6 Month Update from the Woman
It’s been six months since my life changed forever. Six whole months since our girls entered the world. Six whole months since I’ve learned what unconditional selfless love, real multi-tasking, and working at a marriage truly means.
PSA: this won’t be a triathlon post. In fact, I haven’t been on my bike or in a pool since about the 3rd or 4th month of my pregnancy. Right now my workouts consist of some small circuits on good days, but mostly twin lifting (which includes me carrying both up and down three flights of stairs any time we want or need to go anywhere during the day), bouncing, lunging, prancing, shooshing…you get the idea…every day.
I can’t believe it’s already been six months! Every parent always says, “it goes so fast” and guess what? They are totally right. Yes, some days daddy can’t get home soon enough and I have brought yet another new picture to my life of mommy napkin, but even at the end of those days you find yourself wishing time would stand still. Another set of sleepers goes into the too small tote, another sleeve of diapers goes unused because they are too big for those now, and yet another milestone is happening right in front of your eyes. I feel so overly blessed every day my husband walks out the door and I sit chugging my coffee before the morning routine starts. Every day we both go to work, except I don’t have to miss a minute of these milestones or growth…or poopy diapers for that matter. Some days- SO. MUCH. POOP. And, even after watching them grow in front of my eyes day in and day out, I can’t believe it’s already been six months.
But lets back up. Two babies later, a cross the country move, and career changes for both of us, how exactly did we get here?
About a year ago we were announcing our two sweet little blessings to the world, and that is truly when God’s master plan started to reveal itself.
We always both thought that Northwest Iowa wouldn’t be our forever home. But after years of trying to land jobs in other places of the country, we found ourselves stuck back in our hometown areas. I said I would NEVER end up back in Orange City, so naturally that is exactly what happened. The move to Orange City was very thought out and was ultimately part of our plan to start a family. Yes, we both know God is always in control so I have no idea why we make such hard cut plans…but we are still human. Anyway, we announced the arrival of the twins. The first few months went as expected. A ton of morning sickness, not enough food in site, falling asleep over my lunch break, daddy researching the best deals and best of the best for his girls, and the aunties doing a ridiculous amount of shopping. All in all pretty normal pregnancy stuff. It was then time for our first check up in Sioux Falls. Our Orange City hospital refers all twin pregnancies to get checked out in Sioux Falls for multiple reasons- I always thought, another set of doctors and nurses making sure all is well sounds good to me. So off to Sioux Falls we went. Everything checked out wonderfully and we found out that the girls were MoMo twins (same sack, two separate cords). This raised my pregnancy to high risk. Not really because of any concerns revealed during the ultra-sound, but because of the possibility of a twin to twin transfusion. A risk that means one twin could start to ‘steal’ nutrients from the other twin, depriving them of food/blood. Trying to stay completely positive and stress free (yeah right, no such thing exists in my body) was a day-to-day task. Ultimately we ended up only doctoring in Sioux Falls. My OB there wanted to see me (and the girls :)) every two weeks and said that I would need to deliver in Sioux Falls, so there was really no reason to continue going to my other Orange City check-ups. Everyone continued to grow beautifully (I didn’t feel so beautiful but I definitely grew too).
We really only had one scare- one ultrasound led us to believe that twin to twin might be starting to rear its ugly head, but a follow-up visit a few days later put us in the all clear. Turns out we were just really blessed to watch and hear the girls grow every other week, opposed to most once a month ultra sounds!
At about week 34 I was put on bed rest. One really bad headache revealed that my blood pressure was a bit too high for the doctors comfort level. So there I sat and sat, and ate and binge watched a ton of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Daddy took care of the nesting for the both of us- making sure everything was in place for their arrival. Week 35 we started to get pretty anxious. My appointment that week showed that I was already dilating. I wasn’t that surprised. I continued to tell everyone, I literally feel like every time I pee or squat that Baby A is just going to fall out. She didn’t. But she was already 3 out of 10 inches away from making her entrance. 🙂 So, after that visit Daddy mandated the car seats be in the car, the bags be packed and the couch be covered with a plastic garbage bag. Yep, my mom freaked us both out enough about my water breaking while I’m just sitting there on the couch that we covered the couch in plastic and blankets. So embarrassing but such is pregnancy and child-birth. After I was put on bed rest I had to make weekly trips to Sioux Falls. My week 36 appointment was the one. I was done. So. Over. Being. Pregnant. WITH TWINS! The doctor could apparently tell too. He had always informed us that at week 37 we would seriously evaluate what needed to happen. He would not let me go a full 40 weeks with the twins. He said there are more complications than growing that happens beyond 37 weeks for MoMo twins. So, this wasn’t a surprise for Tanner and I. In fact, it was a relief. The doctor said. Monday is your day (my appointment was on Friday). He said either your water will break or I will induce you at 7 AM on Monday, September 8.
The girls were born Sunday, September 7. 🙂 One day earlier but exactly how God had planned it.
After my Friday appointment Tanner didn’t let us go home- remember the car seats, bags, everything was packed and in the car. Good thing to0. My parents flew in from Virginia, landing Saturday night. My water broke in the hotel room Sunday morning–this is a whole other story/post. Against all medical advice, I quick got in the shower 🙂 and then we headed to the ER.
By the time I was through the ER and in my room I was strongly advised to get my epidural or it might be too late. NEVER. Don’t let that happen! I let everyone know, when it was ok to have drugs, I wanted the drugs! Amazingly enough, my labor and delivery nurse had twins. 🙂 I mean for real people, God is so good and so very present in ordinary life events. She guided me, massaged me and ultimately helped me bring these beautiful babes into the world. But she was ultimately the one that convinced me that now is the time for the epidural if you want one. She was so full of real life nurse and twin mom advice, my experience would have been so different without her. And some of my twin mom guilt would haunt me everyday if it wasn’t for her.
So that’s that. On Sunday, September 7, 2014, Kate Elizabeth and Maya Grace were gifted to us. Kate Elizabeth was born at 4:23 pm, weighing 6 pounds 2 ounces, sister Maya Grace was quick to follow at 4:37 pm weighing the exact same, 6 pounds 2 ounces. Both born naturally and, yes, they weighed exactly the same.
Kate Elizabeth Russ Maya Grace Russ
A month later, we moved. We moved cross country to Virginia. Yes, I’m that first time mom with my (technically premie) one month old twins that you are cringing and shaming as I board the plane. Whatever. You don’t know my life.
God did and does. He continues to reveal his plan, as will I through this blog. Stay tuned for more of our family of four crazy, real life moments.