Sunday, December 13, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

23 week update

We just had another ultrasound, and the babies are doing great! Graham is measuring about 1.5 pounds and Kennedy is our dainty girl at 1.4 pounds :)

We've been busy parents lately. We decided to rearrange the furniture in the room and Heather made curtains. Tim made the valance box and we finally got part of the curtains put up- the rest are still to come.







Saturday, November 28, 2009

22 Weeks

This week, the babies are about 11 inches long and almost one pound. This is about the size of a spaghetti squash...


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Coming this spring...


Our very good friend Jill English made this adorable shirt for me. She makes amazing things, you can check out a lot of her stuff on her website http://pinkandzebra.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 14, 2009

20 Weeks Down, 16 To Go (we hope!)

Today marks 20 weeks, and it doesn't seem like it's been that long! Time has really gone by quickly and we have loved every minute of it. We've had a request for new belly pics, so...


Momma at 20 weeks


baby bump!


Our little guys have been working hard and growing a lot bigger! I've been feeling them move around a lot more, and Tim has gotten a few more kicks- or "fist bumps" as he likes to call them :) I think Graham knows I'm writing about him right now- he's wiggling all over the place! According to babycenter.com the babies weigh 10 1/2 ounces each and are 10 inches long from head to heel which they compare to the length of a bannana.



This past week we created our first registry at Babies R Us. It was a lot of fun, but very overwhelming! I had a small panic attack/meltdown in front of the bottle isle- Tim had to suggest we move on and come back another time. How do you make the right decision? It all seems so important!! The best part was walking around the store and picturing our little cuties playing with the toys or snuggled in the soft blankets. We can't wait to meet them!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's a Boy AND a Girl!

We had our 18 week ultrasound on Monday, and we got to find out the sex of both babies. The boy wasn't shy, so we found out he was a boy right away. The girl was rather easy also, once we new what we were looking at.

We have also finalized on their names. Graham Michael for the boy, and Kennedy Rae for the girl. It was easy, since we already had our top names picked for both a boy and a girl. It would have been a lot more difficult if we were having both boys or girls. : )

Graham is waving to the camera below.


Here is a side profile shot of Kennedy.


Here is a great pic of both of them together. (Side profile.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

16 weeks!

We have reached a milestone- we are officially 16 weeks pregnant... 4 months! Since our due date is March 1st, that means 4 down, 4 to go! It seems like time is rushing by us, we still have so much to do until we're ready for the twins!
I have been feeling the babies move around a little lately. Tim is a little jelous that he can't feel them yet, but I know we have plenty of time to feel them kicking. And, as my students tell me on an almost daily basis, my belly is definatley more prominent lately. What do you expect when there's two babies growing fast in there? Since the babies are 4 months, they each weigh 3.5 ounces and are 4 1/2 inches from head to rump- about the size of an avacado EACH! I've been lucky in this pregnancy so far. No morning sickness, not much heartburn, a few backaches but nothing too traumatic.


16 weeks belly!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

14 Weeks

This week has been very eventful. Not only did we have an ultrasound, but we also had the baby room furniture delivered. The babies are three inches long now. Check out the pictures below!



Unfortunately, there's no room to keep our lazy boy glider in here, but that's ok. We figured it's probably best to keep it in another bedroom, just in case one baby is awake while the other is sleeping. Hopefully, that doesn't happen too often. : )




Sunday, September 27, 2009

Movin' Around

Last night Tim and I were relaxing after a long day, and I felt a kick! Even though I know there are babies growing inside me, sometimes it seems surreal- all I have to show for it is a slightly larger belly and heartburn. I get emails telling me how big the babies are (they are little shrimps this week, by the way!) and describing how they are developing and it's hard to believe all of that is going on inside me. It's amazing now to feel them moving inside! I haven't felt anything since then, but that one kick was reassuring enough- for now! I do hope they continue to let me know they are down there, getting ready to meet us!

In the meantime, we went to Babies R Us yesterday to start shopping. We want to compare different brands and products before we actually buy or register for anything. We found out that since we are having two babies, we are really limited in stroller choices that fit two pumpkin seats- and of course they are more expensive! My head was spinning by the time we left, it was all so overwhelming! At least now we have an idea of where to begin. And we realized we have a lot to learn about babies!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

3 months!

