Jun 20, 2009

  • Last updated on January 21, 2011 at 11:54 pm
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We started praying about starting a family back in the fall of 2010. We got an overwhelming peace about it in November of 2010, so we started trying to conceive. We found out we are expecting on January 17th, 2011. The due date is September 24th, 2011. We are thrilled! I'm full of excitement and nervousness of what is to come. This is the beginning of a new chapter of my life, and I couldn't be happier!

This is how I told my husband. He didn't believe me at first, but he was thrilled when it finally sank in!

7 Weeks:

UPDATE (2/28/11): It's not just one's fraternal twins! We couldn't be more thrilled or blessed. These were our first ultrasound pics, taken on February 28th, 2011 (9 1/2 Weeks):

9 1/2 Weeks:

12 1/2 Weeks:

16 Weeks:

UPDATE (4/25/11): We found out today that we are having two BOYS! I'm starting to save up my energy! ;D These were taken at 18 Weeks:

Baby "A" - Gavin Noah
He's my calm cucumber

Baby "B" - Brayden Thomas
He's my wiggle worm. They couldn't even get a good picture of him because he couldn't stay still.

22 Weeks:

26 Weeks:

26 Weeks:

30 Weeks, 1 Day:

31 Weeks:

31 Weeks (July 28th, 2011):
After running some morning errands, I returned home and checked my email / Facebook and ate some lunch. I was in shock when my water suddenly broke. A little concerned (due to me being only 31 weeks along), I quickly called the doctor and explained what had happened. The nurse told me to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. I called my husband, and he came home from work (in 10 minutes, I might add!) and helped load up our luggage (that I had already packed for the hospital). We were off within 15 minutes of my water breaking. The local hospital that we had planned on delivering at was only 10 minutes away. We were making phone calls to family along the way, but not asking anyone to make the trip to the hospital until we knew the plan of action. We reported straight to labor and delivery and were shown a room and situated. They gave us medical attention immediately upon our arrival. It took them 3 hours (at least) to verify that my membranes had indeed ruptured. I was not even aware that I had started having minor contractions. They called for medical transport to take me to the city hospital - University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital. While waiting for the EMS transport, they ordered a sonogram to verify which sac had ruptured (due the babes being in two separate sacs). Both babies looked great, and they were able to find the sac that had ruptured. At that time, they estimated the babies to be at 3 lbs, 13 oz. The nurses and doctors at the local hospital were telling me that (more than likely) these babies would have to be delivered that night. I was scared at that point that my babes would be delivered within 24 hours, yet they were so tiny. The EMS transport arrived, and I was off to UAB hospital - a normal 2 hour trip that only took 1 hour that night! My husband was driving to meet us down there. We arrived, and found our way to labor and delivery, where they already had a room prepared for me. The nurses and doctors that met us were amazing! They checked my progress, which showed I had only dialated to 2 cm. They also kept me on the contraction monitor and the ultrasound to keep check on the babies heart rates. Surprisingly, I had been having stronger contractions every 1-2 minutes (which I never felt). However, my back had been killing me. I assumed this was due to the ambulance ride on a very uncomfortable gurny. They gave me IV Magnesium and Demerol to stop contractions. The magnesium made me terribly sick. They also started antibiotics to prevent infection from the ruptured membranes and steroids to develop the lungs of the babies in case I delivered. The doctor came in to discuss our options. She was optimistic that the IV meds would stop my labor. She wanted us to try and make it to 34 weeks (I was currently at 31 weeks) before we delivered. However, there was a 50% chance that I would go into full labor before then, which could not be stopped. It was a huge relief to hear that I did not have to deliver these babies at 31 weeks. The magnesium and demerol did it's job. By the next morning (12 hours later), I was no longer having contractions. They moved me upstairs to the high-risk obstetrics (HRO) unit, where I would stay until, hopefully, 34 weeks. The babies heart rates were checked every 2 hours, as well as my vital signs (to check for any sign of infection from the ruptured membranes). Every 24 hours, they did an hour-long strip to check for any contractions and monitor the patterns of the babies heart rates.

The plan: I was to stay on hospital bedrest until I delivered. We were going to try and make it to 34 weeks to deliver. Baby 1 (Brayden) was head down, and baby 2 (Gavin) was breech. The doctors surprisingly wanted me to attempt a vaginal delivery, even with Gavin being breech. I was totally against it and insisted on a c-section. They honored my request. The c-section was then scheduled for 34 weeks exactly (August 13, 2011).

31 1/2 Weeks (at UAB Hospital):

32 Weeks:
I started having high blood pressure readings, as well as a high pulse. They said I was "slightly" pre-elcemptic. They wanted to continue to monitor it and only act if anything changed.

