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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Belly Pics: 14 weeks

Monica and I have had several people asking to see belly pics, so here they are! We have been able to tell she's growing since around 10 weeks. The pictures definitely do her belly growth justice. Enjoy!

14 Weeks

8 Weeks

10 Weeks

12 Weeks

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Growing Twins & Cars, Supportive friends, and ....Twins! ;)

Hey hey hey! It's Thankful Thursday again! Everyone has something to be thankful for! If I can still find things to be thankful for after the week we've had, so can you! Monica's car was broken into Friday evening while I was running and my wallet was stolen. They smashed the passenger door window to get in. My ID, debit card, insurance cards, 3 checks, Costco card, Six Flags season pass, AAA card, and several other important ID cards (not my SS card) were in my wallet. The thief did buy gas twice and tried to buy $52.61 at a local gas station. The investigation is ongoing.

Monica and I ran in the Second Wind Lung 5K Saturday and I've spent a lot of time since replacing the stolen items and having her window replaced. I was very bummed at first, thinking about the expenses we would be facing. In typical fashion, I had a God moment. :) I realized everything that was taken is replaceable. I can get new ID cards, a new wallet and window. Money is just money. While it has been tight lately, it's still just money. I have a very healthy, happy wife with not 1 but 2 healthy babies rapidly growing inside her! Since I've already sort of began, here's my list for this week's Thankful Thursday!

Jeremy's List:

I'm thankful for healthy, growing babies! Monica sent me a picture the other day with 2 tiny, little blueberries in her hand. The message below the picture said,"Remember when they were just this big?" At 7 weeks they were the size of a blueberry, they now, at 14 weeks, are supposedly the size of a lemon! She has 2 lemon sized kiddos inside her! They now have the ability to make facial expressions, possibly suck their thumbs, their livers are producing bile, their spleens are making red blood cells, they can pee, their head and body are now proportionate, and their little limbs are 1/2 an inch long! That's crazy!

Monica has been showing (we can tell anyway) for a couple weeks now, but it's getting more and more obvious. I think she definitely has a little baby bump now. Whoo-hoo! I don't know why but I'm very excited for her bump to get bigger and bigger! I can't wait to see my 2 little beany babies again soon! It's so exciting and such a blessing to know that everything in their world is going great right now! There may be some slight turbulence out here, but in their sweet little world everything is peachy keen! For that I am very thankful!

On a side note, someone found one of the checks that was in my wallet on the side of the road and mailed it to me. It's for $25. I had planned on going to the bank that evening, so it was already signed. Yet another blessing. At work today I was awarded the Employee of the Year Award. Very unexpected and in my opinion undeserved. Another blessing. They just keep on piling up. The good always outweighs the bad!!! On that note, what are you thankful for?!

Monica's list:

First off, Huge Congratulations to John and Maria on the birth of their beautiful little girl Alayna!!
John, like Jeremy has CF, and they had to go through IVF as well. We understand the roller coaster ride that IVF can be and how rewarding it is to hear that it worked!! Thank you for sharing the pics of your new bundle of joy! May God bless you all and give her many healthy, happy years!! It makes me that much more excited for our babies to be in our arms!

I am thankful for our cars! While it stinks that my car was broken into and we had to pay for a new window it reminds me that we both have cars. Do we drive luxurious cars? No... but they get us where we need to go and drive just fine, for that I am thankful! I remember working at a bakery where our 40 -something year old dishwasher was saving up to buy his first car. He had taken the bus all of his life. Once he came up with enough money to buy that car (the nicest way I know to put it is that it was the definition of junker) he was so excited and proud of it. I at the time was 18, and driving the cute little convertible that my parents had bought me. Spoiled much?! ;) I will never take whatever vehicle I have for granted!

I am thankful for friends that are dedicated to fitness and eating healthy. We are fortunate enough to have close friends that motivate us and vice versa. We have a group on facebook called "Friends Fitness Support Group." We post on there when we go running and run together when we can. We also post fitness goals and successes. It's so nice to have a support group where we can build each other up! It's become a really good motivator to get out there and be more healthy!

