Viewing entries tagged
Breland

I couldn't imagine my life without...

I couldn't imagine my life without...

My [handsome] husband, duh.
Mommy scares
Sippy cups.
 Mohawks.
 Dirty socks.
 Running.
 Falling.
 Dump Trucks.
 Hand-me-down tennis shoes (and mismatched socks)
 Destruction.
 Naptime.
 Sleepy eyes.
 Spit up.
 Unruly curls

 Top knots.
 [Homemade]Baby food.

To-do lists.
 Baby Gates.
Potty Training.
 Bicycles. [and cool shades]
 Strollers.
 SWAGGER WAGON!
 Family walks.
 Monkey boys.
Slides.
 Swings.
 Boobage. aka breastfeeding. aka human cow.

Weenie dawgs.

Sweet boys.

Baby giggles.
Bathtime.

What couldn't you imagine your life without?
Photobucket

And the award goes to...

I would like to thank you all for coming out tonight, we have had many candidates, but one mom has surpassed these other women. Tonight, the winner is... JAALISA BANKS!!
Yeah, yall. I did it. I dropped my baby. I was standing up, and I went to wipe the spit up from around his mouth, and he fell backwards out of my arms. It happened in a SPLIT second. My heart broke into a billion pieces when my baby started to cry. I rocked him, and apologized, and kissed him, and hugged him.

As I rubbed his head, I felt a little knot forming. We were at my grandparents house, so my grandma made me a little ice bag, and rubbed it on his knot. It was huge now! I worried, and panicked, you know, what I do best, and asked my grandma if I should take him to the hospital...

Yes, I had already decided he had a concussion.
I pictured him losing all his motor skills, and having to be fed through a tube.
I saw CPS showing up at my door, taking my kids away for child abuse.
Or, having a parent teacher conference.. "I am having some concerns about Breland in my class...was he dropped on his head as baby?"
I saw tabloids "President Banks refuses to release medical records. (Anonymous sources say his mother was abusive, starting at age 6 months)"

I called my aunt Merle, who is a nurse, and asked her what I should do. She said to go ahead and take him. I put him in his car seat, all the while worried that he would fall into a coma on the way to the hospital. Well, he stopped my worrying, when as soon as I strapped him in, he started to scream.

I called Brendan, who was in Crowley working a case, and told him what had happened. Now, if you know anything about my hubs, you know that our children have to borderline be on their deathbed to even go to the doctor. I was praying that he wouldn't question why I was taking him, or tell me to just meet him somewhere so he could check him. He couldn't really hear me through Brelands shrieks, and I was getting frustrated. After telling him I would call him when I got there, he text me "A patrol car is bringing me, I will meet you there"

I cried, because I was scared, and I cried because I needed my man there with me. He is my rock. We got to the hospital, and as I filled out paperwork, a the registration lady says "You got medicaid?" I said,no.. In return she says, oh, and crosses out somewhere she had me initial. REALLY lady??!!!


Anyways, after that, we sat down, and waited. Nurses kept coming to see Breland, and kept saying how CUTE he was, and that he looked okay. We were called back to a room, and then in came my superman, in his bulletproof vest, looking like an FBI agent. He scooped Breland up, and hugged and kissed him, then asked me if I was okay.. After Breland smiled at him, he winked at me, letting me know everything was going to be all right. He then said, "Its okay, it's not your fault, accidents happen"

Yeah, they do, but I still felt so TERRIBLE!! Our nurse then told us that her baby got her first cat scan at 6 months, so I shouldn't feel bad. I still did. Finally, after waiting, the doctor came in right as I was finishing nursing Breland. He checked him out and said everything looked fine, but that he was going to order a cat scan, to make sure. The nurse came in, and asked which parent was going. I stood up, but then she said, "well, we usually take dad, in case mom might be pregnant." ..whatever dude. So, hubs went, and was back in five minutes. Breland was clearly not happy about what had just went down.

