Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Burdens and Blessings

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:

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:

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.



Martha said...

Elisa - sounds like your blessings outweigh the burdens!

I know you're miserable, but just think, in a few weeks you'll be so busy with those babies that you won't remember all of this discomfort you are going through right now.

You can ask most any mother, and they'll tell you that once the baby (or babies) is delivered, then they forget about the pain. The Bible even speaks of this. I wish I could remember right off where it is.

Just think of all the joy that will be coming your way!!! Yes, you're also going to have lots of sleepless nights, lots of crying, lots of wet and dirty diapers, but in the end, it will be worth it all!!!!

I do wish we lived a little closer to you. My 12-year old daughter, Jamie, and I would love to help you with the babies!

I have a grandson, James, that will be 1 on April 15th (also your uncle Jon's anniversary). Jamie is really good with James and I know if we lived close to you, I wouldn't be able to keep her at home!!!

Dave will be 50th on Sunday. It would be great if you could call him (850-983-7942 - home; 850-313-1860-cell) or email him at

Daniel will be 13 next month. He's just 8 months older than my daughter. You think having quads in the house is going to be something, you should live with 2 12-year olds!!!! Oops - or 4 of them!!!!

Lots of love and prayers,
Martha, Dave, Jamie and Daniel