Another baby story…..27 years and counting.

When I began this blog thing, I began on February 12, 2017. The 19th birthday of my youngest child, Amy. Read Here.

Considering I have four children, I have four very different birth stories. And so today, on Matthews 27 birthday, I decided it would be a perfect day to tell another story.

First, I need to set the scene. Hopefully, I’ll find a picture to verify my story but in case I don’t, here goes. I looked as if I’d swallowed a giant watermelon and it sat sideways in my belly. I was huge. So big I could literally sit a plate flat and belly and eat from it. It wasn’t just my belly that was getting huge. About two weeks before Matthew was born, I was retaining fluid in my legs and feet. Most of the fluid was being held in small pockets on my legs. When walking these pockets of water began to rub together, creating tender skin and difficulties walking.

Matthew was due on October 2, 1991. On Friday, September 27, I trudged my way into the Doctors office. Dr. Ellis, concerned about the amount of fluid I was retaining, told me that he would induce me on Monday, September 30, unless I had the baby over the weekend.

The weekend drug on and on, I could barely walk due to the amount of fluid. I was sick and tired of sitting. I was utterly frustrated. On Sunday, I’d had enough. I decided I had to get out and walk. Every step was a struggle but I managed to make several laps around the outside of the house. It felt good just to be outside and not cooped up.

Later in the evening, I decided a bath would be relaxing. I convinced my sister to help me shave my legs because I couldn’t reach over the giant watermelon in front of me. Finally, I felt relaxed. As I was getting out of the tub, my water broke. Until that time, I hadn’t had one contraction. (This was very different that with Ryan).

We scurried about to get on our way to the hospital. We had a 30 minute drive from Columbus to Hendersonville. By the time we arrived, around 11:00 pm, my contractions were regular and coming about every 3 minutes. Baby was definitely on the way.

A little after midnight, September 30, Matthew was born, weighing in at 8lbs 11 oz and 21 1/2″ long. His head circumference was over 14 1/2″. He was my biggest baby. As soon as he came out, water gushed like a flood. Dr. Ellis said he’d never seen so much fluid come out behind a baby. He told us there was at least a gallon, maybe more. Needless to say, my watermelon sized belly was now almost completely flat and poor Dr. Ellis was soaked.

When I think about Matthew’s entrance into the world, It seems like only yesterday. Yet, when I look at my big man boy, and realize the years gone by, I am reminded that his life completely changed my heart forever. God knew exactly what He was doing when He gave me this child. He knew this child would stretch me and grow me in more ways that one. Determined. Strong-willed. A deep thinker. Adventurous. Generous and kind hearted, always putting the needs of others ahead of his own. He truly is one special and unique individual. True to the meaning of this name, a unique and special “gift from God”.

19 years and counting

Today just seems like the appropriate day to get this blog started.  On this day, 19 years ago God blessed us with a 7lb 9oz baby girl, Amy Grace.  That very same day, God spared my life and gave me a new lease on life.  Let me explain.

Two days prior to Amy’s birth, I looked like a beached whale.  I was waddling like a duck and hadn’t slept in two weeks.  She wasn’t due for another two weeks.  I took Terry with me to by OB appointment for both moral support and to keep me from flooding the doctors office with tears.  Fortunately, Dr. Oldham saw my misery and said, “Ok.  You can either come in on Thursday the 12th or Friday the 13th and we will induce.”  Without hesitation Terry spoke up and said, “We’ll take the 12th because I don’t like the idea of having a baby on Friday the 13th.”

Upon leaving the office, I was elated.  “Only two more days of misery, ” I thought to myself, “I can deal with two days.”

We were up early on the 12th. We made our way to the hospital and at 7:00 the Pitocin drip began.  Didn’t take long for contractions to begin and by 1:45, I was 5cm dilated and contractions were steady, actually it seemed as if they were increasing not only in strength but frequency by the minute.  Around 2:15 when they checked me again, I was 8cm dilated. They called down for an epidural, but by the time it reached the room, there was no time.  By 2:35 pm, I was fully dilated and delivering.  We were elated our baby girl had arrived. We knew ahead of time the baby was a girl.  We just hadn’t told anyone, except one dear friend, mainly because I didn’t believe the ultrasound.

Our room quickly filled with family and friends to greet this new little life.  Within about 30 minutes of her delivery, I began to feel odd and had a weird painful sensation in my abdominal area.  The nurse insisted it was my uterus contracting but I said, “I don’t think so.  This is my fourth child and I’ve never had this sensation before.”  She did nothing.

