The Trouble With Unfounded Expectations

Pregnancy Photos: Before & After
If you click on the above link, you’ll find 15 wonderful photos of mothers. Pregnant in one photo and with their newborn in another. The photographs are inspiring, beautiful, loving, and for people like me – heartbreaking.

For a long time as a youngster, I didn’t see the point in having children. I found them to be nuisances; always loud, whiny, and bratty. I told my uncle one day that I never wanted children. He replied with, “won’t you be lonely when you’re old and the rest of your family is gone?” I thought about that for a half a second and said that I didn’t care, that it wasn’t important to me. As you can probably tell, I was a stubborn child. Who am I kidding? I’m a stubborn adult as well.

As I grew older, I realized that maybe having children would be a good thing. I realized that once I found the person I loved, I’d want to create another human life with them. A baby girl or boy to raise, to nurture, to love, to teach. A small child with my husbands eyes and our thick hair. A pretty little girl with my love of reading and my husbands knack for board games. A handsome little boy with my husbands capacity to fix literally anything and my musical ability.

Well, the day came when I met that person. My husband of almost 5 years. In five years, we’ve not even had a scare. Not one. Every month that goes by becomes harder and harder to bear. Every month we hope that this month will be it, we’ll have good news. Every month we are disappointed. A year into our marriage we were asked when we were going to have babies. At that time we were still quite hopeful. Now people either gloss over the subject (if they know us) or ask us the same question, “when are you going to have children?” When my patients ask, I try to laugh it off – it’s not their business. When family mentions it, I tense up. I can’t brush it off. I can’t laugh it off. I don’t know what to say anymore. There are so many emotions that people can’t understand if they’ve never been on our situation. Anecdotes about friends having difficulties don’t help. Especially when those friends had troubles for a year and then conceived a child – and then another the same year, a few months after the first was born. Telling me that you had trouble conceiving your second and third child don’t help. Honestly, they don’t. We can’t even conceive our first. We’d be ecstatic with one child at this point. We really would.

We’ve gone to a fertility clinic. We’ve been told the problem. We’ve been told that most likely, only IVF would work. IVF. Who can afford it? One treatment equals to almost $10,000. We’ve thought about adoption – over $30,000. Surrogates even cost a massive amount even with a friend being the surrogate. It seems like my husband and I are out of options. 

Sometimes I think, maybe it’s a good thing that we don’t have children. This is just the way it’s supposed to be for us. However, deep down I’m not losing my faith. I believe that everything happens in its own time and everything happens and doesn’t happen for a reason. God has a plan and I need to stick to that truth.

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Family

In light of a very recent tragedy that occurred in our family, I want to say something. 

Family is the most important bond you can ever have. It out measures every single solitary relationship you may ever have with a friend.

Family is the only thing that will stick with you when times get rough, when you’re down on your luck, when tragedy strikes. No family is perfect just as no person is perfect. My family is no exception to that rule. We are all a bunch of messed up people that love each other. True, sometimes fights occur, you feel isolated by one person or another, things happen. In the end though, family, true family will always be there. Always with a listening ear, a warm hug, a happy smile, a good laugh. 

I hope everyone appreciates the family they have in their lives – whether it be your own, your spouses, combined. 

“You Can’t…”

So many times people equate diets with an endless supply of dry chicken breasts and salads with the blandest of dressings. For a long time, I must admit, I was the same way!

“You can’t eat anything good on a diet!”

How untrue that is! I’ve lost 22 pounds (so far!) eating bacon, cheese, eggs, heavy whipping cream, whipped cream, steaks, ribs, pork rinds, guacamole, sour cream, ranch, chicken wings, pizza (yes, pizza!), ice cream, “bread”, and so many other delicious foods. High fat, low carb, moderate protein. It is the spice of life. It is a wonderful thing.

