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over the weekend

VIV

While our tiny girl loves her stroller, she doesn’t necessarily love it when it’s cold outside.  The husband and I took the babies on a mini tour of downtown OKC Sunday afternoon.  By the time we were headed back to the car, me with a cranky Vivi in my arms, him with a cranky Linc bundled in the stroller we recognized that we might shouldn’t have ventured quite so far away.  Once that sun starts drifting downward, it gets cold quick!

But even in moments when I question decisions we make or things we do with the babies (okay, let’s face it, that would be most moments), I always come back to the idea that I want our babies to know adventure.  I want them to feel the coldness on their little fingers and see the sun streaming through downtown buildings as it sets.  I want Vivian to feel exhilarated as she grips my jacket, bouncing against my chest as I cuddle her and run through the downtown streets.  That’s the life I want for them, and we’re trying to build it for them one moment at a time.

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I often find myself hyper-analyzing the things we do, whether it involves the babies or not.  When we decided to move to Thailand 6 years ago, I analyzed everything from the impact on our careers to finances.  And while Jon might be further along in his career, and we probably would have more money if we had stayed here, I would do it one hundred times over again because it impacted the story of our life in the most amazing way.  I try to remember that in all the little decisions we make.

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Friday night my little cousin had a basketball game and our sunday school class was getting together a little later.  I was so nervous about going to both things because the babies would be missing their last nap and bedtime.  I didn’t know how they would react and if it would affect their nighttime sleep, etc. etc.  But I realized that I don’t give our little ones nearly enough credit.  They were so good, and even though there were a couple of brief instances where we had a pretty unhappy little Linc and Viv, seeing them being held and loved on by their aunt and cousin, grandmas, grandpas and church friends was worth so much.

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We try to stick to a regular routine most days, and it works for us.  Because we do that most of the time, I think it gives us more freedom to veer from it as well.  And we are always able to jump right back in.  But I do believe it’s when we wander away for a bit that we create the kind of memories that never ever fade.

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happy 7 months, sissy bear

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One of the cutest things you do is what your daddy and I call “making snow angels.”  You flap your arms and legs and get the most excited look on your face.  It’s precious!!  It’s even funnier when you are swaddled with one arm out and you do it just with the one arm.  Definitely one of my favorite parts of getting you up from your nap. 

-  from mama’s letter to you

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What you weigh – 10 lbs. 12 oz.

What you eat – Still nursing!!  Things are going great!  Per the usual, daddy and I are a little concerned about your weight gain, but Dr. Sigler is still happy with your progress, so we’ll keep doing what we’re doing.

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How you sleep – Well, since last month we went back to swaddling you for naps.  You did really well being unswaddled for about a week, and then suddenly you started waking up early from every nap, so I started swaddling you again.  After doing a little reading, I decided that maybe you were waking early because you don’t need quite as much sleep anymore.  So, we decided to try and drop your 4th nap.  It’s a work in progress still.  Some evenings you take it and some you don’t…it just kind of depends on how cranky and tired you get.  But regardless, your naps have stretched back out, each one lasting anywhere from an hour and fifteen minutes to two hours.  At night you go down at about 8:30 and sleep until 7 or 7:30am.   We still pull you out of bed for a dreamfeed around 10:30, but you don’t really wake up for it.  The best thing is how you wake up in the morning and just lay in bed with bubba and talk to each other until daddy and I get you up.  You’re so content to just babble until we get upJ
What you wear – You’re still wearing a mix of 0-3 and 3-6 depending on what it is. Pants are all 3-6 because of your giant diaper.  Onesies are 3-6 for the most part, although you can still technically wear your 0-3.  Sweaters and dresses are definitely still 0-3.  You are our perfectly tiny girl.

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Diaper –  Bum Genius Freetime on the tightest snap.
Favorite activities – being tickled, sucking on your fingers, sitting up (!), playing with bubba, grabbing people’s faces, chewing on things, swinging

Least favorite activities: there really isn’t much you don’t like these days!  Although you still get pretty mad if we swaddle you up in the towel when you get out of the bath.  Oh, and you hate having your face cleaned.
Big moments in your fifth month of life –1st Christmas, 1st time to sit up, 1st trip to south Texas to meet the McCoys

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a perfect pair

sooooo, i was just browsing through some old posts when I realized that I wrote about the twins’ first halloween, but i never posted it.  how does that happen??  anyway, so this is extremely random, but i’m posting it anyway….

halloween was the most fun this year that it has been since we were little kids all dressed up and on a sugar high. the twins of course had absolutely no idea what was going on, but they were such good sports anyway!  we debated and debated what they should be, but in the end we went with simple, somewhat homemade, and super cute.  get ready for photo overload.

i had a little mini photoshoot in the morning because linc and viv were wearing the halloween outfits their gramma and papa mccoy got them.  i’m telling ya – getting good photos of two babies this age is not easy!

but first we woke up in our halloween pajamas from aunt karen and grammy.

sissy is in a phase (or not) where her hands are constantly in her mouth.  and i really mean constantly.

then of course we changed into costumes later that night.

grandma mary stopped by and joined in the fun:)

even thought they didn’t get any candy this year, i think they still enjoyed their first halloween.  until the end, that is.  vivi might have hit her breaking point with the photoshoot by the end of the night.

during our college years, jon and i always dressed up as inanimate objects – a fork and spoon, iPods, and lamps.  wonder how many years we’ll be able to carry on the tradition through the babies before they start wanting to be action figures and princesses?

