Friday, December 31, 2010

Picture Update

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas last week.  I haven't posted in awhile, so here are some pictures of our past couple of weeks spent in the hospital celebrating with our family over the holidays and my still growing belly.  We don't have any updates on how things are looking for my cervix.  We will go this Monday for an ultrasound to check it - praying that it has stayed the same and hasn't shortened.  I have had to increased the dosage of my medicene at night. I seem to have more contractions or an irritable uterus more at night.  They don't want to give me the increased dosage all of the time because they are afraid of lowering my blood pressure too much.  It is already lower from the meds because what I am taking is also used for lowering blood pressure. 

22 weeks - my last weekly picture before being admitted into the hospital.

Hooked up to the monitors to check the babies heartbeats and my contractions.  The nurses do this two times a day.  Everything has been looking great with the babies.  They have strong heartbeats, but can sometimes be stinkers for the nurses to find.  Baby boy seems to give them the most trouble.  He moves around and kicks a lot once put on the monitors.

Kevin hanging out in the hospital room keeping me company.

Finally hit 24 weeks on December 20th.  Big milestone for the babies for their survival. (Don't you just love my new pregnancy clothes - sweats and Kevin's bigger t-shirts)

Willms' Christmas 2010 in the hospital room.  We celebrated Christmas with Kevin's family on Dec. 22nd.  We were glad to get the chance to see them.

Christmas Day!

On Christmas day my parents came up and helped us celebrate.  It was nice to have some family up here on Christmas so we didn't have to spend it alone in the hospital room.  My parents stayed until Tuesday, Dec. 28th.  They were a great help at keeping me company, staying with me at night to give Kevin a break, and helping with things around the house.  Kevin and my dad tackled the babies' room and put together the two cribs.  Kevin did take a picture of it for me so I could see what it looked like. 

25 weeks on 12-27-10

We are soon approaching 26 weeks.  Every Monday is a new change over week for us, so we like to celebrate Mondays!  I can't believe that I have been in the hospital now for over 2 weeks.  I am sure being at home doing bed rest has some perks, but I do feel safer her with the nurses monitoring myself and the babies daily.  So far we couldn't ask for better nurses at the hospital.  Everyone has been super friendly and very thorough. 

Have a safe New Year's Eve!  Kevin and I will be bringing in the new year in the hospital hopefully staying awake until midnight. :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

27th Birthday Day

Today is Kevin's 27th Birthday. Celebrating in the hospital room isn't really something we were expecting to do, but Kevin doesn't seem to mind too much.  To him his birthday isn't a big deal, but you know me I LOVE birthdays and want him to have a special day!  We do have our friends Edgar and Amanda coming for supper this evening.  Kevin's parents were here yesterday and we did a little birthday party with cake before celebrating our Willms' Christmas. 

This definitely will be a birthday for Kevin to remember.  I just want to say how much I am thankful for my husband...especially during this time.  He is a great motivator when I get down and has been very willing to help get anything I need while on bed rest.  I am grateful to have him as my support system!  Our babies are going to be so lucky to have such a great father and role model like him. 

Happy Birthday Kevin!  And babies...we do not want you to come today and share your birthday with your father.  It's too early for your arrival. 

I also want to say thanks to all of our family and friends for your prayers and support.  This has been a very scary few weeks.  We are thankful for the amazing people God has provided us in our lives.  Our friends up here have been like family and have visited us, given us food, and given items to occupy our time.  Even my Third Grade class has helped brighten my day by making the sweetest cards.  The cards are posted up all around my room.  It's hard not having our family close by, but we look forward to their visits and enjoy talking with them on the phone.  I know God has a plan and I need to just T-R-U-S-T in Him!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas with the Willms

Laura is still doing well.  No major changes to report.  The babies are still looking good.  They like to move around a lot when the nurses are trying to monitor their heartbeats.  They aren't able to always get good readings because they move so much, but they say active babies are healthy ones.

My sister Jenny stayed with Laura for the last 3 or 4 days, helping Laura and giving me a chance to do a little work.  My parents drove up today to pick up Jenny, and we had a little Willms family Christmas celebration in the hospital room.  It was different kind of Christmas, but one we will definitely remember.  If the weather allows, we're hoping to have a little Christmas with Laura's parents sometime in the next few days.

