January 30, 2013

and it came to pass.

(I wrote this after Martin Luther King day.)
What did you do with your holiday weekend?
I got my whole house cleaned!!!  (All while laying or sitting.)
We watched a few girls' basketball games.
We drank green smoothies and ate homemade ice cream from our Vitamix.
Went with some friends to see the Hobbit.
Went to Costco-- my husband asked if I could drive the handicap mobile.
He said, "My wife is pregnant, can she ride that thing?"
The ladies smiled and said it was fine and later they must have laughed at what a wimp i appeared to be.
Ha!  Can you imagine some overprotective husband making his 15 week pregnant wife ride in the cart at Costco?  I told him he at least needed to say that I was ON BED REST.  silly fella.

On Sunday afternoon I scanned the internet to read other people's placenta accreta experiences.
i totally freaked myself out.
i came to the conclusion that i'm never going to do that again.
honestly, this pregnancy and delivery and subsequent surgeries could be VERY tricky.
I get that.
i'm glad i know to expect issues, so that i'm not surprised and bitter if complications arise.
i'm just going to take one day at a time and focus more on my attitude than my circumstances.
God may not always make my path smooth and free of hurdles, but He WILL always lead me, guide me and walk beside me as I travel my journey.
I can have faith in that.
Of course I hope for the best... but, more importantly, I hope that i can have a good attitude even in less than ideal circumstances.
Isn't that funny?
My soul aches with desire to endure with joy and faith even if or especially if things go wrong.
I don't mean to sound all faithful.  Yesterday, I was scared to death.
Today, I am recommitted.
I know that this life is supposed to be tough.  Trials are part of God's plan for us so that we become all that God knows we can be.
I love the scripture "all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good." D&C 122:7-8
To God, our trials are but a small moment...  His moments are probably a bit longer than our moments.

Don't you think being a mother prepares you to endure trials?
We have to learn to expect a stinky blowout diaper just as we are heading out the door to an appointment.
We learn to smile in Wal-mart while our kids are fighting our crying for candy.
We learn to ignore an end of the day tantrum and smile and lovingly tuck a tired child into bed.
Being a mother teaches us to smile at the lady putting in our IV as she says, "This will only sting for a second."
Being pregnant teaches us to sacrifice our comfort for our children.  We learn these lessons every day in small ways, so that when we might be called upon to endure larger trials, we know how to do it.
I know how to do these next few months.  You do too.
"Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming."
Be witty if you can, be pretty if you are, be cheerful if it kills you.
Find the joy!!

Last night for scripture time we reviewed the story of Joseph of Egypt in the Old Testament.
That poor guy had many trials.  In the scriptures, a few years is one sentence.
Yeah, he got beaten and sold as a slave- but then he became the head servant of potipher's house.
Poor guy got falsely accused and sent to jail, but he became the best prisoner and interpreted some dreams.
Sure, the butler forgot about him once he was free, but only three years later he remembered Joseph and had him interpret the Pharoah's dream.
In only 15 years, Joseph became the second strongest leader in Egypt.
He was able to save his family... If Joseph had never been sold as a slave, he would have probably died in the famine.  Literally, Joseph's hard path WAS the path he needed to walk to save himself and his family.
Joseph might have had moments or days when he felt forsaken and burdened... but, now that his years are written in sentences, it is so easy to see God's hand in his life.
Sometimes hard times are all part of God's plan for us.
ALWAYS, God can use difficulties to work for His good.
I know it.

What would we do without an eternal perspective?
My 'scripture' will read.

And it came to pass that the Lord was with her, and she delivered a child and he grew and was a blessing to all who knew him.

I can do that!
I can do this.
this will come to pass... and I will be grateful for the experience.
i know it.

January 18, 2013

in a moment.

Sitting, or should I say, laying with my belly exposed and gooey in the office of genetics and fetal medicine, my life changed.

It was one moment, one sentence, one understanding and EVERYTHING looked different.

Do you have a moment like that?

After hearing that the baby looked perfect and active and that they were fairly certain of it's sex, the sonogramist (I think that was her title) said she needed to call in the doctor because my placenta didn't look quite right. 

