|Second Trimester (13 to 27 weeks)|
October 22nd, 2007
(13.2 weeks along): Time for another belly picture ;) Man,
look at that! I'm looking HUGE!
October 25th, 2007 (13.5 weeks): Another
appt with PPA.
I went in today for a follow-up
ultrasound on the uterine clot we found last week. I am happy to say that
the clot looks much better...it's smaller, it's breaking down (maybe almost
100% broken down!) and is now composed of blood serum(?) that is responsible
for the breaking down of the clot. Yay!! Praise God! Looks like the bed rest
is doing something ;)
the Quads...Babies A & B (they're "spooning" together - ha! :) , you can
clearly see Baby B's spine and femur bones)
Baby C (facing up, head on the left)
And Baby D (this one is laying on his/her tummy, face
down, head on the left, bottom on the right)
November 2nd, 2007 (14.6 weeks):
Well, this morning I went in to see a urologist and
yesterday I had a renal ultrasound. My perinatologist requested these
appointments for me as I apparently had the wonderful experience of having
kidney stones 2.5 weeks ago :P Praise God that the kidney stones
passed quickly (within 3 days) and the pain was fairly tolerable!
First, we thought it was a UTI but all tests came back negative for that.
Somehow, for some strange reason, it turned out to be kidney stones.
So, my renal ultrasound and visit with the urologist revealed that everything looks good. My right kidney (which, BTW, was the side where the pain was) is swollen a bit but the urologist said that is common with pregnancy. My remedy for future stones? Drink LOTS of H2O and follow a diet to reduce the chance of stones occurring again. Although, he said (and I've read about this too) that once you have kidney stones you're more susceptible of having them again. Great :P
For my next trick, I have an appointment for an echocardiogram...
November 4th, 2007 (15.1 weeks): Well, we
purchased two cribs this past week. We have Jared's old crib to use
and we are borrowing a neighbor's crib. So add these two new ones into
the mix and I think we are set for cribs. I found a deal on them
online. They just arrived this past week and Paul has already put them
together. Right now, we're keeping them in our master bed room, until
Jared moves out of his current room and these two cribs can go into there.
Here they are...
This picture below was taken by Jared P
November 7th, 2007 (15.4 weeks): An
ultrasound check-up on the uterine clot.
All went well with my appointment. Praise God that the clot is still shrinking and looking good! I was also so happy to see the babies again. It's very reassuring to see them! No pics this time. They were all moving around and had great heart rates, between 136 and 150. Very perfect! Yay! The ultrasound tech also started measuring the amniotic fluids around the babies and measured the length of my cervix. She said any cervical length of 3cm and above is great. Yay that mine is looking perfect, at 5cm!! My blood pressure is also doing well, at 130/70.
November 8th, 2007 (15.5 weeks): I thought
I would take the time to list what kind of symptoms I've had so far in this
HOM (high order multiple) pregnancy, just for grins ;)
I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg for me. There's LOTS more to come :)
November 14th, 2007 (16.4 weeks): Went in
again for an ultrasound. All of the amniotic fluids around the babies
are perfect and my cervix is a great length. I laughed when the
ultrasound tech said "oh, isn't this the ironclad cervix?" Ha! I
guess so. I really hope and pray it stays that way!!
All of the babies look great...and it looks like we have ALL, FOUR, girls. Oh man!!!! It's been pretty consistent that each time I go in, all the techs see is girls. So unless a boy pops up on the radar ;) , it will be 2 boys and 5 girls in our home. Whew!
November 21st, 2007 (17.4 weeks):
Ultrasound and office visit with PPA.
Another good appointment! My blood pressure is holding steady, at 110/70. Yay! The doctor also said I can get up now. Woo hoo! That is awesome news! She said the ways things are looking, e.g. babies, amniotic fluids, cervical length, blood pressure, no growth of the clot, she said she saw no reason why I can't get up, walk around and even go out of the house (but not alone, mind you). Yay! Nothing strenuous for me, e.g. no house cleaning, no stairs, no exercising at the gym, but at least I can get up and live life a little. In fact, she said "you might as well get up now and get out a bit because you'll probably be back on bed rest for the "real thing," like if I am having pre-term labor contractions, dilating, shortening of the cervix, etc.
