Mama Bear

I never truly understood how opinionated people can be about your life until we got pregnant and had kids.  I mean, from family and friends to even perfect strangers on the street!  Of course we saw it a little with the infertility and inappropriate comments that were made.  You wouldn’t believe what we heard…and 90% of the time from people who had NO idea what they were talking about.  (Did you know that if you stand on your head while drinking kool-aid and burning incense and you never EVER stress then ALL of your fertility problems will magically disappear like your neighbor’s brother’s friend’s cousin twice removed?)  The “mom shaming” nowadays is out of control!  It seems that no matter what you do, people think you’re totally doing it wrong.

Ryan will tell you that i’m an OBSESSIVE researcher.  When we PCS or or look at career/school changes, and especially with infertility/pregnancy and the babies I have to read everything there is to know!  Of course, i’m not the expert on any of these subjects,  and babies don’t always fit the mold from books (shocker!)  but I fully believe that “Knowledge is power” so we take what I read and we made informed and educated decisions based on that information.

“Words of affirmation” has always been my primary love language.  I’m lifted up and truly feel like someone cares when they speak positively about me or those that I love.  On the flip side, this can be dangerous for someone like me to deal with the judgments and negativity that seems like is everywhere in this world.  I constantly internalize most of it and it’s often made me second guess my decisions.  It’s been a learning process to not let other’s negative opinions and comments affect me.

That’s where the Mama Bear Melissa comes in to play.  Everyone has an opinion on what we’re doing wrong: You shouldn’t vaccinate, or you need to let them CIO, or you need to stop breastfeeding and give them formula.  Enter Mama Bear!  For the first time in my life I feel such an intense need to protect our perfectly innocent babies from the world and I have the faith that the decisions that Ryan and I have made are appropriate for our family that I don’t much care for what others think of us.  I don’t need to change my mind because someone doesn’t agree or questions our motives behind our decisions.  There were only 2 people that created these babies (okay, minus the medical team’s assistance!) and we’re the only 2 that get the vote.  I’ve had my doubts as a mom, as i’m sure we all do at one point or another, but deep down I feel that i’m truly doing the best that I can and I pray that L & E will see this as they grow.

We never really had the support that we desired when going through anything that we’ve faced (good or bad) so it’s crazy to me when people show up when the cute, cuddly, attention getting babies arrive.  Don’t get me wrong, it hurt us a lot when people weren’t more involved when we were broken-hearted that we couldn’t conceive, or when I had problems or scares with the pregnancy, and especially after they were born…  We still have “close” friends and family that have not met our babies or who haven’t gotten to know how wonderfully amazing they are!  But it always seems that people don’t want to be present in your pain, but want to reap the benefits afterward.  I just always pray that any person entering my children’s lives has pure motives and won’t hurt my children later by walking back out.  My latest fear is the internet.  After seeing a few friends with crazy instances of their kids’ pictures being exploited, it’s so hard to be okay with social media.  I’m constantly torn between wanting to share in our joys and for our long distance family in Maine to see our babies and wanting to run screaming from the internet!  I know that we’ll still make mistakes along the way, I mean we’re not perfect after all.  However, we’re doing our best in the best way we know how to protect our family!

Fierce Mama Bear Melissa ❤

 

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 ~ 36 Weeks

How far along? 36 Weeks Pregnant (WE DID IT!!!!!!  We made it to our “Goal Week”)
Total weight gain: 41.3 lbs.
Stretch marks? They’ve spread a lot since week 30, but I think they’ll heal up pretty well.  Mama stripes!! 🙂 ❤
Symptoms: Contractions still, but none that did anything.  Nausea, seeing spots and dizziness.  Swelling has been constant now…and no more rings or jewelry. (Mostly from Preeclampsia)
Appointments: Maternal Fetal Medicine/Perinatology twice a week and my OB/GYN twice a week.
Sleep: Pretty much nonexistent at this point.  Thankfully I try to take a nap every day and that helps a little bit.  It’s funny, everyone says “Sleep now while you can…” LoL  That’s a joke! 🙂
Best moment this week: Moving up our scheduled c-section to Monday!!!!!  We are so anxious and excited for them to get here….tomorrow!!!!
Worst moment this week: This week has had a lot of ups and downs and unknowns and scares with the preeclampsia.
Miss Anything?  I still LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.  However, i’m so excited and ready for this next part of the journey!
Movement:  CONSTANT, but they’re definitely running out of room in there…poor babies.  I think they’re as ready as we are 🙂
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Lobster, fried clams like CRAZY, fries, steamers from home in Maine. 😦  And sammiches 🙂
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Mornings as well as Cigarette smoke and cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  Still having contractions off and on but no signs of labor.  😦
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:)  Feeling ALLLL of the emotions right now and probably driving Ryan crazy. LOL
Looking forward to:  We’re so incredibly excited to meeting our babies…TOMORROW!!!!  It’s crazy to believe that it’s finally here and it’s finally our turn.  We can’t wait for ALL of the excitement and experiences to come!  SO anxious to hold them, kiss them, love them, snuggle them and everything else!!

