and we become a family.

The first time I saw Wes after the delivery, he told me he was pretty sure the baby still in the nursery was Hazel because she seemed pretty aggressive. He was right. And so our third little girl was named Violet (5.11) and our fourth Hazel (5.14).

Our kids came the next day and to no ones surprise, Evelyn and Ivy were pretty possessive of their new sisters. Jack was happy to see the babies and hold them for the time his sisters allowed but he was also absolutely thrilled with his very own tube of toothpaste given to him by his father and the tractor work happening outside.

Dad ubered in from the airport and we had a nice little family gathering. I was on such a high and it continued for at least a week; so wonderful as it got me through that hazy transition to home and newborn exhaustion.

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And thus began three of the more challenging months of my life.

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hazel wren and violet rhea. the birth story.

I somehow managed to get two birds in their names. Impressive eh?

The girls were breech and transverse the entire time. Which honestly made it easy on my brain. The doctors weren’t keen on anything other than a cesarean but told me if the stars aligned, they’d let me go for a VBAC. The chances of the stars aligning seemed pretty slim and I wasn’t sure if I was keen on a VBAC anyways. However, the memory of my recovery after Jack’s birth sure made it tempting.

But it wasn’t an option so I didn’t really think about it. And then I went in for my pre-op 3 days before my cesarean and the doctor peeked at them with his flip phone ultrasound and they both appeared head down.

And I was like what?! Cue the head spinning.

I went in the next day for a real ultrasound and they were back to breech and transverse. Cue the emotions and confusion and soaring blood pressure.

And so we went ahead with our plan and the next day, we left a little love note to our kiddos and drove to the hospital for the birth of my two perfect girlies.

They came into the world as Shane and Shane sang Psalms 139 and I think I spent most of the next few hours weeping. First in absolute relief. They were here and they were perfect and healthy and they were ok. Such incredible relief.

They were taken to the nursery and I was moved to a recovery room where I started bleeding too much..they gave me additional meds to stop the bleeding which caused my blood pressure to soar to 190 over 110 so they gave me additional meds to calm that down and in the middle of this they gave me one baby and then an alarm went off and all the nurses ran to the OR.

And so I began weeping again for the mother and the baby being born in the OR and praying to God that everything would be ok, and weeping that it could have been me and my babies but they were here and we were ok and weeping some more.

Then the nurses all came back and were like ‘oh no whats wrong?!’ and I stuttered out my prayer and they were like ‘oh sweet girl its all ok!’

And then they moved me to a quiet room where I wept more at the pain of moving from one bed to another and the nurse (who had been with me when I delivered Evelyn and was such a comfort) said, ‘get this girl her husband and her other baby.’

And in they came. And I wept more at the comfort of Wesley and the wonder of my two babies laying beside each other.

Such incredible wonder.

 

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the year i will forget.

At least that’s what they all say. And I believe them. So I figured I’d better at least try to write some stuff down to look back on.

I’ve been avoiding this space a little bit because gosh, once you start, where do you stop? I have so many stories but so little time or energy. I just put one twin down and left the other happily on her mat…except now I hear her hollering after penning a brief few sentences and so sometimes I wonder what the point is in trying to accomplish anything?

Ok. I’m back. Just changed the diaper of the twin downstairs and spent 10 minutes trying to rock her to sleep except the upstairs twin woke up and was screaming so I came up here to the upstairs twin who had pooped so I put the downstairs twin down, changed the upstairs twin and tried to rock her back to sleep only then Ivy woke up so I put that twin down, rocked Ivy for awhile until the upstairs twin started screaming again, put a crying Ivy down and patted the twin back to sleep and here I am.

Confused yet? I’m never sure if I’m coming or going. Welcome to the three ring circus.

But let’s rewind to September which I think I can safely categorize as the most miserable month of my life. It was my fourth pregnancy in five years and it was two babies. My body was greatly protesting. Didn’t sleep much at night and oh what an effort to move. I pretty much spent the last three weeks slowly moving from my bed to the couch. I’d watch the kids play and be grateful they were doing so well together and depressed that I had no part in it.

I kept reminding myself that my condition was not chronic and the end was in sight. And I was so incredibly grateful that my body was cooperating and I was able to stay at home with my kids. Really, it was miraculous and a pretty stress free pregnancy until the last three days.

So that’s a good stopping point. heh. Catch you next time. Children are screaming.

33 weeks.

34 weeks.

37 weeks. Walking around the parking lot of my doctors office trying to lower my blood pressure. So much fun.

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six seven eight nine ten

I wrote this post on our five year anniversary. I was pregnant with our first, we were fresh off a babymoon to Florida and getting ready to meet my parents up in Maine in the upcoming weeks.

Ten years ago we were riding around in a stretch hummer.

Today we toodled around in our minivan, I went to the doctor for my 35 week appointment while Wes took the kids to the nearest park. We then did some family grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, always a highlight with the bumper carts and had a nice family dinner at the pizza place with the empty patio.

It’s probably not what I ever anticipated 10 years looking like. But I’m super grateful for it. For the lovely place we call home, for the wonderful little people who fill it, and for the guy who pledged to walk with me those ten years ago. Honestly. I just can’t wait to hug him. (If you think it was saints who invented the side hug, it wasn’t. It was pregnant ladies. hahahaha).

But really. Yes, I can’t wait to meet these babies. But I am so ready to jump back into life with my best friend. He’s been an incredible support partner not just in these past few months but these past years. Looking back, it’s kind of boggling. haha.

And so. Onward and forward. Cheers to ten years.

Looking fresh as daisies. haha. NOT! I wrote him a card today and on the front it said ‘live life in full bloom’ (who has time to shop for romantic anniversary cards? whoops.) And I was like, ‘dear wes, hello from your wilting, drooping flower.’ haha.

