I had my 32 wk appointment today, although I don't officially MAKE 32 wks until tomorrow. I have had some pressure to have the babies soon from family members who see me suffering and don't feel I am able to keep this up. I did some soul searching and went in today to tell the doctor that although I feel I can't go any further, I will do what is needed to help them be born healthy. After a lot of discussion, the doctor agreed to deliver them in one week. However, the OR scheduling put us back to Monday, April 3rd. So the babies will be born at 32 wks and 4 days. I will be the first set of quads delivered, that we know of, that are delivered without any hosptialization whatsoever. They will be delivered at 7:30 in the morning, so I might check in to the hospital the night before to make sure that I am there and to get settled in. So, all prayers are appreciated. Please pray at 7:30 AM Monday Morning for my precious babies to be born as healthy as they can be.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Posted by Elisa Ewing at 2:51 PM
Friday, March 24, 2006
Yesterday I was 31 weeks. I called my doctor's office to tell them that the benadryl they recommended works at making me sleepy, but unfortunately I still don't sleep. Maybe you call sleeping 3 hours broken up over the course of a day sleep, but I surely don't. I find myself sleeping standing up in the shower, on a toilet, in a chair. I am exhausted and uncomfortable. I cannot imagine another 3 wks or even two weeks. My body is too uncomfortable. I get into bed and don't know what to do to get into a position where I can sleep. I begin to cry because it is too hard. I can't breathe when I am lying down. It now hurts to walk. There is so much pressure. Then of course, there is the swelling. My feet don't even resemble feet. The swelling is all the way up my calves and was in my knees yesterday. I told the doctor's nurse that I want to talk about delivery on my next visit. She said the doctor said "it will be on the table for discussion." He better hope there are no sharp objects around if he says I have to wait longer. I wouldn't wish this misery on anyone. If I could just sleep through the discomfort, I would be okay. I start to feel like I am going to die because I cannot breathe. That's enough to keep me from lying down.
I do better during the day. I drift in and out of sleep sitting in my chair or lying with my tummy over the side of the couch. At least there is something to watch on television during the day, unlike the wee hours of the morning when I am awake. I am eating well - better than I have my whole pregnancy, which is strange. Last night my husband made me a BLT sandwich. Of course, he confiscated it after it was half eaten because he discovered mold on the bread. I think he is trying to do away with me. He is starting to recognize what life will be like with the pitter patter pitter patter pitter patter pitter patter of little feet.
He has told me he feels "drained" by me. I want to hit him over the head with something. He works about 11 or 12 hours a day, trying to make the money we need. He comes home and I wait for food like a little bird patiently. He makes us dinner and picks up around the house. Then there is bedtime. He tries to help me get comfortable and then he dozes off, while I am wide awake. I barely see him. Then he has the unmitigated gall to be involved in softball, playing golf, going to the races, going out to dinner/drinks with his co-workers, hanging out with his friends for an hour here and there, etc. He said he likes to have some "fun." Fun? Hmmm. I think he will be sorely paid back after I am through carrying these babies. I haven't had ANY fun throughout the pregnancy. I plan on him getting up with the babies by himself for at least one week. It will serve him right. What do you think? By the way, I have added some photos in the blogs starting with the update. There are some sonogram photos under 28 wks of the twin boys. More will be added to the photo gallery when the website owner gets the pics and can upload them.
