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hospital sweet hospital

12 Jun

Well, it looks like these babies might try to be as stubborn as their mama.  It seems they think it’s time to come out and meet everyone.

Let me start from the beginning.

Friday night we had some friends from college over for dinner.  My friend that took my maternity photos was taking our other friend’s family photos Friday afternoon, so after they were done they picked up some pizzas and came over to visit.  It was so good to all hang out because it only happens about once a year if we’re lucky!

So, we were up late Friday, and everything seemed fine, but when I woke up Saturday I knew right away that I didn’t feel very good.  I just kept having really bad pains in my stomach off and on, so I basically just spent the whole morning and afternoon laying on the couch or bed.  I’ve been analyzing stomach pains ever since I went on bedrest and became paranoid about pre-term labor, and it has been so difficult!  You can read a million different descriptions of what contractions feel like, and still not read one that is identical to your own…at least in my experience.

Finally at about 10pm Saturday night the pains started getting bad enough that I decided (with a little coaxing from the husband) to just call the labor and delivery nurse and see if she had any advice.  After describing to her what was going on, she agreed that it didn’t necessarily sound like contractions.  She told me some things to do to try and relieve it, and we hung up.  So, Jon and I went about our night – I took a shower and we eventually fell asleep on the couch while watching a movie.

At about 1:30 we got up to move to bed, and my pains just continued.  I’m the type to usually downplay whatever it is I’m feeling because I don’t want to make a big deal or put anyone out, but I remember laying in bed thinking that I really should probably go in to be checked just because I was worried about the babies.  I kept thinking if I was in that much pain, it had to be affecting them in some way.  It wasn’t long of my laying there moaning in pain before Jon made the valid point that I just couldn’t lay there in pain all night long.  At that point I suggested that he just call the nurse back again and let her know what was happening.  After talking to her briefly, she suggested that we just go ahead and come get checked, at least so we could have some peace of mind.

So, we threw on some clothes, thinking we’d be back in a couple of hours tops, and headed to the hospital.  Upon arrival, they had us check in and fill out a ton of paper work (of course), and the whole time I was standing there thinking about how silly I felt to have have come in. They finally put us in a triage room and had me change into a hospital gown, and I was thinking I do not need a hospital gown!  Just check these babies and make sure they’re still okay, and we’ll get out of your way!  But of course I obliged, putting on the gown and getting into the bed while she strapped monitors around me to check the babies’ heartbeats.  Pretty soon we could hear that they were doing just fine….such a relief!  She also strapped on a monitor to see if I was having contractions, which after awhile of monitoring it was established that my pains were in fact, contractions (go figure:).

After monitoring me for a little bit and contacting my doctor (or the doctor who was currently on call for my doctor), she came over to check me, which of course was not very pleasant.  As she finished checking me, she informed us that I was dilated to a 4.  I was very confused at first because she didn’t act alarmed at all, so I double checked to make sure I understood what she was saying.  I knew a 4 wasn’t like the baby was about to come out, but it seemed a little far considering I’m only 32 weeks.  After calling the doctor back again, she calmly told us that we would not be leaving the hospital and that they were going to transfer us to another room.

Everything really seems like a blur to me from that point on.  They basically moved me to a labor and delivery room and started me on magnesium to stop the contractions.  They hooked me up to all the basic “checked in the hospital monitors” like an IV, blood pressure cuff etc., of course hooking the babies up to monitors as well.  They also gave me a couple of different shots, which I cannot really remember the purpose of now.

Over the the next hour the magnesium really started to hit me.  They had me on a really high dosage, and it basically made my entire body slow down with the purpose of slowing down/stopping the contractions.  I literally couldn’t even lift my arms, my vision was blurry and I couldn’t focus on anything.  And on top of that we had just pulled an all-nighter.  So needless to say, Sunday was quite the whirlwind.

