Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Our first official video blog

So, I'm going to blog more, there will be a lot of changes on our little family site, And even some video blogs. I got Brendan to join me in our first official one.. It's pretty self explanatory, and sorry it's 20 minutes long, we will do better next time! Enjoy!!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

My husband. That guy

My husband. That guy. I knew after we were a "thing" for a while, that I had found the one I wanted to marry. I was just 18 then, I don't even know if I knew what being married was even about, but I knew that if it had anything to do with being with him forever, that I was down.

Through downs, and way more ups, we have learned each other. In and out, forwards and backwards.. The good, the bad, the VERY UGLY. It's been a journey. We will be married for 6 years in two weeks. And, yes, in those 6 years, we have had 4 children, moved about umpteen times, bought 4 cars, changed careers (me 17 times, Brendan once), got 3 cats, 1 dog, bought a house.. We've done alot. We've been BUSY. Sometimes I look back,and I'm like, weren't we just like broke college students? What happened? What is life?

All these experiences, in what some would call a short amount of time, have brought us closer together, in so many ways. There are moments when I don't know what I want, but Brendan can tell me what it is. Sometimes I say what's about to come out of his mouth before he can even open it... I'm getting to a point, I promise..

After I had Brayden, I looked at Brendan in the eyes and I was prepared to beg for him to let me stay home forever with our babies. I only asked him once, and he promised me that I would never ever have to work, unless we were on the brink of financial disaster. He even promised me all this with a smile, and told me how cool it would be if I were a stay at home mom.

Those first few months were rough. He'd come home, and I'd barely have hamburger helper made, Brayden would be screaming, I'd be in sweatpants, probably crying, and he wouldn't say a word. He would come in and save the day. With a baby in one hand, he would vacuum, or put dishes away, or even finish dinner for me. He would run me a bath, and tell me to go relax. I would drift off in the bathtub, listening to him sing our son a sweet lullaby. I remember thinking in those moments "How could he possibly get any better?"

Fast forward, and although my abilities as a mother have increased exponentially, my superman still sometimes has to come in and save the day. Now it's just more babies, more mess, and I've upgraded to yoga pants, and a glass of wine next to the tub...

My husband was born with this ability to excel at anything he puts his mind to. I don't know how, I would never question why, except for why I don't have it... but it is what I admire in him most. He isn't just a good husband because that's what he's "supposed to do." He is a good husband, because he made it up in his mind that he would be, before he even proposed marriage to me. The same with him being a father, a friend, a son, a sibling, a co worker, a Christ-follower. He puts forth his best effort. Always.

When we had to have an emergency c-section, our world was turned upside down. We just did not plan for that at all. It wasn't even a thought. He made this experience the best of my life. Before I was even conscious, he had already gotten people together to have meals prepared, got someone to come and clean our house, and even redid our monthly budgets, to see how many weeks he could take off of work with regular pay (minus overtime) before we had to go into our savings. This guy, I tell ya. 

When I got home from the hospital, all I had to worry about was me and Brevin. I have had the hardest time getting back into the swing of things, because I have been so spoiled. He cooked, cleaned, fed the kids, bathed them, dressed them, oh, he kept the house SPOTLESS. I mean, come on, I keep the house decent, but I swear I would look around and things would be sparkling.. I'm like.. what the?...

On top of that, he has kept up with all his other jobs.. outside of the home. I sit here now thinking about all those years ago, when I couldn't imagine him being more than he was then, and I thank God that I could not. He is more than I could have ever imagined. Not only am I blessed to have such a hard working, dedicated, never complaining man of God, but our boys get that as FATHER!! I am so thankful that God chose me to be his wife, and I cannot imagine him getting any better than he is now.. only time will tell :)

As I prepare to relieve him of the new duties he has acquired these last 5 weeks, I'm just hoping the kids don't ask why daddy can't stay at home. Hopefully my cooking will win them over..

