Monday, February 16, 2015

More Common Than You Think

On Christmas Eve I found out I was pregnant.

I was shocked. Overjoyed. Ecstatic. Shocked. This baby wasn't planned but I was excited nonetheless.

I pulled up a due date calculator that said I would be due around July 28th. Pregnant in the summer?? Goodness. I wasn't looking forward to that but I would have a sweet little baby and that was okay.

I wanted to see my doctor and she was on vacation so the next available appointment was January 5th. The wait was long but seeing how I had two kids already, I wasn't worried about it.  The only thing that surprised me was that I didn't have any symptoms. No morning sickness, nothing. I felt like the luckiest prego around. I gave up soda, started eating more healthily and was going to bed early.

 Those first pregnancy appointments are the worst. They ask you to pee in a cup, weigh you in, ask a bunch of personal questions and examine you. We wrapped up our appointment and I got a fun breakfast date with my hubby after.

The next day rolls around and I get some spotting. Happened in my last pregnancy too.  I just kept getting this nagging feeling that I'm not pregnant. I had texted my sister about it and she's sure it's my anxiety and tells me not to worry. I let it go.

Later that night a friend from church and two sister missionaries came by with a message about hope. It was so divinely inspired now that I think about it. I tell Omar after they left that I still felt like something was really wrong. To ease my worries, he gives me a blessing. I then know for sure that I needed to prepare for the worst.

Woke up the next day, got my big kid ready and on the school bus. I share a breakfast pic on Instagram of how yummy my breakfast broccoli is and I feel a twinge in my stomach. Maybe baby wasn't as down for greens so early.

The twinge got stronger and stronger. I go to the bathroom. There is not just a spot of blood. But then I think this could be normal. I call the triage nurse and she said I should go to the doctor to be safe. I call Omar's work because by that time there is more blood. He came as quickly as he could. I get the ultrasound and the doctor confirms that my baby passed away at 6 weeks and I should have been 11 weeks along. The ultrasound tech gave me a picture of what was. The doctor said she was sorry but they had to make very sure that this baby was a loss so I had to come in the next week to confirm.

I cried and cried and cried. I had a dream for this child. Maybe it was going to be a boy. We had already tossed around names. We had plans and my imagination was so great, I already envisioned this little baby fitting in so perfectly into our little family. All of it was over.

Omar showed me so much love. He made me feel like a loved, needed person and held me so tightly during those hard mornings and long nights.

After family and friends from church were informed of my loss, I reached out to a few friends in a closed discussion about what happened. I had to talk about it. I knew if I kept this to myself, it could be easy to go to a dark place. It turns out it's true what the doctor said, "Miscarriage is more common than you think." I had many friends share their stories with me.

I didn't write this up to receive apologies or condolences. I read a recent article on Buzzfeed of all places, about a woman who had a miscarriage last fall and it was personal and needed as I was going through the worst of it at the time. She said she had wanted to start a conversation with the hash tag #ihadamiscarriage.

I'm going on 6 weeks and it's still not over. I have a follow up appointment on Friday.

Talking about this has helped me feel less alone, more loved, and at peace. I know the gospel in my life has helped me to know there is a greater purpose in my life and that God is merciful and has blessed me. Had this baby continued to develop, it would have had so many problems. Our bodies are smart and know what to do. Maybe one day I'll see this baby again in this life or the next and for that I'm grateful.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Whole 30 Reflections

So it's been quite some time since I have taken to writing on my blog.  I didn't forget that I had one, it was just that I didn't think I had anything noteworthy to add to it.

Back in late April, my sister in law had convinced my mother in law and I to take on a challenge in the way we eat and approach food.  It was called the Whole30 challenge.  Whole30 is a lifestyle that was developed by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig out of Utah.  They are nutritionists and explain in their book, It Starts With Food, about the benefits of clean eating and the process of giving your body a nutritional restart.  You do this by eliminating certain foods from your diet, like all processed foods, along with the list shown below. After 30 days you reintroduce items from the no list one by one, to see if you have a negative bodily reaction.  Then you'll know what foods work for you and which ones don't.  You also learn if you have an unhealthy relationship with certain foods, the kind that take you on a slippery slope of disaster and avoid those foods or learn to eat them in moderation.

