My Life as a Switchfoot Song/Problems in Paradise

When I first started treatment and was in the pits of herxing hell “Love Alone is Worth the Fight” was my mantra. If you’ve seen my hashtags of my photos with this now you know why. We have one life God graces us with and I want to to well…live it well. If I have just a moment of feeling good I want to go out explore His world, see/make art, play with my children, eat great food. Even if I don’t feel great I still want to make good use of these minutes. When you have a chronic illness you don’t know what or when your sbility to live it well is going to be diminished. So anyway how have I been feeling? Let’s break it up in segments. I’m about 2 years into treatment.. 

 Immediately post pardom:

I felt great, like for real like old me. My head was clear. I had my rainbow baby, my vbac…amazeballs for lack of a better word. I probably overdid it. I had a little BP issue at first. That was strictly post pardom issue and my OBs told me to rein it in and did. So I continued to feel like old pre-Lyme me. My Lyme doc had mentioned at my last appointment sometimes delivery resets the immune system and I was hoping that’s what happened. 

4 weeks in and when it went bad…

On about a Wednesday we found out my In-laws would be there that same weekend. They stayed Locally in a hotel which helped the last minute visit. Having someone to run around with R was great..the ramification of the visit was that when they left immediately my husband had to work on a paper that was due on Monday. So I was full on duty with the kids and house 4 weeks post pardom. Well at least the next day me and the kids could blast the AC watch movies and have a jamma day???? Wrong. My son woke up with an epic stomach bug. So I had him on the other side of the room trying to not get my little little baby sick. Up and down the stairs I went laundry, cleaning floor, mask on, scrub hands, nurse baby, eat a protein bar, play nurse rinse repeat… I think one day I earned the sky scraper badge on Fitbit. Two days later hubby came down with it. So they went downstairs and I was fully in charge of everything for two weeks. (Hubby was better in a couple days but R took two weeks and we didn’t want baby to be sick so we were overly cautious. ) it worked she never got sick. 

Move Prep

Right after that we rolled right into move prep. At the time I was still reintroducing Meds back in. I was cheating on my diet here and there . I cleaned that up and made sure to rest when I could. So I was “moderately functional but not fully present” if that makes sense. I had one of my best friends visit and that was just wonderful, gave me a little pep in my step. I had family come visit to help and visit when my husband went out of town for work. I did what I could and had help but it still was probably more than ideal for a Lymie post pardom. 

Trip back home

Seeing we were about to be moving a an ocean rock so far from family and friends we planned a trip back home to visit. We also were planning a baptism. There was some drama that was out of our control that ended up adding major stress. (Remember stress being a major flare inducing trigger for me?). Thankfully the joy of seeing my family took away from that once we made it.  My son did end up picking up a nasty virus while there unfortunately..

Part one of the move 

That was uber stressful. My husband last minute changes plans and dropped the dogs off at the pre-flight airport hotel. So I was stuck at the hotel with a sick four year old, baby and two dogs for more of less two days. Stresssss

Hotel living

Aside from the delayed flights that made our awake time over 26 hours we made to and the kids were great on the flight. Of course it wasn’t all fun we did have basement laundry time and had to deal with limited space but overall it was nice. I ate well, had some good vitamin D time, exercised when I could, listened to music. I felt pretty good. Some highlights:   

And then….

Hawaii is expensive right..well duh. Our rental car needs to come out of pocket, our car was still on a boat…We find out then that if we don’t sign a lease asap in town we are going to be offered base housing on a different base than my husband works and we decline we will lose than money we have to live on during travel. So we did non stop house hunting. Prospects weren’t good…small (like our furniture wouldn’t for small) no AC (remember Lymies often have heat intolerance). Finally we found a house in our desires area. No AC but they would allow window units, nice breeze , fruit trees. Another family put in an application much like last year in VA but we got it this time.  

But then…

What’s a lymie’s biggest fear moving to a humid environment???? Yup you guessed it. MOLD. Mold illness in itself is a big deal, when you have a chronic illness it creates a myriad of problems. Upon moving in I would break out into hives, my heart rate would drop dangerously low at night, the following day I would be dizzy and out of breath. Sure enough I discover a couple areas of mold/water damage. 

Our landlords are wonderful and took care of things right away. I wasn’t surprised. This home is gorgeous and you could see the care they took in it. The fridge was an easy fix. The bedroom however was not. Their builder flew out from the mainland and had to fix the shower that was leaking into the master. After that he had to clean the mold. The antimicrobial stinks to high heaven. Even my hubby who doesn’t have a great nose is bothered by it. To the point we are waiting on a shipment of an another air purifier before we can sleep in there, or attempt it at least. (Ps the Germ guardian air purifier is awesome. No hives since then).

Some more low lights: 

  1. Broken washer. The delicate cycle is broken, even worse is that it Russian roulettes bleaching loads of clothes (we don’t use bleach) who can afford to replace entire wardrobes? New one thankfully coming end of month. 
  2. Being a one car family for long while. I’ve used my car three times total while living on island. The lack of independence and feeling trapped is tough. Thankfully my husband got a new to him car recently.
  3. My son’s pre-k was full…and then week before opened a spot up. Great but stressful seeing opened up just days before day 1.
  4. Dogs are being eaten alive by something. They have spots gone on their fur. They are on preventatives, had extensive check ups before we left and are bathed regularly so who knows
  5. Holter monitor while nursing in the heat is rough…
  6. It’s HOT so very hot. No AC is tough with a chronic illness. My neighbor who has been here for ten years says its abnormally not this bad. 
  7. Thanks to the folks no disconnecting my car battery it corroded and died last week right before I was to pick son up at school. So back to not driving 
  8. Just being unsettled for this long. It seems like Lyme treatment where one problem is solved ten more Pop 

Highlights:   I am grateful for a lot. Every morning that I wake up, my daughter is healthy and thriving, my son is loving school and my husband is “home”. The place is gorgeous, people are so friendly and someday I’m sure we’ll laugh at the time we weren’t really feeling the aloha but no is tough. My health is really compounding that.

