12.23.2014

Happy Birthday to Ryker and Averlee! Part 2

In case you missed Part 1, you can find it here!

We had known for a while I would deliver the twins via C-section. I had slowly begun mentally preparing myself for what that would involve; however, I still was not ready. I was not ready to deliver them at 34 weeks. I kept telling Trey, "I'm not ready. They aren't ready. This cannot happen today. They cannot be born today." He just kept smiling and telling me everything would be alright. I think every nurse in the room had to give me a speech about how well I had done to carry twins to 34 weeks. It didn't matter what anyone said at that point. I knew 34 weeks was the very beginning of what we had begun to call "the safe zone". I also knew our babies would be preemies and there was absolutely nothing we could do to prevent it at that moment. Ryker and Averlee were coming even if it wasn't the most ideal situation.

I had less than 45 minutes from the time the nurse told me Dr. Williams had ordered an emergency C-section to the time they were wheeling me down the halls to the operating room. I had no time to think. I had no time to cry. It all happened so fast! As soon as the doors to the OR opened, I looked to my left and saw two bassinets. Two. I remember looking at my nurse and saying, "There's two. I'm having two babies tonight. Two miracles." Tears were rolling down my face. I couldn't decided if I was terrified or if I was overjoyed. Either way, I was ready to meet my babies.

Once they had prepped me for my C-section and started my spinal - because we had NO time for an epidural- they let Trey join me. The room was full of people! I had a team around me. Each bassinet had a team around it. I believe there were two people from the NICU in the room as well. I looked at Trey and told him to pray. I knew there was nothing we could do at this point but pray. So we did. Trey prayed over me as the doctors and nurses pulled, tugged, cut, and pushed on my body. In less than 15 minutes, Dr. Williams said, "I'll have a baby for you in just a minute, Kari!" He did. Ryker was first. The sound of his sweet little scream was absolutely beautiful. Dr. Williams gave me a quick peek of little Ryker before the nurses and doctors swept him away for his evaluation. One minute later, our precious Averlee was born. Apparently Averlee had tied her umbilical cord in a tight knot. It all made sense at that point. If I had not gone into labor when I did, we would not have known Averlee had umbilical cord problems until she was in distress. By the time we figured out she was in distress, it would have been too late.

My grandmother said it best a few days later. She said Ryker was probably saying, "Somebody has to get us out of here! My sister is in trouble!".

Shortly after Ryker and Averlee were born, Trey was instructed to follow the nurses to the NICU. I wish I had a picture of his proud face. His face was completely lit up. I was laying on the operating table just praying our babies would be ok, and Trey was beaming from ear to ear with pride. It was everything I had ever dreamt of. That moment seeing his face and hearing our little miracles crying in the background was priceless. I hope I never forget how beautiful of a moment that was.

The NICU

Ryker and Averlee were admitted to the NICU immediately after their birth. We are grateful they did not require any assistance breathing. They did require IV fluids for a few days, phototherapy for jaundice, and a warmer to help them regulate their own body temps. After a couple days, the nurses "coached" Trey and I on how to get the babies to eat. We took it day by day increasing the amount of formula or breast milk in their bottles. It was frustrating at times because we just wanted to feed our babies without having a nurse timing us, but in the greater picture, we knew we were one step closer to taking them home each time they finished their minimal feed amounts. 


Ryker
Averlee



I was discharged on December 7th. I woke up crying that morning. I knew I would be leaving the hospital with a C-section scar and empty arms. Our babies were not going home with us yet. It was almost unfair I had to wait so long just to get pregnant with them, then I didn't get to carry them to term, and now I had to leave them in the hospital while I went home. I was beating myself up over it. I was in the worst mood that day. I made sure we spent as much time as possible in the NICU before we left. When we went in for our last visit of the day before leaving the hospital, the nurses allowed me to do something I had not done before. They let me hold both babies. I got to hold both of my babies at the same time. I cried the happiest tears! I held them so tightly and whispered to them...
"This was worth the wait."



 


On December 11th, Trey and I left the hospital one last time, but this time we left with our two miracle babies. It was almost like a dream leaving the hospital that day. It almost did not seem real. We were leaving the hospital with OUR babies. These two little lives were in our hands. These two lives we had hoped and prayed for over the last two and a half years were now in our hands for us to take home. I could not thank God enough. I was in constant prayer the entire ride home. 


Tomorrow Ryker and Averlee will be 3 weeks old. They were worth the wait. Looking into their sweet little faces makes every single failed treatment cycle, negative pregnancy test, heartbreaking test result, set back, roadblock, cancelled cycle, doctor visit, crying fit on the bathroom floor, surgery, blood draw, and injection in the abdomen worth it. They are worth it. 
Averlee and Ryker


Ryker and Averlee

My bright-eyed little boy
 
I'm not sure where this blog will go from this point forward, but I hope I'm able to continue documenting this wonderful journey. I hope each and every one of you have a very Merry Christmas.

12.09.2014

Happy Birthday to Ryker and Averlee! Part 1

On Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 6:34 and 6:35pm the world became a little sweeter. Ryker Christian Bell and Averlee Elizabeth Bell decided they didn't want to celebrate their birthdays on the day our doctor had scheduled my C-Section. Apparently December 3rd was more appealing to them! Here is their birth story...

On Tuesday afternoon, I began tracking contractions. I was having them about 12-15 minutes apart. They weren't awful. They were about as intense as the BH contractions I had been having for almost 10 weeks. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had already spent two nights in the hospital at 30 weeks due to threatened pre-term labor. During that hospital stay I was given two steroid injections to aid the babies' development along with magnesium sulfate to slow/ stop my contractions. Basically, I was tracking contractions on Tuesday but I didn't think anything about it because I felt fetal movement. As far as I knew, I had not lost my mucus plug and I did not have any bleeding. I assumed I was just having practice contractions. No big deal.

