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

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Maternity Pictures - Twin Pregnancy

It recently occurred to me that I have yet to post our maternity pictures on my blog, so here they are…..


We had our pictures taken by KINGFISH Photography.  They did a wonderful job!  We are blessed to know them personally and to have had them photograph our pregnancy.  From our first trimester announcement, to our second trimester gender reveal and now our third trimester maternity session, we are very pleased with their work.  I highly recommend them if you are in the Indianapolis area.  Be sure to check out their Facebook page for more details.

When researching when to take maternity pictures, most of the things that I read said that 30 weeks was a good time to have pictures scheduled.  You want to make sure that you have enough of a baby bump for pictures, but are not too big and uncomfortable. 

For a twin pregnancy, I read that you definitely wanted to take them before 30 weeks, simply because you are too big and miserable after that point.  We had ours taken around 28 weeks, mainly because I wanted a winter session in the snow, and we needed to take advantage of the weather.  Truthfully, by 28 weeks I was already pretty uncomfortable, and it wouldn’t have hurt to have had them taken a little earlier. 

I wasn’t 100% sure that I wanted maternity pictures taken, just because…..well, let’s face it….I’m having twins, and I’m HUGE!  I'm only 5' 2" with a short torso, so while some women might carry their pregnancy weight beautifully, I find that I only have so much room in my belly for these babies to go.  Plus I have had really bad edema for much of my pregnancy, so my swelling and water-retention were also in the back of my mind when deciding about maternity pictures.  Believe it or not, these pictures were taken nearly six weeks ago, so my belly is even bigger now than it was in these pictures. Hard to believe what two growing babies can do to a woman's body! 

While my husband and other people around me might say that my baby bump is beautiful, we as women are always most critical of ourselves....that's just the way it is.  So yeah, I was self-conscious about capturing all of my baby weight on camera, at a point in my pregnancy when I was already measuring close to a singleton pregnancy that was full-term.
However, I have logged my entire pregnancy on my blog, Facebook and Instagram.  I’ve tried to capture as much of this journey through the eyes of a camera lens as possible, so it just made sense to suck it up, keep it real and have a maternity session.

For the record, I’m really glad that we did it.  I might not love the way I look at the moment, but the memories that these pictures will bring back to us in the years to come are far more important to me than the size of my belly. 
Here are a few of my favorites from our maternity session.....


Monday, February 24, 2014

Letters to my Babies - Week 33

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, Week 24,  Week 28, Week 30.

We've made it to 33 weeks!  Only a few more weeks to go!  A lot has gone on since my last post three weeks ago.  For one, the snow has finally started to melt, and for the first time in a long time I can see the grass again!

More snow is sure to come, but the green grass is just a sign of spring being around the corner.  This year particularly, the arrival of spring means the arrival of my babies, so forgive me if I am a little more excited than usual about melting snow and sunshine!

Also, Daddy and I celebrated our last Valentine's together as a family of two.  He is always so thoughtful, and I couldn't ask for a better man for the two of you to look up to and hopefully one day be just like.  As you grow up, notice the way he treats me....with love and respect. This is the kind of treatment that will be expected from you towards your Mama, your future wives, and women in general.  Don't just learn by me telling you, but learn by the example he sets for you.

Along with celebrating Valentine's Day, Mommy turned thirty last week.  Turning thirty marks a big life change for me. Motherhood is just a few weeks away, and I don’t take that for granted.  A year ago, I spent my 29th birthday recovering from an IUI to try to get pregnant, only to find out two weeks later that the procedure would not take, and we were not pregnant.  When I go back and read this blog entry about those IUI results, it still brings tears to my eyes.  I spent the next few months accepting that I may not ever be able to get pregnant, yet here I am one year later, pregnant with twin boys. It turns out being 30 isn't so bad.  You can read more about my simply perfect birthday here

Other than snow and celebrations, the past few weeks have brought changes to my body.  I’ve really noticed my body preparing itself for your arrival.  1) Braxton Hicks contractions are happening frequently, and at times they are more than uncomfortable.  I know they are not active labor contractions, because they are still very sporadic.  At times, my contractions may be five or six minutes apart, while other times they are still an hour apart.  To cope with the contractions, I'm resting a lot more than I would like to be and am drinking plenty of water.  2) You boys have dropped since my last post, and carrying you so low is quite uncomfortable.  I swear it feels as if you are going to fall right out of me some days!  3) I'm just getting downright big!  I seriously don't know how my body is going to stretch anymore than it already has.  My stomach literally feels bruised, and each time you move the soreness only intensifies. 
I am now at a point in this pregnancy where I am seeing the doctor on a weekly basis.  Around 31 weeks, I called the doctor, because I was having a considerable amount of pelvic pressure.  During that appointment, the doctor was checking my cervix and discovered that Baby A’s head was right on my cervix. This was clearly the culprit of my pelvic pressure and discomfort.  During that appointment, my cervix was still closed, but partially effaced. I was sent home without any restrictions, although I did start to cut back on some of my physical activity after that appointment.

