Dec 7, 2011

Falling Behind and Moving Forward...

A Little more than a month ago I finally went in for a procedure on my tailbone. As most of you know For almost a year after I had Ava after most of my other injuries were healed or feeling better I still could not sit. Technically I could but it was excruciating if I had to sit, especially on something hard, I avoided going out as much as I could for as long as I could, but finally got tired of being stuck at home all the time just because I'd have nowhere to sit if we went out, and I had a low endurance for walking.

We ended up buying one of those reclining lawn chairs to help me be able to sit in certain places. It has been a wonderful blessing. Though I've always found it kind of comical when people look at the chair or me and say things like "aw you must be so comfortable" or "I need one of those it looks so nice and comfy" I can tell you that chair has been a lifesaver for me many times, but comfortable is not how I would describe it. haha Necessary yes! I sometimes wonder how comfy it would be without the pain. Must be nice.

I have had trouble every step of this journey with getting appointments with the right people, being believed by dr.'s and not just brushed off. I was finally able to see a physical medicine dr who made a plan to do therapy and see me in a few months. Well when everything else improved with therapy, but not my tailbone (in fact it felt worse) I tried to see Him again. Only to turn up and be told he was out for the month (after just coming back from being off, weird!) Was given an appointment a month later with someone else.  Yes...every time I needed something I'd have to wait a month at least. I was getting tired of waiting to be helped...yet thankful to be feeling much better than in the beginning. It was hard to balance demanding to be helped for the still occurring problems, and being content with the healing I had and God's blessing of LIFE!

Needless to say...I waited. I was finally able to see the dr and he seemed to know exactly what he was talking about pointing out the places on a skeleton that I was hurting saying words that I can't remember but sounding like he thought there was a reason for the pain. You see most people right from the beginning brushed off the fact that there were other problems besides my pubic bone separating. I had a whole host of other issues that went unaddressed for a long time. I learned how to "be the squeaky wheel" but even then...medical people have a "nice" way of still brushing you off. It's ridiculous what they get away with.

This dr got me  set up to see someone else. whose title is escaping me right now. but he would see about the problem and do a procedure that would hopefully help with the pain. Apparently only time will fully heal it, but the steroid shot can tide you over. A month later I got to see him, and he explained that all the tests and things were probably coming back normal just like I thought because of my position. It didn't hurt when laying but when sitting, and all my tests were laying down. He explained how there's a joint between the spine and tailbone and when I was injured it could have been jarred and made "loose" so that when changing positions. like sitting the joint moves causing my tailbone to have pain when I sit, but to look fine laying or standing. (makes TOTAL sense) So he did the procedure, which was SUPER painful. Had to stick needles and stuff into the gap on the outside of my tailbone, and go through the joint to inject the other side. I got to look at the screen guiding him, and it was pretty cool. After the procedure he told me that it was understandable that I hurt a lot because to was probably his most painful procedure that he does. He said I did really well tho. (no wonder they offer anti anxiety meds ... )

The first day I had intense pain and could hardly walk. The pain I normally had while sitting, tense, stuck feeling, was occurring even when I walked. Which he explained was probably because injecting the joint had tightened it, so it would feel  like that at first. After that though, I tested it out and was able to sit at the dining table and get up with ease!!! I normally would have to be "dragged" slowly and lifted up while in tears to get up. I could NOT stand up on my own cos of the stuck pain feeling. It was SO amazing to feel somewhat "normal" again.

Fast forward a couple weeks after and I am now thinking more about "officially excersizing" I went to curves before we were married and for a while after, til I was 24/7 sick with Kyah and had to cancel. I just couldn't do it. I have wanted to go back for a long time, but could never justify the extra expense on myself. Living on a small budget is made a lot easier when you don't spend money on yourself. haha Through all this I have learned to be able to balance the me stuff a little better with the family stuff. I was starting to see how not only the excursive would benefit me, but also the chance to get out for a bit.  I am home all the time. I am a stay at home mom/wife. But we also have one car, and if I go somewhere it is a walk to the park, or I get up at the crack of dawn to take joey to work, and use the car for dr apt etc. I don't mind being home raising my children. I'm not the type to feel like I always need to be out of the house. I feel that God has blessed me in that. I have to be home a lot. I do at times get that "cabin fever" feeling. But mostly am truly content to be home all the time with my girls, teaching them, spending time with them, keeping house and preparing things so that my awesome husband is able to study and learn and minister. We both decided that it would be good for me and in turn be good for the whole family for me to start going back to curves. I figured I could go at my own pace, and not put any strain on my body by only doing things at the speed I was comfortable with, and if any machines hurt, I would skip it.

