Wednesday, June 27, 2012

18 Week Anatomy Scan

Well, I have a feeling I've made some enemies over the past day.  :) 

My doctor's appointment yesterday went really good, but we decided to NOT reveal their genders until we can have a party and tell everyone at the same time.  With Taylor in softball tournaments starting tonight and going every night for the rest of the week, and my brother and his family will be coming back for a visit this Saturday evening - we decided to wait until Sunday afternoon to share our secrets!

BUT, I do have other pictures to share, so I will fill in the anatomy portion of the scan today and the gender part will wait until after the party!

So we'll start with Baby "A". This is the one that is on the bottom, and will be born first.  "A" was super calm, and "A" just let my nurse take all the pics that she wanted and when we were looking at "A"'s legs, we all of a sudden had several legs in the picture.  "B" decided it was their turn to be the center of attention and didn't want to wait any longer to show up on the screen.  Thankfully "A" had shown us all we needed to see at that time, so we move on up to "B"...

When she started Baby "B"'s scan it was quite apparent that "B" is definitely a show off.  I've noticed this in quite a few other scans, too!  "B" was flipping around, stretching, putting it's hands up to it's face, and when we finally saw all that we needed to see and measure "B" was still going strong.

We were told that "B" is a little bigger than "A" and that it's normal since they are not identical.  Everything measured within the normal ranges and "A" is currently weighing 8 oz. and is in the 35th %, while "B" is 9 oz. and is in the 80th %.  I was assured again that this is totally normal.

When she was getting ready to be done we noticed that "B" had moved down so that it's head was right next to "A"'s as if to say "It's OK, I'm still here."   I do hope that they will be each others best friends growing up!

So, watch for reveal updates coming soon!!!   Love and Peace to All!


Monday, June 18, 2012

The Day of 17’s

17 Months –
 Today it is 17 months since we said “Hello and Goodbye” to our precious baby girl, Calleigh Joy. Not a single day has gone by that I do not miss her, think about her and wonder what amazing things she would be doing today in her toddlerhood. As her room sits the same way we had it when we were getting ready for her to come home and live with us, I can go in there and look at her crib, her clothes hanging up, her stuffed bear, her book that her big sister bought her and I can remember how hard the last 17 months have been, and how much I’ve learned about myself and my marriage. Today, in between work and a softball game, we will go to the cemetery and decorate her grave with some fresh flowers from Calleigh’s Garden that were planted in memory and honor of her. Our baby girl. Our precious girl.

 17 Weeks – 
 Today it is also my 17th week of pregnancy with Twin A & Twin B. 17 Weeks! In reality we are probably almost half way done. Dr. Kenney hasn’t given a whole lot of specifics yet about delivering, but my personal goal right now is to make it to the middle of October. That would mean that today IS the half-way point. Taylor and I went in today for a “quick check”. They both looked great, but I think they were still sleepy because they didn’t show off near as much as they did last Monday for daddy! But we got a couple of pictures and the heartbeats were strong and both at 153 bpm. Next week is our “big anatomy scan”! This will be a long appointment where they will actually look at and measure each organ and make sure it is functioning properly. Also, if they co-operate, we will find out if they are two girls, two boys, or one of each!

Number 17 – 
 I can’t forget Taylor! 17 is her favorite number and it’s also the number that she wears on her jersey for softball! So as we head to Sterling tonight for a 9:00 p.m. game, we will be rooting on #17! Taylor’s favorite defensive position to play is 2nd base, but her absolute favorite thing to do is bat. And boy can she slug the ball out there! Go Panthers!

June 17th – 
 And last, but NOT least, Justen! June 17th was the last time we’ve heard from our “Coast Guard Son” who is living it up in Alaska! :) (Really he’s working, but I like to give him a hard time about being on a three month vacation!) He is doing good, enjoying the scenery, doing some fishing and patrolling the waters to keep our home land safe! We are so proud of him!

Love and Peace to All!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

15 Years Ago I Married My Best Friend

Today is Corey and my 15th anniversary. In April we celebrated our 22nd anniversary. Yes, we were married twice and YES we definitely celebrate both!

 We decided soon after we re-married that we would commemorate both remembrances of our wedding vows, and even though the first one was not fulfilled in the “death do us part” part, we still have two beautiful children that were born to us through that union. And, to be perfectly honest, if we had not gone through the hardships that we went through in that first marriage we would not be the people we are today. Going through trials after trials has made us stronger. If our weathered souls had not already had to bear (and triumph through) very heavy life circumstances I am not at all sure that we would have had the power to go through the death of Calleigh Joy. Having been to hell and back already once in our lives together, we knew how to not make the same mistakes, how to keep each other informed of our feelings and emotions, and how to lean on each other while we together leaned on God for our strength. Corey is my earthly rock, my go-to guy, my best friend. Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye – I guess maybe we are both a bit stubborn! – but we always cool down and talk our differences through. I trust him with my life and with the lives of my children.

