Friday, August 5, 2011

From the Beginning (March 2011)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 9:18 AM
As Lilya runs around this morning in her snow boots, Dora nightgown, and a furry, peach colored jacket, I am reminded of just how blessed we have already been. This past week has been a challenging one, with hospital stays, medicine changes, lots of time on the monitor, and another regular trip to the doctor. We are now at 21 weeks and 1 day, and I remind myself often that this will be what God wants it to be. The past couple of days, I've cramped worse than what I usually do, and all I could picture was standing up out of the car the night my water broke with the twins. I think those memories are making me even more nervous during this pregnancy. On a good note, the dr. and the nurses at Alere worked together last night to change my medicine a little, and I feel much better this morning. I now take the Procardia every 4 hours instead of every 6.

Things looked great at my dr. appt. yesterday. Even though I was feeling so bad, my cervix still looked great, with no funneling. The babies were so active that it was hard to even get heartbeats. I just love watching them wiggle around in there. My blood pressure has been running perfect, but I'm not sure that the dr. expects that to last. He mentioned that since I have high blood pressure when I'm not pregnant, and I got pre-eclamptic with Lilya, I am probably going to eventually run into some problems...we'll just have to deal with that if the time comes. The biggest concern yesterday was that I am not gaining any weight. The doctor has said that I need to be eating something with protein every hour. I should get at least 4000 calories in a day. If those were orders before I was carrying four babies, I would have said, "No problem." I can barely eat enough calories for a normal diet right now, so this is going to be pretty challenging. Again, I will do my best to follow all the doctor's orders so that I can stay home with Lilya and Tony as much as possible. I really worry about what we will do with Lilya when that time comes. I know that we have family that is willing to help, but my mom has been really sick, and can't keep her as much as she would like to. Dave and Suzie (Tony's parents) have been so wonderful to keep her whenever I have an appt., but they will soon be leaving for Florida for a while. She really is good when it is just the two of us, but if it comes to me being put in the hospital, I'm just not sure what we'll do. I guess that is just another one of those things that we will have to deal with when the time comes. I'm just glad that I'm feeling better for now, and am able to enjoy more time at home with my family. I love reading all of the guestbook entries...thanks for leaving personal messages to let me know you're thinking of us!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 1:57 PM
So, Lilya came down stairs this morning and she was completely naked. When I asked her where her pull up was she said, "Upstairs...I pee on my floor." I don't even know why I bothered to ask her why. She answered just how I expected her to, "Because, I pee on my floor." Wow, it seems like the less I am able to do, the more she does to prove that she is into the "terrible two's" stage. I have felt so bad for Tony lately. He works all day, and then comes home and has to clean all of the messes that she has made all day. He's so great...never complains, just makes sure that we are taken care of during the evening. This weekend, he will get a little break. Lilya is going to spend Friday and Saturday night with my dad and his family. This will be the first time that she has stayed with them, and the longest that she has been away through the two of us at one time. I am so thankful that my dad and Margaret are willing to take on another little one to help us out.

Switching gears a little to me and the babies. Last night I had 10 contractions the first time that I monitored. I tried to blame it on the fact that I was watching the Purdue/Illinois game, and they were stressing me out, but I really hadn't been feeling great towards evening time. The second time I monitored was much better, probably due to taking my medicine and drinking lots of water. This morning's strip still looked good...only showed 2 contractions. I'm still feeling a little crampy, but nothing like I had been a couple of days ago. This morning when I took a bath, I noticed that when I could feel the babies kicking, I could also see my stomach moving. This is the first time that I could actually see them move instead of just feeling amazing.
Saturday, March 5, 2011 1:16 PM
It's a quiet day at the Stewart house. Dad, Margaret, and the kids picked Lilya up at 5 yesterday, and she won't be home until Sunday evening. Yes, I did cry as she left. She had just woken up from a nap, and she kept crying, "'bout you, Mommy?" When I would tell her that I was staying at home she would cry harder and say, "but I want you." It broke my heart, but I knew that the minute she was away, she would be fine. Dad sent pictures of her playing peek-a-boo at the dinner table and laying on the couch with John, watching Bambi. I was right, she was fine.

