2 months

We were very blessed that the twins kept the same schedule. I’ve always heard to never wake a sleeping baby. But twins change the rules. So we read all the books (I DID, Jeremy just did what I told him!) and had a game plan. After one twin woke up, we were going to wake the other one and feed him/her too. Never once did we have to do this. Not one time. They did it on their own. One point for the twins coming out pleasing their mama. We did follow some strategies to help them differentiate between day and night– during the day, we opened the blinds for more light, were louder (NOT HARD for Jeremy or me), used our sing-song voices, and were more playful with them. At night, we didn’t make eye contact, were quiet, didn’t talk much to them or each other, and didn’t turn any lights on. From the first month, I can only remember 2 or 3 particularly “rough” nights.

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Of the 2, Spencer was definitely the fussier. But I use that term lightly, he generally was a very happy baby.

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This was one of the first times I think they were aware of each other.

When we did IVF, they did a genetic panel on me and discovered I was a carrier for Cystic Fibrosis. Jeremy and I chose not to do anything about it (i.e. have him tested) because if we had never done any fertility treatments we wouldn’t have known this and it didn’t change anything about our future babies. Neither were our embryos genetically screened. However Sadie’s newborn screening showed some abnormalities for Cystic Fibrosis. This terrified me. Maybe we should have had Jeremy tested after all. Anyway, they referred us to Duke and we scheduled an appointment to take our girl to be tested. We were so nervous about the results, but we got the call later in the day that she is only a carrier for CF and would never have to think about it again until she is grown and ready to have kids of her own. Sigh. I can’t even think about that.

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My sweet girl

 

Jeremy went back to work and we had 3 grandmothers coming to stay with us. The first week, my mom and grandma came to help. What a special blessing for my 84 year old grandmother to know them. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

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I talk to my Grandma almost every day and she always asks how her “S and S” are doing.

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She was so proud to hold them both!

 

Mimi and Grandma being here allowed me to take lots of naps. They held, snuggled, and fed the babies while I watched. They cooked, cleaned, and Mimi made my bed up for me. Every day. They stayed for a week and the Sunday they left, Mawmaw came to stay with us. The twins were 5 weeks old and Spencer rolled over for the first time on February 5, the day she got here. He was doing tummy time and was so mad that he pushed himself over. It only took him a few days to do it consistently. Mawmaw is an early bird, so she’d get up and get herself ready then take the morning shift with the babies allowing me to get a shower or a nap. I loved taking naps those first few months. She was a great help and good company during the week she was here. I know she loved getting to spend time with her new grand babies.

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Mawmaw has a lap full of love! (Including the dog!)

I was so dreading the day Mawmaw left, because that would be the first time I was alone with them. The twins were 6 weeks old before I was ever home alone with them. That’s a great testament of supportive family members and the best husband. I was more nervous for that day then I was the day I gave birth to them. I was most scared that they would both cry at the same time. What ever would I do? I called my trusty friend Autumn who said, “I don’t remember what I did, but they both will cry at the same time, and it will be ok!” At almost 8 months old, they have both cried at the same time MANY TIMES, I just take it all in stride now but I was so scared then.

Hannie, one of my college roommates and a friend who prayed faithfully for me to get pregnant came to distract me. She completely organized and cleaned the nursery, which was exactly what I needed. Then we went to eat Japanese express, just like our old college days. hannieimg_4546

Aunt KT’s advice was just to sing really loud if/when they both started crying. So when I kissed Jeremy goodbye that morning, I was ready for them to start crying and for me to start singing. But they didn’t cry. Well not at the same time at least. I still don’t know how I did that. We were just starting to work on keeping a schedule, so I worked really hard to track their feedings and naps to prepare for SLEEP TRAiNiNG!

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I was so nervous the first time I ever drove with them.

