Thursday, February 24, 2011

All of the Details about Our Babies' Birth Day!

Wow! Thank you so much for your huge outpouring of prayers, love, and congratulations! We couldn’t believe the number of people who said that they were/are praying for us on Facebook and on our blog. Yesterday alone, we received over 5000 hits on our blog as people were checking for updates so that they would know how to most effectively pray for us. Many of you we don’t know, yet you’ve chosen to lift us up to our Lord. How awesome for us to see the body of Christ come together to support our family. Amazing and so encouraging!

This is a super long post, but I wanted to make sure that I got all of the details down on paper before I forgot anything. I decided to post the whole thing as that is easiest for me at this point rather than typing out two versions of what happened yesterday. Sean and I are both incredibly tired and this post was quite an undertaking for me today, so please bare with me. Just a warning for the unwary! :-)

I woke up yesterday morning with the same agenda that I’ve had every day while I’ve been on bed rest here at the hospital. In fact, I had even mentioned to Sean on Tuesday night that I felt like this was going to go on forever and that I’d be on bed rest for several more weeks. On Saturday, one of our doctors, Dr. Lu, was talking about how he would handle me when I got to 32 and 34 weeks of pregnancy. So when I started my routine yesterday, I wasn’t even thinking about having babies yet.

Yesterday, at 8am, I had my growth sonogram which I have every three weeks. It’s a longer sonogram where they measure everything from heart rate, to head circumference, to length of the femur bone. Everyone looked great with great fluid and cord doplars. I even specifically asked the ultrasonographer if there was anything that appeared to be wrong with any of the babies. She said she couldn’t find anything. Dr. Parrish came in to look at the sonograms and said that everything looked great as well. I had felt a couple of contractions up to that point, but nothing out of the ordinary. Dr. Parrish said that my next growth sonogram would at week 31, and they would do the shorter sonograms every Wednesday in between. At 9am, they wheeled me back to my room with new sonogram pictures of the babies and a new sketch of how the babies were arranged in my uterus (which I was going to artistically enhance for you all again! :-))

At 10am, the nurse and I started monitoring the babies. I had figured out that they tended to be a bit more sluggish in the morning, so I always tried to get it done then. They are such wiggle worms that they were much harder to catch in the afternoon. The process to monitor them easily took upwards of three hours a day, so it was helpful to get started on it early for that reason as well. The nurse, Judith, monitored the first two babies (we always did Caleb and Ellie together since they were both on my left side, and then Abby and Elijah together since they were always on my right side) and they were extremely cooperative! We buzzed right through that, but while we were monitoring, I started noticing that I was having more contractions. Sometimes I couldn’t tell if it was a contraction or Caleb stomping on my bladder, but after a little bit, I was pretty convinced that they were contractions. We started monitoring Abby and Elijah, and the nurse decided to put the contraction monitor on me just to see what was going on. Sure enough! I was having contractions and the intensity was increasing. Judith timed them and I had 7 in a 50 minute time span. Nobody gets too worried until contractions come at a rate of 6 in a 60 minute time span. I was just over the limit, so she called the doctor and he said to give me Vistaril (an oral med that helps with contractions) and put me back on an IV with a regular bag of fluid to make sure that I was hydrated. Nobody was concerned about me having babies yet because it really didn’t seem like a worrisome situation.

My IV was started at about 12:15pm, and I decided that I better let Sean know so that he didn’t come see me after work and find me hooked up to machines again. I didn’t want to worry him, so I sent him a text message which said the following:

Not to worry you, but my contractions have picked back up. They gave me stronger meds and have me on the contraction monitor for a while. They also restarted my IV and I’m back on fluids. No mag though. No need to worry or come to the hospital. Just keeping you in the loop. Baby monitoring went well! Oh. And they aren’t letting me eat anything until my uterus calms down. That’s bummer.

