2016 Word of the Year

One Word for 2016

 

Do you like to choose a word of the year? If so I am curious, what is your one word for 2016?

Last year my family and I chose COURAGE for our 2015 word of the year. We had no idea how much courage we would embody throughout the year. I wanted my kids to gain courage and they certainly did. Having been our hardest year yet we all became very courageous! We learned so many valuable lessons in 2015. Going into this new year we are certainly in a better spot than I could have ever imagined we would be.

Heading into 2016 we have chosen SUCCESS as our 2016 word. “Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.” Marva Collins. This year we are taking big steps to become successful in all areas of our life. We want to gain success in our business/careers, school/academically, talents, sports, friendships and within our family. The definition of success is ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose’. We are aiming very high this year! Skies the limit!!

We are setting personal and family goals in 7 key areas of our life; faith, family, friends, finance, fitness, field, & fun. To become balanced in these areas is to become OOLA. What is Oola®? Oola is a state of awesomeness! It’s unlocking the potential for greatness that lies within each of us. It’s finding true purpose and meaning for your life. The OolaGuys, Dr. Dave Braun and Dr. Troy Amdahl, identified seven areas that people need to balance and grow to live a rich and fulfilled life. My husband and I will be reading Oola: Finding Balance in an Unbalanced World together. We hope by working as a team we can help keep one another accountable and obtain a balanced life together.

This year is going to take a lot of hard work but we are ready for it!! 

I’d love to hear your 2016 word of the year in the comments below!

I Still Believe In Santa!

Believe in Santa

I’ve struggled to write this because just thinking of it makes me emotional. As a child my favorite holiday memory was a year I knew my parents had no money for gifts. My mom worked tirelessly to hand sew me and my two younger siblings each a gift for Christmas. I’m not sure when the huge basket arrived on our door step but on Christmas morning I expected to wake to only the hand sewn gifts under the tree. Instead we woke to gifts from Santa, more wrapped gifts including books and clothes in each of our sizes PLUS the wonderful hand made gifts my mom made. “Santa” not only left a basket of gifts but a complete holiday dinner. Early that December my mom had told me that Santa wasn’t ‘real’ in hopes I could help soften the disappointment on Christmas morning with my younger siblings. I didn’t want to hear what she had to say because I still whole heartily believed in Santa. Yet on Christmas morning I was able to stand proud in my belief of Santa! I knew Santa was real but NOT because I thought a big guy in a read suit dropped off all these gifts. It was because some amazing people knew we couldn’t afford Christmas so they came together and made our Christmas happen.

Fast forward to this year. This has be the hardest year of my adult life. Every day/week/month seems to bring worse news than the day before. We have dealt with so many things in different areas of our life including; an unjustified home eviction, moving, changing schools, loss of my husband’s job/our only income, me returning to work, lack of work for husband for almost 5 months, debt as far as the eye can see, denial of help from the government, anxiety, depression, counseling for one child, new doctors, small health concerns, new medical denying needed procedures, social struggles at school, and so much more! Maybe 2015 wasn’t our year. Maybe we are just down on our luck. No matter what I’m sure this is all a part of the journey we must travel. This year has certainly strengthened our family unit and our relationship with God.

A little more than a month ago I realized there was no possible way I could give my kids any gifts for Christmas. We keep our Christmas modest with just four gifts per child: a Santa gift, a want, a need, and a read. I decided I would reach out to my friends and family to ask for help. This was difficult and humbling for me to do.  In one week just about every item on their list had been bought and money had been given to purchase the remaining items. We had friends give us their gently used clothes to fill some of the “need” items on the list. We had friends reach out to their friends asking for additional help in filling our kids list. Many of these people were strangers to us. They heard our story and wanted to help. I had friends and family reach out to give us meals and buy our groceries. I can’t even begin to name all of the people who have stepped up to help us not just now but over the last six months and even throughout the entire year. The love and support we have received has been absolutely amazing!!

