Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Boys

Dear Joshua and Caleb,
Merry Christmas boys! I can remember when I first found out I was expecting you Christmas was one of the first things I thought of. I just remember thinking that I couldn't wait for this Christmas. It was going to be so much different from any other. You were to be the first grandkids on my side of the family and everyone was so excited to meet you. I thought I would either have two very small boys by Christmas or one very large belly. Either way I was ecstatic! Instead I'm just missing you today.

Boys I know that you are having the most amazing Christmas in Heaven. I can't even imagine how wonderful it must be to celebrate with Jesus! I want you to know that even though I'm sad that I don't get to hold you today, I'm so happy for you. With as beautiful as the lights and sounds of Christmas are here, I know you are surrounded with a place so much more beautiful. I praise God everyday because I know you are safe and happy. I pray that one day I will be spending eternity right next to you as we look in awe at our Savior.

Your Grandma and Grandpa gave me a special gift today to help us remember you each Christmas. Grandma is handing down her train set to Daddy and I. She wanted to give us something special to set out each Christmas. It meant so much to me that they remembered you today. They miss you and love you so much.

Boys I hope that you know how much your daddy and I love you too. I can't even put it into words. You are a piece of us that will be missing until the day we are reunited in Heaven.

Merry Christmas boys!

With all my love,
Mommy

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Visit with My Boys

I went to visit my boys at the cemetery today. I've had a little Christmas tree I wanted to put out there for a while but I wanted to finish their stocking before I made the trip. The stocking took longer than I expected. Good thing my boys are safe in God's hands because I feel like I've been neglecting them.

Wayne and I had lunch at Ben's barn and then I still had a little sewing to do before I could hang their stocking. I drove over to the cemetery and sat in the truck in front of their grave while I finished sewing. I guess it was kind of our time together. I would have rather sat on the ground with them but it was BITTER cold here today.

They got a new neighbor. I am so sad every time I see new grave at the cemetery. I just know there is a heartbroken family behind each of the graves and all I can do is pray that those that went ahead of them are with Jesus. The grave that is now next to the boys...or as close as anyone better get to their grave (we have the four plots next to them for Wayne, me, mom, and dad), was beautiful. They have the most beautiful evergreen decorations on it (you'll see a pic of the evergreen cross below). I know there is a lot of love for Mary Ann Brown here.
Here are some pics of the boys grave as it stands today...

Gift Exchange

I have met an incredible group of women on iVillage. There is a forum there for people who have endured the stillbirth of a child. I find great comfort in having a place to go where everyone understands what I'm feeling or at least doesn't think I'm completely off my rocker. We are all at different stages of the grieving process, which is helpful too. We talk a lot about where we've been and where we're headed. These women have become an important part of my life. There is no doubt in my mind that God led me to this place where I can find comfort and hope.

Christmas is difficult for all of us for obvious reasons. Christmas is a time to be with your family and the ones you love but for us our picture is incomplete. We are all missing a part of ourselves this Christmas. One of the moms came up with the idea to do a gift exchange in memory of our babies (Thanks Sara!). It was a fantastic idea and was so much fun to do. The rule was it needed to be something homemade. Needless to say this was right up my alley...I'll never pretend to be good at doing "homemade" but I definitely enjoy it!

So here are some of the gifts I've received so far...

I've received many other gifts too but these were the ones hanging on my Christmas tree. I want to thank all of the girls that participated. It meant the world to me to receive each and every gift. I got so excited every time I saw a package in the mailbox. Thank you for the gifts and more importantly for the friendships! You girls are the best!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Decorations

So decorating for Christmas was WAY behind in my house this year. I have been so busy (yes I know I'm not working but I'm still very busy...it's just a more fun busy); or at least busy is the reason I've given myself. Perhaps there is a part of me that just wasn't as into it as I have been in the past. Things are just SO much different than I expected they were going to be this Christmas. It is a little bit hard to get into the same merry mood that everyone else is in when you are missing the only children you've ever had.

This Christmas was supposed to be a fun one possibly with babies already here...and if there weren't babies here already it should have been a miserable one but a different kind of miserable. Miserable in the sense that I should have been ginormous with two beautiful baby boys inside me. I shouldn't be sleeping at night due to the constant kicking of my two little boys that were already fighting in the womb. God had other plans for us. I will never pretend to understand His plan but I will choose to accept it. There is a reason my boys aren't with me either in my arms or in my belly. I have learned so much from my boys and I never even got to hear them cry.

