When you can't make the choice...

Hi everyone!

It has been a very long time since I have blogged and I have missed it terribly. I have been pondering lately on what I should write about and it finally hit me the other day.  I am at the point with the boys where if I didn't struggle with fertility treatments we would probably be getting ready to have another child.
As I was standing in the kitchen the other night I watched the boys wrestle and I could not believe how big they are getting. It hit me that we are no longer in the baby stage. We are talking, getting ready to potty train, drinking from big boy cups, carrying our plates to the table, learning to walk without the stroller and so forth.  We are growing up! I always wonder what it would be like to have a little girl or what my boys would be like as big brothers.

Living in a new area people are not aware of our past fertility struggles and I often get asked if we will be trying for more.  I usually don't bring up our past and continue with, "possibly, God willing," or something along those lines. When in reality Mike and I have never prevented after we got married. We have never conceived on our own without intense treatments. I can't guarantee we won't get multiples (my body will not be able to handle multiples again) and IVF is just way too expensive. So, with that being said, unless God has different plans for us it will be just the four of us.

Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with my little family. I just wanted to be the one to make that choice.  In a perfect world, the boys would be turning 3 and I would have thought that would have been a perfect age to start trying for another.  Instead, I will continue to pray about it and who knows maybe something in my body will click and it happens and if you know my story from the last 5 years, if that were to happen we better find an amazing Doctor who understands my diagnosis with Thrombophilia.

Thank you for reading!!

Shannon

We are in Florida!

Good morning! I just wanted to update everyone on the boys. We are 16 months old, we babble nonstop, we eat EVERYTHING, we LOVE the beach, we dance every time we hear music and we are quite the travelers.

We have been in Florida for three weeks now and will finally be moving into our house on Saturday. I have to say the boys have adapted the Florida lifestyle pretty well. I wasn't quite sure how they would like the sand and water, but they are like little fish. When we get to the beach they can barely contain themselves and when loose they are all over the beach. They run right into the water and begin splashing, chasing se
agulls and building sand castles.

Last night I sat down and got lost in my blog. It took me 45 min to read from the beginning up until now. I still can't believe we went through so much. I feel like it was another lifetime ago. I don't even feel like it was my life. When I read about Chase and Cayden I get sad, but I can't help but think about the two I have now. At the time the world was ending. I was never going to have children, I was never going to have my twins. The only way I make sense of everything is God gave me back Chase and Cayden in the form of Mason and Maddox. I am sure many of you will think I am a nut and probably think it is a rediculous thought, but I really feel it is true.

Here are my boys!



It's been two years since Chase and Cayden.

Wow, my last blog was in March! I apologize for not writing more often. I have been a little busy ;). Mason and Maddox are now 1 years old and does time fly. I still can't believe what we have today. I was reading my blog and it seems like another lifetime ago we went through fertility treatments, Chase and Cayden and the rough pregnancy we had with Mason and Maddox. The last few days I have been on high emotion. This is a hard time for us. As exciting as it is with the boys, I still always have my other little boys in mind.

To think two years ago on the 22nd I was almost six months along with Chase and Cayden. Finally! we had babies and two coming into this world. The shots in the stomach, constant monitoring and endless pregnancy tests later we had babies! Never in a million years would I have thought something bad would happen. In my mind we went through the rough patch. Going through the heartache of infertility was painful enough and how would God put us through anymore. We were home free. Then, it happened. I woke up to the most God awful back pain I could have ever imagined. Little did I know in less than 5 hours time my little boys would be born and pass away in the same hour.  Our family of four existed for 20 min. They were perfect. Ten fingers and toes. They were babies...very small babies. I was so angry! To get halfway and then it was taken away. How could there be a God who was that mean?

I remember going to a few follow up visits with our fertility specialist, our OB and our High Risk doctor. All saying the same thing. You are the 1%. We don't know why these things happen. Even going as far as telling me my body was not made to carry two babies and I could prob never carry two babies. I was told to take a year or so off. Collect my thoughts and come back when I was mentally ready. I never once thought of taking time off. I didn't even want to wait another month to try again. I new in my heart I was going to have babies. I didn't think I would ever have twins, but I was going to have a child. My fertility doctor even told me if we do the treatments again and get twins or more that we should reduce. So, not only am I risking it all over again, but now you want me to have to choose a baby to terminate. But, I knew in my heart, we would be fine and God pushed us in the direction of a very special doctor who told us that twins would not be a problem if we were to conceive again and he would monitor us very closely. He had the solution to our problem.

Fast forward a month of treatments and a very low dose of treatments it was. Our fertility doctor tried his best to not bombard my body with multiple eggs. We were going to get one good one. That was the goal. However, I must have been chosen for twins, because twins is what we got...again, and twin boys at that.

I guess the whole point to my rambling is to never give up. I was told by many to take time off...go on vacation...collect yourself....give it a year. I am so glad I didn't because these two little boys Mason and Maddox would not be here. I may not have had the opportunity to see my special doctor and we may have even suffer another horrible loss if we were not here in NYC. I have four precious little boys. Two that would have been two years old on Monday and two that just turned 1 last Thursday. I do believe Chase and Cayden's souls are in Mason and Maddox. I believe that because I don't hurt as much as I thought I would. Of course I miss them and always think of them, but I am at peace and so blessed to have all four boys in my heart.

