Monday, November 11, 2013

Loving life... growing fast... and back to work.

These are the days.. moments and reasons that make everything we have gone thru so worth it.   These are the times where I stop for a moment and look back..  take a deep breath and just smile.    We made it.   Our little family complete.   Our hopes realized our belief in family here.   

Zooming toward my return to work the girls will be 3 months in just a few weeks.   They have more than doubled in weight and are actually on the "growth chart"   (never had that before lol)   Wren is my Biggie Small's   She is 9lbs now and can roll over, smile and is really awake and alert.    She is a good eater and a better snuggler...  She is very patient and sweet and relaxes back to soak it all in.    Bryn is my Itty Bitty.   She is feisty and firey and does not wait for anything.    She is 7 lbs now, not as good of an eater but she won't give up.  Bryn will let you know what she wants and when she wants it...  this child will be taking the world by storm in no time.   (shhh don't tell her she was only 3lb at birth).

JJ is amazing and is tender and kind with his littles...   he needs us more than ever and although we are in survival mode over here.. we wouldn't have it any other way.   Paul and I split our time up on the weekends to make sure he gets one on one attention....   he has had to watch more TV than before but hey.. we had twins cut us a break :)    


This life and our journey has been so challenging... in so many ways..   but, looking back each step has provided us the growth to move forward and given us the strength to move on.    Our road paved down to get us ready for life with 3 children on earth and 1 in heaven.... our precious reminder to slow down and enjoy the drive.  

 
So here we are .... after 4 years and 4 babies...  together in one place.    MY WHOLE WORLD.
 
 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Never give up - Never give in... Always try - Determination

Here is the amazing story of my twins – guided by faith, prayed for and loved, saved by blessings and the never bending HOPE we have that miracles can happen… At 4 weeks old we found out we were expecting. The numbers did not “double” as they should and we were told that the pregnancy may not work but to keep hoping… we prayed for good results for over 10 days. Although the numbers never doubled as they should have….. we found 2 Heartbeats at 6 weeks old. At 8 weeks there was some scary stuff going on with bleeding and a chance they may not make it still… and we had a blessing. Our Twins grew to 12 weeks and were perfect. At 13 weeks we were told that everything was going great but we had what was called MO/DI twins and that sharing a placenta could cause them to have something called TTTS (twin to twin syndrome) and that the pregnancy would be closely monitored and risky. We continued to be monitored but each week grew hope that they were tiny but going to be just fine… our baby girls were named. Bryn Harper and Wren Harlow At 20 weeks we were told that things were not going well.. that one of the girls was not going to make it and that as a family we would have to decide to let our little baby b go. We were also told that likely they had several issues with their heart and body and might have down syndrome. We didn’t give in. we got a second option. At 21 weeks we got a second option with even worse news. Our baby B Bryn would have to be let go in order save Baby A Wren. And we were told that even if we did that baby Wren only had a 33% chance of making it. Likely both our girls would pass and the best option was to terminate the pregnancy and start over. We were devastated but didn’t give up on them…. We went to the best place in the world for this type of Twin care…. Off to San Francisco’s UCSF to speak directly to one of two surgeons in the US that could possibly help At 22 weeks we completed intensive testing at UCSF and it was discovered that none of the previous diagnosis were correct. That our girls shared an artery inside the placenta and that artery was strong and would carry them. They told us that if we had made the decision to let Bryn go Wren would have also died because they shared this care together… They gave us HOPE. To do nothing… and keep going. They told us the hearts were strong and the girls would be early and tiny but here. NO guarantee’s we were put on weekly watch. From 22-34 weeks we went to the Dr sometimes 3x a week for checking… for growth for them to say “Today is the day we have to deliver them early… That day has not yet come. Our girls are in the home stretch … all from a blessing.. all from Love.. all from hope. I am beyond questions.. I am full of love and determination to make it another week or two … Tears of joy stream down my face at the power of prayer.. the power of people and how so many can really make a difference.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fighting the anxiety

So here we are nearly to the end.... 17 days (if I make it that long) to delivery day. The anxiety has overtaken me. It doesn't help that we have come this far and that I'm being watched like a hawk. Nothing can ever take it away except the safe arrival of the girls. Part of me still protecting my heart I'll be ok... I'm holding my own but feel the shaken uncertain self inside a lot too. I just can't do what I want to do and that scares me... If I get up and make dinner... I pay for it in contractions.. if I try to participate in any way with bathtime for J or bedtime... contractions. Mostly stuck in my recliner for the last part of this makes you stir crazy! 8 days left to work.. just get me to September already!!! Thank goodness for my husband. He kisses my swollen face.. calms my every worry and tries so hard to do it all. Bless this man who stands up instead of down and doesn't complain. IF only he could carry the girls these last few days.... that would make all the difference. I know he would if he could. Joseph can you hear mommy - hold onto your sisters a little longer, brother... keep them safe and alive until our day to be together.. I love you sweet son who is almost 4 an unbelievable.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friday the 13th...

