Gluten Free Update

I realized it’s been over two months since my last blog post, so it’s been over two months since I cut gluten out of my diet! I hadn’t realized what an impact gluten was having on my body until I eliminated it completely.

I can eat meals now without feeling so full that I’m going to bust. When I do get “full” I dont feel sluggish or gross. Since we have a toddler I can’t really say I have more energy, but I can definitely tell my body feels better. Now that I’ve cut it out of my diet I don’t think there’s any way I can go back. I ate a piece of cookie cake on my birthday (July 7th, over a month of being gluten free) and I slept the rest of the day and felt awful. A couple weeks ago I ate a piece of cookie cake again and that evening my stomach was in knots and so bloated.

I also unintentionally lost five pounds in the first month. I could definitely feel my stomach adjusting to the absence of gluten; I had some painful cramps and bloating while my body was getting out all of the junk. Now that my body has adjusted, my digestion is more regular and I’m not as constipated either (win!).

I’m now mainly eating rice, fruits, veggies, and meats. As much fresh food as possible. We do buy gluten free foods like pastas and tortillas that are rice-based. I have such a sweet tooth and can still eat things like ice cream, brownies/cake, and plain chocolate. 😍

Our grocery bill went up a little, but not much since we were already eating minimally processed foods. But nonetheless, we still spend a good bit on groceries each week to maintain the fresh foods we need.

I don’t think I’ll go back to eating gluten cause I just feel so good now. If you’re having similar symptoms as I’ve had, maybe try cutting gluten from your diet!

xoxo

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Gluten-Free

For three months, from December-March, I took four rounds of antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection and two bouts of strep. I got smart on the fourth round of meds and got a probiotic to take along with it. FINALLY I was well.

Now I have a UTI. So I’m on another round of antibiotics. I’ve been struggling to stay well in general, but my digestion has been a little off for the majority of this year. I went to urgent care about two weeks ago to get blood drawn for some unexplained nausea I was having out of nowhere (no, not pregnant). My labs came back normal, but I still didn’t have an explanation for the nausea.

The rest of that week I could barely eat as I normally did. I would eat breakfast and lunch but have no appetite for dinner as I had this constant feeling of queasiness. Going into the next week (this week) I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I had a BM. Side note-working in a hospital and being a mom makes me way more comfortable to talk about bodily secretions. Sorry, not sorry.

Anyway, a little back story on my bowel issues. I remember my mom taking me to the doctor when I was young for a hard “something” that could be felt in my left lower stomach. I had an ultrasound done to check my ovary and then an X-ray. The radiologist said the doctor would talk to my about the results, but she could see a lot of stool in there. Being young and not knowing, I asked her, “What’s stool?” She replied, “Poo.” So my mom got me some laxatives to help me out, but I don’t really remember ever changing anything with my diet.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve incorporated more fibrous foods like whole grain English muffins and Fiber One cereal (which actually tastes really good) and I’ve been able to get moving with those and similar foods.

This past week I was so incredibly uncomfortable I couldn’t bear it. I tried to eat my fiber cereal with no luck. I didn’t feel like eating cause I always felt so “full.” I broke down and got some Miralax and finally got some relief. In the midst of all of this I somehow thought that maybe it’s all this pasta and bread I’ve been eating. Do I suddenly have an intolerance to it?

A friend showed me a blog post of one of her friends who talked about how she decided to go gluten-free after having joint pain and other symptoms. Interestingly, she had finished taking an antibiotic when the joint pain, nausea, and lethargy started to be a norm for her. Could there be a link between antibiotics and digestive issues?? She goes on to talk about when she stopped eating gluten (wheat) she felt a million times better. At first I was afraid to stop eating gluten because I didn’t know if I could handle a big diet change like that. Now that I’ve realized there are still plenty of foods I can eat, it doesn’t seem so scary.

That scary feeling, though, came from the fact that gluten is in virtually everything today. It’s even in our beauty and hygiene products as a filler. Crazy right?! If you look at a bag of chips, a box of cereal, croutons, anything with wheat, barley, or rye. They. All. Have. Gluten.

If you have some time watch “What’s with Wheat” on Netflix. This was so incredibly eye opening and it even talks about non-celiac gluten sensitivity. There aren’t any tests for this type of sensitivity, you simply have to cut it out of your diet for a couple of months and then slowly reintroduce gluten and see how your body reacts.

Whether you have a sensitivity or not, I’ve heard you will feel a lot better without gluten in your diet.

I went through our pantry and took out everything with wheat that we have. It wasn’t an insane amount of food, but still significant that our pantry looks slightly bare. I’ve been carefully watching what I eat to cut out gluten for only three days. I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel a few weeks from now.

I’ll be sure to update on how I’m feeling along the way! Let me know if you have any suggestions for gluten-free meals!

xoxo

Tragedy

I read this quote on Instagram a couple of months ago and it sums up my feelings lately. My worth as a mother is diminished at times because my son did not come from my body, he is not half of me and half of my husband, he does not look like us. Even so, his life is better because of us.

“A child born to another woman calls me mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.” -Jody Landers

xoxo

Silence

I have a lot to say.

My mind races with all of the things I want to scream aloud

But I remain silent.

Do I want to put my mind, my body, my spirit, through all of the stress?

I wonder: Would my words even matter?

