Meet Brayden

July 23, 2014

Well this precious little boy is almost 6 months old, but it’s never too late to introduce you to this adorable little face!

This little guy was born on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:45am weighing in at 8lbs 8oz and measuring 21in. Yes, you read that correctly; 8 pounds!! This petite girl birthed an 8 pound baby! No wonder I could barely walk the last couple weeks of my pregnancy! ;)

The week before Brayden was born I spent as much time with my sweet Mason as I could and did all I could to prepare him for his baby brother. The last night I tucked him into his bed as an only child I wept so hard I could barely breathe. I was so worried about his world changing and just cried. He kept telling me “mama, its ok. I’m a big boy now. Don’t cry.” Little does he realize how much I love him and how much I wanted to protect him from feeling anything less than all the love I have for him.

The night before my C-section we dropped Mason off at my in laws to stay the night and Jordan took me out to dinner. We spent some one on one time together and prepared our hearts for the next morning when our lives would be changed again in the most incredible way.

I was so excited that I could barely sleep and when 5am rolled around I was up and ready to go! We headed to the hospital, got to our room, unpacked a few items, and the surgery preparation began.

I was so thankful Brayden decided to wait until he was scheduled to come because having an emergency C-section the night before Mason was scheduled to come was nerve racking and a little scary.

Everything was moving along well and then in walked my spunky, very confident, petite anesthesiologist who decided to throw the original plan that I was prepared for out the window. Let me preface this part of Brayden’s birth story with the fact that for weeks leading up to my C-section I was having major anxiety over being put under by general anesthesia.  I’ve had 15 surgeries and never have been scared to go under until after I had Mason. I just have this fear of not waking up and leaving my boys. Silly fear that I’m learning to let go of and give to the Lord, but as I prepared for Brayden’s arrival I was having a real hard time with the fact I was going to be put under. So, I’d pray that the Lord would give me peace, that His will would be done, and I would be able to trust in Him that everything would be ok.

Well, that morning just a few minutes before I was ready to go back for my C-section this anesthesiologist walked in and started asking me about my Spina Bifida. She was asking questions I hadn’t had to answer in a long time and then told me that she didn’t feel comfortable putting me under. {Oh great! Just add to my fears lady!} She then told me she thought it would be best if I had a spinal block. {I was thinking to myself…it’s better to be paralyzed than dead.} I told her that I was always told that a spinal block or an epidural was not possible for me because of my Spina Bifida. She said she had been reviewing things about my case with her colleagues and they all agreed that a spinal block would be safer for me and the baby and they were confident she could do it successfully. I panicked! Full on panicked! I was shaking, I couldn’t breathe, I was crying; I was TERRIFIED! She told me to give her a few more minutes to read some more about my case and then she’d come back in to talk to me.

I didn’t know what to do, what to think, or how to react. I just sat there doing all I could to calm myself down because I didn’t want Brayden to feel any anxiety as he entered the world. I just kept thinking to myself that I’d rather be paralyzed and here than not wake up from going under. My hubby did his best to keep me calm and reassure me that everything was ok, but I could tell he didn’t know what to think. The other kicker was that if I was able to have a spinal block that meant he’d be able to go in with me. Mr. Queasy himself wasn’t sure how he’d do and I was paranoid he’d pass out on me.

A short time later the anesthesiologist came back in with paperwork for me to sign stating I’d have a spinal block. I really lost it then. She got down on her knees, put her hands on my knees, looked up at me in my eyes, and said “Krista, I promise you that I will take care of you, that you will be perfectly fine, I won’t paralyze you, and you’ll get to hear your baby’s first cry. Trust me. I’ve been doing this for years and I’m confident this is what’s best.” I will never forget that moment and the best part of it was I would hear my baby’s first cry. I didn’t get that chance with Mason. His first cry was heard only by the medical staff, his first hugs and kisses were by my hubby, and his first moments with me were moments where I was in such severe pain that I thought I was going to die and I could barely enjoy the first time I held my first born. So, this terrifying turn of events in the birth of my second baby boy started to have a positive outlook.

After that things moved pretty fast. They put me on the bed, started to wheel me to the surgery room, and a full blown anxiety attack kicked in. I remember holding on to Jordan’s hand and not wanting to let go. They pulled my bed away from him and told me he’d be in just before they began the C-section. {Umm…no….I wanted him with me the whole time…ESPECIALLY when they gave me my spinal block.} The nurses were so sweet and did everything they could to calm me down. I just kept praying over and over and over to the Lord to give me peace, to calm me down, and to help me trust in Him. We got to the door of surgery room, they stopped my bed, and told me to go ahead and walk in the surgery room. I sat up and I told them I’m not sure I can walk in there. I was so terrified and was shaking so badly that I could barely control my body.

They helped me up, helped me walk in there; all the while I’m continuing to beg  the Lord for some peace and strength. Then they helped me sit up on the operating table and BAM…complete peace. COMPLETE peace. I will NEVER forget it. The peace of the Lord calmed me IMMEDIATELY upon sitting on that table. The moment my butt hit that table I felt calm. The nurses holding me said right away “you stopped shaking”. I just closed my eyes and said out loud “thank you Lord”. Another moment in my life where the Lord has answered a prayer that I will never forget and I will always be thankful for. {He’s faithful friends!}

Anyway, the anesthesiologist put in my spinal block, it was incredible, the medical staff came in and prepped me, and they started to begin the C-section and I said “wait! Where’s Jordan?” My doctor (whom I absolutely adore) said “oh yeah, let’s get him in here before he has to see any blood.” LOL!

