Archive for December, 2008

The Saga Continues

I went to see the internal medicine doctor today. She told me my ANAs were positive. WOW!! Really? I didn’t know!!! Oh, I could have slapped her. How dare she call me up on Christmas Eve to tell me she has to discuss my lab results with me in person just to tell me something I already know. Yes – it is better than hearing I have some awful disease. I am so grateful for that, so blessed!!! Thank you, God.

All of my other test results were normal. Just the positive ANAs. And what does that mean? I still have no idea. The doctor blabbed on and on about how these tests don’t prove I have Lupus, but she wouldn’t answer my questions. I asked what else it could be and she couldn’t answer that. She just said the Rheumatologist would do more tests. Wonderful… more tests!!!!!!!!

My loving husband told her how wrong it was to call me on Christmas Eve and then not have an appointment and how her office totally messed up my head and my holiday. What did she say??? “Holidays are inconvenient”!! Are you kidding me? This was NOTHING she couldn’t have told me over the phone.

Since I can’t stand this doctor, I called my regular family doctor – who I like. I spoke to the receptionist who was SO nice and understanding. She wrote it all down and said the nurse would call me back after she talked to the doctor (she even made a point to say that it might be tomorrow because it was already 4:30pm). They called back in FIVE minutes!!!!!!!! Not five hours, not five days, not “oh you should come in so we can discuss this”. FIVE MINUTES!!!!! The nurse said how sorry he was about my miscarriage – aw!!! And then said the doctor would be glad to take over for the internal medicine doctor and she felt that she could handle it all right there, that there may not even be a need to see a Rheumatologist. I will probably make an appointment with one to ease my mind and to be prepared in case I need to see one. I am relieved that my family doctor will take over for the nasty one.

I have an appointment with her for next Tuesday. I have to fast for my blood work – that kind of sucks. This will be blood draw #6 since my miscarriage! But, maybe she can order the tests I need so I won’t have to keep having more blood taken.

The doctor today did take a urine sample to test for protein. Hopefully, she’ll call and tell me those results over the phone. I think I’ll have to demand it. And I STILL haven’t heard back from my OBs office. I called last week about my betas and the Folic Acid prescription. I know it’s the holidays and all, but it’s not a hard question.

So, the saga continues… in the meantime, we’ll be baby dancing!!

The “What’s Wrong With Me?” Saga

Let’s see, where did I leave off? I had the miscarriage November 15th. The OB did blood work and found those 2 copies of the mutation (MTHFR) and the positive ANA. She told me to go see an internal medicine doctor to figure out the ANA stuff.

So, I did. I went last Monday to see this new doctor. I wasn’t crazy about spending my Christmas vacation at the doctor’s office. Especially with the 30 minute wait in the waiting room, a smaller wait in the exam room, and a doctor who seemed like she was in a rush and wanted me desperately to have a flu shot (which I repeatedly said NO to). She didn’t say anything when she examined me, so I ASSUME she didn’t find anything. She asked me if I had any symptoms which I kept answering NO to (how many times does she have to ask? The answer isn’t going to change). She then decided to do more blood work and send me to a Rheumatologist. Great!! More doctors!!

Off I went downstairs to the lab, only to find out they didn’t have anywhere for me to lie down. I even asked if I could lie on the couch in the waiting room? Or the floor? They answered, “Oh no, we can’t have that!!” Well, why not? If you draw my blood while I’m sitting in a chair, I’ll end up on the floor anyway. They told me I’d have to go to a different lab… which was conveniently located down the road a few miles… and across the street from a mall (which I didn’t know until I was begging the traffic to MOVE – keep in mind, this was December 22nd!!!). If I had known that, I would have found another lab. I ended up getting my blood drawn for the 5th time in a month. I was not a happy camper.

Two days later, on Christmas Eve, I get a phone call from the doctor’s office saying the doctor wanted to see me sometime that week to discuss my blood test results. The conversation went as follows:
Me: How about Friday?
Doctor’s office: That won’t work for us.
Me: (thinking how the next day is Christmas, how am I supposed to get in THAT week) Monday?
Doctor’s office: Of next week?
Me: (of course next week!!! I’m not waiting longer than that!!!): Yes.

