Tag Archives: family

S5, E5: Flip Flop {The Birth Story of Baby #5}

Woo-hoo. It is Wednesday and we are about to have a baby any day now in our Delivery Drama series. A baby, people!! If you are new to the blog or perhaps just this series, please take a moment to catch up on the previous posts in this mini-series. Each episode builds on the others, and reading the entire series will help today’s post make more sense. It’s completely up to you though. Here are the prior postings.

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Season 5, Episode 1; (Pilot)   Baby Five  -The history behind it all

Season 5, Episode 2; Life Line  -The famed purple box

Season 5, Episode 3: Big Mama -The nine month growth spurt

Season 5, Episode 4: Fair Plan -The pizza that failed

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flip flop

The alarm went off.

It was Wednesday, October 23, 2013, and I was still pregnant. To say that I was a bit discouraged over this fact would be putting it mildly. The dawning of my due date was 48 hours away and this thought alone heaped on tremendous anxiety. I needed to have this baby.

Yesterday’s adventure clearly did nothing for me. The thought of my failed attempt made me grumpy in spite of enjoying such a good night’s rest. The silver lining in this cloud would become clearer at a later time. For now, I was undeniably wallowing in self pity.

My frowny face is merely a result of nine months of accumulating hormones. I was thinking of a multitude of reasons and excuses for my blue mood as I lay there in the bed a few more moments.

I hefted myself into a sitting position and stood beside the bed a moment, just enjoying the darkness and quiet of our home.

My abdomen contracted. I rested a hand gently on my tummy as I waited for the tightening to pass.

Hmmm.

Oh well, another day, another Braxton Hicks. I was markedly determined to continue my morning disheartened -which was wrong, I know. (Ever been that pessimistic? If so, then you know exactly how I felt.) I shrugged off the pain, certain that I’d be overdue with this little one. There’s a first for everything, I thought glumly.

I walked down the hall and woke Bunny and Fuzz for school. It was 6:52 am.

I turned on the overhead lights to their room, called their names and called their names again. I was was not in a coddling mood. Forgive me.

Breakfast needed to be set out and lunches needed to be packed, so I walked back down the hall to the kitchen.

I’m still shuffling around in my pajamas at this point. If I would have had a bathrobe that actually fit my swollen state, I would have wrapped myself in it. The temperatures had dropped during the night and it was now freezing.

My hand was on the kitchen light switch when the next contraction hit. Again I took a moment to breath through it and then shook off this second “Braxton Hicks” to set out cereal bowls. I didn’t even note the time.

It’s nothing, I told myself.

The girls sleepily walked into the kitchen and after a brief prayer of blessing on the food and the day before us, they both began scarfing down their bowls. I shook my head. Cereal is probably the one of the top meals at our house, if you could call it that. Nothing like some carbs and dairy to start your day. ;)

Now was time for the task that I sort of dislike and was clearly avoiding -packing lunches. Although admittedly, I didn’t mind it as much as I used to since we now had an organized lunch drawer.

I began assembling their lunches at the kitchen counter. The girls were laughing, and conversing somewhat loudly for seven o’clock in the morning. Food had obviously lifted their spirits and chased away any lingering sleepiness. I smiled.

However, my smile turned more to a grimace as another strong contraction took over me. I was so, so glad that my back was to the table. I looked at the clock. 7:01.

My breath caught. Is this it? Am I really in labor?

With contractions already at approximately five minutes apart, it was not a good sign. As a precaution, I scooped up everything necessary for the stuffing of their lunch boxes and joined the girls at the kitchen table.

I never, ever sit to pack lunches, but I was hoping for two things.

First, that sitting down would reveal whether or not this was true labor. I have found that Braxton Hicks will disappear if I move around a bit, a combined effort of walking and resting. Was this labor? I really needed to know. Pronto.

Second, if this was real labor pains, sitting would hopefully stave off any rapid progression in my labor. It was, at the very least, worth my feeble attempt to try. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.

I continued to mask my pain as I worked my way through packing the lunch boxes. This normal morning distraction was both annoying and comforting. I couldn’t focus. Bunny had to tell me three times what she wanted for her morning snack. Gah.