32 Weeks, 6 Days (at UAB Hospital):

33 1/2 Weeks:
I began having really strong contractions 3 days before my c-section. They moved me back down to labor and delivery, where they were able to give me demerol to help with pain from the contractions and monitor how far along I was in labor. They were able to stop my labor for a few hours, but it would start again. I was having really strong and painful back labor with contractions, and nothing would help. I wanted them to go ahead and do the c-section that night, but they insisted on waiting until 34 weeks (3 days away!). I continued to have back labor with each contraction until the c-section 3 days later (August 13, 2011).

33 Weeks, 5 Days (at UAB Hospital):

34 Weeks:
My c-section was scheduled for 10:00 AM the morning of August 13, 2011. I was so glad to finally have the day come after so many days of bad back labor with contractions. The morning of the c-section, I started to feel a little nervous about the whole thing. They started prepping me at 5 AM that morning. They started my IV in the room, then wheeled me down to the OR. Hubby walked with us, and the nurses had him wait and prep / dress in the lobby of the OR wing. They took me back to the OR and had me sit on the table for the spinal. The spinal was not bad at all. All I felt was the numbing injection, which didn't even feel like a bee sting. The spinal started working (which just makes you feel warm and tingly from the feet up) and they quickly had me lay on the table and strapped my arms and body to the table. They had to re-stick my IV because the other IV port had clogged. They tested my skin / feeling, and adjusted the spinal as they needed to. They hung the drapes and prepped my oversized belly. As the spinal worked it's way up, I started feeling tightness in my chest from my asthma, so they gave me asthma meds to help. They gave me oxygen and began the surgery. My husband was brought in and led to his chair beside me. I was happy to see him. He held my hand as I said "I think they've already cut on me." He laughed and said "yup!" I felt lots of tugging and pulling. I told my husband "I think they're close!" Within a minute or so, Brayden let out a dramatic cry, and I burst into tears. My husband was grinning from ear to ear as he wiped away my tears. I saw one of the NICU nurses take a squirmy babe to the other room (where they worked on the babes). A minute later, they pulled out Gavin and raved over how handsome he was. I was ecstatic! They brought Brayden to us first, and hubby got to hold him for a minute. Gavin was brought to us next. My husband went with the NICU teams and the boys to the NICU unit. He brought pics of the boys to waiting family and friends. They stitched me up in about 25 minutes, transferred me to a gurny, and I was off to recovery. My husband and visitors were allowed to come visit me in recovery. I was thrilled to hear their birth weights. Brayden was 5 lbs exactly, and Gavin was 4 lbs 4 oz. Overall, they were doing well. After 2 hours in recovery, they took me up to the mother-baby unit. I had a morphine pump to help with the pain, and they helped me get situated in the new room. I had to wait until that evening to actually see / hold my babies. It was an amazing feeling!

Over the next day, I spiked a fever of 103.1. They discovered that I had an infection from both the premature rupture of membranes and the surgery. For about four days, I had terrible tremors from the fever. They put me on five different IV antibiotics that were given every 2 to 4 hours. By the 5th day of my stay (after delivery), the infection cleared up. I ended up staying 6 days after delivery, and I was released to come home (after a total of 3 1/2 weeks in the hospital). It was extremely difficult to go home knowing that I would be an hour and a half away and my babies couldn't come with me.

I visited the hospital every day. I had my mother helping me with the babies while we were at the hospital (my husband was working). They were able to move my babies from the NICU to the CCN (Continuing Care Nursery). They were still being tube fed in combination with short bottle feedings. They were also in isolettes to maintain their body temperature and deliver the oxygen they still needed.

Born at 34 Weeks - Dad holding Brayden

BRAYDEN on his birthday (5 lbs):

GAVIN on his birthday (4 lbs 4 oz):

BRAYDEN: 2 Weeks Old

GAVIN: 2 Weeks Old

Our 1st Family Photo (2 Weeks Old):

After 2 weeks of traveling 1 1/2 hours one way daily, the traveling had taken it's toll on me. I got a referral to the Ronald McDonald house that was just across the street from the hospital. We were able to get in 3 days after my referral. It was a huge blessing! I was now able to spend more time with my babies.

September 4th, 2011:
The babies have both been moved from isolettes into open cribs and are maintaining their own body temperature and no longer need oxygen. For the mostpart, feeding tubes are no longer needed. They are taking 45 cc's by bottle every 3 hours. Brayden has a slight infection of the stomach, which means he may need an IV to deliver antibiotics. We are also taking extra precautions due to an exposure of infection within the unit. We have to "glove and gown" to go into their room or hold them. They think the risk is very slim for them to contract the illness they were exposed to.

