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thoughts

17 Dec

I’ve felt such a need all day long to sit down and write…and now that the twins are napping and I finally have the computer in front of me I feel a bit paralyzed.  My instinct is to vent about all the feelings I’ve been having since Friday afternoon – fear, pain, disbelief, thankfulness – but the core of all those feelings is the concern I feel for the victims and families of the victims of the Connecticut shooting so it feels a little bit selfish to complain.

Just like every other morning, I sat on our bed with the twins this morning…but this time I just held them and wept.  I cannot fathom what those families are experiencing.  The thought of anything ever happening to Linc and Viv is more than I can bear, and I cannot understand how those moms and dads, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters are continuing on with life.  I once heard someone say that when something like this happens, you don’t heal from the pain, you just learn to live with it.  And I know that when faced with something like this, you must just do that.  But my heart just hurts so badly for them.

This past weekend we had our first Christmas celebration with the McCoy side of our family, and amidst all the excitement my mind kept drifting, and I felt so numb.  Since Friday I find myself feeling like life shouldn’t move on, but at the same time I know it’s not right or possible to dwell on the tragedy forever.  I just don’t really know how to deal with this other than to just pray.  Pray that God will continue to make his presence known as a comfort and a source of peace to the victims, the families, the children who survived.  And that God will make his presence known as our country moves forward and changes are made to help protect our people, especially our children, better.

Aside from living a life of prayer, I also hope we can all take this as a reminder to love each other better and to focus on what really matters.  We get so wrapped up in our own selfish desires and the things of this world, and we forget that one of the most important things in life is loving each other and looking out for one another.  I hope I can begin to do that better.  To go out of my way whenever possible to make someone’s day easier if even just for a moment.  We really have to watch out for each other, even when it’s not easy.

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the story of lincoln and vivian's arrival. part 2.

10 Sep

part one here.

The following couple of weeks were spent on our couch for the most part.  Ironically, we had made plans with several different people, so everything got moved to our house.  I spent the days shopping online for baby clothes, reading baby books and directing my Jon and my mom from the couch as they took care of things for the nursery – decorating, washing and putting away clothes a diapers, etc.  It was definitely challenging to not be able to get up and do thing myself. I wanted to prepare the nursery with Jon.  I wanted to wash their little clothes and organize their drawers.  I had looked forward to all of these things for my whole pregnancy, thinking I would do them as soon as school was out.  But while it was challenging and disappointing, I was so thankful to have people who were willing to step in and take care of things for me.

On Friday, the 8th of June, my mom came over to work on stuff, and I was keeping her company from the couch.  I felt especially tired that day and also just didn’t feel good in general.  We had plans to have friends over that night, and I was seriously thinking it might not be a good idea.  But in the end I was too excited to hang out after being sequestered to the couch for so long.  With all the fun brought by our friends, I seemed to forget all about the pain and tiredness of the day.

But that didn’t last long.

The next morning began bright and early with pains in my stomach.  At the risk of revealing TMI, bedrest and a recent increase of my iron supplement had me dealing with a little bit of constipation.  Okay, a lot.  So by late afternoon (and after an entire day spent on the couch), I was convinced that the stomach pains I was having were a symptom of that.  Around eight o’clock though, the pain had gotten intense enough that I decided to call labor and delivery (being Saturday night my doctor’s office was closed) and just make sure that they thought everything was okay.  After talking to a nurse named Kenzie, I felt even more certain that everything was just fine.  She gave me a few suggestions to try and deal with the constipation, and so I sent Jon on a chase to track down the remedies she recommended.  When he got back we settled into the couch and did our classic Saturday night activity – watching falling asleep to a movie.  Several hours later at about 1 am we woke up and moved it to our bedroom at which point my pain really started acting up.  As Jon dozed off, I laid beside him, moaning each time the wave of pain came over me (you see where this is going).  Sleep did not come.  About thirty minutes later, my husband, who thankfully is a lot wiser than I am, suggested we go to the hospital.  Not wanting to make a big deal out of nothing, and at 32 weeks assuming it was nothing, I protested, but finally agreed to at least call back labor and delivery and see what they thought about the fact that I was still in so much pain.

