Teaching My Child About Death

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This year alone, Zoey has experienced two different deaths that were very different in so many ways. These deaths have presented some opportunities for us to talk to her about the subject, and while it has been very awkward at times, I feel it’s extremely important to share with her what we believe to be the truth and to not overly sugar coat it. It’s no secret that we are Bible believing Christians and we are raising our daughter to know the Lord. For us, as believers, death isn’t something we’re afraid of.

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly wait a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Philippians 3:20

In January, we respectfully celebrated the short life of baby Jocey Turnage. I’m sure many of you remember – it was the most difficult post I had ever written and it required way more revisions and thought than anything this blog had ever seen. It was Zoey’s first “at home” experience with death. My grandmother passed away two years ago, but Zoey was too little to even notice and I traveled out of town for the memorial, so it was something we didn’t really have to talk with her in depth about. However, baby Jocey was a whole new ball game. It was extremely important to me that I explained to Zoey why we were having this memorial, why people would be crying, but also why it’s important that we have faith, hope, and joy in the life that Jocey had, even if it was short lived. That day, she witnessed me sob, which was something she had never seen before. I held her close and just wept for my dear friends. Zoey didn’t know what to do or say. So she dried my tears with a cloth I had brought with us and just let me hold her as tight as I could without complaints. I explained to her that Jocey was now perfectly healthy and whole, her heart was no longer sick, and that she was with Jesus, where we plan to be someday.

She still talks about that day. But more importantly, I think she loves Jocey’s big brother Jordan even more than ever.

That was her first real experience with death.

Most recently, my step-Grandmother-in-law passed away. She had lived a very long life, and we got to spend some time with her during holidays. She was a really funny, spunky old lady and we loved her personality. We only got to know her for about two years before her passing, but she was still very much family. Besides the fact that this was a completely different person of age when it came to the time of death, this memorial service was completely different from Jocey’s. This one had a casket. An open casket.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to allow Zoey to go up to it. But she was curious… very curious… and she asked if she could. Reluctantly, I let her. Up to this point, I had explained to her that our bodies are only a shell. What’s inside the shell is our soul. Miss Louis’ body was going to be present at the funeral, but her soul was with Jesus. She loved the Lord and He called her home. Seeing the open casket did not bother Zoey at all, actually. Maybe four is a great age for this sort of thing, I don’t know, but I think the way we explained things to her helped a lot. What she saw wasn’t a “dead body”, but the shell of a woman she got to know briefly, and she knows where her soul lives.

“If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”~Romans 14:8

We feel it’s extremely important to use life experiences as opportunities for ministry to our daughter. Yes, we used this experience to really talk to her more in depth about the Lord and who He is. We told her that we have faith that we will see miss Louise and baby Jocey some day because we love the Lord, we live for Him, and someday He will call us home like He does all his children.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” ~ John 11:25-26

Yes.

I believe.

And yes, we are raising our daughter to know Him and believe in His word. When it comes to death, we have nothing to fear. We are instilling this in her at a very young age. I have no reservations about that, all the while the world is telling me I shouldn’t believe it, I shouldn’t share it, I shouldn’t teach it.

Teaching my four-year-old about death is something that can be awkward and weird sometimes, but it’s a part of life. These two death experiences she has faced were complete opposites from one another, but both presented awesome opportunities to teach my little girl the truth that we believe about death and life. We told her what the Bible tells us, and that it’s okay to be sad for someone who has passed because we’ll miss them, but that we don’t have to be sad forever because we will reunite someday, and it won’t even matter because we’ll be in the presence of our Lord. He is all that matters.

Death can be such a taboo subject, but it really doesn’t have to be. When I was a kid, my parents shielded me from it and didn’t allow me to go to my grandfather’s funeral. To make things worse, they waited until after the funeral to even tell me he actually died. He had been sick for a long time so I knew it was coming. I was so angry about that and to this day I wish they had let me go and had told me the truth the moment they got news he had died. I was eight years old when this all happened and I should have gone to say goodbye. I won’t do that to Zoey.

Some may think I shouldn’t be this open with my daughter about death, but it’s not like it’s something we can run from, right? We can pass any moment… we’re not promised tomorrow. Who am I to withhold this from her? I could die tomorrow. I could die today. Next week. We don’t know. I just want her to have comfort at a young age… comfort that she doesn’t have to fear it, and she can know that someday we’ll be reunited in the presence of our Lord, and nothing in this life can top that.

