Twins: What Do I Need Two Of?

twins

I have a friend who I am writing this post for, who is pregnant with twins! I am so thrilled for her and her family, and she doesn’t know what she is in for… double the joy, double the love, double everything!

So I haven’t written in a while! I have missed it. I went through an extremely stressful period, but thankfully we are out of it and slowly settling, in a NEW home! I have traded my stress for new stress it feels like, but I’m working hard to take it down so I can write on a regular basis like I wanted to. I hope you can forgive me for my lack of dedication.

Alright! So lets move on to this awesome new post! My friend asked what my must-haves were for twins and I realized that I did not have a check-list type post specifically for twins. What?! If you haven’t seen my amazing Baby Checklist, you should check it out. I outline in a really cute and handy printable a thorough new-baby checklist and to-do list. In this post, for my twin mamas, I’m going to let you know what you need double of, and what you may want to buy two of. Also, I’m going to include some things made specifically for twins and some tips for shopping for twins!

You already know you’ll need two car seats and two cribs, but what about everything else? Keep in mind that all babies are different, so when you buy two of these things, a great thing to do is to not open everything before they arrive. Only open one of each thing and see how each twin likes them. If you find that one of your babies only wants to use the bouncer, or doesn’t like her bassinet, then take the unopened swing back so you can save some money. Twins are expensive!

You may need doubles of:

1. Rock ‘N Play sleeper by Fisher-Price or a bassinet of your choice.

2. A simple Bounce Seat. Perfect for letting your babies kick and bounce while you get things done around the house.

3. Baby Carriers/Wraps if you’re going to be going out, these are a lifesaver! Some babies HATE being in car seats and they want to be close, so let Dad pack one of the twins around while you carry the other!

4. High Chairs or chair attachments seats like this one, made by Fisher Price!

5. Baby Swings.

6. Boppy Pillows– one for you and one for another family member or friend to use while they hold the other twin. Also great if you’re breastfeeding!

You only need one:

1. Bathtub

2. Twin Stroller- I highly recommend Baby Trend Double Snap-N-Go for their car seats! Its amazing and cost effective! Later on, I recommendBaby Trend Sit N Stand Double stroller for your toddler-sized twinnies! I had great success with both of these items and I didn’t have to spend a fortune.

3. Tummy Time Mat or play gym!

4. Pack N Play (optional)

 

The next few things I’m going to show you are items made just for twins!

1. Something you might want to look into for breastfeeding twins is a My Brest Friend Twin breastfeeding pillow. There is also a breastfeeding pillow called the Twin Z pillow that is really cool!

2. Take a look at Table For Two, an adorable seat to make feeding easier!

3. The Twingaroo is a baby carrier made for twins!

 

As far as everything else you might need for baby in general, please don’t forget to look at my ultimate checklist of baby items! Click Here!

Am I missing anything? Let me know! Thanks for reading!

5 Prayers For An Anxious Heart

Anxiety and being a mother go hand in hand, in my opinion. I have struggled with anxiety most of my life and it only just recently got harder to deal with. During my pregnancy with the twins I got over-worried really easily, often feeling alone because no one around me knew what I was going through. It was really hard, even when the boys were born. Everyone just kind of looked at me like, “I don’t know how to help you.” And when you realize that you’re alone, fear and panic can set in really fast.

One of the most important things I can say to a mother that feels that way, is that you aren’t alone. Your guardian angel is right there with you. Pray to God, and let go of those worries.

I was shopping the other day with my family and came across the book Prayers for an Anxious Heart. I grabbed it and read it immediately after I came home, and I wanted to share a few of the prayers with you. Some of them mean so much to me, because it almost completely describes the worries in my heart and my mind on a daily basis. Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t begin to put into words what I’m going through. The beautiful prayers in this book truly help me put things back into perspective. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I smile. But all of the time, I feel better.

This book can be found here, Prayers for an Anxious Heart. If you’re an anxious heart, I encourage you to read this book, or simply read these prayers. Realize that you don’t have to cope with your struggles alone.

spacer footsteps

Uphold my steps in Your paths,

that my footsteps may not slip.

Psalm 17:5 NKJV

Dear Lord, I believe You are always aware of me. You know where I am right now, and You have a plan for my future. I want to trust You and be confident that everything is designed to make me more and more like You as I walk through each day. But sometimes it seems as though I’m totally on my own. It feels like I’m facing a mountain I have to climb, with nothing to hold on to. All I see is a steep mass with no way to get to the top.

Show me the path I’m to take, Lord. I trust You to guide me and make a way. When there are boulders along the route, please teach me how to use them as stepping stones. If I run into slippery places, give me solid footing. When the path twists and turns and I’m not sure which direction to go, I yearn for assurance that You are before me to direct my steps.

It’s easy to make my own decisions, only to realize I’ve gotten into something I can’t handle. Remind me always to depend on You to show me every step I should take. Then I can know, even when things are difficult, that You will take me to my destination. Give me grace to believe how much You care about every part of my life. Amen.

 

 

 

 

forgiveness

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, 

and abundant in lovingkindness to

all who call upon You.

Psalm 86:5 NASB

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your everlasting love, forgiveness, and mercy. Wrapped in your comforting arms, no anxious or bitter thoughts can take us captive. Yet sometimes we wrestle against Your embrace. Rather than give up our anger and resentment, we choose to wallow in our own discontent. We seek comfort in the familiar burden of impunity and smugly point accusing fingers at those who have hurt us.

Your Word tells us to surrender the wrath and malice we hold against our enemies. Offering love and forgiveness to them that You have given to us will deliver us from the anguish that bitterness so readily brings. The struggle is a hard battle to win.

You mercifully remind us to view those who have wronged us through Your eyes- the same eyes through which You looked upon our own sinfulness. They strive against human failings as much as we do. Then we concede the truth: prayer and forgiveness are the keys to unlock the prison of our enraged hearts.

You, Lord, are always ready to forgive, having loved us with an everlasting love. Help us follow Your divine example. Let us bring into captivity every thought in obedience to Christ. Yes, Lord, our forgiving heart set us rest in the comfort of Your embrace once again.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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fear

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you,

for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,

surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 NASB

Lord, I have no reason to fear, because You are with me. You are ever present by my side to guide and protect me. The things in this world that make me afraid are not more powerful than You and are not out of Your control.

I need not look anxiously around me for help from somewhere else, because You are my God. Keep me from setting up other things in my life as gods. Nothing and no one else besides You is able to give me the peace, endurance, and power I need to face the day ahead. Instead of looking around me and focusing on the things that overwhelm me, may I set my gaze firmly and unwaveringly on You.

Thank You for this wonderful reminder that You will strengthen and help me. I ask You, the Almighty God, for that strength and help right now as I face the days and weeks ahead.

Help me rest securely in the knowledge that I am firmly placed in Your hands.

I truly have no reason to fear with You by my side, as my God, strengthening, helping, and holding me in Your hands. Amen.

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calm

“The LORD will fight for you, and you only have to be silent.”

Exodus 14:14 ESV

In this day and age when action is so heavily stressed, it is hard for me to wrap my head around the thought of not acting. Lord, this is truly a command You give in times of struggle? Waiting on Your will and timing is one of the hardest tasks.

