Friday, December 31, 2010

NOT what we thought!!

I sometimes like to sit and scroll back in this blog and read over all the things that have gone on. Sometimes just for fun, sometimes because I miss it all. It dawned on me this morning as I was reading back that the whole time Jill was pregnant we kept saying that Jillian was a crazy cat like mommy and Justin was calm like daddy. Well friends let me be the first to tell you that we were VERY wrong!! Jillian is the most soft natured little princess I have ever met. She has soft sweet eyes and smiles so shyly that its almost as if she flirts non stop. Other than her daddy, I have never met a softer soul. Justin on the other hand is just like mommy. He is loud, he has a temper that will show itself quicker than you can blink if he wants and he is always checking things out! He makes you "work" for a smile and really has to check you out before he makes his mind up about what he thinks. Its so funny how wrong we were. They are both such fun little babies and we are really enjoying watching them grow. 5 months old already!! I just cant hardly believe it! They are doing great as far as growth and development. Justin is far larger than his sister and quite a bit stronger as well. Jillian is our little peanut who loves to analyze things with her hands and really takes the time to look at every part of the toy she is holding. Justin just tries to get it into his mouth as quickly as he can. They are both sleeping in their cribs and every now and again sleeping through the night! It has been such a wonderful experience and I will treasure it always. So anyways............just some fun little facts about our little munchkins!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Justin & Jillians 1st Christmas

















What can I say other than the blessings that Jeff and I felt this Christmas season were like no other. When you have been given the gifts that we have, it puts many things into real clear perspective for you.....real quick! I hope that you all had as wonderful of a Christmas as we did and that you felt the love and peace of Jesus. Merry 1st Christmas Justin & Jillian, you are loved by so many.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

VERY similar feelings..........

So, I thought I would wait to share this post because it was SO similar to Jill's. It blew my mind when I read Jill's for the first time as oddly enough she and I didn't talk about this. As strange as this may sound (especially because I'm the one with the babies) I'm missing our "journey" terribly. Jill explained it so well. It was such a rush of high emotion EVERYDAY that I feel as if I want it back. PLEASE don't get me wrong.............I'm in absolute bliss with these two perfect babies and I love every single second. BUT..........I miss the ride of the pregnancy. I miss the excuse of seeing my very best friend ALL the time. I'm so busy now that I don't see Jill nearly as much as I would like to. ALL of the anticipation that Jill described is a little.........addicting I guess. There are no words to express how extraordinary of a journey that was. Without a doubt, it was the coolest thing I have ever been a part of. I never said anything to anyone about my "sadness that this part is over" because I didn't want to seem ungrateful for what we have. But when I read Jill's post, I couldn't believe how similar we were feeling. Do I sound crazy? I'm sure I do!!!
Justin and Jillian are doing wonderful. They are very happy babies and are growing like weeds! The emotion I feel when I look at them is crazy. They are a true gift and not one day passes that I take that for granted............Speaking of taking things for granted..............................................Mr. Kurt Dahmen. I have come to realize now that life is "back to normal" just how large of a role Kurt played in this. Just how much of a sacrifice he was willing to give. Just how selfless he was. And just how much strength he gave to all of us along the ride. Not many people will have the honor of knowing a man like Kurt in their lifetime and that is so unfortunate because his friendship can truly transform your life. I mean that........ as dramatic as it may sound. Jill did not get paid to carry our babies. Kurt went through this whole journey with NOTHING to personally gain. He NEVER complained, he NEVER acted frustrated and he NEVER made us feel like we were in any way a burden. But instead, he fell in love with the babies growing in his wife's belly and he offered up strength to all of us when we needed it. He picked up the slack for Jill when she was sick or too tired. He was our rock. I love to watch the video montage that I posted and look at all of the pictures of Kurt. His smile in all of the pictures brings tears to my eyes as I type this. He has a heart of pure gold and is a TRUE man of God. I couldn't have hand picked a better life partner for my dear friend. I'm so honored to call him my friend.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Strange Emotion.

