December 30, 2011

An Incredible Year




I can hardly believe it's time to close the book on 2011.  You know when you read a really good book and you don't want it to end, you sit there almost lingering before you actually shut the cover, well that is how I feel.  I want to linger here in this [emotional] place just a moment longer. 

This time last year we had finally turned a corner in my pregnancy, for a while all was well and I finally felt safe (until 32 weeks when my swelling was out of control and fear crept back in).  In January we announced we were having a boy, in the months that followed we prepared his room, took a birthing class, had two baby showers...the list goes on and on....it was a wonderful year, so full of joy!  Yes there were hard times, between February and April V's family lost four members...I still can't wrap my head around that whole thing.  There were international disasters (remember the tsunami in Japan, seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?).  No year is perfect but I have wrapped 2011 in a emotional bow in which I will always fondly remember it as the year I became Liam's Momma.

I feel like everything has changed but at the same time nothing has changed, I can no longer recall what life was like before Liam and honestly I don't want to.  Oh it all sounds so cliche' but it's true.  Liam is really the light of my life, nothing comes before him (judge me if you will for that, I've been told my husband should come first and no he does not, I hope I am secondary to Liam in V's heart).  I always knew I would love my child but I didn't fully understand what that meant until he was in my arms....and I struggle to vocalize my love for him, I'd lay down my life in a moment for him.  I say it a lot but nothing in my life will be as important as being his Mom, nothing.

Thank you God for 2011 and the gift of this child, I feel like I have a much clearer understanding of your love for me now that I have Liam.  I can't want to see how he grows in 2012, it's going to be such a fun year!


Happy New Year to you and yours!

Much Love,
Jen

December 28, 2011

Pinterest Addiction {Recipe Links}

Hi, I'm Jen (Hi, Jen!)....and I am TOTALLY addicted to Pinterest


Oh my gosh, I've found some of the most amazing new recipes and cooking blogs! I'm never bored with making dinner anymore!  I've even learned several new tricks and have been able to spice-up the 'ol dinner routine! 

I've made:
and several other things I can't remember, and the list of things I want to make grows everyday.  I bet I have at least three new recipes printed out in my day planner! :)  If you are on the Pinterest fence, jump!!!! :)

Much Love,
Jen

December 27, 2011

Fitness Post

Hey Peeps!

I promise to post about Liam's first Christmas soon, but in the mean time I have posted a new fitness post over at Wild Flower Fitness, won't you please go check it out?

Much Love,
Jen

December 20, 2011

I'm Not Dead

Nor have I fallen off the face of the earth. :)   This time of year is always busy then you add to that an adorable 6 month old, work, marriage, my pinterest addiction (leave a comment if you need an invite!) and trying to figure out everything I need to do to get my personal training business up and running (and oh yeah work out cuz no one wants a flabby trainer) and YIKES is life busy and full...but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Liam is amazing and growing so fast!  He now eats two meals of "solids" per day, he's currently on green beans which he loves!  He's such a sweet and happy boy, last week at his 6 month well baby visit he was 17.6lbs, 26.5 inches these measurements have in between the 25th and 50th percentiles (which is on track and thus fine by us) and his head continues to be in the 75th percentile and as our nurse said "big brains!" lol!!  Liam loves to stand and has recently mastered sitting by himself, crawling is just on the horizon!  He's exactly on track for all his milestones.  About two weeks ago he met Santa and it was the most adorable thing ever, Liam had no fear as we handed him to the man who was dressed strangely, he just looked at him with interest and then tried to eat his beard! LOL!

Life seems to be moving at break-neck speed these days, before I know it Liam will have lived longer outside my belly than he did inside, that is hard to wrap my head around!  He's typically an amazing sleeper but last night woke up every 2.5-3 hours (teething maybe?) and ya know what?  I actually sorta enjoyed scooping him up and snuggling him as he fell back asleep, I just kept thinking that soon he'll be so big and won't fit into my arms the same way and someday he won't want to snuggle like this (most 13 year old boys don't want to snuggle their moms, right?) so I just sat there each time and loved on him and soaked in these special and fleeting moments.

In other news I appear to be holding my own with the whole auto immune disease, so far all signs suggest that I'm not ok *knocks on wood*.  I haven't lost any weight that I know of and I feel over all ok.  Another month until I see Dr T and find out if I'm correct or not.

That is enough to catch you up for now.  I'll try to up date again soon but likely won't until after Christmas so Merry Christmas to you and yours!

 Much Love
-Jen

December 9, 2011

My Fitness Blog

Hi Peeps,

Today is a proud exciting day for me, I have finally accomplished something I've wanted a long time....I am now officially a Certified Personal Trainer!!!  You've heard me talk about my love of all things health and fitness for awhile so I introduce to you my health and fitness blog: Wildflower Fitness.  I will not try to sell you anything, ever! This is my promise to you, I want to encourage you and be along side you on your health and fitness journey and if that means at some point you do pay me them wonderful, if not then hopefully the good karma will come back around to me one day.  I'd greatly appreciate it if you would hope on over and follow me there.

If you are my 'real life' or 'facebook' friend I will not be publicly discussing this until after the new year when I have my business license and liability insurance up and running, I need those things to function so until them mum is the word (plus I need to remove a few co-workers from fb since my boss won't be supportive).

Thank you for your continued support,
Jen

December 8, 2011

Summer Daydreams

I knew it would happen eventually, I'm already daydreaming of summer. 

I'm just not a cold weather girl, I don't enjoy any winter sports or being out in the cold for any length of time.  It's just not me, I much prefer spring, summer and fall.  I have grown more fond of the joys of winter now that we have Liam, seeing all these things with him for the first time is special beyond words. 

However I'm still me and daydreaming about warm spring and summer days (even cool fall nights).  I'm just not comfortable taking Liam on walks outside in this weather, no matter how bundled up I make him it's still only 20-30 degrees out there.  I long to go on walks, play in the yard (he'll be toddling up a storm by the time it gets warm here again, crazy!).  I'm ready for longer days and more [sun] light.  I'm not wishing time away, I don't do that any more but I do long for warmer weather and the adventures it brings.

Until then I lift my cup of coco and toast you and your families, I hope you are enjoying this season, both of weather and holidays!

December 3, 2011

Adevntures in "Solids"

For the last two weeks Liam has been on "solids" or mush as I like to call it! LOL!  First we did a week of rice cereal which he immediately loved!  Right away he knew exactly what that spoon meant, I offered it to him empty to see what would happen and he chomped down and was perplexed as to why it was empty, clearly he was ready!  After that we did squash which he didn't mind, I had to purchase this pre-made, it's a long story but I bought organic and I'm ok with it.  I planned all along to make his food so today we moved on to carrots from G'ma and G'pa's garden!
A few hours after we all had been up V decided to take Liam out to the in-laws to watch a college football game.  Since I have negative interest in football I stayed behind to accomplish a laundry list of things that needed to be checked off, among them was making Liam's food!  I already had a food processor and the necessary pan and attachment to steam the organic veggies I had on hand.  I'm really surprised how easy it was!  Depending on the amount of veggies I had I steamed them for between 10-15 minutes (until very soft) then transferred them to the food processor, I added about 1/4 cup of the water from steaming them and let the food processor do it's work.  Finally I transferred the mush to ice cube trays and stuck them in the freezer where they stayed all day.

It wasn't long before my to-do list was completed and my little family unit was all back in our home and Liam was ready for his evening dose of mush!  We put him in his highchair, bib and all and offered him his first bite...he's so cute, his little mouth was wide open to accept his mush.....and.....dislike!  He really doesn't like carrots!  He made the funniest faces and sip almost all of it out (even using his bib to rub his face)!  Yes I did keep offering it to him as I will for the next 3 night at least (it's recommended that you stick with each food for at least 3 days in case of allergic reaction so you know what your child is reacting to).  I won't force him to eat them but it's important to expose him to a variety of things, we'll see what faces tomorrow brings!

