Thursday, September 29, 2011


Maya Grace and Makenna Anne Rysdam to our family!

Maya Grace, born at 8:03am, weighed in at 5 lb 11 oz, and is 18 1/2 inches long.

Makenna Anne, born at 8:05am, weighed in at 6 lb 7 oz, and is 20 1/2 inches long.

Mom and girls are doing great, and we are so thankful and overwhelmed with blessings! Dad made it through, too, in case you were wondering! :) The girls didn't have any breathing issues or any issues at all, and are very happy and content at the moment. Mommy is quite tired, so we're hoping to get some rest now. We'll post more pictures later.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reflections on the "last" day

36 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Hard to find shirts to cover the belly! :)

This is the last day that I'll be a mother of only 1 child. Okay, I know I'm technically already a mother of 3 children, but taking care of 2 out of the 3 has been pretty easy. I know not everyone gets to know when their last day of being pregnant is, so I do consider this a rare treat. I'm not sure if it's better for me to know when I'm having the twins or not- so many sides of the equation to consider. Generally, I'm pretty excited to know that things are a bit planned out this time given the whole c-section situation. I can make sure that things are lined up for childcare and generally ready to go before I go into the hospital. These are bonuses for someone like me who likes to plan. On the other hand, it makes me dwell on the situation a bit too much. I feel like everything I do is a "last." Last load of laundry before the girls come, last trip to the grocery store, etc. I feel like I need to squeeze in every last thing with Kaden, as if I'll never have a chance to do them ever again. I feel a bit sad for Kaden, knowing that his world is completely changing. No longer will it be fun days at home for just Mommy and Kaden; life will change. It will be a good change, and he's going to be a great big brother. He talks about his sisters ALL of the time and shows me how he's going to hold them and take care of them. He understands that Mommy is going to have 2 babies, and that they might cry, and that Mommy and Daddy will be at the hospital for a few days. Knowing how excited he is makes me excited for him to finally meet his sisters.

Having never gone through a situation like this before, it's hard to know what I'm supposed to feel. I guess most mothers who transition from 1 child to 2 (or more in my case) probably go through the same set of emotions, but I feel like no one ever talks about it. So here I am, blogging away with my feelings, sharing how sad I am that things won't be the same for Kaden and worrying that I won't give him the attention that he needs. However, I'm also SO excited to meet our daughters and begin life as a family of 5. I definitely think that the good outweighs the bad, and that as time passes, we'll adjust and all be just fine :).

It's also crazy to think that this is the last day that I'll ever be pregnant (Lord willing :). Even through the ups and downs of this pregnancy, I really can't complain, and I'll be honest, I might miss getting poked and kicked constantly every once in awhile. In fact, as I sit here typing this blog entry, Baby B has the hiccups, and my stomach is going up and down at very regular intervals. How cool is that?!? I feel so blessed to have been able to bear our children, and this experience is one that I'll never forget. I AM looking forward to being comfortable when I sleep again, for my shoes and wedding ring to fit again, and for my terrible heartburn/acid reflux to go away. I guess I won't miss ALL of the parts of pregnancy! :)

I struggled with what to do today with Kaden to celebrate "last" day. I told myself that I would savor the small moments and pick my battles. I snuggled on the couch with him while he ate breakfast, went to Meijer for a few last-minute items and even let him walk instead of ride in the cart while he ate his free cookie. We played at home, got our new dishwasher installed, and relaxed. Kaden's taking a nap right now, I plan to read a few magazines and pack some final items, and my parents will be here in a few hours. Before you know it, we'll be going to bed early in preparation for our big day tomorrow. Most importantly, I hope I'm focusing on the important things today. No time wasted surfing the internet, no time wasted watching tv. Only time spent with my little buddy, my family, and savoring these peaceful moments.