Tuesday night I slept all night long. Seriously. I only woke up once to pee. That's a huge deal when you have two tiny humans pressing on your bladder constantly. I woke up Wednesday, took Gavin to school, came home and just laid around until it was time to get ready for my weekly doctor visit. Trey was off work on Wednesday so he could run a few errands before our doctor appointment. When we were getting ready to leave the house, I told Trey I thought I would throw my hospital bag in the car just in case. I asked him if he wanted to put a bag in the car too. He said would just come get his stuff if he needed it. I was thinking we might have another over night stay in the hospital in our near future.... little did I know.

We had an ultrasound at 2:00 and a doctor appointment at 3:40. During our ultrasound, I was extremely uncomfortable. I've never wanted to rush through any of my bazillion ultrasounds, but I was completely over this one. I kept having contractions, which led to me having to roll over on my side off of my back. The tech told me Baby A - Ryker- was "very low". She also said Baby B - Averlee- was head down. I knew at this point that our days were numbered... little did I know.

When my nurse called my name to go back for my doctor appointment, I asked her if we would be doing a NST. I told her I was having frequent contractions. She said my doctor hadn't ordered one, but she would talk to my doctor and see what he said. When my doctor came in, he did not ask a lot of questions. He told us he was going to send us over to L&D to be checked and hooked up to the monitors. He told us we would probably go home that night, but we just needed to be checked out. 

So off we went to L&D. We made a few quick phone calls and sent a few texts, but we did not see any reason for everyone to rush to the hospital...little did I know. The time between the moment we got off the elevator on the 3rd floor of the hosptial and the time the twins were born was a complete whirlwind! When I was checked, the nurse started to prepare us mentally that we would be delivering soon. I was already at 5cm and the contractions were becoming stronger and more frequent. Ryker and Averlee were on their way and there was absolutely NO time to waste. Before we could even make a phone call to our parents and close friends, I had a room full of nurses trying to start my IV, draw blood for labs, and prep me for an emergency C-section. . . 

To be continued



11.27.2014

A Thankful Thanksgiving

.... and a quick update.


What a difference a year makes, right? Whenever I think about it, my heart wants to explode with gratefulness and happiness. One year ago I was scheduling our consultation appointment with Nashville Fertility Center. One year ago my OB/GYN looked Trey and I in the eyes and told us he was at the end of his rope. He did not know what else to do, but he was determined not to give up and he didn't want us to give up either. We left his office with a referral to see a specialist at Nashville Fertility Center. My heart was shattered. I was terrified. I was angry. I was so disappointed.

Fast Forward.

Yesterday, the twins and I had our second NST (non-stress test).  As I was laying in the chair hooked up to all of my monitors, my OB/GYN came in to chat and see how I was doing. He asked, "Have we scheduled your C-Section yet? We need to do that." He told us it would be ideal to do it during week 37. We reminded him week 37 is the week of Christmas. That's fine with me, but I know my doctor has four girls at home. I wanted to make sure HE would be delivering our babies. He left the room for a few minutes. When he came back, he said, "December 26th. That will get you through Christmas with your son and you will be just over 37 weeks then." I was in shock. I was excited. I was scared all at the same time. For the last 30 something weeks I've known I cannot be pregnant forever and eventually my babies would have to come out so we can share them with everyone else, but at the same time... we worked so hard, prayed so hard, and waited so long just to be pregnant. I'm not ready for it to be over. Yes. I'm ready to see their little faces. I'm ready to be able to get out of bed without needing someone to give me a push. I'm ready to not have to worry about my bare belly peeking out from under maternity shirts that are suddenly too small. I'm ready to hold and rock our little miracles. I'm ready to read them stories and see their sweet smiles. I'm ready for all of that! I really am. It just all seems to have flown by to me. I feel like May 9th (the day I cheated and took a HPT before my first beta) was just yesterday. I've met women who have said they felt like they were pregnant forever. Me? I feel like I've only been pregnant for a little while even though it has been a full 33 weeks already. We have a date set for our C-Section. Ryker and Averlee will be here on December 26th unless they decide to choose their own birthday between now and then. This is all so real. My heart is so full and so excited, but I'm scared at the same time. God is trusting us with these two precious little miracle lives.

One year ago I never imagined I would be really super pregnant at Thanksgiving this year. I never imagined I would be expecting twins! One year ago I wasn't even sure I would ever carry another child in my womb. I'm carrying two and we have been blessed with a healthy, happy twin pregnancy. I'm so thankful. I'm so humbled. I'm so blessed. God is so good!  He heard every single prayer that was sent up on our behalf and He answered those prayers... times two.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. I just do not feel like this post does it justice. Words cannot describe how full my heart is this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!


11.21.2014

Stay-at-Home Mom Adventures

I feel like I need to document this waiting period in my life. I've officially been a stay at home mom for the last eleven days. The first week was absolutely a whirlwind. I had so many things on my TO DO list that I wanted to get completed. I had somewhere to be and errands to run almost every day. Oh and let's not forget Gavin's brief stomach bug debacle. My first day at home, the school called Gavin's dad to say someone needed to come get him. Since I had resigned from job 30 minutes prior to the phone call, I told Gav's dad I would handle it. So I spent the first day of being a stay at home mom being the nurse to my 11 year old who had the yucky stomach virus. It was actually not that bad!

