Friday, December 7, 2012

Adventures in Feeding Twins

One of the most difficult things I've faced with the twins has been not being able to meet certain expectations I had set up in my head prior to their arrival. I knew breastfeeding would be difficult, but I was determined to make it work. I expected to be cloth diapering quickly after they came. I thought I'd be able to have dinner ready for my husband when he got home from work most nights. I thought I'd still be to keep the house clean and stay on top of the laundry. The list goes on and on...what the hell was I thinking?!

Ha! Who was I kidding?! I typically have high expectations for myself and others around me. Does this lead me to be disappointed from time to time? Sure. In the beginning of this parenting journey, I was creating a lot of added stress for myself and my husband by trying to be perfect. I was trying to meet all of the expectations I had set up in my head. However, I was driving myself crazy trying to make everything happen. I faced a lot of days filled with sadness and tears because I couldn't make things be the way I thought they should be.

I quickly learned that although I had ideas of how I wanted things to work, I needed to adapt and do what worked best instead of what I wanted to work best to make us ALL happier in the end. You know what they say...if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy. Here's how mama is staying happy with feeding the twins:

In the hospital we worked with lactation consultants throughout our stay and during most feedings. Both babies were small and sleepy and were having difficulty staying latched. Plus, they both had low blood sugars and slightly elevated bilirubin levels and since my milk hadn't come in, we used formula to correct these issues and keep them out of the NICU. We did all the feedings with a SNS system (supplemental nursing system) to teach the babies to latch and feed.

Fast forward to our arrival home...I didn't have an ideal birth experience (this is why I haven't written about it...). The incision from my c-section was closed but leaking fluid and blood regularly because of the immense amount of fluid I had on board prior to the twins arrival. My OB did not want to use staples in my incision, but wasn't sure the stitches and glue would hold. She warned me my incision may break open and if this happened I'd need to have the area packed. Yuck. I had strict rules to take it very easy to avoid this from happening. Anyway, I had purchased the twin breastfeeding pillow and had a regular singleton pillow as well. I couldn't find a way to get a pillow and baby comfortably attached to me. We were continuing use of the SNS system, but it was cumbersome and time consuming. When you have two crying babies, this was just not ideal and we ditched it quickly. It took a week for my milk to finally come in so we were using formula to keep the babies happy and gaining weight in the meantime. Although I was still trying to BF, I had a lot of difficulty with Evan getting too angry to even latch or latching and eating then falling asleep and waking up soon after screaming and too upset to latch. Ella was sleepy and would latch but wasn't interested in working for her meal and she'd fall asleep waking up hungry. I quickly got frustrated with the whole BF'ing thing for these reasons. I'd get frustrated and cry because this was something I really wanted to do...but it was causing this tired and sore mama a lot of frustration...

From the beginning, Collin was completely supportive of any method of feeding. He was supportive while I was trying to BF, but when he saw how difficult it was we both agreed keeping the babies happy and fed was our main objective by any means necessary. I ended up turning into an exclusively pumping mama. The BF'ing just didn't work. I didn't have the time nor patience to attach myself to the couch with babies at a boob the entire day-this is what it felt like I'd need to do in order to get the BF'ing thing down.  By pumping I could still provide the nutrients of breast milk, but avoid the frustration of trying to teach TWO babies to breast feed. I was pumping every 2.5-3 hours and producing 4-6 ounces per pumping session. I would even get up in the middle of the night to pump, not because I wanted to necessarily, but my boobs would ache and leak if I didn't. I was able to pump enough to provide breast milk for both babies throughout the day. At night we used formula-no warming and much faster!!

Evan has always had difficulty eating. At 1.5 months we started to try different formulas (per our pediatrician) because he had reflux issues. After several tries, we found a thick formula that has rice starch in it (E.nfamil AR) and he showed improvement in his eating. Feeding 2 babies at one time has always been the most difficult part of the day for me when I am alone with them. Top that off with a baby who cries and screams, grabs at his face and eats only intermittently because he is in pain...  I had difficulty switching him from breast milk to formula. I felt inadequate...wasn't breast milk supposed to be best? How can I not provide for my baby? It was hard, but I saw improvement in how he ate and quickly got on board. I continued pumping for Ella.

During the day, while I was home alone with the babies I found it difficult to find time to pump. I'd frequently hook up because both babies were calm quickly to find one baby being fussy and requiring attention so I'd have to unhook and tend to the baby. I'd have to do this several times throughout a pumping session sometimes. Cue the frustration... There were also times when the hours would fly by and I could not find time to pump. Cue sore boobs and more frustration. I kept it going though.

At my 6 week check up, my OB asked about birth control to which I laughed. I know I couldn't get pregnant for years, but I really don't need it spontaneously happening now so I went on the mini pill since it was safe to use while still providing breast milk. It's not supposed to decrease your milk supply, but once I started the pill my supply drastically reduced. I was no longer even able to pump enough milk for one baby-we were doing 1-2 bottles of formula. My supply continued to dwindle and I started drinking Mother's Milk tea. It helped increase my supply some, but I still was not able to pump enough to even provide for Ella.

I started thinking about returning to work, which I intend to do in Jan, and thought about what pumping would be like at work. I work with critically ill patients in the ICU unit and I'd have to hand off report and my pager to a co-worker before I'd be able to pump. I could also see myself having busy periods of time where I physically could not get away to pump...what if we were in the middle of a code and it lasted for 1.5-2 hours? Not to mention how uncomfortable and down right painful engorgement can be...

Having difficulty finding time to pump during the day (I'd feel myself getting angry if I sat down to pump and a baby started fussing and needed my attention) coupled with the stress I'd feel at work needing to pump if I had a busy shift meant it was time to start weaning... It was not an easy decision to come to and I felt guilty for several weeks when Collin and I discussed switching the babies over to all formula. However, I know it will make things easier for us all. Ella also has spit up/reflux issues so the thicker formula also helps her with these. Happy mama.

So after 11 weeks of pumping it is coming to an end. Weaning is not fun my friends. Ouch. I've cut down the number of times I pumped and then started reducing how long I'm pumping. I've had to take ibuprofen to help out with the pain/swelling. I am currently pumping only once a day, but I think in the next few days I will be completely done.

