Thursday, October 31, 2013


We were blessed to have so many visitors come by to meet Presley.  I tried very hard to get everyone's pic.  These little visits are such a blessing!

Falling Even Deeper in Love

I didn't know how much I truly loved my husband until I saw him with Presley the first time.

The love in his eyes was so evident and so incredibly pure and beautiful.  Even while the doctor was finishing up with me that morning, I remember looking over at Michael and just thanking God that my daughter had such an incredible father.  

Now, every time I see him hold her, my heart just melts.  My love grows deeper.  He's unbelievable with her.

Tonight, her little hand kept reaching out and touching his beard.  It was the sweetest little moment.  

I just didn't know I could love two people so much.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Am I Reverse Cycling? and Product Recommendation and Other Stuff

Michael is worried that the baby is reverse cycling.  I'm worried that I am reverse cycling.

Actually, I think I'm just cycling.  I'm going round and round and round.  I don't know how to sleep.  I truly feel like one eye is always open.

Thankfully, we purchased the Angel Care Baby Monitor.  I don't know how any mom ever slept without this monitor.  It sets off an alarm if your baby stops breathing.  It's absolutely amazing.

I was in a zombie-like state the first few days we had to sleep without our parents here.  I would put her down, try to lay down, then get up literally 5 times to check on her.

Now, I'm still going on just a few hours of sleep, but it's not as exhausting.  This morning, I actually slept for three hours solid.

So, I highly recommend the Angel Care Baby Monitor.  I would get it before the baby is born and test it out and get comfortable with it.  It will make you feel so much better that first night home from the hospital.

*I have heard of some people getting false alarms with it.  That has not happened to us yet.


So back to me reverse cycling.

It's 12:27 AM, and I've been trying to work on school stuff.  This seems like a perfectly normal hour to do some grad school stuff, until I have a question about something.  I really wanted to text my friend Ellen and ask her about it, but she might punch me if I text her at this hour.  So, I guess this means I need to start working on stuff at a normal time.  I doubt that will happen though.

I know I need to get back to normal, because I only have five more weeks of off time.  It's going to be so hard to adjust back to a regular schedule.


I've also been feeling really panicky about school, both teaching and going to grad school.  I'm actually about to get on my soapbox.  Hold on, it's slippery.

I fully expected for things to be a little crazy with grad school.  I knew I was biting off a lot when I applied to grad school knowing I was pregnant.  I am having to work on stuff while on maternity leave.  I don't mind it that much.

But, when it comes to teaching school, I'm completely stressed.  I'm constantly worrying about what is going on my classroom.  This is because my students' TCAP scores are such a big factor in my life, not my job, my life.  This six weeks that I am out is still going to count toward my final eval score.  Even though I'm not there teaching right now, how my students perform on this material that is being taught to them my a substitute will be on TCAP and will count as thought I taught it to them.

I say this score will play a role in my life because, if you weren't aware, there is turmoil happening within Shelby County Schools.  No one is sure where or if they'll have a job next year because of the whole SCS versus Suburban Schools craziness.  My scores will probably determine whether or not I get a job somewhere.

So, rather than be able to focus and think only of little Presley, I have all this crap running in and out of my mind.


I believe that these next few months will be the hardest of my life.  Things will get a little easier once I know I have a job somewhere.  Things will be even better once I graduate in July.  So, I have to make it 9 more months... ha ha, like having another baby.


I am so incredibly thankful to be blessed with Presley.  It is because of her that I am finally learning about what really matters in life.  I suddenly don't care if I am a 5 or a 4 or a 3 or a 2 or a 1 at school.  All I know is that I am a darn good teacher, and I'm determined to be an even better mother.  I will not let evaluations and worry about school run rule my thoughts.  In the end, I have Michael, Presley, and Stella.  And that is all that really matters.  If I don't have a job next year, we will make it work.  I was one of the fastest checkers at Schnucks.  I can always go back to the grocery business.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Grateful for Grandparents


Michael, Presley, and I are so incredibly lucky.  Presley has the world's most amazing grandparents.  I really don't know how people raise babies without them. 

As Michael and I get ready to spend the night by ourselves with Presley for the first time since she arrived, I'm thinking about how awesome it's been to have my parents and his parents here the last few days.

My mom stayed the first night at home with us, and Michael's parents spent the last two nights here.  

Because of that, we've been able to go through almost a training period with the baby.  They let us get some much needed rest.  I've really only had to wake up to feed the baby.  I have then handed her back off to one of the grandmothers to change and put back to sleep.  It's been awesome.

They've also helped by cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, running errands...the list is endless.  

They've taught us so much and given us some great advice on how to handle different things.  

I truly don't know how we would have made it these last few days without them.  I'm sitting here with a clean house, more hours of sleep than I ever thought I'd get the first week, and with the sweetest, healthiest baby.  It wouldn't have been possible without the four people below.  We are forever grateful!   

Pa has been the maintenance man around the house.  So helpful.  He loves him some Presley.   She loves him so much too.   