Posted by Elisa Ewing at 7:41 PM
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
As I approach 31 wks, it is getting harder and harder. I don't know how long I can hold out. I have never been much for pain; I like comfort. There is no comfort within the body I have. Most body parts hurt, especially the back, abdomen, feet, and knees. Imagine carrying around bowling balls with your tummy alone and maybe you can imagine what it feels like. I strain to get from a lying to a sitting position, a transition I have to make many times per night and day to go to the bathroom alone. I can't catch my breath at times and I feel like a flailing turtle who can't turn over in its shell at others. This leads to panic. I am doing poorly at resting, sleeping in 1 hour increments with sleeping medication. Insomnia and discomfort are starting to get to me. I called my doctor today and asked them to prescribe me something. They suggested I get benadryl and take 2 tablets at night and see how it goes for the next couple of days. If it doesn't work, I was told there are other options. The worst part is travelling by car. A trip to Orlando for a doctor's appointment in our little Mustang is pure hell. I feel like a giant trying to fit in a miata. My complaints aside, I continue to hope to make it as long as possible. I am not trying to make any records. Some suggest it is soon enough and I should have the babies taken now. But, if something were wrong with them that could of been stopped by carrying them just a couple more weeks, I couldn't live with myself. Surely 33 or 34 wk babies do better than 30 or 31 wk babies. I am trying to be strong for them. My female parts seem better equipped to carry me to further gestation than my mind or spirit is.
I did some things I "shouldn't" of done this weekend, but were needed for that mental part of me. One of the things that is different about a quad pregnancy from a singleton (normal) pregnancy is that singleton moms are able to feel joyous and happy about their upcoming arrival. They don't walk around with fear. They are able to work and continue normal activities usually to the end. They don't live in isolation. They are surrounded by their friends, family, coworkers, etc. They go out to dinner, the movies, and they can go to church. I haven't been able to do any of these things. I figured since I made it so far in the pregnancy, I could take the liberty of being normal for one day. My husband got me dressed and ready for church and took me with him this Sunday. Granted, I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb. I am a little embarrassed by the way I look, but I have to get past that. It hurt to sit in the pew for an hour and I had to get up and walk to the back of the church to stretch due to the exertion on my knees and belly. Yet, I got more out of it than I suffered for it. I am glad that I went, even though some might look at me with disdain.
After that, my husband drove me to Walmart so that we could look at nursery furniture. He put me in a wheelchair which was embarrassing to me, but necessary. I couldn't of managed walking that store. We were able to pick out some nursery furniture and had the guys about to load it, when we realized "We don't have a truck to get it home." It was much more affordable than the nursery furniture we were able to find online. The babies don't need the fanciest cribs; they will only be in them a short time. When and if we find a truck, at least we know where we can get their furniture. So, it was as normal a day as I am going to get. I don't think I will do that again though. It took so much out of me. I will have plenty of time for normalcy once they are born. Well, after thinking about what I just said, forget that statement. Normalcy? Yeah, right.
Some of the positive aspects that keep me going:
1) The kindness of people I have never met- I had a surprise not so long ago. A woman that my husband sold a vehicle to, Mrs. Marsh had wanted to help us. She and her grandaughter, Ashley (who came from Ft. Meyers) came to see me bearing gifts. I was so touched by their generosity. I was shocked that someone who never met me could treat me like I was their family. I was overwhelmed.
A friend of mine's church had a baby drive for me and many people donated their hand me down clothes and toys,etc. to us. We still haven't gone through all the clothes. My sister-in-law, Lauran, went through and sorted and took the clothes home with her to be washed. She had many bags. She informs me I don't need any more blankets. I think I have enough to blanket all of Highland's County. There are so many cute little outfits. I think they are going to be covered for the first year with clothing.
I also had a beside potty chair donated from Heartland Medical Supply. It helps me get up and down a lot easier. I thought it was very nice of them to do that for me.
2) Support from family - Thank God for my parents. Without them, we wouldn't make it financially. My husband does the best he can at his job, but it certainly doesn't bring the income that we were accustomed to and doesn't begin to cover all of our bills. Some weeks I have to wonder if we owe the company he works for money for letting him go to work, while other weeks he does well. It's hard to believe by what he brings home in pay that he is the top salesman there 3 months in a row. If you know anyone who needs a car - send them to him!! You can find him at Alan Jay Chrysler/Jeep/Kia. I know we are draining my parents financially and I feel bad for it, but there isn't much I can do about it. I wish I could work, but I can't right now. My insurance is over $500.00 a month alone. Thank you mom and dad for keeping me insured. I am sorry you will never retire Dad.
