Monday, September 27, 2010

Katelyn's Heaven Day

Our sweet angel. Today was a hard day, to say the least. One year ago today Katelyn went to Heaven and our hearts broke. The was the worst day of our entire lives - watching our baby fight so bravely for her life, then her body giving up. The evening of the 26th Katelyn starting getting bad and unstable. We rushed down to NICU from my hospital room in the evening, at 2am, then for the last time at almost 5am. She coded, but came back twice and we were so thankful and hopeful that she would pull through. They said making it to the third day was critical and she was 7 hours short of being alive 3 whole days! We had so much hope that her body could just keep fighting until the magical 3 day mark, then she could rest from the hard fight she had. We were devastated as the nurses unplugged her from the ventilator and monitors...she was now resting from her hard fight in our arms and we knew what that meant. The nurses escorted us to nesting room 1 as we had personal, family time with her in the last few moments, pouring out our love and cherishing the time we had. Katelyn died in our arms at about 5am September 27, 2009.

Today, my angel we celebrate your Heaven Day. It's the most comforting way to remember this terrible day. Today we celebrate your life and all that you have helped teach us. You have taught us strength, will to live, the joy of love and the pain of grief. We have found strength through God to get through each day until our family is complete in Heaven with you. When I was explaining your death to Hailey, I said you beat us Home! How I long for you in my arms, playing with your brothers and sisters, having all my kids together! Not having to explain that I don't have triplets, I have quadruplets! I know in my heart you are whole and not hurting. You have been basking in God's presence for an entire year now and find peace in that.

Last night was a really hard night and about the time Katelyn starting getting worse, I was rocking Brooklyn, then a flood of emotions and memories came. I let them come, savoring the memories of my pregnancy, watching the girls bounce together, holding her. The roughness continued throughout today and I had to leave work early because all I could think about was Katelyn and wanted to be with Nich. Tonight we planned to remember Katelyn and send up balloons like we had last year. Didn't go so smoothly - we took Brennan, Landon and Brooklyn to get their blood drawn, which took longer than expected and we had to divide and conquer the blood draw. I took Landon to get Hailey from day care while Nich and his dad finished with the other two. They got home late, we had dinner, the babies were crying most of the night, Hailey wasn't listening and by the time we had finally gotten outside it was dark and kinda rainy. Not at all celebratory weather, but we released the balloons and the peace came. God is so good! In the midst of extreme heartache, He brought healing and comfort. Since Katelyn died and Brennan, Landon and Brooklyn were so critical in the hospital, God has been so faithful (well all the time, this is just when we most felt it!), easing our hearts and minds so we can focus on Him in the midst.

So here are pictures from our healing balloon release to our special angel, celebrating her Heaven day!

Papa Dan, Hailey, Mommy, Daddy, Brennan, Landon and Brooklyn wrote messages to Katelyn on the balloons
Papa Dan, Nich's dad, carrying out the balloons

Daddy bringing out the kids

The gang in our new quad stroller. It was hard for me to get a four seater, but have peace to use it without the tears of not filling it with 4 babies. It's such a blessing and so much easier!

The inevitable - balloons stuck in the tree. Last year the balloon got stuck and it was pretty traumatic for Hailey. This year was easier, but of course they got stuck.

We are still on this journey of grief, but it is getting sweeter and not as painful. Typing this was so healing! When I started, the tears were streaming, but they've dried up and I really am able to celebrate her life! God is so good! I just keep thinking of the quote, there is no footprint too small, that it cannot leave an imprint on this world. That's you Katelyn! Even though you were to tiny and your time here was so short, you have left such an imprint on our lives and we are so thankful for the time we had you!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Brennan, Landon and Brooklyn!! What miracles you are! Their birthday was Friday and we didn't really do anything for it, other than their 1 year check up and some pictures. Oh man, never doing a yearly check up with immunizations just before their birthday party! They were grumpy!! 6 shots each and Brennan and Brooklyn have ear infections!

