Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Party is OVER...

Just like that.

Imagine yourself leaning over your two precious children, laying them down for a nap at a girlfriends house, and your oldest son says to you "Now, mommy... you need to stay downstairs with Miss Heidi while we nap, and if you go outside you can ONLY GO as far as the car. And NO leaving to go to any doctor's appointments, OK?"

And all of us, as parents, try our best to instill in our children that telling the truth is the ONLY OPTION. Lying is simply not tolerated in our household and is held up there higher than hitting or kicking on the punishment list. It is the principle. You can "accidentally" hit someone or do it almost as a reflex in a moment of pain (especially if you are 4 and your pride is hurt). But lying is never an accident.

Therefore, I found myself in quite the predicament. I could not tell my 2 and 4 year old sons that I HAD to leave to go to the hospital while they were sleeping because that would have prompted an all-out screaming and crying fest for my dear friend Heidi to deal with (on top of her own 3 children; 7, 2, and ~3 months). Yet, I also knew that I could not look my boys in the eye and outright LIE that mommy would stay right downstairs... it was not an easy day for me yesterday... leaving my boys with zero notice or preparation for any of us was absolutely heart breaking.
So, you know where I am - and you all know by now how well I cope with being away from my kids and (GULP) on lockdown in a hospital room. But I want to be very clear that I am not sitting here in my own pity party. I am extremely aware of all that I have to be grateful for, not the LEAST of which being the fact that I am STILL PREGNANT at 30 weeks with our 4 healthy quadruplets!! And I have had unrestricted everything up to this point... and had the last 10 weeks of "free reign" during the awesome summer time to play with my boys and give them 100% of my attention... I will never forget this time I've had with them. Yet the events of yesterday came as such a complete shock to this perpetually optimistic girl, especially after the phenominal news from the week prior, that I felt as if that rug wasn't just yanked out from under me but a bulldozer came and knocked me right off the d*mn thing! I am a planner, I can't help it, and when it comes to my family unexpected turns in our lives that involve being separated... well... it doesn't get much harder.
I woke up yesterday morning SO EXCITED that our doppler appointment was first thing - we are always so anxious for them and and they are usually scheduled in the afternoon. We all headed over and actually made it early (again, if you know me...)!! The day was off and running. But, as Jeremy shared, Baby B's doppler did not look good. A, C, and D all looked fine and we are so happy for that - but they are a team in there and if one goes, the group must follow. We did not know what to expect in terms of a course of action for the babies and I when we left... but we were sure it would include more careful monitoring of Baby B's cord so perhaps another appointment later that day and on Tuesday morning??? We certainly did not anticipate the road they were paving for us... ignorance is bliss sometimes.
Deep down inside, for nearly the first time through this entire pregnancy (and I mean that) my cup spilled and was now 1/2 empty. I just "knew" that things were about to drastically change, whether that simply meant more appointments (not likely) or taking our babies earlier (I was SO SURE we would make it to August 7th!!) - the lack of diastolic flow on Baby B was serious and I knew it. It was literally all I could do to keep myself from losing it in front of the boys that morning - and through it all, thankfully, we found some AWESOME distractions =)
Yes, that's us horning in on the construction site as we left the appointment that morning - TWO excavators and a building being demolished!! HEAVEN. We were there for close to an hour... the boys swear they want to be construction workers when they grow up!!
After we left I knew it was in no one's best interests for me to be alone with the boys (for fear of breaking down) so we headed over to my girlfriend Heidi's house to PLAY, PLAY, PLAY!! Aiden and Caleb love going to the "compound" (literally, Heidi's mom lives across the street, her sister Katy on one side with her 3 boys (and pregnant!), and her sister Shelly on the other side with her 5 kids! It's the greatest setup EVER!!) and I knew that we'd all have a blast. Which we did - bike riding, basketball games, baseball games, scooters, playsets....
Here's Heidi holding baby Clark in his sling with a bunch of the kids gathered aroudn to watch Carson trick it up on his bike... oh, and Carson is Aiden HERO. Yes, he's 8. And can't escape Aiden's perpetual "Hey Carson, you wanna' play basketball at your house?" - over, and over, and over, and over.... thank you, dear Carson, for being such a TROOPER when it comes to playing with our boys... speaking of which:
The day progressed and I was getting pretty anxious to hear from the doctor's office by the time we were picnicing with the kids for lunch outside. Just KNOWING is half the battle, right? So I decided to call around 12:30pm before I trekked back with the kids to the Manor for naps. The response I got was along these lines "TONYA!! They have been looking all over for you!! You were ordered to be at the hospital by 9:45am this morning and they couldn't track you down!!" Ummmmm... whooops. How on earth it is possible with my twice weekly appointments that they did NOT have my current cell phone number is beyond me (sorry Bob if you keep having to field my calls!) - but they had left messages at our house in Bellaire (UGH), at the Munson Manor, and called my old Gosling cell... all to no avail. And it's not like we have to sign out of the Manor, so they didn't know where we were... you get it... once again, T Lew causing an uproar!!
The nurse proceeded to tell me very little aside from the fact that Dr. Madion had ordered me into the hospital (and they had been expecting me to show up since 9:45am) on bedrest for close monitoring of Baby B. I was NOT prepared for this. I still had our two little boys to worry about with NO plan on who would watch them, etc. since our family is all downstate and this was just crazy unexpected!! Plus, Jeremy was in the field for work... it was just nuts. I sorta' said "Can I bring my boys with me?" and when she said "Uh, no." Then I said "Can I come at 5pm when my husband gets off work so HE can watch our boys?" "Uh, no. Again, they wanted you there HOURS ago. Figure it out and call us when you are on your way."
Don't panic.
ABSORB information.
But don't panic in front of the boys.
Heidi sorta' overheard a bit of what was going on... and saw the tears forming... and knew it wasn't good. But I needed to make it through lunch with my kids and just figure out my next step before I did anything. I needed to have a PLAN.
Immediately I called my mom to tell her what the doc said. She was planning on coming up Wednesday to stay with us through the weekend (and my dad joining her on Friday) but her response? "I'm getting in my car now." Of course, I knew this meant she was telling her work nothing, skipping a doctor's appointment that afternoon, and completely disregarding any potential consequences that may arise due to both of these actions. But, if you haven't figured it out by now... this is the kind of parents I have... and I can barely write these words through my tears... where on earth we would be without them through this entire journey is hard to imagine. Especially my mom. She has dropped every single thing in her life to be here for me at a moment's notice more times than I can count (Caleb's unexpected birth was another instance) and without her doing so Jeremy and I would have faced some tough experienced without being by each other's side. And she does so selflessly. She has ALWAYS given 110% of herself to her ENTIRE family; single handedly taking care of her father and now her mother through some very tough times because she has unexpectedly lost 2 of her 3 siblings in the past 18 years.
