Reed’s Birth Story

I love birth stories.  I always make an effort within a week or so after having the baby, to write mine with as much detail as possible so that I won’t forget it.  I’m getting to this one four days away from his first birthday.  Oops.  😉  Better late than never, I reckon:

After several days of contracting, but not really getting anywhere, I took the kids to a plantation to walk around in the beautiful gardens.  I thought it would be a great thing for them to get out of the house, and for me to get some fresh air – perhaps distracting me a little about giving birth.  It sounds serene and all that, but the reality was that it was the middle of August.  In the South.  We traipsed pretty far into one of the trails and admired much beauty, when we decided that maybe it was time to consult the map and head out.  I was contracting a little harder (success!) and the girls were growing unhappy in the heat.  Then, Jake saw a huge snake right above our heads and that’s when the jig was surely up.

We followed the map exactly the way it read, but it seemed that we were turning gigantic circles.  We found others on the path and asked them if they knew the way out, and that’s when they informed us (with a look of great concern for my burgeoning belly) that they, too, were having trouble leaving the hellish nightmare of a maze trail.  About that time, I had one of the strongest contractions yet, so that’s when Ty chucked the map, sniffed the air, and tapped into his deeply ingrained scout skillz.  He did his thing and blazed our OWN way out.  I’m pretty sure that the only thing worse than staying in the maze to him at this point, was his mother giving birth in a situation where he’d be anywhere in the vicinity…ha!

After finally getting back to the vehicle, and then home, I came right in and piled up on my bed with some red raspberry leaf tea, and the remote to (hopefully!) contract in peace.  Contract, I did, too.  All night long.  While they were enough to keep me awake, they weren’t consistent enough to go to the hospital.  I finally fell asleep around 6 a.m., so Mark called in to work to say that he’d not be at the office that day. When I finally woke up a few hours later, my contractions had completely stopped.  I wanted to keep a good headspace because I knew that he’d come in God’s perfect timing, but it was really hard at this point.  I pretty much shut myself in my room to rest and be quiet (for everyone’s sake).

Around 4:00 p.m., those contractions started up again, but I didn’t tell anyone.  Mark was going to take the boys to soccer practice which is about a half hour away, but was hesitant to leave.  As it turns out, even though I had my poker face on, the guy I’ve been married to for over two decades saw straight through it.  Go figure.  I told him to absolutely go because I was “tired of all the drama”… ha!  I love the rationale of a woman in the last stages of pregnancy. 😀

He left, and I contracted the whole time, but I refused to time them.  Around 8 p.m., I finally threw in the towel and called Mark to see if he’d be home soon.  He  had just walked in the door when I had a pretty big contraction.  I got some more red raspberry leaf tea (because that stuff really does help my contractions) and went back to bed.  I was done “trying” with walking or moving at all.  My thought was that if labor was really going to happen, it will come whether I’m exhausting myself or resting.  Somewhere around 10 p.m., I got on all fours to relieve the pressure on my back, and I felt the baby shift completely. I do not know what happened, but he *really* flopped.  As soon as I stood up, those contractions meant serious business.  Mark was in the shower, and I walked in gingerly, and said “I’d give anything if my water would just break”.

Then it did.  I’d literally no sooner completed that sentence when it popped! HALLELUJAH!!

I showered while Mark gathered our stuff and got everyone completely settled.  Then off to the hospital we went.  It was about 11-11:30 at this point, and right in front of us, there was an obviously drunk driver.  He was weaving over a double lane road and going off it like crazy.  I called the police while Mark concentrated on driving and avoiding him, because there was no safe way to pass him.  He finally turned off of the road and the ride was uneventful after that.

I was hurting pretty badly by the time we arrived and got checked in.  They hooked me up to my IV (which I had a hard time sitting through because of the contractions) and started me on antibiotics.  Within minutes my whole body felt like it had been covered in itching powder.  I was scratching but it only made it itchier.  It was determined that I’m allergic to the antibiotic that they gave me, which was already an alternative to penicillan because I’m allergic to that as well. What a great time to figure that out.  🙂

They came in to give me my epidural  and the woman could NOT get it right and had to stick me more than once.  All I could think at that time, was that I wish I wasn’t such a wuss and so scared of the pain because these epidurals are way more trouble than they’re worth to me.  I always, always cave and get them, though.  Anyway, she finally placed it to her satisfaction, and I just knew that I was in for another round of natural birth on my left side (did it with Isa, too).  Sure enough, when it came time to push, I felt absolutely everything on that side. The pain was horrible and as he was crowning, I looked at the doctor and said “that stupid epidural didn’t work at all” and then I did my quiet scream.  It’s knee-slapping hilarious to me now (truly laughing so hard right now, remembering…) but it wasn’t the least bit funny then.

Finally, after only a few pushes, at 3:45 a.m., my sweet little Reed Thomas entered the world.

