Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How I almost lost my marriage after my son

As anyone with common sense could figure out that loosing a baby strains a relationship big time.

            When we lost our Son, My Husband was training in the field. I had no way to get ahold of him (so I thought) and at that time we weren't married so they wouldn't have sent him home anyways. (If the Marines wanted you to have a family they would've issued you one...Oh how I hate that saying!) Because we are 10 hours away from 'home & family' I had nobody but a fellow wife. I called her to drive me to the hospital and there she stayed with me until the day Joe came home from the field.

               Here comes my biggest regret......The way I told him what happened was through a letter, I couldn't bare to utter those horrible words. How could I tell him face to face our entire world was gone? I never held Kaeden, I kissed his head with my eyes closed so I never saw him; I couldn't do it. I have the blanket he was placed on & his little hat....how was I to tell Joe he couldn't say goodbye let alone hello? To this day Joe hates me for it and I hate myself for it too. He doesn't blame for what happened because throughout my pregnancy there was MANY complications. He hates how I handled the 'after'. I have apologized and cried and yes even popped pain pills because I was so depressed and just wanted to get away from the pain and reality of it all.

              Due to all of this Joe & I completely shut down towards each other. All we did was fight & cry. He didn't know how to comfort me or handle his emotions, and since he's taught not to show emotions (another military perk*eye roll*) I took it as he was a cold-hearted asshole. Our fights were so bad we threw stuff, broke stuff, screamed so loud half of Jacksonville probably heard us, I even packed my stuff and was gonna leave as soon as payday hit. We legitimately almost got divorced like 3 times. This was all because he didn't know how to act and my depression came back full force. We didn't know how to communicate and blamed each other for every little thing.

               One day we both realized enough was enough and something had to change when we fought over the stupidest thing. I don't remember what exactly now though. I finally just started sending him like 12pg texts telling him what I thought. lol But seriously that way he couldn't interrupt me before I could get it all out, the topic wouldn't be changed, and I wouldn't be screaming at him. 4 months later and he's finally catching  the hint, I'd rather write him a letter or text than talk face to face. We only fight like once or twice a week now but it's never anything big and doesn't last long. I've also been diagnosed with chemical imbalance (bipolar) & now he realizes my 95% of my bitchiness is either Mood Swing, Depression, or I'm not feeling good. But we've only been married 5.5 right at 6 months so of course were gonna argue somewhat over the stupid stuff lol.

               We still have our moments where we break down and cry. Kaeden is brought up more often now and when people ask us if we have children we include him in the mix. Family & Friends have picked up that's it OK to acknowledge and bring up Kaeden's name now. Best way I can describe it is Kaeden's purpose was to bring Joe & I back together after 7 years. Everything we've been through has taught us a lot. It's like loosing him made a deep wound in our bond that can never be healed. However, it has stitches now. While the skin is scabbing over there will always be a scar. One we are proud of having; the chance to feel him move, hear his heartbeat, knowing him.

They say if your marriage can last through raising a child, it can last through anything. I say if your marriage can last through loosing one then nothing else will ever compare.

-XOXOX Brandi-
I'm not really a religous person but this really speaks volumes to me:
David's Response to His Son's Sickness and Death
Then the LORD struck the child that Uriah's widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. 16 David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18 Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himselfharm!” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20 So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.' 23 “But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”



Monday, August 27, 2012

PCOS & Pregnancy NO-NO! (Aspartame)

We all know that aspartame is a BIG no-no during pregnancy. Did you know that it can also contribute to exacerbated PCOS symptoms and infertility issues? The chemical components of aspartame can lead to a myriad of health problems including, but not limited to: severe depression, anxiety, menstrual irregularity, thinning hair and hair loss, ovulation disruption, hypoglycemia, weight gain, cysts and tumors, migraines, hypertension and memory loss. According to the Conference of the American College of Physicians, "We are talking about a plague of neurological diseases caused by this deadly poison". 
Who woulda thought right?!
-xoxox Brandi-

Insulin Resistance?

          Its said that most women diagnosed with PCOS are insulin resistant. However, the more and more I research it online I dont fit the symptoms associated with it. I also always test negative for any types of diabetes. My blood sugars are always good (except the one time we had Sonic's right before I went into my appt. lol )

           If you dont know what insulin resistant means here you go:

Insulin: is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to lower your blood sugar.

Insulin Resistant: when insulin fails at lowering blood sugar, resulting in adverse health effects such as diabetes.

