Friday, October 12, 2012


I am beginning to wonder if I can do it all.  I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water these days.  I walked into the kitchen at work this afternoon and my director told me that I look like I've been dragging.  And she's right.  I've always been able to juggle everything - work, school, kids - but I'm dropping the ball lately.  I am super behind at school.  I have a huge project due in a month and am supposed to be halfway done with it when I meet with my professor next week but I haven't even started it yet. I'm supposed to be reading 2 different books for my other class and I'm 3 weeks behind on those.  I'm supposed to be reading the bible with our church through a community bible experience, but I've only made it through a day and a half of the past 10 days readings. The laundry is piled a mile high.  I haven't been working out.  I've been doing terrible on my diet the past couple weeks and have been eating out more because it's easier.  I was late picking Brayden up from school today. I think I'm spreading myself too thin.
Rubin is gone most weeks Mon-Fri out of town so I'm a single mom during the week. I am working 6 days a week with 12 hour days at least twice a week between work and school.  My kids spend way more time with the babysitter than me and I wonder sometimes if it's worth it.  I'm exhausted all the time and when I actually do get to spend time with the kids my patience is pretty thin. I keep thinking that things will slow down eventually or that I'll just get used to it but I'm starting to worry a little.
So, what am I doing about it?  Sitting here writing a blog post instead of doing my homework. I guess I should put the computer down and do something productive. But I'm tired. Maybe I'll just go to bed and try again tomorrow.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pigs - by Brayden Chrisman

So I am terrible at blogging.  I keep thinking that I should do it more often, and usually come up with great things to write about when I'm in the shower, but when I finally sit down at the end of the day I'm done with creative thought.  But here I am, trying again.  Maybe I'll stick with it more than once or twice a year this time.  We'll see :)
My first post required no thought at all - just another kid story I wanted to share.  I really want to get better about writing these things down.  I know that nobody reads my blog anyway - I just enjoy being able to go back and read stories about the funny things my kids do (especially since I have 3 kids and 0 baby books).  So I just looked through Brayden's pile of schoolwork on the dining room table since I haven't been home the past 2 nights and found this lovely story (complete with illustration).

Did you know that pigs are very smart?  Pigs are the animals that give you ribs.  Pigs behave, eat, and live in many different ways.  Pigs eat dead animals like bugs but they don't just eat dead animals they also eat corn and grain.  Pigs roll in the mud to stay cool.  Pigs live on many barns but some pigs live in the wild.  Wild pigs normaley live in the forest. Pigs are real intruesting aren't they!

I love this kid :)  For the most part the story sounds like a typical 2nd grade boy writing about pigs, but I love that his 2nd sentence was that they give you ribs.  Hilarious.  And I'm pretty proud of his spelling for the most part, although not sure why pigs live on many barns...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Miracle Baby's Birthday

I can't believe it's been a year since the crazy, scary night that changed my life forever. When going through this whole ordeal, I never really got emotional. I knew that God was in control and that everyone was praying for us. I think I only cried twice - the day my parents drove off with my boys, and another day on bedrest when I felt lonely b/c everyone wanted to let me rest and nobody wanted to "bother" me, when I wanted nothing more than to be bothered. As time has gone on, reality has set in a little more. I have seen other babies born around 24 weeks and seen similar stories on TV and I realize how truly blessed we are that everything turned out okay for us. When I hear my sister in law tell the story from a L&D nurses perspective, I realize how serious things really were.

A few months ago I wrote everything down so I wouldn't forget the details. I know I'm leaving out a ton but it's long enough as it is!

July 24, 2011

July 24, 2012

***It has been 4 months since Carter was born, and I have wanted to write his story for a long time now, but between work, school, and 3 kids I haven’t really had a ton of time ☺ So here goes, from the beginning – it is super long but I wanted to include most of the details so I have it all written down somewhere.

So I realized I was pregnant on a Friday night in January. I hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of weeks and kept telling Rubin I was “in a funk”, and then all of a sudden the realization hit me and I knew baby number 3 was on the way. Once we got over the initial shock excitement quickly set in. I woke up on Sunday morning and was bleeding, so I was immediately concerned. I texted a friend who had recently gone through a miscarriage and she told me that it sounded like that’s what was happening to me. It stopped pretty quickly so I opted to call the dr instead of going to the ER…Mon was Martin Luther King Day so they got me in first thing Tues and everything looked fine so my mind was eased for the time being.

Things seemed fairly normal throughout the pregnancy – I was tired and miserable – but I think I just had an intuition that something wasn’t going to end right…I was coaching a Special Olympics softball team and made sure that I had an extra coach that would be able to take over “in case something happened and I couldn’t make it through the season”. Rubin and I were planning a family vacation for July and I had gotten approval from the dr to be able to travel as long as things were going normally at that time, but I held off telling the kids about it or booking the hotel “just in case” something went wrong and we had to cancel. I didn’t want to get their hopes up and then disappoint them. Rubin wanted to “get fixed”, but I kept telling him to wait in case I had to have a c-section b/c then I could just get my tubes tied while they were in there.

On Weds night, June 1, I had to work until 9:30 pm and was feeling perfectly fine. Thursday morning (my day off) I got Brayden off to school and was hanging out on the couch with Cameron when he asked for some juice. I stood up and walked into the kitchen and felt something running down my leg. My initial reaction was that I was peeing my pants, but I quickly realized that wasn’t the case, so I then was afraid that my water had broken. I went to the bathroom and realized that I was bleeding….badly. I ran into the other room and grabbed Cam and threw him in the car, thought to grab a towel to put in the seat, and drove myself across the street to the hospital (seriously – I live 0.2 miles from the hospital). I called Rubin on the way there and told him not to freak out, but he of course did and immediately left work to head over to the hospital.

At this point I was 24 weeks and 3 days along in my pregnancy, so everyone in the ER freaked out. There were probably 20 people in the room and most of them were just staring at me while the main dr and nurse were yelling to get an ultrasound machine in the room right away. Meanwhile Cam is hanging out in the hallway with a nurse eating a popsicle, and Rubin is on his way there receiving frantic phone calls from the hospital, one being from the hospital chaplain. They couldn’t find a fetal heartbeat b/c my heart rate was so elevated they weren’t able to tell the difference. Everyone was freaking out and the faces on the looks of the people in the room were not comforting, yet I was completely at peace. I had felt him kick me and knew he was okay but nobody wanted to listen. I was more concerned at this point that I had ruined my favorite pair of pants (this was probably because I was a little delirious from all of the blood loss).

They finally got an ultrasound machine in the room and were able to figure out that everything looked okay and the bleeding had stopped for the time being and sent me up to labor and delivery. Once I was upstairs they started pumping me with some drug that was supposed to speed brain development and started the steroid shots for his lungs. They told me that I could start bleeding again at any moment – it could be in a few hours, days, or weeks, but that chances are it would happen again. The NICU doctor came and talked to me about the chances of survival if Carter was to be born that day, and they weren’t good – somewhere around 40%. He listed all of the possible things that could be wrong with him if he was born early and did survive….not the easiest thing to hear.

I was then visited by a MFM specialist who did another ultrasound and told me that in addition to having a partial placental abruption and placenta previa, it looked like I also had a rare condition called vasa previa. He couldn’t tell for sure because of a blood clot blocking his view, but said that if he was right then I would most likely be hospitalized until the baby was born. Either way I was looking at bedrest for the rest of the pregnancy, which is not something you want to hear when you have a 6 yr old and 2 yr old at home. He did another ultrasound on Monday and decided that it didn’t look as bad as he initially thought and they let me go home on strict bedrest, but only because I live so close to the hospital and could get there quickly.

I went back about a week later only to find out that I definitely did still have vasa previa – a vein covering my cervix that supplied the baby’s blood. It is very rare and very dangerous. I was told that if I started bleeding again, it most likely would be blood from the baby and not me, which meant that he would be drained pretty quickly of his blood and need a transfusion immediately. If I went into labor and the vein ruptured, they would only have minutes to get Carter out of me or things would not end well. Because they knew I had vasa previa, they were planning to do a c-section around 34 weeks to minimize the chance of me going into labor. The plan was to keep me at home as long as possible and then admit me to the hospital closer to time for delivery, or if things started looking worse.

My parents generously offered to take Brayden and Cameron for a few weeks, and although it was hard to be away from my boys for that long, it definitely made following doctor’s orders much easier. I had weekly doctors appointments that I looked forward to because I was able to leave the house. Those weeks of bedrest were absolutely brutal – I felt so useless and cut off from the rest of the world, but I knew that I was doing what needed to be done. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Facebook and HGTV – and I think this is when I discovered Pinterest ☺ There were SOO many people praying for us and I knew we were in good hands.

At one of my appointments, they decided that they were going to admit me at 32 weeks and keep me in the hospital until they decided to do the c-section at 34-35 weeks. I was set up to be admitted on Monday morning, so had of course planned to wait until Sunday to pack and do everything that needed to be done. And then it happened….

