Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Updates

Hey all, thought I would do a little mid week posting for everyone. Lots to cover.

Okay so this week AJ started on steroids. She was feeling a little sad about losing muscle in bed so they gave her some steroids to bulk up....okay I'm kidding. The steroids actually are for the kiddo's. It has been proven that a dose of steroids will help with lung maturity so they give them to anyone who is at risk of an early delivery. For the most part there are very little side effects other then AJ's voice getting a little deeper....okay I'm kidding again. Actually the only side effect is an increase in the number of contractions for a day or so, which when you know they are coming is less of a concern. So after 4 shots she is done for now, they will possibly do a second round at about 28-29 weeks.

I also wanted to touch on the Procardia drugs she is taking. A few inquisitive individuals have asked about them so I will give you my limited view. The drug is actually for high blood pressure, but in recent years it has been proven to reduce contractions. It is an oral drug, so no needles for the big sissy and is taken several times a day. So far it seems to have helped and when it doesn't there is the terb shot. This is given only when the Procardia does not seem to be working for a given period and they want the contractions to stop. This is the drug that has been used for years to stop contractions and really is the more effective of the two. Now with more effectiveness comes more SIDE-effectiveness. Basically they make her heart beat super fast and she starts to feel a little jumpy. She has only had to have two of these so far and we hope to keep that number low.

For those of you who keep up with the blog frequently you may be aware of my battles with technology. Well I have evened the score technology 2, Brandon 2. I can now send in updates using my blackberry and they will be instantly added as a post. I know, I know your saying great but why do I care that your life just got easier? Here's why, when the S**T hits the fan you will be able to get live updates and won't have to wait for me to be by a computer. Plus when I am really, really bored waiting in line at the post office or something I can post some meaningless nonsense to pass the time, see its a win-win. Also, we were fortunate enough to get a video camera from AJ's parents for Christmas, so at some point we will have some live video to share.

We also have a prayer request for a friend here in Dallas. Through a local multiples group Amy-Jo had befriended another mother here in Dallas expecting quadruplets. She was about 4 or 5 days farther along than us which was just very weird. Anyway she has had a great pregnancy with no huge complications until last night. She had some complications and had to have an emergency C-section last night at 25 weeks gestation. As of last night we heard all the baby's were okay, but look to her blog on the right, The King Family, for updates.

Thanks for all the support and keep praying, next stop 28 weeks. Oh ya and its New Years Eve, so HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

VIABILITY BABY!

That's right we have officially reached 24 weeks and viability. At this point our babies have a chance at survival, by no means do we want to meet them anytime soon but this is a huge milestone. 4 weeks ago we were told we would never see this day, to her credit Amy-Jo never listened to the doubters and she kept a great attitude the whole time.

Getting here the last week hasn't been without a few bumps in the road. Last week AJ's contractions starting getting worse. As a result the doctors started her on Procardia to help control the contractions. The few times this didn't work they gave her a Terb Shot which is has more of an immediate effect. The shot is much more effective but comes with much more side effects, so they will continue to give this on a as needed basis only. But needless to say she is really starting to get uncomfortable and feel more twinges and twitches then ever.

The previous post is the Ambien post I had been promising, I was going to post it earlier but with everything else going on I decided to wait. I hope everyone had a great Christmas, ours was nice considering we were stuck in the hospital. AJ's parents made a whole feast and wrapped everything up and brought it to us.

Please keep us in your prayers and our new goal of 28 weeks! Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive through this difficult time.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ambien Time

Okay so I have been promising the Ambien post for weeks now and there is probably no way the hype will live up, but none the less here we go. Quick side note, AJ edited this post so some details where probably removed.

Okay so for those of you not familiar with the drug Ambien here is a little introduction. Ambien is used as a sleep aid, a very effective sleep aid. Those who have used it can attest to its effectiveness. It is completely safe to use while pregnant, AJ asked every one of our doctors multiple times before she would take it so we are sure. I think Ambien effects every person differently, but I cannot believe any will have the same stories as my wife.

Let me start with the first thing that happens once the Ambien kicks in. Talking. Lots and lots of talking. She could be mad at me all night, won't speak to me at all, but give her the Ambien and you cannot shut her up. She wants to talk about everything, what color should we paint the nursery, where should we go on vacation, what should we buy so and so for Christmas and my all time favorite what kind of car should we get the kids. Yep the kids that are in her belly, what kind of car should we buy them 16 years from now. The best part of all this talking, she remembers NONE of it the next day. The first few times I humored her and tried to carry on a conversation, not an easy task mind you. Imagine if at the time you are ready for bed your significant other wants to talk a million miles a minute about nothing too important, not fun. After I realized she won't remember anything we talk about anyway I just tell her to be quiet, she usually gets mad at me or upset, but she doesn't remember it the next day anyway so no worries.

