Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 9 in the NICU

We were on our way to the hospital yesterday when we received a call from Dr. B at the NICU. He said that Nurse A noticed some red jelly like substance in Lily Cate's stool and that she had spit up rather bad during her last feeding. They tested her stool at her bedside and it tested negative but then after he saw the red in the stool he sent it down to be cultured to see exactly what it was. They immediately sent for an x-ray and it came back with two spots in her intestines that were slightly bubbly but not to bad. If it was a serious infection it would have shown lots of bubbles in her intestines. They would do another x-ray at 6pm and see if the spots had moved. If they had then it would be stool that was in her intestines and not infection. If it didn't move then they would insert a repogal tube through her mouth into her stomach. This would suction any bile out and help clear her tummy and let her belly rest. Thank the Lord she did not show any signs of being sick. Her belly was still soft and was not hard which would have been a clear sign of a life-threatening infection called NEC (sp?). They went ahead and stopped ALL feedings, started another iv and put her on sugar water and a wide ray of antibiotics. They also downgraded her back to a warmer from her isolette.

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

The Birth of Lily Cate and Wills Phillip

Little did we know but I would be going into labor Friday October 9, 2009. I had just been to the Dr. on Monday when I was given a great report and told that I would probably go 37 to 38 weeks carrying the twins. Wednesday we started clearing out our dining room from being Emma's play room and I carried out her dollhouse. About an hour later I felt like I had either pulled a muscle or stretched my side. I muddled through it and kept the heating pad on and taking Tylenol. Thursday I had called the nurse and asked about seeing a chiropractor to try and crack my back. She advised against it and hold out until the following Monday to talk to the Dr. Friday I decided not to go to Bible study and stay home and really rest because I had become so uncomfortable. I felt like the kids were pushing down really hard and it was very uncomfortable and with my side hurting I just needed to stay on the couch. Later that night I had also noticed that when I would wipe I would get a lot of mucus. This started on Thursday so I decided to get on the internet (which I was told not to do) and researched leaking and mucus in third trimester. Most of the info said that you could be leaking urine more in your third trimester but that on occasion it could be amniotic fluid. The Dr's office could do a quick swab test to see if it was truely amniotic fluid or not. I had this gut feeling that I needed to call the nurse and check with them. At 8pm I called and the nurse said I needed to head to the hospital and they would do the swab test to rule it out. We loaded up the van and headed up to the hospital for a quick trip. All the way there I was thinking to myself, "Self, just turn around and go home. You can go back tomorrow morning. Emma needs to be at home in bed. Phillip's going to kill me if this turns out to be nothing and we could have been home in bed."

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!

This was taken ten minutes before I was wheeled back to the operating room.
Right before I was taken back.

Heading back to delivery.
Excited Daddy ready to meet the new babies!
Relaxing before the big moment!
Wills Phillip
Lily Cate

Wills Phillip
Proud Parents!
Holding both babies at the same time with Dr. Bruce (NICU Dr.) assisting me!
R: Lily Cate L: Wills Phillip

Kissing Lily Cate
Kissing Wills
Babies being wheeled down to the NICU in the same isolette.

Monday, October 5, 2009

32 Weeks

Today we went for my 32 week appointment. Another milestone checked off! I'm so thankful to have made it this far without any major complications. This was a big appointment where lots of things were checked. We started with an ultrasound. The babies are so big now that you can really see anything. They were mainly checking the fluid levels and doing a couple of measurements. With twins they make sure that one isn't out growing the other. Baby A weighed in at 4.6lbs with a heartbeat of 136. Baby B weighed in at 4.5lbs with a heartbeat in the 150's. Fluid level looked great. Blood pressure was good. Not sure how much weight gain there was. Forgot to ask. I try not to look at the scale because it weighs in much more than I care to weigh. (Not just because I have two babies in me but that I started out before I was pregnant already overweight and carrying around the baby weight that I gained with Emma. I'm grateful though that this time I seem to really be ALL babies with only a few extra pounds for cushioning that hopefully won't be hard to get off afterwards. We'll think about that when the time comes.

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

Life Lessons Learned

Two weeks ago I told my Bible study girls that it would be my last week there. It was getting hard for me to get there every week. I asked Val, our host home, if we could set up maybe a video conference so I could still tune in. Val was going to have her husband hook it up so that I could 'attend' from bed! After last Wednesday's news of Phillip having been laid off certain things began to happen. Him being around has allowed me to really rest during the day. He takes care of everything so my job has been to take care of these babies and hopefully have them healthy when they decide to make their arrival. When he was still working I pushed myself pretty hard everyday. I chose to do this and didn't have to. I like to be busy and I like to take care of my family. I was determined to not go on bed rest at 28 weeks.

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

31 Weeks

31 weeks has been a bit uneventful much to my gladness! ;) Things are still progressing well. I got a bit more information about last weeks Dr's appt since I was so out of it. I actually gained 3 pounds last week. I think it's because I ate most of my birthday cake by myself but then again it's all I really asked for. Thought that since I was pregnant this would probably be the only time I could get away with doing that. But this week I had lost 1 pound so we'll put the total at only 2 pounds in the past 2 weeks. Grand total to 18 pounds over 31 weeks. Blood pressure is good. Baby A's hearbeat was 127 and Baby B's was 137.

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

Blog Title Change

I was driving down the road headed to Bible study and had a sudden thought about changing the blog title. "God's Work In Progress" popped into mind because of what we are going through these days. I realized...I'm never going to be perfect, my life is never going to be perfect so why do we all strive for perfection? I am a child of God. A work in progress by His hands. Every situation, every problem, every minute of my day is about being more Christ-like. Most days I'm not very good at it but I am trying.

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

30 Weeks

I can't believe I'm actually sitting here blogging about my 30 week appointment the day of my 30 week appointment. This is because Phillip has ordered me on bed rest. Not Dr. D but Dr. P! We, like the rest of the south, are battling severe allergies lately. For me it's worse because I'm kicking the extra pregnancy hormones which makes my sinuses inflame 24/7 and then add allergy symptoms to that and I'm just miserable. I try to maintain it with Sudafed and when that stops working I move up to Mucinex DM and nasal spray. It finally caved this morning and I woke up feeling like I had a brick on my chest. All of a sudden it went from stuffy nose to painful breathing. Luckily I had my regular Dr's appt.

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

29 Weeks

Monday's are my Dr's appt days. FYI... ;) I'm a little delayed in writing my updates.

