Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Diagnosis Please?

Earlier today, I started experiencing a strange set of symptoms. In short, it feels as though something is permanently lodged in my esophagus, like I have swallowed a piece of food that decided to remain firmly in my throat. However, I know this isn't the case, as I have eaten several meals today and have had my fair share of water.

I'm not nauseated, but I feel as though I need to throw up in order to remove the nonexistent food. Additionally, I had mild chest pains, which have now stopped. I am one of the lucky pregnant women who has never experienced heartburn, so is this it? Can heartburn make it feel like your throat is closing up?

Any suggestions? Anyone care to make a diagnosis? Perhaps a Tums will heal all?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


A few months ago, I was certain I would never eat solid food again. I vomited constantly, received IV therapy, briefly had a feeding tube, and lost 12 pounds. And then, almost overnight, the vomiting stopped. I began to tolerate food and slowly became a normal, functioning person again.

Although it hasn't even been three months since the horror of the feeding tube, it feels like it was a lifetime ago. Nathan and I lived in Provo in our very own house. Our friends came by daily, and we were inundated with dinners and babysitting offers. I had a full-time job. Nathan was still going to school. Life had a definite routine.

These days, our schedules revolve around my various appointments, how I'm feeling, and Eliza (of course). We don't know anyone our age in Othello, so our nights are no longer spent in the company of good friends. Eliza and Nathan no longer make their daily walks to the local grocery store, and I sometimes feel a moment of sadness when I wake up and realize we're not in our familiar bedroom. Life has changed.

That being said, I am incredibly grateful to be living with such wonderful in-laws; I couldn't ask for a better second set of parents. We are supposed to be in Washington for now, but I often miss our old life in Utah. I was thinking about this last night, trying to fight off feelings of depression, and stumbled upon a picture of me at 15 weeks pregnant. It was taken the week before we moved, and I couldn't help but compare the photo to the most recent pregnancy shot.
11 weeks and 25 pounds has made quite the difference! Obviously, life in Washington agrees with me. I can't believe I looked that miserable only a couple of months ago (those who said otherwise were really just too nice). I'm so glad I can eat and enjoy the rest of this pregnancy....even if our plans changed, and we're now in Washington. There are so many positives to this new life. I just need to remind myself of that fact.

So, here is proof that most trials don't last forever....a fact I often need to remind myself of.

More Ketchup, Please

Fact A: Eliza loves french fries.
Fact B: The past few weeks, I have had an overwhelming and insatiable craving for french fries.

Conclusion: We eat french fries way too often.

And although Eliza certainly enjoys eating french fries, she could eat ketchup for every meal. Alone. Just the ketchup.
She loves holding the cups of ketchup and dipping the same fry repeatedly. It's cute, but also kind of gross.
We keep reminding her that ketchup is to be eaten with the fries, but she just doesn't  seem to really understand.
This is the face of someone who is being forced to eat a french fry in conjunction with ketchup.
It doesn't last long, though. She just grabs another fry and continues to enjoy the ketchup without actually eating any potato. Clever girl.

Monday, September 26, 2011

26 Weeks

I'm just tired this week. I'm sure I will say that every day for the next few years, but it's the truth. Nathan continues to be a champion father/husband/caregiver and allows me to stay in bed almost all day long. I watched 20 episodes of Bones, 10 episodes of Heroes, and 5 episodes of Psych in three days.  So basically, I am worthless! Other than that, I have just slept. I still have a kidney infection, so I am hoping once the symptoms subside, I'll feel wonderful again!
In the meantime, I plan on drowning my every ache/pain in Moose Tracks ice cream. My father-in-law was able to secure a 24 pound container of the delicious treat after the church's snack booth at the fair was left with a surplus.
Lucky us!!

Signed, Sealed, Delivered...

