Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, Back to Work I Go.

Maternity leave has flown by and this last week before I head back to work feels like it’s going by a million miles an hour.  The dreaded, awful day is quickly approaching.  I have stressed about this day since the day these boys came into the world.  Everyone told me I would.  Everyone said you won’t want to go back to work once they’re here.  I just brushed it off, I didn’t believe them, until the boys arrived.

I have always worked.  I got my first job when I was 15 and have been working ever since.  I always thought I would be a career woman.  I graduated high school early and got started right away with college.  I planned to be a nurse, then changed to forensics, then went back to nursing, then I thought I might be a paramedic.  And then I found motorcycles and EVERYTHING changed.  For the first few years of riding, it consumed me and I lost interest in school.

I am a busy body, so I knew that once I became a mom I would plan to return to the workforce.  Now the time is here and all I can think about is how I have absolutely no desire to go back to work.  Not because I don’t want to work, but because I want to be with my babes.  I am fortunate to have a job that allows me to work remotely from home aside from doing a few visits a day.  I am also so incredibly fortunate to have an amazing family that will help me and Jake watch the boys in between our schedules.

Even with both of these things – my boys with family and me working remotely – I still can’t help but feel like I will be losing time with them.  I have to keep reminding myself that they are not being taken away from me.  I now have to choose how to spend my time outside of work.  So my promise to them, my husband and myself is to take in every moment of being with them.  To work hard for them, but play harder with them in return.  To help provide alongside my husband so we can continue to live the lifestyle that we live.  To remember that it will be hard, but it will be worth it.  And most importantly right now, that they will be able to spend time with family who loves and adores them while Jake and I are away with work.

So to all of the other working mama’s out there, I salute you.  Whether you’re working full-time, multiple jobs, part-time or being a stay at home mom (which is a never-ending job), I know how hard you work for yourself and your family.  Moms are a different breed of human entirely, working hard and fiercely to provide for your family, no matter what the work is.

 

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Bringing the Boys Earth-side

I have sat down and tried typing this up at least 3 different times now but am having a hard time finding adequate words.  Life has also been crazy busy since our little guys arrived so that has made it a little bit difficult too, but I want to share my birth story. A day hasn’t gone by since my delivery day that I haven’t thought about it.  I had such a beautiful birth experience and if I could, I would relive it again in a heart beat!

I can’t tell you how many times that I thought I would’ve gone into preterm labor or something would’ve gone wrong and required delivering the boys early.  I’m a worst case scenario thinker and a tad bit of a worry wort.  As time went on and we hit major mile stones, things got easier.  We hit viability week – 24 weeks.  Then we made it to 30 weeks.  Then we made it to 34 weeks and somehow we made it all the way to 36 weeks and 6 days which was our scheduled induction day, 5/30/17.

My whole pregnancy flew by but definitely had stand still moments as well.  I remember at one of my appointments towards the end, my doctor and I set the date for induction.  I still didn’t have much confidence I would make it to that point, but having a date set felt crazy.  The date seemed so far away at the time that it was scheduled, but after that appointment time sped up insanely quick.

It was the night before induction day and I had so many emotions running through my mind.  I had no idea what to expect with labor and delivery, let alone delivering twins.  I kept wishing that I had one more week so that I could get myself together.  As I was going to bed all I could think about was how this would be my last night at home without being a mom and that I needed to get the best sleep I could.  Well, that backfired and between anxiety, peeing 30 times and not being able to breathe because I had two humans pushing up against my diaphragm, I maybe got 4 hours.  I woke up that morning and thought to myself, well this is it, welcome to TeamNoSleep.

Once we got the green light to head to labor and delivery, the real nerves kicked in.  I don’t know if I was more nervous to go through labor or to bring home two tiny babies, both seemed pretty terrifying.  I remember trying to sign all of the paperwork and having to sign HIPAA docs and other forms for my two unborn children…  My children….  CHILDREN —  Plural.  Holy shit.  After that mental fiasco and coming to the realization that I wasn’t leaving labor and delivery until I was a parent, we got brought back to the labor room around 6pm.

