Thursday, November 29, 2012


We are pregnant. Actually, I’m pregnant, but Dennis helped get me that way. I’m eight weeks along and we are having identical twins. Yes, we were trying; no we were not assisted by fertility drugs. We’re just awesomely fertile. We do have twins on both sides of the family, but that did not affect our odds. Identical twins are a 1 in 250 shot for everyone.

Here’s why we’re breaking the first trimester rule and making this announcement now: we need the prayers more than the privacy. It was determined yesterday that there is a possibility the little ones are sharing a sac. That makes this a mono-mono pregnancy because they are basically sharing everything. As much as sharing can be a good thing, in this case it’s really not. Because they are bouncing around the same sac, they stand the potential to do each other and themselves substantial damage (think tangled umbilical cords, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, and other complications). This is the most high risk twin pregnancy out there, and it only happens to 1% of women carrying identical twins. (You know how when you hear there is only a 1% chance of something happening so you just know it will never happen to you?  That's because it happens to us!)

Honestly, it’s a scary situation. The current stats give mono-mono twins a 50% survival rate, which means 50% do not survive. We’re trying not to make that the focus, but it’s obviously a kind of big thing to try and ignore, so we’re facing it head on.

Here’s what we need specific prayer for:

That there was an error yesterday. I have another ultrasound on December 10th to confirm that there is not a membrane separating the twins and that they are in fact mono-mono. We could find out at that point that they are not mono-mono which would be fabulous. This is what we really want.

That all our kids will be okay.  Pray for our babies. They are at risk every step of the way even after they are delivered if they end up coming early, which they very possibly will. Also, pray for Sammy and Wren. If this is mono-mono, I start inpatient monitoring at 24 weeks. That’s going to be a huge change for my kids who are used to me being around pretty much 24/7. They may actually enjoy it for a couple of days, but I have a feeling they might start missing me, and I will be totally confused, disoriented, and lost without them all the time.

That we have peace and trust in Christ through this process, whatever happens.

I will be blogging about some of the amazing things leading up to this (like how I knew I was having twins three weeks ago), and I’ll share progress as we go so we can update prayer requests. I realize we’re taking a chance putting this out there; we really have no idea how this is going to turn out. However, these babies are my kids. Whatever happens, I’m celebrating their existence. I’m putting it out there and falling head over heels in love taking the chance that the end could be devastating. Life’s not worth it if you don’t.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Already Seeing Results

A reminder that if you are dropping off gifts for Santa from Sammy in Athens or Tyler, the deadline is November 22nd.  That's the last time we'll be in Athens to pick them up before Christmas.  For those dropping off in Frisco or the DFW area, you still have until December 19th.

I also want to thank everyone who has donated.  You have been a blessing.  After seeing pictures on Facebook and boxes filled at drop off locations, I drove by Children's last night on my way home from work.  Even driving by Children's is usually an anxiety inducing experience, and sometimes I still get teary just seeing the hospital out of the corner of my eye.  But last night when I drove by, I looked directly out my window and into the over lit hallways of the hospital.  Running through my mind was wow, some awesome people are really going to bless those kids this Christmas.  For the first time ever, I am looking forward to pulling into the parking lot of that hospital and walking in those doors because so many kind individuals have so much to offer.  So, thank you. That is something I did not think I could ever be given. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hopefully Helpful

I’ve received phone calls, emails, and messages from friends embarking on food journeys. Some have to give up gluten, others dairy; some are just trying to make some positive life changes where food is involved.

I remember a bit too vividly last May when we started what I consider our whole new life where food is concerned. I felt like I was in a blender spinning high speed, and I was hungry. To be entirely honest, the first 8-12 months were mind-numbing, stressful, and just kind of a hanging-on-for-dear-life experience. I really don’t want that for anyone else.

That being said, I will offer my two cents on ways to survive and then some resources we found hugely helpful. Remember, our journey was not standard; we were definitely not in the worst place someone can be, but the extreme way Celiac attacked Wren’s system put us in a much worse place than most. There’s nothing to say you will suffer for a year, or even months.


