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Monday, December 14, 2009

Obviously there's a learning curve...

Obviously this diet thing doesn't come naturally to me.

As I said in the last post, I'm going to cut some things out of my diet. Mainly soda pop and fast food.

Now, I realize cutting out ALL fast food is a high goal... so I'm not going to try. There are times, especially as we live in bufu, that I have to get fast food. I'm just going to try and make smarter fast food choices. I'm also planning on cutting out all french fries, as they carry more calories and saturated fat than most other things. Sweets also have gotta go.

However, after taking Keevia to the chiropractor this morning (THANK HEAVENS for Chiropractors... she's slept so much better today than she has all weekend. I love my CP!) and then facing the hell that is Wal-mart in December, I was starving.

I opted for Wendy's, as when you live in the country, it's hard to be picky. I ordered, paid, and was waiting for my food when I did a mental review of just exactly WHAT I had ordered.

1 Double stack Cheese Burger, pickles only
1 Small Fry
1 Small Frosty
1 Small Coke

Lets exam that meal and see how many things were on my "What I'm not going to eat list"

THEN I get home, have a cup of coffee and sit down with 2 pieces of fudge and a piece of peanut brittle.

I have to admit, I have never craved sweets like I have since Keevia was born. I really don't understand it, I am NOT a sweet eater!

So, obviously there's a learning curve involved in dieting.

In other news, I did purchase Jillian Michael's "30 Day Shred"

Let the work-out hell begin! (Tomorrow that is, I lugged a 6 week old ALL OVER town today, and am doing 4-5 loads of laundry. That's my workout for the day thankyouverymuch.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

THE weight post

So...

I had a baby....

And now, 6 weeks later... none of my pants fit.

I didn't even gain that much weight with the baby! Only 23 pounds. My baby was 8 lbs. Why do I still weigh 16 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight? What about the placenta? That thing was freaking huge! And the extra blood volume... COME ON PEOPLE.

But... I have to admit, I was at my heaviest pre-pregnancy as well. I did a lot of comfort eating this time last year after my miscarriage. So, I need to lose weight.

Large amounts of weight.

Lets put it this way... I want to be at 180 (that's not a hugely skinny number even!) and I need to lose 50 pounds to get there. You do the math as to how much I weigh right now.

I hate it. I have always been slightly chunky... but I've never been truly uncomfortable about my weight. I HATE seeing pictures of Keevia and I because I feel like a huge, fat, cow (a milk cow in fact...ha!). I'm also paler than CRAP. This does not lead to pretty pictures. But I have never been this embarrassed by my weight. My GOAL size is a 10 (I've been a 12 before! I can do it!). I'm currently an 18/20 *dies*.

So. I plan on purchasing Jillian Michael's "The Shred". Cutting out all pop, and fast food (when possible), cutting back on bread and pasta and trying to cut out all sweets. Once it gets warmer, I plan on walking with the baby as much as possible.

And... that is all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"The Blind Side"

So, right now there are 2 movies out that Carl and I REALLY want to see. "The Blind Side" and "New Moon". We had planned on going to see "New Moon" on Tuesday (this past Tuesday, the first), but when I was talking to Mom about this, she said "Well, if you don't get to go, maybe we could all three go in Hazard." So, after discussing this with Carl, we decided to see "The Blind Side" in Richmond, and then drive back to Jackson on Friday, and go with Mom to Hazard to see "New Moon."

So, we watched the "Blind Side" on Tuesday.

And it was the best movie ever. Seriously.

It was really, REALLY good. In the beginning of the movie, there is an AWESOME confrontation between the coach of the football team and the council that allows kids into this uppity Christian school. It set the tone for the whole movie.

This movie is based on the life of Michael "Big Mike" Ohr. He's a high school student who was taken away from his drug addict mother at the age of 7, and has been a "runner" ever since. He's fallen through the cracks, and continues to do so until Leigh Anne Tuohy (played by Sandra Bullock) gets involved. And boy, does she ever get involved :)

Sandra Bullock deserves some sort of award. Her acting in this movie was outstanding. She made me want to meet the REAL Leigh Anne.

So, Leigh Anne takes Michael into her home, and into her family, which already includes Collins (her teen-age daughter) and SJ (her elementary age son), as well as her husband, franchise king, Sean.

Everyone she knows talks about how she's changing Michael's life by taking him in, but she merely states he's chanaging hers.

Awesome, AWESOME movie. Pretty family oriented. There's one scene with drug/alcohol use and violence, and one mention of the word "penis" (which is freaking hilarious), but other than that, and a little bit of cussing, it's clean!

Go see it. Don't pass go, don't collect $200... just go see it!!!

What a difference a year makes

I've been meaning to post this since the first of December, but I've had a hard time getting it out.

What a difference a year makes. Last year, on December 1st, I wrote this post (and please don't feel like you need to read all of it if you haven't already. It's dark and depressing.) I had already "lost" the baby, but still, up until that moment there was the SMALLEST bit of hope trapped inside me. Th e SMALLEST inkling that the doctors were wrong, even as I continued to bleed. But that night, when it was over, I knew there was NO more hope. It was done, it was finished. That was by far the hardest night of my life.

Then, on Tuesday, as I had the fussiest baby in the world, I didn't stop to think about what the day was, or the significance of what the day was. I was up from about 4 am on with Keevia, as she had a bad belly ache. She fussed and fussed, and just wanted to constantly nurse.... but she'd continue to cry while nursing. Mom got some gripe water and pro-biotics down her... and FINALLY she pooped, and then was much happier. She went to sleep and pretty much passed out for the next 4ish hours. We were able to get to Richmond, and almost all the way through "The Blind Side" before she woke up to eat.

We made it through the entire movie, and were sitting at Steak N'Shake... when I mentioned to my hubby that it was our friend Liz's dad's birthday. He immediately went to text him, while I thought about what day of the month it was.

And then it hit me, what day it was. And there, in the middle of Steak and Shake, I started crying. I looked down at my beautiful daughters face, and I couldn't help it. As much as I love my daughter, my heart still yearns to hold that baby as well.. to meet him or her, and to love on them as I love on Keevia. I know that's not possible, and I know that had I kept that pregnancy, I wouldn't have Keevia, which right now seems unfathomable... but at that moment, I felt both extrodinarily thankful and completely saddened at the same time.

I've pretty much blocked all the pain of child-birth, and think "Oh yeah, I could so do that again!" but I have not, nor do I think I ever will, blocked the pain of that miscarriage. And it wasn't the physical pain (although it did hurt, lemme tell you). It was the emotional pain... the heart break. The total and complete loss of plans and hope. And it sucked.

I also wrote this post after the miscarriage, in January. In it, I said this...

Edward Landon will be here eventually, or (fill in the 78 girls names we have chosen(not quite, but close!)) will be here eventually. As upsetting as it is to think of Thanksgiving, when we would have had a 4-5 month old, and Christmas, where there would have been 4 grandchildren... It's ok. I pray we're pregnant by Christmas... a safe, solid, sticking pregnancy.

We didn't have a 4-5 month old, but we did have an almost 1 month old... and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Peanut, I love you, and I miss you... and I'll hold you in heaven.

Love, Momma

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

First off, it bugs the snot out of me when people call it Turkey day. Yes, tradition states that we eat Turkey on this day, but it's called THANKSGIVING for a reason. Give thanks to God who is great for all the wonderful blessings you have in your life, you know, like that Turkey, or Cornish Hen, or Pizza you have in front of you.

Rant over...

On a much happier note...

I am so eternally, completely, 100% thankful for the newest blessing in my life. Through sleepless nights(or, well, less sleep nights knockonwood), sore nipples, gassy evenings, blow-out diapers, my inability to put on a diaper at 3 am... through all of that, I could not be more blessed, or more thankful for this sweetheart in my life.



I'm also so thankful for the rest of my wonderful family. My wonderful husband, my parents, my in laws, my sister-in-law and my nephews, my sister... and all of Keevs surrogate aunts and uncles.

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner pretty much by myself this year, because my Momma had pneumonia. I'm SO VERY thankful that she's on the mend, and I don't have to worry about hospital visits with a baby!

What are you thankful for this holiday?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Insurance and little swines

Yesterday was an extremely, extremely long day.

It started out with a visit to the Child and Family Services office. Don't judge me, I had a medical card for my pregnancy. I went to turn in Keevia's proof of birth. When I got up to the window, the lady told me I had 'nothing active.' I got pretty confused, as they told me to bring in her proof of birth once she was born, the receptionist then asked me if I wanted to re-apply, and I said "I guess?"

So, they called my name, and I had another case-worker (this would be my 3rd). He was SUPER nice though, and as he was leading us downstairs, commented that he had no idea why my card had been canceled. We sat down and began going over details again, and I believe we figured it out.

I applied for the card last November, with my first pregnancy. When I miscarried, I did what I was supposed to do, and called the office in Grayson and informed them that I had miscarried. They said they would record it, and that that was all I needed to do. So, I went about my business. I assumed my medical card was null and void now, and didn't worry about it. In January, I got a letter explaining the benefits of my card. I called back, and they said that it was a valid card. I assumed that Carl made so little money that I got to keep it.

I got pregnant pretty much right away, and just continued to use the card. I didn't call back because I had never been TOLD to call back.

When Carl lost his job in July, I went back in to the office in Jackson and updated our file. This included updating his job status, our address, the babies due date, EVERYTHING.

I went back in yesterday... NONE OF THOSE CHANGES WERE IN THE COMPUTER! They had never recorded my miscarriage, and so my medical card ran out 1 year after I had applied. On October 31st.

I was discharged from the hospital on October 31st.


It gets better. I'm supposed to have 2 months of post-partum care after the birth, and then lose my medical coverage. Keevia qualifies for K-CHIP, so she's covered.

Carl started at Lowe's quite a bit ago, and we had 31 days to choose an insurance plan. Because of pregnancy and birth, we had never registered for his insurance. He was registering yesterday when I texted him and told him he'd have to add me. If we hadn't waited, I would have been completely out of insurance from January-July, because once you enroll, you can't change your enrollment unless you move to full-time or have a baby or other BIG changes. He couldn't add me just because I was without insurance.

