Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pre-Baby Making Appointment

At lunch, before the appointment.
I never thought that having a baby would be easy for us, but I never thought it would be THIS HARD. We have seen so many doctors this year, all in hopes that we will find the missing piece to help us have a healthy and full-term pregnancy. On Friday, we saw a new Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor in hopes that he could suggest some new treatments. We were really impressed with him and the whole hospital. For the first time I felt like we had found a doctor that was going to be there to help us.

We talked about so many things, and before we knew it, we had been in his office for an entire hour. We went over what happened during our last pregnancy with Malakai and what we hope will happen next pregnancy. I will try to update you in the most easy to understand format.
1. IVIg treatments were one of the first things I wanted to talk about. He said that they may help, but there is a lot of evidence that it could increase my chances of getting pre-eclampsia again. I also thought that it was really interesting that the antibodies are not just in my blood, THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. In every little tissue there are anti-bodies. His explanation was great and it went something like this: The anti-bodies carry around little bar code scanners and scan everything. When they get to something, say the pregnancy, they scan the barcode and it comes up that it is broken. Since its coming up that it's broken my body then starts to attack it like its something making me sick. The best thing to do is to reduce any factors that would make me have a lupus flare up. Lucky for me, my lupus is very quiet. He said that it will be important for me to listen to my body and when I am tired, take a nap. Don't over do it.
On our way there.

2. My kidneys. The most he said about my kidneys is that as long as I am stable and not spilling protein, now is a good time to try. He focused less on the kidney function and more on stability. He really emphasized eating a very healthy and balanced diet. I have been doing so well on my diet and he said it's great that I have been able to reduce my blood pressure so much; it will help us next time.

3. Lupus and Auto-immune stuff. I am going to stay on the Plaquenil which will help reduce flares and help the pregnancy. This is a new thing since I have never taken if before in a pregnancy, so I hope it is a big help. I am also going to increase the aspirin I take everyday which will help reduce clotting and take blood thinner shots 2x daily.

After we discussed everything we asked if we could go tour the NICU. He called up there and arranged for us to meet with one of the NICU doctors and we talked with him for at least 30 minutes and then toured the NICU, Well Baby nursery, and Delivery ward. The NICU doctor was funny and said that Prayer is the Best Medicine. We really like everyone we met; they were all so nice and confident they could offer us great medical care during our next pregnancy. It was like they really wanted to see our dreams come true and they wanted to help us do it.
Found on pintrest. Source unknown.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


As October approached, I started to get very sad. I had been thinking about all the things I would have liked to have done with Malakai at his big 1 year birthday, but am unable to since he left us so soon. Several of my friends were so sweet to me. I had a couple close friend send me cards to let us know that they still remember him and are thinking of me. A couple friends that were with us through Malakai's journey wanted to celebrate his day, so they took me to lunch. Another sweet friend thought of me when she was at a craft fair and picked up the picture I have posted today "Grace".

Looking back, I was so crushed that we were once again not able to bring home a baby. I was so ready to jump into adoption and fill that space in my heart with kids that needed a mom and dad. We really thought that God was leading us toward adoption. I mean- adoption is talked about as a awesome thing in the Bible, surely God would want that for us. We continued to pray that God would direct us and it seems pretty clear that God wants us to build our family another way. First, with the failed private adoption, and then second with the road blocks to get our approval for state adoption from foster care. God does like to surprise us, so maybe he has a curve ball for us, but for now we have peace about getting pregnant again.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor and I hope that he will prescribe IVIg treatments I have mentioned before. I am getting excited about the future for our family. Sometimes, I find it hard to get excited when things have gone wrong so many times in the past, but this time I am getting really excited. I will be completely honest, last pregnancy was so hard. I was so scared I would go to my next appointment and we would not be able to find the heart beat. I think I missed some of the joy of my pregnancy because of fear. I'm sure I will still have those moments, but I hope that in that moment I can remember to put my trust in the Lord.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October Freezer Cooking

October is almost gone and my freezer is full. This month I cooked with a new cooking buddy and we had a great time. The food all turned out really great; I have already tried a few of the meals. The majority of the meals I choose are from the Once a Month Mom site. It is a great site, and I love that they have tried all of these as freezer meals. We made 8 meals, so we will have a few meals we still need to cook or eat out to have an entire month, but it was still really successful. 

Over all, I think we spent about $225 for all the meals we cooked. My cooking buddy did all the shopping for meat and non-perishables at the commissary and I was shocked at the great prices. I bought all the produce from the organic co-op.  They are all gluten/dairy free, but there are no funny ingredients in them to make them this way, just simple cooking.

As I dive into gluten and dairy free meals, I have found I really don’t like substituting a bunch of ingredients to make a “normal food” gluten and dairy free. It’s a lot of work and it should not be this hard. A lot of what we made is oriental and that is all naturally dairy free and gluten free if served over rice. I know some people would have a really hard time giving up their favorites, but for me it’s not been that hard. I guess what makes it a little easier is that I feel so much better and I am still able to eat really flavorful meals. 

