Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Twin Tuesday

Just a few random updates today!

  • My best friend had these adorable bibs monogrammed for the boys! Sneak peek of their initials, but keeping their names off the interwebs for now. 


  • At my last appointment 3 weeks ago I had gained a total of 15 pounds. Interested to see what the scale at next week's appointment says! Either way, it doesn't matter to me how much weight I gain (ok, within reason), as long as my boys are getting big and strong! 
  • My 23 week bump pic!

 


  • We have been blessed by tons of hand-me-downs! Seriously so many clothes and tons of baby gear! 

  • The nursery is starting to look like a nursery! We've painted, cleaned the carpet, and assembled the cribs. I've washed all of the clothes and blankets we've been given in yummy smelling Dreft, and have hung up all of their "nice" clothes in the closet. I'm hoping to get the dresser, that originally lived in the guest room, painted on Sunday. With all of the unknowns that come with having twins, I want to get as much done as soon as possible! 

  • Everyone always asks how I'm feeling. The answer is pretty good, other than this back pain in the middle of my back, right side only. I went to the doctor last week for a urine sample to rule out a UTI or kidney infection and everything came back normal. It really only bothers me when I'm driving or sitting at my computer. Any advice??


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Monday, July 25, 2016

Brady - One Year Later.


And just like that, it's been one year since we had to unexpectedly say goodbye to our sweet Brady. Each day continues to get easier (aka can say his name out loud without tearing up or crying), until now when all of the memories of that day came flooding back as I went to write this blog post. I thought I'd have more to say, but there are just no words to express how much I miss him. So I'll leave you with some of my favorite pictures/memories. 








We miss you like crazy, B. 


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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Twin Tuesday: Our Journey to Pregnancy.

I want to start this post by saying that when I was going through what I'm about to talk about, I was always searching online for bloggers who had gone through or were going through similar situations. The truth is, infertility (defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sex, six months if the woman is over the age of 35, or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth) is much more common than you would think! One in eight women experience it and I don't think anyone should be ashamed to talk about it! This is also a way for me to remember all of the details about our journey years from now. 

So here's our story...

It started on Christmas night 2014. Once our heads finally hit our pillows after a day of driving back and forth to spend time with our families, we started to say goodnight. It was at that time that Cameron told me that he was ready to start a family. He could not have given me a more special Christmas present! We daydreamed about what our family would be like and decided to keep this special secret to ourselves. I kissed him goodnight and turned over to go to sleep. But not before Googling something like "Ready to start a family. What to do now??" 

I had my regular OBGYN appointment in January and my doctor knew that we had been married for almost two years at this point. Of course she asked THE question (Are you thinking of starting a family?" I immediately said yes and she suggested that I start taking prenatal vitamins right away, stop taking my birth control, and said it would be a good idea to go ahead and get my genetic screening test taken care of. This test is performed with a simple blood draw and tells you whether you are a carrier for a genetic condition or disorder and your chances of passing it along to your future children. Cameron was also tested at a later date and even though we were both carriers for some serious conditions, those conditions were not matches. If we were both carriers for the same conditions, there would have been a 1 in 4 chance it would be passed along to our children. Genetic testing could take up a whole post on it's own, so if you'd like to read more, check it out on Wikipedia or Counsyl, the company who performed our testing. 

After around 7 or 8 months of no luck getting pregnant, I began talking to my OB about preliminary options and she suggested I get a prescription for Clomid. I started with 50 mg for the first month, 100 mg the second month, and 150 mg the third month. All three months resulted in Aunt Flo. 

Right around the year mark of trying to get pregnant with no success, my OB suggested I speak to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE for short). I scheduled an appointment at Coastal Fertility and we had our first meeting with Dr. Slowey on December 2, 2015. He reviewed my chart from my OB, including our genetic testing results, and discussed our options. He talked in detail about IUI vs. IVF. After some preliminary tests, for both myself and Cameron, we met again to discuss the results. All of our tests came back "normal" and therefore we were diagnosed with "unexplained infertility." 

