Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Here We Go Again

So we spent all evening in a nasty after hours clinic so my girls could get diagnosed with Hand, Foot, Mouth for the third time in their two years.  Not only that, but Julia was diagnosed with her third ear infection since Christmas.  What kind of Pediatric clinic doesn't put outlet covers on the outlets in their offices where they make you wait with your child(ren) who are bored out of their mind and trying to touch everything.  Those outlets just look like the perfect place to stick their saliva-drenched fingers.  Nightmare.

This was exactly what I didn't need.  Here's why.

Amelia is cutting her final teeth, Julia is cutting 17 and 18.  Thank God an end is in sight there.

Nobody is sleeping well at night.  Seriously, do they make a drug that helps you fall back asleep after your daughter wakes you up to find her pacifier in the middle of the night?  She's out in a few minutes.  Last night it took Jonathan and I two plus hours.

I am trying to get everything lined out for starting school in June.  That means finding a daycare, making appointments for a physical, an annual, a haircut.  I'll have to make an adjustment to my FAFSA.  Depending on my schedule, we may need to buy two carseats for Jonathan's car...

The girls' Super Sweet Second Birthday is right around the corner.  For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to make them dresses for the big day.  Why, why?!?!  Oh, I also need to buy them forks still.  Neglected to do that when I bought plates and napkins.  Then there is the food.  Sam's here we come.

Saturday is my last cake decorating class.

I know I said that online class was awesome.  Now that I've been in it for a little longer, I have to amend my opinion.  While the whole not having to arrange for someone to watch the girls is awesome, I failed to remember that I suck at testing on a computer.  I also lack the motivation required for studying for an online class.  Did I mention that my next test is next week?

I'm sure things could be significantly worse.  Like I could be reliving the first month of twin parenthood.  Still, I'm a little overwhelmed and stressed at the moment.  Even though I gave up Facebook and haven't updated this thing in quite some time, I still feel like I can't get anything done.  Deep breath.

Time to study.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Crying Over Spilled Milk

I know we aren't supposed to cry over spilled milk.  But I seriously think some spilled milk situations merit a good cry.  For instance, the few times that I spilled the freshly pumped breast milk in the first six months of my children's lives.  Or today...

We came home from the grocery store with a brand new gallon of milk for the girls.  I set it on the kitchen counter and went into the living room to turn the TV on so that the girls wouldn't cling to my legs begging "up-e-o" (pick me up) while I made their oh-so-delicious, but not-so-nutritious mac & cheese.  Then I hear a crash, followed by a tell-tale bubbling.  Yeah.  They pulled the milk off the counter and it busted right along the seam.  To make matters worse, I'm frantically telling the girls to get out of the kitchen and go in the living room while pouring what's left in the jug into the old jug and grabbing for towels and Amelia just keeps standing there saying, "Messy, messy, messy."

Yes, Amelia, it is messy.  Please go in the living room.

Messy, messy, messy.


Messy, messy, messy.


That last time I screamed it at her.  And she started bawling.  Broke my heart.  I couldn't do anything about it until I dammed the grout-made milk rivers though.  The milk was heading straight for the fridge and THAT would have been disaster.  So once I got the rivers dammed, I talked to Amelia about following directions while I gave her hugs and kisses and made everything better.

Two bath towels and a hand towel later and the mess was cleaned up.  Thank goodness I was already doing laundry today.

On a more positive note, the weather the last couple days has been so phenomal.  Two days ago I braved taking the twins for a walk, sans their leashes (Julia's broke a few months ago).  In the 15 minutes that we walked, the girls chased an airplane, Amelia made a mad-dash for a Weimereiner (sp?) being walked on the other side of the street, and they got a friendly hello from a school bus driver.  We all survived and I think the Vitamin D did us some good.

Yesterday we drove over to the neighborhood park and played for half an hour.  The girls got wet and muddy, but we all had a great time.  I can't wait until we have consistently pretty weather and can spend more time outside.

And what's on my mind and heart right now?  While going to PA school is, for lack of a better description, a dream come true, I am totally in mourning about the time I will miss with my little monkeys.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I just got a phone call.  Probably the best phone call of my life.  It was OU.  I'm starting PA school in June.