BRAYDEN - 3 Weeks Old
Current Weight: 4 lbs 15 oz

GAVIN - 3 Weeks Old
Current Weight: 5 lbs 4 oz

We're Home!!!
The boys were discharged from the hospital on September 12, 2011 at 7:30 PM (late, I know! ;D). We still have to keep close tabs on the boys, so we visit the pediatrician every-other day. It was a long first night of feedings, and it was the most amazing feeling I've ever had! 

  • Last updated on July 29, 2010 at 8:25 am
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A friend of mine is getting married soon and used this worksheet to make sure every detail was in place. I thought this might be helpful for some of you.

SOUND: Ceremony

Who is operating the sound for the ceremony?_______________________________

Have you paid this person an honorarium / fee?______________________________

Does this person have all pertinent information as to wedding date, rehearsal date and times, and sound requirements?_________________________________________________________

Is he/she invited to the rehearsal dinner?

SOUND: Reception

Who is the Master of Ceremonies for your reception?___________________________

Does he/she know the sequence of reception events?__________________________

Does he/she know the name of attendants to be announced upon presentation and their order of presentation?__________________________________________________________

Who is DJing your wedding?_______________________________________________

Have you given the DJ a CD of preferred music at least a week in advance and of suitable recording quality?_______________________________________________________________

Did you remember to write a thank you note?_________________________________

MUSICIANS: Ceremony & Rehearsal

Pre-ceremony Music:_____________________________________________________

Seating of the Grandmothers Music:_________________________________________

Seating of the Mothers Music:______________________________________________

Mothers Lighting Unity Candle:_____________________________________________

Groom and Groomsmen Enter:_____________________________________________

Seating of the Bridal Party Music:___________________________________________

Bridal Processional:______________________________________________________

Communion Music:_______________________________________________________

Recessional Music:_______________________________________________________

How many worship special songs in the ceremony?_____________________________

What are they?_________________________________________________________

Do you have the sheet music for special music?________________________________

Who have you asked to sing at the wedding?_________________________________

Who are the musicians?__________________________________________________

What instruments?______________________________________________________

Do these persons have all pertinent information as to wedding date, rehearsal date and times?________________________________________________________________

Are they well informed as to where their music fits into the ceremony?_____________________________________________________________

Is he/she invited to the rehearsal dinner?_____________________________________

Have you written thank you notes to your musicians/singers?_______________________________________________________

Have you paid the honorarium?_____________________________________________



Contact Information:______________________________________________________

Have you given him/her any special vows or changes in the ceremony you wish to incorporate?_____________________________________________________________

Who is designated to give him the honorarium?_____________________________________________________________

Have you sent him and his wife an invitation to the rehearsal dinner?_________________________________________________________________

Have you written a letter of appreciation for performing the task of officiating your wedding?_______________________________________________________________



Does your wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses pass the Modesty check list for the venue?________________________________________________________________

When you brought your dress to her for alterations, did you bring them to her at least a month in advance?______________________________________________________________

If your bridesmaids dresses require alterations, have you brought them to her at least a month in advance?______________________________________________________________

Have your bridesmaids paid the seamstress for alterations and modifications such as sewn in bras?_________________________________________________________________

Does she know she may be needed to buistle up the dress after the ceremony?_____________________________________________________________

Have you written your seamstress a thank you note?_________________________________________________________________



Contact Information:_____________________________________________________

If you want hair and mak-up for all your bridesmaids and yourself, have you communicated this to your make-up artist/hairstylist?_________________________________________________

Does she knkow the exact time she needs to finish before photos?________________________________________________________________

You will need to comomunicate with your bridesmaids to clear up who is paying to have the bridesmaids' hair put up. If YOU want their hair up, then you should arrange to pay for it. If THEY want their hair up and you don't care one way or another, the bridesmaids should each pay for their own hair styling.

