Monday, November 9, 2015

Emotions and Fear

Several months ago someone close to us told me that I have no emotions.  That I am a straight line.  I don't get mad when my kids do bad things, and I don't get overly happy, at say Disney World.  They said this wasn't normal and that I should get my medication checked. (I had been on an antidepressant ever since Preslie died).  This REALLY bothered me.  In fact, I began to question if there was something really wrong with me.  I was hurt that someone felt that they needed to tell me all the faults that they saw in me.

Fast forward to a few months ago...After I had my 2 hour SVT attack and had my heart restarted, my anxiety was terrible.  The worst I have had ever.  I never slept, I was scared to go anywhere or do anything.  I looked up all the side effects on my medication, and I saw that anxiety was one of them.  I decided to go off of it.  I was nervous since I had been on something for almost 7 years.  Much to my surprise, I didn't go crazy.  My emotions stayed exactly the same, and I have had minimal anxiety.

I reflected back on the conversation I had several months ago, about how I have no emotion.  I do have emotions, lots of them.  I just don't overract to things that aren't important.  If something gets broken, we fix it.  If a drink spills, we clean it up.  If my kids have a tantrum, we try our best to handle it.  As far as happiness goes.  I will never be carefree like I was 7 years ago.  I will tread through life cautiously.  Until you have experienced the loss of a child, you could never comprehend the different emotions that I go through.  I have a lot of happy moments, I'm just not an extremist.

The movie "Inside Out" had my really think about emotions, and what emotions drive our consoles.  I think "Fear" drives me a lot of the time.  Last weekend my heart started acting up.  I went to the Cardiologist and we decided it was time to have me go on a Beta Blocker. This medication blocks adrenaline from entering the heart.  It slows your heart down and lowers your blood pressure.  This also slows the baby's growth rate and heart too.  I felt incredibly guilty.  The "What ifs" started to enter my brain... "What if the baby dies?  It would be my fault."  "What if there are complications because I took this medication?"  The questions went on and on.

A friend and OBGYN told me that I am thinking about this in all the wrong way.  By helping myself, I am helping the baby.  It's amazing what rethinking can do for you.  My fear filled brain, began to relax and I trusted in my doctors and what they felt was best for me and for our baby.

I've noticed my heart doing better since I have been on the medication. (It's been a week)  I do however tire out much more quickly, and I have to be careful to keep hydrated and watch if my BP drops too low.  Baby boy is still moving like crazy, and loves to try to keep my up all night by moving around.  I start non-stress tests next week to monitor baby, as well as an ultrasound.  I've also had an echo cardiogram to see what is going on in my ticker. I'll get those results next week as well.

I am confident that whatever lemon gets thrown at me, I can handle it.  There have been a lot of lemons lately. While I have times of woe, I know that God hasn't left me to go through these trials on my own.  My faith has become stronger since my restart in August, and I know that someday i'll look back on all this and have learned something from it.

What emotion drives your console?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kindergarten Fears

Tonight Arista had her Kindergarten open house. I have been waiting all summer for school to start. Arista missed the deadline last year since her birthday is in November. She is ready, I'm ready, or so I thought...

We pulled into the school and I immediately started crying. My pregnancy hormones have really been beasts this pregnancy. That and I haven't slept at night since my heart episode last week. I pulled myself together and held back tears walking in. I could feel my body starting to cry the entire open house. When Arista went in line for a pretend school lunch, I sat there and couldn't believe that my miracle baby was old enough for school. Why was I wishing the time away? Why does time go so fast? Why can't I keep her forever and ever?

I reflected over the past 7 years, and couldn't help but feel the loss of not being able to send Preslie to school. Had it really been 7 years? 

The thing I love about Arista is she has no fear of new things, no fear of changes and no fear of the unknown.  How can I get that mentality? Ever since I can remember I have been scared of life. I let fear hold me back from a lot. I've been so afraid of dying, that I haven't taken full advantage of living. How can I train my brain to think differently after 28 years of thinking one way? 

Life is challenging right now. There's change brewing and a lot of unknowns. I pray that I can have the courage of Arista and face my fears. I pray I can have patience for the future unknown. I pray I can be a beacon of strength in my children's lives. I pray I can give my fear to God, and live the rest of my life without anxiety.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Last Night I Died.

