This time last year...

Anyone who has dealt with a life changing event, with grief, knows exactly what I am talking about. Its the sick game that we play as every little thing reminds us of what was going on last year at this time. All of those anniversaries, milestones, holidays.

October 13th I sat in a waiting room with my husband and 3 children. Waiting to see our future child's heartbeat and got the surprise of our life..two beautiful heartbeats. We laughed. Little tears ran down my checks as I watched that screen. Tears of pure joy. The tech didn't quite understand, so we explained God's gift to us- everything fit into place. Everything had a reason now. We immediately called our family in the car on the way to a photoshoot I had set up. I could barely concentrate while I took pictures of a baby boy...excitedly saying, "oh my gosh" over and over. I was in shock.

This time last year, I was sick as could be and doing photoshoots, many of my clients probably wondered why I was so pale. Trying every morning sickness trick in the book..I just prayed I didn't throw up at their house. Many of them I told our exciting news to. It was hard not to share the gift God was blessing us with. This year, those who didn't know what happened looked at me a little sideways when I brought just one baby with me remembering that I had said I was pregnant with twins...others who knew, said nothing.

Last year at Halloween, I thought about Halloween 2010... cute costumes for all 5 kids..what would the twins be?? Would I have enough time to make the costumes? would they all let me pick a theme? would we have boys or girls or one of each??

Right after Thanksgiving last year we found out we would be having a boy and a girl. Nothing could have been more perfect. I was scared to have 2 girls..for all those reasons of our first set. Too similar and I didn't want all of those feelings to come back. I didn't want them to be identical either because I was scared for anything to go wrong with placentas etc. So one of each? a sister for Haley and a brother for the boys. I was going to get my pink one more time. I thought about this time next year and how I would get to dress her in dresses, and have baby dolls and strollers again. Dress up and bows...

This time last year, I got my Christmas decorations out. Remember my stocking story? Ya.. well I am not looking for that moment this year as I pull them all out. It stings. a lot.

This time last year, I was looking at Children's place and matching little girl dresses to big girl dresses, and little boy vests and dress shirts to big boy shirts..all matching each other. Matching jammies, and Picturing how adorable they would all look and hoping I could get the perfect Christmas card photo for 2010. Last year I was thinking about what it would be like to take all 5 kids to see Santa, and wanted to make sure the twins sat separately so they always had an individual picture with Santa too. I couldn't wait to have two crawling around a Christmas tree...finally.

Instead, I think of the woman who was foolishly excited, happy and so full of joy at this time last year. How she thought 2010 had so much in store and couldn't wait for them to be in her arms. She thought about how it would be the next year with sleeping arrangements, who would go where, carseats and highchairs. She thought about what would need to be done if she went on bedrest. She thought about getting to each safety milestone, 24 weeks, 28 weeks, 32...knowing she would do everything it would take to get them as close to term as possible so they would be healthy.

She never thought it would be like this. That wouldn't happen again. Nope. God wouldn't do that. She wouldn't get a 2nd chance to just go through grief again. Maybe have NICU time, but never did her thoughts go there. Little did she know what was going to happen just after the New Year.

May 27th 2002 changed me in more ways ever imaginable especially at the age of 22. I was now a person who understood that life wasn't perfect or goes as planned. I learned the hard way that heartache was real and saying goodbye to your baby was indescribable. I had to be strong, I leaned on God. I learned to live my new normal. I trusted that there was a reason for life to be the way it was and was forever changed.

This time last year, I was a different person then I am this year. I will never be that person again... my outlook on life is different and once again has been forever changed. I again have another new normal. A new NEW normal. A normal that I wish was different. 2010 has made me who I will be now, just as 2002 did.

For now, I just keep playing that game of "This time last year" I hit all of those year milestones...and instead of looking back fondly on those memories, it just reminds me that things should be different.


Chefs Auction:

My comments go to my gmail account, that also gets flooded with facebook. So I am sorry if I don't respond all the time, often I don't see them. I need to change where they go! I did see that it was asked if I could post what I read at the March of Dimes Chef Auction...

So here is what I read- Its called Imagine two babies- (and yes, I will even share my cheesy intro that I actually do a good job saying so it doesn't sound like I am reading it..haha)

Hello! My name is Bree Hughes and this is my daughter Haley. In 2003 we walked in our first March of Dimes sponsored event. I am also the captain of Team Heaven’s Hope. In just the last 4 years combined our team has raised over $10,000. I am here to tell you about why March of Dimes is so important to us. I am going to read what I have written so that way I have a better chance of sharing all of it with you J So please bear with me..

Imagine two babies…
So small your wedding ring can fit up her arm. Who are just a tad longer than a Barbie Doll. Who weigh less than a 2lb bag of beans. Babies born so early the doctors tell you they have a 50% chance to survive. Who are covered in so many wires and tubes, Imagine the only noises you hear are the beeping machines monitoring their every breath. Whose eyes still haven't completely opened yet, and their skin is so bright red and transparent because they have zero body fat. Whose tiny foot prints were only 2 inches long. Babies you could hold in the palms of your hands very easily. Imagine hearing a doctor tell you "they have tried everything, and there is nothing more they could do". A baby you had to lay aside her twin sister for the very last time. A baby you had to say good bye to...

There is a thin line between life and death when it comes to premature babies. That was our reality in May of 2002. I delivered at only 25 weeks, our identical daughters Haley and Ashlyn both weighing 1 pound, 14 ounces. We became the 50% statistic that day. Ashlyn sadly passed away in our arms 20 hours after her birth, suffering from brain bleeds and tiny little lungs that were just too immature.

