Thursday, March 31, 2016

My story: Pregnancy at 46-- Part 2

March 2, 2016
I have been keeping picture records
since the end of January
The dramatic change that I ended the last post with came at the beginning of December.

I was leaning forward, and suddenly I felt this little fluttery movement. Say what! Naw... Then again.

I kept this silent from anyone. It just wasn't possible. A few days later I felt it again. And a few days later I felt it again while Meg and I were driving to her prenatal appointment with her midwife. Meg was trying to convince me that I was pregnant. She kept telling me about a site that talked about something called cryptic pregnancies... Pregnancies that have no HCG count and that even ultrasound can't find. Usually they grow slower and have a longer gestation... Or some switch over and come out of the undetectable stage after 20 weeks. This happens with 1 in 450 pregnancies. I told her I had been feeling movement. And that for the last few weeks I wasn't as sick. She looked up to see how many weeks I was, and found I was 16 weeks at the time, and the nausea should have ended right when it did. With twin pregnancies I was feeling movement right when I should be.

My husband got his bonus from work on December 14th, and on that day I visited a maternity wear shop with Meg, and bought a couple tops and two bras, pregnancy underwear, and a pair of maternity pants. Whether I was pregnant or not I was tired of being uncomfortable. When I put the clothes on, I finally felt comfortable for the first time in a few weeks. In fact it felt like silk compared to the clothing I had been trying to fit myself into. I had been wearing my bigger clothing and trying to convince myself that everything was the same. When I put on my new clothing I realized how much my middle had grown and how my body had changed. If anything, my legs and arms were smaller, but my middle was looking a little like a butterball.

March 11, 2016
Me in the upstairs bathroom just
 trying to keep up a visual diary
A few days later I visited my chiropractor again, and she decided to do another doppler. Two heartbeats 164 & 140 per minute, one on one side of my abdomen and one on the other. She told me later those were two distinctive heartbeats-- two babies. But that day, she just let me feel my wonderment. Heartbeats-- definitely not aortic beats either. There was something growing inside of me that was alive and moving. That was a blessing in and of itself. I decided this time I was going to believe, and I was going to keep my awe. For now I was doing nothing, but enjoying God's miracle and believing it. The depression I had felt for the last few weeks lifted almost immediately.

Meg went into labor and Leo was born on December 23rd, and life got crazy. His baptism was on December 27th. In that same period we had three church services and Christmas.

Beginning of January Meg, Leo, and I went for a visit to my naturopath. The day before I had found my chaplet beads, and I looked up the prayers for The Chaplet of Saint Michael and did my first chaplet in about four years (I did a chaplet everyday while Becca was pregnant with Tory-- hence her name means St Michael's Joyous Victory, and most of her name I had nothing to do with.  Becca named her and she did not know about my daily chaplets.) This day we were on our way to see the one health practitioner I felt like I could trust. If anyone would know if I was pregnant-- It was her. She has been working on my body for five years and knows how totally different my body works from other people's body. She knows how the emotional, physical, and spiritual interplay in me, and she can usually get to the root cause. Moreover, I trust her because were I am concerned, she has never been wrong.

She began adjusting me, and trying to figure out what was going on, and my body literally shut down on her-- Can't explain it any better than that. It refused to let her work on me. So she tried a different route. One of the modalities she uses, is something called NET. Literally she can ask my body what is going on and it will answer-- I am not going to try to explain that either (if you have had NET done before you understand), but it has always worked on me. This time though something else spoke when she asked about me being pregnant...

Whatever it was it called what was inside of me 'tissue'. 

Sorry, folks... that was not me!

I am adamantly pro-life, and would never call even a baby that has been miscarried 'tissue'. If anything that is a HUGE trigger word for me! It shocked her too. She suggested that Meg and I go to lunch and resume afterwards. So Meg and I left her office, and talked about what had happened as I was driving.

As we talked, I was silently praying. I was turning as a thought crossed my mind. Again I was shocked because it was not mine. I realized I was dealing with something that was not me. Whatever it was it had been there for a long time, and for the most part my body recognized it as its own.

That was a BIG problem!

Meg at the same time spoke up. “That was not you, Mom.” I had spoke the thought out loud, and she recognized the same thing as I had. Suddenly God gave me a clarity on what was going on.