I love you Brendan James.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Brevins Birth Story, Part 3

I wake up again.
I see Teree.
Ugh. Again. The pain. Why am I having contractions? "Are they giving me pitocin?" I ask Teree. "Surely not" she says. (We speak in fluent sarcasm) Upon further examination, we see that I am indeed getting pumped full of pitocin. I am LIVID. Not only do I have the unbearable pain, but I am also being forced to contract. Why? JUST WHY? A nurse comes in.. I think it was shift change.. I ask her why I have pitocin, and she says "After you have a baby, your uterus needs to..." I cut her off. "Yes, this is my fourth baby, I know that I need to contract to make my uterus go back to size" "Then why are you asking me?" she says.

I roll my eyes. I don't have enough energy to fight. "I just wanted to know because it hurts so bad, and I am already in so much pain." She nods, and leaves. Another nurse comes in, and tells me its time to move rooms. Brendan is already in my postpartum room waiting on me. She does some things below with my incision, and then asks me to roll on my side so she can bind my belly. Again. Torture. I just had never felt that level of pain ever in my life. I get moved upstairs, and It's around 10 pm by now. Brendan needs to go home and pack our bags to bring back to the hospital. He is waiting on my friend Meghan to relieve him.

I am still so out of it, that I really don't remember much besides talking to her, and falling asleep mid sentence.. I remember her joking about recording me, and asking her for a barf bag because I felt like I was going to throw up. I was miserable, and I still hadn't seen my baby. Brendan and her went down and facetimed me, so I could see him, and I could barely even stay awake to look at my son.

After Meghan had come and gone, and Brendan was back, the floor supervisor came to make her rounds. I asked her when I could go see my baby, and she said first thing when I woke up "in the morning" so, naturally, I was like, soooo if I wake up at 4 am?! She laughs and says that she will come and get me then. Before Brendan went to sleep, he was like, "Ookay, so what are we going to name this baby?" We go through our names, and decide we still love Brevin. But middle names? "Brevin Curtis" I say. "Nah, what about Curtis' middle name, Leon? Brevin Leon?" "I LOVE IT!!!" I said. He goes to bed, while I then try to get some sleep but I'm too anxious. I drift off, try to reply to a few texts.. but it's hard to focus on anything too long. I'm starving, so I ask for crackers. I eat them, then I call the nurse at 4:29 am and tell her I'm ready.

She comes and brings the wheelchair, and then it hit me that I had to actually GET UP. I really wanted to tell her I could wait, but I HAD NOT SEEN MY BABY!!! She instructs me on how to get out of bed. "Swing one leg over, then the other, then sit up" I can't. i just can't. I can't sit up. She helps me, and then tells me to put my feet on the ground, and push from my feet, and stand up. I do it, I cry, but I am determined to get down to the NICU. I push my morphine button repeatedly, and still get no relief. Finally we get down to the NICU. She rolls me to Brevins bed. 

There is something about first meeting your baby. It's like everything that ever mattered, just doesn't. All you care about is that tiny little human that you are looking at. My heart broke into pieces. He was hooked up to so many monitors, and wires, and tubes. WHY? Was he sick? I immediately began asking questions. The nurse snapped right away, and told me that he would be in the NICU for at least a week. I looked her in the eye, and said "Do not speak negativity over my baby. He will leave with us. He will be out of here on Sunday." she then keeps talking about how she has to call the doctor to see about his oxygen, so she wheels me just close enough to barely touch his hand.

I am defeated. I'm helpless, sitting here, I can't move, I can't pick him up. I don't know what's going on, and I don't even know if he will go home with us. How did this happen, and WHY is it happening to me? As I start to cry, Brevin gives my finger a tiny squeeze. I sob, but now because I know that everything will be okay. I pray and ask God to heal him, and do whatever needs to be done to let us take our son home with us.. As soon as I am done praying, another nurse comes over and asks where Brevin's nurse went. I tell her I don't know, and she says "Well, the doctor says his oxygen levels look great, so we can go ahead and get that off of him" My eyes fill up with tears, and she just smiles.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Brevins nurse comes back, and I tell her I'm ready for skin to skin. She then says "Well, I have to get this oxygen off, and then change his diaper, and take his temperature" I give her a look, like, well get MOVING! The moment she handed that sweet tiny little boy to me, my heart melted. I didn't hear what she said about anything as she gave him to me. I laid him on my chest, and felt his little heart beat. I called him by his name, and sang his song that I sing to all my boys. He curled up on me, and we stayed that way until I had to go back upstairs. Every time I had to leave him it hurt me bad. But, I never doubted that my baby would be okay. And sure enough, he came home with us, after just 4 days in the NICU.