Now imagine the surviving baby who at only 5 days old, was told that she needed an operation on a valve between her heart and lungs. A baby you couldn't pick up and hold for almost a month and spent 5 weeks on a ventilator. Imagine getting to hold her for the very first time under heavy supervision and needing to tape her wires and tubes onto you. Doctors telling you that even THEY didn’t know what her outcome would be, if she would live or if she would die… A baby you almost lost one night, because she wouldn't take a breath for several minutes, and thoughts of another funeral flooded your mind. A baby who amazingly recovered from moderate brain bleeds. Who fought to breathe on her own. Who had to pass a car seat test before even coming home. Who passed several eye exams with no complications. A baby who still had to come home on oxygen, but came off of it 2 weeks later on her due date. Who spent 6 months on an apnea monitor, without a single alarm. A baby you were told, would most likely be re-admitted for illness in the months and years to come, but never did. A baby that could have multiple delays from such an early arrival and possibly cerebral palsy, but doesn't. Now imagine a child who is 8 years old, and who beat all odds.

Both of our girls were given an artificial surfactant, which is an oily substance that helps their tiny lungs inflate before they could produce their own, which was created with the help of March of Dimes. Without that- Haley would not be here with us today, it was enough to sustain her little lungs until she could make it on her own, and it worked. Once we were home, I was left with the question. Why did I go into labor at 21 weeks? Why were they born almost 4 months too soon? Doctors could not give me a reason other than “twins”. I was told it was just something that happens and they don’t know why. Instantly I knew that I wanted to be part of the mission to find out WHY, so research could be done to help prevent it from happening again. So other parents would never have to experience the heartache from holding their baby for the last time. Being optimistic, we decided to have another child, he arrived 6 weeks early, which was a great accomplishment from the first but again, I was left without a reason for why I went into labor early with him. So I started to do my own research when I was pregnant with our 3rd. I read that March of Dimes had done research with progesterone shots during pregnancy to help prevent premature births. Studies seemed promising for some women…so I asked my doctor about it and she said we had nothing to lose at this point, so we tried it. I was given 15 injections. The shots worked and I walked into the day of my scheduled c-section delivering a full term baby boy weighing in at 8lbs 8oz J Healthy as can be! I finally had my wireless baby, and no NICU stay!

Now Imagine having to go through it all over again…

The fight against prematurity is not over.. it’s a never ending battle - even when you think you have figured out how to prevent it from happening again. This exact time last year, we got shocking and exciting news! An early ultrasound showed us we were pregnant with natural twins for a second time! We could not believe we were being blessed to have this opportunity again, how amazing! What a story to tell! I was immediately referred to a high risk doctor and armed with my past experiences, research and information- my doctor and I made a great team. We knew just what we needed to do this time and instantly put a plan in place. Starting at 9 weeks pregnant, I went to the doctor every 2-3 weeks to check cervical length and check the babies on ultrasound. At 14 weeks, we found out that we would be having fraternal twins this time, a little boy and a little girl. I started progesterone injections at week 16, my wonderful husband gave me my weekly injections. Everything was going as to plan.

Just after the New Year, we headed up to Portland for another checkup. I had felt uneasy this time and I couldn’t figure out why, I was very anxious to see the babies on screen just to make sure everything was ok. Immediately my heart sank. I could tell something was wrong. The tech did a few measurements and got very quiet. She excused herself from the room and I knew instantly. Our little girl had passed away half way through our pregnancy. My doctor explained how extremely rare this was to have happened in the 2nd trimester. We agreed to do amnios to see if a birth defect was the cause for her death. Weeks later, the results showed a healthy baby girl. We will never know why she passed away. Our situation became a greater risk now with nowhere for her to go, she would remain until birth. There was potential this could complicate the pregnancy further for our surviving twin. I was at even more risk to go into premature labor. I continued the progesterone injections and was monitored very closely.

For the next 10 weeks, there was something going wrong at each appointment. I honestly didn’t think I would make it past 30 weeks. The pregnancy finally started to become as normal as it could be under the circumstances for about a month, until a trip to the hospital at 33 weeks showed I was in preterm labor. With the contractions not making much change, I was instructed to go home on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. An appointment midweek also showed no change. I was determined to get to 34 weeks. The day after I hit my 34th week, and the same day as the March for Babies walk …my labor had progressed and another late night trip to the hospital proved we could not stop labor. I gave birth to our son Madden Quinn and his sister Quinn Faith just after midnight. We once again had to do what no parent should…we had to say goodbye to our baby girl.

Madden did amazingly well for being 6 weeks early. He was born at 4lbs 13oz. With the wonderful NICU Doctors and Nurses, and his fighting personality, he came home on Mother’s Day, only 2 weeks after he was born. I found out later that once Quinn passed away, my doctor didn’t have much hope I would even carry our little boy much further, each week that went by, I beat more odds. I feel that the progesterone injections once again, helped get me further in a pregnancy that could have ended much earlier. If it hadn’t been for the research done, I wouldn’t have ever tried it. I am grateful for that research.

My family is proof that March of Dimes research is working, it is helping prevent premature birth and it’s saving the lives of babies even if the outcomes aren’t always what we hoped for. Our children are a daily reminder of all the hard work March of Dimes is doing.

Please remember that even though we thought we had a solution that worked for us to prevent premature birth, anything can complicate a pregnancy and the fight is far from over. That is why we can never stop giving to March of Dimes as many families need the help and hope that the foundation provides.

