Twin Boy Nursery Tour!

I remember when Pinterest rolled out their "secret boards," I was excited to finally be able to pin all the maternity, baby, and nursery pictures I had been looking at for so long... without looking crazy! For years before I finally became pregnant I had a "Someday Baby" board filled with dreams inspirations. Pulling up all those images over the last few weeks and turning them into a reality felt like a huge privilege and a dream come true. I'm so happy with our nursery and filled with butterflies as I imagine bringing our baby boys home to it.

I didn't choose a "theme" for the nursery per say, although most of my inspirations came from Pinterest searches for "eclectic nursery" ideas. Generally I have a pretty minimalistic aesthetic, not wanting too much clutter and I was true to that desire in this room too. You'll notice we are missing one crib in these pictures; we are receiving it from friends in March so you'll have to use your imagination to plug it in!

Here are the pictures. I'll start by taking you around the room- beginning with the view from the door and moving right- and then show you a few of my favorite things!

The second crib will go under that arrow.
A few of my favorite things:

My mom sewed these two beautiful quilts for the twins. I love them! I have at least half a dozen quilts between the ones that my mom and my sister have sewn for me. They add such warmth and interest to a room. I love having quilters in the family!

I've been practically giddy about buying little boy clothes. "Squeeing" in the store, laying them out to make different outfits, washing, folding, and filling their drawers with a grin on my face: the whole nine yards. This little outfit is one of my favorites:

(Yes even that little rubber pacifier makes me smile!) The first time I saw these newfangled bibs that look like scarves on my niece Lux and I was all, "Even BIBS are cool now!" I shared on Facebook how impressed I was with the coolness of "bibs these days" and one of my blog readers sent me this one from her etsy shop, along with that adorable wooden bunny teether. I just love both of them.

She gave me a promo code to share with you guys too! burden15 will save you 15% in her etsy shop The Tiny Barn Owl.

Another thing in the twins' dresser that makes me happy is the rows of cloth diapers! It makes me smile to open these drawers and see all the colorful fluff inside.

One size diapers. 
Newborn covers and prefolds. 

One of the things I'm most proud of because of my mad thriftiness skills is this little wall collage:

The frames are from IKEA; they formerly hung in our playroom, but I took them down when we converted our playroom to a combo playroom/guest room. The prints inside were freebies I found online and printed. And the "B" (for "Burden"... not a hint at a baby name!) was on clearance for $1.80 at Hobby Lobby.

I also found this gold and black frame on clearance for $1.60 at Hobby Lobby. It has made the perfect home for the very first pictures I have of our twins, as tiny embryos.

If you follow me on instagram you will have already seen this last "favorite thing:" the dream catchers that Arie and I made together. They were actually supposed to hang from the ceiling as mobiles, but due to installation issues they ended up on the walls. I think they still look great there, although Arie was concerned about the babies having to crane their necks to see them. Ha!

The two of us had fun painting the feathers together plus it was so special to have Arie working hard to make something for his little brothers.

Now all we need in there (besides the crib!) are our two little boys. 11ish weeks and counting!



Twin pregnancy: week 26 in review

How far along? 27 weeks yesterday. 

Weight gain: Up another 2 pounds since last week, total gain 33 pounds! Right on track. I had an OB appointment yesterday and my belly is measuring 34.5 weeks. It's pretty crazy to look in the mirror and think if I had a singleton in there I'd be 5ish weeks from the birth! Instead I have more like 10-12 weeks to go. Slightly terrifying to think how huge I am going to be! Eep! ;-) 

How are you feeling? Same as last week: feeling mostly great, but very tired which is to be expected. 

Noteworthy moments: I had a fantastic OB visit yesterday! My ultrasound showed two healthy little boys bumping around in my belly: Baby A was 2lbs 4oz (35th percentile) and Baby B is still a bruiser at 2lbs10oz (76th percentile). Now that they have some fat on them they are looking extremely cute. Baby A had his little hand tucked right under his chin in such an adorable position. Each time I see their little body movements on the screen I get more and more excited to meet them! 

Perhaps the news that made me the happiest was that both babies are now head down! I have been feeling and seeing movements all over my belly so I went into the ultrasound having no guess as to their positions, but they happily surprised me! Now hopefully they will stay that way. I'm feeling optimistic. 

