Monday, October 6, 2008

My Surgery & All That Goes With It...Part I

It's no secret that over the past 2 years I've had some health issues. I've had some people ask about it, so I've decided to write Part I of my story. I say Part I because I am having surgery next week and know that there will be a Part II. I also am sharing this publicly because I think it's important for other women to hear my story and know that there is help out there.

So, here you go...

In high school, I went to my doctor complaining of extremely painful periods. (Sorry, this is going to get a little personal). She put me on the pill. At the time, I was never told that taking the pill (second generation) for 3 years or longer (which was me) increases a woman's risk by 45% of developing breast cancer. I was also not told that the pill can cause early abortion. John Smeaton, SPUC's National Director says, "Many birth control pills can prevent ovulation, and thus prevent conception. But these pills can disrupt the womb-lining too, so that if conception does occur the embryo cannot implant, and is aborted instead. It is not only the morning-after pill that does this." So, needless-to-say, after having my daughter Isabel in 2006, my husband and I sought out an alternative method of birth control. But, let me back up a little...

My husband and I married in December 2003. In November of 2004, we decided to go off the pill. We weren't going to try to get pregnant, but if it happened, then it happened. In September of 2005, almost a year later, we decided to start officially trying. It only took 5 months to get pregnant. I had no problems with this pregnancy and delivered a beautiful baby girl in December 2006. I never felt better than when I was pregnant. Now, back to what I wrote above...we decided to try to find alternative methods of birth control.

Some friends of ours were doing a natural family planning method called the, "Creighton Model Method" using "NaPro Technology". (For more information, visit: or We were about to embark on a much bigger journey than we thought!

With the Creighton Model Method, you track your cycles to determine when you are fertile as well as other things in your cycle. It can be used to achieve or avoid pregnancy. I was having difficulties charting because of some things my body was doing. At one of the meetings with my practitioner, about 6 months into charting, she ordered some blood tests to see if it was Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The blood work came back, confirming that my FSH and LH levels were reversed, indicating that I did, indeed, have PCOS. However, she wanted to confirm it with an ultrasound. Having a sister who is an ultrasound technician has its advantages, so I asked to have her do it. Much to our surprise, my sister told me I was pregnant! (Keep in mind, my daughter was 6 months old). NOTE: It wasn't that our form of birth control failed us, but rather that we weren't working it like we were supposed to! It was an error on our part, NOT on the system. At the time, my husband was in France on business and it took me over 24 hours to reach him. I kept trying to take pregnancy tests, but they all kept coming back negative. I called my doctor and she informed me that I was going to lose the baby, which I did - a little less than a week after I found out I was pregnant. I was only about 3-4 weeks along, so it was virtually painless.

My doctor put me on medication for PCOS, as well as other vitamins and minerals. PCOS, for those that don't know, is a health problem that can affect a woman's menstrual cycle, ability to have children, hormones, heart, blood vessels, and appearance. For me, I have many small cysts on my ovaries as well as increased insulin resistance. I've also gained 25-30 lbs since my daughter has been born, despite efforts to eat right and exercise. I experience pelvic pain and it was also thought that my miscarriage was due to the PCOS, as well as the gestational diabetes I had, while pregnant with Isabel.

Despite being on the proper medication and doing everything to maintain my PCOS, I ended up back in the doctor's office, thinking I had a virus. I was having severe abdominal pain in between periods accompanied by vomiting, menstrual cramps that were getting worse with time, heavier and longer menstrual periods and extreme fatigue. After examining my charts and listening to my symptoms, it was concluded that my doctor thought I had an additional health problem called Endometriosis. Endometriosis is where the tissue that looks and acts like the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus in other areas and is extremely painful. She thought it was time to seek the help of Dr. Thomas Hilgers in Omaha, NE. (For more information:

Dr. Thomas Hilgers and his co-workers developed the Creighton Model and he is considered the best in the nation when it comes to women's reproductive health. My doctor sent my charts to Dr. Hilgers and we waited 6 weeks to hear back from him. I was scared and decided to get a second opinion from my regular OBGYN, who confirmed, I had PCOS and would benefit from looking into surgery for endometriosis further. After reviewing my charts and history, Dr. Hilgers wrote back indicating he thought he could help us. So, the journey began...

I contacted Dr. Hilger’s office to start the process. It was a 1-month waiting period just to make the surgery appointment! So, after a month, I made my surgery date for 6 months out...October 17th, 2008 (yes, it takes 6-8 months to get in with Dr. Hilger's, being he's the best in the nation, and all).

In January, we thought we were going to have to push the surgery back even more, because once again, we were pregnant. This time, knowing all the health issues I had, I started going in 2-3 times a week to have progesterone shots given to me, so if my progesterone levels dropped, I wouldn't lose the baby. Week 8 came and I was so excited that I went to my sister for an ultrasound. However, despite the progesterone shots, the ultrasound didn't look good and once again, I lost the baby…on my birthday, March 31. However, because I was so far along this time, I experienced extreme pain and bleeding that wouldn't stop for 10 days. They finally took my blood count and realized my levels were low...I needed a same-day D&C. This was one of the most emotionally painful experiences of my life. No woman should ever have to go through such a horrific thing. The good news in all of this was that I could still have my surgery in October.

In the meantime, Dr. Hilger's ordered a complete and thorough workup on me.
• I continue charting to help in the overall evaluation of health.
• In August, I had a series of blood draws to determine my hormone levels. The draws were all done locally and then mailed to Omaha.
• Also in August, I underwent a colonoscopy. This wasn’t part of Dr. Hilger’s workup, but I was experiencing intestinal pain, painful bowel movements and extreme diarrhea. The colonoscopy came back normal, but the Dr. who performed it thought my symptoms sounded like I had endometriosis.
• In September, I read Dr. Hilger’s book, “Women Healed”, which was a compilation of stories written by his patients. The book truly made me feel that I was in good hands. I read testimonies of women with previous miscarriage and pre-term births or stillborns, having full-term healthy babies. Women, who were told they could never have children, have had full-term healthy babies. Women with PMS and depression symptoms (I’ve experienced both of those as well) were healed, too! Women’s general health improved.
• Ben will be undergoing a seminal fluid analysis this week.
• I am currently being tested for Thyroid System Dysfunction based on some of my hormonal blood work results.

We will arrive in Omaha on Monday, October 13th and will return home Wednesday, October 22nd. While there, I will:
• Have a daily ultrasound series to determine if I am ovulating and if the ovulation is normal.
• On Friday, October 17th I will have a Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy with a Selective Hysterosalpingogram.
o Laparoscopy: a small instrument will be inserted through a small incision made just inside my navel and another incision will be made slightly above my pubic bone. This will allow Dr. Hilgers to directly view my ovaries, the outside of my fallopian tubes and my uterus. This is done under general anesthetic on an outpatient basis and I’m suspected to feel back to normal after the 2nd day of surgery.
o Hysteroscopy: an instrument is inserted through my cervix to allow Dr. Hilgers to directly view the inside of my uterus in order to examine its shape & determine the presence of any abnormalities. This is done at the same time as the Laparoscopy and the entire procedure takes about 1 hour.
o Selective Hysterosalpingogram: Blue dye will be injected into my fallopian tubes and using x-ray Dr. Hilgers will be able to visualize the dye inside the uterus and as it flows down my fallopian tubes. Each fallopian tube will be assessed separately and Dr. Hilgers will also use a pressure-measuring device to measure the intratubal pressure.

