Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Christmas time is Upon us! If you are looking for verses to read with your kids each day counting down to Christmas I put these together last year to go with our advent calendar. Feel free to print and use. We continued to repeat previous cards adding a new card each night. The kids memorized and said the parts in bold. Then on Christmas we read it all over again and the kids were able to really participate!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weeks 34-37 :Leading up to birth

So it's been a while since I updated the blog. At the end of this pregnancy my belly got so big it was hard to even work on the computer. The pictures don't really do it justice.

By the end I fit in all of 3 dresses. The pregnancy rash and my size prevented me from wearing pants, and there wasn't a shirt long enough to cover my belly. I got very tired of those dresses.....

So backing up quite a ways. At 34 weeks I went in to see the Dr. ( not my regular Dr. because she was delivering a baby) and while the babies still looked good, by the end of the visit my blood pressure had creeped up and my heart rate was 140. I was not feeling very well at this point. The Dr. told me she didn't want me to leave yet, but to lie down and rest for a while and they would come check my heart rate again. My heart rate did not go down. Back to the hospital for observation. Mom and Isaac dropped me off, and Luke came and met me. My heart rate steadily went back to normal, but I wasn't allowed to leave because my contractions were fairly close together (every 3 minutes). They even admitted us to a delivery room after the normal observation area closed for the day. Despite the frequent contractions I was not dilating, so home we went. The nurse seemed to think she might be seeing us again very soon. She did not know these babies.

36 weeks and a visit with my normal Dr. this time. As soon as I see Dr. Kurian, even before the appointment starts she says, we need to think about getting these babies out. Apparently I had them worried. She said they could even try for that weekend. I really wanted these babies to make it to 37 weeks, full term, and I knew they were doing fine. There had been no more incidences like last week so I knew I could make it a little longer. The plan was set in place. There wasn't a slot open for induction but we were to have our regular visit and our Dr. was just going to say it was time and get us in anyway. Emergency style.... (planned emergency?) I think now I see God's hand in the fact that there was no openings for that week because a couple days later we had a feverish little boy with a nasty cough.

Not taking care of my little man was so hard. The desire to comfort my sick child outweighed my fear of getting sick, how bad could a little cold be? We had a few days before babies were due to be here right? Well this was no ordinary cold, this was a doozy. Isaac got it, then Luke got it, then I got it. It was like being hit by a truck. Coughing with 50 some pounds of baby weight compressing you already is not a fun thing! And what medicine can you take while you are pregnant? I hoped that having the weekend to recover would be enough and we would still get to meet our little girls on Tuesday, but as Tuesday rolled around there was no improvement. Not only was I sick but I knew that it would be better for everyone if I stayed in this increasingly uncomfortable pregnancy for a little while longer. Luke and I made our way to the appointment resigned to the fact that it would be a while longer, and told the Dr. that we didn't think it was time yet. She agreed and helped me figured out all the acceptable drugs to take. We did not do an ultrasound that day, so they had me come back later that week for just that.

Somewhere in here (everything sort of runs together now) Ms. June decided to flip.... again. At 36 weeks? or so she decided to go sideways and in a fairly funky position, so I was concerned how that would effect our upcoming induction. Would that mean a c-section? Should it mean a c-section? But the extra week extended stay and coughing must have convinced our little girl to go back into the head down position, which we saw at our 37 week ultrasound. The illness was one of the first unfortunate circumstances that God ended up using to provide protection, this time for little June.

Now was just the waiting game until Tuesday, May 21st, when we would hopefully get to meet our girls. The coughing and healing continued, and so will the story in the next blog post.

Everyone said, man, you don't even look pregnant from the back, which I didn't believe until Luke took the pictures.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

34 weeks : Lounging and Lime Disease

At 33 weeks I went back in to the Dr. for my weekly check-up and things are looking good. The girls are still measuring big (4.75 & 5.25ish lbs), June is bigger than Iris, but only by 5% so they are not worried. Iris is head down. June started the ultrasound sideways but decided to flip head down during the ultrasound..... How they can still move is beyond me, but move they do! Both girls were very photogenic on Tuesday so they were able to get 4D pictures of their faces! They don't look very similar here, but the ultrasound tech said that is mainly due to how each one is squished and that they will look more similar at birth and as they grow. 



