Mama, Wife and Queen of the DIY Life!

Infant Loss Awareness Month: My Story

feet rings-2

Olive Clara Miller 12/18/2012 8oz 8in 21weeks gestation

October 15 is a day that was never significant to me until December 17th, 2012. When I heard the doctor say those four dreaded words, “There is no heartbeat.” I was 22 weeks pregnant, it was my 30th birthday and my husband and kids were in tow. Words can not express what I felt, what I thought, and what was happening in that single moment. Words will never capture the devastation in that room.

Someday I will tell you every detail and in fact I am in the process of writing a short book on infant loss and grief to offer encouragement and understanding for other mothers walking my same path.

Until then, until I am ready to share that time in our life in great detail, I believe the best thing to share with you today on World Infant Loss Awareness Day (when the wound is still so real), is my Facebook status the day after I delivered my precious tiny baby girl born sleeping.

12/20/2012

“Troy and I would like to announce the unexpected and early arrival of our fourth child:

Olive Clara Miller was silently born to us on December 18th 2012 at 11:20am. She weighed in at 8oz and was 8 inches long. She had tiny little feet (that were no bigger then my thumbnail) and tiny little hands that were smaller then my pinky nail. Her face was already starting to look like our other kids. She had a very tiny nose that was perfect. We held her, kissed her, and touched her frail little body. She was our Olive from the beginning.

She was carried in the womb for 21 weeks, but the Lord decided he wanted her safe in his arms at 18 weeks gestation. When we went in for our 21 week ultrasound to find out the gender (which happened to be on my 30th Birthday) it was immediately apparent, there was no heartbeat. The ultrasound tech left the room and brought the doctor back with her. We knew she was gone. That is something you can never prepare yourself for, never prepare your heart, and never know what you will feel. The first thing I thought of was “My baby is in Heaven with Jesus.” It gave me immediate peace to know I don’t have to worry about her and don’t have to worry about her life. I immediately knew she would never feel pain and never feel the sorrows of this world. How lucky is she, to be snuggled up in Jesus arms, safe and sound!?!

From conception, her syndrome and/ or condition would have never let her live a life outside of the womb. Her little body never sent the signal to my uterus that something was wrong. With this condition, your uterus still keeps developing and creating pregnancy hormones. My belly was still growing and I still had cravings. There was absolutely no signs that would have caused concern. With this being our fourth pregnancy, we were not worried. We did not even question a problem would arise. There is nothing we did wrong, nothing we could have changed.

She was brought into our lives to teach us something and/or to give us the ability to help someone else. Time will tell what Jesus’ plan is for the experience we have endured. It is not our job to question God’s will, but to be open to His plan for our lives. That was her goal; that was Olive’s purpose. Her purpose was never to be a physical part of this family. She will forever remain in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. We will all meet her in Heaven someday, we will all get to hold her and kiss her. We hope to get to squeeze, kiss and tickle chubby little Olive someday in the eternity of Heaven’s peace. We won’t cry when we get there, because Jesus says there is no tears in Heaven. We will laugh and rejoice at the sight of her little pink cheeks.

Grief is something that is very personal and everyone deals with personally. Troy and I are dealing with this loss the only way we know how, to trust God. We are putting on smiling faces and trying to carry on a normal life for our three beautiful children that need us to give them their regular routine. We are putting on smiling faces, laughing and joking and celebrating that we were chosen to be a part of her physical existence for 21 weeks on this earth. God chose us as her parents, he knew we were strong enough to carry this burden and he trusts us follow Him.

When we went to the hospital to deliver Olive, we asked one rule of the nurses and all staff entering our room, “You all must put on a happy face! You must not give us the sad eyes. That only makes it harder.” The staff at Willamette Falls did exactly as we asked. They laughed with us, they cried with us and they let us deal with this the way we know how. We ask that everyone of you, think of little Olive as a chubby healthy baby in Heaven. Put on your happy face for her and celebrate her short life with us. Troy and I will have up days and low days and we ask that you don’t doubt our grief, but understand the pain in real for us, we just keep our outward sorrow and pain private. Please understand, we have lost a child, our baby, our baby girl and we are heartbroken, but we also want to celebrate her life. She was a joy, she is precious, perfect and will forever stay pure.

She will be laid to rest at Mount Calvary Cemetery. She will be at a monument, surrounded by other babies of her gestation. We will not be holding a service or memorial, but her name will be engraved on the wall of the monument and we will send details to anyone who wishes to visit her.

Thank you for your prayers, thank you for your support and for your understanding. We ask you all stand around us and surround us in prayer.”