When I say that I believe in Santa it is because I truly do! He may not be the one to place the presents under the tree for my kids but his spirit has shown through so many amazing people in our life this year. Every time someone gave freely without expectation they were spreading joy, love and light in our home!! These people will likely never know how much their acts of kindness have meant to us. A simple ‘thank you’ doesn’t seem like nearly enough for what they have given but it and my friendship is all I have to offer and for them that is enough. On behalf of everyone who has received something from your generosity this year I say THANK YOU! Thank you for being someone’s Santa!

Why I WILL be watching 50 Shades of Grey & the BIGGER issue we all should be talking about!

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Let me start of by saying I read all three 50 Shades of Grey books, in three weeks around this time last year. While it wasn’t a riveting complex read it did have a great story line carried throughout the series (that is my why but keep reading!). With the release of the movie a week away my Facebook feed has been bombarded with all the reasons you shouldn’t go see the movie and I have to politely disagree with those posts. I am not writing this to convince you that BDSM is right. I am not writing this to convince anyone to read the books or watch the movie. I am writing this to bring up the most important topic in the series of this book. I want to shed a huge light on the topic and get people talking about it!

*Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t read the books.* No I won’t be boring you with Red Room details. But lets talk about why Christian Grey has a red room, why he is into BDSM. As a teen Grey was sexually abused and made a submissive by an older woman that was a friend of the family! She groomed him so that he would believe that she loved him, that she was ‘helping’ him channel his anger into a positive resource (BDSM), and that she was taking him under her wing, doing him a favor of sorts. See that is how predators work. They prey on someone who they believe is weak or has a weakness. They groom them. Then they do with them as they please. All the while the victim has fallen prey to their trap and they don’t see how/why it is wrong.

In the course of Anastasia and Christians relationship he slowly starts revealing more information to her about his troubled past. The only problem was he didn’t think the trouble in his past was what the woman did to him, but rather his anger as a teen before she made him into a submissive. He truly believed that the woman loved him. See he still regularly talked to the woman, even told her about his liking of Ana. He confided in her and ONLY her. He thought of her as mentor and only friend. The abuser had won…she had him hook, line and sinker.

It was not Grey’s therapist that was able to help him see that what had happened to him as a teen was abuse, it was Steele. Grey truly believed he couldn’t love anyone. He believed he was unlovable. (Guarantee that was the abusers doing.) Steele showed him what it is to love someone no matter what their past or problems are. She showed him that sex could be enjoyable without whips and paddles some of the time. If she hadn’t had loved him unconditionally, regardless of his red room, chances are he would have carried on throughout his life living under his abusers umbrella. Never truly loving or letting others love him.

Lets talk about sexual abuse against men. Lets talk about how in our society we’ve made it ‘cool’ when a teenage boy falls victim to his ‘hot’ female teacher or older woman. It is not cool, it is abuse! Men can be raped. Men are raped. Just because they were born with a penis does not give them a free pass from sexual abuse! 

Let’s talk facts

  • 1 out of every 33 American men has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in his lifetime.
  • At least 10% of all victims are male.
  • It is believed that only 33% of male victims report their abuse.

Resources for men surviving sexual assault: 

RAINN: Male Sexual Assualt

National Sexual Violence Recourse Center

https://www.facebook.com/nsvrc/photos/pb.167942612253.-2207520000.1423242739./10152985138682254/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/nsvrc/photos/pb.167942612253.-2207520000.1423242739./10152985138682254/?type=3&theater

I have a call to action for each and every person reading this. Share this message with everyone, start talking about sexual abuse. Whether or not you watch the movie or read the books. Whether you think sex in a movie is porn or not. Whether you have ever been a victim of sexual abuse or not. I am asking everyone to start talking about sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can happen to anyone. It has no boundaries! It doesn’t care what gender you are. It doesn’t care what the color of your skin is. It doesn’t care how much money you or the abuser make. Or how old you are. We all need to be more aware of how we talk about sexual abuse. A victim is a victim no matter what gender! Let us all stand up for victims everywhere, stop victim shaming and blaming!!!! 

