Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wedding Video!

For all of our wonderful friends and family who couldn't be at our wedding we created a short 3 minute video with pics and video clips from our special day!!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A look back at ministry in 2009! Thank you faithful supporters! Pa'lante 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Project: Twin Household Makeover

So, we've been working hard the last couple of days getting the house ready for our babies arrivals. We don't have teams on the island right now and with the holidays here it is the perfect time to steal away and work on some "home repair" projects!
We opted to creatively rearrange our house in such a way that will be conducive to having two little ones here while we're able to still live in our 2 bedroom, 1 bath house and continue to save some dough (that will inevitably go towards diapers or formula or something of the likes).

The plan is to convert our office into our bedroom and move the office into a functional workspace in the dining room. We'll then make our old Master Bedroom the twins' nursery as it really is so much bigger and suitable for two!
Here's a couple pics of the progress we've made thus far!

The workspace in the corner of the dining room (please ignore my half-filled candle holder- a sweet present from my mom!!)

Project #2: Turn the old office into our master bedroom! Alan is painting away as I type! The bookshelf you can barely see in the left of the picture is now going in the living room!

Stay tuned for more pics of our little home renovation project!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Celebrations and the End of 15 weeks!

We had a wonderful Christmas!
On Dec. 18th we hosted a Christmas party for our dear friends in the Dominican Republic. They are people we've come to call family. We do life and ministry together- the good, the bad, and the ugly! Some have branched out and started their own ministries and we are humbled to walk alongside each and everyone here! There was great food cooked by all, fun fellowship, and a few games!

The crew after our White Elephant Gift Exhange!

In the Dominican, December 24th is "family day." This is the day they celebrate Christmas. We went to Alan's parent's house and Alan's sister, Fanny had prepared quite a feast for us! It was so good, and even better as leftovers for the 3 days that followed!

Our nieces opening their little gifts we gave them... Headbands and matching bracelets.

On Christmas, Alan and I started new traditions (presents in the morning & making my mom's biscuits and gravy) and continued ones from last year (movies all day and homemade pizza for dinner!!), though I am unhappy to say my morning sickness returned with a vengeance and I spent most of the day throwing up everything I consumed. It was so comforting though to be spending the day celebrating our Savior's birth with my love!

The end of last week marked the end of 15 weeks as well and my belly is a growing! In case you're wondering, last week the fruit our babies most resembled in size was a naval orange and this week, we've got avocados ripening!! We return to the Dr.'s in 2 weeks and are praying we'll be able to find out the sexes. I will be in my 18th week by then, which is the half way point to our 36 week full-term goal!!

Much love!!

The Perez Fam

Sunday, December 13, 2009

14 weeks Prego & a Special Gift

I am now 14 weeks pregnant and feeling a lot better!! I pretty much only throw up when I miss a meal (and of course, as soon as I wake up), but typically as long as I eat every 2-3 hours I feel fine. My energy is coming back too and I have returned to cooking and cleaning!! (Alan is very happy about that!!) I am really looking forward to this next stage of our pregnancy and caring for our little babies!

My mom sent us our first gift for the babies and it couldn't be a better gift. She sent us the Tale of Peter Rabbit Collection. Alan and I are both HUGE readers. We both find ourselves devouring book after book. I can't wait to begin reading to the babies even as they are in the womb! Thanks Mom!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Millions of peaches, peaches for free, millions of peaches, peaches for me!

Today our babies progress to the size of... yes, you got it... peaches!

Dear sweet little peaches inside my womb... how we love you and pray for you to be mighty warriors for the Kingdom. We have loved you and yet we haven't met you, seen you, or touched your tiny miracle hands... but you both are ours and entrusted to us by a wonderful King whom I am sure you already know. We love you both and can't wait until we get to meet you!!

They are developing vocal cords and their teeth. The babies heads are about 1/3 the size of their bodies and their intestines are moving from their umbilical cord to their stomachs! Just amazing to think of their tiny developing bodies inside ME! Even though they are just the size of peaches, let me tell you, it looks like a lot more than a couple of peaches have taken residence inside my belly. I think my body is overcompensating for lost time eating!! (Don't worry mom, we'll post new pics soon! ;)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Eating... A Full Time Job

When I was being discharged from the hospital I asked my Dr. if she could write me a Rx for the heavy duty vomitting I was experiencing to which she kindly replied "No." I was a little stunned by her response but she went on to say that this is a normal experience of a twin pregnancy and that if I commit to eating every 2 hours (YES, she said every two hours) then by week 14 I should be experiencing a vomit-less pregnancy.

