World Prematurity Day

Years ago, when we were newlyweds, my husband and I used to talk about having babies like it was as easy as baking a pie. The thought of having a premature baby never crossed our minds, because even if we don’t live in a perfect world, we tend to create our own and so we never thought we could end up having a premature baby (or four!)

Life is unexpected, as we all know. For my hubby and I, life followed an “untraditional” route and God choose us to deliver 4 miracles and to show His glory – for that we are forever grateful. Because it was such a unique situation, we knew from the early days of my pregnancy that the quads will be born premature. How many weeks was I going to take this high risk pregnancy? We hoped for as many as possible. Thankfully, we reached all the milestones we hoped for and we passed the 28 weeks mark which was so important. I did get some steroids shots in order to rush the development of the babies lungs and some other organs, which greatly increased their chances of survival. No one knew how much longer I’d still be pregnant.

At 29 weeks and 4 days, the quads were born. Tiny little peanuts, 2 and 3 pounds babies, that started their lives in a battle. We were not allowed to hold them, not even touch them right away. We couldn’t see their faces for days because they were covered with the CPAP tubes or oxygen cannulas. Healthy babies but small and fragile and not quite ready for the real world.

Quads from Heaven <3

Quads from Heaven ❤

They all spent some time in their own incubator and they each had a special cushion that was soft and kept them warm and comfy. The incubators were covered with a large blanket, just to keep them dark. This way, they felt somewhat like in the utero. Usually babies move on to an open crib once they are able to mantain their body temperature; that happens around 34 gestational weeks, or even earlier. The incubator protected the babies from infections. A mother’s antibodies don’t cross the placenta until 32 weeks, so the immune system of a baby born before that doesn’t protect him much. We washed hands SO much. Besides that, we used hand sanitizer A LOT. By washing hands I mean a good 15-20 seconds of handwashing with soap and water, every time we entered the nursery and every time we wanted to get close to an incubator. Even when we were just moving from one incubator to another, without touching anything, we had to at least use hand sanitizer. If we touched our phones, purse, keys, a water bottle, pretty much anything and everything, even our own hair or clothes, we had to wash hands. It felt crazy in the beginning, nobody was used to that, I mean it was hard to teach ourselves and not forget that we always had to wash our hands. Even after we brought the babies home we continued this habit as crazy as it sounds. But we managed to keep the babies healthy through the flu season and throughout the first year of life.

Isaac sleeping peacefully in his warm and comfy incubator

Isaac sleeping peacefully in his warm and comfy incubator

It’s pretty scary to see your babies attached to all these machines. But it is even scarier when a machine goes off and the beeping doesn’t stop; that means something is wrong with the baby. There are many frightening moments in the NICU, everything is uncertain. As a parent, you would give ANYTHING to help your baby, you would do EVERYTHING that it takes to help their situation. But you can’t do much. Usually the nurses teach the new parents how to handle their preemies, but I remember that for a good amount of time we were only allowed to change diapers (at specific times that were called “touch times”) under their supervision of course. Later on, after spending a few weeks in the NICU, I felt brave enough to give my babies baths and both Oly and I were allowed to take them out of the incubators/open cribs by ourselves. Still, we felt better knowing the nurse is near by just in case we needed her. There are many things to be said about the NICU but thinking about those days that we spent there, is pretty hard on my heart.

Baby Hannah in her incubator

Baby Hannah in her incubator

Yesterday we went back to visit  the Northside NICU and say another “thank you” to the doctors and nurses that took care of our babies. I knew there will be a lot of emotions and flash backs but I was really hoping it will not affect me that much. It did… Even though I was there with my family, our four thriving preemies that are now 14 months and absolutely perfectly healthy and beautiful! Seeing that first nursery where Isaac was admitted right after delivery… it was very hard on me. Even after we came home, the thoughts in my head were giving me a headache.

Daddy next to Alexis' incubator

Daddy next to Alexis’ incubator

While we were there, many parents walked by to get to the nurseries where they had their babies. Moms of singletons that had emergency deliveries due to different complications, that were not prepared to bring a premature baby into this world. I could see the sadness on their faces. I could see their uncertainty and worry. There was a granddad in the lobby, playing with his grandson. He told us that his granddaughter was born at 24 weeks weighing 1 pound 8 oz. This micro preemie has been in the NICU for over 50 days now and she still has a long way to go but they really hope she will make it home in time for Christmas. 40 gestational weeks is a full term pregnancy. 24 gestational weeks is considered the point of viability and the baby has 50-70% chances of survival after reaching this milestone. Premature babies often deal with different conditions, some of them are treatable but some can stick with them for the rest of their lives. To have all four of our babies perfectly healthy is such a blessing and we know that only God was able to make that happen.

