Saturday, August 2, 2008

Our Quads Birthday in Review...

So how DID it all happen? Why DID we have our babies a week prior to our expected delivery date?

You want details, I've got 'em, folks. And it was a crazy ride for us all...

12:25am - I suddenly find myself awake, after "falling asleep" a mere 1/2 hour prior. No big surprise at this stage of the game. I have been logging about one bathroom break per 90 minutes throughout the night, in addition to 10-400 belly adjustments/restless leg issues/just plain uncomfortable wake ups per night for about 2 weeks now. I believe that this is God's way of preparing us mommies for the sleep deprivation to come once the baby/babies arrive... so it's not really note-worthy or something to complain about, just part of the master plan.

However this wake felt different.

I visited my bathroom friend and, as usual, I was not disappointed by my kidney function at any hour.

I readjusted my 8 pillows (no exaggeration) about a dozen times, much to my hubby's sleeping pleasure.

Leg under the covers. Leg out of the covers.

Socks on. Socks off.

Move legs. Move legs again.

Rotate ankles.

Roll to right side. Lay on back. Back to the left side.

And it wasn't just the usual "uncomfortable" feeling that makes you drive yourself nuts... why did I feel so sick? Was it something I had ate? Great - girl's night gone bad! OK, I'll get some Tums.

And might as well use the restroom while I'm up, eh? Potentially save myself a trip in 20 minutes. Only I accidentally wake Caleb when I get up - and he wakes up Aiden... so I end up taking both of THEM to the bathroom too.

Yikes. Pretty sure that wasn't the best idea. But they are out again in 2 seconds.

Hmmmmm... back to bed, but tums having zero effect. Am I going to barf? What the heck??

OK. Maybe I'm HUNGRY? I did have a salad... and those babies must be growing!!

Get a cereal bar, open and eat as quietly as possible. Not quiet enough because then JEREMY is up in the restroom.

Well... that didn't help.

Man oh man... it's going on 1:45am now and this MUST be food poisoning because the pain is going NO WHERE... in fact, it feels like it's getting WORSE. Ugh.

Wait a minute. My stomach is no where near my abdomen now-a-days... it's up under my rib cage... and THAT'S not where the pain is coming from... it's my whole BELLY... and, hmmm... now that I think about it... why is my stomach so HARD? And the babies have been going NUTS since I woke up...


How am I supposed to freaking know?!?! I've never HAD THEM!!! OK, breathe.

Get up and go into the hallway to read the 'Preterm Labor' chapter out of one of my Multiples books. Not that I haven't read it 20 times by now, but it takes on a whole different light when you are thinking you may be in the midst of it!!! I agree with... uhhhh... myself I guess after reading it that ANYTHING COULD BE PRETERM LABOR.


That's clear as mud, folks. WHY DIDN'T I WRITE THIS BOOK!!! MORONS!!! (I don't think that NOW, but at the time... yeah... I wasn't impressed in the heat of the moment.)

Go back into the room to guzzle a lot of water and lay back down on my left side to see if the pain/hardening/going to vomit feeling go away.

5 minutes.... nope.

10 minutes.... nope.

15 minutes.... OK.... I'm calling the d*mn hospital.

No playing tough girl, Tonya. Because if this IS something we have a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE TO ASSEMBLE to make this go smoothly... so don't jack it up with your tough girl pride.

I call maternity and, go figure, I need to come in so they can check us out. Alright. Breathe. No going back now because they are EXPECTING us... what did I just do? AHHHH!!!!!

2:30am - Time to wakie up Jeremy. Wow - I feel bad. Poor guy is actually sleeping, and if I am being a big horn blower over nothing he's going to have to go to WORK tomorrow (in the field no less).

It really was hard to wake up Jeremy this morning... not that I thought he'd be mad or anything, but because I really was afraid that it was nothing and I HATE the thought of dragging him out in the middle of the night for his wife being a big baby. But I knew what I had to do, my stomach was a rock and the waves of nausea were getting intense.

He was so sweet when I gently shook him and said "Baby, I need to go to the hospital. I'm sorry to wake you... but I think I might be having contractions." He bounded up and was like all in motion - not bad for 2:30am - add the panicked deer in the headlights look.

Long story short, Jeremy told you the rest of that story. Yes, I was having contractions, but they were 8-10 minutes apart still. This was VERY HARD for me to decipher being as big as I was at that point... I couldn't differentiate really well. But the biggest thing, according to Dr. Danz, was the fact that when she checked me I was not dialated at ALL and my cervix still hadn't budged (steel cervix). So the initial course of action, per Dr. Danz, was to "hold tight", stay in the hospital until our 8am doppler (only about 3 hours away at this point) and see what transpires.

I believe she even said that if the contractions stop and the doppler looked good, she guessed I would go "home" (to the Manor) later that morning. This sounded like a decent plan to me - and I was a bit relieved to know that I now knew what a contraction felt like ... a really minor contraction compared to those you natural birth women get to experience... no comparison I'm sure!!