That means I would give up many of the foods I love, especially soda, cheese, and bread.  My sister in law asked me, "How many sodas do you drink a day?"  I honestly did not know.  We keep a surplus of soda at our house. We never run out.  If we saw our reserve was getting low, we bought more.  (That hasn't changed, I'm the only one not drinking soda apart from my two girls). I thought about her question. Let's see, 1 with breakfast, 1 or 2 with lunch, 1 in the late afternoon for a pick me up, 1 with dinner and maybe 1 in the evening.  That's a total of 6. SIX!!!  I would drink a six pack by myself a day.  A DAY!  Thinking about this now, I can't believe how much sugar I was consuming by drinking.  It's gross.  Really gross. I was worried.  I read stories of the first few days being very hard due to headaches, fatigue and strong cravings.  I had no idea what I was in for. With our grocery lists in hand, we went to the grocery store.  I bought things I hadn't ever bought before like coconut milk, coconut oil, almond meal, tons of light olive oil, cases of water, reading labels on everything.  Grocery shopping does take some time with all the reading but one of the things I loved about this program is that you don't even need to look at the caloric intake.  As long as you are eating real food, there was no need to count calories which was a saving grace because I hate counting and math.  I hate keeping track of what I have eaten but I do love a good snap shot of food.  

One setback, other than craving a slice of pizza or a soda every now and again was the price of this program.  I'm a frugal kind of gal and the first grocery bill was pushing $300 for the first week, mostly due to buying all those new ingredients that had promised to ease me into this way of eating.  The grocery bills that followed we subsequently smaller but man, I got sticker shock!  Now, it's average, like it was before.  This tells me it's not too expensive to eat healthily!

One thing they mention at the Whole30 website and book is something called the Sugar Dragon.  The Sugar Dragon has his hooks in deep with me. When we consume sugar, as we know, it can lead to more sugar cravings so the more we eat sugar, the more we want sugar; at least with people who have no self control. I am one of those people. I thought that since I didn't like desserts much, my sugar craving was in check but it really wasn't. Refer to the soda intake above.  The first week of the program was hard.  Really. Hard. I made it hard because I had convinced myself that I needed a soda to go with my awesome looking instagram worthy meals and I didn't let myself enjoy it.  Plus, I had a raging headache that lasted for 3 1/2 days.  Then it was my Gramma's birthday and she was making tamales and menudo and I was stuck with a salad.  A lovely chopped salad with homemade ranch dressing and bacon and I still was pouting. I know, I'm a brat.  

But by week two, I noticed something.  I was able to fall asleep.  I used to have to wait til 1 am to snooze.  I was waking up at 5 or 5:30 and ready for bed by 9:30.  Good restful sleep!  I woke up with energy, whereas before, I would wake up tired with no desire to leave my bed but I have two kids that needed my attention so I got up.  I was groggily and my attitude could be perkier.  At week two, I woke up at least and hour and a half before my kids.  Plenty of time to do whatever before they took over. 

Days that followed up until now, my taste buds have changed.  I notice how sweet fruit is all on its own.  Flavorful marinades pack a punch with meat.  I don't have to eat every two hours because I'm full.  FULL!  I didn't know I could eat one meal and be full.  I drink water to stay hydrated but not to fill a craving.  I learned about cravings!  What is it?  Am I head hungry or hungry hungry?  Because if I'm hungry hungry I can eat nuts, fruit, a piece of chicken and not what I'm craving like cheese or a cupcake.  There are so many sources out there for free when it comes to clean, healthy eating.  Two being Nom Nom Paleo and The Clothes Make the Girl. Check them out!  

I wish wish wish I had taken a day one picture and measured my body but I didn't.  I don't think I wanted to even look at myself or see the real numbers that make up my size.  I know what I started at on the scale and I'm proud to say that after Whole30, this morning I weighed myself.  I lost 14.2 pounds.  That's amazing!  I'm pretty sure I lost some inches in other places because right now clothes are weird and my tummy is a trouble zone, (I feel like I'm shaped like an apple) but overall, I'm super pleased!  I'm am glad that I completed this (with one minor slip up: who knew that a can of jalapenos had sugar in them?! I had one). I have never really stuck to anything that took self discipline and am so proud that I was able to teach myself, that I am capable of much more than I thought.  Try it!  30 days.  Clean eating.  You'll find that going back to "normal" is scary. 

Now that this is over, I see that this was a great jumping off point to a healthier lifestyle and a healthy me.  Now to share some of my favorite dishes!

Homemade Mayo

Turkey meatloaf (with bellpeppers, onion and mushrooms), pan seared brussels sprouts, broccoli and bacon with mashed sweet potatoes.

Nom Nom Paleo's Chile Lime Chicken Wings

Pan seared chicken thighs, with a tomatillo avocado salsa, sweet potatoes and strawberries.

Baked chicken, roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes with mashed cauliflower.

Chicken Kabobs!

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Night of Weird...It Was A Good Thing

I think the last concert I went to was in 2008.

I saw the Helio Sequence.  It was awesome. (So excited they are coming back to town in October).

Later in 2008 I had a baby and moved to the Midwest. Yeah, last night was my first concert in five years.