I did the best I could providing breast milk. Ideally I would have liked to go longer, but for my own sanity I'm stopping. I definitely feel guilty about the switch, but I'm hoping I can get over that once I feel freed from the breast pump. It's like a ball and chain and it definitely wore on my as the weeks progressed. No more outings where we have to rush to get 2 babies ready and I then have to pump for 20 minutes before I can leave.  I will be able to leave the house without having to plan ahead for how long I will be gone so I can make it back to pump. I won't be sore/uncomfortable and leaking in public anymore. I can have a cocktail or glass of wine after a long day without feeling guilty about having to pump and dump (let's face it twins are difficult and sometimes mama needs a glass of wine to unwind). I think I will feel a lot more freedom not trying to find time to pump every 3 hours. Hopefully I can get over the guilt and it will mean a happier mama in the long run.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Crib Happenings

What's that? I'm posting another post only 4 days from the last one? Proof I'm getting the hang of this whole parenting twin thing... Ha! Yeah right...

This post is going to be about sleep. It's not a very exciting topic and may put you to sleep if you choose to read it in it's entirety.  Please make sure you are in a safe and secure place so you don't injure yourself if you fall asleep while reading this...don't say I didn't warn you.

The babies have been sleeping in our room in Rock N Plays. It's worked out great for us. We take turns feeding throughout the night and were up at the same time a lot when both babies were feeding more frequently. (Our middle of the night conversations were special...but not missed). Much to our surprise, Ella has started sleeping through the night. We put both babies to sleep around 8:30 and she's been sleeping through until 5-6 am. Evan still gets up once a night, typically around 2-3. Not bad at all!!! Especially compared to our first night home...I was in pain, on pain meds and exhausted and crashed. Evan was up most of the night screaming and eating sporadically and Collin was up with him the whole time....he got a whole 1.5-2 hours of sleep before we had to head into our first pediatrician appointment. Ugh...those were some looooong nights. We feel like the babies are doing well with sleeping. Are they? I have no idea really since we're learning as we go (aka we have no freaking clue what we are doing), but it seems good to us...

The last few weeks when the babies were up at night beginning to fuss, instead of hopping up to get them a bottle, we'd get up and give them a pacifier. Sometimes we'd have to give them a pacifier 2-3 times (why do those things NEVER stay in?! Would it be bad to use tape in this situation?), but this kept them content and put them back to sleep for about 1-2 hours. I think that's what helped Ella finally start making it through the night. We'd hold her off via our paci method and eventually she just kept sleeping. Who knows. Maybe she's just a good sleeper. Maybe we're really on to something and should write a book about our 'paci sleeping method' since sleep training and the like seems to be all the rage...

We decided to get wild and crazy on Saturday night and try out the twins in one of the cribs. Evan's room is closest to ours, so we decided we'd put them both in his crib. When you have 10 week old twins this is what a wild and crazy Saturday night consists of. I've read a lot of blogs/forums talking about having problems transitioning babies from bassinets/Rock N Plays into cribs so we figured we should give it a shot and see what kind of battle we're up against. 

Our babies go to sleep without a fight. We do a feeding, change them into PJ's, get a dry diaper on, carry them upstairs to our bed, swaddle them and put them away (I call going to bed putting them they are some kind of toy or something). Evan falls asleep instantly and Ella typically stays up cooing (that girl is going to be a TALKER! She LOVES to coo and 'talk' to us. She will be talking our ears off..) and throwing her arms around a bit (she could be a conductor of a symphony someday..that's what is looks like she is doing.) We went through this whole routine and placed them in the crib awaiting for meltdowns. We were so afraid I think we tiptoed out of the room. Nothing. Both did their thing and went to sleep. Really? What were we so afraid of?

Ella slept until 6 and Evan got up at 2 and went back down until 6. The usual sleeping business of the E twins. Nothing wild or crazy. It was a bit difficult for us to sleep. I think every noise on the monitor woke us up. I also am paranoid of something happening. What I'm not sure. The crib caving in. The cat sleeping on their head and suffocating them. One of them crawling out of the crib and bumping their head. Because of these crazy paranoid thoughts, I had to check on them a few times before I could finally go to sleep. They pulled through in one piece.

We got extra wild and crazy on Sunday night and put the babies in the crib again. Same thing. It went great. So I guess we're transitioning them into a crib at night. We didn't plan for it and never discussed it. One of us just said 'we should try this' and here we are. My babies are growing up way too fast...

Any advice on making Evan sleep through the night would be appreciated. That kid is determined to eat in the middle of the night. If he could pull an all night sleep fest we'd really be in business.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Something Happened...

Yes, something very big indeed. My colicky baby with reflux who has been known to cry for hours for no reason is suddenly a happy smiling boy! 4 pm was the time he'd typically lose it-I felt like I was on death row and 4 pm was my time to head to the electric chair. Honestly, that's how much I dreaded 4 every single day. Not anymore!! Evan's smiles are incredibly meaningful. I can't tell you how important they are to me... I felt like I didn't have a bond with him because all I did was feed him, change him and have him scream at me. It was very difficult and I felt myself getting frustrated and angry. I had to set him down and walk away to cry/swear/yell more than a few times... All of this is in the past (hopefully) and I feel a connection with him FINALLY!

I don't know if it's him growing out of the colic stage (they are 10 weeks old currently) or the Zantac medication for reflux or a combo of both. Whatever it is, I am NOT complaining. My life got a whole lot easier all of a sudden. I guess all those people that kept telling me 'it get's easier' were on to something!

Our babies could not be any more different. We have nicknamed our fussy Evan the CEO because he wants what he wants NOW! He's definitely a morning person (the CEO in him says 'the early bird gets the worm!' according to my husband) and he smiles endlessly and giggles in the mornings. What a delight! Ella is not a morning person at all, she prefers to eat and go directly back to sleep. It works out perfectly because I get 1:1 time with happy Evan and when Ella wakes up in the later morning, I can spend 1:1 time with her.

It's amazing how fast they are growing up! Both LOVE play mats (if you have a baby and don't have a play mat get on the internet and order one now!). Both of them are reaching for and grabbing objects (they love links). Ella is all smiles every single time she sees one of our faces. She is the happiest calmest baby ever. She's so content... Evan is still demanding, but we're getting him figured out and it makes a huge difference. The only time he loses it is when he is overtired. Usually I can see it coming and I can swaddle him and set him down for a nap before it gets too ugly.

They are sleeping like champs!! Ella has been sleeping through the night some-she had a three night streak this past week!! Evan is up once around 2-3 for a feeding and if Ella gets up this is usually about the time she gets up. They have gotten so much faster at eating. What used to take 1 hour to feed, change and put the baby back to sleep can now be done in under 30 minutes. Both of them go to sleep well too. It used to take 1-2 hours to get Evan to calm down and go to bed at night. Now we have a routine and both go to sleep without fuss. They are still sleeping in their Rock N Plays in our room...I'm just not ready to move them to a crib yet. Their bedrooms are so far from ours!! It's a long hallway...seriously.

