Cassie Shepherd

May 14, 2013

My Bridge

A few months ago I told my mom I felt as if Mitch and I have been on a wooden bridge crossing from one green pasture to the next. Each board that has been laid down has represented accomplishments - getting into PA school, moving to Georgia, various jobs, graduating school, ect. During the "scary weeks" of my pregnancy I explained Mitch and I only had three boards left; having a successful pregnancy, graduating PA school, and starting Mitch's career in the working field. Then I could breath a sigh of relief, sleep a little easier, and step onto our green pasture beginning a new chapter in our lives.

My pregnancy is great. Sure, there are some minor areas that are bothersome--heartburn, shortness of breath, and an ever enlarging belly that makes for awkward movements while getting dressed and putting shoes on. For someone as emotional as I am, I pictured my pregnant self high strung and constantly teary eyed. There are days where I am no doubt irritable and may exaggerate my emotions. However, I feel like I've handled my hormones well and haven't been as "crazy" as I thought I would be. There was a short period of depression, but all I needed was some extra support to pull me out of my funk and move on with life. I've done just that and overall I am really happy.

This was at about 19 weeks.
I'm 21 now so I probably don't look too different.
At 16 weeks we were about 80% sure we were having a boy and a girl. Perfect! Don't you remember me saying how I knew there was a boy in there? "Every instinct from day one has been a boy."

Mother's intuition was right -- wrong!
No boys. All girls.
100% from our ultrasound tech and then again from our twin specialist doctor, the periantologist.

Baby A is on the top
Baby B is on the bottom
The right photos are revealing the gender.
You can see three distinct lines in each photo - this means girls! 
This is Baby B at about 20 weeks.
Both babies measured about the size of a banana. 
Was I disappointed? You bet. I never cried or felt I was any less attached. But, it wasn't easy to accept there wasn't even one boy. To ease the disappointment my mom took me shopping. I must say, it is too easy to love pretty much every little thing for girls. And, guess what? If I love a dress...I get to buy two of the same dress because, yes, I will be a twin mom who matches their girls until they won't let me match them anymore.

Their first dresses! I bought them for next Spring/Summer.
In the beginning, twin girls = drama is all I could focus on. And, to be honest, I am still working on trying to change my mindset on this. I'm not going to be naive and expect them to be drama free, but I've come to realize it is what we make of it. I've found a lot of support from a local on-line twin mom's group. I asked those with twin girls to list their favorite things about their girls and my mind has truly started to shift.

While there were many great responses, I've found the most comfort in learning to focus on the type of relationship that is shared between twins. I think most of us can agree that girls are more emotional than boys. And, while of course high emotions are what create drama - it is also the source by which strong emotional bonds are formed. Sisters share some of the closest relationships and when you combine that with having twins that are sisters, I can only imagine they'll share a connection that very few will be able to understand -- including myself.

Shortly after we found out about the babies being two girls, I had a very strong impression these spirits were supposed to come to this world together. These girls are going to need each other. Experiencing these thoughts helped me realize that focusing on the drama was counterproductive. Our Father in heaven has a greater plan in store and worrying about dramatic twins is, frankly, probably not that big of a concern.

On a different note, I can feel both babies really well now. Their kicks are much stronger. Last night I could feel Baby B kick through three layers of clothing. I can also distinctly tell their kicks apart - they're always on different sides of my body so it is pretty obvious. Also, a lot of people have asked us about names - we aren't sure. I have two that I really like, but Mitch hasn't given much input. We haven't really sat down and talked about it. I think that'll naturally fall into place as it draws closer.

Our nursery is also in the works. The wayne's coating and painting are completely done which is all the hard work. We have all the furniture assembled and it looks great. We still need mattresses, ect. but I am going to wait until after all my showers to buy anything else. We'll finish that part up in June/July so we are completely ready. To be honest, we probably won't even use the nursery that much in the beginning months. It is in the basement and I plan to have them in bassinets in our room until they're sleeping through the night or I feel comfortable moving them downstairs. But, when we do move them, their rooms will be ready!