I must remember Your might and power. You create the very atoms of the ground I tread, and I confess that many times I stop around creating chaos when all I seek is order. Lord, the thought of ceasing my plans and obeying Your will frightens me. When You call me to reach outside myself and forgive or trust, it tears me from my selfish pride, rids me of embittered desires, and cleanses the channels of my heart. I must trust that the most strenuous and arduous tasks You grant me will bear the most fruit and draw me closer to You. To know that the God of the universe fights for me, an undeserving sinner, leaves me astounded.

Lord, thank You for fighting my battles inside my heart and outside of myself. Change my heart, Lord; help me obey Your command and trust in Your plan. Let Your spirit prompt me to keep silent and listen for Your instruction. Lord, grant me the courage to release these fears into Your care and stand firm in the fact that You will fight for me. Amen.

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down

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10 NIV

Oh, heavenly Father, what a wonderful gift it is to have Your love embedded so deep in my heart. Nothing is more powerful than the love You have for me. It overcomes all hardship and transgression. Your love fills me up with forgiveness. It washes my heart clean of sin. And when I am downtrodden and weary, it is Your love that refreshes me and gives me strength to carry on.

I find such peace in Your love, a remarkable peace truly beyond my understanding. When I am troubled, I know that You are there in my heart. I listen and I hear You whisper to me gently, almost like a lullaby, “Be still, My child. I am here, and I love you.”

You are always here waiting for me in my heart, ready to help me, to comfort and to love me.

And joy! There is such joy in knowing that Your love is eternal. You are with me wherever I go and whatever I do. Nothing can separate me from Your love- nothing at all. In the worst of times, You draw me near to You. You hold me close and love me with a love so pure that there is no mistake that it comes from You.

Oh, thank You, God. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for being there, down in my heart. Amen.

prayers,heart

How I Stop My Colds In Their Tracks!

colds, natural, healthy, options, medicine, stop, healthy

colds, natural, healthy, options, medicine, stop, healthy

My life is extremely busy. From one moment to the next, I have about 300,000 things on my to-do list. The one thing that can pull my day to a screeching halt is… a cold. All of my life, every time I ever got a cold, it would make me so miserable I couldn’t do anything. For weeks.

It would go through phases. I would get the achy, dry throat. Stopped up nose. Head fog. Watery eyes. Sneezing. Body aches. Headaches. Chills. Then it would last for days and days. Then I would get the gunky throat and the gross cough. Then after that I would get sometimes a constant, barky, dry cough. Sometimes it’d get so bad I’d lose my voice for days.
Sounds more like the flu, doesn’t it?
But its really my personal normal symptoms for the common cold for me. I often get sinusitis too. I finally got fed up with it after I had my daughter, McKennah. I figured there HAS to be a way to help this. My body never responds to over-the-counter drugs, besides ibuprofen. And only when I have a bacterial infection, does it respond to antibiotics.
I have been pregnant for the better half of the last 5 years. My four children mean the absolute world to me. It’s just so hard to be the best mom I need to be when I have a cold. I hits me like a train and suddenly I just can’t do anything. I don’t want to cook, clean, go out anywhere. All I want to do is sit in my tub and drink coffee.
But then I found a few things that would change my life forever.
cold,elderberry,sinus,saline
With a little bit of determination, research, and willingness to try something new, I have found the answer to my month-long cold problem.
  1. Elderberry. Before having kids, I had never even heard of elderberry. It has a lot of health benefits and it has been used for hundreds of years as a part of traditional medicine. They have large amounts of vitamins and antioxidants, and its health benefits range from digestive health, cardiovascular protection, immune system health, and bone health and inflammation. It helps alleviate respiratory conditions such as cold and cough, which is why I use it while I’m sick and even when I’m not to help avoid sickness. It’s only when I’m not taking do I catch nasty germs.
I have grabbed this awesome infographic from Organicfacts.net:
elderberriesinfo
You can view its entire article here.
It is an AWESOME preventative for colds. Take it every day if you have a job where you’re around of lot of people, or take for a few days before you go somewhere where there might be people who are sick.
Another great thing about Elderberry, its SAFE for pregnancy and breastfeeding which is one of my biggest concerns when looking for cold relief as a mom. As long as it is not taken in huge amounts, its very safe, as with many OTC drugs. It is also safe for kids to take, and they even make children’s elderberry supplements. I have a bottle of little elderberry gummies right now! Elderberry is also sweet and easy to take.
elderberries-fb
I know for a fact that elderberry works. The first time I started taking it was when I was Day 3 in a horrible cold. It was about 3 days later, I felt good as new. Seriously. Coupled with Elderberry and my #2, Apple Cider Vinegar, my horrible colds are now a thing of the past.

If you want to check out what I personally use, you can view it here on Amazon:Nature’s Way Sambucus Black Elderberry Original Syrup, 8 Ounce

And also here is the children’s gummies that I buy too:Zarbee’s Mighty Bee Gummy – Elderberry – 42 ct

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: I love ACV. It naturally alkalinizes the body, and most illnesses can’t thrive in alkaline environments. Make sure that if you use it, buy the raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized versions that include “The Mother of Vinegar” which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules. It is rich potassium, it helps soothe dry throats, and it also helps support a healthy immune system.

Personally, I have had it help stop my colds in their tracks. There are so many wonderful benefits of taking Apple Cider Vinegar. I only buy Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. You can find it everywhere now! I used to have to go to health food stores or order it online. Look at it further by clicking here:Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Did you know that Apple Cider Vinegar has been highly regarded throughout history? In 400 B.C. the great Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing health qualities! You can also give it to your kids as well, and use it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s also healthy for your pets, including horses! 

 

If you want to take ACV, I personally mix it in a cup of tea, 3 times a day. I only use 1-2 tablespoons! If you’ve never had ACV, the taste my knock you down a bit, but you’ll get used to it. Especially when you start seeing how amazing you feel. 🙂
  1. Saline Nasal Spray- I never liked the thought of spraying anything into my nose. I broke down and eventually bought some because my poor nose was raw from trying to get all that congestion loose. I actually tried Nasonex when I was little and I remember it gave me the worst nosebleeds while I was in school. I never used a spray again. But now if I ever have a stuffy nose, saline nasal spray is one of the top things on my list. I can’t use anything with a drug in it because I’m nursing the twins. Saline spray is perfectly safe to use as many times as you need to while you’re sick.
  2. You spray in one nostril, and gently breathe in a little through your nose, even if you can’t breathe through it. It’ll help the spray get to the toughest spots in your nose. A couple of times in each nostril usually does the trick for me. And the best thing to do is to be very patient and gentle with yourself! If you’re blowing your nose really hard, its only going to make the inflammation worse.

Those are my major essentials for knocking colds down. Other things that help me battle them are:

  • chicken soup
  • coconut water
  • tea
  • foods with fresh garlic or ginger
  • cinnamon
  •  lots of dark leafy things, spinach, kale, etc
  • plenty of rest and sleep

What are your experiences with Apple Cider Vinegar or Elderberry? Do you have a go-to cold relief protocol? Let me know in the comments below!

The Best Baby Checklist from A Mom of Four!

I’m finally done with my new-baby checklist. This is everything I personally need for a new baby in the house and some more things that I always like to have for extra comfort during the first postpartum weeks. If you have any questions about anything on here, let me know! I have listed some of my favorite products, and I’m going to give you guys the link to each one of them so you can check them out yourself!

 

baby checklist

 

 

Here is the HUGE List of my favorite items. Most of these you can find on Amazon (score!).