I have been wearing a pregnancy belt for the last couple of days to help hold my belly up a little. It has done wonders for the back pain that I was having, and I'm not sure that it's related, but I haven't monitored more than 3 contractions in an hour since I started wearing it. As we are approaching the 22 week mark, that is a very good sign. Although this pregnancy is very different from a "normal" pregnancy, I am starting to feel a little more relaxed, and am able to enjoy the baby bump (or mountain) and all of the little movements I'm feeling inside. This is the last time I will experience all of this (we have decided that no matter the outcome of this pregnancy, our family will be complete) , so I am trying to just enjoy every moment of it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 9:56 AM
Another Dr. Appt. is in the books. Everything looked great yesterday, and I had even gained 4 lbs. Probably the only time in my life that I will be thrilled with gaining 4 lbs in a week. I was so glad that my cousin, Brianne, got to go along and see the babies. I think I've said before how much I love sharing the experience with others. It was quite the experience too...we had to take Lilya along. She did fine, but has developed quite the attitude lately. It's a good thing she's so stinkin, rotten, cute, and can get away with it. Everything looked perfect with the babies, and they said that I looked really good as well. I'm still feeling pretty good, and am feeling a lot of fetal movement...I love it! I have been having trouble sleeping the last few nights. It seems like no matter what I do, I can't get comfortable. On top of that, my hands are now starting to swell and fall asleep while I'm sleeping. It happened very late in my pregnancy with Lilya, but I'm about the same size now as I was then. I guess it's a minor complaint considering there are 4 little ones in there.

We also became the proud owners of our quad crib set yesterday. Thanks again to the Kelly Crossing Church in Frankfort for donating the set to us. My momand George helped Tony get them to our house, and then they took Lilya home with them for the night. She was so excited to go and stay with Mammaw and Pappaw. We are so lucky to have so much help!

It seems amazing that we are only 5 1/2 weeks from reaching the first goal of 28 weeks. I'm feeling very confident and think that we'll have no trouble making it even farther. It is like I can feel all of the love and prayers surrounding us and carrying us through. If you're reading this, and keeping up with our progress, I am guessing you are one of those people, so thank you.
Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:05 AM
Welcome back heart burn...I have not missed you at all over the last 2 1/2 years, and I hope you do not choose to stick around for the rest of this pregnancy. It has been hard to sleep at night because...well, because my belly is so big, I have 4 little ones (make that 5 including Lilya) kicking me all night long, I have to wake up every 4 hours to take medicine, and I have to use the bathroom about every 2 hours. Add to that heart burn and a 2 1/2 year old with a stuffy nose, and you might as well forget sleep at all. Let's just say that last night was a rough one. Not becuase I didn't feel well (other than the heart burn), but because Lilya is not feeling well. I felt so bad for her, she'd say, "I can't breathe, Mommy." about every hour. Colds are so tough when they are this can't give them anything. I have to admit, I also had a brief moment of panic in the middle of the night. What am I going to do when I have 5 with stuffy noses that can't sleep????? Last night, I could hold Lilya and rock her a little to make her feel comforted. I don't plan on my lap ever being big enough to rock 5 at one time. I have a lot of love to give, but will I be able to make all of these babies feel the love that they need? I imagine that is a thought that all mothers feel at some time or another if they are having their second baby. I guess you get rid of one worry...I was just feeling comfortable in this pregnancy, and then you find something else to worry will I ever show an equal amount of deserved love to all of my children? I'm sure that just like the rest of my concerns, God will show me the answer. Until then, bring on the Tums and keep the tissue close...I have a feeling it's going to be a long couple of nights.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 11:47 AM
We are quickly approaching the viability mark! I will be 23 weeks tomorrow, and the babies are viable, they can survive, at 24 weeks. I am still feeling really good, and haven't been having too many contractions. In fact, Friday night was the only night that I had to remonitor (I had 8), and even though I blamed it on the fact that Purdue played terrible during their first game in the Big 10 tournament, I'm thinking that it might have really been the stress from Lilya falling down our stairs when she woke up from her nap. She was fine, but it scared me, and I did run and pick her up and cuddle her of course. By yesterday I was feeling well enough that I took Lilya to my mom's and headed to Wal-Mart. It was the first time I had left the house by myself in a long time. The weather was so nice, and it felt so good to get out. I made sure to make it a quick trip, and still felt good by the time I got home. Today, we are just going to spend the day resting up.

