I Feel Good

So again, it’s been a while since my last post. I really should get better about such things….

My surgery was on October 21, 2014 at 11:30AM. Going into surgery process I weighed 288lbs. Today I am at 242lbs. and counting.

For two weeks before surgery I was put on a restrictive diet that I complained about (meat and veggies only) then I went to an all liquid diet that made me wish for that meat and veggies. I was literally crying some days for the hate of liquid protein shakes. It was seriously hard to stay legit throughout that time period.

Then came the smooth/soft food period, which lasted for four weeks. Grateful to be out of the liquid but still longing for the real stuff… especially during that time of the woman that makes me crave red meat. Also during this whole process (from 2 days before til now) I have been exiled from my beloved coffee and other caffeinated drinks. Some will never return, such as pop of any kind or any other carbonated beverage. But today I had my first cup of joe and it was spectacular!

Yesterday, I saw my doctor and was given a great report. Apparently, my weight loss is fabulous and they are super happy with my progress. I was nervous because I thought it was going slow… I guess I’m just impatient! Go figure.

There is still a major war going on within me. A psychological one. A battle of my mind with food. Literally split between happy and anger.

I’m happy that I’m getting the results I signed up for… the ones for which I was hoping. I’m thrilled that the doc says my progress in on chart and my future looks good for the overall results I crave. And yet I’m angry with food. I miss being able to eat. Yes, I can eat food… but it’s such a small portion that my 13month old child eats more than I do in a sitting.

My family thinks in some ways it’s funny, but on the inside, I’m angry. I used to love to sit down to dinner with the family and enjoy my meal… but how do you enjoy 4 bites?

I want a big fat juicy hamburger (a craving that I’ve had for weeks) but I know that I could only eat one or two bites. So what’s the point?

Most of you will not be able to identify with this post. I get that. And I really don’t need you to. What I want is just to express again that this isn’t a battle with my body… it’s a battle with my mind, emotions, and all things psychological to win.

Despite all of this I do feel good. My body is happier, there is SOOOOO much less pain. I have a LOT more energy and my mood has improved greatly… just ask the kids. I haven’t touched a painkiller in over a month and that is a huge improvement. I have big goals, and I have actual hope to achieve them. This also brings enormous joy to my heart.

Please keep praying for me and thank you for the prayers you have already offered up on my behalf, trust me, I have felt them and been so very thankful for you all!

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Surgery is Scary Stuff

I knew from the beginning of our relationship that a cleft lip and palate were high in the probability rate. Philip told me early on that for him and his children that it was 50/50 they would have them.

So when I came up pregnant, I knew our chances were high. When I found out that she did have it, I allowed myself one really good cry, but it was for the loss of being able to breastfeed; not the appearance of my baby.

Yesterday, we talked to the hospital and set up all the final details for her surgery. When she has to stop eating (12 midnight- It’s going to be a long night before the surgery) and when we need to be there (6am, yikes!) and reminded that the surgery can take up to 3 hours.

3 HOURS! My baby will be under the knife for 3 HOURS!!!

Yes, the statistics are such that this should be a “no big deal” kind of thing.

I was in the background when my cousins baby went to this same doctor and had a major surgery and I thought, well it’s common and he’s got this. I’ll pray, but I know that he’s going to be fine…

Now I’m sitting in their seat and beating myself up. I DO NOT CARE IF IT’S COMMON… MY BABY HAS TO HAVE SURGERY AT 6 MONTHS OF AGE!!!

I’m so sorry I can’t seem to put myself in other people’s shoes very well. Because now that I’m in them, they sure are uncomfortable and very scary.

I’ve been playing it cool… saying that the doctor has to do over 200 of these a year (1 in 700 Caucasians are born with cleft lip and palate) I’ve also seen his work and he is phenomenal. But… this momma’s heart is still slightly on the freak out edge. Just slightly.

Some of you know me well enough to know that it’s like a dual personality thing. One minute I’m quoting stats and looking at results, listening to the Doc and going “sure, no big thing.” And the next minute, I’m hiding in a corner and crying over the fact my baby has to go through this.

So I’m begging you. If you have any ability to sympathize with this crazy mom… would you please pray with me for this thing on Friday? Doc says she has an 80% chance of coming home (outpatient) but she is tiny enough that they think there is still that 20% chance she will have to stay overnight because of the anesthesia.

Please pray for peace for me, and everyone else… for steady hands for Dr. Mann, and for baby girl that she would be a star patient and recover quickly and easily. Oh, and please pray that she continues to stay healthy. For they won’t operate on a sick little baby.

Thank you friends…

Autumn (before surgery) hanging with big brother, who thought she should be a fireman :)

Autumn (before surgery) hanging with big brother, who thought she should be a fireman 🙂

Admission (Part 2)

Last year in March (right before I found I was pregnant) I posted an Admission about my weight, lifestyle and desire to change.