So, I joined curves. It has been wonderful for me to have that time for me. When Joey gets home at 5 I go to curves. I have about an hour away. Drive time which varies depending on traffic, workout time of about 30min or so, then driving home. I have missed driving time in the past. When i used to nanny I would get to pray, sing, and worship God listening to my christian radio. Music is such a help to me. I was missing that being home all the time. (with a radio in the house that doesn't pick up the christian stations, so we can only use cd's, thankful for pandora these days! variety of christian music!) Anyway...babbling...Having that time to myself in the car, to sing to think to praise the Lord, has been so beneficial. Working out was hard at first and I took it easy. But as time has gone on I am feeling a difference in how I do it.

I was noticing I had more energy when I'd get home. It was like a second wind. I'd work at home all day doing things, then go workout, (dinner in the crockpot for family while I'm gone) I'd get home and eat, then be able to clean the kitchen and do dishes with my extra energy, clean the floors, finish up laundry etc. I was feeling awesome. Accomplishing so much, and just loving how much more normal I was feeling. I even had the thought. " I feel like I'm back to normal" ....and then it happened.

I was making dinner one night. (on the stove for a change) AND loading dishes. It was a wednesday, so I wasn't going to curves. I don't go on weds cos of church. Joey was sitting at his desk studying and had put Ava on the floor by him to sit and play. She suddenly (first time ever) flung herself forward and face planted HARD on the wood floors. OW! He picked her up and comforted her, but she kept looking at me and crying. So I went over and tried to comfort her. I had left the stove when I went to her. Completely forgetting about the dishes. So as I was doing the "bouncy, rock, sh sh sh thing" I stepped backwards...and my foot tripped on something I felt myself just fly backwards twisting my ankle in the process. I flew backwards over the DISHWASHER DOOR!!! Landed on my back and must have put one hand out to catch myself cos I hurt my wrist too, AND poor Ava bashed her head on the cupboard. (probably when my other arm tried to catch myself) I burst into tears, Joey got Ava and wanted to know if I was ok. I felt absolutely horrible that I was trying to help her and I had hurt her worse...I limped out of the room and went to lay on my bed. realizing then that my back really hurt!

The next few days I felt so discouraged. I had been doing so good, feeling almost normal, and then I fell. I couldn't go work out. My back felt tight all the time, low back tailbone, neck shoulders, kept getting bad headaches. I was really worried that I had set myself back. I was not in the intense pain I had when I was first injured. But my immobility reminded me of part of my recovery. It felt like I had set myself back months again. There were a lot of tears that week, and frustration as I had been keeping up well with the house and everything, and then suddenly I had to rest again, and you know when the mom Jack Sparrow would say... everything goes to pot. :) I sent a lot of time in prayer and being thankful for how far I'd come, trying to be happy with all the blessings I still had and seeking God's will in this setback. Turns out, after about a week. I felt a lot better, and was able to ease back into things. That first workout being back was really hard, and a little painful, but afterwards I felt so good.

I am now enjoying my time 3-4 times a week. M,T, Th Fr. Going to curves, and having that hour of me time. I have spent years not really having any, and am content with that too. This is just an extra blessing. I still get to spend my days doing school with my girls. teaching them the ways of the Lord, being an example to them of how to care for a household, and teaching them to be responsible...I still get to feed my family. I am especially thankful to my husband who has allowed me to do it. Our typical schedule would be he comes home has a little down time, and after eating studies. He has emoting to do every day. mondays and tuesdays are spent studying for weds, and every other tues he has greek class, wednesday he preaches, and thurs he has a weekly conference call with some other preachers to talk about things that they are studying together. (another thing he studies for) friday he is usually studying in general, sometimes we get to have some family time or us time. He has spent a lot of time the past couple months working on a new church website. He has taken the time from his busy ministry schedule to allow me to have this time. I am SO thankful for this. And for having such an awesome husband who spends so much time in the Word of God, he puts so much into his studies, and I am so blessed when I hear him preach, you can tell He has stuied hard. We have also been Going to Tracy church while they are without a pastor almost every other week, so his weekends have been also spent with lots of study for sundays. I am so proud of my husband and all he does. I am blessed to be able to do my part in allowing him the time and the freedom to study as he needs to. We have been blessed with his work schedule allowing him to work extra on other days to have every other monday off. Our Family mondays, are such a blessing, and the time for me to "catch up" sometimes on those mondays while daddy does something with his girls is just priceless.

