When I am weak, He is strong

That little phrase has been running through my head so often since the day we found out about Laurencia.  It’s not something I ever thought of before or particularly dwelled on.  It’s not something over the course of my life that I relied upon for comfort.  I don’t recall when I became acutely aware of this recurring message.  But it suddenly flashes in my mind so often now that it is almost a part of me.  This morning I was feeling quite weak.  Really weak.  As in, I was lying here in the bed and suddenly realized that I will be lying in this same bed recovering from the surgery but I will be holding her, and she will not be alive.  I will be lying right here, in this same spot, the same me, the same clothes, the same hair, the same surroundings, only her little heartbeat won’t be going “tha thump, tha thump, tha thump” on the monitor as I lie here.

(Georgetta on the left, Laurencia on the right)

 

Her little feet won’t be jabbing into my ribs

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and her little perfect hands won’t be grasping for her sister’s.

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And then my weakness multiplied by 10,000 and I cried and wondered how I would stop.

Very clearly, as usual I heard or thought, “When I am weak, He is strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

I believe that this message, “He is strong” is not just words in my head or a nice thought about how God is with me.  I really, truly believe that it is a reminder to me that “He” is God working through the entire Body of Christ, all of you, that it’s a message that I DON’T NEED TO BE STRONG, at least not by my own will or making.  And that the things for which I am so grateful yet feel so unworthy of are the things that give me strength, that give us strength.  There are SO MANY THINGS people have done and said and offered and given to and for us and our baby girls.  That is our strength.  I’ve probably said a million times that what gets us through is the loving prayers from everyone.  That is our strength.  How on Earth do I even begin to convey my gratitude for this gift?

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Joy Comes in the Morning:

The other thing that pops into my head, though I don’t feel it and can’t find peace in it yet so I’m not sure why I think it so often, is this phrase, “Joy comes in the morning.”  I keep hearing it, ALL OF THE TIME.  And I’m not one to hear divine messages or willy nilly find symbolism in things.  I do know that on the very day we found out the fatal diagnosis, I kept thinking over and over how I will never again experience pure joy, the kind I had before learning my baby would die.  Of course we will have joys!  We still do, so many joys and so many blessings, but I was very afraid and weak and was grieving my ‘old life’.  And then somewhere along the way this little phrase made it’s way into my brain.  So I looked it up:

Psalm 30:5

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Joy cometh in the morning.  I fancy myself a glass half full kind of person.  So I would normally focus on this part, the joy part.  I WANT to focus on this part.  But right now, it is night.  And I have to face that as well.  And we will endure the night and we will get to the morning because When We are Weak, He is Strong.

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Saturday and Sunday and Settling In

Yesterday was rather busy trying to get acclimated and make necessary arrangements.  Lots of phone calls and e-mails and paperwork and monitoring and figuring.  Monitoring thus far is going better.  By better I mean we’re able to find the heartbeats and keep them on the monitor for about an hour, which is what the nurses and drs. want to see.  They are trying to see proper HR acceleration/deceleration over time to be able to make longer term comparisons and see if anything becomes out of the ordinary.  Tomorrow morning we’ll have an ultrasound to check cord blood flow and everything else.

Me and my girls in my room this morning:

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Look who came to visit me all afternoon, my favorite people on Earth:

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Matt took all of the kids to church and then brought them down here again.  We went to the onsite Subway–we are so very appreciative of the Subway gift cards we received from generous friends!  We then went to the really nice gift shop in the new  wing and the kids got to choose a “stuffy” which they can hug if they are missing me.  Polly REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted that giant roundy ball penguin (aside: we compared it to my tummy, I think I win) so I bought it for her for all of the helping she has been doing.  She has been so sweet, bringing me something every day and helping with Mae.  Bella too has been helping more with Mae.  Gabby was busy all weekend at her tournament and Wyatt is as usual always on the lookout for Mae the runaway.  He’s so protective of her.  Bella called me tonight to tell me that if I need anything she wants to bring it like Polly has been doing because she wants to help too.  I told Polly what a good influence she’s being :).

