The Plan

Since my miscarriage, I’ve been on a fact-finding mission. Mainly to discover what, if anything, could have been done to prevent what I went through.

I quickly learned that a diagnosis of “miscarriage” is a very mysterious, confusing one. On one hand, you could just have had chromosomal issues and the egg was doomed from the start, while on the other, you could have a chronic health issue that will cause you to likely miscarry again and again.

What’s even more frustrating, it that the pervasive thinking in the medical community is to do nothing until a woman has had at least three repeat miscarriages. THREE. That boggles my mind. While doctors will hand out antibiotics and prescription drugs like candy, they won’t run routine blood work on a woman who has miscarried to rule out preventable causes until she suffers through three of them in a row.

Well I am by nature a researcher, so there was no way I was going to just “wait and see” if I was going to go through this two more times before running tests. I became very assertive about my health and ended up going to four different OB/Gyns until I found one who would take me seriously.

I knew I had found the right doctor this week when after I apologized for “being difficult” by asking so many questions, she said “no, this is your health and it’s right of you to take control of it. I’ve had two losses myself and I know the desperate feeling you get when you just want answers.” Yup. Bingo.

I am happy I kept searching for the right doctor and pushed for this bloodwork too, because it turns out in addition to my compound heterozygous MTHFR, I also have very low progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone that sustains a pregnancy in the beginning until the placenta takes over in the second trimester, so it was likely that if left untreated I would have continued to miscarry.

Progesterone is a tricky thing too because one of the main things that can lower it, is stress. Well, it’s safe to say I’ve had a lot of that in the past six months with a cross-country move, new job for Luke, living as a guest in my parent’s house, buying our own house AND suffering a miscarriage.

My new doctor helped me devise a plan I finally feel confident in. First I will take high doses of methylfolate to combat my MTHFR. I will also add in a baby aspirin as a preventative measure as MTHFR can cause clotting in people with high homocysteine (which I do not have). At the first sign of a new pregnancy, my doctor will run a progesterone level and start me on supplementation immediately if my level is low. Finally, I am doing my best to reduce my stress level with walks, meditation and prayer.

I feel like I can finally put my worried mind to rest for a bit, knowing I have more information about my health and how to optimize it for a future pregnancy. The past few months have been an exhausting and emotional roller coaster that hopefully I’ll never have to relive again.

 

Minted Holiday Card Review – Plus a $50 Giveaway!

I will admit, I am not be the mom who bakes a lot, or does crafty projects each week, or all those other above and beyond things I always mean to do. Who has the time?!

BUT sending out Christmas cards is one item on my do-to list I am committed to. It’s just a nice feeling to send out a beautiful card with photos of our family and well-wishes for the season to all our nearest and dearest. I know, I know … Christmas cards already?!

I’m writing about this now, because recently I was contacted by Minted to check out their new holiday line of cards. As an already established Minted user and fan, I was happy to oblige. Even better, I get to offer one of you a $50 Minted gift card! More details at the bottom of this post. 

For me personally, I am all about showcasing photos in my Christmas cards, so I tend to pick a design that leaves a lot of room for pictures. Here are some of my favorites:

Minted Holiday Card Christmas card Giveaway MInted.com Giveaway Minted Holiday Photo Cards Minted Christmas Cards

 

I am seriously in love with the whimsical holiday designs Minted is offering this year. If you haven’t used Minted before for photo cards. It’s really easy to navigate. You basically choose your preferred design from hundreds, upload your photos, tweak your copy and order. Voila, soon you’ll have beautifully printed Christmas cards at your door. You can even have Minted pre-label your envelopes with all your addresses for an extra fee.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

To enter to win the $50 Minted gift card, just leave a comment on this blog with a link to what Minted Holiday Card design you like best. I’ll pick a winner at random on October 17. In addition, Minted is currently giving everyone 15% off your holiday card + free recipient addressing if you order by Monday using code: EARLYBIRD14.

Disclaimer: I was compensated for my time and provided the $50 giveaway by Minted, but I only write about products I personally love and believe in. 

My Dream House

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Our search for the perfect home has had a lot of ups and downs. I was starting to feel like the right house was never going to come along, when suddenly the universe took charge and said “I got this.”