Kangaroo Care with baby Andrew

Kangaroo Care with baby Andrew

When you go through the NICU journey and have a preemie baby (or more), the only things that can help you from going nuts is a good support system and your faith in God. Many times the support system is not that strong and that’s just because people are not familiar with the NICU life and they don’t know what the parents of preemies have to deal with. And that is understandable. Without our God… we would have lost our minds, that’s all I can say. But believing His word and His promise, made us tackle one day at the time. He is in control at all times and that was proven to us. This is what the Bible says in Matthew 17:20 ~He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”~ and it is true! Instead of letting fear and desperation take over, we had our hearts full of gratitude and we embraced our faith will all our strenght.

Today is World Prematurity Day and it is special to us. There are a lot of parents of premature babies out there. People that never thought they will end up in this position. But premature births happen so very often. It could happen to any pregnant woman at any given time. But I am praying and hoping for less and less premature births. I am praying for the research teams and organizations like March of Dimes, that work hard to find ways to stop and help premature births.

Tonight, in honor of World Prematurity Day, at 5PM Eastern Time, Fox 5 News will air a story about preemies! And the story is ours! We are excited to tell the world about our miracles and how blessed we have been to have the March of Dimes Organization on our side.

Fox 5 crew at our house

Fox 5 crew at our house

Preemies are superheros!

Love,
Lori

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Happy 1 year homecoming anniversary to our super girl, Alexis!

Alexis Madeline Lupei ~ 12 months old

Alexis Madeline Lupei ~ 12 months old

I wish I would have taken time, a year ago, to put my thoughts down and write about one of the most amazing days of our lives, when the last baby in the NICU, finally came home. There was an overwhelming amount of mixed feelings from happiness to uncertainty and so on. It was exciting to have all four babies home. A new chapter about to unfold…

I will never miss the days when half of the babies were home and half in the hospital. I wanted to somehow clone myself so I can be with all 4 at the same time. Once the boys came home, we were not able to visit the girls every single day. And they were getting slower and slower in learning how to take a bottle (and finish a whole feeding by bottle) among other important things that kept them from coming home. The NICU nurses and doctors have told us that the babies knew our voices, recognized our smell and it did make a difference if we spent time with them in the NICU or not. In the beginning I didn’t think it mattered that much or that the babies really knew I was with them the whole day. But later, I realized that they did know I was there, they did know when Daddy was there. And so this dedicated father went to visit the girlies by himself after work while I was home with the boys. On the weekends we always took the boys with us back in the NICU and spend a whole day there with Hannah and Alexis.

Family picture before we left the NICU. The babies were 70 days old

Family picture before we left the NICU. The babies were 70 days old

You would probably ask me “what in the world did you do 10 hours (or more) a day in the hospital?!”. I was SO busy that sometimes many times I didn’t even have time to grab something to eat! Taking a lunch break meant leaving the NICU nursery, because I wasn’t allowed to eat there. But my meals were also important because I was pumping around the clock, every 2 hours at that time, to get my body to produce more and more milk so I can keep up with all 4 growing babies. And even though it was hard and time consuming and I was dreading it, I was happy to do it because it was one of the few things I was able to do for my tiny babies those days. Along with that, I did Skin to Skin therapy (also known as Kangaroo Care) with each baby daily. This practice helps babies maintain body warmth, regulate their heartbeat, and gain weight (and also gave us the opportunity to hold and cuddle with them). I had days when I couldn’t cover all 4 because I needed at least 1 hour with each and in between that and pumping and trying to eat, there was just not enough time. I always felt very guilty for the days when I couldn’t do everything I planned and I felt very bad when I wasn’t spending the exact amount of time with each baby. But again, super daddy was there to help out, every day after work. He would stop by our friends house to shower and change (they lived 10 min away from the hospital) and come spend time with our little peanuts. At the end of each day, both of us would do Kangaroo Care with a baby, sometimes in the same nursery, and that felt awesome (we had 4 babies in 3 different nurseries in the beginning). That was family time for us. The time didn’t matter anymore; the fact that we were very uncomfortable sitting on those wooden chairs for an hour without moving an arm, did not matter; all the noises that the machines in the nursery were making on and on and on didn’t matter; not even the wires and the tubes that were in our way and all the things that were making it so hard to hold our babies, didn’t matter anymore. We were spending precious time with the most precious little people in the world. After that, we said good night to everyone, grabbed the laundry bags and headed out to get some dinner in the hospital cafeteria if it was still open. Oh those nights… when you are hungry but don’t want to go out and sometimes don’t even have the money to go out for dinner, but there is nothing at home to eat. I don’t think I made time to cook dinner in that period of time. Stopping by the grocery store? Ummm that would have taken away from the time I needed for my babies. Don’t ask how we survived, we just did. We were getting so tired of those long drives to the hospital (we lived about 40 min away from Northside at that time). We just wanted everyone home, under the same roof.

I feel like my mind is all over the place. While I try to stick to Alexis’ homecoming story, I jump to many other things, hopefully you can keep up with me 🙂 Glad I still remember these things, but then… how could I forget?