We are officially 12 weeks pregnant today. We can't believe how fast the time has flown by since we got the news that we were having twins! On babycenter.com we found out the babies are about the size of limes, and growing every day. They are starting to form reflexes and their neural synapses are increasing every day- that means their little brains are developing fast! Their kidneys are starting to function, too. Our sweet peas are about 2 inches long, each.


My little baby bump is growing, too. Just this past week it has grown enough to start showing, and my students have noticed the difference. I have been feeling great, except for the cold I came down with the other day. One of the little darlings at school was determined to share their germs with me. :( So Tim has been taking care of me this weekend.




Saturday, September 5, 2009

10 weeks

According to BabyCenter.com, the babies are the size of a kumquat. What is that, you might ask? Well...



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

9 1/2 week checkup

Can you believe we're already 9.5 weeks along?!? It's amazing that just 10 weeks ago we were praying so much for just one little baby, and now we're planning for two! I haven't felt many symptoms of being pregnant, thankfully. I get asked every day if I have morning sickness, but thankfully I'm able to say no (knock on wood!). I do get really tired a lot and have to take naps and go to bed a little earlier than usual, but that just means the babies are growing strong. Lately I have experienced a little dizziness and lightheadedness, but the doctor thinks it's due to increased blood flow and not getting enough calories. It's hard to add an extra 600 calories a day!

Our OB/Gyn says everything is looking perfect- Baby A's heartbeat was 175 and it is about 1 1/8th inch and Baby B's heartbeat was 178 and it's a little over an inch as well. The best part was, we got to see them moving around!! Oh, they are little wiggle worms! We think Baby A is more like Tim because it was stretched out and hogging the space (like Tim hogs the covers!) and Baby B is like me, all curled up.




You can see Twin A's head on the left and the little arms and legs sticking out!


Twin B's little rump is up in the "air", it's head on the left pointing downward

Both babies: Twin B at the top left, Twin A bottom right. This is probably the last picture we'll get of the both of them together until after they're born!

We could have watched them moving around forever on the ultrasound screen. Such beautiful little babies! I'm enjoying being pregnant, but I can't wait to meet them and hold them... 6ish months to go. We have another appointment in 4 weeks, but it probably is just a checkup, no ultrasound. Until then, we know they are growing big and strong!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

McFarland Wedding


This weekend was Kevin McFarland and Jennifer Pretzkey's wedding. The ceremony was outside at the Lemp mansion, and the weather was fantastic for August. Tim was an usher, and he saved the day when a group of kids started throwing walnuts at a tree about 10 feet from the guests. Luckily, he stopped them before an errant walnut hit someone in the head. : )

The reception was held at the Lemp Grand Hall, just around the block. The party was great, and even Fredbird was there to join in on the fun!

Tim and Heather during dinner

The groom (Kevin) with Heather and Jen.

Hanging outside

Fredbird joins the party


Fredbird leads the congo line.


Cardinals Rule!





Saturday, August 15, 2009

Healthy Heartbeats

Tuesday we went to the doctor's office again for another ultrasound. The babies were almost twice the size as last week. And, the most amazing thing I have every experienced: we got to hear their heartbeats and see their tiny hearts pumping on the ultrasound screen!


Baby A


One baby was closer to the ultrasound, so it was a little easier to see. Baby A measured .59 cm (about 1/4 of an inch!) and had a heartbeat of 120 beats per minute. The baby is the bean-looking ball in the center of the black circle. The part to the right of the bean is the yolk sac and the placenta is starting to form. It's hard to see in this picture, but the doctor pointed out the umbilical chord forming too.

Baby B


The other baby is harder to see because it is further away from the ultrasound. We got to hear Baby B's heartbeat as well, the doctor measured it at 115 beats per minute and the baby was .58 cm.

