Saturday, October 31, 2009

47 Days to Go!

Well, tonight marks the end of October, and that means that there are only 47 days to go! These babies are coming quick!

Today Kristin was moved to a window bed - a huge difference! Now she can enjoy the sunlight, a bit of a view and extra visiting space! It also means that her extension has changed - if you had her previous extension, please try to avoid using it, otherwise you'll disturb her new roomie! Please contact me if you'd like her new number (email, home phone or cell)!

Also, due to the concerns about H1N1, they are cracking down on visitors. This means that as of yesterday (October 30), no children under 16 will be allowed to visit. They are also enforcing the 2 visitor limit, which they used to be a little more lenient with. Please call ahead so that we can plan who is visiting, so that we don't have people waiting or have to ask people to leave early, etc.

We also ask that people assess their health prior to visiting - the hospital staff are being fairly vigilant about people with cold or flu-like symptoms; so if you are feeling flu-ish or have been around people who have been sick (co-workers, family, children, etc) please wait a few days before visiting so we know everyone is healthy! We're told that people can be contagious for a day or two before they're symptomatic, so please be extra cautious - for our sake, and for the sake of the other high-risk women, new mom's and new babies that are on the ward. Thanks!

To answer a few questions from the last post's comments:

1. Of course there will be more belly shots! See below!
2. Visitors - as noted above! Also, Kristin can have meals/snacks brought to her, and they can be stored in a fridge and microwaved. Please speak with us before bringing food to make sure we have somewhere to store it!
3. Gus is okay for now - I'm giving him as much attention as I can.... I'll get in touch if I need a play date or some help! Thanks!

Finally, since it's halloween we decided to take some pictures - I had intended to paint Kristin's belly into a giant jack-o-lantern, but the city of hamilton doesn't have enough paint, heh.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Dreaded "A" Word...

"...we're going to have to admit you today..." Sigh. We didn't want to hear that a-word...

That was the bottom line at today's appointments; Kristin's cervix continues to shorten, and they would like to monitor her more closely at the hospital. I think Kristin and I would agree that we expected it at some point, but we always hope for the best, trying hard to be optimistic...

Nevertheless, in the hospital she goes, on strict bed rest - she can walk to the washroom and shower, that's it. Poor woman is going to go stir crazy with all that boredom!

We would also agree that it's comforting to have such a thorough medical system so close to home - we're fortunate that one of the leading children's hospitals is so close to home. They take good care of us, and we're confident in their judgment and recommendations.

We also got some news about gestational diabetes; Kristin's sugars are high, which happens to most mothers of multiples (or so we were told). They'll modify her diet and consider using insulin if necessary.

So the house is quiet as I type... I can hear the cat pawing at his food and the dog is snoring on the couch beside me. The house won't be quiet for long...

I've chatted with a few people today who asked for things they can pray for, so I'll leave you with a few of our prayers that you can add to your list if you'd like.

First, pray for Kristin and the babies' health - hospitals are good places to be, but it's also where sick people go, and H1N1 is the talk of the town these days. Pray for good health, and pray that those babies keep 'baking' for another 6-7 weeks!

You can also pray for me, if I may humbly ask... I work with lots of kids and families, and the flu is going around in many schools in the area. I've been feeling well until this evening - just within the last hour I've been fighting the urge to cough. I've been taking every precaution I can (and am getting quite paranoid as I do so); I take my temperature at obsessive-compulsive frequency, a bottle of hand sanitizer is never more than 10 feet away, I'm poppin' Vitamin C like nobody's business and even using a Neti Pot (it's a weird idea, but I'm told it's effective... google it if you're so inclined...). I also gargle Listerine several times a day... all these measures to try to keep the germs at bay. I started hockey last week (which is a story unto itself), so I'm hoping my urge to cough has more to do with all the exercise at the rink (breathing in all that cold air) than the swine flu.. time will tell, but so far no fever or other symptoms... pray please!

Pray that Kristin's doesn't lose her marbles in the hospital; while it's a good place to be medically, it's also a boring place to be. Her new roommate has been very amiable today and is helping by sharing magazines and letting Kristin know what the routines are, where to get juice, and so on. It can also be a noisy place because, after all, it is a maternity ward; we're told it can be hard to get good sleep because of crying babies...

One more (I'm alternating here, if you've noticed the pattern...), pray for stamina - I need to balance time between hospital, work and home - I need to be with Kristin, but have to earn my paycheck and save my vacation and sick time for when the babies' are born; we also have pets that need attending, and keeping poor Gus caged up all day and all evening is hard... pray that I can find a good balance and that I can get good sleep and eat well (which is increasingly hard to do when there are so many places to be...)