At 32 weeks, we had a routine growth ultrasound and discovered Baby A jumped from 2 lbs. 12 oz. to 4 lbs. 3 oz. in one month's time, while Baby B jumped from 2 lbs. 9 oz. to 4 lbs. 5 oz.  You’ve been around the 50th percentile this entire pregnancy.   While you were still measuring in the 50th percentile for your 32 week growth ultrasound, the very thought of delivering two normal sized babies to 38 weeks was overwhelming to me.  The following Facebook post clearly shows how I was feeling right after that appointment…….
“We went in for our 32 week growth ultrasound this morning. The babies have definitely grown this month. Baby A (Aaron Elijah) measures 4 lbs. 3.oz and Baby B (Ethan Matthew) measures 4 lbs. 5 oz. So at 32 weeks, I already have close to 9 lbs. of baby in me, plus they each have their own placentas and amniotic fluid. They will not induce me until 38 weeks. I'm not gonna lie, the very thought of having to make it six more weeks brings actual tears to my eyes. With an expected weight gain of .5 lbs. per baby each week from this point on, 38 weeks puts the boys around 7.5 pounds each. That's 15 lbs. of baby in me! As I was lying on the ultrasound table doing the math in my head, I actually started to cry thinking of that thought. And in the waiting room as we were waiting to be seen by the doctor after the ultrasound, I'm sitting there sobbing, looking like a pregnant mess to others I'm sure, telling my husband that "I just can't do it...I just can't go six more weeks....I can't deliver 15 lbs of baby.....I can't make it that long.....I'm so miserable already.....I'm only 5.2 with a short torso and I married a tiny Asian man, how in the heck did we create two average sized babies....we're not big people, I thought for sure we'd make tiny babies....I haven't had any pregnancy cravings, have been watching my sugar and do not have gestational diabetes, how am I ending up with two 7+ lbs. babies in me by the time they want to induce at 38 weeks!" Yeah, it was not my finest moment for sure."

At 33 weeks, my fears of having to deliver 15 lbs. of baby were put to ease.  At that appointment, the doctor told us she highly doubts I will make it to a 38 week induction.  She expects you to arrive in a couple of weeks, as I was already starting to dilate at that appointment.  I was less than a cm. dilated, so I was sent home without any restrictions.  Every woman is different.  I could be walking around dilated for a month before going into labor, or it could happen much sooner than that.  I will say that I feel like I could go into labor at any time.  Even small amounts of physical activity puts me into contractions, so I am forced to take things much easier than I would like to.  We really do want to keep you in till at least 36 weeks.  Even though I have no specific restrictions from a doctor, Daddy and I have agreed to cut back my hours at work considerably, so I can spend much of my day off of my feet and resting.  He is also not allowing me to do much of anything around the house.  He has taken on all of the grocery shopping, the cleaning and the cooking.  While I love that he is so concerned about all three of us, it kills me to not be able to do those things.  I hate having to watch him work a full day and then come home and take care of responsibilities that I would normally be doing. 
Other than all of the physical discomforts of this last bit of pregnancy, we are still making progress in preparing for your arrival. Since my last post, we had our church baby shower. We are certainly blessed with a wonderful church family who can’t wait to meet you.

We’re feeling more and more prepared as each week passes. Over the past few weeks, we've....

1) purchased the remaining items that we needed for your arrival
2) packed the diaper bag, and it's ready to go
3) packed my hospital bag, and it's waiting by the door with a list of last minute items for Daddy to put in the bag before we leave
4) have the carseats ready to be put in the car, and Daddy is taking them to get inspected this weekend
5)  have the stroller ready to go
6) have the bassinets ready for you in our room
7) put the baby moniter up in the nursery
8) assembled all of the baby gear and put batteries in everything
9) took a birthing class at the hospital to better prepare us for labor and delivery

We still have a few more small things to buy here and there, and I want to make sure the house is cleaned really well before you come, along with getting the freezer and pantry stocked up. I guess those are all things to work on next weekend.

Other than that, I think that we are as ready as we are going to be for our big day.  We are certainly looking forward to meeting you face to face.  It feels like it's taken forever to get to this point.  It won't be long now.   Seeing you face to face will be here before we know it. 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Turning 30.....

It’s happened.  I’m thirty.  My twenties are officially over.  I always thought that I would dread this day, yet somehow I really don’t seem to care now that it's here.  I woke up this morning, and it felt like any other day.  I took a look in the mirror, and I looked the exact same as I did one day ago when I was twenty-nine.    If I had a check list for the past decade, I would say I have checked off most of the important things that I wanted to accomplish in my twenties - graduated college, used my degree, fell in love, got married, bought our home, fixed up our home and now we are in the beginning stages of growing a family.  My twenties were a time of figuring out where my life was going to go and enjoying the process of getting there.  As I enter my thirties,  I feel like I've found where I'm supposed to be, and now I get to spend the next decade enjoying this new part of life's journey.

