Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pregnancy Update

So, I had an appt with the high risk specialist on Monday.  My Mom & my Aunt went with me.  My Mom doesn't think I should be driving & my Aunt just happened to be in town & had never seen a sonogram. 

I was taken a little by surprise by what was discovered.

First of all, they didn't even do a transvaginal sono to measure my cervix so I'm not really sure why I went.  BUT, the external sonogram ended up revealing another issue!  Surprise, surprise!  I have excessive amniotic fluid & the baby is apparently growing excessively.  A baby should be approximately 5 lbs 4oz at this time & they were measuring the baby at 6 lbs 12 oz.  Since I normally have small babies (the biggest was 7 lbs 4 oz) they seemed a bit concerned.

They put me on the fetal monitor just to be sure the baby was fine.....she was.  The doctor said that the glucose test given at 28 weeks to check for gestational diabetes is only 95% accurate & she thinks I am in the other 5%.  She told me to change my diet to that of a diabetic & wanted to see me back in 1 week.

Personally I don't think I have gestational diabetes.  I thought it sounded a little fishy when I was at the appointment but I went with it because she didn't act like she had an alternative explanation.  I tend to think that I got the Sunday School Big Baby curse : )  No, I really have no idea what is going on.  When I researched gestational diabetes there were several clues to the disease.....none of which I have.  One of the clues is sugar in your urine....never been a problem.  Some symptoms are excessive hunger or thirst, frequent urination, frequent vaginal infections, excessive weight gain......none of which I have. 

Some weird stuff going on that no one seems to have any viable answers for.  Please pray for my health & that of the baby.

By the way.....my Mom is a hoot watching the sono.  She has NO clue what she is looking at.  I am pretty good at picking stuff out now but Mom thinks I'm just making it up......it's pretty funny!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spencer drama!

Mister all-boy-2-year-old scared the begebees out of J & I this summer.  Pretty sure I have never been that scared since becoming a parent.  This is where the Martin drama begins.....

It was a hot summer day, like any other.  J was home.  He was so excited about buying the kids a slide & couldn't wait to get in the backyard & set it up for them.  He brought it around to the back as the 3 kids played outside while he worked.  Sawyer was up in his swing because he was still only crawling but the other 2 were playing in the sand & riding the 4-wheeler. 

I was inside doing something.....couldn't tell you what....I'm sure cleaning.  I noticed Josh come in & go back to the bedroom to change clothes.  Just minutes later he went back out but this time he went out front.   It only took him a minute & he was back in, running to the backyard.  As he comes back in the door he says "Oh crap" & rushes out front again.  He ran out to the street looking around & yelling for Spencer, but got no answer. 

By this time I am realizing what is going & am beginning to freak out.  Josh tells me he is on the 4-wheeler but he doesn't see him.  He starts to run down the street but when he gets to the end he still can't see him.  At this time, I ran to the backyard to make sure Sam & Sawyer were OK & that Sam wasn't going anywhere.  I ran out the front door & down the street in the opposite direction, screaming his name at the top of my lungs. 

It was like something from the movies......that frantic screaming & crying, begging God for help!  I got to the cross-street & didn't see him anywhere.  I can't tell you the last time I ran anywhere.....much less, without any shoes on a burning blacktop.  It was clear that I was worthless on foot so I ran back to the house.  I got down in Sam's face & explained that Spencer was missing & Mommy & Daddy had to go look for him.....then I threatened her with her life & locked her inside.

I got my keys, jumped in the truck & immediately dialed 9-1-1.

I guess you could say I was hysterical at this point......every awful thing that could possibly happen to him, racing through my mind.  I went down the street & around the next block while I am relaying info to the dispatcher.  I never saw him.  As I headed back up the street she asked if I was sure he wasn't at the house, just hiding or something.

By this time, I thought I ought to head back to the house to see if J had found him.   As I rounded the corner I thought I saw the 4-wheeler in the front yard.  As I got closer to the house I yelled, "the 4-wheeler is in the front yard.......it's by the front door......the 4-wheeler is here!!!!!!!!!!"  The dispatcher asked, "Are you sure?  Are you sure he is there?"  I flew into the driveway, threw open the door & ran inside yelling, "is he here?  is Spencer here?" 

I have no idea where Josh was but Samara said, "yes, he's in his room."

Wow!  A rush of relief & frustration!

I told the dispatcher but it wasn't 2 minutes later that the police were knocking on our front door asking to see him.  I guess they can't just take your word for it.  He was adamant that they see him.  They talked to him for a bit, making sure he heard from someone besides his parents that he better not do anything like that ever again!

So, Josh found him at the far end of our street on the cross street in someones driveway.  Thankfully a woman stopped him & kept him there in the driveway.  She was truly an angel.....it could have been REALLY bad.  Our dog went the whole way with him.  I was totally impressed!  I had blisters on the bottom of my feet from the burning street so I know that Maddie was hurting.  She was limping when she got home, poor girl! 

After the commotion settled I crashed in the rocking chair & just cried.  I was exhausted & so grateful that God had spared our family a tragedy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Math Facts

(My Mom is my witness on this) The other day Sam came up to me & said, "2+2=4."  I said, "That's right, who told you that?" "Papa."  So, just to be silly I said, "Then what is 2+3?"  She thought for a minute & said, "5"  Uhhhhh, WHAT?  Mom & I looked at each other in total shock!  I might have even said, "That had to be a coincidence."

The next day Dad came over & I told him about what happened.  Sam was sitting in the kitchen & he turned to her & started quizzing her.......

Dad: What's 2+2?
Sam: 4
Dad: What's 2+3?
Sam: 5
Dad: What's 1+3?
Sam: 2 (which is obviously wrong)
Dad: Maybe this will be easier...what's 3+1?
Sam: 4
Dad: What's 2+1?
Sam: 3.  I'm done.

& that was the end of that.  But we were definitely all shocked.  I knew she was really good with numbers but to just bust out with the answers to abstract math problems was WAY beyond what I thought she was capable of.  I'm always doing that.  I just don't want to be one of those Mom's who is always pushing her kid to be the smartest.  I just want her to learn at her own pace at this point.  I guess the negative side of that is that I don't push her to try anything that is above her "level."  Anyway, I probably wouldn't have even shared that if I didn't have a story to tell that goes along with it.

I'll preface the story by telling you that we have been working on Sam using her "imagination."  She has a VERY hard time with this (as do I.....so I'm not a great example) so I have been trying to encourage her to use her imagination to play.

While we were at the doctor's office today I was trying to think of productive ways to spend the 2 LONG hours we were there.  I thought maybe she would like to do some "math facts" since she seemed to enjoy answering my Dad the other day.  The conversation went like this:

Me: What's 2+2?
Sam: 4
Me: OK, so what's 2+3?
Sam: 4!
Me: Um, were you even listening? How can 2+2=4 AND 2+3=4? 
Sam: With my imagination!!!!!