https://www.facebook.com/nsvrc/photos/pb.167942612253.-2207520000.1423242752./10152821807707254/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/nsvrc/photos/pb.167942612253.-2207520000.1423242752./10152821807707254/?type=3&theater

More about sexual abuse can be found on my blog; Childhood Sexual Awareness Month and Sharing My Secrets.
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Stolen Identity

No this isn’t a post about how some hacker on the internet stole my identity. Instead it is about how my children stole it….or maybe I just gave it to them. See for 10 years, since I was pregnant with my oldest son, I have been a stay at home mom. My days, hours, minutes are spent centered around my children. Most of the friends I’ve made these last 10 years have been through my children. 

1st day 2014

Before I had kids I would have described myself as an outgoing person, an extrovert if you will. In school I always had a few close friends and LOTS of friends outside of my immediate circle. I loved the spotlight. I wanted to be a singer and an actress. Dating a senior boy on our football team that also stared in our highschool musical was a BIG deal for me (he became my husband a few years later)! Now I would describe myself as somewhat shy, more of an introvert. I tend to shy away from large groups of people, close myself off a bit from the world to focus all my energy on my children. Standing in front of a crowd, while not the worst thing in the world, is just not my idea of a fun time anymore. However, when my kids are with me I have a voice! I’ll speak to new people. Push myself to meet the other parents at sports and school.

When I first became a mom I was still ‘Lori’, doing things I loved like scrap booking while the baby napped. But slowly over the years things started to shift. I started to hide behind my kids. They became my identity. Everything I did, I did for them. I found different outlets that slowly pushed me back into being myself, like volunteering for a moms group for 7 years. Which had me putting on conferences and workshops. Or getting a job as a bookkeeper/personal assistant (with my kids in tow). HOWEVER the day to day reality was that I had given my heart AND identity to my kids.

All of this brings me to today, the day I have NO CHILDREN at home with me. My three older kids are in elementary school and my youngest started a Mother’s Day Out gymnastics school twice a week. For the first time in 10 years I am ALONE! I can spend my day doing whatever my heart desires. I should be jumping for joy and running into the hills singing, but instead I sit awkwardly not knowing what to do with myself. 

hollywood studios with kids

Here I sit, trying to push myself to take back some of my own identity. To find what in life makes me happy. Today I get to be LORI, but it will take me a while to learn who I am outside of being ‘MOM’.

MeCan any other parents relate to this? How did you go about getting your own identity back?

 
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New Business Adventure

Jamberry Independent Consultant

Well it has been a long summer with very little posts from me, sorry. It’s just been one of those summers where my children require 100% of my attention and to be honest I welcomed that because before you know it they’ll be grown and gone. Anyhow over the last couple weeks I’ve taken on a new business adventure. I decided to become a Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant. 

Now some of you may remember back around this time last year when I reviewed Jamberry Nails and hosted a giveaway. Well this year I decided to take things one step further by sharing my LOVE of Jamberry nails so I bought the consultant kit and started this new adventure!

Jamberry Nails

I couldn’t be happier with my decision!! I get compliments all the time on my nails when I am out and about but not many people have heard of Jamberry. I love to share Jamberry with them so this is the perfect business venture for me. I’d love to share Jamberry with you so I invite you to check out my website and my Facebook page. I also love posting pictures of my nails on instagram so if you aren’t already following me there, I’d love to have you!

Now this doesn’t change anything about my blog. I have three out of four of my children starting full day school this year plus my youngest in a two day a week gymnastics school. So I plan to hit the ground running with my blog and new Jamberry business starting the first week of September. 

Question for you
My question to my readers is what do you like to see from me? Do you like recipes? Travel tips? Organizational ideas? Tips and tricks? What is it that you like to read? Please comment below so I can try to include your favorite in my upcoming posts! 

Thanks for sharing, supporting, reading and commenting! I couldn’t do with out all of you!

