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Braydens birth story, part 1.

April 20th will always be a special day to me. I always take this day to reflect on the day before I became a mommy. I had no idea that my life would change in the best, most terrible way. This is part 1 of his birth story...

I remember first, waking up, and looking at Brendan. Mouth wide open, snoring, leg hanging off the bed. I looked at him, so in love. We had only been married for 2 months. They had been the best two months of my life. I had found the one that my soul sings for. The one whom I knew I would spend the rest of forever with. I remember, vividly thinking, if I love him so much, how will I have room left to love this baby? Will I love him as much? Will I love him more? Will I love him less?

I traced along Brendans face with my swollen sausage fingers, and gently kissed his forehead, and prayed, and thanked God for the path that he had chosen for me. I was only 20. Brendan was a manager at restaurant, and a full-time student. We had no savings, 1 car, a tiny apartment, and two cats. I was terrified, but I knew that God had a plan. I knew it was my job to seek Him in everything, and that's what I did.

Eventually, we woke up. Had breakfast, and Brendan was off to work. I went back to sleep, only after looking through ultrasound pictures of my baby boy.

Was there REALLY a whole human inside of me? Did we create a person?.. I dozed off, and was awoken by my aunt, who was calling to make sure she wasn't supposed to be going to Mississippi. She, along with her daughters, and my grandparents were on the way to Ruston to be there when I delivered. I got a lump in my throat, and my heart was filled with immense joy, as I thought about having family with me.

I got up, and text Brendan "By this time tomorrow, we could be holding our baby boy. I love you" I will never forget, he text back, "Wow, I love you, we are going to be parents. AHHHHH" After straightening up the apartment, I waddled up the stairs to take a last look at what would be Brayden's room. I grabbed the last bin of unfolded tiny clothes, and giggled as I thought about the tiny little body that would occupy these. I gently folded each onesie, each little pair of shorts, smoothed them on my belly, and sang songs to my little man in utero. He liked when I sang. I watched my tummy ripple, and waited to see a little lump. I tried to feel and see if it was a butt, or foot. I couldn't tell. I was so anxious to see those teeny tiny extremities. Would he have my feet? My short toe? Would he have his daddy's head? Omgosh, please don't have your daddys head. You DO know that you are coming out of my vagina, right? Lord, PLEASE don't let this baby have his daddy's head. I lied in the bed in his room, and tried to picture him in his crib. I COULDN'T! The mere thought of it made me choke up...

By then my family had arrived!!! After giving them a tour of our tiny place, we went to eat dinner at Brendans restaurant. He sat with us, and we all talked, and laughed, and ate. We shared stories about me when I was a baby, Guessed how big the baby would be, How long I would be in labor, and I boasted about how I wasn't going to get an epidural(HA!). I excused myself to go to the bathroom, of course, my dinner came back up. It hardly ever stayed down my whole pregnancy. I came back, to worried faces, but then Brendan reassured them that this was totally normal...

After dinner, we went to walmart, where my family made sure I had all of my last minute necessities. I cringed as I bought the huge maximum absorbency pads that I would need after I had the baby. YUCK! I'm going to bleed? We went back to my apartment, and visited for a little bit, put the things we had just bought up, and my family left to go to their hotel. Brendan came home shortly after, and reminded me that I couldn't eat after 12! It was 11:50! He quickly heated me a bowl of spaghetti-o's, and I scarfed em down! Oh my gosh! My LAST MEAL BEFORE I'M A MOMMY! Yes, I was a bit dramatic.

Brendan and I sat on the couch talking, and looking around. Both our eyes filled with tears as we imagined the next time we sat on this couch, we would have an extra body. We snapped one last picture of my belly.. which I obviously was not happy about...

 and then we went to bed, around 1 am. I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned ALL night, until my alarm went off at 4:15. It was time to have a baby....

Part 2 tomorrow :)

-The Banks Mama

Happy 2nd Birthday Braxton

It's so hard to believe that my baby is 2. It has been a crazy 2 years, there is no one like our Braxton! Happy Birthday sweet boy!

3 months!!

I can't believe it has been 3 months already. It really seems like yesterday that I was sitting in this living room, just like I am now, with my laptop on my lap, peeing every 3 minutes, having weird spontaneous contractions, and thinking they were totally braxton hicks.

