Thursday, December 10, 2009


On a mission....
Seriously, get this girl away from me!

Bring it on!

Her tail, yes, I WILL get it!

Look little girl, you better back off!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

As a matter of heart

This is my first official blog. Yep, I am a new blogger! It only took me forever & a day to take the plunge. There have been so many times I have had the need to rant about something or had an epiphany, but I just never made the time to write about it....just let it well up inside me. Yeah, that's healthy!

So, that leads me to the question -
If you feel it in your heart to do something, but never do it, is it TRULY in your heart?

I am so incredibly behind on the tasks in life that it is absolutely ridiculous. Things are pressing on my heart & mean so much to me, but I always fall into the excuse that I don't have time to get to them. So, if it's truly in my heart to do it, wouldn't I make time? Which has me evaluating the condition of my heart & priorities.

I cannot begin to express how behind I am on things I consider to be a matter of HEART. To name a few: I never sent out Madelyn's birth announcements, I do not even have a picture of Madi hanging in my house (which takes less than 2 minutes to do), as much as I love the pictures my dad painted for Madi's room, they still remain on the floor. I could go on and on. I understand that most everyone has a to-do list and most everyone has things of higher priority that need to get done, but I find myself in a non-excusable place. I ask myself why? Why do I have things to do so important to me, but never do them?

It all starts with procrastination (Satan's best weapon). If you begin to procrastinate the slightest bit on one thing important to do, it doesn't take long before the next important tasks slips in. Now, you have two Matters of Heart waiting to be tackled - putting them both off until next week, but "next week I will get to them for sure!" But next week you get sick, too sick to get anything done - only putting you behind more, in addition to daily chores around the house & your job.
*Daily chores are "static", if you will. They are constant and never fail to leave that fuzzy noise in your ear reminding you of their annoying existence.

Now, in addition to getting done what is "on schedule" to do, catch-up comes into play. Throw a baby into the mix & you got yourself a crazy, unorganized mess of things to do, backed up maybe years, many of which remain Matters of Heart. As time goes on with these heartfelt to-do's hanging out in the sidelines, life happens. And life continues to happen. Then you get to a place where I find myself now, wondering where all the time went and asking why I never hung up my dad's precious paintings in Madi's room for the finishing touch?

Procrastination brings you to the state of being overwhelmed. There are so many things to do that I don't know where to start. Others would recommend doing a little bit at a time, but by the time I get a small window of opportunity I either have something unexpected that arises or I just want to enjoy that moment of peace and do NOTHING. My mind often tricks me into thinking it is best to not start a project unless you have time to finish it right then and there! So, if something will take me 4 hours to do and I don't have 4 straight hours to do it, then it goes on the back burner...get to it when I do have 4 hours because someday I will, right!?!?

So, here I sit writing about the things I need to do, while baby sleeps, instead of just doing them.
Where is the logic?

Bottom Line: I am horrible at TIME MANAGEMENT. How can I be so much like my mother, who is the queen of great time management and not get any of that great quality?

And YES, as a matter of heart, I do believe that you can still TRULY feel something in your heart to get done, although you haven't gotten it done in ages. It is not a question of the condition of your heart, it is a question of your time management skills.
Procrastination is the yellow brick road to being overwhelmed.

Ok, baby is awake! What did I get done while she slept???
I wrote my first blog!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009


First, I would like to say that regardless of how bad labor was and what I endured, the rewards of having a baby far outweigh the pain and difficulties of labor. I would do it again and again for the beautiful gift of a child. God has richly blessed us. By the grace of God we were able to conceive (in His time) and now our precious little one is here.

I also feel so blessed to have the support I had. First of all, Jose was amazing through it all. Words cannot express what a wonderful husband, labor coach, friend, encourager and listener he was. He was there for me in every way someone can be there for someone. He never faltered. He never complained. He never left my side. He was absolutely incredible and I could NOT have done it without him! We connected and breathed together at every contraction. Jose's eyes were my focal point. I looked into the depth of his eyes at every contraction as he coached me in breathing, encouraged me and focused only on me. After each contraction he rewarded me with ice chips. Ice never tasted so good!!!

I was also blessed with having so many loving family and friends around. My parents and my brother were there the entire time helping me, encouraging me and praying for me. My Mom was also coaching me through labor & delivery and offered great words of support. Allie came soon after Madelyn was born and helped with my recovery. She was very encouraging as well.

I know God would not give me more than I could handle and I reminded myself of that the entire time. To calm myself, I repeated the verse "Be still and know that I am God". I feel that God gave me a great support system to get me through the 17 hours of labor. Labor is as emotionally exhausting as it is physically exhausting. Without words of encouragement and support, it would have been even more draining and that much harder.

