Monday, June 30, 2008

Not Lew

So, here's the dealio, ya'll are likely to see a substantial drop in the blogability of Tonya, herein after referred to as Queen Quad Carrier with Steel Cervix! We are staying at what was once part of a Lewnie bin. Though it is now considered a Hospitality House, there is a good chance our boys could make some folks here revert to the old days? Honestly, the Big Man has a path for us. I think this is the Big Man's way of having a good joke on in we may be here one day as a result of our kids? But of all people, he knows how blessed he made us.

So yeah, not being at home and all, expect a lot of me updating everyone on everything and what not. If you have any beefs, let me know - like be more specific, talk more like Dr. Queen Quad Carrier with Steel Cervix, post some belly pics (of Tonya obviously....), etc., etc. I'll do my best to provide all the insight I can, just in like 20 less pages than what she does...

To be short and sweet - Quads no come this week. DOPPLER results were as expected - good to go! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

Queen Quad Carrier with Steel Cervix measuring on or around 3.57 cm. What does that mean - cervix ain't moved and ain't gonna move! Some may ask what does than mean? I don't know, but the lower the measurement gets, referred to as "dropping", I think, means like you might break your water or go into labor soon? Now, we just need to keep 'dem 'der Quads growing and pumping the juice the way it's supposed to pump!

We got a tour of the NICU - that's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for you rookies. Dr. St. Charles - yeah, he rocks! Dr. St. Charles is the Dr. that will say like give Baby A so much of this, give Baby B so much of that and so on and so forth. Right, not much weight on his shoulders....It was a great tour and we came away with such a sense of relief. Dr. St. Charles was so confident, reassuring, and complimentary of the facilities, staff, and everything else that Munson has to offer. They will be ready for us....but I'm gonna have to ask everyone out there to pray that we're not ready for them for another 5ish weeks!!!!

Also, if you could pray that Aiden and Caleb don't get us kicked out of the Munson Manor...that would be nice.

Be thankful for today,

Friday, June 27, 2008

Stolen Thunder...

Yes... I know that Jeremy has filled you all in on our doc app'ts this week with Dr. J. And so, the funny part (to me) is that you probably think I don't have much to say.

Obviously, you would be wrong - HA! WHEN do I not have much to say??
You know this much by now.

Yes, it's been one heck of a crazy week. A week full of appointments and a week full of things HAPPENING - which is a good thing since we now have the boat (thanks dad Lew!)and housing in TC checked off our "list"!!!
But I do want to back up a little bit because, as important as this week was for our family we also had some amazing friends here in Hawk's Eye throw us a baby shower upon our return from Traverse last weekend... I know we have mentioned how fantastic our little golf community is in the past - and this just adds to our long list of reasons why we love to live here: the people. Granted, most of these friends of ours who own homes in Hawk's Eye only show up during the summer months - but that's OK. We love them anyhow (and hope that someday we too will have this luxury - hee, hee)!! And they all managed to get a weekend together that they were ALL in town (and I literally mean nearly ALL of our "neighbors" - it was amazing!) and spent time planning out a shower for us.

Yes, we resisted... adamantly, as you have guessed by now. But in the end they wouldn't take NO for an answer,..that AND we found out it was going to be hosted at Mary & Ernie's house... umm... only waited to see the inside of their gorgeous palace for YEARS!! So - that didn't hurt the cause - ha! Just kidding...
Here's a pic of Mary (left) who opened up her fantastic home to us all and Anne (right) who was the organizer of the entire event... thanks to you both!!!

It was almost a bittersweet ending for Jeremy and I... spending time with all the friends we have loved running into on the golf course, walking, at the pool, at social events (wonder who was on THAT committee?? hmmmm...)... yet knowing that it may very well be the last time we would see many of them for a long time to come. The generosity of them all, just to BE at our shower, was very moving for us.
Thank you, Hawk's Eye. We will miss you all dearly.

And then, thus began our whirlwind week of making the trek to Traverse City for ultrasounds and doctor's appointments, as well as the all-out crazy serious search for some place to call home in TC - IMMEDIATELY. My mom was still up north until after our ultrasound on Monday and I knew (because she might have been gently (cough, cough) reminding me every 30 seconds - with my dad on the phone doing the same) that if I didn't go balls out to find somewhere to go by the end of the week, my parents were NOT going to take our "no" seriously and they would have done something insane like just rent us a house (thanks as well to the little local connection birdy in their ear helping their cause, Ms. Heidi Schramski).

The babies all looked GREAT at our ultrasound on Monday - the coolest news?? That little baby "A" is NO LONGER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL!!! Yeah baby!! You GO! Somehow, some way, that little baby (notice, no gender assignment - I DO NOT KNOW!!!) has managed to turn itself from transverse (essentially laying down across my lower belly) getting jumped on by all its siblings to UPRIGHT (breech, head up) over the past week!! Yes, as you will see in my next belly pic this does seem an IMPOSSIBLE feat at this cramped stage of the game - but that baby is a fighter!!! So, this was a huge victory for baby "A" - as well as mommy and daddy who have been so concerned about him/her being trampled on!

Speaking of belly pics, I still haven't posted last week!! I know - stop the freaking press, right? But before I do so, I have to share some pics that my sister-in-law Kristy (Jeremy's youngest sis) sent me... a couple are from Mother's Day weekend when Jessica (Jeremy's other sister who just became a mommy to baby Avery!!) and I were still prego together... ahhh... I've come a long way baby... and so has Jess - OBVIOUSLY.

I'm pretty sure at the time that my belly really wasn't THAT much smaller than Jessica's - and if I'm doing the math anywhere NEAR close (don't hold breath here - the most advanced math I do is counting to 20 these days) I was like 20 weeks and she was around 32 weeks. THIRTY TWO WEEKS AND LOOK AT HER!!! She was freaking adorable, eh? But cute memories to have... so sad that it's (most likely) my last pregnancy to share with anyone... including myself... I just LOVE being pregnant... I really do. I am taking in every blessed second of this quad pregnancy and constantly reminded that it will be so short... it's so sad for me because I just love this selfish, close bond we mother's get to form with our babies during this special time in life... again, as I've mentioned, we are the lucky ones, ladies... we are truly the lucky ones to experience this magnificent miracle within us.

Great - there I go again - and now I'm all teary eyed... what a sap.

And the hardest part of looking at those pictures is knowing that I still have not met our new little niece, Avery... it is heart breaking! She is growing and changing so fast - as they all do at that stage of life - and I can barely stomach the fact that we are missing it all... WE LOVE YOU AVERY!! Here are some more recent shots of her that mama Jessica sent!!! (I know, the size and quality aren't great but it's the best I could do copying from Snapfish...)!!

Belly pics.......belly pics.......belly pics.........

26 weeks:

Like I said, how on EARTH baby "A" was able to flip in there is still beyond me... and we are constantly amazed that babies "B", "C", and "D" still find their way from head up to head down from week to week - ISN'T IT A BIT TIGHT IN THERE KIDS!?!?! We must have some contortionists on our hands... just what we need in this family to complete our zoo =)

So the ultrasound was all very positive and quite the family affair with myself, Jeremy, our boys, and my mom all there! YAHOO!! Then afterwards my mom took the boys to the park while I stuck around to do all the paperwork to get us ready for delivery (on paper, mind you... on paper). It's interesting when you get to fill out FOUR of everything... takes a bit longer, just in case you wondered. It was so cute to see all four of their little teeny wrist bands though - already made out with baby "A", "B", "C", & "D"!! We have kept those wrist bands for all of our children's births and always been amazed a year or two down the road at how teeny, tiny they were at birth. Something tells me that we haven't seen anything yet, folks. but that Dr. J keeps telling us that the weight doesn't matter NEARLY as much as their gestational age and so we simply keep praying for HEALTHY.

