Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Yesterday morning I had some strange pains in my belly and back. A couple of hours after they started, I decided to called the doctor. They told me to come to the office in the afternoon so that they could hook me up to a contraction monitor, take a urine sample, measure my blood pressure, etc., to make sure things were all right. When I got there, however, I learned that they were also going to go ahead and do the full scans that I was scheduled to have done on Friday.

I called Ted to tell him that he was going to miss the scans (which were going to measure the babies' heads, abdomens, and femurs), but neither of us thought it was a big deal. As soon as the ultrasound tech came into the examining room, though, she asked, "So are you here to find out what you're having?" I hadn't expected to find out for a couple more weeks! I told her that I would love to know, if she could tell me, so she got to work. Within seconds, she was able to determine the sexes of all four babies!

She gave me a bunch of pictures, but it's hard to make out what exactly they're supposed to be showing, so I won't be posting them. I will, however, reveal our happy news! Without further ado (drumroll, please):

Baby A is a ... BOY!
Baby B is a ... BOY!
Baby C is a ... GIRL!
Baby D is a ... GIRL!

I asked the tech how certain she was, and she said, "I'm 98% sure. I've been in this office 20 years and have only been wrong once." So we feel pretty confident that these boys will stay boys and the girls will stay girls. The tech said that when I have my next full scan (in a month) the babies will be so much bigger that it will be much easier for the untrained eye to see who's what.

Thanks to everyone who voted in the poll; I had fun seeing what the trends were each day (people really thought I was full of boys!). Special props go to Staci, who exercised her sonography skills by examining the ultrasounds in last week's post and determining (correctly) that Baby C was a girl! And a big thank you to Becky, who brought me these pacifiers a few weeks ago in the hopes that we would have an even mix of niños and niñas. Aren't they adorable?

For those who like numbers, I am currently at 16 weeks gestation but am measuring at 27 weeks. Babies A, B, and D weigh about 6 ounces, and Baby C is a little smaller at 5 ounces (the tech says this is nothing to be concerned about). Oh, and the tests showed that I was not having any contractions, did not have a fever, and had normal blood pressure; the pains were probably due to the fact that I've been growing so fast (2 inches in the last 5 days!).

Now it's time to start thinking of some names ...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Drummer boy ... or girl?

After recovering at home for a week, I went back to work on Monday. That morning, as I was walking back to my desk from the copy room, I felt one of the babies move! The sensation was like a very light *thump* from the inside, as if someone had hit a drumskin (my uterus) with a padded drumstick (a foot?). At first I thought the kicker was George (Baby C), but based on the babies' positions on the ultrasound I had yesterday, I am now convinced it was Ringo (Baby D). Quite appropriate, no?

Despite my heightened awareness, I didn't feel any more movement until last night. This time I felt less distinct but more numerous little taps; it kind of felt like little bubbles were popping all across the top of my belly. (And no, I did not have beans for dinner!!) People keep reminding me that I'll soon grow annoyed and uncomfortable with all the gymnastics in my belly, but I am blissfully refusing to let anything lessen the thrill of feeling my babies move for the first time.

Something else I'm getting more excited about is finding out how many of my little drummers are boys and how many are girls. I am not alone in this: "Do you know yet what you're having?" is by far the number-one question I get these days. In fact, interest is so high that a colleague of mine even suggested that I start an office pool! Although I don't plan on doing that, I'd love for people to submit their guesses in the "What's in My Belly?" poll (at right). The nurse says that we should be able to find out what we're having in another 3 to 4 more weeks.

And now for yesterday's 14-week ultrasound pics. It's a good thing that we weren't trying to see the sexes this time since all but one (Baby A, aka John) kept their backs turned to the camera:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The kindness of friends

Ever since we announced that we are expecting quads, I have been repeatedly surprised and touched by people's generosity. Already, a number of friends have offered to give or lend us their used baby paraphernalia, bring us meals during my bedrest, and help with the babies when they come home. This week during my recovery, friends have stopped by to see how I'm doing, bring us food, and even drive me to the doctor's office on short notice.

Several of my girlfriends have also been kind enough to give or lend me a sufficient number of maternity clothes so that I hopefully won't have to purchase more than a couple pairs of pants (being short stinks). Just yesterday, in fact, I acquired my latest piece of maternity clothing, courtesy of my friend Karen (whom I went to school with in Uruguay and haven't seen since the 8th grade). Look at how adorable this T-shirt she sent me is!!