After a quick recap of the preceding hours, Kenzie casually suggested that we head up to the hospital, just to make sure everything was okay.  I remember thinking that it was so dumb to go, but I couldn’t shake the fear that my pain was somehow affecting my babies, and that was enough to get me in the car and on our way within a few minutes.  I had just taken a shower that evening and my hair was all a mess, I had no makeup on, and I just pulled on some yoga pants, a tshirt and some flip flops.  I didn’t even take my purse or my phone because obviously I was going to be back within an hour or so.

My plan was to walk in, get a quick ultrasound done to make sure the babies were okay and then be on my merry way.  Approaching the check in desk, I ducked my head as the nurse questioned who we were and what we needed.  I just felt embarrassed for some reason.  I was one of those girls. One of those who goes to the hospital five times before ever actually being in labor.  And I wasn’t proud of it.  Let’s just get this over with, I thought.  Besides, after riding in the car for 15 minutes and walking through the hospital, my pain had surprisingly subsided to the point of being just a dull ache, which of course only made me feel that much more silly for being there.

After filling out some paperwork, we were ushered into a room where Kenzie tossed me a gown and a cup to get a urine sample.  Hold up, I thought.  I do not need these things.  Just check my babies and let me go home.  I was baffled as to why I needed to put on an actual hospital gown.  Little did I know, I wouldn’t wear anything but that for another 11 days.

to be continued…

happy 29

14 Aug

Friday was my 29th birthday.  In past years getting 3 hours of sleep and then spending much of the day doing laundry and housework would have been a horrible way to spend my birthday.  But this year there isn’t anything I’d have rather been doing.

After making myself an awesome breakfast of eggs, cinnamon toast and a soy latte, Lincoln, Vivian and I spent the morning playing, napping and doing the above.

Then we hopped in the car to meet Jon for lunch.  Linc and Viv still can’t frequent public places, so I picked Jon up and we drove to one of our favorite little mexican food places, Big Truck Tacos and then continued on to Sonic where we sat and ate while the babies chilled in their carseats.  You absolutely cannot beat the fried avocado soft taco and chips and salsa from BTT.

After lunch I ran back home just in time to feed L and V, and then my mom came over to hang out and keep us company!  Awhile later when Jon came home he brought with him cakes from a delicious little bakery near our house and plans for a fun outing with the babies.

First we stopped by Babies R Us to pick up something we needed for Linc, then we cruised over to one of our favorite pizza places, Joey’s.  This time instead of Sonic, we headed down the street to McDonald’s where we got two large drinks in styrofoam cups and then cruised around enjoying my birthday dinner.  It was quite funny when Jon pulled up to the window at McDonald’s to order our drinks.  The employee asked how our night was going, and Jon said “it’s great.  It’s her birthday!”  The girl literally just sort of shrugged and nodded, then turned to get our drinks.  I told Jon she was probably thinking “poor girl.  You’re taking her through McDonald’s with a pizza box in her lap for her birthday dinner?”  While I do wish we could take the twins out and about, there’s something about all these car outings that is so special.  I’ll always remember them as such a sweet time in our life.

Later that night, Jon topped off my birthday by feeding the twins bottles and letting me sleep (aside from pumping of course) through a feeding.

Obviously Linc isn’t really holding his own bottle…it’s just propped for a cute pic

Two years ago on my birthday I posted 27 things to do during my 27th year of life.  At the time, I was already in the trenches of infertility, and the top thing on that list was to have a baby.  I didn’t add it because I hadn’t yet told my infertility story, but it was heavy on my heart.

I didn’t get to have a baby during my 27th year, but I did face infertility head on and grew and learned so much about myself.  And now, finally, just before my 29th year began, God gave me not one, but two precious babies.  And I still can hardly believe it.

While it doesn’t sound like my birthday was very glamorous, it was the absolute greatest way to celebrate being alive.  I do believe my 29th will be my best year yet.

the story of lincoln and vivian's arrival. part 1.

14 Aug

I’m not sure where to even begin in writing the story of Lincoln and Vivian’s birth.  It will most likely not be eloquent or orderly, rather it’ll be a compilation of everything I can remember from the most intense few weeks of my life.