I figured I needed to write this out quickly, so that I can get it all out and move forward.  Yesterday I laid down with the girls for an afternoon nap.  I woke up at 4:30 with my heart racing and beating out of my chest.  I have had episodes like this in the past, and have been able to slow it down and get it to regulate on its own.  After trying all the maneuvers to stop heart palpitations, I decided that I would wait it out.  Around the 2 hour mark I was drenched in sweat, my chest was burning and I couldn't catch my breath.  I had Chris drop me off at the ER and take the kids home.  I figured they would probably just have me sit on a monitor until my heart slowed down.  They immediately did an EKG, and the nurse had panic written all over his face.  He asked if I could feel my heart racing and then yelled 3 times for another nurse.  "Her heart is 188! We need to get her back now!"  I quickly grabbed my phone and called Chris to tell him it was an emergency and he needed to get there right away.

They threw me in a wheelchair and raced me back to a room where people were waiting for me.  They quickly got me on the bed and hooked me up to oxygen and different heart monitors.  They gave me a straw and told me to try blowing through it. (This is one maneuver to try to get your heart rate down)  They had me try several more with no luck.  The doctor then told me that they needed to inject me with something that will reset my heart.  He explained that there was danger to the baby, but that they needed to think of me. I told them I couldn't lose another baby, and asked if this would stop the baby's heart.  No one would look me in the eyes, and no one would answer my question.  The Doctor just kept saying that they needed to do this.  I pleaded for them to wait for Chris, but they said that they needed to do it now.  The doctor called Chris and told him that they needed to do this and that I was worried about the baby, but they needed to save me.  Chris agreed.  I held the doctors hand as they started the injection.  I could hear the heart monitor go crazy, and then I felt intense pain in my arm.  It didn't work.  My vein blew out.  I kept trying the maneuvers thinking that this was a sign that they shouldn't stop my heart. After 5 blown out veins they finally got one to hold.  Chris walked in right when they were about to inject the medicine.  He held my hand and they counted to ten.  I heard the monitors go crazy, I closed my eyes and all of a sudden it felt like I was under a semi truck on fire.  I gasped for air, and my heart started beating normally.

Chris said he has never seen anything scarier.  That my heart was flat lined for about 5 seconds.  I gasped for air as my last breath.

They did an ultrasound after and the baby was alive and completely normal.  Miracle!  I thought for sure that the baby wouldn't make it.  After that they ran blood and urine tests and filled me up for bags of fluids.  I threw up most of the morning and was dehydrated, so that could have been a factor, but we don't know for sure.  I was diagnosed with SVT, which is were your heart can have episodes of beating faster than 120.  Typically they start you immediately on a Beta Blocker which keeps adrenaline for going into your heart, but there is a high risk of it making babies in utero become mentally challenged.  The Doctor agreed that this wasn't a smart move now, but if I continue to have episodes, then its' something that we may have to consider.  I was released last night, and my anxiety was off the charts.  I have been a wreck ever since worrying that it will happen again.  The Doctor said that this is VERY common in people of my age, which surprised me.  And, even more common in women who are pregnant.

I can't tell you how grateful I am to be home with my family, and to have a healthy baby still growing inside of me.  I am super emotional and get super freaked out thinking about all that happened last night.  I know that angels were looking out for me, and that my journey isn't over.  This has been a huge wake up call to me, that I can't take things for granted.  That I need to spend more time with my kids and tell them I love them more.  I need to appreciate the blessings I have in life, and not focus on the things I don't have.  I am grateful for modern medicine, and the nurses and doctors who know what they are doing.  I am grateful for a husband who loves me despite all my craziness. I am grateful to all our friends and family who have prayed for us and continue to pray for us.  I am most importantly grateful to God, for giving me a chance to do better.  I am alive because of him.

I don't know what the future will bring.  It's difficult for me to not worry about all the "what ifs".  I pray that through this experience I will be able to concur my fears and overcome my anxiety.

Love to you all!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Letter to Preslie

I found the letter that Chris and I starting writing to Preslie before she was born.  We finished it after she had passed away...

Dear Preslie,                                                                                        October 13, 2008

We are anxiously awaiting your arrival to your new home with us here on earth.  You will be the newest addition to the Martin clan, and everyone is so excited to see your little face. 

These past 9 months have been the longest and most enjoyable time for us. Your mom has been so excited to have you inside her tummy to protect you, and to become close to you before your big arrival.  She is however really ready to have you come out.  We have such great dreams for you while you are a part of our little family.  We know that you will grow up to be a strong, beautiful, loving, and Christ-like woman.  From your very first ultra-sound picture we could tell how determined and feisty you are.  We know that you will be a lot like your Dad and Aunt Marissa.  Your mom was so excited that you were a little girl that she cried, and immediately had to go out and buy you a ton of cute outfits.

