Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Letter to our Friends and Family

Dear Family & Friends,

We want to start by saying thank you for the outpouring of support we have received from everyone. We are experiencing the biggest challenge of our lives, and we’re very lucky to be surrounded by so many family members and friends who have shown us love and support.

Some people have offered to help in the future, whether it's helping bring meals, laundry, playing with Tyler, feeding babies, or coming over to help watch babies so that mom and dad can get some rest, and we appreciate these offers, however we would like to find a way to organize volunteers ahead of time so we don’t end up with extra volunteers one day and not enough the next. As far as the feedings go, we are planning on having a small group that we can rely on consistently to help with the feedings. If you are interested in being a part of this group, let us know. We are hoping we can get people that can consistently fill a small period of time (approx. 2-4 hours) on the same day each week so we can get some kind of routine going.

To assist us with scheduling, our church is appointing a person to help us with scheduling and an internet calendar will be set up to sign up to help. We will let you all know who that person is and the information on the calendar when we have it.

We will also be bringing the kiddos home right at the beginning of RSV season and want to do everything to prevent the babies from getting this. We don't want to be rude to anyone but our babies health is our number one priority, especially this first winter. If you are not aware of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), you are among the majority. Most people have not heard of RSV, even though nearly every child has had the virus by age two. For full-term babies, RSV typically is not any worse than the common cold, but for preemies, the virus can be quite different. Babies born earlier then 36 weeks are at the highest risk for serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and other sometimes fatal complications. Our babies were born prematurely, are multiples, and have low birth weights. These are among the highest risk factors for contracting RSV and developing serious complications. 
You may ask, “Can’t they fight it off and build up their immune system? Kids need to get sick, right?” The simple answer is NO. Since our babies are pre-term, their immune systems are not strong enough to fight off infection. If they contract RSV, they could be hospitalized and develop serious complications.  For this reason we will not be attending many events this coming winter, including church with the babies. The picture below demonstrates the difference between a full term and pre-term babies lungs.
                         LUNGS OF NORMAL BABY                    LUNGS OF PREEMIE BABY
While we appreciate and are thankful for each and every offer of help, we do want to maintain some privacy and control in our home and family. We will be requiring all visitors and volunteers, including family, to follow a few requirements to help make this transition easier for all involved.
1 – When you arrive, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer before touching the babies, as well as in between handling babies.
2 – Get your flu shot, as well as update your TDaP (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis) vaccine. This needs to be renewed every ten years anyways. No time like the present.  You can get the vaccine from the health department, or at your doctor’s office.
3 – Please don’t come over if you are currently sick, or have had symptoms in the last 5 days, if you live with someone who is sick, or have been in contact with someone else who is sick.
4 – If you smoke, we ask that you change your clothes, and refrain from smoking while visiting, as preemies lungs are very sensitive to smoke. Persons smelling of smoke will unfortunately miss out on holding the babies.
5 – If you are parents to a baby/children, please leave them at home during RSV season, however, we would love to hang out after.
6 – When coming to our home, please take a moment to greet and spend some time with our son Tyler first. It is very important to us that he not feel left out.
Please understand that this letter is not meant to offend anyone, just simply to provide explanations and to set expectations. We hope you understand, and we appreciate your help in keeping our babies safe.
With love,

Allen, Katie, Tyler, Alexis, Allison, Daniel, and William
Friday, November 9, 2012

Our New Additions

Well, most of you probably know that our quadruplets were born last week. It was rather unexpected, but went very smoothly. On Halloween I began having contractions late at night, and despite the discomfort I didn't alert the nurse immediately. Finally after about an hour or more of uncomfortable, close contractions I decided I ought to let the nurse know. After 15 minutes on the monitor it became evident that I was having contractions every 2-4 minutes.

Fortunately, my OB was on that night and she came in and checked me out. I was dilated to a 1 or so. After a couple more hours of contractions, she checked me again and I was up to a 3. At that point, they got an IV in (barely) to give me some Mag to slow contractions as well as give the babies the added benefit of brain protection from the Mag. They called in the general surgeon to put in my central line and started prepping for the delivery that was scheduled for 11:45 in the morning.

Hubby showed up around 5:45 am and we waited for what seemed like forever for our turn in the OR. 11:45 came and went as we got bumped by an emergency c-section...and then another. We were finally walked into the OR at 1:30 in the afternoon and the fun got started.

Beginning at 1:53 our babies were born. They all came out crying! It was such a relief! Another relief was that I didn't have any complications from the surgery. They didn't have to give me blood and my uterus began contracting and retracting immediately.

Our babies were born smallest to largest:

Alexis 2lb6oz and 14.75" long
Allison 3lb2oz and 16" long
Daniel 3lb7oz and 16" long
William 4lb10oz and 16" long

And they are doing AWESOME!

Lexie has never had any breathing assistance. She was breathing room air from the start. She went on light therapy a day or two after birth for jaundice, but that was only for a day and a half. She takes most of her feeds by bottle/breast and is well on the way to an open crib in spite of how little she is. As of today she is up to 2lb7oz...the first one back up to and over birth weight.

Allison was on vapotherm by nasal cannula for 2 or 3 days, but came off of it quickly. She also had to have light therapy for jaundice for a day. She also takes almost all of her feeds by bottle/breast and will soon be in an open crib as well. As of today she was one ounce from birth weight!

Daniel was on vapotherm as well for about 3 or 4 days. He also did light therapy for a day. He is so close to getting his gavage tube out as he takes the majority of his feeds by bottle/breast. He is still a few ounces short of birth weight, but is packing it on fast! He is really close to being in an open crib.

Will also was on vapotherm for 2 or 3 days, but came off quickly. He never had light therapy and no longer has his feeding tube as he gulps his feeds from bottle/breast with enthusiasm and often follows up with a big burp. He is close to birth weight, but not quite there yet. He will likely go in an open crib in the next day or two and is all signed up for his circumcision. The nurses think he will be coming home in the next few days!!

Big brother Tyler is so excited about his babies. Unfortunately he has only seen them once because he got a cold and had to go back to granny's house to get better so that mommy doesn't get sick and so that he can get the care and attention he needs to get better.

Mom and Dad are doing well, too! Dad got a little bug this week too, but fortunately it passed quickly and he is able to come back to the hospital and help out! This mom is feeling the pain! I am recovering well from my c-section, but my feet and legs have been extremely swollen and I am exhausted. Nevertheless, I have been to the hospital everyday thanks to my dad who has been taking good care of me! He feeds me, drives me to the hospital, and helps me and the nurses get all the babies fed. It is quite a job!

I will have more updates and some photos soon, but right now my feet are up and the camera is across the room, so stay tuned! Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes! Without them we wouldn't be in as good of a position with the babies' health and progress. Keep em coming! :P


Friday, October 26, 2012

Still Waiting...

Well, I've been in the hospital for a week now. Not much is going on. Just hanging out waiting for babies. They are still looking good and I am still doing well. My legs and feet have swollen up now...BOO...but its just normal pregnancy stuff.

I am ready for these babies to come out, but at the same time, I want them to stay in a while. The difference of a week or two is huge at this point. If I make it to my c-section date, Nov. 14th, there is a  small chance that I could even take a baby or two home with me...probably not, but maybe.  :)

So, here I am. Waiting as usual. :P

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Well, we did it...we made the choice to be admitted to the hospital so that we can have these kiddos watched more closely. I'm not gonna lie...I'm nervous. I could be here for 4 weeks before the babies are even delivered, but I will have peace of mind.

So, before I came to my temporary home, I had one last office visit with the specialist. They measured they babies growth, and boy have they been growing!

Alexis is now 2lb 7oz
Allison is now 2lb 10oz
William is up to 4lb 4oz
Daniel is now 2lb 13oz

That is a whopping  12lb 1oz of babies!

And boy are they active! the girls were head down last week and this week they are breech. Daniel is now lounging sideways across the top of my belly, and William's head is lost. LOL! They could not see his head for anything.

So, the next, hopefully short portion, of this journey begins. :P


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Wahoo! 30 Weeks!

Well, we've made it to another milestone...30 weeks! My drs have all said that they would like me to make it to at least 30 weeks...Done! I'm so proud...and tired. LOL!

This week at my many appointments we found that the babies are still doing very well. They have plenty of fluids, good heart rates, good blood flow, LOTS of movement, and are practicing breathing. We didn't have a growth scan this week, but we will have one this week.

We also discussed admitting me to the hospital. The tentative plan is to admit me on Thursday, but I am free to postpone that as long as all is still well.

On Friday I had a second visit to the OB because I was having crazy pain in my stomach. There was nothing visibly wrong and the theory is that the babies beat the crap out of me over night. Must be since I am not sore anymore. In the exam, however, we did discover that my cervix is shrinking and getting soft. It is still in the "good" category, just barely, but we may opt for the admittance to the hospital for this reason.

