Friday, December 4, 2015

Nixon - 11 Months

Tries to pull everything out of cabinets & succeeded the other day by pouring dishwashing soap all over himself & our floor • Learned to flush the toilet • Has 8 teeth • Loves to spin on office chairs • Nursery rhyme songs make him smile & dance • Fights getting into the car • Plays so well & loves to play with cars, trucks, & balls • Likes to close doors • Whispers/mouths "Da da" when you ask him to say it • You may notice this month's picture is not on our usually blue rug. Nixon decided to diarrhea all over it yesterday. Yuck! It's ok...we still love him!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Nixon - 10 Months

Loves when we pretend we can't see him & then find him • The messiest eater ever • Obsessed with the baths & crawls so fast to it once he hears the water • Gets so mad when he has to get his diaper or clothes changed & always tries to get away • Crawls so quick when he hears you say, "I'm gonna get you!" • Has 6 teeth, days away from cutting 2 more • Has really started to like cars • Occasionally bites & pinches 👎 • Lover of all books

Monday, October 12, 2015

Nixon - 9 Months

Feeding himself > Mom feeding him • Learned to crawl & loves it • Loves big kids (especially cousin Brigs), he stares & smiles at them (even stranger big kids at the store) • Doesn't enjoy diaper changes or getting dressed • Gives the all time best kisses! • Requires two good naps each day • Lights up when we dance or sing for him • Has 3 teeth • Very determined • Will eat anything (Can you tell? 😉) • Likes to dump all his toys out then play with them • Still is all about the outdoors • Happy 9 months Nixon! This boy makes us happier and happier each day! #sorryitsblurry #hewouldntsitstill

Friday, August 21, 2015

Nixon - 8 Months

Loves to play with iPhones & car keys • Started jibber jabbering & it is the cutest thing! • Discovered steak & liked it & Dad loved that he liked it • Has 2 teeth on the bottom & 1 coming in on the top • Frustrated that he can't crawl but spends a lot of time reaching with all his might • Laughs at dogs and loves them • Thinks his cousins are the coolest ever • Loves YouTube (Favorite As of Late: "ABC Phonics Song") • Screams of excitement when Dad comes home • We love our big 8 month old! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nixon - 7 Months

Finally rolling over! • Thinks Costco Cups...yes, Costco concession stand blue Pepsi cups are the greatest things but honestly loves all cups • Reaches for people and things he wants • Still loves all things outdoors • Started cutting his first tooth & both of us aren't fans • Clenches his fists & shakes when he's excited • Wears 12-18 & 18-24 clothing

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy 1st Father's Day, Matson!

Tomorrow is Father's Day and I was going to write this post then but right now little Nixon is asleep and has been for 2 hours. Which means I was able to get all that I was planning on doing during his nap all done (a mother's dream) and so now I have a little extra time! PLUS, I am sure you will get your fair share of Father's Day instagram, Facebook, and blog posts tomorrow. So I thought I would beat everyone to the punch!

Last Father's Day, being a parent was just a dream for Matson and I. I remember him saying so weird that next year at this time I will be a real D-A-D. As I am sure you were looking forward to it, I am sure that you didn't realize how hard it truly would be. So on Father's Day I want to celebrate you, the dad in our family, and all the roles that go along with being a dad that aren't quite glamorous and are  not usually celebrated. But they are very much appreciated.

These last 6 months as a new daddy you have taken on even some new roles like a personal chef. I remember when I was sick and those first couple of months when Nixon was little and what seemed like he was always breastfeeding you would cook me up some meal, which you rarely did before. It has been very much appreciated.

You are the protector. You've always been very protective of the ones you love and I love that about you.

You are the biggest fan. You have wallpapered your desk at work with pictures of Nixon and always bragging about him. I love that you love him and just want to tell everyone about him, without trying to brag TOO much ;).

The cleaner. Every SINGLE night you bathe Nix and he just loves it. I love that you and him have that time to bond with each other. I will be honest, sometimes I get jealous that I hear the two of you giggling in there but I honestly LOVE that you two get to have that time together.

Well I don't wanna make this too long. But since most likely tomorrow, on Father's Day, I may not get to say all these things to you due to nap time, teething, fussiness, or maybe even a blowout, I just want you to know that  I love you and I know that Nixon loves you too. Happy first true Father's Day, Mats! You're not only the best dad, but you are the best person to have at my side as my parenting, adventure, and life partner!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Nixon - 6 Months

Will eat anything we give him • Grew out of his infant car seat (which was supposed to last for a year...) • Calmed by music especially Andrea Bocelli and The MoTab's "The Lord's Prayer" • Wears size 12-18 month clothes • Can sit up alone • Still no rolling over - he blames the chub • Pacifier addicted • Loves swimming, walks, hikes, & bike rides! • 

Happy half birthday, Nix!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Nixon - 5 Months

Nixon is almost 6 better late than never!

An outdoor loving boy • STILL hates getting in his car seat • Has nailed the toe touch • 
Likes all the solids he has tasted so far especially puréed bananas 
(he whines if we don't feed them to him fast enough) 
• Enjoys leisure dips in the pool • Baby Einstein junkie • 
• Talks all day long with most words starting with the "g" sound - gee, goo, gaa • 
Happy 5 months to the boy who can make us smile even when he's pooping! 😉

Friday, April 24, 2015

"He must really love his baby."

This week after Nixon's 4 month doctor check up, Matson and I went for a quick lunch before he had to get back to work. We knew it had to be quick so we went to Chick Fil A (probably my favorite fast food restaurant now and I don't usually like fast food). We walked in, ordered, paid, and then Matson went to the table with Nixon while I grabbed our sauces, napkins, and straws. While I was grabbing all that stuff, the older Chick Fil A employee that was refilling the ketchup packets looked at me and said, "He must really love his baby."

I smiled and said, "Oh yes he does."

The woman said back to me, "There is nothing sweeter than a dad who loves his son."

Right after she said that I smiled again, paused, and looked over at Matson who was looking into Nixon's baby car seat trying to get Nixon to smile at him. It really was one of those cheesy "I am the luckiest girl in the world" moments.

Matson really is quite a good dad. He works all day (literally sometimes it is all day long) for us and then he comes home to do even more for us. He plays or takes care of Nixon. He happily eats whatever meal I've prepared (even if it is soup - which he REALLY hates). He works out a second time with me (he goes to the gym early in the morning) because I can't all day. That workout is usually an Insanity workout which he hates probably even more than soup. He bathes Nixon and if you could just hear the giggles and splashing coming from the bathroom you would smile like I do each night. He reads Nixon a bedtime story. Then he spends time with me trying to get me to laugh or watch some silly television show. And he does all that EVERY single day.

Anyway, just had to brag about my hubby for a little bit and share what a stranger said about him. It was so sweet.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nixon - 4 Months

Adores books • Loves walks in the stroller & looking at anything & everything we pass by • 
Quite a sweaty little one (like his dad) • Is very content listening to Andrea Bocelli & other classical musical • All his shirts & bibs are drenched in drool & spit up • Wears size 6-12 month clothing • 
Not a fan of getting in his car seat • Occasionally giggles (when being tickled) but still waiting on his real laugh to debut

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Nixon's Blessing

On the second Sunday of April, we name and blessed Nixon. His blessing was such a good day! We originally wanted to bless Nixon when he was two months old so that he would sleep and be calm for his blessing. But due to his RSV and hospital visit we had to postpone it until April when he was just a couple days shy of 4 months old. We were so worried that Nixon would cry and wail the whole way through his whole blessing. During the blessing it is tradition to have the baby laydown and all the priesthood holders hold him. Nixon is older now and not much of a fan of laying on his back. He likes to be up and looking around. Our little Nixon tends to be a sensitive dude. He can be smiley and incredibly happy one second then the next is crying and demanding food or a diaper change or something! So this moment and day was so special because Nixon was a little angel.