Tonight Polly called me several times and this last time I told her to hug her penguin if she was too sad.  Her voice just kills me, how badly she needs me there.  She said that she had to go in her room and cry and she was hugging him so hard ;(  She’ll be ok though, we are doing lots of things to help them through.  Gabby called just now as well and she said she’s so sad, she wishes I could be home for their last month before school starts.  She also said that Mae Mae was looking for me in the house.  Break my heart.  After Subway and the gift shop we went outside to the very nice new playground and played in the gorgeous weather for quite some time.

Me and my 7 kids:

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The good/bad thing about being here is that I am able to really focus on what is to come.  I appreciate being able to just spend time with Laurencia and Georgetta, quiet time.  I get to feel Laurencia kick and hear her heart beating 3x per day.  Today I recorded it so we can save it.  But in doing so, in enjoying and really being able to feel her, the sadness sometimes becomes rather intense and I guess it should or is inevitable. I just have so much more time to think by being here not doing my normal running around, working or mom duties.  I’m so fortunate that I’m not on strict bed rest though so I can go outside or walk the grounds at least a bit rather than hyper focus on being sad.   I’m trying now to document Laurencia’s last days with us.  Even typing that is hard.  I realized today I have to take these photos and videos because this is it.  This place is the last place our family will be all together at least “this side of Heaven”, as they say.

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On the day they are born hopefully we will have some time with her before she leaves us, but no matter what, this will be the place.  So again, I am appreciative of this time, to be able to take the videos and photos and really pay attention to my baby girls.  Everything I was doing at home was becoming physically difficult but it never occurred to me that I may have needed to slow down not just for physical relief but also just so that I could focus on my little lamb before she is born.  Only four weeks left.  No matter what, four weeks from tomorrow.  What would you do with your life or how would you handle your child’s life if you knew you only had four weeks left?  We are finding our way, day by day.

Love to everyone.  Have a blessed week.

Katrina

Change of Plans (Greetings from Room 408)

Good morning everyone.  Yesterday (Friday) morning we had our last u/s appointment in Maple Grove.  Everything was generally looking good.  Both Laurencia and Georgetta had good cord blood flow and MOVEMENT.  I swear, since the very beginning we’ve been told they are so active every single time we go for an ultrasound– as if you need to tell me.  More on their activity level later.  Only thing we couldn’t see was Laurencia taking “practice breaths”.  Believe me, the nurses, doctor and sonographer tried–for a long time!  Essentially, taking these practice breaths is just one thing we look for but happens to be the first thing that stops when/if a baby is beginning to show signs of distress.  At least that is how it was explained to us.  Since everything else was good, it is not as if huge alarm bells were ringing.  However, since Laurencia has all along taken some of these practice breaths, it was at least cause for concern/pause/re-thinking, along with some other factors.  Given that I was slated to come in here Monday, that I’ve started to have concerns about something happening between Friday and Monday (the dr. called it mother’s intuition) and just the overall sense that we need to do as much as we can to try to help Georgetta make it, the doctor and I had a long discussion.  I was so very appreciative of her candor and cautiousness.  She felt it was the best decision to come three days earlier than planned, i.e., check into hospital last night, rather than wait for Monday.  Part of me was screaming, “No, No, NO!!  I’m not ready to leave my babies!”  And the other part was urging me to do anything I can for our sweet little pea.  It’s the only thing I CAN do for her.  While we were waiting to see if Laurencia would take some practice breaths, we were basically just sitting there with the u/s probe aimed at her chest.  This went on for quite some time,  Matt and I may have even closed our eyes for a bit.  At one point I was staring at the screen thinking, “Breathe, just take one breath so we can go about our day and know everything is fine for now.”  And then all of a sudden something hit me and instead I was praying, “Don’t do it (breathe) if you’re trying to tell us something.”  The dr. also said later that we can either ignore these signs or listen to them.  We all chose to listen, knowing full well it could mean NOTHING!  But the risks of it meaning something is a risk to Georgetta’s life.  A risk none of us thought worth taking. 