During the day these two are eating about every 2-3 hours; we're having more and more 2.5-3.5 hour stretches in the mix. It is AMAZING!!! I can get so much done with their longer nap times. We have a nice routine down of eating, playing, napping. Repeat. If only I could get a nap...I have taken less than a handful of naps since they were born, and that was while we had family here to help! Those people that say 'sleep when the baby sleeps' are crazy.

My favorite part of the morning is bath time. They get up around 6-6:30, eat and then play (Ella usually goes back to sleep). After their next meal around 8-8:30 I give them both baths. I put on Pandora and we sing Christmas carols (well I sing, they look at me like 'geez this lady has an awful voice'.) Both of them LOVE bath time. They are so calm and happy during and after the bath. I also love the 1:1 time I get to spend with each of them. I was doing baths every other day, but I changed them to every day because we all seemed to enjoy it so much. My husband thinks I am crazy for giving them baths every day. Am I? I'm a very clean person (I could NEVER not take a shower once a day) and I think there's nothing like a freshly cleaned and lotioned baby. Maybe I am crazy, but it makes me happy so I'm sticking with it!

I'm feeling great! I'm truly enjoying my new role as a mom (this wasn't always the case..I had a lot of dark teary times when I felt inadequate). My husband is so great!! He is the epitome of a father. I would not be this happy without his help. He will do anything I ask of him. He's always asking how he can help me. He's willing to take both babies so I can get out of the house or just go upstairs to catch a break. He gets up in the middle of the night without complaint. These kids are incredibly lucky to have him as a father...

Saturday, November 24, 2012


The holidays were always particularly difficult for me when we were still in the trenches of battling infertility. For those of you still muddling your way through, know that I am hoping and praying for you to get the amazing opportunity to have a family.
It was surreal to kick off the holiday season without the usual angst and despair I'm used to feeling. We have so much to be thankful for this year. So much!! 
We have our family....this is the good life!!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shoulding All Over Myself

 Whenever I have a free second (honestly I do get minutes here and there but it FEELS more like only a second), I feel like there is something I SHOULD be doing. Both babies are sleeping-I should throw in a load of pukey baby clothes, I should vacuum the cat/dog hair off of the wood floors (I wish we had carpet to hide the hair these days), I should figure out what we're going to eat for dinner, I should pump, I should schedule the follow up appointment for our dog (we don't have our hands full enough these days...our dog has been sick as well), I should write a blog, I should call the Pastor about the  baptism, I SHOULD I SHOULD I SHOULD!!! AHHH!!

My grandma (who I swear must be part angel she is that wonderful) came down for a week because I was drowning. Grandma to the rescue-I had a frustrating few days (we have a baby with colic/reflux/random constipation to boot. UGH!) and at one point I found myself sitting on the stairs crying and fantasizing about running away to Denver to visit friends and ski. Then I felt guilty for wanting to run away because we've waited so long for these babies and then I cried more. Shouldn't I just be happy all the time because we have our family? I feel like I SHOULD, but I've had a lot of frustration over the past few weeks. It was at this point that I sent out a desperate text to my mom and she immediately started booking my grandma's flight down. She came at a time when I/we needed her most...

I've been feeling guilty because Evan is so fussy and neither one of us can figure out why. It's heart breaking to watch your baby cry and listen to him scream (another reason I want carpet-sound absorption!) and NOT be able to stop it. It's an energy, happiness and time drainer. My grandma, bless her heart, reassured us that we are doing everything we can to help him. Some babies just cry. She also drove home the idea of me not feeling like I should all the time. She admitted she had no idea how busy we truly are (I think this goes for most people...they think 'I have kids, I get it' but unless you have twins and one with endless crying fits you really don't get it.) She told me it was okay to let the laundry go, let the floors be dirty, let the dishes sit in the dishwasher instead of rushing to put them away. All of these are difficult for me to let go and I have been driving myself crazy over the upkeep of the house. I like a clean house. I can't stand to have things lying around and/or dirty, but it's impossible to keep everything the way I want it. It's been frustrating... Hearing from Grandma to let the shoulding go was what I needed to hear. Sure, the husband has said the same thing, but coming form an outside source made all the difference. Am I completely over trying to keep everything perfect? Nope. I'm still thinking of many things I should do, but I'm better able to accept what I can't get done. My grandma's week long visit was amazing. She's the kindest person I know. I need to keep working on letting the shoulding go because it's driving me crazy.

It will get better. I've heard this about 4 dozen times and I'm waiting every day! Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of fabulous things going on and we laugh daily over what the twins are doing, but it's not all rainbows and butterflies. We have Evan on Enfamil A.R. formula.  It has rice starch in it so it's thicker and helps with the reflux. When he was on breastmilk he would scream and cry through every feeding. He'd grab at his face and eyes in pain and feeding him was an awful experience. We also started him on Zantac twice a day. He's also drinking 1 oz prune juice to 2 oz water combo once a day to help with the constipation (side effect of the thicker formula). Things have improved. He doesn't scream through every feeding (I felt incredibly guilty about him not being able to have breastmilk) and he doesn't scream and grunt for an hour before he has a bowel movement anymore. He's still generally fussy and has periods of crying for no reason, but colic is supposed to be over around 3 months and we're only a few weeks away.... Colic is horrible. There have been evenings where he cried on and off for HOURS!! I can't tell you how frustrating it has been. I feel like I'm having a hard time connecting and bonding with him because he seems to only sleep and cry. Thankfully our Ella is a dream come true! She is the easiest baby in the world!! Whenever I feel myself getting edgy from dealing with Evan for an extended period of time, I'll see her smiling away at me and it makes everything better. She's quite the flirt these days:) 

I have so much more I want to update about, but this is all I have time for today because Mr. Evan is fussy and I need to go tend to him. It's a short week with Thanksgiving, but it seems like it's been a full five days for me. Family has caused some disappointment for us this week and Evan has been extremely fussy...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! We have so much to be thankful for this year!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How Amber Got Her Groove Back

I know I have been absent from here for a while. To those of you following our journey, please forgive me! I hope you are still interested in what we've been up to!
We have survived 6 weeks with twins! Wow. For the first six weeks I would describe our lives as living in a canoe with several holes-we were bailing water just to stay afloat! It had it's bright moments and trying moments, but at the end of the day we're all in this together and we're still floating. The first few weeks can only be described as chaos-we had no idea what we were doing and the babies were feeding around the clock! However, now, I feel like we are FINALLY getting into the groove of things. We're starting to get this thing figured out. I have made it through an entire work week with the babies by myself without crying!! (I didn't cry that is. The babies cried of course.)