Wow, it's December already! Exactly one year ago we were in the very, very final days... trigger shots and egg retrievals and embryo transfers. I cannot believe how quickly this all has gone. Why is it that the good times in your life always go so much quicker than the "not so good" times? I've been finding myself emotional these last few days and I'm not exactly sure why. When I think about the babies (who are, by the way, FOUR months old already!) I am emotional...often emotional enough for silent tears and honestly, I just can't pinpoint what it is. I haven't even shared this with my husband because I don't know what else to say except for what I just shared here. I don't think it's sadness. There is no reason for me to be sad. But tears don't start to well up in my eyes when I think of my own children. I wonder if this is just what happens when you love something so much that "isn't yours"? Truly, I don't know. Anyways, this has been making me think alot about our journey. All of the different phases that came along with it. Anticipation, excitement, wonder. I've been thinking alot about the day they were born. The whirlwind of that day, the overwhelming feelings of thankfulness for healthy babies. A healthy pregnancy, a safe delivery...topped off with healthy babies. Thank you LORD! All of that, all of the last year, actually year and a half, has been so exciting. Full of anticipation for the next phase. When we went through our psychological screening and counseling we anticipated the next step. When we were going through all of our shots...multiple daily shots, we anticipated the next step. When the eggs were retrieved we anticipated the transfer...then the "symptoms", then the pregnancy test~1st beta numbers~2nd beta numbers, one baby or two?, anticipated gender...boys? girls? both?!, milestones...made it to week 18~whew, week 23 WHEW!, week 28 YAY!, week 32 praise be to God!. Anticipated babies positions~natural delivery or a c-sec?, hair color, personalities...There wasn't ANYTHING we didn't analyze and anticipate! How do you follow that kind of excitement? Seriously. I'm not sure that I will ever accomplish anything else in my lifetime that was that FULL of excitement. And this was different because it wasn't for me, obviously I've been pregnant before and had my own babies. This WAS different. Bottom line. So, now what do I do? How can life be that full and exciting now that THAT part of the journey is over? I "tasted" something I didn't even know existed and now I'm craving it again. NO. I don't want to get pregnant again! Ha! I want to fill my life, and my families life, with the excitement and energy that I experienced. It was a gift. I need to pass it on. Pass it on to my children and my husband...although he did experience it too~to a degree.
In September I "picked up" running. Silly as it may seem, it has been pretty exciting. I set a goal to run a 5K...did it in Oct. and then again on Thanksgiving day. For me, that was a BIG accomplishment! I set a goal, worked hard and achieved it. My next goal is to run the 10K I registered for the end of April. Anticipation. Excitement. I like it! My family is starting to get the running bug too, Kurt just registered for his first 5K which will be the end of January...that's cool! So although it isn't "growing life within" (ha!), it is something. Please don't judge me, I don't want you to think that I'm selfish. I know this journey wasn't about me, I never wanted it to be and I'm not trying to make it about me now.
I am thankful for the journey that God took me on, it showed me some of what I had been missing out on!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!







Just wanted to share some pictures of our first Halloween! Both babies have their first cold as well so they didnt go trick or treating in the stroller with their big brothers and sister but we still dressed them up and pulled out the camera!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Did breastfeeding end up working??

Well, I'm very happy to say that YES it did!!! At the time the babies were born I was pumping 20 or so ounces per day and freezing it. It was great because I had a deep freezer full of milk! I was able to nurse the babies the very day they were born and they have continued to do great! When they were about two months old we started using formula as well because I cant meet the needs of two babies but for me it was never only about the nutrition. It was about the connection between us that comes with nursing. I wont say that it was easy. The meds you take to induce lactation can make you a bit crazy. I gained almost 30 pounds and I was hot ALL the time. But.....................I would do every bit of it all over again. Just yesterday I was nursing Jillian and she pulled off and smiled at me, then latched back on. Worth every pound....every hot flash.....every mood swing. All of it! Its a decision that I'm so happy I chose! I'm not sure how long I will continue to nurse, but for now, we are enjoying every minute!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

out of order post







For part 1 of my birth story, scroll down past "its been 5 weeks already" The posts are out of order for some reason.
And a new picture update........... Getting big!! Almost 11 weeks already!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

So, it's already been 5 wks!

