Monday, December 17, 2012


Well my faithful followers...Here is the post you've been waiting for! We've all been waiting for this post! :)

The babies are here safe, healthy, and strong and we are so thankful. It has been a long journey and it will continue to be a journey; we covet your prayers!

Let's start from where we left off at 35 weeks.... Thanksgiving was wonderful. Jared and I enjoyed our families and I was able to get up and around a little bit that week. I didn't do any crazy black Friday shopping or anything like that but it was good just to go to the grocery store with Jared and do something 'normal' again. During the week of Thanksgiving I started to have frequent seizures. I have Epilepsy and this is something we've been monitoring closely throughout the pregnancy. These seizures were frequent enough to cause alarm so promptly after setting up our Christmas tree and decorations on Saturday, the 24th, I called the Dr.'s emergency line to ask about the seizures and to see if it was concerning enough to come in to be seen. My Dr. didn't want to take any chances so we went to the hospital around 8:30pm on the 24th for monitoring. While there the Dr. explained to us that sometimes seizures are related to a condition called pre-eclampsia. This is a serious condition so we ran some blood work and other various tests to see if that might be the case with me. It's still not clear whether or not I was pre-eclamptic or not but they treated me as if I was.

Sunday morning, November 25th, my Dr. came in to discuss the situation with Jared and I and by the end of the conversation we decided it was best to take the babies via C-Section that morning and not wait any longer. So after about an hour of getting everything ready I was taken back to the OR about 9:00am by 9:32 our little girl, Joline Alyse, was born! 5lbs 13oz and healthy as can be! 9:35am our big boy was born, Anders James! 7lbs 2oz!! the procedure went great and they soon got us all wrapped up and into recovery.

Soon after going to recovery we noticed that Anders was having a hard time breathing. His breaths were short and frequent and he seemed to be working really hard to breathe. The Dr.'s consulted our pediatrician and decided that Anders needed to go to the Neonatal ICU (NICU) for some additional assistance. At this point Jared and I were separated as he went to NICU with Anders and I was taken to a regular room with Joline. This was extremely difficult because our now family of four was split up and I didn't see Jared again until around 5:00pm. This was a long day of not knowing what exactly was going on and feeling very helpless and strange as I had one of our babies but not the other with me.

Anders spent a total of 11 days in NICU; 5 days on CPAP which is a breathing machine to help put pressure on the lungs to get them to work properly on their own. He was such a trooper with all those wires and cords! Joline and I were released from the hospital on the 29th to go home. This was very bitter sweet for us as we knew we were leaving Anders behind. We didn't know how long he would need to continue to stay at this point. Once off CPAP, he had to prove that he could take all of his feedings by bottle in under 20 min. for 48 hours. If he took one but then the next one needed to have help via feeding tube we started all over from square one. He was a trooper here though too and proved that he could do it!

In the meantime, I started to have some significant swelling in my feet and legs that I had not had before  so again, I called the Dr. This time I got some news I really did not want to hear; we had to go to ER because the swelling could be a sign of a post delivery variety of the pre-eclampsia I was thought to have had during labor. We were already on our way to the hospital to see Anders when we got that news and I really had a breakdown. After all we had already been through the last thing I wanted was to be in the hospital again as a patient myself. I really just wanted to be able to take care of my kiddos and focus on getting all of us home and into somewhat of a new 'normal'. Wishful thinking I know! :)

So back into the hospital I went for monitoring. I was kept for 2 nights. During my stay the one upside was that I was close to Anders and we could go see him whenever. Since he was doing so well we knew that his stay would be coming to an end soon too. As it turns out I was released a day before he was.

SO what now!? Now we have twins at home and both are doing fantastic. Life is incredibly busy and at times frustrating because of lack of sleep/trying to figure out their feeding pattern. For the first 2 weeks I was told I had to feed them every 3 hours around the clock because they were premature. Now we are on a feed on-demand schedule but they are still so used to every 3 hours that we are pretty much doing that still with an occasional stretch during the night of 4 hours. I'm sure this will only continue to get better as they grow and get stronger. I hope anyway! :) Jared and I are doing good. We're slowly learning and I'm so thankful that I have him with me through this! What a blessing he is to me especially when I'm feeling overwhelmed and frustrated; which seems often.

