Family Update Wild Bill

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Dexters face painting she did…..

Wild Bill is my shy, introverted, can sit with a tub of legos for hours on end kind of kid. She’s sweet and compassionate but lately has been rather testy!
She’s also my diabetic daughter and her sugars and A1C haven’t been that great :(

She’s getting ready to have her 13th birthday next month….. Oh my, how did we get here?!?!?!? I remember just yesterday holding my little little baby. She’s always been super petite. And now she has a good inch in height over her momma.

She’s doing really well in school. Loves project work, the kind where she has to build or create something. She’s an excellent artist and LOVES to draw Manga, Zentangle, and animals. She must get her talent from her daddy cause i can’t draw a stick figure if you know what I mean! HA!

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These are some of her latest building projects! She’s pretty good, even if she just has rocks, dirt, sticks, and some yarn!

She’s overall a great kid! Well, all my kids are, if you don’t mind me saying. (****WINK****)

Blessings,
Tiffany

Writers Block and a Good Story

I’ve been having a serious writers block lately! You know, the one where you have this HUGE GIGANTIC story to tell, or writing to get done, and then your fingers hit the keyboard and nothing. So disappointing. Time and time again for the past two weeks it’s happened. I’ve tried to switch it up a bit but nothing. You see, I write my posts somewhere between 3:30-7 a.m. The house is quiet. Nothing is stirring. I can sit and pray over the post. I can have my coffee and bible out. I can just be with me. Be with my thoughts and prayers and ideas of what I want to accomplish with a said post. But lately I sit, and sit, and sit some more and nothing comes. It’s frustrating! So frustrating!

So, here I sit on yet another morning, same as the last it feels, and it’s 3:30a.m. I have my coffee, which is smooth and delicious by the way, and my bible open to Psalm 50:15. This is what I want to say:

I struggle. Everyday I struggle. I struggle with self confidence. I struggle with past pain. I struggle with not being good enough. I struggle with addiction. I surrender everyday to God. I have to. I once thought, ” i surrendered it, why isn’t it going away?” You have to sometimes surrender it daily, for a week, maybe a month, and sometimes even years, before you see the fruit of that prayer! I have been there. I have struggled with abuse from my past going on 20+ years. I pray it away but it still affects some aspects of my life. It’s hard to overcome. It’s a mountain in my life. One I know I can’t and won’t overcome on my own. Jesus said he gave us the power to cast mountains into the sea and sometimes I have to do that every single day. Sometimes it’s all I can do to pray “God strengthen me for this day, to do your will, to be your hands and feet, and to somehow in the end GLORIFY you.”

I have had seasons in my life that were a train wreck. Finances amiss, relationships on the rocks, stillness from God no matter how much I seek his face and pray. I’ve also come to learn over the years of walking with Jesus that as much as He tries to shield us from all the bad sometimes it gets in. And other times we invite it in without even knowing. But I do know also, that there are a few things I can do to bring comfort to me. One is pray. Praying not only for myself but for others. Really lifting others up. It’s one way that brings me peace in a situation. It takes the focus off of “poor me” and puts it on God and others. Another way is digging in to scripture and learning from it. God didn’t put his breath to the Word for us not to be learning and living what he says. I’ve learned that when I’m having an issue I go to scripture and find what it says about that issue. Psalms has 150 chapters of struggling and overcoming! I’m sure we can all find something to relate just in that one book of the bible alone.

My life is not my own anymore. Not since I surrendered it at the foot of the cross to Jesus. No matter how much I believe, this life will always throw me curve balls. Always try to get the upper hand over me. Keep me in my struggles, keep me reliving the pain. Keep my battling addiction. But I’m here to tell you that I HAVE HOPE! Hope in a risen savior. Hope in his word. Hope in his presence. I don’t have to sit still and do nothing. I can rise up and overcome, because I know the one who overcame it all.

I leave you with this scripture:
Psalms 50:15 & 51:1-4
and call on me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you will honor me.

Have mercy on me, Oh God, according to you unfailing love; according to your great compassion,blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned; and done evil in your sight….

Blessings,
Tiffany

Family Update : Dexter

So I thought since it’s been quite a while I’d do an update on the family for you. The only problem with this is that if I did a general family update with all that has happened, you’d be reading a book so…….. I figure I could do an update each day for each of the kids. We’ll start with the oldest, Dexter!

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She just had her 16th birthday! Yes, we bought her a car! Totally out of the ordinary for us since we teach our kids they have to work for what they want in life, but she’s such a good girl, and was expecting to get a job, so this frees up me from running her around. She still has to wait until January to get her license, but it’s going to take her that long to get used to driving it since it’s a 5-speed.

