Friday, June 5, 2015

Week 34: Introducing...

Nora Lane and Ellie Lynne - our beautiful twin girls!

They were born on Wednesday, June 3rd at 3:58pm and 4:00pm

The Labor Story:
Early Monday morning I had some pretty painful and regular contractions. They decided to move me over to L&D just in case this was it! By 34 weeks they don't really do anything to stop labor. The contractions slowed way down and were almost completely gone by the evening. They kept me there overnight, however. Talk about the worst sleep ever! Along with my exhausted and uncomfortable body and the other ladies in the unit screaming through their labor, I had to somehow manage to get some sleep in those awful beds with continuous monitoring of the babies and my contractions...imagine being strapped down and poked at all night long. Yeah it was miserable.

The next morning my doctor came in and decided since my contractions had slowed so much that they'd go ahead and move me back to my antepartum room. Even though I was still contracting every now and then, we treated it kind of like any other day. Richard stayed with me most of the day just in case things changed quickly. A friend came to visit, which was wonderful - I needed some distraction and I hadn't seen her since I was admitted! Richard ended up going home that evening and I went to bed early to try to catch up on my sleep...

Again, really early the next morning the contractions were back and more painful. I called Richard and, naturally by the time he got here things had slowed a bit. Since Monday I had been checked for dilation several times...with no change. After having started laboring for that many days I was getting frustrated that not much was happening when there should have been at least some change. The doctors had just done a shift change when we met with one of my doctors. We discussed delivery options. Originally we were planning on trying to have them both vaginally - A has been head down for awhile and we had talked about trying to turn B from transverse to head down OR do a breach extraction with B to avoid needing a c-section as well. The doctor on that day felt less comfortable dong a breach extraction and this is why: they had an ultrasound done that morning to see both positions of the babies and A was head down and B was still transverse, but her spine was down, which limits the doctor's ability to grab onto anything (hands feet) to either turn her or take her out by her feet. There is a chance she could be turned but it's much more risky especially with the possibility of the umbilical cord wrapping around her should something go wrong. We really wanted to avoid to delivering both vaginally AND by c-section. After discussing this with the doctor, he called several of my MFM doctors to get their opinion. The three he spoke with all agreed he should do a c-section that day given how much I had already labored with no change.

So, what just happened? Yeah. We just scheduled a c-section to meet our little girls for Wednesday at 2pm (based on their birth times, we were a bit behind schedule - there's a lot that goes into prepping for surgery)! I was excited, nervous, and relieved, but wasn't really able to fully process what was happening until I was brought into the operating room. Y'all. I bawled when I stepped foot into that room. It was a mix of fear - because surgery - and a mix of reality hitting me that we were going to meet our precious babies very soon!

I survived delivery! It was incredibly emotional once both of them were out and I was laying there waiting to hear them cry and get to see them before they whisk them off to NICU. They looked so good, I just wanted to snuggle them. We were able to get a couple pictures before Richard left with them to get them to NICU. I was sent to the recovery area for what should have been a couple hours, but turned into about 4 or 5 hours because my postpartum room wasn't ready yet. At this point I hadn't slept in about 3 days and I.was.spent. I did finally get to see the girls in NICU at 1am after my first attempt to stand up after surgery. Holy mother, is it painful! I'm doing much better today, but Wednesday night and Thursday was difficult. Thursday I had a nurse that really tried to push me (within reason), so even though she did help a lot with things I hadn't realize I'd need help with after a surgery like that, I did do some stuff on my own and moved around a bit. By last night I was beyond exhausted, took some good pain meds, and just slept. I woke up feeling much better this morning.

Here's the scoop on the girls...

