Kate at Busted Plumbing brought a new meme to my attention. This is the first week for the Saturday Snap Cup meme.
As The CEO puts it Saturday Snap-Cup is your chance to share a story of appreciation with your readers. Being positive one day a week instead of venting about how hard it is to sip coffee and gab with my girlfriends while our kids wreck whomevers house we are at be a mom is the least I can do! Share whatever you’d like–send a *SNAP* to your newest follower or favorite blogger, a *SNAP* to a stranger who gave you a compliment that made your day, a *SNAP* to a new lipgloss that makes you feel like a rock star, or even send a *SNAP* to your kids by sharing a picture of something they did that put a smile on your face!

This week I’d like to send a *SNAP* to my OB for including the kids in the appointment this week when we took them. They had a blast and are still talking about how great it was to get to help and to hear the heart beat. I love that rather than just letting them hear the heartbeat when she put the doppler up to my belly, they each got to do something with the appointment – Gamer with the doppler and Duckling with measuring me. She made all our days with that one move, and made the kids extremely glad they’d gone with us rather than them and Johnny staying at home so they didn’t have to do a long car ride. We didn’t even get complaints in the car, other than one question of how long it would take to get there, and we didn’t get any on the way home at all.

If you’d like to join us with this feel free to head over to

I had another appointment today. All four (well, five if you count Littlest, though there wasn’t a choice for him lol) of us went. The kids each got to take part in the appointment. We’d decided since they won’t be with us much longer, and won’t be back here again until Littlest is somewhere between 4 and 6 months old, that they should go with us so they could hear the heartbeat.
When my OB came in, once she got set up (she’d done a morning surgery, and was running rounds right before my appt, she had a woman who was at 9cm so she expected a delivery not long after my appointment) she told the kids she needed two helpers. Gamer helped with the doppler, and Duckling got to help hold the measuring tape and measure fundal height, though we aren’t at that point yet for it to be accurate.
We discussed meds, I’m officially changed off the shots and back on 81mg aspirin (though, this change happened after my last appt when I was getting sick and in tears each time we’d do a shot, my peri had said I could go off, but he wanted my OB to give the final word), I’m off my flexiril (which is a relief to all of us, we’d rather I not be on any muscle relaxants), I’m lowering my vicodin dose back down to as infrequent as possible… I’ve had 1/2 today. She was glad to hear that I’m going to go to therapy and a psychiatrist, and told me what meds I can be on if the psych feels they are necessary to stabilize me. Littlest and I will be weaned off of them prior to birth, then I’ll go back on them post birth, because there is a risk of withdrawal in the baby if I stay on them through birth.
We also decided I need to do physical therapy due to my back and leg pain, so we’re adding that to my busy schedule. I should get a call from the physical therapy place tomorrow to set up an appointment. If I still don’t hear from them I’ll be calling my OB’s office again to make sure the referral actually got sent.
My busy schedule now includes WIC (still monthly, they said I could go longer, but we’re still more comfortable tracking my weight with them since they are handling dietary needs and can give me meal ideas); my home nurse (every two weeks for now, it will go back to every week around birth); counseling/therapy – no idea how often yet; physical therapy – no idea how often yet; my perinatologist – depending on this next appointment we’ll see if I go back to him, or just increase OB appointments; my OB – who I see again in four weeks, it will likely go to every two weeks after that appointment…. I think that’s everything pregnancy related, but I’m not entirely sure. So quite a bit going on, especially since my WIC and home nurse appointments fall together when I have WIC appointments, and of course my other (non OB/peri) appointments are likely to be weekly, if not more often. OH!!!! And I have to see my rheumatologist next week, and I’m not sure how closely she’ll want to follow me with the pregnancy since I haven’t managed to see her yet during it. I’m being pushed to get back to her ASAP as my lupus has become worse with the pregnancy. So we shall see what happens as far as my other appointments. And those are just my appointments, that doesn’t include our errands, or Johnny’s appointments, which I go with him to.
I’m glad that such great care is being taken with me and Littlest, but it is definitely getting overwhelming.