I'm starting to truly be able to appreciate and enjoy our family (I had a tough time adjusting initially and always felt overwhelmed-there were some endless days in the past 6 weeks and many tears). I still feel mommy guilt about the babies crying. Sometimes it's impossible to keep both happy at the same time when I'm here alone. There are two of them and only one of me!! I feel guilty because if there were only one, they would get my undivided attention. However, since there are two, I have to divide and conquer and someone is left crying longer than I'd like sometimes (feeding two babies at once is NOT easy and this is where the bulk of my frustration is centered). I have to learn to accept that this is my life now. I have to acknowledge it's okay as long as I do the best I can. My husband made an excellent point that has kept me sane during the crazy 'two babies crying times'-he said to think about what kind of attention they would be getting at daycare..I am able to provide more attention to the two of them then they would get at a daycare. I am incredibly lucky to be able to take care of them myself during the week and avoid daycare. When one babe is crying because I'm busy with the other, I need to go easier on myself and remember how fortunate I am to have two babies who need me. A friend also gave me great advice-babies cry. It's what they do. Don't worry if you can't get to them right away to make it stop.

So what is a day like in my life right now? I honestly don't think family/friends truly understand how incredibly busy we are during the week. The people with kids can slightly relate, but raising one child at a time is completely different than raising two. It's insane, but I'm falling in love with the insanity!

I usually get up around 5-6 am to do the morning feedings for both babies. This allows the husband to sleep in a bit longer before getting up for work. I do the feedings and get the babies settled in again. I then pump and have breakfast and see the husband off to work. I try to sneak in a load of laundry before it's time to feed again. 

We do another feeding upstairs and then I bath and dress the babies and get them ready for the day. I also find time to hop in the shower and get myself ready (I'm putting that whole 'I don't care if you fix your hair or wear makeup thing' to the test with the husband because I rarely have time to blow dry and straighten my hair and put on make up. It turns out when he said that, he really meant it.) I try to sneak in more laundry/cleaning of the upstairs if time permits and I have another round of pumping.

I then move everything downstairs-this is quite a few trips when you consider their Rock 'N Plays (best baby item we own!!), pumping equipment, books to track their feedings, breast milk I have pumped, extra bottles leftover from the night before etc.  Usually we are fully relocated downstairs around 11 am. The babies are usually awake at this time and they get some snuggles and play time in. Evan LOVES play mats. We have two and it's hilarious to watch him smack the animals and yell out when he does.

It's usually time for another snack around 12-1 when the husband is home for lunch. I love having him home for an hour to help out. It makes a huge difference!! Many days he has been up to his elbows in baby business and had to scarf down his lunch before heading back to work. The man is a saint and never complains about having to jump in while sacrificing his lunch.  Most days, we have lunch while the babies go back to playing, swinging etc. I usually pump around this time as well.

Before I know it, it's for another feeding and then they usually go down for a nap. This nap has become longer and longer (much to my delight!) I try to figure out what we're going to eat for dinner, do some cleaning, take out the babies for a walk if weather permits and pump during this time.

Before I know it, 5 rolls around and the husband is on his way home! We chat about our days and attempt to eat-we're getting to eat together more and more these days :) 

After dinner is cleaned up, it's usually time to eat and pump again. We then get them changed into their pajamas and start to watch the clock for much awaited bedtime because we're both exhausted! Usually around 8-9, depending on how their feeding schedule is, we pack up everything and head upstairs for the night for the last feeding and bed time. We're in bed around 9-10 depending on how long it takes them to eat and settle in. I do a final pumping and we're off to sleep!

At night, they have been waking up around 1-2 for a feeding. We both get up for this one typically and each feed a baby since they tend to wake up at the same time. We get them settled in and we start all over again! 

They have been on a eat every 2 hours schedule during the day which is exhausting because by the time I get both fed, changed and settled (Evan can be quite colicky), I have about 30 min (if I'm lucky) before it's time to start over again! However, they are finally starting to sleep for longer and longer stretches-at this moment they have been sleeping for 3 hours!! I got a few loads of laundry done AND a blog written? Ahhh living the good life!!

When I type it out, caring for two babies seems much easier than it actually is to live! It sounds so cut and dry, but there is a lot of gray area amidst our schedule. I get an immense amount of help from Collin and I could not do this without him. He has kept me going and assured me I'm doing a good job when I thought I was failing. Evan is still quite fussy and has periods of screaming/crying for no apparent reason. Colicky babies are difficult!! He has reflux issues and it's been quite the experience trying to get them under control. We've tried several different things, but currently he is on formula that has rice starch in it. It's a thicker formula and stays down better. He was literally screaming/grunting/crying through every feeding and it was heartbreaking... Yup, formula. Initially I had a hard time stopping breast milk and giving him formula, but when I saw the difference it made I didn't mind one bit. I want him to be healthy and happy. At their two month appointment we are going to talk to the Pediatrician about adding rice cereal to breast milk. Does anyone have experience with this?

That is what we've been up to lately! I'm feeling a heck of a lot better about this whole twins thing than I did three weeks ago! I'm far from perfect, but I'm doing my best and giving my all. I'm getting in the groove and managing things. I'm enjoying this. I AM A MOM! What a dream come true!!

I had several other things written in this post, but I cut them out and I'll add them on to another post.I haven't had time to blog so I guess I had a lot to say. Back to the babies I go...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Month Old Twins=Living the Crazy Life

How has a month gone by already? I have no idea where time has gone, but I wish it would slow down... I can't believe how much Evan and Ella have changed in only one month!!

This is my first week alone with them-the husband took off two weeks and then we had family in town for two weeks. The first time I was home alone with them was on their one month birthday! What do I think about my first week alone? It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... I'll explain more later.

In the meantime here are some things I have learned:
  • It's a fantastic morning if I can take a 10 minute shower and shave 3/4 of one leg without a baby screaming.
  • If you want to lose weight fast, have twins and live in a 2-3 story house that has 2,500+ square feet. You'll drop several pounds a week running around the house and up and down the stairs.
  • Drinking hot coffee is overrated. By the time I can get around to finishing up my cup, I'm thrilled if it's luke warm.
  • It's okay to have no idea what I'm doing, but it's important to learn something every day in order to make the next day easier (this was my husband's advice amidst a melt down from mommy).
  • I need to relax when it comes to getting everything done...the house will not be spotless, the laundry will not get done every day, dinner will not be cooked nightly, I'll most likely have spit up on my somewhere and my hair is and will remain a mess.
  • I hope getting acquainted with my blow dryer and flat iron is like riding a bike (a skill that returns quickly), because I'm not sure when I'll have the pleasure of using these items again.
  • Sleep is for the weak!!
In all seriousness, this has been the most amazing and stressful four weeks of my life. We have a sweet angelic girl who is extremely low maintenance. She's patient and just gives a little yell when she's hungry. She's willing to wait patiently for her dinner. She goes to sleep without a fuss. She eats and burps like a champ.  She is the perfect baby. If I had two like her my life would be a breeze!

