Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Natural Prevention of Ebola and Other Illnesses

With the Ebola scare that is happening in the US right now, I have been asked for some ways to boost the immune system, and keep our bodies strong enough to fight or prevent Ebola. You want to continually work on this, continually build your immune system, and the strength of your body. By following at least some of the suggestions on this post, you can strengthen your immune system, and strengthen your body, and reduce your risk of being harmed by Ebola, the flu, or any other virus or disease that comes your way.

We're going to start with a list of anti-viral and immune boosting herbs. I suggest you acquaint yourself with at least several of these, and learn to use them properly. You want to use at least some of these on a daily basis, to build your immune system, and to fight off any bugs that come your way.

Note: I am not going into great detail about each herb in this post, as it is already going to be long. It is up to you to do your own research regarding the safety of each herb for children, pregnant or lactating women, or those with health conditions or on medication. I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. This is not 100% insurance that you will not get sick.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's move onto herbs.

Passing the Time While on Bedrest

I am currently living at the hospital, an hour away from my family. They admitted me on Monday. You can read the update here. So, what have I been doing to pass the time (besides writing this rather mundane blog post?)

I've been watching 19 Kids and Counting on T.V. I watched Grace Unplugged yesterday, and thought it was pretty boring.

I've been reading a lot. The Psalms (did you know Psalm 68 says to worship God by name? I think that's awesome), Cure Tooth Decay (good book!!), and an ebook about using essential oils safely. It goes in depth about the chemical properties of oils, and when it is and isn't appropriate to use them. It's good knowledge. I forgot to bring my books for my Family Herbalist course. I'll probably get hubby to bring those up soon.

I also have some yarn, so I'll probably make a few hippy headbands (my new thing). I'll be opening a new Etsy at some point in the future, selling hippy/boho hair accessories, aromatherapy hot/cold rice packs, aromatherapy stuffed animals, and baby toys. I'm pretty excited about it. It all started when I figured out how to use a sewing machine. It's so awesome, and so fun, and I'm totally obsessed with fabric now.

I had a few visitors today, most importantly my babies came to see me, which was wonderful. They told all about their day, and Canon said he'd pick some flowers from the yard to bring me tomorrow. :) I treasure flowers from that boy more than just about anything else he could give me. 

All of my best friends are currently out of town camping for Sukkot. Hopefully they'll be able to come see me when they get back. (You know who you are.)

Except for one, my nurses have all been amazing. They just keep getting better. I'll say "oh, I love that nurse, she's so nice!" And then the next one is even nicer! The doctors, not so much; thankfully I don't see them very often. I think they realize I'm an uncooperative patient that questions things instead of just doing what they say, and so one of them in particular isn't the most pleasant person.

I am continually blown away by my support system. I have friends I barely know going out of their way to help me and my family, and I am just so thankful!

I am highly emotional right now, and can't handle talking about my kids. So, if you come visit me, try not to bring them up. My introverted nature can't handle heightened emotions without expelling them. I think I've cried a million times since I've been here.

I guess that's it for now. Keep praying! Baby needs to stay in much longer, and needs my membranes to seal completely so he can have the fluid he needs.

Psalm 68      
Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.
Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name Jah, and rejoice before him.
A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:
The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.
10 Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.
11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.
12 Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.
13 Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.
14 When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.
15 The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.
16 Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lordwill dwell in it for ever.
17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.
19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.
21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.
22 The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:
23 That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.
24 They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.
25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.
26 Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
27 There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.
28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.
29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.
30 Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war.
31 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.
32 Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:
33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.
34 Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.
35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pregnancy Update and Prayer Requests

I had an ultrasound today. It's strange having so many. I didn't have any with my other children, and I've had 3 already, and am scheduled for another one in two weeks.

They said that the baby looks normal as far as they can tell. They really couldn't see everything very well, because of the extremely low fluid. My amniotic fluid measured at 3cm, which is an improvement from none at all! But it's still very low, and worrisome. They want to give me 2 steroid shots next visit to help the baby's lungs. Since he was very low/out of fluid during the 20-22 week stage - a pivotal time for lung development - there's a chance that his lungs will be weak when he is born. The neonatologist that I met today said that there's no way to tell what the condition of his lungs will be until he is born. He could be fine, he could need oxygen, he could need a respirator, or, worst case scenario, the lungs could be so weak that they won't be able to help him...

