Friday, July 17, 2015

Once, I had enough time to have a blog

It's been over 18 months since I have been on this blog. A blog, that I so enjoyed doing. So, what happened? Life. Life happens, and we get busy. 

We have added an amazing spunky baby girl to our family. Philippa Jane was born last November, and she is now 8 months old (currently crawling around my feet putting random carpet fuzz and paper in her mouth). I am just now feeling like I can come up for air sometimes. Attachment parenting is so physically intensive the first year (or more!) of a baby's life. Add to that the fact that sweet Philippa is (still) waking up at least 3 times a night to nurse, and, well, you get the picture.

I'm very excited to get back to blogging, though. Sometimes, you just need an outlet for your thoughts. So, my goal is one post a week for the time being.  I'm hoping to get Philippa's birth story post soon as well. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy 2014!

It's been almost 3 months since I last blogged. Time has really flown by. I wasn't taking an intentional break, but little Iris has just been keeping me on my toes. She's been growing, developmentally leaping, teething, and has had a few colds and even a stomach bug that we all ending up catching (the great stomach bug of 2013 as we call it). She even turned one back in November!

So here's a little update on what's going on at our house. 

The holidays were busy and blessed. RJ and I spent a lot of time talking about how we want to spend our time and where we want our family's focus during the Christmas season. For us, it is on the birth of Christ. 

Our family, led by our church, is on a 21 day journey of prayer and fasting. This brings about a time of reflection and renewed strength to start the year. We are both new to fasting, so we are each doing it in our own way. RJ is fasting meat. This has proven to be a little move difficult because he recently went gluten free. So, he is having to do a little more meal planning. I am not fasting food because I am nursing. So, I am instead fasting Facebook. It's been harder than I thought it would be! I will confess that I cheated a few times yesterday. I had to do some housekeeping for a group that I administer, and I was sucked into checking my groups and notifications. Today has been much better. Even though I have wanted to log on, I have resisted the temptation.

Iris is now walking like a champ. She is babbling all the time as well. She is clueless to the fact that she doesn't have any actual words yet, as she is babbling all the time. She for sure knows what she is saying. If only I did! That would help some toddler frustrations. She is also working towards only napping once a day. To me, this seems like such a "big kid" thing! My little baby isn't a baby any more. She is quite the pistol, with her own thoughts, plans, and ideas of what she wants and what she wants me to do as well. She has also turned a corner and is finally eating more solids. This means she is nursing a little less now, which bring about a whole slew of mixed emotions for mommy! Bottom line is that she is happy and thriving, and we give all the glory to God for that. I am so happy He chose RJ and I to be her parents. 

I hope you are having as happy and blessed New Year as us!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Weekend Review

We had a lovely weekend, filled with lots of quality family time. RJ works every other Saturday, so when he has off, it's like a special treat. Saturday, we went out to lunch a new (to us) BBQ restaurant and to a Halloween party at the Birmingham Art Museum. Iris got to color with crayons for the first time, and I was really impressed with the children's interactive art area. Iris really had a great time, and so did the rest of us. Sunday, we went to church. Iris was not happy in the nursery, so she and I watched the message from the Mother's Room (I watched; she pulled everything out of the diaper bag). That afternoon, RJ and I had a dinner date at the Melting Pot. It's one of our favorite restaurants, and we used to go there all the time before our little girl was born. So what if we had to eat dinner at 4:00 so we could be back home in time to put the baby to bed. It was still so special to just have some quality time together. 

The cooler weather is finally here, and I love how all the leaves are starting to change color and fall.

I hope your week has been wonderful so far!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our Journey to Parenthood

We had a difficult journey to becoming parents, full of ups and downs. We suffered two miscarriages along the way. When I was going through the first miscarriage, I found comfort in reading other women's stories. I had no idea how common miscarriages are because it's just not something that is talked about often. I also was thankful to read about what exactly happens during a miscarriage. It helped me to prepare mentally for what was about to happen. That is the purpose of this post. I want other women who might be dealing with pregnancy loss to know what to expect and to break the silence.

RJ and I decided to start a family in December of 2010. We had been married for 4 years at that point, and we felt like we were truly ready. In my mind, I thought it would take about 3 to 4 months to conceive. After 6 months, I began to get a little concerned. We were young and healthy ya know? I sent RJ to get some tests done, because testing the guy is just easier. When his tests came back normal, I was a mixture of relieved and bummed. "It must be me," is what instantly popped into my mind. By July I decided I needed to go to my doctor to start the discussion of what might be hindering us. When the day of my appointment came, I realized I was 2 days late. I didn't think anything of it, because I had been late before. I took a test just to make sure, and it was POSITIVE! I was elated and immediately started crying. That night, RJ and I celebrated. I was on cloud nine. We told our parents and other extended family members. My due date was April 13, 2011. It was just such a joyous time. 