Aside from all that, these kids have started having tummy parties in the middle of the night. It is CRAZY to feel all of them bopping around in there. I can't believe we will be meeting our little babies sometime in the next few weeks!  :P

Big Momma at 30 weeks!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

28 Week 5 Days Growth Scan

Today was our growth scan with the specialist. The babies all looked really good! All of them have great fluid levels and blood flow and are growing like little weeds!!

Alexis (baby A) is up to 2lbs 2oz! (a gain of 7 ounces)
Allison (baby B) is up to 2lbs 5oz (up 9 ounces)
William (baby C) is up to 3lbs 4oz (up10 ounces)
Daniel (baby D) is up to 2lbs 8oz (up 11 ounces!)

We are up to 10lbs 3oz of babies! We have now met one of my personal goals of having the babies over 2 pounds!

On the momma front, things are still looking up. Aside from an increase in contractions and pretty much constant exhaustion at this point, I am progressing well. Dr. S wasn't going to check my cervix again (its been 2 weeks), but did so to ease my mind. Holy crow! It is still rocking! He said it looks great and I have "extra cervix". LOL! He then told me that he won't be watching it anymore because it doesn't matter what happens to my cervix at this point. The other "symptoms" are more important...pre-eclampsia, increased contractions, problems with the babies, etc. He still hasn't put me on bed rest, but instructed me to keep resting a lot.

They haven't indicated anything of concern, but Daniel is getting harder to see since he is in the middle and behind all the others. Lexie is also difficult to see well because she is so low in my uterus. It will be interesting to see who or what finally puts me in the hospital or the OR! :P

Saturday, September 29, 2012

28 Weeks!

We made it! I can't believe it that we have gotten this far with no problems. We have been exponentially blessed with this pregnancy. So, now next milestone is 30 weeks.

At my appointment this week, we didn't have any changes. The babies are passing all of their tests and so am I. They didn't measure growth this week, but will be doing that on Thursday. I also finished getting my shots on Thursday, so I am all vaccinated up!

After our doctor appointment we had the opportunity to tour the NICU and meet several members of the staff that we will be working with and who will be taking care of our babies. They were super nice and answered all of our questions and more. They showed us where the babies will be rooming as well. Thankfully they will all be in the same room.

The staff in the NICU is very positive that if I can make it to 32 weeks the babies will only have to be there about a month, barring any serious problems. We were also relieved to learn that Tyler is very welcome to come visit his babies as long as he isn't sick...same goes for mom and dad and anyone else who wants to visit.

So, how am I feeling/doing you ask...pretty much like crap. With each passing day, I get more sore, tired, and it gets harder to breathe. I have found that even though my doctors haven't put me on bed rest, I am a lot less sore and my body feels generally better if I spend most of the day lying down. I like to call this voluntary bed rest. Riding in a car at this point is torture as is sitting straight up basically any time.

This coming week will hopefully be uneventful. I have my OB appointment here in town on Tuesday and my specialist appointment on Thursday. Rumor has it that if I haven't already been admitted that I will be put in the hospital at 32 weeks just to have me there.

So there you have it. Thank you for continued prayers, and please keep them coming! We really need all the help we can get to keep this baby factory going. And a special thank you to the wonderful ladies who have started coming to help out a couple times a week. It is more appreciated than you know!  :P


Thursday, September 20, 2012

26 Week Appointment...Baby Mix-up?

So, at my appointment 2 weeks ago, Daniel was all of a sudden measuring bigger than William, and William hadn't grown very much. At the time I questioned whether or not they had them mixed up (trust me its an easy thing to do!). So when I heard the measurements today, I was positive that last time they had the boys mixed up, and the ultrasound tech agrees that it is very likely. So they have grown as follows:

Lexie (Baby A) - 1lb 11oz (up 5oz)
Allison (Baby B)- 1lb 12oz (up 5oz)
William (Baby C)- 2lb 10oz (up 13oz from corrected weight from 2 weeks ago)
Daniel (Baby D)- 1lb 13oz (up 3 oz from corrected weight from 2 weeks ago)

We are up to 8lbs of baby now! Holy moly! And they are 4 very active babies! Everyone who does an ultrasound always comments on how active they are, and then talk about it amongst the staff. It is so funny! I think the best part of this pregnancy is the reactions of people when the find out I'm carrying quads.

Anywho, my cervix is still doing great, too! bed rest still! I asked the doctor if he had a prediction for how long I would carry the babies for and he is guessing at least 32 weeks. I really feel like that will not be a problem, and if these kids keep growing like this, we ought to have a 4 pounder and at least one 3 pounder, if not two. I think that Lexie will probably fall into the high 2's in weight...just a feeling.

I also went to the cardiologist, who I didn't actually see, for my echo cardiogram. Apparently no news is good news, but they said that they will send the report to my docs and they will let me know.

Aside from all of that, there is nothing much to report. Just happy goodness all around.  :P

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pity Party

I'm going to say this in advance...this post is a bit of a whiny rant. Consider yourself warned!

As you know, I am 26 weeks pregnant with quadruplets. I have been very very fortunate in this pregnancy so far. I haven't had any complications, I'm not on bedrest (which at this point is practically unheard of), and I have had a fair amount of help from mine and my husbands families and some friends. I am very grateful for this! That being said, I am getting sick and tired of everyone telling me how awful its going to be to have 4 babies at once to care for and how my life is over. I'm not an idiot...I know its going to be hard...REALLY HARD! It was hard with one baby.

These babies are miracles. I had a 95% chance of miscarriage! That number lessened as
time passed, but until I had hit 24 weeks there was little or not chance of survival if born. Once I hit 28 weeks, chance of major complications is very small. And every week after that is one less week they will spend in the NICU. But seriously it is going to be awesome. I will have a reminder all the time of how awesome God is, and how much trust he has in my and my husband to raise these children to be good people. That is a both a huge burden as well as a major confidence booster to know that God trusts us with his spirit children. Because of that I
have no doubt that we can do it.

Anyhow, I must really make this look easy or something because for all those who think its all over for us there are those who act like I should be business as usual. It makes me want to scream and tear my hair out! I HAVE FOUR BABIES IN MY BODY! I am measuring 43 weeks
people...that is 3 weeks past when you all couldn't take another day of being pregnant...and news flash...I have at least 2 weeks more to go, but probably closer to 8! I have to go to a cardiologist this week to make sure my heart is keeping up with the strain of supporting this
pregnancy. That is no joke!

So why do I feel guilty asking people to take a few hours out of their day only two days a week to come help me manage my 3 year old? Sure, I could send him to other people's houses, but these are my last weeks with just him. His life will be turned upside down, and it breaks my heart. So please understand why I don't want to just send him off. He will have to be shuffled around endlessly when I have to be back and forth from the NICU for who know how many weeks when the babies are born.

Anyway my point is this...I'm not wonder woman. I'm tired, I hurt, I can't take care of my family right now, and I feel pretty helpless. This was my timeout to feel sorry for myself. Enough said.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Holy Moly! 25w5d OB Appointment

Yesterday I had my OB appointment, but before I get into that, I need to back up a few days...

Monday or Tuesday I wasn't feeling a ton of movement from the babies. I was mildly concerned, but decided to give them some time. By Wednesday they were moving like CRAZY and I could even feel the girls a lot better. My conclusion was that we had a growth spurt.

At my OB appointment yesterday I was measuring 43 weeks! I think my assumption was correct! I also had my usual day of adjustment after a growth spurt. I usually have a day where I have issues breathing and getting comfortable while my body adjusts to the growth and further lack of useable space. And today I am SORE! I feel like I have been riding a horse for 3 days. Mama Mia!

Aside from my growth from 37 to 43 weeks in the last 2 weeks, all is still well. Everyone looks good and I am still free. LOL!

I am very excited for tomorrow. My Mother in Law and Sisters in Law are having a Babies Shower for me and I can't wait!

That's about it for now. Just letting these little critters cook a while longer! :P

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Visit to the Specialist (24w5d)

Well, today was the regularly scheduled appointment with the Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor. We had a good ultrasound. My cervix is still long and closed up tight...phew! The babies are doing great! They are so active it is hard for the U/S tech to get her measurements before they move around. As usual, baby C (Will) was talking away. It is so funny and cute! Baby B (Allison) was jib jabbing a little as well. They were able to give us a look at Daniel and Allison on the 4d setting, and they are so cute! It was the first time they didn't look skeletal. The babies weighed in as follows:

Baby A (Lexie): 1lb 6oz (up 5 oz in 2 weeks)
Baby B (Allison): 1lb 7oz (up 4oz)
Baby C (Will): 1lb 13oz (up 4oz) (corrected 9/20)
Baby D (Daniel): 1lb 10oz (up 7oz!) (corrected 9/20)

We are doing so well, I don't go back for 2 weeks! After that it will be weekly.

