I got to see my baby for just a minute right after he was born, then he was whisked off to the nursery and to see his awaiting family.
When I gave birth to Brandon eight years before, I was left alone in surgery while my best friend went with Brandon to see his daddy and family. I hated the feeling of being all alone while they were closing my incision. The doctor and nurses were talking to each other and no one was talking to me. I was scared and all alone.
Tyler knew his father's touch because he was screaming up a storm when his pediatrician was checking him over right after his birth. Roger reached over and started rubbing his little leg and talking to him...he stopped crying immediately.
I had told Roger this during my pregnancy and he remembered that while I was in surgery this time delivering Tyler. So, when Esther, my nurse got ready to take Tyler to the nursery...Roger told her that he was going to stay with me when she took Tyler to meet his new family. He did just that. Esther took care of the pictures, video and seeing that Tyler met his new family. She saw to it that everything got photographed and recorded for us. He was the hairiest baby that I have ever seen...plus had long sideburns that looked like Elvis.
That night after surgery, I spiked a fever of 104 and was in a great deal of pain, therefore, I was given some pain medicine and slept. Due to the fever that I was running, I was not allowed to see my baby that night or the next day. Roger would go back and forth between my room and the nursery to check on Tyler. He was allowed to just walk into the nursery to see when whenever he wanted to.
In the wee hours of Friday morning while I was going from being alert to sound asleep, Roger went to check on Tyler. When he approached the nursery window, he was his doctor and nurse surrounding him and it appeared that something was wrong. He rushed into the nursery to see what was wrong. They told him that Tyler's limbs were turning blue and he had spiked a fever as well. They began drawing blood on Tyler and trying to figure out what was wrong with him. His doctor said that his blood cultures would not be back for several days but he thought he knew what was wrong and would treat him likewise. He said that he felt that Tyler had Group B Strep and could be fatal if not treated appropriately. He immediately began Tyler on antibiotics that night.
Tyler was finally allowed to come to my room on Saturday morning before he had his nursery picture made. I dressed him in his University of South Carolina Gamecock onesie. I went to the nursery with Tyler for his pictures but he slept through the whole thing. So, his pictures are with him sound asleep. He was a beautiful baby and had a head full of black hair. He looked perfect and was absolutely gorgeous!
After his pictures were made, he went back to my room again. We loved spending time with him, holding him, loving on him, kissing him and just watching him! Our family and friends also came by to see Tyler and we made tons of pictures. Finally, things seemed to be moving in the right direction to spending time with our baby and getting to take him home with us.
On Sunday morning, Tyler's doctor came into see us and explained his findings. His condition was not improving in the manner that he had hoped for and he was not going to wait on the blood cultures to come back before starting an IV with stronger antibiotics in them. Tyler was in our room for a short while when the nurse came to take him back to the nursery because his doctor had ordered a spinal tap on him to rule out meningitis. I was sick to my stomach and just began crying thinking about what my baby was going to endure with the spinal tap. I had been present when my stepdaughter had a spinal tap years before and the pain that she endured was terrible.
I immediately began calling the church and Pastor Helms because we needed as many people praying for our baby as possible. We were able to get a message to Pastor Helms right before church started that morning.
When they were finished doing his spinal tap, they brought him back to us in my room. His doctor told us that he also heard a heart murmur that morning and had called for a pediatric cardiologist that will see Tyler on Monday morning. I just sat and held my baby tight and cried. I was so scared. I cried and cried! I prayed and prayed over my baby.
Dr. Westbrook allowed me to stay all day on Sunday to spend as much time with Tyler as I could but I had to be out of my room before midnight. We left the hospital around 7 o'clock going home empty handed. That is a terrible feeling to leave the hospital without your baby, but I had the assurance that my baby would be coming home in a couple of days.
Roger had a huge stork put in our yard announcing the birth of our baby boy. They made pictures of me and some of both of us...empty handed by the stork. My first night at home was very lonely because Brandon was at my mother's and Tyler was still in the hospital.
Monday, I got up and got ready for my friend's daughter to drive me to the hospital to see Tyler. The nurses in the nursery had made a picture of Brandon when he came to see his little brother on Saturday and put it in his crib saying...Meet My Brother.
The cardiologist came to see Tyler that morning and said that his heart murmur was completely gone and there was no reason for her to see him again. Praise The Lord!!!!!!
Sommer and Ryan had been in South Carolina and hadn't met their baby brother yet. Their mother and grandmother brought them to the hospital that afternoon to see Tyler for the first time. The nurses took the rocker into a supply room so that everyone could spend time with Tyler and no one would be excluded..including Roger's ex-wife and his former mother-in-law. Everyone was sweet and excited about our new arrival....they were all happy for us. Our relationship with his ex-wife was completely opposite from the one with my ex-husband. We made lots of pictures of this milestone too. They put a picture of Tyler's sister's in his crib as well saying....Meet My Sisters. How sweet is that? We thought it was great!
Finally, on Thursday...Tyler's actual due date, July 21st, he was discharged from the hospital. We spoke with his pediatrician who said that Tyler's blood cultures came back and were positive for Group B Strep. He was glad and we were very thankful that he took the initiative to start the antibiotics nearly a week earlier. They suspected that I was a carried of Group B Strep with no symptoms...Dr. Westbrook had treated me as well in the hospital for this condition.
