Friday, March 30, 2012

Mother of Triplets

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner today. SUYL: Mom's of Multiples.  For those family and friends who normally read my blog, you can skip this post....You already know my story :)

After a struggle with "unexplained infertility"and help from a fertility specialist, my husband and I found out we were pregnant August 2010 with Triplets!! (You can read my first two blog posts for more info here & here)

We were expecting 2 boys and 1 girl

The pregnancy was going GREAT! I was getting HUGE. The babies were growing and my body was handling everything perfectly.  I went in for my routine monthly growth scan. I was 32w6d pregnant. It was at that ultrasound that we found out our little girl had passed away.  She no longer had a heartbeat.  I ended up having an emergency c-section that day. You can read about it here: Bittersweet Birthday

Baby A: Vincent Ryan 4 lbs 15 oz

Baby B: Karissa Marie 2 lbs 14 oz (in heaven with Jesus)

Baby C: Landen James 3 lbs 7 oz

My husband and I feel extremely blessed to have our two boys.  We could have lost all of them that day.  We trust in the Lord, and know that although the reasoning for Karissa's passing is unknown, there is a purpose. We think about her often and will always concider ourselves as parents of triplets, even though from the outside, we look like parents of twins.  I enjoy reading other blogs of parents of multiples, people who have struggled with infertility or who have experienced the loss of a baby.  Blogs provide encouragement to me. There are so many people who have gone through the heartache we have been through and so many people who have experienced much worse.  I praise the Lord everyday for the life He has given me and for the two precious boys he has entrusted us to raise into Godly men.
Our boys are 13 months now and we enjoy everyday with them!

We are expecting another little one in July! And are so excited our little family is expanding! 

My blog really isn't for any other purpose, than to just document things going on in our life and keep out-of-town friends and family up to date. 

I'm a proud Mommy of twins (but mother of triplets at heart)

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Middle Finger Montage

   So with the new baby arriving in July. It has really put the pressure on me to get the boys 1 year photo albums done before I have a whole NEW album to do.  I have been organizing and going through photos and I'm REALLY liking the way the books are turning out! (I'm also doing a 2011 family album along with the boy's albums. So I'm really working on 3 at one time!) Anyway. It has been fun and emotional reminiscing about all the things that happened to us last year and how far we have come!
    While going through the pictures, I couldn't help but notice that every once in a while a certain little finger would be sticking out. The main culprit was Landen! They brought a smile to my face. I thougth they were so funny.  Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do. HA HA (I realize some of them aren't really the middle finger, but it still looks so cute and funny) 

NOT Landen this time!!!....

AND......My Favorite :)

I love Vincent's face in the last one.... "Ooooo  MOM!! Are you seeing what Landen is doing?!?!"

Monday, March 12, 2012

Vincent's Surgery

Today Vincent had surgery. It was a surgery I have been anticipating since the day he was born. He was born with a skin tag in front of his left ear.  The surgeon said we could wait until be was around 9 yrs old to remove it if we wanted to do a local anesthesia and not have to put him under. Ryan and I both did not want him to be teased for this and we have noticed his brother Landen grabbing at it every once in awhile.  So we opted to have it done shortly after he turned one.  He will have no memory of this day and only the tiniest of scars.

His surgery was at 8:00 am. We had to be there at 6:30 and poor V-man could not have anything to eat or drink since midnight last night!! We had to wake him up and head to the surgery center.  He did awesome!!!  He was so calm while we waited and the only time he cried was when I had to change his diaper and get him out of his pajamas into the surgery gown.

getting his blood pressure and temperature taken.
wearing his snazzy socks, name band and surgery gown
a before picture

still knocked out after surgery
coming out of anesthesia
6 stitches and no more skin tag!

We want to thank everyone for all of their prayers. I know I was a nervous wreck but it was comforting to know everyone who loves Vincent was praying for him. Ryan prayed for him before we went into the surgery room which helped calm my nerves. I knew the Lords hands were on him and he was going to be ok.  
We are so happy with the results and are so thankful Vincent handled everything so well.  He was quite the trooper!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

20 Weeks!

This is my first post about the new pregnancy!! And I'm already half way done! ya!  We announced our pregnancy at Vincent and Landen's first birthday party by giving my parents and ryan's parents a "thank you" present for all the help they did for the first year with the twins. The present was a copy of this picture :)

Vincent and Landen (1yr)  Next baby (@16 weeks in the belly)
Our new family of 5!!!
We were so excited to surprise everyone with the news! And I'm pretty sure everyone was totally surprised!!

