Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quints Pregnancy- 22 wks

Bed rest is starting to get a little old. I miss seeing people, going to church, and playing around with Brady. Just walking to the kitchen is a treat these days. I know that this will only last for a little while and it's all worth it because there's nothing I want more than to give birth to 5 healthy babies. So, I'm going to stop complaining.
At my appointment last Friday the babies still looked good. Everything from my procedure looked good. My cervix was okay and they let me come back home for 1 more week. They told me to not get out of bed for anything but use the restroom. They even went so far as to tell me not to take a shower every day. I had gained 4lbs, so I'm now up to 135lbs.
Since my appointment last week I've been experiencing a lot of contractions (off & on--- nothing regular). They told me if I have 4 contractions in an hour to come to the hospital, and thankfully I haven't had that many that close together but I'm worried about it. I honestly don't think I'll be coming back to Maud after tomorrow.
On a sweet note, the babies kick all the time. They are so active. The only way I can describe what it feels like to feel 5 babies kick inside you, is that it feels like popcorn popping, or, sometimes, it makes me think of a lightening storm happening in my tummy.
You'd think the long drive to Dallas would be brutal, and it would be if it weren't for my wonderful hubby. He laid the seats down and put an air mattress in the back so I can lay down the whole way. We joke it's the red neck way of traveling in luxury.  I don't care though, it's comfortable and I'm able to lay flat for the 6 hours it takes to travel to and from Dallas.
22 wks

My doctor told me to tell everyone that's praying for me to pray that I make it to 28 weeks. She said it's critical for the babies' brain please, please pray I can hang on to these babies for at least 5+ more weeks. I know God hears all our prayers and I know He's in control of what happens with my pregnancy.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Quints Pregnancy- 21 Weeks

I'm now 21 weeks pregnant with the quints. I went to my Dallas doctor this past Friday and all the babies look good. They are growing right on track and were very active. They all weigh about 1 pound so all together, I'm carrying about 5 pounds of baby right now. We saw the fetal cardiologist after my appointment with my doc. She looked at all their hearts and said that all 5 babies have the major heart components that they need. Baby C (our for sure boy) might have a small hole at the bottom of his heart. The cardiologist said that it's the most common heart defect and in many cases, it fixes itself before the baby is ever born. However, these babies will be born very early so I worry about if it will have time to correct on its own. There's a big possibility that some of the babies will have to see the cardiologist after birth. I just hope and pray so hard that I can carry them as long as possible.

My cervix had shortened from 4cm to 2cm over the week. My doctor wasn't comfortable with that so I was put into the hospital to be monitored. Saturday morning I had a procedure called a cervical cerclage done to put stitches in my cervix to keep them from getting any shorter. It was so unexpected and overwhelming. We were completely unprepared. We took nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, with us. We were in the hospital with no soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, extra change of clothes, cell phone chargers, nothing! We were dirty, tired, and our cell phones died around 8pm Friday night so we really couldn't communicate with anyone. It was crazy. Thankfully, my mom and Melford came to the hospital Saturday and brought us a bag and kept us company. It's always nice to have your mom with you when you're going through anything.

I was so scared about the procedure. I was worried about the risk that they could possibly pierce one of the baby's sacks. If that would have would have been game over. The baby would die if the sack was punctured. They wheeled me back to the OR and I had an epidural put in. My epidural with Brady wasn't awful but it wasn't great either... it originally only worked on one side of my body. But my epidural Saturday was great. No problems at all. So after I was numb they laid me down. It was so bizarre to be awake during a surgery. It was also humiliating to be laying on the table, naked, and exposed to everyone in the room. Thankfully it was all women. When I lay on my back, it becomes very difficult for me to breathe. My blood pressure dropped very low and I felt horrible. I broke out into a cold sweat and my arms went numb. After the procedure was over the nurse anesthetist told me she got very worried. I don't know if they gave me some medicine or what but I got better and they proceeded with the procedure. I got so scared. All I could think about was Baby A dying because they punctured her sack. The tears started flowing. I tried to be strong but that was one of the scariest moments of my life. I was so blessed to have the sweetest nurses and medical staff with me the whole time I was in the hospital. When the nurse saw my tears she came to my side and wiped my tears, held my hand, and talked to me the whole time. She really calmed me down and I got through it. Thankfully, the procedure went well. My blood pressure was very low for most of the day after that so I was watched very closely. I wasn't allowed out of the bed for 24 hours. After several IV bags my blood pressure came up. On Sunday they decided to release me. I was so happy to be home last night. I missed Brady so much. I haven't slept so good in a while. It was so nice to be home in my own bed. I probably only have 2-3 weeks, at the most, left at home, then I'll be in Dallas until the babies get to come home.
My pregnancy facts:
*I now weigh 131 lbs.
*I crave Dairy Queen M&M blizzards and Do-si-dos Girl Scout cookies.
*We can not agree on the third little girls name. If baby D turns out to be a girl I don't know what we'll do. It's so hard to come up with 5 names!!!
*My goal, since the beginning, has been to stay pregnant until 30 weeks. I'm so hoping I can make it until then. I'm hoping the babies will have April birthdays.
*The babies will be born in Dallas at Baylor Hospital.
21 wks

