Where Do I Go From Here?

This past miscarriage was the hardest I've ever experienced because it was the only one of the 5 I've had that I had seen the baby, seen it move and heard its heartbeat three times over several weeks.  I thought I was in the safe zone and I admit I took it for granted.  I felt like I was detached from my body in the first 24 hours or so.  My doctor noticed this but didn't say anything until today.  Some people experience that initial shock and numbness and disassociate themselves from the trauma and that is what happened to me and now I realize that.

It did finally hit me and I've been grieving very hard experiencing a pain that I've never gone through.  I've read a lot and though it hurt, it helped too.  I talked a lot with my husband and that has been helping in the process.  I went through guilt and blame thinking I did this somehow by not eating enough or taking tylenol when I had the flu or doing too much, etc.  That is normal too from what I read and was told.  I also felt like I was being punished for something from God - and that is even a normal feeling in this type of loss.

So comes the question of where do I go from here?  It is hard to have hope again but I know that one day it will come back.  I had thought this was my "sign" or whatever from God that I just can't have babies anymore but my husband does not believe so and doesn't want me to close the door on future children.  My doctor already did a lot of tests and we will have more tests soon on my recurrent miscarriage issue.

I try and think of the future and it is hard as all my dreams for this year revolved around this baby coming.  Focusing on my husband, children and home again is helping me and I'm slowly immersing myself back into my life.  I know one thing for sure - I wouldn't want to go through this without God!  As a friend of mine added today, she wouldn't want to go through even life without God and that is so true!!  Thank you readers for your prayers and support, I appreciate it and am thankful for each one of you!!

In His Arms

I saw this on a blog and wanted to share as it really comforted me through my loss yesterday and I think it would do the same for those who have lost a baby as well:


My dearest little baby, my dearest little flower,
The time of your departing, was my darkest hour.

I longed to see and touch you, I longed to hold you close,
I dreamed of counting fingers, and all your little toes.

I dreamed of what we'd name you, and the joy that you would bring
To your brother and your sister, oh how they'd laugh and sing!

For there is nothing quite as precious as a brand new little life,
And nothing quite as empty, when it's takes eternal flight.

Others think I'm mourning over such a little thing,
"We'll have plenty more and our lives are still the same."

But what is greater than life? And what is deeper than its loss?
Is it not what Jesus gave us when He died upon the cross?

Life is the greatest of all gifts, life is the greatest of all joys,
Life is ever so much more than just another girl or boy.

And so our lives are NOT the same, they never will be again,
Because we'll never know or see, all that might have been.

If you had come into the world and lived life to the full,
Perhaps you would have stopped another shooting at a school,

Or maybe you would have been the one to find a cure for cancer,
Maybe you would have found that long and sought for answer.

Of course the Lord can still choose to use another way,
But maybe it would have been you, who on earth can say?

But no, they never stop to think of what you might have been,
As life is not highly regarded by our modern man.

They move on and they forget. The unborn never gets a thought,
They say things without thinking and crush a mother's heart.

It's amazing how you've changed me, and for that I have to smile,
I'll not soon forget the lessons I've learned through this great trial.

I'll use it for God's glory and to bring others comfort too,
It wouldn't be this way at all, if it hadn't been for you.

I'm so glad God gave me a glimpse, as painful as it's been,
For I see His unseen hand, and I trust His master plan.

I'm so glad you're in His arms, though I'd rather have you here,
But it won't be long until I'm there, holding you my little dear.

© Ashley Plourd

5th Baby Awaiting Us In Heaven

I can't say that this came as a shock to me as I have felt this pregnancy just wasn't right from the very beginning.  I felt it was weird, I even told my husband I felt that the baby wasn't human (I was having weird thoughts!!) and about 6 weeks ago I had felt that the baby was dead inside of me - though others assured me it was just crazy thoughts.

Last night I started to bleed and I knew - I just knew my crazy thoughts were real.  I then started having pain and contractions by the time we got to the hospital.  I told the doctor how I had been feeling for 6 weeks and he said that the baby wouldn't be dead in me that long.  Well.....after the ultrasound results came back, he came back in and said I was right, the baby died in me 6 weeks ago, which was about the time I had had the terrible case of the flu for 2 weeks.  For some reason my body wasn't expelling it until now.

I was calm through most everything and felt that I was ready for this.  They put me to sleep and did a D&C and also checked for cancer with that growth I had on my cervix but they are pretty sure it isn't cancerous after getting a better look at it.

It is kind of ironic that I just blogged about tempting God as I feel that now if I continue to try to have a baby it wouldn't be right for us.  This one was really confirmation to me that my body can not do this anymore.  Who knows what God protected me from or prevented - He knows!  His will be done!!  I'm SO THANKFUL for the 2 miracles I have - my daughter and son - and how I wasn't even supposed to be able to have them!  They are truly miracles and I have 5 children awaiting me in Heaven!

As has come to me so many times in the past miscarriages - Job's words:

Job 1:21

".....the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

Tempting God?

I have been asked for advice on special situations in people's lives when it comes to birth control and children.  I've always told people that it is between them and God and their spouse - my opinion is just that - an opinion.  There has been circumstances of where the woman was medically at risk if she was to have children and my opinion was in those cases, you shouldn't risk it.  Although, when it came to my own personal life after a difficult pregnancy, I wasn't so sure.  I felt that God allowed us to have another child but I'm not 100% sure that I should have more if this one ends in a c-section.  That is something I will have to be in much prayer about and discuss with my husband.

