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9.06.2018

happy one month Posey & Gibson

we made it! one month! the babies are home and growing everyday. i stressed and agonized about these first few days for months while pregnant. how would i do this on my own when Andrew was at work? how would i keep two babies alive? how do you split your time between two little humans staring up at you?  I would get actual sweaty palms and a pit in my stomach every time I talked about it. Since having them home, my anxiety has been minor. Just your average worries, concerns, and multiple checks for breathing throughout the day. The babies had their first pediatrician appointment last week and everything looked great so far for both of our babies. There was minor concern about Gibson's crooked little feet (his doctors think they will straighten up on their own and are just a result of being smushed up in the womb) and Posey's head is a little bit long so we need to try our best to keep her laying on the back of her head and not the sides. Two minor issues to work through so I am thrilled. 

i'm sure as time goes on, things will change. the babies will be more active and require more attention from me throughout the days and nights. but right now, in this moment, i am in full control of this. motherhood suits me and i bounce up to tend to their needs immediately. i talk to them and kiss on them both all day long and staring at them melts my heart. That first night that Gibson came home, I was terrified. I stared down at him and didn't feel a connection. I watched Andrew change his diaper and feed him and felt so out of my element. Maybe all moms feel like this with their first born and maybe we just don't talk about it enough. But it only took a few days (and the addition of one more baby) to get me feeling comfortable in this new lifetime role. Our house has never been cleaner. The laundry is done daily. I vacuum around their bassinets while they nap. Everyone is happy and content and I feel personally responsible for creating that feeling. Welcome home, baby Posey and Gibson. I love you both so much, it brings me to tears. 
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8.24.2018

our life in the NICU

we are just over two weeks into our NICU journey and it's been a mixed back for sure. Don't get me wrong, I want my babies home. Of course. But this down time between pregnancy and taking them home has been a gift i'm not taking for granted. i have had a few weeks to let my body heel while nurses cared for our twins. I have been able to stretch and move and sit on the floor and i have cleaned every square inch of this house. Cabinets that were organized have been reorganized now that i have had a few weeks to see what we will be needing soonest. (Those 6 months bottles that were taking up space in the cabinet? down to the basement they go) And most importantly, it's given us a sweet little gift of just being the two of us for a little bit. We weren't married long before getting pregnant. And pregnancy did not bring out the best in me. We missed out on that honeymoon stage (and the honeymoon!) and it's been a blessing to get this little bit of time to enjoy each other again before the real adventure begins. 

Our babies are doing great, everyday making progress. We are just waiting on my lazy little suckers to get their bottles down consistently for 2 days before we are free to go home. It will be surreal when that day comes. What I'm looking forward to most? reintroducing them to one another! They have been "apart" (about 5 feet apart. but still. they gotta miss each other!) for far too long now and this mama is ready for stroller walks, couch snuggles, and all of the chaos. Bring it on! 

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8.14.2018

our twin babies' birth story


I assume it’s hard to keep from choking back tears while any parent sits down to write about their babies’ birth story no matter what, but our case (as always) had a few extra turns and stops. It only makes sense that Andrew and I wouldn’t get a “normal” and uncomplicated experience with our twins’ birth, but trying to stay positive is all I can do right now. We’re home. Our apartment is exactly how we left it. Nothing has changed almost in creepy way. The only difference is my stomach is deflated, our dining room table is covered in paperwork, and we don’t have two babies here. Yesterday when we got home, we put away all of our bags, toothbrushes, and sat down to watch T.V. together like it was just another night. But if you’re interested in the days leading up to it, here’s our twins’ story (from what I remember) of how they got here.

I woke up last Sunday morning feeling as miserable and normal as I had for weeks previous. I needed help sitting up, I probably cried twice, and Andrew told me it would all be OK and would be over soon. We were in the middle of a very easy conversation about what we wanted to do with our Sunday. Sleep longer? Go get brunch? Go baby shopping for the millionth time? And just as we were chatting back and forth, I felt a warm sensation between my legs that I hadn’t experienced in months. It felt exactly like starting my period and I instantly got scared. I reached down and pulled my fingers up to see blood and Andrew, the most calm and level headed human, said we might as well call our doctor just to be safe. This was one of the first times he had ever suggested getting a doctor’s opinion and 5 minutes later, the on call doctor told us to come into the hospital just to be on the safe side. It’s almost comical now looking back at the weeks leading up to here. I had worked myself up to not knowing exactly how all of this going into labor stuff would work with twins and it turns out, i would never experience any of it. My water didn’t break, I’ve never felt a contraction, and it was a pretty calm 6 minute drive to the hospital. We parked in the emergency room parking lot, walked in with one little bag I had thrown together, and grabbed a wheelchair. I remember not really “needing” a wheelchair but I just wanted to be pushed. We walked onto the hospital floor and all of the lights were low. We joked that Sunday was definitely the day to come into the hospital and it felt empty and peaceful. The first thing I remember was peeing in a cup and my pee didn’t look good. You could tell it was mixed slightly with blood and the nurses and staff already seemed concerned. I didn’t.

