Friday, January 14, 2011

Sydney Jane Martin

Sydney Jane Martin
November 21, 2010 @ 8:35 pm
7lbs 12 oz, 18 1/2 inches

My unexpected, scared out of my ever lovin' mind, 4th child in 4 years!  My little ball of sunshine!  As I have with the others, I am sharing her birth story! 

I honestly thought I would fly right through this pregnancy without any problems (I know, I know, what was I thinking?).  I made it further than the last time without bed rest, but it came inevitably.  Mom was a CHAMP...once again!  I couldn't have done it without her!  She stayed at the house while J was out of town & was completely exhausted but somehow made it through!

I was officially taken off bed rest Thursday, November 18th.  I stopped my meds the day before & went back to life as normal.....well, not exactly.....I was completely uncomfortable in a thousand different ways but I was officially allowed to resume normal pregnancy activity.

Saturday, November 21st was my nephew Carson's birthday.  We didn't have much going on that day.....we were pretty lazy actually.  Josh was more than excited that I was off bedrest, if you know what I mean.  So, we had a nap date!  Apparently the last doctor was right when he told us that there was only one thing he knew of that could truly induce labor.  I honestly thought all those things...walking, baths, sex, etc.....were nonsense since we had tried them all several times with the other 3 to no avail.  Clearly I was mistaken.

Carson had a party planned for that afternoon at Chuck E Cheese from 4-6.  About 3 o'clock I started having pretty heavy contractions but they were very inconsistent.  This was nothing new & I just assumed that the "interaction" had irritated my uterus & got the contractions going.  As I was getting the kids ready for the party I started to wonder if I was really in labor.  I just had some inkling that this was it (although doubt loomed large because of all the false labor previously).  I hesitantly made my way to the back & started packing my bags to take to the hospital.  I wanted to be 100% sure because I didn't want to totally ruin Carson's party.  As we were loading the kids into the car I told Josh I was bringing the hospital bag, to which he replied, "Oh, I doubt this is it.  If we need to, we can just run back by here & get it.  If you bring it, it will just jinx it."  Thankfully, I didn't listen to him this time & threw the bags into the back of the Burb. 

We headed out & when we got there I immediately had to sit down.  I was exhausted & the contractions were picking up in intensity.  After sitting for a bit they seemed to die back down & I thought it must just be false labor.  But it wasn't long before I was having to focus through the contractions & decided it would be smart to start timing them.  After 30-45 minutes of them coming fairly regularly I decided we needed to head to the hospital.  I was embarrassed, disappointed & felt horrible for crashing the party but I was also TERRIFIED of waiting too long & delivering in the car or something crazy like that.  So, Dad took Spencer & Sawyer back to our house & Samara stayed with Aunt Kacey while Josh, Mom & I headed to Baylor All Saints.  I remember glancing at the clock when we left & it was 5:18pm.

Things were much less chaotic this time around.  It took FOREVER to get me checked in & on the monitor.  I was only 5 cm dilated when she finally checked my cervix (which isn't very far along for me but enough to be admitted) so things did not move nearly as fast as they did with Sawyer.  I actually stayed in triage for about an hour while they got me admitted & monitored me. 

I had not decided for certain whether or not I was going to have an epidural prior to coming to the hospital.  I wanted to be strong & do it without because I knew my labor would be short but I also DID NOT WANT TO GO THROUGH ALL THAT PAIN AGAIN!  I am not big on pain & I didn't go through any natural child birthing classes or anything.  I had an epidural with the first two & they were both pleasant experiences.  Josh wanted me to get an epidural if at all possible. I figured I would just see how things went & honestly I thought I would end up getting one. I remembered them offering me pain medication with Sawyer when I refused the epidural so I figured that would be an option as well. 

When the triage nurse asked me if she needed to call the anesthesiologist I told her "no"......I kind of surprised myself, ha!  She asked if I wanted any medication & I told her sure, that I was not opposed to medication.  When she told my L&D nurse I wanted some IV meds, she baulked.....thankfully.  She told me that they just make you really groggy & in a fog.  Um, no thank you!  I was so grateful she told me instead of just assuming I knew what they would do.  So it was all me!!!! Ahhhh!  I was scared....not gonna lie!

