Thursday, January 12, 2017

Twin's Birth Story

I was thirty-seven weeks and three days pregnant with these little twins of mine. My perinatologist, Dr Gordon, wanted to induce me right at 37 weeks due to my cholestasis. I was able to get him to agree to pushing it back a few days so we scheduled it for Friday, June 17, 2016. Although I am opposed to inductions most of the time, I felt peaceful about my need to be induced and finally felt ready. 6:00 on Friday morning came and Mimi dropped us off at the hospital. I felt very calm. I had received a priesthood blessing from Dan a few nights earlier that was powerful and reassuring and confirmed to me in undeniable ways that I have a loving Heavenly Father who knows my heart. Staying true to my tradition of watching Ephraim’s Rescue right before labor, Jude and I had watched it the day before so I could draw strength from the examples of my pioneer ancestors (one of which, Elizabeth Bradshaw, is depicted in the movie). Dan and I also went to the temple the day before and I was touched by the words spoken there. Although all I really wanted was to end up with two healthy babies, however they came, I was filled with peace and faith that I would be able to have the birth I hoped for, even though it seemed to defy all odds.

We got to the hospital and waited for a while. I read my blessing again as we were waiting. I was wearing the same blue moo-moo that I wore when I went in to the hospital to have Abraham. The nurse got us set up in our room and got my IV started before her shift changed. One whole wall was windows and I loved how the sun shined through. The day shift nurse came in and she was a sixty-something year old lady who seemed less than enthused about the whole situation. I was also less than amused by her lack of enthusiasm.

At 8:00, they did an ultrasound and baby B was BREECH. That was the last word I wanted to hear. I was disappointed and confused. Why had I felt so confident and peaceful about my birth working out so well? This was going to greatly increase my risk of having to have an epidural and possibly a C-section (they will not deliver a breech baby vaginally). I was bummed but tried to stay positive and hope that maybe he would move again. (A few days earlier at my appointment he was head down.)

She hooked me up to all the monitors, one for contractions and the two that monitored the heart rates. So I had three monitors strapped to my super slick, super round tummy and they would not stay put. First of all, the babies would not stay put and then the monitors themselves kept sliding off the slippery slopes. She kept coming in and trying to get them to stay. Because of this, I couldn’t move at all. If I moved even in the slightest they would come off, and she would not start or increase the Pitocin if the monitors weren’t picking up. So I had to stay completely still if I wanted to move forward! Dr Suber, my OB, came in at 8:42 and was upset that the nurses hadn’t started the Pitocin yet. She checked me and I was still 3 cm, 70% effaced, and -1 station. She encouraged me to get an epidural because in the event of a C-section, if I didn’t have an epidural they would have to put me under general anesthesia and I would not even be awake to see my babies being born. We had previously talked about the option of just getting the epidural placed but not having any medication administered so I told her I would think about it.

The nurse started the Pitocin at 9:00 at a rate of four. She increased the Pitocin by four every half hour until it reached 12. At that point my contractions were steady enough and she felt like she didn’t need to increase it any more. I was grateful! My nurse grew on me. She was laid-back and gave me my space. If I had to go to the bathroom, I would just unhook myself and go and then take my time and she wouldn’t come in and get on my case. She would give me some time and I really appreciated that little bit of freedom! Dr Suber told me she would come back in around lunchtime and break my water so I was anxiously waiting. Up until that point, the contractions weren’t too bad. I started to feel them and was rudely brought back to a remembrance of when I was induced with Jude. It still wasn’t too bad so I knew I couldn’t be too far along yet. Dan was by my side working on a paper he had to write for school.

