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Heaps of Joy blog: Waiting for the quadruplets to come home

By JoAnna Heaps, WDBJ7 Blogger
Published On: Feb 26 2014 04:40:03 PM EST
Updated On: Apr 02 2014 06:06:12 PM EDT
Heaps of Joy

The babies are almost two weeks old. Seems like yesterday, but it also seems like forever.

I want them home. Not until they are completely ready, but still, I want them home. I miss them when I have to leave them at the hospital each day. I hate it when they are crying and I can't pick them up and comfort them. I feel guilty when I don't have time to hold them all. It's hard.

I have to say that it's nice to be able to breathe and sleep and walk farther than 30 feet. I felt guilty for a while that my body gave up and the babies were born so early. Thankfully, they are doing so well right now that I can feel relief.

I had a mother say to me the other day at a lacrosse game that she couldn't believe I was there because she would be at the hospital all the time. I used to think that way too, but you don't know until you are in this situation. I have other kids I need to see. This was Aj's lacrosse game. I want to see him play. He will remember if I show up or not; the babies won't right now.

Plus, I had been there that morning and I was going back that evening. But that goes along with the guilt I feel. Now with six kids, I want be everywhere all the time. I never want to leave the Quads. I want to be at all of Aj's games, and I want to be available to Chris all the time. It's hard, and the babies aren't even home yet.

I also knew that I would love the babies with my whole heart, but I didn't know I how much more it would make me appreciate my older kids. They have been more than amazing. Seeing how much they love them astounds me. I have never in my life seen a prouder daddy than my husband. The love I see in his eyes -- I have never been happier. Yes, our family doubled in size, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

An update on the quadruplets

March 26, 2014

Thirty-one weeks, yay!! We made it. OK, we didn't quite make it all the way, but we have ALL made it.

My beautiful babies are here, born last Friday after a day of not knowing what's going on with me. My blood pressure spiked. I was told I had preeclampsia and the babies had to come. The birth went wonderfully. Carter first, then Wyatt, Olivia (who came out crying), and Jackson. The doctors and nurses were amazing.

I am so happy my babies are here. They are doing amazing, and we know we are blessed.

For me, going to the NICU is a little bit of a stressor. I want to be able to pick them up and calm them and take care of them. I am their mother. I am supposed to soothe them and kiss their pains away. I am supposed to be able to touch my babies when I want.

I know that I had a lot of time to prepare myself, knowing they wouldn't come home with me, but it's different when they are here and it’s a reality.

I just want someone to tell me that everything is going to be OK, that all my babies are coming home to me soon.
Right now for Jon, the NICU is sort of calming. He knows his babies are being well cared for, (as do I). He is learning so much up there. They have taught him how to change a diaper, take the babies’ temperature, how to calm them when they are agitated, and how to hold them. He can just sit up there hours at a time and watch them or even take a nap with them. I have never seen a prouder or more attentive daddy.

My heart swells when I see my two oldest boys and my husband with the Quads. They are so proud of them and love them so much. I really wondered if they would love them like I do, and they have surpassed my hopes. In fact, as I write this, Chris, my oldest, is at the hospital visiting them on his own. Aj loves to show them off and can't wait to have people visit them.

I am blessed beyond measure, and I know that even with my stress and insecurities all is going to be well. God is in control.

On a bad day for me, one of the nurses wore scrubs that had Dragonflies on them. He is always here.

You can follow more updates on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heaps-of-Love-Quads/265264510288465?ref=stream

JoAnna Heaps lives in Salem. She is WDBJ7's "Heaps of Joy" blogger. JoAnna has two children, and is expecting quadruplets. She will be posting updates every Wednesday.

BABIES ARRIVE

All four babies arrived!

The quadruplets were born Friday, and are all doing well.

Click here to see pictures of the babies: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heaps-of-Love-Quads/265264510288465?ref=ts&fref=ts

30 WEEKS, AND A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

March 19, 2014

30 weeks today AND it's my Birthday!! Good day all around!

I was a little afraid that the babies would want to come on my birthday, because if you ask my family and friends, I am a little selfish when it comes to my birthday. I love it.

My mom always made my birthday special when I was little, and I guess I carried on the tradition. I wasn't sure if I would want to share "my" day with the Quads. Who would remember me anymore? It would always be the Quads’ day after that.

But now, after 30 weeks, I am glad they aren't here for another reason; they don't need to be yet. I want them to grow stronger, healthier and when they are ready -- and if it just happens to not be on my birthday -- well :)

I keep getting asked if I am ready. If they are asking if the house is ready, if we have cribs, play pens, swings, diapers, onesies, then yes, I am ready.

