23 Weeks: Surrender!


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Since our 21 week drama it's been pretty quiet on the twin front. I can only thank God for that. Even in this requested quietness I am battling my mind for peace. My mind constantly ping pongs with yes my babies are alive and then no they aren't. Almost daily I am rebuking fear, doubt and unbelief. I know that the enemy has set out to steal the joy and the happiness these two littles have brought into my life. He's done just about anything he could think of to try and turn me against God, myself, and others - it didn't work!

God has seemed unusually quiet since we came back to Florida. It wasn't Him, it's just a new season and I am learning a whole new level of trust. Not only am I learning to trust God and surrender my life but I'm now having to learn to trust Him with the lives of my babies. This journey to surrender is deeper than I could have imagined. Next year I'll choose an easier word. Ha!

Since our 16 week scan we've had a rough go at it and a lot of confusion with our perinatologist. One night after much frustration and tears God woke me and told me to tell the doctors what I wanted from them. His voice reasoned that their response to my demands would give me my answer on whether to stay or go. I called them and explained that I wanted the records for the babies switched to accurately reflect who is affected by this condition. I also told them I didn't want any more blood testing, no amino, and no more discussions about termination or selective reduction. I was met with opposition so my answer was clear. It was time for me to move on to a new doctor,  so I did. My new doctor's spirit has reassured me that my prayers for my medical professionals has been heard. God is opening all kinds of doors and placing believers in my path. 

This pregnancy is a faith walk for me. The miracles are similar to that of my IVF journey but somehow I feel a little unsteady in my faith shoes this time around. I know I'm in the midst of a spiritual war because I'm so close to my dreams. The enemy has worked hard to confuse me about the health of my children, managed to make me doubt my abilities to carry this pregnancy, and of all things a battle with doctors for the lives of my sweet babies. God always had the final say and my doctors words were a confirmation as if they had come from the mouth of God himself. She told me "Nothing has changed with what we see on the ultrasounds, but people walk around daily with or without that part of their brains. You and I could be missing ours and we'd never know it! Ultrasound scans are more thorough now and people freak out about the slightest anomaly. The kids look fantastic."

My babies are very healthy we even had a consult with a cardiologist to make sure their hearts were perfect. Everything checked out fine. Our next step is a MRI just to confirm what is not seen on ultrasounds but my doctor says this is just precaution and no reason to worry. So we will do that in about 1-2 weeks.

This journey is not what I expected. Even in spite of a potential diagnosis I am once again enjoying my pregnancy. I pray for these babes every single day, and I am still believing in healing for them. I am grateful for a doctor who says people don't know everything. Again she confirms the fact that God didn't make us all knowing or all seeing.

I still covet your prayers for my pregnancy to be full term and for my babe to be completely healed. There is nothing I can do beyond this point except love and fight for them while surrendering to God.

21 weeks: Painless Contractions


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"Wow my back hurts!" I thought this with every step I took while I was out running errands with my mom on Saturday. I finally let her know I was hot and tired so we ended our day out with a frappucino and a full blast air conditioned ride home. Honestly my back hurts daily but with the stretching of my uterus and a new posture I didn't think much of it.

After getting home I showered and whined to my hubs about needing a backrub. We cuddled, while he rubbed my back. I went to sleep and then woke up to eat, by then my backache was gone. I had tons of energy but decided to lay back down because I had spent a lot of time on my feet. As I laid down I noticed some discomfort around my waist. It almost felt like I had eaten a full meal and my belt was on too tight. I tried to sleep but the weird sensation kept coming. This lasted for several hours before it began to worry me. The discomfort was so obvious - I paced back and forth while googling to figure out what on earth was going on. That's when it hit me. "Maybe I'm having contracfions?!" As I googled no descriptions came close to what I was feeling. I felt like I was being a hypochondriac so I laid down again. I still couldn't sleep, then I noticed my uterus got hard as rock and that never happens without a trigger. So I finally woke my hubby and said I wanted to go to the hospital. I told him what I was feeling and he of course googled for his own peace of mind while I got dressed. I felt bad for waking him because I still wasn't sure exactly what was going on.

