Eight years ago Jer and I were thrown into the wild ride of parenthood double time. So if you don't mind taking a walk with me down memory lane, I'd much appreciate it, this momma is a bit emotional.
On Valentine's Day 2005 we were pretty sure that I was pregnant but hadn't taken a test yet. So while we were on the road in CA recruiting students to work at Tadmor, the test confirmed it! And we were overjoyed. I actually took the test while Jer was in the shower but got nervous, set it down and left the bathroom, so when he got out of the shower he saw the test and squealed "we're going to have a baby"!!!
So what did we do to celebrate? We went to Disneyland!!!
It was a magical time. We were so excited and feeling pretty blessed and then would realize the very real statement 'we're going to have a baby'. What would that look like for us, who is God entrusting us with, what will we name it? And we were going to ask each other those questions and hang on to this exciting bit of knowledge till our travels were done. We had one trip left, we were scheduled to head out to Idaho, and that's when I started getting sick. At first it was just nausea, and then on our drive to Portland I started throwing up...and instead of lying to everyone and saying I had the flu we shared our exciting news. It was met with great excitement and a little trepidation from our parents, seeing as how we had only been married for 5 1/2 months. It quickly gave way to sympathy as my morning sickness wasn't very forgiving in the sickness, or the exclusive morning time. I threw up whenever I was awake, and based my food decisions on what was least nasty on it's reappearance, banana's were a go-to. Anyone I rode in the car with was prepared to pull over so I could do my business and then get on our way. It was exhausting. And I lost 20lbs. I kept holding off till my first dr. appointment that was scheduled for 12 weeks.
So on April 5th I went in. It was the first day I woke up not feeling nauseous, and I actually thought to myself, "I'm probably not pregnant, I don't feel pregnant right now, I must just have some weird disease that made me super sick and tired". I was really excited to get to see my baby on an ultrasound, and my mom tried to get me to focus on how cool it would be to hear the baby's heart beat because she didn't want me to be disappointed if I didn't get an ultrasound. Then we met my Dr. She came in, asked the normal questions, scolded me for not calling in with how sick I was, she would have had me come in to be monitored and given fluids and said that could still be in my future if the sickness didn't let up. Then I laid back and she touched my belly (which looked pretty skinny to me, did I mention I had just lost 20lbs) and the first thing she said was, "huh, you're uterus is pretty hard already for 12 weeks", (thinking to myself, hard, what does hard mean, that doesn't sound normal) she then consulted her chart, asked me the specific dates of specific things. And got to the ultra sound.
I think mentally we had expected some sort of fanfare when we looked at this screen that was just a bunch of gray, dark gray, and white. I think we were expecting a tour of the inside of my uterus, no such luck. With Jer holding my hand the Dr. bluntly said, "huh, it looks like there's two in there"
"Oh wait, let me see if there's three" (my mouth drops open)
"Nope, just two"
Me, 'two what?!!!'
Dr, "two babies, they seem to be in separate sacs, which is good, it explains why you've been so sick, see here's baby, this one will be A cause it's on the bottom, and here's baby B, if they're the same sex there's a chance they could still be identical, you can do testing to find out after they're born if you're interested" There was lots of pointing and clicking on different gray blobs. And then I realized my heart was racing and Jer was crying and I went into a giggle fest, I couldn't discern what I was feeling. I felt everything, thankful, happy, ecstatic, terrified, blessed, lucky, in awe, entertained, freaked out, curious, overwhelmed and I honestly don't remember much more of our conversation, except that my pregnancy is now considered high risk because two people were growing inside of me, TWO people! Jer asked his inquisitive questions. I'm still convinced she mentioned three being in there to lessen the impact of the whole TWO thing! And no twins do not run in our family!
And we went out to schedule my next appointment, pictures in hand and just kind of staring at each other stupidly for the rest of the afternoon.