Gavin is only here three (and a half...ish) days a week, so I make the most of being his Mommy during that time. I've been able to drop him off at school and pick him up in the afternoons. I'm finally able to help him with homework, cook a REAL dinner for him and Trey each night, and just take time to chat with him. I'm not rushed. I'm not running in the door at 5:45 in the evening completely distraught and frazzled from the day. I honestly feel like I'm finally able to make being Gavin's mom and Trey's wife my #1 priority each day.

This week has been different. I haven't been sleeping well at night at all, so my energy level is not near what it was last week. I have a TO DO list for this week, but I'm not marking things off as quickly. We did finally break down and pay someone to come do a deep clean on our house. That took place on Wednesday and I have decided it was the best decision I ever made. It was such a good idea that we have decided to have someone clean our house bi-weekly from this point forward.

Basically, I talk to my dog all day, do laundry, dishes, and reorganize the nursery. Seriously. I sit in the nursery for almost an hour each morning sipping my peppermint hot tea and rearranging the changing table or closet. I believe this is part of nesting, maybe? Whatever it is, I cannot wait to walk into that room each morning and be greeted by two little miracle babies who need me.

Prayer Request:  if you could please remember my fellow blogger friend and TTC sister, Elana @ baby Ridley bump that would be wonderful. She has been fighting with every ounce of her being to receive her own miracle baby. She was a wonderful inspiration to me during my sad and dark days. She has always had words of encouragement for me and this week she needs all of the prayers, encouragement, positive vibes, love...whatever you can offer her. Infertility stinks.

11.17.2014

Bumpdate - 32 Weeks


 

How Far Along?:  32w

Due Date: Our due date has been bumped to January 11th. The goal is to make it to December 22nd.
 
Weight Gain: I have actually started losing weight in the last 2 weeks. I became a stay-at-home mom as of a week ago. I'm going to blame the weight loss on me not sitting at a desk all day anymore. I can assure you, my eating habits have not improved since I've been home. I ate an entire sleeve of Oreos last week over the course of 5 days. I am drinking 2% milk daily. I am eating 5-6 small meals a day. I'm not sure what is going on. I plan to bring this up at our appointment on Wednesday.
 
Maternity Clothes: For the most part it is all I wear. On days I do not feel absolutely amazing, I typically throw on pre-pregnancy sweat pants and a maternity shirt. I don't stay in my pajamas all day!  
 
Sleep: Sleeping comfortably has become difficult over the last couple of nights. Zantac has helped with the acid reflux and heartburn; however, the size of my belly makes it really hard for me to turn over, get out of bed, and just basically sleep comfortably. I may try to add an extra pillow under my belly tonight and see if that helps.

Best Moment This Week:  We had our final baby shower on Saturday, so I spent most of the afternoon on Sunday organizing the nursery and doing the babies' laundry. It all seems so real now! The weeks are flying by and our babies will be here SO SOON!

Weird Pregnancy Moment:  Does anyone else find it difficult to pee in a cup when they go to the doctor? I mean...is it only me?! It seems like they would have an easier solution for those of us who have bellies that stick out extra far.
 
Movement: They BOTH had the hiccups last night during Sunday Evening Worship. It was the most insane feeling. Other than the hiccups, their punches and kicks are super strong now! Gavin got down next to my belly last night to "chat" with Averlee. She punched or kicked SO hard you could see the bump on my belly. She cannot wait to get out and see her big brother I think!

Symptoms: Same as last week.  The typical pregnancy stuff.... increased appetite, lack of energy, nesting, growing belly, back and hip pain. Contractions. Lots and lots of irregular contractions.

Cravings/ Aversions: Breakfast foods are my favorite and Oreos. Not together though.  
 
Anything Make You Queasy:  Not eating when I get hungry.

Genders: We are having a sweet little boy, Ryker Christian and a precious little girl, Averlee Elizabeth
 
What I'm Looking Forward To:  My 32w checkup with the Nurse Practitioner on Wednesday and my Non-Stress Test! I cannot wait to hear their little hearts racing. We will cross our fingers and say our prayers that we avoid any hospital stays this week!
 
 
I forgot to have someone take my bump picture yesterday, so I'll leave you with a few pics of our unfinished nursery!


11.16.2014

Dear Babies:

Dear Ryker and Averlee:

Here we are. Two years ago you were just a dream to your Daddy and me. We prayed and prayed and prayed for you for over two years. God gave us you when the time was finally right. His plan for your lives is so beautiful. You two have already touched so many lives. It is just beautiful! I hope to tell you about it when you are older.

Thirty-two weeks ago our dream finally came true. Your Daddy and I are so excited to meet both of you! Personally, I've enjoyed all of the time I've spent with the two of you already. I have loved all of your kicks, flips, jabs, and high fives. Averlee, you've kept us on our toes at every ultrasound. We never know where you will be, what you will be doing, or which direction you will be facing. We can always count on you to have your hands beside your face though! Ryker, you've been the calm one on ultrasound days. I guess you do not have much room to move around when your sister is putting on her little shows, right? You both like to be very still when you know your Daddy is trying to feel you kick. You little stinkers!

