Life Abundant Has MOVED!

27 02 2014

Effective TODAY (02.27.14), this blog has moved to LifeAbundant-Blog.com!! I will no longer post here.

Check out the first post about the move here:

Life Abundant Has Moved to LifeAbundant-Blog.com!

Starting on Monday, 3/3/14, I will set up an auto-redirect to the new site that will be effective for one year. After that, people who still visit the old location (here) will hopefully see this message and redirect themselves. ūüėČ





Health Stuffs

24 02 2014

I’m keeping this brief:

1. I might start Pregnitude up again. Since I can no longer afford fertility treatment due to all of my “medical funds” being allocated to other medical bills at the moment (ER visit, Zoey’s x-ray from last year, Zoey’s tubes, all my bloodwork, etc), I figure going back on Pregnitude might not be a bad idea. Some of you may remember that I took it for about 2-3 months before moving on to Femara. The first month gifted me with a perfect cycle with confirmed ovulation on CD 14 (although I don’t think egg quality was good yet). The second month ungifted me with a long cycle (40+ days) and no confirmed ovulation. I am sure that my body was just trying to work things out hormonally as a response to the Pregnitude, but I ended up stopping to pursue medicinal fertility treatment. Since I can’t do treatment anytime soon (at least not until I get a better handle on these existing expenses), I might go back on it. I had considered going back to an herbal regimen, but that REALLY messed me up and you have to give it a good 6-8 months for your body to adjust. Pregnitude really only takes about 3, so I think it’d be a safer route. As always, I’d keep you all posted on the progress there.

2. I am considering a cod liver oil challenge. In this video by Mama Natural, she explains why and how to give it to children, but also explains the health benefits that adults can get from it. She has talked about it in several other videos as well, and after much online research, I have come to the conclusion that it just may be a good idea to try.

3. My uterus has been neglected this month, I confess. I expected to really focus on it more, but I think I am still coming down from the “low” I experienced when we had to cancel the IUI. I expected to drink up on my pom juice and red raspberry leaf tea, but the truth is, I just need a total detox break. Clearing the Clomid from my system meant I just let it all go. I do intend to pick it back up though. Since I had great results with pom juice and RRLT in the past, I figure I can again, especially without Clomid there to take over everything.

4. I ovulated on my own this month. YAY! Pretty sure my body is just in memory mode from the Clomid, or maybe it was in response to the Metformin I was on (off it now after the incident), but either way, I did it! I expect egg quality was probably really poor and my uterus was probably too thin for implantation, so we just didn’t bother trying and frankly, I don’t care. ūüôā

That’s it. ūüôā

Happy Monday!





Almost Time to MOVE!

21 02 2014

Hey guys! I am getting closer and closer to moving over to my paid domain! The blog design is underway thanks to Jumping Jax Designs!¬†It’s almost complete and it is CUTE! I can’t wait to move over to my very own home. I’ll tell you where it is later. ūüėČ It is certainly not ready for your eyes – HA!

Please keep in mind that with the transfer, my old posts will move over as well… hopefully it’ll be a seamless transition. However, I do expect there might be some hiccups with how old posts lay out and flow. Please be patient and if you notice something funky going on after it has been a month since the transfer, feel free to let me know at that time. Otherwise, assume I know about it and am working to remedy it. ūüėČ I plan on scanning over old posts and making tweaks to the ones that continue to get the most traffic.

If you are subscribed via email, your subscription will automatically transfer to the new domain (whenever I set that up, and I plan to before the big announcement post) and my plan is to have the url automatically transfer as well (depending on how much that costs for how long). If you follow through a feeder like Bloglovin’, you’ll probably have to update the url under your subscriptions for it to continue to show up. I’m not entirely sure about that. Hopefully I don’t lose too many of you!

I’ll let you all know when you can officially head to the new domain. Can’t wait to share it with you all!

In the meantime, you can also follow on Twitter, Instagram,¬†Pinterest¬†and BlogLovin‘. Those haven’t changed and they won’t.

Have a good weekend!





LWM: Sharing the Load

20 02 2014

Friends,

My latest post over at Liberating Working Moms is focused on how my husband and I keep our house somewhat clean/organized/managed/whatever you want to call it. Our way of doing things dates back to our premarital counseling days. Check it out and let me know what your family does. How do you keep your home put together?

Liberating Working Moms: Sharing the Load





No Answers, Un-Diagnosing Hypothyroid

18 02 2014

When I wrote this post, I felt very encouraged that I was finally on a good path to straightening myself out. Now I am left feeling very discouraged and like a complete freak show.