Most everyone knows how long Jon and I waited for a baby and everything we went through to get pregnant.  It was such a long journey, and when we finally got pregnant, I thought the crazy part was over.  I expected to have an uneventful pregnancy and the birth I had always imagined, coming out with a perfect little baby in the end.  When we found out we were having twins, those expectations didn’t really change.  Despite the predictions of so many about preterm labor, I truly believed I’d carry the twins until they were full term.  At one point, maybe around week 25 or so, my doctor mentioned that he would want to induce me at 37 weeks if I hadn’t gone into labor by then.  Fully believing that these babies would stay inside me even longer than that I immediately began worrying about the idea of induction and researching the validity of such an idea, so that I could intelligently convince him otherwise.

As I expected, I did have a rather uneventful pregnancy.  Aside from a short scare about possibly having gestational diabetes (which I didn’t), every check-up went smoothly and every ultrasound was like a dream.  Until I was 30 weeks along.

It was May 23rd,  the last day of school for my students, and I was giving final exams and hugs all day.  School was buzzing with the excitement of summer, and knowing I wasn’t coming back I was saying extra goodbyes, accompanied by a few tears, and finishing packing up my classroom.  It was a crazy, busy, exciting and emotional day.

A couple of weeks before, my doctor had told me to schedule an ultrasound for the 23rd.  He wanted it done that week and the only day ultrasounds are done in his office is Wednesday, so there was no alternative.  Knowing it was my last day of school, I was stressed out because I didn’t want to miss saying bye to my kids.  After finding out it would be possible to move it to the next week, I debated forever about whether to do that or not.  Eventually (and with the input from Jon and my mom) I decided that seeing my babies was more important than being there for the end of my 2nd hour testing period, and I could just say goodbye to those students that morning before leaving.

So, that morning, I left school in a rush and headed to the hospital, suddenly so happy that I had kept my appointment and wondering how I could have even considered postponing it.  Jon met me there and we got to see our babies and ooh and aah over how perfect they were.  It was an epically smooth appointment just like all the others.  As part of the ultrasound, the tech was supposed to measure my cervix at the end.  After doing so, she told us that Dr. K wanted to check the measurements before we left, which had never been the procedure before.  So we waited.

About 10 minutes later, Dr. K’s nurse, Trish, walked in.  The moment I saw her face I knew something was not right.  She told us that the measurements showed that my cervix had shortened considerably and that I was to go home immediately, get into bed and not get out until the next morning at which point they wanted me to come back so Dr. K could check me himself.  I just sat there, dazed, for a few seconds.  At first I was just trying to process what she had just said.  Next, the fear hit.  How bad off was I?  Were the twins in danger of coming soon?  And last, all the crucial things I still needed to do to wrap things up at school flitted through my brain – finish giving final exams, grade final exams, pack up my files and such from my classroom, input and finalize grades etc.

After a few seconds of just staring at her, I explained that it was my last day of my job and that I really needed to go back.  With some persuasion on my part, she agreed that I could go back as long as I promised to stay glued to a chair and not get up and go home as soon as possible.  So that’s what I did.  Thus began my 2 weeks and 4 days of at-home bedrest.

To be continued…

happy 6, husband

17 Jul

This past Sunday we celebrated 6 years together as husband and wife.  We have lived so much life together since July of 2006, and I have to say this year has been the best so far.  How could it not be?

My mom convinced us to let her and my step-dad come sit with Linc and Viv while we went out for a date on the town.  At first I was like “no way!”  The thought of leaving them had me all kinds of worked up.  But then I started thinking rationally.  The husband and I have always said that when we had kids we would still make each other our first priority…and if I can’t do that on our 6 year anniversary night, when would I?

So out on the town we went.  The husband planned his usual fun and creative date.  I never know what he’s going to do.  We picked up pizza from our favorite little joint in OKC and then headed downtown where they were having a concert outside at the Myriad Gardens.  He brought a blanket and a mini cooler of coke zero, and we cuddled up and enjoyed the music and great conversation.  Then he took me for a chocolate milkshake on our way back to see our little babies.

It was the perfect way to get out and spend some time together, celebrating the best decision we’ve ever made.

I love that man more than words can ever say.

never been more in love…

24 Jun

more details to come…

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…