The next phase is the "I should have fallen asleep by now but I was too busy talking so I am still awake" phase. This phase is usually the most fun to watch as it is always a surprise. One of the first nights in the hospital she reached this phase and had to use the restroom. She got out of bed and stumbled one side to the other, scared me half to death. She looked like your drunk college roommate after one too many. I think she has gotten use to the effect and what it takes to walk because I haven't seen her stumble like this since. The best part of this phase is the look in her eye. Its always that little kid "I didn't do it" look. She will get lost in the bathroom, I found her there once doing her crossword puzzles, forgetting to get up and go back to bed, and she looked at me and did not realize she has been there for 10 minutes, classic. When I went it to get her she just said "What?" as if she had no idea what I was coming in there for.

In this phase AJ will usually get very emotional. This is when she decides she wants me to try and "cuddle" with her in her bed. If it were just her and I getting in the bed it might work, but when we have to share with the belly its very difficult. Made more difficult by the fact she has an air mattress that inflates and deflates when pressure is put in one area. This usually has me rolling up against the side bars of the bed. On occasion when I decline to join her in the bed she comes up with a plan to join me in mine. Now mine isn't so much a bed as it is a couch that folds out to a bed. And not like the kind you have at home that has a mattress hiding underneath, no sir, basically the back folds down and you sleep on the cushions and the back of the couch. Not the worst bed in the world but far from comfortable. One night in the Ambien time she comes back from the bathroom and starts trying to hit me with her belly. Yes she was using it as a weapon, fortunately for me I was sitting a little low for the belly but she could still get me with her legs. Before I knew what hit me she was laying down on my couchbed with me. I should also mention the couchbed slants forward so you pretty much have to fight from rolling off the thing all night. So now its me, Ambien AJ and the belly all being held onto the couchbed by me. This was not a good position for any of us. I had to drag her, almost carry her, back to her own bed. Once there she slipped quietly to sleep, forgetting all of what just happened. She has tried to join me on multiple occasions, I try to cut her off before laying down because it is just too hard to get her back to bed.

I've tried to take advantage of the Ambien from time to time, but really its not in my best interest to follow through. Even if I get a yes, it usually won't hold up once she wakes up so hasn't really paid off yet. We have started to time the Ambien to include the 1 - 2 hours she will be talking and bed jumping so that we both get to sleep at a decent hour. It's funny knowing each night I have 1 hour of wife wrangling to do before I can call it a day.

All in all the Ambien is needed for her to sleep so all the side effects are worth it. She is so uncomfortable all day she deserves a few uninterrupted hours of sleep. I know someday I will miss the silliness that is Ambien time, plus its a few hours a night I can say or do whatever I want and not pay the price for it the next day. Now if I can just figure out how to get that last part all day long......

23 Week Update

Okay so we are oh so close to the 24 week mark. This little holiday called Christmas is standing in between us and 24 but I suppose we can slow down enough to take it all in.

Anyway, as many of you know today was our weekly sono. I try to get an update up as soon as I can otherwise I know many of you start to worry. Everything today was very good. The babies range from 1lb 5oz to 1lb 9oz. Logan was the smallest but they believe he is actually a little bigger, he was curled up in a ball and standing on his head which made it very difficult to measure everything. AJ's cervix is standing strong at 1.8 cm.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us these past few weeks, please keep it up! Thanks to all the visitors we have each week, I know AJ really enjoys the company.

P.S. I have started the Ambien post, almost done and it will be up tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

22 weeks and counting

Okay so I still haven't gotten to the Ambien post I have been promising but I will get working on it and hopefully get it up later this week. Turns out even though I am stuck in a hospital room I am not as bored as I thought I would be.

Anyway lots to talk about, but I will try to be brief. We had our weekly sono yesterday, everything looked very good. The babies are growing as they should and AJ's cervix actually lengthened a little to 1.9 cm (up from 1.25 the week prior). The doctor also put AJ on a toco monitor for a few hours today to keep track of her contractions. She has been noticing a few a day, but the fear has been she was having many more and just not noticing. So the results on that came back pretty favorable as well, she had very little activity while on the monitor which made us all breathe a little easier.

For all the local folks who come to visit we have moved rooms, only right next door but still moved. We moved into a larger suite room which has a lot more room for food, clothes and other goodies. It even has a recliner for me to sit in, not the best recliner in the world but its kinda like if you ate broccoli every day for a month and then someone gave you a carrot, its not pizza but it tastes so good.

Quick random thought. AJ is watching Marry Poppins right now and I am doing my best to ignore it, but just noticed something I found weird. If she has the power to snap and the kids clothes will fold, bed will be made or room picked up why does she have to snap on every side of the room? Why can't she just snap once and the magic works for the whole room? I mean how can your magic be so selective to only work on one side of the room at at time? Seems like a waste of a perfectly good tool.

Also, our dog Blue was able to make a trip to the hospital last weekend. For anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Blue you know what a crazy time that was. He did sit long enough for me to snap a couple pictures, I attached one to the bottom. For those who haven't met Blue he is a full blood mutt. The mom was a Scottish Terrier, we have no idea what his Dad was but I am sure he was a mutt. He is very friendly and very high energy, also he loves to give kisses as AJ would say. I also through in a picture of calm moment at home just for fun, this is where he goes when he is ready for bed. This really did make Amy-Jo's day so we will have to try and get him up here again soon.