After Liam was in bed I took out the ice cube trays and transferred to freezer safe bags by veggie type for use over the next few weeks.  I can't wait to see what Liam thinks of peas and sweet potatoes!

Anyone else out there having similar adventures?

December 2, 2011

The Truth About Strength

I was messing around taking a break at work today and came across this on Pintrest (yes I'm addicted).  It's so very true, I wanted to share.

For the Love of Elephants

Just for fun; I love elephants, a lot.  Anyone who knows me [in real life] probably thought Liam's room would be jungle/elephant themed, actually I've gotten a lot of comments about how surprised people are that I choose something else.

Anyway, I found this cute picture and thought I'd share.  Happy Friday!

December 1, 2011

Parenting Well

Being a mother is the most  complex, most time-consuming and by far the most wonderful thing I have yet to do, or will ever do, in my lifetime.  As long as at the end of my life Liam tells me I have been a good Mom to him I will have lived a life worth while.  Being his mom is the most import thing I will ever do and it's so important to be to do it well.

Not to toot my own horn too much but in a lot of ways it comes naturally to me, it's easy for me to research topics and come to an informed decision and stick with it.  I don't question myself often nor do I regret any choices I've made (such as to work, use disposable diapers or stop breastfeeding at 3 months instead of 6).  Liam is clearly happy and healthy, this is all that matters.

 I've stood my ground on a few topics for the most part I've gotten nothing but support.  In fact I think the only person who questions me is V, but he questions me on everything...it's rather annoying, especially because he rarely researches anything relying solely on what some guy told him.  Not that V ever wants to follow some random thing he's been told but he usually brings it up, he typically agrees with whatever I've decided on.  (I always approaching him with a "what do you think" attitude,  he's just not set on any one way, when one is important to me he simply follows along). 

Liam may very well be the only child I ever get to have and I will do whatever it takes to do what is best for him no matter the effort it requires, such as making his food.  I can't wait to start making him some "solids" (more like mush) this weekend!  I purchased some organic asparagus, sweet potatoes, peas and carrots!  Pictures to come.

I so enjoy being a parent and being Liam's mom, it's the most distinguished title I will ever hold.

November 29, 2011

Dr Update 11.28.11

Bullet-Point Update :)
  • Coffee in hand off to get blood work done, the earlier I arrive the longer I wait....boo
  • Lost another 3.5 lbs without meaning too....panic
  • Dr T (hematologist extraordinaire) comes in;
    • platelet numbers are lower again but still acceptable
    • stay off steroids
    • check yourself for lumps and bumps monthly (ITP is associated with lymphoma)
    • come back in two months (WHOA!)
    • not concerned about weight loss
    • asks if I want more children....yes Dr T I do (apparently he has four, whoa!)
I can hardly believe I get to go two whole months without blood work and visits to the oncology offices!  I'm not happy I lost more weight, I'm concerned about getting too low, I'm determined to fit in some lifting in the coming weeks to tone up and maintain my weight.  I'm now a full 7lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight. 

Lastly I'm so impressed with the care I receive from the the staff in the oncology office I visit.  The receptionist knows me by name, she is always pleasant, the woman who sets up my next appointment is also always super friendly...it makes my visits so much more pleasant.  Then there is Dr T, he's amazing.  I've seen doctors in the past who seemed to hardly know my name let alone be able to reference multiple appointments of data off the top of their heads.  He knows all my stats, he knows that I have Liam and that Liam is my first child.  He asks about my holidays, about Liam and how I'm feeling (beyond the physical), he doesn't do this to make small talk but because he seems to genuinely care....this makes all the difference in the world.  I feel cared for, genuinely cared for, safe in the care of Dr T.  It's so nice to have a doctor I trust and who makes me feel like a person and not a paycheck.  However I really look forward to the day when I don't have to see him so often, I pray that day is sooner rather than later.

Thank you to those of you praying for me and my little family, clearly it's working (I've always believed in the power of prayer). 

Much Love
-Jen

November 28, 2011

Miracles Happen

I had forgotten about this post until today, one where I spoke about a dear friend (we actually grew up together), who was told she wouldn't be able to have anymore children without serious medical intervention....then she got pregnant with almost no medical intervention (she was only on metformin).

Her little boy just turned two months.  I've seen miracles just happen(song)!

-Much Love
Jen

November 23, 2011

A Thankful Day

I work hard to be thankful for what I have and not wish for things to be different too often and these days being thankful comes easily.  So many things could be different and could have gone "wrong" that I feel like my cup not only runith over but is at the bottom of the ocean.  It's no secret I'm a lucky and very blessed girl, nay woman.

At this time last year we had just annouced our pregnancy to all our family and friends, I was sick as a dog with all day sickness but cherishing each moment of my pregnancy (and praying all the time that baby would make it due to weeks of spotting and bleeding).  This year V and I get to tote little Liam off to MIL & FIL's with about 30 family members, I could not be happier and I'm so very grateful.

I hope and pray with all my heart that each of you have so much to be thankful for, or at very least can find one thing to be deeply grateful for.

Much Love,
Jen and Liam


November 21, 2011

Save Your Life

I can now officially save your life, I became CPR/AED Certified today....God I hope I never have to use what I've learned today.

Small

So little, so funny, so sweet.
I think about this often...He won't always be this small.  I work hard to cherish every moment I have with Liam.  I think this comes more easily to me than some of my stay-at-home moms because I am away from  him during the day and only get about 2 hours/day with him (not counting commute time).  It's usually when he's sleeping or when I'm at work looking through his pictures when a heart-string gets tugged on and I say to myself he won't always be this little and I long to see him, hold him, play with him.  These days are fleeting and I will cherish every one I get to have with him.

November 19, 2011

158

Liam was 158 days old when he rolled over fully from back to belly, it was amazing to witness and the best part was V and I were both there and he fully had our attention.  These are the moments that make it all worth the hard parts.  I was so proud I yelled a little and sorta scared Liam. LOL!  He's napping as we speak, hopefully he wakes soon because we have a date with auntie E soon.

November 18, 2011

Because I'm the Mom

No I'm not already saying that to Liam, unfortunately it looks like I'll have to say it to his aunt K early and often.  Aunt K is 25 but acts more along the lines of teenager to pre-teen (no joke).  She has never held a real job, hasn't continued her education and only lives away from her parent's home for a few months at a time before returning, she has no adult responsibilities what-so-ever.  Last weekend she moved back, again.

K is a nice enough girl but seriously immature.  She lacks drive and desire to act like an adult and in all honesty her parents don't seem to expect her to either.  I in no way think they should shun her or any business like that but I do think they need to stop enabling her (and her 27 year old brother who also lives in his parent's home and works sporadically at best).

As I mentioned K moved back on Saturday, she wanted to come over that day and see Liam...I said no.  Our weekends are A.) Busy but B.) Ours, and our time as a family is sacred (or should be).  And while I understand she wants to see Liam it doesn't have to be within hours of her arriving in town (I told her she was welcome over the next day and she never so much as texted us).   Today is Wednesday and she has texted and called me 11 times, yes Eleven.  Great...just what I wanted to deal with in the middle of my work day.  I finally had to tell her that no she could not pick Liam up from Nanna's and that no tomorrow would not be good either (V and I have agreed she will not be allowed to drive with Liam in her car, she isn't responsible enough) and really one day is not enough notice to give Nanna about not having Liam.  Watching Liam (and the two other children she has) is her business and while it's run out of her home I still do my best to treat it all professionally, K does not understand, nay K does not care.  I'm certain she has called no fewer than four people to complain.  It's not like I'm blocking her from seeing Liam all together, she will see Liam on Friday when her mom watches him and I told her Monday would be fine.  What she doesn't yet get is that she can watch Liam but on our terms and our terms only.

