Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Quint Transportation

Recently, Jayson and I have been discussing how we are going to transport the quints after they are born. As we started looking around at the options, we realized that the decision was not going to be easy. We had to start considering things like: How much cargo space we will need? Is it worth it to upgrade the tires? Is it important for the seats to recline? Will we need the weather protectent shield? Are tinted side windows necessary? Should we pay extra for decorative trim? Do we need a sunroof? How many cup holders are there? With all these important decisions to make, you would think that we were buying a new van. Instead, what we were looking for is a quint stroller! Of course quint strollers are not in very high demand, so the choices are few. In fact, we found only one manufacturer, Runabout, who sells one. Maybe that is why they offer so many accessories---so that at least you have something to make a decision about. Or maybe it is to help you feel a little better about the $1185 (plus shipping) base price. Whatever the case, I have to admit that I actually laughed out loud the first time I saw a picture of one. This stroller is more like a bus, or a train. In fact, it is so large, that it doesn't fit in a car or van---a special custom hitch carrier has to be installed behind the vehicle to transport it (an additional $130). I guess I am out of luck if it is a rainy day and I want to get out of the house. It is a good thing we don't live in Seattle! Despite the downsides to this stroller, I think it is something MasterCard could make a commercial about......"Quint stroller...$1185, Sun Canopy....$96, flat-free airless tires...$90, being able to get out of the house every once in a while without an entire crew of volunteer helpers....PRICELESS!!!"

This weekend, Jayson and my almost 7-year old son Riley came for a visit. It was the first time our whole family had been together in 6 1/2 weeks. It was so great to have them all here! After not seeing Riley for a while, I started to miss even the slightly annoying things that he does---like the incessant talking and endless knock-knock jokes. Riley and Kaiya were really happy to see each other too, although it didn't take them long to slip back into the typical brother/sister routine. At the end of the weekend, Jayson took both kids back with him to Texas. They will be there for a week and then they will go to Grandma and Grandpa's (Jayson's parents) house for a couple of weeks. The house has been so quiet with everyone gone.

Despite all the changes in my normal routine, I have continued to do well. No signs of pre-term labor yet. The babies are moving all the time now. I am feeling huge, but I know that my size now won't even compare to my size in a couple of months. I have another doctor's appointment on Friday, so we will see what I find out from that. Right now I just feel very blessed to be doing as well as I am and to be able to be home at my aunt's house instead of at the hospital.

Pictured below is the Runabout Quint Stroller----also known as the Silver Bullet.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another Milestone

Today I am 24 weeks, which means I have reached another milestone! At 24 weeks, the fetuses are considered viable, meaning that if they were born they actually have some chance of survival----not a very good chance at this point, but at least it is a chance. Of course I am hoping to make it another 10 weeks to really improve the odds.

So far things are looking really good. At my doctor's appointment yesterday, all the babies looked great. The ultrasounds are pretty interesting at this point. The babies are getting big enough that the picture on the ultrasound is just a mess of arms, legs, and other body parts. The poor baby in the middle is really getting squashed. The ultrasound tech said that I looked better than a lot of triplet pregnancies at this point.

My aunt and I were interviewed for another newspaper article. This time it made it into the main Arizona Republic (not just the community section). If you are interested, the link is below. Just as a disclaimer, not all the "quotes" from the article are word for word what we said. In particlular, my aunt never takes the name of the Lord in vain, and probably said something like, "Oh my goodness!" rather than what was quoted. :-)

I think one of the hardest things about being on bedrest is not being able to do all my regular "mom" jobs. Jayson has done a great job being a single parent to Riley while I have been gone, but I have felt bad for missing out on things I would normally be there for. This week is the last week of school and Riley had a "student-led conference" where each kid sits down with their parent and tells shows them all the great stuff they have learned this year. Jayson had a meeting during the conference and was unable to get away from work for it. We arranged for a friend to go meet with him, but Riley still felt pretty bad that neither of his parents could be there. This, of course, made me feel horrible that I wasn't there. In addition to the conference, Riley also gave a talk in Primary on Sunday (this is a two-minute speech given to the kids ages 3-12), and he had to have a biopsy on a dark spot on his scalp, which he was nervous about. All things that I would normally be there for. Fortunately he and Jayson are coming to visit this weekend, which I am very excited about.

Kaiya is also suffering (even though I don't think she realizes it) from my inability to be a regular mom. She has figured out that I am stuck on the couch and am less effective at enforcing rules. If I ask her to do something she doesn't want to do, she just walks away because she knows that I can't get up and follow her. With her new found freedom, she has been testing the limits to see just how much she can get away with. In the past week, she has colored with pink marker on the bathroom door, spilled fingernail polish on the light-colored carpet, and filled my bathroom drawer with water. I can't figure out what happened to my normally well-behaved child! Fortunately for her, she still has some "cute" moments. It is pretty adorable when she lays her head on my tummy and tries to talk to the babies. She also remembers to include me in all of her prayers. This week she said to me, "Mom, you better not go to any one's house you don't know because they will tell you that you have a big fat tummy." There's nothing like a four-year-old to tell it like it is! At least we all got a really good laugh out of it!