With all that said, my Christmas decorating this year is a little lax. I usually start bugging Wayne to take me to the tree farm in Danville the day after Thanksgiving. As of a week ago we still didn't have a tree. I knew we had a small Christmas gathering with our friends that was to be at our house so I thought it only right that we come up with some sort of a tree. So two days before our little Christmas party we went out on a tree hunt. We didn't go through the whole rigmarole at the tree farm though. Instead we went to Menards and bought a live tree. It only stands about 5' tall if that but it is full and very cute. The best part...it only cost us $9.03. It was on sale...I guess because who in their right mind waits this long to buy a tree. I don't know but somehow it seemed very fitting. It only took two strands of lights to cover it. I didn't get all of our ornaments out this year. Instead I hung all of the ornaments that I have for my boys and a few others more as fillers for the tree because it did look a little bare. I am really glad we have a tree now. It does make things seem a little more "Christmasy".

The only other decorating I did was a product of Wayne's Christmas gift to me. He got me an old sewing machine...the kind that folds into a table. Those of you that know me best are probably laughing right now imaging me sewing but I'm totally into it. I'm terrible at it but I'm loving it!!! I've been working on two stockings...one for each of the boys. I finally got those done and I guess then I gave myself permission to do the whole tree thing after that. You'll find pictures of my best attempt at stockings below, along with pictures of our tree.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Answered Prayer

Ok so I'm way behind in posting. I'm going to try to get everything up to date by the end of the week...we'll see:-)

I guess the best news I've received in a while was at a doctor's appointment on 11/20/08. A little background...

In between my most recent pregnancy and the first one, I found out that I have a hyperthyroid...I know...looking at me you would never expect it...I should be skinny or something. Oh well...I guess that was one of the side effects I just wasn't meant to have...bummer! So they watched it fairly closely during my pregnancy with the boys. I was almost required to take drugs to control it but then I leveled out for the most part and they decided it wasn't necessary. After we lost the boys, about 6 weeks out, my OB checked my thyroid again and low and behold it was crazy again. She referred me to an endocrinologist....I wasn't going to the old one that tried to put me on the wrong drug while I was pregnant! I found a new one. He isn't close but he is worth the drive. He immediately did a bunch of bloodwork and ordered a thyroid scan (this is a whole other story). After looking at the bloodwork he had, he pretty much told me that pregnancy wasn't going to be in my near future. He said that I would most likely need to have my thyroid killed using a radioactive method that would require me to go on birth control because I guess radioactivity and pregnancy don't go well together. I was totally bummed after this appointment. He said if we went this route I would probably have to wait a year to even try to get pregnant. He also informed me that the first miscarriage could easily have been caused by my messed up thyroid. I want the best possible outcome next time so I'm willing to do whatever needs to be done.

I had the scan and was scheduled to see him just two weeks later. I spent a lot of time praying that I wouldn't have to wait so long to try again. The doctor seemed surprised by the results at my follow-up appointment. He said looking at the information from the scan he didn't see a reason to kill my thyroid just yet. He said it may be necessary down the road but not yet. He put me on the lowest possible dose of Propylthiouracil (PTU), which is the safest one to use during pregnancy....not that any of them are great. The good news is that it is a low dose and we might have to adjust it later but for now it is a low dose and if I was to get pregnant in the future it shouldn't be harmful to the baby. The best news came next....he gave me the all clear to try again to get pregnant. I couldn't believe it...I went from thinking I was going to have to wait a year to having the go ahead to not wait at all. I was so excited by this news (Wayne was too...LOL). Per OB's orders I still had to wait for two full cycles so it wasn't quite time to try again but it was a least in the foreseeable future. I praise God for this...it was a direct answer to a prayer.

We'll keep you posted on all of this. I go back to see the doctor in January and I'm praying that he will see no need for me to be on the drugs at all. That would be best case scenario. I'm gaining weight pretty easily while on it so I'm kind of convinced that I don't need it....especially with all the holiday food!!!

I've joined the gym and am trying to control it that way but I'm pretty sure it isn't normal. We'll see what happens. In the meantime, I'm just so grateful to God for leading me to a doctor that was interested in really finding out what was going on with me and even more grateful for the news that we will get to try again sooner!

More to come soon...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Boys Around the World

The pictures from Carly in Australia were very touching (you can see these in an older post) but the newest pictures I got mean even more. Sara is a person I met on one of the online support groups. She is great. She lost her little Callia on September 30th of this year. Just 24 days after the boys...I wonder if Joshua and Caleb met her in Heaven. Anyway, she is currently living in Florida and went to Cocoa Cocoa Beach for Callia's original due date. While she was there she made a special gift for me and some of the other mommies. She put the boys' names in the sand. Sara also gave me an idea. I think I will see how many beaches I can get Joshua and Caleb's names written on. I will just see my boys all over the world. They will have traveled more than I have :-) Here are the pictures Sara sent me:

Aren't they beautiful? Thank you Sara for this beautiful gift and for thinking of my boys! You are a very special person!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lessons and Reminders

After a doctor's appointment on Thursday, where I learned that our chances for trying to have babies again may be delayed for a while, I was kind of getting a "why me?" attitude. I've been praying about this and God has used His Providential Will to guide me to a few answers...perhaps not the quick fixes I was looking for but in the end is growth.

