Aug 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Sweet Care Bear!

My dearest Care Bear,

This has been quite a week for you, sweet girl. Between starting SCHOOL, and turning Two big milestones in one week. Too much for this mama's heart to handle.

Care Bear, you will never be able to know how much I love you and how incredibly proud you make me every single day of your life. The day you were born, my life was forever changed, and changed for the better in so many ways. You make me a better person because of who you are.

I love to watch you play because you have such a creative mind. That little brain of yours is constantly working, thinking, planning and exploring. The things you know and the things you say and the way you express yourself; well, you manage to blow me away at least once every single day.

You have a zest for life and an enthusiasm that is so contagious. I can be tired, exhausted, and hating life and all I have to do is come home and see you and my whole outlook changes. You have an uncanny knack of reminding me about what is really important in life.

You are about the smartest 5 year old I have ever encountered.....I know I'm a biased mommy, but you really are so bright and you have such an amazing future ahead of you; I just know it! I hope no one that you ever run into in your life squelches what you have inside of you!

You can do whatever your little heart desires, my sweet one. You have it in you and I know that you will make me proud! You already have so much.

I adore you, I treasure you, and I am honored to be able to be your Mama!

I hope you have the best birthday ever! You deserve it.

Love always,

Aug 29, 2007

My "Baby's" First Day Of School

A picture diary of my Care Bear's first day of Kindergarten. The pictures speak pretty well for themselves; as does the expression on Feisty's face in most of the pictures. Poor baby....

rose bush (Small)
rose bush with dad (Small)
rose bush with dad and anthony (Small)
rose bush with mom (Small)
heading in (Small)
mom, hayley and anthony walking (Small)
in front of school edit (Small)
close to classroom (Small)
in front of classroom (Small)
hayley hopscotch (Small)
livi hopscotch (Small)
at her table (Small)
saying goodbye to sister edited (Small)
hugging goodbye (Small)
mom kissing goodbye (Small)
looking at mom and dad leaving (Small)
mom crying edit (Small)
livi wistful (Small)
And that about says it all. Care Bear did great. Dad was shooting the pics. Mom and Feisty? Felt the pain a little more than the rest. She had a fabulous day at Kindergarten and was disappointed that she didn't have homework last night. Next up? Signing the kid up for Soccer. It's about time. You should see her kick a ball! Where's my mini-van cuz I'm officially gonna be a soccer mom. (I need a van anyway here real soon.....anyone wanting to give one away?!)

Aug 23, 2007

I am continuously amazed at the outpouring of love, support and prayers by you wonderful people. Although, I'm not sure why I am surprised....I've seen how everyone has given their support and prayers to others out there. This is a great community of people to be a part of and I am so grateful for you.

As my mom said, they decided (or rather I decided) not to do the CVS yesterday. Dr. Hobbins said that he could have gotten in there but that the chances of something happening are about 1 in 75. He asked me if the results of the tests would have bearing on what I would do with the pregnancy and I said I would absolutely not terminate the pregnancy. He didn't see any reason then to risk the twins now if the results wouldn't change anything and we decided together to wait three more weeks to do an amnio.

I could see my babies moving around in there. Baby A (big baby who they suspect has the chromosome issue) was moving around like crazy in there. I could swear he/she waved at me once. He (I say he usually in reference to this baby for some reason) was just chillin' out in there; looked like he was just resting on a hammock soaking up some rays. I could see all five fingers and toes. It was hard for me to fathom, as I sat there watching him, that there could be something wrong.

Baby B is still alive and kickin' as well. They didn't even think B would be alive by the time yesterday came around. He/she proved them wrong. As much of a big-wig as Dr. Hobbins is, my babies have the great physician in their corner.

I am back at work today after being out for 1.5 days. I ended up in the hospital on Tuesday night after spending the prior two days more miserable than I can ever remember being. My stomach wouldn't even tolerate Sprite or Mylanta. So I was in the hospital all day yesterday being re-hydrated and having anti-nausea/vomiting medication pumped into me. I slept a lot. Except when the phone kept ringing or nurses kept coming in to harrass me for one reason or another. I'll tell you one thing; when I'm in the hospital giving birth to these babies, I'm going to really limit the amount of visitors I get because when Feisty was born, I don't think there was more than 5 or 10 minutes in-between visitors. I felt more tired after leaving the hospital than I did coming in.

I appreciate you all so much. Your comments and your prayers are keeping me going! You will never in a million years know how much it all means to me!

Aug 22, 2007


This is Mom/Grandma Dawn updating you this morning.