Dr. Balderstron is a really tall, very happy and fun, doctor that I immediately trusted.  He looked and scanned and then began to explain-- they are fairly certain that I have central/complete placenta praevia with placenta accreta/increta I have an extra large placenta (common with multiples) that is covering my cervix and resting on the front of my uterus, right on top of my two previous C-section scars.  It looks like my placenta is actually growing into the wall of my uterus, not just attaching to the lining.  Which means, when I deliver, they will not be able to remove my placenta without removing my whole uterus.  There is a high risk of hemorrhaging and excessive blood loss throughout pregnancy.

In all likelihood, my doctor told me to expect modified activity the whole time, hospitalization starting at 25 week, a C-section/hysterectomy at 34 weeks, and a long recovery in the hospital afterword (for both me and the baby). 

The main issue with these conditions is maternal bleeding.  My main issued during pregnancy, even without additional bleeding, is low blood levels.  So, I'm planning that this will be quite a journey.  It is daunting, but I am not afraid.  Surprisingly, I am FULL of gratitude.

I have EIGHT children.  EIGHT!  And, that is if you don't count some angel children that I may or may not have up in heaven.  My uterus has served me well.  I feel SOO blessed.  I'm certain that this diagnosis would have been much more traumatic earlier in my life, although I would choose to keep my body intact, I feel so grateful to have made it this far. 

The MOMENT I heard this news, my heart swelled with LOVE for the family I already have.  This is IT.  I will NEVER, NEVER again carry a baby in my womb.  I will never feel little kicking flutters, I will never have another baby girl diaper to change.  Immediately, my perspective was long-term and I became more aware and grateful.

I remember hearing the story of a woman caring for her ill mother.  Suddenly, her mother passed away.  The daughter said that she didn't know if she'd be caring for her aged mother for years or months or weeks.  She said, "If I had known that I would only have to do it for one more week, it would have been different." 

We don't always get that glimpse in life.  But, I have.  Laying there in that hospital room, God showed me the end... and it made THESE middle moments so much more precious. 

Yes, having a large family is HARD.  It takes endurance and work.  This pregnancy is going to be pretty tough.  But, how blessed am I to have the BEST reason to do hard things.  I'm not fighting cancer (how my heart goes out to those of you who are or who are helping someone else through it), I am fighting for a BABY.  I can do that.  Somehow, I think anyone enduring health challenges is fighting to live for someone else.

I've told you on other pregnancies, but I'll say it again.  Hematology (blood doctors), where I spent a lot of time, is combined with Oncology (cancer doctors).  So, the whole time I am whining and pregnant at my appointments, I'm surrounded by bald, kind-eyed patients who are coming for chemo and radiation treatments.  They usually look at me with great concern, thinking I'm pregnant with cancer, and I usually look at them and thank God that I just need a little blood.  I'm just blood doping.  Ha!  I should have broke the story years ago about Lance.  He always sat next to me in the hospital. 

I'm so grateful that my quiver is full.  I have no regrets.  Thank goodness I had children while I was young (wow, I can't believe all the health risks that come with turning 35!). 

I'm not one to bore you with all my medical details... but, I thought you'd like to know what we're looking at here.  All is not rosy, this is hard.  Just saying, I feel grateful amidst my hard- eight times grateful.  Choosing to marry my dear husband and have eight children with him is the best decision I ever made.  I have no regrets. 

Everything seemed quite manageable-- 10 more weeks at home, then 10 weeks in the hospital, then baby and recovery.  Until, I counted 10 weeks... that two and a half months.  That's like from now to last HALLOWEEN!!  Ahh!  Can you imagine being away for your family that long?  My baby will be all grown up.  My kids will be ruined without me that long.  Ha!  Yeah, we'll see what happens and cross that bridge when and if it comes to that. 

TODAY I'm going to straighten up my basement toy room while sitting/laying down (I think I can).  I'm going to read my little girls lots of books.  I'm going to TALK to my big girls about every elementary school drama they want to tell me about.  I'm going to hug my boys and make sure they know how much I appreciate all they do for our family every day.  I'm going to kiss my husband for a long time... because I can't imagine the next 6 months with only kissing?!!!  And, because he is Superman.  He wants to take me to see the Hobbit.  I think he needs to get out of the house.  Oh, and I'm going to drink my green smoothies...

What are you going to do?

