I’m Sick!

This will be a short post. Turns out I have strep throat. Go me. My house is literally falling apart as I write this. My kids are running around like wild children. One of them doesn’t even have pants on. You should see the dishes piled high in the sink. My house looks like I have not done one thing all week, when in fact it has only been one day! Ugh. Say a prayer for me. Hopefully I will be back tomorrow.

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Never Forget What A Gift It Is To Be Alive

SELF-REFLECTION

DAY 13

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Yesterday, I began telling you a remarkable story about some of the miracles that have happened in my daughters’ life. Lily will be six on Monday, and as her birthday nears, I can’t help but think about how blessed we are to have her here with us. Her life has been saved 3 times. That is how I know, miracles DO happen. If you haven’t had a chance to read the beginning of this story, you should read it here. Now it is time to share two more miracles with you.

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When Lily was 4.5 months old, we moved to Texas for my husbands’ job. We had been there for a month and I had finally met another young mother like myself. The two of us really seemed to connect on a “friend” level. My husband would sometimes need to be gone a couple of nights at a time for work, so needless to say, I was pretty lonely. To top it off, we only had one car at the time and he needed to use it, so I was confined to the house more than I wanted to be. You can imagine how excited I was when my new friend J invited me over for a girls’ day! She also had a baby, he was a month or so younger than Lily at the time. J even offered to pick us up and bring us back home. We picked up some fast food and headed to her house. We clicked immediately. We talked and the babies played. After a while, Lily started to fuss and I knew it was her nap time.

J set up a pack n play in her room so I could lay Lily down. It looked more like a bassinet but I wasn’t worried because it was lowered enough that there was no way Lily could fall if she decided to sit up. It was pushed up against a window. There was a baby monitor plugged into an outlet below sitting on the window sill. I sat my daughter into the pack n play, and returned to the living room for some much needed interaction with someone other than my husband. As soon as I left the room, Lily began to cry. I figured it would probably take her a few minutes to fall asleep because she was in a new place. Ten minutes later, she was still crying. I shook it off and tried to engage in some “me” time. Much to my dismay, the next cry she let out sounded “different.” My motherly instincts kicked in and told me something was wrong. I could hear it in her cry that something was not right. I rushed into the room, and what I saw still haunts me to this day.

There was Lily, sitting straight up. The baby monitor chord was wrapped numerous times around her tiny neck. It was so tight, she was struggling to breathe, and she had started turning blue. I screamed for J, “Help! I need Help!” I tried to untangle the chord, but it was so tight, it wouldn’t budge. I desperately tried to get my fingers in between the chord and her neck so she could breathe, but it was impossible. J came running. “Get some scissors!” I screamed. I was watching my baby being strangled and there was literally nothing I could do. After what seemed like forever, J had returned with a pair of scissors. She cut the chord and I held onto Lily as tight as I could. The three of us were crying. The chord had been wrapped so tight that it left bruising and redness around my babys’ entire neck. We dialed 911. I needed to hear from a professional that my baby was going to be ok. The paramedics came and they assured me that Lily was fine, and she was also very lucky. They insisted on checking my vitals as well. I was hyperventilating so badly that I almost passed out. Medically, I may have been fine, but emotionally I was scarred for life. All I can say is, “Thank you God for granting me motherly instincts strong enough to know the difference between a normal baby cry and one that means distress.”

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Fast forward a couple of years. Lily is three now. We are still in Texas and our family has grown. About a month ago, we welcomed baby Chloe into the world. Just recently we moved to an apartment complex across the street from a beautiful park with a pond. Since we had a newborn, it had been a while since we had gotten out of the house. We reached out to some friends of ours and invited them to join us at the park for a cookout. We packed up the kids, the food, and the grill. Then we made our way across the street to the park. Our friends were on their way and all was well.

We picked a spot for our picnic away from the playground, and about 20 ft away from the pond. My gut told me we were a little too close to the pond for comfort, but I tried not to worry. Lily knew the dangers of the water (because she couldn’t swim), and I NEVER took my eyes off of my children. D and V arrived with their kids, and the fun began. Their son T, was Lily’s age, and the two of them always had a blast together. They had both decided to “try” us by getting very close to the water. We yelled at them, and we made sure to let them know, if they went near the pond again, we would end our picnic and go home. I thought it was probably best if I walked them over to the playground while lunch was getting ready. First, I would need to feed and change Chloe. I kept my eyes on Lily and T the entire feeding. When it came time to change he baby, I shouted over to my husband and V (who were grilling) to watch the kids. I only had my head down for 15 seconds or so, but that was all it took.

