Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Baby Adams #4

Get it all out.

That was the advice given to me on grieving. Scream if you need to. Cry if you need to. Talk if you need to.

Or write. Writing has always been my way to get it all out, so here goes...

I'm sorry that this is the first time I've written on the blog in almost a year. Life has been crazy, and I promise, once my heart has healed a little I will do a big catch up post. But for now, I just need to get it all out.

As you can imagine, life with the addition of the twins has gotten crazy. The best kind of crazy but crazy none-the-less. So 4 months ago when Mike and I found out we were pregnant we were both.... stunned.

For one, we don't just get pregnant. If you've visited this blog before, you know that. Years, dollars, tears, needles, all of it tells the story of how we don't just get pregnant. Two, we have 3 kids. The twins are still babies. What in the world, how in the world would we be expecting again?! When we first found out neither one of us knew what to do or say. I cried. A good bit actually. I was terrified and overwhelmed and scared. It didn't seem real, but reality was setting in. Soon we would be a family of 6. 4 kids. 3 under the age of 2. If that last sentence doesn't scare you then you're stronger than me.

On the flip side, we knew what it takes to get pregnant. We know that EVERY baby is the sweetest gift that God can give. We know that accidents don't happen when it comes to the life of a child. Babies are blessings, not accidents, not ever. Every baby was intentionally placed by our maker. We know that first hand. So, we agreed that this baby was an incredible gift from God and that we would embrace it and celebrate it and figure it all out.

By month 3 we were ready. Everything had settled down, we had our game plan and I was excited to start feeling this blessing move in my belly while I figured out how we would make it all work. We had been to an ultrasound together (12 weeks) where baby was no longer a gummy bear and instead a bouncing, finger sucking little baby. Mike studied that ultrasound for so long trying to determine the baby's gender. He swore boy, but our ultrasound girl (who has become a wonderful friend) said it was still just to early. We left that ultrasound with pictures and excitement and the feeling of  "we are really doing this!". Appointments were made, plans were set, life was carrying on. We were bracing for baby number 4.

The first trimester was m.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e. I couldn't eat, I couldn't drink, I got dehydrated. It was bad. I woke up the morning of week 13 and felt like a different human. I was hungry, I had energy, it was a miracle. With my new found health I was ready to rock this pregnancy! Fast forward to week 16. My mom was in town visiting and we decided to head to Disney for the day. Long story short, while at the parks, I started to bleed. Not a lot, no cramping. I had this with the twins and it ended up being just a scare, no big deal. So I called my doctor and headed in for a check up. In my head I just kept saying, everything is fine, just like last time.

From the minute I saw my baby on that ultrasound screen I knew the baby was gone. Unlike the last time, baby wasn't wiggling and finger sucking and dancing. Baby was curled up and not moving. That little flicker or life that had been there on that very first ultrasound was gone. My baby was gone. I didn't need her to say it, those words that are forever branded onto my heart. "Jordan, I'm so sorry to tell you this, your baby has no heartbeat."

Those words rocked my world. I wept. Not just a cry, not just sadness. I wept. For the first time in my life I wept. I cried out several times to God. My mom held me, my wonderful u/s tech held me, and I just wept.

From there everything moved really quickly. My mom called Mike, he rushed to get to me, we saw the doctor. I was expecting to be told they would have to do a D&C and was mentally preparing for that. So when the doctor told me I would be delivering the baby I think shock set in. In less then a few hours I went from blissfully pregnant to grieving the loss of our baby, to being faced with labor and delivery for a child we would never get to know. Never get to hear the first cry, or giggle, or see the first steps. We would never get to hug our child and comfort them. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

The hospital where I delivered the twins is literally right across the street from my doctor's office, so we were instructed to head there. Straight to Labor & Delivery. We walked the same hallways we walked with our twins birth. Last time we were there we were almost electric with excitement. This time, silent with grief. What a difference.

Check in went just like it did when you go to have any labor, bands, questions, IVs, only this time there was no excitement. Even the nurses were quiet and sad. The hospital we go to is a Christian hospital and I cant tell you what a difference that made in our journey. They prayed over us, the cried with us, they held my hand. They never once treated us like anything less than family. Every step we took, they took it with us. The care was incredible.

