Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Farewell pregnancy... hello new memories!

As I sludge through my last 23 days of pregnancy (expected), I grin and a little tear appears. This will most likely be our last time pregnant. I didn’t think I’d be done having kids at the age of 24. I also didn’t think we would have two kids at the age of 24. There are many things I won’t miss about being pregnant: the swollen ankles, the constant 24-hour heartburn, the back and neck aches … just to name a few. But there is a lot I will miss. That is what I’m dedicating this blog to.
My Mom holding me...

I will miss hugging my husband, and loving that our little family was completely holding each other tight- with one baby in the middle. I will miss being in the grocery store saying “excuse us”, when I’m shopping alone, but my ever-present awareness of the baby inside of me had me talking like I wasn’t. I have loved swaying him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…. It relaxes both of us. I crack up thinking about how hard I’d have to push his boney little self back into my belly- and keep my hand there!- so he wouldn’t keep digging his heel into me. I’ll miss rocking YumYum to sleep and reading her a book, while trying to situate her so we are both comfortable. Normally, she ends up curled up like the moon, her body around my belly with her legs up and across mine, with her back leaning as much on my arm as possible and head snuggled to blend with my upper chest- all because baby Smiles was taking up quite a bit of room in the middle. Having my two babies at the same time, reading to them and rocking them to sleep; there’s nothing like it. There’s so much that’s absolutely incredible about having a little life growing inside of you. For YumYum, her personality in the womb was identically to how she was once she arrived. I’ll miss the kicking, stretching, rolling, turning, scooching, … I’ll miss the excitement of hearing their heartbeat when the doctor or midwife would share the stethoscopes.

The Lord has truly blessed Scooby Doo & I with two beautiful and wonderful children. YumYum continues to delight us with her stubborn independence, quirky sense of humor, and genuinely joy-filled heart. She will be such a great friend and sister to Smiles.
It feels like I was just pregnant with YumYum.... oh wait--- I was!  Born in May 2010, I feel like I have been constantly pregnant for the last two years. But it was fun.... here's us at 37 weeks with YumYum.

I CAN wait, but I look forward to the soccer games, school drawings, precious moments, sibling moments, the unforgettable moments, Christmas morning and Easter egg hunts, birthday parties and graduations, …

My Amazing Parents

My Awesome In-Laws
God blessed Scooby Doo & I with absolutely wonderful parents. I hope that we can raise our kids and show them how much we love and accept them. I pray God will give us the grace to be patient, the patience to persevere, and the perseverance to continue trying…. I pray that we pass along to them the truly important things in life- that what truly matters is your relationship with the Lord (first), and your relationships with people (second).

Our families:
Scooby Doo's:




2010- Mom had something in her teeth...

Paula Deen loves being a part of this family. :)

We all love being part of this family. It's in our blood. :) Well... kinda. :)

2010 - Me (007) (pregnant with YumYum), my Mom, my Dad, Shiner, Paula Deen
I love the man that Scooby Doo is, and I am confident he will continue to amaze me in his drive to be the best Dad he can be for his kids, and the best husband he can be to me. To me, he has exemplified financial maturity, wisdom, patience, and honesty. Our kids would be blessed to learn these qualities from him.

I can’t wait to meet our Smiles. I know he will be here before we can blink!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thyroidisim what?

*Warning: I originally wrote this post about a month ago, but after a few days found out new information. Today I've added back my thoughts in italics, knowing what I know now. Sorry if it's jumpy. I'm still working on it making sense out loud.

I never go through a stage in pregnancy where my fingers are too big to wear my wedding ring. I loose so much in my first trimester, that normally I can’t wear my ring then because its often too loose. I have my own version of the cute baby bump, which is more like a low baby lump, but my babies grow just fine. I think this will be my last time being pregnant, and it’s an odd feeling. After meeting Scooby Doo and talking about marriage, I thought I’d start having kids around 30. I didn’t think we’d be done at 24, but the stress and sickness that my body endures during pregnancy, and the wife that my husband endures during pregnancy, has proven too much of a burden. Of course, every pregnancy is different. I have been much less sick with Smiles than I was with YumYum. The medicine they gave me this time was a bit tweaked from the first go around, I started it immediately, and I take it daily. It’s made it MUCH more manageable. But I wonder how it feels for mom’s experiencing their last pregnancy. For many women in different countries, giving birth is a right of passage into womanhood. I don’t feel like I had this with YumYum, and I hope I can experience it with Smiles. If not, God’s will WILL be done and I praise God for it – albeit with tight fists at this time, hopefully if that is the path God wants for me He will prepare my heart.

