Roaches were everywhere. My usual meal, a bowl of corn flakes was typically full of roach carcasses, as was most everything in our cabinets.... dead roaches, live roaches and roach droppings on everything. We knew where to not stand on the kitchen floor because there was a hole that went through to the basement. I could always sneak in my grandmother's cabinet and find fruity flavored tums that I could devour before anyone knew, as well as her bag of makeup. It was grown up makeup and I loved it! The kitchen was my grandparents room. That is where they stayed. Sitting at the kitchen table, watching the news on a tiny black and white tv that sat on the counter top.
We had to be careful not to kink the tubes of my grandma's oxygen lines that ran throughout the house. We also had to remember to scream at her anytime she would light a cigarette with the machine hooked to her face. That would have been a bad situation, and as much as she smoked like a haystack, I'm quite surprised we never had an explosion. Every morning we would wake up, open up the windows and hang our heads out them trying to breathe fresh air. I'm fairly certain that I have some degree of lung damage from the second hand smoke I was exposed to growing up.
Somehow after my Aunt died in a tragic car wreck, I inherited her room. I was the oldest and I had my own room. My brothers and sister had to sleep wherever they could. At various times, we had a set of bunkbeds in the living room, a pull out couch, or simply a pallet of the floor. Looking back, I wish I had shared that room with my sister.
My grandparent's room was big and had a king size bed. The floor was wooden and one wall was covered in mirrored tiles. I used to love to skate around their floor and watch myself in the mirror. I remember being told growing up that it was a dance studio. I bet they lied to me though. This is also the room I hid in and kissed a pillow, pretending it was BonJovi. My grandparent's had a drawer full of 8 track tapes. This is also where the possessed Teddy Ruxpin spoke without batteries and where I was sleeping when I heard my family crying as the sheriff told my grandparent's that their daughter had fallen asleep in her car, just down the street from our house. She hit a tree. The car went up in flames. She never got out.
Our bathroom floor was just a few sheets of plywood nailed down. From time to time my grandfather had to replace the plywood because it was start rotting around the toilet and tub. It wasn't too assuring to rock back and forth as you sat on the toilet, afraid that the rotten floor was going to give way. This is also the room where my sister knocked me in the head with a pair of pliers because our tub faucet didn't have handles. I bleed all in the tub. This was just one of the times my sister knocked me in the head, resulting in a blood bath. My dresser was in the bathroom. I remember having to carefully scoot my clothes around the drawers until I found what I needed. There were always used needles stuck under my clothes in the dresser.
There was never any grass in the yard, just a bunch of dirt- Georgia clay as my grandfather would call it. If he was ever outside, he'd be sitting under the tree in the side yard. This was a great place to corner him and ask for money to walk to the drug store down the road. I learned how to drive a car in this yard too. There were woods behind our house. They were magical woods, always full of adventure. I also had my first kiss in these woods. Good thing no one ever told my mom that!
The screen front door hardly ever had a screen, at least not one that was completely attached. We did have a swing on the front porch, though I was usually too embarrassed to sit outside where people from school might see me at that house. There was green mold all over the siding and black grease stains all down the side of the house from the kitchen window. We even had a shed in the back yard, actually we lived in that shed with our mom at one point. Unfortunately, my brothers set it on fire, as well as my mom's bedroom. It's amazing that's the worst that they ever did!
This house holds so many memories. Not good ones for the most part. I haven't seen it in years. I hear it is boarded up and the land has been for sale for quite some time. Tomorrow, I head that way, hoping I am brave enough to enter.
I am the oldest of 4 children. At 12 years old, I awoke early one morning to a screaming and threats from my mother to my grandparents. She was demanding my grandmother's medication and money for beer. The sun had barely even come up. This actually wasn't anything out of the ordinary, it just didn't usually happen this early and didn't typically involve butcher knives. Yes, my mother had threatened my sleeping grandparents with a butcher knife over beer and pills. Somehow, my grandparents managed to sneak out the back door. What we didn't know was they were on their way to the police station.
