Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Move From Georgia to Virginia

About three months ago, we packed up our house in Canton, Georgia, and moved to Ashburn, Virginia.

We had been wanting to move back to Virginia for a long time. RJ had been looking for a job in VA/DC for months. Because of the presidential election, there was a lot of uncertainty in the D.C. job market, so it took a while to get hired. When RJ did find a job, they wanted him to start immediately. We had barely three weeks to pack and move.

The girls and me in the moving truck.
I was packing, donating stuff, selling furniture, and fish tanks till the last minute. I sold 5 or 6 Ikea bookcases the night before the movers came, while RJ was out picking up the Uhaul. It was insane.

The movers we hired were awful. They didn’t know how to pack a truck. They didn’t wrap any of our furniture in blankets. Our stuff barely fit into the truck. There were many miscommunications between the two movers, which caused a lot of issues. It took two hours longer than we expected, and we were left with a handful of stuff we had to load into the truck ourselves. We also had to fill the back of my minivan.

I’m fuming thinking about it. It was an exhausting move.

When we finally emptied the house it was much later than we had planned. Luckily we made pretty good time to Virginia, even though it literally took all night. RJ drove the giant Uhaul truck with his Miata on a trailer towed behind. I got my sister a plane ticket and flew her up from Texas to help, she drove with me and my girls in our minivan. She drove the whole time which was super helpful.

By the time I made it to our new house, after dropping my sister off at my parents house, the sun was just coming up.

The girls reacting to the Chinese dragon over the Chinese food
isle in Wegmans. We love Virginia!
The next couple of days were the most exhausting of my life. It had been a very long time since I had pulled an all nighter like that. Rosalie and Heather didn’t want to sleep when we made it to Virginia, they had a lot of energy. I think I got less than 2 hours of sleep in about 36-48 hours. It was a very rough few days.

It has been nearly three months since the move. We absolutely love Ashburn. I am glad we chose to live here. I love the location and we hope to buy here soon.    

We are still unpacking and organizing. Life happened and we have had a lot of delays. Between relatives visiting, Rosalie and Heather getting sick, relatives moving, pink eye, and having a miscarriage. Life has not been easy the past three months.

I didn’t think it was going to be difficult to leave Georgia but it was. It was a place we had a lot of firsts in. I gave birth to both Rosalie and Heather there. We got married at the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta. We made so many memories there. The move happened so quickly I almost felt like I didn’t get to say goodbye! Even though we don’t ever plan on moving out of the DC/Metro area, Georgia will always be a special place to our family.  

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Second Miscarriage Final Update - Blighted Ovum

Hopefully this is the last update I will be posting about this miscarriage! I thought I would do a quick recap because so much has happened, over so much time.

Mid May I had a positive pregnancy test. RJ and I had been trying for a while and we were very excited.

Almost five weeks ago I went into my midwives office for a dating ultrasound. The ultrasound tech found an empty amniotic sac. When she told me I was really upset. I just had a miscarriage in November that was also an empty amniotic sac. It was really difficult for a few days to cope with the fact that I was about to have two losses in a row. It was devastating.

At that appointment my midwives took my HCG levels, to get a baseline. They would take my levels again to see if they had gone down which would indicate miscarriage soon. About one week later they took more blood work and discovered my HCG levels were dropping. Although it sucked it was nice to know my body was doing what it should be to miscarriage naturally.

I needed to replenish my iron with big fat burgers all week.
My midwives called me nearly every day to check up on me. It began to get a bit annoying but it was reassuring to know that they cared, and had a good system in place so patients who had things going on were checked on regularly. It was particularly nice to know they were there this past Saturday when I began to bleed very heavily. There was one moment where I went through about 3 or 4 pads in one hour. It was really scary. I called my midwives and left a message for the midwife on call because it was after hours. She called me back within 10 minutes. She told me if heavy bleeding continued for more than three hours go to the ER.   

Luckily my bleeding slowed down, just as we were getting ready to leave.

