Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Letter to My Babies

My Sweet Little Miracles,

I've been worried about you all lately, so I thought writing you a letter may help me get some of it out.

As you grow inside me, I feel I know you more and more each day. I can tell you all apart now. Errol, you wiggle a lot, but are too low for us to feel much from the outside. We feel like you are going to having an easy-going nature like your daddy. You do like to kick Mommy's bladder though :) Avery, you are our little jumping bean. You moved a ton yesterday and Daddy and Mamaw Shouse got to feel you too. Sometimes we can feel your little head and tushy pushing so hard it's like you're trying to escape. Layla, you are pretty mellow. You were the one I felt the most at the beginning, but now you just relax and stay pretty still. You are good at reassuring us with a kick or push if we get concerned about you though and we appreciate that. At every ultrasound you have been standing straight up. You can lay down and relax if you want :) I think you are trying to be the little mommy and keep your brother and sister in line. It's very weird when you all move at once. I can't describe it. I never knew how I would be able to tell you apart, but I can.

I want you to stay in there for 15 more weeks, but it's nice to know that you have a chance of survival if you all just hang in there 5 more weeks. I am very excited, but also very scared about bringing you into this world. I know you are in God's hands right now and that he is forming you more and more everyday, but I am terrified at the thought of something being wrong with one of you. Everyday I wonder when you will be born and how big you will be. I am trying hard to give you a healthy place to grow big and strong. I eat as much as I can and am resting a lot too. Daddy is helping out with grocery shopping and a lot of kitchen clean-up since my growing tummy won't let me bend over enough to get groceries out of the cart or load or unload the bottom shelf of the dishwasher. I will do everything I can to help you grow big and healthy. You may not get to come home from the hospital with us. I pray that you will, but if you don't they will take very good care of you there. I fany of you haev to stay, we will visit you very often and will be dreaming of when we can all be home together.

It will probably be very crazy when you come home. It may take us a while to figure out how to manage all of you and your big sister Jozey. She loves to pull up Mommy's shirt and kiss my belly by the way :) If she sees anyone else touching my belly she makes a mean face and says, "My babies!" I'm sure she will help take good care of you and will be a boss like I was to your Aunt Dawn. Be patient with us. We will figure it out together.

I have so many hopes and dreams for you. I pray that you will have a personal relationship with Jesus and will someday understand what a miracle each one of you is. We may have had to go an unconventional route to get you, but The Lord still created you in His image exactly how he wanted you to be. I pray that you will all be kind to others and will put their needs before your own. I want each of you to be proud of who you are and to not let anyone change you. I struggled with accepting myself for being weird and awkward during middle school and parts of high school and I now realize what a waste of time that is. Your Daddy and I already love you sooooo much and that love will only grow. I do not want you to EVER pick on or insult others to make yourself look better. That is very ignorant and hurtful. I hope you will learn to be sensitive to others feelings and be there for people when they need someone to lean on. I hope you will go out of your way to inculde those that may be left out. I want you to always be respectful, especially of grandparents, teachers, and other authority figures. I pray that you all find wonderful spouses who will treat you amazingly. Layla and Avery, I hope that you find husbands, who are as wonderful to you as your father has been to me. Don't settle for anything less than having doors opened for you and for being treated with respect. Errol, I pray you follow your father's example of how to treat a woman and that you find a great girl who appreciates that about you and respects you in return. These are all just my hopes and dreams for you. We will never pressure you to be perfect and will always love you.

I can't wait to meet you, little ones. I love you so much. Thanks for letting me babble...you better get used to it :)

Mommy xoxoxo

Monday, February 15, 2010

Less Than 17 Weeks to go!!!

