Saturday, 2 March 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Little Stars!

(pictures by The Post)

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since I lay in hospital awaiting the birth of my four little stars. Reading back on the journey my family and I have been through brings a tear to my eye. It has been the most challenging year of my life, but wow am I proud of where we are now and what we have gained from it all. I have learnt so many valuable lessons about myself and fallen in love with my husband all over again. Something like this could have broken most relationships but for Martin and I it has brought us closer together. We are a team like no other! My beautiful Luke who is now 3 and a half has had such a tough time but has also gained so much from the experience. He is now a well rounded social butterfly, happy to adapt to any situation and new people. I feel truly blessed by my amazing family.

My little Reuben, Joshua, Zachary and Samuel have conquered their first year of life but the strangest thing for me is not having a real day to celebrate their birthday on. We will have to wait another three years to celebrate properly for them on February 29th. It still seems incredible that they decided to make an appearance on that day rather than any other. We are one of only two sets of quads on record ever to be born on a leap year, now that’s special! I will never forget the moment the doctor examined me and told me I was 3 centimeters dilated and that after 7 long weeks of bed rest and at only 29 weeks gestation I was finally going to be meeting my four little stars!

Born at a tiny 3lbs and under, my boys are all now between 20 and 23lbs. It’s hard to remember the fragile little babies I first met lined up next to each in their incubators when I look at them now, it’s all quite a blur to be honest. Spending every day of 8 weeks with them at St Micheals Hospital, praying that they would grow and develop properly as they were still so premature. Luckily for us we have four perfect little boys who are so full of life. Their little personalities are developing so much now. Sammy is such a mummys boy, he loves his cuddles and is the most loving out of the four.  Zachary is easy going and bubbly and always chuckling to himself, I think he’ll be the quiet happy one. Reuben is quite a bully and always just wants what everyone else has and Joshua is the boisterous leader and is always the first to learn new things. Even though they are a year old they are only really 9 ⅓ months old corrected. They have followed their developmental milestones for their corrected age which is wonderful and are all just starting to crawl. It’s going to be something else when they are all properly on the move.

As they get older they are becoming a lot easier to manage which is slowly freeing up more and more of our time. We have gone from feeding them a total of 32 bottles a day with a feed taking anything between 1 ½ - 2 hours to 3 meals and 2 bottles a day which they now feed themselves. To say the early days were very hard is an understatement, I don’t think I will ever be able to explain to anyone who hasn’t been in the same situation what we went through, and when you’re in that place of sleep deprivation and continuous care it’s hard to think that’s it’s ever going to get any better, but it does. They are truly amazing human beings who bring so much joy and laughter to our lives. They absolutely love Luke and even though he doesn’t like to admit it you can see that he really loves them too. He only has to sing them a song or run up and down playing with cars for them to all be in absolute hysterics.

We have decided to celebrate their big day on the 1st of March as they were born at 11pm on the 29th. We are going to be having a big birthday party with all the amazing people who have been a part of their lives over the last year. I know I’ve said it many times before but without all the wonderful support from friends, family, the community, charities like Homestart, readers of my blog and all the other people involved in their lives we wouldn’t have made it through this first year. Thank you to all of you . This is just the beginning but what a first year it has been! 

Happy 1st Birthday Ru, Zac, Josh & Sam! We love you very much!!!


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Brotherly Fun!

I had to share this adorable clip of Zachary (on the left) and Reuben having their first proper chat and giggle over their toast this morning. It is one of the cutest things I've seen them do so far. They are really starting to enjoy each others company! 

Happy Valentines Day to everyone. I hope you've all spent a special day with the ones you love.

Two weeks till the big 1st Birthday! I cannot believe a whole year has gone by already. What an amazing journey so far ...

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Risky Business...

You never know if its going to go wrong with a whole supermarket waiting to see the show!

Lucky for us todays sholping trip went smoothly :) The boys loved sitting in the trolley for the first time. I've been told by other multiple mums that some supermarkets will even make a quad tolley by request. That's something to put on the to do list as I'll be able to get to the shops on my own then.

