Monday, July 31, 2017

Repeat MRI

Today I had a repeat MRI. There was a miscommunication and scheduling error, so I had to go to Frisco for this one. This is the third MRI I have had in my life, and of all the medical procedures I have faced, this one is pretty simple. The worst part is the needle prick {which I hardly feel now} for the saline and contrast. Otherwise, it's kind of nice to have 45 minutes of calm. The machine is loud, and I didn't get music at this imaging center, but I just closed my eyes and prayed.

I have to admit that I have really struggled with feeling anxious about this tumor. There are so many good aspects of this process so far, but I am just so weary of health issues. It's more the thought of surgery and recovery. What will that look like? How long will recovery be? Will I be able to pick up my babies? I know the Lord will provide, as He always's just a daily battle. Just trying to be honest with where I am right now.

When I got home from my MRI, Mike presented me with flowers, brownies, and a Sonic drink. He knows the keys to my heart :)

I'll meet with the neurosurgeon on August 17 to discuss the results of the MRI and next steps.

{iPhone Rewind} :: July

We can finally use our Buggy Bench, and we LOVE it!

Poor baby girl has a SERIOUS cowlick and totally rocks the front hair wave...

Eli loves his Uncle Michael {aka Uncle Awesome, aka Uncle Fuzzy Face}

With my baby boy :)

Little Miss outgrew her infant carseat and got a new one!

Such deep thought...

Twin babies got Sasha like...

Eli & Maddie's first swim at Hawaiian Falls!

Grandma came to visit and they LOVED all the time with her.

Cheese faces :)

Eli started holding his own helps SO much that both babies can do this now!

Play time! He's so ticklish, and it's so fun :)

Reading {and eating} books

Every once in awhile, they will play contentedly and I can do a bit of reading. For about 10 minutes or so. But I'll take it :)

Eli loves trying to figure out books...

...and Maddie loves eating books :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

38 Weeks In // 38 Weeks Out

I am still amazed that we made it to 38 weeks {+ 2 days!} with twins. Considering that I went into preterm labor at 31 weeks, it made me laugh that babies refused to come in the very end. It was definitely grace from Jesus that our babies made it full term, with no NICU time. He definitely heard ALL of the prayers that were lifted up on their behalf.

Y'all. I was HUGE. Like, HOW ON EARTH WAS I STANDING UPRIGHT huge. I remember being extremely uncomfortable, but I look back at photos and videos, and I don't know how I was even able to move. Those babies were taking over! But I would do it all over again, no hesitation, all 250 days. I had a great pregnancy, and I am just so thankful that I got to experience it. Gigantic bump and all :)

I thought it would be fun to do an "In/Out" post. So here were babies 38 weeks in...

Woah. Babies.

And here are babies now 38 out weeks out...

Fun Fact: I lost about 40 pounds of all things baby the week the twins were born. Today, I am currently holding almost 40 pounds worth of babies in my arms. That's a lot of baby. Guess I'm just working on those mama guns :)

It's true what they say. In a lot of ways, it was much simpler to carry them while they were on the inside. At least there, they were confined to one place haha. Now that they're out and squirming in my arms, it makes for a bit more of a challenge. But definitely a really fun {double} blessing :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

6 Years

This weekend, Mike and I also celebrated 6 years of marriage. 6 years!

All weekend, it was fun to reminisce and think back on our wedding festivities. How this night we were at our rehearsal, how at this time 6 years ago we were getting ready to walk down the aisle, etc. It was such an amazing day, filled with family and friends, love and laughter. We are still overwhelmed by the gift the Lord provided to us in such a fun celebration.

We were able to sneak away for a fun anniversary dinner at Perry's Steakhouse & Grille, and it was SO nice to just sit and talk and enjoy a good meal together. We took some time to reflect over the past 6 years and all that the Lord has done for us.

The past 6 years have been filled with more of the same from our wedding and friends, love and laughter. But they have also been filled with some hard and scary times. From McKinney to Plano, church planting to infertility, health issues to embryo has been a FULL 6 years, for sure. Mike keeps me sane, focused on Jesus, and laughing through the crazy, and I just can't imagine walking through all that we have with anyone else. 

We went into marriage with healthy expectations, but we have both been surprised by the toll that parenthood can easily take on a marriage. Babies are all-consuming {in a good, appropriate and season-of-life way}, but we are realizing how much extra work it takes to work on our marriage when we're both wiped out from parenting twins. And we're only 8.5 months in!