Mike and Kristen didn’t get out of the doctor’s office until 5:00 (3 hours). She was on the ultrasound machine for a long time, as they tried to determine if it was safe to do the test on the babies. They determined they couldn’t yet do it safely. In the meantime, they did assure them that the babies were developing, both kicking, and the mass they were looking at last week seemed smaller. That’s the really good news. They asked her if she was planning to terminate the pregnancy if they did the risky test anyway and the news was really bad. She said they were not planning to terminate the pregnancy at all. So the doc said they might as well wait a couple more weeks to do an amniocentesis.

She has been so sick, as you know. Neither doctor, her own or the specialist, seemed to have any advice except that "it should get better as time goes on." It was getting worse. She's tried 3 different meds and none have helped. She couldn't even keep Mylanta down, and was suffering from acid last night.

By 10:30, she was so sick that they finally went to the emergency room. She called at 5:00 this morning from the hospital here in the town where she works instead of where she lives, because that’s where her ob gyn is. Sheis terribly dehydrated, and also has a UTI, which was a total surprise.

Blogger has been down all morning, so I am sorry it has taken so long to get this posted. Of all days for them to be down!

Aug 21, 2007

Today Is The Day

In about two hours I will be heading out to my appointment where I will find out the fate of my babies. It's been the longest week and a half I think I have ever lived through.

I have been so sick through the last three months that I don't know how I am going to "stomach" seeing a needle enter my abdomen. I might ask them if they can put me out. When I was little I begged my mom to ask our dentist if he could put me out for a routine check-up and cleaning....not even because they were filling a cavity.

The last 36 hours or so I have been so beyond sick that I can't even stomach Sprite. My mom took the kids for me last night so I could have some peace and quiet because their "kid-ness" was just too much last night. They weren't being bad; just being kids, but I was too sick for it. I couldn't even open my eyes without feeling like I was going to throw-up. The docs have prescribed three different anti-nausea/vomiting medications; none of which are working. I plan to talk to the "big doc" today to see what he suggests for this problem.

Thank you so much for all the prayers and support. You will never know how much it has meant to me. I will update as soon as I find out the results from the tests today.

Aug 17, 2007

Is It Possible?!

I swear I just felt a kid kick the side of my gut. I could swear, but isn't it a little too early?! I mean, there are two in there after all; they are fighting for space. I suppose it could be possible that a tiny little leg cramped from lack of space could have karate chopped my side, isn't it?! It didn't feel like any sort of digestion or otherwise. I think it was a kick. That settles it; my kid is kicking me....already.

Kick away kid...kick away!

Several Hours Later.....

So I felt it again. I'm pretty sure he/she/they are really kicking in there and it's not my imagination. They are telling me that they are just fine. I know that's what they're saying. For sure.

Aug 13, 2007

Imagine my complete and total surprise when I came into work today, opened my blog and discovered almost 50 comments from my post. I have no words or way to express my thanks for the outpouring of prayers, support and love from everyone who came to offer prayers and good thoughts for me and my family right now. Between all of you and the myriad of people here at home, I feel truly covered. So many people have also told me true stories of ultra sounds that told them upsetting information only to give birth to perfectly healthy children. I am hanging on to everyone's prayers and support and those thoughts right now.

I also wanted to clarify that I am not so concerned with the baby(s) having Downs-Syndrome as I am the Trisomy 13 or 18. I am most concerned with carrying this pregnancy nine months to only lose my child shortly after birth; having my children anticipate and wait for their baby brother and/or sister only to lose it. And concerned about the small twin for whom the doctor does not hold out much hope. If I go to the doctor on Tuesday and am told that neither one of these babies is carrying an extra 13 or 18 chromosome, I will feel like I can breathe again and continue on with this pregnancy happily and with anticipation.

We had a visiting missionary to our church yesterday. At the end of his sermon he made a very strong point to tell us that God can do anything; raise people from the dead, heal the blind, cure the sick, turn water into wine etc.....all things that I know and have heard my whole life, but never have I counted on that truth more than now. If He can do all those things, he can certainly perform a miracle on my little ones.

Again I have no way to say thanks. I don't even know how. I definitely need to thank Janice and Susan from Five Minutes for Mom for passing this word along and adding so many people to the prayer chain for my little ones.

My next appointment is a week from tomorrow. Seems like an eternity from now. I have found that my emotions seem to be going in waves. One day I'll be OK and almost forget this is even happening and the next, I'm a complete basket case. Yesterday at church, I was OK until I saw my friend's adorable little baby girl (who is seriously about the cutest thing I have ever to my own, of course) and that was it. I lost it for the rest of the service.

