Friday, July 30, 2010

26 Week Survey

How Far Along? 26 weeks

Maternity Clothes? Yes. Thank God I found a place (Destination Maternity) that carries cute stuff for all sizes. I am hoping to be able to fit into cute maternity clothes and not mumus the rest of the time. ;)

Stretch Marks? Not really. Just previous ones so far I believe.

Sleep? This week was actually really good as I think Nathan came back up some and took pressure off areas that caused me sleep challenges. Now that I know exactly how to use my pillow and body pillow together, I get pretty good sleep. I do get up about every 3 hours to go to the bathroom and switch to the other side.

Best Moment of the Week? Seeing them again on the ultrasound last week and seeing how healthy and hearty (they are at least a week above average each) they are. Also, learning my cervix is as good as it can be (5cm long and very thick) so my chances of pre-term labor right now are really, really low. That makes me thrilled as I really want full-term, take-home babies. Another great moment was getting the nursery painted and the cribs and furniture set up and their bedding put in their cribs. It looks precious.

Genders? Still one boy (Baby A) and one girl (Baby B) ;) We triple checked this time and they were still the same. I am really excited to have one of each. It is fun having pink and blue stuff and knowing they will be so different from one another yet twins and have that unique bond.

Belly Button In or Out? Usually out but sometimes goes a little in.

Cravings? Water, ice, apples, bananas, peaches, grapes, milk, yogurt, cheese, smoothies, veggies, hearty meals, onion rings, bacon cheese fries with homemade ranch dressing.

What I Miss? Being able to do what I normally do without exhaustion. Sleeping through the night (good thing I am getting used to getting up as I will be getting up more and for longer periods of time when they come). Laying on my stomach.

What I Love? Growing two healthy babies. Feeling them kick, punch, flip, move. It's the neatest thing. Eating, sleeping, and resting without guilt. Having Lee help me and treat me like a princess.

What I Am Looking Forward to This Week? I have two baby showers this weekend that I am super excited about. I have a Date Night at The Melting Pot with Lee tomorrow night. It will be fun to go to a nice, long, quiet dinner and eat some yummy food together. My brother and his girlfriend are coming to Raleigh so we are having lunch with them Sunday. I am also looking forward to getting things setup and ready for the babies more. Growing the babies. Eating, resting, and enjoying time with my boys.

Milestones? 26 weeks!!! This was the week in my mind that I really was looking forward to getting to. It means we are over 2/3 of the way there and that IF the babies were born they would have at least an 80% chance of survival (compared to 50% at 25 weeks). Obviously I am believing they will be in there for 11 more weeks and come out perfectly healthy and fully grown, but it is nice knowing that there is a lot they can do for them even at this point.

Feeling the Babies Move? Oh yes. They are quite active. It's fun when they both start going. I think they are having boxing matches in there at times. Alexis tends to move more when I sit with my feet up and recline back a bit and Nathan tends to move more when I lay on either side. They both move other times, but those are the key movement times.

Other Thoughts? I am just so thankful that things are going so well and that it looks like they should continue until full-term. I am hoping we can make it to our scheduled c-section date (which is looking to be around October 15th-22nd) with no problems. I really think if we do the babies should be at least 6 pounds, and maybe even 7 each. It would be awesome. I know God has it all in His hands and will work it out according to His perfect plan and purpose. I also know that by depending on Him, we can get through everything that comes our way.

Prayer Requests? Please just continue to pray for my health and safety during the pregnancy, that the babies will continue to grow and develop properly, that we can make it to 37 weeks with no problems, for a safe delivery and recovery, for healthy, good-sized babies, and a smooth (as smooth as possible) transition when we get them home. Thanks!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nursery Update #1

Last weekend, my awesome mom and husband painted the nursery, setup the cribs, put the bedding sets in the cribs, and put the furniture where it is going. We went from a beigy color (whatever we picked for the whole house) to a light green. The color matched the green color in both of their bedding sets perfectly. It turned out awesome! Here are some pictures of the process.

Lee taping off the room - he is so thorough - we didn't have any mess-ups.

My sweet husband - every woman should have a husband like him.

My sweet little boy - a mom's dream.

My mom and Lee getting the room ready to paint - I am so thankful for her. She will do anything for anybody, especially her kids/grandkids.

