≡ Menu

My Miscarriage

I recently experienced my first miscarriage. While this is usually a more private topic, I have chosen to make my situation public to inform others of abdominal pregnancies.

If you are squeamish, I suggest you stop reading now. I don’t blame you if you don’t want to hear the rest.

A couple weeks prior to going to the ER, I started having relentless pain when in the bathroom. (I know, not a classy topic to discuss, but the more information I provide, the more you will know in case you or a loved one are faced with this.) The best way to describe the pain would be severe pressure that is focused on the rectal area. My tummy was also bloated and tender.

One cold Tuesday became a very painful day, and instead of just feeling the pressure in the bathroom, I was feeling it wherever I went, especially when I walked or ate. That night I called a 24hour nurse-line that our insurance provides. She suggested that I go to the Urgent Care immediately, or to a family doctor in the morning.

Based on my previous experiences with Urgent Care, I decided to wait until the morning to get in with a regular doctor. So I asked some friends for a recommendation in the area and called that doctor in the morning. I was relieved to hear that she would see me at 2:30 in the afternoon.

My pain worsened through the day and I took an unexpected nap on the couch before getting myself together and driving to the appointment. The doctor ran urine tests and thought I may have the start of a urinary tract infection, so she wrote a prescription for that. She also suggested that I may have internal hemorrhoids, so she wrote a prescription for that too and said to come back in two weeks if I wasn’t better.

I was discouraged that I wouldn’t have immediate relief and was not convinced that I had a UTI or a hemorrhoid problem. However, I had no choice but to drop off my prescriptions and go home. It was about 4:30pm and I knew the kids would want dinner soon, so I made a lasagna and put it in the oven. I must have had angels helping me because the pain was getting worse. Especially after I ate a granola bar.

While it was baking, my husband got a call from the repair shop that was fixing our vehicle’s fender bender. I was writhing in pain in the bathroom when he came to tell me he would be back soon, and looked concerned as he asked, “Are you sure you’re ok?” I told him I was and to come back soon.

After he left, I spent most of the time on the floor crying, praying, and attempting to look brave and happy when my little girls approached me. When I heard the timer go off for the lasagna, I used every ounce of strength I had to retrieve it, then returned to the floor where I called my parents. I said through my tears, “Mom, I need you to send dad down here to stay with the girls so that Jesse can take me to the emergency room. I am in a lot of pain.”

Thankfully, Jesse walked in the door right then and I hung up the phone and told him what I had decided to do. Embarrassingly enough, we argued about this for a moment while he felt we should go immediately and take our kids with us. I felt the opposite. I wanted them to be able to eat dinner and stay home. The ER is not a fun place for children.

While he fed the kids, I laid on the couch and texted my best friend who offered to come stay with the girls until my dad arrived. I gladly took her up on her offer and was soon on my way to the hospital.

The drive felt like an eternity, and was excruciating. I honestly didn’t know how much more pain I could take. I tried drinking some ice water but that made the pain even worse if you could imagine that. Luckily once I checked in to the emergency room, they quickly admitted me and gave me an IV of heaven to relieve the pain. I could not have dreamed up a better feeling. Fortunately, I was sitting in a wheelchair and a male nurse apparently had to transfer me to the hospital bed.

After my IV of heaven, Jesse said it made me as white as the sheets. I mumbled, "Show me a picture." Well if paleness is the price for being pain-free, sign me up! (I'm actually always this pale though.)

After my IV of heaven, Jesse said it made me as white as the sheets. I mumbled, “Show me a picture.” Well if paleness is the price for being pain-free, sign me up! (I’m actually always this pale though.)

Shortly after getting settled into a room, a doctor came in with the surprising and exciting news that we were pregnant! I was shocked because the timing didn’t match up right as I had just ended my period. We had been trying to conceive for the past couple of months and I was thrilled to hear that we had a baby on the way. The doctor sent me back for a ultrasound to find out more.

Eventually, the doctor came back to my room to discuss the results from the ultrasound. She thought that the baby had implanted in one of my Fallopian tubes, and that it would have to be removed surgically. I was devastated, but hopeful. When an OB/GYN became available, she came to discuss surgery with me and to perform a standard Pap Smear test. Unfortunately, she was not able to finish the pap because I was screaming in pain and clawing the table to retract from her. She said, “If you are in that much pain for a Pap Smear, then you just won yourself a ticket to the OR!”

She wanted to witness another ultrasound though since she wasn’t in the room for the first one, so they rolled me back to the ultrasound room. It seemed like she was speaking in code with the technician, and when I asked if she saw the baby in my Fallopian tube, she said she couldn’t see anything due to the amount of blood in my stomach. She was going into the surgery blind. Oh goodness I was nervous but so so anxious to make the pain stop.

