Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Romans 8:24-28

"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

A friend sent me this verse to focus on during this time.  Everyday I am here I put my hope in the Lord that everything will work out for the best in the end.  It is that hope that helps me make it through this difficult time. This time while I think about my unborn babies while still trying to remain positive day after day laying in bed.  It's hard on my body and can be at times mentally draining.

My prayer.  Every night before falling asleep I start out my prayer the same.  "Thank you God for giving our babies one more day."  I know each day is a blessing.  One day inside me equals 3 days in the NICU for development.  Wow!  That gives me motivation.

Monday, January 24, 2011

29 Weeks and Banan-o-rama

Yay...January 24th!  Today is 29 weeks!  Kevin and I couldn't be more thrilled to have reached another Monday.

My nurse Julie and me.  She is another one of my favorite day nurses.  She works 12 hour shifts for 7 days in a row so I get to spend a lot of time with her.  When being on bed rest day after day in the hospital it is nice to see a familiar face walk into my room every morning.  Plus, it's just nice to get the same nurses again and again because they know me best and the patterns of my "irritable uterus."

This past weekend I had a fun group of visitors.  Kevin's mom, grandma, and two aunts came up to help us out at home and to keep me company.  Between the four of them they did a lot of tasks for us at home: washed  baby clothing and bedding, Kevin's laundry, ironed Kevin's dress shirts, got the oil changed in our SUV, and ran errands for items we needed at home.  Busy ladies!!!  Kevin and I are so grateful to have all of this help and support from our family! 

While spending time in our hospital room or as Aunt Jan calls it my "dorm room" we kept ourselves busy playing the game, Bananagrams.  This game brought on A LOT of laughs!  Joyce pretty much kicked our butts every game, but we're not quite sure of some of the words she made.  She liked to use a lot of interjections and animal sounds - mew, oh, ka-pow.  And every time Joyce won, or thought she had won, she would excitedly yell out, "Banan-o-rama!"  You are suppose to say, "Banangrams."  :)  We also got to see a great impression by Aunt Mary of Stevie Wonder. 

Do you see a theme with this picture? 
Everyone is supporting their UNI apparel.  I see them all walk into my room on Saturday with their UNI shirts on and I was confused.  I was thinking does UNI have a basketball game or something today?  Nope.  Last weekend when Kelly and Melissa were up visiting they both were wearing Iowa shirts.  So the four ladies thought they would wear UNI to show their pride right back at Kelly and Melissa.  I just happened to have on a purple shirt, but they did bring me something to wear just in case.  Go Panthers! have been moving around a lot lately.  You especially seem to move the most while I am trying to fall asleep or for your evening monitoring.  This weekend grandma Joyce and great-grandma Ilene got to feel your little kicks for the first time.  I like feeling your active movements.  I can even feel body parts poking out!  It reassures me you're healthy and going to be fighters til the end. 

Thanks ladies for all of your help and entertainment! 
Love ya, Laura (A.KA. Ana Partal)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baby Shower

On Saturday, December 11th, the weekend before going on bed rest, my sister, sister-in-law, and Natalie threw me my first baby shower.  It was also the weekend of the big snow storm.  I was so happy the weather held off for the morning (for the most part) so most people could still attend.  Having your baby shower is something all soon-to-be mothers look forward to as a part of their pregnancy.  It's fun to show your growing belly and have family and friends celebrate in on the excitement.  I am happy I was able to experience having a baby shower before ending up on bed rest.  The other ones will have to wait until after the twins are born which I know will fun too for family as well.

The Willms' babies shower was a lot of fun!  They did such a great job planning, decorating, and hosting.  It was also fun to see family and friends we don't see as often as we would like being further away. 

My mom and me

The soon to be grandmas - my mom and mother-in-law, Joyce

The ladies who hosted the shower

My sister and sister-in-law

Adorable monkey and lamb winter hats.  Can't wait for the babies to wear these...they'll be the cutest little winter bundled kidos!

Kevin's grandma Bernhardt

My mother-in-law and Kevin's sister

The 3 amigos.  Besties back from grade school and middle school.

Whale tub full of awesome goodies!!!

Thanks Annie for the cute tie blankets!

Aunt Jenny

Kevin with baby Graham Schmitz - our friends Michael and Lindsey's baby

My friend Krista - she was the photographer for the shower.  Thanks Krista for the great pictures!

It was a great day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

28 Weeks Celebration and Updates

28 Weeks!!!  It was so amazing yesterday to look at my calendar and see we have made it to 28 weeks.  I remember looking at when 28 weeks was going to be when we first came to the hospital at 23 weeks 1 day.  I thought it seemed like an eternity until that first HUGE goal for the babies.  I felt scared I wouldn't be able to make it 5 weeks without delivering.  And now we have made it! 

Yesterday morning Kevin and I went for our ultrasound appointment to check my cervix.  Unfortunately it wasn't the news we were wanting to hear.  My cervix length has now shorten to .6 - which is something we were expecting would probably happen from the last time I was checked.  The doctor then decided to check to see if I was dilated yet.  I am now dilated to a 1 or a 2, my cervix is softening, and it is also midway to aligning.  This was the news that made both of us nervous.  Does this mean I could go into labor sometime this week or next?  What should we be expecting now?  Will the doctors try and stop labor if I were to begin to start?  All of these questions were running through my mind and Kevin's.  Both doctors we saw yesterday were both reassuring us they felt optimistic and I could make it still awhile longer.  Maybe even to 32 weeks (a month from now).  We felt comforted by that news.  Plus, Kevin and I kept telling ourselves we have made it to 28 weeks and if I were to go into labor now it would be so much better for the babies compared to when we came in at 23 weeks.  The doctors have decided to keep me here at the hospital for another 2 weeks and then re-evaluate then.  I was completely okay with that decision!

