So here we are, New Year's Eve 2008, ready to ring in the new year and wave a fond farewell to the year that saw everything in our lives change for good and change for the better! 2009 promises to bring just as much change along with 5 times the chaos, blessings, laughter, frustration, confusion, organization, reorganization, smiles, smiles, grey hairs, more smiles, and immeasurable times the love!
More important for us tonight than the New Year holiday is the fact that we have reached the most important milestone to date for this crazy journey - week 28! Achieving this milestone has dominated our focus from the beginning as it marks a point at which our chances of "intact survival" of all babies are very high (intact survival means survival with no major, lasting defects). Adding to our excitement over reaching this date is the fact that Casey is not in the hospital yet and we were able to spend Christmas at our house this year which was another one of our goals. That's Eliot poking her head out of one of the windows in her new playhouse...Santa was very good to our little girl!
We had a crazy day today and Casey is paying the price, but she is relaxing now and looking forward to an easier day tomorrow after a good, Ambien-induced, full night's sleep tonight. We started off our morning with an interview at our home with KXAN, the local NBC channel. They are doing a story on the new labor and delivery wing of the hospital that will be delivering the babies, Seton on 34th, and they wanted to include our story as part of the feature on Seton. After that, we met reporters from KVUE (ABC) at Dr. Berry's office for another interview while we checked in on the babies. Finally, the KVUE team followed us back home to wrap up the interview. All of that activity really impacts Casey so she's had a rough afternoon and won't be moving around much for the next few days! Here is the link to the news story that ran today:
Everything went very well at Dr. Berry's office. The babies are growing as expected with their weights ranging from 1 pound, 13 ounces to 2 pounds, 6 ounces. However, I'm a little disappointed in Jack for giving up the lead in weight gain to one of the girls. He came in a strong second, however, at 2 pounds, 3 ounces and I fully expect that he will regain the lead by the time we see him next! Actually, I have to cut him a little slack. It's a little difficult to make out, but Jack is the middle circle in the sonogram picture attached. That's his head being smushed by one of the girls heads on the left and one of the other girls' belly on the right. The poor boy is just outnumbered!
Dr. Berry doesn't want Casey in the hospital unless it is absolutely necessary for her to be there so we are continuing with the waiting game that we've been playing the last couple of weeks. Our next goal is to make it to 32 weeks and get the babies weights up to four pounds each. If you're doing the math, that means doubling their weight in the next four weeks! I don't know how it's possible for Casey's belly to keep growing, but it will have to do just that if the babies are going to reach their goals.
Though we can breathe a pretty big sigh of relief, let me add a little reality check before I wrap up this update. If the babies delivered today, they would be 3 months premature. Though the odds of intact survival are very good at this point, our doctors have made it very clear that they want the babies in Casey's belly as long as is physically possible to avoid any possible complications. The babies still have a lot of growing to do and there is no better place to do that than in Casey's belly. No matter when they are born, the babies will likely spend several weeks in the NICU to complete their development, but that time can be exponentially reduced by maintaining the pregnancy as many days as possible (1 day in the womb is equal to 3 days in the NICU).
Once again, we want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. We are continually reminded just how blessed we are to live this experience and to feel the prayers of so many. Today is a good day at the Jones house, thanks in large part to everyone out there who has loved on us through this entire process. Please continue to pray for Casey's comfort and health and the continued growth of the Quints!
Oh, one more thing I almost forgot. Casey got a steroid shot today and I get to give her another one tomorrow. We did a round of steroids at week 24 and we'll do another at week 32. The steroids help accelerate the babies brain, lung, and intestinal development and helps prevent brain bleeding (which is one of the causes of cerebral palsy). I'm not exactly sure how it works, but basically the drug is effective for a few weeks after the shots are given, but only if the babies are born during that time. This is also good news that we were able to get these shots done. It's also good news that I get to give the next shot...ha, ha, ha!! ;-)
Many blessings to you all in 2009!!