  1. My chair from American Signature Furniture. It is the best, softest thing to sit in, sleep in, rock in while you’re pregnant, and during those long nights and getting used to nursing. It is the best. I love it so much.
  2. Tucks pads.
  3. Colace Stool Softener  not super fun to talk about, but its such a necessity for postpartum.
  4. Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray also a big necessity.
  5. Boppy Nursing Pillow
  6. Medela Tender Care Lanolin– My favorite! This is my first choice among all of the brands.
  7.  Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote – Also my personal favorite.
  8. Medela Contact Nipple Shield, Medium– These were life savers for my twins. They were so tiny and had issues latching at first, which can cause any mom to rethink breastfeeding at all. You NEED these in your hospital bag!
  9. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, Pink/Purple, 0-3 Months, 2 Count– These pacifiers are the ones they give you in the hospital. I love these because there is virtually no risk for a choking hazard. But please be sure to change it as your baby gets older, there are 3+ month Soothies that are made a little tougher to keep babies from putting the entire thing in their mouths. Hands down these are the best pacifiers out there. My babies have never used anything else!
  10. Summer Infant Comfy Bath Sponge– This is the bath sponge that I love to use for newborns, it adds a lot of security during bath time and its easy to keep clean. Take a look at the price!
  11. Fisher-Price Newborn Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper– This is what I’ve been talking about in all of my posts. I love it. Its a major necessity for me.

So those are my favorites out of the list! I hope you find the list useful and you can narrow it down by checking off what you need, or adding other things you want to have! I have also added a safety checklist of things you need to be aware of before bringing baby home.

I have just published an article about baby toys that will be helpful for new moms as well, it is The Best Toys for Babies! Check it out!

Don’t forget to make the most of your pregnancy, click here to see my favorite Pregnancy Keepsake Ideas.

I want to know what else is a must-have for pregnancy, postpartum and baby. If you’re a mom of multiple children or a first-time mom, let me know what you think! I want to hear from you. Comment below!

Please share with this with your friends, and feel free to sign up for my All-Things-SuperBaby newsletter!

 

Breastfeeding Essentials!

new-infographic-2

This is my top 10 essentials for a nursing mama. I have made this picture great for pinning on your Pinterest board! Enjoy.

As a nursing mom, I’ve had 5 years of nursing experience (total! so far). I nursed my daughters for two years each, and I’m working on 9 months with my twin sons! I’ve learned full well what works, what doesn’t and what is a total waste of money when it comes to nursing. Nursing is very inexpensive, and you don’t need a whole bunch of expensive stuff to start. All you truly need is support. If you feel like you don’t have any, let me be that support for you. You can talk to me by going to my “Contact Me” page, or just leave a comment!

1. If I had to pick one thing to get for nursing it would be a Boppy pillow hands-down. Newborns are tiny and nursing a newborn can be difficult especially if they’re under 7lbs (three of my babies were under 7!). Boppy provides the best support and it’s very comfortable to use. I’ve used several other brands and none of them compare!

2. I rarely use it now, but for nursing a newborn the second most important thing for me to have is lanolin nipple cream. The most effective brand for me is Medela. It’s a creamier consistency than other brands and if you have sore, cracked or other nipple problems, you’re going to want something easy and comfortable to apply.

3. Prenatals . It’s pretty self explanatory, but I highly recommend staying on your prenatals if you’re breastfeeding.

4. I put a BIG fluffy recliner in the picture above for a reason: If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you’re going to be sitting down a lot. And you’re going to be sitting a LONG time. Your baby will nurse for about 15-20 minutes on each side, every three hours around the clock in the early days. If you buy the wooden glider with the 2 inch thick pad, your rear end is going to hate you. Mine did! I spent HOURS upon hours in the glider when my first daughter was born and I vowed to get a big rocking recliner when we had our next baby. You Will NOT Regret It.

5. A hospital grade pump. I didn’t even buy a manual pump when we had our first baby. I wasn’t planning on breastfeeding. It wasn’t until we had her that I fell in love with nursing. I ended up buying a manual pump when I was dealing with my first clogged duct, and it didn’t help at all. I bought a hospital grade pump after our second baby was born, and it worked wonders. I’m an exclusive nursing mama, which means that I don’t do any pumping or any formula feeding, so for the moms that plan on feeding with bottles, skip right on over the manual pumps and buy a hospital grade pump before your baby is born and learn everything about it! It is not difficult to use at all, but I recommend getting really familiar with milk storage guidelines and sanitation practices.

6. This needs to be in big letters but I won’t yell too loud: WATER. Aside from my Boppy pillow, water is my best friend. Keep a bottle with you wherever you are. Drink when baby drinks, and get plenty! Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

7. A nursing bra. Nursing bras are my saving grace but for the early days I just recommend going to a maternity store and buying nursing pajamas or a nursing gown. That way you don’t have to wear a bra, and a top while you’re dealing with that first-two-weeks-engorgement-period. You need to be as comfortable as possible to enjoy breastfeeding and be really successful. Splurge on yourself and buy some super soft nursing pajamas before your baby is born, and use them in the hospital. I did with my twins and I was ever-so-thankful.

8. Healthy, healthy, healthy snacks. My favorite thing to eat in the hospital were these little veggie trays they had after I had the boys. They had chicken salad, carrots, crackers, and cheese and it was delicious and filling. I recommend having a family member go out while you’re in the hospital and fill your fridge up with yummy snacks like this for you to eat. You’re going to be pretty hungry (or not-I was shocked at my lack of appetite after I had my daughter) so make sure you go home to a pantry stocked full of healthy snacks for you to munch on throughout the day and night.

9. Nursing pads these are another huge necessity for me. Buy them and pack them in your hospital bag, because when your milk comes in, its going to be a huge mess(lol!). That was another thing that I didn’t prepare for when we had our first baby. I used tons and tons of these and the brand that I loved was Lasinoh, but Medela is good too. I don’t recommend buying reusable nursing pads.

10. Nursing camis. These are awesome during all phases of your breastfeeding journey, I love them and I still use them now that my twins are 8 months old. I hope that I can make some nursing cami’s for my business, Snickerdoodle, soon. 🙂

Added: one thing that I forgot to mention was Medela Nipple Shields. I bought them when we had the twins, and they really helped my son Jackson who struggled with a bad latch! It was amazing! I highly recommend them for babies born early. 

 

Having twins? Read my Breastfeeding Twins post!

My other checklist posts are: All-Things Baby! and Pregnancy Necessities!

Thanks for reading! These are my necessities, if you have more, please share! Thanks y’all.

Breastfeeding twins: What you need, and some tips to help.

breastfeeding,twins,newborn

breastfeedingtwins

^Our twins Jackson and Levi.

Breastfeeding twins sounds like a near-impossible feat. So much to worry about. So time consuming. What if I don’t make enough milk for two babies? Can I do that?! Can I really nourish two babies.. Adequately? Will they be healthy? What if they don’t gain enough weight? How will I get any sleep? Is it even possible to hold two babies nursing at the same time?!

These are some of the thoughts I had when I was pregnant with my twin boys. Even as a breastfeeding veteran, I was terrified. I felt very intimidated by the thought of two babies needing me every three hours around the clock for their first few months of life.. Even though I have a combined four years of breastfeeding under my belt, I still felt like it was a crazy thing for me to expect myself to be able to do. I can only imagine what moms think of their abilities to do this who have no breastfeeding experience at all.

Im here to say this:

You can nurse your twins. Effortlessly.

