In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Letters to my Babies - Week 24

We are so thankful for this pregnancy! After sharing our journey through infertilty on the blog, I knew I wanted to log our newfound 40 week journey of pregnancy on the blog as well. Not knowing if I’ll ever be able to experience pregnancy again, I have chosen to log our pregnancy by writing occasional letters to our babies. The letters will keep my readers posted on how we are doing each week, but the letters will also be something that our little ones can go back and read, as a reminder of how much he or she was loved from the very beginning of their existence. You can read previous weeks by clicking on the following posts: Week 5, Week 7, Week 9, Week 12, Week 13, Week 15, Week 16, Week 18, Week 19, Week 21, Week 22.

We went in for a routine growth ultrasound at 24 weeks on Friday.  Both of you are measuring just as you should be for 24 weeks.  You both weigh exactly the same at 1lb 10 oz.  While your weight is the same, your sizes are not.  Baby B, you are longer and more slender than Baby A.  And Baby A, apparently you have a larger head than your brother.  Your head is measuring 26 weeks, while your bother’s is 24 weeks.
Baby A 24 Week Ultrasound
Your measurements looked great on Friday, but we weren’t able to get great pictures.  The only decent picture of the day was taken of Baby A.  Soon after this picture was taken, you both rolled over and faced my back, refusing to show us anything other than your backsides the rest of the ultrasound.  This made 3D images pointless on Friday.  I’m really hoping that you cooperate a little better at our 28 week growth ultrasound.  I would love to get some 3D images of your facial profiles in our third trimester.  Being fraternal twins, I am so very curious to know how the two of you will look.  Some fraternal twins look identical, while others just look like siblings.  And then there are those that look completely different.  One may favor the mother, while the other favors the father.  Only time will tell, but I’m definitely anxious to see what you look like.
Baby A's tiny little feet
I’m feeling more movement and activity from you as time goes on.  Not only do I feel you kick and move around, but I can see it as well.  It’s a pretty cool thing to be able to look down at my belly and see you kicking my belly.  Not only are your kicks visible, but some of your movements are as well. I will often have random bulges in my stomach, and when I feel the bulges I can feel what part of which baby I am feeling. 

All of this movement can at times be uncomfortable, especially when Baby B (who sits higher in my uterus) finds a comfortable spot near my ribs.  I admit that the discomfort has brought some mumbles and grumbles from my lips the past few weeks.  I know that it is normal for a pregnant woman to have such complaints, but there is an immediate feeling of guilt when I feel this way.  I’ve even shed some tears trying to explain to Daddy how I’m really feeling.  How my mind and emotions are beyond excited about this pregnancy and trying to soak in every aspect of it, but my body is saying something else. I verbally remind myself and your father that I know how blessed I am to have the two of you growing inside of me, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  While those words are coming out my mouth, tears are falling down my cheeks, because I have a baby kicking my ribs, painful swollen feet, a sore back and am sleep deprived from being unable to get comfortable at night……and to make it worse I have the voice in my head that is reminding me it is only going to get more uncomfortable as the time passes…..and I know I still have such a long way to go.  Luckily, those moments are far and few between.  I don’t feel like that all of the time, but I certainly have those moments where I feel like I am running a marathon with little energy and the finish line still seems so far away.  So the feelings of excitement and appreciation can quickly turn to guilt in moments like that……because I know that you two are our special gifts from God…..and I know how hard it was to get pregnant…..and I know how many tears I cried begging God to bless us with a pregnancy…..and I know how it feels to know that not too long ago we were told we may never be able to get pregnant, yet here we are a year later, blessed with the TWO of you. I really wish that what I feel in my heart could trump what I feel in my body all of the time, but alas, I am human…a very pregnant human at that, and I certainly have those moments.

For the most part I am enjoying this pregnancy and trying to look at the glass half full.  Am I uncomfortable at times…..yes.  Is it only gonna get worse….probably.    Do I have moments where I wonder how on earth I am going to make it three more months…..absolutely.  But do I realize how blessed I am to have made it 24 weeks with few complications…..yes!  And do I realize how thankful I am that I have absolutely no reason to, now or in the near future, slow down my life and finish this pregnancy on bed rest….yes!   And do I realize that if, God forbid, we were to suddenly have complications and go into preterm labor, we are now at a viable point in pregnancy where survival is promising……yes!  Above all else, do I know that God answered above and beyond our prayers when he gave us the two of you…..absolutely!   