Anyway, just want to thank both my Mom and Amy-Jo's Mom for staying with us the last couple of weeks. They were both great and I don't know if AJ could have done it without the two of you.

Crap AJ just found out that Marry Poppins the musical will be in Dallas next October. I am now taking volunteers to go in my place. Tickets are on me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Housekeeping

Just a few little things before my Ambien post in a couple days....which is just getting better every day let me tell you.

Anyway just to answer a few questions we have received via comment or email. We are at Presbyterian Dallas - Margot Perot Building. AJ is 21 weeks 4 days as of this post, as we said before need to get to 24+.

Christmas cards - We have started to receive many Christmas cards from friends and family all over. Just wanted to let everyone know you will not be receiving them from us! That has always been AJ's job and one I will not be taking over, ever. But Happy Holidays to everyone!

Amy-Jo wanted me to be sure and thank Janet G. for the beautiful bracelet. She was so thrilled and I do not think she plans on taking if off.

Please keep praying and thanks for all the support.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sono Update

Okay so we went in for our sono yesterday, I know, I know I am a day late but don't even get me started on why! Lets just say technology 2, Brandon 1. Anyway back to the sono, everything looked very good. All the babies were right around 1 pound. Hard to believe we can start talking about their weight in pounds. The doctor took a look at Logan's heart again and still notices some abnormalities. They could turn out to be nothing, or they could turn out to be not good, still to early to tell. The good news is the fact his heart is still beating which means we have escaped the original fear of losing him due to twin to twin transfusion. The heart thing stinks, but I'll take some chance over no chance, and I am very confident he will fight and survive.

They are calling AJ stable for now. We made it through the weekend and that is a good sign. Still a long road ahead but we cleared a major hurdle last week. She is still having contractions about every 10 minutes, most of them go unnoticed unless she feels her stomach with her hands. This too is good, as if she was feeling them it could possibly mean she was heading into pre-term labor.

So far the hospital stay has been okay. Although I need to hunt down the person who decided on the couches in the rooms, the are slanted forwards so you kind of roll off when you try to lay on them, not cool. We love all our nurses though; Hi to Amber, Jennifer, Sister Anna, Dawn, Angie, Chrissy, Neha and I know there are a few I am forgetting, but I am pretty brain dead after all this. And yes you can trust who ever I forgot will make sure they give me a hard time about it! Great job on the tree ladies, but mine will kick your butt! I'm so dead...

Later in the week I will try and dedicate an entire post to Amy-Jo and her "Ambien time". Oh the fun we have when Amy-Jo is hopped up on Ambien. Fun for another day though.

Here are some new belly pics, taken with my phone so sorry about the quality. Just an FYI that is my shirt and PJ bottoms she has on, ya pretty much losing all my clothes at this point.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

One Day at a Time

Okay so I will start this off and let everyone know we are still in the hospital and still pregnant. It was a very emotional week, but we made it and are cautiously optimistic. To use the old cliche, one day at a time. We do not want to think to far ahead, we just want each day to be slow and boring, as no news is good news. So we are hoping for more boring weeks in our future.

Basically here what is happening. Amy-Jo is having contractions, pretty mild and random. She is the size of a normal pregnancy at 36 or 37 weeks, so the doctors say that contractions are not that uncommon. The fear is that the contractions will worsen and lead to preterm labor. The first real goal is to get to viability. Basically this is the age the babies have a chance at survival. This happens at 24 weeks, not to say we are content with 24 weeks, but one step at a time. For now the doctors feel like we are stable but, as we have found out a few times already, with a multiple pregnancy things can change in a moments notice. This is the reason we try not to get too high or too low. We beat the doctors predictions for this last week and we intend on doing it again next week.

As for Logan. As of last Monday he still had a normal heartbeat and was still alive. The doctors are seeing some abnormalities with his heart that could lead to some serious complications. He is a fighter and I truly believe he will make it. The odds are stacked against him, but I am pretty sure someone forgot to tell him that!

We go in sometime Monday or Tuesday for our next sonogram. This past week we lost one of our perinatologists to a tragic choking accident. Dr. Patton was in a coma most of the week and passed Friday when he was taken off life support. So please this week keep his family in your prayers.

We want to also thank everyone who has been keeping us in their thoughts and prayers these past weeks. It's with your support Amy-Jo has been able to stay positive and fight to keep our babies safe. So please keep up those prayers! I will try to update a little more often as I know many of you check in a few times a week. And with hopefully another boring week ahead of me I have no excuses!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Faith

Faith is a funny thing. It's also something I have struggled with most of my adult life. Even now I am often unsure of my own faith. But like I said faith is a funny thing and it seems to be one of those things that lie there in a cloud of uncertainty until the one day you really need it. My day has finally come.