After the dust settled, and I managed to get my youngest brother off to school who I believe was in kindergarten at the time, my sister began trying to clean up the small, unfit, what had become a shack, that we lived in. Myself, my sister, and my other brother didn't make it to school on this particular day, which also wasn't out of the ordinary. We missed alot of school. I sat at the kitchen table with my mother, reading each other's horoscopes, while propping my feet up on the cabinets to avoid the maggots on the kitchen floor from being able to crawl on my feet. All of a sudden, we heard a knock on our back door, and it opens. "Are you Kellie Phillips? You have the right to remain silent..." They handcuffed my mother. I'll never forget it. A detective walked around our house proclaiming to my mother that he "Wouldn't even let his dog live in this garbage."
They took my mother away. We were left with 2 detectives, one took my sister and brother who were home, while I rode with the other detective to my youngest brother's school. They had already made a call to his principal to keep him off of the bus and at the school that day. I'll never forget walking into the office of the school with my baby brother waiting there, not understanding what was going on as I led him to the detective's car. I didn't even know how to explain it.
We were taken to the police station. They offered us food which I declined. They asked if we had head lice, which I knew at our house, we all kept them despite the treatment efforts. I lied and said, "No." I was so embarrassed. They let me speak to my grandmother on the phone. I remember being so angry with her. So full of rage. If she had not gone to the police they would not have taken us away. They took us away. It began to set in. From this day forward, we would never be with our mother again.
Our social worker was contacted. Her name was Patty. She was a nice lady with long brown hair. From time to time, she would visit us at school, calling us out of class to ask us one-on-one if we were being hurt, or left hungry. My younger cousin once told her that we had giant rats living in our house. I knew we did, but I was old enough to know to deny it. I remembered all of the things I was told to say if anyone asked. She loaded all four of us into her jeep. We were going to a foster home.
Annabelle decided to develop colic when she was around 4 weeks. She typically SCREAMS from about 5-9 pm every single day. She also screams every time she is in the car. We tried medications for reflux from the doctor, who also prescribed her Reglan (to speed up digestion). I decided not to even fill that prescription, mostly due to the possible neurological side effects! Now, I continue to see commercials asking, "Has your baby taken Reglan? Does your baby now have tardive dyskonisia? Call our law firm for a class action suit!" Thank God I didn't give her that mess!
Life is stressful with her being so fussy all the time. It's hard to even enjoy having her. Everyone says just get through it and she'll outgrow it. I don't want to just get through it though, I want to remember every minute because it goes by fast, I can't ever get this time back, and she's my last baby.
Despite her fussiness, Annabelle started smiling around 7 weeks. She LOVES to be on her changing table. She smiles every time she's on it. Who knew a baby enjoyed getting a new diaper so much! I just love my little angel! She even laughed twice, once when I tickled her stomach and once when we put diaper rash cream on her. She absolutely loves her bath now too!
My new baby nephew was just born about 3:00 this afternoon! 8 lbs, 19 inches and healthy! My sister didn't feel any pain and he was born after about 10 minutes of pushing! (She is pretty lucky!) I can't wait to see pictures of him and I so wish I could have been there with her! Thank you, Lord, for a precious, healthy baby! I love you my sissy-poo and my baby Ryan!
Monday, April 19, 2010. I had an 8:00 am appointment with my high risk doctor to attempt a third amniocentesis. They sonographer did an ultrasound first. She took measurements and estimated Annabelle to weigh 7 lbs, 1 oz. We were both so shocked because I expected her to weigh about 5 lbs. Especially since I only gained around 10 lbs the whole time I was pregnant!