We have been so blessed by so many people praying for us and taking care of us either with a meal, a visit, cards, gifts, etc. Thank you so much! I will try to update again soon. I'm sorry I haven't been able to write this until now. It's been quite a ride! Here are some pictures of our journey so far.

both babies home at last!

Anders just after birth.

Joline just after birth.

on Cpap.

little sister doing good.

Joline going home!

Daddy & Joline.

Yay! off Cpap!

Family of 4!


Learning to bottle feed.

Going home today!

Merry Christmas!! We're both home!
God Bless!

Monday, November 19, 2012

35 Weeks!

Hey we made it to 35 Weeks!!

I can't believe we've made it this far. After our little scare in the hospital at 31 weeks I really didn't think we would see this but here we are and I'm so thankful! My Dr. appointment this past Thursday showed no change from where I was in the hospital which is great. I'm still taking medication to keep my contractions at bay but that doesn't necessarily mean I can't go into labor. The meds are just a precaution. I will stop those this coming Friday though so we'll see how much it's actually helping.

Here are a couple of growth pictures for you. We don't have weeks 32 & 33 because those were taken in the hospital and are on my mom's camera...not to mention they are horrible so I don't think I would share them even if I did have them! :)
31 Weeks 
34 Weeks, home from the hospital now.

35 Weeks! My personal goal. This was taken at my church shower; my first big outing since being on bed rest.

So now we wait. We made it to our personal goal and another couple of weeks would be even better but I will be honest with you I am getting quite uncomfortable now and ready to meet these little ones and hold them in my arms rather than in my belly! Sleeping is difficult and almost every position isn't quite right so I wake up a lot at night but I suppose that's good training for when they are here.

This week is Thanksgiving week and I'm really looking forward to the festivities! I am not bound to bed anymore technically but I am still taking it very easy knowing that even more time is best for the babies. So since I had a big outing last night with my church shower now I will take it easy until Thursday. My sister and I plan to go shopping on Thanksgiving morning at Meijer. They have great deals on Thanksgiving morning and I would rather shop that day than wait until Black Friday...yuck! I don't like to shop that day even when I'm not pregnant so its definitely not happening this year. But I am willing to go to Meijer for a couple of hours before I sit down to our family Thanksgiving meal. Maybe this will help to induce labor and being that Thursday will be a day away from 36 Weeks and also Grandma Winell's birthday I would be ok with that. :) We'll see what happens!

I have a couple more Nursery pictures for you. We've actually painted now and Jared will be working on the trim this week and then we can start putting our furniture in there!! But for now, I don't have pictures of the painted room. So here are some pre-paint. :)

Closet & south wall with primer. 

South and west walls with primer. 

Closet inside with primer. 

West Wall with primer. 
 So that's it for now. I will try to get pics of the nursery with paint & trim up as soon as we finish the trim. :) Stay tuned!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week 34

Well, we made it to week 34! This is one of those gestational milestones that we wanted to hit and we did. I am so thankful that these babies are still hanging out and (right now) seem content to stay for a while longer. My personal goal is to get to 35 weeks. If we hit this goal and the babies are born and are healthy they can come home right away and we can avoid going to Neonatal ICU (NICU) all together. This would be fantastic so that's what we're shooting for.

I spent the last 2 weeks in the hospital and was finally released on Friday night. We had an ultrasound right before leaving and left with the encouraging news of the babies' weights being very good! A is measuring around 4.13lbs and B....5.10lbs! So it seems we have one in there that likes to eat! :) Hopefully, he or she will let A catch up a little before they are born but we are still very happy with both weight predictions.

Being in the hospital really made me feel very unprepared for these babies' arrival. I was realizing how much I haven't been able to do simply because I've been on bed rest for 10 weeks now. However, when I got home I started to feel a lot better about that. Jared and my Dad have been working hard on the nursery and we're very close to being ready to paint. In the meantime, Jared's mom rearranged the furniture in our bedroom on the main level to accommodate the double bassinet pack n' play we plan to use for the first couple of weeks/months. Here are some pictures of the progress.