Before anything else is said I want to make it EXTREMELY clear I am not suicidal. I want to live. There are some parts of my life that are very difficult, and which make it hard to live a full life, but overall I’d call my life pretty good. I have some very awesome parts in my life as well, and most of it is just… normal. I do get caught up in all the health stuff all too often, but it also takes up a huge amount of my energy. I have love and goals and dreams and friends and a lot of wonderful parts of my life. I also promised E he’s stuck with me for the rest of his life, and haunting him (lol) doesn’t seem quite like I’d be sticking to that promise! I want to grow old with him, and I want to be a part of Gamer and Duckling’s lives, and watch them graduate, and have a bio kid (though more and more I’m wondering about that…) and so many other things!
However, I’m also wondering more and more how much longer my body can make it. I have multiple chronic illnesses, and right now they are doing tests that will likely diagnose me with another one, and not only will it be another chronic illness, but it’s likely to be another serious one.
My pancreas seems to be the problem. I don’t know for sure yet, but that’s what the doctor is looking into, and I’ve been discussing things with a friend who has autoimmune pancreatitis (I linked to chronic pancreatitis, but my understanding is it’s about the same thing, just that autoimmune pancreatitis has autoimmune factors as well) and has told me (after hearing/reading my symptoms) that my flares and day to day stuff sound like what she deals with. She’s given me some suggestions on foods to eat, and to avoid, and confirmed my suspicion that it was meat causing the biggest issue, but has taken it a step further and told me it’s likely protein, which, looking back and also looking at the flare I’m in right now, makes perfect sense. I haven’t had a lot of meat recently, I more or less cut it out of my diet when I got so sick in late August and through Sept. but I have been eating A LOT of protein containing foods – especially eggs (which are unusual for me) and peanut butter (which I love)! It also explains why the Ensure Plus makes me ill and gives me heartburn.. there is more protein in there… and actually it’s quite a bit per bottle compared with my normal diet. :/
On top of that they still have no idea what’s going on with my heart. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, or how much, but my heart races for no apparent reason. My blood pressure is in normal ranges, so that’s good at least, but my heart just races and races most of the time. They’ve done a few different tests that “should” have shown the reason for this, and so far they haven’t found any answer. The only thing that is obviously wrong with my heart is a very mild murmur, which should not be causing any issues at all, and seems to be unrelated to the fast paced heart.
And of course I have lupus, which I am treating, but I really don’t think the treatment I’m on is enough, while I understand the reluctance to treat it more aggressively at this point because it’s not severe, my quality of life is seriously impacted by what is going on with it day to day, and while I can be more active when I take my meds than when we’ve tried cutting the dose, I still have struggles day to day with it. I’m not asking for or expecting a cure or to never have bad days, but it would be nice to have a day or two at least once a month where I’m not dealing with it… and I’m lucky to get that every 6 months, even if I isolate myself, and avoid the sun and take perfect care of myself. It’s getting extremely frustrating.
I also have (as mentioned above) other chronic health issues, and between all of it I’m just worn out. Tired and unsure how much longer it’s possible to deal with this, and not sure how much longer my body will function. Some would say I’m overreacting, but honestly, it’s been a scary year, and I have survived, but… not without A LOT of wear and tear on my body and more than a few issues. I just really am not sure how much longer my body can handle all of the physical strain it’s under… and that thought horrifies and upsets me immensely.

E and I are discussing whether or not to keep trying right now.

I’m on a new medication (which may have cause our latest miscarriage, though there are a lot of possible reasons) which is helping with my Raynaud’s. I can actually feel my toes and they’ve been red or pink every time I’ve taken off my socks for about a week now!! I can’t remember the last time my toes were red unless I’d been running hot water over them!