It’s Been Too Long

Hi everyone! It’s me here, Tiffany! You’ve probably long forgot that I even have a blog :) That’s ok, I forgot for a long time that I had a blog too. Not really but my mind wasn’t well enough to write.

You see, after I had Pippy, I thought the hard part of having a stroke was over. I had really recovered well from it. No physical side effects what so ever. That to me was the hardest battle of having a stroke and to many people, that’s what they think too. I’m here to tell you it is not, unfortunately.

Most people think a stroke victims major recovery is the physical, and with some strokes I suppose that’s correct. With me, and a lot of other “mild” victims it’s the mental part that gets you. For me that has been the hardest part of recovery. And I’m still not there.

After Pippy was born and after a few days my physical side effects went away. I had my strength back, could walk and talk normal, and seemed to be a miracle to many people. What you couldn’t see is the turmoil I had inside. The part of the stroke that no one can see. I felt like I couldn’t capture my thoughts and verbalize them. I would get tangled with my words. I felt sometimes, and still do, as if all these thoughts and things I want to say are there but they won’t come out! It’s frustrating.

Then comes the depression. Oh, the depression has been rough. At first I thought I was just dealing with the baby blues that has accompanied many of my births. No, this went way deeper, and has lasted much longer. I almost feel robbed of my babies infant-hood if you will from the severe depression I was in which was a side effect from the stroke.

I want you to know, It’s not just the physical, the mental part of recovery is way harder. I went to the doctor time and time again seeking help. I needed to feel better. To feel in control. It wasn’t until I really grasped that the issues I was having weren’t going to go away. That what I was dealing with,This monster of depression, was the new me, that I started to feel better. And let me be honest, that just happened recently. Thirteen months I’ve been in this pit. It’s enough to drive a saint insane. I just kept pushing on, trying my hardest to live and thrive but surviving the day was more what I was doing.

My husband, God love him he’s the best, prayed, and stayed right by me, encouraging me, lifting me up, picking up the slack. I don’t know that I could’ve gotten through all this with out him. He has been my rock and my stablizer. He has went through many of dark days on my behalf and still faces the next with a smile. He loves me. That’s really all I can say. When I wanted to give up, throw in the towel, he was right there to lift me up, and carry me on. I love him so much and am so thankful for his spirit, determination to get me better, and guiding prayers through this journey.

I’m hoping to be writing here more often. It’s a release for me. I enjoy it. And it’s a place where I can be me. The new me, post stroke, fleeting thoughts, stumbling sentences(I’ll auto correct them for you all though) and all.

If you’re still around and reading, I thank you. Here’s to a new start!

Blessings,
Tiffany

Our Birth Story

As told in my last update… Baby Pip didn’t come without a few complications. We started out our morning on August 21,2013 expecting to have a normal labor and delivery. What actually happened is anything but normal.

We were scheduled to be induced two days after my due date. I was miserable and BIG! I hadn’t slept in months for more than a couple hours at a time. I was ready. We started out the morning getting up and ready. I kissed all the kids good bye and we headed to the hospital. My husband and I prayed the entire way to the hospital. It’s through those prayers that what lie ahead turned out to be ok.

When we arrived at the hospital, everything went as planned at first. They gave me a pill to induce labor around 7 am. MY
plan was to have a few contractions, ask for an epidural, and then sleep for the rest of labor, since I hadn’t slept in months. All went as planned at first. I got my epidural around 8:30 a.m. The entire time I was getting it I felt like she was pushing a rod into the back of my neck, and into my head. Now, if you know anything about epidurals they put the needle in and then thread the tube down. There was nothing going into or even near my head! Just felt that way! I soon began to feel relief and decided to take a nap. I just laid there for a while chatting with my husband and mom. Since we already have 6 children, my husband really wanted to stop after this one. I kept insisting that we have as many as God had planned for us. Through some prayer, he finally stated during labor,

I prayed and told God as long as he keeps me able to provide, I’ll have as many children as HE wants us to have!

Little did he know God would give him the answer to that prayer shortly after.

It wasn’t but a little while after that I sat up in the bed and told my mom my eyes felt numb. I complained about “the rod” in my neck too. There wasn’t a rod in my neck but it felt like there was. I laid back down and said my chest feels heavy and immediately started panting. That was when I had my stroke!