I share this with you to offer encouragement and support for my readers who have silently endured the same tragedy. I want you to know you are not alone, your pain is my pain. Your loss is my loss. Your tears are my tears. As I type this, I cry for you and I cry for me. I understand the feeling of your arms aching because they are empty. The feeling of missing someone you never even met. I get it. I am here to help you, hold you up, and cry with you. Know tonight, I am lighting a candle for all of you angel parents and your angel babies.

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-9-32-26-am

Advertisements

Diagnosis: Hypothyroidism

I gained 30lbs in 3 years. Years of weight problems, years of being tired, and years of failed diets. I decided to try 21 Day Fix. Man, this program was easy. Clean eating, work out 30 min a day and drink my superfood. I got this!

4 months in I had lost 16 inches and 12 pounds, I was stronger, I had muscles and I wasn’t out of breath all the time! It felt amazing! With all that good though I still was so tired, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I was still losing hair and my brain was a cloudy mess. I could no longer blame my lack of energy and mile long list of health issues on my lack of diet and exercise.

I did my research and decided I should have my thyroid tested…for the millionth time. My primary care physician refused the test. He informed me it was expensive and previous testing had shown my thyroid was fine. He also informed me I was anemic and overweight. He said, if I lost weight everything would iron out. I wasn’t buying it; I knew something was wrong. I proved my success with my 21 Day Fix results and yet he was still sticking to his guns.

I refused to accept his answer and I kept pushing. Finally, after a year of complaining, I informed him he was not paying my bills and I can pay for the test if I want to. He reluctantly granted permission for me to have the blood test performed (partly to get me off his back I am sure).

He called with the results a week later. Everything was “fine” he said. After pulling up the results myself (on MyChart), and of course doing some online research, my numbers were incredibly low. Like the lowest number in the “normal” range low. With a family history of thyroid cancer, I was not taking any chances.

I started researching women’s health doctors who specialize in endocrine systems and women’s hormones. A friend referred me to an amazing doctor who took one look at my results and was astonished no follow up testing had been done. She ordered a full panel including a lupus test, anemia, vitamin D, vitamin B, T4 and T3 and a huge list of other possible issues.

Her results showed close to the same numbers as my previous testing had showed, but with more information giving a bigger and better picture of what was wrong.

She was 100% confident in diagnosing me with Hypothyroidism. This was the middle of August.

This would explain my hair loss, weight gain, unexplained loss of a pregnancy at 22 weeks (a whole other post for that story), extreme sleepiness along with a million other symptoms I had been fighting for a long time.

The doctor and the pharmacist were confident I would see “significant weight loss” with the medication prescribed. This of course meant I could take the month of August off from my extreme clean eating and working out (totally stupid conclusion I realize). I was on vacation baby! This is where denial set in. I was in full denial that I still needed a weight loss and healthy lifestyle program to keep me on track.

I waited and weighted…see what I did there? 😉 No weight loss. In fact I gained back 6 of the 12 lbs. I had worked so hard to lose. Gah!

I was still tired, I was still losing hair like crazy and I was gaining weight…again. This is when extreme self-loathing set in. I realized the medication was not the answer; I would have a lifelong battle with thyroid medication, weight issues and balancing hypothyroid symptoms with daily life. I’m not going to lie, for the full month of September, I self-medicated with sugar, Starbucks, chips and really any food I knew was bad for me. Deep down I knew this was wrong and that I was punishing myself, but I was mad. I was furious, depressed, angry and irritated! Why can’t one thing be easy in my life; just one thing? Some people use drugs or alcohol to mask their feelings; I used food.

The beginning of October, I went on a family vacation in the woods that required a lot of hiking. I was out of breath, weak and slow. I missed the strength and endurance I had worked so hard for and achieved as of the beginning of August. Even though I still had weight to lose, I was hardly ever out of breath and I had stamina to play with my kids!

I had accomplished a personal goal in that week in the woods, I was elated. However, I was very disappointed in my lack of stamina to really push through those woods and see the nature God had made for me to enjoy.

I decided then, in the sunny woods that morning it was time to get back on track. Stop the denial, stop the self-loathing, and stop the eating crap; time to get my health back on track.

I made a plan and here I am day 1 of 21 day Fix. I have decided to use this as a platform to encourage those with hypothyroidism, chronic illnesses or those of you who just want to lose a few pounds; join me on my journey! I am here to encourage and be encouraged! Let’s do this!

 

Meal Planning Inspiration

We all need a little inspiration sometimes. This has been my “Go To” meal planning list for 14 years. I add to it, but never take items off. I don’t want to get into a cooking rut, so I use this to plan my weekly meals and grocery shopping list.