The new green walls.

Another view of the new green walls.

Another picture of the new green walls.

My mom getting the valences ready to go up.

Lee pulling down the tape.

Alexis' crib and the armoire.

A great view of their nice natural light.

Both of their cribs.

Alexis' crib.

A close-up of Alexis' crib.

Nathan's crib.

A close-up of Nathan's crib.

Luke with Alexis' crib.

Luke with Nathan's crib.

Momma with the babies' cribs.

I love the way everything turned out. We are going to be hanging the valences and putting up letters for their names soon. We are also going to do some more decorations as we find stuff that will go with their room. I would love to find some cute wall art that coordinates with either or both to go over the changing table. We'll see what I can find. Either way I love it already.

Friday, July 23, 2010

25 Week Doctor's Appointment and Ultrasound

Today I went for my 25 week doctor's appointment and ultrasound. Yes, I just had an ultrasound last week, but that was at the hospital with an ultrasound specialist. They do more when you have twins or are high-risk. It's fun to get to see them so much.

Well, everything was better than perfect. They looked great. Nathan gained 5oz since last week and weighed 1lb 13oz. He had a heartbeat of 130. Alexis gained 4oz since last week and weighed 1lb 14oz. She had a heartbeat of 140. So they both almost weigh 2 pounds. The best part is that they are measuring 6 and 9 days ahead of their due date (based on singletons). We got some great profile pics and some decent ones of them from the front. The first two are of Alexis (first - front, second - profile) and the second two are of Nathan (first - front, second - profile).

After the ultrasound, we had a regular checkup which was really more of a question and answer session since they had done an ultrasound and didn't need to measure my stomach and had already checked the heartbeats. I got weighed (gained 8 pounds for a total of 20) and had my blood pressure taken (perfect). Then we talked about things.

During my ultrasound they checked my cervix and it was almost 5cm thick/long which is better than perfect she said. She actually said, "I wish our singletons were that good." Basically it's a great indicator of pre-term labor risk, so I have very very very low risk. That is great news as I do not want to go on bedrest or have the babies early.

We discussed how I should take care of myself. I need to start taking 2000 units a day of Vitamin D to keep my risk of pre-term labor down, keep taking my prenatal vitamin, drink 120 oz a day of water, stay out of the heat (minus being in the pool), not do any lifting, rest, eat good, and just in general relax. All of those things sound good to me.

We discussed travel and she said I could probably go to the beach one more time in a few weeks but I had to come in and be checked first. After that I am on restriction which is fine since we figured I wouldn't want to travel anyways.

She told me that if everything keeps going the way it is going, my blood pressure stays good, and the babies keep growing (ie are doing better in there than they would do outside), there is no reason I can't go to 37 or even 38 weeks. I am praying I can do that and I think if I do we are going to have some nice-sized babies. I am thrilled!

25 Week Babies Bump

25 Week Survey

How Far Along? 25 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? Yes. I got some new stuff. I am getting so big. I found a great store this week that sells all sizes so I think I will still be able to look cute (well as cute as a full-term doubly pregnant chick can look) at the end.

Stretch Marks? Not too many. I think they are from before. Hopefully I won't get any more.

Sleep? Pretty good minus adjusting and going to the bathroom. I love my body pillow and actually add another pillow between the legs to keep my hips parallel.

Best Moment of the Week? Seeing them again today at our 25 week ultrasound and seeing how they are growing. Also finding out I am very very very low risk for pre-term labor.

Genders? Baby A is a boy (Nathan Reid) and Baby B is a girl (Alexis Faith). I am really excited to have one of each. I think it will be a lot of fun getting to have both experiences simultaneously.

Belly Button In or Out? A little out. I am wondering if it will completely pop.

Cravings? Water, ice, apples, bananas, grapes, yogurt, smoothies, pizza, onion rings, bacon cheese fries with homemade ranch dressing, and hearty meals.

What I Miss? Taking Luke places all the time (especially the pool as we usually go everyday), being able to do all my household chores without tiring, and just comfort.

What I Love? Growing these babies. It's really fun to feel them kick me. I love being pregnant!

What I Am Looking Forward to This Week? Tomorrow my mom and Lee are painting and decorating the nursery. I can't wait to see it.

