Baker Quads

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After three years of trying to conceive naturally. My husband, Tim and I decided to seek professional help from a Fertility Specialist. After a laparoscopy I was told I had endometriosis and one of my ovaries had fused to the wall of my uterus. But there was every chance we call fall pregnant using IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) after several failed attempts it was suggested that we might like to take the next step and go on to IVF (Invetro Fertilisation). After our 2nd attempt at IVF I suffered with Hyper Stimulation and was admitted to Liverpool Hospital. Upon my arrival at Liverpool Hospital I was given the wonderful news that we were in fact pregnant. The only problem being that Tim wasn’t with me when I received the news, so I had to mask my excitement, as I wanted Tim to be the first person I shared the wonderful news with and I didn’t want it to be over the phone. I remember discussing how we were going to share this wonderful news with our families and we decided we would give the proud Grandparents-to-be a Christmas Card from their Grandchild-to-be together with an Anne Geddes Calendar on Christmas Day… what a wonderful Christmas surprise. My stint in Liverpool hospital was a mere five days.

I suffered with severe morning sickness and fatigue. I recall going to Liverpool Hospital’s Emergency Department and being told that I might be having twins as my HCG levels were through the roof. Well it was highly likely as we had put two eggs back and there are twins on my side of the family. I was monitored closely, put on a drip to ensure I didn’t dehydrate and returned home the following day.

On the 20th January, 2003 I was scheduled for a follow up appointment with Dr Bernstein at City West IVF (IVF Australia) to have an internal ultra sound and check on the progress of our little miracle. I arrived at the clinic with my trusty little green bucket in hand…. you see I was sick 24/7 so where ever I went my little green bucket went so I didn’t make a mess and disgrace myself. I remember Dr Bernstein commenting on the fact it was the first time he had seen someone come into the office with a bucket. After my ultrasound it became all too clear why I was feeling so sick. You see I was not carrying just one miracle, not even two miracles, or three, I was carrying four little miracles. We were having quads.

Within the first 24 hours of receiving this news we had a roller coaster of mixed emotions. Tim was concerned with how we would afford it. I was just elated to finally be having a child and really wasn’t too concerned with how we would manage. Then Tim and I did a complete turn around, Tim was just excited that we were having a family and I was concerned with the finances, how were we going to be able to love four babies at the one time and share ourselves around, how would we be able to look after them all.

My pregnancy was far from a dream pregnancy, I was sick 24/7 as I have said before. I would suffer with what I called white outs, everything in the room would go white... it was like someone had put pillow case over my head. I could be walking up a flight of stairs and due to the pressure my legs would just go out from underneath me. At work I had a mat under my desk and whenever any of this would happen I would lay down for 20 minutes until it passed over and then get up and continue as usual. I remember receiving an e-mail from my Aunty Robyn at work just after I found out I was pregnant which read:

A Baby asked God...

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

"Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel’s love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand When people talk to me if I don’t know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking it’s life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name."

"You will simply call her, ‘Mummy’."

I can’t ever remember wanting anything more in my whole life.

After we found out we were having quads we were aware of the fact that our babies would be born premmie…. But I really had no idea of what that meant at the time.

At 24 weeks I was admitted to Liverpool Hospital on total bed rest with toilet privileges as I had a huge amount of pressure on my Cervix. There was talk of putting a stitch in but the risk of me going into labour early was too high, so it was decided against. I was given daily injections of Clexane & Heparin to thin the blood. I was given an ultra sound every week. I was also given several steroid injections to help the boys lungs mature. Every day the nurses would listen to the boys heartbeats with the Fetal Heart monitor. This was the beginning of one hell of a roller coaster ride of mixed emotions. Every week I would read up on what could happen if my precious boys arrived early. I spoke to with the Neonatologists, Counselors, Nurses, basically anyone who would give me information. I was a sponge and wanted to know all I could so I could prepare myself for what lie ahead. Believe me there were plenty of tears at the thought of doing all this hard work and coming all this way and going home empty handed. There was even the chance that I may not make it as well, as teary as it is to recall, I remember writing the most personal letters to my four precious boys so they would know how much they were wanted and loved way before they even entered the world, I wanted them to know how much their mother loved them, just in case I never got to tell them in real life. I wanted them to know all my dreams and wishes for them and the wonderful life that lay ahead. I always remained calm and believed in my heart that my four precious boys were not coming into this world before 32 weeks.

So I made up my mind that I was going to be in hospital for the long haul, I was going to remain positive and do all that I could within my power to give my boys a fighting chance at a normal and healthy life. I believed that if I was positive that it would have a positive effect on my precious boys. I was never one for religion but then again I was never one against it either, I just never really gave it much thought… But once we started IVF I started, I prayed every now and then that I would be blessed with a child, once I fell pregnant I prayed every now and then for a healthy and happy child, once I found out we were having quads I prayed every day for support and guidance.