Symptoms now:   My left leg is covered in KT tape/tons of pain, on/off dizziness that occurs mostly at night, some headaches, anxiety, brain fog, brachardia at night, fatigue, some depersonalization, had one day of fever. I need to amp up my treatment soon.

I’ll hopefully update this more frequently. I keep my Instagram very up to date if you want to follow my progress or regression… Here are some highlights in picture form:  


    Faith over Fear

    Somewhere in my third trimester I came across this phrase printed on a necklace by Natalie Grant. I didn’t buy it (I know suprise suprise..perhaps I will later ) but it became sort of my mantra for the remainder of my pregnancy. I didn’t always succeed at it but it was a good reminder to go back to..sort of like when your mind may wander during Savasana…acknowledge the particular fear and then move on, have faith in God that this time a healthy baby would appear and all would be well. The following is my birth story. I wrote it the day after giving birth so there’s even more typos and grammatical errors than usual but I wanted to keep the freshness as is…


    Tuesday I went to my MFM appt (I had been followed due to lyme, multiple losses and being AMA). During a monthly appt last month she had been measuring small so we went to weekly appoints for BPP’s she has been passing all of those but during Tuesday’s appt doc said she hadn’t really grown in the month so we needed to have the baby “today”. So I contact hubby, baby sitter, mom and went home to finalize packing.

     I had feared this meant a repeat c-section because the OB’s office had said they really wouldn’t do much in way of induction because of uterine rupture chances. Thanks to reading vbac success stories and research I knew of the foley bulb and low dose pitocen

    So I called the Ob coordinator and asked about what “having the baby today meant” could we have the membrane stripping, foley bulb, or low dose pitocen. She was going to call and talk to doc. Hours later she called back and said doc talked to OB and he talked to MFM who hadn’t realize I was a vbac so they thought let’s just schedule the csection tomorrow morning. (I had my mom and brother already driving up from MA, sitter had been there for a couple hour, I was in go mode). So i say again can we atleast try those things first since I was going to have my membranes stripped this week anyway? So she had the doctor call me and we talked about it and he was very open to me trying to get those things going before doing the section.

    I had an awesome team of my doula and hubby. We got the foley bub in first, I started having contractions with that and those intensified. Massage, counter pressure, walking, yuji breath, (Stafford has a portable monitor there trying out so my nurse got dibs on it after reading my birth plan). When that finally came out hours later I was about about a four. One of my nurses took IV out early on after giving just one bag of fluid after reading my preferences. (I had been told by office that probably wouldn’t be allowed during one of my appointments). I covered about a 5k walking the halls during the hours of midnight -6. I had lots of runners fuel helping me since I wasn’t supposed to eat (I had gu, NUUN, coconut protein water, I did sneak a runners waffle bar and those things helped so much). By the end of the night somehow I hadn’t progressed much. 

    Early next the other OB on call had come in

    to check, not much progression still. We had agreed on a couple house before starting pitocen. Hubby, doula and I took a nap. For some reason that doc came a less than our later…I was half asleep when he said he wanted to start the pitocin. So I had agreed because I wasn’t awake. Nurse seemed disappointed as I was because she knew I wanted to keep it as natural as possible and contractions probably spaced out because I was sleeping.

    So later that day change of shifts. We pumped pitocen up to a 2. Things intensified further but I was able to breath through everything. Got checked, nothing much changed maybe getting closer to a 5 but that’s it. Bumped up pitocen up to 3. Even stronger contractions but things still weren’t moving as fast or as consistently as they had wanted. Original doc (the one that agreed to me trying for this vbac on Tuesday;) broke my water.

    Between the increased pitocin and that the contractions were too much to handle. Couldn’t breath through them because they came on so fast and furious there was no time find a method to help. Agony. The nurse gave me phentenol (sp)? We had hoped that would be enough because she was so encouraging for me sticking to my birth plan. It didn’t help, at all. Too much. Eventually I pretty much demanded the epi. 

    So they came in and did that. She could see how disappointed I was and reminded me that number one I didn’t want the csection. She had wanted a vbac and never got one. I could do this.

    She went to check and and said “it’s time to push”. I had expected it to be hours. I went from like a 4 and some change to ready in like 20 minutes. I ended up having my favorite OB arrive for delivery, she was great. A very relaxed situation. I got to have touch crowing, she was immediately on my chest (prior to bathing for a half hour or so) . She’s rooming in… While it was exactly how I envisioned I got my vbac, my rainbow baby and great support.      



    Some thoughts after the fact:  At first I was very disappointed it wasn’t a “natural birth” but as i reflected on previous research I realized how lucky I was to have the birth I got . When you have to have all of these medical interventions (and it was necessary Evelyn was born at 5lbs 12oz at 39w2 and had already surpassed her birth weight at first docs visit/yay breast feeding) your chance of a vafibal birth period goes down. It was either induction or repeat c-csection. And when I stalled on progress with just the foley bulb and stripping alone I could of very easily been encouraged for a section by the doc that started the pitocen. And as my doula had mentioned the epidural did exactly what we needed it to:  I went from a 4.something to a 10 in about a half hour…so I’m at peace. It was a night and day experience from my first birth, I went close to 20 something hours in labor without so much as a Tylenol, I got to hold my baby right away even before cord was cut and she never left my side. 

