New Blog!

I know I haven't posted in a while. I'll try to soon. In the meanwhile, I have been posting about my new raw food way of eating. If you're curious, most raw food posts will be made there. I'm doing great, come on, check it out!

The Raw Revealing of the New Me

Raw Revelations


If any of you knew me personally, you'd be shocked at this: I've gone raw.

"What the heck is raw?" some of you may be asking. Others, who "kind of" know what raw is, are thinking "Are you some kind of hippie tree hugger now?" No my friends, I'm just as ultra-conservative as ever. But I've made a wonderful discovery: raw food can change your life.

Let's back up a step, to how I made this discovery. I rented the movie "Supersize Me", a documentary film where the filmmaker goes on a 30 day, McDonald's-only diet. He gained 30 pounds (and looked it), and felt terrible. He also became addicted to the stuff. During the film, his girlfriend, a vegan chef, was appalled at his experiment, and planned a detox diet for him of vegan food after his McDonald's debacle. However, the end of the film made mention that he decided not to be vegan afterwards. It wasn't clear if he was vegan, or semi-vegan, before.

His experience got me thinking, and I searched online for a "natural diet" and weightloss. One site I came upon was I Beat Obesity , where a woman says she lost weight as fast as with weight loss surgery, but without the surgery. She did it on raw foods. Now the only diet that has claimed that, as far as I've seen, is Kimkins. I did Kimkins for a while, but it's not a diet you can do while pregnant or nursing...which I always am, one or the other! Seeing her amazing results really intrigued me, enough to get past the words "raw" and "vegan", at least momentarily.

After a lot of research, I realized two things:

1) There are a LOT of people who have had great success beating their food addictions and losing a lot of weight on raw food.

2) There are even MORE people who have eliminated all kinds of diseases and ailments, including diabetes and cancer (without chemo or radiation), just by eating 100% raw foods.

That got my attention. I've read and researched online and in books, and I'm pretty convinced by the arguments that raw food is the natural food for your body. I don't think it's necessary to go 100% raw to get the benefits (though you'll get MUCH more if you do), but I think anyone who doesn't eat at LEAST 50-60% raw after reading about it must be crazy, or determined to stay fat and/or sick the rest of their lives. 50% raw isn't hard at all.

I'm not good at explaining the science, but the biggest factor is enzymes. Cooking over 118 degrees (or 105, opinions vary) kills most of the enzymes in food. Therefore your body must use its enzymes (taking them away from their job of healing the body and eliminating toxins) to digest the food. It is believed that these enzymes leave the body with the digested food, depleting your body of enzymes, which do not replace themselves. Raw food is live food, full of living enzymes. But for me, I don't need a panel of arguing scientists or nutritionists to convince me...I've seen the evidence in myself. If you check out my weight loss blog, Weigh Out of Control, I'll post more there about my experiences. In the meantime, do some research for yourself, starting with Raw Food Talk , and the other related websites by Alissa Cohen mentioned on the site.

I've done other diets before (and failed) but this is truly a way of life. I'm not 100% raw yet, but I'm working on it. I may not go 100% til after I have the baby, for various reasons. But my whole life has changed. I feel awesome! So check out my other site if you're curious. I'll post most of my raw stuff over there.

Smart Habit Saturday-hosted by Lara the Lazy Organizer


Okay, I'm posting this today, Friday, because I know I'll forget tomorrow. ;-) My new habit for this week is planning a menu AND actually USING it! I tend to plan one (once in a while), and maybe even buy what I need, but then forget all about it and freak out trying to figure out what to make that will only take ten minutes.

Yes, I truly am that bad! LOL I'm hoping to get my butt in gear and use the crock pot and bread machine this week, but just sticking to a menu is the main goal. The kids meals haven't been unhealthy, but they have been very, very repetitive.

Go over to Lara's blog and check out her SMART Habit Saturday posts, as well as her tips.

The First Step: The Pantry

Once I decided I needed to prepare my family for potential emergencies, I knew what my first step would be. The pantry. We needed a lot more food. I have been going to the store every few days lately, which is not only poor planning, but a recipe for financial disaster. The more often you go, the more likely you are to spend extra money on unnecessary items. Not to mention the waste of gas and time.

I knew we had a good amount of meat in the freezer from recent sales I've seen. But canned food was scarce. My first goal is to amass a month's worth of food. So I sat down and made a one-week menu, a list of needed ingredients, and doubled it. That gave me two weeks worth of food. My plan was to go to the store, and attempt to double it again, if we had the money, or just get the amount on the list. Now, you wouldn't want to buy a huge amount of food based on a one-week menu plan...boredom would set in very quickly. But this is my plan for the short term. I was able to get almost a whole month's worth of the basics. I still need more sucanat and whole wheat from the health food store, but we're short on money this week, so I'll wait til next time.

When our next paycheck comes, I'll make a new one-week menu, and repeat the process. We get paid every two weeks. So every two weeks, I'll buy one month worth of food. Within three months, I should have an extra three months worth of food on hand at all times.

You may wonder how I can afford this. We're not rich, or well-off, or even "comfortable", although our financial situation is improving. Once all our debts are current, I would consider us doing "okay". Right now, we are "struggling less". LOL.

