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...


Sweety Hope said...

congratulation for your niece !!
I found an other pregnant mom with quads
De Maria (21w)

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