It's official: Nathan and I are an item for time and all eternity. Eliza is also included in this wonderful equation. Last Saturday, our family was sealed in the Columbia River Temple.
For my many friends and family members who are not familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka the Mormon Church), this means our marriage no longer ends with "to death do you part." Additionally, Eliza will be with us in this life and in the next. We believe families have the opportunity to be together forever, and I find great peace in this knowledge. After all, what more could you ask for than an eternal family?
I am thankful for all of the support Nathan and I received to make this day an actuality. We did it!

I love my family.

“Under the plan of heaven, the husband and the wife walk side by side as companions, neither one ahead of the other, but a daughter of God and a son of God walking side by side. Let your families be families of love and peace and happiness. ” 
-President Gordon B. Hinckley

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's a Sister Thing

Last night, I lay awake in bed, thinking about my sister. She had called earlier in the evening to discuss her first prenatal visit, and the conversation left my mind racing for hours.

Marian and I were pregnant with our first children together, and now, once again, we find ourselves pregnant at the same time. Eliza is only two months older than her cousin Robert, and it has been so amazing to share the experience of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood with my sister. So, when Marian announced a few weeks ago that she was pregnant again, we were thrilled.

However, at yesterday's appointment, the doctor discovered a pretty serious complication. The ultrasound showed a strong heartbeat, but also revealed a blood clot next to the placenta. Due to other health concerns/complications, this condition could be potentially fatal for the baby and it certainly puts Marian at risk as well. As my sister went over the facts of the situation, I immediately became upset and worried. Conversely, she was calm and at peace with everything.  Of course she is going to do whatever is necessary to help prevent an unfavorable outcome, but she also realizes she cannot obsess over something she cannot change. All I do is obsess over these kinds of things.

My sister is different, though, and it amazes me. When I had my first miscarriage, I called her immediately because I knew she would understand better than nearly anyone how I was feeling and what I was going through. Her miscarriage taught her so much about herself and her journey towards motherhood, and in return, she helped me immensely. She encouraged me to maintain a positive outlook and assured me I would become pregnant again. A few months and another miscarriage later, here we are, pregnant with twins.

I want to be the "strong" sister who gives the wonderful advice and has a calming presence, but I am pretty sure I will always be the little sister who constantly freaks out and worries about everything; it's who I am.  I've called her twice today, and I am sure I will call another time or two before going to bed. I'm sending positivity, love, and encouragement. Additionally, I am saying a multitude of prayers throughout the day.

Again, I am reminded that every baby is an immense blessing. I also am reminded that despite any difficulties I may have faced this pregnancy, I am incredibly blessed. Yeah, I lay in bed all day and watch Netflix and do puzzles. Life is so hard.

So, if you wouldn't mind sending loving energy and prayers my sister's way, I would greatly appreciate it.
And to end on a positive note (and to illustrate how every baby is a beautiful blessing), here is a picture of Becca's dear baby Ruby (Becca is not my sister, but I certainly love her like one).
Isn't this idea wonderful? And isn't Ruby the cutest thing ever?

Happy first birthday, Ruby!

Monday, September 19, 2011

25 Weeks

When I was pregnant with Eliza, I would wake up some mornings and actually forget I was pregnant. Of course, this was later on in the pregnancy after all of the sickness and nausea, but for a couple of solid months, things were actually pretty nice. This time around, I don't think there is a moment when I am not consciously aware that I am pregnant; it's my first thought in the morning and my last thought of the evening as I toss and turn in an effort to somehow get comfortable enough for sleep.

And despite all of the sleepless nights, I am constantly comforted by this thought. Nathan spoke with a mother at Eliza's preschool who delivered her twins at 26 weeks. Her children are now active three-year-olds, but it was definitely a long road. I try not to focus on stories like hers and instead focus on all those other stories of women delivering their twins at 34 weeks, 36 weeks, and even 38 weeks (Go, Christy!). 

The babies are extremely active and kick throughout the day (and Baby B also kicks throughout the night). Baby B is undoubtedly the more active child, so I am already preparing for an Eliza, part II. At our appointment today, each baby was doing great and there were no signs of twin to twin transfusion. We were able to see a pretty good view of their profiles, which were shockingly similar. I know, I know...where's the surprise? They're identical! They are supposed to look alike. However, actually seeing the matching profiles made the abstract fact a reality to me. 