1 - To The Hospital

Sunday, May 3, Jose and I had a beautiful day! After church, we had brunch with my parents and Jeff & Gina at Green Valley Ranch Buffet, of course! After the buffet Jose and I decided to spend the afternoon together, just the two of us. We went to Town Square for several hours. We watched the kids play on the playground for a long time and just couldn't get enough of watching them play. We saw the movie, "Earth" and then enjoyed coffee while sitting in the shade visiting with other families. There was a calmness about us all day. It was almost like we knew that later that night we would go to the hospital. During the day I had been spotting a little, but nothing we were concerned about. Early evening spotting got a little heavier and we called the hospital and they said to only go in if 1) my water breaks, 2) contractions are consistent or 3) very heavy bleeding (like a period). In the evening - contractions started, but never became completely consistent. Some contractions were 5 minutes apart and others were 20 minutes apart. Late in the night (maybe around midnight or 1), after we had attempted to go to bed, very heavy bleeding started. We knew it was time. We immediately got our things together and headed for the hospital. I remember thinking that they would admit me - I knew inside that this was it! We arrived at the hospital at 1:45am (Monday morning, May 4).

2 - Potocin & Pain Medication

I was admitted around 3:00am. For some reason, I had a fever. Dilated to 1cm, they started me on potocin immediately. Around 6:30am I was dilated at 2-3cm. My contractions were very consistent (about 2 minutes apart) and rather strong. The nurse came in at 6:30am and said that the anesthesiologist would be in a c-section from 7:30 to 8:30 and again from 10 - 11:00. I had the choice of getting an epidural right away before his 7:30 c-section or I would have to wait until 9:00 or so. Waiting until 9:00 - who knows how much more pain I would be in or what I would be dilated to... however, they do not recommend getting an epidural at 2cm dilation because it is so early and could slow labor down. The nurse recommended a pain med called Demerol to take the edge off. Since my contractions were so strong already and very consistent I agreed to take the pain med. I was initially against taking the pain medication because it makes mom a little loopy and can affect the baby a little, making her tired, but drugs talk when you're in pain. The Demerol did take the edge off, although I could still feel the contractions the same. I dozed off between each contraction.

3 - My Water Broke

At 4 cm, in the middle of a contraction, my water broke. It was a neat feeling. All of a sudden "pop" and..... yeah, "my water just broke!". This speeds up labor a little. I was excited that my water broke on its own and they didn't have to break it for me.

4 - Epidural # 1

At 4cm, around 9:30am, I received my first epidural. I think I did a great job, with Jose's help of course, getting the epidural. I remained calm and rested in Jose's arms, as he helped me to breathe properly and stay relaxed. During the epidural, the doctor said that it was not an issue but he did puncture a vessel when he put the needle in. He said he got out all the blood and pulled the catheter out a little and said it should be fine. The epidural made my legs tingle and took the feelings of the contractions away (at least in my abdomen). I could still move my legs and feel them, to a certain degree. I started getting very strong contractions in my posterior body - my butt, lower buttocks and upper hamstrings. It was very, very painful. The anesthesiologist came in and tried to alleviate the pain by taking the catheter out 1cm. This did not help at all. So.....he decided to redo the epidural.

5 - Epidural # 2

Dilated at 6cm, doctor removed the catheter from the first epidural to administer another one. First, he gave me a spinal block, which numbs your lower body completely and immediately. That worked and I loved that! Because the spinal block only lasts for 1 - 2 hours, he gave me the epidural to help when the spinal would wear off. The doctor said that he found a great space in my spine and sounded confident with the second epidural. He put the catheter in and then said, "Oh, shit! I am such an idiot! I can't believe I just did that!". I am holding as still as I can and Jose, my Mom and Jon all looked at the doctor frantically wondering what he just did. Doctor said, "I don't know why I did this, but I just took the catheter out. I have never done that before, so I don't know why I did that. I just pulled it right out. I will have to do it again." Uh....okay.....we can't believe you did that either!

6 - Epidural # 3

The anesthesiologist gave me a third epidural. I am a pro at this now. Third time's a charm - we hope! The next hour and a half was fine because the spinal block was in effect. Once that wore off, we realized the epidural had only worked half way. My right leg was very numb and my left leg was only a little tingly. The nurse tried moving me from side to side to try to get the epidural to flow into other areas of my spine. The doctor tried giving me injections of meds to help or boosts of the epidural (bolus), but nothing helped. By now, I was 8 or 9 cm and it was too close to the end to get another epidural....not that I was in favor of a FOURTH epidural anyway.