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Sharing My Secrets

I read something today on The Moments We Stand that shot straight to my core, “The darkness of the world has left many of us stuck. We have buried its secrets within us, and we are afraid to let them free.” For three years I carried deep dark secrets. Secrets that ate at me every day. Secrets that made me question every single part of my being. Then one day like a miracle my mom asked me one question that made all of those feelings and secrets rush out of me like a volcano. She asked “Lori, has your dad touched you inappropriately?”.

I remember that day like it was yesterday only it was 15 years ago. We were driving alone in the car. As soon as those words left her mouth I felt the volcano build from my core and head straight up to my mouth. I no longer had to carry those terrible secrets. I started to hesitate in my answer with tears welling up in my eyes, so at the red light she turned to me and said “You can tell me anything. Your not in trouble!”. I couldn’t hold back any more. I told her everything I could remember of the past 3 years of pain that man had put me through. When I was done I asked her how she knew. She said she had overheard me the night before yell “NO! GET OUT OF MY ROOM! LEAVE ME ALONE!” as soon as he returned to his room (they were separated and sleeping in two different rooms until he found a place live) she asked him why I was yelling and he told her some of what he had been doing.

Just like that all those secrets and the burden I was caring were gone. My mom didn’t stop at our planned destinations that day, instead she drove straight to the county court house to file claims against him for what he was doing to me. She also filed for a divorce.

My mom never once questioned the things I said. She held my hand each time I had to recount what happened to the police, district attorneys, and child welfare people. She walked the long journey ahead by my side.

He never told me to keep it a secret. Somehow there was this unsaid threat that I felt. I truly lived each day waiting for someone to approach me, to ask me what he was doing to me. I prayed each day that the moment would come that I could share my secrets. I wore a happy mask over all of the uneasy, scared, helpless feelings I had. I never knew when he would try to attack me but I thought he would leave my younger siblings alone if I didn’t say anything to my mom. I thought I would “cause” my parents to divorce and split up our family if I said something. I was alone with my secret and feelings.

That sunny morning 15 years ago I finally shared all of the secrets that had been eating at me for three whole years. The secret that my biological father had been molesting me. (This abuse happened from when I was 10 to 13.)

This wasn’t the only time I would be granted a miracle in sharing a big secret. About a year after my parents divorced my mom began dating a man. He seemed friendly, charismatic, and was nice to us kids. We would soon realize that he was just a wolf in sheep’s clothing looking for his next prey. He raped me countless times over 4 months (later I found out he raped my mom and countless other girls and their moms in our area, along with many other crimes including theft).

I had became very ill and my mom was tired of me staying home sick numerous days each week. She finally had enough so she loaded me up to take me to the ER, he insisted on coming with us. As normal procedure they needed a urine sample. When the nurse led me to the restroom to get a sample she came into the restroom behind me and said “Sweety is there any chance you could be pregnant?”. I froze, could this lady know my secret just from looking at me? I stared into the mirror at myself only all I saw was a ghost staring back and small voice in my head screaming “this is your chance Lori, take it!”. I took a deep breath and replied “Yes”. Not because I thought I was pregnant but because somehow I knew this was a way for me to share my secret and hopefully stop the abuse.

We left that night with no answers as to why I was so sick. The next day my mom got a call at work from the hospital. They told her that when they ran my urine sample they noticed my white blood count was really high, they believed I was sexually active and possibly pregnant. However the urine test was inconclusive so I needed to have a blood test done. My mom hung up, immediately called me at home and said “The hospital just told me your sexually active…did he do something to you?”. And just like that I was taken back to that moment, volcano building, tears flowing. I cried and told her yes he had been hurting me. She asked if he was there at the house with me, when I explained that he had left for the day she told me to pack us all an overnight bag and she was coming to get my and my siblings right then. She drove us all to my grandma’s house where we met the police so I could tell them everything that had happened.