Next thing you know, our doppler goes GREAT, probably one of the better ones for Brock (formerly known as Baby B... hee, hee) and I'm thinking I am SO outta' there!!

9:30am - Untiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllll... on our way out of the door from ultrasound we run into Dr. St. Charles, the Neonatologist... and he wants to give me a "heads up" that he's talked to Dr. Madion, who has talked to Dr. Jelsema, in regards to the fact that I should deliver these babies soon. The primary concern is now my C-section scar, having TWO previous sections, and now that I am having some decent contractions (his words, not mine ladies!!) the chance for rupturing that scar is much higher... which would be, as we all know, catostrophic.

That was my "heads up" - the first indication that our team of doctor's for our quads wanted us to deliver earlier than our goal date.

My mom and the boys were with me through the doppler as Jeremy was in the field for work, so once we got back to my room I asked my mom to take the boys out to play somewhere while I cleared my head (read: freaked out) and immediately called Jeremy to relay the "heads up" information.

11:15am - I finally get visited by Dr. Madion (not that I'm complaining, just noting that I was in complete limbo for almost 2 hours wondering what was up!! He's a busy dude, I get it!). and by the end of our discussion at 11:30am the entire crew is in full swing QUAD MODE prepping me for delivery at 1pm. Before he came to see me he wanted to make sure that they could assemble the entire Quad Team, consisting of around 24 people, and make it all happen so quickly. But Dr. Madion said that there was no question in any of their minds that the contractions would cause far too much stress on my exisiting scar - already stretched to the max. Right at that minute we knew we had 4 healthy babies to deliver, so let's not take any chances testing fate and get them out of there while we know we can.

That's right: I said 1pm. A mere 1-1/2 hours away... and I can't get a hold of Jeremy on his cell phone to save my life... knowing he's north of Elk Rapids still... yikes!!!

I called my mom next to let her know what was going on and she began assembling the boys to take them over to Heidi's house so that she could try to be there for the birth. THANK YOU AGAIN, HEIDI!!! Our boys really DO love going over to her house and her sister Katy's house to play - kids eveywhere! But still, it's great to know that we have friends we can call on in the blink of an eye.

11:45am - Finally get a hold of Jeremy... I love that man so much... he's on his way...... I feel better already.

12:05pm: Dory is going to be one of my delivery nurses... that's right, the SAME nurse Dory that I forced into calling security on me... she doesn't appear to be holding a grudge?

12:07pm: Picture time!! Dory is forced into being my little photographer since I have no hubby yet. FINAL QUAD PREGNANCY BELLY PIC!!!

12:10pm: I saw this on one of the other quad blogs I had found waaaaay back when I was working (prior to 20 weeks) - they labeled where on the mom's belly each baby had resided and took a pic. I think Dory got WAY down unda' to make sure we got a good look at Summer's position (formerly known as Baby A) - that plus the LEAAAAAAAN I'm putting into it make me look a little odd - but you get the idea =)

12:30pm: WHERE IS MY HUSBAND!?!?!?!?!!

12:35pm: I tell Dory that "I am not going through with this without my husband here by my side." She chuckles and says "Of course your not."

12:38pm: Does she know I'm serious?

12:42pm: HE'S HERE!!!!! I started to feel like I was going to be left at the altar or something!! Cold feet, honey?? Juuuuuuuuusssssssssst kiiiiiiiiidddddddddddiiiiiiinnnnnnnggggggggggggggg....... my blood pressure returns to normal.

12:45pm: Anasteseologist Sean is here. NOW we are getting down to bidness, peeps. This man is GREAT. Seriously - we had him with Caleb too... he's so easy going, laid back, yet dynomite at what he does and in being 120% thorough in explaining every single detail and answering any questions you might have.

12:50pm: Grammie comes racing in the door. WE HAVE LIFT OFF. ALL SYSTEMS A-GO.

12:57pm: Dr. Sean finishes his preliminary work with us and it now officially GO TIME. Let's get this party started. You ever seen such a cute yet dorky looking couple? I think Jeremy would make one hot doc...

And just like that we are in the operating room, with a whole lot of doctor's, nurse's, and others... Dr. Madion gave one final "Who's on Baby A?", "Who's on Baby B?", "Who's on Baby C?", and "Who's on Baby D?" shout out to each of the teams standing guard at their labeled incubators. It felt extremely well orchestrated and I knew that we, and our babies, were in very good hands. Organized chaos for sure - but for crowding so many people into one room I never once felt the chaos part of the equation... what an amazingly smooth, focused team we had delivering our babies... thank you to each and every one of you for your part in ensuring their safe delivery. And as they whisked Jeremy in to be by my side at the very last second (why do they like to stress us out like that? I kept saying "Where is my prince charming?") I held his hand for support and looked deep into those eyes who have carried me through so much and said "Let's give one last prayer for four healthy babies... please God...."

