Monday, September 27, 2010

Carson got to ride in the vroom vroom cart today

It is amazing what becoming a mother does to a person.   Today Carson and I went grocery shopping.  We went to Yokes because they have the cool carts with the cars in front.  Carson loves those things and he always recognizes that Yokes is the store that has them.  As we pulled into the parking lot I got a little nervous because there were a lot of cars.  Which meant more parents with their children using the special carts.  I drove past each cart return to make sure there wasn't one hanging out by it's lonesome before heading inside.  As we were walking in, I peeked over to where the car carts should be and there were none.  I was quickly disappointed as Carson was making vroom vroom noises in my ear.  I took a step further and spotted a couple pushing their son out in none other than Carson's favorite car.  I spotted that they only had one bag of groceries so I practically chased these people down and asked them if they were done with the cart.  They looked at each other and I knew what they were silently saying.  We parents keep our children in the cars until the last possible moment to make parting a little easier and to create happiness as long as possible.  They were already outside the store so what was the harm in ending their son's ride a little short?  I thought about offering to follow them to their car to prevent any tantrums but decided that might be a little awkward.  They finally said yes and I let out a woohoo (on the inside).  Then I smiled and graciously thanked them and we made small talk.  They understood.  Shopping with a toddler is so much easier when they are entertained.  Those carts are a sanity saver!  Thankfully the little boy seemed to be distracted by the extra company and gave up the car without a fuss to his mom's surprise. 

I had to laugh as I headed into the store.  Before having kids, never in a million years would I have walked right up to a stranger like I did.  Especially if it was any inconvenience for the other person.  Had the couple said no, I wouldn't have been offended.  They would have been standing up for their son's right to enjoy the car a little longer and I would have just hung back I while until I could retrieve it from the cart return.  Minor conflict is not such a big deal to me anymore. I knew I would grow and mature after having a child, but I did not expect my own personality to change.  I love that it has.  I love that I have the confidence to be a mama bear.   Not only for Carson, but for myself as well. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mad at Life

I know I shouldn't be.  For some reason as more time goes by, the angrier I become.  The recovery from my first miscarriage was much healthier emotionally.  But then I didn't know what I was missing yet. I hadn't experience a pregnancy or a brand new baby.  Now I have a wonderful child so I feel the sting of this loss.  My arms still ache.  Then the question, why save Carson and not my other babies Lord?  I have no doubt Carson was meant to be here.  God had placed his hand on my little guy and protected him through my severe first trimester dehydration.  I remember my emergency room visit while pregnant with him.  I wasn't even worried.  As all of the IV attempts failed, it didn't bother me.  Even when they had to use some special tool that looked like it was from another planet to get an IV started, I still wasn't afraid.  Then the doctor came in and told me to never get that dehydrated again...ever...not only was it dangerous for me but deadly for baby.   Still no fear.  I had gone two days and was close to the dawn of my third without eating or drinking!  Then there came Carson's birth.  No question he's our miracle.  After seeing a picture of his face submerged in a puddle of amniotic fluid and not for a short time, I cried and thanked the Lord that after being drowned after birth, not to mention the complications he went through, he was still strong and healthy.  He puked up more water than the NICU nurses had ever seen.  Josh said it looked like the exorcist and was grateful I wasn't there to witness it.  He's our miracle.  So then I question, is he our only miracle?  Did God know I would have these struggles so He intervened and helped me out so I wouldn't completely despair?