Thanks for listening.
ps.  i'm having a BOY!!!!!  Can you believe it?!!!!

You might also like-
The Pregnancy Journey...

Week 21
Week 20
Week 19
Week 18
Choosing Life

January 17, 2013

natural ways to improve health, blood, and energy.

Today, I just thought I'd share a few of the things that have been recommended to me during this and previous pregnancies.  If you're searching for something to help you feel better, something that has helped me might help you.

1. Floradix- this stuff is pretty strong tasting but has been recommended repeatedly to me by doctors, healthy friends and even Thalessemia (a blood condition I have) websites.  It is a natural way to add nutrients and iron into your diet in an easily digested form.  It is a pricey combination of fruit juices and nutrients.  I add it to my morning smoothies.

2. Sunwarrior Ormus Supergreens- better than carnation instant breakfast.  This is a quick way to get good things into your system.  I love having supergreens, I think it is a healthy coffee in the morning.  Drink it and you get a boost!  During my last pregnancy this stuff SAVED MY LIFE!  I don't think it tastes good, but honestly, neither does Coke.  This stuff tastes healthy.  It is my green shot drink when I need extra energy.

3. Chloropyll- this is a natural, green ointment that I add to my smoothie in the morning.  It is supposed to really help with blood production.  I can't say I notice what it does-- but it's cool.

4. ProBiotiks Bio-35- I love these vitamins.  I've taken them for years.  Honestly, I don't know much about vitamins, but these were recommended to me by friends who are super healthy.  I love them and feel healthier because I take them (even when I'm not pregnant).  They will send you a free two week trial if you want one. 

5.  D-3, calcium/mag, B-6- I take these extra vitamins just because my doctor suggested I add them.  My D is liquid that I bought at Costco, the Calcium and B-6 I just bought at a grocery store.  I think Cal/Mag was to help me absorb iron (?) and the B-6 was an extra boost because I was super nauseated.  It did help.

6. Folate- We have all heard that Folic acid is essential early in pregnancy.  This particular folic acid is supposed to be the best absorbed.  B vitamins are also essential for mental health.  It is rumored that thalassemia adds to difficulty absorbing B's and that lack of folic acid contributes to increased risk of miscarriage.  Many people told me about this super-duper vitamin.  Hopefully it is helping.

7.  Vitamix 5200s- My sister in law has done green smoothies and super healthy vegan-like eating for some time.  I called her after my last hospital stay and asked her what she knows about blood.  She said that her son had just got his blood drawn and the nurse was saying what thick, red blood he had.  The nurse kept asking what they ate.  My SIL explained that you cannot eat enough spinach in a salad-- it is way easier to drink your nutrients.  This time, it just clicked.

I decided that it was time I invested in a good blender and lots of veggies.  (I'm not a trend follower, so I have been dragging my feet on this for a long time.)  We got our mixer from Costco, because I wanted it the day I decided to buy it.  It does not fit under the counter assembled.  I use mine so often that I leave the base attached and leave the top upside-down on a drying towel.  I LOVE it.  (I had a really good blender, but this is way different.  I shouldn't have waited so long.)

I drink at least a quart smoothie every morning, alternating between spinach and kale (Todd picked up some other random green things and I usually throw in a stalk of something else with it.)
I have to drink mine in the big plastic cup with a lid and thick straw, that I got from the hospital.  It holds a quart, so I know how much I'm drinking. Every morning I eat at least a pound of greens- it tastes good and feels so healthy.  I've made some with fruit or some with chocolate almond milk, cashews and bananas.  I also love Green Smoothie Girl's Hot Pink Smoothie.  I looked up the Green Smoothie Girl on Youtube and loved to watch her videos.  She's great, especially her earlier stuff.

My kids love smoothies.  They drink the extra from mine and often I make them a separate one.  This was one big change for me.  I don't make a family smoothie-- I make MYSELF a smoothie and give them the leftovers.  If I decide to feed them smoothie for breakfast, it is separate.  This allows me to add whatever I want to mine and not worry about pickier eaters.  Green smoothies have really helped me to feel better.