Nora Lane was born first (baby A) at 3:58pm and weighed 5lbs 2oz. She came out breathing on her own and has done awesome with that since. She does have a "skin tag" on her neck. It is most likely just cosmetic, but we are waiting to hear from a specialist to make sure it's nothing more or would require a CT scan or anything. We don't know yet at what age we can have it removed.
She's still beautiful 
Thursday Richard and I were able to go see her. Richard took her temperature and changed her diaper then held her swaddled for a bit. As with most preemies, she sleeps a lot and is a bit jaundice. Her blood sugar is a little low so she's given nutrients through an IV. Last night they started bottle feeding. She's a little slower at it and doesn't quite finish the 9ml they have given her, so they feed the rest through a tube in her nose. Today they upped the amount to 14ml. She's going to need a bit more practice learning how to root, but a lot of the struggle is because she's so sleepy it's hard to get her to be alert enough to stay focused and work at it. She has great startle reflexes! Some noises startle her, but she calms down very quickly.

Today I was able to go in the morning to see her. Since I was feeling better I was able to stand and take her temperature and change her diaper before getting to do kangaroo care with her (skin to skin for about an hour). It was so precious to have that time with her and see her know her momma. Her heart rate slows down when she's held and I love it!
Today they also started dressing her in clothes, cap, and swaddle to begin helping her adjust their own body temperature without needing the incubator. She's done pretty well, settled down quickly when I was holding her, and then threw a fit when she had to be put back in her bed. I could totally relate - I wanted to keep snuggling with her!

Ellie Lynne was born second (baby B) at 4:00pm and weighed 4lbs 15oz. Just like her sister, she came out breathing on her own and has done awesome with it since. She has had a few breathing episodes where her heart rate drops, but she's able to regulate her breathing on her own, thankfully.
Our little spit-fire!
Thursday Richard was able to take her temperature and change her diaper then I got to hold her swaddled. Her hair is longer and darker than sister's. She also has low blood sugar and is on an IV for it as well as a bit jaundice. They started bottle feeding her last night also and has done remarkably well! For some reason, smaller babies tend to do better. Her first couple 9ml bottles she couldn't quite finish on her own, so she has been fed the rest through a tube in her nose. Sounds like she has finished all her bottles since until today when they upped it to 14ml. She does really well rooting and suckling and knows when to refuse it when something's up (gas, spit up, swallowing, etc).

I went this afternoon to do kangaroo care with her. I was also able to stand and take her temperature and change her diaper. They also started dressing her in clothes, cap, and swaddle to help her adjust her body temperature without needing the incubator.
These girls know their momma - both opened their eyes when I first started snuggling them. She was a little more fussy and too a bit of time to get her settled and asleep, but once she was I didn't want to let her go. Naturally, she started crying when it was time to put her back in bed, but once she was dressed and swaddled she calmed right down. I so love holding them like this. I almost took a nap with her this afternoon, it was so peaceful and comforting to have her so close to me again.

What's next?
Mom has met the girls, of course! She's going to come down tomorrow and spend some time with me and the girls. Richard will probably bring Josiah down for a bit at some point so we can take him to meet his sisters. Kids/siblings are only allowed in the NICU for 15 minutes per week, but he's been asking about them. Praying he's in a good mood and will enjoy getting to finally meet "E-wy" and "No-wa" :)

As far as we know, I will be discharged Sunday sometime. After being in this hospital for over a month, I am ready to be home, but I know it will be an emotional day for me to leave our girls. We don't have a schedule set up yet as I'm not sure how I'm going to be feeling with this recovery. I'm going to really try to use this time to rest and recover before the girls are discharged, but I know I'm going to want to see them often. We'll just have to see how it will work out best. We don't know yet about when the girls will get to come home. They're doing really well for 34 weekers and NICU always tells you they will be there until their due date, but they will likely not. We're hoping they'll only need to be here for another week or so, but we'll keep you posted.

