It’s the final countdown…

Standard

Nearly 13 weeks of bedrest down with just a few more to go! How in the world did we make it this far? I find the need to pinch myself daily, though looking down at my HUGE belly is really reality check enough!

Today marks 32 weeks and 3 days with our twin boys. We feel so incredibly fortunate to have come this far and thank God everyday for his protection over them and for keeping my body strong and stable. At our 32 week ultrasound¬†appointment on Wednesday, we learned that both boys are weighing in at over 4 pounds! This was music to my ears. We were also told that at 32 weeks gestation, even if born today, they have matured to the point of avoiding most preemie complications. As we left our ultrasound appointment I couldn’t help cry tears of pure joy. It is truly unbelievable that in a few short weeks we could have babies come home with us from the hospital. This was the ultimate goal, and one I’ve dreamed about since finding out we were pregnant. At my regular OB appointment, my doctor started chatting with us about a course of action for delivery. As in, she is hopeful we will reach the 36 week milestone, and we needed to set up appointments for a cerclage removal! HOLY COW! At 34 weeks she said I should come off total bedrest and start resuming life as usual (not sure how that’s physically possible, but how awesome does that sound!?). Then at 36, my cerclage will be removed and it’s a waiting game at that point. Again, I left in tears at the prospect of this pregnancy actually going to term! I cannot begin to express how relieved, humbled, grateful and just dumbfounded I am. No matter what happens now I feel we’ve made it. We gave 100% for these babies and can see the finish line. I AM SO EXCITED… and it’s starting to hit me — this is happening SOON.

From 20 weeks on, our main goal has just been to “stay pregnant.” Now that the end is drawing near, we are overwhelmed with the fact that we will be bringing TWO babies home. TWO. I am also struggling a bit with the fact that we don’t have much, really anything, prepared to actually bring babies home. With Kaleb, my pregnancy journey came to an abrupt end. We had several months to “nest” and ready ourselves and our home for him. I had honestly thought that would be the case with these babies as well. I am experiencing the overwhelming urge to nest, but there is really nothing I can do! Even if I attempt to be out of bed for brief periods of time, I just can’t physically do the things I’d like. So, as with everything in this pregnancy, we are rolling with the punches! We will get the basics together and then worry about the rest when the time comes. Second and third children don’t have all the niceties the first one had anyway, right? ūüėČ

Soon, bedrest will be a distant memory and I will be so busy I can barely function. As much as I would love to resume a normal life right now, I’m trying to soak in these last days of rest and time with my little family. Kaleb has grown so much in these past few months. I will miss sharing all my days with just my little buddy, but he is going to be the best big brother. I am also trying to really enjoy the time with my husband, while we are both, somewhat, well rested. We remember well what the first months are like with a newborn. It’s hard to fathom it x2! Life will be so very different soon. I am excited and nervous for what lies ahead!

Thank you, as always, to everyone who has offered so much support to us along this journey. I can’t wait to share our birth story with you all and pictures of our beautiful boys! How amazing!!

Amazed to be this far along with our twin boys! 32 weeks and counting!

Amazed to be this far along with our twin boys! 32 weeks and counting!

Advertisements

Bedrest, My Old Friend

Standard

Nearly a month has passed since we began our strict bedrest journey. Days are once again filled with reading and facebooking, daytime TV and binge watching Netflix, praying and seeking God’s peace. It was crazy to me how easily we fell back into a familiar bedrest routine. Showers are twice a week. All meals are eaten lying down (a real feat!). Lots of water is consumed and therefore lots of waddling to the bathroom. This time around I’m much bigger and doubling in size every few weeks. The extra weight definitely makes things more difficult and I have a lot more aches and pains than I remember having w Kaleb. But all in all, the days are going quickly and by the grace of God are once again uneventful.

