Friday, September 23, 2016

High Five for Friday!

{one} We made it through another week! I am closer to another full week with babies, which means we're closer to a better delivery time. It's so crazy to think that we have been planning for babies to arrive at the end of October, and now we're just trying to make it to the beginning of October. I have felt good {no contractions}, just trying to be good on bed rest. I don't do "nothing" really well haha. I am really thankful that I got most everything ready for babies already, so there's not any of the stress to get much else done. We really are just waiting for babies to bake a little longer and arrive!

{two} I went in for some more monitoring this week for Maddie's heart. And good news! Her heart looked really good- no arrhythmia! I have always loved hearing the sound of our babies' heartbeats, but it was that much better to hear Maddie's heart beat back to normal. They will continue to monitor her until she arrives, but for now she is ok. So thankful! It could have been just a normal growth stage and her heart has already corrected itself {or will at delivery}. Part of me feels like the Lord used it to get us to the hospital to stop the preterm labor I didn't feel. Either way, the Lord is watching over all of us, and we are thankful for good news this week.

{three} So with all of the issues with Maddie's heart and my preterm labor, my doctors have decided that I should come off my Humira {what I take for Crohn's}. I'll be honest- when they first mentioned this, I was terrified. I will do whatever I have to in order to keep Maddie safe, but the idea of coming off the medicine that has kept me in remission was overwhelming. I had a long discussion with my GI doctor about it, and he seems very confident that everything will be ok. Since I have been doing so well, he doesn't think I will have any problems coming off it until delivery, then restarting the medication after babies come. We have a plan in place in case I start seeing any Crohn's flare symptoms, and I will just need to keep him informed. So here we go...we're taking a step of faith, trusting the Lord with my health. 

{four} My mom came into town for the weekend, and I am so glad she is here! Mike had a hunting trip planned with my dad and brother, and we decided he should go ahead and go since everything seems to have calmed down. So my mom came up here to stay with me and help me while I am on bed rest. I'm sad it can't be our usual fun girls weekend, but I am sure we will be able to make the best of it :)

{five} I have to say that this is probably the first summer I am actually a little glad to see go. The heat has just been too much for me haha. And it really hasn't even been that bad of a summer. The temperatures are still high, but we should start to see cooler temperatures soon. My pregnancy hormone body is ready for fall! And I am sure my husband is ready for the cooler temperatures in hopes that I stop freezing him out :)


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Nursery Reveal

I had so much fun designing and organizing the nursery! I had hoped and dreamed and prayed that I would be able to decorate {and fill} a nursery, and the Lord was gracious in allowing me to do that. This space was a labor of love and prayers.

I knew I wanted to do neutral colors, regardless of whether babies were boys/girls. And then I just decided to choose colors that I enjoyed, because babies aren't going to remember, and I will spend a lot of time in this room...might as well enjoy it myself!

You got to see a sneak peak of the main part of the nursery, but I thought I would share the rest of it, as well as the specific projects I have been working on. Of course, my photos are not as good as the professional photographer, but you get the idea :)

It's not as cute/pretty now that we installed the cameras, but we have to keep an eye on babies ;)


For the safety conscious...we already have a plan to tack off the curtains so they're not touching the crib. Gotta keep Maddie safe!




Baby Quilts
This was at the top of my list. My sister-in-law has been patiently teaching me how to sew, and I knew this was a project she could help me tackle. I am pretty excited about my first quilting project! I chose a super basic design {straight lines, my friends...nice and simple}, but I loved the way they turned out!


Materials: fabric {JoAnn's + Hobby Lobby}, thread, batting
Tools: sewing machine, adhesive spray
Total Project Cost: $75 total for both quilts


Crib Skirt + Crib Runner
Maddie has a crib skirt, but Eli has a crib runner haha. Mike refused to have his boy have a skirt. And hers is definitely more girly anyway :)

I used this tutorial for hers and this tutorial for his. I made some adjustments to fit our cribs, and I actually only did 2 sides, since our cribs are up against the walls. I sewed in ribbon ties so they could be adjustable as the crib height is adjusted {kind of like in this tutorial}.



Materials: fabric {JoAnn's + Hobby Lobby}, thread, ribbon
Tools: sewing machine
Total Project Cost: $20 total for both


Ribbon Garland
This was actually one of my first projects, back when I first decided on nursery colors. It was so simple; just cut the ribbon strips, tie them on the twine, and you're done!