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quints Pregnancy- 20 weeks

If I were a "normal" pregnant girl, I'd be half-way through my pregnancy now. However, as we all know, I'm anything but normal, so I'm past my half-way mark. My goal is to make it to April. At the beginning of April I'll be 30 weeks....I hope so badly I make it.

I'm feeling pretty good. I'm on complete bed rest. No work, no lifting, no staying on my feet very for the most part, I lay in bed all day because that's where I'm the most comfortable. I wouldn't say I enjoy bed rest, but it's honestly not as bad as I thought. Brady goes to his babysitter during the day so I'm all alone from 7ish to 4ish. I love it when everyone gets home.

I feel the babies move all the time. Their little kicks and jabs and moves are the best part of being pregnant, in my opinion. It's the most amazing feeling in the world. I'm trying to enjoy every second of them being inside me because I know this is my last pregnancy. Plus, when I feel them move it lets me know they are okay.

Last week, when I went to see my ob/gyn in Texarkana, my stomach was measuring the size of a 30-31 wk pregnancy instead of  a 19 wks pregnancy. So, I look like I'm about 8 months pregnant. I have gained 24lbs up to this point. I weighed 129lbs last Wed. I'm pretty surprised I'm not heaver, I figured I'd be 150lbs by this point. I'm sure I'll get there soon enough.

My back and ribs hurt all the time. So far, that's the most uncomfortable part of this pregnancy. I don't sleep well at night, it's just hard to get in a comfortable position, and usually as soon as I do get pretty comfortable, I have to get up and pee. It's a vicious cycle.

We go to the my doc in the Dallas tomorrow. We'll see my doc first and she'll check my cervix and measure the babies and make sure they are all measuring on track, then we'll see a fetal cardiologist and have all the babies' hearts checked. I'm very nervous about our appointment tomorrow. I pray that the babies are all still looking healthy.
20 wks

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

22 Months with Brady

I can't believe Brady is 22 months old today. In 2 short months he'll be 2 years old. It doesn't seem possible. My baby is really starting to grow into a little boy. I love this age. He is so funny and is becoming more independent each day. He's also talking a lot more which makes it fun to carry on a conversation with him. Here's a few things he's been up to the last 2 months since I last posted about him.
-He can count to 2!!! It's so funny but he'll say 1, 2, pause, 1, 2, pause, over and over again. He'll even count and want one of his cousins to go hide. I've tried to teach him to say 3,4,5.... But he just continues on with his 1, 2... I love it!
-He has always loved watching Wheel of Fortune and lately I've noticed he'll repeat the letters after the contestants call one out. I told Steven last night...wouldn't it be nice if he learned the alphabet from Wheel of Fortune? lol
-We've got him back on a sleeping schedule and he's doing very well. Over Christmas break he was staying up late with us and getting up late and he wasn't taking a nap everyday... He's not a pleasant boy to be around when he hasn't had enough sleep so when Steven went back to work last week, I made sure I got Brady up at 7am and he's going to bed around 9pm and is sleeping through the night again... Life is good when we all get to sleep through the night... We better enjoy these days before the Fab 5 arrive....
-Brady loves to say prayers. He will break out into a prayer at any moment. It's easy to know when he's praying because he clasps his hands together and gets a very stern look on his face. It's the funniest thing, but also makes me so happy.
-On Sunday nights, at church, the preacher brings all the kids down to the front and they sing songs and go over verses from the bible. The past 3 weeks, Brady has gotten up, in front of the whole church, and led Jesus Loves Me. It doesn't get any better than that.
-He can say "I love you" and it's the sweetest words I've ever heard. He just melts my heart.
-He loves taking showers with his daddy.
-He loves going for rides with his daddy. If someone is going somewhere, he wants to go too. He hates being stuck in the house.
-He is obsessed with the movie Frosty the Snowman. I recorded it when it was on tv before Christmas and he watches it about 10 times everyday. The past couple of days I've started telling him no when he says Frosty. I don't want him to be glued to the tv that much. But it is nice to have something that'll keep his attention for a little while so we can get some things done around the house every once in a while.
-I don't think he's grown too much lately. He still wears between 18 month to 2 T clothes. I think he weighs under 30lbs still. He'll go back to the doctor when he's 2 yrs old.
-He loves oatmeal. He eats it every morning. He also loves yogurt, cereal, bananas, those to go applesauce packs, and mash potatoes. He's pretty good about eating meats also. And he still loves Mexican food.