Here are some signs & symptoms:

  1. Fatigue.
  2. Brain fogginess and inability to focus.
  3. High blood sugar.
  4. Intestinal bloating – most intestinal gas is produced from carbohydrates in the diet, mostly those that humans cannot digest and absorb.
  5. Sleepiness, especially after meals.
  6. Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight – for most people, excess weight is from high fat storage; the fat in IR is generally stored in and around abdominal organs in both males and females. It is currently suspected that hormones produced in that fat are a precipitating cause of insulin resistance.
  7. Increased blood triglyceride levels.
  8. Increased blood pressure. Many people with hypertension are either diabetic or pre-diabetic and have elevated insulin levels due to insulin resistance. One of insulin's effects is to control arterial wall tension throughout the body.
  9. Increased pro-inflammatory cytokines associated with cardiovascular disease.
  10. Depression. Due to the deranged metabolism resulting from insulin resistance, psychological effects, including depression, are not uncommon.
  11. Acanthosis nigricans.
  12. Increased hunger.

Here are associated Risks:

  • Genetic factors (inherited component):
    • Particular physiological conditions and environmental factors:
      • > 40–45 years of age;[
      • obesity.
      • your body storing fat predominantly in the abdomen, as opposed to storing it in hips and thighs.
      • sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical exercise
      • hypertension;
      • high triglyceride level (Hypertriglyceridemia);
      • low level of "good cholesterol";
      • pre-diabetes, your sugar levels in blood have been too high in the past, i.e. your body has previously shown slight problems with its production and usage of insulin ("previous evidence of impaired glucose homeostasis");
      • having developed gestational diabetes during past pregnancies;
      • giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (a bit over 4 kilograms)

    *So how is metformin really affecting me if I'm not insulin resistant?

    Well I'm no professional with a degree but I do know my body and when it changes. Metformin is supposed to help lower your bloog sugar/pressure like insulin does. Since right after I take it and its had time to set in, I'm GUESSING the headaches, 3-4 naps, and waking up starving(but can only eat about 2-3 bites of something) is because my natural insulin & metformin are tag teaming my body and it drops my levels.  Guess I should be making plans to visit my Dr. again before we move to FL.

    -xoxox Brandi-

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Day 4: "Baby Crack" & 2WW for August

    If you follow me on facebook as well then you saw I posted a "before pic" and mentioned I have 20lbs to loose. Well I have worked out 3 times in 5 days and I have lost 5 lbs. Mind you I cheat my ass off, including eating chocolate everyday lol But the medicine has supressed my appetite so I'm only really hungry like once a day.
    It also makes me sleepy, which I've read is due to my body trying to balance out itself and hormones. Not to sure how true that is exactly but it seems legit. Oh yea and TMI but you know the side effect about messing with your GI tract? yea it does! ...just keepin it real. I've also been having nausea which sucks cuz its like morning sickness KINDA only difference is there's not a baby to look forward to. Just one to hope & pray for.
    Oh! I also get headaches about 20-30 mins after I take the medicine. :/ I just really really hope it works soon.
    Last but not least as of today we are in day 1 of our 2 week wait for this month. *fingers crossed*
    -xoxox brandi-

    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    Baby Crack: Day 2

           So IDK if it's just all in my head or what but I feel a difference. She started me on 500mg a day then increase it weekly by 500mg until I'm up to 2000mg a day...Holy Metformin Batman! All I've eaten today was a a glass of chocolate 'milk', pickle, 6 chicken nuggets and a sandwhich. THAT'S IT!!!  I must say I feel like I have eaten a entire buffet though. I also haven't experience the 'metallic taste' yet except right when I take it but it quickly goes away with a chaser. I'm sure hoping I really loose weight since I have been a gym rat lately and lets face it, If I can't have an excuse like being pregnant for being fat then this old baby weight has to go.

          I've also been taking long afternoon naps lately. I think that's from working out though, since I'm actually gettin oxygen and bloodflow going again my insomnia has subsided. I think I'll do another post on how I'm actually changing my lifestyle and stuff incase anyone else is interested. I did some research and natural ways to help contain the pcos without having to eat leaves and non-fat cardboard lol.

