Tim and I began to have problems. I felt ignored and unloved. He worked alot of hours and we didn't have alot of time together. It wasn't a productive environment either for marital relations with my Granny in the next room. The stress began to take a tole on our marriage. I got the impression that Tim was falling out of love with me and in love with someone he worked with. Seeing the two of them interact would have given anyone the same impression. At the same time, I had been reunited with an old friend from highschool. This actually occured back in 2003 before we found out about Kierstynne. I came to the conclusion that my marriage was over so I kicked Tim out on a Friday. He left and called me the next morning wanting to know if he could come over so we could talk. I wasn't sure what I really wanted. My friend from highschool was telling me, overtly, everything that I wanted to hear from my husband. I didn't realize it at the time, but he wanted me to leave Tim and move in with him and his daughter. I didn't realize what was going on, but Tim did. Just like he didn't realize how his interactions with the girl at work seemed to me. So, talking that Saturday, we came to some conclusions: 1. We still loved each other. 2. We wanted our marriage to work. 3. We both had to try harder to make it work. He came home and we began to try and make our marriage better. It was only a week later when we found out that we were pregnant with Kierstynne. God works in mysterious ways, doesn't He?
So, we had Kierstynne on May 11, 2004, almost 2 years to the day from when Carl Harris prayed for us. I had to have a c-section because the doctors were afraid she would be too big because of the diabetes. I learned one lesson throught the whole c-section proceedure...NEVER will I have an epidural again. Being at a learning hospital, it is not uncommon to have residence doing the proceedures. I specifically stated in my birthplan...NO students for the epidural. My family has a history of back problems and I didn't want to take any chances. Well, don't you know they sent me a 4th year resident student to put in my epidural. Ok, the Lord gave me this baby, so he will see me through this proceedure. 3 times. 3 times this student tried to put in the epidural and 3 times he failed. All three times the needle slipped to the left hitting the nerve sending molton fire down my left leg. I have never felt such pain. I was crying and chanting Jesus' name over and over. The nurse was worried because I was beginning to hyperventilate. She told the "doctor" that he had to stop. I was to the point where they were going to have to either knock me out, or cut me open with no anethesia. I couldn't take anymore. The student walks out and two minutes later this short, older man walks in...The Doctor. I looked at him and with pain and anger in my voice said, "And where you 20 minutes ago?" He just looked at me with an expression of annoyance. The nurse explained what happened and he told her to ball up her fist, put the flat part of her fist against my belly button and push. He places his thumb on the spot where the resident had tried, laid the needle against his thumb and said, "Ok, here we go. You will feel a slight pinch." I felt nothing. The needle slid right in like it was sliding into butter. About 30 seconds later I thought I had peed my pants. The nurse said I hadn't, that it was the epidural taking effect. So where was this actual doctor while I was suffering with pain? Did he just come from the golf course or what? I know the Bible says that women will have pain during childbirth but that is ridiculous.
I was wheeled into the OR and strapped down to the table..not a nice feeling. I don't like being restrained. They began to retrieve Kierstynne and all you heard was water hitting the floor. LOL. It sounded like the bathtub overflowing. The doctor reached in and when she pulled Kierstynne out, I said to Tim, "Oh, I felt that. She's out." The poor anethesiologist went into cardiac arrest. He thought I was in pain and was going to administer more meds. I had to explain that I wasn't in pain that it was like a suction type feeling when she came out. At 12:37 on Tuesday, May 11 I finally had my promised baby girl. As the doctor held her up over the curtain for me to see she calmly state that I could have pushed her out. You think? I knew I could have, but noone would listen to me.
I was stitched up and sent to recovery, getting to hold Kierstynne the whole time. She was beautiful. Perfect in every way. Her APGAR scores were great, she responded to stimuli, and looked just like my baby brother, Jerry. Ok, so the Ferrell genes are strong. My family was waiting in the room for us to appear and everyone took turns holding the first child born in my family in 21 years. It was great. The only downfall was that it took almost 4 hours for the epidural to wear off and I couldn't feel my legs. I found out that day what a paralyzed person feels and I didn't like it at all.