 Take some time, alone. There are TONS of resources for whatever food issue you’re dealing with. The best first step is to take your laptop away from all distractions and dedicate a whole day to locating helpful resources. I did not do this; it was a bad decision. There’s no reason to just barely survive when there are others who have done it before and can help you.

 Rally support. Other people may not be going through the same thing, but that doesn’t mean close friends and family can’t be great resources or help. Have others keep their eyes and ears peeled for resources that can help you along, and see if someone wants to buddy up and go through the journey with you.

 Feel free to screw up. Everything we’ve cooked has not been a masterpiece medley of goodness on our taste buds. That’s okay. You are learning to cook again in a whole new way.

Here are a few resources I look at regularly. We eat Paleo about 90% of the time, so most of these sites cater to that. Be sure to read each recipe as every person contributing recipes has their preferences; some are absolutely no dairy and some use butter on occasion. Some sites are gluten-free and others are gluten-free in 90% of their recipes.


Health Bent-Great recipes, and most are dairy optional meaning there is usually a non-dairy option for people like us who don't consume it.

PaleOMG-Hilarious as well as delicious.

Everyday Paleo-Great dinners, the first Paleo website we found and the author of the first Paleo cookbook we purchased.

Elana's Pantry-When we want bread, we make the almond bread.  Yum!  I have also convinced my kids to eat the spinach casserole.  They thought it was a dessert!

What Runs Lori-She has a recipe for Knock-Off Hail Mary Chocolate Macaroons.  I made them last night.  I ate 13.  I don't even feel remotely bad about it.

Food Renegade-Great recipes and advice on nutrition.

Mark's Daily Apple-There are always recipes and great information on this site.  Read the apple everyday!

The Food Lovers Kitchen-So many of these recipes are staples for us now that I can't remember how we ate before my friend introduced me to this site.

If you are on a food journey or have recommendations for people with special diets, please comment.  The more resources, the better!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Update on the Boobs

Amy’s thermogram came back. It was not good, and it was not bad. It was troublesome in the sense that heat was definitely picked up in the boob region, both sides, and you don’t want heat on a thermogram because heat means inflammation and inflammation means ripe for invasion. The last two years of my re-education about how the body works have led to this: inflammation is bad.

The good news side is this: Amy’s 29 and has this knowledge. She is following up with blood work to check hormone levels and then will work with the same woman who did the thermogram to figure out what needs to be done to decrease inflammation. Diet, exercise (she’s already kind of doing this since she runs about 1,000 miles a week), supplements, decrease in stress, increase in sleep, chiropractics, all these are options. There’s no sitting and waiting. This is a very do kind of diagnosis. I like those; I’m a bit of a doer, waiting being the thing I do when all other options are gone.

Preventative care is what this is, and I’m still amazed at how as medically advanced as our country is supposed to be that we don’t actually practice preventative care much at all. Insurance companies in no way I have seen support preventative care. Most doctors do not preach it or even seem to know much about it. It seems the way we usually do it is wait till illness strikes and then treat symptoms as opposed to root causes. It is so tremendously backwards, and for my sister it could have meant breast cancer in the not so distant future.

So let Amy and everyone trying to jump on health issues before they get jumped on serve as an example. It is worth the cost (I can say that as someone who has paid right around fifteen hundred dollars out of pocket since June just to try to heal Wren and prevent her from a host of other ugly problems that want to attack her because of Celiac being a stupid auto-immune disease). God has provided all we’ve needed, and we’ve been willing to prioritize needs over wants as a show of gratefulness for the healing and His provisions. While you’re at it, let’s rally for an overhaul in how health is viewed in this country. Let’s start some proactive instead of reactive behavior. Let’s raise kids who make healthy choices, choices they were taught by their parents and members of society who said, “yes, you’re worth it.” If enough of us get on board, who knows what is possible? I’d like to find out.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Update on Santa from Sammy

We already have donations coming in! I wanted to also let everyone know that another drop off point is available in Tyler at my step-sister’s apartment. Let me know if you need the information, and thank you to everyone who has helped spread the word and donated!