The thoughtfulness of this gesture by an old, old friend really moved me, and I know that this and every kindness that has been extended to us up to this point is just the tip of the iceberg. Your prayers, support, love, and friendship mean more to us than we can express. God is good, and He is providing!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Suzy's big adventure

As most of you know by now, I came home yesterday around noon. What most of you don't know (because I forgot to include it in my last pre-op post) is that my mom was able to take time off to be with me for my surgery! Ted and I were so glad that she could come; it was exactly what I needed in order to feel completely serene and prepared. She flew in on Thursday afternoon and we did a little last-minute shopping to make sure I had everything I needed for my little "vacation." Then she stayed up with me until midnight so that I could eat and drink until the very last minute (I knew the babies would be so mad at me in the morning when I wasn't allowed to eat breakfast or even have a sip of water, so I wanted to keep them happy for as long as possible).

After a great night's sleep, I was completely ready to go. I got a nice surprise in the triage room when quad mom Jen showed up. She offered some firsthand advice, encouragement, and a prayer, all of which were greatly appreciated. Shortly after she left, they wheeled me into the OR (a little earlier than expected, but I didn't mind). They gave me my epidural and then did a quick ultrasound to make sure all the babies still had heartbeats (they did). The first epidural didn't take, so they gave me another one. Because my uterus had grown so much in the four days since my last appointment, the doctor had them wheel the ultrasound machine back in so that he could see where the top of my uterus was now, to verify that he could still get away with a horizontal cut rather than a vertical one (he could, whew!). The resident who was assisting him commented that I am measuring at 20 weeks, 7 weeks ahead of singleton schedule. Because of these detours, the actual TAC didn't get underway until probably closer to 2pm.

The rest of the procedure, which lasted a little over an hour, seemed to go off without a hitch. I had no pain from the actual surgery, although I did have what they call "referred pain" in my upper arm (not pleasant, but not the worst thing in the world). When all was said and done, the doctor told me that my uterus was "very conducive" before heading to the waiting area to tell my family that I'd lost only 6 tablespoons of blood (fantastic, considering how much the babies need every ounce of blood in my body) and that I had "the perfect anatomy" for this type of procedure (I'll take that as a compliment).

I was in recovery for about an hour, during which we got to see another ultrasound of the babies, kicking around and being more active than ever. I used the morphine pump a few times to relieve the burning sensation in my incision, and then I was wheeled to Room 237, my home for the weekend. I clicked the morphine pump once more (kind of out of habit, I think); I didn't have to use pain meds again for the rest of my stay. Mom stayed with me that night, and it was so nice to have her there! She's had several surgeries (including two C-sections) herself, so it seemed that she knew exactly what I needed when I needed it. Neither of us got much sleep due to the nurses coming in to check my vitals so often, but I was nevertheless glad to be in such a great hospital.

On Saturday morning the nurse took out my catheter and IV, and told me to call her when I needed to use the bathroom so that she could help me get up. Well, I was so uncomfortable in the bed that I called her before I needed to use the bathroom, just so she could show me how to get up and walk around the room. It felt so great to stand up and sit in a chair! The nurse was amazed and thrilled that I had started walking around so soon of my own volition. After that, it was just a matter of making sure that my temperature and blood pressure stayed down (they did) and that all my "systems" were back in working order (they were). I got plenty of rest on Saturday (listening to The Beatles on the iPod, watching Tootsie on the in-room DVD player) and made sure that I did a lot of walking around (which was much more comfortable than laying there, anyway). I got another nice surprise when Kristen stopped by to visit (after a big detour to the main St. V's hospital, HA!). Ted stayed with me that night and took me home when I got discharged on Sunday.

I won't see the doctor again until the 15th, which means that I won't see the babies until then, either. They definitely aren't letting me forget about them, though, considering how much my belly seems to have grown in the past few days. Hopefully my incision will continue to heal in record time so that I have minimal discomfort in the growing days ahead. I am thankful that everything went so well, and also that I had the chance to see the hospital and meet the wonderful staff. Knowing that I will be so well taken care of will surely make my inevitable return to the hospital much less stressful. Let's just hope it's not for a long, long time!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The surgery went great!

I thought Ted would have to post in my stead to let everyone know how things went today, but it turns out that I am feeling pretty good, post-TAC. Later this week, I'll fill everybody in on the details of the day, but for now I just wanted everybody to know that I am doing very well and my doctor says that the surgery couldn't have gone better. I am glad to have it behind me, and I cannot express how thankful I am for all your prayers and encouraging words in the past few days. If everything keeps going well, I'll go home on Sunday.


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