Every morning I would be visited by the Dr doing rounds and a group of registrars, they would discuss my case and check that I was OK and ask if I had any questions. Tim and I had been kept well informed and knew that there was a team named the Quad Squad that was on call 24/7 ready to deliver when ever the time arose.

I had a wonderful time during my 8 week stay in hospital, I made wonderful new friends with all the staff, I had an endless stream of friends and relatives coming to visit to make sure I wasn’t bored. I also have a wonderful husband who never missed a day. I felt so loved and was very positive, I felt like I could achieve anything if I put my mind to it. I was exactly where I needed to be at the time and I made the most of it.

At 32 weeks spot on I went into labour…. Not that I knew I was in labour… I asked one of the nurses for pain killers as I was a little uncomfortable…. I remember Danni said… I think you are in labour.. let me get one of the Registrars…. Well sure enough I was in labour…. I had been in labour all day and had no idea…. I was 7cm dilated before I realised.

On the 29th June, 2003 with the assistance of Dr Gyaneshwar, Dr Zushmann and the Theatre Team I gave birth via C-Section to four beautiful, healthy baby boys… Nicholas Raymond who arrived weighing 1.495kg at 9.25pm, Lachlan John who arrived weighing 1.61kg at 9.26pm, James Sydney who arrived weighing 1.60kg at 9.28pm and last but by no means least Harrison Luke who arrived weighing 1.43kg at 9.30pm. The boys were 8 weeks premature.

All four boys required CPAP for the first 24hrs, our stay in the NICU was relatively uneventful. Besides from the normal stresses of having a premmie baby and dealing with all the machines, alarms going off and the fact that the boys were so small. The “Fabulous Baker Boys” spent just under a month in the NICU. During the boys time in NICU Tim and I spent countless hours just sitting and watching our boys…at first it was so overwhelming. I think all the staff must have thought I was psycho, I use to sit by the boys and just cry…it was hard to believe that we had been given our precious boys all in perfect health and that I had the honor & privilege of being their Mum and have front row seats to this once in a life time opportunity. Visiting the NICU everyday sure gives you a reality check on just how lucky you are. There are plenty of risks having just one baby and that became more apparent when I was in hospital…the risks with having a multiple pregnancy increase dramatically. Tim and I were so lucky. For the month we visited the boys in the NICU we saw many sick babies and were continually amazed. We saw parents that were so supportive of each other, we saw single parents coping under very stressful circumstances on their own and it amazed me all of them were so strong. When you are faced with problems it amazing this inner strength that builds within. I believe the staff in the NICU help build on this inter strength also….they give you all the support you could possibly ask for, they provide you with answers and if they don’t know the answers…they make it their business to find someone who can put your mind at rest….And most importantly they make you feel at ease when it is time to go home and get your rest. For me it was like leaving the boys with my parents or my sister….You just know that they are loved and are being looked after. I remember going to the ward on several occasions and which ever nurse was on duty with our boys would say that they were lucky to get the boys this shift. But it wasn’t just our boys who received this level of attention and care…. Every baby in the NICU received the same level of love and attention. These Nurses and Dr’s amaze me…..there is no way I could do it…. I’d fall in love with too many babies and never want them to go home.

The boys progressed in leaps and bounds and that was due to the care, affection and attention that I have been speaking about.. The boys were given a clean bill of heath and allowed to go home just under a month after they were born. In fact we were asked if we would like to take two home first as two of the boys were a little further advanced and it would give the other two time to catch up. My reply to that one was “ No thanks, we’ll wait for all four….throw me in the deep end sink or swim”. I didn’t want a false sense of security and who knows I may not have been game enough to go back and pick up the other two. Only joking!! There was no way I was going home without all four precious miracles.

Since going home from hospital people continually ask how we are coping…to which I reply “Better than I thought we would!!”… this is due to the fact that we followed the routines which had been established by the hospital. We set up a system where we document every feed, nappy change, when medication is administered. We had a roster set up with at least 20 volunteers who came every week…. With this system there is no chance the boys can ever overdose and if something was to happen and I had to leave in a hurry… everyone knew exactly where we were up to with the boys. There were no hiccups… the hospital showed us that babies need a well established and maintained routine to be happy and healthy …. And that is the reason I believe the boys are so healthy and happy today. The help and advice didn’t stop once we came home…. And I am sure if I had a problem today that I could pick up the phone no matter what time to ask a question and I would find a willing staff member who would be happy to help.

In every possible way the staff here at the hospital showed us great respect, care, privacy, compassion and above all understanding. We couldn’t have asked for better care. I have nothing but praise for Liverpool Hospital and the public system…

I count my blessings every day to have had this wonderful experience and to have been blessed with four healthy babies. And will always sit back and reflect on the excellent care and attention we received by all at Liverpool Hospital. I absolutely love being the mother of my four precious Miracle Babies. There are certain aspects of my experience that I would love to change, but on the whole I wouldn’t change too much.

I am the very, very proud Mum of four beautiful, loving, caring, cheeky, naughty, bugger boys.

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