Wednesday, October 24, 2012

37 Weeks!

Well this is it--my final weekly update!  I go back and forth between feeling extremely excited and a little sad.  It seems ridiculous that I'm sad at all but as I've said before, I've loved having my babies safe in my belly.  When you've been given such a gift and you know it will most likely never happen again, it's pretty hard to let go.

Lately I've been reminded that God's timing is perfect.  For the past few days I've said to myself, "I don't think I can do this another day."  Each morning I pack away another maternity shirt because it no longer fits.  And today the sonogram was almost pointless. The babies have gotten so big and crowded that it was hard to distinguish anything--I'd recognize an arm but couldn't tell who it belonged to.  Jude and Sloane's heads are so close to one another that seeing either profile was impossible.   I'd expected the appointment to be emotional but the sonographer and I laughed the entire time because everything on the screen was so confusing.

It's time.

In every possible way it is time for our babies to leave me and meet the world.  To try to convince myself otherwise is just silly.

When the sonographer was done she smiled and said we had two wonderful babies.  I thanked her for everything and she apologized for not giving me any pictures.  I let her know we'd be seeing the real thing in six days and already had enough pictures to wallpaper our bedroom.

The appointment with the OB went well.  My regular OB is on vacation this week so I met with another doctor.  He walked in grinning and said, "There is nothing I love more than a huge, miserable pregnant woman with twins."  I raised my eyebrows and he continued, "There are so few women who make it this far.  When one does, we are ecstatic."  Very cool.  He checked me and let me know there was absolutely no progress whatsoever and that I'd be seeing my doctor next Tuesday morning for my scheduled c-section.  And then he smiled again and left.

I sat there for a bit before I realized there was nothing left for me to do.  No doctor to see, no cup to fill, no scale to dread... so I put on my clothes and left.  It was quite anticlimactic, though I'm not sure what I was expecting.

So here I am at 37 weeks, simply waiting for Tuesday morning when our lives will change forever.

I wanted to end this post by thanking each of you for your amazing support throughout this journey.  Michael and I are in absolute awe of the love and prayers that have covered us from the very beginning.   I've never experienced such peace with something that is absolutely out of my hands in every possible way.  That's not to say I haven't had (and continue to have) dreadful bouts of anxiety, but even in those dark moments I've felt safe and secure.  Thank you.


I'm so grateful the end of one incredible journey simply means the beginning of another.

37 Weeks!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

5 Years: The Music Edition

Every year Michael and I each write an anniversary post.  From ridiculous habits to sweet letters and crappy portraits, we felt like we'd covered it all.  While trying to think of a topic for the "Big 5" we decided it'd be fun to have a post dedicated to music.  We each came up with five songs that were tied to specific (and some not-so-specific) memories.  There were only two rules: we couldn't share the songs with each other until I hit "post" and we weren't allowed to use our first dance song (Jack Johnson's "Better Together").  Simple enough.  Here we go.

Michael's List

The first song to come to mind is "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder.  You're going to need some background before I go any further.  There's something wrong with me.  I don't think they can medicate for my particular condition but I have a severe case.  Any time of day or night in any surrounding, I can start singing a song out loud.  These songs tend to be of the embarrassingly awful variety.  Also, they're usually songs I haven't heard in over 5 years.  I never know more than one line of any given song.  One full line is generous.  Humming is necessary.  It's annoying for everyone around.  I love it.  The only part of this particular Stevie Wonder song that I know is the title, and I still mess that up.  I left it as a message for Meredith once and I sang it as "I just came to say I love you."  I was calling her, that was the reason I thought of the song, and yet I still messed up the one line I knew.  It's become a running joke now and the only time I sing it correctly is when I forget how the song truly goes and accidentally sing it with the actual lyrics.  While we were dating the song was my ringtone on Meredith's phone.