I guess my husband could return to racing at any time and make much more money, but that isn't feasible in our predicament. He can't leave his wife on bedrest and 4 babies when they are born to travel all over. I appreciate the sacrifice he has made even if it comes at a cost. He threatens me frequently to return to racing... like I don't have enough anxiety. Someone talk to this man!
3) The little breaks in loneliness- I have several ladies who came from the church to help out around the house we moved into. They offered to do anything they could for us - even if it was just to come and walk the dogs. I really don't like to put anyone out, so I won't be taking them up on their generous offers. However, they helped out by just being interested and talking to me for a half an hour or so. I am really appreciative for that.
I also have to be appreciative for a small network of quad mothers who I correspond with online, who cheer me on and provide so much support. We are able to commiserate and share our experiences. I feel like they are part of my extended family and look forward to my email from them every day. Two are behind me in gestation and I help to motivate them (one actually is 9 wks pregnant with 2 sets of identical twins, like me). 2 of them have already had their babies and made it to 33 and 34 wks. They inspire me to keep going.
My beloved pets- They are so wonderful. I can never be too lonely with my 2 cockers following me around all day and showing their devotion to me. It is like they know I am pregnant. My oldest cocker, Chauncey Elizabeth, is so mothering. I know this might sound strange. I can just see her when the babies come. She is going to be so devoted to them. My youngest dog, Noble, he just is a fearful creature. He barks at everything new that comes into the babies' room. He has taken all the rubber duckies that I had set around the bathtub and runs thru the house with them squeaking them, like they are his toys. Too funny!! I couldn't chase him, so I let him play with them until his father came home and put them away. He had to explain to him "these are not your toys" and offered him his own toys to play with. Somehow, I don't think it's the same.
4.)Medical support - Besides tooting my doctor's horn for him, his nurse is wonderful. Allison is always a phone call away and cheers me along. His sonogram techs are so sweet and always tell me how well I am doing. The case manager, Shelley, at Florida Hospital Orlando calls me weekly to check in on me. We have nice discussions. It gives me someone to talk to and she doesn't seem to mind. I feel like we are fast becoming friends, swapping stories. The nurse from my home uterine monitoring company - Matria, Cindy, calls me daily and is always supportive and helpful. She too, is very encouraging and I always feel better when I talk to her.
5.) Learning thru other's experiences- Two stories came to me via email this week. One is a mom to be of quintuplets who has been in the hospital for several weeks now. She is fighting to make it to 30 wks. She has a wonderful website that shows great community support. She has video journal entries and in one of her last posts, she talked about her struggle. It is getting hard for her too. She's now at a point she cannot eat at all. She started to cry and as I watched her cry, I cried too. If she can keep it up, so can I. Check out her website at: http://www.5ontheway.com/default.htm
I also learned how grateful I should be that I have made it as far as I have. An assistant basketball coach at Bucknell University and his wife, Amy, gave birth to quads at 25 wks. The babies are struggling for their lives. 2 were given last rites and one has passed away. It was very sad to hear. If you can imagine going your whole pregnancy hoping to take home babies to be devastated with a funeral right after their birth. My heart and prayers go out to them. It makes me truly count my blessings. You can read their story at: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=2374475
I have so much to complain about, but more to be grateful for. I will try to grin and bare it for as long as I possibly can. Thanks for your continued support, love, and prayers.
Posted by Elisa Ewing at 1:47 PM
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Wooohoo!!! Today is 30 weeks!! I made it to the initial goal, though that goal is now extended. I had my doctor's appointment today and proceeded there with trepidation, anticipating today might be the day that he hospitalizes me. I was pleasantly surprised. I had a nice long visit with the doctor after the sonogram tech did her job and had a lot of questions that I actually remembered to ask this time.
First off, the babies are healthy. The girls are weighing about 3 pounds and 6 oz, while the boys have more variance. Hunter Pierce is weighing 3 pounds and 5 oz, but my little runt, Preston Riley is weighing 2 pounds and 1 oz. I maintain concern for him, due to his size. However, he has gained a pound in the last month and that satisfies my doc. The amniotic fluid levels are good and my cervix is still super cervix!!! YAY!!
