Friday, October 30, 2015

2 year Anniversary of my business

Two years ago, tomorrow, I was sitting across the table from a friend listening to her talk about her business.  She wasn't selling me a product, she was sharing with me about how this opportunity was making her life better.  She was sharing with me about how her life had been before this business found her.

During that lunch I was thinking that our life was far from how I wanted it to be.  Financially we just weren't in a good spot.  I was a stay at home mom (which was always my dream) because of having a not so perfect pregnancy with the twins.  I had been put on bed rest from 20 weeks and knew that when they came into this world 14 weeks early that I wasn't going to be able to leave them at daycare and return to work.

As I listened to her talk about her financial struggles and the journey that she was on, I thought "why not?" and told her that I wanted to give it a try.  I knew NOTHING about the products that the company sold because I hadn't even tried them, but I saw the passion in her eyes and I knew that if I could add a couple hundred dollars to my families budget during that time then maybe we would be ok.

Fast forward to 2 years later and I'm still with the company loving the journey that we are on.  Yes, it's had it's ups and downs.  Name a business that doesn't, but the change in me personally and how I've been able to stay home with the kids far outweigh the slow times in my business.  I've met so many great men and women who have become like family.  When I'm having a rough day, I turn to them for encouragement.  When I see someone struggling, I can do the same for them.

Many of you think that direct sales is all about pushing the products that we sell, when really that's just the cover.  Open the book and look inside.  You'll find so many awesome characters.  Moms who get to stay home while contributing to the family budget.    Dad's who want more for their families without having to put in more hours at a 9-5 job.  You'll find college dropouts, attorneys, doctors, teachers, salon owners and so many other amazing people who all share one common goal; to live a life that chases their dreams and not a paycheck.  

Yes, this industry isn't for everyone.  But for ME and for my family it is the answer!  I dream BIG for them so that they know that anything is possible!  Are you dreaming BIG????

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Oh My Goodness

It's hard to believe that I haven't written since January.  WAIT!!!! No it's not.  My life is chaos!  Having twin toddlers is insane.  Don't judge me, it's fun but holy moly are they busy.  What one doesn't think of the other does.     I laugh when I hear people say "Oh, I want twins!"  Really, here take these two, I promise that you'll return them within 24 hours.

But then there are those moments when they are sweet and quiet and not coloring on the couch or playing in their diapers and I remember how life started for them.  That with weighing about as much as a can of Chili Beans was just a small stumbling block for these impressive little creatures who now know no fear.   They look at the world with such amazement and wonder and I realize that God doesn't make mistakes.  I've known that for awhile now but I learn more every day when I watch these two crazy people.

As we approach their 3 year birthday this upcoming spring I am amazed by them.  By the things that come out of their mouth (and sometimes by what goes in).  I am in awe of how far they have come and how with even being born so small there are no lasting effects of prematurity.

I wonder what today will bring??

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Time to find a safe place to write



It's been way too long since I've blogged.  I used to do it as a way to keep up with the girls.  Well here they are almost 2 and I haven't blogged since they were born.  Life has a way of just becoming filled with so much chaos.  As I sit here I am listening to the girls trying to fall asleep.  They have never been those kids who love to go to bed.  Most nights its a struggle and I would lie if I said that we didn't get frustrated at the fight.  They recently went from two cribs into one double bed and while it's only been a week, it's been a very long stressful week (Thank God for Confianza, which I take most days in multiple doses).

However, even when they are putting up a fight I look at them and have to remember that they are my miracles.  And on that note (I know, it's short and sweet) but this tired mom is headed to bed.  It's the first night in awhile that I'm not on solo bedtime patrol and I'm going to take advantage of it.

Until next time!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Prayers do work

We have returned home from Cincinnati and have now had a couple of follow up appointments for the twins.  Also by now we've let everyone know that we're expecting two more girls.  Our home is sure to be filled with a lot of girls who have Jake wrapped around their finger.




  The two smallest (Baby A and Baby B) have proven to us every day what fighters they are.  At our first appointment back here the fluid levels were still looking great and our echo showed that there continues to be a mild case of cardiomypathy, which from what I understand means that one of the babys hearts was just working a little harder than it should have been during the time when the fluids were out of whack.  I was reassured by our nurse in Cincinnati that this is normal and we have another follow up echo on March 5th so see how this is progressing. 

