Sunday, September 29, 2013

Our Journey to Twins

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.  -Pslam 139: 13-16

Matt and I started talking about having another baby when Carter was about six months old.  We were not ready at the time, but our battle to conceive and carry Carter to term were still fresh in our mind, so we knew we didn't want to wait too long.  We also try to coordinate bed rest/delivery around football season when possible, so that really narrowed down our calendar for us!  After Carter turned one we were ready to pay Dr H another visit, but I had to stop breastfeeding first.  Honestly, we probably would have been back in his office sooner if it wasn't so hard for me to stop breastfeeding! I nursed Carter up until the morning of our appointment on June 22.  
My nightly date the first half of July

After much discussion and debate we decided to try another round of IUI before moving onto IVF.  Besides some insurance hoops we had to jump through, it was relatively easy for us to jump back into the "trying to conceive" game.  Admittedly, I had a much more laid back approach this time around, and honestly didn't stress to much over the size of my follicles, or what I was eating, or going to acupuncture.  And at insemination time when we didn't have a SINGLE mature follicle (we proceeded anyway) I just knew it wasn't in the cards for us.
 A picture of all of my beautiful follicles early in the cycle

Two weeks later when I started bleeding and my pregnancy tests were negative and I actually felt the weight of what I had been praying for all summer.  As relaxed as I had been, I had not been admitting to myself how badly I really wanted another baby.  I cried into Matt's arms the night before my blood test and the next morning when I ran into Dr P.  In my mind I was just convinced that it would take us another three years before we would be pregnant again.  I was devastated.  Can you imagine my surprise when the nurse called me that afternoon to tell me my blood test was positive?!?  What?!  
Battle wounds

So for two weeks I went into the office every-other-day for blood work to see if my HcG, progesterone and estrogen levels were where they were supposed to be.  Why didn't anyone remind me NOT to look at the numbers?!? Your HcG is supposed to double every-other-day and my numbers were slightly low of doubling each time.  I stressed myself out for two weeks over those DANG numbers!  Finally on Friday, August 16 we were able to have our first ultrasound (I was 5 weeks 3 days) and not only did we see our little baby, but we were also able to hear the heartbeat!! Matt was with me (he rushed over after practice) and it was just as magical the second time around as it was the first! 

The next Tuesday, August 20, I went back for my second ultrasound by myself.  The nurse, Lisa, spent a lot of time letting me lay down and just listen to the heartbeat.  What a beautiful sound!  At the end when we were about finished I joked with her "Now you're sure there aren't two in there?" and she assured me there were not.  Just as she was pulling the wand out I saw an unmistakable black spot on the screen and asked her to go back and check that out.  What do you know but THERE WAS ANOTHER BABY HIDING IN THERE!!!! And it had a heartbeat! We were having TWINS!!! Both of us stared at that screen and each other for a long time digesting what we just found out. pregnancy tests never turned positive.  We didn't have ANY mature follicles at insemination time.  I had my period for a few days.  My blood work was LOW for just one baby (typically with twins those HcG numbers are much higher.)  NOTHING pointed us in the direction of twins, but there were TWO heartbeats staring us in the face.  If that's not God's work, then I don't know what is.  
Baby A on the right, Baby B on the left

To be continued...

Friday, September 27, 2013

McDaniel: Party of FIVE!!

I posted this picture on Instgram last night to make it official:


We were at the game and I didn't realize we would be sitting on the visitor side so Matt wasn't able to be in the picture.  :(  But I do have this picture from awhile ago when we told our families:

We are so excited/ thrilled/ terrified/ and thankful for these two sweet little blessings.  It has taken awhile to get over the initial shock of seeing TWO heartbeats, but now I couldn't imagine it any other way.  :)

I'm 11+ weeks and due April 15th, but Dr P plans to deliver me/us between 34-36 weeks so these will be March babies.  We have been seeing both our RE and OB several times a week for the past 7 weeks so we have lots of pictures of these little babies growing.  I'm not feeling good physically, but praying that passes as we get closer to the second trimester.  I've been taking weekly belly pictures and will get those posted sometime next week, as well as our story to this pregnancy and whats been going on for us since late-July.  