When we got to the ER, I told the staff I was having contracfions. They took my info and told me to have seat. I was so annoyed thinking how dare they make me wait when I'm pregnant. They were actually sending for someone to pick me up. When my chariot arrived I was taken to Labor and Delivery. I was put in a private room and hooked up to monitors. The babies and their hearts were monitored as well as my uterus for contractions. They did see that I was having consistent contractions, thankfully not strong enough to dilate my cervix. 

After being tested for a UTI I had an ultrasound to check the babies. A few minutes later a male doctor came in because my OB doesn't have privileges at my local hospital. He asked me to map out my day for him from the time I woke up to the time I came to ER. He listened very carefully and the verdict was in that I hadn't consumed enough water for all that I had been up to on a hot and humid Florida day. He lectured me and made sure my hubby was on his team. Of course two men would agree that a woman needs rest when pregnant to stop her from shopping! I was advised that I couldn't spend tons of time in the blazing sun and that I need to keep walking down to a minimum. I also needed to drink a gallon or more of water per day.

So there you have it folks. I'm not on official bed rest but I have limited my time outdoors. I am taking it easy as the half day in the hospital was absolutely no fun. Thank you for prayers and texts. I am now enjoying a few quiet days during this pregnancy. Thank you God.

Baby Stats:

Baby A also known as Punchkin is 12oz and growing on track.

Baby B known as Munchkin is 13oz and measuring a week ahead.

Both babies kick up a storm and get stronger everyday.

We are enjoying our pregnancy and are not even thinking about what the doctors had to say a few weeks ago.

On another note, we did switch perinatologist and oh my - this one is a keeper. She's a believer and truly showed compassion, love, and grace to me. Our first appointment, the day after my ER stint ended with her giving me a hug and a kiss. I could truly feel God's peace and presence in that visit.

Please continue to pray for us, we feel so blessed and cared for.

20 weeks: A Letter


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My Dearest Babes,

I've never known a love so deep and I suppose it'll only get deeper. Your presence has forever changed the course of my foreseeable life. Now that you are here I cannot imagine life without you, nor would I want to.

When I found out that I was pregnant, I instantly felt a connection that wasn't there before. Your tiny but strong heartbeats allowed me to dream again. I dream of your voices, your smiles, your kisses and coos. I can't believe it's true, I am yours and you are mine. A week later we found out that there were two of you - what an amazing gift from God! There would now be four sweet cheeks to kiss, four little hands to hold, and two sweet bellies to blow raspberries on. How could we be so fortunate?!

Today marks the 20th week in our pregnancy. It's hard to believe that we are half way there to finally meeting you two. I still can't picture what it will be like when I finally get to hold you two in my arms - but I know it'll be a great day. Just a few short months ago I could not fathom what it would be like to carry life in my womb. Now I can't imagine you not being there. I can't remember what it felt like when my womb was empty but I remember the pain I felt in my heart. You've brought fullness and joy with you, even in hard times it can't be taken away. 

Is it clear yet how much I love you? I've never seen your faces but I fight for you. I would even give my life for you. I prayed for you and God answered - I'm finally becoming your mother. You were hand picked for me and you're perfect in every way.

I hope you know just how much I love you.

Always,
Mommy

Update: Baby A or Baby B?!


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Our appointment yesterday did not go as we'd hoped. But we are still feeling great about the growth and overall health of the babies.

After some minor confusion at the doctors office we discovered that the baby that the doctor originally thought was baby A is actually my sweet baby B. Baby A would be the baby that's closest to the cervix and baby B is the one that's furthest away. At my last appointment I thought to mention it to the technician but I figured she was just getting baby A's picture from different angles because she had the wand high on my belly.

Other than not being able to clearly identify if the piece is missing on the brain, baby B is perfectly healthy. S/he is growing has a perfect four chamber heart and all other working organs. This baby is also the most active and can constantly be felt.