Keith is such an amazing support. He is not only waiting on me hand and foot; from bathing to dressing to feeding me most meals, he is also caring for Kaleb and managing to work full time. He’s in full single parent mode and I can tell that it’s wearing him down, but he just keeps pushing forward. He is really the best kind of man, and God has blessed me with such a selfless husband and Kaleb with such a great daddy.

We have had a lot of help from family in taking care of Kaleb too. Keith’s cousin, who just recently graduated college, has been here a couple times a week and is great with K. My mom and Keith’s mom have also been here a lot. My mom is especially helpful with keeping our house clean and laundry done. My sister has also been up a few times to help and Kaleb is certainly loving all of the extra attention. Some days are a lot harder than others though. Three years ago it was just me, my thoughts and I, trudging through bedrest. Now it’s mommy on the couch and I feel helpless to actually *be* mommy when Kaleb needs to be picked up, disciplined, or just understood in a way only mommy can. It’s hard on both of us, but we are surviving and I’m daily witness to my little baby becoming a full fledged kid. His language skills are improving by leeps and bounds, mostly out of a necessity to be understood by everyone who is here helping. He is becoming a lot more independent – he grabs his little stool to get things for himself off counters, he turns on lights and climbs on to the bed or couch to be w me when he just needs some mommy time. He now climbs the stairs completely independent of anyone and often sneaks away when he thinks no one is looking.

The weekends are a great bit of respite from the bustle of all of our house guests during the week. It is so great to reconnect as a family of 3 and have some shared time together. We watch movies and eat meals as a family. Keith and I know these days w just “us” are numbered and we’re just trying to soak each moment up. It’s a possibility that at some point I may once again be on hospital bedrest, so enjoying the time at home w my sweet boys has been a real blessing

So now the countdown to 24 weeks is in the single digits (4 days!) and we are eagerly anticipating the first major milestone – one of many, we pray. On Monday I say goodbye to my 20s, a decade that has brought so much joy and wonderful memories, and I usher in a new decade from the comfort (ish) of my bed. I am beyond grateful to spend my birthday with my sweet family, including the precious dumplings that are bouncing around in my tummy. I can’t think of a greater gift than to still be pregnant and just hours away from 24 weeks. God has truly blessed our little Spilman family and continues to pour out his love on us.

Wednesday will bring another evaluation at the hospital as well as another growth scan of the boys. Please pray with us that everything is still stable, my cerclage is holding, and that our boys are growing and perfect! Thank you all yet again for your continued support and prayers! We love you all.

Well.. Here we go again!

Standard

Almost 20 weeks to the day. The point in my last pregnancy we were told we’d likely lose our sweet Kaleb and I was given a small stitch and placed on strict bed rest. Today I am 19 weeks 6 days with our twin boys. Today I was told my cervix has given way all the way to my stitch. Today I was once again put on strict bed rest.

The difference this time around is I know I can do it. I can brave the fear and uncertainty of the coming weeks and hold tight knowing that God has gone before me and is loving me through this dark valley. We have 28 days until these boys are viable. I am confident my stitch will hold and that my body will stay stable. I will not be overcome by fear and I will lay here as long as I possibly can.

As always your prayers are longed for. We had such an amazing support system that rallied around us with Kaleb and we are relying on you all again. Thank you for all the encouragement so far. We love and appreciate each of you. Truly.

20130813-134136.jpg 19 weeks pregnant with twin boys

A Prayer Circle and a Cerclage

Standard

Since college I have had my ups and downs with close friends. Some have gone from my life and come back. Some are forever gone. And some filled a void in my life and quickly became forever friends. Earlier this summer Keith and I had the opportunity to celebrate one such friend as she got married. Kaleb was a ring bearer and wore his first little suit! He was just the cutest. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and it was wonderful to reconnect with some old friends. I love the friends that I may not see often, but when we get together it’s like no time has passed at all.

