Our old home in Pennsylvania, USA


I had been feeling awful.
Sick to my stomach, hungry, I would get FULL so quickly and then nauseated.
Acid reflux and heart burn for the first time in my life.
I felt so bloated and uncomfortable, so very very very tired.
It was NOT a pretty picture

I tried to tell my husband how I was feeling.
He said ‘it was spring time, my liver was cleansing and he felt the same way’.
I said ‘but my boobs hurt too…’
he just thought we were out of shape from winter time, so I pushed it off…
I’d never felt this particular kind of sickness before and in the back of my mind…I wondered….

‘Could I be pregnant?’

I couldn’t imagine that you felt this terrible when pregnant.
Perhaps I had been too sedentary during the winter and needed to get moving and healthy but any of my efforts to be healthy were boomeranging back and causing me to feel more sick.

My husband had good reason to assume I wasn’t pregnant.
We’d been married for 8 years and ‘not preventing’ for 6 1/2 years and I’d never gotten pregnant before. We had recently discussed that since having kids probably wasn’t in the stars for us we should change the direction of our lives. Deciding what we really wanted for our future. We had a big back yard surrounded by woods that no one was playing in, unless you consider yard work play…and my husband certainly did NOT!


We really weren’t appreciating our house and property.
We always felt like we were behind on yard work.
I loved having so many gardens until…

A Few years before….

I had been bit by the invisible devil “poison ivy” and discovered I was extremely allergic
(I had never had problems with it before)
I couldn’t shake it, it was getting so bad it was black and oozing.
I tried EVERY remedy under the sun and wasn’t getting any relief.

Finally I actually received helpful facebook medical advice (go figure)…
I needed to take oral steroids.
By now I had become particularly terrified.
Since I couldn’t see how the poison was spreading or where it was coming from…
I couldn’t get away from it.
I banished myself from my gardens.


I was becoming a crazy paranoid person.
…ready to lock myself in a bubble but I’d be afraid to lock myself in the bubble with the poison ivy.
It was maddening
Was I getting it from the dogs? From my husband? From the riding mower? Was it following me?

After months of struggling with poison ivy…
Prednisone was the only thing that gave some results and began to dry up my poison.  I am the last person to reach for medications, but I was willing to try anything.
For me it helped.
I also took prednisone once for a bad double ear infection when I had tried every natural remedy known and unknown to man for some reason for me it worked.
I don’t wish this on anyone.


What poison ivy did do was destroy the allure of living in the woods and having lots of gardens.
(Now I live where there isn’t poison ivy besides the peel of mangoes and I do have paranoia over peeling mangoes, but that story is for another day.)  No one wants a massage therapist with poison ivy, it’s a sad sad sight.

Not where we needed to be.

We had agreed where we were living no longer served us.
My husband had been laid off from work, and there wasn’t much industry in the area…
Actually Reading, Pa wasn’t known for much positives.

Reading, Pa had recently been declared the most depressed city (of it’s size) in the nation.

That was the last straw for me.
While some might benefit from sticking it through and helping Reading become a hot spot, everything felt like an
up hill battle, an up hill in the rain, sleet, snow and ice battle…While carrying a massage table…

Hubby had gone back to school very part time while working his corporate job and projected it would take 5 years at that rate to complete his degree…

After being laid off Glenn wanted to put schooling in High Gear.

Immediately I go into planning mode of how we can make this all work.
Lots of schooling and little income in line with our goal of moving to an area better suited for our future.

My plan was to find a school somewhere warm:
Maybe something in Florida where Real Estate had recently been hit hard.
I was seeing condos for $20k-$30k.
If we could cut all our expenses, live simply in a condo close to school for him then maybe we could make it work.
He could go back to school full time.
I could do massage.
If we weren’t far from a beach or touristy area we could later rent the condo.
At that time the market seemed skewed as real estate prices crashed and rentals held stable.

This great plan…only happened in my head.

Glenn’s previous Penn State credits would only transfer if he continued at Penn State.
At the time we lived close to Penn State. So it would seem silly to try and sell the house right then when he was going to school 5 minutes away and we’d just have to find other temporary living arrangements.
Still I struggled with the thought that we had paid more in property tax since we’d had our home then it would have cost to buy a condo out right in Florida.

In reality, life could have saved me from my own plan.
Perhaps these condos I was seeing were really crappy, or perhaps getting too comfortable would have kept me from pursuing more dreams.

So we stayed in Berks County, Pa as Glenn finished his degree and he kicked major ASS.
What would have taken 5 years part time he completed in 1 year!
He took on a huge course load 28 credits in a semester, completing two years of credits in 1 year and at the end of the school year he spoke at graduation as the marshal!!

I was so proud of him.

He turned what had always had been a sore subject of not having completed his degree into speaking at freaking graduation!
I was so happy for him.
His thoughts of not finishing college could never bother or stand in his way again.
He had worked so hard.
He had laser focus during this time and I was so very proud and more than happy to step aside as he dove right in to his studies.

My husband is a brilliant man.

Part of his superpower is learning very quickly and becoming an expert in something in a few short weeks
when he does that he puts on blinders allowing himself to obsess day and night over his new topic of discovery.

After he graduated from Penn State, I was ready with my plans again.

Now he had the degree and over 15 years of experience in IT.

We could go anywhere and make a new start.


Sell everything, the house, go somewhere new.

During this time…
I was very busy working as a massage therapist with a Drug and Alcohol rehab center.
I loved my work.
I had been at this Foundation for years.

The work was so very fulfilling.

I had been blessed with helping people through their journey of recovery.
Addiction to pain medication has become an epidemic and helping people recover from the injuries that drove them to pick up those pain medications thinking it was their only option. The only suggestion their doctor had given them. I worked with my clients steadily sometimes 2-3 times a week for months on end, and the results…it was phenomenal to follow them on their journey.

To see the look in my clients eyes when they realized the pain was gone and they didn’t need drugs or medication to do it.
It was so beautiful.
Many of my clients were also recovering from harder drug addictions, accidents, injuries and surgeries seemed to plague their lives as well.
I really loved my work, it was taxing on me, there were so many layers to my clients and my treatment before I even got them on the table… I could go on and on….

I hoped that when we moved I would love my work again for what it was, wherever that was.
My schedule was quite busy with massage, and I was quite pleased to be making the income I was to help support while Glenn went back to school….

However, I was noticing I wasn’t feeling well while I was working.

As I described in the beginning…
I was feeling very sick to my stomach, and in fact, when I bent over to give a massage, I was feeling nauseated.  Which is exactly what you don’t want, I was so very tired, you don’t want that. Especially when you are so happy your business is busy and going well.

Perhaps it was a new years resolution;
I wanted to make more healthful choices as I always ebb and flow.

I decided to start getting acupuncture and massage and chiropractic regularly….
What I couldn’t understand was it was after committing to regular treatments so I could keep up my own massage schedule…

I started feeling so crappy.

Growing up I had always had really bad cramps and awful periods
(sorry for anyone who didn’t want to know that)

I bled a LOT.

Sometimes it seemed I would bleed all month.
I always knew something wasn’t quite right down there, but doctors never know what to do, so what do you do?
I read
The Uterine Health Companion
What’s up down there?
(Perhaps I’ll dedicate another post to how healing it was to read those books and repair my relationship with my body.) What if I had rejoiced at getting my period instead of always dreading it? Some cultures look at this time completely differently. It’s a beautiful thing to love our WHOLE selves, but NOT always an easy one.

Next, I thought I’d try acupuncture and maybe I’d feel better overall.
Well, I started to feel worse, before I felt better.
Laying on my stomach for the treatments was getting uncomfortable..I was burping like crazy.

Why would all these great bodywork treatments still have me feeling so weird?
During this time Glenn was deciding what he wanted for his future…
and much to my disbelief, he was NOT in on my

‘Let’s just get out of here plan’.

I felt like I had waited so long.
He was talking masters degrees and a commute to Lehigh University.
I hate commutes, he loves to drive though, and thought it wouldn’t bother him.
I was not convinced on this plan.
I was so tired and busy.

I decided to pick up a pregnancy test

just to see if these symptoms meant something more was happening with me.
Glenn really thought my liver was cleansing.  He went for a haircut.
I peed on a stick.

There were two pink lines…

I was in complete disbelief…..

Oh My God Oh My God Oh My God.

I called Glenn and that was all I could repeat. ‘Oh My God…Oh My God…Oh My God’.
A million thoughts were swirling through my head.
Why now? Why? Now? It’s the worst time right?
I’m finally making good money, Glenn is out of work and thinking of going for his Masters?
We’re talking about moving. What the heck are we going to do with a baby?

I had trouble believe it was really real.
Since I’d always had such bad periods and cramps and bleeding and never followed the traditional monthly cycle I didn’t trust my own body to work properly.
Perhaps my body was deceiving me about this as well.

If it’s meant to be it’s meant TO BE.
Glenn and I had watched Giuliana and Bill, and we watched their struggle through failed fertility treatments and I had decided if it was meant to be it would happen. I was not going to try IVF or any other fertility treatments to force something. Giuliana went through so much to get pregnant and we followed along and really appreciated how much she shared about her experience, but I didn’t want to set my sights on getting pregnant and be disappointed, so we always said we weren’t ‘trying’ we just ‘weren’t preventing’ but after 6 1/2 years you assume it’s not going to happen.

Two Pink lines, it’s amazing how two tiny pink lines can change everything.
I took another test to be sure and got two more pink lines…still pregnant.
I tried again a week later, two pink lines…

I was still pregnant.

1146164_10153153024860475_1859701407_oFound this shirt on Etsy and I LOVED wearing it!
It was a great way to say, no I’m not just gaining weight!
Disco Belly on Etsy

Part 2 to follow.