This past Sunday, my Aunt Cindy (also with the help of my mom and sister) threw me the sweetest, most thoughtful baby shower. It was obvious how much time she spent on it, and everywhere you looked there was another detail that had to be documented. The invite list consisted of women on my side of the family, as well as family friends. The boys got a ton of great stuff and are already very spoiled!
Spoiler alert - you now get to learn their names!
Details even down to the descriptive food names!
With the amazing hostess, my Aunt Cindy
With my Mother in Law and Mom
With my sister
Just so that I can remember for myself, I was 26 weeks and 5 days along during this shower. :)
-Cameron took this sweet pic of Gus and I last week and I'm kind of obsessed with it. I may or may not have a treat under my hand to keep Gus' attention. :) -I had my 26 week appointment this morning, which included the glucose test. The process itself was not bad at all, but waiting to hear the results is! The doctor did a quick ultrasound and the babies are no longer positioned "bunk bed style," but both head down. Of course, they still have plenty of time to move, but it was pretty encouraging! She also measured my stomach and said that if I were pregnant with one baby I'd be measuring at 31 weeks! I certainly feel like I'm already 31 weeks. -Speaking of feeling like I'm 31 weeks, I've been to the chiropractor three times now without any relief. Even the chiropractor is surprised that I'm not feeling better yet. I bought one of those support belly bands, so I'm hoping that will help, too!
-Sneak peak of the color we painted the nursery! It gives me allllll the heart eyes!
-I have my first shower this weekend and I am so excited! This one is for all of the women in my family and close family friends. -Babies are definitely getting bigger and stronger, as evidenced by their powerful kicks! I'm pretty sure I felt one of them have the hiccups yesterday, too! -At my 24 week appointment two weeks ago, Baby A measured 1lb 10oz and Baby B measured 11b 8oz. By my next appointment they should definitely be over 2 lbs each!
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??
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org! I'm definitely no expert, but even if you want to vent, shoot me an email!
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.
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.