It was so special to see all the powerful and strong men in Nixon's life circled around him and holding him while Matson gave him a name and a blessing. It just made me so happy. Some of my favorite things from Nixon's blessing that I loved:

1. Later hearing that Nixon was on the verge of crying until Matson started the blessing. Kind of sweet that Matson's voice (or possibly the little bit of rocking that the men were doing) calmed him.

2. Matson blessing Nixon with "the qualities and traits of our Savior, Jesus Christ."

3. Matson blessing Nixon with a "desire to do what is right."

After Nixon's blessing we headed to our house for a brunch. My loving mother made loads of Eggcellent (an egg, ham, cheese, and potato mix) that is just "eggscellent"! We used that to make breakfast burritos. It was yummy! Something else I did that I want to do at all of my future kid's baby blesssings is I bought an LDS children's book to have all the guests sign so that he will always know who was there on his blessing day!

I kind of regret not taking more pictures. I have like 40 of Nixon but not of everyone else and the event. It was so special to have both our grandpa's in the circle along with our dad's and all our brothers. My brother from California came for it and it was so special to have everyone there!

'N' Cookies for Nixon! Thanks T* for making them!

Matson's Grandpa and family drove down from Brigham City/Logan to come!
This picture just shows you how tired our boy was. He skipped a nap and was so tired!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pregnancy Week by Week (Video)

I, of course, am a little late in posting this video. But I still thought it would be fun to share my growing belly with you all. If you just wanna see a quick version of my belly growing skip the video to 2:10. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

RSV Sucks

I am writing about this for first time parents that have no idea what the heck they are doing. Just like me. So maybe you can be a little more cautious and know what to look for.

After my Christmas day emergency surgery, we thought our sick days were over. Man, were we wrong. Matson instantly got sick right after Christmas. Probably brought on by all the stress of having a newborn, having his wife almost die/lose a bunch of blood, and then having to take care of his newborn and anemic wife. A week after my surgery I caught something (possibly the sickness Matson had) and was throwing up for a weekend which sucked having on top of being super weak and recovering from losing so much blood. After recovering from that though we seriously thought that we had all been sick enough for the winter!

Then almost a month ago, toward the end of February, Nixon woke up with a cough and lots of mucus. It was a Saturday so we just chilled all day until I took him to my sis in law's baby shower.  I had no idea what to do so all day that day so I just held him to try and get him to sleep. I had heard and knew that if I took him to the doctor they couldn't give me any special medicine or anything for my little baby so I just gave him a little bit of baby tylenol. While we were at the baby shower other moms were telling me things I could do for his little cold. If I didn't hold him he would wake himself up from coughing. He slept decently that night but Sunday he was even worse. We gave him more baby tylenol and saline drops before I would use our nose aspirator to get as much mucus out as I could. At night I put just a little bit of baby vapor rub on his feet so that he would sleep good because he hadn't been sleeping as solid as normal during his naps that day.

Sunday night he slept SO long. His little body needed more sleep to get him better. He woke up that day pretty normal and happy. But as the day went on I could tell he was getting worse. He napped his normal afternoon nap, but woke up breathing fairly bad. He was wheezing. I recorded his wheezing and texted it to Matson. Matson responded by telling me that I should definitely call our doctor. It was too late to get an appointment for the day so I just talked to a nurse and she told me the symptoms to look for to know if it was more serious than a cold. She told me if his breathing wasn't good (he was struggling or really using his belly too much), was wheezing, had a temperature over 100 degrees or if he stopped eating. He wasn't too bad with any of those except just a slight wheeze but it was off and on so I just decided we would go into the doctor the next day. I fed Nixon and then Matson and I went with my siblings to my grandparents house to eat with them like we do every Monday.

Nixon slept the whole time we were there. When we got home from dinner, it was time for Nixon to feed before going to bed.

**BACK STORY: Nixon has ALWAYS been a big eater. I couldn't measure how much he was eating the first 10 days of his life, but during my surgery and afterward when my milk supply was low my sister in law gave us some of her frozen milk and we gave Nixon bottles and he ate (or drank) 5-6 ounces. He has ate/drank 5 ounces or more ever since. He has always been a BIG eater. He literally is his own alarm clock with feeding time. He loves it and lots of it.**

Anyway, back to the story. After coming home from my grandparents Nixon would not eat. I was trying and trying almost like he was a newborn again forcing him to latch but he would not. He was freaking out and crying like crazy. I knew he had to be starving but he would not. He was obviously hungry and wanted to eat. He would go toward me like he wanted to eat but then would barely latch and pull off. After literally trying for almost a half hour I decided he wasn't going to eat and then he was just so mad. He was more than just crying. He was red face full on wailing. I tried to calm him and make him happy. I tried everything. He loves listening to me sing, so I tried all his usual favorite songs. That didn't work. I tried books, toys, lights, walking around our house, rocking, bouncing, and finally he calmed down (just a little bit) when I put on this visual stimulation baby thing that my niece loved that my parents found on YouTube. He was still whimpering, slightly crying, and now wheezing rather strongly.

Matson had been trying to calm him down with me but now that he kind of was, Matson called the nurse again from our pediatrician's office. The nurse asked Matson his symptoms. After this nurse told us that she was very concerned that he wasn't eating and that nothing was calming him down like normal, she told us that if it was her child she would never put that baby to bed without him getting checked. Since it was now 10pm at night, she advised us to go to the ER. So that is what we decided to do. We grabbed all of Nixon's things (blankets, diaper bag, PJ's) and I threw on a hat. We got right in the car with our crying babe. He was so unhappy, hungry, and now tired.

The hospital is only five minutes away from us but our little babe loves the car and fell asleep (thank goodness) on the way to the hospital. He was exhausted.

We walked into the ER. It was PACKED. Literally there were probably 30-40 people in there. Matson told me he would check in and for me to just sit down with Nixon in his carseat. Someone with a black eye, sick kids, people with broken bones limping, and all I could think about was how this was going to be a VERY long night. I thought that it would take forever for us to get called in. I was wrong because right as I was thinking that I heard a nurse call, "Nixon."

 Apparently a sick 10 week old baby goes right to the top of the list. We walked into the small room where a nurse was there waiting for us to tell her all about what was going on. We told her about how he was ok until early evening and how he wouldn't eat and nothing would calm him down. She told us she needed to take his temperature, weigh him, and check his oxygen levels.

We woke him up, which he wasn't too happy about. But he wasn't wailing like he was before. Just kind of whimpering. They weighed him and he weighed 14 lbs and 10 ounces. He gained about 6 ounces in a little less than a week since he was weighed at the doctor's office. After she checked him and everything she took us to our ER room. We sat in there for a little while. His ER nurse and ER tech came in, checked his vitals again, and hooked him up to the monitors. Nixon's nurse told us that Nixon's oxygen levels were too low and that he needed oxygen. Instead of hooking him up to oxygen they gave me a little tube that had oxygen blowing out of it. I held it right below his nose. The oxygen was definitely helping to raise his oxygen level.