NICU nurses rock! Kaitlyn and Lori saying goodbye to the Quads

NICU nurses rock! Kaitlyn and Lori saying goodbye to the Quads ~ November 16th, 2013

Lori & Kaitlyn today with the Quads! November 16th 2014

Lori & Kaitlyn today with the Quads! November 16th 2014

Alexis took her car seat test the day Hannah came home, right before we left the hospital . At least one of the parents was supposed to be there for that so we were glad that she passed and we got that out of the way. We were really hoping that in a few days she will come home too. And she did. 5 days later Alexis finally got discharged! After spending 70 days in the NICU, our super girl was coming home! We took our time leaving that hospital. You would think we wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Not really. We made friends and memories for life. There are some very special people that work there and had a huge impact on our lives and they will forever be special to our family. We took some pictures with some of our favorite nurses that were at work that day. It was kind of crazy 🙂 But thankfully we had auntie Ada with us to help out while auntie Lois was out and about, shopping for some last minute stuff that we needed at home for the quads.

Ready, set, go! A full load :)

Ready, set, go! A full load 🙂

My heart was pounding as I was getting pushed in the wheelchair, with my little fighter in my arms and 2 strollers with the other 3 babies were following us. My hubby and Ada were trying to get everything on camera, push the strollers, don’t lose the balloon, make sure we have all the bags and all the stuff with us. We were leaving the NICU for good. Wait, what ?! Really? Finally we were saying goodbye and talking about maybe visiting our Northside friends one day… we were going home. All six of us were going home !!! Oly and I no longer left the hospital empty handed but with our hands full and our hearts even fuller! I cannot help myself but cry just remembering those moments…

Going home!

Going home! November 16th, 2013

Our family, a year later, in the same spot :) November 16th, 2014

Our family, a year later, in the same spot 🙂 November 16th, 2014

We strolled our way out on the Northside Hospital’s corridors and there was the Quad Taxi waiting for us. Oh how I dreamed of that day…  I used to see families leaving the hospital with their babies, daily. Balloons and flowers, excited parents and tears of joy. I wanted that every single day of our NICU stay. Finally it happened! Our minivan was packed. And off we went!

Home sweet home <3

Home sweet home ❤

First night at home, Hannah reached out to her sister as they were sleeping. Love this picture!

First night at home, Hannah reached out to her sister as they were sleeping. Love this picture!

I would like to talk about our Alexis since it’s her homecoming anniversary. Maybe you wonder why I call her our super girl. It is because I feel like she fought the hardest throughout the NICU journey and even after she got discharged. This whole year has been a complete transformation for her and we praise God for answering our daily prayers. Each and every one of the quads has their own pace and their own way of learning things and reaching milestones. Like I said before, we need to give them extra time to accomplish things (because they were born premature) but also we work with them to get there. Andrew has been the leader and sometimes we call him the big brother just because he has a faster way of learning and figuring out things. It is funny because he is our baby, he is baby D of our set of quads.

Our little elf!

Our little elf!

Well, Alexis is the one that needs more time than the others and she is also an observer. Before she tries anything new, Alexis needs to make sure she knows exactly what to do (Andrew just goes for it, such a risk taker). And I think she is also a perfectionist (ahem, like her mama) because she easily gets upset if something goes wrong. On the other side, she has been a leader herself! First one to sleep through the night! (sleep training was so worth it!!) We were waking her up when the others wanted to eat (that was one of our rules – one for all and all for one). First one to say bye-bye and also wave. First one to get over baby formula and eat big kids food!  I have to say that a lot of her progress happened because of a very special person, Ms. Aimee. I mentioned in my post about Hannah’s homecoming anniversary, how this amazing lady works weekly with our girls. She puts her whole heart into it and loves our babies so much! We are very thankful for her.

Alexis is one of a kind ❤ She is so friendly and ready to play even with people she sees for the first time. She is Daddy’s girl (I think a very strong bond was built back in the NICU when Daddy spent his nights with her) and loves him so much that sometimes calls him “Mama!” 🙂 . We are truly blessed to have her as our daughter. Her sweetness is contagious!

Four peas in a pod

Four peas in a pod

1st Christmas

1st Christmas

IMG_3747Dear Alexis,

Even when you were a tiny baby in your Mommy’s belly, we knew you have a big personality because you were taking your space by kicking everyone all over the place! You are such a strong girl and we are excited to see God’s plan for your life. The first time I got to hold you in my arms, I felt like God is pouring his grace all over us… You transformed from this tiny helpless preemie baby into a strong, beautiful and gracious little lady. Coditza, you are and always will be our miracle baby, along with your sister and brothers, and we will never stop thanking the Lord for you guys. Mommy and Daddy love you so very much and we are SO proud of you!

Love,
Mommy & Daddy

Love her so much!

Love her so much!

Those eyes!

Those eyes!

6 months old

6 months old

Busy bee :)

Busy bee 🙂

Our little piano player!

Our little piano player!

Cutie!

Cutie! Look at that hair!

Out for a walk

Out for a walk in the Runabout stroller

March of Dimes with Daddy

March of Dimes with Daddy

Her smile.... <3

Her smile…. ❤

Coditza :) (pony tail)

Coditza 🙂 (pony tail)

1st time at the pool

1st time at the pool

our little crawler! so proud of her!

our little crawler! so proud of her!

