Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A week of firsts

In the past week, I've gotten to experience a lot of "fun" things about pregnancy for the first time. Lovely stretch marks have begun to appear, my right hip has decided to randomly give out on me when I stand up, and on Sunday I woke up in the middle of the night with one of the worst charley horses I've ever had!

More importantly, however, Ted and I also got to visit our hospital's NICU for the first time last week. It was a far cry from the brightly lit beehive of activity that I'd expected: The lights were dim, sounds were muted, and the nurses seemed relaxed and friendly. I'm sure it would have been a different picture if we'd walked in during an emergency, but it was nevertheless comforting to see in what a soothing environment our babies will spending the first days and perhaps weeks of their lives. The nurse in charge also took us into the little room off the C-section rooms, where the babies will be stabilized directly after birth, and she explained a little bit about all the things the nurses will be checking and administering to the babies during that critical time.

Hearing the nurse talk about preemies and the things they have to go through depending on how many weeks they're in the womb before being born was a great reminder to Ted and me about the importance of making it to 34 weeks. According to the nurse, babies born at that stage can usually breathe room air on their own, which means they don't need to be on ventilators or CPAP machines. They also have usually developed the suckling reflex by then, which means that they can feed from breast or bottle instead of via feeding tubes. And, of course, being born at 34 weeks generally means less time in the NICU before going home.

So let's keep praying for a December 29 birthday ... 15 more weeks to go!


Christy said...

How about a December 30 birthday? That's the day my twin sister and I were born. We were three weeks early, but combined we weighed just over 15 lbs!

Our NICU visit was also enormously reassuring, so I'm glad you had a similar experience.

Take it one day at a time, Suzy. We're all praying for you and the little ones.


Christine said...

It's a wonderful hospital and they (and you) will receive excellent care. Of course it would be awesome to make it to 34 weeks - every day makes a difference. And focusing on that goal will help you get through the weeks of bedrest you have ahead. But also be sure to celebrate each milestone along the way, or you will go crazy waiting for 34 weeks to come! 28 weeks is the first big one - we have some 28 weekers in our group who are 5 or 6 now and you would never know they were preemies. My girls were born at 31w4d and you would never know they were preemies... It wasn't ideal, it wasn't what I wanted their first weeks and months to be like, but in the end I got 3 healthy children who are all caught up developmentally, so I feel pretty lucky.

Just know that you are doing everything you possibly can to give these little ones the best possible start in life. We'll be here to cheer you on!


The Middletons said...

We are praying for you and those babies daily Suzy. It sounds like you are very blessed to have an amazing support system. Like she said one day at a time.

Suzy said...

I know that the odds are stacked against any quad mom when it comes to getting to 34 weeks, but I think focusing on that long-range date is the only way I will get myself to SLOW DOWN and not insist on doing everything for myself. That's already been very hard for me! :)

Christine said...

Suzy, I really hope I didn't sound discouraging - I had 35 weeks as my goal - and even though I didn't make it, having that goal and remembering why it was so important did help me get through some tough days near the end. And it's not like it's impossible, you very well could make it to 34 weeks and that would be awesome! My point was just that you should celebrate what you accomplish along the way, too. That 28-week milestone is huge, so when you get there, give yourself a big pat on the back for what you've accomplished. I know how hard it was carrying 3 babies - I can't imagine another one in there!


Lori said...

Defintely praying for a late Dec birthday for those sweeties of yours. I must say I find your journey so fascinating! Having had one baby at a time, it's been so interesting and fun to see how you've grown with those 4 over the past few weeks and all the different things you are experiencing. Thanks for keeping this blog, so we can go along with you on this ride. It's going to be so fun to meet them one day. :-)

The Haughs said...

I came across this "saying" recently, and it has become my motto:

Stretch Marks are the Badge of a REAL Woman! :)

Hang in there. Thinking of you and those little ones. . .

Katy Haugh


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