Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm not crazy. I'm just a little unwell...

I had my six week check up a couple of days ago.  Well, actually it was more like my eight week check up because I had to reschedule my appointment twice.

I was actually excited about this check up.  Somewhere in my {sometimes} unrealistic mind, I thought it would be some sort of closure to the trauma I experienced during Dani's delivery.  I thought I would be able to boldly peel off the stack of appointment stickers that have been stuck to the back of my cell phone since the last time I was in the office.  I had this list of things that I wanted to discuss with Dr. M, mostly on the Post Partum Depression topic, but as soon as he walked in the room it was all I could do not to high tail it out of there.  Fear, along with panic set in. 

the stickers are still there =/

"How are things?" he asked.  "Just fine!" I lied.   "Have you had any problems?" he replied.  "Nope!" I lied again.  What the hell?  Why did you just say you were fine? You re not fine!  Come on, tell him.  Tell him your mind sucks and that you are a lot of things, but you are NOT fine   "Do you have questions?"  he asked, interrupting my rambling thoughts.  "Not any that I can think of." I replied....  "You are perfect!" he proclaimed!  "That's what I like to hear!" I quickly replied with a smile.  That was like a double lie right there.  How did I just lie with a smile on my face?...

Needless to say, I did not walk out of that office with a feeling of closure.  It felt more like failure and it was my fault.  I could've just opened my mouth and told him that I wasn't okay, but how can I look a sane person in the face and say "Yes, actually I've been dwelling heavily on suicide lately.  Not actually thinking about doing it my self per say but thinking about it.  No, I do not want to do something like that, but you know, the thought is still there."  How do I say something like that with out looking like a full blown crazy person???

Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 says it best when he says "I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell."

That's how I feel.  That little phrase sums me up.

I was actually doing okay with everything up until a week or two ago.  It was so weird, one day I was fine and that night I wasn't.  The crazy thoughts kicked in and so did the insomnia.  At first, I kicked it up to PMS but after the period came and went and the unrealistic thoughts, insomnia, inconsolable crying and over all sadness stayed, I knew exactly what was going on.

Post Partum Depression had set up shop.

There have been nights where I have spent hours staring into oblivion wondering what it felt like to be one of those people who take the plunge to suicide by slitting their wrists.  I wonder what it would feel like to feel the warm life flow out of my body and lay in a cold puddle on the floor.  I wonder if those people feel any relief from their deep sadness and despair after they take the plunge...

and then I jump back to reality and quickly rally the ppd thoughts.  This isn't normal me, this isn't who I am.  These aren't my thoughts, these thoughts belong to the silent and emotionally crippling, post partum depression.  I know this and it makes it easier to deal with but it's still really hard.   Suicide isn't something I want to do or would even ordinarily think about.  It's just the cold, hard thoughts of raging PPD.  At it's finest, I must say.

I know these feelings of hopelessness and crazy nauseating thoughts are only temporary.  It's just, some days, it's harder to hold a grip on reality than others.  Some days, it's harder to see tomorrow, or even the next hour.  Some days it's hard to look out of the window and see that the sun is shining and actually believe it.  Some days its just hard to exist yet I know that I have to.

...And other days are better. Today has been a good day, obviously.  I've been able to sit and jot this little post on my personal struggle with PPD.  But this is as far as I can go.  I cant talk about it any more today.  Maybe I'll post more later, but for now I'm finished.

I ask that you keep me in your prayers.  Lord knows how much I need them.  Also keep my family in your prayers, they have to live with me and I'm sure that's not easy at times.

Oh, and I'm okay.  Trust me.  This is the forth time that I've been thru this.  It's just an unpleasant season and like any season, it will pass.

Happy Thursday, Friends! (:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Stream of consciousness

 Sometimes, this little thing gives me this look ^^^ and I'm like 
"Oh, My Goodness! I gave birth to my freakin' Mother!!!"
It freaks me out.
Every. Time.
And when this little thing smiles, I totally forgive her for all of the hours that she plays the crying game...and also playing the lets-see-how-many-hours-I-can-stay-up mid night marathon game she thoroughly enjoys playing.  Often.
Also, I forgive her for looking just like my mother, at times. {Ha!}

Steven is taking sign language in school...We're all taking sign language.
At home.