Dr Suber came in at 1:30 and broke my water. I was only four cm so I knew I still had some ways to go. She was a little upset that I hadn’t gotten the epidural yet, but I just wasn’t in a rush because I knew I still had time. Things started to pick up. My nurse didn’t need to increase my Pitocin any more because the water breaking got things moving enough on it’s own. The next few hours I was just in my zone. I went to YouTube on my phone to listen to one of my jams and it asked me if I wanted to download YouTube Red music player. I agreed and it ended up being totally what I needed. I searched for my songs and liked them and it automatically put them on a playlist and no ads! There was a little Taylor Swift, a little Anthony Green, a little Rihanna, a little Justin Bieber, amongst others. I had Dan’s big headphones on and was just in my zone. Time passed quickly. I had a little paper with my “tools” on it to help get me through the contractions that my good friend, Brittany, had helped me write. The one that really got me through was “soft face.” Whenever a contraction would come, I would focus on keeping my face soft and every muscle in my body relaxed.

The contractions were getting more intense and I was definitely using my tools and just trying to stay in my zone and stay relaxed. I talked to the nurse about getting the epidural placed and she said she would call the anesthesiologist. He came in a few minutes later and asked me if I had any questions. I explained my situation to him and told him I would like to get the epidural placed in case of an emergency but did not want any medication administered. He seemed slightly confused but was happy to oblige me. He did warn me that in the event of an emergency or STAT C-section, they would not know if the epidural had worked and without that knowledge, would have to put me under general anesthesia. There is always a risk that the epidural won’t work so if mine hadn’t, they would not have enough time to know if it had or not. I thought about it for a while and felt peaceful that it would be okay and I didn’t feel like it would come to that. I told him I felt comfortable taking that risk and did not want any medication administered.

My mom arrived just as the anesthesiologist was placing the epidural. I had lost track of time at this point but sometime after that the nurse checked me and I was 6.5 cm. I was still coping well at that point so I was feeling good. I knew if I could get that far I could certainly go the rest of the way. Things started to get real at this point. I would have Dan massage my feet as I was getting a contraction to take my mind off of it. I had my headphones on and would just focus on relaxing and he would rub my feet. Mom came behind me and was rubbing my temples for a little while too. The nurse came in around 3:45 and asked me if I wanted to get checked. I told her I didn’t want her to because I didn’t want to be disappointed. She said she was just going to sit over in the corner of the room. I was getting to the point where I was thinking I couldn’t do it any more. Within a few minutes, I started to feel the urge to push. I told her she better go ahead and check and I was 9 cm! She immediately picked up her phone and called Dr Suber, “Twins are a 9!” She pulled out her walkie-talkie and starting summoning the troops to help her wheel me into the Operating Room and get things set up. (I had to deliver in there in case of a C-section.) Dan had gowned up into his white suit and donned his surgical hat. My mom wasn’t allowed to come in just because there were already going to be so many people in there. I was pushing as they wheeled me in and just praying it would all be over soon. We got into the OR and I had to slide myself over to the miniature stretcher they needed me to be on. Things kind of turn in to a blur at this point but I’ll do my best to remember!

As they wheeled me in, with my legs in the birthing position, there was a man in his thirties waiting in the OR room at the end of my bed. I introduced myself and asked his name because it was just a little awkward. He introduced himself as the OR tech and I sound found out his job was to prepare the area and keep everything clean down there. I obviously didn’t care that much at that point but thought it was an interesting employee choice and felt kind of bad for him for all he was about to experience.

Before I knew it I saw Dr Suber was standing at the bottom of my bed. I was pushing and as she put on her gloves, she said something like, “there’s the baby!” That was good to hear. I pushed a couple more times and there was Baby A! He was born at 4:25 pm. They put him right on my chest and I was just in shock by this little man! He looked nothing like my other two babies! I had expected another little Jude and Abraham and was surprised to see a new little face! I held him up to get a good look at him. He was not crying so I started patting on his back. I did not want them to take him away from me. 