We started making phone calls and I called my mom first cause she wanted me to tell her what the heartbeat was so I did. Me, "Hey mom, so we got to hear the heartbeats, got an ultrasound too". Mom, 'Oh yea, what was it?' Me, "Well Baby A's heartbeat was 155, and Baby B's was 145". Mom 'Oh yay...wait...what?'. So I repeated myself and added "we're having twins". And she started screaming the most high pitched squeal I have every heard her make, I swear only dogs could hear her! For the rest of the afternoon we called our family and friends and pretty much cut and paste the conversation. It was awesome. Such a fun day.
4 months (17 weeks) 5 months (22 weeks) 6.5 months (29 weeks) 7 months (32 weeks)
The morning sickness changed, from a non-constant, to a random, but still present thing. There were darling people with good intentions that shared with me how their cousins, or sister-in-law's, or co-worker's, people they knew that were sick every single day for their entire pregnancy. I smiled and wondered why? Why tell me something so awful, thankfully that wasn't the case for me. I developed a super smelling power and often smells were the biggest trigger of my sickness, Markie put pepper on his soup one time and I had to leave the table, I was making dinner and as the chicken cooked I ran to the bathroom only to realize I would be content with never seeing another piece of chicken for the rest of my life. I was making some chocolate chip cookies and as they baked I had to retreat to my room window's open and couldn't come out 'til the smell was gone, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, I think Jer got the winning hand in that equation.
I worked at Camp that summer as Jer's assistant and he ended up having to 'fire' me with two weeks of the summer left, something about him wanting to take care of his wife and unborn children...I don't know, I think he kind of loves me. It was weird though transitioning to just being at home and taking it easy, this short body of mine was hurting and tired. Cereal was my favorite late night snack, breakfast burritos were a go-to, and plain mayonnaise and turkey sandwiches were a must.
Our family was blessed with multiple showers from different parts of our life. It is humbling having a baby, and I was blown away with how blessed, loved and cared for we are. Why is it that so many emotional things happen to pregnant people who already can't control the surges of hormones that come with the package? At one point Jer looked at me and asked "are you going to go back to normal when this is all over?" Remember we had only been married for 5 1/2 months when my body got taken over by the whole pregnancy thing.
We celebrated our first anniversary with massages and pedicures, and our freshly baked replica of the top tier of our wedding cake.
As they grew the ultrasounds got less picture like and more measuring their sizes. So in turn we got lot's of pictures of their heads.
I ended up having lots of ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy because right off the bat, Baby B measured a little bigger than Baby A. At 20 weeks we found out Baby A was a girl and Baby B was a boy. Baby B continued his streak of being bigger and by September they were wanting me to come in twice a week for a Non Stress Test (NST) to monitor their heart rates for a solid half hour, and make sure they were staying strong. The growth could be a normal difference because they could be just like normal siblings that are just sharing womb space, or there was a chance that Baby B was getting more of the nutrients than Baby A and in turn growing more. A week in to the bi-weekly appointments, they were monitoring me and asked if I could feel the contractions that they were picking up, honestly at that point, I was always hurting, and my stomach seemed rock hard and stretched to the max, so I didn't notice that I had been having contractions. The other thing that got some attention was my blood pressure that was creeping up. They ran the tests and all was good. But my blood pressure was a bit concerning. Then on September 13th I decided to pack my hospital bag, take a shower, fix my hair and eat a good late breakfast with my friend Callie (who was up at Camp for an event that weekend), and asked my other friend Linsea if she'd want to go to my appointment with me since Jer couldn't (her husband Ken was also up for that event), they had to start heading home and I moseyed on down to the hospital.