I woke up at 2 am Sunday morning to go to the bathroom, as pregnant women do, and started bleeding again. I yelled for Rubin and we made a very quick decision that I needed to get myself to the hospital asap and we didn’t have time to get the other 2 boys out of bed. I grabbed another towel, ran downstairs, got in the car, and drove myself across the street to the hospital. He called his parents to try and get someone to the house to stay with the other boys so he could go be with me. Once I got to the hospital (about 1 minute away), the nurses responded immediately. They got me in a wheelchair and upstairs super fast, and quickly started looking for the heartbeat. I was NOT calm this time around because I knew the danger of the situation and literally thought that my baby was dying as I was lying there. All I could do was pray over and over “Lord, please let my baby be okay”. I was terrified. Once they found the heartbeat, they didn’t tell me what it was but I knew it wasn’t good because I was immediately rushed into the OR.

I woke up a couple hours later to find out that Carter was in the NICU and was okay, and that I ended up having a hysterectomy. They got him out of me pretty quickly and easily but then couldn’t stop my bleeding – my placenta had grown through my uterus and they couldn’t get it out. They kept calling Rubin but he wasn’t there yet so they just decided they had to take my uterus out to save me and stop the bleeding. When it was all said and done I had 6 units of blood and 2 plasma transfused back into me, and my blood levels were still below normal.

The whole process from me leaving my house to Carter being born took 21 minutes, which is absolutely ridiculous and a true testament to how quickly the nurses got things under control. One of the nurses there realized who I was once I told them I had vasa previa; my sister in law works in labor and delivery and they had just had a conversation about me a couple of days earlier so she knew my situation and knew exactly what to do. She was able to fill in the other nurses and then ran downstairs to the lab to get blood herself instead of calling and waiting for it to be delivered…amazing.

Carter was born at 31 weeks and 6 days, and weighed 4 lbs and was 16.5 inches long. I guess he looked pretty bad at first and his apgar scores were really low. He was hooked up to a million tubes and cords for the first few hours, but they were able to take several of them out pretty early on. The MFM specialist came down to my room and was absolutely in shock that Carter was okay…he could not believe that he didn’t lose any blood and hadn’t needed a transfusion. He just scratched his head trying to come up with a reason but it was truly a miracle. His only theory was that a vein ruptured instead of an artery (or the other way around – I get them confused), so that instead of Carter being drained of his blood, he just wasn’t able to receive any new blood and I was being drained of mine instead, which is okay because I have a lot more to lose.

Carter spent about 6 weeks in the NICU. He only had to be on oxygen for about a week or so and after that he just had to grow and learn to eat, which took a while. It was really hard to juggle being there with him with being home with the other 2 kids, who had barely spent any time with me throughout the bedrest. If I could I would have just sat there with him all day, and I felt guilty no matter which place I was because either way I felt like someone was being neglected.

It was so amazing when he finally came home and it is so great to have our family all together under one roof. It has been crazy and busy – I had to start back to class 5 days after he got home, and work a week later and things haven’t really slowed down since. His big brothers are amazing with him and Rubin has been super dad having to hang out with all 3 of them quite a bit due to my work and school. My life will never be the same again and I could not be more proud of my 3 boys.

Carter is now 4 months old and weighs a little over 10 lbs. He is doing so well and I am so in love with my little peanut. He is such a good baby – he just survived a 13 hour car ride and barely made a peep. He loves to snuggle and I cherish every moment I have with him. He reminds me that life is fragile and babies truly are a gift from God. I am so thankful for my little miracle and for all of the love, support, and prayers we received throughout the entire ordeal.***

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Brayden's Room

So I realize that I haven't posted on here in forever. I keep saying that I will update more often but I never do. I promise I'll try!! So yesterday was Brayden's 7th birthday and part of his gift was his new bedroom. When we found out were were going to have Carter, Brayden wanted to share a room with Cam so we could keep a guest bedroom. That lasted about a year and now he wants his own space (as I figured he would). So, I finally convinced my husband to help me (and my sister) move the beds last weekend and decorated the other day. I still want to paint it (probably gray) but am really happy with how it turned out.
I have since exchanged the blue comforter for another red/gray one and the top bunk is gray.
Love this painting - I bought it months ago and have been waiting to hang it up!
Took down the awful closet doors and plan to hang curtains there someday.
Love the airplanes - another Pinterest idea!! He loves the room and we are working on keeping his little brother out. Cameron seems to be in denial that he no longer shares bunk beds with his brother. His room is my next project - hopefully if I make it fun for him he'll be more excited about it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ahhhh My Child!!!