This past Monday, which was the first business day after I called my midwives after hours, my midwives called me. They asked how I was doing. I told them I was feeling better, and my bleeding had slowed. The nurse on the phone asked me to come in for more blood work.

Tuesday I got blood work, Wednesday they called me with results. The last time they took my HCG levels they were 8083, and they had dropped to 99. My number should drop to zero, but my body did what it was supposed to. The nurse told me to take a home pregnancy test in a few weeks if I haven’t had a normal cycle. That should tell us if my body has figured itself out so we can try again.

Nothing makes a better distraction than Game of Thrones!
Today I am feeling ok. My bleeding comes and goes, some hours it’s lighter, some hours it’s heavier. I am a bit moody, and find myself snapping at the girls a little more than normal. The poor sweet girls have gotten the brunt of my mood swings. I am pretty sure they will be happier than me when this is over.

Tomorrow RJ and I have dinner reservations at a great french restaurant that we used to go to a lot when we were dating. This past Wednesday was the fifth anniversary since our first date. I cannot believe that we have been together five years! I am so lucky to have him. He has been so understanding the past few weeks. He has dealt with my moodiness more than the girls have.
I hope opening up about something people try to hide will change the way we talk about it. I find it very difficult women are told not to disclose their pregnancies till after their risk of miscarriage is past. Women need support though this time. I am glad I told people. I am glad my village knew, and was there to support me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.   

Thanks for reading!

Hopefully my blog posts get a bit more exciting next week!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Second Update - Second Miscarriage

It has been two weeks since my last update. A lot has been going on.

My parents left for Utah today. They closed on the sale of their home here in VA yesterday, and they close on the purchase of their home in Utah this upcoming week. The past two weeks the girls and I spent almost every day over there helping sort, organize, and pack. Rosalie and Heather were a cute distraction when needed. Sometimes they just got in the way, but it was great to spend time with my parents. I wish our relationship was closer but I think there are hurdles we can’t jump, even when trying. I am glad Rosalie and Heather got to know their grandparents though.

Rosalie and Heather are too cute. 
Since my last update my pink eye cleared up. My mom told me that when I was younger, it would sometimes take three different rounds of antibiotics before I got better. I am glad it cleared up. I washed my makeup brushes, bought new mascara, and eyeshadow primer. Since my Urban Decay Smokey palette is a dry product I didn’t need to throw it away. I used it Thursday, and yesterday and didn’t catch pink eye again! I was a little worried I would catch it again, but the germs had weeks die.

Wednesday was the five year anniversary since my first date with RJ. I cannot believe we have been together for five years! Time as flown, but at the same time it feels like we have spent forever together already. We have a nice dinner planned next weekend at a nice french restaurant we used to visit all the time here in VA. I’m glad I have RJ around. He has been so helpful and supportive during this miscarriage. I am lucky to have him.

I got blood work back and my HCG levels had dropped. I got additional blood work and my HCG levels had continued to drop. I spoke to another midwife during my most recent blood draw. She told me it was ok to continue waiting in my case, since there was only an empty sac there is not much that can go wrong by waiting. I did not want an induced miscarriage.

Earlier this week I started to bleed just a little bit. It has been slowly picking up throughout the week.       
Heather covered in stickers at
Mimi's house on moving day!
This afternoon around two, my bleeding picked up a lot and got very, very heavy.

There was one point where I bled through about 3 or 4 heavy pads in one hour. I was having really bad, sharp cramps, and passing quarter sized clots.

We called a friend over because the amount of blood was scaring me. It was enough to scare RJ too. I called my midwives 24 hour number. I left a message for the on call midwife with basic information about what was going on. She called me back very quickly. She told me if I continued bleeding that heavily for 3 hours go to the hospital. It could be my body flushing everything at once, or it could be a problem. The hospital would do an ultrasound and probably a D&C. Luckily, right before we were about to pack up and go to the hospital my bleeding started to slow.

It has continued to slow all evening, and I have pretty mild cramps. I believe I passed the traditional clump of tissue passed during miscarriages when I was bleeding heavily. I am not one hundred percent sure, but I do not think my bleeding would have slowed down so much if I had not passed everything. I’m sure I will know soon. Hopefully the bleeding doesn’t pick up again. It was pretty miserable.

