Pages

Thursday, November 5, 2015

One Year Olds.

I am finding it so hard to write this post because I find it hard to believe our babies are already one year old. This first year has been a whirlwind in the best possible way. Our emotions have been all over the place in the last year. We have been hopeful, scared, nervous, exhausted, happy, excited, and so much more. But, most of all, we have been filled with an abundance of joy and elation. These babies have given us such a great gift. A gift of love like we have never known before, and the gift of becoming parents. It has not been an easy ride, but it has been filled with so much love. It is a ride we would not trade for anything in this world. It is our journey, and we are thrilled to be on it. 

From the time we found out we were expecting quads (6 weeks pregnant), we were terrified. There were so many scary statistics thrown our way, and my pregnancy was not easy for the most part. Every week I was in the hospital, I was given a new sheet with statistics stating the likely outcomes for our babies. It was so, so scary. Naturally, we spent much time worrying, and I know that others worried about us and the babies as well. Not only were we scared about our outcome, but we were scared of becoming parents to four kids at one time. How would we manage? How would we be enough for four babies? Many people prayed for our babies. I did every single thing within my power to make sure those babies stayed inside and growing for as long as possible. It was such a scary time. So much was unknown.

video

They wheeled me back to the OR. So much was running through my head. It was all coming down to this one moment. 31 weeks 6 days. Was it enough? Did my body give these babies enough? Were they big enough? Would they be able to survive outside of my body? To hear those cries from each of them as they were pulled out of my belly. It was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. It was all I had wished for. That meant they were breathing. We watched as each of them was whisked away by his or her team of doctors and nurses. Poked and prodded to make sure each was doing okay. To find out sizes. To see what kind of support each would require. Time I had to spend waiting. Wanting desperately to know they were okay. I continued to hear their tiny little cries, and Chris squeezed my hand. It brought me so much comfort. Finally, the nurses wheeled each baby by me on the way to the NICU. I got the meet my little babies for the first time. So very special.

Jackson Berkley

Owen Daniel

Dylan Christopher

Millie Kaye 

Our NICU journey had its ups and downs, but our babies were rockstars. We met the most caring team of nurses and doctors that helped our babies continue to grow. They helped us and supported us through our time in the NICU. For that, we will remember them and appreciate them forever!

Dylan

Look how tiny Owen is. He is like 3 weeks old already here!

Dylan

This is a preemie outfit on miss Millie

Owen

Owen

Jackson

Owen

Dylan

Millie

Dylan

Millie

Dylan

Jackson

Owen

Dylan

Dylan

Dylan

Owen

Owen

Owen

Millie

Jackson

Millie

Owen

Owen

Millie

Jackson

The next 10 months are a blur filled with laughs, cries, and lots of firsts. It has been hard, there is no doubt about that. We could not have done it without the love and support of our friends and family. Our parents, especially, have spent so much of their time helping us and loving on their grandchildren. I am so happy that they will have a special and close bond with our kiddos, and I hope that lasts forever. Mostly, the past 10 months have been so much fun and filled with so much love. Our love for these bambinos continues to grow and grow more every single day. We are so proud of these kiddos and how they continue to defy the odds. They are fighters, and there is so much to be learned from the strength of these small souls. 

October was filled with lots of fun! It was Aleah's 5th birthday and also my mom's birthday. We had the babies' one-year follow-up Neonatology appointment, and we all got our flu shots. The littles also celebrated their first Halloween! It was the last of their "first" holidays, and their costume was adorable. We have also started to stay in more as part of our quarantine. We only go out if necessary, and we take steps to limit exposure to germs. Even so, the babies (and us) have been sick and passing around colds all month long. Snot noses galore. Is it spring yet?


Happy Halloween!


They always gravitate toward each other!



Hi Jeannie!!!


Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Trick or Treat





Is this not the sweetest thing?!

Happy Fall!

















Sarah (Sarah Shambaugh Photography) came and visited with us to do first birthday and cake smash photos. Boy was that fun! I cannot believe how great the kiddies did. We got some awesome pictures! Thanks Sarah =) 


















That buttercream icing was NOT EASY to clean off the floor!

Jackson
Wild man! Jackson is a climbing machine. He can stand up for SO LONG without holding onto anything, but he has yet to take any steps. He could if he tried, but he just does not realize it. Whenever we try to get him to take a couple steps, he just dives at us, and he thinks it is hilarious. Jackson LOVES ride on toys, and he especially loves if you push him around the house on them. Jackson can wave hello and goodbye, and he can clap. At the neonatology appointment, we found out that Jackson has completely "caught up" for his actual age. He is over the 50th percentile for both height and weight as compared to kids his same age. He has also caught up developmentally for both cognitive and gross motor skills. Way to go Jackson! He weighs 21lbs 6.2oz, and he is 29.33 inches tall. 











Owen
My sweet little Owen. Owen is a crawling machine. His poor little knees get so scuffed up (even through his pants) because he is crawling all over the place so much! Owen can get himself into some pretty precarious spots with his climbing and hanging onto things. Owen loves to clap, and he learned to say uh-oh last month, although I am pretty sure we overdid it on that one because he has refused to say it for the past week. He also gives big sloppy open mouth kisses, which he is very proud of. Owen is completely caught up for his actual age for his cognitive skills, and is nearly caught up for gross motor skills. Owen is still on the small side for his weight. He is somewhere around the 3rd percentile. His height is catching up, however. We were able to decrease the amount of calories we are giving him in each bottle, so that was good news. Owen weighs 16lbs 13.8oz, and he is 28.35 inches tall.







"I've been caught!"




Dylan
Dill picks has changed SO much in the past month! He is a crawling machine, and he loves to get into everything! He especially loves plants (and the dirt in the pots). I would say it is safe to say he has eaten a speck or two of dirt =) Now that Dylan can get around more, he is so much happier. He can keep up with the other 3 and also get into his own trouble. Dylan also loves the laundry room, watching the washer and dryer, and pulling stuff in and out. He loves to have books read to him, and he has a mouth full of teeth. His little grin will melt your heart. He is also now standing unsupported all the time. Dill Picks has to go back to the neonatology clinic in 6 months to be reevaluated for his developmental skills. He has not caught up yet, but he is doing great for his adjusted age. He has made so much progress in the past month, it is unreal, so I have no doubt that he will catch up soon. Dylan has caught up for his height and weight, though! He weighs 21lbs. 0.9oz, and he is 28.74 inches tall. 

















Millie
Mills has turned into a momma's girl this month! She has started standing up a lot more without support, and she loves to walk behind push toys. Millie wins the award for the most stranger danger this month. She definitely wants to be in the arms of the person in the room that she knows the best. Millie loves to clap, and she is getting much better about trying different foods. She is a trooper in terms of her sleeping. She is definitely the best overnight sleeper of the bunch for the past month, but nap time can be a different story! Miss Mills just does not want to miss a beat, so she doesn't like to go to sleep during the day. Millie is still on the small side, but she is following her growth curve completely. She has fully caught up to her actual age for both cognitive and gross motor developmental skills. Millie weighs 16lbs 10.3oz, and she is 27.76 inches tall. 
















Thank you all for following us on the first year of our life-long journey! We are so excited that we have been able to share such a special time in our lives, and we are grateful that so many people want to share in these memories with us. We could not have made it without all of your love, support, thoughts, and prayers along the way. Stay tuned for what is to come, including one very special first birthday party. Time to celebrate!