Thursday, July 28, 2011

The New Guy

Jon isn't all that big on contributing to our family blog, which I am definitely not complaining about. But, I loved when he blogged about Rhode the night after he was born. I loved having his perspective on the whole experience.

I have been very patiently waiting for Jon to blog about our latest news but his time is up. Sorry dude.

So, instead of getting the cleaned up, outsider, "no pain involved" husband perspective, you are stuck with me and all my gory details. Or you can skip to the end and tell me how good looking my baby is. Totally up to you.

For whatever insane reason, I was convinced this child was coming early. I have been waiting in anxious anticipation for a week, shocked every night I went to bed without a single contraction. At my last doctor's appointment, I was already dilated to a 4. I was really hoping not to have to induce but I scheduled one for the next week anyway, hoping and praying I wouldn't have to use it.

My mom got into town Sunday evening at about 7:30 and we grabbed her from the airport and had a few hours to hang. This was the first time she had actually seen me so far along pregnant. For my other two kids she met us at the hospital with a baby already waiting for her to hold. We chatted, made plans for the next morning (I was scheduled to go in at 8:30 a.m.) and chatted some more. It was right around 10 p.m. that I felt my first contractions. I was so excited. I waited a while to make sure I wasn't just making things up and they kept coming. Yahoo! And ow...

Jon and my mom went to bed and I sat in my little rocking chair, reading a book and timing my contractions. I did a little Googleing on Jon's phone because I couldn't quite remember exactly when I was supposed to go to the hospital. I really did not want to go in too early but I was already at a 4 so how early could I possibly go? One site I found mentioned that with your third child, you shouldn't wait too long to go to the hospital because babies tend to come faster. They recommended going when your contractions were 8 to 10 minutes apart and I was already at about 4 minutes so I decided to go for it. I woke Jon up a little after midnight, he hopped in the shower and I had a bowl of cereal, packed a little, said goodbye to my mom and we were out the door a little after 1 a.m.

I went to Southern Hills Hospital this time which was about 15 minutes away. The hospital was a ghost town. We seriously ran into one person (a receptionist) all the way up to the maternity ward. There we found three nurses and a very, very quiet hospital floor.

"Wow, seems pretty quiet around here," Jon mentioned. Now even I know you don't go around cursing the fates in a maternity ward. All three nurses gave him a well deserved glare for inevitably changing the course of their evening.

I was gowned, strapped in, and checked, only to discover my last two and a half hours of labor had only gained me a 5 status. Enough to stick around but I was really hoping for a little more. So, they pincushioned me until they finally got an IV in, drew some blood that had to be checked before Mr. Happy Epidural could come in (they did the same with Scarlet, I don't know what that is about) and let me be.

It is about 2 a.m. at this point and suddenly, I am in some serious hurt. Contractions are strong and they are just not stopping. I would have three in a row before I would finally get like a minute break and then they would start again. I have a few friends who are all about the natural birth, even home birth and at that moment I thought they were the craziest people in the history of the world. I was just counting down the minutes until someone was willing to jab a large needle into my spine.

In the back of my mind, I remember thinking this seems like a lot of pain just to get to a 6 or a 7. I was nauseated and miserable, trying to look a little tougher than I felt. I must've faked it really well because no one seemed concerned with my progress.

At 3 a.m. the nurse brought in my favorite guy at the hospital. She asked me to sit on the edge of the bed right in the middle of a very painful contraction, I waited for the worst of it to subside and then just sat up in the middle of it, knowing the blessed moment of relief was here. She then asked me to scoot back a little, and that is when my birth story took a turn for the sitcom side.

Jon confessed too soon after the whole ordeal that this one was much more exciting than the others, almost meeting his craziest of expectations. Now I can almost agree with him, but at the moment he chose to mention it, he is lucky I didn't have the energy to sock him right in the nose.

And now back to the story. As I scooted back, my water broke everywhere. Like seriously, Jon and the nurse had to jump back to get out of the way. And then immediately afterwards there was pressure, lots and lots of pressure. The nurse laid me back down on the bed and checked to confirm that yes, I was having the baby right then. I was devastated as my last and only hope packed up his things and headed right back out my hospital room door.

"Seriously, no epidural?" I asked a little more desperately than I meant to.

"Sorry, it will not come even close to kicking in on time," the nurse informed me.

Then it started to get really crazy in there. There were about five nurses rushing around the room trying to get things ready. One was in the lobby desperately trying to get my doctor to hurry up and get here. Some were rushing to get all of the newborn baby stuff ready and then there was my nurse who was trying her hardest to get me to stop pushing.