    Thank you to my team:  

    It would not have been possible without my team medical and other wise:

    1.  My lyme doctor:  She kept me on the right Meds to keep me healthy enough to stay pregnant and keep the lyme at bay.
    2. My Ob team:  (Women’s Health and Surgery)they never once blanched at the Meds I needed to take, didn’t deny my lyme, got me my vbac with a healthy baby girl. 
    3. My Maternal Fetal medicine doctor: (Dr.Dhillion). The extra monitoring was huge both for my sanity but for keeping tabs on baby E. She’s here and healthy.
    4. My doula : . I seriously can’t say enough. She pointed me to the right research, helped me get the birth I so needed and was an immense support.
    5. My prenatal yoga Not only did she help me find a positive place in pregnancy which was huge for a pregnancy after loss mama but also physically prepared my body for labor, so many less aches and pains than with my son. I felt good and for someone with lyme that’s huge. 
    6. My maternity/newborn photographer , Chasing Dragonflys Another component in finding positivity in this pregnancy. I found the celebration elemend in her work.
    7. And the L&D nurses at Stafford:  I leaned when my son was in the NICU nurses are basically my heroes. I couldn’t of had such a positive experience without these ladies. 
    8. And lastly my family, friends hubby and God. This pregnancy was daunting but people who leant a supportive ear during helped so so much.


    Labor, Lyme flare, Lunar effects or what? Holla at my last happening post pre-baby

    This was written as I sat in Starbucks prior to my MFM appointment which led to my induction, thought I’d publish anyway. Birth story is already written and will go up next….

    On a daily basis lately that’s what goes through my mind:  is this symptom a labor, a lyme flare, an effect of my latest tick bite, the tooth problem, or what? And that was definitely the case last night. We had a busy day sure yesterday. Started the day off doing a two week stock up at target, cleaned up Chester debris (he got into Ry’s Easter candy/bubbles), disinfected all the toys, couch etc from when the boy was sick, cleaned the bedding, did lunches, snack box, and was waiting for my hubby to come home when I felt off and fevery all of a sudden. I had some stomach upset prior but hey at 39 weeks pregnant that happens. So I got the thermometer out and it said “HI”…odd then 106, then 104, finally settling in around 101:100 ish. I called the OB on call, messaged the doula. I think tbe the machine was off maybe from disinfecting it but I for sure had a fever since I had the chills. The both thought I came down with a bug but honestly after being home bound taking care of my boy who was sick with a cold/ear infection I doubt I could of picked that up…. So the fever went down after some food, lots of fluids and rest. But I have that feeling o did prior to treatment that I feel fevery with no fever, feels like I need a fever to break before I experience relief… So what the heck was it? Maybe Candida for not sticking with my diet?? Adrenals crashing with being so far into pregnancy?? What. I plan on calling my lyme doc after my appt and preschool pick up.

    Lyme stuff

    So what else is going on in my lymie world? I had my appointment a few weeks back. A lot of it is wait and see how I do post delivery to see what the next step is. She wants to put me on valtrex (an antiviral to address mycoplasma and EBV ) but with baby measuring small and being so close to my EDD I’ve been holding off. While my diet hasn’t been as good as it can be I’ve been doing a ton of lemon water. As far as symptoms I’ve had a bit of a neuro flare:  fog, depersonalizations, insomnia (but hey I’m super pregnant). My energy levels have been decent. Lunches and dinners have been made, dog walks…still participating as a wife and mom which makes me thrilled. The past couple weeks the neuro has greatly lessened though which I think is in part to my exercise. 

    Work it out

    I’ve been fortunate to get a lot of physical activity in. I noticed the difference walking out of my prenatal yoga class (which commenced a full week of movment). I felt alive, present and my muscles were warm and limber. I had walked the dogs all week, went on a hike with the family, took a prenatal Pilates workshop and finally that yoga class. It really just shows that as someone with a chronic illness doing what you can really helps. When I hit remission, maybe before I plan on teaching a yoga class for us spoonies.  

     Baby gate

    1. I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far. I’m currently 6 weeks more pregnant than I was with my son. I cherish every ache and pain of pregnancy, every roll and flip of my baby girl. Only two reasons I’m getting antsy: anxiety of everything winding up OK and a push from some in my OB practice to schedule a c-section. When I found out I was expecting for the 5th time in 4 years I didn’t know what I wanted as far as delivery. I honestly didn’t expect this princess to make it very far with all I’ve gone through. And then there was the issue of lyme transmission. A lot of this is so new as far as congenital lyme so I wanted to do what’s best for baby. And after talking to my lyme doc much like breastfeeding:  benefit outways the risk for vaginal delivery. And honestly a c-section is a huge deal as far as recovery is concerned and for someone with an autoimmune disase it’s even harder, may even cause a huge relapse… So anyway I hired a doula, researched VBCAS and that became the plan. All seemed on board and encouraging until the past few weeks (and for no medical reason). Dr T basically gave me until my due date and after some talk maybe plus 2, Dr. M basically made the whole thing sound like a medical emergency and last week the PA tried to get me to schedule the section (i declined). So currently doing more research and plan on trying to push atleast 41 if need be if baby is fine. I have a growth scan at MFM today.

    Month of the military child

    So April is the month of the military child and at almost 4 im really starting to see how hard it is for him. There were tears at Christmas when we said our goodbyes to family and when we talked about Christmas next year (that will be in Hawaii) he just assumed we’d be at my aunts house. My heart sunk.. The worst was when he got really sick over spring break. We had plans to have one of my closest friends and her kids who know live in the south come visit us. It became clear their visit was unlikely with him struggling with a cold, ear infection and tonsillitis and he says to me :  “so it’s just going to be Ryan, Mama, Daddy, Chester and Winnie 

    On the Hampster Wheel/Happenings

    To say it’s been a busy couple months would be an understatement. Before February started I was looking at 6 doctors appointments, 2 doula interviews, 1 hospital tour, Ryan’s normal school activities/party extras, not knowing where the next pcs would take us, having to find a back up sitter for labor/baby time. Then add in last minute visitors from my husbands side of the family, couple snow days off of school, sick days off of school and it was beyond overwhelming. 