I have a feeling it's going to be exhausting having K back in the same town as us, at least for a while.  And if I have to pull out the "because I'm his Mom thats why" I will.  Thankfully V is on the same page as me (he tends to give into her a lot because she is the only girl and the baby of the family, so annoying).  I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm a pushy b-och and ya know what that is fine, I expect a lot of her and make her play by life's rules, someone has to teach her these lessons and I suppose it's going to be me.

I'm gonna need this shirt.

November 15, 2011

Dr Update 11.14.11

Quick notes from my most recent Dr appt.
  • My platelet numbers are lower but still acceptable.
  • I'm no longer Anemic but my red blood cells are still far too small so I have to stay on Iron pills for at least a year.
  • I'm officially off my steroids.  Dr T warned me that I'll likely feel horrible transitioning to being completely off of them because my body is so used to having them now. (I'm allowed to take a 1/4 of a pill if I need to but I've already decided not to).
  • More blood work in two weeks to check levels and see how my body is handling life without steriods. 
  • Dr T says I'm doing "remarkably well" and that ITP is typically a "nasty disease".
    • Apparently it's not typical to step down on the steroids so quickly, usually it's months of going up and down in dosages before either being able to get off them or having to use an alternative treatment. (including but not limited to surgery to remove the spleen)
  • I've lost 2 lbs since my last appt which makes me officially 147.5lbs. {at goal weight}
  • We are still facing months (if not a year+) of monitoring before we know if this is chronic.

I'm not even sure how I feel, if I feel hopeful or not.  I was so nervous about yesterday's appt but now I'm almost more nervous about the next one.  I guess I'm not sure I'll ever not be nervous about them.

Can-o-Worms

It's about to get way deep up in here, if you aren't up for that I'd suggest flat out skipping this post, otherwise buckle up peeps.

As I've mentioned before I was emancipated by the state I live in on my 16th birthday.  I have been on my own since that moment.  What I haven't mentioned is that I had a younger brother, he was taken by the state when I was maybe 9 years old, and he should have been, he had/has a developmental disability and could not defend himself against the abuse in our home (at the time he was 7 or younger but mentally about 3).

For so many years I was just trying to survive myself and I didn't contact him, looking back I wish I would have, I regret it but I was so young with so much on my shoulders....I was just doing the best I could.  While I didn't contact him I always knew where he was and that he was taken care of (his foster parents eventually adopted him).  When I was ~20 I was contacted by our state wanting me to take over the legal responsibilities of my brother.  I freaked out, I could barely keep my head above water with all the responsibilities I had just taking care of myself....I declined those responsibilities with the understanding I could pick them up later.

Now is later.  I've always, always, always thought of him, prayed for him and intended on visiting.  Enough years have gone by and it's time.  Today I began the insane process of trying to locate exactly where he is now (I know what town).  Unfortunately his adopted father died a number of years ago and the adoptive mother had to place brother into a adult care home.  Today I made a dozen calls trying to dig up the details of where exactly he is at and how to contact and visit him.  The only call I didn't make is to his legal representative, if all else fails I will call  her (she is still in practice I checked).  I'm not entirely sure I'm ready to full on take up the legal responsibilities of brother but I am ready to contact him and visit eventually.

I may have opened a big 'ol can-o-worms.  I hope not, I think it will all be ok, it feels ok so far.  I didn't actually get any information, privacy laws kept those on the other end of the phone from giving me brother's details but I gave them my contact information and I believe they will contact me, why wouldn't they?  My only fear is that, somehow/someway my "parents" will get a hold of this information and wiggle back into my life.  That would be a nightmare, it actually makes me sick to my stomach to think of that happening.  But it's a risk I'll have to take eventually.  You are probably thinking I'm ridiculous for worrying about that but they all live in a small town where everyone knows every one's business and word gets around real quick.

So many thoughts creep into my mind, I so regret not reaching out to brother...I hope he didn't feel abandoned by me.  I know his adoptive family loved him so and that he was happy there.  I can't take back not contacting him for all those years, all I can is start here and now.

November 13, 2011

Happy Thoughts

I need to be distracted therefore a random collection of happy thoughts:

1. Liam is sooo close to rolling over back to front!  (He's been able to do tummy to back for what seems like forever.)  He currently will roll on his slide and sort-of hinge on his hip but at the last moment he flops on his back.  He finds this hilarious as does mom. :)  I can't believe he'll be 5 months old tomorrow!  Holy Moly!

2. I got up ultra early and went to the gym, when I weighed myself I had hit my goal weight of 148lbs, 3 lbs under my pre-pregnancy weight, now to tone up.  (Also I managed to get 2 workouts in this weekend, incredibly difficult to do but I did and now I'm sore, the good kind of sore, yay!)

3. I am obsessed with becoming a runner, in fact my goal is to run a couple 5k's next summer and maybe even a half marathon.  I'm thinking about setting a walking/jogging/running mileage goal for 2012 (around a couple hundred miles, I think I can really do it).

4. I just ordered some boots from target.com!  I really wanted brown but they were sold out so I got them in black (not sold in stores).  And....I sorta ordered a purse too.  I'm not sure I love the purse and if not I'll return it, guess I needed some retail therapy.

5.  I made this tonight, I added some turkey sausage and some zucchini (browned the sausage first and added it in before baking)  oh it was so yummy!  V even liked it, like really liked it.  I feel so accomplished when I make something we both really like.  I'm actually excited for leftovers tomorrow!  P.S. go check out Budget Bytes so has so many yummy recipes!!!

6.  I've been making coffee at home each morning (because I'm reliant on it at this point) which is more affordable and quicker but since I have to see Dr T tomorrow I'm treating myself to a latte...a single shot, carmel latte with whip cream....yeah I've been daydreaming about it all day!  Mmmmmm

7. Liam is amazing, so happy and sweet.  His little laughs make my world a brighter place.  He's such a funny little guy, I'm so very thankful for him.


Hey, that actually worked, yay!

And for your enjoyment a new Liam picture, we bought him this over the weekend, little peanut baby isn't big enough yet but he enjoys it (in small doses).





November 10, 2011

Mix Together Equal Parts: Exciting & Scary

Halloween brought the latest appointment with Dr T (yes, yes hematologist extraordinaire). I've noticed I get anxious about my appointments the night before, I dread being poked...it's gotten really old.  It probably seems silly but knowing I have to deal with this most Mondays is hard to handle sometimes.

We went about our usual morning routine at home and after dropping Liam off it was to the hospital for labs and my appointment.  I rather enjoyed the distraction of several staff members being dressed up, it's not everyday that Raggedy Ann draws your blood! The staff in the Cancer Specialists office were all Disney villains!  So fun!  I was weighed in (only lost one pound in 2 weeks, boo!) and headed back to the exam room to wait for Dr T who arrived quickly and with good news, my numbers are still stable!  I can move to half a pill every-other-day!  Woah!  He wants to see me in two weeks and if my numbers remain stable I can stop taking the pills all together!  Woah!  The thing I most appreciate about Dr T is that he anticipates what I'll ask him, so he covered somethings I was thinking about such as the likelihood my ITP will come back (1 in 3 chance) and what my options are should it appear to be chronic (scary), future monitoring over the next month/years and so on.  I'm excited that there is a plan and that we are finally looking forward more long term but....

I wish I could tell you I felt all this reassurance and was worry free walking out of my latest appointment but I didn't.  Thankfully I had to head straight to work so I couldn't dwell on it immediately but my mind found plenty of time to consider what my next lab results could mean.  To sum it up quickly: I'm scared.  I do not want to live with this.  I don't want to wonder if or when it will come back, I don't want to over-analyze every bruise and bloody-nose.  I don't want to have quarterly/bi-annual/annual monitoring.  I want this to be over, simply over.  Too bad we seldom get what we want in life huh?  The cold hard truth is I have no control over this, chances are it will come back or is chronic and I will have to think about it long term.

