July 31, 2010

Jonathan's birthday pictures...

We had a great day celebrating Jonathan's birthday today...

I make him (and us) some cupcakes...

And we went out to the cemetery to put new flowers on his grave, sing him happy birthday, and send our birthday message balloons up to heaven.

My parents were there with us to help celebrate this special day...

And my sweet husband brought me roses...


And just because...a few adorable pictures of Betsy in some of the cute positions she has been sleeping in the last few days...

She thought my belly was a big pillow in this one!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Boy!

It is unbelievable to us that it has been two whole years since our precious boy started his life in Heaven...

I woke up last night at 2:55, and I just laid there thinking about what was happening the same time two years ago...he was stillborn at 2:30, and we had about an hour with him, to kiss his sweet face, bathe him in our tears, and soak in every detail of him. Our moms got to meet him, hold him, pray over him. Our two wonderful friends and pastors from church came all the way out in the middle of the night and got to be a part of the brief time we had on earth with him. Such absolutely precious memories to me, and some of the hardest moments of our lives...

But now, two years later, as we celebrate the two years of his memory and his too-short little life, there are definitely some tears over what we missed out on with him, but there is also joy and thankfulness in my heart. He forever changed me. It was this little sweet boy that made Justin a daddy and me a mommy...even though I never got to hear him cry, change his diaper, rock him to sleep, kiss a boo-boo, and do all the other things a mommy is supposed to do, he is and will always be my son. I daily think of him, tell him that I love him, refer to him in conversation, and now, as I'm pregnant with his brothers, thank him for the sacrifice that his little life was that is making it possible for me to get to do all those things for his little brothers. In the year and a half or so after we lost him, I would tell him that since he was up in heaven, it was his job to pick out his brothers or sisters for us...and I think that he has done a wonderful job!!

Happy 2nd birthday my precious Jonathan Paul...I love you more than I know how to express. I miss you so very much, and I can't believe that it has already been 2 whole years since I was able to kiss your sweet little face. You are in my heart and thoughts every day, and I can't wait for the day in Heaven that I will finally get hold you forever...Happy birthday, my sweet boy! We love you!

July 28, 2010

24 WEEKS!!!!

We made it...We made it...We made it!!!!! 6 months pregnant!!!

How far along? 24 weeks today!!! We made it to viability!!!

How big are the babies?

(This is a picture of fraternal twins, not identical, but you can get the picture of how tight they are beginning to get in there!!)

(Info for 24 weeks--from babycenter.com)

Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

(Info for 24-28 weeks with twins--from i-am-pregnant.com)

You have encountered a magical point in your pregnancy. Around 24 weeks, the babies will enter the stage of viability. If born now, there is a 90% chance of survival with medical intervention. During these four weeks, the babies will double their weight and by week 28 each baby will weight around 3 pounds and will be around 15 inches long. Fat is developing rapidly under the skin and the babies are beginning to get more pigment in their skin. Hair continues to grow and facial features are becoming more distinct. During this month your babies' eyelids will become unfused. If observed on ultrasound, you can see your baby opening and closing their eyes. Each baby is already very individual and has their own cycles of sleep and wakefulness. Babies will begin to respond to sound during this month. Turn on the music and read to your babies each day.

Total weight gain/loss? Unofficially, about 18 pounds. Next weeks' appointments will give us official updates.

Belly measurement? 43 inches!

Maternity clothes? Definitely...bigger and bigger ones!

Stretch marks? None found yet!

Sleep? Getting more uncomfortable. I just can't seem to get in a comfy position, even with my now 7 pillows! I seem to not be able to get back to sleep quickly once I've woken up either! =( But it is all worth it for these precious boys!!

Best moment this week? Hiccups!! A few times this week, I'm sure that I'm feeling them hiccup! Yesterday, I felt like I was getting regular headbutts from Will on my left side...so precious! Justin felt sorry for him, but the doctor says that hiccups in utero are good because it means that they are continuing to practice breathing, and that their diaphragms are strengthening! So good for them, and fun for me! I know, I know...probably in another few weeks, I might not think it is so cute anymore, but for now, I'm LOVING every minute!!

Movement? Lots of movement...all over my belly! It has been fun to feel them both moving at the same time! Also, since will is still laying transverse, I feel his head and arms move on one side of my belly while his feet are kicking on my other side (and probably kicking poor Jack in the head!) It is the most reassuring thing in the world to feel them kicking so often. Every day Justin comes home and asks if they've been moving today, and it is so nice to be able to report in that they definitely are!

Food cravings? Nothing really this week that has been specific...

Labor signs? Nope!!! And I told the boys that they aren't allowed to show their faces (except on ultrasound) for at least 90 more days!! And they told me that they are good boys and would obey their mommy. =)

Belly button--in or out? Still about the same as last week...acting like it wants to pop out, but not quite there yet.

