Sunday, October 26, 2014

Maternity Photos

A few years ago, we were in a furniture store with the boys and we ran into a family with twin boys. Come to find out, the mom and I were in the same Moms of Multiples group on Facebook. 
We became such good friends thru playdates with our kiddos,  then just a few short months later, she moved to Texas for her husbands job and to be closer to family. 

This girl has seriously been my lifeline when it comes to raising twin boys! 
She gets the most random and crazy texts from me about the boys and I know she can totally relate. 
Not only is she a great mom and friend, she is a rockstar with a camera! 
She did the "mommy and me" session on the this blog, the boys 2 year photos and their 2nd birthday party. So, when she called and offered to do my maternity photos while she was in town for a weekend, I was blown away and so excited! 

Here's a look at a few of the amazing shots::










Thank you, Valerie, for such priceless photos of my pregnancy and of our growing family! 
We love and miss you!! 


Make sure to check out Valerie's photography at Valerie Henderson Photography or on her Facebook page. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Boys or Girls??

Our families live in different states and I wanted to do something special for each of them when we found out if we were expecting girls or boys. We were going to see Jay's parents a week after finding out, so I planned a gender reveal party for them.  
 Since we wouldn't see my family for quite a while, we made a video for them. 

Here's what we did::
On the day of the ultrasound, we stopped and picked up blue and pink balloons, two over-sized moving boxes and small chalkboards for each box and headed to the doctor's office. The supplies would be used for the video. 
Jay, Parker and Hayes came to the ultrasound and after checking the babies heart beats, the ultrasound tech gave us the choice of knowing the gender... and of course, we wanted to know!!






For the gender reveal party. We did a  "What will they bee?" theme.
I made a beehive cake and colored the cake batter PINK. When I cut into it and pulled it away, the gender would be reveals to family and guests. 


Photos from the gender reveal with Jay's parents and friends::

















Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes: Amelia's Cakery (me)
Printables: PaperGlitter

Friday, October 17, 2014

It's TWINS... again!

I'm more than waaaaay behind on blogging. I missed all kinds of important things this summer and will go back and blog those soon (hopefully), but I wanted to share some BIG news.


Yes, it's true! We are expecting TWINS... AGAIN!
We were shocked but could not have been more pleasantly surprised! 

How we got here...
It's no big secret, if you have followed my blog or know me, I'm not shy at all about talking about our battles with infertility. Infertility is a terrible beast and so many suffer from it and for some reason, not many talk about it. I am not sure why that is... 
Does it make us less of a person to want a baby and not be able to conceive on our own?
 Does it make our God less of a Creator if we have "help" thru medicine? 
Personally, I don't think so.  
In fact, let's make a comparison... Infertility is a medical condition, correct?? 
Well, so is cancer. (gasp!) Did I really just compare cancer to infertility??
I know that not everyone will agree, but if I was diagnosed with cancer, I would seek the most qualified MD out there for treatment. 
I can't imagine not fighting with every fiber of my being and utilizing every resource out there to cure a diagnosis of cancer.   
Why is infertility looked at differently? 
Why do women and men feel ashamed to seek advice/help from a qualified physician when it comes to infertility? 
I've heard, "If God wants me to have a child, He will provide"
True. He will. 
 He is the Ultimate Provider, Creator and Physician.  
I also believe that He has equipped special people with the skills and abilities to help thru medicine.
Don't get me wrong, in my life, medicine doesn't trump God and HIS plan for my life. 
I strongly believe, and am thankful, that God is in control
He is capable of healing thru medicine or miracle. 
I think it's my job to be prayerful and thankful to Him, regardless of the situation. 

Ok. Now, to how we got here...
Twins... AGAIN.
If you dig waaay back in the blog to "Our Story" you will find more than enough information on our battle with infertility. It's a struggle that I wish no one had to ever experience. Month after month not getting two pink lines is gut-wrenching. If you haven't been there, I dare to say, you will never know the heartache and pain of a woman, or couple, that desires to conceive a child. 
It's devastating. 
However, as mentioned above, there is hope. There are very qualified doctors that can help find a possible explanation of why things aren't happening and there are also amazing treatments that can help prepare your body to carry a baby. 
Please don't mistake the availability of this treatment as easy... by no means is it! 
It's tough. Really, really tough.
It takes a toll on your body, your mind and possibly even, your spirit. 
So, my suggestion, is lean in really hard on your faith, your friends or a complete stranger that has been thru it... You will need it. 
I'm not naive, I do know that there are many still out there who have sought fertility help who are still waiting on their own sweet blessing. 
I know that it isn't always successful and isn't the answer for everyone. 
I'm not trying to instill false hope. 
I just want to bring attention to infertility and the stigma that comes along with it. 
I want to offer encouragement and love to those who are in their own battle with it. 
I've been there. I know the pain, the tears and the struggle. I know the meds and their side effects. 
I know the disappointment when month after month, nothing.
I also know the joy and the love that come with a successful treatment...
They are Parker & Hayes. 
They are our twin boys, who are now 3. 
They were worth every tear shed over our journey. 
They were our first IUI babies. 

