Friday, December 2, 2016

Eli + Maddie :: 1 Month


Eli & Maddie, 

I can hardly believe that you are 1 month old! I have to admit that it has been somewhat of a blur, as your daddy and I have tried to navigate first-time parenthood and life with 2 newborns. But despite the lack of sleep and the countless diapers, we have enjoyed every moment getting to know you. Sweet ones, we prayed so long for you, and the fact that you are here and already 1 month old is such a sweet blessing. We know this time is going to go by so fast, and we want to remember all the precious moments that the Lord gives to us. We love you so much, and we are so thankful to be your parents!

Love,
Mama


E L I J A H      W I N N


Stats :: 8.4 pounds, 21.5 inches

Loves :: snuggles in the mornings, bath time

Dislikes :: tummy time, being cold, being wet/dirty, pretty much being uncomfortable in any way :)

Eat :: you were patient with mama while she tried her best to breastfeed you and your sister. when we realized that it just wasn't going to work out how we had planned, you were such a champ when it was time to take formula. once your belly was actually getting full, things were much better! you keep your sister on the feeding schedule, as you are always the one who wakes to eat first. unfortunately, you struggled a lot with gas, and your daddy and I did everything we could to try to help you. we never thought we would ever pray so much for poop! when we introduced a gentler formula, you finally started to feel better. you are eating about 8 times a day, 3.5 ounces each time.

Sleep :: once we got past the first crazy week where you were waking every hour, you started sleeping the expected 2 to 3 hours. every now and then, you make it 3.5 hours, which makes your daddy and I rejoice! your absolute favorite place to sleep? in my or your daddy's arms.

Play/Development :: you grasp our fingers, work really hard to focus your eyes, and have the strongest leg muscles, often pushing against or standing on us when we are holding you. you're not a fan of tummy time, and you definitely favor turning your head to one side. you do everything you can to try to avoid turning the other way, but you humor mama {to a point} when she makes you work out your neck muscles. but we're not too worried, because you have mastered the head butt when we are holding you :)

Unique to You :: baby boy, you have the most atrocious gas. it rivals Sasha and can clear a room! you get super frustrated, very fast...when you're wet, when you don't get a bottle fast enough, when your pacifier falls out. patience is not your thing right now haha. oh, but you have the BEST old man faces for just about everything :)





M A D E L I N E      G R A C E


Stats :: 8.6 pounds, 21.5 inches

Loves :: sleeping, having your arms free, bath time

Dislikes :: being wet/dirty

Eat :: you were patient with mama while she tried her best to breastfeed you and your brother, when we realized that it just wasn't going to work out how we had planned, you were such a champ when it was time to take formula. once your belly was actually getting full, things were much better! you were super great to always be on your brother's feeding schedule, as we always seem to wake you up when it's time to eat. you are eating about 8 times a day, 3.5 ounces each time.

Sleep :: once we got past the first crazy week where you were waking every hour, you started sleeping the expected 2 to 3 hours. since you are on your brother's schedule right now, we often wonder how long you would sleep if we didn't wake you up with him. you are our sleep champ right now!

Play/Development :: you grasp our fingers and work really hard to focus your eyes. you rock the tummy time! you don't seem to mind it as much as your brother and you turn your head all on your own. 

Unique to You :: baby girl, you have a distinctive girly squeal. you are usually pretty content, but every now and then, than shrill squeal comes out, and it is definitively girl. you have the largest, most beautiful eyes that just melt our hearts.



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

{iPhone Rewind} :: November

I apologize in advance for the baby photo overload...but it was their birth month, and they have pretty much been our entire focus this month...and I just couldn't help it :)

Sweet sleeping babes

The sweet moment before they started kicking each other :)

Daddy has been christened by Eli

With Aunt Lindsay...who was a lifesaver the first couple of weeks!

Sweet boy...granny was also a lifesaver the first couple of weeks

Baby girl...love her tiny-ness

Date #35: Sonic Date to process our first 11 days of parenthood #wcsavethedate16

Feeding time!

The many faces of Maddie...gotta send some love to daddy while he's back at work!

Eli meeting grandma

Paci partners...I mean, can you even??

Happy {?} babies :)

Men and babies...pretty adorable. They love their Uncle Michael!

Sasha made sure to sneak some snuggles in...sweet puppy.

Sasha overseeing tummy time...gotta make sure those babies lift those heads!

We actually made it out for a walk!

Soaking up some grandma and grandpa time

When you are overwhelmed by motherhood and your sweet husband brings you home flowers to encourage you #lovehim

Date #36: Boomer Jack's + Baskin Robbins for Mike's Birthday #wcsavethedate16

Eli and Maddie got their first mail! 

I finally tried my hand at baby wearing. I need some practice, but I think it will be great once I get the hang of it!

Sleeping babies are the best :)


Friday, November 25, 2016

Embryo Adoption Awareness Day

November is National Adoption Month. We are pro-adoption, in whatever form, but since we personally have grown our family through Embryo Adoption, I wanted to take today to raise a little bit of awareness.