The nurse brought us some warm blankets, and said it would be 45 minutes for the results, so she dimmed the lights, and I nursed and rocked my sweet boy to sleep. Poor Brendan at this point, had almost been awake for 24 hours. He dozed off too, and I just held Breland and thanked God for everything being okay. Doc came back, said results were normal, and after paying our 100.00 copay, and probably meeting our deductible, we were sent home. But, with a healthy baby. That's all that mattered!!

After a good nights rest, Breland is fine, he slept with us, and he woke up this morning just as happy as can be.... Let me let him explain it..




So, tonight, I accept the award for worst mother of the year. I would like to first, thank God, because your grace is everlasting. And secondly, my husband, because without you, I'd be lost. And last, all of my family, and friends, for your support.



Photobucket

Welcome to my house..

Welcome to my house,
Where manners are a must.
Where noise is at a maximum,
Where the toilet seat is always up.

Welcome to my crib,
Where we may not have on clothes.
Or we may be in our pajamas,
Or still in our robes.

Welcome to my jungle,
Where little bear cubs run amuck,
The middle one scavenges for food,
While the oldest organizes his trucks.

Welcome to mi casa,
Where my boobs are always out.
Where a baby is probably latched,
Where there's spit-up on the couch.

Welcome to my chaos,
Where there's almost always confusion,
Where mommy is sometimes crying,
Wondering if this is the day she'll get put in an institution.

Welcome to my dungeon,
Where I ruin my kids lives.
Where I make them eat their veggies,
When they'd rather have burgers and fries.

Welcome to my sanctuary,
Where Christ always comes first.
Where we pray before everything,
Where we thank God, even when things are at their worst.

Welcome to my house,
Where we welcome you,
Just bring mommy something,
Like a margarita or two.



-The Banks Mama

A very THOMAS birthday


After Braxton's birthday party, Brayden kept telling us that he did NOT want a birthday party. All he wanted to do was to see Thomas and his friends. Little did he know, Thomas would be visiting Grapevine vintage railroad on the day of his birthday. When he woke up, we had the hallways full of balloons! Here are pictures of his special day. We had a great time. Thanks to all our family and friends who has to almost dedicate every weekend in April to us, and our birthdays! We love yall!!


 

















 Brayden and his BFF, his granddaddy :)




 THOMAS!
 Thomas is HERE?!
 Over the moon..
He is determined to patent an NFL baby carrier :/



 The conductor said "I better not go on FACEBOOK" haha
Tight Squeeze on the train..
 Mimi, and Jack Jack



If yall only knew how much this kid loves trains!


 Me and my sister stayed up making these cupcakes. Worth it! Brayden loved them!!

Brelands BFF, Mr. Brock-E-Brock. So handsome.

 Oh uncle Chad..







-The Banks Mama

Just one of those days...

Ever had one of those days where you just wanted to throw in the towel? Let me tell ya, today was one of those days. I just wanted to say, REALLY? THIS IS HOW ITS GONNA BE?!!

It was just one thing, after another, after another.

Sometimes, when in the midst of a storm, it's hard to see a way out. I know I am the WORST with foretelling my own fate.

Example: Brayden falls off the bed, and hits his head. Before he lets out his first cry, I've already given him a concussion, with trauma to the brain, and declared that he will never be able to ever bump his head again or he will die instantly...

Or if Brendan doesn't reply to a text fast enough, or answer his phone.. I've already pictured Brendan's corporal showing up at our house to tell me the unfortunate news about him being killed in the line of duty, while rescuing orphans from a burning building during a tornado...

Crazy, huh?

Psalm 112:6-8 says 

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. 