On Tuesday, October 21st, we will be meeting with Dr. Hilgers for a post-op review. He will show us a video of my surgery and will review the results of all the testing that has been done and will present a treatment plan.

We are very excited for this, as it’s been a long time coming. And the thought of actually feeling good again is relieving to me, after 2 years of pain. I can’t wait to write Part II of my story!!!

Things to be praying for:
• No complications with surgery.
• If Dr. Hilgers find endometriosis during surgery, he will have a laser available to remove it with. However, if I have extensive issues, I would be required to return for a laparotomy which is a major abdominal surgery which would require an in-patient hospital stay and a 6-week recovery period. Pray that the additional surgery would not be needed.
• Our insurance company will not cover our expenses for any of the testing or surgeries. (They will cover 90% hospital costs and 70% out-of-network costs). We have estimated that this will all cost us $6,000 out of our own pockets. Pray that the finances would not be an issue and that the Lord will provide it for us somehow.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Answer I've Been Looking For

My husband and I have been together for nearing 8 years, almost 5 of which we've been married. So, we have a history. Most of our history is awesome, but some of it is not. I will not go into too much detail about what we've been through, though most of you reading this probably know.

I've recently started reading a book called, Wild At Heart - Discovering a Man's Soul. I've been meaning to read this book for some time, but have been "too busy" to read it, though many have told me I should. Tonight, the book opened a new door in my marriage - my husband and I just had one of the most important discussions of our marriage - most of which I cried through.

I've had a rough life - lots of wounding. I learned early on that I needed to take care of myself, because the people I've trusted with my heart, including my husband, have let me down and hurt me. I've taken on a role of being "in charge", "domineering" and "emasculating" in my marriage and my life. I take care of myself and need no one, after all, they fail me.

Many of my wounding has been surrounded around men. All I wanted in my marriage was for my husband to "want me", "see me", "pursue me". However, I see now that my protective "strong-willed" way of being, has actually closed that door for my husband. How can he pursue someone who doesn't necessarily need him - she can take care of herself. Don't get me wrong - he has been the cause at times for me to feel that I needed to guard my heart. However, all he wants in our marriage is to be needed. He can't fight for me, when I'm fighting for myself. I voice what I need, but never let myself be vulnerable enough for him to take on that challenge. And when he doesn't take on the challenge, I get frustrated and lecture - he feels like a failure as a husband. He feels like he doesn't have what it takes to give me what I need. It's a vicious cycle - the one we've been stuck in for years.

So, how do we fix it? I've learned, through reading this book and through talking with husband tonight...I must stop fighting for myself...I must let him fight for me. In order for him to see me, to be attracted to me, I must stop this "strong-willed" behavior. I must be vulnerable. I must be playful. I must need him. I must let him be a MAN...the man I need and that man he wants to be.

I feel what I must do now is an impossible task. Can I really be what I need to be? I don't know that I know how to be that. It will be one of the hardest things I've ever done - letting go of my exterior protective shell. I will no doubt need reminding and the grace of God and my husband. But in the end, our marriage will be more than I could ever hoped it could be. And the pain surrounding the past can finally be put to rest. We can experience the fullness of a marriage that God intended way back in Eden.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Trust Him to be there just when you need Him. He has walked His own long path, and He has the scars to prove it." ~Gregory L. Jantz, Ph. D.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Forever Failure

Right now I feel emotional. I feel like I could start crying at any moment and I feel as though once I begin, I fear I won't be able to stop. I can't explain it. There's no real reason least none that I am conscience of presently. I know my body is full though - I wasn't really hungry when I first began eating.

Right now I feel like having a cigarette or sleeping. It is a habit or am I stuffing my feelings with a different vice now? I've overeaten today - perhaps I'm feeling guilty and disappointed in myself. Perhaps I don't believe I can really overcome this eating disorder?

To be honest, I'm expecting myself to fail because that's what I've always done or I wouldn't be here. Do I lack will power? Am I being defiant to my own self? Is it easier to be a victim to something and get compassion from others than to be healed and whole? 

I believe I am a failure. I fail at getting my husband to sexually want me. I fail at being successful with Tastefully Simple. I fail at diets. I fail at controlling my feelings and emotions. At beating/controlling my self-hatred and depression. I fail at bearing children. See, I am a failure - I have the evidence. These expectations keep me in bondage. If I expect to be a failure - can I be anything else? I've always felt this way. It's comforting in it's own strange, twisted and demented way.

There's a child sitting and hugging her knees, crying calling herself fat, ugly and a failure. Rolling the movie forward...she gets pissed. She stands up, wipes the tears and rolls up her sleeves. She's now a grown woman. She's sick of feeling this way, of always struggling and never finding happiness. She's ready to fight, but thinks in the back of her mind and sees ahead, that she'll be here again...failing, depressed and crying. Feeling alone and helpless. 

Will I ever be in control of me?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Martian Child

I love movies. It's one of my favorite ways to pass the time. To relax. To enjoy myself. I like a lot of movies, but I wouldn't say they were my favorite. I have only two movies that have made that list: Sweet Home Alabama & The Notebook. Both are amazing love stories that warm my heart. Well, this week, I've finally added a 3rd movie to my favorites list...


This movie is newer and it's starring John Cusak and a new kid (I can't remember his name, but he's an amazing young actor.) Anyway, this movie inspired me beyond words! It's such a great movie about kids/people who don't quite "fit it", who always feel "different" and the people who finally do SEE them. 

I feel so strongly that children need to be SEEN. A lot of ideas and feelings form as a child and will shape who they turn out to be and how they see themselves and the world around them. If we can love them unconditionally and inflict the LEAST amount of damage possible, they just might turn out with less problems later in life. Now, I know that there are a million factors that go into that, such as, how a child perceives things, even if it's not reality. But, I also know that there is so much more we can do for the children of the world than what we are doing. So many parents, teachers and other major people of influence in children's lives today are FAILING THEM!!! And unfortunately, many adults know it and simply don't care. They don't have the time or energy or know-how to make the different. They don't make the effort, because it's easier to look the other way. 

Well, here's me on my soap's time to make a difference. It's time to love the children. It's time to SEE the children. It's time to MAKE time for the children. It's time to put the effort into the children. 

Watch this movie - it will inspire you to make that difference!!!

Getting Out of Myself

Okay, it's time to take a break and talk about some things that are a little more "happy." I'll get back to the ED stuff later. For now, I want to share something I've learned recently. Last weekend, my pastor preached a sermon that turned my life around! Well, let me start at the beginning...

Isn't it amazing how God works? A few weeks ago my sister and I had a conversation surrounding self-help. She shared with me that she thought counseling and constantly focusing on your self and your problems was "selfish" and a "waste of time." The conversation bothered me, but I couldn't put my finger on why. (Yup, there's that - still learning to identify feelings - thing going on.) After two weeks of mulling it over and a sermon preached last week by my pastor, it finally hit me...My sister was right.

See, there was some truth to what she was saying. Now, let me tell you about the sermon and then I'll tell you how it ties all together. The sermon was about getting out of yourself and your own agenda, to notice the people around you and the needs they have. He gave an example of being at a store. A woman of a different nationality was at the register and didn't speak very good English. She didn't have enough money on her card, so the clerk would run her card and she'd remove some items from her cart and then the process would begin again. By this time, there was a line of people behind her who were getting quite impatient. My pastor admitted that if he had been in his own head and his own agenda, he probably would've been one of those people. Instead, he made his way to the woman and handed his card to the clerk, trying to tell the woman he was putting her stuff on his card. The woman was concerned, saying she couldn't pay him back. He merely blessed her and went on his way. What an inspiring story, huh? Well, at least it was to me. 