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share our story with you.


So there you have it. My speech for the 2010 Chefs Auction in Eugene, Oregon.


happy endings

I have watched my outlook on God change immensely this year. Sometimes I wonder how many times I can get knocked down, brush off my knees and just keep on believing. I watched what could have been a wonderful story of how He can take our trials and turn them around for praise, 2nd chances, answers to prayer, making sense of the "everything happens for a reason" all to His glory..fall to questions, frustration and losing the blind faith that He can answer all prayers. We all feel like we have a direct line to God, from simple prayers to big prayers. I wonder why my line seemed to be disconnected this year when others felt like the simplest of prayers, like having all the lights on the way to work green...were answered. It seems like more of like a half full half empty type feeling to me...Where I once praised God in all things big and small..I feel like the small things seem so trivial, since sometimes the big things can't be answered? If we really aren't in control, why bother? And since I feel we do have free will..why can people do all the right things and still have unfavorable endings? When others can do everything wrong and still get what they want?

Anyhoo..this time last year I just found out that we were getting a 2nd chance at twins. Oh my how elated and excited we were. The biggest blessing ever, something only God could have a hand in. I was the happiest I have been in 8 years. What a story! We felt like it was the perfect ending to completing our family. I felt cautious yet comforted. Lightening wouldn't strike twice would it? I was so ready to finally get my chance again. God had a sense of humor, and I laughed because anytime we planned..God laughed and showed us His plan. My pregnancy was God centered. What a testimony! I couldn't believe it!

I spoke at a March of Dimes event during this time, telling a room full of people about our story. As my eyes welled and I looked out at the attendees, there was not a dry eye. They stood and applauded, for what felt like forever..and it really was. It was the most powerful thing I have ever felt..and I HATE public speaking with a passion. I HATE IT. ha. Amazingly the entire time, I couldn't WAIT to speak next year and tell them a whole new wonderful ending. That amazing endings can happen. That with faith, prayer, and medical advances we could get those 9 months. That happy ending.

I was asked back this year. This time in Eugene. I am not ready. I can barely even think about what I am going to say with out a lump in my throat and tears filling my eyes. I have ignored it for the last couple weeks and the day is here. Maybe it is too soon. My heart still has a gaping hole that has not healed..and pretty sure this time it never will. I am changed. Its different this time then it was when we lost Ashlyn. Then I had hope for the future, to see how our life would evolve with it would change us and help us grow, to see as years go by how God had a reason for I don't know what I have..but I feel defeated. I was so excited about 2010 and all the things it was going to bring. I feel like I have failed in some way. I am changed.

So now I get to add "the rest of the story" to quote Paul Harvey..Its not the exciting victory that I thought we were going to have when we thought we were armed with we needed. Its not the perfect ending. Its not even my 2nd chance. It is what it is.

I have 4 miracle children. True miracles. Not one of them was easy to bring into this world. Each one had its own set of complications and it truly is amazing that 4 of our 6 are with us. In all reality, only 2 really had the best chances. Even then, I kind of wonder how the heck they made it! Haley and Madden are survivors, against every odd. Madden surprised us and especially my doctor. He didn't think I would make it much farther in the pregnancy once Quinn passed away. And here he is. Even though this past year didn't end how I thought it would a year ago..I just accept that it could always have been worse. We could have lost Madden as well. He is our bittersweet happy ending. He is my joy. All 4 of them are my joy. Even though he is a surviving twin, and I will never get to experience being a twin mommy like I had always wanted to be since I was a little girl..not many can say they conceived two sets of twins naturally under the age of 30. ha. Does Hallmark make a card for that? :)

Today I will speak in front of hundreds once again. With a completely different ending then I thought I would be sharing about...but its our story...and its still happy, just in a different way. Bittersweet happy...a feeling I am all too familiar with.



I have always been told I am strong.

In elementary school a friend and I would get into an arguement. Typically (if I wasn't in the wrong) I would stand my ground and not play into the "crap" and go play something else. Sometimes I would be alone, sometimes a friend or two would come with me. The other person often ran off with 5 of our friends and cried her eyes away. So much support went to her and I never understood why especially because she was the one being mean.

I was strong. I wasn't going to be "weak" and try to get a ton of attention from it.

When I went on bedrest with the girls, I was told how strong I was. How they didn't think they would be able to sit there without going crazy for so long not getting out of bed or showering. How they didn't know how I didn't just sit there and cry and be scared I was going to lose them. I was scared. Terrified. But I didn't have a choice. I had to do it for my girls. I had to be strong. If I was weak, I wouldn't get safely to a milestone I needed them to be at to survive. Once there, honestly- not a moment crossed my mind once they were both born fighting that I would lose one. I thought I already endured the hardest thing in my life and that we had made it. Until the next day. Saying goodbye? It was unbelievable. I was told how amazingly strong I was. I had to wake up and take care of my other little girl that needed me. I had to be strong. For her and me. I was told many times how they didn't know how I could do it. If it were them, they would have never gotten out of bed. They wouldn't be able to do it. At this point, I was wondering WHY if all these other women have told me they couldn't be strong..why did I HAVE to be strong so I could go through this? I didn't want to be strong. I didn't want tragedy to chose ME because I could deal with it... I would have rather have both my girls then be strong.

