My second pregnancy. The first 12 weeks.

Well, I went through with it. I stood up to my fear. God has done a lot of healing inside of me the past 3+ years. So, it took some change and some guts but Jamey and I made the decision to try and see if it would happen. Now, I am pregnant again. I am 12 weeks today, and here is what has been going on so far…..

I started feeling nauseated pretty much right after finding out. (I was probably around 5 weeks). It wasn’t constant, it came and went mainly when i had an empty stomach. So, eating helped a lot. I was hopeful. I felt pretty good.

Around 6 1/2 weeks the major nausea began. It scared me. I had been trying to eat no carbs and little sugar (from fruit) but that quickly went out the window as my body started wanting bread. PRETZELS. Anything dry or bland. I chose to do gluten free toast and some gluten free pretzels as a temporary aid to myself. It did help. I also decided to start anti nausea medication immediately. The nausea had become so strong that it felt like i was going to go down to that dark place fast. So i started my regimen from my last pregnancy. Unisom + B6 at night, and Zofran during the day. (Anti nausea/vomiting meds).

I have been on those medications since. I am getting by, “hanging in there”. Some days are better then others. I am on the couch a lot. I am “out of touch” with the world a lot I feel like. But, hey, I am not getting stuck with IV’s at this point, and I haven’t been to the hospital. That is a big difference from the last time around. I’m praying and hoping that this sick part will pass soon. Please pray with me for this. I really want to be able to enjoy my pregnancy like I did the last few months of my first pregnancy. I want a longer time to enjoy this one!

I have bad days. Today was one. I get so tired of the fight. I get tired of feeling so sick and tired. I’m sure that’s a normal feeling. It’s tough. I am pushing through it. I allowed myself to feel it, and then I reminded myself:  I am not dying. I do not have cancer. I did not just lose a child. I am not trying to get pregnant for the thousandth time with no success. I am not in the midst of chaos, or tragedy. I am alive.

Even in the face of the issues i’m tackling that to me, are very difficult and very real—that truth is buried deep inside and I’m glad that it surfaced when I needed to be reminded. When I was pregnant with Pursey, nothing shook the darkness off. Nothing seemed to be able to.

So, for now, until the nausea/vomiting lets up—I will “Praise Him in this storm”. For all I have. For the blessing I’m carrying inside me. This won’t last forever, and I can do it. Even when some days I feel like I can’t!

Thanks for reading,

Geneva

The thing that most impacted me in 2011….

It’s 2012. Man, 2011 flew by for me. I wanted to share the most impactful thing that happened to me in 2011. I got healthy. It’s funny to put it that way, because a lot of my friends have always believed I was a REALLY healthy woman. I am “skinny”, a yoga instructor (on hiatus), was a vegetarian for 5 years, ate a lot of fiber, tried to eat organic, cooked my own meals….well, you get the point.

But, the truth is I wasn’t healthy. Not really. In 2011, I started a journey to try to gain weight in an attempt to “prepare” my body for another possible HG-pregnancy. I started meeting with a great trainer, and shared with him my goals and fears. The first thing he told me was that food was going to make the biggest difference in my goals, my health, and my life. Boy was he right! I had been eating vegetarian, and then basically a Standard American Diet all my life. I was a carb-addict. A sugar-addict. A junk-food junkie. I would eat tostitos and salsa every night, in large quantities. I had a superpretzel with mustard EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for a snack. I was always told (and believed) that I could get away with eating whatever I wanted. Since I never saw weight gain from my eating habits, I believed that they weren’t harmful to me.

My trainer at the time, Justin, filled me up with information about the way humans are designed to eat. He told me about the Paleo/Primal way of eating and excercising. (*A disclaimer: I believe in Creation, and I don’t think that the paleolithic era existed. However, I do believe God didn’t create us to eat Doritos.)However, Paleo living just makes so much sense to me! The basic premise of the diet is to “Eat real, unprocessed food, as close to nature as possible and listen to your body. Pretend the modern supermarket doesn’t exist. Choose foods that could be grown, hunted, or gathered-nothing packaged or processed….Eat animals, marine life, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Eat plenty of healthy fats from pastured animals, fish, coconut, avocado, olives, and cold-pressed oils. Drink water….” (Quote taken from an insert I recieved from Steves Orginal.)

