Saturday, January 23, 2021

A Much Delayed Update

 Wow. . .it's been so long since I've updated, it would be impossible to catch up now.  I will try to summarize very briefly in 10 points. 

1.  Olivia is in 7th grade!  Middle School! 

2.  She has scoliosis.  Right now she has a 16 degree curve and her orthopedic surgeon is taking a wait and see approach, which is hard.  I understand that there isn't much that they can do.  But, once it gets over 20 degrees, you have to wear a brace.  :-(  We are trying things to hopefully prevent it from worsening. 

3.  She still has her hamster, Luke.  He is about 1 1/2 years old.  

4.  This past summer, both girls got pet rats also.  Olivia's rat is named Levi. He is very sweet.  Rats actually make really good pets.  

5.  Olivia is the sweetest, kindest person you will ever ever meet.

6.  Abigail is in the 2nd grade! I don't know why her school picture isn't saved on my phone. What an amazing person she is.  So cuddly and sweet.

7.  She lost her hamster, Lollipop, over the summer.  It was devastating to her as she was very close to that hamster.  That is one reason that we got the rats.  Her rat is named Remy and is the more social of the two.  Remy and Levi are brothers.

8.  Abigail is extremely smart.  Of course, we already knew that, but she is currently going through the process of qualifying for gifted.  So, I wasn't crazy when I thought she was outsmarting me at 3 years old.  Ha.

9. Our cat, Kelsey, got cancer. . .basal squamos cell carcinoma.  She had surgery last month and that was considered curable.  So hopefully we do not have to deal with any reoccurrence. Kelsey is not even 10 years old and is very much Olivia's cat. 

10.  We have all remained healthy and free from Covid.  I was laid off for a brief time between April and July, but other than that we have been able to work.  The girls have gone to school 5 days per week in person since September.  We are blessed. 

Stay healthy and happy everyone! 

Much Love!


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Olivia's a Teenager!!

And just like that it happened.  On August 27, 2020, Olivia became a teenager.  Whoa.  It seems like just yesterday she was a 1 lb baby fighting for her life in the NICU.  It also seems like a lifetime ago.  

We had a surprise car parade for her birthday.  Friends and family, a former teacher and even one of her NICU nurses showed up. . . a whole line of cars of people's lives that she has touched.  It was amazing.  

Olivia's 2nd grade teacher (who is now Abigail's 2nd grade teacher) also dropped by!

With Grandma and Grandpa Glunt

With Grandma and Grandpa Sailing

With her amazing friends!

Thanks everyone for making it a truly memorable birthday!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

August 27, 2007

To tell Olivia's birth story, I have to start from the beginning.  On April 13th, 2007, after 3+ years of trying to conceive,  I received a call from my reproductive endocrinologist who said that I was “very” pregnant. I can’t even begin to tell you the joy and excitement that Ryan and I felt. I had my first ultrasound on May 3rd and was found to be pregnant with triplets. It was a little overwhelming at first, but I felt so blessed. One of the babies, however, was a lot smaller than the other two and had a much slower heart rate. On May 14th, I had a second ultrasound and found that I had lost “Baby B.” It was difficult, but we were very grateful for our twins.

Throughout the following weeks, my pregnancy went very well. All of my checkups were good and the babies were growing very well. On August 9th, we found out that we were having a boy and a girl and couldn’t have felt more blessed. It was around that time (week 20) that I began to have some back aches. I attributed it to being pregnant with twins and having already gained almost 30 lbs. Plus, back aches are very common in pregnancy. On August 19th, I begin feeling a lot of pressure and I reminded myself that I was carrying two babies. Two days later, I started having some bleeding. I had not had any spotting throughout my pregnancy, so Ryan and I were very concerned. I called my OB from work and they told me that I could either go home and lie down or go to the hospital and have it checked out. Ryan and I decided to go to the hospital. It was found that I had an irritated cervix and that’s what they believed was causing it. I went home, but my OB put me on bed rest until my next appt on Sept. 5th. I spent the week in bed and took it very easy.  From everything we read online and heard from others, spotting and cramping can both be very normal, but I worried just the same. I decided to call my OB again Monday morning.

That Monday, on August 27th, Ryan had jury duty and we believe God had a hand in that. He happened to be released around noon, picked up lunch for us (La Galette) and came home. While he was home, a nurse returned my call. She didn’t seem too concerned and told me to take 2 Benadryls and lie down. I had been lying down for over a week, however, and it wasn’t getting any better. Since Ryan happened to be home, we decided to go back to the hospital. Part of me felt like a paranoid mom, but a part of me felt that something wasn’t right. When I went to the hospital the week before, I didn’t tell my mother until after I was home and she wasn’t too happy about that. This time, I called her on the way to the hospital and she arrived there shortly after we did. I felt it was kind of ridiculous for my mother to be there since they were probably going to stamp my file with a “crazy lady” stamp and send me home. Then, my dad and my brother showed up.