Now that we have reached 34 weeks their lungs are more developed, but it would be much better for them to stay in for at least another couple weeks. My prayer is that we make it long enough that they do not have much, if any, NICU stay. I am still having fairly hard contractions, so for now it's more couch sitting..... Lots of sitting. Thankfully God has placed the most amazing people in our lives. Like my mom, who has basically become mom for Isaac for now, and all the wonderful people who have come to take Isaac to the park, come to visit and help keep us sane, or brought food! This has been a time of showing me more of the person that I would like to be. A person who makes people feel as important as these people have made us feel. All of the love and support we have received has been the most awesome example of what the church should look like then I have ever experienced. I cannot say thank you enough.

In other news (as if we do not have enough going on :) I have an update on Luke's health. In a previous post I mentioned that Luke was thought to have chronic mono and sent to an infectious disease Dr. He had his first appointment and the Dr. did not seem to think much of what Luke was telling her, but they did a bunch of blood work to see what was going on. Fairly soon afterward we got another call asking him to come in for another appointment, but not telling us what was going on. We had a weekend to wonder and worry until his next appointment on that Monday. It was a relief to know they might have found something to answer the question of why Luke was tired all the time, but what if it was something really bad? When Luke went in they told him he tested positive for lime disease, which is apparently very rare in Texas. While we have ticks here they are not the type of ticks that carry the disease. Luke probably got it on one of his trips to North Carolina or Ohio visiting family years ago. In researching the effects of Lime disease, a lot of things are starting to make sense. Lime disease can cause fatigue, memory loss, arthritis type pain, and visual disturbances as well as nerve damage. All of which Luke has been experiencing for years now that no one has been able to pinpoint a cause for.

The good news is Lime disease can be treated. Luke is on a double dose of Antibiotics for 8 weeks, a normal round of antibiotics is not enough. He will be checked again to see if it killed it after the antibiotics are done. He may have some permanent damage from long term exposure, but we are hoping that the fatigue will be greatly reduced. It may take a while for his body to begin to heal after the infection has been fought off, some people have reported as much as 8 to 9 months before they have really seen results.  It has been hard to tell if the medicine has been working yet for Luke because he has been having to work long hours and Saturdays lately. Then pretty soon there will be two new babies at our house, so it will probably be a long time before anyone in our house feels well rested. :) He has noticed his knees are not hurting him quite as much, which is a start! While on Antibiotics, Luke cannot have calcium or dariy 3 hours before and after he takes his pill at breakfast and dinner which is very hard for this cheese loving family! He also has to be very careful of not getting sun burned, because his skin is extra sensitive due to the medication. Luke has even received a call from the health department asking him where he thinks he may have been bitten and what his symtoms were.  

We are soooo relieved to finally have some answers to questions we have had for so long. We have been to so many Dr.'s with no answers, and to finally have something that is fairly easily treated is such a relief to us. Both of us are more hopeful than we have been in a long time, and a little more optimistic about having the energy to take care of 3 young children. God's timing is perfect and this has been just another sign to us of his provision despite or circumstances.

Well I think that is enough for this crazy long post!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

32 weeks, just a little while longer....

So I have been very remiss in my blogging..... quite a lot has happened. 8 weeks and some many pounds of babies later we are getting closer to meeting these special little girls. 

Last week on Thursday we had our first hospital visit for contractions. Apparently I was dehydrated and just over doing it, but with two bags of IV fluids my contractions went from 2 minutes apart to every 10 to 15 minutes. Thankfully I wasn't dilating, so although my body was stressed out, the babies are very content to stay put for a while. June and Iris are doing fine. Iris gave the nurses a hard time trying to get her heart beat because she refused to stay in one place! I am now to take it VERY easy. It seems even a car ride to sonic is a little more than I can handle. I am pretty much home bound except for Dr.'s visits until we hit 36 weeks. When we get to that point when they come they come.

From my visit today they for sure want me to make it to 34 weeks (a week and a half more) and the best case would be 36 weeks. 37 weeks would be icing on the cake. Only a week ago I thought we might be one of those pregnancies that made it to 39 weeks and then had to evict them, but now we are having to take measures to keep them in. 

We are pretty much ready house wise for them to come, so really it will just be trying to be patient through the next few weeks and keep sane. Company would be much appreciated to help pass the time. I can barely even sit at the table to eat, it's mostly the couch for me.