Needless to say…I was totally not into it. I wanted to be happy, and enjoy my life and I LOVE FOOD and ENJOYED what I was eating. I wasn’t ready for such a “huge change”. I believed also, that I felt healthy and well even though I did have a few “weird” physical issues I had been dealing with for years. I pushed that aside as “something my body has going on, just a part of life” and kept eating what I wanted. I didn’t think I could “pull off” changing my diet SO DRASTICALLY—by cutting out all gluten/grains/processed foods. That was my favorite! Ha!

After debate, and feeling defensive (on my part) while talking it out with my husband….I decided I didn’t have anything to lose. I would “try” this new way of eating temporarily if only in an effort to reach my main goal: weight gain. So, it begun. My husband was already on board-so we threw out all the junk food we had in our cabinets and pantry, and started buying even more fresh meats/eggs from our local farm, and even joined the vegetable CSA for the Spring/Summer season too. We started cooking even more then we ever had. It was different….

I didn’t notice an immediate change in my body. There were ups and downs, and at times it was hard to cook and clean just to make another meal and clean up again to start cooking! I frequently got discouraged. The thing I realize (most days) is….that’s life! We still have it way easier then most people in the world. I have a dishwasher to help me, thank the LORD! Anyway, the changes did come….and are still coming….

First, I should tell you that I was diagnosed many years back by a Rheumatologist with “myalgia” (which is basically muscle pain). This doctor told me I probably had fibromyalgia. I woke up every morning with stiff joints, and pain in my body. For years I had random joints that hurt me and were stiff….for seemingly no reason at all. I also suffered from migraines. Though i still get headaches, they are much less frequent, and severe. However, my “fibromyalgia”—well, that I learned, was a CROCK! Since I cut out the crap food from my diet, it is COMPLETELY  GONE!!!!!!!! I cannot tell you how amazing that is. I would wake up and cry some days and just wonder why my body was like this! Now, I am FREE!!!!

That’s not the only change I have experienced. *We’re about to get personal*. Constipation was an unwelcome friend when I was a vegetarian. Nothing crazy–but it was something I dealt with. NO MORE. I am a regular gal now, with no problems in the poop department! Hooray! Also, the most awesome thing….I HAVE SO MUCH MORE ENERGY. I used to feel so wiped out all the time. I thought it was just the way my body was. I would go to the mall, shop for an hour and then be EXHAUSTED–unable to do much the rest of the day! Those days are over. I take care of my 2 year old daughter everyday, I lift heavy weights twice a week, and I love to walk and spend time with my family. I FEEL GREAT!

My husband, Jamey has experienced several dramatic changes also. We both are SO HAPPY that we learned the truth about food and are finally experiencing the benefits. We thought we “knew it all” when we were vegetarian—but we didn’t FEEL GOOD. We had issues and didn’t understand why. Well, now we do. We were created to eat -as I like to call it-like we live in the woods! Sure, eating all that processed crap is “convenient” and “fast”….but it isn’t worth it to me anymore because I can’t SURVIVE and THRIVE on that food. It didn’t help me, it harmed me.

So, you’re probably wondering, did I gain the weight I wanted? Sadly, no. (Not yet!) But, that is most likely because I’m still nursing my daughter. However, I’ve started a new training regimen, and am getting MUCH stronger and feeling wonderful! (Thanks Geoff Blake!)

I still don’t know if another pregnancy is a good idea for me. The jury is still out on that one. As for me and my family, we are looking forward to a healthy and strong 2012, filled with fun times in the kitchen and happy bellies. I want to thank some people who have really helped me in my journey so far. The first is my wonderful husband. He really helped me to start this journey with him by my side, and he’s been a real encouragement to me. Another is my trainer Justin Scott. He has since moved and now works at Norcal Strength and Conditioning in California. Bless you, Justin for helping me discover the truth about food and excercise! Also, Geoff Blake my current trainer; thank you for continuing to help me discover my strength and to love my workouts! The others, I don’t know personally, but I am inspired by you and your focus, creativity, and love for food! Thank you! (Links below to more of those I appreciate and continue to learn from.)

Sarah Fragoso-Everyday Paleo

Mark’s Daily Apple

Nom Nom Paleo

Robb Wolf

The Food Lover’s Primal Palate

Be careful little eyes what you see….

