Archives for category: motherhood

I grew up very sheltered.

That’s actually an understatement.

I was homeschooled and there were times that, aside from going to church on Sunday, I didn’t leave the house for weeks or even a month at a time. I feel, as an adult, that it affected my ability to form friendships with people because I usually go through this incredibly awkward phase when meeting new people. I don’t know what to say and I get so nervous that I stutter and it’s embarrassing. Once I am around them awhile, and especially if they are good at making conversation, I feel much better. And actually, I think I am beginning to improve in this area. But it has definitely taken concentrated effort from me. Part of that is my personality, I’m sure. But I definitely think some of it comes from not having a whole lot of experience in social settings.

Side note: I don’t regret the fact that I was homeschooled. That wasn’t an issue. In fact, I actually liked that aspect of my life a lot because I didn’t have to get up super early every day and we often got extra time off from our homework because we were able to finish early. I graduated a year early too, so that was nice. One thing that I would maybe change for myself and would definitely do differently for my children if I homeschool them, would be to use different curriculum. I had to get my GED because the curriculum we used did not give us a diploma, even though we had good grades. It just wasn’t part of the program. I passed my GED easily but I always felt a bit embarrassed that I didn’t have an actual diploma. I know I shoudn’t feel that way and I don’t feel that way about other people who work hard to get their GED…. Anyway…..

My parents, espescially my mom, worked hard to shelter us from bad influences. I respect them for that. At the same time, I feel like I can speak from my past experience that issolating (versus protecting) your children from virtually everyone may keep them from learning things you don’t want them to learn, but only for a time. Kids form their own ideas and opinions about things and what they asssume to be true may very well end up being worse than the actual truth. That is why I will always try to be open and honest with my kids about the hard to talk about things, like drugs and sex and so on. I’m not sure what the appropriate age is to talk about these things with your kids but I know I certainly had some ideas about what sex was by the time I was 10 years old. When my kids ask me about it, I hope I will be able to explain these things to them in an age appropriate but honest way.

Even though I appreciate how hard my mom (and dad in his own, less extreme way) worked to keep us safe and innocent, I really don’t ever want my kids to live that shut off and recluse of a life. I was lonely sometimes. It helped a LOT that I had siblings. However, there is 5.5 years betweeen me and my older sister and almost 5 years between me and my next younger sister so I didn’t really have anyone my age to talk to, though I was/am very close to my sisters. I did have friends but I just didn’t see them often enough. When we finally did have plans to get together with friends, I was always grounded because I was a rather angry and mouthy teen (cussing my parents out would be the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately). It is/was obvious to me why I was so angry… because I was mad that I could never do anything or go many places. I just don’t think my mom was able to understand that because she grew up so differently that maybe she didn’t realize how it would feel to be that closed off. My younger siblings have SO MUCH more freedom than I ever did!

I think a big part of why my mom kept me at home so much was fear… Fear because she had bad past experiences. Fear because of things that happened to her sisters. I get that. And being vigilant is a good thing and I hope to always be aware and vigilant so I don’t put my children in compromising situations. But letting fear take over and letting it dictate your life is never a good thing. I don’t blame my mom at all and I’m not mad at her. I know she was just trying to keep her kids safe so they wouldn’t face any bad situations. She loves us and wanted to protect us. That I understand. But you can take a good thing way too far. Which I also understand. As a parent now myself, I am able to give her grace for her mistakes as a parent because this job is hard and I get that now. I struggle with my own fears for my children, which are different than hers but just as present, I would imagine.

I’m not really sure what I’m even trying to say here. I guess I’ve just been thinking about it a lot lately and trying to use my childhood experiences to say “This is what was good and this is what I didn’t like. What can I do to find the right balance for my children?”