Keeping in mind my anxiety and needing to know less than more, there were plenty of pregnancy side effects that I probably could have looked into more, including preeclampsia. I’m still not quite sure what it is except that it has to do with having high blood pressure; something that hadn't been even the slightest issue at every doctor's appointment up until this point. I remember several nurses telling me that the experience of getting a magnesium drip was not going to be fun. It was at first described as making you feel loopy, groggy and sleepy and we joked that that sounded awesome. But by the time the drip was in me, I was in hell. My face was on fire, my legs felt like they needed to keep shifting, I was bawling, I couldn’t breathe, and I couldn’t stop apologizing to Andrew. This was Sunday night and continued pretty much all day Monday and into the evening.

All day on Monday, several staff members came in, poked me with needles, gave me steroid shots, checked my blood pressure, and after several hours, we were told we would be staying over night again. Even writing this out, Andrew had to fill in the blanks for me, as I couldn't remember what was going on but that man never left my side and paid such close attention to what was happening, I'm forever grateful for having the best partner. My mind was a little blown away that we would be staying again but I just looked at Andrew who said it was all just to make sure everything was OK and to not worry. By Tuesday morning, my magnesium drip had been taken out, the babies heartbeats had been checked a million times, and someone came in to give me breakfast. I'll never forget that tray of French toast and bacon and I scarfed it down finally feeling a little better after the drip had finally been removed. I assumed we would be going home soon and back to our normal week. 

Several minutes later, another knock on the door and I thought it was someone coming to get my breakfast tray. Nope. It was yet another staff member in scrubs saying they were going to induce that day. I almost needed to hear it twice. We were going to induce that day. Tuesday. Tuesday, August 7th, with both of our babies being just below 34 weeks, we were going to induce and have them in just a few hours. Andrew jumped up from his chair bed he had been sleeping on and said he was nothing but excited and nervous. My doctor and midwife assured me that this was because of my health, not the babies, and that they were going to be great, just small of course. We spent the rest of our early Tuesday afternoon phoning family and honestly just trying to mentally prepare ourselves as I watched the clock hands. Andrew helped me tweeze my nose ring out and I took a hospital shower. I called my parents and could hear the hesitation in their voices from not really understanding what was going on.

After a while my doctor and midwife came into my room and I instantly felt better. My midwife has been my saint throughout this pregnancy and just seeing her face there made me feel more calm and that I was in familiar hands. They told me that due to the preeclampsia, I wasn’t able to have the anesthesia for a c section and that they would be putting me to sleep. Now, I understand how devastating that could be for some moms. They want to see the babies and hear crying and “experience” it. I on the other hand, was terrified, so the idea of going to sleep and waking up to them just being here sounded amazing to me. I was thrilled. They wheeled me back to a small room filled with moms and babies and my mom ran down the hall to catch up to us. I had told her that morning that she probably wouldn’t make it in time to see me go, but she did and I’m thankful for it. And once we got settled in to our little nook, the anesthesiologist came out to talk to us and said that my numbers had gone back to a better position and I could have a c section. It worked out for the best and Andrew was now allowed to come back and be with me. I know he would never say anything, but I could tell he was disappointed at the idea of not being back while I delivered so everything worked out beautifully. I was rolled into the OR, which was kept at a whopping 80 degrees and filled with the brightest lights I had ever seen. I was quickly made numb, flipped onto the table, and then I heard Andrew walk in and sit by my head.

