Mama Bear

I never truly understood how opinionated people can be about your life until we got pregnant and had kids.  I mean, from family and friends to even perfect strangers on the street!  Of course we saw it a little with the infertility and inappropriate comments that were made.  You wouldn’t believe what we heard…and 90% of the time from people who had NO idea what they were talking about.  (Did you know that if you stand on your head while drinking kool-aid and burning incense and you never EVER stress then ALL of your fertility problems will magically disappear like your neighbor’s brother’s friend’s cousin twice removed?)  The “mom shaming” nowadays is out of control!  It seems that no matter what you do, people think you’re totally doing it wrong.

Ryan will tell you that i’m an OBSESSIVE researcher.  When we PCS or or look at career/school changes, and especially with infertility/pregnancy and the babies I have to read everything there is to know!  Of course, i’m not the expert on any of these subjects,  and babies don’t always fit the mold from books (shocker!)  but I fully believe that “Knowledge is power” so we take what I read and we made informed and educated decisions based on that information.

“Words of affirmation” has always been my primary love language.  I’m lifted up and truly feel like someone cares when they speak positively about me or those that I love.  On the flip side, this can be dangerous for someone like me to deal with the judgments and negativity that seems like is everywhere in this world.  I constantly internalize most of it and it’s often made me second guess my decisions.  It’s been a learning process to not let other’s negative opinions and comments affect me.

That’s where the Mama Bear Melissa comes in to play.  Everyone has an opinion on what we’re doing wrong: You shouldn’t vaccinate, or you need to let them CIO, or you need to stop breastfeeding and give them formula.  Enter Mama Bear!  For the first time in my life I feel such an intense need to protect our perfectly innocent babies from the world and I have the faith that the decisions that Ryan and I have made are appropriate for our family that I don’t much care for what others think of us.  I don’t need to change my mind because someone doesn’t agree or questions our motives behind our decisions.  There were only 2 people that created these babies (okay, minus the medical team’s assistance!) and we’re the only 2 that get the vote.  I’ve had my doubts as a mom, as i’m sure we all do at one point or another, but deep down I feel that i’m truly doing the best that I can and I pray that L & E will see this as they grow.

We never really had the support that we desired when going through anything that we’ve faced (good or bad) so it’s crazy to me when people show up when the cute, cuddly, attention getting babies arrive.  Don’t get me wrong, it hurt us a lot when people weren’t more involved when we were broken-hearted that we couldn’t conceive, or when I had problems or scares with the pregnancy, and especially after they were born…  We still have “close” friends and family that have not met our babies or who haven’t gotten to know how wonderfully amazing they are!  But it always seems that people don’t want to be present in your pain, but want to reap the benefits afterward.  I just always pray that any person entering my children’s lives has pure motives and won’t hurt my children later by walking back out.  My latest fear is the internet.  After seeing a few friends with crazy instances of their kids’ pictures being exploited, it’s so hard to be okay with social media.  I’m constantly torn between wanting to share in our joys and for our long distance family in Maine to see our babies and wanting to run screaming from the internet!  I know that we’ll still make mistakes along the way, I mean we’re not perfect after all.  However, we’re doing our best in the best way we know how to protect our family!

Fierce Mama Bear Melissa ❤


Fall Fun 2016 – First Pumpkin Patch

On October 15th, we took our first family outing to the local Pumpkin Patch at Madrac Farms.  We got dressed up in fall clothes and pretended that it wasn’t crazy muggy outside.  The South doesn’t exactly get a “Fall” or Autumn, but we were determined to have fun anyway.  We carried the babies around with us, got a couple of cute photo opportunities and even picked out some pumpkins to carve/write their names on.  Of course, we were stopped a lot by just about everyone telling us how adorable our babies are, but we never get tired of hearing that!  It’s definitely a neat thing about being twin parents and you always seem to run into EVERYONE else who happens to be twin parents.

The babies had a blast because they love being outside and there were so many new sights, sounds, and smells to take in.  Overall, it was a super fun afternoon and we were so excited to finally have our own little family to go on little adventures!  After praying for so long and wondering if we’d ever get these simple family adventures these moments are even more special to us!  We have so much to be thankful for as we head into Fall/Winter and the Holiday season. 🙂