Holy smokes! It's already been 5wks since these precious little peanuts made their grand entrance into this world...5wks! Time has really gone by quickly, but in the same breath, our birth experience, our time in the hospital seems like ages ago...weird. Alright, so anyways, 5wks post birth, post c-section, post physically letting the babies go...post, post, post...you get the drift. Many people ask the questions, and many more want to but feel they can't so they "beat around the bush". "How are you doing?"???? 'What do you mean' I want to say back...'say what you mean'! I'm a big girl, I can handle a tough question, I promise you wont make ME uncomfortable!
How am I? Well, c-sections, I realized, ARE NOT bad...the recovery kinda stinks if you're use to bouncing back to normal within hours of birth though! So, I've learned what NOT to do in the first few weeks should I ever have another c-section! Ha! But honestly, for the most part everything is back to normal. I can pick up and hold my little kiddos and am so thankful for that! I am back to work now, another stepping stone towards the path of normalcy.
I sometimes will stop myself from ordering a spicy meal when we are out to eat only to remember...ah,yes! yes I can eat that! I don't suffer from heartburn anymore...yeah, that's right! I can eat WHATEVER I want...WHENEVER I want! Nice perk.
Post birth? Do I feel like somethings missing? Like I forgot my child at the hospital?...um? No! Nope, not in the slightest bit do I feel like I am missing anything. I love Justin and Jillian, oh man do I love them! I can't actually type any words to make someone understand exactly how much love I have for them...that's how strong I feel. But do I feel sad that they are not "with me" anymore? Nope. I just don't, and I don't want that to sound cold or heartless because it is just the opposite. I get to love them so much more now that they are here, so I wouldn't trade this for anything. I had a short time to "love and care for them" and now I get to see, hold, snuggle, kiss...all of the above, any time I choose! It's great! I get to watch Denise & Jeff bask in the glow of new parenthood & that WAS the point of all of this, wasn't it?! Honestly, I had prepped myself to feel a bit of sadness or loneliness. Let me explain...EVERY time I have given birth to my own children, whoa...that's funny to say out loud..."given birth to my OWN children"~as I now need to clarify! Ha! Funny! Ok, sorry, anyways....every time I have given birth to my own children I vividly remember laying in the hospital bed, usually during the 1st night while Kurt is sleeping, baby is sleeping, it's dark out, the hospital is quiet...there I sit~awake and a bit SAD, sad that I am "alone", no more baby within me~it's a little lonely feeling (silly, I know). It was short lived, I always felt better by morning, but nonetheless it was an emotion that followed me during every post birth. EXCEPT this one...figure that one out! I will figure it out for you, it's all God...He protected my emotions like no one could ever have done & for that I am so thankful!
Every once in awhile I will look at Justin & Jillian and think about how they were inside of me, yet they aren't mine, yet they were inside me, yet...yet....whoa. Weird. Wow. Strange. I mean, cool. But, yeah...wow. Huh. Can you kind of imagine the roller coaster of emotions I'm trying to describe? I don't really know how to put the emotions to words...I mean, they aren't bad emotions, it's just different & a little wild!
What an honor, what an amazing journey and amazing to me that God thought me as worthy to go on this journey with Jeff & Denise...just simply amazing. Denise and I have said from the get go, we signed up for the "No Glitch Plan" and that continues to be true even now during this stage of the story...no glitches!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Because she loved us this much....the birth story. Part 1

This must be the 5th time I have sat down at this computer to share our birth story and every time I couldn't find the words to do it justice. After lots of reflection.....I think I might just have it!

