Tuesday, May 28, 2013

ILA's birth story

Let me just start with a little back story of the pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant about a week before my hubby's birthday. I was excited to not be trying but not preventing either. Knowing that we are fertile I knew it would happen sooner or later. Well it happened sooner, at a time that was not the quite the "best time". I decided to tell him in a quirky way. He had been saying he needed some new shirts, so I went out and bought two infant shirts one blue and one pink. I presented him with the shirts in a gift bag with two cards. One card said Happy Birthday, the other said Congratulations. I put the congrats card inside of the birthday card, so when he opened the birthday card on the outside it just looked like normal. He took out the shirts first and didn't get it. So I told him to open the card and read on. He did then he looked at me and said, "for real?" He honestly didn't believe we were expecting until I got written proof from the midwife.
Pregnancy for me is never really horrible. I was a little sick and of course tired, but nothing to truly complain about.
I was excited at this point in the pregnancy

What was hard for me however was dealing, emotionally, with the fact that we were financially at an extreme low point. I had a hard time also with the response my mother gave me, when we told her the great news. She knew that we weren't in a great place financially and questioned what we were doing. Uhh last I checked, we are married so we were doing what God intended for marriage, making love. We didn't plan the pregnancy but God did and I have learned not to argue with HIM, but to obey. During the pregnancy, I went on with life not really giving it much attention or her much of me. What I mean by that is, I went to appointments, and ensured things were going well, but I didn't talk to her or acknowledge her much to anyone. To a degree I regret that, but ultimately it was the best way for me to cope with our situation and the pregnancy. And right when I needed to acknowledge the pregnancy, I did. God knows best and I never left HIS loving arms.

My birthday/gender reveal party

It's a GIRL!

 Fast-forward to March, with a due date of March 11, I started obtaining supplies I needed for the planned home waterbirth in February like around the middle of the month. Everything was shipped and recieved in perfect time. Once again, God was all over that situation. I hoped she would come early but was pretty sure she'd be basically on time. I stopped working at the end of February to prepare for her arrival, but in order to keep current with my certification with the public schools I am required to work 2 Fridays every 5/6 week cycle. So I picked up an assignment at my son's school on Friday March 8, three days before my due date. I felt fine the kids treated me well and I left the school knowing that was it. However I wasn't feeling like labor was impending. I felt like I had felt throughout the entire pregnancy, pregnant. *hahaa*
I came home and decided to go for an evening walk, I needed to think, and also get things going somehow. I awakened the next morning feeling a bit different, I was in early labor but there was no show, no other signs that she was coming. I told the husband as he left out for work and tried to get some sleep. At that time I knew she would be coming soon, so sleep was the last thing on my mind. I called my friend T.M. and she said she would come get the little people, but my twin, the oldest girl decided she would leave too. That left me and my big boy, Isaiah, who was integral in the birth of Israel. I am so blessed! :)
He helped blow up and fill the birth pool, he did most of what I asked him to do. I know at some point I called the midwife to advise her that contractions were coming pretty close but were still manageable. She advised I take a walk to get things moving along some more. I followed her instruction and went for a walk. I made it around my block one time but had no desire to do that anymore. I got back home and just peacefully rode each wave. At some point as contractions got a little more intense, the midwife called me back and said they would call or come to the house after while to check things out. I then called the husband and told him to come, I knew she was coming but I didn't want him to miss another birth. *He missed the last 2 kids birth*
After the ladies arrived they checked my vitals, blood pressure was normal, although they weren't using the right cuff for my extra padded arms. Baby's heart was doing well especially during contractions. Everything was going very well. After a few minutes, or at least what seemed like a few minutes, of waiting and them assessing me because I didn't want an internal check someone suggested, more like encouraged an internal check. Here is where I feel like I failed myself and the lil princess. I was emotional and a little tired, had been in labor almost 10 hours, I decided that an internal check would be ok. This meant I had to get out of the pool and walk to my room.
This was the birth pool now its the kiddie pool!
*opposite sides of the house although my house isn't very big* The walk wasn't as bad as lying in the bed letting her stick her hands inside and feel for dialation, which often means nothing. I was ready to hurt someone because of all that she was doing in there. I hadn't felt like that the whole time in labor. Part of the reason I didn't want to be checked is b/c I didn't want to be disappointed with the progress, my body knew what to do, but it seemed like it was doing it very slowly. So here came the big news, I was fully dialated thinned and raring to go, but my water hadn't broken holding up baby girls birth descent. So the nurse suggested breaking the bag of water. As I lye on my bed, I thought well if the water is the only thing holding it up sure. But in my heart of hearts I wanted NO interventions including my water being broken. But as many pregnant, in labor women do, I agreed. I fought with her and almost got away form her breaking the water because it hurt so bad for anyone to be near my lady parts, but she did it.  I felt a gush and immediately saw the panic in their faces. Baby girl had a bowl movement and meconium stained the water as it gushed out. The got oxygen ready and the "emergency kit" together and then advised me that she passed meconium and we would need to quickly get her out. I bawled hysterically thinking, why did I let them do this to me, why had I agreed to let them even come, why did I let them check me. So many emotions and dissappointment in myself for not standing my ground in what seemed like a sneaky, pushy way of "getting the baby out" just what a doctor would have done in a hospital. Eventually, the MW made me get myself together and come out of my self pity and get her out. I literally pushed 2 or 3 times and out came lil momma. I remember saying this doesn't feel right, I don't want to be on my back. This isn't right. But I knew also that she had to come out I could feel her little head full of hair and with a loud and powerful grunt I pushed and felt her warm body ooze out of my body and they helped place her on my tummy and checked her out to make sure she hadn't ingested any of the meconium. PRAISE THE LORD she hadn't. She was and is the most perfect little innocent thing. God knows, exactly what you need when you need it. She is my God sent angel, who keeps me in awe of HIS splendor and grace. I could go on and on but this has been quite long so I will say she was 6 pounds 15 ounces *not quite 7 pounds even if we tried* the smallest born on time baby I've had, and I must admit, I knew she would be. I remember telling the midwife she's going to be small, she seemed to think she would be big, but momma knows. She was 20 inches long and nursed, after while but was sooo good at it. She was a pro.