    -xoxox brandi-

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Metformin aka "Baby Crack"

    Ever since J came home from his Mojave Viper training we decided we would start trying for another baby. No meds or anything, just the old fashioned way. Well these past June & July have gone by and he would be all excited in our 2 week waits, while I knew I wasn't pregnant. This month (August) we just said screw it all together (no pun intended). Yesterday I went to the dr for little bumps on my hands and the dr said they were allergies and gave me a shot and cream for it. J came with me and was asking her about different positions we could try since my uterus is tipped and sex hurts most times. She asked if we were ready to try again and he quickly answered yes. She is starting me on 2000mg a day of metformin (baby crack as we call it) and maybe introducing clomid again. I'm not ready for all the injections and stuff again yet so we're starting out easy. for now.

    Those who aren't familiar with metformin aka Glucophage here's some info from web.md:

    How It Works

    Metformin decreases the level of androgens produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. It also helps the body use insulin and may reduce the risk of diabetes.
    Metformin lowers blood sugar levels by:
    • Decreasing the amount of sugar produced by the liver.
    • Increasing the amount of sugar absorbed by muscle cells and decreasing the body's resistance to insulin (insulin resistance).
    When blood sugar is lower, less insulin is needed, so the body makes less insulin. And when insulin is lower, the body produces a lower level of androgens.

    Why It Is Used

    Metformin is a diabetes medicine sometimes used for lowering insulin and blood sugar levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This helps regulate menstrual cycles, start ovulation, and lower the risk of miscarriage in women with PCOS. Long-term use also lowers diabetes and heart disease risk related to high insulin levels.2

    How Well It Works

    Metformin lowers insulin, androgen, and cholesterol levels. It also improves metabolism in women who are insulin-resistant.
    • Metformin may be useful in restoring regular menstrual cycles and starting ovulation in about 45% of women with PCOS.3
    • Clomiphene (Clomid) and metformin may be more effective when they are taken together. But more research is needed to confirm if this is true.
    • Some studies show that taking metformin has helped with in vitro fertilization (IVF). But other research did not support this.
    • Metformin may lower the risk of miscarriage or gestational diabetes in women with PCOS, but this has not yet been confirmed by research. Metformin is probably safe to take while you are pregnant. But because metformin is only FDA-approved for the treatment of diabetes, you should talk with your doctor about the use of this medicine for reducing your risk for miscarriage or treating PCOS symptoms.

    Side Effects

    The most common side effects of metformin are:

    • Nausea.
    • Loss of appetite.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Increased abdominal gas.
    • A metallic taste.
    These side effects occur 20% to 30% of the time. Side effects usually decrease over time. The dosage of metformin is usually increased gradually to prevent these possible side effects.4

    -xoxox brandi-

    You have Poly What?

    So It's no secret and Im openly honest about having Polycystic Ovarion Syndrome commonly called "PCOS". I was diagnosed with it at the age of 16. I wont go into alot of details because that's like "TMI" in some aspects, but if your actually curious and have questions about my experiences with it, I will answer them because I feel like the public should be more educated on this.

    Here are some facts from womenshealth.gov :

    *I've highlighted the symptoms that I deal with*

    What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

    Polycystic (pah-lee-SIS-tik) ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that can affect a woman's:

    • Menstrual cycle
    • Ability to have children
    • Hormones
    • Heart
    • Blood vessels
    • Appearance
    With PCOS, women typically have:

    • High levels of androgens (AN-druh-junz). These are sometimes called male hormones, though females also make them.
    • Missed or irregular periods (monthly bleeding)
    • Many small cysts (sists) (fluid-filled sacs) in their ovaries

    How many women have PCOS?

    Between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 women of childbearing age has PCOS. As many as 5 million women in the United States may be affected. It can occur in girls as young as 11 years old.

    What causes PCOS?

    The cause of PCOS is unknown. But most experts think that several factors, including genetics, could play a role. Women with PCOS are more likely to have a mother or sister with PCOS.
    A main underlying problem with PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal. Androgens are male hormones that females also make. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation.
    Researchers also think insulin may be linked to PCOS. Insulin is a hormone that controls the change of sugar, starches, and other food into energy for the body to use or store. Many women with PCOS have too much insulin in their bodies because they have problems using it. Excess insulin appears to increase production of androgen. High androgen levels can lead to:

    • Acne
    • Excessive hair growth
    • Weight gain
    • Problems with ovulation

    What are the symptoms of PCOS?