He is measuring at 24.5 weeks, so I'm due later than I thought. 

That's pretty much all I learned today. Pretty short update. We would greatly appreciate prayers for:

1. Baby's lungs to develop perfectly. For them to be strong and healthy and work fine on their own.

2. For my amniotic fluid to increase to normal levels.

3. For me to carry him to term.

4. For me to avoid getting an infection, as my risk is increased if my membranes are ruptured, which it seems like they are.

Thank you everyone! And thank you to everyone who has been using my Amazon affiliate link for their Amazon shopping. It has been such a blessing!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Weekend Deal Roundup 10/3/14

50% off high quality coconut oil at Tropical Traditions!

Sign up for an account on Educents and get a $10 gift card! Educents carries some really fantastic, HIGHLY discounted homeschooling supplies. It doesn't cost anything to create an account, and you get $10 free!

Free Charlotte Mason Style Planner

Free Apple Letter Sorting Printable Game

Free October Monthly Meal Planner

 Fashion Friday-10/3/14- Fall Cozy Accessories- 60% off & FREE SHIPPING with Code COZYFALL.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Plexus started out as a business because they care about health; and they still do!!
During the month of October, for every Breast Chek Kit sold to Ambassadors and Customers, Plexus will include a matching Breast Chek Kit for that person to give away! It's very reasonably priced, very sensitive (can find VERY small lumps) and it's reusable! Checking yourself monthly is a very important part of womanhood, so don't wait. Get one for you and for someone you love!

Buy here! 

                                                         Saucony running shoes 50% off

Monday, September 29, 2014

National Coffee Day

photo credit

Happy National Coffee Day! What a glorious day! (Can I get an amen?) 
My perfect cup of coffee is made from freshly ground organic coffee beans. I like cream or half and half, and a touch of organic coconut crystals, raw sugar, or maple syrup.

I used to say that I "liked coffee with my cream and sugar", but since I started buying whole beans and grinding them myself, I can drink it black if I have to, although I still prefer cream and a touch of something sweet. 

I'm not drinking anymore coffee for the rest of this pregnancy (someone drink a cup in my honor!) so I'll be enjoying my herbal coffee today. If it was cooler, I would sit out on the porch and drink it while watching my children play in the yard, but it's supposed to be in the 80's all week. I am ready for fall to be here full time!

This post wasn't very long or exciting, but I love coffee, so I decided to write about it.
What's your favorite way to drink coffee?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekend Deal Roundup 9/26/14

Hello everyone! I am really trying to get back into the swing of blogging after such a long break. I have been so touched and happy to hear that people have missed my posts! I'm going to try to get back into doing the weekend deal roundup as well, as I know a lot of you liked that. So here we go!

The Best 100 Homeschool Freebies of the Past Month.

5 Free printable chore charts for kids

Himalayan salt lamp: 50% off! I have this one, and I LOVE it so much! 

                                         LeapFrog My Own Leaptop 33% off.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

7 Things I am Thankful for Today

We've got a lot going on in our lives right now. A lot of worry, and stress, and touch of chaos. But we also have a lot of beauty in our lives right now. So I thought it would be a good idea to take a breather and list some things that I am thankful for.

1. The multitudes of people, all over the country, who have been praying for us and our baby. Thank you, and keep praying!

2. Our dear and beloved friends who let us interrupt their evening and visit so long that their supper got cold.

3. The people who have blessed us financially as we walk this journey. It has really touched us deeply, and will help immensely once those bills from NC start rolling in!

4. Fall!! Oh, the weather has been glorious!

5. Herbal coffee. I had to give up caffeine for the rest of this pregnancy, so I am very thankful for herbal coffee.

6. The people who have brought us food while I am spending the majority of my time resting!

7. My cast iron tea pot. I just love it. So much. 

                         Also, these guys. These guys are pretty awesome. ;)

What are some things you are thankful for today?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pregnancy Update: What In The World is Going On???

