Tuesday, January 27, 2009

1-month check-up: Isaac and Lucia

Three days after bringing the quads home, Ted and I took all four of them to the pediatrician. The visit went well, but the doctor suggested splitting them up for future visits (and we heartily agreed—carting four babies around is not easy!). So today we left Jude and Dahlia in the capable hands of friend/coworker/triplet mom Christine, and took Isaac and Lucia for their 1-month appointment.

I was very excited to see how much they weigh now, and they did not disappoint. Isaac weighed 4 lb. 15 oz. when he left the NICU less than 3 weeks ago, and today he weighed 7 lb. even. I had been a little worried that Lucia was not growing as fast as the other quads, but her growth is right on track: She weighed 4 lb. 7 oz. when she left the hospital, and she now weighs 5 lb. 11 oz. Jude and Dahlia will have their turn on Monday, and I can't wait to see how much they have grown since we brought them home!

I also asked about lengthening the time between their feedings. The pediatrician said that since all of the babies have recently been eating more, we could probably try going 3.5 hours before giving them their next bottle. She also said that we could try letting the quads sleep at night until one of them wakes up hungry, and then waking up the rest of them to feed. Previously, we had been waking them up every 3 hours, no matter what. Hopefully this means we will be getting a little more sleep. Wish us luck!

Four sweet babies (34 days old)
Clockwise from top: Dahlia, Isaac, Lucia, and Jude

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Feed, burp, change, repeat

Those four words just about sum up what the last 2 weeks have been like for us. The quads are currently on a 3-hour schedule, and by the time we feed and change all of them, it's almost time for the next feeding! Needless to say, there has been little opportunity for picture-taking, let alone blog-posting. But the quads turned a month old yesterday and I know people are anxious for news, so here are a few updates:

Isaac is our champion eater and regularly downs his 3 ounces of formula in record time. We couldn't miss a feeding if we tried because he always starts making noise about a half-hour before mealtime! All those calories are paying off: Isaac is the most alert of the four and is growing like a weed. He is doing really well at holding his head up and even found his thumb a few days ago—no amount of tugging would convince him to take it out! Everyone says he looks like a "little Ted," and I agree.

Isaac snoozing in his crib (21 days old)

Lucia eats the least out of the four and has been having a little problem with reflux about once a day. We can already tell that she is very strong-willed: If she does not want to eat any more, she vigorously shakes her head until the nipple comes out of her mouth, and sometimes she even shoves away the bottle with her hand! Lucia has my Grandpa M's eyes and everyone says that she looks a lot like me; the resemblance was confirmed when I found a baby picture of myself yesterday (I will scan and post it when I get the chance, but it might be a while since we don't have a scanner at home).

Lucia lounging in a Boppy (26 days old)

Jude is just about as big as Isaac and is generally a very calm little dude. He has been struggling with gas pain for the past week, but I've been giving him simethicone drops and that seems to help. He is a very observant little boy and loves to look around. The first time I fed him in front of the television, he craned his neck to see the screen (I think he's going to be a TV junkie like his mama!). His receding hairline is starting to fill in on top, and I think he looks a lot like my brother's baby pictures.

Jude not napping in his crib (21 days old)

Dahlia is our second-best eater and her little face is really filling out—I think she might be getting bigger than Lucia! Her mouth is still so small, though, that she has to use "special" bottles with slower-flow nipples so that she doesn't dribble out half of her feeding. When Dahlia's eating, she loves to stare at you with her beautiful eyes that are ringed with dark, curly eyelashes. Although the NICU nurses claimed that she was a feisty one, Ted and I have yet to see this side of her (knock on wood).

Dahlia hanging out in her car seat (27 days old)

Hopefully I'll be able to post more often now that our help schedule is in full swing. Ted and I seriously don't know what we'd do without all the wonderful friends and family that have been pitching in with feedings, laundry, bottle washing, and housework over the past couple of weeks! And now that Ted is going back to work tomorrow, everyone's help is going to be more vital than ever, especially at night. It's a joyous yet anxious time for us, and all we can do is continue to trust in the Lord's provision in our lives. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your continued prayers!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The surprises never end

I am grabbing a spare moment to let everyone know that the quads did not come home today. They came home YESTERDAY, exactly 1 month before their due date! I am guessing the NICU had some triplets on the way or something because it felt like they couldn't get us out of there fast enough.