Amy-Jo was readmitted to the hospital yesterday, not because of her cervix and not because of Logan, both are doing fine. The human body is a fantastic machine that runs on such precision it can at times out smart itself. When a woman carries one baby and the baby passes, as with what happened to Cody, the body will typically mis carry the baby to rid the body of the foreign body no longer dependent on it for survival. This is what the doctors here believe is happening to Amy-Jo. And if she mis carries one she mis carries them all. As with the cervix problem there is nothing they can do to stop this from happening, only hope that it's not what is happening. We need to make it almost 4 more weeks for our babies to have a chance at survival.

This is where faith comes into play. For the first time in a long time I prayed last night, I prayed for my unborn children to hang on and for my wife to be strong and fight. Since we have started this blog there have been so many people, family, friends and complete strangers, who have always shown their support. We ask that you continue with that support and join me in praying for Amy-Jo and the babies. I am certain we will get through this and Amy-Jo is doing great. She is keeping a positive attitude and not letting anything the doctors tell her get her down. We will continue to do everything we can, but a little assistance from an old friend wouldn't hurt.

Monday, November 24, 2008

No Words

This is by far the hardest post I have had to make since starting on this journey, and I struggle to find the right things to say. We have prepared for ups and downs, hard times and fun times, but today is not a day you can prepare for. We had our weekly sono, which we thought was just a routine visit to check on the babies and measure the cervix in hopes of going home. What they found instead is that Cody no longer has a heart beat. The doctors are not 100% sure what caused this sudden change but believe it was due to some changes in how the blood and other nutrients were being sent between the identical boys. At this point we need a miracle for Logan to hang on as he is already showing signs of heart failure, somewhat common when something happens to one of an identical pair. Please pray for our babies and for Amy-Jo, the coming weeks will be difficult and we need all the help we can get. And please help us morn the loss of our son, Cody Richard Sather.

PS - We did come home today just in case anyone is looking for us.

Cody Richard Sather

Monday, November 17, 2008

Moving on Up

****For those who that have asked we are at Presby Dallas room 462****

Well we had our doctors appointment this morning to take a look at the now infamous cervix. The results were good, not great, but an improvement over Thursday. She went from .9 cm to 2.1 cm, the result was a minimum of one more week in the hospital. We could very well be here for the long haul, but there is still a possibility of going home for a week or two. Truth be told I like AJ being in the hospital so when I am gone I know she is getting taken care of. AJ has other thoughts on the subject, and as you could guess they differ from mine (who could blame her).

On the plus side we were upgraded to the "Hilton" as the locals call it. Much bigger room with a couch instead of two uncomfortable chairs for me to sit on. Still no Hi Def but I am working on it, two months of no hi def this could get ugly. In the mean time I figure I have a couple months to try and pull an inside job and start selling carpet to the hospital. My plan is to start with the housekeeping crew and work my way up, I'll keep you posted.

The babies did look great in the sono today. They all seem to be growing fine and are pretty much unaffected by all the drama on the outside. Cody and Logan were facing each other and AJ is convinced they were cuddling, I let her know they are boys and they are most likely wrestling. Trust me Cody was head butting Logan, not going in for the smooch. We will try to have some pictures up in the next week or so, I will even try to get some of AJ. I will have to be quick and take them in the few moments she is allowed out of bed, but I will prevail.

Thank you to everyone who has called or emailed with your support. And thanks to those who were able to stop in and say hi and bring goodies for the mom to be.

Friday, November 14, 2008

4 babies, 0 jobs, 1 hospital stay

That's right we are that unemployed couple with 4 babies stuck in the hospital (Joe the plumber has nothing on us!), all we are missing is a Jeff Foxworthy CD. Just to clarify, AJ's last day of work was Thursday and I am starting my new job on Monday so I am not really unemployed, its just funnier if you say I am. And no worries we will not be without insurance either we are covered completely, actually due to the massive number of doctor visits this stay is on the house thanks to a low yearly maximum. Its kind of like a one star, all-inclusive resort vacation, do I know how to treat a lady or what.

Anyway, those who haven't found out as of yet Amy-Jo was admitted to the hospital on Thursday. She was having some pelvic pain and called the doctor who had us come right in. They found her cervix had went from doing great at 3.5 cm on Monday to doing very bad .95 cm on Thursday. For those who are not as familiar with the female anatomy as I have become, the cervix is the only thing holding the babies in. When you watch ER (for those under 25 asking what is this ER show use Grey's Anatomy) and they say she is dilating they are talking about the cervix. So this shrinking so early on is not good, not good at all.

The treatment for just such a problem is first and foremost immediate bed rest. I think if they would have had a bed in the doctors office they would have put her in it! Second they had to put a cerclage in. A cerclage is a stitch that goes around the cervix like a purse string and they tighten it to help keep the cervix closed. Too much info I know but if I don't say everyone will ask. She just got out of surgery and the doctor said she did great. I haven't seen her yet as she is still in recovery. She will be in the hospital until at least Monday when they will reevaluate the cervix and make one of two calls. 1) She can go home but is on a strict bed rest - this means no sitting, walking, etc. 2) She is on strict bed rest at the hospital. Obviously option 2 would be a worst case scenario. They would potentially have to keep her here until the babies come, which is still 2+ months away. The doctors seem pretty sure she can go home, but they are no where near guaranteeing this.