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
My foe? Lately has been fear. Why I let it consume me, I don't understand. Some days are good, some days are not so good. Today- not so good. 
I find that God always finds a way to make humor out of certain situations, in such a way, that I KNOW it is Him..
Today, as we do every Wednesday, we went to drop Brayden off at AWANA. As usual, we had Hundsley with us, because while he is at AWANA, the kids and I go to my grandparents house, and eat dinner, and watch American Idol. Hundsley has a play date with my grandmas dog, Pierre. Well, I got out of the car, left it running, with Braxton, Breland, and Hundsley still inside as I ran Brayden in, and ran right back out.I get to the car, the car is locked. The CAR is LOCKED. With my kids inside. RUNNING, on EMPTY. (sh, don't tell Brendan, I didn't have time to get gas) So, I immediately went into normal Jaalisa panic mode.
Brelands going to starve.
Braxton's going to freak out, and be scarred for life.
He'll never want to ride in the car again.
Oh my gosh, what will people think?
I left my kids in the car for 15 seconds.
I'm a terrible mom.
Someone could have driven off with them.
I'm going to be on the news.
Great, and they will interview Brendan at work.
The headline in the paper will say "COPS WIFE LEAVES KIDS UNATTENDED IN CAR. SENTENCED TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE"
I'll have to join a prison gang.
And learn to play poker so I can win cigarettes.
I'll have to start smoking to look tough. 
I'll get lung cancer.
I'll die in prison.
My headstone will say: Daughter, wife, sister, TERRIBLE mom.
As I'm thinking all this, I notice a guy we used to have bible study with is standing next to my car. I told him what I did, and he laughed, and said his wife had done the same thing, many a times. He lets me use his phone to call Brendan.
As he walks me to my car, Hundsley comes up to the door, and starts barking at him. Then it clicked! HUNDSLEY locked the doors!! She likes to get in the front seat when I get out, and she must have stepped on the lock button! Before I could even finish that sentence, the sweet guy was trying to aggravate Hundsley even more so she would step on the button again! It worked!!
I jerked the door open, gave him a heck of a high five, promised to name my fourth born after him, and drove to the gas station. While there, I was talking to my twin, and we both just had to laugh at the way God reassured me that once again, like always, he had my back.
It's something that I should know. That I DO know, but still sometimes it manages to slip away. I love that God knows me better than I know myself, and He knows how to make me snap back into reality, and leave me in a place where all I can do is thank Him, even when I've had the worst day.

Thank you, for knowing that sometimes for a second, I may lose sight. Thank you for always helping me find my way back. Thank you for loving me, even when I don't trust in you. Thank you. Amen.

-The Banks Mama


Yellow!

The boys wore yellow today, and I mean, they are cute in ANY color, but they were extra cute today. So we had a mini shoot in the nursery!!... Braxton was asleep. Poor baby missed out. But I love these moments.. Brayden loves his baby brother so much!!

 Brelands first hat :)



 Goofy kid..

 Handsome boy!

 Photographers kids are terrible models.. this is him sitting up straight :/

 Through with pictures..
 Breland: Mom, help..
 same face!
 "When you're not strong"...
Melt my heart!




I mean, do I make some cute kids or what? I can't believe Brayden will be FOUR next week!! How did this happen?!!!

-The Banks Mama

Camo baby

So, I had 4 photoshoots today!! Busy day. I had a little time between one to come home and eat lunch with Brendan, who was here with the baby. When I came home, I wasn't surprised at all what daddy had dressed him in! This outfit was bought for Brayden, and has been worn now by all 3 of my bubbies!! I always have to get pictures of them in it!!! Thank you aunt BG!! We love and miss you!!



 angel baby
 this one his hilarious....



Hope everyone has an awesome Easter! We are celebrating at home with some of our friends! Thank you Jesus for dying for me!!


-The Banks Mama

Tummy Time and a Nose Bleed.

Today, we had our first nose bleed. Brayden was running around, playing, and laughing, then that laughter turned to screams and tears. My poor son has his mommys clumsy gene, and he has it baddd. He ran into his bed, and hit his nose. It only bled a little, but I am very sqeemish. Not to blood, but when my babies are hurting it makes me physically hurt, I can feel their pain, and it makes me so sad its almost unbearable. Especially when I didn't see it happen. I replay it in my mind, and it gives me the chills. You would think with 2 little boys, I'd be over this, but not the case. I'm so glad that today was one of hubbys off days, because I would have flipped. While hubby was tending to Brayden, I had to remove myself. I was convinced he had a concussion so hubby told me to leave. (I also tend to over exaggerate)

So, I took Braxton and we did a little tummy time with Breland.