It takes patience, determination, and willingness to alter your schedule and your tasks around your babies’ needs.

I’m going to give you the best advice I have, from my experiences nursing my sons. I hope it helps:)

During pregnancy To-Do’s:
1. Plan maternity leave if you are working. The more time home with your babies, the better.
2. Get a high quality breast pump. A lot of insurances are covering the cost of a breast pump, I highly recommend looking into this!
3. Learn and read everything you need to know about using the pump, and reading about when to pump and breast milk storage.
4. Get your basic nursing essentials from my list Breastfeeding Essentials!
5. Buy two Fisher Price Rock ‘n Plays. The closer your babies are to you at night, the better. There are so many good things about this little bassinet when it comes to breastfeeding. It’s portable, it’s safe, it’s comfortable, and it’s small. You can find one on Amazon by clicking here:Here

6. Do your HOMEWORK.

The one thing that I urge moms to do is read. Educate yourself about breastfeeding. The more information and knowledge you have before your start, the better your confidence will be about nursing to your goals.

Expect yourself to run into road bumps. Everyone does. Research all of these things and PLEASE only go to trusted sources for breastfeeding info.

My top nursing go-to website is Kellymom.com.
You should also seek support from your local La Leche League Group, you can find information here at LLLI.org.

These are some basic road bumps that I have had to deal with:

-correcting poor latch
-engorgement
-clogged ducts
-milk blebs
-mastitis
-nursing a sick baby(stopped up nose)
-nursing strike
*Another thing, don’t believe breastfeeding advice from just anyone. There are a lot of things people think are supposed to help with nursing but really only hurt your efforts. There are myths out there that may make your struggles so hard that you cannot continue. Your great aunts sisters niece might mean well, but only take their advice with a grain of salt. Do your homework. Do your research before you take any advice.*

When your babies are born:

– begin breastfeeding right away, as soon as you can. If it is possible, ask that absolutely no formula is given to either of your babies. If you can’t physically nurse your babies (if they need to be in the NICU, begin pumping when you can.)
-get in touch with the breastfeeding consultant while you are in the hospital and make sure all of your questions are answered and you feel confident about nursing your babies.
I was adamant about nursing both of my twins at the same time while I was in the hospital. I wanted to know I could do it. I don’t really know why I wanted to, but the encouragement from the staff at the hospital really helped me. They were really surprised that I was actually attempting it and doing it! And I wondered to myself, do most twin moms not try? I surely hope it is not the lack of confidence that keeps twin parents (or any parents, rather) from breastfeeding their babies. I realize that the amount of support that a new mom gets when she starts breastfeeding truly can make or break her. I just can’t assume most moms will toughen up and have that determination all by themselves. It was a miracle that I did, because I had no support when we had our first baby. But I can see that it doesn’t happen for everyone. If this post helps just one mom, I would feel like I have done my job for my entire blog, you know? I want all breastfeeding moms to know that they CAN do this and that they CAN get through the road bumps. You can.

Not necessarily tandem nursing, that’s optional. But the truth is, you’re going to have to do it at some point. Those babes are going to be crying at the same time, you’re going to realize that you have two boobs! (Lol.) and really, it isn’t that bad. Tandem nursing is an art. And you don’t need anything but a comfortable place to sit.

More on that later.

When you come home from the hospital, get a journal and keep it next to you and write down every poo diaper, every pee, When they nurse and how long they nurse. Their doctor is going to want to know all of that anyway, but it helps your confidence level. Knowing they are giving you plenty of wet diapers means they’re getting enough to eat. And when you write it down, you don’t have to rack your sleepy brain to try to remember the blur of the last week to see if he’s had a drop in pee diapers, when you feel discouraged that he’s not getting enough milk. (Sorry for the forever-long sentence just then.)

Another HUGE thing I want to tell moms:
Fall in love with water.
Water is going to be the key to success. You need to have great, clean, good tasting water. The Sam’s Choice bottled water at Walmart is just fine and it tastes great. I’m extremely picky about my water, so trust me on that one! Nursing my 8 month old twins, I go through three 32-pack bottled water packs in two weeks.
You need to keep a bottle close to you at all times. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty (obviously) but don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink. Keep one with you while you’re nursing and when you sleep. Another saying that is easy to remember, Drink when they drink!

Stay on your prenatal vitamins. Don’t stop them just because you aren’t pregnant anymore. You’re still nourishing their every need. <3

Keep snacks with you close by, and don’t get hungry. Don’t worry about dieting because one great thing about nursing is that those pregnancy pounds will disappear! I was still hanging onto 40lbs when the twins were born, and now I’m down to 15lbs. So keep your diet full of good, healthy foods and stay full, because you’re still eating for three. 🙂

Night-time Nursing:

One big thing I’ve learned nursing twins is if you want to get any sleep, nurse your babies at the same time throughout the night. For example, if Baby A wakes up at 2:30am, nurse and lay him back down, but wake Baby B up to nurse as well. That way, you don’t nurse Baby A and go back to sleep just for Baby B to wake up hungry in a half hour later when you just barely got to sleep again. That way both babies are fed and hopefully sleep another 2-3 hours before someone wakes up again. Eventually they’ll get on the same pattern and it’ll help you tremendously when you’re trying to sync up their schedules.

Now, some may not agree with me on this and that’s alright, but here’s another tip: let Dad do most of the work through the night. Let him do the diaper changes. Let him get up to get them. You need your rest. I know how hard it is not to do those things yourself but breastfeeding takes HALF of a mothers energy. Half. You need every ounce of sleep you can get. If you’re doing the massive task of feeding two babies with your body, he can change a diaper half asleep. He will be alright. You stay asleep when the babes go to fussing at night, let him get them a fresh diaper and then you can wake and nurse. Let him put them back to bed.

Speaking of rest, learn to nurse while laying down. It’s probably not feasible when they’re newborns but as they get a little older and they grow a little, side lying is best at night for nursing because you can fall right back to sleep very easily. You don’t have to get up and get a nursing pillow and situate yourself and then situate baby. It takes a lot of energy to do that half asleep and can make you dread night feedings.

Prepare for hunger. When my first daughter was born my husband actually made me a sandwich before we went to bed. It is kind of funny now that I think about it but it really helped. I would wake up starving and I would gobble down whatever I could get. Pb&J sandwiches would fill me up until morning. 🙂 You will get hungry throughout the night and if you can, eat up!

Whew I’m exhausted.
I will do a Part 2 post soon! Thanks for reading. 🙂

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My Ultimate Pregnancy Necessity List!

As a mom of four, I would like to think I’m pretty familiar with baby stuff. I think I could guide a new mom from start to finish, all things she might possibly need.. from Pregnancy, newborn, toddler, and preschool stuff! Everything. My kiddos are all 2 years apart, minus the 4th, he’s 3 minutes apart from his older brother. 😉

When I tell you all of these items, whether they are name brand or not, I want you to know that I am in no way affiliated with any company, and I am not being paid to promote any particular product. These are just things that I must have during pregnancy!

First Item on my list is this:

vitaminsHealthy Mama(tm) “Be Well Rounded” Multivitamin And DHA softgel Prenatal Vitamins -I used these with my twins and they seriously made a difference in my pregnancy health and my energy, even. I could always tell if I forgot to take them because I would be tired and slow. Start taking your vitamins immediately! Preferably before you get pregnant! Use them while you’re nursing, even after you wean. They are awesome.

