Pregnant after an Essure Procedure at 40 Years Old

A few years ago (August of 2016) I thought I was dying. I felt so horrible and literally thought I had some form of cancer that was making me tired and sick. I went to the doctor for my annual check up and told him I thought I had something seriously wrong with me. He asked when my last cycle was and I told him and said it was due any minute. He decided to do some blood work to rule out infection and then a couple days later, his nurse called and told me I was pregnant. How could I be pregnant after an Essure procedure at 40 years old?

I was in shock and disbelief. I said, “that’s not possible. I can’t be pregnant. I’m fixed.” The nurse said, “well your HCG is elevated and the doctor wants you to come in for an ultrasound on Monday to see if this is a tubal pregnancy since you had the Essure procedure.” It turns out that pregnancy symptoms are very similar to what I think dying feels like. The nurse said, “You aren’t dying Juliana. You are creating a new life!”

It was Friday, and I cried as I told my husband I was pregnant. He laughed and said, “you’re kidding, right?” I assured him this is not something I would joke about and we processed the shock together. We called immediate friends and family so we could all share in this shock together.  I took an at home pregnancy test )and we just stared at two bright pink lines in disbelief.

The following Monday we had an ultrasound to confirm the baby was in my uterus.  I sure enough was pregnant after an Essure procedure at 40 years old. I was in shock for months. 

After our third daughter was born in 2007, Michael and I decided our family was complete. Having never had surgery (besides a tonsillectomy when I was 16 years old), I didn’t want to be admitted to the hospital and have a surgical tubal ligation. Dr. Hong, my OBGYN, who has now passed away, told me about a new (at the time) in-office surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy called Essure. The procedure had minimal downtime (a few days) and I was only given a Valium before to relax me. Metal coils were placed in both fallopian tubes and the goal was for them to scar over and any block eggs from being fertilized and dropped into the uterus.

We had three healthy daughters in 2009 who were 7 years old, 5 years old and 2 years old. That seemed like enough responsibility for us at the time. My husband and I own our own business (he is a bankruptcy attorney at Crawley Law Firm, PA) and anyone who is self-employed knows the financial ups and downs that go along with this career choice. He sets his own schedule and doesn’t have a boss, but we have also taken a lot of risks and there are no guarantees of pay. The business owner is always paid last.

I went to the doctor a couple of times the first trimester and had several elective ultrasounds. The first doctor’s visit was at 4 weeks and 4 days and we found a gestational sac in my uterus and ruled out a tubal pregnancy. On our 15th wedding anniversary, September 1, 2017, we went to an elective ultrasound at Sneak A Peek to see the baby for a few minutes during what the owner calls a reassurance scan. We saw the baby’s heartbeat for the first time and then it all became more real. I was really making my fourth and 100% unexpected child at 40 years old.

I started with nausea and vomiting around 6 1/2 weeks pregnant and it is finally started to ease up at 11 1/2 weeks, but did not end until 19 weeks. At 9 weeks I had my first OB/GYN appointment and the blood work we did all came back normal. We opted to get additional blood work called Panorama to look for chromosomal abnormalities. We did not plan to terminate the pregnancy, but we wanted to be as informed as possible. I got a call from the nurse a week and a half later (at 10 1/2 weeks pregnant) that the test came back all low risk and there is no need for additional testing!! She also confirmed that we were having a BOY!

I actually already knew he was a boy because I ordered an at home blood test through Sneak Peak Home Gender Test to prepare for my gender reveal party on October 1st.

I took my daughters to see our baby boy for the first time live at Sneak a Peak in Jonesboro at 11 weeks and they loved it! He did not disappoint! After we woke him up, he wiggled around and stretched and was just adorable. His heart rate was 175 and he looked perfect to me; he was relaxing in there. Ha!

9 week ultrasound, sonogramGrowing up, 40 sounded really old. My 14, 12 and 9 year old daughters (at the time) also told me that it’s an advanced age. At their ages, I thought the same thing. I vividly remember when my mom turned 40. I decorated my grandparents house with black balloons and “Over the Hill” signs. In hindsight, that was cruel. Sorry mom! But, I was 10 years old and she did seem “old”.