Group shot with our cool custom shirts! We couldn't get 1yr Birthday shirts in 6-9 months!
Brooklyn, Brennan and Landon - birth weights on front

Landon, Brennan and Brooklyn - 1yr weights on back

Brennan Nicholas - 1yr weight: 14lbs 11oz

Landon James - 1yr weight: 21lbs 2oz

Our two little sitters! :)
Brooklyn Danielle - 1yr weight: 15lbs 5oz

A couple weeks ago Hailey and I went shopping for a present for each baby. She picked them out with a particular baby in mind! We let her give her presents before we headed off to the party and she did such a great job helping them open them and showing them how to use everything!

The babies were so thankful for an AWESOME big sis this last year, they bought Hailey a Pillow Pet as thank you gift! She was so happy!

And now the festivities begin!

Birthday candles in banana baby food! Adjusted, they're only 8 months and definitley not ready for cake. We're planning on having a small due date party and letting them enjoy the cake in January!

Group shot eating their birthday lunch!

Brennan enjoying his bananas so much he took control of the bowl!

Landon spitting his out, as usual!

Brooklyn, Miss Independent feeding herself!
We had such a great day with family and friends from all over! Even their primary nurses came for the party! We want to thank EACH ONE OF YOU for all your support for these babies and our family over the last year. What a journey we've been on and we couldn't have done it alone! We are so blessed with such encouragement and these babies have an incredible family of support! God is so good! Another post to come of each of their developments at 1 year, but I have been wiped out this weekend!
You may like: Pollak Quads Birth Story, Brennan's Homecoming, Brooklyn's Homecoming and Landon's Homecoming as a refresher! I know we marveled at how far God has brought them!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Twelve eyes

All you miralces lovers will be overjoyed!! :)

Yesterday we took all the babies to their opthamologist appointment and they did all kids of eye exams on the kids. Each baby took it differently and oddly enough, Brooklyn was the most tolerant! :) She already has her glasses so she went first and didn't take too long. Then Brennan and Landon went in because they were in the stroller and Brooke needed to eat. The boys just hung out in their seats with each resident doctor checking out their eyes. They used lights, big toys, little toys, a weird noise thing all to see how their eyes responded and if they were tracking. Landon has always stumped us because sometimes it really looks like he's looking at you, but then other times you waive your hand in fornt of his face and he doesn't react. Brennan's eyes look down so much that it's hard to tell his vision too.

Then came the prescription part...

Oh my WORD! Brennan has -10 prescription in each eye and his retinas look much better than than the dr thought. Great news! Hopefully the glasses will help him want to open his eyes and look more straightforward. Next, Landon shocked us all! He has -5 in one eye and -7 in the other! He has the best prescription of all!! He also tracked the doctor, light and large toy! Not bad for a blind kid, eh?! :) God is SOOO good! In the Spring the doctors told us he'd probably be blind, deaf and unable to walk. Look how far God has brought him in a few months! He passed his hearing test (we'll find out more on the 30th), is kicking like crazy and can see!!!!! Miracles are just around the corner! I can't even express how THRILLED and thankful we are! It's so weird to have to worry about the basics of life - breathing, walking, eating, seeing, hearing. Lord help us remember not to worry about the basics, you take care of the birds and flowers and can take care of my kids!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hailey's Second First Day of School!

We're so thankful Hailey got into the full day preschool program and started today! She was one of the experienced preschoolers as she had been going to school for 2 weeks already! She was in Head Start which started just after Labor Day, then we got her waivered into the school district's program. Head Start was a great program, but only half day - 11:30-3:30, right in the middle of the day and made it really hard for Nich to make it to appointments. The school's is full day! This morning we were up bright and early with lunch packed! She got on the bus before I left for work and wondered why it was so dark!

Daddy woke up early to see her off too!

An old pro! She humored me my turning around for a pic. She was the first on the bus and knew just what to do!

Tonight I had to go grocery shopping to pack her lunch and she helped me put everything into the pantry. She's just a big helper! She made a pattern with the 2 different kinds of juice boxes, applesauce, fruit cups - everything! She's got her own part of the shelf and is going to pack her lunch everynight before bed. Well pick out her extras, Daddy's the king of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Hailey even wrote her name on the bottom of the bag! We've just gotta work with her to write in the right direction - she's a true lefty and wants to write right to left. She didn't do too bad though! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Landon loves bananas!

Here's a video of Landon eating bananas! That's actually all he'll eat now and still generally not very well. But tonight he LOVED them! I just kind of painted the bananas on his tongue and you could tell by his face when it hit his tastebuds!