Milestones? I've made it to 25 weeks with zero problems/complications and things are looking great for them to go full-term.

Feeling the Babies Move? All the time. They are very active. Alexis makes my belly bounce.

Other Thoughts? I am really looking forward to my showers next weekend. I will be happy to see the cute twiny things we get and get things ready for the babies even more.

Prayer Requests? Let me just say thanks for the prayers so far. Things are going perfectly. I guess just continue to pray for a healthy, safe pregnancy for me, a full-term, healthy, safe delivery and recovery, and a smooth transition/adjustment to having newborn twins. I really need prayer for when they actually get here. I have been thinking about it too much and worrying at times about how I will handle 3 kids, especially 2 newborns on my own. I know I will have help for a while, but when that runs out, I am a little nervous. Please pray that I remember to take it one day (hour) at a time and not worry. Please pray that I don't put so much pressure on myself to do it all perfectly. Thanks!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Must Be Getting Pretty Big

I know I am getting bigger every minute, but I must be officially big.

Last night at Kohl's this girl that was checking me out asked, "Are you due soon?" By her tone I could tell she thought I was going to pop right there. It didn't bother me as I am 6 months with twins which probably looks like 8-9 months with a singleton for some (shoot some don't get as big as I am with one). I said, "I am having twins and am due in 3 months, but I could see why you would think I am full-term with one. I am big." We all laughed and I waddled out. ;)

A couple of nights ago Luke told me I was becoming a big fat woman. We discussed the proper way to word things when you are talking to a pregnant woman, but it did make me laugh as in his mind I am getting pretty fat. Again, it didn't bother me as I know kids say whatever thoughts pop in their mind.

Today at church a sweet older lady said, "I believe you are getting pretty fat." It was hillarious to me. She meant it all out of love and I know what she meant. Again, it didn't bother me as I knew what she meant.

I am enjoying eating and growing two healthy, above average weight babies and if I have to have a gigantic belly then so be it. I have already been thinking about how much weight I am going to have to lose and how I am going to do it, so I am not really worried. I am just "enjoying" the comments. ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

24 Week Ultrasound

Today we went for our 24 week ultrasound. It was awesome! Both babies are still perfect. We did some quick measurements, double checked the genders (nothing changed - thank GOD!), measured their heartbeats, saw them with 2D as much as we could (Nathan was hard to see), and then got a 3D of Alexis' face. It was incredible!

Nathan (Baby A) was 1 lb 8 oz (3 oz bigger than average for a singleton at this point) and had a heartbeat of 143. He is also head down and very far down so most likely will stay that way (not that it matters as I will be having a c-section).

Alexis (Baby B) was 1 lb 10 oz (5 oz bigger than average for a singleton at this point) and had a heartbeat of 145. She is breech (again not that it matters).

Here are some pictures. We didn't get too many great pictures of Nathan, but a lot of Alexis.

Alexis' Sweet Face
Alexis' Profile

24 Week Babies Bump

24 Week Survey

How Far Along? 24 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? Yes, I think I am going to outgrow the current wardrobe.

Stretch Marks? Not really, pretty light, and probably from Luke.

Sleep? More tired. Need more sleep. Some nights are better than others, but I wake up at least a few times to go to the bathroom or get comfy.

Best Moment of the Week? Seeing the babies today at the ultrasound.

Genders? Baby A is a boy, Nathan Reid, and Baby B is a girl, Alexis Faith. :)

Belly Button In or Out? Coming out. ;)

Cravings? Water, apples, bananas, grapes, watermelon, smoothies, milk, yogurt, eggs, mac-n-cheese, pizza, onion rings, cheese fries, and pretty much anything hearty that I normally like.

What I Miss? Comfort. Going at my usual pace.

What I Love? Growing two precious babies, feeling them move, and spending all the time I can with Luke before the babies come.

What I Am Looking Forward to This Week? Getting stuff ready to paint and decorate their nursery next weekend. Growing the babies. Eating, resting, and having fun with Luke.

Milestones? TODAY IS THE DAY OF VIABILITY. When you hit 24 weeks your babies' chances of survival are really high. ***NOT THAT I BELIEVE THEY WILL BE COMING ANYTIME SOON, IT'S JUST NICE TO KNOW*** Also, we are 2/3s of the way there and have 3 months to go. It's getting close.