I felt you move and hiccup and kick.
I had no idea that giving birth naturally would be such a breeze, nor that my labor would only be 3 hours.
I still couldn't imagine having 3 little boys in my life.
I didn't know that my heart could get even bigger!

I forgot that it takes literally a second to fall in love with your baby.
I wondered what your brothers would think about you.

 The day I went into labor, 36 weeks pregnant!

mmm, contractions are fun!

 labor in water = amazing

 squatting in labor = NOT amazing

 SO glad my sister got this picture, it was my last push.

hello there, beautiful.
 nursing PRO
 Time with daddy

 Hey daddy, what IS that?

 Big Brother

tummy timee!!!

It's crazy how we feel like Breland has always been a part of our family! I can't imagine life without him! Happy 3 months! If you could stay like this forever, I would have no objections! I love you Breland Alton!!

-The Banks Mama

Breland Alton Banks


So, was my midwife right, or was she RIGHT?! Baby Breland came exactly at his 36 week mark.

Here's the story:

Seriously, I thought the birth of my other two were fast, but this was lightning speed! After a busy day of taking maternity pictures for some dear friends, and eating out with my mom and family, we came home to wind down and get ready for the week ahead. The boys were in bed, and I was up, eating an ice cream sandwich, and editing some pictures.

I had a contraction here, and a contraction there, same thing I had been feeling for about a week, so I thought nothing of it. Finally, when I couldn't hold my eyes open anymore, I got in the bed. I started to feel the contractions get a little stronger and closer together. I then scrambled for my phone, and at 2:49, I started timing my contractions. they were 3 minutes apart.

I then woke up Brendan, and told him not to get up yet, but that I thought that maybe it was time because my contractions were coming fast. I got up, and tried to do something to take my mind off of the pain, so I started to make the rice bags for the baby after he came out... something that was on my to-do list for the next week.(Rice bags are just pouches filled with rice that go in the microwave, to heat the baby after birth. I made them with 2 pieces of fabric, cut into four, bonded with hem tape) Any who, I had been texting my sweet, awesome, ridiculously AMAZING friend Teree, whom is a labor and delivery nurse technician, asking her how long I should time before calling the midwife. We both agreed on an hour, and she said she was on her way over to check me.

At around the 45 minute mark, I could no longer focus on making the rice bags, and broke down and called the on-call midwife. She wanted me to try what I could to get my labor to stop since I was only 36 weeks, so she had me get in the bath, and told me the nurse would be calling me soon. When I was in the bathtub(this I didn't find out until after I had Breland) The midwife called back and told Brendan she checked my chart, and we needed to get to the birth center immediately due to my previous history of short labors.

That explains why my husband was now moving like Speedy Gonzales. He was trying to pack everything that was on the list to bring to the birth center, all while timing my contractions that I was yelling out to him. What a superman. Teree came just about when I was getting out of the tub. That was around 3:45. She checked me and told me I was 2-3 cm, and she said she could feel baby's head. Now, again, I didn't know until after I had the baby, that she lied to me to keep me calm. She already knew I was slightly freaked out, so she didn't tell me that I was really 5-6 cm. She then had me get on the exercise ball and bounce until it was time to go.

Finally, when I couldn't take it anymore, I headed out to the car, and told everyone it was time to go. (Grandma had gotten here to watch the boys) We pulled out on that terribly, AWFUL, foggy morning, for the long 45 minute drive to the birth center. I managed the contractions pretty well in the car, and tried to focus my mind somewhere else. Hubby did a good job of trying to talk to me, like asking who I thought he would look like or what I wanted to listen to on the radio, but I just couldn't talk...

We made it to the birth center around 5:00 am. My mom and sister were there waiting, and as soon as I got in there, I jumped on the bed and asked to be checked. 8 centimeters. With a bulging bag. I then knew I wanted to labor the rest of the way in the water, so I had them run my bath. While I was laboring, my Aunt Suzy, and my stepmom came as well!