I was 14 and under normal hospital procedure they wouldn’t have told my mom that they thought I was pregnant but I truly believe I had an angel that day. That nurse was my angel. She didn’t know the secrets I carried but she was sent there that day to ask me that question and to violate procedure by calling my mom. That nurse will never know the extend of what she did for me that day. She will never know that she saved me from more torture. She will never know she gave me back my life in that one question and phone call. She will never know that she gave me the release to share my dark secrets. The secrets that I was raped.

Over the years I’ve gone through times when I’ve felt comfortable and safe to share my life’s secrets with others. I know that in sharing my story it is healing for me, plus it may help others. But there have been times when I can’t talk about any of it, the pain is just too much, and I hate that I have to live each day knowing those things happened to me. What always brings me through is knowing I am a survivor. I am free; free to live, free of abuse, free to be me, free to be happy.

If you are carrying secrets, I hope that you find a way to share them with someone. To lean on someone you trust to share those feelings you have about those secrets. You don’t have to carry any secrets alone! You can be freed of the secrets.

 

 

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I am trying to spread awareness and get people talking about this topic. We can all make a difference by educating ourselves! Find more information and helpful links my post HERE from last week! 
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Life is a Marathon

Life IS a marathon!A couple weekend’s ago I traveled with friends to Denver, Colorado for the Rock N’ Roll Marathon. As much as I’d love to say I ran the full marathon or even the half marathon I have not trained enough for that, instead I ran the mini marathon.

Last year I ran my first half marathon and afterwards I swore I’d never run another race… that didn’t last long because my friends inspired me to keep running. I also ran the Color Me Rad race in San Antonio with my children, friend and her children this year. Plus I’m signing up for a local Turkey Trot.

Before this race I set one goal to run/jog 90% of the race and only walk 10%. My friends gave me some advice to only walk the water stations. I also talked to them about how marathons are mostly mental so if I set my mind to it, I can do it!

"Walk the water stations."As I started the race I felt pumped but cold (this Texas heat gets into you veins making you freeze in cooler states). Quickly followed by shortness of breath in the high altitude. Once I stabled my breathing I also warmed up. Now it was time to start the mental game of pushing myself to run as much as possible.

I love the vibe of a marathon. People lining the streets with signs, runners dressed up in costumes, or clever sayings on their shirts. Cheer squads and children high five the runners along the route. Volunteers passing out water, Gatorade, and an encouraging word. Strangers chatting as they run, or encouraging each other as they run by.

Just as I started to slow down, wanting to start walking, I would go by someone yelling to “keep running“, “you’ve got this“, “way to go“, or “you are amazing“. It was as if they were sent there just to yell at me. I walked the water stations just as my friends had suggested and stopped quickly to go to use a porta potty at a water station but I ran/jogged the rest of the time. At the finish volunteers handed me my medal, waters, bagel, and pretzels. I was so proud of myself! My final time was 50.50 for 4.2miles. That is just over 12 minute miles, a personal best!!

I had over an hour to change and rest before watching my friends cross the finish line from their 1/2 marathon. I got to thinking… running a marathon is like life. You have hills to climb, you have pot holes you step in, you might have to walk the ‘water stations’, but along the way you have friends and family cheering you on, and strangers offering help as well. Then you cross the finish line and you feel so relived yet fired up and none of the pot holes or hills seem to matter anymore.

Life is too short to stress about every detail. At times it feels like you are climbing a mountain and you’ll never get to the top but the run down the other side will be much easier. The flat spots are always the easiest yet they don’t always last long before a pot hole. In the end it is worth all the work, pain, struggle, to celebrate the good times. Just like the marathon, life is mostly mental and a little physical. You have to make yourself work through the hard times to make it to the calm and good times.

I plan to keep pushing forward in my life, just as I did in the marathon. I also plan to be more encouraging and helpful to people around me…loved ones and strangers! We’re all in a marathon so we might as well make it the best can every chance we get along the way!
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P.S. I’d like to give a big shout out to my friends that keep me running…both physically in races, and mentally in life!! I love you girls!