I don't know what anyone reading this believes, but I believe in light and darkness-- in spirits on both sides that can and do attach themselves to humans. Maybe that sounds spooky or crazy, but it is in these beliefs that I have been able to explain what has happened in my life. I don't usually talk about these aspects because I respect each person's ability to believe differently. That to me is a gift that God has given. We have freedom to come to God or not believe... But with what happened that day I have to explain where I come from on this issue because that afternoon changed my understanding of what was going on within me and why.

I knew that voice was not me, and my mind flashed back to when I was little and a family relative had hurt me. I realized that when that happened the thing speaking had attached itself to my life acting as if it was part of who I was. I also realized I would not let it stay there!

March 24, 2016
Me over Pascha trying to figure out
what to wear to Good Friday service
This is the latest picture I've taken. 
“Yeah, I know... And I know where it came from, and I know I need to get rid of it, because it is not good nor does it have good intentions.”   It was then I realized I was beginning the chaplet for a reason. The Chaplet of St. Michael has always been very powerful. 

We talked about everything over lunch, then headed back to my naturopath's office.  At the office, my naturopath began working with my body, but again dealt with something that was not me. She stepped back, and I could see she was perplexed.

“You think you are pregnant with two babies?” She asked, still looking slightly shocked. I nodded, but she shook her head.
“Nope...” I felt confused.
“You were pregnant with three, but one has passed... I am not sure what is going on with the other two, but the one you lost was a girl and she calls the other two 'spiritual beings'.”

This is the place I need to stop, and take a little bit to digest. In that moment I felt a grief I cannot explain, and sorrow that still is in my heart. Even now writing this makes me want to cry. I am going to close this down for the night and come back to finishing this part of the story in the morning. Probably as I am getting in bed, I will have some tears. When my naturopath said it I felt the validity, and knew this was a nugget of truth I needed. I also knew it explained the things happening, and why my body was acting so weird. But I will come back to this in the next part of this blog, and give myself a little time to digest and figure how to write about what happened and the days after my visit to the nautropath. This knowledge really changed my perception of my pregnancy, but as I go into the next part you will understand that better...

Friday, March 18, 2016

My Story: Pregnant at 46-- Part 1

Me with Tory in February 2014
in Florida
I am pregnant, but here is the beginning of the the story.  I'm planning to publish two other post to finish the story.  It is not an easy story, and highly weird and irregular...  But it's been interesting (with a smiley face).

So here is the deal. About two years ago when I was 44 I started having regular periods again after having gone into menopause. I didn't do anything to change, but unexpectedly it happened, and I began to question.

I am a God follower and believe that everything happens for a reason. So began a litany of prayers. I began thinking... It went something like this...
“God you know I always wanted more children. Is it possible that you have that in your thoughts too?” That led to a desire within my heart for having another birth child, and me making changes just in case it was possible...
--Things like exercise so my body would be strong, and vitamins to help my body function like it was suppose to.
--Being cautious with my diet so that blood sugar would be where it was suppose to.
--Seeing my naturopath to help me heal things, and a radical diet called 'Shape' that helped me shed fat cells and detoxify my body. I don't mean just making me slim, but actually detoxifying the fat cells because if I was to get pregnant HCG causes the fat cells to be used and if that happened that would be bad for my baby. My body gained fat as a way of protecting me from the toxins my body couldn't deal with when I went into liver failure seventeen years ago, and later when I was dealing with a thousand tumors in my colon my body dealt with the toxin being thrown off by storing them in fat cells.
I knew that if I was to get pregnant in the condition I was in, it would not be good for the child, but I was on Shape, and it did help me to detoxify. I was feeling great by the time we moved to the QC in May of 2014. There were times I got sick, but it was short and I was handling those times great. My blood sugar was normal. I was running up and down the steps. I really felt better than I ever remembered feeling.