Basically, we spent about the same as we normally would on food for two weeks, including fast food. So we've given up fast food, and have made a commitment to eat at home from now on, unless it is necessary because one of us is on the road. (The day I shopped, I was gone for over seven hours, which I didn't expect to be, so I ate out.) Although I'm trying to get healthier food for my family, and try to buy some organic food when I can, I decided this week would be almost all regular food, because having SOME food in the pantry was more important. After the pantry is a little fuller, I will try to incorporate more organic food. All food bought in bulk, like flour, etc. will still be organic, as it is reasonably cheap to buy it that way. Whole wheat organic flour is usually .69 a pound.

I shopped at Aldi's, because some of their food is very inexpensive. You have to know your prices, though. Some foods I can get cheaper at Sam's Club or Walmart. I bought a case each of corn, green beans, diced tomatoes with chiles, large cans of pears. I bought ten pounds of boneless chicken tenderloins. Chicken breasts are usually cheaper, but I found tenderloins much more tender, quicker and easier to cook without overcooking the edges, and easier to calculate portions, especially when you have a lot of little ones. I also bought enough soap, and shampoo to last a month. It will be nice to have that stuff on hand, as it never fails that once the shampoo runs out, so does our soap, dish liquid, razor blades, toothpaste, etc. , and usually all during a week when we're broke, lol.

At Sam's Club I bought a gallon jug of salad dressing, some produce, and eight small jugs of organic juice (probably should have gone with regular, but it was a good price). I bought three cases of bottled water (soon I want my own high-end water filter to save money), a large container of deli meat (the only inexpensive way to buy it), and a ton of toilet paper and paper towels. (My husband still likes using them, and my mini hand towels are still packed up somewhere.)

At Walmart we bought a gallon of mayo (cheaper than Sam's club, surprisingly), razor blades, some canned soups, and some miscellaneous things, including Easter candy. I haven't added it up yet, but I think I spent around $300 not including the Easter candy. I did spend some extra money on a few unnecessary items such as new Easter baskets, etc. that isn't included in that amount.

As an aside, the "Easter bunny" does NOT visit our house. Easter here is about the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord, not a fictitious bunny who gives them candy. We do have baskets and an Easter egg hunt, but our children know that these are given by us, as a celebration of a religious occasion.

Back to the pantry issue...I couldn't believe it, but I actually fit almost all this food into our little pantry cabinet. It's not quite full. I'm glad it all fit, because cabinet space is at a premium in this newer house. The amount we spent would have been more if we hadn't already had some items, especially meat. But most of the menu calls for chicken breasts for dinner, which will come out of the ten pounds I bought. I know that once my pantry is stocked well, my costs will be even lower, because I can shop by what's on sale, and buy in bulk. I know I probably didn't get every thing I needed for this month, and of course things like milk will need to be bought again before my next shopping trip, but it's a start.



When I was single, I did tons of research and reading about preparedness. This was over a decade ago, when Y2K was barely a blip on most people's radars. It started with reading Countryside magazine, which is a wonderful magazine about homesteading and country living, with articles written by people who are actually doing it. I also started reading Back Home Magazine, Backwoods Home Magazine, and American Survival Guide a (now defunct) magazine that focused more on preparation and survival of many types of situations.

Many people laugh at the idea of "preparing" the equate it with Y2K "survivalist nuts" who spent thousands of dollars on giant cans of "survival food", only to find that the year 2000 brought no catastrophe, and gave away their stash of goods. What has happened to our country? Only a few generations ago, preparing for bad times was the norm! Only a fool would keep enough food on hand for just a few days or a week, in those days. Even city dwellers kept pantries, though probably not as big as the ones country folks had.

If your family's breadwinner lost his or her job and had an extremely difficult time finding another, how would your family do? How long could you pay your mortgage, all your insurance, the utility bills, the vehicle payments, not to mention put food on the table? What if you had to fight in court for unemployment benefits, and you still didn't have another job after six months? What if the breadwinner had a major injury that took place outside the workplace, and was still an invalid six or even twelve months later?

What would happen if a disaster hit your area? Can't happen? Ask the Katrina victims what they think of that foolish notion. You could very easily become the victim of a record-breaking blizzard, tornado, earthquake, flood, hurricane, or other major disaster that knocks out power, destroys homes, disrupts the transportation of food, gas and other necessities, and traps you in your home. Could your family survive two weeks without electricity, plumbing, or a way to buy food or other necessities?

Do you live near a nuclear facility? A plant that produces chemicals? A military installation? Anywhere near a major highway or train line where loads of chemicals or nuclear waste could be transported? If so, you could be vulnerable to a disaster, and may have to evacuate your home.

What about terrorism? After 9-11, and several plots since then that have been foiled by homeland security, can we ever be sure of our safety here at home? We have had the luxury, as a country, of having no wars fought on this land since the civil war. Because of this we have become complacent, assuming this will always be the case. It will not. Human nature unfortunately dictates that sooner or later, we will endure war on American soil.

This may sound like gloom and doom to you, but it is not. It is a fact of life that bad things happen. You don't need to dwell on it all the time, but you should make yourself aware of it, and prepare for the worst. Even on a small income, you can make some preparations. If you even had supplies to keep your family safe, clean, fed, warm, and healthy for two weeks, you would be ahead of most Americans. Personally, I think a month should be the absolute minimum, and three months would be a smarter choice. There are some Americans who actually keep a year or more in supplies. Believe it or not, it can be done. It may take time to figure out how to do it and amass your supplies if you are short on space or money, but it can be done.