After getting my antibiotics(because I hadn't been tested for strep B yet) I got in the tub. AMAZING. Well, after about 20 minutes of what seemed like never ending contractions, she said it was time to get out unless I planned on delivering in there. (which I couldn't because baby was premature) So, I got out of the tub, and she had me squat all the way down, holding on the bed rail. I did NOT like that. But I could feel baby coming down, and I knew she knew what was best, so I squatted, and pushed with each contraction as I was instructed. On my last squat, I felt my water break, and my body told me it was time.

Hubby and I got on the bed, and I began to push. I pushed twice, and Brendan gave me that "gimme one more big push" so I pushed again, and out popped little baby's head (into Brendan's hand) My poor husband was so shocked that he forgot what to do. After a couple of seconds, my midwife reminded him to pull him out, so he pulled, and there he was!! At 5:57 am, Breland Alton Banks was delivered by his daddy(and Teree)! He laid him on my chest, and I had never felt more relieved.

Brelands whole birth experience was something that I probably can never explain. From my body automatically just knowing what to do, to truly understanding that we are made to have babies this way, comfortably, the way WE want to, not the way the HOSPITAL wants you to... It was all just something that I will NEVER EVER forget.

We are so happy to have our newest baby boy here. Even though he came early, it's like he has always been a part of our family. Brayden absolutely adores "his baby" And Braxton is getting a little more used to him everyday. I have had continuous help this week, so I have been able to rest, and haven't had to cook or clean or anything. Everyone has taken care of us, and it has been so appreciated!

Please continue to pray for us, that everything keeps going smoothly, and that we transition well :)

Oh and I will post pictures later..

-The Banks Mama

Preparing for Baby

Well, we are 35 weeks pregnant this coming week, and I am starting to get a little nervous. My midwife thinks I will have him around week 36, judging from my previous pregnancies, and how this one is progressing. That means we could have around one week until we are a family of five!

One week until...

..I will have to relinquish all rights to my boobs for at least a year.
..A full nights sleep will be a thing of the past.
..I will be able to see my feet again!
..I will finally know what natural childbirth is like. EEK!
..We finally name this baby.
..The completion to our dream.

We took maternity pictures last weekend, and I got a sneak peek of one of them.. I was blown away. I love our family photographer. We always joke around that he will be taking pictures of our grandkids! Hopefully he will be a resident of Dallas again soon :)

So- here's to the arrival of baby #3, and hoping that we have everything ready in time!! Please keep us all in your prayers!

-The Banks Mama!



Okay, so it's been a while since I've blogged. Well guess what?.. alot has happened, and alot is still happening! Wanna know what exactly? I hope so, because you're about to find out!!

Well, okay, let's start off in July- Hubby got the job, as you all should know(go Brendan, it's your birthday, go Brendan, it's your birthday).. and that kicked off this season of change!

We found a house, and moved in on September 9th. I can't believe it's almost been a month, and we are still unpacking! We are pretty much settled in, lots more decorating to do. (that I can't physically do) Nursery isn't completed, office is a HUGE mess, and guess what? I'm just a little stressed.

On to the next thing. The newest member that will be coming soon.. maybe sooner than we thought.. I had a checkup last week, and my midwife was not happy.

Things that were wrong:
1. Im overweight
-Well, duh. I weighed 163 when I got pregnant with #3( my high school weight) and now I am a whopping 208 lbs.
-I weighed 185 when I got pregnant with Braxton, and was only 213 when I had him, but I was seriously overweight.
-All that to say, I love my midwife, and I know they are all about you being healthy, but I just blow up when I'm pregnant! But the good thing is, I know I can get sexy again.... WATCH OUT NOW!
-So I'm on a NO CARB, NO SWEETS diet until the baby comes. Raise your hand if you think I've been following what she said.
-By show of hands, You all know me too well

2. My iron is dangerously low.
-I'm anemic, always have been.
-My iron is always low when I'm pregnant, but since I'm not at a doctor or going to deliver at a hospital where they can just shove whatever drugs in you they need to, the midwives have to take extra precaution to make sure baby and I are super healthy and ready for delivery.
-I have an appointment tomorrow to see the doctor that the birthcenter uses to check on my iron.
-And I have started a new iron supplement that should help. I also have to take 2 huge tablespoons of grandma's molasses everyday. It's gross, but whatever I can do to help little baby :)

3. Baby is measuring BIG, and my cervix is too soft.
-When she measured my fundus height, I was at 35 weeks.
-I'm only 32 weeks(or was then)
-She then proceeded to check my cervix, and said that it was softening.
-I am now supposed to stay off my feet, no walking, no exercise, and get this.. NO SEX...
-This baby better know how much his mommy and daddy love him!
-If I havent dilated, or my cervix is the same at next weeks appointment, she will take me off these restrictions.
-If not,.....BEDREST.
-That would be terrible.

