My Miscarriage Story: Not the birth story I was expecting to be writing.

This is not the home birth story that I was expecting to be writing for you all. This one has a far sadder end. You hear that miscarriages happen very often but you never think it is going to be you. There were so many signs for me that this pregnancy was not going as it was supposed to. There were so many gut feelings and intuitions.

This pregnancy started with a shock. I had just come off birth control and was planning on doing the Shettle’s method. I was charting my temps and CM. Some how some way even though we were avoiding we got pregnant from having sex 6 days before ovulation. 6 days before my temp jump. I wasn’t even thinking that I was pregnant. I just POAS because sometimes it relaxes my body and I start my period. I was only maybe a day late. I was incredibly shocked to see the test line darken before the control line. I just felt a heat rush over me.

I had morning sickness for about 4 weeks after I found out that I was pregnant at 5 weeks. After that the morning sickness went away completely. My boobs didn’t hurt or any of the usual symptoms I have during pregnancy. I just chalked it up to being a baby of the opposite sex.

I felt like I wasn’t growing properly. With Baylee I started to show almost immediately. Again I guessed that girls were just smaller. I became obsessed with checking my fundal height. I would lay on my stomach trying to feel it. With Samuel I couldn’t lay on my stomach for the uncomfortable bubble feeling. I would also check it on my back. I checked the height daily.

At a group prenatal I voiced my concerns a little and my midwife looked for the heartbeat. She said it was probably just too early to hear it. My uterus is tilted so I thought it was due to that.

At my prenatal appointment a few days later we still couldn’t hear the heartbeat. She told me she could order an ultrasound, but my husband isn’t a fan so I said I would just wait till my next appointment. I ordered a doppler online. It still has not arrived. Cheaper than an ultrasound I told myself.

After the appointment I went for my bloodwork. I got the NIPT only wanting to know the gender. I had never gotten these types of tests before.

Then a few days ago my hubby and I had some time together… You know what I mean. I was spotting the next day. I brushed it off as it can be normal to have spotting after sex.

About a week after the blood work was taken she called me with the results. She told me the good news first. Baby was a girl. I was so happy for about ten seconds. Then the bad news. There were markers for a genetic for Turners a genetic anomaly that causes the baby to be miscarried in 99% of the cases. She said there was still a chance for a homebirth if I went for further genetic tests and baby did not actually have Turners and if she did if her heart was normal then it would be ok. She sent my info over to the specialist and I waited for his call. It came too late.

I cried and cried when I heard this news. Not only was my dreams of a third homebirth basically crushed, my dreams of a healthy daughter were too. I researched everything. The condition, the test, everything. I found out that the Turners test only has about a 14% PPV. That means that of the people they told had Turners babies only 14% were confirmed to have it after birth. So I felt hopeful.

The next day the spotting increased it went from pink and brown to pink and red. I grew more concerned. Then I had a gush of blood and water that wet my panties. I went to wake up my husband and said I need you to call in to work I’m bleeding and I want to go to the hospital to be checked out.  So he did. I messaged my midwife. She said I should go if I felt like that was the right thing. So I called my mom and let her know. I called my grandmother and said I’m bleeding can you take me to the hospital. She left work right away. I posted a brief live story on instagram. It was hard to keep from crying.

We arrived to the hospital. Only a few people were ahead of us. Ambulances kept coming and people filled the waiting room over and over. We waited to be seen for like 4 hours. Finally I got to the back. They took my urine and my blood. They were hopeful that the baby was ok. We were moved twice and finally went to another room. The ED DR came in and felt my belly. Then the ultrasound tech came to get me. The ultrasound lasted for ever. She wouldn’t let me see the screen and wouldn’t tell me anything. Finally it ended and I went back to my room and waited for what felt like an eternity yet was probably only 30 minutes.

The Dr came in and asked me if it was possible that my dates were off. My dates are never off. She said that the baby was measuring about 8-9 weeks and there was no heartbeat. What had happened was called a missed miscarriage and she told me to follow up with my Dr.