However, this new medication is a Class C drug for pregnancy (and breastfeeding?)… and the information about it specifically says it can cause miscarriages and newborn death. 😦 So we’re discussing taking a break from trying and having me go on birth control for the winter to give my hands and feet a break. The problem is that the last time it took us 7 months (give or take a week or two) to get pregnant after I went off the birth control. I know it was out of my system sooner than that because of how I was feeling, but I don’t want to risk another 7 months before pregnancy, as I can only be off the blood pressure med 5 months a year due to our weather here…. so I may just go back off the blood pressure medication once I finish this month of trying it out, and wait to go on it again until after I’m done with pregnancy and breast feeding. Or pregnancy at the very least, no guarantees on whether I’ll be able to breastfeed or not, we shall see if (when?) we get there. I’m also not sure I want to wait much longer to get pregnant and have a baby considering ages and health. We’re not old by any means, but I’d like E to be able to enjoy having a baby again, and Gamer is 9 years old… I won’t say how old E is, but… well… it is a consideration. Also we’d like to have a baby before our kids are teenagers…. and Gamer is getting there…. Duckling is 4 years younger than him, but we’d really like to have another kid before either of them are teens. (For those who are wondering, I’m not giving exact amounts of years here, but I’m around 16 years older than Gamer, and 20 years older than Duckling, and for those who are just joining us, they are my (step)kids.)

I do want to take at least a short break no matter what, I need it, the last few months and the two miscarriages have been very rough on me. And I need some time to heal. Also I’d like to get some of my counseling done before getting pregnant again, just a personal preference since everything is getting so rough on me mentally right now. I firmly believe I need to take care of me before I can take care of a baby at this point… I’m not in a state where I’d want to try to deal with another pregnancy or a baby. Plus I think a break from having to focus on trying to get pregnant would be a good thing. I think after a year it’s a good idea, and I think that it will give us a chance to look at how things have gone and decide if we want to keep trying or not, it’s been a rough year on both of us, though E has handled it better (differently?) than I have… and it’s definitely affected me more… I wouldn’t say that if I hadn’t talked to him about it on different occasions and asked how he’s doing and his opinion on things, but from how our conversations have gone it’s definitely a true statement. We’re also in a different place than we were a year ago, I don’t necessarily mean physically, but financially and healthwise things have definitely taken some changes that need to be considered. Things have also changed in a lot of other aspects in our lives, and I think all of those things are important to look at before we decide what to do.

I’d be surprised if we decide to stop trying… but I think we will definitely decide to take a break for a couple months. That seems to be the way our talks were leaning. Another thing to talk about is how many more miscarriages are we willing to go through (if they continue to happen) since they have a definite toll on me physically and emotionally, and have an emotional toll on E as well. I told him while we were in the (physical) process of going through the last one that I don’t think I can handle too many more. I don’t think either of us want to go through anymore even without the rough time that I go through, and even without the emotional impact on both of us.

One thing I know for certain, as we’d talked about this even before we were ready to start trying, is that we won’t do any type of fertility treatments. My body has been through enough hormones, I’d rather not going on birth control again if we had many other options, but we really don’t. 😦 And neither of us want me on birth control long term again for sure. We’ve looked at the options, and weighed pros and cons of them, and have decided that we just can’t see doing the physical strain on my body of month after month of different meds and hormones, and also the financial cost, especially without a guarantee we’d have any more success than we have been at this point.. it’s just not someplace we are willing to go.

If we don’t manage to have another child, we already have two great children, and although they aren’t with us all the time, we are in their lives year round, and we do have an awesome cat. We’d both like another child, and Gamer and Duckling would love a little brother or sister, but we shall see what happens, and leave it at that.

E and I are discussing whether or not to keep trying right now.

I’m on a new medication (which may have cause our latest miscarriage, though there are a lot of possible reasons) which is helping with my Raynaud’s. I can actually feel my toes and they’ve been red or pink every time I’ve taken off my socks for about a week now!! I can’t remember the last time my toes were red unless I’d been running hot water over them!

