Monday, June 30, 2008

Week 1 Quad Babies Update

We’re sure that many of you are wondering how the "lemon quads" are doing. So many of you have called, sent cards, volunteered meals, offered to watch Luke, etc. and we are truly grateful. We hope that you’ll understand if we haven’t returned your calls or emails. We’re still trying to recover from the events of last week both mentally and physically as well as trying to deal with the reality of having an 18month old who still needs our daily love and care and also dealing with the realities of having 4 tiny babies in need of intensive care spread across two hospitals in the hustle and bustle of downtown Pittsburgh. We assure you that we’ve heard every kind word or note you’ve passed along so don’t think your prayers and good wishes have gone unnoticed!

So here’s an update on how our babies are doing as of today (keep in mind this changes constantly!)

John Quentin – Baby A:
As you read in the blog from delivery day, there was much concern in the last days regarding our little boy. In addition to the hemorrhaging from the partial previa, baby John’s sac had ruptured, leaving very little amniotic fluid for him. The threat of infection became very great and John’s health was potentially compromised. As of today, we’re happy to report that John is relatively well and is experiencing normal premature issues for a baby born at 26 weeks, 6 days. Yesterday, John was breathing so well that they removed his ventilator and he began to utilize a CPAP machine to assist with his breathing. This is a step down from the ventilator and allows him to do more of the work himself. He moved back to the ventilator today but the neonatologist assured us that it’s perfectly normal for the process of weaning to involves going back and forth. We’re also happy to say that John is receiving normal preemie nutrition through intravenous methods but is also able to take some breastmilk, although in small doses. He has beautifully dark hair and seems to love to sleep all curled up on his belly in his isolette. His ribs seem very prominent in his chest and he’s definitely thinner than Claire or Elizabeth, but as of now, John is doing well.

Elizabeth Avery – Baby B:
Elizabeth is also doing well and when you look at her, she is obviously the largest of these tiny little wonders. She loves to squirm and we laugh at the crazy positions in which she falls asleep! She is currently having a Broviac line inserted into her chest, which is a fancy term for a central venous longer-term catheter. It is inserted into a large vein leading directly into the heart. It was decided that this would be best for Elizabeth as it would allow the nurses to draw blood and give fluids in a less intrusive way. Elizabeth is also currently using the CPAP machine for breathing although they’ll need to put her back on the ventilator during the Broviac procedure since she’ll be sedated. Elizabeth also has a small hole in her heart which creates a murmur. We’re told this is commonly seen in premature infants and is also referred to as a PDA, or a peyton ductus arterious. This hole can often be closed by using medications or could close on it’s own. In some cases, surgery may be required. Elizabeth is currently taking the medication route so we’re praying that this works so that no surgery will be needed. Elizabeth has light blonde hair and like her sisters, appears to be quite feisty.

Claire Renee - Baby C:
Claire has many of the same issues as Elizabeth – again, most of them are common for infants their age. Claire also has had the Broviac line inserted. She also has the PDA in her heart as does Elizabeth. She has had a course of medication and we were told today that the murmur in her heart is more faint. The doctors will wait to see if the hole closes for good on it’s own or if further medication will be needed. Claire is also on a CPAP machine for now. When we called to check on her early yesterday, her nurse told us that she had actually fussed so much that she pulled her CPAP nasal prongs out and was actually breathing on her for a short while! She seemed to do well but eventually ended up back on the CPAP. She’s receiving low levels of oxygen and doing more of the work on her own. Claire has blonde hair just like Elizabeth and fine little strands of it covering her tiny body. Everyone who sees her comment on the length of her fingers. They are SOOOOO long and thin! I like to say that they are dainty and ladylike. Claire appears to be progressing well so far.