Tummy Sleeve, Belly Band, Bellaband, Who cares just get one of these! 

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This particular sleeve is from Motherhood maternity. I bought mine from Target, but they all work the same. I used one through each of my pregnancies, my twin pregnancy for a less amount of time (obviously), but they are useable for weeks! That means you can stay in your favorite jeans instead of maternity pants as you grow.

Next item is something I always prepare for, I always have some stashed away, I make sure I never run out. (I am out at the moment. KIDS.)

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Okay, I know candy shouldn’t be the third thing down on my necessities but it is. Sugar isn’t healthy, we all know that. But this is something that you have to keep in mind: Sugar can be part of a healthy diet if enjoyed in moderation. And if you have self control. Which I don’t. But you’re not me! Fight the urge! Jolly Ranchers (or anything you think might help) is my go-to nausea medicine. There has been some conflicting claims about anti-nausea drugs out there, and you know when I found out about the twins, I was planning to go running straight to the doc to get some of those. However, I decided against it. I don’t think it’s good to use drugs during pregnancy or nursing. There simply hasn’t been enough research on the effects on babies from any drug, deemed safe or unsafe. I got hit with the nausea train at exactly 6 weeks with my twins, it came full force and it was absolutely intolerable. This is my number one remedy, though. Strong flavored hard candy. They make “Preggie Pops” (Google it.) and they were okay, but not great. Ginger ale, SEA BANDS works wonders, they’re acupressure bands that  go on your wrists. I used them with three of my pregnancies, and they really make a difference. All of these things you can keep going and it’ll get you past the worst of the nausea/morning sickness phase of pregnancy. However, though, if you’re vomiting constantly, can’t keep anything down, please visit your doctor! There are instances when anti-nausea medicines are necessary.

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Pregnancy Journal! Also, a camera. Get your hubby, parter, do a selfie in the mirror, anything, take pictures. You’re going to want pictures, even if you don’t think so at first. I only took one picture of myself when I was pregnant with my first baby, and as soon as we got home from the hospital with her, I cried because I didn’t have anything to remember it by. I only had the very few pictures that others took of me. I didn’t have memories of the big milestones, like the day we found out she was a girl, or the day my belly “popped”! I didn’t have much at all. Nor did I record anything, All I remember is having a lot of headaches. I wish I would’ve written them down. My advice is, from the very beginning, get your positive pregnancy test and tape it to the inside of your book, I highly recommend the “What to Expect” Pregnancy Journal and Organizer. It’s very detailed and gives you plenty to write about. My last two books were cute and frilly but there wasn’t much to do, there were only weekly pages and places to put a picture, which is fine, but this particular book asks you loads of questions that you might not think to write down, it gives you day-to-day space to write, and it gives you advice and ideas to do during your pregnancy along the way, perfectly tailored to the week you’re in. It’s wonderful, and I have all my books and they are precious to me, because every time I open them I can remember. Take pictures every week! I know it’ll seem silly, but take one as soon as you find out, it’ll be amazing to have a “before” picture to compare your belly to as you grow. You can imagine the difference I had with my twins!

Pregnancy Bucket List. Make yourself a list of things you’d like to do throughout your pregnancy. Things like, write a letter to your baby each month of your pregnancy with her, go on a “babymoon”, or just a date with your significant other, sew up some dresses or socks, make a personalized blanket for baby, take a bubble bath, get your nails done, anything you want to do before baby comes. I was pregnant through three Christmases. My first one I had to have this shirt:

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I absolutely loved it and I enjoyed each Christmas when I was pregnant with this shirt! I still have it but I doubt I’ll ever get a chance to wear it again 😉 Here is a picture of me in it with my first baby, alongside of my best friend, we were both due in February, 9 days apart from each other. That is another story I can’t wait to tell you! (if she will let me 😉 )

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  Make a Baby Poll! Get your friends and family involved, and find out who thinks boy and who thinks girl! Look up what your results are with all the fun gender theories, like the Chinese gender chart, the wedding ring test, grab your early ultrasounds (if you have one) and guess based on the Ramzi theory or the “nub” theory. It’s all for fun and makes it even more exciting in anticipation upon finding out if it’s a boy or a girl, whether you wait till your baby is born or if you find out via ultrasound. A great idea is a “gender reveal party”! I love the idea of them, but I never had one. I couldn’t wait to let someone take the results and hide them from me. lol, I wish I had the patience to do something like that. If you’ve never heard of it, what couples usually do is they have the ultrasound tech find out the gender via ultrasound without revealing it to you, put it in a sealed envelope so the parents won’t see it, and the couple gives it to someone to either bake a cake, fill a box full of balloons, or any cute reveal idea that you can think of. It’s really neat to have all of your friends and family gathered around to find out the gender of your baby together. It beats bringing the whole family to the doctor with you! LOL! Plus, its a party and where theres a party, there’s cake. Right? Win/Win!

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This is what we used to announce the gender of our twins. We made these ornaments and put them into gift bags for Josh’s parents to open them on Christmas Eve with the family. It wasn’t a gender reveal party, but it was just as fun watching everyone’s reaction! 🙂

Now you start growing. Does your mom have stretch marks? They’re hereditary, so, chances are you’re going to get them too. However, you can reduce the amount you get, and you can reduce how bad they may get if you prepare early on using this:

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Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Stretch Oil. I highly recommend this over ANY other belly lotion, cream, oil, anything. This is the best. I used two different lotions with my pregnancies with my daughters, one containing cocoa butter, the other containing collagen to promote elasticity. Both times I got terrible stretch marks and one of those lotions’ smell was so strong I hated putting it on cause I would smell it all day. This, however, smells awesome. It’s an oil and it goes on and melts into your skin instantly. I used this with my twin pregnancy. It warded off stretch marks till the very end, so that means A LOT when it comes to claiming whether it works or not. I quit using it in the end for some reason, so I got new stretch marks. I think the only reason why I quit is because I was running out, and I didn’t want to order more because I thought I’d have the twins soon. I should’ve ordered more. It’s really amazing. Not to mention, the makers of Earth Mama Angel Baby strive to keep their products as natural and as toxin-free as possible. I have a lot of their products, I love getting anything made by them because you can trust that what you use is going to comfort you or your baby, without worrying about harmful chemicals.

There are probably more things I will add to this list. I’m going to make separate lists for newborn essentials and for breastfeeding must-haves as well. These things are what was most important for me during pregnancy. Above all, try to enjoy the moment. Because it only lasts a second and don’t rush because its gone so fast. I hope you enjoyed reading! Thank you all!

My 10 Favorite Pregnancy Keepsake Ideas

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9 months seems like ages when you’re pregnant, but as soon as your little bundle of joy arrives, you’ll soon start to miss that baby bump! I have listed some of my favorite ways to capture the best moments of pregnancy so when it’s all over, you have a special keepsake to remember the joy of your pregnancy.