As we patiently await your arrival, I keep thinking of things I cannot wait to do with you! I cannot wait to hold you both for the first time and tell you all about all of the wonderful people who prayed for you for so long. I cannot wait to feed you both. I cannot wait to see your Big Brother holding both of you. *Oh my heart*.... all of my babies together finally! What a blessing! I cannot wait to rock you both to sleep, dry your tears, and kiss your little cheeks. Averlee and Ryker, I have waited for what feels like forever to be your Mommy. I hope I do a good job. I hope you always know how much your Daddy, big brother, and I love you. I hope you know you wouldn't be my babies if it hadn't been for God. I cannot wait to teach you about your Heavenly Father and watch you both grow to know and love God. I look forward to watching you both achieve milestones together. I look forward to witnessing how much you two love each other. I have given up a paycheck, fancy clothes, high heels, Excel spreadsheets, reports, and bonuses so I can experience your dirty diapers, feeding you, holding you when you are sick, watching you take your first steps, hearing you speak your first words, and rocking you. Honestly, I think I made the best choice ever. I have chosen to be a full time Mommy to both of you and your Big Brother because it is all my heart desires. I just want to be your Mommy. I hope and pray with every ounce of my being I do a good job.

Ryker, your big brother cannot wait to teach you how to play ball! He already has a mini basketball picked out for you. Your Daddy cannot wait to teach you how to use your toy hammer, hunt, fish, and take things apart. You'll learn quickly that your Daddy is full of knowledge about so many things. I cannot wait to see what he teaches you! I'm sure you will spend a lot of time with him in his shop, learning how to "fix" things. You'll be your Daddy's little sidekick I bet!

Averlee, your big brother plans to teach you how to play ball too! You're going to be one well rounded little girl with two brothers! Don't worry, if you ever feel like being a girlie girl, Mommy is here for you! We can have girls day out and paint our nails if you want to. Big brother has taught me how play ball too though, so if you want me to play ball with you and your brothers in the yard, we can do that too! I'm sure your Daddy will take you hunting and fishing if you want to go too! I bet he even tells you the story about the day I slept on the ground while he hunted. It is probably one of his favorite stories! You'll have your Daddy wrapped around your little finger before you know it. I bet if you want to have a tea party, he will join you!


I cannot believe you will both be here in just a few weeks. Finally. Your Daddy and I cannot wait to meet you. Oh I cannot wait to see the look on your Daddy's face when he holds you! I cannot wait for you to meet him! Your Daddy is my best friend. I love him more today than I did yesterday. He has worked so hard to make sure our home is just perfect for both of you. He is so excited! I will always remember the look on his face the night I told him he was finally a Daddy. Averlee, I hope your future husband loves you and looks at you the way your Daddy does me. Ryker, I hope you love and laugh with your future wife the way your Daddy does me. You're both so blessed to have such a special man as your Daddy.

I can't write you this letter without telling you about your Big Brother! He is so excited to meet both of you!  Your brother has the biggest heart and is so full of patience. He held my hair when I was sick during my first few weeks as your Mommy. He has rubbed my back when you were in my ribs, Ryker! He has held my belly and felt you kick and wiggle, Averlee! He will be an amazing big brother. I hope you know you can always go to him if you need anything. I hope all three of you know how special and how important you are to me. God chose me to be your Mommy and that is not something I take lightly. Your big brother is smart too and oh so kind. I know if you ever need anything, he will be sure to take care of you!

I love you more than words can describe. Keep growing, my little miracles. I'll see you in a few weeks.

Love,
Mommy


11.12.2014

Bumpdate - 31 Weeks




How Far Along?:
  31w today. Praise God!


Due Date: Our due date has been bumped to January 11th; however, due to our brief visit in L&D last week I know we will never make it even remotely close to that day. The goal is to make it to December 22nd.

 
Weight Gain: I have quit keeping track. I'm packing on the pounds these last few weeks quicker than I can even do the math. So far my doctor is not alarmed, so I'm not worried about it. I believe my total weight gain is just over 50lbs. Not too bad for a twin pregnancy!
 
Maternity Clothes: It is all I wear!
 
Sleep: I nap daily around 1:00. I'm in bed and completely asleep by 9:00 each night. Thanks to the makers of Zantac I am no longer awake at 1:00am breathing fire or choking on stomach acid. (Too graphic? No?) I'm not very comfortable, and I do toss and turn a lot.... BUT I'm sleeping all night which is a HUGE step in the right direction!

Best Moment This Week:  We were discharged from L&D on Saturday morning. At this point, each day I'm still pregnant is a GOOD day.


Weird Pregnancy Moment:  I cannot think of any for this week. Darn. I'm usually really good at coming up with these!
 
Movement: They have definitely slowed down, but they are still moving and wiggling. Averlee still likes to put her feet INSIDE of my rib cage. Ryker is still punching and kicking down low.  

Symptoms:  The typical pregnancy stuff.... increased appetite, lack of energy, nesting, growing belly, back and hip pain. Contractions. Lots and lots of irregular contractions.

Cravings/ Aversions: Just give me some Oreos and some milk please.
 
Anything Make You Queasy:  Not eating when I get hungry.

Genders: We are having a sweet little boy, Ryker Christian and a precious little girl, Averlee Elizabeth
 
What I'm Looking Forward To:  We have our 31w checkup, growth scan, and post-hospital stay doctor visit today. That's a lot of excitement packed into one afternoon, right?  We are hoping for GOOD news! We also have one last baby shower this weekend with Trey's family. It is still up in the air if I will be attending. The shower is almost an hour and half away from home. We are going to play it by ear and see how I feel Saturday morning. Trey and I are in agreement that I do not need to completely drain myself just to go to a baby shower. We will see what happens.


11.10.2014

Our Trip to L&D

In typical Kari fashion, we cannot do anything without a little extra drama and excitement, right? Well of course my pregnancy with the twins would be no different. We have to have at least one scare per trimester apparently.


