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“Your baby wasn’t breathing”-Renee’

Hey! Hey Young World,

I’m writing to you in a sleep deprived  haze because……Darren K.W Smith is here!  I’m literally holding him in my arms as he decides if he wants to nurse again or go back to LaLa Land….but with all things…things are not what they seem

Birthing Story

It’s no secret that I wanted to do a TOLAC ( Trial of Labor after a C-section), because my recovery from my emergency c-section with Lennon  was waaaaay harder than that of my natural delivery with Daniel. For 40 weeks and two days…i had one pregnancy complication….hyperemesis gravardium which was about 80 percent controlled by Diclegis (an anti-nausea medication) for 6 months and then I just managed the systems by powering through because although I felt nauseated I didnt actually get sick everyday any more.. I digress…

Hubby and I were watching a Kareem Abdul Jamar documentary on  Tuesday, July 18. We were laughing because we just kicked the boys out because they were so hyper. Lennon wanted to literally lay on me…head on my shoulder leg around my belly…didnt work, Daniel asked 2340988 questions before the first credit rolled and Landyn well he really wanted to shoot hoops so…yeah they went to their rooms. All of a sudden i felt a…it felt like pressure and literally heard a pop! I looked at my husband like…i think my water broke! Sidenote it’s actually a rare occurrence to have that happen as a first sign of labor.

I stood up… and yes…there the Niagara falls flowed.  I was shocked. I’d done everything to encourage Baby Darren to emerge and there i sat at 2 cm dialated noooooo effacement for 3 and a half weeks…I had Hubby look up pressure points to induce labor earlier Tuesday night and did a membrane sweep that Monday.  Something worked lol.

Oh Baby!

In the elevator on the way to triage

So we gather all our things and head to the hospital. Laughing, joking, calling family. I had zero contractions the first hour. I change into my gown, get hooked to the monitors…..and wait. My contractions came on strong and Baby Darren was not happy; his heart rate would slow pretty significantly. The nurse had me lay on different sides to take pressure of the lil guy but…it would only work temporarily. In triage, I was about 3 1/2 dialated and 50%effaced around 11pm.

Moving into the LD room, I was in good spirits. My mom had arrived and she and hubby were keeping me focused on breathing and other pain managing techniques. Again I was told to lay on various sides because of his heart rate. At 1 am I was about 4 1/2 dialted 75% effaced. During this time his heart rate dropped pretty low and the c-section  convo began. Which I already knew because this happened with Lennon. They were going to put more water in the womb thinking that would give him more cushion but never did. Around 2am his heart rate dropped again with heart tones in the 60s so…off to the OR.  I cried because as with Lennon, i was progressing well physically  (I was 6cm and 75% effaced) but yet again the baby wasn’t doing well. But I was ready. The problem was no one explained 2 things:1) we are going to put you under general anesthesia* this is a huuuge fear of mine, I’d never been put under and…I would miss the birth completely. 2) my husband would NOT be in the room

In OR I kept asking for my husband. If I couldn’t see the birth I needed him to. People were everywhere, telling me to drink this, breathe into this. But not one question was answered and I was petrified. But God sent my labor nurse who had been in my room monitoring me into the OR. She held my hand, got me to slow my breathing and helped me swallow whatever the heck was in that vile. Sidenote 2.2…how does one drink laying flat? That seemed like a bad idea.

I wake up in a blurry haze asking for my baby. I’m told, he’s in ICU….wait,what? What happened? Did my husband see the baby? No. And you have to stay here for atleast an hour. One hour…he was housed in my body for 40 weeks…and not only did I NOT see him, no one has. No real updates. Nothing. Im a weeping mess. Like my husband wasn’t there in my room. Nor my mom, nor my bestie which had made it in by then. They were able to come back about 20 minutes later.

He was born at 234 am. I met him at 5:00 am. I was rolled down with pain pump, catheter and oxygen monitor in place. Hubby,mom and bestie were my escorts.

The first time meeting my child was pretty emotional. All the wires, and random people  (which of course are staff) and him being so pale and not alert….I cried yet again.