I also had the pleasure of my first steroid shot today. OUCH! And the kicker is I have to get another one my flu my Tdap in 2 weeks. UGH! I hate shots! My bum hurts from that shot!

I have become a hot topic of conversation at the weekly high risk meeting at the hospital now. At the meeting next week, they are doing a mock delivery to prepare for us so that they can have it planned out to have enough space for everyone. At a minimum there will be a NICU nurse and respiratory specialist per baby, the anesthesiologist, at least 2 doctors for me, a few nurses for me, and Allen. That is at least 19 people counting me and the babies! I suspect there will be a few looksie lous as well since quads don't happen too often around here.

So we keep trucking forward...

I get more uncomfortable everyday. I am full term size now and everything is harder to do. :P

Saturday, September 1, 2012

First Major Milestone - 24 Weeks!

Well, I made it! I got to 24 weeks, which is considered the point of viability in a pregnancy. And I made it without being put on bed rest! I'm feeling my freedom slipping away day by day. I know that sooner or later I will be put on bed rest or in the hospital, and I'm dreading being away from my sweet Tyler and not being able to take care of him, but I know that I have to take care of these babies and others will step in to fill the void for him.

Anyways, next big step is 28 weeks. This is the next major point, at which the severity of possible issues with the babies if they are born is significantly less. It seems like a lot of quad moms have their babies between 28 and 30 weeks, and we hope to make it to 32-34 weeks, so I don't have a lot of time left to prepare myself for their arrival. It is scary and exciting. I can imagine holding my sweet babies and it makes my heart smile. And the thought of the lack of sleep makes my insides groan. LOL!

So coming up I have A LOT more doctors appointments, steroid shots this week to help the babies lungs along, and very likely bed rest. All the prayers, thoughts, and kind words and deeds are very appreciated, and needed more than ever going forward...especially the prayers!

My mom is leaving on Monday and she has done so much to help us prepare for whats coming. She has been amazing! Our nursery is practically finished, we have a freezer full of food so that we don't have to worry about cooking, and I have been able to rest this last month ensuring that problems have been practically non-existent. THANK YOU MOM! For everything!

We will be having Allen's mom coming in for most of the week after mom leaves as well as a hoard of people from our neighborhood and church that have graciously offered to come over or have Tyler over at their house while Allen goes to work. We are so blessed to have the support of so many friends and family members! I honestly don't know how I would get through this without the comfort of that knowledge!

I think I'm done rambling now, but again, THANK YOU to all of you for your support and prayers. Enjoy the picture of my crazy belly growth! :P


Friday, August 24, 2012

22 Week Growth Scan

Well, yesterday was our 22 week growth scan and everyone is doing well and growing fast...including Mama! For me the most nerve wracking part of the appointment in the cervix check. I'm always worried that it will start shortening, opening, or softening. If any of those things happen I go on bedrest. So far so good, though.

Of course the next mini concern is that they are all still alive. LOL! They are very much alive in there and getting so big! They are weighing in as follows:

Baby A (Lexie): 1lb 1oz
Baby B (Allison): 1lb 3oz
Baby C (Will): 1lb 9oz!
Baby D (Daniel): 1lb 3oz

I have 5 pounds of baby now, and they are supposed to grow several ounces a week at this point! I feel a lot better about things now that they are all over a pound. Hopefully they can get up to 3+ pounds before they are born...which is not far away at all! From my experience in the Quad group on Facebook, most of the quads are born between 28 and 31 weeks. That is only 5-8 weeks left! Hopefully we can go a little further than that, but that is still not a lot of time!

It is so confusing looking at all those babies on the ultrasound screen. Yesterday, Allison and Lexie were foot to foot, Will's feet were in Daniel's face, Will and Lexie are head to head, and Daniel and Allison were kinda spooning. It is getting cramped in there! We had a good laugh when during the 4d portion of the u/s Will was opening and closing his mouth. I can't wait to meet my sweet little babies! :P

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

21 Weeks and a Little Drama

Well, I am 21 weeks now...woohoo! We saw the specialist on last Thursday and everything checked out just fine. They didn't do any growth measurements on the babies so it was kinda uneventful. Oh, and the babies have moved around positions a little. I guess they are getting a little cramped at this point. The take away from that appointment was that my babies are good and my cervix is a rock star.

Fast forward to yesterday at my OB appointment. First off, I am now measuring 37 weeks!! Dr. M said I don't have any more room to grow up or down so from here on I will be growing OUT! Here comes Ol' Torpedo Belly! After all the measuring tape fun, the jelly came out and he proceeded to check out the babies and my cervix. Babies are still fine. But he didn't/couldn't see what he needed to check my cervix and brought out Alejandro! Apparently that didn't cut it either so I also got a physical check...and while all of this is going on my 3 year old is being a BRAT! Never taking him to the dr again!

So anyways, while I was dressing Dr. M went and called the specialist and told him what he saw and then came back and told me that he thought my cervix was opening/softening...WHAT! Following that, he instructed me to go immediately go to the specialist's office in Annapolis and to be prepared to be admitted to the hospital. My mom and I started to freak out!

We dropped Tyler off at a friends and headed out. We got there and waited in the waiting room for an hour...longest hour ever! Finally we got back to a room and Alejandro was brought forth again...yay!

Doctor came in, looked, said everything is fine. Go home and take it easy. Keep up the good work...blah, blah, blah. Apparently what Dr. M was seeing on his ancient ultrasound machine was a harmless cyst on my cervix. Phew! What a relief that was!

So basically everyone is fine, I need to rest more, and keep up the good work. So, I am cutting unnecessary trips out of my life and unfortunately that includes going to church. :( Between a 45 minute ride each way and the 3 hour block that is too much pressure on my cervix.

On other news, I am feeling and seeing the babies move from the outside more and more. My mom is here and taking good care of me and Tyler and I'm eating better than I have probably this whole pregnancy because she is cooking! Let me tell you...I DO NOT miss McDonald's one bit!

That's about it for now. :P

Monday, July 30, 2012

19 Week OB Appointment

Well, I had my OB appointment today and all is well! The babies are very active which is great! My blood pressure was great...128/69(ish). I am measuring 31 weeks now! Crazy, but not as big as I thought it would be. Probably the best news of the day is that I passed my 3 hour glucose test with no problem! YAY! Gestational diabetes may catch me yet, but as of now I'm just fine!

Dr. M discussed some upcoming plans with me as well. Soon the specialist will be doing bio-physical scans on the babies, and he also has an echo set up for Baby A since her cord is missing a vessel. At 24 weeks I will get my first 2 doses of steroids to help the babies lungs develop in preparation for premature birth. Dr. M also let me know that they won't tolerate any issues and that if anything starts getting hinky they will put me in the hospital for the duration of my pregnancy...hopefully that will be much later than not! I have started having mild contractions over the last month or so, but they aren't frequent or effecting my cervical fortitude at this point, but they are directly linked to my level of activity as well as dehydration or not going to the bathroom often enough.

We are so grateful that this pregnancy is moving along well so far. We know that many of you already pray for our family and we truly appreciate it and see the power of those prayers every day that I am able to get out of bed and take care of my family (even if its at a decreased level). Please continue to pray for us...that my body will hold out for several more weeks and that our babies will continue to grow and develop normally!

For fun, here is a new pic of my growth over the last several weeks...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

18 Week Anatomy Scan

Hi All! I had my 18 week anatomy scan today and all is well...mostly. My body is holding out really well still! Woohoo! No bed rest for me...yet. The babies are all growing and active and look good. Baby A is definitely a girl! Thank goodness!

The babies weighed in as follows:'

A- 8 ounces
B- 8 ounces
C- 11 ounces!
D- 9 ounces

That is 2 pounds 4 ounces of babies.

The concern, which is minimal, is that baby A appears to only have 2 vessels in her umbilical cord and she should have 3. The doctor isn't concerned since everything else is fine, but we will have to watch her as the most likely issue will be her growth.

Aside from that, we are all lookin good!

We didn't get any pics of baby C for some reason, but here are some of the other 3.

Baby B

Baby B's foot

Baby D

Baby A
Monday, July 23, 2012

SuperMom to the Rescue!!!

I got the absolute BEST news Mom is coming out to help us for a month! She is coming on August 6th and staying thru September 3rd! That will get me to 24 weeks and I am SO grateful to her and my dad for making the financial sacrifice, and to her boss for giving her the time without even having to consider it! Heavenly Father truly knows our needs and will help us to get them met!