  1. Make a Pregnancy Announcement Photo (or video family’s reactions!) –The sky is the limit with the amount of creativity that you can put into this. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the viral photos or YouTube videos of a dad-to-be finding out his significant other is pregnant. Not only is it a wonderful moment to share with others, its something you can capture and keep close to you for years to come.Women-s-pregnancy-announcement--Bun-in-the-oven--f
  2. Keep a Pregnancy Journal- This is something that I have done with each of my pregnancies. It’s hard finding the perfect journal, because I like to document things that I know I would forget about. Like when I started feeling hiccups or when I finally felt relief from nausea! I loved writing down what I was up to daily or weekly during my pregnancy because now when I want to go back to it, I feel even closer to those memories. It’s definitely a treasure of mine.
  3. Take Weekly (or monthly!) Belly Pictures-I cannot stress this enough! I didn’t take but like two or three photos of my ever-growing bump when I was pregnant with my first baby. I only have one or two pictures of myself and they’re not my favorite picture of me! I was really upset that I hadn’t captured my first pregnancy in this way… I wish I had. But I understand, most new moms are extremely self conscious about how they look, pregnant, for the first time. All I know is, you’re gonna wish you had taken some pictures. 🙂
  4. Have Maternity Pictures Taken-Let a professional photographer take over during the last few weeks of your pregnancy, and you may not even feel up to it, but I encourage you to get out there and strike a pose!
  5. Have a Gender Reveal Party- This is an awesome idea, and just one more way to share the joy of your baby’s impending arrival with family and friends. There are SO many awesome ideas out there, from cakes to balloons to siblings surprising mom and dad.. Josh and I didn’t have a gender reveal party, but for the twins, we bought blue Christmas ornaments for his parents’ tree and put them in gift bags, and let them open the gifts in front of family on Christmas Eve. It was really special. I wish we had done some kind of gender reveal for the girls!SF28gCBPpfYBXBgnmHzUboQk3pz269jR_lg
  6. Write Letters to Your Baby- I often wrote things to my babies when it was getting hard to see the bright side of things. It helped a lot and sometimes it turned my whole day around. It doesn’t have to be a sappy love letter, just tell your baby how you feel, what’s been going on. Maybe your feet are swollen and its getting hard to do things around the house, or maybe you put your cell phone in the fridge by accident. When it comes down to it, you’ll realize you’d go through just about anything to see that your baby is happy and healthy at the end of the day. The things weighing down on you may not seem so bad. <3
  7. Celebrate Every Milestone- Whether it is going out to eat or just doing a little happy dance at home, celebrate every milestone. The biggest milestones for me were hearing the heartbeat for the first time. Getting to 10 weeks. Finding out the gender. Getting to 20 weeks. Getting to 24 weeks (viability!). It doesn’t have to be big, but put a smile on and enjoy the day! (also something to celebrate in your pregnancy journal!)snoopy_dancing_by_jessie4508
  8. Go on a “Babymoon”- I’ve never done this before but I think it’s a great idea. Take a vacation, or just some time off of work to relax and unwind before baby comes. It’s perfect for spending special time with your significant other, celebrating the (good!) way your lives will soon change.
  9. Frame Ultrasound Pictures- What can you do with those precious black and white sonogram pictures? Don’t pack them away. They present a beautiful moment in your childs life. The moment when mom and dad got to see them for the first time. And when you’re running down the hallway chasing after that now-three-year-old, that little photo will catch your eye and make you realize how fast time flies. Cherish every moment!
  10. Be a Part of a Birth Club!- I can guarantee you theres a mom-to-be out there going through the exact same thing you are dealing with. Why not vent and support one another during the ups and downs of pregnancy? You’ll find that there are thousands of other moms pregnant and due the same time you are! Being in a birth club, or any type of pregnancy support club, makes getting through the hiccups of pregnancy so much easier than dealing with it alone. Be sure to never put the recommendations or opinions of others online in place of your doctors advice and orders, never give anyone the name or location of your doctor and never share any personal information, including appointments. It can be a very fun, exciting thing to be a part of! But be safe online.

 

 

Thank you for reading! And if you came from Blogger Babes you can go back to the link page by clicking here: Blogger Babes Link Party. Thanks for visiting!

The Birth of My Twins!

I’ve been wanting to write their birth story for a while and I know a few who want to know how things really went. The pregnancy was incredibly difficult for me although on paper, it was (almost) completely uneventful-that which I am very thankful for.

I made it to 37 weeks with my twins. I know that is a huge a accomplishment for a twin pregnancy and I’m very proud to say I did it! It didn’t come easy. I was so relieved when the doctor told me that we were going to the hospital that night because my anxiety was back in full swing. Being pregnant with twins is extremely nerve wracking. You are feeling two babies move and hiccup and kick and you’re constantly trying to figure out who is kicking and you have double to worry about as well. I was mainly focused on Twin To Twin Syndrome (TTTS) which is common in the later stages of a twin pregnancy and I hadn’t been feeling Jackson move as much. During my entire pregnancy, they were in the same spot and the same sides. The whole time!

I was staying at home with my girls still too, and if you can imagine two 6lb babies sitting on your bladder and having two toddlers pulling you around the house all day, you can imagine the exhaustion I was dealing with! For some reason I thought anything could be better than this. Even two newborns. At least I would have my body back, right? Wrong.

After I got through shaking in the car, after my doctor gave me the plan for the induction, I called my husband and told him to ready the troops. The babies are coming tonight! I called my dad to let him know and my sister. I was to arrive at the hospital at 10 o’clock.

I went home and spent the afternoon with my girls and put them to bed. Soon after that my mother and father in laws came to the house to keep the girls overnight for us, and we headed to the hospital.

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^^ yeah. Big as a HOUSE. I know. I was actually already having contractions!

Several hours into the induction and I was doing really good. The pain wasn’t all that bad, everything was going pretty good. It wasn’t until it was about 6 in the morning that I started getting tired and hungry. The pain was worse and I was having trouble focusing on breathing through the contractions. With any twin delivery you have to have an epidural anyway. So I thought, why go through this pain. Get the epidural over with.

It was probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt, the worst epidural I’ve had. I had three, long horrible contractions during the epidural. It felt like it lasted for hours. I must’ve not been fully numbed but I’m cringing just typing this out so I’m gong to stop there.

When it was over, I finally was able to relax. I could deal with the fading pain of the contractions and focus on breathing again and close my eyes. Until I felt like I was being suffocated. I started gasping for air. I felt like screaming but I couldn’t and I couldn’t get anyone’s attention around me. I grabbed the arms of the bed and pulled myself up without any relief and punched the nurse button, feeling like someone was sitting on my lungs. Like I was going underwater, drowning. She finally answered and I got out, “I can’t breathe”

The next thing I knew there were two nurses beside me, looking at me, then looking at the screen. The head anesthesiologist rushed in and checked something and I was scared, my anxiety filling up my ears and drowning them out and all I could think was, God don’t let this happen. Please don’t let me go. I was afraid that I was dying. I heard them saying, “we can’t do that or she will bottom out.” My blood pressure did drop dangerously low and my pulse was getting very high.

I was having an anxiety attack on top of the reaction my body had to the epidural. They gave me something in the IV and told me to calm down. Focus on breathing slowly, tune everything out. And we watched my heart rate fall back to normal. I had to do that for hours and hours. My body was getting so tired and without food, I was losing all of the little strength I had left. With no rest and no nourishment, I was begging God to let me be ready. Let it be time, please.

Finally. 23 1/2 hours after checking into the hospital, it was time.

Everyone excitedly cheered as they rolled my bed out of the room and down the hall toward the OR, while my husband, fully scrubbed, followed behind me.

The OR was cold and bright, and I was scared of what I was going to endure in the next few minutes but I just couldn’t wait to finally see my precious boys. Nine long months of waiting, filled with worry and joy and everything in between. They prepared me and Josh. Telling me what was going to happen, what to get ready for, and then my doctor did a quick ultrasound to check on the boys again before it was time to push.

