“Well friends, it’s Friday (actually Sunday). That's usually when I catch up on some personal stuff. I check my in-box, I return some emails, and of course I send out my Thank You notes,” (Jimmy Fallon anyone?).
With the twins’ delivery due at any moment (yep, still pregnant . . . 37 weeks and holding!), I’d like to take this time to write my Thank You notes for everyone and everything that got me through this miraculous twin pregnancy.
In no particular order, and without any endorsements, here we go.
“James, some Thank You writing music please.”
Thank you, Victoria’s Secret consultant, for my first bra fitting in over a decade. You were right, my bras were too small, and your recommendations have served these past months well. I also really appreciate you not being offended when I yelled “shut up,” when you told me what my “true size” was. Again, it was the shock of going up that many cup sizes, not you. I hope to see you in the future if things every return to the way they were.
Thank you, Rodan and Fields skin care and my consultant friend Christy for her spot-on recommendations. Yes, your prices do create a bit of sticker shock but when my skin literally began to sluff off during my first trimester, you kept it hydrated and intact. To everyone who said I have that “pregnancy glow,” I have to admit it wasn’t me. It was a combination of my ridiculously high body temperature (three body temperatures, my mother pointed out) and the use of R & F products. They may be high priced but I’m a believer they are also high performing.
Thank you, triple metabolism for allowing me one last opportunity to eat carbs and still barely hit my doctor’s pound a week goal. Yes, I know our time left is short, but I’ll forever be grateful for the nine months of toast, biscuits, sandwiches, and buns that have sustained us.
Thank you, Chick-Fil-A’s of Gainesville, Cornelia, Athens, and Rabun County, for not only providing fast and uninhibited Wi-Fi for my office days on the road. But Thank you for sustaining me during this twin pregnancy with your amazing egg and cheese biscuits and chicken sandwiches (extra pickles of course) without judgment. Even when I rolled through your drive-thru at 7AM on a Saturday morning with no-make up on, wearing my husband’s pajamas because nothing else fits, it was always your “pleasure” to serve me.
In that same vein, Thank you CFA “One” App and customer service surveys. You have provided me with fourteen free sandwiches, two free biscuits, one free large fry, and one free large chocolate chip cookie. The boys love you already. And because of my deep affection for you and the gifts of my favorite Aunt Sheri, my boys will proudly rock those CFA onesies. Just wait for that Instagram post.
Thank you, Danon Greek Yogurt (fruit on the bottom) which Jason now calls “Yogi.” You have not only provided much needed protein for me and my boys, but you have prevented nighttime nausea and hangry fits of discontent. Jason and I both thank you!
Thank you Coke Icees, particularly the ones sold at QuikTrip, for getting me through my first and second trimester nighttime sickness. I know caffeine should be limited during pregnancy but seeing my husband walk through the door with you in his hands, made me love him even more.
Thank you, iced tea for becoming my coffee replacement during pregnancy. I should have known something was up when my piping hot cup of morning java started enacting my gag reflex. But luckily the pure, unadulterated taste of unsweet tea (or half and half when needed) came to my rescue. Having not drank iced tea in years, I have now judged and categorized ice tea from all over North Georgia and if you are curious, here are the winners;
And because not everything I consumed has been what you might call healthy. Thank you, Juice Plus for coming to my nutrition rescue. I have been a fan of you for years but when your capsules disagreed with me early on, I was afraid my boys would lack the nutrition they (and I) needed. Your customer service graciously switched out my capsules for gummies and it has been smooth vitamin sailing ever since. I attribute my ideal weekly vitals to you!
Thank you to all the strangers who restrained themselves from reaching out and touching my growing bump. And even a greater thank you to all the ones who said I don’t look “that big” for having twins. The grammatical modifier “that” made all the difference for my self-esteem.
Thank you, long torso for finally coming in handy! After all these years of struggling to find shirts and one-piece bathing suits that properly cover my bum, I now know why God created you so long: to hold these boys. I have no idea how petite woman survive carrying multiples but when I see I’ll softly say a prayer.
Thank you, Le Tote Maternity (and my mother-in-law who bought that subscription for Christmas) for allowing me to rent all my maternity wear. And yes, the secret is out, I do wear the same outfit all week long but when you see different schools every day, why change it up. I’ll will mourn your subscription with every load of personal laundry.