I cried and cried. I tried and tried to call my husband but his phone was on vibrate. We left the hospital with all hope lost. She was gone. Dead inside me for the past 4 weeks! My body just had not gotten the message yet. We stopped by Chick Fil A and got some food for me to take home since I had not eaten since breakfast.

I arrived home. I walked in and say my husband playing and watching tv with the kids. I said where’s your phone?  He said what happened and I abruptly and coldly said The baby’s dead!

I ate the fries and went to bed. I laid a towel on the bed just in case of more bleeding overnight.

The next day I started researching miscarriage at home. Since I didn’t feel like I wanted to have a D&C. I watched some youtube videos of people’s experiences with Cytotec and decided that it was what I would do. I asked my midwife for the meds and someone picked them up for me.

People from church came over and brought us food. We were thankful. I did not want to cook. I called my mother in law to come over and be with me while I took the pills in case I bled quickly.

She came quickly and played with the boys. I took the pills and started to bleed but not cramp. I was not bleeding more than a period so I went to bed after she left and took the next dose later on. I went back to sleep. When I woke up my midwife instructed me to take three pills.

This is where the story gets graphic and sad. So feel free to check out now.

This worked. Almost instantly I was cramping in intervals like contractions. I had diarrhea, a symptom of the pills. I tried to lay on the couch. Wearing a depend to catch anything. I only lasted a short while on the couch when I began to feel some pressure. I went to the bathroom and had more diarrhea. My phone rang and I went to check it. It was the MFM. A little late… As I pushed redial I felt vaginal pressure. I hurried to the bathroom and as soon as I hit the toilet my water popped. Then I poured blood for a few minutes. I stayed on the toilet for quite a while. Every contraction brought gushes of blood that filled the toilet. Finally I felt the need to poo again. With this I felt and saw the placenta emerge. It took two contraction for it to come out. I briefly considered catching it in a toilet paper. I didn’t. I briefly considered retrieving it from the toilet. But with what else was in there I didn’t. I said goodbye, I’m sorry. Then I flushed it away.

I stayed on the toilet longer. Continuing to bleed with each contraction. Eventually it felt like it had slowed and I was tired of being cold so I got in the shower. I laid there with the water spraying down on me. Contraction after contraction blood and clots came out. Once again I felt the urge to poop. As this was my lowest moment in life I allowed it to happen in the shower. Along with this yellow water went the baby. Clear as day I saw her. A little head arms and legs. Stiff, greyish pink. I sat up and tried to catch it before it went down the drain with my feet. But it was faster than my heartbroken reflexes. Down the drain she went. I grabbed my phone and shook the flashlight on. Turned off the water. Nothing in the drain.

I laid back down and sobbed. Maybe I could have inspected her, buried her. Anything. But she was gone. Once again.

I had my water birth. It didn’t end how I would have imagined it to. As the bleeding slowed I took a proper shower. Put my depend back on and went to lay on the couch. Thankful that it happened quickly and was less painful than I thought it was going to be.

I am sure we will probably try again someday. But I will never forget my sweet Mae and the short but great love and happiness that she brought me.

Until we meet again Rory Mae. I will always love you. I know we will see each other again. There is an afterlife.

Rory Mae Holbert

12-18-16 Conception

1-28-17 Suspected Death Date 8W6D

2-23-17 Final Passing

Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball I. The Acknowledgement of Debt

Yall,

We have debt. More than I thought we did. More than I would like to admit. It is so easy for us to drop $300 or more every weekend on food and nonsense. My husband was under-employed then out of work for a few months in 2014-2015. That along with our spending has dug us a hole. I’ll admit that we have no student debt. Our house is extremely modest, we only have one car, and our debt is not that bad compared to other people. Though I still feel enslaved by it. It is constantly something that is eating at me. I did not buy Dave’s book. Sorry Dave. I Googled and YouTubed the method. So adding up everything minus our mortgage we owe something like 42K. 18K of that is our car which we bought last year. It was time for a safer car since we have two children now. We got a 15K loan from the bank to float us until my husband got a job and we have four (now three) credit cards with a balance about 9K total. So I made us a more detailed budget and decided that it was time to stop the frivolous spending (even though it was not all that crazy of stuff, We rarely by clothes or shoes, it’s just the necessities of life sometimes cost more than we have) because at the end of the day what do we really have to show for those things (besides debt)? Nothing really. Nothing that really holds value.

