October 27, 2010

It's a Roller Coaster Ride

Yep, it's a roller coaster ride. Up, down, up, down, but I don't care how I get there, so long as I get there. I'm talking about healing my children and giving them a chance at living a full, blessed, and abundant life. It is my hope that they will each come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior and that they would love Him and serve Him all the days of their lives.

I would opt for instant healing. I would love an immediate change, but I know that I would quickly forget and I would, we would, quickly fall back into old habits and routines and would probably take for granted the mighty work the Lord has done for us. This way of healing is changing so many things in all of us. I am grateful for the work that is being done. I am happy for who we are becoming. It is slow and arduous, but the changes will be lasting changes.

We are not there yet and we have some pretty ugly days here and there, but they are fewer and farther in between. These past few weeks (months?) have been difficult and trying at times, but there is much evidence of healing, too.

Evidence of healing:

Me - no more constipation (daily formed, normal brown poos); more energy; no more waking up sore and stiff (unless I overdo the salicylates); no more gas pains and tummy tenderness; feet look younger; acne gone; no more itchy skin; fungal infections on feet and on toenails gone; fingernails no longer split and peel; strange itchy circles on chest gone; gums no longer bleed when I floss; my drippy nose rarely drips anymore; no more headaches (I used to take Flonase or Nasacort nightly or I would get debilitating migraines); fewer panic attacks; depression only rarely rears it's ugly head but does not last for very long; I can eat egg yolks without getting asthma, hic-cups, or rage; I can eat nuts without getting asthma, itchy palms, or becoming overwhelmed and emotional (limited); I can eat berries without becoming overwhelmed and emotional (limited); I can eat berries without waking in the night frozen and in great pain; I am holding steady at a healthy weight (not too low despite the fact that I am nursing); I have been able to nurse my fifth baby on demand without experiencing the overabundant milk supply that caused frustrating issues and caused too much weight loss; I'm happier than I ever was; I am now capable of organizing and maintaining the house (cooking, cleaning, laundry); I can actually cook from scratch (before we started the Feingold diet 4-5 years ago, I could not boil water without burning it - ha ha); I can go hours between meals/snacks and still feel great; I'm sure there's more, but that sums it up pretty good. Challenges remaining - I still can not eat too many salicylates without getting rigid, irritable, and frustrated; I still can not tolerate more than a little bone broth, if that, without becoming angry; still working my probiotic dose up ever so slowly to a therapeutic dose; diet is still very limited (missing out on, garlic, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower)

12yo - improved eye contact; improved memory; improved social skills; improved strength and coordination; sensory issues have become minimal (only bad when introducing new food, increasing probiotic, or when he's sick); eats with fork (less shoveling); less rigidity and fewer obsessive/addictive tendencies; fewer annoying habits (I will not list these); no more stinky behavior; handwriting is greatly improved; spelling is greatly improved; understanding of math concepts is greatly improved; ability to remember and utilize the basics is finally there (he was getting C's, D's, and F's in math and writing because of all the little mistakes that ultimately led to wrong answers, but now he is getting A's all around); he's now teachable; he learns new things quickly now (it used to take forever to teach him a new concept, even seemingly simple ones, and then they wouldn't always stick and I'd have to show him again and again; no longer oppositional or defiant; happy; good attitude; fewer stomach aches; fewer body aches; fewer trips to the bathroom (he used to live in the bathroom); daily formed, normal brown poos instead of 5-8 mushy messes with lots of undigested bits (glad you stayed for this bit of info?!?); headaches are now rare; actually likes school; he concentrates better; he can narrate what he's read soooooo much better now (he could not narrate before because he could not organize it and communicate it in a meaningful way; he plays well with his little brothers and is a great help with them; he can be trusted to make better decisions, better choices; understands things better; communicates better; does not repeat himself over and over and over anymore; does not ask the same questions over and over and over anymore because now he remembers that he asked and now he remembers the answer more often than not; no more croupy cough and constant clearing of throat; generally nicer to be around; no more meltdowns (rare); again, I'm sure there's more, but hey, if this was it, who could complain? Challenges remaining - still gets weak and feels generally bad in the mornings; gets headaches (but not as often as he used to get them); lately he has been dizzy and has been losing his balance (huh? GAPS related?); he has also started doing this weird eye thing where he looks surprised or scared, but at odd times. It can happen numerous times during a conversation. He is not aware that he is doing it; there are some other challenges, but I think I will move on. (update 11/7/10: not doing the weird eye thing anymore, short-lived during a period of die-off, whew!)

9yo - stopped flipping letters and numbers; stopped switching letters and numbers; started to read and now loves to read; tells me the letters don't jiggle and move off the page anymore; math became a breeze (subtraction and multiplication easy after struggling with simple addition for over a year before GAPS); happier; depression gone (used to wish she would die or had never been born); rages gone (still waiting on adding food that brought about some scary rages in the past); plays well with all of her siblings (used to absolutely hate her sister and used to just do mean things, liked making others scared of her); she is now an absolute dream child as she helps around the house, loves to do her schoolwork, and is so great at entertaining everyone and making everyone laugh; her artistic endeavors improve daily; constipation is gone and she poos daily at least once; eczema is gone; she can now eat fruit, nuts, and honey without itching (yeast, whole body general itchiness, and eczema); can eat eggs with yolks without rages; can tolerate some salicylate foods without reactions; fewer headaches; I'm sure there's more. Challenges remaining - bedwetting (but it's less since we added nuts); headaches (still too often).

6yo - rages stopped (only occasional when exposed to something like ink, paint, smells, chemicals); growing taller (she is super small, but has grown nearly 2 inches in the past year), gaining weight (33? Pounds to 40 pounds); does not hate the taste and smell of everything anymore (she actually loves to eat now); not as sensitive to textures anymore (example-she can eat the fat with her meat without gagging or throwing a fit, but still not her favorite); likes vegetables (used to hate all veggies); no longer whines; no longer cries about every little thing like it was the end of the world; happier for sure (smiles all the time); can actually eat some nut butter without getting too unbearably itchy (still a bit itchy, but we try not to push it past the point where she can't stand it); can now eat egg yolks with no reactions; learned to read with little effort on my part; math is coming super easy for her; learns things with little effort now (she used to give up before even trying); plays well with siblings; again, I'm sure there's more, but moving on. Challenges remaining - bedwetting (still soaked through every night); eczema, especially on forehead where she scratches until she bleeds; leg cramps still cause her lots of pain, particularly if we spend a lot of time outside (she will sometimes wake several times in the night crying. Thankfully, detox baths help a bit); diet is still limited for her and all of us.

3yo - he feels so much better overall and he is a happy boy most of the time; eye contact is much improved; language is developing normally (only slipping from time to time as we add food or increase a healing food or a probiotic; sometimes he is actually the most normal 3yo you will ever see and so intelligent, too; only rigid when adding or increasing foods or probiotics; only sensory seeking when adding or increasing foods or probiotics (loud, physical, bumping, ramming, squeezing, stomping, etc.); generally he is almost the happy, easy-going, independent little boy that he was before the vaccine injury; loves all of the food I make and serve (had previously tried to limit his diet to lemonade and cookies); coordination is back; can sometimes color beautifully in the lines (not bad for 3 1/2); knows most of his letters and all of his numbers through 12 (recognize, write, and sign); loves to read again; loves to do puzzles again; plays make believe games with his sisters; what appeared to be seizures is gone (virtually gone after 3weeks on a limited full GAPS and only resurfaced when we tried to introduce sulfur foods during the first year of the diet); no more grabbing at his eyes and crying in pain; no more odd stimming behaviors; poo is improving in texture and color with less undigested bits; whines less and uses good manners (responds well to do overs when he forgets to use good manners); more?!? Challenges remaining - still regresses a bit when adding/increasing healing foods and probiotics; still regresses when exposed to chemicals on skin or in the air (we have to be careful with him); still has undigested food in stool; still has skin rashes/eczema all over his body and really bad in his diaper area; still resists potty training and has yet to put poo in the potty since before the vaccine injury (he was training easily and on his own before he started to regress); still rigid about some things (example-he will only wear long jeans and a t-shirt no matter what the weather is like); still has days or weeks here and there where he just looks like he feels miserable and he doesn't want to go anywhere or do anything unless it is with mommy; that will do for listing challenges, but we have come a long way even with this long list of challenges.

18 month old - he is developing beautifully; he sleeps through the night; coordinated (can climb on anything and he does not fall); catches himself when he trips or stumbles over something and pretty much never hits his head on the floor; learning language right on track (I think); easy-going; happy; interactive and makes great eye-contact; loves to explore with other people who tell him what things are and show him how things work; plays nicely with his siblings and also plays well independently; he had food intolerances when he was born and I had to eliminate dairy and a few other things from my diet, but he seems to be tolerating all of the GAPS food well as it is introduced; his poos are beginning to form up more and more and there is less undigested food in his stool than earlier on. Challenges - none that I can think of. This child has not had any vaccinations to date.

Wow! That feels great to have put all of that down in writing! Knowing how far we have come and seeing that we are indeed healing is what keeps me going on the days where it all feels overwhelming and too much (which of course are the days when I am having a reaction to something). We really are healing! I have to shout out praise to my God who heard me when I called out to him in desperation. He heard my prayer and He answered me! He gives me what I need.

Like I said before, God has the power to heal in an instant, but I know my heart and the heart of my children and we wanted to be healed so that we could be like everyone else and live a life of comparative ease. I am grateful for all that we are learning on this journey. We are healing slowly. We are changing slowly. The changes in us are permanent and I am glad!

How do I wrap this up? I am so full of joy right now I don't want to stop! I pray that this is encouraging for others on a similar path of healing. May God bless all who have visited my blog and read any of my entries. Amen!

October 16, 2010

What We Ate Today

It has been a while since I documented what we have been eating. It got pretty boring there for awhile and some might say it is still boring, but we are actually very satisfied for the time being. Thankfully, my children LOVE good healthy food now.

We start the day by drinking warm filtered water with sea salt added. We take our Bio-Kult, and then we juice carrots and a little celery. Everyone gets their fermented cod liver oil with their carrot juice. The two little ones like it mixed and we call it 'tuna salad in a cup'.

We usually have chicken and a veggie for lunch. I have to boil chicken every day to have enough broth for all six of us since we can not yet tolerate bone broth. I put the veggies on the plates and let them cool a bit before I add coconut oil and olive oil. We put some chicken on every plate and a bit of sauerkraut. Everyone drinks some lemon water with Natural Calm mixed in, about 4 tablespoons of sauerkraut juice, and half a mug of broth before they eat what is on their plates. Sometimes I serve some avocado, too. Oh, yes, and we mix about 2 teaspoons of egg yolk into each cup of broth for this meal only because I am limited in the amount of farm fresh eggs I have access to each week.

Today we had leftover chicken soup and leftover peas for lunch, instead of chicken and a veggie. It's pretty much the same food, only served in a different way and I didn't have to cook chicken or strain any broth today. Yay! We still had all of the oils and egg yolks and sauerkraut, too.

Snack was leftover pork and onions cooked in coconut oil and leftover squash fries and a spoonful of nut butter for my son who had a LEGO robotics meeting from 1-5. The rest of us had a tiny piece of GAPS bread, a small bit of butter, a spoonful of nut butter, and a small bit of scrambled eggs cooked in ghee. Yum!

Dinner today was leftovers, as well. It's nice to have one day a week with minimal food prep. We had some buffalo stew (stew meat, carrots, green beans, onions cooked in coconut oil, and sea salt). We had some leftover beef casserole. I cooked some of the leftover green beans with a little ghee and coconut oil. I put cold peas on the table and several blended veggies and soups. I blend lots of things for the little ones. It keeps the undigested bits at a minimum and they actually like it better this way. Our littlest one calls it squash and is always shoving his plate at me shouting, "Squash! Squash!"

So that's it, except for the fruit and nuts I ate after the kids went to bed. Shhh!

October 14, 2010

Happy Thoughts

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. One of the things that drives me and keeps me following this GAPS protocol, even when things seem so hard at times, is my faith in God. He made us. I don't want to put poisons or unnatural things into our bodies anymore. I want to do things His way.

God's Word tells us often to think happy thoughts. We are to love our enemies (an active love, not an emotional feeling). We are to show kindness to those who treat us in unkind ways. We are told to give up our anger, bitterness, and rage, and we are to be kind and compassionate to one another. We are to let go of our anxiety and PRAY about everything, with thanksgiving. We are to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Then, the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

During my fifth pregnancy, I experienced a lot of contractions, as is usual for me. I trusted in God that they were fine. (it's a long story made short) when I started having more and more, which I later tied to medicine I was using, I figured I should err on the side of caution and check everything out. We went to the midwives to be checked. They freaked out about the strength and number of contractions I was having. I tried to stay calm, but I eventually believed their worries could be for real and I became worried, too. Everything got worse and more painful because of my fear. I was only 28 weeks along. It felt like labor (5th baby, I know what labor feels like). Meds did not stop the contractions. I called my friend who prayed for me and believed that the contractions would stop. I rested in her faith and I again trusted in God to keep my baby safe until his due time. The contractions slowed down and I did not have to go back to the hospital. I spent the next month or so on bed rest. I used that time to study God's Word and practice trusting in Him. The contractions became less intense and less frequent the more I trusted in God. When I got up to serve my family, believing that serving my family is what God wanted me to do, I had beautiful fulfilling days with very few contractions. My baby was born at 38 weeks.

One thing that I learned while preparing for childbirth that has really stuck with me is that fear is the opposite of faith. It is true.

I did a little experiment this morning. I woke up feeling a bit better. My ring was only mildly tight. I thought happy thoughts and my ring slid off of my finger easily. I mused on negative thoughts and purposed to focus on my pain. My ring got tight and my body hurt. I purposed to think good thoughts and think about my body working the way it should, my heart pumping efficiently, my lungs drawing in enough air, my body utilizing everything the way it should. My ring slid off more easily and my body felt less swollen. I did this a number of times.

Thoughts and words are powerful! There is POWER in the Word of our God because His Word is true. I know this is true. I am going to explore this more and more. I am excited about what this day holds for us.

Thank You, God, for Your Word, which is true from beginning to end. Thank You, Lord, for Your guidance. Thank You for this life that You have granted us. Thank You for this day that You have made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!!!

October 13, 2010

Too Many Salicylates

I think my troubles are caused by too many salicylates. Why? Because we were all extremely sensitive to salicylates before GAPS and early on in GAPS.

How did salicylates affect us? Physical pain, body aches and pains, emotional upset, frustration, melt-downs, anger, rages.

What am I struggling with now? The same.

The first time we tried to add coconut oil was painful. It took three attempts to get it in and we had to go slow. Adding nuts was slow and painful. Berries gave me problems at first. I think we are having a little everyday and that is why we are all having troubles together and I have been eating more than the kids so I have been more affected.

I am going to back off of the nuts. I went a little crazy with the nuts. I am happy that they no longer cause any asthma or eczema, but I guess they still can affect me emotionally if I eat too many.

A Good Day

Today was amazing! Maybe it was because I got more sleep, albeit a fitful sleep. Maybe it was because we did not add any bone broth to our broth today. Maybe it was because I did not snack on nuts last night and only had a small bit of nut butter and GAPS bread with my kids. Maybe it was just a good day.

We accomplished all of our cooking, laundry, schoolwork, cleaning, detox baths, prep for tomorrow, and even had friends over to play and played a few games before bedtime. Yay! Oh, if everyday could be like today.

More Sleep and Still Swollen

I took a little nap on the couch. Still fitful. I still feel every bit of my body. My hands, and it feels like my whole body, are even more swollen. Could it be that I use too much salt? I do use a LOT of salt? Hmm.

A Good Night's Sleep

I finally had a day where I got it all done and I went to bed at 9:30PM. It felt wonderful to go to bed so early. I even got eight hours of fitfull sleep.

Admittedly, I didn't really get it all done. We did absolutely NO schoolwork yesterday. I was fighting irritability all day. I couldn't read with and pray with my older children before bed because I just felt so very off and irritable, so my DH put them to bed.

Her I am, awake very early, and my body feels awful. I can feel every bit of myself. My fingers are swollen. I can tell because my ring is tight. It feels like the whole rest of my body is swollen, too. I feel that laying down horizontally for any length of time is not good for me. This is why I am not ever in a hurry to get to bed. I like the quiet of night and I hate the way I feel when I wake up for the day.

Something is wrong, but I don't know what. I am considering going to see a doctor to find out if I am particularly deficient in some important vitamin or mineral. I was extremely low in vitamin D a few years back and I am not sure if I ever got that resolved. Since then, I have been pregnant, I have been nursing, and I have been on GAPS for over a year. I used to take D vitamins and I am now taking fermented cod liver oil and am spending time out in the sun. My worst days have been these days where I am getting more sunshine. I am sure there is a connection.

I am glad to have this quiet time in the morning to think things through. Everyone will be up soon. I pray that I will have strength to keep it all together today. Lord, make it so.

October 12, 2010

Late To Bed and Up Twice

I am just putting our six year old back to bed for the third time tonight. Leg cramps! We played at the park today with Daddy who was off for Columbus Day. Lots of fun, but here we are again with the leg cramps. I really wish I knew what caused it and how to fix it. Lord, please help us.

Baths help, but not for long. She wakes up crying. Nothing works. We put her in the bath and she is better after a short bit. We put her back to bed. She goes to sleep, I think. Later she is crying again. We put her in the bath. She's fine again. Back to bed. Hopefully this will be the last time. I am glad I stayed up late tonight, but now I am falling asleep while typing. I had better go to bed soon.

Still Wetting the Bed

I still have four out of five kids wetting the bed at night, and we are not talking about a little bit of pee. We are talking about big-time heavy wetters. Everyone of them soaks through their pull-ups/diapers nearly every night!!! We do 1-3 loads of pee pee laundry a day plus 2 loads of regular laundry a day. My six and nine year olds sleep on crib mattresses on the floor because they are smaller than twin beds and so the bedding is less. They use blankets as pillows because we have ruined way to many blankets. So we have four crib mattresses in the house. (one crib, one toddler bed, two mattresses on the floor)

We spend a lot of money on disposable diapers, which I have always hated doing anyway, so we are looking into cloth diapers and trainers. I bought three and we have been trying them out. I found a youth cloth diaper for my oldest bed wetter, but it seems to be a bit too big. I bought a diaper called the Bum Genius, that I really thought I was going to love, but it is not working out. I am trying it on our littlest one tonight. I found training pants with a pocket for stuffing soakers and snaps on the sides for easy removal when wet or soiled. It is my favorite. I think they may have a size large enough for my older girls, too. I figure, even if they do leak, I am doing laundry anyway because the disposables aren't holding either so I may as well invest and wash the cloth diapers with the sheets and pee pads.

Something to be happy about is that since we added the nuts into the kids diets, two of them have had some dry nights and the others are wetting a little less, too. Go figure!