To say I was anxious, worried and scared to drop everything and leave home is a huge understatement.  I had planned to clean my house, get everything ready, take kids school supply shopping….and mentally prepare for leaving my babies.  HOWEVER, as the dr. noted, none of those things really matter.  Matt and I couldn’t disagree. 

So, I drove home, called our good friend Joanie, asked her if she could have Gabby for the big softball state tourney this weekend, and started cleaning up and packing.  I told the kids about my having to leave and as expected, Polly took it pretty hard.  But rather than sit and cry, she was busy in her room with a secret that she said I couldn’t see.  🙂  She was very focused on this task of hers.  Joanie brought us pizza and all of the plates etc. so I didn’t have to worry about dinner.   Joanie is an angel, and I don’t mean just yesterday.  She does things like this ALL of the time.  She had an angel helper too, my other good friend, Jill.  They brought me this mounted picture to hang in my house:

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I could hardly thank them through tears.  I’ll leave it to you to decide how you interpret this image.  I know how I do.  What a precious gift, but their friendship an even more precious gift. 

So eventually I realized the inevitable was upon me and got my things together and all of the kids and we headed down here.  We had to get Anabella from Laura’s.  Bella was having quite a hard time as well since it was supposed to be her special Mommy and Bella Day and I don’t think she realized I really had to go Monday for so long.  Once we arrived here, the kids were ok checking out my new digs and were in generally ok spirits.  I kept focusing on the end of this stay, that it WILL end, I WILL go home and this hospital stay WILL be in the past.  It was a calm transition to check in and get settled in.  Polly then gave me her gifts she had been working on.  Of all the things and trinkets she has and could have brought me (they often give me plastic bead necklaces, bouncy balls…), I have no idea what made her decide on this most perfect thing, a little wooden crucifix.  Last night I was staring at it remembering how at the beginning of all of this I asked God to allow this cup to pass me.  I sat here, missing my home and family, wishing I could save Laurencia and staring at Jesus who asked the same of His trial.  But it did not pass Him.  And He accepted it for me, for all of us.  This cup, this leaving my kids, this being pregnant with Laurencia and knowing the outcome, I can do it because of what He did for me and because He did, Laurencia gets to be with Him forever.  

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She also gave me a crucifix necklace which I’m wearing.  Her face when they had to leave me last night is just haunting me.  It was a kind of sadness I haven’t seen but she was trying to be so strong through it.  I talked to her late last night when they got home and reassured her I’ll see her today.  I was also texting Gabby quite a bit after they left and she was sad too and told me all of the kids cried in the car.  Hard to hear but at least by knowing about it I can think of ways to help comfort them from afar.  Side note:  POOR WYATT!  Right before we got out of the car to come up to my room we found out that the new bunny they’ll be getting is a GIRL too.  He was holding back tears.  😉

Here is a pic Polly snapped of my other twins and Gabby’s hands on my tummy.Image

I was already monitored last night after my family left and these baby girls are WILD.  They have been all along.  It’s going to be a 2 hour fetal monitoring fest 3x per day because it’s so difficult to keep them on the monitors.  I will have ultrasounds at least 3x/week as well, more if necessary.  The nurses were also registering regular contractions happening last night and this morning but I think it’s because of the stress of yesterday as well as me not having had much to eat or drink what with all of the chaos.  Other medical thing was that I received the steroid shot, which is for development of the girls’ lungs. 

Today brought early sunshine and a new day.  I told Matt and Laura that maybe it was better to come in last night vs. Monday, kind of like ripping off a band-aid, just get it over with quickly.  I really was not prepared at all to leave the kids yet.  As with everything, we will be ok thanks to awesome aunties, fabulous friends and a handsome hubs.  I may be a wretched writer but I can appreciate a good alliteration ;).  As if his being handsome has anything to do with his being the best daddy/husband ever, but still, it works for me.

So this morning I dried my tears and got myself going for the day tackling things I had yet to do and can do from here.  I’m going to roam a bit now and see what kind of trouble I can get into.  I’m very fortunate not to have to be on strict bed rest.  Please pray for all of the mommies and babies who are here dealing with various issues and/or complications. 