So...two weeks and counting til my momma gets here! I can't wait!
Monday, July 16, 2012

The Latest and Greatest

Today was my appointment with the OB. He checked in on the babies who are all very active. He said I will be feeling A LOT of movement very soon. My blood pressure and protein output (both pre-eclampsia indicators) are normal...Yay! I get to go have my 1 hour glucose test this week...Boo, but Dr. M feels that I will pass it with no problem.

After a look at the babies, Dr. M discussed what I need to be doing, or not doing, as well as what the plan is for the next few weeks. I feel like he is erring on the side of caution while the MFM doc is following a "wait and see" plan. Dr. M wants me to do as little as possible. Rest, rest, rest! He isn't putting me on bed rest yet, but he feels like 20 weeks is going to be a turning point in a lot of ways.

At the 20 week point, my uterus will be about full term size for a singleton pregnancy, and at that point my body will probably start doing funny things like trying to go into labor, increased contractions, etc. Also at this point, I will go on the "high risk list" at the hospital I will deliver at so I will be a topic of conversation in the medical community at that point. I was unaware of this list, but it provides a way for the hospital staff to prepare for us!

All in all, it was an informative appointment for me and I feel some relief having a better idea of what they are planning for me over the next month or more. :P

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

16 Week Anatomy Scan and the Big News!

So, as many of you know, today was our 16 week anatomy scan. I'm so glad it was early so I didn't have to wait all day! Straight away the ultrasound tech went searching for the babies' sexes! But I'm not gonna tell that part yet...(bwahahaha!).

Anyways, she went about measuring bits on the babies and they all weighed in at 6 ounces a piece...that is a pound and a half of babies! They were all pretty cooperative, but getting a look at baby A and baby B was difficult because they are at the very bottom and crammed up next to each other. Babies C and D are up top and lounging like little rock stars on chaise lounges...LOL! Baby C was working its jaw and looked like it was talking. We joked that it was telling A & B to quit fighting.

So onto the fun stuff. During her initial look, the U/S tech said baby A is a girl, baby B is a girl, baby C is definitely a boy, and baby D wasn't cooperating. So she did some measurements and went back around. This time, baby A was a boy, baby B is definitely a girl, baby C is still a boy, and baby D is definitely a boy. I have to admit, the thought of three boys scared the daylights out of me. She measured some more and went back to baby A because she was bugged by it. Baby A's butt was firmly planted down and we got a lot of foot shots, but she couldn't get a good enough view. Finally, she decided that baby A is probably a girl and went and got the Dr.

He took a look around and decided that baby A is a girl. So, we are 99% sure that we have 2 boys and 2 girls on the way! We are thrilled! It is especially cool because we both come from families of 5 kids, 2 girls and 3 boys, and that is what we will have as well!

So, I start every other week visits with the specialist now and am having every other week visits with the OB, so I will be seeing someone every week.

Now the planning and plotting begins! It feels so much more real now that we know what we are having and I am feeling more and more movement. This is a crazy ride, but I'm so glad we got chosen to ride it! :P

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Too Excited...

I just know you all have seen the Disney World commercial where the kids won't/can't go to sleep because they are going to Disney World and they say "we're too excited to sleep!". That is totally how I feel! I have my anatomy scan tomorrow and I can't wait to see these little critters and HOPEFULLY find out what they are (they just might be ferrets, you know!).

On another topic, I wish I could afford a house keeper! I'm too tired to clean! I really need my dishes washed and kitchen cleaned, and floors vacuumed, but I'm too busy making babies (or so I'm told). I'm also potty training and trying not to kill my toddler...who just pooped in his underpants! UGH! Can I give up?

Anyways, I think the house is going to stay a mess for another day, and I may or may not put said toddler back in a diaper for my sanity. :P

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Belly Pics

I just thought that I would update my belly growth picture for you all. I am 16 weeks today which makes me halfway! I can't believe it!

Anyways, here it is!  :P


Thursday, June 28, 2012

In case you were wondering...

So, I get asked lots of questions about my quad pregnancy and I thought that I would create a post and answer the most commonly asked questions.

  • When will I go on bedrest?  The answer is nobody knows. It depends on a lot of things. The biggest concern is my cervical fortitude. If my cervix stays nice and long and closed up tight that will delay bedrest. If I am able to evade pre-eclampsia that will help also. I fully expect to be on bedrest at some point and in the hospital for monitoring at the end.
  •  What is my due date?   My due date is December 23, but is pretty irrelevant in terms of when the babies will come. Average gestation for quads is 30 weeks. That puts me middle of October. We are hoping to make it to Halloween.
  • Will the babies be in the NICU?  Absolutely! The longer they stay in me the shorter their NICU stay will be. If we can make it to 32 weeks hopefully they will be home in about a month. It all depends on what complications they may have and how long it takes for them to be able to eat on their own and not have breathing issues.
  • How big will the babies be?  Quads average 3.5 pounds at birth. I believe that is at 30 weeks gestation. If they can make it to 32+ weeks, hopefully they will be closer to 4+ pounds. 

I hope this answers some of your questions. Thanks for caring enough to ask!  :P

Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 14 Update

Hi all! I am officially in the second trimester now! I am 14 weeks along and had my OB appointment this morning. First off, let me say that between Saturday, when I hit 14 weeks, and Sunday I grew! It is insane to see the growth over the last few weeks. Just in the growth overnight, I have to retire several pairs of my comfy pants cause they aren't comfy anymore! :(  I guess I need to buy some bigger pants!

At my appointment this morning, all went well! The babies are looking good. They were all moving around and had heartbeats! My OB also measured the length of my cervix and it was excellent! A common problem with multiples pregnancies is the cervix begins to shorten and the risk of pre-term labor and incompetent cervix issues are increased. My blood pressure was great, which is a relief considering it was so high just 2 weeks ago. The biggest shocker came when the doc measured the size of my uterus, which has now come up above my belly button. My uterus is measuring 27 weeks (for a singleton)! That is crazy to me! I know I will measure bigger since there are four babies in there, but WOW! At 8 weeks I was measuring 13 weeks. That is 14 weeks of growth in 6 weeks!

Anyways, we are set for our first anatomy scan on July 11th with the specialist and we can hardly wait! I love seeing these squirmy little babies on the monitor! It makes this whole adventure seem real and helps me to cope with the major changes going on with my body.

I'll be updating again soon, so keep an eye out! :P

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Need to update blog...

So, I'm looking for some ideas for updating my blog. The address will stay the same, but I want to change the title and probably the background as well. Do you all have any clever ideas for a new title? :P

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An Update...Finally!

So, I'm a slacker. I meant to write this post last week!

Last Monday I went for my 2nd appointment with the specialist. We had our NT scan. An NT scan (Nuchal Translucency) is used to check for signs of chromosomal abnormalities like Down's Syndrome. They measure the fluid on the back of the baby's neck. Usually the NT scan is accompanied by some blood work, but with multiples the blood work is not a useful indicator. Yay for one less needle stick!

Anyways, all four babies looked GREAT! The NT scan is 70% accurate and I am happy with those odds!

They also tried to take some other measurements and looked at their heart rates. Everything looked just fine! Two of the babies were measuring 2 days ahead, one was measuring on time, and one was measuring 2 days behind. The doctor was happy with everything. It all looked so good we don't go back for a month!

At our next appointment we will start doing anatomy scans during which they start measuring all of the limbs and organs and try to determine the babies' sexes! We can't wait to find out what we have in there!

We also had a check-up with the OB last week, and my blood pressure was up some. Aside from that, everything looks good for me. All of my blood work from 8-9 weeks was normal! Woohoo!  I go back to the OB again next week. With singleton pregnancies, they normally just check for a heartbeat with the doppler, but since there are four in there, we will be getting an ultrasound at EVERY appointment to check on my little litter! It is so reassuring.

Other than medically, I'm feeling a little blah still. And still really tired. I'm trying to still do as much as I can, but I feel like that list of things I can/feel good enough to do is shrinking rapidly. It is really frustrating, but I know that when these babies are born it will have all been worth it!

I will make an effort to update more often! :P

Friday, May 25, 2012

Complete guide to baby care...