The only bummer of my visit was that I failed my one hour glucose test. I felt pretty gross and shaky after finishing that sweet orange drink they give you so honestly I was not that surprised to flunk. I could tell my body was not metabolizing the sugar very well.  Tomorrow I will do the three hour glucose test to see if I have gestational diabetes. My OB said it is not uncommon for women over age 30 with multiples to fail the one hour and she seemed confidant I would pass the three hour test; I guess we will see tomorrow! 

Get a little spiritual: With the exception of one crib (which we are receiving from friends in March), John and I finished setting up the nursery this week. (I'll have a nursery "tour" post up tomorrow!) Sometimes I just go into that room to sit and look around, overwhelmed with happiness that I am sitting in my babies' nursery! When I spend time there, I almost always have a worship chorus running through my mind: 

I've found all that I want, all that I've longed for in You! 

I couldn't quite remember where I first heard that chorus and I wondered if I had blogged about it in the past. I searched through my past posts and found it: amazingly, I heard those lines almost exactly one year ago when I was pregnant for the first time, with the babies I miscarried. 

A year ago I wrote: 

On Sunday we attended church with Kaitlin and my brother Wes. At the end of the service we sang the song, "All Who are Thirsty." The last lyric of that song is an invitation: Come Lord Jesus, come. The worship leader invited us to bring to mind any desire or area of our life where we needed to find healing in Christ as we sang those words, Come Lord Jesus, come.  

"Alternatively," he added, "if you have found healing and your heart's desire in Christ we invite you to sing the words I've found all that I want, all that I've longed for in You."

As the music swelled with the beautiful harmonies of those two lines I found myself singing the second line with great emotion. 

After the service I told the worship leader that this was my first time in worship since I found out that I'm expecting. And the first time in years that I've been able to sing those words. 

I've found all that I want
All that I've longed for in You.

What a mix of emotion I feel as I look back on that post, knowing that a miscarriage was in my future... but also this pregnancy. Most of all I feel a tremendous sense of having been kept and carried by my Savior through it all. I know that just as I look back and see both joy and pain, I can look into the future expecting both as well. I know I will again be met with sorrow and celebration in my life, many times over. What comfort to know that as I have been in the past, I will be held through it all. 

Bump shot: 



Twin pregnancy: week 25 in review (and maternity photos!)

How far along? 26 weeks today!

Weight gain: After three weeks of not gaining anything, I gained three pounds this week! Must be making up for lost time. Current weight is 170lbs and total gain is 31 pounds.

I've had a few pregnant women ask me for advice on how I'm gaining. I wish I had enough advice for a whole post riddle with expertise, but really my advice is pretty simple: 1) eat bigger portions 2) eat more protein 3) choose full fat products when possible (like yogurt and milk).

I'm not a perfectly healthy eater, but I do love to cook and choose real food 80% of the time, so eating well for pregnancy didn't require a big change of habits. If you are new to the "eat real food movement" I cannot recommend the cookbook 100 Days of Real Food enough! The recipes in that book are delicious, healthy, and easy for even a beginner cook. When I first bought the book I was pretty skeptical because the recipes looked so simple, I didn't think they'd be very good. I'm happy to say I was wrong and I've been recommending it to all my friends ever since!  (Pro tip: go find it in your local library if you want to give it a try before you buy.)

How are you feeling? I'm still happy to report that I am feeling good and only dealing with normal pregnancy stuff like being tired and not sleeping well. I hardly have any heartburn anymore and my restless legs have all but disappeared. This past week my tiredness changed from fatigue to actual sleepiness which is probably due to the fact that my nights are getting worse and worse. Since my belly is measuring around 34 weeks right now I'm coping with the discomforts most women experience at the end of their pregnancies. Only, I have a lot longer to go! Honestly though, I don't feel grouchy about it. I know it will end and I am enjoying the rest of this pregnancy so much that the discomfort is just background noise.

Last week a friend who is a massage therapist gave me a free hour-long massage. I'll tell you what: everyone needs a friend like that! My body felt great afterwards! Three days later John was rubbing my back and he even noticed a difference saying, "You feel much less tense." What a wonderful gift that was.