My doctor was rushing me to have all these test done. One of them failed due to insufficient fetal DNA in my blood so I have to retake it. She also wants me to do an MRI to take a better look at the baby. After talking it over my husband and I decided that we won't do further testing until our babies have grown larger and when we are comfortable. Our doctor has been trying to let all the results come in before my twenty weeks so we could have an option to terminate the pregnancy if something is seriously wrong.

Because of your prayers and my faith in God I had peace even after the appointment. Our babies mean the world to us and are God's promise to us. The fact that the option is even hanging over our heads seriously offends us. Especially as I have been open with my doctors about how we got here. I'm not trying to make anyone else feel bad about choices they have made or would make in a worst case scenario. I'm usually never one to post about controversial topics but abortion goes against my foundation of beliefs. I could never harm my baby intentionally when I know God created his or her life for a reason. The very fact that I am pregnant today was because God lead me into a fast to end abortion. Also with out clear diagnosis even if my mind were open to the possibility it's not a choice I could make without being sure. In which case there is never any surety until the baby is born.

We've made it clear that we won't be doing anything invasive to disturb the home of the babies. We will continue our pregnancy with confident hope that God in his infinite power and might will heal our baby should anything really need to be healed.

Today I am pregnant. Our babies are alive and growing. They have promise over their lives and we are giving them every benefit to fulfill it. I ask that you continue to pray for us and our babies. That God would continue his workmanship and that they would be whole. Thank you for your prayers so far they mean so much to us!

18 weeks: Join Me!!!


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Today is the day. I've got on my shield of faith and I am armed with the sword of the spirit. Ready for battle because I believe the enemy aims to destroy my joy in this pregnancy. 

These past two weeks of wallowing in the unknown have been hard for me. I've prayed and cried more than I have in my whole life.

Please join me in declaring wholeness, great health and all functioning parts over both my babies - especially our Baby A. 

Please keep us all in your prayers our appointment is at 2pm EST!

He sent out His word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. Psalm 107:20

17 Weeks: Healing Needed


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Baby B
Baby A (Not a huge size difference Baby B is zoomed)

On Monday I got some news that I was not expecting. As I sat on the ultrasound table yet again the technician told me she would give the doctor my results before sending me out for bloodwork. This is the usual procedure at the Perinatologists office so it didn't set off any alarms. My mom and I chatted it up about how much bigger the babies are and how they were kicking each other in the head and how they would get along in the future. I felt the appointment was a success, save for the fact that it was now the second appointment my husband missed - I was still in an absolute state of bliss. After a few minutes my doctor walked in, she looked bright and cheery and I still didn't suspect a thing.

She said Baby A is missing an essential part of it's brain. It may be to early to see it but I have a feeling its not there. I had no time to react in tears because she moved on to the course of action immediately. She gave a diagnosis of what it would be called if it was missing, and for the sake of not receiving the diagnosis I am no longer saying those words. In two weeks she wants me to come back for another scan when the baby and it's brain will be bigger. If we still don't see what's supposed to be there we will schedule an MRI. She asked about doing an amniocentisis which I objected to before she could get out the words. She still repeated it asking me if I knew what the procedure did. I stunned her and said yes I do and I know it comes with a risk of miscarriage which I am not willing to chance. So she sent me for a non invasive prenatal screening bloodwork called the Harmony test. I should have results for that in about 10 days.

I wasn't able to process my emotions right away on Monday, but after trying for several hours to give blood for the Harmony test her words and the diagnosis began to penetrate me. I felt anger rising in me again, I said why can't I just have it easy. I've been through so much to get pregnant and I just want my babies to be healthy. Is it really so much to ask? I started to ask myself did I really want to be a mom? But it's too late. I already am a Mom. These babies are relying on me for their very existence and I am relying on God to sustain them. Long before they were placed in my womb I had worries about them. I worried if they would make it pass fertilization. If they would hit the mark on every stage after that. If they would survive genetic testing and freezing. I worried if they would settle into my empty never been pregnant womb. And you know what? They did. God brought them from small microscopic cells to tiny humans with beating hearts that are floating around in my womb. So I believe he can heal them too.