This came to my mind recently, after seeing the show "Jericho" on CBS (go to their website to view the show online) and reading "Lights Out", a free book online, which I found to be very realistic and had helpful ideas for those who want to be prepared. I realized that my day to day duties as a wife and mother have drawn me further into worldly desires and concerns. I find myself wanting to have everything fast and easy. Convenient, pre-packaged and unhealthy foods, the best of everything, it is very seductive. We had no more than a week's worth of food on hand, and many needed items not on hand at all. We have no water stored.

Ironically, before I met my husband, he, like I, was living off-grid. He didn't have a pantry, but he had non-electric alternatives. We both know what it is like to heat a home with wood or a kerosene heater, and to cook with it. We have hauled water in large containers, by hand. When Y2K happened, I didn't have a whole lot stored, but I had enough to survive about a month. We still have some of these supplies...kerosene lamps, water containers, etc. But no fuel, water, or food stored. I have become, like most Americans, complacent. Sure that tomorrow will never bring sickness, tragedy, or disaster.

Many Americans think "oh, the goverment will take care of us." How foolish...anyone remember how long it was before Katrina victims got any decent amount of food or water from FEMA? And that was one small area of the country! As for shelter, would you want to live in the Superdome with all the crime, assault, rape, etc. that was going on there? Not to mention the unsanitary living conditions that quickly arose.

If you want to live like an ostrich with your head in the sand, that's fine, as long as you don't go crawling to your prepared neighbors in an emergency, demanding that they help you and accusing them of "hoarding" and "stealing" from everyone else, simply because they were smart enough to prepare. Even animals in nature are intelligent enough to prepare for hard times. But if you have helpless dependents...children, babies, the sick, the elderly, and even animals to care for, you don't have the right to leave them unprotected and vulnerable to the slightest emergency. It is your responsibility, not the government's, to care for and prepare for the needs of your dependents.

I'm ashamed to say I'm no better than anyone else. I've been lulled into the false sense of security that relatively easy times can bring. But life has its ups and downs. Don't be caught unawares during a "down" time. Your well-being and that of your loved ones may depend on you.

I plan to keep reading and researching, and sharing my finds with you. I will post links to sites and list any good books or other helpful resources. I highly suggest reading "Lights Out". It is free to read online or download. It is long, but an easy read. After a few days, I did have some nightmares about it (but then I'm pregnant and highly prone to nightmares lately, lol). I just stopped reading for a few days, then picked it up again. Even if you just read the first half, it will give you some idea of what to really expect in a major nationwide disaster, and what you might need to survive something like it. If you even just stored a few weeks of food, water, and necessities, you would be helping your family a lot. I did it when I was single and poor, and working only part time earning a little over minimum wage. If you do it the smart way, it's not as hard as you might think.

Upcoming Ultrasound

I know my posts are few and far between. It is nearly impossible to sign into Blogger now that Google took it over. Ever since then, when I try to sign into Blogger, it shuts down my browser almost every time. I just haven't found any other free blogging sites I like to switch over to, so until then, I'll do the best I can to post (when Google Blogger lets me).

I have a level II ultrasound this week. This is to check on the baby's development and make sure all is normal. Since I have gestational diabetes, E antibodies, and I'm sooooo old (lol), they want to check. I told the doc that's fine, as long as he knows that I'm not aborting my baby if there's anything wrong. Quite frankly, I don't really want to know if anything is wrong, unless there's something that can be done about it (intra-uterine surgery, etc.). The last thing I need is to spend the next five months worrying about something I can't change!

I'm sure it will be normal. My anti E titers were low, and I haven't heard differently about the titer I took last week, so I assume that was low also. I REALLY need to change my eating. It's been pretty terrible the last few months. My husband is not being nearly as supportive as he normally is. I tried to go cold turkey on any refined carbs last week, and the very day I start that, he decided to "help" me by making a cake with chocolate frosting, just to "get rid of it." Yeah, smelling cake baking and seeing the chocolate frosting was a big help. I held out all day, and then got so frustrated I decided to have some. But he and the kids had eaten it all, and that just made me mad, so I went to the store and bought a bunch of junk. I know, it's my own fault. But you don't help an alcoholic by drinking a bottle of vodka in front of it follows that you don't help a fat person by eating cake in front of them. Grrr!

Normally he's been great in the past, taking up any diet I wanted to try. But I've noticed the last few times he's been less and less supportive. I wish I knew why. I'm very weak-willed, and the only times I've been successful at weight-loss was when he supported me. I guess we just need to sit down and talk about it. If I don't get my blood sugar under control, I'm going to have to take insulin. And I DON'T want to do that, if I don't have to.

The Big "E"

When my doctor told me I had developed E antibodies, he gave me VERY little information. The more questions I asked, the more he repeated the same answers, in the same vague, difficult to understand way. When I left, I wasn't sure if what I had was a disease, or what, so I was a little panicked. All he told me was that I'd probably have to go to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist, and the baby would probably have to be delivered premature.

