CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Update

Wow. A few days ago I didn't even know what a BLOG was and now here I am creating one. I chose to add a journal to this site because I wanted to share with family, friends, and well-wishers what was going on in my life and in the development of my babies (both prenatal and after they are born). It occurred to me that they (well you) were missing so much because things keep unfolding quickly. In the last week alone, I have had a lot of drama and excitement, but we will get to that momentarily. My uncle, generously, has created this site to try to help raise support for my unborn babies and now has managed to introduce a new term into my vocabularly - BLOG. After a quick computer guided tutorial, here I am typing away. Hopefully, it won't be wasted. I am not sure of what I am in for, especially given that comments are allowed. Not sure if my hormones can handle an influx of criticism to my private thoughts. My emotions are all over the map, but I am assured that this is not the start of some mental illness, but a normal part of pregnancy - especially a multiple pregnancy. But, I digress. After reassuring you of my mental stability, I shall begin to BLOG.

To catch you up to date, I am now 23 wks pregnant with 2 sets of identical twins. I am only 2 days away now from 24 wks, the gestational age when the babies would be "viable." It would be very bad for the babies to be born now, but they would have a chance at survival. My goal is to make it to at least 30 wks, although I hope to go as LONG as I can. To maintain my pregnancy and prevent preterm labor, I am on bedrest. There are many levels of bedrest, from light bedrest where one has more liberal privileges and can sit in a chair for a long period of time to strict bedrest where one is only allowed to get up for bathroom privileges and meals. I have been ordered to the strict level in the last couple of weeks after being properly chastised by the loving perinatologist who is overseeing my care. I am doing all I can to stick to it, with only a few exceptions.

I have been ill for over a month. I started with a cold on Christmas Day and when I thought it was clearing up, I got an ear infection. When I was treated for an ear infection, I began to have a sore throat and chest congestion. I lost my voice and breathing became hard. I have been through two types of antibiotics and breathing treatments, but the voice didn't come back and the breathing problems haven't resolved. I went to see a pulmonologist/internist locally, whom I had known from work, very recently. He didn't initally recognize me and later explained that my appearance has drastically changed. Well who's wouldn't? It's not like I am getting my make up and hair done daily and that 40 pounds I have put on might have something to do with it. He told me that there was still infection and sent me home with my third course of antibiotics and sample nebulizer treatments, before telling me not to come back to him because he didn't want to be responsible for 4 babies. Of course he said this lovingly. I threatened I would go see his wife, since she is also a physician in the area and he was not opposed to this idea at all. Ha Ha. Seems everyone is frightened in my rural town to be involved in caring for me. My perinatologist will not be laughing.

Well my ribs hurt from coughing so much and I had a hard time sleeping at night, especially having to share the bed with my husband the bed hog and my cocker spaniels who try to sneak up on the bed several times a night but lately have been ending up on the floor because I can't handle the closeness. I have only been able to sleep a couple of hours at a time, though I sleep on and off all day. Perhaps I am readying myself for the schedule the babies will hold me to once they are born.

Well, we have been trying to find a way to get into a bigger place even though our income is limited. Family friendly rental properties are limited in my area. Who is going to rent to a couple with quads and two dogs in a predominantly senior town? Combine that with the fact that most input we have recieved is pro-buying vs. renting e.g. if you rent, you are throwing away money, mortgages are so low, it costs as much to rent, etc. etc. However, I am much more pragmatic than most of those around me because I said we would have to wait to purchase a home until after I could return to work and after we had some savings so we could put a down payment on a house. Everyone in the immediate family, both mine and my husband's family have kind of looked at us as crazy for waiting. After all, someone will remind me regularly (not pointing any fingers here) "YOU are going to have four babies!" "Where are you going to put them?" My husband set out to look for housing and I just laughed at his delusions.