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Grim Twins ~ Weeks 25-26

How far along? 25-26 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 24ish pounds…gaining nice and steady and doc says i’m right on track:)
Maternity clothes? Exclusively (other than Daddy’s shirts to sleep in that I can still fit into ;0)
Stretch marks? A few small ones…we’ll see if I can keep it that way 😉
Sleep: I wake up/roll around a LOT, so I end up napping almost every day now. The usual: About 6-7 hours a night then 1-2 naps a week.
Best moment this week: Both of our amazing baby showers!!!  1) Ryan’s stepmom (along with my mom and Noel) threw us a “Thing 1, Thing 2” shower at her house with some of Ryan’s side of the family, my work friends and a special teacher of mine from High School.  We had so much fun and felt so loved and spoiled!  The baby gifts took up my whole trunk/back seat as well as Mom’s car so we were definitely spoiled!  2) Mom threw us a “Noah’s Ark” shower back home in Maine.  This was so special and important to me since my Maine family never gets to be a part of anything in my life.  My Grammy Smith was even there so I got a picture of 4 generations!!!  It meant the world to me!  I can’t ever thank Mom enough (and Dad for his help) for going home and throwing the shower for us!  We had a blast and Logan & Emma were spoiled once more and we got some Maine/Boston team specific gifts and books that were awesome!
Speaking of Maine, it was sooooo great to be able to go home for a week.  It’s getting harder and harder to live away from home in the military life and it was so great and relaxing to unwind and visit some of our favorite spots.  We also got to take Emma & Logan to their first Red Sox game at Fenway (in the pouring rain) and to get pictures in front of Gillette Stadium.  It was a wonderful, perfect week and we’re even more excited about going home at Christmas/New Year’s for their baby dedication and introduce them to the best place on Earth!
Miss Anything?  Not really.  I LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  They are getting more and more powerful and Daddy has felt some pretty strong kicks!  Logan & Emma have even started making my belly move which is so cool to see.   Daddy and I get a kick out of watching them play and move.  It’s sooo amazing to feel.
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Craving sammiches, french fries (potato anything) and fried pickles still.  LoL  Oh, and horchata.:)  NO real aversions.
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  A little bit of back pain and quite a bit of stretching sensations and soreness.  I did well on the drives too and from Maine until the last few hours when i’d start to get really sore and uncomfortmable.  Daddy drove the whole way which made it a lot easier for Mommy.  We are excited that the next big road trip will have 2 babies with us (outside of Mommy)!
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  NO!  My body is still doing what it needs to and everything has looked great.  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two :)  I started to have braxton hicks contractions a few weeks ago, but they’re pretty sporadic.
Wedding rings on or off? On, except for at night because my hands swell more then.  A few times during the day i’ve had to take my rings off for a little while.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still:)  I do get emotional, but i’ve been mostly happy
Looking forward to:  Maternity pictures!! 🙂  I haven’t set them up but i’m so excited to document this journey 🙂  Also, our final, 3rd Trimester 3D ultrasound is coming up!  Then we get to finish off the registries and get the nursery set up for real!  After that: it’s the countdown to the birth!

Grim Twins – Weeks 19 & 20

How far along? 19-20 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 11 pounds…holy cow i’m going to be huge!:)
Maternity clothes? Exclusively (other than Daddy’s shirts ;0)
Stretch marks? A few small ones
Sleep: Sleep has been difficult with my pulled muscle in my neck. 😦 The usual: About 8 hours a night but VERY interrupted.
Best moment this week: Getting to see them on our Anatomy/Anomaly Scan.  We had a big scare with an enlarged kidney for Logan (could be a sign of Downs, or plumbing problems or be absolutely nothing) and an enlarged Nuchal Fold for Emma (5.29 mm when it should be under 5, also a sign of Downs).  We are praying that God keeps them both healthy though and believing that He still has his hands on them!!  Still, it was amazing to see them and hear their precious heartbeats again…it never gets old!
Miss Anything?  Not really.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  Starting to feel them more and more.  Daddy is feeling a little bit but they like to stop when he puts his hands on my belly. 😦 ALready playing games with Daddy.
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Craving french fries (potato anything) and fried pickles still.  LoL  NO real aversions.
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  A little bit of back pain and quite a bit of stretching sensations and soreness
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  NO!  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two :)
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still 🙂  I do get emotional, but i’ve been mostly happy
Looking forward to:  Baby Showers!!!!  And our Baby-Moon back home in Maine.  I’m so excited that it’s finally our turn 🙂

Boys, Girls, or Both?!?!

This week (17 Weeks 3 Days) we had a special “fun” ultrasound gender scan with our doctor.  Daddy was supposed to deploy this Spring with his unit so our doctor told us he’d do a special scan just so that we could find out the sexes before he left. (Did I mention we ADORE our doc??)  I haven’t been this anxious since waiting for our first ultrasound to see if we were having twins and praying like crazy that they were both still “sticking” around!  Still NOTHING like waiting for the Beta test!!!!  It was pretty exciting though knowing that it couldn’t end in bad news. 🙂  Once you’ve struggled with infertility you can’t help but get nervous before appointments and ultrasounds, but now that I have my trusty heart rate monitor and I’m starting to feel the babies throughout the day my worry has GREATLY decreased.