Fortunately, my friends Ashley and Bryon showed up.  She came in the room and said, “You don’t look good.  What’s wrong?”  I told her about my abdominal pain and she immediately went to the nurses station and told them to get some help because my color wasn’t good.

As soon as the doctor came in and examined me, blood gushed out.  It actually felt like a chain link fence was coming out of me.  Horrified, she began packing me to stop the bleeding.  For the next few minutes, I felt almost normal and then it happened again.  This time, she packed me again, but due to the significant loss of blood, a call to have blood delivered for a transfusion was necessary.  As soon as the blood arrived, I’m guessing I looked so bad and had lost so much blood, Dr. Arcara was literally screaming at the nurse, “Squeeze the damn bag or I will.”

After a third time of packing and no control over the bleeding, it was determined I would have to have emergency surgery.  They had no idea what they would find.  I remember vaguely her asking me if I could sign the release for them if a hysterectomy was necessary.

Due to the seriousness of the bleeding, Dr. Oldham was also called in to assist Dr. Arcara. The next thing I remember is waking up to the sound of Dr. Zahn’s (the anesthesiologist) saying, “You look like Stay Puft the marshmallow man.  We had to pump you full of fluids.  You’re lucky to be alive.”

The next day, Friday the 13th, Dr. Oldham came by for rounds and said, “You had Victoria and I scared to death.  We’ve never experienced anything like that in our careers.  What happened was your cervix ripped over an artery and blood was just pumping out into your body. If not for her quick decision to do surgery, we wouldn’t have found it.  Also, they told me that during delivery, Amy had a true knot in her umbilical cord and it’s probable that if you had gone another two weeks, as she grew the knot would’ve gotten tighter and quite possibly taken her life.”

I don’t know about you but knowing that God provided, not one, but two miracles of life in a day for our family makes me feel truly blessed and humbled.  I stand in awe and wonder of his miracles and I realize that I would not be here without His grace and mercy.  My story could’ve ended on February 12, 1998 but God had bigger plans for me.  He choose to keep me here to tell my story and it is all for His glory.

The Day She Thought She Could Fly

This is my precious Mamaw. Today is her birthday and she would’ve been 92! However, God called her home seven years ago. She joyfully went!

That’s the thing about her. She was always full of laughter and her laughter was highly contagious. She could laugh at anything and sometimes everything

Her biggest challenge was worry. Sometimes I would even accuse her of worrying thugs into existence. She literally did! Often times saying, “Honey, I just can’t help myself.”

She loved to tell stories. A true gift of storytelling, she had. We loved her stories, especially the ones she dubbed, “The old tim

Of those “old day” stories this one is by far my favorites. There was a character named Ms. Moodle and her dog named Poodle. Her personality and traits similar to that of Mary Poppins. She flew with an umbrella in one hand and her Poodle and purse in the other. My grandmother was fascinated by her adventurous spirit.

One day Mamaw decided that she was tired of her birthing life and needed to adventure far away.   So, she packed a few belongings in her purse, grabbed her umbrella and climbed on the flat roof of their house. Her brother stood below. She waved goodbye assuring him she’d be back some day, opened the umbrella and jumped. She hit the ground with an enormous thud and her brother laughing uncontrollably.

She learned very quickly that an umbrella won’t make you fly.  But I’ll let you in on a little secret, on the day God called her home she soared.

Happy birthday dear Mamaw.  Know you’re  eating the piece of cake with the most icing today.

It’s more than enough

Ever been to one of those fabulous Japanese Steakhouses?

For two consecutive years that’s where Alex has wanted to go for his birthday. Both years I found myself thinking while the food was being so skillfully prepared, “It’s not going to be enough for everyone at the table”. Both years, I’ve been terribly wrong in my thinking. It’s always been more than enough.

Truthfully, I’ve been to Japanese steakhouses far more than just twice and I know from prior experience that there is always enough. Always.

Funny how I treat my relationship with God the same way. I’ve lived long enough and had many experiences both good and bad that have taught me that He is more than enough. But just let the weight of an unanswered prayer, a strained relationship, an expected loss, an unexpected illness creeps in!  Bam!!! I’m all up in arms and overwhelmed looking at my circumstances rather than to Him

You see most times, I’m only seeing a portion of the much larger picture. God sees the whole. Just like the chefs know the exact amount of food to prepare, and the best way to serve the food; God knows what we need and when we need it the most and He gives us far more than we need or deserve.

The hardest part for me is the wait. It’s in that period of time that I continually forget what I’ve already have learned.