Friday, March 27, 2015

Hey, It's Ok...

If I get one more email telling me what every pregnant woman should do I think I'm going to scream. The only thing that mommy websites/apps should tell you in those daily emails is how to relax.

In the past 48 hours ALONE I have received the following headlines via email:
  • 16 things every pregnant woman should do - really, as if I don't have ENOUGH on my plate - of course none of the 16 things on this list were on my to do list)
  • The only 6 maternity clothes you need - this one actually made me laugh out loud - it included 5 basic items and a bonus little black dress... this may work for someone who only wears maternity clothes for one week but the rest of us actually enjoy going to work or out in public in more than one or two different outfits per week.
  • 8 hidden dangers for newborns - seriously?! I'm trying to keep them alive on the inside right now - let's not start adding to the worries that will ultimately ensue once they come out. 
  • The Great circumcision debate - I wasn't aware there was a monumental discussion on what to do with my sons' gentiles once they were born and this article provided no proof that the great debate does indeed exist. I actually pictured two men arguing in fancy suits and lots of yelling about "To cut or not to cut" while reading this one. Either way in our family this decision is up to their dad... I don't claim to know anything about having a penis. 
  • 12 worst foods for pregnant women - another LOL article. It included almost everything I have eaten since pregnancy and only made me feel guilty when in reality eating while pregnant is hard. If you can stomach anything I say go for it - unless you are put on a diet by your doctor just try to eat balanced meals and make sure you take your vitamins. The occasional drive-thru meal isn't going to kill you or your babies.
I guess what I am trying to say is, I'm tired of the "fear mongering" associated with pregnancy. I have enough to worry about caring for these babies inside my womb I don't need to add to those worries every day with unnecessary fears.  The only thing pregnant women NEED to do is relax and these daily emails aren't helping.  It doesn't matter how many times you click unsubscribe either another mommy forum or website will find you and God forbid you dare to search for answer to one of your questions online... those message boards can truly be terrifying. Like the time I wanted to know about safety flying and I read about the woman who gave birth at 24 weeks mid air and lost her child. Needless to say, I have stopped looking for answers online and only asking my doctor, friends or other moms for advice when I need it. As for the emails they now get auto sent to my delete folder. 

If pregnancy apps or websites REALLY wanted to help out pregnant mamas they would send us spa discounts or maybe a daily dose of "Hey, it's Ok..." the pregnancy version. Y'all Glamour fans know what I'm talking about - nothing like a one pager of statements to assuage the overwhelming guilt you feel while sucking down your 2nd chocolate shake of the day. So for those of you who need it here is my "Hey, it's OK..." for the week. These may or may not be things that have actually happened to me.

Hey, It's OK...

...that you haven't done your 30 minutes of daily exercise this week, all that walking back and forth to the bathroom in the middle of the night has to count for something. 

...that you decided to binge watch Parenthood on Netflix instead of doing the dishes last night, they'll still be there in the morning.

...that you changed clothes 6 times and made yourself late for work, dressing to accommodate that belly and still maintain a sense of style gets harder by the day.

...that you had a sip or glass of red wine with your dinner, I miss it too. 

...that you wore yoga pants for the 5th... okay 20th day in a row, they are comfortable and they stretch both things that are most important in clothing right now.

...that you cried when you had to upsize your maternity jeans, getting bigger LITERALLY every day can be hard.

...that you cried over nothing for the 3rd time this week, hormones are a bitch, so is hallmark.

...that you ate two snack cakes in 2 minutes, then searched your desk frantically 5 minutes later for another one because you forgot you ate it already.

...that you peed in your pants when you sneezed, I hear that's something you should get used to.


And if that didn't make you feel better this definitely should: 



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gender Reveal


(more pictures and video below)

If you have been keeping up with the blog you know we are welcoming two baby boys this summer. I was originally very opposed to finding out gender and I would be the last person you would expect to have a gender reveal party. Our friends Will and Michelle called dibs on hosting the gender reveal if I changed my mind but I assured them that wouldn't be happening.