Poor girls. Who knows what actually ended up in their lunch boxes that morning! I’d certainly not trust a woman in active labor to pack my lunch. But they didn’t know and it evidently didn’t hurt them either. Bless their hearts.

Thankfully, no one seemingly noticed or questioned my sitting in a chair. I said nothing about my contractions -not even to my husband when he entered the kitchen. No sense in scaring him until I was certain. I mean, really. I’d been having the occasional, yet strong Braxton Hicks for days. I wanted to be sure.

But what if I’m wrong though -and they’re not Braxton Hicks? What if the baby really is coming? Time alone would tell. And just to be sure, I kept a close eyeball on the clock and a mental list running in my mind.  7:06. 7:11. 7:15. 7:21. 7:26. You get the idea.

Trying to get two girls out the door for school, feeding two toddlers and attempting to sit as much as possible was not working out very well. I would gather and sign papers and then quickly sit back down. I stood back up to fix Fuzz’ hair, only to seek out my chair again as soon as I could. I’m not sure how I was even able to fix Bunny’s hair. In hindsight, headbands would have been so much faster. I could barely keep a straight face in front of my kids anymore. The pain and frequency was escalating faster than I thought possible.

the natural mama

I should have known at this point. And I probably should have told my husband. I have a lot of “probably should haves” from that morning.

However, my mind was totally zoned in on getting the older two settled safely at school. I would tell him later. Stupid plan, to be sure, but I was not thinking rationally at this point.

My mind was scrolling through a list of things that I needed to get done, things I needed to grab, and people I needed to call. Making sure our four older kids were where they needed to be was obviously at the top of our “we’re having the baby today” list. Sending Bunny and Fuzz off to school meant two down and only two more to go.

Relieved, I finally kissed the girls goodbye, planted a quick one on Hubs and closed the front door after them. It was 7:32 am.

My resolve to tell Hubs later went flying out the window, however, as the next contraction took over me. He needed to be told. Now. My fingers were shaking as I dialed his cell phone number.

“Hello.” (I love hearing his voice on the phone.)

“Hey,” I casually responded. “I just wanted to let you know that I think that I might be in labor. I wanted to let you know while you were out in case you wanted to swing by the church for any work that you might need later on today.”

I’m not sure why I felt like a disclaimer was warranted at this point. For crying out loud, the contractions were nearly bringing me to my knees. I guess that I didn’t want to shock him, after all this was news to him. Me, on the other hand, well, I’d already had over a half hour to adjust to the idea. Today really was the day.

Seriously, “I think I might be having a baby”?? That was the best you had?

Surely this little phone call was my “the time has come” moment if ever there was one -only I couldn’t quite muster the same theatrics as Desi Arnaz. My fumbling attempt came sputtering out much more in line with Lucille Ball’s – “Ricky, this is it” proclamation. (brownie points to everyone who has seen that episode of I Love Lucy)

“I might be in labor” was clearly the best that I could do at the moment. Sorry, Babe.

I had no sooner hung up the phone when I knew. There was no if, no maybe and no possibly. Strike that term “might” from the record-all doubt was gone.

Even though I didn’t call him back, I am so thankful for a husband who knows me better than I know myself. He wisely knew that stopping by the church would be a terrible mistake and instead raced back home to assess my labor for himself.

And let me tell you, it was not pretty sight.

I was vaguely aware when Hubs entered the house and walked into our bedroom. Zip and Pop were wandering around the house, fed but still in their jammies. I , however, was sitting like a statue on the side of our bed, afraid to move, afraid to sit still, afraid for the next contraction to sweep over me.

And I was still in my pjs myself…bed hair completed my look. I told you it wasn’t pretty.

During a lull, I tilted my head back and glanced up at my husband. The look on Hubs face said it all. His eyes were mirroring what my body was telling me. We were running out of time.

Hubs began dressing the little ones and changing diapers like a mad man.

“How far apart?” he called tersely.

