Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Wonderful Christmas!

We got our Christmas present a few weeks early this year.  My husband was offered a job back in the States.  We leave Germany in exactly one month!  Which means we move out of our house in about 2 weeks.  Yikes!  There is so much to do!  I'm trying to stay calm about everything and not worry too much.  Next week we're planning on shipping my car.  That will be a little hard going without a car but I'd rather have it in the U.S. sooner than up to the last minute here.  It generally takes 5-8 weeks for a car to ship overseas. Thankfully, I can walk to a lot of places in Germany.  Although the weather is pretty cold and when it is snowing or is raining, I'm not up for being outside much. 
Our last Christmas in Germany was very nice.  Christmas Eve we cooked our traditional Christmas meal, beef tenderloin and this year our sides were mashed potatoes and green beans.  I made a spinach dip and served it with carrots, tomatoes, and crackers for the appetizer.  For dessert we made cream brulee.  We invited one of my husband's co-workers over for dinner and had a nice time getting to know him better.  All of us, except for Blue Rock, stayed up pretty late talking. 

Christmas Day we woke up early.  Blue Rock came down stairs and opened the rest of his gifts.  We rushed off to church, which starts at 8:30am, and brought some sweet friends of ours home with us after church to eat a Christmas lunch.  I mainly heated up Christmas Eve dinner since I knew with church there wouldn't be a lot of time to cook.  We also made a pumpkin pie because we knew our friends liked that dessert.  I had never had pumpkin pie before and I really liked it.  Later that day we made our annual ginger bread house.  Blue Rock LOVED eating all the candy we used to decorate it.  He has never had that much candy in his life.  Of course he didn't have any candy until this past Halloween and he became hooked.  Not good.  Ha!

We love Christmas and celebrating the birth of Jesus.  The last 4 Christmases we have spent in Germany and we will miss this time of year here.  However, we are looking forward to returning to the States and spending future holidays with family there.  We were hoping it would snow this year on Christmas, but it didn't.  On the other hand, we were blessed with some sunshine which was nice and somewhat rare this time of year.  Now I'm hoping snow will wait until we're out of our house since some of our furniture will have to be moved via our upstairs balcony and if it snows or is raining it will make it more challenging.  Also, I'm more of a summer/spring/fall girl, than a cold, wet, snowy winter girl.  I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Family picture before church - Blue Rock still in his pjs

Playing with his new train set
Christmas Day lunch is ready!

Making our ginger bread house
This year's ginger bread house!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I have Hashimoto's Disease

I had a follow-up appointment with an internal medicine doctor today.  He's head of his department and a very good doctor.  He told me I have Hashimoto's Disease, which is an autoimmune disease where my immune system attacks and eventually kills my thyroid.  Thankfully, I do not have Lupus.  As far being borderline on the anti-cardiolipin tests, he is running that again and is checking my T3 and T4 levels, doing a complete blood count, checking protein levels in the urine, and a few other tests including an ultra sound of my thyroid.  I go back to see him in January.

I'm still trying to take this all in.  I honestly didn't even know where my thyroid was until this past weekend.  I'm not very medical savvy to say the least.  Your thyroid is below your Adam's apple.  Thankfully, if this disease kills my thyroid and it no longer functions, I can be on thyroid replacement medicine to keep my body functioning.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that every 6 months I need to go and have my thyroid levels checked or if I start having certain symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, and insomnia.  I already battle insomnia and fatigue quite a bit which is not surprising.  When you can't sleep you tend to be more fatigued.

I'm praying now that my anti-cardiolipin levels turn out normal.  If they are not, then there's a good chance I have a blood clotting disorder as well.  There are several names for this: Hughes Syndrome, Sticky Blood, and Antiphospholipid Syndrome - APS.  Sadly, I have a few of the main symptoms of this disease - multiple miscarriages and headaches/migraines.

The cause of my miscarriages could be from a few things: thyroid problems, APS, or possible bad luck.  Thyroid problems can cause miscarriages and sometimes thyroid problems occur in women after they have their first child.  Since we now know I have a thyroid problem and have had two miscarriages, my doctor recommended that I see the following specialists: Endocrinologist (for future problems, I need to go ahead and find one), Maternal Fetal Specialist (for any future pregnancies), and continue to see an internal medicine doctor.  