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.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I was told back in May that I could have acute sinusitus that would last throughout my pregnancy. :( It went away for a while and then came back. I thought it may have come back after I cleaned the chandeliers and knocked the dust off of them. Anyways, I started taking sudafed which only made my restless legs 'kick' (lol) into high gear. Doc, recommended I take Mucinex and add Claritin to it. Today was my first day adding the Claritin and so far my nose is completely stuffed up and I feel like I have a ball of snot lodged right behind my nose that I feel everytime I swallow. Feels like I'm suffocating slowly. Hormones are causing this and also me to be super grouchy and adding tired on top is not making for a nice Ashley.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

28 Week Milestone

Monday I had my 28 week appointment with ultrasound. This was the big milestone where my Dr. told me to be prepared at any point after this to go on bedrest. Phillip and I were both nervous going in thinking he may say I need to go on bedrest even though I've been feeling pretty good. Even more exciting is that I have officially made it past the 27-week milestone. This is important because if I should go in to labor and actually deliver the babies would be viable enough to survive but having major hurdles to overcome. Each day and each week is important to make but we are excited to be moving forward and getting closer to the day we meet these sweet babies.

I've been battling anemia the last month or two and thank goodness my levels were back to normal range. I'm still pretty tired but that's totally due to not sleeping at night. I think it's God's way of preparing me for getting up during the middle of the night multiple times! Seriously, I get up at least 10 times during the night and do not end up falling into a deep sleep until 3 to 4am in the morning. Restless legs are seriously 'kicking' my butt. As soon as I start to fall asleep my legs start twitching. My newest symptom I've been diagnosed with "Round Ligament Pain." It usually wakes me up two hours after I go to sleep and it's a terrible pain in my groin on the right side, goes to my back and then down my leg to my knee. Dr. D said just to take Tylenol. Well, tried it and it doesn't work. What I have found is that if I take a bath before I go to bed seriously helps! I actually slept pretty decent last night and one night last week I took a bath and it eased up.

Back to the Dr's appt. My blood pressure was great and I only gained 1 pound! Grand total for 28 weeks is 16 pounds. I'm pretty excited about this. I still have 9 more weeks to go so things could change. Speaking of 9 more weeks... I am measuring what a 37 week pregnant women would be!

During the ultrasound she checked the fluids for both babies which was good! Baby A weighed in a 3lbs and Baby B weighed in at 2lbs and 15oz. They are only seperated by 1oz! I don't have the exact measurements but she did say that Baby B was longer than Baby A.

The best news of the visit...they are both head down!!! Everytime we've gone in she's been head down or sideways and he's been breech or head up! I am also being realistic knowing that this could change at any point. I would love to try and deliver normal but know that a C-section is most likely what we'll have. I'm ok with either one because they both have their positives and negatives to go along with it. As long as we all come out fine in the end we'll be happy either way.

I now start weekly visits so you'll be getting more posts from me. :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

26 Week Appt

Last Monday we went to my 26 week Dr's appt and ultrasound. This time we were joined by my Mom who got to be in the ultrasound room with us. The tech that did the ultrasound spent so much time with us this time and even gave us a sneek preview of what the kids are going to look like using the 4D! I need to get creative and figure out a way to scan the pictures so everyone to see. I think the twins look completely different from each other, hince the fraternal piece in the equation. :)

So far everything still looks good! Baby Girl A weighs in at 2.4lbs and measured 27 weeks and 2 days with a heartbeat of 149 bpm. Baby Boy B weighed in at 2.3lbs, measured 26 weeks and 6 days with a heartbeat of 159 bpm. I have almost 5 pounds of baby in me right now! Wow! My next appointment is scheduled for September 8th and I'll be 28 weeks. After this appt I'll start going weekly so they can monitor the three of us.

Phillip's been busy working on the nursery. We have two cribs up, the changing table, bedding up, a few pictures hung, closet organized, Mom washed a ton of girls clothes leftover from Emma and Claire. I finally decided on and made curtain valences for the nursery. After we figure out for sure what we are going to name these kids then I'll have their monograms sewn one on each valence.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll post some pictures soon of the ultrasounds.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fat Scooters

So the title of this post might not be the nicest but I think it explains what I'm about to discuss.

Today was the first day that I actually had several errands to run but definitely realized I couldn't run them like I used to. I had Emma's Dr's appointment first thing, then we went to lunch, Target, Old Navy for pregnancy panties (TMI but it's way past time for granny gigantic panties having twins) then to Wal-Mart. I won't even start to discuss the bra dilemma. I made it through Target only having to sit once. Old Navy was tougher having to stop several times. I decided that I would take measures into my own hands and decided to borrow the stores "Fat Scooter." I always see extremely over-weight people riding on them and the occasional older person. My right foot is starting to bother me. Probably due to wearing flip flops 24-7 and having put on quite a few pounds in the past several months. Guess it's time to wear the tennis shoes from now on until my feet swell to the point where I can't squeeze them into them anymore. My belly was feeling heavy today and so I made the executive decision. Usually Phillip has been going w/me to the store on the weekends but I just had to go by myself today. I was a woman on a mission. So Emma hopped on the cart and stood between my legs as we were off scooting around the store. I knew I was in for some weird and dirty looks. I felt so dirty riding on the scooter. Like I wasn't worthy of the ride. I definitely learned that you can't judge someone's situation just by looking at them. You never know someone's ailments.

We were on a roll... hahahahaha... literally halfway through the store and my list. We made it to the toilet paper aisle and what happens??? My scooters battery died! Oh for pete's sake. I had to find a cart which happened to be at the front of the store and unpack my scooter and repack the cart. Gotta give a shout out to the nicest lady with two kids and a cart packed w/groceries that stopped and help me load my stuff into the new cart. She found pity on me and said that she had to endure 4 months of bedrest with her second child and knows how hard it can be going to the store. Only other women can understand what we go through because not one man that I passed stopped to help. Matter of fact, this dude sat on his Subway stool eating his sandwich watching me and Emma unload and reload without a flinch. Luckily Emma thinks it's the coolest to push the cart even though she ends up running into everything and everyone but we manage to make it to the check out counter. Unpack everything, pay, and walk out. Semi successful shopping trip. Next time I think I'll wait for Phillip to do the Wal-Mart run. I'll stick to my Publix runs and mini errands while I can.

