Twin pregnancy: week 13 in review

How far along? 14 weeks today! Officially in the second trimester. More than 1/3rd of the way to meeting our babies!

Weight gain: Up to 149lbs. Gained a pound since last week, total gain: 11 pounds. I'm officially the heaviest I've ever been! My face is already looking rather round to me these days. I wonder what it will look like by the end.

How are you feeling: No relief from the nausea in sight, sorry to say! I'm just plugging along taking it one day at a time.

I notice my bump now! If I'm sitting down and try to bend over to pick something up from the floor it feels like it is "in the way." It's not really in the way yet, but that's the best I can describe it. It feels "present."

I can pretty much only sleep on my sides now, but I'm mostly a side sleeper anyway so no big deal. Comfort-wise I am sleeping fine, but I do wake up 3-5 times each night to pee. Good grief. I imagine this is only going to get worse too!

One other pregnancy symptom I've developed is a bad taste in my mouth. I've tried to think how I can describe it but I just can't find the words. It just tastes bad. I don't like to chew gum so I just brush my teeth a lot. If you have any advice for minimizing the bad taste please let me know!

And speaking of teeth, for those of you who had nausea in your pregnancy, what did you do about the dentist? I'm about a month overdue for a cleaning. I've been putting it off because having someone work on my mouth when I feel like throwing up does not sound fun! However I can't imagine I'm going to find the time when I'm nursing infant twins either. Is there a way to get a dental cleaning where they don't put anything in your mouth!? ;-)

Noteworthy moments: Any of you who have been through infertility know how hard Christmas can be. Last year at Christmas time we had just lost our first two embryos. We hung a special ornament on the tree in their honor, one given to us in their memory. We haven't set up our tree yet, but we did go out to buy some lights and decor. While we were shopping we found the sweetest pairs of baby moccasin ornaments. We purchased two to hang on our tree in anticipation of their arrival! I cannot tell you how much joy I feel this Christmas, knowing that the emptiness I felt last year has been replaced with fullness and expectation. We have so much to rejoice over this year!

Get a little spiritual: This weekend we had our first snow here in West Michigan. John, Arie, and I took advantage of the picturesque beauty to take some photos for our Christmas card. After we shot the ones of our family I asked John to take one of me with my bump. Here it is:

It's embarrassing how long I've stared at this picture, but it hasn't been out of narcissism. It's because I can hardly believe that is me in the picture! I think back over the years when I feared I would never take a picture like this, never see my belly grow, never know what it was like to grow a life inside; that fear was dark and painful and absolutely hollowing. I wanted this pregnancy desperately.

And now I have it. Times two.

It feels miraculous.

Well it feels terrible physically, but spiritually it feels miraculous. This picture is so precious to me because when I look at it I can remove myself from the nausea and see this pregnancy for the truly beautiful thing that it is.

The LORD has been so gracious to me and I am eternally grateful for this gift.



Twin pregnancy: week 12 in review

How far along? 13 weeks today!

Weight gain: 148lbs, total gain 10lbs.  According to my twin book my weight-gain recommendation by now is between 12-18 lbs. I'm a little under that, but pretty close! I know I'm eating well so I'm happy.

How are you feeling? Still so nauseated. Spent Sunday morning throwing up and was bummed to miss church. Also had an LOL moment with Arie on Sunday: I came out of the bathroom all sweaty and pale from puking and told him, "Arie, Mama is throwing up so I don't think we're going to make it to church."

Arie literally cheered.

Not even a fleeting moment of empathy for his poor, pukey mom. Not an ounce of disappointment about missing church. SIGH. Five year olds.

I'm starting to have food aversions. First trimester I noticed I didn't really want sweets which is unusual for me, but mostly I was dealing with cravings more than aversions. Now that I'm bordering on the second trimester almost nothing sounds good to me. Normally my list of dislikes includes rosemary, hoppy beers.... and that's about it. I love all food without discrimination. Now I am developing a whole new empathy for picky eaters!

Even though nothing sounds good, once I start eating I generally appreciate whatever is on my plate. I'm feeling super thankful that I can still eat feed my babies even with the nausea and food aversions!

Noteworthy moments: I got to hear the babies' heartbeats for the first time! On the first day of my 12th week I had an OB appointment and she pulled out the doppler. Up until that point I had only seen the heartbeats on the ultrasound screen. Hearing them was an incredible experience and made this pregnancy feel that much more real!

Get a little spiritual: With it being National Adoption Awareness Month, I have been thinking a lot about Arie's birth mom. Arie was born June 7 and these babies are due May 24. Arie did come a little early, but generally speaking I am experiencing this pregnancy at roughly the same time she was expecting Arie six years ago. I'm not really sure how to describe what that feels like... it's tender and special and sad and poignant and treasured all at the same time.

Bump shot: I never know what to do with my face in these pictures. I'm sorry I'm so awkward.


Twin pregnancy: week 11 in review

How far along? 12 weeks today! I'm either done my first trimester or I'm in the last week of it... the internet is unclear about that. What say you readers?

Weight gain: I'm up to 147 which means I gained a pound this week. Total gain is now 9lbs.

