Friday, April 29, 2011

Prayer Buddy, NCEA, and Dopplers?

I had the priviledge this Lent to pray for Somehow, Somehow, Someway, Someday. I have been following her for awhile, and it was great to pray for someone whose history I already knew :) M, you didn't give me an intention, so I made my own for you - hahaha! I also prayed for your foster children and the direction and love you give them, I know how very fortunate they are to have you in their lives. Bless you M, your foster parent journey, and all other journeys you have in the future.

I am late revealing this because I was in New Orleans at the NCEA (National Catholic Educators of America). My principal asked me to go at the beginning of the school year and I was so looking forward to it, until a couple months ago when my nausea started. I have been feeling better bit by bit, and the food in NOLA definitely helped curb any nausea that popped up throughout the trip, I would weigh 400 pounds if I lived in Louisiana I bet. That food is AMAZING!!! The trip was great, we listened to some very interesting speakers, and the amount of people (especially all different orders of sisters and priests) was such a testimony to our faith and incredible to see.

I listened to one speaker on teaching the rosary to children. She said to approach it like a scrapbook - the rosary is basically Mary's scrapbook! Many children are familiar with a scrapbook or family photo album, right? We can teach them to follow Mary's family history scrapbook style! She also had such a cute activity to use with smaller children. Sit them in a circle and give them each a stone, a plastic egg, and a long piece of yarn in a circle for the group. Each child clamps the egg around the stone and the yarn and makes a bead. Afterwards, each child prays the prayer he or she is holding, so precious! (She suggesting two beads per children for most classes).

Another great speaker were Carmelite from Baton Rouge who presented "Bucket List: like Teresa of Avila". We wrote our own bucket list for the categories (physical, purchases, something fun, health, foods to try, hopes for the future) She called on random people in the group to answer and called on the "girl in the back with sunglasses on her head"(me!) to answer hopes for the future. I said through tears while a bit choked up that after 4 miscarraiges I am pregnant again and further along than I have even been before and I hope to have this baby. Several people turned and my face was so red. The speaker was so sweet, said to the group, "Let's lift up Allie in prayer and this new baby from God, allright?" It meant so much to me.

I posted before about wanting to buy a doppler to relieve some anxiety and reassure me of our growing baby, but our OB stongly discouraged it. She said if I couldn't find the heartbeat (and sometimes it can be hard if the baby is moving or the placenta is in the way) I would have to rush to their office or the ER if they were closed and the stress would be awful for the baby. She said she'd rather me go to their office any day and ask for the nurse practitioner or available doctor for a doppler check instead, but their office is almost 40 minutes away.....My cousin has a $500 doctor quality doppler she bought with her last pregnancy and brought it to my mom's for me while I was out of town. I am so tempted to use it, but trying to have faith, and I am afraid I may not find it, and I would panic. My next appointment is Tuesday at 2. What should I do?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fatima Memories

I saw one of our fellow pilgrims to Fatima and Lourdes last night at mass. She and her husband were our favorite people on the trip to hang out with and eat meals with. They are originally from Sri Lanka and in their 70's, but you would never know it by their up and go. They seem more like 40 :) I told her I was pregnant and she was so excited and said she already knew because she had a vision of me and our baby walking together the other day and she thought I must be pregnant. She reminded me of one of our times spent together on the trip, and I realized I haven't even shared much of the pilgrimage especially anything about Fatima!

I think I mentioned before that Fatima totally made our trip. My friend and I were so stoked about going to Lourdes and that was the highlight of our trip, but once we were in Fatima, we felt like we were in absolute presence of Our Lady - more so than any other place on earth. We didn't want to leave there and I will definitely go back one day I hope - I owe a promise to Our Lady!!