So- that's what's going on with me and the baby in my belly. We have an ultrasound on Thursday to see him, and make sure everything is all good with little brother. I can't wait to meet this little troublemaker!

Speaking of troublemaker... My children have been ripping and running in our new house. They absolutely love it, and I'm glad they love each other so much because mommy has been consumed with so much lately, that they keep each other entertained. They are hilarious. Brendan and I just laugh at them so much, they keep us cracking up!!

Brendan is loving just about every aspect of the academy. I love seeing him so happy when he goes to work, and when he comes home. It is such a blessing that he gets to do what he loves to do and has waited so long to get to do!...

Welp, I think that's all for now, I need to get some rest so I will be ready for my appointment in the morning. Please everyone pray for the rest of this pregnancy to go smooth, and for a safe and not so painful(yeah right) delivery. We are in the home stretch, and we are so ready to meet our newest baby boy-who still doesnt have a name! hahaha

-The Banks Mama

Letter to my children

Hello :) Time to blog again. Forgive me for not doing it so often, but ya know, two kids, two hands, 24 hours in a day, catch my drift.. Due to recent events, I felt the need to do this tonight. I love my babies and if anything were to ever happen to either one of them, I don't know what I would do.. cant talk about it too much, because I'm pregnant and emotional, but this is a letter to my sweet little boys. Mommy loves you!

Dear Brayden,

Did I ever tell you that I was 19 when I found out I was going to be a mommy? I was excited, and terrified, but I knew that a baby could be nothing short of a blessing. Your daddy and I straightened up, got our acts together, and got ready to be parents, the best parents we could be to our baby boy that we were SO excited to meet!

Did I ever tell you I didn't understand the love that Christ had for me until you popped out of your comfy 9 month uterine lined home? I couldn't believe he had given you to me, and that you were all MINE!!(and your daddy's too) I would never give you up for anything!

Oh- and did I tell you that I was drugged up real nice for your labor?...

Did you know that I cried the whole way back to our apartment? I kept looking at you in awe of how beautiful, how perfect, how amazing you were. You were the best thing that ever happened to me, and I was in love!

Did I ever tell you that I would dress you up from head to toe everyday even if we weren't going to leave the house? It was so much fun, and you were SOOO cute!

Did you know that you had a natural mohawk? It was rockin'.

Did I ever tell you that you were the most handsome little boy that there ever were? Everywhere we'd go, people would say how adorable you were. I would just agree. I mean, look at your mom and dad, how could you not be? ;)

Dear Brayden, did I ever tell you that you grew up way too fast? That I still have a hard time saying that I have a 3 year old, because its hard for me to believe? Or that even when you have driven me crazy all day, after you are in bed, I still watch you sleep and hope that you will wake up just so I can tell you I love you? Did you know that you are still to this day the best thing that has ever happened to me, and not a day goes by that I am not still in love with those brown eyes? Did I ever tell you that no matter what ever happens you will always be my baby boy?

Dear Braxton,

Did I ever tell you that your daddy and I were ecstatic when we found out we were having another baby? I took maybe 3 or 4 pregnancy tests..just to make sure..

Did you know that I tipped the 200 scale when I was pregnant with you?..

Did you know that the whole time the nurses and doctors were flipping out about your heart rate going up and down, me and God were talking, and he told me you would be fine? Did you know that you came out just as healthy as He said you would, and my heart grew more than I knew it could.

Did I ever tell you that you came out as a cuddlebug.. and you still are :)

Did you know that you slept in a swaddle wrap until you were 4 months old? and you never let me get a full nights sleep? You were up at least 3 times in the night, but it made me feel good that you needed me so much.

Did I ever tell you you used to suck your thumb?

And that you gave the thumb up for the paci? Which we still cant get away from you...

Did you know that you give AWESOME kisses? You are such an affectionate little boy, so full of love, and you have so much to give!!