One last tidbit.  My nurse and dr. were just here and the dr. mentioned that this building is old, it used to be St. Mary’s.  I was born here!  I never knew where it was or realized that this was the place.  And here through 4 girls I saved using a version of my name for Georgetta.  Pretty neat right? 

We feel every prayer and we are so grateful for all of the help.

Love,

Katrina

Good Things Yesterday

1.  We had another appt. at the Maple Grove office.  The girls were kicking, moving and jumping around in my tummy like crazy, nothing new for these two.  They passed the “8 point biophysical profile” meaning everything looks the same/good for Georgetta.

2.  We got to see our little Laurencia again.  I can see the sadness in Matt’s eyes when we see her (ok, not a good thing) but at least we have these many opportunities to know our girl, if only for this brief time.

3.  Everyone at the MG clinic was so sweet to us, as usual.  The nurses there are pretty outstanding.  Ok, really outstanding.  They are just so NICE to me and have big giant smiles when they see us and they always tell us kind things.

4.  I went into work for the last time before going to the hospital and was able to really take care of things and finish up.  It is beyond a relief, I was so worried about work.  More importantly, I saw several people who were so caring and concerned.  Someone even stopped by just to give me a hug 🙂  (Hi other Terri!).  I met someone new who started while I’ve been gone working from home and she too had so many kind words and offers of prayer for our family.  Just so many good, HARD WORKING people.

5.  Since I was downtown, I stopped at my (and now my kids’) FAVORITE little specialty bake shop to pick up our FAVORITE little (overpriced) cookies.  French macarons–seriously, they are like heaven in a little round package.  Laurencia and Georgetta highly recommend the salted caramel – YUM!

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6.  I came home to 5 little girls (Mari was here) who had made me cards and necklaces and bracelets out of colored pipe cleaners.  They were so proud of their creations.  I gave them the special cookies in return.  Happy girls all around.

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7.  Laura and Trina called me at 9:25 to go to a 9:35 movie and my awesome hubby said, JUST GO!  I have NEVER laughed so hard in my life for so long.  It was worth the uncomfortable sitting, I almost didn’t even notice Georgetta in my right rib because I was laughing so hard.  It was pure bliss to just laugh, and laugh, and laugh.  And to momentarily forget about everything else for a while.

8.  I got to spend one more day with these two.

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Note the backup dancer in the background.

 

Took a side view so you get the full effect.  You can see how high Georgetta is in my ribs.  By the way, whoever thought it was a good idea to put horizontal stripes on a maternity tank top?  What?  Because the belly on its own doesn’t give enough of an illusion of giantness?

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For the next several days I will be tackling my gigantic list of things to do before going in the hospital on Monday.  I will also be focusing on getting/giving as many hugs and kisses as possible.  It’s amazing how little things like making dinner for your kids becomes something you want and feel privileged to do and fear you’ll miss when you know you won’t be able to provide for them like that for a month.

To answer a question I’ve been getting a lot:  Yes, I’d love visitors!  Only issue would be if the kids are visiting or if I’m having some procedure.  So just call or text ahead of time.  Again, I’ll be at the U of M Amplatz Children’s on the West Bank, right off Riverside Ave.  I can’t promise I’ll be the best hospital room hostess but I’m sure I’ll be happy to see you.

Oh, and if you have any good book recommendations, I’ll take ’em.  I only like non-fiction, historical or biography types.  I love to read but rarely have the opportunity.  Considering I’m hardly sleeping, maybe I’ll get the chance in the hospital.

Katrina

“Just like YOU, Momma!”

I considered posting about our visit with the funeral director and my subsequent picking out of flowers for the service today at the florist, but instead I’m choosing to post this, for those of you not on Facebook.  The four older kids came running over to me yesterday after filling about 100 water balloons (we had planned to secretly bomb the Nielsen crew by innocently inviting them over for a quick barbeque but the lucky stinkers backed out on us!).  The kids came running over yelling, “Hey, Mom, we look like you AND we know how you feel now!”  Uh, yeah.  Kind of.  I’ll admit I do look like this, crazy kids. *Oh geez, a friend pointed out Gabby’s, ahem, upper body interpretation which I didn’t even notice before!  Weirdos.