While we were there, our saintly tour guide, Javier, told us about the "knee walk" on the marble walkway from the end of the basilica to the small chapel of apparitions. There is a local legend in Fatima that whoever prays the rosary while walking on their knees from the high point around the chapel (or inside the chapel three times if there is not a mass being said) will have their special intention and prayer answered by Our Lady. After the prayer is answered, you must come back and pray the rosary again walking on your knees in thanksgiving at some point. He had done it, and each time his prayers were answered (his son's request of meeting the pope, his mother's cancer cured). We asked Javier the best time and way to do the knee walk, and he told us to come find him after we completed our rosary. My friend and I decided to make the knee walk, but the only problem was that the marble walkway was constantly covered with people or all ages especially small older women, many of them crying their way through the prayers. We decided to get up very early on our last day. We were out there before the sunrise, and there were still many people on the walk. It took about 30 minutes or so and about halfway through it, we experienced searing pain. We prayed through the pain, and when we returned to our hotel room, our knees were blistered up with hanging skin and open flesh. We put some bandaids on our knees, but later Javier doctored us up with some ointment and told us to leave the skin open to heal. Kneeling at daily mass was not the most comfortable experience after that, the skin rebroke and rehealed daily. Well, needless to say my prayer was for a healthy pregnancy and baby, and if this pregnancy continues I will be heading back to Fatima to make the knee walk rosary in thanksgiving!

Another great memory which was brought back to me after seeing our Sri Lankan friends last night was when we burned our wax body parts. My friend thought this was kinda archaic and strange, but I was all over it!! We saw wax babies, heads, arms, legs, eyes, ears, feet - you name it - at every little tourist shop in Fatima. I decided to look for a uterus, although my friend thought I was kinda nuts. I went into a shop and explained to the lady about my history and what I was looking for and she handed me stomach and uterus/fallopian tubes. She said to pray to Blessed Jacinta for our baby and gave me a small paper laminated medal of my favorite picture of Jacinta. That night after the rosary my Sri Lankan friend, who suffered from a near death aneurism in her brain, came with her wax head and we walked to the fire pit near the chapel of apparitions. We prayed together and threw in our uterus, stomach, and brain. She told me last night at her last appointment her doctor told her the aneurism is gone and there is no need to come back to see him!!

This picture is of Saint Lucia's neice. Our guide said it was a rare treat that we got to see her, she comes every so often to the family home and sits under this shade tree near where the angel appeared to the children to say her rosary.

My friend made me a scrapbook (since my wallet was stolen out of my basket at kroger the day I returned with my camera picture card of Fatima) so I apologize for the smudginess of the photos taken with my phone from the book.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

updated :) Prayers please for my anxiety

All was well yesterday, thank you all IMMENSELY for your prayers, kind words, and support. Heartbeat fluctuations are completely normal she said - yesterday it was 175 at 11.2 weeks - and I promised her I would quit consulting google and just call the office when I am anxious and worried. Also normal is symptoms to lessen at this time. We go again Monday and after that it will be every two weeks. Thank you all so much for your prayers!!

First of all, I am so very grateful for this pregnancy and the successful progress God has afforded us this far. I have tried not to "Dr Google" as much this time and fully trust in God. I repeat the mantra, Jesus I trust in You. Jesus I trust in You. Jesus I trust in You. BUT...anxiety still gets me going every day, it creeps up and before I know it, I am sweating, heart beating faster, lose my train of thought while teaching.

I just read Sew's post and commented that everyone's body is different. I keep trying to remember that everyone's pregnancy is different too, but I find myself googling anyway and read some things that calm me down, then another that raises my blood pressure again.

Pregnancy symptoms at this week and I have not much in common, and that scares me to death, but I try to remember every pregnancy is different.

At about 10 weeks I had about 3 days where I felt sicker than I have ever felt, laid up in the bed sick, could barely work sick, but I felt so secure in my pregnancy so I was happy. Since last Saturday I have had minutes or maybe even an hour or two of nausea but it gets less and less with each day. I still can't eat certain foods (last night I had to eat boiled shrimp and baked potato though everyone else ordered fried platters and crawfish dips), and I can't eat as much as I used to eat especially at dinner where I used to gorge myself.

