Still alive…

Well, that didn’t quite go as planned.

I had intended to keep this blog up to date but somewhere between keeping two tiny humans alive it fell by the wayside along with housekeeping and regular showering. The showering had improved but let’s face it- I was never going to win any housekeeper-of-the-year awards even before kids!

The kids are going to be two this month and they are doing so great! They are right on target or ahead of all milestones and growth expectations. They are learning new things every day and they are equal parts hilarious and exhausting.

 

Things that have happened since the last post:

  • An impromptu trip to Atlanta to get expedited passports for the kids.
  • A 2 month work related trip to Helsinki, myself and the kids in tow.
  • Sitting, scooting, crawling, standing, walking, falling, running, climbing, etc.
  • LOTS of teeth. (They are both surprisingly good teethers. Minimal drool, moderate whining but no real sleep disruption.)
  • Lots of words.
  • Swimming, wagon rides, playing at the park.
  • A trip to Jacksonville for Grandma and Grandpa’s anniversary and Liam and Nora’s FIRST BIRTHDAY! (I was a mess the night before their birthday. I cried. And cried. And watched them sleep like a creepy mom.)
  • Gnomes for Halloween.
  • Photo with Santa. Neither one were thrilled. Santa was definitely not thrilled.
  • Our first trip away from them. We went to NYC with our wonderful friends right after Christmas for 4 days. Our favorite baby whisperer stayed at the house with the kids and they did great. (Or at least that’s what she told us. We did great too! ha)
  • Clapping, dancing. They are dancing MACHINES!
  • Talking on anything that could possibly resemble a phone.
  • Lots of food. These kids can put it away.
  • First scraped knees.
  • Coloring, drawing pictures.
  • More dancing.
  • IKEA trips.
  • Splash pad visits.
  • Throwing poppers for Fourth of July.
  • A visit from our friend Leslie, little did we know it would be the last time we’d get to see her beautiful smile.
  • An international move to Stockholm, Sweden.

Yep, that’s right! We are currently residing in Stockholm, Sweden and loving it. I’m going to attempt to start blogging again to give you a glimpse into our daily living. I can’t promise that the posts will be well written, factually correct, informative or even entertaining but I’ll certainly try my best to keep them coming!

 

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You can also follow us on Instagram @TheOliverSchmolivers to see even more pictures.

(and to catch up on months 7-23! ha)

Hugs

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5,6&7 Months Old

I remember reading blogs and when someone had kids and stopped posting I’d think, “Geez. Can’t they just post a couple pictures? How long does that take? Don’t they have just a minute to do that?!”. Let me answer myself. NO. They don’t. Really. The struggle is real. The free moments involve prioritizing between kid laundry, your laundry, food and sleep. Typically before you’ve had a chance to pick the winner, the kids are awake again. It’s a vicious cycle but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

We had been blessed with amazing little babies. They slept through the night, met milestones, were easily consolable for the most part…. and then the “4 month sleep regression” hit like the plague. Keep in mind that these tiny ginger snaps were 10 weeks early which leaves a window of time open when such things will strike. It usually happens more towards their adjusted age (6 months old = 4 months adjusted, and so on). They are now waking up 1-2 times a night and it’s mostly just Liam. I know in the grand scheme of things that isn’t very much and there’s probably some of you that would beg for your kids to only wake up twice. We are dealing with it and I’m not upset about them getting some extra feeding in because they need to gain weight. They are definitely on the lower end for weights.

All in all though they are some pretty great babies. We’ve fallen into a pretty good routine for the most part and we have started figuring each other out. I broke out my TwinGo carrier and did a tandem front/back carry. They approved and it’s probably going to end up being one of my go to fussy time things. Love our babies so much! What more can I say?

And now for the backlog of pictures…

            

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    They are now in their own cribs! Poor Nora.

           

                      

    Easter

        

    Daddy trying the ring sling. “Are you sure you know how to do this, dad?”

                 

4 Months Old

Here’s another picture heavy, long overdue update. The babies are now 4 months old and I can’t believe how fast time goes by. Liam is up to 9lbs 7oz and Nora is 9lbs 5oz. They are both gaining adequately and we’ve completely done away with fortified breastmilk bottles and are just breastfeeding! For the most part they are very good babies. They have a fussy time for 1-2 hours right before bedtime and sometimes randomly throughout the day but nothing out of the norm. They are good nighttime sleepers already. Technically their adjusted age is 2 months since they were so early. They are both doing well holding their heads up and are precious with their smiles and babbling.  We are still just so in love with these two.