I recently came across the best and most comprehensive guide to baby care and wanted to share it with all the blog followers out there! :)
Thursday, May 24, 2012

Preparation...AKA Freezer Meals

This morning I went over to my friend Amber's house and we made freezer meals to start prepping for bed rest and general feeling of blah in terms of making dinner. In about an hour we made 6 dinners and 16 burritos for lunches. It was so fast and easy, especially since we did it together! Here are the recipes we made (didn't get to the twice baked potatoes yet):

Twice Baked Potatoes

Bake potatoes at 350 for an hour. Once your potatoes are done cooking and cooled enough to handle. Just slice them right down the middle and make some double-stuffed potatoes!  Scoop the insides out into a bowl and add some butter, softened cream cheese, milk, chives and whatever else you like. Sometimes we add crumpled bacon, shredded cheese, ranch dressing... whatever we're in the mood for.  Use a potato masher until it's all mixed in and then spoon the filling into your potato shells. I wrap these individually in plastic wrap and then put in a bag. On serving day you thaw and then bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Brown Bag Burritos

    2 lb. ground beef
    2 cans refried beans
    1 1/3 c. enchilada sauce
    1/2 c. water
    1/3 c. minced onion (I use dried)
    1 Tbsp. chili powder
    1 Tbsp. garlic powder
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. dried oregano
    3 c. shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, whatever)
    20 flour tortillas (burrito-size)

Brown ground beef; drain.  Add remaining ingredients (except tortillas).  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. (I added the cheese on top of the filling rather than cooking it in!)

Heat 3-4 tortillas at a time.  Spoon 1/4 c. beef mixture down the side of each tortilla. 

Roll up.  Wrap each burrito in a paper towel, then wrap in foil.

Refrigerate or freeze.  When ready to eat, remove foil and microwave for about a minute.  The paper towel keeps the burritos moist.  If you don’t use a microwave, skip the paper towel and just wrap in foil.  Then heat burritos in the oven with foil.  For a sit down meal they are nice topped with lettuce, cheese, salsa, and sour cream.  If you’re eating on the run, though, just grab and go!

Teriyaki Chicken
Medium – Large bag of carrots (optional)
Red Onion into Large Chunks
2 large cans pineapple (undrained)
4 Garlic Cloves
4 Chicken Breasts
1 cup teriyaki sauce

Follow directions above, and split everything into two gallon freezer bags. shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer. Instructions for Bag: Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to crock pot, Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours. Serve over hot rice

Lazy Day Stew
4lb cubed stewing beef
4 cups baby carrots
4 cups baby red potatoes (cut in half)
2 medium onions, chopped
10 oz package dried lima beans (optional)
2 cups celery, chopped
4 tsp quick-cooking tapioca
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (1/2 in each bag)
2 cup water
2 Tbs brown sugar

Follow directions above, and put everything into two one gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer. Instructions for Bag: Cook on low 8 hours, Eat as a soup, or serve over hot noodles or rice.

World’s Easiest Make-Ahead Marinated Chicken Recipe
    One bottle of your favorite Italian salad dressing
    6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Put the chicken in a freezer bag. Pour the Italian dressing over the chicken. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it up. Freeze.

To thaw and bake:

Quick Method: Pull frozen chicken out of the freezer and run the freezer bag under hot water to thaw slightly. Pour all the contents of the bag into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.

Longer Marinating Method: Pull frozen chicken out of the freezer, stick the bag in a bowl and let it thaw in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Pour all the contents of the bag into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.

Crock Pot Method: Pull frozen chicken out of the freezer and run the freezer bag under hot water to thaw slightly. Pour all the contents of the bag into the crock pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours, until thoroughly cooked through.

This is delicious served over rice with steamed vegetables on the side.

Hope you enjoy! :P

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Specialist

Well, yesterday we went to see the maternal fetal medicine doctor. We got to see the babies again, a lot more clearly than before. They are still growing on schedule and looking good.

The doctor came in and after the U/S he took some time to talk with us. He said that we have lots of things to watch out for: anemia, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, bedrest, and constipation to name a few. Even before he got to that part, he gave us the "reduction" speech, but of course we won't even consider "reducing" one or two of the babies.

So, we have a lot of "fun" coming our way, but we are ready to deal with it. We go back in a few weeks and have a NT scan to check the babies for Down's Syndrome and if we are really lucky, we might be able to find out the gender of a couple of them, maybe... :P

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shock and Awe

Well, as you all well know, we had our first of MANY OB appointments yesterday. I'm gonna cut to the chase because we received a HUGE shock! We were sure there would be one baby, knew it was likely there were two, accepted the possibility that there would be three, but when the doctor said there are FOUR we didn't really know how to react.

So there you have it...we are having QUADRUPLETS! They are all measuring right on at 8weeks and 3 days. All have heartbeats and are in their own sacks. We are excited, but scared and a little bit overwhelmed...or maybe underwhelmed at this point since it hasn't had much time to sink in.  :P

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Hey Happy Readers! It is Mother's Day yet again! Yay for mothers!

We returned from our vacation to Florida late last night. We enjoyed lots of R&R and did a few fun things as well. I am SO glad to be home, though!

Also this past week, my little sister had her second baby girl. She is a sweet little baby girl named Ainslie Jayde. We are so excited to have her in our family!

Aside from all of that, we are (not so) patiently waiting for our first OB appointment on Tuesday! I am getting a little freaked out, to be quite honest. The ultrasound will make this real, finally. I feel like I'm pregnant, I know I'm pregnant, but I can't truly believe I'm pregnant until I see that baby on the screen. So here's to hoping for a healthy, active, little baby on the screen in 2 days!

Happy Mother's Day to you all! :P

Friday, April 27, 2012

Things are looking up!

So...I have officially entered the "emotional" portion of pregnancy. LOL! It started yesterday...

(fade into flashback)

I was having a rough time keeping my crap together...everything was ticking me off...I was like a dragon with crazy PMS. It wasn't pretty!

Then, in a frenzy I call up the OB to see if they would see me sooner because I was having a PANIC ATTACK over the slight possibility that I might have a miscarriage, maybe. Thankfully they are used to dealing with crazies like me and talked me down. 

Fast forward to this morning when hubby was loading Tyler up into the car to visit Granny for the weekend and I was crying...Wait! Didn't I want to ship him off yesterday? And now I'm reduced to tears because I won't see his cute little face for a couple of days.

Oh Boy! Here we go! I think things are going to be just fine! :P

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Patience...It's not my virtue!

So, I have not been a very good blogger for the last week or so. I haven't really been inspired, but I'm feeling guilty and actually thought about something, so here it goes. The last 2 weeks have been HELL!

No...nothing is wrong with the baby(ies)(that I know of). I am NOT a patient person! It is killing me to not know what is going on inside my body. Having to wait until May 15th to find out is like 500,000,000,000 times worse than the 2ww!

One day I feel totally confident that all is well and there is nothing to worry about and then the next day I am a ball of stress worrying that I'm not really pregnant or that I'm miscarrying again. I have to calm down!

Thankfully, I regularly have unpleasant pregnancy symptoms that reassure me that all is well and progressing and I remember that I have to have faith that Heavenly Father knows what is best, and hope that his plan lines up with mine!

Anywho...that's really what's been going on with me, other than sick kid, sick hubby, and sick me! Blah! :P

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Relinquishing Control

One of the perks, and drawbacks, of being in the care of an RE is that if you do get pregnant they monitor you very closely for the first 6-8 weeks. The do multiple blood draws to check your HCG level (beta)(which is supposed to double every 48-72 hours, and do ultrasounds starting at 6 or so weeks to check for development, # of babies, and the heartbeat.

When everything is going well, this is great! Especially because you get to see your baby so early on. But when things are bad, you know often a couple of weeks before you will actually have a miscarriage (which is what happened to me last September). It is sheer torture knowing that you are going to have a miscarriage and just having to sit around and wait for it to start...eventually.

So, in lieu of the incident with the RE this cycle, I am not consulting them on this pregnancy and am being "forced" to relinquish that sense of control that I'm used to. It is tough! I only got one blood draw to verify pregnancy. My beta came in at 65 at 10dpo. That is pretty awesome. Its killing me to not know where it's at now, but I'm trying to relax. Click here to see a chart of averages for a beta. I will have to wait til I'm 8w3d to see the little bean(s), and find out how many there are and if they/it are healthy. I am not a patient person when it comes to these things. LOL!

So until May 15th, I am forcing myself to turn control over this pregnancy to God and trust that he knows what we need and what is best for us! It is soooo hard! :P

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Well, I have been debating for a few days how to say this to those of you who read my blog. I think the best way to say it is to not say it. If you are wondering what I'm talking about click here.

This is not really something I want everyone to know, so please don't say anything on Facebook. If you take the time to read my blog I wanted you to know. :P

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Holding Pattern

I am having a bit of writers block these days. We are in a "holding pattern" right now and it makes it hard for me to decide what to write about. On top of that, the progesterone has me exhausted!

Anyways, just trying to stay positive and hope that everything works out the way we want it to: a pregnancy, preferably one with only one or two babies, no major issues, and some good airfares so that I can go home this summer and see my new baby niece that will be delivered by c-section on May 10th. :P

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I didn't realize I haven't written a post in like 4 days. Geesh! What is my problem?

