Sunday, October 27, 2013

One Month

Having babies that spent time in the NICU is a bizarre thing.

On the one hand, you know they have been alive and kicking for a full month. On the other, they've only been home for 2 weeks so it seems like they are only 2 weeks old.

But that's beside the point.

The girls are doing incredibly well. They are growing and cooing and crying and pooping and doing all the things that babies are supposed to do.  Annelise has grown a full inch and gained 1lb since birth and Olivia has also grown a full inch and has gained 1lb 5oz! It will be interesting to see how big they are by the time they reach their original due date on 11/12/13.

Speaking of due took me almost 3 weeks to realize this, but the girls were born on Gideon's original due date!! I kept thinking "who's birthday is September 27th? did I have plans on September 27th? what is so special about that date???" I'm not joking. 3 whole weeks of thinking that before it clicked. I'm going to blame it on pregnancy brain. Even though I'm not pregnant anymore. But technically I'm still supposed to be, so it counts.  

I love my little family. 

Friday, October 25, 2013


Annelise and Olivia are already conspiring against me...

I will be minding my own business, reading a book or looking at pretty things on the internet, when all of the sudden one (or both?) of the babies starts moving around and crying. I can definitely hear that at least one is moving and fussing but by the time I get to the pack-n-play and look over the edge to calm said baby down, they are both frozen! No signs of fussiness.

So then I sit by the pack-n-play until I am confident that the fussiness is over but as soon as I resume my activities it will begin again.

How do they know?

P.S. Annelise really loves to snuggle Olivia and occasionally things like this happen:

Yes, Annelise is sucking on Olivia's pinky. The best part? Olivia doesn't mind at all.

P.P.S. The only way I can tell them apart (if they are not right next to each other) is by their right ears. And we put nail polish on each of their big toes so that if we forget which outfit/blanket they are wearing we will still know who is who. I thought I would be able to tell them apart without looking at their right ears or their toes, but my mom got them dressed yesterday and then brought one baby in to me to see if I could tell who she was and I failed. But I knew I had failed as soon as I looked at her right ear. So as long as they both don't go all "Van Gogh" on me I should be fine. 

                    Olivia                                                                                              Annelise

See how Olivia's ear has a little kink in the top? That difference is my saving grace. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Ok, so I have an extreme problem with favorites. Please, please, please, don't ask me what my favorite anything is...except color. You have permission to ask me what my favorite color is, but you do not have permission to make fun of me.

My favorite color is grey. But you can't spell it 'gray'. My favorite color is grey...with an 'e'. Somehow it is important that it be spelled that way.

But I digress...

On any given day, at any given time, if you ask me what my favorite anything is you might get a different answer (except color. favorite color=grey). If you ask me in the morning what my favorite type of food is, I might tell you Italian. If you ask me in the evening, I might tell you Thai food. If you ask me about my favorite book I will likely tell you about what I am currently reading, unless I don't want to get into it and then I will tell you The Little Prince. If you ask me what my favorite season is on four different days, you will get four different answers. Get the picture?

The thing is, I am always 100% convinced that I am being 100% truthful. And yet I don't even think about the fact that yesterday my answer was different.

The reason I bring this up is because this morning I was absolutely convinced that the stage that Gideon is currently at is my very most favorite stage of babyhood yet. But this afternoon I found myself saying that the stage that Annelise and Olivia are at is my favorite.

preferred before all others of the same kind.

^^^^By definition that is impossible. Little tiny baby snuggles and sweet baby breath and desperate-one -finger-hand-holding are totally my favorite things about being a mommy BUT lip smacking kisses and big boy cuddles and playing catch and learning words are my favorite things about being mommy and both of those statements are entirely maybe my favorite thing is just being mommy?

I dunno. Just don't make me choose. I'm happy that I have so many different favorites.



^^^That is the desperate-one-finger-hand-hold and if you have ever experienced it, you would know that it is the best thing ever.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I am now twenty-six years old.


