This week our featured blogger is Gen McNulty of The McNulty Quads!. She is the proud MoM of 3 1/2 year old quads, Russ, Ally, Molly and Libby. She somehow manages to do it all while keeping a great sense of humor!
How did you begin blogging?
Conor started our blog shortly after find out we were pregnant with the quads. We have friends and family all over the country and wanted to keep them updated. At the time, I didn’t have a clue what a blog was!!!! No joke! When the kids were about a year old, I took it over and have been writing most of the posts ever since. BUT, my favorite posts are still the ones that Conor does! 😉
You had a pretty rough road to parenthood, can you discuss what your journey was like and offer any advice to families who may be going through the same thing?
Sure! I’m an open book about this stuff. If it can help someone else, it’s good to share!
I’ll do my best to give a good summary…
I have Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). We knew the journey to parenthood would not be easy, just didn’t understand how hard it was really going to be! We went through two years of fertility treatment and tried many medications. By the second year I was in bed most of my cycle, unable to walk. The pain of ovarian stimulation was unbearable and I’m a tough cookie! 😉 I suffered MANY many miscarriages during this time and under went many invasive procedures. By the end of the second year we were both emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted. We were broke and done. But, we decided to give it one more try. We did a cycle using follistim injections. When I ovulated ONE healthy egg I received a shot of HCG. The next day I went in for my first IUI. The ultra sound showed ONE very healthy egg. The next day I went in for my second IUI.. still ONE healthy egg. I spent the rest of the month in bed and went in for my blood test as soon as I could. We were hopeful but realistic. Later that day I received the call… “you are pregnant, VERY pregnant!” We were over the moon excited and had NO CLUE what those words would SOON mean. We were also VERY cautious. I had never carried a pregnancy past 11 weeks. SO, I crawled into bed and didn’t move, I was determined to carry this baby.
How did you and Conor react to news of quads?
I will NEVER forget it. I was 6 weeks along when I started bleeding. We thought we were losing the baby and rushed to the fertility clinic in tears. The doctor came in and didn’t say much. She did the ultra sound and announced.. “Well, that’s why your bleeding.. your having triplets! It’s normal to bleed with multiples!” We both smiled at each other and stared at the monitor in awe. I just remember thinking, “Wow triplets, WOW!” About a minute later, our normally dry and composed Dr., fell silent. Then she simple said, “Oh Sh&t there are 4!” Both of our jaws dropped and the room fell silent. It was VERY VERY QUIET. I remember laying there while she finished the exam thinking, “I can’t carry ONE baby, how am I going to carry 4?” The rest of the visit was a blur. We left the office unsure what to think or how to feel. We didn’t know if they would survive from week to the next and we were frozen.
What was your pregnancy like?
Very hard, but a distant memory. I was in bed from day one (and before). I was so afraid of losing the babies. By week 17 I was contracting. I had my first real scare and was in the hospital on pre term labor drugs. I was able to come home but was back in L & D by week 24. Again, I got to come home and was on strict bed rest with in home care. By week 27 I was back in the hospital for good. I delivered at week 31 and 5 days. I had every issue you can have, diabetes, high blood pressure, a broken rib (baby d- Molly) and pre term labor- to name a few.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done and the most rewarding!!!
How were the weeks after delivery, and the initial weeks that you had the quads home?
My recovery was a piece of cake! I have no idea how I got so lucky. I was up and in the NICU the same day I delivered. My recovery was no big deal at all. I did get a pretty major infection in the second week but moved right on. I have heard HORROR stories from my quad mom friends about the recovery process and feel blessed beyond belief.
Leaving my babies in the NICU and coming home without them was the hardest part for me. I knew they were in great hands but had so much emotion about it all. I spent all day everyday in the NICU pumping and being with our babies. The NICU is such a hard ride (for anyone) and we had our share of obstacles to over come.
It got even harder when the babies started coming home one at a time. We felt SO torn to be both places. By week 4 Molly was home, week 5 Ally, week 7 Libby and Russ came home at week 8 on oxygen. Once everyone was home it took a lot of getting used to but we were so happy to all be under one roof!
We had all the normal preemie issues and a few not so normal issues. All four babies had reflux and all four babies stopped breathing at one point or another. It was a very scary time. Russ had severe reflux. He ended up having surgery and has been a healthy happy boy ever since. Once Russ was off oxygen at 8months old things got a lot better!
Also, as a side note, we over came all the preemie issues and are doing GREAT today.
I have to ask, how do you do it?
We wanted them SOOO badly. SOOO SOO badly. They are a miracle and we never forget that. HOWEVER, man it can be crazy!!! Having a sense of humor is key. Conor and I are a great team and be make through one day at a time. Also, my girlfriends are a HUGE part of my daily life and sanity.
What are some of your favorite things to do as a family?
Anything normal!! 😉 We spend as much time as we can outside (the river, park, zoo etc.). Since out growing the quad stroller life is just different and better. Getting out isn’t a production like it used to be and no one notices us! It’s great!
What are some of the best advice you have received in regards to raising a family?
Enjoy every moment, even the challenging ones. It goes by so fast! Too fast.
Also, POTTY TRAINING… DO IT WHEN THEY ARE READY! It’s a piece of cake! I waited until our kids turned 3 and it took only four short days.
What question do you have for the MoMs and Dads in the community?
School.. our kiddos will be starting pre-school next fall. They will be just over 4 years old and I’d like to give them one year before Kindergarten. My question is… do you separate them or not? I know there are a lot of opinions out there and I would LOVE to hear yours!