My heartrate was steadily climbing the more anxious I got. I began to push but I had no strength. The boys growing had literally separated my abdominal muscles and I had nothing when I tried to push. I had to push harder than I ever had, I had to give it all that I had. Every ounce of energy I used. But my heart rate was getting dangerously high. I was freaking out because no matter how hard I tried, nothing was happening. Barely, if anything. My doctor told me to calm down and breathe and it dawned on me, God I’m hyperventilating again.

With a little help from my doctor, my precious boy Jackson was finally born. Time stood still. He cried and searched for me, and I got to cradle him on my chest until a nurse whisked him away and before I could take another breath, my doctor told me to bear down again, NOW.

After another push, my little Levi was born. He was blue. My doctor gave him a good thump on his rear and he cried his signature Levi cry that I still hear today. God got me through it and my boys were born safe and sound.

Jackson Lane was born at 9:11pm 5lbs 6oz.

Levi Jordan was born at 9:14pm 5lbs 15oz.

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The moment after that was unlike any feeling I could describe. It was the same when my daughters were born. Time stood still. Everything around me froze for just a moment. All my worries. All my burdens. All of the tears and the pain and the struggle just melted away. Looking into the eyes of my first sons. Jacksons little nose and Levi’s sweet dimples. It was all so worth it.

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Theyre 8 months old now. It’s crazy how time flies. It feels like I just had them. Now I’m working on helping them crawl. I hope you enjoyed reading! 🙂

Finding out we were having twins: Our Double Rainbow

Here is the long long story that I’ve wanted to tell. It’s been one year!

Finding out we were having twins:

Our Double Rainbow

We had always joked around that my husband, Josh, had psychic powers when it came to our children. Somehow, he knew big details about every pregnancy we have had, subconscious thoughts, mostly. He just knew, while I racked my brain and symptoms for any “signs” that might come to me. I’m weird.. instead of driving myself crazy with waiting, I used my time in between big events in our journey by doing loads and loads of research on any one symptom or thought. It can be very time consuming and research makes my heart happy.

Anyway. The August before we conceived the twins, I got pregnant. We didn’t think I was actually pregnant, I actually gave up taking pregnancy tests because I just thought that it didn’t happen, why waste the money. I let it go, and one day I woke up and Josh had gone to run some errands, I decided to use my last digital test because it was going to burn a hole in my cabinet if I didn’t use it. I don’t like to wait.. But I’ve told you that. I took it and let it sit there on the counter. Preparing myself for the “Big Fat Negative”. And I was trying to tell myself it was okay, I mean, we just moved to our new home and we really weren’t trying to get pregnant so it’s okay… I would be broken hearted but we have plenty of time to have more children… Don’t be upset if it didn’t happen.

“Pregnant 1-2 Weeks”

My jaw dropped. I attempted to look closer because I couldn’t believe my eyes, Ava was crawling all over me and I was in complete shock. “Wow! Oh my God!” I sat there alone for a minute trying to regenerate my thoughts, “okay. Okay! I’m pregnant. We are having another baby. Oh what is he going to think.” I took a picture of the test and sent it to him via text, with a smiley face next to the picture. He rushed home and gave me a big hug. I was like, ..what if it is too soon? What if I can’t handle this? Three children.. Josh was happy, though, and he lifted my spirits.

We spent the week enjoying the moment during pregnancy that you can be excited and feel awesome before the 1st Trimester really starts to show her big (green) face. We went out and my mother bought me a pregnancy journal. I love them and I wanted one that I could record every detail in. I wasn’t planning on having any more than 3, so I wanted to make the most of my last pregnancy. We went to eat at Cracker Barrel, just the two of us. It was a wonderful afternoon but something just didn’t feel right.

The next morning my mom took my girls to my dads house to visit, before I woke up. I remember tossing and turning because I was in a lot of pain, in that half asleep phase that you can make up any excuse to stay in bed. I just told myself it was the baby getting comfy in there, as that can happen during early stages of pregnancy. I got up because I couldn’t sleep through the pain anymore. Then I realized why the pain was there. I was bleeding, a lot. I was miscarrying. Again. Instant tears. Josh rushed in to see what was wrong and we sat there in the bathroom together for the longest time while I cried over our second loss. This one was much, much faster than our first miscarriage. But still so painful and heartbreaking. Some friends convinced me to go to the hospital with my last bit of hope, praying for a miracle, maybe it was just a complication, maybe the baby was still alive.

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The hospital doctor didn’t give me a minute of his attention. Chemical pregnancy, happens all the time. Move along. I had a nurse who noticed me, though. He helped me through it. Gave me a box of tissues, and told me about his experience with miscarriage, and he tried to make me feel better. He really cared and although I left with a heavy heart, I felt thankful for my nurse. I needed to hear what he said, because I was being hit with a thousand flashbacks of my first miscarriage. I was about to go off the edge in a downward spiral, but his kind words pulled me back. I got through a second trimester miscarriage. I can get through this too. Prayer, Brit. Just pray.

And now that I am writing this, I realized that was God. He sent me my guardian angel that day.

I put on a smile the next day, hosting my sisters first baby shower. I enjoyed myself and it let me escape my mind for a little while. I put all of my energy into making sure my sister had a wonderful time, we were all so thrilled for the impending arrival of the first little boy on my side of the family.

I tried to get through my emotions by ignoring them, and it didn’t work very well. As much as I know about psychology, I should’ve let myself grieve. My emotions came through being disconnected with everyone, I was upset and moody and I didn’t see it. I grasped to every flicker of hope, I even bought more pregnancy tests to see if I was still getting positive results. I did. For a whole week, and then that pretty little pink line started disappearing. The physical pain of my miscarriage was over but it struck me with a whole new pain emotionally. The last hope was finally gone.

Now, some people would read this and say, oh my God she is whining over a chemical pregnancy? All that over a months’ worth time? You just lost a 4 week pregnancy. Big deal. I want to let those people know, that I didn’t just lose a pregnancy. I lost a baby, I lost his or her future, I lost holding my newborn, I lost seeing her precious face, who she would’ve grown up to be. I lost everything. Even though to someone on the outside, I didn’t lose anything.

Several weeks went by, and I had plenty of distractions. Josh and I welcomed two nephews, both of our sisters were due that September. The little boys were born safe and sound, beautiful little blessings from God. My sweet girls were enjoying every day in our new house, and I strived to make every day beautiful and fun.

As I am typing this now I’m wiping tears off of my face. The painful truth of miscarriage is that you never heal. You never forget. You don’t even escape the pain. You just get better at enjoying things and changing your thoughts, warding off the crippling pain. I have been putting off writing this for so long, one full year after it happened. Writing this sends me right back to that day, and it suffocates me all over again. It’s hard to recover from writing about it, but it’s good for healing.

A few more weeks went by, and I won’t go into detail (obviously) but I realized we might be pregnant again. I started all over again, waiting for signs and trying to figure out when I could find out. Fear struck through me every other moment as I waited. I wasn’t ready for this again. I don’t want to do this again. I can’t handle it.

I got the 88¢ pregnancy tests from Walmart. I just bought a whole slew of them because I didn’t want to waste money on the big fancy tests anymore. I didn’t even want to tell my friends because I knew they were sick of hearing about my worries with all of this, and now look at me! Back at it again.