I finally understand what people are talking about when they say, "they kept telling me not to push but there was nothing I could do about it." I did all I could to not push, I breathed every time she told me to but there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. After one particularly large contraction, I asked if what I thought was happening was actually happening.

"Yes," the nurse informed me, "that is definitely your baby's head." One contraction later, she gave up her fruitless effort to get me to stop pushing and, with one push, there was a baby lying at the foot of my bed. No doctor, no legs in stirrups, no one even really caught him. I had a brand new son laying at the foot of my bed.

It was amazing.

They cut the cord and laid him on my chest with all his new gooeyness. He was screaming like a banshee but I just admired his perfectness, his head of hair and his teeny littleness.

It took the doctor another good 10-15 minutes to get there. He then delivered my placenta and stitched me up (I tore through my old episiotomy and a few other places, not as bad as Scarlet but not super pleasant either). Finally, I was put back together, my baby was cleaned up and I got the chance to hold him again and nurse him for the first time.

Asher Wayne Nielsen was born at 3:15 a.m. (yes 15 minutes after my epidural walked out the door). He was 7 lbs. 2 oz. and 20 inches long. He is just so so tiny. He has a little head that is still just perfectly shaped (didn't spend too much time in the birthing canal I guess). Jon and I have known we wanted an Asher since we were finding names for Scarlet. One of Jon's favorite books is "My Name is Asher Lev" and one of mine is "The Giver". It is hard to say a name fits a newborn, but so far his is sticking nicely.

He definitely looks like my babies. Grey eyes, wide cheeks, small lips and a pointy little chin. He is an awesome nurser, not an awesome napper yet but we are getting there.
The kids came to visit a little later that morning and they were very excited. It helped that they had spent the morning getting spoiled by their grandma so they were pretty stoked on life anyway, but they were really excited to meet their little brother.

They were much more impressed with the hospital food than I was.

We had a few other visitors through the day but, after awhile, I sent Jon home to get some work done (remember my half-remodeled kitchen?) and Asher and I just got to hang.

I don't know if this is just how labor and delivery goes now or if it was just this hospital but it was so awesome to be left alone! I would go hours without someone coming in the room to take my blood pressure for the millionth time or berate me on how much I am letting my baby sleep (seriously, all three of my kids have nursed once and then crashed for eight hours before wanting to eat again. This is the first hospital that wasn't bugging me the whole time to wake them up.)

No one came in to wake me up in the middle of the night for even more tests. They were not overly concerned with my lack of updating the diaper/nursing chart. And they were all really pleasant! I had a great experience. The food was definitely better at St. Rose but I had enough visitors bringing me the good stuff to make that not matter so much.

Wednesday morning, with very little fanfare and no "feed your baby, clean your baby, don't drop your baby" classes, Jon picked us up and we headed home. We have been lounging and enjoying our new little one ever since.

Now that I have been able to step away from the experience a little, I have definitely gained some perspective on my unplanned natural birth. Yes, it helps that it all happened very quickly, but its not like I knew it was all going to be over in an hour and a half at the time. If you had asked me last week if I had any desire at all to go through a natural birth, I would have laughed. Loud. Other than maybe proving I could do it, I couldn't even have given you a good reason why anyone should. My perspective has definitely changed

Benefits of a Natural Birth:
Recovery is much nicer (no catheter, IV comes out quickly, no post-epidural shakes, I could walk around almost immediately afterward)
All of the things that hurt post-delivery don't seem nearly as bad (uterus contractions, nursing, healing all came with some pain perspective)
There is no question as to what to do when your doctor says to push (I was so numb with Scarlet I had no idea what needed pushing to get her out of me)
The difference of emotion of that last push and then having your baby there is pretty incredible.

Asher didn't seem to act any differently from my other two newborns so I didn't notice a difference for him. But I can definitely say, I enjoyed the experience. I am not sure I have completely pulled away from the epidural train but it is at least nice to appreciate both sides of the story.

And there, my little Asher man, is your first story. Welcome home.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Isn't it amazing how much of what we think childbirth will be like stems from television/movies? Was anyone else totally shocked to hear that only like 10% of women actually have their water break to start labor? And, those that do, it is not the water balloon gushing in the middle of the department store right at the end of a very heated argument? Plus, who would have thought you would be in labor for hours at home before it was "time". People in non-reality world know its time within like 5 minutes of starting contractions.

Jon was very, very disappointed with the unexcitement that is a non-television, epidural-laden birth. He confessed very openly that the lack of screaming, nurses running in each and every direction and the fact that not a single person slipped on any thing (bodily fluid or otherwise) in this chaotic moment, was jarring his reality big time.

But, when it comes to our third trimester nesting, Jon and I may have even gone above and beyond the levels of the most overdramatic of sitcom births.