I am sure I will see my midwives next week. Possibly even Monday. I am not sure how quickly they will want to see me. They are really on top of their patients and checking in on how they are doing. They called me nearly everyday checking in to see how I was doing, it’s nice to have doctors who care so much.

I will do my best to post another update as soon as possible!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Update - Second Miscarriage

A lot of stuff has happened since my post on Saturday. I have not started to miscarry yet but think I will soon.

Sunday morning my pink eye was bad enough I went and found an Urgent Care. My right eye was very red and swollen shut when I woke up. I have been on antibiotics since last Monday. I went back to the doctor Wednesday and got different antibiotics because the first weren’t working. The skin all around my eye is dry and almost raw because the eye has been so runny and goopy. At the urgent care they prescribed a different antibiotic and it seems to be working. Yesterday my eye hurt alot. It was sore and burny. It’s less swollen today, and a bit sore like a tired muscle. Hopefully third time's the charm and it gets better quickly.
I was a shocked they did not catch pink eye.

Sunday night I had a few hot flashes. The only other time I have had hot flashes was just after I had Heather. I am assuming this is a sign of my hormones dropping. Hopefully I will start to miscarry on my own soon. I just want it over with.

On Monday I had repeat blood work. They only drew for HCG levels. Hopefully we see a drop, meaning my body has figured out it is not actually pregnant and will flush what is there.

I also had a Rhogam shot Monday, my blood type is A negative, RJ’s is AB positive. If I had a baby with a positive blood type and their blood got into my bloodstream, my body will make antibodies and attempt to fight the baby like it was an infection. My body would attempt to do that with future pregnancies as well. Luckily Rhogam shots are incredibly effective, and prevent my body from developing the antibodies that would make pregnancy risky. They are given for miscarriages, around 25 weeks of a normal pregnancy, and within an hour after birth if the baby has an incompatible blood type. Both Rosalie and Heather are A negative, so I did not have to get the shot after birth. It was technically unnecessary during their pregnancies but since we did not know their blood types then, it was given as a precaution.

This was not the worst day of pink eye. It looks much better
today. It's still red but less swollen.
I may have been ok without a Rhogam shot for this miscarriage because it was so early, but it is good to do just in case. It causes no harm except for a slightly sore bum for a day or two.

I had the girls with me on Monday. When the nurse was prepping the Rhogam shot Rosalie thought it was for her and she got super nervous. She didn’t want to watch, and hid behind the bench, but she thought my bandaid at the end was cool. She also seemed surprised I didn’t cry. Heather watched. She looked concerned so I smiled at her and she just went on with her playing.

Yesterday my hormones felt all over the place. I was moody, and emotional. The girls were misbehaving. My eye hurt. Yesterday was a rough day.

Today, Tuesday, the 4th of July, we are relaxing and spending the day in our PJ’s. I had a few hot flashes this morning. Still no bleeding. I will probably hear about my blood work tomorrow. It will be nice to know for sure what is going on. Over all it has been a much better day than yesterday. My eye feels a lot better today. My hormones don’t feel quite so crazy. I have been a little less tired. I have been crampy, I hope it picks up.

I will do my best to keep posting updates. I am sure when I start to miscarry all I will want to do is chill on the couch eating chocolate, and watch Netflix. Which will give me plenty of time to write.

Thanks everyone for the kind words and thoughts. Loss sucks, no matter how it happens.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Second Miscarriage - Blighted Ovum

I think the world needs to be more open about miscarriage, and infant loss in general. Telling women to wait to announce their pregnancies to family and friends, causes an interesting dilemma. Obviously, if something goes wrong, it can be difficult to explain and talk about when you are processing it yourself. However, I think suffering alone, in silence is much worse. Anywhere between 10 and 25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and 80 percent of those happen before 13 weeks, which is typically the time frame for going public with your pregnancy. Miscarriage is very, very common, it’s important for women to know they are not alone.