Continue to pray for sweet Ellie and Nora, their development, weight and nutrition, all that good stuff. Also, please pray for my recovery and adjustment to being home without our girls. We're so grateful to the Lord for how well we're all doing - prayers that it continues!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 33

33 weeks - look and feel like a watermelon!
Only two days in and I already have some stuff to share! Last week I didn't get to share the girls' growth because my ultrasound on Friday ended up being really late. I know measuring for growth/weight on the ultrasound isn't always 100% accurate, but I was pretty excited and relieved when I heard just how much they've grown in the past 3 weeks! Baby A weighed in at 4lbs 15oz and baby B weighed in at 5lbs 4oz. Big girls - following in their brother's footsteps! It gives me some comfort knowing if they were born very soon, they'd be a decent weight.

The weekend was kind of full - meaning I had several visitors and it was wonderful. A sweet friend of mine came down Saturday with lunch and we ate together and then talked for a couple hours. It was great. Later that day Richard came with Josiah and dinner. Josiah was in a good mood and behaved so well. My time with them was really very enjoyable. Sunday evening another dear friend of mine brought me dinner (from Cheesecake Factory - yum!). Those few hours catching up and laughing was so great. Being in Austin, away from family and friends, makes it hard to stay in the loop. So any chance to chat and just be with my people is so refreshing. It also makes it so much better when we can talk about life and not just focus on me and my situation. I love hearing about what they've been up to and what they're going through as well. I can only talk about yucky hospital food, my uncomfortable bed (and body), and updates on the babies and my emotions so much. I'm so very grateful for the friends who are invested in me and even in this situation I can still show my investment in them.

Monday was quite the whirlwind! There was a lot on the agenda that day - lots of visitors. Texas has had so much rain and thunderstorms this month, so the weather was pretty crazy that day. Mom was here in the morning with Josiah as usual. I had a good visit with them, Josiah was in a good mood again (yay!). Love it when your three year old cooperates with you. They were getting ready to leave and Josiah is used to the drill of giving mommy a hug, a kiss, and an "I love you" before heading out the door. He walked over to me with his arms out, sat in my lap, and wrapped his arms around me and said, "I cuddle wif mommy for a bit" and we just sat there hugging. It was precious and, yes, I teared up some. I miss my little boy like all get out, he'll always be my baby. After they left, some friends from church came by to do some maternity photos for me. They had offered to take some for me so we'd have the memories of all this before the twins come. Richard and I did our own when I was pregnant with Josiah and I really wanted some done with the twins, but then this whole bed rest thing happened so I had thrown the idea out the window. Glad they had the idea to do it from the hospital room. The weather did not help with lighting, but they got a few great shots (they're posted at the bottom of this post). While they were here, another group of friends stopped by on their way through Austin. So, my room was filled with 4 adults, 2 kids, a baby, and pregnant lady with twins (that's me...) and then it hit. We were on a tornado warning and had to "take cover" which consisted of us going out in the hall and hanging out for awhile. I will say, having all these wonderful friends with me made that the most enjoyable tornado warning I've ever been in! The warning eventually lifted and they were able to head home to safety.
Tornado warning hangout fun
Richard was planning on coming down earlier that day, but had stayed home because of the tornado warnings. He was finally able to leave the house. It was nice that he got here before it had gotten too late - I had plans for us to pretend we were home on a date night in and eat dinner together and watch a movie. Glad we were able to stick to the plan. I needed some normalcy with the hubby!
Date night in - hubby, babies, and a movie
Had an ultrasound today. Babies look beautiful. They're breathing so well, heart rates are good, and moving around like crazy! Baby B's amniotic fluid is still a bit high, but they'll just continue to keep an eye on it. Today the sonographer pointed out that both babies have hair! Josiah was bald forever, so I was excited when I heard this. Obviously, it's pretty hard to tell from an ultrasound how much hair they have, but she could tell B has a little more than A. She also printed off a picture of the babies positions - A's butt is right in B's face! Haha! I love it! Poor girl has less room than sister and often gets beat up on by her, this was her payback!
The MFM doctor came in today on his round. There are 6 of them and I've met most of them, but I hadn't met the one that's on call for the next two weeks. I like him. He's very straight forward and will tell you like it is and give you his honest opinion about things. So it was good to talk with him and get an idea of what next week might look like. I will be 34 weeks and the possibility of me being discharged will be reassessed again. I'm already 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Next week they will check me again before allowing me to be discharged. Since I'm right on the edge of going either way he may just keep me here until 36 weeks. If I stay they will take me off the procardia medication, which may cause me to go into labor. If they send me home, they will keep me on procardia to hopefully prolong the possibility of going into labor before 36 weeks - since my hospital back home can't take anyone earlier than 36 weeks. It made me feel better knowing he has a plan for both possibilities...and that he has no problem making the decision for me. That's the overwhelming thing to me - I've already made the decision to stay here 2 weeks longer than I may have needed (out of caution), that I've felt unsure about being confident in making yet another similar decision next week. It's a hard place to be in - to want to do what's best AND know it's what God wants for you. So naturally, we continue to "wait and see" before any decision can be made. Gosh, I've done so much of that this pregnancy. As challenging as it can be, it's always good to be stretched and grown through the Lord's plan.