Then possibility became real. My parents graciously agreed to help pay the mortgage until I could get back to earning an income, making it more possible that we could obtain a home. My husband got a realtor to show him homes and found one that was ideal for us. It was walking distance to my mother's house (she will be my main child care support). The realtor hadn't asked him about anything until he went to sign an contract contingent on financing and found that we don't have the ten to twenty percent down payment. I am sure she felt her time was wasted, but she did a contract contingent on financing. I contacted my good friend Jennifer, who works for a mortgage broker and discussed the possibility of financing with her. She was pretty positive in the beginning, but the reality of one income prevented us from getting 100 percent financing that wasn't anything short of INSANE payments. I gave up immediately, resigned to my I live in the real world mentalilty and accepted that this RV will be the only home we will have until we can find a rental after the babies are born. No expectations, no let downs. My husband called me a quitter, but you know what? I don't need the stress. He accessed another broker, a real go getter from the Boca area. I reluctantly talked to her and told her from the beginning, if a friend of mine cannot do it, I don't expect you can either. Well, she was very optimistic about her abilities to get it done. However, a few days later, after my optimism had peaked, I found that she could not get it done in our name. However, she questioned if my parents might be the borrowers. I told my mother of her inquiry and my mom spoke to my father. They agreed to buy the house for us and put us on the deed at closing. With a new buyer, Carrie, the mortgage broker was able to get us pre-approved for a mortgage. I don't know why I had it in my head that interest rates were 5%. We calculated our mortgage on the house we loved and found it reasonable. I was very disappointed to find that with 100 % financing, I would be carrying 2 mortgages - one at 8.6% and one at 11.6%. This made the mortgage unaffordable. I felt like my emotions were on a rollercoaster. Every piece of good news was followed by bad news. I gave up each time. Add to that, someone else put a contract on "OUR" house and I was definitely ready to call it quits. That same house became available and unavailable as quickly as I had mood swings. I was ready to just go back to - no expectations no let downs. Why had I let myself get caught up in all this excitement?
The mortgage broker came up with an idea to help us. She said that we would need to get the seller to give us a 5% concession at closing so that we could have no money out of pocket and "buy back points." I had never heard of this before. However, it means that if your seller contributes money at closing, the lender will reduce the finance percentage 1 point per 1%. We were back in the ballfield of affording a mortgage. Now we had a new challenge. Every house that was considered now had a contract on it or would have one on it five minutes after it was liked by my husband. Things were just getting hilarious. Again, I was the quitter. I said, "It just isn't God's will for us right now." Too many signs were there. I still was wondering how we could afford a mortgage. My husband and mother say God will provide. I think this is just a misuse of scripture.

In the midst of this, my mother ends up in the hospital for syncope. I went to see her and was very unhappy with the way that she was not being helped. She had been there most of the afternoon and evening without knowing who her nurse was, having someone provide her with ice chips she had requested, nor had anyone started an i.v. I was upset she didn't go to "my" hospital. I know that she would have good nursing care there. So, I had a mini episode with the staff, who I am sure were concerned that I would go into labor if they didn't help her quickly. Within an hour, she had ice chips and an i.v. Glad my hormones could be helpful for once. She was treated and released two days later. She came home happily, but continued to feel dizzy. She had to prove this point by falling out of the bathtub and breaking her nose and tooth while bruising her chest and face. My 80 year old grandmother came to me (the one on bedrest) for help when the bleeding started. She's fine. Don't worry. She got stitches at the doctor's office the same day and prognosis is good. Nothing can be done about broken noses they say.

The next day, I end up in the hospital. My husband brings me home a fast food sandwich, which I didn't eat immediately. When I did, it wasn't tasting good. I became sick, as I frequently do. When I did "get sick" (polite version), I put stress on my back. I heard a loud popping or snapping sound and felt excrutiating pain flood my back. I was screaming in pain. I felt like I couldn't breathe. The crying made it worse, but I had a hard time containing myself. My husband rushed home from work at my request. He tried to get me up so he could take me to the hospital, but every move he made was wrong and I ended up feeling more pain. I was crying "My back is broken. I know it is broken." Without any better options, he called 911. I had my first ride in an ambulance. The pain wouldn't let up, but I had to put pressure at the bottom of my rib cage for a modicum of relief. Spasms kept coming. I made a fool of myself in the ER, crying and screaming. I did this in front of the assistant to the adminstrator and the VP of nursing who came to check on me (forgive me Debbie and Donna) I couldn't contain it. It seemed to take forever, but finally the Xray technician came and did a chest x-ray. He was very pessimistic about the probability we would find anything because the area that needed x-rayed would be covered with a lead skirt to protect the babies. Sure enough, my x-ray revealed nothing. I was sent home with tylenol three with codeine (a whopping five of them), some phenergan, and instructions to follow up with my perinatologist. I could not bear the pain initally. I was unable to lie in bed. I slept upright in a chair. So much for bed rest. I contacted my perinatologist and told his partner, the one on call, what had happened. He suspects that I have a hairline fracture in the rib cage area and I suppose this isn't uncommon for multiple pregnancies. He said it wouldn't be detected on x-ray and there is nothing that can be done but to give it time to heal and "hang in there." For two solid days, I screamed with every movement - lying down, going to the bathroom, coughing, being transported by car to my mom's. It was horrible! My perinatologist's partner called in another pain medication, amazed that I was sent home with only 5 pills from the ER with the weekend encroaching. I am pleased to say that five was more than enough. I didn't have to fill an additional prescription. I have now grown tolerant of the pain and can handle it all much better (except when I cough). Funny how you grow accustomed to pain.