Naturally, I went home and did my own research. There wasn't much out there. I'll give you a synopsis of what I learned, but I'm not a doctor, so cut me some slack. ;-) If you know of anything I got wrong and have a reputable website online to refer me to, please let me know, and I'll be happy to make needed corrections. Here is what I found out:

Our blood type (A, B, AB, and O) are based on the antigens in our blood. Type A has A antigens in it, type B has B antigens in it, etc. If someone who has A blood is given a transfusion containing type B blood, that person's type A blood will see the B antigens in the new blood as foreign, and therefore will probably rally to fight off these new antigens by producing antibodies to attack them. This is why you need to have a matching blood type given to you in a transfusion.

There are other antigens out there. Basically, these antigens are proteins that are attached to your blood cells. As far as E antigens go (and there are big E and little e antigens, each are different), 98 % of the population have ee, while the rest have either EE or Ee. If a mother is ee, and her husband is ee, there is no problem. But if the father is Ee, there is a 50% chance he will pass on the E antigen to his children. If he is EE, there is a 100% chance he will pass it on to his children.

If an ee mother is pregnant with a baby who has E antigens, and their blood somehow mixes during pregnancy or birth, the mother's blood will detect the E antigens, and create E antibodies to fight off the foreign antigens. This isn't a problem when it happens during a first pregnancy. The problem occurs to subsequent pregnancies. If the mother has another baby with E antigens, the mother's blood will recognize the E antigens, and will make even more antibodies to fight off the antigens. Basically, the mother's blood will try to attack and "kill" the baby's blood. If the level of antibodies gets too high, it can be very dangerous to the baby. The baby could die.

There are two ways to be exposed to these antigens. One, as just described, is to be exposed to it by the father, via the baby. The other is if you get a blood transfusion. They're supposed to check blood for antigens, and the blood can be "cleaned" of the antigens before it is given. But I guess mistakes happen, and you can still be exposed to these antigens through transfused blood. The good thing is, if you get it from a transfusion, you can have your husband's blood tested for a simple antibody screening. If your husband is ee, you are in the clear. Your child will not have the E antigen, and therefore your blood will not fight your baby's. As I mentioned before, if your husband is EE, your child will definitely have the E antigen, and if he is Ee, your child might have the E antigen.

If your baby is suspected to have the E antigen, your blood will be tested at least once a month in the beginning of your pregnancy, and more often if the titer levels go up or as the pregnancy gets further along. If the levels rise past a certain point, they might have to do things such as a cordocentesis or amniocentesis. I believe I also read that a intrauterine blood transfusion for the baby may be necessary. If the situation worsens, the baby will need to be delivered early. My doctor told me that they usually like to deliver the babies at 32-36 weeks. 36 weeks isn't too bad, but 32 weeks is pretty early. He can't give me statistics on how often premature deliveries are done, because usually patients with this condition go to a perinatologist, and he doesn't always get feedback on the outcome.

There are other antigens out there that will cause similar problems. The most common one is antigen D. This is the one that is a problem for moms who are Rh-. It is much more dangerous and can cause more problems. However, there is a solution that usually works for D antibodies. Doctors inject the mother with RhoGam, which are D antibodies but they are too big to cross the placental barrier. It fools the mother's blood into thinking that there is no reason to produce more antibodies, because there are already plenty of antibodies to "do the job". Since the injected antibodies are too big to cross the placental barrier, they don't harm the baby. This usually takes care of the problem. There is no injection for mothers with E antibodies, and I don't think there are for the other problematic antibodies out there, like C, etc. Probably because the others are much more rare, and therefore are not profitable enough to bother researching or manufacturing a treatment.

I will be having my husband's blood tested, although it is likely I got exposed to the antigens from him, via my last baby. The antibodies have never been detected in my blood during previous pregnancies, so either I got them from the last baby, or I got a blood transfusion during the last c-section or my hernia operation. I don't remember getting blood, and my doctor says usually they have you sign something informing you of the risks of transfusion and giving you things to look out for. I always read EVERYTHING I sign, so it's unlikely I had a transfusion. But I'd like my husband to be tested just the same. Since antibody screening is pretty routine during pregnancy blood workups, it is unlikely that I had E antibodies before now. Which probably means my husband is Ee, and didn't pass the antigens on to the first three children.

As annoying and worrisome as this complication is, I know that if my husband has E antigens, then I'm blessed that this hasn't happened sooner. Although you know this is just one more thing that the doctors will try to use against me in the future to coerce me to sterilize myself. Sorry docs, I'm not a cat, and that ain't gonna happen! Of course, the first thing my mother says is "see, I knew something like this would happen...your body just can't take all these pregnancies!" My response was "um, mom, didn't you listen to anything I said? This is something that occurred naturally, and could have happened with the first baby. And it might not even cause any problems. There was no way to prevent it." She acts like I broke myself, lol.

I suppose I could have made my husband submit to several health exams and blood screenings to make sure he was "compatible". I can just see it now... "Sorry dear, I love you and I believe God sent you to me because you are the man that will be a wonderful husband and father and lead me and my future children to Heaven...but God made a mistake and gave you the wrong proteins in your blood, so I'm afraid we'll have to call the whole thing off." ROFL!! I mean, I was picky, but I wasn't THAT picky!

