Thursday, June 30, 2011

measuring up

We had an ultrasound to check the twins' growth today, and they are still looking wonderful! Baby boy is estimated to weigh 2 pounds 4 ounces, which puts him in the 72nd percentile--woohoo! Baby girl is lagging behind a bit at 1 pound 12 ounces--only the 15th percentile. We wish that baby girl would grow a bit more, but there is nothing we can do about it. Andrew and I were both very small babies, and anyone who has seen Andrew's sister Rebecca knows that small genes run in that family. My plan is to keep eating and hope they continue to grow, grow, grow!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

sweet carolina

On Friday, Andrew's mom and sisters hosted a wonderful baby shower for us in Greenville, South Carolina (Andrew's hometown). It was a wonderful many people came by, and we were truly overwhelmed by the generosity we were shown. We are incredibly thankful for our fabulous Carolina friends and family.

The night was made even sweeter by the fact that Andrew's entire family was able to be there. A month after we were married, Andrew's middle sister Rebecca became a religious sister with the Nashville Dominicans (Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia). We get to visit her in Nashville several times a year, but last week she was able to come home for the first time in four years. Having her with us to celebrate Bit & Bitty's upcoming arrival was a real treat.

We were having so much fun that we forgot to take pictures for most of the night, but here are a few we managed to snap:

Elizabeth (Andrew's youngest sister) playing bartender

hand-knit stuffed animals from the sisters (with matching cookies)

Andrew and his high school friends

our first two children getting ready for the shower

the Shafer family

the ever-expanding belly...

Happy 26 weeks from Hilton Head Island! Andrew and I spent a few days at the beach this week before my travel restrictions kick in, and while we were resting my belly was growing. The babies love the sunshine...every day they have moved around like crazy while we were lounging in our chairs. We've been able to actually see them move more than ever before, which provided quite a show while I was sporting my ever-fashionable maternity swimsuits. So excited to know they are thriving in there!

official 26 week belly pic

Saturday, June 25, 2011

the most beautiful faces...

Although we weren't planning to, today we decided to pop into a 3D ultrasound place and take a peek at the babies. Wow, are we glad we did. It was amazing! For the first time, the little jumpers in my belly really looked like little people!!! We came home with 65 photos on a cd as well as a 25 minute dvd of the ultrasound, and I just couldn't wait to share.

This is both babies together, though they were almost too big to get into one shot. Baby Girl is on the left, and you can see her face, arms, and legs. The circle on the right is Baby Boy, and they are looking towards each other.

Baby Boy's sweet face!

Baby Boy again

Baby Boy showing off his flexibility...that's his foot right next to his face!

Sweet Baby Girl! She has her face basically pressed against my uterus, which is why her nose is so smooshed.

More Baby Girl!

Baby Girl with her hand by her face.

And one final picture of our Baby it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

pregnant bridesmaid and shower #2

This past weekend, Andrew and I traveled to my hometown, Huntingdon, Tennessee, for two wonderful celebrations. First, I was honored to stand beside one of my long-time best friends while she married her sweet husband. They are a beautiful, kind couple who love each other and the Lord, and their wedding was fabulous, despite the torrential downpours that threatened to ruin the reception site. The great thing about a small town is that people care about each other and are willing to band together on a Saturday to give a bride the wedding of her dreams. Saturday morning the tent was more of a swamp, but by 3:00 that afternoon there was an 8,000 square foot wooden floor down. The reception was saved, and the twins & I were able to boogie down to Super T all night long.

the bride and me at the rehearsal dinner

our beautiful bouquets

Me and the bride...isn't she beautiful?!?! And I must say that my alterations lady did a great job making a non-maternity dress fit around my twin-filled belly.

On Sunday, my sister (who traveled all the way from Virginia) and my aunts hosted a perfect shower for the twins. It was wonderful to see faces from my childhood, and the twins received many beautiful gifts. Lots of sweet blankets, outfits, diapers, and other items to store away as we await their arrival this fall!

I love cake!!!

adorable decorations

our hostesses- Aunt Kim, Aunt Carol, me, Christina (my sister), and Aunt Martha

my mom and me

my sweet niece Suzanna

Now we're prepping for our last bit of travel before my travel restrictions kick in. Andrew's sister Rebecca is home, so we will be visiting his family, and then we're off for our last kid-free beach trip. 25 weeks and counting!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

the magical land of "viability"

Yesterday we hit 24 weeks, and this was a milestone I've been dying to reach. This is the first time the twins are actually considered viable, meaning if they were born now they have a good chance of survival with serious medical intervention. Of course, they would likely face life long challenges, and we don't want them to be born anytime remotely soon, but it's nice to know that they would stand a fighting chance. From this point forward, each week is a little victory.