So, the insurance we have now isn't that great, but its insurance. It amazes me how much we can see God's hands in our lives these past months. From one job to the next, to delivering RIGHT when we needed to for me to have coverage... to getting insurance on the last possible day of enrollment. It blows my mind and makes me want to fall to my knees. We have been so blessed.

Sure, we're super tight on money. Sure, I have no freaking clue how we're going to pay rent this month... sure I wish we had more money... but it is OBVIOUS that we are exactly where God wants us in life... so I just have to have faith that he will continue to provide as flawlessly as he has.

And honestly, when you look at this face, how can you not believe in an awesome creator?



After we went to the medical card office (also, when I go into the office to apply for a medical card, do NOT bombard me and try to sign me up for food-stamps, and WIC, and keep pestering me and pestering me. I feel bad enough getting a medical card. Mmkay? thanks) we went to my Chiropractors for Keevia's first appointment. She did really well! She nursed and slept and got her 5th Thoracic vertebrae adjusted! Other than that, she was fine!

From there, we went to Pizza Hut, which made me sick (honestly, must we put preservatives on EVERYTHING nowadays?), then Wal-Mart, then the Pediatricians.

At the Pedi, we learned that my child is a pig. She's gone from 8lbs 2ozs at birth, to 7lbs 8ozs at 3 days old, to 8lbs 10oz on day 18. My pedi even CALLED her a pig.

It makes me feel more confident though, as I know I'm producing more than enough milk for her! haha!

She also got some eye-gel for her clogged tear duct, and a clean bill of health! I had to feed her in the grocery store parking lot, as we're not fans of being naked in the doctors office, and then we finally, FINALLY headed home.

Fibro was acting up, probably from being so tired on top of weather changes. I still feel icky, but not nearly as bad as I did yesterday!

I'm off to do laundry and dishes for Mom, and then make some Sticky Popcorn for Carl and I before he leaves for work (insert sad face here).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Husband

I didn't talk a lot about my husband in the birth story, because I had plans on talking about him more today.

Today is my husbands 23rd birthday. He's exactly 10 months older than me.

So, in this post, I just have to talk about how much he means to me.

We've had an incredibly rocky relationship until about 2 years ago (Woah! That either seems like its been a lot longer than that, or like its gone by super, super fast.) when we finally settled down and got serious.

We've not had an easy marriage. We got pregnant in October, lost the baby in November. We've moved twice. We've lost jobs, been without paychecks. But we're stronger now than we've ever been.

I would NOT have made it through natural child-birth without him. Period. Exclamation point. Everyone keeps calling me their hero for going all natural, but Carl is my hero for all he did for me.

He breathed for me. When the pain was so intense that I couldn't breath and would either stop breathing or start hyperventilating, he would shake me out of it and make me breath with him.

He was there, doing whatever I needed done... sometimes even when I didn't know what it was. He was my advocate, and my provider.

He held me during contractions, and I slept on him inbetween. He let me cry on him when I felt like it was too much. He believed in me, and was able to show that by his gentle back-rubs, or his kisses, or just his voice.

He sat behind me as I pushed, on the bed with me, even though the blood and guts grossed him out I'm sure. He told the midwife to get her ass in the delivery room when I felt like I needed to push. He went without sleep for 2+ days.

He was, and is my hero. He provides for Keevia and I, and right now he does that by driving an hour and a half every day, just so he can come home to us each night.

So today, on his birthday, I offer up this post of thanks, and of praise, to my wonderful husband. I love you baby, I'm sorry we have to have a low-key birthday this year.

Happy Birthday Carl!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I love being a mommy

Seriously. Best job in the world.

I'm sitting here right now, watching her sleep. We spent the night together in bed, because she just wanted to nibble-nurse, and I was too sleepy to move her to her baby bed (an Arms-Reach co-sleeper). We got up around 8 am, and she has nursed THREE TIMES since then. I think she's making up for just nibbling last night.

I love it. I especially love nursing. It's the best feeling in the entire world to gaze down at her, knowing I am giving her everything she needs. I love that she comfort-nurses to sleep (although she'll go to sleep for Daddy with a paci, me, not so much. She smells the boob).

I love that she calms when she comes to me. I love that she follows my voice. I love that I could watch her make her cute faces for hours on end.

I don't like that I almost hyperventilate every night when its time for bed, because of COURSE if she were to get hurt, it would be at night when I'm not anally watching her every 2 seconds. I wake up in a panic and lean over to the co-sleeper to make sure she's breathing, or I startle awake and check her in my arms. It's crazy. It's paranoia.

I am so eternally grateful to my husband for giving me the most perfect child. She's gorgeous, she's wonderful, she's a genius, and she's ours. No one's going to come pick her up, we never have to give her back to her parents, we ARE her parents. That's scary as hell, but its the best feeling in the world.

In some ways I feel like I should be doing more to help us out financially. I haven't had a paycheck since May, and have only quilted sporadically. However, if I worked outside the home, I couldn't do my most important job -- being Mommy.

I don't like our living situation right now -- but we're there for a reason. I am so, so, SO thankful for Carl's job, and the ability to move up in the company. Before, we didn't have that option. It's a GOOD job. Our finances are super, super tight... but we'll make it. Hopefully in a few months, he'll be able to pick up more hours, and eventually go full-time. I couldn't be prouder, or happier for him right now. I just wish we lived closer to his job (he has to commute 30ish minutes).

I can't wait to have a house to decorate for the holidays instead of trying to make a 2 room apartment festive... but the simple fact that I have a daughter for these holidays is the perfect decoration. I couldn't care about anything else.

I love my daughter, and I love that I finally get to be a Mommy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Keevia's Birth Story

It's been one week.

Wowzerz.

It's time to get this show, or, um, birth story, on the road.

Lets rewind to Tuesday, November 27th. I had my 39 week appointment, and went in to discover I was now 5 cms dilated, and 70% effaced. FIVE FREAKING CMS AND NOT IN LABOR.

So, I let Melissa (my midwife), strip my membranes again. Per usual after an internal, I started having contractions. We went and walked around the mall once, and then headed back to our apartment. Carl had work at 4 in the morning, so we needed to get him in bed. I continued contracting, and on the way back to our apartment, they got PAINFUL and about every 3 minutes. I seriously thought we would be turning around and heading back to the hospital, but nope... when we stopped at Radio Shack, they got better. Apparently driving sets off the contractions pretty heavily.

So, we went back to the apartment, Carl attempted to go to bed, I continued contracting. Around midnight, I took a nice warm bath, which usually makes the contractions stop. They didn't this time! I went and laid down in our recliner, with towels underneath me. I was worried that I'd have a nice strong contraction and my water would break. Carl left around 3 for work, and Mom and I went and climbed in bed.

Mom and I both slept until about 9:30ish. I was very depressed when I woke up and realized it was morning, and I hadn't been woken up in the middle of the night by contractions, but as I was laying there, attempting to get out of bed, I had 3. So, I thought maybe something would happen.

I got up, and Carl got home around 10:30 (he normally works til noon). His boss had taken pity on him, as he probably slept all of 2 hours the night before (he was SO ready for me to have this baby). We (Mom and I) left him on the couch, snoozing, while we attacked and cleaned the bedroom (okay, she cleaned, I directed).

Around 1 pmish, we decided we were ready to head back to Jackson. We had a list of things we needed from Target however, so we decided to go through Lexington. Once again, on the ride, my contractions picked up. I had been having some either bloody show or spotting from my internal/stripping of the membranes earlier that day as well. Once we got to Target and started walking around, I noticed my contractions were either every 3 minutes apart, or every 8. I decided, since we live an hour and a half from the doctor, to go ahead and call in and ask if I should be checked.

My Midwife sent me to L&D (Labor and Delivery). We called Carl and updated him, but told him not to come just yet. I'd done the "walk of shame" at 37 weeks, and didn't want him to drive the whole distance just to have to drive back if they sent me home.

So, we got to the hospital, got checked in, and got checked. I was at a 6cm and 70-80% effaced. WOOHOO! PROGRESS! They decided to keep me (I was contracting every 3-5 minutes, but not painfully). They called for my IV (I was GBS+ and had to have antibiotics every 4 hours, but they saline locked it after that), and my nurse started checking my veins.

IV = Epic Fail.

My nurse couldn't find a vein. Period. Exclamation point. I was dry as a bone. So she called nurse #2. Who found one (after FOREVER) in my hand. HOLY SHIZNIT THAT ALMOST HURT WORSE THAN LABOR! It blew. Nurse #2 called Nurse #3 who should have came in the first place. My MOTHER pointed out a vein, and the nurse goes "Oh yeah" and slides it in like it was nothing. It was in the fatty part of my right arm (very aggravating for peeing and such), but at least it was in.

My first floor nurse got off, and my second floor nurse appeared. Her name was Katie (I think) and she was probably my favorite nurse (I was in L&D long enough to have 4, and they work 12 hour shifts). Around this time, Carl showed up. I started pestering Katie for a new room, the one with the labor tub. And she came through! We moved within an hour.

Sometime later, after walking the halls some, and Mom and Carl getting our bags, my mother-in-law and doula/chiropractor Masjia showed up. Unfortunately for them, we were in the waiting game. Melissa, my midwife and I had decided that if I hadn't progressed any by morning, we'd break my water. This was something I wasn't 100% comfortable with, but I also wasn't comfortable going back home at 6 cms either.

This is me on Wednesday night (I think)giving my last belly picture!



So... I labored, and labored, and labored. I only had to be hooked up to monitors once and hour, for 10-15 minutes. I sat on the birth ball some, walked some... etc. By 1-2 am though, we were getting tired, and the contractions weren't that strong. So, Mom, Lorena (my MIL) and Masjia went back to our apartment, and Carl and I settled in to try and sleep.