    Then some things started to fall into place:  we found out we found we would be moving to Hawaii, not our first choice but not a bad consolation prize. With that brought a new set of to-do’s. With dogs there’s a whole process of getting them vaccinated, blood tested etc that must start asap so that they won’t have to be quarantined when we arrive… So vet appointment added to our February. I found a back up sitter. Some fun to the end of February: family pics (I had wanted to do them and actually had them scheduled when Ry came early) and a prenatal massage. 

    Lyme stuff

    It’s been mostly ups and downs with a majority on the upside. I did have decent flare on my birthday. After a couple days with early rising house guests and a nocturnal womb gymnast I woke up on my birthday with a killer headache, fatigue and hot flashes/fevery. Number one cause of flares for me:  stress number two lack of sleep (minimum needed to feel functional about 7 hours). I think I got 9 total all weekend. My lyme doc appt was canceled due to a decent snowstorm in which all of northern Virginia was advised to stay off the road.  

     See so much snow!  My appointment was rescheduled but I did get my blood work back that I tested positive for EBV and Mycoplasma. Numbers weren’t super high but enough that indicates a chronic exposure. Another piece of the lyme puzzle on my way to healing. 

    I see my lyme doc on Monday and am eager to see her for a variety of reasons but especially since yesterday I got a new tick bite! Smack dab on my pregnant belly! WTF man. We spent a total of one hour playing oustside, half hour in the back yard and half on our deck. I had on a form fitting maternity top, dress and long leggings and sneakers and bug spray on our bottom halfs. I put the AC during nap and settled down for a detox bath and there it was on the lower half of my belly (where had I not been in the bath I physically couldn’t have seen it otherwise). Such a viserial response seeing that bastard, traumatizing and on my belly seriously am I am this baby not facing enough of a battle??? It’s been so nice being an active wife and mother and I don’t want to lose that. 

    Usually around my birthday we do some sort of hike, so we did one for our anniversary weekend the following week. We drove a short way to King George and did some exploring.  


    Other than that on the exercise front I’ve been getting in several dog walks and my prenatal yoga class once a week. 

    Baby stuff

    Up until yesterday everything had been going well. I had been going to the MFM once a month and OB every two weeks. She had been growing great and has been super active. More a fan of somersaults and rolls than kicks but I’ll take it. I found/hired/met with a doula I like. We had our second hospital tour. What a physiological response walking by the NICU, I literally had chills. Maybe an omen? 

    So the deal with the two hospitals:  my Ob office has two locations, one in the town we live in (that hospital has the NICU, slightly older, and under construction, has a tub in L&D, portable fetal monitoring) and the town over (my doctors are on call there, better chance of getting them for delivery, lower key, newer, no NICU). So after some research I had decided on delivering at the further away hospital since having my provider would give me a better chance at having the birth I want and someone familiar to a comfort level of mine with my medical history. This was all until yesterday…

    I had a different time feeling driving to the office than I had in recent weeks. I had a new U/S technician or atleast I’ve never seen her before. She had asked how I had been measuring, “only a day or two behind ever” and she informed me that it looked like a couple weeks. You know u/s aren’t going well when there’s a lot of silence during them. I watched after measurement after measurement showed 31, 32, 33 weeks….(I’m 35). The doctor came in and said its her stomach that looks small. She may just be a small baby but now until delivery is crucial so we’ll be monitoring with biophysical ultrasounds weekly to look at growth, breathing, and fluid levels. And just when I started to feel a little confidence. My doula invited me to a birth circle last night but I just couldn’t think birth, baby …back to expect the worst hope for the best. Well atleast I can stop baby shopping??? Here lies the other issue: if this keeps up it means c-section since my OB doesn’t induce patients hoping. To vbac, it means NICU (so hospital number 1), no children allowed under 12…, harsher recovering for a lymie (especially with one wih a new bite). So this will be a very long week….

    In like a Lion out like a Lamb March

    This month has seen one hospital tour, will see (with the added monitoring and normal OB appts switching to weekly appts at the end of the month) 10 doctor appointments, Easter, new soccer session and spring break. We have a planned visit with friends at the end of the month that I’m really looking forward to. So hopefully spring will bring some blooms of hope. Until next time… 


    As I Near the Finish Line of This Pregnancy There’s An Onion in my way

    There’s a saying about Lyme disease that treating it is like peeling back the layers of an onion. About a year and a half into treating and I’m seeing just how real that statement is. As i mentioned last post my Lyme had come out of its pregnancy faux remission around XMAS eve. When we got back from visiting it was even worse. Although on the upswing now (at least physically)… 

    I spoke with my Lyme Doc a couple weeks back and she wants me to add some herbals: MC BB1 for Lyme and MB Bar 1 for Bartonella. The herbals for babesia are not pregnancy safe. We’re going to take a slow and steady approach and with the goal of not even reaching max dosage. Although I  haven’t started yet as I just added my cal magbuhtrate last week. It’s a daunting thing to add anything this late in the pregnancy especially since my herxes have been so bad (high fevers) but with herbals as long as I’ve gone slow I’ve been O.K (aside from when I’ve done cinnamon in the beginning). This was the plan until I got some disturbing blood work back…

    I had mentioned some time ago she wanted to get some bloodwork done prior to my next appointment but it wasnt a rush. So finally did it a few weeks ago. I’m pretty pissed as she mailed a copy with virtually no explanation and while Virginia is hit with a blizzard so the state is shut down for DAYS! Basically what it shows is that my Vit. D is low and my Calcitriol is high…. This from questioning people and my own research is quite scary. It could mean something simple as low calcium or over supplementation to indications of various cancers or infections that lead to heart disease or sudden cardiac death. So  I have to follow up with testing for EBV, HHV and CRS. All very scary. Especially while pregnant. Why didn’t my last doctor test me for these and why didn’t the damn RE think of any of this years ago? Oh I know he was too busy waiting for my naturally convcieved pregnancy to fail so I’d shell out a bunch of money to get IVF and maybe with a bonus of choosing the gender šŸ˜”.