Laura is continuing to enjoy visitors stopping by and reading everyone's Christmas cards.  We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and want to express our gratitude for all of the thoughtful friends and family who have extended their well wishes and prayers.  We feel very blessed this Christmas season.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Still stable, enjoying company

Not much has changed over the past few days.  Laura continues to be stable.  She is continuing her daily routine of spending most of the day rotating back and forth from laying on one side or the other, only getting up to go to the bathroom, shower or eat.  On it's own it's about as much fun as it sounds.  The constant laying down is starting to make her hips sore, but she's starting some massages and treatments to help her with that.  On the bright side we've had a number of visitors over the past few days.  Some have brought flowers, movies, and food which has been a nice change up from the hospital food (although it's really not too bad).  Laura's friend Lindsay also made Laura a few calendars so she can cross of the days and track her progress in making it to each new week.  Laura's dad left today to go back to Iowa, but my sister, Jenny, is up to stay for the week.  So far Jenny has been a great go-fer and even takes orders from me. 

So really, there isn't much news medically speaking, which is just the way we want to keep it for awhile.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Off to the hospital earlier than expected

(An update from Kevin)

Tuesday Laura went in for her first checkup and ultrasound at a specialist center for high risk and multiple births.  During the checkup they determined that Laura was already having some contractions and that her cervix was a little shorter in length than they would like to see.  Since too many contractions can continue to shorten the cervix they decided to send her over to United Hospital in St. Paul for further monitoring.  So Tuesday afternoon at United they looked at her more and ultimately decided she needed to be admitted to the hospital to start medications to get the contractions settled down.  In addition to the medicines, Laura was ordered to be on bed rest the remainder of the pregnancy.

Tuesday evening was very scary and we didn't get much sleep.  The doctors and nurses were giving Laura Magnesium Sulfate (Mag) and Terbutaline to control the contractions and a couple steroid shots that are meant to accelerate the babies' lung development in case of early delivery.  It took awhile to find the right balance of Mag.  Too little and the contractions were too frequent, too much and her blood pressure dropped.  Eventually they found the right balance and the contractions slowed to an acceptable level and the last few days have been pretty stable.  Many women have very bad reactions to Mag such as nausea, but Laura did pretty well with it.

After 48 hours on Mag, they took her off of it and started giving her some lower strength medicine.  So far the lower strength stuff is doing the job, which is a great sign.  Now that the contractions seem to be under control, our biggest concern is the length of the cervix.  As we understand it, the longer the better, as the shorter it gets, it can mean she is closer to delivery.  On Friday afternoon they check Laura's cervix for the first time since Tuesday and it had shortened somewhat.  While it wasn't the good news we were hoping for, it wasn't the worst news either.  The doctor said she has seen many others who were shorter and already partially dilated who held off delivery for several weeks and even months.  Laura isn't dilated at all yet.  However, because it shortened, they do want to keep her at the hospital just to be safe.  We don't have a good idea of how long that might be, but we are preparing for an extended stay.  The hope is that continuing the bed rest will minimize the pressure on the cervix from the weight of the growing babies.

Laura and I are in decent spirits.  Obviously these developments have been scary, but we know we are in good hands and have prayers and support from so many of you.  The hospital we are at has one of the best pregnancy and neonatal intensive care units around, so if there is anywhere we'd want to be, it is here.  In fact we are lucky that Laura had a checkup on Tuesday due to switching doctors otherwise we may not have caught this as early as we did.  Laura's dad is up staying with us now, and we are starting to see a few visitors which has been nice.

The good news in all of this is that the babies are looking great!  The ultrasounds and heart monitoring is showing them as developing right on schedule.  We just need them to stay put!

I'll try to post occasional updates here as opposed to sending out a bunch of individual updates.  Please continue to pray for us.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Too Much Turkey?!

I feel like my stomach has grown or popped out while I was home for Thanksgiving break.  Many teachers commented on how I looked bigger when we returned to school on Monday.  One of my students from last year (he's now in 4th grade) overheard a teacher make that comment to me and didn't skip a beat and said to me as serious as could be, "Or maybe Mrs. Willms is just eating too much food."  Got to love the minds of 9 year olds.

21 weeks - looking a little tired.  It was waaaay past my bedtime at this photo shoot.

Kevin and I had a great time back in Iowa over the holidays visiting our family and friends.  The babies enjoyed going to watch their aunt Jenny at the UNI volleyball game - they were moving like crazy while we were there!  One of my highlights was for Kevin to finally get to feel his little babies.  Such a cool experience to feel together and see the excitement on his face.  Kevin also got to experience shopping at the early hours on Black Friday.  He and my sister went to Walmart for their midnight sale.  He was a trooper because some of the items were ones that I really wanted.  And if you know Kevin, he does not like the shopping scene.  I am very excited about my new vacuum stick for our hardwood floors...thanks Hun!