I was pretty unaware of what was going on down there and don't remember any details of how I felt. There were literally fifteen people bustling around the OR so it was chaotic. Apparently baby B was transverse at this point. Dr Suber stuck her arm up to her elbow up there and grabbed him while the other doctor manipulated his body from the outside. Dr Suber broke his water and flipped him to head down. They were having trouble getting a heart rate on baby B and the doctor was getting frustrated. They ended up putting something on his head that was able to get his heart rate. The doctors said something about how baby B’s heart rate was lower than they wanted it to be and I needed to push now or they would have to do a C-section. The assisting doctor, Dr Hahn, was yelling at me “Push! Push! You can do this!” I didn’t feel an urge to push at that point, maybe because he hadn’t descended down the birth canal yet. At this point I was still holding Baby A. So now I’m on this miniature stretcher that has no handles or side rails or anything to get a grip on and I’m holding my newborn baby and they want me to PUSH. I kindly asked if someone could hold the baby so I could actually push! I said I was afraid I would squeeze him and that got the nurse’s attention so one of them ran over and grabbed the baby. I grabbed Dan’s hand on one side and another lady’s hand on the other, pushed with all I had, and after a few pushes, baby B was born at 4:36 PM, eleven minutes after his brother.




This little babe was a carbon copy of Jude and Abraham at birth so when I saw him I thought, “I know you!” I held him for a few minutes before they took him to weigh him. I was okay with it because I was so worn out.












Relief and exhaustion were my two most overwhelming emotions at that point. I wished it was over but unfortunately much still needed to be done. This is the part of natural birth where I feel like you should be done and then they have to stitch up and do that fundal massage like there’s no tomorrow. The placentas were fused together so they came out together after baby B. Dr Suber was really excited to send them off for testing because of my cholestasis. Must be a doctor thing. Dr Suber had more of an adrenaline high than I did! She looked at me and in all seriousness asked, “How did you do that?! How did you do that?!” I just kind of looked at her puzzled and don’t think I even responded. How do you answer a question like that?! I don’t know, I just did?!
















After they got me all fixed up, I got in a wheelchair and had a baby in each arm. They wheeled me back into the labor room and within a couple minutes, Mom had brought Jude and Abraham into the room. That moment when we were all together as a family for the first time was one of the most special moments for me. The boys were so intrigued and excited and sweet. They just wanted to be by the babies.

I, yet again, didn’t have that adrenaline rush or “high” people describe after natural birth. I was too tired! I wanted to take a nap. I was extremely grateful and humbled how everything worked out. There were about a million things that could have “gone wrong” or just not the way I planned. I had my heart set on a natural, vaginal birth and going into labor on my own. I wasn’t able to go into labor on my own, but I realize now that was a blessing in disguise and a loving Heavenly Father’s way to save me from myself. I had talked my doctor into letting me go to 39 weeks pregnant as opposed to the normal 37 or 38 weeks they let twin moms go. My babies were already so big, had I gone to 39 weeks I’m afraid they each would have been 8-9 pounds each and my delivery wouldn’t have gone so well. I can only imagine the complications and recovery I would have had. Looking back, I am grateful for the induction as I have had a ridiculously amazing recovery. I felt incredible within a couple days and had NONE of the recovery issues I had dealt with previously. After birthing a 9 lb 15 oz tank, these two were easy as pie! Thanks for paving the way, Abraham!


I had felt so peaceful in the few days before they were born that I was going to be able to have the birth I wanted. I did not have fear. Even when it seemed to defy all odds, I felt that Heavenly Father, for some reason, was granting me this wish of mine to have a natural birth. Besides the initial reasons that interested me in natural birth (feeling it was best for the health of my babies and myself), I wanted to feel. I wanted to feel the birth of these babies that were my miracle. I wanted to experience everything my ancestors and all mothers past have experienced. I wanted to be able to look back on my life knowing I lived every day and every experience as much as I could. I did not want to numb myself from feeling something that would undoubtedly be one of the most life-changing, unforgettable experiences of my life. I knew I could do it. I knew my body could do it. I had gained a lot of confidence in myself after having Abraham naturally. I wanted to birth without fear. I wanted to let my body do what I knew it could. I wanted to be brave like my pioneer ancestors. I wanted to remember them in those difficult moments and think about their sacrifices and what they went through and feel that in a small way I was making my own sacrifice. I had Googled “induction without epidural” or something like that a few days earlier and the main paragraph that popped up said it’s extremely difficult and all but impossible. I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that society told me I couldn’t. We, as women, are made to do this. Our bodies are made to birth the babies we create. I want women to feel empowered by pregnancy and labor and delivery, not fearful. I want women to gain courage and strength and confidence by their role as childbearing women and embrace the power we hold.





Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mom Guilt - JUST SAY NO.

Dad guilt. You've never heard of it. Because it's not a thing.

Mom guilt though? EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES. Why?! We need to ruthlessly eradicate mom guilt. We give our kids EVERYTHING WE HAVE and then at the end of the day we feel guilty for not giving them more. 

I created and birthed two little humans and breastfeed them for hours on end every day, change their diapers, keep them clean, and provide a safe, love-filled life for them yet I feel twinges of guilt when I let them LAY ALONE for, like, 5 minutes without any cooing, exercises, classical music, or uplifting songs sung enthusiastically in their faces.

Not right.

I provide a loving home with two nurturing parents for my sons where we read books and they are given so much freedom to play and explore and I take them on walks and listen to their stories yet I feel twinges of guilt when I let them watch a (educational, carefully-selected) show.

Not right.

All these feelings do are make us feel bad. Bad about ourselves and bad about the job we're trying so hard to do well.

Negative emotions lead to negative thoughts, which lead to negative behaviors... which lead to...

MORE MOM GUILT!!! 

A cruel, cruel cycle, I know. 

So what can we do to kick mom guilt in the hiney and keep it out?

1. Speak kindly about ourselves and to ourselves.

In the words of our wise friend Justin Bieber, we need to LOVE OURSELVES. This is something all of us moms need to work on. It pains me, and happens far too frequently, that I hear mothers putting themselves down and speaking negatively of themselves (when I know they are loving, amazing mothers). We sometimes feel like it's prideful or that we shouldn't ever say anything we're proud of or that we did a good job on something. It's OKAY to acknowledge our accomplishments and positive attributes to ourselves and others! It's refreshing to hear and refreshing to share. Hearing others speak like this gives us permission to be positive about ourselves too, instead of having a bad mom one-upping competition. (Although that can be fun, too, and we need to be real.) We don't need to down play our accomplishments or negate every compliment we receive. 

We are all wonderful, fabulous, beautiful ladies in our own unique way. Let's embrace that and spend less time trying to be what we think is the "perfect mom" or what our peers may be doing or comparing ourselves to someone's Instagram life and more timing EMBRACING OURSELVES- quirks, curves, and all!!

2. Stop the cycle of negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

I listened to a podcast about this and it totally opened my eyes. (LIKE, IT WAS AMAZING.) So instead of trying to explain it, take a few minutes and listen to it!

Access the podcast by clicking on link below or searching 

"Power of moms unhealthy stress and habits" on your podcasts.
https://powerofmoms.com/unhealthy-stress/

3. EMBRACE OURSELVES

What makes you YOU? What brings you joy? What makes you feel like a kid again? Figure out what those things are do them. It's (more than) okay to spend time FOCUSING ON YOURSELF AND YOUR OWN HAPPINESS! A wise woman once said (me), "The best gift you can give your children is a happy mother."

Do what makes you happy. Don't try to be like everyone else. Take advantage of any alone time you have to do what FILLS YOU UP. "You can't pour from an empty pitcher!"

4. Have a mantra

We may benefit from a short, little phrase that helps us maintain a long-term perspective and help us be able to laugh things off.

Some I've heard of/use are:

"All is well that ends well" 
"Let it go"
"My life is crazy, and crazy is fun... so I'm having fun!!"
"They'll be fine!"


5. Try to look at things in a practical way (as opposed to emotionally) and with a long-term perspective.

This one goes hand-in-hand with the mantra. We need to be able to laugh things off, not take ourselves too seriously, accept that we are good parents and doing our best, and just in general... RELAX. If we are getting down on ourselves about something we did or didn't do, take a step back and try to look at it PRACTICALLY and realize that in the long-run, it's not that big of a deal! 

