Category Archives: Uncategorized

gains gains

An update: Our tiniest children are doing fantastic. Indie (bottom picture) is off of oxygen, off of antibiotics, is downing bottles of breast milk in three minutes flat, and is due to have the IV removed from her umbilical cord tomorrow. This will make her officially string-free and theoretically ready to hit the highway. PUH-RAISE God, ’cause this is more than we hoped for at only 5 days after birth.

Duncan (Top picture) is moving along a little slower; his breathing is still being monitored but that’s just about his only obstacle at this point. No more antibiotics for him, and he was able to take a shot at a bottle this morning. Caleb was the lucky one to be able to hold him and feed him, but the doctors have asked if I would like to try and breastfeed him today or tomorrow.

And of course the answer is OMG YES, DO YOU SERIOUSLY EVEN HAVE TO ASK.

News from the NICU has been awesome the past two days. I cannot ask for anything more.

Home has been a little tougher. The chaos from the week finally caught up to Mia and Merrick–their flexibility and patience has understandably just about run out–and we’re all hitting our brick walls. We’ve had the most wonderful friends over to help out with the back-and-forth craziness but at the end of the day it’s just hard to be a kid and they just want their parents and their routine back. Say a prayer for us during the adjustment period; we have so many moving parts to keep track of and I’m just trying to keep things as normal as possible for the sake of everyone’s sanity.

C-section recovery-wise: WHY DID ANYONE NOT WARN ME? Why. I mean, you probably did. You c-section moms who wrote books to me through text messages about things to get, what to expect, how to prepare…you did, you told me. I just…

…didn’t know it would be…like…this.

Pain, y’all. Like nothing I imagined. Gone are the days of me hopping on the exercise bike five days after delivery. I can barely shuffle pitifully from the bed to the bathroom. EVERYTHING I DO INVOLVES AN ABDOMINAL MUSCLE OF SOME SORT. Jesus take the wheel, I cannot.

UPDATE EVEN MORE:

This morning I walked into the NICU and saw these:

Two regular bassinets with two pairs of real baby jammies, ready to go on tube-free babies.

We’re getting so close, you guys.

I got to breastfeed Duncan (who was not crazy-interested) and bottle feed Indie, and hold and cuddle both of them until we were all wore slap out. I got to change their diapers and dress them in actual clothes.

(Duncan)

(Indie)

My children have been well-taken care of by many miraculous people on our “village”:

And meals are coming at us full force for the rest of this wild month. We could not make this journey without the help of our beloved friends.

Day 6 leaves me well-aware of how hashtag-blessed my family is; there is no freaking way I could possibly think to repay the kindness that’s been doled out so lavishly and undeservedly to us, but I vow to find and use every opportunity I can to pay it forward.

And I can’t wait–can’t wait–until these babies come home.

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One day and prayer

So this morning, hospital folks were mentioning spinal taps and meningitis, jaundice, infections, ice storms and I just about lost my mind.

I hate writing when I can’t find the funny. I don’t want to talk, or text, or check in with anyone when I’m worried and tired and sore.

Plus, like clockwork, all the emotions that come on day three postpartum hit me like a bus…made of lead…sliding down an icy road into…

Man I don’t even know, I’m on the Percocet, so, truth be told, I’m blacking out here and there and I am not ashamed, cause recovering from a c-section is no freakin’ joke. Major major props to those no-limit-soulja moms who do this and take care of their newborns at the same time.

So naturally I posted sweet baby twin pix and sent a prayer request into orbit among our friends and family…

And now I get to give glory to God for the positive and promising news that came this afternoon: dem babies are lookin’ good. Their color is improving, their breathing is just about fine, and meningitis is a distant concern.

Still on antibiotics, still getting fed through tubes, but improving in so many ways.

Prayer, guys. It’s a whole thing, and my entire community was here for it today. God is so faithful.

I got to hold Duncan this evening:

And my heart pretty much exploded, as one does when face to face with cuteness of this magnitude.

Indie has an IV placed in her umbilical cord so there’s no snuggling her in my arms for now; but I’m hopeful.

Everything looks so much brighter than it did a short twelve hours ago. I might not be able to find the humor (well, I can, cause I’m tripping on pain meds somethin’ fierce) but I can sure see the good.


We have twins

Today we had our twins.

Duncan.

…and Endellion (Indie).

He weighed in at 6 lbs 8 oz (Whaaaaaaat!!!) And baby girl was a whopping 5 lbs 6 oz. Both of them so cute and pink and little.

I saw them each separately for a minute or two during a luxurious spinal-tap-induced stupor, and I got to kiss their sweet baby cheeks before they were whisked away to where early babies are whisked away to.

Duncan has been in the NICU since 5:00 last night. Indie joined him five hours later.

I’m so grateful that they’re as healthy as they are for arriving four weeks ahead of their due date.