That labor and delivery bed was UNCOMFY. But, I managed a few hours. Everytime I'd roll over though, they had to come and adjust the monitors.

Mom and gang snuck us in McDonalds at 6:30am. They checked me, and I was still 6-7 cms, and 80% effaced. We decided to break the water and get this show on the road!

So, my MW came in around 9 and broke my water. VERY odd sensation. Everything was clear, so I didn't have to worry about anything. This did start the clock however, and so I had that looming over my head. 24 hours to get this kid out.

I started walking and bouncing more, trying to encourage her down. Masjia had to leave around 11 to work on her patients, but she stretched me out on the bed and checked my neck first. I was 3/4 inch off!! So, she adjusted my neck on the hospital bed and then hit the road.

At some point, my preacher came in... and since he had a cold, he suited up in a mask and gloves. This is a picture we took while he and Carl were having fun...




Time went by quickly. Around 12:30ish I got in the labor tub, and it was WONDERFUL. My conractions were JUST starting to get strong enough to be distracting. However, I had to get out of the tub around 2 to be monitored. That was my biggest annoyance with the whole labor -- the monitoring. I know that it was for my babies health, but it made management of contractions nearly impossible when I had to be tethered to the machine. I needed the freedom to find a comfortable position. Plus, I didn't get back in the tub because I knew I had to time it in-between monitoring, and it was just too much trouble. I think I would have relaxed more if I'd gotten back in.

Anyway... the contractions started getting stronger, and I was getting more and more tired. I'd gotten maybe 5 hours of sleep on Tuesday night, and maybe 4 hours of sleep on Wednesday night. I was literally falling asleep on Carl in-between contractions. The worst part of the whole thing? I had CONSTANT back labor. For those of you who have not had Back Labor, I would not wish it on my greatest enemy. Not that I have enemies that I know of, but if I did, I wouldn't wish it on them.



Anyway. Around 5:30-6, my MW came in and suggested pitocin for an hour or so to get me contracting. I was barely, BARELY managing contractions as it was, I knew I wouldn't make it through artificial contractions. My Mom suggested a pain shot, because she knew how deathly tired I was. I was at 7cms at this point, still 80% effaced.

So, I took a painshot of Stadol. Lemme tell you, that stuff is WEIRD. I remember my sister-in-law showing up a few minutes before, but while I was out, my sister, Masjia and my Dad came, and a friend of Carl's stopped by for a while. I didn't know any of this until I started coming out of the shot, 1 1/2-2 hours later.

It weirded me out. I had really odd dreams, and relived dreams I'd had in my childhood. Sometimes the contractions over-powered me, and I'd yell "BACK!!!!" which meant someone needed to press on my back as hard as they could, right at the sacrum level. Other contractions I would feel coming, and I'd be able to think my way through them, usually by going "lets think about... BASEBALL." or something else totally random. Sometimes I would make it through the entire contraction, sometimes I wouldn't. It kind of just depended.

I don't remember much, like I said, and here's where my memory gets REALLY fuzzy. I remember getting hot. VERY hot. I shoved the blankets and stuff off, and then started ripping off the gowns, totally not caring Dad was in the room. Oh, I KNEW he was there, but I didn't care. Carl helped me get up and go to the bathroom, and when I had a contraction while trying to pee, and almost started crying because I was so hot, Carl RIPPED the gown off of me. It was pretty funny, it split.

From here, I just remember being miserable. I was trying to get on the birthing ball (like a big yoga ball), but had a contraction half way there. I turned around and wrapped my arms around Carl's neck, and he put his hands on my low back, and I swayed. We didn't leave this position until I started to push. This was a position we had learned in our birthing class, but hadn't tried yet. It was wonderful, I could manage the contractions this way, and the gravity REALLY helped me. They checked me again a moment or so later, and I was at an 8, then about an hour or half hour later (like I said, this is all a big blur in my mind) I was a 9 and 100% effaced. Then, I was a 9 1/2 about 20 minutes later, then finally, FINALLY I got to push.

I started pushing in a very undignified pose. On my hands and knees with my butt up in the air. I know I peed a lot, and it felt SO GOOD to finally push. I don't know how long I pushed like this, but I know my poor husband had to have sore hands, mine were bruised from how tightly I squeezed his from pushing!

The midwife came in (Oh yeah, there was a point when I was like 9 1/2 cms and feeling an urge to push when the midwife had went out, and Carl asked where she was, and when they said in the hall, he yelled "Tell her to get her ass in here!" yeah, good memories! haha!) and told me that I was pushing, but they needed to monitor the baby, and could I maybe try my left side so they could get the heartbeat? So I settled down on the bed, kind of reclining, on my left side, right leg up in the air, leaning back on Carl. At this time, gathered around me, holding my hand, rubbing my arm, holding up a leg, were my Mom, my mother-in-law Lorena, my sister Heather, my sister-in-law Stephanie, and Masjia, my chiropractor. Carl counted for me. I never had an overwhelming urge to push with the contractions, but eventually I found my groove.

It hurt. It hurt a LOT. Intense pressure and a TON OF BURNING. I felt like I was ripping wide open. I am so, SO grateful for the people around me, or I never would have made it. Throughout the entire labor, I couldn't open my eyes. Even between contractions. Carl had to breathe with me or I would start hyperventilating. When I was pushing, I had all those people around me, giving me words of encouragement. It was wonderful, it was beautiful. I couldn't tell you anything that they said, but I could hear them there, in the back of my mind.

My midwife was fantabulous. She wasn't my midwife Melissa. Melissa had been on call for like 2 days and had had 4 hours of sleep, so Stacy came in and delivered. By that point and time, I didn't care who got this kid out of me. But she was really, REALLY great. She read my birthplan and followed it as closely as possible. She massaged my perineum in between every contraction.

I remember asking "Does she have hair?" and apparently I asked "Is she really there? Is she coming?" I remember reaching down and feeling her hair. I finally remember, as people kept saying "She's so close!" thinking. "Okay. This is IT. I am getting her out NOW" and just pushing with everything in me. And she came! Stacy told me to stop for a second, and then to go ahead. And out she popped, and up on my chest she went!



We delayed cord clamping for 7-8 minutes to allow her to get all the healthy red-blood cells we could, and also to cut down her stress levels. Because of this, I could see her hair, and her arms and legs, but not her sweet face. I didn't really care though! Finally, however, Carl cut the cord and I pulled her up and got to get a good look at her.

And I fell in love.

I know everyone says that, but it really is true. She was perfect, she was precious, and she was mine. I didn't have to give her back to anyone (except for Carl!).

So there you have it. Keevia Lynn, born October 29th, 2009 at 11:10 pm. Weighing in at 8lbs2oz and 19 1/4-21 1/2 inches long (they measured her at the hospital as the first, and at the pediatricians as the second 3 days later).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm in Labor and Delivery!

I had my 39 week appointment yesterday. I was 5 cms dilated and 70% effaced. So we had had SOME progress. Melissa (my midwife) stripped my membranes again, and off we went. We pretty much went straight back to the apartment, after walking just a little bit. On the car-ride to our apartment, they got about 3 minutes apart and HURT. I honestly thought we'd be turning around and going back to the hospital. However, once we got to the apartment, they slacked off some.

So, I chilled. They kept up somewhat, varying in intensity... I went and took a bath around 11pm-midnight, and they kept up during and after -- they've never done that before!! Usually when I shower or bath, they slow or stop.

So, I put some towels under me (in case my water broke) and I settled on the recliner, trying to doze some (I settled around 1). I dozed on and off until 3, when Carl had to leave for work. I'd been having contractions, but they weren't unbearable, so Mom (who was staying with me on the couch) and I moved to our bed.

I woke up when Carl called me at 9:20, freaking out. I told him I'd been asleep, and I wasn't having contractions. I laid in bed and counted 3 contractions while I cursed the Bob-o-white outside my window that was waking me up.

So, I got up, and started moving around. Everytime I would move (sit down, shift my weight, stand) I would get crampy and contract... but if I didn't move, I didn't feel anything. Carl got off at 10:30, and then Mom and I started cleaning (okay, she cleaned, I directed).

So... I went to pee at some point (don't read this paragraph if you gross out easily). I had a big bunch of mucuousy-brown bloodiness. I called for Mom, she looked at it and said it looked normal. I'm super glad she was there, or I could have FREAKED. It looked too much like my miscarriage. I had it again a few minutes later, and then more stuff that looked like the mucous plug again.

Around 1, my contractions weren't regular, and I just had menstrual cramp feelings. So, Mom and I just decided to head out to Target, and then home to Jackson from there if nothing started.

I started timing them on the way to Target, and they were 4-8 minutes apart, but not really strong. As we walked around Target, I decided that I would just call my Midwife, and see if she thought we should stay in Richmond. I described all my symptoms, and she said to come on in to the hospital to be checked.

Got here, got hooked up, and got checked. Contractions were 3-7 minutes apart, and I was a "good 6"! Effacement was the same. So, they decided to keep me!

I have to have antibiotics every 4 hours because of Group B Strep, but they saline-lock it after that. Once I have the dose I have going right now, then they'll be open to breaking my water. I plan on waiting til morning!

Nothing's been bad so far, except when they tried to start my IV. That hurt. A LOT.

Other than that, we're doing great! I'm getting ready to get back on the birthing ball, and eat some grapes and drink some more water! Wish us luck, hopefully I'll be posting baby pictures soon!

Monday, October 26, 2009

So...

I'm having a baby tomorrow.

Okay, not really. But I'd like to. Like, really, really like to.

I DO have an appointment tomorrow, and she will be stripping my membranes again.

I need to remember to ask about on-callness though. She told me at 20 weeks, but, um, this is 19 weeks later. I have no idea what she said.

This kiddo keeps pushing her head down against my cervix, and it's causing back pain, which I hope means she's getting the picture and trying to find her way out.

I'm also have random, intermittent contractions. PLEASE let this stripping work.

Oh, and I totally meant to make baby-legs today. Darn it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You're welcome

I lost my mucus plug today.

I'm not going to describe it for you.