I will keep everyone posted through the weekend.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Today starts 18 weeks!

I cannot believe I am starting my eighteenth week. My morning sickness has decided to make a special appearance the past week, other than that I have been feeling great. Our doctor appointment today went well, all the babies are doing great. One of the boys measure 7oz (yes its seems weird do measure for weight but that is how it is done) and everyone else is at 8oz. They are all squished together other than Baby D who has the penthouse.

We had a wonderful shower this weekend and we were very spoiled by our friends. Thank you Tara for a fabulous shower and to everyone for all the gifts. We met with Casey on Friday, one of the quad moms we have gotten to know, and she brought over all kinds of goodies for the babies. They are going to look beautiful in all their clothes...thank you so very much!


I know many of you have been asking about names so here you go, and yes these have changed a little for those of you we had previously told...


Baby A - Logan Anderson

Baby B - Cody Richard

Baby C - Elizabeth Sage

Baby D - Madison Isabelle


Brandon put a lot of thought into this and he came up with a great idea. If you take the first letters of their first and middle names it spells out Miracles. It was much harder than we thought and some names we had previously wanted were not able to make it in there, but we are so excited for our little ones.


Here are some pictures from today:


Logan




Cody




Elizabeth




Madison



Monday, November 3, 2008

Baby Video Week 16

Ha Ha, Technology 1 Brandon 1.

Here is the video from the sonogram today. At one point you can see Baby B swinging his fist towards Baby A, I can see they are going to be trouble already!




video

16 week update

Okay lets start this thing off with a little bit of boring doctor stuff. AJ had 2 doctor appointments today (we see the perinatologist every week now) and everything went great. Her cervix looks great, which is the one thing the doctors are keeping an eye on. If the cervix starts to dilate its bed rest for AJ, so we need these reports to stay positive. We got another video today, my goal is to have the video on the site by Tuesday morning, no promises though.

Saturday we had an all day baby class. It covered CPR and some basic care type stuff. It was basically for me, having never changed a diaper AJ thought I could use a lesson or two. The best part of the day (and this is the best part of almost everyday) is announcing to the class we are having quads. The look on everyone's face is priceless, it never gets old seeing the shocked, jaw dropped look on a person's face. Its funny though, I think when you are a few weeks from being a parent of one like most of them were it can be a bit stressful thinking of whats to come then they realize it could be worse, they could be having four! Lucky for us we are used to the idea, and dare I say looking forward to it!

We have started to get asked if we have picked out names, the answer is yes and no. We do have a couple picked out and still debating on a couple others. Well momma wants to decide and sit on the names for awhile to be sure she still likes them. So maybe in a few weeks we will have an update on the names.

I will be starting a new job in about 2 weeks. I will basically be doing the same thing I am now except I will be working for a manufacturer instead of a dealer. It comes with a nice raise and some perks such as all my gas is covered. It will be nice to have the extra income with AJ set to quit work in a few weeks.

Here are some new belly pics of AJ. They were taken late on Sunday so no face shots this time, mom was a little camera shy. She has gained 13 pounds to date, the doctors are pleased with the weight gain which means I have been doing a good job as the Food Nazi.




Monday, October 27, 2008

Babies Sexes!!!!

So as promised today was the day we were hoping to find out the sexes of all the babies. It took a little begging but the doctor let us in on the results. He saw fit to mess with us a little, he was pretending not to look for the sexes during the exam even though he actually was. I am not sure if he would have given us the results today but AJ threatened not to leave the office until he did, eventually he gave in and the results made both of us very happy.

Baby A and B (Identical Twins) - Boys
Baby C - Girl
Baby D - Girl

Amy-Jo was so excited she got her girls and everything stayed even. Give credit to the OCD twins as not only did their splitting into identical twins give us the even number that AJ so desperately needed to keep her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in check, they at the same time evened out the number of boys and girls. Not that she would admit it, but I think those two have already found a special place in mommies heart(*see disclaimer below).

The babies all looked great and A, B, and D all weigh about 5 oz. Baby C is a little ahead of the game and is weighing in at 6 oz. We have new pictures I will post later (I want to get this up quickly as I am sure there are some folks checking in already).

Amy-Jo wants to add that we love you all and thank you for all your prayers and support, keep them coming! We are half way there!

*Disclaimer - Any and all mentions of Amy-Jo's OCD is for entertainment purposes only. She does not now, or at any time, actually have OCD, only some small quirks which could qualify.




Here are the pics, the babies are getting almost too big to fit in the photos. You can really start to see the heads, fingers, toes and spines.