See, I DO believe in self-help, but there IS a balance. I realized that I'd been focusing so intently on self-help for so long, that everything in my relationships (for the most part) had become about me and my problems. I stopped noticing others and their needs. Yes, I DO need to continue to get help and put myself first where I haven't been. But, the difference is focusing on the GOOD things about me and working towards those. Not always focusing on what I need to change about myself. So, for the past 2 weeks, I've been attempting to get out of myself and REALLY listen to everyone else. Amazing things have happened! I'm happier and I've done a lot less talking! :) I've really gotten to know the very people in my life that have always been there, but I didn't really SEE. I've had less anxiety and been more comfortable in my own skin - which in turn has resulted in FAR LESS eating binges! It's incredible!

I challenge you to try it and let me know how it goes!!! What are you waiting for? Get out of yourself TODAY!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Relationships: Singing the Truth

As many women who struggle with ED do, I fail to hear the sweetness of my own song because I am too busy listening to the singing of others. Rather than searching for the essence of who I am and expressing it in my own unique voice, I have allowed others to define how I should be, what I should look like, what I should do, what I should want. Unable to hear my own inner voice I feel a vague but ever present sense of alienation that is hard to bear. Longing for a sense of inner connectedness and finding the estrangement from my true self intolerable, I fill my mind with thoughts of food and eat the way I live, as if in a trance, not conscious of what I truly want.

Because I feel so disconnected from myself, I cling desperately to my relationship with others, hoping to get the attention, love and support I'm not able to give myself. Cautious of anything that might be disruptive, I'm quick to discard my own ideas and values whenever conflict arises. And once again, I turn to food to distract myself from speaking my truth, from daring to sing out loud.

To find my inner voice, I must recognize my need for self-nurturing, for a period set aside for quiet reflection. By learning how to take time out from my relationship with others and sit quietly with my own thoughts and feelings, my values, my rhythms, I can hear the beauty of my song.

To be in a relationship with others in a way that nourishes rather than drains me, I must be able to listen to others without losing my own voice. I must maintain a balance between my need to be in relationships with others and my need to remain true to myself. I must remain aware of my inner thoughts and feelings even while interacting with others. To do this, I need to change the questions I ask myself. Instead of asking questions like: what will she think if I do that? How will he react if I say that? What do they think about my being here? I need to ask myself questions like: How do I feel about what she just said? What's my reaction to what he just did? What's it like for me to be here with them?

The feeling of community, of being connected, of belonging, is an important part of every woman's sense of identity and self worth. Striving to create nurturing, supportive relationships is an important aspect of a woman's life. In an attempt to create harmony and connectedness, however, I have assumed total responsibility for my relationships, for making them happen, fixing what's wrong, making everything all right. It became me who has done all the comprising, me who sacrifices what I want to keep things agreeable, me who sings someone else's tune to keep the peace.

I found myself surrounded by others who don't share equally in the responsibility for nurturing a relationship. I have supported others who haven't supported me in return. People who criticize everything I do and try to convince me that I'm out of tune whenever I sing a song they don't want to hear. Discouraged, I stopped singing. Instead, I turned to food for pleasure and my relationship with food became the most important relationship in my life.

In order to recover, I must realize the beauty of my song and refuse to sacrifice it, even when feeling uncomfortable or pressured to do so. I must refuse to participate in relationships with those who don't value my voice. I must recognize that it is MY song, the truthful expression of who I am.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Feelings: Gifts From the Heart

I am afraid of my feelings. I am afraid that if I allow myself to feel my loneliness it will last forever, that if I fully experience my anger I will do hurtful, destructive things. I have learned to mistrust my body and discount my body's most intimate way of communicating - the language of emotions. To keep a safe distance from my body and feelings, I distract myself with activities of all kinds and with constant thoughts of food. Anything but letting myself feel.

It is only when I allow myself to fully experience my feelings that I will be able to receive the precious gifts they have to offer.

Anger can bring clarity and strength. When I recognize what ticks me off and why I can experience the relief that such clarity can bring. A good relationship with my angry feelings can give me the determination to forge ahead, the strength of "stand my own ground", the energy and focus to let the world around me know what is and is not okay.

By embracing my fears, I can discover what I really need to feel safe.

Sadness offers the gift of healing and cleansing when I allow myself to cry. It teaches me compassion for myself. Sometimes, situations that bring up a lot of sadness can provide me with the opportunity to heal past hurts and cry those "little girl" tears that weren't safe to cry "back then".

Jealousy can make me aware of what I want for myself, what I truly desire.

So, when a feeling comes knocking on my door, I need to stop pretending that nobody's home. I need to invite her in. Ask her, "What brings you here?" Get to know her. Thank her. Treat her with honor and respect. Because she is truly my friend and is there to help.

Children seem to be more adept to letting their feelings flow through them. They've not yet learned to be afraid of themselves, to be untrusting of their bodies and to be obsessed with trying to make a good impression. Their emotional lives are unblocked.

To help me cope with my feelings I learned to block them out. Rather than pay attention to my feelings, rather than letting myself feel, I think about food and eating. After years of doing this, my awareness of my feelings got pushed so far back behind my obsession that I've lost touch. I don't recognize them, can't identify them or give them names. I can't communicate with them, can't make contact, can't cope. I'm not even aware of them until they get so intense that they consume me. It's not the feelings themselves that cause ED. It's my attempt not to feel the feelings.

An essential part of recovering from ED requires dropping my judgements about feelings, developing an understanding that feels are neither "good" nor "bad". There are no right or wrong feelings. Feelings just are. They only "negative" feelings are the one that I can't accept in myself.

My feelings were dismissed when I was younger. I was scolded for crying for "no reason at all", or told to stop crying because I'd cried long enough. I never got a chance to reach the level of understanding that these feelings were trying to tell and teach me.

When I stop seeing my feelings as the enemy, something that just gets in the way of doing what I think I should be doing, I can establish a different kind of relationship with them. As I make friends with my feelings, I can discover that they can be allies and guides in this journey I call life. They can lead me to a place of deep understanding about who I really am and what I truly want, a place I might not otherwise be able to reach.

In order to recover from ED, I first need to increase my awareness of my feelings so that I can sense their presence inside of me. I need to learn about the different sensations I might experience and pay attention to where in my body I feel them. This will help me distinguish one feeling from another.

Next, I need to learn to accept my feelings, understanding there is no right way or wrong to feel. Although some feelings may be more pleasant or seem more socially acceptable than others, no feeling is superior to any other. Different feelings bring different experiences into our lives and offer different lessons.

Finally, I need to express my feelings in a clear, direct manner. This means if I'm sad, cry. If I'm angry, talk about my anger with the person I'm angry at. If I'm lonely, call a friend. Sometimes, I may not need to do anything at all but just be with the feeling until it passes. The point is that how I respond needs to fit with how I am feeling, so that I am not responding to each emotion with the same behavior: sad? eat. angry? eat. lonely? eat.

My feelings don't have to make sense, don't have to be liked, but, simply, I have to accept them. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hunger As a Metaphor

My eating is used to escape from uncomfortable feelings. If I am having a difficult time coping with confusing or conflicting feelings, I discovered that I can plunge into binging large quantities of food. I can't breathe freely with a too-full belly and if I can't breathe freely, I can't experience my feelings.