You're welcome.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

38 Week Appointment

Ah, yes.

Apparently my daughter gets really excited over the prospect of seeing her midwife. So she always triggers her home, my ute, to have contractions from that morning!

Well, as we pulled into the hospital parking lot yesterday, I was having stronger contractions! I could feel them in my back, and then I'd touch my belly and it'd be rock hard. Also, they kind of hurt... I was excited! I know that sounds weird, but none of my contractions had hurt at all as of yet.

So... we go in, I weighed fine, my fundal height was fine, my blood pressure was up JUST a little bit (it's still low comparatively, it's just up for me, they aren't concerned), her HB was 145.

Then, Melissa (my midwife) comes in. I tell her (excitedly!) that I'm having 7-10 minute PAINFUL contractions. She then asks me if I want my membranes stripped.

After discussing the risk and stuff (I learned recently that I'm Group B Strep + which means I have to have antibiotics every 4 hours in delivery. Not a huge deal, but I'd read online that stripping the membranes if you're GBS+ wasn't good. I decided to trust her though, she said it was fine) we decided to go with it.

So, she started off doing the internal (no change from last week, still 4cms and 70% effaced) and then (with me gripping Carl's arm like it was a life raft) she stripped my membranes.

It wasn't unbearable, and to be quite honest, the internals I had in Labor and Delivery last week hurt worse than the stripping of my membranes. But it did still hurt, like a cuss word.

SO... the cramping as soon as she was done was INTENSE. We dropped Carl off at my sister's house to nap (he'd been up since 2:30 am, and it was now 4pm) and then Mom and I went to walk and shop some. My contractions continually got stronger -- I even had trouble walking through some! I was like "Okay! This is IT!" Once we had some Ice Cream, we got some coffee and headed to my sisters house.

Where my contractions basically stopped.

So we headed back to our apartment, I took a long bath, and then climbed in bed. It took me an hour or so to fall asleep, because I WAS still having contractions... just not horrifically strong ones. I figured I'd sleep some, and if this was the real deal, they'd wake me up.

It wasn't the real deal.

So, we wait. Carl, my Mom and I are going to head back to Lexington in a few to try and visit Carl's aunt who's in the hospital there, then Mom and I have an errand or two to run in Lexington, then back to Jackson to await Keevia's arrival.

Really kiddo, Momma gave you your eviction notice last night. Why are you so stubborn?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Do you know...

that feeling, when you're getting a papsmear, and your doctor is scrapping your cervix with a ginormous q-tip? (P.S. If you don't know this feeling, count yourself lucky... and when it comes time for you to know this feeling, find a female doctor to do it... men are just rough).

Anyway. That's the feeling that I had for 30+ minutes last night, as my daughter ground her head against my cervix. THIRTY MINUTES. I was literally almost in tears! I wasn't having any contractions with the grinding... but it wasn't a pleasant experience.

So, I woke up this morning, and have had five contractions since I got up (oops, make that six), but they're really light. However, this is most I've had in a row since Thursday.

I just pray they DO something... last Thursday was the most miserable day of my pregnancy because I had regular contractions for TWELVE HOURS and was sooooooooooo tired. So very, very tired.

I have an appointment tomorrow, so I hope this kiddo's head grinding at least did SOME good and softened my cervix some more. If I'm had 90-100% effaced, I will walk this child out of me tomorrow night.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Scrap-Blog


Oh, and P.S. MY HUSBAND LOVES HIS JOB! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not ME! Monday



I have definitely not spent the last three nights tossing and turning, instead of sleeping peacefully like all pregnant women!

I definitely didn't go to the Chiropractor this morning and almost cry because I was SO HAPPY to be there, knowing I'll sleep better tonight.

Everytime I have a contraction, I definitely don't get super excited for all of the 30 seconds it lasts, only to have my hopes dashed when there's not one after it.

As much as I love and miss my husband, I'm definitely not upset that I don't have to cook for him this week.

And I definitely DON'T want this baby out of me, one way or the other!

What are you NOT feeling, or have you NOT done this week? Go to MckMama's blog and sign up!

Shaina

Friday, October 16, 2009

Apparently...

My contractions only come every other day.

Case in point:

Sunday, I had timeable contractions for 2-4 hours.
Monday, nothing.
Tuesday, Timeable contractions from 5-11 (when I went to L&D to see if there was progress)
Wednesday, a few contractions here and there, especially after walking... other than that, nothing.
Thursday, Noon to Midnight, constant timeable contractions going from 7-3 minutes in length, just not extremely strong. I knocked myself out at midnight with Tylenol and Benadryl so I dunno if I had anymore.
Friday (today), nothing. I had 2 contractions after peeing like an hour ago.
Saturday (tomorrow), who knows? Baby? HA! We can hope!

In other news, Carl is going to orientation at his new job tomorrow at 10am... so be in prayer! We are SO VERY EXCITED!!!!! I'm staying with my parents, probably until I pop out this kid, because we don't want me stranded without a car for an hourish if I were to go into labor at the apartment when he was at work. It's okay, I don't have to cook much.

Yesterday was the most miserable day of my pregnancy. I was ready to quit at life. The contractions had been going on, consistently, for SO LONG, and I was sooooooo tired. My back, stomach and legs were throbbing. I felt bad, and last night I laid in bed and just seeped tears because I was so miserable. I doped myself up, slept it off, and feel much more human today. I've kept a pretty positive outlook this entire pregnancy, but I have my days (like when I had really bad constipation and thought I'd be pregnant forever). Now... It's just a waiting game. I'm ready for her to come... but she can stay in longer if she needs too! I couldn't say that yesterday -- yesterday I wanted her OUT.

Lets see what tomorrow's contractions bring... haha!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A letter

Dear Uterus,

I am writing to implore why you and I are no longer friends. We have spent 37 weeks getting along marvelously! I realize that you started this pregnancy much smaller... and that I've forced you to stretch to over 1,000 times your natural size... but still, that's no reason to renege on our friendship.

My issue doesn't lie in the fact that you're contracting. On the contrary, I'm quite ready to meet my daughter. I just want to know why you have spent 37 weeks taking after my Grama O's pregnancies, and getting my hopes up, that when it comes time to deliver, you revert back to my Mom.

Mom was in labor from Sunday until Thursday with me. Constant contractions, getting stronger around 7pm every night, and then lessening around 11 pm. I was so convinced that my labor was going to take after Grama C, and I'd go into labor, and bam! have a baby in 12 hours (with her first, 8 or 6 with her second and third). But noooo. I have been contracting since LAST Monday. And since Tuesday, I've been having regular contractions, that get strong at 7 pm and LESSEN AT 11 PM. Why uterus? WHY?

I wouldn't care to wait to my due date if the contractions stopped. I just want them to either stop, or get on with it and DO SOMETHING.

So uterus, I implore you. Please either get your act together and get this baby outta me, or calm the beep down and relax for the next week or so. Mmkay?

Sincerely,
Shaina

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Labor and Delivery = FAIL

So... I went to my appointment with my midwife yesterday. I was 75% effaced and 4cms dilated, at a -1 station, and she could feel my bag (which means that whole bulging water feeling I've had is warranted).

Keevia had dropped EVEN more overnight the night before last or something, because everytime I walk now I feel like she's falling out. It makes me want to walk around holding my crotch for whatever reason. LOL!

So, I was having contractions on and off all day yesterday... and after our appointment with the MW, we decided to go to mall and walk around because I just felt 'different'. So... we walked and walked and walked and walked.

And my contractions got stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger.

They were never painful though... just an extreme tightening. I have a stupendeously high pain tolerance though. They started at 6 mins apart at 6:45, lasting about a minute in length, and by 10:45 they were 3 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from a minute to a minute and a half.

Because I had progressed to 4cms without any real contractions at all... and the fact that we live about 45 mintues from the hospital (if we're staying at our apartment) and an hour and a half from the hospital if we're staying at my parents (which we were), so we decided around 11 to go in and be checked.

Yeah, fail. I was still 4 cms when I got there, and still 4 cms when I left. I WAS having close, regular contractions... they just slacked off in intensity as soon as we got to the hospital. Our nurse assured us it wasn't a big deal, and was really funny. I felt better because I thought the contractions stopped as soon as we got there... but they didn't, you could see them on the monitor, they just weren't "strong enough to do anything"

Quite a funny story: My daughter hates the doppler. HATES IT. So... when I was hooked up to the monitors, she moved... and they had to come in... and then they couldn't find her heartbeat but she kept attacking the doppler (and they could HEAR her attack it), and then they had to double band me and roll up ANOTHER piece of the band thing and put that to make it tighter. It was hilarious. She passed her NST (that they apparently do?) with flying colors though!

So yes. I have made my first trip to L&D and survived. I'm still having contractions regularly, and my nurse DID say we may be back "very soon" if they keep that up. We'll see!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I don't know about this...

So... as I sit here, 36weeks and 5 days pregnant... I have realized that I am not ready for my daughter to come.

Oh, physically we are very ready. The car seat is in the car, the pack n play is set up, the clothes are washed, the diapers are in their cute diaper basket...

But I'm not ready to not be pregnant anymore.

I LOVE being pregnant. I have had a very, very easy pregnnacy, and as ready as I am to meet my daughter, I don't want to lose this connection I have to her right now. I feel her every move, I feel her every hiccup... she jumps when I startle her, she hears my every heart beat.

That's SUCH a big connection. I don't want to lose it.

Childbirth scares me... as I prepare more for it (or, as my body prepares for it) I keep feeling "real" contractions, and trying not to panic. Actually, I'm 3 cms already and have barely felt it. I'm praying I progress this way the rest of the dilation...haha!

Alright, my nostalgia is much better.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Holy...

So... 36w Midwife appointment...

Everything goes normal (except that I leave my list of questions in the car). She does the Strep B screening, then does a quick (painful) internal.

I'd been asking about using Evening Primrose Oil, starting next week, both orally and internally. She told me she was fine with it, as long as I waited until next week.