My mom just gives and gives and gives... and I feel so grateful for her, yet so guilty that I am causing her unnecessary stress in her life because of the dedication she has to our family and what we are going through. Thank you, mom. We would be lost without you. And thank you, dad. For SUPPORTING mom and all her crazy antics in the process... we know that SOMEONE has to work, right? (hee, hee)
Anyhow, back at the ranch the outpouring of support began from Heidi and her sister Katy when I told them a bit more about what was going on. I was SO unsure as to what I should do. Yes, it may seem like a "no brainer" to all of you out there - and think what you want - but as you may have picked up over the course of our blog we have a tough time accepting help when we feel like we are totally putting people out. Both Heidi and Katy were like "Tonya. Listen to us. You go now. Leave the boys here, we will put them down for their nap and they will be fine. You need to be at the hospital NOW." But it wasn't that easy for me. LEAVING MY BOYS. I knew this wasn't a 5 minute goodbye (ummmm... none of them are, but still...) where I was buzzing off to the store for something and we would resume our "normal" lives in a couple hours. This was essentially the end of an era for my relationship with Aiden and Caleb. And I was all too aware of it and having a horrible time coping. I knew that once I walked through those hospital doors I wouldn't be back out for days, possibly WEEKS... and when I did the dynamics of our lives will never be the same. I have always been a hard person with goodbyes, and this felt like a huge one that I was completely blindsided by.
And, again, one of the worst parts being that I couldn't even TELL them that I was leaving, where I was going, TRY to explain, because it would've made Heidi's life miserable for the next couple hours as they screamed and cried there way through the news... and did NOT take naps... talk about adding insult to injury. Our boys are NAPPERS, people. We often wake them up after 3 hours because, well, because it's time to get up!! That's how hard we play every stinking day and I love it!!
So as I put my boys down at Heidi's house yesterday, after finally talking to Jeremy and getting his prompting that it was indeed the best thing for us to do having them there so that he could come with me and see what the doctor's had to say, I was dying inside. My little muncha's, that's what I call them, and they are just that. And as Aiden dictated out "the deal" with me on where I could and could not go during their naps I couldn't hold it in any longer... I started to cry... and as he looked up and saw those tears running down my face he says to me "OK, mommy. You can go downstairs, and outside as far as the PLAYSET with Miss Heidi. But NO leaving for a doctor's appointment still." (Heidi had watched them once while I had an app't - so it was ingrained in his head.) Bless his little heart. He honestly thought that I was crying because "the deal" was so strict and he thought that by letting me go as far as the PLAYSET it would all be OK. Kids are priceless, people. And these are the moments I live for. That's why I have enjoyed not missing ONE of them for the past 10 weeks and why being on lockdown is that much harder - I know now what I was missing those 3 days I used to be in the office. And you can't get them back or duplicate those memories, ever.
I somehow managed to kiss them both goodnight and walk out of that room, albeit with tears still rolling down my face, but I didn't completely lose it until I was out of sight and earshot for them.... thank goodness. Our little guys have been through more transitions in the past month and have endured awfully well as far as we are concerned, I didn't need to stress them out anymore with mommies heartache. But you can be sure that when they woke up, Aiden was upset that mommy had broken her word and left to go to the hospital. But he was so sweet that he had the courtesy to say to Heidi "I'd better close the door so Caleb doesn't hear because he'll cry for mommy." as he was in the midst of his own teary eyes...
Thank you, thank you, Katy and Heidi for seeing me through that crazy whirlwind of saying goodbye to my boys - and thank you Heidi for watching them until later that night when Jeremy came to get them. We both know how much harder my getting 'admitted' would have been without my rock there to lean on. As we did my final walk of freedom from the Manor to the hospital, my amazing husband did all he could to lift my spirits and distract me from my thoughts of missing the boys... and he does so in a way that only he can, it always amazes me. I don't get so down very often and yet when those times arise he has this secret little Book to T's Heart that he whips out and he can put at me at ease so quickly.
Here's a pic of us as we got into my 'cell'. My last pre-bedrest/room confinement pic with the quads. I'm trying to look upbeat, right?
Whatever is best for our babies is best for me. I am estatic that after our huge scare yesterday ALL of the babies cord numbers and graphs were GREAT today!! And maybe, just maybe it has something to do with bedrest. I don't know. The doctor's don't know. They certainly weren't ready to hear me out though after our app't today when I shouted "THIS IS GREAT!! WHEN DO I GET DISCHARGED!!??!!??" Hmmmm.... what's the dilly? But we will just take every blessing that comes our way and still take each day at a time.
They did end up giving me my second steroid shot tonight, because they have to be given in succession to have any positive effect. But Jeremy and I are still VERY HOPEFUL tha if the babies all continue to show good blood flow through their cords they will let us continue to carry them to that magical August 7th date. The doctor on call today was not my OB or specialist and was not "making that call." so I should know more tomorrow when I get to talk to Dr. McKay (Dr. Madion is SO avoiding me!!! I think he can hear it now "YOU did this to me, Doc. complete with fire spitting out of my eyes... hee, hee).
Tomorrow will bring more test results and hopefully more good news. I truly feel like yesterday was just a fluke!!! But, who am I to say? I'm just an optimist. The realist doc on call today was quick to remind me (when, again, I was inquiring about my release date... opps... am I too persistent?) that everything could change again tomorrow, and NOT for the better, so they will need to continue to monitor the babies very closely. Makes sense. I'm just simply putting it OUT THERE that if they want to release me, I'm TOTALLY game. You know? Don't want anyone wondering or anything.
Oh, and if anyone knows of any research that has been done on the positive effect of bedrest/room confinement on the cord blood please let me know. When I asked yesterday, because I just simply WANTED TO KNOW - IS there any scientific backing to the fact that bedrest improves this sort of condition of a baby within the mother? I understand and totally see the connection with things like a shortened cervix, hypertension, edema, etc. And I'm not convinced that there is a link (yes, after the results today I'm certainly believing a bit more that the possibility exists). Even the doc yesterday was very honest that bedrest is a conservative move for unknown conditions during pregnancy because then they can keep a close eye on us, and she gave her theory, which was pretty good, about maximizing my blood flow available to the babies by not doing anything. But research? None that she knew of. So I'm on the prowl... because I like to know these things. Again, I'm not GOING anywhere, folks. And whatever the doctor's tell me is best I will do. But I also like to keep up and do my own research when possible.
You'll be getting a whole lot more of that now that I have this laptop and I'm confined!! Yeah, let's talk. I am so anxious to have this time to share thoughts, experiences, and research with other quad moms and so many others of you out there who have any insight. And, unfortunate for you, I'm not NEARLY as concise as my hubby. Nor as whitty.