The first came when we attended a missions conference last night at church. There were a couple missionaries that spoke. They spoke about how your workplace can be your mission field. I had never thought about work as a mission field but I think it is a great way to think about it. It is our job to share God's Word. The thing that really spoke to me though was the need to pray passionately. It can be hard to do that when it is something you pray for over and over again but our prayers should really be passionate. This is something I'm working on. I want God to know that I am passionate about the situations, people, and supplication I am praying about.

God also led me to some notes I had taken during a sermon at church. Pastor Kottke is teaching from the book of Matthew right now. Matthew chapter 6:5-15 gives us a model for prayer. As he was talking about prayer he mentioned the need to pray for something and not give up just because you don't see results right away. The quote that he shared was "delays aren't denials". I don't remember if this was his quote or if he got it somewhere else but it stuck with me. The point is if my prayer is Biblical I can't just give up on it because I don't see the results I am asking for at the moment.

Finally there are two scriptures that I had previously highlighted in my Bible that I found again the other day. The first is Philippians 2:29 "For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake." No matter what I am going through good or bad...it is all for God! The other scripture is James 1:2-3 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." This is a beautiful scripture that serves as a reminder to me that there is a reason for the trials I have encountered. I am growing and even though it hurts and I still get sad, I know there is a something better at the end. I know that each day I am growing closer to God. There is no relationship more important than this! So I will continue on through this trial, no matter how many speed bumps there are that slow me down, I will come out in the end closer to God than I was when I started.

Praise God!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election 2008

Wayne and I were in the car yesterday when he brought up how differently he looks at things since we lost the boys. He always thought abortion was terrible but he now has a new perspective on just how terrible it really is. He mentioned that he wished he had made a video showing people how alive our boys were at just 8 weeks and 12 weeks gestation. How they were real babies from the moment they were conceived and how God knew them even before that.

Since I'm the one with the time, I decided I would attempt this for him. We want people to know how serious and real abortion is. Obama is not going to put an end to abortion and we have a HUGE problem with that. This is a problem above all others for us. God gave us a book on how He wants us to live our lives...it's called the Bible. Abortion goes against everything inside of it. I created this video to help get the word out about this and to let people know what they are voting for.

I know the election takes place tomorrow but we are hoping it will reach some before then and continue to helps others understand abortion for what it is...murder.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Semi-Permanent Grave Marker

We almost finalized the boys' headstone with a company in Lebanon. Wayne had a meeting scheduled to finalize the paperwork last Thursday, until she called 2 hours before to up the price for the second time. I mean really...how many times can you say, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake the price is really..."? I just don't get it. If you set the price and it is wrong well, too bad. Needless to say I was kind of ticked. I was hoping to get the foundation poured before winter.

So I went another route...you can truly buy anything online! I found a company online and I spoke to one of the owners about what we were wanting. They make very creative stones and I really liked her. She told me that the Lebanon lady was totally ripping us off. Her verbal quote, just from hearing what was on the stone we had chosen was about $1500 cheaper than the original quote the Lebanon lady gave us, and that was before she uped the price two times. The biggest problem is with ordering online is that you have to arrange for the foundation on your own...they won't do it for you. After talking to her though and realizing how easy it is, we think we are going to save a lot of money and just do it ourselves. We are learning so much through all of this...mostly stuff we didn't want to learn but learning nonetheless.

In the meantime, I finished painting the boys' cross so that they have something there until we get one purchased. Here are some pictures of it...


Tina (Wayne's mom) and Suzi (Wayne's sister) went to see the boys' last week. They brought them some new flowers and a couple toys (at least I am assuming it was them:-). Here is a picture of the flowers...
Thanks for visiting them and for the special gifts!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Names in the Sand

There are people in this world that do things for other people just to be kind. The Dudley family are some of those people. Carly and Sam Dudley lost their son Christian. After that Carly had a dream that led her into the ministry that she does today. Anyone who has lost a child can request to have their name written in the sand on a beautiful beach on the other side of the world, in Australia.

I read about this opportunity on one of the support forums that I frequent. I immediately requested to see Joshua and Caleb's names in the sand. I requested it on Tuesday and she posted it this morning. Here is the gift she gave us...
I am so grateful to Carly and her family for this! You can see her blog and all the other children's names in the sand on her blog at http://namesinthesand.blogspot.com/. They are in the process of beginning a foundation that will help support families grieving the loss of a child. You can donate to their foundation on their blog.

Thank you Dudley family for this beautiful gift!