We dressed Tyler in the St. Maarten onesie that we bought before we knew that we were pregnant...we thought it was very fitting for the celebration of his homecoming. Tyler would have a home health nurse come to the house once a day for 3 more days to administer his antibiotics. That was very hard to watch then stick those needles in his tiny little legs. I would home to dread that time of day for 3 long days but my baby would finally at home with us where he belongs.
Finally, home at last!!!! God is so good and He had His hand on Tyler and us the entire time. He knew what was going to happen and what we would be in need of...Dr. Westbrook, Tyler's pediatrician and his awesome nursing staff who watched Tyler very closely during his stay. They loved him and he was already spoiled before we got him home. I believe God orchestrated everyone who took part in my care and in Tyler's care the entire time we were in the hospital. We could not have gotten any better care than what we did there. God has truly blessed our family again!!!!
Pictures of our precious little man and his family who loves him very much.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I got to see my baby for just a minute right after he was born, then he was whisked off to the nursery and to see his awaiting family.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Dr. Westbrook decided on Tuesday, July 12th that I was a good candidate for an induction and it was scheduled for 5:30 AM on July 14th, 1994.
I did not get much sleep the night before my induction and I had to get up at 3 AM to be showered, dressed and ready to leave for the hospital by 4 AM the next morning. I got up, took my shower, put my make-up on, fixed my hair and got dressed...then I straighten up the house and made the bed. I wanted to look my best when I saw my new son for the first time and no one ever gets to see me without my make-up...if I can help it. Roger is videoing me and acting like he was interviewing me the entire time. If it had not been such an exciting time...I might have killed him before the day was over...but it was comical to say the least.
We left for the hospital and my nerves set in...oh, dear...this is really about to happen!!!!! Oh, God...help me!!!! I was an excited, nervous wreck!!!
We get to the hospital, do all the paper work, get in my "cute" little hospital gown, go through all the other "fun" stuff that we have to go through and then I was hooked up to the "pit" drip...Pitocin...medicine used to induce labor.
All the while, Roger is interviewing me every 15 - 30 minutes. We laughed about it while he was doing it. We stayed at the hospital alone until we knew that Dr. Westbrook was going to keep me. Around 9 AM, he came in to see me, see if I was dilated and then he broke my water. He looked at me and said "well, I guess we are staying, huh?" Then I got excited because I knew that I was not going to get sent home and Dr. Westbrook was going to be delivering my baby. Our office was in the professional building adjacent to the hospital and actually on the same floor...so I was happy knowing that he could be there in a matter of minutes if they needed him.
After we had been there for awhile, we called my friend (matron of honor at wedding) to come on to the hospital because we were in for the long haul...an all day and probably all night ordeal. She came and brought her teenage daughter...they stayed with us the entire time. The girls from the office came down during lunch to check on me, which...all the visitors...kept my mind off the pain...for the most part. My mother was keeping Brandon at her house and waiting for me to get closer to time to deliver before making the 45 minute trip to the hospital.
It was early afternoon when the labor pains got more intense and I decided that I did not want to go all natural. They gave me some pain medicine in my IV until I dilated enough to get my epidural. That time could not come fast enough!!! Roger and my friend both said..."well, are you fulfilled yet?" and I said "oh, yes!"...talking about wanting to experience labor.I finally reached that magical number....3 cm dilated!!! Epi...Epi...oh, yes....Epidural!!!! It was not as bad as I had been told it would be but sitting still up on the side of the bed during contractions is not the easiest thing to do. However, it did not take my anesthesiologist very long and he was finished and I was relieved of my pain. Now, I could enjoy visiting with my friends...at last.
Have I told you just how good God is? Well, He is awesome and knew everything that was going to happen that day...even before, I was born...not to mention long before you were born, my precious little Tyler! How awesome is that? I know how amazing God has always been in my life and He has never stopped amazing me to this day.
Before I knew it, the work day was over and Dr. Westbrook was in to see me. I had been there since 5:30 AM and it was now 5:30 PM and I had finally made it to 6 cm! Yeah! He said that it would be in the wee hours of the morning before we would be bringing our precious new baby boy, Tyler into this world. I was ready to see his sweet, beautiful face.
It was not too long after all that...my epidural was not working right....I had a "hot spot"...meaning that I had a place about the size of a grapefruit in my lower right abdomen that had all the feeling in it...I felt every contraction in that one spot while everything else was numb. I told my nurse and she notified the anesthesiologist of the minor problem. He came in and upped my dose that I was getting...the problem was solved.
However, we had been watching the monitors all day...helped to pass the time. We watched the contractions on the monitor because I could not feel them and watched his heart rate. It was 7 PM by now and it was shift change time. My day nurse was going off and the night nurse was coming on...they were standing inside my room...one was giving the other the update on my progress. Within 5 minutes of having my epidural doses upped...Tyler's heart rate dropped from 138 to the 36. My nurse rushed over to put the oxygen mask on me and sent for Dr. Westbrook, who came in to see what was going on. He checked me again and told me that the internal electrode had come off of Tyler's scalp and he reattached it. It was 7 PM and I was dilated to 7 cm. Dr. Westbrook said that we were in for a long night and we would proceed as planned. He joked with me to behave myself and do not do that again...like I could have helped it.