This was Sunday, my last TRUE day of freedom (which we spent at the beach all morning and then at the Peter's house that evening playing hockey till we dropped and flying wooden airplanes, NUTS!):
Thank you all for your kinds words of encouragement, your phone calls, and to those of you who braved the rapids and actually stopped by to see the crazy lady on lockdown!! Dana actually drove up from Cadillac AND brought food AND stopped at a Ford dealership on her way to see if she could sweet talk them into giving us a free mega-van.... now there's a true friend =) I will actually be able to check email again too - so PLEASE do not hesitate to email me considering I've been SO HORRIBLE for the past 2-1/2 months at responding!! Sista' is lovin' contact with the outside world!!
And, in closing, here is a pic of me and our boys tonight as we had our special "movie night" in mommies bed.... the goodbye was as painful as last night's... and I only wish I could let them know how MUCH mommy misses them and wishes that they could stay with me (TRUST ME, I TRIED!!) or I could be back at the Manor with them... but I know they are in the best hands possible with my mom and Jeremy there to comfort and love them.
Thank you Jeremy for your continual support; coming to EVERY SINGLE appointment with me over the past couple weeks (keep in mind he has a new job... that's not easy), and now, coming to visit me before work, still coming to the appointments during the day, and rushing over immediately after work to spend time with me. It's not an easy position to be in as the "consoler" while the boys cry everytime they leave here... I feel bad to put you in that predicament... but soon we will all be together again. I love you all so much.


