Friday, February 28, 2014


The 'notes' version. Will flush out the details soon.

Wednesday, February 26, 2013:
They gained weight! Mollie is back above 5 pounds. She is 5lbs 0.9 oz. She gained more than an ounce. William is now 5lbs 2.6oz. 

William is out of the isolate. Temps are stable. 
Lunch with Great Aunt Cheryl Harjes

Uncle Zach came to hold babies before he leaves for a trip. 

Some really good pumping volumes. 

FaceTime with Caleb at bed time. 

Thursday, February 27, 2013:
Well the weight report was a little disappointing, Mollie stayed the same at 5lbs 0.9 oz., while William went down to 5lbs 1.8oz.

Pumped 100mL
Plan for the day is to weigh each baby before nursing, and then immediately after. Each mL measures 1gram, so you can measure how much they nursed. It will help us better determine how nursing is going and how much to supplement through their NG (Nasal Gavage) tube. 

9:30 feeding, Papa came to help hold the non-feeding baby. 
Rachel Britz brought her delicious cookies.

Oma came briefly for kisses and rubbed/stretched out my shoulders. 
Josh came for the 12:30 feeding & brought lunch for me.
Heather Olson came for a visit with chocolate!
One week old pictures, using my scarf and Rachel's cookies.

Took a nap
Signs for their bassinets to celebrate their 1 week.

Oma and Caleb stopped by on their way to Oma's house.
Nana and Papa came at about 7:00 and helped hold babies we wrapped up the feeding. They also brought me food from Red Lobster. The Millers had eaten there to celebrate several birthdays, Jason, Josie, and Avery. 

William gained about 30 grams and Mollie stayed about the same. This is a bit discouraging. 
At 4:00 I pumped 95mL. Each feeding will total 50mL between what they nurse and what they get through the NG tube.
The 6:30am feeding went amazingly well. Mollie nursed 38mL.
The rest of the day's feedings did not go as well, but at least we know they are capable of nursing a larger volume. 
Grandpa Gene visited.
Aunt Carrie came with lunch and hungry arms for babies.
Josh came to hold his babes.
My mom stopped by, taking laundry.
Lauren came with Coldstone Creamery.
New nurse, switching from Lisa T to Lisa C. for the night. 

Monday-Tuesday, February 24-25

Monday, Feb 24: 
In the morning Dr. Benson came and shared that he was happy but we still have some work to do. He was proud of the babies and me. He ordered another bilirubin check on each baby.

Due to the results of the weight and bilirubin, the nurses(Amy & Lisa) talked to me about needing to do phototherapy and to consider doing a NG (Nasal Gavage) tube in each baby. I asked to wait until I could talk to lactation about the tubing, but totally understood and wanted the phototherapy to just get it done and not worry about possible jaundice so much. 

Talked to lactation at about 8:45. I had just been crying because Caleb had gotten so tired Sunday and then had a rough morning getting to daycare. My heart hurt for him in this unsettled time for him. Sue, from lactation, was very kind and supportive as I dried my tears. Sue explained that I could nurse while the babies got fed through the NG and that while it seems like it could hurt the nursing aspect it could actually help so they had more energy to nurse. So they put in the NGs. They go through their nose and right down to their tummies. 

When I went in the nursery for the first feeding, I found my babes in the same isolate, legs intertwined. It warmed my heart to see them cuddled together. We took them out and rolled them to my room for the feeding. 

Lisa T was my nurse and was great at helping me understand the NG feedings. Because the babies had to be under the lights for everything except for feedings, I had time to make some calls, blog, take a nap, and just rest. 

I got to Skype with my sister Krista. So good to catch up with her, but sadly I didn't have the babies with me. She was understanding and we had a good sister chat.  The social worker stopped by to make sure I was coping and it was good to just name all the ways I felt supported and loved by family, friends, and God. 

