Loss and Changes


Welcome back!  Or, if you’re reading me for the first time, Welcome!

For the first time publicly, in a recent post, I made mention of my chronic thyroid condition: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. 
At that time, I hadn’t imagined how all consuming and life-changing that condition would quickly, and soon, become. 
In the few, short, months since my last pregnancy post, my husband and I have made the extremely difficult decision for me to undergo the operation to have my thyroid removed, completely.
And you may, or may not, be aware of the vital nature of the thyroid to the human anatomy, but it is an important instrument in our overall health and wellness and mine… is gone.  Well, to be honest, it’s technically been all but gone for awhile now. 

After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease 8 years ago following my first born, every pregnancy and period of recovery -and stress- has put more of a strain on my body and on my thyroid’s ability to function.  It was assumed that the changes during pregnancy, including the sudden influx and then depletion of hormones, were responsible for bringing attention to the issue that had, at that time, been ongoing for an unknown number of years as it was. 
Blind to the symptoms due to lack of awareness, and always too busy taking care of everyone else to notice, my thyroid had created a goiter mass the size of a golf ball by the time the doctors caught on.  Most recently, that goiter had grown to be closer to a soft ball in size and carried an over 25% risk of being or becoming cancerous by the time it was removed.
Not that I hadn’t noticed how sensitive I was to cold, but also having a long history of anemia, I self-diagnosed and pushed along.
And not that I wasn’t always physically exhausted or always suffering back pain or experiencing joint inflammation in my 20’s… I just always blamed it on an active lifestyle and found ways to cope and compensate. (enter – caffeine addiction and extreme diets)
And, obviously, when I noticed my increasingly rapid hair loss, I had to chuck it up to stress, poor hair care, and lack of nutrition due to diets, and so I pushed through.

Always too busy.  Busy making everyone else happy.  Busy sacrificing myself in pursuit of love and appreciation, something I’m sure many of you, especially if you’re familiar with prematurely failing health, can identify with.

So, now. . . Now I’m one week post-op, minus one thyroid. 
But, if you’re telling yourself that all of my health problems have miraculously cleared up, and I’m feeling better than I ever have in my life… think again.
Not much has changed, not for the better, not yet.  Quite to the contrary actually.
I’ll spare many of the gory details, but will mention that while surgery went well, medically (I’m not dead), the process of removing my thyroid and the immediate stress it put on my body has been anything but easy. 
I’m aware, now, that it will take some adjustment to recover from the sudden changes in my body, and it may be weeks or months before we (doctors and me) find the correct dosage for my new daily pill regiment of thyroid hormone replacement.  But, for the time being, all of my previous ailments are still intact.  With a few, undesirable, issues even more inflamed due to the stress of surgery.

I’m handling these issues as I always have, ignoring the ones that I can (ie: wrapping a scarf around the giant goiter, or now scar on my neck), managing the ones I can’t ignore (ie: wearing comfortable clothes or limiting my activity due to body pain)…

That being said,
One of the most prominent issues, which I can no longer ignore, will be managed soon, in the only way that it can be. . .
Since returning home from surgery, I’ve been experiencing an increase with my, already mentioned, rapid hair loss.  So, as another part of my new journey, I will be getting a rather drastic haircut very soon. 
A new look for the new person I’m about to become.

For those of you who would care to see my drastic new haircut, I’ll try and put together a quick video on my YouTube.

Stay Tuned!

That link can be found at YouTube.com/kalanilei

Thanks for taking the time to read, and to those of you who choose to, thank you for taking this journey with me.  Aloha!

Types of Men You’ll Find On Dating Apps…According to a Single guy


In my years of dating I never did venture in to the “online dating scene” or have the adventurous nature to download or use any dating apps, it was always my impression (and this impression has been confirmed by more than one male) that dating sites and apps typically attract sleazy men looking to take advantage of desperate women.

However, online dating -like online everything- has come a long way to becoming the new social norm.
And here is some current input from one of our currently single, socially modern, males:


Wherever you look for love…or a quick fix for infatuation, best of luck in finding exactly what you’re looking for!

More personal content to come, please stay tuned. . .
In the meantime:

New personal IG account at @kalani_rene

And same old Twitter at @kalanilei

The Impact of Chronic Illness on Marriage | The Mighty


Tonight, I came across this article on my chronic illness support group Web page, and having recently revealed to you all my suffering from an auto immune disease and the effects of that disease on my body and pregnancy,  wanted to share Julie Ryan’s perspective on the effects of those struggles in relationships.

While Julie’s focus seems to lay, greatly, on the sexual aspects of our relationships, I’m well aware that our partners struggle with and suffer from far more than just sexual frustrations.