(Want a coupon code? Hit me up!)
Thank you, Blanqui Support Wear, for not only holding these babies in, but up! At this very moment I am holding in (and up) thirteen pounds of twins and an estimated twenty-two pounds of amniotic fluid. And yes, I feel every ounce. But you got me, friends. You have kept me from feeling like the damn could burst at any moment and for that, you are worth every penny!
Thank you, Bath and Body Works’ Lay It On Thick Shea Butter body lotion. I first fell in love with you and your naturally tropical sent when I worked for BBW as a freshman in college. And even though you are now discontinued (which is ludicrous on the company’s behalf), I am grateful that I stocked up in November. Your lotion, scrub, and bar soap have now covered a lot of real estate and have prevented the first stretch mark. Bless you, friend. Until I find another replacement, I’ll be forced to buy your overstocked inventory off Amazon.
Speaking of Amazon, halleluiah and a huge thank you! Yes, yes, I know that Amazon is crushing the small business model of the American economy but when you live out in the middle of Banks County, Amazon Prime and the Amazon baby registry become your new best friend. Having orders and unexpected gifts arrive on your front steps is like Christmas without the chill and decorations. And thank you to everyone who ordered off my registry. Because of your love, we have earned $200 in free diapers from Amazon. And you know, dear friends, that will last us at least three weeks. Bless you!
Thank you doctors, nurses, and stenographers who have taken such amazing care of myself and these boys. I will truly miss seeing you each and every week. You guys are as much a part of this journey as anyone else and I’m proud to write your Yelp 5-star reviews and welcome you as a part of this miraculous family.
Thank you, Aussie and Quigley for your unconditional puppy love, be that nausea or restlessness. Thank you for always being up for snack time or nap time. Thank you for keeping your little puppy eyes on me every time I shower, go to the bathroom, or (your favorite) walk to the frig no matter what time of the day or night. Thank you for your constant snuggles. I know you knew of their presence, heard their little heart beats, and felt their kicks long before the rest of us. They are oh-so excited to meet their big siblings and I know you two will reign Lord Protectors over your little brothers as you have been with me. I know these new little editions will change our family dynamics but don’t fret, we will never forget who our first-borns are and will continue to love you back unconditionally as they will too.
Thank you, Jason for being my best friend these past sixteen years, my husband these past eleven, my confidant, my sounding board, and my strong shoulder during these years and now months of waiting. Thank you for all the take-out orders, for learning to cook as I deliver instructions laying horizontal on the couch, for waking me up and bringing me a “yogi” every night at midnight, for allowing me to practically live in your pajamas and t-shirts these last few months, and for calming my nerves and anxieties when you see me about to go off the rails. People keep saying how good “I’m doing” but what they don’t see is how good “we’re doing.” We are a team which is why I am for once not fearful or anxious about becoming parents to twins. You take such phenomenal care of me and the pups, I can’t wait to see how you take care of our sons.
Thank you, family, friends, and prayer warriors. This pregnancy, these sons, are a communal effort of countless prayers, commitment to Him, and patience for “such as time as this.” God is so remarkable that He timed this so that none could share the glory but Him. I know my story is a testimony of His love, His mercy, and His grace because never have I been to a baby shower where dear friends prayed and wept over such miracles. Those prayers, that moment, and His presence over us will forever be one of my most cherished memories. We have received cards, gifts, and prayers from all across the United States. From new friends, long loved friends, and from even one-time acquaintances. I know I am not worthy, nor am I equipped. But I know I am called and therefore God will equip us.
The next time I see you all, my dear friends, I’ll be a mother.
To God be all the glory. Great things He hath done and will continue to do. This is my prayer for us and for all of you!
I really hate the phrase “All in God’s timing.” I know. I know. Hate is such a strong word but strongly dislike doesn’t do that phrase justice either. It’s because the phrase “God’s timing” completely eliminates all that I am comfortable with, all that I know, all that I have: my own control. “God’s timing” indicates fully relinquishing your own plans, agenda, and prayers for the majestic plan of The Father all the while never knowing if our two plans will intersect. Let’s face it, being a follower of Christ is the biggest act of faith anyone can endure. You seek, you follow, you pray, and sometimes in your darkest hours, the silence is all that is returned. Or even worse, the answer comes and it’s not what we’ve asked for. It could be a “not now,” or heaven forbid, a “no.”
