Friday, July 8, 2011

Week 31

The 4th of July is known for families and friends coming together to participate in all American festivities: bbq's, water activities and finishing off the day with fireworks to celebrate America's Independence! Prior to this year Jeff and I would have spent it doing similar things but with the exception of four little blessings. instead of the day being about us and our entertainment; it will be about our boys. The things that use to bring me enjoyment have since changed. My day will not be made by good food and fireworks but rather by spending the day with my precious boys holding them and doing the typical mamma duties that so many mothers take for granted and even complain about: taking temperatures, changing poo diapers, and holding their tiny little bodies. What a happy first 4th of July it was for all six of us!

You would think I would find monotony in the daily hospital trips...but I don't! I find myself getting pure excited each day in anticipation of kangarooing with my little guys! It does not get old! Today was no different as I went about my everyday tasks in preparation of going to see the kids. As soon as I get to the boys and make my rounds to look at each one and check in with the nurses and doctors to hear the daily report and plan; I then go and find a boy ready to be kangarooed! It is not very often Jeff is able to go and spend the day in the NICU with me as he is back to work full time. This being a long weekend due to the holiday, he has been able to also kangaroo the boys with me. I started out by holding Brock and Jeff held Camden. Brock's nurse had the wonderful idea for me to hold two boys at one time...WHAT???!!! I never even thought to ask if I could hold more than one with the thinking that it would be impossible with all of their monitors and cords. Keaton is the closest brother to Brock; so once Brock's nurse got Keaton's nurse on board with the idea...Keaton joined Brock and I for some kangaroo/mamma/brother time! I thought I was in heaven each time I was able to hold one baby...the only word I have to describe the feeling of holding two boys at one time is just LOVE!!! I found myself tearing up...not because I was sad but I suppose it made having multiple blessings real! How blessed I am to be the mom to these four precious boys!

As if celebrating their first holiday, the 4th of July, was not enough...they had a even bigger week this week as they turned one month old!!! It is hard to think that we have already had our boys for a month! It has been 30 days of ups and downs and with it comes all of the emotions. Other than the boys turning a month old they had added excitement as their final head ultrasound results were in and they had their first of many eye exams...their day was anything but fun. While the doctors were rounding and giving me the update on all of the boys, the eye doctor came in. I have heard that the exam was rough for the kids as they dilate their eyes and then force their eyes open with a metal contraption. I would have been completely unaware of what the eye doctor was dong as I was enthralled with kangarooing Grayson except for the blood curdling screams and cries that came from the baby enduring the exam. With the shear sounds of terror, came the constant beeps of the monitors sounding from where the boys were stopping breathing due to the event. After putting Grayson back into his isolette for his turn; I felt the tears stream down my face. I can not explain the feelings of helplessness when you see and hear your baby/babies in pain and discomfort and you can not do anything. All I can do is be there for them and anticipate the day when I get to bring my boys home.

When people find out that I have quadruplet boys the reactions are basically the same, "God bless you, Better you than me, I don't know how you are going to do it, Four boys???...good luck!" I find myself getting frustrated with the comments. People take for granted when they have a baby they are able to instantly take them home. Most moms do not have to ask to hold their child with a one hour limit or have to watch their child getting poked multiple times a day for blood tests or IV changes. They don't have to watch their 2 pound baby getting wheeled off for a surgery and then watch him a week later going through narcotic withdrawals. I will be thrilled and honored when I am able to bring my boys home. Will it be hard? Will my house be chaos and overwhelming? Will I find myself getting frustrated?...Of course!!! I would rather all of those things than to have my boys in the NICU away from me where I have no control or way of saving them from the tests, exams, assessments that have to be done for their well being.

Two steps forward, one step back...this is our life. Just as the boys were all progressing in feeds and the majority were off of the IV nutrition and had all their central lines and IVs removed...Camden followed in Brock's footsteps from last week. He was throwing up his feeds, had big residuals, an enlarged abdomen, and an abnormal Xray. The doctors were concerned that he had NEC (something to do with the GI system that can be very severe, leading to death; we just know we don't want to hear this word). His feeds were immediately stopped, and IV was put in and he was receiving fluids to keep him hydrated and give him sugar as well. After he was poked in every extremity for tests and blood cultures and after he had many Xrays and assessments they decided to start back on low feeds and keep a watchful eye on him. It appeared that he had a backup of poo and was full of gas; which could still be NEC but they were leaning more on the side of he just needed a break from feeds and meds to help him go poo. This was great to hear, but knowing the concern was still present left me still uneasy. These events easily lead to feelings of anxiety and worry; but I am learning that this is a part of the NICU "roller coaster"; it is our normal. These are times where I can not rely on my strength as I would surely break; but instead I must rely on someone bigger.

My boys are now certified!!! I went to pay and pick up their birth certificates this week and received their social security cards in the mail! When I gave the papers to the lady working the front desk; she asked why I needed the birth certificates...I replied, "They were just born so they need a certificate." She was immediately taken back as she did not realize upon first sight of the papers that the boys were quadruplets! She said we were the first set of quads to have gone through  the office. Times like these remind me that my "normal" is not so normal!!!!

 Everyday is a new start; this is true for my boys as well as for me. It is hard to stay upbeat and optimistic all of the time; sometimes I find myself asking the "whys" and get down in the dumps. It is when I go and look at and hold my beautiful boys that I can't help but to find myself digging out of the pits quite fast!!! I am constantly reminded by the boys just how blessed I am!

Daddy holding Grayson
My first time holding two!!!! Brock, Keaton & I kangarooing:)

Giving Keaton a real bath!

He was sooo over the bath

Sleepy Grayson

Brock holding his paci

Camden holding his paci

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