Posted in Addiction, Birth Story, Counseling, God, Kids

Stuck

Emotionally that’s how I’ve felt lately. Very, very STUCK. Whether it’s unwillingness or inability to get past these issues in my life, I don’t know. Hence counseling that starts tomorrow night.

1. 13 years and still having difficulty with my son Connor’s death. We had, I guess, miracles with the others. Why couldn’t God have made HIM a miracle too? And while I get, on some level at least, that our life here is fleeting and like the grass withers and dies and heaven is forever, I don’t think it’s wrong to want to know your son on earth instead of waiting until you die and actually go to heaven. I want him HERE. And that’s impossible. And I can’t get past it.

2. Pursuant to #1, my relationship with God is rather strained. As in, nonexistent. There is no church. There isn’t much praying. There isn’t any reading of the bible. There is some listening to Christian radio–both music and teaching. There is some willingness to talk to a friend. 

3. Pursuant to #2, Sex addiction. Yeah, that. If it wasn’t for the fact that both my PC and cell were completely monitored, I would most likely still be off in the deep end. I lost most of August to it. Not exaggerating. In a rare moment of sanity, I had Jim disable certain things on my iPhone and now I only have access to monitored internet and no book apps. And I cannot add apps. And I am not so far gone that I don’t care that Jim or my AP sees the filth that I was reading online. But it’s still there. And it still needs to be dealt with.

And I need to get UN-stuck.

Posted in Birth Story, Kids

Happy 10th Birthday to My Miracles!

The Big Double Digits is here! Happy Birthday to Bennett, Ethan and Laura!

This is a repost of the email I sent out to friends and family the day I got home from my 2 week hospital stay (11 before and 3 after they were born)

Hello dear friends.

Some of you will know the following, but many of you don’t, so I’m sending to all.

I haven’t emailed an update in a long time because I went into the hospital on August 14th with a ruptured sac. Baby A, Connor John, had broken thru. Our local hospital didn’t have the nursing staff for 24 week old quads, so I was sent to Christiana hospital in Delaware (not even in my state). It was touch and go for a few days–I was on Magnesium Sulfate (very nasty), but came through ok. I settled in for the long haul of bedrest.

Saturday the 25th started like any other day. We monitored the babies around 10-10:30. Then I started having contractions. Before I knew it, they were 2 1/2 minutes apart and I was 4 cm dilated. They took me in for a c-section 2:00 ish.

Connor John came at 2:08 pm weighing 1 lb, 9 oz.
Bennett Quinn arrived at 2:09 pm weighing 1 lb, 11 oz.
Ethan James came at 2:10 pm weighing 1 lb, 11 oz, and
Laura Grace finally got pulled out at 2:13 pm weighing 1 lb, 10 oz.

They were immediately whisked away to the NICU admittance and I went to recovery. 5 hours later I was finally able to see them. Bennett, Ethan and Laura were ok, but Connor from the very beginning was having more problems. To shorten the next part of the story, fast forward 3 more hours to 10:30 pm, when the Neonatologist comes up and tells Jim and me that Connor will not make it through the night.

Jim went down to spend some time with him (I was still very drugged and was in and out of consciousness). He came back upstairs a little after midnight to see if I wanted to come downstairs. The NICU called and said that he needed to come downstairs NOW. So I gathered myself and moved onto a gurney and went to the NICU to hold my firstborn son and cry. He was SO tiny!! So fragile!! We cried so much! While Jim held him, he quietly left us to be in the loving arms of Jesus. Saying goodbye was the hardest and most emotional thing I have ever done.

Coming home today, Tuesday, to our playroom full of baby things, many in fours, was extremely difficult. It will take some time before I can face going in there without crying.

Our other three, like typical preemies, change from day to day. The two boys have heart murmurs, but are responding to meds. Laura was doing the best, but is now on a special ventilator called an oscillator. It pumps 300 breaths per minute into her tiny lungs. But all are holding their own. I have three journals to track their day to day improvements, which will be encouraging along the way.

The joy and hope of my three living children tempered with the sadness and grief of losing our son is a very difficult place to be. We are in the process of trying to decide whether to have a funeral and burial or cremate. I never thought to be in this position. Only God is sustaining me now, I can assure you. Jim is crying and grieving as much if not more than I am. We can only cling to each other and be there for each other as we work our way through this difficult time.