I'm also wondering how many women who develop PUPPPs during pregnancy or after giving birth have an autoimmune disorder.

If you know anything about Hashimoto's Disease or any other thyroid problems or blood clotting disorders, please let me know how you're coping with it.  I hope you all have a blessed day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Why I'm Having Miscarriages

Having a miscarriage is devastating.  It's really frustrating how many doctors want to wait until a woman has 3 miscarriages before they do anything.  My advice is find a doctor who will help you.  While it sadly may be more common than what people realize and there often is no explained reason, there still is a chance that you may have something wrong with you and it's fixable under a doctor's care.  In my opinion, it is better to find out earlier than later.  If you've ever had a miscarriage, you know the sinking feeling you feel after you find out that your baby is not going to make it.  And it's really simple to find out if something is wrong, whether it's a hormone imbalance, thyroid problem, or another disorder.  You simply have blood drawn, it goes to the lab and then you know.  Not very difficult which is why it's aggravating that so many doctors insist that you wait for 3 miscarriages before they do this.  Also, sometimes there really is nothing wrong.  But if there is, it's nice to know so something can be done.  Isn't this what modern medicine is all about?  Thankfully I found out why I'm having miscarriages.

Once I had my second miscarriage, I asked my German doctor to test my levels including my progestrone levels.  A doctor in the States suggested I get those levels checked.  She agreed to check my hormone levels and told me to come in and have blood drawn between day 2-5 of my next period and then 21 days after it started to get the best results.  She said she would check since I had my son with virtually no problems and now have lost two babies.  The nurse took a total of 3 vials of blood.  She also had me see a specialist about a fibroid that has appeared since being pregnant with my son to see if that could be the reason for the miscarriages.

I also called to make an appointment with an American gynecologist.  When I went in to see him, he said typically in the U.S. they wait until miscarriage number 3.  I begged him to run some tests and said someone suggested I get my thyroid levels checked and my hormone levels.  He said he would do it but I needed to fast the night before (no food after midnight) and come in on Day 21 of my last period.  When I went to the lab, they took 10 vials of blood!  

This is what I found out.  The American doctor called Friday and said he discovered why I'm having miscarriages.  He said I have thyroiditis, which means my thyroid levels are very elevated.  I'm also borderline for having cardiolipid which an autoimmune disorder.  He is referring me an internal medicine doctor where I will need to get a little more testing done.  Sadly he cannot help me beyond this but thankfully a specialist can.  
My German doctor gave me good news that my hormone levels are normal.  She has told me before that I am healthy and she didn't see any reason why I could not have more healthy children.  She did NOT check my thyroid levels or for autoimmune disorders.  But she has done ultrasounds and did check my ovaries after both miscarriages.

I want to thank one of my blog readers for her advice to get my thyroid levels checked after having my second miscarriage. She suggested this and after doing some research, it seemed like many doctors don't check this.  If you have had a miscarriage, I am sorry.  But there is hope.  Maybe there is nothing wrong, but then again, there could be.  Ask your doctor to please check your hormone levels and thyroid levels.

Once I see an internal medicine doctor, I will let you know what the next step is.  One thing I have read is that most likely I will need to take a baby aspirin next pregnancy to help my blood from clotting.  Most likely I will also need to take some kind of thyroid medicine.  Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A 2-year old and a Christmas Tree

I leave the room for two minutes and come back to find this.

Thankfully Blue Rock was not hurt and this year's Christmas tree is fake.  Otherwise that could really hurt having a Christmas tree fall on you. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

St. Nikolaus Day in Germany

Christmas in Germany is a lot of fun.  There are so many traditions and activities to do during the month of December.  On December 6th, Germans celebrate St. Nikolaus Tag (St. Nicholas Day).  The night before, children leave their boot outside the front door or outside their bedroom door.  While they are asleep, St. Nikolaus comes and leaves goodies in their boot if they were good.  If they have been bad they he leaves sticks.

