Tuesday, July 28, 2009

FAM "Miss-Conception"

Natural methods of birth control have kind of gotten a bad reputation. I hear women say "I got pregnant using those methods". If used correctly, this will not happen. But, FAM and NFP are often confused with the rhythm method. The rhythm method is an unreliable method of family planning in which the fertile phase of the cycle is calculated according to the lengths of the previous menstrual cycles. Because of its reliance on regular menstrual cycles and long periods of abstinence, it is neither effective nor widely accepted as a modern method of natural family planning. In addition, the rhythm method technique is known to use information based on a 28 day cycle. This is just simply not what all women experience. If you were to tell your caregiver that you use the rhythm method as a form of birth control they would most likely scoff and tell you it is an ineffective method, which it is because of what I just mentioned above. However, their calculations for pregnancy and "due dates" are based on a 28 day cycle wheel. Something is missing here.

I believe that if you are wanting to conceive and especially if you are having difficulty, it is crucial that you begin to document and chart your cycles. And, if you are wanting to avoid induction you must chart!

A quick story:

Dana was a 25-year-old women who had recently come off the Pill, so her cycles had not yet returned to normal. Because she and her husband wanted to get pregnant, they practiced Fertility Awareness to determine her fertile phase. After she became pregnant, he doctor asked her the date of her last menstrual period to apply the standard pregnancy wheel. Dana mentioned that the pregnancy wheel would be inaccurate in her particular case since it assumes ovulation on day 14. She explained that she practiced FAM and knew that she didn't ovulate until day 37, so it would inaccurately predict her due date a full three weeks earlier than it really should be.

You can imagine Dana's surprise when the doctor not only did not give her credence to her charts, but actually expressed great concern when his pelvic exam revealed that the fetus was "extremely small for dates." Had this women not been practicing Fertility Awareness, she would have been distressed to be told by the doctor that something was wrong with her fetus, all because he was basing her cycles on the average women's day of ovulation, rather than her own. As if that wasn't enough, he actually red-flagged her chart with a "medical alert" tag, indicating that her pregnancy was high risk and needed to be followed carefully.

I believe this story is also a classic example of the importance of charting not only to know the exact day of conception, but also to avoid a possible risky induction. Had she not been charting and instead relying only on the date of her last period, she would most likely be induced before the actual 40 week mark and never even know it. Her baby would not even be 40 weeks when they would possibly induce at 10 days past her "due date" according to her doctors calculation based on the pregnancy wheel.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why I am a FAM girl

FAM - Fertility Awareness Method and NFP - Natural Family Planning Methods

I often use the description of birth control like this. Men are fertile every single day of their lives from the age they hit puberty until the day they die. Women are fertile 12-24 hours of each month. So, to me, the idea that birth control methods that fall completely on the responsibility of the woman seems a bit unrealistic.

Although I do not use all of the ideas in FAM, such as feeling my cervix for softness or hardness, I am aware of my fertile cervical fluid, which is the most important aspect of using FAM as birth control and for pregnancy achievement. What makes this method so great is that you and your spouse can become very aware and knowledgeable of her body and the changes it goes through during her cycle. He can be an active part of helping chart and staying informed on fertile days for pregnancy and "safe" days for prevention. Fertile days, when trying to avoid pregnancy, can be spent SPICE-ing it up. Spiritual - Physical - Iintellectual - Communicative - Emotional

The basics of FAM and NFP are charting your cervical mucous. As I described in my previous post, your "peak day" is the day you are most fertile. This means that you will best be able to conceive on this day. All of us use the restroom several times a day. Each time you use the restroom, you check for cervical mucous. With a tissue, you wipe the area (front to back) before and after using the restroom. Cervical mucous is described as sticky, creamy, or eggwhite. In the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, cervical mucous is described in great detail, so I won't go too much into it in this post. The most important cervical mucous you need to be aware of is the eggwhite mucous that looks very similar to the eggwhites of an egg. It is very stretchy and slippery. Estrogen peaks the day before ovulation and creates the most fertile fluid. Sperm can live in this very fertile cervical mucous for 3-5 days. With the absence of eggwhite mucous, sperm will die within hours.