Thank you Chase and Cayden for making me the person I am today. Thank you for giving me Mason and Maddox. I love you all so much! Godspeed my little men.

Mommy <3

We are surviving :)

Hey everyone! 

I am finally sitting down to blog, of course with one baby on my chest...lol. 

Things have been going really well.  Mason has been home a little over a month and Maddox has been home for 2 weeks! I can't even believe how fast it is going. In the beginning getting them to sleep at night was a doozy, but as of the last few nights they are doing pretty good. We are starting to get a good routine down. At night we do the three "B's". Bath, bottle, bed!  Luckily, the boys love being in the bath, but can definitely tell when they are being taken out. They hate leaving the tub and Maddox will let you know he is being tortured by this death screams, lol. The boy has some set of lungs on him. After our bath we get changed into our jammies and we drink our bottle and usually Mason is passed out before he even finishes and he is down for good. Maddox is my little night owl and takes a bit more time to go down. He is usually talking and laughing and mommy and daddy can't help but soak in the giggles before bed.  So, as of the last few nights, the babies are in bed between 9-10pm and will sleep til about 2am.  This is not too bad as long as we get a few solid hours of sleep in. It is amazing how good you feel after 3 solid hours of uninterrupted sleep, lol.  Then the bottle, burp, change and mommy pumping begins. We are all usually back to sleep by 2:50am and we sleep til about 6-6:30am.  I can deal with this!  

The babies at this age are nice because they pretty much sleep all day and wake when they are hungry or need a changing. I am able to get all my chores done and keep up with my shows. However, Mike returns back to work on Monday and hopefully wont mind waking at 2am to do a quick feeding with me ;)

Pumping is still going strong and with both boys being home we have been able to work on breast feeding as well. So, depending on our schedule and such I will breast feed throughout the day followed by pumping or some days we just do bottles and I pump..it just really depends on how things are flowing,but it is nice to know that if a baby is fussy I can just put him to the boob and he is satisfied or I can warm some bottles up and we can both feed. Works out pretty good!  

This week has been bombarded with appointments and I am happy to say they are gaining weight nicely and are about 8 pounds 6 oz.!  

Sorry if my blog was a little scattered, but I am rushing to get all the facts and info in before Mason wakes up on my chest...lol. 

Thank you all for following!

Shannon

He comes home tomorrow!!!

Ok, I finally have a moment to update my blog :)

So, Mason has been home for 3 weeks and I have to say he fits in pretty good around here. The puggles at first were terrified of him, but now everytime we do tummy time they run over for kisses and cuddles with Mason.  Well, Maki wants to love him so much it kind of freaks me out. She crawls over to him and tries to roll on top of him and kiss him. Hey...love is love, right? Chloe goes right over to him and sniffs him and gives him one kiss to the head and she is gone. she is very gentle with him which is funny, because if you know chloe she kisses with a running start..lol. 

Mason is pretty easy going. He likes to sleep a lot and as long as I feed him every 3-4 hours he is pretty content. We are working on our night time routine, bc he tends to like to stay up and talk which is nice and all, but mommy is tired!  Last night was a good routine. We took a bath and he LOVES his bath time. He never cries and just enjoys the warm water. After a bath we get a baby massage with lotion, gets dressed and once we start to see eyes rolling we go to bed. He slept from 10pm-2am  woke  up  to eat, i pumped and he was back to sleep from 2:45am-5:30am. Mike gets the 5:00-5:30am shift and after his 5:30 am feeding he goes back to bed until usually 7:30 or so.  So, if we can just get Maddox on the same schedule once he is home I would say it's a good start.  

Pumping is going really good. I was so nervous I wasn't going to produce enough but so far the boys are getting strictly breast milk. We go back and forth from breast feeding to bottle feeding, but mostly bottle feeding. It is just easier in the sense that I know how much they are getting and not feeding them every hour bc I am guessing how much they get from the breast. Also, Mason is picky and sometimes he will breast feed and the rest of the time he just wants the bottle and that is it! He will let you know really quick which it is :)  At this point I am pumping 50-60oz a day and they eat between 3-4 oz each every 3-4 hours so I am doing good or just pumping enough :)

I am so happy to  have Maddox home tomorrow. It just doesn't feel right without him and i can't wait to get him to start doing tummy time, chillin in his swing, bouncy seat and just some 24/7 time with mom and dad.  I know he is getting the care he needs in the NICU, but at this point he really needs the stimulation and bonding time with us so we are ready for him to come home. However, I am nervous for two babies. The past 3 weeks we have just had Mason and it has been pretty easy going for the most part. I am sure two will be a bit chaotic at first, but we will be all together! I can't wait to see them side by side, in the same crib, and just hanging out together. 