So the date is set... the girls are going to be born on Friday the 13th of September at 10:30am. They will be at Banner Desert Hosptial (the best possible place to be) We have a twin team at the ready who knows all that has gone on with the girls and they are so pleased with how they are doing we may only need limited time in NICU now. I am over the moon with joy that they have held out now 33 weeks. I go to the Dr. 2x a week now for NST / Doppler / fluid checks. I STILL think they are coming on the 4th of September but I have nothing to base that on other than that has been the date in my mind for a very long time... we shall see. I just started to get excited about the arrival. My Anxiety a little at bay but.... this is the most critical time for twins... 33-36 weeks... I know every day is precious and every day anything can happen. So I just try to keep on keeping on. Some funny twin pregnancy stuff as everything has been so serious.... I need to document the fun. 1 - I can no longer see my lady parts - no matter how hard I try to move the belly... I can't get around it. knowing I'm having a C-section I would like to help the Dr's in that area but.... other than go in blind to groom I have no choice but to allow for nature to take its course. 2 - Sleeping is no longer a luxury but a chore! One that I hate. Just getting my leg up on the bed is enough for me to fall into a fit of grunts and snufffly snarfs. I sound like a professional tennis player in the heat of Wimbledon while trying to roll over. 3 - The world can't make enough breathe right strips.. those things are saving my life and breath at the moment. One should be enough but 3 seems to do the trick a lot better... JJ thinks they are band-aids and you know what .... that's ok! 4 - Sitting down in the shower is awesome. I never thought I'd be part of the geriatric community but.. that tool is a whole new pleasure I've been missing out on. I may never give up my shower stool again! 5 - My feet and hands are swollen to the point of Fred Flinstone status. Shoes suck and obviously jewelery is a no no - My other pregnancies never had this type of drama. I'd much rather not leave the house than have to put on a pair of shoes.. So I stopped judging those ladies who wear slippers to the grocery store and joined them instead. 6 - Skin CAN really stretch this big... wonder upon wonder my skin has not ripped off.. feels like it it could but no... it actually grows. 7 - I like Hospital cafeteria food. yes.. yes I do .. never thought I'd say that... breakfast/lunch/dinner in bed that you order from a limited high calorie menu is delightful. I'm going to take FULL advantage of this when in recovery.. not like last time when I made my husband bring me my food... I'm going in full board on this gravy tater train..... my last hurrah! Things I've learned NOT to do while pregnant (thankfully this is my last one so I won't have to worry anymore) - sneeze - eat hot sauce - hurry - drop anything on the floor that you need ever unless you have a back up plan to pick it up

Monday, August 12, 2013

Keeping on....

Well.... the girls are tough cookies and we are here almost 32 weeks along now... Both girls made it to the 3lbs marker and that is more than I could have hoped for. Little Bryn did fall behind a little bit in growth this week prompting us to need one more growth scan in 3 weeks... that is OK I never tire of looking at those sweeties.... Wren was a rock star and gained a ton of weight and now is caught up to me... she is 3lbs and 13oz. We have moved our C-Section to Friday the 13th.. I'm so happy about the prospect of being 36 weeks that I can't hardly stand it. I still think they are going to try to sneak out earlier considering JJ was delivered at 34 weeks..but you never know. I've had such a mixed bag of emotions and slowing down. I have guilt over not picking up JJ and guilt over not being albe to do some housework etc... but I'll get over it. Most of the time I've been working and that is just good for me. I have a big project at work and it continues to drive me Monday thru Friday. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't keep my mind busy all the time. In other news.. my MIL will be here in October to help with the babies and I am so happy about that. She is so sweet and tender and loving and will be able to help so much with both the girls and getting JJ out of the house! I'm also so greatful as she does not get to visit often due to money and travel time but hey.. I'm getting a week and that rocks. I've finally opened up the flood gates of spending for the little ladies. I bought all the paintings for the Nursery
   Yup - that is the theme - all in black and white with the edges in soft purple....  the carpet is gray and the beds and dressers are white...   we will paint the walls purple too....    (once they get here of course) 

I love the way things are coming together and can't wait for the final outcome to come to light.

"keep on keeping on"

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

30 WEEKS

I am so happy to be at 30 weeks. My Dr's pleased with the progress of the girls. My body crapped out last weekend after doing too much but.. hey I'm still at 30 weeks. Likely to deliver at 35 weeks 36 weeks the stretch goal I am in the HOME stretch of twin pregnancy. All of the things a normal pregnancy comes with only 2 fold... the last weeks of every pregnancy are hard... seems like with twins "extra" hard. My hips hurt my back hurts and I literally have to push back in certain parts of my body when I stand up! LOL - Everything leaks and nothing shuts off including my mind. Bags are packed and some outfits have been purchased... mostly just on pins and needles until I hear them.. see them... feel them and hold them! I need all of the 5 or 6 weeks left for the girls to keep growing. we are so very hopeful that nothing else comes up in the cord issues and the growth goes on! We keep going to Apts and coming back home so nothing in my mind can stop us except little Bryn's VCI. I have to say that the Girls care has been great - the momma care that I've gotten... not so much. I'm not very pleased with the amount of time the Dr's actual work with me on my issues... like above where I have to push everything back inside. ha ha.. but I can only be my own advocate and push them to communicate with me more clearly and push them to set up NSTs ect.. Push them to set a due date and remind them I need to sign a lot of paperwork for C-Section and Tubal.. so lets get on it. All in all the girls are going to be ok - 32 weeks is the next goal. Then 34... Then delivery!!!! So Very happy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Months before October....

Every year the months before October seem shorter.  It feels as if each year faster than the last and October arrives like it was in between every other month on the calendar.   I did really well with grief last year.  Spent time working on the plan for October...   I made it to September before it dawned on me that October really was the next month on the calendar.    Being pregnant this year.. year 4... knowing that the "real" due date of the girls is October (don't worry we won't come close) makes me weary early.  It is not yet August and I'm more worried about October than the arrival of the twins.   How can the death of my first born supersede the birth of my third and fourth?   I don't know but somehow I seem to be skipping that part and focusing on that month again.    It is hard to explain the grief... almost like a slap in the face reminder that something is looming over you and yet... nothing is there except my own perception of the month I let choke me down.   I think if I look to the honest place in my heart two things have me skipping forward too fast.  First the possibility that something could still happen to the girls and I won't get to take them both home.   Stubborn refusal of my heart won't allow my brain to give into that reality but.. its there when I look really hard.  Second the fact that I'll now be the mom to three living children and perhaps when October comes I may not have time to celebrate and grieve him as I have in the past...  Both equally non-rational problems... but they are what they are and I just have to deal with them one by one.