I changed my grocery budget from no budget at all toss it in the buggy. To $600 or less a month not including our raw milk which runs $60 a month for 8 gallons. Last week was my first week. I did not get any cash out to pay for my groceries because we live in the city and there are  millions of people here and I don’t feel comfortable carrying my whole grocery budget around in my purse . I had a $40 gift card which I got when I bought a 5gal bucket of paint over 4th of July. With that my groceries were $86, I went to Aldi for bread because their gluten free bread is the closest to regular bread. Then I got a meal at Boston Market. Total for the weekend $120. Perfect! Right under my budget with $30 to spare. I was planning on going to Costco, but they close at 6 on Saturdays and It was already like 5:50. I ended up just buying everything at HEB. Which is a grocery store that is only in Texas and they are cheaper than Kroger. I did make a meal plan for the week which included a meal for each day. I already had my breakfast stuff like oatmeal and cereal at home so I did not have to buy that stuff. Overall I did well. Hopefully I can keep it up.

My goal is to have all debt, except for the car for now, paid off by June or July of next year. I really want to get my own car now that the boys are getting older. I want to be able to take them to preschool. I plan on choosing a preschool that I can work at as an assistant teacher to help with the tuition. I taught preschool for 5 years, and always planned to do it this way when I had children.

So for part 1 of my Dave Ramsey Challenge

I have paid off 1 credit card (which I was planning on paying off this month anyways) $2100 I’ve been saving up to pay this one off in a lump.

I have put $200 in my emergency fund, with a goal of getting to $1000 and eventually 10K

For next month I plan on paying off our Lowes card in a lump $1400

and putting another $400-800 in the savings depending on my tooth powder sales for next month.

Here’s to freedom!

Our Kitchen Remodel

I have been dreaming of renovating the tiny kitchen of our 1980’s home for the last 5 years! We bought this home as our starter home in 2011. Getting here was a struggle. We had over 20K in debt between us. A wedding (though I DIYed everything) It was the dress that was so pricey, Vita-craft cookware (a huge $2000 mistake) not that the cookware isn’t quality we just never use them for their intended purpose, two cars, a motorcycle that I got suckered into getting for a boyfriend (my dad said no and promised to take over the payments, wrecked it and didn’t pay, a $6500$ hit on a credit card that had %30 interest). I am certain there was more, but I can’t remember it all. Anyways we had debt and loads of it. We had to move in with my husband’s parents for a year, in which time we paid off all of our debt and saved up to buy a house. This house. 10150314366888009

That’s us and his parents in front of our home just before we closed.

(I’m sure they couldn’t wait to get rid of us)

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Taken after we put the new front door on and planted the gardenia bushes.

It’s a really cute little 1300 square foot house in a quiet neighborhood. We loved the location of this house. It was minutes from my husband’s work and I always went against traffic going to work. Plus it is minutes from all of the major freeways and close to downtown. The location has been a real blessing. We really have no desire to give up the location or to pay more for a house than we already do. Our mortgage is so low you would drop to the floor. Seriously. We pay about half of what a equally sized apartment would cost. So the plan is never to leave this home. We would be crazy to move and pay double at least to get a nice house in this area. (the only bad-ish thing is that the man who lived here before died in the house) I have kind of come to terms with this because this is our home, we love it here, and I am assuming that he died peacefully since he was old and a drunk. Best just not to think about it too much and I dare not ask the neighbors what happened. Ignorance is bliss my friends. Ignorance is bliss!

Back to the kitchen story, our kitchen sucks. I have done some updates already. A new Moen sink and faucet, a Bosch dishwasher, a new gas range, and a new giant Frigidaire Gallery refrigerator.