As soon as I heard her voice I knew exactly who it was and why she was calling.  Then I could hardly respond to anything she said because I was fighting back tears.  I can hardly believe it.  All my hard work in my classes.  All my mom's babysitting my kids.  All my husband's supportiveness and help with everything.  It all paid off.

Praise God.  His blessings are more abdundant than I am capable of putting into words.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Aw, thanks!

Thanks to Rachel at The Happiness in Headstands for my very first blog award!  What a compliment.  I made a spot on the side of my blog to show it off.  So cute isn't it?!?!

If you receive a blog award, you are supposed to
a.  Put the logo on your blog or within your post
b.  Pass the award onto 5 bloggers
c.  Link the nominees within your post
d.  Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

Five of my favorite blogs in no particular order are...

Doula Momma - Very informative blog primarily about childbirth

Life is Bliss - Desiree is a work-at-home mom with an almost 2-year-old, a baby on the way, and a husband in med-school.  She manages her busy schedule with a sense of humor and a big God.

50 Sticky Fingers - Martha is the mom to five beautiful kiddos.  Her youngest two are twins just a few months younger than mine.

"All Chalked Up" - Anna is a creative and curious stay-at-home mom to two kiddos.  I think most of all, I love her honesty.

From Z to A - Jacquelyn and I have been friends since I asked if I could sit at her lunch table our sophomore year in high school.  She is a stay-at-home mom to two handsome little boys.  As a former preschool teacher, she has a lot of insight into all things toddler.

Sometimes giving something up means gaining so much more.

Today is Ash Wednesday and while my particular denomination does not emphasize Lent much, I have chosen to participate this year.  Several years ago, I gave up cheese for Lent.  I am a cheese addict and restaurants put cheese on everything.  But, everytime I said no to cheese I remembered that Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert and then he was crucified.  Gave me a little perspective and I really felt the significance of the Easter holiday.

This year I've decided to give up Facebook for Lent.  Facebook is a source of a few arguments for my husband and I.  He isn't into social networking sites.  And admittedly, I do spend too much time on there.  In addition to giving up Facebook, I have decided to take on the book The Love Dare.  For the most part, I have an excellent marriage, but I want to learn to love my husband better and I want to make sure that I keep God at the center of our relationship.  Since it is a 40 day challenge, I thought Lent would be the perfect time to do it.

Today's lesson was "Love is Patient".  The lesson emphasized that anger often occurs when we don't get something we want.  Rather than reacting in anger, the message was to react with patience.  This keeps us from saying things we will regret and brings peace to a household.  The dare is to say nothing negative to our spouse today.

Are you participating in Lent this year?  What are you giving up and why?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I got a letter in the mail from OU on Monday.  It felt too thin to be an acceptance letter and too thick to be a rejection letter.  Upon opening it I discovered that I have been waitlisted for the Physician Assistant program.  Let me explain.  This will only be the third year for this program in Tulsa and because they are in the accreditation process they are only allowed to accept 24 students each year.  I was not one of those 24.  However, should someone decline to accept their invitation into the program, an invitation would be extended to someone on the waitlist.  They will not tell us where we are on the waitlist.  I could be the very first person, the last person, or somewhere in the middle.  I also don't know how many people are on the waitlist.  I do know that once an invitation has been extended, one has ten days to accept or decline.

I have no idea how to feel about this.  I mean on the one hand, I'm disappointed that I wasn't selected.  On the other, there were 240 applicants, 103 of which were interviewed and to even make the waitlist is pretty awesome.  It also means I am still in limbo though.  This is probably the hardest part for us.  We have to still plan like I am starting school in June, but we also have to come up with a solid backup plan.  That's where things get tricky.

The options we are considering as backup plans are:

a)  wait and apply again next year.  This pushes all our plans (another child or two and a bigger house) back a full year, which stinks.

b)  apply for nursing school next year.  If I did this, I would graduate about the same time as was originally planned and be an RN.  Then, if I wanted to, I could go back to school later and become a Nurse Practitioner (similar to PA) or pursue a number of other Masters or certification options available to nurses.

c)  we could have another child now and wait yet another year for school.  This means money and space would be tight for awhile, but I wouldn't have to put the next child in daycare until they were a year old and I'd never have to put the girls in full-time daycare.