I cannot thank everyone enough for all of the prayers, gifts, support, and oh my gosh, everything. We are so loved, and so is our sweet baby boy!!! 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Brevins Birth Story, Part 2

......."Ma'am, we are going to have to do an emergency cesarean"

My eyes filled with tears. I looked at Teree. I just knew there was something else we could do! I watched so many videos on Youtube of breech births. But how how was he breech? He was JUST head down?.. All these things are going through my mind, as I look up at Teree, and she just slowly shakes her head. If SHE was saying no, I knew there was no other option. Forget the guy with his hand up my vagina with a medical degree... 

Brendan's focus immediately changed. He looked at me with the softest eyes, that were glazed over with tears, and he said "Baby, look at me, you're going to be okay" As all this is going on, the delivery room was rushed into a frenzy. The doctor has to strategically remove his hand, and replace it with a nurses hand to hold the baby's cord and foot. The nurse that took over after the doctor, was putting so much pressure on the outside of my vagina.. you know, RIGHT where my pelvic problem is. I repeatedly told her she was hurting me, and she finally snapped and said "I have to hold my hand here" I said, "The inside doesn't hurt, its your knuckle or something" she ignored me, so I just moved her knuckle off of the spot. Geez.

Another nurse then straddles me, switches hands with that nurse, and now she is on top of me, putting a sheet over her head.. I was so confused.. "What are we doing?" I say. She says we are about to go to the OR. "Can my husband come?" "No ma'am he cant be back there" I was either in shock or I wasn't having any contractions, because I could no longer feel them at this point. We rush down to the OR, Brendan kissed me, and I let go of his hand. I was so scared. When we got into the OR I remember the lights being extremely bright. Right away, I have 7 people doing 7 different things. While the anesthesiologist asks me questions. "Have you eaten? What did you eat? What time was that?"  As I was telling him that I had some chicken spaghetti around 3, I feel something clamp me...down there.

"OUCH! What is that? Ouch. Oucchhhh. Y'all know I'm awake, like you aren't cutting me yet, are you?" The nurse reassures me that they are just inserting my catheter and that no, they were not cutting me. Oh, well that explains the pinch. The anesthesiologist tells me to breathe in the oxygen deep. I then realized that I wasn't getting a spinal. I ask "Wait, I'm going to go to sleep?" he says "Yes, we don't have time, we've got to get that baby out" Everything was moving so fast that I didn't even have time to think about what that meant. I didn't have time to process. At all. I wouldn't be able to hear my babies first cry. I wouldn't see my husbands face when he looked into our newborns eyes. Wait- I wouldn't find out the sex! I wouldn't see what everyones expressions were when it was announced.. I would miss EVERYTHING!

The doctor then took out the betadine and started cleaning up my stomach. "WAIITTT!!!!!!" I yelled. "PLEASE DON'T CUT ME, I'M AWAKE!" I started wiggling my fingers like crazy. As the nurses were telling me to please keep still, I really had to let them know that I was still conscious. Oh God, please don't let them cut me while I am awake! Dr. Gordon turned to me and said, "Calm down, we are just cleaning you up. See this? This is a marker! NOT A SCALPEL. I am just drawing a line, because we want this to be nice and neat, okay?" I felt so much better. Okay, I said. Then they tell me that there will be some pressure on my neck, and I remember feeling ice cold tingles on my neck and then....it's dark.