Feeling the Babies Move? Yes, Alexis makes my tummy bounce. I can feel Nathan, but I don't think he is as active as Alexis. She is going to have to be active and fiesty to keep up with two older brothers.

Other Thoughts? I am just so thankful to have made it this far with no problems. Although I am getting bigger and more uncomfortable each day, it's more than worth it for these two miracles I am growing.

Prayer Requests? Please just continue to pray for my health and safety during the pregnancy, for the babies to continue to grow and develop, for me to be able to stay pregnant until full-term, for a safe and healthy delivery and recovery, and for an awesome transition to having the babies.

It's been a great 24 weeks and I am really looking forward to the next [hopefully] 12+ weeks.

Monday, July 12, 2010


When I was pregnant with Luke, I was completely overwhelmed with "What the heck am I going to do when this baby comes?" feelings. Luckily I had some great friends who had been there, done that, and done it successfully so I was open to any advice I could get. They all hands-down said, "You have to read BabyWise. It will tell you how to get the baby on a schedule, how to know if they are growing right, and eventually how to discipline." BabyWise or Along the Infant Way (the Christian version) is the first in a long series of books written by the Ezzos that give parents great advice and techniques as they raise their children from birth through the teen years.

I must have read the book about 10 times, listened to the CDs at least a couple, and studied my notes for hours before Luke was born. Then when he came, I kept the book right by me at all times for refreshers. It was the most helpful book I've read (minus the Bible of course) and I recommend it to all of my friends when they have their babies. We have gone through the series as far as we have needed it so far (BabyWise, ToddlerWise, Preschool Wise, PottyWise) and every book has really helped.

Here's the premise behind the BabyWise book:

#1 - Your Baby Needs a Family
The most important relationship in the family is the husband-wife relationship that is built on the Word of God
The quality of the parent-child relationship depends on the quality of the relationship between husband and wife
A child's basic security depends on what he observes between his parents (when they see us demonstrate love and affection, they feel secure)
The husband-wife relationship is primary and all other relationships are subject to it (meaning your kids don't come before your spouse)

#2 - Child-Centered Parenting is Not Good
Being a member of a family means you give and receive, not just receive

#3 - Parent Directed Feeding (PDF)
You do follow a routine based on a clock but you also use your parental insight to know if your baby needs something at a different time
You let approximately the same amount of time from one feeding to the next
Baby wakes, eats, plays, and is put in own bed to sleep/nap while still awake
Don't rock or feed baby to sleep

#4 - Lots of Tips on How to Feed and Burp the Baby (nursing methods, burping methods, etc)

#5 - Ways to Monitor the Baby's Growth (weight, diaper checks, etc)

#6 - How to Setup a Routine at Each Stage

#7 - Ways to Entertain Baby while Awake

#8 - Tips on How to Do Everything with Premies and/or Multiples

I plan to follow this series with the twins and am really hoping and praying that it goes as well as it did with Luke. He slept 5 hours at night early on and 12 hours at night by 3 months. He has been on a routine/schedule ever since he was born and it has helped immensely.

I understand that the methods and ideology presented in the book/series might not work for everyone, but this is what works for us and I thought I would write about it in case anyone wanted to know about it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

23 Week Babies Bump

23 Week Survey

How Far Along? 23 weeks

Maternity Clothes? The things that I bought a month or so ago are slowly getting tighter. I am praying I can find stuff for the duration. Otherwise I will be staying at home with a mumu on. ;)

Stretch Marks? Not really, just a few and I think they are from last time.

Sleep? It's getting harder to sleep as I get uncomfortable really easily. I am sleeping a little later to make up for it.

Best Moment of the Week? Feeling the babies so much. They have a lot of room right now so I can feel them even more.

Genders? Baby A is a boy (Nathan Reid) and Baby B is a girl (Alexis Faith). I am excited to have one of each. It's going to be fun to get to have two different genders, personalities, and sets of likes/dislikes. I get another sweet boy and a little princess to spoil.

Belly Button In or Out? It's officially starting to appear to be out.

Cravings? Water, milk, apples, bananas, orange juice, smoothies, yogurt, eggs, Raisin Bran, hearty meals.