Due to all of the information we found out, we decided to move forward with IUI. To learn exactly what IUI is, go here. I then had to wait for my next menstrual cycle to begin the meds. On January 21, 2016 I started taking Letrozole (also known as Femara) for three days. On the second day, I also began giving myself 33mg of Follistim injections (also known as Gonal-F). I gave these injections to myself in the stomach for 5 nights. The first time was really scary, but once I finally did it, it was no biggie at all! The needle is SO small and you can barely feel it. On day four of giving myself the shots, I went in for an ultrasound to monitor how my ovaries were reacting to the medicine. Success! I had two eggs starting to form from my right fallopian tube (14mm and 11mm in size) and two eggs starting to form from my left fallopian tube (13mm and 11mm in size). I continued my meds and went back two days later for another ultrasound. My uterine lining was 10mm (they want this to be nice and thick) and my eggs had grown to 16mm and 17mm (right side) and 18mm and 14mm. I believe they are considered mature when they are between 16-20mm. We waited two more days for the eggs to grow just a little more and then that night, I gave myself the "trigger shot" of HCG. The IUI procedure was scheduled for Sunday, January 31 at 9am. They time the procedure for a specific amount of time after the trigger shot to make sure you are most fertile. The procedure itself took about 5 minutes and was not painful at all. And now we wait the dreaded two week wait. I tried not to get my hopes up because the chances of success after the first round are pretty slim. On Valentine's Day of all days, I found out that it didn't work. I called the doctor's office Monday morning to get the process started over again..

Baseline ultrasound on February 19, which is when I also started taking the Letrozole again. Shots began February 23. Ultrasound on February 26 to make sure meds were working. Right fallopian tube had two eggs measuring 15mm and 11mm and left had three measuring at 11mm, 12mm, and 13mm. Follow up ultrasound on February 28. One right side egg grew to 17mm and one decreased to 9mm. Left side now had four eggs measuring 14mm, 12mm, 11mm and 10mm. I was somewhat disappointed that they weren't as big as they were last time (but obviously looking back now it didn't matter!). Trigger shot the night of February 29 and our second IUI was scheduled for the morning of March 2. 

I was supposed to wait until Wednesday, March 16 to take a pregnancy test, because it's possible that the HCG medicine could have still been in my system and given me a false positive, but I am the most impatient person ever and decided to test on Friday, the 11. I saw the slightest line and only let myself get a little excited. Didn't want to get my hopes up just to be let down again. Then, the next two days I took a test in the morning and at night. The lines were still there! On the third day I took a digital test that would either say "pregnant" or "not pregnant," and it said PREGNANT! 

I called my nurse on Monday, March 14 and said "I know I wasn't supposed to test yet, but I did and it was positive!" She scheduled me to come in on Wednesday, March 16 to have my blood drawn to confirm the pregnancy. My first beta number came back at 565 and when I went back two days later, it was 1400 (they want your first beta number to atleast double when you come back two days later). I couldn't believe I was actually pregnant! My first pregnancy ultrasound was March 25, which is when we found out that there was not only one baby, but two! 

Kudos to you if you made it this far! 

While our journey was not as quick and easy as others, I'm very grateful that we were successful with our second IUI procedure. So many more women have to go through so much more to get pregnant. 

If you have any questions at all and don't feel comfortable commenting below, please email me at megan.lindley33@gmail.com! I'm definitely no expert, but even if you want to vent, shoot me an email! 

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - Maternity and Baby Picks.

While I love seeing everyone's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks, they're just not helpful to me and my growing belly. So I thought I'd put together a round up of my picks for you ladies who are in the same boat as me! Some of these items are included in the Early Access sale, but some of them are just on sale. Good for those people who don't have Nordstrom cards, but there don't seem to be too many Early Access maternity items. #discrimination 

For the mamas...

A beautiful silky robe for the hospital and thereafter. 

A stylish wrap top for easy nursing access. 

A nice sleeveless dress for these hot summer months!

For those who know they are having C-Sections, I've read that these Belly Bandits are a lifesaver for recovery. 


And a couple of picks for the little ones!

Classic Aden & Anais swaddles at a fraction of the cost. 