I am a part of an Embryo Adoption group on Facebook, and a few years ago they declared November 25th as Embryo Adoption Awareness Day. It's not an option that many people know about; we certainly had never heard of it until we started exploring fertility treatments and adoption. So the Facebook group decided to dedicate a day in November to help share information about it.

Obviously, we LOVE this option. It's how we were able to grow our family, how we have Eli and Maddie. So we want others to know more about it! So here are some a lot of facts about embryo adoption/donation (EDA).

The Process:

  • When your family building is done, your remaining embryos do not need to be destroyed or donated to science. They can thrive and develop into healthy kids in loving families!
  • Donor embryos are often lovingly referred to as "snowflakes" due to their uniqueness, size, and preciousness {not to mention they were frozen!}
  • There are over 600,000 embryos in cryo-storage in the United States alone. Many of those are stored indefinitely as families do not know alternatives other than destruction or donation to science exist. EDA gives these embryos a chance at life.
  • In the eyes of the law, EDA is a transfer of property and requires much fewer hurdles than traditional adoptions. As an example, while home studies may be required by certain agencies {we did one}, it is not a mandatory requirement to adopt an embryo.
  • You can work with an EDA agency, a fertility clinic, or look for recipients/donors yourself. You can choose the option that feels right for you.
  • Once the embryo(s) are donated, they are legally yours. You are the child's mother and your spouse is the child's legal parent regardless of genetics.
  • Like traditional adoption, there are many types of embryo adoption: anonymous, semi-open with periodic updates, and open where both families stay in touch as the child grows.
  • In many cases, EDA is much less expensive and less medically invasive than an IVF cycle.
  • There is currently no limitation on length of being frozen. In fact, there have been children born from embryos frozen for 19+ years!
  • In many instances, EDA allows background and medical history on the embryos you have received.
  • You can adopt embryos of any race or mix of races, for example, to add to an already transracial adoptive family.
  • You don't need to match the embryo blood type to adopt an embryo.

Pregnancy/Children:
  • EDA allows women to experience pregnancy and birth when they otherwise may have been unable.
  • EDA is an effective option compatible with most types of male and female infertility diagnoses.
  • EDA allows parents to bond with the baby while the mother is pregnant.
  • During pregnancy, your body may influence an embryo's gene expression due to a process called epigenetics. Although not guaranteed, your child might have your cute button nose after all.
  • EDA allows you the opportunity to breastfeed your adopted child.
  • Children born from donated/adopted embryos are just as healthy as their typically conceived peers.
  • There are EDA specific support groups so you don't have to walk the journey alone. Your future children can exist in a community with similarly conceived children.

We love sharing the story the Lord has written for us. You can read more about our story here on this blog. Or please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! :)


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are so thankful to celebrate our first Thanksgiving as a family of four! We always have much to be thankful for...the Lord is a good Father, and we are constantly amazed at His outpouring of grace and mercy over us. We are thankful for how He has always taken care of us, in the good times and bad. And we are especially thankful this year for our tiny turkeys :)




And because I have to be fair and show what most of the photo shoot looked like, here are a few of the outtakes...




Get used to it, kiddos. Mama is going to want family photos at all the major holidays :)


Monday, November 14, 2016

Baby Bump :: Week by Week // Month by Month

Today would have been my due date! It's crazy to think that we made it all the way to 38 weeks with twins. What an incredible blessing from the Lord! But I am super thankful that my doctor didn't let me go much past that though; an act of mercy, for sure haha.

I thought it would be fun to look back over the past 9 months and watch my belly grow! I knew I would get big, but to actually see it in photos is so funny to me. Just when I thought there was NO way I could get ANY bigger...I did :)

1st Trimester :: Month 1 :: Week 3 // Week 4

1st Trimester :: Month 2 :: Week 5 // Week 6 // Week 7 // Week 8

1st Trimester :: Month 3 :: Week 9 // Week 10 // Week 11 // Week 12 // Week 13

2nd Trimester :: Month 4 :: Week 14 // Week 15 // Week 16  // Week 17

2nd Trimester :: Month 5 :: Week 18 // Week 19 // Week 20 // Week 21

2nd Trimester :: Month 6 :: Week 22 {+ actual on beach} // Week 23 // Week 24 // Week 25 // Week 26

3rd Trimester :: Month 7 :: Week 27 // Week 28 // Week 29 // Week 30

3rd Trimester :: Month 8 :: Week 31 // Week 32 // Week 33 // Week 34 // Week 35

3rd Trimester :: Month 9 :: Week 36 // Week 37 // Week 38

I am so thankful for this pregnancy. It certainly wasn't uneventful, but overall, it was a good one. If you got tired of pregnancy posts, please forgive me. I just wanted to have a detailed record of everything. After our difficult journey through infertility, it is so humbling to look back through these photos and see the incredible miracle that the Lord provided. We are so thankful for the gift of embryo adoption and the blessing of this healthy pregnancy. And we are just so in love with our babies!