What am I looking forward to?

I'm looking forward to my two doctor appointments next week...my official 24 OB appointment, and another ultrasound with our specialist! I just love the fact that we get to peek in so often...I love being high risk, but not at risk. Does that make sense?

I'm also looking forward to the glucose test in a few weeks. I know those of you that have done all this before are probably thinking I'm insane, but it is just so exciting to me to be reaching all these pregnancy milestones that I never reached in my pregnancy with Jonathan! I'm officially farther than I have ever been before!! What a miracle--and so encouraging to Justin and me!

Milestones? Obviously, the fact that we are at 24 weeks is our HUGE milestone for the week! We just can't wait for the next 3+ months to fly by so we can hold these precious miracles in our arms!!

...Now on to full term!!! At least 36 weeks!

July 24, 2010

I'm so proud...

...of my wonderful husband! Yesterday and today have been some great days for him, and I just have to brag on him a little bit!!!

Yesterday, he had his semi-annual review at work, and it was AWESOME!! He is so great at what he does, and it was nice for him to hear it from his boss. He is truly one of the leaders on his team, and I'm so very proud of him and all the hard work and long hours he puts in for our family!

Also yesterday, he found out how he ranks in comparison to other loan officers in his company... he is currently 4th in all of Texas and 2nd in the whole DFW region! Truly incredible!! He is on track right now to make it into the National Sales Conference, for a second year in a row, that is only made up of the best people in the company from all over the nation! What a huge accomplishment! Justin, you amaze me, and I'm so proud that you are mine!!

And today, he was up bright and early to do his 4th triathlon!! He has been training and doing these now for almost 2 years, and is still loving it and doing a spectacular job! I just don't understand how anybody can do it...350 m swim, 15 mile bike ride, and 5K run...all together!! There were a ton of people there, but Justin was near the front of the pack, and my dad and I had a great time being his 'cheerleaders'! We even found a place to park just on the other side of the fence from the finish line, so we could wait for him in an air conditioned car--super important for a pregnant lady!! =)

Here are some pics from the big event...

Just before the start...

Gotta love the self portraits...

The pool--50 m pool--that is a long swim up and back 7 times!

Jumping in...kind of hard to see him right under the start...

Almost done!!

Getting out... and moving on to the bike

Little bit far away...

Coming in the end...just a few hundred yards left to go...

He still had the energy to be silly!!

Last few steps!

Done!! They even announced his name as he crossed--fun!

A little tired...

Cutie pie...

The proud wife...ignore the fence in between us...it was just too far for me to walk all the way around to get inside!

Can you tell that I love my husband??? Babe--I'm so very proud of you and all the amazing things you accomplish...both at work and at play! I so glad to share life with you, and I can't wait until next year...the boys and I will be there to cheer Daddy on! I love you!

July 23, 2010

23 weeks!

Sorry I'm a day late with this post...just couldn't get myself out of the pool yesterday afternoon to make a post! =)

Here are my 23 week pictures...I can't believe how big I'm getting! And from what my doctor says, the next 4 weeks the babies will double in size!! Wow! I'm already getting close to needing to raid my husband's closet for big shirts...lots of my maternity clothes are too small!

The bellybutton...it is weird--depending on the day, it is deeper or shallower, I guess depending on how the babies are laying! Some days I feel like it's about to pop out, and it even hurts around it like it is stretching! Then yesterday, it seemed like it was a little bit deeper again--strange!
I haven't ever been this far with a pregnant belly (my water broke with Jonathan at 22w5d, so my belly shrunk some) so everything from now on is a brand new experience!! Just 6 more days until 24 weeks...I'm so excited! And getting more and more confident that everything is really going to be okay, and I will get to hold these precious babies in my arms!!

And just for a quick preview of the nursery progress, here's a picture of what has been accomplished so far! Notice the 2 colors of paint, and the chair rail! So adorable!! I just want to cry when I go in there!

My dad and Justin have been working SO hard in our house the last couple of weeks--it is seriously a work zone there, but it is really coming together! The last thing is the new carpet coming on Tuesday, a new ceiling fan in the nursery, and crown moulding in a couple more rooms this weekend! I can hardly wait for it all to be done and be settled back in our house!

A more detailed pregnancy update will come next week--at 24 weeks!!!

July 21, 2010

Another great appointment!!

I'm so happy to report in another great appointment and ultrasound!! We only got a few pictures today--mostly of Jack. Will was facing down and it was hard to get any good 3D shots of him. Here is one of the best ones of Jack posing a little bit. I haven't scanned any in to the computer yet (our house is in shambles because of all the amazing projects we have going--a post on that soon--so the computer with the scanner is unplugged at the moment!). Justin was able to sneak a picture of the screen with his iphone during the appointment, so I thought I'd just put that one up for now!