They’re in good hands, but I desperately wanna see and hold and feed and love on my babies, and this is just hard.

And hey–we named them Duncan and Endellion for a reason: Warrior. Fire Soul. Fighters. Light-givers. Beacons. Protectors. Sustainers.

And definitely stronger together.


Lol at my plans

That’s what I do, I roll with the punches and I know things.

Today I had a routine ultrasound and checkup on the twins. I’m sitting pretty at 36 weeks, +28 pounds, measuring 50 cm in the belly (that’s straight insane for people who don’t know), perfect blood pressure, zero swelling…

And way too many centimeters dilated for my doctor to be comfortable sending me home with my breech babies 50 minutes away from the hospital to wait out the coming week, through the impending doom from this weekend’s winter-weather.

So I’m having babies tomorrow!

Their room is ready. My room is ready. Our pantry is stocked. Our clothes are clean. Our kids are excited. Sitters are penciled in.

Caleb and I are kind of panicking but that’s nothing new, at least not for me.

Here’s one last shot of my gigantic alien-esque belly:

I gotta say, I look forward to being able to breathing easier and moving without pain. Overall, I’m grateful for a very healthy pregnancy and that I’ve even made it this long.

These little ones will be almost a full month early (well, just ten days before the previously scheduled c-section) but my doctor is awesome and I trust her completely; I’d also rather be safe than sorry because having my husband try and deliver breech twins without my epidural on a highway in an ice storm is not a thing I ever want to experience.

I can’t wait to meet these babies.


Last minute worries of a not-panicking mother-to-be

Prodromal labor y’all: look it up.

This is my life right now, just as it was in the last few weeks of every single other one of my pregnancies. It’s maddening–absolutely maddening, I tell you. And if you see me out and about, know that I left the house for the sake of my own sanity. One can sit and rest for only so long dealing with pointless contractions without going crazy.

So what does a mother on #6 and #7 know about labor? Nothing at all. Not one dang thing. For instance:

Is this a Braxton Hicks contraction or is this the real deal?

Should I start timing these?

Did my water break or did I pee myself again?

So if I can’t walk or breath through a fake contraction, does that make it a real contraction?

Do I time what feels like the fake contraction or do I just time the contractions that hurt way worse?

Should I eat or take a bath, or both at the same time? (The answer is both.)

Are contractions supposed to be felt in your butt near the tailbone area?

What the heck, body?

Should I call my doctor if the contractions are 90 seconds long or should I wait until they are steadily 5 minutes apart?

Why did these two particular contractions just space themselves 13 minutes apart?

Why are you jacking with me, body?

Where can I get Caleb hooked up to one of those machines that simulates labor for men, and will the procedure be videotaped?

Should I quick try to finish up teacher Christmas presents or should I lay down on my left side and drink water?

Should I go for a walk? (Nope, definitely don’t want to go for a walk.)

I should wash my hair. (Nope, don’t want to do that either.)

Should I install the car seats?

Should I move their cradles closer to the window?

Should I put the stroller in the trunk?

Should we stick with “Endellion” or should we use the Gaelic version “Endelyn” for the girl? Or does it even matter and should we skip a full formal name and just put her nickname “Indie” on the birth certificate?

I should read a book to Arbor and Lucy. (Yep, definitely should sit and read 8 books.)

I should go to Walmart and get milk and bread. (No, Toni, do NOT go to Walmart.)

Is it just me or did the contractions just stop all the sudden? (Yes, it is just you. No one else is contracting. And YES, they did suddenly stop.)

So….Hobby Lobby and Chic-fil-A with the little ones?

Definitely yes.


ALL the knees

There’s this song that we sing in church and it’s awesome, about a lion.

And there’s this movie I like to watch and book I like to read where a lion is basically a metaphor for God, and how he is a hellapowerful ferocious protector of those that know him.

And lions are cool and everyone freaking loves a good lion. I know I do.

And our God is a lion, the Lion of Judah. He’s roaring with power, and fighting our battles.

But check this: He’s also a lamb. A lamb that was slain for the sins of the world. His blood breaks the chains.

(And now you’ll be humming Big Daddy Weave songs all day. You’re welcome.)

Revelations 5:5-5:6 says something to the effect of ” …’Hey don’t worry! Here comes the Lion of Judah right now! He’s just conquered all the things!’ And I looked and I saw a lamb that looked like it’d just been slaughtered…”

Jesus conquered evil and death not as a roaring lion, but as a slaughtered lamb. A meek and bloody baby sheep. I can’t stop thinking about this.

We want lions as our mascots.

We expect the biggest and baddest to dominate in battle, always.

We want the biggest claws, the sharpest teeth. We horde the most weapons and gather the most supplies.

We think with these things, we will beat the perceived bad guys. We’ll win the war on terror, and the war on Christmas, and turn hearts to God in the process.

But Jesus did win.

Not by force and military might. Not by political alignment with a any certain group. Not by throwing tantrums about what color cup his overpriced coffee came in.