Over the past couple of weeks, I have been experiencing some new aches and pains. I hadn't really thought much about them since I figured it was just all part of carrying two babies, two placentas, two sacs of water, and all kinds of extra fluid. My body has been super hard at work, and I haven't exactly slowed down to compensate. Last Sunday, we had yet another baby shower and as usual, I was completely worn out afterwards. My hips, back, feet, legs... basically everything boobies down ached from standing, sitting, walking, moving. It took both Trey and Gavin to put me into bed that night.

On Monday morning, I woke up feeling the aftermath of over doing it the days before. I knew it would probably be a good day to stay home and rest, but instead I got ready and went in to work anyway. I had every intention of only working until noon, but thanks to the way things work at my place of employment, my intentions were overshadowed by things that "needed to be done".  Mistake #1 of the week.

On Thursday morning I didn't feel 100%. It was Thursday though. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. The week was almost over and it was almost the weekend. Work was... well work as usual.  My days were numbered. My days were very numbered at this point. As the morning progressed, I began to feel worse and worse. I made one call to the doctors office, but hung up before the receptionist even picked up. I wasn't exactly sure if I was having actual contractions or if this was just some extra nasty Braxton Hicks contractions. By around 9:30am I decided I should probably start timing my contractions. As I had feared, they were coming about 15 minutes apart, they were super tight, and they took my breath. I tried so hard to time my contractions and focus on my work at the same time. I knew the end was near and I knew I didn't want to leave anyone with the burden of digging through a mess if this was in fact my last day at work. Mistake #2 of the week. I won't go into anymore details about what happened at work. I'm sure those will surface when the time is right in the near future. I will say this though.... I stayed at work longer than I should have.

I finally convinced myself to call my doctor's office after I had timed my contractions for about 2 hours. They were not getting closer together, but I had noticed I had not felt the babies move as much as they normally do. My mind was racing with all of the things that could possibly unfold in the next few hours. All I wanted was to get to Murfreesboro and make sure my babies were ok. When I called my doctor's office, I was immediately transferred to my nurse. She asked me a series of questions regarding my symptoms and told me to get to their office by 1:30 and they would check me. She said if the contractions got stronger or closer together, I needed to go straight to labor and delivery. So that was it. I hung up the phone, went back into work, grabbed by things, and headed out the door. This is something I should have done probably an hour before. Hindsight is always 20/20 though, right?

Trey was in a meeting at work when I told him I was going to the doctor. He asked if he needed to go with me, but I told him not to worry about it because it was probably nothing. After I thought about it for a few minutes, I decided I probably shouldn't venture to the doc at 30 weeks with contractions by myself so I called my mom and she left work to go with me.

Once we arrived in Murfreesboro at the clinic, I stopped by the lab to give them my urine sample then headed to the OB waiting area. I was seated in the waiting room for maybe five minutes before my name was called. I was taken to a room where the doctor and nurse practitioner performed a physical exam to check my cervix. They also did a  fetal fibronectin (fFN) test to determine my chances of going into labor within the next 2 weeks. My fFN test came back negative. Praise GOD!

After the physical exam and a quick pep talk from my doctor, I was taken down the hallway to an ultrasound room. The ultrasound tech performed a BPP Ultrasound to check on my not-so-active little ones. It was the longest ultrasound of my entire life. It took Ryker forever to move. I stared at his body on the screen as he just laid there. The tech poked. She asked if I had eaten. She offered to give me candy. We were desperate to get this little munchkin moving. Finally she suggested I try to cough to "wake him". I gave it my best shot and after the longest 2 minutes of my life, Ryker Christian decided to join the party and show us he was in fact still alive. He finally moved and we could finally tell he was breathing. Praise GOD! The tech also checked on Averlee. She was doing her normal thing. She had her hands next to her face and she was flashing her lady parts for all to see. The babies were ok.

After the ultrasound, I was taken back down the hall to a huge chair beside the nurses' station and hooked up to three monitors. I had one monitor for each baby and one monitor for contractions. I was left on the monitor for about 15 minutes. My doctor came in, checked the monitors, and made the decision to send me over to the hospital to be admitted to labor and delivery. I was in fact having contractions. He wanted to take extra precaution since I was (a) carrying twins (b) only 30 weeks and (c) we live almost an hour away from the hospital.

So that was that. I was admitted to labor and delivery so they could give me steroid shots to aid R&A's development. They also started magnesium sulfate (a.k.a. the devil) in my IV. If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing the wonderful [insert sarcasm] joys of magnesium sulfate, just imagine the sickness of the 1st trimester multiplied by about 15 and add blurry vision, loss of muscle control, and inability to focus on anything. I was on mag for about 24 hours to slow my contractions. Even though the mag was absolutely a nightmare, it was all worth it. My babies were going to be fine. On Saturday we were finally discharged from the hospital. I was not restricted to bedrest, but I was instructed to take it easy and not over do myself. So I've just been taking it day by day.

Basically we have anywhere between 3 and a half to 6 weeks left in our pregnancy. The babies are coming when they are ready. There is nothing we can do at this point to stop labor. I have been given steroids. I have taken precautions. It is all up to God's timing at this point. We just have to sit back and wait. I just pray that no matter when the babies decide to come, they will be healthy. That's all I ask. I just want them to be healthy.


11.06.2014

Greetings From Labor and Delivery


We were admitted earlier today after I started having some intense REAL contractions. I've been introduced to the devil known as Magnesium Sulfate and I've received one steroid shot already. The mag is to slow - errr hopefully stop - my contractions. The steroid is to help Ryker and Averlee's development should they decide to make the month of November their birth month. I will receive one more steroid injection tomorrow evening. 

If the magnesium hadn't drained every ounce of energy from my body, I would type more and explain the events of the day that led to our arrival here at L&D. I promise I will post more once I'm able. For now, all prayers are appreciated! We aren't ready for the twins to be born. The longer I can keep them in, the better! 