    I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get the bloodwork done. The roads are pretty much closed…but now my son has a cold. I feared this after school drop off on Tuesday when a classmate walked in sounding like she was auditioning for an extra role in the Walking Dead. I have no idea why people don’t think. (This was a stay at home mom by the way). We’re fortunate to be able to send our son to a Catholic private school but we’re not med bills for Lyme are out of pocket, baby on the way and now he’s probably missing school we’re paying for . I wish the parties responsible would have to give us a refund.

    Anyhow to say I’m overwhelmed is an understatment. My husband had a different type bug last week, so I took care of him and  every other responsibility solo, and then we rolled right into him pretty much non stop working on a paper . I so wish we had family nearby…ugh . I’m at the point with my OB that I see them every two weeks, my MFM is every 4 weeks, I’m supposed to have an eye appt this week if Ryan’s not sick still…ugh when will I get my blood tested? I desperately need to find a doula, especially since we have no help here and I really don’t want to deliver alone, especially since I’m high risk. 

    There came a point after college when I really dug deep to find out what I wanted to do with my life. I loved teaching but it dawned on me:  I just wanted to be a mother. That’s what I was born to do. And over the years I’ve come to love teaching yoga as well, especially to have something for me and to help others but being a mother is what it’s all about for me. That’s why my miscarriages have been particularly devestating. And it’s why after the first few scary months of treatment of Lyme (with the heart stuff and high fevers) I’ve been so frightened. I remember pleading with God “please let me last long enough so that my child will remember me”. As painful as the thought it of missing out on milestones with him was, what’s even worse is the thought when was just 2, of him not having a clue who I was or the special things we share. Now at 3,( 



      I begged for that )to see that birthday I face the same fears again. I love this boy so fiercely. I want more than anything to be in his life for as long as I can and for him to always know the love I have for him. I want to beat this …..

    For now, I’ll take care of my little man with a cold, bake some cookies and get just a minute or two of snow play before tucking him in for snuggles. 

    I Just Want my People, I Just Want All my People…and the late Holiday ramblingsĀ 

    Below is a draft I had started prior to Christmas and then ran out of time. The title is a quote from my son as he was about to say his goodbyes to our family on our last day home. It took everything I had in my heightened sensitive self (and I mean I’m a Pisces so….more on all of that later. Here’s before Christmas and I’ll finish up with more current stuff since man things have changed …

    I had meant to update this around Thanksgiving but then my son and I were trading colds and after that I was in the midst of a honeymoon of sorts. Lyme and pregnancy is a funny thing. I felt a lot worse early, first few weeks or so with neuro symptoms and conbimed that with morning sickness…but for the most part since second trimester I’ve almost felt like a normal person. It’s crazy really. I had the realization while I was reading a story to my son that I had a clear head. There were days I went for a walk, made dinner, did crafts, cleaned and did laundry…ALL IN ONE DAY. And it didn’t leave me feeling like I was hit by a Mack truck wih a fever. This went on for months and I just recently had a short flair I’m recovering from. I had one day of a low grade fever, a migraine and some fatigue. I think a lot of that is attributed to my husband up late working on papers and waking up/leaving earlier than normal. I’m a light sleeper and he’s ya know a man… Just shows you how crucial sleep is. I need my solid 7 hours during treatment/pregnancy to feel good. I’m on my way back to good, I just need to pace myself.

    Lyme stuff

    I hadn’t added the supplements yet because we have had a lot going on and I’ve wanted to avoid a herx. I’ll probably start after Christmas. I also need to go in for bloodwork (they send me to outside labs and honestly I wanted to avoid germs before the holidays as best I could). My Lyme doc just called early in the week to check on me. I so appreciated that and she was pleased with the baby’s progress. 

    Baby update 

    Ive had a couple scans in the last couple months. My initial anantomy scan right after thanksgiving and a follow up due to advanced maternal age this week. The first one she was facing my back, spine out and hiding under my c-section scar so while they could see what they needed it too awhile and I didn’t get many pics. They saw a little freckle on her heart but said that actually was common and she was fine. I’m high risk for several reasons:  Lyme, a preemie, previous lossss and being old…just that alone gives me more scans which is fine by me. This week she was in a great position and cooperating so I could see a lot of her. My high risk doc said everything looked good “normal”. Normal is probably my favorite word. I go back in about 4 weeks ago. Fine by me. Between these frequent scans, finally feeling movment and my Doppler I can breath a big…

    Some PAL accomplishments…(Pregnancy after loss). I went into a maternity/baby store without too much panic and purchased a couple of items. May not seem like a lot if you’ve never experienced loss…but it was. I also have been going to a prenatal yoga class. This was huge for several reasons:  during my yoga teacher training I experienced my first loss so I have this subconscious association weirdly enough because I love yoga so much, but also because it’s hard after recurrent losses associating as “pregnant person”. It’s like a im a “pregnant person but” (but just waiting to lose the baby, but I’m only pregnant for now, but even though I’m pregnant everyone else pregnant gets a baby but me etc etc). So I needed something to give me a positive place in pregnancy, a way to embrace it. And to bond with my baby girl. I mean this is it, my last pregnancy. I need to find a positive space in it. And it’s truly helped. Thanks Dragonfly yoga! I purchased two baby items:  a cute Vera Bradley onsie and a diaper bag. 