I hope you have enjoyed today's lesson on antigens and antibodies. Hey, you could turn this into a homeschooling lesson! Of course you'll have to come up with your own illustrations. ;-) You could make some E antigen and antibody puppets, and make them have a little puppet fight!

Pregnancy Complications


Well, this pregnancy is turning out to be a lot like Murphy's law!

I found out that I have a condition that is very similar to being Rh-....just a different antibody that's causing the trouble (E instead of D). It's much more rare, but not as serious. However, it doesn't have a simple solution like taking RhoGam. Basically I'm being referred to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist, because I also have other high risk factors: being "old" (35 or older), being overweight, having had 4 previous c-sections, and to top it all off, I have gestational diabetes again. *sigh*

The bad thing is, they usually recommend early delivery of the baby--usually between 32-36 weeks. Now, you all know me, I am NOT big on interventions or other unnatural stuff. Of course, if it's necessary I'll do it. But doctors are so quick to try to force you into doing things that are not actually in the best interests of you or the baby, to minimize the risks of lawsuits and higher malpractice insurance, oh, say, guilting you into a c-section you don't really need, and telling you "don't worry, you can have a VBAC next time" as he laughs up his sleeve because he darn well knows you're highly unlikely to be "allowed" to have a VBAC in this day and age. Oh, I'd better not get started on that, lol!

Anyway, I'm not really big on delivering a baby early just because I have a condition that MIGHT cause a problem in the future. I've done my research (boy, doctors just hate that) and I know that they usually keep an eye on your titers (tracking the levels of antibodies in your blood to make sure your blood isn't attacking the baby's blood). If the levels go up, you know there is a problem. If they go over a certain level, the baby could be in danger. I won't be letting the doctors deliver the baby early "just in case". There will have to be some evidence that early delivery is truly necessary. I'm not going to risk my baby's life with a premature delivery just so the doctors can later say that they "took every precaution".

I'm also not going to let them bully me into taking insulin unless that is necessary also. I've been doing some research, and I found out that a study has shown that taking as little as 1/2 teaspoon a day of cinnamon can lower your blood sugar, and has helped diabetics keep their blood sugar under control. I plan to try this and diet modifications first (I've been a very bad girl lately, due to stress) before taking more drastic measures. If I need to, I'll take the insulin or Metformin, but not unless it proves necessary.

I'm not really worried too much about the baby. All my babies have been healthy. Granted, this could change at any time, life is like that. And I am a little concerned. But as long as I don't see much rise in the titer levels, I'm not going to freak out. Hopefully, the pregnancy will proceed normally. So please keep me and my baby in your prayers!

I'm Back!

Sorry for the lack of posting. I've turned into one of THOSE bloggers...the kind who rarely every posts, so I get bored checking in with them and take them off my boomarks list. LOL. At least Blogger finally let me sign in. Sheesh!

We've decided to wait until summer to buy a house. In the meantime, we found a five bedroom home to rent. It was really cheap, and now we know why. We knew the original builder had gone bankrupt, and this house and a couple of others were sold to an investor. Now the investor is ready to be foreclosed on, because he can't sell it either. We were told the price was too high. Oh, my friends, that's not the REAL reason. The real reason is that the contractor who built this was either a moron or a crook who used sub-standard crews. The drywall looks like it was done by ten year olds. I am NOT kidding! Places where they messed up are covered over with a splotch of joint compound, not leveled or sanded, then painted over. And they messed up a LOT. Some things, like the appliances, aren't bad. Others, like the doors, look fine, but are actually made very cheaply. The bannister for the stairs shakes. The phone outlets were connected to each other, but not the outgoing phone line (requiring the phone company to spend 6 1/2 hours here to fix it), and the carpet is so cheap that my daughter's hair looks like a dirty lint mop from all the carpet fibers she has picked up! No wonder the house hasn't sold!

The good news is, it isn't likely to sell anytime soon, and we have a six month lease anyway. And we got a good rate on the rent. And there is a SuperWalmart only three minutes away. YAY!

We should be ready to buy this summer (God willing) and finally have a home of our own. I can't wait to paint a wall!!!

There has been a complication in my pregnancy. Everything is okay so far. But that's a whole other post.

My "baby" is now one year old. She's so big! And finally she's at a good weight...for some reason my girls are so petite, it's hard to get them to gain. Which makes it hard when there are so many fat babies out there. Funny how doctors want fat babies, but once they're two or three years old, if they're too big, they want them to be skinny.

I just ordered "Created to be His Helpmeet" last night. Can't wait to get it. I've heard good things, but was never interested, based on exerpts I had read. My husband was definitely not a "Mr. Visionary" as the book describes, and that's what I've heard the most about. But last night I read an exerpt that talked about "Mr. Steady", that is my husband! Not 100%...I would never call him wishy-washy or too slow to make a decision, or one who wouldn't take a stand on a church issue, etc. But he is very stable, and definitely goes above and beyond helping me. Debi Pearl says many wives of a Mr. Steady end up with hormonal imbalances or health problems. There wasn't enough detail to know exactly why, but she seemed to be saying that strong women married to a Mr. Steady had a tendency to lose respect for him and take over as spiritual head of the family, etc. Perhaps she meant that because of this, many women end up stressed out or emotionally wrecked, I don't know....we'll see when I get the book.