By the end of the week, they were sleeping in their own rooms! What!? What!? Albeit, they were still in their Rock N Plays. Transitioning them to cribs would come later. Baby steps. Literally. img_4639

They had a special visitor this month. Papa was finally able to hold his little name sake. He has prayed and begged (all 4 of) us for a grandson forever. His 6th grand baby was a boy. I just hope Spencie loves hunting and all things outdoors. My daddy was a huge encouragement to me during our infertility journey. He faithfully prayed for me and asked all the questions and wanted to know all the details. #thatsnotawkwardatall
He started calling me on Tuesday mornings at 6:10, and this is a tradition we still maintain. I remember when I called to tell him we were pregnant, he prayed for us on the phone. He prayed for 2 (boy) babies that would be soldiers for Christ and for at least one of them to love the outdoors. Let’s see if you get your wish, Pap! For your sake, I’m praying for the same things. img_4656img_4660

When they were 7 weeks old, I started seriously implementing some strategies for sleep training. ST is not for everyone, but I specifically remember lying in bed before they were born wondering if I’d ever get any sleep again. Right then I resolved that I’d do whatever I needed to do to make sure I still got my precious sleep. By this point, we were only getting up once a night which was WONDERFUL. But I didn’t want to get up at all. We kept working on it and they eventually got it.

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This how they laid in their boppies to be fed. Yes, they are in the wrong ones in this picture.

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After they ate, I always flipped them this way and they always fell asleep in that position.

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I love dressing them in matching/coordinating clothes. Aunt KT made this cute set for them.

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My perfect pair! Thank you, Aunt Liz for this matching set.

They took 2 trips to Welcome this month. The first one was because I was desperate to get out of the house so we went to my cousin Courtney’s Lularoe party.

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Aunt KT has 2 sets of twins to love, Heidi and Rileigh were 6 in this picture and Sadie and Spencer were just over a month (and still wearing preemie clothes).

The second trip was when they were 6 weeks old. My twin mom group hosted a brunch for new moms and I was so eager to go. Jeremy packed the babies up and went to Mawmaw’s for the day. They had a great time snuggling and playing with their big cousins. However I was waiting in the garage for them when they got home. Oh, how I missed my sweet little babies. And their daddy.

 

These 2 months have flown by and have been such a blessing to Jeremy and me. I can’t wait to watch them grow up.

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1 month.

Our precious babes came home at different times, so we were somewhat “eased into” the twin parent life. We had Sadie baby alone for 6 days, then sweet Spencer joined us and we were finally a family of 4 all home together. Each of their first nights was rough. Neither would eat like they had been doing in the NICU, they didn’t sleep, and they both cried. A lot. The day we brought Sadie home, I just sat in my room on my bed and cried. I’m sure that Jeremy and my mom were wondering what in the world was going on with me. Heck, I wondered that too!

The day we brought Sadie home, Jeremy went and laid down to take a nap. My mom and I were in the living room and we laid her on the couch. We were on the other couch talking to each other. Sadie squirmed some and then made a little faint cry noise, I looked at my mom and said, “Oh crap! What do we do?” Haha! This is how I felt for the rest of the month.

Mimi was with us for 2 weeks. From the day I gave birth until the day Spencie came home, she served us selflessly. Her help was priceless because she stayed home with Sadie so that both of us could go visit Spencer in the hospital. We would not have been able to do that because once a baby (Sadie) goes home, she couldn’t come back. It was RSV season.

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We had some good visits with Spencie in the NICU and lots of snuggles with Sadie at home.

 

 

On January 9, Clemson won the National Championship in Football. That was such an exciting game! Sadie watched it with Jeremy, Mimi, and me. We were all cheering so loud and she slept through it all. She was our little good luck charm! Hopefully the streak continues this year, too! 😎 #maybeimaskingfortoomuch

Jeremy and I were super excited to get our life started at home with our little miracles. Mimi left the day we brought Spencie home. I was so glad to have her here for as long as she stayed, but I know Papa, Aunt Rachie, with 10 day old Cousin Isabel (more on her coming up), and Lizzy needed Mimi too.

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Our first weekend with both home, we had lots of  fun visitors. Mawmaw, lots of cousins, and aunts and uncles were all so excited to finally hold the babies. Corby and Charlie were probably the most excited! They waited and prayed for Lolly and Jeremy to have babies for a long time. I can only imagine the fun and shenanigans that will go on with those 2. They love Sadie and Spencie so much.

