Archives For pregnancy

It’s hard to believe that in a about a week my littlest guy will be four months old! Where does the time go? Just like I did with Eli, I took a few months off from blogging to get adjusted to our new normal. With my first post back I wanted to take the time to write about Ephraim’s birth.

{Don’t worry, I’m not an overshare-er when it comes to that sort of thing} 

After two years we are finally a family of 4!

After two years we are finally a family of 4!

With Eli my husband made a video while we were at the hospital, documenting the family that came to visit and those precious moments when we got to hold him for the first time. We love having those memories captured and did the same for Ephraim as well. The video is not done being edited, but once it is I will gladly be sharing it with you.

Well to start off, this pregnancy was much harder than my first. Granted I was four years older so that definitely plays into it I’m sure! But, I also didn’t know that I had Lupus with my first pregnancy. Thankfully, my Lupus tends to be less active during pregnancy, so even though this time around it was much harder, I am grateful that overall everything went well.

I love the excitement in Eli's eyes! He loves his brother!

I love the excitement in Eli’s eyes! He loves his brother!

I was induced at 38 weeks this time around and that was completely different. I liked it, yet didn’t like it all at the same time. With my first I went into labor on my own at 39 weeks. I loved the excitement of getting to call family and tell them we were headed to the hospital. This time it was nice that our family got to plan ahead of time for the delivery. But, man was it hard sleeping the night before being induced! It’s like being a kid again the night before Christmas! My mind was constantly spinning thinking about the next morning.

We headed to the hospital around five in the morning. It was super weird just walking into the hospital knowing I was having a baby that day and yet I wasn’t currently in any pain like I was last time since I showed up to the hospital in labor with my first. Another thing that was super weird was being able to sit in our room at the hospital and watch tv since I was waiting for the induction to start. They said to rest while I waited, but that wasn’t going to happen! Once they began to induce me everything progressed rather quickly. My labor started around 7:00AM and Ephraim was born at 1:20PM.

Hello my sweet boy!

Hello my sweet boy!

Those moments after he was born was absolutely perfect. Our oldest had to go to the NICU for a few hours. They literally handed him to me for a few seconds and then took him away, I didn’t see him again for about seven hours. It was horrible! But this time around everything went so smoothly! I got to hold him, cuddle him and introduce him to his big brother and the rest of our family! No NICU visits for us this time! Yay! It was truly wonderful!

 

I am four weeks away from meeting my second child! It’s an amazing feeling knowing that we are so close, especially since this was a very long journey. With both of our boys we were not the lucky ones to conceive quickly. The first time around it took us seven months to get pregnant, while that is certainly not long compared to some people’s journeys it definitely is longer than we expected for being young and healthy. Little did we know that I had Lupus and it was playing a factor into me getting pregnant. This time around we were aware that it might take a while. But, I will say even though I thought it would take a while I did not expect it being a two-year wait.

Maternity_11I had weird symptoms for about four years off and on, but nothing that would tie anything together for the doctors to think, hmmm… maybe it’s Lupus. After my oldest was born I had a rough recovery and then around the time he was eight months old all the symptoms I had previously hit at once and more. By the time he was a year and a half I was diagnosed, finally. Truthfully, I was just glad to finally have a name, a thing, a reason for everything. I could finally know what I was working with. Getting any diagnosis is scary, especially one like Lupus since it is so mysterious and can attack any part of your body. It’s hard to predict and hard to treat. But, God gave me a peace from the beginning. My story is from Him, He has everything in control and Lupus is just part of my story and I have come to terms with that. He has plans for me!

Since I was young, one of the first things that the doctor asked was if I wanted to have anymore children. There was no question that I did, we had always talked about wanting to have a large family. But, it was going to have to wait… for the time being. Lupus patients can have safe pregnancies and healthy babies, but the best thing to do is first get it under control before putting your body through the stress of pregnancy. So that meant that I spent the next year working with the doctor to get everything controlled and to a point that I could get pregnant. That was hard, because by then in our ideal world we would have already been trying for another baby. Being told yes, but not right now is very trying…

After a year we finally got the okay from the doctor, everything looked good and we could try for our second child! Yay! And then came the next year… I honestly thought, oh it will take a while, but probably not longer than it took the last time. Well, it took exactly a year before we were pregnant. Since it was such a long wait I truthfully was in shock when I had a positive pregnancy test! You wait that long and eventually you start to think of it as a distant future thing, when it finally meets your present it’s so exciting you can’t believe it.

Fast forward a few months and I am sitting here, my oldest will be four next month and my youngest will be born within the next four weeks. It was definitely not the plan we had envisioned for our family, we had always pictured a two to three-year age gap. But, God has a much better, more beautiful plans than we can make for ourselves. Will we get to have four kids like we always imagined? I don’t know, and at first that saddened me. But now, I know that we will be given the number of children that God had planned for us from the beginning. If that means two, three or four it doesn’t matter, because whatever His plans are for me I am thankful! I am thankful to be called Mom and thankful for the two amazing little boys that God has blessed me with already.