Sean texted back to see if he needed to leave work early, and I told him that there was no need to as nothing was happening. I told him I’d let him know if I needed him to come. Let me just pause here to say that I’m extremely grateful to Sean’s boss for what he did next. Sean mentioned it to his boss that I was having contractions again, and his boss immediately ordered him to go to the hospital. If he hadn’t insisted that Sean leave, there wouldn’t have been enough time for him to get here once I found out that babies were on the way.

Sean showed up at the hospital at about 1:45pm and I was dozing in and out because of the contraction meds. I thought that it was nice that he was getting to spend the afternoon with me since I miss him so much during the day. I kept feeling contractions come, but they were far enough apart that I wasn’t worried, just tired. They actually seemed to slow a bit, down to one every nine minutes or so, but they weren’t stopping. I still thought that they would be able to get them stopped, I just figured they needed a different type of medicine or maybe put me back on magnesium again.

At about 3:30, Judith, who had been watching the contractions from the nurses station, came in to tell me that she had called the resident OB-GYN to come up and check me. She said that they weren’t slowing enough and because I kept grimacing with every contraction (even while asleep, according to Sean), that she just wanted a doctor to take a quick look below to make sure everything was okay. Cue the speculum. A few minutes later while staring at the ceiling and gripping Sean’s hand, I heard the doctor say quietly to the nurse, “Oh, she looks like a 4. Hang on, I want to check her the other way.” Then I heard her say, “She’s actually a 6 or 7.” I knew immediately that the babies were coming. Once you dilate, there is no going back. It was too late to try anything else to postpone the day. The nurse and doctor sat me back up and said, “Okay, the babies are coming right now. We need to get you ready for surgery right away.” The doctor left the room to start getting things in order, and I couldn’t stop from crying. I was so incredibly disappointed that I hadn’t made it further. I was supposed to get my second steroid shot at 28 weeks to help the babies’ lungs develop more. I had missed it by one day. One day! However, God is so good! While monitoring earlier in the day, Judith and I had found something in common: we are both Christians. So Judith grabbed my hand and said, “It’s going to be okay. You’ve made it so far. Can I pray with you before we go?” It’s amazing how God orchestrates things ahead of time to put people in our paths. I’ve had several nurses several times, but this was the first day that I had Judith. She hit the Staff Assist button, prayed quickly with me and Sean, and by the time she said amen, my room was quickly filling with nurses who were rushing me to the operating room. Sean grabbed his phone and made the three phone calls while they starting moving me that we had decided on before hand: one to my parents, one to his parents, and one to our pastor.

They wheeled me out and down the hallway and straight into the operating room while they took Sean a different direction to get all decked out in paper scrubs. Remember that list of people I blogged about who would be helping with the c-section? Sure enough! There were at least that many people in the OR. I think there were maybe even a few more as some people were coming off of their shifts while others were coming one. For example, I had three anesthesiologists instead of just the one that they told me would be there!

The staff here work really, really quickly and efficiently. Everyone knew exactly what their role was and talked me through what they were doing to prep me. I didn’t realize until I heard Dr. Parrish, the perinatologist who did the delivery, say to the anesthesiologist that there was still time for a spinal block that they were getting ready to put me completely under. I’m so glad that they let me stay awake for it! Within a matter of minutes, the spinal block was in and I went numb from the chest down. If you haven’t had a spinal block before, it is a really strange sensation! They put me on oxygen, added a second IV for a blood transfusion just in case I lost too much, and had “painted” my stomach with a disinfectant solution within a matter of minutes. One of the anesthesiologists asked, “Can you feel anything?” I said, “A little bit of pressure, but other than that, nothing.” He said, “Okay, because Dr. Parrish is pinching you really hard right now. I’m talking ‘slam your hand in a door’ hard. You can’t feel that?” “No.” “Then it’s doing what’s it’s supposed to do! She’s numb!”

The nurse said she was going to go get Sean which was the last thing I needed before I was ready to have babies. I heard Dr. Parrish say, “Is everybody ready to go? Okay, let’s get started. I’m making the incision.” Then they brought Sean through the OR door and everything was underway.