As the years went on I turned the worst days of my life around for the good. Not a day went by I didn't think of what we had been through. Think about my twins. about our little girl gone. Or see my wonderfully LUCKY little girl growing and thriving with out complications. It just became life. In this time I have helped other women who have been touched with loss, raised money and awareness. Spoke at walks and dinners. I was strong. When others would have fell apart. Not wanted to get out of bed. Struggled to live or find the light in heartbreak. I dug in deep and held on to my faith and was strong.

When I found out we were expecting twins again. I was terrified. I already knew what the worst thing that could happen was. Lived it already. Been there. My faith was so strong. I prayed daily sometimes hourly for my growing babies. I was strong when all I felt like I was doing was reliving a painful past. It was hard to block the fears out of losing one or both. But I had faith that God gave me these two babies for a reason. This time it was going to work out. It had to. Because a person can only be so strong right? I couldn't live in that fear.

Its been 8 months since our lives changed and we lost another little girl but the reality of it for only 3 months. I had support from friends and family in the beginning. But life goes on. And I know its not far from their minds but its also not in the front. But again...I am suppose to be strong, and move on. I am sure its the same in any situation..losing a loved one, dealing with cancer or some other life changing event. Everyone rallies around..then as time goes dwindles. And the person is left to be strong. alone. And when I say alone..its more of a internal alone..because you can be surrounded daily with people and live life and still feel alone. It just takes time. This time, I am having a harder time finding that "strong" I have seemed to be so full of before. Before I leaned on God,...and now..that faith feels silent. I often wonder why as Christians we work so hard to help others come to faith, but don't often help lift up those with a dimming light and struggling. Is it because we don't have the answers when bad things happen and when they happen a couple times, what do you say to that? We are good at praising the triumphs. But the trials? Those are harder to explain. So is it better left unsaid?

I would joke and quote Mother Teresa.. "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. " Many times I begged God to stop trusting me so much. I didn't want to be strong. People who weren't strong didn't have to go through these things. I often wondered if I were "weak" or if I couldn't handle it that maybe I wouldn't have lost my girls?

I am hearing those all too familiar words again...At least you still have one. Yes. Madden is the best thing ever and I am so thankful for him. But that doesn't change the fact that I don't have two. That I had to return little girl clothes back to the store. That all the excitement of being a mother of twins again was gone. Its so often with a surviving twin, that the grief of the other one is masked. People don't understand how a mother can be sad when she is still holding one of the babies. Its still not both of them. Your heart always feels like there is mothering left undone.

I was also told again this week after I was asked how many kids I had and that I had my hands full.. if they only knew how much more full they would have been....

I don't want to be strong. But this feeling of being weak doesn't feel so good either. Instead of strength at this point, its more like perseverance.

I will persevere. I almost like that more then strength.



I have had blogger open for a few days now. Waiting for a second to post, to update. Its not that I don't have things to say. I have lots. My mind is constantly full. Its just to find the time to write it all down without constant interruption. I write a blog post in my head almost every time I am in the shower. The one place I *usually* have a little time to myself to think quietly. haha But sadly when I get out to put my thoughts on the blog, by the time I get ready for the day, then lunch needs to be made, a baby needs to be nursed, toys need to be picked get the picture. I actually have a little time now and here I am updating on why I haven't updated. LOL I have several posts partial written as well I just never published. Sad, I know. I do regret not updating more- especially on my other blog since I have always loved looking back at what we were doing, and reading funny stories that the kids did.

I thought this blog would be great to see a healing progression of my posts as the months have gone by. Unfortunately...I haven't made it past many steps of the process yet. I am still pretty much stuck on denial and anger, or maybe I have realized there is no use in bargaining..and maybe I am already in a sense of acceptance but hanging on to the anger? I don't know. See? maybe blogging again will help with that. I do know that I don't understand why things are the way they are and though the cliche "its something you may never understand now, but someday when you get to Heaven you will ..." doesn't help. Either does the "its just meant to be, everything happens for a reason". I have figured out that its our human nature to try and find the reasons for WHY things happen to make ourselves feel better. To make sense out of something that doesn't and it usually makes us feel a little better to why life sucks sometimes. That our pain wasn't completely for nothing. When in all just sucks sometimes and there is no reason why things happen. They just do with no purpose at all, no greater plan.

SO I am here. Kids are doing great. Baby is growing wonderfully, I have pictures plenty to edit and share. 2010 is half way over, thankgoodness. Just takes a faithful blog reader to find me on facebook to give me a gentle reminder that I do have a blog and there are people who read and care. So thank you, and I am going to get back to it :) Instead of staring at blank post boxes or hitting draft instead of publish...I am going to push myself to get back on here. Ready or not, here I go....


Madden Quinn Hughes

Madden Quinn and his sweet angel twin sister Quinn Faith were born into this world Sunday, April 25th at 12:26 am. Madden weighed 4 pounds 13 oz and is 18 inches long. I am still in the hospital and getting use to the routine of NICU life. Madden will be in the NICU for a couple weeks, but is doing amazing! I will update more soon!


March for Babies.

I finally finished a video I started. I hate having a new story. Especially a sad one with out the happy ending we expected or hoped for. Wished for? Called a blessing? Gah. :( I started this video again to add to it a couple months ago. But couldn't finish it. Until today. its still not how I wanted it to be..but is anything ever how we wanted it to be? So take a moment to watch. Thank you!

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Bed rest: Day 3

Well, I survived the weekend. Kids all came home Sunday evening which was nice to have them back, I was getting lonely. haha Kyle was gone until the evening Saturday and then since he didn't sleep more then an hour, he slept for several hours once he did get home. Sunday he was gone again and came home early afternoon, then the kids came home. So that was nice to have him everyone back around. He was very helpful and picked up the house last night and started to get things organized for today.