I said it with Carter and I will say it again, there is no better feeling in the world than telling your family that you are pregnant.  It was thrilling the first time around and equally thrilling this time knowing that our family will quickly expand.  My only sadness it knowing I can't tell my dad face-to-face that he is going to have two more grandchildren.  I've shed quite a few tears over this, but I know I have my very own special angel in heaven protecting over all of us.  I'm scared of having another troublesome pregnancy and knowing Daddy is up there watching over me gives me such peace and eases my fears.  

Big thanks to everyone who has been praying for us and congratulating us! We are excited and thankful for all of the prayers and just ask that they keep coming in the months to come! 

God is so good! 

A Day in the Life: 15 Months

I haven't done ADITL post recently, and Carter's schedule has changed a but so I wanted to be sure to get this down before we move onto another month. I actually documented last Thursday, the 19th but am just now sitting down to type this up. (I'm actually sitting in the car in the garage while Carter plays in the front seat) (Also, this is a day we don't have preschool.)

7:15- Carter is up for the day and meets me at the door (he's in his toddler bed now and roams the room at-will). He drinks his milk while we rock and sing before heading into the living room for coffee and Mickey Mouse. We've taught him how to throw his diaper away, feed Cooper and stir Mama's coffee so that's all built into our morning routine now.

8:00- breakfast. Typically Cheerios, a fruit, yogurt and either an English muffin, waffles, toast or a muffin.

9:30- by now were usually dressed and ready to leave for errands, play date, etc. Today we are heading into town to visit Poppa at the hospital. He just had his aortic valve replaced and is in recovery for a few days (and doing great!) Carter sneaks in a morning snooze on the way there.

10:15- we arrive and spend some time playing. Carter enjoyed sitting in the big chair and bed, pulling all the wires, and hugs from Uncle Steve and Granny. We leave in time to drive-thru Chick-fil-A for lunch and get home in time for nap.

12:30- nap

2:45- up and ready to play. We spend our afternoons in the backyard, playing at the park, or just staying inside if it's too hot. I'm desperately trying to find something for him to watch on TV so I can make dinner with two hands and not worry about him crawling into the oven. So far he hasn't shown any interest in TV at all.

3:15- snack

6:00- dinner. Since it's football season it's just the two of us for dinner and I'm not cooking much. We usually try to head up to school to visit with Matt before the subvarsity games but today we just stayed at home to play.

6:45- bath

7:15- books, prayers and bed. Since he's in his toddler bed now he doesn't want to be rocked anymore :(  What happened to my little baby??

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Carter's First Day of Preschool!

Monday was Carter's first day of preschool! He will be going on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00-2:30 at our church, and then we will have bible study on Fridays.  Lots of driving to and from church, but it will be so good for both of us.

I was really worried about preschool this summer.  The cutoff date for attendance is 15 months as of September 1 which makes Carter the youngest student in the school.  His class goes up to 21 months (and even has one 24-month old) so he is the youngest, but not smallest, in his class.  I worried all summer about him walking, not eating enough real food, still taking two naps, etc.  But everything went great yesterday!  I stayed up all Sunday night praying and worrying for nothing!

We had Meet the Teacher last Thursday and Carter seemed to jump right into playing with the toys in his classroom.  We came home with homework that was due on Monday:

Yesterday I dropped him off and he played for awhile when I was there.  He even seems to have a little crush on one of the two girls in his class, Amy (she has the pigtails.)  I kissed him goodbye and walked out, but he was too busy to notice.  I hung around and watched from the window and he realized a few seconds later that I was gone and started crying.  I left and had coffee with some of the other moms from class and called up later to check on him and they said he was doing great!

When I picked him up at 2:20 this is what I found:

Worn out!  It even took awhile to wake him up!! We get a report each day and his said that he loved the playground, especially the slide.  He was "happy" "chatty" and "smiled" (better than the other two options, "teary" and "quiet.")  He ate most of his lunch and slept for an hour and a half! On a nap mat!  I swore that wouldn't happen, but I guess he was too tired to object!

The teachers warned us that the Wednesday drop-off could be harder, since they tend to know whats coming.  I have a full day of errands booked for tomorrow so I'm going to drop-off and run, but I pray that he has another good day.  And that he starts to look forward to going to school each week and that he makes some friends.  I pray that he loves his teachers, Ms. Flo and Ms. Kelly, and is kind to the other students.  But mostly I pray that he learns about and has a heart for Jesus...maybe a little bit too much to ask for his toddler class, but something I know will build as the years go on.  