Here she is nursing. One of the first times on her birthday!

4 days old, Angelic as ever

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Catching up...since life is a race (We were down, but not out)

I alluded to my baby girl last post. Since the birth story post quite a bit has occurred. So here's a brief over view in chronological order. October after the Boss, as we call Israel, was born I realized a financial low, I went from a pretty decent income to nothing, for me it was hard to have to depend on my husband for money. What a lesson in humility that was. I had been the higher wage earner for a while and even when I wasn't I still had income. I had failed to plan for the loss of income and therefore was forced to find a job which I did fairly quickly too. Considering the state of the country, I was blessed to begin work from home with a reputable company. That was an interesting experience, however the hours were limiting me from enjoying my family.
The end of 2011 was the beginning of a rough year for us. My husband was involved in a fatal accident. He had gone in the middle of the week to take his niece home, to Georgia. He had driven all the way there and was less than 40 minutes from home and had somehow side swiped a vehicle that was pulled over on the side of the road. It was extremely foggy that morning I remember because I had to pack up the kids to pick him up. That night and morning for me was very uncomfortable. I had spoken with him after he arrived nearby her home. I wanted him to get right back on the road and come home, however he wanted to take a quick nap, something I didn't think would be the best but I obliged and just told him to be careful. I don't remember now if I spoke with him before he got on the road, but what is etched in my mind is awakening realizing he wasn't home and while the news was on hearing there was an accident on I-4. I thought, well Glen should be at work based on the time he told me he was leaving. I nursed the Boss, and fell back asleep for a few minutes, and was awakened by the phone. I thought it must be him telling me he was at work, boy was I wrong. It was him, but he was not at work, he called and said he was in an accident. Being half sleep, I still thought he's fooling with me, but after my mind caught up with me. I could hear the fear and panic in his voice. I also could hear a woman in the background screaming. I knew at that point this was not a dream it was a nightmare, in living color. He kept saying, "I think he's dead, Keturah, I think he's gone." I tried to comfort him, he was certain that things would not be okay. The tone of his voice scared me. I had never heard my husband so fearful and have only seen him really cry a handful of times. I packed up our children all 4 of them, hopped onto the fog-filled highway to find my husband. I didn't know what to expect, so I prepared my babies for what they may see and what may happen with their dad. We feared jail time, but most of all was the fear of the loss of life or limb.
My husband was not taken to jail, but did have to go to court regarding the situation about 6 months later. It was as if we finally were getting back to a routine and bam then we got notice of the court date. Shortly before the court date the kids and I drove back home to NJ to be apart of my mother's wedding. It was fun to get to drive up the east coast with all of them. My oldest was definitely my copilot. We stopped in DC, not intentionally, but saw the white house. The wedding was beautiful, and everyone looked amazing. It was a great trip. The kids and I then stopped in NC for a short time to visit with family and take a break from driving. It was a much needed visit with family.
About a month from returning from NJ, my husband lost his job. With him being the main wage earner, our life got tough real quick. We struggled to pay our rent, and bills, but by the GRACE of GOD, we received a lump some of money that helped. It was a long 3 months of him being out of work, the kids were home on summer break, and we were pregnant. Yes, that's what I said, we found out about a month after he lost his job that we were expecting a baby.
The court date was set for some time in July, but I had to work and look after the kids, so the husbandman went on his own. He was able to meet with the deceased man, Adam's family. This for my husband was the hardest but best thing that happened. We forged a new extended family, and, although we haven't done a very good job of it, we plan to keep in touch with his lovely mother and brother. He was able to express his sorrow and sympathy for what happened. He had no ill intent, and was not be reckless, he never is when it comes to driving long distances. But they saw that he was remorseful and was appreciative of him owning his error. It was a terrible accident that will live with us forever. But once again, because of God's love for his children, we made it through.
The last few months of the year would prove to be the hardest, with the lump some of money dwindling and Glen finding a part time job and me, changing jobs to substituting part time, we struggled to the point of having to request the help of our church. This would help us get a leg up and give us the time we needed to recoup. With birthday's in November and December and then Christmas right around the corner, it seemed impossible to find our way out of the hole we were in. But GOD. Our church family strengthened and up lifted us even after assisting financially in October. We were blessed with dinner and gifts for all of us by our church family for Christmas.
I was emotionally drained, I wanted to be happy for our pregnancy, but with so many negatives around it was easier to just not draw any emotions about it. It was an emotional pregnancy, many of them are, but I kept it under wraps quite literally. I didn't share with many people, but the kids in the schools made me laugh. They would whisper and then finally one brave, or daring child would say, "Mrs. Ross are you pregnant?" I'd always answer and what happens if I say no. They seemed to love that I was pregnant, and loved baby girls name, which was inspired by an army men of David, in the Bible. Ilai, was one of David's men. The name means, exalted. I just took of the ending "I" to name her ILA, pronounced ee-lah. And finally deciding that it would be her name was tough. I was extremely undecided since I know people WILL pronounce it wrong. I don't want her to struggle with such an easy name. Its origin is of another language so she will inevitably have issues with her name.
Fast forward to March her estimated due date was 3/11/13. I knew she'd come early but was kinda hoping it would be 3/3 when that didn't happen I decided I'd work one last day on 3/8 at my oldest child's middle school, that night I came home and walked a few times around the block and by the next morning I could tell I was in labor. You can check out her birth story in the coming post. But she made it here and was healthy and smaller than the babies, I'd previously had. I think because of our financial issues, I neglected myself a bit, but also it forced me to eat less. It made me more cautious of what I ate because we struggled to put food on the table so I wasn't going to eat a whole bunch of junk. Ha, I couldn't.  She was born  March 9, 2013. More on her a little later though.
Currently, I have gone back to substituting although, only a few days a week, and the most exciting part about life is I am now a Pampered Chef Consultant. I was looking for an opportunity to build my own business and this one came up. I wanted to order things but then thought, hey wait, I could do this. So here I am only a couple short weeks in and loving every bit of this challenge, that God placed before me to succeed in.
Whew, I caught yall up on 2 years of my life in a few short paragraphs. Come back, as I fill in the rest of spaces, and keep up with my life and new found career.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Old Navy Style Council - Sample and Share from Crowdtap / Girls Nite Out!

