Monday, July 25, 2011

Mommy's got a boo boo

Your mother is an amazing woman. She's so thoughtful. All the time, thinking of others. She's very independent. That makes it even harder to see her in pain. Since we discovered we were expecting you guys, we found out Mommy had a boo boo in her throat. It's on what's called her thyroid. If you don't know what that is, Google it. Or whatever you kids will be doing in 5 years. Or better yet, ask me or Mommy. You can always come to us. She went to the doctor on Monday and she had to get a shot. Not fun but the shot will be important in telling how bad it is. The doctor sent her to another doctor on Tuesday. This one will keep an eye on things while you guys are growing to make sure the boo boo doesn't get too big. He took measurements of the boo boo and she had to get another shot so they can look at her blood.

She has what's called a "Nodule" on her thyroid. The doctor she saw Monday is a surgeon. He will take out the bad stuff when it's time. We're going to wait until after you guys are here before he takes anything out if we can. We're trying to keep you guys as healthy as possible. We're also doing what's best for Mommy. We need her healthy and happy. I will do whatever I have to, to make sure that happens. It's just hard sometimes listening to the doctors when they tell you the best thing to do is wait. We all want results now. It's our nature as people but patience is a virtue. Romans 8:25. We're on God's time.

We all go through things in life. Sickness, financial trouble, loss of loved ones, etc. Only one thing that I've found can solve your troubles. Faith in God and prayer. He brought me and Mommy together. He's blessed us with your brothers and you. He gave us both a family that believes in Him. We've made it this far and we'll make it as far as He wants us to go. It's His path that we're taking. In His time. I hope one day you will trust in Him as we do. I promise that I'll do my best to keep you on the right track. Follow Him. He knows where to lead you.

The doctors don't want to give Mommy medicine right now because it could affect you guys. They have to be careful to make sure that these medicines won't hurt you. So as long as the "nodule" isn't too bad, we'll get Mommy all fixed up once you guys are here. If it is worse than what we believe it is, we'll go ahead and get her fixed up with you guys still in her belly. Either way, I trust God will protect you and Mommy. 2 Corinthians 5:7.

I'll keep writing these posts to you guys so you will know all of the highs and all of the lows we go through on the path to bringing you into the world. It won't always be fun and games. It won't always be sad either. I promise, though, it'll be from the heart. Some of our greatest challenges teach us the greatest lessons and often draw us closer to God. See you soon at the next ultrasound. You could always wave to Daddy if you want. That would be cool. Oh and if you hear Mommy giving Daddy too much grief, feel free to kick her. Much love, Daddy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wish you were here!

I love vacations. Not just because I don't have to work. I love spending time with family. We couldn't really afford to splurge on a trip to the beach this year. Not with you two on the way. We made the best of what we have right here at home. We live in what I believe to be the best part of the country. Right at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We have fished, hiked, camped, and been swimming almost every day. I taught your big brother Isaiah to swim under water. Your other big brother sure enjoyed camping. The fish count this week has been Me: 2, Jay: 6, and Isaiah: 1. Mommy won't fish. She says it's because she's a girl. I know that if one or both of you are girls, you will want to fish with Daddy. We'll have so much fun.

Mommy had to work this week. She doesn't get as much time off as I do. She's saving up her time for when you're born. I'm so proud of her. She works so hard. Not just at her job but here at home. She's the glue in our family. I've really enjoyed getting to wear a t-shirt and shorts this week. I wear a tie and dress pants when I need to or have to but I'm more of a jeans and baseball cap kind of guy. Wearing them right now.

Since your Mom and I have been together, we've taken trips all over. One place we haven't been together to yet is Disney World. I have been 4 times and your brothers have both been. Mommy hasn't yet. We'll have to wait until you're here to even think about going now. So don't worry. I know how much you'll love it there. All kids do. You really have to grow a little bit to appreciate it. By the time you can read this, it'll be about the right time to go. I'm already looking forward to it.

There have been moments of stress this week. I'm not going to lie. On the camping trip with me and Jay, we forgot pillows, a pan for breakfast, and a flashlight. We were fine though. Isaiah didn't really care for the hike back from Laurel Falls but he made it. I'm really sore from everything but I'll live. I like to live with a sense of adventure. I like to do what I've never done. I like to go where I haven't been. I hope you will be the same way. You can do this and stay grounded. Remember your roots. Sometimes your biggest adventures can be within a day's drive. Get out and explore.

Daddy loves you and will never take a vacation from that. I'm patiently waiting for you guys to get here. I'm golfing tomorrow. Church on Sunday. Back to work on Monday. Not too much longer and we'll know if we're having sons, daughters, or one of each! Regardless though, we'll have fun. We'll get our hands dirty. We'll explore. We'll laugh. We'll cry. We'll play. Most importantly, we'll do it together. A family. I can't promise not to forget the pillows ever again. But I will say, Isaiah's life jacket wrapped in an Elmo towel worked just fine. At least I wasn't in a tie.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sitting here thinking...