This poem was included in our parent handbook and is perfect for this first day of school.

Going to School
Dear Lord Jesus take my hand,
I'm going to a foreign land, 
One not ruled by king or preacher,
But someone with the name of teacher.

My mommy says that I'll have fun:
I'll sing and skip and play and run.
But I am scared 'cause I don't know
Just what to do or where to go.

So please Lord Jesus hug me tight
And keep me in your loving sight.
For with you by my side today,
I know that I will be okay.

-Margaret Kennedy

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Carter: 15 Months

Carter Man,
You are FIFTEEN MONTHS old today! My, oh my! Fifteen months just sounds so much older to me that fourteen that crazy?  It's beginning to feel like a have a full-blown toddler on my hands, even though I will always think of you as my baby boy.  Looking back through your monthly posts you really are growing up on us, but yet you have always been the same little rambunctious boy you have always been; ornery, stubborn and very spirited.

This month you hit a new gear we didn't know you had and you have not slowed down.  Ever.  You are on the go all day, never slowing down to play with a toy, watch TV, or just sit with Mama.  You spend your time at home running from one room to the other just tearing things up.  You love to unpack drawers, undo piles, rip apart puzzles and toys with pieces, and play with the tupperware.  Boy, you sure do know how to make a mess!! Nana says this is exactly how your Daddy was when he was your age, so that makes me happy.  I would love for you to turn out just like him, even if it means we live in a pig sty for a period of time.

Your best friend this month is definitely PawPaw.  You love to ride the four-wheeler with him, swim in the pool, and mow the grass.  He is the only one that you will share your food with! When you are eating you will hold out a piece to everyone but only PawPaw can actually eat it.  You freely give him kisses and your favorite place is laying on his shoulder while he rocks you.  I'm so glad that you love your PawPaw!

Baby boy, we have GOT to do something about your naps.  Just when I thought we were getting in a groove you started showing signs of being ready to drop down to just one afternoon nap.  It has been a few weeks since we started the transition and we still have not found a right schedule for you.  Some days you still need two naps, other days you only want one.  The problem is that when you only take one nap it's too early in the day and it's too short, so we end up having a terrible afternoon.  I'm hoping once you start school next week that will help with your napping schedule.  The good part is that you have started sleeping later in the morning, usually rising around 7:30am.

Your stubborn streak is starting to show, and I 100% blame that on Daddy J.  You get that from him, and BOY, you can hold your own, son.  If there is something that you want and you can't reach it, or if you are finished eating and we are still trying to feed you, or you get stuck while riding a toy, etc you will throw a temper tantrum.  You shriek and throw yourself on the floor and cry like you will never see PawPaw again.  We haven't really decided how to handle your stubbornness or your tantrums, but I definitely plan to ask Dr K about it at your 15-month appointment on Tuesday.

With that said, when you are happy you are on top of the world.  You have a smile on your face so much of the day and LOVE to be in front of a room of people.  You are definitely a people-person, and I think you get that from your Daddy.  You love to people-watch and play with other children.  You still have not warmed up to the church nursery, but I still think preschool will help in that area.  You absolutely adore your cousins and want to do everything they do.  

Carter Man, Little Hurricane, Buddy Boy...your daddy and I love you so very much we can't remember life before you were here.  We could watch you run around and play all day long and never get bored.  When you figure out a new toy or say a new word, you would think that we just won another state championship the way your daddy and I cheer for you.  You make us so very happy, and we love you so very much.  To the moon and back.

15-Month Stats:
Weight: 24 lb 13 oz (56%)
Length: 30 3/4 in (37%)
Eating: combo of bottles and sippys of milk, combo of baby and table food, and one snack
Bedtime: around 7:30pm
Awake: around 7:30am
Naps: either around 10 and 2, or noon, depending if you take one or two 
Diapers: size 4 Huggies, moving into size 5
Clothes: wearing the last of your 12-months, moving into 18-months
Favorites: PawPaw, playing outside, playing in cars, your paci, riding on the four-wheeler
Dislikes: napping, staying inside, nursery at church
Development: walking and almost running, climbing stairs and balancing on uneven surfaces, following one-step directions
Words: mama, dada, nana, dog, uh oh, night night, what is that, outside, bye bye, hi, hey, hello, deer, duck