Realize that although you maybe didn't have the best day or you lost your patience with your child, in the long run... that does not define you and that single event will not ruin your child! Think of all the good things you did that day. Think of all the ways you ARE a great mom and focus on those! Do not let those negative feelings of "mom guilt" in! 

You got this, mama! #mompower



Saturday, October 15, 2016

The marathon that is LIFE.

It's safe to say motherhood has sufficiently rocked my world. I'd like to think I've learned a little bit more than how to proficiently and efficiently wipe another human's bottom along the way and I can safely say I have!

I marvel to think how these last four and a half years have changed me. But then I realize every four year period of my life thus far has caused significant change in myself. Birth to four. Four to eight. Eight to twelve. Twelve to sixteen. You get it. As I look to my future, I am forseeing the massive life changes slowing down a little bit. (Hopefully?) No more deciding who to MARRY. No more SCHOOL. (Insert evil laugh) No more deciding what our CAREERS should be. No more growing and birthing humans and then nourishing them from my body. No more moving across the country (after our next move across the country).

These last few years I was forced into change and progression. It hit me like a grand piano on the noggin. These next years of my life will undoubtedly bring change, but I want to continue to grow and progress as much as I have in the past. It is probably easy to relax a little bit when life isn't throwing BABIES and as many huge life-changing decisions at you, but I hope my self-progression continues on like a seasoned runner chugging along in another marathon. 

Something I've observed is that some people are life-long LEARNERS. They are actively and excitedly seeking learning and growth every day of their lives. They're constantly reading, sharing knowledge, setting goals, figuring out who they are and embracing that, and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones in order to become better and become more than they currently are. They do things that scare them. They take risks and chances. they make changes. They aren't afraid to TRY. They have a passion and zest for life that is contagious. 

Right now I can hardly do anything beyond nurturing and nourishing little humans, and I truly believe there is NO GREATER WORK. And motherhood/wifehood will continue to be my greatest work, but I want to progress more personally and figure out more of who I am and what I can become... and I like to think somewhere deep down behind those busy mammary glands, I have the potential and fire to be one of those people too. 


Friday, July 15, 2016

They're here!

I have truly been blessed beyond measure with these two beautiful baby boys and a birth story straight from heaven! I will share it soon!


Introducing William Syd Mulder and Woodrow Dan Mulder

William - 6/17/16 | 4:25 PM | 6 lb 15 oz | 19.5 in

Woodrow - 6/17/16 | 4:36 PM | 7 lb 5 oz | 21 in









pregnancy update.

Let's do a pregnancy update just for posterity's sake before it becomes a distant memory!

My past pregnancies were easy as pie. Never nauseated, no swelling. No complications. I was going to the temple at 40 weeks pregnant with Abraham and worked nights until 39+ weeks with Jude! I was immediately exhausted this time around. It was weird but I figured it was just because I was taking care of two other children. Although I've thankfully never really been nauseous in any pregnancy, this time around I would randomly dry heave and gag all the time. I started showing earlier and have gained more weight. (A solid 50 lbs at 36 weeks) 

My second trimester I might have had a little more energy (I recollect leaving the house with the kids!) but I was limited because I was already so big. I felt like I jumped straight to the awkwardness of the third trimester without the "break" of the second. Third trimester has been enough to make me never want to be pregnant again! I am have an extremely large belly that constantly bonks things and my kids  in the face, I am ridiculously exhausted (1-2 naps EVERY day or I completely loose it), complete emotional instability and irritability (Sorry Dan and kids). I hardly do ANYTHING. If Dan is gone all Day it's all I can do keep the kids fed and MAYBE unload the dishwasher. If he's home I might write two thank you cards while he does everything else. It's starting to get frustrating just because I feel so helpless and nonproductive. There is a lot I want to do but I either don't have the energy for it or am physically unable. Very few articles of clothing fit. You will usually find me in my blue moo-moo.