Halloween

We had our usual Halloween celebration. We went to Mom and Dad's to take the kids trick-or-treating. Bethany, her friend Evyn, Damon, Myles, and Addyson were there. While it can sometimes be difficult to be doing some of the things that I had planned to do with a big pregnant belly, we still had a lot of fun. It worries me sometimes, that I am not going to enjoy some of things I used to enjoy. I don't seem to look forward to things as much right now but I still find myself enjoying it once I am there. I continue to heal a little more each day so I am sure I will soon be back to counting down the days to the next fun activity.

It didn't hurt that the kids were as usual very cute!!!
You can see more pictures of our Halloween escapades here. Thanks to everyone there for a fun evening!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Temporary Headstone

Wayne and I went headstone shopping about two weeks ago. This is something I didn't expect to be doing at 29 years old but, If I've learned anything this past few weeks, it's that things don't always end up the way we plan. I learned one very important lesson on our first headstone shopping trip...headstones are VERY expensive!!! I had gotten a great idea for a headstone from someone on one of the online support groups I've joined. She is also the mother of twin boys that were stillborn. I loved the stone she chose for her boys and it had a great abstract picture of a person holding two babies. We are using this on the stone we have chosen also. The saying on Joshua and Caleb's stone will be "We wanted to hold you and tell you about God, instead He will hold you and tell you about us." We really liked this quote.

We haven't finalized their stone yet but we think we have made our decision. It will not be until spring when the stone is done. Can you believe that? I suppose you can if you have ever had to shop for these before, you understand it. I am hoping to get the slab for the stone poured before the first freeze, otherwise they can't do it until the spring. I really want something to be on their grave. At least with the slab I could decorate it and everything wouldn't just fall over like it does with the mound of dirt that is currently on it. We'll see if they are able to get it done in time.

Today I spent a lot of time at Ben's barn and at their grave. I decided I couldn't stand having nothing there to mark who they are so I built a cross. It may not still be standing when I return (turns out I'm not much of a carpenter) but it was my first attempt. Here is a picture...

Yes, I wrote on it with marker...I didn't have any paint handy...I'm sure my boys expected nothing less of their mommy:-) I know it isn't much but it was all I could do today and I felt a sense of urgency to get something up. I plan to work on a semi-permanent one that I can put up until the headstone is done.

On a side note....last night (10/29/08) we had the most beautiful sunset I have seen in a long time. When I noticed how pretty it was I asked Wayne to drive me to an open area so I could get some shots of it. He drove like a maniac and we caught the end of it. Here are some photos of that....



I don't know how anyone can see a sky like this and question whether there is a God. Just look around you...there is so much beauty in what God created. This sky was just breathtaking and I had to share it with everyone that might have missed it. This is acutally what it looked like...I didn't doctor these photos at all. It is hard to take a bad picture when God gives you such an amazing subject!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dentist

Since I'm not doing a lot these days, I don't have a lot to report, but yesterday I did go to the dentist. Yes I know...big step right? I was nervous to go because I knew they would ask me if there were any changes in my medical history and I knew I would do all that I could to avoid that question. The problem with going to the same place over and over is that they get to know you, ok so it isn't usually a problem, but I knew it would be this time.

Nearly as soon as I was in the chair the medical history question came up. I said no there were no changes (I wasn't on any new meds or anything so I didn't figure it mattered if I told them or not...it didn't affect my teeth!). Then started the rest of the questions...so did you take the day off? "yes." "I'm surprised to see you...most of our teachers won't come in until next week when it is fall break." Silence. "Did you take the whole day off?" And so the questions continued until I felt that I would be lying if I didn't tell them the reason I was off.

In the end I was really glad that I told her. She too has had two losses. Hers were early in her pregnancy but they were still losses so she understood what I was going through. We talked the whole time she cleaned my teeth. Usually when I tell people they kind of clam up and that is the end of the conversation. Not with her. She asked all about my boys. It was nice to be able to talk about them in a place I certainly wasn't expecting to get to. Granted, it is always hard to at the beginning of this conversation but by the end it is just me sharing about my boys and I love to talk about them. It helps me remember that they were real.

It was really nice to share with her and see the similarities in our struggles and how we both hold the same beliefs about it all being part of God's plan. I even found out through this conversation that the doctor had gone through something similar but he only lost one of his twin boys. The other is alive and well today. I'm so glad to hear these happy endings. It is nice to see that they don't all end like mine did.

It was just a place that I didn't expect to go and find support. I am grateful to the hygienist for sharing her story with me and allowing me to share mine. Somehow we managed this conversation even with her hands in my mouth most of the time:-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Handing it Over

Well I have officially handed my 2nd grade teaching position off. Yesterday I went into work with plans to meet my replacement. I wasn't sure how difficult it would be to walk back in there, so I went early. I was so happy to see my principal had pulled in just ahead of me. I haven't gotten to see her since I lost the boys but yet she has been a strong support for me throughout my decision to stop teaching for now.