My TSH level dropped on its own from 8.23 on February 8 to 2.3 on February 14.

Within one week, my levels dropped to “normal range”. This is great and all, but now I am left with “I don’t know why that happened, we’ll check again in three months”. No answers, no steps closer to combating infertility. I feel like my emotions are just crashing.

What happened?

HOW does that happen?

I was so confident that we had figured something out that would bring me a step closer to a successful pregnancy. Now I’m back to where I started with broken ovaries, a broken uterus and a fluctuating thyroid. No treatment options. I felt like I was a step closer to pregnancy and it’s like, “Nope, just kidding. Hope you enjoyed that moment, ’cause now it’s gone.”

I’m glad she couldn’t confirm hypothyroid, I guess. But I wish I had answers!!! I was really hopeful it would help me start ovulating on my own with a happier uterus.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!

*sigh*





Hypo x2

17 02 2014

This is the follow-up to what happened on February 8.

hypothyroid-diagnosis

I had an appointment with an internal medicine doctor on Friday. This is a doctor that my OB recommended I talk to before we move on to an endocrinologist and I happily agreed for two reasons:

1. My OB knows this doctor personally and spoke highly of her. I trust her opinion.

2. This doctor is cheaper than an endo – my co-pay is half the price.

Seeing an internal medicine specialist benefits me beyond just assessing my thyroid problem. She is not only extremely knowledgeable about the thyroid and how it functions, she is knowledgeable about pretty much everything and she proved it with the extensive notes (pages, as in multiple) and diagrams that she wrote/drew on in front of me and sent me home with.

We talked for a long time. This appointment was well worth my time. When I left, she sent me to a lab for more bloodwork. I should have the results this week and then we’re going to move forward with a course of action. In a nutshell, this is what she said:

1. Hypothyroidism. She confirmed a diagnosis for this and plans to start me on Synthroid once we get the other bloodwork back. She has an idea of what dose I need (100mcg), but plans to start me on 88mcg to see how I do and wean me into a higher dose. Then she’ll check me again and once we get my TSH level down to the 1-2 range (it is currently 8.23), then I’ll be considered stable and we won’t have to check it but once a year. Until she gets me stable, we’re looking at every 8 weeks for labs.

2. Hypoglycemic. She is convinced that this is what caused me to faint and while I knew this was a possibility with having PCOS, I never really considered it official because usually women with PCOS end up on the diabetic side of things. She agreed with my OB’s decision to pull me off the Metformin immediately because she is afraid it is keeping my levels too low. She sent me home with a free glucose monitor and a chart with orders to check my levels before breakfast and after dinner, as well as any time I feel “off” so she can see if there is a pattern between my fasting levels and my non-fasting levels. The thing is, when my blood sugar drops, it isn’t a slow decline. It plunges so rapidly, I don’t think I’d even have time to check my levels before needing to bring them up. She also agreed with the ER’s diagnosis that my body’s defense just kicked in when I was in a moment of stress and it decided to check out. She isn’t concerned about it, especially since there literally isn’t a pattern to when I have just experienced a low and when I have completely blacked out.

Finally, she has ordered an echocardiogram¬†just to check the structure of my heart to make 100% sure that there isn’t something going on there, but we both feel pretty confident that it’ll turn out just fine. The way she explained it is since I am a more petite-framed person, my heart might just be more squished in my chest and it’s possible that when I have a moment of anxiety, the heart is what is telling my blood sugar to drop and causing me to feel faint. The rapidness of these episodes is what leads her to think that’s a possibility. She doesn’t suspect anything is wrong at all. It’s just a precaution and I respect her decision. We’ll see how much it costs though… they’re waiting for insurance to approve or deny the claim before scheduling the test. I may have met my deductible with the ER visit so it depends on that. Zoey just had tubes so I have that to pay for as well… the echo may wait while we focus on the hypo twins.

So that’s it, friends. This doctor is pretty awesome and she told me that she can refer me to an endo if I’d prefer, but I told her I prefer less doctors to deal with so if she is knowledgeable (and she is) on the thyroid, I’ll just stick with her. She suffers from hypothyroidism herself so she has first-hand experience living with Synthroid. That alone helps! We did talk about my struggles with PCOS + infertility and she feels pretty confident that fixing my thyroid will help us out a lot.

Oh, how I hope she is right.





LWM: Zippyz Giveaway!

13 02 2014

Friends,

Tracy over at Liberating Working Moms is hosting a baby giveaway you should check out! I seriously never knew these existed and can officially add them to the list of things I want whenever we have baby #2. Read about Zippyz and enter the contest here: Working Moms Aint Got Time For That!