Anyways, it has been an eventful few days. Saturday was a family day, Sunday was Easter...another family day, and yesterday I was running around for Dr. Appts.

On Easter, we got to my MIL's house and I realized that my foot and ankle were swollen. I didn't think much of it other than it was weird. Soon enough I had concerned parties warning me of blood clots and the mild panic set in. So yesterday it was still puffy and I went to the Dr. He didn't really say much, but sent me to the hospital for an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot.

They didn't see anything, so no big. I'm just swollen I guess. Hoping for a "good" explanation as to why if you catch my drift (wink, wink). :P

Friday, April 6, 2012

Keep Dreaming!

So, I was sitting here just now reading some other infertility blogs and I remembered a dream I had last night. In that dream I was quite pregnant. It was lovely! I don't remember much else about it other than I was surprised because I was very pregnant and didn't remember getting a BFP or any of the other stuff in the middle of pregnancy, but I didn't care!

Those dreams are so tough. On one hand you are so happy in the dream and everything, but when you wake up and realize it was just a dream you are heartbroken.

These dang hormones really mess with me...give me pregnancy dreams, make me have pregnancy symptoms, and make me a hot mess!

On a separate note, I was thinking this morning about my Dr. appointment yesterday and when the doc came in with my pee test results for the UTI he asked if I wanted to have them dip for pregnancy. For half a second I almost said yes, but ultimately told him it was too early, which is true. I realized this morning that if he had done the test there would have very likely been a positive because of my trigger shot. What a mess that would have been!

Speaking of my UTI, I feel so much better today! A dose of antibiotics and half a gallon of cranberry juice really goes a long way. I actually got a decent night's sleep last night for the first time since I ovulated. Woohoo! I'm still cranky though...dang hormones. :P

Thursday, April 5, 2012


So...I'm paying for not doing what the RE told me to and now I have a urinary tract infection. A doozy at that! Hopefully this is the only negative consequence of my disobedience. I'm really hoping for some good consequences in an other 9 days!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Two Week Wait

There is this thing in the infertility world, feared by all who have to face it...The Two Week Wait! It is the two weeks between ovulation and when AF is due. It is by far the longest, most unbearable, frustrating time in a fertility cycle.

What makes it so bad? Aren't the drugs and RE appointments worse? NO They are not.

In this 2 weeks the egg fertilizes (or not), implants, and either you are pregnant or AF comes. Women in the 2ww spend the agonizingly long hours of the day analyzing every twitch, fart, and cramp in their abdomen and lady parts. We spend hours on Dr. Google taking quizzes to determine if we are pregnant, figuring out what our expected due date would be, and comparing symptoms with each other.

I am totally serious here.

It is even worse if you are put on progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone that elevates after ovulation to make your endometrium nice and beefy and homey for the little egg, and some women don't make enough (which is actually a pretty common cause of miscarriage). Many REs put their fertility patients on it automatically just to be safe. Progesterone side effects mimic pregnancy symptoms and lead to a lot of women (and their significant others) to believe they are pregnant when they are not.

Another fun thing about progesterone is it comes in all different forms: pills, shots, gels, creams, and suppositories (vaginal). Some are worse than others. The pills are easy, but have to metabolize in the liver, so many REs don't like them (I used them with Tyler. Suited me just fine!) The shots hurt (I've heard). The gels are inserted into the vajayjay and have to be scraped out, but don't leak (I've heard). I don't know anyone who has used the cream as Drs orders, but its out there. Most people get to experience the suppositories. They aren't painful or anything, but they melt...and leak. GROSS! Nobody likes the suppositories.

So anyways, if you know someone in the 2WW, be a pal and keep them busy so they don't go nutsy!


Saturday, March 31, 2012

"O" the Pain!

I missed my post yesterday. I was pretty busy, but I did manage to get some additional information from my RE. Turns out my E2 was almost 1400, which translates into at least 4 mature follicles. No wonder they wouldn't let me do IUI! I wouldn't let me do IUI with that. But they should have just told me that. I'm not an idiot.

Anyways, so around 2:30pm today, while sitting in a theater watching Hunger Games the ovulation fun began. Ovulating with one follicle is not comfortable, but with four follicles....OUCH! Holy crap! I felt normal this morning, but now I feel bloated to 3 times my normal size. I can't laugh, or cough, or fart without serious pain. LOL! It is pretty entertaining to me at least. :P

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When did I Lose the Right to Choose?

Well, today was the big day...the day where I go in and they say, "Wow! Look at all those beautiful, plump follicles! We would like you to trigger ovulation tonight and come in on Saturday at 8 am for IUI." That did NOT happen. It was more like, "Wow! You have 4 dominant follicles, and we aren't sure you should proceed with an IUI, but we can convert to an IVF (for $6500 little dollars)! But if you decided to move forward with the IUI you need to be aware of the risks of multiples and be prepared to perhaps 'reduce' your pregnancy. Or you can cancel the cycle."

Those are some heavy choices right there! After all we've been through this cycle, not to mention the previous 3, we don't feel like cancelling the cycle is something we want. I don't know about all of you, but flushing $500+ down the toilet is not something I enjoy doing.

So when I left there I felt like I was on a game show, placed before three doors, and asked to pick my best. Hubby and I discussed this and consulted our parents as well and decided to risk it and move forward with the IUI.

12 o'clock rolls around and the buzzer goes off (the phone) and I'm standing in front of the three doors with the game show host who says to me, "What is your decision?" I replied, "I want door #2! Lets make some IUI baby magic!" To which I am told, "Oh, I'm sorry! Door number 2 is no longer an option, but door number 1 looks mighty nice! And by the way...if you pick door number three and try to make baby magic on your own we can't trust you to play our game any more."

WHAT!!!!!!! Did I magically leave the United States of America and get transported to China or some other oppressive nation? When did I lose the right to make informed medical decisions for myself in the "land of the free"?

Naturally I cried and argued and pleaded for my IUI, but they won't budge. We don't have $6500 lying around so IVF is off the table. So we have to make a choice. If we do it on our own anyways and don't get PG, no loss. If we do it and get pregnant...I don't have to go back. If we do it, get PG, and then have another miscarriage or something then I'm stuck because if we don't "abstain from intercourse for the next 5 days" my RE just doesn't feel right about prescribing me fertility drugs in the future. Talk about a veiled threat!

So we have a choice. You'll just have wait and see what we decide. :P

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Revamp (Note: this has nothing to do with Vampires. LOL!)

So, my twin blog Que Sera Sera updated her look and I loved her template, so I had to go to the site she got hers at and get a new one too! I always wanted a cute blog, but could never find cute templates. We aren't twin blogs anymore. LOL! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, Peg! :P

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Exhaustion, Blood, and Alejandro

Well, today was the big follicle check, but first a note on exhaustion.

Last night I went to bed at 9:30 knowing I needed to be up at 4:30...I was so stressed about going to sleep I couldn't sleep. That was of course paired with being stressed about the results of my appointment today and what I would do if nothing was happening. Just before 11:30, when I was finally starting to relax a little, Tyler woke up crying. Ugh! He is all snotty and stuffed up all of a sudden. I got him settled down and back to sleep and then finally fell asleep around midnight...and then he woke me up again at 12:40. That was the best 40 minutes of sleep I got all night. After wrestling him in the guest room for an hour I stuck him back in bed and went back to bed. I think I fell asleep at about 2:30...and dreamed about not being able to sleep. 4:30 came really fast!

Thankfully, hubby is awesome and opted to take a half day turned into a whole day and we were able to spend time together. :)

So, I went to the Vampires first and they drew for LH and E2 again. My LH was 2.5 (very good! I'm not going to ovulate any time soon). My E2 was 487...from 90 on Friday! That is AWESOME! Based on my calculations, that means I have at least two good follicles in the running.

To confirm this, Alejandro revealed a 16mm follicle in the left ovary, and a 15mm and two 12mm follicles in the right ovary. Also, my endometrium is still looking healthy at 11mm. All good things! I was prepared to call it quits today if things weren't looking up.

I go back in on Thursday for, hopefully, my last follicle check and blood work. I am really optimistic now! If I wasn't so tired I would be elated, even! :P

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cold Feet

I'm getting the day before cold feet. I have never experienced this before this cycle. I am so nervous about my follicle check tomorrow. Once again I am faced with the chance that this cycle could get cancelled, keep going, or I may actually be ready to trigger ovulation. I hope and pray that I will be ready to trigger. I can't take this cycle going on and on like this. It is killing me at this point.

Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me! :P

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Waddle, Waddle, Waddle!