Kate Mackenzie – Baby D:
Our little Kate has continued to struggle outside of the womb just as she did inside. As the delivery day blog stated, Kate was the tiniest of the four babies and also had this pretty rare duct remnant which doctors are speculating is connecting her bellybutton to her intestines. This connection is normal for an embryo but should be completely gone by 7 weeks of gestation. In some rare cases the connection stays and sort of grows with the intestines. Several complications can arise from this such as the bowels being twisted around it, or an obstruction due to narrowing of the intestines in the area (this is all to the best of my comprehension from the doctors). So Kate has not had a stool and even though she is on NPO (which means no food by mouth to keep her digestive tract clean) and only gets IV nutrition, she should still have a very small stool. Since she hasn’t the doctors are concerned and compounding matters are her X-rays. Her X-rays seem to have many highly skilled pediatric surgeons and neonatologists completely puzzled. It sometimes shows gas moving through some of the intestines down toward the rectum and sometimes it indicates that it’s building up and not passing through, which is concerning. Ultimately they would love to do an exploratory surgery to find out what’s going on in there but she’s so small they just don’t want to risk it. Just the other night we recorded in our journal that Kate had a good day (good blood/gas, O2 level, pressure, etc…) but yesterday, as the doctors put it, she had a bad day and they were kept very busy trying to get her readings in their proper range. Most of her symptoms would point to immature lungs, but on X-ray and listening to them they say they are fine – mystifying them further. In short the goals for Kate are that she would become stable long enough to strengthen and possibly endure the surgery if necessary, or that the abdomen issue would somehow reveal itself to them. Kate is tiny and all the nurses talk about how feisty she is, and like John she has dark brown hair.

As you can tell we’ve had a lot to learn in terms of NICU terminology and medical care for preemies. There are times we look at each other completely baffled by what the doctors are have just said. Sometimes they will take notice and even draw us pictures (but sadly sometimes we still don’t get it!!).

Tonight we ask you to keep our 4 precious babies all in your thoughts and prayers – and pray that God would bless them all with good health and that God would guide the doctors and nurses who are so highly skilled to care for them. Please keep us and Luke in your prayers also as we spend lots of time feeling as if we’re riding a roller coaster of emotion and stress. Luke is finally starting to feel more comfortable in our new home and we’re working hard to show him the same love and attention as always, in spite of the craziness.

Goodnight from the Lemonovich’s.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'M BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know where to start. The past week has been one that I'm not sure I can do justice with words, but I'll sure give it a try over the next few days.

I'm going to post something short and sweet for now as I just arrived home from the hospital yesterday. The short summary for right now is that I am doing well (sore - but well!)and on the road to recovery. All four babies are stable for now with commonly seen premature babies issues. There is no mistake however that they have a very long road ahead of them. Claire and Kate are currently at Children's Hospital and John and Elizabeth at AGH. I'll give you much more detail in my coming posts, but that at least gives you the bottom line.

I want to tell you quickly how proud I am of the post John wrote just after the quads were born. It was perfectly written and I couldn't have done a better job myself. This man has been to hell and back this week and to write something so eloquent at a time when the health of his wife and children were in jeopardy is truly amazing.

I wanted to post this quickly and let you know how much we appreciate the outpouring of love, generosity and concern that has been shown to us. Y ou have no idea how much this has meant to us.

We're headed out to see the babies hopefully sometime today so I'll post again with much more detail just as soon as I can! We'll also hopefully try to post some pictures if we can.

Thank you all!
God bless,
Carrie, John, Luke, John, Elizabeth, Claire and Kate

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Update - The Quads are here!!!!!!!!!!!

I am working on a couple hours of sleep in the last 36 hours so I’ll start by saying that I hope this all makes sense. I wanted to give an update since Carrie has been in the hospital since Friday night June 20th and has not had Internet access and it’s been crazy and absolute chaos for our whole family since that night. Rest assured that Carrie will give a further description of everything from her perspective once she is up on her feet again and has time. The following is my account!