I don’t think they would.

Sometimes things are better left unsaid.

Confidence

We sing this song at church with the lyrics:

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet

It’s engrained in my soul somehow that my first reaction to things is to worry about them. And maybe that in itself is something I need to overcome–that this doesn’t have to be who I am and I CAN overcome my worry. Some days it comes easily and others not so much.

That song is so solidifying for me whenever I hear it. God has not failed me yet, so why should I ever doubt His faithfulness? There have been some times where I’ve not seen something happen right away, but in His time things have worked out in the end.

To have the utmost faithfulness and confidence in his timing and grace is something I’m constantly working towards.

I’ve started co-leading a small group of 11th grade girls and there’s this one girl in particular who has so much wisdom and conviction when she speaks. She has the pages of her bible worn and multiple passages highlighted throughout with sticky notes, the whole bit. I told her, “I want to be like you. What you’re doing is amazing.” I think the most important thing about experiences like small group leading is that you go in thinking you’ll teach the group something, but you walk out having learned from them.

Great is your faithfulness, God. You’ve never failed me yet. My confidence is in you. Let’s go.

xoxo

Full Circle

I’ve been thinking about writing this next post for about a week now and I think I’ve been hesitant to do so because it’s about such an intimate moment between Taylor and I.

It was the day before New Year’s eve and I had just put our little guy down for the night. I was scrolling through Instagram and started seeing everyone’s “best nine” from the year and I figured out how to do my own. It was no surprise that the majority of the pictures had something to do with us fostering and preparing our home for a little one.

It all hit me. I started reflecting on the past year and started to think about all the stress that occurred with the fertility clinic and our desire to have a family of our own. I was thinking about all of the moments I spent longing to get pregnant — and still do — as well as the many times I sat in the rocking chair in the nursery just imagining a little one’s face as I held them in my arms. Naturally, I started to cry. Would you expect anything different? 🙂

I hadn’t cried in awhile, so once I started the tears just kept coming. I walked into the living room where Taylor was and he saw me crying. He asked what was wrong and I was able to shake my head as if to say “Nothing” and I sat on his lap, all curled up. I said I had just been thinking about the past year and last New Year’s eve. Through tears I explained how I wished we would have a family of our own when him and I kissed at midnight. Through my blubbering I said how happy I am and that I couldn’t believe we have a tiny human with us to celebrate this new year. I started to make Taylor tear up and I knew he had been thinking about it too.

Through all of the frustrating day-to-day moments and feeling like I don’t have enough time to do everything on my list, I soak it all in–the good and bad. I remind myself constantly of the longing feelings I felt thinking about having a little one to hold and care for. I never imagined having a one year old, but I think God knew what he was doing when He brought us together. I’m getting teary even now while thinking about all of this again because it’s something my heart has longed for for some time.

I can’t see into the future, so I can’t say if we’ll still have him with us six months from now, but I know that we will love him for however long we have him…and even longer. This all may not sound like much, but it was such a sweet moment between us as husband and wife…a full circle moment. To know that we can share ourselves and our love with someone who has been through so much in his short life, we feel lucky. I pray that the outcome is in his favor and that he will be safe wherever he is in his future.

You make our lives better. We wished for you. We prayed for you. We love you, A.

xoxo

Do You Have Kids?

I’ve been asked this question countless times whether at my job or in everyday life. Time and time again I’ve had to say “No, I don’t have any yet” with such a feeling of sadness. 

After we got licensed as foster parents I kept imagining where I would be and what I’d be doing when I got the call for a child to be placed with us. Would it be on Thanksgiving? At the Christmas tree farm? Would I be working? Or at home? I also kept imagining what his or her little face would look like. 

Never did I imagine we’d get an almost one year old little boy! And from another foster family at that! The love he was given from that family has given him the start he deserved in his first month of life, but sadly didn’t get. 

Even so, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The past week has been a huge adjustment both for us and little man. We’re tired. I caught a cold. Tay and I always talk in whispers while he’s sleeping. We have already seen him get more steady at standing on his own and even take his first 2 baby steps. I love every bit of this. It’s all worth it to give him the love and security he desperately needs– he’s been through so much in his short life so far.

We know this isn’t permanent. We may not end up having the opportunity to adopt him. We keep saying, “We will love him for however long we have him.” If he leaves us, a little piece of me will go with him. That’s the hard part about all of this. No matter what, though, we will trust in God for his plan to unfold for us and this little guy. 

For the past two years we’ve wanted a family of our own. Someone who we could share our love with and never think twice about it. The first night when he was brought to our home, Taylor’s family was here. While in the kitchen making dinner, Tay’s brother was holding little man while Tay’s mom was playing peek-a-boo behind his back. All I heard was little man’s laughter and giggles filling up the room. I instantly started to well up with tears and had to hold them back. So much information and emotions were processed that evening and it all hit me in that moment. I thought to myself: This is what I’ve been longing for. 

Yesterday I was at Kroger buying a birthday cake for him as he just turned one on Thursday. I was talking with a woman who was telling me about a Christmas event at our town’s community center. She asked me that same old question: Do you have kids? My reply with confidence: Yes, yes I do. 

He may not look like us and he may only be with us for a season, but I have a son with my husband who we love. I am a mother. He is my baby. God is faithful. 

xoxo