2 Months Old!

2 Months Old!

Baths! 2 Months Old.

Baths! 2 Months Old.

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014. Dad was overseas for work- boo!

Thanksgiving 2014. Dad was overseas for work- boo!

3 Months!

3 Months!

Picture with Santa.

Picture with Santa.

Christmas Card 2014

Christmas Card 2014

Nora

Nora

Liam

Liam

Nora and her pup, Sasha.

Nora and her pup, Sasha.

Christmas Nora

Christmas Nora

Christmas Liam

Christmas Liam

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

What Liam thinks about his feisty sister sometimes.

What Liam thinks about his feisty sister sometimes.

Nora's monkey hair!

Nora’s monkey hair!

Bath! 4 Months Old.

Bath! 4 Months Old.

4 Months!

4 Months!

2 Babies, 46 NICU Days and 1 Happy Family!

I know I’m horrible for not updating for such a long time! To say I’ve been busy is an incredible understatement! I had been updating family and friends on a Facebook page that I created for the babies. (If any of you are interested, let me know on here and I can privately email you a link.) I’ll try to make this long story short and post lots of cute baby pictures instead!

   We all came home together as a family on Sunday, 11/2/2014 after 46 days in the NICU. Liam and Nora were 37 weeks and 2 days at discharge. Both babies progressed very well in the NICU for their gestational age. Nora had a bit of a delay while she overcame some feeding intolerance issues but quickly caught up with her brother. We ended up being transferred to the facility that I work at which has private rooms. Liam was discharged before Nora but we were both able to stay (live in) the hospital for 6 days until we all went home together. 
   It has been quite an adventure being home with twins but I’ve had some great help and I can’t imagine it any other way. Will is such a great father. He does diaper duty and even wakes up for some night feedings so we can both get a tiny bit of sleep. He has had to travel off and on since we’ve been home and I’m so thankful to have my mom, sister and grandmother close by for help.
   Liam and Nora have been doing so well at home. We have mastered tandem breastfeeding and both are gaining weight with a couple feedings a day of fortified breast milk. My one shining achievement is that they’ve never had anything except my breast milk from birth. It’s been a lot of hard work! They had their 2 month immunizations today. Both are over the 6lb mark. My official due date would have been two days from now on 11/20/14. 
   Enough with the words. Here are some pictures from the remainder of our journey!
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Liam (L) and Nora (R).

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Nora and Liam during bath time.

Nora and Liam holding hands.

Nora and Liam holding hands.

Liam snuggling with daddy.

Liam snuggling with daddy.

Liam's long fingers.

Liam’s long fingers.

Mommy and Nora when she was sick.

Mommy and Nora when she was sick.

One Month! Nora was puffy from fluid retention when she was sick. Poor girl!

One Month! Nora was puffy from fluid retention when she was sick. Poor girl!

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Nora and mommy.

Nora and mommy

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Liam

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Weeks 21-27 Update

So much has happened during my last update that I’m not even sure where to start. I’ll try to make this post less words and more pictures with captions! Those are always more fun to look at, right?

Here we go!

Weeks 21 & 22 were fairly uneventful. I felt pretty good and continued working as usual after getting home from our camping trip. 

Week 23 started out good and then I started contracting regularly late on a Friday night. I kept track of them and they were becoming about 7 minutes apart. I tried warm baths, chugging water and laying on my left side. None of it helped. Of course, Murphy’s Law, Will was on a plane back from Tokyo at the time. I had talked to him when I started contracting but tried to put his mind at ease and told them that they would probably subside. I knew that there was nothing he could do and it would be better for him to rest on the flight and come in as soon as he got back if needed vs. staying awake worrying about something he couldn’t do anything about. (He wasn’t happy with my decision but I still stand by it! It makes sense in my head!!) The hospital (where I work and where I’ll deliver) is only about 4-5 minutes away so I drove myself (the doctor scolded me for that) because I knew I was just going to be placed on monitors and given meds. My mom lives 2 blocks away from me and I figured I would call her if needed instead of making her stay awake all night in a chair watching my contractions on a monitor. 