On Monday morning, my contractions had slowed considerably, so they took me off the magnesium for a few hours.  Oh glorious heaven above, it felt so good once it wore off!  I gained the feeling back in my muscles and began to be able to focus my eyes again.  And they finally let me eat and drink something, which I hadn’t been allowed to since I checked in in case I went into labor and had to have anesthesia.  It was definitely an improvement.  They let me stay off of it for a few hours before putting me back on a lower dose, but this lower dose has not been half as bad.  I’m still having a little trouble with the eye thing, but I can actually roll myself over in bed now (at least as well as I could before bedrest)…so I call that a success!

So now we wait and pray.  My doctor says he’s hoping to buy me a couple of weeks, so right now that’s our goal.  I’ll be in the hospital until the babies come, whether that’s two days or twenty-five days.  We are concerned about all the possible ramifications of course, but we’re so thankful to have a great doctor, great nurses and an amazing NICU staff that has already been by to visit with us several times.

The babies themselves are doing great, and all the nurses keep bragging on them, which makes me a really proud mama:)  And I get to fall asleep to their heartbeats every night, so if there ever was a plus to hospital bedrest…


first family photos

7 Jun

For over two years I’ve dreamed about taking maternity photos someday.  I would look longingly at other people’s photos and think about the elements I’d like to be the same about mine…and what I wanted to be different.  Where they’d be taken, what I’d wear and what kinds of poses I would do.  But it was always just that.  A dream.

So, a couple of months ago when Jon talked to my best friend/the best photographer ever, Elyse, about taking my pictures, I got so excited!  And then I got nervous.  I guess I had built up the whole event for so long, imagining it as pure perfection, and suddenly I was scared that my reality wouldn’t live up to what I had envisioned.  Silly, I know.  But of course I started planning away – trying to decide on a location, buying a new outfit, thinking about how I’d wear my hair.  I wanted these pictures to be as perfect as possible.  And then, just like so many other things, my dreams of the picture perfect maternity photos crumbled with the news of bedrest.  So long field of wildflowers in the evening sun, lol.  I was so disappointed.

And then I talked to Elyse about it, and like the amazing photographer she is, she had a vision for us.  A vision that would accommodate bedrest.  A vision that required a last minute ditching of my planned outfit.  But suddenly I was totally okay with it all.  It seemed meant to be, and I got super excited about plan B.  Once again I was forced to give up control.  And it was good:)

Elyse is an absolutely incredible photographer.  She took a less than ideal situation and turned it into photos of us with our babies that I will cherish and love forever.  They capture this exact time in our life so precisely that now I can’t imagine them any differently.  So, thanks Elyse, for being such a great friend and for giving us the gift of always being able to remember how we felt and exactly what our life looked like in the months leading up to our babies’ births:)  We love you!

Here’s a sneak peek.  You can see more on Elyse’s blog.

week 31

1 Jun

It is so hard for me to believe I am at 31 weeks!  I can definitely say that pregnancy has been the fastest time of my life.  I know all you moms out there are probably saying “just wait.”  It’s just crazy because it seems like just last week we got the call of “congratulations”

Not only does today mark 31 weeks, but it also is the end of my first week of bedrest.  I know I don’t look very bedresty in these pictures (meaning the makeup and jewelry…oh and the standing up:).  My doctor approved me to go to my last baby shower, so I got to get out and about yesterday!  It was such a sweet shower at Jonathan’s work…more to come on it later.

Stats about week 31:
Total weight gain so far: exactly 30 lbs. since starting IVF.  The topic of gaining weight could be another post in itself, but right now I’m feeling pretty good about 30 lbs.  I figure it would be ideal to put on another 10 or so before the babies come, but we’ll see.  My doctor is always happy, so I guess I’m happy!

What I’m wearing these days: mostly skirts and Gap pure body t’s when we have company.  Yoga pants/shorts and a t-shirt otherwise.   I’ve stopped buying any maternity clothes, and now I’m trying to get a few things to feel good in once the babies get here.  Skirts with foldover/elastic waist bands, a few nursing camis, shirts that can be pulled down/to the side in the front.