I have completely lost control of my emotions. I cry usually at least once a day for whatever reason. Last week I broke into full on sobs because Dan used my ice tray to make homemade ice cream. I have taken over our queen-size bed for two months now. Dan sleeps on the aero bed next to mine. It is completely exhausting and emotionally overwhelming for me to run one errand, even by myself. I can't take the kids anywhere. I am tired of all the comments about my size and people asking me if I'm having twins. (I mean, I know I am but it's just the principal of not asking a pregnant woman that). Then they say something like "I figured."

When my mom was here she gave me some alone time to run a couple errands by myself before my doctors appointment. I have since learned this is too much for me. So I ran a couple errands then was trying to get to a store across the access road by the Northstar mall (SUPER confusing area right there). I ended up confused about if I was in the turn lane or not and then i turned left on a green YIELD and the cars going straight were just starting to go. So right as I was turning left, the cars were starting and before I knew it I was SLAMMING on my breaks and there was a large SUV in front of me and I didn't remember a crash but we were so close I was sure we hit. Turns out he was an undercover cop with a stone cold heart.  I was sobbing and apologizing and he checked and agreed we did NOT hit, but he had me pull over, wait for about 20 minutes (while some homeless man tried to comfort me) and then came up and told me I would be getting a ticket. He also was worried about the baby and wanted to make sure I was okay. Anyways, that shook me up a little bit. Let's just say I never made it to Goodwill! I did make it to my doctors appointment. 

The Saturday night prior Dan sprained his ankle playing basketball with Justin so that was a bummer as all the responsibilities were mine. (I MIGHT have been a little bitter about it on Mothers Day...) luckily my mom was all scheduled to come out that next day on Monday! That was such a blessing! 

So the day before my ticket I was getting a non-stress test and mentioned to the NP I had really bad itching. She asked if it was worse in my hands and feet and i enthusiastically told her it was! It was OUT OF CONTROL itching!! Horrible. She told me I probably had cholestasis and they would draw my labs, start me on Ursodial, and induce me at 37 weeks. So that was a lot to take in. My labs confirmed that I did have it but luckily the medicine helped so much and within a week I could tell a big difference in the itching. 

I was so grateful my mom was there that week. I don't know what I would have done! I have since been able to talk to Dr Gordon, my perinatologist, and he says the actual risk of stillborn from cholestasis is 1%. My babies are as picture-perfect healthy as can be and growing like weeds! He did not seem very concerned so that brought me a lot of comfort. I have appointments with both my doctors his week so I will be able to talk to them and there is a possibility we may not need to induce them right at 37 weeks, but maybe a few days later.

Baby A has been head down for over a month and I am so grateful! Baby B is a wild one and has gone from head down to breech to transverse all in a few weeks! I'm not counting on him going head down but my doctor is very experienced in vaginal breech births, twin births, and delivery breech twins vaginally! She is awesome and I trust her. She will also have another very experienced doctor there to assist her to help me get both babies here and avoid a C-section so I'm feeling good about that! People will ask me, "so do you have your C-section scheduled?" I don't understand that question. Our babies are made to give birth to the children we conceive. I always tell them that if I can give birth to a ten pound baby I sure can give birth to two smaller ones!

One good thing that has come from my extreme fatigue and all but self-proclaimed bed rest is that the boys have become much more independent and self-sufficient. I tried to I'm encourage that before but now I'm doing it out of necessity. They now clean up after themselves after every meal (put away extra food, dishes in the sink, water bottles in the fridge, wash their hands, etc) and have gotten great at just following orders the first time, helping out, and getting things for me, etc. Jude can finally strap himself into his own car seat 100%! I think this is a great natural transition into me not being able to spend as much time with them, go out as much, and be as involved. They've gotten much better at playing together and working out their own issues without coming to me. I was exhausted this morning after staying up late last night. The kids got up at 7:30 with Dan, Dan left at 8:30 for clinic, and they let me sleep until 9:30!!! Then Abraham came up, "mommy, have some breakfast?" and he pulled me out of bed. I was so grateful! Their expectations have definitely gone down and I think that's a good thing right now! You're welcome, future wives. 