Walking in wasn't as hard as I thought it might be...it really didn't look like my room anymore...it was way too organized:-) It was interesting to meet my replacement. She has recently moved to the area and is a brand new teacher. I can remember that excited yet nervous feeling of just starting out. I feel somewhat responsible for much of the stress she has been put under. She walked into my classroom for the first time Saturday and is expected to take over teacher tomorrow. I can only imagine that stress. She was handling it much better than I would have been.



She is a very nice person and I know my kiddos will be well taken care of. I will say it was more difficult to leave than it was to walk in. I got to see a few teachers and it was just a reminder of what I am leaving behind. I love all the people I work with and I will miss them so much!!! I promised I would visit but that just isn't the same as seeing them every day. It is just such a comfortable place to be because I have spent much of the last 4 years there. I will still have the option to go back in August but I just don't know where God will lead me by that point. Maybe I will end up back in the same classroom, maybe He will give me another chance to be a mom, or maybe I will be somewhere I never even expected. Only He knows.



I don't have any news on what I am going to do with myself now that this decision is final but I'm not worried about it. After a sermon at church last week, that I'm pretty sure must have been written just for me, I realize I need to just let things go. These are not my decisions to make. God is in control of every move I make, every breath I take. He knows better than I where I should end up. So I'm letting go. God will lead me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Job Stuff

I don't care who the president is, in this world we have to work to survive. I have always worked with kids. It is all I have ever known. For the last 5 years I have been a teacher, 4 of those years I have been a 2nd grade teacher. I work with an amazing group of teachers and I absolutely love my team but losing my boys has changed me. I will never be the same person I was 4 weeks and 5 days ago, when I found out my boys no longer had heartbeats. I don't think anyone can expect me to be that person anymore either.

It has been a very difficult struggle for me to decide whether I would go back to the classroom or not. I had orginially scheduled 3 weeks off and then I extended it to 6. Monday, 10/6/08, I finally made the decision not to go back during this school year. It was an agonizing decision to make, but I feel that is was the right thing to do for me and for my 25 students. I had only been with them for 3 weeks when I lost my boys so I knew that they would still be able to adjust to a new teacher.

It is hard to not think of myself as a teacher because that became part of my identity. I also know though that I couldn't have given those kids what they needed. I don't think it would have been fair for me to go back. I'm sure there is some psychologist out there that would tell you that I am associating my job with the loss of two pregnancies and 3 babies (possibly 4 since they think my first one had a "vanishing twin"). They would be right...I don't think my body is cut out to do a job that is so stressful and be pregnant at the sametime. I couldn't sit down much, I couldn't leave after 8 hours, I took a lot of things home both physcially and emotionally. It is a VERY difficult job! My hat goes off to the women I have talked to that have gone through similar situations as mine and have managed to go back...some just a few weeks later. I just don't have it in me anymore...maybe I will get it back. That is why I opted for a medical leave instead of a resignation. This way I have the option to go back in August but if I get pregnant again I probably won't.

I got the ball rolling for the medial leave on Monday and it has helped me A LOT to finally have a decision in place. The stress of not knowing what I was going to do was really difficult.

Yesterday I went to an interview at a children's hopsital. It sounds like a job I would really enjoy. I would be tutoring in a sort of "teacher's aide" position. I think the 3 interviewers thought it was strange that I would want this job after being a teacher but I tried to assure them that I am ready to just teach and not do any of the other crap that goes with the job. Granted the money isn't much but Wayne and I were ready to go to one income so anything would be helpful. I also know that if I do get pregnant again someday I would be able to leave and go to the doctor without spending hours making sub plans first, and I could possibly work only 4 days each week. It just sounds less stressful. They have a lot of candidates to interview and I am aware that even though I have more than enough qualifications for the job, they may find someone to better fit the position.

With my trust in God, I'm not worrying about it. He doesn't want me to worry:

"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?


"
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

"And who of you by being
worried can add a single hour to his life?

"And why are you
worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,

yet I say to you that not even
Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

"But if God so clothes the
grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

"Do not
worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'

"For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for
your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
-Matthew 6:25-34 NASB
...So I'm not worrying. This is a struggle for me...I'm a worrier. I think I am getting better though. This trial has tested my relationship with God and I have learned a new trust in Him making it a lot easier to not worry as much. I won't say I NEVER worry because that just isn't true but I am getting better. He is teaching me. And I will tell you He has my attention these days like none other. So with that said, I'm not worried about whether I get the job or not because God will take me where He wants me. Praise God for taking care of this for me!!! If you are struggling with worrying I highly recommend Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. My pastor gave it to me the Sunday after we los the boys and it has be a huge help!
I will keep you posted on the job though.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our Story

I have finally finished the website in memory of Joshua and Caleb. You can read and learn all about them and what they meant to so many people here.

