Tuesday, April 20, 2010
When we arrived at our destination it was cold and snowing. Our first initial observation of the town (which neither of us had been to) was interesting to say the least. The housing search proved to be depressing and I felt that we were not off to a great start. The second day we met with a second Realtor that was amazing! We told him what we were looking for and a little about ourselves. He pegged our info in the computer and immediately came up with 3 homes that he new we would just love. His father (we'll call Sr.) took us to lunch, prayed with us, introduced us to several people he knew and we were off. We settled on the second house we looked at to rent for a year. Along the way Sr showed us churches, schools, and all the important stuff we would need to know. I like to refer to him as the Mayor. He knew everything about everyone. We signed a lease, packed up the family and headed back home to frantically pack our house.
A frantic week and a half later, the biggest U-Haul you could rent, one trailer pulled behind the truck, my van, my mother-in-law's van headed out leaving behind our Sweet Home Alabama. I have to tell you that this place is my home. It is so true that this place is in your heart and there's no place like Dixie! :) Guess I'm a southern girl at heart.
So we pull up to our new house and there's snow on the ground and dark. The guys are frantically moving all the boxes and stuff in the house, setting beds up and busting there butts. Thank goodness Phillip had the week off before he started his new job. We needed every waking hour to unpack and try and settle in the best we could.
The following Monday Phillip started his new job and I started in to my world of being a stay at home Mom to a miracle group of three. I always prided myself on how I could do it all. Be the ultimate non-stressed Mom. Hummm.....I have been proven wrong. Parenting and mothering a four year old and two four month old twins is hard. Down right hard. Everything to trying to get somewhere at a specific time, putting them in car seats, making sure the diaper bag has everything we'll need while out, actually carrying the heavy suckers downstairs to the van. Whoa doggy! I had no idea what I was in for. Since Phillip had been home with me for five months and we had split duties or he was always there to help me load a car, grab a baby, love on Emma. Without my second half during the day I became overwhelmed. It was dark and gloomy outside, freezing with beautiful snow on the ground. Everything I had every wanted! lol Yes, be careful what you ask for. I always wanted my kids to grow up somewhere that had snow. I set out to not feel sorry for myself and was determined to make friends and no be alone during the day. I got Emma in to gymnastics right away. Two days after we had moved she was already starting. My Mom and I took her to her first class here and it was different to say the least. Soon I realized that we were not in Alabama anymore. Nothing would EVER be the same.
I put on my big girl panties and tried to look at Tennessee in a positive light. Even though this town will be every bit as different as Alabama, it doesn't mean that everything here is bad. So I focused on the positives. Realized that if I stressed my dislikes to much that Emma would pick up on them and carry them along. I'm still practicing that mantra every day I get up and go but it has allowed me to embrace this place a lot easier.
I love Alabama and would move back in a heart beat. But I am determined to make this place my home. A happy home. I would love it if this is the place we raise our kids, Phillip retires from the same company after many many many many good years at! ;) We've had our share of hard times this year and I know I'm looking forward to waving them goodbye!
Monday, April 19, 2010
The end of September, three days after my 30th birthday, Phillip was laid off from his job along with two other managers. I was 30 weeks pregnant and we had no idea what we were going to do. They let him go with only two weeks of severance and about a week left of medical insurance. Thank the Lord that Cobra picked us up. After the huge shock and lots of crying we started calling all of our monthly bill companies and started canceling services. I can not tell you how freeing this all was. At the end of our phone calls Phillip and I looked at each other and we had big grins on our faces. "So this was what David Platt (our preacher) was talking about when he challenged us to live Radical for Christ." Well, I'm sure he meant it in more meaningful ways than cutting the lawn service and pest control but it was a start. This stuff we tied ourselves down to was so unnecessary.
Two weeks later we decided to put our house on the market because how in the world would we be able to pay for it if we didn't have a job? My parents offered their house to us in Jacksonville so we decided to make some drastic decisions and go for it. That Friday I ended up going in to labor with the twins at 32 weeks and had them early the next morning in my 33rd week of pregnancy. Needless to say that was a such a shocking surprise to deliver the babies that early. They immediately went into the NICU and spent the next 3 and 4 weeks in there. Nothing like loosing a job, putting a house on the market, delivering babies early and having them in the NICU for 4 weeks to send someone over the edge. Two weeks after having the house up for sale we had a contract on it. They wanted to low ball us so the deal ended up falling through. Thank goodness.