Sean was right next to my head, but the excitement of having kids finally got to him. He stood up and looked over the curtain and got to see the first three babies being born. I could never have watched that, but it was neat for me because Sean narrated the delivery for me. I thought it was fantastic that they were born in order of how they were placed in my uterus. It’s a good thing, because I didn’t want to learn a new order of names when rattling them off in birth order! J He had to sit down before Ellie was born (and I certainly don’t blame him for that!) but they made sure that we both had a chance to see the babies after they had them initially stabilized in the OR. So little and so pretty!

They finished stitching me up and moved me to Recovery while Sean disappeared for a few more minutes to collect himself after the excitement and get out of his paper scrubs. He greeted our parents who came back to see me, and then went down to the NICU with them to check on the babies. Later, on his way home to grab a change of clothes so that he could stay with me overnight, Sean stopped by my Recovery room again to let me know that the babies were all on tubes, but doing well. He is a pretty happy dad!

After a few hours in Recovery, my favorite nurse and good friend, Katie, pushed me in my bed down to the NICU to see the babies on my way to the Mother/Baby unit. The babies are so beautiful and they even let me gently touch them! The neonatologists and neonatal nurses were absolutely wonderful for the short time that I was there. Each of them introduced them themselves and told me which baby they were taking care of…they even knew each of their names! It was so fun to hear them being called by their names! They told me briefly what was being done for each baby and told me that they would call if anything changed. Overall, they said that the babies were doing well and that they would be tweaking the settings on their machines through the night to get them exactly where the babies needed them. After my first visit to the NICU last week where I cried all of the way through the tour, I was surprised how that wasn’t my immediate reaction upon seeing my kids in there yesterday. The staff was very reassuring and calming, and because of that, I was able to enjoy my time with our babies instead of focusing on how many tubes they are attached to.

We’ve made it down to the NICU twice today to see our babies. I honestly didn’t think they would be that cute, but they are! Of course, I’m also quite biased! We took a lot of pictures, but unfortunately, my camera cord is at home and not here. I’m hoping to get my hands on it tomorrow, and as soon as I do, I’ll be uploading pictures of the kids on here to show them off. :-)

They are all doing well for being born at 27 weeks, 6 days. All of them are hooked up to feeding tubes, IVs, and breathing tubes, but it doesn’t hide how absolutely blessed we are to have our kids doing this great! They are all on oxygen in the 23-28% range which is actually quite good for this age! Elijah has even been downgraded from a ventilator to a CPAP (that’s still a breathing tube, but it means he is taking more breaths on his own). I learned today that I need to take a notebook with me to the NICU because there is just no way to remember everything that they say or which baby is on which machine.  We will certainly update the blog with more baby specific information as we get it! And, of course, stay tuned for pictures!!!

This is a very long post, but I wanted to make sure that I wrote down everything that I could remember about my kids’ birth day before I forgot any of the details. I know I could have edited the details down a bit, but now you know the story that we will be passing on to our kids about the day that they came into this world!

Thank you for praying for us and our babies! We have definitely felt your prayers over the last couple of days. Please continue to pray as our babies are now fighting to grow out in the big world!

--posted by Becca


  1. Rebecca and Sean,

    Congratulations. You have a ton of prayer coming from me and my family!

  2. Congratulations to all of you again. My husband will be praying for your babies in the AM in his daily prayers.

  3. Perfect play by play Becca! Your babies will never forget! Love you!

  4. Becca,
    Welcome to the Mom Club!! It's quite exclusive, and the beauty of the club is that no mom's experience is exactly like any other's! You have four precious little children! Whoo Hoo! I will continue to pray for them and also for you. I pray that God grants you the peace and rest you need and the clarity to remember all of your questions. Remember that although the nurses are the ones caring for the babies 24-7, they are YOURS! Don't be afraid to be protective or ask any questions that come into your mind.