When we went home to tell your Grandma Sue that you were a she, she still thought you were a baby Mason.  In fact she is still a bit convinced you will come out as your brother!  You will show her wrong!  You are so lucky to be the first grandchild, niece, and baby in our entire extended family.  We are determined that your Uncle Curt and Aunt Julie will have a cousin for you shortly to play with, after meeting you.  Everyone is so very excited to meet you. 

When you were very little inside mommy’s tummy you made her so sick.  All you wanted to eat was Sour Patch Kids.  You loved the sugar.  Day after day mom eliminated things from her diet because you were such a picky little eater.  We hope that when you join our family it won’t be that way. 

We had such a great time decorating your nursery, and getting everything set up.  Every night we go in there to just feel closer to you, and hope that you will be coming soon. 

You will never know how much we love you. It is unfathomable to imagine how we could fall in love with someone we have never even met, yet here we are loving you so much.  This past month leading up to your arrival has been very difficult for your loving Mom.  She just wants you to come out so badly so that she can feed you, bathe you, teach you, and make you the best person you can be.  Always remember that out of everyone here on earth there is no one, I repeat no one who loves you more than your Mom.  As I am sure your mom will tell you she gave up seafood, soda, her body, her temperature, everything for you and she will love you forever and always because you are her little baby Princess Preslie.

When we found out that you wouldn’t be coming home with us we were so sad.  Why after nine wonderful months would we not be able to raise you here on this earth.  Although we were really sad I enjoyed every minute of giving birth to you.  I would do it again in a heartbeat if I knew this would be the outcome. I enjoyed every minute of pain I felt and wish that these pains would never go away, so that I don’t forget. You are absolutely beautiful Preslie.  Words cannot describe how beautiful you are to me, and I can’t wait until I can hold you again and look down and see your face smiling up at me.

Your Dad was so excited to have you that I would tell everyone that he was almost more excited than I was.  He did everything for us while your little body was developing, and know that he has loved you since day one.  You have an amazing Dad Preslie and he could not wait to hold you.  Your Dad was so nervous about supporting your little neck, that when you came out it was me that was the nervous one.  He did a fantastic job holding you.  You could see the love he felt for you, and still feels for you. 

Baby P this is your Daddy again, I will so miss teaching you things.  I was so excited to watch Star Wars with you, to hold you on Daddy/Daughter Saturdays while watching football and Duke Basketball while your Mom went out. That was going to be our day where we got up early and watched cartoons, then some football, and then I was going to teach you to roll over, to crawl, and to walk.  You were going to have a tennis racquet in your hands by the time you were walking and then the next thing you know you would be beating your Dad when you were three. Your Mommy was so brave the day of your birth; she pushed you out so courageously that no one could believe it.  She loved holding your little body and even though we wanted a bald baby, there has never been a more beautiful set of curly brown hair than yours. You are so beautiful and the precious time we got to hold you, kiss you, and look at you was the greatest moments of my life. To know that your mommy and I made such a beautiful girl was amazing.  I still have your baby footprints on my arm and will forever feel your little feet.  You say Hi to Grandpa Guy, Grandpa Gary, and Grandma Ruth for me.  I know they are loving you so much right now and letting you play with Won ton, Suds, and Sassers.  Please know that you will be our little Angel looking down on us from heaven and protecting all your baby brothers and sisters so that we can return to you one day.  You will always be Baby P and you have inspired me to be perfect and I will strive to live that way until I see you again.  With all the love in my heart.  Love, Daddy

I just want you to know Preslie that I miss your kicks, I miss how you’d stretch out until it felt like my stomach would explode, and most of all I miss feeling you and knowing you are inside of me.  You have made me a better person.  I felt like I could do anything with you along with me, and nothing or no one will ever replace the bond that I have felt with you. You are my little baby P.

We love you Preslie and we know you will be with us always.  Please never forget us and know that your mommy and daddy can’t wait to see you again.  You have our hearts and our love.


Your Mom and Dad

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kindergarten Tears

Dear Preslie,

I can't believe the day is finally here where I'd be sending you off to Kindergarten.  I remember after you died a friend in our support group talked about how hard it was every year when other kids started school.  I sat there and thought "That's too far away, it won't happen".  Here I sit flabbergasted at how quickly the years have flown by, without you in my life.  I can't help but stare at pictures of little girls going to kindergarten and wonder what you would look like.  Would your hair be curly like Tinsley's or striaght like Arista's?  Would you be scared to venture out onto the bus, or would you jump on in without looking back? Instead of shedding tears of joy on your big first day, I'm feeling the hole that will never heal.  I'm longing to hold you one last time, to see you with eyes opened, to kiss your beautiful cheeks, to run my fingers through your curly dark hair.  You are never forgotten, and will always live in my heart.  I know that someday soon I will see you again.  I'm proud to have you as my daughter, and hope you feel the love that we all have for you.  I love you Preslie Quinn!