   My contractions started to get even closer together so they gave me an intramuscular dose of terbutaline followed by an oral dose. The babies looked great the entire time and there was no cervical change so I was sent home the next morning after the contractions stopped. (BTW, Terbutaline is no joke. It made my heart race and made me jittery!) When the doctor came in to see me prior to discharge I got the “you shouldn’t work any more” talk and we agreed to try just one shift per week.

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Week 24 Still had contractions off and on but never more than 5/hr which was acceptable.. Until I worked my 1 shift for the week. I starting contracting at work and they sent me home. I kept contracting frequently throughout the next day so I called the on-call doctor. She was busy in a delivery so we put the cribs together while waiting for her call! (nothing made the contractions better or worse, so why not?) As I thought, she told me to come in. This time Will went with me. Same routine. Monitors, terbutaline then home. Ultrasound showed no cervical change still and the babies looked great. The babies gained 1lb. 10oz. in the past month between them, I gained 1 pound in the last month- the doctor WAS happy with that! And.. I got told that my working days were over until after delivery. I was bummed about it but I’ll do what is best for these little ones!

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Baby Girl A: 1lb. 11oz at 24 weeks and 3 days

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Baby Boy B: 1lb. 14oz. at 24 weeks and 3 days (and folded like a pretzel in this picture)

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Weeks 25-26 were thankfully mostly uneventful. I found myself getting easily worn out and sore. Not contracting more than what’s acceptable. My mom helped me clean and get everything ready for my baby shower. The nursery had been painted so Will and I put most of the room together so it would be ready for the shower as well! We celebrated my grandmother’s 80th birthday and I got to swing with my cousin who is due about 5 weeks after me with a little boy! (Pictures at 26 weeks and 2 days)

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26 week 3D ultrasound that was AWFUL! Here are the only 2 somewhat distinguishable pictures..

Nora

Liam

Week 27 was baby(ies) shower week! I’m so thankful that we decided to do it a little early because I’m in a good amount of discomfort as I write this post almost a week later. We had a nice time celebrating these two little lives with friends and family. We feel very fortunate and blessed to have such a great support system. 

   We had a couple’s brunch with chicken and waffles, cinnamon rolls, egg/hash brown/bacon casserole, fruit, a bloody mary bar and a mimosa bar. We had a lot of fun and hope that everyone else did as well. Here are some pictures from the shower (27 weeks and 2 days) and some of the partially completed nursery.

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“We’re what happened in Vegas” black and pink twin onesies. (Our IVF doctor is in Las Vegas)

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Daddy and our fur girls worn out from the shower.

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Still waiting for daddy’s nursery must-have to arrive: a flat screen smart TV to put above the dresser so he can Skype with all of us a little easier when he’s traveling.

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Some friends invited us to a Chief’s game later that evening so here’s a picture from Nora and Liam’s first game!

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The day after the shower, I finally went swimming for the first time and it felt. so. good!

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Today I completed the dreaded 1hr glucose tolerance test. Results should be back for my appointment on Friday.

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How far along: 27 weeks and 6 days today!

Maternity clothes: Still some maternity and some non-maternity! (most of the pants/shorts are definitely maternity!)

Stretch marks: None yet. I’m just waiting.. eekkee!!

Sleep: HA! Still frequent bathroom trips. It’s becoming more and more uncomfortable. Even rolling over seems so difficult!

Best moment of this week: Celebrating Nora and Liam with friends and family at our shower.

Miss anything: Still the same food in addition to actually being able to eat a meal, paint my own toes and the ability to sit up straight. 

Movement: SO much movement. Will can feel them and see them move often. They are most active late at night. They are getting so big that some of the movement hurts, especially when there are 4 legs and feet lodged in my ribs!

Food cravings: Not particularly. It’s hard to eat more than a few bites at a time. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: nope!

Have you started to show yet: I’m pretty sure.

Gender: Girl and Boy!!!

Labor signs: Still contracting off and on but no more than 4-5 in an hour. 

Discomforts: Occasional heartburn, general feeling of no room left, awful rib/back pain beneath my shoulder blades. Nothing I can’t handle although I’m going to try to get in to see the chiropractor for the first time since I’ve been pregnant.

Belly button in or out: In-ish… In certain positions I can see it start to protrude a bit. It’s mostly flattened out more than anything. The skin around it feel so thin and soft.