Until tomorrow, my friends.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

36 1/2 weeks

Here's the update you've all been waiting for! I was SO nervous for our appointment this morning. Apparently my blood pressure was through the roof when we first arrived, which showed my anxiety over what we'd find out (it did end up coming way down at the end of the appointment). However, the ultrasound went really well, and I made it through without any complications or feeling sick- praise God! We got some awesome pictures of the girls, as you can see below. We were even able to see the hair on Baby B, which is just crazy to me. Baby B turned back into the breech position, so as of right now, both of them are breech. Yesterday at my OB appointment I was measuring at 48 weeks, which just makes me laugh. I wasn't dilated at all yet, and things seemed pretty steady in there. The weight estimates from today are: Baby A weighing in around 5 lbs 7 oz, and Baby B weighing in around 7 lbs. They are definitely following the growth pattern of singleton pregnancies, especially knowing that I'm still about 3 weeks early from full-term for singletons. 37 weeks is considered full-term for twins, so I'm pretty close to that. I know these are just estimates and that their weights could be quite different when they're born, but it's nice to know that they're growing so well. We talked to the high risk doctor for quite awhile today, weighing all of our options and all of our information. The weight difference is starting to become more significant, although not significant enough to label it twin-to-twin or a big concern. The girls have plenty of fluid, are growing well, and the placenta seems to be acting okay, although starting to slightly favor Baby B. Their movement is pretty good yet, although slowing down due to lack of room in there. I continue to pass my NST's with flying colors, which is also good. So, the question remained of when to induce. Technically they like to wait until I'm 37 weeks, but a day or two early isn't too significant, so the expert says, especially seeing how well they're growing. The problem of "turning" another week on the weekend is that you either go a day or two early or you wait until Monday. So, after weighing all the options, the high risk doctor recommended that we keep our tentative day of Thursday this week, since that is when my doctor can do the c-section. I was worried about whether or not we'd be able to get a spot in the OR that quickly, but in less than a half an hour, my OB's office already had called me to say that everything worked out perfectly and they were able to schedule me for a c-section at 7:30am on Thursday. So, in about 40 hours from now, we'll have our girls here with us. I still worry about whether or not we're allowing them to enter the world too early, but I keep remembering that twins are a different situation and will be considered almost full-term when they are born. So, it's final. September 29, 2011 will be their birthday, and I'm excited. The doctors don't anticipate that I'll go into labor on my own before then, and at this point I plan to take it easy tonight and tomorrow to make sure that happens. My parents are driving out this afternoon and then finishing the drive tomorrow, so they will be here with Kaden while we're in the hospital. I plan to blog tomorrow with one final baby belly picture and gush a little bit as to how I really feel right now, knowing that the end is so closely in sight. If you think of it, say a prayer for us, that my nerves will subside, but most importantly that everything will go well with the delivery and that the girls will be healthy.

It's crazy to me how much she looks like Kaden in this picture. They definitely have my nose. This picture makes it seems so real to me. They look like they belong in our family! :)

Baby A taking a little snooze.

So adorable. Their heads are leaning against each other. The head of Baby A is pretty obvious, hence the nose and mouth that you see. The head of Baby B is in the upper left-hand corner, resting on Baby A. I love that they're already buddies.

Monday, September 26, 2011


We spent some time on Saturday at Robinette's Orchard for some fall family fun. Kaden enjoyed the hayride, eating donuts and running around. I enjoyed being able to do fall activities with my boys before the girls come!
Checking out the horses... he wasn't a very big fan.

Gotta' take a picture by the big apple

Going down the slide

Enjoying his pumpkin spice donut. I thoroughly enjoyed one as well..... in addition to the other dozen we brought home! :) (Okay, I didn't eat ALL of the dozen we brought home; 2 boys helped me with that one)

Family picture on the hayride. *Note that I didn't actually ride on the hayride. I didn't want to take any chances of going into labor before the scheduled c-section!

Monday, September 19, 2011

35 weeks...and a few days

Apparently Kaden also had to compare the size of his tummy to mine. I think I won that contest, Kaden.

If you're not 35 weeks and 3 days pregnant with twins, here's what you're missing out on:

1. Waking up 4-8 times during the night due to either (a) numb, painful hands from carpal tunnel, (b) you need to pee, or (c) terrible heartburn/acid reflux.

2. Everyone stops you and asks if you're due any day now. Once you inform them that your scheduled c-section of twins is less than 2 weeks away, they will ask you all kinds of questions. What are you having? Do twins run in your family? Identical twins?!?- are you having boys, girls, or one of each? (Um, THINK about this people... how could I have identical twins with one of each?)