At the rehearsal the day before, I told the bride, Jessica and a few other friends that I was pregnant again – with TWINS (I can’t help it, every time I say “twins” it must be shouted in all caps)! I had expressed my excitement, but also my fear for what the pregnancy would hold. We discussed the prognosis my doctor had given me, and all of us agreed that we were glad we knew there could potentially be an issue and that I would be watched closely. It was so much fun to have others sharing in the joy and excitement for our expanding family.

The following day, the wedding went of without a hitch, with the exception of the beautiful couple (get it? They got hitched..). It was a spectacular evening with all the fun formalities and lots of country music. As the night wore on, and my line dancing feet grew tired, Keith and I decided it was time to head home. I don’t think I’ve ever left before a wedding was over, but that first trimester exhaustion was forcing me to leave early. Before we left I started saying my goodbyes, when my good friend and maid of honor Sam, told me we HAD to wait. I assumed there was a special song that I just had to stay for, or maybe the groom was serenading the bride or something.

Pretty soon though I was being rounded up with Jessica (the bride), another good friend Tara, Sam and of course Keith and heading out of the tent to a spot where there were no crowds or anything. I joked and asked if I was being baptized in a river! Little did I know, Jess and Sam had planned something special for me. Jessica’s grandmother, Kay, wanted to anoint me and pray over me. I almost immediately burst into tears! She asked me a little about Kaleb and asked if it was ok that she pray for me and my babies. Of course I said yes and she began to pray. She prayed that the Lord would take away all the fear in my heart as fear is not of him. She prayed for the little lives taking form in my womb and for the mighty things that they would do in their lives. She prayed for my cervix (and we all couldn’t help but laugh a little) that it would stay strong and do it’s job for the duration of my pregnancy. She prayed for the Lord’s protection over my family and over me. She thanked the Lord for my sweet boy Kaleb and the miracle that he is. ¬†As the prayer went on I became more and more overwhelmed. I was so incredibly touched that my friend Jess had wanted to take time out of her wedding reception to pray over me. I was filled with gratitude to the Lord for sparing my son and for giving me two more sweet babies to love. It was one of the most blessed and amazing moments of my life. It is something I will cherish for the rest of my life, and a story these babies are sure to hear over and over again.

PrayerCircle1

Grandma Kay prays over Keith, the babies and I. Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.

Grandma Kay prays over Keith, the babies and I. Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.

A few weeks later it was time to get my cerclage. Our prayer circle at Jess’ wedding had given me confidence and hope for an uneventful pregnancy. Going to the hospital for surgery was a small reminder that this pregnancy was still at risk, but that we were doing what we could preventatively. Getting checked into the hospital was becoming second nature for me. They tried for quite awhile to find a vein for an IV, drew blood, asked me a zillion questions and then we waited. Every doctor, resident and student (UCH is a teaching hospital so you always have a full audience) that would be in the operating room came in one by one and introduced themselves. My doctor, Dr. Sung, came in and did a quick ultrasound of the babies and made sure everything looked ok. The babies were awake and wiggling all over – seeing the little babes will never cease to take my breath away. We went over the potential risks of the procedure and discussed cerclage options. Dr. Sung was insistent we go with the traditional McDonald cerclage. She said that she would put it up about half way. I had hoped to have a cerclage as high as it would go and a more secure option, but¬†I trust that God has put doctors in my life who are knowledgeable and experienced, and chose to trust that, as high risk pregnancy is her job, she knew what was best. After a spinal, and a very awkward procedure, I was wheeled to the recovery room where Keith met me. The worst part of the whole experience is waiting for the lower half of your body to wake up. Imagine the novocaine you receive at the dentist, but in your legs and feet. It’s so weird not to be able to move! After about 4 hours of recovery, I was starving and ready to go home! I was told to take it as easy as possible for the next week as my body healed. I had a follow-up appointment a week later where Dr. Sung checked the stitch and measured my cervix. It was a very long 3.8cm and she was very happy with how everything went. We discussed coming in weekly to have my cervix checked and I was also given a prescription for progesterone.

