Friday, August 27, 2010

Infertility sucks

It does. Even though I'm halfway through a healthy surprise pregnancy, infertility sucks.

I don't fully believer I'm pregnant. I've seen the ultrasounds, heard the heartbeat, know the gender, and feel the jabs that are getting stronger by the day.

And I don't believe I'm pregnant.

I have lost the innocence of rejoicing in those first flutters of movement and being excited and thrilled over every little thing. I lost that because of the decade of loss that I had.

Please don't misunderstand, I'm happy to be here, and to be pregnant.

I fear for the loss of this little one in such a deep way, because it is all my body and spirit have ever known. The loss of my biological children.

And even now, after the infertility cycle has seemingly been lifted for a brief moment, infertility still sucks. It has left a big deep gaping wound on my soul that I don't think will ever heal. It will just scab over, for a while, and then be ripped off again and again.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How I got here

I have PCOS, Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome. This is an endocrine disorder where your ovaries produce tons of cysts and your entire endocrine system is out of balance. It is closely tied to Insulin resistance and thyroid issues. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in the nation, affecting almost 10% of women in the United States. It has some additional fun side effects to the infertility including male pattern facial hair, chest hair, a difficulty losing weight, some fun gastrointestinal side effects, and fatigue. My husband has very low sperm motility and those two things combined made doctors think it was pretty much impossible for us to conceive. And according to medical science it was.

After we decided not to pursue any more fertility treatments, ever, I started to really concentrate on finding health for my body. I was specifically looking to cure, or at least calm the effects of, PCOS with my diet. After a lot of research as well as trial and error I discovered more things about my body and food tolerances/intolerances. First, like most women with PCOS, I am gluten sensitive. I am not intolerant nor do I have celiac. However gluten does tend to slow my digestion, give me gas, and destabilize my blood sugar. One of the first major dietary changes I made was to eliminate wheat and other glutens from my diet on a regular basis. I still milled my own grain, and my kids still eat fresh bread, but it wasn't working for my body anymore. I didn't look for hidden gluten, nor did I give up the occasional treat, but bread and gluten heavy products were no longer a part of my regular diet.

And as soon as I made that change I started to drop weight.

The next thing I looked at was fruits. Fruits are an incredibly healthy food, and should be a major part of the diets of most people. But I was experiencing major sugar highs and lows over even something simple like a nectarine. The first thing I did was eliminate fruit all together, and that wasn't my brightest day. I love fruit, and am much more likely to get my nutrients from fruit than veggies. So I started to make sure that my fruit intake was limited to only times when I was consuming protein too. For breakfast I'd have eggs with pesto and 1/4 of a grapefruit. No more stand alone fruit, but instead I would have my fruit with a balanced meal and I would eliminate the sugar highs and lows. Since I was not eating many grains it was important that I still get carbohydrates, but in a balanced way.

I vastly increased my protein intake also. I was eating 80 or so grams of protein a day. Eggs for breakfast every single morning, and red meat for dinner every night, except a couple of days a week of fish. I do not like Chicken well, nor do I feel well when I eat it, so I don't. I think that most food aversions like this are indicators of foods that are and aren't good for us.

The final dietary change I made was to drastically increase my intake of cruciferous vegetables. These are veggies from the cabbage family, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc... I would make sure that I had something from this family every day of the week. More often than not it was cole slaw, since I'm also a big fan of a high fat diet.

Over the course of changing my diet I lost 20 lbs and started to ovulate on a more regular basis. My cycles were about 40 days in length. The longest I'd gone in the past without a cycle was almost three years.

And that, is the story of how I started to ovulate based on dietary changes, and got pregnant very unexpectedly.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

25 weeks

25 weeks from now, give or take a week or two, someone new will be coming into our lives.

I am pregnant. 15 weeks pregnant.

After multiple miscarriages, and being told that we had a 1% chance of ever conceiving a baby, even with treatments I'm pregnant. No treatments. Total and complete shock.

I think that extreme fatigue of the first trimester is a valid reason to avoid blogging.

I have a ton of emotions ranging from fear to elation. I worry for my two children that they won't transition well. I worry also about their emotions related to their adoptions and navigating those waters.

I do believe that a big part of my ability to get and maintain a pregnancy was finding out, by trial and error a diet that worked best for my body. I had recently lost quite a bit of weight because of my diet, and I believe this also factored into it.