I was 18 when I was told that the cause of the pain that sends me to the floor in sobbing tears was endometriosis.  Josh and I were already engaged.  I sat him down and told him it was a possibility I could never have children.  Do you still want to marry me?  His answer was of course he would love me no matter what happened...children or not.  I was married at 19 and my specialist told me to start trying immediately.   Did we listen?  Nope.  We were too young.  Plus we felt invincible...duh, I was still a teenager.  I had God on my side.  We could wait and everything would be fine.  But as time had gone on, my hormones had gotten more and more out of control.  Things that I thought were normal, after talking to girlfriends, I found out were  very far from normal. I went in and estradiol was my only option, at least through my OB.  Or you know, I could go on birth control.  I asked my doc, "isn't this caused by excess estrogen?"  His response "yes, it will treat the symptoms, but you're right it could lead to an early hysterectomy."  No thank you...I sought out alternatives.  I found Coleen Smith, an acupuncturist.  My God send.  A christian woman with a love for women's health.  Finally someone listened!  Plus, she had answers.  I saw results.  But then I got lazy.  I took my health for granted and let things slide because it was my "natural" birth control.   We were using my infertility as a way to avoid pregnancy.  I figured we could go in and fix it when we were ready and then we'd have babies.   Now I realize how off this logic was.  I should have put my health #1, not our lifestyle.  Hindsight is 20/20.  Now I'm playing catchup.  You think I would have learned this lesson the first time.  Yet, after massive weight loss following Carson's birth along with other unhealthy symptoms, I waited.  I let life take body wasn't ready yet.  So much is learned the hard way!  Yet, that is how we learn best, well, at least that's how I learn best.

This last week I have shirked my diet.  I've been wallowing. I have been overtaken with self-pity.  No matter how hard I try to think of others who have it so much worse, it doesn't help.  That tactic has always put things into perspective for me.  Not this time, it's not taking away the frustration.  I think to myself, at least I have never experienced a stillborn, that would be unbearable, yet my arms still don't stop aching.  These emotions come and go.   I'm not always this emotional and I should probably step away from the keyboard right now.  I'm being open and honest here.  I'm mad at life, mad at my reproductive organs, and really pissed at Adam and Eve. 

I was watching a Duggar's interview one time and they were asked, why so many kids?  Mrs. Duggar answered that they, like everyone else, had a plan.  They were to have two children and fit into the American Dream.   Then they miscarried with their second baby.  It changed their perspective.  They realized how precious life was and it wasn't their place to prevent it from happening.  They put the number of their children in God's hands.  It is sad sometimes that it takes a loss to fully appreciate what we have.  It took my cousin's death and him leaving his young daughter and pregnant wife behind to turn my marriage around.  Maybe his death even saved it.  Who knows.   I know with Carson I breathed that new baby scent deeper into my lungs because I knew what I had lost with our first.  As Josh has said, I will always see Carson as our second.  So will I.  Our next baby will be our fourth.  Thankfully we have hope.  Hope that we get to meet all of our children someday.  We will get to join them and the other loved ones we've lost.  I picture Josh's Grandma Betty playing with our little ones up there.  Supposedly she was a phenomenal Grandma.  Maybe my Aunt Ellen is spoiling a little girl?  I'm sure we've had at least one girl by now...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not a baby anymore


Lately, Josh and I have been experiencing a new phenomenon.  Instead of hearing "oh your baby is sooo cute" we receive scowls, even when Carson is behaving.  The other day we went out to lunch and Carson was an angel.  Depending on how much sleep he had gotten either the night before or during nap time, he can sometimes be a little bit of an embarrassment.  During this lunch, however, he was contently playing and staying fairly quiet, for Carson at least. Josh and I were sitting there amazed at how good he was being.  Yet we still received scowls.  A couple was leaving and walked by Carson and he turned and waved and said "bye bye" in his sweet little voice.  Josh and I were gushing about how cute he was and the couple looked at him, gave him a funny look, and just kept walking.  Our jaws dropped.  How could they not wave back!  He isn't a prison escapee, he's a little boy!  Anyway, we've been getting more and more of these responses while out and about.  When Carson is happy and babbling away, we get looks that seem to say shut that child up. If he was five years old, those looks might be warranted, but the response we mumble to each other is usually.. "he's not even two yet for goodness sakes."  I guess it's the new stage we are entering.  We also believe it's aggravated by the fact that Carson looks older than he is.  At least, that mind set is what gives us peace.  More likely, it's the fact that our society is still not very accepting of little children and their tendencies to be very energetic and loud, even when happy.  Which kind of seems crazy when you think about it because most of the people we come across were parents of a small child at one time.  Maybe they forgot their children were like that once too? 