Sure did make for a funny afternoon though. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! ;)

Re-Visiting the Clinic

Back in July I ran into one of my old nurses at a restaurant from the infertility clinic. She was giving me a run down of what was going on with everyone since it had been around 4 months since I had been back. I had been going there over 2 years so I new everyone fairly well. It was so good to see her that she spiked my interest of going back to visit. My new nurse Priscilla (she was with the current Dr. I was seeing) has called me every once in a while just to check in and say hi and to see how everything was going. They were all worried about us after we had the shock of thinking we were having 4 then 5 babies and loosing three all in the matter of weeks. I found out that she was moving up north and I really wanted to go and see her before she moved.

Last Monday I had my regular Dr's appointment which is near the clinic so I decided that I would go and visit before my appointment. This was a VERY BIG DEAL for me to go back. It was such an emotional two years trying to get pregnant, having one miscarriage, deciding to do one last round of treatments and then stop, then getting pregnant with not only 1 kid but 5 was beyond overwhelming for me. I had no idea that a matter of 9 weeks could change a persons life FOREVER! They were by far the hardest three weeks of our lives. Life changing. Seeing a dream come true magnified five times literally scared the life out of me. I remember not knowing how I was going to make it to the next minute. Gripping fear overwhelmed me. During this time we had our faith affirmed like never before and God showed us his love in amazing ways that I'll never forget. Our friends and family stepped up and walked us through this difficult time and by the end we were ok and started accepting things one day at a time. Then we found out that we had lost 3 precious babies. How do you even start to comprehend that? Sadness and joy? Those were such odd emotions to feel at the same time after loosing three children. How do you feel right about that?

Everytime I would drive down the interstate headed anywhere near that area or just passing by on my way somewhere else I would start to feel anxious and nervous. Everytime we go to my regular OB appointment I would start to freak out. I was waiting for the ball to drop with some sort of bad news. We (and so many others) prayed hard for us to keep these two precious babies and the last thing I thought I could handle would be loosing one or both. My other fear was that at some point we would get news that one or both had some sort of defect or handicap. I knew that if that was the case that the Lord had given us these special children and it would be for His good and glory. It would be hard but He would not leave us unequiped to handle raising them. Since we had the last ultrasound at 20 weeks I have not had one since. The babies measured great and they didn't notice anything of concern. We've chosen along with the Dr's advice not to have an amnio done. Whether we have children with disablities or not it would definitely not sway us to abort our children. I trust that my children are in the hands of the Lord and that they are precious gifts given to us for a period of time. God is their ultimate protector and we trust in Him.

All this to say...I felt that I needed to go back to the clinic and experience some good things there and move past the past and put it behind me. So far my babies are healthy and things are going well. It was so nice to see everyone and seeing them excited to see Emma and I. They just loved seeing my big ole belly and being able to witness the Lord's goodness from a chaotic situation at first. It's always nice to see good results and see your patients come back after having walked such an emotional journey.

I think I've conquered my fear and put the past behind me somewhat. Knowing that we will see our three precious children in Heaven for eternity someday is something wonderful to be celebrated! Now we have less than 9 weeks to get through and deliver two safe and healthy babies. Exciting times are definitely ahead.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

24 Weeks

Monday I had my 24 week Dr's appointment with NO ultrasound. This was a total bummer since I've had an ultrasound every time we go. Call me spoiled but this is one of the pay offs of going through infertility for two years. It doesn't hurt that we had such a dramatic first couple of months during this pregnancy that they've followed me ultra close. Sometimes this girl doesn't mind being pampered. I'll be having an ultrasound at my next appointment so that made me feel better.

Today was my glucose test. I had to drink a half glass of extra sugary Hawaiian Fruit Punch like liquid and then hang out in the office for an hour. During this time I weighed in gaining more than my fair share of weight. They took my blood pressure which was excellent given how much weight I'd gained. Then went in to see Dr. D. He said that he wasn't concerned about the weight gain since I have hardly gained any weight throughout the pregnancy and also since my blood pressure was great. I'll start coming in to the office every two weeks now until after Labor Day and then I'll go weekly. We listened to the babies heart beats. Baby A's HB was 162 (she got the glucose drink first) and Baby B's heartbeat was 148. 'A' was holding out on 'B'. I guess this is a sign of things to come.

So far I feel really well. I have little aches and pains or minor complaints but they aren't anything really to list. I'm grateful for such a wonderful report. Dr. D warned us that we have four more weeks to get everything prepared because at any time I could be put on bed rest. So that started off the stress alarms in both Phillip and I. We are still confused on baby names but we are slowly narrowing them down. The nursery is slowly (and I mean slowly) coming together. The crib is up and Phillip moved the changing table in their. We put Emma's crib up and it takes up so much room that there isn't any room to put a second crib up. So the babies will sleep together for the time being. Once they start getting bigger than we'll need to get two smaller and seperate cribs for each of them. I've already found them and they are pretty reasonable. I've ordered the curtains and they've shipped today so hopefully they'll be up by next week. Emma and I went and bought letters to hang on the walls but since we are still in limbo they won't be going up anytime soon. We still need to paint them before they are hung since they are plain white. My sweet friend Kathy is going to come over and paint two special Bible verses around the top of the walls as a border. I'm super excited about this since these are two verses that I've held on tight not only over the last several years but also from the beginning of this pregnancy. I have the twins bedding already but since we only have one crib up I can't decide which one to use since they are very gender driven but coordinate. We need a lamp to put on the changing table and some decorations for the walls but we aren't stressing to bad about it. At least they have a bed to sleep in if they should arrive early. Other than that things will get done and come together.

Emma and I went the other day to register at Target for their baby registry. We also have one going at Babies R Us. It's so fun having her involved. She gets to excited and we've made her the official "scanner girl." We let her pick out things for the babies and she gets the final decision if we can't make up our minds. She's very much a part of this process. As we were leaving the Dr's office she said, "Mommy, is the Doctor taking the babies out today?" She can't wait for them to get here. She already has big plans to help them walk, swim and play. I guess I need to prepare her more for them sleeping a lot and not being very active the first several months. Hopefully she won't be to disappointed.

