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!!!!!!

My Convictions aren’t Your Convictions

Let me start by saying that what works for our family, what we deem appropriate for our family may or may not be something you’d do or instill in your family. That doesn’t make either one of us right or wrong. It just makes us different and that’s ok.

Telling the truth, Gods truth, the truth we know without a shadow of a doubt, is hard. It goes against everything the WORLD is screaming at you. It’s a struggle everyday not to fall into the temptation the world throws at you. We face it. We deal with it head on. We make hard choices. That’s what we, as a family, feel we are called to do. We feel we are called to raise up our children against the grain. Against what schools says is ok. Against what teens say is ok. Against what Hollywood says is ok. It’s something we’ve been convicted over time and time again. It’s hard though. It’s a battle everyday to let that one little thing slide….. Like wearing immodest clothes, or listening to what I call crap music. But it’s a battle we must face head on.

We do things different around here. We don’t do cell phones, even for the 15 year old. We don’t do internet access. We don’t do short shorts. We don’t do a lot of tv including such as Disney Channel. YES I know, it’s for kids. But the content of the shows don’t line up with the values we try to teach them. We don’t do public school. We don’t let our kids stay the night places. There’s a lot we don’t do. We do talk with our kids about the whys and what are reasoning is. We do pray with them about things that we don’t agree on. We do try to teach them that it’s ok to be different. It’s ok to stand up for what you believe in, IF you’re doing it in love. It’s ok to be the only one who feels a certain way. If God lays something on your heart it’s ok to stand by that!

Recently we had a falling out of sorts with some family. I feel that it’s just another way the enemy uses us and each other to try to step away from the truth we have known to be. Our family, extended family, doesn’t agree with some of the decisions we’ve made for our family. That’s ok! No really it is. I know what God has placed in our hearts. I know how God wants us to raise our family and nothing anyone can say or do is going to change that. I have to answer to HIM and only HIM when this life is all but gone. What we feel is appropriate decisions for our family is NOT the popular one by any means. It never is! But we try to convey our convictions is love. We don’t judge you for your convictions or decisions. We are all different. We’ve all been called to do something different. That doesn’t mean we condemn you because our calling is not the same. That also doesn’t mean we have to agree with it. We have to do what WE feel is best within our four walls in our home. IT’S OK!!!!!!! My convictions aren’t your convictions! I know that. I’m ok with that.

So stand your ground saints and do what God has called you to do. Speak the truth in love and stand by what God has placed in your heart. Don’t let the enemy take away even for a second the truth God has placed in you. Stand firm in your faith. Don’t waiver. For the riches in heaven are more than anything this world will ever have to offer you.

BLESSINGS,
TIffany

TITUS 2 TUESDAYS

Homeschooling High School : oh the choices

It’s that time of the year! All the shiny curriculum catalogs are showing up in your mailbox daily. They entice you to shop and buy the “latest and greatest” of products for your homeschoool. Unfortunately, if your like me and entering the upper grades, you have no clue what to buy!

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I’m right there with you! Dexter is in the 9th grade. We have used Abeka this year but it’s been really hard for both of us to finish. It’s extremely dry with a ton of reading. Now, Dexter is a great reader. She reads books like it’s going out of style. 500+ page books mind you, so the reading isn’t so bad for her, it’s the content of the reading that she struggles with. I’ve determined that next year Abeka will not work.

There’s my dilemma folks. WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?!?!?!?!?! I’ve spent countless hours researching curricula, styles of learning, and everything in between. Online school, workbooks, reading/ literature study. I’m at a loss. How on earth, without seeing and trying it, can you be sure the curricula you chose will work for you? I’m not sure. That’s the problem! And I’m just not willing to pay that amount of money for a curriculum I may not use! Oh, the frustration! Oh, the choices!

It’s now time to pray and seek God for his will and his leading. I jumped into this homeshooling thing because HE called me to it. Thus, I must sit and wait and listen for further guidance to make sure I’m doing what He wants me to do. It’s a hard process, sitting and being still, but I must for the success of our school and this here journey we’re on!

If your a homeschooling family and you have some opinions or comments, PLEASE leave them in the comment section. I’m lost but not without hope! I need all the help I can get!

Blessings,
Tiffany

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It’s time to say Hi again

Well, HELLO all of you! I’m back! It’s been a really crazy few months. Actually, it’s been a down and out few months. I’ve been sick with pregnancy and my struggles took a hold of me for longer than I’d care to admit. All is good, God is faithful, my husband is wonderful and my children have all survived!

I lost hope somewhere in January. My life seemed to spiral out of control and somehow my faith let it. I have spent the past few months watching from the outside as my life just seemed to go on. No real interest, or joy in anything I’ve done. I cried out to The Lord on many occasions and HE finally said enough and pulled me from my pit! His loving hand reached down and swooped me up like a mother does her child. I love him so much for his faithfulness, even when mine is almost extinct. He’s reminded me through this journey that HE is LORD of all and HE holds me in his hand. It’s so good to feel alive again. Thank you to all who prayed for me for God heard your prayers! Keep praying the road is narrow and I need all the help I can get.

On another note, the kids are still happy and healthy. Wild Bills diabetes are getting the best of her right now as she’s going through a growth spurt and puberty! AHH, the joys of puberty;) Dexter is excelling and singing regularly in church. She participated in our church’s rendition of Americas Got Talent and won! So proud of her. Magic Bean and Princess are both well and thriving in there school work. And, the DUDE, well, he’s the Dude. Happy and always willing to make someone laugh. I just love that boy!

