Saturday, April 30, 2011

Getting things lined up for HOMECOMING!!!

On Thursday, we had our 60 Day Conference with the medical team that has been taking care of our babies. Everyone was there including: The doctor, nurse practitioner, lactation consultant, discharge planner, nurse manager, dietician, social worker, and developmental therapist. The general consensus was that we are probably about two weeks away from babies starting to come home barring any of them pulling another stunt like what Caleb and Eli did on Monday.

With that being said, this is the Official Blog Post where we ask for Homecoming Help.

First of all, I think I need to clarify exactly what we are facing when the babies come home. Most people take home one full-term baby. We are taking home four babies at around the time when they would have been 40 weeks, but it won’t be anything like bringing home four full-term babies. Our little guys are preemies with special needs that are entirely different from what a typical baby has to face. All four will be on monitors, at least one will likely be on oxygen, all will be on a series of daily medications, all will need to be positioned in certain doctor prescribed ways, everything that they do will need to be tracked and charted, etc. It’s going to be a handful for us, but I also want to make sure that people who want to help us aren’t expecting to see healthy full-term babies.

Still interested in possibly helping us? Read on!

We are going to need A TON of help when the babies come home, both baby related and non-baby related, and many of you have been offering to help since we found out that we were pregnant. Thank you so much! We didn’t fully realize during the pregnancy the level of special care they will need due to how premature and small they are. Our NICU stay, now more than 60 days long, the doctors, and fellow multiples parents have clued us in to what we are in for in the coming months. The doctors have told us to severely limit the number of people around them at home and not take them into public for the first year. After talking with the doctors and the parents of many sets of multiples, we have come up with some guidelines to protect our kids once they come home. By summer of next year, we should be able to start bringing them to church and introducing them to everyone in real life. We can’t wait for that to happen! But until then, we have to curb our enthusiasm a bit and just buckle down to make sure that our little ones have as uneventful a first year of life as possible.

 Right now, it takes about 1 ½ - 2 hours to feed all of the kids and that is with two people working on it. They will be on a 3 hour feeding schedule when they come home. There is just no way that we can do this by ourselves.  I think God does things like this on purpose to make us realize that we can’t control everything little thing about our lives like we want to. Frustrating and humbling. So, yes, I’m asking for help.

As we organize help, we are going to try to use our personal families as much as possible, and then our friends if anyone is still willing now that they are about to come home. However, there are certain guidelines that we are going to need each helper to follow to protect our babies. Thanks in advance for helping us follow them so that we have an uneventful first year at home!

  1. Germs are a HUGE issue-the biggest issue we will have to deal with. If you would like to help with the babies, we need you to sign up for a shift for at least four weeks in a row. Examples would be: Every Monday morning for four weeks or overnight every Thursday for four weeks. It doesn’t have to be the same shift every week; we just need the consistency. We will need help every day and overnight every weeknight at least until the kids are able to hold their own bottles and are on some type of schedule at home. Hopefully by five or six months, we will have reached that point. Having the same people come keeps the same germs cycling through the house and the number of different people coming over to a minimum. And then if you are having so much fun you want to hang out for additional weeks, we’d love that too!

  2. You have to be 110% well. If you sign up to help with a shift and start feeling unwell, we would much rather you not come and be short-handed then end up with four sick kids. Additionally, if you have been around anyone in the past 48 hours who have been sick, we ask that you not come then either. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for quadruplets at this age to get sick and end up back in the hospital on ventilators.

  3. There will be hand sanitizer in every room of the house. If you come to help with the babies, please wash your hands and then thoroughly sanitize before touching them or anything else.

  4. Please have on clean clothes before coming over or bring a change of clothes with you. Example: When we go to church, we go home and change before going to see the babies to keep germs at bay. Clothes worn to Walmart definitely go in the hamper before we see the babies.

  5. Please don’t wear anything smelly. If you smoke, please make sure that you change your outfit before walking through the door, and we ask that you not smoke while you are over at our house. Likewise, please keep things like body spray including cologne and perfume to a minimum. It can easily overpower their lungs and cause major breathing issues.

  6. Please kick off your shoes at the door. The bottoms of shoes travel through places we would never want to lie down on, so we want to make sure that those germs don’t end up on the floor where the babies are playing.


We realize that some people will want to come see the babies, and not be able to sign up for a four week shift. We wish we could have everyone over to meet our babies, but we just can’t. They will still be cute in a year when we take them out for the first time! Until then, we will keep updating our blog with pictures and news as they get bigger. Thank you for understanding!