An hour later, my epidural was doing strange things again....this time...the only place that was numb was my butt! I had all the feeling in every place except my fanny. We told the nurse again and she called the anesthesiologist again. This time when he came back...he gave me a direct dose into the catheter that went directly into my spinal area. Again, within 5 minutes of him doing this and leaving...Tyler's heart rate shot up to 197 and Dr. Westbrook was standing at the foot of my bed again within a few seconds. He had been sitting at the nurse's station watching the monitor. He had me turn onto my left side and keep the oxygen mask on my face. Within a few minutes, Tyler's heart rate had settled back down. It was now 8 PM and I had dilated to 8 cm...1 cm per hour was how I was progressing...but things were still not working in our favor to have a vaginal delivery. Dr. Westbrook began to discuss me having another C-Section and said "I know you do not want another one but we have to think about what is best for you and the baby, but we will proceed on as planned for now and if we have to perform one then we will at that time." He wanted to make sure that we knew the seriousness of the situation and if the need arose again...the need for an emergency C-Section.
Now, I know you can only imagine the anxiety that I was feeling at this time. I kept telling myself to remain calm because if I got upset...then it would affect Tyler's heart rate again. Once again, Dr. Westbrook check me and I was now dilated to 8 cm. I was happy with that because I knew that I only had to make it to 10 cm and I could start to push and get this over with. I was really, really scared. Oh, my goodness...I wanted to cry so bad...it was a major fight within me to keep my emotions under control.
I waited until Dr. Westbrook left the room and I had my friend make some phone calls for me because I knew that I wanted everyone there when Tyler was born. My friends...Glenda, Wendy, Stacey, my mother and Brandon would be there soon. But I was really scared about what all was going on with my baby.
I asked Roger to call Pastor Helms (our pastor at that time and our good friends) so he could start praying. All Roger got was his answering machine at home...so he left a message.
Then, my best friend, Tamara, who was there with me in the delivery room with Brandon called to check on me. Roger had his back turned toward me while he was talking to her. I am not sure now what I was trying to tell him to tell Tamara but when I called his name, he turned to face me and he was crying....I LOST IT! He was as scared as I was but neither of us wanted to let the other one see it because we did not want to upset the other. I immediately became hysterical and started crying...the flood gates burst open.
My blood pressure shot up and Dr. Westbrook was back in my room immediately. He said that it was time to do the C-Section before we end up in an emergency situation. Roger told Dr. Westbrook..."please, don't let my wife die" and he began to cry again. I was already crying and I told Dr. Westbrook "please, don't let my baby die". He assured us that it was not an emergency situation yet but he thought it was time. I no longer care how they got Tyler into this world...I just wanted him here....NOW!!!! I had been fulfilled and then some.
Roger called Sharron, Dr. Westbrook's nurse to update her on the situation. I had worked with Sharron for years and we were good friends. She assisted Dr. Westbrook on scheduled surgeries but she did not come in on any emergencies or during the night surgeries...but she called Dr. Westbrook herself and told him to not start without her...she was on her way. Sharron lived 30 miles away and it had started pouring down rain, but she came with her teenage daughter in tow to be with me and assist with Tyler's birth.
God knew that I needed everyone that I had there with me that night and He made a way. Sharron arrived at the hospital before the on call surgical nurse could get there and she lived closer than Sharron.
They had started moving me on my bed to the delivery surgical suite to bring my precious new baby boy into this world. I had been hoping that Pastor Helms was there with us before I went into surgery but Roger had to leave a message for him. They were just about to push my bed out of the doorway when Pastor Helms and Karen stepped in the door. He immediately asked if he could pray with me before they took me into surgery and they stopped, he prayed right in the hall and "all was well again". He also brought Tyler a teddy bear that had a red heart that said "Jesus Loves Me" on it.
At 9:41 PM on 7/14/94, our precious baby boy, Austin Tyler W. entered into this world. He weighed 8 lbs. 11 oz. and was 20 inches long. Brandon weighed 8 lbs. 10 1/2 oz. and was 21 inches long.
"Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations-- that's what I had in mind for you." (The Message)
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. (NIV)
The pictures to help tell our precious story of God's grace, faithfulness, mercy and protection.
Friday, April 18, 2008
I am constantly amazed at how God knows what we will need long before we do. He sees over the hills and around the curves...He has been in the our yesterdays, our todays and already in our tomorrows! This time of my life as no different. I had worked for Dr. Westbrook since 1985, but had not used him as my doctor in a number of years. Instead, I started seeing his partner right after I took the insurance position in his office. Our working relationship had not always been the best as we were both very strong willed, bull headed and very driven...ok...stubborn. He could sometimes be very overbearing, demanding and hard to work for. When I quit my job in 1992 after Roger and I got married, we did not like each other very much but still had a great deal of respect for each other. I went back to work for him filling in from time to time when someone was on vacation or when they were shorthanded...those times would range from a week to several months and end the end...I was back to full time before he retired in September 2001.
I guess that since I did not have to have the job and he did not have to have me working for him again...we had a new found, great deal of respect and an awesome working relationship. We finally got along perfectly...I guess...we needed each other in a different way. However, when I decided to get pregnant with Tyler....he and his partner had gone different ways years before and I continued to see his former partner, but I knew that as a former employee that Dr. Westbrook would see me for only what my insurance would pay him. So...I decided to return to his care and use him as my OB/GYN again. He was a great doctor, very gentle, kind and I trusted him fully.
My pregnancy with Tyler was totally uneventful except for the fact that I had "all day sickness" for about 5 months. It was a very exciting time for all of us as a family. Roger's girls were excited and watched my belly grow...and did it ever grow!!! I loved being pregnant and had said many times that I would carry the baby and let someone else raise them. Brandon also had a new and different excitement about him knowing that he was going to be a big brother. Brandon would be 8, Sommer would be 16 and Ryan would be 14 when Tyler was born.