Its been a long time. So much has happened in the almost 2 years since my Israel was born. But before we talk about all the wonderful things this marathon of my life has brought us through, I want to start with the my Old Navy Active wear Sample and Share. Since I was chosen by Crowdtap to participate in an Old Navy Sample and Share, I got to take my bestie T along to pick out a top and bottom. We were SO stoked. From the moment I knew I was selected we had been planning a ladies night out.
The coupons arrived on Tuesday, May 14 and we planned our girls night immediately upon receipt. It was settled, Friday night immediately after work we'd meet at Old Navy, do a lot of shopping, pick the perfect Active wear outfit and cap off the night with dinner from our favorite restaurant Chipotle.
 The week dragged on, from  volunteering at the church nursery to tiresome work days we managed to make it to the BIG day Friday! Girls night out. We met at Target did a little shoe shopping, and then walked down to Old Navy and began what at first seemed like a disappointing task. I had been stalking the website, checking for styles and my size to plan my shopping trip. Needless to say, I knew the things I thought I wanted wouldn't be there, but I was too excited to "sample and share" I didn't let it get me down. As we entered the Active wear section, the first thing I said to T is, "Is this it?" It seemed as if there wasn't much there. Much to my amazement Old Navy, does a great job with space. Can they come help me manage my closet, or lack of closet space, to fit all my clothes? After while, I had picked out a mountain of Active wear that I liked in the sizes I thought would fit. So much for the "limited" selection, there was lots to choose from. After spending about twenty or thirty minutes building my mountain on top of my baby girl's, (we'll have to revisit this later) stroller I was set. Oh, and so was T, she knew what she wanted and didn't really waver. That's why she's my BFF, she keeps me grounded. We headed for the dressing room and sorted out her clothes from my mountain.

I started with some awesome purple and black compression pants I was in love. I paired them with a purple compression tank, but the look didn't quite work for me.

  So, I started breaking down the mountain of clothes. I picked out shorts, capris, tanks, burned out, solid, compression, non-compression you name it, I had it. The relaxed fit shorts became my favorite. I had them in teal, pink, gray and pink, and purple, the only color I refused to try was black. I wanted a bold pop of color and boy did they have just that.

After a little help from, T, I picked out a coral bubble top to go with relaxed fit shorts in gray with coral mesh outlined in neon yellow. Can you say HOT!!!!!!! And T picked some cute and comfy coral rolled top capri yoga pants that say, Old Navy across the fold, and she picked out the same coral bubble top. No wonder we are besties we love the same things! Thanks Old Navy and Crowdtap. We are happy tappers!

We are hoping for some more sample and shares from Crowdtap and Old Navy.

Check back later for more info about baby girl and the roller coaster few years we've had. One thing we know is with God ALL things are possible.

Be Blessed