This last steroid dose change has been really difficult on me physically too, I can tell when I don't have that stuff pulsing through me, suppressing my immune system, because I feel terrible on the days I do take it.  I haven't had anymore bruising, which is nice, but I got a bloody-nose the other night and it hit both V and I to our cores.  For one thing this was no ordinary bloody-nose, blood poured and proud from me, I could hear the fear in V's voice as he asked from the other room if I was ok.  He wasn't really asking if I was just ok, I could hear the meaning behind his words; Is this more than a bloody-nose?  Should we call Dr T?  Are you as worried as I am?  I can't tell you how thankful I was when the bleeding did finally slow and eventually stop.  (It didn't bleed long enough to warrant a call to Dr T).  I really don't want to go through that again.

And that is where I will leave it, not exactly ending on a high note but I will not continue with this pity party of one.  You have to play the hand you are dealt, whining about it will do me no good.  The biggest realization that has come of all this is what a miracle baby Liam really is, I believe in miracles more than ever as a result of all of this.

November 6, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Cute Owl made of coffee beans..
Mmmm I love coffee!
Today is blissfully lazy.  The time change has us all thrown off, well at least me.  V got up early with Liam while I dozed, due to the time change I'm not sure when I got up (8:30 or 9:30...it's still up for discussion), when I finally arose I was starving so I made breakfast burritos, yum.  I had all these wild ideas about all the things we'd get done today but those quickly went out the window in favor of a lazy Sunday and I'm so glad. 

I have gotten a few things done, paid a few bills, organized a few small things for the week and even worked on the final draft of my Personal Trainer Certification (I've spoken about that right?  I have about 5 weeks to finish it and as long as my CPR class doesn't get cancelled I will start 2012 as a Certified Personal Trainer, go me)  V has enjoyed lots of Liam time (with the tv blissfully off, wahoo) and I've so enjoyed listening to the two of them giggle the morning away!

We got our first snowfall Friday night and while most of it has already melted away it's officially Liam's first winter.  I'm thinking about bundling him up and taking him out for a go in the stroller, we'll see.

I hope your Sunday is equally blissfully lazy.  I'll update about my latest visit to Dr T another time, for now I'm doing ok and we are starting to discuss long term stuff which is equal parts exciting and scary, more to come on that.

October 29, 2011

Pull your head out of....the sand.

I should have updated earlier but alas Liam got a cold and the whole week got away from me. 

After a reality check from a dear friend I pulled my head out of....the sand....and called Dr T.  Long story short he was glad to be updated but because of the size and location he said it would be fine to wait until my next appt (10/31) to have my numbers checked.  WhewWhat in the world was I thinking?  Why must I be so stubborn.  Have I already forgotten that my first numbers were life-threateningly low?  Eff self, eff.  No matter how scary I have a responsibility first to Liam and secondly to others who love me to manage this no matter how frightening it is.  I was being so selfish.  Jen you are not an Ostrich, keep your head out of the sand.

October 24, 2011

a whisper

I need to whisper something to someone but there is no one I want to tell.  I don't want to tell my loved ones and a stranger might think I'm nuts.  I want to whisper it because I'm worried.  I want to whisper I'm bruising again....like I was before and I can't explain them...I'm worried, it's not just one or two but several bruises....  I carefully considered who would reply how and what I really need to hear right now and came up empty-handed.  I don't want to hear "it's ok, nothing to worry about." nor to I want to hear "call Dr T, get your numbers checked now."  no response will do.  I'm not going to call Dr T early (my next appt is one week from today) yet I don't want to hear it's nothing either.  I know I probably sound like a brat, maybe I am but this is how I'm choosing to deal with the situation.  I stand, almost frozen, I don't know what to do.  If my numbers are low I'll either have to re-up my daily dose of steroids or consider the next [very scary] treatment option.  I fear my treatment road is only extending instead of drawing to a close like I had my heart set.  I fear it means I really am chronically ill and will have to deal with this whole thing for much longer, that this whole crazy situation is not drawing to a close.  I'm trying hard to keep my hopes high, knowing I could be wrong but the reality of it all is hard to ignore right now. 

I've always prided myself on being able to cling to hope no matter what, today I'm barely hanging on by my finger-nails.  It's just one of those "what it rains, it pours" kind of days.

Just a vent post. 
Thanks for reading-

October 21, 2011

So...I'm gonna do a 5k....in 15 days....EK!

G'ma has Liam and asked for extra time with him AND my boss has been extra cool lately and let me leave early so I got a ton done before I would have even been off work, including a workout all with pay!  Happy Friday to me! 

Also I may have signed up for my first 5k today, its in 15 days! EK!  I may have lost the baby weight but eff am I out of shape!

So I went to the gym and thought to myself Ok, 3.1 miles, I got this, I can do this.  Yeah I ran .75 miles and had to stop.  I had to stop several times.  Really, I can't even run 3 miles!?!?! Eff.  Guess that is what I get to not working out for well over 6 months.  Ouch.  I did do the full 3 miles but it took me over an hour, due at least in part to my treadmill shut off after like 35 minute (over 2.2 miles).  I didn't know what to do, I didn't set the timer, I had to take time to clean it off and find another machine and start the rest, I moved on to my old friend the Elliptical and finished out at a slower pace.  *Side note PLEASE clean your machines after you are done at the gym, it's part of the deal, I don't want to touch your sweat any more than you wan to touch mine..  Anyway I burned over 400 calories in about an hour and did just over 3 miles so that is good.  I'm gonna try it again in the morning. 

I can't believe I'm doing a 5k, I've always wanted to be a running, guess everyone has to start somewhere.  Oh by the way it's pretty likely that we'll have snow on the day of the 5k.  EK!!!!

October 19, 2011

Sleepy Time Tea

I'm sipping sleepy-time tea out of my mug, this mug to be exact....



Life is good.


October 18, 2011

Platelets, Iron Levels and Pounds! Oh My!

Yep I got 'em.  At least some, more than I had to begin with anyway, so that's good. :) I'll keep it brief because honestly I'm sick of thinking about it.  [All said with a genuine smile.] 

I saw Dr T (yes you know, hematologist extraordinaire) on Monday, with my most recent decrease in steroids came a lower platelet number but the # is still acceptable.  My red blood cells (related to iron and anemia) are higher in quantity but not big enough physically yet, apparently this can take months so I'll take the increase in number for now.  I haven't lost any weight which Dr T seemed happy about, I mentioned I'm down to my pre-pregnancy weight and he seemed impressed so that was nice, I still want to lose a few more pounds.  The best news yet is that I go down to half a pill everyday and skip labs next week, my next appointment is on Halloween so hopefully the decrease in my steroids will be kind to me (and just maybe I'll lose a few more pounds!).

The best part of Monday was I had taken the day off to spend with Liam, my bestie aka Liam's Aunt E came with us (and Thank God, how would I get my blood drawn with a squirmy 4 month old in my arms, EK!).  Auntie sipped coffee with us while we waited and watched little Liam (who was a grumpy Gus until he fell asleep) while I did labs and met with Dr T.  I'm so thankful for her, she does so much with a smile on her face, I'd be so very lost without her, I hope she knows I genuinely mean it when I tell her that!

October 16, 2011

I don't "Diet" & Workout Post

Someone asked me if I'm dieting today at church, I laughed.  Nope.  Have I changed how I eat?  Yep, but I truly consider it a lifestyle change and not a diet.  Diets don't work (in my opinion).  Will I count calories forever? Hellz no, but for right now it's working and I'm not done yet (I want to lose another ~5lbs & tone up more).  I suppose I should take it as a compliment that someone would ask me what I'm doing but at the same time I'd hope I don't still look all pregnant and what-not considering Liam is four months old (four months, where is time going?). 

I talk about health and fitness on here a lot, at least I feel like I do, but that is because I'm passionate about it.  I so want to spend my life helping people be and become healthy.  I'm still finishing my Personal Trainer Certification (I have until December '11).  And I'm trying to work out how to do something more meaningful (and in the health field) with my life without going back to college [since I'm still paying on the student loans from my first degree].  You can clearly see my problem since I'll have to do some type of training/education to work in the health field (beyond being a Personal Trainer).

