Our Growing Family

Our Growing Family

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Faith Lynn Winters

Sorry for the novel, I just wanted to write it all out while it was fresh in my mind.
If having four children has taught me anything it is to “Expect the Unexpected.” I am known for being a lady with a plan and believe with my whole heart that God has used every single pregnancy, labor and delivery of mine to humble me and prove that He is in charge. I may have had ever labor experience there is and I’m not going to pretend that I have all the answers, because I don’t. But I do have one piece of advice for expecting Mom’s. While it is wonderful to have a plan, be prepared for things not to go the way you planned and don’t let fear consume you. You have the strength to overcome whatever comes your way. A quick review of my history of previous labors… Baby #1 Nevaeh Marie Winters – This “little one” decided she wanted to cook extra long. So doctors induced my labor at 41 weeks. I labored for 26 hours, pushed for over 2 hours when doctors urged me to consent to a C-section for the safety of the baby. I had never even thought of or considered a C-section. So I was consumed with fear when the doctor mentioned surgery. The surgery was successful and turned out that the reason we were having trouble delivering was because she was 11 lbs 5 oz! Baby #2 Trinity Elise Winters- Nevaeh was only 3 months old when I found out I was expecting this little lady. Doctors immediately decided for me that C-section was my only option because of there only being an 11 month age difference. Being that I had experienced a C-section already I wasn’t nearly as afraid this time around. I did feel cheated in a way from not getting the “exciting labor” experience. She was born on her due date and was 7lbs 5oz. Baby #3 Selah Desirae Winters- We had a 3 year age gap between Trinity and Selah so we fought hard to find a doctor that would let me deliver VBAC and found the ever wonderful Dr. Vera Stucky. Selah however decided she wanted to “cook” a little longer too. So we had a scheduled induction at 41 weeks. I planned on things slowly progressing as they did with my labor with Nevaeh but the second they administered pitocin my contractions came fast and with a vengeance. Luckily I opted for an epidural and after a grand total of a 17 hour labor Selah entered the world at 9lbs 2 oz. So induction ending in C-section, scheduled C-section, successful VBAC with aide of epidural, so what’s missing? Oh the “Hollywood,” barely made it to the hospital, get out of my way the baby is coming now experience. So here is story of how Faith Lynn entered the world. Thursday May 3rd. I had been experiencing pre labor contractions for over 2 weeks, mildly painful and was having them more consistently all day Thursday along with some mild cramping. Jason came home from work just before 10pm and I was having mildly painful contractions 10 minutes apart. We debated whether or not we should go in for fear they would send us home as they did the week before. We called and they said it was fine to come in to be checked. So we the left the house after 1030pm and while on the road, literally only 5 minutes into the drive, my contractions started coming faster and stronger. I started breathing harder and Jason started driving faster. We got to the hospital, parked, wheeled to the 4th floor and set up in an exam room about 1115pm. The nurse checked me and I was 5 cm fully effaced and my contractions were less than 2 minutes apart. Then a hard contraction hit and oh boy it was a “fun” one. I remembered from my Lamaze class that standing and holding your spouse while breathing through a contraction was helpful. So Jason helped me to my feet and another one hit, it didn’t help. I nearly fell to the floor. The nurse came into to take me to our room, at this point my contractions were merely seconds apart and I tried my best to breathe and relax but could not get on top of the pain. I had every intention of getting an epidural but there was no time. The nurses were still trying to get the room prepped for delivery and my bed wasn’t even fully put together. I made it to my room and barely got into my bed when the mother of all contractions hit. At this point I was starting to become a little delusional because of the pain. I started shouting to the nurses that I felt the need to push, they were frantic and told me not to and focus on my breathing. But the next contraction came, I took in a deep breathe and out came a wail! It scared Jason, myself and everyone in the room. I would have paid money to see the faces on the women who were in the rooms next to mine. I wouldn’t be surprised if they started asking their nurses for pain meds if they weren't already hooked up already. This baby was coming and she was coming now! I didn’t know up from down at this point, I heard my Mom and sister’s voice, my husband was by my side encouraging me and that was what got me through this. There were a few more contractions, a few more screams that I’m sure the entire hospital heard, then with one final push my water finally broke and Faith Lynn entered the world. The second they put her on my chest the pain melted away. She was born at 12:04 am, that’s right active labor started after 11:15pm and she was born about 45 minutes later! Faith weighed in at 8lbs 1 oz and measured 19.5 inches.
Because of how rapidly labor progressed I was over whelmed with fear. I repeated over and over that I was so scared. The pain came so quickly and intensely I just couldn’t get the upper hand. But now that I have gone through it and have had a 100% drug free delivery I can say, while painful, it can be done. Our bodies know what to do even though we may be too afraid to accept it. I had an amazing support group who coached and supported me along the way and I now have a happy and healthy baby girl. I have always been pro epidural because of my fear of the pain involved with delivering a baby. If you feel like you are going to be pregnant forever or feel like you are going to be in labor forever, don’t be afraid, that baby is coming out one way or another. If you have the intention of a vaginal delivery and you end up have a C-section, don’t be afraid, you have the strength to get through it. If you have every intention of having pain medication during delivery but run out of time, don’t be afraid, you have the strength to get through it. I was afraid, no I was terrified and don’t want that to be the experience my fellow Mommy’s to be to have. Take comfort in knowing we are given the strength to get through this.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nevaeh's Science Project