I love moments like these. Just laying on the floor with my sweet babies. Breathing in their freshness, peering into the innocence of their big brown eyes, kissing those chubby cheeks, laughing at their silly sounds, tickling their tummies. It's what life is all about.















Also, here a few pictures of Breland's nursery. It's not finished, I've got a couple more things to do... I just need some drawer pulls for his dressers, and a rug. And yes, his room is BRIGHT! But I love it!










Brayden was okay, just a little bleeding, and it was over. His nose looked swollen to me, but Brendan said it was all in my head. Poor baby. I know eventually with 3 boys, I will look back at this and laugh, because nose bleeds will probably be a regular occurrence in the Banks house!

-The Banks Mama

Best $5.00 ever spent!

We went to Walmart today to pick up some prints, and get a couple of other things. Braxton is OBSESSED with balls. (get your laughs out) but he LOVES to play with them (laugh again). When we passed the ball cage, he so sweetly said "BALL?" so, I grabbed two of them. When we got home they immediately wanted to play with them. I parked my van across the driveway, and let them have at it. They had so much fun. It's crazy how something so simple as a big bouncy ball can make them SO happy!! I love watching them have fun together. I love that they are best friends... Here are some pictures I snapped.

















He is SO ready to play with his brothers. He laughs at them all day.



Look at this, they double as chairs/exercise balls. haha

we were taking a moment to listen to the train go by.

Braxton REALLY loves trains, if you can't tell.

They also make really good foot rests for mama.


snack break.

Child, Please.

SOMEBODY'S appetite is back.

Mr. Handsome.

CHEESE :)


Oh, and I still have been doing my 365 love letters, I just haven't had time to edit!

-The Banks Mama

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

Snapshot Saturday

I would like to start a weekly post called "Snapshot Saturday" I haven't figured out how to make links yet so you can link your own blog, so for now, if you would like, just leave the link your blog in my comments. I look forward to seeing your sweet snapshots!!




 
Maybe he thought we were going on vacation?
The progression of Braydens smile..

CHEESE!

Handsome

Just Chillin with my bro

FREEZE!!

STOP RIGHT THERE!


The kid loves to eat, and his Ellie


Mommy, I'm on the Jolly Roger!

Yo ho ho!

sweet boy
Eating, what I do best.

my shadow. cool, minus the ruffles that make me look deformed!

My handsome Husband, aka the reason I keep having babies. Yum.



Me- EW. Hubby thinks I'm beautiful!

boo...
Front of our house. We love our bulldogs!
If you haven't heard, Hundsley got into a fight. With two cats. And lost. Miserably.. Here is her swollen face the next day. Poor girl.



And sweet baby Breland, who was sleeping inside :) Love that face.



Hope you enjoyed!

-The Banks Mama!




Make him a great boy.

-anonymous






There are so many times when I beat myself up about being too hard on my boys. I make them clean up their own messes, use their manners, address adults as "sir" and "ma am", chew with their mouths closed, and lots of other things.


Way too often, we will go out to eat, or go somewhere with other kids, and people will say, " They are so polite!" or " Your children are so well behaved" and I'm thinking, are they watching the same kids I am?! Sometimes I think they forget everything I teach them, but I guess what we are doing is paying off.

What's crazy to me is that their behavior isn't "the norm" I mean, shouldn't ALL kids say please and thank you? I think that it's only fair to teach your kids skills that they are always going to use as early as you can. It's our jobs as parents to make sure that we raise them the best way possible.

 I'm sure this will be a topic I blog about way too often, so I'm going to ask for feedback. What do you think?