So the lesson to be learned here is that perspective matters.  I can choose to finish this pregnancy feeling like a big fat cow who is miserable and never comfortable…..or I can choose to finish this pregnancy thankful that I am even getting to experience this pregnancy.  I remember when we saw those two pink lines on our pregnancy test.  I swore that I would never take pregnancy for granted, because I knew how hard it was to come by.  Six months later, I still see it that way.  Perspective….it’s all about perspective.  I admit that the fact that we had such a hard time getting pregnant helps me keep my perspective.  As I was driving home from the doctor on Friday, I couldn’t help but think how very different our life looked one year ago.  This year, the Friday before Christmas, I was coming home with ultrasound pictures in my purse and a clean bill of health from a routine pregnancy check up.  Last year, the Friday before Christmas, I was coming home from the same OBGYN, with a very different feeling and very different circumstances.  We had spent much of the fall of 2012 learning that I had some hormonal problems that were preventing my body from ovulating.  No ovulation, no pregnancy.  We had completed two months of treatments to force my body to ovulate with the hopes of getting pregnant.  The month of December was our third and final round of that particular medication, as it was not safe to take it more than three months in a row.  As we entered the third month of treatment, we decided to spend the month ruling out any other possible complications to our infertility.  We got your dad checked out.  He checked out just fine.  He was not the cause of our inability to get pregnancy.  I went in for an invasive and painful procedure (an HSG) to see if my tubes were blocked.  That procedure came out fine.  My tubes were not the problem.  Lastly, we had to do a postcoital test.  As if the stress of infertility had not taken all of the romance out of baby making as it was, a postcoital was just a big fat reminder that for us baby making was work.  That test showed under a microscope that my body was hostile due to high amounts of estrogen.  My body was literally killing off the sperm preventing it from getting to an egg.  You could see the sperm dying under the microscope.  The particular medication I was taking only made this worse.  It was that day, the Friday before Christmas, that I was told by my doctor that there was nothing more she could do for me……that she was referring me to a fertility specialist…..and that there was a good chance I may only be able to get pregnant through IUI or IVF.   I was devastated!  That day was the most defeated I had ever felt as we journeyed through infertility.  I think that day hurt even more than it did when we had our failed IUI two months later.  I remember calling your dad, begging him to come home early and be with me, because I did not want to be alone.  He came home as soon as he could and held me as I cried and cried and cried some more.  We both knew that he would never be able to know what I was feeling…..that he would never hurt the way I was hurting…..but it definitely hurt him to see me hurt…..and it definitely hurt him to know that there was nothing he could do about it.  So last year at this time, I was a little depressed about the unknown.  I can even specifically remember journaling things like, “Will I ever see two pink lines on a pregnancy test?”  “Will I ever know what it is like to feel a baby grow inside of me?”  “Will I ever feel a baby’s kick?” A year later, as I have seen those two pink lines… I feel you growing inside of me…..and I feel your kicks frequently……I am reminded that the answer to those questions could have been no, yet God chose to answer them with a yes….and even more special to me is that God chose to answer them with a double yes. So as I go into this Christmas week with my swollen feet, sore back and big ole belly, I’m trying to keep my perspective.  Having an attitude of gratitude, even in the moments of physical discomfort, while remembering that God heard my cries for a child and answered above and beyond what we could have ever asked or hoped for.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Letters to my Babies - Week 22

We are so thankful for this pregnancy! After sharing our journey through infertilty on the blog, I knew I wanted to log our newfound 40 week journey of pregnancy on the blog as well. Not knowing if I’ll ever be able to experience pregnancy again, I have chosen to log our pregnancy by writing occasional letters to our babies. The letters will keep my readers posted on how we are doing each week, but the letters will also be something that our little ones can go back and read, as a reminder of how much he or she was loved from the very beginning of their existence. You can read previous weeks by clicking on the following posts: Week 5, Week 7, Week 9, Week 12, Week 13, Week 15, Week 16, Week 18, Week 19, Week 21.
This post is a few days late, but oh well… least I’m getting around to writing it.  We went to the doctor on Friday at 22 weeks.  We had to go in for a routine appointment to check my cervical length, and we were supposed to do a growth ultrasound.  Daddy and I requested that the growth ultrasound be pushed back two weeks to help get us back on schedule with our ultrasounds.  Our medical care required a 6, 9 and 12 week ultrasound.  We weren’t supposed to get another ultrasound until our 20 week anomaly scan, but the placenta previa for Baby A had us going back for an additional ultrasound at 16 weeks.  Then at 19 weeks, we had the unexplained bleeding and that put us in the hospital with two ultrasounds in one day.  It also threw off our ultrasound schedule, but I think we should be back on track when we go back to the doctor at 24 weeks for a cervical ultrasound and a growth ultrasound. 

From 20 weeks to 28 weeks, we are supposed to get a cervical ultrasound every other week.  I am told by our doctor that this is proper protocol with twins.  The extra weight of multiples can cause the cervix to shorten, potentially causing early labor.  The cervix is checked every other week, and if it has shortened, they put a stitch in to prevent labor.  After 28 weeks, my doctor said there is nothing they can do to prevent the cervix from shortening.  Since babies born at 28 weeks have a high survival rate, it is not a big concern after that point anyway, so we can stop going in every other week to measure my cervix once I reach 28 weeks.  