Did I ever tell you that you are the sweetest baby boy? You have a demeanor that is all your own, and you keep us wrapped around your little finger. You are very particular, and you talk through grunts, but daddy and I understand your language. Your laugh is infectious, your smile is contagious. Your appetite is enormous, and your attitude is even bigger. I love to cuddle with you, and I love your random kisses throughout the day. You made me into a better mommy, I love you more than anything, and you too, will always be mommys baby boy!

Dear my sweet little boys,

Do you know how much I love you two? I never could have predicted that this moment was the start of something so epic.

You loved each other from the start...

Did I ever tell you guys that I was crying so hard when I took this picture, that I could barely take it? I couldnt understand how I had two perfect little angels.

Did you know that your daddy loves his boys so much, that he goes above and beyond to make sure that you have everything you could ever want and need?

Did I ever tell you you're even cute as punkins'?

Brayden- did you know that you are the best big brother in the world?

Dear Brayden and Braxton, did you know theres nothing that Daddy and I wouldnt do for you? You two fill our lives with so much joy! We are so thankful for you two, and dont know what we would do without you. We pray we do the job that God has given us, and raise you two to be awesome individuals. You have taught us so much, and we love you, and are so happy that you love each other so much as well!

It's a BOY!... AGAIN!!

So, another boy it is! I seriously thought I would be sad if it wasn't a girl, but I still cried (like I always do) with tears of happiness, excitement, graciousness, and gratitude. I don't know why it takes the gender determination for me to feel like we are actually having a baby.. maybe it's seeing the little man move around, or seeing his little heartbeat.. I really don't know. I am so overwhelmed with God's love, that it's hard for me to even say much today without crying. Brendan is more than excited. Daddy loves his little boys! He's actually sitting next to me with a pen and pad, writing down baby names, ha ha. I told him he could choose the name this time, with very little input from me.. He's in heaven! Brayden is so excited. He loves his little brother, so why wouldn't he want another boy? They are going to be a blast.. oh man it's crazy to think about having 3 crazy little guys running around the house!!

Thank you everyone for your congratulations, we are still basking in the bliss of new life, and thanking God for everything he has given us!! So here are some pictures of our sweet new baby boy :) It was so much fun watching him, and seeing the boys' reactions when he would move. The sonographer had to bother him a little bit to get him so show us his face, and at one point, he totally rolled over and turned his back on us!! It was SO funny!! I am so glad we recorded this, it was probably one of the most memorable experiences that I will ever have. I will post the video tomorrow, it is taking too long to load, and I need to go to bed!! Night!

his little hand resting under his chin

his sweet little profile! Love it!

that lip kills me!

-The Banks Family(of five)

Things my hubby says...

I love my husband more than anything on this Earth. You would think after 3 years of marriage, and 2 pregnancies that he would know how and what to say to a hormonal wreck of a wife in her first trimester.

When he got home from work today, he asked if I had ironed his clothes for work for the next day, and as usual these days, it was a no. He then looks at me and says, "This is your last pregnancy because I cant do this again." Which wasnt too bad of a thing to say, it was understandable..

Then I told him, "This has to be a girl, because I was never this tired, right?" He then says, "Well, being tired and being lazy are two different things."

Needless to say, he may go to work tomorrow missing an extremity.
Or with just a really wrinkled shirt.

-The Banks Mama

The Rights to my uterus...

So, obviously someone failed to tell me as I was growing up that I didn't own the rights to my uterus. I thought that surely, if it was in MY body, that I owned it? Apparently not. I think I am going about this the wrong way.

I am suppose to first ask anybody and everybody if its okay for me to have more than one child, how long I am suppose to wait to have another one, and oh yeah, how many exactly can I have? And then, wait for approval from EVERYONE before I give my husband the go ahead to release the soldiers.

I'm so tired of hearing, "So, y'all are done after this right?" "Is 3 it?" "You know what causes that?" "Whats the rush?" "How many do you plan on having?"

