Friday, October 31, 2008
In fun news, I had an ultrasound yesterday afternoon to check the babies' heart tones (they say this will be a daily occurrence while I'm here). The resident who performed the scan was pleasantly surprised at how "big and beautiful" my 25-week quads are, and when I told her their 23-week weights, she was quite impressed (yay for my overachieving children!). She noted that the babies are very active and was glad to see that they are practicing their breathing as they should. I don't have any pictures to post, but at today's ultrasound I will try to remember to ask whether the hospital's machine has the capability to burn the images to a CD (I remembered today that I stashed one in my purse before leaving home, just in case).
The best thing that's happened so far today is that I have been granted bathroom privileges (no more bedside commode, woohoo!). And the nurse is hoping that I will be allowed to take a shower tomorrow (they let me get up to wash at the sink this morning, but it's just not the same). But now I need to lie back; the nurse just informed me that I've had six contractions in the last half-hour. RATS!!!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Ted brought me to triage, where they put me on a contraction monitor for over an hour. When they saw that I was still contracting every 5 to 6 minutes, they decided to admit me for overnight observation. Once I got to my room, I found out that the doctor wanted to put me on a magnesium sulfate pump to "wipe out" my contractions. So they hooked me up and I prepared to be miserable. Fortunately, I tolerated the prescribed dose very well; the only side effect I experienced was that I felt very hot. We turned the air down and got a fan, and I was fine for the rest of the night (although Ted just about froze to death—sorry, honey!).
This morning I am having contractions every 10 minutes or so, which is better than yesterday but still not great. The resident told me that sometime today they will give me a steroid shot to accelerate development of the babies' lungs. They say it's just a precaution, but the nurse did mention that they give the shot to women who have a very good chance of delivering in the next few days. It's scary because I am not feeling any pain or anything different, yet they are telling me that these babies could come at 25 weeks and 3 days.
Please pray with us that I can keep these babies cooking for at least 3 more weeks. Thanks to a visit from my mom last weekend, the nursery is ready to go, but just about everything else (including those four little bodies) is not!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
At Tuesday's 23-week ultrasound, I found out why I've been so much more aware of the babies lately. The tech determined that they now weigh 1 lb. 7 oz., 1 lb. 5 oz., 1 lb. 2 oz., and 1 lb. 3 oz. (A to D), which is just over 5 pounds combined (up from less than 3 pounds at my 20-week ultrasound). To further confirm the babies' significant growth, the nurse said that my belly has now surpassed full-term size (37 weeks) by nearly 2 weeks. It must be getting crowded in there!
I also got to see more 4-D images of two of the babies. Here is a video of Baby B, who let us have a good, long look at his cute little face:
And here's Baby C (she had her arms in a very dramatic pose and refused to move them so that we could get a better look at her):
Babies A and D acted bashful and turned around every time we trained the camera on them. The ultrasound tech said that we'd try to get 4-D images again next week (when Ted will be with me), so hopefully I'll have more videos (or at least stills) to share at that time. I am anxious to get my first look at Baby A, and I would like to see how much Baby D has changed since the 20-week mark.
Incidentally, the round-the-clock terbutaline hasn't entirely gotten rid of the contractions, but it's definitely helping: I haven't had more than four an hour since I began the therapy. And the initial side effects have subsided except for when I get a bolus; this extra-high dose is delivered every six hours and drives my pulse up to about 120 beats per minute, often making me feel weak, shaky, and short of breath for a half-hour or more. My doctor says that this spike is normal and I shouldn't worry unless my pulse reaches 125 or higher. Otherwise, things are looking good: I have no swelling, my blood pressure is staying nice and low, and I have no protein in my urine. My body's just gotta keep this up for at least 5 more weeks!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
After the ultrasound, the nurse got out the measuring tape and determined that my belly is measuring at 36 weeks—that's 4 weeks larger than I was measuring just a week ago! This could explain why I suddenly started to experience so many contractions last week; with this huge uterus, my body thinks it's time to get these babies out of here. In fact, when the doctor saw how many contractions I'd registered over the weekend, he decided to take me off the Procardia and start me on something a little more hard core: a terbutaline pump. The pump is about the size of a beeper and delivers the terbutaline (an asthma medication that has been shown to prevent preterm labor by decreasing contractions) straight into my leg muscle via a thin, flexible tube. I get a low dose around the clock, with a big dose (called a "bolus") being delivered every six hours. It makes me really weak and shaky, but the nurse said that these side effects should abate after a couple of days.
The other big news to come out of yesterday's appointment is that the doctor told me that I needed to quit working, even from home. To help keep my uterus quiet, I am to lay on my side as much as possible and avoid any unnecessary stress (these babies make sure I have enough of that as it is). So as of today, I am a woman of leisure—ordered to stay off my feet and lacking the strength or mobility to do anything else anyway! We'll see how long it takes for me to go out of my mind.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Allow me to introduce to you our kiddie composites (is it wrong to hope that the technology still has a ways to go?):
Friday, October 3, 2008
As for the contractions, they seem to have quieted down. I had only one during my monitoring session this morning, but I did feel several throughout the day. Fortunately, the contractions do not hurt; it just feels like my belly is tightening up and shrinking in on itself for about a minute or so—a very odd sensation, indeed. We'll see how I do over the weekend.
In any case, thanks for all your words of encouragement, as well as your continued prayers for me, the babies, and Ted. They really do make a difference!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I should be used to the highs and lows by now, but I admit that it's been hard for both Ted and me to balance excitement about the quads and the realities of a high-risk pregnancy. Fortunately, we are a team and we are growing stronger every day. I haven't enjoyed losing my independence (even if I weren't on bedrest, I have no energy and I just plain can't move like I used to), but it's definitely given me a chance to appreciate how much Ted loves me and the babies. I couldn't do this without his help, and I try to let him know every day that I don't take his willing sacrifices of time and energy for granted. I am so blessed to have his support, both physically and emotionally. He is going to be a great dad!