Gene, Grandpa, stopped by at about 4:15 and came at just the right time to hold both Mollie and William each for about 10 minutes as their NG feeding ended. Then my mom and Caleb came. Caleb was more interested in his tools and hospital game of Trouble than giving me any love, but I was glad to see him unphased by the hospital surroundings. They were just here for 15 minutes before Caleb was ready to either run a muck down the hallways or join Gene and Great Grandpa Alms at Pizza Ranch for supper. 

That evening I had a phone call with Garrett and Kayla, my brother and sister in law. They plan to come visit during the weekend. 
I also got a short skype call with Britta and Kiri in Colorado too. 

They needed to separate William and Molly because Molly was getting too warm. If they stabilize their temps they may share again. 

Both babies are nursing but not for long or very efficiently. They peter out before they get much due to the Jaundice, so I'm glad we had the NGs to make sure they are getting enough calories.

William is gassy!  His toots are lethal. 

Mollie & William

Got to just pump and then sleep for the 3:30am feeding. It felt great! I showered and in the morning and Josh came to bring clothes and a few items. 
Josh went back to the house to continue work on the master bedroom upstairs while I worked my best to get Mollie and William growing. Side lying nursing has been working well for both Mollie and William to latch and nurse calmly. 

My sister, Greta, came to hold these little ones. They just laid in her arms and let her adore them. Once the 12:30 feeding and pumping was done I got out. Greta dropped me off at home. I downloaded some pictures and got some laundry going and packed some new clothes. Oma picked Caleb up from daycare and dropped him off at home for some time with Mommy and Daddy. He was so happy to be home, almost a week! I covered him with kisses right away and tackled him to the ground with love. Then I asked, "Do you out want to go play?" He exclaimed, "Yea!!!" And took off running for his toys in the living room, laughing with joy the whole way. That moment was worth it all! We played mini golf, hide n seek, and wrestled. I got tired, but was still able to do more play than I have been able to in the last two months. We finished with eating supper. Then Josh and I needed to head back to the hospital for the next feeding, and Caleb left for Oma's. Caleb went happily with Oma which made it easier for me to say goodbye. Our time together did my heart good, and it seemed it was good for Caleb too. 

After the 6:30 feeding, Josh and I did the required infant CPR and Heimlich training due to have premies. It was only an hour, but we were both pretty tired. We passed even in our tired state, which let's be honest, is likely how we'll feel for the next year:)

Feb 22-23 The weekend

Doctor rounds - things continue to go well, but the babies have lost too much weight to go home yet. This is common for their gestational age, so it wasn't surprising. I figured we would stay a bit longer anyway. 
Next, the day started an early morning visitor. Abby Simonson stopped by while on her shift to see our sweeties.
Glenn and Peggy Morris and their granddaughter Adalyn stopped by next. She knit booties for the babies and bought those super soft blankets. They brought a present for Caleb too. Later he opened it and said, "A present for me?!" With a shocked expression. It was a Tool belt and tools. He loves it!! Anything with a hammer is enjoyed these days. 

It was time for me to be discharged, but the babies weren't ready yet. Therefore, I needed to move to house guest status and move rooms. The only thing that would really change is that no one would be checking my vitals or giving me medications. The babies would continue to have a nurse, but I wouldn't. I could still order room service and everything!

It took several trips, but we eventually moved to 5010. It was a much smaller room, even smaller when both babies' bassinets were wheeled in. 

We got settled and Jason's family, Josh's brother, came to visit again. It was wonderful to visit and see how much they already loved these newest family members. 

Ruthan came sans kids again for more cuddle time in the evening. She is a proud Nana.

Initial temporal bilirubin numbers show they may need phototherapy, but the blood work showed them low, intermediate risk, so we held off. 
Still some weight loss. We started to supplement with formula through a tube at the breast with finger feeding. That is when they suck on your finger with a small tube pinched in there too, slowly releasing formula. Their suck usually draws the formula in from the syringe. Josh is very good at it! It is nice to have his help during feedings.

