Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week 40

It is hard to believe that until now; I should technically still be pregnant...anxiously awaiting the arrival of four precious boys. Why be normal though!!!! I have had three additional months to bond with my little men and although it has been a rough journey: pregnancy, NICU...having my boys (minus one) is every bit worth it!!

Just as I was getting into the swing of not only being a momma but a momma to multiples; another one was added! While a routine visit to see the other two boys, I was greeted by one of the NICU doctors on the elevator and was asked, "Do you want Grayson?" WHAT!!! Well, of course I wanted my baby and is just what I told him!!! Two days later and after home health care came out to school us on the little fighter got to come home!!! Who would have thought that the kid who was on a ventilator the first three weeks of life, had heart surgery, a hernia surgery...the list goes on...beat home a brother!!! I was elated to bring home another baby but grieved that Brock would now be by himself.

With NICU babies comes a slew of appointments! It is a good thing I find being organized as fun! NICU follow up apts, eye exams, audiology apts and the routine pediatrician appointment filled our week! If we were ever weary about how to get the kids loaded and is gone! What started out being a chore to load and unload the crew; grew to be doable and much more timely! The lightest kid (Camden) gets put in the very back seat and the other two in the second row as they are heavier and Grayson is on oxygen so it is less to have to haul. Good news is they are all growing and gaining weight, the ones who have had audiology appointments came back as passing and all eyes are improving ( Keaton does not have another exam for 6 months!!! Grayson and Keaton still have some areas of concern so will get a two week break before the next one)!

We had the whole "twin" thing down pretty darn good. Add the third baby and things get a bit more complicated....our one adult to one kid ratio was gone and never to be seen again!!! Grayson was on a different schedule so we had to quickly get him established on the same routine as the other two boys. This meant we now had three hungry mouths to feed at one time. This took some practice and lots of trials and errors! Jeff and I rotate who feeds the two and who feeds the one alone; this way we both get the practice and the break from dual feeding every now and then. We each have our own way of conquering the duo feed. Jeff prefers the better of the two feeders to sit in the bouncer while he holds the other one. I prefer to prop them both on my crossed legs...I say if it works; then it is a go!!! However the method...the job gets done and all at the same time.

Having all three on the same schedule makes life just dandy; I really can not even complain! I do wish Camden was not colicky...but it could be worse and that is not in his or my control. If I were to find something to complain about however; it would be with bringing the boys in public. It is not a hassle to load them all up and take them out and about; they handle it great! It is everyone else that makes it a hassle. I forget that having so many babies is rare as it is my life and my normal; but a quick shopping trip turns in to an ordeal with all of the questions, comments, attempts to touch...etc!!! I suppose I better get use to dealing with it as it is only going to get worse when we add the fourth and final baby to the mix! Oh well!!! I am beyond proud and thankful for my stinky 4 boys; and will take every comment and question...just not the touching!!!

I look forward to the day that Brock is eating all of his feeds by a bottle so he too can come and join our crazy family! I constantly live with the guilt of not being able to go and see him nearly as much as I yearn to do. With him being across town and the three other boys at is hard. I tell myself and him too...this is not forever and he is sooo close to coming home to his brothers!

Three home and one to go; where ever they all are...I am blessed times four!

And then there were 3!

Proud Papa

Camden loves his Grayson

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week 39

Being in the military and away from family has been hard. If not for the many wonderful women I have met through a military group on base; the situation would be ten times harder. They have become family and have really stepped up to the plate to help and support our family in every way they possibly can; and they do so genuinely! The shower i was given by my mom and sister back in March was great; but skyping into my shower was just not the same. Even though I am not pregnant and my sweet boys have graced us with their presence for several months now, I was given the most lovely shower! It was perfect! The games, the decorations, food, homemade cake and a slide show were just a few of the things that made the shower memorable.