It all started Friday night when Carrie was rushed to the hospital via ambulance due to what seemed like significant bleeding. At the time this happened, Carrie was feeding Luke a bottle at bed time and just lying down. She was taken to AGH where they concluded that baby boy A’s placenta previa tore some blood vessels when the uterus contracted (from ordinary Braxton-hicks contractions all women have at this point in the pregnancy) and this also caused his sac to rupture. They were able to stop the bleeding and at that time gave her a couple steroid shots to promote the lung development of the babies in the event they were forced to deliver. At this time she had become very anemic and the doctors started blood transfusions. Her blood cell count was so low that they could not have delivered then even if they had to due to the risk to Carrie, plus they needed to get the pregnancy at least 48 hours further for the steroid to work.

So over the weekend Carrie became stabilized and we were informed that it was really day to day at that point. We were told the pregnancy could go on this way for weeks (which would be best case) but a number of different complications would force a decision to deliver – one of which was infection from the ruptured sac. Monday afternoon Carrie began feeling short of breath. As the day went on the shortness of breath worsened. The doctors were looking for signs of pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure but they could not find out why her breathing was becoming very labored. Dr. Celebreeze then came in from home and she had Carrie call me and her parents to have us come to the hospital in case she found something she didn’t like and had to deliver the babies. She insisted that the last thing she wanted to do was deliver them last night. So we call pastor Matzat and he follows me and Dick to the hospital. Dr. Celebreeze really got us through the next couple hours talking to us almost constantly while watching Carrie very meticulously. The doc at this point was planning to check Carrie in the morning and see how she was responding to the Lasix and she was hoping that much of the breathing problem was caused by the fact that she’s pregnant with Quads, in the last 36 hours had several units of blood transfused, had steroid shots, antibiotics, etc… But then the fever started indicating an infection was setting in. Just at the moment pastor Matzat was walking out – Dr. Celebreeze asked him to turn around. She told us the fever was going up rapidly and that she had to deliver.

I can not explain the fear and nerves that Carrie and I went through while they organized a small army of doctors, neonatologists, anesthesiologists, nurses, PAs, etc… Carrie was just devastated that she couldn’t carry the pregnancy any further. We knew that at 26 weeks 6 days that maybe the 2 girls (baby B and baby C), and the boy (baby A – who was now at risk for, or already had an infection) may have a fighting chance, but there was baby D (Kate)– the one who was always much behind in development. We thought it was just terrible news for her. At this point Carrie is really having a hard time breathing while they prepare her for the cesarean section and I was in such shock that I thought I was going to pass out or be sick.

Since Carrie already had an infection she could not get a spinal anesthetic and was under general anesthesia and was asleep for the operation. I was to wait outside the room right next door and they would call me in after the babies were delivered. I heard them one by one - a cry from each. That was the best thing ever. I knew that was at least some good sign and I thought “thank you God”. They had me step in and I found myself in a room not knowing where to look first or who to talk to or what to say. It was completely overwhelming. I froze completely. Then I looked around one by one at the little babies and I remembered from touring the NICU weeks past how small these babies are and so you would think I would be prepared for the sight of such small babies. I really noticed and paid close attention to baby D (Kate). She just looked so extremely, extremely, tiny. She made the 2 pound babies look huge. We then had to wait it our until they got them under control in the NICU room. There must have been 15 people in there helping and I was thanking God for each and every one of them let me tell you. I was also increasingly worried about baby A (boy) who one PA told me, looks like he had an infection and is pretty sick.

Next they let me and pastor come around to each one while pastor Matzat baptized each one with me there taking a picture of each (sorry I don’t have them ready yet – but soon!). After this pastor and I walked out of the NICU and just looked at each other … and we both had the same look. It was a look of awe on our faces. Things started to seem a little more calm and I was just waiting to find out how they were actually doing. Dr. Barbara Clouser came in and informed us that all babies were stable and breathing well and the weights were as follows:

Baby A – boy John Quentin 1lb 14 oz.
Baby B – girl Elizabeth Avery 2lb 1 oz.
Baby C – girl Claire Renee 2lb 0 oz.
Baby D (our trooper) – girl Kate Mackenzie 1lb 5 oz.

