Saturday, February 26, 2011

Three Years Ago Today...

February 26, 2008. A date which changed the world. Well, our world anyway. By this date, we had already had a positive home pregnancy test. I had blood drawn which confirmed that I was indeed pregnant-- my level was really high, but the nurse that called said that didn't necessarily mean multiples (yeah, whatever...) This was the day of my ultrasound to get our first look at that little baby. Since this was my second pregnancy, I was pretty certain I was indeed pregnant. I had all the same symptoms I had with Will and, in fact, they were stronger this time.

We got to the RE a little early. I am never early for anything! That tells you how eager I was for this ultrasound. When the doctor came to see us, he could see that I was nervous. I told him I would feel much better once I got to see a heartbeat. He reminded me that at 6 wks, we wouldn't necessarily see a heartbeat. This sort of small talk continued while he started the ultrasound. Then the room fell silent. I could feel the change in the room. I asked what he saw. He said, "There is definitely more than one."
I asked how many and it was Rod who answered, "Four."
The doctor said, "Yes, there are four." He snapped off the monitor and said, "Get dressed and we'll talk in my office."

The rest of the appointment was an ugly blur of talk of reduction, tears and, by the end, yelling and storming out. Rod had to go to straight to work, so we had driven separately. I was still a wreck and couldn't drive, so Rod and I sat in the lobby of the building for a long time (I honestly have no clue if it was 15 minutes or an hour.) I sat and cried, while he held my hand and told me everything was going to be alright.

Finally, we left. I had to go pick Will up at my sister Joanna's. On the way I called my sister Cathy. I told her there were four. She laughed excitedly and I quickly cut in and said, "Nope, it's not good news. The doctor wants us to reduce. We won't. He told us most if not all will die before they are born, then any that are born will be severely handicapped!" I talked to her and cried the whole way to Joanna's. God drove my car that day, because it is a miracle I wasn't in an accident (this would be the first miracle of many for us.) When I got to Joanna's I told her and we looked online for information about quadruplets. It helped some, but my head was still spinning when I left.

These are our babies at 8 weeks.
The doctor didn't give us pictures from the six week ultrasound.
Since he was still hoping we would reduce,
he didn't want us to get too attached.
Baby A&B
Baby C&D

They couldn't get all four in one picture,
so he had to take two separate pictures.
Just the first time we witnessed how hard
it is to get a decent picture of all four ;o)

I want to write this all down while I still remember how I felt that day. In a matter of minutes, I went from excited and hopeful to devastated and hopeless. When I look back at that day, the hopelessness is what breaks my heart. I want other women to know that things can be fine-- even great! I have four smart, funny, beautiful 2 1/2 yr olds. They are all healthy. Completely healthy, although the last three years have taught me that even if they weren't, we would have dealt with it (yeah, I know-- easy for me to say.) I'm not saying it would be easy, I just mean that I've learned that you take what you get and make the best of it. Like I say when people ask me how I do it, "You just do it." I never planned for quadruplets and certainly never thought that this would happen to me, but it did. And I couldn't be more grateful.

7 comments:

  1. I can not even imagine what you went through,. Not just that day, but also the stress of meeting all the much needed milestones for them to be born as heathy as possible! I didn't experience that stress or fear with two. Even though I ended up having mine at 28 weeks it was never on my mind to have them that premature. I was thinking 4 to 6 weeks early. This is a very honest and heartfelt post! Beautifully written!

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  2. Beth, that must of be a really hard day for you two. And that Dr sounded pretty harsh, probably alot worst than ours did. The day we went it to see heart beats was at 6 weeks 3 days. We knew there was a good chance we had more than one, and the Dr found 4 and also told us the same thing to meet him in the office. We get there he had to go through all the stuff about reduction and the stats about marriages with multiples have a higher divorce rate etc... He didn't tell us anything about they wouldn't make it or would have problems. Instead he had to refer us after there were still 4 after 12 weeks to a specialist that could do reductions. We went to see that Dr and he told us all of the risks etc... and we decided that KU was were we wanted to be and he became our Dr and was the one who delivered them.

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  3. I cannot even imagine hearing such news. I am glad you made this post, especially with the point to give encouragement to others. I have a friend who has a daughter that was born with only half a heart. The doctors strongly encouraged her to abort. They were completely well-intended but she couldn't do it. Today her daughter is about 8 or 9 years old, and after having many many surgeries in her first five years, her last and final one was the one that opened the door to her being normal for the rest of her life. She always tells me she can't imagine if she had listened to the doctors. She has a wonderful daughter!

    Still, what miracles you have. And you are right - you do it because you just do it. There's no other option. I am glad you are making it work and you are almost there. I think when they turn 3 you will see a huge change just because they can be so much more independent and it becomes easier to take them places because they have more sense.

    You seem to be doing a wonderful job -I can see why God entrusted your 5 children to you.

    Oh yeah, and the nurses told me the same thing about high levels. Whatever is right! They didn't have to say it, I knew!

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  4. Thanks for sharing this story! Our doctor was discouraging too, but not near as bad as it sounds like yours was! I hope your story does help other women in this same situation to know that it will be ok, and that God is in charge and will do what is best for them. All of our babies are miracles, and you are exactly right, if they wouldn't have been completely healthy, it still would have been ok, and we would still thank God every day for them. Thanks again for sharing this story, maybe someday I will share mine!

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  5. I'm glad you shared this too. Our RE's whole demeanor changed when we went from seeing 2 to 3. I felt sorry for him. Because he clearly didn't want us to get excited about 3. Gave us the same lecture. We smiled and told him NO! But i do remember being on this high and then low (fear) rollercoaster for a couple of weeks. And even though we did have some of the pregnancy traumas he warned about, it was worth everything. I just tell our gals in our support group that miracles happen everyday. This pregnancy will not be normal and you never know what will crop up, but God know's their perfect birthday. That's what got me through many tough days in the hospital!

    I will pass this on to moms in our group! A local gal just reduced from 4 to 2. Broke my heart.

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  6. Wow, Beth...I cannot begin to imagine what that day was like, from seeing four, to that horrific conversation. There are so many things running through my mind, but one is that it sounds like your doctor could use some training on dealing with his patients. Did you have to see him again? That just makes my mind spin...

    And I know you're right that God must have been driving your car that day. I also cannot imagine having to get behind the wheel and drive! I'm so glad you had your sisters to turn to that morning at least!

    Thanks for sharing this amazing story...

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  7. I stumbled onto your blog today and this post made me cry. What a beautiful story. You are certainly blessed. I can't help but wonder how many other women that same doctor has convinced to reduce. How sad. You must have been so terrified being told that the quads would be still born or severely handicapped. I can't even imagine how I would have dealt with that at all. My daughter was delivered via emergency C section after my placenta ruptured and she was barely hanging on, her APGAR score was a three. That was frightening enough, but I can't imagine being told to EXPECT tragedy. Your story is truly inspiring.

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