The pediatrician’s first words to me were “They saved your baby’s life”, before I held him, before I got to process the scene that was now my birth story.

Here’s the thing obviously I knew he was in distress. Lennon had been as well. But once the cord was unwrapped he was great. Well, Baby Darren did not have his cord wrapped and the placeta was sent off to see if we can find out what happened. No one can really tell me the cause of him not getting oxygen while in labor. But essentially he was suffocating. His APGAR scores were 4,6 and 7 (which are low). And because i was put under he also had some anesthesia in his system. The ped. doctor said they’d be monitoring him for neurological abnormalities since no one knew how long he wasn’t getting proper levels of oxygen. Oh the comfort.

First time

Meeting Baby Darren for the first time. I was swollen from crying and had to have constant monitoring due to taking pain mes

I was dumbfounded how did we get here. How? A full term baby with no prior issues was in the NICU.

I had prayed in the recovery room and in his room because although it seemed like chaos, I knew God is in control. I would have to leave my love there. And despite having a csection hours before i breast fed every 2 to 3 hours. The first 2 times i was wheeled in my wheelchair but the hospital was so busy the elevators were too full for all of my equipment. This meant waiting for a clear elevator for several cycles. The third time I walked. 6 hours after the csection, I grabbed my IV pole and slow walked from 6th to 3rd floor (using the elevator). That’s how I spent my first 24 hours.

As the day developed, i found out more details. Baby Darren was not crying when he was born, they spent 7 minutes giving him oxygen. It also took about 7 minutes to get him out. Later he would pass every single test they do for well baby checks 😁 it appeared he had no deficits!

God honored our prayers. Baby Darren started flourishing. In fact, after the pediatrician gave his report I had nursed him. His color started returning, he ooened his eyes, he turned towards my voice. By Thursday, talks started in on him FINALLY coming to my room. And at 8 pm, he was there!

For him to have such a dramatic start he’s a very chill baby. It’s scary to know that my litte guy entered this world fighting for his life, but I’m glad it’s a fight God allowed him to overcome!

I’m forever thankful for my husband  mom and  bestie Danielle. They helped me relearn walking, changed my dressings, helped me shower. Walked down 45 million times to nicu, wiped my tears. Thank yall so, so much!!!

 

Also a special thanks to Simone Plus Photography for the beautiful family pictures! It was such a healing experience after our ordeal.

Contact: http://simoneplusphotography.weebly.com/

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Just Wait On It-Renee’

wait on him

Life is so unpredictable. It just is. My last entry talked about all the new changes going on in my life and they all seemed and were so positive. Then…boom! It all changes. The gym we worked so hard on getting organzied and cleaned for training…well, it didn’t quite work out and we had to move all the equipment back to our house. Then…my hubby injured himself at work and has to have surgery…did I mention I am 9 months pregnant. I’m two days from 40 weeks…and everything is happening at one time. I forgot to mention we don’t have supplemental insurance so we will only receive a portion of hubster’s paycheck while he’s out…which is about 8 to 12 weeks….all while the kids start school and need new clothes and supplies….and did I mention…im like 22 months pregnant.

At my last appointment we set up my induction date. Induction is not part of my plan😔. I really want the experience I had with Daniel. Daniel’s birth was very minimal medicated,very few interventions. It was empowering. Lennon’s birth was a whirlwind and just….not my plan lol. So…with this being my third baby I was thinking…maybe he will come early. And here I sit….still pregnant. None of the past few weeks have felt controlled.

And honestly I’ve been really trying to stay grounded and focused on God and His voice. Right now, moment to moment. There have been rainbows in each one of these challenging ordeals. Family and friends have dropped kind words, gifts and time. Hubby and I have effectively learned to communicate; so although it’s been stressful he and I have gotten closer and not pushed each other away. Baby Darren although hanging with me tough, is happy and healthy and although I dont want an induction at some point next week I will finally meet the baby that dragged me lol.

So yes, life is unpredictable, but I find solace in the fact that God never changes.

 

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Investing in Moi-Renee’

‘Ello Young World! I know I haven’t blogged like I should. I actually really enjoy doing it so I don’t know why I don’t blog more often….

