31 December 2012

Saw it coming....... Bu hit out of nowhere

just thought i would give a quick hello. the end of this year has been hit with things i knew were coming, yet hit be surprise.
the baby inside seems to be growing well. i will have an ultasound next week. still trying to decide if i want to know what it is. i like not knowing cause i like when someone asks if i am having a boy or girl, i say yes.

07 November 2012

Saw the ob

Baby looks good. They did an ultrasound. You could see the little heart beating. They are fully expecting to let me go to term and have a normal delivery. If I end up pushing for a long time (which they don't expect) they will "help" with forceps. My last 3 kids were pushed out pretty quick (even my 8.7lber) that no one at this point expects it to be an issue.

01 November 2012

Birth control

Ok, so no one has asked me on my blog or facebook page outright. Though one young lady asked me honestly. Do my husband and I use birth control? Through the years of our marriage, the answer to this question has been different, today the answer is no. Yes, before my surgery was scheduled we were taking steps to prevent pregnancy. No, those steps were not perfect, and yes I ended up pregnant. We have long believed that it was God alone who opens and closes a womb.

I spent a short time after the birth of my second child on chemical birth control. I really did not know much about it. I did not realize how it worked and that while the first job was to keep from ovulation  When ovulation did occur the second job was to keep the newly fertilized egg from implanting. Now I know that "science" says that this new egg is not a baby. My faith says it is. Therefore this newly fertilized egg which has everything it needs to grow into a new baby is aborted. That was enough for me.

Now I have more objections to the pill and other chemical birth controls than just the abortion issue. There are side effects that come with these types of birth control. I had horrible headaches, that compounded headaches that I was already getting.

These types of birth control have been linked to breast cancer and other types of cancer. There are higher risks to having blood clots, strokes, heart attacks. (These are all mentioned in the commercials). Don't take my word for it, here is the side effect risks from the NuvaRing website. NuvaRing

05 October 2012

Dealing with the first trimester

Well to be honest, right now it is easy to deal with the physical aspects of being pregnant. I am still too early for my morning sickness to have kicked in. That usually waits til 6-8 weeks. Then I have about 6 weeks of extreme sickness.

For me the hardest part is the emotional junk. I am an emotional mess enough, I really don't need pregnancy making it worse. I will cry over really stupid things. Worship at church becomes a tearfest.

And finally the biggest thing during pregnancy is my craving for soda. Ugh. I wish I could kick the stuff, but when I am pregnant my taste for it goes up big time.

30 September 2012

Tetralogy of Fallot and Pregnancy

There seems to be some debate and concern about me getting pregnant again. Much of the debate is simply over not having facts and only knowing that "Kayte has a heart problem."

Now I can understand many concerns. I have not always followed doctors advice and I have not been followed by a cardiologist in several pregnancies. So I do understand the concerns and am learning from my past.

I do want people to know that this pregnancy I will be followed closely by my cardiologist, I emailed him the night I found out I was pregnant to make sure he knew that I was pregnant. He called me about 10 am the next day to talk over my first how I felt about being pregnant and to go over my past pregnancies. He is very much aware that I have had home births and that I was not followed for some time by a cardiologist. I have not hidden any information from him. When I first met him a year ago, we went over all my past pregnancies. He told me at that time, and in not the exact words this time that my heart condition tolerates pregnancy well. That is not to say that there are not things that he is concerned about.

There are 2 main areas in which he said he is most concerned and will be watching. The first is the delivery of the baby. The main concern there is that I don't push too long. He also said that he did not feel that this was going to be a big concern. This is an area I have gotten rather good at LOL. The last 3 or so babies have come out in less then 5 minutes of pushing, and my last guy was out in 3 pushes, it won't be too bad.

The second was the first few weeks after birth. He asked me how my energy was after the babies were born and I had to admit it was worse then when I was at the end of the pregnancy. He said that he hears that a lot from women like me. He also explained that the placenta absorbs much of the extra fluid in my body for the baby and makes it easier on my heart to pump that extra fluid. It is once the baby and more so the placenta is delivered that it can be harder on my heart and there I will have less energy.

I was so thankful to hear that news. I had been struggling for years to understand why so many of the women I knew while they were tired didn't seem nearly as wiped out 10 days after birth as I was.

The current plan for me is to see him at the end of October and see the high risk doctors at the same hospital. I will have 3 echos, one each trimester. He sees no reason right now that I can not have a natural childbirth.