Diamond is living up to the whole "blonde" stereotype.  We went to her parent teacher conference today and her teacher shared a little sliver of a conversation that she and Diamond had the other day.  She said to Diamond,  "Diamond, I want you to write all of the words you know." 
Diamond proudly wrote the word "NO" and that is all. (:
The boy almost had a panic attack when he saw that his science grade was a 90.  He was so ashamed.  Maybe we're too hard on that little dude.  Nah, we must be doing something right, if that is his lowest grade.  Also, I realized {just now} that I didn't have recent pictures of him by himself, so I went to take one but that is as close as I got.  I know he's in a house full of girls but he's a fantastic big brother and Dani loves him. 
She also loves to yell at him.
She's very quick to anger. 
We're still working on that one.
I was going to talk about my PPD in this post, but I will save that for another day.  This post is too happy to drag in a little black rain cloud...actually it would be a storm.  Maybe tomorrow.
Bouncing right back to happy
This girl likes to work out.
Mostly at night.
Like 2 a.m.
I wish I was as dedicated as she was.
She tries really hard to motivate me but I've just never been a fan of 2 a.m. workouts.
Well, she's yelling at the boy, so I'm calling it quits for tonight.
Happy Monday, Friends!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dani Kalifornia: Dad's birth story

Hi, I’m Kimberly’s Husband and father to all the “D”s. Kimberly asked me to share my side of the birth story.  Where to begin?

Diamond (little “d”) was my first biological child. Her birth was amazing, beautiful, and a little overwhelming. Kimberly loves telling everyone how I sat and read as she was given her epidural shot. I don’t deny it; I just have no memory of doing that. I guess it was just how I dealt with the stress of the moment. Ha! I had no idea how easy we had it. There were really no complications until Diamond started turning blue (she was born with pneumonia). One week later, everyone was home safe, but the woman who came home with me was not my wife.

I was a child with a child (I had just turned 21, and despite what people may say that is still a child) and was not the help that I should have been. I worked and came home and slept after spending a little time with my baby girl. Kimberly did pretty much everything, and before long, we were both working. We switched up shifts to be home with little “d”, but we both worked. Before long, I had two jobs; preaching and waiting tables. This added more to both of our plates. We developed a system for getting the bigger kids ready that worked, and we functioned well enough; but I now see that the stress that I put on her contributed to Kimberly’s post-partum depression.

I heard that term before, but nothing can prepare you for what that beast truly is. It took years for Kimberly to overcome and there was nothing I could do. After about two years, the stresses of preaching for a church where I was the second to youngest member (not counting my own children) brought me into depression too.

We moved, life situations changed, and we both got better. By the time little “d” was three, Kimberly started talking about us having a fourth “D.” Paralyzing fear hit me. I just got my wife back! The happy, cheery woman I married was resurfacing, what if another pregnancy stole her again. I never loved her any less, in fact, I think hardship strengthened our love, but the thought of revisiting that hardship was more than I could bear. On top of that, parenting often cripples me with fear. I am terrified of messing my children up… It scares me.

Fear makes me unreasonable and, sometimes, unkind. I told Kimberly exactly what I thought. “I don’t think I can handle a fourth child, I would probably run!” It was just the first thought that came up; I said it and forgot about it. Little did I know, Kimberly couldn’t forget it and thought I meant I would leave her if we ever had another child.

A year went by. While Kimberly was coming to terms with the fact that we were never having another child, I realized that I didn’t want to be done. I couldn’t fight back the feelings that I felt every time I looked at an infant. My baby girl was 4 ½! She was going to preschool and would be in Kindergarten next year. She wasn’t a baby any more. Plus, I was only a witness to PPD, if Kimberly lived that nightmare and was willing to chance it, I could man up about it.

We talked about it and Kimberly shared what she had been bearing all along, a fear that I would leave her if we had another child. Wow! What harm we can inflict by careless words! We decided, after a lot of talking and praying, that we wanted to try for our fourth “D.”

That was just to help you understand some of my anxiety (don’t be hatin’, this is honesty). Fast forward about a million prayers and the whole “If this baby is a boy we are naming him Captain whether you like it or not, Steven” ordeal to “labor day.”

We make it to Mena without an emergency delivery in the car! Score! Here we are at the hospital, everything is going well… as well as it can be with three small children crammed onto a couch having to hide behind the curtain every time someone comes to “check” mommy (that word will never be the same) and waiting for our friends to come pick them up.

This is all very shaky in my memory, so bear with me. They break Kimberly’s water… um scary… and she is still all happy and giggly as she realizes her second pair of socks is soaked by her water. Now the real deal scary contractions start coming. I get a text that our friends are on their way to get the kids but are running a little late. This makes me a little nervous, but I prayed about every aspect of this delivery for so long that I’m sure it will all be okay.

In the next few minutes, it becomes obvious that Kimberly is in serious pain and just trying to keep it under control of the kids’ sake. Then it gets to be too much and she starts puffing and moaning, the nurse comes to check and see if Kimberly is dilated to five and ready for an epidural. So we are all gathered behind the curtain again and I’m thinking “Why do you have to check someone in this much pain to see if they are ready for pain relief?!?! And praying they get her that monster shot soon (notice, I’m not reading this time! Yay me!) and that our friends show up to get the kids asap… like yesterday!