I have had many feelings during Jill's pregnancy and during the birth and even now that the babies are here. Fear, anticipation, joy, love. Lots. But one that stands out the most and seems to be with me everyday. I have these two precious miracles "because she loved us this much" and I just cant tell you what that knowledge does to my heart. The birth story is wonderful...Kurt called me at about 5 something in the morning and told me that we should come over because Jill had been contracting for many hours. Jeff stayed with the kids and I drove over to find Jill in the bathroom just getting out of the bath and in that very moment I had to fight back tears. Seeing my best friends very pregnant body with my babies inside and knowing this might be the day I hold them in my arms was almost to much. We called the doctor and they said to come in. Jeff drove over and we packed up and left from Jill and Kurt's house. The drive to the hospital was really cool. Jeff and I were alone and it was fun to get each other "razed up" if you will but trying to be cautious the whole time that it might not be today! We arrived at the hospital and the ramp elevators were out of order so a nice man gave us a ride to the front doors. We left all of our bags in the car thinking we might not need them. We went up to be monitored and guess what?.............we were in labor! My babies were coming today! The doctor came in and about blew us out of the water when he said that our c section would be in about 1 HOUR !!!!!! The tears started flowing out of all 4 of us! Jeff and Kurt ran (and I really mean ran) to the trucks to get the bags, we changed our clothes into scrubs and it was time!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Are they beautiful or what??!!!
















Well......what can I say? We are over the moon in LOVE with these little ones! I wanted to post some pictures of their first of many I'm sure photo shoots with auntie Jill and I also wanted to share my version of the birth story but I have decided my mind is not clear enough today so I'm still going to post the pictures and save my story for another post to come real soon I promise. The babies are doing perfect and we are enjoying every moment!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

addt. pics, enjoying both babes...



some favorite memories






The days that we spent in the hospital together were filled with so many precious memories that I will always hold in a special place in my heart. I wanted to share a couple of them today...
To conceive even just one baby would have been a miracle, everyone would have been crazy excited! So, when we found out that there were TWO we were "over the moon"! Along with two came a little more anxiety though, for obvious reasons. As hard as we tried to keep the mentality that God was in control and trust that everything would be OK, we also knew that we couldn't be naive. Things happen. We know this. Denise and I have both experienced miscarriages...it happens, and we certainly were not exempt from it happening this time, in fact we had double the chance of it happening~if you will. At any given ultrasound, especially in the beginning we could've seen one healthy thriving baby and then for some "unknown reason", the other baby "just stopped developing". I don't mean to be a downer or sound dramatic but it happens to people EVERYDAY. My point in going there is this....when it actually came to fruition, when these babies were born~actually here where we could see, hear and touch them it was completely overwhelming. There was a huge sigh of relief. On a personal level, not that this is about me at all, but I had some feelings brewing inside of me during this pregnancy that I could just let go of once I saw and knew that Justin and Jillian were here and healthy. I NEEDED for my body to not let me and everyone else down, I just kept thinking to myself..."don't fail me body, don't you DARE fail me, not when my dearest friends and their babies are counting on you". Going into labor at 35wks 1day wasn't my plan. I was realistically hoping for 37 or at least a bit closer to 36...but....
So, for me? One of my many precious memories was when I was able to watch Jeff and Denise each hold BOTH of their babies at the same time, which I think happened on their 3rd day of life. And then to see my husband hold the babies that he helped my body prepare to carry, to see him love babies that weren't his. He had gotten to know them through their crazy late night antics. We had many mornings when he would tell me, "I was holding you last night and Justin was kicking like crazy...or Jillian was NUTS!"...he was finally able to see their faces & that was precious to me. And then for myself to hold them together...well, I still don't have good words to explain that feeling. I remember holding both of their heads in my hands and thinking..."yes, yes!...this is why my ribs hurt! Ha!" and feeling Justins bony little shoulder, I recognized it, it was always visibly protruding right smack in the middle of my tummy!
Ahhh, what a surreal feeling...we did it little kiddos, you are here...this part of the journey~ you and me connected, is over...
Now we are on to bigger and better journeys...an entire lifetime of journeys, I couldn't be happier!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Welcome home Justin & Jillian!!!


Just a real quick post to share the happy news that we all came home from the hospital yesterday! 6 days was all it took! Our stay at the special care nursery was pretty uneventful. We were just waiting for the babies to keep their temps stable and show us they were eating. They did it all and out we went! Its so wonderful to be home. My other children absolutely adore the babies and are always wanting to hold them. We are a big family that's floating around in a "love bubble" right now and we plan on enjoying every second of it!