 

 

Aunt Liz came and we took the babies on their first walk. It felt great to get out of the house and even better to see one of my best friends! img_4288img_4292

Life carried on and we were loving life with our sweet babies. Jeremy was an incredible father (like I knew he would be) and certainly pulled his share of the weight. The babies slept in our room for the first 6 weeks and I remember one early, early morning Spencer was crying and I was in no mood to get up. Annoyed that Jeremy hadn’t even budged, I rolled over and said quite sassily (is that a word?!) “Jeremy, do you even hear your son crying?” He replied “Did you even hear your daughter crying at 2 this morning when I got up with her?” Oops. Point well taken. I never said another word to him.

Our nights were in the same way. Sadie’s Rock N Play was on Jeremy’s side of the bed and Spencer’s was on mine. We’d each “take our baby” and get up with said baby through the night. I went to sleep earlier than Jeremy so he stayed up with them and then after he went to sleep (around midnight) we’d each only have to get up once. Then I’d get up around 6 and stay up with them for the morning. Though it wasn’t the norm, there were some lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggg nights. I watched the entire series of Full House during those late nights. I also used it as a sweet time of prayer for my babies. Even when we were completely sleep deprived and exhausted, Jeremy and I were so grateful to be in that position that we rarely complained, knowing what a gift it was to have these miracle babies at all.

Looking back now, I don’t know how we survived that first month. There was nothing particularly hard. But twins are a lot of work and we had no clue what we were doing. We made it by lots of prayer and googling. And calling our pediatrician’s office. Yes. We were are those people. Because the twins were born so early, we hadn’t chosen a pediatrician yet, so the NICU recommended one to us that is just down the road and we love them dearly. They are so patient and kind to this first time mom with all her questions.

 

 

My sister, Rachel had her little baby Isabel 10 days before the twins were born. Rachel was one of my biggest cheerleaders and encouragers when we did IVF. I remember when she called to tell me she was pregnant, I knew it before she said it. The odd time of her call. The hesitation in her voice. Almost like she was ashamed. She later told me that when she got the (surprising!) news at a routine doctor’s appointment that she cried to the nurse. She wanted me to be pregnant. I hate that my infertility stole her joy. One of the most joyous moments of her and Thierry’s life, but she couldn’t even enjoy it because she was worried about my reaction and how it would hurt me. Satan is crafty like that. But God is a redeemer and allowed us to have babies that will grow up together. I hope that Sadie and Isabel will become as close as their mommies are.

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Big cousin Isabel

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Elizabeth and Sadie

When the twins were 3 weeks old, Aunt Rachel and Elizabeth (along with Mimi of course, she isn’t going to miss an opportunity to come see her babies!) drove all the way to NC to meet them. They got their newborn pictures together by our photographer, Tara Joyce. Having my sister here with our newborns together was a dream. We were up in the middle of the night together feeding our babies, completely sleep-deprived. What a wonderful time and even better to share it with one of my best friends.

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Jeremy was able to take a month off of work for paternity leave and the time with him home was great. I know he was sad to leave all 3 of his babies at home. The first month of their life was exhausting and renewing at the same time. Sadie and Spencer, I can’t wait to watch you grow. img_4410

NICU.

We had a consult with a neonatologist during labor. We knew when they were born, they were going to the NICU. On the way up, they stopped and were able to meet some family in the waiting room. The next day when I was flipping through pictures of that meeting, in the “live photos” I can hear my sister-in-law squealing “Oh my word!” May not sound like much to some, but there is nothing but pure love and joy in those 3 words. I can’t wait for them to hear their Aunt KT’s delight in meeting them for the first time. That picture and those words, now 6 months old, STILL make me cry. img_6163

Anyway I saw my babies for a grand total of like 3 minutes before they were whisked away. Which was fine, the NICU was the best place for them. Meanwhile I’m downstairs passing out and wondering if I’m dying or not. For about 2.5 hours I was in recovery and waiting to be able to head upstairs also. They wouldn’t initially let me go because if I were to pass out again, there was no one there to take care of me. It felt like an eternity before they finally let me go. But they did. And my precious angels were there waiting on me.

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Sadie

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Spencer. The first thing Jeremy said to me when I saw them again was “Spencer looks just like your brother.” He sure did and at 7 months he still does! 