I knew exactly what he meant. And my mental list was still going strong. I checked the time once more.

“Ummmm….like three – four minutes.” 

Pure panic was what I was reading in Hubs’ eyes now.

“Babe, you’ve got to get dressed. I know that you don’t want to move nor do you feel like moving….but you have to. Now!”

A cattle prod may have been helpful.

But the desperation in his voice was enough to cajole me out of my stupor. I clumsily dressed at a snail’s pace. I just couldn’t move. The pressure from the baby was through the roof. It felt like my water could break at any moment and I certainly did not want that to happen, not here, not now.

I wanted greatly to be free to focus and manage my way through this natural pain called childbirth, but instead I was enduring the irritation of attempting to put clothes on and hunting down a hairbrush. Boy, was it slow going.

Every three to four minutes I was overwhelmed with agonizing contractions and during those delicious moments of relief between the waves of pain, I wanted to do nothing but to sit and bask in the reprieve, to steady myself for the next round. But time was not allowing me that luxury, the clock was not my friend.

Hubs, on the other hand, was working circles around me. He was hastily grabbing all of our last minute items from around the house and keeping an eye on the kiddos while making a few important phone calls.

I could hear Hubs’ voice calmly explaining my situation to our babysitter and telling him to just meet us at the exit off of I-85. I straightened my top and denim skirt and sat back down on the bed, dragging a brush through my hair. Make-up was a mere pipe dream at this point. Styled hair -well, that was downright laughable. (How I managed both with Zip’s birth I’ll never know.)

Only I wasn’t laughing. By now, I was softly moaning.

Hubs came hurrying back into the bedroom.

“Ok, we really need to leave, Hon. What can I do to help you? Can I get you some shoes?”

(He’s just the greatest, is he not?)

“I want my flip flops.”

Flip flops are easy to put on, it’s true. But in my heart, I was planning ahead. What if….?

What if I needed to kick my shoes off in a hurry? What if they needed to, ahem, be sanitized later? Yes, flip flops were the best choice all around.

Hubs brought me my shoes and then left to buckle our two little ones in their car seats. I awkwardly stuffed my feet in the flip flops and sat there looking at my feet. It was a surreal moment.

Nothing was going as planned. It seemed as if every fear that I’d ever dreamed possible was now playing a major role in the events of my morning. Unbelievable.

having a baby

I needed to focus on the good thoughts. I was about to give birth to my fifth child. The details were still undecided, sure, but the chances were strong that I’d have a new baby in just a few hours -definitely by lunch. While I certainly didn’t need to be pinched to believe it, I was in awe. Five kids….soon.

Reflection time ended as another contraction knocked me over like a tidal wave. I felt more than saw my husband reenter the room.

“The kids are in the car. I have everything we need. We’re just waiting for you. Come on, Babe. I’ll help you to the car. You can do this.”

Bless his heart.

With Hubs’ hand on the small of my back, supporting me, I began tottering my way out of our house, swaying like a drunken sailor and grabbing the walls as I went. The pressure was just indescribable. With each step I took, the more I felt like the baby was going to just fall out on the floor in front of me. Cute waddling was a thing of the distant past. There was and is no term for the my promenade out the front door.

And I was still moving at the rate of an expiring turtle. (No, I’ve never seen one, but that pretty much sums up my speed. Trust me. If you ever see one, you’ll think of me and this moment.)

Ever so slow.

My heart was racing and I literally felt like I was going to be sick.

I stepped outside to an extremely cloudy and overcast morning. It looked like it could rain at any minute, and the wind was whipping at my skirt and pulling back my hair. The fact that I was freezing and probably needed a coat didn’t even register.

Somehow, I managed to make my way down the front steps. Hubs reached around me to open the car door to the passenger seat. From inside the open door, I could see Pop sitting directly behind my seat and Zip silently observing me from her perch on the back row. They were as quiet as mice -highly unusual. I’m sure that they sensed that something was about to happen.

I hesitated briefly, eyeing my chair. I hated to say it, but I had to.

“Hubs, ummm,…….we’re gonna need the emergency birth kit ready. Let’s cover my seat and the floor at my feet -just as precaution.”