My pregnancy with Brandon was pretty much exactly the same as with Tyler. As any new pregnant mother...you have your dreams of what you want you pregnancy and delivery to be like. I wanted to take childbirth classes, have my husband in the delivery room and have a normal, natural delivery. Well, with Brandon that was not the case....I took childbirth classes with my best friend, my best friend was in the delivery room, Brandon was breech and I never felt the first labor pain and ended up with a C-Section delivery. I felt immediately like a failure after I gave birth to Brandon because I felt robbed of that joy, experience that comes with labor and delivery plus, having my husband playing a vital role in my pregnancy and delivery.
When I got pregnant with Tyler, Roger knew how much all of the things that I just mentioned meant to me and he did everything that he could to see that I lived my dreams out to the fullest.
We did not take childbirth classes this time but I knew that a team of wild horses would not be able to drag him out of the delivery room. The exciting part for me was that they had started doing the VBAC delivery (vaginal birth after Cesarean)...if you had the type incision that would allow you to go into active labor...which I did. Dr. Westbrook also knew how much it meant to be to VBAC with Tyler and he did not see any reason why I could not try.
God was allowing me to live out another dream that I had been robbed of during my first marriage, pregnancy and delivery. God is so good and He cares so much about the small things that make us happy, as well as, the big things.
Roger and I talked about whether we wanted a boy or girl...which did not matter as long as he was healthy, but I really wanted to him Roger a son since he already had two precious daughters. We found at when I was 16 weeks pregnant that...I was having a boy!!!! Austin Tyler would be his name.
My due date was July 21st, 1994 and Dr. Westbrook was scheduled to be on vacation during that week. I was sick thinking that he would not be on call to deliver my baby and care for me...so I started talking, begging and seeing what I could work out. He promised me that if he thought that I was "ripe" and ready to deliver then he would induce me the week before my due date so that he would be there with me.
Stay tune for the events of Tyler's birth!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I received this email from my sister last week and I thought it was very fitting to use it following my entry yesterday. Thanks, Sis! We are faced each and every day with choices...we have to chose to do the right or wrong thing, what to say or not to say, who to believe or not believe and most importantly, how we will act in the face of a tough situation. This is from my heart and I pray it will minister to you as it has me.
I Am A "Kept" Woman
You see, there were a few times when I thought I would lose my mind, but GOD kept me sane. (Isa. 26:3)
There were times when I thought I could go no longer, but the LORD kept me moving. (Gen 28:15)
At times, I've wanted to lash out at those whom I felt had done me wrong, but the LORD kept my mouth shut. (Psa. 13)
Sometimes, I think the money just isn't enough, but GOD has helped me to keep the lights on, the water on, the car paid, the house paid, etc.., (Matt. 6:25 -34)
When I thought I would fall, HE kept me up. When I thought I was weak, HE kept me strong! (I Pet. 5:7, Matt. 11:28-30)
I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you hear me! I'm blessed to be 'kept.'
This is my prayer today:
Dear Heavenly Father:
I thank you today because I can come before your throne and lay my burdens at your feet. I don't have to see to believe or feel to believe...all I have to do is to TRUST IN YOU!
I trust my life in your hands,
I trust my future in your hands,
I trust my finances in your hands,
I trust my family in your hands,
I trust if any of my family members do not know you as their Lord and personal Savior...you will draw them unto you, receive them into your kingdom upon their profession of faith, repentance of sins and acknowledging you as the ONE TRUE GOD,
I trust if any of my family members are not living for you to day that you will draw them back to you,
I trust my family's eternal salvation in your hands,
I trust my family's health and safety in your hands,
I trust that you will make a way where their seems to be no way,
I trust in your timing, not my time,
I trust that you know what is best for me and my family,
I trust you in all things.
I am so thankful, Jesus that I don't have to see it to believe it, I don't have to feel it to believe it and even when it seems that the world is crashing down around us...you are always in control and nothing catches you by surprise.
I still believe the saying that I was taught as a youth...
BELIEVE AND RECEIVE
DOUBT AND DO WITHOUT!
God, you know that it is not easy to walk by faith and believe in a very negative, evil world that we live in today...but you never ask us to trust only when things were perfect but you ask us to trust you in all things, give thanks in all things, praise you in all things and you will take care of the rest.
I thank you, Father that I serve an awesome, loving, merciful, gracious and forgiving God. I love you, Lord! No matter how many times I stumble and fall, you are right there to pick me up, brush off the dirt, take my hand and say "Come child, I will hold your hand, I will keep you safe, I will lead you and guide you...if you will only trust me and let me walk this road with you".
I pray that each person that reads this today will feel the same joy and security that I feel right now knowing that I can TRUST you and that I am a KEPT woman.
In Jesus, precious name!
I pray that you have a blessed day in Him. Below are some scripture on TRUSTING in God from the New American Standard version.
Psalms 31:14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say "You are my God."
Psalms 33:21 For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name.
Psalms 37:5 Commit you way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Psalms 56:3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.
Psalms 56:4 In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?
Psalms 56:5 By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation, You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea;
Psalms 91:2 I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!"
Psalms 115:11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord' He is their help and their shield.
Psalms 143:8 Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
Isaiah 12:2 "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation."
Isaiah 26:4 "Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.
Hebrews 2:13 And again, "I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM." And again, "BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHO GOD AS GIVEN ME."