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your support, prayers, phone calls, and encouragements. You have all been so helpful and supportive, and this experience would be soooo much more difficult if it weren't for friends and family.... we can't express how truly blessed we are.

We enjoy the comments, so please keep 'em coming! Goodnight....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

25.5 Weeks!

I apologize for the lack of updates recently - I know - you've been on the edge of your seat waiting for another post....

...but you know what they say, no news is good news right?

Things are rolling along quite well over here at the Stimers' residence! We were at the hospital this morning, and aside from Kristin's cervix opening, everything is moving along quite well! Good thing they put that stitch in....

We were advised to pack a bag though, if anything "dramatic" happens, they'll admit her. I don't think this includes the interpretive dancing that our babies seem to be doing during ultrasounds and heart monitoring. Their kicks are getting stronger though, and it's pretty exciting!

And now, since I have no further exciting news or stories to share, I'll put up a few recent pictures so you can track the baby belly as it expands. I must say, though, it's harder to notice in pictures (I think), but in person, it's pretty surreal. Kristin's a beautiful pregnant woman though, if I do say so myself, and has a wonderful glow about her.

See? What did I tell you about that glow, eh? Kristin's made a comment that I don't know what it's like to walk around with a huge, rapidly expanding belly, so I did my best to recreate it. She's right, that stuff ain't easy!

Alright, so the pumpkin didn't quite compare, but it gave Kristin a good laugh, so it did the trick. I'm just trying to be a good husband and empathize...

Getting bigger every week!

Until next time....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not One But TWO Pink Lines

Ever wonder to yourself "What is it like being pregnant with triplets?"(men...don't feel like you have to answer that question). I never once had that thought cross my mind. Seriously. When Paul and I decided that we would start trying to have children in 2007, my mind and heart was only thinking about having ONE a time. My outlook on having multiples (twins) was that the Lord was robbing me of the experience of being pregnant more than once. Throughout our journey, my once stone cold heart towards multiples slowly turned to mush and was more accepting of the idea of multiples (twins). But why...

I thought I would write a few entries about our exciting journey from the women's perspective (That being me - Kristin).

Looking back I thought I had my whole life planned out (well only up until I had children). I would pray daily that I would get married at the age of 22 and have my first baby at the age of 25 (I wanted to be a young mom and have all my children by the time I was 30). I thought my plan was going well when I married the man of my dreams and prayers in 2005. On a side note, I have to say the Lord definitely knows how to choose them when you let Him. I couldn't have choosen a greater husband and best friend!

My plan was moving right along schedule. Paul came home from work one day, after one of his co-workers came in with her new baby boy, he said "I think I'm ready to be a daddy". Perfect, if we started trying now I was certain we would have our first child by the time I was 25. We had planned a lovely vacation in Cuba at an all inclusive resort as kind of our last horrah with just the two of us before we started have children.

At the start of our journey, I never thought that it would be difficult to get pregnant. Always, in the back of my mind, I thought it would be fairly easy. I come from a big family with lots of kids, cousins, grandkids etc and I've always had a longing deep within to have children and to be a Mom. I never heard anyone talk about the difficulties of getting pregnant just how easy it was for them. Part of my daily prayer would be "Lord, I only want children in your timing as your timing is perfect." and "I will praise you regardless of the pregnancy test results".

The first few months resulted in negative pregnancy tests. I was a little discouraged however I continued to praise the Lord and thought, of course it could take a few months...My body needs to adjust. Around this time most of our friends told us that they were trying to get pregnant as well. Wonderful, we would have children around the same time.

As the months passed, one by one ALL of our friends (and I mean ALL of our friends) started telling us that they were pregnant. Everytime one of our friends invited us to come over for dinner or dessert, I knew exactly what they were going to say "We're having a baby". I was devastated and heart broken everytime I heard those words. I would smile and truly be excited for them, but when I got home and was alone behind closed doors (even though Paul could hear me), the tears would come and I remember asking "When is it going to be my turn?".

As the months continued to pass, our friends were having their babies and my at home pregnancy tests continued to show me only ONE solid line (indicating "Not Pregnant"), through tearful praises to the Lord, I slowly realized that it isn't about MY plan for MY life, but the LORD's plan that HE has laid out for ME. That is the plan I want in my life. HIS timing and plans are PERFECT, even if that meant that we would never have children. Don't get me wrong, this was a hard truth that took me a long time to not only accept but to understand which didn't come overnight. I gradually became content in knowing that the Lord blesses some couples with children as well as without children. Both are of equal blessing from above.