Nonnie has been so amazing.  She's been so incredibly helpful.  She's also folded my underwear.  Something I never thought would happen, but for which I am so thankful!  We had a big cry today when she left. 
I don't know how I don't have a pic of my mom holding Presley.  She's probably held her more than me!  Mom has been such a strength.  She's taught me so much and calmed so many of my fears.  
Dad makes me laugh.  He holds Presley for hours at a time.  She has him wrapped around her finger.  He also brought me a Sonic Strawberry Cream Slush.  My absolute favorite and something I've been craving like crazy.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Presley's Birth Story: All the Details

Presley Jewell Martin
Born 10/20/13
7 pounds 15 ounces
21 inches long

The most beautiful day of my life was Sunday, October 20th.  I can't stop the tears of joy when I think about it.    Presley came into the world and into our hearts.  She is incredibly perfect and beautiful.  I am overwhelmed with how amazing this entire experience was.  After 8 and a half months of worry, our beautiful angel is here.


So here's how it all went down...

I had been in an incredibly miserable state since Friday night.

We went to Buffalo Wild Wings with my parents to play trivia. At this point contractions had started getting closer together.  I wasn't completely sure if it was just awful back pain or contractions.  I had been experiencing pain all week.  Friday night it started getting pretty intense.

 I had no idea that the Hacks Cross BWW is apparently where all the St. Louis Cardinals fans go to watch games.  I was hoping for a quiet, but distracting night.  Man, was I in for it.  There were annoying fans cheering like crazy every time a Cardinals player made a play. I was about to lose it.  Hormones + contractions = angry angry lady

So, we finished up trivia.  (Came in 4th)  We headed home.  Mom and Dad left.

My pain starting getting worse and worse and closer and closer together.  I couldn't sleep at all.  Michael and I started timing the contractions.  (I still wasn't 100% sure I was having contractions.)  They weren't completely consistent, but they were very close together (about 5 minutes) for the most part.  I was feeling so very awful.  Michael and I talked and decided it was time to head to the hospital.  We ended up there around 1 AM Saturday morning.  
Friday Night at the Hospital

 I wasn't sure they were going to keep us, so when the admissions lady told Michael to take my picture, I was just kind of bleh about it.

Sure enough, we end up being sent home that night.  The problem was the fact that I was still 3 cm dilated, which I had been at the doctor's office on Tuesday.  My cervix very thin, but it wasn't enough for them to keep me.  I got very emotional.  They offered me some morphine.  I was hurting so badly that I said yes but immediately regretted it.  At this point, I was still trying to go drug free at birth.  The nurse brought it in, but I told her to take it away.  She asked why, and I broke down crying.  She assured me it was okay for the baby and that it would help me get some much needed rest.  I broke down and took it.  I felt much better, and did get SOME sleep.

We got up that morning.  I felt much better, but at that point, the morphine had lost its effect.  I was back to feeling the pain, but I was at least happy to have some sleep.  I got up and ate the last chocolate chip cookie we had from the day before and a glass of milk.  Then, a few hours after being awake, I threw up.  I called my doctor's office to make sure this was normal and not a bad side effect from the morphine.  The nurse told me that it sounded like my body was getting ready for child birth and that I might want to consider going back to the hospital.  My doctor was on call, and she thought he would keep me.

I was still scarred from my experience Friday night, so I didn't take her advice.  I decided to wait it out until the contractions were 5 minutes apart for 2 hours, like the nurses had told me.  

Michael had a paper to write Saturday, so he was spending most of the day working on that.  I just needed to be distracted, so I called Mom and asked her to please come over and take me out shopping or something.  I didn't want to go anywhere by myself, just in case my water broke.

First, we headed to Destination Maternity.  I had to make a couple of exchanges.  The ladies asked me if I wanted a fitting room.  I was like, "um, no."  The thought of trying to find the strength to actually take off my sweatshirt was gut wrenching.  I found what I wanted and we went to the checkout.  The girl at the checkout was the slowest I think I've ever experienced.  I was ready to punch her.  (I'm mean when I'm in labor, apparently!)

We went to Target to return some stuff.  Now, if you know me, you know that I have an obsession with Target.  A $50 credit there isn't going to last long in my wallet.  I tried to walk down the baby aisle to look at monitors.  I had to sit in one of the rocking chair models and have mom bring them to me.  After 5 minutes, I was just like, "Let's go."  I couldn't even think.  So for the first time ever, I walked out of target without purchasing anything.  Mom did get me a Carmel Apple Spice from Starbucks.  That would be the last thing I would feel like eating.

Our last stop was the Happi Store to look for a baby book.  The sales lady here takes the cake.  She was very nice, but way to HAPPY!  Which, duh, I know it's the Happi Store, but I just wasn't in the mood.  She asked me when I was due, and I said, "November 4th, but maybe right now."  She chuckled, but I was being very serious.  We finally left.  I was just ready to be home.