It is also important to know that over the past year I have undergone a lot of testing on my heart, so they have a pretty good idea of where I am at.

If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will be more then happy to answer any questions.

Also this blog is not intended for medical advice, this is simply my experince and I want to share it so that others can be encouraged.

27 September 2012

God's curve balls

As some of you may have seen I have a heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. After going through extensive testing November 2011 and a cardiac catheterization in March of 2012 it was determined I would need open heart surgery followed by another catheterization to fix an area going into my right lung to open it up and allow more blood flow into the lung.

The surgery was planned, the date was set. I got things taken care to make sure my children were taken care of. All we had to do was wait for the date to arrive. Sounds simple right....

Well God has decided to throw me a curve ball. Instead of having another surgery, I am having another baby. Yup baby number 9 is currently being formed. I have to admit I have freaked out a lot. I have freaked out at my older 2 kids (glad that understand and love me anyway. ) I have freaked out at God.

I have to be honest and say, at this point I am not sure how I feel about the idea. My emotions go back and forth.

What does my cardiologist think? He supports me and while he wants to watch me, he is not overly concerned. He feels that my heart can handle the pregnancy just fine.

07 September 2012

Preparing for surgery

In just a few short weeks I will be undergoing my 4th open heart surgery. You can read about my heart condition here and here for a current update. The goal of this surgery is to open up my right pulmonary artery so that I can get more blood flow to my right lung. This will make things easier for me and will protect my left lung from damage. The other thing that they are planning on doing is replacing my pulmonary valve. These valves have a lifespan of 10-15 years. While my valve does look good at this point in time, although it is starting to leak, they do not want me to have to undergo surgery again in a couple years.

How do I feel about this, it is hard to say. I am scared more for leaving my children then for anything else. I do not want them to be worried about me. I will miss them very much.

As far as my life goes I have begun to memorize Philippians 1: 21-26

 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,

29 August 2012

New school year.....

Well it is a new school year in our home. Unlike many (ok maybe most) homeschool households, this does not mean new school books. Our school years run February to February. Mostly because it is with our tax return that I buy our new school books. Also we tend to just work in a book until it is done, then move on to the next level. Mostly for my sophomore, as she worked very hard this past year and working ahead of the game. Since I do have a bunch of books passed down to her, it works.

This year is a kinda bittersweet year for me. At the end of the year, my oldest will graduate from high school. He really has enough credits, but I want him spending this year review math and working on his paper writing.

So this year I have a senior, sophomore, 7th, 5th, 3rd, 1st and preschooler. I don't do a lot of preschool stuff, but they always seem to want to do school like the older ones, so they get a cheap all in one book from Wal-Mart or such and do that.

Another switch in our school year is change I am thankful for, my husbands hours at work have changed and he will be at work in the day. This will help me because we enjoyed spending time with Daddy in the morning and school would often get pushed back and then Mom would get too busy and we would end up going off doing other things.

21 August 2012

college for me

As each semester comes I find that I am struggling more and more with my work. Right now I am taking 3 classes, all 3 I have failed already once and am close to failing one of them a second time. This has me upset, cause I really really wanted to do better.

I am thankful though that a wonderful young lady from my church came over and spent several hours helping me with my homework. She would have stayed even longer, but it was so late and I wanted to make sure she got home safe. She is planning on coming back and helping.

I have a lot of wonderful young people in my life. I have a young friend that is currently sitting across the table from me working on her own homework. It is kinda nice to have a study buddy. Maybe I will get more work done this way.

18 August 2012

Sharing parts of my past with the teens in my life

Like most families I think there are parts of our past that we have shared with our kids and parts we never have.

One thing that had never really ever come up was about my dating in high school. The other day we had a friend over (she is friends with several of my kids) and I was talking with them, which is something we do often. They all were surprised to find out that I had had several boyfriends in high school. It became a big giggle fest, but in it I was able to share what I had learned and why I have encouraged my girls the way that I have. I think they understood a little why my point of view is what it was.

Unlike these teens in my life now, I was not choosing to live for God. I had come to know Christ as my savior at a young age, but due to pain that I had experienced I had tried to walk away from God. I was living kinda as the world says a teen should live.

I didn't do drugs, I did get drunk once. I had a job that I worked at 5 days a week. I didn't like school, but I wasn't a trouble maker either. We talked about that too.