Some hospital bed rest maternity photos:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 32

I had to invest in some larger new maternity shirts this week to accommodate this growing belly. They're getting bigger at a quick rate and along with that the extra weight is making it more difficult to stand/sit upright for very long. As uncomfortable as it is, I gladly welcome the growth knowing that will help them even more if they are to be born early.

During this morning's monitoring I started having contractions that quickly became regular - about 5 minutes apart. I immediately began praying that I wouldn't have a repeat of the last time I had regular contractions and that it wouldn't progress further. This time the doctor let me drink extra water on my own to see if the fluids would help slow the contractions rather than hooking me up to an IV for fluids. The contractions lasted awhile longer and I ended up being on the monitor for them until about 3pm. It was a long morning. Thankfully, as I kept drinking water and the day went on, the contractions had slowed down quite a bit. I'm still having some every now and then, but they are not nearly as painful or consistent. Hoping for some good sleep tonight.

The sonographer came in today to do my first of two weekly ultrasounds. The babies look great. Friday they will do a growth assessment on them. I'm looking forward to seeing how much bigger they are compared to three weeks ago.

As we were finishing up with the ultrasound the MFM doctor came in to check in on things. We talked about several things, but naturally was not given anything just can't have concrete plans when it comes to twins or going into labor in general. I asked about how much longer they'd keep me here and if they'd check my cervix for any further dilation and such. Originally he stated he'd have someone come today to check dilation and then based on that, possibly allow me to be discharged this week. With further conversation we ended up coming to the decision that I'll stay here a couple more weeks (until 34 weeks) before they consider discharging me. This is based on multiple factors, but one of the main reasons is the distance from our house to the hospital, which is my biggest concern. I'm staying here longer largely due to it being my choice. I feel more comfortable being here at this point in the pregnancy in case something were to happen. My worry is that I go home this week and the contractions continue and escalate and then I'm an hour away from the hospital that has the facilities to deliver twins this early (my hospital back home does not). I obviously, really want to be home. I was a bit emotional when I told Richard about the decision because I miss him, but ultimately have to think of what's best for us and our little girls. He completely agrees and is so supportive and that is definitely helpful for me in hanging in there while my stay is prolonged.

This is no vacation, y'all. Yes, it's the best for me and the babies to be in a place where I'm forced to not do anything - going home (even on bedrest) would not look the same as it does here, too much temptation to "do" even the little things. However, as much as I've heard "enjoy it while I can" there is just no way that's possible. This is not enjoyable. It is not relaxing. It's boring. It's lonely. It's all consuming and you spend so much time thinking. I'm not complaining though, because the Lord has taught me so much during my time here - he has taught me to allow others to serve me and my family, he has shown me who he is and what he can do time and time again, he has even shown me the tough reality of who my true friends are. He has taught me not to fear him and his plan, but to trust and rely on him completely in all things. There is so much unknown and for this type A, planner lady, I've actually learned to rest in that rather than try to control and know it all. I am so humbled by him and his ways and could not be any more grateful for that. These babies aren't the only things that are growing on this journey.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Week 31

Pretty sure the belly grew overnight this week. The girls won't be measured for growth again until this next week, but if they aren't 4 pounds each right now, they are definitely very close...and momma's feeling it!