How did this happen? I swear that just yesterday I was picking out my outfit for my first date. Just yesterday I was ditching school to go to Barnes and Noble and sit in their comfy chairs and read books I couldn't afford. Just yesterday I couldn't imagine anything more important than whether or not I was a starter in the next basketball game.

That was just yesterday, right?


Yesterday I woke up with three kids in my bed. Yesterday I picked out an outfit for my first post-pregnancy date with my husband. Yesterday we bypassed Barnes and Noble on the way home from our date because I didn't have time to look at books I can't afford. Yesterday I couldn't imagine anything more important than whether or not my children had eaten well before bed.

You know what the funny thing is?

The new baby smell now trumps the smell of books.

Every time I go on a date with my husband it feels just as exciting as that first date I ever went on.

I now do most of my reading while my babes are sleeping (which is when experts tell you to sleep--ain't nobody got time for that!)

Ten years ago I would have never imagined the life I have now, or the things I find important. But I can honestly say that I love it.

My boys are precious.

Check out those cute outfits!! I am going to have so much fun dressing these girls.

Morning cuddles.

Sometimes the only way they will calm down is if they are cuddling each other <3

My little boy is getting soooo big!

Gideon likes to help calm down the girls...he pats their backs and rubs their hair and he'll even help put their pacifiers in!

Grandpa had fun babysitting for our date night.

And now a joke, compliments of my good friend Nikki:

Q: Why is the ocean so grumpy?
A: You'd be grumpy too if you had crabs on your bottom!

Monday, October 7, 2013

One Week

**I started writing this on Friday, which marked one week for the girls. Obviously it's the longest post ever, but there are pics at the end!

One week ago today our precious little girls were brought into this world. Just thinking about it brings on a torrent of thoughts and emotions and memories that will be hard to put to paper, so please bear with me.

Remember my post last Tuesday about how happy I was? Well, the next day was one of the most stress ridden days of my existence. It started out the same way Tuesday had; I was on a high from recognizing all of the amazing blessings Heavenly Father had given me. By midday I was still feeling pretty great about everything, but by 4:30 when Rob called I was in shambles and I didn't know why. I couldn't establish full sentences. I was just sobbing on the phone even though nothing had changed since the day before. Of course, Rob, being the amazing husband he is, dropped everything and came to the hospital. And my mom, being the amazing mother she is, took care of Gideon so that Rob could come to my rescue.

I thought I was going insane. How could I feel this way if just the day before I was on cloud nine? The girls were doing well, we were surpassing all odds and I should have still been elated. Was there something wrong with the girls? No. Was there something wrong with me? Not medically speaking. Had anything spurred me to feel this way? I certainly wasn't getting emotional about the episode of Storage Wars I had been watching. 

When Rob arrived I just kind of looked at him through my tears and laughed. I felt ridiculous. I've always had trouble showing my weakness to people; especially the ones I love. And this didn't even seem like weakness---it just seemed like the onset of insanity. So he climbed into my tiny bed with me. And he held me. And he laughed with me (and maybe a little bit at me). And he comforted me until the nurse came in.

That is when my anxiety started to make sense. She showed us the heart rate strip and Baby B (Olivia) had had three significant decels and wasn't looking very good. Doctors were called. An IV was placed in the case that we were going to deliver. I was told not to eat and I was giving a "rescue dose" of steroids for the girls. Everything seemed to happen so fast, and yet not fast enough for my liking. I turned up the volume on the heart monitor and couldn't help but keep my eyes glued to the strip. After 9.5 weeks in the hospital I had become pretty adept at reading the outcomes and I also felt like I knew the rhythm of my girls hearts. My doc wanted to just sit and wait it out to see how the girls would react to everything and that was the hardest part. Eventually everything quieted down and the emergency feeling of it all faded, but I was still on edge. Rob stayed the night to provide some comfort for me and we tried to watch television to take our minds off of it. Needless to say, I did not sleep much. Through the night the girls had some decels, but by and large they were insignificant.