All in All...God has been so good to us. He has brought us through the fire...and refined us. I feel so blessed and encouraged for all the strengthened and new friendships I have made this past year. I am also thankful for the revealing of character in some. It is sad to realize people that you thought were true friends aren't BUT it is a blessing to be able to pour into the true friendships and bless each other, and know that God has allowed me to have so many awesome people in my life that I never expected.

We are excited for what God has been revealing to us through all this, and are happily seeking His will and finding it. What a blessing to follow the Lord in everything. I could NOT have gotten through this trial without Him. He has truly been my rock.

Since I'm being sentimental. Special thanks to those who helped us so much in our time of need. financially, food wise, cleaning, encouragement. Just being there for me, and understanding who I was even while going through a huge trial. I so appreciate my friends who stuck in there for me, and never doubted me. God is good and I am so blessed.

More to come on Ava's BIRTH-day...and Ava's future posts. Thanks for reading.

Keep Looking Up!

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Phil 3:14

Oct 29, 2011


I simply cannot believe it has been a whole year since Ava was born! We have had an extremely busy day, being at church most of the day, the to the park for Ava's party. I will elaborate on all this later, as I am extremely exhausted, and quite overwhelmed with emotion right now. It's amazing how much can just come flooding back after a year. Oh boy! We are so blessed with our family and friends, we are so thankful for all you all have done for us. We are thankful for our precious little blessing! Oh, she's so wonderful!

For now I will leave you with a "birthday preview" and a song that a good friend sent to me for Ava's birthday. It's perfect. Thankyou sweet friend! HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY AVA!!

She was quite please when everyone sang Happy Birthday, Daddy sang it right to her with a couple of nose pushes and tickles...she giggled and laughed the whole time! So sweet! 

Keep Looking UP!

Oct 25, 2011

Ava's Pregnancy Part 2

Let's begin where we left off... about 20wks pregnant.

We're having another GIRL!!

As most of you know, we've alway had trouble finding girls names we like. We come up with something individually and the other doesn't like it, and back and forth we go.  We finally agreed that we both liked Sophia Lynn. It was different then what I thought I'd like, but the more I thought about it the more I loved it.  Then suddenly it hit me. We had some friends at church who had a little boy around the same time we had Savannah, but at first they were told he was a girl. I was pretty sure, after having the thought that they were going to use Sophia for him, and now that they were pregnant again with a girl, they were going to use it. I was so bummed.

I had always overlooked the name Ava because I knew an Ava that kind of drove me nuts! I also kind of liked Brooklyn, I didn't like brooke by itself, and brooklyn didn't seem like a middle name. I decided to write a list....

here's what it looked like.


Hmm...I looked up the meanings of both names. 

Ava=  filled with life
Brooklyn= small stream/ of the waterfall

then it hit of the waterfall. Ava Brooklyn! I loved it, and Joey did too! 

Fourth of July weekend came along and we had a lot of fun things to do.  Friday Night we took the kids to the Drive In for the first time, we saw Toy Story 3 and Prince of Persia.  Both girls fell asleep close to the end of Toy Story, but Kyah woke up and ended up watching the whole "princie" movie. (as she called it)

On Saturday we packed up some sandwiches and juice, and went and spent the day at the pool. Another Fun day in the Sun. Kyah was especially excited to swim, and even tried out swimming with just arm floaties!

On Sunday July 4th, we went to Church...

After Church we had a potluck, bbq'd and enjoyed fireworks!

I love this picture, because it captured a "moment" between me and Kyah!
 Her excitement for the sparklers, my excitement for her!

After everyone left, we set up our tent, and I went with Donny to pick out a movie and some candy for the kids. Donny and Chloe camped out with us at the church. We projected a movie onto the side of the shed, ate candy, and enjoyed our campout. Well some of us did. haha I was thoroughly squished by Kyah and Chloe on an air mattress that quite easily deflated. Unfortunately we were having so much fun, we didn't take any pictures. (oh, and we were tired!) 

The next morning, Dayna, Gracie and Everett joined us as we packed up, and we all headed to the River. Boy was it HOT!! 

We walked, and walked, and walked...

Until we came to a nice spot at the river...the water looked SO inviting! Some ducks and geese decided to pay us a visit, and we fed them some goldfish crackers, it was quite amusing watching the ducks eat "fish."

We walked back to our cars...

And decided to go to Old Sacramento, where we went on a Scavenger hunt. 

We took pictures at each of the clues... ( I won't post ALL of them) 

I wasn't in many pictures as I was usually trying to find some shade, a drink, or a place to sit. It was tough on me! It looks like a great time, and the kids had fun, but it was Extremely Hot out, and it was a hard day for me. Bitter-sweet, memories.