On another note..................Jill posted the picture of me reaching for her hand in the operating room and it has really had quite the response from people so I thought I would share what was on my heart in that very minute as it will forever be something I carry with me. Its actually quite simple.........All the love and concern a person could possibly have for someone they love was bursting out of me in the minute. I lost eye contact with Jill during the c section because of a piece of equipment and then the babies were delivered so I was trying really hard to focus on them...........but it was really hard. I NEEDED to see and touch and know that my friend was ok. I knew that the babies were going to be ok. After all.....they had been in the best care possible for almost 9 months. But being separated from Jill for that short amount of time was really hard for me. As soon as we were given the go ahead to go into the OR with her, all I needed was to touch my friend. See that she was well. Crazy day and a very crazy feeling. I was telling Jill that is was as powerful as the feeling of protection we have for our very own child. Anyway, just a small explanation of how I was feeling. I'm off for our 1 o'clock feedings! When I can find some time, I will post my version of our birth story!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ice Cream Parlors to Operating Rooms!



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What a difference a week can make...one night we're getting ice cream together and a week later we are desperately trying to make eye contact in an operating room! We had talked countless times about what it would be like at "that moment", but never came close to what it was actually like. We talked about it the night we were enjoying ice cream together! For me personally...I have NEVER cried a harder "happy cry"! I will shed a "happy tear", of course. BUT, this was sobbing and laughing all at the same time. I'm surprised that I didn't mess up the doctors handy work with all my shaking...hmmm, I wonder now that I write that~ was I shaking??? I guess we'll know if my scar isn't a straight line, but instead a zig-zag! Ha!
Everyone knows that I really didn't WANT a c-section (seriously, who does, right?!). In all honesty I was terrified at the idea...about all aspects of it, the spinal block, the feeling of claustrophobia, not being in control of my body, possible spinal headache, nausea, any other rare possible risks...all of it made me uneasy. I DO NOT like to live in fear, I want to ONLY FEAR GOD. But if I'm being honest, leading up to delivery day I was afraid of all those things. Listen, I was so nervous that when the anesthesiologist introduced herself with that title, I broke down and began crying....WHAT?!?! Ridiculous I know! I even said to her, "I'm so sorry I'm crying, I know it's dumb, I don't know whats wrong with me!" BUT then...I have an amazing team of prayer warriors (some of the best women you'll ever come across & I'm honored to call them my friends!) and let me tell you, they stormed the heavens with prayers for peace and calmness and GOD IS SO GOOD, He didn't forsake me! I felt HIS presence, I felt HIS peace. As I walked away from my husband Kurt, Denise & Jeff and headed to the O.R. there was no fear anywhere near me. Amazing. Laying on the operating table my husband and I chatted and laughed with the entire surgery team. And when the doc gave his warning "5 minutes until 1st baby", my husband and I pleaded with God to bring healthy, crying babies into this world. And that is just what HE did...they both cried immediately and all praises went straight back to HIM.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

few more...


Just a quick update on how babies are doing...
They have never needed assistance breathing! They are holding their body temps steady! Nursing like CHAMPS every 3 hours! And most likely coming home this weekend...yeah, God is GOOD!

few more pics
















baby pics




Pictures!






Oh my word...these last few days have been such a whirlwind! We are all getting confused as to what day it is, what happened what day, so on and so forth! Kurt and I are fairly well rested, me probably better than him because the beds that are on this floor for the men are less than desirable. Jeff & Denise slept on an AWFUL bed last night but are on the natural high that comes along with the birth of your children. I dont want this to be a long post but let me say...seeing Denise, Jeff and their family and the pure joy on their faces is ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS!
Enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Justin and Jillian

Our beautiful babies arrived today
Justin was born with a head full of dark hair and weighed 5lbs and is 18 1/2 inches long!!!!
Jillian was born with a head full of blond hair and weighed 5lbs 9oz and is 18inches long!!!!

Jill is doing well and has already been up to see the babies!!!!!

HERE THEY COME!!!!!!!!

Babies are coming today by c-section will post as soon as possible.

Monday, July 26, 2010

weekend of contractions...