It was great being able to share this with them and encourage them to continue to look to God.

17 August 2012

simply a mom

Several years ago I picked this as my user name for many websites. There was a good reason for this. On more then one occasion I have been told "Wow, you must be some super mom." Or some sort of variety of that phrase.

There are days though that I struggle with even feeling like an ok mom. The past month I have struggled with feeling more like a failure then a good mom.  I am not sure how exactly to get out of this feeling. I know that I will continue to press on and cling to God.

This world will not drag me down. On the strength of God I will overcome.

Philippians 4:8
 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

25 July 2012

Yes, I have teens..... and I love it!

My oldest 2 are teenagers and my 3rd child is just about there as she is 12. I will proclaim loudly, I love my teens and I like pretty much most of their friends.

The other day I was talking with F, my 15 (almost 16) year old and 2 of her friends. We sat around the kitchen table, ok well we all sat, or stood in the kitchen and talked. We talked about everything God, school, church and yes... boys.

I often wonder what I did to be so blessed as to be able to sit and talk with my teens the way I do. We have had open talks and I have chosen to talk to the kids about just about anything from a young age, even if I didn't think that they were ready for it, though still trying to protect them from too much information. I have also made time to play with them the things that they enjoy.

I know that being open and honest with our kids is not a promise to a good relationship with them, but I do believe that it has helped.

17 July 2012

This day..

I like so many others love music. The right song can pick me up and get my heart focused in the right direction so quickly. Like so many of you we are going though a hot spell here in the midwest. Our apartment is rather warm and I hate to admit that I do not handle the heat well. I get crabby and lazy. Today was one of those days that I was headed in that direction. 

Then I spent sometime in the sprinkler with several of my children. That helped a lot. While I was not wanting to get wet at first, I ended up in a water war with my 10 year old son and ended up soaked. That was fun and cooling. I was very thankful for that. 

Came inside and started to do the dishes. I had an mp3 player on my cell phone, so I was listening to some songs and then one of my favorite came on. It is an older one by Steven Curtis Chapman called This Day. I love the lyrics to this song, especially this part..

"Who knows what tomorrow’s light will bring
Tears to cry or maybe songs to sing out loud
But only God can see that far away
And He made us for living day by day
‘Cause He wants us to see
That the God that He’s been every day of history
Is who He is this day"

Remember this day is a new day, this moment is a new moment. The stress from a moment ago can be in the past. if you just release it to God.

But even if he doesn't....

I have known the story of Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-nego since I was a young girl. I have read the story time and time again. (If you don't know the story you can read it in Daniel 3 or Here on Blue Letter Bible and read it.) I am sure I have read the words before, but the other day God really brought them out to me.

Dan 3:15 NASB - "Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?"
Dan 3:16 NASB - Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.
Dan 3:17 NASB - " If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
Dan 3:18 NASB - "But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

Do you see it? They knew God had the power to save them, but even if he didn't they would choose to obey and follow.

There are areas in my life that I know God has the power to change, but even if he doesn't I will choose to follow and obey. This can apply to even the smallest areas of our lives. Like giving up soda. 

What have you read that all of a sudden God shows you something you had not seen before. 

15 July 2012


What do you do when you are overwhelmed?

It is a very common thing in my home to have more then 1 child who needs my help or attention for something. It is one of those times that I am thankful for my older kids cause they are able to help me. However they have been gone much this summer and I am left to take care without their help.

What do I do... breathe. Sometimes, most of the time, simply taking breath and putting a smile on my face makes things so much easier.

Then I pray and ask for wisdom. Jam 1:5 NASB - But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

God is ready to give us wisdom.

Pro 2:6 NASB - For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Pro 2:7 NASB - He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,

13 July 2012

working on the weight loss

Well I have been kinda working for the past week or so at really losing weight. today I am kicking it into gear and making sure I track what I eat.

My weight loss attempts are something that is keeping me down. I feel like such a failure. I have never been able to lose weight and now things keep getting worse. I am however going to cling to God and let him do the work.

My first goals right now are..

  • Track my food. Even if I go over my calorie goal, I will track.
  • No soda. I love to drink soda. I may try and limit to say one can every other day, but for now I am saying no. 
  • Exercise just 10 minutes a day. (Today was 15 minutes)

26 June 2012

When 8 kids becomes 5 for a week

So this week is a quiet week in my home. There are currently only 5 of my kids home. Now I know for many who may read this blog that will still seem like a lot of kids, but to me it is almost boring.