Food serves as a constant companion when I feel a pervasive sense of loneliness and emptiness. Eating becomes something to do, a way of filling up the empty space in my life by creating a sense of fullness in my stomach. 

We all use food to one degree or another for reasons other than physical nutrition. It only becomes a problem with it becomes the only thing we ever do to cope.

In order for me to recover from my ED, I need to discover the deeper meaning of my hunger, so that I can recognize that my desire to eat compulsively may be speaking to me about my greatest hearts desire that remains unfulfilled; my tendency to stuff myself may be an attempt to stuff down "unacceptable" or "troublesome" feelings; my need to eat continually may be a reflection of the constant emptiness I experience in my life.

Addiction to Eating

My addiction to eating removes me from realities I find intolerable. It provides an escape route away from the conflicts and dilemmas I find unsolvable. When I can't bear to be in my own skin, in my own body, where I experience the pain of being human, my addiction can throw me into a state of unconsciousness. When unconscious, I feel nothing, knowing nothing of my pains, confusion, struggles. Anyone who has experienced a binge knows the trance-like state it can induce where all other realities fade into the background, at least for as long as the binge lasts.

Unlike behaviors, emotions can't be controlled. My addictive process represents an effort to keep feelings and life itself under control. I am unable to let things be, unable to let things take their natural course. There's always some right way, some better way, some more perfect way that things can be.

I remove myself from the present, thrust my mind into the future and miss out on the life that could be unfolding before my eyes. I know, though, that only when I am in the here and now can I really get filled up and be "nourished" by life. If I am obsessing about yesterday or planning for tomorrow, I am unable to take in and receive whatever is in front of me that be "nourishing": a smile from my daughter, a compliment from a friend, the scent of a flower, a favorite tune, a brilliant sunset. The emptiness grows.

I am learning that I am actually starving on an emotional and spiritual level. My longing for food is a longing for emotional and spiritual nourishment. A longing for the "Good Mother" who nourishes me, soothes me and loves and accepts me just the way I am. This is frequently what I am searching for as I stand in front of the pantry. But no matter how much cookie dough or how many brownies I eat, I can not fulfill this longing because I am filling my stomach, not my heart or my spirit. This "food" I require is not material food.

So, what is the name of my hunger? I'm hungry for acceptance - to be loved just the way I am. I needed to identify it so I can remember it and keep it in the forefront of my mind, moment to moment. I must remember what it is I am truly hungry for every time I slip or stumble into addictive patterns and reach for a food that can not feed my real hunger - something to soothe my aching heart or broken spirit.

Food Is Not the Issue

It's important to recognize that food is not the problem itself. If I'm obsessing about food, fat and dieting, what I'm doing is distracting myself from the real issues I struggle with in my life. As horrible as feeling fat is, as painful as it is to struggle with feeling fat, focusing on feeling fat gives me something tangible to troubled feelings that feel unresolvable.'s an illusion.

I often experience "fat attacks". They come on rather suddenly and are intense. They occur when I all of a sudden feel extremely fat, as though I've gained 20 pounds overnight. I know, rationally, that I didn't, but it sure feels that way. When I have a fat attack, this is a signal that something else is going on that's upsetting me. It seems like the source of my misery, but it's only a reflection of something else that is troubling me. If there is something that I don't quite know how to handle comfortably, I begin to focus intensely on my fat and the original problem appears to fade into the background. As bad as it feels to see myself as fat, at least I know what the solution is: lose weight.

Coping with the "real problems" requires skills that I never properly learned and therefore resolving them seems like an impossible task. I am discovering how compulsively overeating helps to distract me from the issues in my life that overwhelm me, that I haven't yet learned how to deal with effectively. And I have been discovering how effectively it distracts me, moment to moment, from the fear of facing things head on, from the pain of past hurts. No wonder it can be so addictive!

The relief, however, is temporary. It doesn't take the stress away, it only distracts me. Although what I'm doing with food distracts me from my sadness, anger or fear, it doesn't help to resolve the problems. In fact, it makes them worse. The stress worsens, the ED increases and the real issues never do get resolved.

Life with ED

Many women with ED are believed to be terribly difficult and resistant. The truth is, they're some of the brightest, most talented, most creative people you've ever met. So what happened? Where do these ED's come from? Hopefully, my story will help you to understand...

I do not perceive myself as mentioned above. I see myself as worthless and unattractive. I sought help at The Emily Program to find some answers to this obsession that's consuming my life.

I've always had a sense of not quite fitting in, of not quite seeing things the way others did, of being a "misfit". My family didn't want to deal with my ultra sensitivity to emotions. Since my survival as a child depended on my fitting into the family, I had to find a way to conceal who I really was. I had to hide from others and myself, because acknowledging my differences would've resulted in extreme distress - a sense of not belonging or fitting in - that would've been unbearable. 

And so began the process of disowning the woman inside of me. I accepted others' perceptions of reality and rejected my own by taking a position that something was wrong with my perception, that something was wrong with me. This was easy since my perceptions were not validated often. I stopped listening to my inner voice for guidance and started to follow the rules of others.

As I began to search for something to distract me from my discomfort, I began to feel the first stirrings of my obsession with food. An obsession with food created a new focus in my life. I could count calories or points and agonize over every pound rather than feel my deeper pain and fears. As I intensified my struggle with my body, my fear of being different and seeing things that others did not, and the feelings of loneliness that come with not quite fitting in, receded into the background. I perceived my body as the enemy (and still do, getting more and more validation for that from weight gain, miscarrying and comments about my weight from others).

Problems with food and fat, as painful as they could be, appeared to have a simple solution compared to the other problems in my life. As I became more deeply embroiled in this struggle with fat, foot and dieting, however, this "simple solution" became more and more elusive. I know what I need to do (lose more weight), but not I can't figure out how. And so, I have developed an image of myself as flawed and helpless. The society in which we live supports that I am indeed inadequate because I lack the willpower I need to control my body.

The gift of who I am (my beauty), has become buried beneath layers of self-doubt and self-loathing. My interpretations of what I perceive are distorted by my self-doubt and self-esteem. I'm too sensitive, I'm no longer attractive and I overreact...this is what I tell myself after conversations with family, friends or my husband. And I stuff my emotional distress with thoughts of food. 

I have continued through life with the assumption that there is something very wrong with me. After all, if I see something a certain way and no one else does, there must be something wrong with me. My struggle with food confirms that indeed, there is something wrong with me. This has become my focus, my obsession: if only I could fix this problem, then everything would be okay.

This rejection of my very being, however, eventually takes its toll. As the years go by, I'm plagued with an uneasy sense of emptiness. So I try to fill myself up by compulsively eating.

With my ED out of control and my self-esteem shattered, I've found my way to The Emily Program onto the road of recovery. A road of learning to leave behind old perceptions of myself that I have adopted from others and reclaiming my own inner authorities. A road of listening to the inner voice within me to give me guidance and support as I search for my true thoughts, feelings and desires. A road where I assert myself that I am not defective. A road of finding my own reality and understanding the deep wisdom of my personal story, from a place of knowing and believing that there is nothing wrong with me, that although I've been hurt, I'm not damaged goods. A road where I recognize that my ED doesn't define who I am - instead seeing this as a much needed protective mechanism I picked up along my journey through life - something I have learned to use to help me deal with the emotional distress of being different or feeling misunderstood, unaccepted or overwhelmed.