Hahaha....my daughter is so clever!.....or maybe a smart-aleck? LOVE that girl!

Drama!

I feel like that's the best way to describe all that has taken place in the Martin household over the past 6 months.

It is like big thing after big thing.  It's so crazy to seriously feel like things are so chaotic, yet still be so at peace.  Things don't SEEM so crazy to me until I sit down to tell someone about everything & then it all just sounds so ridiculous!  There is only ONE reason for that.  The phrase that God had me write on my bathroom mirror when I was pregnant with Sawyer.....it still remains.....Where God guides, He provides!!!!

So, what's the latest goings on with us? 

As most of you know, I am on strict bedrest with bathroom only privileges.  Somehow I thought I'd scoot by it this time.  We had a great plan in place of doing the FFN every 2 weeks but they just grew more & more concerned as time passed & my contractions grew stronger, more consistent & closer together.  So I was sent to a paranatologist (high risk doctor).  They did a sono & nothing seemed WAY out of whack.  My cervix was a little short but with my history it wasn't a huge concern.  They scheduled me for an appt 2 weeks later & ended up not liking what they saw at that time.  The 1st appt my cervix was measuring 2.6 with pressure & 2 weeks later it was measuring at 1.6 without pressure.  Apparently this is quite a significant change so she placed me on bedrest until 36 weeks. ( I am at 34 weeks right now)

In the middle of all that mess I got that nasty stomach bug that almost everyone I know ended up getting (including ALL 5 of us) & ended up in the hospital getting pumped with 3 bags of fluid because I was SOOOO dehydrated!  Thankfully I just had to stay long enough for them to get the fluid in me.....no overnight stay.....WOOHOO!

I am BEYOND blessed and SOO thankful for all of my amazing friends & family that have just stepped right up & helped me during this frustrating & difficult time.  My Mom has been staying at our house during the week while Josh is gone so that I can have help with the kids.  Seriously.....how awesome is that?  I am blessed!  After posting about bedrest on FB I had lots of offers of people bringing us food.  So far we have had someone bring something every night except on the weekends & have a full schedule at least through next Tuesday!  Amazing.....REALLY!  It has been SOOO helpful.  My Mom gets tired after chasing kids around, house cleaning & running errands all day so to not have to worry about dinner is HUGE! 

A MUCHO, MASSIVE, WAY HUGE thank you to all who have helped us out!

I want to dedicate a post for each of the ridiculous events that have taken place over the past several months so be sure to check back for some exciting adventures.........HA!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Story

I thought it would just be easier for anyone reading my story for the first time to have it all in one place so, here it is in it's entirety. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me along the way....I have gone back often to the comfort of your words!

God has been asking me to do this for some time now but I guess you could say that I have been ignoring Him because....I DON'T WANT TO!

You all need to know that there is a reason I am such an advocate for life.....why I HATE abortion and on occasion voice my disgust with it.

My desire has never been to condemn or hurt anyone.... if statistics are correct (1 in 3 women will have an abortion).....some of you have experienced this horrific procedure personally.

I am among those women.

I am ashamed......I wish I could say that I am not.....that I know I am forgiven and forgiveness releases you from the debt of all sin. The shame never goes away....at least it hasn't for me over the past 10 years. The guilt never leaves me. The what-ifs are still there. I am certain the pain will reside in my heart forever.

BUT, God has given me a purpose.

To educate. To inform. To help. I want people to know what all the "pro-choice" people don't tell you and the "pro-life" people likely aren't even aware of. Experience lends perspective.

He was my boyfriend. We had been dating for over a year by this time. As a 17 year old girl I was the one who thought, "It will never happen to me." I knew lots of other girls who were "doing it" and they never had any problems. Or so I told myself.

Isn't it funny how we believe what we see? Trust me when I tell you that what you see is not how it is. I did a great job at hiding it myself. There was no way anyone would know my secret....not even my very best friends.

I will never forget the day I found out that my life would never be the same....it is crystal clear, as if it were only yesterday. I sat in his bathroom. I had stealthily snuck a pregnancy test off the shelf at the local grocery store. Test in hand, I collapsed on the floor, acknowledging the dreaded result. I sobbed. No one was home but the two of us and he was outside tending to the horses. I was all alone and that's how I wanted it....I was terrified.

After regaining composure somewhat, I called for him. I had him sit down in the easy chair in the living room. I handed him the test, trying my best to contain my emotions. He looked at me, "what does that mean?" I choked out the words, "I'm pregnant" before losing it. A full blown panic attack ensued. The weight of the world was on my shoulders.

He never got angry. I was taken aback by his calm demeanor. I was beginning to think that everything was going to be OK. And then came the words....."don't worry about it, we'll take care of it." That did not console me. In fact, I burned with anger inside. I knew what those words meant and until that moment that option had not crossed my mind. I had always dreamed of being a parent. While I was not expecting this experience at such an early age, I had already begun to accept that it was what it was.

As I lay there curled in the fetal position my mind raced. I thought of anything I could do to keep THAT from happening. His parents had lost his only sibling when she was only 3. I knew if I told them I was pregnant, they would never allow THAT to happen. Should I go behind his back? And then what would they think? What if they agreed with his decision?

Could I parent this child on my own? I knew he would never marry me. I would be ruining his opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream if I did not concede. What would my parents say? What would they tell their friends? Did this mean I would have to work and my baby would have to go to daycare? Would anyone ever want to marry me? The questions were endless.

The details up until the day I arrived at the clinic are blurry. I honestly don’t remember making the call or figuring out where I was going to go. Somehow I knew that Planned Parenthood did abortions and that they didn’t require your parent’s permission. (Could it be the million-dollar marketing they target at teens?) It is very possible that I made him do all of the research, calling, etc. since it wasn’t what I wanted to do (that just sounds like something I would do)

I do recall sitting in the cubicle talking with one of the “counselors.” In retrospect, this is what makes me soooo angry. I recall the conversation for the most part…..this is basically how it went.

Counselor: “So, you are pregnant and don’t want to be. That is why you are here, right?”
Me: “Yes”
Counselor: “Are you aware of the options you have at this point?”
Me: “Yes” (even though I had NO clue, I just wanted to get outta there as quickly as possible)
Counselor: “And what option do you feel is best for you?”
Me: Eyes peeled to the ground, tears welling up inside….”abortion”.
Counselor: "It’s OK honey, I know this is hard but you need to do what is right for you. Does the father know?”
Me: “Yes, this was his idea.”
Counselor: “Is this what you want to do?”
Me: “I guess….I don’t really know what else I can do.”
Counselor: “Alright then, let’s set up an appointment. Who will be bringing you to the clinic?”
Me: “My boyfriend.”
Counselor: “OK, when you get here, you can park right next to the building in the spots closest to the front door. When you walk in you need to keep your head down and ignore the people at the end of the gate. They will try to entice you not to go forward with the procedure but what they will tell you are lies. Just do your best to pretend like they aren’t there”……. and the conversation continued with details about time and what to expect physically after the surgery, etc.