Fat-Head Dough Chicken & Broccoli Pizza
Lobster and Shrimp Salad
Keto Lasagna
Bacon & Cheese Quiche
Bacon Cheeseburger Soup with Cheesy Biscuits
Cloud Bread

I don’t know about you, but to me, this is some good eating! I’ve made nachos using pork rinds with cheese, guacamole, and sour cream. I always find delicious ketogenic options at any restaurant I go to. I’ve yet to figure out some sweet treats in the form of baked goods that I could eat, but that’s mainly because I’m not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners.

My new obsession, however, is an ice cream brand called Enlightened. They are wonderfully low-calorie and low-carb. Halo Top is the usual go-to for keto, but I feel that Enlightened is 100 times better and has a lot more flavors to choose from. Some don’t encourage this brand because of the use of cane sugar and technically we aren’t supposed to have any form of sugar, however I’ve been eating Enlightened and am still losing weight. I’ll take it!

So to those who are stuck in the mentality of “you can’t have any good food on a diet,” I challenge you to try keto (as long as you’re able) and see what it does not only for your weight, but for your energy, mental health, and various medical diagnoses (including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.).

I’ll leave you with what I had for lunch today: a pound and a quarter of snow crab legs, broccoli, and tomato-mozzarella caprese!

Ketogenic Me

About a month and a half ago my husband and I traveled into NYC to visit my parents and watch a Broadway musical featuring Josh Groban – Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. Fantastic show, interactive and wonderfully choreographed. Well, I stepped foot into my parents house and was greeted with love, as always. However, there was another aspect to the welcome this time – worry. My parents – especially my mother – couldn’t get over my weight gain. True, I had gained quite a large amount in the past half a year, but I guess I didn’t truly internalize it until that weekend. My mother and I ended up fighting, my husband got involved as always, sticking up for me (which my parents actually respected a lot), but at the conclusion of it all, I made up my mind. 

I had to change. I had to lose the weight. My health was in jeopardy, I felt horrid about myself, and I was almost always tired and hungry. I ate to mask my depression and anxiety. I ate to make myself feel better. Not anymore!

On July 3rd, my husband and I, as a team, decided to take our lives into our hands and lose weight together. We started the ketogenic diet.

Now people wonder, what’s that? It’s fairly simple really! For this way of eating, one must cut all the sugar from their diet, increase their fat and protein intake (more fat than protein), and reduce their carbohydrate intake (I stick to below 20 grams daily myself).

In this way, your body no longer uses carbohydrates for energy. Rather, it uses the fat. By doing this, your body becomes “fat-adapted” and allows effective burning of stored fat in the body. This helps your body then lose weight due to the burning of excess fat that’s stored and just sitting there – which would remain there if you were feeding yourself carbohydrates and sugars, which would usually be the first thing your body would start burning.

So, it’s now been almost 2 months since the husband and I have started our journey and we both have lost 22 lbs! 

We are both looking and feeling better. Happier. Sometimes I know that temptation arises for me – especially in the form of chips, cookies, and milkshakes. However, I remind myself how difficult it was to lose weight so far and I never want to go back to the weight I started with. My husband and I both have a ways to go and will keto on!

Modesty?


I was thinking about this today: So many women lately have equated modesty with men trying to take away their individuality or that dressing modestly is only a means of control.

I have to disagree. 


Dressing modestly means that you value yourself over anything and everything else. Dressing modestly means that you want people to see you for you instead of your skin or other body parts. Dressing modestly shows that you do not need the approval of others for self-worth. 


Immodesty is usually a cry for validation, it is a way to gain admiration without anything deeper than the body you have. The only validation you need is from God and yourself. Self-respect is the only thing that can’t be taken from you.