Day 3: Today Kyle was able to stay home in the morning and get the kids off to school and then came home on his lunch to get the boys and I lunch. I am thinking its just going to have to be some of those things that I will need to do. Especially if we get into a couple "weeks" of bed rest. Its just not going to work as well as I thought it would especially when he is still umping softball in the evenings. Unfortunately we need that extra money to pay bills. So this is a short time frame that we just have to make it work. The alternative of having a baby in the nicu is going to be MUCH harder to organize life.

Today went really well until about 6 pm. Then the excessive silly insanity from not having a mommy to tell them to settle down kicked in. Lack of dinner I am thinking didn't help either. They started to search for food and get sillier. (Doesn't help that Haley is on National No TV week Patrol....and I told her we get an exception because the TV can baby sit her brothers..she didn't seem to agree but I overruled.) But they are quick to figure out that mom yelling from the bedroom doesn't mean much. OY! of all the weeks does Kyle really have to umpire every night the week I am on bedrest??? Then you throw in Tball practice, soccer practice, Kyle's own obsession of softball games and a Tball game? I am pretty sure if I don't have a baby from the chaos and stress of all that..then I will be admitted into the white padded room....

Stay tuned....Hopefully Day 4 goes better in the evening..because if it wasn't for Kyle not getting home until almost 7:30 tonight, I was going to give today 100% success!


Adventures in Bed Rest.

What a weekend! So after my appt on Tuesday things were going well. The usual weeks events and for the most part not a lot going on. Taxes got done an hour before deadline. (YAY! nothing like last minute, thats how we roll..haha) The kids and I went to Kyle's softball games. . I actually said to him.." You know why I thought it might be nice to come tonight don't you..?" "Who knows if I will be able to make it to anymore for awhile..." HAHA! And you see I said that because this next week are late games, which we would not go to, and the week after that would be early ones and I would be 35 weeks..just didn't know if the thought of going would be "fun".

Well...never know whats going to happen. I actually felt pretty good the end of the week. If it wasn't for the pelvic pain (I have symphysis pubis separation..which is the separation of the cartilage and pretty much feels like my legs are being ripped apart when I walk) I would feel as close to being normal as you can while pregnant. About 8:3o Friday night I noticed I was having contractions closer together then I usually do. So I started paying closer attention and recording them on a contraction calculator online. Hummm 5 minutes apart. Thats odd...SO I drank 24 oz of water. (I had already had about 100 oz that day) still coming. So I got in a warm bath. Woah...some were 3 min apart. Not good. After 15 min in the tub, they spaced to 7 min. I got out and laid in bed and drank more water. Still between 6-7 min for another hour or so. I decided the usual tricks to get them to space weren't working so it was time to call. My doctor thankfully was on call and he said that I could wait a little longer if I wanted to, but I would need to come in tonight to get checked out. It was already about 11:30 and the last thing I wanted to do was go in at 2 am. So we gathered some things for the kids, I put a bag together for me (murphys law right?) and we headed to Portland after dropping the kids at my parents house. We got to Labor and Delivery at about 12:45. I was checked in and taken to triage. (First time ever in a triage...with other patients behind curtains?? weird!) It was a busy night, and I wasn't high priority. My nurse was wonderful, but it just took forever for simple things. I was hooked up to the monitors and having contractions ever 5-10 minutes. I was starving since I was about to eat a late dinner when I had to hop in the tub, I should have ate before I left because they wouldn't allow me water or food "just in case". Boo. After awhile of monitoring, the nurse called my doctor and he wanted a FFN test done. The results came back about 45 minutes later and were negative. Which is much better then a positive result. I was then checked to see if there was any progress since my last check that week . After the nurse decided she wanted to see if she could actually tickle the babys head.. OUCH! She "Couldn't tell exactly...." Thought maybe I was a she got a different nurse who also felt the need to see if she could touch the baby...I think they ultimately made me more then I was..since it was so aggressive. But they agreed I was 1.5cm and 60% effaced. YIPES! They got word from my doctor that I was allowed to go home and stay on bedrest til 36 weeks and that I would see him at my appt that week. So we stayed just a little longer since the two exams created MORE contractions and finally I just said I can do this at home. I am too hungry and its 5:00 am. My nurse gave me some crackers and two icecreams and we left for home. She made me promise to call her when I got home and let her know if the contrax had slowed down. I finally got to sleep around 6 am and slept for 4 hrs. What a day!!


32.5 weeks. So it begins!

Ok so first of all I have to say how wonderful it was that I kept a journal of Hudson's pregnancy! It has really come in handy! ( I will come back to that!)

Today was my 32 week appt and my first NST. All of the regular things were just fine, blood pressure, urine, weight (gained another 2lbs which has me at 13lbs gained so far..) I explained the more frequent contrax I have had at night and there have been times I have had more then I should in an hour, but that they space out- but it just seems more often then not. Just not protocol to call about it yet. My doctor- who is just one of those "checkers" wanted to check me, which I wasn't surprised. And indeed- a fingertip dilated. Everything else was fine, not effaced and still long. So now we just wait and see. The NST went just fine and little one was happy, active and heartrate looked good.

I go back in 1 week (I am beginning my every week now..) and will have another NST and he will check me. IF I have any change then we discuss what I will be taking to stop the progression of my cervix that will give us a week or two to get steroids in for baby's lungs. Now does that mean I will be admitted to the hospital so I am monitored? I don't know. Am I worried? No, not really. Not at this week anyway.