Jesus conquered death itself as the most submissive, helpless animal in the world.

With sacrifice, and a unbending commitment to peace. And unconditionally unconditional love. With a completely unfathomable willingness to serve folks who didn’t deserve it. With an utter refusal to bend to the popular (and violent) powers that be. And with a dedication to teaching God’s truth everywhere He went.

There was no other way to win that war.

And can we talk about how He didn’t just pardon His enemies? We get squared away with people who have wronged us with a slight nod of our head and a “We’re good,” only after they’ve been apologetic and repentant.

But Jesus said, “I know you don’t care and you’re not even sorry and you’re gonna keep hurting me, but I’m gonna willingly die a horrible humiliating and painful public death for you, how bow dah?

“And then, once that’s done, and I’ve come back to life, cause, you know–I’m God–and you turn your heart to me, I want you, former enemy, to come over; sit at my table and eat my food. Heck, just live in my house and I’ll give you my inheritance. Because, love, peace, and forgiveness, amirite?”

Jesus may or may not have been a little hippyish.

It makes no dadgum sense even to the people that believe it with all their hearts. It’s illogical and counterintuitiv.

But that’s our Jesus; He is the Lion and the Lamb.

And every knee will bow before Him.


34 weeks

I’m late with this but I’m happy to finally report that I’ve turned a corner with twin pregnancy. No, I can’t suddenly breathe and I’m not any more comfortable, but I’m coping better. I’ve gotten used to the aches, pains, and exhaustion. I’m doing it. I’m almost there. Yeah sure, there’s a pretty PUPPPs rash sprouting up on my belly, and ok–yes, I’ve got dark circles under my eyes and a head in my ribs and a head forever pressing down hard on my bladder, but folks–WHAT IS ITCHING AND PEEING CONSTANTLY, I ask you, in the grand scheme of things, compared to carrying over ten pounds of very active babies, plus all their baggage, around on top of all my innards?

The answer is nothing.

Here I am serving up a tsunami of swagger at the end of a very long day of eating turkey and pie:

P.S.: Those aren’t bloody handprints on the wall behind me; Arbor had a habit last year (and all years) of plastering her grubby dirt-and/or-chocolate-covered fingers all over kingdom come, so we decided to just go with it and do some fun handprints along the walls. In hindsight perhaps red wasn’t the best choice, color-wise, to go with.

STATS:

Weight gain: I’m a whopping total of 25 pounds up. The babies are estimated to be 5 pounds each which has helped settle my worries about their health a little bit. They are growing well.

Sleep: just….No.

Cravings: I’ve had a few weak moments involving sweets but I wouldn’t call it a craving. After my appointments the last two days, Caleb took me out to eat for what we considered “Doctor’s-office-followed-by-brunch dates” at adorable downtown Norman spots where I mos def polished off a bowl of shrimp & grits Monday, then honey-sriracha chicken & waffles on Tuesday. It was good to be me this week, and those sweet meals with Caleb were probably some of the last opportunities my husband and I will have for alone time of any kind for a long time.

Symptoms: same as last week, plus the rash and some itchiness on my belly. My blood pressure has remained most excellent. I have had zero swelling in my hands or ankles. Biophysical profile ultrasounds have gone beautifully.

Favorite Pregnancy Moment this week: My new church threw our family a baby shower–something I didn’t expect but my friend insisted on–and it was spectacular. Way more elaborately planned and decorated than I deserved; our babies are going to look fresh ta death in all the brother-sister twin outfits they received. Plus, DIAPERS.

My sweet friend wrote encouraging and hilarious messages on an entire pack of diapers, and tbh I actually can’t wait to read them and smile as I wipe baby butts in the middle of the night.

Those church girls ordered a cake for the twins based on my painting:

Please remember, we’re still fairly new to this church and these folks have lives and jobs and families and yet all of them were up decking the halls in shower paraphernalia the Saturday before.

I just loved the customized onesies left on the tables for the babies by older and younger generations alike:

The love lavished on our family at this shower bordered on ridiculous, and we are indescribably grateful.

A thing that’s started to freak me out: getting two of everything. Two fleece teddy bear ensembles. Two Disney-themed onesies. Two gift bags from one person. Two cradles set up in the nursery. Two dressers. I guess the concept of having twins (plural babies, not singular) hadn’t already sunk in? I’m starting to feel panicked, but only when I think about it.

So I just don’t think, period.

My mom sent two flippin’ sweet blankies that she sewed herself, and my 10-year-old niece made two babies pillows:

I can’t get over how much everyone is looking forward to the birth of these babies–probably so I’ll stop whining about not being able to walk or breathe. If we could all maintain this level of excitement on those nights when I’ve got two babies cluster feeding and sleeping only in 15-minute rotating increments and I’m covered in diaper-leakage and spit-up before the sun has risen, that’d be great.


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