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over the weekend

How do the weekends go by so fast?!  This morning as I was getting Viv ready to go down for her nap I couldn’t help but think how it seems as if I was just finished putting her down yesterday.  Same thing at night when I’m rocking them.  It never seems like another 24 hours really could have gone by.

Albeit fast, this weekend was also pretty epic in the McCoy household.  Jon and I each went out with friends on Saturday, the twins turned seven months old and tried solids for the first time, I started and finished a really great book, and Jon worked about a hundred hours.

We started out thinking that the husband was going to be heading out of town on a camping trip on Saturday, and my best friend was going to be hanging out with the twins and I.  But unfortunately some things blew up for Jon at work and aside from a quick lunch with the guys he was relegated to the house to work.

Which means instead of hanging at the house, this mama went out!  Let’s just say it was only the 2nd time I’ve worn a non-nursing bra since the twins were born.  I take the twins with me and do lots of lunches with friends, but it’s just so hard to peel myself away from the husband and babies on a weekend.  He and I both need to make it happen more often though because what is life without a little Saturday night fun with friends?

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After a late night out, Sunday morning came so early.  We opted out of going to church.  With the twins getting older, bigger and louder we have come to a bit of an impasse.  With flu season so bad this year (and sickness in general) we’re not ready to take the twins to the nursery yet.  They have yet to be sick, and I’d like to keep it that way, especially since they haven’t had a flu shot, and they’re still so tiny.  So, we’ve been taking them with us to our Sunday school class, which has been very hit or miss.  Many times I have to leave with one of them, but this past week they both did great!  However, I overheard a comment made about someone being distracted by Linc, and while I don’t really feel like it was merited (he had barely made a peep!), I just feel so paranoid now.  There are obviously other options, like one of us staying home with them and the other going…and we might resort to that.  But I’d really like for our family to be together on Sunday mornings.

ANYWAY.  Sorry to get off on that tangent, but the point is that we didn’t go to church because we still don’t know what to do.  With our extra time home the husband made the most delicious chocolate chip scones out of Vegan with a Vengeance, and we decided to let the twins get their first taste of some real food!

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I’d call the overall experience a successful failure.  Successful in that no one choked and at least they didn’t just spit it straight out.  Failure in that I’m not sure any food actually made it to their tummies.  I knew it might be slow going, so we’ll just keep trying!

With V and L having so many milestones this weekend, our camera got a LOT of action.

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Happy Monday – we hope you had a really great weekend!

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the story of lincoln and vivian’s arrival. part IV.

Part I
Part II
Part III

On June 19th, 2012, 10 days after checking into the hospital, I woke early after a long night of contractions, interruptions from the nurses and treatments to stop my labor.  I was in pain.  My doctor came in to do his routine morning check and I welcomed him, eagerly anticipating some kind of answers.  I’m still not really sure what I wanted him to say, but whatever it was – he didn’t say it.  “Well, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing” he responded casually as he patted me and turned to go.  I knew he couldn’t give me answers because there were no definitive questions even, but it was still hard to see him come and go with no new news.

Soon after, around 8am when the nurse came in for her morning rounds, I told her that I was having contraction pains.  She checked the computer to see what the contraction monitor was picking up, but didn’t see much action going on.  This made me feel like maybe my pains weren’t really contractions.

As soon as she left my room, the husband came over and sat with me, letting me squeeze his hand through the pain and trying to soothe me. I recalled something I had heard once about submitting to the pain, and so I tried to embrace it.  Feeling the wave come over me…slowly tightening over my midsection. Within minutes I was hurting badly enough that he insisted I call the nurse back in.  After trying to convey to her again that I was really hurting pretty badly, she said she was going to call the doctor and see what he wanted her to do.  Around 9:30 am, after what felt like hours but was really only minutes, she came back saying that he wanted to have my cervix checked to see if I had progressed at all.  I vividly remember looking her in the eye and telling her that I thought I might die if she checked my cervix.  I was already in so much pain I honestly couldn’t imagine adding another check.  But there was no option.  She brought in another nurse and after checking me she declared that my cervix was basically gone and all she could feel was the baby.  I started to freak out..I think it was just the overwhelming emotion of thinking our babies were about to be here, the fear of whether they would be okay or not.  It was just so much, and it felt strangely unexpected.  Fortunately…and unfortunately the nurse quickly explained that she wanted to have someone check me again to make sure…so in came nurse #2 who the husband and I often refer to as Cookie but whose real name was actually Pepper.  Pepper didn’t hold anything back, and the pain was almost unbearable.  But she also came up with a much different result…I was still only dilated to a 5 and hadn’t actually changed much since 10 days before.

