After 9 miscarriages, almost 13 yrs of research & discovery, along with ample prayer, I would assume to have all the answers. I in fact know less now then I did when this all started.
After marrying my husband we quickly decided to start enlarge our family. Coming into the marriage I brought along with me Tanner, my son who was 7 yrs old. I had a healthy pregnancy other then some anemia near the end, and had a natural childbirth with no form of medication or intervention.
However as we started to do family planning we realized quickly that it may not be so easy for us to have another baby. Our first pregnancy ended shortly at 6 weeks, we were in shock that we were miscarrying. It was something that never crossed my mind that could happen. It ironically also brought us hope for another pregnancy. As our 3, 4, and 5th babies came and left so swiftly we started to feel uncertainty and fear for our families future.
Baby 6 left us just a few days before the 3 of us boarded an airplane headed for Guatemala. We served at an orphanage and done ministry to some remote villages in their beautiful land. Here we heard clearly in our hearts that we would be adopting a daughter soon. 6 months later we brought home our daughter, Ilana from the hospital at just 3 days old. We were so blessed.
Strangely enough, although we tried, we did not conceive for several more years. We pressed into some infertility treatments that seemed to be a great help to us. At this time we knew that I had been diagnosed with a leutal phase defect requiring me to take lots of progesterone after ovulation. I also was insulin resistant and had a few clotting disorders. I took all the necessary measures to make sure these things were addressed but still to no avail.
Our 7th baby was doing well, we felt so great about the pregnancy. I felt good and was in good spirits. When we went for our 8 wk ultrasound we quickly saw a rapidly beating heart and activity. We were so disheartened to hear that our little baby was growing in my left tube instead of my uterus. Blood was starting to pool into my belly cavity and we were rushed for emergency surgery. There is nothing like having to give written consent to a medical team for them to remove your sweet baby from your body. We lost our son and my left tube. It was a great time of mourning for my family.
Baby #8 was a girl and was due to be born on 11/11/11. Her special birthday reassured us that she was meant for this time in our lives. We pulled out everything we had studied and knew at this point to make sure I was taking and doing exactly what I was supposed to be. To no avail at 8 wks her heart stopped beating. Before her loss I received a phone call from a lady we had known for many years asking us to adopt her baby who was also due around the same time. The idea of "twins" was so exciting for us and we said yes. After the passing of our daughter we were so eager for our new son to come home. Liam was unexpectedly born on 11/11/11! This was such a sweet kiss on the forehead from the Lord. We were so blessed to have him!
At 3 weeks old Liam became very sick. As we were in the hospital we found out that we were once again pregnant. This time it was so unexpected and we were in shock. #9 went home to be with the Lord at again only 8 wks. With Liam in my arms it was hard to focus on our loss. Liam needed so much care that it helped my heart heal faster. Our son was diagnosed with many things including a hole in his heart & lung, Di George's Syndrome, a deformed spine, Esophageal Esophagitis, and Tracheogomalasia. It was a hard hit, but proved to be a rewarding one. One by one the diagnosis' started to heal or be healed. He had a stomach tube put in because of aspiration and acid reflux and we started to learn how to manage quickly. His sickness gave us such great growth in our faith and thankfulness.
When we came home from the hospital I started to think alot about everything I had encountered when trying to get pregnant. All the changes we had made from simple things like the water we drank, our diet, activity, our spiritual walk, and tons of research into supplements and natural remedies. As I watched Liam struggle to breathe and thrive I started to think about how helpless we all really were with taking care of him. What could I do to help him?
I was invited to a home presentation one night, after being in the house for months taking care of the new baby, my husband encouraged me to go and get out of the house. The mini-teaching was about the chemicals in our home and how they are so detrimental to our health. I learned about the toxicity of modern things that were in my cabinets and on my counter. Things that I used to make my clothes "cleaner" or smell good were actually harmful agents being infused into our skin as we wore our clothes around all day. I left there feeling educated and curious about this rabbit trail of information.
Our country alone has introduced 80,000 new chemicals into our living spaces in just the last 20 years! This was unacceptable for me...I was in disbelieve at how ignorant I had been on this issue.
As the Co-founder of the national group, Faith N Fertility (www.faithnfertility.org) I teach and speak about things we can do to prevent being one of the 7 million families in the US that struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss. The one category that I never touched was chemical exposure or environmental effects. This was something that I just didn't think pertained to me so I didn't have a passion for it. Now that I have personally tried most everything that I have ever read about, and had performed on me nearly every test available for recurrent pregnancy loss, I feel that environmental factors is an avenue that I need to look into stronger. I have a firm position on ridding things in our homes that cause ailments such as Autism, Cancer, ADHD, and allergies and I soon learned that these same things can increase chances of infertility, pregnancy loss, and infant disorders. The most surprising research I found was on simple things such as Windex and even green cleaners that you can purchase from local department stores. The idea that a label says "organic" or "all natural" but really isn't was alarming to me.
In the past months I have rid our home of every cleaner. I now use Norwex products and work proudly as a representative for the company, teaching people everywhere I go about how to clean better and safer. Years ago I learned about the medicinal properties of micro silver, as I write this I have a gallon jug sitting on my counter. When my children are sick I administer silver as a first resort. Silver kills 650 different forms of virus, bacteria, fungi, and molds. Its a valuable product to treat any kind of sickness. Liam gets silver in his feeding tube regularly, it can be used in a nebulizer for breathing treatments, and even put into the eye by a dropper for pinkeye. The US is starting to understand the treasure that micro silver really is. It is now being used in hospitals, daycares, and even being infused into material for lab coats and hospital gowns.
Norwex took this understanding silver and also has infused it into microfiber cloths. The microfiber has incredibly small fibers (100-200 times smaller then a human hair) and can bring even the smallest of matter up into the cloth, including bacteria. Once in the cloth the matter is affected by the micro silver. This tested product has given me the ability to throw out everything I cleaned with previously and while now I use just water, I clean better, faster, cheaper, and healthier. I use this same idea and have thrown away all baby powder, baby shampoo, soaps, lotions, and ointments for diaper rash,etc. by using Norwex's body cloths, which also have the micro silver infused in them. With a step further they offer a mop system and toothbrush along with many other products that I have found very useful.
I have not yet discovered the final discoveries as to why my babies did not survive. I am convinced however that their deaths are not in vain and that if I can continue to use our pain to help others make choices that benefit their health and journey towards a larger family, then it gives our losses much worth.