    Current events:

    Let’s start with the bad. My Lyme honeymoon is OVAH. Christmas Eve was busy. A good busy for the most part but busy nonetheless. Started baking all day with my son, decorated the tree with everyone , church where i unfortunately had to stand the whole time (thanks to a sick lady who sat right behind us so I had to relocate) , my husband’s aunts place and then more fesitivities at my aunts place. 

    It all fell into a horrible place when I realized I left my new bottle of methyguard at my aunts (important for detox, heart function, getting crucial to baby folate) and it was too late to go back, it was a full moon (Lyme always flares up then) i hadn’t packed a dinner, and then when we got back are way too late. When dinner rolled around I had hoped to get by with a veggie, or salad but there’s was only meat or gluten options. I wolfed down the Meds I did have with some GF crackers I found in my bag. It was a late night there so I was super hungry and ate far too at my aunts when we got back. 

    By the time it was bedtime I couldn’t get my heart rate down. It felt off…and then I had my first major apnea incident in over a year. I had finally dozed off and woke up with a shot:  hr high and I was short of breath. From there it was up, down, all over the place. I also had major chills, I mean I was FREEZING and shaking (keep in mind it was 70 degrees in Massachusetts that day.)  It took hours to get my heart rate back to stable point: small sips of water, and arranging my stack of pillows even higher than normal. I got maybe 3 hours of sleep. Truth me told I would of gone to the ER had I known they probably wouldn’t be able to do anything  anyway and I didn’t want to ruin my three year olds Chritmas.

    More Lyme 

    I have had some days where I haven’t felt that bad. Some days old normal Val comes through but Christmas Eve was truly disheartening. I haven’t felt that bad in over a year. Pregnancy “honeymoon” is one thing but that was the worse in a very long while. Right now I have a bad pressure headache and major sound sensitivity. The football game my husband is watching is making my head feel like it’s imploding … Some days the brain fog has returned, not every day. It’s up and down down and up. I have my next appointment rescheduled to the beginning of February. 

    The baby

    She’s doing well. Strong heart beat at my last OB appointment. I see my high risk doc again on Tuesday. Things are falling into place. But I fear my ability to take care of her. Did I make a mistake in thinking I can do this? Will my Lyme ravage me to the point I can’t handle a baby? I have some hope that my Lyme doc will help me figure things out but then I move….again. Ack. 

    There’s no place like home 

    The last few months seeing family has been great. We’ve been to weddings, holiday gatherings, seen some friends (not everyone that we’ve wanted to though). I just wish we could be done with this lifestyle. I’ve gone weary. This past week has marked the one year passing of my aunt. It’s another reminder of this distance keeping us from being there for the good, the bad, the hellos and goodbyes. I want roots, stability, my son to have his “people” as he calls them. Even if we lived out of state due to a job there wouldn’t be such uncertainty of the next visit.

    As we sit here waiting to find out where we are heading next, I am riddled with anxiety. Living in California was awful. Too too far Away. Living with a disease and no help, losing babies without moral support…the loneliness .. life for the most part just the two of us (I mean 5 with the beings but as far as adults are concerned)…I don’t want to head back to that place where my spirit was. It was lonely. 


    I have so many great pictures to look back on from the holidays…they help. As my son said:  “I want my people, I just want ALL my people”. 

    Whole lotta happenings

    A little over a week ago I had my first Virginia LLMD appointment. Oddly enough we drove a hour and some change to a small, gorgeous rural little town. Situated in essentially a large brick home is Dr. S office. We were created by two therapy dogs (how awesome is that) a small jack Russell and a lab like Chester 

    As usual leaving a big Lyme appointment my heads spinning a bit but I’ll try to wrap it up nicely as possible. The doctor is a gyno as well so I thought that would be a good fit and I was right; she was. We talked about adding PC liquid (part of the PK protocol) and calbuhtrate. One is for repairing cell membrane, help building baby’s brain, and help the abx not stick to baby’s genes and the other helps detox.:or a combo of them. She also wanted me on Ox bile but seeing I’m a vegetarian we nixed that. We talked about adding some herbs if Bartoella symptoms worsen and maybe Mepron of babesia picks up since my previous herbs aren’t pregnancy safe. I can add back plaquinol if need be since my MFM cleared it. Plans for birth are doing cord blood testing through igenix and she encourage trying for a vbac. I’ll be going to labcorp to retest my thyroid and check vitamin D levels. Hopefully the dĆ©jĆ  vu Lyme stuff that’s been popping up will clear (one apnea incident, low heart rate, and one tongue biting incident). My next appointment is in Decemeber but I’m thinking of pushing it back to Janurary so I don’t overwhelm myself during the holidays.

    We went to the Marine Corps Marathon over the weekend. I had originally signed up for 10k and even fundraised for fisher house . After the cramping incident post wedding and something similar on a smaller scale after two hour of shopping at Wegmans I decided it was in our best interest for me to forgo the run. Even walking for 6.2 would be two much. I’ll stick to jogging 5k’s when I can. It was still great weekend though:  good time with family, my cousin’s first 10k, my aunt PR’d and my husband completed his 10th marathon. I only have a slight cowbell injury.  

