What a Week

This week has been a roller coaster of ups and downs starting with my specialist appointment Monday morning. I left the house with Aaron and Mom feeling good about having spent the weekend according to doctor's orders. I was on strict bed rest other using the restroom and only sitting up to eat and occasionally write. My appointment was at 10:00, but we were still waiting at 11:00 so I thought we should call Dr D's office to ask if they had the results of my fetal fibronectin test. A negative result ruled out whether or not I would go onto labor in the next 14 days. My test came back positive. I felt weak all over when the nurse told me my results and had to lay down on the waiting room couch because I was getting light headed. Dr. Cresan finally saw us after what seemed like an eternity. She first measured my cervix and then checked the babies. The good news: both Grayson and Hallie looked great. The bad news: my cervix shortened from a 2.7 on Friday to a 1.8 and was beginning to funnel.  I started to panic knowing that if it didn't stop I would soon be in labor.   I was only 22 weeks and 2 days. This couldn't be happening.  I started to feel like I was going to pass out so Dr. C put a cold compress on my head and laid me on my side until I felt like we could continue and discuss where to go from here. She suggested that we have a cerclage put in as soon a possible, but also let us know there are serious risks that go along with an emergency cerclage this late into pregnancy such as infection, breaking one of the babies amniotic sacs, puncturing one of my organs and the list went on. Many doctors will not perform a cerclage this far into pregnancy due to the possible risks and complications. If we chose not to have the surgery I would surely go onto labor in the next 1-2 weeks and the babies would have little chance at survival and major health complications if they did survive.  I was trying to keep it together but the stress was unavoidable and I started having frequent contractions. Dr. C said I would need to be admitted to the hospital after leaving her office. Aaron and I knew that our babies had little chance to survive if we didn't choose to have the cerclage. We knew surgery was the right choice for us.  I was shaking all over as I was wheeled to our car and couldn't help but think that my body was failing my precious babies.  I was a mess.

The hospital was ready for us when we arrived and we were checked right into a labor and delivery room. I had been to this same hospital, same floor many times before to visit friends and their newborns. It was like a nightmare to me. I wasn't supposed to be there yet... Not for months. Several friends and family members came to see us offering a much needed distraction from my racing thoughts. Marty, our pastor, came to pray with over us which helped to calm me and give me peace that we were covered in His protection and promises.  Shortly after Dr. D came to talk with us. He reassured me that if we had a successful surgery we could get these babies to 30 weeks or more. He also calmed us all letting us know our surgeon, Dr. Trimmer was the best he knew. Surgery was scheduled for 10:00am Tuesday morning. I felt a some relief after talking with him.  In the mean time, I was given medication to control contractions and was being monitored closely for signs of labor. The nurses and staff were wonderful and took excellent care of me in my fragile state.  Hospital bed rest became even more strict than home bed rest.  My bed was tilted downward to keep all pressure off of my cervix, I was not to sit up and my 'bathroom privileges' were suspended.  I thought I would die when I asked how I was to use the bathroom and the nurse casually said I would be using a bedpan. A bedpan!?  I can honestly say my 5 days in the hospital removed any previous modesty issues I had.  I am now prepared for childbirth :)

Sleep was hard to come by for both Aaron and I. I was given medication to help me relax and calm my anxiety. It may have helped some, but I was still highly anxious throughout the night. I was terrified of going onto labor at any moment.

Tuesday morning I saw Dr. Trimmer for a sonogram and he was able to offer us encouraging news prior to the procedure. My lining was nice and thick which would make it easier to stitch.  I had a 50% chance of reaching 32 weeks or more if everything went as we hoped. His goal was to stretch and hold my cervix to 3.5cm (stitch was described to us to look much like a man's shoelace). I had a spinal tap numbing from waste down and was ready to go. The procedure lasted about 45 minutes. Dr. T was so kind and caring throughout the entire process holding my hand as I was prepped and he even asked for the babies name and wrote them down so he wouldn't forget. Afterwards we had another sonogram and were given excellent knews. Dr. T was able to fix the funneling and stretch my cervix to a 4.5! He felt very optimistic and said that we should too. I finally felt relief after 24 hours of worrying like I never have in my life before.  Due to the risks and potential complications after surgery I was to stay in the hospital for observation until they felt I was stable enlightenment to go home.