Hey guys. I'm sitting here writing this while you are tucked away in sleeping mommy's belly. I just felt like talking to you. Tell you some words of advice that I plan to. Tomorrow isn't promised. "James 4:14" Be happy. Be what you want to be with good intentions. I don't believe any life is wasted. Make yours something special. Even if it's simple. Make it yours. Be faithful. The straight path is always best. We all stray from it. Just always know where it is. Let God guide you. Be honest. A liar never succeeds. What you do comes back to you. Be nice. Nice people enjoy life a little more. Don't hold grudges. You can't be happy if you do. Think of you. Be respectful. Most of all, to your mother. A good mother sacrifices so much for their children. Your mommy is a great one. Be grateful. Gratitude is totally underrated. We can all be rich. You can make more or want less. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, and never let your pants sag... yada yada yada. I probably lost you at hey guys. But.. the great equalizer. One day when you have kids. You will offer some advice to your children. Then you will know. I love you guys. I'm joining you in peaceful sleep now. I'm so grateful. Goodnight.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Twin A and Twin B

We've been waiting not so patiently for this next doctor's visit. It's finally here. I have the next week off. A little "staycation". I left work at 2 to make it to the baby doctor's office by 3. I beat my wife there by 30 minutes. Can you tell that I'm excited?!? We get to have another ultrasound today. This is the appointment where they screen for any possible problems in the womb. We've been told that in addition to the ultrasound, they'll take some blood. They'll probably check Karyn's weight, etc. I'm hoping to hear a couple little heartbeats and maybe score another picture of the growing Smith twins. We'll call them "Twin A" and "Twin B" for today. I was going to call them "Walker" and "Texas Ranger" but I got "The Look" from Mommy. A and B it is.

We arrived in the office at 2:59. Seated in an empty waiting room with pictures of babies on the walls. Mostly Anne Geddes type pictures but "JDavis photography". A t.v. on the wall playing Dr. Phil. Luckily we weren't in there very long before they sent us back to the ultrasound room. Once in there, they had Karyn lay back on the table and squirted about 8 gallons of lube on her belly.

We spent about 25 minutes looking at the babies via the ultrasound. Twin A was a lot more cooperative than Twin B. Which I found odd considering Twin B got the top bunk. The ultrasound tech took measurements of both babies. She said that they measure the skin on the back of their necks, heartbeats, and length. They send the blood work off to be compared with the data from the ultrasound. That's how they determine the risk percentage. The nurse said the measurements look good and are normal. We'll have to wait 7-10 days for the results to come back for the blood work. Good news so far! God is great!!

I asked the nurse if we're having boys or girls or one of each. She didn't know (of course) but said we may not have to wait the full 20 weeks that most people do. Since we're having twins, we get to have ultrasounds more frequently. She said we may be able to know at 16 or 17 weeks if they cooperate. We got to hear their little heartbeats. Twin A was at 178 and Twin B at 173. The race is on! I asked about the location of the babies in my wife. Twin A is low and toward the back. Twin B is up and toward the front. They both look like me.
Our next appointment will be in 4 weeks for blood test, weight, etc. Then 4 weeks after that is when we're supposed to do the ultrasound that will tell us he/she. That doesn't really line up with us finding out sooner than most people so there may be another ultrasound in a month. I hope! Until then, we'll keep feeding them well and we'll keep everyone posted.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sweet Caroline

Ok. Ok. It's probably way too early to be discussing baby names. I mean, we don't even know the sexes of the twins yet. That's not going to stop us from preparing. We've talked about girl names more than boy names. Just because we've researched boy names before. My son Jason was, of course, named after me. Just different middle names. Isaiah was name after my two favorite bible verses. Isaiah 40:31 & Luke 4:8. A lot of thought went into both. In the end they had to have meaning. The names of the twins will as well. For a girl, Karyn really wants her and her mom's middle name in there somewhere. Lynn. I like it as a middle name. Not so much as a first name. She likes Victoria as a first name. I like Caroline. Our most recent couples getaway was in Charleston, South Carolina. The twins may not have been conceived there but it was a very special trip for us. We both like Victoria Caroline. It sounds pleasant. It rolls off the tongue. Then Lynn would be missing. If we have two girls, the process gets a little easier. We could name one Victoria Caroline and one could keep the family name going. Kaye is my mom's & sister's middle name. They may fight someone over this name not being used somewhere.

