Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 2

Yea! Yesterday was Day 2 with no problems with my gall bladder! Still have the PM quesies, but that is SO much more tolerable than queasies + pain!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh, and by the way...

I WAS able to resurrect our water kefir! Yea! So we're once again enjoying our probiotic juice of the day!


Yesterday was the first day I did NOT have gall bladder pain! YEA! Been taking my herbs and watching what I eat. Still got a little green in the PM, but no pain! And things digestively (ahem) are starting to get back to normal as well! Hope to keep this up.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It makes sense now...

I'm just going to be completely honest with you... I have been absolutely MISERABLE with this pregnancy. By far, this has been the most difficult pregnancy to date. And yesterday, I found out why...

Gall Bladder.


Beyond having the normal aches and pains/nausea and vomiting of a normal pregnancy, my symptoms have been exacerbated by having gall bladder issues. I've been having shooting pains in my abdomen, usually spurred on by something I ate: meatballs, Chinese food, fried chicken, fast food, etc. On top of that, bloating (I look like I'm like 4-5 months pregnant), terrible flatulence, and unusual BM's (TMI?). I usually feel fine in the morning/early afternoons because I eat bland foods like cereal, apples, soup, etc. But come evening, I want to eat something with a little more zing. Unfortunately, I pay for that "zing". Ugh. It's horrible. The worst night was this past Friday night. I was doubled over in pain crying. My husband sent me to bed and praise God I was able to sleep.

Yesterday morning, I starting doing research on the internet about severe pain in early pregnancy~ and everything I read said it was not normal. At first, I was thinking cysts on my ovaries or something. Several of my good friends have had those and they were terribly uncomfortable. But my symptoms didn't quite match those for cysts. Then I saw a little link to gall bladder... and then it hit me... Pretty much everyone on my mom's side of the family has had problems with their gall bladder. It's hereditary. It was inevitable. It was either going to be me or my sister...

So anyways, after doing research on gall bladder and putting the pieces together from my own experience, I called my midwife to see what she thought. She's pretty convinced it's gall bladder as well. Actually, I may have had gall bladder problems for a while, but because of this pregnancy, I have very high levels of progesterone surging through my body and it can further irritate the gall bladder. My pregnancy has actually been a huge blessing already because I've been able to detect my problem (hopefully) before it gets really bad and requires surgery.

At this point, we're going to try and take care of things naturally and herbally:
-Yellow Dock herbal supplements (aids in liver/gall bladder function)
-fresh lemon in my water (lemon juice softens stones)
-400 units of vitamin E daily (on top of what's in my prenatals)
-liquid chlorophyll (digestive detoxifier)
-bland diet
-once the baby's born, we'll look into gall bladder cleanses

Pleeeease be praying that my symptoms decrease and that surgery is not required. Obviously, if we can't kick it naturally, we'll have to go and see a doctor. I just do NOT want surgery (if it can be avoided). Hopefully we caught the issue before it's too bad.

Just thought you'd like an update on how things are going. We'd really covet your prayers!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Busy day

Made a double batch of my Cold Care Tea (see Tues. Feb 24, 2009 for recipe) to keep in the fridge. I've been drinking that rather than Reed's Ginger Brew because I've found it to be just as effective in soothing my tummy. (That, and it's a ton cheaper to make. I can get a giant ginger root from Kroger for $1.50.) I basically drink it all day long to stave off the queasies. Works quite well!
*This was filled nearly to the brim, but I've already taken a few glasses out of it. :-)*
Per request from hubby, I made him his all time favorite pie: Blueberry Cherry Pie. Don't knock it till you try it. The mix of blueberries and cherries is surprisingly amazing! And this recipe is SO simple!
Here's Arianna helping me make the crust.
*KitchenAid makes it SO much faster and easier!*

