't believe it! And none of the other babies show any signs of Hydrops either. Totally good news!!

These four girls are doing awesome! They now measure between 2lbs and 2lbs 7oz. That's a total of ~8lbs 10 oz or the weight of a full-term singleton baby. Oh my! Their amniotic fluid levels are wonderful and they have strong heart tones.

I pray that they continue to do well and are born healthy and strong. I also pray that God will let these babies be born as late as possible, like 32 or 34 weeks, and that he will hold up and support my body in carrying these quads.

Thank you all for your prayers for Baby A! I was so happy to see and hear the good news for her at today's appointment!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Blankets

I finally finished sewing up some receiving blankets for the quads this past week. Yay! I made 16 blankets total, 4 for each girl. Whew! I got started on making these when our old neighbor and friend, Amy K, and I made some when we were pregnant at the same time. She made some for her twin girls and I made some for Jared (pssst, Jared still likes using his blankets :) ). Since then, I've made some and given them to friends or family as baby gifts.

Well, with these girls, I wanted to make some for them. I had some flannel fabrics I had purchased a while back. So my friend, Karen, sewed those up for me. Then, I went to Joann's one time with my mom and they had some of their flannel prints on sale. Well, I couldn't resist so I purchased several yards of different kinds of prints. And now, they are sewed up and finished. Just in time too ;) I don't know if I could sit at my sewing machine and sew now. I get very sore and tired so easily now. Plus, it's best if I just lie down and relax now.
Here are some pictures of the blankets...one of the stack of them (all 16)
Close-ups of some of my favorite prints...a purple stripe
Pink shoes print
Pink and green bugs and butterflies
Purple and pink dragonflies
Yellow and pink stripes
And I think my ultimate favorite, pink sheep :)
I posted some pictures of the nurseries (in progress) at our website, under "The Quads" and "Second Trimester."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

First Tour of the Hospital

First, I want to thank everyone who is caring and praying for us and Baby A! It really means a lot. I do feel the prayers because I believe God has quieted my spirit and worries a bit.

On another topic, we got to take a tour of Good Sam Hospital this weekend. Okay, so it wasn't a "tour" per se. As it turns out, I had to go in to the hospital (at 25 weeks) for the first time. It was so weird. Here is what happened...

Saturday, 1/12/08
- I felt totally fine the entire day
- 6:00PM we ate dinner
- 6:30PM I did my 1 hour contraction session
- 8:00PM Matria reviewed my results and said that I had 4 contractions, but it wasn't anything to be concerned about. I did confess that I didn't drink my H2O for the day (whoops!) and they said "that could be the reason for the slight increase in contractions. "
- ~8:20PM I guzzled a bunch of water to compensate for the lack of consumption that day. I immediately started to feel uncomfortable.
- 8:45PM to ~10:45PM we watched a movie from our Netflix queue
- ~11PM I had strong cramps in my belly that radiated to my back (that's not good). I thought for sure it was something stomach related versus uterine related.
- 11:30PM we went to bed
Sunday, 1/13/08
- ~Midnight I couldn't sleep due to the cramps so I stayed up a bit, watching TV and praying that the cramps would go away
- 1:30AM to 2:30AM I decided to put on my contraction monitor again. Matria called and said that I still had 4 contractions and lots of uterine irritability. They recommended drinking more water and to re-monitor.
- 3:00AM I called PPA's on-call nurse for advice. She said "go into the hospital, just to be checked out and be on the safe side."
- 3:15AM I tried to let my body take it easy, hoping the belly cramps would subside or go away. Nope. I then felt very sick and unfortunately vomited quite a bit. Blech! (again, not a good sign)
- 3:30AM Paul woke up and I told him "we have to go to the hospital now." He and Jared got ready to go.
- 4:20AM we arrived to Good Sam and were admitted to OB Triage. They put me on a contraction monitor that showed quite a bit of uterine irritability or lots of little contractions, maybe 6 in an hour.
- 4:45AM the nurse talked to PPA's on-call doctor at the hospital (which is why we want to go to Good Sam, PPA has excellent coverage there!) about me. The doctor said to: give me .25mg of Terbutaline, to physically check my cervix, run a Fetal Fibronectin Test (FFN) and take me to the ultrasound to check the cervical length. Oh the Terbutaline! That stuff is really nasty - blech, blech! Somehow it calms down the uterus but it also raises your heart rate (I think my was around the 120s or 130s for quite a while) and makes you very shaky/anxious. Yuck!
- The Terbutaline helped the contractions lessen and helped with the belly cramps a bit. The checks on my cervix came back great - Yay! We also saw that all of the babies' heart rates were in normal ranges. Double Yay! The FFN test came back negative so that is another huge blessing. A negative means that I won't go into labor for the next 2 weeks.
- ~6:30AM my contractions were still occurring but not as noticeable. The PPA on-call doctor said he would give me more Terbutaline but my heart rate was too high still. So instead, I got a lovely shot of Toradol (or a high dose of Motrin/ibuprofen).
- 8:00AM the contractions were very less or gone. My cramps also got better. Woo hoo!
- 9:00AM I got released! Yay!! The PPA doctor on-call came by to check on me. He said that I don't need drugs for any possible contractions, as the FFN test and cervical checks came out with good news. I did ask the PPA doctor about what about the belly/stomach cramps and what to do if they come back. He said I probably have some stomach bug (again?? I just had this two weeks ago - although, Jared's tummy has been acting up recently so maybe he's sharing with me) or an intestinal issue. He said "don't hesitate to call the on-call nurse, tell them what happened and we can see about helping you out, perhaps with some anti-nausea meds."
- ~9:30AM or 10:00AM we arrive back home. Yay!! Our bed is SO much nicer that the narrow and uncomfortable beds in OB Triage ;) Jared and I crashed for a few hours and Paul needs to go to bed early.