This is nothing extraordinary, this is simple, easy, free and printable…four of my favorite things.

 

MTL meal planning picture

Find the PDF Printable here: MTL Free Printable Meal Planning Inspiration

If you love the background by hate my list (Hey I can’t please them all!) Here is a free printable of just the background. 🙂

Free Downloads My Turquoise LifeFind the PDF printable here: MTL Free Printable Meal Planning Background

Want a free printable grocery list as well? Check out my last post! Free Printable Mason Jar Grocery List

 

Free Printable Mason Jar Grocery List

Who doesn’t love a free printable?? Well I have a good one for you. A mason jar themed grocery list.

MTL Free Printable Grocery List

 

You can find it in PDF form here: MTL Free Printable Grocery List

Disclaimer: This is not for sale or reproduction. This is for personal use only. MyTurquoiseLife created and owns this design and printable.

Shout out to Etsy shops!

 

As a fellow Etsy shop owner, I find it is imperative to support other Etsy shop owners to improve their business as much as it improves mine! Plus it’s good Karma, right?

Here a list of my personal favorites:

My first and most favorite for all things graphics BurlapandLace is amazing! Here is a sneak peak of some of the amazingness they sell.

il_570xN_556056592_jria

The next is a shop based in Greece. I want everything in it! The name of this shop is Nenimav. This is one of the first things I ever favorite on Etsy. Seriously go check out this shop.

il_570xN_554386127_3re8

This is an upcoming shop, PaintPots that makes unique and awesome pottery! Seriously, this mug. I need this in my life.     

il_570xN_810068174_bb9q

I would have to say this is my number one product I have lusted after for several years on Etsy! JeanetteZeis on Etsy has amazing products!

il_570xN_249854950

Ok I am obsessed with all things shabby. You need to check out TheShabbyShak. This kitchen sign in my signature color is calling my name!       

il_570xN_842106815_ey1p

A little self promotion never hurt, right? Check out GettinCrabby ! I have baby stuff, home décor and much more!

il_570xN_836901834_1w7a

 

 

Do you have a shop you want to share?

Post it in the comments and I will feature your shop on my blog!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with these shops or have received any product to promote them. I am sharing my favorite shops for you to enjoy as much as I do.

Rv remodel, gone right.

You should probably know my husband and I are avid lovers of all things RV’ing, outdoors and hunting/gathering. There is something so incredible about camping in the woods with your cozy little trailer. Having your little family all safe and snug enjoying the great outdoors; sitting by the campfire, playing in the dirt and enjoying time as a family. Of course, a working toilet, heater and shower are pretty awesome, which is why we are an RV family.

 My husband and I have bought and flipped several of these bad boys. This particular one is my favorite so far. We found this gem on craigslist for $400. Two days later, it was in our driveway.

A couple of months ago we decided to save some money and buy a fixer. By the word fixer, I really mean a shell of an old trailer that had recently been home to ground squirrels, rats and mice…yuck. Holes in the floors, dirt everywhere and animal excrement an inch thick. It was seriously gross.

Did I mention I bought this trailer for $400? Yes, $400! Another important face, I bought this without my husband seeing it. Also, I should mention we didn’t even have a vehicle to pull it. (Looking back, I see now he has ALOT of faith in my decisions. I love you hubby!)

I have to admit, even the seasoned RV flippers get that “Oh crap, what did we get ourselves into?” feeling. This definitely set in when this beast was in our driveway and we had title in hand.

But seriously, what was I thinking? 2 months and less than $2000 later, here is the transformation.

First, let’s just appreciate the beast in all its glory. Our little rodent friends had the time of their life making it feel homey. We had rats, mice and ground squirrels making a lovely little life for themselves in our vents, cabinets, and even the stove. (Gag!)

But seriously, the floor was rotting out and we hadn’t even stepped inside.

20150604_103011

Living room…or is it? I cant tell. The yucky is overwhelming.

20150604_103032   20150604_103025   20150604_103039

Dinette area.

20150604_103116  20150604_10305720150604_103101

 

Kitchen…gross.

20150604_103106  20150604_103324  20150604_103320  20150604_103315  20150604_103130

Back bedroom.

20150604_103258  20150604_103251

20150604_103224  20150604_103214  20150604_103214

Hallway, looking towards front of trailer.

20150604_103241

Bathroom. Icky.

20150604_103207 20150604_103201  20150604_103146 20150604_103139  20150604_103154

Now for the fun part!!!

Front Living Area with foldout King Size bed

DSCN6858_edited-1-1  DSCN6857_edited-1-1

Gallery Wall!