But if the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that our God is not a quiet God. He is constantly moving and working, banging around making noise in the hopes that we, his inattentive children, will finally look up and listen.
If you know me even a little bit, you know that it has taken me quite a long time to look up. And even a longer time to take out the earbuds of this world and listen.
At twenty-five or maybe it was twenty-six years old, my best friend told me in the Gainesville Cinema parking lot after seeing the premiere of one of the Harry Potter films, that she was pregnant. They just thought they would see what would happen. And well, it did. I was so excited. I drove home to Jason and announced to him, “if it happened for them, it could happen for us.” We didn’t begin trying. You don’t need to “try” to get pregnant. You just let it happen, right?
After a few years when it doesn’t happen, and all your friends slowly enter that mommy phase of life, you start to even convince yourself that you are “choosing” to wait, “choosing” to not be parents. We’re in no rush. We’re enjoying life. We’re just not ready. We like doing whatever we want, whenever we want. Life is great!
But we all know the pain and lies behind those lines. The hurt feelings of being “left behind.” The constant waiting and thoughts that come every month. Why not us?Eventually you are forced to swallow your pride, face the doctors, and hear the diagnosis that conception “won’t be easy” and that it will take some “medical interventions.”
I think when I saw that first doctor, began that first round of treatment that my prayers would be magically answered. But during that first year of trial and error, I became the worst version of myself. I stopped praying to God and started pleading with Him. Big difference. No one likes a whinner. Especially whining to the One who not only created you but saved you.
I also became this bitter and emotional “friend” (yes, I put that in quotes because I’m not sure how friendly I really was) to those around me in the throes of motherhood and new pregnancy. I mean I did all the right things, I threw baby showers, held newborns, and always asked about their children. But behind all those actions were biter obligations, not a servant’s heart. I would hold their babies, hop in my car, and cry the entire way home. I played the role but again, not well.
One incredibly shameless moment happened several years back when literally half of the English department was pregnant. Someone had just announced their pregnancy during lunch and it festered inside of me something awful. Jealously is one of the enemy’s greatest instruments. While walking out to my car that afternoon I said to a fellow English teacher friend, “if one more person announces they are pregnant, I think I’ll scream.” Little did I know, she was pregnant. I saw her adorable and clever social media announcement two weeks later and immediately felt shameful and guilty. Who had I become? (And yes, miraculously to this day, we are the closest of friends. She is the most forgiving and compassionate of God’s creation).
But you know what? If God himself would have Skyped me then and told me that on November 8th, 2018, that at the age of 33, I would finally hear not one but two heartbeats, my reaction would have still been discontentment. Because even getting “what you want” at not the right time sucks. The crossroad of “God’s timing” and your willingness to accept it is not on a highway, it’s on a gravely road that requires four-wheel drive and low speed. Yes, it takes time. And don’t we all hate waiting?
Even though I am in the midst of everything I’ve ever wanted, ridiculously pregnant with two healthy miracle boys, I will never forget the years of waiting, of heartbreak, of being left behind. God has used those years, for “such a time as this.”
Want some proof? Good. Here it goes.
As most of you know, I never wanted to be an English teacher. The job literally fell in my lap (thankfully) and I honestly spent most of my ten-year career fighting wanting to leave and explore other options while also deeply falling in love with my students and my school. It seems though that about every Spring I would go on several job hunts and interviews. In fact, every job that I interviewed for, was offered to me. Jason was my Jiminy Cricket during each and every offer. Either it was not enough money, did not offer comparable benefits, or simply not the right fit for me as much as I tried to step-sister my foot into that glass slipper.
Herff Jones even came along twice before during those seasons of restlessness. As much as I wanted the job, it again was never the right now or the right circumstances. I mean the very first time they offered me the job, I had literally been announced “Teacher of the Year” that morning. My name was on the marquee when they drove into the parking lot.
But last year, last year was the perfect timing. I was emotionally ready to leave on a win. The offer was financially worth the risk of leaving a career that I was good at for one that I might not be. And Jason having made a career leap himself, seeing first-hand the benefits of being where you are called (all while also keeping our State insurance).
God was preparing my schedule for twin pregnancy.