By this point Kimberly is muffling back her screams and Devan is hysterical with concern for Mommy. Just then I get the message that our friends are here, Kimberly looks at me with eyes that beg me not to leave as I tell her I have to take the kids out to their baby-sitters. I rush them out, trying to comfort Devan, who’s face says that is the scariest thing she has ever seen, and hand them over – blood curdling scream from the other room – tell the kids I love them – run back into the room to find Kimberly on hands and knees – rub her back and feebly try to comfort her – end of first killer contraction.

Kimberly is in tears and begging to leave. I held her face and made her look at me and tried to tell her gently and firmly that she has to stay while frantically praying for God to give her peace and relief until the anesthesiologist gets there. By the time he does I’m holding Kimberly as she bites and screams the most pitiful and pain-filled screams I have ever heard. I try to focus on comforting Kimberly and not punching the epidural guy as he says “if you don’t calm down and hold still I’m not going to be able to do this” in a tone that says “I’m sooo board right now.” Kimberly tries hard to sit (on Dani’s crowning head as we would soon find out) through the next contraction so that epidural guy can get a good shot at her back. This is the most pain I have ever seen anyone in! It was at this moment, for the first time, it hits me that God could say “No” to our prayers for a safe and painless delivery. Kimberly is in so much pain that I am terrified that something is very wrong. It shouldn’t be like this. What if something happens to her or our little Dani?! Through these thoughts I’m shaking and trying to comfort Kimberly and trying to pray but all that will come into my head is “Please, please, please!”

When that horror of a contraction ends, Kimberly begs epidural guy, between sobs, to hurry up and give her the shot before the next contraction comes. This dude fumbles around with his stuff and thinks that now would be a great time for a lecture on calming down and letting him do his job (I’m sorry, this is just my impressing, I’m sure it’s an awful job and all, but this is my wife). The nurse realizes that something isn’t right and tells Kimberly that she needs to check her. When she does, she doesn’t have to say a word, her look is enough and dude packs up his stuff and leaves.

Kimberly begs and pleads with him to stay as the nurse tells her there is no time and another nurse frantically calls for Mesko. Somewhere in all this, I look down and see my daughter’s nose and forehead as I realize the nurse is trying to convince Kimberly that she has to stay and can’t just walk out. Dr. M runs in and tells Kimberly to breathe so she can give him a good push because Dani’s shoulders are ready to come out. Yeah, that’s right; her whole head was out before he could get to Kimberly. That is how quick it all happened and why it is so hard to remember the most traumatic half hour of our lives.

Dani rolled on out and was beautiful (my first thought) and huge (my second thought). I was in love. We loved her every step of the way, but there is nothing like the first time you see your child. There are no words, just love.

I had a few blissful minutes with my baby girl as she was weighed and measured, and then there was the blood. Hemorrhaging, shaking, panic, and once again there is nothing I can do.  Over an hour, and one long untimely visit, later, the shaking finally stopped. Every time the delivery nurse came to check on Kimberly and rub the blood clots out of her belly the shaking would begin again. I was worried about PPD when I should have been worried about PTSD. Kimberly is amazing, beautiful, and strong, but this was a nightmare. Neither of our stories do justice to the situation. How do you put into words indescribable pain, what it’s like to helplessly watch your wife as she pleads with God to just pass out to get a break from the pain? How do you describe the fear that something is so terribly wrong that your wife or child may not survive the delivery? I can’t. It is not all bad; everyone is alive and well or at least recovering. Our baby girl is a tremendous blessing and we love her dearly, and Kimberly is herself, just traumatized. God is good.

I want to end on a positive note. So I will just share a little of the joy that God has since blessed us with. This morning, after Dani and I snoozed together, I walked into the living room. As soon as Dani saw Kimberly, she gave her the biggest smiles I have ever seen. God is good and He will bring us through this. He knows what we need to heal, and He will provide. Thank you all for your love and concern!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Dani Kalifornia: A birth story

Just real quick, before I get into this.  A few facts about my past pregnancies, labors and deliveries.

1.  The longest I've ever been pregnant was thirty seven weeks and one day.
2.  Each time I've been in actual labor, I've walked into my midwife's office a tad uncomfortable and dilated to five.
3.  As soon a I entered the hospital I was given fluid and an epidural and then my water was broke and my labor progressed normally...meaning, I dilated a centimeter per hour for the next four hours, pushed a couple of times and out popped a baby.  Badda Bing!  Badda Boom!  Baby.

