Bundle Organics

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I was recently traveling for work and like many other moms before me, the line “put on your own mask before you help others” struck a chord with me. We moms all too often give and give and give and then find ourselves forgetting to care for ourselves. While a juice can’t completely solve that for us, Bundle Organics has a tasty option to making sure pregnant and nursing moms get the nutrients we need.

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This line of juices contains vitamins like omega-3 and iron to help keep our bodies caring for us so we can then care for our babies. And there’s more:

  • USDA Organic. Our juices contain only the best and brightest organic fruits and veggies. Flavorless produce need not apply.

  • Safe to Sip. You have enough to think about. That’s why our juices are 100% worry-free. “Raw” and “fresh-pressed” juices might contain harmful bacteria. So we pasteurize our juices for maximum nutrition, flavor, and pow!

  • An Extra Bump. Our juices supplement prenatal vitamins with an extra bump of key vitamins and minerals for healthy development. Folic acid (200mcg). Check! Calcium (100mg). Check! Vitamin D (60IU). Check! Omega-3 (500mg). Check!

  • Hydration, Please. Expecting moms should drink 8 to 10 glasses of fluid a day (that can seem like enough to fill a baby pool!). Luckily, our juices are a delicious alternative to plain ole water, leaving you feeling hydrated and oh-so-healthy.

  • OB-GYN Approved. The first batch of Bundle Organics was made right in our kitchen, but we didn’t trust our taste buds alone. So we consulted with experts from OB-GYNs to leading nutritionists to make sure our juices were packed with all the right stuff – the nutrients and supplements that both mom and baby need. Check out our “About Us” page to find out more about the super smart all-stars behind our brand!

(Information from Bundle Organics)

Now, it’s not as simple as drinking a juice to solve all your “mask moments”, but it’s a start. For me, I haven’t been eating the healthiest, but knowing I have options like this to get in my daily fruits and veggies is a win. Weirdly, I wasn’t loving fruits and veggies as much when I was pregnant with the twins – my post “getting healthy” pregnancy! I wish I’d found out about these juices earlier, but I do like them for supporting my nursing nutritional needs.

Bonus for expecting moms? The green and orange blends include ginger – great for those morning sick days when nothing else seems to sit well. (I even go to this juice now because I don’t always feel great in the mornings after not eating all night then nursing for up to 45 minutes before showering and heading to work – where I eat my breakfast.) Sounds pretty impressive for a prenatal juice, right?

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Although I recommend these juices for their convenience and taste, I am not a certified medical professional.  If you are pregnant or nursing, consider working with your doctor and/or dietitian if you have questions or concerns about drinking juices (such as Bundle Organics) during this life stage.

More information on Bundle Organics can be found at their website: bundleorganics.com

10 Gift Ideas for Parents of Newborns

I share this list of “10 Gift Ideas for Parents of Newborns” not to beg for any of these gifts, but to share some really thoughtful things people have done for us as we welcomed the twins. Ok, ok. There are a few things on the list that we haven’t received but it’s my passive side listing some of the things I could use help with when I keep telling people there’s nothing I need except for prayers. To be honest, I am doing too much and it’s impeding my healing process (my incision had to be reopened in order to heal). It is my pride, and I need to suck it up and realize people are really out there that care. If you are looking for gifts for parents of Newborns, hopefully this list will inspire you. If you feel strongly about helping me out, browse the list and throw an offer at me. I’m not about to get on my knees and beg anyone to help me put away my laundry…but I will publicly admit I just keep having Greg wash the same three outfits over and over and over…so there’s that.

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Dinner…or breakfast (fresh baked bagels are a HIT here), or lunch, or coffee from Mom’s favorite coffee shop (I’d pay for a Starbucks skinny iced peppermint mocha vanilla latte {hold the peppermint mocha because it can deplete milk supply} or iced right now). Gift cards for local delivery places (sadly, I only know of pizza in our town). Bonus points for freezer crock pot meals. More bonus points for home cooked meals ready to eat with no heating or takeout delivered fresh and ready. (Easter dinner was on the table the day we came home and I was SO thankful. I’ve also remembered how much I heart soup and salad.) Dinner at the hospital is another bonus…sadly, I had to turn this down due to diet monitoring for the girls’ weight and my iron levels, so ask ahead before bringing one’s favorite college meal (Mad Mex was honestly offered to us, you know that was hard to turn down) to the hospital. Can’t do a whole meal? I scarfed down a nice cupcake or 2 along the way, too!