After about two hours, the nurse came to take Kierstynne for her first bath and I was taken up to our room. They brought her back all nice and clean. I was given the option of letting her stay with me or letting her stay in the nursery. Not even a hesitation..she was staying with me. I had waited too long for her and I wasn't letting her out of my sight. She was so cute. I held her for hours. Tim finally got to hold her after he pried her out of my death grip.
They epidural tube was still in my back so that pain meds could be administered without them having to poke me again. The IV in my arm had blown so they had to move it to the other arm. And after a couple of hours, that side blew too. They moved it to my left hand and that was painful. I was hooked up to a morphine pump because I had a c-section. I had a little button to push for a dose. That evening when the pain management specialist came in, he looked at the machine and was shocked to find that I hadn't pushed the button at all. He asked me if I was in pain and I told him the truth..No I wasn't. He didn't believe me and before I could stop him, he pushed the button. I told him, none too politely either, that I didn't push the button because I didn't need the medicine. I had prayed the entire pregnancy for Supernatural Childbirth and that's what I was determined to have.
By Wednesday afternoon, I was tired of being hooked up the monitors and pumps so I asked to have my catheter and epidural to be removed. The doctor didn't want to because I had essentially had surgery and needed the medicine. I told her to look at the machine. One push of the button in over 24 hours. She couldn't believe it. I was in no pain. Even with 17 staples in my stomach I was in no pain. So, they removed everything. Freedom never tasted so good. I got up out of bed and took a shower. It was great. No more being tied to something. Kierstynne was doing great and I felt like the luckiest woman alive. We had a double room, but I was the only patient in the room. People were coming to visit and couldn't believe that I wasn't still hooked to the pain meds. Nope, I was free. I didn't need morphine because God was all the medicine I needed. He is my healer. The best doctor ever.
I had been trying since Kierstynne's birth to breastfeed. For whatever reason, I wasn't producing any milk so Kierstynne hadn't eaten in 30 hours. The nurse finally had to give her formula. I don't know why I wasn't given the blessing of breastfeeding, but I wasn't. Wednesday evening, the nurse came in and explained that they had to take Kierstynne to the nursery and put her under the Bili lights because she was jaundiced. From not being able to eat for so long, her body wasn't able to expel the bilirubin. I felt like a failure. I cried and cried. I couldn't believe my perfect baby was sick and being taken away from me. Now I know that jaundice isn't a big deal and there are far sicker babies, but to me, it was devastating. I was being seperated from my child. The nurse informed me that I could come down to the nursery every 3 hours and hold her and feed her. I was there like clockwork. Not one minute late. I was only able to be with her for 20 minutes every 3 hours. I would hold her, feed her, burp her, change her and then have to put her back into the incubator. She had these little foam sunglasses that velcroed to the sides of her head. She laid up in the incubator like she was at the beach suntanning. Never cried, didn't take a pacifier, just laid there all comfy like. Tim would come down after work and spend the 20 minutes with her and then we would walk back to my room. We would wait the 3 hours then go back down. All day Thursday she was in the nursery. I would walk down every three hours to feed her and then would stand beside the incubator just watching my new miracle. The doctor would come to check on her and was amazed at how dedicated I was. She told me that if all her high risk patients were like me her job would be so easy. I followed her every direction and did everything I could to have a healthy baby. I only gained 11 pounds the entire pregnancy and Kierstynne weighed 9 lbs. 10 oz. of that 11. The rest was amniotic fluid. I guess being older helped too. It wasn't about me, it was all about Kierstynne.
Finally around 5p on Friday, we were able to go home. Even being over nine pounds, she looked so little in her carseat. I couldn't wait to get my baby home. My mother picked us up at the hospital and took us home to Granny's. My dad, aunts and uncles were all there. Tim's family had decided to wait until the weekend to come down so they were there too. It was nice to see everyone holding her and loving on her. I had to take her back to the hospital Saturday morning for another bili blood test, and the test came back normal. Thank You God. Kierstynne's poor little heels were black and blue from all the blood test. But she was a trooper. She never cried when they poked her. After leaving the hospital, we stopped at the mall. Yes, 4 days after giving birth through c-section I was at the mall walking around. Two weeks later I went back to have the staples removed and the doctor was astonished to find that I was completely healed. Supernatural Childbirth remember.
