Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Double Big News

Big news, everyone. You'll want to sit down for this one.



We're not kidding either.

Ultrasound from June 1. That's two sacs with a baby in each of them!

Ultrasound from June 20. The bottom photo is the baby on the right, the center photo is the baby on the left. In the top photo you can see both of them together.
That's two babies in there! We still can't believe it.

Erin is due January 10, 2013. But, since it's twins, it's very likely they will come much earlier than that. Maybe even around Thanksgiving.

We had been hoping a new baby would come around now. Allisyn is almost two, and we wanted about two years in between her and our next baby. Erin took a pregnancy test on our last day of staying with her grandparents in West Valley, and it was positive! Erin did the calculations and figured out the baby was due on January 10.

Our first Sunday after arriving in Texas, we told Erin's parents in person and then called up my parents, to tell them the news as a Mother's Day gift. It was a little earlier in the pregnancy than the last time we told our parents we were pregnant, but the chance to share it on Mother's Day was too opportune to pass up. Plus, since we would be staying with Erin's parents, it would be helpful for them to know. We needed to find an OB/GYN in Texas, and we needed to explain why Erin would be sick and have to hide in the bedroom every time there was meat cooking in the kitchen.

So knowing another baby was already coming was factored into our househunting in Iowa. But during our trip, we didn't know yet there were two babies coming. So the house we found was even more of a blessing and an answer to our prayers - an answer to prayers we weren't even saying yet.

Our first OB/GYN appointment came after we returned from Iowa. And we were lucky enough this time to get an ultrasound during our very first appointment. It wasn't long after the ultrasound machine was up and running when Dr. Itam blurted out, "There's two in there." We couldn't believe it, especially Erin. She kept asking, "Are you kidding?!" and "Are you serious?!" Dr. Itam told her, "If I were kidding, I would have stopped by now." And there they were, two adorable blobs, right there on the video monitor. We could tell that they are in separate sacs, which was good news. We don't know if they are fraternal or identical twins yet. Also, we still need to find out if there is one placenta between the two of them or if they each have their own, and we'll find out at an appointment tomorrow. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I told Erin that it could be fun to keep the twins news from our parents, so that when we told our siblings we were pregnant there would still be something to surprise our parents with. But Erin said there was no way she could live with her mom and dad and keep a secret like that. So Erin showed her mom the ultrasound photos right when we came home. She's like, "Mom, count!" Her mom, of course, couldn't believe it. She said, "I always wanted twins in the family! And I'm glad it's you and not me!"

Way before we were pregnant, Erin had a great idea for how to announce the news. She wanted to make a shirt for Allisyn that said, "Promoted to Big Sister, Effective [whenever the due date is]." But now, we had more news to put on that shirt! So Erin's idea was for me to draw Allisyn holding two babies and put it on the back of the shirt. We didn't know if they were two boys, two girls, or a boy and a girl, so I gave their baby blankets the gender-neutral colors of red and green. Which, Erin pointed out, was perfect, because these babies might be born around Christmas.

We had already told Erin's parents this T-shirt idea, and we went to work in making this shirt immediately so that we could use it to tell Erin's dad we were expecting twins. After our masterpiece was done, we showed him and told him, "Look, this is how we're going to tell Braden and Dallin." He said something about how very nice the shirt was, and then when he saw the back, he asked, "Why are there two babies there?!" Haha. Success.

Next up was my family. Erin, Allisyn and I went to Oregon for two graduations, my sister Chrysta's from high school and my sister Kandis' from Oregon State University. Lucky for us, even though my family is starting to grow up and spread out, all of us were there at the same time for Chrysta's graduation, including my brother and his wife and my sister at BYU, and my grandma from Colorado. Some of my sisters figured out that Erin was pregnant, with both their feminine intuition and with Erin having her own ginger ale in the refrigerator. But they still didn't know it was twins!

Everyone was gathered together for a family home evening, and we put the shirt on Allisyn and let her loose in front of the fam. We were hoping for a big reaction, but nothing really happened. I think some of my family saw the shirt, but for some reason they thought they weren't supposed to say anything - when we were hoping for the opposite! Finally I announced that everyone should look at Allisyn's shirt. Then they got it. And of course everyone was excited. (And it was nice to have a whole house of people who were in on our secret!)

