Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fat to Fit: Week 1

Weight has always been a struggle of mine. I have never been a naturally thin person, and I have ranged from "lose another pound and you look like a skeleton" to where I am at now. I have to bust my butt by hardcore exercise and a pretty strict diet to lose weight, and have to continue to workout or I will gain it back. Pregnancy obviously jacks up my weight, and for some reason breastfeeding brings it up even more. I was never the lucky one who lost weight by nursing, I steadily gained weight until I weaned Ella at a year old, and it looks like I am following the same trend this go round. I have hypothyroidism, and it has to be managed just right for me to lose the weight. I have a follow up check in a couple of weeks, and I think it may be off a bit, but not by much because I don't feel like complete death. But I'm not going to wait, I am completely over being overweight. It's not only about being thin and looking better, but I want to FEEL better. I have 5 kids to keep up with, and it's also important to me to set the right kind of example for my children.

So what's my plan? To start off, I am going to do Couch to 5K. I completed my first night tonight, and let's just say I'm pretty out of shape! I was pretty fit before I got pregnant with the quads, so this is a big difference for me. But, I have to start somewhere, and Couch to 5K seems simple enough! I also plan on starting back Weight Watchers next week, I have had really great success with it before. I tried to start back a couple of weeks ago, but I did not have the right foods in the house and I was STARVING. Nursing 4 babies is no joke when it comes to the hunger department, I am burning roughly 1,500 calories a day just by making milk, so of course that has to go back in with food. I am going to do a big shopping trip this weekend and get everything I need!

My overall goal is to lose 50 pounds. This is going to take quite a while, especially if I can keep up with breastfeeding a while longer. I do not want to lose my milk supply, so the goal is 1-1.5 pounds a week after the first two weeks. Also, I am signing up for Warrior Dash, it is on March 16th, and it's a 5K run/obstacle course. I think I can get in shape in 6 months, even if I can't meet my weight loss goal by then!

I will be taking "before" photos and measurements tomorrow so I can follow my progress closely. I need to blog about this so I can be held accountable. If I put it out there, I have to do it, right?! Here I go!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A very late 4 month update!

Better late than never, right? We all know that I have never been great at updating this blog, and there are four new reasons why I have even less time now! The babies have been home for a little over 6 weeks now, and it's going very well, we are still over the moon to have our babies home with us! They are 4.5 months old and right at 2 months adjusted age now. I have been working on this blog post for several weeks now, and I tried to change around all the current dates/weeks/ages, but I could have missed something.

Our schedule has majorly changed over these past six weeks. I have found that letting the babies guide us into their own schedule has really worked for us. At first things went a little nutty with our schedule, but now it's back to what it was in the NICU basically, except the babies are now sleeping through the night from 9pm-6am. They eat every 3 hours during the day. If someone gets hungry in between feedings, I will nurse them, or if everyone is hungry earlier than "scheduled", I feed everyone. But they usually always want to eat every 3 hours on the dot which amazes me... Ella would have NEVER went 3 hours between eating when she was small, but I guess that is all the babies have ever known from being in the NICU, so they are used to it! The babies are eating between 3-5 oz a feeding. They all end up eating roughly the same amount thoughout the day, around 25 ounces, give or take a couple.

Individual updates:

Ella is doing great still. She still has her moments of frustration when we can't drop everything and do what she wants, but for the most part, she loves her babies and is happy they are here with us! She has started gymnastics one day a week and is LOVING it! This is really special to me because I was in gymnastics and competitive cheer growing up, and it was a huge part of my life. So I wouldn't be disappointed one bit if it turns into something she decides to stick with! It's so cute watching all the tiny toddlers in their little leotards! She loves all parts of gymnastics, but the bars were her favorite! Her BFF/cousin Mia is in the class with her which makes it all the more fun. :)
Right before her first gymnastics class

Ella and Abby right after Abby came home
Abby is doing great! She's still a chunk and is growing well. She's such a sweet, calm baby most of the time, but if she's mad she will be sure to let you know! She started smiling the day after my last update, and she has been letting out some adorable coos these days. She was the last to be able to push up on her arms while holding her head up high during tummy time, but was the second to roll over from belly to back. She doesn't cry often, but when she does, her little eyes fill up with a ton of baby tears, and it's a little heartbreaking!

Allie is doing great, too. We had a scare a bit ago, her follow up lab work a week after discharge indicated a high potassium level. We did a redraw the next day and got even higher numbers, so we were sent to Texas Children's. High potassium is a possible problem with her blood pressure medication, and it can be very bad for the heart and body if it stays high too long. We thought we were going to be admitted for observation and to figure out what exactly was going on, but the potassium level came back normal at Texas Children's. Apparently it was a problem with how they were taking her blood at the lab place we had taken her to. All future lab draws will happen at Texas Children's for sure! She also started smiling the day after my last update, and she hasn't stopped since! She just grins all the time, she reminds me so much of Ella as a baby in looks and personality. She is growing enough but on the smaller side, she is very petite like Ella was/ is! She enjoys tummy time and is the queen of rolling over. We had her first follow up renal appointment, and the doctor said they believe her high blood pressure is because of her immature preemie lungs, and that they expect her to grow out of it within a year, whoop! Such a relief!