Baby D


Baby C


Baby B


Baby A

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good bye 1st Trimester

Well this week marks the end of the 1st Trimester, only one more to go.....I'll give everyone a minute to catch on.

For those who do not know we will probably have the babies sometime between 27 and 30 weeks, so there will not be a true 3rd trimester. Not much to report this week, we did get back the test results for our nucotranslucency (genetics testing). Basically they take a few measurements and check for nasal bones to see if any of the babies are at a high risk for down syndrome or Trisomy 13 and 18. The good news is everyone is fine, no worries and no further testing needed. We really were not sure if we wanted to do the tests because we really weren't sure what we would do if the results were bad. Now we are glad we decided to as it is one less thing we have to worry about.

We did start tying to register last weekend, and I stress the "try". The saying "You don't know, what you don't know" never had so much meaning. I never realized there were so many different types of bottles, nipples, pacifiers, etc. Not to mention AJ is only good for about 1 - 2 hours before she needs to eat or sleep. So this will be a multiple week process but hopefully we can get there.

Below are more pictures of AJ and her ever growing belly. My mom requested some that showed more then just the belly, so here is your request and dedication....
She has gained 7lbs, which I guess is good. 63 more to go and only about 15 weeks to get there, so 4lbs per week for you math majors out there. We also started to measure the belly this week and I was a little shocked to find she is now 3 feet around. I would give you here before measurments but I like walking so I will just leave that tidbit out.

I probably won't post again until our next sonogram which is a week from Monday. Hopefully we will have the sexes by then so be sure to check back!





Monday, October 13, 2008

Sonogram 12.5 Weeks

Okay so here are the pics from our sonogram on Friday. Pretty cool to see them start to stretch out. The OCD twins (baby A and B) are a little smaller then the other two, but everyone is growing on schedule. They range from about 6.3 CM to 7.1 CM.

Those of you who have been waiting on the video of the sonogram will be disappointed to know I have given up trying. Apparently its much harder to get something from a DVD to the internet than I thought and I have spent too many hours trying. So technology 1 brandon 0.



Baby A (One of the identical twins)


Baby B (One of the identical twins)


Baby C



Baby D

Friday, October 10, 2008

Finally Back

Okay so after a week off I finally have time to get back to the blog. I thought since the phone calls were starting to pour in making sure we were okay and wondering where the update was I should get back to it.

We were back in Michigan last week and getting back into the groove has taken a little longer then I thought. Amy-Jo is looking forward to a few days off to relax and catch up on some sleep. We were down in the Detroit are for a friends wedding, Amy-Jo was actually in the wedding which meant for a long day. She wouldn't have missed it for the world, so the big thing was that she take it easy, she tried her best but in the end I had to force her to leave. After all day without me around to force her to eat and drink water, she ended up getting dehydrated and once the foot craps kicked in I forced her to leave. Jen you should know she went kicking and screaming, she did not want to leave but even with the 4 babies I am still bigger then her so I got my way. The trip was fun and to the family and friends we were able to see it was great to catch up, for all those we missed we apologize but we just ran out of hours in the day. That coupled with the strict doctor orders that AJ take it easy and not try to do everything, meant we couldn't see everyone we wanted. It was sad because we know its our last trip home for a couple years. It is going to be awhile before we are brave enough, and the babies are able, to make the road trip. It should be said though any family or friends brave enough to make the trip and help out with the babies are welcome anytime. Hell you don't even really need to tell us your coming, we'll be here, just show up and don't where nice clothes. Everyone who enters gets a baby as a door prize, its yours to take care of for your entire visit....just kidding....sort of.

We had another doctor appointment today, which meant another sonogram (all the sonogram's make us the envy of any mom pregnant with just one baby). I will post the pics this weekend, but the babies are getting bigger they range from 6.35 - 7.10 cm. So big may be relative but since they were only specs on a screen a few weeks ago I would say this is big. We were begging the docs to look at the sex's but its just too early. The doctor said to tell a boy this early means he would have to be a very "gifted" boy, doctors words not mine, so apperntly no future world record holders in the bunch. We are hoping to find out in 2 weeks but even then we may be just a little too early. Those who know me are aware of my total lack of patience so the not knowing is driving me crazy. The important thing is all the babies look healthy and are growing on schedule. Speaking of growing, it seems like every 4 days AJ's belly doubles in size. The doctor did an unscientific evaluation of AJ's size and said she is about where a single pregnancy would be at around 23 weeks (she is ending her 13th).

While at the hospital we stopped by the NICU where the babies and us are going to be spending several weeks once they finally arrive. The nurses we met all were very nice and the facility seems very good. You obviously would prefer the babies not need the NICU, but we know they will need it so its good to stop in and get comfortable with it now. I couldn't seem to find the area with all the flat screens for watching football, but maybe they just skipped that portion of the tour. No bar either, I mean what kind of place is this anyway?

So I was not able to get the video up last week but I think I finally have it figured out, I will give it a shot tomorrow and hopefully have it up and running this weekend. I promise the updates will be on time from now, I might even wake Amy-Jo up from a nap one of these days and make her write one.