The doctor said all looked well and we graduated to a regular OB/GYN! We feel like we've passed one milestone... with many more to go! It's an exciting experience! I feel tired daily, especially since school started again. That's okay though, because it means the babies are getting stronger every day.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Two of a Kind Makes a Full House

On Wednesday, August 5th Tim and I went in for our first ultrasound post-embryo transfer and the doctor said everything looked great. He showed us our baby that is growing, and then he said "and here's it's neighbor!" It was so amazing to see both our babies so close together and snuggled in. So, we're expecting TWINS on April 3!


the two babies together

Baby A on the right, Baby B on the left. Our "little beans"

I'm calculated at being 6 weeks right now. At 6 weeks, the babies have 3 different layers of cells. A sac is forming that will become the heart, and it's already starting to pump blood! On the ultrasound, they look like two little black beans, but they are working hard to grow strong and healthy. Next week we go in for another ultrasound, with the hopes of hearing heartbeats in our little beans :)

I have been feeling pretty good, a little tired but overall Tim and I couldn't be more happy. The last few weeks were a little uncomfortable because I was retaining so much fluid. The fluid buildup was caused by the excessive hormones from both our little embryos, and my body couldn't handle them all. My fluid retention has gone down a lot, which is a relief since I'm starting school next week! The doctor commented on the amount of fluid build-up on the ultrasound, but wasn't too concerned. I wanted to say "Buddy, this is nothing! You should have seen me last week!" It was good to hear him say that, though.

Friday, July 24, 2009

And...

It's confirmed... the dr. called today to say- WE'RE PREGNANT!!!!!!! This is such a dream come true for us. This (these) baby (babies?) have been hoped for and prayed about for so long! I can't believe we're going to be parents in 9 months!

My first ultrasound will be in about 2 weeks, and we'll know more then. For now, keeping up with the shots and meds, no excersise (grrr!) and more waiting. For sure our prayers have been answered though.

Lots of love,
Heather and Tim
(aka. Mommy and Daddy)
:D

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's going on?

The waiting this week has been so intense! I'm really glad we did this process over summer break because it hasn't been my finest week. Lots of side effects from the progesterone shots and probably still from the embryo transfer.

So, while we're waiting I thought I'd post what should be happening with the embrios now...

this is what happens in a 5 day transfer (which is what we did. It means 5 days after the egg retrieval):
-1 day before transfer- embryo is growing and developing in petri dish
-0 days before transfer (i.e. day of transfer!)-embryo is now a blastocyst
-1 day past transfer- blastocyst hatches out of shell on this day
-2 days past transfer- blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining
-3 days past transfer- implantation begins as the blastocyst begins to bury in the lining
-4 days past transfer- implantation process continues and morula buries deeper in the lining
-5 days past transfer- morula is completely implanted in the lining and has placenta cells & fetal cells
-6 days past transfer- placenta cells begin to secret HCG in the blood
-7 days past transfer- more HCG is produced as fetus develops
-8 days past transfer- more HCG is produced as fetus develops


Hopefully those little embies- Faith and Hope- are growing strong. Grow babies, grow!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Couch Potato!

I have been on bedrest since Thursday morning because... we got the embyro's transferred!



Here are the pictures of the blastulas that were transferred. Isn't it amazing how perfectly round and similar they are? They are beautiful! I've been doing my best to keep as flat as possible to give them a chance to attach, so they can grow.

Apparently we already have so much to be thankful for. I've been on a forum for other women who have been on the same cycle as I have with the clinic we chose, and we have been very lucky, to say the least. We had 22 eggs retrieved and 13-14 fertilized, but a lot of women don't have many eggs or they don't have a good number fertilze. One woman had 2 fertilized but neither of them made it to blastula stage. My heart was broken for her, but still trying to stay positive and upbeat for us. The blastulas we didn't use are going to be frozen for the future.

In the meantime, it's been hard to stay so still! It's funny that there are some days we just wish for time to sit and relax and don't get it. When we have to, it's not as much fun! Oh well, we got lots of good movies and books and I have my laptop :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our Lucky Number is... 13!

We waited all day Sunday for the phone call, but I had to call Monday morning to see how our eggs were doing. They told us we had 13 fertilized!

Tim thinks we should implant all 13 and have our own reality show called the Horstmann Horde- 13 and Done! Just kidding, we'll probably stick with our plans of 2.

The egg retrieval really took a lot out of me. I was down for the count on Saturday, and today is really the first day I feel like I have energy or drive to do anything. I've felt bloated and uncomfortable since Saturday, and found out today that it's a typical side-effect to the egg retrieval process. It's all worth it, but I really didn't think it would have affected me so much.