At my appointment on Monday, everything checked out perfectly. It was such a relief to see our two little ones swimming around like crazy. Apparently I am very susceptible to braxton hicks contractions, and this will most likely be a recurring issue throughout the remainder of the pregnancy. The difficult thing is knowing when it's no big deal and when we should call and/or go in to get checked. At the risk of annoying my doctors, I plan to err on the side of caution.

Between the summer heat and the growing belly, I am starting to feel more tired, but overall am feeling great. Little things can be exhausting, so I'm trying to take lots of breaks throughout the day and space out my "to do's" a bit. Cooper and Stella are loving all of my couch time and are getting in plenty of cuddling before the babies come. The babies seem to love couch time as well. When I lay down, they move around like crazy, which I absolutely love! Last night, they actually woke me up with their acrobatics--it was the most I had felt them and was truly fascinating.

My belly is getting quite's crazy to think that it may continue to grow for 14 more weeks! I am up about 22 pounds from my IVF weight (my IVF/infertility meds weight was more than my usual weight)--this is the first and probably the last time I will be sharing my weight gain stats.

Thanks for all of the kind words after my post this weekend. Please keep praying for these babies to stay safely inside for many more weeks!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

friday night in the fort

Our college friends can attest to the fact that Andrew and I spent many Friday nights in Fort Sanders, both jointly and before we ever met. We decided to bring that tradition back this weekend, though in a slightly different context. We spent around 3 hours at Ft. Sanders hospital Friday night being monitored for potential contractions.

First and foremost, everything is fine. I had uterine irritability, which is pretty much like mini-contractions that were concerning due to their frequency. Basically, to be a contraction, the uterus must tighten for at least 40 seconds. These "irritations" lasted about 20-30 seconds. I had a few full-blown contractions thrown in, but thankfully those stayed spaced out. Because the uterus shouldn't be this active at this point in our pregnancy, they gave me a shot of smooth muscle relaxer to stop the irritations. Luckily, I only had to take one dose of this lovely medication (it makes you very jittey and causes your heart to race). Things seem to have settled down for the most part now. We will check in with our regular doctor tomorrow and hope that this was just a little blip, not to be repeated.

Friday, June 10, 2011

mom, j.d.

Today at 11:30 a.m., I walked out the door of Goodwill and indefinitely left the world of the law. It was much more difficult than I anticipated. I never saw myself being a stay-at-home mom. Then again, I never saw myself having twins, or having to do IVF to have children. Life changes, and our roles shift.

I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to stay at home with our twins, and excited to have some time this summer to take it easy and prepare for their birth. But all of my life, I have defined myself by what I did. If someone asked me about myself, my de facto answer began with what I did...a student, then an attorney. Now I'm struggling a bit with exactly "what" I am. I know that I was never just a student, or just an attorney. Likewise, I know I will not be just a mom. Despite my desire to keep interests and activities outside the home in my life, I certainly hope that I can manage to be good at this brand new role.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

23 week update

Yesterday we had our second "anatomy scan" to view the areas the babies wouldn't show the first time. Baby boy was very cooperative, so we got everything crossed off his list. Baby girl, however, still didn't want to show her spine, so we have another one in three weeks. Oh, complaints about more baby viewing!

Everything still looks great! Baby girl is very, very high, which explains why I am having a little trouble breathing lately. Most excitingly, they gave us their girl weighed in at 1 pound exactly and baby boy is a whopping 1 pound 5 ounces. The sonographers said it's perfectly normal for them to be different in weight, as these two are no more genetically similar that any other siblings. Except these two special siblings will share a birthday!

baby party!

This weekend we had our first baby shower, hosted by my sweet law school friends Sarah & Trey Tally and Ellen Neese. We were so thankful for this opportunity to see so many of our law school/Nashville friends, and we were overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. It was a wonderful night-- definitely the best baby party I've been to! Here are some highlights:

Law school girls: Rachel, Me, Ellen, Leslie, Sarah & Harriet (who was 38 weeks pregnant with her first little boy)
Some Nashville friends: Brian, Leslie, Andrew, Chris Kuzur, John

Parents to be!
My longtime friend Macy and her precious daughter Caroline (the youngest of two), who stole everyone's heart with her precious personality.

The most delicious cupcakes!

My college friend Jennifer, who was sweet enough to hang out with a bunch of lawyers.

Fully stocked bar...this is standard at every baby shower, right? It definitely is at law school parties.
Delicious watermelon cubes with cheese and a cousin of prosciutto.
Our sweet hostesses, Ellen & Sarah