8. Salad with Flax Oil-  I usually eat a big salad for lunch.  I have been using Flax Oil for my salad dressing.  My body craves that stuff.  I also add good fat stuff to my salad, like a cut up avocado, a handful of cashews or a can of rinsed black beans.  Mmmm.  I've tried to eat healthy before, but I just felt hungry.  Now, I'm really healthy but I don't feel starving and I think it's because I'm getting the nutrients from my green smoothie in the morning.  (This week, Todd has grilled me a steak every night.  He thinks I need the calories and the protein.  Sweet guy.)

Pioneer Woman turned me on to cooked kale.  I can't get enough of it.  I love it just barely cooked in butter and garlic, and I love kale chips.  SOO good and healthy.  Even my kids fight over it.  I do peel the leaves from the stems if I'm eating it, but I leave the stems on in my smoothies.

Recently, we've learned some things about this pregnancy that suggest I'm headed for a long hospital stay both before and after the baby is born.  I told Todd, I'm taking my blender an a cooler full of kale with me.  Ha!

9.  Water with crushed ice- when I'm not drinking smoothie, my cup is full of water.  Sometimes I cut up a lemon and stick it in, but most of the time I just like plain, cold water.  This helps me avoid headaches.

10.  BodyTalk with Ellen Hall-  A few times in my life I have visited with natural doctors that have used Eastern medicine to help heal things that traditional doctors were baffled by. I tend to be wary of natural medicine because it is sometimes weird and I don't want to devote my life trying to learn about it.  I also can't deny that the few time I have really needed answers, I have found my answer in alternative medicine.

For what it's worth, here are my guideposts.  1) I will only see someone that someone I really trust, really trusts.  2) I tend to be wary of any doctor that insists on repeated, continual visits.  3) I trust my gut, or the Holy Ghost, to tell me when something is truth and when it is not for me.  Usually, good natural doctors confirm what good traditional doctors say and explain it is little more.  I'm not one to think traditional doctors are evil or lying or out to hurt me.  I like "both" instead of "either/or". 

This pregnancy I was recommended, by a good friend, to Ellen Hall.  She lives around Provo, Utah but is visiting the Boise area this week.  I met with her once, over Skype, and felt an unmistakable peace.  (I hesitate to tell you this, in case you call her, but she didn't charge me anything.  I'm certain I will call her again during this pregnancy and I will happily pay her.)  When you are pregnant, or trying to heal, fear and worry really make things worse.  I do believe in modern medicine but, the Chinese have a lot to add. 

All this woman did was Skype with me and feel my energy and talk a little with me.  I could feel my fear and worry released and peace and joy returning.  She knew things about my body that confirmed what doctors suggested but were unable to prove.  She confirmed to me things that I felt my whole pregnancy.  Maybe it was all foolishness-- but after visiting with her I stopped worrying and more importantly, I stopped bleeding.  She explained to me vanishing twin syndrome and helped me recognize the feelings of grief that I was experiencing with this pregnancy. 

All of my tests and traditional doctors suggested the loss of a twin as a possibility that they were not able to confirm, she confirmed this to me and helped me to understand the internal emotion surrounding it- for me and the baby that I'm still carrying.  Again, this is probably TMI, but it was a blessing to me so I'm passing on the recommendation.  Ellen works a lot with emotions that may be buried early on in life and releasing them.  It is so interesting to me even as it baffles me. 

Yesterday, we went up to Eugene to visit with more genetic and fetal medicine doctors.  (I love these traditional doctors as much as I loved that BodyTalk woman, so if you live near me and want a great high-risk OB, let me know and I'll pass on the contact info!)  Although the baby looks great, this is going to be a difficult pregnancy, risky delivery, and long recovery.  I have so much to say on this topic, but my time is up and my afternoon is full of more doctor appointments.  Love that!!  I will say one thing, however.  Life is full of hard things.  Some have cancer, some struggle with relationships or money, some appear to have a life of ease- but theirs will come.  Today, my trial is pregnancy.  It is my sorrow and my strength-- my trial and my greatest gift. 

I know one thing for sure-- God is good.  We are never alone.  He cares when our children loose their pennies and he wants us to feel happy and healthy.  He is with me and He is with you.  He is guiding us to that truth that will bless our lives and will bless our children.  Whatever mountain you are climbing right now, trust Him to lead you up it the best way.  Trust that He will lead you.  This is a perfect process. 