THAT BEING SAID - I totally caved on all fronts. You might think I gave in to the massive amount of peer pressure but it really wasn't anyone who convinced me to find out gender or have a party. It was that first ultrasound around 14 weeks when I saw the sweet little faces of our babies on the big screen - they weren't gummy bears anymore but tiny little humans. Ben wasn't even at this appointment just me and the doctor. Something clicked when I saw them and I just had to know. I met Ben for lunch afterward and before we could even sit down I blurted out that I wanted to know what we were having. Once he recovered from shock, Ben was overjoyed that I changed my mind since he was not on board with the "not finding out" plan from the start. Once we decided to find out, we needed to decide how. Finding out in the hospital room just didn't seem that exciting or fun to either one of us. We already got to experience the sweet surprise of having twins, just the two of us at the hospital alone, and we wanted to be able to share the gender reveal with our family and close friends. It seemed pretty improbable to gather family and friends in the ultrasound room so we decided to take the Lynch family up on their generous offer. 

I have to say - I have only attended one of these parties that wasn't mine and at both parties I have been so touched by how sweet that moment is when you find out. It is so nice to share in such a special moment with close friends and family. So if you are on the fence, I highly recommend the gender reveal party. It takes something that is normally announced via social media and brings it back to a personal and intimate level.

To say I was surprised by the reveal would be an understatement. Complete shock is more like it - I never thought in a million years we would be having two boys and I could not be happier. 

Thank you Will & Michelle for hosting such an amazing party, thank you Heather for all the great pictures and thank you to everyone who was able to share this special day with us - especially those on face time!





Will's mom actually makes these cookies... they are AH-mazing

Me and the littlest Lynch


The girls


Going on 11 years of friendship with these two!


College Roomie <3 p="">

Hilary!


 About to open the boxes...




Told you, complete shock and joy!








The Burnett Family


The Worrell Family


You can watch the whole thing below, we were lucky to have this video to share with out of town family and those who couldn't join in face time. Our boys will be so loved and I cannot wait for them to meet their amazing family!





Spring Break

My Spring Break was incredibly relaxing and most importantly full of zero deadlines. Well that's not entirely true but let's just say all deadlines were put on hold and the stress from our traveling adventures (more about that later) was overcome with lots of relaxation in between.

While I planned to be productive in my week away from work I ended up being the complete opposite. 

I spent a lot of time looking at this view...





And reading this book.... 



(if you enjoy a good mystery I highly recommend this author)

And of course eating delectable food, taking long naps, and catching up with good friends.  Spring break was just what the doctor ordered for this very tired, pregnant teacher. 


Image Credits: Kate Eikrem & Google Books

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Switching Gears

If you recently discovered you are carrying not one but TWO babies you might feel completely lost, terrified, overwhelmed or all of the above. I am in no way claiming to be an expert on twin pregnancies or planning for two babies but I am happy to share my experience and a list of resources that I found super helpful when getting started. You can read about our story here and here.

First things first, it is SO true what they say, Motherhood is somewhat of a  secret club - it seems to create an instant bond between people who may not have normally said a word to each other. I think this rings even more true for moms of multiples. So welcome to the club within a club.  I cannot even begin tell you how many coworkers and facebook friends have sought me out since my pregnancy announcement to share clothes, tips and so much more. I will be forever grateful for these women and am so excited to connect with old and new friends on a different level than before.

If you are anything like me and you weren't expecting to have twins so you will probably have to pick your jaw up off the floor before you can even begin planning.  Once you recover from the initial shock that you are growing not one but TWO tiny humans... start perusing the information below and get to work cause those babies will be here before you know it. I say initial shock because even at 22 weeks I still have moments where I still think "Holy crap, there are two little humans in there" you will have so many moments of disbelief, self doubt, fear, overwhelming joy and excitement in the coming weeks but just know that it is so totally normal.