My husband asked if I wanted to go see Bob Log III.  Who is Bob Log III?  He's a one man entertainer who plays slide guitar, the drums with his feet and wears a helmet with a phone receiver coming out of it.

The funny thing about Bob Log III is that he sets up his own stage, hangs up his own merchandise and looks like a quirky yet cool high school biology teacher.  I got a weird Bill Nye vibe from him.

Yet, when he puts on the suit and the helmet, he is transformed into a spectacular entertainer.  

This would not be the first time I went to a Bob Log III show.

The last time I saw Bob Log III, I can't even make up what that show was about.  There was a roller derby team raising money with a kissing booth.  There was an elderly man with a hat that read F**K the Police that was also using a camcorder.  There was a belly dancer wearing a monkey mask.  Some ladies felt the need to expose their chests while Bob Log III sang a little ditty named, "Boob Scotch."  I had to look away a lot during that show. So, when my husband recently asked if I wanted to see Bob Log III again, I was in no rush to say yes.  Bob Log III - "F-Hole Parade"

I am so glad I went.

I have to say I was nervous about getting pushed or shoved and seeing a ton of boobs.  But I was wrong to assume it was going to be "that kind of show." A Bob Log III show will guarantee you a night of weird.

Here's basically everything I saw in a matter of hours.  It happened so fast that I couldn't take pictures of it all.

 - A sideshow act that had a woman swallow three razor blades and she fished them out with floss.
 - A woman using five samurai swords as stairs.
 - A man put himself through a tennis racket (without strings of course).
 - Same guy had to break free from locked chains and if he didn't do it fast enough he would get tazed.
 - I saw a man get tazed four times.
 - A woman put a nail in her nose.

 - Two older ladies behind me saying "Oh My."
 - A band that played with a cigar box guitar.
 - Jimmy Fallon's messy doppelganger.

And last but not least, we carried Bob Log III around in a dingy, using the audience as his ocean.  He got stuck in the dingy because the helmet he uses makes everything pitch black.

It was pretty cool.   

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Mother, A Calling

A few words that run through my mind when I think of my daughter:

Funny, silly, quirky, loving, caring, intelligent, sneaky, kind, compassionate, helpful, demanding, milestones, speech, expressive, rigid, orderly, surprising, amazing, hard, unique.

I noticed before she was 2 years old that she didn't really talk too much. She had a knack for memorizing things like the alphabet and counting to 10. She liked to line things up and they were not to be disturbed. She hates unexpected loud noises  and she could spin around without getting dizzy. She can't really grasp too hard or sit up straight. She has trouble putting on a shirt because once the shirt goes over her head, she can't see and gets anxious.  She loves the feel of water on her skin and sticking her hands in large bins of rice or beans.
Pretty lucky in the fact that she basically eats anything. She loves food and my husband says I gave her a more refined palette because of all the fancy food I like to make. My daughter is a fan of any condiments. She love ranch dressing, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise . She's kind of funny in a way that she calls fruit juice. Her favorite is Capri Sun. Each flavor has a picture of a sport. So my daughter named them accordingly. There is a boat juice, Basketball juice, bicycle juice, and skateboarding juice .

My daughter is very polite and I love that about her.  She is very compassionate when I didn't think that she would comprehend peoples emotions because she didn't for a long time.

I found out about a year ago from an occupational therapist that my daughter has something called sensory integration dysfunction or sensory processing disorder. It's basically when people have something in the brain that that makes them overly sensitive or under sensitive outside factors . For example my daughter's ears are very sensitive. She doesn't like loud noises she doesn't like her ears cleaned which has proved difficult . It was hard to potty train her because she didn't feel uncomfortable being soiled or wet because she couldn't feel it.
I thought I would be much more upset when learning the news about my daughter but in reality I was relieved because now I knew there was a name to the difficulties she was having. I read a book called the Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz,  which helped me understand her better.

After a tough but quick battle with the school district, I was able to get her evaluated to see if she would qualify for developmental preschool.
She's only been in school for about two months and she loves it. Every week she receives speech therapy, occupational therapy and social-emotional therapy. I do think she has improved in the short time she's been in school.  She asks me questions, loves pretend play, loves reading, has clearer emotional reactions, and enjoys playing with her cousins. She sometimes has tough days; those are hard for both of us. She likes to create a routines and when I decide to change it, the day might not go as smoothly. It hurts when she cries afterwards, longing for the structured world she created for herself. It would be easy to just let her have what she wants but, how would she learn to adjust later in life, when things don't go her way?

Anytime I have a rough day, I think of what my friend said to me, "The days are long, but the years are short." It gives me patience. My daughter chose me as her mother, and all I can do for her is my very best.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dressing the Part

Problem #1

So after baby, my body is out of whack.