    Yesterday while cleaning up, putting the clean dog bed back together (The pooches got groomed while we were away), the phone finally ran. As I sprinted to it and strained to here while my son was having a meltdown in his room I hear it’s my MFM office. Results are:  everything came back low risk and we are having a girl!!! So relived for now but I’m sure I’ll have anxiety for my anatomy scan that is coming up in a couple weeks. Thank you everyone for your prayers and please please keep them up. I know they’ve helped. I had my routine Ob appointment today, baby girl’s heart rate was prefect and nothing new to report. I’ll see them I a month. This decale was on the wall today:   

    Next up:  MFM in two weeks, finding a dentist and lots of little boy school activities. I’m hoping to have a boring rest of the pregnancy. Until next time…

    The countdown begins

    Day 1:  Bear with me as I lose my mind. This may help the time pass a bit. I started the day with my son’s field trip. That helped put me in a better mood as he had a blast on his first field trip…the only dagger to the heart was after the all of the official activities I sat with his buddy’s (the little boy donned a Red Sox hat next to Ryan’s Pats hat) mom . She turns to me:  “is ryan your only one”. *sigh* “yup my one and only”…

    Then it was off to the MFM to pick up the kit. Where it was broke to me that it probably will be more like two weeks before I get the results. I could of sworn I read on the site 7-10 Calender days. They said they’re calling either way with results… The lab down the street was empty and the done quickly…tick tock tick tock

    I started feeling crummy today. Could be from eating my weight in organic candy corn and chocolate the day before but honestly my biggest Lyme aggrivator has been stress. It sets a flare in motion like nothing else.

    I used my home Doppler:  perfect heart rate at ~160. I’ve been able to find her heart rate most times since about 9 weeks and it’s always been spot on. How can she not be ok? Doesn’t make sense. Both trisomy 13 and 18 usually have heart issues. 

    While we especially remember the whole month, yesterday we lit candles for the international wave of light for infant loss and miscarriage awareness day. We remembers our four babies and prayed we wouldn’t add a fifth…

    The nights have been the worst,kind of like deployments when you’re sad and scared thinking the worst. Probably didn’t help that I spent atleast an hour on Google comparing our baby’s ultrasound with that babies with confirmed cases of the trisomies. I’ve thought from the beginning the head looked a little small, the facial features a little tiny. I had tried to reassure myself that maybe since we think it’s a girl that is why. But who knows, maybe not. I looked at Ryan’s baby book (that may have set off some water works) and looked at his ultrasound pics….have I mentioned I’m losing my mind?! I’ve stayed up until 1/2 am watching HGTV but for some reason the on demand wasn’t working. Doesn’t direct tv know that it’s crisis time over here? 

    Starting day 2 of waiting buying some boots. Hey we have seasons now and they were on super sale. Totally justifiable. Time to start our day soon…tick tock tick tock

    A rainbow or another storm….

    After our last loss I remembering thinking: could I do this? Could I try again and go through the pain of another pregnancy loss…after a lot of soul searching and the resounding answer was no, absolutely not could I do this again. Physically my Lyme would get worse, I’d feel terrible, m 

     entally it would take me to darker places than I’ve been before and I just didn’t think I’d be able to get out of it…

    And then during many months of Lyme treatment I started to reflect on the intense lonliness I faced. I thought of months and months of not having an adult conversation. I thought of prior to my diagnoses my son being invited to birthday parties and then after he was left out. I thought of the general lonliness I’ve faced so many times as a military wife…

    I had decided depite my dreams of having two or three children that Ry was enough for me, that my sweet, funny caring boy was enough. He’s been the answer to so many prayers and just a joy….but then thinking of that despair and lonliness o faced it started to hit me that as a military child I never wanted my child to feel that low. I wanted him to have a forever friend. I wanted him to never feel how I’ve felt so many times. My siblings are great and even though I don’t see them as much as I’d like I know they have my back. Heck during part of my worst days last year my brother flew down to help out with ryan last year….I wanted to have that for my son. I could chance going through hell one more time and the anxiety that pregnancy would bring if only I could do this one thing for my child..:if only. 

    My first Lyme doc, a naturopath that did the testing (through igenix) and diagnosis had told us we had to wait a year and then we could think about trying again. I felt so good all summer, not remission good but on the path. Seeing that I was 35 so it was now or never really… That thought was all it took. Shortly after moving to Virginia I found out that I was pregnant again.

    Cue the fears, the anxiety ridden trips to the bathroom, the dread of doctors appointment. My first scan was early 5/6 weeks and they couldn’t measure the HR. We could see it though. I thought that was it. I thought that was the end there. Then because of my high risk status (advanced maternal age, Lyme disease, recurrent pregnancy loss and a preemie) I was sent out for two more ultrasounds. They looked great. Baby was super active. I breathed a sigh of relief, thanked God…but I was not excited.

    I thought maybe after that we would share..nah let’s wait until we clear first trimester. I had an appointment with maternal fetal medicine. We had the NT, Scan which I had with Ry. They look for neck measurements to look for things like Downs Syndrome, the blood test that goes with tests not only for downs (trisomy 21) but trisomy 13 and 18 as well. So the scan looked good ..should we tell then? No..let’s try and wait to 18 week scan. I’m started to show but let’s not jinx this…

    Then as i tried to combat my upset stomach I chewed on a ginger chew a couple weeks ago..and broke a tooth. It’s been hard to find a holistic dentist. Extra important with a high risk pregnancy to make sure they don’t force a risky route canal and they can handle extractions safely. Stress. I had already had a Lyme doc appt scheduled for this month, MFM , 2 Ob appts, a cardiologist (MFM wants to check heart function with pregnancy and Lyme) not to mention all my son’s school functions and a trip to MA for a family wedding. 

