Monday, March 29, 2010

First days in the Hospital...

So far, so good...

It's been four days since Crissie was admitted to Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge for a shortened cervical length and suspicious uterine activity. We can honestly report that we're pretty pleased with the experience so far. Our nurses have been great. The doctors have been attentive. Hell, even the food has been pretty good (so I'm told). When I'm there, I feast mostly on Crissie's leftovers and snacks. When it comes to food, I'm kinda' like the family dog in the room.

Besides snacking, the other thing I like to do is play with all the medical equipment. I know I'm not supposed to, but I can't help it. I've been busted a couple of times using the pulse oximeter (apparently this activity can be observed from the nurse's station) and I've listened to my own heartbeat (among other things) with the pocket doppler more times than I can count. I've tinkered with other stuff, but in the event any of the nurses are reading this, I'll refrain from further self-incrimination...

We're having fun tracking the nurses' hours on our markboard in the room. Our hope is that whenever delivery time gets here, the nurses with the most hours can be there with us in the delivery room. If not, we'll find some other way to thank 'em. We can't say enough about how great they have been.

Crissie is off of IV fluids for the moment, which means she can hit the bathroom on her own. She was be-bopping along with less than 4 contractions-an-hour all weekend (roughly), until this morning when she had 8. The good news is that she's still not feeling them and she has been back to normal since. So, we're still feeling pretty good. The big milestone coming up is at 24 weeks. At that point, they can administer steroids to speed up the babies' lung development. No word yet on whether those steroids are going to keep Garrison out of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I scored a cot on Saturday night which was totally clutch. It's not home, and it's not the Ritz-Carlton, but it'll do for now. It was pretty cool that we had a steady stream of visitors over the weekend. There were very few dull moments which definitely makes the time go faster...

Just trying to keep it light. Stay tuned...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Week 23

It's been an eventful week, filled with some unusual ups and downs.

Week 23 started with a great weekend. Crissie (despite her bedrest) was able to enjoy her baby shower which her hostesses planned beautifully at our home. She spent the day in her chair while she was lavished with gifts by her friends and family. After a week of bedrest at the house, I think she was really excited about some human contact. She definitely had an awesome time.

Meanwhile, my guy friends threw me a diaper/wipe party. Basically, we just sat around, drank, played beer pong and cornhole. I had to drink wine because I gave up beer/liquor for Lent, but that didn't hold me back too overly much! Then, when I went home, I had a lot more diapers and wipes than I'd started the day with. All in all, a nice little 'Man Day'--good job, dudes.

Fast forward to Thursday (yesterday, as I write this). We had a doctor's appointment with the MFM in Baton Rouge and what we'd hoped wouldn't be necessary became so. Dr. St. Amant basically told Crissie after he examined her that she wouldn't be going home. So now, she has been put on hospital bedrest. Her cervical length dropped from 3 cm a week ago, down to 1 cm and she's "funneling." (and we're not talking about the frat house right of passage, here.)

She was also having contractions (which she couldn't even feel) at a frequency the doctors weren't crazy about. So, now she's on Magnesium Sulfate which has effectively reduced the frequency of the contractions. This should help her cervix "hang in there" for the next several weeks so these kiddos can develop to a point the doctors are comfortable with. If all goes well, she'll be in the hospital (pregnant) for another 7 or 8 weeks. We've heard plenty of stories of multiple moms who were on Mag-Sulfate for a lot longer with good results, so we're optimistic.

So the bad news is: Crissie's in the hospital and will be for a long time. The good news is: there's no better place for her to be. Other good news: I'm really glad I didn't haul off and buy that mini-fridge for our bedroom right away. Further good news: so far, so good with all the nurses and staff at Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge. The first 24 hours have really been great--other than the convertible recliner that afforded me 3 hours sleep last night, but this ain't about me!

As usual, our friends and family have been incredible. We're so blessed. Despite the fact that we're going to be pretty uncomfortable for the next few months, we're confident it'll be totally worth it in the end!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Week 22

Well, bedrest has been formally recommended by Crissie's OB/GYN. So, after weeks of "light duty" and "just taking it easy," we finally get down to it... Crissie's on bedrest. As if being couped up in the house alone isn't bad enough, now she's got to worry about whether she's doing harm every time she goes to the bathroom. It's hard on her because she tends to be such a busy-body. As fun as bedrest may sound, one can only watch so much TV, read so many books, and play around on the internet for so long before it gets mindnumbingly boring--not to mention uncomfortable.