The entire c section process felt like it took 10 minutes. Almost too easy. I have actual guilt on how easy their birth was. Each baby was held up to my face so I could see them and it was the most surreal feeling. They were tiny. Our first baby that came out was our son, Gibson, and then his little sister. And I made them. We made them. All of their fingers and toes and eyeballs and the most precious little noses I have ever seen in my life. Andrew said they were perfect and he was right and we even got lots of OR footage from our midwife that I am forever grateful for. It’s a little graphic but I don’t care. The babies were quickly taken away and the next several hours were a blur. Each of our parent sets came back to give us hugs and that was that. We were parents. To two beautiful babies that have a fight in front of them.

Tuesday night, we walked up to the NICU to see our babies and I still can’t put into words what it’s like staring at babies you made. But I do have to note that I was 100% sure Posey had 6 fingers on one hand and was actually a boy. I stood there and cried feeling guilty until the next day when I told Andrew who just laughed. Our babies are growing bigger and stronger everyday and I have high hopes of when they’ll be home to us. Crying hurts my c section spot, so I’m trying to keep it together, but I just can’t believe my pregnancy is over and our babies are finally here. I’m so relieved that they are in the best hands when we aren’t there and for the next several weeks, I can focus on taking care of myself, making sure everything is ready for their arrival, and pumping as much as possible. We have a long journey in front of us but we got so lucky and will never forget that. We love you Gibson Lawrence and Posey James, our perfect little miracles! 
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8.13.2018

my placenta encapsulation

There were a few things we knew we wanted and could have at least a little bit of control over when we found out we were pregnant with twins:
1. We wanted to keep their genders and names a secret until they were born
2. I would try my best to find a way to keep my anxiety low
3. I would also do my best to breastfeed two kids at one time without driving myself crazy or feeling obligated about it.
Most people that have read along here know I had severe anxiety from the very beginning of this pregnancy. I wouldn’t wish those feelings onto anyone and they stayed pretty strong throughout the first trimester. I would go from feeling completely fine to instantly not being able to breath, crying, throwing up, and it was terrifying. I was lucky Andrew was able to rush home almost always just to check on me but I wanted to have more control by the time the babies were here. And I knew that if you suffered from anxiety and depression while pregnant, there was a much higher chance for depression afterward which I reeeally am trying to avoid as best I can (one week out, so far so good!)

So after looking into healthy, safe, and natural ways to help my body get through this next chapter, I found that I really loved the idea of having my placenta encapsulated. Have you heard of this before? Do you know someone that has had it done? Does it freak you out a little bit? I totally get it. It is wild to say the least but here is a little run down of my experience so far!

It’s been in our plan for months and even though the end of our pregnancy didn’t go as expected or hoped (more on that crazy story later) my placenta was able to be taken home with us and didn’t need any further testing once the twins were born. Basically, when we were discharged a few days ago, my placenta went from sitting in a freezer at the hospital to sitting on my lap while I was in my wheelchair... in one of those giant plastic buckets like you buy cheap ice cream in. It was heavy, kind of hilarious, and made me proud just holding it!

After looking into several recommendations from people and of course being mindful of prices, we went with Lauren Wales from Luminous Bodywork and I can't say enough good things about her. She showed up at our house and let me sleep, took the time to answer my questions, and even took a few photos of my heart-shaped placenta that made me cry. I’m hesitant on sharing photos of the process since they’re a little graphic but when I walked into our kitchen and saw her working away, I couldn't help but stare in amazement! There it was in all of its glory! I asked Andrew to come in and watch a few minutes of the process. Bless his heart he’s the best sport ever.

It was simple enough to watch; our doula boiled down water, lemon, and ginger and after my placenta resembled what i can best describe as a pot roast, she left it overnight in a dehydrator on our kitchen counter. She returned the next day, ground up my placenta, and encapsulated the powder. It was one of the neatest processes to watch and knowing it came straight from my body and was going to help my babies and myself made it even better. She even had some salve and lotion made from it too for skin and scar issues later. She left me with well over 200 pills, a salve, and tincture at a price of $250. 

It’s common around the world for different people to eat and ingest their placentas and it’s supposed to be very helpful with milk supply (since my twins were born early, I need all of the help i can get) and even help with energy and depression. I’ll be taking 2 pills 3 times a day for the first two weeks and then tapering down to 1 pill 3 times a day after that. Lauren even said if you find yourself making an abundance of milk, you can take less pills. An abundance would be the best thing ever considering our twins are in NICU currently and I’m so hopeful that my placenta will help me to give our babies the best mama I can be. Thank you again to Lauren from Luminous Bodywork for doing this for us. I’ll report back in a few weeks to share my experience!