The rest of the story is from faint memories and from what others tell me. I don’t remember much. Mom says that I had a blank stare on my face, eyes wide open, but no response. She looked at the monitors and my blood pressure shot to 195/105 and my heart rate jumped to 198. She knew right them I was having a stroke. It didn’t take long for the nurses and doctors and anyone else they could round up to come into the room. They began examining me and trying to wake me. My right side was completely numb with no movement at all. They summoned to a neurologist but he was busy so my doctor went down to the emergency room and got the attending down there. He came and knew right away that I had had a stroke. He said the drugs that they give stroke patients would kill the baby and myself so there really wasn’t much they could do but wait it all out and see what happened on it’s own. The anesthesiologist came in and turned off the epidural. The doctors kept telling me to open my eyes. I couldn’t. I could hear what was going on but couldn’t respond to their requests. It was frightening. It was as if I was in a bad dream.

I remember the moment I opened my eyes. My momma was standing at the end of the bed, nurses and doctors everywhere in the room, my husband was at the far end of the room. I thought to myself, why is my Mom crying, I was only taking a nap. I had no idea what was actually happening to me. They started to ask me questions and I couldn’t speak. I tried but nothing came out. They told me to raise my hand, I couldn’t. It was then I started to blink once for yes and two for no to some simple questions. First was, do you know where you are? Of course I knew!

Not so long after I began to speak again. The first thing I said, while patting my belly, was BABY! They all assured me everything with the baby was fine. That was a relief….

I was rushed down to radiology for a MRI and CAT scan. NOTHING was there. As this was all happening my labor was still progressing. I was then dilated to 5. At this point the contractions were starting to kick in as the epidural had been off for a while. I remember the neurologist checking me out. Trying to get me to lift hands, and legs, squeeze and so forth. My right side still had nothing. I listened after his exam as he told my husband,

You already have 7 mouths now to feed, if I were you I wouldn’t have any more children. You wife my not be ok after this.

I was shocked! In disbelief! Scared! How could a small nap, and what felt like the epidural being to much for me turn into NO MORE BABIES?!?!?!?!?!

I delivered little PIP at 12:15pm. They didn’t want me to push because they hadn’t figured out the “cause” of the stroke, so they suctioned her out. She came out all cheesy looking and with a large round suction cup cone on the back of her head, but all else was fine with her! I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief. With all that was going on with me, the only thing I really cared about was if the baby was OK!

I started to be able to move again on my right side shortly before her delivery and gradually got better afterwards. I was not nearly as strong on the right side, but I could move and squeeze and point my foot like they asked me to. I nursed little PIP shortly after delivery then they took her away for her clean up and stats and such.

At this point my Husband, God love him, says

I need to go into the bathroom and loose it, I can’t be strong anymore!

He had kept it together this whole time with everything going on but it was time to release and cry! He and my mom kept trying to explain to me that I had had a stroke but I kept insisting it was just the epidural. I was in denial I guess.

That night after my hubs went home and got the kids and brought them up to see me did I realize something wasn’t right with me. I couldn’t speak right. I kept stuttering, couldnt’ remember things, and was weak. It was the side effects from the stroke. I remember Dexter crying and saying honey whats wrong. She was sad but come to find out later she was devastated and scared. She knew something was very wrong with momma.

It took me only a couple days to get my strength back and PIP was doing great. We went home that Friday, just two days after delivery with instructions to follow up with the Neurologist for the stroke. Those words penned on my discharge papers was the point I came to realize it wasn’t just the epidural as I had thought, I had a STROKE!

Now, I had EKG, ultrasound of arteries, and all kinds of other tests. THEY FOUND NO BLOCKS or BLOOD clots!!!!! I still to this day think what happened was something went wrong with the epidural, an air pocket or something, and THAT is what caused all of this! It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. It’s what I know in my heart to be true.

I do still have some side effects from all of this. Sometimes my thoughts are jumbled. I get frustrated easy because I cant’ think straight. I get overwhelmed so easily. I am able to function, have complete strength back but the internal side effects are difficult to deal with. My husband continues to help me learn to give myself some grace. I CAN”T do it all anymore. I’m not the “SUPER MOM” I once was, and I’m ok with that! I’m learning to be a new me, a me….. POST STROKE!!!

MUCH love and blessings to you,
TIFFANY

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WELCOME BABY

And then there were 6!!!!! I’m excited to share with you all, after a LONG, HARD, MISERABLE pregnancy, our new bundle of joy and light in our life!

WELCOME BABY PIP!!!!!!

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She arrived after being induced on August 21, 2012, weighing a whopping 6#15oz….. Her arrival was not without incident but that story is for another time. For now, celebrate her life with us!!!!

Welcome to this scary, crazy, but oh so beautiful world God created PIP!!!!!!!!! Momma and Daddy love you!!!!!!