Been awhile since our last update, just want to catch you all up on where we are, how everyone is getting on, but no real news to speak of. The babies turned 7 weeks last Friday, which was 2 days past their due date. They are growing quite well for the most part, at their checkup on Friday Price weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz., Carter & Anna Claire were 7 lbs. 10 oz. each and Mr. Finn was 8 lbs. 11 oz! We hope to see Price continue to improve, as you may recall he was the last to come home from the NICU. He wasn't the smallest until recently, he's just had a little more preemie-type trouble than the rest of them. Me and Mom learn more every day how to take care of these babies, and the different needs each of them have, the subtle nuances that we pick up only by spending more and more time with them. And we love every bit of it. It's tough, but we love it. Sometimes they worry us, sometimes they wear us farther than we thought we could be worn, but they ALWAYS find brand new ways to steal our hearts. And we love it.
Speaking of preemie-type trouble: likely the biggest challenge Jo Ann and I are facing right now with these babies is protecting them from getting sick. More specifically, from RSV. RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is the number 1 cause for re-hospitalization among infants, especially preemies. To make matters worse, they were born right at the beginning of RSV season, whereas they would have a leg up had they been born in spring or early summer. For an adult, RSV is nothing more than a plain old common cold, but is much more dangerous, potentially life-threatening for a preemie. During the third trimester, protective RSV-fighting antibodies are transmitted from mother to child, so when pregnancy is abbreviated the baby is denied those antibodies. Besides this lack of protection, the preemie's airways are much smaller than his full-term counterpart. Therefore, only a small amount of mucous, swelling or irritation is capable of restricting or completely closing the airways. This is why Jo Ann and I are being so hyper-protective against exposure. We take these babies nowhere except the Dr's. office, and even there we are taken in the back door during his office's lunch hour to prevent exposure.
This is where things become somewhat difficult for us. We need help. Help with feeding, babysitting, just being here (in our home) so we can have an occasional break, or so that we can go to work. Right now either Jo Ann or I am always home. During the week, either I'm working or she is. But I'm running out of leave time so we will have to figure out how to do things a little differently. It is our hope that we will feel more comfortable and confident with those people helping us in the home, whether it be family or friends, and that we can somehow send a clear message regarding any caregivers having been exposed to someone sick or being sick themselves. Unfortunately our babies can't be around children either, sick or not. Between the two of us, Jo Ann and I have 17 nieces and nephews who have never seen our babies with the exception of my 17-year old niece. I think that is the age restriction recommended by our pediatrician. We don't like that, but we can't help it. The babies will likely be on the same 4-hour schedule for 3 or 4 more months. I think we get more used to it as each day passes, hopefully adaptability will not become a problem, sleep is important. I didn't intend to post a thesis here, but this part is really important. Anyway, that's that.
I said at the beginning there was no real news to speak of. I forgot something really exciting! We bought a v-a-n. I will never say that word. Just 3 letters, but I will never say we have one. That ought to be a 4-letter word. Time to kiss cool goodbye. Any suggestions how to look or feel not like a nerd in a mini v-a-n? Or should I just go ahead, give in, get the pocket protector, slide rule, and members only jacket? Or maybe a seersucker suit and bring sexy all the way back? Seriously, we now have an Odyssey, or Jo Ann does, and we really like it. The kids don't know any better and it suits our purposes perfectly. Really nice, plenty of room, and easy to get quads in car seats in and out of. So we're thankful for our Odyssey.
Also, one last thing. I gotta say...these kids have been such a joy, such a delight and such a blessing to me. But as grateful as I am for them, this family wouldn't be what it is if not for their mother. What a mom! It is so amazing to watch her while she cares for them. I'm glad God made us different, there's no way I could do what she does. He made something very special when He made moms.