I don’t remember much after this….. the instructions about ignoring the people really frightened me and my mind raced elsewhere.

Can I just stop the story for a minute and discuss my frustrations with this? The lady never explained my options. When I said I knew what my options were she took my word for it and continued. This should not be allowed. They should be REQUIRED to walk you through each option available. I honestly believe (though I don’t want to take anything away from my responsibility in this) that if I had been given all the options that I would not have chosen abortion.

I also think they should be REQUIRED to reveal the exact procedure being performed. This in turn would require the mother to be privy to the fact that the child inside of her is already looking like a baby and has a beating heart. They should be required to tell you that the doctor will rip apart this child by its limbs and then suck its remains out with a vacuum. Did I know ANY of this? NO, NO, NO! I am angry that I was not told what they were going to do. I am angry that they fool MANY into choosing abortion.

If you were going in for knee surgery, would they not take x-rays, bring them into the exam room and show you what they saw? Wouldn’t they explain in detail the procedure they plan on performing so that you could make an informed decision? ABORTION is a secret because people don’t want to know the horrific details, they just want to be out of the situation they are in. Fewer people would choose this route if they were only informed! Our children deserve to know what an abortion really is BEFORE they are put in a position to have to make a decision about an unwanted pregnancy. (Though, for those of you who aren't aware, children are not the only ones having abortions. Single adults and even married women are as well.)

Case in point: I have a friend who also faced an unwanted pregnancy and she too chose to have an abortion. It was clear from the moment I was told that it was not up for discussion. After my abortion I ended up sharing with her that I had gone through the same thing. We ended up attending the same college. I will never forget one day I received a phone call from her telling me to stay away from the large grassy area in the middle of campus. She was FUMING. She could not believe that people had the audacity to put up a display of aborted babies. For whatever reason….I wanted to know. While I respected her viewpoint, I did not understand it. I was drawn to the exhibit. It was hard….very hard. For the FIRST time I was made aware of what my decision looked like in cold hard facts. I honestly remember telling myself that I had had my abortion long before the abortions depicted on the display; that I didn’t really have anything but tissue in there when I had the procedure.

I know now that I was wrong.

I was blinded by my desire to just get it over with….to return to a normal life. (Which NEVER happened, by the way)

Planned Parenthood has an agenda. Capitalize on the culture’s irresponsibility and carelessness. Abortions = HUGE Profits. They do NOT care about your well-being. (I realize that they are not the only ones who perform abortions but this is whom I can share about from experience.)

So…..it came time to wait! For whatever reason (this is something I want to research)….they liked to schedule the procedure between 8 & 12 weeks.

I don’t recall much about this time except that I took a trip to Italy with my high school choir while I was still pregnant. My mother went with us. I got soooo incredibly sick. I attributed it to motion sickness because we did so much traveling that day. I wanted SOOO bad to share with my Mom but I knew if I told anyone I wouldn’t be able to stomach going through with the procedure and would surely ruin my boyfriends life. Ironically, I thought I was being selfless. It was a sad trip for me.

The long anticipated day arrived. It was dreadful. My boyfriend drove me to the clinic and walked me inside. I made him check me in. I immediately sat down in the chair closest to the door….it was as far as I could go at the moment. I brought my knees up to my chest and buried my head.

When he returned to my side he asked, “Are you okay?”

“Are you serious? No I’m not okay.” It was all I could say…..my stomach was churning. I sat there, head buried, tears streaming down my face until they called my name.

I don’t remember anything about the preparation or the procedure. The recovery room I remember vividly. For whatever reason, I remember this more than anything else about the whole situation.

I lay in my bed still groggy from the anesthetic, awoken to girls laughing. It made me want to vomit. I was so repulsed by their flippancy. They were laughing and carrying on and making friends with the girls in the bed next to them. I felt so alone…..so isolated…..like I was the strange one for feeling so bad about what I had done. I just remember being so confused.

I did not grow up in church. I did not come to know the Lord until I was 20 years old. It was not because of my relationship with Christ that I was overcome with guilt.

I think this is very important. There are so many people out there who claim that there is no such thing as Post Abortion Syndrome. They say that it is something made up by the Pro-Life community to scare women. I am here to tell you that they are CRAZY! I knew nothing of what I was actually doing. I had no idea that I was killing a living being or what my choice was costing and yet my heart still screamed with guilt. I believe that God has written the Truth on our hearts.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:13-16)

I believe that those who say they have not experienced any remorse or any sort of PAS are lying to themselves or have suppressed those feelings and will one day be confronted with them.

I was sent on my way and so my boyfriend took me to the only place I could recover without questions….his workplace. At that time he was a ranch-hand and the ranch had a bunk house. I stayed curled up there for the remainder of the day. I felt like the world had stopped turning. I felt as though life should come to a halt….that he should be so overwhelmed with grief that he would need the afternoon to recover with me. I was wrong. His day carried on as any other. It was the beginning of a very dark period in my life.

The idea that I would feel so much better after the event had taken place was proving to be so far from reality.

I was changed. My days became long & hard. I wept daily.....I will never forget. I remember driving down the road in the passenger's seat of my boyfriend's pickup, crying. Frustrated, I turned my face toward the window because I knew he would think I was insane if he saw me crying AGAIN. I couldn't get it together, though nothing had happened to cause the tears. I considered the past year & was certain that I had shed more tears in that time than I had in all the years of my life combined. I was not one to cry. But life was different.

I remember feeling stuck. I stayed with Brad 3 more years after the abortion. It wasn't because I loved him. I felt worthless. I felt like no one on earth could love me. I felt like a horrible person. I didn't feel deserving of the kind of person I really wanted to be with, so I stayed.

The summer after my freshman year of college I received a phone call from my parents asking me to come home. They had something they needed to tell me. It was not a pleasant conversation......gut-wrenching actually. I don't have a great memory but I remember every detail of that conversation.

They were splitting up.

I was all alone.

The loneliness was overwhelming, a dark cloud looming over me, & it was not because of my physical circumstances. I had already isolated myself from my boyfriend because I hated him for never feeling guilty about the abortion. After learning about my parents, I couldn't stand to be around my Dad (whose decision it was to separate) & moved out of their house & into my boyfriend's. I no longer had my family, my boyfriend had already isolated me from my friends & now I was living with someone whom I essentially hated.

~Let's pause right here for a moment. I need to tell you that I don't remember the time-line entirely. I journaled all the time back then. I wish I had kept my journals but I threw them all out when I got engaged to my husband. What a foolish thing to do. I have since lost track of what happened when & in what order. The main things I remember are when the abortion took place & when I came to Christ.~

We are a reading family. A few months after moving into my boyfriend's home, my Mom introduced me to a new series of books she was reading. Someone from her school suggested she read them & she really enjoyed them so she was passing them on to me. These books were from the "Left Behind" series by Jerry Jenkins & Tim LaHaye. They were FASCINATING. I suppose I had never heard anything like this & for these things to possibly be true????? It is clear now as I look back that the Holy Spirit was moving in my heart.