  • I need so much to go to the gym tomorrow. I haven’t gone since 3 days before Christmas. Partly because we had colds, partly because we had company and haven’t had much time at all. I planned to go today but ended up having to drop a (4th this season! DH is on some kind of a roll!) deer off at the processor almost an hour in the opposite direction. So tomorrow, Lord willing, I’ll get to go. It’s better now that both Tru and Levi like the childcare and Levi doesn’t cry when I leave. He used to so much that sometimes I’d have to just go back home. 
  • I finished my 5th day of Femara yesterday. Last month the only side effect I noticed was (tmi?) dryness. Well, and ovary pain. But that just gave me hope it was working. 
  • After my post about Tru’s fever, that night it went up to 104.9f again. The next morning (01/02) I called the rheumatologist’s office but they were closed for the holiday. The on-call dr sent us to urgent care for blood work and to rule out pneumonia, uti, and ear infection since Tru had a cold. The blood work showed elevated CRP and ESR. Like last time he had a high fever (without being sick) but higher levels this time. I don’t know if that might have just been because of the cold? … I have tried twice to get in touch with his Dr through email and voicemail but still have not gotten to talk to the Dr about the results or if he needs a follow up. I guess I’ll have to try calling again tomorrow…
  • I am soooo overdue to post a Levi update! I hope to get one posted soon. He has grown so much lately in maturity and size. I love his squishy self so much!! He is constantly talking and talks so well for his age. Can’t believe he’s almost 22 months! 
  • Tru keeps hugging me and saying “I love you so much, Mommy!” And then, being the jokester that he is, he will say “I don’t love you so much.” and giggle to try to get me to tickle him. 😉
  • I finally started mudding in my living room so I can get it painted! I have the colors picked out. Light gray with a dark gray/hunter green accent wall. I hope I’m happy with the way it looks finished. 🙂   

And because this picture keeps cracking me up…. 

I came across this in my archives. I wrote it about 2 years ago but wanted to share it again in case it could help anyone else.
I guess I should start with a disclaimer – I’m not a dr, DUH. I don’t know everything or even really that much about clotting issues but I have them so… take that. 
I have been wanting to write about this for awhile now but today I read a blog that was the final straw. As you know, I have MTHFR which is short for Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase – not what you thought, ha! I am homozygous with the C677T variation. All a really long way of saying that my body has a hard time methylating b vitamins especially b12, b6 and folic acid. I can’t absorb most b vitamins unless they are in their methylated forms so I have to buy a b vitamin supplement that is already broken down. (It’s called Homocystex Plus.) MTHFR also causes blood clotting issues. It’s actually more common than you think but hardly anyone gets tested for it because A) they don’t know to, B) drs are pretty ignorant about it (sorry drs. study up on this please!) C) practically nobody understands it or how to treat it, D) it’s expensive to test for and it’s usually on a whole panel that requires 14 vials of blood. ( I also just found out the other day that I had actually tested positive for Anti cardiolipin antibodies and have an elevated prothromibin time. Nobody thought it was important to tell me that but I read it in the report that I have a copy of from when I had that testing done. Thankfully, they are also treated the same as MTHFR.)
 
The fact of the matter remains, MTHFR causes infertility, implantation failure, both early and late term pregnancy loss and is incredibly easy to treat. Drs can disagree with that all they want but many other Drs agree with that statement. But you know what? It’s just one of a whole bunch of little known and “minor” issues that potentially cause clotting especially in the smallest blood vessels – in the uterus where the baby is trying to dig in and implant and where the placenta is drawing it’s life giving blood and oxygen from. 
 
MTHFR and a host of other “minor” clotting disorders can be treated by injectable blood thinners such as Heparin and Lovenox along with low dose Asprin. The blood thinners and asprin are started after ovulation/egg retrieval or asprin can be used continuously (which it usually should be if you have a clotting disorder – check with your Dr) and blood thinner shots can be started with a positive pregnancy test. You should also be on a methylated b vitamin supplement (regular b vitamins are not usable by your body) if you have MTHFR. Most drs will prescribe you a high dose vitamin b compound but it’s not as useable as just getting a high quality methylated supplement.
 
So, back to the blog that was the final straw. A woman with RPL who’s latest loss was at 20 weeks! Finally, for her SEVENTH pregnancy, somebody had the brains to check her for clotting disorders and they found that she had a “minor” one and given her “history” they decided to FINALLY treat her with Heparin. (Ya think??) Carried that baby to term. Case closed. I could also tell you the story of my friend who had at least 9 losses but carried her last baby to term and used blood thinner during that pregnancy. 
 
Obviously I’m not saying that blood thinners could prevent all loses. Definitely not!! There are genetic issues in the baby sometimes that cause losses, infections, incompetent cervix and a host of other reasons which I don’t really need to spell out, but clotting related issues can often times be treated! 
 
My RE didn’t seem to consider my issues to warrant any action. I talked to my IVF nurse though and she said if I wanted to cover all my bases, I could go on a low dose of Lovenox. I think they were mostly just letting me use it so I would feel proactive and so that they could say all my bases were covered. Turns out, as it was quite obvious during my pregnancy with Truett, blood thinner was quite important! So much so that my dose has been upped for this pregnancy. Again, I’m not saying it is fail proof. But with Tru, thank You Jesus, it helped! I hope that this time, the blood thinners will help keep my baby safe in there. Please God, protect this baby according to Your will and help it to get all the blood and oxygen flow that it needs in my womb. I pray that it will be safe in there and live and grow and be well and strong and healthy. In Jesus’ name, amen. 
 