The sweetest hooded cardigan!
Babiators!

An adorable personalized blanket. A perfect baby shower gift!
The sweetest peplum top and leggings for your little fashionista. 



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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pimento Cheese Grits for a Crowd.

I shared this recipe about three years ago once I started making them on an annual basis for our Mother's Day brunch, but the recipe I originally posted only made enough grits for a couple of people. I would always have to do the math in my head to figure out how much to make for 10-12 people, so I thought I'd save myself the trouble next year and just document it here!

Pimento Cheese Grits for a Crowd
Serves 10-12 people

2 cups of instant grits
4 cups of heavy cream
4 cups of chicken stock
4 tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup of pimento cheese (or to taste)

In a pot, bring the cream and chicken stock to a boil. Slowly stir in the grits and bring down to medium heat and simmer 5-7 minutes. Melt the butter into the grits. Lastly, add the pimento cheese and whisk until the grits are creamy. Set aside and keep warm.



Original recipe for a smaller serving can be found here.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Twin Tuesday: Babymoon!

We returned home yesterday around 3pm from a wonderful babymoon in Amelia Island, Florida! Typically, we choose to save the money for things we actually need rather than splurge on ourselves, but decided we NEEDED this trip. 


We arrived at the Omni on Amelia Island around 3:30pm on Friday and immediately threw on our bathing suits to go explore the resort. After walking around, we ordered some drinks (mocktail, please!) and took a dip in the adults only serenity pool. This is where we spent the majority of our trip. That night, we took the quick 20 minute drive into downtown Fernandina Beach for dinner. I was really craving Mexican so we ate at Pepper's Mexican Grill and Cantina. After dinner we walked around the downtown area, which was filled with cute shops, other restaurants and bars, art galleries, etc. It was a really cute area! 

The view as you walk from the lobby to the pool area
The view from our room on the 2nd floor
Saturday morning we grabbed a quick breakfast and I relaxed in the room while Cameron went to the gym. Afterwards, we headed to the pool. I'm convinced that we went on our babymoon on what will be sure to be one of the hottest weekends of the year! We were constantly going back and forth from our lounge chairs to the pool. Not even an Oreo milkshake could cool me down! At the pool I read Jenny McCarthy's book, Belly Laughs. It was an easy read, as the chapters were short, and her sense of humor kept me entertained. 

For lunch we ate at the oceanside restaurant rightfully named, Oceanside. I loved the decor in here - classic, not cheesy, beach decor. Actually, all of the hotel was very well decorated. 

Yummy peach salad
Back to the pool for a few hours then to the room for a sun-drained nap before dinner. When we got back to our room, we were surprised with some chocolate covered strawberries and sparking cider from our sweet friends, The Reynolds! They were consumed immediately. 


Dinner Saturday night was probably both of our favorite meals. We ate at the resort's steakhouse named Bob's. We started with shrimp cocktail and a Caesar salad, then Cameron ordered a filet (jealous!) as his entree and I ordered crab cakes. My crab cakes were delicious, don't get me wrong, but I am a steak girl so I had major food envy over Cameron's meal. (For those that don't know, it's not advised for pregnant women to consume undercooked meat. I like my steaks medium/medium rare and there was no way I was going to order a medium well/well done steak at this place!) I also had the best mocktail of the weekend at this restaurant - basically a cucumber martini without the alcohol. Need to recreate ASAP!
Very random, but a pregnant pickle loving girl's dream!
Pickles and pickled bell peppers waiting on the table when you arrive.
After dinner we lounged outside while Cameron smoked a cigar (don't worry, I made sure the smoke did not come my way). 

Sunday I woke up early and headed to the spa for a prenatal massage! It was everything I had hoped for and more. After that, we went back to the pool for our usual routine. Luckily since I had woken up so early, I was able to snag two chairs under an umbrella that saved us from the beating sun. For lunch we ate at the resort's deli, named Marche Burette. I had a french dip (which I will always order if it's on the menu) and Cameron ordered a smoked salmon BLT (I'm starting to see a trend of him ordering all of the things that I can't eat...).