I am thankful for our twins!! I mean really what else do I need to say?! ;) I am thankful that I feel great and am having more and more energy! I am thankful that our twins are growing and starting to push out my tummy! I am thankful that I haven't had hardly any sickness and have been problem free! Maybe it's just me, but I feel like it is because of the Lord's grace and blessings! To Him be the glory for Everything!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Second Wind 5K

Monica and I participated in a 5K Saturday that benefits those who have had lung transplants. It's called the Second Wind Lung Walk. This was their 9th annual event. It was a lot of fun! I saw several RT's I work with volunteering there, and several people from work came to run/walk with us. My parents and several of our friends that we run with on a weekly basis were there too, along with my buddy's dad who was doing his first 5K at age 57! That's Greatness!

Just want to take a second to thank everyone who came! I wanted to run the race because I thought it was for a good cause. I was very surprised at the support that I got from family, friends and co-workers who came to the run to support me. I'm very happy we were able to help raise money for a good cause!

As always, Monica did amazing! She's officially 13 weeks pregnant as of this past Friday! Whoo-hoo! She ran the 5K on Saturday too. I know it kills her to have to take it easier and not get out there and pound the pavement, sweat her booty off, and be huffing and puffing. Taking it easy, she still posted a time around 31 minutes. She's so awesome! We got her a really cool shirt to wear for the race too!

It was a great day! I set a new personal best of 26:55! The course had several steep hills as well, which made it very tough. We're not used to running hills at all! haha! If you are struggling to find motivation to work out, hopefully some of this post will help you! I feel the best I've felt in a long time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Pregnant, Ultrasounds & Treatments

It's Thankful Thursday time again! Another exciting week recorded in the history books! There's plenty to be thankful for in life. Many things we often overlook. As you read our lists, ask yourself what you are thankful for. Then, post a comment sharing it with us! There's nothing too small or insignificant to be thankful for. Here's our lists!

Monica's list:

This one's pretty obvious.... I am thankful that I am pregnant!!!!!! You don't even know how amazing it feels for me to be able to type that! I am smiling just using those three simple words... I.AM.PREGNANT!! Ahhh... anyways! ;) I am so thankful for where God has brought us! Our IVF process was so smooth and at times even enjoyable! Yes there were times it wasn't so great, and the whole spending thousands of dollars thing kinda stinks, but it made it all that much more special! I also believe it was a bonding experience for Jeremy and I. Out of the 103 shots probably half of them were given to me by Jeremy. Every evening we would have our "shot date time." Ha! EVERY SINGLE time he would apologize that he was having to give me yet another shot and he looked so sweet and caring. He would thank me for going through all of the shots and procedures "because of him." (Which is never how I saw it!) I know without a shadow of a doubt it has brought us even closer than we already were and I just love him more everyday!

I am thankful for our almost 13 week old twins!! I would say out of everyone I was the most scared to have twins. We knew it was a good possibility with IVF so I had been bracing myself for it. It's one of those things where you never think it's going to happen to you though. I never would have imagined that someday I would be carrying two babies at one time! Sure there are things about it that make me nervous, but now I wouldn't have it any other way! Jeremy and I seem to see twins all the time now! We are so excited for the double blessing poured out and "two for the price of one" deal we got! Haha!

Jeremy's list:

I'm thankful for ultrasounds! I get so excited every time we get to go have one done. I can't wait to see how big our little miracles have gotten, to watch them move and to simply see them. It almost feels like I get to connect with them in some strange way when I see them. I just love it! Every time has been something different. I remember the first ultrasound, wondering if there would even be one baby to look at. We were in awe when she told us there were two and we got to hear both heartbeats at just 6 weeks old. Their yolk sacs were bigger than they were at that point. Then we saw them in their alien stage at 8 weeks. They had little arm and leg buds, and ginormous heads! At 10 weeks, they had developed elbows and knees and their heads didn't appear quite as big, lol. They were having a wiggle party in their momma's womb! (Absolutely love being able to refer to Monica as their momma!) They were moving those arms, kicking those legs, and wiggling. I can't wait to see what they look like and what they're doing next!

I'm thankful for the various ways of treating CF! I can remember as a kid, TOBI coming out, the vest coming out, and since then, newer, better ways of treating CF continue to come out! I'm very thankful for that. Not just for me but for my family. I will get to live longer, healthier and happier because of the medical breakthroughs in CF. I'm also excited for the younger CF generations. They have an even better chance at living longer, healthier lives than I do because they have all these resources and treatment options available to them from the beginning. That is EXCITING! If you are a younger CFer and reading this, know how fortunate you are. Educate yourself, do your treatments, exercise, take care of yourself. If I, at 28 years old, have a good shot at living to be 50 or older, how much longer will you be able to live with all these resources at hand! Treatments are my way to a healthier life, where I get to spend more time with my family and not be sick all the time!