All that to say this, if you have stumbled over this blog and you have had repeat failed IVF’s, RPL, or unexplained losses, please push your dr to test you for clotting and immune issues. And if they find ANYTHING, I don’t care how “minor” it is, (because let’s face it, when blood vessels are clogging, is there really anything “minor” about that?) and I don’t care how they feel about issues like MTHFR, get on Lovenox or Heparin and Asprin. If your dr refuses to treat you, see another dr! This is serious business. I have seen this happen SO MANY TIMES on SO MANY BLOGS. Women couldn’t get or stay pregnant, after tons of failed cycles or so many devastating losses, got treated and bam. Finally they have their baby(s). 
 
Something to think about. 
Shared: Implantation Failure, Failed IVF’s, RPL, Unexplained Infertility – Please Read This – http://wp.me/p34rdD-tI

Truett has been running a low-grade fever for the last 4 days as we have all had a mild cold. He has a stuffy nose off and on and coughs occasionally at night. Levi ran a very slight temp of about 99.8 a couple times throughout this week and that was it. But with Tru, fevers always have been high and scary. 

Last night Tru woke up at 4am shivering uncontrolably with no fever. I put him in bed with us to warm him up and as it has happened before, not long after that he was burning up. I gave him Tylenol and checked his temp and it was 104.9F. Less than 5 minutes later his temp had risen to 105.9 and he began crying. DH went to get the ibuprofen from the kitchen while I wiped Tru with a cool cloth. Tru sat up in my lap and threw up a bunch of mucus and cried. I let him sip on Pedialyte while I kept wiping his body down until I could finally get him to take the ibuprofen. After maybe 15-20 minutes his temp was around 103 which I realize is the temp when most parents would start freaking out but sadly, with Tru and his history of really high fevers, DH and I almost start to relax ever so little once his temp drops to that range…. 

Anyway, sometime around 5am, he said “Pray me.” meaning of course that he wanted me to pray for him. I told him that I had been praying for him (silently) but that I would pray again. So I laid down next to him and prayed for him out loud. A few minutes later he started mumbling stuff which I couldn’t understand and then he said excitedly “God made me better!” Then he started looking around the room and saying “I see Santa Claus! He has sheep!” I turned and said to DH “Santa doesn’t have sheep!” And Tru continued on to say “There’s God! There’s Noah’s Ark and animals. See River?” And he pointed toward the side of the room. The dog was in the family room…. Then he told me he wanted to go home. I told him we are home but he said we weren’t. That really made me panic. I called my mom thinking that we might need her to come stay with Levi while we took Tru to the ER. We talked while Tru picked imaginary things off my shirt and she calmed me down a bit while we waited to see if the ibuprofen would bring his temp down a bit more. Tru was obviously hallucinating but I can’t help but think it was more than that. I kept checking his temp and it was 103-104. He would look at us and answer our questions but he kept seeing all these imaginary things. He talked about food that he could see, fire that was blowing, spider man, curious George, touching my face and chest and thinking he was touching Levi, and asked me “What’s that?” pointing at the ceiling. I told him I couldn’t see anything and he said “It’s God.” 

Finally his temp dropped more and he fell asleep around 6am. So the whole episode from him shivering, to his temp rising until it dropped down to under 103 was only 2 hours but it felt like forever!! 

This morning I asked him if he saw Santa Claus and some of the other things he’d mentioned last night. He said no. Then he told me “God was fixing me. He was scary.” I told him that God isn’t scary, He loves Tru. And then Tru said something like “He needs to talk. He was just quiet.” All day Tru has maintained this story, telling my sister when she came over “I was in mommy’s bed and God made me better!” 

I don’t know what to think of all this. It was really scary. I’ve had hallucinations from high fevers myself a number of times but when you see it happen to your child, it is really really scary. I’m so glad his fever came down relatively fast although it did take an hour of wiping him with cool cloths ect. But after his story I am more inclined to believe that God made him better than anything we did. 

He has had a slight temp today and has been pretty mellow although he has played a bit and eaten fairly well. I’m going to call his Dr tomorrow to tell them what happened since I am supposed to call them with any fevers he gets as a follow up from the fever episodes he was having. I just can’t help but think maybe Tru had a little glimpse into the spiritual realm last night and what he descibed was certainly amazing and comforting in a really freaky way. 

…….