Each night Mollie and William sleep in the nursery so I sleep as much as possible. They are brought back for each feeding, ever 3 hours. My body has adjusted to this three hour cycle. In fact, just minutes before they wheel M&W into the room, I usually wake, turn on the lights, and get myself to a ready position. Each feeding takes about an hour and then I pump for about 15-20 minutes. That means I have about 90 minutes to sleep between each feeding. 50% of my day is about feeding these babies. An important job! While nursing I call Mollie the Tortoise and William the Hare. Mollie is slower but a bit more consistent. Will gets going fast and then peters out. 

Cousin Diana and daughter Laura came to visit and hold babies. They oohed and awed. They brought a present from my aunt and uncle, Joanne and Wally Bakken -two adorable outfits. 

About 2:00 Uroma and Great Grandpa Bill (William Harjes, Jr.) came for a visit. My grandpa said that he knows we plan to call William by his full name or Will, but 'as long as I'm living he may be called Billy Boy' :) My grandpa must be reliving his childhood days:) Oma brought little gifts for the babies and Caleb, as well as muffin for me, and meatballs for the freezer at home. We are so blessed to be showered with all these blessings!

Did some finger feedings more consistently instead of tube feedings right at the breast. It helped since the tubing sometimes rubbed, so it caused tenderness for me. Plus it went a bit faster as well. While nursing I have made the observation that William is very cerebral. He gets quite expressive and will just stare at times too. 

About 3:15, in walked Josh and Caleb. We played hide and seek in the hospital room. Yes there is enough room and corners/furniture to use when hiding. At one time Caleb fell, was totally fine, but said, "I think I need a doctor." Josh and I laughed! It was so cute!

4:30 Denise, Oma, picked up Caleb to keep for the week, or until we could go home. 

Bob and Ruthan, Papa and Nana, came a bit after 5:00. Bob had been out of town until today and was eager to get his hands on the newest grandbabies. We caught up and they just showered Mollie and William with love!

My friend, Meghan Wall, came then to get her baby fix too before Downton Abbey finale would air.

I watched most of Downton Abbey, but fell asleep at one point. I couldn't believe it! Obviously I was a bit tired.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dr. Benson came early for rounds before 7:00am to meet Molly and William. He gushed over how cute there are and was impressed with the delivery story and how things were going. He made it clear he would be stopping in daily because they are premie and we'll keep a close eye on them. 

After he left my friend, Erin Eccles, came to visit since she is a nurse at the hospital as well. She got to hold babies briefly before needing to get back to work. It was sweet of her to take a break with us.

Dr Taylor stopped by too. He brought a knit blue hat and a knit pink hat made by his wife. So sweet. I also pointed out William's middle name to him. Dr Taylor's first name is Mark. 

Josh went home to get a few things, shower, and take a breather. While he was gone I took a shower as well. I felt like a new person. Then Josh's friend's parents, Rick and Penny Johnson, came to visit. They brought diapers, wipes, cute outfits, and a big brother present for Caleb. It was so generous and thoughtful. Penny loved holding Mollie. She has only grandsons, so this was a treat for her. She made it clear I was to call her if I needed any help. Josh made it back in time to see them before they had to head out. 

After lunch I took a short rest and then my friend, Heather Olson, came to visit. She enjoyed holding the twins and also came bearing gifts. She had several outfits for both Mollie and William. I can't wait to get them into all these cute clothes!

On her way home from work, Jessica Rhodes (Aunt Boogie) came with cute hats for the babies. I love little knit hats! She could calmly hold her niece and nephew since her own son and Caleb weren't with her this time. 

Supper break and then more visitors. Josh left to sleep at home and work on the upstairs remodel. 
Aunt Lauren Alms brought flowers and a Mommy care package with delicious treats. So very sweet. She claims that babies don't like her, but Mollie took to her. She said it was a diva to diva bond. :)
Then Amy, our daycare provider, friend Angela Bruns and her daughter, Annika stopped in. It was the first time I didn't have enough babies to go around:-) William needed a diaper change at one point and Amy jumped right in. 
We also had Nana come so that she could have a calm visit without the toddlers. 
As Nana left, in came Gene & Denise (Grandpa & Oma). This was Grandpa's first visit, since he had been in Walnut Grove at the church he is serving earlier in the week. He lit up having these little ones in his arms. 

