Saturday, March 31, 2012

Life with Bennett and Loie

Well in case you haven't heard... our beautiful twins arrived Wednesday, March 28 and 5:43 and 5:45 pm via c-section.
A little bit about the birth... Contractions started Tuesday so we went to the hospital, but were sent home when labor stopped. The next day contractions started again, so we went to our regularly scheduled OB appointment on Wednesday afternoon, where our doctor decided that the babies were ready to come out.
I was in active labor all afternoon/evening, but the babies were breech (feet first) so a c-section ended up being necessary. The surgery was not a great experience-not painful, but very scary and lots of pulling going on.
Bennett has been in our room with us since the birth, but Loie has been needing a little extra care in the NICU. She is doing great! but just needed a little help with breathing and eating.
Here is a photo from Friday, when I went up to the NICU for some Kangaroo Care (skin to skin contact).
We will be in the hospital at least until Sunday morning. We welcome visitors, but appreciate a heads-up just in case it's not a good time.
Reunited and it feels so good!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Will work for visit...

Remember a few months back when I mentioned something about working for your visit when you come to meet the babies?? 

(This is the revised version of this post... my first attempt came across a little rude and demanding and maybe sounding a little bit entitled (as a good friend pointed out- glad shes got my back) which is definitely not what I intended when I wrote it, I hope I didn't offend you if you read it during the short time it was originally posted, and if I did I'm sorry.)
Words cannot express how grateful Luke and I would be to anyone who offers us any type of help after the arrival of our babies, whether that help comes in the form of help around our house, bringing us a meal,  giving Steven some special big brother attention, joining us on an outting,  or simply verbal support... it will be very much appreciated!

We are so excited to meet our babies, and also very excited to share them with our friends and family!

I will do my best to keep you updated via this blog on when we are accepting visitors at both the hospital and when we get home, so please check back after their arrival and there should be more information. You can always give us a call too.

If you are coming to visit and meet the babies, it would be absolutely awesome if you were also willing to bring us a meal (if we need one that day) and/or help us out with something around our house.  Our family doctor who has her own set of toddler age twins suggested very early on in our pregnancy that our visitors "earn their visit" and we make sure our visitors are aware that we aren't going to be "entertaining" them.  I have to admit that it does sound a bit demanding and selfish, but I don't think it's a terrible idea to have some expectations and guidelines especially in the beginning when we are trying to get on track with our new family members.  Quite honestly, I'm not planning to turn away any offer to help and I'm not going to have any energy for anyone else besdies my kids, so I can't imagine entertaining would even be an option... 
We are planning to exclusively breastfeed our twins, which as you can imagine is probably going to be very challenging in the begining and is going to require a lot of support and privacy until we get the hang of it.  Twenty-eight weeks ago when I first learned we were expecting twins I thought that breastfeeding was one of the things that went right out the window just because there was more than one baby.  Thankfully, I soon learned about the La Leche League and the special "Mom's of Multiples" group... I started attending meetings immediately (before I was even showing and I felt totally out of place surrounded by all the Mom's to be with big huge bellies like I have now).  I was (and still am) so empowered, motivated and in complete awe of the Mom's of multiples I have met in this group- they all exclusively breastfeed their twins (at the same time)! How cool is that!?!?! So, I know it's possible... and if they can do it, so can I!!!  I know that it is going to be very challenging in the beginning and that it's not always going to be a smooth journey even when we get good at it... (so when you see me struggling please cheer me on and don't let me give up when the going gets tough!) 
Also, please don't be offended if we don't want visitors right away or ask you to keep your visit short if we are still learning and need our privacy... It's pretty difficult to be discrete feeding two babies together at the same time, and I'm not really comfortable showing off my ta ta's to a crowd :)  

If you are planning to bring us a meal...

Take Them A Meal is this great website which includes a personalized online schedule for our friends and family to coordinate bringing us FOOD after our babies arrive.
 (Thank you to our wonderful Doula Alli Ryan for setting this up for us)
If you are interested and able to bring us a meal (and visit our babies) you can sign up on the website. If I haven't already sent you a personal email invitation with the specific login information for the schedule please send me an email at and I will gladly send you a personal invitation to the website (or of course you can call us and see if we need a meal and we can log in and put you on the calendar).

Luke and I would be very grateful for your delicious homemade cookin', and also for delivery from our very limited selection of local restaurants if you live far away or don't cook ;) but still would like to "bring us a meal".  We won't need something every single day, because I'm sure we will end up with leftovers to eat some days, and we have also prepared a lot of our own meals ahead of time that are waiting for us in our freezer...

If you are planning to help with things around our house...