Monday, September 29, 2008

AJ Belly Pics Week 11

Its fun to watch Amy-Jo's belly grow so here are some new pictures at 11 weeks.




Baby Pics Week 11

We are 11 weeks and 1 day and things are progressing as expected. We had another doctor appointment today and the babies are all doing great. We received some new pictures which I went ahead and posted below. Basically every two weeks we will get to see the babies and they will measure and check the heart beats of each baby. So far the babies measure:

Baby A - 4.82 CM
Baby B - 4.80 CM
Baby C - 5.20 CM
Baby D - 5.22 CM
All heart rates are great!

The doctor also gave us a video of the sonogram which I will post in the next couple of days, a few technical issues have delayed it being added. Its pretty cool to see the babies moving and dancing around.








Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Glimpse into the Future

Well AJ pretty much eats and sleeps at this point, so until further notice it looks like everyone will have to lean on me for the updates. She started to write everyone last night, but got one sentence in and quit.....you'd think she was pregnant with 4 babies or something. She is starting to feel better though, but last Friday and Saturday were the worst two days in a long time. All the weight she was able to put on was pretty much gone after two days of not keeping anything down. We had to cancel a dinner with our friends for like the third time (sorry Tara, Steven and Paige) but it looks like it could have been a turning point. Since Sunday she has been able to put down some pretty good size meals and right now is all about steak and potato's.

Anyway we were fortunate to get a small peak into what awaits us this week when a local couple our doctors introduced us to had us over to meet their Quads (Thanks Robbie and Casey!). We threw a million questions at them and they had all kinds of advice for us, which it's nice to have someone who has been through the same thing guide you along the way. The real eye opener for me was noticing their counter full of formula (36 bottles I believe) and having Casey tell me it was only for 9 DAYS! 4 bottle of formula a day, and that is not even counting the jars of baby food. Mostly it was nice to see you can make it work and still have a normal life (well semi normal I suppose, I mean its 4 kids!). They did give us a great tip on how we can stock up on diapers (this was my plan from the beginning, basically fill up a spare bedroom before all the babies get home but I was told not to as you do not know what will work for each baby, etc) it turns out Wal-Mart takes anything back even without a receipt as long as it is a brand they carry. So now its time for my weekly trips to Wal-Mart to stock up on those diapers! I am going to leave a link to Robbie and Casey's web site as soon as AJ makes sure they don't mind. Its kind of like a look into whats to come, careful though she has had hers going for awhile and the first time AJ and I stumbled on to it we were there for about an hour reading.

Casey and Robbie's blog: http://gerwerbabies.blogspot.com/


We see the doctors Friday and Monday so we will give an update next week. We should hopefully have some new sonogram pictures and I will make AJ show off that belly again. We have been asked a few times about the sex's of the babies and we won't know for about 7 more weeks. But just for fun here are some % for you.

2 boys 2 girls - 25%
3 boys 1 girl - 25%
3 girls 1 boy - 25%
All Girls - 12.5%
All Boys - 12.5%

AJ thinks its 2 and 2, I am all but certain it will end up being 4 girls.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Doctor Visit

Hello everyone, thank you for the food suggestions! We went to the Perinatologist today (high risk doctor) and everything was wonderful. They did talk to us about reducing to two as four babies with two being identical is such a high risk, but there is no way we could do that. Mostly they wanted to talk with us about the risk and what roll they will play in our pregnancy. We spent about 2 hours with the doctor making sure we knew there is a long road ahead. We will not be seeing the doctor again for another two weeks and after that we willl be going every other week. The good news is he said I will be on bed rest by Christmas so less work for me!

We saw all four babies and their heartbeats again today, it is so amazing. They were all dancing a jig and became more active as the sonographer moved around. It's seeing them move like this that made the decision not to reduce and easy one. To us the babies are alive and already part of our family, how could we choose to get rid of two of them. Thankfully the doctor did not push the issue and just gave us a strategy for getting the babies here as healthy as possible. He did mention I can keep my calories at about 3500 so this should help keep the food nazi (Brandon) off my back.

I think my cold is just about gone, I just wish this morning sickness would follow suit. I am feeling extremely tired and just taking a shower is exhausting, I know it seems extreme, however it is the truth. All of this is more than worth it to have our four little miracles. We are so excited for what is to come and we could not be happier. Please keep us and the babies in your prayers, you can never have enough.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The race to 4500 - And first belly pics

First off let me start by saying, no I will not be hogging the blog with my own non sense every week. AJ is starting to feel much better so I will be turning over the keys shortly. She is planning on giving everyone an update tomorrow after our doctor appointment.