As I get further along in this pregnancy, I am starting to feel more secure and trusting that the cerclage will do it’s job and I’ll make it far into the third trimester with these babies. I pray nightly that my body will protect these babies and that God will protect me and my heart. If you remember us on Tuesdays, please say a prayer as that is the day we go in for my weekly checks. So far everything still looks good and is holding up. At our check this week, we were told the genders of our sweet babes! We are revealing that to our family first, and then I will be sharing with the world! I will most definitely do a blog post on our reveal. I’m excited to share it with you! Thank you again for your continued support and prayer. We love you all.

“Very, very special”

Standard

So as most of you have probably seen on my facebook page, instagram or twitter, I am in fact pregnant again! With TWINS! I’ll go back to the beginning of this pregnancy and fill you all in on the latest in the Spilman family saga.

Keith and I have been trying for baby #2 since May of last year. We had moved back to CO, Keith had a great job he loved and I was enjoying being at home and watching Kaleb grow. We knew we wanted to add to our family and I felt strongly about our children being only 2 years apart. Well, as with everything in life, our timing was not the Lord’s. I thought that with proper planning, we would be pregnant quickly. But month after month I was disappointed to find out that I was yet again without child. In December of 2012, we finally went to see a doctor to see if we could get help. We both went through the myriad of tests and were given the “all clear.” The doctor wanted to keep an eye on a large ovarian cyst that I had as he thought that may be the only thing potentially impeding our efforts for baby #2. In February of 2013, my doctor advised that my cyst was not only still there, but was getting larger. He suspected possible endometriosis and suggested immediate removal of the cyst. So, with much trepidation I underwent surgery to remove the cyst. The docs found no evidence of endometriosis (which is REALLY great news as the disease complicates fertility immensely) and gave us the go ahead to start trying again once my cycle returned. Well, a couple of months went by and my cycle never returned. Not having a normal cycle really puts a damper on the “trying” process. My doctor recommended using a medication to help regulate my cycle and ensure ovulation. He said that sometimes after ovarian surgery it can take a couple of cycles to really get back to normal. So, once my cycle FINALLY returned, I took the doctor’s advice and started using a medication to regulate my cycle and bring on ovulation. We were continually reassured that the risk of multiples was almost zero, and I honestly didn’t think I would get pregnant so shortly after my cycle returning.

Well…. fast forward to April 28, 2013. I had been feeling “off” — super nauseous, food wasn’t satisfying and just a general sense of malaise. I had many cycles where I had faux pregnancy symptoms, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up that this was finally our month. The morning of the 28th however, the little stick told me it was time to get my hopes up! TWO pink lines were staring at me. I quickly went under my sink into my stash of pregnancy tests (they start to accumulate after nearly a year of trying) and found a pretty little digital test. I quickly used it and waited.. and waited… and waited. PREGNANT popped up after a few minutes. There is nothing more exciting than seeing it in black and white. I am PREGNANT!! I was shaking, crying, and on my knees thanking God for giving us another baby. I called my mom and we cried together. It was really an amazing moment. Nearly a year of heartbreak and finally, we were pregnant.

I surprised Keith and met him for lunch at his work. I had bought Kaleb a shirt that said “Best Big Brother” that he wore to lunch. Once Keith read the shirt, I whipped out the test that said PREGNANT. He was speechless and immediately asked if I was ok. Of course I was ok, I was more than ok! Keith was concerned because I had been feeling so “off” the few days prior. I assured him that just came with the territory and I was sure all was well.