We just keep praying for our babies, and hope they decide to stick on Thursday!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Harvest Time!

a cell being fertilized


Yesterday Tim and I went in to the doctor to get my eggs harvested. I thought it would be no big deal... ha! They totally knocked me out, and I didnt' feel anything- until later! The anesthesia made me sick and I was in so much pain yesterday! But it was all worth it, because they took out 22 follicles, which is a ton!


A fertilized egg at the embryonic stage.
This one has 8 cells


They fertilized the eggs yesterday, and we should know how many made it past the first stage later today. Tim had to give me a shot of progesterone, which we will continue for the next 2 months or so. It HURT! The needle was really long because it had to go into my muscle. Usually the follicle provides progesterone to a female's body when it releases the egg, but since they took the follicles before they could expell the eggs, we have to provide the hormones instead. Eventually the placenta will start making progesterone for my body to be a good environment for the baby(ies!).



5 days after the eggs are fertilized, they become blastulas. This is a big step for the fertilzed eggs, so not all will make it. The ones that do will be graded and they will choose the two best ones to transfer back into me. We're thinking that will be sometime Thursday afternoon. We just have to wait for the call!


A fertilized egg at blastula stage.
It's a big hollow ball of cells- how cool is that?

Last night Tim and I said our prayers before we went to bed, and he asked God to take care of all our babies and help them grow. So sweet!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ultrasound Today



I went in for an ultrasound today, and the Dr. said everything looks great! He counted 15 follicles that will be big enough to extract and a few more that were too small. Holy crap, that's a lot! No wonder my ovariesback has been hurting so bad!!


Now, I know you must be asking yourself... "15 follicles? Will they all be babies?" No, Tim and I don't want to compete with Jon and Kate or the Duggars (for all you TLC fans). We will most likely implant 2 blastulas, and they will freeze and store the others for us.


I'm continuing to give myself the Follistim shots and Lupron shots as well as take the steriod pills orally. My next appointment is on Thursday for a follow-up to see how well the follies grew, and to set up an appointment for extraction. It's looking like it might be this Saturday!


Needless to say, I'm very excited. It feels like we're on track! I'm almost in tears right now thinking that in another few weeks I could be pregnant, and in 9 months Tim and I could be a mommy and daddy. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but everything has been going so well lately, kind of falling into place. I just keep saying my prayers, and hope God sees the true hopes in our hearts.



Saturday, July 4, 2009

Vanilla Hefeweizen

Last night we decided it was time to brew another batch of our in-famous Headless Horstmann beer. Tim had ordered a vanilla hefeweizen kit, which will be our last kit. We think we're ready to start make our own recipes after this. The first thing we had to do was sterilize all the equipment to make sure it was bacteria free. Then the fun begins.


Tim putting the grain bag into the pot of water.

We had to make sure we only kept the grain bag in the hot water until it got to between 165-175*F or the grains would release too much tannins, which would make it have a more bitter taste. We constantly checked the temp and moved the grain bag so it didn't burn on the bottom.

After the water boiled with grain, we took it off the stove and added the malt extract and hops. We had to keep stirring to dissolve it before we could put it back on the stove... or it would burn and taste bitter.

After the water-grain-malt-hops (now called wort) came to a rolling boil, we had to wait 45 minutes... BUT you have to be very careful to make sure it doesn't burn or boil over. We've done that before and it makes a HUGE sticky, impossible to clean mess.

waiting for it to boil...

Our helpers. Dont' worry, they didnt' get any hair in the brew :)

We hooked the heat-transfer coil up to the sink, ready to rapidly cool the wort down. You have to make sure it's cooled down to 80*F. The heat-transfer coil does this quickly to keep bacteria from forming in the wort.

Pouring the cooled wort into the primary fermenter

Adding the yeast to the wort... they'll eat the sugars from the malt extract and hops, and the bi-product will be alcohol (okay yes, I'm a science teacher- I think this is cool)



Capping off the fermenter and pouring vodka into the air lock. The vodka keeps it sterile- no bacteria- and you can see the fermentation occur because of the oxygen bubbles that come through the vodka. And you can see, we only use the best, most premium products :)


We'll keep this in the bucket until the bubbles stop coming out of the air lock, and then we'll transfer to the glass carboy. Probably Monday or Tuesday next week.