Best friends :)

Best friends 🙂

Sisters <3

Sisters ❤

Alexis Madeline Lupei ~ 14 months ~

Alexis Madeline Lupei ~ 14 months ~

We wanted to do something special today, to celebrate this day. So we took a trip to Northside Hospital to visit our friends. It felt surreal to be there, to see everyone. Tears of joy and hugs and cuddles with the babies – pretty much sums it up. We stopped by the NICU first and then we made a quick visit to the High Risk Pregnancy floor, where I spent two and a half weeks. Loved seeing everyone and it was well worth going back.

Some of our NICU nurses, I wish we could have seen all of them today!

A few of our NICU nurses, I wish we could have seen all of them today!

Some of the nurses that cared for me on the HRP floor and Brandee (first on the L) that made sure I always had plenty to eat so I can keep the quads growing big and strong in my belly :)

A few of the nurses that cared for me on the HRP floor and Brandee (first on the L) that made sure I always had plenty to eat so I can keep the quads growing big and strong in my belly 🙂 

We had such a busy, fun but full of emotions day, I feel drained! Taking a peek through a window at one of the NICU’s nurseries made my heart sink… I couldn’t help but tear up because I will never forget those days spent there with our miracles. God is so good!

Love,
Lori.

Isaac & Andrew’s special day

Handsome boys <3

Handsome boys ❤

A year ago today our house became a home. The boys came home together, after 46 days spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Thinking back at that day… oh man! We were SO nervous! I don’t think I have EVER been that nervous in my entire life. We spent the whole day at Northside Hospital, signing papers and checking off some last things on our to do list before we were able to take the babies home. We had to take a CPR class too -one the hospital’s rules when it comes to preemies. So many emotions combined, heavy hearted because we we’re leaving the girls but excited to bring the boys home! I can’t even remember how many times I cried that day. I felt sick to my stomach all most all day long worrying about how things will be once we’ll get home. No machines to let us know if something was wrong or if someone wasn’t breathing right or breathing at all, no nurses, no doctors… Are we going to be OK? That’s what was going on in my head. My husband was holding it together better than me, at least that’s what I thought. But I know that it wasn’t easy for him either. There we were, at the end of a long day, getting the boys ready for their first car ride. Oly gently took all the wires off the boys and I got them dressed. It was weird to not have them connected to computers and different machines. We were not used to that at all. Every time we wanted to change their diapers or clothes it just felt weird not dealing with the wires. I will never forget that. One of our favorite nurses, Kristi, was the one that discharged the boys and prepared us for this next step. She stayed with us an extra couple of hours after her shift ended just to make sure we are fine and ready to go home.

First car ride! Andrew (L) ~ Isaac (R)

First car ride! Andrew (L) ~ Isaac (R)

And off we went. And we were fine… We did have to be really careful handling them especially during feeding time; Andrew had a few episodes when he would “forget” to breathe while taking his bottle, very scary! But it was amazing to finally feel like a parent! We were missing the girls so much but in a little while they got to join us all at home too.

These two munchkins were quite a pair from the beginning. We could tell there was something special between them and it is wonderful to see how amazing their bond grows with each step of the way.

Morning nap in their Pack  & Plays

Morning nap in their Rock & Plays

Brotherly love <3

Brotherly love ❤

We always hoped that the boys will become friends and really get along and play together. But we never imagined that at the age of 1 they will entertain each other and have such a great relationship! It is so adorable to see them interact.

Dear Andrew & Isaac,

Today we celebrate your homecoming and could not be more proud of you guys. You have showed such strength and courage from the first moments you were born. In the NICU they say that the boys are much slower and lazier than the girls but you proved everyone wrong! You really, really wanted to come home! Isaac, you are such bubbly baby! You laugh fill our hearts and our home. You were the one that came into this world first, I guess you just couldn’t wait anymore to meet Mommy and Daddy.  Andrew, you are the energy of our home! It is such a joy to see you accomplishing new things every day. You bring excitement and enthusiasm in our home. We love you both so, so very much and pray that your lives will continue to be true miracles. God has truly blessed us with the best pair of boys we could have asked for!

While visiting the girls, the boys got their own crib just to hang out.

While visiting the girls in the NICU, the boys got their own crib just to hang out.

1st Christmas A & I

1st Christmas A & I

Sleeping buddies

Sleeping buddies

Chubby faces :) A & I

Chubby faces 🙂 A & I

Isaac & Andrew

Isaac -baby A & Andrew -baby D

Isaac & Andrew

Isaac & Andrew

6 months old A & I

6 months old A & I

Tough love :)

Tough love 🙂

Reading buddies

Reading time in Andrew’s crib

Getting ready to swim for the 1st time

Getting ready to swim for the 1st time

:) When Andrew wants something, he gets it!

🙂 When Andrew wants something, he gets it!

Always together! A & I

Always together! A & I

Here comes trouble.. double trouble!

Here comes trouble.. double trouble!