Friday, 25 January 2013

A Walk in the Park

I've been getting out quite a bit lately, even with the boys and the buggy now weighing about 65kg (10st). It's a serious workout!

Here we are yesterday in our local park. It was looking so pretty with the last of the snow and ice covering the ground and trees. The boys love our little outings and it also sends them off to sleep which I love too!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Happy Christmas!

 (left to right: Ru, Zac, Josh & Sam)

It’s certainly been a while since I’ve managed to find the time to update you all on the progress of my four little stars! The last couple of months have been completely taken up by our house move and illness. Not long after we moved the boys came down with a horrible case of gastroenteritis which lasted three weeks and unfortunately only a couple of weeks of having them back to normal they picked up the RSV virus and were admitted to hospital with Bronchiolitis.

Poor little Zac had the longest stay of 14 days while Sammy was in for 11 and Josh and Ru 9. They all had a really tough time during their stay and I was just very glad to see the end of it. They deteriorated quite quickly and I think due to the fact that they were so premature with weak respiratory systems they all ended up being ventilated and on IV drips as they were unable to breathe or feed properly. It was hard seeing them so helpless and poorly! I had flash backs of the difficult time we spent in NICU all those months ago. Luckily we were out three days before our planned trip to Devon for Christmas.  I would have been devastated to have missed such a special event. There were 28 of us in total consisting of family from South Africa, Australia and the Isle of Man. Luke had a ball with his cousins and the boys were spoilt rotten with love and attention. We have just got back and I'm finding it quite hard to get back into the daily routine with just the two of us! I just want to thank my wonderful dad and Bek for the finding such a gorgeous rural house for us all to enjoy and to everyone else for all the amazing food, company and help with the boys. We will remember this Christmas forever.

Aside from all the illness the boys are actually doing really well. They have been seen by their consultant in the last month and she was really happy with their development both mentally and physically. Ru is the big boy of the bunch sitting on the 91st percentile for his corrected age of 7½ months. Josh and Zac are both on the 75th percentile and Sammy is on the 50th which is amazing. Quoting her words, you really wouldn’t know they were premature babies anymore; they have caught up amazingly well. Poor Sammy has had a few feeding issues as he has serve silent reflux so it has meant a bit of a struggle when it came to milk and weaning. He looks like the skinny one of the bunch but I think he’s just going to be the tall skinny one as he is much taller than his brothers. They are all at different stages in their physical development. They are all sitting except for Sammy and Josh is just about on the move. He’s slowly dragging himself across the floor which is quite funny to watch.

We’ve just about settled into our new home. It was quite an operation packing, moving and then unpacking all at the same time as trying to look after the boys and little Luke. It wouldn’t have been possible without all the amazing help from my South African ‘sistas’ (a wonderful group of South African ladies living in Bristol) and friends and family. We now have enough room for everybody, at least for the next couple of years!
I can't believe how quickly this year has gone! This time last year I was 20 weeks pregnant, the size of a 9 month singleton mum wondering just how much longer I was going to be able to last as it was starting to get really tough for me. Well look at us now!  Happy Christmas and New Year to you all! I hope you have a very special festive season. 

Here are a few pics from our Christmas in Devon.

My Stars at 10 Months x

A little insight into my boys at 10 months old made by a special friend. Thanks Donna xxx

Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Goodness of Plum

My little stars have just been given another very special treat! Organic baby food company Plum has kindly donated us a hamper of their very tasty and healthy Stage 1 baby food. On the menu for breakfast today was Banana and Apricot oaty porridge which is always a real hit with the boys! They also love the Mango and Banana, Squash & Sweet Potato and Parsnip, Pea and Pear. 

I was always of the mindset I would be making all their puree myself as I wanted them to have nutritious organic fruit and veg. Well the wonderful people at Plum do just that for you without all the mess and fuss. I've had such fun taste testing all their wonderful products with the boys. They also have some fab weaning tips and puree recipes on their website (click plum above). Thank you Plum!

Where's our breakfast... Hurry Mum!

It's your favorite boys: Banana & Apricot

Me next, me next!