And now, onto our follow up appointment with Dr. Jelsema on Wednesday.

Yes, as Jeremy mentioned, there was some shocking discussions, as well as it being a HIGHLY informative meeting with Dr. J. He is so good at painting a very clear picture of everything that is going on - and he literally draws pictures to illustrate - which is great. And, possibly one of the best parts of his demeanor, is his constant calm... he does not seem to over-react easily and is extrememly even-keel which is so critical during intense discussions like the one we had with him on Wednesday. (and he managed to do so through our children being confned in the closet-sized room with us and his nurse... right at lunch time... you get the picture)

And one of the great, great things about our appointment was Dr. Jelsema's repeated comments to us that we "have a lot of great things going on here. I want you to focus on all the positive things." Numero uno? OUR BABIES STILL LOOK VERY HEALTHY!! None of them is showing any signs of distress, nor any abnormalities, and they are all approximately the same size which is so telling at this stage of development. WE ARE SO BLESSED - thank you all for we know it your continued prayers which have helped our little ones make it to this stage. I can't even remember how many times Dr. Jelsema said to us "Remember those charts I gave you at our first appointment? Well, you have MADE IT to 26 weeks!! That in itself is phenominal!" That is right, my man. Our cups over-floweth.

Another big POSTIVE for our family is the fact that I am still NOT on bedrest - at almost 27 weeks pregnant with quads!! WHAT?!?!?! The fact that my cervix is STILL holding up (do I feel as if I have neglected that puppy in the past or what? I have a whole new respect for my iron cervix these days!) and I am extremely healthy is just unbelievable to everyone - us included.

The main concerns, again, at this far along is the health of each babies placenta and the blood flow between the babies and their placentas. They need to keep growing in there, and they need their placentas to do it... and Dr. Jelsema talked quite a bit about how the babies are small. But AGAIN, they are small for a "singleton" - apparently there is no official gauge for quads and so it's hard to decipher the information completely. BUT, yes, smaller babies could mean that they are starting to have problems receiving nutrients from their placentas. And thus, the monitoring of our babies umbilical cord blood flow that Jeremy discussed now begins bi-weekly.

But, for those of you who don't remember or didn't know, we have small babies. Is it genetics (as we've discussed) or just the way God intended? Either way I would like to share with you how our pregnancy with Caleb ended... at just prior to 38 weeks I went in for my routine ultrasound and upon measuring Caleb they discovered that he was still measuring small for his gestational age. They had been tracking it all along, and he had gradually begun to fall further and further down the growth chart. And at this appointment he had fallen below that critical benchmark of the 10th or 15th percentile on the "curve". Therefore, for safety's sake, I was told that we would be having him within the next 48 hours. They were concerned that his placenta might have been failing and therefore causing him to fall further and further down the growth curve. And we are grateful for their pro-active approach (as much as I might not have seemed like it at the time...) because we have since learned a LOT more about the repurcussions of NOT acting quickly if there is concern that the placenta is failing... the baby can not survive. And it can happen so FAST - so you must react FAST. In the end, our little Caleb was born at 38 weeks and exactly 6 pounds - and his placenta was found to be perfectly healthy. Again, we are most grateful that Dr. Madion chose the safe route since he had concerns about Caleb's placenta... no, I can NOT imagine the horror of the latter.

'We do not mean to come off as all-knowing or overly-confident in discussing Dr. Jelsema's comments about our babies being small and the possibility that it may be due to the placentas... we really don't. We are in a whole different ball game here, folks, on a whole different playing field which we know nothing about because it is about as complex and mind-boggling as they come. BUT, we also believe in the power of optimism and really do feel dep down in our hearts that these babies are measuring a little small because that is the way God's master plan lays out the size of our babies. And we trust in Him. Therefore, yes, we still believe 110% that we WILL make it to 32 weeks, and that our babies placentas will hold up every step of the way, and our babies will continue to grow and thrive inside of me until that very day the doctor's choose to take them out to join us.

But, we are also EXTREMELY grateful to have Dr. Jelsema, Dr. Madion and their medical teams on our side should an emergency present itself. We are ready and willing to move our family to the Munson Manor in 2 days to be steps from the hospital to ENSURE that we are as accessible as possible for our team of doctor's and nurse's who have supported us and seen us through this most incredible journey...
We will do our best to keep in touch as we move to our new "home away from home" in Traverse City... who know? Maybe they'll have high speed (ALLELUAH!!!) and we'll blog even MORE!! Lucky, lucky...
In closing I'd just like to give a big shout out THANK YOU to dad Lew for buying our Bayliner, he claims he wants to "keep it in the family" and we LOVE him for it!! There sure are a lot of memories floating around that boat... we'll be glad to smile each time we get to see her again and relive the glory days =)
God Bless, we love you all and pray that we are able to continue our quadruplet pregnancy journey with you for another 5 weeks!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Final Piece to the Puzzle? by Lew

The Puzzle got thrown in the friggin' garbage!

It was taking too damn long!

Tonya is the Queen of Quad moms!

The Quads are fighting hard to grow!

Aiden and Caleb are as out of control as ever and we just love it!

Hank's buying The Babeliner - keeping it Polish baby!

I gotta great job in TC!

We're moving into a manor!

We got people pulling for us, sending us vats of diapers and what not!

Thanks to some trucker dude that looked like Charlie Manson that made minced meat out of The Vibe, I have a good excuse to go to the dealership and wheel and deal for a big ass van with flames on the hood!

We are ready for this rollercoaster ride to start!

Best part about this rollercoaster - no lines, no height restrictions, you can bring booze and beer on it, and all are welcome at any time!

Looking forward to sharing our new life with ya'll!

Thank you for everything, you are all really good people that have opened our eyes to a lot of things.

Peace out,

We're Moving? by Lew

Howdy everyone, been awhile since you've heard from me - glad to be back in bloggerspace!

Bedrest is not coming! Bedrest is not coming! Unbelieveable. That girl is amazing, truly amazing!

So yeah, we are moving to The Lewandowski Manor at Munson. Okay, so it's really the Munson Manor, but the latter is way cooler. Basically a hotel on the hospital property that is tailored for people and families in situations similar, in some ways, to ours. More than anything, we are fortunate for people like those that work at and donate time at a place like the Munson Manor and we apologize in advance for any chaos we may create!

The main thing is we will be right next to the hospital and that will bring peace of mind to the chick with the four chitlins in her belly, and me too!

On another note, if someone that wants a beautiful house on a beautiful golf course in Bellaire, Michigan would step forward with an offer, please do so now...

Also, our deepest thanks to our friends that did soooo much to help us try to get closer to TC. In the end, the Lewandowsk Manor at Munson is what's best for us.

So, Dr. J thinks 2 weeks...2 weeks as in Tonya will give birth to The Quads in 2 weeks!


But, he said "prove me wrong." And we will, believe me, we will. We have too many people pulling for us, and we have prayed too hard, and we have tried and tried and tried to do what we think we should do not to make it to 32 weeks. We will make it to 32 weeks and those quads will be just fine.

Before I get into it, I just want it to be known that we love Dr. J. The reasons are many, and we still love him despite his thoughts below...but he is doing his job. And he would have been doing a bad job if he would not have informed us like he did.