Stretch marks? So far none, and I am keeping my fingers crossed.  I have always assumed I would get stretch marks, especially once I found out it was twins.  But so far so good.  Although I totally realize I could still have 6 or 7 weeks left, so the idea that I won’t get any might be unrealistic.  A girl can hope, though.

Sleep? Sleep is definitely going downhill because of more and more bathroom trips during the night.  I’ve been getting up pretty much every two hours.  I don’t really mind having to get up to go to the bathroom…but what really annoys me is when I can’t fall back asleep.  Although now that I’m on bedrest, I have plenty of time to catch up during the day, so it’s not that big of a deal.  I really do feel like I’m just preparing my body to be up throughout the night for feedings…and I’m totally fine with that!

Signs of Labor:  nope!  The doctor keeps asking me expectantly if I’m having any contractions (Braxton Hicks or otherwise), and I just keep saying no.  Given the issue of my shortening cervix and whatnot, I’m a bit surprised and super thankful that I’m not having contractions yet.  Let’s keep it that way, body!  I do sometimes wonder if I could be having them and I’m just not recognizing what they are…since I don’t know what they feel like and all.  But I know that’s probably really silly.

Symptoms:  Lots of round ligament and other pains.  Moving hurts.  That’s all.  I’m so happy that my swelling has gone away since being on bedrest though!  Unfortunately I never got a picture of how swollen my legs, ankles and feet were, but take my word for it…they were bad.  I couldn’t even recognize them any more.  Now they are completely back to normal, and I am eating it up!  I’m pretty sure Jon is sick of me admiring myself and talking about how nice it is to have my old legs back.  The best part has been getting to wear fun summer shoes the few times I have left the house.  The last week of school I was down to one lonely pair of flip flops that would actually go on my feet.  I even painted my own toenails this past week…which was an epic event.  I still can’t quite believe I was able to do it…pretty impressive methinks.  Oh, and a couple of symptoms I’m kind of (read: extremely) embarrassed to mention – constipation and hemorrhoids.  There, I said it.  Super awkward, but my reality right now.  I’m kind of bitter that not one person ever told me about the possibility of these two things.  They are like a force of evil, working together to  take over my life I think.
Baby items still left to buy:  the rest of our cloth diapers, cloth diaper approved diaper rash ointment (just in case!), Ergo carrier for the husband, one Boppy pillow (not an absolute necessity), cloth wipes/wipes holder and a couple of pack n’ play sheets (they’ll be sleeping in our room for a couple of weeks).   There are of course other things I’d really like to get before they come, but these are the things I feel like we really have to get.

Today my sweet mom is coming up to clean our house, help me start washing the babies’ clothes and organizing them, and she’s going to cook me a quinoa dish…I’m pretty excited.  The only thing that could make it better is if I could get up and help!  I guess you can’t win ’em all though.  I’m so so thankful to have family around that has done so much for us.

Yay for week 31!  Stay in there and keep growing, babies!

30 weeks and the unexpected

27 May

Week 30 brought with it an unexpected turn of events for sure.

week 30 – morning of the last day of school

first day of this year / last day of this year

I got up Wednesday morning excited for two things:  the last day of school and my 30 week ultrasound.  A week before when I realized that my ultrasound was scheduled on the morning of my kids’ last day, I tried everything I could to reschedule it.  I have had the best year with my students, and it was so important to me to be there with them and get to say goodbye after they took their finals and such.