Have all your bridesmaids paid the hairstylist / make-up artist for her services?_______________________________________________________________

Have you sent her a thank you note?_________________________________________


Name: _________________________________________________________________

Is this florist expecting to use the church kitchen to arrange flower?_________________________________________________________________

If so, have you informed the caterer of this?____________________________________

Who is responsible for removing floral arrangements?____________________________

Where are they to be put?_________________________________________________

Have you informed the florist of any building / decorating restrictions the ceremony and reception venues may have?______________________________________________________________

Is your florist expecting to use the church refrigerators to store flowers? Does the caterer know this?___________________________________________________________________

Who is responsible for making sure which flowers go to particular people in the wedding party?__________________________________________________________________

If your florist is not from church, does she know when and how she can access the building?________________________________________________________________

Special flowers for non-wedding party?________________________________________



Contact Information:______________________________________________________

Does the caterer have proof of liability insurance?_______________________________

Do you plan on providing a dinner to the wedding party between photos and the ceremony?_____________________________________________________________

If yes, what?___________________________________________________________

Has the reception caterer been informed of this?_______________________________

Does your caterer know what to do with leftovers?_____________________________

Have you given caterer a final guest count?___________________________________

Are you planning on using the building/kitchen for a rehearsal dinner?_______________________________________________________________

Who is catering the rehearsal dinner?_______________________________________

Who is responsible for cleaning up after the rehearsal dinner?_______________________________________________________________

If using a non-church caterer, have you you informed them of church building policies and the need for proof of liability insurance?________________________________________________



Contact Information:_____________________________________________________

Called to confirm delivery one week prior to wedding?______________________________________________________________



Contact Information:_____________________________________________________

Have a contract?________________________________________________________

Given a copy of the contract to your wedding coordinator?________________________

Have you informed the videographer of any restrictions the church/facility may have on videography?___________________________________________________________

Called one week prior to wedding to verify information?__________________________

Arranged for videographer to meet with photographer to coordinate services?______________________________________________________________



Contact Information:_____________________________________________________

Have a contract?________________________________________________________

Given a copy of the contract to your wedding coordinator?_______________________

Have you informed the photographer of any restrictions the church may have on photography?__________________________________________________________

Scheduled bridal portraits?________________________________________________

Given the photographer your photo list yet?___________________________________

Called one week prior to the wedding to verify information?_______________________

Arranged for photographer to meet videographer so they can coordinate their services?_______________________________________________________________


Who have you asked to do a reading?________________________________________

What readings are those?__________________________________________________

Do the readers have the text printed out?_____________________________________

Do they knkow their position in the ceremony schedule?__________________________

Have you invited them to the rehearsal dinner?_________________________________

Have you written them a thank you note?_____________________________________


Have you made arrangements for accommodations for out of town attendants?________

Have you purchased your attendants gifts?____________________________________
Wrapped attendants gifts?_________________________________________________

How are the bridesmaids / groomsmen being transported to the reception if reception is in a separate location from the church?___________________________________________________

Have you sent invitations to your bridesmaids fo the bridesmaid luncheon?______________________________________________________________

Have you shared names / addresses / email / phone numbers of all attendants with each other?_________________________________________________________________

Have you clearly communicated your attendants what their financial responsibilities are and what you are financially responsible for?__________________________________________________
     *Tux Rental
     *Dress and shoes purchase



Contact Information:______________________________________________________

Does he have the bride's ring?______________________________________________

Does he have the officiant's fee?____________________________________________

Has he been alerted that he is giving the toast at the reception?___________________



Contact Information:______________________________________________________

Knows she is to assist the bride at the altar with bouquet, trian, and veil?___________________________________________________________________

Does she have the groom's ring?_____________________________________________


Who is providing the communion elements?_____________________________________

Who is preparing them for communion at the front of the church?____________________

Who does the communion chalice/plate belong to and do they know to take it home afterwards?______________________________________________________________

Who is taking iyour cake top home for freezer storage?____________________________
Do they know to bring a Tupperware container?_________________________________

If you have candelabras / unity candles for the ceremony, who is lighting them?__________________________________________________________________

Who is responsible for gathering up the following after the wedding:
          *Guest Book:_______________________________________________________

          *Unity Candles:_____________________________________________________

          *Bride's Gown:______________________________________________________

          *Wedding Gifts:_____________________________________________________
          *Do they have a key to your home?______________________________________
          *Where are they to be put?____________________________________________

          *Groom's Tux (Return to Rental Store):____________________________________


Pet care while on honeymoon?_______________________________________________

PAPER: Invitations

Compile guest list?________________________________________________________

Selected your invitations?___________________________________________________

Ordered inviations?________________________________________________________

Once arrived, check the spelling and information?_________________________________

Create a map and guest information?__________________________________________

Double check postage requirement for fully stuffed invitations?______________________

Mailed invitations at least 6 weeks prior to wedding?______________________________

PAPER: Programs

Chosen a program design?__________________________________________________

Double check your spelling and information?_____________________________________

Create the program at least one week prio to wedding?____________________________

Delegated someone to take possession of programs to bring to ceremony?_______________________________________________________________