I felt that this article touched on some very valid points of living with, as well as maintaining a relationship while struggling with, a chronic illness.  I would have liked to have her elaborate a bit more across the board.
What do you think?


For more, follow me on
Google+ @Your eX-girlfriend

IG @kalani_rene



*I’m typing this from my cell phone with an infant attached to my chest*


This weekend will mark approx 6 weeks since baby arrived!
Couldn’t be more thrilled about no longer being pregnant, but I can’t claim that things have been much more comfortable lately. . .

I’ll go over the challenges in a bit, but first the basics:

Healing, went well and was fairly fast, I had no tearing and respected my bedrest orders as much as possible.  It was approximately 2 weeks until the bleeding stopped and I felt stronger and more capable with less pain.

Cramps, lasted about a week for the most part.  Nursing baby helps speed contracting, though it makes it more painful to accelerate the process.

Okay, here are all of the things that have been an issue due to my, rarely mentioned, *invisible illness:

Naturalfeeding, was going well at first.  Baby got his fill of colostrum and a good amount of the first milk.
However, this pregnancy was hard on my body, because of my thyroid condition, and took a lot of my resources.  Since delivery, my thyroid has all but crashed completely. 
My muscles are depleted, my joints are loose and ache, my body is stiff and sore, my mind is somewhat in a fog (not as bad as usual), my appetite is GONE, and I’m always worn down.
We went to my 6 week postpartum appointment this week, and I discussed with my midwife what my physical abilities should be at this point.  While the midwife agreed that I have healed beautifully from my delivery, she saw trouble with how my thyroid has been affecting me lately.
Due to my body’s inability to function fully, it has, for the past 2-3 weeks, been unable to produce the amount of milk that my son needs.  While I am still nursing him, we have had to supplement with formula as well.  At least until I recover from surgery, which is scheduled for sometime in the next two months.

Weight loss, has been completely halted since week one postpartum.
Another side effect of thyroid disease.  My weight is stable at exactly the original scale drop of 130lbs and holding steady for the past 5 weeks.
That’s to say, I gained 20lbs of actually weight of my own, separate from the “baby weight”, and it’s not going anywhere.
At the one week post point I had lost only around 5 inches from my waist, and since then, I’ve widdled down about 5 more.  Still pretty far from my pre-baby size or shape!  I’ve even got quite a bit of cushion around my hips and butt, which my husband is NOT complaining about.
My midwife, technically, gave the go ahead for resuming workouts, though she stressed concern for my physical health condition and suggested that I hold off until after my surgery.  Though that was just a suggestion.
I do plan to resume workouts again soon, as I informed her that I’d been practicing light yoga sessions since around week 4, but I’m obviously going to listen to my body and not push myself beyond my level of comfort or ability.
Yoga has been such a relief on my back and shoulders, which have only gotten beaten with more stress due to naturalfeeding baby.

Managing my home and life?  Nope.
Baby reeeeally needs to be held… at all times… by me.  So, the husband has really been stepping up his game of pulling his weight around the house.  And while I’m grateful and appreciate his extra effort and initiative to keep the house in order, I also suffer from mom-guilt -as well as sick-guilt- for him having to do MY chores as well as his, and this is after working 7-5pm Mon-Fri.  No, I haven’t dropped off completely and become a useless burden to the house, despite the fact that my son won’t sleep at all unless I’m holding him, I do what I can… with one hand… and 7lbs of baby hanging from me… between HOURLY feedings.  Yes, hourly.  I don’t know how.
But, my husband always reminds me of how lucky I am to have chosen him. 

Somehow, through the pain and stress of it all, we haven’t let it negatively effect our relationship.
Despite the reputation of new parents, we have been intimate again since bringing home baby and we make a point of fitting in all of our usual hobbies and activities, as best as is possible with baby.  He’s still too young to take hiking, to a fancy dinner, or on long road trips, but we were able to get in a 3 mile walk around our local lake recently.  It’s all about managing priorities.
Priorities do change with a newborn, and continue to change as babies age, or brothers and sisters are born, or mom’s health fails, but it’s imperative that you have a someone to love and support you (doesn’t matter if it’s partner, parents, siblings, bestie, or your local community resources.  “It takes a village!”) and the overall investment in making it all work.

So, I guess we’re probably exactly where we’re expected to be as parents of a 6 week old infant… over-stressed, isolated, and sleep deprived!

Hope you are more informed now, whether you’re pregnant, postpartum, or just checking up on our story.
Thanks for reading.
We’ll be posting another video soon, so please look out for that too!

*Invisible Illness: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
**to learn more about that, follow this link:
Hashimoto’s Disease

**for those that follow on social media, please be aware that I’m no longer using Facebook for the time being, but can still be found on all of the previously posted social networks.
And now:
Google+ @Your eX-girlfriend
IG @kalani_rene

Links in previous blogs.  Sorry!