They were so tiny and I felt awful seeing them hooked up to all the monitors. I wanted to hold them and protect them from any bad thing on this earth. The fact that someone else was telling me all about my babies was difficult. Showing me how to hold them without pulling out cords. The next days were rough for that reason. I felt incomplete. I wasn’t pregnant anymore but my babies weren’t in the room with us. Something was missing.

I was also aware that something was very wrong with me. I wondered if I was struggling with some PPD or if I wasn’t cut out to be a mom, because I had no energy to hold them. Just simply walking to the NICU took every ounce of energy I had within me. I had never really thought of this, but it is so hard for your babies to be in the NICU. I felt so disconnected from them. On Sunday morning, 2 days after they were born, Dr. Clark came back in to check on me. They had done some blood work and my iron level was very low. They asked some questions, gave us some information, and advised us to do a blood transfusion. They left Jeremy and me alone to make the decision. It was kind of scary and weird to think about someone else’s blood coursing through my veins. But I needed it and the pros outweighed the cons. We did have to sign a waiver acknowledging the risks associated with a transfusion. In the end, I am so glad we did that. I felt a hundred times better. I finally had the energy to go love on my babies.

 

I was discharged the next day. Leaving that hospital without my babies was the hardest thing I have ever done. My daddy was heading back to Greenwood, so on the way home from the hospital we all went to eat at a local BBQ joint. I cried the entire time we were in there. Looking back, I feel so bad for Jeremy and my parents and every other person in that restaurant. What is wrong with this girl in here?! Leaving them was so hard in the moment, but it allowed me the time to recover from childbirth (and sleep through the night). The babies were getting the best care possible and as soon as I realized that, all was right in our world.

We had so many visitors during our hospital stay. Sadie and Spencer are so loved and have been since the day they were born. And even long before that. Mimi, Papa, Mawmaw, Aunt Linh, Mackenzie, Aunt KT, Uncle T, Corby, Charlie, Aunt Janice, Uncle Bobby, Aunt Sandra, Courtney, and Brandon. We loved seeing everyone and introducing our babies to their new family. Unfortunately because it was RSV season, children couldn’t come in the NICU. Corby, Charlie, and Mac couldn’t meet Sadie and Spencer until they were home. And even the other adults couldn’t hold the babies. Jeremy and I were the only ones who could.

 

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Our perfect little family

There are 3 criteria that had to be met to be discharged from the NICU:

  1. Breathing room air
  2. Maintaining body temperature
  3. Be able to finish a bottle

My sweet babies were breathing room air from the moment they were born. Despite being 6 weeks early, there were never any problems with their lungs and no oxygen was ever needed. They did have problems maintaining body temp and eating the appropriate amount. It was a roller coaster of emotions. We’d have some good days and get so hopeful that a discharge was coming and then we’d backtrack. For every 2 steps forward, we went 3 steps back. In the NICU, they affectionately call white males “wimpy white boys.” Apparently they are the slowest to make progress. My mom never liked that phrase. She took exception to it. How dare they call her only grand son wimpy!?

Sadie was in the NICU for 7 days and Spencer 13 days. Weather in North Carolina is strange. We brought Sadie home on January 6 and it was snowing. Spencer came home 6 days later on January 12 and it was sunny and warm.

Perhaps the most difficult part of this whole experience was on the day Sadie came home: a blizzard had invaded North Carolina! We woke up that next day to 9″ of snow. As a teacher, I LOVE big snow storms. However as a brand new mom with a baby in the NICU, this was devastating. We couldn’t go see my precious Spencer. I’m completely aware that he didn’t know, but I remember feeling so guilty. I didn’t want him to wonder if we didn’t love him or why his parents weren’t coming to see him. Sigh. Mom guilt is so real. I still feel guilty thinking about that.

It was hard juggling a newborn at home and visiting her brother in the NICU. My sweet mom, who hadn’t left us since I gave birth, was such a Godsend. She stayed with Sadie while we would go visit Spencer. She cooked for us, grocery shopped for us, and made sure things around the house got done. Moms just have a way of making everything better. I hope that one day Sadie and Spencer look to me like my siblings and I do her.

While I’m so relieved those 13 days of the NICU are over, I am very grateful for the attention and care they got from those amazing nurses in that state of the art facility.