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My 1st Experience at the Chiropractor for PCOS: Acupuncture and NAET Treatment

NAET Acupuncture Treatment

Saturday was my very first experience at the chiropractor for PCOS! I decided to go with a doctor who has a track record of being really helpful to women with infertility issues, and because my dear friend Shontel insisted that I go to him. ;) I wanted to share my experience during the visit and during the first 24 hours after the visit.

When I first got into the exam room, I shared my history with the doctor. He was very attentive and seemed to have all the right questions to ask. Then he explained to me that he wanted to do a treatment called NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique). I’m not even entirely sure I can explain this in layman’s terms, but I am going to try. NAET is used to identify what your body is resistant to, which is basically your brain telling your body such things. With NAET, the doctor identifies the allergens, then scrambles those brain signals via your spinal column so your brain doesn’t think you’re allergic anymore.

I admit, when I first started reading about this, I thought it was a joke. Like some kind of weird scam.

When performing NAET, the doctor had me lay on my back on a table. My right arm was to my side, palm up. My left arm was straight up in the air. He pushed on my left arm and I was able to resist him pushing it down. I could tell he was really trying, too. In my right hand, he’d place a vial that contained one thing at a time – sometimes it was a food, sometimes it was a hormone. Each time he placed a vial in my hand, he’d push on the arm that was straight up. If I could resist him, it meant that I was receptive to that item in my hand. If I couldn’t resist him and my arm went down, it meant that my body was resistant to that item.

Ya’ll. This was really strange. I’m not that crunchy… I mean, I do prefer a lot of natural things but this was just mind blowing to me.

But it turned out to make a lot of sense. And to be true.

The list of hormones that I am resistant to is pretty comical… he literally checked for everything: FSH, LH, estrogen, progesterone, etc. Oh, HCG is on the list, too. All of them made me weak. There was also a large chunk of food items, including many PCOS offenders, such as oats. Once he identified these, he put all of the allergen vials into a jar and had me hold it while he ran some sort of vibrating contraption up and down my spine. I feel like he did something else I am totally forgetting…

Then, we went to do acupuncture.

Acupuncture was definitely the weirdest experience… ever. It didn’t hurt much, only a few of the needles hurt, but overall it was fine. He did about 15 needles – 1 in the top of my head, 1 in each hand, 1 on each foot, and the rest in my abdomen. Once they were placed, I relaxed for what felt like forever, while holding that jar of allergens. When it was all over, he removed all the needles and I was able to keep him from pushing my left arm down while my right hand held the jar. He tried three times and every time I was able to resist him.

After acupuncture, I felt fine. I was a little dizzy and felt kind of strange, but overall I was fine. About 2 hours later, I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I was so completely exhausted… Over the next 25 hours I had to massage some pressure points on my body every 2 hours, except when sleeping overnight. I felt like my ovaries were waking up – they were definitely hurting. The next morning, I woke up and felt so sick. Like, full on allergy sick… I did NOT expect that. It’s not very common to react like that, but apparently it happens, and it is proof that I am sensitive to acupuncture, which means it works for me and might be a great treatment option for my PCOS. It seriously took me by surprise. I didn’t feel like that all day – mainly in the morning. By the time church was over, I felt a lot better. Since then, I’ve been fine.

That’s my first experience with NAET and acupuncture for PCOS. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Do I trust this guy? Yes. He didn’t push anything on me, a frequency for appointments, supplements, nothing at all. He only suggested I use natural progesterone cream when necessary for my cycles. In fact, he told me to stop taking my supplements for now, so I’m only taking my prenatals at the moment. His goal is to make it so I don’t need them at all… how nice that would be. I’ll listen to him for now. ;) If I wasn’t going to him, I’d increase them, but since I plan to rely on him for a while, I’ll listen. I plan on going monthly at a minimum. I haven’t scheduled my next appointment yet because I am waiting to see how much this first visit is going to cost me. I don’t have a co-pay with my insurance, it’s just 80% on me until I hit my deductible, so we’ll see what they say.

So there you have it. Have any of you ever done NAET, specifically for PCOS? Did it work for you?