Crissie and I play this little game. The game basically goes like this: I try to get her to drink Ensure and eat protein bars, and she tries to come up with new and creative ways to foil my attempts. She's really good at it, and while I've had some minor victories, she's winning the war by a landslide. Generally, I try to find humorous ways to introduce the subject. I often find myself doing the "protein-bar dance" at the bedroom door, or I try to sneak up on her and switch her water for Ensure (like some sort of protein ninja). It all reminds me of my mom and dad. When my mom was sick, my dad would always make these mysterious protein concoctions that my mom abhorred. It was whey protein, oatmeal, various fruits, and other healthy stuff--but, it never looked overly appetizing. She swore he was trying to kill her with protein (kidding, of course). I suppose it's the only way we Wheelock's know how to play doctor...

Anyhow, not much to report, which is probably good. The babies are all progressing normally. Crissie's health is pretty good--all things considered. The nursery is taking shape. We've started accumulating hundreds of diapers--certain to last us about 10 days! The biggest thing these days is figuring out how to structure Crissie's life so she has to make the minimum number of movements. I suspect I'll be having to invest in one of those dormroom fridge/microwave combos for the bedroom soon...

Sheesh, the things we do for the ones we love...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

We have beds!!!

A nice Friday evening for a man and his allen wrench.

World's Greatest Supervisor

Very Suspicious Dog

Callie actually helping around our house.


The most fun we've had in a bedroom in many months.

Finished with bedding. Exciting!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Big Announcement!!!

We've settled on names for the babies!

Baby A is our little dude, so he'll be Garrison Thomas Wheelock. Garrison is Crissie's mom's maiden name and it's also a name in my mother's family. Thomas is a name in the Wheelock family that goes back a long way and has popped up many times. Little Garrison Thomas actually has a cousin in London named Thomas Wheelock. Crissie also had a great-grandfather named Irvin Thomas. UPDATE: Turns out there's some Thomas on my mom's side also in the Griggs family. Ironically enough, One of those Thomases married a Garrison. Yes, we are on "inbreeding high alert." (Props to Uncle John Griggs for pointing this out!)

For the girls, we're going to wait to see them before we give them their names, but we have chosen the names already, so...

Elena Marie Wheelock. Elena comes from the Wheelock side. My sister Christine's middle name is Elena and she got it from various ladies on my dad's side--my dad's first cousin Marie Elena for one. Marie is also Crissie's middle name and that comes from her great aunt Marie--her mom's aunt. UPDATE: Upon further consultation with my sister (Christine Elena), her name was designed as an homage to my dad's mother's name: Cristobelina. Christine Elena, got it.

Lillian Brooks Wheelock. Lillian hasn't much family significance, but it is the flower that is the heart of the symbol of King Louis XIV, France, New Orleans, and (most importantly) the Saints! The Lilly, or Fleur de Lis. She'll be our little Fleur de Whee. Brooks is Crissie's sister's middle name and comes from Crissie's dad's grandfather on his mother's side.

Amelia Frances Wheelock. Amelia is a name that Crissie's always liked. No family ties that we know. Frances is my mom's first name. She didn't use it--she was never a real fan of it, in fact. She went by her middle name, Diane. She probably would have preferred Frances to have been her middle name, so we're attempting some justice for history.

So, that's it for now. Check back soon!

20 Weeks Down, 10 Weeks to Go!

Week 20 means the half-way point in singleton pregnancies. But for us, it's more like two-thirds. The doctors really want her to make it to 30 weeks. We've got our own goal set at 32. Statistically, it's not likely, but goals should be set such that they're a challenge, right?

Last weekend, Crissie and I went to visit our friends, the MacMasters, in the hospital. Brittany and Kenny welcomed little Mason into the world in the same place where our little ones will (hopefully) be born. While we were there, we got an opportunity to take a tour of the NICU. Our crew will almost definitely have to spend some weeks in the NICU after they're born, so it was interesting to see where it would all go down.

We say "hopefully" because if Crissie has to go on hospital bed rest, her doctors are wanting to admit her in Baton Rouge. This would be a major pain in the butt. We're both hoping that won't happen.

Anyway, seeing the MacMasters go through their birthing experience juxtaposed with seeing preemies in the NICU was a pretty sharp reality check. Our experience will be like nothing to which we, nor any of our loved ones, can relate. For all of the "4 times this and 4 times that" cuteness, the reality of our four children in intensive care is more than a little unnerving. The staff at St. Tammany all seemed great though. We have no qualms with the people or the facility. They delivered a set of quads (that made it to 34 weeks) 3 years ago, and they've handled a bunch of triplets since. So, we feel like we're in good hands and it's less than 5 minutes away.

Crissie is still on light-duty bedrest. She is getting around, but is trying to spend the majority of her time on her butt. She's feeling lots of little movements and a few that I can actually feel on the outside. I gotta' say that, so far, that's the coolest freakin' thing I've experienced with this whole process. We had  lots of fun with that! We suspect it was baby C--she's got a heck of a leg. I'm thinking she'll be another Mia Hamm or Kathy Ireland in "Necessary Roughness."