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Have you ever been guilty of not thanking God during the tough times? Have you been guilty of feeling like you are being picked on by life, God and the enemy all at the same time?
Well, I don't know if you will be honest enough to say "yes" or not...but I will. Yes, I am guilty as charged. Last night, we got some news that was not what we were hoping and praying for...it rained all over my parade! In that moment and for the rest of the night through this morning...I was not a happy, positive, praising child of God. I am human, which for me means...I get discouraged, I get frustrated, I get down right angry because there are times that it seems like we never get a break...one that we so desperately need and want.
I was in a very bad mood or better said "funk" last night and this morning. However, I never stopped praying and yes, whining to God..."poor, poor, pitiful me"! I asked God this morning to please speak to me through His Word...deep into my spirit because I needed a lift really bad. I was lead to read...
I Thessalonians 5:16-24 (KJV)
16. Rejoice evermore.
17. Pray without ceasing.
18. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19. Quench not the Spirit.
20. Despise not prophesyings.
21. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
16-18. Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
19-22. Don't suppress the Spirit, and don't stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don't be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what's good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.
23-24. May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it!
Ouch! I had to bring myself back to my spiritual reality that God is in control of all things. If God said, then he will do it! He promises to provide all our needs in Philippians.
Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
My God will meet all your needs. He will meet them in keeping with his wonderful riches that come to you because you belong to Christ Jesus.
I pray you will have a blessed day and even if you don't....In Everything Give Thanks.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Like I said in the previous entry, our luggage got delayed on another flight when we left Memphis on October 31st. We had to take a different airline because our actual flight that was supposed to pick us up had mechanical problems and we were put on a different airline to stay on schedule. However, our luggage had already been check on the previous airline. It was 24 hours later before our luggage arrived in St. Maarten. We were stuck there without a toothbrush, hairbrush, hairdryer, clothes...we didn't pack any in our carry on bag (never made that mistake again).
We went sightseeing as bad as we looked the next day in hopes of finding shorts and t-shirts because it was in the upper 90's there. We found a souvenir shop on the island close to our resort, went inside to look around. The clerk acted very nervous and finally told us that we had to hurry up and leave the shop because the government was forcing them to all close. We asked her what was going on because we noticed that most restaurants were already closed. She explained that a high government official had been imprisoned and they were on strike until his release. We thought "great, we finally get to take a trip like this and everything is going to be close". We asked her how long this could take and she told us that they hoped by the next day or two. Thank goodness by the next day, Tuesday, everything was open again and the official had been released from custody. Yeah!
We enjoyed going to all the different beaches on both the Dutch side and the French side. Part of the island is owned by the Dutch and the other side is owned by the French, therefore, each side is spelled differently...Dutch side is spelled St. Maarten and the French side is spelled St. Martin.
We went by boat to a small island named Gilligan's Island to snorkel and to eat at a local restaurant named Roy's Place. It was the most beautiful waters that I have ever seen...deep, dark blue...not the "lake" green that we normally see on the Gulf of Mexico. Oh, the beauty of the ocean...the bright, vibrant colors from the fish to the amazing coral reef. When you see God's creations up close, how can anyone ever question that He is God?
We had a great time...we laughed, we played, we acted crazy (get Roger & my brother together...that means "up to no good") and we just had fun. We agreed what happened in St. Maarten...stayed in St. Maarten :) just kidding! Since my hair was long, I wanted to get "native" braids put in. I had so many braids in my hair and my scalp was sore the next day. I will never forget the look on my mother's face when we go off the airplane back in Memphis. Here I was with a very dark tan and my hair "platted" with white beads on the end of each braid. I could only wish that I looked as good as Bo Derek did in "10". But...it never hurts a girl to wish, now does it? I still have all those beads in my jewelry box....just for the memories.
Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
My brother and sister-in-law stayed at a different resort from us and we had to take a ferry back and forth across the water to see each other. This was a perfect set up, even though, we had reservations at the same resort, they were still owned by the same company. This way...we were together but yet apart...we had our alone time as well.
Regardless of what we did or where we went, I was praying that I would get pregnant on this wonderful trip. I kept telling Roger...."wouldn't that be awesome to get pregnant in the Caribbean".
The trip went by so fast and we had a great time, but yet, I was anxious to get home so I could get a pregnancy test done. Since I had worked for my OB/GYN for 10 years, I knew that you didn't have to wait until you were late to find out if you were pregnant. I waited until I would have been 10 days post conception (at best...it could have been less depending on the day) and then I rushed to our office. Hearing the words...You Are Pregnant...was joyous!!!!!
All in all, it was a very successful trip because I went down there not pregnant and came back home as Mommy on Board the airplane.
I can't begin to tell you how good God is and how He knows what is best for us. There are many, many times that His time is not our time but when the two coincide...what joy and celebration there is. Roger was on top of the world that day! Sommer, Ryan and Brandon were all very excited as well. Now...9 months will be long especially since I found out that we were going to have a baby as early as I did.
Next Entry: Special Delivery
Friday, April 11, 2008
We had been married for 3 years when I really began to want to have another baby. I loved being a mom to Brandon and a step mom to Sommer and Ryan...but something still seemed to be missing in our lives. The more I thought about it, the more that I had that deep longing inside to have a baby with Roger. Then we would have yours, mine and ours!