Something from the lighter side.... This has been stuck in my head since my Young Women from church showed it to me! Enjoy!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Stranger and A Friend

"Good things happen when you meet strangers."
~Yo-Yo Ma

In the past, when I was going through fertility treatments to have Tyler, and when I got started back onto it last year, I never sought out online support. I honestly never thought about it. I don't know why. Well, after my miscarriage last September I was searching online for information about miscarriages and whatnot and came across a forum for infertility grief. I started actively participating on that forum. It helped me a lot to see that I wasn't alone and that I really don't have it that bad! Some of these women had been TTC for years and years and had either had multiple miscarriages or never got pregnant at all. At that point I shut down my pity party and started to move on.

As I was involved in this forum, I found other forums that are for women going through the same treatments as me, namely IUI, as well as other treatments for fertility. I have been active on these boards for months now and have so many new friends...who I have never met, and probably never will (but would LOVE to!). I am already planning to meet a couple of them as it is geographically possible, and I'm really excited.

Anyways, my point here is that there are 7+ Billion people on this earth and there is always someone out there who can relate to you and understand what you are going through. I have found those people for me. They know the lingo, they know how it feels, they understand the craziness, they need my support as much as I need theirs.

They are strangers and my friends.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Morning with the Vampires and Alejandro

Well, my date with Alejandro and the Vampires went ok today.

I saw the vampires first. (Funny side note: the RE I saw today saw my bandage and said "I see you already saw the vampires!" I cracked up! I have never heard anyone else call them vampires but me.) They managed to suck my blood for the third time in a week from the same vein without making it hurt, and it is bruised. That is a win in my book! They tested to find out what my LH and E2 levels were. First off, an explanation of these hormones.

LH (luteinizing hormone) is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and egg production/ovulation. They wanted to take this test today to see if I am going to ovulate. The way that works is when a woman is getting ready to ovulate the LH level surges (I have only surged once ever in a monitored was a total fluke!). My level was 1.5 which means I am not going to ovulate anytime soon. During the surge the number will fall between 21 and 50 or so. This is a good result for me at this point, and honestly I don't like it when my body decides to do it on its own during a medicated cycle because it screws up the timing and takes away the control that is needed for IUI (and IVF). (

The second blood test was the E2 (Estradiol). Estradiol is one of the three main types of estrogen, Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), and Estriol (E3). Estrone is ever present in the body. Estriol is made by the placenta during pregnancy. Estradiol is the trouble maker! The description of E2 on WebMD is too good to not just copy and paste:

"Estradiol is the primary sex hormone of childbearing women. It is formed from developing ovarian follicles. Estradiol is responsible for female characteristics and sexual functioning. Also, estradiol is important to women’s bone health. Estradiol contributes to most gynecologic problems such as endometriosis and fibroids and even female cancers." (

As I said...E2 is the trouble maker! Anyway, as the follicles mature the E2 level will rise and get to 150-300 (per follicle I believe) at ovulation. This test can tell lots of things, but in my case it gives the RE an idea as to how follicle/egg development is going. My level was 49.9 on Saturday and then 36.? on Monday. Today it was 90! That is very good if you ask me! It is a step in the right direction for once this cycle.

So, what did I learn from Alejandro? The RE came in and started hemming and hawing about how long this cycle is going and said that it isn't uncommon, but at some point we have to decide if it has stalled out. He wielded Alejandro (because Alejandro isn't just grabbed or picked up, he must be wielded!), and I was prepared for the worst.


I was pleasantly surprised! My uterine lining (called the endometrium) measured 8mm (optimal thickness for implantation is 8-12mm), and looked very healthy still, which is awesome considering I'm cycle day 28, and as you ladies all (should) know, a regular menstrual cycle is 28 days, which means if I was having a normal cycle I would start my period today. Since the endometrium is still good we can still keep going! That was a HUGE relief to hear!

As Alejandro continued his inspection of my nether region, we found that I have a smallish follicle in the right ovary measuring 10mm and a slightly bigger follicle in the left ovary measuring 12mm (they need to be 18mm to trigger ovulation). That isn't great, but it is better than what I had on Monday, and combined with my E2 level, we are moving in the right direction. I'm getting my optimism back! It feels good to be out of the ambivalent stage of this mess! I don't like being ambivalent. It doesn't suit me. It makes me sullen and foul tempered. Heehee!

So aside from being exhausted due to getting up at 4am and driving all morning, I am feeling pretty good about things. :P

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cautiously Optimistic...kinda

So, tomorrow is the big day. The day we find out if the increased dose of meds kicked my lazy ovaries and follicles into gear. I am trying to be optimistic, but a BIG part of me is sure that I'm going to go in there and have nothing. I'm still somewhat ambivalent about this cycle, but I want to have it work out SO MUCH!

Anyways. I know it isn't much, but I just haven't been inspired today. :P

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Not Funny Enough?

Warning! This post is kind of a rant. I'm not angry at anyone and don't want to offend so please don't take it as that.

Every time I write a blog post I ask hubby to read it. Call me crazy, but its important to me and I want his support. And that way I know at least one other person besides me is reading all of this mess. I also want him to check it over to make sure it sounds right and my spelling and grammar are ok, and to make sure it is a little humorous or at least not too bleak and depressing. So I asked him this morning if he read my post from yesterday and asked him how it was. He said it was fine and I asked him if it was funny at all. He said, "not as funny as some of the others." For some reason that ticked me off.

I'm not a freaking comedian and this is not a comedy show! Very little about this whole process is funny. I have to make it a little funny or I will have a serious breakdown, but I'm sorry if I can't make everything hilarious. I try to make my posts light and informative, but some things just can't be spun, and some days I don't have a funny bone in my body. In fact after giving myself 21 injections, there is very little humor left regarding this cycle. Add that to explosive diarrhea from the metformin lets just say...BLAH!

Anyways, rant over. Sorry about that. Lets just say that I won't be asking hubby to read anymore.

Moving on...I was talking to my cousin, who is pregnant, last night. She is one of my best friends. We grew up next door to each other and went to school together, and I am very excited for her to become a mother. If you are reading this: I LOVE YOU! She told me she had only read my first one or two blog posts, but hasn't had a chance to read the rest. She said, "I read your blog and I thought, Yep, that's Katie!" It made me glad. I want to be true to myself, and anyone who reads this. I am who I am, and I'm proud of it! We are so pressured to be proper, and polite, and ladylike, and whatever else, and in the course of things wind up presenting ourselves as something we maybe aren't. Why isn't it okay to be real? If I'm in a bad mood or sad, why do I have to put on a happy face and pretend that everything is kittens and puppies and rainbows in my life?

Wow! I must be in funky mood today. Sorry. It is who I am.

I have my next date with Alejandro in two days. Yay me. :P

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

MIA- Missing in Ambivalence

I didn't write a post yesterday. You may or may not have noticed. I'm feeling a bit ambivalent (I looked this word up to make sure it was the one I wanted, and it describes how I feel perfectly!) about what it going on this cycle. For those of you who aren't sure what ambivalent means (much like myself), here is the actual definition:

noun \am-ˈbi-və-lən(t)s\
Definition of AMBIVALENCE
: simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action
a : continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite) b : uncertainty as to which approach to follow

Yep, that pretty much says it all! I rarely find a word that describes exactly how I feel. Are you wondering why I'm all ambivalent and stuff? It starts with another date with Alejandro...(enter flashback/dream sequence)

I woke up at 4:30 yesterday (to Tyler crying) and got a move on. Tyler and I headed on up to Baltimore and went and got my blood drawn and then headed up to meet with Alejandro. I was somewhat hopeful since I had a 14mm follicle on Saturday and leaped up onto the table with vigor (as much vigor as you can when you wake up at 430 and drive 90 miles) and got my paper sheet on. When the RE came in and wielded Alejandro I got in the stirrups and off we ambivalence.

As it turns out, my 14mm follicle is actually two smaller follicles that are snuggled up against one another. So basically I don't have a dominant follicle...after 19 days of injections. That is insanity! I honestly think that the RE wasn't sure what to do. We were at a crossroads of sorts. Our options were cancel the cycle and start a bleed so we can start from scratch, or increase my meds.

A week ago, I would have melted down into tears of despair at the though of ending the cycle. Yesterday I wasn't thrilled about the idea because we have already invested so much time and money into this cycle, but at some point you have to cry "Uncle!"

The RE wanted to review my blood work results and U/S pics with my regular RE and said they would get back to me. So I came home and waited. Eventually they called. The verdict is this: I am taking more meds. It makes me glad and kinda scared, too. Everything could come out fine. I could still not respond and have to cancel the cycle. Or I could overstim (have more than 3 dominant follicles) and have to cancel the cycle. So I took my higher dose last night (with a little extra for good measure).

