28 August 2008


Okay, I think the big news personally for me is that I am officially tired of being pregnant. Well, tired of the constant nausea that keeps me from participating in life. I've been putting up with it for 5 weeks now and it's getting old. I think that it's only because I'm pretty much nauseous constantly now - from waking too sleeping.

I also feel like I am eating constantly, but not really eating at all. I snack A LOT to keep the nausea at bay (crackers, fruit, fruit granola bars, pretzels, candied mints, etc), but then at mealtimes, I can't eat anything. It's really frustrating. Plus there's more to add to the food aversions list. Like water, for example. Yes water, the only beverage that I can now drink and the one thing that I need the most of.

Enough whining for now . . .

I had my OB appointment on Tuesday. It was an interesting visit.

I still have not gained any weight and am weighing in at 99 pounds. I was 103 pounds at the beginning of the summer. And 115 pounds at this time last year (pre-mono).

Mike was running late but arrived just in time for Dr. Martin to do the doppler to hear the baby's heartbeat. Lots of searching, no finding. So she does an abdominal ultrasound. Lots of searching, no finding of baby on the ultrasound screen.

That's not good. Worry.

She says she wants to do a transvaginal ultrasound to make sure that everything is okay. So she leaves the room so I can get undressed.

The minutes tick by.

Worry. What if the baby died and my body won't get rid of it? What if I have to go to the hospital?

More minutes tick by. Ten. Fifteen. Twenty.

Worry. What if I have Gestational Trophoblastic Disease and have to have to surgery and get chemo? Way more worry. In case you're wondering what that is, it's basically what starts off as a pregnancy, and the fetus turns into a malignant tumor, complete with teeth and hair. Basically it's cancer.

Now on the verge of crying, I begin to wonder exactly what was taking so long. Dr. Martin finally walks in. She had forgotten we were still there.

Turning the ultrasound monitor away from me (never a good sign) she does the ultrasound. Finally she finds the baby. She turns the screen so I can see it.

She pointed out the flicker which was the baby's heart rate. She said that I was exactly nine weeks along. And then the baby waved its' arms at us!! It actually waved both of its' little arms up and down as if to say "Yes, I'm here all right!"

I was incredibly relieved. She printed a picture for us. Mike was just awestruck and beaming from ear to ear with a wonderful twinkle in his eyes.

I had quite a few questions, which she answered. Everything is pretty normal.

Afterwards, Mike and I went to Pho on NE 23rd street for dinner. It was pretty good, but the next day I was really sick, so I'm not sure if I'll be eating Pho again while I'm pregnant. Actually I was so sick this morning (not just morning sickness), I couldn't go the Red Cross to volunteer. :(

Just on a side note, the due date is now April 2nd.

25 August 2008

Martyred in India

Also on yahoo news today: More Christians killed for their faith

"Suspected Hindu hard-liners set fire to orphanage
Mon Aug 25, 2:41 PM ET

BHUBANESHWAR, India - Suspected Hindu hard-liners set fire Monday to an orphanage run by Christian missionaries in eastern India, killing one woman and seriously injuring a priest, police said.

Ashok Biswal, superintendent of police, said the woman was a 21-year-old teacher giving computer training to children at the orphanage. Initial reports that the woman was a nun were incorrect, he said

The attack occurred in Khuntapali, a village in Orissa state, during a strike called by the World Hindu Council to protest the killing Saturday of a Hindu religious leader and four others by suspected communist rebels in another district of the state, Biswal told The Associated Press.
Biswal said on Monday a group of Hindu hard-liners converged on the orphanage in Khuntapali, nearly 250 miles west of the state capital of Bhubaneshwar, and asked nearly 20 residents to leave the complex.

They then set the orphanage on fire with the woman and priest locked inside, he said.

The woman died and the priest was hospitalized with serious burns, Biswal said. He added that doctors now said the priest was "out of danger."

In 1999, an Australian missionary, Graham Staines, and his two sons were killed by a Hindu mob that set their car on fire.

The region is marked by religious tensions between Christian missionaries who work with mostly poor tribes in the region and hard-line Hindu groups that claim the Christians are forcing or bribing people to convert.

Churches deny that residents have been pressured or bribed to change their religious beliefs.
Indian law accepts missionaries but bars forced conversions. Nevertheless, any missionary activity generally provokes controversy.