Life was sweet. I had my baby, my husband and I was complete. Kierstynne began to have a problem soon after we got her home. After eating, she would scream and pull her legs up to her chest. I took her to our pediatrican and he thought she was allergic to the formula. We changed her formula and hoped for the best. Five formulas and four weeks later and nothing had changed. She still screamed after eating. She couldn't poop either. I had to use suppositories to help her be able to go to the bathroom. Finally, after having all she could take, Granny told me to go to the grocery store, get a gallon of whole milk and a box of old fashioned slow cook oatmeal. I did and she made Kierstynne an old fashioned formula. We would cook the oatmeal in extra water, strain it and pour it into the milk. Guess what..She began to use the bathroom by herself and stopped screaming. I couldn't believe it. Come to find out, her body couldn't handle the iron in the formula. Her body made enough and didn't need all the extra that was in prepackaged formula. She thrived with the homemade formula. I was so relieved that it was something simple as not needing iron.
Life fell into a great routine. Kierstynne slept in the bassinette by my bed until she was four months old. I didn't want her to be in the other room away from me. So, I would awaken in the middle of the night and just watch her sleep. Kierstynne was a great sleeper. At about a month old she would take her last bottle at 11pm and sleep until 7 am. I was so blessed. I would sleep with my hand on her back. Yes, her back. She never would sleep on her back so we propped her up in between two blankets on her side, but she always managed to roll onto her stomach in the middle of the night. She is still a stomach sleeper just like her father.
In January of 2005, we made the decision to move back to PA. Granny was doing great and we felt that it was time. So, in March of 2005 we moved back to Dupont PA. Now, this whole time I thought I was doing very well. I was still taking my depression meds and felt that I was functioning very well. Little did I know that a few years later I would crack.
Life was ok. We moved from Dupont back to Ransom to a little apartment beside the Post Office. In August of 2006, Tim's grandmother approached us about buying her house. We talked about it and decided to do it. The deal was that instead of having to go through a bank for a mortgage, the house would remain in her name until she died and we would pay her rent in the apartment. Each month, the rent payment would come off of the money for the purchase of the house. What a blessing. Our credit wasn't that good so we were able to avoid the hassle of trying to get a decent mortgage. We began to move Gram out and move us in towards the end of August. By the middle of September both moves were complete. I love living where I live. It's quiet, noone bothers you and it's secluded. The only noise is what comes from the paper mill. We have one neighbor and Tim grew up with both the husband and wife. It's nice too because Kierstynne can just walk up the hill at the back of the yard and be at Grandma Mary Kay's, which she does quite often. It's a fabulous snow sledding hill too.
Sometime in the next couple of years, I realized that all the junk from my past was seeping into my everyday life. I was thinking of Jimmy more and more. I began to dread the Christmas holidays. I didn't find joy in anything. But, I kept up my facade. Inside I was shrivaling up, but outside I pretended that all was right with the world. I didn't want to go anywhere, do anything, and every little thing got on my nerves. I didn't want to go to church and had to make myself get up on Sundays to make sure Kierstynne was in church. I stopped reading the Word. Life became a chore. I didn't know how much more I could take.
For two years, beginning in 2008, I suffered with these feelings. I didn't tell anyone though. The doctor upped my dosage of Celexa thinking that might help. It did. For awhile. I was still participating in things at church, but the joy and happiness wasn't there. I had put up a wall that had become so high even I couldn't see over it. I wore a mask all the time. Noone was going to hurt me. I was tough. I was in control. I tried counseling, but that didn't get me anywhere. Everyone knew my story so why rehash it.
Having to grow up fast matured me. All the feelings of abandonment, being unloved and unwanted, and cast aside had caused me to go into self preservation mode. I had developed a personality that protected me from pain. Top that with losing Jimmy, then my grandfather I was pretty good at pretending nothing bothered me. My outlook was "What you see is what you get and if you don't like me there's door. Don't let the door knob hit ya where the good Lord split ya." That was how I treated people. Hold them at arms length, don't let them in and they can't hurt you. I had very little self esteem. My view of myself was very twisted. I felt unworthy of true friendship because I knew I couldn't be what others wanted me to be. I tried for years to be perfect. Everything had to be perfect which led to a bad case of OCD and perfectionism.