Wordlessly, he spread out the necessary plastic and helped settle me on it. Then he shut the door.

It was 8:30 am. Had it really only been roughly an hour and a half since that first twinge?

Let me just stop right here and say that there really are no words to adequately describe the myriad of emotions that was threatening to overthrow me. I am speechless. Fear, pain, disbelief, excitement and more pain barely even scrape the surface.

I watched as Hubs ran around the car, opened his car door and climbed in. I could feel another contraction beginning to peak. Practically simultaneously, Hubs shut his door, started the van and put the gears in reverse.

He hadn’t even touched his foot to the gas pedal when I began gasping for air.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! No, no, no. Aw, Babe, my water’s breeeaking.”  As a good southern girl, I can certainly belt out a rebel yell any ol’ day, but I was desperately trying to not scar my sweet children sitting behind me. Not that I’ve ever yelled during labor, but their presence was certainly cramping any possibilities. Instead my outburst was a somewhat of a cross between a stunned declaration and a helpless whimper.

We hadn’t even left our driveway, our DRIVEWAY, and we had a long stretch of interstate driving ahead of us. And morning work traffic.

45 minutes to be exact. Yes, that number had certainly returned to haunt us.

The van was still rolling backwards and I was already kicking off my wet shoes.

Niiice.

Forget the flip-flops. My heart was managing those just fine.

-to be continued-

Thanks for reading.

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The Illness Irritation {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

Life Contained 2014 button

This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.

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the illness irritation

So someone’s feeling green, eh?

When you are sick or someone you love is sick, the last thing that you want to be doing is scrounging through cabinets looking for relief or for the thermometer.

Ever been there?

Those thermometers can sometimes be nasty little buggers to find.

How did I solve this??

 I created a “sick” caddy quite sometime ago -over a year, I think- after seeing this post. The idea of having everything that I needed in one handy spot, and a portable zone to boot, was really appealing to me. It has made “bedside calls” so much more convenient whenever I happen to don my Nurse Mommy cap.

green caddy

Shortly after deciding that I wanted to create this organizer, I snagged up this caddy for fifty cents at a yard sale. It sure beat paying $5-$10 at the store. I absolutely love finding deals for specific items that I’m looking for. And the color was perfect for the need, if you get my drift.  ;)

medicine organizer

Hubs and I try to be careful with what medicine we take and administer to our children. So as you stock your container, think about your medications and whether or not there are safer alternatives. Again, the shade of my caddy reflected my medicinal preferences perfectly, a green girl. Love that.

(FYI: This caddy is for occasional, common viruses. I’m certainly not advocating that you ditch prescription medications for chronic issues. More natural options is something to possibly research and definitely discuss with your doctor.)

Natural lozenges are ready to sooth sore throats and homeopathic cough/cold syrups are ready to aid in rest and relief from a troublesome, lingering cold. We don’t use fever reducers that often as a fever is a natural and God-given method for fighting illnesses. Our bodies truly are an amazing testament to the greatness of our God.

cough medicines

I also included a little notebook and pen to keep track of medicine times and any other pertinent information that may be necessary to relay to medical professionals later.  My mom brain has the tendency to get a bit fuzzy at inopportune times, possibly due to lack of sleep. Yes, let’s blame it on fatigue.

Pocket tissues are available to slip into purses, diaper bags, computer bags and/or school book bags. The thermometer is handy for keeping an eye on rising temperatures. Rubbing alcohol is also available for disinfecting items.

sick caddy 101

Last of all, I have stickers. Stickers bring smiles. And smiles -well, they help relieve a mother’s heart.

Then we both feel better.

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So how about you? Do you have a basket or box stocked with necessities to fight the coming cold/flu season? Even if you don’t have children, a sick caddy is great tool to have ready. Create a portable zone dedicated to restoring a healthier home, a healthier you.

tip 3

 If you don’t have a sick caddy, but would like to start one, here’s a quick list of things that you may want to include in it. So go ahead, make one -there’s still time before the cold/flu season hits us hard. You’ll thank me for it.

sick caddy shopping list

What else would you put in a sick caddy? Please share. I’d really love to hear.