I knew that if these things really were true that I didn't want any part of being here for them! I was determined to find out the truth & the only place I knew to do that was at church. I was living in Rhome, Texas at the time so I did some research & found a small Baptist church about 10 minutes from the house. I talked my boyfriend and his Mom into attending Aurora Baptist Church with me the very first Sunday.

Looking back I just laugh at how naive I was & how horrible I must have looked to all of the mature Christians who sat in the pews. Because we were visitors, we had people introducing themselves & asking us basic questions. I was not one bit ashamed or embarrassed to tell them that I was living in Rhome with my boyfriend! Ha....so clueless! But isn't it great that God loved me even though I was so lost?

I don't really remember how many weekends I attended before giving my life to Christ but I know it wasn't many. My boyfriend's Mom didn't go the following week & my boyfriend didn't join me the week after that. It was all me. The Lord chased this sister down! This was a traditional Baptist church & the Pastor would do an invitational at the end of every service. There were a couple of weekends that the Lord was really prompting my heart but I wasn't sure or was too embarrassed to go down front. He mentioned that there was more information about becoming a Christian at the back of the sanctuary. I secretly grabbed one of the pamphlets on my way out the door that weekend. It was in reading through that pamphlet that I gave my life to Christ. I do recall thinking that I needed to walk down front at church to actually receive Christ in my heart. I prayed the prayer by myself but I felt like it just couldn't be that "easy".....there had to be something else I had to do. (which is completely untrue)

The following weekend I walked down to the front during the invitational & shared that I had given my life to Christ. Several weeks later I was baptized. As I think back on that moment, I am saddened that I walked through all of that alone. I did not invite a soul to my baptism. I was convinced that my parents would think I was crazy & who else would I invite? I was baptized all alone. An event that should have been wrapped in celebration, just was. Oh, but my heart was wrapped in celebration & that was what really mattered!

It was from the moment that I gave my life to Christ that I was changed. That may seem cliche to some but boy did it ring true for me! It was nothing that I TRIED to change. It was simply that my heart had been transformed. Things like cussing, something that was second nature & not the least bit offensive prior to this time, all of the sudden had me cringing. I'm not even sure that I knew cussing was "wrong". The Spirit just came into my life & turned it upside down. The purity of Christ sat so heavily upon me that the things of this world were suddenly displayed in a new light!

My life began to feel like it had purpose & meaning......something I had not felt in a very long time.....maybe ever!

My life was consumed by learning & spending time in the Word. I wrestled with the relationship I was in & decided that God's desire was for me was to marry Brad since we had already come together & become one in God's eyes. Looking back I am certain that I came to this conclusion, not because I thought it was true but because I didn't think I deserved anything better. It wasn't long before God brought heavy conviction upon my heart about this relationship & I broke things off. I moved out of his house into a duplex by myself. It was a sad & yet crucial time for me. I was very lonely but God knew that the isolation was the best possible thing for me at that time. I spent hours upon hours pouring over the Bible & in prayer. This time gave me a foundation not in church membership or Christian friends or someone else's thoughts or ideas but in Christ himself! What a blessing! God truly amazes me at how he worked out my life to allow for this time. A time of transition from putting my worth in others to putting my worth in Christ.

As I was trying to untangle our lives I became well aware of my need to find a new church home. I really had no idea where to start. I visited several churches in the area but did not feel comfortable with any of them. Amazingly, God had orchestrated a Christian connection several years before this. Even though we had not worked together in several years, we stayed in touch a couple of times a year. It struck me to contact him & see if he could suggest a good church. He quickly invited me to his church & immediately threw me in the singles mix to get involved! I jumped right in & my walk with the Lord truly soared as I began to grow & build healthy relationships. The memories of my single days at Fellowship are still very vivid. It was such a wonderful time when life held very little responsibility & I could spend huge amounts of time chasing after the Lord with wild abandon. As much as I love my life right now I so miss the time I had to focus on my relationship with the Lord when I was single.

There have been up times & down times. There has been heartache, pain, joy & celebration. These things are not so different from my life before Christ. What has been different is that my life has held meaning through all of those times. When things were low, my hope never wavered! Knowing you have a God who is in charge of ALL things, with your best interest in mind, is a very comforting thought. God has transformed my heart & I will forever be changed.

As far as the abortion goes......I have been forgiven! It is such a sweet truth that I feel completely unworthy of! I got involved with a crisis pregnancy center early on in my walk with the Lord & they encouraged me to walk through a post abortion Bible study. It was one of the most liberating things I have ever done. I'm not sure I realized how paralyzed I had been from that tragic event in my life. Through the study, I was able to forgive Brad, & most of all, forgive myself. I know now that God wants to use me to further his kingdom by using the experience to help others. Talk about redemption! God is so good like that! Everything, everything, everything has a purpose!

(Oh, & on a side note, my parents never got divorced!!!!!!!!!!!! They were actually both saved & I had the privilege of watching them walk through the waters of baptisms, hand in hand!!!!!)

Finally......An Ending!

This story is not over. I realize that it has been FAR too long since I last wrote about my experience but it hasn't been because this is not important. This part of the story is just as important. Life has gotten in the way of me spending time blogging but I wanted to finish this story if anyone was ever led here & needed to hear someones personal story.

I was changed. My days became long & hard. I wept daily.....I will never forget. I remember driving down the road in the passenger's seat of my boyfriend's pickup, crying. Frustrated, I turned my face toward the window because I knew he would think I was insane if he saw me crying AGAIN. I couldn't get it together, though nothing had happened to cause the tears. I considered the past year & was certain that I had shed more tears in that time than I had in all the years of my life combined. I was not one to cry. But life was different.

I remember feeling stuck. I stayed with Brad 3 more years after the abortion. It wasn't because I loved him. I felt worthless. I felt like no one on earth could love me. I felt like a horrible person. I didn't feel deserving of the kind of person I really wanted to be with, so I stayed.

The summer after my freshman year of college I received a phone call from my parents asking me to come home. They had something they needed to tell me. It was not a pleasant conversation......gut-wrenching actually. I don't have a great memory but I remember every detail of that conversation.

They were splitting up.

I was all alone.

The loneliness was overwhelming, a dark cloud looming over me, & it was not because of my physical circumstances. I had already isolated myself from my boyfriend because I hated him for never feeling guilty about the abortion. After learning about my parents, I couldn't stand to be around my Dad (whose decision it was to separate) & moved out of their house & into my boyfriend's. I no longer had my family, my boyfriend had already isolated me from my friends & now I was living with someone whom I essentially hated.