Or you can go directly to our story here. It is really long but it is ours. Please let me know if you have any questions. You can leave me a comment here on the blogger or you can email me at bjjohnsto@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A sad goodbye...

As I sit here this evening, I'm awaiting the burial of our beautiful boys, Joshua Wayne and Caleb Scott. Everything has happened so fast since our last post. I went to the doctor last Friday (9/5/08) after continuing to feel a tightening feeling. They measured my cervix again and everything looked the same. I asked Brandy (the ultrasound technician) to please check on the babies. She showed them to me and then said that she needed to show the pictures to the doctor. I knew something was wrong. Dr. Fenoughty came in immediately and said "We may have a problem." She said there was a lot of fluid between the boys and there were no longer heartbeats. She suspected placenta abruption. I was devastated. My boys were gone. Dr. Fenoughty and Brandy were both very caring and explained everything to me. They told me that I would have to deliver them because I was so far along. She wanted me to talk to Wayne and decide if we wanted to go back on Monday for another ultrasound so that Wayne could have that closure. I called Wayne in the parking lot and he came home immediately. We talked about it and decided that they would know if there could have been any other outcome so we didn't see any reason to put this off any longer. We knew the boys were dead and God had already taken them so we decided it was time to get past this point so that we could move on. We called the doctor and she explained everything to us again and said we could meet her at the hospital at 7:00 am. It was a rough night but we knew it was the right thing to do.

...more to come...this is exhausting.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Good News...

Wayne and I went for the gestational diabetes test today...well I went in for it and Wayne went with me for support (and to laugh at me as I tried to down the orange stuff in 5-7 minutes). We got the results about 30 minutes ago and I scored an 85. You have to be below 130 to pass. I am very thankful that gestational diabetes isn't the cause for the high ketones. That is not something I wanted to deal with. Wayne is convinced that I'm not eating enough but you can bet I'm eating plenty with him beside me today!!! I think I was dehydrated but I am working very hard to keep drinking. I'm always checking the toilet after I pee to make sure I can't see anything. I am drinking enough as long as it isn't yellow...I know...I always thought pee was supposed to be yellow too. This is a pretty accurate measuring tool as I go to the bathroom literally every 10-15 minutes. I get a constant reminder to drink. I think those little boogers are just sucking everything out of me. I'm fine with that as long as they continue sharing with each other equally.

I also got clarification from my nurse today on my cervix. There was some concern when the doctor measured me so she had them use ultrasound to measure me more accurately. They found that my cervix is soft but closed. I think this is where the strict "take it easy" instructions come from. It being soft is only an issue if it begins opening. It is hard but I have my amazing husband to take care of me today...it will be harder when I have 23 2nd grades wanting me to take care of them tomorrow. I will do my best though and keep everything in perspective. We have another appointment next Thursday when they will do another ultrasound. We'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Not Feeling Wel...

This is Wayne... I'm writing because I'm the dad and that's one of my privileges.  I got a call today from Beverly, around 11:45am, telling me that she was going home for the day.  She wasn't feeling well and since they only have 25% A.C. in her part of the school, it was really taking a toll on her; so she left.  On the way home she called our OB and told the office nurse about certain "pulling" and misc pains she's been experiencing, and that she wasn't feeling well today.  They asked her to come in at 1:00pm to do some urine tests to make sure everything was looking OK.

While they waited on the results from the "pee test" they hooked her up to some EKG-type machine to see if they could get any hints of contractions.  They didn't see anything there, but her "keytones" were indicative of either dehydration or diabetes.  However, since her glucose has always been and still is OK, they're just sure it's dehydration.  But to be on the safe side, they've scheduled for her to do the 1-hour gluco-mohito-hirohito test (or whatever) tomorrow morning (Thur., Sept 4). 

I'm not really sure about the dehydration thing though, because she drinks at least 64oz. of water everyday (we bought her a handy-dandy 64oz. container just for that) and has to pee more than any person I have ever known.  She held that title before she was pregnant, and her ability to squeeze out the yellow stuff has only grown to new heights since.  I just can't imagine that she needs more water - but what do I know.  Can you get an IV for the home to just pump water into her?  

Most importantly, they have told my lovely wife that she has to slow-down & take-it-easy.  The doc specifically said that she needs to just go to work and come home - nothing else.  Also, since it is twins, she wants her to come in whenever she feels what she might think are contractions, regardless of time or anything.  (I assume the office has to be open, though, right?)

Anyway, I need all-yer-all's help in stressing to Beverly that she needs to take it easy - doctor's orders!!  If you see her trying to do anything resembling work - kindly ask her to cease-and-desist and plant her tush on the nearest soft object.  Then promptly call her husband and let him do whatever inane task she was attempting.  Thank you.