I could not see them clearly today. We couldn't see the faces at all. All the sonogram tech could see was parts of the body, because they are getting soooo big. All I could see was a mish mash of gray, black, and white. I couldn't even make out the heads. That made the sonogram less than interesting, but I was so glad to get good news. My blood pressure remains very good; I am having very few contractions, but my feet are very swollen and it is uncomfortable in every position. However, I would be much more uncomfortable in a hospital environment. The doctor didn't feel that I need hospitalization yet. He asked me how long I want to go. I said "As long as I can stand it." He told me he liked the way that I think. I would like to have Preston up to at least 3 pounds before I deliver to give him a better chance. That would put the other babies at over 4 pounds. So, our goal now is 34 wks. He told me that in the end I will feel like I can't breathe. I told him I already feel that way, but he assures me I haven't felt nothing yet.
Dr. Fuentes is wonderful. I am so happy to have him handling my care. I hope he recieves the recognition he deserves for delivering these babies into the world healthy. I was very sorry that I didn't get to see him on Birthday Live on Tuesday. We don't have Discovery Health on our Dish. Florida Hospital Orlando was one of the 3 hospitals showcased in the special. He consulted a woman who was in labor 38 hours on the show. My mom and grandma got to see him. My mom said he was such a "ham" for the camera and my grandma thought he was a "doll." Unfortunately, they didn't tape it for me.
At least I have made it to the critical point of 30 wks. So, anything from here on out is just going to be an extra benefit for the babies. I have gained 48 pounds and am now 51 inches around the middle, 3 of those inches came in the last week alone! I will just try to continue to eat the high caloried foods he wants me to eat and try to stay off my feet.
I am not looking forward to the c-section, so I have plenty of motivation to stay pregnant as long as I can!
Posted by Elisa Ewing at 11:48 AM
Friday, March 10, 2006
Well, I have made it to 29 wks. Optimism about making it to 34 or beyond is fading fast as misery sets in. I have had a very hard time getting comfortable. I feel stretched to the gills and it is hard to sit, stand, or lay down. The nights are the hardest because just when I find a position that I can manage to sleep, I am up to the bathroom. The stress of the weight on my knees caused my knee to go out earlier this week. Fortunately, the doctor gave me permission to take Motrin for 24 hours. It was a godsend. I coveted it like it was some major drug. I finally have gotten some sleep with a prescription medication. Unfortunately, I have taken to sleepwalking and get lost in my sleep, run into walls, and do other strange things (that I will not share here) that usually end up waking me up.
My mother has been in ICU for the last few days, after an endarterectomy. She had a 95 percent blockage on one of her carotid arteries and they had to clean it out. It's typical for someone to be in ICU for a few days after. We had our scare with her blood pressure being so low after the surgery, but with medications and time, it came back up. She is now weak, but stable and will be discharged today. She was in a hurry to get it done so that she can recover in time for the quads to be born.
On a more positive note, I had a beautiful baby shower this week. My friends/co-workers at the hospital threw it for me. It was decorated so nicely with pink AND blue and had 4 balloons, 2 that said "It's a girl" and 2 that said "It's a boy." Quite clever. I recieved so many nice things: a lot of clothes of varying sizes, burp cloths, bottles, books, wrist rattles, stuffed animals, a baby bathtub, recieving blankets, sockies, crotcheted blankets, rubber duckies, music, some lotions, powder, and wash, some diapers, 4 carseats (a gift from the hospital auxilary), and free grandparenting assistance. There was so much, I can't remember it all. It was lovely. I have to get my thank you cards out now.
We are in our new house, but living out of boxes still. There are so many things I would do if I could, but I recognize my limitations. It will have to wait. I have all the baby shower stuff strewn about the room and I have bags of clothes that were donated from a friend's church still sitting there to go through, with no place to put it. I certainly hope I will have a little time once they are born to get their room settled before I am carrying them home to this mess. It is something I would like to do myself.
Well, that's about it for now. I have been trying to get to this for awhile, but haven't felt up to it. Thanks for your continued well wishes and prayers. I need them more than ever now.