From a medical standpoint the care went similar to any induction. Given that I had a c section with twin B (Anderson) just about a year ago, I wasn't allowed full strength induction drugs. Instead I was just given a suppository to open my cervix some. It took several hours and a few rounds of the drug. There was a lot of blood loss. A lot.

Finally, around 2:30am he was born.  At just under 6 inches long and 9 ounces our baby boy's little body entered this world. His soul was already with our maker. He was perfect. Not at all the science experiment I was expecting to see. He was beautiful, just a tiny sleeping baby. Fully formed, little hands and feet. The same ones I saw kicking around in my belly just a few weeks ago. His little lips and nose. Just perfection. They told us that when he was born the cord was wrapped around his neck and then again around his lower left leg. They couldn't tell us for sure, at that time, but they believed his cord either strangled him or blood flow via the cord was lost.

My heart ached a different ache this time. I couldn't help but feel like my body failed him. Here he was perfect, and lost to the one thing that is supposed to give him life. It felt so cruel. I could feel anger and sadness, and desperation. All you want to do is scream as hard as you can. It isn't fair. That's an understatement.

After some time with him, he was taken away for examination. We still don't know the exact cause of his death and won't until the results from his autopsy come back. I guess, at this point, it doesn't matter. He's gone. That's it.

Once he was delivered we had to face the next crucial obstacle. Delivering the placenta, fully. This can be risky because your body doesn't want to release the pregnancy at this stage. So more drugs, more blood, more painful examinations. At one point I became really shaky. My heart was racing, and my blood pressure dropped to 53/32. I was in shock and loosing to much blood. My doctor made the decision that it was time to head to the OR. They needed to put me under and try to assist in delivering the afterbirth. If that didn't work, I would have to have a D&C for the placenta and blood transfusions. We discussed the risks, which weren't distant. I was really scared. There was talk of removing my uterus if necessary. All of it was happening so fast. I remember looking up at Mike and telling him I didn't want to die. I just wanted to be home with my kids and my husband. I made him promise me a few things before we left for the OR. The nurses prayed over me. I can't tell you how terrifying those moments were. Once we got into the OR the mood lightened. The nurses did their best to make me comfortable and get me smiling. Soon the anesthesia started and I was fast asleep.

I remember waking up to my nurse in the recovery room. Good news! No D&C, no blood transfusions, no surgery. They were able to deliver the afterbirth once I was under and my body relaxed. Praise GOD! This also meant I got to go home  a lot sooner! It was just a matter of stabilizing at this point.

It was over. The procedures, the pregnancy. All of it was done. Our sweet baby boy had been gone from this world, but now he was no longer in me. I wasn't pregnant anymore. I wanted nothing more than to get home.

After a few hours of watching my vitals and rest we were told we could go home. My nurse brought me a memory box with his blanket and a teddy bear that they put with him, pictures, a care kit for me, a journal, and a letter with a prayer from a mom who had been through what we just went through. I loaded into a wheel chair and held my box, not my baby, as they wheeled me out and to the car. What was one of the most wonderful wheel chair trips in my past, getting to stroll through the hospital with your beautiful baby or babies in your arms as people ooh and aww and smile and congratulate. This time we just got a silent nod or sympathetic face from the nurses as we rolled away. It was awful. No woman should ever have to go through that. In that moment I just focused on getting home to my kids. This ride is temporary, soon you will be home with your family. Your healthy, beautiful, growing family.

The ride home with Mike and I was basically silent. Neither of us knew what to say, both still in shock. I couldn't help but think about how different this ride was just 13 months ago. How we kept checking on the two infants in the back seat, how we drove 10 miles per hour under the speed limit. How every little sigh would put a smile on our face. This time it was silence. Just the noise of the car.

Arriving home was the first ray of sunshine. The first step in the right direction. Hugging Jake, my mom, the babies made me feel like I was slowly coming back to life. I showered and put on comfy clothes and just felt like the worst was behind me.