When I looked up, Lily was gone. She was nowhere in sight. “Where is Lily?” I yelled. My husband wasn’t sure. My eyes immediately went to the playground. She was not there. Panic set in. I turned to the pond. It was still. There was no Lily anywhere. Just then, V ran passed me as fast as he could. He jumped into the pond. The water hit his stomach. He dove under and pulled Lily out. I was frozen. I couldn’t believe my eyes. She coughed up quite a bit of water but she was ok. V had saved my daughters’ life. He had been looking at just the right moment. He had seen a splash and knew she had fallen in. He knew exactly where she fell, and he was able to find her under the murky water right away. I took Lily into my arms. We were all in shock. I was crying. Lily was crying. I threw my arms around V. I held him tightly and cried on his shoulder. This man saved my child from drowning. Had it not been for him, Lily would not be here today. I walked Lily home to get her into some dry clothes. As we approached our apartment, she turned to me and said, “Mommy, Mr. V is a real super hero.” To which I responded, “Yes my love, he is.”

There are no words to describe the sheer fear I felt in each of these moments. I think about them all of the time, and I often can’t find sleep because I see them in my dreams. God has had his hands on Lily since the very beginning. My faith in him grows every time I think about how he has blessed my family. As parents, nothing can prepare you for these moments of dread. We are parents, but we are only human. No matter how much of an over-protective parent you think you may be, accidents can still happen. We can not control everything in this life. I have faith that there is a higher power protecting us and watching over our families. I have seen it first hand.

Life Can Be Taken In An Instant

SELF-REFLECTION

DAY 12

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I am not an overly religious person. You will not find me sitting in church every Sunday, and you will not catch me at any type of Bible study either. Although I may not be praying in a church on Sunday’s, I will most definitely be praying in my home EVERYDAY. I may not go to church, but I guarantee you, I am a woman of faith. I have strong convictions. I believe in God. I believe in God’s miracles because I have witnessed them many times in my own life. A few days ago, I wrote about coming close to death. ( you can read it if you like, just click the link)  I believe with all of my heart that God put an angel in my life at just the right time in order to save me. Not only has God saved my life, he has saved my daughter’s life THREE times. Not once, not twice, THREE times. 

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I have four children. They are each amazing, and they mean everything to me. Lily is going to be six on Monday. Lily is a miracle. As most of you already know, when I was pregnant with Lily, I was violently ill. I was hospitalized at six weeks, and I remember th Doctor telling me it was ok to consider having an abortion. My HCG levels were through the roof and my sickness was only going to get worse. And did it ever! I prayed everyday and I never lost hope. Eventually they sent me home with a feeding tube, a zofran pump, and a special nurse to care for me at home. I was five months along when it happened. We were on our way to a routine doctors visit. I was driving, and my husband was in the passenger seat. It started to rain. Within seconds after the rain first hit the pavement, we hydroplaned. I lost complete control of my vehicle. We spun three times, and flipped into a ditch. My side of the car smashed into a large streetlight so hard that it came crashing to the ground. Glass was everywhere. Every single window in my tiny car was shattered. The smell of gasoline lingered in the air. My husband was yelling at me, but I couldn’t hear him. My ears were ringing, and I was hyperventilating. Eventually I heard the words, “We need to get out NOW!” I was frozen. He forced his door open and yanked me out. I couldn’t walk. My legs were so weak, they felt like Jello. I fell to the ground crying, “My baby,” as my husband flagged down the first vehicle heading our direction. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think, at least not about anything except my daughter growing inside of my belly. It was pouring down rain. We were soaking wet, water was dripping down my cheeks, masking my tears. The stranger who stopped to help us lifted me into his truck, where I stayed until paramedics arrived. I was a wreck. All I could think was “Will my baby live through this?”

At the hospital, all we kept hearing was how lucky we were. My car was totaled and we both walked away with only bruises and sore bodies. I just wanted everyone to shut up and tell me if my baby was ok. Yet no one could give us any answers. The best they could do was inform us that we would know within the next 12 hours if she would make it or not. At five months gestation if something traumatic happens, they cannot save the baby. What!? This was not good enough! I wanted answers! I needed to know NOW! Still we had to wait, and the next 12 hours were the longest, scariest of my life. I prayed the entire time. I held my belly, I sobbed, and I prayed. My Lily is a fighter. She made it. She was born premature at 34 weeks. She initially had trouble breathing on her own, and she spent two days in the NICU. She weighed a mere 4 pounds when we left the hospital. Her middle name is Faith, and with good reason. God had his hands on me the entire time I carried her. He watched over our baby and kept her safe. Little did we know, this miracle involving Lily would not be the last.

I have much more to write. I have a story to tell. I can’t wait to share with you the second and third time Gid saved my Lily’s life. I feel like I should stop here for now. This is getting a bit emotional for me, and it is getting a bit long for you. I will continue this miraculous post tomorrow. I hope you will come back and read the rest of my testimony.