Meanwhile, Phillip was frantically trying to look for a job in his spare time...(sarcastic) between juggling Emma and our two a day visits to the NICU that took us 45 minutes just to get there one way took up a tremendous amount of time. The Lord spared me majorly in the healing department after their births. Phillip ended up working with a recruiter in his industry that put him through the ringer when it came to hiring him for a particular job up on the DelMarVa peninsula. According to the recruiter Phillip fit the bill to a tee and aced all his testing. He was flown up to the area for a meeting with the Regional Manager, shown around, introduced him to the employees, even looked at a couple of houses. The world was his oyster or so we thought. It came down to the last minute where they were going to fly us both up, wine and dine us, do our housing trip and seal the deal. They choked and backed out leaving us devastated. Needless to say that very same week we got an offer on our house and figured we would have to be moving 14 hours north to the middle of nowhere during Christmas. All in the name of a job. I swore I would not complain and that as long as my babies were home and healthy and we were ALL together that I would move anywhere anytime. So we had our house sold but no job. Hmmm.... what in the world did God have in store for us now?
Meanwhile, Lily Cate had a possible deadly intestinal virus and they had stopped her feedings. I was completely torn up going in and watching my teeny tiny baby laying there helpless and I literally could not do one little thing to help her. I had to trust that God had placed these Doctors in her care and that He would give them the wisdom and knowledge to treat her. Thankfully all her tests started coming back clear a week later and they reintroduced feedings to her. Before we got to bring either one of them home we had to do a 'stay in' where we would sleep up at the hospital and stay there during the day to prove we could take care of our preemie babies. Thank goodness we had my Mom here to take care of Emma while we ran the roads and do our stay in. She gave Emma a since of normalcy and lots of Nana attention while we were sorting our lives out. It was definitely a different experience having both babies in the room with all of their monitors beeping, wires everywhere, nurses walking in and out whenever and trying to do it all. Boy was it overwhelming to say the least. I thought they were crazy when they told us we would have to sleep over. Hello...we already have had one kid that's pretty normal and we managed just fine with her. Ughhh, this is a whole new ballgame. We got to bring Wills home at 3 weeks after he was born and then Lily Cate a week later. Bringing home one baby at a time seemed like a piece of cake! Until we got both of them home. Holy smokes! We had to learn to juggle two babies at the same time. Feedings, schedules, diaper changes, the whole nine yards. This was going to be a lot tougher than I thought.
Another blessing appeared through all this mess. Phillip being home with us was such a HUGE blessing! I don't think I could have done it without him. Being able to split everything up and take turns during the night was so incredibly helpful. We ended up keeping with the schedules that the NICU had the kids on and that was another blessing. They were like clockwork. Soon things began to be normal again and life was settling down.
During this craziness I cannot begin to tell you the amount of blessings friends, family, friends of friends, people we do not even know would bring us meals, send gift cards, money, phone calls, cards. It was absolutely amazing. When we thought we were seeing the bottom of the money pit along came a check. God provided unbelievably for us. He knew our needs and the timing of what needed to be paid when and the money would be there. We were able to keep a roof over our head, the lights and heat on, food in our mouths and the babies never went without formula.
This has no doubt been a life-changing time in our life. We have certainly changed the way we live and strive to be better stewards of our time and money. We don't live as frivolously as we used to, I grocery shop differently, we don't eat out near as often and we save money! We want to serve others as they have served us. We want to be able to stroke a check to someone else in need as others have done for us. This has been a humbling experience, one that I do not care to go through again but it's always when you are at your lowest point that you are closest to the Lord. So if that is what it takes to draw us near then I welcome the valleys as well as the peaks.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
When we went back to the hospital for the 8-10:30pm visitation we found her with the repogal tube inserted and it was suctioning clear liquids from her belly. This is when I lost it. I sat at her beside and LC and I cried together. Her because she was hungry and she had yet another tube in her and me because you never want to see your children sick. Especially with something that could be life-threatening in a 4 lb 10oz baby. Phillip remained strong and held it together for all of us.
She was given another x-ray this morning. Luckily Dr. B was still on duty and a Pediatric GI Dr. took a look at her x-rays and was un-impressed with what he saw. This was wonderful news! They all think it's stool and not infection and he said her x-ray was viewed as 'normal.' They will still continue the antibiotics and the no feedings for a total of 7 days starting today and then switch her to a pre-digestive formula. Tomorrow she will have another x-ray and if it shows similar to today's x-ray then they will take the repogal tube out. This is a big praise in itself. LC loves her paci but had a hard time keeping it in her mouth with the larger tube in place. Once this tube was out then she could get a good suction and maybe help her with the hunger. Both times we were up at the hospital today she was resting very peacefully. We pray that she will continue resting peacefully for the next seven days and heal 100%. We can't wait to get our hands on our babies and bring them home. God has a wonderful plan for these babies and we can't wait to see what it is!