I worry about Brady so much. With everything that's gone on the past 20 months with my pregnancy I feel like I've missed out so much with him. I'm so big now that I really can't hold him anymore. I'm not suppose to lift anything so I usually have to sit and let him climb up in my lap and even then it hurts for him to snuggle up to me. He seems fine and everyone tells me he will be fine but my heart hurts so bad to think that I can't do all the things I want to do with him. I never leave the house anymore because  I'm suppose to lay flat so to be around me, he's stuck inside more than he'd like. I also worry about what he's going to think when I have to be in Dallas for the quints. Probably sooner than later, I'll be living in Dallas just in case something happens and I need to be close to the hospital. I don't know how I'm going to handle not seeing him every day. I just hope my family will bring him to Dallas as much as possible so I can see him. I worry he's going to think I left him or don't love him. I also worry about him when the quints come home. There's a lot of excitement surrounding the quints and I don't want Brady to be forgotten about or left out in any way. I know it will be an adjustment for all 3 of us but he's so used to having all our attention, all the time, I think he's going to have the hardest time adjusting to everything. I pray he'll love the babies and they'll all grow up and have a great relationship.
We put big boy undies on him one night but he wasn't having it. He kept trying to take them off. He loves to be naked.

He loves to lick the butter off corn but doesn't usually eat the corn.

He loves Elmo. He would go up to the shirt when it was hanging up and hug it. He's so funny.

Trying to escape.
 No matter what, Brady will always be my baby boy. I love him to the moon and back.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quints Pregnancy- Gender Reveal

When I was 12 weeks pregnant we found out the sexes of all the babies! I was so surprised the doctor could tell that early what they were. The machines in Dallas are so much better than Texarkana and you can really see everything so much better. We kept quiet until we got more confirmation, just in case the doc was wrong, before we shared the news. I honestly didn't care what the sexes were, all I care about is that all the babies are healthy. So far every time we go to the doctor we get a good report which makes me a very happy mama.

We always get both of our families together at our house for Thanksgiving and Christmas so we decided to let the gender reveal be an early Christmas present for everyone. We didn't tell them we were making the reveal, they just showed up for dinner at our house. I looked on pinterest for a good way to spill the beans and there's lots of cute ideas, but I had to reveal 5 genders so I had to do something within reason. So we bought Hershey bars and I colored the gender on the wrapper.

Our moms knew ahead of time what the genders were so I let my grandmother, Steven's grandmother, my sisters Kayla and Kristian, and my niece Makenna make the reveal.
He or She.... What will Baby A, B, C, D, & E be??????

Mary Nell, Lene, Kris, Kay & Mak

The perfect combination!!!! 2 little boys and 3 little girls!!!

Baby A, B & C: girls! Baby D & E: boys!!!
Now, since we've made our big announcement the sonographer in Texarkana can only find 1 boy. Dallas still thinks it's 2 boys but aren't acting as sure about the second I guess we really don't know if it's 2 boys or 1 boy. I hope it's still 2 boys because I like having an equal number of each and we're having so much trouble coming up with girl names. I don't know what we'll do if we have to come up with 4 girl names!!! We'll make it work...girl or boy we'll love whatever God blesses us with!

Quints Pregnancy- Weeks 13-19

I worked the first semester of the school year. My goal was to make it to Christmas, and that's just what I did. Being pregnant with quintuplets has been tough on my body. The fact that I was so sick at the beginning made it extremely difficult to work. Being a first grade teacher means you're on you feet all day long. You're moving and talking and you have to be on your A-game or the kids will eat you alive....seriously! haha  The bigger I got, the harder it got to be up for so long. I'm not the size of a whale yet, but I have grown at a much faster pace than the normal pregnant woman so it's been hard on my body. Plus my doctors told me to stay off my feet as much as possible, so I always try to do what they tell me to do.