The ultrasound went well and the babies are still doing great, heartbeats perfect between 143 and 150 bpm. These girls? are still wiggling and growing. Their amniotic fluids are perfect. We'll get a closer look of these babies next week at my level II ultrasound. That will be fun (and L-O-N-G). My cervical length is perfect, at 5cm. The tech also surprised by how well my cervix is holding up. Just praying that God continues to keep my body healthy and strong!!
November 22nd, 2007 (17.5 weeks): Here a
belly picture of me at 17w5d.
November 27th, 2007 (18.3 weeks): The BIG 18
week level II ultrasound of fetal structural measurements and abnormalities.
Yes, we are having ALL FOUR GIRLS!
I had my BIG level II fetal measurements ultrasound and the tech said
"girl" to all of the babies. Wow! Now, it's time to come up with 8
girl names ;)
|December 1st, 2007 (19 weeks): We had a babies shower at our home. It was so kind of some close friends to coordinate the shower and very generous for friends and family to come "shower" me and the babies. Here are some pictures of the celebration.|
December 5th, 2007 (19.4 weeks): Ultrasound
and office visit with PPA
Got to see the babies again. I don't think I can get enough of seeing them. It's just so reassuring. They were perfect...and wiggly again. All of their amniotic fluid levels and heart rates were perfect. We got some ultrasound pictures of them again...one of baby A, B and C's heads all together and two profiles of baby B and D. You begin to wonder "what are they going to look like? will they look like Jared? will they have as much hair as Jared did? Or have dark hair and green eyes like him?" It's fun to wonder.
My body is doing great. Praise God! My cervical length (or as the ultrasound ladies like to call it, the "iron clad" or "steel iron" cervix ;) ) is great at 5cm. My blood pressure was up a little, at 138/60. My doctor said "it's too early for pre-eclampsia at this stage. plus, you have no protein in your urine." So, that is good to know. He said if it did concern them that they would run some extra blood work on me to make sure. I'm praying that pre-e doesn't occur this early!
The doctor also said I should start the home contraction monitoring system with Matria sometime around 20 weeks. PPA has all of their HOM patients on the monitor at 20 weeks. I will have to wear the monitor twice a day for an hour each time. It will monitor any contractions I might have and send the data, via the phone line, to Matria. Then Matria will review the results and contact PPA for any action that needs to take place. It will be interesting to see if I am having any contractions or not. I think I am having some low-level contractions, e.g. a tightening of my tummy, but that's about it. Praise God I haven't had anything severe!!
My doctor also said I should try hydrotherapy for the soreness and swollen hands and feet I get. The swollenness or bloating doesn't occur regularly, just when I use my hands or feet a lot. He said "you're at the stage of a full term mom so you'll start to feel the symptoms that occur at that stage." I remember getting swollen or bloated feet with Jared but that wasn't until I was around 35 or 36 weeks. So yeah, it's all happening early in carrying quads. So, he suggested getting into a warm bath (nothing over 100 degrees temperature!) each day. He said they have found excellent results with HOM moms and the use of hydrotherapy. He said that the water puts pressure on the body and as a result, the body forces or pushes the backed-up fluids back up the extremities. So, I tried it and I think it did actually help me. I don't know if I will be able to get into the bath tub every day but I think each time I can will definitely help.
My doctor also told me to get an arm/wrist splint to help with the numbness I get in my hands. Again, this is a late or term symptom that I am experiencing now. There's just so much fluid in my body that it can restrict and put pressure on nerves. That is what happens to my hand and wrist. The nerves in my wrist are restricted or pinched and so I get a numbness in my hand. It mostly happens at night but sometimes in the day, like when I have to grip something like a toothbrush or fork. So, I pray that this splint will help with the numbness!