We got to the hospital and when I had my exam, they found that I was already dilated 2.5 to 3 cm. They began talking to me about taking magnesium sulfate to stop the contractions and keep labor from progressing. The menstrual-like cramps I was having were the start of contractions. My parents and brother stepped out of the room and another doctor was sent in to exam me. This time I was dilated 4-5 cm, 80% effaced  and they told us that labor couldn’t be stopped. I had never been so scared in my life. The doctor literally stepped out of the room and my water broke. We pressed the nurse call button, told them my water broke and about 20 doctors came into the room with 2 incubators from the NICU. Alarms were sounding and my parents and brother were watching all of this from the waiting room and didn’t know what was going on. I went into some sort of shock.  Ryan said he had never seen me like that before.  I couldn't believe what was happening and I guess shutting down was the only way I could get through it.

Without so much as a Tylenol, Olivia was born at 6:18 pm.  I can't begin to tell you how hard it was to push Olivia into a world that she was not ready for.  At 23 weeks, 1 day, my babies were not considered viable yet and were only saved at the request of Ryan and me.  They had a 90% chance of a major disability and a 30% chance of survival.  I didn't even get to see Olivia after she was born. She had an APGAR score of like 2 or 3.   I remember Ryan telling me that she was moving and that she was beautiful.

She had been head down, but Logan was breech. They were going to go ahead and deliver him vaginally as well, but then he turned sideways. They quickly rushed me out of the room for an emergency c-section. I remember not wanting to leave Ryan and passing by my parents in the hallway. I wanted to give them a sign that I was okay, but I was not okay.  So I just stared at them as they wheeled me by. They put me out for the c-section immediately.  They had Logan out within 2 minutes of putting me under and he was born at 6:28 pm, just 10 minutes after his sister.  

August 27, 2007 remains one of the most traumatic days of my life.  It helps to tell the story every year in order for my brain to still process the events of that day.  I can't even begin to tell you how many things I didn't get to experience as a new mom.  For years I struggled to celebrate Olivia's birthday without sadness.  I mourned for Logan.  It felt like I was taking the most horrible day of my life, buying cake and celebrating it every year.  But after a few years, I realized it is not the day that I was celebrating.  It was Olivia's life, the miracle and amazing person that she is.  How grateful I am to be able to celebrate with her every year.  I can't think of anything worth celebrating that is better than that.  Happy birthday in heaven to my sweet Logan and to my amazing daughter, Olivia.  God bless the broken road that led me straight to you.   