Let’s just say, River was much happier when the kids finally went to (their) bed for the night. 😉 

I *think* I ovulated yesterday. I used CBD Advanced OPKs this month and got my flashing smiley face (high fertility) on CD 14 and solid smiley (peak fertility) on CD 15. I definitely felt like I was ovulating yesterday. My ovaries hurt SO BAD! Especially the left side. 
TMI but my RE said to BD on days 10, 12, 14, and 16. I was totally not going to follow that schedule because of using the OPKs and not wanting to make things happen if the mood wasn’t there. But it so happened that it just worked out that way. 
Anyhow, I still have tenderness in my ovaries today so I don’t know what that means. Hopefully nothing sinister. My LP is usually 13 days so… now, we wait. Lord if it’s Your will! 

Last weekend we were at a Christmas party and the boys were given little containers of skittles and m&ms. Levi dropped a couple, as toddlers do and I picked them up and put them back in his container. *GASP* Honestly, I didn’t really think anything of it. 5 second rule, blah blahs blah…. But I did get the sense that I had just done something horribly wrong given the vibe in the air from the nearby friends. A few minutes later, Levi dropped a few more candies and the ladies who were nearby quickly scooped them up saying to Levi “These fell on the floor. They’re dirty! I’ll throw them away.” 

Ok, let’s get one thing straight here. I’m completely elated to know that these friends care so much about the health and well-being of my kiddos that they are watching out for them. That actually just makes me really really happy. I’m quite touched! 

However, (!!!) I felt like a crumb – like a crumb of a turd, (the type that could be found on the floor perhaps?) for being such a gross parent as to just nonchalantly feed my child floor-candy without even giving thought to it. 

Seriously, these boys have eaten way grosser things before I could stop them, unfortunately. As babies/toddlers do. At least mine do. Maybe your unicorn baby never tried to taste sand … or lady bugs. Not that I’m going out of my way to expose them to germs but don’t you have to be exposed to some germs to build your immune system? “God made dirt, dirt don’t hurt.” Anyone? 

To be clear here, I’m not at home just throwing down their dinner on the floor “Come an git it boys! Sups on the floor. Jump in there River! Go fer it.” But I kinda might as well… I mean, toddlers are constantly eating questionable crumbs they find – it’s kind of what they do. And if your floor is so clean that your kid never finds a crumb, well, you can just leave! (Napoleon) Get out. Bye!!

 Also, just the other day I caught Levi giving River a bite of his dinner roll and proceeding to try to continue eating it himself. Cute, but gross. 

And one more thing to clarify. I would never feed my kids something that I wouldn’t eat. I’d gladly eat those m&ms off the floor myself. I guess I’m just gross like that. 
*The irony is that Tru threw up the next day but the floor-candy eater stayed healthy.*

Remember how how I said that maybe I had ovarian cysts that were preventing my cycle from coming? Well, it finally did come on CD 47 (!!!) which is the latest I have ever been without being pregnant. But I really don’t know why it was so late. 

On CD 44 I went to see my RE. We basically had a pre-conception consultation and talked about the possible cysts and ran blood work to check where all my hormones are falling at now. Progesterone was elevated so I definitely did ovulate, according to the Dr, which I was almost certain I had. And I am about 100% certain I didn’t ovulate late yet I was 3 weeks late to start….? All the other tests came back within normal levels. (Testosterone, thyroid, FSH etc) 
They did an ultrasound while I was there and the Dr asked if I had ever been diagnosed with PCOS because my ovaries almost looked that way. Even I could definitely see lots of black spots (cysts) on them. I told him I hadn’t been diagnosed with that before (thankfully!) so he ordered AMH on the blood work as well. It came back at 6.87ng/ml which is within normal range but actually higher than when I was 22. ETA: I am actually a little confused about this. Higher AMH is usually thought to be good because it points to higher ovarian reserve, but I’ve also read that it can indicate PCOS…  He didn’t say anything about the cysts making my cycle late though so maybe my theory was bogus. The Dr didn’t seem overly concerned about the cysts…? I am supposed to follow up in Feb. 

He asked if I wanted to give a couple cycles of medicated TI a try before doing a SA and possibly moving on to other treatment (I am thinking if we move on to more advanced treament, it would probably be AT LEAST another year). I decided to go ahead and try Femara 2.5mg for 2 months. Because, why not…. If he thinks it’s worth a try then I might as well try it. I opted not to take Clomid because I had such a horrible time on it last time I tried it 6 years ago. I’ve never tried Femara before but I am on day 2 of 5 now. I guess we will see how it goes. I have realistic expectations but I also know what my God can do so I am leaving it in His hands. So, yeah, that’s where I am at right now. Very thankful for good test results! 🙂 

I have certainly made it no secret that I’m not a fan of the cold and winter. And the fact that I find 5 months of cold, static, chapped lips and coats to be a tad depressing isn’t news to anyone. So I’ve been thinking, maybe this winter I’ll take the opportunity to hop on over to somewhere warmer for a few days and refresh my spirit. Maybe a long weekend. I get that it’s expensive to travel and all that but I’m a pretty avid collector of credit card travel points and even though my sensible side begs me to save my points for longer and more exciting travel, my sanity is really basking in the idea of escaping the cold for a few days. Maybe I won’t actually get to do it but I sure feel perkier already just thinking about it! ​

Oh my little Levi, how are you already 20 months old?! I mean, I know how it is scientifically possible that 20 months have passed since you were born, but you are almost 2 years old! Already! 