The doctor came in and found a really small pocket of fluid to try to get to. He threw his tie over his shoulder and went to work fast sanitizing my stomach with iodine. They said they didn't numb you for the procedure, so I prepared myself for another painful few minutes like the Friday before on my second amnio attempt. Once he got the needle through the uterus, she moved her back against it like the 2 times before. The sonographer said, "I'm just going to grab the baby and move her over." That sent me into a slight panic, but I guess she knew what she was doing. It was in and over within a few seconds, almost totally painless and super fast! Nothing like my 2 last tries at it! I asked to see the fluid and was so amazed that this was what my baby was floating in for 9 months. I made Jeremy look but he was mostly disgusted by it. I told him that we could tell her when she got bigger that we saw her pee before we ever met her!
They sent it off to the lab to test for lung maturity and said they would call around lunch time. I cheated on my bed rest and we went to the dollar tree for some things to give the boys at the hospital after Annabelle was born. We went to Hobby Lobby and I got a few things to finish up some letter orders. Every time Jeremy's cell phone rang, our hearts sank and one of us would scramble for the phone, but every time it was someone other than the doctor's office.
We finally got home and decided to start gathering things for the hospital suitcase. Jeremy cooked some cheese sticks for me. As he was heating up the sauce, the phone rang and it was the high risk doctor's office. They said her lungs were mature! I gave my regular OB's office a call to let them know, but they insisted on documentation from the other office before they would even give me a day to come in for the c-section. They ended up calling about 2 minutes later and asking when I had eaten last. It had been about 4 hours since breakfast, but my lunch was literally on the stove and waiting. They said, "If you want this done, go to the hospital right now!"
I scrambled to call my mother-in-law who had our boys at preschool. She wouldn't answer and my hands were shaking so bad. We scrambled around the house trying to piece the rest of our suitcase together. We got to the hospital, they hooked up my IV and started pumping me full in overdrive!
It all happened SO FAST! When it came time for my c-section, about 2 hours later, I walked off to the OR, so TERRIFIED!!!! They don't let anyone come back with you until they get your spinal in and get you opened up. So, the nurse (Gena, who I irritated to no end in all of my trips and stays in labor & delivery) let me hold her hands. The anaesthesiologist put in the numbing meds and inserted the catheter. I sorta jumped but he said it was OK. They asked if my legs felt heavy. They didn't. They told me to lay down. I turned around and laid down with no problems. They kept asking if I felt any different, if my legs were tingly? They went to put in my catheter to drain my pee- I felt everything! The anaesthesiologist and my doctor just looked at each other because I could pick my legs up and move them all around. I could feel him pinching my stomach, I felt it all!
I was so terrified that they were going to cut me open while I could still feel everything. The anaesthesiologist said that he could try doing another spinal or epidural. I didn't want to go through sticking another needle in my spine to not have it work again. So, they had to put me to sleep. I do remember my doctor stabbing me 3 times in my previous c-section scar before I got any pain meds or was put to sleep. She just kept apologizing and I was yelling in agony. I have no idea what she was doing though....
I remember waking up back in the delivery room with the satan of all nurses.... the lady with the blue eye shadow. She was my arch nemesis. I had warned all of the other nurses that I didn't want her touching me. Of course, I wake up and she is digging into my flesh and "massaging my uterus." I also remember assaulting her at least once. She was kneading away on my stomach and I grabbed her arm and pushed it away. Only problem was that I couldn't let go. I felt like rigamortis had set in and I had no control over my muscles. She told me to let her arm go and I told her I couldn't. She got mad and left. She also kept getting mad because I would press my pain pump too many times and it would alarm. Looking back, I should have told her where to shove it.
Jeremy tried to show me a picture of Annabelle. She had black hair. All I kept saying was that she had a rug on her head and that wasn't my baby. I was in so much pain and I didn't even want to hold her when they finally brought her in. I don't think I held her until she was 2 days old.
I had my tubes tied so I am very thankful knowing I'll never have to experience that pain or fear again!! My little angel is here and healthy and I am so grateful!