Monday, November 24, 2008


This week we are mourning with our friends J. and T. as they grieve the loss of their twins in an early miscarriage. J. and T. are participants in a relatively new phenomenon known as "embryo adoption" in which IVF (in-vitro fertilization) parents give their remaining embryo-babies up for adoption. J&T have twelve embryo-babies, two of which are now in heaven, and ten of which are still waiting to be transferred. We are all heart-broken over their loss and are praying for their healing as well as for successful future transfers.

I wanted to share a very precious letter that a dearly-loved person wrote for me on the death of our first little one by miscarriage:

"Dear Mommy and Daddy,

"We don't know each other very well because we weren't together very long, but I want you to know I felt your love and anticipation and excitement.

"I know you would make great parents but you can't imagine how wonderful it is being in heaven. Jesus welcomed me into His arms with a big hug and then introduced me to my Gramma Fern. We are having a great time together. She is telling me all about you, Mommy, when you were born and how you grew up. She is very proud of you. We'll have lots to catch up on when you get here!

"I just want you to know I am loved and well cared for here just as I would have been if I had stayed with you. But we have to obey Jesus when He says come home so that's what I did.

"I'm giving you this little bear (included with letter) to be a reminder of me until we meet in heaven - soon I hope!



May God bless all babies who are born asleep, and all parents who must wait until heaven to meet their precious little ones.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Notes on Life

Just a quick note!

We got our house last week, and my parents have come out to AZ to help us get it livable - so my blogging time is apt to be very little over the next month or so - not to mention the fact that we're probably going back to dial-up after our move, so it may be reduced permanently! I don't know - we'll see. But I wanted to write a quick note to explain that this blog is not dead - it's just going to be on a bit of a sabbatical.

I'm learning a lot working on the house. Growing up, I groused so much about helping with home-improvement projects (which I do not enjoy) that my parents let me off the hook - with the result that until now, I have done nothing more home-improvement-wise than hang a picture! Seriously! This week I have been ridiculously proud of myself for learning to remove doorknobs!! LOL Hopefully a preview of more to come, for I am absurdly ignorant.

Our house is lovely, but it does have some serious issues due to severe neglect. Its previous owners didn't beat it to a pulp, like some other houses we saw, but they neglected it so badly that they might as well have. There are literally masses of cobwebs hanging from the ceiling!! And there are things like water damage from neglected leaks, corrosion from mineral build-up gone mad and not taken care of, appliances that have to be trashed because they weren't cleaned in so long that they're no longer redeemable, etc. But I'm learning a lot! And DS is having a blast having a larger space to roam and a bit yard to play in.

So that's about all! I'll try to check back in periodically. Love to all!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another HG Mama!

I had a fun experience today, and a surprising one! While attending my friend A.'s baby shower (and having a lovely time), A. decided to introduce everyone. Going through the ladies there, she introduced the girl sitting next to me as, "my friend J. from college, whom we nearly lost several times during her pregnancy due to severe hyperemesis gravidarum." Wow! How often do you meet another HG mother in real life? Not too often! J. and I didn't get to talk much, as the shower was almost over, but it is always fun to discover an HG-sister. J. is in the "post-graduate" levels of HG - she was a severe, life-threatening-HG mother who spent her pregnancy with a PICC line and all the lovely trimmings that come with the severest of hyperemetic pregnancies.

In the time since I experienced hyperemesis I have met, aside from J, only 2 1/2 other HG mothers (the "1/2" is someone who was pointed out to me, the sister-in-law of a friend, but whom I haven't gotten to chat with yet). Now this makes 3 1/2! Fun.

This past week has been crazy - sick kiddo, helping throw a baby shower, buying a house, etc. Next week promises to be just as busy!! If this blog is neglected, you will therefore know why.

Love to all!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Residual Nausea II - The Road Less Travelled

I got an interesting comment the other day on my post on residual nausea, and I wanted to quote that comment (permission received- thanks, Anna!) for anyone else out there.

My original post concerned the phenomenon of residual nausea following hyperemesis, which I discovered first-hand after I birthed my baby. In other words, the nausea is supposed to stop with the birth - and it often doesn't. My nausea declined steeply the first week following the birth, but was present (in decreasing incidences and severity) until about two years postpartum, with occasional instances even now (2 1/2 years postpartum). I have heard from several other mothers saying the same thing - nausea doesn't always evaporate at the birth.

But there can be another side to residual nausea - a rare complication in which hyperemesis continues past the birth of an HG-mum's baby. For some reason, the body has gotten into a "mode" and can't turn off the nausea, and the HG continues for an unspecified amount of time.

I can completely understand this happening, because I experienced a similar phenomenon. When we got pregnant with our first baby, we experienced a miscarriage at 8 weeks. Due to the symptoms and characteristics of the pregnancy, we were able to conclude that it was a "blighted ovum pregnancy," a pregnancy in which the baby is conceived but dies almost immediately or soon into the pregnancy. The body, however, doesn't realize that the baby is dead and continues the "pregnancy" - i.e. the hormone production, the development of the amniotic sac, etc. Your body keeps doing its thing until, sometime after the fact, it finally realizes that the baby is gone, and a miscarriage follows. It seems a related phenomenon - the body stays in pregnancy mode until, at some point, it figures out that there is no more baby and shifts back to normal gear.

Here is the comment from Anna, an HG-mother who is experiencing postpartum-continued HG:

"I had an HG pregnancy. The nausea started before my hormone levels were high enough to turn a pregnancy test positive. I had a horrible first trimester (eased by a Zofran pump). The nausea eased during the second trimester but came back full force during the last trimester. I delievered 4 weeks early. The day after my son was born, my nausea was more severe than it had ever been. It was so bad that I began shaking and wondered if I would go into shock- I felt like my body couldn't take it! For my first 4 months post partum, I was still extremely nauseated- it fluctuated from day to day. Some days were not terrible. I ended up with a PICC line to give myself IV fluids and IV meds at home. (I also had 3 hospital stays during this time due to the severity of the nausea.) The doctor's ran every test in the world and couldn't find anything wrong with me. They even sent me to the Mayo Clinic. (reseach hospital) Those doctors told me that this is a very rare condition. For some reason, my body just didn't "turn off" the nausea when my baby was born. The doctor told me that the expected it to be gone in a year (that was May 2008). Today, my son is 10 months old and I still take four different anti-emetics to keep the nausea down. Some days I still feel terrible, even with the meds. I am getting better...slowly!!"

First of all, HG mothers take heart! This is an extremely rare condition - so rare that I've only heard of two cases of it EVER, and so rare that I have not found it mentioned in any literature on the subject. I am mentioning this only for the sake of any mums who do experience this - you can know that you are not alone.

For those of you who are reading this, please pray for Anna and her healing! This is a trying time for her and her family.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Life, the Short Summary

I have about 30 seconds to blog, so this will definitely have to be finished later....

Life has been busy lately! I find that both my stress levels and my blogging time are directly linked to the length of my toddler's sleeping times (one indirectly proportionally, one proportionally) and his sleep times have been shorter than short lately - thus, no blogging time! Both of my blogs have been neglected drastically.

I've also realized that I need to refocus a bit. Lately I've been going crazy researching HG and homebirth midwifery, and while both of those need to continue, I need to be reading other material as well. I want to be reading more spiritually-minded Christian books, and I also want to be reading child-raising and homeschooling books. We're pretty sure we're going to homeschool our little fellow, and I have under a year till "preschool" starts. By that time I want to be well-researched, well-prepared, and dug into the homeschool community a bit. A year isn't much time to do that! So I am trying to figure out a balancing act between my beloved hobby of homebirth research, my much-needed research into HG, and my other real-life needs of marriage, parenting, and homeschool reading. Not to mention pleasure reading!

Right now I am reading....

"Mansfield Park" - Jane Austen
"Margin" - Richard Swenson
"Infertility for Dummies" - by two women, and no, I'm not going to go look it up
"Finding Your Purpose as a Mom" - Donna Otto (great!)
"Feminine Appeal" - Caroline Mahaney
"The Natural Pregnancy Book" - Aviva Romm (tops!!)

And have just finished "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books," "Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth," "Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year," and a couple others. And I've got a huge stack of homeschooling books on my desk waiting for me, courtesy of my wonderful church ladies - plus a Beth Moore Bible Study! So yes, I am over-committed, reading-wise.

I have a bad habit of starting too many books... It's not uncommon for me to have books out from two libraries, plus books borrowed from multiple people, plus books of my own that I've picked up! So I've put a moratorium on book-borrowing until I'm through with all that.

I am reading an amazing book right now called "Margin" by Richard Swenson. It is AMAZING. Until further notice, my life keyword is "margin" - referring to the practice of rejecting modern progress's time-stressed rat race style of living and keeping large amounts of "margin" - social, financial, time, emotional, etc. - in my life for friendships, stress-free (or nearly that) living, marriage, free time, helping others on the spur of the moment, etc. It's not easy in our culture which promotes and values busyness, but I want to make it my new goal.

Well, in terms of the election, what can I say? The first thing that comes to mind is, "Darn, Darn, Darn." Or, alternately, "God help us all." Well, it should be interesting, at least.... And anyhow, most of the propositions here in Arizona went the way we wanted them to, so that's some consolation.

Well, DH and DS (at this time of night, known as "crankerbug") are back, so my blogging is at an end!