Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Finley Faith: Her Story

Our precious little doll - our miracle baby - Finley Faith, arrived on Monday, July 13th at 10:44 am.  Finley's birth was everything I had hoped it would be - complication-free for both Finley and me! 

I had a scheduled C-section, which to be honest, may have caused quite a bit of additional anxiety and stress in the weeks and days leading up to Finley's Birthday.  As a type-A planner, it might have been the one time in my life that I was secretly hoping for a surprise!  I found that in the weeks before Finley's arrival, I was focusing way too much on everyone else's plans in terms of who would come to the hospital, when they would come to the hospital, etc. etc. etc.  Luckily, though, everything ended up falling into place just as my family had told me it would, and Finley was welcomed into this world in the most perfect of circumstances - well, to me, at least!

Auntie Whitney came down from Boston the day before to 1.) keep my mind occupied and off of what was about to happen!! and 2.) to help with the boys (who just adore their Auntie).  We had a wonderful last day as a family of four, relaxing and playing with the boys at my parents' pool.  Early Monday morning, my mom and dad came to my house to help my sister with the boys.  I will never forget the moments before Nick and I left for the hospital.  I hugged my little babies, who had no idea what was about to happen in the next couple of hours.  I gave them both a big kiss and remember thinking that the next time I would see them, they would be big brothers! 

Once at the hospital, I was admitted to a room and my nurse hooked me up to lots of monitors.  I was asked a lot of questions, mostly about my crazy scary experience with regard to delivering the boys (only 13 months and 8 days earlier!!).  I was so extremely nervous.  Even though I was already a mom, and had already delivered my twins, I had never experienced this before.  This was all new to me.  I had no idea how things were supposed to happen when a woman goes to the hospital to deliver a baby!  In the midst of my 'getting ready to have a baby', the nurse informed me that I was having contractions every three to five minutes and she asked if I felt anything (which I didn't).  She told me that had I not had a scheduled C-section, she would have been willing to bet that I would have been admitted to the hospital on that day anyway.  Talk about perfect timing. 

My mom arrived at the hospital and joined us in my room.  I wanted my mom to be there in the waiting room while my C-section was being performed.  With the boys, I hemorrhaged fairly severely just moments after being wheeled out of the operating room.  My mom wanted to be right there just in case I needed her at a moment's notice.  The anesthesiologist and my OB came into my room to talk to me about next steps and so that I could sign all sorts of forms.  And then, finally, at 10 am I said good-bye to my Mom and Nick and walked with my nurse into the OR.  Ahhh!

I remember shaking uncontrollably.  I was so scared.  So excited.  So anxious.  The nurse had to hold my knees down while the spinal was placed and administered.  I couldn't stop shaking.  Even once my legs were numb, my arms continued to shake.  One of the nurses placed a warm blanket over my arms and shoulders, and shortly thereafter, Nick was welcomed into the room.  He took his place right up by the side of my head and we were both so nervous that we didn't know what to talk about.  We just kept saying that we couldn't believe how different Finley's delivery was compared to the boys' delivery.  Even my doctor would yell over to the curtain from time to time to see how we were doing, remarking what a difference this must be for us this time around.  A matter of minutes later, we heard our doctor say that our sweet Finley had arrived.  Tears.  Oh my, the tears.  I couldn't stop them.  I finally heard Finley's sweet little cries, and I cried even more.  Those were sounds coming straight from a miracle.  From my miracle.

Nick was able to hold Finley by my head for what felt like a while.  Our first moments together with our daughter.  Those moments are ones that I will never forget.  Nick was asked to go back to our room while my doctor finished stitching (or, stapling) me up, and once she was finished, a nurse handed my beautiful daughter to me and I held her in my arms as I was wheeled back to my recovery room.  My mom was able to come in, and she met her grand-daughter for the first time. 
Once I was wheeled to my postpartum room, my dad and sister brought the boys to the hospital to see me.  My little babies were big boys... big brothers!  Austin was mostly interested in the remote control attached to the hospital bed and Camden didn't seem to have a care in the world that he had just met his little sister.  Their visit didn't last long, as suspected, but again - those short few moments, our first as a family of five, are ones I will never, ever forget. 