September 12, 2014-- This is a day I will never forget. A few days before I was praying with a friend of mine about babies and pregnancy, and on this day I was still in prayer. She had had a prophecy years ago that she would have three children, but she only had one.
--So she was wondering...
 So I was praying asking God for an answer. I believe what I hear God say. I do hear him sometimes. Those times are wild and crazy, but it always happens just like he says. This was one of those days.
On September 12th I was praying, and I heard him, but not just about my friend. What he told me was about me, my friend, and my daughter, Megan. At the time Megan and I were barely talking, and I had been praying about that too. Megan wanted another child, but she wasn't dating anyone or anything. God told me she would get pregnant, then me, then my friend.
“Okay God when is this going to happen.” I asked.
“About a year from today for you.” Whoa, buddy! Wait... Megan, then me, then my friend? Not possible. But just in case... I went back on Shape.

The other little detail he gave me was –twins. For me and my friend. I wanted twins... You just don't know how bad. I am not going to try to explain. Just suffice to say I had a vision 20 years ago of a boy and girl twins. I didn't know for sure what I had seen, but I had thought it was for me. Seriously though... after twenty years who knew? Now God was telling about twins in a year! I really must be crazy!

April, 2015 Meg found out she was pregnant. Longer story, but still quite amazing. Since September Meg and I had healed our mother - daughter relationship so much that we were good friends, and when she found out she was pregnant she smiled and looked at me saying, "Your next Mom.".

Fast forward--- August 28, 2015... This was the first day of my last period. Happened like clockwork too. Todd still had a vasectomy, no reversal. We really don't have *erm* relations very often, like the
last time was in 2014. September 9th we had some time alone, and well--- the rest is history.

September 11th I got sick on my spinach drink that I had almost every day. Almost threw up. Interesting, but it had to be my overactive imagination. By about the 20th of September I was sick, pretty much 24 hours a day! By the end of September I was sleeping 11 hours a day when I use to sleep 6-7 hours a day. My boobs were killing me, and boy, this looked like maybe I was pregnant!

October 13th I took my first pregnancy test-- negative.
October 14th I took my second pregnancy test-- negative.
October 15th I took my third pregnancy test-- negative.

Okay,  maybe my imagination was way over active. I waited for my period to start. By this time I was way beyond day 40. What was going on? A little voice inside was still whispering-- 'Believe the miracle.'  Though I wasn't sure if it was me being hopeful or something else.

October 20th My doctor did my first blood HCG test-- negative. She told me I was in menopause and it just hit quickly with me.

Me in October about 7 weeks
 pregnant.  The bump you see is
actually my ostomy bag
End of October, I went to the bathroom and found a slight pink tinge on the toilet paper. I called Megan and told her I had started my period, but for two days all it was was a slight pink tinge. I can't say it was even spotting.  Didn't even use a pad  Then it stopped.

During this time I had a vision of God pouring his light on my womb and surrounding it with saints, angels, and the Trinity to protect it from darkness. There was a darkness outside that was trying to get in, but God kept his light, and there was no way that darkness could enter the space of my womb. Why was he doing this if I was never going to have another child from there? That was a question I pondered for another two months. That question never let me completely believe that I was not pregnant, and yet what kind of game was this if I was? It just didn't make sense. Honestly I was completely confused and didn't know what to think.

Beginning of November I went to my chiropractor because my hips were killing me as was my back. I told her what had been happening, and that I just did not know what to believe. She asked if I had ever heard of a phantom pregnancy. Yes, my grandmother had one back in the forties. Our family had talked about that when I was a kid-- kinda family lore.

“I believe, Catherine, that either you are pregnant or this is a phantom pregnancy.” My chiropractor said after she adjusted me.
“I believe you are right, it is either one or the other. I just don't know which one it is.” I responded. I had come to the same conclusions in the last couple weeks. I wanted to be pregnant so bad, maybe my brain was trying to make me happy...
“I have a doppler.” She said. “We could use it and see if we get a heartbeat.”
“I'm game.” I said. Heartbeat or lack thereof would put this to rest.

Are you ready for this?

She got a heart beat. It was 110-115. It shocked her as much as it did me. I was nine weeks along. For 24 hours I was ecstatic!

Then I tried to get an ultrasound. For that I needed an HCG count.

Another urine test-- negative.
Another blood test-- negative.

The doctor I was trying to get in with refused to see me. So I went to the ER.  Surely they would help me get an ultrasound.

Another blood test-- negative.