Admittedly I struggled to eat and breathe my way to Tuesday. I even delayed writing this post when my emotions were raw and while my wound was gushing red matter. I delayed writing this because I didn't want to have a pity party, and its so very easy to do with my personality. Instead I am writing this now that I have found my strength to stand while clinging to God and his healing word. I am sharing this because I need you my readers, my fellow believers, my sisters and maybe a few brothers in Christ to pray for my Baby A. I ask that you pray specfically for the baby's brain to be fully functioning and fully developed as God intended. That He would continue to knit my baby together in the seclusion of my womb. Please pray for complete healing and that the doctors would see exactly what they are supposed to see by 18 weeks. I also ask that you pray for Baby B who is in excellent health, we all know that with twins they are really in this together. Often times that means that the survival of one twin is contingent on the survival and health of the other.

I will be back at the doctor on July 28th at 3pm. I need you my prayer warriors to set your alarms and lift us up in prayer as we have our scan and daily before that. I believe in God's healing powers and I believe in the power of prayer. Please rally your friends and other prayer warriors and ask them to pray too. I hope you can do this for me. We really need you.


Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16

16 Weeks: Inexperienced Doctors


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Yesterday we reached 16 weeks in our pregnancy. Such a huge blessing and each day I am feeling more and more blessed to carry these little ones. We had a very brief ultrasound to check their heart rates, so we didn't get to see them play much. But even a glimpse of them is good enough to make my heart smile. We have another appointment next week with our perinatologist also known as a high risk doctor.

There is nothing wrong with me physically that makes me high risk but since twin pregnancies are more complicated this is more of a precaution than anything. I am getting more thorough care and checks on the babies to make sure the pregnancy is safe for all three of us.

My OBGYN office is a large practice so I am currently in rotation to meet all the doctors just in case my doctor is not on call when I am ready to deliver. I was not satisfied with my OB when I met her a month ago in fact I cried after leaving the appointment. She was very cold and callused to cover up her inexperience with delivering twins naturally. When I asked her about a vaginal delivery in the best circumstance she immediately came up with all excuses about why it was still dangerous, she was trying to scare me. Instead she just angered me because I've done my research and read articles and books written by doctors that have more experience with multiples and I know it's not as dangerous as she made it seem. Even singleton deliveries have their risk and twin risk are not much higher with a skilled doctor. This doctor was ready to schedule my c-section date at my 12 weeks visit. So I am positive I wont be seeing her again.

As I returned to the office yesterday my intention was to see if I would allow this practice to continue caring for me. I knew I would be seeing a new doctor and was armed with questions to see if this was the place for me. I was waiting on the ultrasound table when the new doctor walked in and she had a huge glow about her. She was smiling and excited to look at the twins. After she introduced herself my mom and I immediately asked her questions about her experience with multiple deliveries vaginally. She told us all about her adventures and let us know that both she and another doctor in the practice would be thrilled to deliver our babies vaginally under the right conditions. Oh praise the LORD!!! She made me so happy I could have kissed her. She also introduced me to the other doctor who was thrilled about the prospects of delivering our babies. So needless to say I have already changed my doctor and I am now under the primary care of a doctor who is excited to support me to the delivery of my dreams. Thank you all for your prayers I know for sure God is answering them daily. Please keep them coming. Ironically both babies were head down as if they know what I am expecting from them in 24 more weeks, hehe.

With that said I am not opposed to a c-section if it is required for the right reasons but I am opposed to being forcibly cut because a doctor lacks experience.

As for the babies their heartbeats are wonderful and strong baby A is 169 and baby B is 174. On Monday we will have somewhat of an anatomy scan and I can't wait. I've felt them flipping, turning and squirming for about 2.5 weeks. It's getting stronger and more frequent, its an odd feeling but I do love feeling it. In fact I can feel them moving as I type. We also are pretty sure they can hear because a few times they have responded to loud noises. Right now I we love eating mangos, hummus sandwiches, pasta salad, chilled grapefruit juice, and seaweed snacks. I am excited for my belly to grow and the movements to get stronger so I can share them with the hubs and my family. This is quite an experience!
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