The day I had been yearning now for 11 weeks...HAS COME! Today I was really going to be a mommy! I stayed up late making sure every little baby thing was in place. About the time I lay down to go to sleep; I awoke with anxiousness! I thought a walk would eat up some energy; by the time I decided to turn around to go back home, I realized I had walked over the bridge to the other side of base...and was my energy even a bit gone? NOPE!!! My excitement to bring home some babies was delayed as we had a scheduled tour of the new hospital the other 2 boys would be transported to the next Tuesday since the hospital we are at now was closing all of the inpatient floors. I was pleased with the newness and state of the art equipment that was there; not so thrilled about having to send over my other two babies knowing that I would no longer be able to spend the hours upon hours up there like I have prior to this day.

Too excited to eat; we drove back across town to get the boys! Surprisingly, in a matter of a couple of hours we had got all of their meds from the pharmacy, were lectured on what to do, expect, what to consider emergencies, etc and with a quick picture to document the monumental occasion...we were off on our way to home! I didn't know what to do with myself as I left in the company of not 1 but 2 little boys! This is the feeling I have waited to have for 12 long weeks...and it is here! I could barely wait to get them home and get them on a schedule and settled in to their new lives outside of the NICU for the very first time.

Being a momma to multiples is different than being a momma to one. What I would do if I were just mothering one baby, is far different than how I plan on mothering quadruplets. I have read book after book and have spent quite some time considering how I would manage four babies in the most optimum way possible. I knew the importance a schedule would bring to us all and have been set on sticking to it. So that is what I do. I ensure I keep organization at all times. Between the multiple meds, different formulas, etc. each child requires; it is in my best interest to be on top of things and on schedule at all times. That is what I have done and that is what has worked. As much as I love being a momma; I hate that I have two babies away from me. Tuesday they were transported from Wilford Hall (the hospital that is minutes down the road from our home) to BAMC (the new military hospital across town) to BAMC. Although the unit is new and is not convenient as I have two babies who are not able to go back into the NICU which makes visiting the other boys; hard. I just remind myself; this too shall pass and it will not be for very long that my boys are separated.

I have decided that two babies are completely doable. Two hands, two works!!! Although Jeff is not working so is able to feed a baby; I have been trying to feed two at a time to get use to the idea of adding another baby to the mix and eventually another after that! Trial and error. From bouncers, to straddling, boppies...I have tried so many ways to feed two babies in ways I never thought would work!!! A week later and I think I found what works for my kids and I. I put the better eater in the bouncer. I take the not so good eater and prop on either a boppy or couch pillow so I am able to control his head and sucking better. Then I hold a bottle to each and feeding time commences!!!! I am certain I look ridiculous; and once I get started...I am not getting up!!!

Having brought home the two boys at once and getting them on a schedule and keeping ourselves organized left little time to think of ourselves; even when it came to eating!!! Thanks to the wives again; they came to our rescue! We have received a home cooked meal since the first two boys homecoming. Not having to worry about cooking (as if I had time) or what we would eat (left to us we would be grazing on packaged foods!!!!) has "lightened our load!"! I look forward to the meal as well as the company that delivers it; if only they knew just how much this has meant to Jeff and I! Once we are on a schedule with all of the boys at home and settled into our quad life; I look forward to doing and serving others in need in the group; just as they have to me.

My perfect cake at the shower; thanks to Kelsie!

My sweet shower!!! Thanks to Cynthia, Michelle, Katie, Danielle, Jill, Kelsie, Lisa...and that is just to name a few; they really went above and beyond to make my day more than special!

Keaton ready to go!

Camden ready!

Jeff and I have been ready!!!

Two out of four successfuly home!
How thankful I am to have boys beginning to come home, neighbors who have become friends, and friends who have made the homecoming process easier by helping out in every way they can!!! Lack of sleep, loads upon loads of laundry, tons of bottles, keeping track of meds....I wouldn't trade in any of; all i can say is that I am blessed times four!!!