It's been one week since we found out our baby boy was gone. Each day gets a little lighter. I will go for a few hours (thanks to 2 one year olds and a 9yo on summer break) without it hitting me again. Usually the pain comes back in the quiet, alone times. I miss him. I miss knowing he's in my belly. I miss feeling him move. I miss planning our crazy life. I miss scrambling to figure out how we will make it all work. I feel robbed. I feel hurt. I feel confused. I am reminded through prayer, and scripture, and wonderful friends and my beautiful children that God is good all of the time. Life may not be, but God is. I don't know why. I don't understand and I probably never will. It doesn't matter. God has my sweet boy in his arms. He has promised wonderful things for my life and He has delivered on those promises. I know He will continue to do so. I know there is more in store for us. I know this is a part of our story. I will heal. I will be happy and joyful and thankful. I will never forget that sweet boy. I will never forget his little perfect body laying there. I will never not ache for him or wish I knew who he would have become. I will always wonder how he would have fit into our family, what he would have looked like as he grew. I know there will always be a piece of my heart that is his, a piece that went to heaven with him.

We haven't named him yet, but we will. We are taking some time to process everything and return our hearts to joy. Once I can speak about him without tears, once I feel peace again, that's when I want to name him. Not out of sadness of his loss, but out of joy for his time with our family. He deserves that. He deserves a name chosen in joy.

From here we move forward as a family. We push on. We heal. We pray. We are so thankful for all the love we have received. The prayers, the notes, the calls, the texts. Thank you. So many of you have asked what you can do to help. If you would like, please make a donation to the non-profit group that provides the memory boxes to families suffering the loss of a baby. They pay for these boxes with donations from the public to provide families with some comfort and a way to remember the sweet baby they lost. You can donate here in honor of  Baby Boy Adams : Donate <3

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

2 months old!!

We made it through month 2!!! 

Lawton weighs 8lbs 10oz now and Anderson weighs 9lbs 2oz. 

Both babies got their first vaccines. It's heartbreaking watching your newbies have their first experience with real pain, but it also is reassuring when you quickly pick them up, calm them down & make the tears go away. They both did really well!

Our doctor (who I adore) said both babies look great and he's pleased with how they're doing. He does want to continue to see weight gain and told me to make sure I'm getting enough fatty foods for my milk. I may also start looking for some natural ways to increase my milk supply. The babies are on the low end of the weight scale but he said no concerns yet. They are eating great, plenty of dirty diapers and growing steadily so for now I am to keep doing what we're doing! 

We are getting some decent sleep! Averaging two four hour stretches each night. I am feeling pretty good and think my body is adjusting to less sleep than it use to get. 

We do tummy time every day and both babies can hold their heads up really well! We are going to start reading to them each night as part of our night time routine. They both love to be up and looking around. Lawton is very social and flirty, Anderson flirts a lot too but is my snuggle buddy. He loves to curl up and nap in your arms. 

Jake continues to blow my mind with them! He is SUCH a good big brother. He stays so patient and is always eager to help. He also is very protective of them. He loves to hold them and help with them when he can. So sweet!

Even though I'm still VERY much a novice at this twin mom thing I'm working on an advice post. It should be up soon! Just what works for us, what doesn't, and tips up to this point. 

This really has been a lot of fun and we are loving our time with these two. I'm sure God had them in the plans for us and I think we were meant to be twin parents. It isn't always easy but overall it's easier than I thought it would be! 

Gotta run... Time to nurse...again!

Monday, June 22, 2015

The twins are one month old...

I know I know it may seem small but let me say a month with twins should be celebrated! While I wouldn't change a thing and couldn't love them anymore, their addition to our family has been a big transition! 

They are a lot of work but they are fun and so sweet. The personalities are beginning to show and they are so different already!    

Lawton is so sweet. She is happiest when you're holding her and she can look around. She's already loving her play may because of the hanging toys to look at. She doesn't cry much but she will yell! Usually it's because she has gas or wants something new to look at! She's completely stolen her dad's heart, who was a little worried about having a girl after being used to the boy thing. I hear him telling her all the time how sweet and pretty she is. She's got him wrapped!

