Thursday, June 27, 2013

I promised you a video...

...and I finally outsmarted the technology demons who were preventing me from posting it. This is Gideon with his balloon from the Pet Fair. Please excuse the first bit of the video as the technology demons still won the editing battle.

Confessions of a stay at home mom

Ok, this is gonna put me in a bad light to some of you, but I don't mind admitting I'm weak. Mostly because I am.

Being a stay at home mom (I believe SAHM is the term hip blogger sahms use) was the only thing I ever really wanted. Sure, I wanted an education and I wanted to travel and work BUT I had decided from a young age that I would take those things as they came until I found the man of my dreams and we could settle down and start a family. Luckily, I've had the opportunity to experience both lifestyles. I could go into the crazy adventures I had before I met Rob and settled down, but that's a post for another time. Instead I'm going to tell you how hard it was to transition from that lifestyle to this one...

It was hard. Like calculus hard. And if calculus wasn't hard for you then think 'art theory' hard. And if neither of those were hard for you then you should definitely try your hand at being a sahm.  I don't want to give you the wrong idea---I love being a mommy---but it took me a while to love everything that comes with it. And I still don't love everything about it (read: poopy diapers) but some of the things that I was loathe to do at first have become the best part of my day.

The biggest and probably saddest reflection on me as a person would be how I felt the first couple of months when Gideon would wake up from a nap. His naps were never long enough. I never had enough me time. His crying made my body hurt. He was notorious for leaving large presents in his diaper after naps. The list goes on and on. But then something magical happened. Gideon started smiling. And laughing. And rolling over! Suddenly this thing that was leeching all my energy had started to give me energy. I no longer dreaded his awake time. I even started to enjoy it! There are days now when I can't wait until he wakes up from his nap so that I can read to him or tickle him or show him a toy that I think he will like.

There were lots of other hard transitional moments (or months) for me and although I'd love to complain about expound upon them right now, I'd much rather show you some cute pics of Gideon from the Pet Fair we went to this weekend.

"what kind of dog are you?"

The fam minus papa

Perfect fit!

"excuse me, can you tell me where you get groomed? I just love your bangs!"

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

But if not

Today I want to share some of my feelings surrounding our precious MoMo babies. 

When we were first told that we were having twins I was neither surprised nor shocked. In the weeks leading up to our first appointment I had an overwhelming feeling that it just might be so--- I read up on the odds of conceiving twins if they don't run in the family (which they don't) yet still I thought it just might be so. I didn't tell Rob about my feelings because with only a 3% chance even I kind of thought I was insane. But the morning of our due-date-determining-ultrasound rolled around and as we were packing Gideon up I said "Are you ready to go see your little brothers or sisters?" I hadn't even realized that I had added the 's' but Rob caught it and as we were sitting there watching two little heartbeats on the screen he called me out on it. 

Unfortunately, that exciting news was accompanied with the suspicion that the twins were Monoamniotic Monochorionic. My midwife didn't tell us much about it that day, only that it was a high-risk situation and that we needed a better ultrasound. We set up our 3d ultrasound for the next day and I went home and proceeded to google everything I could about "MoMo twins". It was quite a disheartening experience as I read stories of other women and their loss. 
I read about the odds.
I read about how most doctors still advocate abortion in these cases.
I read about failed experiments and studies. 
I read about the lack of an effective treatment plan. 
I read about delivering the babies by c-section at least 8 weeks early.
I read about the lifelong effects of premature birth. 

But I also read about the miracles.

I read about the outpouring of love that people in these situations received.
I read about mothers who tenderly reached through incubators to caress their babies who were born at only 24 weeks. 
I read about twins who were born at 32 weeks who were pulled out of the womb hugging. 
I read about families who overcame all odds and brought home healthy, happy twins.

And that is when Heavenly Father reminded me of his love and his presence in my life. Most often he does so in the form of bringing scriptures to my heart and mind and on this particular day it was no different. The Spirit called upon the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego to teach me, or reteach rather, the lesson of but if not. 

For those of you who don't know the story, it finds place in the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. King Nebuchadnezzar reigned over the land and decided to build a "golden image" and commanded all to worship it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego knew that God had commanded them to not worship idols, therefore, they chose to go against the commandments of the king. King Nebuchadnezzar was pretty upset about this and so "in his rage and fury" he called these 3 gentlemen before him and told them that if they didn't worship his golden image he would throw them into a fiery furnace. He mocked their belief in God and asked them if their God would save them. This is their reply---

"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to adeliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us"

Now, that statement in itself is a huge show of faith, but that is not the lesson that Heavenly Father wanted me to learn. That lesson comes in what they say after that---

"But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not aserve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."

But if not. But if not. But if not. 

These men knew that Heavenly Father had all power to save them and they did not doubt his ability to do so. However, they knew that Heavenly Father's plans are often different than our own.  

And this is my great lesson. I know that Heavenly Father has all power to save my little girls and to bring them safely into my arms but if not, I know that he will love them and care for them himself until that day comes when I will see them in a perfected state. That knowledge is the reason that Rob and I have decided not to live in fear of "the worst case scenario" but to embrace every moment of this pregnancy and celebrate our little girls. We love them so much already! 

If you'd like to know how things turned out for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, follow this link and read verses 19-30

Monday, June 24, 2013

Life Lately...

