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Friday, July 17, 2009

Let's plan a birthday party!

The girls will be here any day now! We had doctor visits this week and Addison weighed 4 lbs 15 oz, and Allison was 4 lbs 3 oz.- for a grand total of 9 lbs 2 oz. (I'm not sure how much bigger I can get- the stretch marks are officially here!) My OB is very pleased with their weights and said that if I go into labor from this point on, she will not stop it from progressing- we'll just go ahead and wheel me into the OR and do a c-section! We were supposed to pick a scheduled c-section date for sometime during my 37th week, but my OB was very reluctant to even set a date because she is pretty sure I won't make it that far (I think 35-36 weeks is what she is thinking). If I do make it then it will be sometime during the week of August 10th, but we're all betting they'll be here before then. I am still 70% effaced but not dilated just yet. Braxton Hicks contractions are getting more frequent too.

As I reflect on the past 8 1/2 months I'm amazed at how fast it has all flown by...seems like just a few short weeks ago that Andie and I were discussing if we should even try to get pregnant given my heart condition. As cliched as it is, there is nothing more miraculous than creating and nurturing a life within you, and it seems doubly so when you have two little ones in there. I have never been a deeply religious person, but I have never felt a stronger faith in God than I do now. I'm going to miss feeling these little girls tumble around inside my belly, and I'm going to miss the anticipation of trying to guess what they will look like. It's a little bit sad for this chapter to be coming to and end, but I know starting the next chapter with them here will be the most awesome thing I will ever experience. It's been a long journey for me to get to this point, which makes me so much more grateful for my little angels.

When diagnosed with my heart condition at the age of 15 there was very little research on my condition in relation to pregnancy, and what was available indicated very bleak prospects... most women with my condition either had aortic dissections requiring emergency surgery, or died during or shortly after childbirth. After many years of seeing cardiologists, specialists, and even participating in research studies I still had many conflicting opinions on whether or not it would be safe for me to get pregnant, in fact, most doctors strongly advised against it. The risks were just too great for them to feel comfortable recommending pregnancy. Luckily, medical research rarely slows down and there have been many updates in the past 13 years. When we got married it was with the understanding that the only way we might be able to have children was to adopt, yet we kept seeking expert opinions and I continued to do a lot of research on my own.

With the support of my phenomenal cardiologist, faith in God, and good gut instincts, we decided to take our chances with a "que sera, sera" (what will be, will be) attitude. We believed that if God wanted to bless us with a child he would, and if we weren't able to conceive then we would take that as a sign that it was not safe for me to be pregnant. We were so excited when I quickly became pregnant last July, but our confidence was shaken when it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy requiring me to have emergency surgery and losing the baby. After we got the go ahead to be able to try again from my doctors we decided we would give it one more try, and lo and behold we got pregnant right away with TWO!!! Of course we had mixed feelings because being pregnant with just one was going to be a high risk situation that would strain my heart, and now I was going to have to carry two. We decided that being blessed with two was God's way of saying..."This is your chance- take it and like it cause this may be all your body can handle!"

I feel so blessed to have made it through this pregnancy with not one little issue. We were told early on that I would likely have to go on bedrest around 24-26 weeks...that came and went without any concerns at all. I've made it to 34 weeks now and am just on partial bedrest and that's only because I'm 70% effaced, not because of any heart complications!!! My body has breezed through this pregnancy better than I ever could have imagined and I attribute that to good health habits and answered prayers.

Throughout this process we've had a few negative people say insensitive things like "your life is gonna suck with two to manage," "how're you ever gonna handle this," "just'll see how hard your life is gonna be," "you'll never have fun again," "I'd never want twins," etc. (Sidenote: I'm not sure why people feel free to say insensitive things just because we're having twins...I've never heard anyone say these kinds of things to people having just one baby. Furthermore, why would you want to be discouraging to someone who's going to be a new parent??? What's up with that?) Despite some of the negativity we have remained optimistic and positive. Fortunately, the number of positive supporters far outweighs the negative people. We feel really lucky to have so many great people rallying around us.

While we are fully aware that our lives will inexplicably change forever and will have some challenges, we truly see this as a "double blessing" and are so very excited to take all that comes with it. We believe the positive times will always outweigh the negative. As anyone who truly knows me can attest; anytime I am presented with a challenge I become fiercely determined (some may say hard headed), so I know that God gave us this blessing because he knew we were up to the challenge and would rise to the occasion. So to the naysayers I say, "There's a reason that not everyone is given twins!" ;)

To all of our really awesome friends and family (too numerous to count) who have been nothing but positive and excited for us, please know that we truly appreciate your support and with deep, heartfelt gratitude, we say "Thank you". We can't wait to start this new chapter of our lives in a couple of weeks (or maybe just several days) with all of you standing behind us, cheering us on! The count down is on- let the journey begin!!!! Bring on the birthday party, we're ready!!!


  1. Very nice!

    Don't let me catch a naysayer talking about your girls... I might have to bust out the karate chop. I always think that naysaying is just from a place of jealousy, but I don't know everything. :)

    Love you!

  2. Brooke, I can tell those girls are so lucky to have you as their mommy. You are so eloquent and thoughtful and open...I really admire that. I'm really rooting for you to go into labor then have your c-section rather than have a c-section without it and miss out. It's an awesome, crazy experience! I can't wait for the post saying they are here!

  3. Thanks ladies...I definitely count ya'll amongst the fabulous friends that have made this whole process a little easier! Love ya'll tons!