Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Come As You Are..... (Ellis's birth story part 2 & 3)

So funny thing, I've been trying to get this post written for almost ten months..oops. I wrote the first part in May and just finished up...

Part One:

I have been meaning to do this second post for five months now... That's life with three kids I guess. I'm tired. In the evenings, I don't want to come up with witty anecdotes for the blog, I need to preserve all my mental prowess to be able to beat my husband when we farkle for who has to do the night feeding!

Not to mention, this second half is quite emotional so it has taken me a while to get it all out.

Where was I? ....So Slade gets to the hospital where I am now getting ready to deliver. Six weeks early or 33 weeks and 6 days. We call the fam to let them know that baby H #3 is on the way.
We have good people. They all dropped what they were doing and headed to the Falls.

After I was settled in, Mom and Dad go back to the house to continue moving us in, so we would have a home to take this baby to. Stressful? Nah.

I later found out that some of my sweet friends also went over and unpacked my boys rooms, brought baby clothes, and a myriad of other things. Like I said, we have good people.

Lindsey Lunn comes in the room with Slade and I, and is writing down name options on the nurses white board and the three of us are basically trying to name the baby. See? Totally prepared.

Mandy gets there and checks me. When she does, she says, "you have GOT to be kidding me!"
Just what you want to hear when you are unexpectedly having a baby. She looks up, grimaces, and drops the third bomb of the day, "I feel the foot, baby is breech."
Oh, for the love..

So to re-cap, I've been surprised with, "Actually, we need you to go to the hospital for 'monitoring'." Followed by, "Nevermind, you are having a baby."
And now, "Baby is breech" (meaning possible c-section) and... it's not even noon.

I had a sono the day before and baby was head down. I'm then thinking this has got to be a girl, she's already a diva.

Next the words every pregnant woman wants to hear, "We've got to turn the baby."
Do what?
Like while it's still in there?
No thanks.
You know when you ask, "Does this hurt?" and no one will make eye contact with you, that things are about to get dicy.

I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't the most comfortable thing I've ever done, but, I would say having a baby naturally still takes the cake for worst pain of my life (thanks, Knox.)
After baby was manually turned, the problem was, I had so much amniotic fluid that it wouldn't stay head down. Baby just kept kind of floating and bouncing around in there and we couldn't break my water until it came down.

Finally, after hours, Mandy broke my water. It was one of the most glorious feelings ever.
I had so much fluid (top 5 most she's ever seen... Awesome) that I was miserable.
After the resiovoir was drained, I swear my stomach went down a foot. I kept saying, "You mean I would have looked like this if I didn't have so much fluid!?!" My dad came in, and thought I had already had the baby.

Now the fun part, hurry up and wait.
We had the whole gang in the room with me by this point, and I was happy to have the distraction. It was crazy, I was having this baby way too early, I suspected I was a little sicker than anyone was letting on, but, I had an amazing peace. I could literally feel people praying for me and my baby. I can't describe it or explain it. I wasn't stressed, emotional, or scared. It was just peace.

About 11:45pm, I knew it was go time. I like to have my babies in the middle of the night, after a LOOONNNGGG day,  so everyone is super thrilled when I finally have them!
I was trying to have her on the 20th, because I liked the nice even number, but in true Linds fashion, nothing went as planned.
I wanted Mom to stay in the delivery room with Slade and I, and then I asked Lindsey Lunn to take some pictures and video when we found out if it was a boy or girl.

I do remember ALL the people filing in when it was "go time."
I mean seriously, are this many people really medically necessary?
I swear they invited the kitchen staff and cleaning crew of the hospital in to watch.

One male nursing student who had been with me most of the evening was standing to my right. He also had on a full face of makeup. I was actually torn between focusing on birthing a child, and wanting to ask him how his foundation was so flawless.
I mean hell, he had a front row seat to my lady bits, the least he could do was give me some contouring secrets.

I went with the former, and asked him if he had ever seen a live birth before. His response, "No, you are my first."
I have no idea what came over me, but I looked at him and said, "Well, welcome to my delivery. These are all of my lady parts and I'm about to push a giant baby out of them."
He just kind of stared at me and then looked at Mandy, like "Is she kidding or just completely nuts?" At that point, little bit of both.