We have a dry erase marker board set up in our kitchen where a list of things that need to be done each day will be written.  If Luke and I can't get to them, we would be very grateful if you would be willing to help us with something on the list so that we can put our energy into caring for our babies and Steven.

Special Big Brother Attention...

is going to be really important for Steven.  He is really excited to be a big brother, but that excitement obviously may diminish quickly if he feels like everyone is excited about the babies and not excited to see him too!  Especially because it's going to be very difficult for Luke and I to give him the same attention that he has been getting his whole life.  So please make sure to show him just as much excitement when you visit as you do the babies.  And, if you would like to spend some special time doing an activity or playing a game with Steven we would really appreciate that too. 

Verbal Support...

Your verbal support is so-o-o important to me!
 I'm open to hearing your helpful suggestions and what worked for you and what didn't with your babies and kids, but I also feel very confident with my plan regarding how I'm going to care for my babies.  It would make me feel very insecure and uncomfortable if someone made unsupportive comments about my choices and decisions, so I ask that even if you don't agree with my choices that you are still supportive.
I plan to exclusively breast feed both babies, if I am unsuccessful feeding them directly at the breast I will pump and feed them but still continue to try to feed them naturally whenever possible, and I plan to breast feed for their entire first year if not longer... (I'm going to need a ton of support to be successful doing this) and it would just break my spirits if someone told me that I should just give my babies formula, or supplement with formula to make things easier for myself.  One of the things we talk about often in La Leche League is surrounding ourselves with a positive supportive environment and  people who are going to help us stay strong and focused on our breastfeeding goals- one negative comment can have a devestating impact on sucessful breastfeeding.  So please encourage and support me even if breastfeeding isn't your thing or something you feel as strongly about as I do!

For the first 3-4 months (probably a little longer);
I plan to spend as much time holding my babies as possible- I don't think it's possible to spoil my babies (and I don't care if anyone thinks that it is possible, I've done my research and feel confident in my decision) and I don't have any intention of letting my babies cry during this period either.

So if you see Luke and I struggling, help us with what you can- cheer us on, give us your most positive support, please don't let us give in or give up... 

Lots of Love,

Monday, March 12, 2012

Our 32 Week Ultrasound at 33 Weeks and 1 day

Today I went to our 32 week ultrasound (which was actually a week late due to scheduling availability- lots of other twin+ Mama's out there I guess...) so it's been 5 weeks since my last ultrasound.  

Although I was very disappointed to learn that both of our babies have decided to be in breech positions at this point (I'm still holding out hope they might flip so I can avoid the dreaded c-section they keep talking about)...

 ...I was THRILLED to hear that each of our babies have each gained 2 full pounds in the last five weeks, and are still growing at the rate of singleton babies. AMAZING!  If they keep up this progress and stay put for another month we may have twin babies that each weigh 6 pounds... 

We do have names picked out, but we aren't telling everyone until they are born...

So Baby 1 (boy) weighed in at 4 pounds 11 ounces, and Baby 2 (girl) weighed in at 4 pounds 5 ounces right on track with their April 29th due date.

I'm in this for the long haul but let me tell you that growing these two little stinkers is not an easy task- right now at 33 weeks pregnant I am carrying what would be equivalent to a 9 pound singleton baby... still with 6 weeks and 6 days left to go... that's not taking into consideration the extra placenta and blood and all that other gooey gooey grossness ;)  Listen to me trying to justify my 32 pound weight gain... 

This isn't the most flattering picture... but this is the official double baby bump, not pictured is my belly button which is finally starting to make its outward journey...

So my feet are swollen, my hands occasionally turn into balloons for short periods of time, I can't put socks or shoes on myself, I have to roll myself out of bed in the middle of the night to pee an average of 4-5 times a night, I am super uncomfortable ALL the time, and I have no problem laying in bed/ sleeping until mid-afternoon whenever possible (Thankfully Luke has been bringing me breakfast and lunch in bed as needed) because I am exhausted... but I'm happy as a clam and SO excited to meet our babies!

I finally decided to cut down on my work schedule and I am now down to working about 25 hours a week... Last week Monday I was at work and having really strong contractions all morning and ended up going into labor and delivery triage thinking I was actually in labor- (which was REALLY scary at 8 weeks early)... turns out I was dehydrated and needed to rest... so since last week Monday I have been working less resting as much as possible and drinking fluids to get rehydrated and hopefully stay that way.  I'm still having contractions here and there but nothing like last Monday.  


So, as you can see in the first picture below our babies won't be entering the world without hair on their heads... at least a tiny little bit of fuzz ;) maybe more...