I got sent back to my room to wait for the doctor to prepare the operating room. It felt like foooooor-eeeeeee-verrrrr. Suddenly the pain just took over my body and knocked me out. Everything is pretty blurry after that, and I couldn’t get words out except for grunts like, “uh huh” but there is one funny thing that happened. There was a middle aged male nurse who looked like he belonged in a biker bar that came and scooped me up out of the wheelchair and as he placed me on the hospital bed said, “You just wanted me to pick you up again!” If I had the strength to bust out in laughter, I would have because that was hilarious to me.

During my four hour surgery, they found a nine centimeter sack/fetus that had burrowed in my rectum. (My fallopian tubes were fine!) The doctors also removed a unit of blood from my stomach, and a small cyst from one of my ovaries. I lost a lot of blood, and received three units of blood in return. They also doubled my c-section scar and made it asymmetrical since, as the nurse said, “They were in a hurry.” I am very grateful I made it out of there alive. After surgery the doctor relayed the news to Jesse and said, “You are lucky she came in when she did. One more day and she wouldn’t have made it.”

I'm alive! I think my looks scared my poor girls though.

I’m alive! I think my looks scared my poor girls though.

Since the surgery, I have returned home to my family as I recover. It has been a painful recovery, emotionally as well as physically, but I am happy to be here with the children I was blessed to have, and a sincere husband. I am also thankful for wonderful family and friends that have provided childcare and meals for us.

I have come to find out that my miscarriage is considered an “abdominal pregnancy”. I had NEVER even heard of that type of pregnancy prior to my emergency surgery. This happens to ten out of 100,000 women. I don’t know that many women, so I think you are safe from this happening to you, but please listen to your body. Take care of your body and don’t put off going to the doctor when you feel something isn’t right. I had no idea I was pregnant, let alone that I would have a miscarriage. I thought my appendix ruptured or that I was having gallbladder problems. You just never know and I wish you all good health.

Have you or a loved one ever experienced an unexpected surgery? If you are comfortable, please share and inform us below. Also, you can find more information about abdominal pregnancies here.

{ 12 comments }

BillCutterz Review

Save money with BillcutterzThis is my BillCutterz review. I first came across BillCutterz.com while reading a popular personal finance blog called Christianpf.com. He mentioned it as an alternative to having to negotiate bills yourself. I loved the idea and jumped at the opportunity to have them lower my bills.

First off what is BillCutterz?

Billcutterz.com is a bill negotiating service. After sending them your bills, they call each of your service providers and negotiate with them on your behalf. They continue to maintain your accounts to ensure you are getting the best deal possible.

What bills will they negotiate?

They are willing to negotiate the following bills…

  • Electricity
  • Internet
  • Cable TV
  • Satellite TV
  • Cell Phone
  • Mortgage
  • Printing Services
  • Waste Management

BillCutterz will negotiate almost anything that is a service. In some states where industries like utilities are regulated there may be no negotiating allowed on your bill by law. In my state BillCutterz couldn’t do anything about my electric bill. But they were able to lower my natural gas bill, so I recommend just sending all your bills in to see what they can do for you.

What do they charge?

One of the greatest things about BillCutterz is that they don’t make money unless they save you money. When and if they are able to save you money on your monthly bills they will bill you for 50% of what they were able to save you. This can be reduced to 40% if you are willing pay them in advance for the savings. Otherwise they just bill you monthly for the 50%. If they are not able to save you any money at all, they will not charge you anything. This is because they are confident they will find a way to save you money.

Are they safe to use?

This was one of my initial concerns when I found out about BillCutterz.com. I did as much research as I could. I started with the Better Business Bureau. One thing to remember with the BBB is that to become an “Accredited Business” the business must pay the BBB a fairly large sum of money. That being the case don’t worry so much about the fact that BillCutterz.com is not accredited. Fact is, the BBB still monitors any complaints filed against the company. Turns out they have monitored Billcutterz for over 3 years with no complaints, as seen below.

BBB billcutterz

BBB Billcutterz

Saving expert Katie DePuy

Saving expert Katie DePuy

I had the opportunity to have Katie DePuy as my money saving expert. She was extremely professional and a pleasure to deal with.

 

 

I asked BillCutterz for a few pictures of the other people you may encounter in your money saving adventure.

My results

I first submitted my bills to BillCutterz.com on November 28th 2012. I submitted them electronically via their website; you can also send them in by fax or snail mail. I received a call from Katie the next day, she asked me a few questions about what I was willing to do with my service providers. Such as would I sign up for another year of service or was I willing to decrease my service if it meant I would save money. She then called my service providers, a few of my service providers wanted me to make her an account manager, we did this via a three way call that Katie set up, it was easy.