3. You get stuck in any booth you try to sit in at a restaurant.

4. You may even get stuck in small places in your home, such as your linen closet.

5. It's hard for you to stand at the sink and do anything without bumping your belly.

6. Your husband and other children may even bump into your belly because it's so large, it's always in the way.

7. You get to go to at least 3-4 doctor's appointments and/or non-stress tests a week.

8. You have a lot of emotions and feelings about the reality of the birth of your babies coming sooner than later.

9. You feel like you have to get everything done before the twins arrive, but just don't have much energy.

10. You don't feel like doing a whole lot of anything, including eating, moving, etc.

11. Most of your clothes don't fit you, and your shoes don't have a prayer of fitting those puffy feet.

12. Someone at church may ask you if you've seen their missing basketball. Haha.

13. You get to feel 2 babies kicking around in your tummy, and even see some extremities sticking out of your belly from time-to-time.

I bet you're jealous and want to be 35 weeks pregnant with twins now! :) #13 makes it all worthwhile. Less than 2 weeks, people. Keep up the prayers! :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm so happy!

Last night, when Kaden was getting ready for bed and brushing his teeth, he looked in the mirror and grinned from ear to ear. I laughed and asked him what he was doing.

K: I'm SO happy, Mom.
Me: Why are you happy?
K: Because Jesus made me happy. He died for my sins.

I guess he does listen once in awhile. What better thing could you ask to hear as a parent?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

34 weeks

We made it another 2 weeks.... woo whoo for those girls! :) It still seems surreal that we're at 34 weeks. That means in 3 weeks from now I'll for sure have the babies, if not before then. It's starting to really scare me to be completely honest. I guess it seems like we've been planning for and thinking about the arrival of the girls for so long now, but reality is definitely setting in. Sometimes I cry because I wonder how in the world I'm going to manage 2 newborns and a 3 yr. old, and then other times I feel so excited to see our family grow and change. Of course there are also the nerves thrown in there with their delivery, health, and transitions for all of us.

Here's the scoop on me. Let's just be completely honest here, okay? Physically I'm done. I know that it's best for the girls to stay in there as long as possible, and really it hasn't been too bad, but I'm over it now. My carpal tunnel pain has gotten a lot worse and the wrist splint isn't really working, so I've adjusted to a numb right hand all of the time and lots of pain at night. I have heartburn I think my stomach just doesn't have any room to expand and digest any of the food I eat. Since Baby A is nestled in there so nicely, she has decided to make her home near lots of nerves, which send lots of shooting pain down my leg (most likely sciatic nerve). My lower back has also begun to hurt from carrying around almost 10lbs of baby, plus all of the other parts in there. I don't sleep well at night, therefore I'm tired most of the time. I've resorted to my fall beverage of choice a few times a week to give me energy to make it through the day- Pumpkin Spice Latte's from Starbucks. Totally worth the rip-off price at this point in my pregnancy. Let's see, what else.... lots of puffiness in my ankles, which means that literally NONE of my shoes fit- it makes it interesting when I need to leave the house. I'm also really congested and apparently I snore badly at night as a result (sorry, Andy, it's the least you can endure given my situation! :) Everyone keeps telling me that I look great, so I keep trying to believe them! :) My ob/gyn says everything is going so well that I could be a model patient of twin pregnancies. I hope she meant that and wasn't just trying to flatter me! :) My NST's have gone well over the past couple of weeks. For the most part the girls cooperate and show off a bit, getting their heart rates to vary enough to please the doctors. Only had to use the noise-maker once (definitely don't like that thing), otherwise apple juice and some poking around my stomach seems to do the trick. I am having a few contractions that show up on the NST, but I don't feel any of them and I'm not dilated at all, so no one seems to be concerned about them at this point.

The girls are likely between 4-5lbs each at this point, and we won't get another weight estimate until Sept.27. They are both breech, so it is very likely that I will have a c-section since there isn't much room for them to turn at this point. This week I have 2 more NST's, a visit with my ob/gyn, and a visit to the high risk doctor to check my fluid levels. Yes, that's 4 appointments in one week. Makes life interesting.

The pivotal point, so my doctors say, is our full ultrasound on Sept.27, when I'll be past my 36 week mark. This will give us full measurements of the girls at this point, their approximate weight, and will determine if they're ready to enter the world. Hard to believe that this big date/appointment is only 2 weeks from Tuesday.