Thank you all who have prayed my children into this world and who have continued to pray! Words can't tell you how much we appreciate everything. God is good!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Sunday, October 18, 2009
We checked in at 8:45 and they took the swab test. They said it looked like there could be some fluid but they weren't sure. The Dr. took the sample to look at it under the microscope. They thought that my water had either broken or had been leaking. The concensus was that I would stay in the hospital until... If I wasn't leaking then I would be sent home and put on strict bedrest until the babies came. I prayed and prayed to be able to go home. I did not want to stay in the hospital until... Dr. P ordered an ultrasound be done to check the fluid in each sack. This took over an hour to complete the entire ultrasound. The fluid looked good but she wanted to keep me overnight and recheck in the morning. We were wheeled into room 315 and settled in for the night. Nurse Allison came in and hooked my IV's up for antibiotics just in case I in deed had been leaking fluid. She then said that she was going to check and see if I had dialated. You should have seen Nurse A's face when she checked me. She looked up and said, "Oh my! Your 8cm dialted and fully effaced! Let me go get another nurse to recheck you." I was in fact 8cm dialated and fully effaced. She said, "We are having babies tonight!" Poor little Emma was asleep on the couch and Phillip and I looked at each other in disbelief. We called Mrs. Carol at 12:30am and asked her if she would come and get Emma and run by our house and pick up our camera. (We had no idea that we would be having babies that night. We literally left the house with the clothes on our backs and nothing else.) Nurse A ordered my epidural and I looked at Phillip and said, "I guess we need to settle up on the babies names!" We have been talking and mulling the names over and over again. I looked at Phillip and said "I would love to name our baby boy "Wills Phillip" after you. I want our boy to have your qualities and be just like you." And it was done. Lily Cate's name had pretty much already been decided.
Carol came just in time to get Emma and take her back to the house. They stayed up until 4am watching tunes and hanging out! What a great time Emma had with her! Thanks Carol for making the midnight run!!! Shortly after Emma left we took a picture of the clock on the wall at 1:40am. (We did this with Emma.) Ten minutes later I was wheeled into the C-Section room. There was lots of buzz going on around us getting ready for the arrival of two 33 week old babies. Both babies were head down so we were going to try and deliver them vaginally. Sometimes when baby A is delivered then baby B likes to turn around and then requires a C-Section to deliver it. I pushed three times and Lily Cate was born at 2:06am weighing in at 4lbs. 12 oz. Baby B moved right into position, we waited for his cord to drop, then I pushed four times and Wills Phillip was born at 2:14am.
Both babies were healthy and did not require any oxygen. They will spend the next 4 weeks in the NICU until they reach their 37 week full term due date or until they reach all their milestones that are required.
We are so blessed to have such two wonderful and healthy blessings added to our family. We definitely are looking forward to bringing two of God's miracles home to add to our very first miracle from God, Emma. Big sister can hardly wait to meet her new brother and sister. Unfortunately, the NICU will not allow any visitors other than the parents back due to the swine flu outbreaks and other illnesses.
Thank you to everyone who has loved, prayed, supported and donated to these babies and our family. We are so thankful to you and cannot have gotten through the last 8 months without you and most importantly God. We look forward to you meeting the babies soon!
Monday, October 5, 2009
We then met with Dr. D. He had nothing but good things to say. My fingertips have been going numb right underneath the nail. He said it's from my wrist getting smaller (wrists do not swell) cutting off the blood circulation causing numbness in the fingers. This is just another pregnancy symptom that is nothing to worry about. Phillip asked Docs opinion on how much longer I could carry these babies. Without blinking Dr. D said that he had no doubts that I would be carrying them to term. 5 more weeks. Wowzers! I can't imagine how big they'll be in 5 more weeks. At least a pound more a piece!
Next we were off to labor & delivery to have my NST (non-stress test) done. We were ushered into a regular delivery/recovery room just like I had Emma in. I laid on the bed and they strapped all of the monitors on me and I got lay there and have peace and quiet for a few minutes. The twins performed on que and tested out in 6 minutes. :) I'm a proud Mama!