My second song is "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab For Cutie.  Meredith introduced me to The Postal Service but when they turned out to be a one and done collaboration, we steered over to DCFC.  We've seen them in concert four times now and they're great every time.  The first time we saw them was at Cain's in Tulsa.  We were with a group of friends and we all got sushi beforehand.  Someone supposedly in the know texted one of us and let us know they wouldn't be coming on stage until at least 9:00 if not later.  For some reason this prompted us to order another round of sushi.  When we had eaten that and paid we walked to Cain's fat and happy.  We were really surprised to learn that the opening act was still on stage.  Then we realized it wasn't the opening act, but indeed DCFC, and they had been on for an hour already.  I think we heard 3.5 songs, but the last one was "Transatlanticism."  It was the first time I had heard it and I loved it.  It's been the last song they play at every concert we've been to so I always think of that night.

Song #3 is "Work" (Demo Version) by Jimmy Eat World.  It doesn't really have to be "Work," it's more the Demo sides of the Futures album.  We found out pretty quickly after we met that we both loved Jimmy Eat World.  That ended up being the first concert we went to together, which was also the first weekend I visited Ft. Smith and met her parents.  Futures had been out a couple of months and I asked her if she owned it, which she did.  Then I asked if she bought the deluxe edition that had the second CD of Demos, and she had done that as well.  This was a small attempt to prove that I was a bigger Jimmy Eat World fan and impress her, but apparently I wasn't, and I didn't.  Still a great CD though, and that weekend of the concert was so much fun because the drive from Ft. Smith to the concert took a while, leaving us plenty of time to talk and get to know each other and play stupid driving games.

Song #4 is "Man in the Mirror" by the sparkly gloved one.  I like quite a few Michael Jackson songs.  I remember listening to his cassette tapes on my Sony "My First Walkman" on long car rides growing up.  However, Meredith LOVES MJ.  I'm pretty sure "Man in the Mirror" is her favorite of his and it doesn't hit quite the same chord with me.  I've gotten myself in trouble trying to change a radio station while it was playing.  I guess the song seems a little hypocritical at this point.  It's supposed to be some inspirational song, yet the man he saw in the mirror was slowly changing into a Hogwarts ghost.  Nearly Noseless Mike is not the MJ I'll choose to remember.

I'm saving #5 for a small collection.  We listened to a lot of Damien Rice early on and listening to it now I'm not sure how we didn't go into deep states of depression.  We both hold an equal disdain for Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber songs.  If we don't, she plays it off really well.  We did a Sunday School lesson using DCFC's "I Will Possess Your Heart."  I think we pulled it off but felt a little creepy the more I paid attention to the lyrics.  I like to listen to the classical radio station sometimes on the drive home, usually to preserve my sanity.  That music is repulsive to Meredith.  We both really enjoyed the movie Across the Universe and we bought the soundtrack afterward.  I imagine we'll be hearing a lot more "Hey Jude" in the near future.  "18th Floor Balcony" by Blue October makes Meredith cry.  (So do all Google Chromecommercials.)  I have a habit of buying an artist's worst album.  The last two concerts we went to BC (before children) were Snow Patrol and DCFC with an orchestra.  The orchestra was a great touch and Snow Patrol was nice because the first time we bought tickets to see them I got sick and had to send Meredith with a friend instead.  We both know all the words to "Boyz-N-The Hood," as performed by Dynamite Hack, and they are terrible.

Meredith's List

"The World You Love" - Jimmy Eat World
The week after Michael and I met in Tulsa (April 2005) he drove to Fort Smith, met my parents, and then the two of us drove to Conway to hear Jimmy Eat World in concert.  I remember being so nervous about the 2-hour car ride (what if we ran out of things to talk about?!) but we had an absolute blast and have been together ever since.  They'd recently come out with the Futures album and I listened to it every morning as I drove to work.  This song is one of my two favorites from the album (the other is "Work") and every time I hear it I think of our first road trip/concert together and the year we spent dating long distance.

(Sidenote--The lyrics don't match the sentiment.  Clearly.)

"The Luckiest" - Ben Folds
I don't have a specific memory tied to this song, I just know we both love it.  It was a contender for our first dance but we decided it was too slow and (at the end) too sad.  I remember listening to the lyrics and thinking, "I want a marriage like that."  So far?  So good.