So, I have my appointment set for tomorrow afternoon and I have been worrying since Christmas Eve. Worrying about Cancer, about dying, about something untreatable. What could it be that they had to call me Christmas Eve to ask me to come in? What will my four little girls do without their mother? And what about the fact that my OB told me it was okay to try and get pregnant again? What if I already am?

Please pray for me, that the test results aren’t too bad, that it’s not something incurable or untreatable. Please pray that all will be okay and I’ll live a LONG life.

Ah… the holidays.

The lights, the music, the smell of cookies. I love the holidays. I love the spirit of Christmas. I can feel it in the air. The look on my children’s faces when they saw Santa at the Christmas tree farm, when we got a really big tree, when we hit the buttons and the lights on the tree turned on for the first time. They saw the magic. I love watching the shows on TV, hearing the music all around me, and even decorating the Christmas tree!

Along with all the wonderful things about this time of year comes the craziness. The stores are CROWDED. Now that we live in a big city, the stores are more packed than I’ve ever seen. No matter what time I go, it’s ridiculous. I can’t get around anyone –because the stores for some reason have big carts and small aisles – sometimes the stores throw something in the middle of the aisle, making it completely impassible – why do they do that? So, I get shoved and bumped into with not even an apology. I’m scared of losing my kids in the madness. And for what? A few presents. Of course, I could order everything online. That would save me fighting for a parking spot, getting annoyed at other people and waiting in line. But, when I do order stuff online, it gets delayed, rerouted, damaged and I have to worry about not having what I need for Christmas morning.

Sure, sure, it’s not about the presents. But, what mom doesn’t like to see their kids’ eyes light up on Christmas morning?

Is it so much to ask for a simple “Excuse me?” or “I’m sorry” when you bump into me while shopping? Or just a smile letting me know you see me when you cut in front of me? Can we all remember the reason for the season? Lets’ remember how God sent His son to us. Lets’ remember how Mary gave birth to that son. Lets’ remember what Jesus did for us. This season, give to someone; make your heart feel happy. Tell someone you love them. Smile at a stranger. Pay it forward.

Christmas means so many things, what will this season mean for you?

My Test Results

I went to the doctor Monday. This always ends up being an adventure. I have to figure out what to do with the kids, how to get there (because it’s never easy), and try to remember everything I need to ask. The office I go to isn’t spectacular in any way. It has chairs and a TV that’s never on. There is even a sign asking you NOT to bring your child with you, because of space issues. I waited approximately 45 minutes in the waiting room – good thing I brought a book. Once back in the room, I tried to figure out if the people on the street could see me through the window. Wouldn’t that be awesome? An OB/GYN office where they could literally see IN. It was cold and boring in that small room. I probably waited another 10 minutes, but finally my doctor came in.

My doctor is nice. She seems to want to help, seems to care, tries to take a little bit of time – but always seems in a rush anyway. She sat down and asked me how I was. HOW DID SHE THINK I WAS? I had been waiting since last Wednesday for answers. I have been stressing over WHY they couldn’t tell me this stuff on the phone! I figured I was dying of something!!! So, I politely answered “Stressed and nervous.”

She smiled and said she understood. Then paused long enough for me to get annoyed and I asked if I was dying. She said no. PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!! Then she proceeded to tell me the results of my blood work. She said I have two copies of the MTHFR mutation (Yes, I know what that looks like). Apparently, it has something to do with Folic Acid. My body doesn’t make it or doesn’t metabolize it or something. So, I need to take 4mg a day. What fun. I guess it can lead into other things; I need to do some research on that. The other thing that is wrong with me – as if one wasn’t enough – my antinuclear antibodies (ANA). They came back positive. What does this mean? Beats me! It’s usually a sign that someone has an autoimmune disorder, but I have read that in rare instances it can just be positive. Or it can be positive now, but I may not have symptoms of anything for years. It’s almost like a ticking time bomb. Just waiting for the right moment to explode. This includes diseases like Lupus (which does NOT run in my family) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (which my mother has). Thankfully, I have no signs or symptoms of anything – not that I know of.

The doctor said she believes my miscarriages are due to the Folic Acid deficiency and taking the Folic Acid should help me to keep the baby next time. I also have to take Baby Aspirin every day. So, that’s 5 pills a day – good thing they’re small! She told me we can TTC if we want to as long as I’m on the Folic Acid and Baby Aspirin.