Here are a few pics :)




Mason has been home for two weeks and still waiting on Maddy boy :(

So, a lot has happened since my last post.  Maddox is still in the hospital and battled a blood infection which turned out to be Ecoli :(.  He had to have a spinal tap to rule out a few things, but he is doing much better. It has been very hard having Maddox in the hospital and Mason home. I feel like I am neglecting Maddox by not being able to give him 24/7 care like I am Mason. Every day one of us goes up there for a few hours and it just breaks my heart. His poor little body has been through so much. Constant IV's, spinal tap, and blood work done every few days :(.  His poor little eyes are so swollen from being laid in the bassinet all day. That is the hardest part for me. I just want to pick him up and carry him all day just so he doesnt have to lay down anymore. He is also getting so big! Mason is a good size, but i feel like Maddy is just so big! I am sure the fluids play a part in that too and him looking swollen. He is a whopping 6 pounds 10 oz. Also, he is a little bit temperamental. When he wants to eat he lets you know. I don't think I have heard a child scream like that in a very long time. I hope that when he gets home and is out of the nicu environment and more comfortable he wont find the need to scream bloody murder when he wants to eat...lol.  I find it is getting very hard for me to see him there. I want more than anything to hold him and see him, but I just cry when i am there and i hold him. Seeing your child with wires and puffy from positioning is just very hard. He is scheduled to come home on February 23rd and I just wish it would get here already. We are ready to have our family complete and home settled.  

Mason is doing good! He is a very good, calm baby. As long as you feed him, change him and give him his binky he is a very content little man.  He loves bath time and likes watching the puggles :) We are sleeping about 3-4 hour stretches at night which is nice, but i still happen to get up and put my hand on his stomach to make sure he is still breathing...lol. I am sure I will be doing that for a long time. 

I now know how much sleep has meant to me. I am exhausted and with pumping it makes it a little harder. I would be able to sleep in longer stretches when Mike is home, but pumping every 3 hours puts a little damper on the whole sleep thing. My body seems to know what is going on bc it is still producing and there are times in the day I get about 8oz in one 20-30 min pump. Not sure how i am going to do with both boys drinking a little over 3 oz every 3.5-4 hours eeek!!!  I did make some really yummy lactation cookies so maybe that has helped. 

well, I have to go since a certain little man is looking like it is time to eat. 

Talk to you soon!

Shannon
Me and Maddox

Mason
Maki begging for attention...lol

Diary of a pumping lady! (do not read if you are offended by boobs :)

Hi everyone, 

Since my blog has covered everything from infertility, loss, joy, pregnancy and complications why not throw in their some more TMI stuff such as boobs and pumping/breastfeeding.  Since the boys are in the NICU for 5 weeks so far I have exclusively pumped for their every meal and we have worked on breast feeding a bit. Luckily, both boys have a good sense of what a breast is for and I think we might have a good chance for breastfeeding once we are home and able to really work on it "comfortably."  

At this point the boys are each eating 50 CC's of milk every three hours and they eat 8 times a day so if we do that math they are eating 27 oz a day.  Luckily, I am pumping roughly about 40oz so i am able to keep up for now :) However, pumping is no joke! Every 2-3 hours around the clock I hook myself up for about 20-30 min so I can maintain and up my supply for the boys. Most days I am a zombie and waking up at 12:30am, 3:00am and 6:00am can be very hard but, I really enjoy knowing the boys are getting strickly breast milk while in the NICU. I am setting little goals for pumping. I want to make it to three months with pumping and if we can transition to both pumping/breastfeeding that would be great. I would love to set my goal for breast feeding to six months and then if it works out well we can extend that goal.

However, the things nobody tells you when pumping...sizing of the parts, itchy/burning nipples, plugged ducts, mastitis etc.  So far in five weeks I have had one plugged duct and one milk blister. I am pretty sure after five weeks I am learning that my right flange (breast shield)may be too big causing my nippy to turn every shade of purple and blue I have ever seen! I am not going to lie it is awful.  When I had the plugged duct I spent four hours pumping, heat, massaging, showering so this DAMN thing would let the milk pass. With the milk blister (bleb) I spent almost the  same amount  of time until I read if you take a sterile needle you can lift the skin and relieve the milk pressure. Thankfully that worked, but the damn blister keeps coming back!! GAH! 

I am hoping that once the boys are home and we can work more on breastfeeding things will become a little easier in the pumping  dept. I just have to figure out a routine. I guess I will put them to the breast at every feeding and hope they get some milk and then follow it up with a bottle to make sure they are full. Then I will pump to make sure I am empty as well. Now all I will need are extra hours in the day to make sure we can accomplish all this in a timely manner and still manage to not look like a zombie :)  

So, please, feel free to give me ANY tips on pumping along with breast feeding. I did make a pact with myself that if at any point I am hating life pumping and breastfeeding does not work out, I will not be misterable and force it. I have nothing against formula and If need be in order to get quality time with my kids I will just have to make the switch.  I have worked too hard for these babies to miss out bc I am constantly at the pump and frustrated. 

In regards to the boys! Maddox passed his car seat test :) and Mason's numbers went up with the meds for the Anemia (didn't get Maddox's numbers yet) So, he might come home this week!  Maddox I dont think is too far behind. Both boys are within an oz of eachother at 5pounds 5 oz and 5 pounds 4 oz. They look so good!

Thank you for making it this far!!

Shannon