Monday, June 29, 2009

Eight Months

It is hard to believe that it has been eight months since we said goodbye to Faith. Time seems to keep passing by all too quickly. Sometimes I sit and wonder what she would be doing now. Time marches on and so does life. My heart continues to heal. God is still on the throne and I continue to love Him and strive to honor him in all that I do. Faith, we miss you so much and wish you were here with us, but rejoice that you are with your Heavenly Father!

It can be so complicated sometimes when someone asks you how many children you have. I am not sure how to answer. I don't want my missing children to be forgotten. I also don't want it to be awkward for others if I tell them I've had miscarriages and a stillborn daughter. Sometimes I do not have the energy to talk about it, so I just say 10. Saying that you have 10 children already has enough shock factor in itself for most people.

Today I met a lady that had 11 children . Five were hers and six were here husbands and she was expecting. She was shocked to find that all 10 of ours were biologically both of ours. I didn't even go into the other pregnancies. She is homeschooling some of her children and wanted to ask me some more questions but ran out of time. Hopefully we will have a chance to talk some more soon.

Four of my children are participating in a musical at our church this summer. It is called Moses the Musical. This week they have practices Monday- Wednesday in the morning to work on learning the choreography. It was hard to drag them out of bed. I am pretty sure that we will need a nap today. Leaving the house at 8 a.m. is quite a stretch for us!

Yesterday our church had our annual picnic. Hubby and I were not too excited to go and sit in the Hot sun. I think that we have become addicted to the Air Conditioning and don't consider a day sitting in the hot ( high 80's) weather a day of fun. We went, bit our lip, and tried to be cheerful. Our children wanted to go badly, so we decided to give it a try. They had tents set up to help shield us from the sun. There was actually a breeze blowing, so all in all, it wasn't too bad.

This park was a great place for a church picnic. There was plenty of space and it was a nice setting. The kids enjoyed the playground and the inflatables that our church rented. We had good food,but the children especially enjoyed the snacks. Moon pies were a big hit with many. So we will see if we go next year, well maybe!



Friday, June 26, 2009

Walking With You Week 2 ~ Waiting

Walking With You was created by Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace to help those of us who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words,prayer requests, and more. To join in or to learn more please click on the button above. This week we are sharing our experience after we heard the news that changed our lives.

I was waiting around in Michigan to deliver Faith. We had known that she had a heart defect and that she would require surgery soon after birth. We had no idea what was about to happen. After my appointments on that Friday, my sister and I just hung around the Hotel and spent some time exploring the area. My hubby stayed home with the kids and to work until it was time for Faith to be born. He was then going to join me there for her birth.

Sunday evening came and I realized that I hadn't felt Faith move in a while. I tried several tricks to get her to move. Nothing was working. I just wanted to believe that she was sleeping and didn't want to be bothered. My sister and I decided to go to the hospital to get checked out.

They took me back pretty quickly and when the nurse put on the fetal monitor she couldn't get a heartbeat. They brought in the ultrasound machine and it was confirmed. Faith was gone. I just didn't want to believe it. I eventually asked if a doctor could do the ultrasound to make sure they knew what they were doing. I had apologized to the nurse, but I needed to make sure for myself. The nurse found a doctor to come in and do the ultrasound and she confirmed what we already knew.

I remember screaming WHY? It just felt so unbelievable. All that we had been through with this pregnancy, and all the hope we had been given and it ends this way? I remember the nurses comforting my sister and I am sitting there pretty much in shock. As we process the information and as we are able we start to call people to let them know and especially pray. My sister originally called my hubby, and then I talked to him several times.

The doctors there originally told me that they wanted to induce me that night, but later gave me the option of going back home to KY to deliver there. I was suppose to have a c-section because I had 3 prior c-sections and because of Faith's condition they did not want me to take any chances. Since there was no longer any risk to the baby, they urged me to try a VBAC. After talking with hubby, we decided I would head home and deliver with my own doctor and family near by.

My sister and I checked out of the Hotel on Monday morning and headed for KY. During the drive I had several phone calls to work out different details. One call was my doctor and she wanted me to head straight to the hospital when I got there. She also urged me to try VBAC so that I could heal easier. She was such a comforting voice and appreciate her more than I can express.

Another call was from my son. He had received a call from a friend of his from church. His sister offered her services as a photographer. I knew her through church, but I did not know that she was with NILMDTS. That was an answer to my prayers. I wanted someone to take pictures and I wasn't sure who could do it. A side note, I had started reading blogs before Faith was conceived about other families going through difficult pregnancies and loss and I had heard of NILMDTS and what a Blessing they were to these families. I didn't think it was possible to find someone that quickly.

We arrived at the Hospital in the late afternoon, and we were ushered back to our labor room. I believe this room is reserved for these type of situations. It was further away then most of the rest of the rooms. The doctor checked in on me a little while later and then they started pitocin. By 10 that night, not a whole lot was happening, so they did not up the pitocin until the next morning.

