Monday, August 29, 2011

Rollin Rollin Rollin

Friday while I was at work I got a text message from Aaron that we officially had a roller. Riggs has been getting up on her side for a week or so but was missing that last little push to get all the way over. Well today she finally figured it out and has been rollin rollin rollin. Once she started there was no stopping her. If you lay her on her back within seconds she is over on her stomach. I am so proud of my little girl on achieving this first big milestone in her life!

Here is a video of her new trick!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mommy's Little Helper

For as long as I can remember I have always dreamed of being a mommy-I have always known that was part of who I was to be. In that dream was having a little girl. Now don't get me wrong I LOVE my sweet boy just as much and was so excited when I found out I was having a son. But just as Aaron has dream of baseball games and building things with Jackson I have had the dreams of tutus and hairbows with Riggs. The other day we got to have one of those sweet mommy daughter moments-we baked together for the first time.
She was a great helper and I promise my friend Staci was just out of the frame while I was taking the picture. It was so fun though to imagine making cookies or other tasty treats with my sweet Riggs for her daddy and brother! And to be honest this picture was just too perfect not to post!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flat Head Fred No More

Only a day or two after Jackson came home from the hospital I noticed he had a flat spot on the back right side of his head. At that point the doctor was not concerned but we continued to watch as progressively got worse. We then affectionately developed the nickname Flat Head Fred for him.

At about 2.5 months Jackson was diagnosed with Torticollis which is a weakness or tightness in the neck muscle which makes a baby favor turning their head to one side. When laying down, unless forced, he only turns his head to the right. We joke that he has almost an owl-like range of motion that direction. From what we have been told and the research we have done this is very common for multiples and preemies. At that point we started PT to help strengthen his neck and Jackson has done amazing. He goes every Thursday, they always talk about how strong he is and are very pleased with his progress. However as he has grown so has his flatness. The PT says that he is fighting an uphill battle-when you lay him down he is going against gravity-his head automatically rolls to the right direction.
You can see in this picture from the day he came home he was already turning his head far right.
One Monday we went for a consultation with an Orthotis (I think that is what they are called) to have his head measured and see if his differences in symmetry where sever enough to pursue a cranial helmet. The procedure was very simple-they have machine that he lays in and in a few seconds his entire head is scanned with lasers-this is completely safe they said it was like the scanners at the grocery store. In order to get an accurate reading they place a white stocking cap over his head. I thought he looked so stinking adorable!
Ready for his scan or a swim
 Jackson's differentials measured from 18-22 mm putting him in the sever category, anything over 10 they recommend helmeting. Aaron asked on a scale of 1-10 where this put him and they said a 9. So with that information we have decided to get a cranial helmet for our sweet boy and hopefully in 3-5 months he will be Flat Head Fred No More!

One last hurdle we had to make it over was the insurance pre-approval. This is considered a durable medical device that some insurance companies don't pay for. The total cost is around $2,500-$3,000. Needless to say we have spent quite a bit on medical bills this year with their birth and stay in the NICU so swinging this would be quite tough in 2011. However with all of these bills we have met all of our out of pocket costs this year, so if insurance would cover we would not have to pay a dime. I got a call on Wednesday to inform me that he had been pre-approved! That was such a heavy burden lifted. Tuesday night I had been at my Moms of Multiples club and two moms told me that their claims were denied by insurance, so I was not confident ours would be either.

So next Wednesday our cute little boy will be getting his light blue helmet-I am so glad we were able to catch this early and have it fixed. Aaron really wants to decorate it like a Clemson Football helmet, but I am not so sure about that yet. Oh and his latest idea is to sell advertising space on his helmet. 

Next week I will have to post a picture of our little helmet head!

Grad School Graduation

On Saturday August 13th Aaron made a great accomplishment in life, he graduated from Clemson University for the second time with a masters in Professional Accountancy. Hopefully in the next year or so I will be married to a CPA.

Aaron did his undergrad in finance and has worked in many different areas most including construction and real estate since then. However with the economy in such a great state, that perfect opportunity had not come about. Last spring we decided it was a great time for him to return to school for a maters. The great thing about this program is that is only one year. He started last August and graduated this August. He is now in the process of the job hunt and taking the CPA exams.

Empty coliseum floor before graduates entered.
Waiting in line to walk in.

Aaron shaking President Barkers hand.
Aaron shaking the dean's hand.
While Aaron was not 100% keen on walking but I made him-I wanted the pictures and memories of this event for our little family. I thought it was such an important time to show all he accomplished in the last 12 months. Right after he started classes we found out we were pregnant with twins and then in April brought home 2 newborns right when he was in the thick of it all. I could not be more proud of how he handled this crazy time in our lives.

Graduate and Babies!
Our proud family and an unhappy little boy.
Daddy and Jackson in their matching Clemson hats!
Staci graduated too!

After graduation we went to downtown Greenville to eat lunch at Smoke on the Water with the Turners and Aaron's mom and grandmother. We were able to make a quick trip to our amazing park and get a few great pictures! 

The Turners!
Jackson was just too cute in this picture not to post.