Sue, my midwife, checked me again once I got into my delivery room & I had only progressed to 6cm.  I wasn't progressing super fast so she asked me if I wanted her to break my water.  Sure, why not!  Though I really didn't want her to because I knew my contractions would hurt much worse.....but that was coming sooner or later anyway.  I completely forgot in this process that the paranatologist told me I had excess amniotic fluid.  Wow people....this is not something you want to forget!  It was insane!  I definitely should have warned the nurse!  She might have had a boat handy to help her outta there!

It was a only a short time before I really started hurting but Suzanne was an AWESOME nurse & hooked me up with a birthing ball.  Josh thought this was hilarious!  And I did not care because it was such a huge help for me! 

The birthing ball!

Here I am on the ball! 

And here I am actually USING the ball.....
 About 8:20 I told them I had the urge to push so the nurse got me up on the bed, prepped the room & Sue checked me again. A 7....ONLY A 7!  I seriously wanted to die....I thought, "this can't be happening."......I just knew I had to be close!  I honestly thought that I would be able to start pushing.  It was such a huge bummer to hear I was only at a 7.  I'm sure she could feel my disappointment because she told me to give it just a little longer, that things would probably progress quickly.

Breathe Reagan breathe!
The next contraction I really had the urge to push & I told the nurse, "she's coming, I know she is."  She rushed out of the room as I was pushing. 

I told my Mom that I couldn't stop & she reassured me that it was OK.  A few seconds later Sue rushed back into the room.  The nursed asked if she was coming & Sue told her, "yes."  Sue was trying to calm me, telling me to breathe & let her get her stuff on.  Oh!  So hard not to push but I did a MUCH better job this time!  It's quite funny actually because it felt like an eternity when I was trying not to push....I kept thinking, "what the heck is taking her so long?"  But when I went back to look at the video I was surprised to see how fast it all went!  She quickly got all her gear on & I pushed Miss Sydney out! 

Haha!  Every time I look at these pictures it makes me laugh.  It looks like soap opera drama.  But let's be clear.....THIS WAS FOR REAL!
It took me 3 minutes to go from a 7 to delivery!!!!  They immediately put her on my chest which was wonderful!  That was a first for me & I feel so blessed I got to experience that!  
Yuck!  Did anyone elses kids look like this when they were born?  She was covered in this nasty white stuff......none of my other kids were like that!

My sweet baby nice to finally meet you!
 Actually, she had a really short cord so they cut it before they put her on me.  It was so cool because my Mom was there for this delivery & she got to cut the cord
I love, love, love this picture!  Doesn't Mom look so excited!?
J has never had any desire to do that but my Mom was super excited about getting to.  She had no idea she was going to but when Sue asked J if he wanted to & he said "no", Mom asked if she could do it!  It was a sweet moment for me, especially considering all Mom had done for us!
After Sue delivered her she kept saying, "Wow, she's so big"...."Oh my gosh, she's a big baby"....."I had no idea this baby was going to be so big."  She didn't end up weighing as much as they expected but she was certainly my biggest yet.

A sweet moment that I am so very proud of.....When I was close to delivering, the nurse said, "This really feels like a first baby.  Usually by the fourth baby they don't even bring a camera & there certainly aren't all the visitors (Josh's parents & Joey & Melissa were there)!  Oh how that made my heart smile!  I pray that I can love ALL my babies as if they were the first.  Children are not a burden in my home!

Oh....& did anyone catch that my midwife & my nurse both had "S" names!?

Also, just have to mention that Sawyer & one of my nephews share a birthday & now Sydney shares a birthday with another one of my nephews! 

And can't go without saying what an ENORMOUS blessing it has been to have Josh home for every. single. birth.....could have been so different with him out of town so much!

Here are just a few more pictures.....


Trust me, I know there are some out there wondering if we are ever going to end this will be happy to know that J had a vasectomy & is OFFICIALLY shooting blanks.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Candid Look

I ran across something very interesting.
I mentioned previously about packing up my "memory" chest.  What I ran across is actually something I believe the hand of God placed in that chest supernaturally.  If you have read my story you might remember me mentioning that I threw away all my journals from before I became a Christian.  I'm not sure if these papers fell out of something or if they were just tucked away in between books but as I was pulling everything out, a stack of papers, folded in half fell out onto the floor of the chest.  It was clearly a handful of papers that had been torn from a spiral bound notebook because the tattered edges remained.