Dr. J based his conclusion on the fact that our babies are weighing just under 1.5 pounds at around 26 weeks - Baby A is 1 lb 5 oz and the rest are 1 lb 7 oz - which plots around 24 weeks on the growth chart. Also, Dr. J is kind of good at what he does, well like really good. When following The Quads weights on the growth chart, they are starting to fall off the curve a bit, as in around the 10th percentile. This is expected for quads, from information we have reviewed, to start around 20ish weeks. Our quads didn't really start falling back until like 22ish weeks. The thing is, the growth charts are for single babies. They don't have any growth charts for quads. Regardless, Dr. J feels The Quads are on the smaller side. We don't really agree - Tonya has smaller babies and she was a small baby (5 and a bit of change). Regardless, the point is when one or more of the babies starts to fall off the curve, that is generally indicative of stress on the baby(ies) that are falling off the curve - stress meaning the potential or liklihood of a failing placenta. This stress can be followed via DOPPLER (yeah modern medicine) of the umbilical cord to each baby. The DOPPLER will monitor the pulse in the umbilical cord and will provide data that the Dr's and us (yeah, Dr. J drew schematics so we know what to look for when the ultrasound techs tell us they can't tell us anything) can look at and determine what gives. So, there is a normal pulse, a "warning" pulse (forgot the technical term Dr. J used), and an abnormal pulse, referred to as reverse flow. If the warning pulse arises, Tonya gets DOPPLERS twice per week. If reverse flow is evident, they come out. Why do they come out? Because if the baby or babies that show reverse flow don't come out, they die within 7 days. If reverse flow is realized, Tonya will get a shot of 'roids that day and The Quads will be take within a day or two. And that's that - there are no other options to us.

So, on Monday, the DOPPLERS for each baby were normal. Dr. J anticipates reverse flow in one or more of The Quads within 2 weeks. We say no way. Absolutely now way. We have Meadow in our corner, and she's one tough little angel...\

I feel that Dr. J informed us as he did not only to because he had too, but because he knows we are the type of people that accept challenges and thrive on the challenge at hand and enjoy proving others wrong...

So, know that I have stolen most of Tonya's blogoriousness for this week, I shall finish with the following:

The first time I heard Tonya say that Dr. Madion calls Dr. Jelsema Dr. J, I had some serious flashbacks. I was 3, maybe 4 years old, and my Dad painted, in stencil, "Dr. J" in the middle of the backboard of my basketball hoop. Dr. J as in Julius Erving my friends, one of my childhood heros. Right, bringing the thunder on a hoop that was like 3 feet off the ground and nailed to our wood fence! Bring it! Now, some 30ish years later, my family and I have been challenged by Dr. J. We will win this game, we will win 32 to 28...

God Bless and get busy living, you only get one shot at life -

One last thing, I had The Vibe parked in front of the AT&T place in Traverse City today and while I was inside waiting I was able to watch an 18 wheeler run the back half of The Vibe over...neat.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Plan meets The Puzzle

Sorry it's been so long since I've written, but you'll find out why as you read on.

Here's a little pic of us out at the Old Mission Peninsula Lighthouse with the boys... yeah... that's right... I think we are ADORABLE TOO!!! =)

And, just to clear the air, I STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SO EVER AS TO THE SEX OF OUR BABIES!!! Jeremy decided that he wanted to find out and I still have zero need/want/desire to know - so he is SWORN TO SECRECY!!! (Trust me, grammie already got out the checkbook wondering how much moola' it would take to get it out of him - ha!) I am not thrilled that he knows, but if it meant that much to him of course I support him finding out ONLY under the condition that he doesn't breathe a WORD of it to anyone!!

So let's get back to this Plan vs. Puzzle stuff that Jeremy laid the foundation for waaaay back when. We set out with the pieces to our Puzzle scattered all over, but with a Plan on how we were going to attempt to put them together. We knew at the time it was a pretty big long shot that the two would ever match up 100%... but no matter what we ALWAYS had, and still have, faith that it will work out and our family will be fine.

Over the course of the last 10-12 weeks we have had MANY concerned family members and friends ask us repeatedly "But what are you going to do if THIS doesn't happen?" And our response has pretty much always sounded something like this: "We honestly don't see where it does us or our family any good to worry incessantly about things in the future that are out of our control. We will take one day at a time and worry about those things if/when they happen. We want to focus all our energy on making healthy babies right now, and anything down the road will be what it will be and we will cross those bridges when we come to them."

So now, after having stated this to those around us for so long... we are now in the process of eating our own words...

Because, well, the time is NOW.

The time is HERE to ACT on some of those very things that everyone wondered about how we would handle them if Puzzle and Plan didn't exactly coincide within the time frame we hoped for.

We need to get a Revised Plan in place and we need move as expeditiously as possible upon that Plan to ensure the safety of our family and our babies on the way.... So, what are those pieces that didn't exactly match up as of yet? Well, there are a couple of smaller things that still aren't detrimental to the Puzzle at this point, things such as: selling the boat, finding a big a*s van (the cheaper the better?) and selling the Sorento, as well as a couple other more personal things. The biggie? Most of you know by now that the BIG DOG is the house issue - selling our home in Hawk's Eye and relocating to a new home in Traverse City. Looking back we had always kinda' referenced our standard "joke" that we can't exactly be moving when we are 26 weeks pregnant with quads!!

Ha, ha?

Not NEARLY so funny anymore, folks... I'll tell you that much. We are now 26-1/2 weeks (yes, that half COUNTS - trust me!) and, yeah, the house is definitely NOT sold. We KNOW it's not a great market and that this is a HUGE, HUGE thing to hope for in the midst of everything else we have going on... but the truth is that it's just not feasible for us to live here in Bellaire anymore. We are over an hour away from the hospital in Traverse City and I am home alone with our two young HIGH ENERGY boys. I know we have been EXTREMELY blessed that I have been able to keep up with them (more or less) since I've been home full time and that I am NOT on bedrest (miracle #146!!). But, now that we are in the "critical zone" for our quads, we know how much higher our risks are everyday that something catastrophic could happen... and we do not want to think about how we would begin to live with ourselves knowing that if we would've moved our family closer to the hospital in the event of something happening we would've had the chance to make things OK again... I know I don't need to elaborate on this, so I won't, for my benefit more than anyone else's.

So, two weekends ago Jeremy and I decided that we would give ourselves until NO LATER than week 27-28 to get our family over to Traverse City. One way or another, we just have to be there. My docs wanted me there a LONG time ago to ensure a closer proximity to the hospital (many quad families actually relocate HOURS across their state or even across the COUNTRY to be closer to the hospital their doctor's recommend (or of choice) much earlier in their pregnancies... we have really been pushing it). And since we still have a mortgage to pay in Hawk's Eye... you all get the picture.

Over the past couple weeks we have had many options cross our paths; Jen Wickstrom, Heidi Schramski, and my parents are my "moving pushers" - and they are darned good at what they do (bless those around them)!! Jen had several ideas she was working on for us... a fifth wheel/camper, a cottage near Fife Lake (THANK YOU Joanna!), apartments, etc... but unfortunately none of them have really panned out at this point. It's NOT an easy thing we are trying to accomplish and we have ZERO expectations about our amazing friends finding US housing in Traverse!! And if we could wave a magic wand and make it all work out - trust me - we would. Obviously for the sake of our family, but also so that we could STOP BEING SUCH A STINKING BURDEN TO OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!