I know that YOU are entitled to the highest access to revelation for your health and for your children.  YOU are.  God will lead you to doctors or books or friends.  It is a journey, but it is a guided journey.  I also believe that we were prepared before we came here for our greatest challenges.  So, in a way, we are not always finding the best ways, we are just remembering them.  When we connect with answers or doctors things will feel peaceful and familiar.  Even as doctors are saying hard things, you will feel an unexplained peace and comfort.  God is good.  Life is good.  We are so blessed to live here, in this day and age, when we have so much knowledge and truth on the Earth.
Today, I am grateful. 
Enjoy your journey!

January 14, 2013


hello friends.
i've missed you.

This post is hard for me to write.  I have 856 pictures not yet downloaded from my camera with dozens of happy, holiday posts to write.  I have 100 Christmas cards with smiling and silly faces sitting on my desk that have never been mailed and a Christmas letter that has been forming in my mind for weeks.
We won't discuss the laundry that is sitting nearby in piles or the horrific girls' room that I will have to tackle someday.

There are times in life when your body tells you to stop and listen.  I'm not very good at that.  I tend to push on, endure and ignore.  That's how I survive.  I'm learning beautiful lessons about health and rest.  How grateful I am for this experience.

I am a little over 3 months pregnant.  I was pregnant with twins, and I miscarried one.  My uterus has a small tear that is healing.  I am in bed resting, hoping that I will be able to keep the other baby in my womb.

Those of you who have known me for years, know that I have a blood condition that leaves me very anemic during pregnancy.  This, paired with 3 months of pretty heavy bleeding, left me with hemoglobin levels that were quite low.  My general care doctor said she had never seen anyone living with levels that low.  (I'm certain my hematologist was not so alarmed.)

I'm used to blood transfusions during pregnancy, but never this early.  They admitted me to the hospital right after my last OB appointment.  In the hospital I realized just how awful I have been feeling.  I was directed to some wonderful specialists that I had been avoiding, hematologist  geneticists, and high-risk OB doctors.  I sought out some natural doctors and got advice from healthy friends.

I decided to let the doctors do what they can, and at the same time to do everything I can to improve my health and rest here at home.  I didn't bleed at all the day I was in the hospital.  The day I came home, carrying eve down for her nap, I gushed blood again.  I just decided to give myself a little time in bed and see if I could stop the bleeding.  I think it is working.

I bought a vita-mix and have been inhaling spinach and kale and beet smoothies.  I'm taking mega-vitamins and chlorophyll and hoping that as I rest, my body will be able to make some strong, healthy blood.  My husband and children have been SAINTS.  I'm blessed with great friends at church that have taken to kidnapping my children or making arrangements with my husband.  I have family that has listened to hours of my worries and offered to help however they can.  Many have sent virtual messages of encouragement and congratulations.  THANK YOU.

I still do not feel good.  I suppose the weirdest thing for me is realizing that even while I am laying down, I am still exhausted.  I sleep a lot, battle a constant headache, and feel my uterus continually cramping up.  I'm so hopeful that in time, my body will heal itself and I will have a healthy pregnancy.  But, i have learned an important lesson-- i need to LISTEN better to my body.  I need to care for my health.
A healthy mother is a healthy family.  Sometimes, we need a smack in the face to stop and take notice.

Todd and I have both mourned the loss of our twin.  We would have LOVED to have twins, I have always wanted twin boys.  I'm not someone that has ever really mourned a miscarriage like a death before.  But, I feel this loss.  I feel so blessed to still have a healthy little baby inside my womb.  My ob calls this baby our "bionic baby".  It is possible to feel sorrow and joy at the same time.  And, we are SO excited for the baby that I am still carrying.  I am hopeful that the next six months will go well.

Thank you for listening to the wanderings of a hormonal mother.
Thank you for reading my blog.
I will try to update when I can, but for now I am resting and really focusing on the basics.
I hope your 2013 has started out well and that you are full of joy!

Life is so good!!  I wish I could pour into your soul the great feeling of gratitude that I feel for my Father in Heaven and for His great, individual plan for each of us.  I know this experience was not some great thing.  Many of you are going through much worse.  But, i just know that we needed this.  I needed to learn to listen and feel my body again.  I needed to remember to be healthy and grateful and full of joy.
Today I feel so blessed.  I am so blessed.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...