West Wall before. 

West wall during drywall phase. 
Closet & South wall before. 

Closet during drywall phase. 
Double bassinet Pack n' Play set up in our bedroom. 
Jenna visiting me in the hospital. :)

Only 5 more days until our goal! :) 

Sleep well, God Bless, 


Friday, November 02, 2012

Week 33

Yay! We made it to 33 weeks!! Jared and I are so thrilled that we are here and that the babies are still in the oven. Every day is a huge success for them and so we celebrate them today and their continued growth. One more week in the hospital, unless things change or I go back into labor. If no changes I will get to go home on continued bed rest until I deliver. I am missing home so much but thankful for the great care we are receiving here.

Today Jared and I will tour the neonatal ICU because Jared has never seen it and it is good for him to have some idea of what goes on over there in case we do have to spend any time there. Of course because my mom works in NICU, I have seen it and I have a good grasp on what goes on there but it's not a bad idea for me to see it from the eyes of a mom, rather than from the eyes of  a nurse's daughter. Our prayer is that we won't need to spend any time there but it doesn't hurt to be more prepared for it if it does happen.

Thank you all for the continued prayers!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Today marks 1 week in the hospital and we are so thankful that we haven't delivered yet! Friday will mark 33 weeks gestation and we will certainly celebrate that too! The Dr.'s at this point are going to keep me here until 34 weeks, after that we will have another growth ultrasound and evaluate if its safe enough for me to go home on continued bed rest until we deliver. After the 34 week mark if I go back into labor it's not likely that they will try to stop it, depending on how quickly things progress.

Jared and I are so thankful for the prayers and support we are receiving; we cannot say thank you enough.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Week 32

Well, week 31 ended with a bang. A taste of real labor that is... :(

We went in to the Dr.'s on Wed. evening for a routine check that revealed that I was dilated to 2 so from there we were sent to the hospital to receive another round of steroids for the babies' lungs. The plan was to get the shots and go home but before they could start anything I started contracting 5 min. apart with back labor and the worst pain I've ever felt. That led them to start a medicine called Magnesium Sulfate to stop labor. This is a pretty intense med and while it did work it was a long hour or so of labor before things started to subside. The babies got their steroid shots which will greatly help them in case of an early delivery and they have been monitoring me since then to make sure I don't start to go into labor again. Last night they took me off the magnesium and are now trying to see if a single oral med is enough to keep labor from starting. We are still praying for that 35 week mark to be here before the babies come but we are in the right place if we don't get that far. I am ok with staying in the hospital if that's what it takes to get us there. Friends and family have been keeping us company and taking great care of us too; Jared and I are so thankful for them! So for now we will wait and see what happens. I will keep this updated as much as I can. Thank you for the prayers and support, we are so thankful!!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Week 30

Well we made it through week 30 and now on to week 31! It seems so much nicer to say 30 weeks than it did to say 29...something about it feels like progress. Week 30 was a good week. It started with another beautiful shower given to me by my mother in-law, sister in-law, Aunt Cathy and Nana. This was a family shower and we had a lot of fun. It was a brunch shower with yogurt parfaits, breads and fruit. Abby made beautiful cakes and decorated in a cute woodsy theme. We received such beautiful gifts; these babies sure are loved! Here are a couple of pics from the shower...

This last one is the 30 week belly shot. :)

The rest of the week went well; nothing out of the ordinary. Just staying down as much as possible. Yesterday Jared surprised me and invited some of our good friends over. It was a great surprise! Today has been nice so far; quiet and productive for Jared. He's preparing the yard for winter and getting our pond cleaned out and covered. It's hard to believe that soon it will be snowing. Since I've spent most of Fall inside I'm kind of bummed about winter because I still won't be able to get out much after the babies come. So here's hoping for a light winter again like last year, but I somehow doubt that is what we'll get.

Here's to week 31 and another week closer to our goal!


Saturday, October 06, 2012

Watch me grow!