    The symptoms of PCOS can vary from woman to woman. Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:

    • Infertility (not able to get pregnant) because of not ovulating. In fact, PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.
    • Infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual periods
    • Hirsutism (HER-suh-tiz-um) — increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
    • Cysts on the ovaries
    • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
    • Weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist
    • Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
    • Patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are thick and dark brown or black
    • Skin tags — excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
    • Pelvic pain
    • Anxiety or depression
    • Sleep apnea — when breathing stops for short periods of time while asleep

    Why do women with PCOS have trouble with their menstrual cycle and fertility?

    The ovaries, where a woman’s eggs are produced, have tiny fluid-filled sacs called follicles or cysts. As the egg grows, the follicle builds up fluid. When the egg matures, the follicle breaks open, the egg is released, and the egg travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus (womb) for fertilization. This is called ovulation.
    In women with PCOS, the ovary doesn't make all of the hormones it needs for an egg to fully mature. The follicles may start to grow and build up fluid but ovulation does not occur. Instead, some follicles may remain as cysts. For these reasons, ovulation does not occur and the hormone progesterone is not made. Without progesterone, a woman's menstrual cycle is irregular or absent. Plus, the ovaries make male hormones, which also prevent ovulation.

    How does PCOS affect a woman while pregnant?

    Women with PCOS appear to have higher rates of:
    • Miscarriage
    • Gestational diabetes
    • Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclampsia)
    • Premature delivery
    Babies born to women with PCOS have a higher risk of spending time in a neonatal intensive care unit or of dying before, during, or shortly after birth. Most of the time, these problems occur in multiple-birth babies (twins, triplets).
    Researchers are studying whether the diabetes medicine metformin can prevent or reduce the chances of having problems while pregnant. Metformin also lowers male hormone levels and limits weight gain in women who are obese when they get pregnant.
    Metformin is an FDA pregnancy category B drug. It does not appear to cause major birth defects or other problems in pregnant women. But, there have only been a few studies of metformin use in pregnant women to confirm its safety. Talk to your doctor about taking metformin if you are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant. Also, metformin is passed through breastmilk. Talk with your doctor about metformin use if you are a nursing mother.

    Does PCOS put women at risk for other health problems?

    Women with PCOS have greater chances of developing several serious health conditions, including life-threatening diseases. Recent studies found that:
    • More than 50 percent of women with PCOS will have diabetes or pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance) before the age of 40.
    • The risk of heart attack is 4 to 7 times higher in women with PCOS than women of the same age without PCOS.
    • Women with PCOS are at greater risk of having high blood pressure.
    • Women with PCOS have high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
    • Women with PCOS can develop sleep apnea. This is when breathing stops for short periods of time during sleep.
    Women with PCOS may also develop anxiety and depression. It is important to talk to your doctor about treatment for these mental health conditions.
    Women with PCOS are also at risk for endometrial cancer. Irregular menstrual periods and the lack of ovulation cause women to produce the hormone estrogen, but not the hormone progesterone. Progesterone causes the endometrium (lining of the womb) to shed each month as a menstrual period. Without progesterone, the endometrium becomes thick, which can cause heavy or irregular bleeding. Over time, this can lead to endometrial hyperplasia, when the lining grows too much, and cancer.

    The emotional effects of PCOS?
    Having PCOS can be difficult. You may feel:
    • Embarrassed by your appearance
    • Worried about being able to get pregnant
    • Depressed

    There's many many more symptoms BUT if you would like to know more ask and I'll gladly share.

    Kaeden Branden...Too beautiful for earth

    Blog post I wrote when all this happened.

    So its extremely hard to accept this has happened and I cant bring myself to really talk to anyone. Its like the words get stuck in my throat and I can not bring myself to force them out just yet. Its taking all I can to sit here & type this.

    I have severe Polycystic Ovarion Syndrome. (PCOS) & I also have a tilted uterus. My chance for sucessfully carrying & giving birth to a baby are next to none, Let alone if I can even get pregnant.

    In Dec. 2008, I lost a little girl (with my then husband) I thought my world was completely ruined. I struggled with the loss and even looking at myself for so long. I was completely disgusted with myself & my body. It took until the Summer of 2010 for me to start feeling halway decent about life again.

    Around Dec/Jan 2010-2011 I was divorced, happy, back in shape, & getting my life back on track. For the first time I was almost completely happy with my life/body. I started looking into trying to conceive again (for the future) & to see what all would have to be done or if it was even worth the endless amounts of pain/stress/money. I was on a trial cocktail of drugs, none seemed to be helping me release an egg (which is another perk of PCOS) anyways I was basically told nothing was happening and that it would take a Miracle.