We got back from Oregon this week, so then it was time to tell Braden and Dallin. We put Allisyn in the shirt again, and called the boys over to see her new shirt. They were both so happy for us. Dallin's birthday is December 18, so he's hoping to share a birthday with them. "I'll pay you $20 if they're born on December 18," he promised.

Then, Erin called her grandparents. Her Grandma Ayers has a tradition of making a new quilt for each of her great grandchildren. So Erin brought up our news by asking her Grandma, "I was wondering if you could make me a couple of baby blankets for me for Christmas." It took Grandma a second to realize that Erin was asking for two. But then she was so excited, and like Erin's mom she said "I always wanted twins!"

Then today, we had another appointment with Dr. Itam. We got another ultrasound, as well as heard both of their little heartbeats. The ultrasound was really cool, because even though it had only been three weeks since the last one we could really see how much they had grown. We could see that one of the twins (the one on the right in the photos above) even had the hiccups! And Dr. Itam kept telling us how adorable they were, haha.

Tomorrow we will get a radiology ultrasound, which will tell us if the twins are sharing a placenta or if they each have their own. Either case would be fine, but two placentas would help things go a little smoother during the pregnancy and birth. We still won't be able to tell if they are fraternal or identical twins (but if there is just one placenta, then we'll know for sure they are identical).

Wow, can you believe we're having twins?!?! In one fell swoop we are tripling our number of children. And we will have three children under the age of 2 1/2.

We're lucky the twins will probably be born before December 31, so then we should get an extra big tax refund that we can put toward getting a new used minivan or something! Because three car seats in the back of our Taurus will be pretty cramped. And now, we'll need to get a double stroller, and another crib, and who knows what else! All of a sudden, just using the stuff we got for Allisyn won't be enough.

Like I said earlier, how lucky for us that we found that house! The townhome we found would have been nice, but it would have felt real tight real fast if there were five of us living there. Now we'll have three bedrooms and a fenced-in backyard to raise our young but big family in.

At least Erin will be out of school this time, so in that way things will be easier. But of course, three kids instead of one will fill in any free time that a college graduation gave her. I won't be working for a little while, but law school will take more of my time and energy than my undergrad studies did. Fortunately, I get about a month off in the winter between semesters, so I'll be around more. This does mean that we won't be going anywhere for Christmas this year.

As you can see, there's a lot to think about! If any of you have had twins and have any tips, we would love to have them!

Even though there will be a lot to figure out, a lot more to pay for, and a lot of hard work and stress, we couldn't be happier. We're just a young family, but we already know that family is the greatest source of happiness and joy we could have in this life. We love our little Allisyn so much, and we love being her daddy and mommy. So we know we are going to love being a daddy and mommy to two more.


Even though I haven't worked at The Daily Universe for almost six months, my name showed up in the paper again.

Daily Universe claims ten awards

At the award night for the Utah chapter of the SPJ, The Daily Universe won 10 times in the Division B category, which from what I can tell must be all of Utah south of Salt Lake City.

The DU won first place in

Spot News (which I think must be breaking, on-location news) - for Jordan Carroll's story from Ground Zero last summer, when Osama bin Laden's death was announced

Arts and Entertainment - for Court Mann's profile of Fictionist

Business/Consumer Reporting - for Lindsey Larson's "Mythbusters" story on whether a pair of Levi's really could withstand a team of horses trying to pull them apart

Education Reporting - for Kelly Bluth's story on low teacher salaries in Utah (that's one of my old sports reporters!)

Medical/Science Reporting - for Emma Penrod's story on a BYU study about polar bears

Military Reporting - for Allie McCoy's story on veterans and what they go through at home

Minority Issues Reporting - for Stacie Carnley's story on the Church's involvement with the Daily Dose English Program

Personality Profile - for Brooke Ward's profile on Alexis Kaufusi, a member of the BYU women's basketball team who was diagnosed with cancer (To read the profile I did on Kaufusi two seasons ago, click here)

Opinion Column - for Jade McDowell's column on Utah's GRAMA law (click to page three, it's the one called 'They're killing GRAMA')

... and, for Editorial Cartoon, I won first place for this cartoon:

The judge said, "The cartoonist captured the hysteria that briefly surrounded Jimmer-mania with a clever concept."

To read more about the cartoon and the reasons it came about, read here.

Pretty cool! I don't know if I get any real certificate or trophy or anything. But just bragging rights are fine by me. And I'm proud of all my old DU colleagues who won too.
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