|December 12th, 2007 (20.4 weeks): Well, today I got my home uterine activity monitor, or HUAM, from Matria. Starting today, I have to put on the monitor twice a day (once in the morning and again in the evening) an hour each time to monitor any contractions I might have. It's a pretty cool service Matria has. They will call me after each data transmit to let me know the results. They also sent an automatic blood pressure monitor so that they can keep tabs on my blood pressure (in case pre-eclampsia occurs).|
December 13th, 2007 (20.5 weeks):
Ultrasound and office visit with PPA
I just saw the girls this morning at my weekly ultrasound visit. They are all doing great Ė great fluids around them, great heartbeats, lots of movement and my cervical length is still awesome at 5cm. I keep praying that God continues to hold my body together and that we can last as long as possible. My blood pressure was good at 126/60. My labs from Thanksgiving week were good - normal TSH and normal 1 hour gestational diabetes (glucose) test.
The ultrasound tech said they currently monitor two other quad moms. One is at 29 weeks, and hasnít be hospitalized yet, and the other just gave birth at 34 or 34.5 weeks, and she wasnít hospitalized at all. Wow! Oh, I pray that God will keep the babies in until 34 or 35 weeks and not have me in the hospital. That would be SO awesome!
Here is a recent
ultrasound picture of the quads...
They looked pretty cramped in there. This was the first ultrasound where I thought "whoa, who is who?" Usually, I can distinguish which baby is which and see the anatomy of the babies. Today was quite different.
December 19th, 2007 (21.4 weeks):
Ultrasound with PPA
So far, still good ;) The babies are looking great (and feeling very wiggly!) Their fluid levels are wonderful and my cervix is holding strong at 5cm. Yay!
I asked the ultrasound tech where the top of my uterus was. Well, just like I thought, it's right below my chest/rib bones. Ah, so that's why everything feels so cramped up in my chest cavity now! She said "yes, I'm sure the uterus is growing from all of the fluids and from the growing babies." It's good to know I'm not going crazy thinking my uterus all of a sudden grew up north ;)
My uterine contraction monitor is doing well. So far, no contractions. Only a couple minutes of "minor uterine irritability." Yeah, I think I'd be irritable too if I had four fast growing and wiggly babies to hold too ;)
December 27th, 2007 (22.5 weeks):
Ultrasound (get another growth measurement of the babies) and office visit
The girls are looking good...all five of us :) My body is doing great holding up. Blood pressure of 120/60 and my cervical length is holding strong at 5.2cm. Woo hoo! I have some ailments, e.g. difficulty breathing, tight hands, numbness in fingers, pain in my left hip, but it is all to be expected with quads. Hey, you can't complain when you have have great blood pressure and cervix ;) Praise God that he is taking care of my body and holding it up!
The babies are doing wonderfully. They still have good amniotic fluid levels and are growing lots. As of today, baby A (identical) measured in at 23w5d, 1lb6oz and 13" long; baby B (identical) measured at 22w6d, 1lb3oz and 13" long; baby C (fraternal) measured in at 23w0d, 1lb2oz and 12.5" long; and lastly baby D (fraternal) measured at 21w6d, 1lb and 12" long. It looks like baby D is the "runt of the litter" ;)
|December 28th, 2008 (22.6 weeks): You would think carrying quads was enough to handle. Well, this evening I came down with an all-over achey feeling on my body. No contractions, which is good. It's just weird because I don't feel like I have a cold or flu, e.g. no headaches, no stuffyness, no coughing, etc. Then, later in the evening, I realized I was having chills. Great. So I called my peri's on-call nurse. She said I might be coming down with something. She said to make sure my temperature doesn't go over 100.5 degrees, otherwise we get to have a lovely visit to the OB triage at the Phx hospital. Great :P So, she said to take Tylenol and, if needed, cold showers to keep my temp down. Praise God that my temperature has been less than 99 or 100 degrees! I just pray that God takes this bug from me real soon!|
|December 29th, 2008 (23 weeks): Well, it must be some bug I picked up because now my stomach feels horrible. Lots of stomach cramps. No or maybe 1 little contraction and about 6 min of uterine irritability. Again, I called my peri's on-call nurse. She said there is a nasty stomach flu going around. She said she liked hearing that these stomach cramps have no pattern or regularity (unlike contractions) and are very short, like 2 to 8 sec. So, she said to take Imodium AD for the stomach issues and keep well hydrated with H2O or Gatorade/Powerade. The babies must think there's a party or something going on in there, with all of the stomach sounds and stomach cramps ;) It is good to feel them kicking, meaning they are doing well. It's either baby A or B making a lot of kicks at the top of my uterus. And baby C is active, as usual. Ha! Again, I pray that God quickly takes this stomach bug (along with the other symptoms) from me very soon!|
January 1st, 2008 (23.3 weeks): Here is
another belly picture...