But if they are asking if I am ready mentally, I am not so sure. Who really is ever ready for a baby, and all the changes that he or she will bring, let alone four babies all at once? I have no idea if I am ready. I pray each night that I am, that Jon is and that my other two sons are, but until the babies get here, I won't know.

Four babies to feed, four babies to change, four babies to try and get to sleep, four babies crying. I think about these things A LOT. But then I think about four babies to love, four babies to hold, four babies to rock, four babies who will look at me (for a while at least) like I am their whole world. This is what makes me smile.

So am I ready for that? Yes. For everything else, I will take it one day and one minute at a time.

You can follow more updates on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heaps-of-Love-Quads/265264510288465?ref=stream

JoAnna Heaps lives in Salem. She is WDBJ7's "Heaps of Joy" blogger. JoAnna has two children, and is expecting quadruplets. She will be posting updates every Wednesday.

The symbolism of dragonflies

March 12, 2014

29 weeks!!! Yahoo!! Each week is a blessing. Babies are doing great. My belly is getting bigger and bigger. They move constantly. Sometimes it's very strange to see my belly moving all over the place like it's bubbling, but it makes me very happy knowing they are doing so well.

The Dragonfly

In 2011 Jon and I went to Weirton, W.Va., to spend Thanksgiving with his Nana, who lives in a nursing home, and his parents, sister and her family. Jon and I had been trying to get pregnant for about a year-and-a-half by now, with surgeries and IUI and lots of shots. We were both frustrated and sad that it hadn't worked yet.

While in Weirton we decided to go to a place that has a whole neighborhood of Christmas lights and Christmas stores. At one of the stores, Jon was buying his mother a Christmas present. At the check-out there were little dragonfly magnets. I felt like God was telling me to buy one. I argued with Him for a bit saying I don't even like dragonflies, but God told me that whenever I looked at it, I would be reminded of Him, and that He had everything under control. So I gave in. Jon just kind of looked at me funny and I told him I know, but just go with it. I put the dragonfly magnet on the counter and bought it.

After this, I started seeing more dragonflies around and was always reminded of God and his promise to us. But we tried for another year to get pregnant with no luck. So around Thanksgiving 2012 we made the decision to stop trying. The hormones were starting to make me a little crazy and the money being spent was really starting to add up. I told Jon the story about the dragonfly and he said maybe God was saying He had something else in mind for us, but He was still in control.

We went about our business, continuing to see dragonflies. Our friends bought us things with dragonflies on them. Around July 2013, Jon and I had a long talk, and he told me that he felt like we left things unfinished and maybe we should try again. I told him with my age, that if we are going do this, it has to be now, and it will have to be in vitro. We discussed the money, time, etc., and said we would pray about it.

The next day was a Saturday and we went to play golf with the boys. While golfing, we saw dragonflies flying around. We had our answer. We called Dr. Slakman, who was the doctor who performed our IUIs, and got in the next Friday to see him. We went in and talked to him and he gave us three choices for fertility doctors.

That next Monday, I called all three of them. One place shut down for the month of August. At another place, the girl was chomping gum while talking to me and couldn't get us in for a month. I then called Charlottesville, and they could get us in that Thursday. We went to Charlottesville and had a nice meeting with them, where they told us all about the risks, costs, and procedures. We made another appointment for the next week to come back and take tests to make sure we were even candidates for the procedure.

When we came back for the tests, Jon and I stepped off the elevator and for some reason I looked up. When I did, I immediately teared up. Jon looked at me funny and when he looked up, he was speechless. Painted on the ceiling were probably 100 dragonflies. We knew then we were at the right place, that everything was going to be OK, and that HE was in control.

You can follow more updates on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heaps-of-Love-Quads/265264510288465?ref=stream

JoAnna Heaps lives in Salem. She is WDBJ7's "Heaps of Joy" blogger. JoAnna has two children, and is expecting quadruplets. She will be posting updates every Wednesday.

Our reactions to having quadruplets

March 5, 2014

Well, we made it to 28 weeks!!! Yay for all of us. It is a big milestone. Now we are hoping for 30 weeks.

Well onto our reaction about the news of having quadruplets. I was getting an ultrasound. The doctor who was performing the ultrasound was not the one who performed the in vitro. But the nurse in the room was with us for the in vitro procedure.

So the doctor starts going over my belly and I think that I see two little beans. I think to myself that we are going to have twins, which was fine. In my mind I know we can handle that. Then the doctor says, "Refresh my memory, we put three embryos in, right?"