She does the internal, pauses and goes "I don't think you're going to need the Evening Primrose Oil..." and then proceeds to tell me that I'm 50% effaced and 3cms dilated.

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!

She said she may not see me at my next appointment (next Tuesday) as I may already have a baby by then. I realize fully that being this effaced/dilated doesn't really mean anything... and that I could still be pregnant on my due date...

But, these Braxton Hicks contractions are insane. I hadn't had them until yesterday... and I probably had 30-50 ones yesterday... maybe more. I also have a backache and rectal pressure.

So.. we're going to get groceries today... and get some lunch. I'm STARVING and there's no food in the house. Then, I need to accomplish the following in the apartment before the baby comes.

- clean the kitchen counters/stove
- sweep the kitchen
- vacuum the bedroom/hallway/living room
- clean the toilet/bathtub
- put up the 3 laundry baskets full of clothes and towels
- put up all the rest of the clothes in the bedroom that are just strown places
- pick up trash and straighten up the bedroom
- open the diapers/get the diaper basket ready
- take out trash

I think that's all. If I wanna get REALLY crazy... I need to take down the vents and vacuum them out.

We still need a humidifier for the apartment, as it is so freaking dry in here. I got pacifiers and sheets for the pack-n-play yesterday... and packed the hospital bags... we're about as ready as we're going to be.

Alright Keevia, come out whenever you're ready!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The one where my car got clean.

My car is notoriously known for being dirty.

This is not my fault.

When I eat in my car, I take the trash out with me. When I put something in my car, it comes out with me. Unfortunately, before I was married, and since becoming married, this has not been the case.

We cleaned the car out (mostly) last summer before embarking on our honey moon... however, I do not believe that it has been THIS spotless since I got it.

And what am I doing? Sitting on my butt writing a post about it while Mom and Carl finish cleaning it.

I know, I'm selfless.

They have a vacuum, windex, upholstery cleaner, and oxiclean.

All of this was started so that we could install the carseat....

Wait, woah, I'm going to have a carseat in my car, and I'm not babysitting? Holy shiz. This means I'm having a baby. In +/- a month.

*deep cleansing breaths*

Really, I'm actually quite excited. We go tomorrow for my 36 Week appointment, where they will do the Strep B screening, as well as my first internal. I'm cited!! Then, we go off to our natural birthing class at Baby Moon. I'm excited about that too!

And best of all? I'll be riding in style in a nice, clean car.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I waddle more than I walk

It's official. I'm in the last month of pregnancy. In less than 5 weeks, I will be holding my baby girl. That both excites me to death, and scares the crap out of me.

I have a HUGE to-do list, and I'm pretty down about it. I spent this last week at my parents house, which was nice and relaxing, but I feel like I should have been nesting. I feel like I have SO MUCH to get done before the baby gets here...

I had a reason for being at my parents. I was making hair-bows. My Mom is a crafter/quilter, and had a craft festival in Paintsville, KY this weekend. The hairbows I'd made for the Honey Festival did pretty well... So I made up another 50ish for this festival.

I. sold. five. yesterday.

It was a very depressing experience. It didn't help that there were at LEAST 8 hairbow booths in this festival, and under the same tent, on the SAME SIDE AS ME, was a booth with GORGEOUS bows. I normally think mine are prettier than most others (and they really are) but not this girls. Hers were absolutely gorgeous. *I* even bought off of her (not any bows mind you, just a pillowcase dress and headband for when baby is tiny). Now I feel like the last week was such a huge waste of time, when I should have been cleaning and taking care of my husband (who had to work 6 days in a row, more about that later). I just feel guilty.

Carl has been working at Liquor World for over a month now. He asked for Monday's off so that A) I could schedule my weekly appointments on those days. B) After Keevia comes, we could go visit his parents or my parents easier. His manager has it out for him, because Carl is a responsible adult, and makes more than his manager does (because his manager's child support payments get taken out of his check). Not only does he NOT have Mondays off, but he also didn't get ANY days off this past week. I felt horrible leaving him, but he said he'd feel better with me staying with my parents, and not being alone 8-9 hours a day.

So, I got pissed off when he called me on Saturday from his lunch break and told me about it. I got online and started filling out applications for him.

Monday, Lowe's in Winchester called and said he had an interview on Tuesday. He got the job, and now we're just waiting for a phone call from his drug test. I KNOW they said he had the job... but I so want that phone call to come NOW. He would make more money per hour, he would work fewer hours, and it would be better hours for us.

So... now we're just praying hard and harder. We'd appreciate if you would pray too!

DIY Maternity pictures to come. I know, you're excited.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My favorite things

Okay.. so I suck at updating. I know.

I decided to do a post of my favorite things, currently.

- The Dermatology episode of Grey's Anatomy. You have to be a true fan to understand, but I want to live on the Dermatology floor.

- Ice cold fountain Coke. Don't hate, I know it has caffeine.

- A clean living room and semi-clean kitchen.

- Netflix + Xbox 360 Live (for FREE for a month!) when we don't have/can't afford cable. This is how I'm watching the Dermatology episode of Grey's anatomy.

- Chocolate/Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies.

- Good books. Even though I seem to be having troubles finding one these days.

- Gold Bond Cream. Don't ask what its for, just realize it's a blessing.

- Butts that move around inside me, and feet or knees or elbows that manage to push their way out so that I can SEE them.

- Reading that a girl who miscarried the day before I found out I had, and is a month ahead of me in her pregnancy, is in false labor/true labor... or whatever, and will be meeting her son very soon!

- Baby clothes. Doesn't matter if its girl or boy... it's adorable.

- Etsy. I love Etsy.

- Husbands that clean the fridge out for me.

- Our apartment, now that I have put up pictures and it LOOKS like a home now... not a blank expanse.

- Days that my Hubby doesn't work, when we get to have a lot of "us" time, and I get to remember all the many, many reasons I love him to pieces.

- The fact that I am 33 weeks pregnant! I could be having a baby in 4-7 weeks... Oh. My. Dear. Lord.

- My recipe for Red, White and Green pasta... and you'll probably get it, along with my hashbrown casserole recipe, if it tastes as good as it looks!

Coming soon - Pictures of Keevia's corner of our room...and maybe some of our "new" apartment.

The end!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Broken.

Heartbreak comes in a variety of places, and in a variety of ways.

I'm sitting here, feeling my daughter swim around inside me, completely thankful for her life on a day-to-day basis.

Some people that I know (I met them through an ex-boyfriend and through a church camp, but I've maybe had 1-2 conversations with them ever) lost their baby daughter yesterday, she was around the same age as Keevia I believe, maybe a little younger.

I don't know what happened, I don't know the cause... but I have an inkling of the heartbreak that they are going through. I would not inflict that heartbreak on anyone. Period.

I think its worse the farther along in the pregnancy you are -- just from experience, I think I would be much more devastated if I lost a pregnancy in the third trimester than I was losing one in the first trimester, simply because I'm learning Keevia's personality, her likes and dislikes... I'm so deeply in love with her already... I felt the same way about our peanut, it just wasn't the same strength as these feelings. A problem with miscarriage though, is that I didn't connect with Keevia until I could feel her... whereas with Peanut I was much more into the pregnancy early on.

I feel so weird -- I don't know this couple very well at all, yet I am so, so, SO heartbroken for them. It's just an odd feeling, to hurt so badly for people who've only met a few times. I know, however, that they are broken, and they are needing.

Could you please just take a little time and say a quick prayer for them tonight? Simply ask that God wrap his arms around them, even tighter than they already all, and allow them to slowly see his plan in all of this.

Monday, August 31, 2009

If you like Outback's Cheddar Bacon Fries...

Dear Lord in Heaven above, I made the BEST FOOD EVER FOR LUNCH!

So, I was hungry, and needed to head to town (which, I still need to do, I had to post this first), and I decided that, so I didn't get sick, I'd make some food. I'm at that point in my pregnancy where NOTHING sounds good... but I have to force myself to eat. So, I was wondering what to make.

I decided to make a Hobo's dinner in a frying pan. What I came up with is a dish that tastes JUST LIKE Outback's Cheddar Bacon Fries.

1 Large Potato (or 2 small ones)
2 slices of bacon, diced up
Shredded cheese
Ranch

I microwaved the potatoes (I used 2 small ones) for 5 minutes, while I browned the bacon bits in a stainless steel pan. I then scooped out the bacon from the skillet, drained the oil (but left the good little brown bits) and drizzled a LITTLE bit of olive oil in the pan. I cut up the potatos, and then fried them (they were mostly done, this was just to add a little crunch.). Then, I took them out, sprinkled the bacon on top, sprinkled cheese on top of that, and put a little bit of home-made ranch on the side.

Tastes.Just.Like. Outback's fries!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

OH MY WORD I'M THIRTY WEEKS PREGNANT

Dear Lord, I'm having a baby.

In 7-10 weeks.

*wheezes slightly*

Really though, I couldn't be more excited. I've really sucked at keeping up with this pregnancy, so I thought I'd do kind of a catch-up post.

- I have gained __ lbs so far (I'm going to check it in the morning and update).
- I have 2-3 stretch marks, that we're going to have pictures of tomorrow as well.
- I still haven't swollen yet! Woohoo!
- I have sciatica for a day or so, call my chiropractor, and then viola! No more Sciatica!
- I have her Porta-Crib up, her cloths organized (mainly) and her dresser and cube storage organized! I just need to get her cloth diapers made, and her shelf up so I can hang her clothes in it (and give Carl and I a little more closet room). I also need to put up the decorations over the changing table and over her porta-crib.
- I have her carseat, just have to install it!
- I already have her diaper bag packed for the hospital, with like 3 changes of clothes for her. Sad, I know.
- I still have 2 big boxes to go through to have our apartment completely unpacked, oh, and the toiletries from 2 large bathrooms that I have to condense into 1 TINY bathroom.
- It's getting to where it's very difficult to sit up in bed, or roll over in bed. AND for the first time since first trimester, I had to get up and pee in the middle of the night last night.