I wasn't a svelte anything before pregnancy, but after losing 20 pounds in my first trimester, I have been able to keep that off afterwards. That's cool and all but there's this large stretched out tummy area that hangs in weird places.  I know, it's gross but dressing said area is a challenge.

Problem #2

I don't want to be a frumpy mom and yet I feel frumpy all the time.  Looking at the outfit I have on now, it's most definitely a function over fashion outfit.  It's an owl t-shirt, crop jeans and black walking shoes.  The temperature today will reach 95.  So I thought, thin t-shirt and "shorts."  I have to wear walking shoes because I walk my daughter to the bus stop during the week.

When I dress up for church or hanging out with friends, I feel great and pretty.

I think the bottom line is that I have to lose more weight and learn how to drive.  Both of these things are challenges for me.  I'm lazy and I have anxiety about driving.

So knowing this - what does a post-pregnancy plus size mom wear while walking her kid to the bus stop in a sketchy neighborhood (oh yeah, I live in a sketchy neighborhood) while still looking modest?  And not frumpy?  And still be able to keep cool?

My husband is definitely a guy who chooses function over fashion.  He basically wears clothes to keep from being naked.  I don't think clothes make him "feel" anything.  Why is there a feeling attached to clothing when it comes to women?  Dumb sociological ideals I think but I still like to feel a certain way in clothing.  Then I think why dress a certain way when I know for sure I will be spit up on at least once daily?

I think I'm done ranting about clothes and body issues.

Carry on. :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Getting Back to Normal

So the title of this post isn't right but not wrong either.

Normalcy changes with each transition in life.  What was normal a year ago doesn't fit anymore.

So yup, I had a baby.  She's two months old now and she turned our world upside down.  Her sister didn't care for her much at first but now she's goo-goo eyed for her (except when baby is crying).  My house is a mess, I do laundry almost everyday and dinner is late but things will even out soon.  I'm excited to have book club at my house this month because I actually finished the book and my house will be clean by then (fingers crossed).

Here's to finding more time to do everything and small pockets of time to do absolutely nothing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

And a Baby Makes Four

I'm three weeks away from changing our family dynamic that has been that of a family of 3 for a little over four years.

I'm not good with anticipation.

I want to see this baby that has been so very active squishing my insides.  I look at my ultrasound pictures that don't provide too much, being how now the pictures are 2 months old. I feel like she is ten pounds and three feet long.  Who knows, my first kid was almost nine pounds so it's very possible.  She probably won't be three feet long at birth though.

I also want to know how my daughter will feel about her sister.  Will she like her or wait around for the new baby to go back from where she came from.  She often says, "Oh, that baby is so cute!" when she sees a baby but that baby never comes home with us.  These kind of thoughts often cloud my mind.  I keep thinking that I have to be able to split my time equally between the two. Then realize that yes, a baby will take up more time and need more attention than my four year old.  I have to keep the four year old involved with everything I'm doing. She needs to know that her Mom knows that she can be a big girl helper.  She's been really good about picking up anything I drop (I've been so clumsy lately), taking herself to the bathroom and helping me push the laundry basket to the washer and unloading the clothes from the dryer.  She picks up her toys (after asking more than once) and goes down to bed very easily.  I need to be able to make time for her when baby girl is napping, without feeling too exhausted myself.

I'm doing what I can to prepare for baby girl's arrival by constantly cleaning, making freezer meals and will pack my suitcase for the hospital soon.  Yes, I need a suitcase because I'm getting a repeat C-Section so that's at least 3 - 4 days in the hospital.  Nesting has been going on for over a week and I just want to throw everything in my house away.  I feel like we have too much clutter, maybe I've watched too many episodes of Hoarders.  Usually my day comes to an end once my ankles are utterly swollen and sometimes I'll just keep plugging away because there's always something to be done.

I've been short tempered, tired, sore and all the other things pregnant ladies complain about, especially in these last few weeks.  I don't know how my husband puts up with me but he does.  I always feel bad after a preggy rage and wish I could be better at controlling my emotions, the poor guy is an amazing husband and father.  I'm sure he's counting down too.  I hate my accidental naps and feeling tired.  I think I've gotten sick about four times during this pregnancy and I forget every time what medicine is safe for me to take.  I hate the anxiety I feel when I approach the scale at my prenatal appointments.  Four weeks ago I gained five pounds in two weeks and my doctor looked at me and said, "What happened?  How did you gain so much? What were you eating?"  Yup, I felt like a blob of crap.  Lady doctors can be so cruel but it's true, what did I eat?  Oh yeah, everything.

Once I have baby girl I hope I get back to normal, that my older daughter loves her, my husband will feel less attacked and that we will be alright with things being a little crazy.  I just wish I could see her face and count fingers and toes.

Three weeks from today at about 7:40am I'll have a baby girl, I wish it were tomorrow.