Originally I was going to leave the ultrasound appointment with one photograph...The babies were both facing the wrong direction and not cooperating with their "photo session".  I'm not going to post the original picture because it's not very clear, but I can tell you that it is a picture of the tops of two baby heads with a foot squished in between them- I'm guessing that I'm not the only one who is uncomfortable with this situation and ready for a new beginning.

So after the technician collected all of the information and pictures that she needed she left the room to consult with the doctor observing the ultrasound video from the other room and while she was gone I felt a lot of movement happening in my big ol' belly, so when she returned I asked if she would be willing to take one more peak and see if anything changed... sure enough the babies shifted a bit and we were able to get a slight 4D look at each of their faces.

How neat are these???

This is Baby 2 (Girl) with a hand and possibly a foot next to her face.

This is Baby 2 (Boy) with a hand in front of his nose and mouth

So we didn't get a lot of pictures, but good things come to those who wait (I'm a firm believer) and we will get to meet our babies in a few weeks and get to actually see what they really look like- I'm SO excited!

My next ultrasound appointment is in 4 more weeks, and if we make it that far (keep your fingers crossed that the babies stay put) we will find out if they are still both breech and if I have to have surgery to meet them... 

I've been reading about flipping breech babies... so if you happen to run into me at a swimming pool standing on my head underwater or lying head down on the slide in our backyard... it's because I'm trying to get them to flip into a head down position so I have the opportunity to experience childbirth as God intended.  Let's hope I can, even if it hurts really bad.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Our 20 week Ultrasound!!!

For 2 years Luke and I felt extreme pain and sorrow over our struggles with fertility and our 6 pregnancy losses.  We questioned our religious relationships, ourselves and whether or not we would ever be able to have children... Never in my life had I ever felt like life was so unfair...

But holy crap... good things do come to those who wait and dreams really do come true (as I type this tears are pouring out of my eyes)

16 weeks ago we took a pregnancy test that yielded a very positive result :)  Three weeks after that we found out that there was not just one baby with a good strong healthy heartbeat... but TWO babies with good strong healthy heartbeats growing inside of me... We were in complete shock, but felt so blessed at the same time. After we made it through the first trimester we were finally able to breathe and be optimistic and decided to share our big wonderful news with the whole world... we've taken each day one at a time and I can harldy believe that on Sunday I will already be 21 Weeks!!  Time is flying by...

Yesterday we had our 20 week ultrasound which also included a gender scan... Luke couldn't stay for the entire 2+ hour appointment because he had to get back to work, so right away we asked if we could take a quick peak and see if they could tell us their genders while Luke was there....

Within just a few seconds of the begining of the scan we were informed that Baby A was definitely.....

our little BOY!

... and Baby B is definitely....

our little GIRL!

Ultrsounds can be incorrect... but apparently what they saw were textbook views of exactly what they look for :)

I couldn't stop crying, (and now I'm crying again, because I am so happy) I now have everything in the whole world I could ever want... A loving and wonderful husband who I already know is an amzing father, and 3 healthy children (2 boys and a girl)... life just couldn't be any sweeter!

Steven is SO excited to be a big brother, and I am SO excited for him.  He kept going back and forth between wanting two girls and two boys...   (Girls won't want to share his toys... and boys can wrestle) I really feel like he is getting the best possible combination :) I can't wait to see how much he loves his babies when they arrive!!!

Steven and Marmaduke are excited to be big brothers

Below are the rest of the pictures from the unltrasound.... I hope you enjoy the sneak peaks as much as I do.  The babies were awake and moving around like crazy... which I can feel a lot now :) and it's such an amazing feeling... but it also makes it very difficult for the ultrasound technician to get decent pictures... (especially when her feet are on his face... I'm sure it's just the begining of that) "Fetus 1" is Baby A, our boy and "Fetus 2" is Baby B, our girl...

So, after the ultrasound technician finished her job, one of the doctors came in to look over everything and make sure that everything they could look at looked good... and everything looks great!!

The babies are really close in size, Boy is measuring a little bit ahead of my due date and Girl is right on with my due date... Boy is 14 ounces and Girl is 13 ounces.... they really need names huh? We have some picked out but we aren't 100% yet

To celebrate the great big fantastic news, I met Gail (my mother in-law) at the store after the appointment was over and she bought the babies a couple of really cute newborn outifts:

So cute!

And then I went to target and picked out a special outfit for each baby to wear at the hospital while I waited to pick up our sushi order so Luke and I could celebrate:

back view

front view
 ... and a couple of cute onsies....


I just can't even believe that we are having a boy and a girl!!! I feel like the luckiest person in the whole world!