If we were to have a boy, we would almost certainly put her dad's name in there somewhere. Thomas is a good name. It would most likely be a middle name if we did it. Her dad and brother share that name already. Things could get real confusing, real fast. Allan is her dad's middle name so we could always use that one instead. I'm 50/50 on using my middle name for my son. It's Howard. It's a family name. It's my Grandmother's maiden name, my dad's middle name, and my middle name. I'm not a huge fan of the name but it is very important to me. I would want it to be a middle name. At least my child wouldn't have to grow up in the shadow of the movie "Howard The Duck". Talk about bully material. I did, however, learn to do the Howard the Duck dance. Chicks dig the dance.

You have to remember when you name your child (children), they will carry these names with them for the rest of their lives. Unless of course they become rich and famous and decide to change it to something like "Ocho Cinco". If my child were to do that, I would drive all the way across the country if needed. Just to slap them upside the head. I hope to raise my children with a sense of family, purpose, and direction. I don't think changing your name to something flashy to get attention demonstrates any of those qualities.

We have plenty of time to discuss and decide. Besides, Karyn will be so "doped up" at the time of delivery, I could name one of the twins "Bartholomew Spam Smith" and she probably wouldn't notice until much later. This step in the process shows just how much responsibility goes into parenting. Karyn had said that she likes the name Lexus. Like the car. I don't know any upstanding members of society named Lexus. I can imagine a girl never getting daddy's approval, dancing for dollars. We want to avoid that at all cost. No car names for my little girl. She already has daddy's approval and mommy's ability to completely occupy my thoughts.

After all of this consideration, we better have at least one girl. Boy names are becoming harder and harder to come up with. Maybe we could name one "Dodge Hemi". I don't think he would ever get picked on. He may, however, leak oil from time to time. Man, this daddy stuff sure is fun.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Karyn went to the doctor yesterday. I didn't feel like I needed to attend due to the nature of the visit. It was a pap smear. I've been there before for that so I know how it goes. The husband sits up at the wife's head while the Dr. makes sure everything is good to go "down there". He'll talk to her about women issues and usually not much about the baby (babies in our case).
The appointment we have on July 15 is to be about the babies. That's when we elected to do the "genetic" test. If you don't know what that is, it predicts if the children will have any medical conditions. Things that "special needs" children have. This isn't the invasive kind. This is just a finger prick and an ultrasound. There's a lot of debate about people doing the test. Some couples elect for abortion if they think the child won't be perfect in their eyes. I won't go into the politics of it here but understand, that's not us. We just want to be as prepared as possible for these little bundles of joy. I digress. The appointment yesterday was supposed to just be about the GYN stuff. The doctor did check everything. Everything seems baby x2 ready. Then the part that pains me to say. She got to hear their hearts beat. One at a time! One was faster than the other so maybe one girl and one boy? :)
I'm so jealous. I don't want to miss a thing. It gives me chills thinking about these little growing babies. 10 weeks from conception. Already swimming around hearts a poundin'. What an amazing miracle this is. I'm very happy Karyn got to hear them. I just wish I had known I could have too.

The doctor said Karyn's thyroid is swollen or has a lump on it. She has lost 5 lbs in 2 weeks. He initially thought the weight loss was from her getting sick at night. She told him that she gets nauseous but doesn't actually throw up. That's when he checked her thyroid. He said she needs to get it checked and we've made her an appointment for tomorrow July 8 for an ultrasound on her throat. Say a prayer all goes well. I know it will. That's the great thing about faith. Believing. Knowing. God is great.

They bumped her due date up from February 5, 2012 to February 2, 2012 but the doctor said if we make it to January, we'll be like "YAY!". If we get that far, any visits to the hospital for labor pains will mean "go time". Before that they will make every attempt to stop the labor since the babies would be premature. (Note from Daddy to babies: Take your time. It's not that great out here. We'll have plenty of time together. I'll keep sending good food your way via mommy's mouth. Love ya!) So that gives us a bit of a time frame. Exciting news! Oh, and I will get to hear those heartbeats next appointment. Oh yes I will.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

If momma ain't happy...

I've been wanting to share some thoughts on my wife's progress but haven't really known what to say. How do you describe the magic of pregnancy? I'm only looking at it through another's eyes. I'm not qualified to tell you how she feels. I can only tell you how I think she feels. That's what this blog is about. How I see things developing. I want you to see her from my eyes. I do want to tell you what I think I see. Don't shoot me if I say something that I shouldn't. I usually do.

I'm a grown man so let's be honest here. When a woman is pregnant, nobody wants to hear how Daddy is doing. He's not the one with humans growing in him. I'm a reasonable guy and I can understand that. I have great respect for a woman's ability to do this fantastic thing. This miracle. Us guys will never understand the responsibility, the bond, the incredible journey that a mother and child travel. We can only hope to be supportive. I want to talk about Mommy.