This past Tuesday we went again for another follow up ultrasound.  The babies are weighing in at 1 pound 1 oz and 14 oz which amazes me that they have grown so much.  Their fluid levels were both in the 4 range and were so active that it makes us giggle.  Their blood flow was great and Dr. Leslie (the High Risk doctor that we really like) said that she thought that the hearts looked great.  

It's amazing to me to watch the screen and see that Baby B is no longer stuck and to so easily be able to see the membrane around her whereas on January 29th you couldn't even see it because she is was sucked up against her.  I can now feel both of them kicking at all hours of the day.  I cannot wait for the moment when Jake and the girls are able to feel the kicks.  They seem to stop showing off as soon as anyone else puts their hand on my belly.  

Here is a picture of Baby B's lips and nose.  I'm not sure but I think I'm going to spend a lot of time kissing these sweet little lips.  



And here is a picture of Baby A.  She's the one who is going to be a handful I think.  She wouldn't cooperate for pictures so we only got a picture of her facedown! But we got to see her little knees under her with her butt up in the air! 





What an amazing answer to prayers.  We know that we aren't out of the woods yet, nor will we pretend that we are until these little girls are in our arms, but we know how far we have come since January 29th when we were told that we needed to make the trip in see Dr. Lim and his team.

We ask that you continue to keep the twins in your prayers and that they continue to grow and stay put until it's time to come out and meet the world.  





Monday, February 4, 2013

What a whirlwind of a week

No one ever told us that having twins was going to be easy, but we also didn't know how stressful it was going to be either.  We found out almost a week ago that we were at a stage I for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  At that moment our world kind of went nuts!  We left our weekly ultrasound and headed home to wait for a phone call from Cincinnati's Children's Hospital to find out when we would need to be seen for further testing.  Luckily we didn't  have to wait long as the call came around 11:30.  We were told that we were scheduled for testing on Thursday with possible surgery on Friday if required.  We made the decision to leave on Tuesday afternoon to beat the snow storm that was headed to Iowa.  So without even getting to see McKenna and Ayla we packed a bag and we were on our way.  Our 9 hour drive went smoothly except for rain.  We got into Cincinnati around 11pm and checked into our hotel.  It was slightly on the scary side and we checked out the next morning and moved to a hotel closer to the hospital. I figured if I was going to end up having surgery and need to be on bedrest that was NOT the hotel I wanted it to be in.

Thursday morning we arrived at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital for our testing.  First we had our echocardiogram.  This went well and we were told that we were considered a mild+ in terms of that test.  Next it was on to visit with our nurse coordinator, Melissa.  She walked us through the process of what would happen throughout the day.  The MRI was next and having never had an MRI I was a bit freaked out.  I opted to watch a movie so that I couldn't see the tiny tube that they were putting me in.  The MRI took an hour and 40 minutes (needless to say that I was sore and stiff afterwards from laying still).  They said that the babies moved around a lot making it difficult to get pictures.  Leave it to our kids to be problem children already.  After that we were sent immediately to an ultrasound.  It was here that we met our surgeon, Dr. Lim, for the first time.  He had stopped by to check on us and it was great to actually get to meet him.  Our ultrasound tech, Connie was great.  Again the twins were moving around a lot and it took her awhile to get the readings that she wanted.  We determined that the DVP (Deepest Vertical Pocket) of fluids were 9.7 and 1.4, so actually worse than when we left Iowa on Tuesday.

Now it was time to meet with our "team".  We were taken to a conference room where we met Dr. Polzin, Dr. Lim, a nurse coordinator, Lisa and fetal care coordinator Steve.  Dr. Polzin and Steve are from Good Samaritan Hospital but work with the Fetal Care Clinic at Cincinnati's Children Hospital.  All 4 of these people were great.  Dr. Lim and Dr. Polzin went over all of our test results with us.  We were given 3 options.  Be randomized into a test group, have surgery or do nothing.  The babies looked good from all the tests and while it was determined that there was TTTS going on, there was a chance that it could stable out on it's own.  We were truly at a Quintero Stage 1.  If we randomized we would be put in a system that would decide for us if we did surgery or waited.  If we got picked to wait and things got worse then we would be back to Cincinnati in three days to have surgery done.  We were presented with all kinds of information and then it was our turn to make a decision.  Jake and I excused ourselves to a smaller room where we talked about what we wanted to do.  We struggled with the decision.  Knowing that the surgery comes with risks of losing one or both babies I cried while trying to make the decision.  However, if we chose not to do it we could still lose one or both babies if the TTTS progressed quickly.  After asking a few more questions we decided that we would elect to have the surgery done while we were here.  What would happen if we would wait and just be monitored and in a couple days upon returning to Iowa discover that things had gotten worse and then Jake couldn't get the time off work to return to Cincy with me?   After we told the team that we wanted to proceed with surgery we were taken in for a blood draw and a quick EKG to make sure my heart could handle it.  Dr Lim again came in and sat with us and went over any questions we might have.  We were informed that we needed to be at the hospital at 5:30 the next morning.