Newborn Photo Session Our hospital offers professional newborn shots, including a package of digital shots with the rights to print / share the photos. Consider a gift card for this if applicable (Bella Baby is the Magee photographer) or pick your / the parents’ fave local photographer and schedule them for a session. (I’ve been told 48 hours to 10 days old is ideal. I totally missed the boat on an at home session and am admittedly bummed out because I have no photos of all 6 of us in the squishy, comfortable stage I really wanted to remember…and no cheesy posed cheesecloth and headband shots like I wanted.)

Birth Announcements or Thank You Notes A gift card to an online retailer who does photo cards would be an awesome gift…even better if you help Mom create the birth announcement or if the site offers to ship for her. Thank you notes, in my mind, should be personalized as often as possible, but I think new parents get a pass on this one. I personally wrote all of ours so far…but could use some more cards (or a ride to the store), addressing help, stamps, and/or a trip to the post office. Trying to remember it all and thank in a timely fashion is tough!

A Phone Call or Visit This is powerful. I specifically remember calls from one of my aunts after all three births. (This most recent one included a 2nd call to support me through a tough time with the hospital staff.) She probably doesn’t know it, but she was the only caller I had on the hospital phone with the twins’ stay and integral in lifting my spirits at JUST THE RIGHT MOMENT after all three births. Our realtor (and friend) called us to congratulate us – some people are incredible at making the simplest actions mean the most. We had lots of precious visits from family and friends, all just the right length, during our hopsital stays, too. And visits at home have kept my sanity (especially with Greg going back to work) and helped with some of my other suggestions below.

Grocery Shopping I didn’t think this one out before delivery, but our first grocery trip was going to be a daunting task. Two carts, each with a twin in a car seat. No way. Thankfully, I gave my list to a cousin and she handled the task then helped Greg put it all away. Huge time and energy saver. Maybe your local grocer has online ordering with curbside pickup — offer to help make the order and do the pickup. Even better if there’s a delivery service near you!

Cloth Diaper Prep We will be going to cloth once the girls we more “normal” (non runny newborn) movements. Our fluff stash is a mix of new and used cloth, and I opted to wait to prep until they were born. Not sure what I was waiting for, but the day is coming soon when we will switch and I have about 60 diapers that need love. If cloth diapers are your thing and a loved one is going this route, offer to help. Not doing cloth? Bring a pack of diapers (know this the size or bring a size 2 or wipes) when you visit. This takes care of a few awesome gifts at once (no store trip, diapers, and a visit).

Rides to Appointments Most new moms can’t drive themselves for 2 weeks (I will be much longer at this point), and many dads don’t get the time off. Both mom and baby likely will gave appointments in the weeks following coming home and may need a ride or company…or a.stop for a favorite coffee or milkshake. Personally, I’ve been glad Greg can go with me because my appointments haven’t been fun; however, now that he’s back to work, my schedule is going to be harder to manage. Bonus if you score a pedicure appointment for mom post doctor visit.

Big Kid Care and Attention We forgot that our first trip to the rodeo of having another kid was when Arianna was 2 and was easily entertained (distracted) by Yo Gabba Gabba, a nap, or Cheerios. I’ve tried hard to explain why 6 and 4 year olds cannot lift babies from the crib and carry them downstairs or why mama needs to be attached to them for 10+ hours a day right now or that poop doesn’t smell like roses or that mom really just needs to get her wound care in peace (glad to get all THAT out). Nothing works. Bribing with jelly beans quit working and now both big kids drag their butts across the carpet like a dog who has pooped somewhere inside anytime we tell them “no” or that they need to listen and focus on a task or activity we’ve given and just be a kid. Having someone to help play with them, bring them a distracting toy, or get them off the bus when the line at the pharmacy is out of control are super gifts to parents of newborns who also have older kids.

A Shower Sprinkling baby with new gifts is always super (I think all babies deserve something new), but that’s not the kind of shower I am talking about here. When you are attached to your newborn for 10 hours a day and sleeping when you can, showering takes low priority. Offer to come hold baby while mom gets clean. Don’t interrupt to tell her you think baby is hungry, either. If mom is breastfeeding, she knows. Give her 40 minutes to herself and you rock that ‘lil one through the tears. Mom needs to feel clean and fresh, too.