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Growing…

Hi everyone.  We had our measurement ultrasound today and Georgetta is measuring at about 27 weeks, 4 days while Laurencia is measuring about 26 weeks 3 days.  According to the drs., the girls are about 26 weeks, 4 days gestation.  I however have now gained over 30 lbs, that is NOT all baby folks.  Yikes.  I’m fairly certain the girls are closer to 28 weeks (like Georgetta is measuring) than 27.  This is good though because if they make it to what the docs consider 32 weeks they will perhaps be in actuality a little older.  Georgetta looks perfect, no issues.  They both had their heads down and we got some pretty amazing photos.  Since I’m never connected to my printer, I’ve been taking photos of the photos we get with my phone and posting them on here so they’re not great quality.  Maybe I’ll bring the printer to the hospital and scan in everything I have to date.  I have TONS of images.  Darnit if seeing little Laurencia’s face so clearly today wasn’t hard on both Matt and I.

Georgetta

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Laurencia (side view with her arm in foreground):

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I think in this photo she looks most like her sister as compared to other images we have.  Her little nose and lips and chin are filling out and you can see their identical-ness.  I don’t care if that isn’t a word.  She is just so precious and sweet.

The doctor made the official call to the hospital today to let them know I will be checking in to stay on June 29th until the girls are born.  Since I get so many questions about this, I’m going to make it public, I’m sure it will be ok.  I’ll be at the University of MN Amplatz Children’s.  My dr. today said she thinks she’ll see me trying to escape to go for a run down the Washington Ave. bridge.  She has good ideas, this doctor…I asked her something I’ve been asked by several people, “Why can’t I leave the grounds?”  She said the insurance companies won’t allow it and it’s a liability concern.  You are either a patient or not, period.  Also, as noted yesterday, for Georgetta’s sake, it’s the safest place to be full time.  She is so healthy and has no complications now, I just want so badly for her to make it as long as she can with no further or lifelong issues.  She’s been through so much already!  I had considered naming her Laurencia (or some version of Laura) since she will be victorious too if she makes it after all of this! For those who don’t know, the other name we had considered for Laurencia was “Francisca” which means “free”.

Speaking of their names, I’ve been driving myself crazy lately about them and whether they are the right ones or not.  Today my most recent freak out was that Laurencia really should have been “Lauretta” or “Loretta” because then they both have an “etta” at the end.  In case you hadn’t noticed, my other girls have matching 4 letter endings too, “Anabella/Gabriella” and “Paulina/Maebelina”.  It wasn’t intentional but since it worked out that way, soon after we announced these girls’ names, I was flipping out to Matt that they should have the same ending sounds!    My engineering buddies will clearly understand this need for the grouping arrangements, if no one else does.  Of course Matt tries calmly reassuring me that it’s fine and today he told me, “no big deal, just change it” *shrug* “who cares what everyone else thinks”.  The man has dealt with me for over 13 years so he knows what to expect and handles it in stride.  I, of course retort, “But we already TOOOLD everybody and Gabby loves the name “Laurencia” and, and, and…”.  Anyway, I think I go on and on in my mind about things like their names because it’s something I actually CAN control.  Everything else, nopey.  Oh, and it’s also very weird naming them and seeing them since we didn’t even know the sex of ANY of our other kids.  I think I just have too much time to think it over.  And over, and over….

So to address the GIGANTIC, ENORMOUS and OVERWHELMING outpouring of offers of support and help while I am gone:  Wow, just, thank you.  Every time I hear about another thing someone has offered I start bawling like a baby.  It’s overwhelming to know how loved we are.  I don’t just feel unworthy, I am unworthy and I know it!  I told someone at work (Hi Terry!) that I KNOW I’m not most of the things people say, such as:  strong, brave, amazing.  Not even close.  But that I also 100% KNOW of the things I am:  loved, cared about, prayed for.