I know that some people believe that you can get pregnant at any time during the month. This is simply not true. If you diligently chart your cervical fluid, you will know what days you are most fertile and what days you are not fertile for pregnancy. These methods, FAM and NFP, when used properly are very effective (99%) in preventing and achieving pregnancy. I strongly suggest you look into it. This method is totally free. With the exception of buying the book of your choice to read up on the method, you will only be using pencil and paper for charting. Birth control pills, condoms, and other contraceptive methods have an initial or ongoing cost. This can be difficult to manage if you do not have health insurance or the means to keep replenishing your methods.

Charting your cycles can also be effective in determining if you have specific reproductive issues such as endometrieosis, low progesterone, or even cancer. If you are having spotting between periods, spotting during pregnancy, history of miscarriage, missed periods with no pregnancy or more, then charting could be very essential to knowing what to tell your caregivers.

Some more facts:
* Spotting or miscarriage during the 1st trimester of pregnancy could mean an issue with low progesterone.
* When checking for cervical mucous, you use the 3 C's, color, consistency, change, and sensation.
* After birth you are fertile for 56 days if you are breastfeeding.
* "The Pill" does not prevent pregnancy. It keeps the uterine lining so thin to you will miscarry and abort the baby if you do indeed become pregnant while using the pill. You will most likely never know you were even pregnant when you miscarry.
* From fertilization to implantation it takes nine days. Pregnancy tests are designed to detect HCG levels. HCG is produced by implantation. It is recommended to not take a pregnancy test until 16 days following your peak day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Earth Mama Angel Baby Giveaway

"Organic Baby Products 101" Blog is having an Earth Mama Angel Baby product giveaway! These are amazing, sustainable, organic products for mommy and baby. I love all of their products and recommend them to my clients. Winner will be selected in August 2nd, so hurry and enter. Click here for contest details.

Here is what you are eligible to win:

Happy Mama Spray

The Angel Baby Kit

The Angel Baby Kit includes:

Angel Baby Bath Blossoms, 42 g.(1.5 oz.), Angel Baby Bottom Balm, 30 ml.(1 oz.), Angel Baby Lotion, 60 ml.(2 oz.), Angel Baby Oil, 30 ml.(1 oz.), Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, 50 ml (1.67 fl. oz.), Angel Baby Sleep CD

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sneak "Peak" on Fertility

Remember my post on Birth Control and Pregnancy Achievement? If you are trying to conceive (or not), it is nice to be aware of your most fertile or "peak" day of fertility. If you already chart your cycles, you are aware of how this works. If not, the following information may be very helpful.

Charting the Most Fertile Day of Your Cycle

Your peak day, as the name suggests, is the day that your fertility peaks and the best time to get pregnant. If you are charting you can determine your peak day by checking your cervical mucous. After you have ovulated your cervical mucous will begin to dry up. This is one way to confirm that you have ovulated. Your peak day is the last day of fertile cervical mucous. You won’t be able to identify your peak day until after it occurs, when you notice your cervical mucous has become dry. Mark your peak day on your chart with a P.

Charting your Peak Day

You will want to look for your peak day when you are charting. You will know it is your peak day by the days that follow it. Once you see the shift from wet fertile cervical mucous to dry cervical mucous you will know that your peak day has occurred. Mark your chart with a P on the last day you see fertile cervical mucous. Then mark the following four days of dry cervical mucous with 1, 2, 3, 4. Once you have seen four dry days you can assume you are no longer fertile.

Peak Day and avoiding pregnancy

If you are trying to avoid pregnancy, do not have intercourse until four days after your peak day. Your peak day usually occurs the day before ovulation or the day of ovulation. Since your egg can survive for about 24 hours you will not want to have sex until around four days after your peak day to avoid pregnancy.