Week 29

Here we are at 29 weeks gestation and I am finally giving you all some belly shots! These are not my favorite but I know I will want to look back at them someday so I will share some with you. My sister and my Mom made me a paper chain when I came home from the hospital and every Friday, when I switch to a new gestation week, we have been taking a belly shot as I get to take a link off my chain. They so creatively have planned a surprise for me each week to help the time go by fast and to keep my spirits up. It's totally working and I'm so thankful for all that they've done for me. Not sure why but I don't have a 25 week picture on my camera so we will start from 26 weeks. Here you go!
26 Weeks

27 Weeks
28 Weeks
29 Weeks
And this is today, we built the first fire of the season in the fire place. :) Cozy way to be on bed rest! 

So you can't really tell from these pictures I guess but there has been a lot of growing going on in there. The babies are between 2 & 3 pounds now and their mama is growing more and more uncomfortable by the day! :) That's the name of the game! We have 6 weeks to go before we get to our goal of 35 weeks gestation. I have already been on bed rest for 5 weeks so I know I can do it! It will be hard for sure but we don't want to take any chances with these little bundles coming too early. They are well past the point of viability now but that still doesn't make it safe. I want to get past that 35 week mark so we can come home with big healthy babies and not spend any time in the NICU. Thank you so much for all the prayers! 

I will post later this week a nursery update. We're coming right along now and I have some before pictures to show you. Hopefully, in the next few days we will make even more progress and I'll have some more pictures to show you! 

God bless! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

28 Weeks

We made it to another 'milestone' in the medical world... 28 weeks gestation is a big milestone for the twins and we are so thankful that we're here. 1 month ago I was sitting in the hospital receiving steroids for the babies lung development and shots to stop my contractions. The fear was a delivery at 24 weeks which is WAY too early for these little ones to be here. Now, after a month at home on bed rest I am happy that we have not had these babies yet. Of course, I am anxious to meet these little ones and snuggle them close but I want them to be here in the best possible condition and even now is still too early so we wait and pray for more time.

Jared survived his second grocery shopping trip complete with stops at Meijer, Save A-Lot, and Sam's Club. He's a bargain hunter! He got everything on the list and probably spent way less than I would have....hmmm. Maybe we will make this permanent? :) I don't think so, he didn't enjoy it very much. He's been a trooper with his additional jobs and I'm so thankful!

We were able to have our small group from church over to our house on Tuesday night which was a huge blessing for me. I have missed staying in touch with our church family and it was good to see our small group friends. The ladies brought dinner and we had a great time of fellowship. I'm so thankful for great friends!

Tonight Abby, Dan & Fitz are coming over to have their family pictures taken here. The trees are really looking pretty so it's the perfect time for some fall photos. I think Jared is even going to hook up the trailer to the tractor and put a bail of hay on it for a mini hay ride! I will have to be content to see them from my perch on the couch; but maybe if I'm lucky Jared will set up a reclining lounge chair on the deck so I can enjoy the view!

That's all for now, hope you all are enjoying the fall!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A View from The Couch

Week 26...

So week 26 started with a full ultrasound at the high risk Dr. Both babies are doing great! Growth charts show that they are both right in the normal range for a single baby which is good news that means they are fat and happy in there. I hope they like it enough to stay put for 8 more weeks at least. :)

Here is Baby A's 3D. This is the only good shot of A we got this time around because he/she was being camera shy.
And here is Baby B's 3D.
So based on these new 3D ultrasounds some of the family members have changed their predictions about what we're having. Mostly the guess now is that B is a boy and A is a girl.... We shall see! :)

After my appointments in the morning I got to spend the day with my mom and sister and they surprised me with a girls night at my house and invited some of my best friends. We had a great time and I was so thankful to have my friends over and get to do something that felt "normal". This week has been a difficult one for me mentally. I'm starting to really have a tough time being cooped up and doing nothing but laying around. I know that it is what's best but I can't help but feel like life is passing by and I'm not really participating in it. I know that this time is teaching me a lot about myself and it's showing me some of the things that I do during a normal week that maybe aren't really worth my time. It is showing me how to take deeper breaths and to really "be still" and know that God is taking care of me, my husband, the babies, and everything else around me that I would normally feel "in control" of. So the moral of this week is that God is in control. He knows what he's doing even when it feels out of control. So maybe you're not on bed rest but maybe you could take a minute or an hour this week to spend some time in quiet and reflecting on what God is already doing around you.