"I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you..."

"Transatlanticism" - Death Cab for Cutie
We've been lucky enough to see Death Cab for Cutie in concert four times.  The first time we were with friends and missed half the show (oops), the second time we were anxiously awaiting a job offer for Michael (we found out the next day we would be moving to Dallas),  the third time I'd just shared with the blog world the struggles we'd been dealing with for almost a year, and the fourth time we'd just publicly announced we were expecting twins.  Needless to say, I vividly remember how we felt at each of these concerts (well, maybe not so much the first).  Transatlanticism is always the last song they play and hearing it live is just phenomenal thanks to the drummer.  Gives you goosebumps every time.  It is Michael's favorite song of theirs (no way could I pick just one).  It repeats the same phrase over and over (and over), which is good because Michael has a very hard time remembering lyrics.

"Sleigh Ride" - Johnny Mathis
One of my absolute favorite things about Michael is his LOVE for Christmas.  If you're around him you can't help but get excited too.  He hums Christmas carols all year long, which drives me crazy but I know it's not intentional.  He grew up listening to Johnny Mathis (among others) so when we made our first Christmas playlist as a married couple he made sure to include this song.   So now I'm including it too.

"Hey Jude" - Joe Anderson (Across the Universe)
This one is a little obvious I suppose.  Michael and I saw Across the Universe when we lived in Tulsa and both really enjoyed it.  The lead character is named Jude and it's the first time we ever considered it as a possible name for our future son.  While the Beatles are awesome (obviously), I love this version.  And even though the lyrics are specifically speaking to Jude, I think of both of our babies each time I hear it.  And then I bawl my eyes out.

"And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain.  Don't carry the world upon your shoulders."

Monday, October 15, 2012

36 Weeks! And Still Pregnant.

I will never forget my 12-week appointment when my doctor discussed the risks of a twin pregnancy.  She threw around words such as NICU, pre-eclampsia, bed rest, and low birth weight.  Then she smiled and said, "And if you're one of the lucky ones who actually makes it to 36 weeks, I'll become your least favorite person and you will be begging me to perform a c-section that day."


At my 35-week appointment I was all smiles and full of cheer.  She and I had a great conversation and I left thinking "This is a piece of cake."  (Mhmmm.... cake.)

This past Saturday Michael and I ran several errands and had a great time outside of the house.  I woke up yesterday morning feeling pretty good so we went to Target and while I was there it hit.  Like a ton of bricks.  Or 34 pounds of bricks if we're being specific.  My legs hurt.  My stomach hurt.  My ankles hurt. 

We went home and I spent the rest of the day in bed.   I had A LOT of braxton hicks contractions and quite a bit of cramping.  It was enough to scare both of us into action.  I started packing a bag and Michael installed the car seats.  I lamented the fact that I'd yet to get a pedicure. 

This was IT!

Only... it wasn't it.  We went to bed and I woke up this morning feeling much better.  I went ahead and called my doctor and she told me to stop by after my perinatologist appointment.

The perinatologist appointment went really well.  He walked in the room, laughed and said, "Still pregnant, eh?"  Michael laughed and I glared (and then finally smiled).   Jude and Sloane are doing great and still moving a ton.  Jude weighs 6 lbs 12 oz and Sloane weighs 6 lbs 11 oz.

Because it deserves its own line: That is 13.5 pounds of babies, folks.  

After the sonogram he hooked me up to the heart monitors and we got to listen to their heartbeats for about 5 minutes.  It was amazing.  It sounded like a stampede of horses but then they would get in sync for 10 seconds at a time and it sounded like one heartbeat.  Incredible. 

We went downstairs for my regular OB appointment.  I reminded her about everything that happened last night and she said, "You might be having these babies this week!"  Then she checked me (ahem) and said, "Or not.  Absolutely no progress.  Nothing."  I told her about all of the pains and she reminded me I was pregnant with twins and everything I was feeling was perfectly normal.  

Let me tell you, there is nothing normal about walking .0004 miles per hour or needing your husband's assistance to get out of a car.  