Also beginning at 20 weeks, we are supposed to have an abdominal ultrasound to check for fetal growth every four weeks.  While we didn’t do an abdominal growth ultrasound on Friday, they did quickly check your positions and take a few pics for me.  You have both changed positions since our last appointment.  As of Friday, you were both vertical, head down and feet up.  No detailed pictures this week, but here you are at 22 weeks.
Baby B 22 Weeks
Baby A 22 Weeks
Other than keeping up with all of the doctor appointments, I’ve been getting a lot done as far as the planning and preparing for you arrival goes.  Nursery completed – CHECK! As soon as we found out you were both boys at 16 weeks, we got started on the nursery.  I am very particular about the details of the nursery, and I wanted it done before I was too big to put hours of work into it.  By 20 weeks, the nursery was completely finished.  Registry completed – CHECK!  I did all of my registering online from the comforts of the couch.  We are officially registered at Target and Much like registering for a wedding, I found registering for a baby to be a little overwhelming, but I somehow managed to get through it.  I don’t like clutter in my home, and babies come with so much stuff….especially when you need two of everything!  Family baby shower planned – CHECK! From what I’ve read, twin baby showers need to be done early, so I wanted mine done by 30 weeks.  They say that if you have it after 30 weeks, you’ll be too miserable to enjoy it.  Grandma is helping me mail the invitations this weekend, and our shower is scheduled for January 25th…..I’m hoping the weather cooperates that weekend. 

I should also note that I’ve started to feel you move within the past few weeks.  As I’m writing this, I can feel both of you moving within me.  My doctor told me I would not feel anything until 22 weeks, because both of your placentas are anterior. However, around 20 weeks I could feel what is described as quickening.  Since I had never experienced pregnancy, I wasn’t quite sure what I was feeling at the time.  By 21 weeks, I was feeling occasional jabs and kicks if my hands were resting on my belly.  By 22 weeks, I feel you often and can tell which one is moving inside of me.  You are very wiggly.  It’s funny because you are routinely wiggly at certain times of the day.  For example, you are usually active from 9-12 in the morning, and then you are very active in the evenings from 5-9.  Last night one or both of you would kick every thirty seconds while I was eating my dinner.  This lasted a very long time.  It was the most movement I had felt from you at one time.  Daddy loved it, because he often misses out on feeling the kicks, but last night he felt plenty of kicking. 
The bigger you get and the more you move, the more uncomfortable I become.  However, I remember that it was not too long ago when I was asking myself if I would ever know what it was like to feel a baby move and grow inside of my belly.  Having those thoughts still fresh in mind, you won’t hear me complaining about any discomfort your movement might cause me.  Rather, I am simply thankful I get to experience what it is like to be able to feel two little active babies growing inside of me.

Love Mommy

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Letters to my Babies - Week 21

We are so thankful for this pregnancy! After sharing our journey through infertilty on the blog, I knew I wanted to log our newfound 40 week journey of pregnancy on the blog as well. Not knowing if I’ll ever be able to experience pregnancy again, I have chosen to log our pregnancy by writing occasional letters to our babies. The letters will keep my readers posted on how we are doing each week, but the letters will also be something that our little ones can go back and read, as a reminder of how much he or she was loved from the very beginning of their existence. You can read previous weeks by clicking on the following posts: Week 5, Week 7, Week 9, Week 12, Week 13, Week 15, Week 16, Week 18, Week 19.

I’m 21 weeks along and am feeling very pregnant.  We had our last appointment at 20 weeks and everything looked good with the two of you.  When asked if I had any concerns or questions, my biggest concern was my size.  I feel huge, and at the time of my 20 week appointment, I was only halfway through a regular pregnancy.  My doctor assured me that while I may feel huge, I am progressing just as I should be for twins.  As of my last appointment, I was measuring 8 weeks ahead, which is right about where I should be.  So while I may have only been 20 weeks at my last measurement, I was looking and feeling like 28 weeks.  I was told that by 28 weeks, most women carrying twins will be measuring the same as a woman carrying one baby full term.  This thought makes me cringe a little, but at the same time I keep reminding myself of how blessed I am to be carrying two precious baby boys.

Strangers also seem to think that I am much farther along than 21 weeks.  While running errands this week, at least three different people asked me if I was having a Christmas baby.  Christmas baby?  Really?  I’m not officially 40 weeks until April 11, so these comments did not help my self-esteem.  I had to politely reply to these comments with, “No, more like two Easter babies.”  A few other strangers noticed how low I was carrying and asked if it was a boy, to which I replied “Yes, two of them, and I’m only half way through this pregnancy.”  Somehow, I seem to justify my size by quickly letting those who feel the need to comment on my growing belly that I am having twins:)

Other than getting big, my only other concern was the swelling in my feet.  My doctor was not concerned about it and said it was normal.  It’s certainly ugly and a little painful, but I’ll just have to live with fat feet for the next several months. I’ve had some swelling since about 14 weeks, but the past week or so it has gotten really bad, as in I don’t have too much swelling when I wake up in the morning, and by the time I shower and fix my hair I already have elephant feet.  Daddy had to take me out to buy a few new pairs of shoes this week, as almost all of my other shoes are too tight.  We also bought a foot bath and foot soak to put my feet in each night.  Soaking my feet at night is then followed by a long foot rub from your daddy.  He has become a pro at rubbing the excess water out of my feet each night.  I refuse to spend the rest of this pregnancy sitting down and keeping my feet  elevated (unless told to do so by a doctor), so swollen and sore feet is just going to be a part of my life for the next few months.