After talking to many moms of multiples from twins to quadruplets, they suggested ways that people helped them so that they could spend more time with their babies or catch a little sleep. These are ways people can help without any type of lengthy time commitment and that won’t introduce additional germs into the house. We would be grateful for any of this help once the babies come home!

  1. Hot meals

  2. Frozen meals for days when we are running behind, spend the day at the doctor, or just haven’t slept

  3. Picking up our laundry to wash and return

  4. Mowing the yard


Again, we so appreciate the offers of help that we have been receiving since we found out that we are pregnant. Once the babies come home, we would LOVE to take you up on that help! We realize that some people may find our guidelines offensive, ungrateful, or ridiculously over-protective, but honestly, we are okay with that. Our kids are our number one priority and we are following exactly what the doctors and other parents of multiples have suggested from experience.

So if you want to help, what’s the best way to let us know? If there is something in particular that you want to help with, please email us at theishumquads”at”gmail.com and let us know what your availability is along with what shift(s) you prefer or what non-baby help you want to provide. As soon as we have an official discharge date, we will get in touch with you to put you on the schedule. We are guessing we are about two weeks out from needing help right now. Sean’s cousin, Michelle, has researched online ways to keep track of help, so we are planning on using one of those Care Calendars. The nice thing is that we can give the log on info to you and you can put themself on the calendar rather than going through us! With four babies at home, I’m not sure how much I will be on the computer at that point. J

Thanks again to those of you who have offered us help over the past few months! It’s amazing to think that our 9 ½ week old babies might actually begin to come home soon!

9 comments:

  1. Diahanne VanGulickApril 30, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Rebecca--I have so much enjoyed praying for you and Sean and the babies and hearing the updates. You guys have been more than gracious in all that you say--including the recent mix-up and now this particular update. Your appreciation for all that is being done for you and the babies always comes shining through. I look forward to continuing to follow your journey--as much as you are able to blog :-) I would imagine that will be harder to do though in a couple of weeks :-)

    ~Diahanne

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  2. So glad to hear Homecoming is just around the corner! I found it was so much easier than I prepared myself for and I hope that you find it the same!

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  3. I am so glad to hear they are headed into the next phase of this journey - I have identical triplet girls that will soon be 15. Take advantage of the help - we did not have any at all - a few meals brought in from church - We worked opposite shifts starting when they were just 10 weeks old -Me 8-12 and my husband 12 -10 - we also had a 3 year old at the time...I was not into asking for help and did not have the encouragement that you do from the Dr. We did fine and I treasured all the alone time I had with them - Schedule was the key - Our church had a medical missions team and they made "us" the Sunday Mission - They prepared a space for them at church where they were all alone and staffed by medical personell so we could attend church - that was great! Good luck and many blessing to you and your family.

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  4. Sean and Rebecca,

    Congratulations and YEAH big time that the babies will be coming home soon.!!! I love to hear good news on the blog, I must say that mornings after you blog are sometimes hard on me. I'm absolutely positive more hard on you. I appreciate all the news and can't wait for continued blogs. I am one of those people who would love to help, but will have to keep praying from afar. Children over age 9 months and in daycare breed germs all day. Love you both and all the babies. Can't wait till next summer. Time will fly by fast.

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  5. Thank you so much for the updates. So excited for you! Still praying for you all and we can't wait to sign up to help.
    Love you all and love your honest, straight forwardness about what you need and how you need it done! Good for you! You already rock at being GREAT parents!

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  6. Amen- You guys are dong GREAT!

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  7. Sean & Becca,
    I'm all in! I'm waiting for my new schedule for my part-time job. Once I have it I will get back with you on dates I'm available. Either way, plan on me helping with meals, household chores (gonna skip the lawnmowing), errands, etc. I love all 6 of you with all my hearts!
    -Josie

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  8. I'm so glad you're getting closer to home!!

    The offer for preemie clothes and car bed still stands.

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  9. Hey Becca!

    I will be moving to KC July 1st officially and I just saw this blog post asking for help! I will be somewhat inconsistent at first (i'm in a wedding toward the end of july and kenny and I are getting married the first week of August) but other than that and finding a job and settling in, I don't have much going on and would seriously love to help.

    If you need overnight stays, meals, and laundry done, please let me know... seriously. I can help, and want to help.

    Love you! :)

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