But now that it’s me, I don’t feel old. I do however feel more mature and wiser. I feel like my purpose in life is to love others where they are and to be kind to everyone. I felt  physically stronger at 40 years old than I was at 30 years old, healthier, and more active too. I take my Juice Plus+ every day which ensures we receive 30 different fruits and vegetables in our body daily. This allows us both to thrive on nutrients we may not otherwise get on a daily basis. I worked out regularly and made sure I stayed active with the girls.
ultrasound picture, profile, sonogramThe anatomy scan at 21 weeks showed a strong heart, we saw him urinate, swallow and hiccup. It turns out that being pregnant after an Essure procedure at 40 years old is not so terrible after-all. This little miracle was born on April 21, 2017 and Michael Edward Crawley, III (Trey) has forever changed the course of our lives. We love him immeasurably!

Juliana and Trey’s First pic

Choosing Faith Over Fear

Choosing faith over fear. During the last few months, I have heard this phrase several times in books and articles I’ve read and therefore it has stuck. I heard it recently while listening to Jen Sincero’s audiobook, “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.” 

There is a choice aspect of fear. Jen Sincero says, “It’s so simple. Fear will always be there, poised and ready to wreak havoc. But we can choose whether we are going to engage with it, or turn on the lights, drown it out, and crawl past it. Drowning it out is easy, we have just been conditioned otherwise. We have made fear a habit.” Continue reading

Make Choices with Intention

I always have ideas of some kind floating around in my head. It’s the process of putting them on the page that takes intention and focus. It requires scheduling uninterrupted time when I’m motivated to write. It is also pushing past the vulnerable feelings as I share my thoughts with you. I’m thankful for my friend and Personal Coach, Tharwat Lovett, for reading this over before I posted. I’m blessed with loving and supportive friends to nudge me along when I need it.

I sat down last Sunday to write and I saw there was a stack of mail to open next to my home office computer’s keyboard. There was a bill, some junk mail, and a very small package with my name on it. I don’t order a lot during the year, but I do most of my holiday shopping online and LOVE IT, so I wasn’t sure what it was at first, then I remembered! I ordered this precious bracelet for myself from Cindy Sebastian at tShe believed she could so she didhe Juice Plus Regional Conference I attended in Branson, Missouri the weekend of January 22nd. What perfect timing that I would put on a bracelet that reads, “She believed she could so she did” just as I was settling into my desk with water and coffee at arm’s length to share my heart with you.
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Kevin Jumper: Always Positive and Optimistic

optimistic, positive, cancer
Kevin Jumper

On Sunday, January 17th, a sweet friend who had battled cancer for the last 3 1/2 years is now at peace and watching over us all. The loss of Kevin Jumper is a tremendous one. He was always kind and loving and he knew how to bring a smile to my face. I only knew him a few years but I spent the last 9 months messaging and texting him regularly and we became friends.

As I write, I can only think of how selfless Kevin always was. He never complained about his condition. He only focused on the battle ahead and how to beat his cancer. I remember the last time I hugged him tightly at the Brickhouse Grill a couple of months ago. Kevin looked swollen that evening from his chemo treatments, and his voice seemed raspier than I remembered. He always looked me right in the eyes, and it felt like he was looking into my soul while pouring out love. I told him I would continue to pray for him often and that he was loved.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Brickhouse Grill to hear a couple of ridiculously talented friends and local musicians, Oz Cullum and Nathan Crouch, play. Nathan and I were chatting, and I asked him if he heard Kevin was recently diagnosed with pneumonia. He said he had and we talked about how we admired Kevin for his consistently positive and optimistic outlook.

Staying Positive

Kevin shared an article on Facebook on October 18th, 2015, written by the Jonesboro Sun by staff writer Staci Vandagriff titled, “Jumper’s best advice: Always keep a positive attitude.” She wrote about how Kevin was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in September of 2012. Kevin had 35 rounds of radiation and 20 rounds of chemotherapy.

kevin jumper, positive, optimistic, cancer

He never complained and always focused on staying positive throughout his long days of treatment. He shared with Ms. Vandergriff, “One of the hardest things is the fact that you’re losing friends because people don’t know how to react to it (cancer). But then again, you also realize who your true friends are.” Kevin was a faithful friend to everyone, regardless of their condition.