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We got our car seats from our BFFs Kyndall and Kameron. Kyndall was still using hers when my twins were born, so Sadie came home in Spencer’s blue car seat. By the time Spencer came home, Kyndall had a new one. #thanksautumn

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My sweet little buddy on the day we brought him home from the hospital. I love his face. I don’t think he was initially a fan of riding in the car.

 

 

 

Labor & Delivery.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

My pregnancy went seamlessly and I enjoyed feeling all the movements. They were so active and kicking like crazy. I could easily tell who was who and loved every second of it. Although I was as big as a house, I cherished being pregnant because I knew it was something we almost didn’t get.

I was like a sponge. I couldn’t get enough information about being pregnant with multiples, laboring, delivery, and then all the fun that follows. Poor Jeremy. I dragged him to so many breastfeeding, multiples, and birth/baby classes. He was always such a good sport. He never was thrilled about going but I knew that when we got down and dirty, I would not remember how to breathe. I needed him. Looking back, he was the GOAT birthing partner. I could never have known how amazing he would be at that.

One early morning in November, just before the students arrived at school a frenzy ensued. What was this? A 7th grade teacher’s water broke? At school? My worst nightmare was coming to life. That would not happen to me though. I knew all the signs, I read all the books. When my bag of water ruptured, I would be prepared! Over Christmas break I was having the time of my life. I still had 6 weeks to go but everything was going great so they were saying I’d probably go to 39 weeks and they’d have to induce labor. I had no signs of pre-term labor, never any BH contractions, nothing! In fact, just 5 days before the twins were born we were down in South Carolina celebrating Christmas with my family and my OB okayed the trip. I would be a perfect textbook twin delivery. My BFF from France and her husband were in the States for the holidays and drove up to North Carolina to see us. We had a great visit. I noticed some clear leakage, but my sister said it was normal so on with my life I went. I hugged Darcy, Lauren, and Matt goodbye and as they left my house I too left and headed to my 34 week check up. IMG_4124[1].JPG

Jeremy met me at Dr. Callahan’s. We had a normal ultrasound, minus the fact that Sadie was being a little shy. I casually mentioned to the doctor that I was losing some clear fluid and that was new within the past 2 days. She asked if I wanted her to take a look. Sure, why not? Let’s see what this is all about. She took a swab and looked at it under the microscope and came back in. “Lauren, I saw some ferning on the slide and I want you to go to the hospital to have them run a more in-depth test. Just to be sure. No big deal. They’ll probably send you home right after.” I was only a little annoyed because I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. Anyway, we complied and went next door to Women’s Hospital.

I checked in and we went to a triage room where they told me my water broke 2 days ago. Pump the brakes. What? How did that happen? I was waiting on this dramatic experience like in the movies. A big gush of warm water that couldn’t be mistaken for anything else. But nope, me, the girl who read all the books, went to all the classes, asked all the questions, talked to all the people. Her water broke 2 days ago and she had NO. IDEA. Never even crossed my mind. Turns out it was Spencer’s bag of water that had broken and because he was higher than Sadie, it was more like a slow leak than the big gush I was waiting on.

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“Y’all I’m kinda scared to push two humans out of my body!”

Great. What do we do now? For the next few hours we got conflicting information. They did, however, admit me and said I wouldn’t leave pregnant. But no one could decide what to do with us. I was only 34 weeks so the best place for those babies was right where they were. But the chance of infection was too great to not begin labor. Because I was high risk, the OBs deferred to MFM. We came in at an odd time, it was between shift change for the 2 specialists. One was young and fresh, the other was more experienced. She wanted me to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks. He wanted to get things going right away. He won. They came in at 9 the next morning and said we were having some babies that day. Induction officially started at 11.

Wait. I’m not ready for this. I hadn’t even finished watching the second season of Fuller House. Their nursery wasn’t done (read: hadn’t even been started). Sub plans were not ready. I totally expected to walk back in my classroom after Christmas break. This was not good timing. At least my house was clean.

I told them to do whatever they needed to do to avoid a c-section which was a far cry from when we initially went back to Dr. C in July. I remember asking her if we could go ahead and schedule my c-section right then. Not anymore. I had psyched myself up and was prepared. I could do it. My body was made to do this. Many women had gone before me and were just fine. They started dripping pitocin at 1 and I was feeling great. I remember laying in that bed rolling my hair in the perfect sock bun and doing my make up because I wanted to be cute when my babies met me. Just like Kim Kardashian.