Umm do you notice something amazing? You should! Faux grey grasscloth wallpaper! My most favoritest thing ever! (Yes I am using a made up word. Just roll with it.)

DSCN6862_edited-1-1

This was the old dinette area. I am in love with this table! We will be making 4 stools for our kiddos to sit at and eat or craft.

DSCN6860_edited-1-1  DSCN6837_edited-1-1  DSCN6835_edited-1-1

Hello clean, beautiful and bright kitchen! I painted my kitchen countertops. Did you see my past post on how to do this? Check it out HERE.

     DSCN6843_edited-1-1  DSCN6842_edited-1-1  DSCN6839_edited-1-1

Cute Little kitchen window. Burlap valances!

DSCN6864_edited-1-1  DSCN6863_edited-1-1

Hallway to bathroom and kids bedroom. Grey doors on the right are the pantry doors.

DSCN6845_edited-1-1  DSCN6844_edited-1-1

Bathroom! Do you like my Buck Naked sign? I do! An old fence board and some leftover black paint did the trick.

DSCN6856_edited-1-1  DSCN6854_edited-1-1  DSCN6853_edited-1-1  

Back bedroom with four bunks. Check out the woodland theme curtains! I am seriously in love with this room. It is bright and clean and perfect for two boys and two girls.

DSCN6848_edited-1-1  DSCN6851_edited-1-1  DSCN6846_edited-1-1

I got this vinyl wall decal on Amazon. I love it!

DSCN6847_edited-1-1

Here is the view from the back bedroom towards the front of the trailer.

DSCN6852_edited-1-1

Decorations! I couldn’t help myself. I had to go crazy with the whole deer theme. Did you see my couch pillows? *Swoon*

 

DSCN6866_edited-1-1  DSCN6841_edited-1-1  DSCN6840_edited-1-1

I mean come on, I had to!

DSCN6834_edited-1-1-1

For the record my husband is against the coral/pink deer head. But I will keep it…for now.

DSCN6833_edited-1-1

Whew! That was a lot of work. We managed to buy this trailer and totally remodel, license and register it for less than $2000. If you would like to see a future post on the cost breakdown and or specifics on how we accomplished some of the projects just ask!

 

Wreath Giveaway!

Since you all are so very wonderful and have been following my Facebook and blog, I decided it was time to do another giveaway. These are my favorite!

What will you win?

This made by me, for you! You will get to pick your Letter and I will make this beautiful wreath (a version of this wreath) for your home! Awesome, right? I am seriously so excited.

DSCN5848

How to win?

1. You must “like” my Facebook page!

2. You must “share” My Turquoise Life Facebook page on your personal or business Facebook account.

3. Comment on contest thread on Facebook. This comment should blog post ideas that you would like to read about!  

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.

The “Burlap and Grapevine Wreath Giveaway” is sponsored MyTurquoiselife.com. This contest is governed by these official rule:

  1. You must “like” My Turquoise Life Facebook page.
  2. You must “share” My Turquoise Life Facebook page on your personal or business Facebook account.
  3. Comment on contest thread. Subject to include suggestions on blog post ideas you would like to read.
  • Only 1 winner will be chosen.
  • Prize to include grapevine wreath with burlap, lace and ribbon flowers, with one letter shipped to winner.
  • Complete all 4 tasks above to enter contest.
  • One entry per contestant per day.
  • Entries will be screened my third party to ensure all rules are adhered to.
  • Only USA entries.
  • No PO BOX entries.
  • Winner name will be announced on main Facebook page.
  • Contest will run between 9/4/2015 and close on 9/18/2015. Winner will be announced on or before 9/21/2015 via MyTurquoiseLife.com, Facebook.com/MyTurquoiseLife and via email if available.
  • Prize is subject to availability and can be changed my contest owner.

By participating in the contest, each entrant agrees to abide by these Official Rules, including all eligibility requirements, and understands that the results of the contest, as determined by Sponsor and its agents, are final in all respects. The contest is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited by law.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion will be directed to Sponsor, not Facebook.

ELIGIBILITY

The Contest is open to legal residents of their respective countries where not prohibited by law, who are eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry who have Internet access and a valid e-mail account prior to the beginning of the Contest Period. Sponsor has the right to verify the eligibility of each entrant.

GIVEAWAY PERIOD

The Giveaway begins at September 4th, 2015 at 6:00am PST and ends at September 18th, 2015, 6pm PST. All entries (submissions) must be received on or before the time stated during that submission period. Sponsor reserves the right to extend or shorten the contest at their sole discretion.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the Giveaway through the myturquoiselife.com. You can find the application on the Design Contest tab on the Sponsor’s Facebook Page. Entrants must fill out all required fields on the entry form and participate in the contest. After submitting the required information on the entry form, the entrant will receive one (1) entry into the drawing.

