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!!!

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