So what are you thankful for today?! There's something out there to be thankful for! Find one and share it with us!

Monday, October 15, 2012

12 Weeks Pregnant

As of Friday the 12th, Monica is officially 12 weeks pregnant! #12onthe12th! (That was supposed to be a joke by imitating the #12in12, which is hoping that the STL Cardinals win their 12th World Series ring in 2012.) Her check up went great! No ultrasound, but they did doppler two heartbeats around 160. Everything is looking great!

Here's a couple pics showing the size of our little movers. When we were at the state fair this year, a booth was handing out little replicas of a 12 week baby. Pretty astonishing how developed they already are in there.

Oh and a quick update on the movement front. We still can't feel them from the outside, but yesterday evening, towards the end of our pastors sermon, they were moving around a lot. Monica said there was definitely no doubt then it was them. They must have enjoyed the sermon. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thankful Thursday: No more secrets & more energy

It's Thankful Thursday time! There's always a ton of things we could find in our everyday lives to be thankful for! We like to take this time each week to mention some of them that stand out to us. It seems that here lately, one of us has been doing these solo. Today will be no different. My poor pregnant wifey has been working full time hours for a long time now. She's still in her first trimester and has just been so exhausted lately. She never complains about it, but I can tell. She has another cake to do for this weekend, that she found out yesterday has to be done tonight! We thought the party was in town and the cake was needed for saturday afternoon. Turns out the party is out of town (3 hours away) and needed by friday. She has to send it with a family member early tomorrow morning. Tuesday night we spent with family for her dad's birthday and last night we had church, where we both teach classes. So my poor sweetheart will be up all night working away. Now you are informed. :)

Here's my Thankful Thursday list:

I'm thankful for no more secrets! It was so hard keeping the news of our twin pregnancy from everybody! Not just because we were anxious to tell people, but also trying to keep the ones we did tell from telling everyone. Now it's public knowledge and we don't have to hide it! It's wonderful! In case you were wondering why we would have waited, our main concern was making sure we were far enough along to know everything was gonna be alright.

Many women who go through IVF lose embryos before the first trimester is over. We had several people tell us it was terrible to think like that, but it's a very real reality. We told our families when we were 8 weeks. We wanted to wait longer, but the excitement was overwhelming! We didn't want to wait to tell everyone else, but thought it was the smart decision as so much is at stake in the first 12 weeks. I mainly was looking out for Monica. The odds of a live birth are not the best, and miscarriages happen often. We personally know couples who lost one of the two embryos, as well as couples who lost both. I've also heard from others who have gone through in vitro that having to "relive" the pain of people asking about it, and having to give bad news was terrible. I did not want that for Monica. That's why we were waiting til closer to 12 weeks to announce it. Thankfully, those worries are gone, and there has been nothing but good news!

Monica goes back tomorrow for her 12 week appointment! WHOO-HOO!!! I can't wait! Unfortunately I have to work and can't go, but I can't wait to see the pics of my babies!

I'm also thankful for more energy! Since I have been running 4 times a week with this training program, I have had tons more energy! I am sleeping better, and am so full of energy! In fact, last thursday and tonight, I am going to run (3.5 miles tonight) and do sprints after and go straight to a double header softball game! It's awesome and I love it!

So what are you thankful for?! Let us know! There's always something..... Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Moving for the First Time