The answer is no, if we choose to not be done, then we will not be done. We know what causes a baby, as a matter of fact its one of our favorite nighttime (and sometimes daytime) activities. The rush is non-existent. There was never a "rule" on how long you had to wait in between conceiving another child. If there is, someone PLEASE let me know, because I am severely breaking a law! And finally, we plan on having 85. 85 children, one after the other. We are going to name them all B names, and when we run out of "B" names, we will just start calling them "B1, B2, B3,..and so on"

Also, what drives me insane is that people act like children are a burden. I LOVE my babies to death. They make my life worth living. Nothing makes my heart more happy then to see these two beings that were created by love! They love us, and they love each other, and they will be awesome productive members of society, as will all of our 85 children. Maybe 86, we haven't decided yet..

I think that every time I get a negative comment, or a rude, derogatory statement covered up by a chuckle, I shall collect money from that person. Because CLEARLY they are going to help me raise and support my children, since it concerns them so much?.. Or, no, they will come see them more often, like, hmmm every weekend? No, lets make it a month, okay, maybe even once a year...

You catch my drift?

Its MY uterus, and I'll use it how I want. If you feel any other way, keep it to yourself :) Thanks!


1st Trimester Pregnancy Survival Kit

Since I am a prego pro, I have a survival kit for the first trimester... I have been SO fatigued! I sleep probably 18 hours a day.. I lethargically take care of my babies. I am so happy they have each other because mommy has been pretty useless these past couple of weeks. I hope this doesnt last long! Pregnancy does some amazing weird things to you!! But, heres my survival kit...

B6, Calcium, Prenatal, and Iron to be exact.

I didnt take B6 with either of my previous pregnancies, but it seems to ease my tummy a little better. Not so much with morning sickness, but Im not as bloated, and Im "regular" tee hee.


I dont play with heartburn.

Stretchy Pants:

Because Im not big enough for maternity clothes, but too bloated for my regular pants, I stock up on these.


Because no one cries more than a stay at home pregnant mom of two year old, and one year old. Everything makes me cry. From commercials, to getting dressed to changing diapers, to folding clothes, to breathing... EVERYTHING makes me cry.

Preggie Pop Drops:

These seem to help me, when Im eating them. I used em with both pregnancies and I like them but morning sickness is just inevitable!

-The Banks Mama

And baby makes five...

Surprise! We are expecting again... We are 7 weeks, and due around November 20 (ya-ya's birthday)

So there is baby seahorse! God is amazing!

-The Banks Family


So I feel so bad for not updating the blog now that I know so many of you read it!! Its just amazing how time flies, and and how little energy you have when you have to keep up with a toddler, and try to balance being as big as a house!!! I will try to update more regularly!!!

So since October, ALOT has happened!

-Jaalisa stopped working
-Brendan GRADUATED!!!!!!

-Brendan started working for the family pharmacy, and is still waiting to be hired by a police department!! He has 2 tests this month, one for Garland, and one for Grand Prairie Police Department. He also has an interview for Arlington PD in May which is looking VERY PROMISING :)

We are thankful that God has continued to bless us so tremendously. Brayden has been learning more and more everyday!! He now knows his Alphabet, Colors, and some numbers!! He is so smart!! he loves loves loves lightning Mcqueen! We watch CARS about 3453234 times a week, but its okay, its a pretty good movie :) He is still a joy, and its amazing to watch him grow and learn everyday...

And last but not least, we have a new addition (as if you didn't know)

Introducing Braxton Robert Banks

He was born On March 1st, 2010 at 5:09 am weighing 7 lbs 9 oz, and measuring 20 inches long..

He came here so fast, we are still sort of in shock..
I started having contractions Sunday night at 11:20 pm. They started at 3 MINUTES APART!! There was no "early labor" I had a couple that morning around 11, but they stopped around 12.. so I really had no other warning other than having that "motherly instinct" something just told me the baby was going to come that night... oh and there was a full moon! So I waited about 20 minutes, and sent my aunt who was also my doula, and Brendan this picture...

I was timing my contractions with an application that i downloaded on my iphone.. my aunt calls and says, are you at the hospital??? Then Brendan calls and says, Soooo why are you not at the hospital?? So I waited for about 5 more contractions, then told Daddy that it was time... So he got home as fast as he could, which was about 40 minutes, because he couldn't find his keys at work, and my grandma had to go pick him up.. while I waited for them to get back, I finished packing my bag, and got dressed to try to keep my mind off of the contractions that were getting progressively more intense.