Don’t Fix Yourself, Be Yourself

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SELF-REFLECTION

DAY 11

This whole self-reflecting bit has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I need to be honest right now. This has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I feel vulnerable, powerless almost, as I succumb to the inevitable. I know that these reflections are a must, and they have to happen so I can find peace within myself.

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Over these past couple of weeks, I have learned so much about myself. As far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a different person. I have often felt insecure and lost. I have never felt that anything I did in this life truly mattered, until now. I have never shown my artwork, until now. I lived in fear of failing, fear of never being good enough. Why do I always feel like there is something about me that needs to be fixed? I am socially awkward, and I always tend to say the wrong thing. I’m quirky, and weird, and I talk A LOT.

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I have really begun to see things in a whole new light. Trying to fix these characteristics of myself is a complete waste of time. Why? Because these characteristics make up who I am. Without them, I wouldn’t be ME. Yes I am awkward and weird, but I am also one of the kindest people you could ever meet. I am a true friend, which is a rarity these days. I have a huge heart, and all I want in this life is to make a difference. I want to tell my story to inspire others. I want to share my art because it is MINE. I want to bare my soul on paper and canvas because I am an artist. I want to be ME. No more masks, no more trying to change. You can’t fix something that is not meant to be fixed. I have tried. I am finally starting to come out of my shell. It only took 30 years. I feel like I have everyone here to thank for that. I have given you the real me and you have accepted her. Now that I have this new found wisdom, what will I do with it? Stay tuned my friends…..

One Lovely Blog Award

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I have been nominated for the “One lovely blog award” by Dee over at       https://fiddledeedeebooks.wordpress.com/. Thanks Dee! Hopefully I do this properly. I just started blogging, so no promises😊

The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Display the award on your post of the award.
  4. List 7 facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 15 bloggers and comment on their post to let them know you have nominated them.

7 facts about me:

  1. I love mashed potatoes, they are my favorite!
  2. I never finished college.
  3. I can’t stand when people are late.
  4. I bite my nails.
  5. I have a lot of trouble sleeping, due to nightmares.
  6. Laundry is the worst! Ew
  7. I really need a vacation.

I nominate:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/

http://apuginthekitchen.com/

https://beyondthelymelife.wordpress.com/

https://fonzandcancer.wordpress.com/

https://spiritualjourney17.wordpress.com/

https://amseaman.wordpress.com/

https://multilingualshades.wordpress.com/

https://apronheelsandyogapants.wordpress.com/

https://lorieb.wordpress.com/

https://dan1973blog.wordpress.com/

https://townshiprebel.wordpress.com/

http://inbetweenmoderation.com/

http://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/

https://ihaveanopinionidliketoshare.wordpress.com/

https://cherished79.wordpress.com/

10 Ways to Handle Morning Sickness Like a BOSS

SELF-REFLECTION

DAY 10

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Morning sickness is very common in pregnancy.  It usually starts around the 6th week and lasts until about the 12th week.  Do not let the name fool you, “morning” sickness can happen at any time, day or night.  They seriously should consider changing its’ name, it is very misleading.  Morning sickness can last all day for some women, and for those unlucky few, it can even hang around their entire pregnancy.

There is actually something called HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM, also referred to as HG, that affects about 2% of women.  Hyperemesis is morning sickness times 100.  I was extremely unfortunate and had HG with not one but yes all FOUR of my pregnancies.  It was the worst while I was pregnant with my second child.  I was hospitalized. I had a feeding tube, a nurse who came to my house everyday, and to top it all off, I had to give myself daily injections of anti-nausea medicine.  You MAY have HG if you vomit all day, are unable to keep ANYTHING down (including liquids), and have lost a substantial amount of weight. If you have these issues, you should see your doctor.  Anyway, if anyone knows how to beat morning sickness, it is me.  Now, let me share my wisdom with you..

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Eat something before you even get out of bed – Be sure to get some kind of food in your system while you are still in bed. It is important that you absorb some of the acid in your stomach. Stomach acid will cause nausea. Have crackers and something to sip on ready. Try a few saltines and some Gatorade or Ginger Ale.

Do NOT, I repeat do NOT let your stomach get empty- I can not stress this                         enough. I understand that when you are nauseated and vomiting, the last thing you want to do is eat something. Trust me, keeping something in your stomach is a crucial key to fighting morning sickness. You should try to eat every hour, at the very least. Small meals and snacks are ideal.

Even if you vomit, force yourself to eat after- Whenever you have a vomiting fit, munch on some crackers after. Take your time. Even if it takes you ten minutes to eat one cracker, if you keep it down, you are making progress. Get that cracker in your belly! Remember: Never allow your stomach to be empty.

Eat bland foods, eat slowly, focus on keeping your food down- crackers, toast (dry or with peanut butter for protein), granola bars, cereal/oatmeal, scrambled eggs, pasta (without sauce), rice, baked or steamed chicken, light soups or broth. Don’t overeat, eat what you can. Small meals!