Help at Home This gift could be a bit long, but helpful help at our home looks like: Putting baby in the crib when mom shouldn’t be doing the stairs and you are leaving for the night after your visit. Helping fold and put away mounds of baby laundry (or mom’s if you are close and ok with seeing remnants of 10 types of bodily fluid — this is why we live in sports bras, if lucky, and yoga pants for all.of maternity leave). Plant the potted plants that were gifted before they die or blow away in a storm / throw out the dead flowers that were gorgeous 3 weeks before. Walk the dogs (or catch them when they bail ship and try to take your big kid with them on their escape). Wash the salt off the car (great big kid distraction is the drive through an automatic car wash) or if it is winter, shovel the sidewalk/driveway. Dishes, they build up so fast. Positive affirmations (can be done over the phone or social media quite easily). Understanding mom and dad and family are going through a big life event and need their schedule and needs respected (meaning long/overnight visits may not be welcomed quite yet)…or maybe they do need some overnight help (either in person or via text/social media to stay up during feeds). Sorting mail and being sure bills are paid on time (I may have done most of our April bill payments the night before having the girls…but may have forgot to pay the cell bill…oops). Making sure mom is staying hydrated (bring a cool big cup with a lid or a case of bottled water). A walking partner…even if the walk is slow and less than a block. Prayers. Offer something you know you’d want done when mom says “there’s nothing”…because there is likely something her mom brain is forgetting.

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Looking back at this list, I have to admit our village is pretty awesome at delivering the things we need most at the times we most need them. Thank you, village, for your help in our third round of new parenthood!

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Ok, bonus. Get the parents swaddles for their newborns. Baby will sleep better which means Mama and Daddy sleep better. And there are SO MANY ways they can be used, too!

The Twins’ Birth Story

Two weeks isn’t too long past the twins’ birth to tell the twins’ birth story. Right? You’d forgive me anyhow because if you’ve met the twins you understand the need to snuggle is real.

On April 1, the kids and I took a follow-up picture to compare to the initial “we are having twins” announcement.

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Greg and I “went to bed” around 11 PM. We tossed and turned like kids waiting for Santa to deliver gifts, finally falling asleep about 20 minutes before our alarms to shower went off. I had Greg snap a belly picture and then we were off. Thankfully we had the truck in the garage because the car windows were iced over and we left about 9 minutes later than planned.

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38 weeks + 2 days pregnant…and EXHAUSTED

Our ride to Magee was fairly quick, but we were surprised at how many Big Burghers are on 28 at 4:45 in the morning. I tried not to think about Greg’s water bottle just inches away from me…I think keeping water from anyone is torture but understand why you can’t eat or drink before surgery. I posted some pictures of potential names on Facebook and the blog. Checking into the hospital, we were the only ones in the Birth Center’s registration room. We stole a final belly selfie before being escorted back to the OR prep room.

twin baby belly

Things really changed between 2010 and 2015 in the Operating Room area. For starters, we went to triage to get prepped with Evan, but to have the twins we went to an “OR Bay” which we would later return to with the babies, keeping the same nurses (super comforting). My doctor wanted to get things going ASAP, so being the first on the schedule for the day, time in prep flew by.

Prep involved the usual…lots of questions repeated over and over, lab work, an IV (which meant a blown vein for me followed by another spot to try because my veins know when needles are near), bracelets to identify us and that the babies were ours, then one final ultrasound to confirm the twins were breech. I met the resident who would be doing my anesthetic as well as his attending and actually felt confident that third time would be the charm.

By 7, I was being whisked away from Greg (leaving him to dress in scrubs and pray) and off to the OR. It looked different, brighter and more open, than I remember from with Evan. My body would eventually lay open to the door (which I found odd, but later learned no one could see me from the window). I got to walk to the table and was met by many smiling faces. There were nurses everywhere, NICU ready just in case (I think 4 or 5 peds/nurses just for the babies!), and Dr. Kremser. This was really IT, time to meet the twins.

Prayers in the OR Bay
Prayers in the OR Bay

What I didn’t tell ANYONE, not even Greg, is that I was extremely scared…and not just that the anesthesia would be a bad experience or that I’d throw up.