I let a week pass before I really started driving myself crazy and broke down and took one of the tests. It appeared to be negative but I’m kind of a “POASaholic” and eyeballed it until I swore I saw a positive line. ‘Course Josh didn’t see anything and brought me back down to reality.

The very next morning something showed up on my test.

Josh was skeptical. He thought I was crazy and I admit it, I get a little crazy. It drives me absolutely insane not knowing if there is a baby in my womb, forgive me! I just like to know these things so that I know not to get a Rum Runner at BWW, okay?! ‘Scuse me.

He knew I had a circle of buddies online with just the same amount of pee-test craziness that I have, so he let me give all of those gory details to them. And of course, I get an overwhelming “OMG PEE ON ALL THE STICKS” response. Lol, I love you guys! (You know who you are).

Next one, negative. Okay. I’m getting tired of this now. I know too much about the process and I know good and well that I’m just going to have to wait. It’s just that, I’m extremely impatient. But I had an adequate amount of distractions. I settled my mind back into the blissful “what if” state. What if I was actually pregnant, what if it was a boy, and Lord help us, what if it is another little girl. What would I name her. When would I be due. On and on…

Until the next morning! (Lol.)

My last little cheapie test showed in a big, beautiful positive result.

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(this is my actual test! )

(I know you can barely see it.)

(I KNOW.)

This moment marked the beginning of an amazing, beautiful adventure. I had no earthly clue what was in store for us as we started this journey. As I looked at this test all of the emotions from my miscarriages ran through me, all of the hope came back, everything, all at once.

I immediately called my doctor and scheduled an appointment as soon as I could. Having a date makes me feel better for some reason. I remember sitting down with Josh that evening, quiet and scared and hopeful. Then he smiled. He got really excited and we joked about what the girls are going to think. I got an overwhelming bout of heartburn all of a sudden, and put my hand over my chest and said, “Wow I got heartburn just now. Kind of early for heartburn isn’t it? Haha.” He laughed and said, “because it’s going to be twins, watch!” I immediately cut him off, “HAHA. Don’t say that.”

So when my appointment came, I had started feeling some pain again. I was scared, trying to prepare myself for what might come. My doctor gave me an ultrasound to see what was going on.. why I was in so much pain, because I wasn’t bleeding. I remember my hands sweating as I waited for him to come in the room. Scared to death. Josh was there with me, thankfully, to keep me from freaking out.

I waited as he turned the lights off and turned the ultrasound screen towards us. This was the moment of truth. And all of a sudden, nothing. The screen was blank, there was nothing in my womb. A crushing, horrible feeling came over me. My doctor looked over at my ovaries, one was extremely large, with some bleeding. My doctor said it might be early, but that it could very well be an ectopic pregnancy.

4w2dtwins

He said, go home. Come back in two weeks and we will know. I was so upset and unsettled. They did a pregnancy test that was very positive so it was confusing as to why we didn’t see anything, and because I was in a good amount of pain. Surely if there was a baby there, it would’ve been visible and obvious. My husband held my hand on the way home. We were both quiet again. I didn’t know anything about ectopic pregnancies, only that they form outside the womb. The baby is surely alive, just not where he’s supposed to be. And the tragic thing about that fact is, the pregnancy will have to be terminated.

I began our wait by going home and getting straight on my computer. Looking for moms that have gone through this, wondering, scared. During these days I held my girls tight. So thankful for the sweet gift God has given me to let me hold my daughters. You don’t ever really realize what you have until it’s taken away from you. As I sat with my girls, I kept trying to tell myself, just be thankful for now. I am pregnant, today. I don’t know what will come of tomorrow. But today, I’m okay. Breathe.

I am pregnant today.

bfp2

We went to the store the next afternoon, and I decided to browse through the baby clothes very quickly, before Josh could make his way toward the milk. I caught his attention before he went past me, and I grabbed two blue fire truck pajamas off of the rack and held them up to show him, jokingly. He laughed and we continued on. I remember that and although I only did it purely out of humor, mocking his little “twins” comment he made days ago, I cannot believe that it was true. I should’ve bought those little pajamas.

My anxiety eventually got the best of me. After one week I couldn’t handle the pain. I couldn’t handle the idea of terminating a pregnancy, a baby, with a heart beat. I couldn’t do it. It would kill me inside. I had a hard enough time letting go with my first miscarriage, and my baby had already passed. I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to call, maybe we could see something now. Surely I can know, now. Please.

My doctor let me come back without hesitation. I love him! He had the ultrasound room prepared and I waited. It was a rush appointment so Josh stayed at home with the girls. We figured if it is an ectopic pregnancy, then we wouldn’t want the girls there when we found out. I went alone.

After a short chat with my nurse, I sat in my room and waited for my doctor again, a bundle of nerves and on the brink of tears. I stared at the screen on the ultrasound machine, wondering what it’s going to reveal in just minutes. I said a prayer.

My doctor came in and was cheerful and he actually got on to me for worrying like I do. I fully admitted to not being able to help that. ? I prepared for the ultrasound, and waited for my doctor to turn the screen towards me so I could see, but he didn’t. When he began, I closed my eyes tight and clenched my fists and waited, my heart racing. I opened my eyes, he hadn’t turned the screen. He had his hand on his chin, analyzing the screen. Fear struck through me like lightening. It could be anything. What’s going on? What does he see?

I said, “is everything okay?”

And in that moment, my entire world turned upside down.

“You’re fine, Brittany, you’re having twins!”

“WHAT?!”

He called the nurse in to have a look at the picture of the two little spots on the screen that were my twin sons.

twins

The next few moments were a blur.. my mind was going through stages of shock that I had never felt before. I went in thinking I was going to hear awful news, hoping and praying that the baby was okay, that he or she was in the right place inside my womb, but never did I expect to hear those words.

My first thought was, “That isn’t twins. Those are just spots.”

“Oh my gosh. Twins?”

“Holy — Wow.”

“I’m going to puke.”

I made my way out of the office, with many congratulations from my doctor and his staff, all of them commenting on how shocked my face looked, all while saying “Oh my gosh” about forty-seven-thousand times. All I could think of was, it wasn’t ectopic. This is a miracle. This is a blessing. Tears started pouring before I could even get to the door of my truck. I pulled myself into the drivers seat, rested my head on the steering wheel, and cried.

Not only was the pregnancy in the right place, there were two babies. My brain simply could not understand the words that I was trying to tell myself. Two. Babies. Brit, what. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this. I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS.

My hands were shaking as I reached for my phone. I couldn’t wait until I got home. I pressed “Hub” on my recent calls.

“Hey, how did it go??”

“Um, everything’s fine. How are the girls?”

“They’re fine, what did they say?”

“Um, well, the uh, the… babies are in the right place.”

I couldn’t handle keeping my composure anymore. I silently cried while he tried to figure out what he just heard.

“Babies? There’s more than one?”

“Yes!” I cried.

“Oh, wow” he choked up.

“Wow, two babies. Oh wow.”

“I know!”

“Everything is okay. They’re okay.”

“My hands are sweating,” he laughed.

“I’ll show you a picture when I get home.”

“Yes, hurry home.”

I ended the call and called my mom, and I let her know. She immediately bawled there at work when I told her. It was such an amazing day for me, although I was scared to death. That night we spent the evening processing the news that we just received.

We didn’t catch a rainbow…. we caught a double rainbow.

rnbw

The meaning of a rainbow baby:

“It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened, or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath.

It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope”

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