I'm trying to think of a catchy title, feedback is appreciated. For now we are calling it " Dyeing Daisies."

White Daisies
6 glass jars
Food Coloring

Step 1 Cut the Daisies into even lengths and let sit while you prepare the water jars. The thirstier they are the better.

Step 2 We filled each jar with 10 oz of water

Step 3 Nevaeh added 30 drops of food coloring to each jar. Yellow, red, blue, green with an additional red jar and blue jar ( for a project within a project)

Step 4 Add the daisies to their jars. For our side project we cut the stem of the daisies and added them into two different color jars to see what would happen.

Step 5 Wait

Here were our results after 16 hours

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I met with my OB and want to go on record for saying Dr. Vera Stuckey is the greatest OB in the world! She is 100% on board with a biopsy and personally called the surgeon immediately to get our order for the biopsy! She agreed it was ridiculous to wait and wants us to attack this straight on. I hope to hear from the surgeon today to get it scheduled ASAP. Baby is doing great! I've gained 2lbs, gotta be careful not to gain too much and end up with a giant baby. His/her heartbeat is 146. While still a little uneasy of the unknown I am excited that we have a plan.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Choose to Worship and Not to Worry

I’ve always been a firm believer in that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and that the Lord will never give me more than I can handle. I can humbly stand before you today and truthfully say that these two verses have been put to the test in my life. And that while I am trying my best to embrace them I am struggling and am battling with my emotions.

Nearly two months ago my husband and I found out we are expecting our fourth baby next spring. We are thrilled and while adding another child into the family can cause a little more stress physically, emotionally and financially, we are so incredibly blessed to be able to welcome another miracle to the world.

I had my first OB appointment on September 19th 2011, ironic being that the 19th of September is Trinity’s birthday. She and Nevaeh were able to come to my appointment and watch our new little peanut on the ultrasound screen, it was very special. During my physical exam my doctor discovered a small lump on my right breast. We both assumed it was the result of a clogged milk duct, being that I had recently stopped nursing Selah. To be on the safe side she ordered an ultrasound and full lab work up.

A couple weeks later I went in for my lab work. Selah was sick so I conveniently made her appointment the same day. Bad news came from that doctor visit. They are treating her for and keeping an eye on her possibly having asthma, which runs in our family. Not the most exciting news to get for the day. Then it was time to head over for my breast care ultrasound.

The ultrasound tech was super sweet, she got all the pictures she needed and explained it may take about 30 minutes for the doctor to go over the pictures and come in to talk to me. She left the room and not even 5 minutes later came back in with the doctor. He looked a little frazzled and was trying to choose his words carefully and went on to explain that it was not a clogged milk duct but was a tumor about the size of a small egg. My face must have lost all color because he immediately followed his first statement with, “I can’t say that it is cancer but I can’t say that it isn’t.” I asked what needed to be done and he immediately said a biopsy is the best route but there are risks involved with me being pregnant so he would need my OB to approve the surgery. He said my other option was to wait three months to have another ultrasound so that we can track the growth.

I left the office feeling scared and unsure. What was going to happen? I called my husband and my mother to tell them what was going on and had a mini emotional breakdown in the Kaiser parking lot. I listened to my husband’s CD the whole way home and had “Where Would I Be?” on repeat. I sang and sobbed the words,
You are all my life,
You have made me complete.
Here I stand Lord an offering,
A living sacrifice burning for you.