So, here we are at 25 weeks:
For the first time in my life, I cannot see my feet when I look down. I'm having a lot of "firsts" these days, it Friday was the first time I have woken up in the middle of the night just to eat a full meal because I was starving. Or, it could refer to tonight, as it is the first time I've been unable to breathe while laying down or sitting up because the babies decided to position themselves under my ribs again. Lastly, for the first time, the babies simultaneously kicked/punched on opposite sides of my stomach yesterday. There was so much movement that Nathan and I couldn't stop laughing as we watched my stomach throughout church.

Life is good. We are happy and blessed. I feel more and more confident that things will continue to go well and these babies will stay safely put until they are strong and healthy. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere

Physically, I feel exhausted. The past few days have been rough on my body. Since Monday, I have had an insatiable thirst for water. I have been drinking 4-5 liters (yes, LITERS) a day, and it hasn't been enough. My tongue is dry, my lips are cracked, and I feel parched.

So I have continued to drink...and drink....until I made myself nauseated this morning. 

As soon as I woke up, I knew something was not right. I was so exhausted I couldn't move and the extreme thirst was only worsening. After spending my evenings watching "Mystery Diagnosis," my brain was going through the possibilities. Words like "gestational diabetes" and "preterm labor" went through my mind. However, I decided it may be normal, considering that I live in the desert and have never been pregnant with twins before.

Shortly before noon, I had the impression that I needed to call my doctor. I was laying down and suddenly felt a strong need to find my phone and make an appointment. So, I did. Meanwhile, I continued to worry.

As it turns out, I had a pretty severe infection that could have caused preterm labor if it went untreated. My body was not assimilating the water I was drinking, so everything went straight through me, causing the extreme thirst.

I am so grateful that we went to the doctor and that the "worst case scenario" did not apply to me. I need to continue to focus on the positives of this pregnancy and not obsess over the possibilities of complications arising. It's easier said than done!

I can try though, right?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Toddler Preschool

Today, Eliza went to preschool for the first time. It was a pretty big deal to me, but she didn't seem too phased by the newness of the experience. My mother-in-law is the teacher of the class and parents stay with the children, so it was basically a normal morning for Eliza as she played with her Grandma, dad, and 9 other kids.

Sadly, I was unable to go. (This is her "you're not coming?" face.)
I am taking it easy these days and spent the morning, afternoon, and evening on the couch. So, if I "liked" a million posts on Facebook and overtook your news feed, please understand that my life has been reduced to reading CNN, blogs, and Facebook (obviously) all day. I have a problem with reading my books too quickly and not going to the library often enough.

Anyway, back to Eliza. She came home from preschool and was so proud of her artwork.
The sheep was precious, and I enjoyed her sticker artwork. Nathan said she was a gem during class and was able to sing along to the songs (and do the gestures), play nicely with others, and participate in the various activities. I'm so proud of her.

And just so I wouldn't feel as though I had missed out on everything, Eliza was nice enough to show me her amazing sticker placing abilities.

Apparently, it requires massive amounts of concentration. Who knew a two year old could be so particular about her stickers?

Another Walmart Episode

Last night, Nathan and I made a quick trip to Walmart. As the cashier began scanning our groceries, she looked at me and noticed I was pregnant. The followed conversation ensued:

"Is this your first baby?"

"No. Actually, this is my second and third."

"....." (accompanied by a lack of understanding and vacant stare)

"I'm pregnant with twins."

"....." (vacant stare continues)

After a moment of thought, her response:
 "My son hates babies."

As you can imagine, I wasn't sure what to say other than "oh."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Put Some Love on It

Ok, being a "stay-at-home-dad" has been. . . a learning experience. But I think the biggest lesson of all is that whatever is going wrong in child-rearing usually stems from not enough love -- never not enough impatience. Yet we seem to respond with MORE impatience and frustration and LESS love.