So where are my oldest 3 kids? Well one is at camp for the week. This is one of her favorite times of the year. She spends the week learning about God, swimming and just simply being with her friends. It is also a hard time for her as she is one of my shyer kids. She often has a hard time making new friends. And because of where her age falls in regards to the other kids in our church that go this camp she often misses out on rooming with them. This year however she was able to room with 2 at least 2 of her friends from church. She also has 2 camp friends that I hope she got to room with.

My other 2 are on a missions trip with Student life. They went with a group from church. One child is doing a backyard VBS and one is doing some sort of gardening. I will know more about what they have done when they get back.

So what am I up to? Normal life. :) Laundry, cooking, cleaning homework. The hardest part is dealing with the baby without my older ones. I don't realize how much having them around to hold the baby helps.

I am praying for them and if you think of it could you pray that God will work in their lives.

22 June 2012

Personal convictions....

A few years ago I realized that even as Christians we do not always agree on everything. Sure there are things that there are no this way or that. We are saved by grace through faith that is it. However, I have seen how God gives us different convictions based on what he wants us to do and how we can best reach those lost that are around us.

For years my husband and I have been convicted to allow God to plan the size of our family. This has allowed us to share many many times on how God continues to provide.

Our choice to homeschool as well has given us a chance to share our faith in God and what we believe.

I have a dear friend that has come to salvation and our family has played a part in her seeing God's love. I think if our family was different she may not have been as open.

18 April 2012

Promoting my daughter

I am very proud of my daughters blog. This one was hard for me to read, but it was well written. She is sharing a little bit about being homeless...

29 March 2012

TOF- a current update

I know I have not fully finished my story of my life with Tetralogy of Fallot up until now, but since I have things going on, I thought I would take the time to share them.

It had been several years since I had seen a cardiologist, and in September of 2011 I decided I should go. I found a new Dr then I had last seen a little closer to my home. I am very thankful that I found one that I really like. He went through my whole history and made sure I fully understood my heart condition and what the risks now and in the future are for me.

In November I underwent a whole bunch of tests- blood work, stress test, echo, mri and a lung function test. Oh yeah and x-rays. When all was said and done- my cholesterol was sightly higher then they would have liked, my heart its self was in good condition, but there was a narrowing in my right pulmonary artery causing my right lung to not get very much blood from my heart. The percentages of blood flow to my lungs is 82% to the left and 18% to the right. It was determined that it would be best to do a cardiac cath.

On March 13th I went in for my cath with the expectation of stents being placed and older stents that I had being opened. I was very disappointed to wake up from the procedure to find that they had not been able to open the area up. They were able to confirm that my heart is doing well.

It has been decided that they will have to do surgery and another cath to open that area up. Part of the narrowed area is inside my lungs and they can not reach that area through surgery, thus the second cath will be needed to open that area up once again.

I will be seeing my cardiologist mid April and will start the process of scheduling the meeting with the surgeon and then the actual scheduling of the surgery. My prayer is that I will be able to wait until early August as from May to the end of July I am running with my oldest son to baseball.

13 February 2012

Random thoughts about me

I know I want to get back to telling the story of my living with TOF, but that will happen again another day. Today will be a random thought blog. My 15 year old daughter tells me all the time how random I am.

My husband Dan and I met about 3 weeks after I turned 18. He was 23 at the time. We were married less then 6 months later and will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. While things have no been easy; I would not want to go through any of this without him. He has supported me both physically and emotionally that I don't think I could have gotten through a lot of things otherwise.

I have always wanted to be a writer, but have never really share that with my kids, yet they have such a love for writing. My oldest 2 kids are both writing rough drafts of books that they someday hope to publish.

Something that most people who know me are surprised to find out about me is that I love public speaking. I would love to be a speaker. Speech class was my favorite class in high school and it was one of the few classes I got an "A" in.

Something else that some may find odd about me- I really don't like fruit. Unless it is a dessert. Like I won't just sit and eat an apple. I will devour an entire apple pie- with ice cream please. However, I love many veggies- like broccoli and red peppers.

I love to play video games. I am not very good at it, but I do enjoy it. However I am too competitive and start to yell at the tv. If I can't do what I am supposed to do, I get upset.

Ok.. Any questions?