Friday, May 2, 2008

The Big Day...continued!

Sorry that I zonked out on Wednesday without finishing the post about the remainder of our big day, but like I said, John and I were so physically and mentally drained, we had to get some sleep to be able to function today! We both agreed that Wednesday night was one of the best nights of sleep we’ve had in a long time! Last night, I actually fell asleep on the couch at 9:00 and didn't get up until 7:00 this morning so I think I've finally caught up!

Anyways, after lunch, we went upstairs and met Dr. Guthrie and the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) staff. We spent some time initially talking with Dr. Guthrie who told us a little bit about what we could potentially be facing in terms of NICU treatment and length of stay, all of which are very dependent on when the babies are born. If the babies are born during the 23-25 week period, they will no doubt encounter potential lung issues and for at least some period, will need the assistance of a ventilator to help them breath. The lungs are very stiff at this point due to their incomplete development so that babies have to take very deep breaths to draw in enough oxygen. This makes their chest rise and fall in a very profound way and although they aren’t experiencing any pain, it may appear that they are. At the 23-25 week range, the babies could also be faced with issues regarding brain development, the potential of some bleeding on the brain, as well as development of their retinas. In short, being born this premature can bring about quite a few additional problems then say for instance, a baby born 4-6 weeks later during the 29-32 week range. Even at this point, the lungs are typically not fully developed and the use of a ventilator could be necessary along with medications which help the lungs to mature more quickly. The goal is have the babies stay in the NICU until they reach certain physical hallmarks – which are usually achieved around the gestational age of 37 weeks or so. Dr. Guthrie said that they would need the children to weigh at least 4-5 pounds, be able to eat successfully from a nipple on their own, tolerate regular temperatures outside of their isolettes and breathe on their own before being released from the NICU.

We toured the unit with Dr. Guthrie and were given the chance to meet some of the nurses that were on duty. Everyone was so wonderfully kind to us. Dr. Guthrie told them we were having quads and they all cheered and said how excited they were to see us and the babies in the Fall. There are 5 neonatologists on staff at AGH, including Dr. Guthrie, and at least one of them is there in the NICU 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We got the opportunity to see a set of triplets who were born there just a few weeks ago. All 3 are doing well and are continuing to progress nicely which was so wonderful to see! There were also a few sets of twins, some of which were just getting ready to go home which was also a joy. The one baby that I’ll probably remember the most was a single baby boy born prematurely at 24 weeks. He only weighed 1 lb, 2 oz. Honest to goodness, his little diaper was the size of my fist. He was so incredibly tiny and fragile yet absolutely adorable. Dr. Guthrie told us that despite his prematurity, he was doing well and growing and being fed intravenously through his stomach at this point to make sure he gets the nutrition he needs. He’ll probably be in the NICU for awhile, but his prognosis at this point is good. A bona fide miracle that little boy is!

Dr. Guthrie also pointed out to us that each of the isolettes had a handmade quilt on top of it and each baby had a tiny crocheted cap on it’s head. There is a local nursing home that has a group of grandmas that hand makes quilts and caps for each of the babies. What an incredibly sweet gesture to these tiny little souls from strangers who don’t even know them!

As Dr. Guthrie walked us to the door as we left our appointment, I felt an overwhelming peace and confidence that our children would be in very good hands under the care of Dr. Guthrie and the rest of the NICU staff. Overall, the day had been very positive, the news was encouraging and John and I both felt overjoyed with the outcome. I think we exhaled for the first time yesterday around 2:30pm!

So, that's the story of our big day. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. We want to thank you all so much for being a part of this journey with us. There's lots more to come! We're going to start posting pictures on the blog here very shortly....we've got some great new pictures of Luke I'm dying to share and I warn you in advance, John has started taking some tummy pictures of me. They ain't pretty but they'll give you an idea of just how quickly I'm growing!

Take care everyone and God bless!
Carrie, John, Luke and The Lemonovich Quads (Baby Boy A, Baby Girl B, Baby Girl C and Baby Girl D! :)


Sean (Pittsburgh) said...

Sounds like you picked a great hospital and they are ready to focus on everything you could possible need.

Congrats again on the great news!


Anonymous said...

We have been praying for you and will continue to pray for you through out the process. We were so glad to here that things went well on wednesday.

The Pasquini's

Michele Jenkins said...

I have been praying for you everyday. I was so happy to hear that your sonogram went so well. I'm sure it was so exciting to see the four precious little angels growing inside you. I will continue to pray for you throughout this journey!

Michele Jenkins

Anonymous said...

Carrie & John,

Congratulations on the wonderful news. So glad to hear that the babies are doing well and growing.
Whatever the outcome, God will give you the strength you need. We are praying for all of you, as so many others are as well.

We look forward to the updates and tracking your progress and the babies. Let us know if there is anything at all that you need.

God truly is awesome!!

Nancy, Bill, Amy & Courtney