Hindus account for 84 percent of India's more than 1.1 billion population and Christians about 2.4 percent."

Isn't Hinduism supposed to be a "peaceful" religion??? This is not the first attack I have heard of in India. Actually I've heard that some parts of India are particularly dangerous for Christians.

I don't follow the line of logic that the attackers seem to have used. Communists kill Hindu religios leaders, so they burn down a Christian orphanage with the Christians inside. Hmm . . .

Also, I looked up Graham Staines. He was sleeping in his car in the Orissa region with two sons, aged 9 and 7, when their car was burned down. Very tragic . . .

21 August 2008

Let's Talk About Food

It seems that the overwhelmingly majority of pregnant women crave food. Regular food, weird food, food they don't like, combinations of food (the famous pickles and ice-cream).

For myself, having never been the type of person to stick to the norm in any fashion, have a tremendous amount of food aversions. And the list grows.

I heard that I should right all of these down to remenisce upon later. So here they are (and many are my favorite foods):

Juice - so far any kind of juice - orange, apple, grape, peach, pear, cranberry, berry V8 splash, pineapple
BBQ wings and BBQ sauce
ice cream of any flavor
bagels and cream cheese
CHOCOLATE - can't see it, be near it, smell it or kiss Mike hours after he's eaten it - and that's every kind of chocolate - chocolate bars, cake, brownies, fudge, icing, Nutella, chocolate chip cookies, etc
occassionally toothpaste
macaroni and cheese - had to move the boxes to the back of the cabinet because the picture was making me nauseous
peanut butter, including peanut butter crackers packs
soda of any kind including sprite and seven-up
certain types of fries like McDonalds and Burger King
most fast food, except Chic-Fil-A

It has gotten to the point that when I go out to eat, I ask for a sample to see if I can even eat it or not (I usually know within the first bite if it's going to make me sick).

Now for the fun part, food cravings:
iced tea (which of course most places don't have decaf tea)
fruit - plums, peaches and mandarin oranges

So, all in all, it's been an interesting experience with the food. I feel like I'm constantly nibbling, but never eating. It's really kind of weird. I just hope I'm getting enough calories. I really worry about that.

Well, that's all I've got for right now.

06 August 2008

First Trimester pics

There pictures were taken by Marilyn at Betsy's house about 5 days after I found out I was pregnant. (I would be 4 weeks along.)

This is how we Lead and Follow

When I found out I was pregnant, I was down in Texas visiting Abby and Mike was TDY to Georgia. So we were hundreds of miles apart. Naturally, being the writers that we are, we wrote letters to each other on our blog. I have copied parts of the letters because they are so sweet and I wanted to share them with my readers.

A small part of the first letter, from me to Mike:

" . . . At first I was really scared about being pregnant . . .

. . . Then you sounded so excited and I could feel your beaming smile through the phone and I knew that we would be all right. I could picture your eyes sparkling and dazzling with the news that you are going to be a daddy. It kind of sealed everything my sweet love. You are so awesome and I am so grateful to the Lord Jesus for you. I am so excited now that we've been given this gift of a child together. A child to raise, to teach, to love. Our duo will now be a trio. . .

. . . I love you so much Mike. You are so incredibly awesome and I can not yet describe how my heart feels to be carrying your child inside of me. You are inside of me always now, and our love together has created a new life.

God + Mike + Tegan + LOVE = Child"

A small part of the second letter, a reply back to the first from Mike:

" . . . Last night, I couldn't stop thinking about your tummy, and how it will look as the months progress. I think you look and will look beautiful with child or not.

A lot of thoughts have passed through my mind wondering where life is going to take us now. My priorities have completely changed; its not longer whats important for me and you, but now what's important for our newest member of our family. . .

. . . I know the first thing that I'm going to do when we get home is . . . put my ear on your tummy even though there's no way that i would hear anything yet anyway. . . .

. . . I have to say when you told me that you were pregnant, feelings of joy and dread hit me at the same time. My life changed in a split second; I'm still trying to grasp the fact that I'm going to be a father. The words "Mike" and "father" are hard for me to put together. When I think of "father" I think of my dad. I'm very excited that we're going to be parents. I feel like we are going to be going through a special time. This is definitely a gift from God. If my co-workers ask me if this was an accident I will say with pride, "Nope just unplanned. We just had the child a little sooner then we wanted to." Our plans I guess didn't fall in line with the Lord's, but I praise God that He revealed His plan to us, and now we have to walk in His plan. God is truly amazing. . . "

A small part of the third letter, replying to Mike:

"Wow . . . your blog/letter really touched my heart. I cried and all I could think was thank you so much Lord for this wonderful man you have given me and now this child - Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you.