As soon as he got here, We loaded up the van, and rushed to the hospital!! When we got there around 1 am, the nurse checked me, and I was 4 CENTIMETERS!! I then immediately asked when I could get in a room and get my IV started, because we were still in triage. It took about 30 more minutes to get us into a room, and when my delivery nurse checked me, I was 5 cm. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally got my IV started, and with the support of my mom, grandmother, aunt(doula) and my husband whose hand was about to fall off, I got through another hour of hard contractions. Finally, I got my epidural, and was 6-7 cm.

About 20 minutes later, the nurse came rushing in because the baby's heart rate was dropping. She kept switching my position to try to get it to come back up, but it was still up and down... Then my doctor came in and broke my water and put an internal monitor on the baby.. Still his heart rate was up and down.. My doctor said it was probably his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, and that he needed to come out ASAP.

So as soon as I was complete, we started pushing... that was at 4:50, .. My doctor told me I had one more try or I was going to have to have an emergency C-Section, so i pushed with all my might, and Braxton Robert Banks was born at 5:09 am!!!

It was his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck after all, but in the end, he was a healthy baby!! All of the nurses kept saying that he was so cute, that they couldn't even be mad at him for causing such a ruckus!!! They were all smitten, and so were we!! We just couldn't get over how much he looked like his brother!!

So after spending Monday night in the hospital, Everything looked good, and we were discharged Tuesday afternoon, and have enjoyed having our whole family at home!! Brayden hasn't been jealous, he tells the baby "don't cry baby" or he will say "hi baby".. so he has been very good! I cant say he is loving being a big brother yet, but he will get there eventually!!

So, hope that was a good enough update!! I will try to update AT LEAST once a month!! Sorry guys!!

-The Banks Family!!


So, sorry for not updating.. wow its sad that last time we did was 8 weeks ago, but if you knew what all has transpired in the last 8 weeks, you would definitely understand why.

Well, first off, We have relocated. Well sorta. Well okay, let me explain. Here is our calendar of events.

*Told our landlord that Brendan graduates in November, so we would have to rent month to month after our lease was up on September 1st.
* August 1st, landlord says that's not gonna work, renew your lease and sign a 6 month or 12 month lease.
* We say... well a few words that cant be stated, but we know we don't want to move somewhere else in Ruston for just 3 months...
* New plan : Jaalisa takes all online classes, takes the offspring, moves to Texas ahead of Brendan.
* Brendan moves into a house with FOUR other guys, stays there Monday through Friday afternoon, back in Texas every Friday night through Sunday night.
* Jaalisa gets a job as Lead pre-school teacher at the Children's Academy in Mansfield. Full- Time, 8:30 - 5:30 M-F...
* Brendan gets on Campus job, working at night from 10:30 pm - 2:30 am

So, does that explain enough?? We have spent JUST the WHOLE month of September trying to get acclimated to our new lifestyle/ schedules. So far its not too bad, we stay busy during the week, and by Friday night, we are in each others arms again. Not too bad, just a small sacrifice that we were willing to make for the sake of our future family of FOUR!!!

Brayden hasn't noticed much of a change. All he has noticed is that every morning he goes to a school, and mommy happens to pop up at random times during the day and then disappears again. Brayden actually loves his new school, and i love that i get to see him ALL day. He is ALREADY spoiled by his teachers, and it makes us happy! Our baby needs to be spoiled! Ha, ha!! The new baby is still incubating, we are 17 weeks along now, and scared that I will be double the size i was with Brayden. And believe me folks, that's scary!!

Daddy is doing well, just schooling it up!! less than TWO MONTHS!!!! He will be an official Louisiana Tech Alumni. Oh, and he has the most severe case of senioritis that anyone could ever have!!

So, that's all for now, in the busy life of the Banks Bunch! We will try to update at least once a week :) Don't hold it against us if we don't!!!

- The Banks Family


Whoo! Sorry we havent updated, its been a little hectic around here. Brendan has been working in the evening this week, so we spend whatever minutes we can squeeze in with each other when we can. We cant believe summer is almost over! Brendan is excited, but nervous also.. this will be his FINAL quarter of school as an undergraduate!!! Im super stoked for him, but he is going to have some withdrawals.. everyday he says "babe, i dont know what i want to be when i grow up" haha but I tell him, hey, me either, so dont worry! Theres so many options, and we just dont want to stick to the norm.. We are extreme non-conformists, which doesnt help a bit!!