    The ball on the stress continued to roll at the end of the wedding when my back pain I had been experiencing worsened and I began spotting and cramping. I called the OB on call and he told me pelvic rest, and to go to ER if it gets worse, he fears a miscarriage…

    At 5:30 that morning the back pain was unbearable, expecting the worse I headed to ER in the pitch black. After blood work and a scan the baby looked good. Super active…we had to tell people because we left our son sleeping at my aunts. And at that point what the heck, I guess we have to tell people now. I reluctantly accepted congratulations and well wishes. As hard as they were to hear I though maybe just maybe I could feed off people’s excitement and positivity since I have none of my own, detached. 

    On the long ride back to where we live I got a call from my MFM’s office saying I need to come in for a consult. Fuck. So that means my first Tri screening came back for trisomy 21, 18, or 13. I could barely sleep last night and made it through preschool drop off , on to the cardio, preschool pick up, quick trip to feed the boy at Starbucks and then to face the music at MFM.

    My stomach lurched as we pulled into the driveway (I had ry). I sit down as she tells me that it’s positive for downs , ok Id love my baby no matter what and do whatver for her…and then I see it say negative next to 21. “Oh I meant 13/18”. Those abnormalities essentially make babies incompatible with life. You will lose these babies in pregnancy, shortly after birth or within the first year of life. There is no way to know right now which trisomy is showing positve by my blood with this test. It screens for chances and mine is high after testing… Higher than prior. Next I can do a panorama test which will tell me which is positive alone with any other abnormalities and high risk/low risk …. The only way to know for certain is an amniocentesis. This carries a risk, albeit small for miscarriage. I can decide to do this as early as next week or when I get results from my next screening. Ten days from this Thursday. 

    There will be no cute announcements with Ry finally in a big brother shirt, there will be no pink or blue balloons or cupcakes…please don’t don’t congratulate me. Don’t point out my belly. Just pray, please pray that I can’t get through this, whatver the case may be.

    Why is this so easy for some people. As I sit here writing by the river, I wonder why…alone. 

    An overdue HappeningsĀ 

    Summer’s have been rough for sometime:  between losing pregnancies, being so far away from family that you miss out on the normal summer festivities or just the illnesses…but this summer was different. As I sat in a small historic church in Vermont listening to former pro snowboarder (who suffered a traumatic brain injury) talk about children in the same boat who lost their friends upon injury…were isolated, I realized when I felt so much better this summer. It was because I had a community and thus I was living with a disease and not just suffering from one. Back in the desert I don’t think I had an adult conversation (in person) from nearly my diagnosis to when we moved . I had thought being a part of a couple groups that maybe I’d have a visitor with a tabloid mag or invite for coffee or a walk but that never happened. Granted I was so grateful for texts and social media interactions but just not the same As a naturally shy person adding a disease on top of that I simply did not have the energy to step outside my comfort zone and thus I had all the time in the world to just dwell on my illness.

    As I mentioned in previous posts, I directly went to stay with my aunt and cousin in Plymouth MA ( small waterfront/pilgrims/historic/happening town). My day to day life there consisted of walks to the waterfront with family and friends, walks to the juice bar or health food store)I really think that hugely upped my energy), play dates and seashell hunts with my little guy.  

    Some of the highlights:  with my cousin taking Ry on a pirate cruise, a wedding shower for one of my best friends, play dates with my friend and her son I hadn’t met before, watching my unt run Her first half, Red Sox Game with my aunt, grad party, cookouts, shopping trips, 5ks (the color run and July 4th) and Wanderlust in Vermont (yoga festival -more on that later).  


    As far as Treatment. I had upped my pekana detox drops, as well as starting to treat a probable babesia co-infection with abab. Yes I was busy this summer but I did take breaks, had to cancel some plans but that was ok because I also had company and more opportunities if I had to miss out. I’ve reverently had to deal with some other health stuff that I’ve had to alter treatment so im not doing as well but we’ll get things figured out. 

    Our new town: aside from our yard which is a Lymies worst nightmare (overgrown yard landlord is dragging heels doing a thing about) and some other household issues they haven’t fixed yet we love this town. There’s so much to do and many many health food options. One of the health food stores even has Kombucha on tap.  

     We’ve gone to a minor league baseball game, went to a dog swim, there’s many yoga options…a whole new world.

    What else:  we did travel back to California for a wedding of good friends) and then to MA to go to another wedding. Although the travel did take its toll I’m so grateful I was able to attend and I think a lot of that was due to my summer of healing.  

    Up next:  I’ve been hunting local LLMD’s which I think I’ll be able to get an appointment by end of this month or beginning of the next. I did have a phone consult with my San Diego doc so that will hold me over until then.

    Wanderlust and the rest:  In July I won a four day pass to a yoga and music festival in Vermont. I went alone, met another yogi online hitched a ride and set off not knowing what to expect but knowing I needed this. One of my favorite classes was Amy Ippoliti’s Happy Hips black light class. She’s an amazing teacher that infuses humor with her spot on teaching. I learned there that I can do more than I think. I took some amazing mediations classes, did a SUP yoga class, an Ariel class, listened and danced to some great music like MC yogi, did a hike with raw hot cacao drink and healed. I had spent so much time with the word:  fight that it was exhausting. Yes I need to fight but I need to heal and yoga and the community that surrounds it is so healing. This dawned on me during my “one word” bracelet making class. My new word is HEAL.

    So spoonies my summer ramblings:  I want to share what I really learned :  find a community (and people surround those of us suffering from illnesses) and live with disease instead of just suffering from until that day you can heal from it. Yes we fight and beat the Lyme bastard buggies but do what you can to heal your body and soul.