After a few pushes, here came baby. I kept telling Slade in between pushes, "We should have found out the sex. This is just too many shocks for one day, even completely sane people would think this is too much!"

Next came my favorite phrase of the day......"It's a GIRL!!!!!" I fell back on the bed and said, "OH, THANK GOD! I couldn't take any more surprises today."

She was perfection. She was a girl. She was teeny-ish. She was mine.

Part Two:

At 12:46 am, Elizabeth Slade "Ellis" Hodges came into the world. She weighed 6 pounds and 1 once and was 20 inches long with a full head of black hair.

The let me see her, give her a little kiss and by 1:00 am, she was in the NICU.

Then reality set in,  and came crashing down.
All my plans of doing skin to skin and bonding with my baby, or holding her while introducing her to grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends were no longer possible. Letting her brothers meet her where they could see and hold her was just not going to happen.

Finally at 4:00 am, we got to go in the NICU and see our girl.
Sweet girl was hooked to every monitor there is, and had a CPAP breathing for her because her little lungs just weren't ready. She was breathing so hard, gasping for air, and thats when I lost it.
It was too much.
The guilt, the exhaustion, the fear and the shame all just came crashing down. I couldn't hold her and tell her how sorry I was that I got sick and she had to come early.
I couldn't hold her and calm her down so she wouldn't try so hard to breathe.
I couldn't hold her and tell her how much I loved her and how badly I wanted her, and if I could have taken her place, I would have.
I couldn't even touch her really because they didn't want to stimulate her.
Hell, I couldn't really even see what she looked like, because the CPAP took up most of her face.

The next few days were rough. The Doc told us she would probably have to be in there 3-4 weeks and I didn't get to hold her for almost two days and when I finally did, I could only hold her for an hour.
On day two, she got jaundice, so they brought in the equivalent of a baby tanning bed for her, complete with little goggles.
Diva, did you say?

Poor girl couldn't have a bath because it would stimulate her too much, so her black hair was all matted, she was orange and now she was tanning. I started calling her baby Snooki.
I kept telling her  I needed her to lighten up a little, or I was going to have to get a terrible spray tan just to take her home because no one would believe she was mine.

After five days in the hospital, it was time for me to be released.
 Here's the kicker, my baby wasn't released and I was. How am I supposed to leave her here?
This sweet baby has been part of me for the last 33 weeks and some change, and now you want me to just leave her?
It felt like I was leaving a body part at the hospital.
I was actually...
my heart.

I won't sugar coat it and say I held it together, I also will spare you the gory details of a mother having to leave the hospital, without her baby. I was a broken woman.

We got home and everything was well...a cluster.
I wanted to go home, like to my house we moved out of, because that was home. I didn't want to come to a house I had never spent the night in and had boxes everywhere.
I wanted to go home... with my baby, and I couldn't.
I remember Slade saying, go take a shower and change into fresh clothes and I started crying because I had no idea where any of my pants or underwear were. Thats how together I was, people.
Oh, did I mention we were in the middle of icemageddon 2015? Oh yes, it was solid ice outside.

I loved being home with my boys and getting to properly love on them, and they were so excited about their new rooms, but how could I feign delight when my heart was broken? How do I explain to them that equal parts of me want to stay and love on them and then the other part wants to literally sprint back up to the hospital?

I went back to the hospital that evening for the night feeding, and when I was on my way, I ran through McDonalds to get an iced tea.
When I was in line, David Crowder's 'Come As You Are' came on the radio.
That was the catalyst for what might be my largest emotional explosion to date.
I lost my shit.
In the drive-thru.
Of McDonalds.
There is no way the sweet woman at the window had any idea what she was getting into when she said, "Do you want fries with that?"

I made it thru without causing an international incident, but then pulled over in the parking lot. The words coming out of my speakers were this...

Come out of sadness
From wherever you've been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You're not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

You know what?