I am curious to see what happens in a week though. Now for the reason why I LOVE my journal from last time. This post here is from my 32 week appt with Hudson. Its almost IDENTICAL to today's appt. Though I have not already had steroid shots nor did he do a FFN test. But being a fingertip dilated at 32 weeks- SAME. So as I read a few more updates I stayed that way for 3 WEEKS! It was a slow to no change progression until 35 weeks. Then I slowly progressed to 2 cm by 38 weeks and at that point I was going to have in a week anyway so it didn't matter.

So that makes me feel much better. Nothing like a little peace of mind! But with that said, I don't know because of our unfortunate situation of losing our little girl, if that will play a role in any of this. Most of the people on a support group I am on delivered early for various reasons. So could that be a factor? Maybe. Could the progesterone be losing its potency? Maybe. Is it because we have absolutely NOTHING prepared or ready for him, that Murphy's law will bite us? Maybe!(no really- if you walked into the house, it would not appear that a baby was on its way..LOL) regardless- I think that I better start coming to terms with the fact that this pregnancy is almost done, and we will be welcoming our little boy to our family soon. I do hope its not for another 7 weeks! I would love to have another full term experience and just have an easier time at the end, since we will already be dealing with enough heartbreak when the day comes. So here's to next week!


30 weeks-

I had my 30 week appointment last week and all is continuing to go well. I was surprised but my doctor didn't do an ultrasound of my cervix or check me! it had been a month since the last check via u/s. But since things appear to be going fine, no need to check :) We did get -I believe -the last ultrasound of our little boy to see how he is growing. He was measuring right on with my dates and looked great in there. We watched him practice breathing and kick the tech :) Like I had thought, he is head down with his back/butt to my right side and facing straight up! So that explains all of the alien like movements! We see his hands, elbows, knees and feet constantly moving around! During the u/s the tech laughed and showed us that his foot was by his nose! It was great! I just love getting to see a glimpse of him in his little world :)

All the other things- are just fine. I think this last time my blood pressure was 110/70? weight I went up 2lbs. All pretty good. I had to have my fibrinogen tested again since I guess last time it was within range, but had dropped more. Which we don't want to have happen. I got the call later that day that it looked ok and my doctor didn't want to do anything more right now. But will have it tested again. If it drops at all again, I believe I will be started on Heparin shots. OY. Just don't want to think of that and what that means. Having any issues is really rare.. So we will keep it at that for now and hope that my levels don't continue to drop. :)

I go back next week and will have my first non stress test(NST). I will lay down and will be monitored for 20-30 minutes to check his heartrate and how it reacts to him moving and resting, along with if I am having any contractions. I will then be going weekly after next week's appt and will be doing the NST's at those appts until he is born. We discussed possible dates to schedule and my doctor won't schedule him earlier then 39 weeks unless I have an amnio to check lung function or of course if I go into labor. So we are looking at May 28th or later.. I am having a little bit of a hard time considering Haley and Ashlyn were born May 26th. Memorial Day weekend. With this doctor, at this hospital. And here I the same situation with my twins, same weekend, same holiday, same doctor and hospital, just thankfully at term. But sadly..same outcome of my twinless twin. Blah. :( So we may just schedule for June 1st just to have a little space after the girl's birthday and be a different month.

Here are a few u/s pics of little boy...

Belly shots week 29 & 30. I did 30 weeks too because that day I felt much bigger. Maybe its the shirt. haha But like today? I am feeling smaller then both of these pictures! So weird how that happens!


3rd Trimester..aka 28 weeks.

Its been awhile that I have posted. Not for the lack of actually writing, just actually publishing what I wrote. I may go back through and post some but, it turned into a long post with multiple rabbit holes. I may break them up. We will see. (BTW..if you make it to the end of this post you will get a prize...sorry it ended up being so long..lots of update!)

AS of last Friday, I have entered my 3rd trimester. I made one of the goals of getting to 28 weeks. Its a good goal. Knowing that if our little one was born now, the chances of him doing well is much much higher then the previous weeks. So yay for 28 weeks!(its hard for me, because this was the week I had prayed to make it to with both of them...I have so many.."if only" thoughts that do run through my mind..*sigh*..if only..) I had my very first "things are great" appt 2 weeks ago- it was the first time since week 16. From week 18.5 on and we got the news our little girl passed away..there was always "something" going on. Either spotting, his amniotic fluid was abnormally high, cervix was shorter blah blah blah. Seemed like my doctor was holding his breath just as much as we were -hoping for the next week. But now? Week 26/27 was great! Cervix was holding steady-baby looked great, all the other usual things were perfect. I passed my glucose test, no surprise there. They also tested for anemia at that time and my iron was above average, which is great too!

The best part of the appointment was when we nicely asked the tech if she could "push the 3D button.." (we have NEVER had a 3D u/s before!) unfortuantly we were not on a machine that was capable...but then we finished up with his growth...and she had a new person who was with her run and see if the other rooms were available. One was open, so we hurried over there before my appointment with my doctor..I have one word to describe the images we saw. AMAZING. Truly, truly amazing. I was in awe at the technology that we could see him so well. All sides of him. His beginnings of chubby cheeks, his hands move near his face and his pulsing umbilical cord. Beautiful. Perfect. She got a couple amazing images of him (even through his active sugar rush from the drink I had..haha ) and printed them for us. We were ever so grateful! We both agreed he looks very much like Hudson! I can't wait til we get to meet him in person! That very moment of getting to see him, brought a little much needed sunshine during this pregnancy. I need sunshine.