Finally.... good news on us obtaining alternate housing. Family, who at this point wish to remain unmentioned, came forward and offered to buy a house for us cash and then sell it to us with an interest rate of 6%. In other words, they hold the title and we make payments directly toward them. They said that when we get on our feet, we can choose to purchase the house in our name and it will be sold to us at the same price purchased less that which was paid toward the principal. This way, we have a much more affordable mortgage since we will not have to pay for a first and second mortgage. They were most generous to extend the offer to us. I have to admit, it is very hard for me to accept the offer. I didn't have a hard time accepting when it was my parents, but I think I kind of see them as "mine." I have a hard time accepting from anyone else. It is very humbling to be a receiver. I can't believe that someone took it upon themselves to "invest" in us with our financial situation glaringly apparent. Now, we are closing on our first home at the end of the month. I should also thank Chip Boring, the seller of the house, who agreed to sell the house for less than requested. Thanks for working with us!

Thanks for baring with me as I do my first BLOG. I know that I went on and on, but there was a lot I wanted to update people on. The changes in our lives are huge as we embark on this journey. We don't truthfully know what to expect. It is not like it is common knowledge when you are having quads. Everything is scary and exciting about our future. I really want to thank everyone out there who is praying for us. I feel the strength from your prayers. I know in my heart that these babies are going to make it because of those prayers. So far, I am told that I am doing a "phenomenal job" carrying these babies. I think I have a phenomenal God who knows better than I what these babies will bring to this world. Thank you to all of you who have sent emails to my mom with questions/support/offers to help out. Thank you Norma from Restoration Church who generously offered to gather diapers and wipes for us from your life group families. Thank you Lynda, mother of twins, who have offered to come and help when the babies are born. Thank you former supervisor, Donna, for offering to help in any way you can. Thank you Fr. Jose and The Gabrielle Project for keeping me/us on the prayer list, doing rosaries, and checking in on me. Thank you "Kitty" for calling because you saw a story like mine on Oprah and for being so invested in my progress. I appreciate every kind thought and word you all share and I could never thank you enough. It really touches me to see people be supportive and to reach out to us in any way. Thank God there are kind people in the world who believe in the simplest of blessings - prayer. After what I considered a very poorly written article on our situation, with misquotes and crucial information left out plastered on the front page of our local newspaper... I am very surprised at all that I have received any support. I recieved hate mail in fact via my mother's email address from one anonymous - Richardwells whom I have no idea who he is or if he even exists. I never wanted to do a website or for that matter did I want media exposure. I followed advice of those who I know had my best interest at heart and initially felt like I had been right with my belief that one should deal with their own needs and not ask for help. If you do ask for help, you open yourself up to scrutiny and basically get kicked. What I didn't expect is that for every "kicker," there is another who will pick you up and comfort you. Thank you for making me realize I was wrong. I am blessed by you.

3 comments:

Martha said...

Elisa - this is your newest aunt (thanks to Dave!). Your mom has been sending me updates on you, but I wanted you to know that you are in my prayers and I think of you often.

I'm glad things seem to be improving for you. God does provide....not always the way we want Him to, but in His time and in His way. We just need to be open to the fact that we may not get what WE want, but what HE wants for us.

Take care of yourself and those babies!

Martha Dorrough

Elisa's Quads said...

Hi Martha. Thanks for the e-mail and nice to "meet" you. Appreciate your supportive words and thanks for the prayers :)

Melissa said...

Hello Elisa! I am a former client of your, Melissa Dawes. I have read your story in the paper and then wanted to tell you how very happy I am for you & your hubby expecting babies. I know it is scary because there are four but exciting at the same time. I want to help you both and in way I can if you need help with the babies feeding or what ever just call me. David says, "Hi!" we are still very close friends but I have my very own house now and things are much better a Big THANKS to you! I want to see you soon and visit with you. Take care of yourself and your babies. I am going to call your mom and leave her my phone number so you can call me. I am praying for you all! Melissa Dawes