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As you can see we have just outgrown this kitchen. We are bursting at the seams in here. I’m suffocating in stuff and unfortunately there isn’t really any stuff that we can just get rid of.

So the plan is next year with our tax refund to save the money instead of using it to pay off debt. Since in about 6 months we will have the last bit of our more recent debts paid off. (the Ikea furniture, some business expenses, and some Costco debt, because Costco) About $3800. So woo for debt pay off. I am not going to count the Rooms to go furniture in the debt calculation because it was 0% interest for like a million years! Anywho, once the $3800 is paid off we will be saving about $800 a month! That sounds like a lot but, I like to send as much money to debt as we can afford to.

Next year’s tax refund will be saved along with the extra money from not having any debt and hopefully if we can stick to my plan we will renovate our kitchen within two years.

You have seen the befores now here are the intended afters! kitchen 2

The refrigerator will stay in the same location as before, but I will have the water pipe redone so the fridge can sit closer to the wall. Right now it is about 4 inches away from that back wall. The pantry on the left will be for food, the middle drawers for food and the pantry on the right will be for hiding small kitchen appliances. There is also a coffee area in the middle of the two pantries. The stove will be moved to the far wall and I plan on getting a black top glass range. I will however move the gas line behind the stove and have it turned off just in case whomever buys the house after us wants to use a gas range. For me, I hate cleaning the gas range. It is a huge pain in the rear. I would much rather have a flat easy to clean surface. The sink will stay in the same location also, this will save me money on plumbing! I will also be reusing my faucet because it was expensive and I love the look of it. I will not however, be reusing my sink, though it was expensive too, I want an undermout sink. So I will most likely sell my gas range and sink on eBay or in a Facebook group. kitchen 3

Another thing is that the bulkheads will be removed, this will allow me to use 40 inch cabinets. The cabinets above the kitchen sink will be gone to allow for a more open feel. In the design there is a wall there but there will be no wall. I have not decided on the flooring yet, I am wanting to use an engineered hardwood or real hardwood or wood look tile and I want the whole living room, kitchen, and hall ways. I would like to keep the cost of that installed around or less than $3 sq ft.  The lower cabinets will be the Ikea Bodbyn grey and the uppers will be the Bodbyn white. I am going with Ikea because I have read many blogs and watched many HGTV shows that have used Ikea cabinets with great success. I really like all of the customization options, and the kitchen cabinets come with a 25 year warranty so there’s that. Plus the price, you cannot beat it. All of this cabinetry is about $6200 and Ikea does a sale a few times a year where they have a 20% off all kitchens sale. Which means I can get all of my new cabinets for $4900! What?! Yeah, so the plan is to buy the cabinets with cash and have them delivered. They will hang out in my garage and when I have time I will assemble them. I like assembling things so it isnt a turnoff for me. All the while I will be saving up for the rest of the project. I will need about $2000-$2500 for the quartz countertops that I want, this includes the cost of the undermount sink and installation by home depot. The backsplash will cost about $500 in materials. I have no idea the cost of the range yet but I will stay under 1K. If I find the flooring that I like I will probably but that in advance also. I found some LED pot lights at Costco for $30 each, so I will be buying probably 6 of those for the kitchen and dining area. I want to have all of the materials here and ready to go when the installers come. This will help move things along faster.

I also want to do most of the demolition myself. I plan for demo to take about 2-3 days. Then I will have the new electrical, plumbing, and gas run while the walls are open. Hopefully I can schedule all three of those trades to come on the same day. So 1 day for that. Probably a day or two to fix the drywall from the bulkheads being removed. Then install the floors. I want to have the floors run under the appliances and cabinets also. It will probably take a couple days to do the floors. Then install the cabinets and the countertops and backsplash. I want my project to move really fast. So I will stay on top of the time lines and make sure everyone is working according to plan. My husband’s parent’s own a remodeling company so I will most likely use their guys for the bulk of the work except for the countertops.