Peak Day and trying to conceive

If you are trying to conceive you will want to start having intercourse before your peak day. After your period ends you will notice an increase in cervical mucous. The typical pattern is tacky cervical mucous, that turns to creamy, that changes to clear stretchy egg white looking cervical mucous. While it is true that you are looking for egg white slippery cervical mucous to indicate ovulation, it is a good idea to start having intercourse before you see this. The reason behind this is that sperm can last up to five days and your egg can only last 24 hours. If you wait until the day you see slippery egg white mucous, you only give yourself a one day opportunity to get pregnant. If you have sex prior to ovulating as well you will increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kickin' It

My bad habit that is.


I have had a hunch that is been affecting my fertility. When we conceived last summer, I was not drinking caffeine. But, because of my work schedule these days, I have been drinking more coffee in the past several months. I would say that I drink an average of 12 oz. per day. That isn't a lot compared to the intake of many, but it is more that I feel I should be having.

After about seven months of trying to conceive with no positive outcome, I have decided to take a good look at my diet. Caffeine is the first to go and here is why. Some studies have shown the link of caffeine consumption and the ability to conceive. For example, one study showed that women who have an intake or 300mg of caffeine per day have a 27 percent less chance of conceiving compared to those who do not have caffeine. So now it will be herbal tea for me.

What will be the next nutritional change? I am not sure. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blog Facelift

Ok, I know it is a little hard to read, but I am trying out my new skills with "paint". A program that I have decided I do not like. So, enjoy for now and I will pretty it up later!

A Conversation on Birth Choices

It's inevitable. You get a group of women together and childbirth will most likely come up. Especially if anyone of them is pregnant. It seems like this topic has come up a lot lately in discussions I have been a part of. There are so many different ideas out there on caregivers, childbirth classes, where to have your baby, breastfeeding, and the list goes on an on.

I must begin by saying that I have not had the experience of any of this yet, so I am the bystander on many of these conversations. Of course, as a doula, natural birth advocate, and breastfeeding supporter, I do often find myself wanting to advocate more than I should. I also know that natural childbirth advocates can often times get categorized as "radicals", not willing to hear any other side.

But, it makes me really think after these gatherings and such discussions with these women. I am glad to be a part of such a diverse group of friends who have different ideas and opinions. By now, you all know that I do, however, feel that it is important to be educated and informed on all aspects of childbirth if you are a mother (or father) or plan on becoming one soon.

I understand that when you are pregnant that you get all kinds of advice, solicited or not. But, if you say to me "I am not brave enough to have a natural birth" or "I need the epidural before I even go into labor", then you are going to get a few probing questions from me. I would ask you, "What makes you feel that way?" "Do you know you have a 1 in 2 chance of having a cesarean section if you birth in a hospital?" "Do you understand the repercussions of an induction?" Sometimes just talking it out with them helps bring the topic into a whole new light. Maybe they have heard horror stories about other births and feel the hospital and drugs are the safest route for them. Maybe they aren't fully educated on how the drugs may effect the mother and baby during and after birth. Maybe they want the process to be easier for their husband/support person so he/she doesn't have to "worry" about her as much or get too tired while she is in labor (a doula would help, but that is for another post).

Many people have gotten their view of childbirth from television and movies. You know, the shows that all depict childbirth as an "emergency situation". The media has truly misrepresented the intimate, calming, loving nature of birth. They have created birth to be a fearful, stressful situation that it does not have to be. Besides the media, I often wonder what really makes women feel fearful of childbirth. Is it the pain? Is it the "what if" factor? It is all the unknowns? Does she feel unprepared?