11.04.2014

Nesting. It is Real.

INow that I am working part-time, I have become quite the Momma Bird when it comes to preparing the nest for Ryker and Averlee's arrival. Seriously. I've cut back on my hours at my paying job and now I come home and make lists of things I need to do (or have someone do for me) around the house. I learned very quickly I physically CANNOT do everything. Loading the dishwasher, unloading the dishwasher, preparing a real meal, and doing laundry are daily tasks I cannot avoid. It's the dusting, mopping, cleaning, organizing, and de-junking that I really want to sink my teeth into! Oh... but I can't! I spent one entire day cleaning Gavin's bathroom and bedroom a couple weekends ago. I paid ever so dearly for it too! My back and hips hurt so badly later that evening. I've learned to tackle one task on my "nesting list" per day. So far it is working out pretty well for me.

My husband is bound and determined we will pay someone to come clean our house before the babies come, but the Mommy in me wants to do as much as I possibly can myself. Call me crazy. Sometimes I feel crazy. I'm told this is a normal 3rd trimester pregnancy thing though.

In other news, I no longer sleep in a bed at night. I prop myself up on the couch or I sleep in a recliner. Acid reflux and hip pain are getting the best of me at night. I've tried several remedies as suggested by a few friends, but so far I have yet to find relief. It will all be worth it though. At least once the twins arrive I will be conditioned to survive on very few hours of sleep!


Bumpdate and Baby Shower Update will come later this week! Here is a goofy selfie I took on Halloween... 



11.01.2014

In The Home Stretch- Thoughts at 30 Weeks

It is currently 7:00am on a Saturday. I have been WIDE awake for two hours now. I have come the realization my body is preparing me for the sleepless nights and days to come. I am perfectly fine with that. Seriously. I am. This week was filled to the brim with new things. Since I love bullet points, here are a few:
  • I had my 29w check-up sans ultrasound on Wednesday. Ryker and Averlee's heartbeats sounded absolutely beautiful on the Doppler. My urine was clear of any infections or protein. My blood pressure was close enough to normal.
  • As of Wednesday, I am under doctor's orders to cut back my work days to half days. This was actually more of a joint decision. I had told my doctor a few weeks ago that the end of the month/ end of the year gets a little hectic at my work. I told him about the overtime I would be working during week 31 of pregnancy. He wasn't exactly excited about me not getting the amount of rest I needed. He told me I could work up until the day of delivery, but the most important thing for me to do was take care of myself. So.... I now work until 1:00 in the afternoons, come home, do a few house wifey/ Mommy things, and take a nap. It is amazing how much of a difference a REAL afternoon nap makes in my energy level and just how I feel overall.
  • I'm outgrowing clothes at a ridiculous fast pace. Hello growth spurt?!
  • Braxton Hicks contractions have made their way into my life. . . daily. Ouch.

This week also brought the realization I have maybe 6-8 more weeks left in this pregnancy. Maybe it is the hormones. Maybe it is the fact one year ago I never thought I would see this day. Maybe it is just me being emotional. Whatever it is, this wonderful miracle pregnancy is coming to an end. We are weeks away from seeing the faces of our sweet little miracles. Looking back on the last 30 weeks of our lives, I feel like everything flew by. I wish I had taken more time to document along the way. I wish I hadn't let 2 selfish individuals steal my joy during week 9 of our pregnancy. I wish I hadn't let their hurtful words steer me away from blogging about our miracle. I wish I had taken more time to snap pics and actually SHARE them with friends and family. This is quite possibly the last time I will experience pregnancy. This is something I waited YEARS for. This is something so many women go to bed praying for each and every night. I know. I've been there.

In addition to all of the other "new" things of week 29, I also had a friend reach out to me as she tried to cope with her own infertility situation. In all honesty, I still feel the pain from infertility. Even though I am weeks away from holding my babies, I still feel like I fit in at the infertility table. I relate to those on the infertility journey. My friend is patiently waiting on her period. She is also attending my baby shower tomorrow. My heart hurts because I remember the days of sticking more pads and tampons in my purse "just in case" as I headed out the door with a baby shower gift in hand. I remember the feelings of "will this ever be me?". I remember sitting in a room filled with "aww's and ooo's" and thinking to myself, "will I ever get to go home and show my husband OUR baby gifts?". Our day has finally come and we could not be more grateful. At the same time though, I feel like I still have one foot inside the door of infertility. I have a strong passion to help others through their journeys just as someone helped me through my own. 

10.26.2014

Bumpdate - 29 Weeks

How Far Along?:  29w  

Due Date: Our due date has been bumped to January 11th. Our doctor gave us a brief game plan at our 27w appointment. Ryker and Averlee will be born around 36w4d. Basically, we will be holding our miracles sometime between December 16th and Christmas Eve. Oh. My. This pregnancy is almost to an end and our sweet little miracles will be in our arms quicker than I can get my house clean.

 
Weight Gain: I gained 4lbs between my 23w and 27w appointment. Not too bad considering I have had a really insane craving for all things sweet and delicious the last month or so.
 
Maternity Clothes: It is all I wear! I'm praying this crazy, warm Tennessee "fall" weather moves on out soon so I can wear my fall/ winter maternity clothes. My summer clothes are really, really, REALLY snug and becoming uncomfortable.
 
Sleep: What's that? I sleep in spurts. Very, very short spurts. I need a nap halfway through the day (Hello 3rd trimester lack of energy), but since I'm still working full time.... naps are not possible.