The next morning Rob went to work before we were able to meet with the doctor, so my mom made sure she was at the hospital to help me and support me while I spoke about options with the doc.

Dr. Posner came in as chipper as always, and assured us that he believed that the girls could make it until 35 weeks (which was still a week and a half away). He did, however, let me know that if I felt like I was done that we could deliver. I was incredibly torn. Did I take the advice of my specialist or did I risk the chance of jumping the gun and having the complications of prematurity? We had already made it past our original goal of 32 weeks, so that was comforting, but I didn't want to wait around for another emergency situation. I told my doctor that I was going to consult with my husband and that I would pray about it and let him know. It was then that he decided to tell me that he was going out of town for 3 days. Seriously?? How could he leave right when things felt like they were getting intense??

I spent the next couple of hours conversing with the Lord and analyzing my feelings. I wanted to make sure that I was not going to make a decision based on my weakness. I didn't want unwarranted stress or anxiety to make my decision for me. I called Rob at work and we prayed together over the phone. I honestly felt that my breakdown the night before was Heavenly Father's way of directing Rob to be at the hospital with me when things got scary, and I knew that Heavenly Father would direct us to make the decision that would be best for our precious girls---His precious daughters.

As I saw it we had three options:

1. We could schedule the csection for Friday morning before my doctor left town
2. We could schedule the csection for Tuesday morning when my doctor came back to town
3. We could wait it out until October 8th, our original scheduled csection date

If I've learned anything about my personal relationship with God it is this---He is more inclined to answer my prayers if I come to Him with a solution and seek approval rather than just asking His opinion.

When Rob arrived at the hospital after work we prayed about it one more time, then we talked over our options again and decided to go with option 1. When we prayed yet again to seek approval I was filled with a sense of peace. Heavenly Father had entrusted us with His precious girls, and He was going to help and protect them.

We then called our Doctor and let him know that we would be seeing him the next day.

The morning was a whirlwind of preparations. I felt so calm and yet excited at the same time. I knew we had made the right decision and I just couldn't wait to meet my girls! My mom and dad were able to come down to the hospital beforehand and we took a couple minutes as a family to pray and have a spiritual moment before they took me away to administer the anesthetic. I hated that Rob wasn't allowed in the room for the spinal, but he joined me soon enough.

In the operating room everything was very relaxed. Dr. Posner was great at explaining every step of the procedure and Rob was absolutely enthralled by the process. We chitchatted and made jokes as the doctor made the incision, and suddenly he said it was time. He told me I would feel a "little bit" of pressure (which really felt like both he and Dr. Pan were sitting on my stomach).

Before I knew it he was holding Annelise over the sheet so that I could see her. She whimpered but didn't cry out like I had expected. Apparently she had a bit of fluid in her lungs and needed some help working it out. Olivia, on the other hand, came out with a wail. My parents were waiting in the hallway and they said they could hear her above everything else.

Then came the cords. They were twisted together so tightly that it was impossible to distinguish one from the other. At the top, nearest to where the cords were connected to the girls, was a giant knot. It was crazy to hear my doctor, a well known specialist, utter an exclamation of surprise as he held the cords up. He was shocked at their condition and amazed that the girls had done so well. After he finished sewing me up he had one of the techs grab his phone and he took pictures with the cords like a proud schoolboy.

I am so grateful that my little ones made it here safely and I can't wait until they get to meet Gideon and join us at home!

 The Miracle Cords!

My first time meeting Olivia

Holding Olivia's hand

Meeting my sweet Annelise

 My girls holding hands (they did that all by themselves!)

Grandpa holding Annelise and Grandma holding Olivia

Lola and Olivia (sorry about the lighting--they were a little jaundiced)

Papa Tony and Olivia