 OK, enough heavy, gooey, mushy stuff. . . Last night I dropped Taylor off at youth group and had some errands to run. On my way to Super Saver I thought I would quick run in to the goodwill and see if they had any maternity tops for summer. Unfortunately all of my shirts from Calleigh are winter, long-sleeved, sweater-type tops. NOT good when I’m pregnant with twins and I already look like I’m 7 or 8 months along! :) So as I was browsing through their very tiny selection, the shelf of books caught my eye. I’m always looking to complete our collection of Berenstain Bears and Dr. Seuss books – and now I have a really good excuse to keep looking for more of them! (We already own enough books to keep these two reading for the first 10 years of their lives, but those two collections are very special to me!) Well, I didn’t see anything to add, but I did find a brand-new “Love Dare, One Year Devotional for Couples” hardback book for $1.99! We love the movie “Fireproof” (If you haven’t seen it, you MUST watch it!) and this book is from that movie. I thought this would be a really good idea to start on our anniversary! (Corey doesn’t know this yet, it’s a surprise!) Then while I was getting his lunch ready last night I put a hand-written note in his lunch box, and this morning he wrote me a note and picked me a bouquet of flowers from CJ’s garden and put it in a vase on the counter! (ahhhhhhh!) This evening I’m going to make a Salmon/Rice dish (while Taylor eats left-over Chinese – where did she get so picky from?) and then we are darting out the door to Taylor’s softball game that is almost 1 ½ hours away. Full day, but that’s our crazy, wonderful, full life! Softball will be over in a few weeks and I’m sure we’ll fill that time up with something else!

 I’ve had two doctors’ appointments since I’ve updated this last. (Sorry, I know I need to get more on the ball. . .) And I’m positive that Corey won’t mind sharing this anniversary post with pictures of our two little “mangos”. (The “fruit size” of this week!) On June 4th, I had a regular appointment: everything looked great, Taylor went with me, and when we were leaving I made my next appointment for three weeks away – which would be my 18 week anatomy ultrasound and (hopefully if they cooperate) gender reveal! The appointment was set for June 26th at 2:45 p.m. and I remarked to Taylor that I didn’t know how I would get through the next 3 weeks without seeing them. I have seen them every two weeks since they were seven weeks old, and the thought of going three weeks was kind of overwhelming. Well, then came Sunday evening. I started having some “complications” and after a totally sleepless night I called the office first thing Monday morning. They told me to come right in and Corey left work and met me there. As I explained what had happened to me a couple times Sunday night they had me lay on the table and started the ultrasound machine. I had cried all the way to Lincoln and was still crying as I lay there, unable to watch the screen. I imagined seeing these two precious little babies, that have taken over my heart, be still on the screen. I didn’t know how I could get through leaving that office through the “back door” for the second time in less than 17 months. So as I lay there, with Corey holding my hand and me closing my eyes, I was so relieved when the nurse said “well, there’s Baby A moving all around, now let’s look at Baby B”. Baby B was alive too! And then they decided to show off for daddy. (Corey hadn’t been to an appointment since they were 8 ½ weeks old) One of them arched its back and stretched its arms above its head and the other was just being plain cute. It was so much fun to watch Corey’s eyes as he watched them on the screen. Of course he’s seen the pictures each time, but it is so different to actually SEE them moving around then it is to see a couple of still shots. So after she timed each of their heartbeats and measured their fluid and checked my cervix, Dr. Kenney came in and told me everything looked good, but he wanted an amniotic swab test done just to be on the safe side. He also asked if I could come back next week for another quick check so I wouldn’t have to wait 2 weeks to check on them until my “big scan” date. Corey piped up that I would really appreciate that, and he said that he’d see me in a week. So the nurse came back in and did that test and I was free to go – she would call later when the results were back. After I had heard from her on the phone and she told me the test was negative (which is good, that’s what we wanted it to be) and I can assure you all that I have never been so thankful to have apparently wet my pants in all my life! (Ladies who have been there – you know what I’m talking about!)

 I do want to give a quick “shout out” to the staff at my doctor’s office. Every single person that I have dealt with there has had a level of compassion for me that I don’t know if I could extend to a crazy lady like myself. More times than not I’ve been in tears at the start of my appointment and smiling ear to ear at the end, and every single time they are there to talk me through my fear, assure me that everything looks good so far, and to not treat me like a fanatic that is losing her mind. When my regular OB doctor decided that I should see this high risk specialist exclusively I at first felt a bit betrayed. I KNEW he was doing it for my own good, but I felt like I was going to be just a “number” in his office. Boy was I wrong. As it turns out, Dr. Kenney does not have that many of his own “exclusive” patients, as he is busy consulting and helping other doctors when their patients need more expertise then they are able to give, so the staff only sees the others very infrequently. (Where they see me sometimes every week!) It is comforting to know that anytime I want to come, I am more than welcome to!

