Wow, I am so behind! The last couple of weeks have been INSANE. I can’t believe we missed TWO weekly updates posts… Whoops! We had the flooring in our house replaced, both got sick with gnarly colds, had our baby shower and then completed our nursery (finally!). This post is obscenely long, I am sorry!
First, and most importantly, the babies are doing well. With everything going on, we missed our 30 and 31 week posts! We had two perinatologist appointments and an OB appointment and everything is stable. Two weeks ago, Harper was measuring in the 7th percentile (7.9 to be exact) and that was down from 8.5 two weeks before that. If she continues to fall behind, we will have a c-section to prevent her from going into distress or suffering from lack of nutrients. Going forward, we will have two appointments with our perinatologist per week. One will be an ultrasound for a biophysical profile and fatal doppler and the other will be a non-stress test. Every other week, we will measure them for growth. Tomorrow is a growth ultrasound, so we are hoping Harper is looking great. She was 2 lb, 12 oz two weeks ago and Elliott was 3 lb, 3 oz. Ashley met with our OB on Monday (it was the first time I’ve missed an appointment, I had to work) and the plan right now is to take them as soon as Harper falls any further behind. While so far things are great, we could potentially meet our kids tomorrow. It’s terrifying but also exciting! We are still aiming for 34 weeks for their safety, but everyone is just so happy that we have made it this far. 32 weeks is truly amazing considering the challenges these peanuts have faced, especially since there were points along the line when 24 weeks was the goal, then 28, then 32 and now finally 34. We are ready when they are!
We had almost all the flooring in our house replaced the week before last, which was a ridiculous undertaking. I’d like to preface this with the fact that I caught the world’s worst cold before all of this went down. I don’t talk much about this, but I’ve been struggling a lot lately. Ashley being on bed rest has been exhausting for me. I work full time and also go to school full time, and with Ashley on bed rest I’ve become the sole shopper, cooker, laundry-doer, etc. I hate to complain, the health and safety of Ashley and the babies is of course the most important thing and I’m fortunate to have Ashley be so emotionally supportive (she keeps me laughing!) but the physical strain finally took a toll when I caught the cold. All the furniture in our house had to be moved into he dining room and kitchen to make room for the new flooring, and it took me two days to move it myself. By Thursday before the baby shower (the day after the carpet replacement), I had gotten so sick that I had to call out of work and sleep it off, and thankfully rest seemed to be the answer. Ashley caught the cold after me, but bed rest was a benefit! She felt much better by our shower on Saturday.
(Our couch is in the kitchen!)
For the last five years we have had carpeted bathrooms, which is totally disgusting. Even worse, the carpet (throughout the rest of the house as well) was 14 years old. We told our landlord straight up that we weren’t going to bring home two new babies to 14 year old carpet. It was either the flooring got replaced or we moved out. It took three days, but it all turned out great. The first two days were tile, and I had to work through both days. Ashley was home alone with the tile guy, who was very nice and also had a very pregnant wife at home. It turned out that we had a major problem with the toilet valves, and the water had to be shut off to our entire house in order to remove the toilets and lay the tile. Having no water for two days sucked, but we were just glad to have that nasty carpet OUT.
(Our bathroom, the downstairs one has the same tile!)
The carpet only took one day, and it turned out so beautifully. We used to say that we hated this house, and we weren’t interested in staying long after the carpet was replaced, but damn this carpet is soft and cozy! It feels like a whole new home, and we are so happy with how it turned out.
Ashley and the dogs found the whole process extremely exhausting!
We were really lucky because my mom is so awesome… we had to have an ultrasound on that day and my mom came by with lunch, hung out with us for a bit and then stayed at the house while we left for our ultrasound. What did we do to get such helpful and generous family!?
Once the flooring was in, we had to get ready for the baby shower! My amazing friend Brielle took time out of her crazy schedule (she’s a full-time nursing student AND a full-time CNA… basically she is a crazy person) two weekends in a row to help us make this shower happen. The first weekend we all met up with my sister Sarah and nephew Kimball to order all our cakes, food and alcohol at Costco. We went to Ikea (Brielle is no longer an Ikea virgin!) to get our nursery furniture.
