Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fire Drill

Jo Ann and I have been anxiously looking forward to a change of pace lately, something to break up the monotony wedged between our weekly ultrasound visits. Opportunity knocked early Friday morning. My parents were down from Murfreesboro to spend a couple days tending to Jo Ann while I was out. While I was getting ready to leave for work, Jo Ann told me she had called Dr. Conrad's answering service earlier that morning. She had had some lower abdominal pains that woke her at about 2 am. Her hope was to be seen in the Dr.s office just to make sure everything was okay. After what seemed like days, and me calling twice more, Dr. Conrad finally called back. As soon as I answered, he told me to "take Jo Ann to Labor & Delivery now". I asked him if the nurse had told him her symptoms (which were nothing like what had been previously described to us), and he told me that she was having contractions. To me, that was every sense of the word. So I very calmly ran through the house like a maniac, getting everything together while Jo Ann got dressed. (Not really, it actually went quite smoothly). We drove to the hospital where we were taken right into a room, and Jo Ann was hooked up to begin monitoring. We were told at a previous appointment to go to the hospital when Jo Ann was having 5 contractions per hour; when we got there she was having 3 every 10 minutes. She was given injections of something I can't spell or say to stop the contractions, which actually began to work very quickly. Dr. Conrad had told us that he had been able in previous cases to suspend pre-term labor for up to 2 weeks with this medication. So far it's working on us too. When he got to her room Friday afternoon, he looked over the test results and told her she could go home, which was a huge surprise. We were told before that once she checked in she wouldn't leave till the babies were born and she had healed from surgery. That was quite a relief to say the least. Bear in mind this was Friday Aug. 29, which was the day before Saturday Aug. 30(rolltide) and our room had a TV that seemed no bigger than a wristwatch. Anyway, we went home. But while we were there, Jo Ann was scanned with the hospital's equipment, and we got the best pictures of our babies that we've ever seen. Not only could we see the eyes, we could see the pupils. Incredible.
We were really pleased with the way every bit of it went. Much better idea how to prepare, what to expect, where exactly to go, a great experience all the way round. Like back in grade school when we had tornado drills and the teachers would make us all stop what we were doing when the bell rang three times, and then run out to the football field and stop, drop and roll. And put our heads between our knees. By the way, our babies are 3 lbs.(2), 3lbs. 5 oz., and the little girl is 3 lbs. 10 ozs. Looks like she's beginning to have her way; it was just a matter of time.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

In the Short Rows Now

Amazing how time flies, whether you're having fun or not. Seriously though, since the day that Jo Ann and I first saw the 4 tiny flickers on the ultrasound screen, life has been just a smidgen different. How likely can it be that anything more exciting than this will ever happen to us? Ever. We are approaching 29 weeks, and in most of the literature that we have read, the average gestation for a quadruplet pregnancy is about 30 weeks. Yikes! Could be as long as 34 or so, we'll gladly take every extra day we can get. I suppose no news is good news, as they say; really more of the same ol' waiting game for the time being. We do have an update on our babies' weights and measurements. Last Monday (Aug. 18) the girl and one of the boys weighed 2 lbs. 5 oz, another boy was 2 lbs. 6 oz. and the other one was 2 lbs. 15 oz! I mentioned in a prior post the desire to have consistent weights. According to our doctor, better to have one bigger than the rest than one lagging behind. Just figures the big boy is the one standing on his head on Jo Ann's bladder. As far as measurements, (in terms of length) Dr. Conrad says it's difficult to measure higher order multiples. Says they're different than singletons. Makes me think of the monkey on the front cover of The Screwtape Letters. I don't think he can keep up with what belongs to who to be honest. As far as length, think about something that is about 10 to 12 inches long, like a football or a 10 to 12 inch chicken, that's probably about how long they are. Alan said all he could see was onion rings on the ultrasound I posted, and when I think about it I would guess that if you were to look down into a Sonic sack with a pair of night vision goggles, that's about what it would look like. Except they're moving. As you might imagine, coming up with 8 names is quite difficult, particularly when they require approval of 2 people with different tastes. But we've finally gotten them all named. And we ain't sayin'.
Naturally, people are curious in a situation like this one. And the most obvious question is "How is Jo Ann doing?" Well I'll tell you how she's doing. Awful. She's miserable. If you lived in the house I live in you would know that. But as an incubator, she is doing very, very well! I have to give her props for handling the imprisonment and boredom as well as she does. Somehow she manages to maintain some degree of cheerfulness even though she has to lay down all day. But I still can't resist asking her what she's got planned for the day when I go to work. She can't get up quick enough to kick me so there are really no consequences.
Tomorrow we go back for another ultrasound, and hopefully we'll get results from blood work and the glucose tolerance test she took last Friday. Again we thank you all for your concern, support and prayers, God has been so immeasurably good to us with these 4 little gifts and all the people He's surrounded us with.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Week 25- Ultra/Sono