Well, here are our pictures from the last two appointments - Here is Baby A looking right at us during my 15 week appointment on 6/4:

And here is Baby B all stretched out on 6/4:

Here are 3-D pics from 6/4. Baby A is being shy and this is the top of it's forehead with an arm in front of it's face:

And here is Baby B with it's two fists so it looks like it's punching it's twin:

And here is Baby A and Baby B from my "emergency" appointment on 6/11:

Peace and Love to All!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A rainbow pregnancy – A beautiful journey through the storm

There is an e-mail newsletter that is published quarterly that is for parents who have suffered a loss of a child either through pregnancy loss or infant loss. In this newsletter they try to have writers share the whole spectrum of the journey, and I was asked to write an article about our "Rainbow Pregnancy" with our twins. I wanted to share it here for my friends and family!

 And on a side note - I have my next doctors appointment on Monday morning (6/4/12) at 8:00 am. Prayers are definitely appreciated!

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A rainbow pregnancy – A beautiful journey through the storm

 I really never pictured myself ever being in the “baby loss” community before our daughter, Calleigh Joy, was born still on January 18th, 2011.

 Our son was born in 1990 and our oldest daughter was born in 1996. When Taylor was around two years old my husband and I decided that we would like to have another baby and finish our little family by having three children I had always wanted three or four kids, so that seemed to be perfect timing. We had married and started our family young, so we were ready to have our last at the ripe old age of 27 or 28.

 Well, God had different plans for our lives. We did not get pregnant, well, not until 12 years later! I always knew God had a sense of humor, but to find out I was pregnant about 2 months before my 40th birthday after we wanted to be “done” at 28 was quite comical and an amusing story to share with our friends and family. I had the very false sense of security that after I hit the 12 week mark with absolutely no problems, everything else would fall in to place and that our beautiful baby girl would be born around her due date with a full head of hair and a cute button nose, because, in my fantasy world, whoever made it past 12 weeks was home free. My pregnancy progressed perfectly – every single appointment, ultrasound and lab test we passed with flying colors. When I went in for a routine 27 week appointment I was in a happy-go-lucky, carefree mood, I even joked around with the nurses. I almost wish I would’ve had some sense of what was about to happen, if only I could’ve prepared myself in some way… No heartbeat.

 Those two words, 'no heartbeat', thrust me into an unknown world. The scary, unpredictable, emotional, crazy, frustrating, terrifying, maddening world of child-loss. The world of child-loss does not come with a manual or instructions of any kind. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, no right or wrong time to have another baby, or no right answer if a couple should even have another baby. This foreign land must be completely navigated without a compass, GPS, maps or asking for directions along the way. Of course you can pray and ask God to direct your steps, but no audible human voice will be able to answer your many questions and concerns. This world of child-loss is a different road for every single person that is forced in to it.

 For Corey and I, our daughters death was (still is!) the single most difficult thing we have ever been through. Deciding to pursue fertility treatments to try and get pregnant again was probably the hardest decision we ever had to make. We had no guarantees, we didn’t have 12 years to “wait and see what happened”, we were still deeply grieving the baby that went straight into heaven to spend eternity with Jesus. I knew I could not replace Calleigh Joy, I just knew my arms and heart ached and they had ached for quite some time. People who have never gone through something like this love to give advice – whether you ask for it or not! I was straight out asked if I thought having another baby would help me get over losing Calleigh. I think over-all people who don’t understand are trying to be helpful, they just need to realize that all I really wanted was for my friends to be there and to support us in whatever decisions we made for our family – not for unsolicited advice.

 When our treatments finally worked we found out at 3 1/2 weeks that we were expecting, and at 7 weeks we found out we were expecting TWINS! The level of fear that one feels when they are in a rainbow pregnancy can not even be described unless you have been there. I am currently 14 1/2 weeks along, and even though I’ve made it a week and a half into my second trimester my naivete' is no longer there. I did not feel some overwhelming level of security when I reached the 12 week mark this time, nor do I think I ever will feel secure in the very long 26ish weeks I have left. Only recently have I even had some tiny thoughts of even bringing our twins home from the hospital, before this when I would think about the twins I would imagine myself burying them in the cemetery with their sister.

 Fear is something I struggle with daily (if I'm honest- hourly). And a web-site and book that I have found extremely helpful is "The Pregnancy Companion" and the link is:
This is a faith based book written by an OB doctor and one of her patients that has been through several losses herself. I enjoy the Bible verses that they weave through the relevant discussions that all pregnant ladies want to participate in. Their web-site is written in blog-form and one post in particular I keep going back to, "10 Scriptures for Fighting Fear in Pregnancy". I have shared this list with anyone who cares to hear about it!

 So, even though we have just barely started the "Rainbow Pregnancy Journey", I am encouraged by the meaning of the rainbow idea. No matter how fierce the storm rages around you, even if there is one beam of sun that breaks through the clouds it can make a beautiful rainbow. Our twins are a constant reminder to me that life is good, God is good, and no matter how much we miss Calleigh, our life on earth is forever changed because she touched our lives. I have also found blogging to be a great way to express myself. If you would like to follow along on our bumpy road we call life, my blog is:

Blessings to you and yours as you travel along on your own path. May we help each other and encourage each other along the way.