Oh real life. Such a blessing.

Hugs and love.

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back to the twins.

I never quite got to finish all my stories about the twins.

So. Who knew telling people you were expecting two babies was so funny? And fun?

Honestly, when I found out I was pregnant with our fourth, I didn’t really want to tell anyone. I just pictured people rolling their eyes and saying, ‘same song, different verse,’ or other like minded things. And then we found out there was two, and I was like, ‘well, this is definitely a modulation’ (or key change, if you will).

So, if you watched the video of the kids, you probably got to hear my dad. That, of course was hilarious. My mom did exactly what I did and held her face in her hands and said, ‘oh my gosh’ one hundred times. My mother in law is a twin herself and when Ev came inside her kitchen exploding with the news, I think she just stood at the sink saying, ‘no!’ over and over with an ‘are you SERIOUS?!’ sprinkled in.

I can’t remember what my father in law did but my other three favorite reactions included the response of horror, hysterics, and perhaps you would call it spazzing? (do you know who you are?)

Hahaha. I tried to facetime as many people as I could and then show them the ultrasound and just watch as their faces went from a smiling congratulations to a second look, to seeing the second baby to…much hilarity.

If I’m ever by myself in town I often get, ‘Oh! Is this your first?!’. And I smile/grimace and say, ‘no, this is four and five.’ If they find out the ages of my other children I often get a whispered, ‘Lord have mercy,’ or some variation.

hahaha.

Indeed. Summer’s plugging away, I have around seven weeks left and I’m pretty much praying the same thing. Everything and everyone (well, the babies) look great for which I am incredibly thankful. And now I’m just trying to seize the moments, put my feet up, get stuff done, and pray that I can somewhat gracefully make it through.

Thankful for so many of you backing me up.

Hugs and love.

(date night at 25 weeks. More bump to come. Haha.)

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my life in a nutshell.

Dad and Wes were getting all dolled up to take headshots of each other. I told Dad he needed to comb his hair and that Wes had some 12 year old gel upstairs if he needed it.

I was in the kitchen doing my thing when Dad came thundering down the stairs and into the kitchen with an, ‘FCOL! I just went through every single drawer and cabinet in your bathroom and could not find one brush or comb! Do you guys not brush your hair?!!’.

I’m not sure what it was, his expression, my fatigue, pregnancy, or that fact that it was all truth, but I fell into the counter as I started shaking with laugher, wiping away tears as I tried to get out, ‘No, no we don’t brush our hair,’ (wheeze, snort, gale of laughter), ‘In fact, I’m always super delighted when we get in the car to go someplace and there’s a brush sitting there,’ (wipe away tears, try to take another breath), ‘Like, awesome! I can run a brush through my hair before we go to ….’.

At this point Mom came down and was like, ‘I told him he would not find a brush in there,’ and Dad went thundering outside to try to find a brush in my car, only to realize my car was gone and came in muttering about how helpful that was and how I was just like Grama and off I went again.

Luckily, Mom had everything he ever needed in her purse.

And happily, Ev found a brush the next day and we did our grooming thing our way.

And maybe, in five years or so, Dad will be able to find a brush in my drawer. But I kinda doubt it. hahahaa.

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the five

So yes. These are the pictures of the five of us. But I’m also 10 weeks pregnant here. With twins. Which equals five children.

And I have to remind myself to take it a day at a time. Because if I start to think about sleep..or carrying two infants down our stairs..or three littles under 2 or…whatever I start to space out and think oh. em. gee.

I didn’t know there was two at this time. We came home from California and a couple days later I went to the doctor to check out this newest addition. Twins are always on my brain until that first ultrasound because they are sprinkled around our families. And Wesley was definitely mentioning it more. Like, ‘yeah, we’ll do that…unless it’s two.’

However, I informed him as I left for the dr, ‘I think we’re good. I think there’s just one lime in here. I just feel like I’d be bigger if there was two.’

Famous last words.

So off I went and for the first time, the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. I wasn’t too concerned as I’d just thrown up that morning and was feeling very pregnant. So he went and got his little ultrasound scanner and started scanning…And then was like, ‘well. I have a bit of a surprise for you.’

And I popped up like a jack in the box and said, ‘Surprise! There’s the baby!’. And he was like ‘no…there’s two!’. (This is my favorite doctor who has very dry humor and doesn’t react over much.). And so I proceeded to say you’re kidding me for the next minute. And when he finally said, ‘I’m not sh!tt!ing you!’, I switched to ‘oh my gosh!’ for the next few minutes.

I got food poisoning or something on the way home and was pulling over in parking lots to throw up and on into the middle of the night and was just like, ‘oh my gosh am I going into shock? what’s happening to me?!’. But somewhere in there handed the ultrasound pictures to Wes.

He studied the picture of the two babies and was like, ‘it’s one right?’. To which I responded, ‘look again my friend.’.

And he laughed the rest of the night.

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Two days later, I finally felt recovered enough to tell the kids and so we all got on the bed and thankfully recorded the conversation. Because it’s pretty precious. And there’s nothing more contagious than the excitement and joy of a four year old.

And so now you know why I really made each kid their own book. Because I feel like crazy town is coming. And in the hustle and bustle of the next year (years? life?), I want them to see just how adored and special and loved they are.

My prayer? I hardly know what it is. I pray for healthy babies. I pray that Jesus will really let me feel him, and that he’ll help me lean on him.

And I give much thanks. For this home we’ve been given to fill. For that laughing husband who is calm when I am less than. And who is such a wonderful father to our children. And for a God who will give me everything I need for this day. Every day.

All praise to him.

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