I did the NST like normal, contractions were still there, only a little more consistent than they were in the past, they checked my blood pressure which was higher, ran another test to see if there was any protein in my urine, which there was. I called Jer (who's phone was having issued and couldn't receive calls, only make them)at his office to say, he might want to think about coming to the hospital because of the test results, and I might not get to leave.So the Dr came in to check me and evidently I was already at a 5!!! I was in shock. SO since my desire was to deliver these babies they checked the position via ultrasound, because she couldn't tell by feeling, and Baby A was transverse (which means the back is facing where the head should be) and Baby B was breach (feet first) and I was confirmed to have preeclampsia and the only cure is to deliver the babies. My Dr. said she wasn't comfortable trying to turn the babies, we were in a small town and I had just gotten to the 35 week mark, where they would deliver the babies at our little hospital instead of transferring me to Eugene. She said she could still transfer me there if we wanted to try turning them, and I had already come to the decision that if they weren't both presenting head down when the time came then I wasn't going to try anything drastic to get them there, so I said we could go ahead with the c-section. All of this happened while Jer was driving the 20 minutes to get to me! So before he knew for sure what was going on, I sounded the alarm, called our parents and they alerted the rest of the gang.
Our welcoming crew (look at my dad standing there holding his coffee)!
Look at what babies our brother's were when we made them Uncles!
I loved everyone's "It's a Boy", "It's a Girl" stickers
When Jer walked into the room I was just getting ready to head down to the operation room, he had a video camera rolling that our family had gifted us with and I filled him in real quick that we were having our babies...right now, he got changed, and we were walking down the hallway to meet our babies before I knew it.
At 5:43pm Payden Elizabeth was born, weighing 5lbs 9oz
And Lincoln Wayne followed at 5:44pm weighing 5lbs15oz
I remember hearing their cries, and thinking how weird it was that they were breathing air, and how soft they were, and I was struck with how much I loved them and I didn't even know them yet.
Grandma and Grandpa were a little bit giddy.
Alissa and Payden
Markie and Lincoln
Ken & Lincoln
Callie & Payden
I just wanted to see them together. Oh, they were so perfect! God is so amazing!
The ever familiar twin position.
Us with our mini-me's.
Grandma Tammi with her babies.
Daddy juggling his babies.
Linsea, Bailey and Grandma taking a peek at Lincoln.
Missy and Lincoln.
3 Day old twins with their Grandma's.
Brand new baby stretches are one of my favorite things ever! Waking them up to eat, we did this every 3 hours, for 2 months!
Seeing what they'd do when they're together.
All they wanted to do was sleep, so after a few days they had feeding tubes to help fill their bellies.
Amy & Payden
This was the thing he looked forward to most, snuggling his babies and watching football.
We got to go home from the hospital when they were 10 days old. Nothing too traumatic happened, they just didn't want to wake up much to eat. And we were in a small hospital with great care, I was fine staying as long as necessary, we were so well cared for by the staff there, it was such a fun experience.
Driving home from the hospital Jer got so nervous, he asked if I would sit in the back with them, and he stopped before crossing the railroad tracks. I think it was the slowest he'd ever driven up to camp in his life. It was like suddenly he was aware, for the first time, that it was a dangerous world out there. I loved watching him become a father!
My little glow worms.
That right there, is a sexy man! Look at them look at him!! Ah my heart!
And now if you'll bear with me, I love pictures, but don't claim to be a photographer, and most of these were pre-digital era. There are a lot of pictures so, enjoy!
The day after we got home from the hospital. They were 11 days old.
Tiny enough to share a cradle.
Payden wasn't sure how she felt about Great-Grandpa holding her.
Payden smiling on daddy's shoulder.
Growing and interacting!
In their NYC clothes from Alissa
6 Months Old
6 Months Old
These are my guys right here!
Favorite trip was always to Costco because of the double kid carts.
First trip to Disneyland.
We love our Ducks!
What is this sweet goodness? September 13th 2006
A quick look through the years...
4 Months Old
2 Years Old
2 Years Old
3 Years Old
4 Years Old
5 Years Old
6 Years Old
7 Years Old
And Today, 8 Years Old!
Happy Birthday to my double blessings, Payden & Lincoln!