 I did just that. I came as I was.
 In the McDonalds parking lot.
 I had the most honest "come to Jesus" that I have in a long time. I completely gave it over. 
My guilt, my shame, the urge to control the situation, and most importantly, my girl. 
The girl I had wanted and prayed for, for so long. 
I can't describe it, and it's not like I had this major "moment" afterward, but slowly things started to seem a little more manageable. 
Ellis's hospital stay provided me the opportunity to get my house put together without a newborn underfoot. I got a little more one-on-one time with each of my boys, in what surly was a very chaotic time in their little lives. 
It provided Slade and I some time to rest after what had been a very crazy few weeks. 
No, it wasn't what we would have chosen, but God used it to provide what we needed. 
No, it wasn't easy to parent three children in two locations, but we did it. 
Ellis could not have been better taken care of. The nurses were more than I could have hoped for. 

After 14 days, our sweet girl got to come home. The boys were in complete awe of her. They are still completely and utterly smitten with her. She completed our family. My heart is full. 

I can write about this now because this girl, the one I longed for, and she busted out of me too early....she is a HAPPY, HEALTHY, BEAUTIFUL, (bit of a diva) almost 10 month old. 
Those delays they told me would come at 6 months? None. Not a one. 
We are actually in the 98% for height and weight. 

She is my joy, my little miracle, the part of my heart I didn't know was missing, and most importantly, a daily reminder of God's faithfulness.  

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Four Five Seconds (Ellis's birth story... Part 1)

 I don't blog much anymore, however, today is Ellis's original due date and addition of our sweet girl should probably be mentioned on the family blog...(mainly, so I don't hear about this is therapy when she's 17.) This is her birth story, it's crazy, it's happy, it's sad and it's life..our life. It went a little something like this...

 Goodbye old house. Hello new house. Welcome to the world Elizabeth Slade "Ellis" Hodges! When I named this blog “Casa de Crazy” I didn’t mean for my life to actually go that way…so I think I may change it, to something like, “The simple life: Where Sleep is Plentiful, Children Are Angelic, and Life Goes According to Plan.”
Then I would be delusional.

The last few weeks have been some of the craziest of my life. Apparently, the way Slade and I roll is to do all of your MAJOR life changes in ONE weekend. This is NOT a good way to roll, people. The last few weeks consisted of packing up and moving out of our home that I loved, finishing a complete renovation of our new house, moving in with my parents, unexpectedly welcoming our PRECIOUS baby girl just over 6 weeks early, leaving her in the hospital, moving into our new house, parenting the boys at home and her in the hospital, all while in the middle of icemageddon WF 2015. Good times.

At the beginning of February, I was pregnant with what seemed to be the world’s largest baby,  and put on partial bed rest due to contractions. We were supposed to be moving in to our house Feb 12th, and it’s just wasn't ready. We (thankfully) sold our house, but had to be out. We decided to ship the boys to Hereford, then try to move as much of our stuff into our new house as we could.We had to move in with my parents so the house could get to a point where we could actually live there. Not in my plan, but it was what we had to do, so be it. Funny thing about moving…it’s the exact OPPOSITE of nesting, which is what I so desperately wanted to be doing.

We had been living with my parents for a few days when I started to feel pretty bad. I was 33 weeks along and looked like I was 33 MONTHS along. Honestly, I thought me feeling bad was my body just being DONE with everything. I was trying to pack up one house, deal with workers at the new house, make decisions, raise kids, all while being 8 mos. pregnant. I was exhausted.

On Feb 19th, I had a doctors appointment and was dilated to a two.  I was told…bed-rest…for real. Not the BS "bed-rest" I had been attempting for the last few weeks. So, to re-cap, I'm in the middle of a move, living with my parents and have a 5 yr old and a 2 yr old and now I'm laid up. Awesome. 

My poor parents helped us pack up my old house, haul it to the new one, and were now trying to unpack my new house while dodging painters, workmen, and who knows who else all while I am trying to direct traffic from on their couch. 

The next day, (Friday the 20th) we get the boys to school and Mom and I have it all planned where she will drive me to my new house, plop me on my bed that she set up the night before, and I could help direct which boxes went where. Then that weekend, we would get the house all set up and be totally moved in by Monday. Excellent plan! I was 20 minutes into getting dressed when my phone rings. Its my Dr. office…my blood work from the day before didn’t look so hot so they need me to go to a specialist. My platelets were way too low. Okie Dokie.