We had done a few blood tests at the doctors office to confirm the pregnancy and scheduled an ultrasound for 6 weeks 4 days for visual confirmation and to make sure all was well. When you find out you’re pregnant so early on, the first weeks of pregnancy seem to drag on forever! The time finally came to see your little¬†baby and we were so excited!¬†As the doctor prepared¬†the ultrasound machine, we casually chatted about how wonderful it was that I was pregnant on our first try after surgery. Soon the ultrasound machine was ready to go and Keith and I were looking at what appeared to be a sac and a baby! We were so excited. Very quickly we started seeing not one, but two identical sacs with what appeared to be a small baby inside. Keith said he knew immediately, but I waited for verbal confirmation from the doctor. I was kind of hoping maybe he was looking at an ovary or something that I couldn’t decipher. Sure enough, however, the doctor said “I’m seeing two gestational sacs!” With wide eyes Keith and I looked at each other and then I quickly asked, “does this mean TWO babies!?” The doc was still looking around when we all saw the flickering in both sacs — two heartbeats. The doc said that two sacs doesn’t always mean two babies, but in our case it did. We had two heartbeats, both in the 180’s and measuring a few days ahead of where I thought I was. OH MY GOSH…. how on earth could I be pregnant with twins!? After a year of unsuccessful trying, how did two babies manage to snuggle in for the long haul!? To say that we were shocked would be an understatement. My mind suddenly started to fill with dread. I had a hard enough time keeping one little baby safe, how in the world was I going to carry TWO? I quickly asked the doctor about my previous diagnosis with Kaleb, and how this would effect twins. He assured me that a cerclage should hold up just the same for one as it would for two and that my docs would take very good care of me. He also proceeded to tell Keith and I what an anomaly we were. He said that he has very rarely ever seen twins with an infertility diagnosis and immediately following an ovarian surgery. He said that I was just¬†“very, very special.” That’s exactly what every high risk pregnant woman wants to hear!

Keith and I left and called all of our family to let them know we had been doubly blessed! I was feeling a mixture of emotions, but really was very excited at the prospect of two babies. I just had to immediately give the entire situation to God. He had closed the womb for nearly a year and then given us twins — he must have something “very, very special” in mind for these little lives. My amazing and wonderful doctor in Maryland, the one who saved Kaleb, had told me after he was born that he didn’t anticipate the cervical issue happening again as there was zero reason for it to have happened in the first place. I just kept saying that to myself and trusting that there is a higher plan. I am going to have three children and that’s just what God intended from the beginning¬†of time. It’s amazing the comfort found in that simple fact. God knows these babies by name and has counted every hair on their tiny heads. He is knitting them together right now in my womb and they are fearfully and wonderfully made. No matter what happens over the course of the next¬†5 months, there is solace in that. I am also finding a lot of peace in the support system I came to depend on through our ordeal with Kaleb. All of my friends and family constantly telling me that we are in their prayers is more invaluable than anyone realizes. Please continue to lift us up in your prayers and I will do my best to continue to update you on the progress with these little beans. I’m currently 15 weeks and 2 days pregnant today. I see my doctor again next week to begin weekly cervical checks to make sure all is quiet on the “southern” front. Your prayers are appreciated and honestly, longed for. I can’t wait to share this journey with you and the joy of welcoming two more little Spilman’s into our lives!

ptest

Positive pregnancy test – 4.28.13

photo 2

First ultrasound revealing TWINS at 6 weeks 4 days

photo 3

Our official announcement

photo 4

12 week ultrasound – best pic the tech could get of both twins

photo

14 weeks pregnant with TWINS and looking much further along!

 ]

Lets pick up where we left off… shall we?

Standard

It’s no secret I’m a terrible blogger. This family blog is not the first I’ve started. After the 2008 election there was a political blog which lasted all of 1 month. During my “Twilight” phase, a friend of mine and I started a blog about our obsession.. I’d like to pretend that never happened. But this blog is different. This is our story. This is Kaleb’s story. I owe it to him to write what we¬†experienced¬†and how our little family came to be. So, let’s pick up where we left off, shall we?

We had made it to Christmas Eve! Viability! It was the most amazing gift. We breathed a HUGE sigh of relief and were actually not at all upset about spending our holidays in the hospital. My family was kind enough to come to the hospital on Christmas Eve with dinner, presents and a ton of holiday cheer and laughter. It was such an awesome day. I am so beyond grateful for our Maryland family, without whom we wouldn’t have made it through our ordeal.