Dominick's labor and birth was more difficult because of an issue with high blood pressure and my epidural didn't work toward the very end...and I hemorrhaged after his birth, but looking back, it was nothing compared Dani's birth.

So, here it goes, the story of Dani.

At my forty week appointment with Dr. M,  I discussed my fears of having an incredibly large baby, because, seriously guys, I was incredibly large myself...And Diamond was born at thirty seven weeks and she weighed a little over seven pounds, so I was thinking that Dani was just going to be humongous!

Case and point, here's me at forty one weeks...Yikes!  It's not a very flattering photo, but seriously, who is when they've been pregnant for ten months and a week?!

Dr. M and I decided it would be best to wait one more week before inducing.  I was healthy, baby was healthy, why not?  He left it totally up to me.  He said "Kimberly, if you want to be induced Thursday then show up at the hospital at 6 a.m. and we'll do this and if you don't want to do this then show up at my office Thursday morning at 8 a.m. and we'll go from there.  At this point, I was still unsure.

Steven and I took the week and prayed a lot about the whole induction thing and when Wednesday rolled around, we were sure that it's what we wanted to do.  It was obvious that she wasn't willing to come on her own.  Wednesday evening, the day before our scheduled induction, we drove the two and a half hour drive back to Mena.  We went to the hospital to check out the birthing center and fill out the necessary paper work.  While we were at the hospital they told us that we really should be there at 5:45 instead of 6:00.  That put us leaving for the hospital at about 20 after five.  I kind of rolled my eyes and thought to myself "You'll be lucky if I'm here at 6!".  After that, we went to our friend's house, got the kiddos settled in bed and went to bed ourselves.  Did I mention that I was having contractions at this point?  They were teeny but coming at a steady pace. 

That night, I slept about as well as a newborn.  I tossed and turned and woke up a lot.  I just couldn't get comfortable and I had a nice little back ache going on.  Looking back, I'm pretty sure that I was in the early stages of labor when we arrived at the hospital Thursday morning.  I awoke for good at about four but for some reason I just wasn't motivated.  I was ill and snappy and my poor kids were scrambling around trying to be very quiet so they didn't wake anyone up but also trying to do the task asked of them, quickly trying their best to avoid getting "bitten" by me.  After I showered, I just sat around for a while.  I'm not really sure why.  I guess I was just trying to calm myself down and prepare my mind for what was about to happen.  I remember praying for Dani to be delivered safe, for Dr. M to know what he was doing, and for me not to have to have a c-section because of Dani's size...I never prayed for a painless delivery...wish I would've.

I guess my friend H saw what was going on with me and she took charge of the kiddos.  She fed them and made sure their teeth were brushed and they had their stuff ready to go.  Steven loaded up the car and I just ...hung out.  We left K and H's house at 5:45 and headed to the hospital.  I texted Steven's mom and told her that I would be texting her all day and updating her on what was going on and how the labor was progressing.  On the way to the hospital I passed the time by timing contractions.  They were still tiny and mild but coming every five to seven minutes.  We arrived at the hospital at about five after six.  We had to check in through the emergency room to get our paperwork and then head back to the labor and delivery floor.  I held Diamond's hand while we walked back there and worried about how she would handle not being the "baby" anymore.  The closer we got to the LDR floor the tighter her little hand squeezed in mine.  I watched her eyes looking around taking everything in and I wondered what her five year old self was thinking.  *tears*  Gah!  I'm such a sap trying to write this!

Even though we were roughly 25 minutes late when we walked through the doors of the labor and delivery unit, the nurses were all smiley and super sweet.  They knew exactly who I was and led me to my room.  The nurse handed me a gown and white bag to put my clothes in.  I hadn't ever been so excited to put a hospital gown on in my life!  I slipped off my Harding t-shirt, the biggest t-shirt I owned {actually the biggest t-shirt Steven owned} and smiled as I folded it and slipped it and the rest of my clothes into the bag.  I held up my gown and kind of snickered to myself because it was huge!  "Finally!"  I thought "Something that I will feel small in!"  After I put it on,  I couldn't help but snicker again because my huge gown didn't close all the way in the back!  "Nothing can break my spirit!"  I thought "I'm about to meet my daughter!  This day is going to be epic!"