Blessings from the couch! :)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Ahh... Home!

"Home is where you rest your feet" My mom had a sign in her living room with this phrase on it and never before has that phrase been so literal for me. :) I am so thankful that I have a cozy home in the country to be resting my feet (and my body) from the stress of gravity on these babies. I have a much better view here than I did at the hospital that's for sure! I also have a much more good looking nurse! Jared is adjusting to his role as my caretaker very well and he even brewed me a nice cup of tea this morning. What a guy!

Bed rest is not the vacation I think some assume it should be; especially for a head strong homemaker who has a little too much ambition in the areas of cooking and cleaning. Some of the things I love most about having a home and a husband revolve around making things run smoothly, cooking up a nice hot meal with homegrown ingredients, and having the house clean and comfortable for family and friends when they visit. But now I will take a back seat to all of that for some time and focus on growing these babies big and strong. I have been doing some reading in the areas of bed rest and how to stay fit and sane and there are a lot of good resources out there. There is an organization called "Sidelines" dedicated to helping women with high risk pregnancies and bed rest and they have some great articles on their website about bed rest and what I can expect. Our family has been so supportive and they have already brought meals, come to visit, and they even cleaned my house for me. I am so thankful for that because with a chocolate Lab puppy and just living in the country, my floors alone need a good sweep every day it seems.  

The one thing I seem to be lacking right now is a good book I can dive into. I have been on somewhat of a reading freeze; seems like its been over a year now. I have a few boxes of books in the spare bedroom that I haven't gone through since we moved back in May and I know I have some good ole' Jane Austen up there I need to get my hands on somehow. :) Even if I've already read all of her novels, those are the kind you can always read again!

The babies are kicking around in there and its a beautiful Sunday here! I think I will even get my zero gravity chair out on the deck today and enjoy the early fall sunshine.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Week 24

      We're starting week 24 off with a bang! Yesterday I had a routine appointment with the high risk Dr. that resulted in being admitted to the hospital because of some indications of pre-term labor. I didn't know what to expect as they brought me to labor and delivery to be monitored for contractions. I have been having contractions since about week 16; being that this is my first pregnancy and that the contractions are not painful in any way I wrongly assumed that they were Braxton Hicks. They were in fact real contractions that are causing cervical shortening. So the goal in being at the hospital is 2 fold at this point, first to make sure the babies are ok and to give them some medications to help with their lung development in the case of an early delivery, secondly, it's to try to stop the contractions.

      For now, the contractions seem under control and the babies have gotten the medication that they need to help with their lung development. Right now it is looking like I will be in the hospital for a couple more days as they want to continue to monitor me and make sure that the contractions stay at bay. If they send me home it will be on full bed rest with the exception of getting up occasionally for bathroom breaks and short showers.  

      I am so thankful for all of the support we are receiving already from our family and friends. It is such a blessing to have people by our side as we take this journey. This is not what we expected but we will gladly wait longer for the arrival of our twins. Our hope is to get to week 35 so we have 11 weeks to go and if bed rest is the only way to get there I will gladly do it. I'm sure there will be hard days ahead but I know that we are not in this alone. I am encouraged every time I get to hear the babies heart beats because they are both strong and they move a lot! :) I'm loving how much I feel them now. It's so reassuring and comforting.

Jared and I appreciate all of your prayers. Thank you!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Week 22

So far so good in week 22, it's been a busy weekend with a lot going on. I was helping plan our church's choir retreat and we had that Friday and saturday. We had a lot of fun and I hope this will be a great start to a great group. Then we celebrated aunt Cathy's birthday at our house on Saturday night with a Bon fire and all the family was there. Fitz even got to meet the chickens and take his first walk through the woods. We hope he will come out a lot more often and learn to love coming to uncle Jared's and aunt Christina's house. On Sunday we had some good friends come over for lunch, Trevor and Christina Miller and their little Johannah. We had so much fun getting to know each other better and hearing about their journey to Brazil. They hope to go there with Wycliffe Bible Translators in the spring as full time missionaries. We are so excited for them and their journey.

