The featured blogger this week is Melanie of The Etter 6 Pack! Melanie is the proud MoM of 2 year old Quads, Jacob, Jeremy, Andrew, and Nathan. Jacob and Jeremy are identical.

How did you react when you found out you were pregnant with quads?

Let me just start by saying that I thought that it would not be possible for my husband and I to get pregnant. After exploratory surgery I was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis and the doctor gave us a 25% chance of getting pregnant with assistance and less without. Despite the news we decided to try on our own with a little help from clomid and lots of prayer. 3 months later we finally had a positive pregnancy test! We were nervous and excited at the first ultrasound at 6 weeks. I couldn’t wait to hear the heartbeat. It seemed like the ultrasound tech took forever and I thought that maybe the baby didn’t have a heartbeat….but finally she announces…here is a baby…and here is a baby…then another long pause and I think, yep here is another baby. Our first ultrasound showed 3 babies! We were overcome with joy, shock and didn’t know what to say. Smiling from ear to ear we schedule a second ultrasound in 2 weeks to make sure everyone is ok. Again during that second ultrasound there is a long pause from the tech. Nervous again I thought the worst…maybe we lost one or all 3?!?! Nope they find a fourth baby. By this time my husband looks at me and can’t stop smiling. He is so excited! Me on the other hand just break down crying. Not just a few tears…sobbing. The idea of triplets had some time to sink in over the last 2 weeks, but now with 4 on the way I didn’t know what to think. There was a wave of panic and a lot of anxiety. I was in nursing school at the time and had 1 semester left to become a registered nurse. There was no way I could finish that now with 4 babies in my belly. I worried about how we would take care of them all and how we would afford to live. After the initial shock passed I too became very excited. We finally got the blessing we prayed for.

How was your pregnancy?

Considering I was carrying 4 babies I had a great pregnancy. Didn’t have morning sickness until about 10 weeks along or so and that would only last until 10 in the morning or so. In the begining I was very tired. I was working full-time as a nurse, so I was always worn out by the end of the day. By 20 weeks I had a cerclage placed and was on limited bedrest. Meaning I was supposed to be off my feet most of the day, but could get up for short periods of time. I was actually thankful for bedrest. Being on my feet all day would get tiring and carrying around that heavy belly would leave me achey by the end of the day. I was able to stay at home for all of my time on bedrest thankfully. I delivered the boys at 32 weeks. I was ready for them to be delivered then too. Walking anywhere was difficult and I would become winded by walking from the couch to the bathroom. Eating and drinking was difficult too. There was no room for my stomach so I could only eat a few bites of a meal. Otherwise I enjoyed being pregnant and feeling those little boys wiggle around in my belly.

What tips do you have for other MoM’s on bedrest?

While I was on bedrest I wish I would have read more and started my blog sooner. It is amazing how fast I forget things that happened when I was pregnant and when the boys were first born. I am thankful I blogged as much as possible to help remember things. I would also try to connect with other mothers of multiples. I didn’t do too much of that, but it would have been nice to know how others did things (especially when the babies first come home). We didn’t have a lot of help, so to know from others what their babies liked or did not like would have been very helpful.
Another thing I was not good at was letting others do things for me. Various people offered to do things from bring dinners to cleaning house. I am bad about being independent about things and didn’t always accept the help.

How do you juggle work, family life, and marriage all while raising almost 2 year olds?

This is an everyday challenge for us. My husband and I work opposite shifts 4 days a week. This is great for us so the boys don’t have to go to daycare and I love being home with the kids during the day. The difficult part is getting family and marriage time in. We don’t have a lot of help so usually the only time my husband and I have together is when we go grocery shopping or when the kids go to bed at night. During this time we try to reconnect and spend time together. Family time is usually on the weekends. Since the boys are older it is a little easier to get out of the house and do things. They love going to the park and being out doors. Thankfully it is summer so we should be able to do more outdoor activities

What would you do with an extra kid free hour in your day?

An extra kid free hour?!?…I recently started running. I would take more time for that. Right now I run at night when I get off of work. This is difficult because I don’t get home until 8:30 or 9:00 then running for 30 min on the treadmill. Then I have a difficult time sleeping since I just worked out. On the days I didn’t workout I would work on scrapbooks. I have been trying to get going on those, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day.

What question(s) do you have for the other families in the community?

I would ask people of higher order multiples what they do about getting out into the community. My kiddos do not stick around when we go somewhere, so we are constantly chasing after one of the boys. I would love to get out with them by myself, but don’t know how.

Discipline is another thing we have a hard time with. One of the boys refuses to listen and will continue to do the same thing over and over he is not supposed to. We have tried ignoring and time out, but no luck.

Also, is there anyone out there that homeschools their multiples? We have kicked around the idea, but haven’t decided.