    In June of 2011, I had given up completely and accepted the fact I would never get pregnant again. I had about 2-3 weeks left of college & then I would be living my dream life, in a big city doing something I loved. Little did I know that a miracle would happen. I had went on a trip to see an old highschool love and we didnt worry about protection (dumb for std protection I KNOW) but I told him I couldnt get pregnant. In almost 3 years with 3 different guys of not really trying, but at the same time not trying to stop it I never once had a "scare of being pregnant".

    About a week after I got back home from my trip, my body felt off. I seriously thought I had a bladder infection so I went & got tested for one. (it was negative) About a week later I called again and made another appt for the next day. I had all the symptoms of an STD so I freaked out, I was so scared because I always get checked & Im usually very careful about stuff like that. I called said "guy" I woulda gotten it from & told him I would call back with results so he would know if he needed to get checked.

    I Immediately cried when I got called back for results. I KNEW I had something otherwise they woulda just mailed me a letter or told me it was negative by phone right?! Dreadfully I drove to the Dr. I sat there almost in tears waiting to be called back. I went into a different part of the office and the whole walk back, My heart sank deeper and deeper. She told me as soon she shut the door "Congratulations you are STD free & you are PREGNANT".

    I had mixed emotions. I didnt want to be pregnant, I wasnt supposed to be. I was just beginning my dream life. At the same time I was happy for being given the chance to have the unconditional love & family I always wanted.

    Fast forward a few months, I ended up changing my plans & moving. I started a new relationship with one of the most amazing guys a girl could ask for who was also the father of my miracle baby. I also got thrown into the Military lifestyle, I saw myself with the perfect little family (including his kids who have completely stolen my heart), A house, Friends, Stability, & most of all love. I didnt want my bachlorette life anymore. Shopping, Money, Flashy car, & Partying meant absolutely nothing to me anymore.

    3.5 days ago my life & dreams got smashed. My miracle was taken away from me. I took a nap & woke up feeling like something wasnt right. I tried to get my son to move & nothing was working, I called my friend to come drive me to the hospital since I my love was in the field. It all happened so fast I couldnt call anyone & it was so late I figured I'd let them sleep since I figured it was probably nothing.

    We got there and they ran tests, and the normal stuff. They tried to do the doppler and couldnt find a heartbeat. So I went for a sonogram. they couldnt find it either. I was scheduled for a c-section on March 1st. (yesterday). All the stuff they did last week had come back normal, strong heartbeat, everything. He had a triple twist in his umbilical cord, were leaving at that. I denied them doing an autopsy, I do NOT want my baby cut open. I also couldnt bring myself to look at him. I hate the last images I have of my daughter in my head. He will be creamated like his sister & they will be scattered with me when the time comes.

    Kaeden Branden
    February 28 2012
    5lbs 13oz 18in
    ~Mommy's Miracle & Daddy's Mini Marine~
    Here are some pics of my little man.

    Intro to my life

          For starters my name is Brandi. I used to model and hopefully soon getting back into it. I am a Cosmetic Esthetitcian. I have one month left until I'm a Pharmacy Technician. I sometimes do free-lance makeup jobs.
     Long story short, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarion Syndrome (PCOS) at the age of 17. I was on the depo shot ( I took 3 doses, spanning 9 months) and instead of having no period like expected I bled constantly. This continued everyday for 2 years straight. I probably kept the Always company in business.

               After mid way through the third year the bleeding was like every 2 weeks for 2 weeks. Slowly it dwendled down back to normal and got back on track. I have dealt through numerous hospital trips, bottles and bottles of percoset, blood tests, ultrasounds, sitting in a tub of absolutely scalding hot water just to take the edge of my cramps (and burn the sh*t outta my lower half), cried because I was in so much pain I couldn't move, heart tests, thinning hair, divorce, depression & anxiety, the loss of two amazing babies, the whole nine yards.

           March of this year I re-married to my now amazing husband Joe. He is currently is the United States Marine Corps. We dated for a little bit in high school then I left him. We crossed paths again around March 2011. I gained 3 beautiful step children ages 4,3,2. (well 4,2,1 but the youngest two are Sept. babies) After loosing our son Kaeden a few months ago we have decided to try for another. If this doesn't work out or something goes horribly wrong, we are done. *fingers crossed we finally get our healthy baby*

    -xoxox Brandi-