And here they come:

These are some of the very first pictures we have of our babies... they may be a little tough to see for any of you who have lived the NICU experience as we are now in the midst of... so I want to forewarn you. But we feel comfortable sharing these pictures with those of you who have been so kind in following our pregnancy, praying for each of our babies every step of the way... and I hope you will all remember in looking at our babies how beautiful they truly are without all the medical equipment they have to hide behind right now....

1:15pm~Baby A: Summer Anne, 2#4oz

1:16pm~Baby B: Brock Hunter, 2#9oz

1:17pm~Baby C: Cameron Thomas, 2#13oz

1:18pm~Baby D: Dane Taylor, 2#14oz

And then here's poor Grammie... stuck in the room and pacing the hallway (before she got kicked out of the hallway - is that legal to do that to a Grammie in waiting?) for nearly FOUR HOURS before she was able to see me... thank goodness my girlfriend Dana came up for the delivery too (YOU ROCK, Aunt Dana!!) and was able to distract her for a little bit... before she went off shopping for our little ones (opps!! A girl's gotta' do, what a girl's gotta' do though.. hee, hee..)!!
And now, as Jeremy has been sharing, we are the proud parents to all six of our children... four of them in the NICU trying to get healthy enough to come home to us... and the two older brother's who are anxious to see these babies that have magically come out of mommies belly... it's been a confusing, hard road for our two big guys as well and I want to let them know how proud we are of them for doing the best they possibly can to understand everything that is going on around them right now. It has been excrutiatingly tough to be away from them for as long as I have and I once again want to thank my parents for being here to ease this time as much as they can by being a constant in our boys life in this time of constant flux with Jeremy and I gone most of the day and all night with the quads....
I know that this blog may seem a little off the beaten path with everything we have going on with our little ones, but I wanted to share the WHOLE STORY on how our babies destinies were determined this past week... and perhaps provide a little break or comic relief for myself with all that we have going on in the NICU. Thank you for your continued prayers for our babies... and our whole family, as we embark on this journey together.


Jutta, Germany said...

Precious moments! Tonya hang in there! They are beautiful!!!
You did a great job


Brooks Family said...

Congratulations to your family - they are beautiful. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

-Melissa Brooks
MTU '03

Andria said...

LOVED the story! You're quicker at getting your story down in writing than I ever was! (...still have to type up my son #3).

What an incredible journey(day!). And for you to have per-minute records is unbelievable. What a fascinating story. Thanks for sharing... I read every bit of it!

Congrats on your family. Prayers will be lifted.

~Andria (Sacramento)

PS....loved Grammie's pic!

Gabrielle said...

I'm thinking of you guys! Thanks for sharing pictures of your beautiful Summer, Brock, Cameron and Dane!
Love you guys!
Congrats!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your whole family. We have really enjoyed following your journey and thanks for sharing it so honestly and openly. As we've said before you are 2 amazing parents and these are 6 extremely lucky children. We will continue to pray for your family.

Take care! We love you guys!
Tyler, Melissa, Josie, Jackson, Julia, and JD Kunz

Sandra said...

Wow!!! As I sit here on bed rest at 27 wks, 3 days, I realize there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have been in the hospital basically since 20 weeks with a week off that I got to go home! I'm so proud of how long you held out!! I will be continually praying for your family and your quad blessing!!! How far along were you exactly?
Prayers from one quad mom to another!!!
Sandra (Cannon, Gunner, Lauren & Avery)

Dana said...

So excited to see them--they are so beautiful. What miracles! Loved hearing the crazy story--I'm sure you will be glad someday to read the details again. Some of it may get foggy after chasing around after those 6 kids!
Dana M.

Jennifer said...

Those babies are so beautiful! They have wonderful coloring! Congrats again!

Kara said...

Oh goodness, I have tears running down my face. I didn't check your blog for a couple days and now you have given birth to four miracles. Congratulations. Many prayers coming your way for a short and uneventful NICU stay.


MTU '02

Terry Murphy said...

How wonderful!!! Our thoughts and prayers are with those little beauties, and your entire family.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your beautiful family. What a miracle they are!!!We have been and will continue to keep all of you in our prayers. We have enjoyed following your journey and can't wait to meet these precious babies.

Ivan,Susan,Calla,and Elli Martysz

Michelle said...

Thank you, Lewandowskis, for your candid honesty. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You tell a beautiful story and I am sitting her crying at my desk at work! You are amazing. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily... You remind us daily that each day is a gift, and not to take life to seriously.

With love,
Michelle (Chenail '98) VanLangevelde

Anonymous said...

Girl, just found your blog!! Congrats on your quads! Im a fellow quad mama (BGGB 7 months old)! I also have a Cameron (mine is a girl though). And i also wrote on my belly where my kids were!! Isnt it great!!! You know one day, its hard to believe, but we will forget exactly where they were so you will love that you did that!!
But your babies are beautiful and you look amazing!!! Im here if you need any more quad mom help :)

Anonymous said...

Nice pics. how big were you measruing. My firend was measuring 58 weeks at 36 weeks with triplets when she gave birth