What I Miss? Comfort and being able to do things I normally do.

What I Love? Growing two miracles. Knowing they are getting bigger everyday. Feeling their movements so much.

What I Am Looking Forward to This Week? Growing the babies. Resting and eating. The Howell Family Reunion Sunday. It will be fun to see family. Continuing to get things ready for the babies. Technically it's not this week, but next Friday (16th), I have another big ultrasound. I can't wait to see the babies again, see how big they are, see/hear their heartbeats, and maybe be able to tell more what they look like.

Milestones? Not a specific milestone, but I think the babies are over a pound each now (could be more).

Feeling the Babies Move? Let's just say I know what those bouncy houses feel like ;)

Other Thoughts? I am really excited that things are going so well and that I will meet my babies in roughly 14 weeks. We have a lot of fun things to look forward to this next month. Next Friday (16th) we get another big ultrasound. The next Friday (23rd) I get a checkup and we get an in-office ultrasound. That weekend, Lee and my mom are going to paint and decorate the nursery. The next weekend, I am having two of my showers. It will be fun having everything ready and waiting for the babies by the beginning of the 3rd trimester (my goal from the day we found out it was twins). It will be nice to have things done just in case I was to go on bedrest or be too big to do stuff or the babies decide to come a little earlier than 37 weeks. Of course I am praying for smooth sailing until 37/38 weeks.

Prayer Requests? Please just continue to pray for a healthy and safe pregnancy with no complications for me, that the babies grow and develop and stay in until full-term, that I will have a great delivery and recovery, and that we will adjust well to having two newborns and an almost 5 year old. More specifically please pray that no matter what happens and/or how uncomfortable I get, that I keep a good attitude, don't take frustration out on anyone, and remember most importantly to focus on Christ.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Phil 4:13

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Less Than 100 Days Left & Update

Okay, so assuming I was to have the babies at 37 weeks which is what I heard would be probably be my scheduled c-section if I went that far, I am officially less than 100 days from meeting the babies. Of course if we can go a week longer, I would be all about it. They could come earlier which I am praying they don't. Either way, it feels good to be 14ish weeks away from meeting Nathan and Alexis.

We just got home from our annual 4th of July Family Beach Trip. It was so much fun. We left Friday night and got home Wednesday night. Lee decided to save a couple of vacation days in case we wanted to get away again in August. We went to the Webber Beach Cottage at Topsail Island, NC. It was great. We got to visit with family, eat some good food, play on the beach, go mini golfing, and just enjoyed some family fun with no worries of the real world. It was awesome. I managed an hour or two on the beach a couple of days, but some days I was only able to do a half-hour before I was overheated and exhausted. It was cool because I could go right back in the house and they could stay on the beach. It worked really well and I didn't have to feel bad for holding them back from going on the beach.

While we were there, I popped out some more. It seems like it happens overnight even though I know it probably doesn't. My stomach is getting huge. I haven't gained much weight but I think all of it is going to my stomach (not a bad thing). I will be posting my 23 week belly shot tomorrow so you can judge for yourself.

I am getting a lot more uncomfortable. If I sit in one position too long, my groin/pelvic/tailbone area hurts. If I lay on one side too long, one or both of my hip regions hurts (sometimes my stomach hurts). I can't lay on my back or my stomach obviously. It is getting harder to go up and down stairs and I have to get dressed sitting down since I have a pelvic issue. Overall, discomfort is the name of the game, but it is totally worth it for these healthy babies.

I feel the babies moving all the time now. My stomach bounces and I see something poking out at times. It's the best part of being pregnant (minus having the babies in the end). I love feeling them move and grow. It's amazing. It makes all the discomfort so worth it. Lee enjoys watching and feeling my belly.

I am really blessed that my husband is so understanding of and accommodating to my discomfort/needs. He is always willing to get me stuff, run errands for me, go with me places to help me out, doesn't let me lift anything, and will rub my aching areas anytime I need it. It makes it so much easier to go through this double pregnancy. I am very thankful to him. I am also thankful that I have him because he is my partner and I know that we are a team so when the babies come, he will be there for me, Luke, and the babies and do anything he can to make everything better.