Eliza has been going to bed screaming with panic-stricken horror every night since we got back from South Carolina. In South Carolina, the only way we could get her to sleep was to sleep next to her or at least in the same room. She would occasionally lift her head up to make sure we were still there. Once assured we were, she would fall asleep.

Now that we're back, she HATES that we won't sleep in the same room with her. Night after night of her endless screaming in bed had been wearing on us to the point where I would literally carry her kicking and screaming, plop her in her bed with the bottle and walk out of the room. UHHHHH. Hey now! What she was missing was the calm assurance that we were there and would always be there for her. She was missing the quiet peace of falling asleep with mommy and daddy's love permeating the room. And ultimately my response was to withdraw every bit of it that I could. DUMB.

Tonight, I stayed with her and dumped love into the situation. I lovingly explained with love how she should lovingly go to sleep without any loving screaming. I gave her some loving hugs and kisses and told her about how the loving princesses on her pillow (Disney pillow) needed some love-sleep. And then I backed lovingly out of the room blowing her loving kisses. (You feel the love. . . don't you.)

She fell RIGHT asleep.

So to remind me to stamp every moment with MORE (not less) love, I made this:

When her security blanket is being washed. . .

 Wait with her until it's done drying.                          
  If she wants to go to the beach and you're tired. . . .

Go anyway.

When a face like this is asking for something
you know she just shouldn't have. . . .

Cover it with love.

(And then it's not hard to say no.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

24 Weeks

Now that I officially weigh more than I ever have in my entire life, I find it increasingly difficult to walk, breathe, move, and function normally...and I have (hopefully) at least 12 weeks to go!
Other than the normal pregnancy complaints, I feel great! I am grateful daily that we have made it this far with no real complications (other than the hyperemesis). My greatest problems these days are my intense cravings for foods that do not exist in Othello, Washington. There are no restaurants here. There is no Chick-Fil-A. There is no In-N-Out or Costa Vida. There are no boiled peanuts and amazing peaches.  And furthermore, there are no Debbie Cakes at the local stores...both of them (yes there are only two grocery stores here, including Walmart). I want Devil Squares! Is that too much to ask for? Apparently so. Nathan and I drove to the next city over, looking for the Debbie Cakes, and had no success. I was very disappointed.

In the grand scheme of life, none of this is important. In my pregnant, irrational mind, I feel like I am starving without access to my staple foods. But hey, if that is my biggest complaint, I guess I am doing pretty well. And as you can see, I definitely look like I am thriving.

Friday, September 9, 2011


As I have said before, there isn't much to do in Othello. So, after Eliza went to sleep last night, Nathan and I decided to go out to the most exciting place around....Walmart. You guessed it! We wanted to get out of the house and buy a puzzle, so Walmart was the place to be.

The trip was a success, and we found a four pack of 1,000 pieces puzzles, which we thought would keep us busy for a while. On the way out of the store, though, we walked by a claw machine...
(you know, like this)
...and saw this:
Foofa! (She is one of Eliza's favorite characters from Yo Gabba Gabba! for those of you who don't watch Nick JR constantly.)

I really wanted to buy one of these for Eliza's birthday, but they were just too expensive! The cheapest ones I could find were 18 dollars, which was too much to pay for a tiny plush doll. As soon as we saw the Foofa just sitting there, Nathan and I both got excited. We decided to have some fun and take a couple of turns at the claw machine. Each attempt was 50 cents, so we limited ourselves to spending $1.50. Nathan went once and narrowly missed! I then went and won the doll beside Foofa. Lame.

Nathan had one last chance...and missed it.

Rather than giving up and going back home (like normal adults), Nathan got three dollars more worth of quarters. Four attempts later, Nathan won Foofa for Eliza. We were so happy because we knew Eliza would love it! I am sure we looked completely ridiculous, but we were having fun. 