I always dedicate my pies to my husband, something I remember my mother doing back when I lived at home. My husband is the III.
Side note: I've had this carton of blueberries sitting in the fridge for who knows how long. Amazingly enough, they didn't rot. All they did was sort of shrivel up. On the fly, I decided to soak them in water for most the morning. (Hey, you can rehydrate raisins, prunes, and other things. Why not a shriveled up blueberry?!) It actually worked! They didn't get huge, juicy and brand new looking, but they got plump enough! There's my fun little kitchen surprise of the day for ya!
Since I got so sick with the preggo queasies, I neglected my water kefir. :-( It basically sat on my kitchen counter for almost 4 weeks, if not longer. Basically, you can starve your grains if you do not give it fresh sugar water to "eat" from. I was about to just throw it out when I decided to do some research first. Thankfully, I found a FAQ list here and found out that it IS possible to re-establish your grains. So with fingers crossed, I am trying to resurrect my kefir:

Q. I think I may have damaged my kefir grains (e.g. cross contamination, left them to culture for too long, left them in the fridge for too long, cultured them without enough sugar, etc.)? Can I save them?

A. If you believe your kefir grains have been damaged, we recommend rinsing them thoroughly with filtered water, placing them in a fresh sugar water solution (1/4 cup sugar to 1 quart water--preferably use a sugar containing molasses such as Rapadura or Succanat, alternatively add 1 t. molasses), placing a lid on the container and placing it in the refrigerator for a few days. This process will often regenerate grains although we cannot offer any guarantees. Once the process is complete, test your grains by culturing them in fresh sugar water for 48 hours then taste the resulting kefir (do not consume any water kefir that looks, smells or tastes unpleasant). If the finished kefir is less sweet than the sugar water you started with, the grains are functioning. If not, it may be time to acquire a new set of water kefir grains.

I didn't have any Rapadura or Succanat, but I did have brown sugar, which is basically cane sugar and molasses. Hopefully it works!

It'll be ready for fermentation this Thurs. Into the fridge you go!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I was able to get a free download of this Herbal-Zine for children. What a neat resource for teaching children about different types of useful herbs! Not only does it have specific information regarding the herb of the month, but it has stories, songs, crafts, crosswords, puzzles, study guides, journal space, and recipes. We are seriously considering getting our children this each month.

So I got a free issue of June 2009 which featured Plantain:
Info on Plantain

Here's our kiddos making Plantain window decorations and "wind chimes".

Benjamin getting ready to iron his Plantain between wax paper.

Finished product:

After my thumb healed (I chopped off the tip about a month ago trying to prepare this- grrrr), I was able to finish cubing and shredding my yellow crookneck summer squash. In the freezer you go!
Finished my Control Journal.

I'm still working on filling it with things like addresses, phone numbers, special dates to remember, budget stuff... but the meat of it is in place.

Here's a brief sample of it:

9 weeks!

There's a little bump.

I love my Shark!

It is awesome!
Just felt like sharing. :-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

PM sickness

So, I eat a little something every hour on the hour... but regardless, right around 5pm things start going downhill. For me, it's "PM" sickness. Doesn't matter when or what I eat... dry heaves, nausea, and the occasional throw-up episode. It's actually a PRAISE because RD comes home at 6:30pm and he can help me finish the day out. Three more weeks. I can do this!

Sore breast

As of Sept. 11, Edmund has been weaned. I had "dried up" due to this new pregnancy. Well... I thought I'd dried up. My left breast is fine. No pain, sore spots, lumps. But my right breast has hard lumps underneath and is tender to touch. It doesn't look red or swollen or anything. And when I pump or hand express to relieve the pressure only 5 little drips come out. I don't feel as though I'm running a fever or am fluish (which would indicate an infection). Plugged duct maybe? Hopefully this morning I can get to the store and buy some cabbage. Also heard that sage helps dry things up, too. Ouch!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Getting rid of armpit stains and smells

*Look familiar?*

Here's a homemade method of getting rid of the nastiness:

-Mix a paste of baking soda and water- 4 to 5 Tlbs to roughly 1/4 cup water.
-Rub it into the t-shirt and let it dry.
-Then fill a sink with water and 2 Tbls of salt, and let soak overnight.
-Pour vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray the t-shirts.
-Launder as usual.