Sonja said...

Hello mother of 4 to be and 2 cuties already!

I'm a mother of 2. 19 year old daughter and 17 year old son.

The bedrest is by far the worst of all scenarios. I'm not a "formal study" but here is my 2 cents worth.

My daughter was a determined little squirrel. She loved to "hold" her cord. She thought it was especially fun when I went for my sonorgrams! Not! So to make a long story short.... at weeks before due date I was put in the hospital to (keep a close eye on). My journey there was interesting. They told me I would be in every position possible before she was born. I WAS! They placed my behind on a bed pan while lying in bed. (To levitate her back up) That didn't work. They then decided after the left side laying had calmed heart beats down (mine and hers) that they would put me with my head DOWN. I laid on my back in bed and they lowered the head of my bed down so that I felt as if I would fall out. I didn't, just got a headhache. Well, to know avail..... I had her 6 weeks early. I did manage to give her that extra week though. She was born with the cord still wrapped around her neck and arm but has been a trooper all her life and is doing wonderful.
Next, my son...... I was pregnant with twins and miscarried one early in my pregnancy and was on bedrest for the duration. I did not end up in the hospital until 11 weeks prior to due date. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital due to toxemia and diabetes.... he came 8 weeks early and spent 21 days in the hospital but is duing well. He has grown up to be a typical 17 year old young man.