Posted by Elisa Ewing at 9:22 AM
Thursday, March 02, 2006
As of today, Thursday, March 2nd, I have officially made it 28 wks. I am very happy to be able to continue to enjoy some comforts of home instead of being confined to a hospital bed. I guess I am really surprising my doctors and the staff at the maternal fetal center. They were really happy and surprised at my 26 wk appointment that my cervix remains closed and long. They say it is as if I am only carrying one baby instead of four. They felt I would need hospitalization by 26 wks, as they indicated that most quad moms would be hospitalized by that point.
My appointments remain every 2 wks. I had my last appointment yesterday. The sonogram technician was bubbling over with excitement as she shared that everyone there at the doc's office talk about me "all the time" and are soooo impressed with how far I have made it. She checked my cervix and exclaimed, "Beautiful. Just beautiful." I guess I could have stranger compliments. It has shortened a bit, which concerned me; it went from 3.7 to 3.3. She said that it was still "great." I had to inquire about when they might consider hospitalizing me. She said that when it gets to around 2.5, they may consider putting me in the hospital. 2.5 would still be normal.
They only check on the babies with a sonogram every other visit, so that means I get to see them every month. I asked her on this visit if she could just check on them, because I hadn't felt movement from one of the boy twins and was concerned. I wanted to make sure they were all there. The check really reassured me. All the babies are moving about and have good heartbeats and ample fluids. She even took a couple of pics for me. Their faces were readily visible and she exclaimed "look at his nose. How cute is that?" It looked really cute when she was just viewing it, but the printed sonogram pics kind of made me laugh. It looks like the boy's nose is about 1/2 the size of his face. It is soooo pronounced. I am asking, "Who's nose is this?" because both my husband and I have tiny noses. I might end up with twin boys who's noses resemble Cyrano De Bergerac's or Pinocchio's. Poor kids. They already have to deal with being known as "the quads" and now they might get called "the quads with the noses."
Anyhow, the doctor came in after all of this and was very optimistic about my situation. He was joking about how I must hate hospitals because I am determined to stay out of them by keeping my cervix long. He shared how impressed they were with how well I am doing. He gave me even more good news after that. I failed my 1 hour glucose tolerance test and had to endure a 3 hour test on Tuesday. It was hardly bearable. I was pretty sure I would fail because I failed the one hour and everyone told me I would most likely get it during my pregnancy. I mean, you are told to eat high fat/sugar foods to gain weight rapidly, you aren't allowed to exercise, and you gain 42 lbs in 7 months. It would seem logical I would get diabetes. Good news is: I don't have gestational diabetes!!! YAY!!
The doctor said that if I wanted to be on t.v. they could deliver me in March. Babies Live (Discovery Channel) is doing a special from Florida Hospital Orlando. I told him while I appreciate the offer, I don't think I want to have my babies early just to be on t.v. HA HA. He said that I might just make it to 34 wks. (I knew they would push the goal out further and further). He shared excitedly, "Well if you do make it to 34 wks, there is a good chance you can take one or two babies home with you." I didn't think before responding and I only realized how bad it sounded when I left and my mother told me how badly I embarrassed her. My response was, "No thanks. I am not ready for them to come home right away." The doctor just kind of looked at me funny. My mom laughed and said he was probably thinking "Lady, do you plan to just leave them in intensive care?" I guess he must think I am a real winner. I said, well I could talk his ear off and explain the whole long drawn out story but I don't think he really wants to know all of it. I guess bedrest or no bedrest, I better be ready.
Well, that's about all that's new with me. I haven't been very good about keeping this journal. Things just go by very slowly and frankly I am not that interesting right now. I don't figure many people read this anyway.
We finally have a newspaper article that we are proud of. Debbie Upp from Florida Christian News wrote a beautiful article on us and we have put the article on the site. It replaces the badly written (in my humble opinion) Highlands Today article. Check it out on the main site and make sure to visit their website @ floridachristiannews.com for other news/articles.
God Bless You All,
Thanks for listening!!
Posted by Elisa Ewing at 4:38 PM