Last Friday evening was a bit of a scare (at 30 weeks - didn't make the blog because I had posted already). I was having contractions most of the day. By the time they did the monitoring in the evening they had become pretty consistent and slightly more intense. The nurse came in and told me they were about 5 minutes apart and that she was going to call the doctor to see what needed to be done. At that point they put an IV in and got me started on fluids. I had called Richard to fill him in and about 2 minutes after getting off the phone with him I texted him telling him I needed him here. I had no idea what was going to happen and I didn't want to deal with it alone. I was hooked up to the IV for the remainder of the night. Thankfully the fluids helped slow the contractions and we didn't have to resort to magnesium - it helps protect the babies' brain as well as relax the uterus, but it also makes momma feel yucky with flu-like symptoms...and I was not looking forward to that. Since that night I've been fine. I've had some contractions, but they're irregular and not really painful. So thankful. My level of discomfort in general has increased though. These girls are growing and completely taking over my body. As much as I want my body back, I want to keep them growing for a little while longer, so endure it, I must. It will be so worth it.

I knew going into the week, this weekend would be a bit more tough for me. Mom left for Oregon on Friday and will be back really late Monday night. One last little break before the long haul of waiting on these precious girls to be born and I'm really going to want my momma here. She came Monday and Wednesday with Josiah and several of our friends have been gracious enough to help take care of Josiah the other days since our help is gone. Richard gets him all weekend - they need some guy time. It'll be good for them.

I had a couple friends come by and visit this week, which I always look forward to. It helps pass the time faster and makes me feel fairly normal to be socializing with friends. This week I felt some serious boredom though. The visits were great, but it was the rest of the day that was hard. There's only so much TV/movies I can watch, reading I can do, and crafting I can craft before I'm ready for some normalcy. Y'all, I really do miss the running and chasing Josiah around, playdates, grocery shopping, and housework. I'm trying to 'enjoy' this time to myself as much as possible because I know life is going to get really crazy once these sweet girls are here, but it is so hard when I'm missing home and what I knew as my everyday life.

I'll be 32 weeks in a few days and we will be rejoicing in that! Towards the end of the week, the doctor will reassess me and our situation in order to decide if they'll keep me here a little longer or send me home. To be honest, I'm not sure which I would prefer. As much as I want to be home, I'm much more comfortable being here especially after the episode from last week. I'd rather be here if something were to happen since this is where I'd have to go anytime before 36 weeks. I've managed almost 3 weeks here, what's a few more? Please pray for clarity for the doctors and for comfort and acceptance for me with whatever the decision is.

Did some more bow making this week

Finally watched Beauty and the Beast AND enjoyed a very tasty bag of movie mix popcorn from a friend

My sweet babies on Mother's Day

Finally got to spend a Mother's Day with my mom in the 8 years I've lived in Texas

My gift to her - 3 grandbabies

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Week 30!

My uterus has reached full term for a singleton, so all growing from here on out is going to be a bit rough and it started this week. So. Uncomfortable.
Hitting 30 weeks of pregnancy has been a big goal for me. There's just something about that number, like I'm in the home stretch and we're going to be ok. We've also managed to survive a week and a half with me on hospital bedrest. Y'all, it has been a roller coaster of emotions! So many ups and downs and so many things to be grateful for.