Best Moment This Week:  We had SEVERAL!
  • Our maternity pictures turned out AMAZING! We could not be happier with them! I've posted some sneak peeks below.
  • I had  my first baby shower last Sunday. It was a shower at our church so it was extra special to celebrate our little miracles with the people who have prayed and believed with us for so long. We received so many adorable gifts! One of our favorites is our twin pack-n-play! We had registered for it even though we never imagined someone would actually buy it for us since it was almost $200.00. We were wrong. Someone bought it for us! We plan on having the pack-n-play in our room when the babies first come home. They will sleep in the bassinets for the first few weeks until we are on somewhat of a schedule.
  • I passed my 3 hour glucose tolerance test! I failed the one hour test and had to have the 3 hour test a few days later. I'm so very thankful I passed!

Weird Pregnancy Moment:  Nesting is real. I have been known to get down on my hands and knees and SCRUB the floors with a sponge and soapy water the last few weeks. Yes. Me. 7 months pregnant with twins. I have scrubbed the floor. I have also been obsessed with throwing away a lot of stuff we (a) do not have room for and (b) just stuff I don't want anymore. Basically I'm a in overdrive when it comes to cleaning this house and getting ready for Ryker and Averlee to arrive.
 
Movement: All of the time! You can even see some of their punches and kicks from the outside now. No need to touch my belly! They will put on a show for you as long as you stare at my belly long enough!

Symptoms:  Growing belly, nasal congestion, frequent trips to the bathroom, increased appetite, round ligament pain, pelvic pain, pregnancy mask, swollen ankles and feet, shortness of breath, heartburn, and Braxton Hicks contractions (ouch!).

Cravings/ Aversions: Still drinking a lot of milk. I still love all things pumpkin spice. I also have an appreciation for fountain Coca-Colas. I limit myself to 1 per week though.  

Anything Make You Queasy:  Not eating when I get hungry.

Genders: We are having a sweet little boy, Ryker Christian and a precious little girl, Averlee Elizabeth
 
What I'm Looking Forward To:  I have another shower next Sunday. This shower is being thrown by my best friends since childhood. I'm so excited to see everyone and celebrate Ryker and Averlee. I've seen the invitations so I know my friends have a super cute party in store for me! This week also begins my every other week OB appointments. I cannot believe we are in the 3rd trimester and our babies will be here in at least 7 weeks. My oh my how time has flown.

I'll leave you with a few pictures..... 


Photo Credits to Rachel with Rachel Robison Photography
rachelrobphoto.com
 



Photo credits to Rachel with Rachel Robison Photography
www.rachelrobphoto.com

One of my favorites!
Photo credits to Rachel Robison.




Sneak peek of the nursery and all of our shower loot!





 

10.13.2014

Preparing For Our Miracles - 27 Weeks

It is Columbus Day! That probably means absolutely nothing to 80% of the U.S. population, but to me it means I did not have to get all dolled up to go to work this morning. That's right. I'm off work! It is nice being off work and not being on bedrest or having to go to the doctor. I feel pretty great today aside from a small case of the sniffles, so I plan to spend the day cleaning up the house a bit.

This week is week 27 of our amazing miracle. We are officially to the point where people (strangers even) ask us, "How much longer do you have?" instead of "When are you due?" or "How far along are you?" We have 11 weeks left. That's right. E-L-E-V-E-N. I cannot wrap my mind around how quickly we flew through the 2nd trimester. It seemed like the 1st trimester lasted forever. I was just counting down the days until week 14 so maybe - just MAYBE I would not be so sick and could actually enjoy my pregnancy and my growing bump. Week 14 came and as expected, the nausea, vomiting, and fatigue began to improve. Now here we are at the end of the 2nd trimester. It is bittersweet. I have enjoyed the 2nd trimester for the most part aside from the back pain and excessive trips to the bathroom.  A part of me is so ready to see Ryker and Averlee's sweet little faces, but another part of me just wants to savor these last few weeks of feeling little baby kicks, punches, and rolls inside of the womb I was told several years ago would never hold another child. I cannot believe we have made it this far. My heart is overflowing. God is so good! Praise God.  

Week 27 will be full of excitement. We have our maternity pictures this evening. Our last 2nd trimester ultrasound and doctor appointment are on Wednesday. Our first baby shower is on Sunday. This is really happening. This is all for our precious little miracle babies. We are overjoyed and so very blessed.




10.10.2014

Week 26 Bumpdate

As usual, I am a little late posting an update. Here we are. We are halfway through week 26 and well on our way to week 27 of this amazing, crazy miracle. To say we are blessed is an understatement. So far I have felt pretty darn good to be growing 2 little people inside of me. I do get tired more easily now. I have cravings for typical pregnancy foods - ice cream, breakfast food, cereal, milk....etc. I won't be running any races or deep cleaning my house anytime soon, but HEY! That's completely ok!  I cannot believe this belly is mine. OUR babies are growing inside of me right now. In less than 12 weeks, we will be holding Ryker and Averlee in our arms! Two years ago this month, we were told we were pregnant only to find out we were in fact not pregnant. I actually had a kidney stone and my first ovarian cyst was discovered. One year ago we underwent our first IUI cycle, which failed and produced a HUGE cyst on my left ovary. We were afraid I would lose my left ovary, but little did we know.... that ovary would later produce 2 of the most perfect eggs that would become our precious Ryker and Averlee. Not a day that goes by I do not thank God for this pregnancy and our beautiful growing family.




How Far Along?:  26ish weeks 
Due Date: The 2nd week in January. The twins will be here before December 31st though.