Well, believe it or not folks….i have been contemplating another pregnancy for several months now. NO, i’m not pregnant yet—so that’s not what this blog is about. What it is about however, is the journey i’m taking before i even try to concieve.

I have been doing my research. I have been thinking. I have been considering. I have been weighing the options, and commitment of being pregnant again.

It’s tough. Things i read encourage me, and then other things i read frighten me. I know the reality of a pregnancy with HG. I haven’t forgotten. But i also know, i haven’t wanted to remember all the time either. And, all this research….well, it’s getting me remembering. A lot. Do i want to do this again? The joy of holding another child in my arms, and growing my family is so hopeful….but what if i have to suffer through another year with HG to get that? Can i do it? I already know it’s worth it. You don’t have to tell me that. I have friends around me aching to be pregnant. I would be blessed to be able to conceive again, I know. But, what if in that blessing….also, lies a curse? A curse that could destroy me again?
This time on my journey I also have to consider my daughter. Her life. What could be stolen from
her if I battle HG again? I don’t want her to have to see her Momma sick, or not be able to be near me…What if i can’t stand her smell so badly that I can’t even hug her? (I had barely any physical contact for months during my last pregnancy as smells were just too nauseating).

All these heavy things weigh my mind down.

I’ve been trying to prepare. I’ve been trying to gain weight. Over four months ago i dramatically changed my diet to resemble that of a Paleo/Primal type diet. I’ve been meeting with a trainer, and have started lifting weights. To my discouragement, I haven’t gained a single pound. I sometimes wonder if God is not going to allow me to gain weight, because it’s really just me trying to scramble and “control” how I would feel when I get pregnant again, and I know I really don’t have much control over HG and whether or not it chooses me, yet again. I do know that God CAN and I pray that He DOES have mercy upon me and allows me to have a pregnancy that is better then my last, and hopefully—free of HG or all NVP. (Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy)

So here I sit…writing up some things I need to ask my midwife. To prepare. Things to still consider. Will I do this? Can I handle it? Sometimes, I answer myself with a resounding YES!
Other times, like today….I am sad to say I really just don’t know.

I do NOT want fear to rule my life or decision making. I want to overcome. I want to succeed. I want to birth another beautiful baby into this world. I know I can’t do it alone. I don’t think I can even do it again with only the small circle of family who got me through last time. I was too isolated. So this blog is the beginning of me reaching out to you, my community of friends and family, to let you hear my heart and to support me…..and my family….

In closing, I’d like to share a quote I found today that really hits home for me with where I’m at today.
“We are not doubting that God will do His best for us. We are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. ” C.S. Lewis

Thanks for reading!

The hope that lies in you…and in me….

Below are some lyrics from a song by The Glorious Unseen. (The Hope that Lies in You)

….And through all the questioning, You’ve been the hope in me.
Despite uncertainty, You’ve been the only constant thing.
And when I’m struggling, You keep on loving me the same.
This is the hope that lies in You.

Come down – we need Your hope to come down.
We need Your grace to pour out. We need Your love to shine down.
(Hallelujah. Hallelujah.)
Come down – we need Your hope to come down.
We need Your grace to pour out.
(Hallelujah. Hallelujah.)
Come down – we need Your hope to come down.
We need Your grace to pour out. We need the face of God now.
(Hallelujah. Hallelujah.)

Well, what a ride this past year (and then some) has been. As soon as i had my baby in my arms i was all at once overjoyed and relieved that my pregnancy journey was finally over. I also knew the road that lay ahead of me was going to be a tough one. I was broken. Having hyperemesis gravidarum (www.helpher.org) during my pregnancy had taken me to some very dark places (see earlier posts on my pregnancy) and i knew i needed some counseling.

After my daughter arrived, I believe i was dealing with some Post Traumatic Stress. Everytime i would lay down in my bed i’d have flashbacks of being sick, and had horrible memories of sticking my legs with needles and nurses putting iv lines in my arms….it was never ending thoughts. After months of dealing with that, i wondered if switching my bedroom furniture around would bring any relief. Seemed a strange little thing to do but my husband agreed, and it really helped me. It eased my flashbacks and helped me to get a bit of sleep. I still have flashbacks anytime i feel nauseous, too full, or like i’m getting ill in any way. I absolutely hate hospitals and i’m terrified of ever having to go to an emergency room again. That’s the short story of my life after “HG” (hyperemesis).