It took a couple of days before I started to feel the isolation and loneliness. I was so blessed by my small group girlfriends making a trip to be with me the second day I was here. Along with Richard spending as much time as he could those first few days and mom visiting with Josiah. When the weekend hit and I was alone a bit more during the day (a 3 year old boy does not do well cooped up in a hospital room full of things he can't touch), I became very emotional. I cried a lot that weekend. I wanted to just be home with my family. I wanted the comfort of my own environment and the ease of seeing friends. Monday was particularly rough this week when mom brought Josiah to visit. He didn't want much to do with me and kept asking to go home. He's 3 and in an unfamiliar place (and pretty moody that day too), but it hurt my heart a little. I just miss being with him, being his mom all day, every day. I've had to give up SO much control during this pregnancy, it felt like that was the moment I had given up the last of it and it was tough.

Mom is doing great with Josiah and we have a schedule figured out for him so he has some consistency and normalcy. He comes to visit me every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning for a couple hours then again at least once on the weekends. Mom has joined a bible study at our church once a week, so she gets out, gets fed (and a break from J), and Josiah gets to interact with other kids. Some friends are planning on taking J for playdates every once and awhile too so he can see his friends. Richard's work schedule varies, but he's been able to stay the night a couple times this week and work from the CISCO office near the hospital. He usually comes by afterwards before heading home. Saying goodbye sure is tough. I sure do miss that man.

As far as me and the girls - we're doing well. Babies are having great NST results - they're monitored twice a day. I've had some contractions, but nothing too consistent or intense. I get ultrasounds twice a week - Tuesday and Friday. The girls are doing everything they should be doing during those - practice breathing, movements, heart rates, etc. And are weighing in about 3lbs 5oz each! The other day Richard and I were able to tour the NICU here and be filled in on "what if" scenarios. It was a bit overwhelming to see the little babies in there and imagine our girls joining them soon, but it was also very humbling to be reminded that we're blessed to have made it to 30 weeks - a lot of those babies were born much earlier and are still hanging on. The Lord is taking care of us, He really is. And if our sweet Ellie and Nora end up needing to stay in the NICU for some time, that will just be another chapter to our journey and we're a little more prepared for it now.

How long will I be here? We were given an idea, but nothing is concrete because obviously we really don't know what's going to happen or when these girls will join us. I've been told I will be here at least until 32 weeks, but sounds like it could very well be 34 weeks or longer. They will reassess things at 32 weeks. Since I've already started to dilate they are not checking my cervix anymore as it might bring on preterm labor, but they plan to try to check it digitally to see how it's holding up - baby A is really low, so that may be too difficult to find out. We'll have to wait and see.

The owners of the therapy dogs came by again last night. It's amazing how seeing and petting those furry friends can be so uplifting. I like seeing those pups every week. Every Thursday afternoon there's a social hour for the ladies in antepartum. I was looking forward to going to that today, but the lady who leads it was out sick so it was canceled. Maybe next week I can update on how that goes. It would be nice to meet some of the other women who are going through similar circumstances. Instead a friend came by today with her two little girls - it was great to visit with her and I'm so grateful she was willing to make the drive to come see me.

I know I've said this before, but I continue to be amazed at the outpouring of love and support from our friends and church body. To see God using them to bless and serve us is so touching. I'm rarely on the receiving side of such servanthood, but what a good reminder for me - who am I to rob them of the blessing God is giving them by serving us? I need to learn to say yes (and actually come up with good answers to the question: "what can I do for you today?" That's still a toughie for me). It's also so refreshing to know who is truly there for you - whether you let me know you're praying, text or email me to check in, or you manage to find a way to drive down here to visit me - all of it I'm grateful for and feel so loved. So many of you have littles, so I understand making the drive to Austin is just not feasible - that's one downside to being here.

I've been very encouraged this week. The Lord is using all of this in so many different ways and for so many different people. My hope is that our story can be used for His good. I read this in one of my devotionals this week and I just loved it and have held on to it:

Relax in the knowledge that the One who controls your life is totally trustworthy. Come to Me with confident expectation. There is nothing you need that I cannot provide.

