Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sooooo... now what?

Expect for the perpetual exhaustion and sickness - WHOA!!

I've never experienced this level of exhaustion in any of my pregnancies, nor have I actually experienced REAL sickness (projectile... in case you wondered) - so it's pretty odd. I continued to have ultrasound appointments at our regular OB office, Dr. McKay & Dr. Madion, for the next 2 weeks and then we had our first appointment with our multiples/high risk specialist, Dr. Jelsema. This is the same specialist from Grand Rapids that delivered Meadow and Aiden back in March of 2004 and there was a LOT of comfort knowing who we were going to see, what he was like, his demeanor, etc.. It felt so good to talk through a lot of the information and statistics we had been confronted with over the past month or so, as well as discuss all the additional literature and numbers he had for us. There is a lot of comfort in knowing that the person you are trusting your babies lives with is experienced in high order multiples... he hasn't just studied it in medical school or read about it in some medical publication. No offense to our regular OB's, because they are GREAT and we feel SO comfortable with them - but we are LITERALLY the second set of quads EVER in Northern Michigan. Thankfully, the first set was a patient of my regular OB (go figure?), but still - being #2 in line? Hmmmm... I know it took me more than two tries to hit my first ball off the tee in golf, you know what I'm saying? OK, so maybe I could've found a better analogy than that... but stay with me here...

The good news was that with each and every single ultrasound appointment the doctor's had grown a bit more optimistic and excited for us. That was SO important to our well being and peace of mind in moving forward... we still hadn't shared our news with anyone and keeping it all bottled up can start to take it's toll on you when there is no one to share ANY level of optimism with! And by the time we got to our appointment with Dr. Jelsema, the MAN, well - we were blown away by his level of confidence that we could do this and our babies had a decent chance of being perfectly fine.

This may seem like a small, little insignificant comment NOW. But, trust me, at the time... it meant the WORLD to Jeremy and I. We had started to feel like we were about the only ones (who knew) that were batting for our babies and had any level of confidence that with God's grace our little miracles would each join our family healthy as can be. The statistics were really that scary at times... and, in their defense, the doctor's "job" is to alert you to all of those outside issues and concerns so that you are moving forward with as much information as possible.

So, here was Dr. Jelsema, again, the experienced one, the specialist, the MAN, "Dr. J" (says Dr. Madion) telling us in an extremely straight forward, precise manner (as is his ONLY demeanor 95% of the time) that he believed in our babies and believed in us. Yet, ultimately, he pointed out that it was still our decision what to "do" (and I won't rehash the gore I threw on you with my last blog - but you know where we are). Jeremy and I both came away from this appointment feeling 110% better about the entire pregnancy than we had to date. As much as we knew how much we would love any and all babies that God blessed our family with, it was still scary as could be and we spent a lot of time talking about all the WHAT IFS we had to address in putting the pieces of our lives together as a family of EIGHT. YIKES!
Um.... the next day we were technically in week 10 of our quadruplet pregnancy and just like that - POW! By the end of the day I had an amazing transformation take place.
Could not button up my "normal" pants to save my life.
I did mention I was only week 10, right?
Now, granted nobody other than me and probably Jeremy (although, bless his heart, he would never admit it) could tell or would have ANY idea... but I don't think I hit this point until like week 21 with our twin pregnancy. Wowee!! We are in for it this time, eh?
This was also the week that I was able to get the contact information for the other quad mom who had delivered in Traverse City. IT FELT AMAZING TO TALK TO SOMEONE WHO HAD BEEN IN MY SHOES BEFORE!! Her name is Kristin Godwin and she had four healthy girls at week 28! That's right - ALL GIRL'S!! It was a bit weird that a random stranger knew about our quadruplet pregnancy before ANY of our family (again - minus my mom and dad) and/or friends... but by this point we knew that we were going to see them all in another couple weeks and we really wanted to wait for the opportunity to tell them in person rather than over the phone. It was the way we wanted it to be - even if it meant waiting a few extra days/weeks to share our ENORMOUS news =)
And by the end of week 10 things had really come into perspective for Jeremy and I. We'd had time alone together to discuss at great length exactly what this quadruplet pregnancy meant to us and our family - without ANY outside pressures or commentary - which was sorta' nice. There were zero expectations other than those we were setting up for ourselves and it felt right for us. This was also the weekend that we literally sat down and laid out a plan of attack for our family. Sound cuckoo? Well, maybe it was, and maybe it still is - because BOY OH BOY that plan has some SERIOUS items to tick off the list - but we knew we needed to move forward. We had literally went from scared and uncertain to directed, motivated, determined and even a bit (gulp) EXCITED over the course of a few short weeks (NOT A LONG TIME WHEN YOU ARE DIGESTING THIS SORT OF NEWS!!!). It was a great feeling of power for us to just lay the groundwork and move ahead - knowing we could and would never look back.
This, is what Jeremy has written about as the "Puzzle". So I'm starting to think that I'm not allowed to divulge all the details of this puzzle until we agree the time is right. For those of you that DO know, yes, there is a long laundry list of things that we feel are necessary to accomplish to get ourselves, our babies, and two boys in a place that we can all be comfortable with and ready to start our new lives. But, with God's grace, a little bit of our own stubbornness and perseverance, and, unbeknownst to us at the time, the AMAZING outpouring of love and support from our friends and family, we have all the confidence that we will get there. Even if "there" isn't 100% finishing the puzzle... we know that "there" will be fine and we will be OK.

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