The week started off good too because today I went to register for the twins with my mom and my sister. It was a lot of fun and we got a lot accomplished. My mom and I even had time to go to JoAnn's fabrics and pick out the fabrics for the babies' quilts that Jared's mom is going to make. What blessed little ones we have to have such loving grandmothers on both sides of the family! After picking out the fabrics for the quilts I finally was able to narrow down the nursery colors. We hope to get started on that project this week so I'll get some before pics up soon so you can follow our progress. Yay!

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week!


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Week 20

Week 20  is flying by! I'm feeling great still and so thankful that I have had such a smooth pregnancy thus far. We will have another appointment on Friday with the OB; just a regular check up but can't wait to hear the heartbeats. That doesn't ever get old! I am feeling BIG this week though. Seems like I can watch my belly grow per minute! :) Well, that's exaggerating a bit I guess but for real this last week has been a stretching one. I'm making sure to lather on the Coco Butter every night now! No visible stretch marks yet but I'm sure they will come if I continue to grow as big as I think I'm going to get. :)

This past week was a big one at work too. After much prayer, and discussion with Jared and my family, I've decided to quit working in September and be a full time mommy when these little ones get here. This was a big decision for me because I have worked outside of the home since I was 14 and I enjoy work (to a degree, like most I'm sure). However, I have always wanted to be able to stay at home with my kids too. I feel very blessed to be able to stay home with the babies and to care for them, my husband, and my house fully. Of course I know that with the stresses of being a mom to twins there will be days when I will need a reprieve and this is where my amazing family comes in. I have so many loving women in our family that have offered to help with the babies and I feel incredibly blessed and overwhelmed with peace because I know that we are not in this parenting journey alone. I am so excited about what is to come and I can't wait to share some of those moments with you.

Lately, I'm getting so antsy to get my house in order, nesting syndrome is setting in. But we have some work to do before I can jump into that. The room we will be using as the nursery needs to be drywalled and we haven't started yet. :( We will be starting that project very soon and I will post before and after shots once we get going. I think I've finally narrowed down the theme of the nursery though so that helps me feel like I've accomplished something. :)

Well, that's all for now.
Sleep well, God Bless,


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Toes, Tugboats & Tractors

This was a very eventful weekend. It's been relaxing and productive all at the same time. It started with our big 19 week ultrasound where we got to see the babies in detail. We haven't seen them since 11 weeks and we were both really ready to have this ultrasound. I know that most people do not get to see their babies on ultrasound as much as we have and we are thankful that we have this awesome technology to reassure us that our little ones are doing well. We did not find out what we're having and I'm feeling good about that decision. :) The ultrasound tech. knows and that's it.

Baby A is 9oz and Baby B is 10oz; both are right on target with our due date. They were moving around like crazy, especially Baby A, he or she was not giving the ultrasound tech. an easy job of getting all the measurements. But she was able to get what she needed for the most part. We will have another ultrasound in 1 month so we will hopefully get some of those measurements then. I think I am finally feeling some movement. Really, it just feels like bubbles in my tummy but by the way they were moving around I'm surprised that I don't feel them more. Maybe in another week or so. I will post their 3D pictures but they look so skinny to me. The Dr. assured us that they are right where they need to be so I will just keep doing my best to fatten these little ones up! :)

Baby A, looks like he/she is a thumb sucker. :)

Baby B's side profile, you can make out the face but not much else. 

Our weekend continued with a ride out on Lake MI with some great friends that Jared works with. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset and even got to see a sail boat. It was a fun night.
 Swimming in the big lake. Water temp. was somewhere in the 70's. 

The sail boat we saw. I think it looks like a Pirate ship!

We ended our weekend with a lot of wood cutting/tree trimming chores on the farm. I even got to learn how to drive the tractor! It was pretty fun. Since I can't be much help with wood cutting/splitting that was a job I could do. Jared was a good teacher too, I only stalled it twice. :) 

That's all for now friends. Hope you have a great week!