When you are labeled “high risk”, receive a miraculous conception, are having multiples, and mono/ di multiples at that, you see a lot of doctors and very often. I have literally seen either my OB or my neonatal specialist every other week since I was eight weeks pregnant. And starting third trimester, I have been seeing them both every week. That’s a lot of appointments. And because I go so often, I have to take whatever appointments I can get, be that first thing in the morning or in the middle of the day. I just cannot imagine asking any principal, any employer, to provide coverage for these hour long (or more) appointments every two weeks. It has been tricky enough getting Jason coverage at his school to attend some of these important appointments. Again, God knew this timing. He knew this job would provide the scheduling I needed to take care of my career and my pregnancy.
God was also preparing my body for twin pregnancy.
For the past several years I have been really motivated by some incredible friends to attempt some incredible feats. I have run over twenty half marathons, one ridiculous muggy marathon attempt, one full triathlon, and one coast-to-coast Florida bike challenge lasting two days. My mom has not been a fan of these races. I would appease her by assuring her I was safe when attempting and training and would also tell her that I was preparing my body for pregnancy when that time came. The truth, I just needed that feeling of accomplishment. It’s addictive and once again it put me in control. Now I was never competing for a fast time, I am seriously a tortoise compared to my friends. I was just competing with myself. Proof that I could will my body into submission be it on my feet, on a bike, or with fertility.
Over a year ago I even began teaching spin classes at my local tiny gym. Another dream. Another way to push my body (and get in a few free workouts each week). I loved teaching spin. I loved my students. I loved the strength and accomplishment each class brought. Almost a year to the date of starting, I texted the owner to let her know that I was pregnant with twins and that it was just too risky to keep pushing my body by teaching. When you’ve lost two pregnancies, you’re not willing to do anything to risk losing another.
But God was indeed preparing my body. Pregnancy is hard. I keep hearing that pregnancy of multiples is even harder. I really don’t know any different. But what I do know is that my doctors can’t explain it. My blood pressure has remained consistently low. My body has been able to adjust to the weight and strain of currently 12 pounds of babies (not to mention all that fluid). No back pain. No swelling. No bed rest. I’m over 35 weeks in, still working, still getting out when I can, still surviving.
But God was also preparing our marriage for twins.
Jason and I met when we were seventeen and eighteen years old. We have officially been together half our lives. And it hasn’t been a bed of roses. We survived college, first careers, coming from two totally different backgrounds, a traumatic brain injury and seizures, raising a teenager, four moves, a home flooding and reconstruction, second careers, infertility, and miscarriages. Not to mention my stubbornness and excessive compulsion for control. He is a good man. He is a Godly man. And with him by myside, we will also survive twin parenting.
People say the most awful and unencouraging things when they find out you are having twins (I’m saving that post for another day). But I honestly have not been afraid. I’m still not. Yes, I’m anxious for them to arrive. To see their faces. To see my husband as a father. But I’m not afraid. God has given us eleven years of trials that have brought us closer. And I know the next years will do the same.
So yes, this has truly all been in “God’s timing” but when you are in the throes of waiting, hanging on to hope like a thread, crying out to unanswered prayers, no one wants to hear that.
Instead they want to hear a true story that confirms that timing can and will occur. No one does that better for me than Ester. I am nothing like Ester. She was obedient. She was silent in her faithful following of God’s will. She could have fought her calling, refused to admit that she was created for such a time as this. But she didn’t. She didn’t run kicking and screaming in the other direction. She didn’t stop praying to God and start whining to Him. She remained planted in that moment, in God’s presence, in His will regardless of her own personal fear and uncertainty.
Ester’s journey came down to a single moment that could have changed the course of her story forever. She had the opportunity to help save her people, and she could have easily walked away, scared of the risk she would need to take. But Mordecai saw God’s purpose in Esther’s life. His words proclaim truth, leaping off the page and stirring our hearts. Stirring my heart confirming “God’s perfecting timing” in my own life.
And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14b)
My Ester-moment occurred a few years back when I decided to stop being the victim of God’s timing, and start being an advocate for it. God had placed my feet on this journey for such a time as this.
Yes, God has chosen us. But yet He also gives us a choice. Will we walk away, or will we accept the journey that He has placed before us?
I am not saying that God will always answers your prayers, dear friends, with the answer you desire if only you are faithful enough to wait. But what I am saying is that God will answer them. He will place your feet on His path. But the choice is yours. Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
The Big Bang Theory, Series 03 Episode 23 – The Lunar Excitation