So much to pray about, so many details to consider, and the waiting game continues.  "Not According to Plan" seems such an appropriate title for my blog right now.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The First Year - A Pictorial Review

I had a really hard time bonding with my girls in the beginning.  I'm such a planner and nothing was going as planned.  I was still trying to grasp the fact that I had two babies and mourning the loss of participation in childbirth.  Compounding that, perpetual exhaustion left me irritable and somewhat irrational.  While I loved my children, I was completely jealous of women that got to experience one newborn at a time.  When I was caring for one baby, there was another one begging for my attention.  I felt like a failure.

The first month I cried out to God every ngiht that He promised He wouldn't give me more than I could handle and I just couldn't handle this.  Julia wasn't latching properly so I was pumping.  I felt like a dairy cow.
We got the latch issue fixed.  Praise God for Mona, a lactation consultant at St. John's.  Things were getting better.

The girls slept through the night as their Mother's Day present to  me.  I couldn't have asked for a better gift.

This was the month they were dedicated.  Thank you, Donalyn, for sewing the frill down around the neckline of their dresses so they looked like angels rather than clowns.
By now they could roll over.

They perfected sitting on their own this month.  Julia became a much happier girl when she reached this milestone.

By this month they had discovered that they could really get places by rolling.
Sadly, I can't find any seven month pictures.
By nine months they discovered that they could pull themselves up and loved nothing more than standing.

Let the climbing begin. They climbed into their stroller, up Jonathan's night stand, into drawers, etc. They still couldn't walk, but they were fully mobile.

Let the cruising begin!

Happy 1st Birthday girls!  Amelia took her first unassisted step at her birthday party.  Julia kept up by using her walker.

Gradually things got better and better throughout the year.  I made amends with God, I was getting more sleep at night, I didn't feel like a constant failure anymore, and I was fully able to bond with my children.  Looking back on it, I probably had Post Partum Depression.  Praise God for all my friends and family that stuck by me through everything.  I know I wasn't pleasant to be around and I certainly had nothing to give anyone.  And yet my closest friends and most of my family were very understanding.  Thank you!

Friday, February 5, 2010

How It All Went Down: The story of my pregnancy and childbirth - Part 4

March 2, 2008
(I don't think this shirt could stretch anymore and these were Jonathan's pants)

Monday, March 3, 2008, we went to the hospital bright and early.  After a long wait, I was prepped for surgery and then taken to the OR.  The anasthesiologist had a hard time with my epidural because I have slight scoliosis, but managed to get it in on the second try.  He apologized for the pain, and I joked that since I had prepared for a vaginal delivery, this was nothing.  They laid me down and I looked up into the light where I could see the reflection of what the doctors were doing.  Jonathan was holding my hand and when I saw them start to pull Amelia out, I made him watch.

The nurses took the girls to cleaned up and Jonathan followed them out.  I listened to my OB and the assisting OB chit chat about their families while stitching me up.  Several minutes later a nurse and Jonathan brought the girls in for me to see.  The first time I saw them they were all wrapped up in blankets with hats on and my arms were numb from the epidural so I couldn't touch them.

I was wheeled into the recovery room where a lactation consultant and Jonathan helped the babies nurse.  They had to position my arms to hold them because I still couldn't really move them on my own.  After just a few more minutes I was wheeled into my hospital room.  The girls were given just one bassinet which they refused to lay in.  So the entire time I was in the hospital the babies slept on either me or Jonathan.

I was hooked up to a catheter and inflatable balloons were on my ankles to keep me from getting blood clots.  I was not allowed to eat anything all day.  I wasn't detached from all this until about 11:00pm.  Then I had a nurse coming in to make sure I was able to pee again.  There were also nurses that came in every hour to check if the babies were eating and having dirty diapers.  We were exhausted and unable to keep track of everything, and the nurses started lecturing us about the importance of tracking all this.  I was so tired that I nearly fell off the bed a couple of times because I was falling asleep while I was trying to nurse.  In addition to all this we had visitors almost all the time.  We were thrilled to be released from the hospital Wednesday evening.