Playtime!

Playtime!

One of their favorite things, to carry this green blanket all over the place!

One of their favorite things, to carry this green blanket all over the place!

A & I

A & I

13 months old, Isaac & Andrew

13 months old, Isaac & Andrew

We try to video record them all the time, because there are so many cute moments that we want to hang on to forever. Here is a video from a few days ago – this is what the boys do when we put them down for a nap. Sometimes it takes up to an hour for them to actually go to sleep, they are busy having fun 🙂

 

Now I have to get some stuff ready because tomorrow we have a very important day! Daddy’s Birthday! What an amazing bday present he had last year, having both boys home!

 

The Birthday boy and his little presents <3

The Birthday boy and his little presents ❤ (2013)

Love,

Lori.

 

 

Half their birthday!

It feels surreal that the Quads have reached the 6 months milestone today. I am happy but also sad ( they are growing way too fast!). I am happy that they are doing great, we are all doing good and I dreamed about this day! To be able to say that everything is in place and that we pretty much have it under control. It does not mean it’s perfect, but it means we can handle what God gave us, no matter how scared and shocked and uncertain we were in the beginning. It was pretty overwhelming! We were excited even back then, but I cannot describe how much better we feel about everything right now. When I was pregnant and my belly was growing so big by the minute, I use to do a lot of research, read everything I could possibly find, about quadruplets. I tried to prepare myself and my husband for what was ahead of us, and I was SO nervous. We were about to become parents for the first time! Nothing really can prepare you for that, less alone to become quad parents. I watched videos and pictures of other families with quads and tried to “see” ourselves in the future. It does give you a glimpse but still, you don’t really know what is yet to come. But God is so wonderful! He doesn’t just give you something and lets you figure out everything by yourself. He guides you and shows you what and how to do it. I am grateful to Him for our family and how beautifully everything has come together. I am even thankful for those terrible boring bed rest days, when I thought I will go crazy! Those days of complete rest helped me carry my pregnancy all the way to 29 weeks and 4 days!  I am thankful for the 2 weeks that I spent in the hospital before the babies arrived. I was very well taken care of and I had no worries. I remember how I was in so much pain in the last weeks, it was hard to roll in bed, get out bed, walk around, shower… everything felt like it was just too much for my body. My belly stretched out so much that my uterus lining was extremely thin. So the fact that the babies came so early was very good for me at that point. I am even thankful for the NICU days, even though every single time I think back at those times, my heart sinks and it’s heavy. But we managed to be happy and hopeful even back then, because our faith was bigger than those circumstances. I am thankful for every day and every moment; everything makes sense now. It was hard for me to go back and look at the pictures from 6 months ago. But now I can clearly see again how wonderful and amazing is our God! The work of His hands is always perfect! We just need to trust Him.

Today we don’t just celebrate the babies turning 6 months. This is kind of funny and also interesting. A year ago today, very early in the morning, I took a pregnancy test and it showed 2 lines. We were beyond excited! Little did we know that March 7th was just the beginning of a beautiful story that became our life. Here we are, a year later celebrating our miracles! If you do the math, you’ll find out that my pregnancy was pretty short.

I made some collages with a few pictures of each baby in the first couple of days after they were born and also I will post pictures of them at 6 months. I am amazed and my heart is full of gratitude. You’ll see why!

ISAAC NATHAN

Our first born, Baby Isaac. He was the first one I got to see the day after the delivery. I was shocked and terrified to see how small and helpless he was. All I wanted to do is pick him up and hold him tight but I wasn't allowed yet.

Our first born, Baby Isaac. He was the first one I got to see the day after the delivery. I was shocked and terrified to see how small and helpless he was. All I wanted to do is pick him up and hold him tight but I wasn’t allowed yet.

My big boy, Isaac, today! tears are rolling down my cheeks as I type this in. Isn't God amazing?

My big boy, Isaac, today! tears are rolling down my face as I type this in. Isn’t God amazing? He is over 14 pounds now.

I get to kiss those cheeks and hold him tight every day now!!

Isaac ~ I get to kiss those cheeks and hold him tight every day now!!

Isaac ~ handsome little man

Isaac ~ handsome little man

Isaac ~ Love you to the moon and back!

Isaac ~ Love you to the moon and back!

HANNAH LIANA

Baby Hannah in the first days of the NICU life. Strong personality from the first days of life! She's our little peanut

Baby Hannah in the first days of the NICU life. Strong personality from the first days of life! She’s our little peanut

Baby Hannah today! How beautiful she is! Her smile lights up the room and she's not shy to show it!

Baby Hannah today! How beautiful she is! Her smile lights up the room and she’s not shy to show it! She is over 12 pounds now.

This little girl has so much energy! If she wakes up at 3AM, she is ready to smile and play

Hannah ~ This little girl has so much energy! If she wakes up at 3AM, she is ready to smile and play

Hannah ~ We love you so much sweet baby girl!

Hannah ~ We love you so much sweet baby girl!

Hannah ~ So precious!

Hannah ~ So precious!