Baby Registry:


My advice: start simple, you are having two babies so make sure your registry starts with the bare necessities and then add as needed from there. By necessities I mean the things you will need to have in the first 3 months of their life. Car seats, stroller, baby carriers (if you plan to wear your children), diapers, wipes, bassinet/cribs etc.

You will get so many clothes from people and your babies will probably only get the chance to wear about 1/3 of those so don't be afraid to return some of them and buy what you really need. While some people will tell you to include a range of gifts in different price ranges - I completely disagree you have enough to worry about - you are making a list of what you and your babies NEED so if someone wants to contribute and cannot find a gift in their price range they can always buy a gift card.

Just remember a registry is a work in process - it will never be "complete" so do not let it be a stressor. I would try to have at least a good idea of what you need prior to your first shower you can always add/take away items later. I also recommend checking different resale shops and websites to stock up on the more expensive items (strollers, car seats, etc.) you need so that you can clear up your registry and make room for different items as you go.

The Listful Mom has a short list of what you need for twins here

Doyle Dispatch has a very specific list of what you need for twins with links to the blogger's registry here and her updated list here  that she wrote 2 months post delivery of what she did/did not use.

The wise baby registry guide is really helpful when narrowing down registry items and gives some specific brands that you might want to look into.

The Hellobee guide to "what you need two of, what it's nice to have two of, and what you can skip all together" is extremely helpful when starting your registry and trying to decide what are must haves.

Lucie's List is an amazing resource with reviews of different products and I found it very helpful when trying to narrow down car seats and strollers. It gives practical information without being overwhelming.

Our Baby List registry can be found here - I absolutely LOVE this website and will probably do an entire post about how wonderful it is but for now feel free to check it out yourself. They have a button you can add to your browser that makes it easy to add items from anywhere on the internet and you can merge your store registries with the baby list to make it easy for everyone to find your list in one place.

Once I "finished" my registry  I was lucky to have a few close friends and sisters in law that I sent my registry to and they helped me weed out the items I didn't really need. So don't be afraid to ask other moms for advice. Just keep in mind when it comes down to it what works for everyone else may not work for you and your babies so don't be surprised if you end up needing to return/trade in items that other people recommend. When looking at the in store registries pick stores that have great return policies. Buy Buy Baby is amazing for this - plus you can use your 20% coupons from bed bath and beyond and who doesn't love a discount?? I know Babies R' Us will also accept Buy Buy Baby's coupons. If you have a baby store near you it doesn't hurt to go in and get a feel for the products you are eyeing. I loved being able to see the strollers we like in person and getting to push them around the store.

Maternity Clothes:


Don't be afraid to take people up on their offers - especially for maternity clothes - creating a new wardrobe adds up quickly and having twins means you will probably change sizes at least once if not more during your pregnancy so even if it fits at the beginning by the end you will be scraping the barrel for clothes that fit. You will probably need maternity clothes much sooner than your friends who are pregnant with singletons so start stocking up now.

Because you will likely fluctuate sizes as your pregnancy progresses (I started in all XS/S around 14 weeks and at 22 weeks I am slowly moving into the Medium range, I project I'll be wearing Large/XL by the end) so take any size you can borrow and give yourself some options. Obviously you will want to buy a few of your own pieces, because who doesn't love shopping? I recommend looking for used items first and then adding in a few of your own purchases to round out your wardrobe. Most people only wear maternity clothes a handful of times before they are done being pregnant so you can find some almost brand new things at resale shops, discount stores like Ross and Marshalls, and even online through facebook groups or online garage sales.

When you are ready to buy some new items SHOP SALES - I have found some great deals at GAP maternity - in fact I got almost an entire winter wardrobe (3 sweaters, 2 tops, 2 cardigans and 2 pairs of pants) for just under $100 because everything was and extra 40% of clearance. So far I have found the clothing that seems to hold up the best and gives you the most bang for your buck is at GAP, Ann Taylor LoftOld Navy and Target. A couple of other popular stores/brands are Motherhood Maternity and Pea in the Pod. I have found they are a bit on the pricier side for the quality of clothing offered but they also have some very cute/trendy styles. Motherhood is great for work clothes and I really like their dresses. If you plan to have more pregnancies after this one I would definitely invest in quality clothes that will hold up and that you can resell once you are done having babies to recoup some of the cost.