One entry per person, per day please!

WINNER SELECTION

All eligible entries received during the Submission Period will gathered into a database at the end of the Submission Period. A winner will be chosen at random by third party.

The winners will be announced on or before Sept 21, 2015 on or before noon PST. Announcement and instructions for prize will be sent to the e-mail address supplied on the potential prize winner’s entry form. Each entrant is responsible for monitoring his/her e-mail account for prize notification and receipt or other communications related to this Giveaway. If a potential prize winner cannot be reached by Administrator (or Sponsor) within fifteen (15) days, using the contact information provided at the time of entry, or if the prize is returned as undeliverable, that potential prize winner shall forfeit the prize. Upon the request of the Sponsor, the potential winner may be required to return an Affidavit of Eligibility, Release and Prize Acceptance Form and IRS W-9 form. If a potential winner fails to comply with these official rules, that potential winner will be disqualified. Prizes may not be awarded if an insufficient number of eligible entries are received.

PRIZES: Prize to include 1 (one) grapevine wreath with burlap, lace and ribbon flowers, with one letter.

Terms and conditions may apply. Incidental expenses and all other costs and expenses which are not specifically listed as part of a prize in these Official Rules and which may be associated with the award, acceptance, receipt and use of all or any portion of the awarded prize are solely the responsibility of the respective prize winner. ALL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES ASSOCIATED WITH THE RECEIPT OR USE OF ANY PRIZE IS SOLELY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER.

ADDITIONAL LIMITATIONS

Prize is non-transferable. No substitution or cash equivalent of prizes is permitted. Sponsor and its respective parent, affiliate and subsidiary companies, agents, and representatives are not responsible for any typographical or other errors in the offer or administration of the Giveaway, including, but not limited to, errors in any printing or posting or these Official Rules, the selection and announcement of any winner, or the distribution of any prize. Any attempt to damage the content or operation of this Giveaway is unlawful and subject to possible legal action by Sponsor. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate, suspend or amend the Giveaway, without notice, and for any reason, including, without limitation, if Sponsor determines that the Giveaway cannot be conducted as planned or should a virus, bug, tampering or unauthorized intervention, technical failure or other cause beyond Sponsor’s control corrupt the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper play of the Giveaway. In the event any tampering or unauthorized intervention may have occurred, Sponsor reserves the right to void suspect entries at issue. Sponsor and its respective parent, affiliate and subsidiary companies, agents, and representatives, and any telephone network or service providers, are not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate transcription of entry information, or for any human error, technical malfunction, lost or delayed data transmission, omission, interruption, deletion, line failure or malfunction of any telephone network, computer equipment or software, the inability to access any website or online service or any other error, human or otherwise.

INDEMNIFICATION AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

BY ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY, EACH ENTRANT AGREES TO INDEMNIFY, RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS SPONSOR AND ITS PARENT, AFFILIATE AND SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES, THE FACEBOOK PLATFORM, ADMINISTRATOR, ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL AGENCIES, AND ALL THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES AND AGENTS FROM ANY LIABILITY, DAMAGES, LOSSES OR INJURY RESULTING IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, FROM THAT ENTRANT’S PARTICIPATION IN THE GIVEAWAY AND THE ACCEPTANCE, USE OR MISUSE OF ANY PRIZE THAT MAY BE WON. SPONSOR AND ITS PARENT, AFFILIATE AND SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES DO NOT MAKE ANY WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE CONDITION, FITNESS OR MERCHANTABILITY OF THE PRIZE. SPONSOR AND ITS PARENTS, SUBSIDIARIES, AFFILIATES, ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL AGENCIES, AND ALL THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES AND AGENTS DISCLAIM ANY LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE TO ANY COMPUTER SYSTEM RESULTING FROM ACCESS TO OR THE DOWNLOAD OF INFORMATION OR MATERIALS CONNECTED WITH THE GIVEAWAY.

PUBLICITY

By participating, each entrant grants Sponsor permission to use his/her name, likeness or comments for publicity purposes without payment of additional consideration, except where prohibited by law.

GIVEAWAY SPONSORS

This Giveaway is sponsored by:

MyTurquoiseLife.com

Oregon City, Oregon

Any questions regarding this Giveaway should be directed to Contest at myturquoiselifeblog@gmail.com


My Turquoise Life

Mom, Wife, and Queen of the DIY life!

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: