Before I begin with the update, I want to explain the picture to the left. The sonographer happened across this image as she was measuring the babies today. We can count at least 7 and maybe 8 feet in this picture...can you find them all?! Too cool!!
Updates, updates...we have updates! Casey started partial bed rest today (Monday was her last day of work) which means she is supposed to spend about six hours per day lying down (not counting sleep hours). Unless something dramatic happens, she will not have to go on full bed rest until her body just hurts too bad for her to move.
We had an appointment today with Dr. Berry, our perinatologist, where they did an anatomy scan of all of the babies. All five checked out healthy and all of their measurements were right on track for 19.5 weeks!! This is what we expected to hear, but it feels really good to have it confirmed! The four girls weighed in around 11 ounces, while Big Bad Jack came in at a whopping 13 ounces - that's my boy!! On a side note, I forgot to mention that Jack got his first baseball mitt last week when my parents came to town...thanks, Mom!
The next 6-8 weeks are critical for the health of the babies and there are several major milestones that we will be focused on along the way. The first milestone is 24 weeks which is the point at which it is reasonable to resuscitate the babies if they are born this early. In other words, if Casey's body were to go into labor before this point and it could not be stopped, it would be highly unlikely that they would survive.
The next milestone after that comes at 26 weeks. If the babies are born at that time, the likelihood of survival is high, but the likelihood of significant defects is also high. After that, we focus on week 28 which happens on New Year's Eve. Delivery at 28 weeks is the average for quintuplets and we hope to beat this! If the babies are born at this time, their likelihood of survival is very high and the likelihood of defects is dramatically lower. At 28 weeks, we claim victory! Beyond that, every week is critical to minimizing the time the babies spend in the NICU and to further strengthen their development, but the likelihood of major complications is much lower.
Our goal is to deliver the babies in early February at 32 weeks. For a point of reference, if this were a normal pregnancy, the due date would be March 27! Casey will likely spend the last 3-4 weeks in the hospital on full bed rest (with two nurses at her bedside to help move the belly when she needs to turn over!!). We have a meeting later this month with the NICU doctors and staff at Seton to tour the NICU and go over the delivery plan...apparently this is going to be quite a production with up to 18 doctors (three for each baby and three for Casey) plus nurses in the delivery room!!
Please keep the prayers coming over the next 8 weeks for both the babies and for Casey! Casey's spirit is strong and positive, but she gets more and more uncomfortable every day as her body literally grows before our eyes! We have been incredibly blessed throughout this experience and we pray that these blessings continue throughout the rest of the pregnancy!