Who is distributing programs?________________________________________________

PAPER: Menu Cards

Confirm menu with caterer?__________________________________________________

Design menu cards?________________________________________________________

Who is placing cards at each seat?_____________________________________________

PAPER: Seating Cards

Design seating cards?_______________________________________________________

Arrange seating chart/assign seating?__________________________________________

Who is responsible for setting the seating chart?__________________________________


What type of favor are you having?_____________________________________________

Have you bought or made the favors at least two weeks before the wedding?__________________________________________________________________

Who is responsible for bringing the favors to the reception?___________________________

Are they being placed at each table setting or handed out?___________________________

Have you confirmed with the facility that you are allowed to throw rice/confetti/rose petals/bubbles/sparklers?_________________________________________________________________

What are you guests tossing at you as you leave?__________________________________


Do you need to rearrange the auditorium chairs for the reception?______________________

How many chairs are you planning on moving?_____________________________________

Do you have a "map" of how the room should look for the reception?____________________

Has this map been xeroxed and given to the head chair master?________________________

Who is responsible for coordinating the chair arranging?______________________________

Who are the persons willing to commit to moving the chair during the interim between the ceremony and reception?__________________________________________________________________

Who is responsible for putting the chairs back in place after the reception?__________________________________________________________________

Who are the persons willing to commit to putting the auditorium chairs back in place?_____________________________________________________________________


Have you arranged for building a clean-up crew for after the wedding? Who is this?_______________________________________________________________________

Have they been informed as to the date and times of the wedding?___________________________________________________________________

Have you paid their cleaning fee?_________________________________________________

Are you planning on throwing birdseed, rice, confetti, etc.?_____________________________

Who is responsible for tidyying up the outside of the building?__________________________

Have you written the clean-up people thank you notes?_______________________________













  • Last updated on July 7, 2010 at 11:56 am
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I loved the result of my silk bridal bouquet that I had fixed for my wedding. One reason I really wanted to use silk "real touch" flowers is because I could keep my bouquet for years after the big day. I wanted to make sure my bouquet would be protected from dust, food, drink, dirty hands, etc., so I went to Hobby Lobby in search of something large enough to cover/protect my bouquet and look nice. I was pleasantly surprised to find a football display case (in the framing section) that looked like it would be just the right size. I gathered my bouquet, garter, and headband as well as spare fabric, ribbon, pearl buttons, etc. In order to create more aesthetic interest, I used a small basket (turned upside down) to support the flowers on the bouquet. I then draped the basket and base of the display case with fabric and pinned the edges of the fabric under so it wouldn't move. I used a solid fabric on the underside and gathered tulle on the top for different textures. I then pinned on some lace in one corner and added a strand of small pearls using sewing pins. At this point, I scattered larger pearls buttons across the base and pinned them in place. The last step is to add the garter, headband, bouquet, and any additional item.

Total Cost: $25 (50% off $50)

Additional Costs: Fabric, ribbon, any addititional decorative items

Bouquet Box photo 1Bouquet Box photo 2
Bouquet Box photo 3

View from the sides:
Bouquet Box photo 4Bouquet Box photo 5
Bouquet Box photo 6Bouquet Box photo 7

View into the top:
Bouquet Box photo 8

  • Last updated on January 4, 2010 at 9:46 am
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I created a shadow box with items from the wedding. I purchased an 8 1/2 x 11 shadow box for $10 (originally $20) from Hobby Lobby. I used scrapbook paper as the background. I included the wedding invitation, wedding program, garter, my hankie, hubby's bout, and two pro pics. I assembled everything using a hot glue gun.

Shadow Box photo 1


  • Last updated on January 4, 2010 at 9:42 am
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  • 1 Comment

I was so pleased with the way our album turned out.
Professional Wedding Album photo 1Professional Wedding Album photo 2
Professional Wedding Album photo 3Professional Wedding Album photo 4
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Professional Wedding Album photo 7Professional Wedding Album photo 8
Professional Wedding Album photo 9Professional Wedding Album photo 10
Professional Wedding Album photo 11Professional Wedding Album photo 12
Professional Wedding Album photo 13

  • Last updated on January 4, 2010 at 9:32 am
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  • 1 Comment

I included pics and souvenirs of our wedding and honeymoon in our scrapbook.

Wedding Scrapbook photo 1Wedding Scrapbook photo 2
Wedding Scrapbook photo 3Wedding Scrapbook photo 4
Wedding Scrapbook photo 5Wedding Scrapbook photo 6
Wedding Scrapbook photo 7Wedding Scrapbook photo 8
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Wedding Scrapbook photo 11Wedding Scrapbook photo 12
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Wedding Scrapbook photo 21