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31 Days: Life. Contained.

Welcome to 31 Days of Blogging. Yes, I am challenging myself along with other bloggers to post on a specific topic for every day during the month of October. I know, without a doubt, that it will be stressful at times, but I’m actually rather excited about this series.

My topic?

Life. Contained. Putting everyday living back in its place.

For the first day, simply scroll down to read. For the rest of the days, just click on the topics to read each day’s post.

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{Day 1} Scroll down for the post

{Day 2} The Plaything Plight

{Day 3} The Music Mayhem

{Day 4} The Illness Irritation

{Day 5} The School Scrape

{Day 6} The Mama Mess

{Day 7} The Present Perplexity

{Day 8} The Java Juncture

{Day 9} The Polish Predicament

(Day 10} The Bulk Botheration

{Day 11} The Cloth Complication

{Day 12} The Educational Embarrassment

{Day 13} The Battery Bind

{Day 14} The Plastic Problem

{Day 15} The Jewelry Jam

{Day 16} The Trinket Trial

Life Contained 2014 button

I am weary of lost items. Replacing things that I know, I just know, are lurking in dark corners. Breaking other items that should be properly stored, yet unfortunately met its demise under the weight of my size 10 foot. These often result in not-so-very-nice thoughts to each of the respective owners.

So I’m challenging myself to solve everyday household problems by creating a home for everything. And by everything, I mean everything.

Wow, you’re on a mission, you say.

Let’s put it this way. I’ve had this topic and series named for over a year. This was to be my 2013 topic until I wisely decided that having a baby during the month of October was enough work. I’m a weakling, I know. As a result, there’s been many hair-pulling messes, frantic-I’m-gonna-be-late searches, and pain inflicted clutter moments over the past 365+ days. So yes, it’s been on my mind.

Like every day. That’s a lot of mental stewing, people.

This year, I’m doing my best to think outside of the box. (pun intended) This month’s storage and organizational solutions will vary in style and prices. Some containers will be repurposed, others will be thrifted treasures, and a few will be purchased.

I, like you, enjoy saving money. The price of the bins and tools that are bought will depend completely on the project. I’d rather fork out a bit more money on a nicer storage box instead of purchasing cheap replacements four times due to heavy usage. In other words, for me, some items need to withstand life with five kids. It’s called tough love. ;)

As I was drafting out this month’s projects, it quickly became very clear that this series may have to continue beyond the month of October. I have many organizational needs, I guess. Tell me that I’m not alone.

The links to each of the projects will be added to this page. Missed a post? Simply click on my 31 Days of Life. Contained. button in my sidebar and it will bring you right here.

And if you wouldn’t mind, please share this series with others whom you feel would appreciate and enjoy it. Simply hover on the picture to choose a social media. Thanks.

 

As always, thanks for reading. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

{Yes, I know that it’s Wednesday and time for the next airing of our Delivery Drama series. Stay tuned for it today. I won’t leave you hanging.}

 

S5, E2: Life Line {The Birth Story of Baby #5}

Hey there, peeps. It’s Wednesday, so welcome back to The Delivery Drama series. If you missed last Wednesday’s pilot episode, you can catch that premier here.  ;)  (I’m clearly having too much fun with this.)

Season 5, Episode 1: (Pilot) Baby Five – The History Behind It All

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life line

I’ve used enough of these little treasures that we should totally buy stock in them. Thank you, Dollar Tree.

But first let me pick up the story where I left off (Baby Five)  February 22, 2011. (Yippee…now I’m 29)

As I already shared, I quickly settled into being a mama to four small children and loved every blessed minute of it. The months passed by swiftly and before I knew it, my little man was nine months old. However during that month, I started noticing different things about myself: fatigue, super-sonic smell, occasional irritability, etc. And I knew exactly what they meant.

Wow.

Just before Christmas in 2011, I got up early to take a pregnancy test -a purple box test from DT of course- and sure enough, it was positive. I carried my new little one for just over three months.