Ella around 3 months on the left and Allie now on the right. I think they look a lot alike!

Corbin is doing great, too! He is growing great and is the fatty of the bunch! He is also easily impressed and smiles all the time, and started smiling the same day as Allie and Abby. He is the biggest FLIRT, he just stares, grins, and coos at you waiting for you to talk to him. He was the first to roll over about 5 weeks ago, but we think its because he came home first and had more of an oppourtunity. His brain scan that I was so worried about was completely NORMAL, proving once again how amazing our God is!

Carson is doing great and growing well. He actually just passed up Abby in weight and is now the second largest baby. He's our little charmer and he seems to be doing a ton better fussiness wise. He really likes his swing and dislikes tummy time unless he is asleep. He pushes up on his arms and holds his head up high during tummy time, but he is the only one not rolling over yet. He was the first to smile and coo though, so he says its all good! He is in love with the giraffee on his bouncy seat and talks to it constantly when he is in his seat. We call him the drama QUEEN of the bunch, he is defintely our most high maintinance baby, and will give the most pitiful lip pout you have ever seen.

ECI came out and evaluated Corbin a couple of weeks after he came home. He was zero months adjusted age, so of course they didn't expect him to do anything, but he was well ahead of the game in all areas, so he did not qualify for any services. The other three babies were evaluated the week before last. They also were all ahead of the game in development for adjusted age, they were measured on a one month adjusted age. Of course the babies are behind in development for their actual age (4.5 months old), but that's to be expected since they were born nearly 3 months early. They should catch up to their peers within 2 years. They did qualify Carson for Occupational Therapy (OT), but not because there is any big issues, it's just because he has reflux, and the OT said when babies have reflux they can develop sensory eating problems later in life when starting solid foods. She said she wanted to watch him to be better safe than sorry. Abby also qualified for OT at my request, she is really difficult to get to eat sometimes, so I am hoping the OT can help with that. But since qualifying her, her eating has gotten much better, and the OT hasn't had a chance to come out yet, so I am not sure if they will even keep her on.

Larry started back to work about a month ago, but only working a few days a week. Next week will be his first week back full time. We still have help from a few amazing family members a couple days a week, so I have only been on my own with all the kiddos for a full day a couple days a week. It goes really well with the exception of a few feeding times. Sometimes the babies eat great, and sometimes they don't. It can get extremely frustrating when they are all screaming hungry but are being difficult to feed. I've had a few crazy "I can't do this" freak out moments during those times because it's that frustrating. I can't wait until the day that they all eat well to say the least! But I did switch to level 2 nipples and that has cut out a ton of our feeding issues, I kicked myself in the butt for not doing it sooner! All babies are nursing now and we are VERY SLOWLY transitioning to breastfeeding. I do not want to completely overwhelm myself, so it's definitely a process. I am just now getting over another bout of mastitis, and unfortunately my milk supply took a small hit, but I'm busting my butt trying to get it back.

Corbin and Allie snuggling shortly after the girls coming home
The babies 4 month check up went well. No real issues, we are a little worried about Abby's head being flat in the back. She was on her back the most in the NICU and was the weakest baby because of her lungs, so I guess that is why hers is kind of flat. But the doctor said at this point not to worry, but if it hasn't gotten any better at our 6 month check up, we will probably need to have a consult for a helmet. But the babies were doing great and growing well.
Carson, Abby, Allie, and Corbin at their 4 month check up
Since they are well over 4 months old now (um, okay, almost 5 months old), I will give their current weights instead of their 4 months weights-

Abby is 11 pounds 7 ounces
Allie is 10 pounds 8 ounces
Corbin is 12 pounds 2 ounces
Carson is 11 pounds 8 ounces

I do not think they were on the growth charts for actual age at their 4 month appointment, but I am hoping a couple of them are by their 6 month appointment.

Overall things are going well, but its still a learning process. I have a hard times sometimes because somedays I would just love to get on the floor and play all day with my kids, but the laundry is always overflowing and the amount of bottles and pump parts that need to be washed every day is insane. It's hard knowing what it is like just having one baby at a time, all the cuddles and play time and individual attention... you just don't get a ton of that with high order multiples, and I really miss it. But I am slowly adjusting to our new normal and trying to figure out who this new Mom is. I refuse to give up several parenting aspects that have always been really important to me, even if it makes things "harder" on me, but I have defintely had to learn to let some things go and learn new ways to do things.

I am trying to think of some clever way to end this... but I'm a crappy writer and it's just not happening. And if I keep trying this post will never get published... so... goodnight!  ;)