After returning from the appointment I was a little shaken up.  I was nervous and scared for our babies.  It's amazing how much Kevin and I love them right now without even meeting them.  How we would do anything for them and want to keep them safe.  I get nervous thinking about the unknown for them at this point.  But to my surprise, the nurses and hospital staff that I have been working with during this 36 day hospital stay came and threw us a party to help celebrate making it to 28 weeks.  I love these nurses and felt very special!  It definitely brightened up my spirits!

Two of my closest nurses who have been assigned to me a lot of the time.  They are great and taking care of me, chatting with me, and give me a good laugh. 

28 weeks/7 months belly shots.

My belly is still growing.  When we had our growth ultrasound on Friday, Jan. 14th, the babies were both measuring the same at 2 pounds 9 oz!  We were thrilled to hear their weights...Especially because twins seem to grow a little slower than one baby.  The twins' weight is at the 56th percentile for their gestational age.  Way to grow babies!!!  It's crazy to think I have a little over 5 pounds of baby in me at this point.

This weekend my sister, Kelly, and sister-in-law, Melissa, came up to visit for the long three day weekend.  They were great company and got a lot accomplished for me.  They went shopping and got more items for the twins that we needed before they were born, cleaned my house, cleaned out my fridge and freezer, and did laundry.  Wow!!!!  Thank you sisters!!  It was nice to have visitors for the weekend since Kevin is now busy working weekends.  I was sad to see them go and wished my family lived closer. 

Thank you and I love you two!

In the meantime I am trying not to focus on how scared I am that I have started to dilated.  I trust in the doctors and hope my contractions can stay under control.  I am thinking about how I CAN make it two more weeks!  30 weeks is my next goal.  Taking it one day at a time and a lot of praying!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Says so much

 Today I have been on bed rest in the hospital for one month!  I think that sentence says it all on my emotions and what we have been going through.  Please keep praying for me to stay positive through all of this.  It is really hard staying in bed all day - especially being on strick bed rest.  I know I will have my days where it will be harder emotionally, but in the end I am always keeping my eyes on the prize...these sweet little babies.  These little ones who will someday call us Mom and Dad.  Those are the moments that keep my drive right now.  Kevin and I want all the best for them, and if I can keep them in just one more day, one more week, or one more month to help their development it's all worth it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Made it to 27 weeks!

Happy Monday!  Today marks our change over day and we are now 27 weeks!!  It feels so good every time I see another Monday on my calendar.  

My growing belly!  Thought you might like a front view.  (P.S...go Hawks!)  The babies are probably getting close to 2 pounds at this many weeks along.  We will go this Friday for a growth ultrasound to check to see how much the babies have grown.  Also, the doctors check to make sure everything is still developing properly.  Can't wait to see the little munchkins!  I can definitely feel them kicking me all of the time - especially at night.

Kevin in his typical spot - laying on his cot next to my bed.

Kevin taking off a link on our chain.  Had to take a picture of this link.  Lindsay accidentally wrote 26 weeks 1 days!  Love ya Linds!

Onto week #2 of spending the days mostly by myself.  Kevin had to work this past Saturday which wasn't ideal but I manage to keep myself busy.  Mainly because of one thing: I got CABLE installed in my hospital room.  Now instead of watching only 6 main channels I get over 60 to choose from.  No more watching Maury.."You are NOT the father!" anymore!  Getting cable was the big highlight of my week.  As sad as that is. 

This weekend we did enjoy some company, too.  My friend Michelle came and brought me Olive Garden for supper.  She also came with some items to keep me busy.  She was also on bed rest this summer with her twins and had great advice to share.  On Sunday night our friends Mark and Allison came.  Us four played a new game they got us called, Bananagrams.  Mark won each time, but some of his words are still questionable. :)  Thanks for visiting and helping me pass the time!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

26 weeks!

Yesterday we celebrated another Monday!  We are now 26 weeks along.  We are so happy to have hit this milestone.  Now only two more weeks until 28 weeks!!!!  I just have to keep telling myself that's not far away at all. 

Every night after supper we cross a day off of our calendar and take a link off of our count down chain.  It's a great visual for me to try and make goals to keep me positive. 

Now we are into January and I can't even tell you how awesome it was for me to see some days crossed off.  The month of January looked so long I needed to start seeing some of the days gone. 

Kevin's sister Jenny and our friend Lindsay made this paper link for us.  Each link has a new day wrote on it.  Tonight I (actually the nurses) will get to remove the 26 and 1 day link!  It's always a great feeling seeing one more taken off.

Yesterday I had my ultrasound to check the length of my cervix.  Before the appointment I felt very anxious.  I was curious to know what it was now, but I also felt scared to hear the news if it wasn't what we wanted to hear.  Kevin and I were both happy with the results.  My cervix had shortened just a tiny amount but according to the doctors it pretty much stayed the same overall.  The doctor decided to have me stay here for another two weeks since the babies at this point are still very little.  So on January 17th, when I am 28 weeks along, I will have another ultrasound.  Kevin and I were happy with the decision.  We feel this is the best place for us to be right now while the babies are small.  Plus, this way I get to chat with the nurses and have meals brought to me.  Much easier than if I were to go home since Kevin wouldn't be home during the day. 

Kevin went back to work today, so it's my first all by myself during the day.  It definitely has been different.  I am trying to keep myself busy but you can only watch so much daytime T.V. or do different things while laying on your side. 

Thanks for all of your prayers, e-mails, and cards!  The words of encouragement help a lot.  We ask for your continued prayers for things to keep going smoothly so we can make it to our next milestone - 28 weeks!  The babies look good to the doctors and nurses on the monitors and they really move move around a lot.  I praise God that our precious babies look healthy.  I just need to keep incubating here and relying on Him!