Dr. Clouser then when on to explain that tiny little baby D had an issue with her umbilical cord attachment area. They went to cut through it and they noticed some unusual dark color. They speculated it was a piece of intestine and that it may need surgery in which case they have to transport her to Children’s Hospital (thank God again for all the awesome medical facilities in downtown Pittsburgh) so that a team of Pediatric Surgeons could look at it. They assured us that there was no way they would have known that would happen when they started to cut.

So my sister and I head to Children’s Hospital in Oakland. There it was very tough to see little Kate in there knowing that a dangerous surgery could soon follow. There were very many nice nurses there who were answering lots of questions. The first surgeon came over and stated that they will be observing her and talking it over between the surgeons but he said that a surgery would be “very risky” given her tiny size. Later we talked with this same surgeon but this time with another, Dr. Kane. Dr. Kane was very nice and thought her condition was manageable and wouldn’t require surgery, at least not immediately, and may not need it ever. He wrote down the name of this condition that he said was very rare and had nothing to do with the fact that it was a quad pregnancy:
omphalomesenteric duct remnant

Dr. Kane was optimistic and said they’ll keep watching it and hopefully she can return soon to her siblings over at AGH!! As you could imagine at this point I’m going back and forth between the two hospitals checking on my babies and I can’t believe it’s all happening so fast and several weeks before we expected. Let me tell you it’s the most surreal numbing feeling ever.

Dr. Gothrie came in later in the afternoon to update us. He said they are all doing “very well” especially considering their prematurity. Things can still change on a dime as they are so vulnerable right now but Carrie and I breathed a monstrous sigh of relief and knew this was a miracle. Dr. Gothrie told us he had worked intimately with 15,000 premature babies over 40 years (he’s retiring in about one month!) and had never had a case of what Kate has with this umbilical cord – that’s just how rare it was.

Meanwhile up to this moment (where I finally came home to sleep for an hour or two but instead have been typing this) Carrie has yet to be able to see any of them. They’re hoping to get her into a wheelchair or something to go see them soon. Carrie is recovering very nicely she’s just sore and very tired. Her breathing is substantially better than before delivery and she’s improving all the time. She did so wonderful the whole pregnancy and I’m so proud of her. So all-in-all we thank God for Carrie’s health and our 4 precious babies and we pray they continue to grow and breathe better and better. Thanks for the many prayers from all of you (including all the people we’ve met on our journey), and please keep them coming. I’ll try to update with other blogs when I can but hopefully Carrie can soon resume the blogging since number one she loves it, and two, she’s much better at writing than me!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I"m finally starting to feel pregnant with quads....

It sounds strange, but although I'm pregnant with quads, I really haven't felt pregnant with quads. It's felt about the same as my first pregnancy with Luke - a period of about 10 weeks(that seemed a heck of a lot longer than that!) of horrifically bad nausea, vomiting, dehydration, etc., followed by a period of relatively good health where I feel pretty upbeat and energetic and then the final trimester where the heartburn, shortness of breath, lower back pain and other joys of pregnancy rear their ugly heads again. I've always been so jealous of the women who have these beautiful pregnancies where they actually do have that Mom-to-be "glow"! It's just not me!

However, as I get closer to the 26th week, this quad pregnancy is really starting to feel different to me. The lower back pain is much worse than the first time, the shortness of breath comes from just climbing two or three steps, my ankles are starting to swell sometimes, and I honestly can't believe that my skin can stretch any further than it already has ( although I've seen the pictures to know that it is possible and WILL happen!) I miss picking Luke up and giving him big hugs. It's hard to even have him sit on my lap these days as he's constantly wiggling around and bumps my belly! There's just no room for him left on my lap! When people find out that he's only 17 months and I'm expecting quads, the first reaction is always "Oh my gosh! You're going to have your hands full!" DUH!!!!!!!!! I know this is true, yet in a way, I'm glad that he won't remember most of this incredibly crazy time we're going through right now. I'm also glad that the kids will all be so close in age. I've worried about him being the "outsider" while everyone gawks at the quads, but I think being close in age will actually be a good thing. And, he'll have his little brother to help him fend off all of those sisters!