And then my parents. (Here's a pic of my omm and I canoeing with the boys last week on the bay - fun!) They have not stopped asking what our "back up plan" is since... well.. I can't even remember when they started asking that question of us in the event that our house didn't sell. I blew them off with our standard response as well (see above) - at least I'm consistent, eh? So now they approach us with this new plan of theirs: to RENT US A HOUSE in Traverse City. And, like most parents, they were TELLING us and not so much ASKING US because I am still their daughter and they have this God-given right in life. I have now discovered that it is well earned through the years and I do the exact same thing too. Anyhow, (cough) PRIDE (cough) = response = "NO WAY. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS." I mean, really... give me a break. We will be fine and we certainly haven't exhausted all of our options at this point... camping, apartments, etc. Our "cup is half full" optimistic mentality just kind of put our blinders on and so we are just NOW getting to this point of seeing what exactly IS out there. But this is too much - it essentially a second mortgage for anyone - um - NO. THANK YOU, but NO.

And so in walks (or calls) my girlfriend Heidi Schramski. She calls up the day after Jeremy and I talk and get all set in our minds that we are totally game for camping or something to just GET us to T.C.. Here are her words "Hi, Tonya? I have a plan for you guys. And before you tell me no you have to hear me out." Which, of course I didn't... but you'll see why in a minute. She had called to offer us the cottage that her and her sister's manage for her dad... ON west bay... for FREE... for a week. Oh, and we "are staying at" her house in the meantime.


Did I mention that Heidi, her hubby Jim, have a daughter Hannah, a son Ben, and a BRAND NEW baby, Clark, born 6 weeks ago? Right. They aren't busy or anything so SURELY they should be worrying about us in the first place!! I'll tell you... she's amazing. But persistent (again, cough, cough). So, in the end I totally gave in and we ended up crashing the Schramski pad for a night and then heading to their cottage for the rest of the week last week. IT WAS AMAZING. And it felt really good to be IN Traverse City close to our doctor's appointments and have Jeremy right around the corner if something were to happen.

(Here's Heidi and I (guess who's who... riiiiight) with the boys in the canoe at the cottage last week - and then the boys with Heidi's oldest boy ben (2) eating popsicles behind the cottage)

And it was good for us to see that it WILL be a very good life for us in Traverse, we have lamented quite a bit about how hard it is going to be for us to leave Hawk's Eye in Bellaire, and it WILL be... but now we can see that we have a great circle of friends and their are some great kid-friendly neighborhoods that we will have the opportunity to raise our family in Traverse City. We were also able to spend a bit of time with Jeremy's aunt and uncle (Buddy and Suzy - we love you!!!) while we were over - they live on West Bay too and are two of the most kind-hearted, sincere people we know. And, FAMILY nearby?? YEAH!!!

Grammie (my mom) came up the end of the week to be with us as well which was great help for me... I am getting more tired now, as much as I'm not on bedrest and am SO grateful for it!!! My poor husband has seen that I morph into a zombie at night about 75% of the time now after being on the move all day with Aiden & Caleb. It's crazy and I can't stand that exhausted feeling, but I'm counting my blessings!!! And we were also able to see our friends Tonia & Scott Nemecek up on a ROMANTIC getaway for the weekend in Traverse City. They insisted that we meet up for dinner one night even though I tried to TELL them that they should just lock themselves away in a love cavern for the weekend and not have any contact with the outside world!! But who listens to little (OK, big.) mama T? Right. Join the crowd of nobody.

We still ask that you please continue to pray that our babies remain healthy and growing strong inside me until that 32 week mark. And if you have a spare prayer that our house sells SOON, we appreciate that as well =) We thank you all so much for being here for us.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I know...

...what we are having...


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!!!

I hope that you all had as great of a day as we did... it was a fantastic weekend and today was the best of it all... celebrating all the dad's in our life! Because we do not live near any extended family, we spent it as a family and enjoyed every second of our time together. Daddy's day started with a breakfast snack in bed (homemade blueberry bran muffin, peanut butter south beach bar, and coffee - who could ask for more?) with Aiden & Caleb's artwork made especially for him adorning the tray =) Then, off to church and afterwords we stopped at the fruit/veggie/flower market to gather LOTS of colorful stuff... and, daddy's father's day brunch? You betcha' - McD's outside on the "patio"... are you kidding me? Does it get much better?!?! (keep in mind we never eat fast food, so daddy really was in hog heaven as ridiculous as it sounds!)

After we headed home and straight to the pool (only to get shooed away because the thunder/lightening clouds and rain showed up - WHAT? It'd been like 85 degrees and sunny!) and then back home to plant some flowers before naptime. After nap, we TOTALLY lucked out because the boat still isn't sold and we were supposed to have a buyer over but he cancelled. We were about 80% sure that he was going to drive away with it after talking to him on the phone, so we were PUMPED when we found out he couldn't make it!! (I know, I know... YES - we need it to sell... but might as well enjoy it until it does!) SO - we took full advantage of the again super-sunny gorgeous day and headed out onto Lake Bellaire for the afternoon/evening!! It was awesome, we just LOVE being out on the boat... ALL of us... we swam, played in the tube, squirt guns, daddy fished with the boys, and brought his old remote control boat (literally, like circa 1979 - thing takes like $23 in batteries to operate!!) so we had fun with that too. And it was almost as if the boys really tuned into the whole Father's Day spirit (can you tune into ANYTHING at 2 & 4?) because they couldn't have treated him like any higher royalty... they were loving him UP and all over daddy on his special day!! The way it should be... I loved sitting back and taking it all in... it was so cute! And daddy ended up his day out on the golf course... a phenominal Father's Day for everyone... and Jeremy deserved it all and more... I love you baby.

We had an interesting week with Jeremy starting his new job at ECT in Traverse City on Monday. It's so WEIRD that I worked in Traverse and so wanted Jeremy to be there for 6 years (so we could be closer to each other) and now I'm NOT there and he IS. Just odd. Oh, and our house ISN'T either (not that it was when I worked there, but still...). Anyhow, Jeremy is pleased with how his first week went and we are optimistic that he has a very bright future at ECT. I can't wait to meet the people he works with, they sound like very nice, down to earth folks.

We also spent a good deal of time over the past week figuring out what our next step is for our family. We have really been hoping and praying over the past 10-12 weeks that we would have sold our home by now and be living in Traverse City, close to the hospital. But, here we are at 25 weeks and it has not happened yet. So, time to figure it out.

Belly Pics... Belly Pics...
(I took pics a day apart to see if you could tell the difference in growth... I SWEAR I seemed WAY bigger the second day (see further below)! I'm a dork...)

The babies have been REALLY active over the past 2 weeks too - it's ABSOLUTELY AMAZING to feel FOUR babies move inside your belly!!! And, the coolest part is that we know exactly where Baby "A", "B", "C", & "D" are all located so I can pinpoint who's being rowdie! I have to say, that baby "A" appears to be the scrapper right now - but who can blame him/her!?!?! And at night when I play my Enya CD for them all... it's like "PARRRRTTYYYY!!!" I think the soothing music is having a COMPLETE opposite effect on our babies this time around - it's hilarious (music, and ice cream always do the trick - two of mommies favorites!)!! So there we'll lay at 11-11:30pm (MOST of the time, cough, cough...) at night reading the babies journal on how they developed that day and they are like "Hello? Can ya' hear

me out there?" Maybe I h

ave the volume up too loud or something.... I'd better check on that... =) As a matter of fact, I read just last night in their journal (the same Ay by Day Pregnancy Journal that I have kept for all our pregnancies... I strongly encourage ANY woman to do the same - it's so fun to go back and read them!!! You forget so much!!) I read that we may actually be able to put our ears to our bellies and HEAR the babies heartbeats through my stomach now?? WHAT?!?! Of course with four I'm thinking it'd sound more like a mosh pit (Jeremy insists it sounds like gurgling... "Is that the amniotic fluid sloshing around when they move?") - but HOW COOL!!!

