Welcome to Our World

We couldn't be happier to announce the birth of our girls.

Getting ready to head to the Operating Room

Throwing away the monitoring straps
Hearing the first cries








Jane Elizabeth and Clara Mae were born yesterday, both arriving at 11:17 am. Words can't express the feeling of relief and love in hearing their first cries and knowing that they are finally here. Jane weighed in at 3 lbs 12 oz, and Clara at 3 lbs 9.5 oz, so they still have a lot of growing and developing to do, but we are grateful that they are in good hands and doing as well as they are.

Thank you for all the prayers and support! There is no doubt in our mind that this is why everything has gone as well as it has.

With love,

The Jensen Five

For my girls

I can’t believe your big day is finally here.

Someday you will know your story, how you have been prayed for and loved long before you ever came into this world.

As your mother I have humbly watched as so many have already taken an interest in your lives. You are truly being born into a circle of love. My heart is full of gratitude knowing that God has brought you through so much. I’m so eager to hold you and tell you of my love for you and the deep place you already hold in my heart. 

Our last family picture before you join us!
More than anything I want you to know how much we love you. Your dad loves you. Your sister Tillie loves you. We have prayed for you and hoped for you. We have fought for you and will continue to fight for you. There is nothing we wouldn't do for you. 

Life is probably going to be a little crazy over the next few months. The peaceful time we’ve spent as a team--you growing inside me and me out here doing what I can--is soon going to end. Time for reflection and study will be replaced by the intensity of the NICU, and then hopefully daily life as a newborn. We’re both going to learn a lot about that!

Before the whirlwind begins I wanted to write down a few thoughts that are in my heart for both of you. Hopefully these are things I will teach you over your life-- both in how I live, and the words I say.  

I want you to know that:

You are daughters of God. He knows you and loves you. You won’t always be able to see him, but if you learn how to look for him you will see his signature in everything around you. Learn to stay close to him and you will never be alone.

You each have a special purpose for your life on earth. While both of you will have different ways in which you touch the world, your main goal will be to become like Jesus Christ.  It’s not easy, but you don’t need to worry, you will have a lifetime to learn. You won’t be perfect, but God planned for that.

The best guide for your life will be to learn how God speaks to you and how to be fearless in following it.

Your happiness will not come from what the world gives to you, but what you give to the world. Imitating or chasing the world will never leave you fulfilled, only tired.

Unlike seeking the things of the world, when you seek the things of God first and to serve and love those around you, you will find joy and you will be a light to those around you. Life will have meaning and you will find your purpose.

In all you do, the effort you give is more important than whatever outcome you may or may not achieve. The inner qualities you develop will always matter more than recognition from outside sources.


This life is an opportunity to make of it what you will. Trials will help you learn and grow, but never stop dreaming big, taking chances, and expecting great things.

Know that with God on your side you have everything you need.  

I can’t wait to meet you.

Love you forever,

Your mom

Miracles

As I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve been a little reflective the past few days as I think about all the big things coming up. “D-day” is set for Monday, and according to the doctors we are planning for a 1:30pm C-section. It's surreal. It's overwhelming. But it's happening.



One overriding thought has been something I wrote about a month or so ago here; that although faith is not immunity from trials, it is God-backed insurance to get us through them. This has certainly been true for us these last few months.

This has been a trial. The not-knowing, the blood draws, missing the summer, the nights of monitoring, being away from my Tillie, sitting in the same spot almost 24/7 for 8 weeks…and maybe the hardest, still not feeling like I am in control over the outcome.

But even with all of that, I see so clearly how God has led us through all of it. At times I feel as if I can almost literally see His hand, and I can attribute the blessings we've been given to no other source.

Before things get a little crazy I wanted to take a minute to remember the ways in which God has led us through this.  

One blessing is that my perspective of this pregnancy has been shaped by the time it took us to get pregnant with Tillie. I was anticipating another year-long emotional roller-coaster, and never expected that I would get pregnant so quickly this time around (while I was still nursing no less!). I had to see 4 positive pregnancy tests before I let myself get excited and believe that we were really going to have another baby. This wake of happiness helped me find perspective and gratitude in the fact that we were able to conceive at all, despite the complications.  


Another way I have seen God’s hand in this trial is that we live close to arguably the best hospital in the country for Mono-Mono twins. Very few hospitals routinely offer continuous monitoring for babies, as it’s just too time-consuming and costly. I have no doubt this is one of the reasons we were brought to this area. Oh and my room has a killer view.

Another blessing has been a peace that came during the first ultrasound, and has rested in my heart since.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day, lying in the dimly-lit ultrasound room with Tillie strapped into her stroller next to me. After I heard the news that we were having twins, the ultrasound tech placed a towel over the blue gel on my belly, and said words that no expectant mother wants to hear, that she wanted the specialist to come take a look at something. The doctor came in and after looking for what seemed an eternity, said we needed to talk. He carefully explained that with our situation there would only be a 50% chance that the twins would make it to week 24. He went on to explain potential complications and then said, to assure me, that as we were only 10 weeks along abortion was very much an option. While I was shocked to hear him say that, oddly enough as the words came out of his mouth a peace washed over me that hasn't left since. I knew God knew these babies, and I would give them a fighting chance.