~Let's pause right here for a moment. I need to tell you that I don't remember the time-line entirely. I journaled all the time back then. I wish I had kept my journals but I threw them all out when I got engaged to my husband. What a foolish thing to do. I have since lost track of what happened when & in what order. The main things I remember are when the abortion took place & when I came to Christ.~

We are a reading family. A few months after moving into my boyfriend's home, my Mom introduced me to a new series of books she was reading. Someone from her school suggested she read them & she really enjoyed them so she was passing them on to me. These books were from the "Left Behind" series by Jerry Jenkins & Tim LaHaye. They were FASCINATING. I suppose I had never heard anything like this & for these things to possibly be true????? It is clear now as I look back that the Holy Spirit was moving in my heart.

I knew that if these things really were true that I didn't want any part of being here for them! I was determined to find out the truth & the only place I knew to do that was at church. I was living in Rhome, Texas at the time so I did some research & found a small Baptist church about 10 minutes from the house. I talked my boyfriend and his Mom into attending Aurora Baptist Church with me the very first Sunday.

Looking back I just laugh at how naive I was & how horrible I must have looked to all of the mature Christians who sat in the pews. Because we were visitors, we had people introducing themselves & asking us basic questions. I was not one bit ashamed or embarrassed to tell them that I was living in Rhome with my boyfriend! Ha....so clueless! But isn't it great that God loved me even though I was so lost?

I don't really remember how many weekends I attended before giving my life to Christ but I know it wasn't many. My boyfriend's Mom didn't go the following week & my boyfriend didn't join me the week after that. It was all me. The Lord chased this sister down! This was a traditional Baptist church & the Pastor would do an invitational at the end of every service. There were a couple of weekends that the Lord was really prompting my heart but I wasn't sure or was too embarrassed to go down front. He mentioned that there was more information about becoming a Christian at the back of the sanctuary. I secretly grabbed one of the pamphlets on my way out the door that weekend. It was in reading through that pamphlet that I gave my life to Christ. I do recall thinking that I needed to walk down front at church to actually receive Christ in my heart. I prayed the prayer by myself but I felt like it just couldn't be that "easy".....there had to be something else I had to do. (which is completely untrue)

The following weekend I walked down to the front during the invitational & shared that I had given my life to Christ. Several weeks later I was baptized. As I think back on that moment, I am saddened that I walked through all of that alone. I did not invite a soul to my baptism. I was convinced that my parents would think I was crazy & who else would I invite? I was baptized all alone. An event that should have been wrapped in celebration, just was. Oh, but my heart was wrapped in celebration & that was what really mattered!

It was from the moment that I gave my life to Christ that I was changed. That may seem cliche to some but boy did it ring true for me! It was nothing that I TRIED to change. It was simply that my heart had been transformed. Things like cussing, something that was second nature & not the least bit offensive prior to this time, all of the sudden had me cringing. I'm not even sure that I knew cussing was "wrong". The Spirit just came into my life & turned it upside down. The purity of Christ sat so heavily upon me that the things of this world were suddenly displayed in a new light!

My life began to feel like it had purpose & meaning......something I had not felt in a very long time.....maybe ever!

My life was consumed by learning & spending time in the Word. I wrestled with the relationship I was in & decided that God's desire was for me was to marry Brad since we had already come together & become one in God's eyes. Looking back I am certain that I came to this conclusion, not because I thought it was true but because I didn't think I deserved anything better. It wasn't long before God brought heavy conviction upon my heart about this relationship & I broke things off. I moved out of his house into a duplex by myself. It was a sad & yet crucial time for me. I was very lonely but God knew that the isolation was the best possible thing for me at that time. I spent hours upon hours pouring over the Bible & in prayer. This time gave me a foundation not in church membership or Christian friends or someone else's thoughts or ideas but in Christ himself! What a blessing! God truly amazes me at how he worked out my life to allow for this time. A time of transition from putting my worth in others to putting my worth in Christ.

As I was trying to untangle our lives I became well aware of my need to find a new church home. I really had no idea where to start. I visited several churches in the area but did not feel comfortable with any of them. Amazingly, God had orchestrated a Christian connection several years before this. Even though we had not worked together in several years, we stayed in touch a couple of times a year. It struck me to contact him & see if he could suggest a good church. He quickly invited me to his church & immediately threw me in the singles mix to get involved! I jumped right in & my walk with the Lord truly soared as I began to grow & build healthy relationships. The memories of my single days at Fellowship are still very vivid. It was such a wonderful time when life held very little responsibility & I could spend huge amounts of time chasing after the Lord with wild abandon. As much as I love my life right now I so miss the time I had to focus on my relationship with the Lord when I was single.

There have been up times & down times. There has been heartache, pain, joy & celebration. These things are not so different from my life before Christ. What has been different is that my life has held meaning through all of those times. When things were low, my hope never wavered! Knowing you have a God who is in charge of ALL things, with your best interest in mind, is a very comforting thought. God has transformed my heart & I will forever be changed.

As far as the abortion goes......I have been forgiven! It is such a sweet truth that I feel completely unworthy of! I got involved with a crisis pregnancy center early on in my walk with the Lord & they encouraged me to walk through a post abortion Bible study. It was one of the most liberating things I have ever done. I'm not sure I realized how paralyzed I had been from that tragic event in my life. Through the study, I was able to forgive Brad, & most of all, forgive myself. I know now that God wants to use me to further his kingdom by using the experience to help others. Talk about redemption! God is so good like that! Everything, everything, everything has a purpose!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Week One of Cloth Diapering Complete


I have been contemplating changing to cloth for some time now. In fact I thought I wanted to start Spencer out in cloth but it just never happened. I made one diaper, did very little research, had leaks & moved on. BUT, when I found out #4 was on the way & that meant 3 in diapers, my attitude changed a bit. The cloth diapering became more of a financial necessity.

Sooo, I did a TON of research & finally decided on what CD method I was going to use. Sounds kinda goofy, I know, but there are so many different choices. I found a ton of great sources but my favorite was probably Green Mountain Diapers, which provided a wealth of valuable information. The whole point for me in this is to save money. While I do like to be GREEN, the financial situation was certainly the deciding factor on this venture.Because I was going the frugal route, I chose prefolds & covers. (He has a cover just like the one above!) This is more like old-fashioned CD'ing that most of you are familiar with. It seemed that all the reviews kept saying that people would try the other types.......AIO's, pockets, fitteds, etc. but they would always fall back on their prefolds & really thought that they were the best, even though they might not be the most convenient.


Well, since I stay home MOST of the time, I didn't figure I had a good excuse NOT to use the prefolds. So, I bit the bullet & ordered enough to get me going. CD'ing takes quite a bit of prep work so I didn't get to get started the minute my stuff arrived like I like to. Because I chose organic, unbleached prefolds it took even more work. I had to wash & dry them a zillion times to get them going. I also had to lanolize my wool cover which basically just helps it to repel water.