My Purse Essentials~

Whats in your purse?

I got not one but TWO NEW PURSES with my birthday money in August! I was thrilled because I wanted some pursed I could use for fall. As I was cleaning out my old purse and putting everything in my new purses it got me thinking about what other ladies put in their purse. So I thought I’d start by sharing what is in my purse.

I’ll start with my “every day” purse. This goes with me every where. Here is a list of what I have in it:

  • Two pairs of sunglasses (because I am always misplacing them).
  • My wallet that houses all of my cash, change, cards, etc.
  • A pack of gum…I don’t actually chew gum very often but it’s great bribery for my preschooler.
  • Two hair clips of different types because you never know when you need to throw your hair up.
  • Mints…these I love and use often.
  • Chapstick- A MUST!
  • Blog Business Cards (have never given one out but I have them handy if ever I need to LOL)
  • Medicine- Tylonal, sinus meds, allergy meds and stomach ache meds all for emergencies.
  • Sanitizer
  • Tampons and Panty Liners (I’m not pregnant there for I need them!hehehe)
  • Bandaids and little Wet Ones
  • Too many lip glosses to count…it’s an addiction really, I never wear them but I buy them pretty often.
  • Car keys clip onto the loops of my purse because I miss place those often and this has saved me from having to call a lock smith.

My "Every Day" purse

My “date night” purse which I use for date night with the hubs or ladies night out. Or really anytime I am just going to be out for a couple hours without kids.

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Chapstick
  • Wallet (which is the only thing I have to throw in from my Every Day Purse)
  • Two Lip glosses
  • One Pair of sunglasses and small pack of mints (not pictured…forgot they were in the little pocket of this purse)
  • Tampons & Panty Liners (for obvious reasons)

My Date Night Purse

Both bags stay packed and ready. I just swap over my wallet to whichever I am using and go! Now I am curious…what is in your purse??

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Another year older…

and another year wiser?! Happy Birthday to me

When you are a mom there isn’t much of a big celebration for you for your birthday. It’s just an average day with a few birthday wishes. Although my toddler does keep asking me if I am “happy” today. He asks it every time one of the other kids or adults wishes me Happy Birthday so I guess he just assumes I should be very HAPPY today! Hahaha!

I turned 28 today. I distinctively remember my mom turning 28 when I was a kid. I remember thinking “wow she is so grown up now”. I’m not sure what the difference between 27 and 28 were to me then but there was something. I don’t see myself as a grown up at 28 today. I’m sure my kids think I am or maybe they don’t. To be honest when you ask my kids how old I am they normally say I am much younger than I am. So the big question here is what makes you a ‘grown up’?

As a teenager you believe that 18 is the magic number to being a ‘grown up’. Then you get hit with the reality that you still can’t do everything you *think* you should be able to until your 21. At 21 you are probably finally on your own and faced with the reality of bills, stress, and life. That should make you BE a ‘grown up’…however I think it just makes you wish you could relive your teenage years (and for some people they sort of do). Hmmm, so what is the ‘grown up’ age?

I am excited each year on my birthday. I like turning a year older. I don’t ever feel any different. Nor do I feel like I’ve reached the ‘grown up’ status each year. To many I am just a young mom of four kids, not necessarily a grown up (or at least that is how their remarks are perceived by me). Does raising a family make me a ‘grown up’?

I don’t know when I will feel like a GROWN UP but for now I am happy being 28 and enjoying my life at this age! Maybe next year I’ll be a ‘grown up’!

Another year older...
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One of the hardest days of my life…

I’ve shared two of my four kids birth stories so far. Today is my oldest son’s birthday and I want to share his birth story.

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Being my first labor and delivery I had no idea what to expect. We visited L&D two times over the last week of my pregnancy. As I grew closer to my due date I was sure that he had to come by that date. My pregnancy was very cookie cutter, with morning sickness the first trimester, pure bliss the second trimester, and a little swelling with the growing anticipation of the delivery of our first baby.