We also have a gorgeous boy with bright curious eyes who has been deemed Captain Fussybritches. He is a colicky baby. Our first few weeks entailed hours upon hours of him screaming for no reason. He was inconsolable (cue many tears from frustrated mama). He's a grunter-he grunts most of the day and even in his sleep! He has no patience...feeding/burping two babies via a bottle at the same time is challenging. The second you remove the bottle from his mouth to burp Miss Ella he completely loses it and screams! He has gas issues and screams/grunts/kicks through most of his feedings which means he gets more gas. Whenever he eats he is completely ravenous and attacks the bottle. Putting him to sleep can be challenging...he fights sleep. He gets bags under his eyes by the early evening...does anyone else have a newborn with bags under their eyes?! There are days he only cat naps throughout the entire day! He's a curious busybody and wants to look at everything! I have come to the conclusion that he is a genius and he's bored with how ordinary everything is... He's high maintenance. I have discovered the use of a Moby wrap can be life saving because our Evan LOVES to be held. Sometimes it's the only way to get him to stop fussing.

We couldn't have two babies who are more different from one another! Hopefully this explains my absence from blogging...I'm trying to figure out this little man!! Despite the challenges, this experience has been wonderful! I adore seeing my husband as a dad-he's the best! 

I'm almost through my first week alone at home. Have I cried? You betcha-several times! Has my husband had to come home to 'save' me? Yup. Has it been harder than I thought it would be? Most definitely. Am I incredibly blessed to have this experience and get the opportunity to be insanely busy, incredibly tired and running around the house like a crazy woman all day? Without a doubt!!!

I still intend on writing an update about their birth, birth recovery and what I'm doing as far as schedule/feeding etc, but that will have to wait....Capt Fussybritches is on the rampage and I must go console him :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Twins Are No Joke!!

How has a month nearly passed by ALREADY?! Time is flying by incredibly fast...
I have had every intention of writing updates prior to now, but there is just no time! There's never any time!! Jessie Spano anyone?
We've had family visiting for the past 2 weeks and every single second has passed by with amazing speed. I knew twins would be a lot of work, but I had no idea it would be this crazy!!
The latest batch of family is heading out tomorrow and we'll be on our own. I think I'll finally have time to do a proper update then.
Our lives are completely full. It's amazing how much these two little babies have changed us. I could not ask for more...
Have a great weekend!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The TWINS Have Arrived!!

September 15, 2012 at 10:14 and 10:16 pm our dream of a family finally came true. Our twins came into the world at 37 weeks 1 day and made our lives complete. Evan was born first weighting 5 lbs 11 oz quickly followed by Ella weighing 6 lbs 5 oz. Both were 19 inches long. Both were given a completely healthy bill of health and never left our side.

 Evan immediately after he was born                                                                     Ella immediately after she was born

Both of their first names were names we simply liked. I have been in love with the name Ella since college (a friend coached gymnastics and told me several stories about a precious girl named Ella). Evan was a name my husband came up with and I loved it as well. We had no intentions of naming them with similar sounding names (i.e. both names starting with 'E'), it just happened that way. Lee is family name from both sides of our family. Rose has a special meaning to us; I wrote a post about what happened to us back on Dec 3, 2009 you can read here- The rose I found that day in Dec symbolized hope and encouraged me to keep fighting for our 'someday.' It also honors the angel we'll get to meet someday.

Ella and right before we left the hospital in their take home outfits
I'll write up a separate post about the birth will be a long one. I've been meaning to write their birth announcement for over a week and it just hasn't happened! I've been blissfully submerged in baby land and had no desire to come up for air. Well, that, and the babies have kept us a tad busy.

We are completely and utterly in love. I wanted, prayed, hoped and begged for this, but I had no idea it would be so perfect. If you're reading this and you're still in the trenches of infertility, I hope you keep fighting for your someday. We've waited over four years for our family, but I can honestly say it was worth the wait. Keep fighting! It can happen.

Our two beautiful babies.
Here's a bullet list of what we've been up to in the past week:
  • We arrived home Tuesday afternoon. We walked in the door, set the babies down, stood arm in arm and stared at them. The rest of the day we simply held them and soaked it all in.
  • Wednesday we had their first pediatrician appointment at 8 am. Getting out the door for an early morning appointment was insane, but we made it. Both babies checked out as 'perfect.' Evan had a two vessel cord, so the MD suggested getting an ultrasound done to ensure his kidneys were healthy. There is a rare chance of kidney issues when a two vessel cord is present.
  • Thursday we had another morning appointment to get newborn pictures taken. The session was supposed to last 2-3 hours but turned into a 4.5 hour session. Our twins cooperated extremely well so the photographer took extra shots. I'm very anxious to see the results!!
  • Friday afternoon Evan had the ultrasound done on his kidneys. Although we don't have the offical results from the MD yet, the tech told my husband there didn't seem to be any reason to worry.
  • Saturday my husband ran out on a much needed Target run. I survived being home alone with the twins for a few hours.
  • Finally, today, Sunday, we've both been able to be home the ENTIRE day with no appointments or errands to run!! We've also been engaging in endless amounts of snuggles with the babies.
The past week has simply been magical. The babies each have their own personality. Ella is peaceful and calm unless she needs something. She only cries if she's hungry or has a dirty diaper; but when she cries it is loud! Once her needs are met she quickly falls asleep in our arms. She's sweet and beautiful. Evan can be calm, but he goes through periods of fussiness when we have difficulty soothing him. He's been cluster feeding, usually from 10 pm-1am, and it is not easy for mom and dad. He's a tiny little guy compared to his sister. Despite his random fussy times, he's gorgeous and loves to snuggle. We both love watching the faces they make, the random movements they make, listening to their sounds and can't get enough of just looking at them! We are in love. At this moment, life could not be any better.

Time seems to be passing by fast and I want to soak in every moment. I started a notebook where I'm writing down a few things that happen each day to try to savor as much as possible.

We have one more week together as a family of four before family rolls into town (all of our family lives out of state and we wanted some time to bond before we had people staying with us). Although I'm looking forward to our families meeting the twins, I hope this week goes by incredibly slow.

There is so much more I want to say and share, but I'm going to wrap things up-I have a beautiful family I want to spend time with...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hello Gestational Hypertension!!

