Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

It's hard to believe that this Thanksgiving we got to celebrate as a family of 4, especially since Brayden's due date wasn't until December 4th. It has been a whirlwind of a week but an amazing week none the less. We have enjoyed having our new little, precious addition. Katelyn's still adjusting, but she loves to give her baby brother kisses. It's only when I'm nursing she sometimes tries to get into things she shouldn't. But overall I think the adjustment is going well. She's enjoying having my Mom here to give her attention.

This Thanksgiving I'm so thankful for all of our friends and family. We appreciate your thoughts, prayers, encouragement and support. I'm overwhelmed by how many wonderful friends I've made at MOPS and at Bible study and the prayer partner's I now have. You have all truly helped me to become a better wife, mom and friend and I'm truly grateful.

Yesterday we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving down at the beach. The weather was beautiful and the food was delicious. All the grandmas and great-grandmas got to love on Brayden and he loved every minute of it even though he was fast asleep through most of the afternoon. It has also been so neat to have my Mom here this year to celebrate with us. We are so grateful that she was able to fly out here to help us out.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you had a wonderful time with your friends and family. May you have a blessed rest of the holiday season.

Cooking with Grandma

Katelyn has been enjoying having my Mom here. She follows her around everywhere and has helped her clean our apartment and cook breakfast. I got some pictures of her helping my Mom cook Thanksgiving Cinnamon French Toast yesterday. It was so cute to watch her stir the eggs! I guess I'll have to include her while I cook more often once my Mom leaves. She sure seems to be enjoying it. I can't believe how grown up my baby girl is looking. It's hard to believe she's almost 18 months old.

Our handsome little man!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Brayden's 1st Check Up

Kyle and I took Brayden to the pediatrician today for his first check up since we left the hospital. They wanted to double check his weight since he had lost more than 10% of his weight in the hospital, his jaundice levels and his circumcision. We received great news! Brayden has gained 2 oz since leaving the hospital yesterday, his jaundice levels are nothing to worry about and his little wee wee looks great. The doctor was amazed by how alert he is and that he can roll onto his side. In fact he even did it while we were there! He's eating well and nursing has come more naturally with him than with Katelyn. Guess that's to be expected with my second. I'm producing so much milk this time around that I've pumped over 30 oz of milk in the last 2 days and it's all in bags in the freezer. It's good for 3-4 months, which is great because by then I'll be more than ready to introduce Brayden to the bottle. We are enjoying our new little bundle of joy so much!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Brayden's 1st Bath

Brayden had his first bath the day after he was born. The whole experience reminded me of when Katelyn had her first bath. He was so red from crying. Poor guy! He wasn't sure he liked the experience at all. I'm sure most babies don't the first time. Once we get him home and give him a couple more baths hopefully he'll love the water more. Katelyn was here visiting and she got to watch her baby brother get a bath. She was interested for about 10 seconds and then she was glad to get some cuddle time with mom.

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

Brayden has already figured out how to roll onto his side by himself. He's done it for the past 2 days in a roll. Even the nurses were amazed!

Big Sister, Little Brother

On Thursday morning Jan brought Katelyn by to meet her little brother for the first time. We've been talking to her for the past couple weeks a lot about having a baby brother and we were hoping that she would not only understand who he was when she met him, but be excited to finally see him. She had spent a lot of time up to Brayden's birth laying her head on my tummy and cuddling with me. I even went so far as to get Brayden little pj's with monkey's on them because Katelyn loves to tell everyone what the monkey says. I thought it might help them bond initially. The first picture below is so precious... it was Katelyn's very first reaction to meeting Brayden. Her huge smile was followed by "baby!" So cute! She loved meeting him and wanted to touch his head and point to the monkey on his jammies. She even blew him lots and lots of kisses. Not only did Katelyn do well meeting her baby brother she didn't even pitch a fit when it was time for her to leave and go home with Jan. She waved, blew kisses, grabbed her Gigi's hand and was out the door. I felt like she took the whole thing like a little adult. Hopefully she'll continue to love on him when we bring him home.