7 - Push Time

Finally, I was dilated 10cm. I still had a fever. The baby was locked and loaded! And I WANTED to push so bad!!! I could only have 2 people in the delivery room, so Jose and my mom were there helping me to push. They say that I pushed for an hour and a half or so. Although I could feel the contractions with a vengeance, it did feel good to push! Initially, I had to wait to push until the doctor arrived (or was closer), which was an absolutely awful feeling & horribly uncomfortable! Toward the end of pushing, they had me hold off on pushing again during every other contraction because my blood pressure was rising and the baby's heart rate was dropping. I was all about reassurance during the entire process. When I was told NOT to push, I asked the nurses to remind me that the baby will not come out without me pushing - because it felt like she was just going to slip out of me....the pressure was so strong! It also helped to hear what progress I was making. Since I could pretty much feel everything, I felt the episiotomy! I knew Dr. made three snips! Ewwwww! At the end, the doctor was going to use the vacuum to assist the baby in coming out, but didn't end up needing to, which we were happy about. So, after lots of breathing and pushing, Madelyn was born at 7:13pm, weighing 6 lbs, 3 oz. and was measured at 20 1/2". Since I had a fever, Madi was born with a high fever. The nurses spent extra time with her and took care of her fever immediately. Thank God she was healthy as can be and her fever went down soon after she was born.

8 - Episiotomy

While the nurses were taking care of baby, the doctor takes care of me. The lovely placenta was delivered (called the second delivery) and since he did an episiotomy he needed to put me back together. Normally, I think this takes about 10-15 minutes. It took him a good 25 minutes to stitch me up. I FELT EVERYTHING! I was screaming bloody murder! I guess Dr. assumed that my epidural was working sufficiently enough and did not give me a pelvic shot to numb me. Once he realized I was feeling EVERYTHING, he was already too far to stop and just tried to finish as soon as he could.

9 - The Aftermath

After Madelyn was born, they kept me on potocin to help my uterus contract back down to its normal size. Jose, my parents, Jon, Allie and Jeff were in the room meeting Madelyn. They were having precious moments with her and admiring her. It was at this time that agonizing back pain started in my low back. On a pain scale of 1-10, the pain was 10+. A very simple movement would send excruciating pain through my body. It was horrible that not only could I not spend time with my family and seeing the baby, but I was screaming because of the pain. This probably put a damper on the "moment" with Madi. The pain was strange because it would come and go every couple minutes. I think I was feeling the pain when my uterus would contract. An anesthesiologist was supposed to come in to evaluate me and never came. The nurses had no idea why I was experiencing such bad back pain. The only explanation I got was that it was probably due to so many epidurals. My right leg stayed numb for a good 14-16 hours after delivery. I had a horrible time trying to urinate because I couldn't feel parts of my right side. I still had a very high fever. Eventually, they gave me meds to reduce my fever and they gave me Demerol to help reduce the back pain. It did help. I had discomfort over the next 24 hours and then all back pain was gone! :o)

10 - A Bit Emotional???

My labor process was not easy, but I don't recall that it is supposed to be easy. It was so painful, draining and more difficult than I thought it would be. I was actually very upset with the way things turned out. In the end, once my baby girl was born and I was experiencing excruciating back pain I began to get very emotional. I felt that I was supposed to be bonding with my baby, admiring her, nursing her and loving her. I couldn't because I barely knew where I was. I felt like I was going to black out at any moment. I had no strength. I was crying hysterically because I was in so much pain. There were moments when I thought I was going to die. I remember saying, "It is not supposed to be like this! This is not right! Why, why is God allowing this to happen to me?!?! Is God punishing me?!?! I don't want to die! I'm a horrible mother - I can't even hold my baby and I can't nurse her!" I was a wreck. Once my fever went down and the pain med kicked in, I became more coherent. I started to feel better, especially when I finally had my first moment with Madelyn.

Now that I am back to normal, I feel horrible for the things I said and felt in the hospital. I anticipated that I would have serious postpartum depression, but I am happy to say that I am doing great! With each passing day, the memory of my labor and delivery slips a little further from my mind. In the end, I would go through this again and again to have the wonderful reward of a child. Jose and I are hoping to having another baby one day - only time will tell.

God did not punish me with my experience. Now, I see that God did not give me more than I could handle - I got through it. He gave me strength I never knew I had. He provided me with amazing family and friends to help me. I had all the support I needed to get through labor. In the end I am recovering and I am emotionally stable. I am so very thankful for this wonderful bundle of joy we call Madelyn Grace. This experience only made me stronger and I am actually happy that I had to work so hard to have this baby and it didn't come too easy. God knows I would be better off this way in the long run. By the grace of God, Madelyn Grace was born. God is faithful. Praise the Lord. :o)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"I'm Pregnant!" - Our Special Story

Here is the story of our special baby journey, from the first steps of trying to conceive to where we are today, how we found out we're expecting and how I told Jose. This is a fairly long, in-depth story, but it has been a very special and valuable experience to us. Hope you enjoy reading our story!