My husband Jon, me and the nurse all answer ‘yes’ at the same time. Well, the doctor then said "lighting struck." Immediately my mind goes to, ‘Well guess I was right. We are having twins.’ My poor husband's mind goes to, ‘Oh no. None stuck.’ Then the doctor says you have four heartbeats. The nurse gasped. I yelled "FOUR," and poor Jon sat there dumbfounded. I started laughing, and I don't think I stopped for 30 minutes.

The doctor finally said he was going to give us a few minutes to digest this and then he would meet with us. Jon still hadn't spoken and I was laughing so hard that I had tears running down my face. I got dressed, tried to control my laughing, and then tried to get Jon to speak.

We went into the doctor's office and talked about the dangers of carrying quadruplets. The doctor discussed selective reduction, which Jon and I both said no to. Jon finally talked and asked about my health, and how this would affect me. The doctor was very thorough and gave us a lot to think about. We made an appointment to come back the following week, and walked quietly to our car.

The first few minutes of the drive back to Roanoke from Charlottesville were quiet. Then I said, ‘Well, I guess we should call our families. You know they are waiting.’

Poor Jon kind of numbly shook his head yes. We called our parents and they were shocked, happy, worried, thrilled. I text messaged a few friends and they didn’t believe me. So I had to call them and tell them, that yup, it's true. I am not joking. We are really pregnant with FOUR babies!!

My boys had different emotions. My oldest, Chris, wasn't thrilled at all. He was getting ready to start college. He was worried about his mom etc. Aj, was pretty stoked. He couldn't and still can't wait.

Our church was in the middle of revival week, so we went to church and as soon as I walked in all the ladies immediately surrounded me and wanted to know how the appointment went with the doctor. I tell them four babies. Some just smiled, some said congratulations, others looked worried. But they all said we will pray for you. The men said congratulations, but thank goodness it's not us! I know that is what everyone is thinking.

We went back to the doctor the next week. Jon had just started talking in full sentences. He tells me how scared he is for my health, the babies’ health, and of course our finances -- which I understand. I let him know that I needed his support, I needed him to talk to me, to be a part of this pregnancy, that I couldn't do it alone. It was a great trip, and a good talk. We got to see our babies’ heartbeats again and they were all strong. We knew we were going to be OK. The dragonflies let us know. I will explain how next week!

In the meantime, you can follow more updates on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heaps-of-Love-Quads/265264510288465?ref=stream

JoAnna Heaps lives in Salem. She is WDBJ7's "Heaps of Joy" blogger. JoAnna has two children, and is expecting quadruplets. She will be posting updates every Wednesday.

Well, hello third Trimester!!

Feb. 26, 2014

Hi, my name is JoAnna, and you may have heard my story last week on WDBJ7. I am pregnant with quadruplets -- three boys and one girl. (Click here to see WDBJ7’s original story: http://www.wdbj7.com/news/local/salem-couple-expecting-quadruplets-this-spring/24576684)

I am now 27 weeks pregnant, and we made it to the third trimester. Doctors are pretty thrilled about it, and so are we. Of course our first goal is 28 weeks, and we only have one more to go. But our big goal is 32 weeks and then 34 weeks. I think the babies know I am writing about them right now; they are kicking up a storm. 

I have two sons from a previous marriage. Chris is 18 and in college, and A.J. is 12 and in the sixth grade.
My husband Jon has no children of his own, so we thought we would try for one. We tried for three years with infertility doctors, shots, IUI, etc., but nothing worked. We took a few months off to decide what we were going to do.

After prayer and long talks we decided to try in vitro fertilization. We knew we could only do it once, because of the cost and my age. I am 40. Well, it only took one time. We went in for a consultation and the doctors warned us that there was only a 14-20% chance that it would work.

We started the shots, the medicine, etc. for about a month, then it was time to see how many eggs we could extract. We went to Charlottesville on a Thursday and they were only able to get six eggs out; we were hoping for 15, but my left ovary just wasn't cooperative.

So they took the six eggs and combined them with my husband’s specimen. They told us that it would either be three days or five days -- depending upon how the eggs were fertilized -- before they would put them back in me.
Saturday morning at 7 a.m. my phone rang and it was the doctor in Charlottesville. He said that the eggs were ready and wanted us there at 10 a.m. Jon and I were both nervous and excited at the same time. When we got there, the doctor told us that three eggs were perfect and the other three probably weren't going to get any better. So they would insert three fertilized eggs and we would pray for the best.

We had to wait two weeks for our next appointment, but I couldn't wait that long. After 10 days I took a home pregnancy test and, well, POSITIVE!

Next week find out all about our reactions to the news.... :)

JoAnna Heaps lives in Salem. She is WDBJ7's "Heaps of Joy" blogger. JoAnna has two children, and is expecting quadruplets. She will be posting updates every Wednesday.