Wednesday, October 2, 2013


No, this isn't a post about my first pumpkin spice latte of the season or how I love pumpkin in everything (this is a common theme in the blog world right now), but it's about this....

My little pumpkin, Joel!
He is 6 months old! I cannot believe it. I love this little dude. He has such a great personality. He is very smiley and silly. He loves his mama, daddy and brother. He makes some great faces, and I think he gets that from me. I always made some killer faces when I was a kid. He is about 18 pounds right now (I think), he rolls around all the time. He likes to 'talk'. He isn't sleeping well because he just got his first tooth. He really likes to put his arms up (kind of like in the above picture) and he is just so so cute! See for yourself.

The day he was born!

Super smiley baby at 3 months old.

Beach pose!

Those eyes....

Fun at the beach at 5 months old.

Drooling on my skirt.
He loves to 'plank' on the floor.
We are so thankful that God has given us two very sweet and healthy little boys. They are a handful, but in a good way. They are teaching mommy a lot and they are keeping daddy on his toes. I can't wait to see if Joel ends up looking more like John as he gets older. Things are just going to get more fun around here! Love you Joel!

Friday, July 5, 2013

New mom advice to myself .....the second time around

You will not be getting any sleep for a few months, or maybe a year or so, but it's not the end of the world. Your baby is new to this world, and sleep is not the same thing to them as it is to you. Their little bodies are wired differently than yours. Don't worry about waking up to feed your baby. It will not make them spoiled if you let them nurse even if they might not be hungry. Sometimes a baby just wants their mom, and that is not a bad thing! Oh, and co-sleeping is not evil. I'm pretty sure most people in most other countries sleep share with their babies, so as long as you do it safely, you will enjoy that extra bond and those extra cuddles with your sweet little boy. After all, your toddler won't even cuddle with you for more than 20 seconds these days. Don't you wish you would have cuddled with him more when he was a baby?

Just because a pediatrician tells you to do something, it doesn't make them right all of the time. Sure, they went to school and all, and they are the 'expert', but at the end of the day they cannot tell you how to raise your child. Do your research about things, and do what feels right to you. After all, you are the mother.

There is no cookie cutter mold to being a mother. You will learn new things with each kid. Just as little John taught you so much, little Joel will teach you even more. Keep an open mind and be teachable. Each kid is different, and that's a good thing.

Your body will never be the same, in more ways than one, but it's okay. God designed your body for childbirth, and it's a beautiful thing. So what if you never fit in your old jeans again. As long as you take care of yourself and your baby you are fine. Just realize your wide hips are probably here to stay.

Don't get in a hurry for your baby to get bigger so they are more 'fun'. Enjoy the little coos and smiles as this age. Before you know it, this cute little baby is going to be running around the house and jabbering in his crib when he is supposed to be napping, just like John is today. Babies don't keep. That's for sure.

Try not to be too hard on yourself. You are doing your best and you are your own worst critic. You've got this, mama!

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing;  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Family Update and Joel's birth story

Wow. I haven't posted in almost a year! It's crazy to think how time flies, but we now have another cute baby in our home. I also find it amusing that I named our blog Dresen Dynasty and now the show Duck Dynasty is super popular. I did not name our family blog after that show. I didn't even know it existed last year when I created this blog! (We do watch the show. It's pretty funny sometimes.)

The biggest update besides the new baby is that last October we moved to Georgia for Steven to take a ministry position. He is the minister of families and youth at FBC Sylvania, Georgia. I like to think that I have adjusted ok to small town living, what with being from the big city and the 'burbs and all. I like it. I like the South. I like living in a small town for the most part. I think I always kind of wanted to be Southern anyway! So we love living here. Our church is great. There are so many sweet and genuine people there, and we are truly blessed that God has finally shown Steven where he needs to be in ministry. It's an incredible journey.

Moving on to this year.

I was blessed to see Steven become ordained at Trinity Baptist church in Vidalia, Georgia in January. I am so proud of him.

John turned one in February!!
Yum. Birthday Cake.