We are loving this new season, and having babies has unlocked another aspect of our marriage that makes me love Mike that much more. And we both agree that we make a good parenting team. But we also recognize the importance of keeping each other a priority and our relationship healthy. So as we begin to come out of some of the fog of raising newborn twins, we are committing to taking steps to keeping our marriage healthy and focused on Jesus. We're still figuring out what that looks like, but I am thankful for my sweet husband who helps keep us on track :)

So while marriage has been full of romance, fun, and adventure, as of late it has also been full of dirty diapers, feeding babies, and falling into bed exhausted to fall asleep to The Office reruns. But I wouldn't trade any of it, and I love that we get to do it all together. I love our little family, and I love our life together.

We're looking forward to another 60 years! :)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Twin Adventures :: Road Trip to San Antonio

This past weekend we packed up the babies and headed to San Antonio! My mom had come into town a few days before for a visit, so she was able to drive to San Antonio with us, and it was so nice to have the extra hands.

Babies' first trip to Buc-ee's!

While it was definitely a lot of work to road trip with babies, they did so well! They didn't sleep very much, so we had some tired babies by the time we made it to San Antonio, but overall they stayed in good moods and did really well on the drive. And it really didn't take us as long as I thought it would. We took our time and made the stops we needed, but babies were {mostly} content in their car seats.

Maddie was a huge fan of "driving" {really, she was just happy to be stretching her legs!}

One of the main reasons for the trip was to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa, of course! So there was definitely lots of play time with them. They stocked up on fun new toys for Eli and Maddie, so there were lots of new things to explore. To say that we took over their house is a slight understatement :)

Another reason for the trip was to introduce Eli and Maddie to their great grandparents. All 4 of my grandparents are still living, and so it was so special for Eli and Maddie to get to meet all of them!

Eli meeting Lito Grande

Eli LOVED Lita Grande...seriously, he snuggled up with her and gave her all kinds of love!

Maddie was a little wary of meeting new people, but my grandparents were good sports about it :)

Maddie meeting Great Grandpa

Eli meeting Great Grandpa

Eli meeting Great Grandma

Maddie meeting Great Grandma

We had a great weekend, and we are so thankful for the time with family. Overall, Eli and Maddie did really well, but we were all glad to be home in our own beds and back into our normal routine. We miss Grandma and Grandpa already, and we look forward to their next visit!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Follow Up with Endocrinologist

Today I had my follow up with the endocrinologist to discuss the results from my lab work. All of my initial labs came back normal. I don't seem to have any problems with my hormones, and my prolactin level was actually in the normal range again {good news!}. So she was able to confirm that it is not a hormone-producing tumor. Basically that means that the tumor is probably just pressing against my pituitary gland, causing my prolactin production to increase {the tumor itself is not producing prolactin}. Because of this, medication is not the appropriate course of treatment. 

So she is sending me back to the neurosurgeon to see what he wants to do next {which will probably mean surgery}. I am glad that the treatment seems to be clear cut, and I don't have to make a decision between medication and surgery...the decision was made for me! 

She had me repeat blood work to measure my prolactin level again, as well as do a 24 hour urine test and a saliva test to check my cortisol levels {fun!}. She didn't believe they would show anything {based on previous lab work}, but wanted to round out all the prolactin testing. This time, my prolactin level was elevated, so she recommended that I take the medication for now. Which is completely confusing to me, so I have made the decision not to do that for now. I don't make it a habit of refusing a doctor's recommendation, but the neurosurgeon didn't want me to take it from the beginning, and even the endocrinologist originally said that medication wasn't the best course of treatment. So I'm holding off on that for now...

My cortisol levels came back fine too, so it was just confirmation that there aren't any other underlying health issues surrounding the tumor.