This was an odd week for us too with the babies because it was the first week (in I can't remember how long) that we did NOT have an ultrasound for the babies... I know, I know... most "normal" pregnancies get like 1 or 2 (if they are lucky) ultrasounds the ENTIRE pregnancy and I am griping about one week. But when you get used to that "safety net" of seeing your babies every week it IS an uncomfortable thing. Plus, we are just so far along... and with all the additional pressure I've been feeling over the past couple weeks... I dunno... I'm just paranoid for sure. Want to keep my eye on that cervix of mine to make SURE that it is staying nice and long!! I see Dr. Madion again tomorrow - where Jeremy INSISTS he is going to find out the sex of our babies... attempt #478... we'll just be holding our breath now, won't we? hee, hee... It'll be great now that Jeremy is working like 4 minutes from the hospital that he'll be able to come to a LOT of my appointments (I hope!). It was SO TOUGH when he was in Gaylord... I mean, that's a 1.5 hour trip (if not more) EACH WAY... so if he had any field work for the day come up he was out... that's 3+ hours of DRIVING to come to an appointment (plus the appointment time itself) and a huge time committment for him to be able to sneak away from work for that much time each week.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for the health of our babies an our continued pregnancy... every single day counts in helping our babies develop as much as possible!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Holy pressure...

I know that I've mentioned that I've had pressure "down there" a couple of times in the past... and it's probably not something that had ever thrown me into complete and utter panic with my two previous pregnancies. Just recognizing that the weight of the baby (ies) were getting a bit more and I was feeling it more, right? I even remember my sister-in-law Jessica (who just had her first baby, our adorable new niece AVERY- see previous blogs!!) asking me about all the pressure she was feeling during her pregnancy and I probably answered something like "Yeah, I remember that a bit - especially with the twins further along - feeling like they were going to FALL OUT if I didn't watch myself!".

But this was before Jess went on bedrest and we knew that her cervix was going to give her a run for her money. And this was before I was 24 weeks pregnant with quads and was now HYPERsensitive to any new "developments" down there... if you know what I mean (sorry guys). So when on Saturday, after Jeremy's last day at Sagasser, I woke up feeling like something was seriously amiss down there I was a bit alarmed. I mean, usually I get that crazy pressure at night now - and it's most days - but I also recognize that I'm on my feet A LOT during the day running with my boys and it's expected that I need to take a break at night and LISTEN to my body (per Dr. Jelsema...). So I do try. I really do.

But to feel that way from the word "go" in the morning was a big much. And, as I suspected, it only worsened as the day went on. It actually got to the point where it physically HURT if I was standing during the day - what? So, I as much as it pained me to tell Jeremy about it, because I KNEW that it would totally freak him out, I had to be honest. I'm not one for complaining, nor am I really one to ask for help - but I knew that at 24 weeks I was scared to be feeling the way I was feeling. And so Jeremy and I did our best to keep me in a semi-laying down position for most of the day (or in the pool - which I figure was just as good, if not BETTER since I'm all buoyant!!). Even when we went out fishing that night (might as well use that boat while we can since it hasn't sold yet - oh - and neither did our stinking house after ANOTHER open house that weekend... we're starting to think we may be in a bind here shortly... ugh. C'mon St. Joeseph!! Help him out, Angel Meadow!! Tick, tock, tick, tock...) I did my best to lay in the back most of the time - which isn't easy for anyone involved when you are fishing with two little ones!! (BLESS THAT HUBBY OF MINE! He even ended up going over-board to save a fishing pole that Caleb thought might catch more fish if physically plunged INTO the lake... opps... it was an honest mistake... I'm sure ANY 2 year old could make it... and we remember Aiden doing the same thing when HE was 2 - gotta' test those waters, right?)

And thankfully, after all that rest on Saturday, I woke up feeling like a million bucks on Sunday. Just goes to prove, once again, that those docs know what they are talking about. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, TONYA. And Sunday was a fun day because we met up with our friends Ivan and Sue Martsyz from Tech!! They live way up in Marquette, so we obviously don't get to see them much, but they were in Gaylord for a soccer tourney with their two girls. THE BOYS LOVED SEEING REAL SOCCER MATCHES!!! So, thanks Ive and Sue, for letting us know you were in town - it was GREAT to see you!!

Belly pic... belly pics...

24 weeks pregnant. Look at me grow!

And 24 weeks was one of our very first "landmarks" with Dr. Jelsema at our initial appointment with him waaaaaaaaaaay back when. We have now officially reached the point in our pregnancy where our babies have a CHANCE at viability. What a yucky way to think about your babies... but that's how it was worded to us. Prior to now, if our babies would have decided to enter the world, they probably would not have had a chance at life. Yes, miracles DO happen (HELLO!) and I too have read stories where babies were born prior to this and survived. But for the most part, 24 weeks is where they begin to have a chance at life AND a chance at leading any sort of normal life. Granted, the odds are very low that children born this prematurely are born without major defects that hinder them and their lifespan - but it can happen. And so - WE FEEL SO BLESSED TO BE HERE. 24 weeks, and through another great miracle from our Lord above, we are still carrying four healthy babies and have not had too many complications or incidents to date. PRAISE BE!!

It's horrible to say, and we feel horrible THINKING it, but we can't help but feeling like we are just waiting for some bomb to drop. I know, I already acknowledged that it's not the greatest way to think... but, again, we just can NOT believe that things have went THIS well for us throughout our amazing quad pregnancy. Especially now that we ARE so close and have come THIS far... all the doctor's talk about is the delivery and birth and outcomes, etc... it's all SO real for us and becoming more so each and every day. And yet there are times when we honestly can't believe that we've come this far. Did I already say that? I know. -But thinking back on those first couple appointments when 24 weeks seemed SO VERY FAR away... and the risks so high... and the outcomes so unsure... we knew to take it one day at a time. And we have. Perhaps THAT's why it's so hard to believe that, one day at a time, we HAVE made it a whole 24 weeks. That's a LOT of days... and looking back we also completely underestimated the power of the love in our lives and how it would transform our journey. We were, and still are, blindsided by so much of what has, and is, happening to us through the grace of God and those around us...

Make ya laugh

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hit me up with some 'roids, would ya'?

I've always wanted to act all tough like that. And, finally... my chance at being a 'roider... ahhhhh... it's all I was hoping it was going to be... minus any new facial hair (ummmm... YET... and do notice I said NEW... that's enough on that topic).

Oh, and since I can't lift heavy weights I guess I don't know if I can bench press any more than I could prior to being on steroids either... or run faster... or jump higher... yeah, all sorta' out of the question, aren't they?


Too bad for me I suppose - but ALL GOOD NEWS FOR OUR BABIES HOPEFULLY!!!

Yes, the beginning of week 23 brought on our first 2 rounds of steroid shots to help our babies lungs mature faster. They told us that we'll get 2 more rounds in about 4 weeks again. But that was after a great weekend up north enjoying some s'mores and golf with Grammie and Papa. Yes, we need to take stock in marshmallows these days because we are getting full use of our fire pit!! Here's some pics of the boys playing with Grammie and Papa (WHOM THEY ADORE!! - Go figure - they don't look like much fun, do they?) as well as tearing it up on the golf course. Our kids LOVE to golf, or really play ANYTHING that involves a ball, a hard object, sand, water, running (because, who WALKS to their ball?), being outside... OK, they love all sports. It's awesome!

But my mom and dad stayed up an extra day (which meant they had to take a day off work AND STILL drive home at 11pm at night - thank you so much!) so that my dad could watch the boys and my mom could take me to my ultrasound and first steroid shot on Monday afternoon. Dr. Madion's office is so great at trying to accommodate our schedules whenever possible... it's great because at times like this, when my parents weren't positive they would be able to make it up until the last minute, they still try to shuffle the schedule so that my mom could make it to my ultrasound. They are just the greatest staff working at GT Women's Clinic - LOVE THEM!!!