After a couple of days of getting the diapers prepped (which really wasn't that big of a deal & only has to be done once), I jumped right in! I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed. I have not had even ONE leak yet! They are actually quite simple to do & they are simple enough to wash & dry. I honestly thought I would hate it & just deal with it because it was something that needed to be done but I have been pleasantly surprised. I didn't even change him in the middle of the night last night & to my surprise he woke up with dry clothes! I have been putting the wool cover on him at night & it has worked perfectly!

This is not Sawyer but this is what his wool cover looks like! SO CUTE!

I do have to say that I have yet to get Josh to change a diaper. BUT, my Mom eagerly tried after seeing how simple it is these days & she did just fine! She even used diaper pins the other day because she couldn't find the Snappi (WOW!). There is this thing called a Snappi that is so cool! No more diaper pins......that never would have worked for me.....I am WAY too clumsy. My poor child would have been a bloody mess. The Snappi keeps the prefolds together under the cover. And the covers are no longer "rubber pants" like they were in the past. In fact, they can be quite cute! They are now much more like disposable diapers with either velcro or snaps & come in lots of different patterns.

This isn't Sawyer either but I thought you might like to see the prefold & the Snappi (the light green thing) in action!

Oh geez.....& how did I forget the best part of modern CD'ing??? Flushable liners! They have these wonderful flushable liners that you put right on top of the prefold & if a poopy comes along, you can just pull that mess out of there with the liner & throw it all in the potty! Woohoo!

He does have a massive booty now.....looks like he's got some junk in the trunk......but I suppose I am willing to sacrifice!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Life as we know it........

Well, life has just kinda been over the top lately.....honestly, it has been kicking me in the tail. I am finally feeling like I can take a breath.....so here I am trying to catch up!

For those who are not aware, I have had a VERY challenging baby for the past 8 months. If you want to read about it, I have changed the font color......if not, you can just skip over the details to what is going on in the rest of my life.

He has tested our patience, so much so that it has been torturous at times
. He is a hard one to explain. I guess I can start from day one since that is when it started.

I knew he was going to be different....a challenge......after the first night in the hospital. He screamed most of the night. I thought it was possibly because my milk wasn't in & he was hungry so we tried to do a little supplementing. But the next night was the same. And the night we went home was even worse. Holding him did no good. Nothing could make him stop crying. He would eventually just give out & fall asleep.....only to wake an hour later & do the same thing all over again.

The days weren't any better but at least I wasn't trying to get sleep. I love Josh but he gets frustrated easily when he is trying to sleep & is having to console a crying baby so I didn't even ask for his help. His job was to tend to the other two. Thankfully God gave me a supernatural helping of patience for Sawyer because I might have hurt him if I had to rely on my own strength & patience.

From very early on we were trying different formulas & when that didn't work, the pedi put him on reflux meds, thinking that was the reason for all the crying. Many tried to encourage me & tell me it was colic & that it would all end soon enough. From everything I read "colic" starts somewhere around 6 weeks & ends somewhere around 6 months. Well, he has blew this out of the water.....it started on day 1 & was still going strong months later. Even in doing all of the research, I'm still not sure what colic is anyway except for a diagnosis for unexplained fussiness.

He didn't really want to take a paci but I knew I would lose my mind if I didn't have some way to quiet his screams. It was all a futile effort because it never did console him. If my other kids were screaming I could put the paci in & it would somehow help pacify them most of the time. This was never the case with Sawyer. It was more a device for me to hold in his mouth to somewhat muffle his screaming.

Basically if he was awake, he was screaming.

I was learning how to cope, but I'm not sure I was doing much more than that. It seemed that life as we had known it simply had to shut down. I had been doing some preschool stuff with Samara that I just couldn't find time for anymore. I was doing a good job at keeping up with the housework & laundry but couldn't even find the time to do that anymore. Anything I was able to do I had to figure out how to do while holding a baby.

It was really getting to me......I was not only tired of hearing the screaming & constantly having to carry a baby around as well as being completely exhausted from lack of sleep, but more than anything, the guilt of neglecting my other children was OVERWHELMING! I didn't play with them or read to them as much as I used to & it just felt wrong!

At his 6 month check-up I explained to the doctor that something had to be done. He was NEVER content, he would scream the minute I put him down, he wasn't even happy playing on the floor next to me, he wasn't sleeping, etc. Things just weren't right. He told me to add another dose of the Prevacid so that he was taking it in the morning & the evening. I didn't feel like this was the answer but I was willing to give anything a try. He also recommended that I take him to see a GI doctor.

So we took him to the GI doctor. This doctor said it sounded like he had a milk protein allergy & changed him to a ridiculously expensive formula called Elecare. Well, his reflux was twice as bad on this formula. The doctor told me to give it a full 2 weeks before deciding whether or not it was working before I gave up on it. I did that & things never got better. I switched him back to his old formula & he started sleeping much better. I was warned by a friend that the GI doctor I had taken him to originally was not a good choice & she gave me the name of a new one. So I made an appt with the new doc.

About 5 days ago Sawyer started crawling & life has been turned upside down!!!!! This is a new child! For the first time EVER I have been able to put him down & walk away without him crying. He is content for long periods of time just playing on the ground, exploring. Before this, he MIGHT give me 10, occasionally 15 minutes of peace.

If someone had told me this, I would NOT have believed them. (well, actually someone did & I did not believe her) I had heard so many times that "things will get better, just hang in there"......but nothing ever did. So I was not about to get my hopes up.

But people, this is a changed child. The difference is BEYOND amazing! I am SOOOO grateful to be able to actually play with the other kids & clean the house & do the laundry, etc. again. MAYBE, just maybe we can work on some sort of schedule now!!!!!

Because I already had the appt scheduled (& we were only on day 3 of Happy Sawyer), I decided to go ahead & take him to the new GI. I am glad that I did as I felt that he was MUCH more thorough & seemed to want to know everything about everything to make his diagnosis. Which, was......drum roll please......a high needs child. Let me just tell you that that diagnosis was very possibly my worst fear. There is no "fix" for a high needs child & it is something we will deal with, in one way or another, for the rest of his life. This was, however, what I felt like might be the issue. Thankfully high needs children are much happier when they become mobile! Hallelujah for crawling! & I know God will equip us (just as he did this time) with the tools to work through any future frustrations.

While dealing with all of this, I found out that we are pregnant with our fourth child. This was quite the surprise & I had a difficult time coming to terms with it......especially in light of the challenge #3 was bringing to our family.

BUT, I am learning to be thankful for God gifting our family with another sweet child. I know things will be absolutely chaotic for the next several years but my prayer is that my children will have such a close bond because they are so close in age.