The other major part of me that was broken though, wasn’t just my mind/body. It was my spirit/soul. God and i had gone through one hell of a ride together. It’s funny that i now say we were in it together. That’s good. Part of the issue i had was that i felt so distant from God during my illness. I felt like he left me and wasn’t healing me. (see previous pregnancy posts)
So, i took a journey. A journey through counseling. Healing. Discovering. Release.

Now, many months later I have a spark of hope inside. At times i feel it flicker and almost fade, but other times i feel it grow warmer and begin to be able to light that fire again…..so that’s what i’m praying for. For the Spirit of the living God to burn in me again. I know what it’s like and i long for it….but there’s still so many obstacles this daily life brings, right?
And now i’m a mom and also a wife and i have duties. It’s tough to make time to spend with my Father God. Breaking through some of my preconcieved notions of God and how i see Him, and talk to Him also weigh on my mind. But, like the song says—I know He’s loving me the same. No matter what my uncertainty may be or my doubt or my lack of love. I can now imagine what that’s like….because i have a child. I can see things in a new light now. Things i couldn’t really relate to before.

I love my daughter, and would continue to love her no matter how much she loved me or spent time with me. In fact, i’d just yearn for more of her, more time with her, more attention from her…..waiting for the day where we could be restored. Reconnected, and rebuild our relationship.

I think that’s how God really feels about me. It’s so crazy i can barely believe it. But, when i relate it to my love for my own child, i think i can see a piece of how God must feel. I am so blessed to be chosen by Him to be loved.

So, come down, i need your hope to come down Lord
I need your grace to pour out
I need the face of God now…….

Wanna Listen to the song? Click Here.

Muffin Tin Monday!

This week’s theme was “Big and little, short and tall”. To be honest…..i didn’t do TOO much with it. I guess my creative juices weren’t flowing..?

Mandarine oranges with marachino cherries, "baby" black beans with short cheese shreds, mini white chocolate cherry muffin, goldfish, grapes, "tall" pear slices.

Pursey shocked me when she immediately took a piece of the maraschino cherry and tasted it and put it off to the side. HA! I thought she’d gobble those tiny things up! She made me proud though when she continued to “c’mon back” for little tastes of it now and again. I’m so glad she doesn’t seem to be much of a picky eater thus far…..

And a random food quote i saw and liked and wanted to include… “McDonalds announced it’s considering a more humane way of slaughtering its animals. You know they fatten them up and then kill them. You know the same thing they do to their customers, isn’t it?” -Jay Leno

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Muffin Tin Monday!

Today i was in a rush so i was glad there was no “theme” to the muffin tin this week. Purse gobbled up most of the yogurt and grapefruit pieces and she’ll eat the rest of the tin later as a snack. Fun times.

Honey graham bears, PBJ sandwich, Citrus salad, vanilla yogurt with sprinkles, mixed crunchy crackers, grapes, cheese and tortilla cut outs.

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Muffin Tin Mondays!

So, the last few blogs i’ve had have been SUPER heavy. And, that’s all fine and dandy by me….if that’s where i’m at in the moment. I wanted to do something else on my blog that is a bit fun and lighthearted. It’s something I started a few months or so ago for Pursey and now I am going to start putting it on my blog! It’s called Muffin Tin meals. (On Muffin Tin Mondays!) Here’s where i got the idea:  http://michellesjournalcorner.blogspot.com/search/label/Muffin%20Tin%20Monday This week, i didn’t follow the theme. It was a simple snack she wanted and i chose to throw something together fast….but stay tuned for more creative meals coming SOON!

This meal was: mandarin orange segments, cheerio dusted banana slices, pear slices, green olives, natural honey graham bears/crackers with Peanut Butter and Nutella, and Extra sharp cheddar cheese slices.

As usual, she gobbles most of it up. She loves her meals in a muffin tin! Check out the blog i got the idea from! There are tons of great ideas for you mom’s and dad’s of picky eaters…..(Purse isn’t picky but she does love to eat from a muffin tin).

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Muffin Tin Mom