23 Weeks

Here's a picture of me (obviously) at 23 weeks. I haven't taken any belly shots since this one but will try and do so this weekend. Sorry to repeat pictures from the other blog.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

21 Weeks

20 Week Ultrasound

After much anticipation we had a great 20 week appt! Started off with drinking a Dr. Pepper and then a little later followed up with a Mtn. Dew! Maybe I overdid it on the caffiene but I needed to make sure these babies were moving so we could get some good measurements and pictures! Everything was good with my blood pressure and it looks like I'm starting to gain weight. Up until now I hadn't added any extra poundage but today I gained 4 pounds. As long as the babies are growing on target then he's not worried about the weight. We then headed to the ultrasoun room. The babies were active to say the least! The extra dose of caffiene definitely did the trick! Baby brother was kicking his sister in the head but later she ended up getting him back! Baby Boy is definitely going to be a handfull! They both measured perfectly and to the day of my pregnancy.
Emma wanted to go with us today to see the babies. She always wants to go and we include her in everything! She's so excited and it just blesses my heart to see her heart grow with so much love. Emma got to see her baby sister do "Criss-cross apple sauce" with her legs. She got such a kick out of it! She loved when they were holding hands. The love she has for the two of them is incredible and is amazing to see! Not one bit of jealousy has she had. This morning before we left for the appt she asked me, "Mommy, is the Dr going to squeeze the baby out of you today?" :) That one will have to definitely be written down. I'm keeping a running list of the cute things she has said. I just love her!

Baby A's profile
Baby A's Heartbeat- 148 BPM
Baby Girl from the front
Baby A & Baby B facing each other. They looked like they were having a conversation with each other. At one point it looked like they were holding hands. It was really sweet.
Baby B upside down

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What We've Been Up To!

I am 19 weeks 3 days and so far so good. My belly is getting bigger by the day and things are still so surreal. The thought of actually having two babies and bringing them home hasn't quite sunk in. Although it has started to sink in as we talk about selling Phillip's Honda Accord so we can purchase a sweet new minivan! It occurded to me that it'll be years before I ever, if ever, own a sedan again. Not that I'm complaining because I totally am not. My dream for years has been to fill up a minivan! Never thought that at the beginning of this journey almost 5 months ago that I would have maxed a minivan out with this pregnancy!

We've started getting the nursery ready. At first, Emma wanted to move into the 3rd bedroom and then after some thought she decided to keep her original room which pleased me and Phillip. I've already gotten the matching bedding for the babies and am really excited about it. There were only two colors that matched both patterns. One was green and the other white. We chose to go with a simple white to make things easier and not so loud. I'll have to post some pictures as we make some progress but as of now we still have our guest bed up but the walls have been primed and painted! Phillip put a lot of time and effort into the painting job and I do have to say it looks marvelous!!! As for curtains...I may try my hand at making them myself. I have an idea in my head as to what I want them to look like and I don't think it should be that hard. We'll see about that. I may have to enlist my Mother-in-laws help. She's the expert sew'er.

I've started feeling the babies move. Occassionally I can get Phillip to feel a hard lump of something but he can't feel them move yet. I get tired easily but can't complain. The headaches have diminished quite a bit which I am totally thankful for. They aren't completely gone but they are less frequent than they were. The only physical symptom I can feel regarding carrying twins is that I can't walk very far or up a lot of steps. I get winded very easily. It makes me feel totally out of shape but I try not to let it get to me because I know everything in me is going to the twins. I'm definitely not complaining just jotting down what I'm feeling these days.

Monday we go for my 20 week ultrasound and Dr's appt. This appt they will take all the important measurements to make sure they are growing properly and to make sure nothing is alarming. I have to say I'm a bit nerve wracked! Everytime a Dr's appt approaches I get nervous. It's totally from the experience we had at the beginning of this pregnancy. We've had such great Dr's appointments since we've been seeing my OB and I'm scared that we will have a bad visit one of these days. Especially after my friend lost her baby after delivering a full term baby girl. Even if we did get bad news we would never have changed anything about having these two. We know that God has given them life and that life will be used for His purpose and glory. I just keep praying that they will be born healthy and loved beyond measure!

Sad Day for a friend

My heart goes out to a highschool friend that went in to deliver her baby this morning. I'm not sure of the details but what I do know is that the baby died after delivery. It breaks my heart to think that she carried the baby to term and that there were no known problems. The hurt and heartache that she is going through I can imagine is unbearable. She will have to leave the hospital with empty arms and go home to an empty but decorated nursery. Please please please pray for her and that God will give her the strength she needs to make it through the days and to eventually start to heal.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pink AND Blue Team

We are having a BOY and a GIRL!!!
Tuesday morning we headed to Dr. D's office with my Mtn. Dew in hand. We were more nervous than excited. These days anything that requires going to the Dr's office puts me on edge. I guess since we've been through so much in the last several months and now we are on a roll of good Dr's appointments I'm just waiting for the ball to drop. I know that's a totally half empty way to approach things but I'm just scared. Thank the Lord I've reached 17 weeks today and everything has gone so well up.
I went in and did my regular routine. This includes pee'ing in a tiny cup. Can I go off on a tangent for a second? If not please skip to the next paragraph. I've been told that after you have a baby you can no longer pee in a straight stream. It goes EVERYWHERE! And then they expect you to fill up a teeny tiny cup without seeing anything that you are doing because you have this huge belly blocking your view. Maybe one day I'll master this. I told Phillip we need to patent a cup that makes it easier for women to pee in without making a mess. :) He looked at me like I was crazy. Men just don't understand do they? :) I'm definitely glad to bear this burden for him. I'm not complaining because actually I do enjoy being able to go in every two weeks BECAUSE I'm finally pregnant and I'm not there for other reasons. I love being able to check the OB box rather than the GYN box when I walk into the office. I try and enjoy every aspect of being pregnant even though I'm not feeling very well. This may be my last time carrying a child.
I digress. Please let me get back to why I'm writing this post in the first place. After I did my business in the cup and the nurse walked me back I had to step on the dreaded scale. Much to my surprise I had not gained any weight! I thought I would have being that I'm carrying a fairly large belly around these days. At least I think so. I sat down in the chair and she took my blood pressure. Nurse Rachel said, "Next time will be your BIG appointment! Be sure to bring a CD and your family!" WHAT? Next time!?! You mean 4 weeks from now? I don't think my family could handle waiting another 4 weeks to find out what we were having. I have a room at home that Phillip primed last weekend that still has the tape up just waiting for the sex to be revealed so it could be painted accordingly! You want me to wait another 4 weeks to see my babies on an ultrasound and make sure they are still there and healthy? I think she saw my panic set in and she looked at my chart again and said "oh yeah! I forgot you were special!" lol Thanks for reaffirming that one Nurse Rachel. I calmed down and then she led me back to the ultrasound waiting room where Phillip and Emma waited with me.
We started looking at Baby A which sits on MY left side. The past two ultrasounds she's been very quiet. I don't know if she likes having her picture taken. From our view the nurse said she thought Baby A was a girl. She measured 6oz and her heart beat was 154. By the time we were done looking at her for the moment she had her legs crossed and seems to be very prim and propper. Very lady like and modest. That's my girl!
Over to Baby B which sits on MY right side. Baby B is VERY active and likes to put on a show during ultrasounds. Likes having his picture taken and posing. I believe Baby B will be my active child. While we were looking around Phillip noticed first that Baby B was in fact a BOY!!! I think he may give me a run for my money! He weighed in at 5oz and his little heart beat was 152.
Both babies look healthy and they are measuring 16 weeks 4 days and the other is measuring 16 weeks 3 days! Both seem to be healthy. When we go back for my 20 week appointment we will have another ultrasound and they will do the measuring of the bones and make sure everything is growing like it should. It will be another nerve wracking appointment but we know God is in control.
We couldn't be more excited about having one girl and one boy to add to our family! Emma tells everyone she sees that she's going to be a big sister to twins. One boy and one girl she states. Very proud big sister and she even says she will teach the babies to walk, feed them, change their diapers and put them on her shoulders! Today she gave each baby multiple kisses on my belly. It was so sweet and everyday that little girl melts my heart with how excited and accepting she is with all of this! She loves to go to Babies R Us with me and scan items for the babies. Never does she fuss about not getting anything or not doing this for her. I'm very impressed with how she has handled it all so far.
We just feel and know that God has blessed us so much even when we are so undeserving of it all. I hope and pray that we will be faithful parents in teaching our children about Chirst's love. What an exciting journey we are on!