January 3rd, 2008 (23.5 weeks): Ultrasound
All went well. The babies' fluid levels are great and my cervical length is wonderful at ~5cm.
January 10th, 2008 (24.5 weeks):
Ultrasound and office visit with PPA
All is well with me. In fact, my doctor said she was surprised by how well I am doing and that I am not in the hospital by now. Yay! That is great news to hear.
The bad news :( ...we found out that Baby A (one of the identicals) has a mild case of what is called Hydrops. Hydrops is a build up of fluid in the abdominal cavity of the baby and it can be life threatening to her, cause pressure on her chest and result in heart failure.
This is nothing we expected. Right now, we don't know what has caused it and for now, there is no cure for it. We just wait and see and pray. I go back to PPA next week to check on Baby A and check on the others' heart rates and fluid levels. I will also have a growth ultrasound in two weeks to see if there are any signs of the Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), as Hydrops is a latter symptom of TTTS. But it's weird because so far, there are no signs of TTTS...Baby A isn't hogging all of the nutrients, no high levels of amniotic fluids, not grossly bigger in size, her bladder is clearly visible.
We just pray and pray and pray and pray and pray that God takes this fluid build-up away from Baby A and that all of the babies will be born strong and healthy and remain that way!
January 12th and 13th, 2008 (~25 weeks):
We got to take a tour of Good Sam Hospital
this weekend. Okay, so it wasn't a "tour" per se. As it turns out, I had to
go in to the hospital (at 25 weeks) for the first time. It was so weird.
Here is what happened...
- I felt totally fine the entire day
- 6:00PM we ate dinner
- 6:30PM I did my 1 hour contraction session
- 8:00PM Matria reviewed my results and said that I had 4 contractions, but it wasn't anything to be concerned about. I did confess that I didn't drink my H2O for the day (whoops!) and they said "that could be the reason for the slight increase in contractions. "
- ~8:20PM I guzzled a bunch of water to compensate for the lack of consumption that day. I immediately started to feel uncomfortable.
- 8:45PM to ~10:45PM we watched a movie from our Netflix queue
- ~11PM I had strong cramps in my belly that radiated to my back (that's not good). I thought for sure it was something stomach related versus uterine related.
- 11:30PM we went to bed
- ~Midnight I couldn't sleep due to the cramps so I stayed up a bit, watching TV and praying that the cramps would go away
- 1:30AM to 2:30AM I decided to put on my contraction monitor again. Matria called and said that I still had 4 contractions and lots of uterine irritability. They recommended drinking more water and to re-monitor.
- 3:00AM I called PPA's on-call nurse for advice. She said "go into the hospital, just to be checked out and be on the safe side."
- 3:15AM I tried to let my body take it easy, hoping the belly cramps would subside or go away. Nope. I then felt very sick and unfortunately vomited quite a bit. Blech! (again, not a good sign)
- 3:30AM Paul woke up and I told him "we have to go to the hospital now." He and Jared got ready to go.
- 4:20AM we arrived to Good Sam and were admitted to OB Triage. They put me on a contraction monitor that showed quite a bit of uterine irritability or lots of little contractions, maybe 6 in an hour.
- 4:45AM the nurse talked to PPA's on-call doctor at the hospital (which is why we want to go to Good Sam, PPA has excellent coverage there!) about me. The doctor said to: give me .25mg of Terbutaline, to physically check my cervix, run a Fetal Fibronectin Test (FFN) and take me to the ultrasound to check the cervical length. Oh the Terbutaline! That stuff is really nasty - blech, blech! Somehow it calms down the uterus but it also raises your heart rate (I think my was around the 120s or 130s for quite a while) and makes you very shaky/anxious. Yuck!