I told him i wanted to do something that no one has ever heard of, like become a museum interior designer, or create different kinds of night lights or something.. im strange, i know. Sometimes Brendan has to just shake his head and smile. But, i just dont want to be like anyone ive ever met. I wanna be different. So anyways, enough about that.

We had a doctors appt last Thursday, and an ultrasound on Monday, and everything looks good. On Monday, baby banks was measuring right at 8 weeks, 2 days, so we were right on track. The heartbeat was strong, and he/she was wriggling away. This time around is so different. With Brayden, everything excited us, now we're like eh.. yeah, my bellys gettin bigger.. big whoop. Oh, we have a doctors appt.. great. Ha ha with more enthusiasm of course, but I guess the second time around, its different because we've been through this before, well JUST went through this, so we are still i guess in shock. Everyone says it wont hit until we get home from the hospital with baby #2, and we're going to realize that we have 2 kids, that we cant give back. But, we are ready, nonetheless. I have been having morning sickness out of this world. By the way, i want to find whoever coined the term "morning sickness" and kick them in the gut, because it is by NO means in the morning. Brendan calls it 24/7 sickness. I havent been having any weird cravings, just have been nauseous and EXHAUSTED! UGH! by the end of the day, i just want to sleep for the rest of the week!! I cant wait until this first trimester is over so i can have my energy and my appetite back. Brendan says he cant wait either, so he can "have his wife back".. whatever, uncontrollable moodswings come with this package :)

Brayden has finally cut another tooth, and has been a little less cranky. He is trying to readjust his schedule. We moved his bedtime from 7:30 to around 8-8:30, and he wakes up between 6-7:00 am. Too early for us, but.. it could ALWAYS be worse! So were are grateful! But he is still the happy little bouncy boy! I think in the dictionary, next to "silly" there should be a picture of Brayden. He is such a clown. He just does the most outrageously hilarious things.. he's so particular about everything he does. Whoo he keeps us busy, also. He can run soo fast! I wish Brendan would let me put him on a leash.. I'm a little scared, i dont know how im going to chase that little critter when im wobbly and round...

So, thats what has been going on with us the past week or so. We have been in constant prayer, asking what God has in store for us, and he just keeps telling us we will know in time.. its super exciting, but at the same time, we are like, okay, wellll Brendan graduates in less than 3 months!! but, we shall see what the Lord has in store for us!!!

Here is a verse that has inspired me all throughout this week. Thank you Aunt Suzy for the inspiration!

Galations 6: 9-10

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Until next time,

-The Banks Family

Baby Banks # 2

So, we're having another baby! I think we have said that out loud about 25 thousand times, for the reality to actually set in.. we are going to have TWO kids!!!! We wanted to answer a couple of questions so we dont get bombarded with them.. because sometimes it can be a little overwhelming....

#1. Was it planned?
this is a question that I think can be a little too personal sometimes, depending on who's asking it, buttt since everyone decides to ask anyways.. It wasnt planned, but it wasnt prevented. We had just made up in our minds that if we got pregnant anytime after May, it would be okay, and then BOOM... but ultimately it wasnt up to us... God said it was time.

#2. Do you want a boy or a girl?
Brendan wants a girl, Jaa'Lisa wants a boy... but we will be happy either way :)

#3. How is Brayden taking this?
We dont think he has any clue! But maybe as time goes on, he will start to understand.

#4.When is the baby due?
March 13, 2010
which makes me 7 weeks.

#5. What are you going to do with two babies?
Love them, and have fun.

#6.What about school?
Brendan graduates November 21, 2009.
Jaalisa will finish school in time...

#7. What is Brendan going to do when he graduates?
Whatever God leads him to do.

#8. Are you happy?
Of course we are! we want 5 kids!

SO, that should answer any questions that you may have!! As for the future, we have learned to solely rely on God, and he will let us know what it is that we are supposed to be doing, so honestly, we have no answer, because he hasnt let us know yet! But, when he does, we will fill you guys in ;)!!

- The Banks Family