We did a feeding at about 9:30, and then all visitors were gone. During the middle of the night they weigh babies. Mollie and William have started to lose weight. Not in a danger zone yet, but we are best to nurse them well, and get my milk in.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Birth Day! Part 2

Will be edited by Josh soon. He remember some of this day better than me. 
Part 2:
In the new room we adored the babies, did some nursing, and pumping. I was still managing the pain of my hip and cramps, but it was much more tolerable. One beautiful distraction was the bouquet Bob and Ruthan sent. It was very fragrant. About 4:00pm my mom left to try to get home in the light. 
After supper, Nana brought Caleb, Aunt Boogie, and cousin Lincoln to meet the babies. Caleb came in asking, "Mommy! What happened?" He was concerned about me and all the bracelets on my wrist. He thought they were for owies. I assured him they were ok. At first he just inspected the room and pointed out the cribs are for sleeping babies. After a bit of distraction he did peek in on Mollie and William. After a while the babies opened their eyes and Caleb commented, "Babies awake!"
Josh was holding them and said, "Yea, they woke up to see you."
"To see me?!" Caleb exclaimed. "Play with me? Play with me? Babies come get me. Come get!" He started to run away from the babies, looking back ate them. 
We told him they couldn't get him, but he could tickle the babies. So he went over there and said, "Tickle, Tickle." 
Josh pretended that the babies laughed. 
So cute!
Sadly two toddlers in a small hospital room isn't very easy and so we had to say goodbye. 
Tonight Josh stayed at the hospital with me, sleeping on the couch. Not the most comfortable evening for me, but he was there for the early morning doctor rounds on Friday then. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Their names

My brother called the other night and said, "So where did Mollie come from?" If I was more of a Smart Alec I would have asked him to repeat 4th grade health, or talk to our parents regarding a remedial Birds & Bees convo,... but I'm not:) 

The truth is all the names we chose have family signifcance. We love the names on their own, and we love that we have relationships to those names. 

Mollie - Her great, great, great grandmother's name on the Miller side was Mollie.
= means wished-for child, bitter

Norma - Her paternal great grandmothers' on both the Monson and Miller side are named Norma. Josh and I made this realization during our first date. What a coincidence that we both had Grandma Norma's. Women we both love deeply.

William - His great grandpa and his great, great grandpa are named William on the Harjes (Bri's mother's side) side of the family. Great Grandpa Bill is actually named after his father and is a William Harjes, Jr.  - His great, great, great grandpa was also named William on the Miller side, but went by his middle name Preston. 
= means determined protector

Mark - His grandpa Monson, Bri's father, is named Mark. A man loved and missed tremendously. 

So we are thrilled they are here, that they are rooted in loved ones' names, and will make their own names for themselves. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Birth Day! Part 1

Thursday, February 20, 2014
I did not sleep well Wednesday night. Pressure changed and it was very difficult to move and walk. I wasn't having contractions I could feel though. I called to schedule my follow up blood pressure check at 8:30am. I asked to talk to the nurse to describe the pressure/pain change and she recommended I see Dr Taylor at the same time as my blood pressure check. So I went to the clinic at 9:30 for my appointment. It was sunny and fairly mild, but a blizzard was on the way. Streets were already icy in spots from yesterday's melt. On the way to the appointment I got a text from Josh at 9:11 "Keep me posted ASAP. My gut is telling me it's go time..." I responded, " I will keep my phone on me and not on vibrate:) I love you." 