So that brings me to the next 2 weeks when today I went in again for my first ever appointment only, no ultrasound...and walked away with another GREAT report! ( very odd to not have an u/s though, I do have to say!) I have been having much more intense contractions lately and combo'd with a little spotting this morning, my doctor wanted to check me. BUT again- no reason for concern and everything was just as it should be :) PHEW! They put me on the monitors today during my appt just to make sure and everything was quiet there as well (have done this off and on, so nothing surprising)..all was quiet besides my active little booger in there who kicks/punches non stop and rarely sleeps...(more on that later..ha!) But his heartrate was great the whole time and I can't complain since I LOVE listening to the sound even if its mixed with the loud thumps of his being "annoyed" with the monitor pushing on him..haha). I will find out results on Thursday of the fibrinogen blood test they did again today. That should be fine as well, but we need to keep checking it to make sure there are no complications later on. Blood pressure was a little higher then it usually is but she joked that it was because I confessed the spotting.. :) Oh how I LOVE LOVE my nurse.(We also realized last appointment why we were so familiar looking to each other- she looked back in my charts and she was my nurse when I came in for postpartum checks after the girls were born! almost 8 years ago!! We seriously LOVE her, she has been awesome :) ) I also gained another pound in 2 weeks. She said I was doing perfectly. (So funny! I am *just now* getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight..haha slowly but surely!)

I go back again in 2 weeks and will have another ultrasound checking his growth :)

Here is a funny comparison..I was reading through my blog of Hudson's pregnancy and I had taken a measurement at 30 weeks pregnant and my belly measured 42 inches around. This week at 28 weeks its 43 inches. haha 2 weeks earlier and already an inch bigger. I am guessing if I deliver the same time as Hudson, I will easily surpass that final measurement..Just how big will I get? :) OH YA! I have to brag just a little too...never ever have I been able to say I have gone DOWN in sizes of clothes while pregnant until now! NONE of my pants fit me from my last pregnancy. ZIP. They all fall down constantly (yes, I wear a bella band to help keep them up) and make it very frustrating because if they aren't falling down, they are all droopy and saggy in the butt and legs! I finally caved and got a pair of maternity capris the other day and bought a 2. yes..A size TWO! Now I only brag this because I am sure the designers of clothing have gotten very wise and changed sizing to make pregnant women feel better about their expanding sizes..and I am sure once he is born, I will still have trouble fitting in my pre-pregnancy jeans..BUT....this was still pretty cool :) Not a complaint here! haha

Meet baby "no confirmed name" :) (its ok- at this point with Hudson, we hadn't officially named him either! in fact we were between two names up until we met him!) What name does this little one look like to you?
and a photo for fun that Kyle took the past weekend at the beach...27 weeks pregnant?

I will get another official photo this week..its been awhile since I have posted one. :) and thanks for making it to the win.....a virtual hug from me for reading it all ;)


little girl...

My doctor came into my u/s at 26.5 weeks after seeing all was well so far and he cautiously asked if he could see our little girl..which both Kyle and I were curious about. My heart broke all over again when our precious baby girl no longer appeared to be the dainty adorable version of her brother like she had been the last time we saw her. She has very little fluid left so the images were not great and she appeared blob like. My heart sank deeper into my stomach. I have heard so many mixed things about what her appearance would be at delivery from a couple other people who have gone through this and I have been hoping for results similar to theirs. To have to go through having another twinless twin, all I can pray for is to be able to have that moment with her in the end. To be able to see as much of her as we can and I am scared for that day that we will not.

Here are a couple ultrasounds pictures of her that I never posted because Kyle had proudly taken them to work. He just brought them home awhile ago.

December 22 2009. 16.5 weeks.

Her perfect little hand....


Whats new this week?

Today, I am 24 weeks. Its a mini sigh of relief to know that we are at the stage of viability. There is no choice that from here on out that everything would be done keep him alive. It adds a little bit of comfort to this. But the scary reality of him being a little boy isn't exactly 100 % comforting, since little boys develop a little it makes being a micropreemie boy that much scarier. But nonetheless, 24 weeks is a good week. :) I am thankful to be at this point.

Kyle gave me my 8th P-17 shot this week. We both agreed that waiting to have him do it when he gets home from work and reffing at 11 pm, isn't the best idea. I don't know what he did this time, either does he...but whatever it was as he pulled the needle out, caused him to knick a vein?(I think he went in at a different area then usual) Blood started pumping out and his eyes got pretty big...he had to put pressure on the site with a cotton ball. Thankfully it stopped fine, but its pretty sore. Even 3 days later. So far no bruise, but the area just feels swollen/sore. Maybe that's what we get for bragging that he was doing such a good job, that other then the first evening after I get it, my hip isn't that sore at all. Oh well. Always next week to do better. haha He gets plenty of practice. :)

Emotionally? I just feel numb now. I haven't cried since I had quite the break down a couple weekends ago. I erupted into a ball of anger and tears and Kyle did all he could to comfort me, which I greatly needed. It felt good to get it out, since it had bottled up for a week..but now I am worried that I will just go through these spurts of eruption? I have no idea. Talking about it all helps, and the occasional tears are helpful, but I am still just in a stage of desolation. Waiting.

