Friday, May 24, 2013

20 Weeks Down

This morning we had our much anticipated 20 week ultrasound.  It was such a fun experience and the doctor, ultrasound tech, and student who worked with us were some of the most friendly I have encountered.  Not that I have really encountered a lot, but they were very thorough and friendly which was fantastic.  Last night I was very concerned about the appointment, I didn't feel worried about the health of the babies, but I had this odd fear that Fetal Fotos got the gender wrong and that we were really having two boys.  I would have been happy to have two boys, but I had this irrational fear that if it were two boys that the one would be scarred from being referred to as Lindsey for an entire month.  

Good thing those concerns were put to bed at the appointment today.  Baby A is still a little girl, Lindsey, and baby B is still a little boy, Owen.  They are measuring within 3 days of the date we originally thought, but they did move the 40 week date to October 11th, from October 12.  Both Owen and Lindsey measured in right at 11 oz, so it's good to know that they are close in size.  The doctor at LDS hospital said that there is a 75% chance that they will be born between 35 and 37 weeks gestation.  It's crazy to think that they could be here in 15 short weeks.  She also said that if I get to 38 weeks they will have mercy on me and induce labor.  That means rather than October babies, we will have mid-late September babies.

It was amazing to see all of the anatomy that they were measuring today.  We got to see the four chambers of each baby's heart and the two main arteries as well.  We looked at the bladder, kidneys, diaphragm, and stomach too.  Spinal measurements, brain, and amniotic fluid measurements were all taken as well.  At one point the ultrasound showed the blood flow from the umbilical cord into the body.  It is just so amazing to be able to see the miracle of growing life inside of me.  Jon and I both feel that these babies are a miracle in our lives, but really, every life is a miracle.  We are so grateful that these two are so healthy.  We learned from the anatomy scan that they both have intact upper lips, so cleft lip/palate is ruled out.  We saw that the neural tube on each baby is fully encased, ruling out spina bifida and other spine issues.  We saw the 20 fingers and 20 toes.  We saw all of the necessary parts of the heart and two function kidneys per baby.  How amazing.  When I think about the time in which we live, where there are so many medical procedures and advances that allow for us to have this knowledge, I cannot help but be grateful to have been born when I was.  I know that people in olden times were blessed in other ways, but what a relief it is to be able to spend an hour at the doctor and see that all is well.

Well, I should be heading into work, but I wanted to write about the experience while it was still fresh in my mind.  Oh, I wanted to squash the boy/girl heartrate myth too.  Lindsey was 142 BPM and Owen was 140 BPM.

Sorry if our blog has turned into a baby update blog.  I'm not very good at keeping a journal and feel like some of these things just need to be documented, and I'd love for family and friends to be able to enjoy them as well.

Owen on the right, Lindsey on the left.  Those are their heads.
Owen's profile.
Lindsey's profile.
Owen proving that he's still a boy.
Lindsey proving that she's still a girl.
Lindsey's feet.
Owen's left foot.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

No Better Way to Celebrate

This is the first year that in the traditional sense I can celebrate Mother's Day and it's been an interesting slew of emotions.  So, since I'm up at 1 am with heartburn and I'm feeling all emotional because I can't stop thinking about all of the amazing women in my life, I thought I'd write about it.

Let me start out by explaining that I don't love Mother's Day.  I do love my mother though.  I think she so is amazing!  She is such a loving person and I don't know many people who work as hard as her.  When I think about the experiences that she had in raising 5 daughters, I am just so impressed that she not only put up with us, but did so lovingly.  I can't imagine that my sisters and I made things easy for her and thinking about the amount of stress that we added to her life, I hope that the joy that we brought and will still bring to her can outweigh that.  The thing about Mother's Day for me though, is that I feel like it cheapens the way that I am able to show my love for my mom.  I know that it doesn't change the fact that I can tell her I love her every day, but it makes me feel like if I don't find just the right gift to express my gratitude at her willingness to bring me into this world and care for me, then I'm not being grateful that she's my mother.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, I know I'll never find a gift that can truly express my love for my mom, so I hope that I can show her in my words and actions that she is the best.