Materials: ribbon {varying designs}, twine
Tools: scissors
Total Project Cost: $20 {because I used so many different ribbons...I even used coupons and waited for 50% off sales too}


Wooden Growth Chart
I recruited Mike to help me with this project. I could have done all the sanding, but he graciously did it for me! I just stained the board and added the vinyl letters. I used this silhouette file {it's free for personal use} for the numbers, but it would be super simple to create on your own with your own font.


Materials: 1 cedar board {3/4" x 6" x 6 ft}, wood stain, vinyl
Tools: paint brush, silhouette cameo
Total Project Cost: $10


Nursery Wall Art
A few pieces that I worked on, courtesy of my Silhouette Cameo. These photos are courtesy of Jillian Zamora from our maternity shoot :)


Materials: 4 Ikea frames, fabric, gold paper
Tools: silhouette cameo, printer, Keynote program
Total Project Cost: $10



Materials: 8x8 wood artist boards, acrylic paint, vinyl, large wooden letters
Tools: paint brush, painter's tape, silhouette cameo
Total Project Cost: $25 {for all 4 boards and both wooden letters}


Remembrance Wall Art
I knew I wanted to have some sort of remembrance art for the sweet little ones we lost last year. So I decided to put the art I had already created in a frame.


Materials: 1 IKEA frame, white cardstock
Tools: Keynote program, printer
Total Project Cost: $1.00 {I already had the frame}


Monday, September 19, 2016

32 Weeks

Sorry for no makeup...at least I got dressed ;)

How far along? 32 weeks {Every week counts!!}
Days since transfer: 206 days
Total weight gain: +29.2 
Maternity clothes? Yep. And now mostly pajamas and comfy clothes...because I'm not going anywhere for awhile :)
Sleep: Sleep was a little crazy this week, with all the hospital adventures. I definitely didn't sleep much while we were there, and I think my mama radar is keeping me from sleeping too much right now. I am watching for every little thing, so it's hard to actually rest. But I will be doing A LOT of resting in the coming days {and hopefully weeks}, so I am sure I will be getting lots of extra sleep. We'll see :)
Best moment of the week: Getting to go home from the hospital!! We were looking at hospital bed rest {and that may still be on the table at some point}, so we were thankful we got to go home this week. Also really glad that they were able to slow my contractions and that we caught Maddie's irregular heart beat.
Cravings: I was just glad they let me eat! They kept me from eating for awhile, because they weren't sure if I was going to have to be rushed off to a c-section to have babies. So when they finally said it was safe for me to eat, I was definitely NOT picky, but rather just thankful to be able to eat food!! Tell a pregnant lady she can't eat... haha.
Symptoms: More achy joints and swelling feet. And apparently contractions that I can't feel. So crazy to me. I definitely started feeling them more toward the end of our hospital stay, but they were not quite what I expected. They aren't painful, more like a tightening and a pressure? And I definitely am not feeling all of them. So it's hard for me to actually time them at this point, as I think I am only feeling the height of the worst ones right now. I have no doubt that will change though ;)
Labor Signs: We discovered that my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and I was dilated to a 1. They were able to slow them down to 2-3 an hour and keep me from dilating further. 
Looking forward to: My next follow up appointment. I just want to be sure babies are ok, and we want them to stay put a little while longer! We can be done with the drama and adventure for a little bit...

-------

Size of baby? About the size of a Florida pomelo, a plastic scooter board, or a naked-tailed armadillo :)
Development: Babies are probably sucking their thumbs, and they are sprouting peach fuzz on their heads. They are practicing their breathing and are "swimming" like crazy {though they're running out of room quickly!} 
Heartbeat: At my perinatology appointment last Wednesday is when we discovered Maddie's irregular heart beat. Thankfully her heart's structure looked good, and they found out after further monitoring that she did not have a heart block. But we're still trying to pinpoint the arrhythmia. Eli's heartbeat was nice and strong, and he is doing just fine!
Movement: They are both still moving all the time, nothing has really changed with that! Of course, it's not really convenient when the doctors and nurses are trying to monitor them, but I am ok with them "acting up" by keeping active :)
Current Position: Good news is that they are both head down! So even last week when they thought babies were arriving early, they were going to let me deliver without a c-section. Definitely positive news! We are obviously playing A LOT by ear these days, but it's nice to know that is an option right now.