The next day I was visiting with my Mum, I had spent the day with her, and as she was driving us home I told her I was having weird crampy pains. I said they didn't feel like contractions, maybe I just needed a drink.  When I got home I had a big drink of ice water, and laid down. Mum kept an eye on the girls while I tried to rest. We decided we would go meet Dad at our favorite Thai place for dinner, but it turned out dad wasn't feeling well. So we just went by ourselves. Joey was going straight to Baseball from work. 
On the car ride I kept thinking they are getting better, maybe the pains will be gone by the time we get there. 

As soon as I got out of the car I doubled over in pain, mum asked if I was ok, and I said I'd be fine. As soon as we got in there, I had a drink, and then I went to the bathroom. I picked at my food, and tried to drink, but the pain was getting worse and worse. I kept going to the bathroom, so I could just cry and double over in pain. I was SO scared. At one point I was sure I was going in to labor, and I knew it was way to early, I cried out to God over and over to preserve my baby. I kept saying I don't want my baby to die!  Our original plan had been to go visit Baby Maya in the hospital nearby, now the debate was whether mum should rush me to sutter hospital or make the drive to kaiser. 

Mum rushed me to the hospital. They found I was having contractions, and that I was severely dehydrated! I guess the little I had drank all weekend, plus the constant activity and hot sun took it's toll. 

They decided to give me an IV bag of fluids. How fun! IV's and I do not mix well!! They got me hooked up, and got the fluids started. Joey arrived sometime after that. I was so glad to see him. I filled him in on everything, and he was glad to hear the baby was ok. We were both tired and ready to go home. So we waited for the bag to be done.  When it was done they let me up to go to the bathroom and test again to see if the dehydration was any better. During this time I also threw up in the toilet. Blah! They said I was STILL severely dehydrated, so they would be starting another bag of fluids, this time sugar water to hopefully help it absorb better. They also ordered reglan for the nausea, (which never helped me) and zofran (my go to med!) I was SO relieved when they came because I felt on the verge of throwing up. The nurse put the meds in the IV and said "I hope they help", she turned and walked away, and I threw up all over the side of the bed and floor. So much for helping! haha 

The nurses sent for a cleaning lady, and she came in muttering and venting about how she's not supposed to clean that cos it has pieces etc.. GROSS! It was quite irritating, what am I supposed to do. The nurses were irritated that she was "venting" in front of a patient, and handled the situation greatly, and helped me feel better.  They decided to keep me over night and give me another bag of fluids over a slower time frame. The nurse that came in to look after me over night was none other than the famous "Nazi nurse" from Kyah's birth!! I looked at Joey, he looked at me. We nodded...It was definently her. She was very to the pint and let's get things done, so in THIS situation, it was ok. I told Joey she's lucky I'm a nice, forgiving person. Cos she caused a lot of trouble in Kyah's birth. 

They sent me home with a diagnosis of severe dehydration and hyperemesis. NO KIDDING! 

On July 23rd, we had a wedding to be sister in law and good friend. We had lots of fun, preparing, getting ready for, and being in the wedding. (I even made the flower girls baskets). My hubby made us proud performing his first wedding! :) All for his lil sis. 

And then...we headed off for Australia! Yep, me almost 8 months pregnant, with two toddlers in tow. And our trip was non-stop! 

Right after we got there, Kyah started getting sick, then Jojo, and then it hit me. (Joey seems to be immune to these things!) So we tried to do a couple things the first few days that didn't require visiting with people. 

Like driving down the coast...

Enjoying Fish and Chips...

Visiting the Wildlife Park, and seeing the pure joy in my girls faces...

And then we visited Precious Family...

The girls found the bead things I made as a child at Auntie Dossie's.

And friends...


We went to the city, and Taronga Zoo...

We did all kinds of things...

About a week or two after we got back from our big trip, I started feeling "tightening feelings" in my belly, quite often I would feel my belly and it would be so hard, I didn't think  much of it at first. On Sept 10th, i spent most of the day busy with my girls, but by about lunch time I realized I hadn't get much movement, but my tummy was rock hard! I did the whole drink juice lay down on your side thing, and didn't feel any movement for an hour or so. I eventually thought I felt a movement or two...but it was WAY less then what it should have been and by then I was worried. Ava was normally VERY active. So we decided to go the the hospital just in case. I always end up going to the "better safe then sorry" motto! 