Paul and I were enjoying our days together in our quite home with our little dog Gus, times when we could just pick up and leave for the weekend and the times we spent with our friends and their children. Alright who's kidding who...we also enjoyed coming home from those times spent with our friends and their children to a home with no children, just relaxation. Throughout these times (now one year of being infertile) we decided to go through some testing to see why we couldn't get pregnant. Curiosity always gets the better or you! After all the preliminary testing and obgyn visits, the main conclusion was I don't ovulate on a regular basis, therefore making the chance of getting pregnant slim to none. They discussed our options being 1) Lose weight and see where that takes us as sometimes weight gain could impact ovulation or 2) Clomid - for those of you who don't know what Clomid is all about, it is a commonly used fertility drug that helps with ovulation by giving your ovaries a little kick start. I thought to myself "I'm in no rush and content with where we are at, so lets try and lose some weight."

6 months after making that decision (now two years of being infertile) we had another obgyn visit. I had lost 10 pounds...Yipee but I wasn't pregnant which was fine. The next step was Clomid. The obgyn had informed me that by taking clomid it could increase the possibility of having multiples (more so twins than anything else) however because of my situation, the possibilty of multiples was slim. Still I felt it necessary to discuss with Paul the pro's/con's of taking clomid. Those that we spoke to who had taken clomid or knew of people who had taken clomid to help them conceive only had one baby. We felt it was pretty safe and decided to go that route.

The obgyn started me with the smallest dose and after the second month of being on this pill I saw for the first time not one, but TWO pink lines on a pregnancy test. Paul and I were going to have a baby...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is absolutely shameful that it's been a week and a half since my last post! How embarrassing.

At any rate, this weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving, and I couldn't be happier! Kristin and I have so much to be thankful for, and this is just another opportunity to reflect on all the incredible blessings, most of all, our 3 little babies, who are just kicking with excitement this afternoon! (In anticipation of turkey, I would think...)

Our appointments went very well this week - all the heart rates and growth rates are good, Kristin is gaining weight and her heart is doing just fine. After several concerning appointments, it's nice to have shorter visits with good news!! This week well be at the hospital quite a bit - they're going to give Kristin some steroid shots to help the babies' lung development - just in case they come earlier than planned. We'll have to be at the hospital for those shots 4 times in 2 days (every 12 hours on Tuesday/Wednesday) and then back on Friday for ultrasounds and clinics. I have to get my ear checked on Friday as well, so Kristin's not the only one with appointments! They might have to put a new tube in my eardrum on Friday... ugh.

Anyway, back to Thanksgiving! October is my favorite month - not just because my birthday and Kristin's birthday are in this month (as well as Dave & Bryna, Brett, and several other family and friends), but the landscape just turns so beautiful. One of my favorite October activities is a chilly fall camp, which I opted out of this year to be home with Kristin - there was mixed feelings about that decision, I'll honestly admit... but Kristin needs me at home, and Grundy Lake will wait for me until next time...

These pictures are from last year - oh, how I miss my fall camp...

This time of year always reminds me of change - the leaves and temperature changes help me reflect on life's changes and God's goodness to us. This morning at church, we had an opportunity to write something we're thankful for on large pieces on paper around the church. It was quite an experience to see people jump at the opportunity to write on these pieces of paper; I decided to write the first thing that came to mind, I'm thankful that "God Answers Prayer". We had been trying to have children for two and a half years, and God heard our daily prayers, and has answered in such an amazing way! We couldn't be more thankful!

I don't know if it's just the realization that I'm going to be a Daddy in 10 weeks (or less), or I'm just a sappy guy, but I'm overcome by emotion this Thanksgiving. God has been so good to us, and has worked through many of you to bless us in so many ways, and we are so thankful to God, and to you.

We are thankful for the encouraging phone calls, letters, emails and prayers, for the help around the house - vacuuming, doing our dishes, putting up shutters, painting and putting up a border in the kitchen, mowing our lawn, and helping me move larger items around the house (I can always count on you, K - thanks for that...), bringing us frozen and fresh dinners (and pies! Yum!), movies, shows and books to keep Kristin from going crazy, and even walking Gus. There are many more ways that we have been blessed; we are so thankful!

Kristin and I pray that each of you are able to spend time with family and friends this weekend, taking time to reflect and be thankful.

We truly value and appreciate each one of you - and even though we might not be the best at letting you know - you mean the world to us, and this journey to parenthood would be much more difficult... so thank you.

We would be thankful if you signed up as a 'follower', if you haven't already! We know there are many of you who check here often, but haven't signed on - it would be a big encouragement to see a few more people sign on! Feel free to leave a comment with something you're thankful for!

Also, check back this week, as my wonderful wife makes her first attempt at blogging! "A Day in the Life of Kristin" is coming soon!