First up was the anesthesia. I cried out of fear, but hugged a pillow and talked to a nurse about Arianna and Evan as she hugged me. I don’t even know where in my back they went because they did so good. I didn’t fall off the table (like I almost did with Ari) or require multiple stabs and searching for “the spot” (like with Evan).

They laid me back and told me to tell them if I got nauseated or needed to vomit — these were signs my blood pressure was dropping and I needed to not be stubborn and tell them immediately. It took about 4 seconds to feel nausea set in and 8 to throw up all through my hair. This is my norm…all three births involved vomit. What all three didn’t involve that this one did? A caring doctor who washed my face and rinsed my hair so I’d be ok for pictures. This resident went above and beyond to be sure I was just fine.

Before they started the procedure, Greg was brought to my side and held my hand. It was go time.

I don’t know all the details of the procedure, obviously, but I do know that Dr. K talked us through what he was doing and the anesthesiologist provided some details, too. Greg sang me Three Little Birds and I cried. I talked the whole time because even though I prayed for 9 months and had prayer warriors all over thinking of me, I was scared something was going to happen and I wouldn’t meet my babies. I mean…I got so healthy leading up to this pregnancy and what if it was all to leave Greg with four kids and a mortgage? I know. Horrible thoughts…but real. I was so scared.

Baby A was stuck in my ribs, so this one involved lots of tugging. At 7:31 AM on April 2, our 2nd daughter entered the world with screams and a clear desire to latch onto anything she could. Dr. Kremser asked if we wanted to know the sex and we immediately said yes. When Greg heard it was a girl, he fist pumped the air and almost jumped up. I cried happy tears and suddenly had peace that the babies and I were going to be just fine. They told us she had a head full of dark hair and I cried some more.

Keeping Baby A her name for just a bit longer...
Keeping Baby A her name for just a bit longer…

A minute later, at 7:32 AM on April 2, our third daughter was born. The doctor announced she had a nice, big round head and bottom (this explains a lot of her crowding A’s space). She had a full head of light hair. Both babies screamed to greet each other and Greg and I shared looks and a moment. We now had three little girls.

And Baby B, our youngest child.
And Baby B, our youngest child.

I begged the doctor and nurses to be sure no other babies were hiding and then as they put me back together, they asked if we had names. That’s when A became Ava Grace and B became Isla Joy…even before we saw them. What we didn’t know is we picked perfectly (Ava is classy but a diva, Isla is super mellow like Aruba). Ava weighed in at 6 pounds 11 ounces, 20.25 inches. Her little sister Isla 6 pounds 14 ounces, 21 inches. Both got a 9-9 on the APGAR scale.

My arms were unlatched from the “cross hold” – this was something new – and I had the option to hold the girls. I left that up to Greg because I started shaking and didn’t want to hurt the babies. We hugged, kissed, and cried tears of joy before Greg was walked out.

Holding both girls
Holding both girls

I was left to get cleaned up and listen to the girls cry for me. They kept telling me Ava was hungry – and boy was she ever. As they wheeled me out to recovery, she even turned toward me and showed me her rooting instinct. I knew this was the start of a beautiful journey…and I was right.

What’s Your Name?

All photos in this post were taken and copyrighted by our friend Michelle.

To get your minds going about what we will be naming the twins…here are a few of the ones tossed around. Sorry…we forgot to include Stinky and Cheese (the big kids’ don’t you dare name them that but it would be hilarious names). Per Arianna’s instructions, we will be picking a proper name from this list…as long as they fit the name!

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Evan did not like me using his board!

…he wiped it clean just after this photo and I had to try again!

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We will share the final decision this afternoon!

38 Weeks: April Babies

I specifically remember prancing into one of my first ob appointments with Dr. K and announcing I was so carrying the twins to 40 weeks, wasn’t nothing going to stop me. He smiled, probably took a note, then told me 39 weeks is usually “it” for twin gestation with a repeat c-section. I didn’t care. I was having April babies, the later the better.

The months went on and I totally thought I could do it. In January, I had my first contractions (associated with a stomach bug) and started to panic. They couldn’t come early and needed to bake longer. Those stopped and the weight started to come on. Next thing I knew, we were discussing accurate due dates and 6 week out scheduling…looking at April 7 (39 weeks) as the latest birthday for the twins. The best we could do at the point of scheduling was April 3. I was slightly bummed to not make it 40 weeks let alone 39, but okay.