I wake up. I see Brendan, I see my mom, I see Teree. I feel... OH SHIT!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! I feel like I am being stabbed in the stomach!! I start to cry, and I can't stop. Teree squeezes my hand and rubs my head. My grandma is there. She is putting a cool towel over my face and eyes. "Shhh, shhh, just close your eyes." she says. "BUT IT HURTS!!! BABE!!! IT HURTS" "I know" he says. "The baby is here." Oh! I just had a baby!!! "Are the baby's lungs okay?" I ask. "Yes, they are fine" Brendan says.
"Oh, what was it?" Brendan laughs, and says 

"Its a boy, babe, and he's beautiful" 

He tries to show me pictures but I can't open my eyes long enough to see. I smile, and cry, and talk, and cry,and beg for pain medicine, and cry some more. My friends come in the room. Ginny is wiping away tears, while I tell her to not be afraid to have kids.. it's not always this bad, promise. Kim laughs. My granddaddy comes in. He kisses me, and says he loves me. I ask again for pain relief. My cousins are there too. My sister. Mom tells me we have a waiting room full of people. We talk about names. How do I name this baby that I haven't even seen yet?... 

Finally the nurse brings morphine. She tells me I can press the button every 8 minutes. I press it. Nothing. I press it again. Nothing. She comes back and asks if it helps. "NO, NOTHING IS HELPING" I say. Finally she brings in a shot. "What is that?" I ask. She says it's dilaudid. My cousin laughs and says "Well, I'll see you later, because you are about to go to sleep." Everyone follows suit and starts to pack up their stuff. My mom asks if I want to see the boys before they take them, and I tell her no, because I don't want them seeing me like this. The nurse gives me the shot, and once again... it's dark...

To be continued...


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Brevins Birth Story, Part 1

**Disclaimer...There is profanity, and lots of details, nothing vagina related held back. If you don't want to know everything, don't read, or get someone else to and summarize it for you. K? Thanks..***

It's crazy how God works isn't it? I can't even start this story without first thanking my omnipotent, almighty, amazing Savior, Jesus Christ, for a beautiful, healthy baby boy, Brevin Leon Banks. 

Now, to even start to tell this story, I have to begin early morning, on Friday, December 20th, around 1 am. I ate a late night snack (spinach) then headed to bed. Throughout the night, I was awoken constantly by sharp pains. I thought that since I had spinach, that it was just gas, so I kept going back to sleep(Because getting up in the middle of the night when you've found a comfortable spot at 33 weeks pregnant is more important than a little gas pain)

Finally, when I couldn't hold in my pee anymore, I got up, and went to the bathroom. I sat down, and PLOP. It felt like something fell out of me. First thing I thought was, Oh Dear God, please don't let it be the baby. Then my second, was please, don't let it be blood. So, I look down, and, it was blood, and it wasn't stopping. I got up, took a picture, and sent it to my midwife and my best friend. I'm all "Uh, this just fell out of me, so what do I do?"

After answering a few of their questions, Ginger(my AMAZING midwife) calls and says, "honey, have you been cramping?" And I'm like, "OMG yes, but I thought it was just gas..because, see last night, I ate some spinach..." she cuts me off and says, "It sounds like you're about to have that baby, I would suggest you go to the ER" AH CRAP! Anytime a midwife wants you to go the ER, shits about to get real.

So, I cautiously, but panicky, yell to wake up my poor poor sleeping husband who had just barely gotten any sleep. "BBAAABBBEEEE" I yell, and in he comes, slowly, carrying a roll of toilet tissue. He's so sweet, huh? I'm like "Do you think I'd call you like that if I just needed tissue?,.. Ginger thinks I'm in labor.. we have to go to the hospital" I can't quite remember what his reaction was, but when I showed him what was going on in the toilet, he asked no more questions. After a few more chats with Ginger and Teree, we decided to let Brendan go ahead and check my cervix, and I was NOT dilated at all. I made a quick call to my OBs office, and they told me to immediately go to the ER.

After finding someone to come over to get the big boys (thanks Mimi) We were headed to MCA. When we got there, I was put on that stupid monitor for about an hour. Once the doctor finally came and checked me, he says "Well, there's a difference between losing your mucous plug, and losing a blood clot." I said "Okay, so which is worse, and what does it mean?" He, in turn, chuckled, and says "Just take it easy, and come back when your contractions are 3 minutes apart, and make you cry, because you aren't dilated at all' um, okay... Soooo.. I was given nothing to stop my labor, and no further explanation as to what was going on with my baby making parts.

