Thursday, July 28, 2011

pregnancy pics

We received the rest of our pregnancy pics, and I'm super excited about the results. To be perfectly honest, I think pregnancy pictures are often a bit strange. Because this may be the only time we get to experience this miracle, though, I wanted some nice photos to remember this time. Ashley Hoskins did a great job of capturing my belly in a classy way, and I feel like these really show the love and excitement Andrew and I are feeling right now. Here are some of my favorites...I had a little trouble narrowing it down!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

a 30 to be excited about

Our little ones have made it to 30 weeks....woohoo! We are thrilled to have crossed this milestone, and it's super exciting to know that we get to meet our son and daughter in 8 or fewer weeks (only 56 days!). I am being monitored very closely at this point for pre-term labor. I have to go in at least once a week, sometimes twice, to make sure nothing is happening too early. We are so thankful for the extraordinary healthcare we have received throughout this pregnancy.

While we are thrilled and thankful to be at this point, things aren't all rainbows and butterflies. I am getting more and more uncomfortable, which means less and less mobile. We took a tour of the NICU this week, since there is a chance our babies will have to stay there for a while, and were reminded of how fragile our babies could be if born too early. Also, this weekend marked the last of our previous three due dates. Each time one of these dates has passed has been difficult, and this past one even more so. Now we only have one due date to go, and are hoping for a much different outcome!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


With my basketball belly leading the way these days, I inevitably get the "what are you having" question often. Once I reveal that there are two babies inside, everyone seems anxious to share their own thoughts/advice. Most people are incredibly kind and seem truly excited by our good fortune. Many, though, quickly dive into what I find to be inappropriate territory. Here are some of my favorites:

"Do twins run in your family?" When did it become appropriate to ask a random stranger about his or her medical history? I believe this is just a veiled way to ask whether you conceived with the help of fertility drugs. If someone is awkward enough to ask this, I usually respond with "No, we did fertility treatments" or "No, we did IVF." Awkward questions deserve awkward answers.

"Were you surprised?" Seriously?! Who finds out they are having multiples and is not at least a little surprised? Yes, we did IVF and knew that we had transferred two embryos, but very few couples are blessed enough to have both make themselves at home. This is also, I believe, a veiled attempt to ask about whether you participated in fertility treatments. These people get the same response as above, but usually modified with some kind of "We were definitely excited."

"Did you conceive naturally?" Though this one is rare, people actually do ask this. This question is both invasive and offensive. First, how I conceived is really not an appropriate topic for discussion. When you see a woman pregnant with one child, do you ask her about the circumstances surrounding her conception (was the baby planned, did she and her husband have one too many to drink)? Moreover, it implies that because we used fertility treatments, our children are somehow "unnatural." Just like every other baby in the world, our twins were each conceived with one sperm and one egg (luckily for us, we were able to use our own). Sure, there were a few extra steps, but these are normal, natural children.

"I'm so sorry..." Some people actually offer their condolences when they hear we're having twins. I quickly correct them, informing them that we could not be more excited to be having two children at once.

I know that most people mean well, and that society has a fascination with multiples. I also know that this fascination is not going to end with the twins' birth and that we will be fielding these types of questions for years to come. But I strongly recommend that if you come into contact with someone having multiples, do not ask them anything you wouldn't ask a person having one baby. Congratulate them, be excited for them, and leave the awkward questions tucked away, unasked.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


We had another growth scan today (29 weeks 2 days), and the babies are growing away. Baby boy is 3 pounds 6 ounces, which is the 65th percentile. Baby girl is 2 pounds 10 ounces, which is the 13th percentile. The gap between them is still 21%, so it hasn't decreased any, but it also hasn't gotten larger. We will meet with our doctor on Monday to discuss the numbers, then have another growth scan in two weeks. Grow, babies, grow!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

baby room

After a few months of fun, the nursery is finally ready! I had so much fun preparing this room, and sweet Andrew went along with all of my crazy ideas. We wanted something sweet, classic, simple and peaceful...I didn't want it to get busy with all the boy/girl stuff. We ended up focusing on white and gray, with touches of blue, pink, and green. I am so excited about the result and cannot wait to see our little ones grow in their very own room.

View from the girl is on the left, baby boy is on the right, and the dresser and changing table are separating the cribs. If you look towards baby girl's crib, you can see a little corner of the gray and cream rug we finally found.

Baby girl's crib, which is next to the most comfy glider ever and the sweet piece of art we found for the twins. I certainly hope they hold fast to their dreams!

Baby boy's crib. These mobiles are probably my favorite things in the nursery.

Chandelier, which Andrew hung himself. He's so handy!

4Bookshelf between the doorway and closet with lots of toys and goodies.

The fabric for the sheets and changing pad cover...which was on backorder for months! Worth the wait, though.

A final look at the whole room.

Monday, July 18, 2011

backward and forward

This weekend, Andrew and I went on our very last pre-baby trip--a mini anniversary get-away to Chattanooga (it's a short distance and has a good neonatal hospital). In honor of my father-in-law, we took the twins on a little "roots tour" and showed them the place where it all began. The Fertility Center in Chattanooga is where our little miracles were conceived, and where they spent their first 5 days of life. It's where they had their first photos made, and where we had the privilege of meeting them for the first time. It was special to take them back and show them a bit of their history.

While we looked back over the weekend, this week is all about looking forward. We started our childbirth class last week, and will continue that one night per week for the next four weeks. This week we are also taking a breastfeeding class and a child & infant CPR class. Pretty sure Andrew and I will be on information overload, but our pre-birth days are numbered at this point and we feel like there is so much we need to learn. Classes, of course, will not truly prepare us for these twins, but at least they make us feel better as we wait.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


On Thursday, we had some maternity photos done by Ashley Hoskins, a local photographer who is great at using light and creating beautiful images. I wanted to go ahead and take pictures before I too closely resembled a whale. She posted one on her facebook page...a little preview with more to come.

