Sunday, May 8, 2011

Becoming A Mom/Kun minusta tuli äiti

January (or February?) in 1999, picture taken by our pediatrician. I think.

I always wanted to be a wife and a mom. When my older siblings started their families, my favorite thing to do was babysit. I couldn't wait to become a mom myself. It probably wasn't a surprise to anyone when I got married young, but what was a surprise was the fact we couldn't get pregnant when we thought we were ready to have a baby.

During the difficult infertility years a friend told me maybe God was preparing us for something special, like triplets. I remember laughing nervously. Oh no, not me!! I also remember telling a friend with twin boys "better you than me". Boy, was that one coming back to bite me later..

Finally in the Spring of 1998 we found out I was pregnant. Oh, the joy and happiness!! I had about a month of sweet day dreaming about that little bundle of joy before we had our first ultrasound.

The Captain was able to come with me to the ultrasound. We couldn't wait to hear 'all was well' with our baby. The technician was so quiet. We could see three ovals on the monitor, and the Captain remembers thinking "how can she tells which one is the baby". Finally I asked: "Are they all babies?" The technician nodded, and quietly kept doing the ultrasound. Then a fourth oval popped up on the screen.

I don't write a lot about the early years of having children. The simple reason is I don't remember a lot. Starting from that first ultrasound it's all a big blur.

There were tears. A lot of tears. And fears. We were advised to have selective reduction to give two of the babies a better chance of survival. We were confused and scared, but that we knew: selective reduction was not an option for us. We had prayed to have children (I had specifically prayed to have four children - didn't realize God would take me so literally ;-). These babies were gifts from God, and He would see us through - no matter what the future brought.

Whether any of them would survive. Whether some (or all) were born with complications. He would be with us, He would equip us. My verse to cling on those first months was: "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13

Those seven months of pregnancy stretched our faith in such big ways.

And then they were born! Two months premature, about three pounds each, three boys and a girl. Tiny, healthy - except typical preemie issues, they were perfect. But quickly whisked to a NICU (in fact the operating room was quite the zoo with all the doctors and nurses).

I was wheeled in to see them the next morning. I got to hold my daughter two days later for the first time, on my birthday. And the boys each. And a month later our little girl was first to come home, weighing at four pounds. Two months later, all the boys were home too, and our new normal was starting to look quite... not so normal.

When the babies first came home from the hospital, they needed to be fed every two hours. Day and night. After they each were fed, burped and changed (sometimes changed again), there was a half an hour window before we had to start over again. To feed, burp and change. And repeat. And repeat. And...

The babies were color-coordinated to have their own bottles. We had charts to record every feeding & diaper change. (Had to keep track each baby was fed - it would have been easy to feed one twice and skip another when you hadn't slept or showered for who knows how long!).

The Captain's parents moved to be closer. My dad had stopped by (a business trip to LA from Finland!) two days after the babies born. My mom came for a month. A friend who had just graduated from medical school in Finland came to be with us for five months to help. A local friend volunteered for a year, then moved in with us. My younger sister came when the babies were less than a year old, and stayed for six years (you are the best!!!). Another friend came from Finland for three months to help visit. Such blessings. We would not have survived without our helpers and loved ones.

Our families, our church family, our neighbors, even strangers came together to support our large family. For the first three months people brought meals, others came over to clean or help with laundry, and a team of 20-something generous folk took turns to come over to rock, feed & change babies. Day and night, usually at least for three or four nights a week, and most days. One gifted friend organized the schedule, another one sent birth certificates to companies, who then sent us free baby bottles, coupons for free diapers and free baby food. What blessings. People giving of themselves, people helping each other.

As the babies grew, and with the support of our helpers, we were able to live more normal lives. Traveling, going to Finland to see family, or Florida to see grandparents, going camping, doing things we would have done before kids, or with just one child. And now they are just our 'big kids'.

So yes, we have quadruplets. They are 12 years old now, such wonderful children. We rarely call them quadruplets or quads, they are each so different, even though they were born only a minute apart. They have always shared a lot, and still do, and probably do look a like a bit - but no more than biological siblings of different ages.

In 1998 my dream came true: I became a mom. And while it hasn't been quite what I had pictured in my day dreams (when is it??), it still is what I want to be when I grow up. (Smile)

December 2006, picture taken by one of our adoptive parents from our group *thanks*

The second time (or fifth, rather) was also a different way to add to your family. Just as special though. The day our quadruplets turned eight we signed Little Miss' adoption papers in China. Missy was there, as she had started praying for a little sister as soon as she was old enough to talk. It took a few years of praying, but we started the adoption process in 2005. In November 2006 we saw Little Miss' picture for the first time, and so fell in love. We brought her home in December 2006.

And now Little Miss is praying for a little sister.