So, for the next 5 1/2 days, I took it easy, kept my hands off my hubs, elevated my feet, and did everything I was supposed to do. Christmas night, I had a couple of contractions, but they stopped. On December 26, I got up feeling great. Hubs and I reorganized the boys' playroom and started to clean and get the house cleaned really good, for the impending arrival of little baby. After doing what I could while hubby was there, I hopped in the shower with him before he went to work. When we were in there, I was like "You know, it would suck if I went into labor today, the day after Christmas.." He just laughed and went to work.

Hubs left at 2:30 pm. I finished up my shower, made lunch, sat down and ate, and was about to take a nap, when boom. Contraction. Hm. It kind of hurt. After the 3rd contraction I decided to go ahead start timing them. It was 3:20 pm, and after timing a few, they were 5 minutes apart, and lasting 40 plus seconds. I text Teree and asked her if they sounded legit. She said she was on her way, and then, I felt it. Pop. My water broke. I called her on the way to bathroom, and upon sitting down I saw it again. Blood. Great. Immediately, my contractions got more intense, so I then hung up with her, and called hubby, repeatedly. Finally he answered and I told him to come now. It was 3:45 pm, and he had just gotten out of briefing. He called me after he had turned his patrol car back in and was on his way home, (still not thinking I was really in labor) to ask what was going on.. After telling him, I remembered that I didn't have anyone to come and watch the kids(who were napping)..

I called my sister who was down the street at my dads house, and she got there in about 30 seconds. By then, the contractions were ridiculous. I sent out the labor text, one to my friends, one to my family, and was actually joking with them via text while I was in labor to distract me, until Brendan got there. 

Finally, I heard the garage go up, I grabbed my camera, and met him in the garage. Then I saw it.. that look he only gets in his eyes when I am in labor. He knew it was go time. I told him not to change, not to pack a bag, or do anything, and headed to his car. He ran in the house and came back to stop me and said we were taking mine. I did the contraction walk back up the driveway to hop in my car, and we were off. 

We got to the hospital around 4:45 pm. I told the nurse I was in labor, and gave her my stipulations. "Look, I'm not getting hooked up to a monitor, I'm not laying in a bed, and I need to be checked immediately. I am in labor, and I am only 34 weeks and 3 days." The doctor behind her jokingly said "Oh, she knows, she didn't say she thinks!" I cut him a look, and smiled and said "This is my fourth baby, yes. I think I would know."

The nurse took me to give a urine sample (WHY?) and to change. I couldn't change without help because I was in too much pain and couldn't bend down. It was then, though, that I realized I wasn't wearing shoes. (Oops) I went into the room, and when hubby came back in after parking, the nurse came and asked was I in custody (Brendan was in uniform) "OMG! NO!!!!! NOW CHECK MY CERVIX" She was helping me change, so she could check me, and noticed that I had filled an entire maxi pad with blood. She then says "I can't check you, because you are bleeding too much? You say you're 34 weeks?" Me "Yes, and what?! Seriously, my babies come fast, and I'm feeling alot of pressure, you've got to get someone quick" She then hurries off, and comes back with another nurse, who had just so happened to be my nurse the previous week. She checked me, and says "You are complete, and all I feel is your bag of water. You have a bulging bag" I have a bulging bag with every baby, so that wasn't new to me, but COMPLETE?! YES! The hard part was over, can I push now?

She runs out, and comes back with the doctor. I remember him saying "I don't know if your baby is feet first, or head first, let me see" Then he checked, still could not tell. They then rolled me up to labor and delivery. I remember going through the lobby, with my arm over my face, and hearing my mom and friends cheer and yell good luck. Hubbys face was so bright with anticipation. I love the way he looks at me and supports me when I am in labor. I could not ask for a better birth partner.

So, we get upstairs, and through my contractions, I'm signing forms, getting hooked up to IV's, and continually feeling more and more pressure... By this time I have my mom, stepdad, and best friend in the room as well. Finally, after yelling at the nurses enough, and making my husband put on gloves and a gown (so serious) because they were taking too long, I asked where the doctor was. The nurse says "Across the street, did you want us to call him?" "WELL HELL YES!!! I've been ready to push since I got here!" Thank goodness the doctor got there in less than 5 minutes because I was about to flip my lid. My mom and stepdad were kicked out, and I was so ready to have my baby.