We feel so blessed to be able to say that we are expecting! We started trying to conceive in the spring of 2006. As weeks and months, and then a couple years went by, we continued to pray for God's guidance and asked Him for patience and understanding as we continued to try.

About a year and a half after we started trying, we decided to seek doctor's help. My OB/GYN recommended that my husband get checked first, to avoid any unnecessary testing checking the woman. So, Jose's primary care doctor ordered some tests. The test revealed some possible issues considered to be a "male factor". Jose was referred to a urologist. A few months later we went to see this urologist. In a few words: the experience was horrible. We did not feel comfortable. The office staff was not nice at all. The doctor had us waiting in the exam room for 45 minutes with the door open while we watched him talk to his buddy on the phone about dinner plans and such before he saw Jose....and Jose was the last appt of the day and the only patient there! The urologist didn't sound like he knew what he was talking about. He did confirm that Jose had a sperm motility issue, but the sperm count was fine. BUT he said, "since you have a high sperm count, just keep trying and one is bound to make it eventually". But it doesn't take rocket science to know that if the "swimmers" aren't swimming or swimming in the right direction, it doesn't matter HOW MANY there are! In the end, we did not feel like God wanted us there. We decided to put doctors on hold for several more months and just kept trying on our own.

In the summer of 2008, my OB/GYN referred us to a fertility doctor (Dr. Fisch). Both my OB/GYN and Jose's primary care doctor said they wanted to have Jose get checked again with a fertility doctor and to check him before me since there are thousands of tests that can be done for a woman, which can be ruled out if something is diganosed with the male. More tests confirmed that Jose had a motility issue, which, agian, simply means that the "swimmers" were not reaching their destination (the egg). Jose's sperm count was great. So, the swimmers all show up, but didn't know where to go or how to get there. :o) Dr. Fisch said we are not necessarily a good candidate for IVF (Invetro Fertilization) since Jose's count is good and it was so early in the process. Dr. recommended IUI. IUI is the medical term for artificial insemination, where they simply inject the "swimmers" closer to their final destination (the egg). This gives them a better chance for fertilization because they do not have as far to swim. It is a fairly simple procedure and we did not see any ethical issues or controversy with this procedure. We decided to give it a try. The doctor warned us that it doesn't always happen on the first try.

On August 13, 2008 we had our first try of IUI. Dr. Fisch said to contact him in two weeks if I didn't start my menstural cycle. Exactly two weeks later, on a Wednesday - nothing, but I decided to wait another day before calling the Doc. I didn't want to jump the gun. Thursday - nothing. Still wanted to wait another day. I still didn't want to get to excited. Jose didn't know that this was ''the time" to be watching for my cycle and calling the doctor. He just knew the doctor said "....a couple weeks later..." and wasn't keeping track of dates or time frame (like most guys). Friday - nothing. Around 10am that morning I thought about the fact that I didn't want to go the long labor day weekend wondering. I called the Dr.'s office and told them I still hadn't started my period. They asked, "weren't you supposed to call us Wednesday?". ;o) They ordered blood work and marked it STAT. By 3pm that day the results were in. Jose had no idea about this. I told him I was going to Quest Diagnostic to get my thyroid checked, which is routine for me anyway. 3pm comes around and the nurse calls me at home and says "You're pregnant!" I was in shock and asked "what?!?!" several times. I asked her if she was sure and she said my hormone levels were sky high and I was definitely pregnant! I frantically started wondering what I was going to do for the next 4 HOURS!?!?! Jose didn't get off work until 7:00 and I could NOT tell anyone before telling my husband. I asked the nurse if a home pregnancy test would show up positive and she said "absolutely!". I continued to ask her random questions, like "what should I do for the next 4 hours?!?!", "how am I going to tell my husband?!?!", "where do I go?!?!". I wasn't really looking for answers, I was freaking out and talked a million miles a minute. She was laughing and said I should take him to dinner or something and tell him then. "Yeah, yeah, that's a good idea!". After hanging up the phone, I ran around the house screaming with joy for a very long time. I think I told my cat I was pregnant 50 times. I ignored ALL phone calls because I did not want to slip and tell anyone. I could not believe it!!! I was shocked and so excited! I called Jose (keeping the conversation as quick as possible) and said I wanted to go to dinner to celebrate our anniversary (which was a week ago). He tried convince me that Saturday was better because he was working 11 hours that day. I had to make up something to get him to join me for dinner TONIGHT....I told him that I had a 2 for 1 coupon that expired TONIGHT! So, although he was exhausted, he was delighted to have dinner with me.