Then she said I needed to see an Internal Medicine doctor and gave me a name. Supposedly, this doctor will be able to figure out what the positive ANA means and if she can’t, I have to see a Rheumatologist. This is sure to mean MORE blood work – UGH! I HATE needles!!!!!!!!!!

I’m certainly not at peace with any of this, but I’m so relieved that it’s not more serious. It’s apparently something that will need more testing and I’ll probably have to be monitored.

Oh, and the bump on my cervix, she didn’t look at it, but was somehow able to say that cysts on the cervix are normal for women who have had babies. Great. I’d feel better if she had at least LOOKED at it.

My midwife reminded me of this verse: II Timothy 1:7. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind.” I’m trying, Lord.

What in the World?

I’m a cervix checker. I admit it. I check it; see what position it’s in, how open it is, etc. I don’t know why I bother, I can’t always tell the difference. And after having 4 children, my cervix always seems open. So, today, I check it. It’s further back than usual and as I’m trying to assess how hard it feels, I feel a BUMP!!! What the heck is that? The bump is a little smaller than a pea, maybe? Feels hard, actually when I push on it, it feels numb.

I am now a nervous wreck. You see, yesterday, I called my OB/GYN’s office to see if they ever got my test results back from my miscarriage. It’s been 2 ½ weeks and I hadn’t heard anything. A nurse calls me back and to tell me the doctor wants to see me Monday to discuss the results. UT OH. That’s NOT good. If the results were normal, she would have said that everything was fine. But, no, she said I needed to come in. I have no idea what they tested for, so I don’t know what the worst case scenario could be. But, my mind wanders and I’m down this “oh-my-gosh-I-have-cancer-and-I’m-gonna-die-and-leave-my-kids-motherless” road. I am completely freaking out. And then today, I find this bump. Wonderful.

What are these people thinking? They have to know that I will be completely stressed out for the next 5 days. They can’t say something like “There is nothing horribly wrong, we just want to go over some of the results in person and discuss a plan”. Noooooooo… it has to be “The doctor wants you to come in” which translates to “There is something wrong, we need to talk to you about it and to make sure you don’t freak out about it, we have to do this in person.” I would much rather know right now over the phone what is going on then wait for an appointment in 5 days. Waiting makes me speculate and that is not good either.

I ask you, dear friends and blog readers, to please pray for me.

Did you know?

Did you know that you can actually start relactating after months of not breastfeeding? Or even build up a milk supply without ever even being pregnant? It is possible!! I don’t think many people know this, so that is why I’m writing this post.

Why would someone want to do this? Let’s say you couldn’t breastfeed when you delivered your baby or you breastfed for a couple months and then went back to work, but you ended up not liking formula feeding. Now, it’s weeks or months later and you want to know if you can start breastfeeding again. Or maybe you’re adopting a baby and you want to breastfeed her. You can and here’s how:

1)    Hold your baby at your breasts, skin to skin. Do it often. Get her used to being there, let her put your nipple in her mouth. Offer her the breast when she needs comforting or is sleepy. Even though you’re not making milk yet, the nursing sends a signal for your body to start making milk. If the baby won’t latch, keep working on it. If you absolutely can’t get her to latch, you have other options. Get the breast milk out and then bottle feed her or use a feeding syringe or a cup. There are many choices!!

2)    Now, go get some Fenugreek. You can get it from GNC. Take 2 capsules with each meal!!!!!!! Yes, that much!!!!!!!! And then when you start making milk, go up to 3 per meal. I know – huge, smelly pills – gag!!! But, sooooo worth it!!! (If you are diabetic, check with your doctor). There are also prescriptions you can get to help your milk supply.

3)    Then get a hospital grade pump, a double will make it a lot easier!!! Start pumping away, both sides. When you’re awake, pump every couple hours, just like feeding a newborn. At night, get up at least once and pump. If you are double pumping, 15 minutes will do it. If you’re single pumping, do it for 30 minutes. Keep pumping even after she begins nursing well. The more you pump, the more milk you’ll make.

4)    If you still need help, try a supplemental device. You put it around your neck, put expressed breast milk or formula in the bottle, tape the tube to your breasts and the baby feeds from your breasts but gets the food from the tube until your milk supply is better or she latches better.

You may not get a full supply of milk back, but some breast milk is better than none, especially with the things they are finding in formula. The less formula, the better.

Don’t forget to get a lactation consultant!

Don’t believe me? Google it!!