We'll update you on the results of the "1-hour gluco-mohito-hirohito test" when we know.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We Finished Painting the Nursery



We've finished the painting of the nursery!! It only took three days. Here is a quick slideshow:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

We've Picked the "theme" for the Nursery


Nursery Theme: "My First ABC"

It has been a busy "baby" weekend so far. We registered at Babies R Us today and we selected the nursery theme in the process. It's a somewhat different direction than we had started with - but we found that we just really like the ABC theme and it really opened the color palette up beyond just blue and brown, though both of those colors are still dominant in the set.

We also registered for car seats, a stroller, bottles, blankets, a "feeding chair", bath-time stuff, and so much more. There were 15 pages of stuff and we're just sure that we missed some very crucial items that we won't even know about until two screaming baby boys point it out (probably around 2:30 in the morning at that). We found a stroller that we liked that was on clearance and bought it. It's a Graco DuoGlider and matches the infant car seats we registered for. It will accept both of the car seats directly onto the stroller so it will be so easy to travel - I think this is what they call a travel system, but I'm not sure.

We also, before we left for a day of baby shopping, put together 2 bassinets and a swing that were gifts from 'Eli Lilly'. (uh... that means that Scott and Diana had accumulated some "points" from work and used those points to purchase some baby furniture - Thanks!!!)

So... we are both worn out from a very packed day. Hopefully I can put more up here as soon as I remember what it was that I wanted to tell you.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back To Work and Thursday's Appointment

Well Monday (8/11) officially marked the end of my summer. It was a sad day. I am so grateful for the time I had off this summer though. I actually felt like I had a good break and the thought of starting school again didn't terrify me, although the thought of getting up early did. The first couple weeks are always the roughest, pregnant or not. While I worked a little later than I would like to I am going to make a gallant effort not to make a habit of it. My kids didn't start until Tuesday and that is when the reality of how early that alarm clock goes off hit me. I am just not a big fan of getting up early and there is not much in this world that I hate more than my alarm clock. I guess it is kind of a love/hate relationship. I obsess over it as I crawl into bed and I would like to beat it with a large metal baseball bat when it goes off in the morning but I digress.

My kids are great and I have to admit that, with the exception of the afore mentioned aversion to the alarm clock, I am truly enjoying teaching more than I have in a while. I thank God for this gift!

I have already had to take a half day off of work, one of many more to come I'm sure. Thursday afternoon was my 18 week ultrasound with Dr. Abernathy. It went great! Both boys looked perfect. I had decided not to start painting the nursery until we saw for sure that they are indeed boys (Wayne thought I was crazy but they saw that they were boys so early that I just wanted to make sure). This appointment provided more than enough proof that they are without a shred of doubt boys, probably more boy than you would expect this early on. The technician actually said she was 100% sure. From what I understand, they don't typically make a habit of saying one way or another so definitively.

Baby A had a heart rate of 145 and he was measuring 18 weeks and 3 days at the appointment, when I was only 17 weeks and 4 days. He was moving around so much she had trouble getting all the measurements done. It was fun to see him all over the place. Baby B had a heart rate of 144. He was also measuring 18 weeks and 3 days. Dr. Abernathy was very pleased to see they were measuring a little ahead. She said, "We like ahead!" Baby B wasn't moving around quite as much as Baby A but he had also found a new toy that was keeping him very entertained. Baby B was holding his "wee wee" (as the technician put it) throughout the entire ultrasound...let me remind you she said 100% boys! Once I saw that, I knew it was safe to paint the nursery:-) You will see pictures below. Both boys are weighing 8 ounces so I have a total of 1 pound of baby inside me right now.


























This is Baby B's hand holding his
"wee wee",Daddy couldn't be prouder:-)


I am loving every minute of this pregnancy so far, even those moments when I don't feel great! Wayne has been so great and supportive through everything. Everyday I love him even more for the daddy he already is! I can't wait until the babies are moving enough for him to feel them (I'm not sure if I feel them yet or not). I think it is almost unfair that I get to experience this so much more than he does. I'm just very blessed! Between him and the girls at work, there isn't much I'm "allowed" to do. I think they have limited my lifting to 5 lbs. tops. It is funny! Everyone is so supportive. Mom and dad called me from Motherhood Maternity today and had me come over because mom found some things she wanted me to try on. They were just as excited to buy me maternity clothes as they are to buy onsies for the babies. They're so great! I can't thank God enough for the blessings of my parents.

My belly is starting to grow, although I continue getting the "are you losing weight?" and the "you don't even look pregnant!" comments. I know I should appreciate these comments but I am just so excited to be pregnant that I will be happy to start showing more. I have been wearing maternity pants for a couple weeks now. I could probably still button my regular ones but I can't hardly stand to have anything tight on my belly. Let's talk about maternity pants for a minute. I think all pants should be made this way. I'm thinking I will hang onto these even when I'm not pregnant. They're so much more comfortable than regular pants.