I called the funeral home today and we meet with them on Monday to make arrangements for after the girls’ birth.  Monday might be the most prayers I’ll need since the man on the phone told me we will be choosing Laurencia’s casket.  I’ve been thinking about this and dreading it since April.  Nearly hourly I think of it.  My sweet baby girl, instead of a bassinet, this is where we will lay you to rest.  How can that even be?

The next week will be so beyond busy trying to prepare for my leaving.  Please, please know of our gratitude for every single kind word, prayer or deed.

God bless,

Katrina

The Inevitable – and Week 26 Update

It’s been very difficult to find time to update!  I have now officially given Mae 3 suckers in order to try to write this.  Some of you I’ve spoken to and know the general updates but there are many who don’t.  Unfortunately, I will have PLENTY of time to be posting (and picking at my nails, daydreaming, staring off into space..) because it’s pretty much official that I will be going in patient at 28 weeks, which is most likely going to be Monday, July 29.  I will stay until after delivery which is tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 26.  The exact dates might change, especially if something changes with how the girls are doing.  I think I’ve been in denial about having to leave my home even though I say it out loud quite often.  Really having to prepare the kids, my house, myself and actually going there and everyone else leaving me and the girls behind, well, it’s hard to believe.  ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Only my oldest is aware that I will be going and Polly in particular is going to lose her mind.  Little Mae Mae will be sad too, but since she’s only 2, time is relative to her.  Polly is SO ATTACHED to me.  I’ve been home a lot this Summer so really they will all have a difficult time.  I’m the momma!  I know that it will go by quickly and we will all be fine, I really do. THANK GOD IN HEAVEN for my sisters.  All of them.  Matt’s too.  I can hardly stand thinking about how taxing this will be on everyone and I’m almost embarrassed to say on here how grateful I am for help already being offered because it will never be enough thanks or will never properly convey my gratitude.  Lest anyone think it’s any small feat, my sisters helping me, let me give you a quick run down:  One sister has 8 children, including a 1 year old; one sister has a 3 week old, a 2 yr. old and her husband is out of town until mid-Sept; another sister is due the day after I’m scheduled to have the girls and has 5 other young children; and one just had surgery on her back/neck and is dealing with complications!  They are all my heroes.  The other day Laura got to business starting a group calendar for my sisters to help with the kids and that same day I ran into one of Matt’s SILs who told me they could make meals etc.  My first instinct was to say, “NO NO, we’ll be fine!”  But then I had to swallow the .2% of pride I have left and say instead, “that would be so nice”.  Because I have to think of Matt and the kids.  I know my husband’s sisters love him and I love them.  I just feel guilty accepting ANYTHING from ANYONE.  But the gratitude outweighs the guilt, I promise!

To try to answer the obvious questions, the reason we believe I have to go in is that since Georgetta will be viable and not only that has a very good chance of having minimal complications if born after 28 weeks, it is just too much of a risk to monitor the girls on an out patient basis.  It’s hard to understand for most people because 1)  the girls are not monitored 24/7 anyway and 2) there is nothing “wrong” now.  I try to explain it like this:  It’s an odds thing, the odds of noticing something going wrong are greater if I’m there full time.  The babies will be monitored for cord blood flow/other issues at least 3x per day and likely 1-2 hours each time.  The ultrasound equipment will be right outside my door if anything sounds ‘off’.  I will be right there in the event something should happen and we actually notice it on ultrasound or in monitoring.  Also, it’s like this:  Georgetta’s LIFE is WORTH me being gone for four extra weeks, whether we catch something or not.  Plain and simple.  We are giving her the best possible chance.  Even if something happens and God forbid we didn’t catch it even being in the hospital, I will always believe it was worth going, to at least try.  The drs. say that we simply cannot have that amount of monitoring on an out patient basis.  It’s quite a strange deal because I’m not going to be on bed rest.  So I asked yesterday whether I’ll be a prisoner in my room or what.  She laughed and said that I do have to stay on the hospital grounds or campus but other than that, as long as it’s not a monitoring time, I can wander around (in my mind I imagine me in my running clothes running the hospital corridors–I’m not kidding) and there is even a playground outside!  I was quite happy to hear that.  I hope the kids can come visit often but that too will be hard on everyone driving them since it’s not exactly close to home and my poor hubby has been working tremendously long hours.