In the months before October .... I miss my son who's impossibly almost 4 in heaven.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

HUGE Milestone!

Today I am 28 weeks.   Could not be more happy about saying that.     Here is what was in my email from "baby center"

Hello, Brandy!
By this week, your baby weighs 2 1/4 pounds (about the size of a large eggplant) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can open and close her eyes, which now sport lashes. This movement is more of a reflexive blink than a deliberate opening and closing, but it won't be long before she's batting those beauties at you!     OK so there are 2 and they are smaller than the average singleton but they are going to be here!     I am so proud to hit this date - 8 weeks ago I would have never thought this possible.   Prayers work... Keeping yourself calm works..  NEVER Giving up works and of course love/ light/ and the choosing to believe is the only path to go.   Now.... lets see how long we can keep them baking!   Go Team Purple!   Great job tiny Twinkies bean jeans!   Bryn Harper and Wren Harlow are fighters.... watch out world...   here they come!

Monday, July 8, 2013

27 weeks... and counting

Well...  Here I am 27 weeks with the Twinkies and counting....  I actually feel better today than I have for 7 weeks.   I had a nice 4 day weekend.   The girls made it another week inside and appear to have found a growth chart for themselves.   Dr's are happy that my Glucose test and all other tests appear to be perfect and normal...   Yes I Said normal.    So we get to skip a week of Dr's visits and don't go back until 7/19... This makes me so happy and also a little worried.. only because they have been looking so close for so long.   Once I'm 28 weeks....  everything else will be gravy...  Dr's now have sights on getting me to 34 weeks!  This is awesome awesome news.   Next week I'll begin to buy some stuff..... just a little to get us to where we need to be when they come home.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

26 weeks

I have to be honest given the events of the last 6 weeks I never thought we would all get this far!  Here we all are - Happy Healthy and the twins are still going.   Our weekly appointments are becoming less eventful.  I'm happy because I can rest a little and enjoy this my last pregnancy!

I'm still able to get out and about and have no other issues...  We will see what the Glucose test tells us tomorrow HA HA HA - finally a normal test to take  (That I almost fail every time)  Happy to report in the normal news of nothing.

Thankful for more time with the babies to get bigger and grow!   2 more weeks and I might..(MIGHT) start getting a few things for them.   


Love is all that fills the heart today!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Precious Moments

This week is significant.   We are 25 weeks.   I'm silently celebrating the fact that if born the Dr's will do all they can for the girls.   Both Bryn and Wren seem to be happy inside and have grown.   We have another Growth Scan this Friday and as always I'm a nervous wreck just thinking about it.   The possibility of delivery each week grows and yet we know we don't want to deliver them for another 10 good weeks.   I have my eyes on the September delivery prize but they may have other plans...  we only can take it week to week.

I'm happy.   Content with the idea that they will be here sooner rather than later.  Faced with NICU and all that there is and knowing that ideally we JUST NEED MORE TIME.   Time is something we can't force.. wish for and really hope for.   Each day so much more precious than the last.   It is not up to me to do anything more than love them while I have them.. eat a ton of food to keep them sustained and go to each and every appointment as optimistic as I can.

Doubts creep in when I re-live the first 2 Dr's appointments that we had back at 20 and 21 weeks.  For some reason the Dr who told us that both girls would not survive creeps into my dreams at night and steels my breath.   I often wake worried that was my last moment with them...   Forcing myself to relax back to sleep is difficult... sometimes I just have to get up and use the doppler I have at home for safe measure.

In Good moments I can feel the girls kicking some.  My placenta on top does block a lot of activity that is going on in there... but when they do kick it is pure pleasure for me.    I'm growing large enough for people to think I'm ready to deliver any day now...   They are often surprised when I tell them I still have 10 more weeks.    I like to see their faces when I do (and I don't let them in on the twins...lol)

Work is winding down for me - I have 3 weeks left of a project that I must finish.... then I'm hoping the Dr's will have pity on me and allow me to work from home for the remaining weeks.   Just not having to get up and get ready or drive to work helps So very much!  

Yesterday I took the kiddo out just me and him.. I am really slowing down.   My breath is shorter and shorter and I can't stand up for too long.   He misses me picking him up (so sometimes I sneak one in..)
I feel guilty here too.. He is so used to me running around with so much energy - I'm sure he feels the slow pace momma has taken.    So outings just me and him alone are likely done...  I need all the help I can get with that kid - he is super fast and needs lots to do all the time!!!

As usual with blog/family/home/career/pregnant life... I'm hungry - Time for some food.   I'll check back in soon when we hear of the growth of the girls!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

UCSF - and the plan

My Trip to UCSF was eventful.   It started out early last Thursday morning.   I met with a team of Dr's.   They did ultrasounds, dopplers, Cardio Echo's, Placenta mapping and well.. who knows what else all in one day.   This facility IS the last stop in getting answers for high risk multiple pregnancy and one of only 2 places in the world to preform inter utero surgery.