Well, seeing as it’s the middle  of the following year and baby is born. I am right back where I started. Only this time, it also comes with a startling revelation.

To explain, I need to give you a little back-story. In March of 2009 I essentially lost my dad. His body remains with us, but the quick whit, sharp mind, strong faith father left us. I was 31. I wasn’t young, and I wasn’t dependant on him anymore. He was 54. (I promise there is a point here.)

I just gave birth to a beautiful and amazing little girl that will be 19 when I am 54. Just beginning her life as an adult and finally deciding that her mom is needed and if I follow my father’s footsteps… well, I won’t be available to her or any of my children. It terrifies me that my children will be mourning their mother, because she didn’t take care of herself and feeling the way that I do about my father.

Yesterday I got on the scale. I am now the heaviest that I have ever been in my entire life. My body is stretched out, filled out and scarily heavy. I have talked about this over, and over, and over again. No one believes me. I’m not sure if I even believe me. But I am serious about this. I want my choices to allow me the best chances to be there for my children… and prayerfully even my grandchildren.

I will disclose the weight… and I will beg your prayers, support and even the nagging questions that are sure to come. I want to do this more than I ever have before. I want to remake my life and my body.

Today I weigh 284 lbs. and wear size 22/24 clothes on the bottom and size 18/20 on top. I’m embarrassed to even write that sentence.

By this time next year, I want to be at least 80 lbs lighter. I’d like to aim higher, but I don’t want to set myself up for failure. As I’m sure to come against that anyway.

So people here we sit… I am on the edge of a big… make that huge change and I need to do this more than ever. Please pray for me. I need it.

Here I go, into the wild world of change.

A Year It Has Been

If you had told me last Christmas where I would be today, well… I would have laughed and called you nuts. But here I sit, and upon reflection am completely amazed by all that has happened. Since I am so fantastic about sending letters and Christmas cards (HA!) I am going to use this media as the way of sending our Christmas letter.

A year it has been, in review:

January:

Anders was living with my Aunt in Michigan and we got the call to see if we would consider letting my cousins to adopt him.

AJ broke his arm riding his bike down the hill by our house in Indiana.

We came to Michigan to drop AJ off to Winterblast at Camp Beechpoint, and totalled the van on the way to pick up Tyler for the weekend. That same weekend met with my cousins to talk through and make it official to start the adoption process.

February:

Not much happened in this month… except my awesome husband took me on a cruise through the Caribbean. Such a blessed time away and fun for us as a couple.  🙂

March:

Brought us back to Michigan to visit family and friends on Spring Break. I finally met my adorable and amazing nephew Amadeo.

Oh, and I got pregnant.

April:

April was a quiet month, but only because we were busy packing and looking for a place to move to back in Michigan! That and I was always sick…

I also went to an amazing retreat and was struck by what God had to say to me that weekend.

May:

AJ finished his school year… and we found the house, finished up the packing and moved our massive truck of junk back to Michigan.

June:

Discovered I must have my Gallbladder removed. Asked for prayer and was healed from the massive amount of pain and torment it brought.

Tyler graduated from Elementary school and gave a great speech at his graduation ceremony.

We got the adorable and lively pup Pepper.

July:

We went to West Virginia to visit family and Cambria put a nice scar on her forehead while there. It was such a beautiful visit (well other than the scar bit 🙂 )

AJ turned 11, can you believe it?

Celebrated 2 year anniversary of Official Adoption!

Also went to the local fair and I got to ride an elephant. I can’t get over the fact that that actually happened 🙂 It was so cool!

August:

We took the family to Myrtle Beach, SC. A crazy deal and an amazing trip of memories. I cannot list all the fun, but it will never be forgotten!

September:

School started and Cambria has begun the school life. My heart broke a bit to realize my baby girl was in school… but she was in love from the first minute.

October:

My birthday happened… yep, I’m feelin the age a bit.

We celebrated all 9 birthdays from Oct- Dec at the end of the month. Craziness…

Also had an amazing baby shower with a bunch of great friends.

November:

Tyler turned 12, also very hard to imagine!

… And a week later, when I was supposed to be having my next baby shower, Baby Girl Autumn arrived. 🙂 We couldn’t believe how early she was, and all the drama around her surprise arrival. Praising God for the quick recovery from the illness and struggle that came with being early!

Thanksgiving at our house with the family (minus a couple that were very much missed). A fabulous day! So much to be thankful for!

December:

Cambria turned 5 and Levi 3!!

The house is busy and humming with activity as family and friends visit and meet the baby and celebrate Christmas with us.

Although our year had lots of stuff, good and bad, we are blessed by where God has brought us. And we look forward to what He will bring us this coming year!