About a week later, I started bleeding. It wasn't a lot, but it was enough to where I felt like I needed to call the doctor. I honestly expected them to tell me everything was fine and not to worry. I was actually surprised when they wanted me to come in for an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed an empty sac. The doctor talked to me about a blighted ovum, but said he wasn't losing hope just yet and to come back in a week. I continued to have light bleeding until the end of the pregnancy. The next week, the ultrasound showed a fetal pole. This is the group of cells that become an embryo. However, by this point I was 6.4 weeks along, and we were hoping to see an embryo with a heartbeat. My hormone levels were also no where near what they should be - not even close to doubling. The doctor wanted to schedule a D&C, but I just couldn't do it. My baby was still alive; it had grown from the previous week. It just was no where near where it needed to be. We were told to come back again the next week for another ultrasound. The next scan showed that our baby actually had a flicker of a heartbeat! We were all so thankful and shocked, but still very much on edge. I was still felt like I was in this horrible gray area. I was still bleeding, and my hormone levels were still way too low. The past 3 weeks had been so emotionally draining. That was one of the hardest things about the whole experience - the not knowing for sure what was going to happen and having to prepare mentally for both outcomes. RJ and I had the conversation about what we would do if I miscarried. We decided we would bury our baby in the backyard by our tree. 

It was Monday morning, September 4th, about 4 am. I was 8 weeks and 4 days along. I awoke to strong and rhythmic cramping.  I knew instantly it was time. These were contractions. RJ woke up when he heard me trying to manage my breathing. **This is where things will get more graphic, so feel free to skip ahead, but remember my purpose is for others who might be dealing with this to know what to expect.** I ran to the bathroom and passed a blood clot. The contractions were back to back. I went to sit by myself (I wanted to be alone) on the couch in the living room. I instinctively would push during the contractions and then I felt something. I went back to the bathroom and passed an amniotic sac about the size of a large grape. I immediately scooped it up and held in my hands sobbing and shaking. RJ came in, and I kept saying "I don't know what to do,". My mind had completely fogged up. He took me outside, and we buried our baby. While we were outside, it started to rain. It hadn't rained in weeks. I felt like it was God crying with us. We decided to name our baby Blue, as sapphire is September's birthstone. We took the next several weeks and months to grieve. Several times, I felt like I was really losing my mind. You see, I still had all those pregnancy hormones to come down off of, but I didn't have the happy ones that come when you have a baby. RJ was so patient with me. 

A few weeks after, I had an appointment with a new doctor, who I had heard wonderful things about. I remember crying in her office telling her of our journey so far. She just hugged me and told me about her miscarriage as well. After talking with her, she told me that she believed I had endometriosis, which creates a harsh environment and makes it hard to conceive. We decided that if I hadn't conceived again by December (which would be a year of trying), I would have surgery to fix everything.

I had the surgery in January 2012, and conceived the very next month. This time, a positive pregnancy test didn't bring elation but instead cautiousness. I was so on edge. I immediately started going to the doctor every week to get my hormone levels checked. They were VERY high (YAY!). RJ and I were optimistic. I started have morning sickness around 5 weeks (which is pretty early), and I was never so thankful to throw up. Morning sickness typically means a healthy pregnancy, and it's something I didn't experience the first time. My hormone levels were so high, that I started wondering if it was twins. Twins don't run in our families so I brushed the thought off, but it stayed in the back of my head. 

I had an ultrasound done at 7 weeks, and it showed the possibility of a collapsed sac of a twin. At nine weeks, we got confirmation through another scan that we had one healthy baby thriving, but we had in fact lost a twin. It's called Vanishing Twin, and it's very different than the typical miscarriage. You don't pass anything. Your body just reabsorbs everything. If I had not had that 7 week ultrasound, we would have never known about our little Twinkie (what we named it).

So if you are keeping track, I have been pregnant twice, with 3 babies, and given birth to one. Some people tell me that I should just be thankful for the baby that I have. Believe me, I am. Iris brings so much joy to our lives. However, that doesn't diminish my grief or sadness over the ones that I have yet to meet. I still mourn them. Writing this post brings on the tears. 

I want other women to know that pregnancy loss is common (1 in 4). For those who are going through it, every thing you are feeling is good/normal/acceptable. 

Please feel free to email me if you need someone to talk to.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Healthy Banana Pancakes

I had heard about these amazing two ingredient pancakes, so since I had an over ripe banana, I made them this morning. They were so so good, and Iris gobbled them up!

The basic recipe is 1 ripe banana (mashed up with a fork) and two eggs. Cook in a good fat over medium low heat (I used coconut oil). They cook up really fast. 

That's it!

I added about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and next time I will do a whole teaspoon because I couldn't taste it very much. Next time, I'll also add some ground flax seed and a pinch of sea salt. YUM!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Morning Walks

Blue sky
Crisp air
Fragrant flowers
Birds singing
Sun shining
Breeze Blowing
Stroller walking
Talking baby
Quiet reflection

I LOVE this time of year!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's the little things

A few things that I am excited about these days:

Reverse Osmosis water: It's the only type of water you can buy that does not contain fluoride. This week, I bought enough for pretty much just Iris to have, but I'm hoping to get better about getting enough for our whole family.

Cooler weather: It's been cool enough in the mornings (because the little lady rises with or before the sun) to open the windows and get some fresh air. Come on fall! It's my favorite time of year. 

New pajamas: Ok, this might not seem like a big deal to most, but I haven't been satisfied with my pjs pretty much since I had Iris. Last week, I ordered some off amazon and am in love. 

My moby wrap: I loved wearing Iris in the moby wrap when she was younger, but she became too wiggly for it. However, I tried it again when she was teething and needing to be close to mommy, and it was a hit! She laughed and clapped, and I was able to clean the kitchen.

Who's Line is It Anyway?: This is a TV show that started in the UK (maybe in the late 90's?), and was brought to the US when I was in high school. I have fond memories of my mom and I laughing at all the improv skits. Well, it's back on the air, and RJ and I watch it and laugh together every week. It's like a mini date in the middle of the week.