One of my biggest fears about being pregnant again was my "high-risk pregnancy" & being put on bed-rest yet for the 4th time. This just was not an option for me considering I have 3 very small children. I did not want Mom to have to give up her life, yet again, for months while I lay in bed. When I went in for my first
appt, I voiced my concern & we figured out what we thought would be a great solution. From 26 weeks on we would do an FFN test. If the test came back negative we wouldn't worry about my contractions & would just proceed as if it were a normal pregnancy. Brilliant!

UNFORTUNATELY that didn't solve my concern for my mother having to put her life on hold to help me.

When I went in for my first
appt, the midwife said that she felt like I was measuring bigger than I should be so she sent me for a sono.....probably just to make sure I wasn't having twins. Everything went great, the baby looked wonderful, I was measuring a week ahead of what we had originally thought UNTIL the end of the sono when the sonographer said, "& it looks like you have placenta previa. I will need to called the office & see what their protocol is for previa." Um, OK, have no idea what that means. Well, protocol is pelvic rest! She explained that pelvic rest means no sex & no lifting over 15 lbs (as I am standing there holding 19lb Sawyer). Josh & I kinda ignored the part about me not picking up/holding Sawyer that weekend.

BUT, come Monday, Mom was at the house. She told me I needed to call the office & explain my situation & ask how strict the rest is. Ya, uh, the answer stunk. She explained that it can be very serious & the restrictions are very strict. Lovely, just lovely. That means that Mom is stuck watching Sawyer every single day.

It is very likely that when I return for my
sono in a month the placenta will have migrated & they will lift the restrictions, but until then I am not allowed to lift anything over 15lbs. BOOO!!!!

Please be praying that this will correct itself quickly & that the rest of the pregnancy will be uneventful so that Mom can be relinquished of her duties.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fire Station Tour

Monday we took a trip to the Hurst Fire Station on Pipeline for a tour & to see the firetrucks. A girl from our Mom's group organized the tour & the kids really enjoyed seeing & playing on the truck!

This is their dining table. One of the firefighters made it.....aren't the fire hydrants cool??

Here is their lounge area. There are eight of everything because there are always eight of them there at one time. I was so embarrassed because Spencer acted like he was in heaven, running around like a crazy man screaming & shouting with joy as he spun the chairs around & around!
Spencer is showing Mommy the firetruck.
And the kids got a kick out of playing on the pole.
Checkin' out the truck.
Spencer thought getting in & out of the truck was so much fun. This poor firefighter was such a good sport. He got so tired of getting him in & out that he finally just picked him up & held him. For those of you wondering why I was the mother that let my kid be so annoying, it was because I was wearing Sawyer & I wasn't able to pick him up & restrain him.....not a good excuse but reality.
Spencer enjoyed playing peek-a-boo with the flag!

My cuties!

Picnic at the Park

Saturday night we had a picnic at the park with some friends from our Sunday school class. We all have a kid or 3 now so these are fun events.

Sam, Amelia & Charlotte
Daddy & Spencer
Amelia & cheese ball Sam
Daddy & his kiddos
Mr. Troy was the highlight of the night......all the kids wanted to play with him.
Boy do we enjoy stuff like this.....we just don't get to do it enough anymore.

Throwin' a Fit!

Captured these pics of Spence throwing a fit & thought they were priceless!

And I have to explain this next one. Here he is rarin' back to hit whatever gets in his path....usually whoever he is upset with (including Josh & I). This is like his threat pose. When he raises his arm like this Samara goes running. We are having to work on him getting that arm down! Such a little stinker!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trinity Park Train

With Daddy home & the weather nice we decided we would go do the Trinity Park train. It was a little windier than we had expected but everyone still had a great time. This is such inexpensive family fun.....love that!

On the way out there we picked up some fast food & had a little picnic in the back of the truck when we got there!
She finds a place to twirl anywhere she goes!
Daddy, Sam & Spence
Mommy & Sawyer
Mommy, Spence & Sam
The train

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fun Craft

I am always on the lookout for fun, inexpensive crafts & this one was perfect.....something a little educational as well something Spencer could participate in. Here is Sam holding her fruit loop sand art.


Step 1: Sort all the colors into separate bowls.....this can be done at snack time so they can snack & sort : )

Step 2: Put the colors into Ziploc bags & crush. Of course they both loved this part.

Step 3: Get a funnel & pour crushed up fruit loops into a small jar in layers. Waalaa!

Just had to share these pics.....I thought they were super cute.
Samara holding Sawyer on the 4-wheeler.
& here she is showing him how to work it. She is such a little Mama.
They LOVE the 4-wheeler......by far THE best Christmas purchase. They ride it EVERY day! Thankfully we have a large backyard......now we just want a swing set!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sawyer Isaac Martin

So, I promised this a long time ago. I realize it is about 7 months late but better late than never, right? I do want to have this memory recorded.

I was so ready for him to be here, you might even say, more than ready....if that's possible. It seemed that I had somewhat turned life off waiting for him to get here.

After making it past the time in my pregnancy that I delivered Spencer I made a decision to just do life as normal, no longer trying every labor inducing tactic and just let him come when he was gonna come (as if there was really any other option).

Saturday we ran errands. With the cold weather coming upon us, both of our children were without winter shoes so we took a trip to Target and got them some "warm" shoes. Sam got princess shoes.....which she was so excited about! Spencer was also lacking some long jammies so we went to Babies R Us and got him a few of those as well. After running our errands we dropped the kids off at Mom & Dad's and took off to the movies for a long overdue date!

We were planning on dinner and a movie but God had a different plan! While in the movie, I kept having contractions, but that was nothing new. What was new, was the intensity with which they were coming. It seemed that they were getting stronger but I had been through this "thinking" I was starting labor so many times that I didn't get too anxious to get outta there. After several trips to empty my bladder with very little relief from the intensity of the contractions, I felt pretty confident that it was time and made Josh leave the movie. I'm sure he thought, "ugh, really? She is always having contractions, I bet this isn't even it and she made me leave the movie." Thankfully, I was right!

We left North East Mall about 6:15, headed home, finished packing my bags and packed Sam and Spence a bag to take to Mom & Dad's. Once we got the bags packed we made our way to Mom & Dad's to drop off the kids stuff and tell them that they would be staying with Nini & Papa.

We stayed there for a little over an hour playing with the kids, letting my contractions get more consistent and getting all the stuff off my camera so that I would have ample room for all of the pictures and videos we would be taking at the hospital.

After about 30 minutes of my contractions being one minute long, coming 3 minutes apart, I decided we needed to head out. It seemed that they were totally inconsistent up to this point and Mom and I were sure that they needed to be more consistent for me to head to the hospital. Besides, I had been instructed to wait until I could no longer talk or walk through my contractions & I wasn't there yet, so I was very hesitant to go. Thankfully God kicked me in the tail & pushed me out the door.

We made it to the hospital about 8:30ish. They threw me into triage; noticed my contractions were coming very quickly (about 1 1/2 minutes apart now), checked me (I was dialated to 7cm, with a paper thin cervix and a bulging sack) and decided that I needed to be moved QUICKLY to a room. She logged me into my room at 8:55.