September 28, 2012

10 Weeks
We saw them move for the first time today!! It was incredible! It was our first appointment at Monica's regular OB. Up until now we had been going to the IVF clinic. It was quite a bit different too. At the IVF clinic there was virtually no wait time. They got you in and out quickly. We have been ruined! :) We had to wait almost an hour before going back to a room. Only to have the OB pop in to say she couldn't see us because she had scheduled a procedure at the same time as our appointment. So we had to wait for the NP to come. Then wait to hear if they wanted an ultrasound. They "misplaced" her chart, so they did not know we were having twins, lol! There was a lot of waiting and unknowns.
Once we said "twins" they decided to do an ultrasound. The appointment up until ultrasound time was a little disappointing and worrisome for me (Jeremy). I am a very organized person and the IVF office was really on top of everything and extremely organized. I'm hoping it was just an "off" day at their office. I know those do occur from time to time. Once we got to the ultrasound room all the frustrations were immediately gone. It was time to see our babies again!
Although it had only been 2 weeks, it seemed like forever ago that we had seen our babies. She did the heartbeats first. It was a huge sigh of relief for both of us. In the back of our minds we both had been a little nervous that one or both may be lost. I know it's terrible to say or think, but it's a reality that many people face. Monica had been dealing with some nausea from 6-8 weeks, but from 8-10 it had pretty much gone away. This made us both think something was wrong, although neither of us said anything to the other until after this appointment. BUT, both heartbeats were there and beating away at around 170 bpm. They both measured exactly at 10 weeks in size and everything looked perfect!
After the heartbeats and measuring we got to just watch for a while. They were moving like crazy! Baby A seems to be pretty cramped, while Baby B has all kinds of room to chillax. It may just be me, but Baby B seemed more relaxed even though it was still moving. Baby A, on the other hand, was bebopping all over! Those arms and legs were a moving! Seemed like it was trying to push B out of the way for some more room. :) They're already fighting, lol. Now to find a way to whoop them..... :)
It truly was amazing! Monica and I both looked at her belly wondering if it was real. You wouldn't have known anything was going on at all from the outside. On the inside was a different story! They were either fighting or getting jiggy with it to the beat of mommy's heart! Can't wait to see what they look like next!!!!

Her next appointment is this Friday, October 12! We'll keep you posted!

Monday, October 8, 2012

1 week later. His way.. not mine!

Here's a post Monica wrote about what she was feeling/thinking. We had intended to document all our thoughts and feelings in drafts and post them later, but this is the only one that made it. If you missed our post with our IVF Journey video click here to watch it.

Welp, today is officially one week after our embryo transfer. For the most part it has been pretty uneventful. Monday was the transfer, Tuesday and Wednesday I mostly just layed around watching movies and surfing the internet (my doctor told me to be a couch potato and take it easy), Thursday we went to the MO State Fair (which was a blast and a nice break from being cooped up inside the days before), and Friday, Saturday, Sunday I was back to work. Now here it is Monday again. It is Crazy how fast one week has already flown by! Deep down I knew I couldn't "knock" them out of there, but my actions said otherwise. HA! In the beginning of the week I was walking around like I was already 9 months pregnant, not wanting to bend over, or twist, or make any swift movements. I didn't even want to sneeze or laugh hard. Jeremy put America's Funniest Video's on and I remember thinking, "What is he thinking? Has he forgotten the embryos are in there? I can't be laughing! I'm gonna knock em' out of there!" HAHA! I quickly dismissed the silliness of my thoughts!

Through out the week I've had several people ask me if I feel "different" or if I "feel" pregnant. The answer is no... and no. Which is understanding considering if I am pregnant I am only 1 week. Most people don't even find out they are pregnant until WEEKS after that. Do I hope that I am pregnant?... UMM YEAH!! Do I think that I am pregnant?......... hmmm.......... hmmmm.........Yes, yes I do! Now you could say, "Well of course you think you are pregnant, you have hope that you are." And that is truth. But, I really do think that I am pregnant, like deep in my heart. God has given both of us such an amazing calm through all of this. Before we even started the in vitro process, Jeremy has always had a peace about it... more so than me. But once we started, it was like God miraculously took away any fear I had and He replaced it with what I can only describe as "peace that passes understanding." Peace that only HE can give, such a calm that I have never experienced in my life.

Once we started getting deep into the stimulating shots, and my ovaries began to get swollen, I stopped running. I went jogging for only one mile a couple days before my egg retrieval, but that has been my last true physical activity. I decided today that I was going to slowly ease back into it. I went to my jogging trail prepared to walk 2 miles, 3 tops. I kept praying as I was walking that God would give me guidance and that I wouldn't overdo it! I ended up doing the whole loop, 5 miles. I had been used to jogging it in under 45 minutes, so it took me an hour and 15 minutes to walk it, but I feel Great!! I listened to the worship songs on my ipod and prayed for our baby/babies. It was so good for me to get outside and spend that time with God! Britt Nicole's song "Have Your Way" struck such a chord with my heart! The whole song is my prayer, but the line where she says, "...and I'll trust you God with where I am, and believe that you will have your way, just have your way, just have your way..." is so true of where I am. I am fully aware that there is a possibility that this may not work.... that I may not be pregnant.... and that if this doesn't work it will be heartbreaking.... but, if that is God's way, God's Will, I will be ok! We will make it through! My prayer is God's will be done in our lives.... NO.MATTER.WHAT!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