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LWM: Preparing for Kindergarten… Me, Not Her

“Zoey is four years old, which means she is very quickly approaching Kindergarten. Since she was 14 months old, she has attended a private preschool program at a local church. It has been an amazing program, and I am thrilled that they offer a certified Pre-K class. Around here, public Pre-K isn’t widely offered, so if you want it, you have to either homeschool or fork out money for private school. We fall in the latter boat, so here we are: her last year of private school, and I admit I am freaking out a little bit.”

Read the rest: Preparing for Kindergarten… Me, Not Her

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I’m Going to the Chiropractor for PCOS Treatment

I’m going out of my comfort zone with this one.

I’m going to the chiropractor for PCOS treatment. Tomorrow.

Since February, I’ve only taken natural supplements for my PCOS. I started having natural cycles and was ovulating. I was thrilled! My body was responding well and I felt like natural conception was finally possible.

Then July happened.

Then August.

We’re halfway through August…

Let’s just say, I’m on my 7th week in this cycle, definitely not pregnant, and experiencing estrogen surge after estrogen surge… my body is trying. I don’t know if I need to increase the supplement doses or what. My guess is yes because I am taking the lower doses, but I decided to finally seek some guidance from a professional who knows supplements well and understands how they impact the female body. What I currently take is supposed to balance my estrogen, and for a while it did… it did great. NOW it’s losing its mind! Everything was perfect the past few months… like, really great. 31-day cycles, ovulation around CD 14-15… I don’t know what has changed, but I’m about to find out how to stop it.

On Monday this week, I had the most awful cyst rupture to date. Definitely the worst pain I’ve ever had with a cyst, and thank goodness it did not last very long. It only made me realize how important it is that I try an alternative way to treat my PCOS. I guess it’s desperation. Kind of a last resort…

My appointment is tomorrow. I’m very thankful that I was able to get a Saturday appointment. I have a very general idea of what to expect – some kind of weird allergy test, acupuncture, actual treatment (not just a consultation)… have any of you been to a chiropractor for PCOS treatment? Did you like acupuncture or hate it?

I figure if I can’t handle acupuncture, I definitely can’t handle Follistim…

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Liberating Working Moms has Relaunched!

Friends, as you know I’ve been a contributing writer for Liberating Working Moms (LWM) for almost a year now (I can’t believe it has been that long since my first guest post). I really love it as it gives me an opportunity to write about the other half of who I am: a working mother. LWM is for all kinds of moms – those who work from within the home and outside the home. I’m really excited to share that LWM has relaunched with a new brand and a slew of new contributors! We went from 6 to 26! It’s so exciting and I greatly look forward to seeing all the different sides of motherhood.

I invite you to join me over there. I’ll be contributing once a month now and will be sure to continue to link my posts here for you as I did in the past. In addition, the contributors will be taking over the Instagram account, each one of us for a whole day, so I’ll be sure to let you know when it’ll be my day to post.

Thanks for reading and for those of you who were so supportive back when I first started this. I love to write and this is just another way to stretch my writing spirit a little bit more. Life Abundant is my home, LWM is more like a mini vacation. ;)

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LWM: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

 

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Bringing Home Baby Burney: An Update

In March, I shared with you all that my very good friend was pursuing adoption after 5 years of trying to conceive and 4 miscarriages. The journey has been hard, high and low, rocky and pretty much volcanic. Through it all though, my friend always held onto HOPE. Through her diagnoses of MTHFR, she held onto HOPE. She decided to stop trying for a biological baby and pursue adoption.

Complete release and peace.

God had other plans.

Please go check out their latest announcement and leave her some love! She needs prayers and encouragement in this journey to motherhood…

Bringing Home Baby Burney

Shontel, I love you, sweet friend (and Zoey ADORES you)! We can’t wait to meet your new precious gift.

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Five Truths About Home Pregnancy Tests

This is a post that has been on my mind for a while now and I wasn’t quite sure how to execute it, but I figured I’d just get started and see how it goes. If you have anything to add, please comment! Anything you can contribute will only benefit those looking for information.

Home-Pregnancy-Test

1. Understand how tests work.

A home pregnancy test (HPT) is designed to detect the hCG hormone in your urine, which is created as a result of pregnancy. Each test is designed to only show positive if the concentration of hCG in your urine is a certain number (Home Pregnancy Test hCG Levels). This does mean a test can show up as negative when you are in fact pregnant. For example, if you take a ClearBlue Digital test that is designed to detect level 50 hCG in your blood, and your current level is only a 25, it’ll show up as negative. #4 will explain further. Just understand the basic premise: the test is designed to detect hCG at a certain level. The more concentrated your urine is, the more accurate your test result will be. This is often why the test instructions say to test first thing in the morning, but holding your pee for 4 hours works, too. ;) Just don’t down a glass of water and then go test… it might not be concentrated enough.