Roger was not easily convinced that having a baby was a good idea. We had a great marriage and a great family (some ups and downs, ok...some were major, but still a great family)...so why "mess" things up by adding anything else to the already blended pot? I had to "sell" my idea on Roger and I am not a sales person. If my livelihood depended on my selling ability...well, I'd be DEAD! However, I gave it my best shot and it took several weeks of constant talking, pleading my case, wants and wishes to him. At first, he was dead set against it...he even said "no, I do not want anymore kids!" and "I am already 38 years old...do you know who old I'll be when he/she graduates...that is, if we get pregnant right away".
The approach that I took was to express my true feelings about wanting another baby. I told him that I had a wonderful husband, great family with great children but I wanted one with him. I did not have a good marriage the first time around and my ex-husband was not supportive during my pregnancy, would not go to childbirth classes with me, would not go into the delivery room with me, wouldn not stay at the hospital with me at night and was never at home with us after Brandon was born. I wanted to know what the "perfect" pregnancy, what a "perfect" labor/delivery with a devoted husband by my side and what a "REAL" father would be like. I wanted this so very, very badly.
When talking was not doing any good, then I resorted to letting all of my emotions show...which was CRYING! I was hurt because I thought he did not want to have a child with me and I felt crushed at that moment. I remember going to church the Sunday after I realized that I might not get the chance at the "perfect" pregnancy and I could not even sit through church without crying...I actually got up and left. I remember sitting in my car in the parking lot and sobbing...I guess, it was my way of grieving my "loss" that I would never get to experience. I know this might sound selfish and petty but to me...it was raw emotions and my heart hurt.
A couple of days later, I was sitting outside on the trampoline, I just wanted to be alone in my "pain" when Roger came outside. He crawled up there with me and asked me if having a baby with him would really make me that happy. I said "YES!!!!" and he said "well, we had better get to practicing!". Getting pregnant the first time was no problem. I quit taking my birth control pills one month and did not need them again till 10 months later when Brandon was born.
It still amazes me with all that we have been through in our lives...how God gives us the "healthy" desires of our heart. We had a trip planned with my brother and sister-in-law to go to St. Maarten, NA in the Caribbean from October 31st through November 7th, 1993. I got off my birth control pills in July to give my body the break that it needed before we would begin trying to get pregnant. I had told Roger "wouldn't it be great to get pregnant in the Caribbean".
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (5) Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
I took two ovulation predictor test to see if it would be the "right" time to get pregnant while we were on our trip but I was set to ovulate by the "numbers" the week before we left town. I briefly, uttered a prayer one day to God that I would love to ovulate a week later...so I could get pregnant in St. Maarten. Well, low and behold...if I was not a week late ovulating!!!!! God is so good!
By using the ovulation predictor test, I knew the first day of ovulation and exactly the day that I would be the most fertile, which just so happened to be the day that we left for St. Maarten. What a great place to start trying to conceive a child...the warm Caribbean weather, beautiful sunsets, gorgeous beaches, great condo on the water and nothing but relaxation. Now, all we would have to do is try while we were there. I bought a "onesie" that was white with the beach scene on the front that said St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles....just in case!
We were gone on vacation for 7 days. I waited until the Wednesday, November 10th, after we returned home to run to the doctor's office where I worked...OB/GYN, to see if I was pregnant! I remember telling, Sharron, our nurse...I know it is early...only 10 days, at best, after conception but I am dying to know if I am pregnant. We did the urine pregnancy test in the office and it was positive....I WAS PREGNANT!!!!! Wow! It was only 10 days after conception and again...God is so good!
My due date was 7/21/94. Wow...I cannot tell you how excited that we both were. All the kids were equally excited. I was having a "little Caribbean" baby!!!!!
Here are a few pictures from that WONDERFUL TRIP! It was snowing when we left Memphis on Halloween 1993 and it was in the 90's when we got off the airplane in St. Maarten. We were in wind suits and our luggage got lost! So we were burning up and did not have any clothes to change into. The entire island went of strike the next day at noon due to some government official being imprisoned...we ran into a souvenir shop and bought a pair of short/t-shirt quickly....plus...no make-up, shampoo or hairdryer...we looked terrible! A beautiful sunset and native braids in my hair before we came home.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I love to listen to the lyrics of different songs. There are some that prick my heart or just minister to me during a trying time in my life. I heard this the other day on a Southern Gospel (yea...Pastor Rusty...we like that Southern Gospel...sorry, Dorinda) satellite radio station and it went something like this. You have to remember that I listen to it when I'm in my car running the kid taxi service...so I have to listen, write and drive all at the same time...sometimes, I have to wait until it comes on again to get the rest of it:)
God sees the storm from the other side. He knows the lessons just beyond the clouds and He sees clear skies.
When life seems to come crashing down...He says "Let It Be" because He already sees the rainbow when we only see the clouds.
Wow! That touched my heart in a very big way. I hope it helps you today to remember that He is God and He is in control. He can just speak to the storms in our lives and they will become calm again.
Have a blessed evening!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Please watch this video and judge this by the Word of God! We need to be aware of what is being brought into our homes daily by a popular talk show host. I was shocked at what I saw and heard. I ask myself...how can people especially Christians believe this stuff...but Satan is deceiving as many people in the last days as he possibly can. Will you be one of those who gets deceived by Satan? Search the scriptures and know for yourself what the Word of God says.
Watch this video about Oprah. You will need to scroll down and pause my music before watching this video.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
As time went on and years past...the precious years before the storm...were a thing of the past...just memories.