Right now, I would like to share some cute, funny and positive things that went on with my sweet girls this weekend.

#1). Care Bear is a really well-rounded little girl. She is athletic, artistic, and very, very smart......(I just really need to brag on my kids right now, ai-ight??). This weekend, she learned how to do multiple somersaults in a row. The kid made me dizzy and nauseous just watching her. She really loves to color, draw, paint, etc. etc. etc......I'm planning on opening up a gallery very soon. At least then all of her art-work doesn't have to sit in 4 or 5 moving sized boxes throughout my house.

She wrote a book this weekend. She painted the cover, illustrated the book, and told me the story to dictate.....word for word. I did not write a single word of this book. I'm contacting publishers today. She'll make me rich......

cover (Small)
page 1 & 2 (Small)
pagew 3& 4 (Small)
pages 5 & 6 (Small)
pages 7 & 8 (Small)
pages 9 & 10 (Small)
pages 11 & 12 (Small)
pages 13 & 14 (Small)

Move over Jamie Lee and Madonna and whatever other stars have decided to start writing children's books. How about a children's author that is actually a child?! I mean, who better knows what children like better than a child? I think I'm going to bronze that book. Or something.

The other night, Care Bear and I were working on a puzzle together. Feisty was trying to be interested, but wasn't so much. So she made her way over to me and asked me if she could talk to the baby. Of course, I told her she could and she started talking to the baby in her cute little "big sister" voice. Then she asked me if it would be OK if she could sing to the baby. Her beautiful big eyes with her gorgeous long eyeleashes looking up at me asking me if she could sing to her baby. I wanted to squeeze every inch of love into her I could at that very moment. Of course I told her she could sing to the baby and so she did. "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in perfect pitch. Could I love that kid more?!?!

That same night, Care Bear, Feisty and I were cuddling on the couch before bed. I told Care Bear that I want to cuddle with her as much as possible before the baby (they still don't know it's twins yet) is born. She pouted a little because she didn't think she would get to be cuddled anymore after the baby is born. I quickly told her that of course she would still be cuddled after the baby, and that she could cuddle the baby when it is born.

Care Bear: "No, I can't! It will be too small!"
Me: "Well, you like to cuddle Emery (cute baby referred to above).
How come you can't cuddle
our baby?"
Care Bear: "Because Emery is bigger than our baby! (Pointing at my
tummy which is by no means huge yet) Look how small
our baby is!!"

Anakin was with his mom most of the weekend so I have no anecdotes from him today.

Again, thank you so much. Continue with your prayers because the next week is going to go SOOOO slow.

Much love!

Aug 10, 2007

I debated telling people about my pregnancy. I waited a long time until I thought it was a "safe" time to tell. You know....past the "first tri-mester" mark when you can be pretty sure you're not going to mis-carry. Miscarry....holding your breath for that first three months hoping against hope that all goes well until you are "in the clear". I thought I was in the clear. Slowly I began to tell people that yes, I am expecting another child. Like it and be happy for me if you want, and just pretend and try to be supportive of me if you're not happy about it because this baby is coming whether you like it or not.

I was in denial for quite awhile. I was in a little bit of panic mode for awhile. Eventually as the days and weeks continued to pass by and the signs that I was most definitely pregnant began to get more prominent (i.e. unbearable nausea, extreme exhaustion, my very steady weight increasing) I began to come out of denial and accept and even become excited about my upcoming arrival. Still nervous and not sure how I was going to handle yet another child, I realized that somehow I would make it work and the focus had to begin to move towards preparing mentally and otherwise for this child.

The doctor who I had gone to and who delivered both of my girls (whom I absolutely loved) retired and sold his practice shortly after I had Feisty. Since that time, I have not had a regular OB/GYN. For those types of appointments, I would just go to my regular doctor. However, once finding out I was going to have another baby, I didn't feel that great about going to my general family doctor for my pregnancy and delivery. But I wasn't sure where I wanted to go. I ended up deciding to search in the town where I work rather than where I live because most likely my appointments would be during work days and I would rather just drive five or ten minutes from my office than drive all the way to the town I live. Plus I love the hospital where I had the girls (and where I was born as well), and decided I would like to have this one there as well. I had really great birthing experiences with both of my girls at the hospital up here.

Ironically, I ultimately decided to go to the place where my old doctor's practice used to be, which is still an OB/GYN clinic. It feels like going "home" when I am there. I had really great pregnancy experiences with my girls and walking back into that office for the first time since having Feisty gave me a little bit of an excited feeling. It was the first time I really started feeling excited and that this is actually happening.