Anderson is my snuggle bug. He is also a very good nurser! Sometimes too good! He is notorious for eating a little too much and making himself spit up. He is very vocal and let's you know when he is hungry or cold or needs a diaper change or just wants to be snuggled. He loves to lay in my lap and stare at me while making the cutest faces.

The nights are off and on but honestly I think we are pretty lucky. Right now we are averaging two 4-5 hour spans a night. It still isn't easy getting up in the middle of the night. It's tough when you finish up with one baby and remember you have another one waiting, but we are getting the hang of it and I know it could be way worse!

I also have to say Jake has been the worlds best big brother! He helps with whatever I need. He keeps them happy when the paci falls out, he runs to grab me a diaper or wipes or a spitty cloth. He isn't phased by their crying and never complains. He loves to show them off and kisses them goodnight before bed. Since he's out of school right now he is the reason I'm not crying in the corner some days when Mike gets home! I seriously don't know how I would have done these first few weeks without his help!

Mike celebrated his Father's Day with 3 on their one month birthday! We spent the weekend in Anna Maria Island on the beach. We took turns with the babies in the house and with Jake down on the beach. I can't wait until they are old enough to really enjoy the beach and pool, but for now we kept them cool and they slept in the shade with fans on them while we played. AMI is one of our favorite places. This is only our second trip there but we plan on making it our annual summer family vacation! The beach is beautiful and the island is so laid back. I wish I had more pictures but honestly I put my phone away and am glad I did! 

Well we did it! We survived the first month and we are getting into our routine and our new normal as a family of 5! If you would, just pray for patience for us. We are so thankful for the blessings of these two on our lives. God is so good and we are reminded of that with every cry, nap, feeding, tummy time, etc. They, and all babies, are perfect miracles! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

The birth of our babies...

It feels nice to write that title. For so long I really felt like I may never get to. Infertility is both a blessing and a curse on my life but looking back - if this is the road we had to take - I'd do it a thousand times over and not change a thing.

If you're reading this post as your first on my blog please jump back and read through some of the details into our journey. :)

On May 21st at 4:45am my alarm clock sounded. The night before didn't allow for much sleep as we were too excited about what the morning would bring. Jake, our 8 year old, was staying at my in laws for the night so Mike and I had a quiet home. We both just payed in bed saying I can't believe we are finally here...

When that alarm went off I felt like I had only been asleep for 10 minutes but it was time to get going! I showered, got myself together, woke up Mike and we headed for the hospital. I was 38 weeks pregnant and it was induction day for our twins as well as my 29th birthday.

Once we got to the hospital and got admitted, I will admit, I began feeling pretty anxious. I was excited and scared and ready to have them in my arms. We met our nurse (who was awesome) got all checked in and began the pitocin drip to start induction. From that point on I got checked every hour or so and kept making steady progress. Around 12 or so my Doctor stopped by and checked to see how things were going. After checking he decided it was time to go ahead and break Lawton's water. Go time! He did - which if you've never experienced it - water breaking is still so crazy to me. From that point on my contractions really started picking up. Given my twin delivery and due to risks, I had to get my epidural put in even if I didn't want pain meds incase of an emergency c section. That being said my nurse kept asking if I was ready and I kept pushing it off. Even after IVF I'm still terrified of needles. Finally around 3 I gave in and got the epidural. It sucked. Maybe it was all in my head but I still hate that process. Now, don't get me wrong, by that point my contractions were rough and when that medicine hit I was so relieved. I had a good hour of happiness followed up but Oh Em Gee pressure. In less than 20 min I went from 7 to 10cm and was ready to go.

After some prepping they wheeled us into the OR and we were ready to have our babies. Lawton arrived about 20 minutes after being taken into the OR. She came out with a head full of beautiful dark hair and some strong screams weighing in at 6lbs 9oz. They gave her right to me and I couldn't stop kissing her and telling her how beautiful she was. They then took her to weigh her, clean her up a little, and have Mike cut the cord. While that was going on my awesome doctor began working on Anderson - who had gone transverse (sideways) in my belly. They sonograms him, monitored his heart, and worked for 30 minutes trying to get either the head of feet. If need be, breech delivery was fine but couldn't happen until we could get him to turn one way or the other. Long story short my little booger wouldn't cooperate and ended up needing a c section. 55 minutes after his sister, Anderson made his loud entrance into the world! Weighing in at a healthy 6lbs 11oz - he was handed over to Mike who brought him over to me. We both were crying at that point! Two big, healthy babies. Our miracle babies!