Another monthly measurement; turn your volume up if you'd like to hear the heartbeats.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

From Jo Ann

Hello everyone!! We have finally made it past the 26 week mark! The babies are doing GREAT! It's amazing how much progress we see each week @ our ultrasound appointments. Each Wednesday means a celebration for another week of growth for our babies. I continue to pray that our pregnancy will continue for as long as possible. Week 29 is average and is the set goal of our doctor. However, we will go as long as the babies and me are doing well. I'm just finishing up my third week of complete bedrest. I assure you that this is not fun but is worth every minute. God has blessed me with a devoted, loving husband that has truly gone beyond the call of duty to help with my care. I'm also blessed with wonderful family members who are staying with me. My mother-in-law spent this week with us. She was a huge help! Next week will be my mom. I'm fortunate to have people who will do whatever it takes to give our babies the best start in life. I want to thank you all for the thoughtful prayers, cards, e-mails and calls! A special thank you to the young ladies at Farley Comm. Church for the gift basket of books, puzzles, etc!! Also thanks to all of you that have provided books, dinner, and baby things.
My office staff has been incredible during this time! Without these wonderful ladies I would be lost! It is such a blessing to have people that you trust and respect on your team! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I'm also thankful for the wonderful Dr.'s covering for me during my absence. You have allowed me to walk away from the practice and focus on what is necessary for my babies! With you all there, I know I can have a sense of peace about the treatment my patients receive. You guys are the best! I really appreciate you!
We have had no complications or problems thus far and that is due to the power of prayer. We are on prayer lists across the county, the state and in other states! Please continue to keep us in your prayers! Thank you! Jo Ann

Baby Clothes

Not much to add this week, other than Monday's checkup. Our Dr. clarified 'bedrest' for us, which practically boils down to 23 hours that Jo Ann is to spend lying down each day. The other hour is to be set aside for her daily shower and travel time - bed to bathroom to bed. While I'm thinking of it, I want to speak to the phenomenal job that Jo Ann is doing taking care of herself and these babies. Impossible to empathize with something I've never done, but her great care to do the right things to give these kids every fighting chance is certainly worth mention. Because of her more restrictive routine, an attendant is required when I'm not here. I think we've got that covered.
We have accumulated tons of baby clothes in the past few months. My mom spent this past week with us, and between cooking and cleaning she found time to wash these clothes and she and Jo Ann sorted them afterwards. Just to watch them, to see Jo Ann holding up each little garment, the sparkle, and the wonder in her eyes, was an absolute thrill for me. She was so detached she had no idea I was watching, pretty cool. Later that night as I passed by the laundry room I caught a glimpse of a little pink and white checked dress on a hanger. I was in a hurry to finish whatever I was doing, but when I saw that little dress, I was spellbound. That dress was hanging in our laundry room, and it belonged there. I think the reason I risk sharing something so mushy is because I'll never forget how I was so gripped with brand new emotions; how I couldn't take my eyes off it trying to imagine what would fill that little dress someday. Amazing.... Alright, that's it for that part, almost feel like I oughta be wearing panties. I really like tractors and football and Ice Road Truckers. It's funny how I think so differently about the boys, figure they'll just be plain ol' boys and not make me tender in the heart like that little girl does. Out of three boys, pretty good chance one of them will someday grow a handlebar moustache, maybe a state horseshoe champion, who knows. Many people have been incredibly supportive and encouraging to us; you know who you are, we thank you all.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Comments are always welcome, sorry there have been some problems posting. I think I've got that resolved. (Thanks Gina) You shouldn't have to create an account, nor should you be required any ability to recognize crooked words. I think the word recognition helps prevent spam, so as long as that's not a problem, I'll leave it turned off.