-The Banks Mama

365 love letters, Day 1

I'm starting a project called 365(366) love letters. I follow a blog called Baby Making Machine, and I thought this was a cool idea! Its going to be a challenge to try to get all 3 of them in a picture each day! Look at hers here. I will probably post once a week, with that weeks pictures, and if not, I will put them on my love letters page. Here is day 1.




- The Banks Mama

Growth







Baby Breland is almost 3 months old! I cannot believe it! Time goes by so fast. It seems like he's always been a part of our family, but then we're like wait, wasn't he just born yesterday?

The big "B" next to him hangs above his crib. I always decorate letters for the boys to hang above their cribs, and since we didn't know what his name was going to be until an hour after he was born, I opted to just paint a big ol' B! I plan to take a monthly pic until he is one, to track his growth! He is already a little chunkers (check out those rolls)

Isn't he just precious? I love those pouty lips!

-The Banks Mama

Brock and Breland

About a year and half ago, we were blessed wit some awesome friends. Chad and Brendan met while testing to become police officers, and immediately were bffs. They then set up a meeting so their wives could meet, and the rest was history.



Kristin and I have since become as close, and we even got pregnant at the same time with boys! Brock and Breland are 3 weeks apart, and now our sweet baby boys are now 11 and 8 weeks! We love getting together while our hubbies talk about boring police stuff and we can yak about how they drive us crazy. Just joking, but not really.. haha

Big with our boys


Brock and Breland at 1 and 4 weeks

  

with our sweet boys




sttreeettttcchh Brock, stretch!


 Brock and Breland at 8 and 11 weeks





They are destined to be bffs :)

-The Banks Mama




Another Christmas...

Well, another Christmas has passed. I love Christmas time. I love the smells, the music, the joy in random people you meet, the love, the family, and most importantly, the birth of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins.

This Christmas was a special one for us. This was the first Christmas morning we spent together with just our little family. Every Christmas since we have been married, we have been with our families on Christmas morning. Not that we don't love that too, it was just crazy that it was just us. We woke up at 7am, and actually had to wake the boys up to open their gifts. We recorded it, didn't take any pictures, at all... Brendan and I weren't quite conscious.

After the boys got done opening all their gifts, and were playing with wide eyes, Brendan and I groggily mumbled a "merry Christmas" to each other. Brendan said "Is this how all parents feel on Christmas morning?" We were exhausted the WHOLE day! But, it was totally worth it. As I was going over the video just now, I was just thinking about how our family has grown so much since our first Christmas!!!

2007

 

2008


2009


2010


 2011





We are so so blessed!! Its crazy how much our family has grown!! I can't imagine not having these silly boys!! Merry Christmas, and happy new year!

-The Banks Mama

Jean Alice

Today, we made a visit to see my great grandmother, Jean Alice Humphrey. I tell ya, there ain't a more beautiful 81 year old lady than her. There is nothing more comforting than that smell when you first walk in your great grandmothers house. I love talking to her, and looking around her house, at the old pictures, and antique collectibles. She always manages to tell me to make sure I "have a hat on that babies head or he'll catch the colics"... She will always have a space heater on, and the all the burners on the gas stove burning for extra heat.  It still takes me back when I walk in, expecting to turn the corner and see my great grandfather Alton, in his wheelchair watching TV. He is gone now, but his ramp down to the den is still there, a little reminder that he is still there with us. I love the way her hair is always perfectly curled, and the radiant silver sheen that it has. I always like to get a picture with her and the boys when they are babies.


my grandfather and great grandmother

great grandmother and I
 
LOVE her hands



I want them to remember her long after she is gone. It makes me sad to one day think that she won't be here to see what kind of men they become, the women they marry, their children, and grand children, and even GREAT grandchildren.

It's sad to think about, but that's life. What makes it better for me is to think that this all would not be possible if it had not been for her. It all started with her, meeting a handsome young man named Alton, falling in love, getting married, and starting a family... It's crazy to think that so much can happen just from two people falling in love....

