Monday, October 31, 2011

The Little Bear and the Owl

Just a few pictures from today and this past weekend.  We have called Henry, "Little Bear," since he was born.  And, well, we called Harper our little "chicken nugget," but we couldn't find that costume, so we decided on an owl.  If you know me, you know I have a slight obsession with owls, so I thought it was perfect.  I know we can't go anywhere this year, and Mark and I were the only ones who were going to be with H&H on this night, but it's their first Halloween, so we decided to do costumes anyway!  We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

Sweet Harper girl

Henry, our little bear

They really do love each other.

I can already hear it now..."she did it!"

She looks really happy to be wearing that bow!

Sweet babies!  I swore I would never put a "big bow" in Harper's hair until she, in fact, had hair; but I'm so tired of having to point out which one is the girl!  Plus, if she takes after her momma, she'll be two before she even has enough hair for a bow!  :)

Just hanging out in our pi's!  We love it!

Harper loves Henry, but am I the only one who thinks Henry looks like he's about to elbow her??

Played so hard we fell asleep right on our blanket.

Our first Halloween!!

Harper looks thrilled to be wearing her costume! :)

My two cutie pies


Monday, October 24, 2011

From my heart...

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, and I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13-16)

This blog post is a little different from others.  For one, I am not going to talk about Harper and Henry.  But, one day when they read this, I want them to know how their mom felt about an issue that is so important to me.  The issue of LIFE.  Some of you may want to stop reading right now because you may not agree with what I have to say.  That’s okay, I understand.  It is not my intention to hurt feelings or to start an argument with friends.  So, please know that before you continue reading.   

I have been reading about Amendment 26 and how, if passed, it will affect everything from birth control, to couples who have to use IVF to conceive.  I wanted to share with you my personal story, and my personal opinion about the matter.  I realize what most people say about “opinions,” but I still feel led to share.

Almost three years ago, after trying to conceive a child for a year with no luck, Mark and I decided to seek help from a fertility doctor.  We went to Memphis for our initial visit.  The doctor told us, based on my medical history, that there was probably nothing wrong with me, but that he wanted to go ahead and do the routine tests just to rule anything “crazy” out.  So, for the better part of a month, I went for different tests.  I was scheduled to return at the end of the month to discuss what the results were and what plan of action we could take.  I vividly remember the drive to Memphis that day.  Mark and I were just sure that the doctor was going to say I was fine, keep trying, and we would be on our way.  So sure, if fact, that we had already planned where we would eat lunch and what stores we would hit up before heading back to Corinth.  I did not expect to be taken into my doctor’s personal office, and neither one of us expected to hear my diagnosis.  He told me that he was very puzzled by the results from my tests.  So puzzled, in fact, he wanted to perform the same tests again just to be sure.  So another month full of tests passed, and the results were the same.  I was diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve and given less than 1% chance of EVER conceiving a child on our own.  Devastated does not even come close to how we felt.  Our doctor told us that in his medical opinion, IVF was the only choice we had if we wanted a baby.  However, he felt that even with the help of IVF, my chances didn’t’ look good.  I, being my stubborn self, refused to believe that IVF could be my only option.  So, we tried everything else.  Nothing worked.  And if you know anything about DOR, you know that with every month that passes, your chances of conceiving get less and less.  Mark and I struggled with what to do.  We prayed, and we had our family and very close friends praying for us as well.  During this time, God placed some new and special friends in my life.  Friends who just happened to have gone through IVF themselves, and were so open and honest with me about it.  Friends who I consider strong Christian women. Friend who I trust and I admire.  I will always be grateful to those girls.  You see, I struggled with whether or not to do IVF because I knew, as a Christian, I could not, would not, dispose of any “extra” embryos, even if that meant that we would have 10 children.  So be it!  In my opinion, LIFE happens at conception, the moment the egg is fertilized.  Mark and I struggled with what we would do if we had “extra” embryos.  Disposing of them would not be an option, because that is LIFE!  In our case, we are not faced with having to decide what to do, but for many couples, I know this is an issue they face with IVF.
I believe that God is the author and creator of life.  Knowing that, I knew that it didn’t matter how many times Mark and I tried IVF, if God did not ordain us to have biological children, it would never work.  Knowing and believing this gave us a peace about choosing IVF.   