But the ultrasound tech only comes on Wednesday mornings, and there was no way to change the appointment aside from postponing it a week.  I considered it for a long time, but in the end (and after a long conversation with my mom) I decided that it just didn’t seem like a good idea to delay getting to see our little babies!  So I got a cover for the last half of my 2nd hour and lunch, planning to come back for the rest of the day to shed a few tears and give hugs and final words of parting advice😉

Around 10 am I left school and raced over to the hospital. Jon met me there and we spent lots of time oohing and ahhing over our little McCoys before having to wait for the doctor to tell us the results of my check.  Minutes later our nurse came back, and the second she walked in the door I knew something was not right.  Thankfully the babies are doing just great, but the same cannot be said for my cervix.  It seems that it has shortened significantly since my last checkup, which, in short (no pun intended), it’s not supposed to start doing yet.

The nurse ordered me to go straight home and get in bed and not get up until the next morning to come back and have my doctor check me again.  After a brief panic and some negotiations, I convinced her to let me finish out the school day.  I was able to go back and finish out the day with my kids, get grades finalized and wrap up all the other little things I could possibly do before leaving for good.  It was quite a whirlwind.  And definitely not how I had envisioned my last day/leaving my classroom and school.  My brain is still processing the fact that I won’t be going back there, and it’s definitely bittersweet.

The next morning found me back at the doctor where he confirmed that bedrest is the best option at this point (a much better alternative to the other suggestion he had).  I got two steroid shots to help the babies’ lungs develop faster, and other than that I’m under strict orders to not leave the couch/bed other than to “shower or get a quick bite to eat.”

Or take a weekly pregnancy pic of course;)

So here I am, living on the couch watching my poor husband run around doing everything under the sun.  I know I’m really lucky because things could be so much worse.  I get teary eyed all throughout the day just thinking about how thankful I am that the twins are still growing inside me. The thought of them having to face the world when they’re so little little and unprepared keeps me glued to the couch even when I think I can’t take it another minute.  I’m so thankful I’m not in the hospital, and I’m so so thankful that I have so many people who are helping take care of me and everything else.

Things are constantly popping into my head that I just can’t believe I’m going to miss – my only nephew’s 1st birthday party, childbirth classes, buying our new car with the husband, washing and organizing the babies’ clothes and diapers, etc. etc.  It’s so hard seeing everything fall on Jon’s shoulders and not being able to help him do anything, while at the same time adding more and more to his plate.

But I know it’s all temporary, and I will blink twice before the twins are here and I’m back to running around.  I’m willing them to stay in and keep growing.  I’m going with the self fulfilling prophecy theory.  If I believe they’ll stay in there for another 6 or 7 weeks, then they will stay in. Isn’t that how it works?

In the meantime I’m getting lots of thank you notes written and lots and lots of pregnancy books read.  The ambitious side of me is planning on squeezing in a pregnancy scrapbook and some sewing projects, but we shall see.

28 and 29

19 May

These past two weeks have been huge in the baby part of our lives.   We had another shower, a doctor’s appointment that went a little awry, Mother’s Day, our Successful Breastfeeding class and lots more.  Things are getting busier by the day, and I’m so glad that school is almost finished.  I feel really thankful that I get a summer break and that God timed this pregnancy so perfectly for us.  My swollen feet and ankles are thankful as well.

week 28

the picture quality that comes when the husband is still asleep and I take my own picture at 6:30 am in our dark bedroom

It was honestly kind of a stressful week starting on Monday with my routine doctor’s appointment.  It was the week of the ever so talked about glucose test to find out if I have gestational diabetes.   I’ve heard so many girls talk about how stressed they were over getting this test, but after talking to my nurse and finding out that there really isn’t anything you can do to prevent having it, I felt really at ease about it.  I figured I’m a typically healthy person, so there’s probably nothing to worry about and even if I do have it, there’s nothing I could have done to change it, so why worry?

Unfortunately, my positive mindset came crashing down around me when I got the call that I failed by one point.  I was really surprised.  After having so much trouble getting pregnant, this pregnancy has been completely seamless.  No problems whatsoever.  I guess I’ve just started to take for granted how well everything has been going.