Networking:


I cannot say enough about networking. This is a great way to connect with other moms who are going through the exact same thing as you. If you are like me and live in a small town it might be harder to find moms close to home, but I would recommend trying to plug into groups that are in the nearby metropolitan areas. I have found some great Austin based facebook that cater to moms and moms of multiples. We live about an hour north of Austin but have family in the Austin area so these groups will be very convenient for me.  If you don't live near a large city that is convenient for you try looking into local MOPS groups or searching Meet Up for local groups that cater to moms of multiples. If you are a church goer start asking around for any bible studies or sunday school classes for young families to get plugged in with people in your life stage.

I will admit I was hesitant to joining the facebook groups at first - I was worried they would clog my news feed and be full of unnecessary information and mommy war comment threads, but it is amazing to have a network of supportive moms at your fingertips. As for the mommy wars I have yet to encounter anything terrible. In fact it has been quite the opposite - yes a lot of moms I know have very different opinions and parenting styles but overall it seems to be more of a sisterhood than a war. If there aren't any online groups/forums specific to your area, You can also try searching for national groups. I recently joined Moms of Multiples Resale on facebook which will definitely come in handy once the boys are here. If you have any questions or need help getting plugged in leave a comment below and I'd be happy to offer support.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A list of random thoughts from the first trimester...

 

My belly button hurts.

Does being pregnant cause permanent wedgies?

 Does a bag of sour patch kids count as a meal?

Coffee... I miss you.

One sip of wine won't cause ADHD right? Just one sip. Okay, two.

I don't even know why I'm crying.

Damn you, hallmark holiday commercials.

Sweat pants, I think I love you more than sour patch kid and hot tamales combined.

Does anyone else feel the room spinning? Nope? Just me?

If I just close my eyes for 5 minutes I will feel less tired.... 2 hours later... wake up still tired. 

Will I ever eat solid food again?

Who is eating pickles? I will kill them.

What is that smell?

I wish my students would shower more regularly.

If I stay in this exact position I might not throw up.

GOD BLESS the person who invented zofran.

Isn't 8 weeks a little early to have a pooch?

Double the hormones... double the fun.

10 week babies look like gummy bears.

Gummy bears sound really good right now... so does a chocolate shake.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Life REALLY Changes Part Two

Part one of this story is here.

Fast forward from the Urgent Care restroom to the Scott & White Emergency Room. This is the last place on earth I want to be 8 weeks pregnant on a Friday night but yet here we are, waiting in a room full of sick people at the height of flu season.

We arrived at the ER around 7:00 and were led to a little room to "check in" the woman taking my vitals was very reassuring that I should not be worried and that everything was probably fine. This did nothing to ease my fear. We were finally called at 10:30 to head back. Longest 3 and half hours of my life. Luckily the waiting room of an ER provides an endless amount of people watching and hilarity so we were entertained. There really should be a reality show about ER waiting rooms I think it would be a hit.

Once we were in the room I was able to relax a little bit more and at least lay down for awhile. Two doctors came in with an ultrasound machine and they were both about Ben's age so that made it a little more enjoyable as they were joking around with us and talking college football. I still find it very surreal when I go to any doctor or hospital and the people walking around are my age or younger. Anyways, they had me describe my fall and I swear they were both holding back laughter (who can blame them... people at school still make sure to tell me if there is a wet floor anywhere within a 50 ft radius of me).

After my saga they had me lie down and the Doctor began observing the resident doing the ultrasound. I could not see the screen but Ben could all I could see was the reaction of their faces as they scanned my belly.  I swear that minute they were checking felt like an hour and then I heard the most amazing words "We have a heartbeat... oh a strong one at that!" cue huge sigh of relief and lots of relieved laughter at all my worry. 