My blood pressure was back to normal when the nurse checked, 118/68. Pulse 77. I text Josh the results and he responded:
9:28 "Good girl. Maybe your heart just needed tacos." (Supper the night before.)
9:29 "and oles."
I responded 9:29 ";-D"

As I walked to the exam room with the nurse, Dr Talor was in the hall. He said, "This worked out. I was supposed to be in Fairmont today, but due to the weather stayed. You're my only patient today. In the exam room Dr Taylor checked to see if my water had broken, and it hadn't. Then he checked my cervix. I was 6+cm! His nurse Sarah, smiled and clapped. He said, "We'll take you over to labor and deliver to monitor, but I would say you're in labor." I got dressed and left Josh a voicemail. Then I text him: 
9:46 I'm at 6+. 
9:48 It's go time. 

One of the nurses, Jen, came in and wished me luck. She was excited for me. Then Nurse Sarah came with the wheel chair to go to the hospital. Dr. Taylor said he'd push me over. On the way he explained that I would be delivering in the operating room in case there needed to be an emergency extraction on Baby B. He explained there would be a nurse for each baby and me, an ultrasound machine and tech, the hospital pediatrician, and the anthesiologist just in case. Plus him, Josh, and me:) It sounded like a full room and it was, but more on that later. 

They got me settled me into a room, found the babies on the fetal heart monitors, and at 10:10 Dr Taylor broke my water. He said, "And now you're committed." Babies would be coming!

10:20 Josh walked in the room. He had a grabbed a few things at home so we were set, for awhile any way. My contractions started to grow in intensity slowly at first, but things gained momentum. Dr a Taylor checked me and said I was at a 9 and just about complete so they should start transporting me to the operating room, again just as a precaution. It was about 11:50am. I close my eyes during contractions, so I just kept my eyes shut as Josh was given scrubs, nurses were in and out, and suddenly my bed was moving. The operating room was full of people and equipment. The nurses were all very encouraging and excited for me and the babies. We really had excellent care. I was still on my side breathing through contractions when Dr Taylor leaned over and said, "By the way, if this helps, you're going for the gold."

Josh was on my left side holding my hand, while I had a nurse with holding each leg. I had lots of coaches but I listened mostly for Josh to chant "Go, go, go..." And then for Dr. Taylor to tell me to stop.  I pushed three times during a contraction, had a small break, and then pushed three more time during the next contraction. 

It was 12:22 and Dr Taylor said, "We have a girl." Mollie Norma was born. They wiped off on my chest, gave me a chance to look her over, and then taken to the warmer. 
Mollie Norma

Dr. Taylor then broke my second sac of water and contractions started right up. Again I pushed three times through the first contraction, got a very brief break and then pushed twice in the second contraction and was told to stop. 

It was 12:38 and Dr. Taylor said, "And a boy!" William Mark is born. They also wiped him off on my chest, and then they took him to the warmer since he wasn't too active. 
William Mark

Josh stayed by my side the entire time. Even though labor was done, I was in a lot of pain as my uterus immediately started contracting and cramping. It's a very healthy thing, but it made me grit my teeth. No pain meds up until then, but I could have used some then. My left hip ached too. Luckily Josh kept me grounded and I was able to make it just fine. During this time both placentas were birthed and I needed no stitching. 

Within 10 minutes I had both babies on my chest, snuggling. Wow! I can't even write about what that felt like. I think I even said something like, "Whoa, I just had two babies!" To be honest I was proud of myself and them for being so healthy already. No oxygen needed or anything! 
From top to bottom: Mollie, William, Mommy

Proud Parents

We did it!

Babies went to the nursery to stay under warmers. Their temps were a little low, especially Will's, but not dangerous. I went back to my room for recovery. I asked for some Motrin and the nurse was quick to ask the pharmacy for me. Those cramps were kind of kicking my butt. My mom came about 1:30 to help with recovery and adore her grandbabies. Nurses came in to tell me Will's blood sugar was a little low so I tried to express colostrum, but didn't really get any. They gave him just a little formula to boost his numbers and it worked well.
Oma is in love!