Now, not to discount anything that I have just said about my wonderful mother, I also take issue with Mother's Day because there are so many women, who do not fall into the traditional category of mother, who deserve the love and admiration that mothers get.  I hope I can explain this the way that it feels in my heart.  I think about women who do not or cannot have children often on Mother's Day, whether it is their choice or not to be childless.  It makes my heart hurt to think that they don't have the chance to feel the amazing love from someone this day each year that I have toward my own mother.  Every woman should have the chance to be appreciated for their divine role as nurturers in our society today.  I think about Dar, my god-mom, who has been such an amazing influence for good in my life, and just know that she deserves to be celebrated on Mother's Day also.  I celebrate her, not to discount the love I have for my mom, but because she has also been integral in my raising.  Just because she did not birth me, doesn't mean that she doesn't love me less than if she had.  There isn't a day during the year that is set up for me to tell her that I love her also, so I choose to share this day with her.  I really hope that she and my mom both know that celebrating them both does not take away from celebrating them individually.  I know that they each have unique roles in my life and I am glad that there is an excuse once a year to be overly emotional in expressing the gratitude that I have for them, even when a greeting card cannot do the sentiment justice.

Along similar lines to explaining that all women should be celebrated, I think about how I felt on Mother's Days past.  I know that my reactions to past holidays were my own sour puss moods because that's the way that I chose to look at things, but I also know that there are probably a lot of women who share my feelings.  Prior to this year, when Jon and I are now expecting children to join our family, I felt like Mother's Day was a holiday for rubbing salt in the wound that we might not have children.  It made me sad the years when we were struggling to become pregnant to think that I might never have a child, let alone a child who would feel the same love for me that I had for my own mother.  It was a reminder that even though I had the righteous desire to be a caregiver to a precious child, that the desire might not be enough to get a child here to share my life with.  During those years I struggled to explain to Jon how I was feeling, rather I made outlandish demands of delicious breakfast or my favorite dinner on Mother's Day to help cover up the way I was really feeling.  He was such a trooper and always went along with it, but I am glad that this year I could tell him that none of those things matter anymore.  I know that being pregnant has helped me to be able to move past my sour puss feelings, but I like to hope that even if we weren't blessed with these growing babies that I would see the value in just showing love for all women on this day.  I know that Jon values me as his wife and, that in the years past, even when we weren't expecting, that he still loved me and my potential to be a nurturer to his future children.  I am so glad that he put up with my silly demands and that he's been there to help me see that God has a plan in all of this.

I guess where I am going in all of this is just to say that this Mother's Day I am feeling extra grateful for God's plan to send us to Earth in families, whether they be birth families, or the families of people we choose to love who surround us.  I've come to really see that although having a holiday to remind us to express our love is great, it's even better to express that love year round.  I don't think greeting cards or chocolates are necessary for the celebration of love between us, I think it's more genuine when we find simple ways to show that we care.  I keep singing the song from the movie Enchanted in my head, "That's How You Know."  Although the song does give examples of going on picnics and buying flowers, it's mostly about showing the other person that you love them through your every day words and deeds.  I hope that this Mother's Day and in years to come, that I can find ways to show my family that I love them.  I also hope that I can find a way to express these feeling of love and understanding for the plan that God has for us in my lesson at church tomorrow.  When I originally started preparing it I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed.  The theme is the power of faith and character, which seemed rather vague at first, but I think I see now, that it's really a lesson all about attitude.  I pray that I'll be able to share my changed attitude toward this holiday with the women at church and express my love for them and the examples that they set for me as well.