We just had one glitch before heading home.  The only clothes that would fit were my nursing pajamas.  I was so swollen that I couldn't even wear my own socks.  Jonathan loaned me a pair of his and I wore my houseshoes home.  I looked and felt terrible.

How It All Went Down: The story of my pregnancy and childbirth - Part 3

My doctor told me that if there was anything abnormal about my ultrasound I should get a call from her office.  I'm thinking twins are pretty abnormal.  Two days later.  No call.  So I call and talk to the nurse.  I don't remember what she said except that the ultrasound showed that they were both perfect.  Big sigh of relief.  Of course I had been researching multiple pregnancies in every spare moment of my time and knew every risk there was.  I had to wait to talk to my doctor until my next appointment.

Jonathan and I showed up for next appointment eager to get answers to all our questions and find out what I should be doing differently with a twin pregnancy.  We found out that they were in fact identical girls.  What we didn't expect to hear was that she didn't want us to have sex anymore and she wanted me to have a c-section.  After recovering from the shock of this, I asked why a c-section would be necessary if both babies were head down.  Her response was that she felt confident that she could get a baby out no matter what position it was in, but that there was an increased risk of placenta prevaria with a twin pregnancy and that meant my placenta could detach between the birth of Baby A and Baby B and Baby B could die.  I had never heard of this before.

So I researched.  And researched.  And researched.  Until I finally found a study that gave me actual numbers of what the increased risk was for multiple birth pregnancies to have placenta prevaria.  Turns out the increased risk she was so concerned about was something like 0.08% greater than the risk for a singleton pregnancy.  In addition, in most of these cases the placenta only partially detached and the babies were born healthy.  In fact, in trying to find the previous study, I ran across a study conducted between 1997 and 2000 that says there is no greater risk.  So I'm thinking, "I know that a c-section is considered a "routine procedure", but the risk of something going wrong there has to be greater than this."  I told my doctor that if it was physically possible, I was delivering my babies vaginally.  To this she told me that I would have to deliver in the OR and have an epidural.  At this point, I was willing to negotiate.  I should have just switched doctors.

One month later, the morning of a scheduled appointment, I woke up with mild cramps.  They weren't really painful, I just couldn't get comfortable.  I decided not to call the doctor since I would see her later that day, so I got dressed and went to work.  When I mentioned them at the appointment she sent me directly to the hospital.  I was terrified.  They took a urine sample and had me hooked up to the fetal monitors.  I was there all day.  I was finally told that a bladder infection had caused my cervix to shorten.  I was sent home with a prescription and put on strict bedrest.  I was to lie down at all times except to use the restroom and take a 10 minute shower each day.

I was devestated.  I am a very active person and this was like a prison sentence for me.  My husband had to bring me breakfast and dinner and my mom came over to get me lunch each day.  Thank God I had such a great support system.  I had to stay that way for one week until I went to see my perinatologist (I started seeing him when they found out there were twins).  He did an ultrasound of the inside of my cervix and determined that I was still closed up tight inside.  At this point, I was allowed to sit, but was otherwise still restricted to my bathroom breaks and 10 minute showers.

Despite my bladder infection healing and no further change in my cervix, I was ordered to remain on bedrest until I was 36 weeks pregnant.  I was forced to go on short-term disability and wasn't able to tie up any loose-ends at work.  I did the remainder of my registering online and watched as Jonathan set up the nursery.  I refused to open more than one of each thing for fear that both babies wouldn't make it.  We were really blessed in that we had a large group of people taking turns bringing us meals three nights a week.  This continued until after the girls were born.

This was at one of my showers in early January - about 2 months before the girls were born.
(I made bedrest exceptions for showers)

At 36 weeks, I was thrilled to resume my normal activities.  I went back to work, started mall-walking to get back in shape, and since both my babies had been head-down since 27 weeks, I continued to look forward to the vaginal birth of my children.  At 37 weeks that all changed.  During an ultrasound with the perinatologist the girls moved.  Now both heads were in my right hip and all four feet were in the left side of my rib cage.  They were oblique.  At my OB visit that week, my doctor sent me to the hospital to have a biophysical profile.  This is simply an ultrasound to determine a baby's (or babies) development.  Mine showed that everything was functioning properly and they could come into this world at any time.  It also showed that Julia's shoulder was now lodged in my cervix.