With no major pregnancy concerns, I find that I have much to be thankful for this year.  With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas upon us, I often find myself sitting in the nursery at the end of a long day still blown away by the fact that I am having two babies.  It was just a year ago that we were going through all sorts of fertility testing and treatments.  I remember feeling very depressed and alone last year during the holidays, as the unknown was such a scary thing for us.  What a difference a year can make.  We are truly thankful for our two little miracles.




Sunday, November 17, 2013

Letters to my Babies - Week 19

We are so thankful for this pregnancy! After sharing our journey through infertilty on the blog, I knew I wanted to log our newfound 40 week journey of pregnancy on the blog as well. Not knowing if I’ll ever be able to experience pregnancy again, I have chosen to log our pregnancy by writing occasional letters to our babies. The letters will keep my readers posted on how we are doing each week, but the letters will also be something that our little ones can go back and read, as a reminder of how much he or she was loved from the very beginning of their existence. You can read previous weeks by clicking on the following posts: Week 5, Week 7, Week 9, Week 12, Week 13, Week 15, Week 16, Week 18.
Well, at 19 weeks the two of you gave your daddy quite a scare.  I say your daddy, because for a short time he was pretty terrified.  Surprisingly, I was calm through it all, although there were a few moments where I began to second guess myself.  So here’s what happened……

I woke up at 3:30 Thursday morning to go to the bathroom.  That’s when I noticed that I was bleeding.  It wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was bright red.  I remained very calm, thinking that it was probably just from the extra weight of carrying the two of you.  I had been feeling extra heavy that week and knew that occasional bleeding was not completely uncommon in pregnancy, although it was the first and only time I had bled in this pregnancy.  I hollered for you dad, who jumped up out of bed, saw that I was starting to bleed and began to panic.  He really didn’t know any better.  In his mind, he related bleeding with a miscarriage.  The look of horror on his face was one that I will never forget.  He actually began to cry and wanted to rush me to the emergency room right away.  I calmed him down, showed him that it wasn’t that much blood and told him it was probably just from the weight of the pregnancy.   I knew that anytime there was bleeding, I needed to at least call the doctor for professional medical advice.  I asked Daddy to pull out our pregnancy file and look for the sheet of paper with the number to call the doctor after hours.  We then called the doctor and spoke to the doctor on call, who told us that bleeding was not completely uncommon but as a precaution, he wanted me to come to the hospital to get checked out.  He told us to go labor and delivery, and there would be someone waiting for us when we got there.  He also told us that we didn’t need to rush if it wasn’t a lot of blood. 

From that conversation, I really didn’t think too much about the bleeding.  By this point, I wasn’t even bleeding anymore.  I just thought that we would go see a doctor, do a quick pelvic exam and ultrasound, see that everything was fine and then go about a normal day.  It was about 4:00 a.m. when we got off the phone with the doctor.  I told Daddy to go ahead and get a shower and get ready for work, thinking that as soon as the doctor looked me over and saw that I was fine, Daddy could drop me off at home and still make it to work on time.  That is not what ended up happening.

We arrived at the hospital around 5:00 a.m., where someone was waiting for me with a wheel chair.  As they wheeled me into a room, they had me sign a bunch of paperwork.  They proceeded to have me get in a hospital gown and hook me up to a monitor to measure contractions.  I’ll be honest….at this point I thought they were just fussing over nothing.  For one, I could walk…..I didn’t need to be wheeled in.  Secondly, I knew I wasn’t having contractions and really didn’t feel as though I needed to be hooked up to any machines.   

By 6:00 the doctor came in to see me.  The first thing he did was a quick ultrasound to check up on the two of you.  As soon as we saw that the two you were your normal wiggly little selves, I figured we could go home.  That’s when my doctor said something that I did not find very comforting.  He said even though the babies appeared to be fine, he had about twelve other things he was worried about.  He told us we would be spending much of our day at the hospital and that with a twin pregnancy, we should get used to being checked up on and making frequent hospital visits in the future.  Needless to say, I didn’t really care for this doctor.  That’s probably the only time I got a little nervous, because I really didn’t think that I had anything to be worried about prior to his comment. 