The ER pediatrician came in and told us a little bit about what they were going to do. That Nixon needed to be tested for different viruses. So they took some of his blood to be tested. The doctor also told us that a respiratory therapist was going to come in and suction some of the mucus out of Nixon's nose.  Nixon obviously didn't like any of this, but he especially hated when the respiratory therapist used this small little tube to go down his nose and throat to suction out mucus. Matson held Nixon down while the therapist suctioned out his mucus. While we waited for hours for the test results to come back Nixon fell asleep in my arms. Matson and I were exhausted. It was now about 1am. The nurse got us some waters and snacks, which was very nice of them.

The tests came back positive for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus; which later became Bronchiolitis) and Rhino Virus. Matson and I weren't too surprised but we were very worried. Since we are first time parents, this was a whole new world. We had no idea what to do but we were more worried than ever. We just wanted our little baby better. At this point, the nurse also told us that they needed to X-Ray Nixon to see his lungs and other things. This was horrible too. We went into the X-Ray room. Matson held little Nixon down on a metal (and very cold) surface. Nixon had to stay still so Matson really had to hold him down strong. Nixon is a strong kicker and wasn't happy so he was really kicking. After doing multiple X-Rays to get a good, Nixon fell right back to sleep in my arms again.

After all the test and X-rays (it was about 2:30 am), the doctor came in and told us that Nixon needed to be admitted to the hospital. He told the reason being is that his oxygen levels were a bit low. Normal they want babies with RSV to be at 92 or higher but our Nixon was sitting at or around 88 with oxygen being blown at his nose. Without the oxygen, he was going to as low as 83. Although we were exhausted and bummed to be staying at the hospital, I was happy because I knew this meant that Nixon would at least be getting better or being monitored so that nothing horrible would happen to him like him stop breathing. I badly wanted to go home, but knew that the hospital was the right place for us to be.

Our ER tech, who was a Provo High alumni (YUCK. Haha. Our high school rival), was such a sweetheart. We were really sad to not have her anymore. It's funny how we again and again got attached to nurses and techs. She took us upstairs to the pediatric floor and into a rather large room that had a crib (for Nixon) and an extra hospital bed (where I slept), two rocking chairs, and a pull out chair bed (where Matson slept). By the time we got up to our room it was about 3 am. Matson hurried and ran home to not only take my family's dog to my sister and her husband, but to also grab us a few essentials like a change of clothes and our toothbrushes.

While Matson was gone our new nurse and tech got us all set up. She gave us diapers, wipes, more drinks, snacks, and she talked to me about everything. Supplies, paper work, where to breast pump, and all sorts of goodies. They hooked Nixon up to oxygen and gave him a feeding tube. He DID not like getting the feeding tube put down his throat and into his belly. It was so sad to watch.  Nixon had to be fed through a tube because most babies before age 2 mostly breathe through their noses so when they are sick and have mucus they can't breathe through their noses very well. So when they go to eat and latch on to breastfeed they cannot breathe at all. So they refuse to eat. This is why he had to be tube fed. So I pumped every time that Nixon fed and the nurse would put my breastmilk in a big 2 oz. syringe that was hooked up to a machine that slowly pumped the breastmilk into the tube that went straight into Nixon's belly.

Anyway that night was very tiring. Matson came back to the hospital with our stuff and we just stood looking at our little baby at 4 am in his hospital crib. He was exhausted too and was finally asleep. Matson and I stood over his crib and I will be honest, I just cried. We prayed together and then tried to get a little sleep before we woke up at 7 am.

For the next four days, we had quite an emotional roller coaster. One day he would be looking like he was getting better but then a coupe hours he would be bad again. The doctors were moving his oxygen levels up and down and up and down. He was getting suctioned (the tube thing that went down his nose/throat to get the mucus out) 4 or more times a day. Nixon was sleeping a lot more than normal. He literally was sleeping all day long. He was so tired. One day he woke up and I could tell he just wanted to play. I sat in the hospital crib with him (don't worry it holds up to 400 pounds and parents are allowed to sit in it) and played and sang with him. It looked as though he was getting better but then that next night they turned his oxygen levels up higher than ever before. When they came in and told us that they had to move it up to support his oxygen more I just balled. I was so sick of him being in the hospital and carrying my baby with all these tubes and cords attached to him. I just wanted to be back at home with my happy baby.

I could go on and on and tell you all about our 5 days in the hospital, but I would rather not because this is already VERY long. Instead I am just going to share a few stories from our week in the hospital with Nixon.

Nixon normally eats about 5 oz. and has since early on, but they were only feeding him one 2 oz. syringe of breastmilk. So on our second day at the hospital Nixon decided he didn't like that and that he wanted more. He cried and cried and cried. We kept trying to figure out what was wrong and finally I realized it had to be because he was hungry. The nurse told us that he had just fed him some milk in his feeding tube. At this point I didn't know how much milk fit into each one of the syringes so I asked and he responded by telling me 2. I knew right then that it was not nearly enough for our big eater. So I told the nurse that he may be so unhappy because he is still hungry. The nurse looked shocked when I told him that Nixon eats 5 oz each feeding. He laughed and said that that was DEFINITELY why our little guy was so upset. So he went and got another syringe of milk warmed up and Nixon was much happier.

Mid day on our first day in the hospital Nixon was acting like he was bored. Our sweet nurse brought in a mobile and toys to keep him entertained. He loved them and would watch them, but after a couple days of those toys he was bored of them. So one day our new nurse told me that she would be right back. She came in and put a DVD into our hospital room DVD player. On came an episode of Baby Einstein - Mozart. I sat down on the rocking chair with Nixon in my lap. He was in love. We had never done this before and Matson and I were shocked he watched it. Literally I don't think Nixon blinked for the whole half hour long video. He loves music so it was his favorite thing. I think we watched that video like 3 times before we were discharged and he loved it every single time.

Since becoming a mom I have never prayed more, but being in the hospital I literally prayed all day long. Every single night Matson and I would prayer together with Nixon and with each other. But one night my parents came to visit us and my dad took a picture of Nixon that he posted on Instagram. Along with the picture, my dad wrote on Instagram something along the lines of asking others to pray for him and us. It was amazing how many people commented and liked the picture saying that they were going to pray for us. I cried reading each person's comment and it comforted me so much knowing that all those people were praying for Nixon. Later in the early hours of the morning they slowly lessened Nixon's oxygen levels. He went to bed being at a 6 and when we woke up in the morning he was at a 2 (the lowest level they will keep him at). For the past few nights Nixon was not doing good. He would get better during the day and his oxygen level would be at a 3 or 4 and then always had his oxygen level raised at night. So this was truly amazing that during the night he was getting better and better. That next day by the afternoon they completely took him off oxygen and took out his feeding tube!

It was amazing! They kept us there to make sure that he wouldn't go back downhill again. He took multiple naps that day, ate very well, and at 10pm Friday night we were discharged! We were so happy to be able to go home. I know it is because of the many people that prayed for us that Nixon was taken off oxygen and able to go home. I am so thankful for the many people that did prayer for him.

Although we were discharged and Nixon was getting better, I was still so scared. I asked the doctors a bunch of questions and what we should look for if he needed to come back. I was nervous to not have his oxygen level and heart rate not monitored all the time. I was nervous to go through a night all on our own. It was like I was a brand new mom again. We went home and did our normal night time routine with him again. We bathed him, read to him, and put him to bed. That night Matson and I didn't sleep very well. We checked on him every 2 hours. Matson literally set an alarm for every 2 hours to make sure he was breathing, which we didn't really need because for some reason I woke up naturally every couple hours to check on him. He was always breathing well.

For the next while Matson and I stayed in and didn't take Nixon anywhere. Nixon still had mucus for a couple of days after the hospital but not nearly as much. He had a cough for about a week after. He also slept like a newborn for the week after the hospital. Literally would feed then sleep feed then sleep. His body was tired and needed it.