However, this new medication is a Class C drug for pregnancy (and breastfeeding?)… and the information about it specifically says it can cause miscarriages and newborn death. 😦 So we’re discussing taking a break from trying and having me go on birth control for the winter to give my hands and feet a break. The problem is that the last time it took us 7 months (give or take a week or two) to get pregnant after I went off the birth control. I know it was out of my system sooner than that because of how I was feeling, but I don’t want to risk another 7 months before pregnancy, as I can only be off the blood pressure med 5 months a year due to our weather here…. so I may just go back off the blood pressure medication once I finish this month of trying it out, and wait to go on it again until after I’m done with pregnancy and breast feeding. Or pregnancy at the very least, no guarantees on whether I’ll be able to breastfeed or not, we shall see if (when?) we get there. I’m also not sure I want to wait much longer to get pregnant and have a baby considering ages and health. We’re not old by any means, but I’d like E to be able to enjoy having a baby again, and Gamer is 9 years old… I won’t say how old E is, but… well… it is a consideration. Also we’d like to have a baby before our kids are teenagers…. and Gamer is getting there…. Duckling is 4 years younger than him, but we’d really like to have another kid before either of them are teens. (For those who are wondering, I’m not giving exact amounts of years here, but I’m around 16 years older than Gamer, and 20 years older than Duckling, and for those who are just joining us, they are my (step)kids.)

I do want to take at least a short break no matter what, I need it, the last few months and the two miscarriages have been very rough on me. And I need some time to heal. Also I’d like to get some of my counseling done before getting pregnant again, just a personal preference since everything is getting so rough on me mentally right now. I firmly believe I need to take care of me before I can take care of a baby at this point… I’m not in a state where I’d want to try to deal with another pregnancy or a baby. Plus I think a break from having to focus on trying to get pregnant would be a good thing. I think after a year it’s a good idea, and I think that it will give us a chance to look at how things have gone and decide if we want to keep trying or not, it’s been a rough year on both of us, though E has handled it better (differently?) than I have… and it’s definitely affected me more… I wouldn’t say that if I hadn’t talked to him about it on different occasions and asked how he’s doing and his opinion on things, but from how our conversations have gone it’s definitely a true statement. We’re also in a different place than we were a year ago, I don’t necessarily mean physically, but financially and healthwise things have definitely taken some changes that need to be considered. Things have also changed in a lot of other aspects in our lives, and I think all of those things are important to look at before we decide what to do.

I’d be surprised if we decide to stop trying… but I think we will definitely decide to take a break for a couple months. That seems to be the way our talks were leaning. Another thing to talk about is how many more miscarriages are we willing to go through (if they continue to happen) since they have a definite toll on me physically and emotionally, and have an emotional toll on E as well. I told him while we were in the (physical) process of going through the last one that I don’t think I can handle too many more. I don’t think either of us want to go through anymore even without the rough time that I go through, and even without the emotional impact on both of us.

One thing I know for certain, as we’d talked about this even before we were ready to start trying, is that we won’t do any type of fertility treatments. My body has been through enough hormones, I’d rather not going on birth control again if we had many other options, but we really don’t. 😦 And neither of us want me on birth control long term again for sure. We’ve looked at the options, and weighed pros and cons of them, and have decided that we just can’t see doing the physical strain on my body of month after month of different meds and hormones, and also the financial cost, especially without a guarantee we’d have any more success than we have been at this point.. it’s just not someplace we are willing to go.

If we don’t manage to have another child, we already have two great children, and although they aren’t with us all the time, we are in their lives year round, and we do have an awesome cat. We’d both like another child, and Gamer and Duckling would love a little brother or sister, but we shall see what happens, and leave it at that.

“Stop multitasking with your health!” ~ Sonja
“I try not to, but it just happens!” ~ Me

So… I’m doing a minor lupus flare, dealing with whatever is happening with my weight (still haven’t gained any, but I haven’t lost any either, so at least I’m holding steady), having my period, and on top of all of that I’m dealing with some kind of cold or flu… coughing, stuffed up nose and headache… as well as just an icky feeling in my chest… like it’s tight or something.