I don't have amazing legs. I'm short and I don't have long vo.luptuous legs. I'm fine with it. To the left is a pic of what my legs normally look like. If you are feeling brave, to the right is a pic of what my legs have turned into. Yikes. It may be an understatement to say edema has gotten out of control in this pregnancy. It is painful and makes walking difficult. I'm a waddling machine. Why am I discussing my legs? No, this hasn't turned into some kind of leg fetish blog. It will all make sense in a few minutes.

I went in this morning for what was supposed to be a routine appointment. I provided my urine sample, got weighed and got my BP taken. My BP typically runs low (usually about 110/70), but today it was 148/88. I moved on to the ultrasound phase of the appointment and both babies look perfect. They have shifted even lower-I didn't know that was possible?

Next I met with the OB. We have everything scheduled for the induction. I'm 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced. The dilation check was uncomfortable, but didn't cause extreme pain like the last one I had done. Whew! We started to discuss my edema edema has gotten out of control. She classified it as "horrible." I'm not sure if that's a medical term pertaining to a classification of edema or if it was just her opinion. Nonetheless, I've tried to minimize it via elevating, wearing compression socks, drinking obscene amounts of water etc. Nothing seems to help. It is what it is. Believe it or not, my legs are even more swollen today than they are in the above picture. After speaking with the OB, she wanted a follow up BP and stat labs run because she was concerned about preeclampsia.

My follow up BP went up to 155/90. Uh oh. I was then taken to another room to lie down on my left side and have serial BP's taken. After about 45 minutes of repeated BP's, the numbers continued to be elevated. I was sent home and told to wait on labs. The labs they were checking were for hemolysis, elavated liver enzymes and low platelet count-all to confirm if I had preeclampsia. My liver enzyme count was slightly elevated, but still within the normal range. I was diagnosed with Gestational Hypertension.

What does this mean? After a discussion with the MFM office, neither my OB nor the MFM MD could come up with a clear concise line of action. We were given two choices- head into the hospital STAT to undergo an amniocentesis to check lung maturity and induce now or collect a 24 hour urine, bring it in and recheck vitals tomorrow. The 24 hour urine will give more insight into possible preeclampsia developing.

Ugh...what to do?! Yes, I am swollen so much it's painful and I am miserable. The only solution to the edema is to give birth, so do I want to give birth asap? YES! However, do I want to have an amniocentesis done? Hell no. The thought of an amnio and the possible risks it poses did not make this an option C nor I wanted to pursue. We opted for the urine collection and waiting. What happens if my BP is still elevated tomorrow or if my urine has protein in it? I guess we'll be inducing a bit early... I have several questions regarding the urine collection and where we go from here, but I'm waiting on the OB to call me back regarding those.

We are just over 3 days away from induction...I hope my body can behave itself in the meantime and avoid developing preeclampsia. Everything has gone so smoothly throughout this pregnancy, why the issues popping up now? I'm still holding on to hope that the babies will just decide to come on their own (tonight preferably) so we can avoid all of these issues that could come up. When the OB checked my cervix she could feel baby girl's head and said she had to move it in order to feel. Maybe they are coming? Although I'm holding out hope, I doubt it...

In the meantime, I'm a urine collecting machine. The orange container in the fridge is not orange juice so don't drink it!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Date Has Been Set!!!

I waddled my way in for the non-stress test today. It was uneventful. I played mindless games on the iPad while the boy and then the girl were tested. It was fun listening to their little heart beats and seeing the changes in their HB's as they moved around. It was slightly uncomfortable toward the end; my poor back. The OB came in and checked out the graphs and said we passed with flying colors! Everything looked perfect!! She was happy to see I'm having contractions and asked if I could feel them. Honestly, not really. Once in a while I can feel a slight tightening or twinge, but if she didn't tell me those were contractions, I would not have known.

She then lit up when she told me she had good news on setting a date. After discussing my case with the MFM office (they have to give their stamp of approval on a multiples induction), the MFM office wanted me to wait until 38 weeks. They didn't see a reason to schedule it early. My OB brought up the smaller size of the boy baby and they obliged to give their blessing for an induction during the 37 week mark. She did me a favor by pulling this card out of her back pocket, because although the boy is a tad smaller, he's still healthy and hanging in at the 30th percentile. Aside from the initial concern of his slower growth, he's been keeping a steady weight gain so realistically we are not concerned about him. However, if bringing him up as a concern gets me in a week earlier SIGN ME UP!!

At my last appointment earlier this week I begged her to schedule it as close to the 37 week mark as possible. I got my wish!! We're scheduled for Sept 15 which puts me at 37w1d. YEAH!!!! I think 9/15/12 sounds like a lovely day for a birthday!! I waddled back out to my car with a new spring in my step! Of course I had to go through a few 'you're going to have that baby at any time' comments from strangers and I smiled largely and responded 'yup, by next Saturday!' I had an overwhelming sense of happiness and joy wash over me. This is happening. Our day is coming!

My OB still didn't seem too confident that I'd make it to next week, but either way I'm fine. The babies should be healthy and avoid the NICU. What more could a girl ask for? 36 weeks has been my goal throughout this pregnancy and I hit that mark today. What a great feeling!!

To think, we've been trying to bring a baby home for over 4 years. FOUR YEARS!! It's been an arduous journey and a far off distant dream that frequently felt unattainable. Here we are, after dozens of appointments, hundreds of shots, days of tears, weeks of sadness, wishful thinking, heartfelt prayers, and endless amounts of hope, patience and strength on the brink of making our dream a reality. We fought for this. We made abundant sacrifices. When I didn't think I could do it another day, my husband put his arms around me and gave me reason to continue. He was at my side holding my hand through this entire journey. He never placed blame for our infertility on me nor uttered one complaint about our situation. He was my source of strength, motivation and my hope through the past 4 years. This struggle has brought us closer than ever. The pain united us and forced us to work together. We made it through and our relationship has forever changed for the better. We're incredibly blessed to be able to experience one of life's greatest moments. I'll never forget what we went through to get here. We'll hang on to these babies a bit tighter, gaze at them a little longer and love them explicitly more because of what we went through to meet them. Dreams really do come true.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Eleven Pounds of Baby!!

First, thank you to everyone who responded to my last post!! I appreciate the feedback. It helps a lot!!

Every OB appointment seems to be getting more and more stressful as we near the end. It doesn't help that my OB, whom is also expecting twins, is chronically behind on her schedule lately so the wait time helps add to the nervousness. I'm blaming her slow down on her twins, because it's impossible to keep up at the same pace, but it still does not help my anxiety.