As I walk this road, at times I feel trapped, lost, frustrated and anxious, but I keep going, placing one foot in front of the other. It's a gradual step-by-step process that will one day call me believe that there is indeed, nothing wrong with me.

Eating In the Light of the Moon

My dietitian has given me homework. I am to read a book called Eating In the Light of the Moon. I have to admit, I didn't want to read it, though I can't identify why. As I have begun to read this, many things have been brought to light about the eating disorder I struggle with. Over the next few posts, I'd like to tell my story, living with ED (ED will be how I now refer to "eating disorder"). The author did such a good job putting my thoughts into words, that I will use many excerpts from the book itself, changed words here and there to reflect them as my own. Whether you think you have an ED, know someone with an ED or aren't at all familiar with ED's, I recommend following my posts and dialogue with me. ED's are very real and very common - the knowledge itself will be worth it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Relationship with Food

In meeting with this new realization surrounding 27 going on 17, I can't help but wonder if I've been operating out of the 17 year old in my relationship with food.

It was at 16 that I was at my all-time worse - suicidal and deeply depressed. The ultimate feeling of being alone - my friends hated me, my family didn't understand me and the love of my life had just left me for another. The food helped to numb me. The weight really started to pack on when I attended college and the food multiplied into alcohol - the two together were the perfect mixture of "medication", especially when man after man would reject me, even after I had given more of myself to them than I am proud to admit to today.

Before having my daughter, Isabel, I lost 20 lbs and it surprisingly was pretty easy to do, with the help of Weight Watchers Online. After Isabel everything changed...I came last. (Did I ever TRULY come first???) Alcohol was no longer an option, as being a born-again Christian helped me make the decision...but also, my body just doesn't agree with alcohol like it used to and I can't find the night of fun worth the days following of recovery. So what was my

Being a stay-at-home mom is much harder than I ever thought. I love my daughter more than anything on this planet (besides my hubby, but it's a different kind of love), but new responsibilities and new meanings of "death of self" came with it. Being cooped up in a house with nothing much to do and rare adult interaction was a dangerous concoction for a person fighting depression, who processes things out-loud by discussing with others and is deemed as a "social butterfly". Food. My companion, my friend, my drug of choice. All attempts at losing weight failed and so came the feelings of being a failure. I was so confused...why was it so much easier to lose the weight before Izzy? And every time I put on my new seasonal clothing, I am reminded of my being a failure, since most of my wardrobe is too tight to wear.

I still feel I have more work to do in this area of my life, but I am slowly getting the answers. My current process much of this 17 year old mentality is rubbing off on my relationship with food? Is the self-control harder now, because I don't want to be "left out" of experiencing the food that so many others can do with no outward appearance consequences?

Friday, May 2, 2008

27 going on 17

Isn't it amazing that something said to you 10 years ago can shape who you are today and how you function as a person? Many times I've heard people reference therapy as a thing for "broken" people and people with "problems". While that can be true, I personally believe therapy is for everyone. When you think about the complexity of communication and all the things that need to go right in order for your message to be received as intended, it's no wonder we don't understand each other! :)

Though I'm currently 27 years old, my emotional being stopped growing at about 15-16 years old.

In the past two weeks, I've encountered a few scenarios where I was feeling "left out" (sounds childish doesn't it). It was through recent therapy that I was able to have one of the biggest breakthroughs of my life in understanding how and why I tick the way I do.

Growing up I was the youngest of 3 kids. My sister and brother were significantly older than me (5 & 8 years older). The two of them did and still do share the same friends and are best friends themselves. I was always the one "left out", picked on, called names, etc. I never felt like I fit in. I was always told by my mother (and siblings) that I was too sensitive and was a "drama queen" always making bigger deals out of things than they were, while my dad looked on with no words of encouragement or fighting for me. I'm often told (by my sister) how big of a brat I was. Was it a defense tactic on my part? The message to me was that who I was wasn't okay and that's why I was always left out. This carried over into my friends, who were ruthless when it came to ganging up on one person. And yes, that was usually me - the ganged up on one. Is there some reason why I've attracted these types of people to me? So, when I met my ex-fiancée in high school (a much older man), was it any doubt that I clung to him with full force, leaving my friends and family in the dust? Never mind that they all warned me about him. In the end, I left everyone for him, and in turn, he left me for another woman. Again, the message was, "Who you are is not okay - that is why I am leaving you."

Fast-forward 10 years to me now. I hate confrontation and couldn't figure out for the life of me why I was always so uncomfortable around my family. Why I would get anxious driving to see any of my family thinking, "What are we going to talk about, so it's not weird." Why I get so intimidated so easily by certain people. I've still been told to this day by my family, "Don't dwell on things", "You're so weird", etc. I STILL don't fit in. I was once told that when I get around my family, I'm a different person - my defenses go up and I'm always on guard. I thought they were crazy and imagining things, but now I see, they are right.

I've always felt alone, awkward, unsure of myself, intimidated, etc. And while I'm 10 years older now, that 16 year old girl is still very much functioning inside of me. Could this be why I strive for excellence and never give myself grace? Why I constantly stay busy and have to be apart of WHATEVER I'm "privileged" enough to be included in? Why I cling to any and all invites I get from others, even if I don't really want to do what's been asked?

I've believed for so long that I deserved to be left out and not included because I'm weird and "different" and that's not okay. I'M NOT OKAY. - The phrase brings tears to my eyes every time I think of it. I feel as though, very few people have taken the time to really get to know ME - they've all been quick to criticize, but not quick to love.

The only companion I had through it all was food. It comforted me; it was always there for me to cheer me up, etc. In the end, it's functioned as a literal and physical protective barrier for me. Is this why I get sudden urges that I need to lose the weight and lose it now? Because the more the "truck girl" comes out, the less the barrier is needed? Or is it the eating disorder talking?

So, now I get it. I understand my teenage-self. Anytime I feel that I'm being left out, it triggers all these emotions and stirs up hurt, disappointment, self-hatred, etc. within me. The feelings of not being enough, but being too much at the same time. The feelings that who I am is unlovable. The feelings that if I was anyone but myself, I just might be included.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Grief & The Attitude of Others

The stuff written in black is word-for-word from the book, "I'll hold you in heaven" by Jack Hayford. The stuff written in red are my comments.

The attitude of many bystanders toward the loss of a child through miscarriage…can sometimes verge on outright insensitivity. You probably know the kind of people I’m talking about. These people may have responded to your child as a nonentity. These same people may have downplayed your grief, leading you to feel abnormal for experiencing deep grief and a sense of loss for the baby you never really got to know.

People are often bewildered by completely false ideas and speak of God having “taken the child from them.” How often it is suggested that God “took back” the life He has earlier “given from heaven.”…However well-intended, such misguided words both miss the mark of truth and build walls of fear. You may say, “If God took my child, how can I trust a God who cares so little for my deepest, most fragile needs and emotions?” But listen, loved ones: God didn’t and doesn’t “take babies because He needs them in heaven.”

Ouch, Ouch, Ouch! Both of these happened to me and it's such a sad instance. People don't know what to say, so they say cliche things that they think will help. The problem is, they are pouring salt on the wound when they say the things they do. Here's a few examples, "God must be teaching you a lesson through all this" - "Trust me, you'll be better off in the end" - "Everything happens for a reason" - "God's must have a better plan for your life" BLAH, BLAH, BLAH - I could go on and on. Ouch! These comments stung almost worse than what I was going through! And then there were the people who had miscarriages that seemed unaffected by it entirely. Most of them work in the medical field and see things like this everyday. It must be nice to treat it with such carelessness. I don't mean to sound bitter, but people PLEASE THINK before you speak about such matters...especially when the person you're talking with is right in the middle of it. This is complicated and confusing stuff and we will never know the truth of it all until we get to heaven. But for now, take care with others' hearts. You're experience may not have been as traumatic as theirs is, but to them, the experience is real and extremely devastating and your words and actions can sometimes heal and comfort or can sometimes put fuel on the fire.