My life before I knew the Lord.  That is what lay in my hands.

It was not pretty.  Gut wrenching actually.

This was for real.  This was not some fiction novel I was writing.  These were my feelings, raw & uncensored.

I want to share some of what I found with you.  I think it's important for people to see inside the head of a teenage girl who grew up in a great family but didn't know the Lord.  Just consider as you read this that someone you might know might be feeling the very same way.  Don't forget that you never really know what is going on with someone.  Don't forget that you have an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life.

*I am posting what was written in my journal & sometimes my language is foul.  I apologize ahead of time but I didn't want to leave it out because I feel that it would take away from the reality of the situation.*

Jan 31, 1999

I don't know what to do, or what to think.  Just tonight (my boyfriend) & I got into a semi-fight because I had one of my little self-esteem fits again.  He doesn't understand so I just pretend like nothing's wrong.  It's so hard.  I can't decide if it's (my boyfriend) or the fact that I'm so f**cked up!  It just seems to trigger when I'm with him because I'm not as pretty or "mature" as everyone else.  He pulls that sh*t on me all the time! I really don't know what it is that makes me feel like sh*t, but every time we go out, that is how I feel on the way home!  I feel like I am always having to compete against someone or something.  I don't know.  I thought maybe joining a church, reading the bible would give me something to fit into, but I just feel like an outcast there also.  It's like if I kill myself I'm hurting all these other people & I don't want that.  I would never want anyone to be hurt because of my actions.  So what is the answer?  Going on with the rest of my life being constantly depressed, worrying about everything, being treated like sh*t, not being anything in life but taking up space.  Nothing is ever right for me, I don't know what would make things change anytime soon.  I don't even know what I want because I don't know what it is you have to have to feel special.  I wish I could forget about everything & have fun in life, but it's just not that easy.  I'm too busy worrying about pleasing everybody else to worry about myself.  I don't know what it is that all those other girls have, but I wish I could borrow some.  I'll never be pretty enough, skinny enough, rich enough, anything.  So what is it I am supposed to do to build up this self esteem thing?  I don't have anything to strive for, I'm not good enough at anything to be somebody.  It's so hard for people to understand how I feel, but what am I supposed to do?  It's easy to pretend nothing is wrong because I do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  So when does the time come that I don't have to pretend anymore?

And there it is people.  I'm not saying that every teenage girl feels this way.  I just wanted to share who I was.  There is a VAST difference in who I am today & it is only because of the Lord.  The darkness you feel here is not a short period of depression.....this was my life.....& the only thing that changed was Christ coming into my heart.  Does this give you a desire to share his goodness?  It certainly does me.  I don't share Him enough.  He transformed my life!

This was right around the time of the entries.  Do I look like I have anything to worry about?  Boy what I would give to look like that again!

There was one more entry that I found quite interesting.

My brain feels like a brain on drugs.  I remember VERY little.  I have a difficult time remembering to get my daughter something to drink when she has asked me only 5 minutes earlier so the rest of my life is pretty much a blur.  I have often wondered what I thought of God before I knew him.  I wondered if I even thought about it or what I thought about the "Christians" at school or if I even gave it all a second thought.  This entry answered some of those questions, at least at this point in my life.  As you will see, this was 9 months later & I was still struggling with the same things.

October 15, 1999

I wish I knew how to have all the confidence in the world.  I envy Shelby so much sometimes.  She is so confident in herself.  There is no one that could break her down.  I just don't understand!  I don't know how to have that.  People that are confident in themselves do not understand what it's like to be someone like me.  They take for granted that they are happy with their life.  The worst part about the whole things is, I am terrified to have children.  What if they turn out to have the same problems I do?  Those poor babies, I could never wish it upon anyone.  I think it has to be worse than being blind or deaf, or having cancer, because at least those people care if they live or die!  The have something to look forward to even after they die, & what do I have?  I don't have any idea, because I am completely uneducated in religion!  Do you go anywhere if you don't know if you believe?  I'm sure that question will remain unanswered because no matter how many times I have tried, have asked, have wanted to learn, it just hasn't happened.  How are you supposed to believe when you don't know how?  How are you supposed to ask for help when you don't know how to pray?  It's so amazing all the things that are running through my head.  It seems like I go through the same thoughts & questions day after day.