Speaking of counting calories etc I'm actually looking forward to being weighed in tomorrow when I see Dr T, I mean I might at well look forward to something about this whole thing right?  I'm not sure what I think will happen beyond that...I have two new bruises (one I can explain) so I kinda worry my numbers won't be what they need to be.  Gosh I am so sick of thinking about my platelet numbers.    Anyway my original thought was that I consider their scale to be accurate and I don't weigh myself knowing I'll be weighed on Monday mornings anyway.  I'm really hoping to break 150, we'll see.  I'm eating salads with either my lunch or dinner and snack on a ton of veggies daily, I also quit cereal that stuff is junk. (yogurt and berries replaced it). I've felt really good lately and healthy... probably more healthy than I've felt in a long time.

So while I'm here some workout updates:
10/9
  • Elliptical Trainer-- Manuel Program
    • Goal: Sweat! (achieved)
    • Resistance: 3-4 Cross ramp (incline): 9
    • 30 Minutes
    • Calories Burned: 288
    • Distance: 2 1/2 miles
    • Mood Status: Good
    • +120 sit ups (four sets of 30, variety)
  • 10/13
    • Elliptical Trainer--Cross Country Course
    • Goal: In and out! (Boss let me off early and I could only fit in 25 mins before I had to pick up Liam)
    • Resistance: 4 (can't adjust cross-ramp on this machine, boo)
    • 25 minutes
    • Calories Burned: 294
    • Distance: 2 1/2 miles
    • Mood Status: Go me, I'm covered in sweat
    • 75 sit ups variety
  • 10/15
    •  Elliptical Trianer-Manuel Program
    • Goal: kill time before yoga
    • Resistance: 2
    • Calories Burned: 171
    • Distance: 1 1/2 miles
    • One Hour Yoga I estimate ~200 calories burned
    • Mood Status: Fair (I wish yoga would have been more intense, lol)
After typing this all out I'm considering challenging myself to a weekly distance goal.  I was trying to improve my minute/mile number but I can't consistantly workout so I'm sturggling with that.  Hmm I wonder if I can do 12 miles a week....I'll have to test it out this week.

Anyone else out there care to share some of your health and fitness success tips, stories etc?

October 15, 2011

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day

According to something I saw on facebook to day is "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day".   Why, why does this have to be?  It seems so unfair that anyone would have to suffer the loss of a pregnancy or baby, ever.  I've only had one pregnancy and obviously did not suffer a loss, I can not imagine that pain and sadness and I hate that so many suffer in that place alone. 

It really bothers me when any mother (or father) complains about their children, part of me wants to point out "at least you have a child, appreciate them!"  but I suppose that is rude, perhaps it's a wake up call they need.  I've become rather critical of parents in general since I too am one.  Now that I have Liam there is nothing, I literally mean nothing, I wouldn't do so that he can have the best present and future possible.  Among doing everything for him are the basics like...oh health insurance.  This is non-negotiable to me, yet I see several people on facebook who buy stupid shit like dirt bikes and take vacations to Vegas and yet they "can't afford" insurance for their child)ren).  Gag me.  Why don't people appreciate their children more?  I don't think I feel this way simply because it wasn't easy for us to get pregnant, I truly want to be the best possible parent, why doesn't everyone feel this way?  I feel like so many have a laze-fair (whatever happens happens) attitude and it bugs me.  These children are special miracles that so many would do anything to have, please please  treat them that way!

So tonight I held Liam closer as I rocked him to sleep, I gave him extra kisses because I have too many friends still waiting for their miracle baby.


*sorry I feel like this post was a bit random*

Four Months

Liam turned four months on Friday.  It's hard to believe, it's so silly but I love each month more than the one before, I get so excited for his new milestones and when he does the smallest thing.  I truly can't imagine my life without him!

Friday we had his four month appointment and shots.  Shots are no fun but he handled them really well.  He's 14.5 lbs and 24 inches.  At his two month appt he was in the 50%tile all around this time he's in the 30's and 40's.  Liam's Dr said it was noting to be concerned about at this time (unless he keeps going down).  He's meeting all his developmental milestones so I'm just guessing he's not going to be a super tall or big baby/toddler/child/adult etc.  I'm only 5'6 and V is about the same so chances are Liam isn't going to be a basketball player! LOL!

I have to take his four month picture in the morning, I wanted to do it today but he had a mild fever from his shots and just wanted to cuddle all day, I couldn't bare to dress him up and pose him with his sad little "I don't feel good" cry.  We spent the entire day in the house and the whole family napped on the couch for a few hours, it's actually been really nice.

Ok so milestones, Liam can roll from front to back (he started doing that at 2 months tho).  He grabs at toys and puts them directly into his mouth, he chews on his index finger (or the middle three all at once).  He likes to sit up supported, he can hold his head up while in tummy time at a 90 degree angle.  He recognizes people such as Nanna and G'ma/G'pa.  I'm sure there is more but those are the ones my tired brain can think of.

I'll add his 4 month pic in the morning, night all!

October 12, 2011

Another Dr Appt Update

Welp another Monday has come and gone and thus another trip for blood work and a visit with Dr T (hematologist extraordinaire!) has also come and gone.  This week I sorta had a bad attitude about my blood work, I'm so tired of being poked every.single.Monday.  I picked up a Carmel Latte on the way to the hospital but it really didn't make me feel a ton better, I just didn't want to get stabbed again.  It didn't help that the check-in woman recognizes me and I've been in so many times I simply smile and recite all my necessary information for her without being asked.

After having my blood taken I wondered over to the Cancer Specialists office where Dr T's office is, checked in and waited.  He must have been tied up at the hospital because he was running late (which also meant I was going to be late for work, I've only submitted one hour paid time off).  I was weighed like usual, I'm down another two pounds which is nice and headed back to exam room to wait.  Thankfully Dr T came in with good news again, my platelet numbers are steady!  Last week he said he wouldn't be lowering my steroid dose but this week he told me to take one full pill on even days and a half pill on the odd days!  He also pointed out that I'm very anemic, guess I don't do anything half-assed! LOL!  He wants me on two Iron pills/day for at least a year.  Gr-eat.  Then he said he wanted to see me back next Monday again.  I was so disappointed, I really hoped I'd be able to go at least two weeks in between appointments but I smiled and he did his physical exam (checking for lumps and bumps in my lymph nodes).  Before I knew it he was walking me out.  All in all generally good news and for that I'm grateful.

I have to remind myself to be thankful because it could be so much worse, the other patients Dr T will see have cancer, I do not.  I am responding well to the steroid treatment, I feel great and can barely feel any side-effects of the steroids these days.  But it still stinks, I've had blood work and spend every Monday morning in the Cancer Specialists [of my state] office.  People keep asking me why I don't ask Dr T when I can stop coming in every week and honestly I'm not sure I can handle the answer right now.  What if he says every Monday for a year? Or worse, what if he can't give me an end date?  Even though I am healthy hearing that would make me feel chronically ill, it will scare me and make me sad.  I prefer to take it one week at a time.  Each week I take the good news and pull it in close and try hard to just enjoy the small things each day.  Today I'm healthy, I feel good, I have amazing family and friends and the cutest little boy around.  Today is a good day.

October 7, 2011

Go me!

I've mentioned before how I'm trying to loose and keep the baby weight off. Breastfeeding was amazing for this but now that I don't have that to rely on I've had to find other tools. I've also mentioned before that I use an app on my ipod touch by myfitnesspal.com, and I love it! (link to app HERE, link to website HERE) I've been using it for about two weeks and it's really helped me stay on track! Don't get me wrong, if I really want ice cream I'm gonna have it, even if I don't have any calories left, thankfully I've only done once! ;) Each day I log everything I eat, this helps me see when I'm eating too much of something (carbs) or too little of something (protein) and I can adjust mid-day. I try to get to the gym once or twice a week, if I absolutely can't make it to the gym I do my Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga DVD at home for 20-35 minutes twice a week.