Dr. Thomas' office suggested that I buy a support garment called a prenatal cradle to help with my lower back/tailbone pain and the heaviness in my stomach from carrying quads. So, I went online and bought one. Wait until you see this contraption!


It appears to be to more like an instrument of torture as opposed to a support garment! I read about it online and got a good laugh when the ad said "so comfortable, you won't even know you're wearing it!" Yeah - right! Have they seen this thing?!?!?! My initial thought was - only a man could have looked at this thing and used the word "comfortable" knowing confidently that he would never have to wear one! However, I finally received it in the mail yesterday and I have to admit, it's pretty comfortable and it does provide good support to my stomach and back so far, so I'm eating my words! Finally - something I've purchased that actually proves to be just as advertised!!! Ahhhh....what we women go through just for a little bit of comfort and relief!

My official last day of work at State Farm will be this Friday, the 20th. I've got a few vacation days to take after that and then I'll officially be on medical leave. I've always dreading leaving my job because I enjoy the work & it's just the perfect situation. State Farm has allowed me to job share for the past15 months since Luke was born. I share my job with a good friend in my office - Gina. Between the two of us, we split up the work days of the week so that we both work part time and get to spend half of the week with our little boys at home. Talk about lucky! I've been very fortunate to work for such a great company for the past 6 years. I'll really miss my friends there and have been dreading the last day, but I honestly feel like I'm at the point now where it's time to quit and take it easy. Getting up in the mornings to get there early are really tough on me. Although, getting up to do anything these days is pretty tough! Finishing work will give me a chance to focus on a few of the bigger issues ahead that I need to tackle - like finding a nanny to work with me to take care of Luke and the quads. So far, this has been anything but an easy task so I'll have some more time now to dig into that. Finding someone reasonably priced who isn't afraid to watch 4 newborns and a 17 month old isn't easy!

All of you who have been cautioning me to slow down and take it easy will be glad to know that I did quite well this weekend while my Mom, sister Susie and friend Barb came out to the house and packed up most of our closets and shelves. They got a lot of work done and we moved a bunch of stuff to the new house. I'm so appreciative for they're help! There's no way we could be doing this without the help of our family and friends. My parents and my sister Susie and brother in law Bill have been absolutely wonderful and as usual, have gone above and beyond. My sister in law Holly and brother in law Joe have also been amazing. Holly made the most beautiful curtains for my kitchen and has watched Luke for us and Joe has helped John paint, remodel our bathroom before putting our house on the market, etc. I've said it before but I'll say it again - God has blessed us so greatly with such loving and supportive family and friends!

In closing, I just want to say Happy Fathers Day to all of you Dads out there! Of course, I want to send a special message to my Dad, Richard, who is absolutely the best Dad to me and Poppy to my little one Luke! He drops everything in heartbeat to help us with whatever we need, when we need it and we love him to death! I also want to say Happy Fathers Day to my husband, John. I've written about him a few times before here on our blog and I won't go on bragging about him again, but he truly is a gift from God. He has been a rock to me throughout this whole journey and I know that there is no more perfect person for me in the world than this wonderfully loving, caring, strong man. Our children are blessed to have him as their father and I am blessed to have him as my husband.

Good night all!
Peace,
Carrie

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

25 weeks and counting....Thank you God!