A minute after I get off the phone with the office, Mandy (my dr.) calls. As soon as I saw it was her, I knew…she was putting me in the hospital. She explained that she didn’t like my blood work and after having preeclampsia with Knox, she wanted to monitor me more closely, so I needed to go into the hospital. I was more annoyed than anything because I had things I really needed to get done. I burst into tears, ran into my mom’s room and bless her heart, she came out of the shower to find me sitting on her bed sobbing. I was freaked out, scared for my baby and now SERIOUSLY overwhelmed. The Lord knew where I needed to be when I got that phone call. With my mom. Beck is good under pressure. 

I get up to Labor and Delivery and tell them I am there to be monitored. The nurse looks at me and says, “Oh! Mrs. Hodges, we actually are going to put you in a delivery room because Dr. Winfrey has decided that she is going to go ahead and deliver today!” I stop mid stride, look at her with utter disbelief and say, “DO WHAT??”

Oh yes, Mandy had talked to a specialist at Cooks and it was decided that I was getting too sick to remain pregnant. The baby was fine. I was the problem. This is a lot for an overwhelmed pregnant woman to digest. I call Slade. He doesn't answer. SERIOUSLY!?! I call again... and maybe a few more times...finally, he answers and says, "Lindsey, I'm in a meeting! What is it?"
 Me: "We are having a baby today." 
Him: "......" 
Me: "Slade?" 
After what seems like entirely too long of a time, he says, "okay... so what do I need to do?" I tell him that if he would like, he can go ahead and come to the hospital...ya know, for the birth of his child. Poor guy, I REALLY keep him on his toes with this whole baby thing. To say he was shocked and overwhelmed would be a vast understatement. He gets to the hospital to find out they are going to deliver his baby, way to early, so that his wife doesn't stroke out. It was a lot. 

Did I also mention that we didn't know the sex of our baby? Also, that our infant carrier had expired so we had no car seat? Or, the fact that Briggs was still in the crib so, technically, we didn't have a crib for the baby. Or, that we didn't have a name picked out? Oh, and that we had no baby clothes for a girl? So, you ask, who was NOT AT ALL READY TO HAVE A BABY?" These two parents, thats who. 

Funnily enough, one of the most popular songs on the radio during this time was Rihanna's "Four Five Seconds" The hook of the song is, "Now I'm Four Five Seconds from wildin'" and every time I would hear it, I would think to myself, "girl.. you got no idea, I know exactly how you feel." I consistently felt like I was four or five seconds from completely losing my sh*t. Basically, I was trying not lose it in such an epic way that I ended up in a strait jacket somewhere... and this is only part 1. 

To be Continued...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

All I've got is time...

Someone asked me the other day, "why don't you blog as much anymore?" 

Two words: Knox and Briggs. 

Those days of Knox napping and Mommy blogging are long gone my friends. Like now, as in literally at THIS moment...both boys are napping. However, Knox is actually in his room singing at the top of his lungs and saying to me, "Mom! Come in here, I need to pray for you!" "Mom, come in here! I need to tell you what I'm going to get you for your birthday!" not to mention singing "Simon Says" and follows with "HERE WE GO GUYS!" before each new song. 

Briggs...oh sweet Briggs...he got off schedule this morning so he's alternating between whining and talking and yelling, "mama" and "dada." 

So a nice peaceful afternoon to blog about the goings on in our life...absolutely. 

When they are "awake" its not the peaceful Norman Rockwell you are picturing with us all laughing and baking cookies. Nope. It's basically me saying, "No! Briggs" as he tries to electrocute himself, dump all of my kitchen drawers contents on the floor, put the remote in the potty, stir the potty with his arm or walk out the front door. I have to monitor all of that while avoiding the football that is thrown in my direction at least 200+ times a day. I would guess that I rival any NFL quarterback in how many snaps per day I take. 

Oh, did I mention Briggs is the 1% of kids who got the ACTUAL chicken pox from the vaccine? So yeah, that happened too. Oh! I almost forgot, he also go a vomit virus because his immune system was so depleted from the chicken pox. Oh! AND he got kicked out of school until all of his pox have scabbed over even AFTER I had TWO different doctors clear him and one send a note. 