Wedding rings on or off: On. They were a little snug a couple days when it was 95+ degrees here.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy!!!

Looking forward to: Getting the rest of the house ready for these little ones to arrive and as always, our next ultrasound!

13 Week Update – Hello Second Trimester

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A few months ago when we were in Vegas for IVF, I told W that I wanted to get a Pandora dice charm for my bracelet. He insisted that I shouldn’t because, “What if it doesn’t work or what if you need 2 (ha)”? Well, Las Vegas came and went and no dice! W left the day before Mother’s Day for Finland and didn’t say anything to me before he left (except for jokingly pulling a few bags out of the car and saying “Happy Mother’s Day”! It was dry cleaning.) I know I’m still baking but I must admit that I was a bit disappointed. I didn’t say anything because I knew I was just being sensitive. He got back at night, later in the week. He told me that he had gotten me a Mother’s Day present. I was half asleep and didn’t think much of it, maybe some dirty dry cleaning this time? He gave me a little box wrapped in pretty paper with “Van Der Burgh Chocolaad” on it. I thought that they must be the world’s smallest truffles. I said I’d try them the next day but he said he wanted one before he went to bed so I opened it up and it was a Pandora box with my TWO dice charms! He had remembered and gotten them at a stop in England. What a sweet guy! I think I’ll keep him.

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In other news, I received and assembled the stroller! I have the car seat attachments and car seats still in boxes but I couldn’t resist playing! I made myself feel better by telling myself that I needed to assemble it in case anything was damaged during shipping. I can’t wait to have two little somethings to put in there! Of course, my husband HAD to have the black on black. No silver frames for that daddy! We opted for the Baby Jogger City Select after much research and many recommendations.

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Above all else, the highlight of the week was seeing our little peaches on ultrasound at our first trimester voluntary genetic screening. Everything measured perfectly! Baby A was sucking on it’s hand the entire time. Baby B was also active, pushing against the sac. We were also able to see Baby B moving its little mouth and swallowing fluid. They are so precious and I can’t believe how much they grow between sneak peeks!

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I’m going to skip the long weekly questionnaire since most of the answers remain the same in these weeks. I’m excited to be able to say that I’m in my second trimester!! I still feel huge and growing every day. I have had an awful head cold/sinus infection this week and had to miss 2 days of work. I wasn’t able to take anything for it so it was especially fun. I’m starting to feel a little better now. Other symptoms remain the same with headaches being my number one complaint. Looking forward to feeling some consistent movement in the next few weeks. Next official US scheduled for June 9th. ImageImageImageWeek13-11

12 Week Update

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     We’ve had a pretty uneventful week in a good way. I might be a little controlling and overzealous, but I’ve started preparing things early! This week we ordered the stroller, car seats and cribs and I bought two adorable bouncy seats! I decided that I should start doing things while I have the energy and then maybe I’ll be able to coast through the last part of pregnancy without stressing (yeah, right).

   I had an appointment today. Good news: I GET TO STOP PROGESTERONE! After 70+ intramuscular injections of progesterone alone, I’m OVER it! I must admit that I’m a little nervous to stop it, but Dr. C says if the placentas aren’t doing their jobs by now, progesterone supplementation isn’t going to help.

   Still no lifting anything more than 10lbs. I was made aware that this restriction would remain throughout pregnancy. (Say what?!? How do people with kids live?) I have a feeling this is one of the restrictions that doesn’t get followed well. I am being careful. My mom told me today that my purse was too heavy. I think I responded with something like, “??????!!!!!#####*******”.

   Also during Dr. C’s Debbie Downer speech, she told me that I couldn’t go to Singapore later this month. At first she was on the fence about it. She asked me why I was going and I told her to tag along with my husband and lay on the beach. She didn’t like that answer. She said that if it wasn’t vitally important to go, she’d tell me no. She says textbook says yes but she and the money, time, blood, sweat and tears it’s taken to get here says NO.

   I was concerned with how big my belly had gotten and continues to get daily. She said, “I’m not sure if you’re aware how pregnancy works. There’s actually something growing in there and with you- it’s two!” Funny, funny! She didn’t sympathize with my size concerns, needless to say. She says I’m right on track and measuring 20 weeks. Yikes!