These new experiences are also making me realize that I cannot protect Carson from everything.  As the couple at the restaurant scowled and walked away, I wanted to get Carson's attention so he wouldn't pick up on their rejection.  Then it dawned on me that this is just the beginning of scowls, nasty looks, and bad attitudes he's going to have to experience in life.  Thankfully he is in a family that loves him dearly and will love him for the rest of time, no matter how loud or rambunctious he is.

Up at "the property"

Monday, September 20, 2010

A weekend of discovery

I learned something about myself this last weekend.  It brought new light to my identity.  Josh and I headed up to his parents property this weekend in search of some  R&R and family alone time.  It was possibly going to rain, but since his parents have an RV to hang out in, it didn't stop us.  Saturday was beautiful weather and we hiked all day.  Then Sunday came and it ended up down pouring all day.  Even though it was raining it did not hinder me in the slightest from going outside.  Shortly after breakfast, I started getting Carson and I in rain gear while Josh just looked at us funny.  Finally, he asked, where are you going?  My response was...a hike...duh.  He reminded me that it was raining.  Carson and I went off on our adventure and Josh joined us soon after.  We ended up spending hours just walking around the property, checking out claw marks in trees, hiking to the spring head and getting fresh water, then we spent time trying to find random dear trails. We discovered it was just as much fun to hike in the rain.  When we got back to the trailer and took off our soaking wet coats, we were thankful to discover we were still dry underneath.  That's when it hit me. I'm an outdoors girl. I was absolutely beaming. 

To me, this revelation isn't new.  Growing up when my mom asked me to sweep the kitchen, I begged to go outside and rake the leaves.  Plus, I always enjoyed the many camping and backpacking trips I took with my family growing up.  I'm a decent homemaker.  I like to bake, especially when it involves sugar.  I also like to sew, knit, crochet and scrapbook.   Even though I do like these tasks a lot, I don't love them.  The second we drive into a forest, with that crisp fresh air, I feel like I've been revived.   Josh and I had been seeking out ways to be active and lately we have been finding places to hike and it has just been adding fuel to the fire of my passion.  Thankfully, it's also a healthy passion for the whole family.  Now, we are going to make more of an effort to fit outdoors activities into our lives.  Finding a piece of my identity brought a lot of peace to my soul.  I finally  have an outlet so to speak.  When life starts creating massive amounts of stress, as it usually does, I have a way to unwind.  It's a big relief for me. 

Other things I love:

Carson falling asleep in my arms
Watching a movie late at night with my hubby, snuggled on the couch
Socializing with good friends &
Italian food

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Eating Plan

I recently read through The pH Miracle Diet by Dr. Robert O. Young.  I was hoping to find some hope in that book for my hormonal imbalances, but unfortunately the book doesn't touch a whole lot on that subject and the author also really encourages adding a lot of soy to your diet.  Soy for a lot of people is NOT a healthy food and honestly shouldn't be touched with a 10 foot pole.  I'm one of those people.  Soy has a natural form of estrogen in it along with enzymes that prohibit the absorption of protein.  So although the food itself has a lot of protein, it is not readily usable to our bodies and the enzymes actually block protein absorption from other food.  I think many other cultures eat soy and are fine, but the cultures that do have soy as part of their main diet aren't faced with as many environmental toxins as we are with such things like plastic food containers, toys from China, BPA, and chemical toxins to boot which all disrupt healthy hormone levels.
I'm estrogen dominant which means I already have way too much estrogen so adding more to my diet through soy would not be a good idea.   The other issue with Dr. Young's diet is that it is unrealistic for a mother who presently has an extremely active toddler and is trying to co-run an adult family home.  If I was dying of cancer, I would have the motivation, but right now I think just well balanced healthy nutrition with good supplements is sufficient for me.  One of the pertinent steps of the diet being successful is a three to ten day cleanse in which you only drink various vegetable juices and broths.  There is no way I could do that and keep my energy levels up.  He makes a case for it being very beneficial, but at this point I really couldn't do the fast and function.  I think it's really important that if you are going to embark on a diet, that the diet is something you can do for the long term.  Otherwise it will be of no use to you if you are only able to accomplish it for a short time and then give up because it is too difficult to maintain. 