But anywho. I’m 32 wks tomorrow and time for the new baby is closing in. Thw first two trimesters dragged but I can’t get this one to slow down!

I’m settled into my new position pretty well and have been there almost a year. It’s amazing what one year can do. I switched jobs, got pregnant,moved, hubby started the business back up.

The only thing I am unhappy about is my socialzing goal. Because I was so sick I spent 6 months in isolation. I had started getting out more, last year I shared my story on Baby Smith attended workshops….and this year not so much.

But…I did join a workshop for writers. It was/is my Mother’s Day gift. It’s the most ive spent on myself in a long time. It was actually difficult for me to actually say, yes. But I’ve had one of the 6 classes and it’s worth the investment.

 

Until next time!

 

 

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Baby bumps, updates and due dates

So……..

I am in my third trimester with my third baby. My Hyperemisis Gravardium eased up about three weeks ago and I am finally off my nausea medication. Im feeling better mentally and emotionally.

LaDarren has started back training…but this time…he has his own PLACE for training! It has been such a blessing and our lives have been so busy working on that…..

And we moved lol….all during the same time. We moved into a bigger space for the kids, we have bigger yard space, more choices for rooms… the big boys had the opportunity to decorate their rooms how they like. Daniel chose space and Landyn chose sonic and ninja turtles.

Radical has turned into everyday lol. Trying to get this house in order, helping hubby with a budding business, growing a human… been tiresome but so awesome .

We’ve also decided that this baby, Darren Wesley Kelley Smith..is our last baby. I’m mourning the loss of never again feeling little feet in my belly, ultrasounds, having my husband rub my belly and smile at me….little snuggles and tiny fingers wrapped around my finger.

But it’s time… I’m 30..and 4 kids under 7…is…ALOT lol so I’m not crazy but gosh it’s weird to think that there will be no more babies ever. I am excited as to what this means for our future, but…can’t believe  how much has changed since I first started this blog.

All the new chapters, new lessons and new blessings.

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Overshadowed **DaniGee**

Source: Overshadowed **DaniGee**

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Excuse the Excuses-Renee’

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.-X

My 20s are gone, I spent a lot of this time making excuses for why I shouldn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t do something.

Time, I mean who really has it?

Money? 😂😂

How? How would I get x,y or z done.

Or worse yet, I’d cheerlead another’s dream while choking on my own. But why? Why would I not do my best? Or take more chances? What in the world stops (or stopped me from moving forward?).

Truth is, I never saw myself as a leading lady, if I were in Destiny’s Child, I’d been Kelly. Id be Ringo, had I been a Beatle. Why? Because I’ve always put myself second(sometimes third or fourth). My pain, my dreams…I always felt weren’t as important as someone else’s and …gosh I dont have it that bad.

I’ve learned to shrink back while others push forward. It’s self taught and I don’t really know when that flip switched for me. As a child and teenager (although yes I had some awkward stages), I always, always believed in myself. Believed that I could and dang it would make a difference…but somewhere after I crossed the stage after graduation….reality and self-doubt smacked me in my face. I don’t think I saw the change in myself and thoughts until recently. Until I stopped blogging for Rad7even(because what radical thing am I actually doing) or for HER (what advice could I possibly give) or stopped attending church…or fellowshiping with my girls. Maybe it was moving to Birmingham and finding out how hard it was to connect to another living person that i wasn’t married to..and heck..trying to figure out how to connect with my new husband.

Somewhere between the move and the marriage the miscarriage and new babies…I dropped something. The past four years I’ve learned a great deal..but I lost myself.

I’ve made excuses for the past four years, I’ve supported other people’s dreams while purposely sabotaging my own……but why??

I honestly dont know, but I’m refusing to let my 30s be another lost path on this journey.

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Loss~Audrey

Author’s Note: This post was begun during the beginning of January to focus on the idea that it’s ok to mourn celebrities but before I could finish it, my whole world change and the post took on a new light.