So, now that you've seen pictures of the babies and how they are growing.... now you get to see pictures of how my belly is growing...  I started showing around 8-9 weeks but didn't take any belly shots until I was REALLY showing:

14 Weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks

20 weeks

oh, and here is Henry and Steven pretending they have babies growing in their bellies :

So darn cute!

When I logged on to write this post today, I realized that it has been almost a month since my last update... jeeze! I've been doing a lot of sewing while I can still fit behind my sewing machine... making all sorts of cool baby stuff for our family and friends too... and I've been crocheting too.  I'll post some of my work on here soon.  I'm pretty proud of the stuff I've made but it's time consuming... that's a fact when your husband tells you that he feels like chopped liver next to your project list.... Sorry Luke.

More updates to come soon!

Thanks for sharing our excitement!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Catching up... Sunday Funday Family Field Trip

I was just talking to my dear cousin Tanya over the phone, and when I told her I was attempting to catch up on my blog (from almost two weeks ago now) this afternoon- she had the right answer... I don't recall her exact words but something along the lines that my blog doesn't have a schedule and I write my blog when I have time... well put Tanya- I haven't had time... or maybe I haven't made time... but either way my blog is meant to be something that is relaxing for me and not another stressor in my life.  So, I'm "two weeks behind" oh well :)

So, recently... (two Sunday's ago) Luke, Steven and I took ourselves on a field trip to, dun dun dun...


I don't remember exactly why, but Steven was over tired and quite crabby that Sunday morning (If I remember right it was daylight savings and he woke up at 4:30 in the morning to play) and he did not want to go to Cave of the Mounds ("whatever that place is") to save his life! He tried to convince us that he had already been there when he was "little" and he did not like it at all!  He wanted to watch TV, and go to the park that day and he wasn't happy with us that he didn't get to decide what we were doing- so very unhappy that he actually cried.  Tough tootles we told him and off we went.  Luke and I have been planning to take him there since last summer, but we were always too busy camping or doing something else fun that we never made it... and reality was finally beginning to set in- with two babies on the way, my belly is growing bigger and!  So fast that I thought if we waited even a couple more weeks to go on this field trip I wouldn't be able to fit through the narrow passages they take tours through... Off we went!

If you have ever been to Cave of the Mounds you know that the very first part of the tour starts out with a film explaining the history of the cave, in a dark room-which caused Steven to get a little nervous about going in the cave but we convinced him that it wasn't actually scary and he should give it a try.  Once we got down the first set of stairs I think he had a smile on his face for the rest of the tour.

Oh, and the quality of our pictures totally stinks because even though we remembered to bring our really nice fancy camera along on this outing, we left it in the car.  HA! Thankfully my phone has a decent camera and we at least have pictures to share.

Luke and Steven heading down the first set of stairs into the cave

Pictures of inside the cave
(here is some of what we saw)

Flow stone
the end of the cave in one direction

The "Red light" which signifies the lowest depth of the cave
which is also directly below the flag pole (see picture below)

Steven and I attempting to take a decent picture

Steven peaking at part of the cave

attempted family photograph

Attempt number 2....

looking at the lifeline of the cave (on the ceiling) 

Looking up at some stalactites

Another failed family photo ;)

The left over trunk of a broken off stalagmite


A chuck of stalactites broken off and laying on the ground facing up

Luke and Steven standing in front of a beautiful view of stalactites and stalagmites

Here is Steven and I

A "column" where the stalactites and stalagmites grew together

After our tour, we looked around the gift shop and Steven decided he wanted to buy a bag of sand and rocks and mine for fossils...

this is "the treasure" he found

nice fall day- here are some leaves I thought were pretty

the flag pole which is directly above the red light in the cave-
I can't remember exactly how many feet below this point
we actually were- but it was quite substantial

A half-way successful family photograph to end the trip before walking to the car

So, as we were leaving Steven was very grateful for our field trip to Cave of the Mounds!  He said thank you over and over and asked if we could come back again soon because he liked it so much. He had a lot of fun, and learned new things too :)  Luke and I had a lot of fun too!

After leaving the cave we headed to Gail and Gib's (Luke's Mom and Step-Dad) house to have dinner with them, which is always fun and delicious.  We did Steven's homework before we left (in fear that he would fall asleep in the car on the way home- which he indeed did) and got home just in time for bedtime.  Luke and I relaxed and headed to bed early too.  Regardless of the daylight savings time we were both exhausted as usual.

If you would like to learn more about Cave of the Mounds or actually see some "quality" pictures of the cave you can visit:

I highly recommend taking the tour, it is really quite an amazing and beautiful Wisconsin treasure.

More updates coming soon!!