We went in yesterday knowing we'd get a growth scan on the babies. Since we went to the MFM and there was some concern over our little guy, we were very anxious to see how his growth had progressed. Our girl was weighing in at 5 lb 13 oz and our boy was weighing in at 5 lb 1 oz. He's still smaller, but both of the babies gained about 300 grams since their last scan two weeks ago. Since they are gaining consistently, our OB did not see any problems with our son's growth. Whew...what a relief!! Once I realized both babies were growing adequately, it hit me that I'm carrying nearly 11 pounds of baby at the moment. ELEVEN POUNDS!! That is a lot of baby!! Yikes!

We are blessed to be carrying boy girl twins that are healthy and I'm so thankful to have made it this far (currently 35w5d), but I have to vent for just a second. I am beyond uncomfortable! The babies seem to have dropped and my bump seems to be descending lower by the day. It's so low clothes cut uncomfortably into my belly and I can't wear most of my wardrobe anymore. I look like a derelict most of the time because I am aiming solely for comfort. Whenever I need to sit or bend, it feels like my lower belly may rip open. Do stretch marks cause pain? I haven't had a mark until the past week; now I have marks appearing on my lower belly and I don't know if this is what is making it so tender? It's painful to even get ultrasounds. It's such an odd feeling...

I know I dislike people complaining, so I'll stop. But, because of how I have been feeling, I urged my OB to set a date for my induction. Thinking back, I'm sure I sounded a tad whiney when I requested we set a date... I am a person that enjoys time frames and deadlines; I like to know what I'm working toward. I figured having a date would brighten up my overall mood and get me through this last stretch. The OB said she'd have to check with the MFM office to make sure they gave their stamp of approval on my induction, but she felt we could set it during 37 weeks. That's a week and a half away!! She did mention twice that she really didn't see me making it that long; she seemed to think this could happen at any time.

Based on how everything looks, the OB also felt that if the babies were born at any time between now and 37 weeks, they should be completely fine and healthy. She was pleased with their size and growth and didn't anticipate any issues. Of course, there is plenty that could go wrong, but I feel very comfortable knowing they should be fine entering the world at any time. That being said, I've said for a while Sept 6 was the day we'd be having babies. Well, that's tomorrow!! At lunch today, I informed the husband I'd be going in to labor tonight. I see it happening in the middle of the night for some reason...we'll see what happens!! Our cats (we have two) seem to think the changing tables and cribs are meant for them. I'm washing up bedding (again) and locking the cats out of the nurseries just in case the babies decide they are ready to come tonight.

A fellow blogger, Mrs. F, blogged about being vaccinated against whooping cough. Because of the recent outbreak of whooping cough, I got vaccinated last week and my husband got his vaccination a few weeks ago. The Midwest has a large outbreak of whooping cough and both our families live there so we asked they also get vaccinated before coming to visit and spending extended periods of time with the babies. It was slightly awkward asking family to get vaccinated, but everyone understood and got their shots. Our families are fabulous!! It's one less thing to worry about...

In other news, I now have two appointments a week! I didn't see that next appointment is Friday. I'm having a non-stress test done. I have no idea what to expect, so if anyone has any words of wisdom please share! We're also setting the date for this twin thing to go down at Friday's appointment...that is if I make it to Friday. I'm going into labor tonight ;)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DVT and Labor False Alarms

It's been a wild week for us!! First, I had a routine OB appointment last week Wednesday. Fluid and heart beats looked superb via ultrasound and babies were 'breathing' away. My edema is outrageous. We talked about birth options at length. Simply because I'm carrying twins I can choose to have a c-section no questions asked. (I didn't know this) BUT, both babies remain head down and, call me crazy, but if they remain this way I'm going to try for a vaginal delivery. We covered possible complications (baby B flipping, breech extraction, etc.), but I want to at least try for vaginal. Are the odds stacked against me that this will work and go off without a hitch? Definitely. Do I want to avoid surgery? Definitely. We're at an advantage for a vaginal, according to my OB, because Baby A is the larger of the babies and this should make it easier for Baby B to slide on out. Sure, there are complications that could arise, but isn't that life? Other twin mama's out there...what's your take on the birth? Am I insane?

From the mundane to the exciting we go...Friday my husband came home over lunch and commented that my right leg was quite swollen. I can't see my legs so he snapped a photo for me and BAM! It was huge!!! Overnight my right leg had swollen to 1.5-2 times the size of my left leg. Talk about looking like a freak... It was also warm and painful to touch. I immediately starting thinking DVT, but figured I may be over reacting so I placed a call in to my OB. I got a call back immediately and was told to head straight in to the hospital for lower extremity dopplers to rule out DVT's.

I waddled my way in on Friday afternoon panicking about DVT's and PE's...I had a lot of scenarios running through my head. I asked the tech to please tell me if he saw anything unusual rather than making me wait for a call from the OB; thank goodness he obliged. He scanned both legs and both were DVT free. Crisis averted. I just had a seriously unfortunate case of edema.

Crisis one done. On to crisis two. I have been having an increase in cramps/pain (not what I'd really call contractions, just an annoying uncomfortable constant period-like feeling whenever I'm mobile..which, let's face it, I spend as much time on the couch with my feet up as I can, but that's beside the point). Over the weekend I started to experience nausea/vomiting, upset stomach with a side of diarrhea. I ate antacid pills like they were candy. I also started to experience lower back pain on Sunday night. I was so uncomfortable Sunday I decided to simply go to bed because I was tired of feeling so crummy.

I woke up at 1:15 am with damp underwear and pajamas. I woke up the husband and informed him of the situation. Had my water broke? It wasn't a lot of wetness, so I was unclear what it was and I wasn't having any contractions. We talked it over and decided to go back to sleep. I changed clothes while the hubs rolled over and started snoring instantly (yeah so that's a bit of an exaggeration perhaps...), but I laid in bed slightly panicking and analyzing every twinge and feeling. A few hours later I woke up to a similar situation; although dampness was present it wasn't as damp as earlier. Still no contractions. We both hopped on Google and found that water can slowly leak rather than break. So maybe that was it? Back into a fitful sleep we both went. Around 7 am we both got up and started getting ready/packing. I placed a call in to the on call OB and she said to come on in to L&D with bags packed to determine what was going on.

We went in about an hour later and I got placed on the monitors. The OB used a speculum and had me cough to see if any water was leaking. This hurt like a mother f%^&er, but came out negative. She swabbed my cervix to see if there was any fluid present. Negative. She thought maybe I had a UTI and had peed myself so she tested my urine. Negative. (I knew I didn't pee myself...I'm not stupid!)