With the coaching of my ex-husband, my son who was 10-11 years old, became a "holy terror" to put it nicely. He will tell you the same thing if you were to ask him. His father had told him for years that he did not have to obey Roger, his step dad. My ex-husband made all kinds of racial slurs about Roger in front of Brandon or directly to him because of his Indian heritage and the fact that in the summer he gets extremely dark. It was a never ending campaign to keep strife built up in our family and tension between Brandon and Roger. Looking back on the big picture...his daddy was insecure and knew that Roger would be, could be and was a better father to his son than he CHOSE to be...not that he could not be a good father...he chose not to be one.
Brandon longed to have a great relationship with his daddy and to be daddy's little boy. Instead, he became his daddy's girlfriend...who became his wife after a number of years together...her "little boy". I do not know how bad things would have gotten if it were not for her. She would come by on his daddy's Friday to pick him up and brought him back home on Sunday many times. She spent more time with him than his daddy did on the weekends that he was suppose to be spending with his father. She loved my son like he was her own and was extremely good to him. I will be eternally grateful to her for the genuine love that she showed then and still does to Brandon.
I cannot say enough times that God is a good God...He is merciful, He is faithful, He is a father to the fatherless and He is love. I grew to love and respect his daddy's girlfriend/wife in a new way...one that was full of forgiveness and appreciation because she had been the "other woman".
She loved my son and she was good to him AND he loved her very much.
However, things were not as happy at home. Brandon became very defiant, angry, argumentative, rebellious and was determined to destroy my marriage to Roger. I cannot begin to tell you the number of times that we talked about, fought about and nearly divorced...not because we did not love each other but because of Brandon. He has admitted in recent years that he knew exactly what he was doing and he wanted us to get a divorce. Even though, he could not remember his daddy and I married...he said "what child doesn't want both their parents in the same house raising their own child". He said recently "I almost got what I wanted". But he has realized and apologized to Roger and myself for all the problems that he caused. He also said that "he missed out on the best daddy and great times with his Dad (Roger) because of his own daddy. HOW SAD IS THAT? THAT A CHILD WOULD HAVE TO MAKE CHOICES BETWEEN WHO HE IS GOING TO HAVE TO LOVE OR NOT LOVE!
There were daily (or many times a week) fights in our home...it seem more like a war zone instead of a home. I always felt like I was stuck in the middle of my husband and my son. There were so many times that I felt that Roger was being unfair to his stepson when I felt he would not have treated his own son the same way (and did not later on when we had one together but they are two totally different children too). But there were just as many times that Brandon was in the wrong. I cried, I begged, I threatened, I avoided them, I prayed (many, many times), I wished I had not gotten married, I wished I had not ever had children, I wished that I could disappear and let them fight to one of their deaths (not really but it felt like it at that time), and I actually left a couple of times on the weekend to "run away" from it all.
When Brandon was gone to his daddy's or Roger was out of town...everything was great. Do not get me wrong...everyday was not like this but as Brandon got older...it was more and more frequent. I knew that Brandon was hurting inside but it was not until many years later that I realized just how bad he had been hurt and the rejection that he felt. We had the discussion so many times that he could love two daddys but his daddy had instilled in him that he could not love them both and if he loved Roger (Dad) then he did not love him...he would have to pick which one he wanted to love, who's approval did he want the most and who did he want to be "daddy's little boy" the most. What a shame!
I get angry all over again just writing this and thinking about the selfish and munpilative things his biological father did. Do parents realize the damage that they are doing to their children when they use them as pawn in the game of jealousy, the game of anger and revenge, the game of bitterness and the game of just being selfish? If you are doing this right now with a child or your children....please, please...I beg you to stop. You cannot imagine the damage that you are doing to your child. You might be hurting the other parent but you are destroying your precious child! You are setting your child up for many years of pain, angry, rejection and unhappiness!!! No child should ever have to choose between parents!
James 3:16 For where you have envy and self ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice. (NIV)
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath (anger): but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
All of his daddy's tactics almost worked. He ruined so many days, nights and weekends because he polluted an innocent child's mind. He robbed an innocent child of the right to love all his parents, to have a happy childhood, to know what it was like to be loved and accepted by everyone and to love himself. You should never bad mouth the other parent to your child or in front of your child...did I manage to do this...."No" but I tried to reined it in as much as possible. That is something else that will come back to haunt you in the long run. Children are a better judge of character than most adults...let your children see each parent for what they really are, what they are made of, what they like about them, what they dislike about them and in the end...they will make the best judge of the other parent's character. You do not need to put the other parent down to make yourself look better...let your child love you for you and love the other parent for who they are. If you do this...your child cannot blame you later in life for ruining their relationship with the other parent.
Roger and I did everything that we could possibly do to insure that Brandon had a good childhood with many good memories as possible. Was it enough? At this moment in my life...I would have to honestly say "No"! Brandon is still hurting after all these years. I feel like it has affected him in so many areas of his life.
Was I the perfect, loving mother? Absolutely not! I was angry so much of the time, I was frustrated, I was depressed and I wanted to just plain quit...which was not an option either. There were many times that Roger and I would fight over Brandon and I told him on numerous occasions...."do not make me pick between you and my son...because you will lose", "God gave him to me to raise, love and protect at all cost and I will do just that...no matter what" and "I will not send him to his daddy's to live because I was a package deal when you married me...you wanted me and you got us both". Now, there were times that I threatened to send him to live with his daddy and once I actually took him to his daddy's for the night. He and I cried all the way to his daddy and I was back there the next day to get him. My heart still breaks to this day when I think of all that we all went through especially him...he was just a "little boy"!