May you all be blessed by Christ this Christmas and be filled with love, joy and blessings in the coming new year.

Megan and Family

 

Abundant, Overflowing, Extravagant Blessings

This month started out with me writing posts every day about the things for which I’m thankful. At first it was just to help change my hearts pattern of complaint. But it ended up transforming my mind, attitude, and even eyesight.

After I thought of three things everyday, I started to see more and more things… and three a day was just the icing on the blessing cakes that I was getting served everyday.

Then 8 days into the project, the biggest blessing decided it was time to come over a month early. I was scared, upset, crying and begging God for protection and care, and I got so much more.

This was part of one of my posts from this month :

“…Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement and love. I have seen through this last week just how blessed I really am. A family that drops everything to help us and even cleans our toilets, amazing doctors (who visit us on their day off!) friends who sacrifice their weekend to give us time to sleep, and a church family that is coming around us too. I honestly could not ask for more!” 

Honestly the blessings have been abundant, overflowing, and extravagant! Every day I am blessed more and more… and I needed to let you all know just how much…. thus this post.

So, starting with hospital choices, Metro Health was an awesome experience. The nurses were beyond sweet, they were helpful, kind, friends even. They made my stay there most enjoyable. Not to mention the care they gave both me and the baby.

Autumn (the newest addition in our life) came into the world with a little difficulty breathing and some concern for her ability to leave the NICU. They originally told me that she would spend 2 days in the NICU and within 7 hours of her birth she arrived in my room to stay.

They also told me that because of her cleft lip and palette she would never be able to breastfeed. She defied that as well. Now, she’s not able to do it all the time, but she can do it and that is more of a blessing than this momma’s heart can describe.  When in the hospital for jaundis and other issues, the nurses and staff at DeVos were extraordinary! Having her pediatrician come to the hospital on her day off was beyond expectation and a blessing to my heart. Not to mention the conversation and education we got from the plastic surgeon who will be doing her surgery in a few months. She truly has the best care wrapped all around her, giving me such peace and that is a true blessing too.

Philip and I were a little concerned about Levi and his response to no longer being the baby in the house… but it turned out that even though there is a normal amount of jealousy, he really is an awesome big brother. He holds her, talks to her, helps me take care of her and brags about her to others. My heart is truly blessed by this little boys happy response to these changes. He is growing by leaps and bounds… and such a smart kid! He’s learned his alphabet song, recognizes a lot of numbers, can count to 12 and knows so many colors and shapes! I’m telling you he’s not even 3 yet! He is such a joy!

Cambria is a huge ray of sunshine in this house. I admit, there have been many times when I have been blind or annoyed by her sunshine, but I cannot help but be dazzled by it lately. She’s sensative to the needs of the littlest princess, cares about what momma is doing, learning about being a momma, and then dances the day away with smiles, giggles and sparkling personality. She does her homework with enthusiasm, learning is a joy for her and she is thriving in school. She loves to help and such a tender and loving heart. Her teacher loves having her… and I adore my little Cambria Joy!

Alistir is such a sweet boy. He is smart and willing to help. Growing like a weed and trying so hard to learn what it means to be a boy after God’s heart. He is learning… and for that I am grateful.

Tyler has such a tender heart and it blesses me. He took it on himself to have his mom help him make a meal to bring us in the hospital, so that we didn’t have to worry about it. He constantly is working with the other kids to help me out. He is such a blessing.

Our home was filled with food from church members every day. And my family worked so hard to make sure the kids were taken care of, the house was cleaned and our family was set while I was still in the hospital. Not to mention the shower that I was supposed to have, but didn’t because baby came, people were so generous and brought the gifts over anyway so we could have them when she came home.

This week, the teachers of Alistir and Cambria were so nice and called me for conferences. They are so kind and we are blessed in how much they care for our kids. They really want what is best and will do whatever is necessary to help the kiddos excel!

Honestly, the blessings are so incredible… I cannot even list them all… that just proves how blessed we are.

 

Pre-teen Boys

This is like opening a can of worms… but I’m going to do it anyway.

Preteen boys are exasperating! They eat. They drink. And they think the world revolves around them. Oh, and they know everything, and I do mean everything! When proven wrong they are still convinced they are right. When the cycle is complete they eat again and then some more later.

Now don’t get me wrong, these boys can also have moments of being SUPER helpful and kind. They have hiccups in their routine where they might actually care and want to entertain and be with the younger “annoying little siblings”, but overall, if given the choice… all about them, all the time.

I only exist for 3 reasons.

