Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rolly Polly, Busy Babies

I've admitted to being in a bit of a "funk" lately but even so, we've been busy around here. With the babies' one year birthday fast approaching, I've been doing a lot of reflecting but on top of that, those little boogers have become B-U-S-Y! Two of them are standing and pulling up on everything! I caught one of them standing with his head in the toy box yesterday. The other two have begun crawling so I have four, very mobile, very active babies. Finally, I had to break down and turn the room where we had all of their swings and baby equipment into a full-fledged playroom.  

Of course, it didn't stay this clean for long. We now have a gate in the doorway thanks to my aunt and uncle who came down for an early birthday visit!  So hopefully now Mommy can get at least a few things done during the day while they entertain themselves but so far, I've had to be hands on showing them toys and when I'm not, I've usually got one or more at the gate "rattling the bars". It's an ongoing process! 

In other developments, after about a week of practicing, I've now taught everyone to drink from a sippy cup! Yay! We have only been drinking water for the most part but I did go ahead and let them try regular milk once. So soon, most bottles will hopefully be going away! We are also in the process of transitioning from baby food, into finger foods. Talk about a mess! Thank goodness for the dogs is all I can say! When I feed them, I do all four at once. They sit like little birds, and I bring the spoon around to each of them. It's worked well for a couple months.  They've now learned, however, that they can take the spoon away from mommy when she comes by to feed my birds and this creates a HUGE mess. Not to mention, we go through about 20 spoons per meal (send spoons please y'all)! So...with that, I've begun to introduce finger foods. So far the only real hits are shredded cheese and beans (black & Lima seem to be the beans of choice). Baby D loves broccoli, or she did yesterday. Today she hated it. Baby C loves ham and bacon. Baby A stuffed his little cheeks full of pasta, ham & broccoli the other day and looked like he was storing up for winter. And Baby B, well, she's a diva and makes some pretty funny faces when trying new foods. She hasn't loved any of the finger foods I've been introducing except for Cheerios which doesn't cut it in Mommy's book. She did however go crazy for fried chicken that my aunt and uncle brought for the adults to enjoy! (There's always one!) 

And today, I had to drop one of the cribs for the safety of two of the babies. They're standing a lot and one in particular has begun to "teethe" on the crib. He has five teeth now and is chewing on everything he sees. 

We've also begun to take baths in the bathtub, two at a time. Everyone absolutely loves bathtime and it does turn to a bit of playtime! Baby D will even crawl to the bathroom on her own and sit at the tub when it's time to get in! 

Finally, for Christmas, an angel sent us our convertible car seats. We've upgraded now to big fancy seats. They're very nice car seats and the babies love them but Mommy sure misses the infant carriers! Loading everyone is now about a 30-minute chore as I have to take everyone out to the garage one by one. Also, the back two have to be loaded in through the hatch in the van! I'm so glad we chose the van because it's easier to do than it is in our suburban but I kind of wish we'd have gone really big and got a 15-passenger van. Yeah. I said it. I've gone beyond soccer mom to the big leagues. Soon, I'll be asking for a bus! 

So as you can see, things have definitely been hectic here. With the upcoming birthday, we have tons of doctor visits and checkups on the horizon. Since the big day falls smack dab in the middle of cold and flu season, we opted not to do a big party. We've just invited over our immediate family for a meal and cake and will keep it very simple this year. Maybe we can do something larger in summer when it's safer to have lots of people around the babies! 

I'll be sure to post about their birthday the next time I can come up for air! Until then,

Love & Prayers,

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Blog Post from the Trenches or A Whiny Quad Momma Keeping it Real

**Disclosure - This post is real. It is honest. In no way do I mean to come across negative or ungrateful. I love my babies, my husband and my family but sometimes, this is hard!

I haven't blogged in a long time. Why? Because I haven't felt like it. My husband will vouch that I've been in a terrible funk. In all honesty, I haven't felt like much. I've spent most of December and now January not feeling right. Let me be clear, I am SO thankful for my babies and the constant blessing in my life but lately, I feel alone. I know I'm not alone. I know God is always there and I have so many people to support me when they can but I've been struggling.

I've never understood the people that come up to me in the grocery store or approach me online when they learn I have quadruplets and tell me "oh you're so lucky. I always wanted quadruplets". Really? I'm pretty sure nobody in their right mind ever thinks, "gosh, I hope I get four babies at once". At least we didn't. Another mom of quadruplets recently wrote about her struggle and how sometimes we have to realize that having quadruplets happened FOR us and not TO us. I know there's a reason God chose me as their mother and Adam as their father. I know that Psalm 127:3 says Children are a blessing from The Lord. I'm very blessed. But right now, I really need God to carry me through this.

Everything started when all four babies came down with a cold and later passed it on to me. Any Mom can vouch that caring for sick children is a chore and it's twice as hard when you're sick too. The thing is, with four babies - we share EVERYTHING: beds, clothes, spoons, cups, and yes sometimes bottles too. It would be so much work to keep everything straight. So when one baby gets sick, it's only a matter of a few hours until the next, the next, and finally the fourth are sick as well. Sick babies are fussy babies and fussy babies cry. A LOT! As their mother, you want nothing more than to comfort them and make them feel better. Ever try holding four babies in your two arms at once? It's next to impossible. I tried putting all four of them in our bed and then wrapping myself around them and soothing each of them as much as I could but even that was no easy feat. Add to this illness the fact that all four babies were born at just 28 weeks and 5 days gestation. While they look very healthy on the outside, their insides are still premature and they are still developing. Their airways and lungs just aren't as mature as other babies' their age. This puts them at a very high risk for RSV and pneumonia, both which progress suddenly and quickly so I spent the entire time they were sick constantly watching over them, making sure their breathing looked normal, that they were breathing, that their lips weren't blue and more. I probably didn't sleep for a week (which was okay because I lived on about 3 hours of sleep a night for the first couple of months they were home).