  Precautionary genetic ultrasound (nuchal translucency screening) on Friday since we are having twins, and it was IVF. As always, I’m looking forward to seeing our little plums.

How far along: 12 weeks and 4 days today.

Maternity clothes: A mixture. Maternity pants, for sure.Still wearing non-maternity skirts, dresses, etc.

Stretch marks: Not yet. Itchy though!

Sleep: Sleeping pretty well! Still only up 1-2 times. 

Best moment of this week: Getting to spend time with W and getting the OK to stop progesterone!

Miss anything: Still the same. Exercise, being able to lift things, alcohol, **Jimmy Johns**, cold lunch meat in general, bleu cheese and caffeine. 

Movement: Not yet! I can feel hard lumps where they are laying and I swear I’ve felt a couple of flutters, but nothing consistent.

Food cravings: Not really.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not eating enough, or quickly enough!

Have you started to show yet: Ohhh yes.

Genders: Too early to find out.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy! Happy! Happy!

Looking forward to: Our next official ultrasound on 5/16!

Symptoms: Same as the last update: Exhaustion, some heartburn, and headaches. Just a tiny bit queasy off and on. I wouldn’t call it morning sickness though. I find that I’m able to eat less and less without feeling completely stuffed. Lots of grazing days in my future!

11 Week Update

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   I’ve told some girls that I feel like I might eventually give birth to two fully grown adults by the time this is over! I’m over 1/3 of the way through this pregnancy and I’m looking every bit of it! I’ve been doing pretty well since the last update. I’ve started working back in the Neonatal ICU on nights and my body just isn’t what it used to be. It’s been going good but I’m exhausted by the end of the shift. The unit is brand new and beautiful and the team of girls that work there couldn’t be nicer or more welcoming. I’ll always miss my Alabama NICU girls though!

   Daddy finally got to see the (more baby looking) gummy bears wiggling all around on ultrasound! They moved a little and were being very chill when the US tech gave them a quick jiggle with the US wand – they woke up and started moving around again! We are loving watching the videos about the weekly development. It’s truly amazing how quickly every detail is put into place. Here’s a link to the video if you’re interested.

http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/video/pregnancy-week-11.aspx

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How far along: 11 weeks and 4 days today.

Maternity clothes: I gave in! I bought maternity leggings, capris and scrub pants and my belly said, “Ahhhhhhhh!”. Other than that it’s been non-maternity skirts and dresses!

Stretch marks: Not yet. Itchy though!

Sleep: Much better than previous weeks. I’m usually only up 1-2 times a night now. Loving my new body pillow.

Best moment of this week: Having W back in town and getting to share my aches and pains with him!

Miss anything: Still the same..Exercise, being able to lift things, alcohol, Jimmy Johns, cold lunch meat in general, bleu cheese and caffeine. 

Movement: Not yet!

Food cravings: Not really.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Saprinos pepperoni calzone at work at 2am apparently! Besides that, I still haven’t REALLY been sick. Just a little queasy off and on. I think it may be dehydration related too. Trying to stay on top of my water intake! 

Have you started to show yet: Oh yes, whatever it may be.

Genders: Too early to find out.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy!

Looking forward to: Always the next appointment and our next official ultrasound on 5/16!

Symptoms: Exhaustion, some heartburn, and headaches. Just a tiny bit queasy off and on. I wouldn’t call it morning sickness though. I find that I’m able to eat less and less without feeling completely stuffed. Lots of grazing days in my future!

Ultrasound 9 weeks 6 days

Just a quick update since I had an OB appointment today! I talked about how big I felt in my last post but was relieved when the nurse told me today that I had only gained 3 pounds so far. I think I feel so big because I had gained back about 10 pounds over the holidays. I let myself fall off the exercise wagon, went straight to IVF, got pregnant and now I’m on physical restrictions! The appointment went well. We did a quick scan and the babies looked great! Both of their heartbeats were exactly the same at 167 beats per minute! Baby A was very active and waving at us. Baby B was pretty chill with not as much movement. My mom said that Baby A must be a girl since it was so animated! I can’t wait until we find out genders so I can stop using “it”! We did a little necessary shopping for some maternity pants after my appointment. My jeans with the rubber band weren’t quite working anymore! As much as I’d love to wear scrubs daily, I suppose I should get dressed on my days off. Here are some cute pictures of the little gummy bears!

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