We spent the next three nights in the hospital getting to know our daughter while I worked on recovering.  And let me tell you, I couldn't have asked for a better recovery.  So blessed.  So, so blessed.

Finley, my sweet miracle: You have completed my heart and soul.  I never knew how much was missing from my life until I met you.  You have been the biggest, most amazing and miraculous surprise of my life.  I will forever love you with all that I am. 

I have so much to catch up on, so much to share... Someday, hopefully soon, I'll be back to document just how crazy (and stressful) this life has been the past two weeks as we've begun to settle into life as a family of five... with three babies under 13.5 months.  Truth is: it hasn't been easy.  At all.  BUT (!!!), it has been wonderful.  Oh so very, very wonderful!  Stay tuned...

Monday, June 8, 2015

ONE and some updates...

OK, seriously... somehow I blinked and my little 33 week pre-mature babies are ONE!  What?!  How is that even possible?!  I mean, I'm still not over the fact that I'm a Mom!  ME!  An actual mother.  Of TWO beautiful little boys.  After ALL that... years of infertility, months of doctor's appointments, infertility oral meds, injections, tears (oh the tears I've shed), IVF after IVF, a difficult pregnancy, an incredibly scary delivery, perhaps an even scarier recovery... And here I am.  A mother.  And I've been one now for 368 days.  It will never, ever get old.

I was beyond excited to celebrate our little boys' first birthday this past weekend.  I had been planning their Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood themed party for months.  Mostly because I've been so excited to finally have the chance to plan a first birthday party for my child(ren).  But also because when the boys were born, it was tough to really celebrate.  A NICU stay doesn't really shout 'come visit us!'.  And then there's also the fact that I was nearly 34 weeks pregnant for their party (I have been worried for this entire pregnancy that I wouldn't make it beyond 33 weeks again).  I had everything planned, outlined and labeled just in case I wouldn't have been able to make it to my boys' party myself.  Thank the Lord that was not the case.  I cleared 33 weeks last Monday and I couldn't be more grateful.  So on Sunday, I joyfully took it all in.  And seeing the pure excitement in my boys' eyes is something I'll never, ever forget.  What an amazing day!

In other news - life is crazy.  I still struggle day in and day out with being a full-time working mom.  Nothing about it is easy, that's for sure.  I often wonder if it's ever something that I'll be able to really embrace.  The constant worry about not being with my kids enough vs. not being present enough at my job during the working day... the struggle is real, my friends. 
We have, however, been blessed with a nanny who is just truly one of the lights of my life right now.  She is amazing not just for my boys, but for me, too!  The boys adore her and it honestly feels like she has already become a part of our family in such a short period of time.  The boys are also going to be starting daycare two days a week mid-June.  While I'm absolutely nervous about this new stage in their little lives, I also know deep down, that this is absolutely the best and right thing for them.  I'm excited for the boys to have more social interaction with other children and I'm eager to see how much they will grow from this new environment. 

Finley will be here soon!  Just over a month!  And while I'm beyond excited to meet my sweet daughter, I'm also a little worried for the boys.  Not necessarily in terms of how they'll react to the baby, but more so how they'll be when I'm in the hospital for a few days.  I just want everything to remain as consistent and as normal for them as possible.  From my past history, all I know is complication upon complication during recovery, so I'm worried about that, too.

Other than that, I'm just plugging away over here.  I'm beyond ready to embrace what will hopefully be another four months off from work.  I'm ready to spend what will feel like more quality time with my three (!!!!) children.  I'm ready to meet Finley.  And I'm ready (I think!) for the challenge of becoming a Mom to three under 13.5 months (AHHH!)! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

An Update

After almost three months since my last post, I really don't even know how, or where to begin... Many of you have reached out asking me for an update, and I feel so guilty that I've been so absent.  I still struggle with blogging, and whether or not I want to continue with it at all.  Every time I think about sharing a final post, something stops me.  So, as I work to figure out where I'm headed as a blogger, here's an update:

First things first.  I'm still pregnant.  In fact, I'm 23 weeks pregnant as of Monday!  I still wake up every day and go to bed every night in complete astonishment.  I still feel like a medical mystery.  It makes no sense.  The only answer is God.  Wow, is He good!  For those of you who are not in touch with me on social media, you wouldn't know that Baby #3 is a GIRL (!!!).  And, so far, she is as healthy as can be, Praise the Lord!  I have been being seen by an MFM at a local hospital, who has been following me for the K cell antibody issue that I last posted about.  We believe, at this point, that the baby is not kell positive, based on my monthly blood draws to test for my titer levels (the last two months my titers were undetected).  I will continue to be monitored, and with that, will continue to say lots of prayers.  I've just started to feel this little ones' kicks and I truly love every single thing about them - I have a feeling she is going to be a feisty little girl!  A lot of people have asked me how it feels to be pregnant with one baby this time, compared to how it felt to be pregnant with two.  Honestly - I don't really feel much of a difference.  If you can believe it, I look just as big this time (maybe even bigger), and have felt just as sick, tired, and worn out.  I often think to myself that, for me, the saying is true that baby girls steal their mamas' beauty.  Ha!  Oh!  And for those who might be wondering, baby girl has a name....

Finley Faith
Now on to the two sweetest little boys who made me a Mommy.  My little guys are 9.5 months old!  It's unbelievable how much they've grown.  They are truly, the most amazing little people I've ever known.  Raising two babies at once is.... interesting.  It's hard, that's for sure - but it's so fun to see their interactions.  I swear my guys only interact when we're not watching them.  That's when they giggle and laugh at one another, and it just melts my whole entire heart.  I can't wait to see their relationship grow as they do.  My boys make me question myself  I often wonder if I'm a good mom?  Am I doing the right things?  Could I do better for them?  Could I BE better for them?  Life has been complete chaos the past few months: moving from one state to another, living with my parents, returning to work full-time, finding out I'm pregnant again, moving into our new house.... Throughout all of that, my little guys have done remarkably well.  They're quite attached to me - and I have to admit I secretly love it!  We have just introduced a nanny into their lives, who will begin watching them three days a week in May.  Then beginning in June, just before their first birthday, they will head off to daycare two days a week (we are trying to lessen Papa Tank's load as he has so graciously offered to watch Finley for us when I return back to work in the Fall from maternity leave) (yes, I'm going back to work after baby #3.  No I'm not entirely thrilled about it, but it is what it is.  At least this time I know it's actually doable.  I suppose.).  It's been interesting seeing the boys with someone else.  They haven't been exposed to many people, given that I work from home and my dad has been watching them for us.  Though they can be a little timid at first, they're quite the flirts.  I may be in big trouble come their high school years!

As for me.... life is crazy.  But, it's wonderful.  It's a life that I so wanted and said many prayers for over the course of many years.  But it's truly beyond my wildest dreams.  I still have difficulty finding time for showers, or to even run out to the grocery store.  I find myself headed to bed within minutes of putting the boys down for the night at 7 p.m.  I can't remember the last time Nick and I sat down for dinner together.  Most days I wear no make-up, work in my pajamas, and have bags under my eyes so dark that it looks like I got punched in the face while I was sleeping.  Sometimes Austin looks at me in astonishment and wonder on the days that I actually do wear make-up, almost as if he can't understand why I look different on those days- ha!  Oh, and I even found a few gray hairs on my head last week (time to go back to blonde?!).  Though the days can be long, the months are flying by at lightning speed.  I try to grab ahold of each moment that I can with my two little babies who are soon to be big brothers.  My family and I often remark how just a year and a half ago, none of us could have imagined this.... I am, without a doubt, one of the luckiest mamas in the entire world.  How did it happen?!  I'll never know....
So, with that, I'll sign off here.... hoping to be back sooner than another three months passes.  If not, though, know that I'm following and reading along in each of your journeys, praying and cheering all of you on.  I love you all for sticking around, YOU are my reason for not letting this little space of mine go away just yet.
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