I had not seen my kids for several days, so it was a joy to see them that evening. All 10 of them plus a few friends came to see me. I loved seeing them, but it was such a bittersweet time.

During the course of the next day, it seemed to take a long time for me to dilate. Eventually I decided to go ahead with an epidural and I was so glad. I ended up sleeping most of the day! In the later part of the afternoon I started feeling a bit more, so I asked for another dosage of the epidural. They did that, but it still didn't seem right. They came and gave me a bit more which helped quite a bit, but there was still so much pressure. The nurse checked me and said it was time.

From the time I found out that Faith was gone until she was born I felt like I was walking around in a really bad dream. I just never thought that this was going to end this way. We knew that Faith was going to have a rough start, but we were sure that she would pull through. No one ever mentioned that she could be stillborn. It never crossed my mind. I also knew that God was with me and that we would get through no matter what. Yes, I had anger and I had a lot of questions that I thought God should answer. I also knew that I wouldn't make it without God seeing me through. I was going to Praise Him In This Storm!


Prayer Request: That I can be the wife and Mommy that I desire to be and know that God wants me to be.



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Today we went to church as a family and then all activities for the day were canceled. We came home and had Pizza and soft drinks. We usually don't have soft drinks at the house anymore, but today we let the kids have a treat. We then just spent a leisurely day at home playing games and just enjoying one another. This is what hubby requested and I do say it has been a great day!

I want to say Happy Father's Day to my Dear Sweet Hubby! He is the most incredible Husband and Father! I really appreciate all that he does for our family. He goes to work everyday and then comes home and helps out around here. He is no stranger to what I call the 3 D's; Dinner, Diapers and Dishes! He is such a hard worker. We are extremely Blessed!

I like to call Mike my computer genius! He can pretty much make anything happen on the computer. If he doesn't know how he will figure it out. He has been working with me redesigning this blog. I tell him what I want, and he makes it happen. He also comes up with Ideas and asks me if I like it. We have different tastes, but there are some of his ideas that I have liked. It has been fun working together.

(This is Hubby with half of our children today)

My Hubby is a very Sweet , Sensitive, Caring Man. He loves the Lord, he loves me, and he loves our children. We have had a lot of ups and quite a few downs during our marriage. I am in love with this man who bawled when our son was diagnosed with Leukemia and as Faith was born. He was so brokenhearted. He showed great strength when I needed him to in other difficult situations. I could lean on him and depend on him and I still can.

( Me and Hubby together)

Mike is probably the most honest and dependable person I know. He does what he says he will do. He shows up on time to places he is suppose to be( except when I cause him to be late! ) He is a man of his word, and I really love that in him. I Praise God for giving me this wonderful man!

Happy Father's Day Sweetie!

I would also like to mention my Dad . My Dad passed away in July 2004 and I miss him so much today.

I am the youngest of six kids. Needless to say, I was my daddy's little girl! He was very overprotective of me. He wasn't too sure of Mike when we started dating, but he grew to love and appreciate him a great deal.I have special memories of my dad that I hope I will forever hold on to.

(This is my Dad and Mom on Christmas 2003, just about 7 months before he passed away.)

My Dad was loved by anyone who met him. He especially loved children. He gave everyone a nickname, and when you got yours, you felt really special. I am given comfort that my Dad is in perfect health now that he is with Jesus. I am also sad that my children do not have him present in their lives. Many of them do have fond memories though. My dad collected penguins, so we cannot see a penguin without thinking of my dad!

I like to think that my Dad is helping to take care of Faith. He especially loved babies. Now I know that her body is in the grave and her spirit is in heaven, but I am thrilled that they are there together. I look forward to the day that I will be reunited with them.

I am so Thankful for these two very important men in my life! I lived with my Mom and Dad until the day I got married at the age of 19. My Dad continues being an important part of my life even though I have lived far away most of my married life. I have been with my wonderful Hubby for 25 years and look forward to way more than 25 more!



Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Sweet 16 Rebekah ( Just a little late! )

I have been wanting to get this post together for the past several days, but it just didn't happen. Our Oldest daughter, fourth child, celebrated her 16th Birthday recently. Yes, she was our first daughter after having 3 sons. Without a doubt, we were overjoyed to have a girl! She was definitely in pink almost exclusively the first few years of her life. I did not want anyone to mistake her for a boy. I also had her ears pierced when she was 9 months old. Wouldn't you know it, some people still called her a he, even when she was dressed head to toe in pink with earrings and a headband!

Rebekah is quite a delight to me. She handles things around the house and many of the younger children in my absence very well. This past year as we went through a rough pregnancy and then when we lost Faith, she really filled in the gap in a mighty way. I am not sure how we would have made out without her.