He was perfect in every way and we rejoiced at God’s amazing blessing to our family once again.
I always stare at my babies for hours at a time after they’re born, just taking in every minute detail of the gift that we waited for for 9 months. There is truly nothing sweeter in this world. ❤


Working Hard

This is actually just a test post, but  I can hardly seem to have this blinking cursor in front of me without saying something.

It’s been awhile.

Which is why I’m attempting to switch things over to the free version of my website.  Maintaining a blog while raising/homeschooling seven children has turned out to be completely impossible for this mama, so I can’t justify the expense of letting it sit there any longer.

However, I also simply cannot keep from having some blog somewhere that belongs to me.  No matter how dusty, neglected, and full of “I wish this blog weren’t dusty and neglected” posts there are, it’s just part of who this person is.

Today, I’m going to attempt to transport all of my existing blog over to this one.  Honestly, I don’t expect it to go even remotely smoothly.  Not to be pessimistic at all; it’s really just the nature of the Bloggy Beast.  Update:  It was as smooth as silk!!  Go figure!!  I can’t believe it was that easy.  Way to be awesome, WordPress! ❤

Man, it feels good to blog.

A Quick Peek


This week, on a rainy, stay-in-your-pajamas kind of day, I went to the cupboard and took down the old tea party set to use for the first time with the little girls.  To say they loved it would be an understatement.  There was miraculously minimal spillage in comparison to the vast amounts of tea that they consumed.  What a sweet memory!

Baby Seven Is A…..

Today started off a bit chaotic.  Our ultrasound was scheduled for 10:30 a.m., and after much shuffling and hustling, we were finally able to get out the door to downtown in the big city with nary a minute to spare.  I was seriously worried that we would hit traffic, or that I’d miss my turn, or any myriad of things that can happen when you are pressed for time, but I actually made it at 10:30 on the dot.  YAY, right?  Haha… no.

As soon as I walked in and gave my name, the sweet little receptionist sheepishly looked at me and said  “ummm… ma’am, we have you scheduled for your appointment at the north office“.   I stared blankly for many minutes before I finally uttered “The what? I didn’t even know that there was such a thing…”  Then she proceeded to tell me that there is an office FIVE minutes from my house and that I was supposed to be there five minutes ago.  Awesome.   She quickly followed that the mistake happens a lot and that someone probably neglected to communicate that little tidbit of info when they scheduled and confirmed me.  I could tell that there was probably a story there, but honestly, at that point I didn’t really care who was to blame, I was just worried that my ultrasound wasn’t going to happen and that we’d have to reschedule.  I quickly whispered a prayer that they would give us favor so that we could somehow still have it done.  Thankfully, she called the north office and they had plenty of time (wow!!), so back up the road we drove.

We skated right in and within minutes we were looking at our  precious BABY BOY!!!


I know these 4D pictures can look a little crazy, because the fluid distorts them, etc., but I can see past all of that, to my little guy -who looks exactly like his brothers and sisters- and my heart skips a beat.  This NEVER gets old.  Ever!  It is the most precious thing in the world to see another of God’s creations growing as our little gift.  And what perfect timing, because today, his Daddy and I celebrate 20 years of marriage!   You probably would have had to pick both of us up off of the altar if you’d have mentioned that on this day, 20 years later, we’d be happily looking at our seventh child’s ultrasound.  It makes us laugh our heads off, and give many, many thanks at the same time.

Everything else looks fantastic!   He is measuring perfectly with all things exactly as they are supposed to be.  AND…get ready… the placenta previa is COMPLETELY GONE!!!  The placenta is not even low-lying!!  It is in a totally normal and healthy position for a normal birth.  Praise be to God!!   Thank you SOOO much if you were one of our precious prayer warriors in this.  We know that this is of the Lord and we are beyond grateful for His obvious movement in this (literally… ha!).

Thank you for rejoicing with us!

Gearing Up for Gardening

We have been busily welcoming in a sleepy Spring here in the Lowcountry.  I cannot believe that those to the north are STILL getting snow storms even today.  I truly feel sorry for them because I know that everyone is ready to move on.  I love, love, love the beginning of Spring because of all the new life, warmer temperatures and the return of color!  Gray -day in and day out- is simply a tough thing.

One of my favorite parts of this time of year is planning and putting in our garden. Mark and I both grew up with gigantic gardens in our respective backyards so it’s not a foreign concept to us at all, BUT, having a small yard, in a rental home, in a subdivision with a tight homeowners association, had us a wee bit intimidated about plunging our country tiller deep into their pretty sod.  😉  We have always had a relatively big yard with an entire area dedicated to our garden, so at first, we thought, “oh well, there’s the farmer’s market”, but I just can’t give up growing my own stuff.  SO.  It was time to get creative. After following many, many links on Pinterest about container, vertical, and raised bed gardening, I finally bought this little gem:

It really seems to be the authority on those subjects, and coming from someone who has gardened for years, I’ve learned a LOT.  I’m even having my kids read through it so that they will understand and store up some of these concepts into their heads for when they have their own homes.