This place is a small clinic. It has one doctor and two mid-wives. I much prefer that type of setting over the gigantic clinics that have two dozen doctors where you might....just might....see the same doctor twice throughout your entire pregnancy....and no telling who might deliver your child.

I was set to have my first ultra-sound this past Wednesday (two days ago). I've always loved ultra-sounds. To me, there is nothing more exciting than seeing your child for the first time in real life. This time was no different. I was really anxious to see the baby. Mike went with me. We went through the ultra sound, saw the baby, saw the heart beat, asked if she could tell the gender (full well knowing she wouldn't be able to, but you know....maybe technology has increased by leaps and bounds in the three years since Feisty was never know). After the ultra sound, she asked us to go take a seat in the waiting room until the doctor was ready to see us.

When she came back out to get us, instead of having us go into another room, she had us go back into the ultra-sound room. She said the doctor wanted to see the ultra-sound "live". I immediately got a bad feeling. I asked the lab tech if there was something wrong. She responded by saying that sometimes the doctor just likes to do this. I knew that was a cop-out. Sure enough, after the doctor came in and start prodding around with that ultra-sound wand and using language a civilian could never understand I knew something was wrong. In laymans terms, "something is wrong, but we're not quite sure what". She of course expanded by pointing out on the ultra sound a "membrane" filled with liquid along the back of the baby's head and down along the spine. Without getting into a whole lot of detail with us, she said she wanted us to see a perinatal specialist in Denver immediately to find out more. The doctor she wanted us to see is a world-renowned perinatal specialist who has opened up a clinic specializing in high-risk and complicated pregnancies. Let me tell you just how fabulous it made me feel that my pregnancy warranted a visit to a high-risk/complicated pregnancy doctor. Just to show you how serious they were about checking out this pregnancy, here is the doc's bio:

John C. Hobbins, MD

Dr. Hobbins received his BS from Hamilton College in New York in 1958 and his MD from New York Medical College. He completed a rotating internship at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut in 1964, and served as a resident and instructor in obstetrics and gynecology at Yale-New Haven Medical Center, also in Connecticut. Dr. Hobbins has served in professional appointments in the field of obstetrics and gynecology as both physician and professor. In 1980, he became professor of obstetrics and
gynecology and professor of diagnostic radiology at the Yale University School
of Medicine. He was also assistant chair of Yale's Department of Obstetrics and
Gynecology. After spending 22 years at Yale, the last several as director of
obstetrics, he moved to the University of Colorado in 1992. Dr. Hobbins is an
active member of more than a dozen professional obstetrics and gynecology and
ultrasound societies. He received an honorary master's degree from Yale
University in 1980 and was named an honorary member of the Societa Italiana di
Ecografia Ostetrico-Ginecologica. For his numerous contributions to the field of
ultrasound, he received the Ian Donald Gold Medal Award in Japan in 1996. Dr.
Hobbins is the author of more than 500 publications, including 10 books and 27
book chapters.

Yeah. He's big stuff. They didn't even have me see one of his "underlings" whom even as underlings would be a pretty impressive doctor to have. The soonest they could get me into see him was yesterday (which by my standards is pretty soon, but I think they really wanted to get me in that same day). The next 24 hours were hell with lots of tears, fears, and trying to maintain some sort of "Okay-ness" for the kids who wanted nothing more than to see the picture of their baby brother or sister.

My mother-in-law has been visiting for the last couple of weeks. She was set to go home on Wednesday, but for some reason decided to stick around that day. I couldn't have been more grateful for her that evening that she drove up to our house when we thought she was already well on her way back to North Dakota. She stuck around, continued to help out with the kids and took care of them yesterday when we went to our appointment in Denver.
I was trying to be optimistic as we headed for Denver. This fabulous doctor would surely look at our ultra-sound and immediately put any thoughts of something being wrong to rest and chalk it up to a flawed ultra-sound picture. But that is not how it went down. To start off, this is what was found:

That is not two pictures of one baby that you're looking at there. That is pictures of twins. Twins. This day was just getting better and better. The top baby they labeled as "Baby A", the bottom, "Baby B". Had we known the genders, I would have just given them names right there and told them to call them that as "Baby A and B" just seems so cold and impersonal.

Baby A is the bigger of the two, which leads them to believe they are not identical. Baby A is who was originally thought to have the problem. When he initially looked at Baby B he thought there was probably a problem with that one as well but upon further looking he doesn't believe that Baby B has the same problem, or may have a problem just not to quite the degree Baby A does. The kicker? Baby B is quite a bit smaller than Baby A and its placenta is not providing a good home right now.