Today, at least, I have peace with my children spending time at a day care while Scooby Doo & I work. I dreaded returning to work with YumYum because we had no plans for childcare. I wanted desperately to stay at home with her, but realized also my deep desire to work (at least part time). I wanted the best of both worlds. Today, God has given me peace about having YumYum and Smilesin daycare. I got a lecture from the lady at Elliot’s Natural Foods the day before last. I LOVE her. She’s an outspoken Christian with a tame but outspoken tongue who serves as my Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Dr. Oz, and Dr. Laura. She quotes the last. : ) She said, “I’m sorry Kristi but I just cannot support you on this one. Who is raising your kids instead of you?” I responded confidently, “yes, I would love to stay home at least part time if we could financially afford it, but I’m thrilled that at least if I can’t be with them, they’ll spend their days learning, playing, interacting, and growing under the watchful eye of someone we trust who loves the Lord.” It felt so good not to go and bawl my eyes out, and then return home spending the next dark hours (literally- staying up), to work through our budget trying to figure out how I could stay home. I have peace! I HAVE PEACE! Praise the Lord God, today, I have peace.

We’re getting closer- Smiles is 33 weeks old today. My Mom had me one month early. That would mean meeting Smiles in 17 days. Oh if he was healthy, how I would love that! Full term baby- full term.  He is in the right position, although we don’t know if he is sunny-side up or not. Now for some more squats and lunges! If only I could get back up! Smiles is constantly rubbing his bony little elbows and heals into the bottom of my ribs and my sides. I often can feel a small, round, solid, lump – his persistent jabbing tends to get my attention.

I’m anemic, and our midwife told Scooby Doo and I about the correlation between pain tolerance and anemia. She said if she poked someone’s finger who was anemic, they’d say “ow!” and rub their finger, comforting themselves. If they were not anemic, they often ask our midwife if she had already pricked them or not. I was surprised. I didn’t realize that pain tolerance and anemia were connected.

Kaiser has always said my blood work showed normal levels for my thyroid- yet I have had all the symptoms of a low thyroid for years- since college really, maybe even some of high school. Historically, it’s common to have a low thyroid during pregnancy, so this is one of the tests that get done during a return CBC blood work test. Kaiser said mine was normal, but in pulling these records for my mid-wife, I took a look at the results. Kaiser’s range for a normal thyroid production (TSH) is .10 - 5.50. My TSH level was at the highest its ever been in 2008 (1.2), and now was at .20. Both of those are extremely low, meaning I didn’t have a high thyroid, I had a low one!

*Unfortunately, it took me a few days to realize that having a low TSH meant having an overactive thyroid, and having a high TSH, meant having a low thyroid. So for the first few days, I searched the symptoms of having a low thyroid - and looked at treating that.

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the front of your neck that makes hormones that control the you’re your body uses energy. (http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hypothyroidism-topic-overview) Symptoms include: feeling tired, weak, or depressed, dry skin or brittle nails, not being able to stand the cold (I’ve had my space heater on every day at the office despite in being July), Constipation, heavy or irregular menstrual cycles (yes I said the word menstrual- get over it), and memory problems, or having trouble thinking clearly. Most of these I had attributed to pregnancy, but some of them I had before pregnancy. Most doctors just treat it with a thyroid hormone pill, but I didn't want to go on a prescription if it was possible.

I went to my local natural food store to find some of the natural remiedies I had read about. Iodine and Selenium. They were relatively inexpensive, and came in a a liquid droplet form; both were tasteless.