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We got all settled in for the long night and I was started on Cytotec to get things moving since I was only dilated to a measly 1.  After a few hours, nothing much had changed so we got started on a second dose.  A little bit into that, Baby B aka Gunner’s heart rate had a few drops.  It was around 11pm at that time and there was no sleep in sight.  That was all I could think about.  I just wanted to sleep.  But between heart rate drops, nurse and resident checks and contractions beginning to get stronger I daydreamed about sleep instead.

I was started on pitocin sometime after that and the contractions started to become more regular.  I was finally dilated to a…. 2 around 2 in the morning.  Yay!  The excitement and anxiety had worn off by this time and I was ready to be done.  I wanted sleep, I wanted to be able to breathe, and I wanted these babies out.  My mom and Jake were at the bedside asleep and I don’t think I have ever been so jealous in my life.  So at that point I decided, screw it.  I have nothing to prove.  Let’s get this epidural so that I can get some sleep.  And I did just that and have zero regrets.  I got the epidural around 3am and once it had kicked in, they turned up the pitocin and it was goodnight.

I was finally able to get some sleep on and off until around 6am.  I was laying in bed thinking about how I’d probably still be in labor at this time tomorrow morning with how slow my body was progressing.  I felt a contraction come on and had the strangest sensation with it.  It felt like I had a water balloon being filled up to capacity inside of me and then all of a sudden felt it burst and then a lovely gush of fluid.  My mom and Jake were still asleep and silly me, I thought I could get away with letting the nurse know and not waking them up.  I hit my call light and over the intercom whispered, “I think my water just broke”.  Jake and my mom were instantly wide awake and bushy tailed after that.  The resident and nurse came in to check and sure enough, Baby A aka Gavin’s water had broke.  We were in business for real now and they turned up the pitocin some more.

I was checked on and off that morning to early afternoon.  Things had started to speed up a little bit, but still not much.  I was thankfully able to sleep in and out of the commotion.  The things that I remember the most between 6am and delivery were how freaking hot I was and how tired I was.  I had cold wash cloths on my head and a fan blowing in my face and still felt like it was a million degrees in the room while everyone else had to wear a jacket because they were so cold.

Sometime around 2pm, my nurse checked me and to my complete surprise, she thought I was at a ten.  I never ever thought I was going to make it to a ten.  So she paged my doctor and shortly after, she arrived in her proper OR attire of scrubs and shit kickers.   She confirmed that I was at a ten and we worked on pushing to make sure that Gavin’s head was in the right station before moving to the OR.  Yep, that’s right, the OR.  Most hospitals require that twin births take place in the OR just incase something were to happen and an emergency c-section was needed.

And then, it was time.  Jake and my mom were able to come back to the OR with me and I said goodbye to all of our other family.  All the nerves and fear I had experienced the night before and of course the 9 months leading up to this point were gone.  I knew I was in the best hands and was so ready to be done so that I could take a nap!  I mean… meet my boys :P!!

I thought being in the OR would give me stage fright, but at this point, it didn’t matter that there were 15-20 other people in the OR with me as I got ready to deliver.  It didn’t take long before we were in business and as my next contraction came, I was instructed by the nurse to push.  Delivery was such an out of body experience.  I was obviously there physically, but mentally I was in some other place.  It was euphoric and beautiful and spiritual, hard to put into words.  I felt more powerful than I ever had in my entire life.  I found a quote while pregnant, that at that moment made more sense than anything else – “Mother is a cocoon where cells spark, limbs form, mother swells and stretches to protect her child(ren).  Mother has one foot in this world and one foot in the next.” – Warsan Shire.  One foot in this world and one foot in the next…  The best and only way I can put into words to describe the moment of delivery.