As of today, I reached my 25th week of pregnancy. I have to say that I'm pretty proud to have reached this milestone. When John and I had first begun to meet with the millions of specialists - geneticists, perinatologists, neonatalogists, etc - they had warned us that the baby being born anywhere near 24 weeks or so was extremely dangerous and that the outcome could be bad for our little ones. By reaching the 25th week, by no means do I feel confident that we're even close to being out of the woods or anything. I know the risks of giving birth anytime before my doctor's 31 week goal for us could be dangerous with serious consequences to their health. I just expected from all of the bad news that we heard initially that I would already be on bedrest, if not already living in the hospital by now hooked up to IV's and totally incapable of being involved in the day to day care of my little man Luke. As I sit here typing today, I'm still working part time (although read on to find out more about this), I'm still living at home, not on bedrest and still able to partake in some small ways in the care of Luke and our home. So, all in all, I count reaching this milestone as a real accomplishment and I thank God for the strength he has given me to be able to make it this far.

I had my latest appointment with Dr. Thomas today. We had a "growth and measurement" ultrasound which is the more indepth study where they not only review bladders, stomachs, etc. of each baby but they also measure and compare the growth of the various anatomical parts of each baby such as the humerus, the skull, etc. and they also assess their weights and age appropriateness in terms of their size in comparison to where I am in my pregnancy.


So.....without further ado....here's the tale of the tape for our munchkins...

Baby Boy A weighs in at 1 lb, 9 oz. and measures 24 weeks, 5 days
Baby Girl B tips the scales at 1 lb., 13 oz and measures 25 weeks, 2 days (what a chub-a-lub!)
Baby Girl C checks in at 1 lb., 11 oz. and measures 24 weeks, 6 days
Baby Girl D pulls up the rear at 1 lb, 5 oz. and measures 23 weeks even.

All babies looked good in terms of their analysis and in regards to Baby D, Dr. Thomas said "well, she's not lighting the world on fire, but she's hanging in there". She is still measuring behind her brother and sisters but has progressed, just at a slower rate. So, keep those prayers coming that all of my little peanuts would continue to grow and move forward and that especially Baby D would continue to get the nutrition she needs to thrive.

After the ultrasound, we met with Dr. Thomas. They measured my stomach and I measure just over 36 weeks pregnant (if I were carrying a single baby). Over the weekend, I overdid it a bit by working on packing up some boxes with John around the house as we begin to prepare for the big move on June 21st. I started to "spot" a little on Saturday and when I called into the answering service to speak to the doctor on call, Dr. Golde scolded me for not sticking to the "princess mentality" and sitting my butt on a nice cushy couch and letting everyone else do the work! As nice as this sounds, it's just not my nature to sit and let other people do everything in my house! I'm a little fanatical when it comes to have things "just so". I'm one of those crazy nuts who likes to vaccum because I like the lines in the carpet to all go the same direction - any of you know out there know what I mean?!?!?!? Anyways, Dr. Thomas again cautioned me on the dangers of not being careful with my activities, especially with the crazy heat wave that we've been having here in Pittsburgh for the past 5 days. I have known for sometime that I have a partial placenta previa (Baby Boy A's placenta is partially covering a portion of the opening of my cervix) and this condition can be serious if it doesn't resolve itself and pull back away from the opening. So, I need to be especially carefully with what I do. He also said that if it doesn't resolve itself, I could experience some bleeding because of this condition and as a result, I would need to move into the hospital full time immediately. I REALLY don't want this, so I'm going to give my best "Queen of the Couch" impersonation when it comes to our upcoming move and all of the other things that go along with it! Dr. Thomas also told me that it's time to stop working in about 2 weeks. I'm especially sad about this because I really like my job and the people I work with at State Farm. They are THE BEST! They had this beautiful baby shower/birthday party for me last week where they gave us gift cards for Target and Wal-Mart to use for things for the babies. And then of course, true to State Farm tradition, they had the best darn food day ever in our honor! Everyone brought in their favorite dish and we literally had a smorgasbord of yummy treats to indulge in all day long. I think I tried everything twice! It was so incredibly sweet and I am going to miss them terribly. However, Dr. Thomas said that I'm getting to the point where I should slow down and spend much more time lounging on the couch than at a desk so he gave me two weeks until I need to stop. I'll truly miss my buddies there.

I'll be going for my next basic ultrasound in 2 weeks on 6/24 and then again on 7/1 for a full blown detailed ultrasound.