Eating every two hours was not something I looked forward to. Most days I was lucky if I could keep down a package of crackers and some soup and most days I was not lucky. Thankfully though God has gifted me with an amazing and wonderful husband who loves to take care of me and make sure I am following my Dr.'s orders and the first day we were home he busied himself shopping for all kinds of snacks and things that I could eat throughout the day. Day one was a little difficult, I found myself eating a poached egg and a piece of toast for 3 of my 2-hr. feedings since it was also a little difficult to find things I could keep down. Slowly over the last week my appetite has increased, I have vomitted less, I am eating more foods, and I even gained 3.5 lbs!!

Here's what a typical day of eating looks like:
8:30am- vomit fest followed by crackers
9:30am- toast and poached egg
11:30am- Maizena (DR version of a cook and serve pudding- light on the tummy) or oatmeal
1:30pm- yesterday it was leftover tuna noodle casserole with tortilla chips!!
3:30pm- more crackers with cheese
5:30pm- apple with PB
7:30pm- tomato soup with noodles
9:30pm- Skim Ice popscicle (that doesn't really count... sometimes I will eat a few more crackers if I need to or something similar)

Still not a ton of calories (it is recommended that I eat close to 2700 calories a day- 300 extra calories per baby)

Eating this was is a huge accomplishment for me because I had lost 9 lbs. in between my monthly Dr.'s appt. We are definitely celebrating this small weight gain. In fact, one thing I am learning about twin pregnancies that are different from a singleton is pregnancy is the direct correlation between a mother's weight gain and the weight of her (almost guaranteed preemie) babies. The more weight I can gain (goal is 40 lbs) it is thought the healthier weight my babies will be at the time of delivery. This is especially important because if they are born early (besides health complications) they need to weigh around 4lbs a piece to be released from the hospital. With normal weight gain estimated to be about 1 lb. a week they could be in the hospital for weeks until they hit their goal weight to be released. Which has made it my personal job to eat, eat, eat and then eat some more.

My diet is still pretty bland at this point, but it is looking much better each day as I can "reintroduce" new foods into my sensitive tummy! I also started taking prenatals yesterday (cut in half taken with two meals!).

There has been so much to celebrate in this last week and we are so thankful to God, he is our Sustainer and our Life! We love Him dearly and look forward with nervous anticipation at the joys and trials of raising children who seek to know and follow after Him!

Much love,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Our Little Plums

Today marks the beginning of week 12 and our babies are the sizes of little plums. This is actually for a singleton pregnancy so I wonder if ours are just a bit smaller. They're arms and legs are lengthening and they are beginning to stretch out of the curled up little balls!!

I Feeling a little better since I left the hospital. I have only thrown up 4 times today!! :)

Special thanks so much Dianne for bringing me Skim Ice earlier! Fue un bendicion!!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Official Scoop on My Overnight Stay in the Hospital in the DR

2 weeks leading up to Thanksgiving:
Ok, so many of you know this pregnancy hasn't exactly been super easy. Pretty much since we found out we were pregnant (6 weeks) I have been throwing up like crazy. Sometimes I can predict what food will make me throw up and sometimes the food (my staple item) that has been a life saver (PB toast) will make me hurl. A few weeks ago I couldn't keep anything down... all day long and a friend had told me about the effects of dehydration on the babies ( which led us to call the Dr. who works in our ministry (Dr. Vladamir Canela). He came over and after one look determined I needed an IV. So he and Alan went to a pharmacy and bought all the supplies and an hour later I was in my bed hooked up to an IV hanging from my window pumped full of anti-vomitting meds. Alan was instructed on how to change the IV bag at 4am and the Doc was outta there! The next day around 3 or so my IV was out and I felt great. A whole day without throwing up, but sure enough it returned and the following week (this past Tuesday) we found ourselves in the same predicament, 9pm and I was wretching every 30 minutes with absolutely nothing at all to wretch. Another call to the Doc and again the IV extravaganzaa began.

Trying not to take things too seriously during my first "at-home" IV

The Day Before Thanksgiving:
On Wednesday I had an appt. with my OB. (Dr. Checo) We awoke early but I was still feeling nauseaus, even after the previous night's IV. Checo informed me at my appt. that I had lost 9 lbs. in one month but not to worry the babies were growing and doing fine. She did an U/S and everything looked great. When we told her everything that had been going on she ordered me to go upstairs to the Labor Wing to get another IV this time filled with vitamins and more anti-vomitting meds. We thanked her and headed upstairs for what we thought would be a simple 4 hr. IV.