We had our first visit at the hospital we chose today. (If you haven't read, I have a high risk pregnancy that needs monitoring. You can read about it here.) The visit was....interesting.

After a very long ultrasound, the doctor told us that he didn't see any sign that our baby has Gastroschisis, or any kind of abdominal defect. So...Either the doctor in NC made a very serious misdiagnosis, or this doctor is wrong, or God completely healed our baby. He said that our baby is perfectly normal, other than his head being a bit squished looking due to low amniotic fluid.

Which brings me to the current big issue. Low, basically non-existent, amniotic fluid. My baby is at the age where his lungs should be making a lot of progress in expanding and developing, and they can't do that properly without amniotic fluid. And according to the doctor, I don't have much, if any. They don't know if this is because my membranes have ruptured, or what could be causing it, but it's a really big deal at this point.

He checked to see if I had been leaking amniotic fluid recently (I though I had this morning), and he said the tests said that I hadn't, so we really have no idea what's going on. I have been leaking something the past few days, but he's saying that it's not amniotic fluid. So...I don't know what it was.

If my membranes have ruptured (if my water has broken), then I am in a small percentile of women who haven't gone into labor within a few days of that happening, which was another reason he thinks that I may be low on fluid for some other unknown reason.

I have another appointment in a couple weeks to do another ultrasound to check the levels of the fluid. If they haven't increased at all, he said he wants to treat me as though my water has broken, which would (according to him) involve being admitted to the hospital - for at least 10 weeks. This is mainly to watch out for infection that could happen if my water were broken.

Personally, I have no intention of being admitted to the hospital just so I can be given antibiotics I don't currently need, and watched for signs of infection. That's just not feasible.

He also said that it's possible for ruptured membranes to seal back up. So for all of my prayer warriors, I need you to pray that if the membranes have ruptured, that they will seal back up, and whether they've ruptured or not, that amniotic fluid will start accumulating back to a normal level!! Also, please continue praying that I am able to safely carry this baby to term, and that he will be healthy and not have problems with his lungs. Thank you all!!

Here is a beautiful profile picture of our baby. He always has his hands near his face. :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Life Changing Pregnancy Update

Hey everyone. It's been a while since I last posted anything. I've been taking a much needed blogging break. I'm planning on posting more often now, so stick around!

Me at 18 weeks.

Here's an update of what's been going on in our lives. I am 23 weeks pregnant. I had a normal pregnancy up until this past week while we were on vacation. We were nearing the end of our 9 day vacation, that included Gatlinburg and a family conference in NC, when I woke up early one morning and used the bathroom, to discover blood in the toilet and some contractions and cramping. So we went to an ER in the area (Mission Hospital in Asheville. We were VERY impressed with the staff.) 
 They ended up not being able to figure out what caused the bleeding, but thankfully it didn't last long. The contractions eventually calmed down as well.

What they did discover during my first ever ultrasounds (I had two that morning), was that the amniotic fluid around the baby is low, which increases my risk of preterm labor, and they also discovered that our sweet baby has a defect called Gastroschisis.

Gastroschisis is a birth defect that occurs early on during a pregnancy. It is a condition where the baby's intestines are outside the baby's body, through a hole that is usually found on the right side of the umbilical cord. In some cases, some of the other organs are outside the body as well. It requires surgery shortly after birth, to put the intestines back where they belong. This cannot always be done all at once. If there is more than a small portion of intestine outside the body, it can take days or weeks to get everything back in.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Grey and Yellow Baby Shower Decorations

I recently threw a surprise baby shower for my best friend. It was the first shower I've ever thrown, and it was so much fun! I decided on a theme of yellow and grey, which incidentally matched the baby blanket she had made for her baby. I had a lot of fun with the decorations, and wanted to share them with you.

Yellow is such a cheerful color, and perfect for a baby shower. And great if you don't know the sex of the baby, which they don't. Grey just matches yellow so well!

 These centerpieces were my very favorite decorations. They're just so pretty! I got the yellow flowers from the store, and the white ones from my backyard.