After 2 attempts to break my water, he finally used the hook and broke it. I tell you what, nothing feels better than knowing you are about to push and meet your baby face to face. I was SO relieved. After he broke my water, and I sighed a sigh of relief, not knowing what was ahead of me, the doctor says "You've got to be kidding me" Now, I actually laughed when he said that. Me, being the naive, unrealistic person that I am, thought that the baby was either already out, or that the head was like right there, so this was going to be a piece of cake. Teree says "What, what is it" He says "I have a foot, and a cord" Then he said the words I never ever EVER wanted to hear... "Ma'am, we are going to have to do an emergency cesarean".....

To be continued....


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why I hate social media

That's right. I said it. I hate it.
I bet you're like, "seriously?" 
No, I'm serious.

Why? You might ask?.. Well, you're lucky, because I'm going to answer that question.

I have this discussion all the time with my husband, and have maybe blogged about it a few times. Not sure. But, I'm getting fed up. Fed the heck up. Tee hee. I really wanted to cuss.. but anyways..

I share, and I share a lot. I share memories, I share stories, I share jokes, I share my love for things, I share my disdain for things. I share my opinions, I share facts. I share moments of weakness, along with moments of pure, unadulterated joy.

If you follow me, my blog, my facebook, my instagram, well, this is nothing new to you. You know that I'll share how many times I've thrown up, to pictures of me breastfeeding, to the next vacation I'm planning. It's just what I choose to do. I don't share to gloat. I don't share to portray something that I'm not. I share, because obviously I allow these moments to be a part of other peoples lives. I view it as a gift, a privilege even.

I'm not ashamed to admit I like to keep up with other peoples lives. It's awesome! I can laugh with them, cry with them, encourage them, even love on them from a distance, for those that I do not live close to.

I've wanted to remove myself from the map several times, just because I catch so much crap from it. Snarky comments, or whatever the case may be. I don't take it lightly. Did ya know that I indeed have feelings? Yeah, it may be hard to believe, but all humans have feelings. It makes me want to crawl into a hole and suffocate when I am bullied. Oh yeah. I used that word.

I get bullied. Will I go into detail? No. But I have just one thing to say...
If you have a problem with what I share, how often I do, how much I do, how happy I am, how sad I am, how freaking adorable my kids are, how handsome my husband is, how much I love him, how much I love God, how much I hate racism, or how opinionated I am, please stop following me. Will it hurt my feelings? NOT in the slightest. Please go away. And I mean that in the nicest form possible.

Don't block me from your news feed, delete me. Do not visit my blog. If you don't like what I have to say, you are not being forced to read it :)

Good day.


Friday, December 6, 2013

32 weeks.

Yep, that's right. We are at the finish line, folks.
32 weeks means we have 4 weeks minimum, until we meet our baby boy or girl!

I've been getting alot of "How are you feeling" lately, and my answer is always, I feel great! I do, I'm just huge! Everyday tasks are getting a lot harder. Hubby actually counted 14 things I asked him to do today! I just cannot physically do what I'm used to. 

Washing dishes hurts my back, folding clothes makes it hard to breathe.. Thank goodness I DO have a loving, supporting, husband who will get on his hands and knees and mop if he has to, just so I can keep my sanity!

My midwife came over this week, and we talked about final labor prep. She will come again at 35 weeks, check me, and go over my birth supplies to make sure everything is in order. We plan to have a water birth, and are praying that my labor is at least long enough for the midwives to make it! Also- my OBs office called, and I passed my glucose test(Duh) and I am anemic(double duh) so they have prescribed me an additional iron supplement. 

Whoo! ALL  of the boys are SO Excited to meet their baby sibling! They fight over taking turns kissing the baby! Its the cutest thing! We are all ready to meet this sweet baby! 

It snowed/iced today, and I felt like taking a few pics, but I was FREEZING! So, we took a few outside, then came in and snapped a couple more. Here is to 32 weeks!!!

I KNOW I'm at the end when my face is this round! Check out those cheeks!! 

Now to make the most of this snow day! I will spend the rest of the day cuddled up to my babies and editing clients pictures!! Everybody stay warm out there!