I had big plans for the quads first Christmas. It was going to be awesome. We'd send out Christmas cards to everyone who'd helped us or been a part of our journey this first year. We'd make salt dough ornaments for grandparents, aunts and uncles, and special people who'd been there for us. Christmas Eve, we'd spend as a family playing and watching movies. Adam and I would read them the Christmas story from the Bible and then put together toys and Christmas gifts after the babies were asleep and Christmas Day we'd wake up and the babies would be delighted at the pretty tree and all the pretty wrapping paper. None of that happened. Okay. Some of that happened. There are some salt dough ornaments STILL waiting to be delivered, I found Christmas cards in my diaper bag the other day that didn't get dropped in the mailbox, Adam had to work most of Christmas so the babies and I spent a lot of it playing by ourselves and where once my cell phone would ring non-stop with text messages and phone calls on Christmas and New Years, it sat mostly silent. I can't be upset about that though. I still have several text messages from a few friends that I haven't gotten around to responding to for a couple weeks now. I don't mean to ignore them, but it seems like I only think about it at the most inopportune time. Then, to add icing to the cake, I got to sit at home while the rest of my side of the family took the Christmas trip to the mountains that we'd only talked about for the last ten years. Up until this year, the babies' first Christmas, I'd always been the one who could easily go. Fate would only have it that the year they actually went through with it, I'd have four babies and no one to help me make the long drive (and flying is out of the question with quadruplets).

Then, there's the constants. I feel like everyday is a replay of the same. Constant feeding. Constant Crying. Constant poop. Constant cleaning. Constant laundry. Constant worrying about bills and how we'll afford the mounting costs that come along with four children (how were we naive to think it would get better when it really only has just begun).  It never stops. Right now, I sit amongst a huge pile of laundry, a stack of mail (mostly bills) I need to go through, the vacuum cleaner, and toys strewn everywhere. My husband would say, why on Earth are you sitting there writing a blog or reading Facebook complaining about that when you could be knocking it out. Yes, I know that would be the logical thing. But, I'm tired. I just fed four babies supper, bathed them, put lotion and diapers on them, put PJs on them, gave them bottles, read stories, prayed, and tucked them in. I'm soaked, my hair is a mess and really, all I want to do is sit here even if it's just staring at the wall.

I say all this, but in my mind I know it's so much more than constantly feeding and constantly cleaning poopy butts. I know the four little souls that I'm molding will one day grow up with a purpose and it's my job to see that that purpose is to honor God. It's still hard not to wonder if I am enough or if I am doing this right or even how in the heck I am going to get through the next day, hour or minute. I booked their 12-month check-up and vaccinations today. 12 months! That's a year! A year has flown by already and what do I remember most? Those four precious faces. Watching them grow right before me. Those sleepless days, nights, weeks and months of feeding every three hours around the clock, are still memories but they aren't the first thing that comes to mind. Those four beautiful faces are four of my favorite faces in the world. They're the best thing that ever happened to me even if they are a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice. There will be days when they are grown that I can take a ski trip to the mountains and there will be plenty chances to catch up on sleep. I also try to look at the things we did get to do. We got to look at Christmas lights as a family. Okay, really we took our dog to look at the lights because by the time we got there, the babies were asleep and the dog was the only one still up. (At least she was happy to play along and stick her head out an open window!) Other positives are the wonderful angels in our life who were so generous and giving to us during the Christmas season. I should be thankful for those constant feedings and poopy diapers because it means the babies have plenty of food to eat and are doing well switching from only bottles to mostly solids with fewer bottles. I should be thankful for the cleaning and the laundry because it means we have a house to live in and clothes to wear. When I think about the quad mommas who didn't come home from the hospital with one, two, or all of their babies, I feel so guilty for my negative attitude towards all that I have. When I think about the women still struggling with infertility, begging God everyday, sometimes every minute, to give her the one thing she wants most in this world, I feel incredibly guilty. (Not that having four babies suddenly made my infertility any less real.) I've been blessed. Very blessed. So why do I feel so alone sometimes?

I'm not sure. As I sit here writing this and praying for help from above, I'm starting to feel strength again. I feel like if I could just muster up the strength to clean up the downstairs, fold the clean clothes piled up on the couch and move the pile of mail from the couch over to my desk, I'll be accomplished. The babies are asleep already and will be until 6 or 7 tomorrow morning. If I could spend an hour cleaning and still get to bed before 11, I'll be in a good shape. And if I don't get it done, who cares? I've got four beautiful babies upstairs that are fed, fat, bathed, have on clean clothes and clean sheets in their beds and resting peacefully. What more could anyone want?

If you're still reading this, wow! You must really love me. Or else you can totally relate to the struggle I feel. Thanks for being a listening ear and if it's not too much trouble, would you please say a prayer for me? Specifically, I need prayers for strength.

Until next time,
Love and Prayers,