He continued to examine me.  He did a pelvic exam on me, saw that the bleeding had stopped and that my cervix appeared to be long, showing no signs of early delivery.  He still, however, wanted to monitor me for a little while to make sure that the bleeding did not come back.  He also said that he may want to send me to the high risk specialist to do some testing, and he wanted to go ahead and order our 20 week anomaly scan a week early to make sure that there was nothing wrong with fetal development.  After all of those comforting words, he left and I didn’t see him again.  I only saw a nurse who occasionally came in and out to check on me.

At that point, I realized that it was not going to be a normal day.  It became obvious that Daddy was not going to make it into the office by 8:00 a.m.  I sent him out to get us breakfast and to go back to the house to get his laptop, so he could get some work done while we were spending our day waiting at the hospital.  The nice thing about Daddy’s job is that he can work from home if necessary…..or from wherever he needs to work as long as he has access to a computer.  We didn’t have to wait at the hospital too long though.  By 8:45, a nurse came in and told us everything looked fine with me.  The bleeding was probably just common pregnancy bleeding. I was told to keep an eye on it, and if it happened again to call the doctor. 

We were then sent to a fetal development facility clear across town for our anomaly scan.  Apparently, it was one of the only places that could work us in on such a late notice.  It was after 11:00 before my name was called and we could begin the ultrasound.  The anomaly ultrasound is the typical twenty week ultrasound. It is the one where they check every detail of fetal development.  It took them an hour to check both babies.  After such a long morning, we were truly blessed to have an excellent ultrasound tech that had obviously been doing her job for a very long time.  She talked us through every aspect of the ultrasound. She told us exactly what we were looking at, what she was looking for and what was considered to be normal fetal development.  She was very soft spoken, yet so encouraging as she continually told us that our babies appeared to be beautiful and healthy. 

The ultrasound checked out fine and the two of you looked absolutely perfect.  We were able to see very detailed images of the two of you on the screen.  It was the perfect way to end a long morning. To me, your facial profiles appeared to favor Daddy in this ultrasound, but only time will tell.  I cannot wait to see what you look like when you are born.  You are also measuring the same as singleton babies.  This is good for you, but it is going to make for one uncomfortable mama as this pregnancy progresses.  Often twins measure smaller, but the two of you appear to be getting plenty of nutrients and it is literally like having two regular 19 week babies growing inside of me.  That might explain why I have been feeling so heavy lately.   

Baby B

Baby A
Baby A, you had the hiccups during the ultrasound, and I found it to be so precious to see how your facial expressions would change as the hiccups prolonged and were obviously frustrating you.  While both babies were active, Baby B did not sit still at all, and the tech had a very hard time getting pictures for us.  Both of you appeared to be thumb suckers.  This is obviously something you got from your father, as he was a thumb sucker.  Mommy and Daddy have already determined this habit is not cute no matter how cute the two of you are.  If you do come out of the womb sucking your thumbs, it will for sure be something that we try to break you of right away.

Baby B Sucking his thumb
Baby A sucking his thumb
We were also able to see the two of you on the screen together several times in this particular ultrasound.  This was the best part for me.  It appeared as though the two of you would often mirror one another in the womb.  Whatever movement Baby B would make, Baby A would copy.  Most often, we found that you would simultaneously put your hand up by your cheek or your thumb in mouth.  It was certainly precious to watch on the screen.

Baby A on the left with his left hand on his cheek.  Baby B on the right with his right hand on his cheek
After the ultrasound, we were sent home.  We got home around 1:00 pm.  I spent the remainder of my day resting, and Daddy finished his day working from home.  It was quite a day for us.  I have no idea why our day started out the way it did, but we were certainly thankful for the way it ended.  It was just a reminder to us that so many things could go wrong in this pregnancy, yet so far everything has gone just fine.   We are so very thankful that we have not had any serious complications in this pregnancy.  I haven’t had any bleeding since that morning, and hopefully I won’t have anymore anytime soon. 

As I reflect on that day, I recall having an overall peace that everything was going to work out.  I’m so thankful for that peace.  I don’t ever remember panicking or freaking out, and I’m so glad that I remained calm.  As for your father’s moment of panic first thing in the morning…..well, in hind site, I find that to be precious. To me, it just shows how much he cares about me and how much he already loves the two of you.  Some people say that moms become moms when the pregnancy test turns positive, but dads don’t become dads until they hold their babies in their arms for the first time.  I have to say that in our case, that is just simply not true.  I can vividly recall when we saw our first positive pregnancy test, and your dad was right by my side crying tears of joy with me.  He has gone to every doctor’s appointment.  He talks to you and prays for you on a daily basis.  He constantly worries about the three of us, and I guarantee you that if something awful would have happened to the two of you this week, your daddy would be hurting just as much as me, the mama who carries you, because we both became your parents the moment we saw two pink lines on a pregnancy test.  I’m sure there will be no feeling quite like the feeling we have when we get to hold you in our arms for the very first time, but I assure you that from the moment we became aware of your existence, we became your parents and you our children.  There was an instantaneous love for the life that we had created.  There are no words to explain how much we already love you and want to protect you with all of our being.   