According to the monitors I was having a lot of false contractions, but nothing to show I was in labor. I had an ultrasound and both babies had plenty of fluid present. The OB checked my cervix and I was only a fingertip dilated (first time I've had this done and it also hurt like a mother f%^&er). Do these things hurt this bad or was this OB just rough? I'm not sure, but both were quite unpleasant. It was determined I was not in labor. So why the fluid? Apparently, it could have stemmed from an extremely small leak that is too small to detect or it was just an unusual amount of drainage. It was not significant and the babies were fine so home we went.

I had an OB appointment today and I'll write about that was much less exciting than what we've been doing the last few days. Today I'm at 35w4d and I'm more than ready to have these babies. It's such a weird feeling to be sitting around waiting for something to happen...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Little Lady's Nursery Pics

When we were deciding on nursery themes, I knew I wanted a pink and green theme for our little girl. I adore pink and green together!! I found bedding I really liked and everything went from there. Her theme is love birds. I love white furniture for girls so we bought the exact same furniture our son has, but in white. We had a hard time deciding between painting the walls pink vs green, but after seeing everything in the room, I'm definitely glad we went with the green!

Her changing table has become an overflow of blankets, diaper bag, and other random baby items, so don't pay too much attention to it :) I found stickers for her wall at H.ome Goods on a random trip there. I was looking for something completely not related to baby items, but couldn't pass these up! The letters that spell our her name are a white wood (I blurred them out for the time being).
Everything I have read in twins books says not to get a rocking chair because it is too small for holding/nursing twins. Books suggested a futon, daybed, double wide chair or loveseat. We opted for the loveseat option. We'll see how it works... Depending on how breastfeeding goes, we may purchase a rocker for our son's room.

As far as other baby items go, we
registered/purchased one of all the big items (swing, Pack N Play, bouncer, play mat etc.). We're going to see what we use the most and if we need two of something we'll purchase it later. (Thank goodness for free shipping from T.arget!!) The only thing we purchased two of were the Rock 'n Play sleepers. We registered for one (and received it), but after speaking with moms and reading the reviews on A.mazon and T.arget, we decided to buy another one. Check them out if you haven't already. Everyone says they are a MUST HAVE and they are affordable at $50. I also received a very useful tip from a stranger at BRU while shopping. My husband and I were discussing over the door organizers for the kid's closets to store all the little items (extra diaper rash creme, thermometers, hair bows, rattles, shoes etc.) and a lady told me to pick up a clear over the door shoe holder from W.almart. I picked up two and I LOVE them!! They cost only about $7 (compared to $25+ from the baby store) and they are clear instead of fabric. This makes organizing and finding the items much easier. Thank you random stranger! Great advice!!

Now on to the items I made!! I found these birds, but obviously the colors were all wrong. I painted them and added some flowers and hung them on the wall.

I bought some plain wood bird houses and painted them. I couldn't stop there so I added ribbon, flowers and birds as well. I had my mom pick up a few more birds like the one on the middle shelf, so I'll add those to the shelves/dresser later. Surprisingly, I had a hard time finding small birds in stores!!

I spruced up a plain pink lamp shade as well. Finally, the window seat is made of a white wood. I love the extra storage, but it needed something! My mom and grandma went shopping to pick out fabrics to make a seat cushion. The cushion is currently under construction, but here is a photo of what it currently looks like. My grandma is very talented when it comes to sewing and I absolutely love how this cushion looks!! What would we do without mothers and grandmothers? They are the best!!!
Although we have two nurseries set up, we're planning on keeping the babies together after we bring them home. We have no idea how long they can stay together in the same crib/room, but once it quits working, we'll move them apart. That's the little girl's room! I'm thankful that the rooms are both finally done. It seemed like a never ending to do list for a while...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Little Man's Nursery Pics

I wanted to get this posted yesterday, but our internet went out and I spent over an hour on the phone with someone from another country I could barely understand trying to get it set up again. We have an iMac and the guy only knew how to reset PC's apparently...he ended up telling me to call Apple. Umm..what?! Thankfully my husband came home and had it up and running within two minutes! Go C!!

I've also had a new pain issue thing going on. Whenever I walk around I'm having a moderate pain on my right side continuously. I sit for a while and it eases away, but the minute I'm back on my feet, bam! It's back!! I have googled the crap out of it and the only thing I can figure out about the pain is that it's false labor and the real thing may not be far away! If anyone has any advice or experience on this please share!! I have an OB appointment tomorrow so I'll discuss it with her. In the meantime I am being a complete slug on the couch. I'm incredibly uncomfortable and the pain kind of freaks me out. The closer I get to labor the more worried I get. It doesn't help that my dreams at night are non-stop baby/labor filled!

Let's get down to business!!! Our theme for the little man's nursery is barn yard. It's meaningful because my husband's grandparents and several uncles/aunts farm in South Dakota. They have the seriously huge kind of farm that stretches as far as the eye can see. All the roads are gravel. Yes, it's like going back in time. The town they live near accepts I.O.U's at the grocery store!! Anyway, he spent a lot of time there as a kid so it seemed like a perfect theme for our son's nursery.

We wanted to stay away from all the typical sports, nautical, jungle etc. themes. Alt
hough this was a different kind of theme, it was difficult to find accessories to go along with it!! I had to put my Martha Stewart hat on and be creative.

Obviously, our little guy's name is above his crib, but I blurred it out for the time being. We did find letters that looked like old barn wood, so they fit in perfectly. The big barn in the corner is my husband's from when he was little. His mom was kind enough to bring it down along with all the animal accessories. I know our son will LOVE playing with it once he gets old enough. I found the barn themed wall stickers on Am.azon.

Now that you've seen the overview of the room, I want to talk about the items I made.
First, I found these letters and wood board at H.obby Lobby. I painted them all and added the animals to make the farm sign that is above the changing table.

I also found a plain wooden barn that needed to be painted. I painted it and added the fence and extra animals. This is what is located on the bookshelf. The
bookshelf is empty at the moment, but my parents are
bringing us a bunch of books!
Next, I took a plain blue lamp shade and spruced it up a bit. I used the chickens from the little guy's bedding to make chickens to apply to the lamp. I also added a decorative farm ribbon to top it off.

Finally, I made two farm pictures and framed them to hang above the book shelf. I used scrap booking paper to create these two photos. The tractor I saw on H.GTV on an episode of H.ouse Hunters; a similar picture hung on the wall of a boy's room and I made my own version. The chicken picture I made up; I used chickens from the wall stickers as inspiration. These took a long time to make, but they are my favorite pieces in the room!

There you have it-the little man's barn yard room!! I really enjoyed making all the items for his room. It kept me busy when I stopped working and still had energy. I can't imagine doing any decorating right now so I'm definitely glad they are done!!

This post is plenty long, so I'll post pictures from the little girl's room later. I hope you enjoy the sneak peak of our son's room!