We went to a place called Kennedy, which is where we tradionally go for Valentine's Day. I had purchased a home pregnancy test and two cards. One card was an anniversary card and the other card was a congratulations card that played the song, "I Could Not Ask For More"/These are the Moments by Edwin McCain, and I taped the positive pregnancy test in the card. After giving Jose the anniversary card, I took out the other card and said, "I actually got you two cards because I also really liked this card and I couldn't decide which to get." (this is definitely something I would do). He opened the card and did not look up for the longest time. I could see his eyes quickly reading and frantically looking for confirmation to the words that popped out like, "father", "baby", "congratulations"..... Once he realized what this card was really saying and he saw the pregnancy test, which read "+", a million tears must have run down his cheeks. He was crying so much. He finally looked up at me and kept asking, "really???", "are you sure????", "how, how do you know???" An amazing meal was served soon after our special moment. We hardly touched our food because we had so much anxiety. Our stomachs were full of butterflies and excitment.

I soon read a text from my brother telling me that he got 2 show tickets to Beattles Love and he was thinking of taking mom. My brother and mom have already seen Love. I ran outside to call him and asked him if he would consider letting Jose and I go since it was our anniversary night. He was a little reluctant, especially because he didn't know the real reason why this night was so special, but he said yes anyway. Jose and I got our food to go and quickly went to my parent's house.

It worked out nice that both of my parents and Jon were home. I told my mom that I had a late birthday gift for her. We were all in the kitchen and my mom opened her birthday gift, which was a onesie that said "What Happens at Grandma's Stays at Grandmas". It took my mom a long minute to comprehend why she was receiving a gift like this. She just starred at it. Finally, Jose says "we're pregnant!". Wow! How my parents and Jon yelled and jumped for joy! We were all so excited and nobody could stop laughing and smiling! It was such a special moment.

Jose immediately called his parents. I got on the phone with his mom and told her that I was pregnant in spanish. She screamed and was, of course, just as excited as all of us! Too bad they don't live here anymore because it would have been nice to tell them in person.

That night Jose and I enjoyed seeing the show, Love, at the Mirage. We were on Cloud 9! That was an amazing evening! Nothing could have made this night more perfect or special. God is good.


This journey of ours was a JOURNEY. It wasn't easy. Time passed by very slow as we tried and tried and tried. Taking pregnancy test after pregnancy test with no positive results was so discouraging. We continued to lean into God's strength to pull us through and help us hold our heads up high. Our faith was continually tested. We prayed that God would help our hearts possibly accept the fact that we may never have children of our own. We wondered what we did to deserve this. We asked God to help us not be angry with Him. It seemed so unfair at times. More people than we have ever seen were expecting while we were still trying. We did pretty good at not putting too much pressure or emphasis on the "trying" part of it. We tried to keep the attitude of "if and when it happens, it happens..." and continued on with our lives. That helped us a lot. I know that is was especially hard for Jose because he felt that he could not provide his wife with a child since the problem was said to be a "male factor". He would often say how responsible he felt and guilt would just pull him down. He said he felt like a horrible husband because he couldn't provide me with what we both wanted so bad. He asked several times if I regretted marrying him because he could not give me a child. This BROKE MY HEART! I did not want to see Jose feel this way. I prayed for him to not feel bad or that it was his fault. I prayed WITH him for God to heal his heart of feeling this way. He prayed continually for God's grace and healing. Through lots of prayer and communication with God, we were able to reach a mild point of understanding and somewhat stability after about 2 years. We felt God holding us and comforting us. We understood that there may be a chance we will not have kids and that was OKAY. Jose realized, with his heart, that his wife was NOT with him to have kids.....she was married to him because she loved HIM and were meant to be together - kids or no kids. We were in this TOGETHER, nomatter what. We felt God saying that the most important thing was that we needed to have FAITH and TRUST GOD, nomatter what that meant....whether we conceived or not. FAITH THAT IS NOT TESTED, IS NOT FAITH AT ALL. Jose and I felt that whatever God had planned for us as a family... is what it would be.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tracy's Blog Website

I can't belive I finally have a blog spot!

I have yet to write a real post, but at least I took step one and started my blog site.

I cannot wait to write life updates, the random things I want to ramble on about, post some photos, etc.

I will write my first blog soon enough! Promise. ;o) Ha ha.