Below is a picture of the cutest kids in the universe (in my totally unbiased opinion) taken the week before I left for Arizona.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Life on Bedrest

Tomorrow I will be 23 weeks---only 11 weeks left until the 34 week goal! It is hard to believe that I have been in Arizona for 5 weeks.

After being released from the hospital, I was put on strict bedrest. This means that I am allowed to go to the bathroom and sit at the table for meals, but otherwise I am supposed to lay down. Not the most exciting lifestyle, but much better than being in the hospital! It seems to be working so far---at my doctor's appointment on Friday everything looked great! The babies are all still healthy and kicking and thanks to the surgery, my cervix is looking good as well.

My mom (see picture below) was in town this week, which definitely helped to make life on bedrest more interesting. Even though I was stuck on the couch, we had a great time visiting. She also ran errands for me, did my laundry, helped take care of Kaiya, and hopefully gave my Aunt Jeanie a little bit of a break. Her visit was way too short and I am looking forward to the end of June when she is coming out to stay until after the babies are born. My father-in-law was also in town for a couple of days on a business trip, so I have really been blessed with visitors this week.

We have also had a little bit of media coverage in the last week. On Wednesday a reporter called to interview my aunt and I for an article in the community section (distributed to the local community of Gilbert, AZ) of the Arizona Republic. The article came out in Thursday's newspaper. The online version can be found at:

Today we were interviewed and photographed for an article that is supposed to come out in the main section of the Arizona Republic. It is kind of fun to be newsworthy. For some reason, no one ever wanted to do a story on me when I was just a carpool-driving mom of two!


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Things Can Change in an Instant...

I have been hearing from several people with multiples that during pregnancy, things can change in an instant. Now I am a believer. I went to my doctor’s appointment on Monday afternoon fully expecting to be given a pat on the back for what a great job I have been doing and sent home. After all, I had been gaining weight (OK, so truth be told I don’t think I actually get 5000 calories in everyday, but I try hard and I still have good weight gain), the babies seem to be doing all right because I feel them kicking fairly frequently now, and most importantly, I had not been having many contractions. I am supposed to keep the average number of contractions for the week below 3.5, and I had never had more than 2 and usually had 0 or 1 in a single session.

So, no one was more surprised than me when the ultrasound tech looked at my cervix and said, “You are going straight to the hospital. Let me see if we need to call an ambulance or if the friend that brought you can take you.” I was stunned. (And I thought that the whole ambulance thing was a bit overdramatic). They finally decided that my friend, who had brought me to the doctor’s appointment, could take me over for direct admittance into the hospital.

My cervix, which two weeks prior had been about 4 cm in length (and which one ultrasound tech had called the “cervix of steel”) had shortened to 0.7 cm and was 1 cm dilated. The doctors weren’t sure if it has just happened, or if I was in pre-term labor and that’s what was causing it. They hooked me up to a contraction monitor to check things out. At first I was having three contractions per hour. Then I started having them every two minutes (yikes!). They gave me some drugs to stop the contractions and decided I needed a cerclage (a surgical procedure where they sew your cervix closed) as soon as possible.

Well, as luck would have it, Monday was also a full moon, which, for some unknown reason, tends to put women into labor. The labor and delivery area of the hospital was packed and several women required emergency c-sections, which all had to come before my surgery. Finally, at around 10:15 that night, it was my turn. The procedure itself is fairly simple and did not take a long time. They did numb my body from the waist down (similar to an epidural) so that I wouldn’t feel anything, but I was awake for the whole thing. After surgery, they took me to recovery for an hour and I was back in my room about midnight. My sweet aunt was there, along with another friend and two men from our church. They had waited over an hour and a half for me to come back. I got teary-eyed when I saw them because it was so unexpected and so thoughtful. The two men gave me a Priesthood Blessing (see if you want to learn more about those), which really boosted my spirits and made me feel like everything was going to be okay.

Because the cerclage tends to cause more uterine activity, the doctor decided to put me on Magnesium Sulfate (code name “Mag”). This drug does a great job of limiting contractions, however it has some pretty nasty side effects, including nausea, double vision, overall muscle weakness, shortness of breath, congestion and chest pain. Fortunately I only had to be on it for a day and a half before they decided to take me off and see what happened.

After they took me off the mag, I did pretty well, with minimal contractions and they thought I might be able to go home on Friday. Unfortunately, Thursday night I started having more contractions, so they gave me a shot of tributaline, which calmed the contractions. Because of the increase in contractions, however, they decided to keep me another day. The next night, the same thing happened, so again they decided to keep me for another day. This time, they gave me an oral dose of the tributaline in the early evening to see if it would prevent the contractions from occurring. Happily, this tactic worked and I was released from the hospital this afternoon.

I know that I will likely end up back in the hospital sooner rather than later, but I am truly grateful for whatever time that I can spend at my aunts house on bedrest instead of in the hospital. The doctors and nurses in the hospital were wonderful, but nothing can compare to being surrounded by family.