What an eventful late night/early morning we had!! I am so glad Paul is here to help us out! What would I do without him?! Jared was an angel too. Really. He played and flirted with the OB Triage nurse and in doing so, scored himself some apple juice and several packages of graham crackers. He was also so nice and attentive to his ailing mother, taking my mind off things by trying to find at least one car on the road at 3:30AM, telling me "we're almost to the hospital mom. don't worry" and hugging my arms/hands while I was stuck in the hospital bed. So sweet and caring!

Some things I learned are: don't hesitate to go to the hospital (especially with quads!), that I feel confident and comfortable at Good Sam (which is where I will deliver) with the nurse and PPA coverage there, a good time to go into the hospital is 3:00AM in the morning (no traffic on the roads and I think I was their only patient for a while ;) ) and to feel blessed that right now, I am NOT in the hospital. Praise God for that! And hopefully, it won't be for a while until I need to go in to the hospital for a lengthy stay, like when it's time for me to deliver :)

Hope you had a restful Saturday evening/Sunday morning and got lots of sleep. We are all beat and heading for our pillows!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Praying for Baby A

At my perinatologist appointment yesterday (at 24w5d), we found out that Baby A (one of the identicals) has a mild case of what is called Hydrops. Hydrops is a build up of fluid in the abdominal cavity of the baby and it can be life threatening to her, cause pressure on her chest and result in heart failure.

This is nothing we expected. Right now, we don't know what has caused it and for now, there is no cure for it. We just wait and see and pray. So I pray...

"Lord Jesus, please take this from our precious baby girl. Please let this fluid build up go away and allow her to be born healthy and strong and live a long life. Please let all of the girls be healthy and strong. We don't want anything to happen to any of them, in pregnancy or after birth. You are the ultimate Comforter and Healer! Heal our baby, Lord. Comfort us as we wait and see how she does. We know you love her and in fact know her before she was ever conceived. You love her more than we love her, God. We know you care for her and keep her safe in your arms. Please give us peace and patience and let us not worry about this. Let us trust in you and lean on you, Wonderful Counselor. Please heal her and take care of her, God!"

Saturday, January 05, 2008

6 months today!

Today marks 6 months (or 24 weeks) of this pregnancy with the quadruplets. We can't believe it! So far, so good! Praise God! We’ve had some scares over these last 6 months but all seems to be well now. The uterine clot that put me on bed rest from 12 weeks to 18 weeks hasn’t caused any more trouble. My last ultrasound on Thursday showed that either the clot is gone or it’s been overshadowed by the fast growing babies. My doctors are not concerned about the clot. Now, they are concerned in watching me and any signs of pre-term labor or pre-eclampsia. No strict bed rest for now but my doctors say to take it easy. It’s more of a “self-induced” bed rest :)

I continue to go in to my doctors on a weekly basis. With the uterine activity monitor, daily blood pressure checks and my weekly appointments, my doctors are watching for any signs of pre-term labor or pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure remains to be good, ~ 118/60. I have had little to no contractions, which is another huge blessing. I'm trying to eat as much as I can. Although, it's difficult when your uterus is up to your ribs, your ribs cut off eating and breathing abilities and then heartburn kicks in. Ha! I have the look and all of the ailments of a full-term (40 week) singleton pregnancy.

We appreciate all of your prayers and can see how they have been answered by God. Please continue to pray for us. Pray for me and the babies; that God would continue to keep me and the girls healthy and strong. It will be one of two things that will push us to deliver, either pre-term labor or pre-eclampsia. I don’t know which of the two evils will force me to deliver but I pray that it won’t happen for several more weeks. We hope that my body and the babies can make it for 10 more weeks, or 34 weeks. That would be SO awesome!! But in any case, we pray that no matter what/when it happens everyone will be healthy. Pray for Paul as he’s been the task manager around the house. Pray for peace and patience for him. Pray that we would both love and support one another and that God would strengthen our marriage in this. Pray for Jared. Pray that we would continue to spend quality time with him and remember to take care of his needs. Pray for consistency in Jared’s life.

Some interesting things about multiples (from Dr. Barbara Luke's book "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, Or Quads" --
  • The growth of multiples basically parallels that of a singleton
  • Multiples generally develop slightly faster than singletons do
  • Multiples' lungs, in particular, tend to be ready sooner to deal with the challenges of the world outside of the womb
  • Identical twins tend to be lighter than fraternals (except for ours, whom seem to be bigger than the fraternals)
  • And with quadruplets on board, a woman's uterus reaches full-term size as early as 24 weeks
  • At 24 weeks, a singleton mom's uterus is the size of a ball about 20 inches around (think a football). A 24 week twin mom's uterus is the size of a basketball, or 30 inches around. A 24 week triplet mom's uterus is the size of a smallish beach ball, or 33 inches around. A 24 week quadruplet mom's uterus is the size of an average beach ball, or 36 inches around -- in other words, full-term size!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A New Year!

Hey, it's 2008 already! Wow! Well, we look forward to "something great in '08" for us...a.k.a. the birth of these four little girls ;) We pray that this pregnancy continues to go as well as it has been, that Maria will continue to remain healthy and that these ladies will be born big and strong! Only God can make all of this happen! Below is the latest belly pic, at 23w3d. And can you imagine that the babies will keep growing and doubling in size. Where? How are they going to do that in this belly?? Ha!



Hope you had a safe New Years celebration and look foward to what God has in store for 2008!
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