On Friday morning, the dogs were going INSANE at 6:30 am. I was so furious because we had so much to get done that day before the shower and I really wanted to get as much sleep as possible. I was yelling and screaming for the dogs to shut up, and just then our friend Jeffrey (who lives in Utah) called us. “Uh, there is a baby at your door who has been ringing your doorbell and she wants you to let us in!” Jeffrey and his daughter Haidyn had driven all night from Utah to surprise us for the shower!!!! (Jeffrey’s parter and Haidyn’s daddy is Michael, who helped us with the nursery renovation.) We were so excited that we called my sister to meet us at IHOP and surprised her too!
(Haidyn and my nephew Kimball… two of my absolute favorite tiny humans.)
On the Friday before the shower, Brielle spent the night and helped us get everything to the venue on Saturday morning.
When we arrived at the venue, we found out that a youth football league was having a massive event at the elementary school next door and had filled our entire parking lot. Ashley got on the phone with the activity director and threatened to have everyone towed, but it finally took me blocking the parking lot enterance with my car and having my stepfather Mikey turn people away as they tried to park there.
All parking issues aside, the shower was beautiful. My mom and Mikey, Brielle, Lisa and Kaitlyn and Knobel and Matt helped us get everything set up. The turnout was incredible, we were truly showered with love. I say this with a full heart, we are the luckiest women in the world. The people in our lives grieved by our sides for Rohen, and they are joyful with us for the twins. Love transcends everything, and I say that because the people in our lives come from so many economic, religious, political and idealogical backgrounds and the love remains the same and unchanged. Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us!! I promise I will post a ton more pictures in a separate post… the majority of them are on Photobucket courtesy of my mom but they are down for maintenance and I can’t access them! These are the few good ones I have:
(Ashley and Shane, our doctor who got us pregnant with the twins! I wish this picture wasn’t so blurry!)
(Brielle and I, enjoying our cocktails!)
(My mom’s pet project, which sent her to Urgent Care to have her finger glued back together when she cut the tip of it clean off. Mikey stepped in to help her finish. Her finger looks gross but is healing, thankfully it wasn’t worse. No more sharp knives for her 😉 Also, no fruit was contaminated!)
All in all, it was an amazing day. I really wish I could have enjoyed it a little more, it was just so busy and there were so many of our amazing family and friends there that it just blew right by us. When we got home, Ashley just laughed and said, “I hardly even talked to you today!” We were so glad to have a ton of friends stay and help us get out of the venue on time, it was a close call! We ended up needing two trucks and my Kia Soul to get everything home!
Just diapers! So amazing!!!!
We finally started getting our house put back together one room at a time, and the nursery become a major priority. You may remember from our nursery renovation post that the nursery looked like it belonged in a crack house:
But now it looks like this:
This is a major Ikea nursery…. the frames are RIBBA, the dresser is HEMNES and the cribs are SUNDVIK. The wooden painting in the middle is from Hobby Lobby, as are the letters. The lamp was a gift from our friends Lisa and Kaitlyn and it’s from Kirkland’s. The artwork in the frames are from Etsy and Ikea. (I am working on an in-depth post on my craft blog about this nursery, with links to everything and a run down of how much the entire nursery cost to put together. We managed to stay on a great budget!!)
I love to sew, and I wanted their bedding to be unique. I handmade their bedding, and it turned out so great. (I will be posting a tutorial for how to make SUNDVIK crib skirts on my craft blog as well!)
The solid colored flannel was for the crib sheets and the backs of their Boppy covers (coming soon), the chevron was for their crib skirts, the deer print (our amazing find from Spoonflower.com) will be for the baby blankets (also coming soon) and Boppy covers and the minky will be for the backs of their baby blankets. I still have a lot of work to do!
We have some more changes coming to the nursery, we are receiving a custom paining from our friend KayLee (mama of IUI TRIPLETS!) and I am going to replace a couple of things in the gallery wall with the leftover fabric from the sheets, framed and hand embroidered with their names and birth weights/times/etc.
After the shower we had a TON of baby stuff to put together! Ashley (from her comfy reclined position) snapped some flattering pictures of me working on that. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone for long. My sister came over and we took 6 hours to put the nursery furniture together (I was sick through all of this, it was awful! Thank goodness for energy drinks, for real.)
We actually had a huge issue with the swings… we had two swings and two bouncers and it just seemed excessive. We loved the swings so much, but decided to disassemble the one I had put together and we returned everything for two of the Duet Connect swings. The seats come off and double as rockers. Of course, one of them was broken right out of the box and had to be returned again, but we are FINALLY done with swing assembly.