Wednesday morning Dr. T came for a follow up sonogram. I was more than ready to see how the stitch was holding.  Although I felt better after surgery I was still very anxious about the what-ifs.  I made the mistake of Googling late one night when I couldn't sleep. BAD idea.  Dr. T was extremely pleased with my progress seeing no infection and confirming the stitch was holding and still measuring at a 4.5! Our prayers were answered. We still have a long road ahead, but we could rest in this 'victory' as the doctor said. Our first goal is to make 26 weeks. 24 is technically when they have reached a chance at viability, but 24 would still be far too early, with many complications expected.  Our next big goal will be 28-30 weeks and anything beyond that point just means more developed babies who will spend less time in the NICU.

Throughout this week we relied heavily on our faith and prayed feverently for the health of our precious babies. We trust God's will and knew He was with us every step of the way. I believe each storm we weather is to make us stronger and draw us closer to Him. I knew I loved and wanted these babies, but had no idea just how much until this week.  I will do whatever it takes to ensure Grayson and Hallie arrive here safe and healthy.   I now know what it means to love your children more than yourself. I can only begin to imagine what that love will grow into after I am able to hold them in my arms!

I was released from the hospital Friday. It feels great to be home. I was nervous leaving the constant supervision and monitoring by the hospital staff, but comforted knowing they felt I am stable enough to continue bed rest at home. Oh, and I have my bathroom and shower privileges back! It's the little things.... I will see the Dr. T's partner next week for follow up as he is out of town. We pray for continued progress and good news from here on out. Everyday these two stay put is a victory and a blessing.  I told Mom we need to have a party on her birthday (August 15th) as I will be 30 weeks that day. Who said you can't have a party on the couch???


Bed Rest Already?

Fridays appointment brought us some very unexpected news. Most importantly; Grayson and Hallie both looked perfect. Grayson measured exactly a week ahead at 23 weeks and Hallie right on target at 22 weeks. They looked as cute as ever.  Dr. D measures head circumference, stomach and their femurs to determine their size.  He said Grayson was a chubster after seeing his little tummy.  He weighs 1.5lbs and she weighs 1.2lbs.

Now for the unexpected news. Carrying twins in general has higher risks associated than carrying just one baby. My appointment revealed that my cervix is shortening at a rapid rate which could lead to early labor. Two weeks ago the doctor measured my cervix at 3.7cm which is fairly short, but not reason to panic. This week my cervix had effaced to a 2.7. At 2cm we are in the danger zone and I would likely be hospitalized.  I was shocked and immediately concerned when he read my measurement. Aaron was in Nebraska for the college World Series so Krystal came along. Thank goodness for great friends!  Dr. D said to go home and rest until I could see a specialist who would determine if I need a cervical stitch (called a cerclage). He also prescribed Progesterone which should help strengthen my cervix. Dr D. spoke with the specialist and called me later in the day to let me know the she recommends bed rest from here on out. This means no work, no grocery store, no cooking dinner. I can shower and use the restroom. That's it. So much for my day at the pool and dinner in FTW with friends.  The next several months will not be a the summer I planned for, but will be worth every minute spent on the couch as long as Grayson and Hallie are healthy and safe in my tummy until it's time for their arrival. Each week will be an achievement.

I am very blessed to work for a company who is so understanding and supportive. No one expected bed rest this early, but they didn't bat an eyelash when I let them know our situation. I will work from home during the week which will allow me to manage my home buyers on contract until their closings and give me something to occupy my time during the day.

The first day and a half has been relaxing. Mom stayed with me over night and I've had several visitors stop by already. Aaron came around 7:00 and heated up a yummy lasagna his mom dropped off. I was very happy to have him home with me and glad he was able to have some fun before he has to wait on me hand and foot.  I've read up on some things to do and things to avoid to keep me healthy and sane during the next several months.

I see the specialist Monday morning. In the mean time I pray that these precautions will be effective and I will get as close as possible to full term. The babies are viable at 24 weeks, but our goal is to get way beyond that. Ideally, I will make it to 34-38 weeks.

We are putting our trust and faith in God to carry us to the finish line!

Here are our two little angels at 22 weeks.
Grayson (baby A) is on top and Hallie (baby B) on bottom. 
Aaron thinks Hallie looks like him. I think she might! 


Halfway There!