Still can’t get it to work and don’t want to give your baby formula? Maybe a milk bank can help you out. Although you need a prescription and it’s usually for very sick little babies.

Good luck and God bless!!

Breastfeeding Rant

Today I am going to rant. Recently, I have found out a couple scary things about formula. First, I read that powder formula given to preemies IN the hospital is responsible for their deaths or damage to their brains. Then I found out there is something toxic in formula. So I shared this information with some friends. I only sent this link: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/chronicle/6132465.html  I didn’t even give my opinion. Somebody took offense. This baffles me. Our bodies go through many changes when we’re pregnant. Making milk is one of those changes. Our bodies know to make milk for our baby. It is geared specifically towards that baby. When the baby is delivered, our milk comes in. Granted it might take a couple days, but it is there.

Putting any health reasons aside… is there any reason NOT to give that beautiful baby the best there is? What mother looks at her child and says, “Eh, I don’t want to breastfeed, so I’m going to give you fake milk with toxins in it.”

Now, I’m sure most of you have heard all the great reasons to breastfeeding, but just in case you forgot, here are just a few of my favorite reasons to breastfeed:

1)      Breast milk is free. You don’t have to pay for it. Think of all the money you’d save if you didn’t have to buy formula.

2)      Many kids react badly to formula. Spit up, tummy problems, allergic reactions are all examples. This usually doesn’t happen with breast milk. It’s easier to digest.

3)      You don’t have to fix it. No bottles, no warming it up, no clean up. You just pull up your shirt and latch. Easy! Especially if you’re out and don’t have hot water nearby or at night when you’re exhausted.

4)      Breastfed babies score slightly higher on IQ tests. Who doesn’t want their child to be smart?

5)      Nursing uses up calories. What a better way to lose weight after pregnancy? Sit comfortably, watch TV and nurse.

6)      When exclusively breastfeeding, it delays your menstrual period!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you need another reason???? Seriously?

7)      Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

8 )      BONDING!!!!

9)      The best reason: IT’S THE BEST THING FOR YOUR BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even formula manufacturers say this! Breast is best! It has antibodies in it!!! It protects your baby!

Again, there are many people out there with health issues and they can’t breastfeed. And there are people out there that try and maybe they don’t make enough or maybe it really hurts or for some reason they can’t. At least they tried. There are some that do it for 8 weeks, maybe until they go back to work. At least they did that. But, the people that are just plain lazy, those people are the ones that make my head spin. Here, God gives us milk, He provides us with a free, easy way to feed our babies. And some people choose to buy formula to put into their precious little bellies. Now, we’re finding out that there are toxins in formula. “A safe level” the FDA says. I wonder how many of them are feeding it to their babies?!

What I don’t get is the people who read these articles, they find out that there is a TOXIN in the food they are feeding to their babies and they don’t care!!!!!!!! Let’s give it to them anyway. See if it’s really safe. What if this toxin is causing some Leukemia down the road? Or Autism? Or even “just” asthma? Would you still give it to them? What if they find out in 5 years that children have cancer because of this toxin and YOU knew!!! Wouldn’t you feel like crap? So, why not give your child the BEST for as long as you can! What is stopping you?

So, back to my original problem… all I did was give information. I didn’t give my opinion or go into anything. Just gave the link. Why can’t people be open-minded and talk about things like adults? Have a discussion about it. No judging. No name calling. We’ve all done it before, but this time, someone who was probably feeling guilty got upset.

My youngest loves animal crackers. If someone sent me a link telling me that there was a toxin in animal crackers, I would certainly read it and stop giving them to her and then figure out what to give instead or maybe I’d think the risk of her getting sick from these toxins was minimal and keep giving them to her. But, I would be thankful to have that information, thankful that I could make that decision. And seriously, who in their right mind would keep giving them to their child? I wouldn’t take offense. My response would be “WOW! I didn’t know that. Thank you.” Maybe I’m just weird 🙂

BTW, if anyone wonders about my breastfeeding experience… My oldest was breastfed for almost 2 years. My second child was breastfed for 18 months. My third and fourth were breastfed for about 15 months. All self weaned. I did have to supplement my fourth baby for a couple days because my milk didn’t come in until she was 6 days old. Thank you, Fenugreek!!! Reading these articles scares me. I pray that the formula did not hurt her. I just keep telling myself it was only a couple ounces a day and only for a few days…