Karyn is a fantastic wife and mother. She is my rock. She's the sensible one. I can tell she's nervous and uncomfortable and tired. She's holding up well though. It's been almost 2 weeks since we were last at the doctor's office. She has an appointment tomorrow but I don't think it's one that I care to attend. There are a couple of those. Any daddy will tell you that. This won't be one of the glamorous ultrasound appointments. Nope. Anyway, we hope to hear how she's gaining the good kind of weight and that she's plenty hydrated. She'll need twice the amount of blood in her body as she would normally carry around. It takes a lot of water to make that happen. We've tried to keep her out of the sun as much as possible. Over the 4th of July weekend, we spent quite a bit of time outdoors. I could tell, at times, Karyn was drained. We tried to take short trips and keep her in the shade as much as possible. She's a very independent soul and doesn't want to seem like a bother. She doesn't see herself like we see her. I know how I feel when I look at her. I see how my sons look at her. An expecting mother is something very special. There's nothing more precious. She's always a gift to me but I see it now more than ever.

Had the idea to ask Mommy a couple questions and put it here.

Me: How do you feel?

Karyn: Physically: Tired... I get wore out quickly and feel I'm holding others up. I went to Kroger the other day on lunch to grab a couple things. I've done it a million times with twice the list and no problems. But by the time I got back to my car, I was out of breathe and had to sit for a minute. I'm the get it and go type, and don't even think about stopping me in my tracks. So there's nothing more frustrating right now. Emotionally: Stressed out. We're having to adjust in every area of our lives; so as much as I'd like, I don't see the end in sight. I'm also nervous. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know risks are higher with 2. All I can do is pray.

Me: How are things different this time from last pregnancy?

Karyn: I was never sick the first time. I had it pretty easy. I randomly get nauseous now. I was also planning for 1, not 2, so my thought process wasn't as focused on price.

Me: What's something you would want to say to the babies right now?

Karyn: Hurry up! Seriously though, I can't wait to meet you and I hope I am taking good care of you. As crazy as things have been; I know without a doubt it will be more than worth it. I just hope it is just as much for you too. I hope I will be able to provide everything you need and deserve.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day 2011

What a special Independence Day we have this year with two more children on the way. Time to make more memories. Looking back over my life, I always recall the 4th of July fondly. I remember cookouts with family, trips to the beach, concerts, among so many other things. Other than football in the Fall, this is the best time of the year. A time to relax, reflect, and redirect my focus. There are certain events that stick out in my mind. A tornado in Myrtle Beach. A trip to Universal Studios Orlando. Many things come to mind when I look back on this holiday.

I celebrate my anniversary at my job on July 5th. True story; I was unemployed when I married Karyn. We had met at GMAC, taking and making collections calls. We sat right across from each other and were polar opposites. I was loud and outgoing. Karyn was kind of quiet and reserved. We started as friends. I would have done anything for her and she would have me. We had each other's back. When we decided to actually date, we had to find employment elsewhere. Too much drama in an office. Too many strains on a budding relationship. She was hired at State Farm. I realized once she left GMAC, I wasn't that happy there. It wasn't the job that I loved. I needed a fresh start too. I had already proposed to her and we had a date set. I turned in my 2 week notice. I sent out my resume to several potential employers but there was one job that I wanted. I had heard Karyn talk up the benefits her brother had received while there. I knew it took a little time to get hired on. It took me a month. I had saved some money up and was living off of that until someone hired me. I got the call and have been there 6 years. We were married June 24th and my first day was July 5th. As long as we have been married. Moral of the story? Just because he's unemployed, doesn't (always) mean he's a bum.

One more memory...
Last year on July 4th, my leg was broken. Karyn was in charge of the fireworks. We always buy a few that really shouldn't be shot in a neighborhood like ours. There are so many houses in close proximity. I realize that, but my inner 8 year old is very loud. My wife lit the first few with no trouble and more than just a few neighbors came out to watch. She lit one that wasn't secured and it fell over on its side. Fire shot out of it and hit the empty house being sold next door. Sparks flew everywhere. The second blast lit the neighbors yard on fire. I was on crutches but managed to hop toward the water hose. Karyn turned it on. The neighbors two doors down helped extinguish the blaze. All ended well and the fire department didn't have to come. This year we decided to go with a much smaller pyrotechnics display and since Karyn is in a "compromised" state, I got to take back over. The guy who lives in the house now probably has no idea of the assault. Probably best.

We shot fireworks, hung out with friends, shopped, grilled out, swam at the Y, and went to Gatlinburg. All these things feel so American. That's the main thing about the 4th, Independence Day. That we remember this great country. The freedoms we have. The country that allows us to meet at a job, get married, and raise a family together. The freedom to pray, take picnics, swim in a mountain stream, and watch our children grow in an environment without persecution. The freedom to leave one job and start another. The freedom to catch your neighbor's yard on fire. Wait, that may be against the law. Whatever. Happy Independence Day. I love my country. God Bless America.