Update:

They are both head down and induction date is scheduled for Friday, June 17th! I feel very peaceful about this. It was originally Tuesday but I was able to get it pushed back until Friday. I know it's only a few days, but I am not a fan of inductions and very much believe in letting the baby, or babies, come when they're ready, not at the doctor or mother's convenience. I am grateful just to have even three more days to let them grow inside the way Mother Nature intended! I'm 3 cm as of last Friday so I feel better knowing they are least preparing to come. Thanks to that fact, I won't have to go in the night before and receive Cervidil. 

It works out 100x better for my mom too. She was able to switch her flight to Wednesday and now she can get all her flooring/house situation all situated before leaving my dad alone for a few weeks!

After yesterday, I feel so much more peaceful and at ease. I know I need to get induced and understand that with my cholestasis and having twins, the benefits of induction outweigh the risks. According to the ultrasound at 34 weeks, Baby A measured 5 lb 9 oz and Baby B measured 6 lb 5 oz! So I know they will be healthy weights and they hopefully won't be little miniature NICU-bound babies!

Update (6/16/16): Mimi got into town yesterday! It's such a relief to have her here and I am so grateful to her and Dad for their sacrifices for her to be able to come out for so long and help us. 

I am finally feeling emotionally and mentally ready to have the babies. My dear friend, Brittany Heywood, came over a couple days ago and we were able to have a great talk. There really is something about drawing strength from other women. She is so special to me and I hold her words dear to my heart.

When we were waiting for Abraham to come, I turned a lot to my ancestors to gain strength from their faith and trials. I had been wanting to watch the movie, Ephraim's Rescue, before I had Abraham to give me a final push of strength since one of my direct ancestors, Elizabeth Simpson Bradshaw, is featured in that movie. I was 41 weeks and 4 days and still hadn't gotten around to watching it. That night we watched it and that night mild twinges (I can't even call them contractions because they were so mild) began! Abraham was born at 10:30 the next morning!

I wanted to watch that movie again so Jude and I watched yesterday while Abraham was sleeping. I was also able to get a blessing from Dan last night and it confirmed to me how much Heavenly Father knows me. I was blessed with the sweetest blessings and heard just what I needed to hear. I am so grateful for a husband worthy to call upon his priesthood and give a powerful blessing at any time. I am so grateful for those powerful words I received and I know I will read them over and over again to find strength as I continue through motherhood. I am so grateful for the peace I feel as I soon will be having one of the most special experiences of my entire life. What an unfathomable blessing Heavenly Father bestows upon his daughters, allowing them to bear children and bring them into this world. I feel privileged to ever be counted among the strong women that my ancestors were and pray that I can raise my children in faith and hard work as they did.



Thursday, April 14, 2016

There's two?!?

I wrote this out a couple months ago right after we found out we're having twins and I'm finally getting around to posting it! I'm really good at not blogging.


Wow. Wow! It's absolutely incredible how my life utterly changed in one moment. It has been miraculous. A true blessing and miracle in which I become more and more grateful every day.

I had been waiting for my insurance to go through so I could go see the midwife since I found out I was pregnant. We had been trying for a couple months and were so excited to find out in October that we were expecting! There had been some problems with my insurance and it hadn't gone through. I kept setting up appointments to go see the midwives (same group who delivered Abraham) and I kept getting a call the day before telling me my insurance hadn't gone through. I was also originally just going to take Jude with me to the appointment as Dan was in school and I thought it would be a good experience for Jude to be able to see the baby on the ultrasound and spend that one-on-one time with me. 