The good news was that I only failed by one point, so my nurse was very encouraging and predicted that the follow up test would probably be fine.  So Thursday morning I took a half day off work and went to the hospital to get the three hour test done.  It went something like this:  Fast from midnight until the next morning.  Have blood drawn.  Drink special sugary drink.  Wait one hour.  Get blood drawn a 2nd time.  Wait another hour.  Get blood drawn a 3rd time.  Wait another hour.  Get blood drawn a 4th time.  Have husband meet me in the hospital parking lot with a sandwich.  Eat in the car while racing back to school for 4th hour.  Get extremely shaky and lightheaded upon arriving at school.  Teach 4th, 5th and 6th hour.

Pleasant morning I tell ya.

I didn’t get my results until the following morning, and I have to admit my emotions were going a little crazy.  I think I will remember weeks 28-29 as being the weeks I started to feel like the typical emotional pregnant person.  One minute I’m feeling completely rational, and the next I feel like I can’t stop the tears from everything I’m happy, stressed, scared and/or overwhelmed about.  When I got the call, it kind of felt like time stood still until I heard my nurse say “your results from the second test came back perfectly normal.  You have nothing to worry about.”  Relief washed over me, and I prayed a serious prayer of thanks.  I definitely got a new dose of perspective and am taking every moment to thank God that our babies are healthy, I’m healthy and I’m still carrying on with life and not having preterm labor signs or having to go on bedrest.

week 29

Another new pregnancy issue that started last week is swelling.  The day of my shower here in OKC (which I have yet to blog about) I wore heels.  About halfway through the shower I felt something weird, and when I looked down I couldn’t believe how big my feet and ankles were!  Sadly, I only thought they were big that day.  They have progressively gotten worse, and it has even spread up into my legs.  I spent the first couple of weeks in full belief that at least 10 pounds of my pregnancy weight had taken up residence on my legs. As much as I tried to not care and focus on the twins, it was a little disheartening.  I have to say – it’s never easy to see sudden and excessive weight gain, even with two sweet little babies in your belly.  At least not for me.

And then I had a revelation.  The only time I really inspect my legs is at night when I shower and then put on lotion.  But yesterday morning as I was bending over the bathtub getting my hair wet, I happened to notice that my legs looked pretty normal.  Upon further inspection, I realized that they are actually normal and what I’m experiencing at night is 99% swelling.  While swelling is not fun, it’s a hundred times better than weight gain.  And much more temporary I might add.  So, while small and pretty inconsequential, I have oddly added swollen legs to my list of things to be thankful for.  And just to clarify, I’ll take weight gain in my legs any day if it means getting to be pregnant…it’s just not necessarily an enjoyable part of the process.

more of week 29

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Today we took our second baby class.  The first, Baby Basics, was a little too basic.  It went for four Monday nights from 7 – 9:30, and I’m fully convinced it could have probably happened in about a fourth of that time.  We learned things like how to make sure your smoke detector’s working and how not to leave a straightening iron in baby’s reach.  Thrilling, really.  I know there are some people out there who really maybe don’t think about things like that, but by the fourth week we just couldn’t take it anymore and decided to drop out.  No shame whatsoever.

So going into today’s class on successful breastfeeding, my expectations were pretty low.  I have read, researched and talked to a lot of people about breastfeeding, but it’s just such an important thing I figured it couldn’t hurt to do as much preparation as possible.

Thankfully, it was much more practical and helpful than the last class.  I learned a lot of practical advice on everything from how to avoid pain to how to store breastmilk, and I think Jon learned even more.  I’m planning on solely breastfeeding both babies if possible, and I really feel a lot more prepared and knowledgeable after today.  So glad we gave the classes another chance.