Friday, July 15, 2011

five years

Five years ago today, Andrew and I entered into the sacrament of marriage. A sacrament points us towards what is sacred and significant. Through the sacraments, we are able to experience God's saving presence and grace. During the past five years of trying to love Andrew well and attempting to allow him to love me back, my understanding of what is good and right has grown immensely.

On July 15, 2006, we pledged our lives to each other with childlike excitement about what the future held. We anticipated a life full of love, excitement, passion, fun, children (eventually), and happiness. We knew, of course, that there would be less than great times, but as we said our vows we were more focused on the "for better" than the "for worse." Thankfully, we have had more good times than bad. We have had the opportunity to travel together, to experience new things together, to ride our bikes 100 miles though wine country together. We have enjoyed exciting moments, driving down roads too narrow to hold two cars in northern Italy, and quiet moments, reading together on the porch on Sunday mornings. While the good days have been innumerable, today I am thankful for the hard days in our marriage.

The past year, this fifth year of our lives together, was the hardest year of my life. It was not, however, the hardest year of our marriage. With every failed treatment, every loss, every doctor's appointment, we banded together more strongly than before. Andrew saw me at my very worst, and loved me anyway. When it was unclear whether I could ever give him biological children, Andrew, a man who has known he wanted kids for as long as he can remember, told me he would marry me a thousand times over. Today, as we prepare for our twins' arrival in less than ten weeks, we are more closely bonded than we ever imagined five years ago. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Happy Fifth Anniversary, Andrew. I love you so much always.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

showered with love

Last weekend, we had our fourth and final baby shower--a fabulous way to begin the third trimester! Barbeque, strawberry cake, and lots of new baby things...all of my favorites! Three of my college friends and one of Andrew's friend's wife hosted the party (isn't it great when your friends marry people you love), which was an amazing act of generosity considering that three of the four live out of town. This was our only party in Knoxville, and it was so wonderful to celebrate with our local friends and family. We are so grateful to our hosts and guests, and can't wait for the little ones to meet each of you!

sweet hostesses--Mollie, Ellie, me, Ann-Haley, and Lacy

dining room decorations

more decorations

my mom and dad with Andrew and me--both of our families were able to come

Lacy and Mollie...I have to watch these two when the get together...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


We made it...we're in the third trimester! At 28 weeks, we have no more than 10 to go before we meet these little munchkins. As my doctor said yesterday, 28 weeks is a big milestone for twins. Even if born today, their long-term prognosis would be really good (not that we want to test that).

Yesterday's appointment left us with much information to absorb. On the positive side, I passed my glucose test, so no gestational diabetes, and I am not yet showing signs of pre-term labor. On the less positive side, at our last growth appointment the babies were 21% apart, which is just 1 percentage point within the normal range. If this disparity gets bigger over the next few weeks, we may have to deliver earlier than we would like. We will be keeping a close eye on their sizes and praying that baby girl catches up a bit, as I would really like to make it past the 34 week mark. Andrew and I are trying not to worry too much, as difficult as that is, since there is truly nothing we can do to direct nutrition to baby girl. Hopefully our petite little princess will be much larger by our appointment next Thursday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

yawns and hiccups

We are getting close to the homestretch, and these babies are developing more personality every day. Baby girl loves the morning, and she especially likes her morning couch time. She has been going crazy for the past hour, poking, prodding, and dancing around. This morning when I woke up she had the hiccups, which was the first time I had felt this phenomenon. Luckily I discovered these little jolts before Andrew left for work, so Daddy got to feel his baby girl hiccuping as well.

Baby boy, on the other hand, prefers nighttime. I can count count on him to put on a show most every night, though he tends to move a bit throughout the day. He is definitely the more active twin, or at least the one I can feel the most. At our Thursday ultrasound, the tech turned on the 3d feature and we actually saw him yawn. It's amazing to think that our little son is already doing things like yawning--that he is already doing many of the things he will do when he joins us this fall.

Watching and feeling these little ones move never loses its excitement. Their growing bodies, however, are starting to take their toll on me. Sleep is becoming very difficult, and by about 2:00 every afternoon the excruciating back pain begins. Yesterday for the first time I had trouble putting on my own socks, and I almost couldn't bend over to take the dogs' leashes off. It's hard to believe that my belly still has 10 weeks of growth to go...but it's also hard to believe that our babies will be joining us in such a short time. Whatever permanent (or not so permanent) damage it does to my body, I just pray that these pumpkins will stay put at least 8 more weeks.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

friday fun

We like to keep our Fridays interesting around here. I've been having off and on stabbing lower back pains over the last week, and yesterday when I woke up I could barely walk. I called my doctor to tell him that they were still happening, and when I arrived for a quick check-in they instructed me to go over to triage at the hospital to make sure these weren't actually contractions. Based on some other symptoms I've been experiencing, they were also concerned with my blood pressure, which unfortunately was slightly elevated when they checked it at the office.

After walking over to the hospital and getting several bands strapped around my belly, my blood pressure went down and we determined that there were no contractions (which I had been trying to tell them the whole time). We were able to come home rather quickly, thankfully with no babies in tow yet.

Following a couple of hours of rest, the babies went to their first major concert...Taylor Swift. It was fabulous! The babies can hear now, and they kicked and danced the whole time. I think they are going to be music lovers!

Note: The babies' actual first concert was Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, who I strongly recommend you check out. They were only 13 weeks old then, though, so they couldn't hear yet. No worries--they will have plenty of DH&N in their future.