For my anemia, I looked at what caused it (I had heard low iron), the symptoms and natural treatment options. Anemia is simple to explain- it’s when your body lacks enough healthy red blood cells (http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-anemia-basics). Being tired is common with anemia because your organs aren’t getting the oxygen they need to function. If red blood cells are also deficient in hemoglobin, then your body isn’t getting enough oxygen. Yes, being iron deficient can cause anemia, but so can a litany of other things. An overall vitamin deficiency, iron deficiency (you need more iron when you’re pregnant because of the increased demand for blood supply, so this is common), destruction of red blood cells, and --- here’s the kicker --- when there are too few hormones necessary for red blood cell production. Conditions causing this type of anemia include the following: advanced kidney disease, Hypothyroidism, …. Wait wait wait, hold up. Seriously? So my anemia could be because of my thyroid? So this whole time of taking iron pills and it not working (if I was lucky enough to keep it down), could have just been treating a symptom rather than the main problem, having a low thyroid?

*Again- I was still under the wrong assumption that I had a low thyroid since I had a low TSH- when in reality, I had a low TSH, which meant I had an overactive thyroid.)

So for my anemia, I started taking ChlorOxygen, a Chlorophyll Concentrate. It’s commonly used for hikers climbing at high altitudes, pregnant woman (its hard to breathe when a baby is crunching your lungs), people with ashma, and more. It’s benefits are endless. And it only cost me $11 bucks. It basically makes you feel like you're taking a breath of air and getting 200 times the oxygen you normally would.

I wanted to take responsibility for my body and how I feel. I can’t depend on a doctor who takes a glance at my bloodwork to catch something that affects my daily life. And Kaiser's range is so huge. If it’s not deadly or cancerous or making my nails turn green- they probably aren’t going to look that much into it. At least my doctors. That’s been my experience- some doctors are great, I know, but again, going from my experience here….

Oh- and because my midwife recommended it since I can’t keep down multivitamins and am only taking gummis, to take B-12. Did you know it comes in a LOTION?!? Yep! Totally bypasses the liver. Can’t throw that stuff up!

It’s been a few days, and I’m feeling GOOD! I’m still tired (I’m working full time, with a 1-year old, and I’m WAY pregnant), but I’m not falling asleep in the middle of the day, and I can stay focused. I feel myself being more “peppy” and I have a bit of a jump in my step. It’s awesome.

*Here's the kicker- a few days after trying these things to solve symptoms I've had for years that have never gone away- it worked. But then I found out I had a high thyroid, not a low one. I looked and I didn't have any of the symptoms of having a high thyroid. I did, however, read several articles online of other people who were in teh same boat I was: their bloodwork showed hyperthyroidisim, but their symptoms pointed to hypothyroidisim. So was it just a placebo affect that was working? I don't get why taking something that I shouldn't need, and I'm actually producing too much of, makes me feel - normal. But I've talked it over with my nurse midwife and some friends, and realized, its all extra vitamins. If it doesn't work- I stop taking them- no harm done. If it works- awesome! So even after finding out that my diagnosis wasn't for hypothyroidim, but the treatment for that made me feel better, I have kept taking it. I tried just taking the Chloroxygen for a few days, and got tired and sluggish and everything else all again... so I went back and I'm feeling good. I wish the dots connected and I wish I could explain why and have had this whole blog be a written record of how when we follow our gut, and know our body best, and trust our instincts, we hold the best cards! But that's not really how it ended up... but I still feel better....

So there’s my natural spill- Things I get excited about, things I like to talk about. And Scooby Doo’s sick of hearing about the B-12 that comes in a lotion. :)

That’s all for now,

Things I love

After the birth of our first child, I had a really hard time remembering who “me” was. I was a Mom (aka a boob, a lifeguard, a nurse, a watchdog), and I couldn’t remember what else.

So with Smiles rounding the corner- hopefully- I wanted to make a list of things about me. This way, if I’m having issues remembering what I enjoy doing or the fun things that make me “me”, I can remember. To help me out (and have a bit more fun), I visited a few survey websites, and used some of their questions. So here it goes!