 
Weight Gain: I've quit weighing myself at home. I had begun to worry I was gaining too much too quickly, so I quit obsessing over the number on the scale. We go back to the doctor on Wednesday. They will weigh me there! ha. The last time I checked, I'm up just over 30lbs.
 
Maternity Clothes: All day, everyday! My belly is beginning to outgrow a few of my shirts. My belly is kinda low, so it tends to peep out from under shirts if I do not wear a maternity cami underneath. Oh and maternity pants. Yuck! Since my belly is low, the under belly pants had to retire. They were cutting into me and were so uncomfortable. Luckily it is starting to cool off here and I can wear leggings with long tunic tops and sweater dresses! Leggings are WAY more comfortable than those under the belly dress pants and jeans!
 
Sleep:  I'm in bed and asleep by 9:00 each night. I usually wake up to make a bathroom trip around 1- 1:30am. Lately I've been getting on the couch or crashing in Gavin's room after my bathroom trip. Gavin has around 5 or 6 pillows on his bed, and I tend to fall asleep quicker in his bed. Of course, I cannot sleep in there when he is here though!
 
Best Moment This Week:  Last night Ryker and Averlee were flipping, kicking, and punching at the same time! Trey was able to feel them going crazy too! It was so neat.

Weird Pregnancy Moment:  I still have a really, really itchy belly. I've increased my water intake and I literally COVER my belly with lotion 2-3 times a day.
 
Movement: They have both become much more active over the past few days! Their movements have become stronger too! You can see my belly move from the outside sometimes. It is the most precious thing I have ever seen.

Symptoms:  Growing belly, nasal congestion, frequent trips to the bathroom, increased appetite, round ligament pain, pelvic pain, pregnancy mask, swollen ankles and feet, shortness of breath, heartburn, and growing boobs.  Just your typical pregnancy symptoms.

Cravings/ Aversions: Still drinking a lot of milk. I've also recently developed an appreciation for a fountain Coca-Cola on ice. I craved Coca-Cola when I was pregnant with Gavin, so I'm guessing my body just loves Coca-Cola during pregnancy...? I do my best to limit myself to only 1 per week.

Anything Make You Queasy:  Not eating when I get hungry.

Genders: We are having a sweet little boy, Ryker Christian and a precious little girl, Averlee Elizabeth
 
What I'm Looking Forward To:  We have our last 2nd trimester check-up next week. I will have my glucose test (yuck!) followed by my ultrasound. After my ultrasound, I will see Dr. Williams. We also have our first baby shower in 8 days! I absolutely cannot wait to celebrate our little miracles with our church family who hoped, prayed, and believed with us as we waited for our miracles! I cannot believe they are having a baby shower for OUR babies. I had worried this day would never come and now here it is! I cannot wait!

9.21.2014

Bumpdate - Week 24

I'm totally taking over my husband's desktop for his shop so I can do a quick bumpdate. I'm kicking myself for not documenting as much in the last few weeks, but I will try to do better until the babies come!


How Far Along?:  24ish Weeks

Due Date: We just tell people the babies will be here in December. Our due date has been bumped up to January 11th and 12th, which is only 2 days sooner than originally expected. No matter what, my doctor will not let me go past 38 weeks, so R&A will be here no later than December 31st! At our last appointment, Ryker weighed 1lb3oz and Averlee weighed 1lb4oz.

 
Weight Gain: I am up 28 lbs since before my last FSH cycle. I have tried SO hard to be sure my weight gain is gradual and that I stick to somewhat of an exercise routine. I know I can lower my risk for gestational diabetes by doing so. I also know it will be easier for me to recover from labor and delivery if I stay on a healthy weight gain path. So far so good. Don't get me wrong though...I have not been an angel when it comes to resisting unhealthy cravings! ha.  
 
Maternity Clothes: It is all I wear! I've even graduated to maternity/ nursing bras. I never realized just how comfortable a bra without and underwire could be. HELLO! I'm loving my new bras from Motherhood Maternity. I have also been extremely blessed to have friends who have given me maternity clothes. I cannot believe just how FAST I grew out of the stuff I stocked up on in the 1st trimester.
 
Sleep: Other than waking up for bathroom breaks - which I'm doing with one eye open- I am sleeping pretty good!

Best Moment This Week:  Finishing our baby registry for our baby showers and finally assembling ALL of the nursery furniture!

Weird Pregnancy Moment:  I've had several stretch marks pop up in the last few days. Oh and the itching. My belly itches so much!  
 
Movement: Averlee usually gets going between 9-10am each morning. Her kicks and punches are a lot stronger than Ryker's. I am assuming Ryker is just laying so low and maybe he is still hitting his placenta more than me. I do feel him move, just not as much as his silly sister.

Symptoms:  Growing belly, nasal congestion, frequent trips to the bathroom, increased appetite, round ligament pain, pelvic pain, pregnancy mask, swollen ankles and feet, shortness of breath, heartburn, and growing boobs.  Just your typical pregnancy symptoms.

Cravings/ Aversions: Still drinking a lot of milk. Oh and THANK YOU to the makers of all things pumpkin spice! I am a fan of pumpkin spice stuff anyway, but apparently pregnancy has magnified that appreciation!

Anything Make You Queasy:  Not eating when I get hungry.

Genders: We are having a sweet little boy, Ryker Christian and a precious little girl, Averlee Elizabeth
 
What I'm Looking Forward To:  Now that our registries are complete, I'm looking forward to our baby showers. I'm really excited to celebrate our little miracles with those who have hoped, prayed, and believed with us for the past 2 years! Two of my best friends are planning a shower for me in November, and I already know I will cry when I see a few faces walk in the door.