Hope it helps!

Every hour...

I tried a little experiment last night: eating/drinking every hour on the hour... whether I feel like it or not... whether I throw it up or not. It really seemed to work! I KNOW you're supposed to keep something in your stomach all the time but that's really hard for me. I just don't graze or snack during the day. I just don't think to. So I'm setting a timer to go off every hour today and I'll try to gag down something. Let you know how it turns out!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reed's is amazing!!!

It's awesome! All it has in it is sparkling water, fruit juice (25%), ginger (27 grams per bottle), lemon/lime juices, and spices. Nothing artificial. And it tastes great!

Only one small problem. It's $5/4-pk. and yesterday I drank two. Hmmm. Could be developing an expensive habit. Then again, it's only for one more month! Yes, we will splurge!

I'm also taking Yellow Dock herbal supplements (as recommended by my midwife). Hopefully I can kick these queasies!!!

The doctor did eventually call me back, but they said they usually won't prescribe medications unless mom is throwing up a lot. With great effort, I have managed to keep everything down thus far- so I don't qualify. I've had a couple bouts of dry heaves, but that's all. I guess I feel better knowing that I am taking care of myself and the baby naturally.

Oh, and by the way, Hansen's Ginger Ale was horrible!!! Sickeningly sweet (with cane sugar). When I mentioned above about having a few bouts of the dry heaves, well, the Hansen's was one of those episodes. Yuck!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ginger soda?

What brands of Ginger Ale actually have real ginger in it? We've scoured the shelves at the grocer and all we could come up with was Hansen's Ginger Ale and something in the health food section called Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic) with like 20-something grams of real ginger in it. We got both. Let you know what we think. What else is out there?!

Gotta do something

I'm going to call my doctor today to see if there is anything I can take for this morning sickness. It's bad! I am hardly able to function.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

AM sickness...

It's pretty bad this time around. Arianna's pregnancy was by far the WORST. But this one comes in at #2! I could very easily vomit (like all the time) but I'm forcing myself not to just because I don't want to force even more food and drink down to replace what I lost. Taking my prenatals causes me dry heaves. Ugh... Thankfully my kids are old enough and capable of doing a lot of things around the house to help. The difficult part is Edmund just because he still needs so much care and attention. Homeschool is temporarily on hold. It's down to the basics over here. What I'm sure is making this harder is that my milk supply is drying up and Edmund's weaning (against our wills). :-( I'm not going to lie: I hate this part of pregnancy. I'd seriously rather go through labor and delivery (drug-less) than to lay in misery for 3 months. I'm gonna try my darndest to keep this blog updated, but it's hard since I'm feeling so green...

Monday, September 07, 2009

News at our home...

With joy and great excitement, we'd like to announce that around
April 22, 2010 we will be having another baby!!!

Baby "F", we can't wait to meet you!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Wow & Congrats!

The Duggars are expecting #19!!!


Apparently they are also expecting their first grandbaby, too!!!

My absolute favorite!

If you ladies have never checked out the Above Rubies website, you surely must! It is seriously one of the best that I have come across. Nancy Campbell uses Scripture after Scripture after Scripture to encourage women as wives, moms, and homemakers. Seriously, any time I'm looking for a little boost (which I definitely need from time to time), I read some articles or e-mail devotions (which they have tons archived) and that does the trick. She is such a godly woman! You can also subscribe to the AR newsletter (that comes out every 2-3 months) or a weekly e-devotional (both free). There are also loads of teaching CD's, books, music CD's, etc. that you can order. You can also see Nancy and her family on YouTube.com. They have a few interesting videos. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!