It's obvious that I wrestled with the bigger questions about life but I always came up empty handed.  I think the term "lost" for those who aren't saved is a perfect description.  I was LOST.  It wasn't that I didn't want to find my way, I did....desperately.  It was simply that I didn't know which way to turn or where to look.  Thankfully a little over a year later the Lord CHASED ME DOWN! 

I honestly feel like the Lord kept telling me to post this.  My flesh did not want people to see this part of me....even if it was a long time ago.  I believe that someone needed to read this.  If that someone was you, please feel free to contact me.  reagan_martin @ (minus the spaces).

Toys Galore

So, in all of this organizing business I ran across a website that is challenging everyone to pick out 52 things you could do to organize your home & do one of those things each week for the next year.  I initially thought that was ridiculous because she suggested breaking big tasks down over several weeks.....such as cleaning/organizing a drawer rather than the whole bathroom.  Though, after thinking it through I realized that it was a brilliant idea.  I'm pretty sure I can think of a dozen things that needed cleaning/organizing LAST year that I thought, I can't wait 6 months to do this, it needs to be done now & yet a year has past & it never got done.  The house remains in the same condition because I didn't have a plan in place & I simply did whatever it took just to keep up each day.  Another year rolls around & the same old things are on the to-do list.  So, I am breaking those things down & tackling them over the course of the year.

I suppose I am actually starting with Week #2 because I just learned of the challenge yesterday.  First on my list was to take my "memory" chest that my grandfather handmade for me & repurpose it into a toy chest.  We are in desperate need of some toy storage in our living room.  We have tried so many different things in there & haven't found anything that really works & looks decent.  At the same time we are running out of room in our bedroom since it has become the bedroom, craft room, home office & temporary baby we figured this would be a good switch. 

So today I packed up all the "memories" to put into the attic & moved the chest into the living room.  We filled it up & the kids thoroughly enjoyed digging around, finding toys they hadn't seen in a week or two.  I think I like it.  It is quite large & I'm not sure there is really enough space where it's at but I like it better than what was going on in there before.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back to the Basics

So, on to week two of this OYOL.  She suggests that we should figure out the bare minimum that needs to get done each day & post those things in a prominent place.

I actually have something very similar to the worksheet she offers already in place.  I have an index card box that I have divided into several different categories.....Everyday, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Seasonally, Twice a Year & Annually.  At this point I just need to implement that which I have written out. 
My everyday tab has things like put away dishes, 2 loads of laundry, sweep kitchen, bedtime pickup, etc.  I do think I am going to add some of the things that are even more basic that I somehow keep forgetting like brushing the kids teeth, bathing them & making sure they take their vitamins. 

Yes, I realize those things should just happen daily but somehow the day will come & go & I will have somehow missed getting those things done.  I will think about having the kids brush their teeth but about that time Sydney will start screaming or Sawyer will need immediate help with something & I just won't ever get back around to helping them get it done.  As far as bathing goes....the reality is that I just hate it.  Finding a time when both girls are awake, Sydney's not eating & I'm not fixing someones breakfast, lunch or dinner has been a challenge in itself.  Then trying to keep the boys occupied & out of the way while the girls get their bath is difficult & fielding Sam's 10,000 questions & taunts from the sidelines while bathing the boys just gets frustrating.  Sometimes I have Sam take a shower with me but then it seems like Syd doesn't end up getting a bath until the next round of girl baths!!!!  If J were home every night baths would not be such a daunting task but the reality is, he's not there 4 nights out of the week.  If only they could go without a bath those 4 nights! 

I could even add "get the kids dressed" to my basics but then I would just feel guilty that I didn't do it & frankly dressing the kids on a day I know we aren't going anywhere just seems counterproductive seeing as I have a hard enough time keeping up with the laundry as it is! (Mom, just hush it)

I'm thinking I might write out a basic daily do-or-die with check boxes, laminate it & put it on the kitchen counter so I can mark off things as I do them.  Simply remembering has been an issue as well.....have the kids brushed their teeth today?, that had to have been yesterday......or maybe even the day before.....