Till next time. . . .

Post-Partum Update


Hi, everyone!
It’s been awhile, but I’ve been busy!
Hope you’ve been watching the videos, if you haven’t been reading the blog.  Didn’t do a 36 week update blog, but did post video for that, and the husband’s in that!  He’s also in the latest video, which is our one week postpartum update, where we talk about our natural birth story, bringing home baby, weight loss, and introduce you all to the babe…

There’s probably a bunch of info that I left out or forgot to mention.  Sleeps not been visiting me too often as of late.  I plan to post a new blog soon, but if you have any questions about anything in the meantime, feel free to ask.
Or follow me on Google+ as: “Your eX-girlfriend”

Hope you enjoy our postpartum update video, be sure to stick around for the outtakes at the end!  Aloha!

1wk Post-Partum Update, Baby Intro, plus Outtakes: https://youtu.be/HvQU3Ih-j0k

Pregnancy Weight


I have, honestly, been concerned for awhile now about the weight I’ve gained during this pregnancy.


7 months

*When I was 10lbs over the gain mark, I confidently concluded, that as a natural size 0, an extra 10lbs wouldn’t be such a bad look for me, and I pushed through insecurity…

Then about a month ago, I spoke with my midwife who voiced her concern as well.

I tried keeping a closer eye on my diet, minimizing my cheats, and still filling up on water…
However, I keep gaining at max speed and baby keeps measuring bigger than “normal”.
Yesterday, the midwife offered that I may be carrying a large amount of fluid, but recommended another sonogram to check on baby as she seemed more genuinely concerned with baby’s condition.

It’s always unnerving when medical personnel start, seemingly, spinning a kind of web around you, before filling you in on what’s the concern.

I’ve gone through this pregnancy with strength and confidence, despite my debilitating illness.  It’s only at the finish line that we’re receiving these upsetting concerns.
And while I try to stay brave and keep on my confident face…
I’m, naturally, falling apart inside, spinning through the rolodex of worse-case scenarios, pushing through memories of the past 9 months searching for ways to blame myself for unknown possibilities of what COULD be wrong.

But, this is parenthood.
And this is pregnancy.
So close to being able to help or protect my baby, but also so far from having that ability.
Trusting, as confidently as possible, in my sick, frail, damaged body to do it for me…
Finding faith in the powers that be…
Hoping it won’t be much longer until I get to hold my healthy, perfect, beautiful baby.

5 more weeks. . .

Stay Tuned!

Updates posted on:
and, of course, right here!
But, now on Google+ as well, under “Your eX-girlfriend”


Pregnant Envy


Didn’t think I was insecure anymore, but I’ll admit, I – like many others – recently had my confidence shaken by this woman:


Only 4yrs younger than me, she recently reached viral fame by posting her pregnancy progression pics online.

Despite that the woman is 5’8, had an original waist of only 23″, and is carrying her very first child, (all things that differ from me) the woman was/is still a physical anomaly!

Pregnancy is an incredibly challenging process, where you lose control of your entire body and, sometimes, yourself along the way.  Often, women do feel the need to compensate for what they cannot control with what they can.
I am one of them.

I’ve been through this before, I’m familiar with the process, I trust what my body is capable of without needing my assistance or permission.
I’m confident that I’ve been doing what I feel is best for me (and baby) to aid my body in doing its job to the best of its ability…

However, I am not above having my confidence rattled by the abilities of another human.  I’m a personal perfectionist who feels the need to “do it all” to prove – not to anyone else – but to myself, that I’m capable of anything… anything that CAN be done.
For one day, I let insecurity get the best of me.  I fell off my game, let myself down…
For one day, I made the mistake of comparing myself to someone else and feeling discouraged by my own inability instead of allowing myself to be encouraged and motivated them/theirs.

No, I am not physically capable of achieving the baby body that this model got through with. No matter what.
This woman is an anomaly!
Otherwise, her maternity wouldn’t have made her famous!

I’m okay with that.
After thought and honesty, I concluded that my emotional response to her frame came not from jealousy, but from guilt.
I haven’t been working as hard as I planned to during this pregnancy, I’m not giving it my all.
I was feeling guilty of this before I was introduced to her results, this only fanned the hormonal flame.

But, I’m back!
I’m not feeling sorry for myself or making excuses anymore!
It’s time to shut up and show results.
This is MY journey, my decisions, my responsibility for myself. I’m not her or you, I’m writing my own story.

Starting now. . .

Interested in seeing my journey?
You can catch up with my very normal, typical pregnancy experience via:

Google+ as “Your eX-girlfriend”

Thanks for stopping by!