When I was a child, I wanted to be loved and noticed so bad that I would go from one extreme to the other. I would be the perfect, helpful, can do nothing wrong child. When that didn't give me the attention I so desperately craved I went to the other extreme. I became the bad kid. I would do things to deliberately get in trouble. I figured that if I was getting in trouble at least I was shown attention. How whacked is that?
Those thoughts carried over into my adulthood. I didn't know how to function on a mature, logical level. That little girl who was so stunted in her maturity effected my every thought process. The way I viewed the world was very circular. I was at the center and everything revolved around me. There were holes in my heart that needed to be filled. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be normal. How was I supposed to raise my child to be a happy, healthy, well rounded person when I was so broken.
Our church would have Carl Harris back usually every year. And every time he would come, I would ask to be prayed over. I knew in my head that God could fix me. I just didn't know how. Everytime Carl would pray over me, things would get better for a while, then I would slip back into the old Emily. This cycle went on for years. My wall kept getting higher and my emotions kept sinking lower. My mask felt permanently attatched.
During this time, Tim and I desperately wanted another child. We tried and three times we miscarried. The last time being April of 2009. This time, the doctor did a D&C and we found out that the baby was a boy and had what is called Trisamy 21. He would have only lived to about age 10, then we would have had to bury him. Looking back on it, I thank God for His grace. I couldn't have handled having to bury my child. But after three miscarriages, I felt empty. I couldn't understand why God wouldn't give us another baby. Why was I being punished. I wanted nothing more than to be a mom again. Kierstynne would pray nightly for a new brother or sister. Listening to her say her prayers nightly would break my heart. She would beg God to let me get pregnant.
In 2010 I began talking to my pastor's wife. I began to open up and explain some of my feelings. I hated my life. I felt like I didn't really know how to love. Even my child that I had waited so long for didn't have all my love because I don't think I knew how to love anymore. I was empty.
I began to use shopping as therapy. I would go into Wal-mart and spend hundreds of dollars with no thought to how our bills were going to be paid. It wasn't even the stuff. It was the spending money on things I thought would make me happy. I knew our family life was suffering but I didn't care. Our checking account was overdrawn every pay period, so Tim was basically working for nothing. Our bills weren't getting paid on time. Everything was late. I would pay just enough to keep the utilities on so that I would have money to spend. I would take Kierstynne out to eat at least 3 times a week. Looking back on it, I have no idea where all that money went. I have nothing to show for it.
We have exhausted all our options. We borrowed money from Tim's parents, his grandmother got us a loan, and we took money out of the 401K. There are no other options. Our checking account is still overdrawn. Our bills are still behind. But, I haven't been shopping, except to spend $75 at the grocery store last Saturday. Let me explain why.
In August of this year, our church put on an event called Gospel Fest. August 27 it was. That day was followed by our tent revival. Guess who the evangelist was...yep.. that's right.. Carl Harris. Sunday and Monday, Carl began preaching about having a close encounter of the God kind. He began to explain that we have to take a step of faith in order for God to work through us. Something began to happen in my life beginning Sunday morning, I just didn't know it yet. Tuesday night, under the tent, God and I had a meeting. After the service, it was prayer time. Carl invited anyone who needed prayer to come forward. My feet flew to the front. I didn't know exactly what I needed prayer for, but I knew I needed it. As Carl began to pray, he looked at me and said something to the effect of.."Your life has been so chaotic that the only way you have been able to survive is to control everything. In order to make some semblance of normalcy in the midst of all the chaos, you felt the need to have your hand on everything. God says that all the chaos in your life has been for a purpose. He has led you all these years, through all the situations to bring you right to this point and now it's time to let go completely and let Him fix it." Do you have any idea how shocked I was? I always felt like God was overlooking me. Noone had ever prophecied over me like that. God had never given anyone a word of knowledge for me like that. I began to shake all over and tears were streaming down my face. Carl continued to pray, laying his hand on my forehead. I couldn't stop shaking or crying. I felt a heat radiating down from my head. I knew God was doing a new thing. I knew that I knew that I knew that God knew exactly where I was and how I was feeling. I tried to stop the shaking and Carl said not too. That too many people tried to stop the anointing by trying to stop what was happening. I stood in the Presence of the Lord for about 30 minutes just letting His love flow over me.