The good news is in spite of all of this my emotions are remaining pretty even. I had a day where I was in the doldrums, I believe I mentioned it a couple of days ago. Other than that day my moods have been pretty even though. πŸ™‚ So things are ok here. πŸ™‚

E’s now on his days off, so we’re spending time together. Bills have been paid, thanks in part to my in laws. We have the appt for the food stamps and state disability aid on Wednesday. I also have the name of the lady to talk to at the health department about medicaid. I received a packet from Social Security the other day, and part of it was a letter regarding food stamps and the fact we qualify for them due to applying for disability, so that will be going with us.

I think that for the most part our time before he goes off will be spent relaxing together at home. E may go hang out with a friend for awhile tomorrow afternoon, and we have the appt Wednesday morning, but otherwise I think it’s just a home weekend. And we’ll see if E goes this weekend or waits for next weekend.

I talked to my rheumatologist’s office today about some paperwork, and mentioned my (failed) lab tests, she said to let them know when I do manage to get them done, and to drink a lot of water before I go. We also decided to cancel my appt and reschedule once the tests are done so they’ll actually have the results before the appt. So hopefully sometime this week I can go get them done and reschedule the appt. We’ll see what happens.

Some good things that have happened lately: We’ve talked to the kids a few times lately. Unfortunately they don’t have a phone right now, service was cut off, but we will be able to continue talking through emails, which we’ve done before when one set of parents or the other lost phone service. But we talked to them either 3 or 4 times in the last 7 days or so. πŸ™‚ And I talked to them for quite awhile yesterday morning. They both get so happy when they get to talk to us, and it was so cute the other morning when Duckling called us (she called the night before, but I had started spotting earlier that day, and wasn’t feeling well so I couldn’t really concentrate on what she was saying), when I answered she said “J! J! J! J!” and was squealing and sooo excited to get to talk to me. πŸ™‚ And Gamer and I can talk for quite awhile, so we generally do. Between the kids, and them getting to talk to both of us, phone conversations usually end up being at least an hour, part of it with Duckling being silly and excited and cute with her Daddy and I, and part of it being Gamer having in depth conversations about books he is reading, or some about school, or video games or tv shows with us. πŸ™‚ We have such wonderful kids! I love them so much!! πŸ˜€ I can’t wait for next summer when we have them again!
E and I have been spending time together whenever we’re both awake and home, and just enjoying each other’s company. He also comes and curls up with me in bed within a couple hours of getting home if I’m still in bed… I think it was 3 mornings during his last work week (including this morning) he curled up in bed with me within 2 hours of getting home from work, and I get lots of cuddles when that happens. πŸ™‚ It’s a lot easier for me to fall back asleep while cuddling than to fall asleep the first time around while being cuddled… because I’m already in a comfy spot and he just curls up with me however I’m laying. πŸ™‚ I’ve been feeling very loved, and I know he has also! πŸ™‚
M has been making us laugh a lot, and the other day he didn’t want to let me out of his sight (he’s also been staying in bed with me even after E gets home, rather than coming out to the front room with E), so he went into the bathroom with me, which isn’t so unusual. This time however he decided I was moving too slow and he wanted attention, so he jumped on the toilet so I’d be able to reach him easier… the issue was I’d just opened the lid!!! Luckily he caught himself on the seat, he had all four paws in about a 2 square inch area (quite the feat for a big cat) and I was able to push him off the seat before momentum pushed him into the bowl lol! It was very amusing, I was still laughing after I got out of the bathroom and got back to E so I could tell him about it!

A situation that I’m not going into happened and we have the kids for a couple more weeks (at least unless something changes overnight) …… I’m not complaining for any reason other than the fact it upset the kids a lot to hear that they aren’t going to get to go home, since they’ve been working up to a frenzy about it for almost a week now…….
So they’ll be here for awhile longer probably, and we’re back to the plan of me taking the train out to get them home and to visit my family…. at least that’s the likely situation, as I mentioned in the first sentence.
Wish us all luck!

Edit: All three of them will be here until Monday or so, if not longer, depending on when someone can drive them to the station.