Noteworthy moments: My parents, brother, sister-in-law, and little niece visited us this weekend! It was wonderful to have them visit. We enjoyed special moments together shopping for baby clothes, talking about pregnancy and parenting, and my mom and sister-in-law got to feel the babies kick! My little niece Lux was born last April; our babies are due in May, so it is always fun to watch her and imagine what our babies will be doing this time next year! Well, mostly. I had a good laugh when my sister-in-law took Lux into a store to find she needed a diaper change. After a whole event of finding the restroom, removing her daughter's snow suit, taking off her pants, changing her diaper (while squirming), putting pants back on, putting snow suit back on, putting her back in the stroller, cleaning up, and finding the rest of the family again, she remarked, "Every time I do this I think, "And Jill has to do this TWICE!"" Ha!

Send help. 


Get a little spiritual: My sister, a photographer in Ontario, took my maternity pictures when I was 24 weeks along and sent me the finished product last week. What overwhelming joy I felt as I looked at them! Not just because she did such a marvelous job (which she did!) but also because I have dreamed of seeing myself pregnant for so long. As a hobby photographer I always notice that there is an extra pleasure that comes from not only experiencing something, but also reflecting back on it through photos. I enjoy looking back at photos from birthday parties, beach trips, and holidays just as much as I enjoy the events themselves. I had the same experience looking at my maternity photos. 

Clicking through the images, a song that I listened to probably thousands of times through my infertility kept playing through my head: Tim Be Told's The Battle Hymn. That song was quite literally my battle hymn as I fought against infertility. As I enjoy overcoming infertility with this pregnancy and anticipate the ultimate victory I will enjoy with the birth of my sons, the lyrics take on a whole new meaning. 

You deaf and blind do not despair
In sickness or in health declare
God is steady in the raging tide
All our weakness in his strength abide

God to you we've cried and praye

Before the cross our hopes we've laid
And curse the lies denying you are real
Holding onto faith that you will heal

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, every broken heart be brave!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, yes the Lord will make a way!
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, yes the Lord will make a way!

Bump Shot: In lieu of the breathtaking mirror-selfie I usually share each week, here are a few of my favorites from my maternity session with Jenna from Bear & Sparrow Photography:

To HIM be the glory! 



Twin pregnancy: week 24 in review

How far along? 25 weeks today! Belly measured 32 weeks at my OB appointment 4 days ago!

Weight gain: Still at 167lbs. Same weight for the third week in a row; I guess this is why they say you should gain most of your weight in the first half of the pregnancy! Glad I did. Hopefully I can put a little more on this week!

Now I know ultrasound measurements for babies aren't super accurate, but that said I think my efforts at gaining weight have been paying off because both babies are at above average weights/sizes (for twins) for their gestation! Baby A was 1lb 8oz and Baby B was 1lb 14 oz! In comparison to singleton weights, Baby A is in the 45th percentile and Baby B in the 75th percentile. Awesome!

How are you feeling? Same normal pregnancy stuff as last week (tired, slow, not sleeping well), but very much enjoying this stage. The babies are always moving around and reminding me of their presence. At my appointment on Friday my OB asked me, "Can you feel where the babies are?" I thought she was asking if I could distinguish their position (breech or not) by the placement of their kicks. I was kind of like, "Sort of," but no- she meant could I press on my belly and feel their little body parts? It didn't even occur to me that it would be possible for me to do that yet! She pressed around on my belly for a minute and then John and I were able to put our hands on my belly and feel the small round ball of Baby B's head.

I was completely awed. His little head was slightly larger than a ping-pong ball under my fingertips. Pressing firmly into my swollen belly to discern the curve of that skull I felt almost as if I was pushing through a divine screen from one world to the next. I know there are two baby boys growing inside me, yet feeling the human form of a baby just centimeters beneath my stretching skin... that was incredible. It made this pregnancy real in a whole new way.

Through my years of infertility I had a few women try to comfort me in my grief by saying, "pregnancy isn't really that great." I'm sure every woman's experience is unique and I myself might apply that sentiment to the first trimester when I felt so sick, but.. now? I could not imagine anything further from the truth. Pregnancy is absolutely amazing, breathtaking! I'm grateful beyond description for the opportunity to experience it. It has been all that I hoped for and worth every moment of the long battle to get here!