So overall, turning thirty hasn't been so bad.  I’ve never been one for making a big deal out of my birthday, as in I never really remember wanting parties or celebrating with a lot of people on my birthday when I was growing up.  My husband knows me well enough to know that I would dislike a party for my birthday, especially a suprise party. Since I’ve been with him, we have always celebrated my birthday with just the two of us.  If he has had to work on my birthday, he has arranged for me to have some relaxing quiet time throughout the day before coming home and spending time with me.  If he has not had to work on my birthday, we have taken the time to get away for a few days and celebrate.  That’s what I would have really wanted for my 30th birthday…..a weekend getaway.  Unfortunately, travel is not really an option for me this year.  In years past, we had talked about going to Vegas for my 30th, and then maybe renting car for a day to see the Grand Canyon.  Now that we are having babies, I think it’s safe to say that Vegas is not in any of my foreseeable future birthdays.  Long gone are the days of packing a suitcase and taking off for a few days.  For the next few years, I’m sure my birthdays will be spent being woken up by snotty nosed kids wanting hugs and kisses from their mama.  I’m just fine with that being in my future.  We’ve had a good five years to ourselves.  Change is soon coming, and change is a good thing.

So if I didn’t spend my 30th birthday living it up in Vegas, how did I spend it you ask?  Well, I had a very simple day, and sometimes keeping it simple is what's best.  My day started out with breakfast in bed, made my sweetheart. 

I took the day off of work, and Matt chose to work from home today.  I had a pretty lazy morning that involved going out to get my hair done, so he could have some quiet time in the house to get his work done.  When I got home we went out for a lunch date at one of our favorite local pizza places. 

Afterwards, he needed to finish up some work, so he sent me out for coffee and a birthday pedicure.

We were considering catching a movie when I got home, but I opted for a nap instead.  I didn't really feel like going out tonight.  He took care of things, and we spent the evening in.  He made dinner, picked up a red box and picked GiGi's cupcakes for dessert.  It wasn’t a weekend in Vegas, but it was pretty perfect day really. 

And as far as my birthday gift goes, we decided to invest in a nice camera now that we have a family on the way.  I'm looking forward to teaching myself how to use it, as I try to capture the next decade of our lives through the lens of this birthday gift.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Letters to my Babies - Week 30

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 Week 24. Week 28.

We’ve made it to 30 weeks!  I can see the finish line quickly approaching, although not fast enough if you ask me.  My body is ready to have you boys, but I know you are not ready to enter the world yet. A few weeks ago, I would have said my goal is 38 weeks.  That’s when my doctor plans to induce if you have not arrived on your own by then.  However, I am now saying that my goal is 36 weeks.  That’s when your lungs should be developed, and you should be healthy enough to not have to stay in NICU, although it’s not a guarantee.   I can’t say that my doctor will induce me at 36 weeks.  We’ll have to take it one day at a time.  But if you are healthy enough by then and my doctor considers it safe for all three of us, I would gladly be induced around 36 weeks.  If I can make it that far, I will consider it a big success. While this momma is so very grateful to be able to experience the gift of pregnancy, being able to safely deliver two healthy boys into this world can not come soon enough for me. 
I’ve definitely entered the uncomfortable part of pregnancy.  Even the smallest tasks seem to be more work than it should be on my body right now. I’ve also started to experience braxton hicks contractions within the past few weeks.  They are not painful yet, but they are clearly happening more often as each day goes by.  My doctor wants me to keep an eye on how often I am having them.  If they become too frequent, it may be time for me to start slowing down some.  So far, I have not been put on any restrictions, and thankfully it looks as though I am going to go through this whole pregnancy without being but on bed rest.   

Preparations for your arrival are still in the works.  Things are being checked off of our to-do list as each week passes.  For one, we had some maternity pictures taken a few weeks ago. I'm sure I'll do an entire blog post about our maternity session soon to share with my readers.

The nursery has been ready for awhile, but I finally took pictures and posted them on social media to share with family and friends who don’t live close to us.  I can’t wait for you to call this little boy space your own.  I’m already envisioning all of the rough-housing and all-boy fun that will go on in this room in the years to come.

We also had our family baby shower last weekend.  The weather didn’t cooperate as much as I would have liked, but we had a good time.  Using some ispiration from Pinterest, a friend made the perfect cake for the shower.  It was almost too pretty to eat....almost. 
Grandma flew in from Florida for the shower and brought the baby blankets she made for you. I love them! How special it is to have them handmade by your grandma.

Daddy has spent the week putting baby swings and other equipment together.  We are fully expecting the loft to be taken over with all of your baby gear in the next few weeks.  We have one more shower to get through next weekend, and then we will go out and purchase any other things we need before you arrive.  Things are coming together nicely.  Pregnancy has felt like a marathon, and Mommy and Daddy are ready to finish this final stretch and hold our baby boys in our arms.  We love you both so much, and while I’m trying to savor this last bit of pregnancy, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxiously awaiting the day we get to safely deliver you into this world and bring you home.