Okay, here's where the fun part starts.  Around 6:30ish the nurse comes in and attempts to start an I.V.  Right off the bat she blows my vein.  She apologizes and tries again and blows another vein.  I'm still cheery and happy and I don't complain b/c It's not her fault that I have deceitful veins.  Another nurse comes in and guess what?  Yep, the same thing happens.  She  decides not to give it another try and sends in some one else.  Fortunately, the fourth time was the charm and I was really relieved.  Having a "needle" that resembles a PVC pipe more than a needle repeatedly shoved into my veins just isn't my cup of tea.  "You're such a happy and forgiving patient, I kind of wish my shift wasn't over." the nurse commented.  Yeah, I'm betting she was glad she left after she heard what happened just a little while later.

Dr. M showed up a little before seven, smile on his face, coffee in hand and cheery.  He gave the kids an armload of cookies and snacks and began to discuss the process of induction with me.  He checked me and I was dilated to three and a half, the same as I had been for two weeks.  There was no change.  He then broke my water and told me that he was going to go ahead and change into his scrubs because I went from 3 1/2 to 4 as soon as he broke my water.  That was about five after seven.

Breaking my water was just what I needed to jump start my labor.  Contractions picked up a steady pace of every five minutes or so and I was comfortable for the fifty minutes or so.  Around 10 till eight, I started to feel some pain with the contractions but it wasn't anything unbearable.  It was just uncomfortable.  The contractions started coming a little more quickly and about that time the nurse {nurse Leah}came in to check me.  She said I was about 5 1/2 and asked me if I wanted to go ahead and get my epidural.  I was all for that.  I wanted a pain free labor and delivery and if I didn't have to feel any pain what-so-ever then I was all for that. 

Somewhere in between the above paragraph and the one below, our neighbor showed up to pick up the kiddos.  Can I just say that I'm glad he wasn't late??

Leah left the room to call anesthesia .  As soon as she left the room, I had a pretty strong contraction.  It wasn't just a little bit uncomfortable, it freakin' hurt!  Leah was right back with a bag of fluid that I had to have before I could have the epidural.  She said "Good news, epidural guy is on the way!".  He actually arrived just a few minutes later.  I had another contraction between the time she told me and when he actually came in the room.  That contraction put me on my hands and knees and it was quickly followed by another that had me politely begging Leah to turn the Pitocin off.  She told me that it was on the lowest dose possible and even if she did turn it off that it wouldn't slow my contractions or ease the pain.  These contractions were now very strong and coming back to back, one right after another. 

I tried to leave.  Literally.  I told Leah that I just couldn't do this and that I needed to go home.  That poor girl, I wonder if she woke up that morning and knew what was in store for her??  I knew that I was being irrational but I also knew that this much pain wasn't normal and labor pain usually gets worse, not better.  I don' know what I was thinking.  Maybe if I just got up and walked out of the LDR room I would magically be back in that Harding t-shirt and those big black shorts and my water would be unbroken and I would feel miserably pregnant, but not in pain, again.

Epidural guy walked in during the middle of a contraction and he had to wait for it to be over in order for me to be able to sit on the side of the bed. 

I think this is where the screaming started.  I sat on the side of the bed but quickly came up off my bottom because of the intensity of another contraction.  Leah made me look her in the eyes and strongly urged me to let her check me, but I insisted and promised I would just as soon as epidural guy did his thing.  I finally managed to sit on the side of the bed, holding on to Steven tighter than I've ever held on to anyone.  Another contraction.  It had me grasping on the rail and Steven, gritting my teeth and of course, screaming and begging for help.  I actually bit Steven, twice.  I was in serious panic mode.  The pain wouldn't slow long enough for me to get a firm grasp on what was going on.  I actually thought maybe I was dreaming.  It was weird.

Epidural guy told me that I had to be still and not move if I wanted the epidural.  I couldn't.  The pain was so intense, I could not be still and definitely could not sit anywhere.  I felt as if my pelvic bone were shattering and the pieces were stabbing me in places of my body that I didn't know existed.  I yelled that I needed to push not knowing if I really did or not.  It just seemed like it might be the thing to end this pain.  I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement and apologized to Leah stating {through a firmly clenched jaw} that 'I was about to krap all over the place!' {I didn't}. Apparently, Dani was crowning.

Crowning.  Webster's dictionary has many definitions for the word 'crown'.  Let me list a few of them real quick:  a reward of victory or mark of honor, the top most part of the head or skull, a wreath, band or circular ornament for the head {good one!}, the summit of a mountain...the list goes on and on!  I have my own definition of crowning that good ole Webster failed to list and that is: 'Crowning:  Take a hefty, gold and jeweled up crown and try to insert it into the vagina by using a sledge hammer or foot.  Make sure you have the pointy end facing the vagina and kick or hammer repeatedly until you've successfully jammed that thing in there, then jerk it out as quickly as you can.  That is my definition of crowning and if Mr. Webster knew anything about the word crowning, he would pay me lots of money to add that to the top of his list, cuz that, my friends is the truth!