The pregnancy is progressing well. I had a little scare last week when I went in for a routine checkup. They couldn’t find a heartbeat! Talk about the scariest day of my life! The ultrasound tech was not in so I was sent home with instructions to come back the next morning. THE LONGEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE!!!!! I cried, and begged, and pleaded, and prayed for God to save my child! He answered and in the morning when it was time for the ultrasound all is well. Little baby was just hiding! I will leave you with a picture of the ultrasound and this……..

IT’S A GIRL!!!!!

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Blessings,
Tiffany

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This is Me

As I sit here with tears streaming down my face, the only comfort I have is writing. Getting it out. Letting it go. This is me. I struggle. I hurt. I’m alone.

If you look from the outside, I’m the happy mother of 5 children. I homeschool. I homemake. I take my kids with me everywhere. I’m what you imagine a Super Mom to look like. But image is nothing. Take a deeper look. You’ll see my struggles. My fears. My failures.

A typical day in my house for me starts at 2 a.m. YES, I said 2! I get up because I can’t sleep. I sit and message with my mom for an hour our so. She has a crazy sleep schedule too and leaves for work at 4 am so she’s up anyways. Then by 4:15-4:30 ish I start making my husband his lunch and his breakfast. Somewhere between 5 and 6 I head back to bed for a few hours. The two smallest kids, Princess and the Dude, usually wake around 8ish or so. They come in, ask to play on the kindles and in my sleepy state I always agree. I get up for the day around 9:30-10. Usually my oldest, Dexter, comes in starting at 9 to try to wake me. I fight it until 10 am…..

By the time I get up the kids have been alone on kindles or watching sprout for an hour to two! They’ve fed themselves breakfast and made momma some coffee. I get up and head to the kitchen for my coffee and a cigarette. Yep, I’m a smoker. Have been for a LONG time. Too long actually. I usually direct them to get there breakfast mess cleaned up and have them get dressed. We/I try to get school work going by 11 or so. All the while sitting at the kitchen table. It’s my home, the table. I’m there most of the day. It’s here I write. I email. I look at pinterest for WAY to long. Here is where I momma at for most of the day.

Our school day usually wraps up within a couple of hours. Then it’s lunch. Does momma fix lunch? NOPE! Kids do that too. Then it’s chores! YEP! Kids do those too. I’m headed for the couch by 1p.m. for a nap. The broken sleep gives me about 4 hours of energy before I crash again. Depending on the schedule I take a 1-3 hour nap. Yes, again, I said 1-3 hours! They kids are free to play kindles or watch an approved movie in that time frame, finish work that needs done, or just play.

I get up and go back to the table! It’s my home remember. I have so more coffee, all decaf of course, I’m pregnant remember. I’m worried about the coffee I drink but I poison my body, and my baby with cigarette smoke! What is wrong with me! My addiction is my life. It’s a struggle every single day. It’s where so much of my pain stems from, yet, I can’t let it go! It’s my comfort. It’s the thing I can control. It’s who I am. I have defined myself as that for so many years! Sad, I know but it is. Remember, this is me.

I sit and around 3:30 my brothers girls start showing up. One at 3:30 and the other 2 at 4. I watch them after school most days but they usually get picked up right after 4. Unless mom has a late appointment which I don’t mind.. I love those girls like my own! After they leave for the night, I have the kids do a quick tidy up and try to help around the house a bit. Dad usually texts somewhere between 5-6 “on way”. We do a mad scramble to make sure the house is tidy and I try to figure out dinner. I do a menu every week but some days I forget to pull stuff out or I just don’t feel like cooking. Cooking has been a real struggle as of late.

We somehow get everyone fed and dinner chores started around 7. Dad and I go to the couch or to the room to do our devotional. After, it’s shower, pj time and we sit and watch tv. I’m completely exhausted from doing nothing really by 9 pm. The kids go to bed and dad tucks them in and prays with them. I head to bed some time around 10. Then it’s time to start all over again at 2a.m.

That’s my day. A day where looking from the outside you’d think I have it all together! WRONG! I’m not even close to having it together. I sit, and ponder,cry and pray…… God make it better. Take the chains of bondage. Help me to surrender it all to you. Make me clean. I’m waiting still. And still praying. I know that I know that my God can and will deliver me from the pit I’ve gotten myself in to. It’s just a waiting game. Waiting for His timing. Waiting on Him. The ALMIGHTY to say ok my child, you’ve suffered enough.

I’ve done what I can do. My earthly flesh is no where near strong enough to break the chains. It’s Him and only him that can do it. So I sit and pray and write and release. It’s all I can do.

I’m not the super mom you’d expect. I’m a real woman with real issues. A woman with pain and hurt. A woman trying to do what’s best but failing dramatically. A woman who struggles day to day. A woman who tries to be real here and with everyone around me. A woman who gets a whole lot of nothing accomplished on most days. If it wasn’t for the kids, the house would be a train wreck. A woman who is alone and calling for help. A woman who struggles.

I’m going to end this post by saying please, don’t leave negative feedback or comments. I know how bad and how easy it is to judge. We all do it. But at this time, prayer is what I need. Pray for me would you?

Blessings,
TIffany