Monday, June 15, 2009

God Gave Us Two

Last July when I was pregnant my sweet friend Carol was so excited! She knew the struggles we had gone through to get pregnant and she went out and bought Emma the sweetest book that explained that she was going to be a big sister. She giggled when she said that at the end of the book the Mommy had twins, one boy and one girl, but she said she was sure Emma would get the gist of the book. Once I had the miscarriage I shelved the book and figured when it was time again (God willing) we would get the book back out and read it.

I was going through Emma's books this morning looking for an extrememly overdue library book in the deep dark abyss called her bookshelf. I came across the book and started reading it. The Mama bear is pregnant with twins and when I got to the last page in the book I started laughing.
Not only did Carol get this book for me almost a year ago, but who knew how appropriate this book would be. Guess what the Mama bear had? One boy baby and one girl baby! If this is not God I don't know what is. Tomorrow we go to hopefully find out what the sexes of the babies are. I know that this book is not some sort of prohecy of God telling me what we are having but I just thought it ironic that Emma has said from the beginning that we were having two even though at one point there were 5. She said that I was having a boy and a girl. And now there is this book! lol Who knows what tomorrow will bring but we are excited!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Past Three Weeks

You'd think I'd fallen off the face of the Earth but fear not, I have been right here. In the same spot. On the same couch. Feeling like complete poo.

It started when we left for Disney. I had really bad headaches the whole entire trip but didn't let that get me down when we were supposed to be in the Happiest Place on Earth! When we got home I was so tired of going non-stop that Emma and I just hung out at home and slept. That Saturday I came down with a cold. I felt like I had a brick sitting in my chest and I was hacking up things that were bright in color. Why is it that I always get sick on the weekends? I don't like being sick so of course I go running to the Doc-in-the -box but I did give it two full days until I went. He was scared to give me any medicine since I was pregnant and told me to call my OB and sent me on my way telling me that I was anemic. Thanks!

So the next day I called my OB and they called in some Amoxicillian but said they thought it was this virus going around that would last about 10 days. Are you serious? I feel like some serious poo and your saying nothings gonna help? Several days later I was still feeling really bad so I made an appointment with my OB to get my iron levels checked since they wouldn't put me on iron w/o drawing blood first. When I got there they thought I had come for a regular check up and hooked me up with another ultrasound! I told poor Phillip that he didn't have to come this time since it was just a sick appointment. So Emma and I got to see the little ones at 14 weeks! It's just so amazing to see how fast they grown week to week. I have to say that is one super duper perk of having infertility or multiple pregnancies because you get lots more ultrasounds that I will never complain about! My bloodwork showed that my iron level was 35 and they won't put you on iron until it's below 34 and that he was impressed w/my levels being that I was carrying twins. He left me with the sentiment that yes, I will be tired, really tired, carrying twins. Eat lots of red meat and green veggies. No supplements for me yet.

Two days later my right ear starts to hurt in the middle of the night. I thought it would go away but it hasn't. So Monday I call and make an appointment with my regular general doctor. Tuesday I went to see him still w/my stuffy head and hurting ear. I now can add ear infection to my list of ailements. I got some ear drops to fix that and went on my way.

So that takes me up until today. I still am blowing green snot by the tissues and am stuffed up with and ear ache. Tired doesn't explain it. I have zero energy to do anything. If I try and go outside I am very light sensitive and get a headache and light headed within minutes. I'm hoping this is related to the sinus issue. This Friday marks the 16 week milestone and we go back to my OB on Tuesday. Hopefully we will get to see the sex of the babies!

Until then...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baby A's Heartbeat

These were taken on Monday at 12 weeks 2 days. The babies measured exactly what I am!

Baby A's Hands and Feet

Baby B's Heartbeat

This is Baby B's heartbeat and crown to rump measurements. In the first picture you can also catch a glimpse of the two remaining sacs from the three babies we lost.

Baby B's Hands and Feet

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Our Purpose Here In Birmingham

Over the past month I have really come to realize the purpose of us living in Birmingham. When we first moved here over 5 1/2 years ago we both thought we had moved here for Phillip's job. We were eager to get back into the southern region of the United States where we would be closer to family and friends. We only expected to be here for two to three years and then be transferred somewhere else for work.

As we settled here I became convinced that we were sent to Birmingham not only for job purposes but also for the great Doctors that I had come to find. The few Dr's that I got to see seemed to fix all my issues and we even got pregnant and had Emma! It all seemed so easy and meant to be. Along the way we had our share of bumps in the road and thought for sure that God was done with us here in Birmingham and that we were going to close this chapter in our lives and move us on to the next chapter.

The first week we were in Birmingham as I was jobless and bored I decided to venture out and explore my new home. While exploring I came across this church that was rather large and looked very similar to the church I had grown up in back in Jacksonville. We decided to try it out the following Sunday and haven't left since. Each year we find ourselves becoming more and more involved. Joining a small group, getting involved in our MOMS group and developing deep friendships. Since we've joined the church we have had a pastor change and seen the church grow in amazing ways as well as the people. As we've gone along this journey we have found that we have grown firm in our faith and really understood what it means to be a Christ follower.