We got back home around 4 or so.  Michael was watching football and working on his paper.  I just wanted to sit on a bag of ice.  Mom asked if she could stay and sit with me.  I was like, of course.  I think she was hoping something would happen soon.  My contractions were still furiously painful and frequent, but not frequent enough.  Around 8:00, Michael suggested a short walk.  He wanted me to time my contractions and see if there was any change when we were up walking.  We all walked down the street together.  It was soooo cold.  We really couldn't figure out a pattern with the contractions.  Mom decided to head home.  She called me on the way, and said after talking to Dad about what the on call nurse had said, they thought I should go on to the hospital.  I still wasn't ready.  The contractions still weren't where they needed to be.

I still wasn't hungry, but Michael was.  He started making spaghetti, and we watched the Ole Miss/LSU game.

The spaghetti smelled so good, but I couldn't stomach the thought of eating anything.  I tried one bite, and that was it.

I went back to trying to lay down, but the contractions kept waking me up.  I cannot describe the pain I was feeling. It was just awful.  That's the only way to describe it.  Before this, the worst pain I had experienced was the norovirus.  This made that look like a walk in the park.

Finally, at midnight, I went to the bathroom.  Hopefully, this isn't TMI.  But, I sat down and leaned back in a strange way.  I felt a pop and realized that my water had just broke.

I called for Michael.  We agreed it was definitely time to head back up to the hospital.

When we got there, the same sweet lady who had been there the night before was at the admissions desk.  She is seriously one of the nicest people I've ever met.  I asked Michael if he had any gum, because I had not had a chance to brush my teeth.  She said she had some and gave me a piece.  She was just super cool.

While we waited for the nurse to come get us, I had two or three more contractions.  I could barely breathe.  I think it was at this point that I decided to throw out my natural birth philosophy and go with an epidural.


We got back to the room.  Our nurse, Melanie, started checking things out.  She confirmed that my water had broke, but she said that I was still only 3 cm dilated.  My cervix was very thin though.  Of course, it had been 80% since Tuesday.

I was thinking, if they send me home again, I'm going to scream.  She called my doctor, and he decided that I should stay. Thank goodness.  She asked about the epidural, and I said, "UM YES!"

It took about 20 - 30 minutes of requesting the epidural for the epidural lady to get to me.  When she got there, I swear she had a light glowing around her.  She was truly an angel from heaven.

She was a little demanding though.  I had no idea how complicated the process for getting an epidural was since I had planned on doing things naturally.

Basically, I had to sit still for 15 minutes while dealing with contractions.  Michael and the nurse were holding me so I couldn't move.  The lady kept saying, "Don't let her move!"  That was one of the hardest parts of the experience.  But it was so worth it.

See the evidence in the picture below!

I was finally able to give a thumbs up!

 We had called our parents.  Michael's parents had to come from Louisiana.  They had had a very busy day.  Now, they were having to leave from West Monroe to try to make it here in time.

My parents headed over to the hospital and hung out with us in the room.  Mom said after seeing me with the epidural that she wished she had gotten one.

We watched some bloopers from The Office and napped off and on until about 6:00 AM.

Michael Sleeping

Mom and Dad Sleeping

At that point, they said that I was 10 cm dilated and that it was time to push.

Melanie was so awesome.  When she told me that most new moms push for 2 - 3 hours, I was like, um no.  We are going to have this baby out in 30 minutes.  Sure enough, I pushed for about 30 minutes.  My doctor came in and was ready to catch.  It took about ten more minutes for the most beautiful precious little girl to be placed on my chest.

Moments After Birth

Getting Cleaned Up
Janine - She was one of the people who helps the doctor catch the baby.  Apparently birth is messy.  
Awesome Nurse Melanie

Awesome Dr. King

World's Greatest Dad

Our sweet family (minus Stella)

I cannot describe how everything feels now.  Every struggle, every pain, and every tear is worth the sweet little face we get to stare at now.  We are so in love.  I can't believe we are here.  I can't believe how amazing everything feels.  We are just so in love.  


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Excitement, Anticipation, Worry... OH MY!

So, I am sitting here 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  

My emotions are all over the place. 

I am so very ready to hold our baby girl in our arms. 

I am also enjoying this time of anticipation so very much.  

I think when every couple decides to get pregnant, they picture themselves at the point that I am right now.  Big as a pumpkin, nervously waiting for the arrival date!  

I'm torn in many ways, because I'm enjoying being preggers.  I like the attention.  I like the fact that I can wear flip flops every day without a bit of guilt.  I like that my students are so curious about everything.  I love feeling Baby Girl's kicks.  I love that I am eating basically whatever I want.  So, in many ways, I'm going to miss this so much.

On the other hand.  I'm over it.  As much as I love being pregnant, I ready to be a mom.  I am over being nervous when I don't feel her kick for 5 minutes.  I'm over the cramps, the constant need to pee, and the fact that I don't really fit into my laundry room anymore.  I want my body back!

I feel so blessed to be able to carry this baby.  I know I am so incredibly lucky.  

I just can't wait for what is to come in the next few weeks!