So, it's been an interesting weekend. Quick little update...
Started out my Saturday like any other, nothing unusual. We had a birthday party/ open house with some good friends that afternoon to be at. Made a couple stops along our way there, the last one being Target...I quickly ran (not really ran, but ya know!) in by myself. As I was standing in front of the childrens books I had a "contraction" that made me break out in a sweat...quite intense. Had this happened before? Sure. So, any big deal? Nah, not really. I leave the store...have another shortly there after in the car....hmmmm. Well, they didnt stop. Infact, they got rythmic...10min apart. We left the party early to go home and lay down. All the while, mind you, texting back and forth with Denise with as accurate detail as I possibly could. The contractions that night did not stop BUT they lessened in intensity & became less regular...sometimes 7min apart, and then 14min apart. Off to sleep I go, knowing that if I can sleep through them there is no reason for concern. I sleep great and wake up Sunday...same drill, different day! I spent Sunday trying to lay as much as possible to keep comfortable while keeping the little kiddos entertained, ah, the joys of multi-tasking! Kurt had a golf day planned with his brother otherwise he would of been running the show here...he has definately been a ROCK STAR through this, picking up the slack with the kids when Im unable to, love him! He did come home and make a PERFECT steak dinner for us~yummo! Oooh, and then he ran to the store to get the neccesities to make me a Vanilla Malt that I NEEDED...needed right now (at about 10:00)! He's the BEST! So anyways, here we are, Monday morning and it appears to be the same routine...several "contractions" have started again. I shouldn't say "started again" because I dont believe they ever stopped. Everytime I woke up last night I was having one. What does this mean? Honestly, Im not sure...but, I do know that typically my body will do this for a few days prior to "real labor". Who knows. I'm certainly not gonna pretend like I do!
On less of a "housekeeping" note...it amazes me how many people I encounter that care for these little babies, people who don't even know Jeff & Denise~who will probably never even meet the babies & honestly people who barely know me. There is a woman at church who has prayed with and for me before, she just has a very soft spot in her heart for these babies. She again yesterday laid hands on my belly and prayed...not for me but for Justin and Jillian. She prayed for their salvation and for their walk with Christ as they grow. What a beautiful thing....

Friday, July 23, 2010

34wk appt. & "will I be OK?"



Appt went great! Babies each scored 8 out of 8 again. What a miracle it is to watch them in there moving around! So many things are new to both Denise and me, such as amniotic fluid, did you know that the fluid can be different from one sack to another...not by amount, but by COLOR! We've been able to watch the fluid literally "slosh" around, and we've watched the membrane that separates the babies flow back and forth, almost like seaweed in water. At one point during an ultrasound, Jillian had her foot on Justins leg and she was curling her toes on him...it's just AMAZING!!! Selfishly, I feel so blessed to be a part of this journey, it's just been so fun and I'm constantly amazed by what I learn and see...thank you Jeff & Denise for taking me along on this journey!....OK, speaking of being on "this journey"...
my 3rd question that I didn't have time to answer last post, let me address that as best I can.
3.) Will you be OK when this is over???
The first part of my answer comes in the form of a question..."when is this OVER?". I have the amazing honor of helping my best friend & her husband become parents together, yes, carrying the babies is an honor but ONLY because of the outcome that it brings about, right? For Jeff & Denise to look at these little faces and analyze who looks like who or who acts like who. For Jeffs parents to watch their only son become a father. For Jeff to hear a little voice (well, 2 little voices!) one day call him "daddy". The pregnancy comes to an end but none of those reasons go away, does that make sense? I am fortunate to be doing this for someone who will always be in my life, I will have that constant "gratification", if you will (I'm challenged to find the right word), of watching this happy family grow for years to come. I COULD NOT do this "for contract"~ya know, for a stranger....THAT would be too hard for me & NO, I'm not sure that I'd be OK after (because there is an "after" in that case). I'm just not wired to be able to do that, God bless the women that can~that appears to me that it'd be tremendously tough. I AM attached to Justin & Jillian, I love them. I cannot wait to meet them, I cannot wait to kiss on them and cuddle them...yes, I will be doing all of the above...because they are my best friends babies (not because I want them!). I am excited to watch them drive away in Jeff & Denises truck! And I'm excited to be able to pick up my children and cuddle them close, which I haven't been able to do for several weeks. I'm excited to hug my husband tightly, no more sideways hugs! I know that the hormones that follow any birth are going to come and I believe I am prepared as I possibly can be for that.