We’ve also tried our hands at starting our seeds indoors this year rather than purchasing plants.  Some seeds will be sown directly into the ground, because that’s just the best way, but so far we’ve got our peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, squash, zucchini, and some flowers and herbs just waiting to wake up in their little dirt beds.  I plan to document everything as we go, so keep your eyes open for updates as we embark on our little experiment.

The Way It’s Supposed To Be








Last weekend, we took the kids to an unspoiled beach, which essentially means that it is untouched by humans trying to commercialize it.  Unsurprisingly, it is far more gorgeous than any other shoreline that I’ve ever been to (and that is many!).  It is right on the edge of an old plantation, so there was much beauty to explore even apart from the beach area, but we discovered tons in just this spot alone.

There are so many incredibly gorgeous shells to behold.  We weren’t there for more than two minutes before Julianna came over to me with a beautiful, and fully intact, conch shell.  They were everywhere!  Since it’s a preserve, you are not allowed to take or leave a single thing (it’s a minimum $750 fine if you’d like to “shell” that out for helping yourself), which is why there are so many.

We also found many other treasures that were fun to see in their natural habitat.  Julianna found a hermit crab crawling along among the fallen trees;  Jake found a sand dollar, which he has an impeccable knack for discovering.  I’ve never seen one in all of my years of beach-bumming, and this guy finds them almost every single time we go.

Andrew’s entire trip was made when he happened upon an hatched sea turtle nest.  It was so very cool to find that in an untouched place.  It would have surely been pillaged if we’d have been on a tourist beach.

The whole place was simply gorgeous, and the weather was completely perfect for exploring.  Ty even found a spot on one of the many piles of shells to rest.

It was such a perfect way to kick our terrible cabin fever to the curb.  It’s been a long winter and we are all grateful that warmer temperatures are moving in. We are hoping that last night’s frost will be the last that we will see until the end of the year because we are gearing up for turning our garden plans to fruition.  We will try our hand at a few raised beds and some container gardening this time since we are still in a rental home and I don’t think they’d be in love with the idea of us tearing up their sod for a garden plot.  😉  More to come on all of that, though.  I must run, now.  Mark has the day off and we have to head to the DMV for Gayle Getting Her Driver’s License, Part 2.  Don’t even ask… 😀

Have a great weekend!




A three month break?  Sounds about right since that’s a trimester.  😉  This will not be news to anyone reading this since we announced when we found out, but for the blog’s sake, we discovered mid-December that baby number seven will, Lord willing, make his/her appearance sometime in August.  We are so very excited!

Quickly following an announcement, though, is when this Mama is usually hit with a nice case of morning sickness.    I was really doing pretty well, except for being extraordinarily tired, up until we got the flu in January.  I was 9 weeks when it hit us, and while I did get it, my fever never really got above low-grade, so for that I am very, very grateful.  However,  by the time the worst of the flu was over, my “morning” sickness kicked into full-gear. It’s been a rough few weeks, and just like before, I’ve never been able to blog on through those days.  I probably wouldn’t want my thoughts recorded anyway, truth be told… ha! 😉

The good news is that warmer weather is here (mostly), I’m having more good days than bad days in the pukey department, and my energy level is finally coming back up.  I found a new OB that I really like, too.  I didn’t get in to see her until I was 13.5 weeks because I was planning to use the Birthing Center right around the corner.  Sadly, though, my insurance is one of the few that they don’t accept.  I was so discouraged about that (SO DISCOURAGED), but I asked a midwife which OB she would recommend, and that’s how I found the one that I’m using.  When I finally decided to make my way in, I realized that we have a great rapport!  She seems respectful of the fact that this ‘ain’t my first rodeo’, and that’s important to me.

The biggest deal, though, is that I found out right away, with the initial in-office ultrasound, that I have placenta previa.  This is where, once again, I am reminded that we should trust God when He shuts a door because it’s ALWAYS the very best thing for us.  If I’d have gone to the Birthing Center, I’d have likely had no ultrasound until -at least- the middle of my pregnancy, and there are precautions that need to be taken right now to ensure the safety of the baby while the previa is an issue.  Not only that, but a lot of OB’s are weird about taking new patients on after 20 weeks, and I would not have been allowed to give birth at the Birthing Center because 1.  I’m now high risk and they don’t see high risk patients, and 2.  If the previa doesn’t clear up, it is truly a situation in which I’d need to have a C-section.

We are praying that, as my uterus expands, the placenta will “move up” and I can continue on with my plans to have the baby naturally.  If anyone knows me, they know that the thought of a section makes me extremely apprehensive, but I trust God with this.  If He allows the placenta to remain in it’s current place, then I will deal with it and be grateful for the ability to have a surgery that will save the life of my baby and me.  It’s definitely *not* the path that I’m hoping for, but I trust Him.  Prayers for this to resolve would be GREATLY appreciated, though!

In the meantime, this is our newest little peanut ❤