I think this is my favorite picture of these two yet!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

4 Months-August 13th 2011

Your 4 month birthday was one surrounded with lots of excitement-Daddy graduated from grad school at Clemson and it was Granddaddy's birthday!
You two are growing so fast I can't believe that you have only been here for 4 months. It is if you have always been here I can't remember what it was like before you were born because everything is so much better now.
Your personalities are getting so much bigger you both smile and giggle all the time. It melts my heart every time you give me that big grin. I could be having the worst day and those gummy smiles make everything better. You are both officially sleeping through the night-Praise the Lord! Your normal wake up time is 7:30 which I think is perfect. We are still swaddling you both in your miracle blankets and they seem to make you sleep well. You love to watch TV and are still completely obsessed with the fan. You both are so strong. You are holding your head up better and better each day. We got you jump-a-roos this month and you seem to be liking it more every time we put you in there. The first few times we put you in-Jackson you would stare at sister in the swing. It was like you were trying to figure out why you were stuck there and she got the swing. We have fixed that issue and now have two swings as well. Now we don't have to give it to the one who cries louder or more (Jackson), you each have your own which makes us all happier. The more you go in the jump-a-roo the more you like it and interact with the toys attached. Riggs you loved the jump-a-roo from the first time, you are kind of small for it so we have blankets wedge every which way. You are our mover and shaker so this is perfect for you to get out some of that energy. Sweet Riggs you are so close to rolling over you will get up on your side and just lay there. I know that will be your new trick any day.
Jackson  you have continued to have PT once a week for your neck. You are doing so great but the therapist says that with your head shape you are fighting an up hill battle when you are laying-no matter how strong you are it automatically falls that way. We are starting the process with a consultation to look at getting you a cranial helmet to help reshape your flat spot.

You both still spit up a good bit, Riggs you more than Jackson but it does not seem to bother either of you too much. Jackson you are still taking Zantac but I really feel we could ween you off. You both eat 6 ounces 5 times a day with a few 1 or 2 ounce snacks as needed-you are getting about 50-50 milk and formula. You are wearing size one diapers-Little Girl still has some room to grow but Mr. Man you are about maxed out and are phasing into size1/2. You both are wearing predominately size 0-3/3 month clothes but Jackson you can fit into some 3-6 months and Riggs you can still wear some newborn pieces.

You both made progress this month in moving up the chart a little bit on your stats.

You have grown so much you are momma's big boy. You weight 14 pounds 8 ounces putting you in the 30th percentile (you were 9th at 2 months). You are 24.25 inches long-14th percentile-growing 2 1/4" inches in the last two months. You have a big head like your daddy it is 16.5 inches around and in the 59th percentile.

You are getting so big, you are still a lot smaller than your brother but not the tiny girl you used to be. You weight 12 pounds 8 ounces putting you in the 16th percentile (you were 1st at 2 months). You are 24.25 inches long-40h percentile-growing almost 3 inches in the last two months. Your head is 15.5 inches in circumference and in the 27%.

We think you are doing amazing to have been born almost 6 weeks early. If we look at  your stats based on your adjusted age Jackson you would be in the 76 percentile for weight and Riggs you would be in the 61 percentile. You both are just perfect!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

God is Good!

The other day I came across a private blog I had started over a year ago to use as a journal of sorts while I was readying Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity. I did not keep it up very long but it captured a very raw time in my life. It was amazing to see where I was about a year and a half ago and how much has changed. It showed me how great God is and how he always provides in His timing. And his timing is always perfect. Throughout this I am going to share some of the excerpts from my journal.

October 2009 Aaron and I decided that we were ready to start our little family. As life always happens this is when work got extremely crazy for me. I was working 80-90 hours a week and was completely stressed out and overwhelmed. Such a great time for us to start this process, right? Well the first month went by I took the pregnancy test and it was negative. I can't really say I was surprise with everything else that was going on. This was such a hard time for me as I longed for something so bad and was coming to the reality that it was not going to be as easy as I had once thought. What if it never entire life I had felt one of my purposes in life was to be a mommy. This first excerpt is about 5 months into trying...

March 15, 2010
Struggling…the only word that truly describes where I am today. I long for so much more and just don’t know where to start. I want a baby and so far we have not been blessed with one-it seems everyone around me is getting pregnant but not me. I am trying to turn this over to God, but my heart is hurting to the core. I long for God right now and I just don’t know what to do.

Saturday evening we were out to dinner some dear friends. Upon arrival they told us their great news that they were expecting. While I was extremely happy for this during this time of joyous celebration, I couldn’t help but think why not me. We have been trying longer and I am older. I was so happy for them but at the same time I was fighting back tears from my own struggles. Why do some people always get what they want? I want a baby why am I not pregnant? I know God has a plan and I must be patient, but it is really hard. Isn’t having a baby what we were made to do. This is something that has really made feel insecure in my womanhood.

During this time from October to March we had no success so it was time for me to go talk to my doctor...