  This whole having a baby without pain meds was completely new to me.  I had no idea what was going on.  I looked at Leah, begging for help and she looked at me with sympathetic eyes and said the most horrible thing I had ever heard "Kimberly, it's too late for an epidural.".  I begged and pleaded with him to just do it!  I promised, in between screams and cries, that I would be still if he would just do it!  He couldn't.  I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of helplessness I felt as he left the room.

When he left, instinct kicked in and I knew what I had to do.  Sitting on the side of the bed still holding on to Steven, I pushed.  After I pushed, Leah talked me in to letting her check me.  I semi sat back on the bed and let her.  She pulled my gown up and confirmed what she already knew, Dani's head was clearly visible.  I had another contraction which resulted in more screaming, begging, and pleading.  I looked at Steven and he was as pale as a sheet and shaking furiously.  We were both terrified and somehow that was comforting to me.  I'm pretty sure Leah told me not to push.  I pushed anyway.

Dr. M scurried in the room.  In one sense, he looked like superman swooping in in his sea green scrubs and in another sense he looked like the green goblin {I know, I know, spider man - super man, whatever.  This is my story.}  He was going to deliver my baby and make this pain go away, but him being there confirmed that epidural guy was not coming back {I don't know why I still had hope, but obviously I did.}.  I felt....defeated.

The first thing Dr. M said to me {as he was walking in the room} was "you need to breathe!"  Yeah, dude I was actually trying that but the whole screaming whilst gritting my teeth trying to stop screaming was getting in the way of the whole breathing thing.  Dr. M pulled up a stool to the side of my bed to assess the situation.  There was no time to take my bed apart and pull out the stirrups or to turn the fancy bright lights on.  He looked up at me and the second thing he said to me after I had already taken it upon myself to finish pushing her head out was that I needed to wait to push again so he could get her shoulders out -- yet another order that I took upon myself not to obey entirely.  There was a baby hanging halfway out of my vagina.  No thanks, I really prefer not to wait to expel that.  I'm pretty sure that I did all this pushing with my eyes closed because I have absolutely no recollection of the sight of her actually being born.  I gave a final push and opened my eyes to see a very shaken looking Dr. M and a very in awe Steven.

And then I looked down on the hospital bed at my daughter.  In the mix of a lot of blood and guts lay my very perfectly pink - squealing like a tiny pig - daughter, all bright eyed and just as shocked as I was that she had entered this world so quickly.  That moment.  That moment is forever ingrained into my mind.  What a beautiful sight she was!  What a sheer blessing!

Baby nurse swooped her up and away she went for measurements and check ups and whatever else it is they do with newbies.  Steven grabbed the camera and shoved the battery in it and rushed to be with Dani, per my request.

Dr. M and I hung out and did the whole after birth thing.  Poor guy came at me with the umbilical needle and I reared my foot back and demanded to know what he was going to with that!  I wouldn't really kick my o.b., would I???  Everything gets blurry after this.  I remember a lot of blood and words like "hemorrhaging" and "lets get this bleeding under control".  I felt week and dizzy and my vision was really sort of spotty...but that's not really worth going in to, or important.

Somewhere along the way, someone handed my daughter to me.  No words for this.  Here's a picture instead. (:

Okay, so Dr. M left and Leah took back over.  She had to check up on me every few minutes and what I mean by that is that she had to try her best to scrape the inside of my uterus out with her hand through my belly button. There was so much blood.  I remember asking myself how could a human body bleed so much and still be conscious?  That was the second time I asked myself about consciousness in the hour. Hm.  Every time she did that {which was often} there was so much blood and pain.  It was overwhelming.  After a couple of doses of some sort of white pill and an hour or two later, the bleeding was under control.  Oh, and she also gave me some pain medicine.  When the pain medicine kicked in, she became my new super man. ;)

One more note, and then I'll wrap this thing up. I'm not exactly sure when it started, but shortly after Dani was born, I started shaking and couldn't stop.  I actually got Steven to go and ask the nurse if it was normal and how to make it stop.  Apparently, it is normal, but I hemorrhaged after Dom was born and don't remember shaking like that, but maybe I lost more blood with Dani.  After two solid hours of shaking uncontrollably, it finally stopped.  Almost, anyway.  Every time poor Leah would walk thru the door, it would start again.  I'm sure a lot of it had to do with loosing so much blood, but I also think a lot of it had to do with the trauma I had and I was obviously associating it with poor Leah.  She really was an awesome nurse.  I had planned to be an awesome patient...but I didn't plan for the circumstances to be as the were so...well, you know.

So, there It is!  The story of our Dani girl! 