As the day went on I was still feeling fine. Laughing, carrying on with the nurses and Jeremy. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Childbirth would be a breeze because I was a beast at this. Though I wouldn’t have turned it down, I had to get an epidural. The chance of an emergency c-section was too great. So when I was 6 cm around 6:30 pm, Dr. Clark told me to get it then. I was progressing fast enough now that when it came time to “need it”, it would be too late. So the anesthesiologist came in and administered the drug. I was still feeling great. My mama and mother-in-law were in there. Sweet Jeremy never left my side. Just as I predicted, when it got real I had no idea how I was supposed to breathe or what I was supposed to do to make this bearable. Insert my dear husband who breathed with me, reminded me of the soothing techniques we learned and kept me grounded. Like he always does. Like he always will.

Let me back up and add this part. Sadie was head down the entire pregnancy. Spencer was transverse and they were unsure what he would do when Sadie was born and he suddenly had a ton of room to move about. The doctor on call was young and by her own admission was not experienced in twin deliveries. More specifically a twin breech extraction. An older, more experienced OB in their practice agreed to be on call for our delivery to completely avoid a c-section. Remember people, I said AT ALL COSTS. And I meant it.

Then it got real. Contractions were getting closer and more intense. Between contractions though my sisters were FaceTiming me, my Family Group Text was asking for selfies, my precious sister-in-law, niece, and nephew came in to visit. We were having the best of times. IMG_4128[1]

As contractions got even closer, they wheeled me into the operating room. All twins deliver in the OR just in case of an emergency cesarean. It was so chaotic. By some mistake, the OR wasn’t ready for us so an intense contraction came and I was just laying on the stretcher in the hallway while they’re trying to prep the room. Then one of the surgical techs tripped over my epidural line and PULLED IT OUT. I didn’t even notice. Miraculously.

I was in the delivery room when two of my nieces were born. Both were such precious, sacred moments. I just knew my own delivery would be magnified and so special. It was a beautiful experience, but nothing like either of us imagined. Intense is the only word I can think of to describe the moments leading up to their birth. I pushed for a short 40 minutes and then our world changed. Forever.

When my sweet Sadie was born I was exhausted. I had to dig deep to find the strength for those last few pushes. As soon as she was born I pushed 2 more times. Spencer turned and was breech. Experienced Dr. Horvath rolled her sleeves up and was elbow deep in my uterus. 2 minutes later Spencer was born. Feet first.

Sadie Louise was born at 8:57 pm. She was 5 lbs 4 oz and 19 1/4 inches long.IMG_4136[1]

Spencer Michael was born at 8:59 pm. He was 4 lbs 9 oz, and 17 1/4 inches long.

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They were both perfect and we were in love.

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We knew they were heading straight for the NICU, so Jeremy went with them upstairs and my mom was allowed in the OR while they finished up with me. I lost an incredible amount of blood. Two times as much as a normal twin delivery. I remember at one point nodding off and being aware that I was losing consciousness. I heard my nurse ask Dr. Clark “Should I call a stage 3 hemorrhage?” “Not yet.” As always God was faithful and I recovered just fine.

I had done it. I delivered my two babies and they were perfectly healthy. Now the real fun begins.

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Pregnancy.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

I sure wish I had kept up with a blog when I was pregnant so I could remember every single detail. I’m having so much fun reminiscing though.

So June 2, the pregnancy was confirmed by (EXTREMELY HIGH) HCG levels. Because they were literally off the charts, we suspected there were twins. On Friday, June 24 Dr. Deaton visualized 2 strong heartbeats. It was almost surreal to see the flickering on the screen. Those were my babies? I was carrying two precious miracles? He went through all the logistics of a twin pregnancy (50% are c-sections, I will not make it to 40 weeks, etc.), gave us an “official” due date (I use that term loosely because it was simply when I would be 40 weeks. Not when the babies would be born. He guessed they’d come early January. He was only off by 2 days.), and sent us back to Dr. Callahan. It was so emotional, after seeing these people ALL.THE.TIME. since March we had grown attached to each other. They gave us these 2 onesies, we all cried together then went dancing out the doorway. We did it. I was pregnant. God’s grace had NEVER been more evident in my life than the moment I saw that ultrasound.

