Fall Fun 2016 – First Pumpkin Patch

On October 15th, we took our first family outing to the local Pumpkin Patch at Madrac Farms.  We got dressed up in fall clothes and pretended that it wasn’t crazy muggy outside.  The South doesn’t exactly get a “Fall” or Autumn, but we were determined to have fun anyway.  We carried the babies around with us, got a couple of cute photo opportunities and even picked out some pumpkins to carve/write their names on.  Of course, we were stopped a lot by just about everyone telling us how adorable our babies are, but we never get tired of hearing that!  It’s definitely a neat thing about being twin parents and you always seem to run into EVERYONE else who happens to be twin parents.

The babies had a blast because they love being outside and there were so many new sights, sounds, and smells to take in.  Overall, it was a super fun afternoon and we were so excited to finally have our own little family to go on little adventures!  After praying for so long and wondering if we’d ever get these simple family adventures these moments are even more special to us!  We have so much to be thankful for as we head into Fall/Winter and the Holiday season. 🙂

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When you are the village.

A good friend of mine posted on Facebook last week and reminded me that sometimes things aren’t your fault.  Sometimes, people are so wrapped up in their own problems/joys/lives that they simply don’t think about you.  And that’s okay, but it’s still hard to keep it from hurting sometimes.  I tend to internalize everything.  If people don’t call, text or visit…I feel like they must not care, and that’s not always the case.

Things have been really rough since Ryan went back to work.  He burned through all of the vacation that he’d been saving since we’d started trying to conceive just so he could spend 6 weeks with us after the babies were born.  And Thank GOD he did!  Since then he’s worked until a minimum of 6:30 pm every night…often later and missed out on so much with me and the kids.  (No, there’s no particular reason…just new requirements for his platoon).  I’m alone, as a new mom, with twins, for 14 hours a day (minimum).  He leaves by 5-530 every morning and isn’t back until at least 7pm due to work and the INSANE Savannah traffic.  Plus, I also work from home 20 hours a week.  I love these sweet babies more than life itself, but it can be so hard to feel so lonely.  I feel like i’m not enough for them by myself because neither get me all to themselves…ever.  That’s a lot for a newborn to handle!  By the time Ryan gets home, I have to have dinner made so that we have time to eat it and get the kids sleeping at a decent time.  I’m trying very hard to establish a schedule. 🙂  To make matters worse, thanks to the Army life, he’s leaving for training for several months very soon after Christmas.  YAY!  We’re still trying to find a way for us to be with him…if possible.

Yes, I know that our children are our responsibility.  But everyone always says: “It takes a village”.  Apparently i’m a village of 1 1/2 when Ryan is able!  Haha It’s hard when we don’t have any friends or family to help.  My sister, who also has twins, gave me the advice to ask visitors to come once Ryan went back to work.  She said she had scattered help and it made a world of a difference because the first few months are so hard.  That didn’t work. 😦  It’s so hard to not feel so lonely and forgotten.  I had visions of people being so excited and visiting lots once the babies were born, but I think people get so wrapped up in their own lives that it’s not exciting once the babies aren’t “new” anymore.

This isn’t meant to be a bashing of anyone, just getting my feelings out.  It’s okay that people have their own joys, their own families, and their own struggles.  Heck, we all get wrapped up in our own lives.  I know that as much as I always try to be there for everyone else, it hasn’t been as easy now that I have two newborns.  Sometimes you just hope that when it’s your turn and you really need people to care that they’ll return the favor.  I hate it for our babies.  They’re the most amazing and precious gifts EVER and i’m sad that it seems that more people don’t want to be a part of their lives.

Thankfully when Ryan does get home or is around on the weekends, he’s the most amazing husband and Daddy.  He tries so hard to give me breaks and let me take baths or helps with Yawkey and the cooking/cleaning (or takes the babies so I can do all of that).  I seriously don’t know what i’d do without that man!  I just oh so wish he could be with us more.  I know it wears on him to be away from us so much and stuck in such a time consuming job.

As my friend said, I have to remind myself that it’s not always because of us or that people don’t seem to care…often times they do…it’s just that they have so much in their own lives that they forget to notice.  I’m going to keep on trucking and praying that God will carry my little family through to easier days.  I’m going to do my best with what we’ve been given and snuggle my quickly growing babies a little tighter today and show them as much love as I can possibly show them.  I have my perfect little family and we have each other…and that’s enough!  And i’m going to lean on my Heavenly Daddy for the strength that I need to carry us through.  I’m going to try to be “Army Strong” even when I don’t feel it.

~Melissa G.

Thoughts from a Rookie Twin Mommy

So i’m a little over 10 weeks into this whole Twin Mom life and I have to say it’s definitely the greatest adventure ever!  I feel like so much has changed in my life already and we’ve only just begun.