Keevia:

Oh, wait, did I ever divulge my daughters name? I don't know if I did or not.

Introducing!! (Well, you know, as much as I can)

Keevia Lynn! Her name, (pronounced KEY-VEE-AH) means beautiful, and Lynn means light. So, I will soon be giving birth to my Beautiful Light. I've been deeply in love with the name Keevia since I was about 10 years old... We were originally going to name her Mackenzie, but I decided that I knew too many Mackenzies, so, Carl said "Why don't we name her Keevia?" and I think I fell a little bit more in love with him. :)

So, on the Keevia front...

- This girl can MOVE! I thoroughly enjoy watching my belly jump and wiggle.
She's most active when I lay down, and apparently when Carl comes to bed after I've already been in bed and am asleep, she gives her Daddy a little show. I've woken up to him laughing, with his hands on my belly, on several occasions.
- She doesn't like it when she has the hiccups. She'll tolerate them for small amounts of time, and then she gets ticked at them, and starts punching and kicking me. We're going to have to learn how to express our feelings in less, ah, brutal ways.
- She calms if I sing to her (she particularly likes anything from "Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang" *sniffles* I knew I was going to love her). But, if I play "the flat game" she gets ticked, fast.
- She loves piano music, and goes crazy dancing when we're in church and our pianist plays big classical arrangements.
- She has her cute little tush shoved up in against my sternum, sometimes so much so that I can SEE it.
- Her feet stay lodged in my ribs, almost at all times, and when I gently push against them, she kicks me, hard.
- She's the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I could not be happier, or be more in love with her!


Mkay, I promise a belly picture, an updated weight (well, at least how much I've gained thus far) and stretch mark pictures tomorrow!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Go, Stop and Go, I just hear static...

First of all, you have to be a pretty big Backstreet Boy's fan to understand the title of this post. Special kudos may go to anyone who knows/figures out what this post should be titled, by telling me the name of the song that those lines come from!


Anyway.


So, what do you get when you put me and my husband standing in our darkened kitchen at around midnight thirty last night? Especially when my hubby had went to bed around 10:30?

You get the after results of my midnight panic attack.

I think I've been having them for a few weeks, and just chocking it up to hormones. I went to bed last night, totally fine. Then, as I was laying there, I just NEEDED to feel safe. I NEEDED Carl to hold me (hard for him to do when he's already asleep). I started crying, and probably cried for a good 20-30 minutes.

Irrational fear has taken a hold of my life, and I don't really know why, or how it's done it. Whenever my husband or my Mom travels from my parents house to the apartment, and I'm not in the car with them, I start panicking. Heck, when my hubby and I traveled up here from my parents house on Monday, I had a mild panic attack in the car because I was positive we were going to wreck and die. Wednesday night, when it was midnight twenty and Carl wasn't home from work yet, I started to panic again. And my panic attacks are not just centered around cars and driving.

I was researching immunizations last night, and I think that may be what tipped me off. Just reading about the side effects that some of them cause, and trying to make informed decisions about my daughters future health care, apparently pushed me over the edge, and caused me to panic. I also have them about finances, I have them about clutter in our apartment...

I have them about anything I can't control.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what it all boils down to.

I, Shaina N., am a control freak. I didn't realize I had these qualities until a few short months ago, but I do. I feel the need to control everything in my life, and have it planned out to the minute details.

And ya know what? It's not been a big problem before, but now... oohh ho hoooo... Now, I'm due to give birth AROUND November 2nd. I don't have any inkling or idea where I'll be or when I'll go into labor. I PLAN on having a completely natural childbirth, but I can't control the circumstances surrounding her birth. I WANT a completely healthy baby, but I can't control that either.

So, I've recently been praying for peace, and for serenity. It helps, it calms my breathing and slows the tears, but I know that I now need to pray for God to take control, and then to relinquish that control. But you know what?

That's not easy.

I think that's the point though. I'm praying that by coming to this realization that it really is panic attacks, I'll be able to cut them off at the source. That, and I'm going to make an appointment to see my chiropractor and make sure no nerves are pinched...

But... I've come to realize I can't control everything, nor should I want to. Life throws us curveballs, gives us lemons, and sometimes just sucks, pure and simple... but God is in control, and always will be.

Kinda cool, huh?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A job, is a job, is a job...

We are finally living full time in our apartment.

Because Carl finally got a job!

Last Tuesday he put an application in at LiquorWorld and then on Thursday, after an interview, he got the job!

And there was much rejoicing!

He's still settling in to the job and the work, but it looks as if its successfully going to pay the bills. Which is all we were asking for.

In pregnancy news, this little lady is a mover and a shaker, and a squirmer. It constantly amazes me in how I can feel her little limbs swimming under my skin. I have an alien inside of me.

I have Braxton Hicks rather regularly, but not enough for concern, thankfully. Just enough for anonyance.

I am absolutely bone tired right now, and desperately need a nap. Carl's working a shift that causes him to get off very late, which causes me to stay up late with him. My sleep pattern is off majorly.

Also, them morning sickness that plagued me the entire first trimester is back with a vengence. I've discovered Ginger capsules though, and they seem to help.

Speaking of ginger, I'm off to take some... see if that makes it better!

Mmmm...

I made Lasagna yesterday. And it was good.

The End.

.....

Oh, wait, what? You want my personal recipe?

You mean the one I made up LAST time I made lasagna, that made my husband fall at my feet and worship me? That one?

Well... I guess....

Since you asked so nicely.

WARNING: Making this Lasagna one time will cause you to never want anyone elses lasagna ever again, unless its your Grandma's.


Shaina's Stupendous Spinach Lasagna
You will need:
Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles (or, the regular ones, you'll just have to follow the instructions on the box)
Hamburger (I prefer ground chuck)
Italian Sausage (2 links)
1 Box of Frozen Spinach
Cottage Cheese
Cream Cheese
Shredded Cheese of your choice, 1 package (I prefer mozzarella, or Colby Jack)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce of your choice (maybe even a big jar and a little jar, last nights was a little dry because of the oven ready noodles).
Various spices and stuff which I'll mention in the recipe.

Start off by browning the hamburger. Using a knife, run it down the sausages and cutting open the casings. Peel the meat out, and add it to the hamburger, continue to brown, making sure to crumble it all up. Add (these are optional), garlic, onions, italian seasonings, and a LITTLE bit of salt. Once the Hamburger/Sausage is browned, drain the excess fat/oil from the pan, then add the spaghetti sauce and let simmer.

While the hamburger is browning, defrost your box of spinach. Drain well. Add the spinach to a bowl, then add in 2-3 large tablespoons of cream cheese, 1-2 large tablespoons of cottage cheese (or ricotta if you prefer, I just don't like ricotta), and half the bag of shredded cheese. Mix well.

Start off with a layer of sauce, then cheese, then noodles. Repeat till you run out of cheese and sauce. End with the rest of the shredded cheese on top, with a little bit of italian seasoning sprinkled on top. I baked it in a 375ish oven (I don't really remember...) for 45 minutes. The noodles were tender, and the cheese was wonderfully brown!

Theoretically you should let it set for about 15 minutes to cool a little, but in reality we dug into it as SOON as it was out of the oven yesterday...

Enjoy!

Hey, if you make it, and like it, send me a shout to let me know!

Shaina

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Blog

Since I seem to have found a following in the Political post, and I have a heck of a lot more to say on the matter, I'm going to start a strictly political blog. It's coming soon, but I just wanted to let y'all know.

Thanks for all the comments, and concerns... I'll try to address them soon!

Carl got a job (WOOHOO!) and starts tomorrow. I have cable internet set up to come to our new apartment, but the dude's not coming until August 28th... so we'll have to see when/what happens with it getting started. I may have to hit the library some to just make sure that Carl's classes are okay. We'll see. Keep an eye open!

Oh, and P.S. if you follow this blog and don't want to follow the political blog, don't feel bad. I understand completely!

Thanks!

EDIT:

The blog's address is:

http://shainanaillieux.blogspot.com

Thanks!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lets get Political

First, I want to state that this was the first Presidential election that I was eligible to vote for. I was not for Obama. In fact, I wasn't really for McCain. I did like Palin, but given the choice, Mike Huckabee was my top pick. I tend to be very Conservative, and in fact, I usually answer with Conservative instead of Republican or Democrat. I am a supporter of Small Government. I guess this counts as my explanation for the rest of this post.

I'm going to be perfectly honest. I'm scared. I'm scared about what our Government has in store of us, and I'm petrified of the total control that our Government is slowly trying to implement. What also scares me is that we are being called to be citizen informants on our fellow Americans. Doesn't this sound like some history lesson from the German Nazi era? Yeah, it does to me too. And don't take my word for it. Macon Phillips, a White House Representative is the person who sent out the plea, as you can see in the following paragraph. I'm even providing a link so you can see for yourself. Notice the address of the link, it's the White House blog! This is real people! Read the rest of this article here.

"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov."

Okay, so, say I'm having a conversation with my friend...or say I'm emailing a friend who has asked my opinion, or say, I'm writing a blog about Health Care... well, then, you should report me.

Does that seem right? Does that seem like Freedom? Does that seem like Free Speech? No. This seems to me like Government control. It seems to me that even our small thoughts and oppositions to the Government are beginning to be seen as a bad thing. What about our system of checks and balances? That's basically out the window as well, considering that the House, the Senate and the Presidency are all controlled by the same political party.

This health care bill scares me as well. I fear for my parents lives, as well as the lives of friends and family. In the bill there are sections that require Senior Citizens to have end of life counseling on a yearly basis, and to discuss very controversial things like the restriction of antibiotics. In England, after the age of 59, no person can have a stint placed in their hearts, nor can they receive life saving procedures if they have a heart problem. This is the type of health care system that is being purported for America. Heart disease is one of the greatest killers in our country, so we're just going to stop treating it? It all comes down to the restriction of coverage, and our Government have already proved this to be the case in how they handle Medicaid.