Home Care

I don’t think I’ve ever felt as useful as a registered nurse as I have lately. I finally feel like I have the time to give to each of my patients because I am not bombarded by tons of visits a day. My preceptor is amazing, she is really an inspiration. She cares so much about her patients and their families. In the past couple of weeks I’ve been able to perform things they don’t have us do in the hospital and things that I didn’t have to do at my last agency. Highlights have been: changing out a suprapubic catheter, changing a Foley catheter, setting up tube feedings, working on tracheotomy patient’s, etc. True, some things I listed are done in the hospital by nurses, but I haven’t had the opportunity to do them in the home and it is exciting! I am going to be taking blood in the home for lab tests, putting in IVs, giving IV medications, taking down chemotherapy, performing all types of wound care, taking PT/INR with the CoAguChek machine, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited or happy. Most of my co-workers are fantastic and my preceptor is becoming a friend to me and that makes me relieved and happy because in NYC you don’t get a lot of friendship – especially in the home care field. The orientation period is long but it is extremely worthwhile. I absolutely love that we shadow and work with a seasoned nurse for 3 months. It helps immensely. You can only learn so much in a classroom. The best part is that my preceptor told me today that I am her favorite orientee because we are so similar and I learn so quickly (although that might be because I’ve done home care before). Either way, I feel enthusiastic with this new job. I feel like I can flourish. I feel like they actually care – especially about family matters and work-life balance. In my previous job, I would work at home until 10, 11, 12 o’clock at night and no one cared – it was expected. Here, they want you to be finished with everything by 5PM. If you work after 5PM you have to give a good reason and you’ll get a talking to from your supervisor, because it is not supposed to happen! They want you to be able to have a family and social life. That is such a far cry from most places! Needless to say, I am happy I chose this company to work for…and the funniest part is, I didn’t want to be in home care again! Interesting.

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I had a fantastic time growing up. Why? All thanks to my parents. They always have been my fiercest advocates. I’ve grown up knowing what life should be. Their expectations of me were never more than I could accomplish, and I think that’s the biggest reason that I am now a successful and well-rounded young adult. While other kids were playing in the park, we had our own pool. While other kids were going to Florida to spend time with their grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc., I was sent to Switzerland and Hungary to spend my time with family. I was always extremely lucky to have the experiences I did growing up. I feel that it gave me a cosmopolitan view of the world. I had the opportunity to become who I am today because of my parents. I cannot thank them enough.

So what’s with the above photo? Well, since I have “left the nest” and gotten married, I feel more weighed down than anything. I look back on old photos and cannot believe how much time has passed me by. So many times, I am not even sure where all the time went. I’m not able to recall what I’ve done in those days/minutes/hours/weeks/months/years that have passed. Pictures are my friend and my enemy. They are bittersweet reminders of the past. I know you’re supposed to look back on old times and feel happy…although I think the best explanation of that bittersweet feeling is from Inside Out. Most memories are tinged with sadness because they are moments in life that you will never get back or experience again. I definitely feel that way about a lot of my past.

Time does not travel faster than a day at a time, but those days seem to flow away like the ocean retreating from the sand. I try to live my life to fullest, however, I don’t feel as if I am nowadays. What I imagined for my life is a far cry from what I received. Man plans, God laughs. Each day that passes seems to me like wasted time. When I am at work, I feel like I am wasting my life away for money that I don’t get to use for fun things, but instead for bills. When I am home, I sit in front of the television watching shows about people I don’t know, doing things that are much more interesting than my day-to-day. When I go out, I don’t want that time to end because it feels like the most I’ll be able to do all week due to employment and other responsibilities. I realize that maybe I am not normal, that maybe my brain chemistry is off kilter and I might need to go see a psychiatrist…but I don’t want to be medicated into a stupor – not knowing what I am doing and when for the rest of my life. Talk about wasting time. If it were up to me, I’d always be traveling. There is nothing more enjoyable to me than travel. Seeing new places, eating new foods, meeting new people. That would be my living life to the fullest experience. Time travels on and we can’t be stagnant, we need to move and change and enjoy our lives. We all need to live our lives to the fullest because we all only get one.