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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our Journey Part #4

In the early months, I was very fortunate that I only had two side effects of being pregnant. Although both were very painful, the first one brought me ridiculously bad headaches. I have always taken Advil for my headaches, but that is on the “don’t” list when pregnant. Tylenol had never worked for me in the past and certainly wasn’t cutting it now. Somehow, I suffered through them for about 20 weeks. The second side affect was magnified because I was having quintuplets instead of just one baby. I felt like someone had beaten me with a baseball bat between my legs. That is the only way I know how to explain it. I could hardly walk. A normal pregnancy is 40 weeks long and your pelvis expands slowly throughout the 40 week period. I carried the circumference of a full term pregnancy at a mere 20 weeks gestation. Therefore, my body was going through the paces at breakneck speed.

My pelvis had transitioned so quickly that my body was prepared to deliver at 20 weeks, but the babies were far from ready to meet the world. I heeded my doctor’s orders and tried to take it easy. I haven’t talked to any other mom of HOM who wasn’t sick during the first trimester. The hormone levels reach such a height when you are carrying multiples that it is common to be sick – more grace for our journey.

From this point on, my pregnancy was strangely uneventful. I had to go in to the doctor’s office every Thursday starting at week 16 to receive a very painful injection to prevent preterm labor. I also had a few visits with a Nurse Nutritionist. She taught me about all the vitamins and foods that I needed to consume to help develop different parts of the babies. She also explained how important it was that I didn’t develop gestational diabetes.

Dr. Turnquest and her staff are great. Everyone there was exceptionally friendly and reassuring. Because we were such a high risk case ultrasounds were part of our weekly appointment and it was wonderful. I needed to see the babies with my own two eyes every week to ease my nerves and be sure that they were all still okay. If I could have chosen what number of which sex we would be having I would have picked 3 boys and 2 girls. I had always wanted more boys than girls. But I didn’t want any one child to be all alone. Courtney, the ultrasound technician, performed our ultrasounds most of the time, and at fifteen weeks gestation we went in so she could tell us how many blue blankets and how many pink blankets we would need. I forgot to bring a tape (VHS tapes were the least of my worries!) to record on so she went the extra mile and found a blank one for me. It was amazing to find out what we were having. Baby A was the first one up. A Boy! He was the biggest the entire time which was good because he was on the bottom of the tangle of arms and legs. Baby B was next. A Girl! She was always nestled on my right side, and the most painful at the end of my pregnancy. Baby C was on my left side. Another Boy! Baby D was always right in the middle. I never quite knew where that one was going to be. It was another Boy! I started to get a little concerned at that point because baby B was really outnumbered by the men in the family. Finally, Baby E. A Girl!! I had gotten exactly what I had hoped for. God knew I needed something at that moment to lift my spirits. Courtney froze the pictures and put an arrow to show the sex. She also typed the sex so everyone could see. We took the tape home and watched it over again. That night we took the tape to Rob’s sister’s house for everyone to see. I had everyone guess what they thought it would end up being. Not a single person guessed correctly. It was fun to see everyone’s reaction and share our joy. We repeated our game at Mom and Dad’s too.

Other than my big belly, I didn’t feel pregnant until I started feeling them move at about week twenty-two. The first time I felt one move I was sitting in the movie theatre. I had gone with the women’s group from church to see “The Nativity.” I was just sitting there when I suddenly felt Sydney kick me. She was always at the top of my belly and moved constantly. I put my hand on my belly to see if I could feel it on the outside. There aren’t words to describe my excitement. I grabbed my sister-in-law’s hand and she was the first person to feel their tiny thumps. I was so excited that I didn’t think about waiting to let Rob feel them first. I remember putting my hand on the top of my belly and pushing down lightly. Her head (I think) would go down and float back up. I could feel different body parts all the time. That was a big difference than most singleton pregnancies. I could push on my belly and move the babies because they were packed in like sardines.

4 comments:

Maria said...

I also had to go to Dr. Turnquest (and Courtney), and you are right. They, and everyone at that office, are great...tell you like it is, but kind, too.
You got me all choked up on this part...so beautiful..."We took all five and put them in God’s hands. Ours were far too small for such a task. A mother only has two hands and as much as I wanted to keep hold of all my babies, I simply couldn’t control the situation. God had begun the miracle, and we knew He would be there."

Annie said...

God always has a plan for us and he knows what is the best. If he wants you to have five babies is because he knows that your are going to be a wonderful mom.

Annie

Anonymous said...

I just loving your story Em. I'm looking forward to your next post.

Stefanie

Sara Tyre said...

My Baby was my biggest one as well. Too funny.

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