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One Month Birthday!

It’s scary:

In the interest of honesty, i’ve shed a few tears, been completely overwhelmed when i’m alone, and wondered how on earth i’m ever going to be able to raise these two successfully.  I’ve looked around at other moms who appear to have it all together and wondered why I don’t look like that at all.  After all, i’m only human and it’s taken some personal reflection to admit that i’m not perfect.  Nothing like babies to teach you your weaknesses, am I right?  It’s a little intense to think of the pressure to raise them the way God would have me and to give them everything that I want to give them.  I remind myself daily that God chose to give me this life and He wouldn’t have answered these prayers if He didn’t think I could do it.  Wow!  That thought is even more wonderful…to think, God trusted me with all of this!

It’s beyond exciting:

I just love watching them grow and change.  Seeing them starting to take in the world and interact with me and Daddy more and more is so gratifying.  I’m so excited for all of the things to come: little laughs, crawling, walking and talking but i’m not taking a single moment with the little milestones for granted.  While it’s a little sad to see them getting bigger and changing from newborns to infants and beyond, it’s incredibly satisfying to see that they’re healthy and happy!  It’s even more exciting to watch their interactions with each other while they’re on the changing table, laying on the bed, or eating a meal and reaching for their twin’s hand.  I’m so blessed to have all of these moments and to able to nurse them…together!

I love that they’ll always have a friend in each other…no matter what.  It’s so neat to watch them together and to never be alone.  They have a very special life that the rest of us will never get to experience and I hope that they always love each other and appreciate it.  Family is special and I always wanted a sibling that was that close to me.

It’s bonding.

I feel like i’ve never loved their Daddy more than I do right now.  He works such long hours with his job in the military and I know how much it breaks his heart to be away from us.  It’s not always the big, romantic gestures that are important in a marriage, but the simple things he does.  It’s the way he takes the kids to give me a few minutes to myself or allow me to take a shower when he gets home.  It’s the way he wakes up several times a night to change diapers and get me set up with nursing when he has to get up at O-dark-thirty.  And it’s the way he loves them and plays with them and would give anything to make sure that we’re all happy.  He’s never been a “typical guy” and had to grow up much earlier than most, but we’re the ones who reap the benefits.  I love that we’re finally been able to create life together and we get to be the ones to raise these two perfect little miracles together.

The way that everyone talks about the birth of their babies, I expected my love for them to peak that day.  On the contrary, it’s grown in incredible ways since the day I found out we had embryos growing and getting ready for us.  I feel as if my love keeps growing anymore my heart is simply going to burst!  I’m so excited to be on this journey with these two and to get to be their mommy.  It’s an incredible privilege and I have to pinch myself to remember that it’s real!  I feel like God spoils me way more than I deserve and it’s mind-blowing to sit and think about the miracles in our life!

#TeamGrim #GrimTwins

~Melissa G, Proud Twin MOMMY at last!

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Our first day together with just the 3 of us when Daddy went back to work.

 

 

Grim Twins ~ 33 Weeks

How far along? 33 Weeks Pregnant (T-3 weeks until our minimum “goal week”!!!!)
Total weight gain: 37.3 lbs.
Stretch marks?  A few on the underside of my belly and a couple on my hips…Mama stripes!! 🙂 ❤
Symptoms: Contractions are getting stronger, and a little more frequent.  I’m trying to put myself on bed rest more and more since I get tired easily and can easily overdo it.  Morning nausea and a little bit of dizziness.  Swelling has been constant now…and no more rings or jewelry.  This week I also had some crazy numbness in my legs as though both of my legs went to sleep. They’ve “dropped” so they’re probably sitting on my nerves.  Yesterday I had a LOT of contractions, but nothing regular so we’re hoping it’s the not the start of anything to come.
Appointments: This week started our twice weekly visits: Maternal Fetal Medicine/Perinatology and my OB/GYN.  We found out that both babies have “dropped”, but Emma is now breech instead of transverse.  Come on, baby girl, flip around so that mommy can deliver you naturally! 😉
Sleep: I wake up/roll around a LOT (at least every 1.5 hours) and get up to use the bathroom a lot.  The pregnancy pillow helps, but there’s only so much it can do lol.  The babies are just sleep training me ❤️
Best moment this week: 1) 4th of July/Independence Day!!!  It’s my favorite holiday (tied with Christmas), but it’s not as much fun being outside of New England.  We still had fun and got to take the kayak out to finally get it in some water and lit off some of our own cheap fireworks (the kind that don’t leave the ground) just for the heck of it.  We  watched fireworks on post and they weren’t too bad 🙂 2) Ryan’s unit had the annual beach jump/flyover out at Tybee (FINALLY with a chinook) and it was so nice to be able to get in the water!  We only stayed for a couple of hours so Mommy didn’t get too overheated.  It’s crazy how quickly I feel like I’ve done enough and need to rest.
Worst moment this week: Not getting to be home for Independence Day with my family.  It’s so hard to miss our biggest holiday of the year and the one I used to always help my mom plan.  But we’re so excited that next year we’ll have our precious babies with us.  I can’t wait for them to fall in love with Maine and make some amazing memories back home!  Also, the HORRIBLE heat and humidity.
Miss Anything?  I still LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  We’re glad to feel them moving and turning because it definitely keeps me from stressing too much :). They love playing together at 1am and mommy thanks God for all of these little moments.  It’s all going to be over so soon 😦
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Lobster, fried clams like CRAZY, fries, steamers from home in Maine. 😦  And sammiches again 🙂
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Mornings as well as Cigarette smoke and cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  Had a couple good size contractions this past week so Daddy has been making sure mommy takes it extra easy, but thankfully they haven’t been “productive” 🙂
Wedding rings on or off? They’ve had to come off for good (during the pregnancy at least).
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still:)  I am getting more emotional and cry really easily (over sad and happy things).  Hoping they stay safe and “baking” for at least 3 more weeks, but we’re getting more and more anxious/excited to hold them!
Looking forward to:  We  still need to get Daddy his new truck before the babies get here, but we’re waiting on NC to get off their butts and send us his title.  Waiting on a few little items for the nursery, then we just need to put the finishing touches on everything! 🙂 🙂  We’re getting so incredibly anxious to meet our perfect babies, but are still hoping and praying to make it to at least 36/37 weeks and for no NICU/Specialty Care Nursery!