I feel right on top of my "to do" list. Taking one step at a time has made it very simple and realistic to accomplish everything I want to. I feel like we'll be really close to "ready" by 30 weeks. This gives me, hopefully, about six-eight weeks to relax and tie up any loose ends. Plus, I won't have to worry about being too tired or sick or whatever lies ahead effecting things. I can just enjoy the summer! 

While, I'm not naive to the complications that can still present themselves I still feel at peace with the pregnancy and the direction it is heading. At my 20 week appointment, the twin specialist told me I was a perfect candidate to go full-term. I am as healthy as I can be and so are the babies. Both girls were measuring 12 oz and our doctor graded us a "high A" for all around health. My braxton hicks are under control and not causing any problems. I did have to go on thyroid medications and we'll continue to watch my levels through the pregnancy, but the doctor said I'll probably have to be on it the rest of my life. But, other than that, I'm taking advantage of feeling so well. I've been warned it doesn't last, but I'll soak it up as long as I can.

The last two boards on our bridge, graduation and a job, have been tricky. It was like we had the boards laid - the plans were there - but then we found ourselves hammering in toothpicks instead of nails so everything seemed to fall apart. April and was a harder month than we anticipated, but we pulled through it and are finally at a great place.

Mitch was offered a position working in an urgent care facility. It seemed perfect. To make a long story short, the job fell through due to financial issues with the practice. For the past month we were walking on a very thin layer of ice; unsure of the direction his career would take us. Since the application process can take a good six months we've been mentally preparing for this and wondering how this would effect the whole pregnancy. I'll be honest, we've been under a lot of stress trying to wonder how we're going to make it all work with two kids on the way. While finances, of course, is something to be aware of - it was just more the whole idea that we had no idea where we could end up. If Mitch were to get a job in northern Utah - we'd have to move and I don't think either of us were thrilled about that scenario. I just couldn't imagine having to move to a whole new area right about the time I was expecting to deliver…

After much debating, Mitch left the Friday before last to Texas to do a few months of summer pest control sales. Again, it is a really long complicated story, but I'll keep it simple. By Wednesday we had two potential job leads start to go through (which was much sooner than we anticipated). So Mitch started talking about coming home. Friday morning we found out he passed his boards! This means he is officially done with studying and school and is 100% a certified PA! This was all Mitch needed to feel confident one of his jobs would go through. He drove home Friday (so he was out there less than week) and is now settled back here where he belongs. I am SO glad he didn't have to be gone all summer! When he was packing up, we both felt really good about the decision even though we weren't sure about the jobs.

Well, the great news is one of the job offers went through and he'll start work next Monday at a behavioral hospital! He'll be working in psychiatry. The even better news is that it is here in Utah County so we won't have to move! So, as long as nothing happens between now and then I think it is safe to say that our three boards are pretty much in tact. I know I speak for both of us when I say we are very relieved and feel so blessed. A lot of the decisions we've made in the last few months have been based on faith and I feel like we've finally seen everything come together.

As I've explained before, the pregnancy was something I strongly feel that was on Heavenly Father's time so even through the midst of the ups and downs, I've found a lot of comfort in thinking He must have a greater plan in store or he wouldn't have let these twins come now. And, it has worked out to be that way. Our prayers for security and stability have been answered.

I feel like we can finally walk across our bridge, take a deep breath, and embrace whatever comes next.


  1. That is such good news! Congratulations to you both on your hubby's new job and it's so good to hear that you and your babes are so healthy! You are going to be an amazing mom.

  2. I love your analogy of the bridge. I also love that all the boards are finally in place, you've completed your first beautiful bridge and are arriving at the luscious green pasture you've been striving for. Rest there for awhile, my sweet Cassie, and enjoy your rewards. You've worked hard to get there.

    I also love what you said when you spoke about moving from one green pasture to the next; for, as you know, there will be more bridges to build and more green pastures to strive for. Just remember, as you pound in those sometimes elusive nails, each bridge carries you closer to the ultimate glorious pasture in your Heavenly Father's kingdom.

    Find joy in your journey.

    I love you!

  3. Loved this so much:] You two are going to be such great parents! I am so glad Mitch got the job & was able to come back to be with you instead of being gone all summer. I love you! Can't wait for those beautiful girls to be born!!