It's amazing how quickly time is moving these days. It seems like just yesterday that I was only 12 weeks along. We've come a long way, we've got a long way to go, but we're doing well. Thanks to everyone for their phone calls, emails, blog comments, etc. They really keep me going!

God bless, everyone!
Carrie, John, Luke and the Lemonovich Quads

Thursday, June 5, 2008

WE'RE MOVING!!!!! And other misc. ramblings......

So many people have asked us since finding out that we are pregnant with quads – are you going to move? Where will you live? How many bedrooms will you need? Is your current house big enough?

Well, after months and months of considering whether or not to stay in our current house (which is big enough for all 7 of us but not the best location for family/friends to reach us) , buy a new house or build a new house, we’ve finally decided that we’re going to sell our house and move. However, instead of buying a new existing home or building, we’re going to rent a house in South Fayette for the next year or two. It’s the perfect situation for us – the yard is huge with a playground right beside it for Luke, it’s the perfect location for all of our family and friends who will be helping us out once the quads arrive and the rental rate is great and will hopefully give us a chance to save up and build our own place in a year or two that perfectly fits our needs. John and I are very excited about the opportunity, but it’s so hard to leave our home. We (mostly John) have put a lot of hard work into our current home and we just love it. It’s finally to the point where it’s just where we want it – just in time to move :( If only we could pick it up and move it to South Fayette, I’d do it in a heartbeat. We put the house on the market last Wednesday night with the help of our realtor, Kathy Pfister of Coldwell Banker (who has been great by the way!) and we've already had a ton of showings and very well attended open house so we're excited about the prospects of it not being on the market too long.

Anyways, we’re going to be moving on Saturday, June 21st, 2008. I’m not able to do a whole lot in terms of picking things up or packing, so I suppose I’ll be "The Field General" for the day telling people where to put this and that. The Gielarowski family from our church has been kind enough to let us borrow their moving truck that they use for their business so we’ll load up the trucks on that day and move everything to our new place. Many of you have asked how you can help. We can definitely use help on the 6/21/08. We’ll start that day at our house in Coraopolis around 9:00 am. We’re hoping to have enough help so that it goes pretty quickly. If you are able to help on the 21st, please email me at carrielw33@hotmail.com so that I can get an accurate count of how many people we have. I can also email you directions to our house if needed. Food and drinks will be provided by us to thank everyone for their help!

As for me, I’m still feeling pretty good these days although the recent heat wave has really gotten to me. I get so out of breath just walking short distances. Dr. Thomas did say that I am highly susceptible to dehydration, heat exhaustion and sun poisoning so that I should definitely stay out of the sun and heat. It’s so hard though because throughout the winter, Luke and I would stare out the window at that snow and I’d say "just wait until Spring, Lukie! There’s so many fun things we’ll do once the weather gets better!" I’m just dying to take him to the pool, the zoo, the park, Kennywood, etc. My cousin Lindsay is coming over on the days I’m off work and taking care of Luke so hopefully, he’ll still be able to go to a few of these places over the next few months with her. I’m just sad that I probably won’t be able to go too.

Our next appointment with Dr. Thomas is just a few days away – June 10th. They’ll be doing another ultrasound at this point to measure and weigh the babies and they’ll be able to give us an update on their progress. We’re praying that our little fighter, Baby Girl D, has caught up again to her brother and sisters. She sure has been kicking a lot lately – I think it’s her way of telling me not to worry . John and I are HUGE ice cream fanatics. Everytime I eat ice cream - which is nightly! - I swear they kick! Especially Baby D! Luke loves ice cream too so I think our kids will be just like us in that way!


Finally, I want to give a big shout out to all of the current and future quad families that have been leaving comments on our blog! The Murray Crew, The Steece Quads, The Burkett Quads, The Lewandowski Quads to Be and The King Quads to Be. BTW, the King Quads are also going to be 3 girls and a boy - that is SO awesome! I can't wait to find out when they are due! We absolutely love hearing from you guys and would love to email you about this amazing experience of being blessed with four babies. Feel free to email us at any time at carrielw33@hotmail.com.