So there you have it.  Two weeks. We prayed for Jude and Sloane long before they were in my belly and God blessed us with far more than we deserve.  I can do this.  I WILL do this!  The smile on my face might resemble a grimace but rest assured, I am so grateful for each and every pain because that means these two are still healthy and growing. Praise the Lord.

(And I'm getting a pedicure first thing tomorrow morning.)

36 Weeks!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Adelyn & Pumpkins!

Here are a few pictures of the adorable Adelyn Marie (and a few other stars you may recognize...)

In other news, Michael and I picked up some pumpkins today--one for each of us.

Aaaaand that concludes our fall decorations.

Can you tell which pumpkin represents each family member?  (Hint: We included one for Thumbs.)

We realized there was one pumpkin we forgot to photograph... the biggest pumpkin of them all:

The face I make each time I see my reflection.  It's the same face strangers make.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

35 Weeks

Our doctor's appointment went well today!  It was very brief-- she didn't take any measurements because I meet with the perinatologist next week.  Both babies are once again head down (surprise!!) and it appears Sloane has a nice head of hair on her!  The sonographer pointed out both kids are doing some major fetal breathing, which is fantastic.   My BP, weight, etc. are still on track so my doctor sent us on our way.

Three weeks to go.

Last Saturday night we went to dinner to celebrate Michael's belated 30th birthday (September 15), our upcoming 5th anniversary (October 20), and the last fancy meal as a family of two.  We had such a great time and the food was amazing.  Michael pointed out something a few months ago that I thought was pretty neat.  We were able to dedicate our twenties to us.  We met at 22, dated long distance for a year before I moved to Tulsa, engaged at 24, married at 25, and moved to Dallas at 27 (and traveled to several fun places in between).  When I was a few months shy of 30 we found out we were expecting Sloane and Jude so our thirties (and let's face it, every decade after) are dedicated to our family.  It's a very clean end of one chapter and beginning of another.  And while I absolutely can't wait to see what the upcoming years bring, I am so grateful for the foundation we created as husband and wife. 

Here's a bizarre story.  We went to Neiman Marcus Last Call on Sunday and I found a pair of flats I really liked.  Since my bending skillz are a little iffy at the moment, Michael grabbed the correct shoebox and placed it on top of the others.  Right about that time a lady appeared and stood right next to me (close enough that our arms were touching).  Michael opened the box and pulled out the left shoe.  I was texting my mom so I was a bit distracted.  He leaned down to put the shoe on my foot (such a Cinderella moment... if Cinderella was knocked up and on her phone) and when he stood up to grab the other shoe he noticed it was missing.  I'd grown very tired of the lady standing on top of me so I looked at Michael and said, "Let's come back later."  He gave me this shocked look but I had no idea why.  We moved ten feet away and as I told him how rude she was for being in my space he blurted out, "She took the other shoe!"  What?  Oh yes, after she watched Michael take the left shoe out of the box, she took the right shoe and tried it on.  Sure enough, as soon as we walked away she grabbed both shoes and took off!  WHO DOES THAT?!

I've hit nesting mode full force.  We're pretty neat people (and by that I mean both "awesome" and "clean" :) but we do have an issue with collecting small piles of things.  This includes birthday cards, old bills, insurance claims, etc.  I asked Michael if we could go through one of the piles and we ended up spending a good part of the morning going through every single pile.  It was AMAZING.  We threw away a ton of stuff and filed everything else.  In doing so we ran across this picture.  I always forget how blonde Michael was as a toddler.

Jude in a few years? I can only hope!

Strangers are really nice to me now (or really terrified I'm going to give birth in the Starbucks line).  I'm no longer asked when I'm due, it's just assumed I'm due RIGHT THAT SECOND.

35 Weeks - 20 days to go! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

34 Weeks!

In case you've been living under a rock the past few days, it's OCTOBER!!! WE MADE IT TO OCTOBER!