Nothing super exciting to post, but we are starting to get some things together. my mom did an excellent job painting the nursery. Just the border left then we can start arranging things. I know it seems early to be getting everything ready, but we never know if/when my bedrest/hospitalization could start. We picked up our rocker/glider and it's beautiful and super comfortable. Starting to fill the dressers with newborn and 0-3 month clothes. The girls should be set except for some preemie stuff, because we have all of Jozey's clothes and got a generous donation of a full girl's wardrobe from 0-3 months up to like 3 years! Not many boy's things yet. We have two of the three carseats and looked at the van we are getting this past weekend. Never wanted a minivan, but you do what you have to do :) We have heard of a lot of stuff people have said they are donating, like bouncey seats and swings. I made room in a cupboard and filled up almost an entire shelf with 4oz bottles. If the eat every 3 hours at first that will be 24 bottles a day! A friend just bought us 15 and my chiropractor gave me a bunch too. I think we have 32 now. Hoping to get enough that I dont have to wash them everyday :) Just found out that through the Similac rep at our pediatrician's office, we may be able to get up to 3 cases of formula a month for three months! I thought those kind of things depended on income, but they say it doesn't.

I've been feeling pretty good. My hips are starting to hurt really bad, but the chiropractor is keeping the pain tolerable. Not much nausea, but also not much appetite. I've gained 20lbs though!!! Very excited about that. Supposed to gain 1-1.5lb/week and I will be 20 weeks on Thursday. I had only gained 10lb by 20wks with Jozey and still managed to gain 50 that pregnancy. They say the early weight gain helps the babies the most, so I'm gonna keep trying. Going to mom's tonight for chicken and noddles and mashed potatoes. That should help :) No stretch marks yet, but my belly fels stretched to capacity already. Nothing fits right, even maternity clothes, because I'm still pretty small everywhere but my big ole' belly.

Still very nervous and scared about the rest of this pregnancy, but I know God is in control and if our family has learned anything these past couple years it is that He will have His will and way whether it is ours or not. I know He will keep us strong and see us through whatever lies ahead. Better go now. I hear the little muchkin getting out of bed.

Thanks for your continued prayers and support! Don't be afraid to bother me, call anytime. I get a little lonely during the day :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

18 week appointment

*First and last pics are by big ole belly today (by request:)

*Second is top of Layla's head and her right hand. If you look closely, you can see that her pinky is crooked. So is Jozey's, my Grandma Saunders, and my Aunt Cheryl's. Odd family trait :)

*Third is Errol's profile.

*Fourth is proof he really is a boy :)

We waited for an hour and a half before we saw the doctor today, but the good news was worth the wait. First they did an internal ultrasound to measure my cervical length and check the positioning of Errol's ("C" the bottom baby) placenta. My cervix is still exactly the same length, 3.8cm! No shortening at all in two weeks! Also his placenta has backed away from my cervix! If you can imagine two spoons nestled together, that was how his placenta and my cervix looked last time. Kinda like this: )) Now it looked like a knife floating above the inside curve of a spoon. Kinda like this: l ) It has pulled way away. Hope that makes some sort of sense :) Next was the full ultrasound and growth measurements on each baby. All have great heartbeats and are measuring within a week of where they should be. Errol ("A" bottom) weighs 8oz, Avery ("B" to my right of Errol and up a little) is 7oz, and Layla ("C" up top and on my left all alone) is 6oz. They determine A, B, and C by going clockwise from my cervix up and around. Brains, stomachs, and umbilical cords all look perfect. The doctor said everything looks great and he anticipated me carrying them to 36 weeks and them all being around 5lbs. If that happens they should come home with or very shortly after me! We got a letter from Adam's benefit department yesterday saying the government is mandating that you be allowed up to 96 hours in the hospital after a c-section. It's very exciting to think we may all come home together. I realistically know that anything can happen, but was very glad to hear promising predictions by the doctor. We are very happy with Dr. Saldana. He explained everything we were seeing during the ultrasound and was very reassuring. He was glad that I gave in and stopped working. He said, "The Good Lord has a louder voice than me, so I'm glad you listened to Him even when you didn't want to listen to me." I didn't tell many people, but at my last appointment he wanted me to stop working and I negotiated the 8hr shifts. You see how that worked out :) I will not try to negotiate restrictions anymore. He said to just keep doing what I'm doing, which is resting a lot. I have another ultrasound in 3 weeks and they will look at their hearts then. My weight gain must be enough since they are measuring so well. I've gained 15 pounds now and worked hard for every bit. I already get full very quickly and still have a little nausea.

Tomorrow I will be 18 weeks and half-way to the doctor's goal of 36 weeks!!!!!!!

Thanks so much for the thoughts and prayers! Keep 'em coming :)