Some interesting facts :
I've gained 53 pounds so far this pregnancy
My go to maternity shirt you see in these pictures barley covers my belly..... It worked all the way through my pregnancy with Isaac. 
Last time the girls were measured they were measuring a week big for normal babies! I will find out next week how big they think they are now.

That's all for this week! I will try and post some pictures of the kids rooms soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

24 weeks

We are now at 24 weeks!!!! 24 weeks is a huge milestone, this is considered the week of viability. At this point if they were to come now there is a good chance they would make it with a long NICU stay. But as of today they look great! They are even measuring BIG for normal babies, not just twins. Only by a couple days, but that's still something :) Their fluid levels look good and everything. They also move like crazy..... I am inhabited by ninjas! It's nice to have the constant reassurance that they are there.

Now it's just preparation and survival mode. This pregnancy has been so very different than the first. I am tired all the time and in some pain. My first Physical therapy appointment was last week and the therapist said that it looks like I had some muscle damage from my pregnancy with Isaac, because I became so big at the end, and the stretching is causing pain and irritation. Plus apparently I have some pelvic displaysia (sp?) which she basically described as increased pelvic discomfort. So from this point on I just have to take it pretty easy (which is a little difficult for me, but healthy babies are more than worth it!)

My next apt. is in 2 weeks and they will check on our girlies again. In the mean time, as we have energy, time, and help we are working on getting Isaac's big boy room ready for him to move in to, and then make the nursery twin ready. Progress is being made on the mural of the Dallas skyline :).

I also splurged ($6 for both) on these pajamas at old navy, and the bumper pads I ordered from Land of Nod came in. The excitement of meeting them is starting to outweigh the initial fear that they would not make it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

22 weeks- K photography!

Sporadic post this week, but I wanted to highlight the photo session done by my dear friend Sarah Kallansrud of K Photography. She is my partner in crime and my creative co-hort, and she did an amazing job in a very short amount of time on these photos for our Christmas card. Between having a tight schedule, a grouchy first trimester twin mama, and a not even to year old she faced the challenges like the pro she is and made us look good! 

In other news, I start physical therapy on Monday, and we are going to try and get quite a bit done on Isaac's big boy room this weekend. The girls are moving like crazy, so much so you can already even SEE them. These next two weeks waiting for our next appointment and the milestone of 24 weeks (viability) seems to be inching by, but thankfully there is plenty to fill the time. I am very tired all the time, but I take that as a sign that they are growing, so I take comfort in that. 

Love from our little family.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

21 weeks

We are more than half way, whew. A lot has happened. We have had our 20 week apt. and still everything looks good. With all the growing, and my fibromyalgia pain our Dr. recommended that I start physical therapy to help with how large and uncomfortable I might become.  Our OB said going forward they will do a big scan to check on the girls and see how they are growing every 4 weeks. We won't go back to the Dr. until 24 weeks, which is a little unnerving for me because I like to see them, but it is good, because it means they are not concerned.

Since 18 weeks, we decided to put our cat Henry, to sleep. He was getting quite frail and grouchy and throwing up all the time. At 14 he was having a hard time. We knew that going forward he would have a hard time adjusting. When we brought him in the vet said he was definitely not looking well, so we knew it was time.  It was very hard. Henry had been a wonderful companion through illness and the move to both Lafayette and Dallas. He will be missed.  

We still have Indecisive, Indeterminate, Incomparable, Inde to keep us on our toes. Life will never be dull :) He is adjusting to life as the only kitty, and I rather think he prefers it. Except for the fact that he is now the sole focus of Isaac's torment (hugs and kisses, chasing). 

We had a wonderful Christmas, Isaac got an Ikea kitchen from Grandma and Grandpa, topped off by my in-laws Gwen and Andrew McGuckin coming at New Years and helping us around the house. Gwen helped me cook a ton of food for our freezer (mostly she did the cooking and I cleaned up) Luke and Andrew hung out our awesome shelf (1st picture) and helped us get some work done on the bathrooms. They also moved out some furniture to make some room in Isaac's new room!

When I have energy and time I have been sorting through closets, packing up little boys clothes, sorting through little girls clothes that I have been picking up at garage sales :) Things are starting to come together. It feels like we have a long way to go sometimes, and then I feel like we have a lot to do in not very much time.  For now it's just keep busy enough to pass the time without doing to much to make me tired.

For now over and out from the Benders.