All in all we are so grateful that our baby boy is better and ok. He is back to himself, doing better than ever, and growing like a weed! He gained one pound that week in the hospital. Remember how he was 14 lbs. and 10 oz. when we checked into the hospital? Well exactly a week after we checked into the hospital he had an appointment with his doctor and he weighed 15 lbs. and 10 oz.! Chunkers!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Nixon - 3 Months

Bouncy chair obsessed • Loves to sucks on his hands whenever he can • Moved up to Size 2 diapers • Hates getting into his car seat, yet happy once he's in • Likes to be read to • Conquered 2 Viruses & was a champ for 5 days in the hospital!

Nixon - 2 Months

Sleeps in his crib for 5-7 hour stretches (YAY!) • Attempts talking daily • Loves to stare at our ceiling fan (pretty much a giant baby mobile) • Big snuggler • Obsessed with his hands • Hates getting out of the bath • Almost grown out of all his 0-3 month clothes

Nixon - 1 Month

Better late than never...Nixon turned one month old on January 16th. I posted this originally on Instagram and will continue to post his monthly updates there and on here!

Professional farter (stinky & LOUD) • Sleeps with his hands by his face • Enjoys tummy time and holding his head up for abnormally long amounts of time • Flashes his smile at us as he drifts into dream land • Entertained by movement: his swing, car rides, and dancing! • You know he's asleep once he spits out his binky • Daily Goal: to pee on mom or dad

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nixon's Birth Announcement

I totally spaced sharing Nixon's birth announcement on here. Due to my surgery and the craziness of having a newborn we didn't really get these out until mid January! And now I am posting it here mid March. Oops.

So if you didn't get one of these in your mailbox don't be offended. I either don't have your address, ran out of announcements, or I don't know you. Ha. So let's all pretend to open our mailboxes...and bam you see this in your mailbox!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Christmas Activities 2014

First of all let me just say it is SO overwhelming trying to catch up on blogging about everything. I have missed blogging about pretty much all of summer, lots of birthdays, the birth of my first niece, Halloween, Thanksgiving, a quick Vegas trip, and prepping for our baby. But I just decided I am going to just skip it and just do a quick recap of the past few months and just go on with the future.

Before Nixon was born it was a special time to be able to not only be prepping for our little one but also to be celebrating and experiencing all the Christmas festivities going on!

The weekend before Nixon was born we went to a friend's party!

Nixon kissing his cousin!
After having Nixon and before my crazy Christmas day we were able to squeeze in a few Christmas activities! Two days after getting home from the hospital my family wanted to get some quick Christmas pictures taken. My brother had just came in town for Christmas and so we headed down to Google Fiber where they had a photographer and little Christmas photo backdrop set up. Nixon was only 4 days old! I love these pictures because look how little he was!

Grandparents and the Grandkids 2014
My Family 2014
Our Family 2014

The weekend before Christmas my sister and sister in law wanted to have a little Christmas Pinterest idea photo shoot. My niece got some pretty dang cute ones of her in a box full of ornaments. Nixon's photoshoot on the other hand didn't turn out too great. But it was still fun!

On Little Christmas Eve. (a Danish holiday my family celebrates) we went and took pictures of Nixon and my niece with Santa Claus. It was freezing cold at the outside Santa at Riverwoods but we still went! We just dressed Nixon up in his little, fuzzy bear suit!

After the Santa pictures we went and looked at different lights around the Sandy/Draper area. There are a bunch of musical lights out there and we really wanted to go see the Tree of Life, which was amazing.

On Christmas Eve. my Grandma from Washington came into town. My family just spent time together. The guys watched a movie late while us ladies just talked and went to bed. 

My Grandma and Nixon
Christmas Eve Snoozin'

Friday, March 6, 2015

Our Christmas Day Miracle

This post has taken me awhile to decide if I should write or not. Once again this may be a little TMI for some readers. If you don't like blood then stop reading now. I am going to spare you a lot of details, but I just look at my blog as a journal so I thought I should write about this day that was a sad but blessed day. AND I am not writing this to get sympathy. Ha.

On Christmas day 2014, I woke up in the morning to feed Nixon at about 7 am. He went back to sleep and almost instantly I started not feeling my best. My stomach kind of hurt and I felt like I had to go to the bathroom so bad. Yet when I continually kept trying to go to the bathroom, I couldn't. Matson woke up for the day and I told him I wasn't feeling good, which kind of sucked because honestly I love Christmas. I love family traditions and look forward to them for weeks. I had been looking forward to this Christmas day for months because I knew it would be so special to have our little boy with us for the holiday. Even though I wasn't feeling so great I did my make up for the day to look a little better but stayed in my pajamas because that's what my family does. Pj's all day!

My mom makes a really big Christmas breakfast every year. So my whole family including my grandparents sat down for our big Christmas breakfast at about 9 am. I wasn't feeling my best still so I just ate a little bit of everything. While eating breakfast I really was feeling sick and like I had to go to the bathroom SOOO bad. I felt so much pressure down below and my stomach was hurting so bad. I took magnesium and fiber to see if that would help my constipation (PS: I hate that word. Constipation. Worst word ever besides the word moist.). My grandma who was in town from Washington was asking me what was wrong and even though this makes me sound like a baby, I cried as I told her how I felt. After helping to get breakfast cleaned up my family was all ready to start our Christmas morning!

Real quick I told my family that I needed to run to the bathroom. I went into the bathroom and nothing came. Still a bunch of pressure down there and my stomach was hurting so bad. All of the sudden I felt like I was going pee, but I wasn't. I looked down in the toilet and it was starting to fill with bright red blood and even some clots of blood. I yelled to my mom who was still cleaning up in the kitchen. She came in and I asked her if it was normal to bleed this much after having a baby. Just the night before my sister in law, my mom, and I had been talking about how after I had only had Nixon about 9 days prior and that I hadn't really bled as much as other women have told me. They both talked about how they bled a lot just a couple days after having a baby. I didn't think much of it and shrugged it off. I thought that I was the lucky one who didn't bleed much. MAN, was I wrong!

As I sat there with a constant flow of blood, I was thinking about that conversation and that this must be what all those women were talking about. My mom told me it was normal. But then I just continued to bleed and bleed. She grabbed the biggest pad she had at her house and I put it on and told her I just wanted to go upstairs real quick to wash off in the bathtub and change then I would be down for gifts.

Right when I got upstairs into my childhood bedroom, I could still feel bleeding. I looked and the pad was full. It only took me about 1 minute to walk upstairs. So in 1 minute I filled the biggest pad ever. I got in the bathtub and turned on the hot water. I figured the bathtub is the safest place so that I didn't bleed all over the carpet. I filled the bathtub only about an inch and already the tub water was bright red. I was starting to feel super weak, my stomach was killing more than some of my contractions just 9 days earlier when I was delivering Nixon. I wasn't sure if I was feeling weak because I was grossed out of all the blood or because I was actually sick. At this point I still had no idea if this was the blood that my sister in law and my mom were talking about the night before or not. I didn't know whether or not it was normal to bleed this much and so long after having my baby.