Rebekah participates in TBQ ( Teen Bible Quiz ). She works quite hard at memorizing and for the third year in a row, she will be participating in the National Competition in July. We are so proud of all her effort and hard work that she puts into this.

Rebekah also helps out with JBQ ( Junior Bible Quiz ). She is very appreciated there. She was actually gone on her Birthday because she was at the National Competition for JBQ helping my hubby. She participated in JBQ through 6th grade and was the #1 quizzer in the State of Kentucky her last year!

Rebekah, I just want you to know how much I love and appreciate you. You are Special to me! I know that sometimes life gets really busy and a bit crazy around here, and you may feel under appreciated or taken for granted. I am sorry if you ever feel that way, but please know that I do see what you do and appreciate you more than words can describe. I Thank God for Blessing us with a wonderful daughter !

Happy Belated Birthday Rebekah!



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Walking With You

Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace has started Walking with You to help support those who have lost a child. It is a place that we can share our stories about loss, any helpful information we have learned along the way, Scriptures that are meaningful to us, and any prayer request that we might have. I am excited as this group in getting underway. To have others that have been there and understand is quite important to me. If you have experienced a loss of a child please join us, just click on the button above.

My first loss was my very first pregnancy. I was 21 years old and we had tried for 9 months to get pregnant. We finally had success with it ending in major disappointment. At 13 weeks I was at work and I started spotting. I called the doctors office and the "friendly" receptionist said that if I was miscarrying there was nothing they could do about it anyway. She did however tell me to come in the next morning. I was there first thing even before anyone unlocked the door. My bladder was about to burst because they told me to drink lots of water for an ultrasound. The doctor showed up and opened the door, He told me just to let a little out. Yeah Right!

He proceeded to do the ultrasound and said that there was not a heartbeat. He gave me the option of having a D&C or wait it out. We didn't know what to do, so we went home to think about it. During the middle of the night I started passing large pieces of tissue. The doctor had me come in the next morning and he did a D&C in his office. It was one of the most difficult things I have experienced . If you have to have a D&C ,I recommend that you have medication to make you loopy or knocked out and for pain.

My second loss was when our third child was about 8 months old. We had become surprisingly pregnant when our son was just 6 months old. I had not been to the doctor yet for a checkup, but at 9 weeks I started bleeding. I went into the doctor's office and he examined me and said that I was passing tissue. He sent me to the hospital to get prepared for a D&C. Later he came and performed the procedure. At least this time I was given all the medication I needed! It was hard at losing another child. I actually felt that I did not grieve for my first miscarriage appropriately, so I believe I was grieving for both my miscarriages at the same time.

Our most recent loss happened in October 2008. At my 20 week ultrasound in July, they said they could not get a good view of the heart.They also said that the Nuchal Fold was measuring large. They sent me to a Perinatologist in which I could not get in until the following week. Needless to say I was a bit worried. I was trying to cast all my cares on the Lord, but I was really struggling.

At the Perinatologist Office we found that our daughter had Hypolpastic Left Heart Syndrome ( HLHS). We were told that she had a good chance at life, but would need Surgery soon after birth. Her total prognosis was not known, but we were given a lot of Hope. We endured the next few months of many appointments with the regular OB, the Perinatologist, and the Pediatric Cardiologist.

I went to Michigan to be prepared to have the baby, ( now known as Faith ). She was to be born in Michigan so that she could have the Surgery there. I went there on a Wednesday to have appointments on Thursday and Friday. We scheduled the c-section for a week away. I was just going to be monitored until then.

The appointments went fine and we saw our baby on the ultrasound, and she seemed to be doing well. On Sunday night I could not remember the last time I felt her move.We went on to the Hospital and that is when our World Came Crashing Down on us. We were told that she no longer had a heartbeat.

I was very upset and I remember screaming WHY? I do also remember knowing that God was going to get us through this, that he got us through some other difficult times in our lives. I am not going to say that it was easy, but I felt the prayers of many who were praying for us.


Earlier that year I had started reading blogs about other Moms that had lost their babies for various reasons. Little did I know that I was going to walk down a similar path. I believe that reading those blogs helped prepare me for what I was going to experience. I am Thankful to have some of the knowledge I gained during that time. It is a great help to be able to hear others' stories, to hear their experiences and how they dealt with them.


My prayer request is that I strongly have the desire to have another baby. Yes, even though I will soon be 45. Yes, even though that I have 10 living children. I really desire to have one more and to finish my child bearing years on a positive note. I love babies and would have many, many more if I could. But my prayer request is to have one more healthy pregnancy and baby. I know that medically speaking that I am an old lady! I also know that with God All things are possible! If this is not what he would have for us, then pray for my heart to be content and at peace.



Friday, June 12, 2009

Why does it always happen?