IVF Journey

Here's a video of our IVF journey from start to 6 weeks pregnant!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Hubby, Fall foods, and Bible Study

It's that time again: THANKFUL THURSDAY! It seems like the weeks seem to go by faster and faster all the time! We love the opportunity to post a few things we have been thankful for in the past week! I'm sure if you look around at your life you will be able to make a list of things to be thankful for: health, family, weather, life in and of itself....

Jeremy is playing softball on Thursday nights now, so they have become a little hectic. I'm going to go it alone tonight while he is gone (we all know he's done it by himself plenty of times when I was busy) ;)

Monica's list:

Big suprise here, I am thankful for..... JEREMY! Ha! Yes, I know... he is in just about every thankful Thursday I do... but what can I say?! I'm in love with the guy!!! ;) I am thankful for how dedicated he has been to running! I know that not only is he doing for himself and his health, but he is doing it for me also. Tonight he is going straight from running to his softball game. That's alot of physical activity and it is so good for him! I know he will probably be really worn out later though, so I am very thankful for his dedication! On top of all that he cleaned house today while I was at work and did a lot of yard work! It is so nice to come home to a house in tip top shape! What a man right?!?!?

I am thankful for Fall foods!! I made beef stew last night and it so hit the spot! I love all the foods that come with Fall weather: soups, chilis, stews, chicken and dumplings, chicken pot pie, meatloaf... I could go on and on but I am starting to drool on the keyboard! ;) Let's not forget Pumpkin!! I love it all: pumpkin doughnuts, lattes, bread, pies, and blizzards from Dairy Queen!! Oh yes, they are good! And pumpkin is high in Vitamin A and C, so that's just a bonus! ;)

I am thankful that we are starting up another ladies Bible study at our church! The first study is tonight and I am very excited! For our study in the Spring we used the book, "So Long Insecurity You've Been a Bad Friend to Me" by Beth Moore. It was exceptional and I recommend every Christian woman read it! Our next study series we are reading the book, "The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears" by Mark Batterson! I am so looking forward to it! I love the fellowship and encouragement I get when meeting with all the ladies from church!

So what are you thankful for today?!! We would love to hear from you!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Never knew how good I could feel!

Man I feel great! I really do! I haven't felt this good in a while. What do I think has made the difference??? Running. Monica and I started running a while ago, but it wasn't until recently that I began taking it serious. I've had to have my hospital admissions like every other CFer, but this past year has been different. I was admitted in July of '11 then again in February '12 and almost again a month ago. Not good!

I'm used to only be admitted every 2 years, maybe every year and a half. I have definitely noticed a shift in the progression of the disease in the past couple years. I've had to work way harder at keeping my numbers up and feeling good. Up until now, I haven't really felt like myself. It seems I had always been fighting being "sick." My numbers were like a roller coaster. After my admission in February I felt much better, but the numbers were still way down. Then last month my numbers were down again to 59% and I felt pretty crummy.  My most recent FEV1 was 61%. Which, by the way, I am not satisfied with.

I want to see mid 70's again! If I ever saw 80% I'd flip out!

I think I may be well on my way judging by how I feel. But, history shows that "feeling" doesn't always reflect in the numbers. Hopefully come November 26th those numbers will be at an all-time high for the past 6 years. The highest my FEV1 has been in the past 6 years was 74%. I'm shooting for 75%. :)

I'm signed up for two 5K races. One in October and another in November. My buddy and I are training 4 days a week for it. Let me tell you, it's no joke.Whoo buddy! My legs are feeling it and my lungs too!

Moral of this post: If you are wanting to be healthier and in better shape, run. You may not be able to run just yet, but everybody can walk. Start by walking for 30 minutes a day. That's simple. Pick a TV show you can do without and walk instead. It will pay off and before you know it you'll be setting new records for yourself in running! Get out there! As Nike says "Just Do It!" and as Ronnie says "GET MOVING!"