1. To rid them of said annoyances.

2. To feed them- this is of greatest importance

3. To entertain them, when their preferred method of entertainment has been removed. AKA- I told them to turn off whatever device they have stared at for the last 3 hours unblinkingly. (It’s kinda creepy really)

I kinda like existing… but I would rather exist for reasons like

1. “Mom, you are so awesome, I just want to hang with you”

2. “Mom, can I help you with making the food that I’m going to consume like a flock of sheep on fresh grass?”

3. “Mom, thank you for giving me built in playmates, how can I play with them better?”

HA! I know, it’s a joke. It’s NEVER going to happen, but my mind often wonders how life would be different if we didn’t have these wonderful, horrid things called computers and video game systems?

I will admit to spending way too much time staring at the screen sometimes. Grocery lists, menu ideas, cleaning tips, shopping for clothes- since they never seem to fit the same clothes 3 weeks in a row, you know… mom stuff. And if I were honest a few games that have captured my addictive pattern… darn Candy Crush Saga!

But I have to get up and feed them, clean the house around them, and occasionally play with little peoples. Then feed them again! (School will be a nice break from all the feeding them 🙂 )

I have chores set up for them, and requirements of reading but I still want to toss those stupid devises out the window!

How do you convince a child that the world around them is so much bigger than themselves? That discovering and playing in the woods and with the dog will have lasting memories whereas the computer will be only a glitch in the radar? Memories built with family last, but with a devise will  disappear.

I miss the boys that wanted to play with kids and hang out outside and go places with the family. Yeah, they would rather stay home and play on the darn devises than go to the zoo with the family. If only their mean, horrible mom (and dad) would let them! I mean, I’m so nasty! I make them go to the beach, to picnics, family vacations and random outings with no devises! Can you believe it?!

I’ve been warned that this stage is only the beginning of headaches and heartbreak. Why is growing up so painful… for the parent?! Oh yeah, and for them too… 😛

Many thoughts… and convictions

I don’t really know where to begin.

I’ve said from the beginning that I would be honest about my thought processing on this blog, and that it would not always be pleasant and happy. And I have hinted about the difficulty of the last year. Lots of things made this year difficult… but one thing was probably the biggest reason. My heart.

I’ve had multiple conversations over the last couple of weeks, all of them focused on one thing: what would this last year had been like if I had just stayed close to the Master? I’m guessing a LOT different.  I’ve been filled with guilt over Anders. I have been filled with anxiety and anger and more anger and more, all focused on myself and wondering if I could have done more, if I could have changed things, if I could have been the mother he needed.  And now that I’m pregnant… well, you can imagine the thoughts, nightmares and overall doubt filling my mind on my ability as a mother.

I was so angry at God. So incredibly angry. It’s become a pattern of anger. Something goes wrong… I get angry. Kids do something bad, anger flashes like lightning and I’m instantly regretful and angry at myself. This anger has become a crutch and sin that I need to confess and lay down.

The anger at God was because I couldn’t change things. I couldn’t make life better for my family, and He certainly didn’t seem to be helping (of course that requires me turning to him for help, but anger wouldn’t let me.) I had obeyed everything that He told me to do up until that point, foster care, adoption, marriage, that I couldn’t understand why I was in this place of punishment… or at least what felt like punishment. Everything up to this point felt like failure and obeying and consulting with God was setting myself up for more pain. So instead I’d just get angry and not seek Him at all.

Upon serious, devastatingly honest conversations with God and a few trusted people, I do not believe that the outcome would be different. I believe with all my heart Anders is where he needs to be, where God wants him to be, but I still struggle with guilt over how he got there and my heart attitude in the process. I’m not sure that I can ever be happy or even properly resigned to the results.  But I have to surrender those thoughts, those things that the enemy uses to destroy my hope, and trust in Jesus.

I have mentioned this church that we are attending and I have to tell you, it’s like God is using this little place to waken a very dry and hungry part of my heart. I feel like I have come alive again. I see truth as help, not as an enemy. I see God’s word as making me new, not as a destruction tool.  If you are reading this and have known me for years… I had allowed myself to get to the darkest and hardest place I had ever gotten in my life.  I think I was actually unrecognizable in my heart.

Last nights sermon (yes, I went to church on a Sunday NIGHT) was on Col. 3.  “Putting off all anger, wrath, … etc” that verse was like a knife and a 2 x 4 across my head. These things aren’t character flaws, they are sin. To continue in them is sin. To allow them to dictate my heart and minds response to life is sin. They must be stopped.

This post is very personal. Very difficult for this people pleasing woman to admit her deepest flaws and lay them out there. But I feel like it’s a step onto the right path for becoming the woman of God that I am meant to be. To becoming the mother that I am meant to be. To becoming the servant I am meant to be.

If you love me, please pray for me. Laying down anger is hard. Laying down a sin that has become default response is even harder.  I have to do this.  By God’s grace, mercy and continuous love I will conquer (Romans 8:37) and be made more like Him.