Love Mommy

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Letters to my Babies - Week 18

We are so thankful for this pregnancy! After sharing our journey through infertilty on the blog, I knew I wanted to log our newfound 40 week journey of pregnancy on the blog as well. Not knowing if I’ll ever be able to experience pregnancy again, I have chosen to log our pregnancy by writing occasional letters to our babies. The letters will keep my readers posted on how we are doing each week, but the letters will also be something that our little ones can go back and read, as a reminder of how much he or she was loved from the very beginning of their existence. You can read previous weeks by clicking on the following posts: Week 5, Week 7, Week 9, Week 12, Week 13, Week 15, Week 16.

I’m a little over 18 weeks today.  My doctor tells me that 37 weeks is considered full term for twins, so I am considering this week to be my halfway point of pregnancy.  The pregnancy is going just as it should be.  Nothing abnormal, so I have no complaints.  Since I haven’t been to the doctor in a couple of weeks, I do not have an update on how the two of you are doing.  I feel as though my boys are doing just fine though.  My body is certainly showing evidence of the two of you growing inside of me.
My baby bump is getting quite large and uncomfortable, just as it should be with twins.  The extra weight makes for swollen legs and ankles.  I’ve been dealing with the pregnancy side effect of edema for several weeks now, and it is only getting more noticeable as time passes.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to go up a shoe size in the next few weeks, as most of my shoes are already too tight.  I may also have to start wearing my wedding ring on my pinky finger too, as I am having a hard time getting my ring off of my finger at night.  My blood pressure is always perfect when it gets checked, and I am showing no signs of preeclampsia (often occurring in a small percentage of pregnant women after their twentieth week), meaning that all of my swelling is just edema and is a perfectly normal symptom of pregnancy. 

Other than the swelling, my back is sore most nights as well.  Again, it’s completely normal, and I have no complaints.  I don’t plan on being in bed all day, so as long as I am on my feet and staying active, a sore back will be a part of my pregnancy.  I treat the sore back by simply taking a warm bath at night, before kicking my feet up on the couch with the heating pad on low, and then getting a nice back rub from Daddy each night.  It seems to be doing the trick.
I’m also getting over a sinus infection that tried to conquer my life last week.  Let’s face it, pregnancy makes me feel as though I have a cold nonstop.  Last weekend, I found myself at med check at 4:00 a.m. desperate for an antibiotic.  Like most pregnant women, I really didn’t want to take anything, but when Tylenol Sinus and the traditional sinus rinses were not giving me any relief, I found myself at the doctor.  Unfortunately, it took the entire week for the antibiotic to kick in and relief was not instantaneous.  I’m hoping to stay sinus infection free the rest of my pregnancy.

Cravings are also a common pregnancy symptom and until last week, I had not had any pregnancy cravings.  However, last weekend I made Daddy go out and get me Tim’s Donuts early on a Saturday morning.  I just had to have a donut.  That’s the only craving I’ve had so far.  Surprisingly, I haven’t been super hungry in this pregnancy and often have to remind myself it is time to eat.  I keep wondering when I will be the pregnant lady who eats everything in sight.  It hasn’t happened yet.  I’m definitely not getting the 3,800 calories my doctor recommends for twins.  I am, however, getting a balanced diet and do not appear to be having any issues with gaining weight in this pregnancy.  At the rate my belly is growing, I’ll be looking like a giant hippo in no time.
Less than two weeks until our next appointment and ultrasound.  I’m anxiously waiting to see your growth at our 20 week appointment.  There’s much to do for your arrival until then.  We have been diligently working on the nursery since we found out we were having boys.  By 20 weeks, we may just have the entire nursery complete.   We’ve also been seriously discussing names for you, knowing that you can’t be called Baby A and Baby B forever.  We have a few things in mind, and by 20 weeks, I hope to have official names for you.  Until then, know that you are more loved than you could ever imagine.  With each passing week, Mommy and Daddy get more excited about your arrival and can not possibly put into words how very blessed we are to be given the gift of carrying two precious baby boys into this world.  We love you both so much!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Letters to my Babies - Week 16