It started about a month ago when I was playing with Lila at a nearby park. For some reason I felt compelled to drive to the next town over and see if there were any new listings we might like. We had zoned in on one area, but there were basically NO houses for sale all summer there.

Low and behold, as I drove down our ideal street, I noticed a “For Sale by Owner” sign in front of a beautiful historic house. I put the number in my phone and immediately called our realtor, Christine Stowell, to have her check on it for us. She called me back…

“Okay they JUST put the sign up today. The house is 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and has been completely updated … BUT they already have four offers. Are you sure you want to still see it?”

Luke was wary of getting into a multiple offer situation, but I convinced him to at least go see it. We were getting pretty desperate after all and this house could be perfect. We set up a showing for the next day, and I’m so glad that we did.

The owners of the house greeted us at our showing and explained that they had bought it as a run-down duplex and lovingly converted and restored it from top to bottom. They went out for a walk so we could tour the house.

And oh my gosh, you guys, it was/is so amazing. I literally was running from room to room gasping,

“LOOK at these antique doors!! Even the hinges are original!!”

“OMG I LOOOOOVE this light fixture.”

“The wood floors throughout are to die for.”

(Yes I sound like a valley girl when I get excited)

At one point Luke and Christine thought I had fallen or something because I screamed “AHHH OH MY GOSH!!” when I went up the stairs and saw this huge, amazing picture window. To say I was excited about this house would be an understatement. Here is a list of things I loved about the house:

1. It was built in 1880.

2. It has original wood floors throughout the whole house.

3. The owners put in gorgeous thick crown molding throughout.

4. Despite being an old home, it has an open concept first floor.

5. It has a big front porch, a side deck and two screened in porches (one up and one down).

6. Many of the door knobs and hinges are restored and original.

7. There is a several hundred year old ginkgo tree in the front yard that drops all it’s leaves in one day.

8. It is one block to a super cute downtown with shops, restaurants and more.

9. The kitchen is totally updated with quartz countertops and beautiful appliances.

10. It’s not huge (2400 sq ft), but has a ton of nooks to maximize the space.

I was ready to put in offer in immediately, but Luke wanted to sleep on it. That entire night I was so excited about this house that I didn’t sleep a wink. The next morning we put in an offer and after meeting with the owners the next day, our offer was accepted!!

All in all, the house was on the market just one week. ONE WEEK. I feel so lucky that I randomly decided to drive by that house when I did and saw the for sale sign. We very easily could have missed it.

I am dying to show you all a picture of the outside, but I don’t feel comfortable doing that from a safety perspective. Once we move in (Nov 3), I will show you all the beautiful details inside of the house. For now it’s on to finding furniture to match our cute antique home.

 

Insomnia

Lately I’ve been having trouble sleeping at night. Seems I just can’t turn my mind off from worry about all that life has thrown at us the past few months.

Insomnia quote

I think it comes out at night because I have to put my worries aside during the day to be present for Lila. You know the typical “bottle it up until it explodes” approach that never really works any way.

It’s been seven weeks since my miscarriage and while physically I’m healed, my emotions are still lagging behind. Most days I feel good and can think about this loss is logical terms, “It happens to many women,” or “You’ll be pregnant again and it will be fine.”

But at night, the dark part of my mind come out center stage and the anxiety builds in my chest. Thoughts of “what if this happens again, and again?” creep in and I start obsessing. I start searching for stories, articles, studies etc online, which just compounds my worry, and soon enough it’s 2 am and I’m no where near close to sleep.

One particularly bad morning, where after five hours of sleep I snapped at Luke who was only trying to comfort me, I realized that all this worry, anxiety and lack of sleep is doing nothing but making me extremely unhealthy. I’ve gained 10 lbs since my miscarriage (due to stress I think), my mood is up and down all over the place and I feel sluggish all day. It has to stop.

So this week I’ve vowed to start having faith in my body, in my doctors and above all the plan God has for me. I’ve also tried to set myself up for good sleep. Meditation before bed, prayer and occasionally a Tylenol PM have worked so far. It also helps that one big stressor we’ve had … buying a house … is ending today when we close on our dream home! (more on that later)

I know these things just take time and I need to be patient with myself, but it’s hard not to wish my mind would just let it all go and allow me get back to my normal (well-slept) self.

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