- The Terbutaline helped the contractions lessen and helped with the belly cramps a bit. The checks on my cervix came back great - Yay! We also saw that all of the babies' heart rates were in normal ranges. Double Yay! The FFN test came back negative so that is another huge blessing. A negative means that I won't go into labor for the next 2 weeks.
- ~6:30AM my contractions were still occurring but not as noticeable. The PPA on-call doctor said he would give me more Terbutaline but my heart rate was too high still. So instead, I got a lovely shot of Toradol (or a high dose of Motrin/ibuprofen).
- 8:00AM the contractions were very less or gone. My cramps also got better. Woo hoo!
- 9:00AM I got released! Yay!! The PPA doctor on-call came by to check on me. He said that I don't need drugs for any possible contractions, as the FFN test and cervical checks came out with good news. I did ask the PPA doctor about what about the belly/stomach cramps and what to do if they come back. He said I probably have some stomach bug (again?? I just had this two weeks ago - although, Jared's tummy has been acting up recently so maybe he's sharing with me) or an intestinal issue. He said "don't hesitate to call the on-call nurse, tell them what happened and we can see about helping you out, perhaps with some anti-nausea meds."
- ~9:30AM or 10:00AM we arrive back home. Yay!! Our bed is SO much nicer that the narrow and uncomfortable beds in OB Triage ;) Jared and I crashed for a few hours and Paul needs to go to bed early.
What an eventful late night/early morning we had!! I am so glad Paul is here to help us out! What would I do without him?! Jared was an angel too. Really. He played and flirted with the OB Triage nurse and in doing so, scored himself some apple juice and several packages of graham crackers. He was also so nice and attentive to his ailing mother, taking my mind off things by trying to find at least one car on the road at 3:30AM, telling me "we're almost to the hospital mom. don't worry" and hugging my arms/hands while I was stuck in the hospital bed. So sweet and caring!
Some things I learned are: don't hesitate to go to the hospital (especially with quads!), that I feel confident and comfortable at Good Sam (which is where I will deliver) with the nurse and PPA coverage there, a good time to go into the hospital is 3:00AM in the morning (no traffic on the roads and I think I was their only patient for a while ;) ) and to feel blessed that right now, I am NOT in the hospital. Praise God for that! And hopefully, it won't be for a while until I need to go in to the hospital for a lengthy stay, like when it's time for me to deliver :)
January 15th, 2008 (25.3 weeks):
Ultrasound with PPA
Well, this appointment went better than last weeks. We saw of the girls. All look healthy (and wiggly ;) ) and all of their heart rates and amniotic fluid levels are great.
Good news on Baby A and the Hydrops. Today, the Hydrops didn't look worse. Yay! Praise God on that!! In fact, to my uneducated eyes, it looked much better than last week. Although, as the doc said "good news is it's not getting worse" versus "it looked much better." So we keep praying and hoping that the Hydrops will spontaneously disappear before she and the others are delivered!
All of my blood work (to check for infectious viral diseases that would cause Baby A to develop Hydrops) came back negative. So, that's not an issue. I think they checked her for anemia today and I think that was negative too. So, that's not an issue. It's just weird.
My Fetal Fibronectin test (FFN) from last week came back negative (we also knew this from my hospital visit on 1/13/08). Woo hoo! This means that I won't deliver in the next 2 weeks. My docs now use the FFN test to check for pre-term labor, versus checking my cervical length weekly. They say that the FFN test is more reliable now than the cervical length. So, we know these babies won't be born in January 2008 ;)
January 15th, 2008 (25.3 weeks): Today, I
finally finished sewing up some receiving blankets for the quads. Yay!
I made 16 blankets total, 4 for each girl. Whew! I got started
on making these when our old neighbor and friend, Amy K, and I made some
when we were pregnant at the same time. She made some for her twin
girls and I made some for Jared. Since then, I've made some and given
them to friends or family as baby gifts. Well, with these girls, I
wanted to make some for them. I had some flannel fabrics I had
purchased a while back. So my friend, Karen, sewed those up for me.