It doesn't exactly help when I get comments upon hearing the news of..."your body just can't carry twins, now can it!? " ..."ohhh what a shame it was the little girl...little girls are sooo cute!"...."maybe you just can't have girls..." (which is odd since genetically nothing was ever wrong with Ashlyn, she was just a micropreemie and her passing comes with the territory..and yet Haley is still here..and this little girl had nothing wrong with her either. Just bad luck I guess. Others include, "well at least there is one"...(but its not the same as that can just replace the pain of losing one?..) I think the hardest are the overtones of the impression that I should just move on with it as if I was never pregnant with twins in the first place. Many have no idea that she is still there, its assumed she will "disappear and absorb" but at 18- 19 weeks..she will not. Or that I had a large gush of blood and "miscarried" her. Nope. There is no way to explain "WHY" this happened. There are no reasons to try to come up with to ease the pain or to give comfort. At this point I don't even want to think that this is part of a "greater plan" or "everything happens for a reason". Or that I am being punished in some way. If I believe this is somesort of punishment, then I serve a God who is unjust and evil and I don't believe that. (yes, I am sure a few have thought that maybe if we had attended church in the last 6 months more regularly, that this wouldn't have happened.... how nice is that!) I just try to keep my eyes looking up, instead of down..and hold on to the faith that through all this I will just be held by Jesus. Bad things just happen and prayers don't always get answered.. simple as that.

I found out why I can feel his movements much more like that of the 3rd trimester. Not like the little kicks, there are times he pushes way out and I can feel his head, butt, back, foot..etc. I can feel his entire body at times which is shocking this early. At my last ultrasound, the tech measured his fluid and said there was when I asked her what she thought..her explanation was that because little girl is still down there on the bottom left side, he is pushed up to the upper part of my uterus and more on the right side. He isn't big enough yet to completely take over the space, so he is still sharing. My uterus has stopped growing at a twin rate due to the lack of therefore not accommodating enough for that new aspect of only one, yet there is space being taken up by two. That made much more sense. Helps knowing that information. I was starting to worry I was lacking amniotic fluid, which is not the case.

The ultrasound at 22.5 weeks showed him to be growing VERY well :) He was already just over a pound and looked great. He was attempting to suck his thumbs many times, and we just watched him. Technology is just so great. It was the same tech who had to share the bad news last time, so she was so relieved to see he was doing well. My cervix did shorten a wee bit from the measurement before..but there wasn't concern yet. I go back on Feb 16th to get another measurement. I am hoping its stayed the same. I was a little worried but when I read back through Hudson's journal..(so thankful for that..) I was about this same measurement at the same time in the pregnancy. The next measurement with him showed longer. So I am crossing my fingers. If it goes any shorter I may be on some limited restrictions..which Kyle laughs and wants to know what less I can possibly do..(in a loving way..haha)

The name debate is still on going. Well its not even a debate, more of just deciding what names are the "one" as I still search for new possibilities. The idea is to find a name for little girl that would work well for the little boy to have as a middle name. We want him to have part of his sister just like we did with Haley and Ashlyn.


boom boom pow...

So I can feel little one's movements all the time. (Mostly anyway..) But as soon as I try to get someone else to feel him..he stops. Its the funniest thing, I honestly think he can sense it and is already playing games. :) Kyle has been subjected to this several times. :) So yesterday he was moving quite a bit and I called Haley over. She waited and felt..and nothing. We started laughing. She walked away. 5 minutes later he did it again! So I called Haley and Easton over...and they waited...and he stopped again! So I decided to play some music, he often starts to move when he hears it. So the first thing that I came to in my itunes, was Boom Boom Pow. It was the funniest thing...we hear the beginning of the song..and it goes Boom Boom Pow....then again and almost right on beat...he kicked with the song! The kids giggled so much as they watched him kick inside from the outside with the music and felt him move.

That was a good moment, and I am so thankful we were able to share in it together. It was quite cute and so wonderful to see their eyes light up! It warmed my heart. :)


21 weeks

I am 21 weeks today. I look tired in this picture. It could be from celebrating Hudson's 3rd birthday the day this was taken (Tuesday). I had Kyle take a couple pictures that night after everyone left. I can't stand the lighting in the dining room, its so yellow. So you get a black and white picture. :) Probably better anyway so you don't see the dark circles under my eyes. haha

I never imagined this is how I would be feeling at 21 weeks. So many mixed emotions. But here it is. I am still in a holding pattern. I look at this belly picture and it makes me sad when I should be excited. The other day I saw a friend I haven't seen in months. She hugged me and said she was sorry and then said that my belly was so TINY as she rubbed it. I didn't want it to hurt my feelings, but all I could think of was..does she know how far along I am? Or is she being nice? Or is it really small ? Because getting told your belly is little is a good thing most the time. It can be seen as nicer then saying " are huge!" But I was so use to being told "WOW! you are huge!" up until 18 weeks. Because I was. I have been struggling with the idea the last couple weeks, because I do feel smaller. Kyle agreed and we even asked my nurse about it and she told me that it hasn't shrunk and hugged me. My belly doesn't feel as big to me as it was and almost like it has gotten so much smaller, but I don't know if that's my own perception..or my mind knowing that I should be bigger and I am not? Irrational fears set in and I constantly wonder if I am losing amniotic fluid,(which I am not) or if he doesn't have enough(and he does). If something isn't right. For sanity's sake..I did measure around around again several days ago- and in a week I did go up another .5 inch. So I know its growing (or I had a big meal)..but it just feels like its not. :( Not in the way I had hoped for at 21 weeks anyway when this all began.


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