As women, we have the right to choose whatever kind of birth we want to have. It is, after all, our body and our birth. So, whether you choose to have a natural (unmedicated) birth or a medicated birth, please understand why you made that choice. That choice could affect you and your baby for the rest of your lives.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Breast is Best

Breastfeeding Facts

Breastmilk is the best food for infants and small children:
  • Reduces the risk of allergic reations and asthma
  • Provides babies with the most easily digested food
  • Promotes healthy growth and development
  • Studies indicate a higher I.Q. among breastfed babies
  • Protects against cancer and diabetes
  • Transmits mother's immunities
  • Leads to fewer ear and respiratory infections
  • May protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Yields health benefits that last a lifetime
  • Reduces crying and colic
  • Reduces cause of abuse and abandonment
  • Allows mom time to cuddle and nurture her baby
  • Mother's milk changes throughout the duration of nursing to meet the baby's specific needs at a given time
  • Diapers have less offensive odor
  • Mother's milk is the safest food for infants in any emergency
Breastfeeding is best for mothers:
  • Releases prolactin: the calming, "mothering" hormone
  • May delay ovulation and menstruation
  • Protects against breast and ovulation cancer
  • Helps uterus get back to pre-pregnancy size and shape
  • Allows mothers to miss fewer work or school days because baby is sick less often
  • Creates a special time for mother-baby bonding
  • Less time preparing bottles
  • Permits mothers to get more sleep at night (if baby shares bed)
Breastfeeding is best for families:
  • Saves money in formula and health care costs
  • Leads to healthier baby and mother
  • Allows mother to spend more time with entire family
  • Can offer a special bonding tie for siblings and fathers, too
  • Makes for easier traveling
  • Makes comforting baby easier - less crying
Breastfeeding is best for the world:
  • Uses a natural resource
  • Protects the environment: no packaging, no plastics, no waste
  • Yields healthier work force for the future
  • Requires no storage
  • Saves tax dollars by decreasing health care costs
Information provided by: 2007 Department of State Health Services

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Organic Product Suggestions?

I am looking for more suggestions on great, organic mommy and baby items or products. Anyone have anything they recommend...can't live without?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Homebirth: Not Just for the Crunchy, Country Folks

Recently, I have had many women comment about their "normal" friends birthing at home. Many people are under the misconception that only "weird" people have babies at home. I can tell you that growing up I may have been guilty to think that only certain types of people had babies at home. I now know differently.

I grew up in a rural community in Kansas. If you were to ask me as a teen what I thought about homebirth?" I would probably have told you that I am sure that the local Mennonite community was maybe the only group that would birth at home. My mother had five natural, unmedicated, hospital births, but I don't think I even knew there were any other options.

When my sister and her husband got pregnant with their first child in 2005, they decided to have a home birth. They live in Northwest Arkansas where they have access to midwives that would come to their home for prenatal visits and then for the birth. They don't have birthing
centers in their immediate area.

I recently sat down with my sister to ask her specific questions about her homebirth experience and the choices they made surrounding their pregnancy and birth. "I don't like drugs or pressure," she told me when asked why they decided to have their children at home. After interviewing local midwives, they made their choice based on the openness of the midwives, their loving spirit, and their passion for birth. (*Pictured is my sister with her daughter who was born at home in August 2008.)

She went on to say she had a positive, interested reaction from friends and family. No one ever made them feel bad or guilty for having a home birth. They got asked many questions that they could easily answer because of their comfort level with birthing at home. Her only concern with homebirth was "the worst case scenario" option which, in their mind, they were believing that they weren't going to have. And, they never did with either birth.

They loved both of their experiences with having babies at home. The intimate, safe, calm, peaceful atmosphere is what they desired for the baby and themselves and it was perfect for them. She believes the safest place to have a baby is where a mother and her support feel most comfortable. She read that during her first pregnancy and tells that to anyone asking advice.