Ryan and I struggled for so long getting pregnant the first time and we knew we wanted more kids (I've always said I wanted 4 kids) so instead of me going on birth control after the boys. We figured if it happened on its own then that would be AWESOME!! If not, then we knew what route we needed to take with specialists and medication, like what we did with my last pregnancy. And Ta-da!! It happened on its own. And yes its only one this time :)

This will be a repeat C-section. And the dr. is going to do extra stress tests on the baby after 28 weeks. She has no concerns on a possible repeat third trimester fetal demise.  But for peace of mind it will be nice to have the extra testing done.

I'm honestly having a hard time with everyone saying they hope I'm having a girl. And I realize people would say that to me regardless of whether I had Karissa or not. But to me I currently have one girl and two boys. So whatever this baby is I'm going to love it to pieces and ALL I really want is ALIVE and healthy. So...No, I'm not hoping for a girl. I really couldn't care less. I think a boy would fit just as perfectly into our family as a girl would. 

I never did one of these pregnancy surverys with the triplets. But I thought it would be fun to give it a shot!

Is this your first pregnancy?: No. Pregnancy #2
When did you find out you were pregnant?: Thanksgiving Day
Was it planned?: Not planned, but not prevented
Who was the first person you told?: Ryan...of course :)
How did your parents react?: Both of our parents were totally surprised! And we loved surprising them!
How far along are you?: 20 weeks
What was your first symptom?: In the beginning, fatigue. Now it's just that blasted heart burn!
What is your due date?: July 27th, 2012
Do you know the sex of the baby?: YES!
If so, what is it?: Keeping it a secret :) You will have to wait until the baby makes its debut!
Have you picked out names?: We are pretty sure about the name. We had names picked out before we found out the gender. So I think we are going to stick with it.
How much weight have you gained?: Ha! Not answering this one! I just know I better not gain as much as I did with the triplets!
Do you have stretch marks?: yes. ALL of them from pregnancy #1!
Have you felt the baby move?: yes. Alot more in the last week.
Have you heard the heartbeat?: yes! At this weeks ultrasound it was at 130 bpm

Here are a few pictures of this weeks ultrasound. Totally bummed that it might be the only big ultrasound we get.  We were definitely spoiled with the triplets getting them every other week! The baby was pretty chill during the ultrasound and didn't move around too much. It has a perfect heart, perfect brain, all 10 fingers and all 10 toes. Baby weighs about 12 oz.  I think the profile looks a lot like Landen's. Vincent and Karissa had similar profiles in their ultrasounds. 

Baby Profile

Baby Face and Baby Hand

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Remembering Karissa

Today would be a year to the day that we buried our sweet daughter Karissa Marie.  She is always on our minds and will be forever in our hearts.  We don't go to her grave too often because we know she is not really there.  But I do think it helps ease the mind and heal the soul.
I never got to look into her eyes, and honestly, for that I am grateful. When I visit her grave I glance around at all the other babies buried there. She has a neighbor named Karissa, that one always makes me smile. There's a few babies around her grave who lived 3 days, a week, even 2 months.  As a mother, I can't imagine what it would be like to watch your baby suffer only to loose them a short while later.  So through the pain I still feel with the loss of my little girl, I am thankful. Thankful she was born sleeping.  Thankful she passed peacefully within me.  The images I have in my mind of her, are not from the day she was born, or the day we buried her, but of the ultrasounds I saw of her sucking her thumb and moving her mouth. She was. She lived. And we are so looking forward to seeing her again. February 23rd will always be a bittersweet day for me. But I know with time, hearts heal. And there is great comfort in knowing there is a God who loves us as his very own children and has a place waiting for us. A place Karissa already is.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

1 Year Birthday Bash

One year! This year has flown by! I think of how far Vincent and Landen have come and it amazes me!!

At birth:
Vincent weighed 4 lbs 15 oz and was 17.75" long
Landen weighed 3 lbs 7 oz and was 15.75" long

At one year:
Vincent weighs 21 lbs  4 oz and is 29.5 inches tall
Landen weighs 18 lbs  3 oz and is 29 inches tall

I wanted to document what they are doing now. I so often look back at this blog just to remember what my life was like when ... .

In January you both dropped your third (evening) nap and went down to two.  Your two naps last anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours long.  You pretty much stay on the same schedule, doing everything at the same time.

Awake: Between 6:30 and 7:00.
Breakfast: 7:30
After breakfast I get you dressed for the day and you spend some time playing in your play yard and some time out crawling about the living room area.
(Sometimes you get a morning snack at 9:30, depends on how well you guys are playing.)
Nap #1 usually 10:15 or 10:30
Lunch is around 11:30 or 12
Some more play time!
Nap #2 usually around 2:30 or 3:00
Afternoon bottle or snack around 4:00 or 4:30
Playtime until dinner.
Dinner around 6:15
After dinner straight to the bath and we get your P.J.s on
Then maybe some play time, depending on how fast dinner and bath went.
7:45 books, singing and prayers.
8:00 bedtime. (you both are usually asleep within 15 minutes of going to bed)

And your schedule starts back over again the next day :) !!!