So why am I jabbering about all this? Because tonight I'm super proud of myself! Tonight V and I had a planned date night. I had an hour before V got home from work (Liam was with G'ma) so I threw in my Biggest Loser Yoga DVD for a quick 30 min yoga session, just as I finished up V got home and but one pair of "after maternity" jeans were still in the wash. I had no choice but to see if one of my pre-Liam pairs would fit. I pulled the stack of jeans from the darkest part of my closet.....gulp. Then I saw them, my favorite pair, the ones I assumed I'd never fit into again. Dare I try??? V came in just as I was slipping them on and mumbling that this was probably a bad idea....then it happened....they slide up my thighs with ease, and zippered AND buttoned with no problem!!!! WHAT!?!? Can you see me strutting around the bedroom? I giggled and said to V "you have one hot wife!!!!" to which he replied "yes honey I DO!"

I am so proud of myself! I've worked for this! Whether my weight gain was mostly swelling or not I feared never loosing it, I feared keeping it on and being unhappy with my body. It's no where near the same shape but it's getting better and better and I'm proud, I feel good, I feel healthy. It's just a really nice feeling! So ya know what? Go me! Way to go self!

October 4, 2011

Let the good news pour in!

As you know, because I've said it seventy-billion times at this point, I saw Dr T (hematologist extraordinaire) again yesterday...and I received more good news!  My numbers are actually normal!  We didn't expect this to happen so this is beyond good news!  On top of that I get to move down to one steroid pill per day, apparently this will be my "long term" dose but I'm so excited!  Three pills made me feel like hell, two pills and I could manage pretty well, one pill is going to be heaven!  I didn't ask what "long term" meant because I was just so happy, Dr T is really excited about how well I've responded and has good hopes that I'll be able to maintain acceptable numbers (even if they are below normal).  Apparently I'm anemic so I need some iron pills but I am so ok with that!  The only down side of yesterday's appointment was Dr T mentioning my weight was fluctuating (it has bounced around up and down ~3lbs during all my appts), I mentioned I've offically lost my baby weight but think I've platued....yep you can blame the steriods for that, they "will make it slightly more difficult to loose additional weight".  Note to self, becareful to maintian the progress you've made.

To celebrate I went out and changed my hair last night, I'm naturally a dirty blond (pun intended, wink wink, LOL!)  but I've wanted to do a warm brown with some light pieces forever so last night I went for it!  I really like it, I'm sure it will fade a little and V will like it more, poor guy....he saw a picture of me from high school where my hair was to the middle of my back, thick and blond and he's never let go of hopes that would return (it won't my hair was so heavy I'd get head aches and it's not nearly as thick anymore).  Good thing he loves me no matter the length of my hair!

I have a few friends out there waiting on some good news to come their way, I'm praying my butt off like usual and just waiting for more good news to come pouring in!  Love you friends!

October 3, 2011

Roughly One Year Ago....

In an effort to distract myself this morning I intentionally went back and read my posts about this time last year. 

One year ago I was scheduled to start infertility testing, which turned into a positive pregnancy test (unforunately we spent weeks fearing the pregnancy wouldn't make it).  We got a little good news, when my betas kept raising the way they should and I starting getting normal pregnancy symptoms and then the best day ever; when we saw the baby's heartbeat. 

I get to snuggle my sweet baby this morning, he is my world to say the very least, God just gave him to us so I'm resting in that promise that everything is going to be fine.

October 2, 2011

More Bloodwork Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning I'll head off to have more blood work done and see Dr T again (hematologist extraordinaire).  I'm not sure what to expect, I'd like to expect my numbers to be at least stable but I fear getting my hopes up.  If I don't continue to respond to this treatment the next option is...crazy and will significantly alter my life...fear starts to settle in.  Do I try to prepare for the worst or hope for the best? 

I've never liked going to the doctor, I suppose most people don't.  In order to remain slightly more calm I always dress as nice as possible, I want them to see me as an adult (Hi I'm 28...), not sure where this comes from but I've done it for as long as I can remember.  Tomorrow I'll probably wear my favorite pants and a button down blouse and maybe heels....Meh I should skip the heels just in case.

My labs are extra early, I think I'll treat myself to a coffee on the way in.  At least I won't miss too much work, just over an hour if I'm lucky.  I really hope I get good news.  If you have any prayers laying around I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks-

I Suck at Drying Up

So...fun story....one night early last week I fell asleep on the sofa almost immediately after putting Liam down, when V was ready for bed he nudged me to get up and come to bed.  I pulled myself up off my tummy....and discovered a puddle on the sofa and my shirt, my right boob had refilled and drained from the pressure of being laid on!  I was so embarrassed, luckily V wasn't all that concerned.  But since then it's like starting this whole (very painful) process all over again!  Ouchie!  I even had to take a break from my fun day with my bestie yesterday to ice my boob, so glamorous!  Ugh.  Today feels slightly better, righty doesn't feel nearly as engorged and I think I discovered what caused the surprise increase in supply!  I had heard if you eat oats (specifically "steel cut oats", whatever that means) it can increase your supply.  Well I had eaten two of my favorite granola bars the morning of my return of supply and I did it again on Friday causing this Saturday's painful engorgement.  Needless to say I'm avoiding oats like the plague!  (side note I've never eaten "steel cut" oats so apparently regular, or even quick cook oats help your supply if you are still breastfeeding!)

In other, sorta related news, Liam is doing great on formula!  I still have my stash we are working through, he gets that exclusively at Nanna's during the week.  I imagine my stash will be gone in about two or three weeks but that means he got breast milk passed four months, it's so much more than I would have imagined I could have given him and I'm finally totally at peace with my choice.  He's growing like crazy and up to 6oz bottles now!  I really just keep to put away the small one (4oz)!  Before I know it he'll be on to solids!  Crazy!

October 1, 2011

Damn Near Perfect

Today is one of those ideal days, last night Liam slept better than he ever has which also means so did momma!  This morning I rose shortly have V got up with Liam and made a nice breakfast (turkey bacon and eggs...my eggs had zucchini and green peppers on them).  Shortly after I scurried off to the gym, unfortunately yoga was cancelled so I only got 30 mins in on the treadmill but it's better than nothing.

Liam and I spent a leisurely afternoon with my dearest friend E. Charlotte, both of them were decked out in their favorite football teams colors...how cute are they....

It was just the afternoon we all needed, Liam just woke up from a nap and V is feeding him...I'm hoping to sneak in one more walk tonight as the weather couldn't be more perfect...this whole day has been as close to perfect as they get....my cup overflowth!

September 30, 2011

Happy Dayz

After the better part of a work-week on one fewer pills/day I feel like I'm on top of the world!  I have energy and a good attitude again, it's so normal but so glorious all at the same time!

Today G'ma had Liam at our house and when my boss decided we needed a "early out" I scurried off under the shimmer of fall sunshine to check out a local child-consignment place I adore.  I enjoyed weaving through traffic with my music up and my too-big sunglasses shielding my eyes as I observed the leaves about to change to fall's beauty.  It was a mere few minutes of rare alone time but I soaked it in and allowed my mind the room to wonder that she so needed. 

After scoring a few treasures (I promise a picture tomorrow, it's going to be priceless!) I was back in the car and headed to my baby.  I couldn't help but think about the last seven days, perhaps the craziest seven days of my life.  They started with a genuine fear that I was going to pass away far too young and have ended with a fresh new attitude of gratitude for each day with my husband, baby, amazing friends and family.  I want to remember that fear, desperately.  I want to hug it close, pull it into my chest and lock it away in small closet in my heart so I won't forget.  As crazy as it sounds I hope that fears never leaves me so I won't so easily forget to cherish the small things in life, life enjoying a moment of fall sunshine on the way home to the arms of my baby.