We still appreciate your prayers for both Mommy and Daddy and our three precious children. They will be in the NICU for at least 10 weeks, and we will be traveling 45-50 minutes each way to get to them. I will also be pumping to provide breast milk for the babies, so life is already revolving around them.

As I’m sure you can tell from the whole tone of this email, this is a very difficult time for both of us. Thank you all for your support, prayers and understanding. I will not be on email that often, and the phone will be answered as possible. Visitors are welcome, but we ask that you call first.

Much love,

Tina

Posted in Birth Story, Connor, Kids, Me

Close to Home

I just finished Karen Kingsbury’s Summer, the 2nd in a series of 4 books. I sobbed my way through the final chapter, where a woman gives birth to a baby girl, only to lose her a few hours later due to a birth defect. She and her husband knew the baby would die, but chose not to abort and they got to spend those few precious hours with her as a result.

Very close to home, People. Very close to home.

When we conceived quadruplets, EVERY SINGLE DOCTOR told us to “reduce” i.e. kill two of the babies so the rest had a better chance. Due to their positions, Bennett and Connor would have been the ones chosen to die. We lost Connor 10 hours after he was born. Bennett is still with us 8 1/2 years later and I cannot, for one moment, imagine life without him.

We finally found a high-risk pregnancy specialist who saw things our way, namely, NO THANK YOU WE DON”T WANT YOU TO KILL OUR BABIES! and things smoothed out from there, until the babies were born prematurely at 25 weeks.

Reading through this fictional character’s experience brought everything back. Holding Connor, saying good-bye, seeing Jim hold him and watching as his little life went to heaven.

I prayed this afternoon, thanking God that Connor would never have to experience all the junk down here that we have to–all the political messes, racial stuff, hatred, worry, anger etc. He’s living out a perfect life with Jesus. And someday–some blessed, wonderful day–I will get to meet him.

Karen’s book said this: Life is God’s to give and God’s to take.

Posted in Birth Story, Kids

8 Years Ago

This is a repost, but worth sharing again.

(This is a copy of the email update I sent out on 8/28/2001 to friends and family)

Hello dear friends.

Some of you will know the following, but many of you don’t, so I’m sending to all.

I haven’t emailed an update in a long time because I went into the hospital on August 14th with a ruptured sac. Baby A, Connor John, had broken thru. Our local hospital didn’t have the nursing staff for 24 week old quads, so I was sent to Christiana hospital in Delaware (not even in my state). It was touch and go for a few days–I was on Magnesium Sulfate (very nasty), but came through ok. I settled in for the long haul of bedrest.

Saturday the 25th started like any other day. We monitored the babies around 10-10:30. Then I started having contractions. Before I knew it, they were 2 1/2 minutes apart and I was 4 cm dilated. They took me in for a c-section 2:00 ish.

Connor John came at 2:08 pm weighing 1 lb, 9 oz.
Bennett Quinn arrived at 2:09 pm weighing 1 lb, 11 oz.
Ethan James came at 2:10 pm weighing 1 lb, 11 oz, and
Laura Grace finally got pulled out at 2:13 pm weighing 1 lb, 10 oz.

They were immediately whisked away to the NICU admittance and I went to recovery. 5 hours later I was finally able to see them. Bennett, Ethan and Laura were ok, but Connor from the very beginning was having more problems. To shorten the next part of the story, fast forward 3 more hours to 10:30 pm, when the Neonatologist comes up and tells Jim and me that Connor will not make it through the night.

Jim went down to spend some time with him (I was still very drugged and was in and out of consciousness). He came back upstairs a little after midnight to see if I wanted to come downstairs. The NICU called and said that he needed to come downstairs NOW. So I gathered myself and moved onto a gurney and went to the NICU to hold my firstborn son and cry. He was SO tiny!! So fragile!! We cried so much! While Jim held him, he quietly left us to be in the loving arms of Jesus. Saying goodbye was the hardest and most emotional thing I have ever done.

Coming home today, Tuesday, to our playroom full of baby things, many in fours, was extremely difficult. It will take some time before I can face going in there without crying.

Our other three, like typical preemies, change from day to day. The two boys have heart murmurs, but are responding to meds. Laura was doing the best, but is now on a special ventilator called an oscillator. It pumps 300 breaths per minute into her tiny lungs. But all are holding their own. I have three journals to track their day to day improvements, which will be encouraging along the way.