I better quit before I get all emotional and think really deeply about that appointment. For now, we celebrate 34 weeks! :) I'll probably do a 35-week update instead of my usual every 2 weeks, since we know that a lot can change in a short amount of time. Till next time...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Capturing Conversations

Some of the latest conversations that have happened in our home:

Me: Kaden, it's hot outside.
Kaden: No, Mom, it's humid.

Kaden: Mom, I want to show you something.
Mom: You do?
Kaden: Yeah, it's going to be hilarious.

Kaden: Mama, Mama (said like a baby).
Me: What are you doing?
Kaden: I'm talking like a baby.
Me: Babies don't talk like that, Kaden, at least for awhile until they get older.
Kaden: I think Baby A can talk like that, Mom.
(This one cracked me up. I guess he catches on to the fact that we refer to the girls as Baby A and Baby B).

Kaden: Dad, I'm going to go upstairs to get some more M&M's.
Andy: You're not tall enough to reach them, Kaden.
Kaden: I'm big in my world, Dad.

We were at the Whitecaps game a few weeks ago and were walking out while it was lightning and thundering:
Kaden: Dad, maybe I'll sleep in yours and mommy's bed tonight.
Andy: No, I think you can sleep in your bed like a big boy.
Kaden: Yeah, that's an option (meaning, despite me saying "no", he still thinks sleeping in our bed is an option)

Shortly thereafter, Kaden and Andy are in the car and after a big bolt of lightning and clap of thunder, Kaden says, "whoa did you see that Dad?! That was crazy!"

Some of Kaden's favorite phrases lately:
-That's an option. (He likes to tell us what the options are. Stinker, stinker, stinker)
-He is into rhyming lately. All day long he asks me if certain words rhyme. As a literacy guru, I'm loving this of course.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day: Lack of labor and fishing

Nope, I didn't go into labor today. I'm actually okay with that. These babes need to grow a bit more yet! :)

It was a blessing being home together as a family today. We were blessed with such a BEAUTIFUL day, cooler temps and sun- a perfect way to ease into September! Here's how we spent our day as a family (as a side note, we're trying to do as much as a little family as we can before our lives change forever in a few weeks!):

-Enjoyed homemade chocolate chip coffee cake for breakfast
-Ran some errands together, including a trip to Target where we of course enjoyed popcorn and lemonade as we shopped
-Taco Bell for lunch for daddy, mommy and the babies while Kaden napped
-Did a few random things around the house (hung a backpack hook in Kaden's room, prepped bottles for the girls, started packing my hospital bag)
-Went fishing
-Had breakfast for dinner (pancakes, eggs, bacon and juice- yum!)

Too bad Andy has to go back to work tomorrow! :( While I LOVE having him home with us, I am thankful that he has a job that provides for our needs and that he is willing to work so hard to take care of us.

Here are some pictures of our fishing adventure with our little man:
Daddy and Kaden

Casting his line into the water

Pretty cool guy.

Waiting patiently as he tries to catch a fish

Cracking up at the ducks as he watched them all go crazy fighting over the bread he kept throwing in the water

Showing off one of the 4 fish that he caught (note: you may want to substitute the he for daddy in this case). We used bread, cheese and rubber worms. A fabulous combination for catching a sunny.

Daddy getting it off of the hook

Waving to the ducks and saying, "Hi, Ducks!" This kid cracks me up.

Friday, September 2, 2011


The long-awaited pictures of the nursery for the girls! :) We got our carpets cleaned this week, so I was waiting for everything to dry so we could put it all back together. We're ready for these girls to arrive and use their new room. So exciting!

View from the doorway

2 cribs. Crazy, huh?

The window wall

Bookshelf, mirror (with the Carol Roeda owl I designed) and closet

Dresser/changing table wall

Closet full of pink and purple clothes and LOTS of diapers! :)

Many people have asked me if I'm dressing the girls alike or different. I do have quite a few identical outfits, but knowing that they're identical twins, I don't want to make it even harder for people to tell these babes apart. So, when I can, I try to get coordinating outfits- matching shirts/pants/skirts/tops from the same line (Gap, Gymboree, TCP and Crazy 8 make this easy for me since they carry lines). So maybe they both have the same polka-dot pants, but one has a pink top and one has a purple top. I also have a few random outfits that I've gotten on clearance or garage sales, so sometimes they might not match or coordinate at all, and I'm okay with that. After all, they are 2 individual people!