Well, that’s all for now. We’ll be blogging again in the next few days about our awesome volunteer network that is forming behind the scenes and how you can help (as so many of you have wonderfully offered!) and we’ll also let you know the latest on our appointment with Dr. Thomas.

God bless and may the force of the quads be with you (hee hee)!
Carrie, John, Luke and the Lemonovich Quads

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The husband finally chimes in!

I’ve been meaning to make my first post for quite some time – at last here it is!! I’ll begin with my description (in summary) of the journey so far. It began on Feb. 4th which was the day we found out that our next "one" was not "one" … but four! As many of my friends and family know I had actually wanted a larger family and had hoped that our son Luke was twins and that this time it would be twins, well I got both the sets of twins at once! When the ultrasound lady told us "I see 4 gestational sacs" I can’t ever explain the feeling of shock. Yet at the same time somewhere in the back of my mind I thought…this will be great! Strangely enough I thought of practical things…what kind of vehicle can accommodate all those car seats, how many babysitters will we need, that’s a lot of poo and diapers :) , the financial impact, etc…

But then I found out the reality of the risks associated with a high order multiple pregnancy (which I really didn’t know about) and the worry and panic set in. Plus at the same time we had the doctors talking to us about reduction, and that one of the four (now baby D - girl) had incorrect proportions and may miscarry and/or maybe there would be chromosomal problems with that one?? I remember vividly the next couple days and those were the toughest days ever for Carrie and I. We spent a lot of time thinking deeply, talking about it, praying for guidance. It took a good 3 to 4 weeks to really grasp that it was really happening and looking back it’s all such a blur.

After the 12 week ultrasound and the baby D comeback we were gearing up for this and really getting behind each other. The research began, contact with other families with multiples (especially quads and yes, there are more than you may think). I remember one night when I watched the video of the murraycrew (www.murraycrew.blogspot.com) I really for some reason thought – I can do this…we can do this. We later learned that a couple from MI is in the same situation as us – almost to the week (and with a child already before the quads). BTW thanks for the thoughts and prayers we think about you guys often and wonder how it’s going. Here’s a picture that you guys can also put on your fridge for inspiration!! ;)


So the next entire phase is the "telling people phase" – man that was tough. Having to field the same questions over and over, having to watch the shock on faces over and over having to answer the "dude, what are you going to do?" questions, etc… I remember when I called the meeting at work and told like 20 people at once so as not to repeat the story over and over. There’s nothing quite like the look of total shock where everyone’s looking at you totally shocked. I remember looking at Robb Humenik who has a son Ryan, the identical age as Luke, and had just told us minutes before that Jess was expecting again. I remember the look he had…let’s just say priceless. Of course everyone was very kind and offered help and my boss Keith gave me assurance that he and my company would be behind me 100% which was much appreciated. So fast forward to today where Carrie is 24 weeks tomorrow and doing very well. I’m so proud of her. I’m constantly trying to get her to take it easy and meanwhile she was sweeping our house today and she still is working, picking Luke up, etc… Seriously, Carrie has taken this in stride and has made me a stronger person in the process. She continues to amaze me everyday with what a great mom she is, and will be, to our extra large family! My one friend said something to me that while he didn’t realize it, gave me confidence. He said "out of all my friends - you’re the one that can handle this". Carrie and I really feel lucky and blessed with this new chapter of our lives.

By the way we will be moving on the 21st of June. More details to come tomorrow or Thursday - I’m tired…triple overtime for the Pens last night (okay I fell asleep on the Pens I admit it and my wife said that I am giving up on them like Geno!!!)

Posts to come that I/we have been wanting to write:
1. The move to Bridgeville
2. Top 5 responses from people when I tell them my wife’s pregnant with quadruplets
3. A picture post with more pictures of our family(s)
4. A post about the "vehicle" possibilities

-John