I am blessed beyond measure that God has given me Lee, Luke, a supportive family, tons of great friends, and now this awesome multiple blessing. I can't even put it all into words.

Friday, July 2, 2010

22 Week Survey

How Far Along? 22 weeks

Maternity Clothes? Yes. I am hoping I can make it up to 16 more weeks without having to wear a tent.

Stretch Marks? Yes, but they seems to be light and possibly residual.

Sleep? Sleep is getting a little more challenging in that I have to work hard to find a comfy spot and when I do it doesn't last for too long. I have to flip my body pillow, my body, and figure out the right alignment for my hips and legs. Then about 30 minutes later I have to readjust. Not to mention the bathroom breaks at night. I feel tired most days as I don't get enough good, long sleep at night. I take a nap if I need it, but mostly just rest from Luke's naptime until bedtime most days.

Best Moment of the Week? It started out not so good. On Tuesday I had Braxton Hicks contractions and pain in my stomach. I called the doctor and the recommended that I come in. They checked my cervix and it was closed and very, very thick (didn't appear to have changed in almost 4 weeks). GREAT NEWS! Then I had an NST (non-stress test) where they listened to the babies' heartbeats and movement and checked for contractions. The babies heartbeats and movements were perfect and strong and I didn't have any contractions. It was nice to get reassurance that I might make it for the long haul.

Genders? Baby A is a boy (Nathan Reid) and Baby B is a girl (Alexis Faith). I am really excited about having one of each. I think they will be individuals (or at least perceived more as individuals) than same gender twins. I would see them as different people with different personalities and giftings, but I think people would be more likely to group them and compare them if they were the same gender.

Belly Button In or Out? In but coming out more each day.

Cravings? Water, ice, apples, bananas, milk, yogurt, smoothies, Bagel Bites, and cherry pie.

What I Miss? Sleeping all night and feeling rested. Not feeling so uncomfortable. Being my usual self - productive, organized, clean, active.

What I Love? Growing our precious babies. Feeling them move. Getting to know them before they are even born. Eating and resting without guilt. Being able to prioritize what I need to get done. Being able to say "no" without guilt - a big one for me.

What I Am Looking Forward to This Week? Celebrating Independence Day. Lee having off 5 days from work. Going to the beach. Relaxing at the beach since Lee will be able to help with Luke 24 hours a day for 5 days. Lee only having to work 2 days next week then having the weekend again. Growing babies. Eating ;)

Milestones? I don't really know of any real milestones, but it just feels good to make it to 22 weeks without any changes in me and the babies are doing well. I think we are going to make it to the very end. :)

Feeling the Babies Move? Oh yeah!!! They move all the time (except when I am moving around - I think that lulls them to sleep). I can feel both at the same time all the time. My stomach bounces with their movements. I think Nathan is a little higher up now so his movements are a little more comfortable. So far no one is in my ribs so the movements are pretty fun and comfortable.

Other Thoughts? I am just really looking forward to this month. We are going to the beach for 5 days, having 2 more ultrasounds, getting the nursery ready, and having our baby showers. It's going to be a fun, busy month. It will be nice to be starting the 3rd trimester with so much done. I am getting excited and anxious to meet our babies in 3ish months.

Prayer Requests? Please just continue to pray for the babies' and my health during this pregnancy. Pray that they babies grow as big and healthy as they can and I can carry them as long as possible (praying for 37-38 weeks). Please pray that I be as comfortable as possible. I would also love prayer for myself because I have struggled with accepting that I can't do certain things and must rely on others to help me. It's actually really hard for me as I am a productive and very do-it-myself person. Please pray for my hormones to stay in check and to keep a positive attitude through this pregnancy, but most importantly that I depend on the Lord whenever I feel scared or upset or "woe is me". He is the only one who can really get me through this.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ice Ice Baby

So the inevitable is back. I LOVE ICE!!! When I was pregnant with Luke I would get glasses of ice and chomp on it. Yes, Lee loved it. ;) The weird thing is I don't like ice. I get all of my drinks (even water and tea) without ice. But apparantly when I am pregnant chomping on ice is necessary. The babies go crazy when they feel that cold I suppose. They don't stop moving. It's really funny. I wonder why ice and pregnancy go together so well. It's kind of like pickles or salt and vinegar chips. Anyone know?