I got the questions out of my system, why me Lord? What did I do to deserve this? Lord please make this tumor benign or even disappear. I got home to my girls, had some “quiet” time and surrendered, to the best of my abilities, my fears. I prayed that regardless, cancer or not, God would get the glory in the way this situation played out.

My amazing family got together to pray for me. My incredible husband poured out his soul, reassuring me that he is by my side through thick or thin and that we are in this together. And it is the love and support I have since received from the wonderful people in my life that is helping me get through this more than they could ever know. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I believe with all my heart He is giving strength through others.

In an effort not to draw attention to myself or start any type of scare, we have kept this on the more private side of things. Mostly because of my own fears of how people will respond. But my husband made me realize that the more people I have praying for me the better and I’d have to say I agree.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning to make a “game plan” with my OB. It is there we will discuss scheduling a biopsy and my options for surgery. We believe in the power of prayer. We are praying that…
#1 God places a hedge of protection over the baby growing in my belly
#2 That we are able to schedule a biopsy as soon as possible
#3 That the results are benign
#4 That if surgery is necessary it be scheduled promptly
#5 He fills me with His strength because I can’t do this on my own.

Thank you for your love, your support and most of all your prayers. I am trying everyday to not let this get me down and to see the blessing that can come out of this situation. God works in mysterious ways and we don’t always understand why. I choose to trust in Him, to worship and not worry.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cinco De Mayo

Haven't blogged in a while, I suppose you could say life has been a little busy lately. Nevaeh started kindergarten and celebrated her 5th birthday, Trinity started preschool and celebrated her 4th birthday, Selah is growing like a weed and will soon be turning one! And if all of that wasn't exciting enough we found out early September that we are expecting baby #4!!! May 5th 2012 another little miracle will be added to the Winters household and we couldn't be more thrilled. Nevaeh and Trinity are super excited and are praying for a brother, I reminded them that it could very well be another little sister and they were okay with that. While this pregnancy is a lot different than my others I am still expecting baby to be another girl. Aside from the ever so wonderful morning sickness I have crazy fatigue ( couldn't have anything to do with the fact I'm chasing 3 little rugrats around everyday) and am super sensitive to smells. It's a package deal, these symptoms just come with the territory, I am so excited about the end reward and am thankful to have an amazing family and a wonderful, supportive husband. Gender will be revealed early December. Guesses? ( not what you hope I'm having, but what you truly think I'm having:) )

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Winters Family Adventure 2011

Our family vacation, or as we like to call in The Winters Family Adventure 2011, was both amazing and exhausting. It came with many sets of challenges but above all else gave us some quality family time and memories we will only laugh about later.
I must say first and foremost we had an amazing time on our trip. There is always so much to discover out in the Eastern Sierras. Family, food, fishing, hiking, old gold mines , hot showers and the scenery is just breathtaking. We did however hit a few little "bumps in the road" and so the "adventure" begins.
We got to camp only to find out our electric wasn’t working, but we shook it off. Then Day 1 of our trip I got super sick and ended up in the ER and was treated for strep and pneumonia. I had one day of rest but didn’t let getting sick stop me. We enjoyed Lee Vining went on a few hikes with the whole family, it was a blast!Our girls had a blast with all of their cousins, we had Jason's entire family there this year. This was my parents first trip to Lee Vining so we wanted them to see a little bit of everything, Yosemite, Lundy Lakes, Mammoth and more. An interesting fact, the water levels were higher than they have been since the 30’s, many of the campsites we have stayed at in years past were under water this year. Only downside was Yosemite was CRAZY BUSY because the falls are so huge.