Under this new bill, a young family may have to undergo counseling before they are "allowed" to have a child. They will discuss the proper wait time between children, and may even force abortions for healthy children. Does this sound like China to anyone else? To a communist nation to anyone else? If they're going to do this for HEALTHY children, can you imagine what might happen to someone who is pregnant with a child who has Downs Syndrome? Or worse, someone who is pregnant with a child with a disease like Trisomy 18, or Cerebral Palsy? Those parents may never get to meet their children, simply because our Government doesn't think they have the right to live. Because they are nor productive to society.

What scares me the most however, is the lack of involvement our Senators and Congressmen are having in the decision of this bill. Many have stated that no, of course they haven't read the 1,000 page bill, and that they have no intention of doing so. They say that if they did try to read it, they wouldn't understand it, so whats the point? Sound unbelievable? I'm merely paraphrasing John Conyers (D-MI), who happens to be the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. And John Conyers is not alone. Regardless of what the bill says, or doesn't say, I want the people who are voting on it to read it, so at least they know what they are voting on. We're a country in an Economic Debt Crisis, isn't that what they keep telling us? So, shouldn't our elected politicians read a bill, that if passed, will put our country another couple of Trillion dollars in debt?

So, before you jump on the bandwagon of socialized- oh wait, I'm sorry, universal health care, take time and research it. Take time and write or call your senator or legislator and request that they take the time to read the bill. Raise your voice, the only way we're going to get change is if we start from the ground up.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I officially suck as a blogger.

I never update, I know.

I have some thoughts for some strong political posts coming up... there's a lot of issues that I think need to be brought to light for the sake of my future child as well as our entire country. So, stick with me if you want, it may get ugly :)

Other than just sitting here, worrying about the future, I've been pretty busy!

I finished my final online class with (by my calculations) a 93%! WOOT! This is especially impressive because it was an Introduction to Philosophy class, which the mere thought of makes my eyes cross. I still have some issues to iron out with my adviser, but prayerfully, that will be my last class.

I have been working like a mad woman this week. I made a baby hat, weeded through about 5 baby bootie patterns to find one I like(although I haven't made a set yet), and made about 5 scrunchie hair holders, and have spent hours researching cloth diaper patterns,as well as hair bow patterns. We have a local craft festival coming up labor day weekend, so I've been attempting to prepare for it. I plan on making baby and little girl hair bows, hand-crocheted scrunchies, and if the weather permits, face painting. I'll be approximately 32 weeks pregnant, so we'll see! haha!

I've also be successfully quilting this week. I quilted 4 quilts since Thursday!! All of our money right now is pouring into a wood and kit order for Carl so that he can hopefully set up and sell his hand-turned pens at the same local craft festival.

Carl still hasn't found a job, though its not for lack of trying. He has a ton of applications in, and on Monday he's going to put his application in for Buffalo Wild Wings - they're opening a brand new restaurant in Richmond and are doing "Apply in Person" for all positions starting 9 am Monday. Carl plans on being the first in line. We desperately need a paycheck PERIOD. To really survive, we need $800 a month, although me might be able to survive on $600 with some assistance from either me quilting or from my parents if I'm unable to quilt. We'll just have to see how I do over the next few weeks! I'm hoping to get good at this whole hairbow thing, and maybe sell some stuff on Etsy. That would be ideal.

I admit it... I'm scared to death... What with the Obamacare looming over us, to our lack of finances... I hate it. I hate not being able to give this darling little girl everything I want to.. She has everything she needs, and then some... but there's stuff I would love to be able to do... decorations I'd love to make or buy... I'd love for her to have her own nursery, her own room... that's just not possible, and I hate it. I started looking on Etsy for hair-bow patterns, and then got sidetracked, and then depressed... I just have to remember that I have three large totes full of baby clothes, half a closet full of baby clothes, a dresser full of baby clothes, over 25 flannel receiving blankets, an unknown amount of quilted blankets, and a brand new black garbage bag full of clothes that my mother in law sent today... I have a pack and play, a stroller, a carseat (and the one I wanted so badly!), 2 swings, a bouncer, a baby bath tub... the list goes on.. I have very few needs left (baby wash cloths, baby towels, cloth diapers, socks, slings) but still, I feel like a bad mother already. I know its just hormones, but eek.

Alright, my nausea is gone (with third trimester comes the wonders of first trimester all over again.. morning sickness, sore boobs...) and I plan on getting in bed verra soon.

Keep an eye out for my highly political posts, coming to a blog near you soon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A little catch up

As promised yesterday, here, in short, is a catch up of our lives, since last Saturday.

Sunday, we woke up and went to church. Carl wasn't feeling very well from his pen-making and grass cutting so he stayed home. Later that evening, my Aunt called and said that my cousins were moving on Monday. We were already planning on going to Richmond on Monday to try and get everything worked out at EKU as well as to move the couch. So, instead, we packed up and Carl and I went down on Sunday night.

We got up bright and early on Monday morning and headed to EKU. They still hadn't received his transcripts, but said they would call us if they did. So, we then headed to my cousins. I hung out there until Mom headed up with the couch, then she picked me up from a store. Funnily enough... I left the apartment keys with Carl, which meant Mom and I had to wander Richmond until Carl was done moving. Once he got back, he called two of his friends to help him move the beast that is our sofa sleeper into the apartment. I started going through boxes, and by the time Mom left that evening, a good majority of the boxes had disappeared! I went through all the book boxes and seperated them into "staying" and "going" boxes.

Monday night we ate out (Carl at Rally's, me at Fazzoli's) and then watched a movie (Batman Begins if you must know). We never heard anything from EKU, and since Carl was supposed to do orientation there on Tuesday, we decided to get up and call in the morning. So, we did. And all the admissions counselors were busy. The Receptionist told Carl that they had made a decision, but that she couldn't tell him what it was. So, the waiting game began. We got up, ate breakfast, got ready to meet my sister in Lexington to see Harry Potter 6... finally, Carl gave up waiting and called again. He was informed that his GPA was to low to get into EKU, but that they would hold his scholarship until last semester, and if he raised his GPA then he would be accepted for the spring semester. So, that's what we're trying. We go this Friday to register him at Southeast Community and Technical College in some online classes. So, Tuesday, we went and saw HP6 (which was good!!) and then we went and visited with my sister at her house. She and I cooked some authentic Italian pasta and pasta sauce (she went to Italy last month) and she presented us with Keevie's first pair of shoes, from Italy! My child is so spoiled!

After we had eaten and hung out, Carl and I went and got him a hair cut and a shave, as he was looking very mountain manly... Yeah, we could tell we were in Lexington and not Jackson... it cost $18! But he looked much less scruffy afterwards! We drove back to Richmond, and got some ice cream (Hagan Daz Simply 5 Coffee is SO GOOD!) because I could have breathed fire from the heartburn I was feeling... Then we watch "The Dark Knight" and went to bed!

Wednesday and Thursday were both filled with Carl putting in applications for full time work. I cooked dinner on Wednesday, and played "lets see what Shaina can make out of her cupboard..." it wasn't the best, but it was edible! We headed back to Jackson Thursday night.

We haven't heard anything from any of the places Carl has applied, so we're planning on going to Richmond on Wednesday and putting in a few more applications. Wednesday evening we'll be heading to his parents, and coming home again on Friday night.

Right now we're just praying for a paycheck. My parents are still paying all our bills (although we managed to pay for our stay in Richmond). We also need Carl to get some medical insurance, because as of Saturday, he has none. Please keep these issues in your prayers!

Also, PLEASE pray for sweet baby Stellan. I've mentioned him several times on here before, but this is the most urgent. He's been in constant SVT for 3 days, and is being airlifted to Boston sometime soon. He was so bad this morning that they called in the family. Please lift them all up in your prayers if you would! You can read more from MckMama here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One year

Kelly's Korner blog does a weekly "Show us where you live" blog-hop. I've never participated because well, we're moving... and there are still boxes everywhere... BUT this week she's doing a "show us your life" and this weeks is wedding dresses!

WELL, this came at a very opportune time... as today is my one year anniversary.

So, the story behind my dress. We got engaged on November 26th, 2007. We contemplated getting married the next January (not the 2008 one, the 2009 one)... or possibly in the summer. However, when David's Bridal had their sale in January, my Mom, Aunt, friend Sarah and I traveled to "look".

I think I tried on over 15 dresses. I'm not sure of the exact number. I found one I LOVED but it was $800 and something ON SALE... and I knew my Momma couldn't afford that... plus, I thought it was rather ridiculous for something I would wear once. So, I kept trying. Finally the little assistant we had gave up, and I slipped on a t-shirt over my bra and slip and started walking around the store myself. Mom and I grabbed anything in my size and brought it to the dressing room. Including the dress I despised. The dress I had despised since I had seen it in bridal magazines. I despised it on mannequins. I didn't want to try it on... but, like many other times in my life, Mom talked me into it.

And, as they zipped it up, and I stepped out on the pedestal, I went "Oh... I like it..." Yeah. That was my dress.

It was very simple. Satin sleeveless, with a gathered skirt. I bought a red ribbon to match my wedding colors (red, white and black). My wedding was entirely homemade. We did the decorations, the cake, the invitations, the flowers... everything but the dress!

Here's a picture of the back and the bow my Momma tied... it shows the simplicity of the dress.


Here it is from the side view... which shows the skirt. I went barefoot because I'm so freaking tall and it would have been too short if I'd worn shoes... plus, I'm clumsy enough without adding shows to the mix!


And finally, one to show the simplicity of it again. I chose a short veil... just cuz I wanted it. No other real reason. I wore a pearl necklace my Mom got me in 2007 and pearl earrings I found at a craft festival. Plus pearl hair thingies and a bracelet I got from David's Bridal. My veil came from Michael's craft store... and I paid $4 for it! It was a "communion" veil, I think.


I can't believe it's been a year! I'll be 26 weeks pregnant tomorrow with our second pregnancy. CRAZY!!! Even though we are poorer than dirt (I swear, I will update on your last week tomorrow) and have some huge uncertainities in our future... I'm very thankful that I have him, and that I have this beautiful baby girl that we get to meet very soon! I am so BLESSED!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Serenity

I feel like such a horrible poster. I used to be much better at updating this thing. Carl is constantly telling me "you haven't updated in a while!" to which I agree.