She called me back later with my results. She was excited to let me know what she had saved me; I think she has a pretty cool job. In my results I’m providing some of my actual statements so that you know that this is absolutely real and works.

Trash Bill Results

Before BillCutterz  $48/quarter

After BillCutterz $39/quarter

Savings after BillCutterz cut (40%) $2.16/mo or $25.92/yr*

*Some of the savings accomplished on my trash bill came from BillCutterz letting me know that I was paying for recycling each month. I won’t go into how I feel about this because it can be controversial but I am not going to pay for recycling.

Sprint Bill Results

Before BillCutterz $226.04/mo*

After BillCutterz $186.04/mo

Savings after BillCutterz cut (40%) $24/mo or $48/2 months**

*Just to help some of you understand why my bill is so high, Janna and I share our cell phone plan with family, so there are 4 phones on this bill.

**BillCutterz negotiated this rate for only 2 months. After the two month term they will re-negotiate this bill.

ATT Results (Internet)

Before BillCutterz $54.42/mo

After BillCutterz $39.42/mo*

Savings after BillCutterz cut (50%) $7.50/mo or $90/yr

*My December Bill below has a $13 credit applied to it for Nov’s bill. That is why the Bill for Dec is $26.42.

Scana Natural Gas Bill

Before BillCutterz $1.029 per therm*

After BillCutterz $0.569 per therm

Savings after BillCutterz cut (50%) $0.23 per therm or $5.52/mo or $66.24/yr**

*This per therm amount is an average of what I paid per therm for the previous year.

**The dollar amounts saved is an average based on my previous year usage.

Total saved so far is $230.16. I will update this total when they save me more on my sprint bill.

BillCutterz.com makes a ton of cents : ). I’ll admit, I’m too lazy to call my service providers every time I face a rate increase. I’m sure some may disagree with me but I hate calling these companies to begin with; most of the time I end up having to get mad to get anything done. BillCutterz makes my life easier and saves me money without having to pay any upfront fees or wasting my time on the phone with providers that don’t want to budge.

This is my BillCutterz review, it is not a paid review. I do however have an affiliate style relationship with BillCutterz.com. I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you) for people that I refer to them. You can either use my link to BillCutterz.com or you can mention our blog in the sign up process (Live Frei). Thank you in advance for your support.

Let me know how much BillCutterz was able to save you in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your savings!

Jesse

{ 19 comments }

Breastfeeding Tips

If you are a mom-to-be, here are some breastfeeding tips.

Me & Moo

When I was pregnant with our first child, I started debating whether I would breastfeed or formula feed our baby. I had heard plenty of stories of the pain associated with nursing, and being the wimp that I am, I honestly was a little anxious about the idea of being in more pain after birth. “When would the pain end?” I thought.

I also considered all of the benefits to breastfeeding. The immune system boost for baby, weight-loss for me, and the fact that it’s free, just to name a few. I came to the conclusion that I would try my best to breastfeed, and if it didn’t work out, formula would be my plan B.

I am so glad I made that decision and thankful that both of my babies had zero latch problems. Oh and let me tell you, I have an extremely LOW pain tolerance. I am talking a zero on a scale of one to ten. So when I started breastfeeding and noticed the stomach pains from my uterus contracting, it was totally reasonable. If I can handle it, anyone can! I am a weakling! (Also, the pain from the contractions only reminded me that my uterus was working hard to shrink back down to size after hosting my 8lb baby. Do what you gotta do uterus. Just pleeeease shrink!)

The lactation consultant at the hospital was a huge help and taught me so much about nursing that I had never considered before. I also took advice from several friends and family members and decided to compile everything I learned and put it in one place. **I am not a lactation consultant. These are simply breastfeeding tips that helped me when nursing my children.**

So if you have already nursed babies, you know the drill. But if you are an expecting mom, check out my tips below and feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below.