Which is worse, eczema or bedwetting? Here is where it gets tricky. What to do, what to do about those nuts!?!

Playing Outside Leads to Leg Cramps

One thing I can pretty well count on is my daughter having leg cramps if we spend any significant amount of time outside in the sun. I used to get really bad leg cramps a few hours after going to bed, too. I wonder what causes this. This child has had leg cramps since she was at least 6 months old. She would wake up every few hours and just cry and grab at her leg. Nothing made her feel better. Laying her down and letting her cry it out was not an option, as she was obviously in pain. It was not just a habit to wake. Anyway, so sunshine brings on leg cramps. I want to know why!!!

It seems like everything that is good for us, everything that is supposed to be so healing, causes us grief. I guess it is because we are in need of so much healing.

Nuts Again

Oh, we are all just delighted to be eating nuts again, and nut butter pancakes, and now GAPS bread made from nuts and squash and eggs.

However, our six year old is getting eczema again and I think it may be from the nuts. (coincidentally, of course, we added nut butter right at the same time she finished taking the S. boulardi) It is very difficult to coordinate everything for six of us and keep it all straight. I am pretty sure it is the nuts, though. I am giving her smaller amounts and the itching is less. She scratches at her forehead until she gets scabs and she has fits of frustration because of the itching. It is sad to see. If it weren't for the fits, I would not worry about it too much, but we all have to get along and she can't do anything productive or have any fun in a day if she is having fits all day. CKS has itchy rashes on his bum and on both cheeks, but it does not cause him to have fits, although he has been a bit more clingy and needy these past few weeks.

I've been eating nut all along, so nuts are not new to me and are not the source of my mood swings. Hmm.

Reactions - to what???

I have everything in the world to be thankful for, so why do I feel sad, frustrated, irritable, and just plain blah? I know it's because I am a classic GAPS person. My feelings are totally NOT situational. My feelings are coming from the inside, not from outside circumstances.

Since I started all of this diet stuff, I have had days where everything went wrong, but I could handle it all and more. I have had days where things are really going quite well and I feel as if the world is falling apart around me.

Right now, my head knows that things are really going quite well, but I can only seem to focus on all of the little things that are not going right. When I say little things, I mean little things like kids getting distracted and forgetting to finish a task, or a bed sloppily made, or books put in the wrong place.

Oh, just this past week I had a friend over on Thursday and her baby was pulling at some notecards I have taped to the wall. I told my friend to please not let him pull the card off of the wall. I knew I would feel so irritated by it if it happened. The next day, she came to visit again and he did pull one off the wall and it didn't bother me a bit. I told her it was no big deal. I could just get a piece of tape and tape it back up. It is so ridiculous to me that something so simple as getting a piece of tape could seem like a huge inconvenience one day and no big deal the next day.

Some days, everything seems SOOOOOO HARD! Other days, I am on top of everything and it seems as if I can juggle a hundred things at once and it is even challenging and fun.

I had so many good days and now it is up and down for two to three weeks and I am not sure from day to day what to expect. I think it is the bone broth, but I am not sure. It could be that we are using a lot more coconut oil and ghee. We added nut bread this week, but this has been going on for longer than that. Eggs???

So what I don't know is whether or not I should stop the two small teaspoons of bone broth a day (this is total for the whole family) or push through on this one. After three weeks, I just don't know.

Oh, bother! It could be egg yolks. We were without eggs for a week and had to introduce them again. Maybe we introduced them too fast this time, but CKS is relatively OK, behaviorally and emotionally.

I think it could be that we suddenly started using lots of coconut oil when we started to make chicken and nut butter pancakes because they are "oh so good" when cooked with coconut oil.

Everyone is having symptoms of one kind or another these days and I think it may be the coconut oil because CKS has itchy rashes on his bum and on his cheeks that flare up at every meal. Maybe I should try to have one meal without coconut oil and see if his cheeks will NOT turn bright red. Hmm. I think I will try this tomorrow. No coconut oil for CKS.