2. Respect the time limit.

Please, please, please… do not obsess over a test that you took an hour ago. There is a time limit for a reason. Some tests will start to show a second line after a time limit because the test is wet. Some tests show what is known as an “evap line” after the time limit, which is a shadowy line that doesn’t have a lot of color (they’re usually grey, although I beg to differ, I’ve known friends who have had evaps that had color). There is a time limit for a reason, and honestly you need to stick to it. If it didn’t show up in 2-5 minutes, you probably need to count it as negative and trash it.

3. Pick pink line tests.

I am very passionate about this one. Blue line tests are evil. Okay, maybe that is extreme, but let me explain: blue line tests seem to be the #1 culprit when it comes to evap lines. Because evap lines tend to be greyish in color, sometimes it is SO HARD to tell if that shadowy line on your blue line test is an evap or a BFP. I’ve been victim to this before, as have MANY women. I do not like blue line tests and do not advocate that women use them. This means those Equate tests that are so temping at Walmart - those are very popular and I wish they weren’t. I know they’re cheap, ladies, but there are better options out there, and I will get to that in the minute.

4. Pick sensitive but inexpensive tests.

This is a tricky one. When you are TTC, you end up spending a lot of money on tests, and it’s hard to know which ones you should invest in. Pink line are my favorite, but I want pink line that are inexpensive, too. The best test I’ve seen out there for sensitivity is the First Response Early Result, because it has picked up hCG levels as low as 10 in some of my friends who later had blood tests the same day as the pee test… and they confirmed – so that is incredible. But as you guys know, FRER can be expensive… like, really expensive. Like, you don’t want to buy those unless you have to… so there are other options out there. If you don’t struggle with infertility, then by all means, go for the FRER tests. If you do struggle, then find something else. At the end of the post, I’ll share links to some options.

5.Testing too early isn’t a good idea.

I know, this is blasphemy in the TTC world, but hear me out. If you’re testing before 9 dpo, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Egg fertilization + implantation typically occurs between 7-12 dpo… so even if it hits at 7 dpo, the hCG hormone needs time to double every couple of days before it can show up on an HPT. Testing too early is like picking a green cherry tomato and then being disappointed that it didn’t taste like a red one when it has the potential to eventually turn red if you’d just be patient. Have I utterly confused you? To make this clear: do not test too early. I personally do not recommend before 9 dpo, and THAT is early. The only reason you should test earlier is if you have a trigger shot in your system that you need to test out… then and only then should you start right away. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed when it’s a BFN and who knows, you could still be pregnant. I’m the worst influence when it comes to telling ladies to test, but I will never tell you to before 9 dpo. There are very few cases where women have seen a BFP at 8 dpo… but they were such a small percentage, it’s not worth wasting the test and the emotions. Trust me.

Okay, so now for the fun part. Buying tests! If I can get my hands on them, I really like the ones at Dollar Tree. They’re just $1 and detect hCG of 25. Plus, they’re convenient to pick up. I also like the tests on early-pregnancy-tests.com. They are just the strips so you need a pee cup, but they are pretty sensitive and again, cheap! The more you order, the cheaper they are, and you can buy packs that also come with ovulation test strips. Bingo!

A lot of women in the TTC community swear by the Wondfo tests on Amazon, which you can also purchase in packs with OPKs. I plan to add some Wondfo to my list next time I order supplements. I haven’t personally tried them yet, but they are pink line tests. However, these are some I’ve heard of women getting evaps on, so make sure that if you DO use them, you follow the time frame rule!

I went ahead and put together a collection of tests you can get on Amazon, just in case you want to snatch some up while buying fertility supplements. ;) Let me know if you find the tests cheaper somewhere else, I’d love to know! But on Amazon, I’m seeing better deals so far. Even better than Walmart. Maybe locations vary?

I hope this helps! What HPTs are your favorites? Do you have anything to add to my post? I welcome friendly conversation. Notice I said friendly… ;)

This post contains affiliate links.
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