My Favorite Foods:
Ice cream: Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia (not the low-fat yogurt kind, the real stuff), Vanilla with caramel syrup, Baskin Robins’ Love Potion 31 & Blue Gum
Cookie: I won’t turn down a cookie unless it’s supposed to be healthy for you, but I love sour cream softies (let me know if you want the recipe!), chocolate chip, and the really soft sugar cookies with the yummy soft, crumbly frosting

I feel like a new woman after…
Getting my car washed
Getting my eyebrows waxed
Getting a massage
In my spare time, I love…
Playing solitaire on my Droid
Reading a great book in bed

What really relaxes me…
Is going on a spontaneous trip somewhere- by myself or with one other close friend (I’ll have to write a blog about some of my previous adventures)
Is taking a hot bath or shower

People I love…
My family means the world to me…

My love language is…
Gifts, then quality time

I love…
Having flowers around the house
Having a really clean house
Having a really clean house that I didn’t clean
Keeping most of the lights on in the house, windows open, the fresh breeze

Favorite Book?
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
Escape by Carolyn Jessup
Don’t Let Me Die by Lindsay Caldwell

Book I’ve started the most but never finished?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Only if it has something deep fried in it, or avocado

Worst Habit?
Pen chewer

This or That…
Bungee Jump or Skydive?
Skydive. But even then, why jump out of a perfectly good plane?

Sun or Stars?

Fruit or Vegetable?

French Toast or French Fries?
Depends- Red Robin’s French fries, otherwise- probably French toast (well done)

Strawberries or Blueberries?

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Spiderman or Batman?
Batman, because Spiders freak me out.

Hot Chocolate or Coffee?
Hot Chocolate

Camping or Backpacking?

Paddle Boat or Motor Boat?
Paddle Boat

Have you ever…
Played the Lottery?

Picked up a hitchhiker?

Given money to someone homeless?
Yes, and a bible to a homeless man, and food to a homeless guy on the side of the road.
Stopped to help someone on the side of the road?
Yes, twice. Once was a large Mexican family that I ended up driving 2 hours out of the way to get them where they needed to be. The other was a high school girl who had gotten into a car accident (hit and run) on the 80.

Chickened out?

Best Party?
Potlucks. With people that can cook. And with a BBQ.

Favorite Restaurant?
Somewhere I’ve never been.

How do you like your eggs?
Over hard with no runny yellow

Jazz, Country, Christian- probably in that order, but they rotate every few months.

Stupidest Decision?
Involved a mine, a man, two girl, and being “spontaneous” – totally a PG story, by the way

Most humorous stupid decision?
Santa Cruz beach with an ex-boyfriend and getting caught by beach patrol.

Favorite Gadget?
Any gadget

Before I was married.

Loved it.

Two, and probably one more after Smiles' born that represents him & YumYum
When I get really angry I…
Cry. I used to have to get it out physically – run, drive, etc. – but that didn’t prove safe or helpful.

When I have hurt feelings I…
Snap back
Silent treatment

Sex before marriage?
NOPE! And proud of it!

Best kiss?
Any of Scooby Doo when he’s feeling extra gentle.

Worst Movie Ending Ever?
Sweet November

Favorite TV Show?
Combat Hospital
White Collar

Favorite Comedy?
The Hangover

Favorite Pastime?
Reading for hours on end on Saturday mornings

Favorite Color?
Navy Blue

Favorite Manufactured Smell?
Kim Kardashian Perfume For Women

Favorite Natural Smell?
An open field

Favorite Season?

Favorite Shoes?
Barefoot or Tennis Shoes

Favorite Alcoholic Beverage?
Beer, sometimes I like a pina colada

Favorite Non-Alcoholic Beverage?
Diet Coke

Favorite Candy?
Peanut M&Ms

Favorite Starbucks Drink?
Soy Strawberries & Cream, no whip

Favorite Subway Sandwich?
BLT on white, dry, no cheese, with B, L, T, avocado, extra olives, salt & pepper, and oil & vinegar and a macadamia nut cookie.