Please be comforted. Just as Scripture has evidenced the reality and significance of the life once nurtured in your womb, your loss is also real and significant. Don’t be surprised if you experience the same general cycle of grief as anyone who has lost a loved one. Indeed, the depth of feeling may not be as great or the season of grief as prolonged, because there are few, if any, memories to deal with. But so often there are dreams that became unfulfilled and anticipated joy that was suddenly quenched.

As soon as you found out about your pregnancy, did your heart begin to love and encompass that new little life? Let none of us ever be surprised or embarrassed by such deep emotions over the passing of an unborn child. The loss is a real one. And when grief is present, it needs to be accepted, acknowledged and responded to.

Now that you have a little background on what I experienced from others during this time, you can see how relieved I was to read this part of the book. I finally felt validated (which we all know is an issue for me) in the grief I was experiencing. It made it okay to feel that. And it pushed me just a little more towards opening my heart to Christ again.

Aiming Your Anger at the Wrong Target

The stuff written in black is word-for-word from the book, "I'll hold you in heaven" by Jack Hayford. The stuff written in red are my comments.

There is a verse of Scripture that is often quoted, and it’s amazing what some have done with it! Some people clip off the beginning and forget the end. We say: “All things work together for good.”…the verse is quoted with a…passive stance that suggests “What will be, will be,” as though we are helpless victims of God’s sovereign will who, whatever happens, just have to hope for the best.

But that’s not what this verse says. There’s a certainty in it: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, and those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28. What the passage is really saying is that no matter how our soul’s enemy attacks or human circumstances impact our lives, God can ultimately take the pain or problem, redeem it and use it for good. What Satan planned for evil, God can use for good.

I kept telling myself this over and over again...God will take the pain or problem and use it for good. When you're going through circumstances sometimes, you can't see what possible good could come from it. However, I've recently had the pleasure of exchanging conversation with a friend who was inquiring how I have kept my faith through this all. There are concepts she's never been introduced to, such as, Spiritual Warfare, since she primarily has been exposed to the Catholic church. This has opened a door for our dialogue to discuss such issues, which I hope and pray will bring her closer to Christ.

Now, before I get ransacked with comments about the Catholic church, let me assure you that I am not bashing them. I, myself, attending Catholic church and school for most of my life. There are many great things about the Catholic faith. It wasn't actually until college I started to explore other churches and denominations. Woodland Hills Church just fit. I was being exposed to concepts I'd never thought about before. I knew Jesus died for my sins, thanks to my Catholic roots, but I didn't really understand what that meant for my life here and now. Things were being explained to me in a way that landed over here. My life and was changing and so was I - all for the better. Woodland Hills Church or other churches for that matter, don't "fit" for everyone. Sometimes the tradition of the Catholic church is exactly what a person needs. That person just isn't me.

It’s possible that coping with the loss of your child has led you down a path of bitterness and anger. But your loss wasn’t God’s fault. We live in a broken, imperfect world, and we are memebers of a fallen race. The residual fallout of that Fall continually appears around us in the form of sickness, sin, natural disaster, tragedy and death. If, however, you make God the focus of your frustration, you not only fail to receive the comfort He can give, but you also are wasting emotional energy by aiming your anger at the wrong target.

As I shared yesterday, I did NOT let God's comfort in. I WAS down a path of bitterness and anger. I WAS blaming God! I didn't waste a lot of emotional energy by doing this. Once I had my "a-ha" moment though, the peace came flooding in...and so did the tears! :)

Talk with the Lord about the child you once had. Openly describe your bewilderment, and ask questions. Believe in His love’s willingness to embrace you in your pain – and even to understand your fears. But, dear friends, don’t blame Him. Trust Him.

We can talk freely with God about all our feelings, asking any questions our hearts want to ask. He knows our hearts and not only forgives our misunderstandings, but also as the one perfect, loving Father, He welcomes our coming to Him – even spilling our tears, our sorrow and our heartache. Bring it all into His presence. He not only will accept your heart cry, but He will also comfort you. His Holy Spirit wants to help you do that – and He’s the best comforter of all.

Making Sense of It All

Recently a friend of mine gave me a book called, "I'll Hold You in Heaven" by Jack Hayford. For me, the book didn't start to get good until about page 65. Anyway, there are 2 main things that I got out of this book regarding my miscarriages. The first is that we sometimes aim our anger at the wrong target. The second is dealing with your grief while also trying to deal with the attitude of others during this time. These were the two BIG things that I had a hard time with. I want to share over the next posts, these topics.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


It's been no secret that through this all, my faith has been tried. I've been scratching my head trying to put my finger on it. Needless to say, my relationship with God has been cut off since I found out I was going to miscarry. I wasn't sure why, until I finally met my "a-ha" moment yesterday afternoon at a friend's. It's funny how these moments hit you. We weren't even talking about the subject, really, when all of a sudden, I knew.

I attend a weekly mom's group at a church. Usually the sermons and small group/discussion times are excellent. This week wasn't. As soon as the other women started to share, I shut down. It was like torture listening to what they had to say. I had to keep myself under control, for wanting to bust out of my skin to flee the room. For once, I remained silent, not sharing anything this time. I love these women, so I didn't understand it.

After processing this in my head for a few hours, I finally realized the problem. I've been saying all along that I lost trust in God. How will I know if He will "show up" for me next time (if I even allow a next time to happen)? No one can promise me this. Boy, was I off! It wasn't God I didn't trust any longer - it was me!

First of all, what is this talk about God "showing up"? When did He leave? Where did He go? The truth is, He's never left my side. And the one time that I didn't have people here to care for me, I was left in silence to deal with myself and to deal with...God. He was there - I felt it for the first time since all this started. But, it was too painful. I couldn't deal with it. I pushed Him away. I caused a distraction. It just hurt too much to let God in. I needed to stay angry with Him. But why?

And here's the "a-ha". If I stay mad at God, I don't have to allow Him to speak to me anymore. See, all these women at my mom's group were talking of how God spoke to them at one time or another in their life. I got angry. I wanted to shout, "Yeah right. How do you KNOW that was God? You don't know! None of us know! It's probably all just in your head or a coincidence." WHAT?! Who is this person I've become? You see, I believed when I was pregnant, that I had "heard" from God. The verse John 10:10 was heavy on my heart and I prayed it over my pregnancy constantly. I shared with others that "God gave me this verse" and that He was going to give this baby life and life to the fullest. When it didn't happen, I was mad. I even said, "God made me look like a fool." The truth is: I didn't lose trust in God, I lost trust in myself to hear from God correctly. And I didn't want to be put in a position, to have to hear from Him again, for fear that I would "hear wrong".

The truth and moral of the story is: God DID give me that verse, but it was for reasons that were different than I thought. My personal belief, is that God knew what was coming. God knew that we were losing the battle for Haven and He was preparing my heart. He wanted me to know that HIS heart was for Haven to live. That He did NOT take this baby. That He was fighting with me TO THE END for Haven's life. And when we lost (not eternally, thankfully) this present battle and He wanted to share in the tears and hold me, I couldn't let Him in, because then I would have to acknowledge all of this.