After finding the heartbeat the doctor instructed the resident to check the other side of my belly for a more complete view and then all of a sudden silence. Keep in mind, I still cannot see the ultrasound machine so I have no idea why there is silence. Again felt like an hour until someone, me, finally spoke and said "Um, guys, why is it so quiet? did we celebrate too early? I thought heartbeat meant all is good? Don't tell me that fall actually caused damage... pregnant lady here, can't see the screen..." The doctor took a minute to wipe the shock of his face and responded and this conversation followed:

Dr: "Um yeah, all is good, definitely no need to um, worry, but how much time do y'all have this evening?" 

Me: "Evening? It's 10:45 on a Friday night, any plans we had are long gone... is everything okay?"

Dr: "Yeah I just think maybe we need to to do an internal ultrasound,  I mean I'm not a baby doctor or anything but... um..." cue very long pause...

Me: "Don't tell me there's more than one of them in there or something..."

Dr: "Yeah, well like I said... I mean I'm not a baby doctor but how do you feel about twins??"

Ben (who had been literally silent and staring in disbelief at the machine) exclaimed: "I KNEW THAT IS WHAT I WAS SEEING?"

Me: "What the??? Can I please look at the machine??"

Finally they turned the ultrasound machine so I could see our little gummy bears (I swear all babies look like gummy bears until at least 14 weeks) and low and behold two little babies. There they were. We couldn't contain our laughter at this point. How did we go from "You may have some trouble conceiving...." to "I'm pregnant!" to "We're having twins!"  The doctor did caution us that we shouldn't get too excited and buy a new house or anything because and I quote, "There is still time for one of them to eat the other one." I can't make this stuff up.

Luckily we did not have to go up to the maternity floor and wait for an internal ultrasound because they were able to find both heartbeats and measure each baby. Not a baby doctor reassured us that even though this isn't his regular gig he felt confident that there were two healthy babies growing inside.

After a quick discharge we headed to the car and sat in silence until we got to the Wendy's drive-thru. This was followed by more laughter and more "How on earth....?"  It's so hard to describe in words the emotions I felt in that moment when I found out there were two babies growing inside me. I think I went from shock to joy and back about 20 times and fear that was definitely present. Needless to say, as soon as we got home my entire pinterest board changed and I immediately switched into twin mom mode.

To say we are blessed is an understatement. I am so grateful that we did not have to go through what so many couples do to conceive and that up to this point we have had a happy and healthy pregnancy. Our prayers have been answered ten fold and I know God has something special in store for our little ones. And yes there are still two - no cannibals in the Burnett family.

Unfortunately the machine at the ER was unable to print a picture of the little gummy bears but a week later at our regular OB appointment we were sent home with this little memento. Twin A on the right has always been very active and Twin B on the left still to this day remains in the fetal position kicking and moving only when bothered.



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Life REALLY Changes Part One



November 2nd changed our family of 2 forever - You can read more about that here.

But the first week of December ... that changed our family of 2 in even more ways than we could imagine. It started a rainy Thursday at work. I had a parent meeting that I was definitely not looking forward to which would eventually end with me in a puddle of hormonal tears.  The funny thing about early pregnancy is you have all these symptoms but can't really explain your crazy to anyone until you hit the safe zone of 12 weeks. The collective "I knew it!" from my students when we finally announced our news was hilarious, turns out I wasn't as good at hiding it as I thought.

So back to December, I had to take the long way to the office that day because my normal route was blocked off. This meant walking through the student breezeway and unfortunately on rainy days these areas get a lot of foot traffic from wet shoes.  Seeing as how I already have no balance or coordination it makes perfect sense that I would try to hop over the wet spots the custodians were mopping on the floor in said breezeway. Okay maybe it doesn't make sense but at the time it seemed the quickest way to get through the mine field of puddles and slippery floor. WRONG - after about two successful hops and one "BE careful!" from the custodian my foot went out from under me and I landed smack on my left side hip/shoulder.