After I had literally refilled the bathtub like 4 times with water and it being bright red and thick, I starting realizing that it was not normal. This is when I knew I couldn't get up to get someone. I was feeling too weak so I started yelling. My family had Christmas music on downstairs so I had to yell pretty loud. No one seemed to be hearing me. I was yelling "Matson" and "Mom" to see if either of them would hear me. As dramatic as this sounds I was also banging on the bathtub wall because I knew I couldn't get up because blood would just go everywhere. I probably looked like some hormonal teenager from a teen sitcom yelling and hitting the wall while screaming their names. Haha. My mom must have heard me because she came up. She looked at the bathtub and told me that this was definitely not normal. She started cleaning up everything and she sat on the toilet right next to the bathtub as I continued to bleed in pain. She kept watching me and I could tell by her face that this was not the normal bleeding she had been talking about the night before. Matson came in and his face was in shock. He doesn't do so well with blood or anything like this, we were surprised he made it through the birth of our son. My mom told Matson, "This is not normal. This is a lot of blood."

Matson started to text and call my OB doctor. He wasn't responding (Of course he wasn't! It was Christmas morning!). Both my mom and Matson decided right there that we needed to get to the hospital. My dad was in my room as some point too. I don't know exactly what went on because I was just trying to get through the pain while they all made the quick decision and plan of what to do.

Matson and my dad ran downstairs. They got the car right by the garage door and a bunch of towels onto the passenger seat. Meanwhile my mom was helping me stand out of the bath, get my pj's back on, and I couldn't stand so literally my mom was carrying all my weight. If you know my parents house then you can picture this. My mom, who weighs like 100 pounds, carried all my weight from my bathroom to the top of the stairs. I think she realized that I wasn't doing too well and that she probably couldn't carry me down the stairs so I sat on a chair at the top of the stairs until Matson came and picked me up. Matson picked me up, we ran down the stairs, I could hear Nixon crying, and as we were leaving I told my mom through tears that Nixon was going to be very hungry soon. He needed to feed right then! It's amazing what being a mom does to you. Even through all my pain and bleeding, I honestly couldn't think of anyone but Nixon. I needed to feed him and that was all that I was thinking about.

We got in the car and Matson was speeding to the hospital. It was snowing and yes, Matson was speeding. I will be honest I thought we were going to get in a wreck and we almost did twice because of dumb non-Utahns driving in Utah snow. I screamed at Matson multiple times to watch out and slow down. This felt all too familiar to the morning before Nixon was born. Matson responded to me that I needed to get to the hospital and he was not going to stop even if it was a red light. So it made me very happy that all the lights were green and we didn't have to go through any red lights.

We finally arrived to the ER doors. Matson carried me out and my dad, who followed us there in his own car, took our car and parked it for us. Matson carried me in and put me on a wheelchair. They wheeled me into an ER room. The nurse instantly started asking questions to Matson and I. We told her I had just had a baby 9 days before and everything that had happened this morning. Meanwhile another nurse was putting an IV in. Next the nurse looked at my downstairs and did confirm that something was definitely wrong and that I was losing a lot of blood. She changed everything, threw away my soaked clothes, and tried to clean me up to only have to clean me up less than 20 minutes later due to all the blood. My dad and Matson were making grossed out and shocked faces at my blood. There were blood clots the size of fists coming out. YUCK!

Because it was Christmas there was not very many people at the hospital. There was a doctor on call there but by this point my OB (my parents' neighbor and family friend) had already responded to us and told us he was sorry that he wasn't by his phone and that he was leaving his house to the hospital now to come help. I am SO grateful to him and his family for giving up their Christmas for me too. My OB ordered for an ultrasound. The nurse had to call in an ultrasound tech because none were there due to the holiday. It took her about 45 minutes to an hour to get there. When she came she wheeled me to the ultrasound room. She looked at my uterus to see if any pieces from the birth were in there. There were. She wasn't sure if they were placenta or what but something was in there that wasn't supposed to, which may be why I was bleeding so much. She explained to Matson, my dad, and I that they were smaller than a centimeter but that it didn't matter how small.

After the ultrasound, my OB arrived and checked me out. I'm not sure at what point I was given morphin but I was because all of the sudden I started going in and out of sleep. Drugs work VERY well on me. In high school I used to take lortab for pain and I literally would take it and in less than 30 minutes I would knock out and sleep for hours and hours. Due to the pain medication the only few things I remember was that the nurse had to keep changing the pads underneath me (like the pads that you train a dog on) and that after the ultrasound my OB decided that I needed to have surgery to remove whatever was in me and to stop my bleeding.

Since I was to have surgery my OB had to call in a surgical nurse, anesthesiologist, and others to come to the hospital so he could perform the surgery. This took another hour or so for them to all arrive. Once again I think I was in and out of sleep this whole time because all I remember before the surgery was that Matson left to go check on Nixon and to talk to his brother who was calling from his LDS mission. He didn't want to leave me but my dad reassured him that he would stay by my side and wait for me while I was in surgery. So Matson left to go talk to his brother who we only get to talk to twice a year and introduce Nixon to him over the phone. After Matson left some of the people we needed for the surgery showed up. This is when my OB and the anesthesiologist wheeled me to the operating room and my dad was told to wait in the waiting room. I moved onto the cold operating table and the last thing I remember before they "put me under" was my OB sternly asking where the surgical nurse, Karl, was and that he better hurry because I needed the surgery NOW. To be honest that kind of freaked me out but also made me realize that this was very serious.

Since the next thing I remember is being in the after care room, I am going retell you the next events from Matson and my dad's memories.

During my hour or so long surgery Matson was able to talk to his brother for a little bit and introduce Nixon to him. They also held a big family prayer over the phone with his brother on his mission. At this point Matson had no idea what was happening to me at the hospital and his family was all very worried about me. Matson returned Nixon back to my family's house and came to the hospital. I was done with my surgery and in the recovery room. The doctor and surgical team came into the recovery room just as Matson got there. The doctor had blood all over his shoes and stuff. He told Matson and my dad that they could go see me. They walked over and Matson said it was the worst thing ever. He could tell I was not in good shape, which shocked him because he thought that the surgery was going to fix me. Even though the surgery was done, Matson said I was as white as could be and I laid on the hospital bed not moving and in pain. Matson and my dad were very concerned because even though I had the surgery, I was still bleeding. This not only surprised my dad and Matson but also the recovery nurse, surgical nurse, anesthesiologist, and my doctor. I was still losing a lot of blood.

Matson recalls the time in the recovery room being very up and down. He remembers all of the medical staff panicking and running around the entire time I was in there. Machines going off and on.  My dad hated when I would randomly scream from pain. I don't even remember screaming but apparently I was. I was in the recovery room for quite a long time. Multiple times they were wanting to give me a blood transfusion but my doctor kept holding off because blood transfusions can be risky for future children and can cause other complications. The entire time I was in there Matson said I was paler than a ghost, not moving or doing much but sometimes would say short phrases over and over again. One was that I was freezing cold so they put like 20 warm blankets all around my face and body. Another thing I kept asking and worry about was Nixon. Then I would also worry about Christmas and our family traditions. Then lastly he said about every 10 minutes or so I would say I think I am peeing. But I wasn't peeing, I was actually bleeding more. This is when the medical staff would scramble around not knowing why I was still bleeding.

This is obviously not my most attractive picture.
 This is me about 2 hours after my surgery during the crazy time in the recovery room.

Matson and my dad were sitting by my side yet out of the team's way. Matson said he continually was praying for me. He thought I was going to pass away and that he was going to have to take care of Nixon all on his own. That's all he was thinking about. The nurse could not even get a needle in me to take some of my blood to test. They poked me all over to see if they could get some blood out but there wasn't any blood. It took multiple nurses and then finally the anesthesiologist to fill just a very small amount of a vial.  After a few hours of stress in the recovery room, I stopped bleeding and was finally ok. They moved me to a regular hospital room. I was stable but Matson said I was still complaining about being cold and I was still pretty much asleep. By this time it was about 7pm or so in the evening. 