This is the email I got from Brayden's teacher today....

Good morning,
I recently found out that Brayden has been eating another child's snack at snack time. He admitted to it and said he was sorry. He said he doesn't do it every day and sometimes he asks if he can have some and sometimes he just helps himself. When I asked him about it, he said he didn't bring a snack so he is eating someone elses. He asked me to let you know that he would like a snack each day. I am hoping that if he brings his own snack, he won't eat other children's snacks. He did apologize and seemed to not realize that it was wrong to eat other people's food. Anyway, just wanted to let you know.

(Speaking with him about it was actually kind of funny because he is so innocent when he makes a mistake)

Argh!! What am I going to do with this crazy child? This whole situation is frustrating - they were told at the beginning of the year to bring a healthy snack. Well, Brayden doesn't exactly like healthy food so that narrows his options to string cheese.... I packed him a snack every day at first and he kept coming home with them uneaten. When I would try to pack him chips or fruit snacks - something he would eat - he would freak out because he is "only allowed to bring healthy snacks" so I just quit sending one with him most days and he has never asked about it or said anything to me.
The craziest thing about getting this email today is that he brought his lunch - which has snacks in it!!!
Somebody is going to be writing another apology letter today....

**Update: I talked to Brayden about this when he got home. He said "Well in the mornings I just think that I don't want a snack, but then when I get there my friend Carson has the extra cheesy goldfish and I just can't resist - I have to ask him to share with me." Guess we'll be buying some extra cheesy goldfish to send to school each day and keep his grubby little hands off of other people's food!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My dad informed me the other night that I needed to update my blog, so here I am! Life has been crazy yet perfect. I feel like we have been going non-stop since Carter has been home. I am back at work full-time (which is 30 hrs/week for me) and have class 2 nights/week. Rubin has been down an employee at work with another one on vacation so he has been working a ton. Brayden is playing soccer and has practice one night/week plus games on Saturdays. I'm also trying to find time to run whenever I can - I'm doing the Couch 2 5K program again and hope to run in a Turkey Trot with my mom on Thanksgiving. So here is a little update on everyone:

Rubin is superdad - he puts the 2 older boys to bed every night, out of necessity the 2 nights I'm in class but then they both ask for him the other nights too so I don't fight it. I try and use that time to clean up a little or go for a run.

Brayden is absolutely hilarious, as always. I have decided that when just the 2 of us are in my car I am going to record our conversations. He says some of the funniest things. He just had his 6 yr check up (several months late) and is in the 90th % in his height - such a big boy and constantly outgrowing his jeans. He has been struggling in school with being "impulsive" and we are trying to figure out how to deal with it. We had him tested for ADHD last December by a child psychologist who specializes in it and he came back to us with the results of not ADHD but a very high IQ. He wasn't kidding when he told us that the road ahead would not be easy - we are actually meeting with him tonight to see if he has any suggestions of how to help Brayden with his behavior in school. Wish us luck!

Cameron is the sweetest little man and still loves to cuddle which melts my heart. He loves to read books and does some of the silliest things. He is really working on his colors and counting, but not potty training!! He has absolutely no interest in wearing "big-boy underwear" and says that he likes his diapers. I think he just wants to stay our little baby forever (see picture above ;))

Carter is doing great and growing so fast! He had his 2 month check up last week and was 8 lbs 13 oz and 21.5 inches long. He still spits up like crazy - sometimes we wonder if any of his bottle stayed down, but the dr didn't seem concerned since he is still gaining weight and it doesn't seem to be hurting or upsetting him. He is starting to stay awake for longer stretches during the day and can be very alert at times. He is also stronger than I expected and lifts his upper body during tummy time and looks around - I honestly think he'll be rolling over before too long. So far they have not found any long-term issues with him so hopefully he'll just keep growing and developing normally and will eventually catch up :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

He's Home!!

I forget that there are people who read my blog and aren't friends with me on Facebook, so I'm updating here also to let everyone know that Carter came home yesterday!
He is absolutely perfect and is doing great. Brayden is the proudest big brother I have ever seen and wants to hold him all the time. Cam still isn't quite sure what's going on but is doing really well so far. He kissed Carter's head today and when I asked him if he just kissed his brother he said, "That's not my brother, that's baby Carter!". So he still has a few things to figure out :)
I have never been a more proud mommy and am so happy that our family is all in the same place and I'm not having to split my time here and at the hospital. Our perfect little family is complete :)
Again, I want to thank everyone for the prayers and support throughout these past few months. It has been a crazy ride but was all worth it in the end.