Yesterday, November 29th, our friends Steve and Rachel had their twin girls - Julia and Fiona.  I ask you to add the little babies to your prayer list as they are in the NICU right now.  Hopefully mom, dad, and girls can all come home together soon.  I am so happy for Steve and Rachel and can't wait to meet their twin little blessings!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Half Way there "Sports Mom"

Today marks 20 weeks or half way into the pregnancy!  I guess you could say we were half way last week since the doctors won't let me go past 38 weeks.  I definitely feel like my stomach is starting to show now.  I have also been feeling their little movements.  They seem to really move around while I am in the car - maybe they enjoy the music or their mom's singing. :)

And back by popular demand...

In case you're wondering this awesome piece of apperal used to belong to another "Sports Mom", Joyce Willms.  Pretty hot huh!?  P.S...After the photo shoot Kevin kept the sweat shirt on and commented on how nicely it kept his neck warm. I love my husband!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Level 2 Ultrasound

On Wednesday afternoon Kevin and I went into our doctor's for the level 2 growth ultrasound.  During this ultrasound they measure body parts, the brain, look at the kidneys, etc on the babies to check for their development so far.  Everything is looking great and developing as it should for our little ones.  Both babies are the same size right now at 11 oz.  We both felt so relived to hear all is well - thanks for all of your prayers!  Our ultrasound took an hour and 45 minutes total so we were able to see a lot of baby A and baby B.  It's amazing how the ultrasound tec is able to navigate her way and figure out what was what.  I felt very confused at times.  Right now the babies are sitting "bunk bed style".  The little girl sits down low closest to the cervix.  She was harder to get a view of because her brother was kicking right by her head.  He is already picking on her....but we saw her throw her arms up as if to fight back. :)  The way the little boy is position made it a lot easier for the ultrasound tec to see everyything on him right away.

We did get a chance to view the babies in a 4-D ultrasound.  It was very cool to see their little faces - or what we could see of them so far.

Our little boy - both of his hands are up by his face. 

Baby girl - she didn't quite really want to give it up for the pictures.  She has her chin lifted up - to the right is where her little bro is trying to kick through.

These pictures are so much fun.  I am in love with them already!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Pregnancy

I thought I would update you on how my pregnancy has gone so far since I get the question of "how have you been feeling?"  Overall, I can not complain on how I have felt so far.  I never really experienced the true morning sickness which kind of surprised me since everyone kept telling me you must be double sick with two.  Nope not here...thank you babies!  I would say I haven't had any strong or crazy cravings, but I have really liked certain foods.  In the beginning when we first found out we were expecting I was in love with V8 juice, string cheese, and Rice Krispies cereal.  I remember on the day we were going to find out our pregnancy results waking up at 2 a.m. craving a glass of V8.  And so I had one. :) 

This is a list of things I have been eating a lot of now:
* Cereal - I do a rotation every morning of either Cheerios, Chex, Fruit Loops, or Honey Bunches of Oats
* Toasted bagel with peanut butter or strawberry cream cheese
* Pasta - especially mac n cheese
* Cheese
* Milk - can't seem to get enough of it throughout the day
* Grilled cheese and tomato soup - this has become one of my staple suppers

Teaching a class of 23 third graders while being pregnant has definitely been a challenge and is wearing me out.  When I get home from school I am very tired and find myself asleep on the couch on average around 8:00 p.m.  Sorry Kevin for being so lame.  My class of third graders have also been very generous in sharing their germs with me.  So far this school year (only 2 months) I have had 2 colds and the flu.  My students are very excited for the twins to arrive.  It was very fun to tell them my news.  The day I told them I showed them these three items telling them there is something about me that ties in with these things.  

 I did have some crazy guesses like, "You're going to the Twins game chewing gum and are going to make the class pasta."  A girl in my class finally caught onto my clues and she is also a twin.  I have a set of boy and girl twins in my class. 

This week I am at 19 weeks.  We go in on Wednesday for our big Level 2 ultrasound to make sure everything is growing and developing properly. 

I'll let you see my growing belly. :)
Kevin says since I seem to always say "my pregnancy" instead of "our pregnancy" I need to change the name of the blog to "The Willm" because it's not really plural.  I think I do a good job though.  He just likes to give me grief.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Morning View

This is the "November Winter Wonderland" I awoke to this morning.  Ready or not, I guess winter is here.  I am NOT ready for this weather.  We have been spoiled this fall with beautiful, warmer than usual weather.  I am not looking forward to the winter driving (adding time onto my commute) or trying to find a winter coat for my growing belly this winter.  Dear Snow, I think if you come back in December I will be more willing to welcome your presence. :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Soup Sunday!