*ok, I know I said I would report back in a few weeks, but I have to shout from the rooftops really quickly how happy I already am for doing this. I was getting 1-3mL each pump and was feeling very discouraged already. I was dragging my feet at this process because I have zero patience and it wasn't going how I thought it would. But yesterday was the first day I took an entire day's worth of pills (6 pills) and last night I pumped 50mL in 15 minutes. I cried. I ran around the house with an extra pep in my step. I can't stop staring at it in the fridge and I can't wait to take it up to the NICU later toady for the babies!! I don't expect to make that kind of milky magic every time, but just seeing it finally happen and knowing my body is working was worth every single penny for my pills. 

click here to get in touch with Lauren and to start your own encapsulating process!
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7.12.2018

just a quick little nursery tour

We just returned home from our 30-week appointment and it's feeling more and more real every day that soon, I'm gonna be a mom of two little humans. I still don't believe it some times that 1. I'll be responsible for two little lives and 2. that there are even TWO babies to begin with! But then I hear those heartbeats and I get more and more excited. (Baby B's face looked just like Andrew's today. Even the ultrasound tech pointed it out. This stuff is wild!) The doctor said both babies look great, have strong heartbeats, and my blood pressure is excellent. Basically, with the help of nightly cinnamon sugar pop tarts, I have given these kicking monsters a pretty decent home for the last 2 million months, so I tried to make them an equally decent room for when they're earthside. 

We still have kept our babies' gender a surprise and I wanted to keep their nursery as neutral as I could without it being too bare. Neutral, calming, and pretty simple was the plan and I think we made it happen. I am not a fan of baby animal motifs or even themes that I would be sick of in a few months so we kept the room looking like just another room as far as paint and hardware, but with baby pieces throughout. No, we did not buy a changing table. No, I didn't cover the walls in baby-themed art and pastels. And no, there are not cloud and unicorn shaped mobiles hanging over each crib. I just couldn't do it. I'm a minimalist to an extent when it comes to filling our apartment with "stuff" so I had hoped I could keep the babies' room matching that idea. success! 
I think every parent has their #1 concern when it comes time to start investing in baby pieces; travel items, feeding items, cloth or disposable diapers, etc. Our biggest concern? S L E E P. We knew pretty early on we wanted to invest in Snoo Smart Sleepers from the time the babies were born, but they are only recommended up until the babies are 6 months old. Those bassinets are in our bedroom and will stay there until it's time to transition them into their cribs. So where do you go when you want a super simple, clean-lined, modern crib that won't break the bank? Ikea of course! My grandma bought us our cribs and they are exactly what I wanted; no frills. At first, we had them aligned under the light fixture facing out but it seemed like a huge waste of space. This positioning makes way more sense for us. 
we used our old tv stand/dresser as a changing table/dresser and so far, I think it's going to work out perfectly for us (after being sanded, stained, and a quick brass spray paint job on the pull knobs). We still have several empty drawers which makes me very very happy! I bought this dresser for a few dollars at the thrift store years ago and it was missing that bottom left drawer, so I filled that space with some old copper bins for swaddles and immediate diaper changing supplies. The drawers are filled to the brim with newborn and preemie pieces, socks, shoes, accessories, and swaddles that smell so good, I can't even describe it. Clothes that we've purchased or been gifted that are 0-3, 3-6, 6-9 and so on are hanging in their closet, in order of size, surrounded by boxes of diapers (again, in size order), wipes, and small storage baskets of pacifiers, thermometers, and plenty of other goodies.  
one of my best friends gifted us these precious onesies for our shower and they're just too cute to not display until the babies are big enough to strut around in them. 
every good nursery seems to have a little nook for reading/breastfeeding/crying into your glass of wine so this corner felt perfect to make one, too. Don't ask me how we accumulated so many books without trying. We got several from our baby shower, a few I had from my childhood, and they just started adding up! We read to my belly and it melts me into a pile of goo listening to Andrew. 
and there she is! Nothing too over the top, nothing fancy, but just perfect for our little city apartment that they'll be growing up in for a little while. Sometimes I'll just open the door, pop my head in, and smile. We hope you babies like this space as much as we do!

Sources:
dresser: thrifted
blankets & pillows: Home Goods, Ikea, Homemade from grandmas

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