Friday, September 10, 2010

FABULOUS pictures!

One of our friends Ashley came over a couple days ago to take pictures of the babies - their 1 YEAR pictures! She did a fantastic job!

They all actually feel asleep like this!
Landon - so cute!
Mommy kissing Landon - precious!

Brooklyn has so much spunk!

And a great fashion sense!

Brennan and Landon hanging out

My little darling! Can you believe how cute Hailey is!?

Such a little poser!

She was helping Ashley come up with poses and place to take the pictures! I think she's gonna be part photographer when she grows up!

Also, we wanted to invite you readers to their birthday party! You have meant so much - encouraging, praying, support our family through this incredible year! Thank you! If any of you are interested in coming, please email me or send me a facebook message...I didn't want to put the location or any details online. We want to have a celebration of their life and all that God has brought us through!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hailey's First Day of Preschool

It's true!! Hailey started preschool today and she could hardly contain her excitement! She's in the afternoon program so the bus picked her up just after 11am. We were down early so we wouldn't miss it. She came up with a "waiting for the bus" song and sang it over and over as she twirled her backpack and danced around the trees.

My little model posing with her backpack! She picked out her own outfit for the first day - pink leopard skirt, pink punk shirt, teal socks and rainbow leopard shoes. SO cute - thanks Nana!

Cheesing with Daddy! So proud of her!

She wanted us to sit the same way but since we both had skirts on we had to sit lady-like, which is NOT comfortable squatting in front of a tree.

That's all I got before I had to go to work but am so proud of her! She hopped on that bus like a pro - didn't even look back! We had to sign her onto the bus and Nich signed her out when she got off. She still hasn't totally described her day at school but said she had lots of fun, learned stuff and made friends. Hey, I guess that's what's important! I have no idea how she got so mature and such a big girl! LOVE this girl!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Keep pressing on

I should be sleeping but can't...I watched Suprisingly Quints on TLC as I was waiting to start Landon's Gtube pump for his overnight feed. Nich wasn't feeling well and doesn't like watching multiples shows anymore so he went to bed. I think his comment and my emotions as we're getting close to celebrating the day our life got turned upside down, got the best of me and I just can't sleep. Sometimes we can't help but long for life with four healthy babies.

There's been so many discouraging things happening in our lives and Nich and I are kinda run down that it's been really hard to keep pressing on. Keep going yep...that's easy just feeding and changing babies diapers over and over, but pressing on...seeking God and his plans for our family. That's been tough. Hailey starts preschool tomorrow and as excited as we are for her, it wasn't the program we were thinking it was. We're trying to find all new doctors because our insurance changed at work and our network doesn't participate in the new insurance. Landon's not eating by bottle hardly at all anymore. Hailey's been asking more questions about death, much bigger than I can answer right now. Reminders of how crazy our lives are now and how big (to us) the challenges our children have to face are.

When we were in the NICU, Brennan, Landon and Brooklyn were fighting for their lives - breaking the "23 weeker" box over and over! Now we're seeing the challenges Landon and Brennan have ahead and have to work through them. Landon's delays and Brennan's vision - those are pretty big things! It's been hard to keep pressing on when faced with such huge challenges. I guess that's the same with any difficult thing we're facing. From the very begining, God has had our family in His Hands. He's been cheering them on and pulling for them! We are so thankful for the little miracles they are but we need a boost! Lord, give us strength and hope for the rough road ahead. Keep our eyes focused on Your plan for our lives and our family. You will give us this strength if we focus on you! Help me remember these discouragements are just that, but You give us Hope for the future!

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's all fun and games until...

I have so many drafted blog posts, but when I log in to update them I get distracted catching up with all of yours!! And we kind of have a lot going on here!

So last week I put the boys down to play with each other and this is what happens!

Don't even know the other one is there - Brennan busts out his goofy smile...

They find each other...
Aww! Holding hands, until....

Ka pow! Landon clocks him! Don't worry - he hardly touched Brennan, but it shocked him!

They're making up :) Brennan's telling secrets!

Still chatting away! Landon talked his ear off and Brennan was nodding off to sleep. A picture of what nights will be when they share a room! They're going to have so much fun together!