Thursday, February 09, 2006

Made It 25 wks & Tums (the other food group)

Today makes 25 wks! The countdown continues. I would say I only have 5 more wks to go to make it, but the doctor broke it to me at the last appointment that his "real goal" is to make it to 32 wks. He is just dragging this whole thing on and on. By 30 wks, he will probably be saying I should go to 34 wks. My husband had the gall to ask if I could go even longer than that. My perinatologist informed him that this was very doubtful. He said that by 32 wks I would be completely miserable and would be begging him to take the babies. I am almost there.

So far, I am doing really well carrying them. There have been no more serious problems since the hemorrhaging in the 9th and 12th week. I have heard of women having to go into the hospital for months before the babies are born to keep them from having pre-term labor. Most of them have to have cerclages (stitching up the cervix) and some have to lie in a feet up in the air position. There is a name for that position, but I can't recall. Can you imagine having to lie on your back with your feet up in the air for months? I can't even bare the thought. So, I have been very blessed so far.

We have to travel to Winter Park to go to the perinatologist appointments, so it is about a 5 hour round trip drive. There are no high risk doctors in my area. The trip is totally worth it. I love my doctor. He has such a gentle, kind, and loving disposition and he is good at what he does. I have heard there are no better peris. He apparently doesn't take on many private patients nor does he actually do the deliveries of most of his clients. I am one of his few private cases. I am his only set of quads at the moment, though he has delivered three or four in the past. Lucky me.

Usually, the appointments take quite a while. They have so much measuring to do. It's amazing what they can tell in-utero. They can tell any defects or abnormalities. So far, my babies are perfect. They are even slightly larger than they should be. At 22 wks, they were weighing in at 11 oz (the runt), 13 oz, 1 lb, and one was slightly over a pound. They should weigh 10.5 oz at that gestational age, according to my pregnancy book. When I first heard their weights, I was a little confused. I thought identical twins were supposed to be identical. I can't believe I didn't think a little more before actually asking that question. I am a little slow to process things some times.

The best part of the visits is getting to see my babies on the sonogram. I will tell you that every single time they have done it, one of my boys is boxing his brother. He just punches and kicks him, while his brother just takes the beating, without retaliating. My mother jokes about this. She says she sees I am going to to have one who will join the Marines and one who will join the Peace Corps. We have a long line of boxers in our family. My great-great grandfather and his children (My great grandma and her brothers) were all into boxing and one of them "Wee Willy Davies" was reportedly a very good pro flyweight of the 1930s. My great grandmother even boxed against Jenny LaMar from France. Whenever I see my baby boxing, I think of a photograph of my great grandma in her boxing gloves. Priceless. Maybe my son is following in the Hines/Davies tradition. I will have to get him a punching bag though so he will stop practicing on his brother. Poor thing.

The girls are just little angels. They always have their hands up to their faces and their little legs crossed, when we spy on them. However, I feel them kicking the most when not being spied on. So, they aren't fooling anybody.

I have had so many people say that I am not very big or that I don't look like I am carrying quads. To me, I am a huge. I can't believe people tell me I don't look big. I have been doing my best to gain weight, but it is VERY hard to eat enough. I always have a feeling of fullness in my abdomen, so I usually can only have a little at a time. I have to live on tums due to the heartburn that is unrelated to any food or beverage consumption. It comes on even drinking water. The doctor has told me that I need to focus on eating high fat foods, but that is about the last thing I want to eat. I have been trying to eat ice cream or shakes. It's very hard to explain why there is such a huge difference between this and a normal pregnancy. If you are having one baby, they don't want you to gain more than 25 lb and encourage healthy eating and exercise. I am told never to exercise and that I need Haagen Daaz and bacon to gain as much weight as possible (65-80 lb) to ensure successful birth. That's so much weight.

I have felt a few contractions, but that is to be expected. The sonogram tech explained to me this is normal. She said the body isn't meant to carry four babies at a time. I am bigger than most people with singletons at this stage in the pregnancy, so the body is tricked into thinking I am further along than I really am. It is as if I am 35 wks., so contractions are normal. The doctor doesn't worry about the contractions as much as the length of my cervix. It is still very nice and long. They keep a close eye on it. When it starts shortening, I am going to be hospitalized. Stay long cervix!! I hate to say I hate hospitals because I work for one, but I hate being a patient.