The joy and hope of my three living children tempered with the sadness and grief of losing our son is a very difficult place to be. We are in the process of trying to decide whether to have a funeral and burial or cremate. I never thought to be in this position. Only God is sustaining me now, I can assure you. Jim is crying and grieving as much if not more than I am. We can only cling to each other and be there for each other as we work our way through this difficult time.

We still appreciate your prayers for both Mommy and Daddy and our three precious children. They will be in the NICU for at least 10 weeks, and we will be traveling 45-50 minutes each way to get to them. I will also be pumping to provide breast milk for the babies, so life is already revolving around them.

As I’m sure you can tell from the whole tone of this email, this is a very difficult time for both of us. Thank you all for your support, prayers and understanding. I will not be on email that often, and the phone will be answered as possible. Visitors are welcome, but we ask that you call first.

Much love,

Tina

(I’d like to add that 8 years later Bennett, Ethan and Laura are healthy, happy and wonderful children and have a 6 1/2 yr old sister).

Posted in Birth Story

Laborious Meme

Feeling particularly lazy on this Labor Day, so I thought I’d post a Meme that I got from Rocks In My Dryer:

How long were your labors?

Kid #1, four hours of labor, sort of. They tried to stop it. Then I had my c-section
Kid #2, See #1
Kid #3, See #1
Kid #4, See #1
Kid #5 I went into labor on the way down to the hosp for my planned c-section. Maybe two hours? Maybe?

How did you know you were in labor?

Kid #1, A FREAKING LOT OF PAIN
Kid #2, See #1
Kid #3, See #1
Kid #4, See #1
Kid #5 Thought I was having Braxton-Hicks, but then they started to get regular

Where did you deliver?

#1-#4, Christiana Hospital in Delaware. Where they, THANK YOU GOD, have a 90 bed NICU and an incredibly amazing staff of neonatalogists.
#5 Chester County, our local hospital. Cuz she was full term and healthy

Drugs?

Spinal for my cesareans. After #1-#4, there was a LOT of pain medication. a LOT, people. More than I could tell you about. #5, I came home on Tylenol.

C-section?

Um, YES. With quadruplets it’s kind of a given. With #5 I was concerned with uterine rupture, so had a planned one.

Who delivered?

#1-#4, Dr. Payne (NOT kidding) and Dr. Rhodes and so many staff members I couldn’t even tell you. Our OR was stuffed full of people.
#5, my OB Gyn, Dr. Dianne Hotmer, who continues to be an such an awesome Dr that I cannot highly recommend enough. LOVE HER. She is amazingly compassionate and wonderful.

Posted in Birth Story

Catherine Sarah Birth Story

Poor Catie! I promise that I never forget that I have her or that she gets eclipsed by the other three!

Catie was conceived when the triplets were 10 months old. Yes, we somehow managed to have “special alone time”. I had asked Jim to get the big V done, but he kept saying “It’s too soon!” I think he was still worried about losing another baby. In retrospect I wouldn’t change a thing, but I WAS NOT a HAPPY CAMPER that day I FIGURED IT OUT!

In between having the kids and conceiving Catie, I was actually somewhat ‘regular’ for the first time in my life. I had cycles every other month. I remember mentioning that we needed to “use something” and then got caught up in things and forgot. 10 days later I felt different. (both times I knew 10 days later!). I thought I was being silly, but bought a home pregnancy test anyway. on Day 14 I took the test at 6AM, while the night nurse was downstairs taking care of the other, while my mother slept in the then-spare room, while Jim was at work on an early day. Two blue lines and I scream “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!” I’m so excited, you see, at the idea of adding another baby!!

I grab the phone and call my beloved husband. Not even a hello for him “I’m pregnant” I say in a “There will be no joy in my life ever again” voice.

“Wha….wha…huh…WHAT?” He managed to get out.

“And it’s YOUR FAULT!” He heard this frequently.

I call my sister and her husband. I show the nurse. I wake my mother, who’s response “OH TINA!!” made me feel like a knocked-up 16 year old.

I spend the next 37 weeks in various states of denial, anger, exhaustion, being upset, and wondering WHAT in the World God is doing bring a BABY into this CHAOS?!