Anyhow, the ultrasound went great! I was surprised to see (and confirm with the ultrasound technician just in case...) that the babies still have enough room to CHANGE POSITION inside there!!! Poor little baby "A" has always been stuck down at the bottom in a transverse position... as I've mentioned before - it breaks my heart! Yet, despite this seemingly uncomfortable position, baby "A" still flip flops back and forth from having its head on my left, then on my right, then on my left, and now back on my right again! At my last Madion ultrasound app't baby "A" actually flipped while we were there! And then babies "B", "C", and "D" can't decide if they want to be head up or head down... but it appears that they prefer to all JUMP ON TOP OF BABY "A" as they have once again all arranged themselves in a head up position as better to torment little Baby "A" =( Yet only last week at my Jelsema ultrasound babies "B" & "C" were both head down? NUTTY!! Yet, through it all little baby "A" is quite the trooper - moving ALL OVER THE PLACE ALL THE TIME!! So, I suppose it's trying to prove that it's not going to be stomped on by its brothers and/or sisters in the womb or EVER!!!! Oooorrrrrr... I'm just dramatic.

And it turned out that the steroid shot wasn't any biggie. I didn't know what to expect for the steroid shot - I surprised myself by not really doing any research on it before I went (I knew what it was FOR, but not things like side effects, pain, limited activities, etc..). But it was no worse than any regular old shot - no side effects to speak of other than a little soreness, which is expected anyhow.

Belly pic... belly pic... belly pic...

Week 23:

Sorry for all the soap/Q-tip action in these pics... I need to pay a little closer attention to what I'm doing at times... oh, and I'll bet you are ALL appreciating that SHINE, aren't you? I took this puppy right after lubing up for the night.

That's right - lubing up. You have a problem with that?

You want to talk about it? Fine. I will. In both of our other pregnancies I had used this stretch mark cream called 'Magia Bella'. It had 2 different "phases" that you used (early and late pregnancy) and it GUARANTEED that you wouldn't get stretch marks or your moola' back. So, I thought to myself, what's to lose?!?!? So with our twin pregnancy with Aiden and Meadow I used it religiously after every shower and at night. As well as using cocoa butter lotion (and 100% cocoa butter stick) every night on top of it before bed. And, voila! No stretch marks!!

Now, was this due to the cream, good genes (my mother never had a stretch mark in her pregnancies either), or the fact that I took decent care of myself and didn't put on 200 lbs? Hmmmm.... you decide. But, regardless, I was happy.

So, naturally, when pregnancy #2 came along (little Caleb) I followed to same suit and, once again, no stretch marks!! By now, as you can imagine, I'm touting this stuff like I'm some sort of salesperson to every pregnant woman I know!! Unnnnnttttiiiilllll I was ranting and raving about it to a girlfriend who said "Oh yeah, I looked that stuff up and they don't make it anymore." (I think Dana brought it to my attention)


My prego stretch mark prevention cream world came crashing down around me!! I felt like a sham, even though I wasn't technically the MANUFACTURER of the stuff, or stock holder, or ANYTHING other than a two-time pregnancy user.... I had recommended it non-stop to my friends and family and this company had the audacity to go out of business!?!?!

If I'm reading between the lines correctly, that would mean that I got lucky on that 100% money-back guarantee... or should I say THEY got lucky because perhaps I was one of the very few NOT to cash in on it???


So, now, faced with the daunting task of stretching my skin to accommodate FOUR little babies inside me without tearing my skin to SHREDS... I was at a loss!! Back to the drawing board, or the Internet anyhow. I found a NEW miracle stretch mark prevention cream to use with, again, a 100% money-back guarantee (although I'm pretty positive they must have something in the fine print for multiples... but I don't REALLY care). And, no, I'm not telling ANYONE the name of this junk incase it turns up missing in a year or two as well. But for the time being it came with great reviews and by now, yes, I'm a tad superstitious (apparently). The only thing I'm trying to avoid with our quad pregnancy is tearing my ancient belly button ring scar from here to oblivion. I think I've mentioned that before. I am preparing myself mentally to get stretch marks, I don't see anyway around it with this one, but I just don't want to literally BURST any old wounds open or something!! (yes, I saw something on a mother of multiples whose belly got so big her skin was literally splitting open and bleeding!! ahhhH!!!!)

Forget about those of you who want to shake your head at me - I'm just being HONEST!!! What woman out there goes into ANY pregnancy saying "Golly. I sure hope I get some nice stretch marks out of this one!" Nobody WANTS them - but they HAPPEN. I'm just going a bit over the top (according to some, I'm sure) to do what I can to prevent the process being any more horrific than it's bound to be. Oh, and after my miracle cream application at night I also apply cocoa butter lotion and my yoga oil all over my belly.... THAT'S (getting back to the whole beginning of this blurb) where the beautiful belly sheen comes from in this weeks pic =) And talk about smelling awesome - Jeremy and I both LOVE IT. I still try to do a couple yoga postures every night before bed to unwind (it's been a nightly ritual to do ~1/2 hour of yoga every night before bed - but I am limited pretty extensively now) and the oil is all part of the process... including the 'Enya' CD.... relaxes you just thinking about it, doesn't it?

The end of week 23 brought some pretty emotional times in our house... Jeremy had his last day at Sagasser & Associates, Inc. where he has been for 9 years now. He is leaving to pursue a great opportunity in Traverse City with another consulting firm, ECT. It is an exciting move for Jeremy and I know he will do exceedingly well, but at the same time he was very sad to leave Sagasser. My husband is one of the most loyal, dedicated, CARING employees anyone could hope to have on staff and he took his job and place at Sagasser to heart. When Jeremy started there 9 years ago he was the third guy in the door, so he had been through a lot with the company and was on a very personal level with the other owner's. At the same time, Jeremy learned most everything he knows about environmental engineering/consulting from his boss and fellow co-work at Sagasser and feels forever endebted to them for taking him in under his wing. This was the type of office that actually enjoyed spending time together most every Friday (by ~4:15pm... cough, cough...) at the Big Buck unwinding a bit from the work week. They had their own little "family" where they all looked out for each other and offered what a large-scale corporation setting could not - treating each other as PEOPLE. Jeremy loved those guys and they will be dearly missed. But we as a family are looking forward to our new future.

And Jeremy is leaving this all behind for our family. Period. Yes, as I mentioned, it IS a great opportunity for him in Traverse City, but I also know that our expanding family catapulted him to move on in his career... even if it meant breaking outside that "comfort zone" that comes with 9 years of service at one amazing place.

With this whirlwind in our lives, so many people have given so much... we've talked about this, and will continue to talk about this daily as the outpouring of support amazes and touches us so deeply. But, through it all, the life-changing decisions that Jeremy and I have made in moving forward with what we feel is best for our family have probably been the most difficult on my husband. I don't want to say that I haven't had my fair share of ups and downs through it all, but being that I am the one carrying these babies my focus is so directed. It really is just different... and not in any sort of condescending way... but different none-the-less. And the boys are both too young to really know the difference. Life will be what it will be and they are certainly young enough to adapt. Soon enough they, like all of us over here at the Lew house, will only have distant memories of what our lives were like prior to being a family of 8. And that's certainly OK. But I do not want to overlook the sacrifices that my loving husband has made along the way for our sake. I see the sadness in his eyes and know it's all exciting and yet terrifying at the same time.