I will admit that when I go out to eat, it is really hard to stick to gluten and dairy free. It has been a lot easier for me if I plan our meals and freezer cooking helps me do that so much. 

Everything is strapped in and ready to go.

 Curried soup is so GOOD! I found lemon grass in the fresh herb section at the grocery store- but it was in a tube. It worked great.

 Taco Soup was in September's menu too.

 Honey Bourbon Chicken was so good last month that Matt said he would eat it this month too. I use my potato masher to break up the chicken after it cooks and I like to add a bag of frozen broccoli 1 1/2 hrs before I serve it.

 The red sauce in this recipe is so good. It was really easy to make too. Instead of layering it with raw chicken on top of rice and the sauce on top of that, I froze it all separately. I think I will pour the sauce into the crock pot and cook the chicken in it on high for 2-3 hours. It will almost be like Parmesan Chicken without the breaded chicken and cheese. 

 These are going to taste great. They look fantastic.

 I have made this before and it is really great. I will add more bell peppers to it, but I had run out on cooking day.

I have made this in the past. Her site is pretty neat; the only changes I made were that I used regular coconut milk, not low fat, and I cooked my own beans instead of using canned.

This is the recipe for Jambalaya I have always used, but this time it was not as flavorful, I think I may have forgotten to triple the spices since I tripled the recipe. I also used chicken instead of ham and sausage and those add a lot of flavor too.

Some of these recipes I doubled, tripled or quadrupled. I froze all my meals in 2-3 portion sizes and my buddy did all hers in 4-6 portion sizes for her family of 4. Making one meal vegetarian really helps cut down on cost too.

I am still not sure how to upload my shopping list, but if you want to do all of these yourself, I can send it to you in an e-mail. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Adoption Update

Sometimes, so much happens that I have to take a few days to let it sink in and process before I share it on my blog. So many things are going on this month and I want to focus just on adoption today.

I know that I shared last month that we were very excited and a little discouraged that our home study had been sent in. We were excited to finally have it approved and complete and discouraged it was taking so long. Everyone that went through the process with us has already been approved, why has ours not even been sent to the state yet? This whole time we have been going through this, I felt that I HAD to do something to feel like I was trying to grow my family. Going through the classes helped me to feel active. I really thought we would complete the classes and our home study and things would go without a hitch.

The more time passes the more it seems that things are not working for a reason. We have been faithfully praying that God would give us peace as we decide how to grow our family and I am surprised at how well I have taken the newest news.

Last week we found out that our home study was never sent to the state office last month.

It's a long story but, I am proud of myself for the way I handled the situation. I very politely let my social worker know that I was not pleased my study had been delayed another month. I'm normally so nervous to speak up, but this time I did and I did a good job.

We should have an appointment soon with a Maternal Fetal Specialist, or high risk ob. This doctor seems really nice, much nicer than the last doctor I saw. So, while it seems adoption is not working for us at this moment, it is still something that holds a very special place in my heart and I am am not sure what God has in store for us yet, but I am positive it will all be worth it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday Update
Yesterday, I had my 3 month check-up with my rheumatologist. He asked me how I have been feeling and if I felt as good as I wanted to feel. It's pretty awesome to have a doctor ask if you could feel any better. I told him that I have so much more energy now and all the cramping has gone away from my joints. Plaquenil is awesome! We also discussed IVIg again and he said that I NEED to add that to my next pregnancy. We have already done everything else that is normal protocol for someone with a positive ANA and Lupus anti-bodies and APS. THIS IS THE ONLY OTHER MEDICINE WE COULD TRY. He said that he was surprised that the MFM I saw would not at least try it since it is safe and has no side effects.

I am encouraged that he said that all my numbers look good. They are not too high and I think that they will get better the longer I eat a whole foods diet. We talked about my new eating habits and he asked if I had lost any weight. I have lost about 10 pounds in the last three  months and he said that is because when you cut out things your sensitive to, you will lose weight. For me, I cut out dairy, gluten, and processed sugar. He also said that it is great that I have cut out those things and that there are not enough people that consider how food impacts their life. He seemed to think that it would be more important to be dairy free than gluten free.

I'm glad that he is a nice doctor. I feel better about getting pregnant now that I am feeling better and there has been slow improvement in my kidney function. I think that it is going to continue to get better. I also think that cutting out dairy, gluten, and sugar is going to help so much. Even if I don't get IVIg I am on 1 new medicine (plaquenil) and the MFM said that would help.I am getting another opinion from a MFM that is in his own private practice, I hear he is really nice and he does use IVIg a lot.

Hebrews 4:15-16 (KJV)

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

This passage is so encouraging to me. As a christian, my high priest is Christ Jesus and this verse is telling us that He knows everything that we are going through because he has gone through all these things, AND He wants us to come to Him with GREAT FAITH that we can have everything we need through Him.