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I was fearful that a twin pregnancy would be super hard. In the end though, we were so blessed that I never had any problems. I was considered high risk, but all multiple pregnancies are. I was sent to an MFM (Maternal-Fetal Medicine) specialist because of a history of blood clots. A quick scan and family medical history appointment along with instructions to take a baby aspirin every day cured that. At the very, very beginning I had a subchorionic hematoma which eventually dissolved on its own. At that appointment, I casually mentioned to the doctor that I was feeling a little nauseous. She gave me a prescription for Diclegis, which was a game changer. I took 4 (!!!!!!) of those a day and felt amazing. Then one day I thought I could handle it and didn’t need to take it anymore, I vomited all day long. So I didn’t do that again until I was in the 3rd trimester.

Late July, I got out my heat press and my Silhouette cameo and made these onesies. They were my first project on my 2 favorite crafting machines. All of these syringes, needles, medication, every bit of it was used to sustain this pregnancy. I was so devastated after the first failed attempt that I threw away everything from that cycle.

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I gained 27 lbs during the entire pregnancy and lost it all before Spencer even came home from the hospital. I never had any cravings, and was never uncomfortable. My feet were very swollen, but they never hurt. I did have some problems sleeping (I’m a belly sleeper and that was impossible after like 2 months). I remember towards the end I would have to run to the bathroom between EVERY SINGLE CLASS. Y’all, that means I was going to the bathroom every 45 minutes!

Because I was labeled “high risk”, we had several ultrasounds. I loved seeing my sweet babies. September 13, we had our highly anticipated anatomy scan. I wanted a gender reveal party and the only way Jeremy would agree to one was if he could find out the genders at the appointment. Fine with me. I squeezed my eyes shut and plugged my ears while the ultrasound tech typed on the screen what the genders were. I only had to wait until that Saturday. I usually HATE surprises. Like I’ll read the ends of books because I am so eager to know the endings. That Friday Jeremy went and got the bouquet of balloons and they were upstairs in our bonus room. I wanted to find out in front of everyone so I never peeked. Didn’t even want to. Who is this girl?

I opened Baby B’s box and before I let the balloons out, I peeked in. They were blue. When I saw Jeremy’s pink balloons flying out, it was just more than I could have ever imagined. A boy and a girl were EXACTLY what I wanted. The best of both worlds. Not only was God giving me the desires of my heart with twins, He was even giving me the genders I wanted.

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“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15img_3776img_3842img_3854img_4013

6 months.

The twins are 6 months old now and I have missed half of a year documenting their lives.

My twin mom BFF, Audi has a blog and she is able to keep up with everything. Any time I ask her how much they weighed at a certain point or when they started doing anything, she is always so quick to answer because all she had to do was refer to her blog.

Here’s hoping I can keep up. Let me do some backing up.

How did we get here.

In November 2015, after unsuccessfully trying for a year to get pregnant, my OB sent me to have a hysterosalpingogram test at the hospital. This is a dye that is inserted and watched through an x-ray to make sure all my tubes were working properly. It was the first step in getting some answers. It was also the last. The radiologist kindly informed me that one of my Fallopian tubes was completely blocked. The other one couldn’t even be detected. Ummm… ok. So now what? When my OB was sent the results she immediately called me. From her cell phone. On her day off. She knows me. I freaked out. What does this mean? What do we do now? Poor Jeremy. If he had known this, would he still have married me? Kind of ironic to remember this part of the conversation, but I told Dr. Callahan “Oh so IVF is my only option? That’s great! I’ve always wanted twins.” Her quick reply “Oh no, Lauren. They would never intentionally transfer 2 embryos. A twin pregnancy is considered a failure.” Side note: When I came back to her pregnant with twins, she just laughed. We both remembered that conversation.