PLEASE don't take me the wrong way - we are very much looking forward to our new lives and welcoming our new babies into our family! But please also understand that we are human and as much as we KNOW we will be OK no matter what God hands us... and we KNOW that material things are just that... material THINGS. We know that that Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away... we know it well having lost our Angel Meadow and we harbor no resentment in understanding that the Lord had a better place for her to be with Him. But we also can't help but give into that little self-indulgent sides of ourselves that is whispering "You've both worked so hard to get where you are and have these beautiful things to enjoy!!! And now they will all be gone? Boo hoo for you." Yes, an extremely small 'price' to pay for the opportunity for fulfill God's chosen path for our family... no question about it. And we also know that we will gain so much more appreciation in our lives as well in having to work for it a bit harder now. This is a good thing - we can all use the reminder of how gracious our Lord has been in providing for each and every one of us. It's so easy to get caught up in the "But I worked HARD for that!" mentality and some sense of "ownership" over these petty materialistic THINGS in life. But, we know, nothing is truly ours without His giving them to us.

I love my husband for his unfailing support and I love our family that we have created together. I can't wait to see what other little miracles we will be adding to our brood - and hug and kiss them all nightly with praises of unending love from mommy and daddy. ALL of our children will ALWAYS know that they are loved - no question about it... there is no shortness of energy for hugs and kisses and words of encouragement in our household... nor will there ever be. I believe that each and every one of us finds the time for what is important to them in life.

(are you snickering at me? you think it's funny that i can write this without any CLUE as to how much energy four babies, a two year old and a four year old can take up? welllllll....)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Puzzle by Lew

Saint Joseph is buried upside down in Meadow's garden. I mean come on! It's Saint Joseph in Meadow's garden! Meadow has some serious pull, plus she's our Guardian Angel, and Saint Joseph, I mean come on!

This mofo needs to sell - that belly is approaching watermelonesque stature!

So, puzzle still looks the same...

Other than that, alls well with the Lewandowski Family!

Thanks again for thinking of us!


Ya'll Rock Man by Lew

I been blawg blocked for a bit...

The lady with the four babies or whatever in her belly seems to have a lot to blawg about eh?

Okay, yeah, the title of this blog - That's right, all you, ya'll rock man! Ya'll know who you are. Family, friends, people we have never met - not a day goes by where we don't think about, shake our heads about, and hold back the tears for all the crazy stuff ya'll are doing for our family. Heck man, people we have never met, people who have never met us? Ya'll are crazy!

Seriously though, Tonya and I know that ya'llses prayers have helped us and The Quads. My knuckles are all jacked up from knocking on wood, but gosh dang man our Specialist, the man that deals with the miracle we are going through kind of a lot, said Tonya should be the freakin' posterchild for quad moms! The Quads = perfect! We wonder how the heck all can be going so well? As we've mentioned, something about percentages and stuff when you are pregnant with four babies are just so not in your favor. Then it hits us, we have hundreds of prayers peppering the man each night - he has no choice but to throw some bones down to Bellaire for us!

So, I had a chat with my girl Meadow on Tuesday night (had a bit of alone time on the homestead). I asked her what she thought would be a good start for somehow putting together a Masta Thank You Plan to all ya'll nutzos. She said we should start by treating each and everyone of ya'll as family.

Ya'll are welcome to our house, any day, any time. Period. We know ya'll have helped us in so many different ways, we want everyone that has thought of us, said a prayer for us, anything, we want ya'll to be a part of this. This is a miracle! Ya'll are helping with this miracle. So, by the power vested in Lew, ya'll are hereby considered honorary Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews, Grandmas, Grandpas, etc.

We just love ya'll - thank you.

Not sure what gives with the 'ya'll' thing, but it came to my fingers and they just had to type it that way...

Love Ya'll

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Go cervix, go!

A tad bit TMI on that title? Oh well... you must've learned by now how I operate.

But before I go any further we have a major news breaking story in the Lewandowski Family!!! Jessica and Hans had their first baby yesterday morning at 6am!!! YAHOO!! Little Avery Helga Hegge was born at almost 38 weeks (what a miracle after Jess being in the hospital and complete bed rest for MONTHS of her pregnancy - you are such a trooper, Jess!!) at a very healthy 6#13oz!!! I am FINALLY an Aunt and Jeremy an Uncle!! It's been a LONG time coming, folks - we are SO EXCITED!!! And the boys will FINALLY have a cousin to play with - double yahoo!! Mommy and baby are doing fantastic and we are SO SAD that we can't be downstate with them all celebrating with them =( We can't wait to meet baby Avery... we just can't wait... congrats Jess and Hans! You will be the best parents - so much love and compassion between the two of you... we couldn't love you more. (and our new little niece!)

And now... back in the Lew Crew life...

After making it into our 20th week and surviving our very emotional last trip downstate for the foreseeable future - we were back to the doc's office to see how that cervix was holding up... you know... that BED REST AT 20 WEEKS thingy that has been forever looming over our heads - yikes! Plus I was in my last week at work too, which was a pretty somber and emotional time for me. (as if it takes much when you have prego hormones times FOUR!)

Here are a couple of pics from our surprise shower at my parents house... Jeremy, Caleb and I opening gifts and then look how cute a pic of Aunt Kristy & Caleb !!!

At my regular OB appointment with Dr. Madion we learned that my cervix essentially hadn't MOVED!! WHAT?!?! He is so awesome, with nothing but praise and continual comments on how my body is holding up so amazing throughout this quad pregnancy - it feels so good to get all that positive energy from a professional! And he took more time looking closely at the shapes of each of the babies heads this week too - another very telling sign as to the health of the babies (says them) - and Dr. Madion thought they all looked very symmetrical and well shaped!! The ONLY down side to this appointment was when he brought up the word "hysterectomy". Uhhhhh... what? We were discussed delivery and timetables with development of the babies and he indicated that "quite a few" second/third/more-time mother's of high-order multiples actually end up having a complete hysterectomy after delivery of their babies because of hemorrhaging. Once again, WHAT? Once we talked it through, it all makes a whole lot of sense, of course. Your uterus is like a big stretched out blob and you have FOUR plactentas separating from the uterine wall at the same time.... that's a lot of blood... and dealing with a moppy uterus that isn't exactly in prime time condition to snap back into it's pre-pregnancy shape, constricting to help cut off the bleeding from where the placentas have detached. Plus my poor uterus has been through a twin and single pregnancy already - so I'm sure that doesn't help the cause - in this regard anyhow. Yep. Makes sense. It just struck me as a little odd that it had never come up at this point? NEVER heard the word prior to this appointment, no mention what so ever of the possibility of this happening. I suppose Jeremy's comments about me being stitched up (ha... ha... haa.....) wouldn't come into play so much if this was actually the case - but then again I'm no where NEAR fired up for a COMPLETE hysterectomy and to be on hormones the rest of my life!! And it's just so... so... FINAL. And sort of a loss of all that womanhood I've come to appreciate so much more over the past 4-5 years... just odd to think about.

Don't get me wrong, it is what it is. And, at this point we do not have the energy to "waste" worrying about something that we have no idea whether or not it will happen until they have safely taken all our babies out and see how my body within responds to all that bleeding. And, quite honestly, if I have to try and put myself on that operating table right now (which I can't do without tearing up) I am 110% sure that I will CARE LESS if I am having a hysterectomy - I want to see and hold my babies and make sure they are all healthy!! Do what you need to do doc, just git 'er done so that I can get moving forward focusing my attention on our precious little ones!!!

Anyhow, enough about that (although, any of you quad moms out there who know of anyone who had to have this procedure done, I'd be interested to hear more and do add'l research...).