We are being held by Him and continue to hope in Him as we wait in expectation for our sweet girls.
Mom helping clean up my toes...they needed some serious love

Little guy wanted in on it too. He's such a good helper.

He's such a spot stealer! But oh so cute!

Got a few little snuggles in :)

Coloring and drawing...for about 5 seconds ;)

Worked on some bow making today!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Week 29: Admitted for Monitoring

Here we are, week 29, and it's been a very emotional day! After a pretty good check up with my OB yesterday, today was not as I was expecting. I went in for my weekly MFM appointment as usual. Babies looked great just as they always do. It's my darn cervix that won't cooperate. Today they could not get any measurements of my cervix - as in, it was too short to measure. Instead they discovered I am dilated about 0.5cm, which sounds like no big deal to some (heck, I walked around at 3cm for a couple months when I was pregnant with Josiah before I ever went into labor), but when you're carrying multiples and have the high risk factors I've had, it's cause for concern. So I was told that I needed to be admitted to the hospital to be monitored...for who knows how long. Thankfully it was not an emergency, so I had time to go home and pack a bag and drive down to Austin.

Let me pause here and say that there is much to be thankful for. We have some awesome friends who are so willing to help in any way, especially with Josiah. I am thankful my mom was with me at the appointment - yes, there's been a lot of crying today. And just the amount of prayers being sent up by friends and family has been encouraging. Seriously. So grateful.

As I said, I needed to head to Austin to be admitted. Seton Medical Center does not have a NICU facility. My doctor mentioned Scott & White as an option, but we ultimately decided on St. David's North Austin Medical Center - this is where all my MFM doctors are; they know us, they know our history. This makes things a little more complicated as it's 45 minutes away from home, but we're taking it one day at a time. Right now, my mom is here with me, Josiah is with a friend, and Richard is about to get off work to come be with me (he had a pretty full schedule today and couldn't get away until later in the day). He will probably stay the night with me and we'll see what happens tomorrow. We could be here for a couple of days or it could be weeks, we don't know yet.

So what have they done since I was admitted? They hooked me up to some fetal monitors to track the babies and my contractions - the nurse preferred to call them "irritations" since they aren't very strong and basically a blip on the screen. I had more blood drawn for some lab work and an IV put in, but is not being used yet. They gave me some medicine to help relax my uterus to keep the contractions away and I get to wear these lovely compression wraps on my legs to help prevent blood clots since I'm on bedrest still.

We are prayerful that the Lord will keep these girls safe and healthy and inside for a little longer. At this point the babies look great and we should be grateful we've already had one round of steroid shots. Their main concern right now is making sure I don't go into preterm labor and that I'm safe and healthy. Please pray with us. God is so much bigger than my fear and uncertainty. He will be my strength and my comfort. He has a plan and it is perfect.

(I will read those last few sentences often as a reminder. Because, hello. Hormones.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 28: Nursery & News

Week 28: Baby A just chillin' (bottom) and Baby B throwing up peace signs (top)
Well, I managed to survive my first week of bedrest. The first couple of days weren't too bad, then the boredom and monotony of it all sank in. It was such a God-thing that Richard's furlough was the remainder of that week. Having him home and taking care of things helped make the transition much easier for me. Plus, I really enjoyed watching him and Josiah have some good quality time together - as exhausting as it was for him, I'm sure he loved it too.

The out-pouring of love from our friends has amazed me! For that first week, we did not have to worry about a single meal as we were provided for almost each night (the other nights we had plenty of leftovers). I've had a few visitors, which has really helped break up the moments of boredom. And the thoughtfulness for us and Josiah is astounding - that kid has been showered with love as well with new toys and little activities to keep him busy. He and I had some good times coloring together and snuggling on the couch. It was precious time spent.

