November 17, 2010

A Pregnancy Counted By Weeks.

Today Bloggers are taking time to raise awareness about prematurity. When I found out I was pregnant with quadruplets, I was told my babies would be born early. How early was hard to predict. There are so many "magic numbers" when you're dealing with multiples. My pregnancy became all about countdowns to various weekly milestones.
The first countdown was to week 5. This is the week I went for my first ultrasound to see how my pregnancy was going. It was also the week we found out I was carrying quadruplets.
The next countdown was to week 10. This is the first appointment I had with my obstetrician since becoming pregnant. He took one look at me and I could see the panic on his face. Since week 5 I had not been able to keep down much food. I was rapidly losing weight. He was concerned on a personal level because a close friend and patient had just lost her triplets at 19 weeks.
I tried not to focus on 19 and instead counted to 18 weeks... when we could find out the genders. My perinatologist jumped the gun at 16 weeks and excitedly announced one of the babies was a boy. At 18 weeks we found out all four babies were girls. This was a fun revelation, but meant the names Gavin and Wyatt were no longer on our short list of potential baby names.
Then I nervously counted to 19 weeks. It came. It went. We made it.
The biggest "week" was yet to come. We were informed from the beginning that I had to carry these babies to 28 weeks in order to deliver them at our local hospital. If I went into labor earlier than that I would be transferred 2+ hours away to the nearest facility with pediatric specialists. There was no way I was going to have my babies in a hospital so far away. Two hours? No, I wanted my babies to be delivered 20 minutes from my house so I could visit them every day once I was discharged.
At exactly 28 weeks we toured the NICU and talked with someone from the hospital about the "quad delivery game plan." Then I went home to begin my countdown to my scheduled c-section at 32 weeks. I made it two days into that particular countdown before my four fragile little girls arrived in this world.
It has been a crazy ride, full of ups and downs. In that first year, I never would have imagined having four five-year-olds. Now my countdowns are to fun milestones... such as the first day of kindergarten next year!


MaryAnne said...

I didn't realize your daughters were born at 28+2 weeks - I can't believe how well your daughters have done! I have a friend whose first baby was born at 28 weeks, and she has been on strict bed rest for nearly her entire pregnancy the second time round. She's at 32 weeks now, which is pretty amazing for her - and a relief to know how much easier things will be for her baby with every passing day.

And I love Gavin and Wyatt as boy names.

Quadmama said...

We've definitely been blessed by the progress they've made since birth. Sure we've had "issues," but they've been minor compared to what we could have faced with such fragile preemies.

Sarah said...

I too didn't know they were born so early. And how exciting about the next milestone - kindergarten! :)

Stephanie Barr said...

The issue hit home for me, even though all my own children were carried to term (earliest was "nine days" early) when my sister in law gave birth at 34 weeks last week. That's early but not desperately so; still, it's been a scare we didn't expect.

I'm so grateful your children have prospered.

Becky said...

Thanks for sharing!!!! 28 weeks + 2 days! And what precious, sweet little miracles you have. Hopefully next time you are in the Quads with your quads I won't be on vacation. :)

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Praise God for "fun" milestones!

Meg said...

Great post! My twins made it to 35w5d. I remember counting the weeks & the milestones, and praying we'd make it far enough. And we did! :)

I can't imagine how scary it would have been at 28 weeks to deliver babies. Glad your girls are doing great! :)

reanbean said...

I can only imagine what it must have been like counting down the days and weeks trying to carry those four little ones to a healthy size and weight. It sounds like you did a superb job! And how wonderful that your girls are all so healthy and happy!

Anonymous said...

I am so behind on reading posts, but I have to say- I loved this one! So glad you and your girls are thriving. Will you be able to handle sending them to kindergarten next year, though? A proud moment, no doubt, but I think I'll be bawling my eyes out!

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