My health scare was intense, and while it seems to have passed (at least for now), it seems to have changed me and my outlook, I pray with my whole heart that these changes are concrete and that I can always remember what it felt like in that place.

September 27, 2011

Acceptable

Yesterday morning I dropped Liam off with Nanna and came back home to gather my thoughts before my second appointment with Dr T (hematologist extraordinaire).  Time wasn't moving quickly enough yet I didn't have enough time to reasonably to go to work and make it back to this side of town.  I decided to get gas and show up to the lab extra early. 

I arrived at the hospital and emotions of two years ago when my friend Jamie passed came flooding back, this is my only other association with this hospital and I thought to myself; if I never set foot here again it will be too soon.  I rode the elevator with the friendliest of old men to the second floor that holds the lab and oncology department, as I arrived at the lab it was all to clear that again I was the youngest person around by a good 30+ years.  So many eyes watched me enter the room, I signed in and quickly found a spot near the back of the waiting room, good thing I came early because the room was full of people waiting...so sad to see, what are all these people here for? What news are they hoping to get or not get?  I was distracted for a time by the women near me who ran through a box of tissue within moments, for the first time I truly feared getting a cold...I could get so sick, Dear Lord please let my numbers be good.  I could literally feel fear trying to settle into my bones and make a home there...thankfully I was called back, poked (hard, it really hurt this time and I bled like crazy which made me scared,  oh no are my numbers really low and now I'm not clotting?!) and after just a few minutes with a small pink band aid hidden under my cardigan I was headed to the Cancer Specialists office that is home to Dr T.  I dread walking in there but at least the staff has to be some of the kindest I've ever encountered in my life, they already know my name, their smiles are kind and warm.

I sat admiring the art again and trying to distract myself once again, this time the waiting room was almost abandoned except for one elderly woman and I.  I messed around with my ipod not allowing thoughts to creep in and forcing tears back trying to ignore the what ifs that kept trying to wiggle their way into my heart.  Finally I was called back, weighed and walked passed Dr T, whose beeper went off right then....I felt scared for the person who had to page him and bummed that it likely meant a long wait for me.  Once in the room I was right; I had all too much time alone in the silence with only fancy diplomas to read.

Thankfully my wait would be worth it, Dr T came in with "acceptable" news,.  I'm already responding well to the medicine (technically steroids) that I've been on for 5 days.  My platelet numbers have gone from dangerously low to "acceptable" and I've been okay'd to lower my daily dose from three pills every day to just two (plus meds to keep my stomach stable).  This news couldn't have come sooner, the side effects were killing me, when Dr T asked if I had been sleeping I started to weep which is my usual response when I'm far too tired.  I caught him off guard which made me feel bad, he offered me sleeping pills which I declined.  I already feel like I'm on hand full daily of pills, I agreed to take Tylenol pm if I started to get desperate.  This time Dr T felt more personable, it may just have been that I was so much less fearful but it was nice.  He gave me a brief physical which mostly consisted of checking my various lymph nodes for lumps and bumps, asking if I have any pain (I do, I'm terribly achy) and discussing the plan moving forward.  Since I've responded quickly he's no longer worried about my bone marrow being sick/weak/infected so we can try one week with one less pill per day, if I can at least maintain my platelet levels I can try going down to just one pill per day.....I don't even want to talk about what if I can't maintain right now, it's big and scary so I'm hoping for the best.  For right now I'm going to hope this is an acute case that could go away with short term treatment.

I walked out of the exam room and scheduled my next appointment and labs feeling a little less weight on my shoulders but praying I would not forget the lessons the last five days have taught me, my priorities have been square in line with what they should have been all along!  I've been making more time for V and Liam, resting more and just not letting the stress of daily life get to me, please Lord let these lessons resonate with me.  In the parking lot I called V, I just wanted to share my causious yet exciting news with him.  V seemed thankful I didn't recieve bad news alone but couldn't talk long as he was already at work.  I shot off a text to two of my dearest friends whom I promised to keep posted and dashed to the office, I may have gotten acceptable news but I desired the distraction of work.

So one more week of trying to rest whenever possible and praying for the best.

September 26, 2011

Intentionally Untitled

Hmmm well this won't be a ray of sunshine post, sorry.  Right now I have so much bouncing around in my head it's hard to even focus.  I have another appointment with the hematologist today, in two hours actually.  I could have a wide variety of people go with me but I'm choosing to go alone and I'm not sure why.  Perhaps the back of my mind hopes that I just won't need anyone, that I'll get good news...

My medication is not cool.  It makes me feel old...I'm so tired, achy and anxious.  I'm afraid to tell Dr T it makes me anxious, I don't want yet another pill to take right now. I feel like I take a handful every morning as it is.  Doesn't matter if it helps, please God let it be helping.  I found more bruises again this morning, they pop up suddenly in strange places, places you would remember hitting that hard. I feel like I should wear long sleeves and pants 24/7 so no one even sees the light ones that spot most of my body.

Only time will tell I suppose.  The worst part about all this is Dr T can't tell what symptoms are what since I just had a baby.  Rapid weight loss, hair falling out, exhaustion etc it could all go either way (except the bruises and extremely low platelet count).  Sigh.  I just try to keep reminding myself God saw this coming, and he's got it all under control.  It's all going to be just fine because it has to be.

September 22, 2011

I have no idea how to title this post.....

{For updated posts on my Autoimmune Disease scroll to the bottom of this post, links are there.}

Earlier this week a co-worker commented on some bruises I had on my arm (outside between my elbow and wrist); I had noticed them but didn't think they were anything to worry about, however they were just getting darker and darker, come to think of it I had a lot of unexplainable bruises...actually I had written them off because I was nursing Liam.  (Little did I know she may have saved my life.) I was going to call my doctor's office anyway about something else so I mentioned it. They thought it was probably nothing (as did I) but called in a routine blood panel anyway.  I decided to put it off until the next day, it would be easier to do a blood draw before work.


I went in for that test at 8am today, at 11am I was called by the nurse practitioner she said my blood platelets "were significantly low" and she wanted me to see and internal medicine specialist, she called me back less than an hour later and told me that the internal medicine specialist wanted me to see a blood specialist (hematologist) in the oncology department of one of our local hospitals and my appointment was at 3:30pm today, this was mandatory I was "not to wait even until tomorrow" in her words. As you can imagine I was pretty damn scared. I called my boss balling to fill her in and left work immediately to go hold Liam, is was the only thing I wanted to do. I called V to let him know what was going on, he was home on lunch (by this time it was almost 1pm) so he went into work to leave for the rest of the day. I raced to my in-laws house, gave them the jest of the situation and spent about two hours just holding and loving on Liam and I honestly questioned my mortality... I was so afraid I had cancer....little did I know so did the doctors, they were convinced I had Leukemia.

At 3:30pm walked hand-in-hand with V to the oncology department and filled out a ton of paperwork and answered a million and one questions and had an exam with Dr T. He explained everything twice, once with HUGE words and once with words you and I understand. Very long story short it appears I have an autoimmune disease called: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (I.T.P.) where my body attacks my blood platelets (which are responsible for clotting). The normal person has a couple thousand (google searches say ~150,000) platelets...my count this morning was ten. Over the next few weeks I'll have more blood work done and several more appointments but Dr T believes that this disease should be manageable with a rx but I'll have to be carefully monitored for a while and extremely careful not to get even a simple cold, flu or a simple injury because the medicine I'll be on will suppress my immune system and I could get seriously ill very quickly.  I have more blood tests on Monday to rule out a couple other things and test to see if the rx I was given is helping, within a few weeks we should have a fair idea if this is something I'll have to treat for just ~a year or the rest of my life. The good news is cancer has been essentially ruled out.