Until next week (or sooner)!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Phillip has really taken on everything. He makes sure that I rest. If I need something and try to get up and get it myself he's the first to jump up and tell me to lay back down and that he'll get it. Emma is a Daddy's girl so whenever I try and do things for her since he's been home she tells me, "No. My Daddy will do it." This leaves me with not much to do. I've been pretty down the last week and it came to a head yesterday. Phillip went for a run. We took Emma to the park and I watched them play while I sat on the park bench. I cried to my Dad on the phone and I cried to my friend Kathy. I cried and cried and cried. Talk about needing to relieve some of my own stress. I have no way to do it. I can't even walk to the end of my street without my pants falling down around my ankles or getting stretchy pains at the bottom of my belly. (They aren't bad I just know that I need to sit and rest.)
This morning Phillip headed out to drop off some resumes and it left me by myself. Would I sulk alone or use my time wisely? I decided to head to the kitchen table and opened my devotional and my Bible. It's the study of Jesus and it took me to Luke 2: 48-50. Mary was looking for Jesus and couldn't find him. When she finally found him in the temple she asked, "Why would you do this to us?" Jesus replied, "Didn't you know to find me in my Father's house?" I thought to myself, I really seek out Jesus during my times of trouble. I'm not consistent in my quiet time. Maybe we are going through this so that we will grow closer to Him.
Friday at Bible study Mrs. Kay is teaching us on 2 Timothy and we were reading chapter 2: 8-10.
10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
Hmmm... So are we going through these trials so that others can see how we handle them and lean on the Lord so that maybe they will trust in God and choose to find their hope in Him? Pretty cool. I can think of a few people we've been praying for that we would love for them to find their hope in God.
My last 'Ah-Ha' moment I had today. I was driving to pick Emma up and thought to myself, "As a Christian and a Christ-follower we are not called to live a comfortable life. We are called to make disciples of all nations which in turn sometimes causes us to be persecuted. Christ didn't live a posh life nor did he have material things to make him happy. What was I thinking? Just because I'm a Christ-follower means that I shouldn't have trials in my life? That I should be entitled to "the perfect life" the "American dream?" WoW! Talk about putting things into perspective.
I'm very thankful for what I've learned today and pray that we have more positive days like this.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Next week we start my NST's every week. These are Non-Stress Tests. It makes sure that the babies are not under any stress as they continue to grow. We also get an ultrasound sound! I bet we'll hardly be able to tell what is what since they will have grown so much in a month!
I really think I had the swine flu last Monday. Emma ended up testing positive on Friday afternoon. Poor thing looked pitiful. Once we got the Tamiflu in her she started feeling better really fast. She's back to herself now and making messes with the quickness. She's absolutely loving her Daddy being home and virtually has nothing to do with me. lol I think that Phillip should go back to nursing school because he's been taking such good care of us. He's been giving Emma all her medicines and keeping up with the times and dosages. He's done all of the housework and taking care of me letting me rest as much as possible. All in the meantime he's been feverishly looking for a job.
We know God has perfect timing and trust in Him. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Friday, September 25, 2009
It's very fitting for what is going on in our life right now. Most of you know that are reading this know that we have gone through years of infertility with both Emma and the current set of twins that I am carrying. Phillip and I both agree that we were blessed to have Emma and now will be doubly blessed with the addition of twins in our life. I've always dreamed of having a big family one day and the Lord has blessed us. Therefore we have agreed that we would not do infertility treatments again and if we were blessed with more children after that then wonderful! If not then we are completely happy with our family the way God has provided for us.
Being that I am 31 weeks pregnant and have 6 weeks to go we felt that we were home free. Not so fast. Phillip came home Wednesday having been a victim to the latest rounds of lay offs. We found ourselves in the same situation over a year and a half ago and God saw us through. We know that He has something GREAT in store for us. Our faith has been tested so much in the past two years but we remain steadfast and know that the Lord will sustain us and is our provider. We both are excited to see what He has in store. Don't get me wrong...some days are better than others but we are so lucky to have each other to lean on and it could all be much worse.
Speaking of getting worse...we picked Emma up from school today and she definitely didn't look like herself. She had puffy eyes, bright red cheeks and lips, glassy eyes, sleepy and lethargic. The aide said that she didn't have a fever but that Emma had chills in the classroom. By the time we got home Emma had a fever of 102.2, gave her Tylenol and put her in the bed. An hour later her fever spiked to 103.7! I was panicky and scared because Emma is hardly ever sick! Phillip put his swim trunks on and hopped in the tub and sponged Emma down. I was gracious enough to not get my camera out but it was the sweetest picture of love. This actually got her fever down a bit and we headed out the door for the doctors. Outcome...Swine flu. So we are quarentined until she feels better and we are armed with Tamiflu to help sweet girl get through this.