Lately, I have been making supper in the crock pot on Sunday nights.  I feel Sundays are perfect for me for having more time to get the ingredients put together and then letting it simmer all day.  Today I made  homemade Hamburger Barley Soup for Kevin and me.  Here's the recipe in case any of you would want a supper idea.  It was given to me by a parent at my school.

Hamburger Barley Soup

1 1/2 lbs ground beef or turkey
1 lrg can kidney beans
6 c water
3 beef bouillon cubes
2 c sliced carrots
1 1/2 c coarsely chopped onions
1 1/2 c coarsely chopped celery
1/2 c coarsely chopped green pepper
1/3 c barley
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
1/4 c ketchup
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, cut up
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

Brown meat and drain.  In a 5-qt pot or crock pot add meat and stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer one hour or until vegetables and barley are tender.  Remove bay leaves (I only added a little amount of bay leave flakes).  Makes 10 (1 1/2 cup) servings.  Freezes well.

When you make it in the crock pot it needs longer to sit and cook the vegetables.  I hope you enjoy!!  It's always a success for me when Kevin likes it! :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

And the babies are......

Today we went in for an ultrasound to find out the sex of our twins.  We were so excited to find out we were having one of each!  The ultrasound tec saw right away that Baby B was a boy.  As she was searching for Baby A's parts I was saying to myself, "Please let it be a girl!"  When she annouced "girl" I don't think either one of us could have been happier.  Kevin was hoping for a boy and myself a girl...but we would have been happy with either outcome.  Of course my husband was excited that his prediction was correct.
Baby B is definitely a boy - Kev's a proud father! :)

Baby B's side profile

Baby A - We couldn't get  a picture of her girl parts.  She was more modest for the ultrasound and didn't want to show off.

Seeing her arm and little hand was very neat.  Some much more has developed since our last ultrasound.

At this point from what the ultrasound tec could see everything looks to be going well.  This week the babies are around 5 inches or so.  We will go back in on the 17th of this month to do the big ultrasound where they measure the growth of the organs and body parts.  Keep praying everything develops normally for our little babies.

17 weeks 3 days

Have a Happy Weekend!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Starting A Blog!

I have been waiting to start a blog for awhile now but didn't have anything too interesting to "blog" about.  Now that we are expecting twins this spring, I think this will be a great way to help our families stay in touch with our soon-to-be growing family.  I will try my best to make it as interesting as possible. :)

First, a little background knowledge on what has happened to change our lives this past summer.  On August 2nd, Kevin and I found out we were going to be parents!  I went into the doctors and had blood drawn to determin a positive pregnancy.  Then our biggest joy came on August 26th (Kevin's aunt Mary's birthday) when we went in for our first ultrasound and saw our two little babies!  We were having TWINS!  My 40 week due date is April 11th (Kevin's Grandma Willms' birthday), but the doctors are looking more at mid/late March considering twins usually come early.  We would love to make it to the 11th Great-Grandma W, but I don't know if we'll make it!  I can't even express the joy we both felt seeing those two little babies.  Hearing those little heartbeats at only 7 1/2 weeks was such a miracle. Something I was afraid we would never get to experience, but our many prayers had finally been answered!  God is awesome and only He knows the plans he has for us.  It was a day we will both always remember.  We spent the rest of the day calling our parents and the rest of our families. 

Our first picture of our babies - Baby A and Baby B at 7 1/2 weeks on August 26, 2010.

Each week I thought it would be a fun to take a picture of my growing belly to compare how much it has grown.  Kevin has been a great photographer so far.  This last picture at 4 months along Kevin thought it would be fun to also document his "growing belly".  Leave this only to my husband! :) 

16 weeks - October 25, 2010

I don't think he has given me any sympathy weight so far. :)
This Thursday we go into the doctors for our big Level 2 ultrasound.  I am so excited not only to find out what sex they are, but also to see both of them again.  The last time we were in for an ultrasound was at 9 1/2 weeks.  I am sure they have changed so much and will look more like babies.  Stay tuned to find out what sex Baby A and Baby B are!  Kevin is sticking to the math odds of a boy and a girl (I guess thats what you can expect being married to an accountant).  I am feeling maybe two girls or one of each as well....but I could be completely wrong!  
Something I am looking forward to: feeling them move in these next upcoming weeks!