I am pretty sure your average nesting pregnant couple spends their days decorating a nursery their baby probably won't sleep in for a significant amount of their first year of life. They may do some extra shopping to make sure they have every baby item Target makes before the arrival of their new one. A few of the real go-getters may even get some good Spring cleaning done to make room for their new arrival and make sure their child comes home to the most sanitary environment possible. Which they will then puke, pee, and poop on.

Well, not us.

We really wanted to make sure this baby knew we were excited to have them join our family. So, in the this week before my official due date (Monday) we got our Nielsen nesting on.

We started with laying sod in the backyard.

Sod is awesome. It is so instantly, flawlessly beautiful. And what newborn doesn't appreciate coming home to a fantastically manicured lawn?
We also got all of the carpets shampooed.
Good luck finding a random tidbit of something to shove in your mouth off this floor, baby. It is spotless... for the moment.

And, really, what mother would bring a newborn child into a kitchen with a ridiculously fluorescent lowered ceiling, awful "grandma" off white cabinets, cheap fake wood floor that is popping at every seam and a counter top we have been desperate to rid ourselves of since the minute we bought this house?

Not us!

Yeah... it's way better to bring the baby home to a half remodeled kitchen with few working appliances. I microwaved lunch and mixed smoothies in the laundry room yesterday. Add an infant and that just equals more fun than one mom should be having alone!

So, when our baby comes out 20 lbs. and already crawling/walking, we are going to be sooo ready.

p.s. you may think my involvement in any of these activities would have had the power to throw me into labor, seeing as doctor says I am already at 4 cm. but you would be sadly mistaken.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

4th of July 2011

Gotta love a good 4th of July bash. Most of our usual Vegas crowd actually had plans for the holiday that were supposedly better than barbequeing at my house. I am still a little doubtful on that front... but we made due with the leftovers who had nowhere better to go.


We started the evening with a little slip n' sliding action.

Our grass is non-existent at the moment (a fact that will be changed shortly, yippee!) so the kids also got a little 4th of July science experiment. What do water and dirt make?

Mud! Glorious, glorious mud.

And the outdoor shower proved its usefulness yet again.
Mud time was followed by dress up time. Poor Rhode was the only boy in attendance (one year olds don't really count yet). But if there is one thing this kid is good at, it's going with the flow.
I swear he does own boy dress up clothes.
Jon got called away on a work emergency and for a minute there, I thought the barbequeing would be left to me and the belly, which makes everything that much more difficult... and warm... and uncomfortable.

Thank you Dale for stepping up to the BBQ plate for me!
You want to know what is delicious? Grilled corn. Wow.

Add some hot dogs, sausages, all the fixins', side salads, fruit...
and, of course, dessert...

maybe a little excessive for the three families in attendance. But who ever complained about too much good food?

Not us!
Not only did Dale tackle the food cooking for the evening, he was also the supplier of our fireworks entertainment.

And, by the way, he totally rocked it.

Now there really is something to say about not living in the best part of town on a holiday like the 4th of July. Sure, there are houses with more cars parked in front of them than their driveway, curb and grassless lawn can hold. The tennis shoes that sporadically appear on the telephone poles aren't really the classiest accessory. And the frequent graffiti including the recent six foot male genitalia is not my favorite thing in the world. But man, can my block throw a fireworks show.

We were setting off some of the biggest fireworks I had ever seen set off in front of a house and they were nothing compared to the ones going off down the street and across the block at the exact same time. For most of our neighbors the sparks started flying Friday evening and continued every night until the big day.
It was incredible! We all pulled up a bit of sidewalk and enjoyed.

The kids spent most of their time going through hundreds of poppers...
and even more sparklers.
It was a party to remember. And to end the evening, our husbands proved to us once again that even though they are married, have jobs and children and all those other responsible sounding things, they are still 12 years old.

Luckily, no husbands were harmed in the making of this video.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Checking in with #3

I am rounding the corner of 37 weeks and now officially counting down the days until Nielsen #3 joins our family. We have had a running schedule of things that were going to happen before the baby came to keep the kids from asking every 5 seconds or so. Unfortunately, the last item on the list was the 4th of July. Once those fireworks go off, my kids will just be staring at my stomach daily, waiting for something to happen.

Scarlet loves to pray for our newest sibling. She is really hoping for a sister, but is usually pragmatic about the situation. Her requests above usually go, "Heavenly Father, please bless that our baby is a sister... or a brother."

Yes, please let this baby be a girl or a boy. Don't really care which one but one or the other would be preferable. Rhode is still voting for puppy though.