Maybe Death Gives Me One of Those Fresh New Starts


2017 was rough for many. It saw a lot of deaths for people they personally knew and for a variety of celebrities. I (and others) were heartbroken for the loss of Alan Rickman, Anton Yelchin and David Bowie. There were other people who would make fun of people who were saddened about the lose of these icons. As if not knowing they personally made the loss unpainful. These people were actors and singers who played character or sang songs that we could relate to. Some of these characters and songs we grew up with and some whose lives were cut short.

In December, quietly, M. Lawrence Abrams passed away. You may not have heard of him. He had a prolific career and worked with the likes of Tina Turner. In his last years he was involved with one of my favorite bands: 100 Monkeys. Fans of the band are loyal and had more access to the members than any other band I have ever followed. I have met them on numerous occasions and was very fond of the man dubbed Uncle Larry. He was polite, respectful and deep. He had no qualms being in a band with four younger fellows; he could hang with the best.

He played a variety of instruments and only fronted a few songs for the band. “Invisible Monster” remains a 100 Monkeys classic and only Uncle Larry could give the soul the song needed. The band had some issues disbanding a few years ago due to the band members other projects. But in the last year, they had released new music together. Fans had hope of the revival of the good old days. But then Uncle Larry succumbed to cancer and that hope was shattered. 100 Moneys can go on but it will not be the same.

I cried and I shared the story with my family and friends who knew of him and his music. But I didn’t have too long to grieve; the next group of orphans were coming and I was busy for their arrival. I put away this blog post to post when they were gone once I had time to really give it the thought and emotion it deserved. But what I didn’t expect was that I would be dealing with an even bigger loss: the loss of one of my orphans.

 

It Only Matters if We Care Now

Last June, we brought our first group of summer Ukrainian orphans to Bridgestone. We had siblings, girls and boys of a variety of ages. There were two particular teen boys who liked to push the boundaries and they had to go head to head with me. But a mutual respect grew between us. They understood they were loved even though they had to be told no. When they left we were all in tears and hugging one another. I knew that all these boys needed was to someone to help them get on the right path; they were not lost for good.

A few of the kids were pursued for adoption but these boys weren’t. Sadly, not every child gets adopted but all we can do at Bridges of Faith is try.

Flash forward to this past Tuesday, I am going about my day writing grants and filing, typical things I do when the kids aren’t here. I came across a post by one of my friends that an orphan had asked for her prayers because his friend has died. My heated plummeted. We are connected by the same orphans. I immediately went into research mode to seek out the story. Sadly, I found that I did knew the boy who died: he was the quiet one of the teen duo mentioned above.

Finding out what happened was hampered by language and time barriers. But I knew this much, he was stabbed and fled for help but bled out. His friends are devastated. I connected with the other pair of the above duo; it was true. I found an article written up out the even and sent it to one of the translators know for details.

Sasha. He was quiet and wanted love but was scared because he had been hurt. His best friend was a leader who helped protect both of them. Their rebellion was protection against the harsh realities of their world. At Bridgestone they felt safe. I saw them both smile. These were rare and beautiful gifts which I treasured. This boy had potential and could live a productive life.

I think this is where I was the most heart broken. He was gone at 16. He was killed brutally in what turned out to be a triple homicide. Alcohol played a major factor in the incident. He was gone stupidly. His potential gone. His sweet inner heart gone. And I couldn’t help him. I could not save him from this fate.

I know, I know. We can’t save them all. Days later, I am finally starting to look at this with a clear head. I did help him. I showed him love. I didn’t just talk Jesus to him, I showed him the love of Christ through action. I got to be a ledge for a month when he lived in avalanche.

This is why I do what I do. Just because I can’t save them all doesn’t mean I can’t try.

Loss comes in all forms. Each death of a precious life affects the world and the souls on it. Whether you have lost a sibling,a friend, a member of your favorite band, a student you taught; it’s the same pain. I pray for release of your heart break and a positive outlook for the memories of your loved ones.

 

If you would like to find out more about Bridges of Faith please visits: http://www.bridgesoffaith.com/

And if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to BOF in my name to continue my domestic ministry work , please contact audrey@bridgesoffaith.com, donate on-line (mention my name) or send checks to 302 County Road 383, Billingsley, AL 36006. Thank you for your support!

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