But more than anything God chose to open my womb.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm still here

I still mill my own flour.

I still make my own breads, and dehydrate food and can for the winter. I'm knitting, and quilting and thinking about taking up sewing for my daughter.

I've been absent for a while for a good reason, reasons.

I'm not sure I'm ready to share yet. Perhaps after a week from Thursday I'll be ready to share in such a hugely public place.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dehydrating vegetables

I'm growing broccoli this spring. Hopefully I'll get a bunch of it. I love broccoli. Well let me clarify. I detest vegetables, all vegetables. However of all the vegetables that I detest I can stomach broccoli. I'll seek it out. I like broccoli soup with chicken stock and lots of fresh pepper and onion and a little bit of cream.

But I'm growing a lot of broccoli. I've got twenty plants right now. All going to arrive at the same time. And limited freezer space. So I was trying to think of some alternative ways to store said broccoli. I could make big batches of the soup and can it, and I'll probably do some of that. But I'll still have more broccoli.

So I've decided to dehydrate my broccoli. I'll steam it for a few minutes, and then pack it into vacuum sealed jars. I'll reconstitute it for soups in the winter months. I'm really excited to see how this works!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


This was inspired by two wise women, Crystal and Rachel. Wisdom is awesome.

claude monet Pictures, Images and Photos

Three years ago I saw this amazing collection of Monet paintings. I remember weeping at seeing the beauty of those paintings up close and personal. I could see his brush strokes. The actual strokes where he his brush dipped in the paint and each individual bristle drew a small line in the paint. It was breathtaking. Absolutely amazing. I was so close to this genius that I could see the individual bristle marks. Incredible doesn't begin to describe it.

The bee has this amazing curly hair, and is so smart I can't stand it. Huck has this giant blue eyes and is the sweetest kindest little soul I've ever known. Those things about their person, about their personality are beautiful. The result of a God who created with love these little people and entrusted them to me. He has asked me and the sailor to help to mold and shape them into the people he wants them to become.

Imagine again seeing a Monet painting in person. The beauty and delight of that simple painting.

Now imagine hitting it. Imagine hitting it so you left a mark and marred the paint, or worse put a small hole in the canvas.

Why would you mar a child like that? How on earth does hitting a beautiful child, something precious and beautiful and created, benefit anybody, most especially the child? They are lovingly created, by a God who adores us. And some choose to believe that the same God also calls us to hurt them.

Monday, February 22, 2010

my flu garden

My sweet baby boy (whom I refuse to admit is almost two!) gets colds every other minute, and is one of those kids who is "always sick" We have and are going down the allergy/natural remedy path and it is frustrating, and expensive.

So now, I've decided for sure to plant a cold and flu garden in the coming season. I think I'm going to use a raised bed, the rest of my garden is in ground, and use a children,s plastic swimming pool as my template for the size. I want to do a wagon wheel.

I'm planning on planting specifically in the cold and flu garden; yarrow, echinacea, catnip, thyme, peppermint, and lavender.

These plants, plus the garlic and rosemary in my regular garden are amazing sources of cold and flu prevention and treatment.

I'm also planning on planting elderberries, but I won't get my plants till the fall, and they won't start to produce until the end of next summer, so I'm going to stock up on dried elderberries this summer so we have plenty of elderberry syrup this coming winter!

Monday, February 15, 2010


More than half of the American public drink coffee. I drink coffee. I have ADD and caffeine is a huge part of my routine and keeps me off stronger levels of amphetamines to deal with my ADD. (I've GOT to do an ADD post eventually) Coffee helps me to function as a wife, mother, student, and woman. Not to mention be a productive member of society!

But the choice of coffee is dreadfully important, and we as Americans have the lunary of making HUGE impacts on the coffee industry! We are the wealthiest nation in the world, and except for those among us who are living paycheck to paycheck or on government aid can make a difference.

Fair trade coffee is something that is important. We can with our money put an end to the horrific practices of the big coffee companies and do our part to help end worldwide poverty! Please at least watch this trailer, and if you can afford to rent them watch the movie!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


We are tired of winter here. The thing is, I have always loved winter, but this year I'm finding it trying. The kids are tired of bundling up everytime we go out, and being sick, and all the junk you have associated with winter. I've let our diet go, and when the sailor is gone for days at a time, I far to often don't cook the way I want to, or the way that we are healthiest.