Phillip and I both agree that over this past month we've figured out our purpose here in Birmingham. We were not brought here for our jobs, our doctors, or to get us back closer to Florida. We were sent here on God's mission. A part of His master plan. All to get closer to Him. To grow our faith and stand firm in what we believe. To dive deep in to scripture and learn how to be servants of Christ.

We've gone through our fair share of trials and becomming pregnant with five babies at once really tested us. We stood at a crossroads and had to decide if we really believed what we believed or would we take the easy road out. Were we going to practice what we preach or be a hypocrite? Would we be able to stand at the pearly gates before God and have an account for the decisions we made in life? We prayed together and stood firm in our beliefs and had peace that only God could provide us. We are Christ followers to the core and we pray that we will be able to stand firm in His ways and desires for us everyday.

I can look back now and truely be thankful for each trial, each tear, each heartbreak because it has brought us to the place we are at today. It has brought Phillip and I closer together and we know that whatever life throws at us that it brings us together instead of seperates us. I pray that we can instill our children with these lessons we have learned but mostly instill the power of prayer and a relationship with Jesus.

Monday, May 18, 2009

12 Week Update

Today we went to my 12 week appointment. Got an ultrasound and was glad to see we still have the twins! They both measured right on target, 12 weeks 2 days. The heartbeats were 167 and 164. The babies looked great and was definitely a reassuring visit.

As far as meeting with Dr. D we didn't have much to go over other than the babies were doing great and so was I. We decided that since we have had two good Dr's appointments back to back that we would not go back for 4 weeks. That will put me at 16 weeks and hopefully we can find out the sexes of the babies.

Thanks for the continued prayers because they sure are working!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Activity Basket

When I dropped Emma off at school her teachers gave me this hugh activity basket for us! Wasn't this the most incredible gift? Several of the teachers at her school got together and made this for us to help get us through the summer. I can't wait to be able to make some great memories with her while on bed rest. Although I won't have to go on bed rest as early as I thought, I will still be required to rest for a good while during the summer. This will give us such fun things to do together! Thank you so much for this incredible gift and your generosity to our family!

Monday, May 4, 2009

What Are We Going to Have?

I posted a poll to the left for you to take a guess at what we will be having. Since they are fraternal twins the possibilities are that they will both be girls, both be boys, or one girl and one boy. Tell us what you think and I'll let you know when we have the ultrasound who's right! I'm not sure yet when that will be but I'll keep you updated!

10 Week Update

At 10 weeks pregnant we finally found ourselves in a sense of normalcy which is very much welcomed. Today I had my first OB appointment with the very Dr. that delivered Emma! After taking 6 vials of blood so that they could do a pre-natal work up on me we were sent down the hall for another round of waiting. We were then ushered into the ultrasound room where the nervousness began to sink in. We were definitely hoping for a fresh start with Dr. D's office. Ms. Jaime began by squirting the warm jelly on my belly. Sweet Emma was standing right beside me and said, "Mommy has a jelly belly!" Up on the screen appears Baby A waving it's arms around. Looks like we have one very active baby on our hands. She measured the heartbeat and it came in at 175 beats! Nice and strong continuing to form right on target and measuring exactly 10 weeks! Couldn't ask for a better report Baby A!

She then proceeded to show us Baby B! Looking strong but a bit more mellow than A. Baby B measured in at 10 weeks also and 3cm just like A! Heartbeat came it at 173 beats! Looks like we got ourselves a pair of stellar babies!

On a sad note we did get to see two of the remaining babies. The first one you could see the sac with a little bit of tissue left but most of it has disappeared or had been absorbed. The second sac you could see a bit more tissue still remained but it to had been mostly dissolved. It was amazing to think that they went away that quickly after seeing them growing and a heartbeat for the last several weeks. It was definitely apparant though that the two remaining babies were healthy and strong and growing as they should. The three were just not meant to be although we do miss them.

Between 18-20 weeks we will be able to find out exactly what the sex of each baby will be. Hopefully we'll have an ultrasound closer to 15 weeks and they'll be able to see. That's just dreaming but maybe if I arrange our schedule accordingly I'll be able to squeeze that one in! If I remember correctly we found out at 15 weeks with Emma but I can't be 100% sure on that one.

We finally got to see Dr. D! He had nothing but great things to say which was a great change of pace. He said the babies were looking great and measuring right on target. My due date would be November 28, 2009. Four years to the exact day that I delivered Emma at the same hospital with the same Dr.! Pretty amazing. He did say that with twins they push you to get to 36 weeks and after that they start pushing you to deliver. They will take the babies anywhere from 37-38 weeks preferably by C-section but if they were in the correct position I could try and deliver normally.

Once I reach the 28 week mark they want me to be ready at any time to go on bed rest. That is not saying that I will go on bed rest but I do need to be prepared for it. Also at the 28 week mark I will start going to the Dr.'s weekly. After 20 weeks I'll start going every 2 weeks. As for traveling he said that barring any complications that I could travel up to 28 weeks!!! That means we can go on our summer vacations as planned! After Labor Day weekend I will have to start slowing things down. That is a wonderful blessing because Emma will start school three days a week next fall and that'll give me a good amount of time to rest and not worry about taking care of her or not being able to take care of her.

Last but not least...I started taking Lexapro (anti-depressant) after I found out we were having 4 because I had such a hard time dealing with it and getting through one minute without crying. I really feel like I can totally handle twins without a problem and would love to come off my medicine. That was one goal that I've been really wanting to accomplish since we got the news last week. Dr. D said I could start weening myself off and should be done with it in a couple of weeks! I want to try and give these babies the best healthy start I can and even though they say it's ok to take it I really would prefer to try it on my own without it now that two is not as overwhelming emotionally and mentally as the five had on us! That's a praise in itself!

As far as us needing anything, we do ask that you will continue to keep the two babies in your prayers. We are still not out of the woods yet but they do look good and healthy so far. There's nothing that we want more than to keep these two and have them be the wonderful addition to our family that we know they will be.

We are still holding tight to Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you, plans for you to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Our next appointment will be in two weeks and I hope to continue to bring you all good news from here on out!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Twins Baby Registry

We took some great advice from my dear friend Danielle who just had her set of twins a little over five months ago. She suggested that we started our baby registry early in case I had to go on bed rest. I was a little hesistant doing our registry at only 10 weeks along and being that every week we go in for an ultrasound we have some major change happen. Phillip was so excited to go he looked like a kid in the candy store. How could I deny him this super fun family activity? We even took Emma along with us which I just knew was going to be a disaster. She's normally really good but after an early morning, one soccer game, lunch at one of her favorite places Cracker Barrel, and then baby registering I just thought we would have reached her limit.