Then HELLO 37 WEEKS. The week of my life when all I did was complain and plead and beg for someone to please deliver the babies. Dr. K and Dr. S looked for any reason, but miserable is not one. A nurse was able to make some changes and bump surgery up one day, to April 2. I spent hours in triage hoping for progression, praying for relief.

After 9 days of contractions, my 38 week appointment on Tuesday confirmed that these babies want to go nowhere and I am 100% not dilated. Just tired and ready. I feel new this week. The babies dropped, but nowhere near my pelvis. The prayers took away my pains and intense contractions. The rest took away my swelling (and I lost a pound even though I am confident I have never ate more in my life than I did this week).

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So here we are. The morning of 38 plus 1. The last NST, as a precaution to not miss something that should send me to the OR. The day before our twins will be born. I cannot sleep. I am ready.

A few facts to remember:

Weight gain: 60 pounds exactly from 1st to last appointment. Have you seen that tummy? It’s heavy. I gained the most with this pregnancy (by 5 pounds) but am carrying 2 plus approximately 20 pounds of fluid that I didn’t with the other two (thank you, “spring”).

Work: As long as the NST goes ok, I will come home to work today…just like I did with my first births…all the way up to the last minute. I even pushed out a deployment package last night before bed. I know.

Surprise: We continue to not know if our fraternal twins are girls, boys, or one of each. When Dr. K brings them out of my belly, we will finally find out.

First breakfast: Became a 4ish AM thing and kept up with me through most of this pregnancy. I had a bagel an hour ago and will eat again before we head to Magee. Tomorrow morning I will be miserable without eating.

Morning sickness: I can use both hands to show you how many times I got sick this pregnancy. I’m proud and impressed that this time was so healthy (minus last week’s scares).

Alright! In 25.5 hours, our babies will be here. What you can expect from this shareaholic is a fun name teaser in the wee hours of the morning, a generic post on social media to say how things went in the mid-morning from the recovery room, then names / photos after the kids and grandparents and uncle have met the babies (and the aunts been sent news). Some of you may get texts from us or our parents, but we ask that you respect our right to share the “official” news publicly first, please. Thank you for prayers and support as our family grows!

14 Sleeps

14 Sleeps (or less) until our lives change forever.

It has been a pretty smooth road, but these last weeks have been tough. I won’t bore you with the swollen feet stories or anything…they just have been tiring.

And tonight…I think I entered a new zone of crazy. Everything is bothering me. I have so much to do for work and my inbox keeps filling up with more to do in the next 10 days of work that I shouldn’t be in bed blogging but should be working instead. The big kids can’t keep their rooms clean or food and toys out of the living room. And Greg and I have had almost 0 time for each other in the last 8 days because he has been working. Because of all of this…my brain and mouth might have exploded tonight.

I admit it. Being independent and 36 weeks pregnant / barely able to move without something hurting isn’t easy physically let along mentally. Add in the insomnia and there you have it. I am a mess.

If I can just let go…I can get 14 more nights of sleep before I become a human milk machine and diaper derby referee. But maybe? Just maybe? Maybe I am ready to welcome these sweethearts into the world to remind myself of how incredible being a mom can be and how precious life is.

Babies? Mama is ready with open arms whenever you are. 

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Because eventually these two will become big kids who have tantrums and put themselves down for a timeout nap.

In Four Weeks

In four weeks, Greg and I will be snuggling our newborns. They may have been “just born” or could be days or weeks old. Either way, they have officially been given a definitive “born by” date.

We will welcome Baby A and Baby B (names to be announced once we are out of surgery and have told our parents and Arianna and Evan) on or before April 3, 2015.

While we really wanted to welcome them April 2 (exactly 7 days after Greg’s birthday and 7 before mine), apparently it was a well-sought after day. Who wants to schedule their kiddo’s birthday on April Fool’s Day or spend Easter in the hospital? Well, we weren’t cleared for April 1 (more baking time, woo!) and will be enjoying a chocolate bunny and celebrating Jesus’ resurrection at Magee unless these chunkers decide to appear early (although odds are low as of last appointment).

At 34 weeks + 1 day, our babies were 5 pounds 9 ounces (A) and 5 pounds 3 ounces (B), approximately. They are in the 92nd and 82nd percentile, and per my doctor, I am a good provider for them. Swoon. I mean, look at them.