Noteworthy moments: Another great OB appointment this week. Baby A flipped to head down position which I was thrilled to see! Unfortunately Baby B is now breech. Ha! They switched. I can still attempt a vaginal delivery as long as Baby A is head down, but if Baby B continues to be so much bigger than Baby A, I may not be able to deliver him in a breech position. So now I'm hoping Baby A catches up in size and Baby B flips again!

John and I also had fun painting and getting the nursery ready this weekend!

Well, "fun" might be a bit of an exaggeration. Painting went fine and I really enjoyed sorting through all the clothes etc that we've accumulated for the twins, but there was this six hour project in between those two activities that one could probably consider torture:

Putting together an IKEA dresser.

Now we have LOTS of furniture from IKEA in our house but I cannot remember any one item taking longer than an hour to assemble.

This dresser was another story.

We probably should have known when, at 10am, we opened the boxes and saw THREE GALLON SIZE BAGGIES filled with various nuts and bolts and allen wrenches. Still I thought we'd be done by lunch.

We were barely done by dinner.

Both our hands hurt from all the screw-driver-ing and I had rug burn like marks on my knees from kneeling for so long.

On the plus side, I think I've finally learned to call it a "philips head screwdriver" rather than "the one with a star on it."

Just kidding, I had to ask John what it was called again before I typed this.

Anyway, the dresser looks great and the room is about 80% done. I'll post pictures when it is all finished.

Get a little spiritual: As I feel our babies kick and watch them roll and stretch under the surface of my skin I keep thinking about Psalm 139: 

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.My frame was not hidden from you    when I was made in the secret place,    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;    all the days ordained for me were written in your book    before one of them came to be.

It is right for me to be awed by this process. God is knitting together two of his precious children in my body. I know God's hand is always with me, but this process makes me so aware of his presence because I imagine his hands at work in a very literal way as he puts these children together. It is a joy to be a vessel for his handiwork! 

Bump shot: 



Twin pregnancy: week 23 in review

How far along? As of yesterday I am 24 weeks pregnant! This is a milestone to celebrate because 24 weeks is considered "viability" which means that if the babies were to come now they could possibly survive (with lots of NICU care). Of course we are praying they stay in through 38 weeks, but it is a milestone nevertheless!

Weight gain: The scale still read 167lbs this morning which is the same as last week. Total gain: 28 pounds. This was very surprising to me since John and I went away for the weekend to a wedding and I ate great quantities of delicious food. Guess I must have expended all the calories I took in!

How are you feeling: Still pretty great although I can feel my body slowing down now. This weekend my sister and brother-in-law came to visit; during dinner one night I knocked my water glass over and spilled everywhere. Normally I would have jumped up to soak up the spill but this time I let John run and grab a kitchen towel because I knew by the time I got out of my chair, walked to the kitchen, got the towel, and made it back to the table the spill would have evaporated already. That's probably the best picture I can paint: I feel great but am just slow these days.

Arie loves how slow I am; we normally race up the stairs each night to bed and he now wins every single time. I somehow got ahead of him for a hot second last week and he yelled, "MOM! SLOW DOWN! BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR BELLY!" Ha! He grinned mischievously while pushing by. Little stinker!

Noteworthy moments: I had my maternity pictures taken this weekend! My sister is a photographer in Ontario and I really hoped she would be able to take them for me. As it happened she was in town to babysit Arie while John and I travelled to the Chicago-area for a wedding. When we got back we took advantage of her presence to get those pictures done. I cannot wait to see them! When I get them back I will post them on the blog.

Get a little spiritual: As I reached "viability" this week I have been feeling particularly victorious. In my celebration I remembered a bible study I did a few years ago by Beth Moore on the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation frequently talks about how Jesus overcame sin and death and how we too, through his power, can overcome the trials of our own lives. Our "overcoming" is of course paltry in comparison to what Jesus overcame through his resurrection, yet when we overcome our personal trials and failings we have a certain joy in participating in that power Christ bestows upon us through the Holy Spirit.

I remember Beth Moore saying something along the lines of, "We all want to be overcomers, but no one actually wants anything to overcome."

Isn't that the truth.

This week felt very celebratory as I owned the joy of having overcome a significant trial in my life. It is a small taste of the victory I know I will enjoy for all eternity! And most humbling, I know this pregnancy like my salvation is a true gift: a gift I sought after with all my heart, but a gift that ultimately was given to me through no power of my own.

Bump shot: 

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