"It is awesome," is her response to having a homebirth, "the love and care you get at home and the approach to labor and newborn care is refreshing and reassuring." She would tell anyone on the fence to keep doing research. If one of the parents is not in agreement with the other, continue to get educated. Read books, watch documentaries on birth, talk to friends who have had a homebirth experience, and talk to midwives, natural childbirth educators, and doulas. Make a final decision based on education, not fear.

Homebirth is safe. Midwives come fully prepared for anything that could happen during and after birth. I wouldn't say that homebirth is for every couple, but certainly I believe that it is a glorious option for every low-risk, healthy mother and baby.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Childbirth Education

Did you prepare for your birth with childbirth education classes? Lamaze, Bradley, HypnoBirthing or another?

Why or why did you not choose to take a class?

What class did you take?

Tell me about your experiences and how it affected your birth.

Friday, July 10, 2009

And the random winner is.......

Congrats, HANNAH MACBETH!!! She is a great high school friend has three precious little girls. Visit her awesome blog...click here!

A Petition for Health

Today on the radio I heard an ad that was promoting a petition for "free your health care". The idea is to not let the government run our health care system and to ensure that it stays in the hand of the people. If the government takes control, we will not see as many options of our own desires for care available. I looked into the website (here) and decided I needed to sign the petition.

I rarely share my "opinion" on my blog, but I feel so strongly about this that I must share it today. As a practitioner in the "alternative health care community", I believe in massage, chiropractic, natural birth, homeopathy, acupuncture...and so much more. Do I really want the government to put restrictions on these alternative health care services (or even mainstream health care for that matter)? Do I not have a right to choose and obtain the health care of my choice without the government putting restrictions up for what I can do for myself and my family in time of need? Or, what insurance can or cannot pay for?

Although, most alternative health care options are not covered by insurance, I truly believe that it is imperative that people should have access to these options if they choose. For example, it would be a shame if the government had control of birthing centers or even decided that it was against the law to have your baby at home.

One reason I am so passionate about this topic is that I have seen first hand the benefits of alternative health care on for acute and chronic illnesses. When my sister was sixteen years old, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis....a chronic, devastating colon disease. With only the use of alternative treatments such as acupuncture, dramatic diet changes, and yoga, she is completely well today, eleven years later.

What are your thoughts on this?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One More Day

Remember the giveaway? You still have one more day. Click here to enter!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coming Full Circle - Ch.5


When I awoke from my groggy, post-surgical state, I could faintly see the television on in front of me. It was now Thursday around noon. I looked over to see Scott and his dad sitting next to me in the chairs. The doctor had already visited with Scott and shown him pictures of the 5wk 6day baby they had taken out of me along with my left fallopian tube that didn't survive the event. Had we waited even just a few more hours and my tube had ruptured, I would have bled out with within two hours. Yes, I am blessed.

When I came to fully, one of my firsts calls was to my friend Marissa. Her dad is a pastor in our church. She didn't know any of what had just gone on. When I told her, she immediately said she would come right away. She came with her dad and daughter to pray for my recovery. They didn't stay long. I was going to be heading home in the next couple of hours anyway.

First things first though. You have to empty your bladder before they let you leave. Sounds easy, but it isn't. Once that was accomplished, I was free to go. It was all such a blur. I don't even remember anything that happened between getting into the wheel chair and getting into the car. Thankfully, it was a short drive home.

I went straight to bed when I got to the house. Scott laid down next to me. We both needed the sleep. Mom still was on her way. The next thing I knew, she was standing at the side of my bed. She was saying some things, but I don't remember any of them now. She brought me a smoothie. She had also brought me lots of supplements and herbs for my rehab.

For the next few days, I had friends coming in and out bringing us food and stopping for visits. I am so grateful for so many wonderful, amazing friends that surrounded me during that time.

The plan was to get well enough to go to Arkansas on Monday. My sister was still sick, and had a newborn, a husband, and a two year old, and she also needed her momma. Most of the weekend was spent watching the Olympics. Saturday was when it hit me. I had been okay emotionally until then. When I think back, I am thankful to not have known that I was pregnant before the loss. There wasn't much time to mourn a loss when we only had just a short while from the time we found out till the time I had surgery.