Wednesday night, we went to another tent meeting. After the service, people where going up for prayer and as I sat in my chair praying for them, I began to hysterically cry. I mean full blown snottin', sobbin' crying. Then, out of nowhere came hysterical laughter. I thought I was loosing my mind. I was laughing and crying at the same time and had no idea why. I had no intentions of going up for prayer again, but found myself going to the altar. Carl looks at me and says, "Back for round 2?" I told him what was happening and asked him why it was happening. He told me to quit analyzing everything and just let God do a work. He prayed over me again. After everything was over, I walked up to him and explained that I wasn't trying to analyze what was happening, I just really wanted to know. He explained that because God was pulling so much junk out of my life that if He didn't give me the Joy of the Lord during the process that I would have been on the ground writhing in physical pain. So, to keep me from experiencing the pain, God gave me joy at the same time. OK. That I understood. Remember, I had so much Bible knowledge in my head that I could understand that. But the problem was that over the years, nothing had connected to my heart. So all that knowledge of Scripture and God's promises were alway for someone else..never for me. The connection between my head and my heart had never found their way to each other. Thursday and Friday night's meeting were phenomenal. Friday night, we had a time of refreshing. I had a chance to sit in God's presence and just crawl up in Jesus' lap and sit there. Nothing needed to be said. I just worshipped the Lord. I didn't ask for anything, I didn't express my needs, I just sat in His lap loving on Him and letting Him love on me. For those of you who have never experienced this, let me tell you, you need to do it. You need to just sit still in the presence of the Lord and let Him love on you.
Well, our one week tent revival ended up turning into 4 weeks. God was moving in such a way that people were getting healed and set free of things that had been plaguing them for years. Backs were healed, legs were healed, emotions were healed, bondages broken and lives restored. I have had a problem with my back ever since I received the epidural to have Kierstynne, so I went up for prayer. I said to Carl, "Please pray for this old decrepid body." He looked at me and said, "You are such a drama queen." Me? A drama queen? No, maybe a diva, but not a drama queen. He prayed for my back and I went home. That night, I began thinking of what Carl said. How could he call me a drama queen. I wasn't a drama queen. I started to feel offended.
The next week, after one of the services, I had a chance to sit and talk to Carl. I told him that I began to become offended at what he called me and his answer was, "I know that", I asked him how he knew that and he said that he said that to me for a reason. We had an hour long talk. It was amazing. He explained to me that by calling me a drama queen, he wanted to reveal something to me. He asked me what I would have done if he had called me that a year ago. I told him that I would have become very offened and wouldn't have come back to church. The point was to show me what God had been doing in my life. In a matter of days, God had matured that little lost girl inside me a lifetime of growth. She was no longer stunted. She is now able to function normally. He told me that God was working in my life in ways that I would never be able to imagine. My life was going to change, my outlook on life it's self was changing. That connection from head knowledge to heart knowledge was finally plugged in. How amazing is our God.
As I sit here writing, I look back on what God did during those four weeks. God healed my hurts. My heart is full of joy. I don't feel abandoned, alone, unworthy, unloved, cast aside, useless. I have the Joy of the Lord and I have learned that my joy is not contingent on my happiness. Happiness is an emotion and emotions change. My joy is based on the knowledge of God's goodness, grace and mercy. I can find joy in the midst of the trial. My inner child is now an inner adult. She is able to deal with life in a mature, logical, sane way. I have discovered that life isn't about me. My life is about my Lord. Will I still have troubles? You betcha. The Word says that when you walk through the flood water that God will be there with you. Not if you walk through them, but when you walk through them. As of right now, our checking account is still overdrawn, our bills are still behind, but, I know that God is changing me. I know that I don't have to spend money to be happy. Is the desire to spend money still within me? Yes. Some days it is stronger than others. What is my response? I don't do it. I stay at home. I ask the Lord to help me. I have to take the first step if I expect God to bless me. God will make a way where there doesn't seem to be one.
I look forward to my life now. I am excited about going to church. I want to read my Bible. I enjoy teaching Kierstynne about the Bible. I am even going to teach Children's Church in November. I await with expectation to see what God is going to do next. I have begun jounaling again and I love it. God told Carl that we would have another child. He let me know what God said, so now we wait. I am just hoping it doesn't take two more years...I will be 41 when that child is born if He does wait two years. In my flesh, I don't want to wait that long. But, God's timing is perfect. He is never early, but He is never late either.