Kevin loved to give back to the community by feeding the hungry at the Helping Neighbors Food Pantry on Huntington Dr. in downtown Jonesboro. He was always gracious and thought of others first.

As a believer, he said he never questioned God. He advised others battling cancer to “stay positive; don’t ever get down on yourself. To stay positive and keep a positive attitude is part of the best medicine. I don’t look at it as I’m dying of cancer; I have to live with cancer.” This is great advice to us all. It’s important to be grateful and to remain positive and optimistic no matter what we are facing at this moment.

Now, as I mourn the loss of a man loved by many, I can’t help but think of what he would want for me. He wouldn’t want me to cry. He wouldn’t want me to be sad that he is gone because now he is flying high with the other angels just like him.

Kevin Jumper was a great man. The best way to honor greatness is to carry on with a smile on our faces, love as he loved, and be grateful for the time we were blessed to have with him during his 42 years on this planet.

Fly high, sweet friend. You will remain forever in my heart until we meet again. Arrangements were made for Kevin at the Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro, AR.

Arrangements

The funeral service will be at 2 pm Thursday at St. Timothy Anglican Episcopal Church with Father Ron Martin and Dr. Glen Putman officiating. Interment will directly follow at Old Bethel Cemetery, with Emerson Funeral Home in charge of all arrangements. Serving as pallbearers will be family and friends. Honorary pallbearers will be the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Visitation will be Wednesday evening from 5-7 pm at Emerson Funeral Home.

Instead of flowers, the family request that you consider the Helping Neighbors Food Pantry, PO Box 19182 Jonesboro, AR 72403, or 870.935.7298; American Cancer Society PO Box 22478 Oklahoma City, OK 73123, or 1.800.227.2345; and St. Timothy Anglican Episcopal Church 419 W. Highland Dr. Jonesboro, AR 72401 or 870.932.8818, in loving member of Kevin Jumper.

Tower Garden Harvest Shared with Local Soup Kitchen

On Thanksgiving, while sharing a meal at my in-laws, my mother-in-law (Rosamond) mentioned her tower gardens had a lot of lettuce to harvest. I, too, had extra to harvest, so I contacted my friend Amy who told me her church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, hosts a soup kitchen on Saturdays for lunch. They usually serve around 50 people each week. She was glad to receive the bounty, rinse it, chop it and serve it to the hungry in our area. tower garden, vertical garden, urban gardener, harvestThe photo on the left is one of Rosamond’s three towers. This one is on her screened-in porch, inside a tent to protect it from the elements of fall and winter. She has lettuce, cabbage, and different herbs growing happily this fall!

The photo on the right is of the heads of lettuce she pulled out of the tower. There are many benefits of owning a tower garden, but the gift of sharing food with the hungry is my favorite!

I asked how having a salad this week was going over with the soup kitchen attendees. Amy replied, “It was very well received-thank you! I took it up there this morning and chopped it for serving. Tomatoes and dressing were added..” She then sent me this note from a volunteer, “Thanks to your neighbor for the greens—and thanks to you for bringing them. People seemed really happy to have a green salad, and we had so many people that I kept tearing the leaves up to make more salad, and we used it all.”

This makes my heart smile! It is a great feeling to provide garden-fresh lettuce to my family but also those less fortunate. I encourage you to pay it forward to others this holiday season!

Be Fearlessly Authentic

Be Fearlessly Authentic

I am a firm believer in the fact that everything happens for reason. Everything from the people you come in contact with, the smiles you share with a stranger, the kind words you share with a friend, and the choices you make that are based on the experiences you have had. By being fearlessly authentic, we allow ourselves to be open to the good and the bad as it comes.

Every day we each make 1,000s of decisions. What to wear, what to buy, what to say when asked a question, what to eat, whether to laugh or cry? The list goes on and on.

In the past, I struggled with buyer’s remorse/decision remorse. I would second guess myself. Well, not anymore. I decided that making an educated decision about something and then going with it, is the better way for me.