Despite the short comings of the diet, I really did have a lot of epiphanies while reading through the book.  First was to balance out my pH and eat less acidic foods like sugar and white flour.  Then to add more veggies.  My favorite snack  is now celery dipped in super garlicky humus (Yum!).  I am also reducing my wheat load to be no more than 30% of my diet.  Dr. Young pointed out a lot of other options as well to meet that 30%  of healthy grains instead of being overloaded with just one option...wheat.  I now have a buckwheat pancake mix and spaghetti noodles made of kamut.   I liked the idea of adding more variety of grains.  Plus the biggie was reducing the amount of sugar, especially in the form of pastries.  Sweet treats has always been my weakness and I realize now how much it has been wreaking havoc on my body.  Dr. Young really spelled it out for me by explaining the different bacterias that are created by my body trying to digest sugar and white flour.  It was really eye opening. 

The book also encouraged me to get more of my protein from sources other than meet, such as beans.  I'm grateful that my mom cooked a lot of beans for us growing up.  I am really familiar with them and can easily add them to my diet to get more nutrition from my food. 

So I've set some nutritional guidelines for myself to try and get healthier.  The guidelines are:
       No Caffeine (although I have been cheating with green tea, but I'm trying to stop!)
       Limit sugar (one treat a week or less)
       Little to no pastries which is another source of sugar and useless white flour
       Reduce white flour intake altogether
       Don't snack on carbs (bread is now apart of meals only or a once in a while snack)
       The majority of my diet needs to consist of vegetables, then healthy proteins and grains.

The rules above are realistic for me.   My skin has completely cleared after just a week of eating like this.  I used to constantly have break outs which would embarrass me because I'm not a teenager anymore!  I should be passed that.  It does show me that my body was overloaded with bad food and trying to excrete the toxic waste anyway it could. This new way of eating has actually been a very freeing experience.  I no longer feel trapped by food cravings.  It has really become apart of my life instead of something I have to do.

I feel like for now, this is a healthy approach to trying to get pregnant again.  It is a huge improvement compared to what I had been eating.  I was hoping for better results sooner.  It has seemed to make no difference on my body temperature so far, but I am continuing on with research with the help of my naturopath to try and figure out a solution.  I don't want to settle for bad health and I know I'm finally on the right path.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I am now 5 days postpartum from a loss that still hurts but the good news is I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.   The last few days I've just wanted to rip my heart out of my chest to stop the pain.  As difficult as it has been, it has also been very healing.  Today was the day we were going to share the good news of being pregnant again.  So last night I was pretty emotional.  I am unbelievably thankful for a husband that has let me cry and completely talk through how I am feeling. 

Some good news...Carson went potty on his big boy potty yesterday.  He has been trying for awhile.  He asks to sit on his potty quite frequently so I indulged him but this time as I was cleaning, I heard his potty singing...meaning he was successful.  I ran over and he was so proud of himself.  It was adorable.  I'm surprised by how easy this potty training has been going.  Mostly because Carson has completely initiated it which is something I didn't expect, especially so young.  I'm proud of him though.  I know it's going to be awhile until he is officially potty trained, but each little step is exciting for us.   It's just another part of the independence he has been asserting lately. 

I have added exercise into my life.  It's felt really great.  I exercise with a friend 4 times a week for 40 mins.  It has lifted my mood some and I hope it is bringing me one step closer to being a healthy fertile myrtle!  It's been hard having motivation because I have just wanted to stress eat.  The last two days I finally let myself do that and decided the veggies can wait a day or two and I'm glad I did.  Eating some captain crunch did wonders for my spirit.  I know it's not good to treat emotional pain with food, but sometimes it's hard not to.  Now I'm back on the path of trying to heal my body through diet.