Grim Twins ~ 32 Weeks

How far along? 32 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 36.9 lbs.
Stretch marks?  A few little on the underside of my belly and a couple on my hips (you’d think my hips were big enough already! lol)
Symptoms: Contractions are getting stronger, but no more frequent.  Morning nausea and a little bit of dizziness.  Swelling has been constant now…and no more rings or jewelry.  This week I also had some crazy numbness in my legs as though both of my legs went to sleep.  I’m pretty sure they’ve “dropped” so they’re probably sitting on my nerves.
Sleep: I wake up/roll around a LOT and get up to use the bathroom a lot.  The pregnancy pillow helps, but there’s only so much it can do lol. The usual: About 6-7 hours a night and I try to squeeze in a nap when I can.
Best moment this week: 1) Breastfeeding class at the hospital where our nurse actually had IVF triplets herself!  She was able to offer some good advice and information on feeding multiples and practical tools.  I’m excited because she is a lactation consultant with the hospital and her husband works with the pediatrician’s office that we’ve chosen. 🙂
Worst moment this week: A little stress with our house that we’re renting/normal drama of being stuck in Georgia
Miss Anything?  I still LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  Their movements are about the same, but definitely feel more exaggerated with their lack of room and increase in size.
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Lobster, fried clams like CRAZY, fries, steamers from home in Maine. 😦  And sammiches again 🙂
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  A little bit of back pain and quite a bit of stretching sensations and soreness.  Starting to stay swollen.
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Mornings as well as Cigarette smoke and cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  Contractions haven’t been too bad this past week and not showing any signs of labor yet 🙂
Wedding rings on or off? They’ve had to come off for good (during the pregnancy at least).
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still:)  I am getting more emotional and cry really easily (over sad and happy things).  Hoping they stay safe and “baking” for at least 4 more weeks, but we’re getting more and more anxious/excited to hold them!
Looking forward to:  We start seeing MFM every Tuesday until the birth starting this week!  That means we get to see our sweet babies every single week until they’re born!  We have to get the car seats installed and get Daddy his new truck before the babies get here.  Then we just need to put the finishing touches on everything! 🙂 🙂

Twins are a Blessing

It took us almost 2 years since we started on the journey to have children, 10 months of seeing our favorite RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist), 3 failed rounds of superovulation and our successful IVF treatment cycle, and now 29 weeks since all of our embryos were created and we brought home these two sweet babies in Mommy.  One heck of an incredible journey so far (and still nowhere near as long as some of our friends)!

As terrified as we both were to begin IVF and knew that it was our last hope that we had of our dreams ever coming true, we prayed endlessly that God would keep His hands on us and all of our babies.  The whole process ended up being the most beautiful journey and I look back on all of the good and the bad with such fondness, because it created our sweet miracles!

Before we ever began fertility treatments, we knew that twins were a possibility and that we would transfer both of our embryos to have the best chance of conception.  (Although, with super-ovulation or any other non-IVF treatment it should be much lower as a doctor should be monitoring VERY closely to prevent too many as it can be dangerous, hence why OB/GYN’s should not be handling infertility, but I digress).  We know that life begins at the moment of conception, so before we began IVF we prayed that God would allow us to keep both of our babies.  We knew we wouldn’t be able to handle losing one of them.