So my insurance finally went through mid-December and I had an appointment set up for December 22, the day after my parents left town. Since Dan was out of school we decided to make it a family affair and all go! We went into our appointment as calm as could be. The midwife asked us if we had any questions and we didn't have one! We explained how we'd done this before and felt comfortable with the whole process and didn't have any questions or concerns. She proceeded to get the ultrasound ready, so Dan walked up to the side of the bed holding the boys in each arm so they could see. She applied the cool jelly and put the wand on my belly and before we could blink the picture appeared. Dan and I both saw the picture but nothing registered. Then the midwife exclaimed, "Oh! There's two! It's twins!" My eyes got big as I studied the ultrasound and could NOT deny the two perfectly visible little babies on the screen. The one on the right was stretching his arms way up high, smashing the other one and they were kicking and wiggling all around. It was INCREDIBLE!!! I immediately started crying and laughing like a mad woman and just kept repeating, "are you sure?!" and "are you serious?!" I was in shock!!! I was trying to stay still so she could take her pictures and do her measurements but I could not stop myself from laughing and my tummy kept shaking!

I looked over at Dan and he just had a blank stare on his emotionless face and big huge wide eyes (which remained for several days). He says the thought of having twins had "never crossed (his) mind... ever" so it took him a while to process what was happening! He didn't really have much to say but was just standing there completely dumbfounded.

Those next few minutes were magical. There was an almost tangible magical, surreal, out-of-body feeling in that room. It was amazing! The thought of having twins had definitely crossed my mind before, but I never entertained the thought that we might ever actually have twins. Since I was adopted, I don't know my family history at all so I had no reason to believe I might ever have twins. I also don't have any of the other predisposing factors (like being older, on fertility treatments, etc). So I really NEVER thought we would have twins! Dan doesn't have any twins on his side but the midwife said it depends completely on the mother's side anyway. I used to think that it would be nice to have twins because they are all close in age and if we homeschool, it would be a benefit to have them closer in age and more on the same level. I had already thought that I wanted to have our fourth closer together than our other ones, well I sure got what I wanted! Dan says he would have been more than happy to stop at 3, but we sure found out that wasn't in the plans for us!

The midwife told us that they don't see twin births since any twin pregnancy is considered "high risk," so we were referred to a OB/GYN doctor and a perinatologist. We went and got my blood drawn and stayed in shock for at least a few days! Since Christmas was only a few days away, we waited until Christmas to tell our families and many of our friends were out of town. The waiting was so hard! It has been so fun to be able to tell everyone individually though and see their reactions! The first appointment was so surreal and fast and the midwife didn't know a lot about twins/I didn't know anything to ask, so I've been really anxious to go see the doctor and see them again and get some of my questions answered. 

I feel humbled that Heavenly Father is entrusting me with not just one precious baby from heaven, but two! I definitely feel inadequate and not up to the task, but now that I know about them, I wouldn't and couldn't have it any other way! I love them so immensely and my prayers have been so sincere as I pray for their health and safe arrival. 

We were originally not going to find out the gender of the baby but now with this curveball we have decided to. There is so much new anxiety and questions, not knowing the genders would be too much!! I have a lot to prepare for and I feel like a first-time mom again! 

I am so grateful that I am healthy and have had two healthy pregnancies and pray that this one will be without complications. I know they are more common so I'm trying my best to have realistic expectations. I have a little anxiety when I contemplate how large I'm going to be and how it will be difficult for me to do everything I need to do! I already have an impressive girth (at 12 weeks!) and have started wearing only maternity pants. I have been extremely tired and have had acid reflux and round ligament pain for weeks now and have felt the babies kick starting at ten weeks, I swear! At the time I thought I was crazy but now that I know that's more common in twins, I know it really was them! They were both as healthy as can be. 

They both looked healthy as can be from the mini ultrasound she did. One measured 12 weeks and 2 days and the other measured 12 weeks and 3 days. They appear to be in their own amniotic sacs, meaning they are probably not identical. But we will not know any details until our next appointment at least. The perinatologist squeezed us in for an appointment this coming Thursday. We are so excited!