As I've mentioned at least two dozen times, October 1 was the goal we set for ourselves from the beginning.  I went to sleep on Sunday night with the biggest grin on my face and woke up Monday morning a little weepy (in a good way).  There is nothing unusual about the weepiness--these tear ducts have been in overdrive lately.

Two instances that happened this past week:

1.  Michael raised his voice at Thumbs.  Did Thumbs deserve it?  Yes.  Did I cry for 30 minutes and ask Michael if he wanted to give Thumbs away?  Yes.

2.  Michael ate the last cupcake.  The LAST cupcake.  Did he ask me twice if I wanted to eat it?  Yes.  Did I tell him both times that he could have it?  Yes.  (Did I think he was kidding both times because, holy cow, it was the LAST CUPCAKE?  Yes.)

Now that you understand the emotional state I'm currently in, let's move on.  While we said, "Make it to October 1," the Besancon bunch had Miss Adelyn Marie on October 2 and as my parents were driving up to Chicago I might have muttered, "Change of plans, God. Let's make it until October 8 when my parents are no longer in Chicago.  Thaaaanks."

Before we get to the doctor's appointment, I have to give Michael a big pat on the back (even if he ate the last cupcake) for last weekend.  I'm in a Moms of Multiples group and we sponsor a huge consignment sale in the fall.   The public sale happens Saturday morning but if you volunteer you're able to shop Friday night.  We both decided if I volunteered at this stage it would probably cause more trouble than help, so Michael volunteered to be a "Security Dad" and patrolled the sale for four hours early Saturday morning.  Fortunately for all parties involved, he did not spot anyone trying to steal $3 toddler shoes.   We were able to get a few really great items for 75% off and neither of us were trampled by the crazy moms!  I'm just sad I didn't get to see him sporting a bright red t-shirt with the words "Security Dad" splashed across the chest.  Hot.

Moving on to the babes.  These updates might as well be called, "What is Sloane up to this week?"  As a brief reminder, she has switched positions every single week for the last few months and the latest was head down but facing my spine.  Yesterday?  She was sideways.  I'd like you all to take a moment and think about two babies in my belly, one of which is sideways.  It's just mean.  She was also doing the running man throughout the ultrasound so it was (once again) impossible to get any good pictures.  Regardless, both babies look great and did well on their biophysical exams.  The sonographer measured them but said it wouldn't be as accurate as the perinatologist so not to read into the weights too much.  Assuming they're correct, Sloane is now 6 lbs 2 oz and Jude is 5 lbs 8 oz.  (Someone gaped at me while I was at the mall yesterday and I wanted to yell, "I'm carrying almost 12 pounds of babies, what have you done today?!"  Fortunately, I resisted.)

I'm still doing well and right on track with my stuff so we were sent on our way with a good report.

It's starting to get hard.  I'm uncomfortable most of the time and really slow.  I run out of breath easily and am so limited in the tasks I can do.  It's frustrating for me because I feel so absolutely useless (other than the fact that I'm growing two babies).  At the same time, I know what is best for the kids is NOT what is best for me, so I'm keeping my chin up and telling myself that 38 weeks is less than 4 weeks away.  I can do it.  What's conflicting is how attached I am to having Sloane and Jude a part of me.  I can't wait to meet them and I know it's incredibly selfish to want to keep them inside for as long as possible, but those 2:00 am moments when everything is dark and still and I can feel both of them moving around are some of the most precious times I've ever had.  After almost 9 months of feeling absolutely ridiculous, I talk to them now without abandon and I feel like I've created a bond with each that is so fiercely personal.  I just don't want it to go away.  And then I realize if I feel this way having never met them, we're just getting started. 

So here's to 3.5 more weeks of absolute selfishness and I promise you right now I won't take a single second of it for granted. 

34 Weeks
(The quality of this picture is a metaphor for how I'm feeling these days--ha!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Niece or Nephew?

Our very first NIECE has arrived!

Adelyn Marie Besancon

October 2 at 2:14 pm
7 lbs 12 oz
19.5 inches
Dark hair & dark eyes (looks like Mom and Braden!)

I'll post a picture as soon as I receive one!


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