The morning of March 13, 2003, Jim and I were up and out the door at 4:30 to get to the hospital by 5 for my scheduled c-section at 8. On the way down I am having Braxton Hicks. I think. They start getting regular, though and I end up being in labor. Thank goodness for the spinal! And for a good anesthesiologist, who not only didn’t have skeevy long nails like the last one (a man!), but didn’t give me too much and make it difficult for me to breathe. A nurse was by my head, gently keeping her hand on my forehead and making sure I was ok. Jim didn’t have to do it like last time. He got to really watch the birth and tape it so I can watch later.

For nine months I was dreading this moment, but the INSTANT they pulled her out–all 8 lbs 3 oz of her–I fell in love. Not even her whole body, just her head was enough to change my emotions immediately. Instantaneous Mother Love. She was healthy, crying and doing great. About an hour later I got to try nursing, which she loved and was great at.

Three days later we were home and working out this “having four kids” thing. The kids loved their new baby sister. Almost 5 years later I can’t imagine life without her. She’s such a blessing!

Thank you, God, for knowing what we needed even when we questioned you literally every single step!

Posted in Birth Story

Quadruplet Birth Story

This is for “My Semblance of Sanity”‘s birth story. I don’t know if I will win–it’s half really amazing and half really sad. Be forewarned! (This is a copy of the email update I sent out on 8/28/2001 to friends and family)

Hello dear friends.

Some of you will know the following, but many of you don’t, so I’m sending to all.

I haven’t emailed an update in a long time because I went into the hospital on August 14th with a ruptured sac. Baby A, Connor John, had broken thru. Our local hospital didn’t have the nursing staff for 24 week old quads, so I was sent to Christiana hospital in Delaware (not even in my state). It was touch and go for a few days–I was on Magnesium Sulfate (very nasty), but came through ok. I settled in for the long haul of bedrest.

Saturday the 25th started like any other day. We monitored the babies around 10-10:30. Then I started having contractions. Before I knew it, they were 2 1/2 minutes apart and I was 4 cm dilated. They took me in for a c-section 2:00 ish.

Connor John came at 2:08 pm weighing 1 lb, 9 oz.
Bennett Quinn arrived at 2:09 pm weighing 1 lb, 11 oz.
Ethan James came at 2:10 pm weighing 1 lb, 11 oz, and
Laura Grace finally got pulled out at 2:13 pm weighing 1 lb, 10 oz.

They were immediately whisked away to the NICU admittance and I went to recovery. 5 hours later I was finally able to see them. Bennett, Ethan and Laura were ok, but Connor from the very beginning was having more problems. To shorten the next part of the story, fast forward 3 more hours to 10:30 pm, when the Neonatologist comes up and tells Jim and me that Connor will not make it through the night.

Jim went down to spend some time with him (I was still very drugged and was in and out of consciousness). He came back upstairs a little after midnight to see if I wanted to come downstairs. The NICU called and said that he needed to come downstairs NOW. So I gathered myself and moved onto a gurney and went to the NICU to hold my firstborn son and cry. He was SO tiny!! So fragile!! We cried so much! While Jim held him, he quietly left us to be in the loving arms of Jesus. Saying goodbye was the hardest and most emotional thing I have ever done.

Coming home today, Tuesday, to our playroom full of baby things, many in fours, was extremely difficult. It will take some time before I can face going in there without crying.

Our other three, like typical preemies, change from day to day. The two boys have heart murmurs, but are responding to meds. Laura was doing the best, but is now on a special ventilator called an oscillator. It pumps 300 breaths per minute into her tiny lungs. But all are holding their own. I have three journals to track their day to day improvements, which will be encouraging along the way.

The joy and hope of my three living children tempered with the sadness and grief of losing our son is a very difficult place to be. We are in the process of trying to decide whether to have a funeral and burial or cremate. I never thought to be in this position. Only God is sustaining me now, I can assure you. Jim is crying and grieving as much if not more than I am. We can only cling to each other and be there for each other as we work our way through this difficult time.

We still appreciate your prayers for both Mommy and Daddy and our three precious children. They will be in the NICU for at least 10 weeks, and we will be traveling 45-50 minutes each way to get to them. I will also be pumping to provide breast milk for the babies, so life is already revolving around them.

As I’m sure you can tell from the whole tone of this email, this is a very difficult time for both of us. Thank you all for your support, prayers and understanding. I will not be on email that often, and the phone will be answered as possible. Visitors are welcome, but we ask that you call first.

Much love,

Tina

(I’d like to add that 6 1/2 years later Bennett, Ethan and Laura are healthy, happy and wonderful children and have an almost-5 yr old sister).