And now that I am acknowledging, I am weeping as I type. Oh Lord, please forgive me. Please forgive me for pushing you away when I needed you most. Please forgive me for blaming you, when I know better. Please forgive me for my selfish heart - to shut off the ability to listen to you. You are the healer. You are the lover of life. You are the ultimate forgiver. You are my God. And it feels so good to claim that once again! I love you Lord!

Update on Health

Hello again. It's been awhile. :) Sorry, I couldn't resist. As you can tell, my spirits are a little more upbeat and lifted since the last few posts. That's because after the D&C, I physically healed pretty quickly. I can't say that I emotionally have caught up to that, but I'll get there in due time. Some days are better than others. I can tolerate a good conversation about what I've been through, be happy for another pregnant person, etc. other days, I just can't contain it.

I was in Target on Friday when the lady next to me was checking out at the same time as me. The conversation between her and the person checking her out were all about babies and how mommy was doing and how happy everybody was. As I mentally had a conversation with myself about NOT breaking down in the middle of a Target check-put line, my totally innocent check-out person looked at me with a big smile on her face and said, "There's been an awful lot of baby showers lately. It must be in the air." I was mortified. I forced a smile and swallowed back tears as she handed me my receipt and told me to have a nice day. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, "Yeah, in the air for everyone, but me." Instead, my eyes started to well up with tears as I pushed my cart as fast as I could outside. Thank the Lord above that it was snowing and crappy outside. Sounds weird, doesn't it? But when you are walking in weather like that, your focus is to make it to the car as quickly and safely as possible.

On the flip side, I had a lovely conversation with another woman Saturday (at a bachelorette party no less) about what has happened. She experienced a similar situation about a month ago. I guess maybe that conversation brought me peace and was easier.

At any rate and for whatever reason, the point is that the physicality of this literal hell on earth experience is diminished and I couldn't' be happier. That alone is reason to rejoice!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Inevitable Surgery

Okay, so here’s my prayer request this week. I went to the doctor today to have another ultrasound. To our surprise, the ultrasound looks the same, even though I’ve passed the sac and continue to bleed pretty heavily. They took my blood count and it was low, so my doctor said, “I don’t want to wait, we need to get you into a D&C today.” So, I have to be at the hospital today at 3:00 p.m. and then surgery is at 5:00 p.m. I’ll be out of commission all day tomorrow recovering from the surgery. Please say some prayers. Thank you.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Gestational Sac/Placenta

Today I passed the gestational sac/placenta. It was about 3 inches long and about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. And it was filled with veins. (I took a picture if anyone is interested in seeing it). I called the doctor, just to make sure it was normal. She said she's not surprised given what we saw on the Monday ultrasound. She also thought that this should be the end of the miscarriage and she wanted to move my ultrasound up from Thursday to Monday, if possible, just to make sure. After passing the sac, I started to bleed heavily again...filling a pad every 1/2 hour-1 hour. After two hours of this, I called the doctor. She said to hang tight for now. If it continues longer than another 2 hours or I start to get light-headed, I need to head to the hospital ER. I'll be glad when this whole thing is over for good.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

All I Ask of You

All I Ask Of You
Written by Floria Kelderhouse

Don't tell me you know how I feel,You haven't walked in my shoes.
Don't tell me I have other children to love,That won't bring back the son that I lost.
Don't tell me to get out of the house,Maybe I just want to stay here and mournfor my lost son.
Don't tell me it will get better,From my point of view it will never be better.
Don't tell me it could be worse,How much worse than this could it be.
Don't tell me to trust in God,I do trust in Him and love Him,That won't bring my son back
Don't tell me to eat and take care of myself,Maybe the food won't stay down.Maybe I don't care about myself right now.
Don't tell me to try to get some sleep,Don't you think I would love to sleep?
Don't tell me all this, You haven't walked in my shoes.

Do tell me you care.
Do tell me you love me.
Do tell me you will be there if I need you.
If I need to just talk to call you.Or better yet, you call me.Just listen, that's all, just listen.
Do let me cry.
Do let me mourn.
Do let me experience this terrible loss that I feel.
Do pray for me.
That is all I ask.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Crappy Birthday To Me


I thought I lost the baby before but I didn’t. This morning I lost a large solid mass and there was blood everywhere – on my clothes, my hands, the bathroom floor, sink, etc. I didn’t stop bleeding for 2.5 hours (filling a pad literally every 5 minutes) and I was in one of the worst pains I’ve ever been in – physically and emotionally. I cried straight through the whole 2.5 hours until I finally feel asleep from utter exhaustion. This is by far one of the most graphic and traumatic experiences of my life. I’m not up for celebrating my birthday much.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's Finished

I passed Haven on my own today. Ben fished him/her out of the water and put him/her in a plastic bag to keep until Monday when I can bring him/her to the clinic so they can run some tests. Haven is now in a safe place with the Lord. Perfect.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Replacements

Another wise quote from my friend Kristin...

"And yes, you have Izzy, but that doesn't take away the pain that you don't have Bubble Toes or Zoe. What people don't understand is that one child cannot ever replace one you lost. It's not like having one means that it's okay to lose others."

I've heard how lucky I should be that I have Izzy and that everything went well with the pregnancy, labor and whatnot. To be honest, I want to slap those people. I DO love my Izzy and I AM grateful to have her. But, like I said. I HAVE 3 CHILDREN!!! There are NO replacements for Zoe or Haven. A child is a child. I know people have good intentions, but do they THINK before they speak? Really? Again, is that supposed to bring me comfort? It doesn't. I'm in pain - emotionally, mentally, spiritually and eventually physically. Instead of providing me with well-intended words that actually hurt - provide me with an ear and a shoulder. Let me cry. You don't have to say anything. You don't have to understand. You only need to be there. You only need to care. You only need to acknowledge my three children. You only need to let it be what it is.

And as for God. I don't blame Him. He didn't take Zoe or Haven from me. I know that in my heart of hearts. I DO have questions for Him when I get to heaven, though. The biggest one being...You can't intervene unless asked, Lord. But, I asked. Others asked. LOTS were praying and believing that this time would be different. Medical intervention happened to support it. My body failed me, yes, as it has before. But You could've intervened and You could've healed me. YOU have that power! So, why didn't you? My faith is not gone, I still love God with all my heart and follow Him to the death. But, do I trust Him? My trust is shaken.

Baby Bubble Toes Aka...

Just as we did with Zoe (our first miscarriage), we decided to name this baby. I am NOT okay with just going on with my life and pretending like nothing happened. I have been pregnant three times in my life. I've had 3 children. And that is how it is. Do you know anyone who would have a child and NOT name it? So, with careful consideration, Ben and I collectively decided on the name: HAVEN. It means: haven; safe place. The verse that was given to me while I was pregnant was John 10:10 which stated that the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy, but God came to give us life. Therefore, we've named the baby Haven, because he/she is now in a safe place with God. The devil can NOT steal or destroy this baby - God has it in His care!!!


Well, we skipped the Good Friday service. From the last few years of attending Woodland Hills, they do a good job of making the day very real for you. And what I remember of myself, I usually get pretty emotional. I couldn't handle it. I had to skip. Then, I got a wonderful email from a friend who made it feel so much better! I asked her if I could share it with you and she said it was okay, so here it is:

"Nick and I were just talking about how Easter is bittersweet as last year we had lost the baby on Tuesday and easter was that following Sunday...I just remember thinking how I understood a tiny bit of what Mary must have felt to be so completely out of control and watch her son be brutally murdered and taken away right in front of her--how mad she must have been at God and how confused."