You guys have been done with baby food for almost a month now. It has been soooo nice feeding you the same foods we eat!  You do great and love almost everything we have given you (with the exception of green beans?? which confuses me because you loved them as babyfood, but not as whole ones)

You are completely opposite!!
Yesterday you had bananas and strawberries with your toast for breakfast. Landen, you ate ALL your bananas first, picking around the strawberries. Vincent, you ate ALL your strawberries first, picking around the bananas.  You both finished everything but you ate the opposite fruits first. I don't know if it was a "save the best for last theory", or "eat what I like first" kind of a thing??

Teeth: Vincent you have the front two bottom teeth and the 4 center top teeth. Landen you have the front two bottom teeth. You are missing the top two middle teeth but the two on either side of that empty spot, are just starting to break through.

Vincent you stand by yourself very well because you have the patience to catch your balance and stand still long enough.

Landen you are on the go! You don't stand by yourself alot but you pull yourself up on everything. You took three steps by yourself the other day, but they were far from being balanced steps.  You just don't stand or sit still!

You both can walk across the room with the help of your walking toy and I'm sure it won't be long before you're both walking on your own.

You still aren't really saying anything. Momma and dadda come out frequently but not because you know who you are talking to.  We are working on sign language. You guys almost have the sign for "eat" down.  Landen you clap all the time. And your wave just looks like a flailing fist all over the place. Vincent, you don't really clap or wave. You just like to look at us with that cute face.

We LOVE  you both so much!!

For the boys' first birthday we did a firefighter/dalmation theme. I made the invitations (I started a new side business called Double H Ink. I design invitations, announcements and greeting cards) Here's the invitation:

We had the party at a restaurant and I hand made all the decorations. We tried to keep the party low key but still made it a big enough celebration to honor these two precious boys :)

I had this large picture frame full of pictures throughout their first year! The center picture on the left is when they were 3 days old in the NICU and the picture in the middle is them at 1 year.

My mom got them stuffed Dalmatian dogs. They had to be apart of the decor and not wrapped up with the gifts!

 I saw a picture of a fire engine cake on pinterest. My version doesn't look NEAR as good as the pinterest picture did but they were cute enough :) Complete with gum drop lights and oreo cookie wheels.

I decided to put a "K" on their birthday cake every year. This year they didn't know what it meant but eventually they will know that it is a way to remember Karissa. And if she were here with us, we would be celebrating her as well. I just thought it would be a nice way of keeping her apart of the triplets, even though she is celebrating somewhere far greater than we can imagine.

I totally forgot to take pictures of the center pieces that I had setting on the tables. This is what they look like but on the table at my house instead. Lots of candy! I had hot tamales in there too but you can't see them. And I made chocolate puppy paw suckers. There were puppy paw cut-outs down the center of the tables but I didn't get a picture of those either. It is hard to throw a party and get pictures taken at the same time!

We put the boys' high chairs up on a table so people could see them better.  And Ryan and I did most if not all of the opening.  We are so blessed with all of the gifts people got them. And the boys love all of their new toys!  They got a lot of clothes, toys, puzzles and books!

We all sang happy birthday and then let them have at their birthday cake!!! It was their first time having cake or anything that sweet. They weren't sure if it was edible at first. I pushed Vincent's hand in it, while Ryan chose to smear it all over Landen's face....nice.  By the end of their cake eating time, they had red frosting ALL OVER!

I am so DISAPPOINTED that we did not get a family picture of Ryan and I with the boys :( Like I said, it's hard to think to get pictures taken when you're trying to make a party go smoothly, make sure two birthday boys are taken care of and mingle with guest. I'm SUPER BUMMED I don't have a family picture of that day but we did get some cute pictures of the boys with other people who love them.

Ryan with his Grandma Christina and the boys.

The boys with my Cousin's twin sons, Trevor and Austin

The grandmas, with their grandsons :)

We are so blessed to have these boys in our lives and look forward to celebrating many many more years to come. Thank you to all who helped us celebrate them and who showered them with presents. They are our miracle babies and we LOVE them.

And they love each other.....

My sister didn't come to their birthday party but was able to visit them on their actual birthday and brought them individual cakes. This time they knew what to do!! (and it will be the LAST time they get cake until their second birthday!)

One more video..... I had the boys laughing so hard. I just love Vincent's deep giggle and Landen's playful grin. They love their monkey. (Don't pay attention to wheel of fortune going on in the background :) )