We are so thankful for this pregnancy! After sharing our journey through infertilty on the blog, I knew I wanted to log our newfound 40 week journey of pregnancy on the blog as well. Not knowing if I’ll ever be able to experience pregnancy again, I have chosen to log our pregnancy by writing occasional letters to our babies. The letters will keep my readers posted on how we are doing each week, but the letters will also be something that our little ones can go back and read, as a reminder of how much he or she was loved from the very beginning of their existence. You can read previous weeks by clicking on the following posts: Week 5, Week 7, Week 9, Week 12, Week 13, Week 15.
We had our sixteen week ultrasound on Friday to check on the placenta previa for Baby A.  I am thrilled to say that Baby A has moved up next to Baby B, and placenta previa is no longer a concern in this pregnancy.  Since Baby A has moved up, it also appears as though both babies are now close to the same size and weight.  Aside from the good news about the placenta previa, both babies also appeared to be healthy and well.  Heartbeats were, as usual, in the mid 140’s for both babies, and both babies were VERY active.  You both moved so much it was hard to get pictures that didn’t look blurry!  Considering how active you both are, I asked my doctor why I still haven’t felt any movement.  She explained that it is unlikely I will feel any movement until around 22 weeks.  Both of your placentas appear to be facing out, meaning that you are literally kicking into a giant pillow instead of my tummy.  I asked if the placentas would be this way until birth, and she said yes.  While I would really love to feel some movement at this point in pregnancy, the good news is that the position of the placentas should make all of that movement at the end of my pregnancy a little more comfortable. 
Baby A 16 week ultrasound
Baby B 16 week ultrasound

Any time we go into an ultrasound, I am always filled with anxiety.  My biggest fear is that they will find something wrong with one of you. As soon as I hear those heartbeats and see two healthy babies, I take a big sigh of relief.  In this particular ultrasound we were even more thrilled to find out that Baby A had moved up.  To top it all off, we were also able to find out your genders! Had we not had to check on the placenta previa at 16 weeks, we would have had to wait until our 20 week ultrasound to find out your genders.

We knew that there was a possibility of finding out your genders at 16 weeks, although our doctor never even mentioned it to us. It was a little early to find out for sure, and it often depends on how well the baby cooperates. Believe me, neither one of you were shy when it came to finding your genders.  Once we got the good news about your basic health and wellness, the ultrasound tech checked to see if we could see if you were boys or girls.  She checked Baby A first, and there was no hiding it.  You are a Boy!  She then checked Baby B, and once again there was no denying the fact that you too are a boy!  We are very excited to know that in just a few months, we will be welcoming our two SONS into this world! I pray you will be brothers and the best of friends for a lifetime!  Daddy and I took a few days to enjoy the news all to ourselves, before having a few pictures taken (all gender reveal photos taken by Kingfish photography) and revealing the genders to our family and friends. 

It’s funny, because Daddy and I had not really given your genders too much thought.  We've been so busy going from one ultrasound to the next, that we just haven't really had too many conversations about whether we were having two boys, two girls or a boy and a girl.  Of course the possibility of what we could be having has crossed our minds, but we certainly never said I hope you are a girl or I hope you are a boy.  The few times that we did discuss what we thought your genders were going to be, Daddy had thought we were having a boy and a girl, and I thought you were both going to be girls.  Much to our surprise, we were both wrong!

I admit that I was surprised to know that all of the pink I had envisioned quickly turned to blue.  However, I was even more surprised by my reaction to finding out your genders.  I'm not sure if my reaction wasn't what I had thought it was going to be, simply because this wasn't really a gender reveal ultrasound.  It was more or less an ultrasound to check on Baby A.  The gender reveal was just a bonus.  Either way, because we didn’t have a preference on what we were having, I thought that whenever we found out your genders we would both cry and be so excited just like we were when they told us we were having twins.  Yet, when the ultrasound tech typed BOY the first time, I thought to myself, “Really? Are you sure?”, simply because that’s not what I had pictured in my head.  And then the second time I saw BOY being typed on the screen, I found myself thinking, “Really, two boys?  Are you sure that’s not just an extra hand or foot or something else?"  Let me assure you, I wasn’t at all disappointed with having two boys…..seriously, how could anyone possibly be disappointed about that?  I was more disappointed that my reaction wasn’t how I had envisioned it, probably because I was so surprised that it wasn’t what either one of us thought it was going to be.  When my doctor noticed that I didn't seem myself, I explained to her that I felt like an awful mother for not reacting differently.  She assured me that I was not an awful mother, and that my reaction was not uncommon.  She said it was completely normal, and that she was the same way when she found out she was having a son, simply because in her mind she pictured ruffles and bows.  Her mind had gotten attached to all of the pink, and in an instant she had to adjust her mind to think Tonka trucks and mud.  She was a great comfort to me when she said that I will not be delivering two grown men, but two little cuddly babies who will take one look at their mama and love me the way I already love them.  The shock of two boys wore off quickly, as Daddy and I celebrated over dinner and had our first official shopping trip for you.  Even though my mind was excited to decorate a girl nursery and to buy hair bows, pink sparkly shoes and ruffled dresses……I have quickly adjusted to the fact that we are going to have two of the cutest little boys around!  I’ve already planned out a new boy nursery in my mind, and the more cute stuff I find for the two little monkey’s moving around inside of me, the more excited I get about your arrival.  Let the planning and preparing begin!  This is the fun part for me…the part that involves shopping and decorating.  For Daddy, this part is not so much fun:/ It won’t take you long to learn that spending money never makes Daddy happy;)


Monday, October 21, 2013

Adoption Update - Pregnant but still Planning to Adopt

I’ve had a lot of people ask me if we are still planning to adopt, now that we know we are pregnant.  The answer is yes.  Our choice to adopt really was not about us not being able to get pregnant. Adoption was always something that we had always wanted to do, but not being able to get pregnant certainly affected the timing of our adoption journey.