Thanks for the cool giveaway, Tracy!

Liberating Working Moms
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest





Motorola Video Baby Monitor REVIEW!

12 02 2014

In the post about Eight Baby Products I Wish I Had The First Time, I mentioned a video monitor that I am coveting for the next go around. Low and behold, one of my favorite YouTube Moms just did a video review on that very monitor! Perfect timing! I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!


https://jessiwallace.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/eight-baby-products-i-wish-i-had-the-first-time/





Ten Baby Products I Had and LOVED

11 02 2014

In response to my post about Eight Baby Products I Wish I Had The First Time, I wanted to do one on 10 things I did have and loved. I’ll also start working on one that covers the things I disliked, so stay tuned!

HappyZoey

Keep in mind that these are my personal opinions. You may dislike these items, this is just my own experience. I have included links with each in case you’re interested in purchasing. Some of these linked items are the exact style I had, while others are just similar, but they’re basically the same.

Belly Book1. The Belly Book
This is more pregnancy related, but I was in love with this book. It could be because I am a devout scrapbooker and love documenting life in general, but this book was a lot of fun for me. I enjoy going back and reading about what I was experiencing with Zoey. If you want a pregnancy journal, I recommend this one for sure. It’s called The Belly Book because it has places for you to do weekly belly shots if you choose, as well as places for ultrasound pics. I didn’t do weekly belly shots, but I did do them quite often and it’s fun to go back and reminisce!

Image courtesy of Babies-R-Us.

Image courtesy of Babies-R-Us.

2. HALO Sleep Sack
This was the absolute perfect replacement for a blanket until Zoey was old enough for one. She hated being swaddled after we got her home from NICU. She liked to stretch her arms and legs out as far as she could (she still sleeps like this). In an effort to keep our preemie happy, we used these sleep sacks and they were a life saver. When she got old enough to start rolling over, the sleep sacks made it difficult for her to do so in bed. I could rest comfortably knowing that she was warm enough at night without any worries of suffocation. Simply using footie pajamas works the same for some mommas, but for us, I felt more comfortable with this in the beginning because I was so worried about her rolling over on her face. She had enough trouble with remembering to breathe correctly, which is what kept her in NICU for so long, so I wanted to do everything I could to lower our risk for SIDS.

SwaddleMe3. Summer Infant SwaddleMe
We used this in NICU more than at home, but it was incredibly helpful. In NICU, she had to keep her body temp within a very specific range because preemies are known to struggle with maintaining body heat. We would swaddle her in the traditional flannel receiving blanket, then place her inside this SwaddleMe. After we got her home, we’d bypass the receiving blanket and only use the SwaddleMe. This lasted until she was about 6 weeks old, then she was totally over being swaddled, but while we used it, it was so incredibly helpful and easy. I recommend this if you have a baby that is due in colder months! It’s so snuggly and comfy. We didn’t get as much use out of it as I would have liked.

Booster4. Space-Saver Booster Seat
This is by far the best investment item we have and it wasn’t even that expensive! Zoey started using this as early as four months old – we’d just use a blanket to stuff her in and keep her sitting upright. She still uses it today at nearly four¬†years old as a booster seat. This is so much better than a high chair for a few reasons: 1. You can travel with it, meaning if you need to go on vacation or to grandma’s, this can easily come with you. 2. It truly is a space saver. High chairs aren’t practical for very long. Before you know it, your baby will want to sit at the table with everyone else, and while a high chair can be scooted relatively close to the table, it’s not the same and the kid will be on to you before you know it. 3. It’s inexpensive. 4. It is a practical replacement for both a Bumbo seat (which I’ll talk about in another post)¬†and a high chair. You just attach it to a normal chair at your table. WIN!

NasalAspirator_BRU

Image courtesy of Babies-R-Us.

5. Battery-Powered Nasal Aspirator 
This was so incredibly helpful! Zoey was a snotty kid. She wasn’t sickly, just bad allergies and always had something coming out of somewhere (enjoy that visual). We struggled getting anything out with the bulb the hospital gave us so I purchased one of these when she was about six months old and was floored at the sheer amount of mucus that filled the little vial. At first, she hated it, of course. It’s understandable. She grew to be fine with it before long though. It was pretty nasty to clean out, but it was still well worth the investment. We would often use a saline spray to help break up the mucus, then use this to suck everything out! Some people thought we were weird for using this thing on our baby, but we got the last laugh when they were the ones struggling to use the bulb and taking twice as long to get the boogers out! The thing is, you want to get everything out as quickly as possible… this makes that possible!