I remember waking up and suddenly being in a normal hospital room. My first thought was that I had to get something to eat. I was starving. They brought me some nasty ham Christmas meal. Matson forced me to eat at least half of it because I needed to eat meat now so that I could have more iron in my body to help me build up my blood supply. In the regular hospital room the nurses were so nice. They got me fluids, a bunch of medicine, loads of fresh warm blankest, and they kept telling me that I may have to stay over night. I DID NOT WANT TO STAY OVER NIGHT. It was Christmas and I felt like I had already ruined it for both our families. Plus I really wanted to see Nixon. I felt so bad for abandoning him all day.

My family was amazing and took care of him. My sister in law fed him all day since she was breastfeeding my niece. She also gave him his first bottle of pumped milk. She was amazing. I balled when I heard about all the nice things people had been doing for us all day. Lots of prayers, my family taking care of Nixon, my sis in law feeding him, all the medical staff taking extra time for me on Christmas day, and both our families waited and paused Christmas for me. 

Since my doctor knew I badly wanted to be home on Christmas, he allowed me to be discharged out of the hospital. I was incredibly happy. My doctor told me that I could go home if I just rested and took it very very easy. To recover all I needed was some pain medicine, lots of sleep, and iron. He also told me it would be a couple of weeks to a month before I feel normal again. YIKES. Finally at 11pm on Christmas I was discharged. 

I went back to my parents house and saw my sleeping baby. Apparently he slept all day long and all he did was wake up to eat. He was an angel baby so they said. At 11pm my family started our Christmas. They fed me again (more red meat) and even though I was feeling very weak I sat on the couch and watched everyone open their gifts. It was a little bit of a different Christmas but I was so grateful everyone waited for me. The next night Matson's family had their Christmas and I will be honest it still totally felt like Christmas!

All in all I lost 2 liters of blood at the hospital and who knows how much more before I got to the hospital at my parents house. I lost a significant amount of blood and was therefore considered anemic. For the next month and the first month of our newborn's life I was very weak. I slept when Nixon slept and it took all the energy I had to just get in the bath each day. I couldn't even get up to make myself food or I literally felt so light headed. Matson was a saint. He made all the meals, cleaned everything, fed Nixon bottles in the middle of the night, and was Mr. Mom. PLUS he tried to work as much as he could from home. Matson's biggest job though was forcing me to eat red meat. That was a job in and of itself. Haha. I hate red meat. Actually let's be for real here. I hate all meat really.

The pieces of junk they took out of me was sent into a lab to be tested. It wasn't placenta or anything. Just blood clots. My doctor explained to us that what happened was my uterus didn't fully contract so my body still thought I was pregnant. It was still pumping all my blood down to my uterus as if our baby was in there. But since it wasn't, my uterus was just filling up with blood. Now I know in the future that I should bleed more right after having my baby and I should have strong cramps from my uterus contracting down. 

I am so grateful for prayer, my family, friends, and my husband. I could not have done this without him or our families. We are so incredibly blessed. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy 27 to Matson!

Today is my guy's birthday. This is the 6th birthday I have celebrated with him. And I am so incredibly lucky to be the one that gets to celebrate with him.

This morning after feeding little Nixon, I got back into bed to snuggle Matson and I told Matson just that. That I was so lucky to have him. And you know what he responded with? he told me that he was so lucky to have me. I reminded him that it wasn't my birthday. But he didn't care. THAT is why I am so lucky right there. He is so good to me.

As I look back at these 6 years of birthday celebrating...I really am the lucky one. Although we may argue sometimes, get incredibly frustrated with each other, say things we don't mean, and fight about what stupid television show to put on (Don't be surprised if I pull my hair out if I have to watch another episode of Top Gear, Mythbusters, or Family Guy again.), I still love him so much. And at the end of each day he is the one I want, the one I choose, and the one I will never be tired of.  AND I am the one he wants, he chooses, and the one he never tires of.

Well this is my short love letter to Matson on his 27th birthday. I won't bore you with 27 reasons why I love him because he can read those on the 27 sticky notes hidden around our house. Ha. But I will tell you, Matson, in front of all these readers and bloggers that I love you. I love you more than bright yellow flowers, more than Western Family Shark fruit snacks, more than direct heat from a fireplace, more than a Sunday nap, more than anything.

Happy Birthday, Mats! I truly am grateful that you were born and that I am the one that gets to celebrate that with you.

Photo by Teagan Alex

Photo by Teagan Alex

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Our First Night Home as Parents

I decided I wanted to write about the first night we brought Nixon home so that I don't forget it (which I don't think I ever could) and so that other new parents don't feel like they are the only ones struggling. You can laugh at our crazy first night with us.

Our hospital stay after Nixon was born was glamorous...well as glamorous as a hospital stay can be. Nixon slept ALL day and night long. Literally we had to tickle his feet and neck to keep him awake long enough to feed.

We left the hospital on Thursday the 18th of December in the afternoon. We drove straight to the pharmacy to fill some prescriptions for me. The wait there was something like an hour so we stalled by visiting Matson's parents. After visiting them, we picked up my prescriptions and went home. This whole time our little newborn was in deep sleep.

My dad and little sister came over to our house to hold Nixon and hang out with us. My mom came later too but was held up doing something (I think she was at a wedding reception or something). We all ate ice cream (Thanks sis!) and talked about the big event that just happened two days before. Towards the end of the night my sister left. Then, my dad and mom stayed to help us give Nixon his first bath at home. We pretty much sponge bathed him in our kitchen sink since his umbilical cord/belly button couldn't get wet yet. Nixon screamed the whole time. He especially hated getting his head wet (this has now changed...Nixon at almost two months loves bath time and relaxes so much in the nice warm water that he pees about 2-3 times a bath!).

After bath time my dad headed home. My mom stayed to help us with Nixon. I hurried and took a bath, fed him, and then got into bed. Nixon was crying a lot I guess after I fed him. My mom and Matson watched TV while trying to soothe him. After about an hour and a half or so he calmed down and my mom got him to sleep after lots of rocking. So at midnight he finally slept and my mom headed home.

As soon as my mom left Nixon woke up and was crying like crazy again. I heard him and woke up too. I walked out of our room and into our family room to see a very distraught and frustrated Matson. He was so bugged that Nixon had woken up again and was wailing RIGHT after my mom had worked so hard to get him to sleep. He was not happy. I took Nixon and started going through the Mommy checklist.

Dirty diaper? Nope.

Burp stuck in his belly? Burped him for a while. Nope.

Hungry? I fed him for a little bit but after he was just crying again.

Rock him? Nope, he wasn't having it.

Bounce him? Nope, didn't like it.

Walk around the room/house? Nope.

Nothing was working. We kept saying how we literally felt like we had no idea what the heck we were doing. Matson and I started out kind of laughing about it and how we couldn't believe the hospital let ANYONE just go without hours and hours of instruction of how to take care of a newborn.

We went into our bedroom to try skin to skin and to calm him. Didn't work. With our upset newborn and the combination of us not having a clue of what to do, we were getting pretty frustrated. Matson kept saying how he thought he was colic. I kept reassuring him that he wasn't and that he just was tired or something else was wrong. We just tried our best to keep rocking him and trying to soothe him. It is amazing that when I was frustrated Matson would try to calm me. Then when Matson was frustrated I would try to calm him. There was never a time when we both were frustrated. It has continued to be that way. When one is frustrated, the other can take him and calm the other spouse.