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What you may not be able to tell is that both babies have their knees and feet up by their faces. Both are breech, so a VBA2C is not in the cards for us. This is okay with me. I’ll always wonder what a natural birth felt like, but this seems like our best and safest option. They’ve also got their mama measuring 40+ weeks in the tummy area and heads turning everywhere she goes because oh my gosh shouldn’t you be at a hospital having that kid.

Between now and then, I’ll have weekly appointments as well as Non Stress Tests just to be sure we’re on track. But regardless, in four weeks, this mama is going to have her babies in her arms. Such a beautiful blessing.

The Booth

A few weeks ago, I took the kids to Arby’s because it seems like at some point in every pregnancy I’ve had a craving for roast beef and curly fries. It was a cold night and I was overwhelmed by a walk/date at the mall with Greg that wore me out, so we decided to eat in versus just grabbing the food and heading home.

The entire restaurant was booths, but that didn’t phase me until I tried to sit in the seat with Evan. I couldn’t. The belly just would not fit. I tried, but I was squeezing the babies. And let’s be for real. I have a big belly, measuring about 5 weeks ahead of my actual due date, but I was actually not all that big when I got pregnant. That belly should fit in a fast food restaurant booth. I grabbed a chair, one of two in the whole place, and sat on the end, crowding the aisle. As I shoved calorie-filled food in my mouth, I got angry. That booth should NOT have been as small as it was, considering it was a fast food restaurant. No way. Have they seen an average American? Even someone who was not overweight by medical standards would have been tight in there.

Somewhere between Arby’s sauce and horsey sauce, I let it go. That was until last weekend when we had our family Valentine’s Day date at the local Chinese restaurant. It was in the middle of the white-out snow storm and moments after Evan had his blood drawn up at the hospital, so we wanted to make it special and eat in versus doing take out. Arianna scoped out a table as we ordered, then loudly proclaimed, “We have to go home, Momma. There’s only booths in here and you are too big to fit!” I turned around to see that she was right, yet a lone chair sat against the wall, my savior in the moment. Both kids were sad that I couldn’t eat with them, and I was sad I couldn’t stare into Greg’s eyes as we shared some hot and sour soup.

But, it’s my reality. This belly is full of love and babies. And someday after I deliver them, it will go back down to a smaller size, but I’ll still think about this booth experience. I think back to when I was a bigger woman. What on earth did I do then? How did I ever gain the weight eating in places I couldn’t even sit down at? What would I have done if I wasn’t pregnant and had my kiddos with me and couldn’t fit – how would that have felt?

Even as a “smaller person” the pain and struggle of being overweight is still very real, very raw for me. I’m angered at how we have to be some certain size or build to be able to sit and enjoy a meal in-house with our family and friends. I’m angered that my daughter is already seeing the impact of being bigger and how it makes her want to just eat healthy and drink water so she doesn’t get big like I was. I’m angered that I would not have been able to eat at those places with many of my family and friends. I’m angered that even when people bust their butts to be healthy, it doesn’t always change their emotions.

Yet, I did get a moment of redemption yesterday. Greg and I went to lunch in between oil changes and work. Our choice, Qdoba. I remembered not fitting in the booth pregnant with Evan or even for about a year post-Evan; however, they do have tables there so I wasn’t worried. Greg asked me to try to head to the back, where the booths were. I was skeptical, but I gave it a shot. And guess what? We fit. Barely, but me and my sweethearts fit and got to sit in a booth and nosh on guacamole while looking into the eyes of the man I love. Thank you, Qdoba, for being just a little more “average” friendly.

It was close, but I made it!
It was close, but I made it!

Thirty-one [Weeks]

Thirty-one has been a pretty amazing number for me.

It’s my current age, the age at which I got pregnant with my 3rd and 4th babies. It’s the age at which I hope to deliver them, but they are technically due 5 days after I turn 32.

It’s my side business. I am an Independent Consultant with Thirty One Gifts, a company that sells gorgeous purses, totes, and home organizing solutions. My first year went well, and I continue to network and meet new people through this business. Additionally, my faith has amplified through the mission as it is tied to Proverbs 31.

It was the cost of Greg, Arianna, and Evan’s haircuts last weekend (to which Arianna yelled to the salon that 31 was my age). And more to share on the haircut!