Life is crazy. Maybe once August rolls around, I'll be able to write more often. I really hope so! This is my release, my therapy. Not that I have much that I need therapy for mind you, but its still cleansing. Plus, I think I would be a more disciplined writer all together if I would blog on a daily basis. I really, truly want to have a book published some day!

So how is my life crazy? Well, I'm in the middle (but nearing the end!) of my summer online independent study Introduction to Philosophy class. In fact, I only have 3 more assignments. One of which is due on Wednesday. This doesn't take up a great deal of my time, but it does block out complete days sometimes. It's very aggrevating.

Last weekend, my Mom, Dad, Hubby and I traveled to Louisville to go to my annual family reunion. We had turned in all of our resignations the day before, so it was kind of a get-away for all of us as well. It was a wonderful time of relaxation and laughter, although the 3 hour trip each way was more than a little tiring on my poor pregnant body. We only stayed overnight, so we traveled home on Saturday night.

On Sunday morning we got up and Carl, Mom and I went to a new church. Some of Carl's family goes there, one of my surrogate mothers goes there, and the preacher was Carl's preacher several years ago. It's also approximately 2 minutes from my house, which makes it a little nicer than the 10-15 it used to take to get to church. Selfish, I know. It's not perfect, but its so relaxing to merely sit in the audience and not have to worry about anything behind the scenes.

Then, around 2ish on Sunday, Carl and I went into town, picked up two girls from his former youth group, and began the hour and a half trek to take them to camp. When we dropped them off we got to visit with a few of our friends that were working that week, then we went on into the "big" city and got some Sonic before heading back home. It was some nice couple's time that we'd been lacking.

Monday was a semi day of rest. I was pooped, and there was a lot of organization that had to take place. Carl also cut a lot of grass and did some other maitence around my parents farm.

Tuesday morning we got up bright and early and left out of our house at 8. My appointment was at Central Baptist at 10. We got there just in time, although I didn't go back until around 10:40. They weighed me, and I had gained a whopping 5 pounds in 4 weeks (I was very excited!) and then did the blood pressure stuff. I have white coat syndrome, as my bp tested a little high for me (120/74). The midwife wasn't concerned though. They measured my fundus, which was right on track at 25 cm (I should have been anywhere between 22-26). However, my fundus is about two cm's away from my sternum. ALREADY. I'm going to rapidly start getting big I fear!

After the midwife appointment, we did a little bit of shopping, then headed to the apartment. Mom and I were able to tackle the mountain that IS baby clothes, and get everything organized by months. Dad told Carl to just go ahead and buy some straw and spread it around in a circle. I didn't think it was that funny personally. We also rearranged our bedroom furniture and I am much happier with it. It's set up like it was right before I moved out before. It really opened up floor space and wall space for storage, because storage is going to be a BIG issue in this apartment!

We continued working Wednesday, then Wednesday evening we headed home. Thursday I was running a low grade fever (I'd had a weird blister in my throat on Wednesday, who knows), so I didn't trek back to camp like I wanted, but I did relax and cook dinner for my Dad when he got home (Mom and Carl did make the trek).

Friday we had the girls (from Carl's old youth group) as they ended up coming home early from Camp and their Mom didn't have a babysitter, then today I made a trip to town with my Dad for a frosty and fry craving fix, and am getting ready to go back to town for a Wal-mart run for my Mom.

And yet I wonder why I never have time for work or homework. I've made approximately $30 quilting with Mom, but have hit a rut since then.

Tomorrow we plan on going back to church, then Carl is supposed to take some little girls fishing. Monday we may be heading down to the apartment again (Carl has to go for registration and orientation anyway) to trade out the washer and dryer (no hookups!) for the couch. This will officially make the apartment livable. There are still a lot of boxes I have to go through and organize. But, the majority of stuff is good... it's mostly just books and magazines and office stuff, and a TON of bathroom stuff (I went from 2 bathrooms to 1). I just need to continue downsizing it all.

I guess this was just mainly a catch up post... but it worked! I need to finish The Lake House and then head to Wally-World!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Honesty

I can finally be honest. Funny that I just got an Honesty award from my sweet blogger friend Abbie, but today, I can finally be honest about what I have been asking prayer for for the past month.

Today my husband turned in his letter of resignation to the Church Board. For those of you who know is in real life, you probably already knew that Carl has been working for the past two years at my home church as the youth minister. It has been a struggle from the start (isn't all ministry?) with some very bright spots, and some very low moments. We struggled for the first year with combating our full-time minister. Once he quit/was fired, we thought that things would get better, and for a time, they did.

For the past 9+ months, Carl has not been working with teenagers as he did in the first year of his ministry. The teenagers had left the church. The simple truth is this - our church was dying. Carl and I were the youngest people who attended, with an occasional few youth group girls who were younger than us. No one in our church has young or teenage children (or if they do have teenage children, then the children no longer attend our church for various reasons). So Carl was starting this youth group from scratch. He started with what he had, and what he had was 5-10 year old girls.

When he started working with these girls, he was completely at a loss. He was used to working with high school and college age kids, and counseling them. He wasn't used to Hannah Montana and Barbie references. But he quickly fell in love with him, and the youth group was steadily, slowly growing. Some Sundays we would have 1-2 girls, some Sundays we would have 10. It really just depended on what school activities were taking place and what family activities were happening as well. But this Summer we had began to see an increase in numbers. Carl would take the girls to McDonalds to play on the playplace, or to the park. We all made a trip to a local indoor pool, and movie trips were in the making. The girls LOVED it.

Then, because our church is dying, a scapegoat had to be found. That scapegoat was Carl.

Suddenly, the young kids youth group that we had wasn't enough. Why wasn't any teenagers coming? Why wasn't Carl working with teenagers? Nevermind the fact that all the teenagers Carl knew had long since graduated, and that we had no starter teens in the church to build on. If we had a teenage youth group, our church would flourish by leaps and bounds! Families would come POURING in! Even though our elders had stated, time and time again, that they didn't know "how to work with kids" it didn't matter - Carl was obviously doing something wrong.

My Mom was the only support Carl had. She was the youth sponsor who would Go with Carl to youth group so that nothing could be said about Carl being there with little girls. She has worked with the youth group since I was about 5 years old, and for many years she kept it afloat all by herself, when the 5 or so youth we had wasn't enough to warrant a youth minister.

In the past 2 months, the youth group has slowly been taken away from my Mom and from Carl, and given to another member of my family. This would be fine, we wouldn't have cared to have had help, we would have welcomed it! But it was all done behind the scenes. Secret meetings took place, talking happened behind the backs. In essence, we suffered the same back-stabbing and politics that most churches go through.

My Mom has been going to this church since she was in the second grade. I have went there since I was born. This was our family, but sadly, that family is slowly leaving or dying off.

In the past month, my parents were asked to come to a meeting, and then ambushed and treated like criminals by an elder of our board and our interim pastor when they attended said meeting. In that same month, another teenager and my aunt organized a teenage youth group to take place, completely without my mom or my husbands knowledge. The girl is not a baptized believer, and neither are actual members of our church. When my husband confronted the board about it, he found they didn't know about it either (which we aren't sure is true)and that they whole heartedly supported it, but that they wanted Carl to stay out of it. They believe he was "tainted" by our past minister. They also set down a list of rules that Carl would have to follow, or be fired. The list was things like Carl was not allowed to touch the children (i.e. hugs and ruffling their hair), he was to put all trips through the Board, and most trips would, from here on out, be canceled because they are "useless", he was to have my uncle come downstairs every Sunday to teach the kids how to sing, so that they can form a children's choir, and he was told that the kids that are in our youth group right now "do not matter" because their parents already go to church somewhere else.

How do you not touch a child when a 6 year old comes running at you for a hug? My Mom, who was the youth sponsor, and who by a previous board mandate, was the one suggesting the trips for the kids. With this board mandate, she was completely pushed aside and discredited. The youth group money was not being used in ANY of the trips I mentioned. My Mom would put out her own money to buy ice cream for the kids, or to get one into the movie when they didn't have enough, never the church's money. And finally, my Uncle, who is not in any way, shape or form a trained choral leader or really, a musician, was to teach kids who didn't want to learn how to sing, how to sing, when my husband has been in choir for 8 years, private voice lessons for 3+ and is going to college TO BE A CHOIR DIRECTOR... that's just... I can't even think of a word that describes it.

So, today my Mother turned in her resignation as youth sponsor and co-treasurer, my Dad turned in his resignation for Deacon on the board and co-treasurer, and my husband turned in his resignation as youth minister. We are officially done.

We really feel a great deal of peace at this decision. We felt a bit of sorrow and trepidedtion, until we received an email from our former pastor last night, thanking us as a church for financially supporting his daughter as she was youth sponsor for our youth group at KCU's SITS (a week long program for high school students). A) My mom and Carl were completely oblivious to the fact that we had even SENT kids to SITS. No mention was made. B) The daughter that he is talking about is in no way, shape or form eligible to represent our church as a youth sponsor. C) That means our church, or individual members of our church, probably had to cough up over $700 for these three to go to SITS. D) This just prooves that the board, and other members of the church really want my husband and mom to have nothing to do with the church anymore.

So, we now feel totally at peace with the situation. This does leave Carl completely jobless, and us without an income. I'm able to work with my Mom in her quilt shop some, but I'm also attempting to finish up my last college class online, and I'm 5 months pregnant. Thankfully my parents are secure enough financially that they are able to help us cover our rent and bills until Carl can locate another job. We pray that this happens quickly.

So there it is, honest and to the point. We ask for your prayers that Carl is able to find a job quickly, so we don't have to be a burden to my parents for long. We ask that you pray that we continue to be peaceful about this decision, although I don't think that's going to be a problem!

Thank y'all, for listening.

Shaina