Stay away from certain foods- Try not to eat high acidic foods, greasy foods, or spicy foods, they can cause heartburn. Heartburn makes nausea much worse. If you do experience heartburn, you can try Tums.  They are safe during pregnancy, and they worked for me. I should also note here, eat sweets sparingly. Sometimes sweets can bring on nausea.

Drink Gatorade or sip on Ginger Ale- It is very important that you keep yourself as hydrated as possible. If you dehydrate, you will end up in the hospital getting IV fluids. My secret weapon was Gatorade. Not only does Gatorade replace lost electrolytes and carbs, it also taste the same coming up as it does going down. Believe me, I know. When you are vomiting all day this can be a godsend.

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Ginger is your friend- It just so happens, ginger is a natural remedy for nausea. Ginger candies, ginger snaps, ginger ale, and ginger tea.

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“Sea-Bands”- These little miracle workers can be found at just about any drug store. Basically, they are bands worn on your wrists that apply pressure in order to help reduce nausea brought on by motion or morning sickness.

Eat a snack and take your prenatal vitamin before bed- Prenatal vitamins are known for causing nausea and even vomiting. If you take them with a snack before bed, it will help you with keeping them down. If you are still throwing your vitamin up, ask your doctor if you could switch to the Flintstone Gummies. That is what I had to do. Any vitamin is better than no vitamin.

Ask your doc for a prescription- If nothing is working for you, and you can not function, see your doctor. There are medicines your doctor can prescribe that will help.

That Time I Almost Died

SELF-REFLECTION

DAY 8

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It was 2012.  We were living in Texas, and it felt like it was my husband and I against the world.  We had been there for two years, and still we only had each other.  I was pregnant for the third time. A couple of weeks passed and I new in my heart something was wrong.  You see, with my first two pregnancies I was severely ill.  I’m talking bed ridden, hospitalized, feeding tube ILL.  So ill in fact, the doctors had warned me that this sickness would follow me if I ever chose to get pregnant again.  They even told me I should consider getting my tubes tied.  I’m hard headed, and I do what I want. I wanted more children.  That was that. Anyway, the main reason I knew something was wrong? I was not sick.  Not at all. My gut told me something was going to happen, and it did.

I went to the emergency room because I was lightheaded and cramping.  They did blood work only, and told me I was pregnant. The doctor told me everything was fine and sent me home. Still lightheaded and still cramping.  EVERYTHING WAS NOT FINE.

The next evening while I was making dinner, I collapsed in excrutiating pain.  I can’t even begin to describe what I was feeling, and believe me, I have a very high pain tolerance.  I was crying.  My husband helped me to the couch, and reassured me that everything was ok. After all, we had just spent the day before in the hospital, and they said I was fine.  I took a hot bath and it helped.  I went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep.  I was in so much pain, and it was radiating from my shoulders into my neck.  My lower abdomen felt like someone was stabbing me constantly.  I awoke the next morning, and my husband had already left for work.  When I got out of bed, I realized that something must be wrong.  I could barely walk, and my stomach was so large that I literally looked 9 months pregnant.

I tried to call my husband. No answer.  I took L ( who was 2 at the time) and walked to my neighbors (who I barely knew.). It just so happened that my neighbor had a friend over and she was a nurse.  This woman saw me and told me right away I needed to go to the hospital.  Even though I was in pain, I was still hesitant about going to the hospital because I was just there and they told me I was fine.  This nurse told me I needed to get checked out.  I called my OBGYN and made an appointment for 4 pm.  When my husband got home, we headed to the doctors’ office.

They immediately did a sonogram.  There was no baby, and I was bleeding internally.  The reason my stomach was so extended? I was bleeding inside.  I had an ectopic pregnancy, my Fallopian tube had ruptured, and I needed emergency surgery.  My life depended on it.  For those of you who don’t know, an ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg meant to become your baby grows inside your Fallopian tube instead of your uterus.  The next few minutes are a complete blur. They had me headed into the operating room within 10 minutes after finding out what was wrong.  I was scared to death.  My husband waited with our toddler and he was terrified. I’ll never forget the look on his face.

After the surgery, the Doctor came in to see me.  The only words I remember her saying are, “If you had gone to bed instead of coming to the office, you would not have made it.”  These words still echo in my mind today.  I lost my right tube, but I lived.  I was alive, and I owed every bit of thanks to that stranger at my neighbors’ house.  She convinced me something was wrong. I needed to be convinced because it was only a day earlier that a doctor had told me I was fine, everything was fine.  That doctor did not do his job, and because of his incompetence, I almost lost my life.

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This “stranger” who just happened to be a nurse, saved my life.  I never saw her again after that day.  I don’t even know if she knows what she did for me, and I think about it all of the time.  She was my guardian angel. I wish I could tell her THANK YOU.