The other sad milestone as we came into our 21st week, other than the end of my engineering career which I've already talked about, is that Wendy, our nanny, and her two daughter, Chloe and Isabelle, would no longer be working for us since I'd be home full time. As excited as I was to have that time with the boys to myself, we LOVED Wendy and her girls like family... they are the sweetest, most giving people you could possibly meet - and I know our boys will miss their play friends (Aiden & Chloe and Caleb & 'Belle are ABOUT the same age, so it works out well!). And, wouldn't you know it, on Wendy and the girl's last day Chloe fell off the back of our couch and broke her arm. No stinking joke. So they spent the whole morning at the hospital and then once we found out what was going on Jeremy came home so that Wendy could attend to little Chloe in the comfort of her own home - HOW SAD!!! That's no way to end it all!!! But, we will always hold a special place in our hearts for the Lanning family - Wendy and Brian (her hubby) are also expecting soon, they have #3 on the way this July!! We wish them all the best...

Belly pics - belly pics - belly pics -

Week 21:

So, exhaustion has set in... is it all a mental thing, or the fact that being home full time with EXTREMELY ACTIVE 2 & 4 year old boys is a tad more taxing on the system than sitting/standing at a computer and commuting for 10 hours/day? Hmmm.. you decide =) I laughed at my doc when he told me that I shouldn't be driving that far 2x/week and needed to quit... because I pretty much KNEW which of the two options would be harder on my prego self... but I understand from a safety standpoint - just kind of ironic all the way around...

And I really started to feel my growth this week too. Like, FELT IT because my skin was pulling SO TAUT that I was just waiting to look down and see stretch marks cropping up all over my belly!! Not that a belly button ring scar from days gone by would ACCENTUATE that feeling or anything... nahhhhh... I'm SURE that scar will have NO PROBLEMO holding up during the entire course of this quad pregnancy... (I give it 2-3 weeks max before it spontaneously combusts!!)

Anyhow, I am TOTALLY digging being home with the boys - for sure. It feels SO GOOD to actually be able to dedicate 100% of my time to THEM when I am here now. Even though I was "only" in the office 3 days/week and worked from home 2 days/week I always tried to help people understand that it wasn't all so easy. I mean I was SO GRATEFUL that I was able to do it!! No question about it!! But I was also constantly having to "No guys, mommy has to work. I can't read you a book." "Sorry buddy, mommy has to take a phone call - PLEASE be quiet until she is done." and so on, and so on.... and I was also handcuffed to a computer and cell at ALL TIMES. I needed to check my email at least every 1/2 hour to be available and so between that fact and actually getting anything DONE - there was a WHOLE LOT of "Mommy can't right now." going on in our house... I know how confusing it must've been for the boys that I was home... but not really because I couldn't DO much with them most of the time I was "there".

PLEASE DO NOT UNDERSTAND - I am forever grateful to Gosling Czubak for allowing me the opportunity to be home with my boys 2 days/week!!! But being HOME with them, without any other agenda, is spectacular... I love being a mommy... I love to play... I love knowing that at the end of the day I haven't missed a single smile, a single hug, or a single snuggle on the couch reading a book...

The end of our 21st week/beginning of our 22nd week we were also ON TV BABY!! I know, Jeremy already mentioned it and God bless whoever found the link on TV 7&4's website (because I still haven't!) so we can share our excitement!! It's just hilarious... I mean, they were here for about 2-1/2 HOURS filming and interviewing our family and to imagine how they possibly cut down to like 40 seconds... and yet! Aiden still managed to make his TV debut picking his nose.... of ALL the footage they had to choose from (which included some nice ripping of that baseball in the front yard!) - boogers it is. Oh well - you win some, you lose some little dude. I really want to see if I can find the full transcript - I need to dig into the website more... but check it out if you get time (see response to Jeremy's blog a while back where someone posted the link - sorry I don't remember who right now!).

Grandma Lew also came up to visit with us over Memorial Day weekend and JUST MISSED her chance at super-stardom on TV with us =) It was nice to have her up - especially dicey with her visiting since Jess and Hans were due in only a couple of short weeks (SEE ABOVE little Avery!!)!! Here's a pic of her at the campfire with the boys...

Week 22:

HOLY BELLY BATMAN!!! That's 36-3/4" around now!!!

I had the honor of being escorted to my ultrasound appointment at Munson by my friend Kris today - thank you for the shuttle and good company!! This was another one for Dr. Jelsema and so they always take a bit longer since they do the full gamut of measurements each time (LOVE IT!). In my follow up consultation with Dr. Jelsema the next day (because, again, we "compromise his schedule" on his days in Traverse City with the number of babies we have to look at so we do the ultrasound on one day and then discuss with Dr. Jelsema on a different) he was once again super optimistic with how the babies are doing!!! It's just an incredible, incredible blessing... I still can NOT believe that we have made it this far and ALL FOUR BABIES LOOK HEALTHY and are developing well!! I thank ALL of you for your heartfelt prayers - that's how we have gotten to this point - I am convinced... prayers and the grace of our good Lord for sure.

Anyhow, my cervix is still holding up like a champ - which is "miraculous" according to both Madion and Jelsema for this stage of the game. Who'd have guessed I had such a strong cervix? The beauty of the female body is so much more than skin deep... and becoming a mother, experiencing all that pregnancy, child birth, nursing, etc. I know that I have truly come to realize and APPRECIATE my body so much more. I have often told Jeremy in the past that I feel sorry for him because he will never have the opportunity to experience all that I have throughout the journey of pregnancy and birth.... keep in mind that this is NOT said in a mean way, and he's usually holding a beer looking at me (water in hand) going "Uh huh. I'm so happy for you. I'll just live it all vicariously through you, T." No hard feelings there, eh? Hee, hee... Anyhow, due to the fact that my cervix is still measuring almost that of a non-pregnant woman at 22 weeks into a quad pregnancy (go cervix, go cervix! ok, enough out of me...), Dr. Jelsema told me that he has a tremendous amount of confidence that I will not go into preterm labor in the 2-4 weeks - HUH? COME AGAIN?? That is like THE ABSOLUTE BEST, MOST ENCOURAGING WORDS EVER!!! This comment is followed up with the necessary "Of course ANYTHING can happen, and there are NO GUARANTEES, but that is my thoughts on it as of today." I'll take it!

The only thing that came up in my consult is that my iron is crazy low (but it was zero surprise due to his "diluted kool-aid" explanation from like week 10 and the fact they had to take me off iron pills because it was adding to my projectile vomiting problem...) and that the babies have begun to fall a LITTLE off their gestational age growth in terms of measurement. But, this too was expected and Dr. Jelsema was not "alarmed" by it. I have read about it in all of my multiples books and they said to typically expect the growth rate of quads to slow around week 20 due to primarily unknown factors... but they tend to all agree that it is due to the crowding problem that is beginning and the fact that my body thinks it's almost full term right now with a singleton pregnancy so it might somehow signal a slowing in the growth process?? But, as I think I mentioned earlier in a different blog, even though the babies might not MEASURE at 22 weeks exactly (and it WAS encouraging that they were all VERY CLOSE in size - (2) at 14 oz and around 21 weeks 4 days and (2) at 15oz around 21 weeks 5 days, all still measuring within a couple DAYS of their true gestational age) their bodily systems MATURE earlier due to the high number of fetus' within the uterus at the same time. So, all in all we were not too worried about being off by a couple of days in terms of their measurement. WE WERE GRATEFUL ONCE MORE FOR ALL THE GLORIOUS BLESSINGS IN OUR LIVES.

And this, my friends... FINALLY brings us up to speed as I am now 23 weeks... CAN YOU BELIEVE I FINALLY MADE IT!?!? Only took a coupla' weeks... not too shabby...