Prior to my experience this was the one thing I wanted to avoid - having both a vaginal delivery and a c section - but now I can tell you I wouldn't go back and change a thing. Sure it would have been nice to have Anderson vaginally, but that wasn't how it went and that's perfectly fine. Both of my babies are here and healthy. That's what matters! Plus - the recovery wasn't nearly as bad as I had thought!

As throughout this entire journey we couldn't have done this without the support of our family and friends! We both are so thankful especially to Mikes Mom and Dad and his two sisters. They managed Jake for us while we were having the babies, took care of our fur babies, came to visit, brought us food (the hospital food was not ok) and supported us in anyway possible. We also have to thank our good friends, The Lindsey's who came to visit and brought us my favorite - Outback - for dinner one night! And last, but certainly not least my Mom who stayed with us for a week and did everything she possibly could to help us adjust - cooking, cleaning, laundry, driving us to appointments - it went on and on. The best advice I can give to anyone expecting twins - work on your patience and surround yourself with people who love and support you! Thanks to everyone who came by to visit, called, texted, etc. we were overwhelmed with all of the sweet well wishes!

Now for my favorite part of this post - pictures!!

Waiting for progress ☺️
Post epidural 😉

In recovery - the first time I held both of my babies 😍
Melt my heart!
Jake meeting his brother and sister for the first time!
Hospital naps 😴

Heading Home!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

37 week update...

How far along? 37 weeks today and yes I skipped my 36 week update. The last two weeks have been a little crazy and a little tough. I'll catch up both weeks in this update ;)

Total weight gain: I've lost track in +\- but I do know I've gained 25 pounds total. Funny because that's what I gained with Jake although I feel WAY bigger in the belly!

Sleep: the last 3 nights have been pretty good but only because the days have been so bad. My body just gives out.

How big are the twins this week? I'm not exactly sure but if they have stayed on track Anderson is probably 7lbs and Lawton is about 6-6 & 1/2! I probably have about 14lbs of baby in me! No wonder my knees are aching!

Peak of the week: I am officially FULL TERM! All goals have been met and the babies are just packing on weight at this point. Which means it's time to come out!

Pit of the week: Early labor and being sent home from the hospital... I'll get into it more but basically I've been in "early labor" for like 4 days. :(

Miss Anything? Clothing that covers my stomach. Having a wardrobe. I seriously have 2 maternity shirts that cover my belly and other than that I'm in Mike's clothes. I miss pretty clothing and getting fixed up. You look silly in makeup and hair done and your husbands stained shirts...

Cravings: I'm over food. Done.

Symptoms/labor signs: So, as I mentioned before I was in the hospital last night. I was having contractions every 2.5 - 5 minutes. (Still having them actually) So we headed for the hospital - feeling pretty sure this was it. When we got there I got all hooked up for monitoring and the machine confirmed I was having contractions frequently. However, after being checked, I was still at 2cm and only about 60% effaced. Essentially my cervix hates me and wants me to be pregnant forever. I can't say I'm all that surprised - this is the exact same thing that happened to me with Jake. So after being monitored for two hours with no cervical advancement we got sent home. I won't lie - I sobbed. Mike took me to get chick-fil-a and I drowned my sorrows in a large cookies 'n cream milkshake. 

Looking forward to: Induction! Cervix - you can run but you can't hide. I am set to be induced May 21st - unless we go into labor before that. I should mention that May 21st is my birthday... Was my birthday. It seems as though two babies will soon be stealing my thunder. ;)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

35 week update...

How far along? 35 weeks 1 day!

Total weight gain: I gained 2lbs this week! Most of which was baby but the doctors are happy to see me not loose more weight. They also measured my stomach and I'm measuring at 44 weeks if this were a single baby pregnancy. So basically I'm a giant.