First - Tiny baby Bryn (B) grew.   no much but at her own pace.  Baby Wren (A) also grew at her pace.
Both girls are significantly behind me.. .in growth.  I am 23 weeks.   They are 20 and 21 weeks respectively.
The growth discrepancy is significant enough to plan for an early delivery.   Aim for 32 weeks and hope that they make it to 28 or 30.  

Everything they found in all my testing indicate that the girls have Cord issues (confirmed from previous post) they have perfect hearts... nothing else wrong with them.    The lasting effects of depleted nutrients to the brain will be the only factor to contend with and premature birth.

I've experienced every emotion in the world and have resided to just stay positive until the time comes when we have to go to deliver...  then start praying they make it without long term nasty effects of being preemie.
I have a lot of pictures of the babies... but none of the two together...  hopefully as they grow we can get them to show up at the same time.

I just want to be normal...  to deliver two healthy little girls... to have a completed family and continue on with our life as we have it..  we have so much love to give and so much of it dedicated to family...  
Still hoping for September.  Realistically knowing it could be August... not wanting anyone to arrive in July!

MOM

Saturday, June 1, 2013

So Tiny

She is so Tiny that the Dr's can't believe she even grew.   Small changes in her body, Tiny... perfect.. normal just stunted.    What turns out to be a VCI not all the horrifying things previously stated I am staring at the face of inter utero surgery.

Our baby B was found to have nothing wrong with her...  nothing....   except her cord did not insert into the placenta correctly.  She is not getting the nutrients to grow.   They yet don't know if this is something she can overcome.....sustain... or will ultimately be her death.  

I am flying to San Francisco to UCSF in hopes of getting the plan of what to do for our little Bryn.
The Dr's in Arizona have no good choices and well... in hopes of saving our Baby A Wren.. we have some very difficult decisions to make.

Holding onto Hope...   Hope.... and Hope....focusing on Bryn and what we can do for her...  Holding all of the light I have in my heart to her.... we keep going.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bryn and Wren

Today was my anatomy Scan.    I was hoping to get a good picture of them both together but it just didn't happen.  In fact nothing happened as I thought it would today... my world is once again turning... round and round and the clickty clack of the roller coaster ride just started its upward ascent.

Don't get me wrong...  the babies look amazing... (to me)   The anatomy scan is a scary 2 hour ultrasound where they identify possible issues in brain, kidney, heart development as well soft markers for any disorders can be detected....  most blissfully unaware mommas know this scan as the "gender" Scan.   I wish that was what I still thought.. knowing so much sometimes puts more stress on the situation than needed!.

The babies are not measuring the same... in fact there were several issues today that we were not ready to hear...  everything looked fine until the Dr. came in and told us that "Things do not look good"

Wren: Baby A currently sitting closest to the cervix... she is extremely active and kicking and squirming all over the place.  Her heart, brains, lungs, and measurements are all perfect as well good indication that the bladder and kidney are all functioning as they should at this stage.   She did have a few bright spots on her heart that could be an indication of downs syndrome...  more on that later...

Bryn: Baby B currently sitting almost on top of her sister and near my left side  She is not as active and was facing away from us a lot during the ultrasound.   She is equally beautiful but we noticed too small...  Her bladder, kidney, brain, measurements were also right on target.  She had some fluid on her heart and it was very difficult to get a good measure on her.. her HB was low too.. 

As I stated.. the Dr. came in and told us "things to not look good"   Keep in mind that during the scan I just didn't think it was that bad.   Apparently both girls have markings for Down Syndrome.   Both Girls hearts have some issues that may or may not lead to more serious complications.      The Worst part..  Baby B - our Bryn Harper has not grown in 2 weeks.   She is far far behind and her little umbilical cord is not inserted correctly to the placenta (that is shared)  She not getting what she needs to survive... so they say.

I had genetic testing done.. still don't think it is downs.. I don't feel it not that it would matter I would love them the same...  I think she has improper cord placement - and depending on what can be done for her and her growth only time will tell the outcome.   My heart is heavy but my spirit of hope and light shines on.  


I can't give up.. I can only hope louder..  I can't regress.. I can only Pray for things to change...  There is always a maybe....

4 more weeks to Viability...   come on little ladies YOU can DO this! 10 more weeks to the minimum accepted early delivery (says your father)  and 15 more weeks until you arrive!  on time and perfect!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Half Way to Home

This week marks a good point in the pregnancy.   I'm halfway!   I laugh as I am typing this because the second half will be during the summer in Arizona.  Temps have already hit 100 and I pretty much am going to be huge..  I love it.  I'm glad for it and I hope that I can keep working just the way I have been for the first half.   All of my appointments have been incredible and my health and the girls health is perfect.    I feel blessed and happy that I've been so good this time around with only 3 full on panic attacks so far (with JJ it was daily)

The stats:
Baby A - Is measuring just slightly bigger than her sister - she is on my left side and likes to lay sideways.
She is a mover and very active...   She is perfectly on target at this stage.
Baby B - Is measuring just behind (by a day) but her heart rate and all that she is is beautiful.   She is up and down and is on my right side feet down head up :)  She doesn't move as much and reminds me of JJ as that is the way he was the whole pregnancy...

Both girls continue to have good fluid inside and that is significant for TTTS - So far no signs of this happening and I could not be happier with the way things are going   My blood pressure has stayed down this time and my cervix is closed closed and long.. (don't move please don't move too early)

half way to home - Keep on praying that they make here safe..  Counting down the weeks to Viability!  6 to go!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

first purchase

I made the first purchase for the girls...  they are custom onesizes with our little ladies names on them.   They are pink with purple writing and I am so in love.   Most mothers during this nesting time plan all sorts of gifts and nursery items... themes, colors, cribs, bedding, paint, clothes etc.....not me.  it took all my resolve to just push enter to purchase the outfits.   Doubt and grief still creep in when preparing for our newest arrivals.    I don't have another Dr. appointment for a week and I have not yet been able to feel these two wiggle inside me...   Just the usual pregnancy fears?  not sure because I know nothing else.  