Back to the hotel we went.  The night passed quickly and I woke up at 3:30am wondering if we had made the right decision.  At 5:30 we were in our room at the Fetal Care Clinic just waiting for the rest of the events to unfold.  I changed into my gown, ted hose and got my IV inserted then we waiting for Connie to do a morning ultrasound.  She got there around 7am and after she checked the babies we were wheeled down to the OR waiting area.  We were given some more meds to prepare for the epidural that I would be given once I was in the OR.  Everything was finally ready to go.  I kissed Jake goodbye and I was wheeled into where this miracle would happen.

Inside the OR was a large team of nurses, medical students, my anesthesiologists, Connie, Dr. Lim and Dr. Polzin.  Once my epidural was inserted my blood pressure dropped to 56/35 so it took just a few minutes for me to come out of that.  I remember someone putting a cool rag on my head and talking me through all of it.  Then it was time to start.  I really don't remember much about the surgery other than the compression things on my legs and my blood pressure cuff going off every so often.  For some reason that was a very comforting feeling.  Weird I know!  I could hear Dr. Lim and Dr. Polzin talking throughout the surgery and talking about the vessels that they were seeing.  I was in kind of a drunken relaxed state but could still hear what was going on which to me was kind of weird.   Surgery seemed to go fairly quickly.  I heard Dr. Lim say that they were on the last vessel and I knew I was almost done.  I found out after surgery that they had severed 30 vessels between the babies and removed 850cc of amniotic fluid.  They had also made two small pin holes in the membrane between the two babies to allow fluid to move back and forth.   The nurses wheeled me back up to my room where I would recover for the next 4 hours.  The doctors brought Jake to me and it was great to see him.  They again told us that the surgery went well and now we just wait to see what the next 24 hours bring.  One of Dr. Polzin's partners would be in on Saturday morning to do another follow up ultrasound to see how the babies had done.  We hoped and prayed that they would survive and that the surgery would prove to be successful.   One of our nurses did make sure to tell us that they got to see the face of Baby A during the surgery and that it was a very adorable baby.

Saturday morning was a lot of waiting around.   You see when it snows in Ohio they apparently freak out!  Our Dr finally arrived at close to 11.  We were hoping she would be there by 9.  She quickly got started on our ultrasound and the first words out of her mouth were, "they both survived!"  BEST WORDS EVER!!!!   She continued to look around at their beautiful heartbeats and they were moving all over the place.  Baby A who had a DVP of 9.7 the day before was now at 3.6 and Baby B who had a DVP of 1.4 the day before was now at a 2.4.  Both within normal ranges.  She continued to say how great they looked and that she could have spent all day looking at them.  You talk about a huge weight being lifted in just those few moments.  We have fighters on our hands and that will make any mother and father feel great!

We were discharged to the hotel on bedrest until Wednesday.  On Wednesday morning we will have another echocardiogram and ultrasound to see how our twinkies are doing with the change in their environment. We aren't out of the woods yet and we will continue to be monitored on a weekly basis in Iowa once we return.

 I feel them kicking at all hours of the night so I have no doubt that these little angels will be just fine and will continue to thrive until God says that it's time for them to come into the world and meet us.

I'm sure that I left details out but for now those are the important things.  Surgery went well, the babies are doing great and I'm getting antsy on bedrest .

We ask for continued prayers that the babies continue to adjust to their new environments, that their heartbeats continue to be strong without any complications and that I don't go completely nuts on bedrest over the next few months!