*On a side note, i’ve always wanted twins.  When I was a little girl I had twin dolls that I carried everywhere and told everyone that one day I was going to be a twin mommy.  Of course, my family and some of my little friends thought I was crazy even back then and everyone has always told me they’re “too much work”.  In typical Melissa fashion, i’ve always gone against the grain and proved everyone wrong. 🙂  I believe God was just preparing my heart for this role he had for me.*

After all of that, it saddens and literally hurts me to hear the negative comments that people make regarding parenting and pregnancies, and especially twins.  Since we’ve gotten pregnant, we’ve heard “I HATED being pregnant”, “Better you than me”, and “OMG, you guys are crazy for wanting more than one”, and the worst: “You’re having TWINS?!  Keep that away from me…I don’t want to catch it!”  And they REALLY get shocked to find out that we’re not done having kids (Lord willing).  “Oh, you’ll change your mind once they get here.”  I’ve even had a couple of friends get pregnant with twins after making some of those comments, and I hope that God turns their hearts.  If people only had a tiny clue as to what we went through to be here they would rejoice with us.  These babies of ours are the biggest miracle that we prayed for endlessly!  We spent thousands of dollars to have them and it took 20 negative cycles, 3 failed rounds of treatments, endless tests and one miraculous IVF/ICSI cycle to conceive them.  Babies are such an amazing blessing and twins are so magical!

Maybe people just don’t see unless you’ve suffered through miscarriages and/or years of infertility.  Struggles often make you respect things much more and see things more clearly.  We don’t take a single moment for granted and all of the little milestones in pregnancy we celebrate even more!  We never had the “freakout” moment that most do with twins, because they were an answer to our prayers!  Yes, I even prayed for the nausea, stretch marks, and pain so why wouldn’t I rejoice that i’m able to experience it all?!  It’s so difficult to know the struggles we endured and the many more that some of our friends have and to see people taking it all for granted after being handed miracles.

Don’t get me wrong, we have people who are truly happy for us and our growing family, but I really wish people would think before making comments.  Those are our babies, our precious miracles that we prayed for endlessly that you’re talking bad about.  Not a day goes by that we don’t continue to pray for their health and safety or thank God for giving them to us to raise.  It’s a responsibility and a privilege that we never take lightly.  Do we have rose colored glasses on and think that it’s going to be easy?  Absolutely not.  It’s going to be a lot of work and it’s surely going to teach us a lot more about ourselves and our marriage, but it’s a “job” that we are anxiously awaiting!

~PROUD TWIN MOMMY

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Grim Twins ~ 31 Weeks

How far along? 31 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 33.9 lbs.
Stretch marks? I’ve started to develop a few little ones on my belly.
Symptoms: LOTS of Heartburn.  Contractions are getting stronger, but no more frequent.  Morning nausea and a little bit of dizziness.  Swelling has been constant now…and no more rings or jewelry.
Sleep: I wake up/roll around a LOT and get up to use the bathroom a lot.  The pregnancy pillow helps, but there’s only so much it can do lol. The usual: About 6-7 hours a night and I try to squeeze in a nap when I can.
Best moment this week: 1) Maternity Pictures!!!!  On Monday we got to take our maternity pictures and got some great pictures!  We had a lot of fun with them and are excited that we were able to get these done before potential bed rest. 2) Final “weekend trip” down in Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida for a marriage retreat with Ryan’s unit.  We got some MUCH needed time in the pool and it was so great to be able to get in the water to take the weight off and cool off.  It’s always great to have a weekend to refresh with your spouse too!
Worst moment this week: Nothing…it was a pretty good week 🙂
Miss Anything?  I still LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  Their movements are about the same, but definitely feel more exaggerated with their lack of room and increase in size.
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Lobster, fried clams like CRAZY, fries, steamers from home in Maine. 😦  And sammiches again 🙂
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  A little bit of back pain and quite a bit of stretching sensations and soreness.  Starting to stay swollen.
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Mornings as well as Cigarette smoke and cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  Contractions are coming off and on but nothing new or steady so hopefully they stay that way.  My body can get ready all it wants as long as they stay put for now!
Wedding rings on or off? They’ve had to come off for good (during the pregnancy at least).
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still:)  I am getting more emotional and cry really easily (over sad and happy things.  Hoping they stay safe and “baking” for a bit longer, but we’re getting more and more anxious/excited to hold them!
Looking forward to:  Our next ultrasound.  We start seeing MFM every Tuesday until the birth starting next week!  That means we get to see our sweet babies every single week until they’re born!  We have to get the car seats installed and get Daddy his new truck before the babies get here.  Then we just need to put the finishing touches on everything! 🙂 🙂