We were both blessed to become parents again in March!

I was about 16 weeks pregnant when we moved, if my memory serves me correctly. I had seen my OB in Kentucky twice, and I remember at my last appointment she told me in a couple of weeks we could find out the gender of the baby. I was sad to tell her that we were moving, because she was such a great doctor. She knew Steven was looking for jobs and she was really happy that we were pregnant again. So, after we moved, I had to embark on a journey to find prenatal care for the new baby. It took awhile, but I found out that there was a birth center in Savannah. If you don't know what a birth center is, it is basically a place where low-risk pregnant women deliver their babies with limited or no medical interventions under the care of a nurse-midwife. I had tried a non-medicated natural hospital birth with John, and that did not happen because I was in labor for two days and had terrible back labor. He was born after pushing for almost three and a half hours. I had an epidural and did not like it. I think my body just went through so much with hours of labor and then all of the pushing and the after affects of the epidural. I did not have a great recovery. So when I found out there was a birth center near us in Georgia, about an hour and fifteen minutes away, I convinced Steven that we needed to check it out. Not only is it cheaper, but it provides a more private and calming birthing experience, and that is exactly what I wanted. I did not want Pitocin. I did not want an epidural or any drugs. I personally do not want those things while I am laboring and delivering a baby. I had heard the benefits of natural non-medicated labor, and I wanted to try it again. So after a visit and a lot of confusion about whether our insurance would cover a birth center birth, we found out that we got accepted to be patients and that our insurance would cover more than we expected. So we went on with our prenatal care. We saw three different midwives in the practice, and I think it was a great experience.

Joel's birth was of course different than John's. I had heard that usually the second is at least half the time of the first. So if John's birth took about 40 hours, I could look forward to about 20 hours with Joel. Still seems like a long time, doesn't it? Well, I was so blessed, and Joel's birth only took about 12 hours total. It was a Saturday when I was 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I felt like I was having some contractions, but they weren't bad, and I didn't expect it to lead to real labor anytime soon. Well, later that evening I busted out the exercise ball and realized the contractions were getting closer. I called the midwife around 9pm and she told me it sounded like it was time. So after an hour plus drive we arrived at the birth center. At night. When we were both tired. Kind of like last time. We just really wanted to have a baby when we were well rested, but that is obviously not going to happen for us.

I labored through the night. I got on a birthing ball, I got in the shower some, and I moved around the room. I finally was able to get into the birthing tub and before you know it I had made it through transition without any drugs (transition is the worst part of labor, in my opinion!) and it was time to push. It happened so fast that I was not feeling mentally ready to push. I had an epidural at this point last time, and I just didn't know what to expect. They wouldn't let me deliver in the tub, so I had to get out of this nice warm bath and get on the bed. Things get kind of blurry at this point, but I remember freaking out a little and not being able to breathe. I kept telling Steven to stop touching me, and I think I was yelling at the nurse and the midwife. It seemed like I was pushing forever, but it was only 30 minutes! The baby came out and I was just amazed. It was Easter morning! I kept saying I hope he is born on Easter, and he was!  He was born at 6:33 am, which is neat because John was born at 6:05pm and also on a Sunday.They said he looked big, which was suspected with all of my measurements and ultrasounds, but I was in denial. Well, he was 10 pounds and 5 ounces! That is exactly two pounds bigger than John was, and I delivered Joel a week early! The funny thing is I tried to eat healthier foods with Joel. I was on a high protein diet for most of the second half of pregnancy, so who knows if that is where the extra pounds came from. I didn't care how big he was because he was so healthy and beautiful, and still is.
A few hours old. Wearing the sweet hat that the midwife knitted while I was laboring. So sweet.
This picture was taken the afternoon after he was born, at home. That's right. We got to head home as soon as possible. I love birth centers!!
Joel at 3 months old!
Joel is such a sweet baby. I can't believe how much personality he has already. He is so smiley and adorable. I just really really love him! We are so blessed with these sweet little boys. They are a hand full, but in the best possible way!