How are you feeling? Unfortunately worse than last week. To borrow and revise a line from Psalm 88: "Nausea is my closest friend." I asked a bunch of twin moms when their nausea subsided and most said somewhere between 13-20 weeks. So I *could* be close to feeling better! I also could be far away. I'm staying positive and believing I'll soon feel some relief. In either case every day is one day closer to feeling better... right?! ;-)

I know I write this every post but it bears repeating: I would trade pregnancy nausea in a HEARTBEAT for infertility. Yes is SUCKS and yes I've cried over the frustration of now 7 weeks of constant nausea (mostly about having to cancel doing so many things I wish I could do but just don't feel up for) but compared to the pain of infertility? Oh heavens. I'd take this over that any day!  

Noteworthy moments: John and I like to do this thing where we hug and kiss (peck) in front of Arie. Usually we are standing in the kitchen and Arie is at the table. I remember when my mom used to rub my dad's back and kiss his cheek exclaiming, "I love this man!"we kids we would be all, "YOU GUYS STOP!" but secretly inside we relished seeing our parents in love. Even before we were married, John and I talked about wanting to be affectionate in front of our kids to give them that same sense of warmth and security. Last week we were hugging and Arie was giggling at us like he usually does when John exclaimed, "Hey I can feel your belly!"

It felt like a milestone! My belly is still small but protruding enough that John could feel it as we hugged! Arie ran over to us wanting to see and feel. The next day he was watching me work in the kitchen again and said, "I can see your belly Mom! I'm going to call you 'pregnant mama' now!" It just all feels so special.

Get a little spiritual: This might get a little intense. Prepare thyself.

One feeling I am experiencing this pregnancy that I did not have at all when we were in the process of adopting Arie is this huge weightiness of what it means to bring a child (or, in my case, children) into the world. Not in the practical sense of "How am I going to provide for these babies?" but in a rather heart-wrenching way of "What kind of world am I bringing these children into?"

I'll listen to the news and hear about wars, about refugees, about disease, about abuse, about death and have these thoughts like, "Oh my God. This is the world I'm bringing life into?!" Then I think about all the suffering my loved ones have experienced... and I have experienced... and that my children will experience... and it gets a little dark.

Now I realize since I believe that life begins at conception these two babies were, in reality, already in the world before I became pregnant with them. My brains knows that. My heart still struggles.

Two weeks ago I had a bit of an ugly cry when I saw this quote from Frederick Buechner on my Facebook feed:

"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don't be afraid." 
I read that quote and immediately visualized holding my babies in the hospital, welcoming them into the world with these words. They reminded me of one of my favorite verses from scripture where Jesus says, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

I shared the post on my Facebook page and somehow started to feel better about my whole "What kind of world am I bringing these children into!?" fear.

As so often happens to me this gentle sense of, "It's going to be okay." was solidly affirmed a few days later at a church event where we sang one of my all-time favorite hymns This is my Father's World. 

There's a line in the third verse that I've honestly never been able to sing without a crack in my voice:

This is my Father's world
Oh let me not forget
that though the wrong seems oft' so strong
God is the ruler yet! 

The wrong DOES seem oft' so strong, doesn't it? It means so much to me that this song doesn't deny that reality. BUT indeed God is the ruler yet! He has not left us in our suffering. He is here with us and he promises that he is in the process of making- as the song says- heaven and earth ONE.

Today when that, "Oh my God. What kind of world am I bringing these babies into?" fear creeps up like bile in my throat, I swallow hard and boldly proclaim, "This is my Father's world!"

Bump shot: 
12 weeks pregnant with twins!
Thanks for reading! xo


Twin pregnancy: week 10 in review

How far along? I'm 11 weeks today. That means I am officially done taking progesterone! Woot woot!

Weight gain: 146lbs, total gain of 8 lbs so far. I would have liked to see the scale go up a little more this week, but I am eating well so I guess my body just doesn't need more yet!

How are you feeling? SAME. Tired and nauseated. Getting bored of that answer? Me too. I did have two days last week where I felt like I had a "good day." Less nausea, was able to get more done around the house... but it's now back in full force. I even threw up this morning which marks my first pregnancy puking experience. Milestone moment! As much as I am looking forward to feeling better, I say a daily prayer of gratitude for this constant reminder of the life growing inside of me. It feels so good to feel so bad!

Noteworthy moments: I had my first OB appointment. I think I am going to really like my OB. She has lots of experience with both twins and treating my blood clotting disorder (FVL). At my appointment we spent a lot of time talking about how to best address my FVL. After my appointment she took the time to print off a recent academic literature review about FVL and pregnancy so I could read it and made some decisions about my course of treatment. I was so impressed that she wanted to empower me and help me understand my options. I felt respected. A great start to this important relationship!

Get a little spiritual: John and I want to give each of our children a "life verse." It's a verse that we read over them at their baptism, a verse that we hope will serve as a guide and encouragement to them in their lives. Arie's life verse is Isaiah 43:19, "See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."

I've been keeping an ear/eye out for verses that I think would serve our twins well. I think over the course of this pregnancy I'll start making a list and by the time they are baptized, we will have decided. Last week Sunday John read a verse that is the first one to make the list!

John 7:37-38, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink! Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."

When I heard that verse I thought that is exactly what I want for my children. To be quenched with the love of Christ and, in turn, to be a source of that love for those who need it. As I'm typing this I'm realizing too that both this verse and Arie's life verse share a water motif. Perhaps I should start looking for a third water verse for our third child!

Have any of you given something like a "life verse" to your children? Share in the comments!

Bump shot:

I know last week I said I was going to wear the same clothes each week and take a bump picture. Here's the truth: I'm still in my pajamas. I feel like throwing up. I just don't even have the energy to take that picture for you. So this is a picture from instagram two days ago! You can see my belly is really starting to show! Yay!

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