We arrived at the doctor’s office shortly before my 3:30 appt and the office was slammed!  The sonographer is only there 1 day a week and they were closed the week of St. Patrick’s Day (love that it’s a holiday).   We had to wait until almost 4 for the ultrasound and our nerves were killing us by the time we got called back! Haha  Apparently the don’t know that I am the LEAST patient person on the planet and infertility only made it worse not better.  After going through the routine and getting everything set up, our sonographer asked if we wanted the sexes listed in an envelope or if we wanted to know.  We both were like “HECK NO!  The patience is gone!”  Haha  It’s a good thing too, because our sweet “Baby A”, let us know about two seconds after she put the wand on my belly.  No shyness whatsoever (takes after Daddy already)!  Haha  “Baby B” had to make things  a bit more interesting (must take after Mommy) and was being a little shy and stubborn.  Baby was hiding behind my belly button and I had to roll over to my side twice before we could get the right look.  Definitely made for a fun story for later though!!  Also, both babies are still looking great and their heartbeats were both at 156…nice and strong! 🙂  Doc ran the “quad screen” bloodwork to make sure that we’re not at risk for Down’s, etc.  We already know that we don’t have to worry about any genetic diseases because we were tested prior to beginning our fertility procedures.

Since our families are so spread out (Maine/NY/NC/Florida) we couldn’t do a gender reveal party and have everyone there, so we decided to skype the grandparents, call everyone else (aunts/uncles/great grandparents) and then post a video to social media.  Minus the fact that it took us WAY longer to accomplish this than expected, it worked out great!  Our pictures are below.

We were so very excited to find out that Baby A: is a BOY!!!!  And Baby B: is a GIRL!!!!  We are being blessed with one of each!! 🙂  We couldn’t be more thrilled and it makes it that much more real and exciting to know the genders and put names to our sweet babies. 🙂  We picked out names 4 years ago when we were still engaged and Ryan was downrange on his first 12 month deployment.  We went through a book called “1001 Questions to ask before you get married” (which I HIGHLY recommend to dating/engaged couples), and in the section discussing kids we got on the topic and fell in LOVE with these names.  It’s still a little strange to be sharing our secret with the world.  The names have come to mean SO very much more to us after our journey with infertility though and have truly learned to lean on God’s understanding and not on our own.

  • Our “Baby A”: is Logan Connor Grim. It’s a Scottish/Irish name meaning wise. We chose Proverbs 3:5-6 for his verse, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make straight your paths.”
  • Our “Baby B”: is Emma Riley Grim. Her name is English & Irish and it means whole and courageous. We chose Psalm 27:14 for her verse, “Wait on the Lord: Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

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Team Grim

I recently changed the name of the blog to “Team Grim” since this has really become more of a place for my family than for just me and my thoughts.  When I originally started my blog it was to get out some of my thoughts and feelings about my husband’s (then boyfriend) first year long deployment.  Now it has become a way to document some of our life together and the excitement/difficulties that we face.  “Team Grim” was started as a bit of a cute name for ourselves when we got married and stuck when we started running our obstacle course races together.  I truly believe that marriage makes you a team and that has never been more apparent than it has in the past year-ish of our lives and dealing with infertility, but i’ll share more on that later.

As most people do, we had a lot thrown at us in our first year of marriage and even a bit prior to our wedding.  Surprisingly to some though, there were never issues between the two of us.  Ryan was gone for a total of about 9 of our first 15 months of marriage.  We started PCS-ing (permanently relocating for those non-military friends) about a month in and he had several schools to attend in order to be spun up for a new unit.  That led to multiple TDY’s, schools and a deployment to close out the year.  On top of that we had a few very painful family situations relating to both health and relationships that gave us no choice but to learn to depend on each other and God.

I truly believe that our relationship has been made easier by keeping God at the center of our marriage.  We prepared a lot for our marriage beforehand and I prayed often for my future husband before we ever started dating.  I’m a firm believer that everyone should spend considerably more time preparing for the marriage than for the wedding (as beautiful, magical and fun as ours was).  Recently we’ve been told by a few people, who we respect dearly, that we should start training/outreach to other married couples.  While I think we still have a lot to learn about marriage ourselves, this truly touched me to hear that people believe that we are on the right track and have something to give back to others.  With me as the aspiring counselor, who knows what may be in store for our future 🙂

“I’m a firm believer that everyone should spend considerably more time preparing for the marriage than for the wedding.”

I don’t say any of the above to brag on us as people, but to demonstrate how much God can lead a marriage when you continuously give it over to Him.  I want to be a testament to others that marriage can be wonderful and fulfilling!  There is no way that we would be this strong and still so much in love were it not for His love and guidance.  We are still learning every day to trust in Him as we face the most difficult journey of all so far, but we wholeheartedly believe that He will give us the desires of our hearts.  As a dear family friend and former teacher reminded us this week that faith is what it takes:

“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20