JJ is the best blessing I have.  I'm so busy with him at night that I often forget my fears of the twins and just enjoy the sounds of giggles and bedtime stories all over the house.     He is so stinking smart.  I am not just saying that.  He is just over 2 years old and talks in complete sentences.   He is basically potty training himself (for marshmallows) and just a delight.   Recently he has taken to "baseball" to my husbands sheer delight.   Every night he marches around and pronounces that he wants to watch the Diamondbacks (our local team)  He studies the moves and cocks his little leg up before throwing the ball at the same time as the pitcher... then focuses his attention to his t-ball set and hits when the batters go...  I have this on video it is absolutely hysterical.   I can see my husband beaming with pride as he is just a baseball fanatic!

This is still my place to write my thoughts and hopes and fears... and often a place just by opening the page I think of Joseph.    Sweet Joseph.   He will be turning 4 in heaven when the girls arrive.   I'm due s close to his birthday that this pregnancy reminds me of him.   I also had to go through the summer and we had a good pregnancy w/o any complications until the last day of it with him.... I just wonder would he like t-ball as much as JJ?  Would he want to share a room with his brother because they were so close in age?   so many what if's that will never be and I just have to settle for this space where I can come to remember him and his life where he was loved for each and every second of it.  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Girls....

we are having girls...   2 beautiful wonderful ladies to join the clan...

If I am being really honest with myself .... I'm terrified of the twins being girls.. and excited too don't get me wrong it is a whole new world for us....  being a Boy momma all this time has made me feel one way toward parenting.  I wonder if I will change the way I am for the little ladies?   I'm not frilly...but I love purple.. so that is a start I guess. 

I just had my 16 weeks appointment.  All is perfect.  Both little ladies are swimming around and kicking and even sucking thumbs.   My morning sickness (except when one guy at works makes really strong instant coffee)  is gone.    I love that I feel good again.   I do have pains in my hips as the muscles stretch and shift.  I am anxious to get to 24 weeks...  Thank goodness it is only 8 to go.

For those of you who read but don't "know" what it is like to have a child die... 24 week marker in pregnancy is huge.  It is the first day that your unborn child "could" live outside the womb.   It is called Viability day.... I don't want them to be born at 24 weeks because survival rates are very low (less than 50%) but...... at least the Dr's will do something to save them.   Born any earlier there is nothing a hospital will do.   So... I am waiting for that day... that day is in 8 weeks and I am ready!

Here is the timeline.   24 weeks = viability; 28 weeks= brain development; 32 weeks lungs develop more rapidly 34 weeks we are doing good (this is the week JJ was born)  and 35-37 weeks for me would be a miracle!   In my mind I'm keeping it open as to when they come but  the IDEAL date would be September 12-18th...  so start thinking those dates in your mind too!

so...  what do I need to do to get ready for the ladies?
Carpet the new nursery (long long overdue)
buy 2 car seats
buy 1 double pack n play (yes they make those)

the rest can wait until they are here.. safe and happy...

Oh yeah.. I need to buy a new car also!  LOL - 3 car seats won't fit into the one I've got!  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

babies out of the bag.....

For some reason I wanted to wait until my 20 weeks ultrasound to tell everyone about the twins.... Slowly I've gotten a little more used to the idea and with each good ultrasound I gain more confidence to tell others.   So the babies are out of the bag at work and with our friends and family...  now just have good ol' Facebook to tell and the world will know all about it..  My fears and hopes keep getting jumbled up!

I have been worried for weeks but yet there they are... flickering on the ultrasound perfect and happy.   The dreams I've been having are all about the babies being born a different nationality.  Perhaps it is my fear of connection too soon to the little Jean beans that is making me distance myself from them.. just enough to continue to protect my heart but not far enough away to disregard them.   I am careful and cautions.   I am not tender yet or in tune with them in anyway.   I see them with my own eyes and yet do not seem to connect them into my body... not yet... I will... give it time.   day by day and week by week they are proven fighters.  Champions for Frozen Embryo's everywhere... they can make it... and they chose me to be the mom.   I in every ounce of my being know that this is meant to be.... Why am I so guarded as to tell everyone?  I want to tell everyone that I am caring a very very special delivery..  Twins... Twins...  Maybe if I write it enough times it will sink in.... Maybe I just need to buy something for them.   I will go today at lunch and see if there is something I can cherish.. something to all their own..  my twins. 

Here is the picture we are going to use to make the "official" announcement.

Monday, April 1, 2013

NT Scan and more...

We had the NT Scan done today... Both babies are perfect.   They are measuring right on schedule and were moving and wiggling all over the place.   Both have 10 fingers and toes.  I am so very happy that everything is looking good.   My placenta is not low lying and it is in a good position (important as they both share the same one)   I got to see one of the Dr's who helped me with JJ's care and it felt good to be back in PPA facility.  I'm sure we will be seeing a lot of one another!   It feels like eternity of pregnancy already and we are only at 12 weeks.   As I edge into the second trimester I'm hopeful to recover my ability to eat dinner and have enough energy to workout again!  