Saturday, May 23, 2020

This Memorial Day

Sorry so long, but bear with me. My health has really gone downhill. . .especially within the last 5-6 years. I have been diagnosed with migraines, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, Sjogrens, insomnia, hypothyroidism, depression, anxiety, tachycardia, kidney stones, chronic fatigue, Raynaud's, insulin resistance, biliary dyskinesia, leaky mitral valve. . .to name a few. Drs have just thrown more meds at me and then I don't know what is a symptom and what is a med side effect. I have been searching for an underlying issue for years that has possibly caused or contributed to all of these. The problem is that one specialist doesn't care about your other issues. . .even if they could be related.
I started seeing a new primary care doctor last year and she is phenomenal! She ran some tests and found that my progesterone is extremely low and probably has been for many, many years. This can cause migraines, insomnia, inflammation and problems with your thyroid and gallbladder. It can even lead to autoimmune issues. When estrogen is unbalanced with progesterone, you develop estrogen dominance which can cause weight gain, fatigue, restless legs, etc. My body also does a poor job of clearing estrogen and testosterone causing them to build up and become toxic. With chronic stress, your body starts making cortisol in place of progesterone. I recently started on bioidentical progesterone and I feel like a new person. It has been a miracle for me and within weeks I lost almost 8 lbs. I'm optimistic that I will continue to feel better as time goes on.
So, why am I telling you this?? Two reasons. . . 1) This info might help someone else and end years of your struggling with multiple health issues. 2) This info has answered a question that I have asked for 12+ years . . . Why did I give birth at 23 weeks? With my first pregnancy, we did fertility treatments and each cycle they always started you on progesterone and if you didn't get pregnant, you would stop it. If you did, you would continue the progesterone. It is needed to help maintain a pregnancy. When I was around 18 weeks pregnant with twins, my OBGYN told me to stop the progesterone. I questioned it and asked if I needed to make sure my levels were okay first. He said something about how progesterone is no longer produced in the ovaries and production is taken over by the placenta. So I stopped it. A few weeks later, I began to bleed and. . .well, you know the rest. They always believed the cause of my premature labor was most likely an incompetent cervix, although they said with that, most people miscarry by 16 weeks. How did I go to 23 weeks. . . with twins? Well, lack of progesterone causes the cervix to shorten and the pregnancy cannot be maintained. If I had stayed on the progesterone. . . . . .Olivia most likely wouldn't have to deal with the effects of her early birth and I would still have my son. That is a tough one to swallow.
I suspicioned that progesterone may have been a problem when I surprisingly got pregnant in 2011. I wasn't on progesterone because I didn't do fertility treatments and I miscarried at 8 weeks. So, the next year when I found out I was again pregnant (with Abigail) I called my dr and demanded to be started on progesterone that day. I later switched to progesterone shots for the rest of the pregnancy and made it to 35 weeks. Knowing what I know now. . . I am pretty certain that progesterone made all the difference and it NEVER should have been stopped mid pregnancy. I know I couldn't have been expected to know that, but I strongly feel my doctor should have. I knew that progesterone was a problem in my pregnancies, but I didn't realize that I had most likely been chronically deficient for years.
This Memorial Day, I remember my son, Logan. It is hard to think that something as simple as taking progesterone could have prolonged my pregnancy and saved his life. But, as Olivia reminded me. . . It is truly not what caused them to come early. It was simply a part of God's plan. I don't really have to understand or know why. I just have to trust that everything goes along with God's perfect timing. And I trust His plan for my life and not my own. I am also reminded how blessed I am to have Olivia and Abigail. Thank you to my friends and family for reading my entirely too long post and for all the love and support you have shown me through the years.

Friday, May 22, 2020

New Family Pictures

Thank you to Samantha Barnett Photography!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Spring Update

Wow, it has been months and months since I posted.  Life gets so busy.  With this coronavirus quarantine, I think it has given everyone a chance to slow down a bit.  It is hard because with that, I have also lost many hours at work. I work at a preschool and it has been closed for the rest of the school year.  That is both sad and scary at the same time, but I have loved the extra time with my kids.  So, I thought I would give an update on how they are doing.

They both got Nintendo Switch Lites for Christmas so they can be seen playing Mario Kart at least once per day.  I remember playing that with them when they were little and going easy on them.  

Now they beat me pretty bad.  I think they have even beat their dad a few times.  They are good!!


She is doing well and is in 6th grade this year.  Olivia still plays piano and flute in band at school.

I think she may be taller than me in about a year.  Ha.  She's still on growth hormone injections every day for gastroparesis, which is really an awful thing.  It causes her nausea almost every day.  She has loved school this year and was not all that happy that she won't be going back to her school to finish out the year. Thanks coronavirus.  Olivia found her best friend, Miriam, last year in 5th grade and they are in classes together this year as well.  They also play the flute together.

Olivia and Miriam

She still has, of course, her kitty, Kelsey, and loves cats.  She also added her hamster, Luke, this year.  Super sweet hamster, but drives her crazy at night with his incessant chewing.


Luke (isn't he cute?)

I am always so super proud of the sweet, loving and caring person she is.  Just amazing.


She is doing well also.  She has struggled a bit with anxiety in school.  Abigail is very much a perfectionist and cares deeply about what everyone thinks of her.  She, however, is a stellar student and sets high expectations for the rest of the class.  Sometimes she resents those expectations.  She is super smart and met her end of year benchmarks by October.  She can also somehow pull off making sunglasses with the lenses popped out look cute.

She also got a hamster this past year.  Well, first she got a hamster named Boston and he sadly passed away within a week of bringing him home from wet tail.  It was so sad and just broke her heart. After a few months, she decided to try again and we got Lollipop.  Lollipop Fancypants.  She is a super sweet, social hamster. . .a great pet for a kid.  I've even become attached to both of the hamsters.



Abigail is going to try out softball this year.  She is very athletic so I think she will do well with whatever she wants to do.  So, we will give this a shot and see what she thinks of it.  I'm hoping that it doesn't get cancelled along with everything else. Abigail is so amazing.  I know I'm probably biased, but I do think my girls are the best human beings in the world.  Smart, kind, funny, beautiful inside and out.  I hope they someday see themselves through my eyes.  U

Anyway, so tell me how the coronavirus has affected you in your neck of the woods.  How has it changed your daily life?? And are you able to find toilet paper????