Both custodians rushed to my aide and one screamed "OH NO SHE'S PREGNANT" - keep in mind I had not really told anyone at work besides my immediate supervisors and a few close friends of our news so how she knew I will never know but after that the secret was pretty much out. So much for waiting until 12 weeks. This same sweet custodian still monitors where I walk to this day.

I shook it off not thinking much of it - I was only 8 weeks pregnant and there shouldn't be any reason to worry right? I headed to my parent meeting trying to regain my composure on the way and hide my limp from the gigantic bruise I could already feel forming on my left hip. The parent meeting went well and I left feeling much more confident than before, but still limping.

The next day a very well meaning member of our faculty found me in the counselor's office and insisted that I fill out a workman's comp claim and get checked out for my fall (in case you were wondering news travels pretty quick in the halls of a high school). As someone who is used to falling, walking into desks, tripping over air etc... I didn't really think anything of it but considering my "condition" I figured it couldn't hurt to get checked out and maybe even get an early sonogram!

I filled out the paperwork for my "incident" that afternoon and headed to urgent care after work. I was relieved to see no line at all because we were expecting a few friends for dinner that evening, however when I got to the counter as soon as I mentioned "pregnant" the woman held up her hands. "We can't see you here" she said very matter of fact. Eventually after many questions and a heightened sense of fear on my part, she and the doctor explained that all pregnant falls have to go to the ER and have an ultrasound to verify the health of the fetus. As excited as I was about the ultrasound (we had yet to see the baby or hear a heartbeat) the thought of the ER terrified me. That just sounded way more serious than I could handle.

I asked to use their bathroom and then immediately called Ben. I also called our friends and cancelled dinner, then had a good 2 minute cry/prayer session in preparation for our visit to the emergency room - all before leaving the urgent care bathroom. I'm not sure why I was so dramatic... maybe it was all the internet reading I had done (new mom tip: DO NOT google anything. EVER.) but I was a complete nervous wreck about the whole thing. Up until they mentioned the emergency room I had been very calm about the whole "falling while pregnant" situation but now it seemed real - I mean if the nurse at the urgent care thought it was serious, shouldn't I?



Best. News. Ever.

The day was November 2nd. Ben had a soccer game and I chose to sleep in while avoiding all and I mean ALL responsibilities.  This was my first real break from coaching and grading in over a month so therefore I prescribed myself a long day of rest and catching up on my DVR.

On this seemingly normal Sunday I realized I was missing a very important monthly visitor.  Given that October is THE most stressful month of my year I didn't think much of the absence. I walked/ran to the bathroom, only to discover that I was out of tests. I COULD have waited for Ben to return from his important day of corralling small children on the soccer field but I decided against being lazy and going to the store myself.

I begrudgingly changed out of my lounge wear and headed to HEB, with a pit stop at Starbucks for my first peppermint mocha of the season. The red cups were back and I planned to have one in hand before taking my 11th negative pregnancy test of a very long year.

I called Ben on the way to the store and he made me promise not to lock myself in the bathroom to take the test (as I was accustomed to doing) and to wait until he got home so we could read the results together. Luckily for him the line at Starbucks was long so he actually beat me home.

I kid you not, I waited 28 minutes for that peppermint and it was worth it. By the time I made it to HEB and bought no less than 8 tests - Ben met me at home. I took the test handed it off to Ben to wait for the results. While the test counted down, I decided to busy myself cleaning the kitchen.

Shock and disbelief do not even begin to describe how I felt when I looked at that test. I actually thought the chances of the test being defective were higher than it being correct. I kept asking Ben "Why doesn't it say Not it's supposed to say NOT pregnant." Needless to say I took about 4 more of those test that day.

I'm not even sure how to describe the wave of emotion that came over me at that moment. I felt shocked, excited and terrified all at the same time. Shocked that just two weeks before this we were being told by my doctor it may be awhile before this moment ever happened and now to be here staring at the "pregnant". Excited because this dream we had was coming true and so many prayers were being answered. Terrified because well, our little life as we knew it was about to change, and you may not know this about me but change is not my favorite thing. Little did we know... this was only the beginning of the shock, joy and fear.