Thank you so incredibly much for your support. I feel like you instinctively knew which fears I had and you immediately put them to rest. What an awesome man you are! Thank you so much for loving me . . .

. . . when you wrote that you wanted to put your ear on my stomach - wow Mike, you really made me cry. I have never felt like this before. I didn't think that I could love you any more than I do, but I just found out that there's this whole other aspect to loving you and the door has only just been opened to that love. . . .

. . . I have so much respect for you Mike that you are already putting our family first and thinking about what is best for our family. I really respect what an awesome family leader you are and how you lead me (and now us) in everything. I know that if we have a son you will be an incredible example to him in how to lead his family in a Godly way. . . .

. . . I have so much respect for you Mike that you are already putting our family first and thinking about what is best for our family. I really respect what an awesome family leader you are and how you lead me (and now us) in everything. I know that if we have a son you will be an incredible example to him in how to lead his family in a Godly way. . . .

. . . .You are so much more than I can ask or imagine and I feel like Jer 33:3 just keeps unraveling in more ways that I could ever expect and each time, it is more and more amazing. And with each thing that God reveals, I find new ways and new types of love that I didn't know existed. How AWESOME is our GOD?!?!?!!!! . . . "

Other Decisions

Mike was catching up on some reading last night before dinner, and he looked so adorable and handsome, I just had to take a picture! I love that he is so interested in participating in things having to do with the baby! It is VERY encouraging to me.

Decisions, Decisions

So what about school? I finally made it to nursing school, what do I do now?

These were some of my first thoughts after I found out I was pregnant.

Being the researcher that I am, I researched, analyzed, agonized, thought about, prayed about, talked about, contemplated, got second and third and fourth opinions and searched the Scripture about what I should do about staying in nursing school, or school in general. The options were: stay in nursing school and stop after the spring semester with my LPN, stay in nursing school until I graduate and put our child in childcare, or quit school and go back to work until the baby is born.

Mike gave me support about whatever decision I made, although he gave me his opinion as well, which is the most respected and listened to.

So on Monday, I went up to UCO and met with my advisor and changed my major to General Studies (the degree that would allow me to gradute the fastest) I also looked at Biology, Sociology, Psychology, and Community Health.

Then I went to the Nursing building and met with Dr. Rider and told her I was pregnant and that I was dropping out of nursing school and why. I thanked her for being so supportive and working with me during the past year when I was ill. It was incredibly hard to say those words and I shed some tears as I walked out of the nursing building, possibly for the last time. I just kept praying Jer 29:11.

Then I went up the Nigh Center and got on the computer and dropped my nursing classes and enrolled in some history classes. Clicking on that button to drop my nursing classes was so hard - I took a deep breath and said a little prayer and clicked and it was done.

I was out of nursing school.

Why did I give up my dream? Well, I say I'm just postponing for a few years, but in my heart of hearts, I know I'll probably never return to be a nurse.

I did it because of what I believe in. I do not want to put my child in day care while I go to class, and Mike doesn't want that either. I can find no reason to justify putting my child in the system. If I had family that lived close by that could look after our child, that might, might, be different, but I don't. I want to stay home to raise my child. That is more important to me than becoming a nurse and I simply put action behind my beliefs. That doesn't mean it was easily, it was a hard reality to face. However, I believe God's promises in the Bible with all my heart; I cling to them and I love the Lord. I know that He loves me and He knows my future and He has other plans for me.

" "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." "Jer 29:11

First Prenatal Visit

I had my first OB visit with Dr. Martin (who delivered Abby's last girl (Serenity), Michelle's little boy (Joshua) and Tazz's little boy(Shiloh)), last Tuesday (the 29th).

I really like Dr. Martin a lot because she's a Christian and she shares the same views about birth control that I (and Mike) do. When I saw her for my GYN visit last November, we talked a lot about Scripture and how it related to marriage in the aspect of sexuality. It was pretty awesome to hear your OB/GYN talking about God's plan for marriage at your GYN visit.