ALEXIS MADELINE

Baby Alexis, our little fighter baby girl. There were some rough days back in the NICU and waiting for her to come home, felt like it took forever. But it was all worth it in the end. SO proud of her!

Baby Alexis, our little fighter baby girl. There were some rough days back in the NICU and waiting for her to come home, felt like it took forever. But it was all worth it in the end. SO proud of her!

Alexis ~ Sweetness should have been her middle name! This girl melts any heart!

Alexis ~ Sweetness should have been her middle name! This girl melts any heart! She is over 13 pounds now

Alexis ~ Beautiful little princess

Alexis ~ Beautiful little princess

Alexis ~ Those eyes!! Love you bunches!

Alexis ~ Those eyes!! Love you bunches!

Alexis ~

Alexis ~ Special in every way!

ANDREW DAVIS

Baby Andrew in the NICU. This feisty baby fought for his life and he proved every day what a strong little man he is. He made the funnies faces even when he was this tiny, such a fun baby!

Baby Andrew in the NICU. This feisty baby fought for his life and he proved every day what a strong little man he is. He made the funnies faces even when he was this tiny, such a fun baby!

Baby Andrew today! That face melts my heart! He was the biggest at birth and still is a front runner! He also weights over 14 pounds now.

Baby Andrew today! That face melts my heart! He was the biggest at birth and still is a front runner! He also weights over 14 pounds now.

Andrew ~His smile just makes my life wonderful! Love you so much little buddy!

Andrew ~His smile just makes my life wonderful! Love you so much little buddy!

Andrew ~ Handsome baby boy!

Andrew ~ Handsome baby boy!

Andrew ~ The baby of our family. Such a unique personality!

Andrew ~ The baby of our family. Such a unique personality!

From L to R Isaac, Hannah, Alexis & Andrew

From L to R
Isaac, Hannah, Alexis & Andrew

Isaac: Finally I grabbed Andrew's hand! Hannah: You are about to embarrass me, Alexis! Leave it down! Alexis: That's it! Here's a good picture! Andrew: What? We're done?!

Isaac: Finally I grabbed Andrew’s hand!
Hannah: You are about to embarrass me, Alexis! Leave it down!
Alexis: That’s it! Here’s a good picture!
Andrew: What? We’re done?!

We are truly blessed and we don’t take anything for granted. Think about the blessings in your life and don’t forget to give Thanks every single day!

Lori.

First week of life

Yesterday (Saturday) the babies celebrated their first week in our world. Time flew by and it is scary to think that this is how week after week after week is going to pass by. We have been SO busy, I never thought that is going to be like that. On Sunday, only a day after my surgery, I started walking and making trips to the bathroom. The pain wasn’t horrible, or the pain killers were doing their job really well. The doctor told me that in order for me to go and see my babies, I have to let go of my epidural (I still had it in my back and every time my pain was bad, I would push a button and get more medicine in there) and just relay on pills. Of course I agreed immediately, I wanted to see my quads more than anything else, so I didn’t care about the pain. But, as I said, I managed it pretty well. They moved me back into my room on the High Risk Pregnancy floor and I was happy to see my favorite nurses again. I felt at home there. Moving around wasn’t easy at first, I needed a lot of help. Especially because I started pumping that afternoon and so every 3 hours I had to get everything ready, pump and then wash all the pump pieces. Thank God my hubby was there with me and he did everything in his power to make things easier for me. I think it was the hardest week ever for us. The exhaustion kicked in at some point and we had to change things a little because we were not getting enough sleep, we were constantly stressing ourselves about everything… I guess that’s part of being a parent.

Sunday night I got to visit my babies. I finally got to shower and change, I was very nervous and excited to visit the NICU for the first time. Oly got me a wheel chair and off we went. Isaac was in room A, Hannah in B and Alexis and Andrew in F. Apparently there were so many babies in the NICU that Saturday so they had to split up the Lupei Team. We visited Isaac first and it was a little bit of a bad timing because one of the nurses was changing the tube from his CPAP and of course he didn’t like to be bothered and so he was very fussy, he cried and he was very unhappy. That was too much for me. It was the first time I saw my baby after I peeked at him for a second in the OR and now I get to officially meet him and he is so upset, he has all these wires connected to him, the oxygen tube and many machines around him… it just looked scary to me and made me very, very, very sad. So tears started running down my face, I just couldn’t stop crying. I wanted to stop and just be strong, I knew my babies had to be there, there were premature, they still needed time to grow and develop but it was too hard for me to see the good side in that moment. The only thing I wanted to do was to take Isaac out and hold him, and protect him. Just like any other mom, right? You really want to hold your baby and care for him, hug him and kiss him. Oh, I was very sad. At that time I thought I won’t be able to go through all this. Finally I calmed down and we went to see the others. Honestly I don’t even remember much, I know I got to see all my babies but I was still so worried about the whole situation. Even though all the nurses told us that the babies are doing very good and for 29 weekers, they look amazing. I wasn’t happy… At some point I told Oly that we had to go back to my room, I just wanted to cry…that’s all. That night I cried myself to sleep and I prayed so hard. I felt the weakest person on this planet! There was this huge valley in front of us and I had zero power to go through this. Oly tried to encourage me and everything he said was right, but my heart just wouldn’t let go. I wanted my babies with me, to keep them safe.