I'm looking above my head right now for the dark cloud! I'm just kidding. We do ask that you keep our family in your prayers and that God's will and plan be revealed. If you know of anyone looking to hire in sales or operations keep Phillip in mind.
Stay tuned to watch the Lord in action!
Monday, September 21, 2009
It started storming outside about 10pm last night and proceeded to last ALL...NIGHT...LONG! I'm the first to love sleeping through a good rainstorm but this was crazy. Woke up and it was still storming out. It made both me and Emma want to stay and bed and not move. I got to my appointment feeling pretty rough. Nurse R took one look at me and asked, "You don't look so good. How are them babies?" Thank goodness it wasn't them making me feel like poo. Listed my symptoms to her, stuffy head, ear ache, can't take deep breaths without having painful coughing, nausea and lower back was hurting, needless to say I was tired. I plopped in the chair while she took my blood pressure, temperature and weight. Didn't ask what any of it was except that I could see the temp window and thankfully did not have a fever. She shuffled me into a room where I laid on the table like a little baby in the fetal position. Dr. D came in and I rehashed everything with him. He listened to the babies heartbeats and measured my belly neither of which I asked the measurements for. Am I a bad Mommy? I figured if it was concerning that he would have said so. He then decided that I needed a flu test and handed me an antibiotic in case the flu was negative.
I was in the lab and the tech got out this serious looking box complete with two swabs a timer and who knows what else. She said she needed to swab my throat and handed me two tissues. Great! I gag just brushing my teeth and this lady is going to go all the way back to the back. I'm going to throw up all over her! I wasn't quite sure what the second swab was for but figured it might be for my nose. No, I think she wanted to make sure I really had brains back there. Yes mam, she stuck that long swab all the way up my nostrils up into my sinus cavaty. All this to say that the test came back negative and I do not have the flu. Thank the Lord!
I have no new updates as of today. No ultrasounds, no measurements, just a cold to tell you about. I am super excited that I've made it to 30 weeks without permanent bed rest nor any hospital visits...yet. Looking forward to reaching my next goal of 32 weeks!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My weekly visits started today. These are tedious and annoying but have to be done. I go so he can physically look at me. Check to see if I'm swelling, check my blood pressure, weight gain, babies heartbeats and to see if I am having contractions. Week 30-32 I'll start going down to labor & delivery to have 'NST's' done. Non-Stress Test's. They will strap a baby monitor on me to watch the babies and see if they are experiencing any stress.
This week I gained one pound bringing the grand total to 16lbs! I am very pleased at how much weight I've gained being that both babies are at or around 3 lbs or more each.
Baby A's heartbeat was 151 and Baby B's heartbeat was at 159. My blood pressure was "excellent" and I'm having mild swelling but you have to see me everyday to even remotely notice any. It's mostly in my fingers and today I've had a little swelling in my feet only which made me have to loosen the strings in my tenny's. So far the only contractions I've had were Braxton Hicks and that was only one night!
The round ligament pain has greatly decreased, Thank the Lord! It's still there but not nearly as bad. My friend Margaret passed on some information regarding restless legs and so I've started taking Citrical + D and Magnesium (Doctor approved.) Doc also suggested having a Vodka tonic minus the vodka at night. The quainine in the tonic is supposed to relieve the restlessness according to an old wives tale.
Other than that it's business as usual. Emma's back in school and so I try to use those days to really rest so I can spend time with her when she's home. So far that hasn't happened! I'm always finding something to do or catch up on and then Bible study has started back so I definitely don't want to miss that. I can't believe it's less than 8 weeks until I reach 37 weeks which is full term for twins. I actually pre-registered last night and realized that I may need to start working on packing our bags for the hospital.
Today I registered Emma for a 'Big Sister' class at the hospital! Phillip and I will go with her on Saturday. They will teach her all about new babies and the do's and don'ts along with her very own labor and delivery suites. (Luckily our room is an all in one deal.) I labor, deliver and stay in the same room the whole time. I'm really excited for her to see everything so hopefully she'll be prepared for the big day and it won't be a big surprise or shock to her. She's so excited about the babies arrival and is definitely looking forward to being a big sister. Anyone she comes across or passes by she stops them to tell them that she's gonna be a big sister and that we have a new mini-van now! It's hilarious and very cute.