Two hours past. It was 2 am. I wasn't frustrated but more worried and tired. Who wants to be up at 2 am? NO ONE. Plus, Matson had to be at work the next morning for some meeting. So I felt bad that he was awake still. I was crying at this point and praying over and over again in my mind.

Against Matson's will, I called my mom. Matson didn't want me to call her because that would suck for her to be woken up and he knew that she would come over. I just needed to call her because I knew she would be able to help or at least help me to not feel so bugged and mad. I called her. She answered.

I apologized over and over again for calling and that I just needed her advice. She went through the same checklist with me. She could hear Nixon wailing in the background. Through my tears I told her how I had tried everything, was worried about Nixon since he really hadn't slept in over 5 hours, and that I was incredibly frustrated. She reassured me and told me she would head over. I asked her not to but she still came.

Matson and I were just happy that someone who ACTUALLY knew what they were doing was coming over. She came over to the rescue. I fed Nixon again and then my mom told me to go to bed and that she would hold him.

For the next two hours he was off and on crying, but she said the whole time he was awake. She said the lights from the Christmas tree were interesting to him and was the only thing that would distract him. My mother is a saint. I slept those two hours then came out to feed him again. While I fed him my mom slept on my couch as best as she could. She was exhausted now too. I felt so bad but was so grateful. At this point, I was saying the biggest prayer of gratitude.

After feeding him, I went back to bed and my mom stayed another couple hours with him while he was in and out of sleep. I woke up at about 7 in the morning to feed him again. I fed him and then told my mom that I could handle it since I had gotten some sleep. I just needed some. As soon as my mom left and Matson went to his work meeting, Nixon fell asleep. He HAD to be exhausted. For a newborn to be awake from 10pm to 2am is a really long time. Plus to not really have a long stretch of sleep at night had to be hard for him. After that night, Nixon slept so good. He would go every four hours at night and as he gets older he adds more and more time to sleeping.

I will forever be grateful for Matson and my mom that night. Matson helped to keep me sane. And my mom literally saved me from hours and hours of tears. Moral of the story: newborns are going to cry, you are going to get frustrated, and my mom is heaven sent.

Our good little sleeper!
Photo by: Teagan Alex

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Day We Met Our Sweet Nixon

Nixon is now a month and a half. It is hilarious how long it has taken me to write this. I now understand what it means when new moms say that the first three months are a blur. I completely agree. When he sleeps it is either nap time for me too or I am rushing to get showered or switching the laundry from the washer to the dryer. But all in all I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world. Almost every day I tell Matson how it makes me sad that he is growing up and he is only 6 weeks old! I want to write this so that I will always remember all the details of Nixon's delivery. I am usually quite an open person so I am warning you now that parts of this may be TMI for some of you. So stop reading now if you are one of those people. Ha. It is also very long. All details included.

The Day We Met Our Sweet 
Nixon John Tanner

December 16, 2014    |    2:19 pm    |    8 lbs. 7 oz.    |    20.5 inches

Our story starts weeks before I gave birth to Nixon. The last month of pregnancy I went in weekly to the doctor to be checked and see how I was progressing. At our prenatal class that I made Matson attend with me, the nurse told us that at the end of pregnancy it is all about how you change from week to week. That is what matters when going into labor. My first appointment when they checked me I was 37 weeks, dilated to a 1, and 60% effaced. My doctor told me that was pretty good for being a first time mom. I was not sure if that was true or if he was just being nice. My second appointment I was 38 weeks, dilated to a 2, and 75% effaced. My third appointment I was 39 weeks, dilated to a 3, and 80% effaced. So during these visits we learned that I was progressing nicely and maybe even a little ahead of most first time mothers. Therefore, at that third appointment my doctor told me that we could set a day for me to be induced. He asked if we wanted to. Matson and I looked at each other and immediately responded with a yes. My due date was December 18th, but we set an induction date for the 16th. I hadn't had any strong contractions so we pretty much decided that that would be the day we would have Nixon. On December 16th. The doctor did say that since I had been progressing that he could come earlier.

Although I knew he wouldn't come early, my mom was determined to get things going and get the baby here. All week long, Matson kept saying he was ready for him to come now too. They both wanted the baby here. On the other hand, I was not in a rush. I felt like I had so much to do. On Friday, December 12th my mom had an idea of hiking the Y to see if that would help move little baby along. So we hiked the Y. It wasn't too tough, but I did go at a snail's pace compared to normal. Afterward, I did have some stronger contractions than before but nothing happened. Matson now really wanted him here. He also kind of thought it would be cool if our baby boy was born on 12/13/14 so he really was hoping for him to come on Saturday. Saturday passed. No baby boy. Sunday passed. No baby boy.

Monday came and nothing that day so that night we received a call from the hospital telling us to be at the hospital at 6:30 am the next morning for me to be induced. We were at Matson's office Christmas party late but we hurried home so I could get the last minute things ready. We got home and instantly I started feeling really nervous. I was crying and emotional because I was so excited to meet our little boy but I was also so nervous that I couldn't do it. I literally thought that there would be NO WAY I could give birth to this little one. There was no turning back now though. I called my dad and mom. My parents came over bringing a DQ treat with them and together Matson and my dad gave me a blessing. Combined with the blessing, the sugar, and my parents and Matson's kind words I felt calm and I knew that I could do it.

Matson and I got up around 4:30 am. I thought why not get ready since I knew there would be loads of pictures taken on this glorious day. I ate breakfast. I then started doing my hair while Matson still laid in bed. I was feeling kind of nauseous for some reason. I couldn't figure it out...I hadn't been sick a single day during the past nine months and then today I start feeling sick? I took a break from doing my hair (who does that?!) and sat on the side of our tub. I was eating some Lucky Charms (my healthy pregnancy secret. Ha.). All of the sudden at about 5:30, I felt like I was peeing a little bit. I looked down and saw a pool of water! My water broke (or so I thought).

Matson jumped out of bed and started pushing me along and saying to hurry to get ready! He threw our bag in the car, some towels on my passenger seat, made sure we had everything we needed, and called his sister to tell her we were picking her up earlier than we thought. Matson's sister, Teagan, came along with us for this whole adventure since she is a photographer and we wanted it all captured! At 5:55 am we picked up Teagan and on the way to the hospital I started having contractions about every 3 minutes. Matson was driving crazy fast because I think that is the only thing that he felt like he had control over. To get me to the hospital quickly. Haha.

At this point we had no idea what we were doing. I had contractions every 3 minutes and we thought my water had broken. So we literally thought we could be having this baby soon. We arrived at the hospital at 6:05 am calmly. We checked in, I changed into my hospital robe with the help of Teagan tying it up in the back. I sat down on the hospital bed in the delivery room and noticed that I really was having contractions consistently.

Our nurse walked in and we recognized her! Matson and I both just laughed. Most random connection, but long story short, she went on a really awkward blind date with my brother and the rest of our family to Stadium of Fire a couple of years ago. The date was horribly awkward for her and for my brother since my whole family was along with them. We never thought we would see her again let alone have her as the person guiding us through our whole delivery process. Let me just say that McCall was THE BEST nurse ever. I am so grateful that she was my nurse! After apologizing to her for that awkward date a couple years ago, we got right to work. She checked me to see how I was progressing and told us that my water had not fully broken, but she did confirm that I was going into full blown labor on my own and that this actually wouldn't be considered an induction. I was dilated to a 4.

I thought that was nuts. My body must have known or something that today was the day. The day I was suppose to get induced, little baby decided to come on his very own. Kind of cool but also insane. Now side note: Being checked is the most uncomfortable thing I think. Honestly it hurts more than some contractions. That is something that people just don't talk about that I think feels the weirdest.