It’s also how far along in my pregnancy that I am. Thirty-one weeks (plus 2 days). So, an update.

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Top: 30 ish weeks with Evan, Bottom: 30+5 with the twins

It’s been hard staying a bit quiet about this pregnancy, but I’ve had my reasons. All in all, it’s been a healthy journey, just what I hoped and prayed for after the sickness and hospital trips and weight loss and gain with Ari and Evan. There have been a few things that keep me from “telling all”, and some of you understand. Also, it’s the third go around for us, and we all know what happens the more kids you have…the less you capture and remember. Regardless, I need to jot down today’s news to be able to look back and laugh…I hope.

My doctor isn’t A doctor. I have 5. They rotate, and since I am a high risk case (twins over 30), consult each other on how things are going. 2 weeks ago, I was told by the doctor I saw that we would schedule a c section at this next visit as long as the babies measured up in my ultrasound. Well, last Thursday was 30+2 and they came in at 30+1 and at an awesome percentile for their gestational age. Great! I can schedule their birthday…be home for Easter…and have them on the week right between Greg’s (31st) birthday and my 32nd (we are 50 weeks apart). Sweet.

Or not. There are 2 male docs at the practice and they want me to go full…full term. Like 40 weeks. Like 9 pound babies. Like ouch. And no scheduling.

Guess which doctor I saw today? One of the guys. Ok…I am laughing about this already. I did get upset after leaving the office and thinking about it….but maybe if they do keep me, I will have the thrill of real labor and that rush to the hospital. (Something I missed with both…Arianna entered the world calmly, 15 hours after my water broke…and Evan had me in Braxton Hicks for 3 weeks but was scheduled.) So, maybe waiting to 40 weeks wouldn’t be awful. I do want them fully baked….but we will see.

Because between now and April 14th, I have:
Weekly Non Stress Tests
Weekly ob appointments
Ultrasounds every 3 weeks (so 2 to 3 more to go)
A few huge work projects to tie up

We will see when these kiddos arrive…if they are like their daddy? Late to the party. Like me? I will deliver on my birthday,  just slightly early. But if wouldn’t go starting a Willis baby pool just yet. These twins are quite comfy and happy at the moment…snuggled up in their 31 week old home that’s measuring 37 weeks (for a single baby). I guess 31 is still a pretty good number.

I Made You Big

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While on a drive, the kids asked for a snack. It was probably the 78th time they had that day, and I got frustrated. The snacks they want lately are sugar filled junk, and real food doesn’t seem to please them.

Arianna’s response to my frustration? “We promise we won’t get as big as you did, Mommy.” Cue the tears, right? Oh no. It gets worse.

I tell them I love them and want them to be happy. To be able to run and play and breathe without it being a struggle. I want them to be healthy and yes, smaller than I was as I grew. That I didn’t want them to work like I had to in order to get to where I was [pre-twin belly].

Evan pulled his hood over his face and started to cry. “You didn’t make you big, Mommy. I made you big when I was growing in your tummy. It’s my fault you had to work hard to be small.”

I start bawling, wishing Greg was with us. Between tears, I try to tell him it’s not his fault. Arianna tries. Nothing makes him happy. He believes he made me big and I can’t stop the tears.

Finally, we came to an agreement that it wasn’t being pregnant with my 9 pound bundle of love that led me to weigh right at 300 pounds but it was years of my life that made me the mama I was when I had him. Arianna assured him that I was the same mama now as I was then and as I was before having him, both promising me they understood and it wasn’t his fault.

Having these talks with my kids is hard. Evan doesn’t remember his mama being big, and Arianna vaguely does. For the most part, I hid from cameras because I couldn’t stand my own picture [how I found the above one for this post is beyond me].

Then one day, somehing clicked and Evan and Ari made me smaller. The very thought of being around them for life was enough to decide to get up and take care of me for them. To run. To eat better. To be there for my kids.

So, Evan? If you think you made me anything, know that you made me smaller, healthier, and happier. Remember that, Bubby. And remember that I love you no matter what size you are or I am.

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And PS to the twins? I do miss my smaller body, running, and doing yoga…BUT I wouldn’t trade those things for the amazingness that has been the last 28 weeks/4 days of growing you, either. I’m gonna miss this belly that’s keeping you all close to me when you decide to make your mark on this world.

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