Over the weekend I allowed myself to go upstairs ONCE to help finish up the nursery for the twins. I directed where things needed to be hung and where to place certain items. Getting it done was two-fold: I was dying to have it ready so I could cross it off my list AND we needed it to be a less cluttered, usable space for our visitors to sleep.

So here we are, the nursery is pretty much done (minus a few more needed items to purchase)!
One VERY full closet for two very blessed little girls!

Cribs complete with coordinating baby blankets a friend made along with matching letter art I made

More clothes in that dresser and changing station

Simple wall decor and the glider where I envision rocking these sweet littles
It's a small space, but it's perfect! I sat in there for a bit afterwards to take it all in and pray for our girls. I wish I could do that everyday, but the Lord knows my heart.

For someone on bedrest, my week is filling up! Monday Richard's mom arrived from Georgia to help out with Josiah and such for a week. My mom is driving from Oregon (leaving Thursday, will arrive Sunday or Monday) and will be here until after the girls arrive to help out. Yes, a long visit, but we've already been pretty open about expectations when communicating and getting over getting on each other's nerves ;) I've got a few days this week when I'll have some friends stop by to visit - so thankful! I sure do miss seeing my people!

It was nice to get out of the house for a bit this morning for my MFM appointment. A quiet drive in the car and some new scenery does a heart good. I was especially anxious about my appointment as I was hopeful there'd be some improvement in my status. I was pretty disappointed when I found out there wasn't, but I held it together - no crying! ...until I got home. Last week I was measuring at 1.3cm to 1.7cm and this week I was measuring 1.0cm to 1.4cm, which in doctor world is "about the same" since they don't really read too much into the minor millimeter differences. I, on the other hand, look at it very differently. I couldn't dwell on it too much when I was talking to my doctor because he brought up a couple other things. My blood pressure was a bit high again this week and since it had been like that for a couple weeks he wanted to do some lab tests for pre-eclampsia to be sure. So, I went across the hall to my OB's office and had blood drawn for that. He encouraged me to lay down a bit more if possible to make sure I'm keeping as much pressure off my cervix as possible. I will probably have to spend more time in bed than on the couch, sadly. I've been avoiding doing that only because I don't want to feel isolated at all - I still want to be around my son and feel like I'm a part of things, so this will be even more difficult emotionally.

He saved the baby info for last. Their heartbeats were good, as usual. They are growing well - each one weighs about 2lbs 12ounces now. They checked for their practice breathing and they're doing well with that. They also checked their umbilical cord flow. Baby A was great, but Baby B had some interruption, which the doctor explained can be normal with twins. He told me since the umbilical cord is like a hose, certain movement or baby's position can put pressure on the cord/limit flow to the baby. He said he wasn't too concerned about it and that we'll look again next week.

Y'all. I'm overwhelmed. The reality of these girls being born so early is starting to sink in. I'm frustrated. I just want my body to do what it's supposed to do! I don't want a short cervix. I don't want pre-eclampsia. I don't want to meet them until they are grown. I don't want them in the NICU. Yet, I know God is good and that he has a plan for them and it's going to be ok. I have to keep trusting that. I have to keep His hope in my heart. His word; His truth will sustain me.

Please pray:
-For my time on bedrest - my emotional well-being along with it physically helping me and my body
-For the babies - they continue growing well and that no further issues with umbilical cord flow
-For a negative result for pre-eclampsia and that my blood pressure will stabilize
-For my emotions regarding Josiah - he's excited grandma is here, but as I was expecting he's testing me more by not obeying as well, being manipulative, and really not wanting anything to do with me (I've cried a few times because he's refused to even sit by me or want mommy to do anything). Again, I know this was expected, but it sure hurts my heart when I already feel like I'm giving over my authority as mom.
-For the hubby - that he will be encouraged, strengthened, and refreshed while dealing with my emotions as well as the grandmas staying with us and helping. It can be overwhelming to have people in your space for a time.
-For the Lord to give me strength as we tackle each day and each piece of news through this journey - that others will see Him through our story