Then, I went to Joann's one time with my mom and they had some of their
flannel prints on sale. Well, I couldn't resist so I purchased several
yards of different kind of prints. And now, they are sewed up and
finished. Just in time, I think too ;) I don't know if I could
sit at my sewing machine and sew now. I get so sore and tired so
Here are some pictures of the
blankets...one of the stack of them (all 16)
Close up pictures of some of my favorite prints...a
A pink and green bugs and butterfly print
Purple and pink dragonflies
Yellow and pink stripe
And my favorite, pink sheep print ;)
January 19th, 2008 (26 weeks): I thought I
would take some pictures of the nurseries, in progress. Fortunately
for us, we have some dear friends that have signed up to decorate the rooms.
Otherwise, Paul and I wouldn't get them done at all.
We have what we are calling "the pink nursery." My good friend, Karen, is in charge of decorating the room. It's mostly a pink and green color scheme. FYI...the pink nursery used to be Jared's room, but he is now in one of the basement bedrooms downstairs.
A pink Pottery Barn Kids rug Paul found on
Craigslist for a screaming deal!
We have some more decorations to put up and two good-sized dressers coming to put in the room.
And here is what we call "the purple nursery." Our friend, Julia, is heading up the decorating of this room, along with some other women from church. FYI...the purple nursery used to be Jared's old nursery when we first moved in.
Purple floral sheets from PBK on the cribs (along
with solid purple skirts)
January 17th, 2008 (25.5 weeks): Well, we
had another lovely trip to the hospital again today :|
It started the night before and continued into the early morning. I was experiencing a new and strange pain in my lower abdomen. My contraction monitoring at 7:00AM showed a few contractions but they were more concerned with the irritability, which was up at 23 min and their threshold is 20 min. So, they said to lie down and drink water to see if that helped. Well, I did that for a while and it didn't help. So around 10:00AM I called my peri's office and talked with the triage nurse. She said to go in to Good Sam. So we did.
We got there around 11:30AM and were admitted to OB Triage. They hooked me up to the contraction monitor and now everything looked good. They did a physical and ultrasound check and everything looked good. So they told us "everything looks good. we'll monitor you here for a little bit longer but it looks like you can go home soon." Yay! Well, that "little bit of a wait" turned into a couple hours. We didn't get out of there until 4:00PM. Oh well.
The on-call doc for PPA said she figured it was round ligament pain. Or if not that then one of babies was lying on a nerve of mine and causing some irritability on my uterus.
All in all I am happy that I wasn't admitted to the hospital. Just another quick visit ;)
January 22nd, 2008 (26.3 weeks): Growth
ultrasound and office visit with PPA
These four girls are doing awesome! They now measure between 2lbs and 2lbs 7oz. That's a total of ~8lbs 10 oz or the weight of a full-term singleton baby. Oh my! Their amniotic fluid levels are wonderful and they have strong heart tones. And the best news!!! Baby A's Hydrops are totally gone! Woo hoo! Praise God!! That is an awesome answer to prayer! The ultrasound tech also checked the others for Hydrops and none of them have it either. Very good news!
I am doing well. I do feel much heavier and am moving much, much more slowly. I think I've gained ~55 lbs total now. It would be great to gain some more and get close to the 70 or 80lbs goal. But I am just happy with how well the weight has gone this far. My blood pressure is good, at 124/72. No signs of pre-eclampsia yet. Yay! They did check my cervix and unfortunately it is short now (maybe 2cm or less) :( But I think that is to be expected at this stage in the game. Good news is it is firm and closed, so no dilation or labor signs. My docs want me in weekly now, to check on the cervix. Hopefully, it doesn't get any shorter or soft and open. If so, that means I go in to the hospital on bed rest and meds. Still, it has been great that I have lasted this long at home. God is going a mighty work in me and these babies! He is so in control and he has been the one doing all of the work, holding my body together. I pray that he continues to do that and that these ladies can be born at 32 or 34 weeks! I know anything is possible with God!!
pictures of the babies. Unfortunately, we don't know who the pictures
are of. Your guess is as good as ours ;)