I began to have a flood of emotions that Saturday. I had been pregnant. My body had betrayed me. Why did this happen to us? I have one less body part. So many things were going on in my head and in my heart. Shortly after that day, I wrote this down and it has become my prayer:

"Lord, I know you have a will and a reason for everything that happens in our lives.

This little baby that was growing inside of me that was taken so suddenly has a meaning and a purpose for its existence.

Lord, teach Scott and I what you have us to learn from this. Help us to grow and to be stronger and to be able to help others from what we have experienced."

That prayer sits in my prayer box and every once in a while I read it. I believe that I have had this experience to help others in their journey through this life.

Slowly, I began for feel better physically. Every now and then, I have a moment when I want to ask "why?", but usually catch myself and grin, knowing that I know the "why". I think deep down we all know the "why" when things like this happen.

My current prayer is for another life to join us in this life's journey. But until then, I know that every day I have is a day that I have to touch another soul in a way that I may not have been able to otherwise. And, for now, I am a mother of a heavenly baby, awaiting on our gift to come to this earth to live with us.

~The End. (or actually...To Be Continued one day...stay tuned)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Coming Full Circle - Ch. 4


At 5:00am the sonographer came in with his big machine. He was a nice guy. I asked him if he was there to take a better look at my cyst. He said "well, I was told you are pregnant and that I need to take a look to see what is going on." And that is how I found out I was pregnant, sadly without my husband there with me. He had brought an obnoxious nurse with him for the procedure. He prodded and poked around on my belly. It was not the most comfortable experience, I will say that. I remember him telling me that there was no baby in my uterus. At that point I knew that with all the bleeding, no baby in the uterus, and a positive pregnancy test, this was not a good combination. It got to be kind of a blur after that. I do seem to recall the moment he told me that the baby was growing in my tube. There was a lot of whooshing sounds. At one point the nurse asked in very chipper voice "is that the heartbeat?" Seriously lady!? You are a nurse. You should know better than to ask that question when you clearly know that my pregnancy would not be sustainable after hearing what the sonographer just told me. The answer from him to many of my questions that followed was, "I will let the doctor answer that for you." I knew he knew it wasn't good and wasn't allowed to share a lot of medical information with me. I bet that makes their job hard. In the middle of the sonogram, Scott came back in and I told him about the baby, but that it wasn't good news. When the sonogram was finished at about 6:00am we waited only about five minutes for the ER doctor to come back in.

When he returned, he wasted no time in telling us that I indeed had an ectopic pregnancy that was growing in my left tube. He said that the the gynecologist on call was on his way down and that I would be having surgery as soon as possible. I asked him what my other options were. I think I caught him off guard with that question because there were no other options at that point, other than being dead I guess. He left and we sat on the hospital bed and cried and prayed. Then, I called my mom who was still in Arkansas helping my sister and her family with the new baby. It was about 6:15am. I told her that I was headed into surgery. Unfortunately, this was not the most opportune time. My sister had developed a pretty bad case of mastitis and was sick with a fever. I told my mom to stay with her, but she said she would come down anyway.

The gynecologist came into the room and found us a bit shook up. Scott was taking it harder than I was. He was really concerned for me. The doctor explained to us what he was going to do. I was sitting up on the bed and Scott sat in a chair across from me. Mom had asked me to make sure he knew what he was doing. I was going to make sure I was fully informed before going under the knife. His response to my obviously ridiculous question of "have you done this procedure many times before" was "well, let's just say this isn't my first rodeo." Then, when I asked him how much this was going to cost, he looked at me like I was half crazy. He told me not to worry about the cost. This was going to save my life. I would find out later that the cost of saving a life comes at a very high price. He also reassured Scott that he would keep him in the loop every step of the way. Then he left the room.