Cuddle time

First family photo

So Sweet!
Today Katelyn came to visit Brayden for the 3rd time. She walked over to where Jan was holding him, pulled back his beenie, kissed him on the forehead, and carefully put his beenie back on. We are so blessed to have such an amazing and joyful daughter. I just know that she and Brayden are going to be such good friends.

Over the last couple of days...

Brayden has had so many visitors. He has met his Great-Grandparents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncle, and close family friends. Some were able to come to the hospital and some Brayden met through Skype. As many of you know both my mom and dad don't live in CA, but they were able to meet Brayden through Skype as well as his Great Nana & Papa Brownlow and Great Grandpa and Grandma Bachran. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives. Thank you for all your prayers and support. We love you all!

Auntie Leah
Great-Nana & Papa Billings
Uncle Brendan and soon to be Auntie Ashtyn
Great-Nana, Ashtyn and Brayden
Betty & Brayden
GiGi Circle
Great Papa & Grandma Circle
Auntie Snefanie
Uncle Brendan
Grandpa Circle


Brayden Micah Circle!

Brayden's story: Early in the morning on Wednesday, November 18th, around 2:30 I woke up because I had begun feeling extreme back pain and contractions. I knew I was still 3 weeks early so I drank some fluids and tried to get some rest in hopes that they would subside. (Even though I was ready to be done being pregnant, I still was 24 hours away from Brayden being 37 weeks. After having a pretty sleepless night I woke up and after moving around a little my contractions seemed to not be as intense as they had been during the night. I decided to head to Bible study, spend some time with God, then come home and pack to head to the hospital in the afternoon.

Katelyn and I came home from Bible study, I put her down for a nap and attempted to do some packing and cleaning. Kyle and I decided around 3:30 that we should head to labor and delivery at Hoag just to monitor the contractions and the baby for a little while. We were pretty sure that we were going to get sent home because I was only 36 weeks and 6 days pregnant. We dropped of Katelyn with Doug and Jan and headed to Hoag. We got here and checked in around 5:30 and the monitoring began. After trying to have me walk the halls they put an iv in me to pump me up with fluids. Well the fluids increased my contractions from every 2-3 min. to every 1-2 min. and the pain was so incredibly intense. I guess I should mention that we hadn't even been admitted at this point because my cervix was still high and hadn't even dilated yet. Once the fluids kicked in, from 8:30pm-10:00 I dilated to 3 cm. Needless to say they saw the changes they needed to and I was considered in labor and ready for an epidural. At this point they admitted me and called my doctor to come in for my c-section. Dr. Feldman, my doctor, is amazing. It was his day off and he came in at 10:30 pm to do my c-section.

By 11:20 we were in the OR and I was prepped for surgery. Kyle and I joked that Katelyn was born at 11:44pm wouldn't it be amazing if Brayden was born at 11:44pm too. Well my doctor thought it was a great idea and he got me all cut open and ready and at 11:44pm Brayden was born. Amazing!!! Brayden cried for 10-15 minutes as they cleaned him up, checked his weight, and cut the cord. I got to hold him for a few minutes, but then they had to whisk him away to the nursery so they could check his oxygen and respiratory levels. He was really struggling to breathe.

My doctor sewed me up beautifully, he called his super model stitches and after spending time in recovery I was able to go see Brayden before heading to my recovery suite. Brayden spent the night in the nursery so they could monitor his respiratory rate. His oxygen levels were great, but due to his respiratory levels he was moved to the NICU at 4am till 7am. Thank you to so many of you who prayed alongside us, Brayden was released from the NICU at 7:30am the next morning and brought to our room. He is so precious and we are loving every minute we have had with him. Brayden and I are both getting plenty of rest and we're looking forward to being discharged Sunday morning.

Kyle and I right before they moved me to the O.R.
Kyle cutting the umbilical cord
Brayden was 7lbs 10oz and 18 inches long. I would argue that he's not really a premie and that maybe his original due date was off a little.

Relaxing as they stitched me up

Brayden in the nursery