And now, because Brendan and I fell in love, that we have 3 children to carry on our legacy, and that a piece of us will live on forever...

I am so thankful that she has gotten to see all of her great great grandchildren. Nothing makes me more happy than when she tells me how proud she is of me, and that I have a beautiful family. There really is no better feeling....

Without her,  I wouldn't have 3 beautiful little boys, who light up my life everyday....





and an amazing man who has given me everything I ever wanted, and a life I thought was only imaginable in my wildest dreams....

Thank you Jean Alice! I love you so much!



-The Banks Mama









Oh Christmas Tree...

So last weekend, we put up our Christmas tree! The boys had lots of fun hanging the ornaments, and we had tons of fun rearranging them lol. We also made salt dough ornaments! They didn't come out so great, so I didn't post a picture of the final product, but we had fun making them! It's weird to think that little things like this turn out to be traditions.

One day, our great grand kids will be making salt dough ornaments with their kids!! AH! any who, not much to say tonight, enjoy the pictures!

 handsome guys!

 "I didn't do it"


 "our first Christmas together 2007"
 poor Breland.. we got this as a gift one year


 gotta have a couple o Tech ornaments!
 This was my ornament for Braydens first Christmas, but it is totally relevant now!
 This is Braydens first Christmas ornament, looks JUST like Breland.. scary!
 Painting our ornaments...

and, just a few of tiny bubbas! getting big! 7 weeks today!



Sleep?

Sleep?... such a thing of the past.

I mean I was totally prepared for the zombie-ish like days and nights that I was about to face, but wasn't totally sure how zombie like I would be. I'm full force ZoMbIE mode yall!

Okay, so I exaggerate. Eh, It's what I do. Even though sleep is a thing of the past, and probably will be for a while, I signed up for this when I released my egg to those ever persistent Banks sperm. Tee hee.

Well, It's been five weeks, and we have kind of changed our routine, but not too much. I constantly worry about spending enough one on one time with the boys. It's so hard, because well one, I have a little leech on me every hour,and two, they are SO INDEPENDENT. Sometimes I forget that they are 22 months apart. They act like they were in utero together. I think I'm just here to keep em fed and to kiss their boo boo's!

Braxton is always following his big brother around, and it has to be one of the cutest things in the world. That is, until Brayden turns their room into an obstacle course, and they are jumping from one bed to the other- but that's another story. They love playing together, and I think, well I know, that God knew what he was doing when he made those two so close together.

So, anyhow, I have to make sure I get some mommy time in there somewhere. Sometimes we will play trains, or read books, or even just snuggle on the couch and catch up on some Team Umizoomi...

Now as for our tiny Bubbas- He obviously doesn't know he's the third child. Or maybe he just thinks he's the last.. he is HIGH MAINTENANCE!! He rigorously eats every hour or hour and a half. Sweet boy never misses a feeding. He also has to be the GASSIEST newborn I've ever encountered! LOL Brendan thinks it hilarious how much he farts. I mean all day long. Of course the older boys thinks its the funniest thing in the world. (they love to fart) Lord, help me!!

All that to say, Breland is the cutest, hungriest, sweetest, gassiest, most precious baby in the whole wide world, and we love him to pieces!!

As for sleep, that will come in time, right now I'm just enjoying this whole can't-live-without-mommy-thing. I know there will come a time when I wish my babies needed me as much!

-The Banks Mama

Birth and Women's Center

I've been wanting to blog about my experience at the Birth Center, but haven't had time to sit down and gather my thoughts..


I still don't really, but I want to get them out before my memory fades more!





As you should all know, We had Breland at Birth and Womens Center in Dallas. I first heard about the center when I was pregnant with Braxton, but I never took the time to go tour and get more information.





After Braxton's birth was intervened so much, I was determined to never have a baby at a hospital again. I really wanted a home birth, but hubby said NO to that before I could fully get the words out of my mouth! I toured the birthcenter by myself first, and I was sold. The Victorian home is nestled in the heart of Downtown Dallas, in Deep Ellum. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. The house itself, perfect. The birthing room is as close as you can get to actually being at home!





