"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Baxter Family

If you like to read and you haven't tried Karen Kingsbury out, you really should. And I would recommend starting with her series on the Baxter Family - the "Redemption" series. She is a Christian author, and I haven't been able to put her books down since I discovered them a few months ago. The series on the Baxters starts with the Redemption series and transitions into the Firstborn series and then into the Sunrise series... which is where she ends it with this family. Someone once asked me if it's all about "in love" relationships -- and there is a lot of that... but there's so much more to these books as well. These books take us through the Baxter family's trials with their faith, their health, their relationships within their family, their experiences with September 11th, etc. etc. The main characters range in ages 60 down to children. Try these books - you won't regret it!


4 Weeks

Brandon is officially four weeks old today. And I am officially half way through my maternity leave. Where has the time gone?? I'm not ready for this! I am already having anxiety over going back to work. (No surprise there). My plan is to go back part time the very last week in April... and work only mornings... in order to get myself used to a new morning routine and having to leave Brandon with a sitter. Then I'll go back full time the first week in May. (That's the plan anyway - we'll see what our bank account looks like in another month - yikes!) A million thoughts rush through my head when I think about work. And I know just like I got used to it after Jaden was born - I'll get used to it this time, too. I am fine with leaving Jaden with a sitter now... because he can talk to me about his day when I pick him up. I know he looks forward to coming home at night and I know he is having fun when he's gone. I know that he understands that Mommy or Daddy will always come for him. But Brandon... he can't talk to me about his day. And he's going to be reaching so many milestones all the time... what if I miss one? I need to relax -- I know every mom goes through this -- but being home with him full time is such a blessing... it's going to be hard to get back to reality. And I already feel like there aren't enough hours in a day -- there isn't enough time to spend with Cody, and with Jaden, and with all of us together. How am I going to feel like I see them enough when I get home after 5:00 and then have to worry about taking care of the house, and the bills, and the tons of laundry we have, etc etc etc?? We're also trying to get Brandon to drink out of a bottle every once in a while so that he will be ready to do this at daycare -- but he's not doing real well in that area. So that's a little bit of a stress on me, as well. As much as I am dreading returning to the routine of things... part of me wants to fast forward a few months so I can see that everything will be fine, I will get used to this, and we will develop a new routine - just like we did when Jaden was born.

Aside from my anxiety over the near future... Brandon is doing wonderful. He is a good baby -- only cries when he's tired. He eats anywhere from every two - four hours. He usually goes four hours once every night and the other night, he actually went five whole hours without waking up to eat! And compared to how Jaden was at night, Brandon is a piece of cake. I usually have to feed him twice, and most of the time he goes right back to sleep. (Although babies don't sleep nearly as peacefully as older people do -- so even when he's sleeping, he's usually making some kind of noise and that means that Mommy doesn't sleep so well). But this shall pass. And it's amazing how you get used to things. Before he was born and after Jaden started sleeping through the night, if I had to get up once for some reason -- it was torture. Now, it's no big deal :) Jaden continues to love his baby brother... and he's starting to finally get used to Mommy not being able to spend as much time with him one on one. We've picked up some new routines. For example, now when he goes to bed, I always make sure to spend some extra time just laying in bed with him and talking about his day. He and I always sing "Jesus Loves Me" together -- this is one of my new favorite times of day. When it's just me and him cuddled up right before we say goodnight. We still notice that he's extra needy... but the poor kid had to deal with his world being shaken up at the same time that he started the "terrible/terrific two's" -- so as far as how he's doing -- I'm pretty proud of him.

I am healing very nicely. My soreness is almost completely gone now. My tummy muscles are still a little sore every once in a while -- especially after sitting/lying down for long periods of time -- they get a little stiff. But my incision has completely closed up, and for the most part - all the pains that were causing me some grief - have gone away. I'm even picking Jaden up again (although the doctor still wants me to do it as little as possible). I'm anxious to reach the six week point so that I can start doing some workouts. I have some pilates videos that I'm hoping will do miracles to my lower tummy area ;) Sometimes I think it was really stupid to have a baby right before the spring/summer months because my body will definitely not be at its best for shorts weather. But at the same time -- if I were to have a baby right before winter, there would probably be less motivation to get back into shape!

Cody's getting busier again now. Last night he didn't get home until almost 6:00. With the nicer weather, his days will get longer, and we'll never really know each night when he'll get home. But at least when he does get home, it will be nice enough outside that we can enjoy time out as a family - going on walks, etc. Jaden walks around inside the house saying "outside! outside!" all the time. He will be a happy little boy with the warmer months. We're also excited to do a lot of grilling. We were getting sick of "winter" food! ;)

That's all for now - Brandon will want to eat soon, so I need to sign off!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Introducing Brandon Louis Ubben

What a difference a week makes! One week ago today we welcomed Brandon Louis into our lives and our family. The plan was for me to be induced at 7 a.m. on March 2nd, but Cody and I have learned many times that things very rarely go as planned! When we got to the hospital, Dr. Moussa checked me and discovered that I was 3 cm dilated. She then broke my water right away to make the process start going faster. However, after breaking my water, she did an ultrasound and realized that he wasn't head down again. Little stinker. Instead she was able to feel his shoulder - but not his head. For just a few minutes she thought she might be able to turn him since he wasn't completely turned the wrong way... but then Brandon's heart rate started going up really high, and she thought it best to just do the c-section because it would be safer for me and for the baby. Things moved really fast at that moment. Doctors and nurses were all over me to get me ready for this unplanned surgery. I have to admit I was quite terrified. For me, the thought of being awake (even though I was numb) during a surgery on my own body was horrifying. I won't go into details of everything that went on the c-section room, but I was so relieved when it was all over and when Brandon was born safe and sound and healthy! I also was surprised that he was only 7 lbs. 11.3 oz. I was definitely thinking he was a bigger baby. It was an exhausting week after that. Jaden was able to come up to the hospital the night Brandon was born... and I was so so proud of how he responded to mommy and the baby. He immediately wanted to kiss him and touch him and he wasn't at all upset to see me holding another little person. Being in the hospital for four days wasn't real fun... I missed Jaden like crazy and was very eager to start our new life as a family of four. The recovery process has been going pretty well. The first day after the surgery was definitely tough. I could barely move, and the incision was quite painful for a while. But once my meds got under control, it's really been much easier than I expected it to be.

Now that we've been home for a few days, I am still very impressed with Jaden. He has his moments... and there have been some rough moments for me as well... but overall, he really seems to love his little brother. Jaden is growing a stronger attachment to Cody now -- which is good for the two of them (but selfishly, a little difficult for me!) I am not allowed to pick Jaden up for the first six weeks... that has been the cause of most of the difficulties. Jaden doesn't understand how I can hold Brandon all the time, but yet won't pick him up. It breaks my heart but it won't last forever.
Brandon has been a very good baby so far. He's averaging only needing to get up and eat twice a night. He definitely does not like his sleep to be interrupted... that's really the only time he cries! (That - and for diaper changes). He's cute as can be, too. I am a lucky girl to have three adorable men in my life! I am enjoying my maternity leave and am very anxious for the weather to get somewhat warmer so we can enjoy some time outside. I love my little family and am very grateful for all of our blessings!