Image courtesy of Amazon.com.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com.

6. Haberman Bottle | Medela Special Needs Feeder
These aren’t for everyone, but they were incredibly helpful for us and I think a lot of newborns need these and people don’t even realize it, especially newborns with reflux. This is a special feeder for babies who need extra slow flow. When Zoey was born, she struggled a lot to coordinate her breathing, which in turn meant that she would turn blue on me while nursing or bottle feeding. She couldn’t use a regular bottle for the first 6 weeks of her life, so we had to rely on the Haberman in between nursing sessions and it helped us so much. ¬†She had reflux, so the Dr. Brown’s bottles were just way too fast for her in the beginning. Even with the slowest flow nipple they had available… she would drown. The second best bottle was the Soothie in terms of slow flow, but this was her BFF in the early weeks of her life. The flow is slow… incredibly slow.¬†We held onto these just in case we need them for future babies!

Image courtesy of Babies-R-Us.

Image courtesy of Babies-R-Us.

7. Diaper Bag w/ Stroller Clips
Having stroller clips on the diaper bag kept the stroller’s undercarriage space freed up for other things, especially if we were out shopping or went somewhere like the zoo where we’d want to pack a lunch to take with us. These clips allowed the bag to hang in front of me so I could easily access anything Zoey needed without having to awkwardly dig underneath the stroller. We used it on the shopping cart at the grocery store, too, so Zoey could sit in the front of the cart while I filled the back and undercarriage with groceries. Another reason I liked the clips is it kept me from having to just carry/wear the bag constantly, which can get annoying and uncomfortable if you’re doing a lot of walking. I did love this style of bag and my husband did, too. But alas, having those clips made this the best bag for our needs in the long run!

CartCover

Left: Zoey, Right: Maple

8. Shopping Cart Cover
Some people say these are usless. I beg to differ. I think the mistake some moms make is buying one that is overly complicated with all sorts of snaps, closures, toys, etc. If you’re going to get a cart cover, which I do recommend, get one that is stretchy and just pulls over the seat with a ring for just one or two toys. Keep it simple. I purchased mine off Etsy and it’s reversible. The girl I bought it from was gracious enough to allow me to pick out the fabric I wanted, ship it to her, then she just charged me for labor. Zoey loved it so much, she’d sometimes use her blanket as a pillow and just lean over for a little nap while I shopped. She truly was the best baby…

MilestoneCalendar9. Milestone Calendar
Some moms say they never actually used theirs. Me? You know I did. And I saved it. It now lives in the back of her massive baby scrapbook so I can go back and look at when she tried her first foods, when she got her first tooth, when she first crawled… it’s so nice to look over it as well as have an instant glace at her entire first year of life. I’m so glad I had this and yes, I will do the same amount of documenting for our next baby. Especially since I’m having to wait so long for him/her to set up camp in my uterus…

PackNPlay10. Pack N Play
This is another one of those items that I found way more practical than others. The pack ‘n play has a newborn bassinet that you can attach to it as well as the ability to have a raised bed and lowered bed. Zoey didn’t care for the curve of the bassinet when we got her home after being so used to sleeping on her back straight in NICU, so we removed it and she slept in the raised bed in our room until she was about four months old. It had a changing station attached to it with storage for diapers and everything. Once she moved into her crib in her room, I used the pack ‘n play for when she needed somewhere safe to be while I showered if my husband wasn’t home. I could set the pack ‘n play right outside the bathroom door and leave the door open so I could hear her, but I always felt like she was safe and contained. This was a lot more practical for us than a bassinet, which yields very limited use. Plus, we were able to take it with us on vacation a few times so she had her own place to sleep when we weren’t comfortable with bed sharing. She used the pack ‘n play until she was about 18 months old, so I felt like we got great use out of it, between using it for sleeping and for a play pin.

That’s it, moms! These are some of my favorite items from when Zoey was little. What were your favorite items?





Thoughts on Thirty [Part 2] Plus a Trip to the ER.

10 02 2014

ThoughtsOnThirty

Turning 30 means you’re getting older, but it doesn’t have to mean you’re getting¬†old. At least that’s what I try to tell myself nearly every day. I’ve been blessed with a very youthful husband. He’s very wise and always has been beyond his years, but he’s also very youthful. We decided to turn this 30th birthday into a very fun celebration with some fine Indian cuisine at Bombay Palace and ice skating at Centennial Sportsplex. Yep, ice skating. I’m not talking about figure skating; he likes hockey skates and tearing into the ice. He’s always been a big fan of rollerblading, so to him this is the same, just on ice.