We got there and Phillip immediately took off while I filled out the paperwork. Him and Emma were right on the strollers checking out each and every detail, taking them on a test drive, folding them up, rearranging the seats, the whole nine yards. It was actually really cute to watch his enthusiasm. I on the other hand am still in the super tired baby stage and couldn't figure out how we would possibly register if we didn't even know what we were having. But I got in the game and ended up having a lot of fun! We picked out the stroller, car seats, bottles, diapers and a few other non-gender odds and ends. Emma was an amazing helper and totally got into it. She kept saying, "oh, my babies need this!" She's getting more and more used to the idea of two. I sure hope one of the babies is a girl because she has her heart set on one. She's even picked out the name for "her" baby, Emily.

Overall it was nice to have such a happy, positive, upbeat, great day after the roller coaster two weeks we've had. We can't wait to find out what we are having and then we can go back and add a few gender specific items to the list. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Baby Update

This morning we went for a regular ultrasound visit before our high risk Dr.'s appt. I woke up this morning feeling really anxious and started worrying that we were going to get another shock today. As I was laying on the table getting the ultrasound done, the nurse remained really quiet. I felt like I was going to pass out for sheer anxiety and the thought that she was not wanting to deliver the news that she had found one or more babies to add to the list. She quietly exited the room and said she needed to get the Dr in there. Right then and there I started to freak out. Dr. B walked in and immediately said, "Looked like we might have some answers to some prayers." Not the most eloquent but I realized that the nurse didn't want to deliver the news that she could not find heartbeats for three of the babies. All five of the babies are still present but the three without heartbeats will eventually be absorbed into the placenta much like a cyst does. Dr. B believes that the two remaining babies are the two original eggs that should have been ovulated originally and the other three (actually the other two eggs but since one egg split to twins) were the small eggs that should not have been ovulated to begin with. Since they were small eggs they were not genetically viable and held on as long as they could.

All that being said, we still have two strong heartbeats and what seem to be two healthy babies growing. It was definitely a bittersweet day bringing sadness and relief all at the same time. You never want to loose three babies but at the same time knowing you hopefully will be blessed with two sweet babies is a amazing. We know that in every situation that God brings us to He has remained faithful and brought us through it. I pray that He will be glorified through this incredible process whether we have five or two. There is still a possibility of loosing the two remaining babies so please continue to keep us in your prayers that these two will remain healthy and strong.

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has emailed, called, planned, reached out to us. Each of you has been truely amazing and we thank you so much for your love and support, your planning ahead for us and all of your prayers. From the bottom of my heart I know we could not have gotten through the past few weeks without you. We are so blessed to call you our friends, our extended family.

Ashley and Phillip

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Answered Prayers

This past week God has shown himself in such amazing ways! Not only have we been blessed with not only four babies but have ended up with five! Each day gets better and better and we are accepting things and starting to plan. This is a major victory from how I was feeling last week.

I cannot thank you enough for all of the love and support you have shown us. The phone calls and emails have been awesome! People have been coming out of the woodwork offering donations and all kinds of baby stuff for us. It can only be God being faithful and showing that He will provide for us through this interesting time in our life. It's definitely been a humbling experience but awesome to be a part of.

Yesterday at Bible study I had asked the ladies to pray for our high-risk appointment on Tuesday. We had heard that they would be pushing selective reduction and giving us the doom and gloom speach about how our kids would come out possibly retarded and with disabilities. Phillip and I have already made up our mind that we were not interested in selective reduction and that God formed these children and it was given to us to raise them to the best our our abilities. We chose to stand firm in our Christian beliefs. After Bible study I went to pick Emma up from school and my cell phone rang. It was the high-risk Dr's office confirming my appointment we have for Tuesday afternoon. There seemed to be a scheduling conflict and she needed to change our "counseling" appointment to Monday morning. For all we knew our appointment on Tuesday was a regular appointment and not a "counseling" session. I asked her what exactly would be discussed in the session. They would be telling us about the selective reduction that Dr. B said we were interested in and that we wanted to reduce from five to two! I was shocked! Ughhh those words never came out of our mouths. I paused and she asked me if we were still interested in keeping our appointment and I told her NO! She was very nice and said that we could keep our original appointment for Tuesday then. Last week when we were at Dr. B's office I checked out during our meeting and I had no idea what Dr. I was supposed to see next week. All I knew was that it was one of two men he had recommended. I asked her what Dr I would be seeing and she said, "Dr. K." Here's where the answered prayer comes in. Dr. K was the original Dr that was recommended to me from a friend at church that went to her. She said that this Dr. was "Out of this world!" I was so super siked that God just totally answered our prayers! I no longer had to worry about seeing the male Dr. and I would be in the care of a compassionate woman Dr. Kay (our Bible study teacher) specifically prayed that I would know which Dr. we should see and if we needed to change that it would be evident. How cool is that?

God is good! I can't wait to keep writing about the ways God is working in our lives!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Mistake...Party of 8 Please

Yes you read that right. Monday we went back for my second ultrasound and we were thinking that we might only see three babies since I had spotted ever since my last ultrasound. Instead of seeing three or four they counted one more. That brings the grand total to FIVE! The fifth one is an identical twin that was sharing the same sac and they weren't 100% sure that it was a fifth one last week. They decided not to tell us until this week when they could see for sure.

Needless to say we were in for another state of shock. In the grand scheme of things what's one more when you already thought you were having four in the first place?

For right now all I can say it was are so thankful for all of the countless prayers you have been sending up on our behalf. I can tell you that God is moving in mighty ways in the Martin household. So many people have reached out to us and offered support and help. The love that has been poured out on us has been amazing. I can't wait to sit down and tell you all about what God is doing.

As for my mental and emotional state, it is getting better by the day. I haven't cried in several days and Phillip was out of town on business and I actually survived! We both still have a ways to go as far and grasping the magnitude of it all but it's all much better than it was last week. I ask that you will pray for the health of the babies now. Being that there's 5, the dangers of disabilities and the fact that they will be born premature is greatly increased. Also my health as I carry these kids hopefully to at least 30 weeks.

I ask that you continue to keep Phillip in your prayers as he bears the financial responsibilities for our family. I pray that he will have lots of support and outlets that he can turn to when needed.