Worrying Does No Good

Burning all that energy worrying or wondering if the decision you made was good or bad is just simply that: a waste of energy. Therefore, it’s best to make a decision and go with it. I’m not saying that you can’t make a different decision down the road if more information or experiences lead you to change your mind. That’s fine.

I believe we all share this space on Earth to learn and grow, and my goal is to become better each day. Also, I feel my purpose is to educate, inspire and enrich the lives of those around me. I am intentional to be fearlessly authentic with those I meet and share a conversation with.

My friend and Pastor’s wife, Susan, who is one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met in my life, told us a “secret” one day. In fact, she does not sugarcoat her challenges or the fact that life isn’t always easy. Susan is real, and she is a truly genuine being.

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Fail Forward Friends

We all have a story. I’m living mine, and you are living yours. With every choice we make, we are learning and growing from that experience. By continuing to “fail forward” friends, we are choosing never to give up. We are choosing to ignore the perfectionist inside and move toward our goals.

IMAGE – Bob Samara

While doing my personal growth/development, the phrase “fail forward” kept popping up in my head. I am always learning, and you can’t go wrong while learning ways to become a better YOU. I recently attended an IMAGE Seminar by Bob Samara. This was a life-changing event for me. He teaches us how our minds work and how to reach our goals.

IMAGE stands for Intuition, Motivation, Awareness, Genius, and Energy. In each seminar I attended, he would coach us on understanding how each plays a role in our lives. If we tune in to them and focus on our goals, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. I attended 7 seminars and took something new from each. Most importantly, Coach Bob explains how powerful our brains are and that we have the power to change the way we think. He teaches how to tap into your potential and work at a higher level of consciousness.

bob samara, juliana crawley, personal growth, IMAGE Nation, personal Development
Bob Samara

“Fail forward.” To me, this means to do something! I have used/heard tons of excuses. I start many things, do them intensely, and do them well, then a challenge or a plateau arises, and I hesitate. The perfectionist inside begins to chime in with self-doubt. Then, negative self-talk sets in, and I tend to stop doing and start thinking. I sometimes overthink to the point that I stop all productive activity forward. I was once told: the only way to fail is to do nothing. Now I choose to “fail forward” friends!

The only way to truly fail is to quit. Even if it’s small, you have to do something to push yourself towards your goals (preferably every day), no matter what! By making these healthy choices daily, you create a Compound Effect, and over time you reach your goals. In contrast, if you do nothing daily, then over time, all you have is a lot of NOTHING!

The Compound Effect

darren hardy, the compound effect, personal development, personal growth

Darren Hardy

During an interview with Rory Vaden, Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, defined it as “the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. Our present reality is an outcome of the little, seemingly innocuous decisions that have added up to your current bank balance, waistline, business success, relationship status, etc.

They are not the big decisions that make the big difference. No, success is earned through the pesky little ones. For example, do I have the cake or grab a piece of fruit or do I go to happy hour or go to the gym? Should I make three more prospecting calls or call it a day? Do I say I love you to my wife or shrug it off for another day? Should I listen to the news or an instructional audio/video? Do I finish reading this article or check (again) for the latest new email? There is no magic bullet, secret formula, or quick fix.

Success is not a result of grand acts of bravery, quantum leaps, or heroic feats. Success is earned in the moment-to-moment decisions that in themselves make no visible difference whatsoever, but the accumulated compounding effect is profound. It’s the “magic” Einstein described as the ‘8th wonder of the world.’ The results it produces may look like magic, but in fact, they’re the certain outcome of a very practical, logical, and mathematically predictable process. As fantastic a result as compound interest can have on your money, so can the correct choices have on your life.”

A software programmer friend once told me: “You know, in certain programming styles, the goal is to fail fast. If something goes wrong, the idea is to admit failure early and do something different, instead of just going down the wrong path forever.”

It is time to “fail forward,” friends! We all have areas of our life that we want to improve! I have a list of things I plan to continue to try, fail, learn (repeat)! For example, meal planning consistently, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, fewer processed foods, working to stay present in the moment, drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day, read 30 minutes or more of personal development books/podcasts/articles, spending time with friends/family and improve those relationships, organizing my time most efficiently.

Do you choose to fail forward with me?