My former nanny was here the other day and couldn’t help but laugh when thinking of me sitting still for a month.  She apparently didn’t consider me running laps in the hospital.  I just think I have so much organizing of things and arranging of things to do that I will be ok in that regard.  The funeral and service for one.  I want to celebrate Laurencia’s life.  Also, I’ll have to plan the birth day a bit more, how it will all work with my family etc.  I really can’t imagine sitting there watching TV or movies all day but if anyone has any FUNNY movie suggestions I’ll take them. 🙂  “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion” –though I will NOT be watching <—that movie, I meant funny with no sad endings please.

I had two appts. last week and one this week.  Here are two photos of Georgetta from last week (they didn’t give me any of Laurencia):

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Gosh, she just looks SO MUCH like Mae to me.  Last week they saw one reading of Laurencia’s cord flow that was ever so slightly elevated.  This is the kind of thing they look for since it could mean the cords are compressing.  This week they didn’t see anything of the sort.  I was a bit concerned yesterday when I went in because all day the day before I only felt movement (lots of it) on my right side, which is where Laurencia had been as of last week.  I was feeling nothing on the left side.  Turns out that they switched places, Georgetta’s head is down and her feet are presently kicking my right ribs.  Little Laurencia was tucked way down sort of under her so I was right in that nobody was really on the left.  During the appt. Laurencia totally flipped and her head is now in my left ribs and her feet are down.  Crazy girls.  Here are profile views from yesterday:

Georgetta Katerina                                                                         Laurencia Rachel

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Matt and I both get the sense from the docs that going in at least by 28 weeks would give Georgetta the best chance.  All of the studies that have been done on monoamniotic twins conclude that the rate of survival is nearly 30% higher than if not going in.  Look at her, do you think she’s worth it 😉  ?

Here at home we are trying to get some yard work done and the kids will be done with all of their baseball and softball pretty much the day I go.  Gabby’s softball team made it to the state tournament for her league, and that takes place next weekend.  I’ve already taken the four kids school clothes shopping.  They are so young that even just getting one or two things makes them happy.  I’ll have to go get the supplies some time in the next week.  If Georgetta makes it to Aug. 26th, I won’t be home until the end of that week and school starts the next week!  We will likely have the funeral service the first week of school, which I was hoping to avoid but as with everything, it will just have to be ok.

I’m going to end with a list of things for which I am thankful, since I’m always sounding so…sad.  The fact that good things still happen and that our lives are still beautiful will never take away my sadness.  It’s not as if one negates the other.  But still, I think of the good things a lot too, and thought I should share some of those with you:

1.  Georgetta is doing well and has no other complications as of now

2.  My body is strong enough to hold these babies and has treated me well despite my whining and complaining

3.  My SISTERS

4.  All FIVE of my other kids are DONE with stupid, rotten, stinky, smelly, awful, horrible chicken pox (wait, that bordered on negative didn’t it?)

5.  My husband has a job and provides for us so selflessly, works so terribly hard and will handle my being gone with strength and grace

6.  My church and community and friends.  Almost every day someone tells me they are praying for us.  What a pure and wonderful gift.

7.  My job and colleagues.  Wonderful people, you would almost not believe that in this day and age co-workers would say and do the things my colleagues have

8.  The great care I’ve received to date from the clinic where I go

9.  The way health care workers have treated our Laurencia and the way I know they will handle her birth and death

10.  The knowledge we have that going in might save Georgetta’s life and our ability to have me go and that we live in an amazing country and have the best care possible

We have another appt. Friday, a big one with measurements.  Lots of appts. (dentist etc.) for the kids next week and lots of organizing to do.  I’ll try to update if I can.

God Bless,

Katrina and the girls