I am contantly pressing on my boobs to see if any tenderness has returned, they are only slightly sore now. Last week I had to hold my arms over my breasts one day because the shower water felt like needles stabbing them, and the towel had to be gently patted on them when I got out of the tub. I don't see any real increase in size since a few weeks ago either.

I am sooooooo energetic by nature, like the energizer bunny really, so fatigue hasn't really been an issue for me like it is for most people.

My clothes are a little tight, but I have only gained about a pound and that could be water weight. I am 11 weeks today. Shouldn't there be a pooch?

I haven't been constipated really and have had slight cramping this week.

I didn't post this on my last update because I was scared to voice my concern, like maybe if I didn't write or talk about it, it would go away....but our last appointment which was not quite a week after our last appt with our RE showed a heartrate of 148 or 142, I can't remember which. The last RE appt showed a hr of 175. That is one heck of a drop, huh?? I know it peaks around 9 weeks and then starts to gradually decrease, but it worries me because 30+ points doesn't sound too gradual to me. It should be around 120-160 starting around week 12. There is little information I can find (medical info, not chat forums) about week 10.5 heartrate normalcies. I called the ob's office and the nurse said it was a good heartrate, they look for anything over 120. But why do I have this feeling of fear? I know with my history this is normal and most RPLers go through this, but I can't help but think back to October 09 when I called the doctor to tell them I was concerned that my symptoms disappeared around 10 weeks. They said this was normal, I was at the end of the first trimester and not to worry. 3 weeks later, we realized there had not been any growth since 2 days after our last appt at 9 weeks.

I am heading to prenatal yoga in a couple of hours and I hope to shake off some of this anxiety and try to relax and trust in Jesus. Please pray for our appointment on Monday afternoon.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring is around the corner and update

We were blessed with some seriously beautiful weather this weekend, and we enjoyed every minute of it! I had been feeling very nauseated all last week and Friday after school I was on the couch until bed. Like I said in a previous post, I don't mind the nausea for one second because I feel like my hormones are actively working and doing what they should be doing. I am happiest when I feel the worst.

Saturday I felt great and we were able to work in the flower beds all day. We went to the nursery and bought 2 more memorial roses to plant in our side bed, we originally wanted a tree, but have nowhere to put a tree and settled on roses instead. I weeded all the beds, DH went to get mulch, and we planted our new roses, dahlia, coneflower, lavendar hybrid geranium, and delphinium. We thinned out the existing perinnials and moved a couple existing plants, watered, and stepped back to look at the beauty. Only a few things make me happier or prouder than our flower beds :) The side flower bed picture will be more beautiful in a month or so once the peonies, roses, and other flowers bloom, dont worry - I am sure I'll post again in all it's beauty!

We went to our regular ob appointment today. I was more nervous than usual walking into an office full of so many sad memories and wished we were back at the RE's office. My ob was reassuring and said I could come in weekly if I wanted to and have the nurse practitioner use the doppler to help us breathe easier. She said I would not be coming back after today until a month or so. I know she could tell I was a nervous wreck. We were able to have a belly ultrasound which was a major turning point for us, I have only had vaginal ultrasounds in the past. By LMP I am 10w2d, but by measurements I am 10w5d. We are now officially past the point of our furthest pregnancy.

She said there have been Reproductive Endocronology studies done on TLC care where a patient is able to see the doctor more frequently and as often as she wants or needs to come for ultrasounds, etc. She said for me to come again next week instead of waiting a month. I was elated but on the way home started wondering if there was something she saw on the ultrasound that made her change her mind, or is she really just trying to give me TLC care? I have to trust in God and believe the latter. + + +

I finished the letter to the young girl who is pregnant. I emailed it to her and it was returned, invalid email address, ugh after all that stress and fear to push send! I emailed my friend and he is going to get me her correct address. We are still very interested in adoption also, but our social worker says she does not advise we follow both routes. There could be consequences of having to "explain" the artificial twin situation. However, we are praying about it and hope God will say yes to both babies in October.

Thank you all so much for your prayers, they mean so very much to all of us. This community is amazing and it continues to surprise and warm my soul.