On February 2, 2012, I lost our baby in the wee hours of the morning. My miscarriage was rough emotionally and physically. All said, 2012 as a whole was a year of trial and testing for my husband and I both in several ways.  However, desiring another child was always hanging over my head. Hubs and I agreed to wait until the expected due date of our angel baby before trying again.

August 8, 2012 came and went.

I probably used at least one purple Dollar Tree pregnancy test every month, if not two. (I told you that we should buy stock in them.) One, two, four months went by. I was beginning to worry whether or not I’d be able to carry anymore children. I began second guessing whether I should have had the recommended D and C. God taught me much about faith and trust in Him throughout the entire ordeal, the surprise pregnancy, miscarriage and healing process,.

2013 began as well as a new ministry venture for us: Youth Pastor. My husband and I were extremely busy launching different policies and programs for the teens. I guess that I somewhat forgot about Baby Five.

February 2, 2013 dawned. I have to admit that I got a bit teary as I reflected on the events of that particular day one year before. It was the one year anniversary of my miscarriage. My heart was encouraged as I remembered the strength and grace that God had richly bestowed on me over the past twelve months. I could smile with sincerity at cooing babies and truly rejoice at the pregnancy announcements of family and friends. I mean, really smile. God was good. God was God. My arms would be filled in His timing, not my own.

Approximately two weeks later, we were discussing the approaching birthday of Pop- the big 2. What?! Yeah, I couldn’t believe that he would soon be two either. I shook my head as I was folding laundry on our bed. (It’s a task that is never really finished, is it?)

Our thoughts and discussion soon veered to the baby that we were praying for.

“I think that you’re already pregnant.” Hub”s faith in answered prayer was a tad stronger than mine during this time. But in reality, it was more than that. You see, he thinks that he can judge my pregnant condition by my personality change. I don’t usually get sick or anything, but one of biggest indicators over the years has been irritability. My husband likes to call it aggressiveness. I call it hormones. Sounds better, doesn’t it? No wife enjoys being told that she’s been rather testy lately. Oddly enough, three times out of five, he’s actually been right. But let’s not tell him that, ok? He might think that he has superpowers or something equally as disturbing.

By the way, his so-called preggo radar is only good on me. I guess that they really can’t be considered “super” powers when they are so narrowly limited. Oh well, he’s still Super Man in my eyes.

“What? Where did that proclamation come from?!” I wasn’t so certain and to be quite open, I was afraid -afraid of the unknown, afraid of another miscarriage, afraid of secondary infertility. However, quick calculations determined that maybe, just maybe, I was expecting.

The real root of my fears was simply this: I was afraid to hope.

“Nah. I feel fine.” Other than being a little short-tempered recently, I was doing good.

Yeah, Super Man nailed it again.

A few more days passed and my hopes continued to mount.

pregnancy test

February 22, 2013, I crawled out of bed and nervously opened yet another purple box. I took the test without reading or even looking at the instructions. (I know them by heart at this point.)  I didn’t want to look-that’s how badly I wanted to see two pink lines.

My heart was pounding.

I watched the saturation line move across the window and realized I was holding my breath. I blew it out quickly and at the same time breathed a quick, heartfelt prayer.

A prayer of thanksgiving for the children that I’d already been blessed with, a prayer for God to bless our home with another babe to love and cherish, and a prayer for all other women who were still longing for the gift of motherhood. Children are one of life’s greatest blessings and at that moment, time seems to stand still as you hover over that little stick.

Roughly ten seconds into the test, I saw the dark pink indicating that the test was valid. I ignored it, my eyes searching for that second line. A slow smile crept across my face as I witnessed a very faint line form. It continued to darken a bit, a sweet sign of new life. By now, my grin was full-blown and my heart overflowing.

It was a life line.

 -to be continued-

Thanks for reading.

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I was not compensated for this post, nor was this post a requirement for receiving free products. All opinions are completely my own. I’m just sharing my love of Dollar Tree’s pregnancy tests. They’ve saved us a hunk of change over the years. ;)