Here is a sneaky  peak of my two beautiful kiddo's - happy and whole.. perfect and strong! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Nearing 12

I am nearly 12 weeks along now.   Reflecting on another time when I was already bursting with pride about a pregnancy.   As all BLM's know..  once you have loss you are never "expecting" or "having a baby"you are "pregnant".   I'm so very hopeful and so very blessed that so far so good on these two beauties but lingering in the back of my heart is the what if and when scenario.   I hate to say stuff like that but I can't help the fact that it creeps in... Grief like a thief took my innocence.    So much can happen in 28 more weeks and nothing I can do will change the outcome (well ok so a lot is up to me but you know even the best laid plans) .

Forever an optimist I force, crunch, grit, squirm and pinch these feelings into the back of my mind.  If I had a way to get rid of them completely I'd dot it..  When a dark thought creeps... I close my eyes tight and picture Jonathan and my husband... I immediately come up with something funny... anything I can think of that made me laugh recently.   That helps.

I got released from Pelvic rest (ohh la la)  and I am now able to either swim or do yoga as long as I have no impact and keep my heart rate relatively down.   A far cry from my combat / step days but hey I'll TAKE that over not being able to do anything.... 

I ordered 2 DVD's and a new speedo maternity to try on - Just need a little sun on my legs so I don't make the pool glow and I'm ready!  Move over Kathy Austin mommas got some yoga to do!   My plan is to do yoga 2 days a week and swim 2 days a week.   I figure 4 hours vs 7 or 8 is a good compromise.  Least that is what I tell my Dr.     I'm hoping that this positive push will also help me with the mind games I play with myself over protecting my heart and letting it love these lives as if they are already here.   Honestly Exercise always does that for me....

Baby A:  Is sitting on my left side and is straight up and down dancing... this baby had the hiccups when we saw him/her in there!
Baby B: is on my right and is completely horizontal.  His/her little head is butting into baby A's shin bones
Both babies have 5 fingers and toes and you can already see the eyes nose and mouth on screen. 

Loving life - checking in and Counting down to the Big NT Scan coming next week!  

Brandy

Friday, March 15, 2013

Guess Who's 2?

JJ!!!  Two years ago today you decided to join us early.  I believe it was sweet baby Joe hand delivering you from heaven as safe as he could.   The moment you cried my life began again.    Life.....beautiful and sweet.    Jonathan is funny, kind, determined little thinker.   He decides what he is going to do before jumping right in but always does it with first time perfection as he studies it all before beginning.   He loves to swim and do jumping jacks.   He sings his ABC's and twinkle twinkle little star.  He counts to ten in English and Spanish.   I think being born the way and the day he did he was born knowing.   Knowing about life, love and what this world would bring him.  He is such a expressive joy in our lives.   My husband and I although exhausted are so in love.   Our neglected backyard understands he comes first and that we don't mind a mess as long as we are having fun.  He is going to be such a helpful big brother!

Happy Birthday JJ, J-bird, little dude, chicken wing, J, Jonathan Cooper Jean



Friday, March 8, 2013

9 Weeks

Thought I be showing by now with twins.. I feel full and happy but not showing.  The Jean beans are doing fine at 9 weeks.  They are growing and hearts are beating beautifully.   I feel lucky to be able to see them so frequently and to have the gentle loving care of a new OB but one who wants to see me as often as I feel I need to be seen. That in itself is so refreshing to not have to beg to come in when I feel worried or scared.  He seems to understand the need after loss just to check to make sure all is as it should be.   I still am in shock that we are having twins.   I don't think it has really registered that two will be coming home with us in September.   JJ has officially lost the "big" room we were going to move him into as that will now become the nursery.  We will still of course have to redo his room to make it more big boy.   It is exciting to feel these things and to be making these types of decisions.  I know there is no guarantee and we have a very long way to go.   For now though dreaming and hoping and planning does ease the tension that is inside.   The worry there for life to be, huge.  One day at a time and one week at a time.  9 down 28 to go.  Come on bean jeans!  You are so wanted and so loved already. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Birthday

I turned 38.   Seems like I should be 28 or 30 and then at the same time it feels like I should be 58 with the lives that I have led.   So many mixed emotions.  I'm pregnant with twins... I have a 2 year old at home (almost) a wonderful loving and kind Husband to share it all with.   I am blessed beyond measure.   Some may look and still think how sad things are without our Joseph here but I know that sad days happen or moments but I am not sad.   I have so much love in my life.    I'm only 8 weeks along on this Journey.  I'm aiming for 37 though with twins likely it will be sooner.   They have 2 sacs but share a placenta.. ..  Placenta abruption is what took our sweet baby Joe so there is that to contend with.. All in good time for now just to know that they are in there.  Happy 38th to me with all that life has given and taken I am so excited and proud to be where I am today.   With all the hope I can have for the future it is there.   Be calm, Be happy and everything will be alright. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Identical.......

 Twins...Twins...!!!   Wonder upon wonder...  2 Bean Jeans....   One embryo split into two?  I guess I've always known this is a possibility but just assumed always that when we put two embryo in that those would make the twins.  Never did I imagine that one would not take and the other would divide beautifully into two!   Two beautiful heartbeats... Two beautiful chances of hope and love.   A Double Rainbow for sure.   I feel Calm.. I feel Happy..  and I know everything will be alright.    Keep on Keeping on bean Jeans.   Grow and thrive and live.    EDD 10/09/13 but with Twins and Joseph's story likely they will be delivered 09/11/13 or 09/18/13 if we can make it longer.    This brings a new meaning to the words SHOCK AND AWE!  I am humbled by this and I am amazed by this -  Both are growing right on track and both have beautiful hearts beating away.   This is love... This is life..  reach for the stars dream big and life does not disappoint~!
7 Weeks 1 Day - Released to the regular OB.  It feels like graduation day!