I don’t know how long I pushed, but I know it was very long and at 3:07, Gavin James was born.  Gunner was breech so I knew they would have to do a breech extraction for him.  I’ll save the gory details, but Jake said that it was the most alien thing he’s ever seen!!  At 3:10, Gunner Phoenix was born.  Both boys had to be given to NICU staff to be examined, but shortly after I was able to meet and do skin to skin with Gavin.  Gunner had some difficulties breathing and other issues typical of being “twin B”.  Eventually, Jake was able to hold Gunner and for the first time we were all together, our own family of four.  There are no words to describe this moment.  The busyness of the OR faded away as we sat together trying to take it all in.

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Gunner had to be taken to the nursery due to blood sugars being low and breathing issues and Jake was able to follow him there.  I was taken back to labor and delivery with Gavin on my chest.  Jake was able to then bring Gunner back to us a little while later where we were able to introduce our little family to our family that was there with us.  Both of our little guys were then taken for further monitoring of blood sugars and Gunner’s breathing.

5/31/2017 will forever be the best day of my entire life.  Gavin and Gunner made me a mom and Jake a dad.  They have given us a greater purpose and whole new outlook on life.  Time has flown by since they were born and I can’t believe that they are already 10 weeks old.  They are busy, happy and feisty little guys and I am so blessed that they are ours.

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February 27th

I thought I would be better about updating this blog, but alas pregnancy brain is at its peak and I don’t remember much of anything that I’m supposed to do these days.  Consider yourself lucky if I’ve remembered to brush my teeth that day…  Just kidding…  But really.  Pregnancy brain is a real phenomenon.

The last few weeks have been busy with regular biweekly-ish ultrasounds and also a fetal echocardiogram ultrasound.  The fetal echocardiogram is routine for identical twins to further ensure that there is no evidence of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a rare complication that happens when one baby is receiving more vasculature and nutrients than the other.  This was a really fun scan *insert sarcastic tone.  I was told when scheduling this could take up to 4 hours depending on how well the babies cooperated and how quickly the tech could identify all anatomical structures.  We don’t have the greatest track record of cooperating for ultrasounds as one of the boys typically makes it difficult.  And that was exactly the case.  They flipped sideways after baby A was finished and lucky for him, he then got scanned twice because they thought he was baby B.  The ultrasound tech was not shy and did not hold back when he told me, “Your kids are driving me crazy.”  We got some help from the radiologist who had to stop the scan at one point while laughing and stating, “There’s so many limbs!”  Once all was said and done and baby A and baby B finally each got scanned, we were pleased to find that all was well and no signs of any complications.    We get to go back for more fun at week 30 to make sure everything is continuing to mature as expected.

Today we had a routine ultrasound and everything was looking great!  Both boys again made it difficult, but we had our regular ultrasound tech who is fully aware of their shenanigans so we were able to get everything checked out.  Baby A (Gavin) is weighing in at 1 pound 5 ounces and baby B (Gunner) is weighing in a 1 pound 7 ounces.  Both boys are growing right on target and are healthy and very, very strong.  Gavin is on the left lower side and enjoys poking my bladder frequently.  (I’ve been told by my OB to drink 4-5 liters of water a day, so you can imagine how comfortable that is let alone being jabbed in a very frequently full bladder).  Gunner is in the right upper side and enjoys laying under my ribs and kicking his feet out to the left upper side.  They both make themselves known even though sometimes it is still hard to determine which one is punching/kicking me at which time.  I love feeling them move and have recently discovered that Gavin gets hiccups often.  It almost feels like a seizure in my belly.  Jake was able to feel them move for the first time the other night and that made my heart overflow.

I have been very blessed to have little to no symptoms/ complications the first 20+ weeks of pregnancy.  Even with two in there, my biggest complaint has only been back pain.  The last two weeks have been kind of different however.  I caught a nasty cold that then possibly turned into a sinus infection and has been giving me headaches for the last week and a half.  I’ve also been experiencing frequent heart palpitations and a high resting heart rate in the 100’s-120’s.  I was concerned about this and called the on-call who then had me check my blood pressure which was 155/98.  So up to OB Emergency at the UofU Hospital we went.  Thankfully all was well and my blood pressure went down some.  I don’t have any other signs or symptoms of preeclampsia and all of my blood work checked out good aside from finding out that I am anemic, which isn’t surprising with carrying twins.