We just love love love seeing these precious faces, cute little noses, and delicate little hands. What a treat to get so many 3D pictures of the boys!!! We feel very lucky!

All of the news from the appointment was wonderful...my cervix is still 'a mile long' according to the doctor (6 cm), and the boys' fluid levels around them continue to remain pretty even. Their abdomens looked about the same size (actual measurements are in 2 weeks), and all these things means that there is still no sign of twin-to-twin-transfusion! Praise Jesus!!!

Jack's heart rate was 151, and Will's was 143--nice and strong! Jack was definitely our mover today, and they are still in pretty much the same position as last time--Will transverse and Jack on my right side with his feet down near my bladder! It cracked us up---on the dvd they made, we could actually see Will's foot right behind Jack's head...he is probably getting a lot of kicks in the head, poor baby!

A post on the progress of the nursery coming soon...it is painted, chair rail is up, and the last thing we're waiting for is carpet next Tuesday!! I seriously walk in there and want to cry it is so cute!!


A quick update on my friend Andrea's baby Ellie:

Last they heard her head was measuring in the 20th percentile...bigger than they had originally thought, and her limbs are measuring on track. She is still showing some fluid around her heart, but no more than before--praise Jesus! She goes in for a specialized ultrasound on Friday morning, and I know she would appreciate your prayers! God is a miracle working God!!! I'm believing for great news!!

Passed the first date...

Yesterday I was 22 weeks 5 days...the same day as I was in my pregnancy with Jonathan when my water broke, and everything started to go downhill. I've been waiting anxiously to get passed this date in my pregnancy, and funny thing is, I didn't even realize it had passed until I was going to bed late last night!! Isn't it just like God to give a spirit of peace, just when we need it most??

Today I have another appointment with my high risk doctor, and I can just hardly wait to get a glimpse at the precious faces of my miracle boys!! And a quick peek at my cervix, still long and holding strong!!

So now, to get through the next dates: 23 weeks, 2 days...the day Jonathan was born into heaven, and July 29, the day we make it to 24 weeks--viability!! Thanks for your continued prayers for all of us, and hopefully, later today or tomorrow, I'll have some great new pictures of our boys to post!

July 16, 2010

Weddzilla Giveaways!!

Just a little break from the typical Steiner Life blog...

My brother's company,
is having some great giveaways over on their blog right now, and I just had to share! I love free things, so I couldn't resist posting these contests here on my blog!! =)

There are a few really cool prizes that you can win if you hop on over to Weddzilla.com Blog and check them out!

~The first giveaway is awesome if you are planning a wedding and need disposable cameras for the reception tables...Click HERE to check it out and enter!
~The second giveaway is great for any person in the bridal party, or if you just happen to like pretty necklaces!! No need to be a bride! Click HERE to check out that one!
It is super simple to enter these contests...I think it would be so cool if someone I know or that reads my blog wins!

You might not have heard of Weddzilla.com before...so let me give you the 2-second rundown of what it is and does...

Weddzilla.com is basically a website that simplifies weddings!!!

~If you are planning to get married, helping someone plan a wedding, or even know of someone who is planning a wedding, check out Weddzilla.com. It will help you to plan your wedding in an easier and smarter way: by having vendors come to you with their quotes, instead of spending hours calling multiple vendors for every little thing you need, and helping you to keep organized all the great inspirations and ideas that you find all over the web! It is so user/bride-friendly, that you the planning stress will start to melt away! And it is absolutely free!

~If you have your own business that is connected to the wedding industry (florist, photographer, cakes, etc), check out Weddzilla.com. You can save a ton of money on advertising, and sign up to be a vendor and will be able to search the Weddifieds (classifieds where brides post what they are needing for their special day). Pretty much, the brides come to you, and you can choose the date, budgets, and brides that you want to work with--and even connect with them through the site! So much more exposure for your business!

I know I'm a little bit biased because my brother and his wife started this company, but honestly, it is the most incredible website and biggest help for anyone going through or traveling on the the roller-coaster ride called wedding planning! I remember back in 2002 when I was busy planning my wedding...thank goodness my parents were helping, but I cannot imagine how much easier it would have been if Weddzilla had been around!

Take a couple minutes and check out the site. Even if there are no weddings in the near future for you, I'm sure you'll come across someone who you can at least tell, "You have to check out Weddzilla.com"!!

July 15, 2010

22 weeks!!

(I'm not sure what in the world is wrong with my formatting today...please ignore the fact that this post is all underlined! It isn't supposed to be centered, all in bold, or blue, but I'm just too tired to try to figure out what is going on and fix it!)

How far along?

I am 22 weeks today!!

How big are the babies?

According to Babycenter.com, they are "11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment."

I think our boys might be just a little bigger, at least weight-wise, than this says, just because of where they were a week ago at our ultrasound.