Emma has announced that she does not want 5 babies and that she only wants 1. Please pray that during this transition that she will start to understand and accept that there will be more than one. As before we continue to pray that God will meet her needs.

Thanks in advance for everything and most of all the prayers and support for our family!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Prayers Please

It's hard for me to write about what we are going through at the moment. Today we've known now for 5 days and it has been overwhelming to say the least. Right now we need lots of prayer. If you would lift us up all throughout the day, put us on a prayer list or whatever, I would greatly appreciate it.

For me:
1. I'm struggling mentally and emotionally. Please pray for God to heal this quickly.
2. To use my time wisely in the upcoming weeks while I have energy and I can more around.
3. I'm fearing bed rest at 20-22 weeks.

For Phillip:
1. That he will get the support that he needs. That this will not be to much of a burden on him or become overwhelmed.
2. That he will rely on the Lord to be our provider and not him.
3. Patience and understanding.

1. That all her needs will be met and she will feel love and very much included in all of this.

Thanks in advance,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Party of 7

Monday was my first ultrasound to see a heartbeat. We were so anxious being that last time we went in for this I found out that I had miscarried. We had 3 nurses in the ultrasound room and the lab technician. I've been with them for over two years so they were all super excited to see what was cooking. Phillip was sitting next to me holding Emma as they started the scan. There's the heartbeat! Looking good. She continued to look around and that's when Phillip saw the second sac! TWINS! Wow! Exciting. Then she saw a third and paused. I asked her what was going on? FOUR!?! Yep. Quadruplets? Are you serious? We saw four sacs and four heartbeats. Oh my gosh. Overnight we go from a party of 3 to a party of 7!

Afterwards we sat down with the Dr and he said that this shouldn't have happened. I had two developed follicles that should have ovulated. I didn't do IVF. He thinks the two eggs split causing us to have two sets of twins. He then suggested that I see the high-risk Dr. in several weeks.

We went back to Phillip's work and stared at each other for about an hour. How in the world do you digest something this huge? 100% life changing? We went in hoping and praying for one heartbeat and we got 4!

It's been 3 days since we've found out. To tell you right now what has transpired in those days it would take me a while. I will do it but I can't right this moment. We know we have been blessed but are still having a hard time. We beg for your prayers. 1. For my mental and emotional health. 2. Phillip's carrying the financial burden along with being the sole provider and just the sheer responsibility that lie's on his shoulders. 3. For Emma that she will not miss a beat. That we can be the best parents to her during this hard and challenging time. I have a million more specific prayer request but these are the main ones. One more biggie is for my health and the babies health.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finally...We saw 2 lines!

Over two years in the making, our journey through secondary infertility has ended. Boy did the Lord send us out with a BANG!

After my last blog entry I wrote about being truely content, we could not have been more at peace about our decision to take a break. How long a break we would take was never discussed we just knew we needed to focus on our family and move on.

We had one more decision to make before we took a break. Should we do one more cycle since we had enough medicine? We wouldn't want all that medicine to go to waste. We prayed and decided to go ahead with one more cycle.

This would be my first cycle with Dr. B. He started me off taking 150iu's of Follistem for 10 days. Every other day I was brought in for an ultrasound and bloodwork to be monitored. Day 14 I went in to be checked and I had 8-9 large follicles on my ovaries. One nurse said that I was a perfect candidate to do IVF since I had so many large follicles they could harvest. Instead of IVF we took an ovulation shot.

One week later I started gaining weight and having a lot of pain in my lower abdomen. After all was said and done, I had gained 15 pounds, could barely bend over and tie my shoes and I was definitely into maternity clothes.

Two weeks went by and it was time to test. We saw two lines! We were so excited! I went in for my blood test to confirm the pregnancy and to check my hormone levels. They want your pregnancy hormone to be over 5 and mine was 219 and they want your progesterone level to be over 15 and mine was 101. Again the nurse said that with these numbers I could be having twins!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I say this everytime I post lately... "I'm sorry it's been so long!" There hasn't been any progress or cycles since I last posted and I feel like I'm becoming super repetitive in what I say. Most of it's really and truely how I feel otherwise I would not bother to post but I think I've realized that some of it has been to sike myself up. I'm infamous for saying oh "I'm fine", "Things are great" blah blah blah and again, most of the time I am but realizing that I've internalized all of this fertility stuff. The result...Anger. Lots of anger. I'm angry at a lot of things.

I have been totally beyond reasoning been blessed with the most amazing Bible study teacher. I've mentioned her before but she truely is a woman of God and her insight and wisdom is God-given. I say this because Phillip and I have come to a crossroads. I'm kind of not wanting to continue on with treatments for the time being. I've been carrying a tremondous amount of guilt regarding Emma. I truely want her to have a brother or sister and have been trying extra hard for her benefit. We both want a second kid and think it would be an amazing addition to our family. What I struggle with is that I don't want Emma to grow up being stereo-typed as the dreaded "only child." Or having the "only child syndrome." What I've come to realize is that I am trying to control the situation and the outcome of her life. If it's God's plan for her to be our only child then God will take care of all her needs. He will provide everything she needs in life. Not me, not Phillip. No one on earth can fulfill her needs except for the Lord. How refreshing is that? Hello! That really took a lot of pressure off of me. As long as I've given her over to the Lord she'll be just fine.

Back to Kay. I sat down with her a little while ago and told her about my anger issues. What I was angry about and why and one of the many pieces of advice she gave me that I want to pass along to my fellow sisters who are struggling. She told me that I need to start praying for contentment with just Emma. BINGO! Contentment. Yes! Exactly! Everytime I talk about infertility and what I'm feeling or going through I always preface with the face that I'm already blessed with Emma and how amazing she is! If I could just quell the yearning and be content with Emma then life will be good. She's all I need. I've already been blessed and how am I treating God for the most amazing gift he's given me? Ungrateful? Yup. But I am grateful. I just need to ease off being so greedy. :) I've been given this amazing experience that many many many people would give un-told things to be in my shoes.

So I've been praying night and day for God to grant me contentment with just having Emma. God has granted me contentment! I'm at peace with just having her. We've even talked about taking a break for a while and we are both cool with it. It's amazing! I still have 4 boxes of medicine in my refridgerator so we may do one more cycle so it doesn't go bad but after that we are officially taking a break. I'm actually relieved. I'm tired physically, mentally and emotionally and just want out. I want to move on and enjoy my life. Get off of all this medicine that effects my hormones, moods, weight and just focus on life and try to get myself back together.