Weighed the babies. Here are their stats:
Mollie Norma weighed 5lb 10.6oz, 19 inches long
Head 13 1/4", Chest 12"

William Mark weighed 5lbs 12.4oz, 20 1/2 inches long
Head 13", Chest 11 1/2"

Babies were warm enough to come to the room and they weighed each baby and then together. I will post later the picture of the two on the scale. Little Mollie put her foot in her brother's neck. Josh and my mom were giggling.


First fight?

We moved rooms about 3:30 and on the way visited the babies in the nursery. My cramping was finally more at a minimum and I could just bask in how cute my little ones were. While in the nursery, my friend and colleague, Robin, stopped with her daughter Maddie. They brought adorable bears for Mollie and William. Sadly they couldn't hold the babies, but they obviously understood and were happy to adore through the glass.

Our new room was 5210. 
To be contined...

**Mollie is spelled with an ie, not y. I'm typing on mobile devices and sometimes it autocorrects it and I don't catch it. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Practice run

Wednesday afternoon I got a shiny floater in my eye. After about 10 minutes it finally disappeared. Then an hour later my left thumb went numb. It was two very odd symptoms, so on the advice of my mother I called the clinic right before it closed. They said to come into Urgent Care at the clinic, knowing that they may send me to the ER or 5th floor (maternity). 

Josh wasn't home yet, so I called Nana to love on Caleb while I went in. Josh met me there. My blood pressure was high for me, but not dangerous. However due to the stage of my pregnancy and twins, Urgent Care decided to check me in at the ER and take me up to 5th floor for monitoring. 

They hooked me up to contraction and fetal heart rate monitors. The also did lab tests. Babies looked good, and I had mostly small contractions, with a couple I definitely felt! Labs came back good with just low hemoglobin, so I got a prescription for iron. After an hour of monitoring, my blood pressure lowered back to normal. So with all the good results I was discharged. 

I had a wonderful nurse taking care of me, Rita. She stayed extra to discharge me. She was so reassuring and kind. She answered my questions very patiently. I felt blessed to have such a knowledgeable woman keeping an eye on my babies and me. 

Because we didn't get discharged until about 8:45pm, Caleb is sleeping over at Nana Miller's. She told Josh that Caleb asked to go to bed:) I'm glad he is doing so great. It's another peace of mind that he does well if he is at someone else's house. 

All in all our trial hospital run went very well. I'm back to bed, drinking fluids and resting. Here's to babies growing and my body handling it. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

34.5 weeks

Ouch! My skin is so smooth from stretching to its limits, it shines waxy looking. My belly no longer curves round, but rather has its own landforms of mountains sticking out, underneath being butts, feet, or heads. Sitting, laying, or standing takes frequent readjustment for my back and hips. I can do little to ease this discomfort other than use our overworked heating pad and pillows. The tougher battle is my mental state. To give in to the symptoms listed above would mean a weepy and depressed Bri. Instead I try to focus on the health of the babies being so good and the snuggles I get with Caleb. It's hard to read right now, and I don't nap in the afternoon so that I can better sleep at night. I sleep in/nap each morning to get the needed rest. Luckily, the Olympics have kept me occupied! Last week I didn't have anyone for lunch or a daytime visit which made the days feel overwhelming and long. I didn't realize until Friday morning. Luckily, I did have supper from my friend and coworker, Meghan, and both my mother-in-law and mom came a night. Caleb is here and keeps me company, and busy, in the evenings too. 

Today I had a 1.5 hour ultrasound. The bigger the babies get the harder it is for them to see and measure everything, which means more pressure to get the pictures they need. The technician was very sweet, but it was quite uncomfortable. We had a dome pillow for under my legs, and she stopped to let me adjust, but it still wasn't great. The good part was every picture led to good news. They did the biophysical profile again, and again each baby got 8 out of 8 points. Each baby is measuring about a week ahead, give or take of course. And baby boy is 5lbs 10oz, and baby girl is 6lbs., give or take a pound. That means they are 5-7 pounds! Wow! They are still doing a great job at their practice breathing, and their heartbeats are strong. Their heads are big like Caleb's and measure about a week ahead of everything else. I really don't need to push out two 15cm heads. Once with Caleb was enough. 