Anyway, I went earlier than most women do for their first visit because I was having problems with dizziness. So Dr. Martin wanted to see me to make sure that everything was going all right. We discussed the due date (March 25th ~ see previous blog for my thoughts on that), and Pre-Natal Vitamins and she did an exam. And I got an ultrasound! I told her I had no idea how far along I was and that I had been having cramping for several weeks, so she wanted to do one just to make sure everything was fine with the baby.

Before the ultrasound, everything seemed a bit surreal to me. I'm pregnant? Really? There's a human growing inside of me? Are you sure about this God?

After seeing the baby on the ultrasound monitor for the first time, I thought "Wow, I'm pregnant! There really is a little baby growing inside there!" She said I was 4 weeks 6 days at the time of the ultrasound and I got to keep two of the pictures.

I also had a LOT of bloodwork done.

When I got home I showed Mike the pictures as soon as he walked in the door, before even got to take his cover off. He got a look of awe on his face and said: "Wow, that's our baby?!?" And then he kissed me. :)


Today begins my 6th week of pregnancy. I am on due on March 25, 2009. I think that date is off though, because I was not ovulating on June 25th, I ovulated later than that in the month. So I'm thinking it's going to be more around the end of March, 1st of April. That is definitely another good thing about Natural Family Planning; because I'm charting, I know exactly when I was ovulating and exactly when Mike and I were doing the married thing. :)

Well, pregnancy has been, to put it truthfully, nauseating. And tiring. Right now I'm taking a few moments to try to get the nausea to go away so I can continue grocery shopping. I went to Aldi's this morning, but they didn't have everything I needed, and most of the stuff there was actually more expensive than at the commissary, for the stuff I buy (I don't buy name brands). Except for the fruit and the clothes detergent. That was an awesome price at 29cents per pound for peaches, nectarines, and plums. However, none of them were ripe, so I have to wait to eat them. :( So I'm off to the commissary whenever I start feeling better.

Things have been intersting in the Vanden Bosch household. Poor Mike is practically starving for good food at lunch and dinner because I haven't been able to get to the store to go grocery shopping for whatever reason (aka nausea, too tired to get off the couch) this week, so poor Mike didn't have any vegetables with his dinner last night. He was disappointed, but he understood. I'm glad that he has been so understanding.

We have had our moments though. Some of which we have thankfully been able to turn into laughs. With all the hormonal changes in pregnancy, it's supposed to be normal to have a few mood swings. Last week I was having a lot of mood swings ~ I actually felt pretty out of control of my emotions most of the time. Disconcerting as it was to me, poor Mike and Thomas were taking the other end of it. I feel really bad about that, so this week I resolved to work really hard to keep my silence when I felt the need to snap out. I think it's been working so far.

The funny example was one night last week when Mike and I were getting ready for bed and I mentioned something along the lines of at least he didn't have carry the baby (i.e. in a uterus). Mike laughed and said he didn't have the equipment, and then turning to put some laundry up, he mutters under his breath "Thank God for that." Immediately I was answered "What's that supposed to mean?" We did have a laugh about it though and it will go down as one of our funny moments in pregnancy.

03 August 2008


I was just reading a really interesting blog about house plants that have survived many military deployments. The wording that prompted the reader to click on the link went like this: "Military folks and their houseplants fall into two categories: Those who give their plants away before each PCS move and those who claim their plants as dependents and move with them. These "military houseplant brats," as I call them, are part of the family...."

So naturally this sparked my interest because I thought it was hilarious and it reminded me of a time in my past . . .

A number of years ago I had a plant in a little wooden box that sat on my doorstep. It was there when we moved in, so I kept it. This little plant had some nice green leaves and a really pretty pink flower. I thought it was quite the healthy plant, always being in bloom.

I honestly can't remember if I watered it or not; if I did, it wasn't with any sort of regularity. One day I was walking into the house and I stopped to pause and notice the beauty of the flower, like I often did. It had done marvelously over the summer . . . (someone was obviously taking care of it).

On this particular day, it was quite cold and there was an inch or two of snow on the ground, including on the leaves and the pink flower.

I remember thinking, "Wow, this is one hardly little plant to still be in bloom in winter."

Then I paused, and thought back about how the little plant had been in bloom all throughout the summer, and in fact, I couldn't recall not seeing it in bloom.


So I bent down and removing my glove, felt the petals of the flower.

Ah ha! Sure enough, it was a fake!

I still thought it was really pretty though.