I was again poked and prodded and put under for surgery at the brand new Baylor Women's Center. Then, by 9:00am I was in surgery.

Only Four More Days!

Don't forget about the BIG give away....click here for details!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dads and Doulas

My husband's cousin has a wonderful website in Spokane that is devoted to natural childbirth. She recently had a post on her blog called Hiring a Doula: A Husband's Perspective. It has great insight of one dad's view of having a doula at their birth. Check it out!

Coming Full Circle - Ch. 3


I had chalked four days of bleeding up to being my period and moved on. About the time I was to start ovulating again, I began to bleed for three days. Looking back, I am not sure why I let it go on for that long. It wasn't anything that had ever happened to me before. Ignoring it was kind of the best option at the time. On Wednesday, August 13th, I woke up feeling "off". I had one client coming for a massage that I could not cancel because she was headed off to college and would not be home till Thanksgiving. Then I was supposed to head to my job that afternoon and work into the evening. Feeling crumby, I decided to keep the massage appointment, but called in sick to my other job for the afternoon. Scott was in the kitchen getting ready to leave for work. I told him that I wasn't feeling well and wasn't going to work. He said "are you really that sick", to which I replied, "YES!", but not exactly sure why.

It took everything I had to get through the massage, but I did. After it was over, I decided that I felt like this was something that was out of my hands. I called the only gynecologist that I knew of in the area. They said they could work me in on August 28th. I took the appointment and then called my mom for advice. I relayed all my symptoms to her and she said she would get back to me. She was in Arkansas with my sister who had just had a baby eight days earlier. I mustered the energy to make myself some red raspberry tea and I sat at the kitchen table pondering. I had self diagnosed myself with a ruptured ovarian cyst after walking around the house hunched over in pain. It wasn't my appendix, I knew that much. Shortly after that my mom called back to tell me that she had researched and came up with me having a tumor or an ectopic pregnancy.

"Could you be pregnant?", I remember her asking.

"Well, I wasn't sharing that info, but yes, we had tried."

She told me to call the doctor back and ask for an urgent appointment, so I did. They could work me in the next morning at 8:30am, but told me to go to the ER if I felt like it was an emergency. I called my mom back and she agreed that an ER visit may be warranted.

I was home alone until 9:30 that night. I had been trying not to bother Scott and work with all this because I knew he would worry. I asked him for some chocolate chip ice cream on the way home. I ate it curled up in a little ball in the corner of the couch. Scott was watching the Olympics and I went into the bedroom, laid down and cried. He came in and asked "is it really that bad?" I was just not sure what to do. I was scared. I said I think we should go to the ER. It was about 10:30pm. I got up and got dressed and sat on the edge of the bed. He sat next to me. I said, "let me take one last walk around the house and make sure we need to go." All of a sudden, it was like something came over me and I knew we had to go to the hospital. I think the hesitation at the time was the cost involved. We sat in the car wondering what hospital to go to. We are a little naive when it comes to those things, so Scott called the ER to make sure they took our insurance. We had only had health insurance for a little over a month at that time. I had gotten it when I started working at my job in June. It was the first time we had insurance our entire marriage, and I was glad for it. But, since we didn't know a lot about ER visits and insurance, Scott wanted to make certain they would take it. Well, come to find out, the ER can't refuse you. At 11:00pm we were on our way.

When we arrived at the hospital there was a bit of a wait. They take the sickest people first. I said my pain was at a 7. I guess I wasn't that sick to them. They took my temp, my urine and my vitals. Then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. We felt for a grandmother and her sick little grand daughter who sat a few chairs away. And, we watched the Chinese gymnasts who were pretty amazing. At 2:30am and about seven potty breaks later they called me back. A really nice nurse came in to take a pregnancy test and other blood samples. Scott had to work the next morning at 7:30. Pretty sure that we were going to be headed back home that night, I finally told him to go out to the car and sleep. It was going to be a while.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Give Aways Galore!