After getting in the room she explained that things would be happening very quickly and that he would be here before I knew it. I honestly thought they were just being encouraging because I was in mucho pain.

Things were eerily quiet. Seemed like there was no one there. Didn't see a single person on the way up to L & D and then when we got there, there was only one person at the desk. Such a nice thing when you are screaming.....I mean really.....couldn't it have been loud and busy to disguise my screams somewhat? At least the screaming lasted less than 10 minutes!

After getting into the room, the nurse took off. It wasn't long before another nurse showed up to get an IV started. Only a few minutes later, another nurse made her way in and started prepping the room for the doc (got the sterile tray out and flipped the light out of the ceiling) and got the warmer all ready for baby.

(While in triage, the nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. I told her "no," so she asked if I wanted pain meds. I was not against pain meds at all and told her "yes, that would be great." Unfortunately, time would not allow me to ever receive those meds.....much less the epidural she offered)

I'm pretty sure that all of the preparation clued me into the fact that those weren't just encouraging words from the nurses, but that Sawyer would actually be arriving very soon.

I remember the nurse coming back in and me saying, "the doctor isn't going to make it, is he?" Her answer? "Oh ya, he just lives down the street.....he'll be here." .........WRONG!

She checked me again and I was dilated to 9 something cm's.

During my next contraction my water broke......which is an understatement. More like blew! With my other deliveries the doc had to break my water. This time was quite an experience. Who knew the force behind your water breaking naturally during a contraction! TMI, but I had to throw my socks away!

At this point I began seeing the fear in the nurses eyes. They quickly began coaching me and desperately trying to convince me NOT to push. Still no doc. No light on, no stirrups up, no bed broken down. One nurse sitting in front of me on the bed and the other standing next to her.

Huh! YA RIGHT people! Not pushing might be possible with an epidural......NO WAY without one! The next contraction and the nurse got in my face, trying to get me to focus, telling me how to breathe, not to push, etc. Just wasn't happening! I TRIED.....I really did.

I remember being so embarrassed that I was screaming. I didn't think I was a screamer.....don't guess you can really say what you are or aren't until you have a baby naturally. As I think back on my athletic days, I guess I was always one of those who grunted & screamed to get power. Like when you watch a tennis match and the player is grunting with every swing.....that was me. Guess this was my power scream : )

I just remember me saying, "He's coming!" and Josh was scared out of his mind, trying to get me to stop pushing. He was feeding off of the nurses who, as I'm sure they have been coached to do, were begging me to stop pushing and wait on the doctor. Just wasn't happening. I can remember looking Josh right in the eye and saying, "Chill out, everything will be fine." I probably wasn't too nice when saying that......sorry Babe.....it just hurt and I was just ready to get him outta there!

It was all happening so quickly and soon the nurse on the bed turns to the other nurse, who is still trying to get me admitted on the computer and says, "You need to get your gloves on, NOW." As she gets over there and takes a look I can remember Josh saying, "he's coming" and the nurse saying, "you've got to stop pushing for just a minute, his hand is up by his face." At this point I somehow was able to stop for a few seconds.....I suppose it was because I was afraid that I was causing the baby trauma. The next push and we had a sweet baby boy at 9:13 pm, 19 minutes after getting to our room.

One of the nurses took Sawyer and started to get him all cleaned up and checked out. The other nurse sat there with me waiting for the doctor.

It wasn't much longer and the doctor arrived. I know this sounds like a crazy thing to say but I am so blessed he wasn't there for the birth. God is so good in that way.....he knows exactly how things need to go and makes it happen.

When we discussed the birth at the doctor's office he made me feel like I was really putting him out by not having an epidural. On top of that, for convenience purposes, he really pushed for me to schedule an induction. With it being a Saturday evening, and taking into consideration those two things, it would have made for such an awkwardness.....something I did NOT need on top of the already chaotic circumstances. Thank you Lord for knowing what I need and providing!

God is so amazing in so many ways. For those who don't already know this, I had an epidural during my two previous deliveries. I was never one that felt compelled to fully experience childbirth.

For some reason (that was unknown at the time) I had a very strong desire to have this baby naturally. When asked, "Why?" I really couldn't give a good answer. It was always something like, "I don't know really, I just feel the Lord impressing it upon my heart this time.".......so vague and I always felt silly saying that. I hear people use that phrase to justify things they are doing when in fact they are just doing as they wish and I never want to be one of those people. I am very careful when I use that phrase but this time it was obviously the Lord speaking to me because I did NOT want to have this baby naturally.

I am a research freak and so I began researching natural childbirth. I suppose I thought it would hurt less if I were more prepared : ) I have a friend who delivered at a birthing center and I really thought I wanted to go that route but after checking into it I came to the realization that it just isn't smart to use a midwife with a high risk pregnancy.

I see now that all of this was to prepare me for a delivery where the decision to have an epidural was completely out of my control. There wasn't even time for them to administer pain meds through the IV, much less get an epidural. I'm pretty sure I would have completely freaked had I not prepared myself mentally for this.

I am so thankful that God gives us the ability to hear his voice even though it is not an audible one!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Stinkin' Heater

Well, we have been without heat for almost 2 weeks now. We were doing OK for the first 5 days or so.....it was only getting down to about 62 degrees at night although I wasn't getting much done because I just wanted to stay curled up on the couch covered in a blanket all day.....but we were definitely surviving.

Thank you Texas for totally messing that up! It started getting cooler, & even ended up SNOWING. I knew we weren't going to be able to stay there any longer when I saw that in the forecast. So last Wednesday we went & invaded Mom & Dad's. What an ordeal! You wouldn't believe how much junk you need!

Here is the crew watching TV on the air mattress one morning.


It is such a blessing to have family close. I know they get tired of us at times but really, we are so grateful!

We were/are trying to save money so that's why this is taking so long. First I had to wait on Josh to get home to see what the problem was. Then once he figured it out we had to wait on the part to come in. Once we got the part in, he put it on & there was ANOTHER error code. We now are waiting for that part(should be in today). Josh should be home this evening to hopefully put it on. Praying this will fix the problem & we can GO HOME!

Staying at my parents has been interesting! S3 is back to crying all the time so that has been especially fun for them! The big kids are sharing a room so that has brought about some challenges itself. & most of all we are making an enormous mess of their house! It has been a huge blessing to have somewhere to go but we are all tired & ready to be home!

This is so annoying.....I can NOT get this picture to be upright in blogger.....it is fine in my picture manager.....grr.....oh well, you get the idea.......


& another one for ya.....

Thank you Mom& Dad for putting up with the incessant screaming & crying! I know it can be maddening!

There are benefits to staying at grandma & grandpa's......like M&M's & Oreos! It has also been nice to have an extra hand at times!

Here are S1 & S2 playing together......I just love this picture!

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