  • After birth, while waiting for milk to come in, hand express your colostrum and rub on your nipples to help relieve the initial soreness. The hospital will also give you a little bottle of lanolin for that.
  • Feeding baby should take about 10 minutes on each breast (that’s typically all baby should need or else you’re a human pacifier)
  • Nurse baby every 3 hours from time you start. Example: if you start nursing at 9am then start next session at noon, 3, etc.
  • Start on breast you left off. Example: Nurse 10 min on right breast then burp baby & nurse 10 min on left. 3 hrs later start on left side to avoid over production in one breast
  • Nurse baby when he wakes up (The Baby Wise book’s main idea is for baby to eat, play, then sleep so that the baby doesn’t learn to fall asleep while feeding)
  • When baby is in a nursing position, the ear, shoulder & hip should be aligned
  • If your nipple hurts during a breastfeeding session, then the baby’s latch is probably wrong
  • “let down” feels tingly in your breast and that means the milk is about to pour out of you – watch out! 😉
  • Relax- milk will not “let down” when you are tense, stressed or dehydrated
  • When getting ready to nurse, get a big glass of water within reach. Literally, as the milk is leaving your body it will leave you feeling very parched!
  • Milk will come in 3-5 days after delivery. You will need breast pads after your milk comes in to avoid leaking through your clothes. I made my own using this tutorial. (My photo below does not look nearly as good as the ones on the tutorial. Sorry mine look so raggedy!)My raggedy but awesome nursing padsYou can also purchase disposable ones in the baby section at Target & Walmart for about $5-$10, or buy in bulk on amazon here.
  • During the first few weeks after birth, at night you may wake up in a puddle of milk because it is very irregular in the beginning and tends to leak everywhere. In order to avoid that mess, I would use a hand towel or thick burp cloth and fold it over for extra thickness and place over my breasts, under my shirt for absorption.
  • Nurse for 10 min per breast. At first it is fore-milk and at the end comes the hind-milk which is the thicker, high calorie “dessert” for baby. If baby gets too much fore-milk and not enough hind, this can cause gassiness in baby.
  • To break the latch, gently stick your finger against your nipple in baby’s mouth
  • To burp baby, gently lift them straight up and down three times then place on your shoulder and pat back

Aside from the breastfeeding tips, I also wanted to suggest a few items I love that help me with my lactation dedication. 😉

  • When nursing in public, if you want to cover up your “goods”, might I suggest an UDDER COVER. I have two, I love them, and if you use our promo code LIVEFREI29 you can get a free one from their website and just pay the shipping fees (which are usually under $12)Nursing Moo at a friends house with my Udder Cover
  • Another item I love is nursing bras. I am a big fan of Target’s Gilligan & O’Malley nursing bras which are only $16.99. They have a great shape to them and hold up very well. The price is also wonderful compared to others you might find at actual maternity stores.
  • My Medela pump saved me when I was working part-time after baby number one, and also after baby number two when I needed some relief. There will be times when your breasts will feel so tight/on the verge of explosion, and you will wish you had a breast pump. That is just the honest truth.
  • Gotta love the boppy pillow. It fits around your mid-section to lay baby on top of to get him closer to your breast. I have two different pillow cases for mine which is helpful when Moo spits up on one. I can just put the clean case on while the dirty one is getting washed. Boppy PillowI really hope that these breastfeeding tips will be helpful to you and would love to hear any tips that you may have. Just leave a comment in the section below. I love to hear your thoughts!

What advice would you offer an expectant mother?

~Janna

{ 7 comments }

Best Girls Birthday Party

Over the weekend, my daughter had the privilege of going to the best birthday party in her lifetime. 😉 Honestly it was one of the best parties that I have been to as well! Our friends little girl turned 4 and celebrated at the Glam Girlz Spa in Tucker, GA. Let me just tell you, it was too stinkin’ cute.
First, the girls got to enter the walk in closet and change into a princess gown and high heels. There was a display of tiaras to be used as well.


Next, they went into the large spa room where the adults got to chill on the gorgeous couches while the little girls got their mini manicures, makeup, and their hair done princess-style. Roo skipped out on the hair & makeup part because she was having too much fun putting puzzles together with one of the sweet employees, and munching on popcorn and suckers. She did, however, make time to get her nails painted a nice purple color that she got to pick out. She loved showing those nails off!

When everyone was all glammed up, they went into the eating area where they relished in pizza and cupcakes.
After that, they were ready for their runway show! The girls lined up beside the zebra-print runway and the birthday girl took the lead. There was fun music going the whole time and lots of cute dance moves happening among the little ones. The parents clapped and cheered them on as they did their thing.

I think Roo had a permanent smile on her face for the two hour duration of the party, and then for hours after as she reminded me of all the fun things she loved at the party.
I was very impressed with this spa and wish I could have gone to a party like that when I was a little girl. The owner, Zakia, could not have been nicer. She had a great philosophy to let the birthday girl lead the way at the party, and I loved her energy and passion to make sure each girl had the best time. She had three sweet, responsible & patient young ladies working with her that also made an impression on me.

A couple other perks of the spa include miniature white robes for the girls to get comfy in and sparkling lemonade served in plastic champagne flutes. Honestly, the owner has thought of EVERYTHING to make your girl feel fancy and fun. If this is something that strikes your fancy, check them out on Facebook or go to glamgirlzspa.com for more information.

{ 1 comment }