Lupus. It’s a word we all know but a disease most know so little about. I was once a part of the crowd that knew nothing about this invisible illness, and then I found  out I had it! There is no simple way of getting diagnosed. In fact this was a four-year process and I didn’t even realize it! When you keep getting misdiagnosed but have faith that the doctors treating you are accurate then it doesn’t really cross your mind that something much more could be going on. It all started one night, four years ago when I awoke in a panic. My heart was racing, my chest felt so tight and painful that I could hardly breath. I could have sworn I was having a heart attack! I can still remember how scared I was, I’ve never felt that kind of fear before. We went to the ER only to be told that my cartilage in my chest was inflamed. They chalked it up to exercising. I was told to simply take some ibuprofen and I would get along just fine.

feetAround this same time I also had a rash on my torso. I went to several different doctors, all of which gave me a different answer, different medicine and nothing proved to work. I was beginning to feel like I was just imagining things. But, I didn’t really know what else to do other than maybe find a doctor that could not only give me answers, but that I could trust.

During all this time my chest pain would return for days or weeks at a time. Eventually I got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t breath so I went to our new family doctor and he started me out on an inhaler to see how it worked and brought me in for follow-up appointments. I was so appreciative of a doctor that cared for his patients and followed up with them. I wasn’t on the inhaler very long and wasn’t fully convinced that it worked. Then I got pregnant and my symptoms improved, which can happen with Lupus patience.

A few months after having my son my symptoms began to come back along with a new one that I had never seen before. Every time I got cold my fingers would turn stark white and stay that way for a very long time. They would then go painfully numb as the blood worked its way back in. This was a pretty scary thing to see. At first I thought it was just poor circulation but I really felt like something wasn’t exactly right. So, I went in to see my family doctor and showed him a picture on my phone of what my fingers were doing. He immediately called for blood work.

Within a week I had my results back where I was told that they were referring me to a rheumatologist. Everything finally came together at that first appointment. The past four years of chest pains was Lupus, the rash was Lupus, the painful shortness of breath was Lupus, my fingers turning white was Lupus. I didn’t even realize during all this time that I was being misdiagnosed, thankfully I found a doctor that called for the blood work.

This is a problem for so many with Lupus because it’s symptoms mimic that of so many other diseases. No one blood test can diagnose it either. It takes blood work, examining your symptoms and your history. Because of these reasons it can take years before a person is diagnosed, for me it took four years and I didn’t even know it!

So much changed after I received my diagnosis. I am learning my illness and hoping to not only spread awareness so others will not go misdiagnosed, but to spread a little hope and inspiration to others in similar circumstance, because Lupus does not define me!

If you would like to join my team and walk a mile in the annual Lupus Walk or donate to the cause, you can do so by following this link.

Thank you for helping me in my fight with Lupus!

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12 (NIV)

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.” Psalm 61:1 (NIV)

Today I was thinking about my post from yesterday and all the things that we have learned in the past 6 months and how quickly that time goes. We went with Aunt Paige to her doctor’s appointment, she will be having her baby in two weeks! I thought about all the emotions I felt when I was close to delivery and how it all can be overwhelming since it is an experience that you never really can be prepared for until you have done it once. We were talking on the way to her appointment about this and I told her the truth… pregnancy, labor/delivery and Eli have been the one area in my life that I have been able to truly be at peace with and know that God’s hand and protection is always there. I believe that the reason I have been able to stay this way is the amount of time I have spent in constant prayer for my son from the beginning, I was even praying for him before I ever knew I was pregnant. The prayers we say for our children are the strongest, powerful and most loving thing that we can do for them. If you read my blog the other day about my struggles and realizations with anxiety then you know that I am preaching to myself here. If I have not only seen but have experienced the peace that comes from truly giving your pregnancy and child to God then why has it taken me so long to do this in all areas of my life? Trust me I have asked myself that very same question plenty of times. But, I know that if I can give my pregnancy and child to God which are both very big for moms to do; then I can give all areas to Him and experience the very same freedom. I will never stop praying for my son, as he grows the things I pray for will change with his age. But, he will grow up to know that his mom prays for him daily. We don’t need to worry about our children, we need only to pray!

Being pregnant is one of the most exciting times but it can also be a stressful time. One of the struggles I had at the beginning of my pregnancy was fear. I was afraid of all the possible bad outcomes that could happen. Nine months is a long time to allow ourselves to fret. My husband knew from the start that I had fears and was having a hard time releasing these concerns. He bought me a book Praying Through Your Pregnancy by Jennifer Polimino. This was the best thing that he could have done for me. The book is a week by week journal. You read about what is going on with your baby that week, there is a place to journal and a prayer to say. This was the beginning of my prayer life for my son. What an amazing experience, praying for my unborn baby! God used this book to heal me of my fears. I gave every concern I ever had to Him and truthfully was able to be at peace. My pregnancy was honestly one of the most carefree times of my life. During my pregnancy my prayer life was brought to a new level and it was all because I learned to truly trust God with my fears. I knew that God would watch over me and my son but I had to live like I believed it. I was finally able to tell God what I was feeling, say “amen” and not pick my burden back up again. Because I learned this early on in my pregnancy it has been something that has carried over into other areas of my life even now after my son is here.  Starting to pray for my son before he was born has carried into continuing to pray for him daily now that he is here. I believe because my prayer life was transformed my prayers have been transformed. I know that I can give any and everything to God. I am not perfect, I still struggle with trying to carry my own burden. However, I know what it is like to pray and truly give it all to God. I know the peace that is given so I strive in every prayer and every burden I have to truly give it to Him. Your experience may be different, you may not be pregnant right now. No matter the case we all need to give everything to God in prayer. It is not easy to completely release our burdens but it is totally worth it. Sit down and pray today, release your burden to Him and see how amazing it is to no longer carry it on your own.

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 (NIV)