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Showering the Babies :: Dudes, Diapers, Guys, and Guns

This weekend, Mike got his very own "baby shower." Despite all the crazy baby adventures, we made sure he could still enjoy his celebration! He headed to the gun range with his guy friends and they grilled out at his parents' house. The entrance fee? A box of diapers for our babes :) 


Baby showers are generally female affairs, though my husband would have been a good sport for a couples shower {as he was for our wedding}. But there's something about getting together with his best guy friends that I know fills his tank. So when Ben came up with this fun and manly idea, I was so excited for Mike. Celebrating babies or not, I know this was a great opportunity for the guys to hang out. I'm so thankful to Ben for initiating and hosting this fun day for my love. 

Of course, I wasn't there, but I was able to steal a few photos from Mike.







I'm so glad that Mike had a day where he could be celebrated as a dad. He's going to be the best daddy to our babies, and I am so thankful for the guys who came out to celebrate and encourage him.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Twin Adventures :: Preterm Labor

I think that the theme for our Dallas baby shower {Adventure Awaits} was completely appropriate. Eli and Maddie aren't even here yet, and they are already making things interesting :)

On Tuesday, we had our second night of the Prepared Childbirth class, which included our hospital tour. So we walked all throughout Labor & Delivery to see where we would bring babies into the world, not expecting to see it again the next day...

On Wednesday, I started Bible study at Woodcreek and was excited to be back in a study with other women. Laura and I went to lunch, and I headed to meet Mike for {what we thought would be} our last Level II ultrasound with the perinatologist. Babies looked good- growing nice and big, both weighing right at 4 pounds. But the ultrasound tech picked up an irregular heart beat for Maddie, so she had the doctor take a second look. My heart stopped as he listened in a little closer; baby girl's heart beat did not sound right. It seemed to slow in some places and drop off altogether in others. Definitely irregular. The perinatologist was great to explain what he thought he could be seeing and to calmly tell us that we needed to do some more monitoring to know for sure. So we were sent to Labor & Delivery for some {what we thought would be} monitoring for Maddie.

We got checked in about 5pm and settled into our room. I was hooked up to the fetal heart rate monitors and got to listen to our babies' heart beats. Once we were settled, the nurses came in, slightly concerned, asking if I had been feeling any contractions. Y'all, I had felt absolutely nothing. So when they told me that I was having contractions every 3-5 minutes, I was shocked. How does that happen??


And then they checked my cervix, and I was already dilated to a 1. So I was in preterm labor. Again- I HAD NO IDEA. So we were admitted, and I was hooked up to what seemed like everything possible:
  • Fetal heart rate monitors {already connected for babies}
  • TOCO monitor {to monitor my contractions}
  • Blood pressure cuff {which went off every hour}
  • Finger heart rate monitor {for my heart}
  • IV fluids {to see if maybe I was just dehydrated}
  • Leg compression cuffs {since I would not be allowed to do much moving}
  • Catheter {which lasted about 4 excruciating hours before I begged for another option}

Needless to say, they knew my every move :)  They monitored me overnight and didn't see enough improvement, so they started me on magnesium and antibiotics to see if they could get the contractions to slow/stop. That stuff is no joke haha. I definitely think it could have been a lot worse, and I am thankful I only felt minimal effects from it. But it wasn't awesome. 


So all this time they were focused on stopping labor, but I wanted to know about Maddie! The good news is that after monitoring her a little more, they didn't see the heart block the perinatologist was concerned about. But she definitely still had an arrhythmia. He thought it could be due to my Humira and that I would need to come off it. I will absolutely do whatever I have to to keep my baby girl safe, but I am definitely terrified of that idea. I called my GI, and there are currently conversations being had between my GI, my perinatologist, and my OB to find the best plan. 

Thankfully, the magnesium worked! My contractions slowed to about 2-3 an hour, so Thursday night they stopped all of my IV meds/fluids and monitored me overnight to see how I did without the medicine and fluids. Thankfully, my contractions stayed at about the 2-3 an hour rate, even stopping altogether at one point, but it was enough for them to be happy enough to send me home. 

Date #28: Change of plans! Dinner at home {courtesy of Ben & Lindsay} to start bed rest...but just thankful to be headed home #wcsavethedate16

So now I am on full bed rest, but I am so thankful that I get to do that {for now} from home. The goal is to bake babies another few weeks. Really, we want to make it to at least October, which would put us at 34 weeks. I will have a number of follow up appointments with doctors next week, so hopefully we will have some more answers soon for Maddie's irregular heart rate and the best plan about stepping down my Humira dose. And hopefully, my contractions will stay calm, and/or I can figure out what they feel like so I am not progressing faster than I am aware.

Adventures for sure! :)