So after the HSG, Dr. C sent us to a Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Deaton. So many blessings in being referred to him as opposed to anyone else. Several of my friends who walked this journey were sent to another popular fertility clinic in Winston, some were even sent the opposite way to Duke. I was sent to the clinic that was 5 minutes from my school. At the time, that didn’t mean anything to me. I didn’t know that there would be weeks when I would have to go to the clinic every. single. day. for blood work during my lunch. Or right after school for ultrasound appointments. God worked out the minute details even before I knew there were details to be worked out.

Because of my diagnosis, we went straight for the big guns: Invitro. Which was good and bad. We didn’t spend years on fertility treatments like some couples have to do. But it also meant that if IVF didn’t work for us, there were no other options. So after we had our initial consult with Dr. Deaton, got all the details in order, and were mentally prepared we were ready. We started March 4, 2016. Prior to that we had to go in for a baseline ultrasound and our medication teaching where I promptly told our dear IVF nurse that I would never inject myself, my precious husband would do it every time. And he sure did. I wish every woman who had to walk this road had a husband as steadfast as mine.

I just knew that IVF was going to work for us the first time. My body responded exactly the way it should have. Dr. Deaton extracted 20 perfect eggs from my body. 17 embryos made it to the 5 day mark. When we went in that Sunday morning for the transfer, there was not a doubt in my mind that in 8 days, I’d know I was pregnant.

On Monday, March 28 Jeremy and I were on our way to Charleston to spend Spring Break with my grandmother. On our way out of town, we stopped at the office to have my blood drawn. The whole way to South Carolina I tried to distract myself, but there was nothing I could have done to prepare for when they called, “Lauren I am so sorry, but you are not pregnant this time.” I still remember exactly where we were. At the end of I-26 passing the Citadel Mall, 15 minutes from Grandma’s house and I begged Jeremy to take me back home. Though my heart was broken I knew that God had a bigger, better plan for us. We chose not to do genetic screening on our embryos so I don’t know the genders of those babies, but I trust God’s sovereignty and am so blessed that He closed the door on that pregnancy so that we would get my precious Sadie and Spencer.

I have always wanted twins for as long as I can remember. My dad has twin brothers and I knew there was a chance that someone in my generation could have twins. I love knowing that even at such a young age, God was preparing my heart for our journey to become parents. When we went in for our first transfer, we had to sign a waiver that acknowledged we went against the RE and the embryologist’s recommendation. They wanted us to transfer one embryo. We wanted two. Twins were what we wanted.

We had to wait a few weeks before we could gear up for the frozen embryo transfer. Though I wanted nothing more than for Jeremy and me to be parents, I had to come to a point of complete surrender: if God chose not to give us biological kids, I was ok with that. My identity did not come from being a mom or a wife. It came from who I am in Christ. And that was enough for me. It had to be. So when we went in for our second transfer, I knew that no matter what happened I was going to be ok. Jeremy and I were going to be ok. Even at my lowest and most discouraging point, I knew that we would always have each other. Though I begged and begged God for a miracle, I knew and trusted that God was faithful and good whether the transfer was successful or not. The morning of our FET, I was reading my Bible and outside of my regular devotion, I was skimming through the Psalms and came across this verse:

I was so encouraged by this and knew in my heart that even if this transfer didn’t work we would one day be parents. Fast forward to June 2. We were right in the middle of state testing at school. I wasn’t expecting the call until that afternoon, so imagine my surprise when I turned my phone on mid-morning and saw a voicemail from Premier Fertility Clinic. I was so scared to listen to it. Somehow I mustered the courage to push play. Seems like it took Brooke forever to finally say “Congratulations Lauren, you’re pregnant.” I fell to my knees in my classroom and couldn’t stop crying, I ran down the hallway to find my school BFF, and then had to turn around because I forgot to call Jeremy! He didn’t answer his phone, so I called his work line. Apparently he was busy with someone because I cried “Jeremy, Brooke just called. Guess what? We’re pregnant!” His response? “That’s great to hear, ma’am. I’ll give you a call back as soon as I can.” Wait, what? I was too ecstatic to even care. How I managed to make it through the rest of that day, I’ll never know. That was over a year ago, and I am still so humbled that God gave us these amazing little blessings.img_2712

I wish you could see my view now. I’ve got my feet propped up on the ottoman and over the laptop, I can see my two precious miracles playing in their exersaucers. There are many days the sight of them takes my breath away. Today is one of them.