When Dr Taylor came in he was thrilled and said, "Way to go! 8 out of 8!" I then showed him the Olympic results card for the Taylor Twinathalon between his other two patients with twins and me. He had a good laugh! We're all due within three days of each other. No one has had their babies yet, which is amazing. I'm going for the silver:)

Taylor checked and said I was about 3.5cm dialated and 70% effaced. Because we're post 34 weeks and babies are doing well, he has no concerns that I'm that far. If I go into labor we won't stop anything. It could be soon or it could be another 3 weeks. He doesn't think I'll make it that long, but delivery prediction isn't a way to make money:) Dr. Taylor won't let me go longer than 38 weeks. To be honest I'm worried how big both babies would be in another 3 weeks. I am amazed by my body, but I don't need to be SUPER amazed:) Plus I would like to deliver them naturally, and that's more likely if they aren't 9lbs+ each:) 

Most nights Josh runs upstairs to work on the upstairs bedroom and bathroom. It's not easy to have the stress of the remodel and the babies coming any day, but we are handling it fairly well. We deal with it each separately so we don't add more stress to each other. I trust his remodeling decisions and he trusts that I'm doing what I need to grow babies:) I look forward to the upstairs done as much as the babies being here so family time returns. When Josh is downstairs he wrestles with Caleb and Woody in ways I can't. He's such a great Daddy! 

I'm so blessed to have so many friends and family praying for us and supporting us as we are now in the final stretch (literally). I'm so grateful and praise God for his blessings and good health on our family during all of this. 

With all that being said, it is my prayer now that babies come in their time, AND that God gives me the strength and endurance to handle it, physically, emotionally, and mentally. 

Baby A and Baby B, we can't wait to meet you and love you. Be good to each other in there, and we'll see you soon!



Friday, February 14, 2014

Falling in love...

I am extremely blessed. God protected my heart. There were a few crushes and attempts at falling for a guy, but God held me back until I met Josh. Josh is the only man I ever fell in love with. He is the only one I have said, "I love you," to, and continues to be. Yes I love my siblings and parents, but this love is different. At times I felt lonely and angry that the right guy hadn't come into my life earlier, but looking back now I am so grateful. Some might disagree and say that dating and relationships along the way help you determine what you really need/want in a marriage, but I guess I learned enough from a couple dates and the experiences of my friends. Sorry you had break ups and heartbreaks, but it helped me out:)

The best thing about falling in love with one man is now I can say the only men I have ever fallen in love with are in my family. It only took a second, but it was love at first sight with Caleb too. And then I looked up and fell in love with my husband all over again. Watching my husband fall in love with his son are moments I will cherish forever. Caleb daily steals my heart over and over again. Josh dances with me in the kitchen and makes me smile only the way he can. Blessed! A catch of a lifetime!

And what's even greater? I am about to set eyes on the next two loves of my life. Two more lives, personalities, giggles, cheeks, and hugs to fall in love with! I wish them here any moment, so the love and kisses can start now. In the meantime I will just love them through my skin:)

God gets it right...
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not harm you; plans to give you hope, and a future."

I have trusted this verse for a long time and kept it as my mantra when I feel a little lost. God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Caleb 4/19/2011

Bri's Birthday 5/2/2006 - Bri & Josh

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pregnancy is...

Pregnancy is a gift.