I definitely don't lose respect for my husband when he works hard to take over many of my duties and give me time to myself...actually, I lose respect for myself. I feel like a failure, and end up hating myself for it. It's not his fault, it's mine. I've known for a while that I'm letting him help me too much. But I'm so overwhelmed I'm afraid to tell him that, for fear he won't help enough, and I'll feel worse. I really hope the book helps me, because I think she's really on to something.

I know I need to let go more, and not try to control so much. After reading "Fascinating Womanhood", I gave up control of the money (well, mostly) which helped a lot. I need to give up more control, and try not to manipulate him so much. He's a good husband, and I worry that he is losing respect for me.

In the meantime, while I wait for the book (I got it on MP3 so I can listen to it, otherwise I'll never finish it) I will be reviewing Fascinating Womanhood and trying again to implement her suggested changes. Last night I fixed myself up for my husband before he got home and I cleaned up the house, even though my day had been awful. He really liked it. And I felt better about myself, too.

Hoping for a New House!

We've been having landlord problems lately. I HATE renting! I've never had a home that was all my own, and I'm really ready for it. I can't stand worrying about every scratch on the wall, what the neighbors think of our "long" grass (barely an inch longer than theirs), or the fact that I can't even paint a wall. Not to mention dealing with landlords who never want to fix anything. This landlord hasn't been too bad in that department, but we're having thermostat problems and it's WINTER, so I'm pretty frustrated with their lackadaisical attitude in finding a repairman for it.

I didn't think our credit was anywhere near where it needed to be to get a house, but as it turns out, the guidelines for lending have loosened quite a bit over the years. I didn't realize it's much easier to get a home loan than a car loan! Unfortunately because of the upswing in foreclosures, the rules are tightening up again, so we want to try now. It's definitely a buyer's market right now, especially at this time of year.

Our credit took a big dip a year ago, which is frustrating. Apparently before that, we had good enough credit to get a pretty good rate. Grrrrr! Why didn't I know about that? Now we're two points below where we need to be to get into a loan. It will be a little iffy even if we raise two points soon. But it's definitely possible. We went up a couple of points in just a few days this week. (I am SO glad we got the new car, it's helping our credit a lot.)

We're looking for 5-10 acres about a half hour from my husband's job. That is our ideal. We could really use some prayers for this. We need to get financed, find a house, and move very quickly. Either that or find a temporary rental and take our time looking to buy a house. So if everyone could remember us in their prayers this week, we would really appreciate it. Also, pray that I can pack up this house full of junk, and keep my patience and sanity!!


No, the Ticker Isn't Going Backwards....

, , 4 Comments » just looks that way. If any of you have visited my (non-updated) blog recently, you may have noticed that it had been showing a gestational date of 16 weeks, but is now showing 12 weeks. Why the change? Well, my due date had been a loose estimate, based on my second-to-last period (I forgot to write down the date of the last one.) So I came up with a due date based on that.

However, after an ultrasound two weeks ago to determine if I was carrying twins (why am I always more sure with each pregnancy that I'm having twins when I'm not?!) I found out that based on the ultrasound, I was only nine weeks along. Grrrr!

So not only did I apparently skip a period somewhere along the line BEFORE I got pregnant, but I am also feeling even more farther along than I thought I was. Hence, the twin scare. Don't get me wrong, I am happy for any blessings God gives me. But I might be momentarily chagrined at God's sense of humor if He gave me twins now, when I already have four children under the age of five, rather than giving them to me with the first pregnancy, when I wanted twins. I was relieved it was just one baby, although I admit there was some slight disappointment too. ;-)

It's strange to me that not only is each pregnancy different, but I seem to be experiencing more severe symptoms each time. I can only be thankful that God was so merciful in letting my first pregnancy be so easy. I can't imagine being one of those poor women who have very rough pregnancies, especially if each one was worse than the last. Yikes! I'm pretty wimpy.

With other pregnancies, I've had occasional, very slight nausea a couple of times. This usually was when I hadn't had enough to eat, particularly when I was pregnant and still breastfeeding a previous baby, such as in my second and third pregnancies. Usually a bit of food made it vanish. This time, I was having frequent nausea, though still mild. It came at weird times though, like sometimes very soon after eating. I would be sure that I didn't need food, and food sounded so unappealing anyway. So I would let it go for a half hour to an hour, as it grew worse and worse, until finally I'd just go ahead and make myself eat, and usually it went away. Why I would get morning sickness and need to eat after JUST EATING is beyond me. Pregnancy is so weird.

Anyway, I seem to be past that, and feeling better. I know that my pregnancies are still a lot easier than a lot of people's, so I'm very grateful for that. But I do worry what my tenth pregnancy will be like, at this rate! lol

The Risks (?) of Multiple Pregnancies and Cesareans

Any woman who decides to have more than the "normal" amount of children is definitely going to hear unsolicited opinions about the wiseness of their choice. This is especially true of your family members and your doctors. Your family members are probably indoctrinated from the television, and believe anything the "idiot box" says. (I am embarrassed to admit that I still haven't been able to completely break my tv habit, but I most certainly do NOT believe what talk show hosts and tv news shows tell me to believe.)