We'll talk about the PPD in another post.











Sunday, September 1, 2013

This dress

Eleven and a halfish years ago, I was standing in a little shop debating weather or not to spend forty bucks on this teeny tiny dress.  I went back to that store three different times before deciding to take the hit and buy the dress.

Devan 2002

Devan and Diamond 2008

Diamond and Dani 2013
Eleven and a halfish years later, I'm glad I bought the dress!
Happy Sunday, Friends! (:

Friday, August 9, 2013


Our fourth D!

Dani Kalifornia Ruby Rayne M arrived safe and sound on July 25th at 8:29 a.m.
She weighed in at seven pounds and seven ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.  We are so in love and blessed to be her parents!

Her birth story is on the way...It's just taking a little more time than expected (:

Happy Friday, Friends!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I'll take stream of conciousness for a zillion, Alex!


I was just sitting here watching the season finale of Grey's Anatomy and right as Mer was having her emergency C-section, totally crashed on me.  You wanna talk about a cliff hanger?!?!


**********************************{changing the subject}

We are almost at 32 weeks preggo!  Only eightish more weeks until we get to hold that sweet, wrinkly, probably bald, bundle of joy in our arms!  I am so excited!  This pregnancy has been fantastic!  A bump here and there, but by far, the easiest!  Actually, just recently, like, yesterday I posted on Facebook that it was my first "completely miserable" day.  Steven and I were busy cleaning out the basement and I just got too hot.  Hot and pregnancy most certainly do not go hand in hand.  It took hours, and ice, and many popcicles for me to feel comfortable again.

Dani related stuff:  I am still craving olives and have added avocado to the list.  Avacado.  It's funny because, I sort of accidentally ate avocado the other day and sort of fell in love with it.  And that's just weird because avocado is actually on the "foods that I absolutely hate" list....well, it was, anyway.

We have a 4d ultrasound scheduled this coming Wednesday.  I'm super excited about that!  I just hope she cooperates and we get to get a glimpse of her sweet face! (:

Also, she is the squiggly-ist little thing ever! She is usually calm and mellow until Steven gets home.  Once he walks thru the door she just goes crazy! I think it's safe to say that she's a daddy's girl!  And I'm okay with that {I think}.


The D's have three days of school left.  It's hard to believe that this school year is ending!  It seems it just started a week or two ago.  It's crazy to think that in a few months we will have a new born, a kindergartner, a fourth grader, and a middle schooler! Wow!


Oh, and let's not forget about our big move in twelve days!  We think we have a house.  So we kind of know where we are going...Pray for us, this move is mentally, physically, and most of all, emotionally exhausting.

That's all, for now!  Yall have a great week!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'll have my cake and olives too!

So, I was sitting on the couch last night, at like 10:30, eating scrumptious lemon cake and debating weather or not to go to the fridge and get some green olives to eat in between bites of cake.  I decided that that would probably just give me terrible heartburn seeing as I how I intended to finish my cake and go straight to bed, so exercising self control, I didn't eat the olives.  The very second I finished that thought, a terrible sadness washed over me.  What the hell was I doing eating cake at 10:30?  Didn't I know that that was of absolutely no nutritional value and that it was just going to make me fatter and fatter is unhappier???  So I went to bed sad...and full of cake, that was delicious.

Like 10 minutes later, as I was laying in bed finishing up my prayer journal, it hit me.  Just like that, a blissful moment of love smacked me in the face.

Dude, I'm pregnant!  Pregnancy, most of the time, leads to an infant and infants are precious, adorable,  and quite fabulous!  Were going to have a baby and that's freakin' awesome!!!

I woke up early this morning.  I felt ravenous so like the first thing I did was stick a slim fast in the freezer {cuz I like them all slushy}.  My self control wouldn't let me wait any longer so I fixed my self a snack to have while I waited for my shake to freeze.

Olives.  Y'all, I ate like a cup of olives for breakfast!  I totally would've eaten more, but sadly, I finished off the jar.  Ooh, and I also had two flintstone vitamins, because, we all know how well vitamins taste with green olives.  Yeah.

After "breakfast" I got dressed in some garb and ventured outside and mowed the lawn.  We don't have the luxury of a riding lawn mower, not even a self propelled lawn mower.  So here I am seven months pregnant, sweating like a pregnant chick, feeling pretty gross and tired and generally cursing Steven for having a severe grass allergy, when some guy in a pick up drives by and literally stops right in front of our house and just stares.  Like, a whole minute passes by before I finally {y'all, please remember that I'm a semi-crazy pregnant chick} yell to him "Well, are you going to mow this grass for me or are you just going to stare cuz dude, you're starting to freak me out?!".  Do you know what he did?  He just slowly drove away and totally rubber necked it the whole way down the road.  Talk about freaking someone out!  If I had the strength to pick up that lawn mower, I would have went all Super Man and thrown the friggin' thing at him.  And like a few seconds later, I regretted my actions and was sorry and that made me sad.  Being sad makes me angry and being angry makes me sad.  Bleh.  I guess it's a good thing pregnant women aren't blessed with super strength or any thing.