Thursday, August 16, 2012


My older sister Kelsey told me that she was tired of looking at the same post on my blog since Tinsley was born.  With that incentive I have decided it's about time to update this thing.  It's funny how time seems to fly and before you know it, your blog is months behind. 
In March we moved into our first house.  We have a beautiful fenced backyard, finished basement with a mother-in-law suite, gym room,play room, craft room, deck...the list goes on and on.  My favorite room however is my piano room.  I don't get the opportunity to play the piano as much as I like, but I just love the feel of the room.  It feels like a great escape from the chaos of the rest of the house.  We still have a lot to do with the house, but I figure since we own it we can take our time.
Once Miss Tinsley was born I had a slew of health problems.  Before I left the hospital my right eye was blurry and I was seeing spots.  I didn't think anything of it when I mentioned it to the nurse right as we were about to leave, but they took it very seriously and had me stay an extra night and have an ultrasound of the arteries in my neck and an MRI of my head.  Luckily they didn't find anything, and they send me on my way.  2 weeks later my postpartum bleeding picked up and I was sent to the hospital to have it checked out.  I had an ultrasound done and there was nothing left over from the pregnancy but I found out that I have multiple ovarian cysts on both ovaries.  The bleeding continued and then I started feeling dizzy.  I felt dizzy everyday, it was like I was walking on the moon.  Nothing I could do, could make it stop.  Again I went back to the hospital for a brain scan, head scan, back x-ray, and other tests.  The results came up with nothing, except for a little bit of fluid behind my right ear.  I was sent home again with no answers, and dizziness.  I went to an eye doctor, and then an ear doctor and he found out that my sinus' are inflamed.  I have been on a nasal spray, and have a follow-up appointment next week.  It seems to be better, however I have days where I get super dizzy. 
Despite all the scary issues, we had some good news come these past few months too.  I went in for my monthly breast appointment and found out that my breast mass is completely gone!!!  What a blessing to hear, and a huge relief.  I will follow-up after I am done nursing to make sure everything looks good. :)
Since Tinsley's birth we have had a slew of visitors!  I was so blessed to have my sister-in-law Julie come out with her kids to help out with Arista and Tinsley, and it was fun to catch up with her in the process. 
Since my Mom wasn't able to come out, my younger sister Kipley came out for 10 days to help out.  Despite just having Tinsley that didn't stop us for going to the mall numerous times, Mt. Vernon, DC Cupcakes, National Geographic Museum, and National Harbor.  It meant so much to me that Kipley came out for the short amount of time that she did.  Arista loved to tease Kipley and told her many times to go on the airplane.

After Kipley left my other younger sister Mikelle came out for 2 weeks.  It was so great to have help once again, since I was still have medical postpartum problems.  Mikelle and I were able to read an entire book, visit Annapolis, National Geographic museum, eat too many M&Ms and watch lots and lots of movies.  It was hard to say goodbye to Mikelle, and we can't wait until she comes out for New Years. ;)

Not long after Mikelle left another visitor came!  My best friend Courtney from high school came out for a week and we took a trip to NYC.  It was my 3rd time there, and it didn't disappoint.  We spent 3 full days and 2 nights there, and we did EVERYTHING!  We saw Mary Poppins, Newsies, The 9/11 memorial, the top of the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, and of course Times Square.  It was so much fun, and exhausting!  We are planning on doing a girls trip every 2 years.  I hope I see her again before then.

A week after Courtney came my second cousins Gracie and Mallory came out for 5 days.  It was a lot of fun to have young girls around the house.  I felt like I was an older sister again having fun with  my little sisters.  We played many board games, watched movies, went to six flags, and had a spa night!  Yes, I even did their toes.  I was sad to see them go, and hope that they will come back soon.  They were a great help with the girls and I never had to ask them to help either.  They just jumped right in.

We are looking forward to having my parents and brother come out in September.  Here is what you all have been waiting for....

1 Month
2 Months
 3 Months

Tinsley has been a wonderful addition to our family.  She has such a sweet spirit and a beautiful smile.  I can't wait to see her grow up, and I am so grateful that I get to raise another sweet spirit.  I'll try my best to update my blog more often!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Tinsley May Martin
9lbs 5oz
21 inches long
May 2, 2012 @ 4:53pm