  5. From one mom of higher order multiples (mine are "only" triplets) to another, congratulations!

    Sounds like your babies are doing great!

  6. I could hear your voice in every word written. I am so grateful to God for His Awesome watch care over every detail.
    I still say: Happy days ahead - with little kids making messes, climbing trees, reading books, collecting rocks and learning to write like their Mama.
    Love you and Sean. So proud of you both.

  7. Thank you for taking time out to post - keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  8. Becca, as soon as I got the text, I had people in 3 states praying for you. They were all so excited when I could say all was well....
    Continuing to pray lifting each little one by name. I have the same kind of notes about my children's deliveries. When they are parents, they'll particularly love your notes.

  9. So happy to hear the whole story! I'm so glad to hear how wonderful the hospital has been for you. I'm so delighted your babies are in good health for their age. God bless you all as you grow/heal up!

  10. This is a beautifully written story! Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. AWESOME post on Birth-Day details! Thank you SO much for taking the time to share so much with all of us. Eager to see pictures - but be sure you take care of YOU first. We can wait if needs be.
    You all remain in my prayers... with a joyful heart of thanksgiving! Our God IS an AWESOME God.

  12. Well we are glad everything is going well. Just reading your story, reminds us of what we went through the day we had ours. If i hadn't stayed the night, I would have never made it to the hospital in time. Things just seem to work out like that, just like how Sean was able to be there for you, even though you didn't think it was gonna be the day. We are all pulling for the babies to grow and be healthy. We told our kids your babies were born and Elizabeth repeated back "Becca...Sean, babies...Yeahhh!. We also asked if they wanted to play with them when they get older and Elizabeth said "Yeahhh" So she's excited about it.

  13. AWSOME.... God has surely blessed you & your family.
    "Good Work Momma"

    I will keep all of you in my prayers.
    Thank you for sharing

  14. i'm tearing up over here... God Is So GOOD 'becca!!! *sniff* I am so so so so so sooooo grateful that they are all alive and doing well. *okl more tears* Wow... sooooo excited and happy!!!

  15. Thank you so much for this post - you did SO good and you're already a fantastic mommy. Congratulations again, we love you!

  16. Jen and I are praying for you and your babies. We are so excited for you and so thankful everything went well.


  17. I only found your blog yesterday, and I read through the entire history during the afternoon when I was supposed to be working! Am keeping your entire family in my thoughts and prayers. And to Mom and Dad: "Congratulations!"

  18. Rebecca and Sean:
    We love you guys and have been bathing you and your little ones in prayer! Our God is faithful! Praise Him for the gift of life! We cannot wait to meet your little ones! :-)

  19. What a wonderful story. We are so glad the babies are doing well. We will continue to pray for the 6 of you!

  20. Well, Rebecca...I could barely get thru this post because of all the tears blurring my eyes! I love you sweetie, and can hardly get to talk to you...(IN TIME!!!) Keep resting and loving on those precious babies! Blessings to you and Sean. What a great guy God has given you :-)
    I love you!!

  21. It is great to hear that the babies are doing so well. I will continue to pray for all of you.

  22. Wow! I've read a lot of birth stories, but a quad birth story is a first. :) So fun to read all the details. And so thankful everything worked out so well. Continuing to pray for you all. The names are adorable.

  23. Thank you so much of the detailed post. I am so moved by how the Lord has ministered to you all through this. He is SO GOOD. Becca, your dad sent pictures and your babies are adorable!! Rest, recover and enjoy your time in NICU. Dan & I are praying for all of you.

  24. Becca & Sean ... You are remarkable young people who are now PARENTS! I'm so excited for you and praising the Lord for the safe arrival of these special babies! Take care and enjoy them as they progress ... it's amazing for sure.

    Mrs. Davis (aka June)

  25. Congratulations! I am so happy for you guys!
    So wonderful that they are doing so well!
    Hugs, JoLee

  26. Congratulations!! You will be so glad that you wrote it all down! So glad they are doing so well!


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