Life has been amazing lately. Rob's work hours here give us a lot of family time and we've certainly been making use of it! I only have 4 more weeks until I start my hospital stay and although I am dreading it, it also brings a certain amount of peace, hope, and satisfaction. If we can make it to 24 weeks our odds increase immensely and even though I will be sitting around seemingly doing nothing, I know that it is the best thing I can do for these babies.

Gideon is doing great. Here are some things about him:
-He has been crawling for quite a while now and he stands up on everything!
-The past couple of months his favorite thing is to get into "downward dog" and stare at his feet, it is so precious!
-He has two little teeth on the bottom and he is working on one on the top right now.
- His belly laughs are the best part of my day.
-For the past 4 months whenever music turns on or anyone is singing he uses this really high pitched voice and tries to mimic the music and sing along. This is especially funny at church or in public because once he starts singing he doesn't want to stop--even if the music does!
-His babbling is incessant and he often uses his hands to illustrate his point. I really wish I could understand the stories he tells me
-He loves strings and cords of any kind.
-He is enamored with his Aunt Liz and his Grandma. Every time they walk into a room he brightens up and claps his hands.
-He refuses to get kisses on demand, but he will grab our faces/hair at random and pull us in for the biggest kisses you've ever seen.
-He does this crinkly nose look that is priceless, but we haven't managed to get in on camera
-He loves to have whisper conversations and if you whisper at him he will do it back until he gets bored
-He has successfully learned to navigate the single step leading from our hallway to the family room. I'm just hoping that he will wait another four weeks to try and tackle the big steps so that I don't have to deal with it!

And here are some pics--

This is Gideon's first time in an "outdoor pool" 

We went to the pet shop and Gideon asked these puppies for kisses (note the open mouth)

They were more than happy to oblige

Gideon played in the sand at the beach and tried to eat all of it


Some backyard fun with Meisje

"I do not like this box!"

"Oh, but you have a that case..."

Gideon got this balloon from the Pet Fair we went to this weekend
and it became is best friend. There will be a video about this in the future...

Gideon just chilled on the floor while Daddy installed some cabinets for Grandpa and Grandma

This pic is to give you an idea of what Rob gets to eat for his "diet"...
he is doing strictly Paleo, which means he can only eat natural foods
like meats, eggs, veggies, and fruit. What it really translates to 
is him having delicious homecooked meals for EVERY meal 
for the first time in our marriage. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

MoMo Twins

I've been putting off writing this particular post since March, which is when we found out we are expecting twins.

The thing is, we aren't just expecting your average, run-of-the-mill twins. We are expecting "MoMo" twins--monoamniotic monochorionic twins. This means that they are identical twins, sharing the same sac, with no separating membrane.  It's pretty much a statistical anomaly that we are having twins in the first place; there is only a 3% chance of spontaneous twinning and twins don't run in our families. BUT to add to the statistical craziness, only less than 1% of twins have this condition. Unfortunately this condition presents a major risk to both babies because their cords can become tangled and cut off cord supply. There is really nothing they can do to prevent cord entanglement, and the only thing they can do to intervene is deliver the babies. This means that at 24 weeks I will be reporting to the hospital for inpatient care (i.e. I will live at the hospital) and 24/7 monitoring. Provided that we don't find any problems in the weeks following my report date, they will deliver the babies sometime between 32 and 34 weeks.

The following is an example of what the cords can look like-->

Amazingly enough, these cords actually belong to twins who made it safely into this world! They were continuously monitored and when the doctors saw the cord flow slowing they performed an emergent c-section. 

Chances for these babies are not super high; without 24/7 monitoring the success rate is 50%, with inpatient care and 24/7 monitoring the rate of success rises by 20-30%. 

Rob and I are so grateful for modern medicine and the ability doctors now have to do such monitoring. We are also extremely grateful for our knowledge of Heavenly Father and his plan. We know that whatever the outcome, God has a plan for our family and that brings us so much comfort and joy.


I am obviously only one step above being the worst blogger in the world (that award goes to those who sign up for an account but never publish a single post) took me three months to post about Gideon's birth story and for the last seven months I've been completely MIA. I'd like to think that it's due to the fact that I've just been out enjoying life to the fullest and haven't had time for any sort of electronic nonsense, and although that is partially true, it mainly revolves aroundt the fact that blogging/journaling are just difficult for me.

So here is a little outline of events from the last couple of months

February---Nikki Barkume came to visit us in Alaska and we had an amazing time. We managed to see lots of sights and even got to go dog sledding!
My little AK sister, Sonja, had her baby girl (Anberlin) in February--

And on the last day of February we found out that we are expecting baby #2!!

March---This was a pretty slow month. We celebrated Rob's birthday and I made an awesome violin cake that I apparently did not get pictures of (FAIL). But in leu of getting a picture of the cake, we saw this picture and realized that we were actually pregnant with #2 and #3!!!

April--- was a flurry of insurance finagling, packing, and flip-flopping about our decision to move.
May---I flew to California with my mom and Gideon while Rob made the epic journey by car. When Rob joined us we finally made the news of the twins official with the following pic-->

And that brings you all mostly up to speed. My next post will be all about the joys of pregnant life with twins...yay!