The Bean Jean's

Friday, February 15, 2013

heartbeat

There are several moments in time... in life... where you are just silent with your self and know that all is right with the world.   We saw the heartbeat today.   A little flicker of hope and momentum to keep on keeping on.   So far this pregnancy has been a giant roller coaster.  Up and down.. crying and bleeding.  Too much blood for a baby to be there.   and yet..  If even for this moment.  if this is for always and ever...  this perfect instant where life can be seen.   Precious one inside me now..  you are loved.  You are wanted.. you are protected in heaven and here on earth and we love you.   All of this to you my sweet child.   Spend time... stay safe.. grow big.   Until then I will open the heart bigger for you and breathe this miracle of life and time.

Mom.

I'm following the advise of Fran and her new book and adding a Mantra to this baby.

"be calm, be happy, everything will be alright"

Friday, February 8, 2013

Shock and Awe

I should know that nothing is easy when it comes to this family adding.. Babies and or any other subject including pregnancy.    Yesterday I started bleeding.   Could be from the progesterone - could be from vanishing twin.  Could be losing the baby.   I am 5 weeks and 2 days today.   Not yet far enough along to show anything on ultrasound...  waiting for blood results a 5th time.   If the results are still positive and this little Jean bean jumps to 1400 or more  HCG I will be in shock.   I will be in Awe and I will have no choice but to go full steam ahead with positive... this baby will make it... no matter what.   I will remain calm and continue to believe as almost everyone else does that we can bring home a second living child. 

Beta #5  = 1600  - SHOCK and AWE.   Could this be..  our forever baby?!

Miracles....

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beat #4

Certainly no-one should be subject to this type of cruelty of time/hope and wait and see.   I went in today for my 4th Beta.   We don't know more today than we did on Monday - Good news is I am still pregnant!   Alas at this 4th test I went in negative.  Yes negative.  I know I'm not normally so that is quite shocking to some.   I feel nothing.. I expect nothing.   Perhaps this is my only way to protect my heart...   Wishes of normal just can't be found when it comes to this...  so facts and hope are all that can be clung too.
# 149
# 225
# 409
# 720

Lots of people I have in my friendship/BLM/fertility circle have been putting the positive vibes out there for me.   That is all I can use as explanation for little bean jean to have finally made it past the 66% mark.  it was not me.. this time. it was you guys...  so thank you.  I needed that obviously.   Again not usually such a downer or a negative person but for some reason I was not convinced that this was viable.   not even close.    I'm keeping a journal of this current life chance as well to document in honesty.. the good.. the bad.. and the ugly.

Perhaps there is a tiny glimmer of hope that this life will live and the steady beat of the heart can be heard by next week sometime.    Come on team Jean.   Come on bean Jean.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Beta Hell

The fertility beta hell is a real mind bender.  Nobody ever in the world should have to wait for such a tourcherous result.   My opinion is they should take your blood ONCE...  then tell you to come back in 3 weeks for an ultrasound... see if anything is a cooking.    This blood draw "double" dance we have been on is a killer workout of mind, body and soul.   Our numbers mean nothing to the regular human... they mean EVERYTHING to a fertility war hero (such as myself).  Our first numbers were fantastic.. in fact the Dr. even said it was a strong number....  beta 2 did not double as you know and they really look for at least 70%.  Mine was not even that..   but it did rise soo.. I got the pleasure of going in for a 3rd beta.  Had my eggs just taken a little longer to pre-bake because they were frozen?


Results Beta 3!  409!  Still rising but very low and not a double at all...  

Dear Jean BEAN - grow baby grown - we need 800 on Wednesday so Friday Beta will push us over 1000 mark..   Likely this will be  your last chance -  COME ON BABY

Friday, February 1, 2013

Feeling Full

Today was beta 2 for baby Jean 2013.   His/Her numbers almost doubled.. 149 to 225  Sometimes Frozen Embryo lag behind a few days before pepping up.  I am still so hopeful...  I also have a new Start at the company I work for. A new job and fancy promotion inside the company starts Monday.   Talk about a wow factor.   New hope, new life, new promotion, new start to everything.    I just feel so grateful.   Life is so beautiful when you let it be sometimes.    The looming worry and the doubt I'd have another child are gone.  the stressful job I had with direct reports lifted.   I want to shout out at the rooftop how happy I am.    OK so a little apprehensive at starting a new job..  and of course they don't know that I'm expecting.  Heck I should not even know that I'm expecting.    Ah the life of a fertility veteran.  Can you please have a huge number on Monday little Jean Bean?  

I've always felt such an obligation to tell my boss or to tell my company what I'm doing..  I have a guilty conscience that nobody knows this time  (least not my new boss)   He will learn soon enough if in keeping with my previous pregnancy I show really early!   This time I'm so happy for the chance at my new job that I almost feel I should have waited.. should not have applied for the role knowing.. just knowing that my family was not yet complete.   BUT why should I do that?  Because I'm a woman and need to not have a career?  No way!   So like with everything I set my mind too, I decided to pursue the next level of employment, move forward in my career and work hard to continue to achieve where I want to be...  at the top.   well not really at the top top but enough of the top to make a difference!   So I will.

I know that there are going to be days ahead of me where I question the above statement and I worry about this littlest Jean bean inside but today..  if only for today I feel invincible!



 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Results are in.....