Anyway, Ted and I were not able to get those last-minute preparations done like we'd hoped to do, nor were we able to enjoy one last dinner out together. However, we were able to buy the minivan, so at least we had a way to get everyone home in one trip! Since quads rarely go home all at the same time, we created quite a spectacle as we left the hospital last night, with even strangers asking if they could take our picture:

Going home!

I have to say that our first night as a family went very well, despite the fact that Ted and I only got about an hour and a half of sleep. A million thanks to my aunt Holly and cousin Tiff who came to spell us for a few hours today so that I could grab a nap and Ted could run to the grocery!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2 weeks old ... and some big news!

Ever since we found out we were having quads, the doctors and just about everyone else told us not to expect the babies to come home until somewhere around their due date (February 9). Things have been going so well, however, that Ted and I knew they would be discharged earlier than that. Even so, we were somewhat unprepared for the choice the nurse practitioner gave us today: We can bring two home on Friday and two on Saturday, or we can bring them all home together on Saturday—a full month before their due date!

After much discussion, I think we're going to choose the latter option and give ourselves another day to get ready for the quads to come home. We have a lot to do, including finally biting the bullet and acquiring a minivan! Fortunately, the babies' room has been ready and waiting for months:

The nursery

The quads will be busy in the next couple of days, too. Hearing screens, car-seat tests, hepatitis B shots, and circumcisions (for the boys, of course) are all on order. Please pray for these little ones as they are subjected to these final tests and procedures, that they may pass with flying colors. Also pray that they will continue to keep up their temps and drink all their bottles so that they do not suffer any setbacks between now and Saturday.

Although we are nervous about what the next few weeks and months hold in store, we are thrilled that our little family will be living together under one roof after just 2 short weeks. We are so thankful for all of the ways in which the Lord has blessed us both throughout this pregnancy and since the babies were born, and we have faith that He will continue to provide for all of our needs. Yay for healthy babies!

Brothers (Jude and Isaac)

Sisters (Dahlia and Lucia)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Weekend update

Time flies when you're not hospitalized: I've been home for a week now, and so much has happened! The babies continue to amaze everyone with how well they're doing, and Ted and I could not be more proud of them. Here's the very latest on the Fab Four:

Isaac was moved to a bassinet on Friday, and he is doing great at keeping his temperature up. He is bottle-feeding about half the volume of his feeds; the rest is going down his tube (he needs to work on that if he is going to come home anytime soon!). I plan to try nursing him tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. Although he usually acts pretty sleepy for us, he was very alert (and forgiving) as I tried my hand at giving him a bath today:

Isaac getting cleaned up by Mom

Lucia was moved to a bassinet on Friday night, but she had to be put back in her isolette today after a post-bath temperature plummet. The nurse says this is normal and nothing to be worried about; they are just putting her back in the isolette to be on the safe side. Like Isaac, she is bottle-feeding about half the volume of her feeds. I tried nursing her yesterday, but she just looked up at me like, "What is this all about?" and then fell sound asleep. Here she is back in the darkness of her isolette:

Lucia snoozing in her isolette

Jude was moved to a bassinet yesterday. His temp today was on the low side of what's desirable, though, so his nurse decided to postpone his bath; we don't want him to go back into the isolette like Lucia did if we can help it! He is bottle-feeding more than half the volume of his feeds; when I tried nursing him a couple of days ago, however, he was only interested for about 5 minutes. Here is one of the few moments today in which his eyes were open:

Jude pretending to take a bottle from Dad

Dahlia is still in an isolette, but the nurse thinks she'll be able to come out in the next day or two. Although she still doesn't have much fat on her for insulation, it's clear that she won't stay skinny for long: She is bottle-feeding all her feeds (which means no more tube in her nose!), and she is putting on more weight each day than any of the others. I tried nursing her the same day I nursed Jude, and she fed for close to 20 minutes! I think our little runt looks pretty serious about showing up her big brothers and sister:

Dahlia sleeping in Mom's arms

And last but not least, behold the picture of the reunited quads that I promised to post last time. Happy New Year!

The Fab Four
(taken by the night nurses on December 30, 2008)


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