Blue Rock left his rain boots out.  Thankfully he has been very good so he got a few goodies in each boot.

What's in my boot?

It's Gummy Bears!

Emptying the boot is fun!

Fun bendable track to go with my train set!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Town's Christmas Market

You can see the rain falling
This past weekend we got a lot of rain.  Friday evening I volunteered at an event called Holiday Magic, where my MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group sold soup, bread, and gently used children's clothes. Santa Claus comes to this event, children from the schools sing Christmas songs, and different organizations set up booths to raise money.  It was raining and I had Blue Rock with me so I didn't take any pictures at Holiday Magic.

This weekend was also our town's Christmas market.  We went with our next door neighbors last year and we decided to go again with them this year.  We truly are super blessed to have such fantastic neighbors on both sides of us.  I brought my camera with me to this market and took pictures, even though it was still raining.

Our neighbors made pork sandwiches and European beans (kind of like baked beans but not really sweet) for dinner.  Then we walked downtown to the market with them.  Thankfully Saturday night it was just sprinkling.  Sunday, when Santa was suppose to be there, it was pouring rain.  So we didn't even attempt to go back to the market.  One difference between Germany and say Texas is, typically things you do in your town you walk to.  There is limited parking downtown and it's really only about a 5 minute walk.  Even though Santa was going to be inside the concert hall, we decided not to go.  Santa doesn't bring that much to our house but he is coming for St. Nikolaus Tag (St. Nicholas Day) tonight.  We'll put out a boot and see what he brings Blue Rock.  If you want to participate, leave your child's boot outside the door tonight and he will leave a treat, usually something sweet, in the boot if they have been good.  If they have not been good, he will leave twigs.

Here are a few pictures from our town's Christmas market.

Blue Rock enjoying the swing ride

My cute husband standing with our neighbors cheering Blue Rock on as he flies by on the swing

Me and our town's lovely Christmas tree

Jana and I enjoying a hot drink

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mannheim Christmas Market

Christmas in Germany is really nice.  There are a lot of Christmas markets.  After the visit to the specialist in Mannheim the other day, we went to our first Christmas Market this year.  Mannheim is a large city and their Christmas market takes place downtown next to the water tower.  It was a really nice Christmas market with lots of vendors, rides for the children, and food to eat.  We're going to try and go to several Christmas markets this year and I'll post more pictures as the Christmas season continues.

Beautiful water tower in Mannheim

Daddy showing Blue Rock his hat

Lots of people and lots of vendors

One of the toy vendors

Lots of stands to look at

Look at that sad face!

Riding the ICE train ride

Candy vendor

This time our family rode the carousel together

Mannheim Christmas Market

Fun Preschool Game

I love playing games with kids.  Before we left to visit Texas last September I ordered a few items from Barnes and Noble to be delivered to my parents' house.  One of the games was a Color and Shapes Bingo.  I finally opened it.  When I bought it a few months ago, Blue Rock was too young for it.  He still is kind of young for it but we gave it a go.  He loved it!  Blue Rock really loves shapes and lately has wanted to name every shape we see.  To play you spin the spinner which stops on a shape or color.  Then you place bingo chips over the shape or color pictures that match.  We didn't play the whole way through but he enjoyed playing it "right" for about 5 minutes.  Then he wanted to play with the Bingo chips and spin the spinner and just name the pictures, shapes, and colors of the Bingo cards.  I give this game an A+ and think we'll have more fun with it as he gets older.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Visit with the Specialist

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment with a specialist in Mannheim regarding my miscarriages and the fibroid.  The doctor could not tell me for sure that the fibroid is causing my miscarriages or not.  He recommended I have it removed, which would require a 2-night stay in the hospital.  However, he said that there is a good chance I could carry another baby to full term while having it and have the fibroid removed later on.  Thankfully the fibroid is outside my uterus, so I think we're going to wait to have it removed.  It is hard to find childcare where we live and I don't have a lot of options for all day care for my son while my husband works.  My OBGYN is checking my hormone levels and we'll see if anything comes back from the blood tests.  Thanks for your prayers.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...