So why don't I blog as much anymore? Getting lazy in my old age, I guess.

But just about the time I think I am going to lose it.....

Knox yells at me, "Mom! I need to get up! Alex is going to call me!" Ok. This piques my curiosity so I just went in there. I ask him who Alex is and he proceeds to tell me that Alex is his brother who is 13, in first grade and lives in New York City. I literally have NO idea where this came from and all I can think is whoa, Alex must not be too bright if he is 13 and in first grade. I ask who his parents are and Knox tells me they live in College Station. Hmmm, not sure how this is his brother then....unless he knows something about Slade that I don't. 

These are the types of things that happen everyday being Knox and Briggs mom, so while I would love to blog all the time, right now I need to learn all I can about Knox's other family....

Monday, September 16, 2013


This post was from a few months ago and never got posted .... so here goes.
P.S. it's slightly PG-13

Ever since we have had the pneumonia outbreak of 2013, Knox has been very into Hannatizer (hand sanitizer.) We pretty much have it in every room and he loves "washing" his hands. Well...this kind of became an issue the other day....

So I went to a bachelorette party a few weekends ago and one of the gifts I received for mine was a Honeymoon kit of..shall we call it... "women's personal needs for intimacy" and I thought it was a great idea, so I was going to recreate this as my bachelorette gift. I go buy a cute little bag and then fill it with all the essentials that were in mine then, as is always the case, got distracted or pulled away by a kid and forgot about it.

A few hours later, I am sitting in the kitchen feeding Briggs when Knox comes out of my room with a strange look on his face. He comes up to me and says, "Uh, Mom. I put on some hannatizer and its not working!" I thought he was just being dramatic and said, "what do you mean by "not working?" By this point, I can see that there is indeed something all over him. "It's all sticky and won't come off!" he says.

I tell him to bring me the "hannatizer." He comes back a minute later with a small bottle of PERSONAL LUBRICANT. Oh yes, my three year old has LUBE all over him because he thought it was "hannatizer." When it didn't dry up like hand sanitizer, he preceded to try to wipe it off....all over himself. So thaaaaat would be the time I remember the "honeymoon kit" on my bathroom counter. I promptly informed him that this "hannatizer" was, in fact, defective and we promptly went to the shower.

Briggs is ONE!

I know...I know...I haven't blogged in forever. Well...having two babies makes things a little... busier. Shocking, I know. We have had LOTS going on, but, feel that the least I can do is post about sweet Briggs' first birthday!

This little love bug is one!

He looks like he is two. Bless him, he has been large since the moment of conception. Actually, bless ME..I am the one who has had to haul this kid around, in utero and out! Funny thing, after a pregnancy in which I looked like I swallowed a small whale and just about shut my body down... does he love and adore me? No. That would be reserved for his father. The one who DIDN'T birth him. Good thing he's cute. Briggs is the ULTIMATE Daddy's boy. Literally, if Dad is in the room and not holding him...he's probably crying or screaming, "HAAAYY!!!" at him.

We celebrated his birthday a few weeks ago with "Briggs' First Fiesta," and it was so much fun for all the fam to get together and celebrate this special little man.

Knox helping Bebo with the cooking.

Uncle Thomas! (all of us squinting)

Briggs and his best friend/main love ...Gan

Grandad and Briggs

first sugar ever....

He LOVED it...shocking 

Briggs and Bebo


Bob and Bebo with the grandkids

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Little guy that snuggles...

Me: (lying in Knox's bed) Man, I am lonely up here on this bed.
Knox: "Well! Here comes a little guy that snuggles! Get excited!"

Monday, May 20, 2013

Poor Sweet Briggs...

Poor kid, by the time Knox was 9 months old he already had quite a few posts under his belt and his accomplishments were chronicled by his mother. Poor Briggs. Mommy got tired...and busy. So here goes, he got his top two teeth yesterday and so now he has 4! He's not quite crawling but wants to REALLY bad. He gets frustrated because he tries to go fwd but for some reason goes backward.

He loves to play patty cake and is in the 90% for height and weight!! He weighs 23lbs and is 9 mos old. Pretty sure he's going to be bigger than me when he's six. Oh joy. Overall he is just the sweetest, happiest little (err not so much) guy.