(We had to do a few test runs at the highest speed to get them far enough away from each other… they were slamming into each other at first!!)
Our pack n’ play is also put together and ready to go in our room (we are going to use it as a bassinet for now).
(While it was still being used as the “stuff to take upstairs to the nursery” receptacle in the living room)
Kimball has been the best little dude, we just test everything on him to see if it gets the Kimby seal of approval. Our new swings are in:
As is the Moby wrap that my mother-in-law’s best friend Jane (basically a second mom to Ashley) gave us. I can’t even explain how happy I am about this… I have a passion for attachment parenting and baby wearing is a big part of that! I can’t wait to have them close to me, bonding and experiencing the world with me. It’s going to be so amazing.
One of the coolest parts of getting this nursery put together was getting to really see the amazing handmade gifts we received!! My mom inspired me to create at a very young age, and I love when she makes things. She taught me what it means to craft from the heart so we know how much her gifts really mean to us.
Tiny Hufflepuff cloaks to match mine… be still my heart!
Soft and snuggly bubble quilts for naps and tummy time… I want a full sized one for me!
Mikey made these custom Hogwarts letters for the twins, informing them that they have been pre-accepted and that they will go to Hogwarts on September 1st when they are 11 years old. These are being framed to go over the bookshelf! ❤ So amazing. We love the detail and how accurate they are!
Lisa Andersen, our nurse who was by our side for the majority of our treatments and kept our hearts going after we lost Rohen send these amazing handmade quilts from California. The woman has SKILLS, I was blown away by the binding on these. They are so snuggly! (Lisa is the reason Harper’s middle name will be Andersen. We just love her to pieces!)
My dear friend Katrina and her mom made us a ton of super cute burp cloths and two blankets. They are so precious!
Deanna, one of my friends from work, made us this adorable frame with our baby shower invitation inside. Pretty amazing considering she hadn’t seen the nursery before making this! It’s dead on!
Ashley’s friend Suzie made this for us, and we are in love with it! It’s so unique!!
One of the sweetest gifts was from our blogging friends (and fellow future twin mamas-to-be!!!) Zee and Callie from The Chronicles of a Non-Belly Mama. Blogging brings kindred hearts together! You guys are amazing, can’t wait to send you something for your little ones ❤
So… that is where we are right now! I have a ton of homework this week so I am going to try to catch up on that tomorrow since we could be mamas any day now (insane!) The guest room and craft room are still in boxes, those will have to wait. Tomrorrow I am going to try to get our hospital bag packed and ready and also get the guest room put back together. It’s possible that we may have visitors when the babies are here, and I would rather not have to worry about putting Ikea furniture back together when I have two newborns that will need snuggles 😉 On that same note, we are thinking of putting up our Christmas tree tomorrow. We have no idea how the next few weeks will play out… since those babies are safe and sound inside right now this is kind of the best time to get this stuff done! It certainly won’t hurt to put it up early, and this way no matter what they will come home from the hospital to our favorite time of year. Once the babies are here, we just want to enjoy them and not have to worry about anything else. Having the house totally baby ready is our goal.
Tomorrow Ashley is 32 weeks, and that is just incredible to me. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we aren’t losing them. They’re safe, and so big and far along now that their chances are fantastic. We are going to be moms to two take-home babies…
This may be a dark ending to an otherwise fun post, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. It’s no secret that I struggled with self-harm as a teenager. I hurt myself a lot, very violently and with no regard for the permanent damage that I was causing myself. I have ugly scars on my right leg that remind me every single day of what hell I overcame on the road to happiness. After Rohen died, I found myself in that place again. I didn’t succumb to the urge to hurt myself, though it was hard. I had a dream one night a few weeks after losing him, and in it I was so complacent and at peace. Every conflict in my life had resolved and Rohen was at my side. I looked down to my leg and saw “It got better.” along the edge of the largest scar in very small letters. It wasn’t long after that we found out about the twins, and everything changed.
It got better, guys. Really, it did. Not only is it better… it’s the best. We miss our Rohen every day of our lives, every hour, every minute, but we are learning how to live with him in our hearts and to let him lift us up instead of weighing so heavily. I sound like a broken record, but I wouldn’t know what I have to lose and I wouldn’t be able to love these twins the way that I do had I not loved and lost my son. My sweet boy paved the way for a love I wasn’t even able to understand before him. ❤
Best of luck to you all as always, no matter where you are in your journey. It gets better.
❤ Devan and Ashley