When I took Brendan back, he was sold as well, and we started our prenatal appointments. At my first appointment, the sheer excitement that I got from the fact that I was able to bring my children, and actually have them be a part of this whole experience was AWESOME. The midwives like for the whole family to involved as much as they can. The boys got to play around with the Doppler, and hear the baby's heartbeat, Brendan even got to learn what the midwife was actually doing down there with that speculum ;)





As time got closer to delivery, we did extensive research, watched documentaries, and learned so much more about natural childbirth. It's exactly how it sounds. NATURAL. I learned about how we are made to give birth, how our body knows exactly what to do, and how to manage the pain.





I did prenatal pilates, studied on the Bradley Method, and got familiar with the Bradley exercises. I prepared myself mentally. I was determined to not be a screamer while I was in labor. I told myself that I would be calm, I would breathe, and I would have a baby, the way millions of women before me did.


I remember talking to NUMEROUS people, and they'd say, "WHAT? You're not going to a hospital?" or " NO DRUGS?????!!!!" that was the main one! I was like, YES, no hospital, and NO, NO DRUGS! It's totally possible! I was so ready. As time got closer, I started to rethink my decision. As I struggled with false labor, and intense Braxton Hicks, It got hard to keep my positive outlook on natural childbirth.





The night I went into labor, when I had those first couple of real contractions, I said out loud, "WHY DID I WANT TO DO THIS AGAIN?" It was so easy to try to psyche myself out, and find an alternative. But, I regathered, I took some deep breaths, and did everything I had learned to do. I managed my contractions by breathing techniques, alot of pelvic rocking, and walking. Walking around the house made my contractions faster and stronger. On the way to the birth center, I could only do breathing since we were in the car. That was the worst part for me. It was 45 minutes away, so I had to sit still for that long.





When we got to the center, it didn't even hurt for them to check me. I kept breathing, and when I got in the bathtub, it was like heaven. From what I gather from other women, you either hate the tub, or you love it... I absolutely LOVED it. If Breland had not have been a month early, I would have had him in the water. But, they wouldn't let me.





Once it came down to pushing, it was amazing how my midwife let everything totally up to me and my body. I remember being at the hospital, and they tell you when to push, how long to push, and even make you stop pushing even if you're having an intense urge to push. I knew when it was time to push, how long I needed to push, how hard to push. It was absolutely incredible. I will never forget feeling the "ring of fire" and knowing that with one last push, he would be here. And sure enough, Brendan told me to give him one more big push, and out popped his head!





Now although this whole experience was more amazing than I ever imagined, the best thing out of that was Brendan delivering our son. I will never forget the look in his eyes, and the excitement in his face as he handed me our baby boy. Breland never left me, he stayed on my chest until Brendan weighed him, and measured him. All done right by our bedside. He never left our sight the whole time we were there. The ladies on staff and nurses would come in to see him and hold him, and I loved that they were all so personal. We ordered from Cafe Brazil, and my midwife served husband and I both in bed. They regulated my blood sugar with orange juice, and made sure my bleeding was okay.





We were discharged at noon! We had Breland at 5:57 am, and were home by 1:00 pm. There aren't enough good things I can say about the birth center, or about this experience. It is something I will NEVER forget, and I am forever an advocate of natural birth. If we have another baby, we will definitely be back at the birth center! I will forever be grateful to them!





And as if that weren't enough, I, along with all the other moms who had babies in October were invited back for a tea. They call it the "Materni-TEA" we brought our babies, and all shared our birth stories. It was so cool, and so much fun! Here's a couple of shots from that day.




"Woah, you're in my personal space..."




"this is too much for me, I dont know yall like that"


" So how's this whole not being in a uterus thing workin out for you?"



"I'm just sayin, though, if you change your mind, there's room in my crib for two.. "











-The Banks Mama