Grim Twins ~ 35 Weeks

How far along? 35 Weeks Pregnant (T-1 week until our minimum “goal week”!!!!)
Total weight gain: 37.3 lbs. (I’ve lost weight since last week so i’m going to have to ask my Doc about it…may be that some of my swelling has gone down from bed rest.)
Stretch marks? They’ve spread a lot since week 30.  Keep growing babies…Mama stripes!! 🙂 ❤
Symptoms: I’m officially on bed rest to try to keep these babies in for a little more time.  Contractions still. Morning nausea and dizziness.  Swelling has been constant now…and no more rings or jewelry.
Appointments: Maternal Fetal Medicine/Perinatology and my OB/GYN now twice a week.  Emma finally dropped head down!!!!!!  We learned that Logan & Emma are both estimated to be about 4 lbs. 13 oz.  Emma is more balanced in her measurements with a smaller head and Logan has a larger head but very small body according to the measurements.  I’m going to start being monitored even more closely now that the docs are concerned about preeclampsia.  My protein levels were EXTREMELY high for the 24 hour test (936 and shouldn’t be over 300) and my uric acid was high on my latest blood test on Thursday.  We’ll find out on Monday/Tuesday if that changes the game plan for this week but we are still praying to at least make it to next Monday!
Sleep: I wake up/roll around a LOT (at least every hour) 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) We bought Daddy his new truck today!!!  We finally have enough room for all of us (my car is very tight with the car seats).  We’ve been saving for a long time and he’s been needing a new truck so we were so excited that we were finally able to find him the truck of his dreams!!  Now we’re both Ford people! ❤  2) We finally finished the nursery!  We may add a few little touches but it looks so cute and we are so excited to bring our sweet babies home to such a beautiful and relaxing room!
Worst moment this week: The bad preeclampsia news from my OB.  It’s a little scary and overwhelming to make sure that i’m taking it easy on bed rest and making sure I go in if it gets bad.  I’m just praying that they come before it gets too bad or dangerous for any of us, but that they don’t come too soon!  Every day is another blessing and praying we make it to Week 36.
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 :). It’s all going to be over so soon 😦  I love watching Daddy play with them and them kicking and moving in response to him.
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:  Still having contractions off and on but no signs of labor.  Now that preeclampsia is going to cause the babies to come early, i’m hoping it starts to kick in soon so that I don’t have to have a c-section.
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).
Looking forward to:  We’re getting so incredibly anxious to meet our perfect babies, and now that we know that they’re going to be coming literally any day now we’re getting more and more excited.  Still praying that they are strong and healthy and that they get to come home with us.

Grim Twins ~ 34 Weeks

How far along? 34 Weeks Pregnant (T-2 weeks until our minimum “goal week”!!!!)
Total weight gain: 40.5 lbs.
Stretch marks? They’ve spread a lot since week 30.  Keep growing babies…Mama stripes!! 🙂 ❤
Symptoms: Contractions still.  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.
Appointments: Maternal Fetal Medicine/Perinatology and my OB/GYN.  Emma is back up to my ribs and transverse again.  LOL  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: We finally finished the nursery!  We may add a few little touches but it looks so cute and we are so excited to bring our sweet babies home to such a beautiful and relaxing room!
Worst moment this week: Another trip to L&D.  After my blood pressure shooting up in the office this week, my doctor found that there was protein in my urine (signs of preeclampsia).  We spent another afternoon in Labor & Delivery when Mommy started seeing spots and getting wicked dizzy until they discovered that blood work was normal and the babies were tracing okay.  Still not fun, but we were glad that it wasn’t anything serious.  Also, I have to do the 24 hour urine test so that they can monitor how much protein i’m really losing in my urine to see if my kidneys/liver are doing their jobs or if preeclampsia/toxemia is starting to set in.  Mommy and Daddy also go their whooping cough vaccines and and Mommy got her 2 steroid injections to make sure Logan & Emma’s lungs are fully developed.  The shots made me sick, but only for a little over a day.
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:  Still having contractions off and on but no signs of labor.
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 2 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.  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!