Oh, I almost forgot...I miss Ayla and McKenna like crazy.  I cannot wait to get home and squeeze them both and see their smiles.  I only hope Ayla realizes that leaving without saying goodbye was something that we had to do for her siblings health and safety.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

And then there were FOUR

It's been a long time since my last post and a lot has changed.  After our miscarriage in April, we experienced two more early losses. I started questioning if having more children was in our future and then in October of 2012 we were blessed again with being pregnant.  We were skeptical to get excited, knowing what our past had dealt us and also knowing that this blessing could be taken away at any moment like the others.  We went to our doctor for an early ultrasound only to find out that we were carrying not one, but TWO babies.  Identical twins!!!!!


Needless to say we were shocked and excited as were Ayla and McKenna.   We were first told that the babies were mono/mono, meaning that they shared both a placenta and an amniotic sac and were extremely high risk.  We returned to the clinic  5 weeks later and found a dividing membrane so we went from being mono/mono to mono/di.  One placenta, but two amniotic sacs.  A little less risk, but still high risk none the less.  


We were excited that the twins had grown and were healthy.  Both had strong heartbeats and were growing.

We returned to the clinic 5 weeks later to have our first Twin To Twin Transfer ultrasound.  Twin to Twin transfer happens in identical twins from time to time.  Since it's hard for me to describe what exactly it is, here is a link to wonderful information: 


The twins on January 15th. 



Our Ultrasound on January 15th indicated that our Baby B had a much smaller amniotic sac/fluid than Baby A.  We weren't diagnosed with TTTS but our high risk doctors touched base with Cincinnati Children's Hospital about our case. If we are in fact at some point diagnosed with TTTS, we will be candidates to have a laser surgery done but currently we are just being watched. On Thursday of last week our Baby B fluid was still low but our Baby A had also gone down.  We still don't meet the criteria for surgery and we are hoping that our fluids level out on their own.  


The twins on January 17th. 


So for now while we are VERY excited about adding not one, but two little additions to our family we are scared about what we face in the weeks to come.  We know that our doctors at UIHC are the best at what they do and we have faith that they have us and our babies best interest at heart.  

I heard a quote the other day that has become basically my daily motto now!

I remember how fun my first two pregnancies were.  After three losses and now dealing with this I don't think the "fun" will come back until these little twinkies are in my arms.  

We ask for prayers that the fluid levels stable out on their own and if they don't then we ask for strength to go through surgery.  




Thursday, May 3, 2012

She's a teenager now!

In just over an hour it will have been 13 years since my water broke and I went into labor with my first child.  12 1/2 hours later, McKenna Kay was born.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  I remember what I ate for dinner the night she was born, it was a chef salad.  I remember this because I recall being very hungry while in the hospital and of course they wouldn't let me eat.  Apparently they didn't realize how long a salad does not stick to a pregnant woman's tummy.  Shortly after McKenna was born I requested a Big Mac and got it.  


She had this cute little nose and these lips that were made for lipstick. She had dark hair and was so tiny.  When I held her for the first time I knew she was sent from above.  She was so beautiful, by far the most beautiful creature that I had ever seen.  




She still is if I can be honest. Just thinking about how amazing of a person she is brings tears to my eyes.  She has this laugh that is so contagious.  Like when you tell her a joke and a couple seconds later she really gets it and the laugh that she does comes from deep inside.  And she has this smile that can light up a dark day.  She's so talented in all she does.  A gifted athlete who never lets her grades fall below A's.  I'm blessed that God decided to give her to me.  I know most days I don't deserve her, but I'm sure glad that he knew she belonged to me. 


As if the day she was born wasn't special enough, what made it even more awesome was that May 4th is also my Dad's birthday.  My Dad is one hell of a man who I adore more and more every day.  A man of few words, but who would give ANYTHING for his family.  I do believe that having his first grandchild on his birthday was by far one of the coolest gifts I could have given him.  I remember him saying that day that he'd never celebrate another birthday again.  They have a special bond that I hope only continues to grow. They are both very special people!  



To my darling first born:  my birthday wish to you as you enter these rough teenage years is to always remember who you are.  Allow your personality to grow and never let anyone tell you that you can't do something.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made and you will go wherever you want to because you are determined and strong.  I will always be here to support and encourage you in all of life's ups and downs and I will forever love you with all that I am.  

Thank you for allowing me to share your life with you.  For always being here with a smile or a hug when I need it and for always, ALWAYS showing me how wonderful life is with you in it.  I love you so very much and you have blessed my life in so many beautiful ways.

Happy Birthday, McKenna Kay! 









Happily Ever After…Take 3

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