Friday, November 23, 2012

Being thankful amidst darkness.

As we quickly approach Gabriel's first birthday, I find it difficult to be very grateful for things.  Emotions are running on high in our house and flucuate daily.

Taking a step out of the darkness and into the light I find so many things I have to be grateful for:

~ The precious months we spent with Gabriel safetly tucked inside, and the 35 minutes we spent with him snuggling in our arms.  All the things he taught us about unconditional love. All the blessings he's provided us like the coming together of family and friends, a wonderful amount of love and support, and an incredible amount of thoughts and prayers.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to have him a part of our lives despite the longing and sadness that comes along with it all.

~ I'm eternally grateful for Derrick, for everything he does for me. For being my rock when I feel weak.  He has been so supportive and helpful throughout this pregnancy, back massages, taking over housework when I just can't anymore, taking Evelyn when I've had enough, putting up with my hormonal mood swings, for listening when I just need an ear...

~ I'm thankful for our beautiful Evelyn who never ceases to amaze me.  She always knows how to melt mommy's heart and make mommy smile - even on a bad day. She's incredibly beautiful and smart.

~ I'm thankful for the two beautiful little boys still safetly baking inside. I have been blessed with an opportunity many never get to experience - twins.  I feel like its a tough road to take on many levels, but a remarkable one for sure!

~ There's so much more I'm grateful for it would take all day to list them all...  The support group I've joined, my family, my job, the January 2012 moms, my friends who continue to be there for me, my siblings, my blog followers, my doctors, my doula,  everyone who has in some way or another helped us with our wedding and preparing for the beautiful twins who will soon enter this world. For everyone who supported us through our grieving process... Like I said, the list goes on and on.

So yes, although there is a darkness looming in our lives right now as we approach Gabriel's birthday, its nice to look back and remember everything we've been blessed with in the last year and everything we are continuing to be blessed with.

On Monday I have another regular appointment where I'm hoping to talk to my OB about what she's thinking my labor/delivery is going to be like (Planned c-section, natural, induction etc).  After that we'll have another growth scan hoping that baby A has caught up some - or at least not fallen any further behind.  The babies move and kick like crazy right now, its sometimes really uncomfortable when they really get moving.  I'm hoping some of that movement is baby B trying to flip over! Come on baby, head down! Head down!

Monday, November 5, 2012

24 weeks, a long update, and the greiving process continues.

A long awaited update :)

Last week we hit 24 weeks, we also reached 100 days or less till the babies get here.  24 weeks is viability. At least 50% of babies born around this time can survive.  This is a pretty big milestone! The babies need to stay put for quite awhile longer, but at least they would have a fighting chance if they HAD to be born today.

At our 24 week appointment they also scheduled me for a growth scan.  The babies looked great!  Baby B is breech and measuring 24 weeks 3 days. Baby A however, has fallen further behind.  He is now measuring 23 weeks 3 days (a full week smaller).  I realize its only a matter of ounces at this point, but this is the baby that has given us so much worry this whole time... I was told by another twin momma not to worry till they get closer to 2 weeks difference in size. Seeing as how my doctor hasn't called me with concern I'm going to take that advice.

This last Saturday, we popped over and saw our friends at Enlightened 4d Imaging.  We got to see the babies in 3D!  We did this with Evelyn and tried to do it with Gabriel (Gabriel's didn't work since he had no fluid) but it worked ok with the twins. There's so many body parts and squishy baby peices that it was a little tough!  But we got some.

Poor little baby A is really squished in there!  He's buried way down deep in my left hip with his face pressed against the membrane that separates the two babies.  It was really tough to get good pictures of him, they certainly tried and tried though!

Baby B is in a much better position for pictures! At first he had his arm/hand covering his face but soon enough they got it to move for some great shots!

Here's a picture of them together if you can pick out the baby parts! 
I'm worried that poor baby A is gonna come out all bruised up!  Baby B's feet are right in his head and at every ultrasound he is kicking is brother in the face. You can even watch as baby A's head gets pushed to the side with each kick.  Is it possible for them to bruise eachother in there? Guess we'll find out soon enough!
Then, yesterday, I went and had maternity photos done with a friend of mine. She is a wonderful photographer who got a lot of really great pictures!  I can't pick favorites but I'll sure try!  

A huge huge thank you to Jessica Ruckowski Photography for taking such wonderful photos!  I can't wait for our next shoot together when I'm HUGE and Derrick and Evelyn can join us!  


In 3 days Gabriel would turn 11 months old... Hard to believe that was 11 months ago. Its amazing to me how much has changed in that time and how much he still remains a huge part of our lives. I've sort of changed my tune though.  I was planning to do a huge gathering for his birthday, but now I think I'm just going to not plan anything. This could change, but I feel like his funeral was so small and personal his birthday should be too.   I have many more years that I can do something big for him.

We never really did just blurt out about our pregnancy.  We've sort of let people figure it out on their own (aside from our wondeful blog followers who knew right away).  As people find out I get asked a lot of "ackward" questions.  "So is this your first one?"  Me: "No, this is my third time through, but these will be living children numbers 2 & 3."   Another one I get a lot is "So how many kids is this for you?"  Me:  "This will be babies 3 and 4, living children numbers 2 and 3."  I find this is a subtle way to acknowledge Gabriel as my son, not make it so depressing for others and really ease into our story for those that don't know already. 

I attended my favorite support group last week where I was able to get out some emotions I've been struggling with and didn't understand - lucky for me I have found a wonderful group of people who do understand and can help me comprehend.  Its weird and I still don't really understand why I'm feeling this way.    Last year at this time we had known we were going to keep Gabriel with us till term.  We started to dread his impending birthday and started realizing how little time we had with our tiny baby.  Lately, I've been feeling dread over the impending twins birthday.  The confusing part is that this birthday should be a happy one, it should be an exciting one. Why do I feel dread? Why do I feel scared and worried?  The only thing I can think is that my brain/emotions seem to be resorting back to this stage of pregnancy at this time last year. Perhaps I'm feeling dread because last time I gave birth I didn't get to bring home a baby to show for it.  Perhaps its my subtle way of protecting my heart.

As excited as I am for the twins, I can't help but worry that something could still go wrong, that in the end I may not end up with both babies, that perhaps I'll be leaving empty handed yet again.  I notice I have struggled to truly "bond" with these babies like I did Evelyn.  Again, my way of protecting myself? Maybe.  Don't get me wrong, I love these babies, I can't wait till they are here and safely in my arms. I love feeling them move and kick and play (despite my terrible vision of baby A getting kicked in the face).  I just don't feel as attached to them as I have in previous pregnancies. Doesn't mean I love them any less, just means my heart doesn't want to be broken again.

But for now, I love my babies and I can't wait till they are here and in my arms, breathing, crying, pooping and snuggling. The emotional rollercoaster continues, and I'm just along for the ride.