Finally the face of my best friend was before me and I couldn’t wait to tell him how great the Lord had been and how I felt great and I wasn’t scared and I was so excited to see Brayden. Then I started to puke! Hahah! Poor Jordan! He was fantastic though. I was so worried about him and I kept asking him if he was ok in between puking and I kept apologizing for getting sick because he was the one holding the puke bowl for me. ;)

I remember my doctor asking me if I was ok and making sure I wasn’t feeling anything. He then apologized for jerking me around so much, but he said my baby boy had some broad shoulders and he was having a hard time getting him out. Then within a few seconds and a big jerk I heard the most incredible sound I’ve ever heard and it was the very first cry of my baby boy. It was a moment that I will cherish forever and I will never forget it. It was amazing!

Then finally after what seemed like forever I finally saw my sweet boy as they laid him on the table to weigh him and shortly after that they handed him to my hubby for a few moments and he put Brayden’s cheek up to mine and I was able to give him his first kiss.

After it was all said and done I wanted to hug that anesthesiologist more than anyone else because she gave me the chance of a lifetime; the chance to hear the first cry of my baby boy. I will forever be thankful for her confidence and willingness to study how to give me a spinal block versus putting me under.

It’s been almost 6 months since that day and this little boy has changed my life in the most amazing way. His daddy and I adore him more than he will ever know and his big brother adores him just as much. It’s amazing to see my two boys creating this magical bond right before my eyes.

Thank you to all of you who continually prayed over my pregnancy, the delivery, and our entire family. We love each of you and are grateful to be able to share this journey with you. I look at myself in the mirror daily and think “who would’ve thought a girl born with Spina Bifida would have two beautiful and healthy baby boys”!

To God be all the glory!


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Embracing 33

July 21, 2014

Every year on the same day my birthday arrives and every year I wish it away hoping to forget that I have gotten another year older. Since turning 25 I haven’t been a huge fan of my birthday. I don’t know why it is, but I’m hoping that when I turn 40 that I really just learn to embrace it instead of whining about it and pushing through the day to get it over with.

Even though my attitude is less than exciting on my birthday, I always end up having a fantastic day! It’s all because of my amazing family and friends who shower me with love and spoil me to no end. They really do know how to make me feel special and at the end of every birthday I’m smiling.

This year was one of those birthdays that ranked up near the top. From spending my morning sleeping in a bit and watching a movie in bed with my sweet toddler, to watching my adorable boys enjoying our local fair parade, to enjoying some time relaxing at home, to having my family over to celebrate with me; it was really special. My hubby spoiled me rotten this year and surprised me with some pretty awesome gifts.

I love tea more than I love coffee (which is a lot) and loose leaf tea has always been one of my favorites versus a standard tea bag, but I rarely find a good loose leaf tea at our grocery stores that I’m willing to buy regularly. So, great tea is a rarity for me. Plus, I don’t have anything to brew loose leaf tea in other than a diffuser/cup combo from Pier 1 that always leaves me with floaties. Anyway…..this year my hubby went to Teavana tea and bought me their amazing White Ayurvedic Chai tea. He told me as he was leaving the store he turned around and asked how I was going to brew it and they showed him the Perfect Tea Maker. This birthday girl ended up with that too! I was soooooooo excited! It’s like a French press but for tea and its fantastic! He may have also snuck in my favorite perfume as another gift. See…I told you…he spoiled me! ;)

One of the best parts of my day though was holding my oldest little boy on my lap while hearing him sing happy birthday to me and then sharing in the wish making and blowing out my candles with me. I know it won’t be long before he’s too big to sit on my lap and share in my birthday memories like this. Even though I should cherish the moments on my birthday that make me thankful for turning another year older; I can’t help but cherish each moment that my children and my husband give me. Those are the most important parts of my life.

So, here’s to turning 33. I will embrace it and make this year one of the best years to come!

Thank you again for all the sweet birthday wishes!


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Happy Birthday America!

July 8, 2014

Photo Credit: My Hubby

Photo Credit: Best Neighbor Ever


This year with the 4th falling on a Friday that meant there were 3 late nights in a row and one tired mama, but we had a blast!

We didn’t plan to do anything over the holiday weekend other than enjoy a cookout with family. I’m not much of a spontaneous person so this was a challenge for me, but I have to say that I enjoyed the spontaneity the weekend brought more than I thought I would.

After our cookout we ventured downtown to see the annual “Cruisin’ Reunion” our city has and I was surprised at how many people came out on the 4th to enjoy time together as a community. It was awesome to see so many familiar faces that I didn’t expect to see.

Saturday we took our kiddos to a lake that had a cute little beach front with a playground connected to it. The sun was hiding most of the time and the water was chilly so we ended up heading out to a well-known hot dog place where I had my first Chicago Dog (minus the hot peppers). I’m not much of a hot dog person, but I’ve been dying to try Pat’s Chicago Style Eatery’s Chicago Dog and it didn’t disappoint at all. It was really good! Then we stopped to get some ice cream and headed home. When we got home we found that a hot air balloon was landing in a lot just down from our house. It was really cool to see and a great way to end the night!

Sunday we spent our morning at church together as a family, came home and played for a bit, and then the boys and I took a nice long nap before we headed to the golf course for our tradition of hanging out on the green and watching the Celebrate America program. We ended up ditching out on the fireworks this year to get the boys home and in bed at a decent hour. Ok, ok….maybe we wanted to get home and get to bed at a decent hour too. ;)

The weekend was fun, a tad bit exhausting, and well worth all of the spontaneity it contained. We may just have a few more spontaneous weekends this summer.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend as well!


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