Total weight gain/loss?

15 pounds so far!

Belly measurement?

42 inches!!

Stretch marks?

Still no stretch marks....yes!


Okay...still surrounded by pillows galore. I'm definitely noticing that if I don't have a pillow under my belly and one beneath my knees, I'm really uncomfortable!!

Best moment this week?

My parents came home last week, and they were both able to feel the boys kick. It was so exciting to see them excited!


They are definitely moving a whole bunch more, and I'm feeling kicks, and I think hiccups too, fairly often! There are many times a day when one or both of them push out really hard with their head or maybe their back, and it is great to feel their little bodies! So amazing!!!

Food cravings?

None really this week...still wanting to eat hummus and pita bread though!

Labor signs?

None...praise Jesus!

Belly button--in or out?

It's getting closer and closer to being flat!! Any day now!!!

What am I looking forward to?

24 week milestone--coming up in 14 days! Weeks 22 and 23 with Jonathan were not the best weeks, so I will be so glad to get past them to 24!


Here are a couple of pictures of the belly today!!

This first one cracks me up...the belly is definitely off center a little bit!

Here's the belly...growing, growing, growing!!

July 10, 2010

Joys of homeownership...

The last few weeks, while my parents were out of town, we have been 'housesitting' for them and enjoying their pool!! We go home every few days to get the mail, check on our house, water the plants, scan in pictures from the ultrasounds =), and just keep an eye on things.

Since my parents are now back in town, we packed up all the stuff we'd brought over during the last few weeks, and headed home to spend some time in our own house and bed. So it was to our horror as we walked into the garage to start unloading the cars, we experienced the one of the great joys of homeownership...

Look carefully at the top of our water heater...do you see the leak? The rusty-looking water dripping down the side? By the time of this picture, the flow had stopped, but everything on the floor in that part of the garage was just a little bit wet. Fun.

But, the good news...and there seem to be many things that we can be thankful for!

~Our water heater is in the garage, not some closet inside the house. So the flood was limited to the garage, and really only affected the sheetrock on the little pedestal that the water heater is standing on. I just can't even begin to imagine the damage we would have had to face if our giant water heater was inside of our house!!

~We have a home warranty that will pay for a new water heater!!! Praise Jesus! We will just have to pay for any adjustments that the new water heater might require. Thank goodness, because we are already in the process of ordering and putting in new carpet at the end of the month, and we really didn't want to have to spend the money on a water heater instead of fresh new carpet for our boys!!

~Since there is no hot water in our house, and probably won't be until sometime later this week, we have a place to stay at my parent's house! We just put our stuff back into the car, and headed back to my their house!

All in all, not the kind of thing you want to come home to, but it could have been a WHOLE lot worse!! I guess when you're a homeowner, you just have to be ready for anything!!

July 8, 2010

The boys at 21 weeks!

Another wonderful appointment with Dr. Z, our maternal fetal medicine doctor!! Here are a bunch of pictures from the day so far, with the updated stats down below...enjoy!

Here's the belly at 21 weeks--wow! (I decided to use my laptop to take my pictures this week--pretty cool)
This is my computerized version of the positions the boys are in today! Jack is head up, with his little feet right down on my bladder! And Will is lying transverse, with his feet kicking Jack in the head!!

Here are their precious profiles... Jackson first with his little nose squished into my placenta!

And William just chilling!

And now for some 3D shots...

First Jack--since he was so close to my placenta, it made it a little hard to get super clear pictures of him (I guess the more fluid around them, the better the 3D shots turn out).

And Will... he was just hanging out, posing, moving his hands all around, and being a cooperative little guy!!

Overall, the boys are just beautiful and are doing SO incredibly well!! Dr. Z told us multiple times how well they are doing, how good they look, and how happy he is to see their great progress!

Today's Stats:

Jack--measuring 21w 5d (5 days ahead), 15 oz, heartbeat 152, all bones/measurements right on track, and plenty of fluid around him. Jack even had the hiccups while the doctor was trying to hear the umbilical cord sounds--I couldn't feel them yet, but it was so cute to watch his chest bouncing and hearing them through the doppler!

Will--measuring 21w 3d (3 days ahead), 14 oz, heartbeat 140, all measurements right on track, with plenty of fluid around him. He was pretty mellow today, just enjoying getting his pictures taken!! The DVD of the ultrasound is great of him--he was showing off how cute he is!

Mommy--BP 128/64, cervix measuring almost 6 cm and closed (Dr. Z said it was like a mile long!!)

It's just hard to believe that they are both just about a pound already!! What a great appointment--it is so reassuring that they are doing so well, and that my body is doing great keeping them in to grow strong and healthy! We only have 21 days until we make the 24 week/viability mark! And then on to full term...36 weeks (or more!)!

What a great day!