In my last adopotion update, I shared that in November of 2012, we decided to pursue both fertility and adoption at the same time.  We reached out to an adoption contact in January and applied for international adoption.  We then met with an agency in February, only to be told that the country our hearts were set on adopting from, China, would not accept any of our paperwork until I turned 30.  The paperwork could not be more than six months old when China received it.  Since I did not turn 30 until February of 2014, we were basically told to wait until August of 2013 to get back with the agency and continue our adoption process.  From there, we could dig into paperwork, schedule and complete our home study and prepare our dossier in the fall of 2013 before sending everything to China in February.  It was a little hard to be told that we had to wait to pursue our China adoption, but it did give us a chance to start saving up the money for the adoption.  While I was a little disheartened that a trip to China seemed like an eternity away, Matt saw it as a blessing and an opportunity to prepare financially for our adoption journey.

In January of 2013, we decided to put $500 a month into our adoption fund, with the hope of having about half of our $30,000 saved up by the time we were ready to finalize the adoption.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t know if that was always going to work.  We looked over our finances, and decided that we really thought we could step out in faith and make it happen. If by some chance money was tight a certain month, we would make a choice to limit everything necessary to continue banking away our commitment of $500 a month into an adoption fund.  Can I tell you we haven’t really had to limit ourselves too much financially like I thought we were going to… least not yet. Matt has made every bit of our adoption money in monthly bonuses this year, which we are beyond grateful for. I’m not saying it will always be that way, but I am saying that so far God has provided more than we expected.  And yes, it is a little scary to think that we are having two babies and going back to one income in a few months, but we know who provides our needs.  Matt can cover all of the monthly bills on his base salary alone, but we have certainly wondered about hospital bills and our commitment to this adoption fund when I’m not working.  All I can say is that we trust it will all work out, and even with one income, we still plan on keeping our commitment to our adoption fund.

While we were basically told to play the waiting game on our adoption process, fertility treatments were not getting us anywhere either.  After our failed IUI in February, we took a break from treatments.  It was certainly a depressing time for me, to be told we couldn’t pursue our China adoption right away and to realize that there was a good chance that we could walk away from fertility treatments all together without conceiving a baby.  And then July came.  We sought another round of fertility treatments for the last time.   July came and went, and on August 2, we found out we were pregnant!  Two weeks later, we found out it was with twins! 

At the same time we found out we were pregnant with twins, we were supposed to get back with our adoption agency, because we were now six months away from my 30th birthday and could continue the adoption process.  And so we contacted our agency.  We shared our pregnancy news with them.  Knowing that we would have to redo a home study once the babies arrived, we asked if we should continue the adoption process or wait unti the babies were born.  We also had some questions about our finances changing once the babies came.  We more than meet the finacial qualifications to adopt right now, but once the babies come, our annual income will drop to only Matt's income and our debt may increase depending on what kind of delivery we have and what kind of hosptital bills may come with that.  

The agency was very excited about our pregnancy news, and after all of our questions were answered, they advised us to wait until after the babies were born to continue our adoption process. For one, any time there is a change in the family dynamic, such as the babies being born, the adoption process is put on hold until a home study has been updated and sent back to China, which is an additional $800.  Secondly, we were told that the dossier and home study can, in general, be a stressful process.  The lady from the agency we have been keeping in contact with, who has also adopted from China, told us that if it was her, she would enjoy the pregnancy and wait until the babies were a few months old to continue our adoption process.  We agreed and decided to listen to her wisdom and advice.  As far as our finacial concerns, we were told that while having the twins will make our financial quallifications go up, Matt's income alone should still qualify us to adopt from China.  However, any time there is a dramatic change in income, paperwork needs to be updated anyway, so it just makes sense to wait until after the babies arrive to continue with our adoption process.

So that’s where we are with adoption.  We are waiting AGAIN and continuing to save up the money for our adoption, but YES, we are still planning to adopt a son or daughter from China.  We cannot wait to meet him or her, as this process seems like it will take forever.  Because we have never felt the need to adopt an infant, we know that there is a chance that our little one is already born, and we pray for him or her daily.  We pray for their wellbeing and that God would already be preparing their heart and our hearts for when we can finally be a part of each other's lives.  I have no idea when or if this adoption will ever be completed, or in our case when it will really even get started, but we still believe that adoption is the right choice for us and are doing what we can to prepare ourselves for the journey.