I finished up the grass and went inside to have a nice relaxing shower that ended up not being so relaxing shower because, for some reason, every one in the world thought it would be a convenient time to call and ask me questions that very well could've been answered with a simple text.  Seriously, answers like "yes" and "not yet" and "idk" were the only ones required.  Grrr.

After my shower, I managed to walk by the girl's disaster area that they call their room and that, was the last straw.  I've been begging and pleading with them for the past forever to pick their stuff up.  Seriously, it's been like a month.  So, being the promise keeper that I am, I went into their room and bagged up everything on the floor and took it to our local thrift store.  Oddly, that made me feel better.

Feeling better made me want lunch.  So, I ventured into the kitchen and made myself a feast of the rest of the lemon cake, jalapeno stuffed olives {the only ones left} and a slim fast.  It was delicious and the heartburn, that's currently radiating my kneecaps because of it, was totally worth it!

Despite my night and morning {which is basically the same everyday}, I can honestly say that I'm enjoying this pregnancy.  My emotions are up and down, just like a roller coaster, which happens to be one of my favorite things ever!  Steven, may have a different opinion, cuz he doesn't really like roller coasters at all!...Maybe he needs a prayer or two.  Oh, and there's a baby at the end of this ride! (:

I guess I'll stop there.  I'm out of things to say.


Woah, Wait!  A real quick, an explanation of Dani's name.

Her name is Dani Kalifornia Ruby Rayne.  Dani Kalifornia because it's awesome {and we love us some RHCP!!!!}. Dani, not Danielle or anything it could be short for.  It's adorable and I love it and it starts with a D.   Kalifornia spelled with a 'K' because all of my kiddo's have a 'K' initial {Kimberly, Kenneth, Kyleigh, and Kalifornia}.  Ruby, after Steven's grandmother and all of my kiddos have a stone in their name {Amber-Jade, Julius {close enough to a jewel}, Diamond, and Ruby}.  Rayne, after Steven.  His middle name is Ray.  He was named for his grandfather, whose name was Raymond.  He was obviously a great and wonderful man because his name has been put into practically all of the grand children {S. Ray, Rachel, L. Rae} and is now being incorporated into the great grand children {Diamond has Rae in her name, Railey, and Rayne}.  It's fun and unique.  Poor Dani's name took forever to figure out because nothing sounded or looked right.  We debated Lee Ondreya, Meadow, Ava, Birdie, Shea, Kathleen, and Johannah, but they just didn't make the cut.

That's it!  Happy Tuesday, Everyone! (:

Friday, April 19, 2013


Oh, Hello!

It's been five or so months since I updated this little blog and a lot has changed!  And by a lot, I mean a whole lot.  I'm not going to give all of  the details, because that might just take forever, but I'll give you the skinny.

I guess the biggest change to our lives is our very much prayed for blessing, Dani, whom is due in mid July!  That's right, were expecting number four, a baby girl,  in 12ish weeks!  What on earth will I change the name of this blog to???

We have also celebrated a couple of holidays.

...And birthdays

Diamond turned five!!!


And Dominick turned nine!!!  It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Devan's ninth birthday!

One more thing and y'all will be all caught up!  Were moving!  Yep, as of June first-ish we will be official residents of Little Rock.  I've briefly mentioned the mission trips that we have taken to Little Rock with the youth group, in the past.  And well, one thing led to another and after lots of prayer we have decided, that what they have going on there is something that we want to be part of full time and not just every three months or so. Steven is trading in his suits, ties, and cuff links for jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes.  He will be trading in his title of "youth minister" and "pulpit minister" to "full time student" and "urban minister in training".  This will be a big change and require a lot of adjustments for our whole family {emotionally and financially} and I have been a little {or a lot} apprehensive about this whole ordeal.  But after a lot of on-my-knees-bawling-my-eyes-out-panic-attack-desperately-trying-to-make-sense-of-what-on-earth-we-are-doing-Jehovah-please-help-me-praying, I've decided to let Jehovah take over and drive and oddly, I feel pretty good about our decision! :0)

So, that's everything {in a nut shell}!  If you guys could keep us in your prayers as we start a new chapter {well, book, really} in our lives, it would be greatly appreciated!

Happy Friday!!!!