Your mother (sibling/cousin/aunt/etc.) is sure to tell you how dangerous it is, how unhealthy it is, how hard it is, how expensive it is, etc. The ironic thing is that some of these people may have had many children themselves, and got through it just fine. My mom did. We were well-fed, well-clothed, and had more than a lot of smaller families we knew, even on my dad's very small income. They have been taught by the tv and by society that anyone who has more than two or three children (at MOST) is being reckless and taking their lives in their hands. Nothing could be further from the truth. While having more children does take more of a toll on your body, if you are eating right and exercising, you can greatly minimize the impact.

When you visit your obstetrician, be prepared. With each additional child, you will feel more pressure from your doctor to tie your tubes, use contraception, etc. He or she will bombard you with frightening statistics and, if you let your guard down, make you feel foolish for even considering it. This will be even worse if you have had any c-sections...and if you've had multiple sections, they will make it sound as if your uterus will explode if you try to have even one more child.

I urge anyone wanting to have more children to research it for yourself. And not just the typical medical journal studies, either. Visit the International Cesarean Awareness Network for more information. Also read books about cesarean sections. Even women who haven't had one should research this if they plan to have more. Cesarean sections do carry risks with them, and when you have a doctor trying to talk you into your first one, or to talk you into a repeat c-section instead of a VBAC, they will minimize the risks to you in order to get you to do what they want. Once you have your third or fourth child, the doctors will suddenly tell you that the risks are too high.

With even one c-section, you raise your risk for future tubal pregnancies, placenta previa, placenta accreta, uterine rupture, and other complications during future pregnancies. These risks are not high, but they are there. The risks will raise with each c-section, though not as high as doctors often claim. If you do your research, you will find that the studies they quote often lump cases together that should be in separate categories in order to make it an honest, accurate assessment of risks in the study. When you look up studies that appropriately separate cases into more detailed categories, it gives you a more accurate picture of the risks, and you find the risks are lower than doctors often state.

One example is in the case of "uterine ruptures". This is the scare tactic used most by doctors, making it sound as if your uterus will explode and you and your child will instantly die if you get one. This is highly exaggerated. The uterine rupture that is most worrisome is the "catastrophic rupture" where your uterus tears all the way through. This can be very dangerous, and if you are not able to get into a surgery suite very quickly, there can be fatal consequences for both mother and child. However, these are rare. Most uterine ruptures are partial ruptures, where the uterine muscle tears through only part of the uterine wall. In the case of "window" ruptures, the rupture is a very small one that only goes through a layer of the does not go all the way through. Many women get these, and they are not at all dangerous, and usually when having a c-section the doctor looks for these and repairs them. The studies often quoted by doctors usually do not differentiate between the serious and non-serious ruptures. Doctors often imply that these studies are referring to catastrophic ruptures when in reality they are lumping all types of ruptures together.

My last doctor used the "exploding uterus" ploy the last time. I expect this new doctor will use the "paper thin uterus" ploy after my next c-section. Your uterus can become thinner after many pregnancies, and this does up the risk of ruptures, but this is often exaggerated.

I cannot tell you how many women I have met who have been told that they should NEVER have another baby again, or they will surely die...and these women ignored their doctors and went on to have six, eight, or ten healthy children. Some of these women had c-sections, some didn't. All were given various reasons, all their doctors were certain that they were doomed, or that their children would be abnormal, etc. and none of their predictions turned out to be true. I met a woman once who had had NINE far. I know someone personally who has had far. They, like me, are quiverfull-minded.

Now, I don't want anyone to misunderstand me--c-sections can be dangerous. ANY surgery can be fatal. The thing that scares me most is blood clots. Not long ago, I heard of a woman who died three weeks after giving birth, from a blood clot that broke loose. Another mother I heard about online recently died of a blood clot when amniotic fluid leaked into her bloodstream as the baby was lifted out of her stomach. You can get a blood clot after dental surgery. So to me, blood clots scare me more than possible ruptures. My biggest piece of advice is do everything you can to avoid getting a c-section in the first place. Someone I know had one for what I personally believed wasn't a good reason. I warned her she was more likely to have tubal pregnancies, fertility problems, and more c-sections in the future. She chose to have one. Maybe it was the right decision. The next time she got pregnant it was tubal, and then couldn't get pregnant for a long time. The next pregnancy, her doctor was pushing at the end for a c-section, as I predicted. I strongly urged her not to get one. She was going to, but at the last minute was able to have it naturally. She was lucky, but she will face the same pressure from her doctor with each pregnancy.

Here is how I made my decision to keep having children. My faith. I do not believe in controlling my births. How can I say I trust God with everything...except my family size? I feel like I would be saying "God, I trust you with my marriage, my faith, my money, my life...but I know you cannot be trusted to keep my family size down to what I can handle. I just know you're going to give me twenty kids, and I know that I can't handle it. So I'm just going to cut you out of this area of my life. Sorry, but in this area, I know best." Notice all the "I" and the "I know"? I don't think most women think consciously like this, but when you break it down, that's the truth of it. Believe me, I sympathize! There are times I think "hey, just how many kids are you going to give me?!" It's a little scarier when they come close together. I really would like a large family, but in my weaker moments I just don't know how I can handle it.