March 16, 2010
Today I went to see the OBGYN about my issues I have been having or I guess not having. I am really glad that I have found a doctor I like and trust, he always makes me feel like a real person and not just a patient to check of his list that day. Pretty much he thinks that I am not ovulating therefore it is extremely hard to get pregnant. I am going back on BC for a month and then will start taking Chlomid. I have some nerves about this but I am excited to have a game plan. I just pray it all works. I am not really sure how I feel right now. I am frustrated, scared and emotional but at the same time I think have a sense of relief. Chlomid does have some pretty fun side effects so I am not sure how that will go and then there is the increased chance of multiples. That will totally freak Aaron out. 

For the next 5 months we tried Chlomid. Each month with limited if any success by the last month I was up to 200mG. Here is a piece from midway through the journey...

June 8, 2010
Right now I am anxious. Trying to wait on the Lord for I know his plan is good. After 2 rounds of Chlomid I actually ovulated. Of course I was not on schedule but something in my gut told me to keep doing the test everyday and low and behold on day 23 both lines were pink. I did not believe that I was reading it right so I went and got a digital test and it had a smiley face!!!! I am so anxious now as I wait on wait. Am I pregnant were we able to conceive? I have a sense of relief in the process though because I know the medication works. Praise God.
My prayer this week has been a mixed one. I pray that I am pregnant and God will give me the wisdom to nurture this baby as it grows in me and then once it is part of our family. However I also pray that if I am not that God will continue to guide us on this journey as he has the ultimate plan. I am so anxious to take the test but I know I need to wait until next week sometime the suspense is killing me.

Oh how I pray I am. My heart has been so broken over the last few weeks. I have experienced such sadness in others joy. Seeing my friends become pregnant is so bitter sweet for me right now. That was a really hard week I found out another 3 of my friends are pregnant. God has comforted me and guided me through this and given me the strength to cling to him.

I want to share in this time with my friends. I don't want them to feel sorry for me or feel that they can't talk about their blessing around me...oh how I pray I am pregnant.

This was the last time I posted on this blog/journal. I wish I had continued throughout the rest of my journey. As you might imagine we did not have success this month either. At this point my regular OB decided that it was time for me to go to a fertility specialist to see if they could help our dreams come true. As any of you who have been through this process know it takes time to get into these practices. We finally had an appointment August 16th. We talked about different options for now and the future they did some lab work to look at my hormone levels to see if there was any clues there as to why things just didn't work they were supposed to. After this appointment I was put on 5 mG of Fermera-which is actually a drug that was initially created for breast cancer patients. August 30th was the day that I was looking for the positive on the ovulation test. I took the test that morning and saw something I had seen too many times before an empty circle-no smiley face. I called the doctors office and they had me come in that afternoon for an ultrasound to see if anything had progressed as we were hopoing. I got good news at this appointment. I actually had a follicle well actually there were two and they just had not released yet. I was given a trigger shot to hopefully assist in this process. After this so many thought swirled in my head-could this be the time it finally worked or would it just be another round of disappointment? If this did not work what would we do? Aaron was starting Grad school so we were not in a place where we could spend a ton of money on this and we had already spent over a thousand dollars so far. Would I have to put the one thing I wanted more than anything on hold? These thoughts continued for the next 2 weeks as I waited for the day that I could finally take a pregnancy test. Monday September 13th that day finally came. I woke up early that morning and went downstairs to take the test so I didn't wake up Aaron. After waiting those very long minutes I finally saw what I had waited so long to see for the last 11 months...two pink lines. I ran up stairs bawling. Poor Aaron had no idea what was going on. Our bedroom was pitch black and I woke him from a sound sleep and handed him the test. He was not sure if I was happy or sad all he knew was I was crying. Finally he saw what I did and we both knew that our life had changed forever.

Later that day I went in to have blood work done to confirm the pregnancy. They called me back that afternoon and said my hcg levels confirmed a pregnancy. They were looking for them to be around 25 and they were 50. I couldn't believe it my dreams had come true! At first the numbers meant nothing to me, however that same day I did have one of my coworkers stop me on my way into a meeting and tell me that she had a dream I was having twins. No one besides me and Aaron even knew I was pregnant at this time. I really think God used events such as these to prepare us for what we saw three weeks later on the ultrasound screen.

Tuesday October 5th Aaron and I had our first prenatal appointment and ultrasound. We were going to get a sneak peak at our little peanut. The doctor actually was in the room during the ultrasound and as soon as the image popped up on the screen he made a comment and I responded There are two aren't there! Aaron and I were in shock but also excited beyond belief. At that point we knew we had two little peanuts and our lives truly would never be the same.

Through this I learned that God ALWAYS has a plan and it is way better than we could ever imagine. I longed for a baby for 10 long months with no success. There we many hard days and weeks. Through this God used some of my amazing friends for comfort and perspective. He gave me peace when I needed it most. Aaron and I never dreamed we would have twins, nor did we think we could handle them, but God knew better. If we had gotten pregnant any earlier we would not have our sweet Jackson or Riggs as they are. They are our perfect babies that God has given. His plan is always perfect and I wouldn't change a single thing because if I did the outcome would be different and I am not willing to give up what I have now. I have learned every tear and thought had a purpose in God's plan.