Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Birthday, Zane!

Dear Zane,

I cannot believe that you are 11 years old today! These eleven years have flown by for me. I guess time really does fly when you are having fun. 
I want to start by telling you how proud I am to be your mom. You are everything that I ever dreamed of in a son! You are full of life, you are a unique thinker, and you love with your whole heart. No one will ever have to wonder what you are feeling. You are brave enough to put everything out there in the world. I love the way you care so much about everyone. You value your friends and family and that is a priceless thing. Your mind also is amazing. I am often astounded that one little brain can think so many things. You are perfect to me and you always will be. 
I also wanted to thank you for what you have done for me. Eleven years ago you changed my whole life, you even changed who I am! You are the one who took plain old Serina and made her into Mama. That is without a doubt the very best thing that has ever happened to me.  When I became your mom, I became a better person. I became stronger, I fought harder, I got inspired. I used to be afraid to talk to people I didn't know. Can you imagine that? I took chances after you were born because I wanted your life to be better. Those chances led to my career. I went back to school after I became a mom because as your mother, I want you to know to never give up. You opened my heart in a way that you may never understand because your heart had always been wide open to everyone. I am forever in debt to you for these things. Becoming a mom eleven years ago reshaped my whole world and I am so thankful to you for that.
I love you so much, Money. So much. I hope that you have a terrific birthday. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Surprise Baby Part 1

I had said for many years that I would decide when I was 35 whether or not to have a third child. 35 came in September of 2011 and I decided that my family was complete. Less that a year later, in July of 2012, I found out that sometimes life brings you surprises. What surprised me most of all, was the fact that I was thrilled by the news.
The pregnancy progressed pretty well for seven months despite the fact that I was 36 and overweight. I even took a new job and continued working towards my Master's Degree.
In January my blood pressure started going up and becoming harder to control. I was ordered to monitor my blood pressure throughout the day. On January 16, they admitted me to the hospital because it had crept up to dangerous levels.
I ended up being in the hospital for nine days. During that time, it was decided that they would have to deliver the baby early. They planned the c-section for the morning of January 25. Those days in the hospital were hard on the whole family. We were scared to death of the condition that the baby would be in. She would only be 33 weeks and 6 days gestation when she was delivered. We were scared of what would happen if she wasn't delivered. The bigger kids missed their mom.
When Sydney was delivered at 8:59AM on January 25, she weighed 5 lbs and 2 oz. She was 18 inches long. Although she was a good size for her gestational age, she was not able to regulate her own temperature and her breathing was a bit erratic. They sent her to the NICU almost immediately.
As soon as I got to the recovery room they told me that I could call the NICU to check on the baby. I must have called 50 times in the hour that I spent in the recovery room. I can't even describe how I felt. I have never been so worried in my life.
After I got to the room, they told me that they would allow me to go to the NICU to see her as soon as I could walk. I was out of bed walking within the hour. If I felt pain, I didn't notice it. All I wanted in the world was to see that baby.
Something I had never considered before my experience, was how it felt to be a new mother with a baby in the NICU. It had just never occurred to me how much it must hurt to not be able to hold your baby or have them in your room. Even the simplest things like showing the baby to friends and introducing her to siblings weren't possible. The children were not allowed to even go into the NICU.
For the three nights I was in the hospital after she was born all I did was pump every two hours, visit the baby at least every three hours for feeding, and cry. If I heard another baby cry in the hall I would cry. When I would leave her to come back to my room, I would cry. When I would wake up and realize that I had slept more than two hours and I didn't even know if she was sleeping or awake, I would cry.
The worst part, was knowing that I was going to have to leave the hospital without her on Monday morning. When the social worker came in and told me that they expected for her to be in NICU for two weeks, I cried like a baby...more than my baby, because all she was capable of was sleeping. I kind of felt sorry for the poor social was almost like she didn't encounter sobbing mothers daily.
When Randy and I left the hospital on Monday, we went by the NICU and told them that we would be back later that afternoon. Walking across the breezeway, getting in that car, and driving home without my baby physically hurt me. I can't even explain it. Some of the emotions that I felt during that time, I don't even have words for. Hurt, worry, fear, heartbreak...they don't cover it. I had no idea how I would make it through the next two weeks without losing my mind.

......To be continued....

Monday, August 19, 2013


I have been feeling pretty blessed today. I have the best family, a great job, the opportunity to be working towards a Master's no cost to myself. I love so many people and I am loved in return. I am so grateful for this life that I have. I wouldn't change a thing.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The New Princess

On January 25, 2013 Princess S joined our family six weeks earlier than expected. The six months since that have been a whirlwind. We are a bigger, busier, and closer family than we have ever been before. All of my home minutes are filled with love and all of the challenges that you would expect for a mom of three. I wouldn't change a thing.