In November of last year I had a miscarriage. I was about eight weeks pregnant when I went in for my first appointment. The ultrasound showed no baby, just an empty amniotic sac. Within days after that appointment. I miscarried naturally. That loss was not too difficult. It was my fourth pregnancy and I had never had a miscarriage before. I knew how common they were, and I knew my turn was coming eventually. It helped that there was not actually a baby.  

RJ and I have been trying since then for another baby. It felt like it had been a while and I was starting to get a bit discouraged. We have never had to try more than a few cycles to get pregnant before. I discovered I have a thyroid problem that can make it difficult to get pregnant (as well as a lot of other symptoms). The first month I was on the meds for my thyroid, I got pregnant. Some time in mid May I had a positive pregnancy test. There were a few friends I told instantly, after my first appointment with my Midwife last week I thought it would be ok to tell a few more people, even thought it was still quite early.

This past Monday I went in for a dating ultrasound. The ultrasound tech found an empty amniotic  sac. When she told me, I broke down. I did not expect two losses in a row. It is incredibly disappointing to have a positive pregnancy test, start to get pregnancy symptoms, and get excited, only to find out there is not actually a baby in there.

RJ was at home with Rosalie and Heather. I texted him. I knew he felt the same way I did. Shock, disappointment, sadness, it was awful.

All the nurses and women in the office were amazing. When the midwife came in the first thing she asked was how I was feeling and processing all of this. I told her I was most disappointed because I didn’t expect two losses in a row. She said it is not uncommon. She also assured me I didn’t need to worry too much. I have two healthy children. The chance of having a third empty sac in a row is unlikely. I am young, and flukes like this just happen. There is nothing anyone can do to prevent them.

My midwife told me we have a few options moving forward. We can give my body some time to miscarry on it’s own, or I could take a pill to kick it off. She told me I didn't need to decide immediately. I already knew I would wait and hope my body handles it on it’s own. Drug induced miscarriages can be much more intense and painful, and I would prefer it to be as easy as possible.

All the nurses I had seen came and checked on me to make sure I was ok. It was nice to have so many women in one space who understood what I was going through in one way or another.

I'm pretty sure there is not a cuter distraction in the world.
I had some blood work done last Monday, to test my HCG levels and confirm my blood type. I have an appointment this upcoming Monday to redo blood work to see how things are going.

So, here I sit in my living room hoping the cramps I am feeling pick up and my body decides to miscarry on it’s own. Not to mention the nasty case of pinkeye I caught from somewhere, life is peachy right now. I’m glad I have RJ, Rosalie, Heather, and Delaney to comfort and distract me.

I think women need to be more open about loss and miscarriage. It sucks, and it is easier to deal with if you have your village around you.

I will be posting updates. I feel like it’s important to share the process. My body might miscarry on it’s own. I will need to go back to the office and get ultrasounds and blood work if it doesn’t start soon to make sure I do not develop an infection.  

I apologize to anyone who I had told about the pregnancy, but not told them what’s going on yet. This is the easiest way to reach everyone and explain. It helps me process to write it down.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mormon Excommunication - Fourth Anniversary

Today is not the anniversary of my marriage, or the day I met my husband. Today will mark four years since the day I was excommunicated from The Mormon Church.

I was excommunicated for wanting to keep the child I was pregnant with. As well as enjoying the sex I had to get pregnant.

Snuggling with Rosalie, I love her. 
I decided to edit my initial story of my excommunication, (I am a much better writer than I was when I wrote it a few months back) as well as reflect at bit.  

Looking back I still cannot believe how it all happened. I never would have imagined my parents would have acted the way they did. I hope I am smart enough to never make my children feel the way a felt. The “love” my parents showed me wasn’t love. Although love can be shown in many different ways if the recipient doesn’t feel loved it’s not love.

The few months right in the midst of all the crap that happened were the worst in my life. Even though it was the worst time in my life it lead to the best years of my life I have had so far. I am glad things worked out the way they did. I wish my family would get over themselves. My mother still believes RJ is completely responsible for what happened. She sent me a letter a few months ago telling me to, and I quote, “stop being his puppet”. I’m not who she thinks RJ is but he is a amazing loving father and husband. He can occasionally be an asshole but I can occasionally be a bitch so it works out! It’s been four years already. This is my life and I love it. If you don’t want to be a part of it that’s fine, leave me alone and stop trying to shove your religion down my throat.

Today I decided it would be fun to share something new. I have my invitation to my disciplinary council, and the decision letter excommunicating me.  

Invitation to my disciplinary council
C:\Users\Ken\Desktop\Disciplinary Council Invitation Letter pg1.jpgC:\Users\Ken\Desktop\Discplinary Council Invitiation Letter pg2L.jpg
Decision letter Excommunicating me (notice my name is spelled wrong)

Also enjoy the edited version of My Excommunication Story.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 21, 2017

I am Atheist

I am Atheist. I am very proud of it. It is who I am.

I was raised a Mormon and I always had questions about religion. The timeline in the bible never made sense. A god who expected humans to be perfect, seemed cruel. A god who “gave” us sexual urges but told us not to act on them, seemed even more cruel. None of it made sense, but I went with the flow so I could fit in (I also was afraid of what my parents would say/do if I expressed my doubts, rightly so). Particularly as a teenager, I felt like I had no choice. It was not until I was excommunicated for wanting to keep my own child, and enjoying the sex that I had to make her, that I began to really wonder if there was a god at all.

I do not believe in any form of god. For a while I considered myself agnostic. I was unsure if a god did or did not exist. If a god did exist I knew he wasn’t the god Mormons worship, who claim he cares what type of underwear you put on in the morning.

Mormons idea of god also tells you it is not ok to judge, but at the same time tells Bishops and other church authorities to judge people and kick them out of their church. The majority of Mormons are not welcoming to people who have “sinned”. Many other religions react similarly to “sinners”. It is difficult for me to understand why people who are religious are so judgmental and have a, “I am better than you attitude”. Shouldn’t you have a lot of love for the people who need it most or are “struggling with faith”? (as religious people would put it)  

The more I thought about religion the less it made sense. The more history and science I studied, the less I thought god existed at all.

God, is something humans created when we didn’t know the earth was a sphere. We didn’t know the earth revolved around the sun. There is a lot we still do not know. God was created to fill in the gaps when we knew much less than we do now. We still do not know everything, but at this point, there is no need to have something to fill in the gaps. “I don’t know” is a perfectly valid answer. Not knowing and trying to figure it out is much better than making up a fairy tale to somewhat explain, and never trying to figure it out.    

Yes I am dying my eyebrows naked, because why not. A
photo I never would have published when religious. 
I believe in science. There is overwhelming evidence that points to life evolving from small organisms millions and millions of years ago. We were not created a few thousand years ago by a god with the flick of his wrist. Anyone who lets their belief in something magical get in the way of science, needs to rethink their beliefs.

If you believe god used the big bang to create the universe, or used evolution as a way to create humans, that is a cop out. If you go back that far and say, “that is where god’s hand is” you will realize that god does not need to exist. The universe and earth does not have to have a creator.

I believe humans are good. I believe we are born with empathy. We do not need religion to make us good. We should not be taught being good gets us a reward after we die. We should be good and nice because it is the right thing to do. Yes, there are people who are bad people, and they need help, not from religion though, help from doctors and physiologists. The average human is nice and kind, because it is how we have evolved.

I became an atheist in just the past year or two. Atheism can be a hard pill to swallow. It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that there is no life after this. The life we are living today is all we have. There is no afterlife, no heaven, no hell, just now and here.

The realization that this life is all I have, has made me a better person. I do not worry about the little things any more. I will never be perfect. I do not need to live by any silly religious rules to get a better life when I die. There is nothing when you die. I love the life I have. I make the most of it every single day because I know it is all I have. This earth and life is so amazing. I plan on enjoying every possible moment of it until the day I become worm food, and get recycled back into this beautiful universe.

Thanks for reading!