Fast-forward to 2.5 years later..
3 Unsuccessful Treatments from November-January...
 Now January 2014 and the discussion with fertility specialist take away was this: 
Since the last 3 treatments were unsuccessful, we were at a point where we needed to step up our treatments in hope of conceiving.

This meant a few things...a few, scary things... 
1. Increased dosage of medication to see if I could produce any eggs=increased risk of multiples, possibly not a safe number
2.  If the medication didn't work and no eggs were released, the ability to conceive was essentially gone. Because at that point, we couldn't even do a round of IVF... there would be no eggs. 
3. The doctor was pretty sure that based on labs, 3 failed fertility treatments, and since medications during that time had failed to produce positive results, our chances of  conceiving on our own were pretty  much nonexistent.

It was a TON to take in.
As my doctor once mentioned:: Once you have a child and are staring at infertility again, it doesn't
 take away your desire to have more, but it might determine how far you are willing to go to have more.
That couldn't be more true. 
Obviously, we wanted more babies, or we wouldn't have been sitting in his office.
 That desire was still there, but the hard truth was too. 
How far would we go to try to conceive? We had already spent lots of time, energy and money for the 3 unsuccessful treatments...now what?
As a mom, I was concerned about the boys. Would our desire to have another child negatively affect the boys if, say, we were to become pregnant with multiples again?
It was all so much to take in... almost too much.
Ultimately, we decided that we would take a break from it all:: medications, tests, and treatments. 
We were truly happy with our little family and after weighing out the options, felt like putting things off for a while was the best option for us. 
So, we went on with life and had complete peace with our decision.

In the months to come, we sold our house, moved in temporarily to my parents, put a contract on a house and took the boys to Disney for their THIRD Birthday! 
When we got home from Disney, I was sick... very sick and super tired, like can't get off the couch tired. Disney isn't a relaxing vacation, in fact, it was work. Hard Work, but FUN!! I thought I just picked up a bug and was exhausted from vacation.  A week went by and I wasn't feeling much better. Something in the back of my head said something didn't add up. 
I took pregnancy test and it turned POSITIVE IMMEDIATELY!
WHAT?? This couldn't be right! I called the doctor and she said to come in that day for blood work.
It too, came back positive... My hCG and progesterone levels were very high. The nurse had told me prior to the results coming back that they would have to wait approx 6 weeks for an ultrasound. She said that they liked for the hCG levels to be >2000 before the first ultrasound. 
Well, she called me back as soon as the doctor saw the results and wanted me to come in for an ultrasound asap. She thought I might have been further along than what we had initially thought. 
We went in for the ultrasound and as soon as the image came on the screen 
I said, "it's twins. there are two babies". I was stunned.
I know I shocked the ultrasound tech because she hadn't uttered a word, but I was so used to seeing two babies on an ultrasound, that I knew EXACTLY what I was looking at. 
She said, "Well, I'm still looking" 
I told her kindly to stop looking, that there were ONLY two babies and to please not find any more! 
We all laughed. 
 There were only two babies. 
But THERE WERE TWO BABIES... Again... 
TWINS. 
What were we going to do? 
How did this happen?
We didn't use any fertility and had put "trying to have a baby" on the back burner!!
What in this world?? 
This had to be a joke.
In fact, I think I asked the Ultrasound tech if she was kidding... (the same thing I asked during the first ultrasound with the boys) 
Her response was pretty much the same as the last US tech: "no ma'am, we don't kid about this" 
As I write this, I'm still not sure it has exactly set in, but with the laptop propped on my ever-growing belly, I can assure you, it's happening!

So, now what?? Well, the contract that we had on the house, we withdrew. It was a nice sized house on acreage, but it was going to require a bit of cosmetic work. Fortunately, Jay is super handy and could do all that work, but it was going to be a process. A process that we were completely okay with prior to finding out we were having two new babies. 
This changed things...

New plan for our growing family::
We are building a home and should be in before Christmas!
 We are still at my parents.. what was going to be a 4 week turn around with the other house, is now a 4 month build, which means my parents have to put up with us for a total of 4.5 months instead of 4 weeks... They have been very generous, accommodating and very sweet about the whole thing! 
It's been a huge blessing, but we are really ready to be in the new house.

There have been lots of changes this year and we are so blessed. God has blessed us with two amazing little guys and now with TWO new babies, that we thought we would never have...
and for this we are Thankful.  

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18