Unfortunately, the night didn’t go remotely as planned and we’re going to have to take a rain-check. We rang in his 30’s in the emergency room.

Here’s how it all went down:

We went to Bombay Palace with some family and close friends and ordered an amazing combination Indian meal to share. We ordered Zoey a special version of naan bread that was filled with egg and fruit, which she loved, and she picked off of our meals as well (she tore into a good amount of basmati rice). Not long after the food arrived, Glenn dug in. A few bites in, he realized he had taken a bite that was too large and it was lodged in his chest. Usually when that happens, he’ll drink water to wash it down, only this time, it didn’t wash down. The water just sat there. In the midst of us taking a group picture, he had to excuse himself to the bathroom, where he threw up his food. We were all pretty worried about it because it wasn’t like he was choking, it was more like his ability to breathe was cut off or like he was having an allergic reaction to something. He returned to the table and not 30 seconds later, he excused himself again. At this point, I was extremely worried he was going to need to go to the hospital. Then I noticed I felt faint and like the room was disappearing. That’s the last thing I remember.

Apparently I said, “I feel–” and then passed out. When I woke up, I was still sitting up in my chair and my friend was cradling my head, keeping me upright. I could hear Zoey screaming for me. I was completely delusional, I forgot where I was and had no idea what had happened. A doctor happened to be present at the exact time I fainted to pick up a to-go order and he said I should go to the ER to get checked for arrhythmia. I had started to pull out of this spell before I actually got juice in my system, but once the juice was in me, I started to feel a lot better. We decided to stay at the restaurant and let everyone finish eating. I didn’t really eat though – my appetite was completely shot. I texted my OB to alert her of the situation since I am on Metformin and she ordered me to quit taking it immediately until we figure out what is really going on. Apparently that shouldn’t happen on Met if it’s blood sugar related. I thought I’d need to increase it, but she felt the exact opposite until we had some testing done.

We left the restaurant and I decided we should still go ice skating, I wanted to just sit and watch. We had told Zoey all week about us going to do this (big mistake) and I was so worried about letting her down. We drove to the ice rink and as soon as we parked, I started feeling it again. It felt like it was coming on slower though. I told Glenn we couldn’t go in there and it was decided then and there that we’d go across the street to the ER just to check on things. Once again, Zoey was taken away by family, crying for me. It was so heart breaking, but I knew she was in good hands.

Glenn, his sister Misty and I headed to the ER. I was brought back immediately, thankfully there was no wait. I was put into a tiny closet-like room where they checked my blood pressure (it was 155/105) and took a rather large vial of blood. I waited for a while until the blood results were in. They performed an EKG, which I passed just fine. No arrhythmia.

By the time I had made it to the ER, I had consumed about 12 oz of pineapple juice and part of a Coke, so my glucose was 116. However, there was one red flag they found: My TSH levels were over 8. They should be resting below 4.

My thyroid is freaking out on me.

There is a possibility that my fainting spell was a result of an anxiety attack – a moment of panic and worry for my husband’s well-being. This has happened a few other times in my life when presented with extremely stressful situations. However, at one time I had fainted at a hospital while visiting my grandmother and my blood sugar was checked – it was 38 at the time – so I guess when under extreme stress and anxiety, my blood sugar drops? I’m not really sure. The ER was only concerned with my thyroid and wanted me to follow up with my OB, which I did. They did not have answers beyond that. My OB is going to run additional tests on my thyroid to see what is really going on, then refer me to an endocrinologist.

We don’t have a full answer right now, but we do know my thyroid isn’t in a happy place at the moment and we intend to follow up on that. Who knows, maybe this is an easy fix to some of my infertility struggles. Maybe my uterine lining will do better if my thyroid is under control. There are a lot of maybes, but I really hope we just discovered a solution. How lovely would it be if all I needed was thyroid medication to get some of my body working correctly. I understand this would mean medication for the rest of my life, but what’s another pill to add to my list of vitamins anyway, right?

Oh well. Turning 30 for my husband meant a birthday we’ll never forget. Not necessarily in the way we had hoped, but there are certain things we can look back at and totally laugh about… other things, not so much.

I will say, the ER we went to was the same hospital I stayed at for 6 weeks before delivering Zoey and where she stayed in NICU… they did a great job taking care of me once again.

As for my husband… well, he’ll chew his food better from now on. ūüėČ Happy birthday, dear. I love you. Thank you for taking care of me and my weirdness.

BirthdayCard








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