Now back to my update. As many of you know, and TV has taught us throughout the years, pregnant women eat...A LOT. Not just because they want to, but as it turns out because the have to. The simple math says to add between 300 - 500 calories to your normal diet....per baby! So with one baby that does not mean much of a change, but with four babies you are looking at a pretty big increase. All the books and doctors tell us AJ should be eating between 4000 and 4500 calories per day! Now at first glance that seems like a walk in the park, but try doing it without eating sweets or for the Sather's drinking beer. For instance take a look at what AJ consumed yesterday:


3 Eggs
1 Piece of toast w/Peanut Butter
1 Grapefruit
3 Peanut Butter Crackers
1 Brownie Snack Cake
1 Granola Bar
1 Personal Pizza
1/2 cup of trail mix
1/2 baked potato
5 oz of Steak
1 pudding
1 serving of potato chips
1 milk shake
1 bowl of cereal


All that and she was still 1000 calories short of her goal!!! Obviously one problem is just the amount of food it takes to reach 4500 calories, the other problem is battling the "morning sickness" which lasts all day. So here is where we need a little help. Give us your suggestions for the most fattening, high calorie foods you can think of. The meal you only wish you could eat everyday. We found the personal pizzas (which seem to be going down the best so far) pack a mean punch with 700 calories per pizza, but we are looking for some other suggestions. A few restrictions: Can not contain a lot of sugar (high risk for gestational diabetes) or revolve around chicken (trigger food at the moment) pork (never been able to eat) or fish (avoided eating while preggers). Anything from fast food to frozen dinners is welcome, we just need to get this girl eating. Doctors say she needs to gain 70 pounds by the time she delivers so we have 69 more to go. Which is only 3 lbs. per week.....if we all only had this problem. So now that I have made you all jealous here are the first belly pics. Our camera broke a few months ago and we finally got around to replacing it today. She started her 10th week today so you can see how fast her belly is growing, despite only gaining one pound.





Sunday, September 7, 2008

Welcome to our Blog

Hello and welcome to friends, family and anyone in between. Amy-Jo and I have decided to keep a running blog of all the news and happenings with our latest adventure. We will be updating on a weekly basis (give or take don't hold us to it!) the latest on our newest additions. Being far from home we wanted to keep everyone up to date with the latest and greatest and thought this would be the best way. So come back and check on us from time to time and we will provide you with all the news from the parents to be. Amy-Jo will probably do most of the updating from this point on, she is a little under the weather so I took on the initial duties. I know there are a few computer challenged readers who may struggle to find the site after the initial visit (cough, Dad!) so just to help some of you, click on favorites, then add to favorites and this site will be there for you whenever you need it.

Okay, back on topic. I am sure most of you have heard by this point that AJ and I are expecting Quadruplets, pause for those who haven't heard to stop laughing/crying. I am going to do my best to catch you up on the happenings the last couple of weeks, and AJ will probably chime in later to fix what I get wrong. After trying for a baby for over 2 years we found out officially August 1st we were pregnant. The inside scoop is I knew about 5 days earlier, basically after 2 years of trying I became familiar with certain mood swings that coincided with mother nature. So basically a week of me staying out of trouble was a sure sign that something was off. The doctor's confirmation of my being right was just a formality. The initial blood test came back a little high which sent off some initial anxiety. Biology lesson time, HCG is the hormone they test for pregnancy, at our initial test she should have been 50 - 100, and it came back at 865! The doctors warned us at that time there was a good chance of AT LEAST two. Let me just say there are times that you like the term AT LEAST, like your paycheck will be AT LEAST $2000 or you have won AT LEAST $500, this is not one of those times. That said we are now excited about what lies ahead.

Two weeks later we were back for a sonogram and the tech, with a concerned yet excited look, said the words I will never forget "Well there were three, but now there is four!" The next several minutes AJ will have to fill you in on as I went into a complete panic attack and blacked out. What I learned later is there were three fetus, one of which split into a set of identical twins. I have since nicknamed them the OCD Twins, as anyone who has spent time with my wife knows of here slight Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which plagues me every day, "hand me 2, not 1 only 2, of those M & M's, crackers, etc" so apparently our babies have inherited this trait a little early. We have been told that there is still a chance one of the embryos may terminate and not reach full term. Even though 4 is a lot-o-babies we still do not want anything to happen to any of them so your thoughts and prayers are welcome and needed!

We had a couple of doctor appointments this past Friday where we were able to see the babies heart beats on the sonogram, very cool by the way. All four are healthy and growing at a normal rate, pictures below. Speaking of growing at a normal rate, AJ is definitely NOT! 8 weeks in and this girl is already out of her normal clothes, the doctors said she is about the size of a normal pregnancy at 13/14 weeks. She really hasn't gained any weight yet only a couple pounds, I am pretty sure I have gained more since finding out than she has but lets not dwell on who has gained how much weight its all for the health of the babies. Anyway, we meet with a perinatologist, specialist for high risk pregnancies, in about a week and get some details on what is to come. We know this is going to be a challenge and more work then we could ever imagine, but we are excited for the road ahead.

Below are some pictures from our sonogram on Friday, and no these are not photos from Hurricane Gustav.

This is Baby A and B (the OCD twins)

Baby C


Baby D