They called my OB and told her and then everything became crazy.  I was going to have to have a c-section.  My OB's husband had an out-of-state surgery scheduled for Monday so she asked if I wanted to deliver the next day.  The next day was Leap Day.  I didn't think it was fair for my twins who already have to share a birthday to only get one every four years, so I nixed that idea.  Then she asked if I wanted to do it that day.  Are you kidding me?!?!  I came into the hospital still thinking I was going to deliver vaginally.  I needed some time to process.  She told me that I would have to call her office the next day (Friday) and schedule a c-section with the on-call doctor.  I agreed to this.

The next day I got a phone call from my OB's office.  Turns out her husband's surgery was postponed, so she could do my c-section Monday.  I walked and walked and walked all weekend trying to get my babies into the right position so that maybe we could do an induction rather than a c-section.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How It All Went Down: The story of my pregnancy and childbirth - Part 2

The first trimester of my pregnancy went really well.  I was nauseous a lot, but never actually sick and I didn't gain any weight.  My OB told me that I had a "generously-sized uterus".  I thought this was strange considering that I've always been such a small person, but didn't think too much of it since my OB didn't say anything more about it.  At 13 weeks, I felt my first kick.  Not just a little kick, but a jab to the ribs that made me nearly jump out of my seat.  The kicks continued through the staff meeting where I was trying to type minutes.  Everyone said that was really early to feel the baby kicking.

Shortly before my 20 week ultrasound, my belly grew like crazy and I started packing on the pounds.  I figured my body was just playing catch-up since I didn't gain any weight my first trimester.

Jonathan and I had been going to a Bradley Method class with the hope of having our baby naturally (i.e. vaginally and without drugs).  I was following the Brewer diet eating lots of protein and I still felt pretty great.  At my appointment before my ultrasound, my OB briefly found the baby's heartbeat just under my rib cage, lost it, and then found it again really low.  So I know the baby can move around a lot at this time, but that still struck me as odd.

Finally it was time for my 20 week ultrasound.  Jonathan and I brought both our moms to see their new grandbaby.  The tech joked with our moms about having to pay admission to come in.  We were all very excited and anxious to hear that the baby was healthy and find out the sex.  This is where it gets crazy.

Tech:  Here's Baby A's head...

Us to Tech:  Excuse me?!?!  Baby A?!?!  No, no.  There's only one baby.  One of those round things is a head and the other is a bottom - right?

Tech:  Didn't you know you were having twins?

Us to each other:  Do you have twins  in your family?!?!  NO!

The poor tech spent the remainder of the ultrasound proving to us that there really were two babies.  I didn't believe it until he showed me the profile of both of them in the same shot.  I felt like I was witnessing a miracle - and at the same time, I was panicking and full of terror at how this changed everything.  The only experience I ever had that was the least bit similar (and even this is a stretch) is standing at the alter on your wedding day.  So many emotions all at once.

Now that we knew there were two we really wanted to know the sex.  He told us that he could tell that one was a girl for sure and he was pretty sure the other was also a girl even though he couldn't see it.  I assumed this meant identical girls, but he wasn't allowed to tell us anything more.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How It All Went Down: The story of my pregnancy and childbirth - Part 1

In June of 2007, my husband and I decided to throw caution to the wind and I quit my birth control pill.  We weren't "trying" to get pregnant (you know what I mean) - we just put it all in God's hands.  Later that month, Aunt Flo didn't show up at her usual time.  I was sure she was just a little late, but I peed on the infamous stick that evening just to put my mind at rest.  It was one of those stupid plus/minus tests.  And there it was - a faint plus.  So faint that I was sure it couldn't be right.  So the next morning I took another test (your urine is supposed to be more concentrated in the morning, afterall).  Still too faint to be believed.  That afternoon I went to the store and bought a test that actually says "pregnant" or "not pregnant".  I'll never buy another kind again.  This result was one I couldn't question.  Before I finished peeing on the stick it said "pregnant".  Um, did this seriously happen to us this quickly?  Logistically we were ready for a kid, but mentally we still weren't quite used to the idea.  So while we were excited, we were also more than a little shocked.  Just nine months into our new marriage we learned that in another nine months we would be new parents.