That night we ate at another resort restaurant, named the Verandah. I don't know if we were super full from the weekend or our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, but we ordered way too much food and couldn't eat it all. All very tasty though! We started with fried green tomatoes, split a wedge salad, then I ordered the fried oyster appetizer as my entree with a side of grits, and Cameron ordered the crab encrusted grouper. To say we were stuffed is an understatement. 

After dinner, we hit up the resort's putt putt course. Cameron and I are both very competitive so the stakes were high. I had him worried at first, as it was pretty much tied the whole game, but then towards the end I messed up and he ended winning by 2 or 3 strokes. Oh well, there was lots of laughter and it was the perfect way to end our Babymoon! 



Overall, I would definitely recommend this hotel for almost any type of trip! Family, relaxing girls weekend, babymoon, etc. There is something for everyone and we were not disappointed by any of the resort restaurants! 

Now on to getting the nursery ready!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Twin Tuesday.



3D ultrasound at 12 weeks


When did we know it was twins? 
We knew that by doing the IUI procedure to get pregnant, there was an increased chance of having twins. But honestly, we didn't think it would happen to us! Then, when I went in to have my bloodwork done to confirm the pregnancy, my first beta number was 565. Two days later it was 1400. They like to see this number atleast double, so when mine more than doubled, the girls in a private Facebook group I was in, were all convinced it was twins. The higher HCG numbers do not ALWAYS indicate multiples though so I really wasn't sure what to believe. Then, at our first ultrasound at 5 weeks (seeing a fertility doctor gets you early ultrasounds!) we got the shock of our lives when the doctor said, "well, just as I suspected, there are two in there!" My eyes got huge, and I kept looking back and forth between the ultrasound screen and a very shocked (and silent) husband.

Type of twins?

There are a few types of twins: 
Ours are "di-di" twins (bottom right), which means they are in separate amniotic sacs and have their own placentas. Luckily, these are the least risky type of twins. And there's your science lesson for the day. :) 

Do twins run in our family?
Nope! They are a blessing due to the fact that we did the IUI procedure to get pregnant.

How did we tell our parents it was twins? 
After our first ultrasound at 5 weeks, we got back to Cameron's car and immediately called our parents to share the exciting/shocking news. We actually Face-timed my parents and when they picked up, all they saw was the ultrasound below. My mom literally said, "oh, sh*t!" Needless to say, they were also shocked and very excited. We then called Cameron's parents and his stepdad said the same thing! 

Identical or fraternal?
Di-di twins are most likely fraternal (unless they are boy/girl in which they are definitely fraternal), but there is also a slight chance they could be identical. We will not know for sure until they are born. 

When did we find out the genders? 
My regular OB told us that we would not be able to find out the genders until my 20 week ultrasound. Are you kidding me?!? I'm the type of person that gives birthday presents early because I hate waiting! So I scheduled an elective ultrasound for 17 weeks. Well, at my 16 week appointment, which Cameron last minute decided he couldn't come to because he was swamped at work and I thought it was just going to be a quick appointment, the ultrasound tech told me she could tell what they are and asked if I wanted to know. Well again, I am the worst at waiting on things, so I immediately said yes! Baby A was not being very cooperative so we moved on to Baby B. It's (very clearly) a boy! Went back to Baby A and were finally able to tell it's another boy! I immediately started tearing up because I wanted atleast one boy because we wanted to name him after Cameron's brother that passed away when he was younger. 
After my appointment was over, I wanted to tell Cameron in person the genders and absolutely could not wait until after work. I went to Party City and picked up a bunch of blue balloons and drove to his work. Once I was in the parking lot, I hid around a corner, called him, and asked him to come outside. He walked outside, and there I was with the blue balloons! Surprise, we're having two boys! He was very shocked and even more excited. It was really cute and I'll never forget the look on his face. :) 

What's my due date?
My original due date was November 22, but with twins you are considered full term at 38 weeks, so that moves my due date up to November 8. The same due date as one of my best friends, Katie! I'm 19 weeks today, so that means I'm halfway there!! 

Did I miss anything? Sorry for the uterus pictures, I know some people are weird about seeing them. 


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