During all the craziness of the first weeks of this pregnancy, I did stay in touch with my regular OB/GYN in Texarkana to get her advice. Texarkana isn't equipped to handle a quintuplet delivery so I knew she wouldn't be the doc that delivered me, but I still value her opinion and advice. She referred me to a maternal fetal specialist in Dallas. I started to go to my new specialist in October and that was also the last time I went to my fertility specialist. I love my new doctor. She's wonderful and very supportive of my decision to keep my babies. She did tell us about the same risks and options that my fertility specialist talked to us about, but she said she would treat me no matter I decided. So I go to Dallas to my maternal fetal specialist every other week, and the weeks in between I see my regular ob/gyn in Texarkana. So just like my pregnancy with Brady, I go to the doctor every week.
13 wks

14 wks

16 wks

17 wks

18 wks

Quints pregnancy- Month 3

After around week 6 or 7 the fluid went away in my belly, which was nice, but the morning sickness was in full swing. I felt so sick almost all day long for every day for a while. It wasn't until around the 14 week mark that I started feeling better. However, I came down with the stomach virus the day before Halloween. I thought I was going to die! I felt horrible. My poor Brady didn't get to do as much trick-or-treating as I'd liked him to, thank the Lord he's too young to know he missed out this year. It was also this month that we started telling people about the quints. I was rapidly growing so I didn't have a choice, you could definitely tell I was preggers.
10 weeks

11 weeks

Quints Pregnancy- Months 1 & 2

So what a whirlwind these past 20 weeks have been. I'm going to try to remember everything that we've been through up to this point in my pregnancy. Here we go....

This summer, Steven and I decided we wanted to try for "one more baby". I am 33 and I liked the idea of my kids being close in age. I got a prescription of Clomid, the same fertility drug I took when I got pregnant with Brady, and I got pregnant the first month (I always get pregnant the first try). The day after I took a positive pregnancy test we left for vacation. We went to Orange Beach for the week and everything went fine. The day after we got home from vacation, I started bleeding. I immediately knew it was a miscarriage. It was the weekend so I couldn't do anything other than let nature take it's course. I was only 5 weeks along, so it was like having a heavy period. The next Monday, I called my doc and went in for a blood test which confirmed I had miscarried. Because I miscarried so early, I didn't have to wait to try again, but Steven and I decided to wait and think things through. We both agreed that there wasn't any sense in continuing to go through the heartache that comes with miscarriages. We decided to try one more time and that was it,  no matter what. If it happened then we'd be happy and we'd be a family of 4...if it didn't happen, then we'd be perfectly happy with our sweet Brady. Our lives was a family of 3 was wonderful. I honestly didn't feel like anything was missing. We wanted Brady to have a sibling to grow up with and play with, plus, I love being a mommy. Brady has brought so much joy to our lives, we thought one more kid would just be icing on the cake.

So, after deciding to give it one last try, Steven really wanted us to go back to the fertility specialist and at least give this last try our best shot. So that's just what we did. I surprisingly got an appointment very quickly and we were in Dallas within the month. He checked me and everything looked good, so this time the fertility specialist prescribed Clomid, plus a medicine that you inject into your stomach called Follistrum, plus a drug to inject to make you ovulate at a certain time. He gave me the lowest dosages of all the drugs. So at the end of August, I started the medicine. I had a very strict schedule that I had to stick to, even to the hour of when to take some of the meds. I also had to have a sonogram every-other-day starting around day 10 of my cycle to measure my egg growth. I did the sonos in Texarkana and they sent the info to Dallas. Then Dallas would contact me and tell me what to do next. That's all it took. I didn't do any high tech procedures to get pregnant, we took care of that the old fashion way, all I did was take fertility medicine to help me make a good mature egg.

During the week of Sept 16-20 I noticed to was looking extremely bloated around the mid-section. I started feeling short of breath and wasn't feeling well. I started to get scared so I called Dallas and told them how I was feeling. They told me to come in the next day so they could check things out. So Steven and I drove to Dallas. I took a pregnancy test. On Sept. 20 we found out I was pregnant! I wasn't surprised, I've always gotten pregnant the first time I try, but I was very concerned about how I was feeling. They did a sonogram and saw that my tummy was full of fluid, and lots of it. They also saw what they thought were 2 babies!!!! I was only 3 weeks at this point so they were no bigger than a tiny dot, but they were there. I was excited about the idea of twins. I secretly wanted a bigger family but knew with all my problems, it wasn't going to happen because of my age and the fact Steven and I were ready to get finished with the "family building" stage of our lives. My specialist was out of town for this appointment so his partner was the physician treating me, and she said I needed to get some of the fluid out, so I had a procedure done in the office to drain some of the fluid. Let me tell you, it was one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life! I had no idea what she was about to do to me, and what she did wasn't what I was expecting. I lost 6 pounds within the 20 minutes it took her to drain me and that wasn't all the fluid, I still had more at the top of my tummy. After we left, the nurse from Dallas called and said my hormone levels were extremely high and that probably meant I was carrying multiples....which the sono tech had already told us she thought she saw two babies, so that wasn't much of a surprise, but it was at the same time. I wasn't concerned about twins, I was actually happy about it. Little did I know what multiples meant at that point in time.......