A little over half way as a matter of fact.  Second trimester has been great.  The babies are kicking away although I can't tell which kick came from who, but assume the lower kicks are Grayson and the kicks up higher are Hallie.  Yes, we picked names!  Grayson James and Hallie Ryan!  It was so exciting to finally call them by name.  Aaron talks to them all the time.  He couldn't be more excited, and couldn't be sweeter or more nurturing.  He has dinner ready every night when I come home, and helps me around the house so I can relax after work.  He is definitely I keeper!  I couldn't ask for a better daddy for our twins.  He is very protective, and has been known to taste test my virgin pina colada to be sure no alcohol was accidentally added and stick a finger in the tub to check the water temperature. He is also a stickler about my diet.  No eggs over medium, limited caffeine and fish ect.  He read up early on and is on top of the details.  I love that he is so involved and caring; melts my heart a little.  A few weeks back I asked him to stop by Starbucks for a tall (the smallest size) vanilla latte and he brought back the teeniest, tiniest latte I have ever seen.  I didn't even know they made cups that small!  I love his heart and how much he loves these two already.

Worlds smallest latte

This week I start seeing Dr. Daum on a bi-weekly basis to check on the babies, my cervix and see how we are progressing.  Our last check up went well.  Grayson measured 15inches and Hallie about 13.  He will keep an eye on them to make sure that she keeps up and doesn't fall behind him in terms of growth, but Dr. D. was very pleased overall.  My cervix is a bit shorter than the average, but not a reason to worry right now.  Dr. D will keep a close watch and restrict my activity if it starts to shorten.  We love seeing them and are happy to check in on them every two weeks!

Pregnancy has been really exciting.  Any yucky feelings I had cleared up almost as soon as I hit the second trimester.  I am getting bigger and having a hard time getting comfortable at night, but am getting enough sleep to get me through the day.  I love an occasional nap on my days off to catch up on some of the sleep I'm missing out on at night.  Last night I had my first experience with leg cramps.  I woke up suddenly and screamed, 'ouch, cramps!'  Poor Aaron shot out of bed asking me what was wrong, but I couldn't respond until the cramping stopped.  It was definitely unlike any Charlie Horse I've ever had.  I'll try and drink more water and have been told bananas help.  We shall see.  I can't imagine drinking much more water than I am now.  I might have to move into the bathroom permanently. 

The nursery is coming along really well.  So far we have it painted and the cribs are up.  I can't wait to see how it all comes together.  I have everything picked out and am now just ordering and waiting.  We love going in their room and imagining two little stinkers crawling around!  The dogs do too, but pretty soon it will be a no dog zone!
Nursery Design Board

My shower is around the corner.  Mom, Karlos, Andrea and Ali are hosting for me.  I can't wait.  I know it will be perfect!  Mom, Krystal and I registered a few weeks back.  It was so overwhelming.  We were happy to have Krystal (and sweet baby Channing's help).  I hope I still look halfway decent at my shower... so far I have gained 15lbs.  I think I am pretty in line with what is expected for twins (35-45lbs).  My goal is to be at the lower end of that range so I've recently started making better diet choices so that I don't gain too quickly.  Towards the beginning of pregnancy I ate whatever I could stomach... usually not the healthiest options.  I couldn't stand the thought of cooked veggies or baked/grilled chicken.  Thankfully, I am over that and have been eating a more balanced diet.  Fruit sounds good ALL THE TIME; watermelon, pears, oranges, bananas, grapes and apples have been regulars on my menu.  I had a frozen banana with chocolate last night that was amazing!  It may not have been the healthiest choice, but better than a bowl of ice cream :)


Lastly, we celebrated Father's Day this past weekend.  I wasn't sure if Aaron would be into it, but he really was.  We had a great time with the family and saw Aunt Janie while she was in town.  Aaron got some great gifts from the family... Ranger's outfits for both G&H, a baby Bjorn carrier, a diaper bag and History Maker Homes onesies his parents surprised him with!  He keeps saying he wants G to dress like him rather than some of outfits I've bought for him, and now he will!  When we first started dating he wore his dad's company logo shirts on a few dates which was funny to me, because I work at History Maker too.  He will never live those days down and now G&H will be dressed just like their dad!

I can't believe in just a few months our family of two will be a family of four!  We couldn't be more blessed.

Father's Day


Aaron and I had a sweet little get-a-way to Key West in May.  It was the perfect sunny and sandy vacation we needed.  We spent the week in a cute little cottage style B&B on the beach. Aaron was a little nervous to fly during my pregnancy, but everything went off without a hitch. Key West is such a neat place full of great shops, restaurants and sunset to die for.  We had a wonderful time, and got some much  needed R&R before the little ones get here, and relaxation becomes a thing of the past! I even felt my first baby kick while I was relaxing by the pool with a view of the ocean. I took this to mean the babies will love water as much as their mamma does!