I've been thinking about how the dr. has his goal of getting me to 28 weeks, so I figured I should start setting my own goals. I really think that I can carry these babies to 33 weeks, so I'm setting that as my FIRST goal. Once we get there, I will decide on what comes next. I'm so excited to be blessed with such a wonderful experience. I thank God every day for the progress that we're making with this pregnancy. I can't wait to update after my appointment on Wed. this week!
Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:02 AM
More good news from the doctor yesterday! The ultra sound tech said that I have a "champion cervix". It is such a relief to know that the cerclauge is doing its job, and that is one less thing I have to worry about. All babies had good heart beats, and looked nice and comfy tucked in there.

There seems to be so much to do around here to get ready for these little ones. Tony is working so hard, and it is driving me crazy that I can't do much to help out. I feel so guilty that he works all day, and then comes home to do nothing more than work until it's almost time to go to bed. I want to be able to help out more (or at least be able to hire someone to come in and do the work for us), so that he can relax and just spend time with us when he comes home. I know that he is starting to feel stressed too, like there is too much to be done and not enough time to do it. I guess we are going to have to make a list of the most important things, and go from there. This experience is definitely changing the way we do things around here.
Saturday, March 19, 2011 9:40 AM
Hello weekend! After the day I had with Lilya yesterday, I am so glad that Tony is home to help with her today. I thought she was getting over the cold, but she has now developed a deep cough, and is very grouchy. We had to go to CVS to get more medicine yesterday, and she cried the entire time we were in there. The pharmacist said she didn't know who looked more exhausted, me or Lilya and asked how much longer I had to go...I'm sure she was expecting me to say that I was due any day now. I always wish I had a camera when I tell people that I'm carrying four. Anyway, I got my prescription filled a lot faster than I have in the past, so the grouch butt and I were headed home for her to continue her fit for, oh, about the next 2 1/2 hours. At least my evening ended with a Purdue win in the first round of the tournament, and I only ended up having 1 contraction when I monitored...proof that things are going well right now!

Monday, March 21, 2011 9:12 AM
What a great weekend! We spent a lot of time outside soaking up the beautiful sun, and Tony and I even had an evening to ourselves again (thanks to my sister, Amanda). I have been feeling so good lately that we were able to get out of the house and go to Olive Garden for dinner. It was delicious, and amazingly, I still felt good when we left, and we spent the rest of the evening enjoying the NCAA tournament games (Way to go Butler!)

Today we are celebrating the 24 week mark in the pregnancy! Unfortunately, it might have to be celebrated with a trip to he doctor for Lilya. She just can't shake this cold, and this morning started crying that her ear hurts. It really breaks my heart when she is sick...she just hasn't been her same, cheery self for almost 2 weeks now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:48 AM
We are already missing the sunshine and the warm weather from the past couple of days. With the nice weather came another good report from the doctor. The cervix is still measuring over 6.5, which means we are getting our money's worth out of the cerclauge. The babies weighed in at 1 lb. 8 oz. (A), 1 lb. 7 oz. (B), 1 lb. 6 oz. (C), and 1 lb. 4 oz. (D). It is getting pretty cramped in there, so pictures aren't very clear anymore, but the live view is amazing. I'm still posting the newest pictures, but like I said, it's hard to tell what they're of.

We have come up with names for of the four babies. Our baby girl's name is going to be Jaylyn Rae (after nannie and poppie), the two boy names we have are Oscar James (after my grandpa and Tony's grandpa) and Harrison Kerry (if you know us well, you should be able to guess how we came up with this name). We are still trying to come up with another boy name. Hopefully they hang out in there for a while longer, and give us a chance to think about it.
We are still very excited to hit this viability mark, and still have things going so well. I definitely believe in the power of prayer, and I know that we have multiple people praying for us right is the best gift that we could ask for right now.

I head back to the doctor tomorrow, and they are going to measure babies. I'll be sure to update soon with measurments and new pictures! Thanks again for all of the thoughts and prayers.
Thursday, March 24, 2011 3:44 PM
Have I mentioned how much I love Spring Break, even though I haven't been working for the last 3 months? I have been able to visit with some of my favorite teacher friends, that I miss so much while I'm not working. It's been great to catch up!

The weather has been so beautiful this week (until today), but I'm exhausted. This has been the first week in a long time that I had to get out of the house for more than just my doctor's appt. I took Lilya to the doctor on Monday, and they determined that she does have a sinus infection, so she's on Amoxicillin. I had my doctor appt. on Tuesday, and Lilya and I had another appt. again today. A girl asked me today if I knew what I was having...another candid camera moment when I said, "Three boys and a girl." She didn't even reply with anything...must have been soaking in. Anyway, now, I can finally relax until my next appt. on Tuesday.