As a woman you think you should be able to have a baby when you are "ready" because you did the whole "becoming a women," sat through the health classes, felt your hormones make you spin, got zits, spent money on monthly necessities, and endured pain. Yet somehow trying and being unsuccessful at getting pregnant is a secret. Just like all things we are quick to announce our successes, but we hide our failures. Not that getting my period is a great day any time, but I mourned each month when I knew My husband and I wanted it to work that time. The first few months of trying to get pregnant were easier, but as I get closer to a year it started to wear on me, because instead of something just not falling into place that month, the reality was something could be wrong. Plus, I had done the healthy things to make my body ready for a baby and didn't drink alcohol. It saddened me to think something was wrong, which meant doctors, tests, money, and more time without having a baby.

During this time, I was truly happy for friends and family getting pregnant. Oddly it was the people who were open about their monthly disappointments that frustrated me. For example, someone had just started trying and after one month shared she had a negative pregnancy test and was depressed. I laughed inwardly and thought of myself and many others who tried much longer than that and maybe even after years were unable to be pregnant. It felt dramatic. But here I am being a hypocrite because at one point I too was disappointed after just a month, I was just at a different point in the journey now and managed it differently. 

It's kind of like miscarriages, when is the right time to share the news? When you're trying? Not getting pregnant? Pregnant? Not staying pregnant? When the baby is born? It seems that women's bodies and what they do with them in the reproductive and early years of raising babies has become quite polarizing. I am disappointed in myself when I think about how I was about to laugh when a woman was disappointed after one month of trying to get pregnant. I am glad that I didn't act on that initial response, and instead offered her encouragement and prayer, but I still judged her for a moment. Instead we are sisters in spirit, craving the calling of motherhood. We need to rally for one another.

Last spring we had just had our first meeting with a nurse practioner about having tests done to find out if there was a reason we weren't getting pregnant, and to consider treatments/medications. We had this same appointment with a different doctor the month we actually got pregnant with Caleb on our own two years earlier. I don't know if going to the doctor relinquished some stress, but that month everything fell into place on its own after 14 months of trying. We got our firstborn son, Caleb. I was hoping for a similar effect this time. Around the time of setting up this appointment I spent the weekend with a friend I had not seen for years. She and I confided in one another that getting pregnant was not easy. My friend had yet to get pregnant and they had tried several treatments plans. She shared that few friends and family members knew because she didn't want them asking if she was pregnant yet. It added to the stress and disappointment, and it also limited her circle of support sadly. What a Catch 22. I've always believed in the power of prayer so I tend to share when I or my family has  a need, but I have many friends and family members who feel differently. I understand both sides and wonder where the judgement comes from? Back to the question about when is the right time to share our needs, disappointments, successes, and decisions. 

I am reflective on this today because we are about to have twins. Instead of people asking if we did fertility, they ask if there are twins in the family. It's a PC way to find out, and I don't think I take offense. The truth is we have twins on both sides. Nothing in our immediate siblings or parents, but among our cousins, and grandparents' families. While we were dating we figured this out and both said we'd like to have twins some day. God heard us:) The second truth is we did testing and found that my uterus did not make a thick enough lining for an egg to implant well. Didn't mean it wasn't impossible, clearly Caleb is here, but that it was less likely to get pregnant easily. So one month of oral medication later, we were pregnant, and at 8 weeks we had an ultrasound showing twins. We had immediate family praying for us and doctor's assisting. I don't know which had more influence over the two lives that are about to make their presence known to the world, but we are blessed they are coming. 

Pregnancy is a gift, not a given. With that mindset I will do my best to stay positive and muscle through these final weeks and days of discomfort. I had unpleasant pregnancy side effects from the beginning (take after my mom), but it is a sacrifice I know many women wish they could experience. And if/when I do complain, please take it with a grain of salt knowing that I know you would if you could, and I should be grateful to have the chance to be pregnant. Perspective is difficult to maintain in our pain, whether it be physical, emotional, or mental. My mom taught me the mantra for delivery, "It hurts so good. It hurts so good..." I'm using it already.

And truly it isn't about whether you were pregnant and birthed a child, or you felt called to adopt, or you are the best aunt ever ...
Loving children is a gift, a blessing, and a big job.
I aim not to take it for granted.