You can't even imagine what goes through your mind when a medical profession tells you that you have a mandatory appointment with a Dr that specializes in blood at the oncology department.  It's interesting what you consider important and the things you are glad for, it really brings your priorities into line and makes everything else fade away.  I don't wish today on anyone though, it was beyond scary, I cried a lot and feared my baby would never now a healthy mom or perhaps not even know his mom at all.  In the one moment of sheer terror I allowed myself, while alone in my car going to Liam, I was mentally making a list of things I wanted V to allow Liam to do (such as have a hamster, silly huh?).  The one thing I really value is the friends I felt comfortable with telling a little bit of what was going on and that I discovered how strong my faith really is....I didn't know if God would heal me but I wasn't mad at him and I didn't question him, my faith is strong in the face of fear and that alone was really reassuring.

So onward.  I start my rx tomorrow, right now I'm just thankful to have a tomorrow.

-Jen
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Updated links, this isn't every post but several that I thought were important to my journey. 

 Sept 26, 2011 Treatment Begins, Reality...is scary

Oct 18, 2011  Treatment Update

Nov 10, 2011 Exciting & Scary

Jan 25, 2012  Dr Appt Update

Feb 1, 2012 Sanity Temporarily Restored

April 24, 2012 I'm 29 & A Dr Appt Update

Aug 8, 2012 My First 1/2 Marathon {Take that ITP!}

Aug 20, 2012 Remission...I didn't know that could happen!

September 20, 2011

I won't make it until December [breastfeeding]

Breast feeding's death is about to be rapid....as in it's in progress, it's been given a very abrupt termination date...  My emotions change depend on the hour and vary widely as does the pain associated with "drying up".

It's a long drawn out story I don't want to relive but pumping at work has grown increasingly horrible and drama filled, I'm certain some of it is illegal but I'm so over it and so over the negative feelings I keep having about my body that I made the leap yesterday and decided I'm done.  Today I went 10 hours without pumping or feeding Liam (he gets frozen stash while at Nanna's).  By the time we got home about 7:45pm tonight he was hungry so I relieved my pain and fed him off the bigger boob.  Tonight I'm aiming to only feed him once tonight, I might pump before work tomorrow then I'll try and make it through the work day without pumping.  Ideally I'll cut down to maybe one feeding and one pump session a day and by then I'm assuming my body will just give up on me.

Part of me is sad, I actually feel like breastfeeding is being taken from me.  I think...no I know it's wrong that someone else pushed me over the edge and that I'm quitting because of that but I can't imagine continuing to pump under the circumstance I am at work.  Don't get me wrong, there is a side of me that is happy too.  I want my body back, I am praying with every inch of my soul that my right breast reduces in size to something relatively close to the other, I can't wait to run and workout without pain but I will miss that special time with Liam, feeding him the way only I can.  But it is what it is and it is at the end.

I promise to keep you updated on the process of drying up and what not....

September 18, 2011

Workout Post #2

I managed to squeeze in another workout this weekend, go me!  But I have to admit I was exhausted (I woke up at 3 am with an insane head ache, super fun...) However I promised myself I'd go so shortly after 8:30am I wondered off while Liam slept and V watched tv.  The best part about our University having home games is no one is at the gym the day of or the next day!  Glorious peace!

Today's workout:
  • 20 minutes on the Elliptical Trainer; Manuel Program (resistance Level 4)
    • 1.7 miles covered, 200 calories burned
      • 11.7 minute/mile
  • 10 minutes on Treadmill; Manuel Program (speed 3.3 mph, incline 4.5)
    • 1 mile covered, 118 calories burned.
      • 10 min/mile
  • 100 crunches (variety)
  • 20 push-ups (I was insanely sore from the 30 I did yesterday, sad!)
  • I only allow myself to weigh-in once a week so we'll assume I'm still 153lbs until further notice.
  • Mood Status: Despite being tired I'm glad to be sore and proud to have fit in another workout!

Also, I found a app for my ipod touch (myfitnesspal) that I really like.  I'm loading in all my meals/snacks/drinks and it's helping me keep on track for further weight loss.  I really like it because it helps me see where my calories are coming from (% of carbs, protein and fats) so I can adjust mid-day and stay on track.  I clearly need more protein and fewer carbs in my life, one step at a time!  Anyway it's a pretty great app so far, especially since it was free so I thought I'd mention it!

I hope your weekend is turning out to be all you desire!


September 17, 2011

Feeling Good [Workout Post]

It's no surprise I missed the gym while pregnant (I was too swollen to workout).  I started back at the gym at about five weeks post partum working out here and there and it was glorious but a struggle to find time (and energy).

Flash forward to almost 14 weeks post partum and working out is a full blown priority.  We are in enough of a routine that I can somewhat plan at least two workouts a week (usually on Saturday and Sunday) for about 30-45 minutes each.  It may not be much but it provides me the "me" time I need and let's face it those endorphins help so much!

So I thought I'd start some Fitness Journals on here, I can't promise I'll post them consistently but I'll try.  So let's give it a go, shall we?

Today's Workout:
  • 30 minutes on Elliptical Trainer Hills program
    • Goal: Leisurely workout (more for sanity than waistline)
    • 262 calories burned
    • 2.4 miles covered (12.5 minute/mile)
    • 100 sit ups, variety and 30 push ups
    • Cool-down & Stretch
  • Current Weight: 153lbs  (42lbs lost, most of which are from breastfeeding)
  • Goal Weight: 140-145 (main goal is for toning)
  • Mood Status: Feeling good both physically and emotionally...life is good.

September 13, 2011

The [Slow] Death of Breastfeeding

Welp, I've done it.  I've given breastfeeding an expiration date, well sorta.  I recently purchased some pumping/storage bags on super sale, enough for ~10 weeks give or take.  Once those are gone I'm done-zo.  So roughly December.

I'm already proud of myself, I breastfed Liam for longer than I thought I'd be able to, longer than many people I know have breastfed their children.  I toughed it out through the really hard moments and I have a nice little stash.  With my ~10 weeks and my stash Liam will get breast milk well passed 6 months and by then he will likely be on to some solids anyway.  I'm content with this decision.

I'm guessing you're wounder why I've made this choice since I've preached all along about not setting goals etc so that I wouldn't be disappointed.  Here is a random selection of reasons why I'm just over it:
  1. I'm constantly uncomfortable and often flat out in pain.
  2. I detest breastfeeding in public, so few places have a sufficient area for this...bathrooms are NOT a place to breastfeed (would you eat a meal in a toilet stall? Didn't think so.)
  3. I equally detest pumping in the nasty bathroom at work, this is actually illegal (state laws mandate a "non-bathroom" area to pump....yeah there is no such place at my work, eff!)
  4. One breast is a B the other (with all the milk) is a D.  This makes me very self conscious and contributes to being physically uncomfortable.
  5. As mentioned above all (literally all) my milk is in my one breast....gross.  Yep that is how I feel about myself...gross.  Doesn't do much for intimacy with the hubby.
  6. I can't workout like I would like to....the larger breast bounces like you wouldn't believe and that hurts! Sunday when I worked out I wore two sports bras, it really helped but I should have to do this.
  7. I feel like I'm always on some magic timeline (I can only be gone for X more minutes/hours before I have to pump or Liam needs the boob).
  8. I'm sick to death of the few tops that I can easily feed Liam in or easily pump in (and that don't draw attention to my differing breast sizes.
  9. Liam is sleeping longer and longer at night which means some nights I have to pump at 3am or wake up soaking wet and in a lot of pain from engorgement.  Super fun....not.
  10. If my MIL watches me breastfeed one more time I'll punch her in the face.
I'll stop there, I'm sure you get the point.  Some women have the easiest time in the world breastfeeding, some can't do it at all.  I feel blessed and content with the amount of time I was able to and I'm happily looking forward to moving on to the next phase.  So here's to ~ten more weeks until freedom!

[I want to quickly mention that there have been plenty of good things about breastfeeding Liam.  The bonding, the health benefits for both of us. I could easily go on and on but the place I'm in is a finish line of sorts so the harder and less pleasant things are easier to see (and feel).]