Joey drove to the hospital and I was going through a million scenarios on the way, we tried to lighten the mood joking that she would start kicking and moving as soon as we got  to the parking lot, but he didn't.  Well I got all set up in L&D and they notified me that I was having contractions. They asked me if i felt them, I said that I did, but it just felt like tightening. So I didn't realise they were contractions. They gave me some ice water, they wanted me to drink the whole JUG. As soon as i started drinking Ava started kicking, plus she was kicking the tummy monitor a lot. (ouch) SO I don't think she liked that being there. I drank TWO pitchers of ice water. And after checking everything out decided to send me home. Since I wasn't in labor or anything. 

About 5 days later the cntx were still going on and were starting to hurt more. I kept trying to wait it out, but decided I better go in, just in case. Plus they were getting painful and tiring! (try having your stomach muscles involuntarily contracting all day every day for a week.) This time they hooked me up to the monitors, and saw contractions again, they decided to give me meds to stop the contractions, but they couldn't try them and see if they worked, because I had driven myself. So I picked up my prescription and went home and took it. Finally, some relief. The meds stopped the contractions. But we also realized that the meds made me feel very weird. At first I felt all heady and dizzy, then I felt like I needed to run around crazy... These were anti anxiety meds. Go figure! My husband thought it was funny as I was writhing around the bed moaning and saying "whaaaat's wrong with meeee?" He would laugh and say, "you're high" Very funny! Needless to say I decided I did not want to take those anymore. I did have to take them a couple times, when the contractions felt really bad, and I warned Joey before hand. lol "I'm gonna go take one of those crazy pills, just so you know" 

When I explained to my midwife the effect the meds had on me she said not to take them anymore. She also said that it seemed like I had an irritable uterus and would probably continue to have contractions right up until delivery, she was encouraging and hopeful that the contractions would help prepare my body for labor. I was hopeful that it would mean a quick labor. (Boy was i wrong!) 

In the midst of all this we had Kyah's third birthday to celebrate! 

Kyah, Savannah and I went to Fairytale Town on Kyah's actual birthday, Sept 22nd, it's becoming quite the birthday tradition for Kyah. (She spent her first birthday there too) 

On the Saturday after her Birthday we had her Ladybug Party, with her PINK ladybug cake. It was all she talked about looking forward to the party, and after! Bonus points for mommy! 

Pass the Parcel...


Making Ladybug cookies... (with Aussie "biscuits")

THE Pink Ladybug Cake!!!

The Gang...


And one very tired pregnant momma...

On October 2nd I was back in L&D after having strong painful contractions all day! I was scared. The only clue they had given me on previous visits was to come in if they got worse, and they had. They did the usual drink water, check cervix etc. They even did a quick ultrasound to check the fluid levels and said that they were good. ( I wish they had looked at the CORD!)  They gave me a shot of terbutaline, which my midwife described as "it will feel like you drank a whole pot of coffee" Nice...I don't even drink coffee. :) It just so happened that MY midwife was there that day, she works one saturday a month, and each wednesday at the hospital in L&D. I was so glad she was there, and she got to see first hand how even after the meds, my contractions were still going strong. They started to space apart a little as time went on, and they felt it would be ok to let me go home. 

Here's an excerpt from my pregnancy journal on Oct 8th:

Having cntx all the time, sometimes they are super strong and painful.  Feeling so done with all these cntx, but also hoping Ava waits to come til term.  2 more weeks at least til then (37wks). SO exhausted physically and mentally! 

On Oct 18th, my midwife appointment went well. Everything was fine. (other than the constant, annoying, painful, exhausting cntx!) We were hoping at that point that I would have an easy fast delivery! (once again, little did we know) She also told me "just gotta make it to your next appointment, after that hopefully we'll be having a baby" 

On October 22nd, I was cleaning like a mad woman, I believe it's called ...nesting! I wanted everything to be spotless if I went into labor, so despite my constant contractions I cleaned like crazy. (just so you know, I rested as much as I could during the day, and Joey let me go lay down while he looked after the girls usually at night) We al went to Joey's basketball game that night. I was having such strong contractions, I though FOR sure that I was going into labor, I kept putting off saying anything, cos I figured the longer I waited, the closer I'd be to actual labor, and wouldn't have to go to the hospital for another time to be sent home. I had already said I did not want to go back to the hospital to only be sent home again. I had Super strong contractions, for about 4-5 hours, 6-10 min apart...That was a long night. AND I WAS STILL PREGNANT...

This was taken 11 days before I had Ava!!  And as Far as I know 
it's my last pregnant picture. (maybe ever)