After the holidays had come and gone, bedrest was once again super boring and uneventful — I was just doing it in the hospital instead of at home. The periodic doctor came to check on me. I usually saw a nurse twice a day, but other than that it was me, myself and I… oh and a small baby kicking me from time to time! Throughout my hospital bedrest, Keith came to visit me and brought me dinner. EVERY night I was there, my sweet husband would drive over 45 mins one way, to make sure he saw me and Kaleb. Since I was alone the majority of the day, Keith coming to see me was all I looked forward to every day.

Most evenings in the hospital were filled with homemade dinners (Keith brought me food!), sitcoms, and Keith helping me in and out of the shower. One night, when I was 26 and a few days pregnant, on what seemed like a routine evening in the hospital, Keith came for a visit, we ate dinner, he helped me with the shower, and then we snuggled in to watch one of our favorite shows. All of a sudden I felt a gush of fluid. My heart dropped. Is this it? Am I going into labor? I quickly shuffled out of bed and went into the bathroom to check to see what was going on. I was bleeding. Blood had become very worrisome in this pregnancy. Every time I bled it meant my body was failing me. This time I wasn’t just bleeding either, I was BLEEDING — I passed a plum sized clot and was truly terrified. After running into the bathroom and proceeding to freak out, I called Keith in and made him call the nurses. The nurses came running in and made me lay down while they assessed the situation. I had been on bedrest ¬†in the post partum wing of the hospital, and the nurses weren’t used to dealing with any kind of “trauma” on their shifts. They quickly advised that I move over to Labor and Delivery. The Labor and Delivery nurses came into my room and moved me over to fully assess me and make sure that labor wasn’t imminent. I remember calling my mom and telling her “I don’t want to have Kaleb at 26 weeks… I want him to cook longer!” When we moved over to labor and delivery, they assured me that I bled and passed a clot, but I wasn’t in labor and things were holding. I was so relieved. The nurses were right that evening too, I was holding steady and Kaleb would have a few more weeks to “cook.” When a doctor came to see me the next morning, he advised that I adhere to 100% bedrest — no ¬†more trips to the bathroom, no more showers, no more touching my feet to the floor until Kaleb was born. UGH. Bedrest was already tough enough, but now I was literally stuck there for the duration. Lord, give me the strength.

So here we are; “where we left off.” Are you still intrigued? Still following the story? I’m SO sorry it’s been over a year since I blogged. I promise to keep up on the story. I want to keep up with this blog for Kaleb, for our family, and for me…. writing is therapeutic and I could use the therapy! Thanks for sticking with us!

Thanksgiving Will Never Be the Same

Standard

Kaleb William - born January 21, 2011 at 28 weeks

Finding it difficult to put into words what this Thanksgiving means to our family. It was exactly one year ago that we found ourselves in a doctor’s office where we were told that I was having a miscarriage and would lose our precious baby boy. What a year it’s been — 8 weeks of bedrest, 74 days in the NICU, and 7 wonderful months at home learning to be parents to the sweetest boy in the world. We are unbelievably grateful to God for holding our hand through some of the most difficult days of our lives and blessing us with the most amazing gift any two people could’ve ever received.

Kaleb 10 months old - happy, healthy and SO loved

This Thanksgiving, we are reminded where we were just a short year ago, and just how far we have come. Tomorrow we will get to enjoy turkey as a family of 3. There really are no words that will suffice in expressing our gratitude to God for allowing us to celebrate the holidays with Kaleb. Thanksgiving will never be the same — we will always remember how God spared us from great tragedy on this day in 2010, and will ever praise him for the great joy he has brought to our lives. Thank you Lord for your many mercies and for blessing us so richly this year.

We wish all of you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving. We thank you all for your overwhelming support and love to our family throughout the past year.

All our love,

The Spilmans

Keith, Megan and Kaleb