I am so excited about being pregnant that I have decided to expose my belly for all to see below. It's not a pretty sight but it will be as it fills up more with babies. I know this is out of character for me but we want to document everything because it is all so exciting. The top of my belly was the first thing to stick out and now the bottom is starting to catch up. You can't really see much in these pictures but they will be there for comparison in the coming months.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Doctor Appointment Notes

I had my scheduled appointment with my OB, Dr. Fenoughty, on Friday afternoon. Here is the latest scoop:
  • She listened to the hearbeats. They were 139 and 147. She said it should be easy to use the doppler since their heartbeats are so different. This way we'll easily be able to tell them apart by bpm's. As she was listening to the second one, he kicked the microphone. It was funny :-)
  • She confirmed my severe "placenta brain," as they call it. It is apparently an ongoing joke in their office. It is where the babies are just sucking my brains out. I don't remember anything anymore. Wayne used to rely on me to remember details and things but now we are relying on him...we are in so much trouble. I have locked myself out of the house, and I can't remember things from one second to the next. I'm a little nervouse about going back to work with my forgetfullness.
  • She felt my belly and confirmed what I thought, both babies are on the right side of my stomach. She said that is probably where my placenta is. The top of my belly has felt much bigger and she said my uterus has already moved everything up, causing the top of my belly to expand.
  • She said I have a 50/50% chance of ending up on bedrest. These odds are better than I thought so I was happy with this.
  • She told me to schedule my maternity leave to begin on January 5, the day we return from Christmas break. She said "if you make it that far, you'll be ready to get those babies out and won't feel like going back to work.
  • She said that our periontologist (high risk OB) will probably decide at my next appointment whether she will cut me loose to just work with my regular OB or if we are going to continue the "shared care".
  • She said we should schedule our birthing classes for sometime before 28 weeks. Wayne and I got carried away on this. Wayne loves learning and I love learning about my babies so we signed up for all of the following classes:
  1. Labor and Birth prep
  2. C-Section prep (the doctor told me to take this just in case)
  3. Breastfeeding with Ease ( Ease? yeah right, with two)
  4. Happiest Baby on the Block (soothing fussy baby)
  5. Newborn Basics
  6. CPR/First Aid for babies
  7. IU Hospital Tour (just in case we have to deliver there)
We are very enthusiastic about learning all we can before they are here, if you can't tell :-) My next appointment with the periontologist is August 14th so I will definitely update by then, if not before.

My next milestone...managing to go back to work and somehow function beginning Monday, August 11.


Lilypie Expecting a baby Pic

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Since we are expecting twins, we've heard that it is best to do things sooner rather than later. We managed to walk into a Babies-R-Us last weekend. Boy that was overwhelming! I can only imagine how Wayne felt walking in there. We had a great time. Wayne enjoyed it as much as I did. We wanted to start registering but of course that was more complicated than anticipated. They had some power issues earlier and were reluctant to let us start a registry because they were afraid it might get lost. So we spent our time looking a cribs. That isn't an easy thing to choose. First, do we get two or just one? Then a lot of them looked to girlie. We did find one we liked with a matching dresser. We wanted to research it before the big purchase (these things aren't cheap).

We are also trying to decide on the crib bedding that we like. Here is what we have narrowed it
 down to so far:

























We found all of these at store.babycenter.com so far this is where we have found the best selection. I'll let you know what we end up with.

Lilypie Expecting a baby Pic

Monday, July 21, 2008

Feeling Better

I think the morning sickness is passed. I prayed I wouldn't be sick when I had to go to the doctor last Friday and I wasn't. God didn't stop there though. I have felt good since then, with the exception of one breif spell yesterday. I am so blessed! God continues to take care of me!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

And they are...

...BOYS!!!

Wayne and I went to see a periontologist (a high risk OB) yesterday. She was to be the deciding factor on whether I should be starting any medication for my hyperthyroid. During the visit I knew they were going to do an ultrasound. I have read on many messageboards that if they are boys they can tell by 14 weeks because the genitally has already developed. When the ultrasound technician asked if we wanted to know what we are having I knew right away. It was a dead giveaway. Luckily we did want to know. So as it stands now (and it is still early so they said, "keep your receipts") the babies are in separate sacs, which is great news because that relieves many of the complications that could have come about, like cord entanglement. They are identical because it looks as though they are sharing one placenta. And they are BOYS!!!!

We are very excited and really didn't care what they were just as long as they are healthy. It looks like I am going to be outnumbered 3 to 1. There is no place I would rather be! We feel so blessed to have two amazing miracles growing perfectly inside of me. They are measuring perfect, even a three days ahead of schedule. I know...they're gifted already:-) The amniotic fluid around them looked great and their heart rates were 148 and 149. We truly appreciate all of you who have kept us in your prayers and we hope that you will continue to do so.