Sleep: It's up and down - 2 nights ago I got 4 hours total last night I got about 7 hours. 

How big are the twins this week? At Monday's growth scan Lawton was 5lbs 2oz and Anderson was 5lbs 13oz. By today I have 11lbs of baby in me! No wonder nothing keeps this belly under cover!

Peak of the week: Getting to see the babies always ranks pretty high.

Pit of the week: I am so uncomfortable. My muscles and ligaments and spine are all starting to give out under the weight. I ache a lot. Trying to get things done has become nearly impossible. Occasionally I will get a burst of energy to get some things done but for the most part I'm pretty useless at this point. It's really hard on me to have to constantly ask someone (Mike and Jake) to complete tasks for me. It's hard to have to wait or not to constantly tell them how to do a favor I've asked. I will say I've learned a lot about myself vs who I want to be! The 

Miss Anything? Being able to comfortably sit down. My belly has dropped so when I sit it either sits in between my legs (please take a moment to picture how sexy that is) or it pushes into my thighs which is uncomfortable. I can't wait to wear cute clothes again! I can't wait to not have to worry if my belly is sticking out under my shirt!

Cravings: just sweet stuff still. 

Symptoms/labor signs: So in addition to the usual contractions I have a new add. Now from time to time when I contract I'm getting what feels like bad menstrual cramps down low and in my back. The doctor said it's usually a sign of baby A burrowing down into the birth canal and that it means my body is getting closer and closer. She also told me I'm about 50% effaced and 2cm dialated. 

Looking forward to: labor. Still. Honestly at this point it's all I want. I'm so close and I'm ready (I think). As far as induction goes I'm on the two week countdown!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

34 week update...

How far along? 34 weeks 2 days. :) we have reached a major goal! Twins born after 34 weeks have much higher chances of a healthy arrival and far less complications! Mainly in part to the size they are now as well as the nearly full developed lungs! In fact, if I were to go into labor right now the doctors wouldn't do much, if anything, to try and stop it. 

Total weight gain: up another pound I think! I'm now somewhere around +20 - I hope I can stay that or close to it!

Sleep: well it had been horrible but I've slept good the last two nights. Thank God! I was starting to loose my cool.

How big are the twins this week? I will get to see them Monday at our growth scan and know the exact weights but I would guess Anderson is probably 5&1/2 and Lawton is hopefully close to that. 

Peak of the week: what was probably my last date night with my husband. We went to dinner at our favorite place and then I surprised him with tickets to go see Kevin Hart (a comedian). We had a really good night and both realize we have to seize those opportunities to have some alone, kid-free time.

Pit of the week: Just the loneliness of being on bed rest all day. You start to get cabin fever. I was getting anxious and really moody so I started to plan a little something to do each day. Now that I've hit 34 weeks I do have a little more freedom. The hard part for me is spacing out my planned activities. This week I decided to make little thank you goodie bags for our nurses during our delivery and stay. I just put some hand lotion, chap stick, note pads, candy, etc. in them along with a thank you card for their care of both me and the babies. 
I made the little gift tags and attached them with pink and blue yarn. I'm happy with the turn out. 
I also worked on my thank you cards. My hand is locked up! I got a bunch done but unfortunately in coming back from the Charleston trip the list of who gave what vanished. :( So if you get a vague thank you from me I am so sorry! I am running off of memory. That's scary!

Miss Anything? A back free of pain. I use to think people with "chronic back pain" were exaggerating - they aren't. It is lame!

Cravings: just sweet stuff still. 

Symptoms/labor signs: Same as last week but they have slowed down some. I'm hoping for some new signs in the next week or so.

Looking forward to: labor. Plain and simple. I'm scared and anxious and nervous and beyond excited. I'm praying for good news about the babies Monday. I'm praying that we can have these two via natural childbirth. I'm praying that I am strong enough to handle whatever the outcome is. Pray with me! Please <3

34 weeks bathroom selfie on our date night. Most days I'm a lot more sweats and Mike's tshirt and a lot less dress and make up! Ha!