I know there a quite a few people who are keeping up to date on my progress through this journal. I plan to print the entire journal and guest book, so the babies know how many supporters we had through this. If you haven't had a chance to sign the guest book, please do so at least once, so I will be able to show them your support. Thanks again for all of the thoughts and prayers!
Sunday, March 27, 2011 11:53 AM
Have to admit that I didn't get the rest this weekend that I should have. Lilya and I made a trip to Wal-Mart that was a lot easier since my best friend, Amy, picked us up and took us on Friday afternoon. Yesterday, it was great to see our friend, DeAnn, and her daughter, Erica. They brought us lots of yummy treats. Yesterday, I took Lilya over to play with Layne for a little bit, and last night, Amanda picked us up and took us to the bowling alley. My uncle and cousin have been home this week from Oregon, so the family decided to get together for a night of bowling. Even though I couldn't bowl, it was still fun to sit back and watch everyone and spend some time with the family. While there, a man tried to cut in front in line at the concession stand...not a good idea. In the past, I probably wouldn't have said anything, but I did speak up and tell him that I had been waiting there first. No, it wasn't the fact that I was starving either, but I really cannot be on my feet for that long without feeling like my belly weighs a ton. He was very understanding, and let me go ahead and move on his part. Like I said, I probably should have been home resting this whole weekend, but still this morning, I had zero contractions. I kind of feel like I should enjoy doing things while I can at this point, as long as it isn't causing me to go into labor.

Like I said, no contractions this morning, but the cold that Lilya and Tony have been fighting has now found me. My nose is clogged, and I have been coughing terrible...yuck. I am not running a fever over 99.0, so I don't think the doctor will even do anything for it. Unless I am feeling worse by tomorrow, I will probably just wait until my regular appt. on Tuesday to see if there is something that he will give me.

I am so excited that we have made it another week. 25 weeks tomorrow! That means just 3 weeks until I'm at the doctor's first goal for me. The time really does seem to be flying by. I am so excited for friends and family that are about to welcome babies of their own too. I think their countdowns have helped mine to go by quicker.

Stay tuned for updates of this weeks doctor visit! Thanks to all who have signed the guest book and left us encouraging messages. I know that this is going to be such a keepsake someday!
Monday, March 28, 2011 11:30 AM
Yesterday, the boys went to see a movie, so Lilya and I were home alone. I was working on writing a few thank you cards, and she was on the floor playing with a fake rose that lights up (one of my students gave it to me when I told them I was expecting). Out of nowhere, she asked, "Where's my grandma?" I thought she might have meant Tony's mom since she has been in Florida for the last month, but we call her mammaw, so I asked, "Mammaw Suzie?" She said, "No, my GRANDMA." The only person we have ever refered to as Grandma is my Grandma MaryLou, so I asked, "Grandma MaryLou?" She said, "Yah, where's my Grandma MaryLou?" I felt bad because I immediately started to cry. It has been the first time since I lost my grandma in November, that I have been forced to think about it. I told her that she went to heaven to be an angel, and her answer was, "No, I need to see her, I miss her." How exactly was I supposed to answer that, when I thought about it, I felt the same way.

Grandma got sick about the time that we were trying to get pregnant this time. My mom went out to be with her, and they were so excited to find out that we were successful. I had talked with Grandma and told her that she needed to get better because we might need her to come and help take care of babies (at the time, we knew my blood count was high, but weren't sure how many we were expecting.) As the next few days went by, she got progressivly worse, but she was still hanging on. See, my cousin was only about 20 weeks pregnant too, and we have both been very close to my grandma. Grandma had gone from talking about helping us with babies to talking about how she was not going to take any babies to heaven with her. I realized that she was only hanging on because she was worried that it would upset us enough that it would cause something to go wrong with our pregnancies. I could not stand the thought of her suffering for my sake. I didn't want to lose her, but I told my mom to let her know that I would be strong, and if it was her time to go, I understood and knew I would have one more special angel to see me through this pregnancy. Grandma passed away a few hours later. My cousin and I both held strong, and Danielle is expecting her baby girl, Mary (after Grandma), next week. I know that on top of all of the prayers that I have coming here on earth, I have an extra special angel watching over and has made sure that I made it this far...25 weeks today!

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