I woke up the next day feeling a little better. Still, in my mind, the NICU was this ugly place where they made my Isaac cry the first time I saw him, so no good feelings about it. I was nervous to go back there. But I had to overcome my fears and check it out again. This time was way better. I got to ask anything I wanted about all the machines and everything that was in there. I calmed down more and more and the NICU wasn’t that bad after all. This week I’ve learn my way around there, I’ve learn a lot of things about the babies. I got to hold each baby (which made me the happiest person ever), change diapers, help with little thing that mean so much to me. Daddy is doing a great job, everyone is so impressed how involved he is with everything and I am so proud of him. We shared some awesome experiences this week and he taught me a bunch of things. He spend a lot more time in the NICU than me, because by the time I went there for the first time, he had already spent a bunch of time there. And the first days he got to go more often than me, it was still hard for me to walk and move around as I would have liked it. So he made me feel comfortable around all the machines and this new environment. I will talk about this more but I just want to say that my hubby has been by my side every step of the way throughout this pregnancy, in the operation room and now after the surgery. He saw everything from start to finish and it wasn’t just a regular C-section. He wouldn’t even tell me everything that he saw… Everyone was impressed of how well he managed to handle everything and I could not have done anything without him. God put us together and He knew we needed each other.

The babies did very good from the beginning. All the wires, that scared me in at first, were meant to always let us know their heart rates, temperature, breathing level and things like that. Andrew came off the CPAP (those big tubes that covers their faces) in the next few days and so he is the easiest to be held, he can just rest his head on our skin and he feels really comfortable. We can’t wait for his siblings to be off the CPAP too. They increased their milk dose and everyone did very well so they will continue to increase their feeds every 24h. The light therapy was great for them, they all went under this blue light for a while and it helped a lot with the color of their skin. They look so good, pink little munckins 🙂 Every day we can see improvement, they are stronger and just better looking.

On Wednesday I got discharged from the Hospital, not a happy day at all. I didn’t want to leave. My babies stayed so how could I go home? I was sad once again, but I’ve learn that in this journey there will be lots of ups and downs. God is giving me the strength to keep going, He is the one taking care of our babies every second of their life so I will trust in Him. Even though I am sad to leave them every night when we have to come home, I know the next day we’ll be back to be with them. Time flies when we are there. I don’t know how that is possible. But the time goes by so fast and this is how this week has been. Things will change a little bit, since Daddy is going back to work on Monday. We are all dreading that, we’re so used to being together, this change will be hard on everyone. He will miss us and especially the babies and we will definitely miss him. But our plan is for him to come and visit the babies every day after work.

Later this week, Hannah’s incubator was moved in the same room with Isaac. We are so happy about that. Now they are roommates just like Alexis and Andrew! Love it!

The NICU ended up being a great place. The nurses are very special and they care for our babies like they are their own. I will be spending a lot of time here for the next few weeks and I feel comfortable now. We are happy that all our babies are doing good, that’s the most important thing. We got to bring some laundry home, they have some special sheets that go inside their incubators, so we were excited even about that. The first load of laundry for our quads 🙂 I know there will be tons more and I can’t wait.

We’ve learn to appreciate every single day as a gift from above. Our precious babies mean everything to us. It is unbelievable how much we’ve changed and all these amazing feelings  that we have. We think of them all the time, we are in love with our little angels. God has been so good to us and we feel abundantly blessed. It’s such a wonderful feeling, I can’t even describe it. Here are some pictures from the first week of our Quads!

Alexis & Andrew's incubators

Alexis & Andrew’s incubators

Skin to skin with baby Isaac

Skin to skin with baby Isaac

Daddy getting ready to change Hannas's diaper. To the left is Isaac's incubator.

Daddy getting ready to change Hannas’s diaper. To the left is Isaac’s incubator.

Oly will become an expert in changing diapers. He is doing an awesome job! Hannah & her Daddy's hands

Oly will become an expert in changing diapers. He is doing an awesome job! Hannah & her Daddy’s hands

Daddy, Mommy & baby Andrew

Daddy, Mommy & baby Andrew

Andrew is our big boy :) A perfect snuggle bunny!

Andrew is our big boy 🙂 A perfect snuggle bunny!

Sweet Alexis peeking at us :)

Sweet Alexis peeking at us 🙂

Baby Isaac holding our fingers

Baby Isaac holding our fingers

Baby Alexis under the blue therapy light

Baby Alexis under the blue therapy light

This has been our first week, busy but fun. A new beginning for us, as parents of Quads. We are happy and super excited. We know these babies are our miracles and we thank God for them all the time.