Ok blog readers. I am a little bit disappointed at the response to my previous blog contest. So, I am going to try this one more time. Contest winner will be chosen on July 10th.

This time, here are the rules:
  • Leave a comment - 1 entry
  • Become a follower of Bellies In Bloom - 1 entry
  • Post my contest on your blog and link to mine - 2 entries
  • Be sure and let me know in your comment how many entries you are are eligible for.
Here is what you can win. Your choice handmade baby shoes or earrings!


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Coming Full Circle - Ch. 2


When you decide on a whim that it is time to add a baby to the mix, as we had, there is no stress, no pressure and no methodical, rhythmic, calculations of baby making that are involved. It is purely joy and bliss. Though, I still felt ready and unready all at the same time. Who is ever really ready, though, you know? As the day approached that I would find out if out if our pregnancy efforts had been satisfactory, I had a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts going through my head. What if this isn't the right time? What if we can't handle a baby financially right now? What if...? What if... What if? As, I often do, I began to journal my feelings and thoughts about what I was feeling emotionally and physically.


Dear Diary,

"Yesterday was day 12 after conception. If I calculate correctly, that means implantation of egg would be occurring. I bled a little yesterday and today the same only more. I have some cramping and a lot of bloating. Still not sure if I am pregnant....period would have started tomorrow according to schedule.

I am a bit nervous about having a baby. Last night I cried. I am hormonal either way. I am sad that the door to 'just to two of us' is closing. It was fun, I mean, we still have nine months, but the thought is sad. I am having mixed feelings, probably just because I am emotional right now."

I am not sure how he does it, but Scott can always bring me back down from my emotional roller coaster with little effort. I, on the other hand, can sometimes work myself into a tizzy over the smallest hurdles. I guess we complement and balance each other that way.

Looking back, the tears I cried for the loss of "just the two of us", seem so strange. Mostly because there would be many more tears to come and it wasn't because I was mourning the loss of our couple hood.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Coming Full Circle - Ch. 1


Lucky. Blessed. Whatever you want to call it, I am it.

Today marks the first day of my year long journey. And this is my story.

I didn't know it yet, but this was going to be the cycle that we would conceive a baby. When you calculate your pregnancy, you count from the first day of your last period. Technically, you are considered pregnant already when you start your period. Odd, I know. Well, that was the day for me.

Two weeks then passed. When I think back, I remember so vividly all that followed. I sprawled out on my massage table talking to my mom on the phone. As in many conversations that would follow that one, we were talking about pregnancy. I was beginning to have the "baby fever" as they call it. Mostly in part to the fact that my sister was due with her baby in a few short weeks. Scott was sitting at the computer in the same room filling out a job application. This had become the story of our lives. The conversation with Mom was one to ponder. We discussed life, babies, pregnancy and such. It wasn't much different than most of our daily conversations. When our phone call ended, I was feeling inspired. Scott and I had not been "officially" talking baby yet. We were, at that point, still trying to figure out where our lives were headed. But, you can't really "plan" these things or you would never think you are ready to grow your family.

Because I track my cycle for birth control and now for pregnancy achievement, I know what every feeling and sign of ovulation is supposed to look like. My sister had given me some ovulation tests that the previous homeowners of their new house had left behind. She wasn't in need of them and had passed them along. I knew I was ovulating, but I wanted to reassure my confidence. Sure enough, the test said I would ovulate in the next 24-36 hours. I was pretty laid back about the whole thing. There was no pressure and no stress that surrounded that time. After a brief discussion of timing, jobs, and readiness, we decided no time was better than the present.

That was the beginning of the journey. Little did we know what was to follow.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Placenta For Dinner?

I read an article on the Time website about placenta encapsulation. It is a hilarious story about one husbands point of view on his wife's ideas to encapsulate her placenta and ingest it for the nutrients. Read here and tell me what you think.