I'm linking this post to Stefanie's Sunday Snapshot and Hip Homeschool Hop. Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

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Tästä postauksesta tuli niiiiin pitkä. Kirjoitettuani nelosten tarinan olen ihan puhki - väsyttää mennä Muistojen tielle :) Googlella on kääntöpalvelu, joka löytyy täältä. Eihän se ihan oikein tekstiä käännä, mutta ehkä auttaa? Pähkinänkuoressa minusta tuli äiti vuonna 1998 kun neljä vauvaamme syntyivät. Jep, meillä on neloset. Ja 2006 nelosten 8-vuotissyntymäpäivänä kirjoitimme Pikkuneidin adoptiopaperit Kiinassa. Meidän ihana erilainen hassu perheemme :)


  1. yay, i'm so glad you wrote about this...wowzer!!

    thank the good Lord above for all the generous people who pitched in to help!!

    yes...He surely has a good sense of humor, i am more careful what i say these days ;)

    we have on our hearts to adopt one day...can't wait!!

    happy mother's day <3

  2. one more thing: totally glad y'all didn't listen to those doctors...argh! they frusterate me sometimes.

  3. I am so glad you commented on 4uruthie because it prompted me to check out your page. Your pictures are beautiful and I love that lake.

  4. awesome post... and pictures! thank you for sharing! and for giving me hope! as a mother 2 times over in a year i often feel a bit out of kilter... it's nice to know that a new normal, one that actually allows me to function as a human being, is on the horizon! :)

  5. It was only the last time that I commented here that I realized you had quads! LOL Happy Mom's Day!


  6. Wonderful story...thanks for sharing!

  7. When you mentioned how it would be easy to feed one of the quads twice and totally miss feeding one if you didn't keep a chart.....Reminded me of how I had to keep a chart for JUST ONE BABY ...for an entire year, because I was afraid I'd forget to feed her completely.

  8. mountain mama, if we had listened to the doctors we wouldn't have Mr. D & Missy - the two who were lowest in my tummy. I can't imagine life without them (scary).....!!

    I have to admit your comment on the last post inspired me to write about our big kids :) People often ask me to tell/write about them, so it was good to do it. Although very time consuming and for some reason emotionally draining too :) Yet at the same time God-glorifying!!!!

    And adoption.... I'm so glad to hear God has put adoption on your hearts too - can't wait to see what He does in your family!!!

    Thank you, Ginny! We've only been at this lake for 1.5 months, but have totally fallen in love with this place!

    jdavis2 - yes!!! Just hang in there!! The early years are so draining and feels like it never ends. Then you blink and your kids are almost as tall as you! Sniff.

    Jessy, no wonder - I've slowly added things like their ages and our story up above too. I just honestly don't think of them as quads any more, just our big kids :)

    Thank you, Monica <3

    Rebecca, we did forget to feed ALL the babies once. Couldn't figure out for the longest time why they were so fussy :) Once we realized what we had forgotten and took care of the problem we had happy babies again :-D

  9. Wow... what a beautiful story, brought tears to my eyes... thanks for sharing! you are such a wonderful person, so glad to have met you and even happier to call you my friend :)

  10. What a wonderful story of the Father's faithfulness, and how he answers and meets our desires in ways beyond our imagination and in ways that stretch us beyond our imagination. :) Happy mother's day!

  11. Onneksi ette edes harkinneet lääkäreiden ehdotusta!! Ihana kertomus äidiksi tulostasi ja ihanaa, miten paljon teillä on ollut auttavia käsiä lasten ollessa pieniä!! Hyvää Äitienpäivää vähän myöhässä ( vaikka oikeesti äitienpäivä on ihan joka päivä)

  12. Mä en kyllä väsy kuulemaan tästä aiheesta! <3
    Olen niin iloinen, ettette kuunnelleet lääkäreitä ja olen kiitollinen Jumalan huumorintajusta. Sait neljä lasta, hih. Ja vielä sitten yhden! <3

    Kiitos, kiitos siis tästäkin postauksesta!

    Ihanaa jokapäiväistä äitienpäivää!

  13. Awww... Gypsyreeves!!!!!! Thank you!! I am so glad we met at the beach, and I can't wait to see you again <3
    (I'm going to talk to the Captain to see if we can squeeze any girl time into our visit :)

    Amen, Katherine!! I hope your Mother's Day was blessed <3

    Kiitos, Minna ja Lady! Ihan puistattaa ajatus siitä jos olisimme tehneet kuten lääkärit vahvasti suositteli.. Ihana äitienpäivä oli, ja totta, vietetään sitä joka päivä :)

  14. Thanks for sharing this amazing God story! What a faithful and awesome God we have.
    Blessings friend!

  15. Thank you, quilt-n-mama <3 Our God IS awesome!!

  16. Wow, wow, WOW!!! What an awesome story. I love how God showed up in a big way, through blessing you with four babies AND through the love poured out on you guys as you got your feet under you.
    Watch out for that praying for a little sibling. Kylie and Caleb both did that ~ and Darcy and Daniel were "born" of those prayers...

  17. Kristi, writing about the babies and how God showed up reminded me how God will show up again, if He calls us to adopt again too! I might be ready already ;-)

  18. What a story! I'm about to cry! Your children are so beautiful and you're an amazing mother. :)

  19. Pitkän kirjoituksen jaksoit kirjoittaa. Ja minä luin ja itkin.
    Taivaan Isä rakkaasti teitä kaikkia siunatkoon! <3

  20. <3 Nurkkalintu!!! Niin Hän on siunannut... Kiitollinen olen <3 Siunausta sinulle ja rakkaillesi myös!

  21. Ihana kertomus raskaudesta ja toiveistanne. Onnellista ♥