This brought me so much comfort in knowing MARY knows how I feel. You feel so alone and to know that MARY of all people, gets it, I mean really gets it...ah, what a comforting sigh of relief. Thank you for sharing this with me Kristin!

So, we made it to Easter today and while I'm still fighting being happy one minute and bitchy/crying the next, I made it through the service. And I enjoyed watching Isabel find her Easter basket from mom and dad (we are NOT telling her there's an Easter bunny!) and going straight for the chocolate! She is her mother's daughter! :) I didn't even care that the chocolate drool when straight down her chin all over her pretty pink dress and white sweater. And how much fun it was to hide the eggs and have her find them and give a surprised look when we opened them up and found...more candy!!! Yes, it was a fun Easter.

But, now back to reality. The baby still has not passed. I fear a D&C.

Healing Power

Since knowing the Lord, He's sent many song to minister to me. In the most difficult times of my life, He's sent songs with healing power. And in this time, they are yet again, ministering and healing my broken heart. Here are their lyrics...

"Deliver Me" By: David Crowder Band
Deliver me out of the sadness
Deliver me from all the madness
Deliver me courage to guide me
Deliver me Your strength inside me

All of my life
I've been in hiding
Wishing there was someone just like You
Now that You're here
Now that I've found You
I know that You're the One to pull me through

Deliver me loving and caring
Deliver me giving and sharing
Deliver me this cross that I'm bearing

Oh, deliver me

Jesus, Jesus how I trust You
How I've proved You o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus
Deliver me
Come and pull me through
Come pull me through

"This Road" By: Ginny Owens
A million miles away from anything familiar
a thousand places I would rather be
so I choke back the tears and try to find the bright side
though I find it hard to see beyond my suffering
in my heart I know your plan is so much bigger
but this small part is all that I can see
and I believe you haven’t left me here to wander
still I can't help but ponder where you're leading me

and I ask why this road
why this way
and this load
tell me how far must I go till I see
till I know why this road

A million miles away from anything familiar
what was it like to be so far from home
though you came in love
the world misunderstood you
there must have been some days when you felt so alone
but you endured, cause there was joy before you joy that came because you sacrificed
Since you gave yourself just to spend forever with me
surely I can trust you'll lead me through my darkest times

when I ask why....(chorus)

From here I can not see
why you'd choose this path for me
but I don't have to understand to believe
that you know why

You know why this road
why this way and this load
you know how far I must go till I see
till I know why this road

"If you want me to" By: Ginny Owens
The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will go through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

ya oh oh no

So When the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the darkness If You want me to

Thursday, March 20, 2008

100 things about Me

1. I was supposed to be a boy. My parents didn’t even have a girl name picked out. My sister named me. She was 5 years old.

2. I like to talk. I deal with things best by talking through them with someone.

3. I did 3 direct-sales businesses before settling on Tastefully Simple as the fourth and final.

4. I went to a Catholic school for 9 years of my life. I wouldn’t recommend it.

5. I wasn’t interested in my husband in "that way" when we first met.

6. I have burned through at least 3 computers in my time.

7. I would like to own a Mac one day.

8. I’ve finished two 5K’s in my lifetime.

9. One of those 5K’s was this past year. The other was high school.

10. I hate rap music and 93x.

11. I love reality tv.

12. I love anything on Bravo.

13.I hate shopping for clothes.

14. I was married 5 days before Christmas in 2003.

15. I was in labor for 13.5 hours.

16. I was in modeling for a few years.

17. At one time, I loved rap music.

18. My favorite movie is The Notebook.

19. I hate politics.

20. I have held a Koala Bear.

21. I have never been on a road trip longer than 5.5 hours.

22. I am a stay-at-home mom.

23. I have moved 6 times since high school (soon to be 7).

24. I have lived in 3 states.

25. I like fast-food.

26. I love junk food.

27. I hate Chipotle.

28. I like James Taylor, Phil Collins and Paul Simon.

29. I am surrounded by addictions (my own and others).

30. I hate songs as ring tones.

31. I go to Woodland Hills Church.

32. I love kickboxing.

33. I have only voted once in my life.

34. I loathe Amanda on this seasons American Idol.

35. If hate watching the news.

36. I was once in a spelling bee.

37. I weep over hurting people.

38. I have been accused of being a "drama queen".

39. I am deeply in love with my husband.

40. I want to live in a new state or country someday.

41. I like Diet Coke, but LOVE Mountain Dew. (Except for the coating it leaves on your teeth).

42. I cry every New Years when the ball drops.

43. I can eat peanut butter and frosting right out of the jars.

44. I like playing sports, but not watching them.

45. I love Caribou Coffee’s froo-froo drinks.

46. I have had two miscarriages.

47. I trust God, but I don’t try to always understand Him.

48. I used to be a mediator.

49. I first got my period when I was 9 years old.

50. I’ve lost my mind since having a baby.

51. I enjoy playing Texas Hold ’Em.

52. I like being indoors more than outdoors.

53. I hate scary movies.

54. I want to go back to college for teaching.

55. I don’t like wearing clothes, when I can help it.

56. I hate MN winters.

57. I think all politicans are untrustworthy.

58. My nickname is Amykinz.

59. I am annoyed by people who are "trying" too hard to be cool.

60. I have read maybe 2% of the books on my bookshelf.

61. My favorite alcholic drinks are wine, mojitos and long islands.

62. I’ve never had a guy buy me a drink.

63. I used to play deep in the woods and pretend things.

64. I believe dance is a sport.

65. I got away with whatever I wanted in high school.

66. I used to eat ketchup on my mac and cheese.

67. I am very anal-retentive, which is defined as someone who is overly obessed with minor details.

68. I have a would love to fluently speak Spanish.

69. I can not drink room temperature water - it must be ice cold.

70. I am the 38,521 consultant with Tastefully Simple.

71. I actually like watching the Vikings play football.

72. I have had a $400+ phone bill.

73. I think it would be fun to retrace Jesus’ steps one day and walk where he walked.

74. I love all my doctors.

75. I can’t keep a secret.

76. I want to try out for the church choir, but I’m intimidated.

77. I was in a sorority in college.

78. I graduated college in 3.5 years.

79. I have never been in a protest.

80. I love the tv show Scrubs.

81. My daughter makes me laugh, daily.

82. I competed in dance for two years.

83. I have had a gastrointestinal infection.

84. I enjoy trying new foods.

85. I like to aisle shop at stores for hours and yet, buy nothing.

86. I cant wait to grow old with Ben.

87. I think Will Ferrell is hilarious.

88. I have feared for my life.

89. I was disappointed when Christian won this past seasons Project Runway.

90. I have to sit up front at church because I get distracted by all the people in front of me.

91. I don’t own an ipod.

92. I have a very strong personality.

93. I have a short-fuse. (But, I am working on making it longer)

94. I have to be in the right mood to enjoy cooking.

95. I was distraught when Heath Ledger died.

96. I don’t know how anyone call kill a deer.

97. I have played softball, basketball, cheerleading, dance and kickboxing.

98. I miss playing Tetris Attack on the original Super Nintendo.

99. I am irritated by overly sensitive people.

100. I sometimes think putting on make-up is too much work.