All said and done.. The bedrest is a bit boring and frustrating but with the 4 you have.... I'm sure you need the rest :) Any time I got antsy.... I would think of the little bundle I was going to bring home. With my son it was really hard because I was missing his sister (they wouldn't let her come visit unless my docs said I could go in a wheelchair to the waiting area. Many years ago. :) My mom and husband took really good care of her though and I talked to her on the phone and even taped bedtime stories for my mom to play for her to lay down. She was a little one when I was pregnant. They are only 22 months apart.
I'm sorry this is so long, I just wanted to let you know that it is worth it. (As if you had a doubt) I know you miss your little men. Just give them extra long hugs and kisses when they visit. Also.... get a box for each one (a little school box will do). You can fill it with your hugs and kisses for them to take home each day and open when they miss you. (you could have them do the same for you). I hope this helps some. I could be a great email buddy during your bedrest time. I don't work anymore myself due to seizures so I am home all day and visit many sites. Prayers are with you and your family. My email address you can email is skm2@bellsouth.net. My name is Sonja. Take care of yourself and little bunles to come.

Dana said...

Hang in there T! I feel like August 7th is still a good possibility. You've defied the odds to this point, why expect any different now? Call me anytime if you need to chat.

Kimmi said...

Hi Tonya,

If anyone can beat the odds, it's you!! I'm still praying for August 7th:) Call me if you are bored. It's pretty crazy and LOUD over here too but I will lock myself in a room ALONE so you can hear me (HA HA). We are always thinking about you guys and praying for your family. Keep the positive outlook and KEEP THE FAITH!!


Cassie said...

Hi Tonya-
I have been following your blog and feel as if I have been included in a wonderful journey!(Thank you for that) I know we aren't close, but what I do know about you is that you are an amazingly strong and dedicated woman. I believe that if anyone can carry and deliver four healthy quadruplets, that woman is you! I am constantly inspired by your love for your family and life in general. I would love to hear from you while you are on bedrest, my email is: cassie3737@aol.com. Hang in there, you and the babies are always in my prayers.
Love, Cassie (your cousin)

Brooks Family said...

I was crying reading your post this morning about leaving your boys. Please know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers! Try not to go too crazy in the hospital!

Can you email me your address at the manor? melissamet at hotmail


-Melissa Brooks
MTU Alum

Cair said...

You don't know me, but I found your blog recently and I'm hooked on you and your family. I am awed by how strong you are and how amazingly well you have done with this incredible pregnancy.

It is so hard to see the end of a great time with your kids, knowing that their lives will never be the same. Even if you know it's for a really, really good reason it is hard. I struggled with each and every change my daughter has gone through (leaving her with the babysitter for the first time, the first day of day care, first day of kindergarten ...) for a while feeling I had ruined her, so far, great life. Fortunately time and good outcomes have a way of healing. I'm sure having a great outcome on Tuesday's tests is step one for you in feeling better about being inpatient.

I'm glad you got 10 weeks being home with your boys. That in itself was a gift. But I'm also sorry that it had to come to an end. Being on bedrest can't be much fun, yet somehow I feel like you'll find a way to make it a great experience. You seem to be pretty darn good a finding silver linings.


MrsNanP said...

bless your quad-incubating, acres of salad-eating, ice cream-loving, Aiden & Caleb-missing little heart!!!!!!
I'm in Ann Arbor until after work Friday - I'll head over to visit and hassle you when I get back up to the north country but until then, know that I'm thinking 'bout you guys (all 8 of you Lews) and shooting much love & prayers your way - and I know you'll be counting the minutes until I get there to entertain you with my sparkling wit and such!!! ha ha ha ha
and, I think August 7 would be an awesome birthday for the QuadLews - remember I was telling you about our 15 yr old babysitter who let Michael have tea and such? (disclaimer: he is actually an awesome babysitter, he just got bamboozled...) well, his 16th birthday happens to be August 7 and how cool would that be for him to say that he shares a birthday with the famous Lewandowski Quads?
maybe he'll give you a cut rate on babysitting fees someday because of that fact, you never know!!! ha ha ha ha ha ha
oh, I kill me!!!
okay, enough of my crazy ramblings - seriously, take care and don't hesitate to have Jeremy hunt us down if you need ANYTHING!!!!


Anonymous said...

Ok- So I am determined to get those boys so tired from our "day at the beach" tomorrow, that they won't be able to shed one little tear when they leave for naps tomorrow. One can hope can't they? I talked with my Uncle, and I have another angle for the mega-van. We will find a vehicle for all those little ones. Keep your head up Aunt Tee. Hugs and Kisses and sleep tight while hugging that belly tight:)

Aunt Dana S.