So those were pretty much the main highlights (and lowlights) of the last two weeks.  Now for a compilation of thoughts on weeks 28 and 29:

  • started trying to teach Olive her place in the nursery (more on this later)
  • still having lots of pain in my stomach and back and definitely an increased struggle with sleeping
  • purchased baby girl her first baby doll
  • got to practice holding twin babies for the first time and I think I can say it was successful
  • let the babies have their first green smoothie
  • glucose test success!
  • loved getting to celebrate my first Mother’s Day
  • major swelling and reduction in my shoe selection – down to one pair:(

1.  olive on the back of the babies’ chair – where she thinks she belongs
2.  olive in her bed on the nursery floor – where she must learn that she belongs
3.  practicing with a friend’s twin baby girls
4.  baby girl’s first doll

babies shower

17 May

Jon and I are in awe of how many people are already loving our little babies.  We’ve had three showers already, and each and every one was so unique and special…planned just to celebrate baby boy and baby girl.

Our first one was in my hometown the Saturday before last, and my sister, aunt, mom and cousin worked so hard to make it special.  It had a summery vintage theme complete with an old school chalkboard, lemonade, sweet tea and cupcakes!  Everyone from family to my mom’s friends from work came out.

My sister played emcee, bringing much comedy to the day.  And Jon totally dominated with all his baby knowledge – from how many diapers we’ll use in a day to how many he’ll actually change:)  He is going to be such a good daddy.  I can’t wait:)

My mom made us these precious scrapbooks.  If you know me, you know that I love stuff like this.  It means so much because she put in so much time to make them.  They have pages for all the major events in the babies’ lives – like their first Sunday to go to church, their first trip to our lake cabin, their first jog and a travel page where we can put pictures of all the new places we’ll show them.  Olive even got her very own page.

I think the babies already have more clothes than I do…definitely more than their daddy.  The amount of gifts our sweet guests brought was completely overwhelming.   It is unreal to me how generous our friends and family are.  The twins are two blessed little babies for sure.

What a joyful day.  It seemed so surreal that we were actually having a baby shower.  For our own babies.  I never thought the day would come.  I still have to remind myself that all this is real, and days like this one make it all the more unbelievable.

After the shower we got to hang around my mom and step dad’s house for a few hours, cook hamburgers outside and just spend time together.  One of my all time favorite days:)

26 and 27

8 May

week 26

week 27

Baby boy and baby girl are getting big!  They each weigh about 2 pounds and are about 14.5 inches long as of this week.  They’re doing all kinds of cool things now like sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing their little eyes and even sucking their fingers (source)!  It’s amazing to me how fast they are growing, and it makes me think about how fast they’re going to keep growing once they join us out here in the world.  Makes me sad thinking about it already, lol.

This was a pretty epic week because we had two showers!  They were both so perfect and definitely merit their own posts.  Along with that we received such sweet gifts from family and friends like our double stroller, carseats, crib mattresses, baby swing, lots of clothes and so many other things.  It has been the most exciting time!  Not that it’s just about getting stuff, but having all these things pile up in our little house is making everything seem so real and soooo close.

Technically we still have 13 weeks left until go time, but my doctor thinks the babies will come in early July rather than early August.  I’m not focusing on that too much though because I’m thinking it could make for a really long July if they decide to stay in there.  And of course the longer they stay in there (within reason:), the better!

They are definitely making themselves known though.  Moving around all the time and of course giving me lots of aches and heartburn.  Oh heartburn.  Sleeping has become quite interesting as well of course as it’s become somewhat of an olympic sport just to roll over in bed.  Oh, and my ankles and feet have already decided to start swelling up.  I look down and think “who’s legs are these??!” because they surely cannot be mine.  It’s weird to feel like you’re wearing somebody else’s legs.  I honestly cannot quite imagine what I’m going to feel/look like in about 6-8 weeks.

But how I love this bump.  I love getting to be with our little babies all the time, taking them with me everywhere I go.  Despite the discomfort of nighttime, I look forward to it every evening because I get to just spend time feeling the babies and thinking about every aspect of what they’re going to be like.  I don’t think anything will ever quite compare to this time…having them inside me and getting to experience so much of them.  I think the love surrounding them multiplied times 100 this week with all our friends and family celebrating them.  It was the best ever.