I know this is very personal.  Probably a little “too much information” for some people, but I feel like God laid this on my heart for me to share.  I share this because I want people to know that truth about IVF and for people to understand the misconceptions about Amendment 26.  I have been so heartbroken over hearing about the upcoming vote and how some people say that anyone who would vote “yes” is uneducated and stupid, or that they are sexist and don’t care about women’s rights.  Well, the truth is, I don’t consider myself very educated when it comes to politics.   However, I know what God says about abortion and the sanctity of human life, and that’s all I need to know.  Period.  I know not everyone who reads this is going to agree with me.  That’s okay.  I am not going to judge anyone who chooses to vote “No,” but I feel like, as a Christian, there is only one way I can vote, and that is “Yes!”  Do I think this amendment will take away my rights as a woman?  I’m not sure, but I know it will give rights to the babies who can’t fight for themselves.  The bible says, “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 51: 1-2).  It also says, You shall not murder.”  (Exodus 20:13).  I am going to attach a video that dispels any “rumors” or false accusations about Amendment 26.  I urge you to take the time and watch it and then decide for yourself.

Please know that I am not writing this to judge or condemn anyone who has chosen abortion, or is for abortion.  I just feel like this is a very important issue and that God was calling me to take a stand.  I serve a God whose blood paid for all of our sins if we simply ask for it.  I, being a BIG sinner myself, find that I need His grace, mercy, and forgiveness all day, everyday.

Please watch:

and then watch:

Before you watch this one, just be sure to have small children out of the room.  Stick with it because it's long but really good!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pictures and Videos

Just a quick update! We are doing well! We went to Memphis Monday with Henry for his pulmonology visit. He's about the same. Our doctor agreed with us that we need to keep his meds the same until we get past all his shots. We went Tuesday and had part 2 of his 4 month shots. So far he seems to be tolerating it well! Thank you for your prayers!! We are worried about him, however, because he's decided to quit eating! This has been going on for a few weeks, but it seems to be getting worse! Our doctor thinks that he's realizing that eating makes him sick (reflux), so he's just decided to stop eating! He hasnt lost any weight yet, but we're hoping to meet with speech therapy soon before weight loss becomes an issue!

Harper girl is just a doll! As long as she gets her food, she's a happy little girl! She smiles all the time now. I don't have this documented because the second I grab my phone or the camera she stops! I did manage to capture her waking up on video below. I promise, this is how she wakes up every single morning! She makes my heart swell! If it's possible, Mark and I fall in love with these kiddos more and more each day! We are just so grateful to God for giving us this great and scary job of raising His children. God is so good!

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

Sweet Harper girl in her pumpkin hat

On our way to Memphis

Going the second dose of his 4 month shots

Henry likes to play with mommy's phone

Just hanging out in our pj's! It's our favorite thing to do!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two Little Pumpkins

This post is for the family and friends who haven't been able to meet H&H!!  They are just growing so fast!  Harper is right on the edge of starting to roll!  She lifts her head up like a big girl during tummy time.  I'm so proud of her.  Henry doesn't really like tummy time, but I think he's coming around.  We have a pediatric physical therapist that comes to work with the twins on Thursdays.  She is very pleased with the milestones they are hitting.  Their corrected age is almost 3 months while their actual age is almost 5 months.  However, I'm so happy to say that they are meeting almost every milestone for their actual age.  Having been born almost 9 weeks early, that is a HUGE praise!!!  

Harper loving her tummy time.  Sometimes I really think she's going to just start crawling!

Proof that Henry doesn't really care for it!

Tuckered out after a long workout.

I love that he sleeps with his little hands together.

We have to keep mittens on Harper.  Her little hands stay so cold!

Our little pumpkins in their pumpkin pajamas.

Henry was trying to roll over while we were taking these pictures.

Cute little pumpkin booties.

Henry is always smiling.  Harper has started smiling, just not for the camera.

Brother and sister love.

This is our bonus room that is next to the nursery.  This was formerly Mark's "man cave!"  This is where we spend 99.9 percent of our time these days.  Mark and I have moved upstairs for the time being.  You can tell the H&H have basically taken this room over as their own! 

Our first family photo outside of a hospital!  These people are my life!