 

Lori.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Quadville

These 3 days have been the busiest days ever! The pregnancy is behind us already and we have entered the second phase of this amazing journey. All babies are doing good – Isaac, Alexis and Andrew are on CPAPs , only Hannah needs a little more help with her breathing and she is on a mechanical ventilator. But they all look great, each day better than the day before.

Last night I got to see all the babies for the first time and spend some time with them. I was a little overwhelmed… the NICU is a new territory for us and only the parents that had babies in there can understand what I am talking about. But just like we did when I was pregnant, we have to continue to take one day at the time and pray for the best. One day can be great and others might be a little less. The staff in the NICU is amazing. They were waiting for our Quads with open arms. The nurses on our level have told us that days before the babies were born, the NICU staff would call to check on us and see what’s going on, if there are any signs of the babies arriving soon. There were absolutely no signs and so the babies surprised all of us!

Today I got to hold both Isaac and Alexis, precious moments!! Daddy changed their diapers, so maybe this will become a routine 🙂 It’s so fun to hang out with the babies. But we are limiting that to family only, at least for now. I hope everyone understands that these babies need some extra time to grow and get stronger. We appreciate every single person that wants to know what is going on and cares about their well being and we will do our best to keep you updated. Also we apologize if we can’t return all the phone calls or messages. I am trying to do everything the doctors tell me to do in order to recover faster and Oly has been amazing, helping me and giving me all the attention I needed, day and night. My body is recovering well but we need time. So now it would not be the best idea to “surprise” us with a visit at the hospital. Plans made ahead are welcomed in this circumstances. We will probably get to go home in a couple of days anyway. The babies will stay here and we will come to see them everyday. But we do want to limit their visitors. Being preemies, they are very sensitive to germs and bacteria. Even we exaggerate with washing hands and being very clean and careful around them. But that’s how it has to be. These days were so exhausting for us! The nurses made a note on our door in order to not be disturbed, we really needed to rest. It is a very exciting moment in our lives but we need to take it easy.

Can’t wait to see the Quads tomorrow again. We are so happy that they are here and that they are real champions! What a mighty God we have!

Lori.

 

The amazing milestone ~ 28 weeks

I don’t even know how to start this post. Maybe by saying how EXCITED I am today!!! Oh gosh… we’ve reached 28 weeks! This has been our main goal for such a long time. Sometimes I felt like it’s so far away, I thought we’re never going to make it. It is SO important that our babies have reached this milestone, I am going to cry!! At 28 weeks the babies are ready to meet us, meaning they have huge chances of surviving outside of the womb. Of course we would prefer that they wait a little longer in there, there’s no rush. But if I were to deliver any day now, it would be ok. They would still spend time in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) but I think we can say they are safe to enter our world. Everyone is excited, not just us – the nurses that enter my room congratulate us. The Labor and Delivery section from Northside has different floors. My room is on the HRP floor (High Risk Pregnancies). So everyone here knows very well how important it is to get to 28 weeks. Everyone’s goal is to get to this stage. Right now I am the only one carrying quads and many of the nurses said I am their first patient they have worked with that is expecting 4 babies. They are all wonderful ladies that take such good care of me.

I don’t know what I will do today but I know it’s a happy day. The babies have been doing so good and my contractions are very light, I guess I am more relaxed too, knowing that I am here under the dr’s supervision. Yesterday I had so many visitors and surprises, it was wonderful. Oly’s baby brother, Naty (he is 20 but he is still the baby of the family and I love him so much) works nearby and he came to see me twice in the same day! We got him a parking pass, so he can come and go as he likes. Then a good friend of mine from work, Shannon,  stopped by with her kids. That made me so happy! I had no idea they were coming. And the kids brought the babies the cutest lovies ever! I have them by my window so I can see them all the time 🙂

The Quads lovies :) Aren't they so cute?

The Quads lovies 🙂 Aren’t they so cute?

At the end of the day my in-laws came by with auntie Ada, so I ended my day with family around me once again, which is wonderful. Naty was here already, Oly surprised me and came straight from work. I was so glad that my hubby was here too. I was given a different room with a better view, because I’ll be here for a long time. Now I don’t have to look out of my window and see a wall, here is much better! I can see the King & the Queen buildings again and I love it. So Oly moved all my stuff once again. We need to buy an air mattress for him, like a twin size to make sure it fits in here, so he can sleep better and actually get some rest. I am so happy that he stays with me almost every night.

the view

the view

My room

My room

From this day on we just count the days. I am setting a new goal, which is 30 weeks and the 32 weeks. Hopefully even 34! We thank God for every single day. We’ve come so far only by His grace. And we’ll continue the same way, following His plan. People ask me often how did I manage to carry these babies so far and what did I do to have such a healthy high risk pregnancy. I did what the doctors have told me to do, so I followed instructions, but at the end of the day, the life of these miracles are in the hand of God.

Happy 28 weeks Babies! Mommy and Daddy love you all more than words can express! We can only imagine that day when our pregnancy journey ends and we get to hold these precious angels! And then the real fun begins 🙂

Our life is in Your hand

Our life is in Your hand

Lori.
28 weeks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!