11:30am: Alan was not allowed inside the Labor wing (not sure why) but they said he couldn't enter so I went in and a very friendly nurse hooked me up with my IV and I layed on what appeared to be an examining chair but cut in half, or maybe it was an examining chair for a really little person. They took some blood and after that I fell alseep and had some really wierd dreams only to be woken up an hour later and moved to an actual "laboring room" to rest. This room was supposed to be just a temporary room that was about 6 ft. wide by 10 feet long. It had a metal bed with a matress pad, a very loud ticking clock and 4 brightly painted semi-gloss white walls. (yikes) However, I turned the lights off and set in to take a nice uniterupted nap!

3pm: My Dr. came in with the results from my blood work. High white blood cells, low red blood cells and the nurses were having a problem taking my very low blood pressure... A result from major dehydration and anemia from not eating and getting enough iron. Solution? Over night stay and monitoring! They were going to take me to a private room later once one was prepared (complete with a TV!!) Alan was allowed in for a little bit at this point to know what was going on and what the game plan was. Soon after another Dr. came in to whisk me off to have a sonogram done on all of my insides to make sure everything looked ok. She checked all of my organs and then spent some time on the babies! Baby A was moving like crazy- paddling its little arms and legs and even did a somersault. Alan and I were laughing so hard! Baby B was a little more relaxed and layed back though she moved around some. I think Baby A is a boy and Baby B is a girl! After that we heard their heart beats and the Sonogram Dr. said everything looked great!

5pm: Back in the room on my second IV and Alan had to go home because he had class that night. He wasn't going to be able to come back because his class was over at 10 and visiting hours were over at 9. He packed a little overnight bag for me with some PJ's and sent it to the hospital with his mom around 8pm. I slept and slept.

6pm: My Dr. came back and checked on me, said they would monitor me over night and hopefully I would be going home in the morning in time for Thanksgiving!

7pm: Dinner came- boiled potato and 2 blocks of squeeky white cheese.

8pm: Alan's mom came with my bag and we chatted for half an hour before she had to leave.

9pm: Word came- there are no more private rooms. I am staying in the labor room overnight. It's just me and the nurses who came in every 4 hours to change my IV and pump me full of vitamins.

1:30am: woke up to the nurse changing the garbage (very loudly:) and finally dozed off until 6:30am.

Thanksgiving Day:
7:30am: Alan arrived at the hospital and the nurses let him in for 30 minutes to see me.

8:30am: Dr. Checo arrived and said the Hemotologist would be in shortly but if everything continues I can go home in just a few hours.

9pm: breakfast- mashed sweet plantains, more squeeky cheese, jello and hot chocolate.

10am: The Hemotologist arrives and asks me a million questions. He tells me he ordering a full blood workup and he'd be back to check on me later. I asked what time and he said "4pm." Uh-oh.... yep, tears welled up, I was not going home in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

11am: Nurse comes in and takes 4 viles of blood.

12pm: Lunch comes- rice, chicken, & soup

1pm: They tell me my private room is ready, Alan also arrives back at the hospital and finally we can be together in my private room.

1-5pm: watched House and America's Next Top Model

5pm: Hemotologist arrives and releases me from his care with an order to come back Monday for more blood work and to take it easy until then.

5:30pm: Dr. Checo releases me and says she'll see me next month unless I continue to have severe vomitting. She also suggests I may need to come in once a week for an IV.

6pm: We leave the hospital and I go home. With the IV's out I start to feel a little nauseaus but thankfully don't throw up!!

So we missed Thanksgiving and celebrating with our friends in the DR but they were so kind to send us 3 plates of food! Alan and I put up the tree on Friday, ate our Thanksgiving meal and watched The Family Stone! We were so thankful that our babies are healthy and doing great despite mom's on-going battle!

Home from the hospital with our tree up (courtesy of my mom, now we just need to decorate it!!)

Til next time!
Alan and Jackie

Friday, November 27, 2009

Congrats Roses!

Alan suprised me with roses early one morning... it happened to be the same morning I became 10 days "late." After a trip to the pharmacy for our "pruebas de embarazo" I sat holding a pregnancy stick in my hand wondering if I really could be pregnant or if there were some alternate reason to explain the situation at hand away... I have never really seen a prego test in action before but after reading the directions and the part explaining that it could take up to 2 minutes to develop I thought those might be the 2 longest minutes of my life... well, there was no need to wait, in a matter of 10 seconds we had our answer, though I took a second test "just to be sure!"

How fitting that I took two tests and we're having twins and I was so thankful for my wonderful husband who had an instinct that I might need flowers that day!!
Alan and Jackie

Waiting for Babies!!

Waiting for our babies. That is exactly what we are doing. We found out October 16th that I was pregnant but it wasn't until the 26th at our first U/S that we heard the shocking news... Twins! We wanted to start this blog to keep everyone back home, friends, family, and supporters up-to-date with our pregnancy here in the Dominican!

Much love,
Alan and Jackie