My goal this week is to get the bare bones done each day.....& the rest....well, lets hope it happens in time.

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Purpose

My "One Year to a More Organized Life" homework for the week?  My purpose.  This is the million dollar question.  What is the purpose of me becoming more organized?  Here is what I have come up with....

-To remove myself from solitude- A very timely devotion hit my inbox this morning.  The writer is a mother of 6 & is a self-proclaimed loner.  She told how she felt that God had placed her in such a large family to stretch her natural tendency to spend her time in solitude.  As she points out, you can't be very effective for Christ if you live in solitude.  When I get overwhelmed, I find myself doing one of several things....zoning out, getting consumed by the internet, or enveloping myself in some sort of craft.  All of these are time wasters & seriously eat away at valuable time. 

-To be a better steward of the things God has blessed us with. Ie. my kids got a new water toy during the summer & only a couple of days later I found it destroyed because someone had run over it with the four wheeler.  Things are also simply left out to be destroyed by the wind or rain, etc.  One would look in from the outside & simply say that we are unappreciative.

-I want my children to grow up & say they had a wonderful Mom who was calm, took time to play with them, made them feel loved, & kept their home so that they wanted to invite their friends over & their friends enjoyed being there.

-I want my husband to come home from a long week & be able to relax in a clean, organized home. This is extra important for us because my husband has ADHD & frequently loses things WITHOUT the chaos of a disorderly home.

-I want to be able to use the school supplies I have spent time & money on to teach Samara at home.

-I want my children to grow up in a home that glorifies God & is centered around Him.  I want them  to learn about his character day in & day out & fall in love with Him.  God is a God of order, not of chaos & I want our home to be a reflection of who He is.

-I want to be able to be hospitable at any given moment without being utterly embarrased by the state of my home.

-I want to improve the hygiene of our home.  (I want to bathe, wash my face, brush my teeth & put on makeup at LEAST every other day....although I would really like this to happen everyday) (I want to make sure the kids are bathed every other day & their teeth are brushed(& Sam's flossed) daily....although I would like for this to happen twice a day)

-I want to grow in my relationship with Christ....a daily quiet time & pouring out what God is putting in.

- I want to parent intentionally.  I am tired of just letting each day wander by.  I don't want to forget that, whether I like it or not, my kids are learning about God every waking moment by MY actions....or inactions.

A New Year

So, this has been much anticipated on my part. I have been yearning to blog. Every hour I will have a blog post pop into my head but it quickly gets written off. I have gotten so accustomed to using my phone for all my Internet needs that it makes it very difficult to get out my computer, plug it into the Ethernet cable & post. I want so badly to blog so I am going to try once again to find the time to make it happen. Now that Sydney is sleeping good I am hoping to be able to get on a more regulated sleep schedule, which will hopefully allow for time to do stuff like this.

I first want to take an opportunity to say how blessed I am. I honestly thought it would be YEARS before I would enjoy being a Mom of four. I just thought I would be way too stressed & sleep deprived to enjoy life. I honestly thought I would just be doing whatever it took to "get by." I was WRONG & I couldn't be happier about that. It has been wonderful! I have so enjoyed having Sydney. It is possible that I have spent time relishing her tininess because I know I won't be enjoying it least for a long time. Don't get me hasn't all been peachy....but are things always peachy when you only have one....or even none for that matter? least not in my experience. The reality for me right now is that my 2 year old is my biggest challenge......& my small house that creates problems that I would not otherwise have.

This being a new year, I have taken some time to reflect on the past year & I am painfully aware of some much needed changes. I am a pretty reflective person so it's not like I don't do this weekly, sometimes daily but I have been given some accountability with a blog I recently ran across. This blog is written by a Mom of 4 in 5 years so she deals with many of the same things I do. I was excited to run across it & have been encouraged by her honesty of what life can be like with four young children. Her goal for 2011 is to get her life organized by the end of the fulfill her purpose. I want that very same thing & intend to take this journey with her.
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