Sarah with Tillie last summer
Perhaps one of the biggest blessings was that my sister Sarah was willing and had a perfect window of time to come and watch Tillie for these 8 weeks. She literally came out the week after high school graduation and soon after she leaves will head on a church mission to Taiwan for 18 months.  No one else in my family would have been able to step in, and this trial would have been completely different without her. She loves Tillie as her own, and has gone above and beyond in caring for her in every way. And she just happens to be one of my biggest emotional supports as well. Oh, and a huge surprise was that I had a brother also fly in this week to be here for everything. Another way God has provided in a time when most of my family is far away. 


Another blessing is that summer is the slowest time at Dave’s work. Had my hospital stay been during the spring or fall, Dave would have been traveling out of the state almost weekly.  

We have also been blessed to have a cousin and her family that live in New Haven. She and her husband have been such a huge support in every way. It has been reassuring to know that I have someone so close by, and she’s even introduced me to friends of hers and started a book club where she brings her friends to my hospital room.

I have also been blessed with a huge support group, inside my family and out, including some of the dear nurses here at Yale. It is humbling to number the meals that have been brought to my family at home, the people who have watched Tillie, the visitors, the talks with nurses that have gone far beyond physical care into my emotional and spiritual care, the packages, letters, emails, phone calls, and prayers. And the support and prayers from each of you. Thank you.

So whatever the next month (and especially Monday!) brings, God has truly been good. He has carried us through this trial. He has given us peace. I have seen again that although mortality happens and God does not shield us from trials, when we trust in him he will always provide a way.

xo,

Lizzy

Week 31



Watching all the excitement of the royal baby and anticipating our own arrival has made me pretty giddy today! (As an aside, I am so happy they had a boy and I’m not at risk of having one of our names stolen.) It’s surreal to sit here, officially 50 days into my hospital stay, knowing that in one week I will meet my girls. According to the doctors it looks like their birthday will be July 29th, 2013 (next Monday). It seems impossible that this wild journey is really coming to an end. I have to remind myself that we’re not in the clear, but with so many risks now behind us I can’t help but be grateful and excited.

What do you think, should I announce our babies on a golden easel, maybe at Buckingham Palace?
I won’t bore you with a list of highlights, but something that did make my week was that Dave had a symposium in New Haven so I got to see a lot more of him. Oh and I can’t forget that I was a bit of a movie star--see the picture above (well if being on a hospital promotional video qualifies then I was…though I’m not sure who really watches hospital promotional videos). We did have a little scare as well as one of the babies had a small heart deceleration this week. Luckily it only lasted 20 seconds or so and then everything returned to normal. It made me grateful that the babies have been so good almost the whole time, and that we're so close!

It’s a good thing that this week is the last one—I’m starting to run out of ways to make this experience interesting. (Although I have a feeling that in just 7 days there are going to be plenty of pictures and stories to help shake things up!)

Things I’m going to miss about the hospital:
- I have a housekeeper that comes every day, and even brings me fresh towels.
- I have people on call to do anything I ask, even fill up my water.
- I get personal doctor’s visits every morning just to see if I’m feeling ok.
- I never have to move a muscle or lift a finger, in fact my staff won’t even let me.

But seriously, I’m really going to miss:
- Spending more time with people, rather than doing things. I don’t want to forget this when I get back to all the things that need doing at home.
- Really enjoying the time I get to spend with Tillie Rose and not being distracted with all the things I normally have to do at home.
- My nurses. But I plan on being friends with some of them even when I leave.
- Getting to spend time with my sister. Man I love her.
- Being served. Just kidding, but I have learned so much about real service because of all of you.

So here’s to the last 50 days, and only 7 more to go—and to everyone who has been such a support for us. I wish I could give you each a big hug and thank you for keeping us in your prayers and me positive with texts, messages, packages, and your friendship. There’s no doubt in my mind that we couldn't have done this without all of you.

All my love,

Lizzy

Week 30

Big milestone-we hit week 30! Doesn't that sound so much better than 29? (That’s what I keep telling myself as that I happen to be turning 30 on my next birthday too…) How have I been in here for 6 weeks now?! We are pretty sure we are going to be delivering at 32 weeks, so the countdown really has begun. I am a little nervous for a c-section and can't believe how different this whole birth experience is from my experience with Tillie. But on this one I get a two-for-one deal so maybe it’s worth the trade off!

A few highlights this week:

Had an ultrasound and the babies are weighing in at 3lbs and 3lbs 3oz! That may not sound like much but 3 lbs is a huge milestone. My mental goal is 4 lbs for the girls which will be hard to hit in just two more weeks, but you never know!
This is the face of someone stuck in the hospital a little too long
Had 2 groups of visitors that win the prize for most distance traveled, Michigan and Germany! 
One of my favorite families.  I need to highlight their story here on the Small Seed. The parents are so full of  faith and trust and it just shines in their eyes. While they were visiting the sweet little girl on my right sang "Tis a Gift to Be Simple" for me. For a few minutes it felt like I had an angel in my room.
Pierre and Anna. What a treat to have them up here, and that they would spend an afternoon in a hospital while on vacation to NYC. Two special people. 
This week brought more nursery planning and nesting. You can see some of the prints on this post from yesterday and to celebrate I'll be giving away one of my favorites.