If I had to say what the hardest part of this pregnancy is, I would say that it is all the mentality of it.  I have to keep not one, but two humans alive and growing.  I can’t say from experience that having a singleton pregnancy is easier, but carrying twins is hard.  Mentally, physically, emotionally hard.  In the last two weeks, I have definitely felt Pregnant.  I’m exhausted, I’m winded as if I had run a half marathon just by walking up the stairs, I’m feeling very whale-ish and I keep reminding myself that I still have 13 weeks to go.  But throughout all of this, I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to imagine it any other way.  I can’t imagine one boy without the other.  I am so thankful that this challenge is mine to overcome.

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I am normally a very OCD, type A personality, but I had to let go of that completely, straight out the gate.  I always thought I would have a perfect natural delivery and be able to nurse without issues. And I still might.  But that is out of my control.  I desire to have a natural birth, but if it comes to a c-section, I trust my doctor completely.  I desire to breast feed exclusively for the first 3-6 months, but if I am unable to do so due to unforeseen complications of a NICU stay or other issues, I will be thankful for formula that will also do an adequate job of nourishing these precious boys.

This is the biggest challenge I have ever had to face in my life and I could not do it alone.  I am so incredibly thankful for Jake, who is there for nearly all of our appointments and loves the boys so much already.  I have seen a side of him that I never knew existed and it has made me fall in love with him so much deeper that I ever thought possible.  I am thankful to have my mom and sisters by my side who have been encouraging and there for me at my times of need.  I am so thankful for my best friend who was pregnant just before me and is there whenever I have questions or concerns.  I am thankful for my family who are always there to help in anyway at any given time.  I am so thankful.  I could not do this alone.  They say it takes a village, and I believe that begins from the moment of conception.

We will get to check in on the boys again in two weeks.  I look forward to every other Monday more than any other time of the week.  We are looking forward to our first baby shower this weekend as well as maternity pictures!

Thank you for being there for us, whether near or far.  We are so excited and are only approximately 90 days away from meeting these sweet little guys.

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Welcome! 

Welcome to “Our Own Tiny Gang”, our little family that started with two humans – Jake and Shanae! We are high school sweethearts who have been together for just over 10 years now and got married in October 2010. 

We have three crazy fur kids – Luna, our black cat and our oldest fur child – Zoey, our black lab pit bull mix – and Kratos, our we-don’t-know-what-he-is-but-he’s-cute mutt. 

We found out in October 2016 that we were pregnant and a few days later found out that we were having twins! After our first OB appointment we were told that they were dichorionic, diamniotic twins – aka there were two of everything, two sacs and two placentas. This is ideal with twins and lowers the risk of twin to twin transfusion syndrome because they each have their own nutrient source. This also meant they could be identical or fraternal but we wouldn’t know until genders were revealed and if they were the same gender we wouldn’t know without DNA sampling. 

A few appointments later, we found out that what had looked like two placentas, was actually only one. So that meant monochorionic, diamniotic or identical twins! And along with it, high risk pregnancy with appointments and ultrasounds every two weeks to monitor for twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Which has been good and crazy all in its own right. We got to find out very early that the twins were boys!! They are expected the very end of May – beginning of June. Time has gone by extremely fast and I keep expecting it to slow down but it hasn’t. I’m currently a day a way from being 20 weeks and am not expected to go past 37 weeks so we are just over half way there! 

We are lovers of motor sports and spend most of our time during the warmer months riding motorcycles, both street and dirt. We are excited to be able to raise our boys around motorcycles and give them something that is goal oriented that they can build on their whole life. 

When we can’t ride, we either go find trails to ride on in the truck, binge watch Netflix, or spend time with our family and friends! 

Here we will give you stories of our adventures, funnies about our fur kids and biweekly updates of our growing babes.