A week later, the fluid came back, the doctor told me it would, so we went back to Dallas and I had another sono which confirmed all the fluid was back AND this time, they found 4 babies, possibly 1 or 2 more!! That is the moment, Sept 26, that things started to get overwhelming. I had to have the fluid drained again, I lost 5lbs that time. My doctor was back, and he talked to us about how having 4 babies wasn't a good idea because of all the risks involved with that many babies. That appointment led to a long drive home. It's hard to describe how we felt...the only words that come to mind are, scared, overwhelmed, worried, etc.....

We went back to Dallas on October 9th for another appointment and instead of 4 babies now there were 6!!!!!! My fertility specialist sat us down and told us that we couldn't have six babies, they would have disabilities, or they would die. He said we had 3 choices, reduce from 6 to 2 babies (abortion), or completely abort the whole pregnancy (all babies) and start over again, or do nothing. He said we had to make a decision by 12 weeks. I left that appointment feeling heartbroken and scared, I couldn't understand why this would be happening to us. We cried, we didn't know what to think about anything anymore. The one thing I was sure about is that I wasn't killing my babies. Things continued to get worse because on our way home Steven's mom called to tell us his dad was in a lot of pain and she was taking him to the ER. That night he had emergency surgery for a perforated bowel. While all this was going on with my pregnancy, Steven's dad was dying from lung cancer. It was such a tough time, we couldn't have gotten through it without God. While we were facing these troublesome times, God never left our side.

On October 17 we went back to Dallas and one of the babies had died. We were now down to 5 babies and that's where we're still at today.

Because things were so crazy at the beginning of my pregnancy with the quints, I didn't take any belly pics until I was 8 weeks along. I haven't kept up and taken a pic of each week....I've been busy, overwhelmed and let's not forget the most important thing...I'm a mama!

Christmas 2013

I'm still amazed how fast Christmas arrived and passed this year. I guess a lot of that is credited to how much we have going on in our lives right now. Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. It seems like the older I get, the more I think back to when I was a kid and how excited I got each year for Christmas. I was always so excited for Santa to come. I hope Brady and the quints will be the same way. I hope to create new traditions with our family that they will think back on when they're grown and smile about.

One thing we have at our home for Christmas is the Elf on the Shelf. I bought one last year after Christmas on sell. There are so many cute ideas that the Elf can do, I thought it was the cutest idea for a Christmas tradition. I wasn't going to bring the Elf out this year, I figured Brady was too young and wouldn't understand, but I changed my mind because of my nephew Gavin. He has an Elf and I didn't want him questioning why Brady didn't have one. So I thought and thought about a name for the Elf. It has to be a boy elf since we have Brady. I wanted a name to go with Christmas, but every name I could come up with was a girly name. Finally, I thought I one of my very favorite Christmas shows, Elf, and asked Steven what the elf's name is in that movie, and we settled on Buddy. So we have an elf named Buddy. I'm so glad we decided on that name because Brady could say Buddy. Brady loved Buddy! He and Gavin would wake up every morning and search for Buddy. They were so excited to find him. Buddy had to stay up high so he didn't get touched by curious little hands. I love our new Christmas tradition.

Before Christmas we took Brady to Jefferson to take a Christmas train ride. Let's just say it wasn't the most enjoyable experience. He wasn't ready to be stuck on a train for any amount of time without being let down.
Right before Christmas, my doctor put me on bed rest. She told me I needed to lay flat more than I was up, so I was pretty lazy the whole time. But Brady seemed to enjoy his 2nd Christmas and we got to be with all our family. Spending time with the people you love most is my favorite thing about Christmas.
He got lots of new trucks and tractors for Christmas.

Christmas at my grandmother's house

Silly boy

He loves Elmo so Kristian and Gavin got him an Elmo chair. He also got an electric toothbrush and didn't want to let it down. He has something for toothbrushes.

Santa brought Brady a tractor...and he wasn't impressed. He wanted nothing to do with it and still hasn't rode it. *Sigh*

Speaking of Santa, Brady wanted no part of him this year. *Sigh again*

The 2 loves of my life.

Oh how I love this boy....He makes my heart melt!