There is a slight possibility that there could be a "twin-to-twin transfusion" going on, which does only occur with identical twins where one twin un-wittingly transfuses blood through the placenta to the other twin, thereby depriving itself of blood and nutrients; making the other baby significantly larger and causing problems for itself. He doesn't think that's what is going on, however it is a possibility.

The membrane that my doctor here saw that I was hoping was just a figment of her imagination is, in fact, there on Baby A. There is a slight one as well on Baby B, but he said that the one on Baby B could go away and he/she could be perfectly fine. If size weren't an issue.

He wants to do a CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) because he believes there is a chromosome issue going on. He believes this child has an extra chromosome which ultimately results in either Trisomy 13, 18 or 21. 21 is better known as Downs-Syndrome. 13 and 18 result in serious mental retardation and deformities. The baby rarely lives long after birth.

If it is Trisomy 21, there is a 21% chance that after the birth the baby with have Downs Syndrome. A 2.5% chance the baby will die, and a 70% chance the baby will be alive and well. Right now, that is all I am hanging onto.

He wanted to do the CVS yesterday, but due to Baby B's small placenta, he didn't want to risk putting a needle into it yesterday and further risking the baby(s). I have an appointment a week from Tuesday to have the CVS done at which time he believes that the placentas will be able to handle it. However, he says due to Baby B's size, there is a good chance that he/she may not even make it that much longer.

Wednesday after my appointment, I cried....a lot. Yesterday I was numb after our appointment. There was little to no emotion. Everything felt so clinical and matter-of-fact. My MIL still had my kids and I sat in my house and watched my taped Soap Opera and two or three hours of Friends re-runs on TBS. It's all I could handle doing.

Today I got up to go to work. I only got four hours of sleep because MIL stayed at our house until 1:30 a.m. before heading back home to N.Dak. Today she is gone. I'm back at work. I'm facing "normal life" which to me will never feel normal again. The reality of it is all setting in and I am having a very difficult time sitting here at my desk trying to deal with other people's problems which to me feel so trivial right now. I want to be at home hugging and kissing and loving on my kids that I already have. I need that sense of "okay-ness" right now. But nothing feels OK. And I have a week and a half to wait to find out my babies' fate and the decisions I must make as a result.

If you made it through that whole post, I will be surprised. I had to write this out for myself to sort through it all in my head and for those who have asked for an update as to what's going on. I will continue to keep you updated as I know things, or as I feel the need to verbally vomit on my blog everything that I am feeling through this.

Thanks is not a big enough word to thank you for your prayers, support and concern. It means more to me than I can ever convey.

Aug 7, 2007

The Return

So, you found me. That's great. Sorry if I've confused anyone by the various moves the last couple of months. I had decided to try wordpress for awhile because, well....I get blog bored easily. I needed a change and decided to give it a try. While I liked some things about wordpress, there were things that I didn't like as well. Between that and some yucky not fun stuff that occurred a few weeks ago, I decided to take a much needed rest and break from the whole computer/blog/chat board/ etc. etc. etc.....thing. I've tried to read and keep up and comment here and there a little bit, but honestly....the break was nice.

I kept my good ole blogger blog around, though, because I just could not delete my "original" blog; especially with the cute design that Susie made me. So I just changed the URL and put the blog "in hiding". But now the blog and I have decided to come out of hiding for awhile. I don't know how regularly I'll post....I'm not going to put pressure on myself, but you are welcome to put this new address in your bloglines if you want to. Put it on your blogroll if you want; don't if you don't want to. I don't really care anymore. No rules here.

The "return" has come at this particular time for a particular reason. See, I thought people should know that I've not been feeling so well lately. A lot of throwing up, headaches, extreme exhaustion, and for some strange reason my pants just don't fit that well anymore. I'm crossing my fingers because the last couple of days my stomach seems to be a little more settled. Maybe it's because I'm heading into my:


Huh? What? Uh....yeah. If you're a little slow on this Tuesday morning, I'm pregnant....again. Eleven weeks along....almost 12. I've been real sick this time....never happened with the first two so of course everyone is saying it must be a boy. We'll see.

I have an ultra-sound tomorrow. I heard the heartbeat for the first time last week. We told the kids on Friday night. They are thrilled. Feisty can't wait to be a big sister. We're already arguing on who gets to give the baby its bottle, who gets to change the baby's diaper, who gets to walk the baby in the stroller....I'm excited they are excited. I hope it stays that way in a few months.

Estimated due date: February 22, 2008.

And that's my news. Never a dull moment in my world.