Now that I have rambled for an hour, I should probably try to sleep again so that I don't end up rambling forever at church tomorrow.  If you take anything away from my post though, I hope it's this, you are loved.  I know it's the day for loving my mom, and I do and I'll tell her too, but we can celebrate mothers because of God's plan to send us to Earth in family units, and that plan alone is evidence that we are all so loved.  Sorry if that's preachy, but it's how I'm feeling tonight/ this morning.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Nursery Planning

I thought it was hard to wrap my mind around decorating one nursery.  Picking a theme, finding coordinating fabrics, seeing what furniture I can already reuse from around my house, it all seemed a little out of my decorating skill set.  Well, it got a heck of a lot harder when I realized we'd be cramming 2 cribs into the space we'd planned for 1, and coordinating for a boy and a girl.  You see, there aren't many "girl" items that are actually neutral.

Seriously, go look at baby girl items with polka dots, they all have pink in them.  The "boy" ones are definitely the more neutral of the two, with all bright rainbow colors, well, all colors excluding purple.  So, imagine my guilt when I came home this afternoon after having some fun registering at Target and Babies'R'Us to find that all of the bright colorful nursery things I registered for were labeled, "boy."  Totally unfair.  I promise I'm not trying to prevent Lindsey from being girly, I have just never loved pink or purple myself and thinking of finding a way to incorporate those colors into a room she'll be sharing with her brother, just didn't work out.  So, for my non-Pintresty friends, I'm sharing my very basic nursery plans here on the blog.  (It's also for the non-Pintresty me, who only figured out how to pin things after my oldest sister told me I needed to learn last week.)

To start, let me explain that I do plan to have Owen and Lindsey share a crib when they are tiny, but I do want to get 2 matching cribs so that when they are ready to sleep alone, or if they hate cuddling one another from the start, we can split them up.  It also has to do with the fact that big box stores offer a twin discount where you get an extra 10% off when you purchase 2 of the same large item for twins.
This is the way I'd like to orient the cribs under the window in the nursery.
This is the crib that I am in love with... but I could go for the IKEA equivalent.
So, that's hopefully what the cribs will look like, white and modern and very streamlined.  They convert to toddler beds too so I'm thinking we'll get a few years use out of them before switching to bunk beds.

Now, onto the fabric, and finding something that can work for a boy and a girl.  Let's rewind to Christmas of 2011, when I found an adorable Alexander Henry print that I could not leave at Joann's.  I convinced Jon at the time that I would make my own bedding set, if he'd get me a few yards of the fabric.  Being the loving husband that he is, he bought me 11 yards, definitely enough for two quilts, two crib skits, and a valance to go over the window coverings.  Want to know something awesome about the fabric?  It's Noah's Ark themed, two by two!  It's totally perfect!

See, bright animals in pairs!  It's called "It's Gonna Rain"
Ahh!  And while searching for an image to share of the fabric I have, I found the coordinating stripe!  I am doomed!  Really, I can use any bright dots, stripes, and solids to go along with the other as long as it excludes pink and purple.  Sorry Lindsey.
Hm, so I've covered fabrics/ colors, cribs... what else?  Changing table and chair are the other two BIG things in the room.

Rather than getting furniture with drawers, I love the idea of these shelves that could be used for cloth bins on top and toys/books on bottom.  I'd put it horizontal and set the changing pad on top.
As for a chair, I think I am in love with this staple from Target.  The gray is perfect for draping a bright blanket over and it looks somewhat similar to my favorite chair at my parents' house that they used for rocking me and all of my sisters.
So, that's all I've got planned so far really.  We bought paint for the nursery and our room earlier this week.  They are from the same gray family, the nursery will just be one shade lighter than our room.  We like gray because it is such a neutral backdrop for dressing things up with bright pops of color.
Speaking of bright pops of color, isn't this crib bumper adorable?  And it's breathable, so I won't worry that they are squishing their faces against it.
Well, that's all I've got really.  If you have any cute ideas, send them my way.  Just remember, no pink or purple...  Oh, and since I didn't want to post a bump shot on Facebook, if you're reading the blog, here's a shot from this morning of my 18 week bump.

Sorry for the awkwardness of the photo, I haven't mastered self shots of the bump yet and when Jon tries to take them I usually look really grouchy... I should work on that.