Got to "google hangout" with all my family--spread out between Australia, Utah, Connecticut, Texas, and Arizona. 
Aren't my parents darling? 
Oh, and on the home front my sister Sarah bought a training potty for Tillie, and Tillie totally went in it. I think I may to increase Sarah's salary so she never leaves. 
One of the biggest highlights of every week--spending time with miss Tillie
I can't thank you all enough for the support and prayers over the last 6 weeks. We are so grateful for all of you who have been looking out for me, Tillie Rose, Sarah, Dave and especially these two little ones. 

xo,

Lizzy

29 weeks

29 weeks and feeling fine. Well mostly, besides the fact that our little girls are getting bigger, which means a little less breathing room for me. But bigger is what we're hoping for so that would be a silly thing to complain about.

I had a happy 4th of July, and watched fireworks this week from my window, from my tv, from my iphone, and from the eyes of my little Tillie. Isn't this just the sweetest picture (sorry it's so grainy), and doesn't it just capture childhood wonder? 


The ultrasound got pushed back a week until this Thursday or Friday so no update on the babies' statistics, but hopefully good news this week. 

Other highlights (with more awesome iPhone pics):
- Had Sunday dinner with my angel family up here in New Haven. I have always loved these guys, but didn't know they'd be my saving grace one day. I could go on and on about how they bring me food, have started a book club with their friends so I have something to do up here, tote around 2 kids to come see me in not a super easy parking situation, bring me the sacrament, but then the whole post would be about them and I wouldn't be able to stop.


- Dave's cousin and his family came to visit. I love them. And I could eat up their little daughter. Tell me these two aren't destined to be BFF's? I wish I could have spent the whole weekend with them.


- I woke up to the sweetest note last night from my nurses, congratulating me on making it to 29 weeks. I spend more time with them than anyone else and am going to miss my girls when I leave this place. I think they're not only monitoring my babies' hearts, but mine as well, and have kept me sane and grateful over the past 5 weeks. 


 - Felt so much love with your calls and texts and a few super thoughtful packages (like my friend that made a twin bunny baby kit...two little bunnies with blankets, diapers and a bed so that Tillie can practice her big sister skills. Tillie loves them).

- Had a date night with one of my favorite couples. Pepe's pizza and a double-date chat night are all I need.
- And made it another week. Here's a requested belly shot--kind of hard to see under the dopplers and wires but that's life :)


xo,

Lizzy

Half way there!

Ohhhh we're halfway there (Since writing this post I can't get Bon Jovi out of my mind...)

via
So here is the update—we’re alive, we’re healthy and we’re halfway there!



I had a friend tell me I should be instagramming more, and after looking at the 4 lone pictures I've taken from the whole week I thought--what in the world would I instragram in here? (Plus I have to save up so I can overgram pictures of the girls later!) 

Highlights of the week:
-One of my favorite people from law school who I haven’t kept in great touch with sent me a book of essays about the outdoors to help me cope with being in the same room for over a month. What a sweetheart.  
-Date night with just me and Dave, Pepe’s pizza and a movie double feature. We stayed up too late, and even though I was still being monitored in my hospital bed the whole time, it was a needed “night out.”
-Later tonight we’ll be scheduling the delivery date (!!)
-Sister sleepover with Sarah. I love that girl. We watched our favorite Pride & Prejudice and talked and talked and talked.
-Finally passed my glucose test (after a failed test on Friday and 4 more blood draws).
-I’m up 2 more lbs!
-Words can't do this next one justice. The picture below is of a rug my friend Melissa made me for the girls nursery (and just as reference, this thing is huge! She used one inch cotton cording for the yarn. Amazing). I'd been eyeing one I saw since I had Tillie (with a $900 price tag) and since Melissa crochets she figured out how to crochet it by hand (literally-using her fingers as the crochet hooks) and had some friends pitch in for the yarn/rope. It's gorgeous and it's massive, and it's possibly the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for me. (Oh and to top it off she was only 3 weeks away from a cross country move when she tackled this project). Total Angel.


-Learned the lullaby written for William and Katherine’s royal baby on the ukulele.
-Skyped with my parents on their first day in Australia, I think I teared up 14 times. They look so good.
-Got a package filled with inspirational quotes and scriptures to hang in my room. Where do people come up with such sweet ideas?!


-And my favorite moment of the week, finding Tillie's little jelly shoe where she had left it in my toiletry bag. I may have teared up again. I can't imagine having two more girls that I love this much (maybe it helps that I haven't had to change diapers any diapers for a month now :) 

I better stop there so you all don't get too jealous of my life here. And just for those of you who think I should be instagramming, here are a few shots of my life.. 


The calendar the sweet nurses made for me. One month down!!


What the heart rate monitor looks like. I am curious how many rolls of paper we've already been through.

And that pretty much wraps it up!

Thanks for all the faith and prayers that have got us to this point. We couldn't be doing it without you.

xo,

Lizzy
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