We took family vacations each year, weekend trips as a family, got involved with him in sports and school...we tried to give him as normal of a childhood as possible. I am guilty of spoiling him because I was trying to make up for the things that were lacking in his life. Yes, he is rotten and it is all my fault. Would I change that? "No." Do I wish that I could go back and change so many things about his childhood? "Absolutely." Was much of it then and would it still be now...out of my control? "Absolutely."
I hold fast to God's Word and I know in time...God will restore to Brandon everything that his daddy robbed him of during his childhood, teenage years and even in his adult life. Please agree with me in prayer that God will heal Brandon's heart and spirit....to know that he is loved and accepted by his Heavenly Father...if by no one else on this earth loves and accepts him...but that is never going to be the case...because this mother loves her son with all her heart. I love you, Brandon!!!!
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, (2) to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, (3) and provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mouring, and a garment of praise instead a spirit of dispair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. (NIV)
Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (NIV)
Psalm 27:10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. (NIV)
II Corinthians 4:8,9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; preplexed, but not in despair; (9) persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (NIV)
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I received this email the other day and the lesson it teaches was too good not to pass on...
We become de-sensitized a little bit at a time...Some years ago, I walked into my office after a Sunday morning service to find a sandwich bag on my desk containing three chocolate brownies. Some thoughtful and anonymous person who knew my love for chocolate had placed them there, along with a piece of paper that had a short story written on it. I immediately sat down and began eating the first brownie as I read the following story.
Two teenagers asked their father if they could go to the theater to watch a movie that all their friends had seen. After reading some reviews about the movie on the Internet, he denied their request. "Oh dad, why not?" they complained. "It's rated PG-13, and we're both older than thirteen!"
Dad replied: "Because that movie contains nudity and portrays immorality as being normal and acceptable behavior."
"But dad, those are just very small parts of the movie! That's what our friends who've seen it have told us. The movie is two hours long and those scenes are just a few minutes of the total film! It'sbased on a true story and good triumphs over evil, and there are other redeeming themes like courage and self-sacrifice. Even the movie review websites say that!"
My answer is 'no,' and that is my final answer. You are welcome to stay home tonight, invite some of your friends over, and watch one of the good videos we have in our home collection. But you will not go and watch that film. End of discussion."
The two teenagers walked dejectedly into the family room and slumped down on the couch. As they sulked, they were surprised to hear the sounds of their father preparing something in the kitchen.
They soon recognized the wonderful aroma of brownies baking in the oven, and one of the teenagers said to the other, "Dad must be feeling guilty, and now he's going to try to make it up to us with some fresh brownies. Maybe we can soften him with lots of praise when he brings them out to us and persuade him to let us go to that movie after all."
About that time I began eating the second brownie from the sandwich bag and wondered if there was some connection to the brownies I was eating and the brownies in the story. I kept reading.
The teens were not disappointed. Soon their father appeared with a plate of warm brownies, which he offered to his kids. They each took one. Then their father said, "Before you eat, I want to tell you something: "I love you both so much."
The teenagers smiled at each other with knowing glances. Dad was softening. "That is why I've made these brownies with the very best ingredients I've made them from scratch. Most of the ingredients are even organic; the best organic flour, the best free-range eggs, the best organic sugar, premium vanilla and chocolate." The brownies looked mouth-watering, and the teens began to become a little impatient with their dad's long speech.
"But I want to be perfectly honest with you. There is one ingredient I added that is not usually found in brownies. I got that ingredient from our own back yard. But you needn't worry, because I only added the tiniest bit of that ingredient to your brownies. The amount of the portion is practically insignificant. So go ahead, take a bite and let me know what you think.
"Dad, would you mind telling us what that mystery ingredient is before we eat?"
"Why? The portion I added was so small. Just a teaspoonful. You won't even taste it"
"Come on, dad; just tell us what that ingredient is."
Don't worry! It is organic, just like the other ingredients. "
"Well, OK, if you insist. That secret ingredient is organic...dog poop."
I immediately stopped chewing that second brownie and I spit it out into the waste basket by my desk. I continued reading, now fearful of the paragraphs that still remained.
Both teens instantly dropped their brownies back on the plate and began inspecting their fingers with horror. "DAD! Why did you do that? You've tortured us by making us smell those brownies cooking for the last half hour, and now you tell us that you added dog poop! We can't eat these brownies!"
"Why not? The amount of dog poop is very small compared to the rest of the ingredients. It won't hurt you. It's been cooked right along with the other ingredients. You won't even taste it. It has the same consistency as the brownies. Go ahead and eat!"
"No, Dad...NEVER! "
And that is the same reason I won't allow you to go watch that movie. "You won't tolerate a little dog poop in your brownies, so why should you tolerate a little immorality in your movies?
We pray that God will not lead us unto temptation, so how can we in good conscience entertain ourselves with something that will imprint a sinful image in our minds that will lead us into temptation long after we first see it?"
I discarded what remained of the second brownie, as well as the entire untouched third brownie. What had been irresistible a minute ago had become detestable. And only because of the very slim chance that what I was eating was slightly polluted. (Surely it wasn't... but I couldn't convince myself.)
What a good lesson about purity! Why do we tolerate any sin? On the day of the Passover, the Israelites were commanded to remove every bit of leaven from their homes. Sin is like leaven - a little bit leavens the whole lump. (1 Corinthians 5:6)