If things do not settle out for me by the end of the week, I think we will quit the bone broth. I really, REALLY want to be able to make and serve bone broth. It is soooo healing. It has calcium. We need calcium.

OK. Enough rambling. Done!

October 10, 2010

Math Genius (times two)

CKS is a little math genius!

He's 3 1/2 years old and quite precocious.

He's been impressing everyone with his newfound math skills. He knows 1+1=2 & 2+2=4 & 1+2=3. Not impressed yet?!?

He knows 3+3=6 & 4+4=8 & 5+5=10 & 5+1=6 & 5+2=7.

He also likes to tell us that 1&1&1&1 is four. Sharp kid! What do you think?

KES, 6 years old, is also doing quite well in math. She just gets it and she is flying through her math book. She understands the concept of multiplication and can figure out basic multiplication problems in her head. (just like her older brother)

My older two are also doing great! Math is one of their favorite subjects, along with journal writing, history, geography, and science.

School is so much smoother and easier this year than ever before. I am so happy about this.

An Unusual Post - just tired? Or GAPS related?

It's been a little over two weeks since I posted anything. I have intended to write nearly every day, but I have been getting distracted and carried away by other things.

I can't sleep. I'm tired and I want to sleep, but I don't sleep well and I ache through the night, so I don't want to go to bed. I am easily irritated a lot lately and I really love the quiet in the house when everyone is sleeping. I miss feeling good and happy.

I am not unhappy or depressed. I am just feeling like I want to be alone, like I want to be left alone. I don't want to be bothered with all of the unexpected things that happen in a day. This is not right, because that's life. Life IS all of the unexpected things that happen day after day after day. Those unexpected things are what makes life interesting. It's what makes life challenging. It's what makes life fun! Right now I feel like I just want everything to be predictable.

Lately, I have been very contemplative. I have been watching home births on YouTube, not because I intend to have more children, but because I am in awe of the way our bodies work and the power of our thoughts and attitudes over the workings of our body. In labor, things happen and you are not in control, but you have control over how you deal with what is happening to your body. Fear brings pain and very likely complications. Faith, in God, in your body, in the process, brings peace and joy and very likely a quick, smooth, and easy birth. (Not always, I realize, but often.)

All of my children were born naturally without fear and with little pain. All were born in a hospital. Four were with midwives, although one was born just before the midwife arrived. I went through transition without realizing it because I was not afraid. I just dealt with each contraction as it came and suddenly my water broke and I felt the urge to push.

I have been reading other blogs, mostly stories of families dealing with the loss or impending loss of a child. I don't know why I am drawn to read these stories. I cry because, even though I could never really understand their loss, I remember how I felt when we lost our fourth baby, though it was early in our pregnancy. I remember how I grieved the "loss" of our fifth baby (CKS) when he regressed after that insidious vaccine. I remember how I grieved the "loss" of our third child (KES) to the same insidious vaccine given on the same day. I grieve the loss of our ability to be "normal". We are different! We don't fit in.

We would be somewhat normal if we would just eat normal food and go get labels for our children and enroll them in therapy sessions and plan our estate for their future care, but I will not do that. They are healing. Life is hard right now, but there is a great reward. We lost our children, but we have them back and they are getting better and better and better. This diet/protocol is working.

God is good all the time. He allows us to suffer the consequences of our own sin and even the sins of others, but He is there for us to help us through the difficult days. He is there to comfort us when we are hurting. He is there to teach us what we need to know. He uses all of this - everything - for our good, for His glory! We can trust Him in this. We can trust His Word which says that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and whom He has called according to His purposes. (I think I got that right.)

I could go on and on, but I think I will stop there. I need to rest a bit and come back later to write a GAPS progress report. I'm tired and falling apart, but there are some good things happening around here and of course more questions than answers. Go figure.