I always thought that Levi was going to be my mellow child who listened well and didn’t pop an attitude. Because I obviously didn’t know my child, at all! This boy is my kid who gives me the worst little pout face and refuses to be serious when I reprimand him. He goes from frowning at me to smiling while I am mid-scentence telling him no. I can’t keep a straight face when he does that! Ha Ha. 😉 But all in all, he really does listen pretty well for a 1 and a half year old. 

And he is smart! So smart. A lot of stuff he knows because he follows Tru around all day and repeats everything he says and tries to do everything Tru can do. They are like peanut butter and jelly from the moment they wake up in the morning until they go to bed. Whichever one wakes up first, they are always running to the other’s bedroom looking for eachother. They do play pretty well but we have a fair amount of fighting over toys and just fighting in general. Levi’s retaliation right now is to bite Tru. Lots of times lately I hear Tru yelling “No bite, baby! No bite me!” and I run to grab Levi away. I’m not sure what to do to get him past this phase. I vaugly remember Tru doing some minor biting but I think it was a short time before he stopped. 

A few days ago we were getting ready to leave the house and I gave the boys their socks to put on. Now, Tru has been able to put on his own socks since before he was a year old. Levi? Not yet. But that’s because we never give him the opportunity to try! He’s not as set on being independent as Tru has always been so he doesn’t fight us helping him with things usually. So, he sat there struggling and Tru just couldn’t handle watching the painstaking process and he tried to help Levi. But Levi started yelling at him and running away with the socks to try again elsewhere. Tru started crying to me that he just wanted to help “baby” and I told him that Levi needed to try on his own. Tru said something like “He’s just a baby! He can’t do it. I can. I’m a big boy!” In that moment I saw the emotions I feel, coming from Tru. It’s hard watching your baby grow up. Sometimes there’s a bit of denial there. Sometimes I just want to freeze these years in time because they are already going so fast. But there is the whole other side where I am just wildly thrilled to watch them growing and learning how to do things on their own. But the most exciting part for me is watching their personalities develop….

And that is the biggest thing with Levi right now. He’s not acting like a baby much at all anymore. He’s becoming a “big boy” and it’s so fun to see! The one babyish habit that Levi hasn’t quite kicked yet is nursing. Lately he goes a day or two without and then decides he needs to check back in for a couple minutes. I can still express a bit of milk if I try. Interestingly, it looks like colostrum again. ?? I tell him no when he says “boob” a lot of the time but I really don’t care to nurse him if we are at home or if he gets hurt or is sad. 

As far as speech goes, Levi says everything he wants to say but usually just 1 or 2 words at a time. Which I guess is probably on track for his age. He gets his point across, that’s for sure! He definitely has a quiet, contemplative side but he also has a really loud voice and he’s not afraid to use it in case you didn’t hear him the first time. 😉 

I think he is starting to call himself by his name sometimes. Or rather Vevi, since that is what Tru calls him a lot. The other day my dad asked Tru “Who is that?” pointing to Levi and Tru said “That’s baby”. My dad said “I thought he had another name. Isn’t his name Vivi?” And Tru said very adamantly “No. His name is VEVI!” We also call him “nugget” quite a bit and I thought I heard Levi call himself nugget once. Poor kid probably doesn’t know his real name! I jest, I jest…. 
One of the most exciting developments recently is that Levi now says “wovou” (love you) and “wovou too”! I think he’s probably been saying it awhile but I didn’t realize that’s what he was trying to say until I told him “mommy loves you” while I had him on the changing table getting him ready for bed and he said “wovou too”. I seriously melted!! He also grabs my face and gives me kisses and hugs and is very loving with Tru also. They kiss each others boo boos and Tru will even cry more if Levi won’t kiss him better. 🙂 

Dear God, what a gift to be watching my Promised Gift learn and grow day by day. I’m so thankful for the joy of being his mother. I pray that You will protect him and watch over him. I pray that You will help us to raise him up to be loving and kind. Respectful and honest. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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