And that, my friends, is the problem. "How will I handle it?" I, again. I, I, I. What we forget is that God will never give us more than we can handle....with HIS help! He will certainly give us more than we can handle alone, because we aren't meant to do it alone! Just because you don't use birth control, doesn't mean you will have twenty children. In fact, unless you are eighteen and very fertile, and don't breastfeed well, that is very unlikely. The only reason I have mine so close is that I don't produce milk well. Once I got a handle on it, I had twelve months between pregnancies, and around 22 months between births. I'm only pregnant now because I was an idiot and didn't try hard enough to do what I needed to to keep my milk production up, and ended up stopping altogether. And even then, God gave me a couple of extra months. Most people I've known personally only had around 6-8. Several I knew had only two or three. That's just all God gave them. Several I knew couldn't have any, and had to adopt. Only a handful of families had eleven or more, and they had married pretty young and had been quiverfull all along, and had babies longer than other women had.

Chances are I won't have more than six or eight. My mom went through the change early, and I may also. We'll see. I truly believe God knows best. And although my mom and my doctors think I'm crazy, I trust God as far as the c-sections go. Doesn't God carry us all in the palm of His hand? Not one hair on our heads will be harmed unless God permits it. If I die during a c-section, it will be because my time has come, not because I was "reckless" or "crazy". If it is my time to go, what better way to give up my life than in total submission to God, while giving life to another? I think that is a far better way to go than getting hit by a bus, suffering a heart attack, dying from cancer, getting mugged, or any myriad of other ways I could die. When God calls me home, I will go, and it doesn't matter if I am driving a car or giving birth. He will choose the time, and if it happens to be while I am giving birth so be it. I can't outrun it by avoiding His will. He will find me wherever I am. And hopefully when He does, I will be doing His will.

I hope everyone reads this and understands this to be an expression of my thinking and my beliefs, and not a criticism. I know others believe differently. My intention is only to express my own beliefs, and to maybe give others a new perspective to ponder.

May God bless you all, and please pray for me and my unborn child.

Question About Repeat C-Sections


I had a question a little while back in the comments section, and just recently realized that I'd overlooked it. I think it's a good question, and it's something every woman should know about. So Faraja, I apologize, and here is your question and my response:

"How did you find it having 4 c-sections (and will you need one again for the 5th?) I've had 3, and we'd love another baby but so many people (including my doctor) are saying I shouldn't do another c-section."

Well, as far as my experience with four c-sections, I hated having them. I desperately wanted to have a child normally, but let them talk me into the first one, even though I believe it was NOT necessary. This is very common. Doctors would rather do a c-section because it is quicker and easier for them, so they can get back to their office and back home, plus they consider it safer (for them) than being bothered to continue with a vaginal birth that isn't going as easily as they had hoped. It is definitely not safer for you and the baby, unless there are real signs of distress or some true need for it. "Failure to progress" and "cephalo-pelvic disproportion" (baby's head won't fit through your pelvis) are the two catch-phrases often used (and abused) as reasons for c-sections. There's no reason to be worried about "failure to progress" unless there are problems with you or the baby, such as fetal heartbeat dropping significantly. Doctors are in a big hurry nowadays. They do NOT want to let you labor. They want to get it over with, and the hospital wants that room available for the next mom.

CPD was the supposed reason for my c-section. The doctor said the baby's head wouldn't fit. Now I am more educated. After birth my son's head was perfect...there was no molding of the head at all as there should have been if my son's head had actually tried to go through my pelvis. I knew at the time the whole thing was bogus, but I was exhausted, in excruciating pain, and the nurses told me I couldn't have any more drugs unless I agreed to a c-section. Basically they blackmailed me. (All I'd had was a small dose of demerol--NEVER get that--and a half dose of an epidural.) Later after talking it over with my husband, we both believe that I wasn't fully dilated at the time they told me to push. There wasn't even a nurse in the room for about 99% of the time I pushed. It was a nightmare.

My second birth was an emergency c-section, because I had pre-eclampsia. That one I think was necessary, because as it turned out, there were also two knots in the cord. The third one I wanted to have a homebirth with a midwife, but where I lived at that time, state law prohibited midwives from attending VBAC births where there had been a c-section within less than 18 months, and I had had only thirteen months between those births. For the last birth, I had given up on finding a midwife to accept me, then heard that in this area, there are some women who have had safe home births after three or four c-sections. I found a couple of midwives who would have done it, but because of my other health risks (weight, gestational diabetes, etc.) and the fact that I was so far along (in my third trimester) they decided against taking me. I was pretty devastated. But this time I actually found a holistically-based hospital, and (as c-sections go) it was very enjoyable. The staff was great, the room was great, they even doulas and masseuses on staff. I had to travel an hour to get to the hospital, but it was worth it.

I was fortunate that my recovery from all of my c-sections has been relatively easy compared to some women, and my pregnancies haven't been bad either. However, I will say that each successive pregnancy and each surgery has been a little harder each time. Not only am I having more children than the average mom today, but I'm having them closer than most women (who breastfeed) do. So with the stress on my body, plus my age (almost 35), I guess it's to be expected that each pregnancy and surgery might be a little tougher.

I'll comment more on the risks (and the exaggerations about them) of c-sections in the next post.