So what's next? I go back for a repeat MRI to see if the size of the tumor has changed, and then discuss surgery with the neurosurgeon.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Eli + Maddie :: 8 Months

Forgive baby girl's expression...she has decided that cameras require intense scrutiny :)

Eli & Maddie, 

Your first year is flying by, and every new month brings a host of fun memories! You both have definitely entered the squirmy stage; seriously, neither of you can sit still for second! I'll just say that we're not exactly operating at maximum efficiency, since everything takes 5x as long to do...but you just have so much to explore, and you want to do it all at once. You are sitting up more on your own and are semi-mobile, so it creates new challenges for keeping you safe. Neither of you are officially crawling yet, but we're getting close! There's a lot of rolling, scooting, and reaching going on...oh, and the rocking on all fours with the baby tushes in the air is pretty darn cute :)  You have started playing with each other a little more, and watching you try to get each other's attention and then giggle together makes the hardest of days 100% worth it. My sweet loves, we love you so much, and you have brought us SO much joy that sometimes we can hardly stand it.


E L I J A H      W I N N

Stats :: 19 pounds

Loves :: your stuffed lion, being tickled, sucking on your toes

Dislikes :: having your nose wiped, sitting still

Eat :: you are eating 6 to 6.5 ounces five times a day. thankfully, your eating is back up and hasn't seemed to wane with your recent cold. we continued with our favorite fruits and veggies, but added in another meal of solids, so you are now eating solids at breakfast and dinner. on a side note, you have started burping quite a bit on your own, which is one less step for mama!

Sleep :: you're still sleeping consistently through the night, but naps are still all over the place. sometimes you nap really well, and other times, you decide naps are not for you that day. which is actually kind of hard, because you can't seem to stay awake and happy for long stretches of time. so hopefully you get back into a good nap groove soon.

Play/Development :: you are constantly exploring your little world! you are reaching for everything, and moving toward the things you want. you are doing a lot better with sitting up on your own, though you still tend to topple over if I'm not close. you aren't crawling yet, but you definitely have tried more of the forward momentum attempts; you have even managed to move backward a few times...? you are still growling all the time, and are starting to "voice" your opinions more often.

Unique to You :: sweet boy, I am convinced you are going to be our go-with-the-flow kiddo. you seem pretty content most of the time. but that laid back attitude still comes with tons of energy; you still bounce NON-STOP. you have started leaning in more for actual hugs and cuddles, and it's the absolute sweetest thing. you have started growing more hair {yay!}, and you have these random long hairs that are the makings of a fantastic comb-over :) 

M A D E L I N E      G R A C E

Stats :: 22 pounds

Loves :: your stuffed monkey, your carseat toy butterfly, back scratches

Dislikes :: having your hair brushed, sharing

Eat :: you are eating 6.5 to 7 ounces five times a day, and you didn't seem to skip a beat with your recent cold. we continued with our favorite fruits and veggies, but added in another meal of solids, so you are now eating solids at breakfast and dinner. your little pincer grasp is quickly developing, and you really enjoy feeding yourself.

Sleep :: you're still sleeping consistently through the night, though you have started waking up super early. you will just talk and play in your crib until it's time to get up for the day, so that's good...we just need to work on doing that quietly, so you don't wake your brother :)  naps are still all over the place. sometimes you nap really well, and other times, you decide naps are not for you that day. which is actually kind of hard, because you can't seem to stay awake and happy for long stretches of time. so hopefully you get back into a good nap groove soon. I have noticed that for that last nap of the day, you tend to want to be put in your crib for some quiet time. you don't actually sleep, but you seem to do better with some peace and quiet, rather than staying up to play until bedtime. I totally get it, baby girl.

Play/Development :: you are constantly exploring your little world! you are reaching for everything, and moving toward the things you want. you are completely sitting up on your own now, often sitting all by yourself all during play time. you haven't quite figured out how to get yourself into a seated position, but one step at a time :)  you aren't crawling yet, but you definitely are doing a lot of rocking back and forth. you are still working on grabbing food, but your pincer grasp is really coming along quickly. you are experimenting with the full range of your vocal chords {read: screaming}, and you are constantly blowing raspberries, growling, making some sort of noise.

Unique to You :: baby girl, you are obsessed with textures, particularly the varying textures of mama's pants, rubbing the varying fabrics for a long time. you have also started getting tickled pretty easily on your own; a lot of times you just start giggling in the back seat and just have a grand old time just laughing and babbling to yourself. you absolutely LOVE your daddy! seriously, you can be a toot all day long, but the minute he walks in the door, you are magically better. to say that you are a daddy's girl is an understatement. your little personality is passionate; you wear your little heart on your sleeve. you will be my patience builder, as you seem to express your emotions, well, expressively :)