Thursday, March 18, 2010


I am almost positive my thyroid is out of whack again. When we moved, I opted to keep my long-term doctor and have him manage my thyroid from a distance. Its been a long road to regain my health on the thyroid issue and I simply don't trust anyone else to do this. After losing 40lb, I'm averaging 2lb a week going back on. I'm exhausted all the time and I'm having killer leg cramps. But, the final straw was when the kid who sits in front of me in Biology lecture started complaining about the hair I was dropping on him in class. Ooops, time to re-test.

Its one thing no one talks about about quiverful. Its about losing your health. If you spend more than a nanosecond looking in the movement, you hear all about the blessings of a full quiver. No one tells you about how the women lose their health, and they all do it. See, biologically we aren't made to have that many children. Modern diets, modern medicine and lower breastfeeding has caused quiverful women to have far, far more children than our bodies were biologically designed to carry in a lifetime. I don't know a single woman in years of being within quiverful circles that didn't start having serious health issues by the 4th to the 6th child. Even those who claim they were just 'born to birth babies' have health issues. They are just the ones who hide it better.

For me, my thyroid crashed after the 4th child. Looking back, my doctors believe it was probably going out of whack after the third. But, it completely crashed after the 4th. It was then a 6 year battle to first diagnosis and then attempt to reclaim my health from the fact that my thyroid prett much threw up its hands and declared it was done accomodating my procreation habits.

I got my lab slip in the mail from my doctor last week and tomorrow I will finally have the time to get to a local lab and have the labs drawn. Past experience tells me that I'm out of whack, which leaves me dreadfully tired and no time to blog. I'm holding on. My house is clean, which is something I seriously couldn't say in the past. I'm doing fine in school. The kids are not being neglected at all. I'm even baking most of the stuff my kids are eating now, which thrills me but is mostly due to an awesome kitchen appliance that makes it easy and fast. But, writing is not something I've had the energy nor mental capacity to do for awhile.

I need to get this thyroid issue re-stabilized before I lose anymore of the weight loss gains I've made. Its a hard, hard battle to lose weight with my thyroid. It only comes when I both have my thyroid hyper stabilized AND when I'm actively fighting to lose the weight. With the leg cramps so bad now, I've stopped most of the exercising. Wouldn't matter anyway, exercise intolerance is another lovely symptom of having my thyroid out of whack. Walk even the shortest distance and I'll feel like my heart is trying to throb out of my chest. Its not because I'm out of shape, a month ago I was walking a good 2 miles per day without trouble. Its because I need to restabilize my health before I can get things back on track.

I'll be battling this the rest of my life. I'm grateful that unlike some quiverful women the risks to my life are not continuing. In the last 5 years, I've seen seemingly healthy quiverful women drop dead within 6 months of giving birth more times than I can count. The last I heard from a good friend who began distancing herself from me when I began exiting the movement 15 months ago she had been in the ICU several times this fall, too much strain on her body from 8 kids in 12 years. Even she was considering stopping, but I doubt she will. Continuing to have children in the face of death is considered having FAITH. I got shunned and ex-communicated for speaking out against this stuff. I was already on my way out though. Nearly losing my life when baby J was born was the final straw for me. I was done, absolutely DONE. On the day I attempted to bond with my one day old baby and cordinate 3 units of blood being transfused I knew I was done. As I argued with my doctors that we were NOT going to use a 4th unit of blood, not going to expose me to my lifetime limit of blood products any further for this one birth, all I knew was that I would go home, eat tons of iron and vitamin C and restore my life by never, ever risking it again. The only contingent of that world still speaking to me is those who form their families via adoption. The bonds of adoption is stronger than quiverful in that tiny subset and I'm not the first to stop giving birth deliberately within that group.

When I started writing my story, I wanted to focus on me. This was about what happened to me, and how I was going to reclaim me from the wreckage of my life. What brought my marriage and my family to the brink of this wasn't important as finding my way out of it. Today, I feel a little differently. We didn't get ourselves here alone. There were forces who guided us, mentored us and encouraged us down the path of destruction. I did recognize them immediately, in part because for the 2 years previously I had been trying to get out. Escape required understanding the full extent of the chains though, and that didn't come until 6 months ago.

In between trying to find my brain cells in the thyroid fog I'm battling right now, I'm ready to look at not merely where we went but what took us down that path. We fell for a paradigm that was WRONG. It was wrong and by its very nature it was abusive. It taught me to be an invisible woman. And, it allowed II to be something he was not on his own. Without my full partnership in power and equality, that paradigm allowed him to walk down a path with his own demons that nearly destroyed this family. The truth is ugly, really quite ugly.

The most important thing is that we are out now. Yet, in addition to finding my own voice again, I'm also trying to navigate how to shield my children from that threat. Can, I raise them in the church and prevent my daughters from being taught they are worth less than men? Can I raise my children in the Christian faith and teach them the truth value of the Gospel? Do I even want it anymore, or has the Quiverful and the Patriarchial world so tainted the entire religion that I want to be done with it permenantly? As I find my own voice, those are the questions I find I must now ask, and that requires exploring where we've been and what took us there.


  1. Hi,
    I have been lurking for some time now, reading your extraordinary story and I just wanted to say how much I admire your incredible courage and determination. Thank you for sharing what you are going through.
    Anna x

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