One of my fears was somewhat alleviated after talking to the doctor about it. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a big chicken when it comes to needles/pain. I have been very apprehensive about a c-section. I told my doctor about this fear. He asked me what was bothering me about it the most. I think what bothers me the most is knowing there will be a catheter put in my back. I told him I know that I will be unable to sit still for them to put it in due to my fear of the needle going into my back. He said he would make a deal with me. He will give me something to "relax" me before they do the epidural/spinal block if he is allowed to play Garth Brooks while the babies are being delivered. Unusual? That was about the last choice of music I would have expected from a hispanic doctor. I questioned him on the song selection, suggesting he might want to play "When the thunder rolls." He laughed and said he was thinking "Standing outside the fire." See why I love this doctor? Of course he did threaten to keep me pregnant for a year if I get him angry again by not being 100 percent compliant with bedrest, so I better behave.

I have my next appointment on Valentine's Day. I am looking forward to seeing how my babies are progressing and crossing my fingers that there will be no hosptilization in my immediate future.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It Must Be Nice To Lie Around and Eat Bon Bons All Day

Life has gone from fast-paced to uneventful, as I await the coming birth of my children. There are few hints that it is the weekend, other than the change in television programming. Watching the amount of television I do, my brain is turning to mush. I grew up with parents who limited the amount of television I could watch and most often what I could watch. At the time, I really was grateful my mother shared my interests in television programming. My father was so boring. He used television as a medium for education vs. entertainment. He may have been the only staunch viewer of PBS, watching "This Old House," "Nova," and other educational programming. On the other hand, my mother and I watched television purely for entertainment. We would watch The Jeffersons, Alice, One Day At a Time, and the one that REALLY grated under my father’s skin the most was "Green Acres." (Gotta love Zsa Zsa). He made fun of us watching situation comedies, calling them "funky doo doo." (That’s a very scientific term he came up with from all that brain power he was accumulating from PBS). I think it means crapola, but I am just guessing here.

Now, I seem to understand what he means. The more television I watch, the less I have to use my brain. I am starting to think it has atrophied. I can’t remember much anymore. I can’t remember where I put something. I can’t remember conversations. I forget to bring back my mother’s bowls from a dish she would prepare me (A huge NO NO equivalent to borrowing and losing her favorite piece of jewelry) days and days on end. I have misplaced things I have misplaced. I think my brain has atrophied. Have I mentioned I forget what I have said already? Sometimes, I forget the dogs and kitty need fed. Oops. Hope this is just temporary forgetfulness or the kids could be in trouble.

I planned to use this time much more productively. I would write letters to people. I would study new therapeutic techniques and more on diagnoses. I would read about parenting quadruplets. Heck, I would even write that book I have always wanted to write. When do I have the time? I am too busy watching Judge Joe Brown, Oprah, Starting Over, The View, Tony Danza, and on the educational side HGTV and the Style Network programming. In between the important television watching, I take naps. I have been so bored that I have taken up imaginary shopping. What’s this? Well you go to a store online and you start ordering stuff that you want, adding things to your cart as you go. Then you contemplate the choices and choose other things instead. Once you have "acquired" everything that you want, you then exit the site without actually purchasing. It’s still there the next time you visit the site for another round of contemplation. Tell me my life’s not interesting.

The most brain power I have used in weeks is doing a few scrapbooking pages to get ready for when I won’t have time to scrapbook (my favorite hobby) and in writing these posts. But, then this isn’t exactly what I would compare to preparing a thesis. I like to challenge myself by doing cryptoquotes but that is all of 15 minutes of my 24 hour long day.

It just occurred to me today that this isn’t any picnic. One day fades into the next with the monotony of my present existence. My only goal, albeit a very important goal, is to be a good incubator and grow these babies. I kind of feel like a bird, a big bird, sitting on its eggs waiting for them to hatch. When my husband comes home after his 12 hour day at work and has to start cooking and cleaning up after me, he complains of being tired. Poor baby. I have to remind him that I am working hard too, though sometimes I don’t think he believes me. I could defend my position on this point very easily. He doesn’t have to lie around all day and endure endless kicking, back pain, round ligament pain from a uterus growing 4 x that of a normal pregnancy, swollen feet, difficulty breathing, a squeaky mouse voice, or boredom and isolation. It must be nice to sit back and eat bon-bons and watch tv all day. No, it really stinks. I would much rather be at work, socializing with my colleagues, helping my clients, even dealing with politics and some power hungry individuals than being on this little vacation.

If you come up with any ideas on how I can pass the time more enjoyably, please let me know. I am open to suggestions. Maybe you have some ideas that I have neglected to think about.