Sorry I have been MIA for a little while. Keeping up with my children and my hubby can be very time consuming to say the least. I have also just been feeling a bit "dry" and just a bit down. The circumstances of life can really drag you down if you let it. I am trying to readjust my focus on Jesus and what he wants me to do and how to do it.

I am praying that my journey of having Faith will bring Glory to God and that along the way I can be of help to those who experience something similar. I want something Good to come from this. God is bringing healing to my life, but at the same time I still experience struggles. I want to be a better wife, a better mother, a better friend but right now I often find it difficult to be those things. Some days I still just want to hide from the world.

I was raised in the Church and personally accepted Jesus as my Saviour at the age of 11. Trusting God has come a little more easily for me then for some others. I believe He is who he said He is, and I believe His Word to be true. However, some days I start to rely more on my own abilities. When things start to fall apart I am suddenly thrown into reality that I left God out of the picture. Why do I have to Fall on my Face so many times? Why haven't I learned my lesson.

Even though Mike and I have experienced a great deal of difficulties along the way, God's Grace has always been sufficient. He has always provided.He has always made a way when there didn't seem to be a way.I am so Thankful for my Godly Heritage and that God is part of my Life! If you have accepted Jesus as Lord would you mind sharing a little bit about it, or at least what age you were when you came to that decision. I would love to hear about it. If you haven't come to that decision yet, won't you consider it today?

On the Home Front, the last couple of days have been quite a change. I have been mostly having only 4 kids at home and it feels quite strange. My hubby is at the JBQ (Junior Bible Quiz) National Festival. Two of our children are quizzing along with 4 other quizzers from our church. Mike is their coach. My daughter Rebekah went along to help. The older boys have other activities to keep them busy. I am having to re figure how to make Meals because I am used to cooking for 12. Needless to say it is quite different around here, and dare I say quieter?

Of course something always falls apart when the hubby is away. Last time he went away we had a disaster happen. The ejection pump in the basement decided to quit working. This pump is to pump out all the water and sewage from the bathroom in the basement. Well when my son was done with his shower he found quite a bit of water in the basement. Fortunately there didn't seem to be any sewage involved, but probably only shower water. We got the shop vac out and tried to clean up the mess ourselves. That was never going to work. After spending a long time on one area it seemed like we were getting nowhere fast! Eventually I ended up calling a company to come out that specializes in water extraction. Money was spent that was unexpected, but a least the carpet was saved!

This morning as I was sitting in the Family Room, we suddenly heard this strange noise. It was a water sound, but at first I thought someone was in the Kitchen running water. After a couple of minutes I realized that all the kids that were home were in the Family Room with me. With 10 children you are used to a lot of noise and don't get too alarmed when you hear noises! So I got up and went into the kitchen and found water pouring out of the freezer. We have the water and ice in the door option and somehow the water was just flowing. I had no one big to help me, so I had to work hard at getting the Fridge pulled out so that I could turn off the water valve in the back.

We have had a time with this Fridge recently. About a month ago or so, it quit working. The relay to the compressor was shot. We believed this happened during a thunder storm in which we kept having power surges. Earlier that morning it was working perfectly fine. Then about a week later the ice maker broke. Now we are back to using ice trays. We make the ice and then put it in the container in the freezer where it would normally go, so we can make more and try to build up a supply. We still had the water turned on so that we can get the water in the door. Now we are getting crushed ice even though we have it on the cube ice selection! The thing is really messed up. So now evidently the water line now has a problem! UGHHH!

Here are a few pictures of some of my flowers close up. Why? Well, just because! I am trying to learn more about my camera and how to use it.



Monday, June 1, 2009

My Little Helper

This weekend I worked on planting the rest of my Flowers and planted my garden. Every year I am so excited to buy flowers and plant them. Well after all the planting I always tell myself that I will not do this next year. Do I ever listen? I just love the flowers, but keeping up with the watering gets old after a while.

My hubby put the finishing touches on the square foot garden and he even let me use his drill! I felt so honored! I have never used a drill before so this was a new experience for me. So I drilled holes and then screwed screws into the wood. I am so proud of myself!

I was then able to get my square foot garden planted on Saturday. I planted some seeds and some plants. Now its time to see how it is going to work out. The younger children were so excited to help plant the seeds. I know they will be thrilled to see them start to grow. I know I will! Hopefully we will get some wonderful veggies to eat this Summer.

I had a bit of help from some of the children. Mostly from the nine years and younger crowd! If you have experience from this type of help, then you know that some of them are a bit more helpful than others! :) I am pretty sure that it can get done in half the time without so much "help"!

So What will a three year old do with one of these?

He is so much fun and keeps us laughing!

Also this sweet three year old stepped on three flowers before everything was planted. He was so Sorry! He was pretty broken hearted really, but I let him know that I forgave him. I also keep reminding him that it is a really good thing that he is so cute!