I couldn't wait for Eliza to see her Foofa doll. When she woke up this morning, she saw the doll and began saying, "Eliza's Foofa? Eliza's Foofa?" They then watched Eliza's traditional morning episode of Yo Gabba Gabba! together.  Eliza made sure to share her blanket with Foofa (which is a big deal).

After this experience and previous dates to the Nickelcade in Provo, I know Nathan and I should never go near Las Vegas or any sort of slot machines. We just can't stop until we win! That being said, Nathan pointed out that we only spent a few dollars and had one of "the cheapest dates ever."  We had such a good time laughing together and celebrating our victory. Additionally, Eliza received a pretty great toy.

I love being married to someone awesome. I don't know who else would consider Walmart dates, puzzles every night, and claw machine adventures so much fun.

From Orchards to Oceans

In Washington, especially in Othello, there is a plethora of apple orchards. Back in Utah, I know a popular place for taking family pictures is in the Orem orchards. I always meant to have our pictures taken there, but it never seemed to happen. Earlier this summer, my sister-in-law, Jenny, was nice enough to take some photos of our family. Lucky for us, we are surrounded by tons of crops, including apple orchards. The lighting wasn't great and the camera battery died a few minutes after we began taking pictures, but I am happy with several of the shots!

A few weeks later, we went to South Carolina (as I have talked about and well-documented). My sister took several family pictures for us while we were visiting Pawley's Island. As you can see, it is a beautiful place to be. If you are ever in South Carolina, you need to go. Unlike Myrtle Beach, the beaches are quiet and devoid of all the touristy things. It is my idea of heaven on Earth.

Yes, I am wearing the same dress in these pictures and Nathan is wearing the same shirt he always wears. What can I say? We know what we look good in :)

I love our Nikon. I am constantly grateful we bought it. We have definitely used it these past few months, and I know we will use it even more often once the twins are born.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

22 Weeks, 23 Weeks

I am almost done with the 23rd week of this pregnancy. I went to the perinatologist yesterday, and the babies are doing great. They are both head down now, which means I can breathe a bit easier, and there is no sign of twin-to-twin transfusion. Baby A is 1 pound 4 ounces and Baby B is 1 pound 3 ounces. I think it is amazing that twins (for some reason) grow slightly faster than a single baby in the womb.

I had an appointment with my doctor this afternoon, and everything looks wonderful on my end as well. As of today, I currently weigh a pound more than I did when I gave birth to Eliza. I couldn't believe the scale when the number flashed 134. This means I have gained 17 pounds since moving to Othello in mid July. 17 pounds in less than two months! Bring on the weight!

Here I am, before heading off to the doctor:
And because I missed the 21 Weeks and 22 Weeks shots, here they are:

22 Weeks
21 Weeks
Depending on my outfit, I look bigger some days and smaller others. I just am not comfortable with bare belly shots. Call me a prude, but yeah, I don't think anyone wants to see my huge pregnant belly.

In other exciting news, I managed to find a couple of great baby deals on Craiglist while visiting Seattle. We found a Double Snap N Go (a must have I have heard from other twin moms) for only 30 bucks!
We also found a beautiful Picci Moses basket (which retails at $179) for 30 dollars. I was so excited! Thanks for the Craiglist recommendation, Lauren!

And today, we scored this lovely stroller:
My friend Julie sent me some Craiglist ads she thought I might be interested in (she is too thoughtful), and I couldn't believe this stroller was one of the listed items. Nathan and I had put off buying this exact stroller because of its price, but we got a used one for a steal. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were nice enough to pick it up for us. Yay for loving people!

Additionally, we have been fortunate enough to make friends with a local woman who had a set of twins last year. We bought two gorgeous cribs, two mattresses, and two swings from her for $200. You can't beat that! Nathan and I have been very blessed with acquiring baby gear. It may sound ridiculous, but it has been one of the things I stress about the most.

Now, all we need is two car seats and clothes. Lots and lots of clothes. And diapers.