It’s been one month and one day since Darren was born and it has been a whirlwind. Nursing is going well and he has gained weight fast! I’m not as tired as I was but…still not fully rested. We found out that Darren’s umbilical cord was not centered in the placenta; this caused the cord to be constricted with each contraction leaving Darren with minimum oxygen. I’m glad to have some answers and even happier that God allowed my water to break first so I would go straight to the hospital and not labor at home.Lennon is now officially fully potty trained and has been since we brought the baby home. The big boys are officially in second grade and started school not long ago..so I’m semi back on a schedule. LaDarren had surgery on his ankle on Friday (two days ago) so far,so good.
I got off of Facebook and Instagram on August 2. I felt it was a distraction and I really needed to hear from my Father. I also started a 90 day read-through-the-entire Bible devotion…that’s been a tough reading schedule. Which means I’m behind. But…I have been listening to the Bible which has caused me to have my daily readings again.
I’m not going to lie summer is not my season. Summers are usually very difficult for me..it’s almost always a season of pruning for me… I usually have weird (well I should say painful) transitions and I always spend my time struggling with my faith because it is so difficult. Fall is my season for change…which usually has very strong ups and downs…but the ups are sooooooo much better than my downs. Summer…is not quite that easy. This summer I’ve been attacked in pretty much every area of my life. There was some mix up with my maternity leave paperwork and I missed a paycheck; Hubby was injured at work and we don’t have STD (short term disability) so…we will only get 2/3 of his check for the next…3 months. Ive also not received financial support for Daniel in months…and months. Daniel did spend two weeks with his father this summer which was great for Daniel and his dad. His dad also purchased his school supplies (so…progress 🤔). The kids are back in school and we are trying to push them to greatness in all areas. Nursing is going well…but Darren absolutely refuses to take a bottle which means it’s been difficult to share responsibilities with Hubby. Today’s the anniversary of my cousin’s murder. 3 years…he’s been gone.
Been a rough time, but I know to lean on “all things work together…”. I know God loves me and my babies…He will provide peace,financial stability and purpose. I just have to trust the process… which I’m still learning. When I blog again I guarantee a testimony!
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
I graduated in 2005 with a degree in psychology and a desire to help children. One of my biggest interests in school was developmental psychology and helping children grow up well-adjusted so they need less help as an adult. I believe in the cliché that children are our future and if we can get them on even footing as they grow up, they can be happy, stable adults.
That same year I was introduced to therapeutic horseback riding. Using horses, I could help those with physical and emotional disabilities thrive in a world that doesn’t take the time to get to know them. I helped one be able to walk across the stage at graduation as well as helped those with Asperger’s find confidence and self-esteem. My niche was those with low functioning autism and developmental delays and helping them blossom. I’ve heard first words, seen first steps, and had first hugs. And I LOVED it!
Then I started getting really unwell. I’ve had health issues and reoccurring infections my entire life. But then abscessed tooth pushed my body over its limit. Struggling to find help and a diagnosis, my whole life changed. I couldn’t live my life as I had. I was stuck. But then Bridges of Faith happened.
My history has been really helpful especially when we have children from special needs orphanages like we did this time. Their chaperon and Alona worked really hard with two of the kids to help them transition to another culture and have a great time. No one asked me in particular to do this. I saw that these kids needed some who knew how to work with their special needs and stepped up to the plate.
The Lord sent me here once I was open with him about needing a change in my life and wanting to follow his ways. He has rewarded me not just in my health but by allowing me to work with these sweet precious children. The orphanages are bleak places. One in ten will commit suicide before they hit 21, one will be in jail and three in five girls are sexually traffic. Since the program began, we have seen 110 orphans be adopted. Being part of that has been magical and amazing. I said send me and he showed me what I could do!
In the Mary Poppins picture are Ilona and Bogdon. Bogdon falls in the developmental delay category but if it’s because of abuse and neglect or other issues, I could not tell you. What I can tell you is he wants someone to love and to love him. He needed someone who could love him but discipline him as well. Bogdon doesn’t respond to yelling and running after him. This makes him happy; he has your attention and he loves that you are paying attention. I pulled out some Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy tricks that helped him see he could get love and attention without acting out. Was it easy? Not at all. Was it worth it? Yes; to see that smile on his face and have him hug me knowing he felt safe loved meant everything to me.
Another young girl named Luyba (Russian for love) had some similar issues. While she didn’t run off, she would hug you too tightly or squeeze too hard. She had so much love inside she didn’t know how to express it at all. She and I spent a lot of time together. She saw she was loved but I didn’t fool around with unwanted behavior. The last day, while they waited at the airport for them to go home, she gripped my hand hard. She didn’t want to leave someone who didn’t just yell at her like they are prone to in orphaned (if they get any attention at all);she wanted someone who loved her for who she was, who she knew loved her even as she corrected the behavior.
God knew where I was needed, where my gift would fit perfectly. Because I let him send me so many people are happy and have had their lives changed. It’s more than just about me. It’s about our world, or brothers and sisters in Christ.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, donate on-line (mention my name) or send checks to 302 County Road 383, Billingsley, AL 36006. Thank you for your support!
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
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.
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 off 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.
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.
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.
…just can’t get my po’self together.
It’s been a minute. Your girl been going through some things but I am happy that the writing bug has bitten me so here I am. I would love to say that I promise to do better but I’m going to take this thing called Life, one day at a time.
God speaks to me but he doesn’t talk with words. He shows me things. He uses visuals with me.
My occupation has me driving. A lot. I put on average 1,000 miles on my car a month, not including what I do outside of work. So, I am in my car. A lot. If you are in Alabama or in the surrounding states then you know that it has been raining on a daily basis. So recently, I drove for miles and saw nothing but sunshine but after a while, I noticed rain was on the horizon. It is a mixture of dark grey and Aegean blue. It’s hazy but I can see through it. The closer I get to it, I notice subtle changes to the atmosphere; Fog begins to arise from the asphalt, there’s a misty smell that comes through the vents, and then the rain and I finally meet. At first, it’s not that bad and I am sure that I can see the end of it. However, after about 3 minutes, the rain is not letting up and visibility is nonexistent at the moment. I put on my blinkers and I get my speed between 25 and 30 mph. Not even 5 minutes after that, the rain ceases. I shut off my emergency lights and my windshield wipers. The sun is already coming out. I look back in my rear view mirror and I see where I just come from and it still looks gloomy but I made it out with no wounds.
I know you asking what the heck this got to with God speaking to me…..
Welllll, like I said earlier, I’ve been going through stuff. In the next couple of months, I will be making life changing decisions but that doesn’t stop my day to day responsibilities from not going haywire. For some things, I can feel things are starting to change, and not always for the best. At first, it feels manageable but then for what ever reason, my visibility becomes cloudy and I have to put on my emergency lights (prayer) and windshield wipers ( faith). It feels like forever but the storm doesn’t last always. The sun will shine again and it’s okay to look back again to see how I overcame the storm.
‘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!
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.