Day 3 Jason ended up in the ER for the same reason I was there, then it rained for the first time taht we have ever traveled to Lee Vining( I'm going on 7 years this year) We made a day out of it in Mammoth though ( trying to entertain three kids in a trailer for an entire day to escape the rain is nearly impossible). We even ran into some friends of ours from Ramona who happened to be on their family vacation at the same time.
My parents left on Saturday, Sunday we went to church in June Lake then headed on the Rainbow Falls/ Devils Postpile hike, it was beautiful. And while we were in Mammoth we ran into a good friend of ours David Porter who joined us on our hike.
Monday we celebrated the 4th of July in Bridegport, as always. We enjoyed battling it out in the Mud Volleyball tournament, playing on the jumpies at the courthouse and eating yummy food. It was here we decided that we would try something new, pack up Tuesday morning and head to Lake Tahoe. Jason had fun childhood memories there, floating down the Truckee River, eating breakfast at Ponderosa and taking the cable cars up to Squaw Valley. So we made the trek, found a great camp spot right by the beach, set up the trailer, swam in the lake for a bit and had a relaxing night with our girls. The next morning we found out that Ponderosa closed in 2004, Jason was bummed. At least we had the rafting trip. So we headed up to the Truckee River, stopped to buy Selah a life vest discovering there was a bunch of money missing out of our account. All of it to be exact. We were in Tahoe with no money, no gas and three kids. See what I mean about adventure. Praise the Lord for free wifi at McDonalds, I jumped on the internet, found the problem, Chase fixed it and we were back and ready for action! We FIANLLY made it to the rafting company only to find out IT WAS CLOSED FOR THE SEASON! AH! Apparently because of the high levels of water this year the base of the river was flooded so they had the dam closed not allowing any more water down the Truckee.

At this point Jason and I questioned why we ever came to Tahoe. As we headed back to camp feeling stressed and defeated I received a text message from a dear friend Lori Bassham inviting us for dinner in Tahoe. They were on their family trip only 15 minutes away from us. ( Her Mom Ginny read on my Facebook Profile that we were in Tahoe and gave Lori a call)We were THRILLED!!! And to make this dinner date even better, they had coordinated with our friends Aaron and Carol Gayden who live an hour away, to meet up with us as well. These folks are some of our FAVORITE people ever. So we got ready, spent the afternoon with our girls then headed for dinner. It was loud, crowded, a little chaotic with all our kiddos but we had a blast! That dinner made our Tahoe Trip! We decided to start our way home the next day to break our drive into 2 (6 Hour) driving days allocating time for a few stops along the way. First stop was a cable car trip up to Squaw Valley which is some one the best Ski area ever. They hosting the Olympics there in the late 60’s. It was really fun traveling up the cable cars, a little freaky, but our girls absolutely loved it. Second stop was supper at Aaron & Carol Gaydens house where we grilled some carne asada, visited Aarons studio and just enjoyed each others company for a while. We made the trek down the 101 and stayed IN A HOTEL! It was heaven after camping for over a week. We swam in a pool, slept in a super comfortable bed, woke up and ate a breakfast I didn’t have to prepare, it was great! Then we started the trek home. Not a lot to say accept our 6 hour drive home turned into a nearly 12 hour drive home because of unexpected traffic and another ER pit stop. Jason was suffering from a weird unexplainable fever. So we made a pit stop in San Marcos then I drove the rest of the way home ( driving a trailer is scary.) As soon as we pulled into Ramona a sense of peace came over me. It felt so good to be home. So that was our adventure. Life has a way of creating challenges and adding a few bumps in the road. We got to a point where we just looked at each other and laughed. We may have had a lot of “issues” with this years trip but we still had an amazing family adventure. Dare I say, I am looking forward to what God has in store for us next summer!

Better Late Than Never

So it's been a couple off months since I have blogged last and once you read this you will understand why. At the end of May I had the honor of shooting Paul & Cindy Ransoms Wedding. It was a beautiful wedding full of friends and family from our church. June we hit the summer running, Nevaeh graduated from Busy Bee Preschool we had a wonderful MVCC Staff Retreat at Boomers and then I left for Summer Camp. I spent a whole week with 20 of our MVCC kiddos at Indian Hills Camp in Jamul, it was a blast! I came back mid week of camp for a day to pack for our family camping trip. I got home Friday, finished packing Saturday then we left Sunday after the church picnic for Lee Vinning. We call this trip our 2 Week Winters Family Adventure(Vacation Blog to follow) The day after we returned from our trip I had the priveledge of shooting my friend Sarah's wedding. It was a mini high school reunion for me, I had a blast and she was one stunning bride.
After spending a few days getting " back in the swing of things", my sister-in-laws and I spent the day at Glen Ivy for our birthdays. It was so nice having a day to myself. Lots of fun and exciting stuff. I have a few more birthday celebrations this week, our 6 year anniversary is coming up then I get to look forward to Catalina in August. I feel so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to do lots of fun things and am thankful for the strength and energy God has blessed me with to do them.