I'm so looking forward to the ground being turned over in my garden again in a few weeks, and scattering those first few seeds and waiting on them to come up and reward us with their delightful flavors.

Soon, soon. This season will be over. Spring is almost here

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My perfect day

I had a perfect day today. Really perfect.

We woke up with the sunshine, and a sweet girl whispering "The sun woke up again today!"

We had soaked oatmeal with raw honey, bananas and cinnamon for breakfast. Topped with coconut oil and raw heavy cream.

We went to a new church that was small, only twenty people, but the teaching was amazing and the people were sweet.

We came home and had quesidillas for lunch with cheese I made from raw milk, and tortillas I made from freshly milled wheat and spelt. Plus homemade salsa that I made last summer all from my garden.

Then we had a kazoo concert. The bee has a particular love for The Beatles, especially "I am the Walrus"

I put a roast in the oven.

Huck took a nap. And the bee and I worked out, and the sailor went to lowes.

We looked at paint colors when he returned.

We colored for a while with some markers and made up stories to go with our drawings.

We went into the backyard and looked at the first tiny shoots coming up in the asparagus patch on the side of the house, hoping that we get more than two this summer and picked a few weeds that are invading the strawberries. We checked the raspberries, and are worried they won't make it.

We finished dinner. We had creamed spinach, roast, and mashed potatoes. The kids loved it all. The bee "helped" me cook, as she loves to cook.

We then read books, nine books to be sure. Brushed our teeth, and then the sailor and I put the kids to bed.

Then the sailor and I came downstairs and did some chores together and he decided to turn on the television to watch a TV show that he loves.

We spent no money, we just spent time together.

I cannot for the life of me think of a better day.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New year, new prep lists

Jan 1 isn't a huge deal in my world. I love the gentle flow of season into season and while I do love holidays, for some reason the new year has never been a huge deal for me. It is just another day. Of course this year I'm watching the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl, but aside from that, not a lot going on.

However it is a good time to make some lists and do some cleaning out of the old. January is typically a slow month around the house, and the time of year when everything is dormant. Nothing much grows, at least where I live. I usually find some yummy citrus and make a few batches of marmalade, but no more than that.

But the lack of anything going on, gives us ample time to do stuff. I try to clean out my pantry in January. Anything that expires in six months or less I donate to a food pantry and buy replacements. I make lists of what I need to expand in the next year, and what I had to much of the year before. Last year I came across an amazing deal on canned corn, and bought far to much. Nobody in my house aside from me likes corn. If we aren't going to eat it, we shouldn't buy it.

Here is my current pantry list that I need to buy ASAP:
Black beans #300
Wheat #200
Honey 15 gallons
Oatmeal #100
Dog Food #200

This of course is just the beginning of my pantry, but these are the most important staples that I need to keep building. I'm also hoping to add some freeze dried meals to the pantry this year that stay good for 20 years. NO they aren't the healthiest or most delicious food, but they will keep you going.

I am also pouring over my seed catalogs this month to get ready to place my spring order. Where I live, I can plant peas and broccoli at the end of next month! Of course this is an incredibly cold winter and the ground is frozen solid and covered with snow right now, so this year might be a little later than usual. I try and garden according to two things. What I can can, and what we will eat. Not to mention what will grow here ;) Last year I learned that corn does not fare well in a backyard garden here. It is just far to windy here, and we get hail. I was seriously depressed when my corn was hailed out last year. But tomatoes thrive! My tomatoes last year were amazing, and I got hundreds of pounds of tomatoes off my vines. I know that I have vine borers and that I need to use floating row covers to keep them from getting into pumpkins and other vining plants. My zucchini was lost early, so I'm hoping to remedy that this year.

Currently I'm planning on growing in the backyard garden:
Early spring:
Potatoes (In a trash can)

Late Spring:
Green Beans
Black Beans
Butternut Squash


I'm also going to try and lacto-ferment carrots, cabbage, and cucumbers this year in an attempt to preserve some food without canning. Not to mention that lacto-fermented food is amazing for your gut.

I'm also working on updating the car kit and our bug out bags. In fact we are going to go buy a new hunting knife today for the car kit. Stay tuned