I woke up on my due date (around 7am) having hard contractions, the worst I had felt. I called my hubby at work to tell him…he called my aunt and sister to go to our house and sit with me, then drive me to my already scheduled doctors appointment. After another two hours of intense contractions(10am now) I decided to take my bag and carseat with me to the appointment thy my sister drove me to.

At my appointment I found out that I was dilated to a 4 so my OB sent me to the hospital. Once at the hospital they got me sign in and all set up. At noon my mom arrived and shortly after my OB stopped by during his lunch to break my water and move my delivery along. They let me walk the L&D halls while laboring. I mostly stuck to our room.

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By 2pm I had only progressed to 5cm so they started pitocin. The first hour on PIT I was fine, still no medication for pain. By about 5pm the contractions had become unbearable and I was warned it was my last chance for an epidural. My hubby then kicked everyone out of the room (which I guess at this point had grown to a crowd of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends). A couple minutes later when my next contraction started I asked if my mom and the nurse could come back in. He obliged. 😉 **He was overwhelmed by the crowd in our room.**

After my mom and the nurse returned they informed me I was at 9cm an it was too late for an epidural. I got a small does of a local instead just to take the edge off. The nurse said I wasn’t fully effaced yet so she was going to have me start pushing and she would “stretch” me to 100%. Being my first baby I had no idea what to say or do so I did what she said. Worst mistake of my life! I pushed for a solid hour before she called the doctor. With each push she would make me change positions and would try to stretch me.

By the time the doctor arrive a little after 6pm I was so terribly swollen an that baby’s heart rate was dropping from all the excessive pushing that the situation ha now grown risky. (BTW: My Ob was pissed at that nurse for what she did.) After giving us some dry humor he let us that he needed to try the forceps or he was afraid he would have to take me for an emergency c-section (which was out of the question for me). **the vacuum wouldn’t work because I was too swollen!**

Then he got out these HUGE metal ‘salad tongs’, as my husband refers to them. Slid them into place and informed me on my next contraction that he would gently pull while I pushed. He did the four times before my sweet boys head was finally out. Then he told me I needed an episiotomy…only I pushed too soon and torn (15 stitches later…) but one of his shoulders was out. Two more good pushes and at 7:23pm we welcomed our first born!

Weighing 7lbs 6 1/2ounces and 21 inches long he was our biggest baby. He had a full head of dark brown hair which was completely unexpected coming from two blonde parents. He had beautiful brown eyes and was perfect in every way.

Being that I was in so much pain it hurt to deliver my placenta. I wasn’t completely numb for stitches. And I was shaking and exhausted when they brought him to me to hold. I literally couldn’t bring myself to hold him at first. I fell asleep by 9pm.

My poor baby was bruised on his temples from the forceps and the top of his head was cut from the internal monitor. He didn’t even want us touching his head for the first 24hrs.

Around eleven the nurse brought me dinner and said the baby was going to need to eat soon. I ate them they handed him to me to nurse him. I had no idea what I was doing. He was not latching on properly so it hurt so much. My mom came the next morning to help me try to nurse him and it was slightly better but so much coordination was needed and I felt like a failure for not knowing how.

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Because of the trauma of the delivery they wanted to monitor him for an extra day. I had been discharged so they moved us to a curtosy room with a twin size bed and a small sink. The only restroom was the public ones located in the lobby. Lets just say I was miserable over the next 24hrs. I cried every time I tried to nurse him.

We went home on the third day!! He screamed the entire way home. Once home he was so content, great sleeper, and lead his new parents on this new journey. At home I was able to get extra help from my mom, aunts and grandma with nursing. After 7 days my milk had not came in yet, he was very jaundice and hungry. My mom helped drip formula to him while he nursed. The next day my milk came in full force!

I had no idea how hard the delivery and days following were going to be. Our son was such a champ through it all. There are so many things about that first delivery I would have changed now that I’ve delivered four babies, but it makes a good story and reminds me of what pain really feels like when I think my body hurts or I am sore.

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