I'm not Catholic but something that Pope Francis said recently, really made me think.  I put the quote below and he talks of a woman who had 7 c-sections and is pregnant again.  He basically says she is tempting God and could leave those 7 children orphans as she could die.  I can see how that woman should have probably stopped a while ago since she had so many surgeries BUT there has been successful and safe c-sections up to 13.  Past 13 is probably really tempting God but is she wrong?  Was God wrong to give her another child?  God is the giver of life, not us.

Pope Francis reaffirmed his rejection of population-control programs as an example of ideological colonization and his praise of Blessed Paul VI for defending Catholic teaching against contraception.

But "this does not mean a Christian must make children one after another," the pope said, citing the case of a woman who became pregnant an eighth time after giving birth to seven children via cesarean section.

"Does she want to leave seven orphans?" he said. "This is tempting God."

"Some people think -- excuse me for saying this -- that to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits," Pope Francis said, yet church teaching provides for "many licit ways" to limit reproduction. http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1500255.htm

What do you think?   Was this woman tempting God?  How do you define tempting God?  Where in the Bible does it show people tempting God by having another child?  It seems good to say what he said and reasonable to our human minds but it is right and Biblical?

There are women that die having ONE child - so maybe they shouldn't have tempted God by even getting pregnant.  Maybe you are tempting God by going to the store or to church when you are very ill.  Who decides what things fall under tempting God?  The woman in Australia must have "tempted God" after having her 13th c-section but God let her live.  Another woman in America died giving birth to her first child, so she must have "tempted God" beyond His limits for her right?  I hope that you can see through the illogical conclusions of this man's reasoning.  We can rest assured in God's Word that He will not put more on us than we can bear, He is still the maker of life and still in control.  Just follow His will for your life that you get in prayer and you can't go wrong!

Family Average Electric Usage

We only have electric (no gas), and I have learned over the years that our usage has been predictable and follows a certain pattern.  My electric company offers charts and usage comparisons so that you can see what you use and when you use the most.  These are great for planning your budget throughout the year and seeing those months where you can save money for other things.

We pay every 2 months for electric and so what is the highest month - January - is actually part of November, all of December and part of January's usage.  Those are the times we use heat the most and heat is expensive as you can see.  We keep our thermostat at 66 most of the time, though we have gone down to 65 some nights.  We live in a 1500 sq. ft mobile home, so the insulation is not that great, especially the floor since we are on blocks and the carpet tends to always be cold.  I would imagine in a stick-built home on a foundation with insulation, our usage and costs would be lower.

In the summer, we have 2 window air conditioning units that are on pretty much on all the time during the day and evening but they don't cost much in electric to run, as you can see by our chart for July and Sept.  We can plan for more money to save during May - Nov and then also plan for the larger bills in the winter months.

Our yearly average electricity usage is 16,000 kWh, which is, on average, 1300 kWh monthly or 43 kWh a day.  Our highest kWh this past year was slightly over 4000 for 2 months (2000 for 1 month) and our lowest was about 1800 for 2 months (900 for one month).  These charts are handy to compare year after year and also to see how you can get your usage down.

Some things that we do most of the time to save on electric costs are:

  • Keep the lights off during the day and use light from outside when possible
  • Use cold water to wash our hands
  • Unplug electronics that may pull a charge when not in use (chargers, phones, etc.)
  • Unplug things that you don't plan on using daily
  • Use full loads in the dryer
  • Keep our thermostat at 66 in the winter

There are more but those are just a few - share any that you may have!

Organizing 4-Drawer File Cabinet & Categories List

I bought our 4-drawer filing cabinet last year but after all my health issues, I never got around to consolidating all of our papers into this one cabinet.....until this past week!  It took a lot of work and a few days but I got it done and it feels so good to have a place for just about every paper that we could own.  I don't think I've been this organized with papers ever in my life.  We have had file boxes before but it wasn't organized like this.  I had piles and boxes and bins of papers all over the house and I was tired of that, even though some were organized, I wanted them all in ONE place and that is what I have now.

So without further adieu.......

I divided the drawers into 4 categories - Home, School, Important Papers and Manuals & Records

Here is the first drawer - Home

2nd drawer - School (Homeschool)

3rd drawer - Important Papers

4th drawer - Manuals & Records

Here is a list of the categories I used for each drawer, which is what took a long time to come up with!  I left some extra folders for additions later on.  I also didn't share 2 of the categories because they were companies that were personal for insurance and things like that.

File Folder Categories

Weekly Sales
Meal Planning
Address Labels
Wall Art
Fitness & Nutrition

Goals & Plans
Book Lists
Seasonal - with 4 season sub-folders
Laws & Records
Bible, Math, Writing, Spelling, Grammar, Foreign Language, Science, History, Music, Logic, Art
Teacher Training

Important Papers
Current Medical Bills
Current Year HSA
Company Benefits
Pay Stubs
Social Security
Credit Reports
Important Documents
HSA Past Years
Medical Bills (Past)

Manuals & Records
Toys & Baby
Misc. Household
Medical Records

You may be wondering about some categories and what they mean, so I will explain a few and ask if you are wondering about any of the others.  The articles categories are for things I find in magazines or online and I want to save them.  The printables categories are for printables I find online usually, things like planner pages, calendars, etc.  The manuals are instruction manuals or warranties for whatever we own and I divided them up into 7 categories based on what we had.  The school subject categories are just for things I print out or find that I think would be used or referred to - these are not folders to store completed work, I keep those in binders in a closet.