I was really excited to keep this baby's gender a surprise but part of me thought I would just know the gender without really knowing. I have done this pregnancy thing twice before, both were pretty distinct, I figured it would feel like one or the other and the mystery would be solved.
Well, instead I have had a pregnancy filled with a few old symptoms from each previous pregnancy along with a few new ones I can attach to this child alone. So, here is a little rundown of how things have been going. The symptoms that point to girl or boy are labeled. My "Switzerland" symptoms, aka. the ones that just can't seem to pick a side, are not.

Boy - I am carrying really low, much lower than I did with either child. Fun strangers in the store love to tell me that means this is a boy.

Maybe because of my low carrying, this baby somehow manages to miss all of the 'target kick zones' my other two loved to nail. No kicking my ribs, lungs, bladder, etc. But to add to its strangeness, this baby has found a love for whacking my pelvic bones. It feels just as awesome as you think it would...

Girl - So far, the Nielsen grandkids have kept a very steady pattern when it comes to child bearing. Everyone with more than one child has had a girl, a boy, then a girl. I have kept the tradition for the first two...

Heartburn... oh the heartburn. Not a problem with my last two but this one has been pretty bad. Right before bed, I usually have to pop a couple of Tums and sit up for a few extra minutes to let everything settle down and, if I am lucky, I can make it until the morning.

Girl - My ankle swelling with Scarlet was legendary. Calf to toe was one giant water balloon. It was horrifying. Rhode... not one minute of puffy feet. This pregnancy has not been nearly in the Scarlet zone but I definitely have some feet puff going on.

Boy - I have stayed smaller this pregnancy,

bigger than Rhode

but significantly smaller than Scarlet.

Girl - Scarlet was a constant mover, especially when there were any loud sounds around, like in the movie theater. Rhode only moved when I poked and prodded him enough to bug him. He was happy to just chill in there all day long. This baby won't move for a very long time and then do some major dancing to make up for lost time. Baby especially does not like to share my lap space. Any kids near the belly get a good kicking from their baby sibling.

Boy - No dark line on my tummy. Super awesome.

Still no stretch marks... extra super awesome.

Girl - My cravings have been more similar to Scarlet's pregnancy than Rhodes. Rhode I actually wanted healthy stuff like fruits and vegetables. Scarlet, I wanted candy. This child seems to want baked goods. Mmmm, cookies. And, my oddest craving thus far, I have been seriously wanting some Coke. Yeah, like straight Coca-Cola. I have given up caffeine cold turkey for all of my pregnancies and I don't like straight cola ever. I have always been more of a diet pepsi girl. But sheesh, when I see someone buying a coke at the store or see a fountain drink full... it has been a hard one to resist. So weird..

Had to take off my wedding ring a week or so ago. First time I have ever been without it. There was something about not being able to take it off for a couple of days that made me very nervous. I kept on having dreams about them having to saw it off my marshmallow hands. It has found a safe home until post baby.

Girl - Coming up with two names has been probably the hardest part. If it is a boy, we are pretty sure what his name will be (sorry I am not an early name revealer). But we have really struggled with girl names. Our "for sure" name has changed 5 different times. I keep telling Jon if we don't pick a girl name for sure, it will definitely be a girl by default just to make things confusing.

Scarlet, who is sure this is her new baby sister, has decided the best name would be Charlotte. It hasn't made the list yet as that would be about as confusing as is possible, but at least it is a real name!

My baby even changes genders in my dreams. My subconscious is really messing with me. Last night, it was a chubby baby boy but a month ago, it was definitely a girl.

So, what do you think? Can you see why I am so confused? Either way, we are all ready to meet our newest Nielsen.

Let the countdown begin!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Always use the word "Strip" with caution

Jon is in the Stake Young Mens but occasionally he gets a chance to help out at the ward level as well. When he heard our ward's young men would be making a movie, he was a moth drawn to the flame. Jon has an interesting habit of turning simple mutual church movies into full scale photoshopped productions.

The boys picked the theme "Helaman and the Stripling Warriors". They filmed for about 45 minutes and then Jon and his computer went to work. The boys loved the final product. They felt like movie stars. So, Jon threw it on youtube with the title "Stripling Trailer" for them so they could watch it again.

This all took place a month or so ago.

But then, a few days ago, I see in my email that his video is suddenly getting comments. Not nice comments by the way. I went to check it out and the video was up to 1,600 views! I know that is not a ton in youtube world but that is quite a few people from the 12 mutual boys who originally got the file.

We couldn't figure out why it was spreading so fast. But then we saw its two biggest referrals were from videos called "Stripland Trailer" and "Stripperland Video".

At last count it was over 3,000 views and rising by a few hundred a day. Welcome to 15 minutes of D level internet fame Tropicana Young Mens Program!