I go back in on Friday to see Alejandro. I'm still ambivalent.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

This or That?

Since I don't have a lot going on today in my TTC universe, I decided I would address one of the questions I ALWAYS get asked: What is the difference between IUI and IVF?

They are very different. The most basic difference is IUI is non-invasive, and is very similar to a pap smear in terms of the procedure and level of discomfort. IVF on the other hand, is invasive. They retrieve your eggs, fertilize them in a lab, let them grow a few days, and then put them back in your uterus.

Quite honestly, I don't have more than a basic knowledge of IVF. This is largely because there are varying types of IVF that are dependent upon an individuals actual fertility problems. The other thing about IVF is it is VERY expensive ($10,000-50,000 per cycle depending on what you have done, where you live, and what insurance coverage you have).

IUI, on the other hand, I have a very intimate knowledge of.

On the day of an IUI, a semen sample is collected (or defrosted if you have preserved sperm or are using donor sperm) and then washed. What is sperm washing, you ask? Sperm washing has a couple of purposes. It removes chemicals and seminal fluids that may irritate the uterus. It also removes deformed, dying, or dead sperm creating an optimal sample for fertilization. This is accomplished by adding some sperm washing solution and then spinning it repeatedly in a centrifuge until all of the flotsam and jetsam is gone. It usually takes about 45 minutes at our clinic.

After the spermies have had a bath, the lab tech gives me a little vial of clean spermies (in a non-irritating suspension) to put between my boobies to keep nice and warm until its time for the IUI.

When its time for the IUI, I get up on the table and in the stirrups and they load the spermies into a syringe with a catheter on the end:

The RE (or sometimes a nurse or med student) will insert the speculum (AHHHH! Open Wide, LOL!), and then they insert the catheter into the cervix and inject the semen into the uterus. They take out the catheter and the speculum and then you get to lie there for 10 minutes or so. Piece of cake!

Financially, IUI is more reasonable also. Depending on what insurance coverage you have (if any) IUI runs anywhere from $0 (if you have AWESOME coverage) to about $5000 if you have to pay for everything. I have some coverage, so for me an average cycle costs around $300 (not including gas to drive back and forth). We have pretty decent coverage!

The difficulty in any ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology - includes IUI and IVF) procedure lies in the two weeks following the IUI, called the 2WW by IFers, and feared by all of us! It is the longest 2 weeks of ever! Ideally, in that 2 weeks, the egg gets fertilized, travels down the fallopian tubes, floats around in the uterus for a while looking for a nice place to nest, and then implants and starts producing nauseating (literally) levels of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin AKA- the pregnancy hormone). Implantation takes 6-12 days after fertilization which makes the 2ww even more excruciating. Every twinge, pain, and tweak is over analyzed and Googled extensively. It is how it is.

Anyhow, that's pretty much how it goes. :P

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Double Booking Fail

Today was the big day...the day with two dates. Alejandro was right on time this morning. He was suave and all Latin American-y, and he totally screwed up my date with hubby. It didn't help that our day started at 4:50 A.M., that will put anyone in a foul mood on a Saturday. Then Alejandro swoops in and breaks the news that we still aren't ready for our IUI (actually, that was the Doctor. Alejandro is just an innocent bystander in all of this.)

Anyhow, I am down to one dominant follicle on the right side (or as my mom calls it my "bad" side, and I'm beginning to agree with her!). It is only measuring at 14mm and I need it to be 18mm, mind you it was measuring 14mm last Sunday and then shrunk to 12mm. What I'm left wondering is where did the follicles on the left side (my "good" side) go? Because this follicle is taking it's sweet time, we had to drive WAY out of our way to get more meds, wait for the pharmacy to open, and in doing so lost our desire to follow through with our plans for the day. End date with hubby. :(

Dr. Y and I talked and decided to put me back on Metformin. Oh YAY! Let me tell you how excited I am about that! Diarrhea central, here I come! Thankfully Dr. Y had the courtesy to remind me to take it slow and work my way up on the stuff (like I could ever forget after the last time I forgot!) Story Time!

About 2 years ago, after Tyler turned 1, I decided it was time to start thinking about getting the fertility crap started again. I thought, "Hey, I had a pregnancy that was very good, and I have a healthy boy. Maybe the Evil Empire will treat me now, even though I was exactly as much as I did before!" Hahaha! Silly Katie! Yep....they treated me alright...treated me to some metformin and the advice to lose 50 lbs. I took the metformin...and the advice, but in the midst of all of this they forgot to remind me to ease my way up the metformin ladder. The next day, before heading out on the 65 mile drive to wherever I was going, I got my bottle of metformin and popped the whole maximum dose at once. I should have taken 1/4 of that for a few days, then 1/2, then 3/4, and so on. Well, about 12 miles into my 65 mile drive my stomach started cramping. There was NOWHERE to stop for at least another 8-10 miles. I punched it, pulled into the grocery store, ripped 1 year old Tyler out of his car seat, and hauled balls into the store. I didn't have time for a stroller, cart, or nothin! Poor Tyler had to sit on my lap while I did my business. It was traumatizing for both of us! The rest of that day I was sick as a dog between the runs and a seriously upset stomach. LESSON LEARNED!

So, that's my funny poop story. I am hoping that the metformin is the key to this whole fiasco. We are still on track for this cycle for now. She checked my estrogen level today, too. It was 49.9. I don't know what that means, honestly. They left the message on my voice mail and didn't say anything else about it. All I know is that by doing this test they can determine either how good the follicle is or how close it is to being ready for ovulation. From some quick online research, I learned that the number should be at least 150 for ovulation. I will learn more and report on that!

I go back in on Monday for another date with Alejandro. (wink, wink!)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Double Booking

Tomorrow I have a date...two dates actually. One with my hubby (YAY!), and one with this guy:

No, this is not some kinky love toy! Geez! What kinda girl do you think I am? LOL! This is an ultrasound probe (AKA - Alejandro...He's from Latin America and has a very sexy accent!). This is the "fun" little tool that allows the RE to see my ovaries, uterus, and follicles (I think you can figure out where that goes on your own!).

I am both dreading and excited for my date with Alejandro. I'm terrified that this cycle will continue dragging on forever, and at the same time hopeful that my lazy little follicles decided to grow like crazy since Wednesday.

Anyhow...believe it or not, that's all I have to say about the matter today. Shocking, I know. :P

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What's the Diff?

Fair warning....this post is a lot of me thinking in type...not as entertaining or informative as some other posts. Sorry!

I have been thinking the last few days about whether going through fertility treatment is harder, easier, or the same as when I went through it to get pregnant with Tyler. The answer I have come up with is...I don't know.

It is definitely different this time for lots of reasons:

*I don't have a M-F, 9-5 job, which has alleviated a lot of stress in regards to having to take time off of work.

*I have a kid (sometimes 2) who I have to juggle when I need to go to the RE. I think this replaces the stress of not taking time off work! Thankfully, I have lots of support from family and friends who are more than willing to wake up before the birds and watch my kid. THANK YOU! You will never know how much this helps me and how grateful I am!

*I have a much longer commute to the RE than before. Since having Tyler, we have moved to the country. If the Evil Empire would quit being so evil, I would have about a 45 mile commute (each way) to the RE, but since they are just evil, I have found someone else and as a result have an 88 mile commute (each way). This increases our costs because of fuel prices, but Que Sera, Sera!

Looking at this list, I realize it is mostly logistical changes, but emotionally, this should be easier, right? I already got what I wanted. I have a beautiful, smart, well behaved son who is the light of my life! Shouldn't I just be happy I got him? That is what I always prayed least one child...I got my wish. Am I being greedy now?

Honestly, I think that is neither here nor there...we want what we want, and I want another baby. It is not something unreasonable to desire. I'm not a bad or neglectful parent. I don't want another kid for the tax write off (although its a nice benefit!). I want my son to have a sibling so that he has a built in friend and is not alone when my husband and I die.

So, emotionally, is it easier this time around? At first it most definitely was. We knew what our problem is, how to treat it, and had been through the treatment so there was very little, if any, anxiety about what was to come.

Now that we're a year into it...A YEAR!...I'm not feeling so hot about things. I've had a miscarriage and 2 failed IUIs in the last year. I'm an emotional wreck. I would have to ask hubby how it was last time (he remembers detail), but I don't think it got this bad for me before. I have really blocked out a lot of my TTC journey from before, probably because it was so unpleasant, so I am finding that I can't decide if it is harder this time.

Whether or not its easier or harder, I know one thing because this I DO remember: when its all said and done, when that baby is born, it will have been 110% worth every gallon of gas, injection of drugs, mile to the RE, and tear that I have/will shed!