Today was my beta day.  I went in at 7:30 for my blood draw and drove home to wait.    The waiting.  The hurry up and wait.   Every second that passes is like an eternity.    The Dr called and  BFP!!!!!!!!

yes did you see that - there is life in there folks!  Baby Jean 2013!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mind Games

Here I am 2 days away from my first Beta after completing my 6th round of some type of fertility treatment... and it feels so difficult to wait yet again for hope.... Yes 6th Here are the life stats. IVF 1 - BFN FET 1 - BFP - Joseph (now in heaven) FET 2 - BFN IVF 2 - BFP - Jonathan FET 3 - BFN FET 4 - in progress ( but if I follow the pattern should be BFP correct?!) We have 9 Embryo that are frozen at day Zero.. Yes back in 2007 (old technology) they did not wait for the embryo to grow all the way before freezing them.. so we have no idea what they are or even if they are anything... we know they fertilized but that is all. With this type of Frozen Embryo left .. they will thaw all 9 at once.. and grow (we hope) 5 days.. to see what there is or if any can be transferred. To think I was 32 back then. WOW. Lets just hope I don't have to go into that stock. We also have 1 blastocyst vertified at Day 6 and perfect as we know it. I can't believe my mind will let me do this before the beta but.. well that is the crazy mind of a woman who has loss and battles with fertility to boot. It just works in mysterious ways that make absolutely no sense to anyone by myself.. So, having said that IF this current hope does not take likely the next move will be for first.. wait a few months to correct the body, cleanse and then save money. Much needed to try a 7th treatment. It will be our last. The clinic will thaw all 9 as stated above... then keep the 1 perfect day 6er for a "just in case" hail Mary is needed for a possible embryo to be transferred. We will essentially be putting in our last chance at another child. So - why would my mind let me go there now? two days before beta even happens? I don't know, I just don't know. I think I protect my heart by thinking about the worse so that I can be ready for the next... but then I "know" that I need to be thinking the best for it to work. In the very last minute I just thought the following. I feel pregnant I feel nothing I can do this I need to try to POS What if it does not work I may not have worked Stop thinking about it not working.. and know that it did. See - Mind Games - With two days left to go.. it is a wonder anyone talks to me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

HOPE

Adding to our family was an easy decision. Making it happen again we are in the middle of it. Despite all that we have endured mentally and financially it seems nothing else really matters. Our family is not yet complete as we have too many who are waiting. I've never thought of myself as a religious person but when it comes to these embryo I feel they are mine. Already my children even if not developed.. even if not inside me. The drive to ensure that they have at least all had a chance at life and the amount of love I have for them immense. Of course I'm not octomom so clearly I'm not putting them all in! Just what is right for my body and what I can handle. Our Recent Hope.. Two 5 day blastocycsts transferred. Beautiful and perfect. Two chances at life and possibly a pregnancy. I feel so calm this time around regarding birth and children. I know I will be pregnant again.. not sure when.. I hope now. I'm too stubborn to ever give up. If this chance does not work we will have 1 maybe 2 more opportunity to attempt. So I'm putting all my hope into the two beauties you see above. My wish is that one successful embryo takes and begins a 9 month journey into our life. I also hope that this pregnancy gives me back that love of being pregnant without fear and without doubt (not that it is 100 possible) but I want to love these 9 months again. So much more love to give another child. This is my hope. This is my hope and this is hope. Come on Babies.. Come on. Stick.. keep.. Grow.. survive and thrive!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More than 3 years later...

I have not blogged in over a year..  Our beautiful son Joseph died over three years ago.   Our rainbow Jonathan now almost two years old.   Where have I been?  What have I been doing?  I am dipping my toe back into the blog..    I spent the better part of this month reading up on all the BLM family I  leaned on over the years yet drifted away from.... I read on about how they are and what they are doing now.   Most, like me are doing well with our new normal.  One thing I know has not changed is our loss.   Some have written books, others collections of art to give... more have gone on to being mothers again to living children.   I found a strong determination and more a reflecting on how to cope.   I am proud of these women, these warriors of hope.  Even if on paper they are my Friends and I've missed them.

So as I stated.. not sure if this is where I'll stay and blog but for now it is where I am going to start again.  2013 with a new light shining down inside me.    Too soon to know if this round of Frozen Embryo Transfer will take... close enough to know I'm ready to talk about it again.    In October of 2012 we began to see our dear friend Dr. Z.  I say dear friend as that is what he has really grown to be.  We have been with him for 6 years... 2 Fresh and 5 frozen cycles... countless walks of hope and many email and calls to our local state senator's to stop the obnoxious laws they try to pass here in Arizona.   A true champion for our "RESOLVE" to complete our little family, Dr. Z continues to be our guy.    We completed 1 embryo transfer late November 2012 that did not result in a pregnancy.   Not discouraged or even disheartened we began to try again as soon as possible... December came and went in a flurry of family and gift wrap.   I loved all of the holiday's this year.  So much for all of us.. so warm so FUN and Jonathan really getting us all into the spirit again.

January started our second serious attempt at a third child.   Our transfer just yesterday 1/21.  Why now do I blog?  what do I hope to get out of all of this?   I just don't know but...  I can't help but be positive and know that this will be our next child.  That this FET worked and I'll be pregnant again.

....  calculated the due date if success is as I suspect it will be...............   October 14th.   Just one day before our Joseph was born and one day away from his fourth birthday in heaven.    Thankfully I would never go all the way to a real due date given my history and all the complications I had with both boys.   Likely delivery will be the last week in September.    I think I'll be ok.     
Blog needed even if just to say stuff like that... to think it.... What if I went full term..  odd that I'd speculate this early in the process.   I'm too old and wise for all of that nonsense but yet... I did look and I do know and it really makes me wonder.  Floods of feelings come back to me.    This far away from his day and yet I've already got it on my mind.