The ultrasound tech couldn't find my uterus. All she got was pictures of my ovaries. She was doing a transvaginal ultrasound, and literally I almost jumped off the table because she hurt me while trying to get a picture of my ovaries. Meg was watching the machine and all she saw was ovaries. The technician was young and said she had three other patients to see before she wrote out her reports.

The doctor while doing an exam earlier had mentioned that my cervix was low. That happens in pregnancy. That isn't something he said, but a fact I know because of studying pregnancy and birth when my girls were pregnant.

When the doctor returned with all the test results-- including some blood work. I had a UT infection. That is another thing that only happens to me during pregnancy.

Doctor said “Well we saw your uterus no pregnancy, but we couldn't see your ovaries.” Excuse me?  The tech had hurt me getting pictures of my ovaries!  And she never did see my uterus!  What the hell?  I didn't speak up feeling very shocked.  I probably should have, but there is still a small part of me that believes in the infallibility of doctors (I would think I would have gotten over that a long time ago, but in the ER it reared its ugly head and I became silent.)
That was the second week of November. I accepted what he said, and went home.  Maybe I just didn't understand...  Maybe the tech made a mistake, but how could an ultrasound be wrong?

Honestly I didn't know what to think. I was ten weeks by this point. I still had a ton of pressure below, even after the UT was gone. -Still sick 24/7. -Still tired all the time. -Still went from not being able to stand food to ravenous! Still unreasonably emotional going from angry to crying to smiling in 2.1 seconds!  Still, the ultrasound said I was not pregnant. The doctor said there was no way I was pregnant and so had all the tests said the same. After all... there was proof I was not pregnant... I guess I needed to accept that truth.

End of November I began to salivate for a roast beef sandwich from Arby's... For over a week I dreamed of eating one. I am a vegetarian, not by choice, but because my body rejects any kind of meat or animal product that have even a trace of blood in it. Hence, pepperoni I can sometimes eat, but eggs never stay down. Last time I ate Arby's was over five years ago and I was sick for days! Haven't craved one since then until now.

Finally I was at the grocery store and I bought two gluten free sub rolls (they come in a two pack). Meg was with me and we went to Arby's and I got my roast beef. I devour it!  Then I went back inside and bought a second one! Meg actually took a picture. The only time I eat meat willingly is while I am pregnant. With Hope I ate McDonald's cheese burgers and Arby's roast beef almost daily! Now I am a little more careful with my diet and understand why this happens. This was a protein and iron craving, and I knew it.

That only happens when I am pregnant! But the doctors all said I was not! Do I believe my body, what I am hearing from God, and what my daughter Meg believes, or do I believe the medical world and doctors?

I began on some iron, and told myself I was crazy. But there was still that voice telling me louder than ever “Believe the miracle. Believe the miracle.” Okay... I was beginning to believe the voice speaking might be God. But what miracle? Miracle... Ultrasound said I was not pregnant.

Me January 27th at 21 weeks. Todd
took this because my Mom wanted
to see what I looked like now. The very
poky part is my ostomy (stoma).
The other thing that had been happening is that things were getting tighter around the middle, and I had all but stopped wearing my bras because of how painful it was to wear them. I kept complaining that my skin was so sensitive and itchy... Another pregnancy symptom, but I was trying not to believe because otherwise I felt crazy! In fact during this time I told God I was giving all this to him and would accept I was not pregnant. That is when I went into a depression close to what I had as a teen (that is really REALLY bad!).

I went to talk to my counselor-- she is also a God follower. As she was talking to me, she realized how much darkness was around me, and ask me what door was open, or what was going on that was allowing it to be there? Leaving her office I knew what it was... When this came on was when I tried to believe I was not pregnant. I prayed and asked God to show me a clear path, and show me what to believe because I just did not understand. But I told no one about this. What if the miracle was me being pregnant with twins? What if that was the miracle I was suppose to believe? Maybe I needed to take the chance to believe... So what if I was crazy? Was this miracle any bigger than the check that came in the mail that allowed us to move to the QC? I mean that was $14,000 that we had not expected that came a day after Todd said there was no way we could afford to move-- baring a miracle. I wrestled with these ideas. But things were about to dramatically change.

That change I will talk about in the second part of this.  Also I'll post more pictures too.  Just this part has taken me weeks to write, and I'm still working on the next part and last part.  So until next week, this is Cat out.