But after delivering this new piece of information to my doctor, he announced that he wanted to schedule a c-section for 11 a.m.  After much agonizing over the last couple of months, I had finally accepted that despite my desire for a natural birth, a c-section was most likely in my future.  Both of my babies were breech and with the new factor of being premature, a natural delivery just wasn’t in the cards if I wanted my babies to be safe and healthy.

Upon the nurses leaving the room to go get the anesthesiologist to give me an epidural, the husband and I were alone.  And full of both joy and fear.  He rushed to the head of my bed, grabbed my hand and with tears in our eyes he began to pray.  I don’t even remember exactly what he said, but I know our hearts were both asking God for protection and safety for our babies.

He prayed for maybe a minute or two, and the moment he said amen, I felt something burst and water gushed all over me. Shocked, I looked at my husband and exclaimed “my water just broke!” In a panic, he raced out of the room into the hall, shouting “my wife’s water just broke!”

I’ve honestly never seen nurses move so fast.  Suddenly everyone was in overdrive. The nurse wanted to check me one more time to make sure my water really did break…which at the time seemed completely silly.  What else might it have been?? Of course it was my water! As several others rushed in around me and began unhooking my monitors and cords, I shouted random orders at the husband. “Get the paper for the footprints!” “Don’t forget the camera!”  “Make sure the battery is charged!”  He was completely freaked out.  And suddenly time froze.  And I said to him “honey, I need you to be sane right now.”  And he was.  He was so good.

After confirming that my water did indeed break (shocker!) they began wheeling me out the door and down the hall.  Around a corner, through another door and into the operating room.  I was alone now.  They had to get me prepped before Jon could come in.  I was still in so much pain, and when they asked me to roll over onto my side and curl into a ball so they could stick the needle in my back, I truly didn’t know if I could do it.  With lots of help from the nurses, the anesthesiologist began poking around in my back asking me where I was feeling pain from the needle.  On the left side. On the right. In the middle.  What did this guy want to hear?? I wondered.  Finally it was in, and I began to go numb.  Jon was at my side now.  Dr. K came in.  I felt tugging in my stomach.  Jon and I squeezed each other’s hands.

Crying.  The absolute most unreal moment of my life.  My baby boy’s first cries.  I could only catch a glimpse of him, craning my neck to the side as they took him past me to the incubator.  And then another cry.  A different cry.  My baby girl.  Both of them born in the same minute.  10:06 a.m.  My heart exploded with joy.

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My babies were crying, and I’d never felt so much all consuming happiness.  Through the blur of my tears and swollen eyes I strained to see them.  I ached to touch them.  They were only feet away from me, but I couldn’t get to them.  I was seeing them and feeling them through Jon’s eyes and hands.  I was on my back, still being stiched up, and their incubators were behind me.  I twisted my neck as much as I could, desperate for a glimpse of them, as I tried to breathe.  And then suddenly, there was Linc.  Wrapped in a blue striped blanket, Jon held him close to my face, and I touched him.  I felt his face with my fingertips, and I tried to hug him to me as close as I could.  He was finally here, and he was safe.

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And then sweet Viv.  She was lowered down to me in the same way, and I traced her tiny face with my eyes and hands, trying to memorize her delicate features before she was taken away to the NICU.

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Lincoln was absolutely perfect. Vivian was beyond extravagant.  If he seemed small, then she seemed microscopic.  But they were both crying and pink and so beautiful and healthy.  The most surreal moments of my life were when I laid my eyes on them.  And then they were gone.

It was ten minutes from the time my water broke to the moment they were born.  And then within another half hour I was back in my bedrest room.  Quite literally alone.  I felt my belly to see if they were really gone.  Everything had happened so fast.  Finally my mom came in, and then the lactation consultant.  Something about how to pump was said, and as I tried to take in those details all I could think about was getting to my babies.  While the doctor said I could see them in a few hours if I felt up to it, I died a little at the thought of waiting that long.  Thank goodness for kind nurses, who offered to wheel my hospital bed through the NICU so that I could see them before I was taken to my new room.

While every detail of their birth is etched into my mind, the first moments I spent with them in the NICU are kind of fuzzy.  I remember reaching through the porthole to feel their tiny bodies and let their fingers wrap tightly around my mine.  And I remember the weight of my baby girl’s perfect little body as she was laid in my arms.  Her fuzzy hair against my lips as I kissed her sweet head.

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touching Linc

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holding Vivian for the 1st time

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   Back in my room the hours seemed endless as we waited for the numbness to subside from my body.  Again my doctor said if I felt up to it I could be wheeled down to see them, and I honestly thought he was crazy.  Literally nothing could have kept me from being with them the first moment possible.  Nothing.

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 And so began life with our miracle babies, Linc and Viv.  I’ve never felt so thankful and blessed.  They are tough little babies, and though our journey through the NICU was the hardest 17 days of my entire life, they were so strong and inspired me so much.

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to be continued…

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