McCall hooked me up to everything and brought me my first cup of ice chips flavored with raspberry syrup - she kept those cups of love coming all day. They were the only thing I could eat/drink and it killed me. I am a huge water drinker and that's all I wanted but couldn't have. After hooking me up to the monitors and putting in my IV, McCall explained all the machines and numbers to Matson (he wanted to know everything and I was glad he did so that I didn't have to worry about it). Dr. Jacob came in to check on me and he felt my stomach to feel the baby. He guessed that the baby would be 6 pounds and 5 ounces.

Everyone then started texting in their guesses on how much Nixon would weigh. Most were staying under or around the 7 pounds region.

The contractions were not too bad. I honestly thought it would be so much worse. I am not saying it wasn't painful, I just expected much worse. Teagan, Matson, McCall, and I were just talking about all sorts of things. When a contraction would come Matson allowed me to squeeze his hand and just told me over and over again to breathe in my nose and out my mouth. Over and over again I kept saying, "This hurts" and Teagan would laugh and say, "They are suppose to."

By now, it was 9 am. Matson was getting hungry so I told him and his sister to go get some breakfast at the hospital restaurant. Very reluctantly Matson left. He didn't want me to be alone but I reassured him that I had this. They left and I was kind of grateful so that I could bare through some harder contractions on my own. The most pain I felt was in my back. The contractions started to hurt more so I started having to hold onto the side of the hospital bed just for something to squeeze since Matson wasn't there. My next baby I should remember to bring a small stress ball or something. In between contractions I kept thinking about how I would only be pregnant for a little bit longer. I was never one that LOVED pregnancy but I also didn't hate it. It weirded me out that I had been pregnant for what seemed like a year and it soon would be ending. I guess I took this alone time to just take in the end of my pregnancy chapter and eat some ice chips.

While Matson and Teagan were still at breakfast the nurse came in to check me again bringing a fresh warm blanket with her (those things are HEAVEN SENT! I probably used like 20 warm blankets that morning and then continued using the warm blankets throughout my hospital stay. I didn't just have one warm blanket at a time I had like five). By now Teagan and Matson were back. Dr. Jacob came in to check on me again. He told me that I could get the epidural whenever I wanted. I told him and my nurse both that I was good with that and I believe my exact words were, "I have nothing to prove to anyone. Let's get the epidural!"

It took about 15 minutes for the anesthesiologist to come in because he was in surgery but by the time he came I was ready! I was looking forward to letting my body relax and focus on getting my baby here rather than on the pain. Dr. Johnson, the anesthesiologist, came in and told me everything he was going to do. He was about to put the numbing needle in and I flinched! Worst thing ever. I freaked out. He got ready again and I flinched AGAIN! So bad. Matson finally told the anesthesiologist that he would hold me and help me to not move. So Matson held me and I didn't move.

Surprisingly the epidural didn't hurt. I mean I felt a little poke. Similar to a poke that you feel when getting a flu shot but not nearly as bad as I had heard about epidurals. Literally as soon as Dr. Johnson was finished cleaning up and I laid back down on my bed I felt so good. I was already kind of feeling numb but a good numb. Like laughing gas numb. It was so nice. Dr. Johnson was a great doctor and talked to me about his family. He also gave me advice about the epidural. He told me that if I wanted some feeling while pushing to not press for more epidural pumps once I am dilated to a 9. I did just that and only pushed the epidural button when I could slightly start feeling contractions.

Once the epidural was in, my parents showed up. It was about 11 am. I still felt very good and relaxed. McCall checked me again and I was dilated to a 6. I couldn't feel her when she checked me. I felt no pain. I had some of the strongest contractions ever but was chit chatting right through them. I couldn't feel my legs or move them. Matson thought it was hilarious. I was in heaven. I kept saying to everyone in the room how amazing it was and that I didn't understand why other women would want to continue putting their bodies through so much stress (please don't take that as a fight or comment telling me why you did or did not get an epidural...everyone is different and I respect everyone's opinions). Dr. Jacob came in again to say hi to my parents and check on me again. This time he told me that the baby had had a bowel movement inside of me, which meant that meconium (baby poop) was mixed in with the amnionic fluid. This can be scary if the baby takes in the meconium. Because of this Dr. Jacob told us that as soon as Nixon was born Matson wouldn't be able to cut the cord and I wouldn't be able to directly do skin to skin so that the NICU nurses could check him out and make sure that he is ok. We weren't sad a bit about that and knew that we would rather have our baby safe!

My in laws also showed up around noon and came in to visit with everyone. Due to the epidural, the nurse was able to boost up the pitocin level which made my contractions really come. They were coming more frequently and much stronger. Everyone in the room continued to chit chat.

An hour later the nurse came back in to check me. I really had progressed and was ready to push! Matson's parents left and my mom was texting my sister to hurry to the hospital. We didn't want her to miss the baby's big debut! Right as I was starting to push, my sister walked through the door. She was able to leave work for her lunch hour whenever she wanted so that she could meet baby Nixon.

I pushed for about an hour and a half. It was hard and tiring. To be straight up honest (TMI WARNING) pushing feels like you have the biggest poop of your life and you have GOT to get it out. All this but you can't fully feel it. McCall was the director and was super helpful. She would count and tell me how I was doing. My mom and Matson were holding my legs. They were also telling me how good I was doing and that I had to push harder. For every set of three pushes Nixon would move a milimeter then go back in half of how far he just came out. My mom was a trooper. I could tell she was even getting worn out just holding my dead leg. Yet, she and Matson kept encouraging me. Sometimes I would run out of breath and not get as good of pushes. So I would take a minute break to just breathe and eat some ice chips. Then we were right back at it.

People think I am nuts for having so many people in my delivery room but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I had my mom who has been through every illness and painful thing in my life with me so she knows how I am. I had my biggest support my husband. Then I had my sister in law, sister, and dad there too! Honestly, I felt as though it was a group effort, not just me, who was getting the baby there. I was not alone and had a wonderful support group.

In the middle of pushing I all the sudden started puking. I am not sure why. Maybe it was because my body was in shock or I was just pushing so hard...who knows? That was the grossest part of the whole delivery process. I kept apologizing to everyone because I hate puking and watching other people puke is disgusting so I felt bad for them! I looked over at my sister and dad at that moment. They both looked so concerned. After throwing up, I started shaking a lot. I went back to pushing and everyone started commenting on his head and hair. He had dark brown hair they kept telling me.

Towards the end of my pushing time, Dr. Jacob came in to deliver the baby. After he came in I knew I was close and ten minutes later little Nixon was born. Obviously his head popped out first and then his arms and hands. As soon as his hands were out everyone in the room was saying how huge his hands were. "Whoa look at his hands! He's big!" He surprised us for sure because Dr. Jacob guessed a 6 pound baby. Dr Jacob looked at me and said, "Wow! He is huge! Erica, I don't know where you were hiding him!"

Next came Nixon's shoulders and he slid right out! Instantly we heard lots of baby crying/screaming. I was so happy because that meant he was healthy and breathing well! The doctor quickly cut the cord and Nixon was rushed right over to the warming table to be checked by the NICU nurses. Everyone followed him over there. I literally felt so left out. I was the uncool one that had to stay and deliver the placenta while everyone else got to check out Nixon. Haha. Right after he came out, I felt instant relief in my body - I could fully breathe again, I could feel that the pressure was gone, and my body was just my body not anyone else's. It was a weird feeling.

While I was finishing up the delivery, I just loved hearing everyone comment on Nixon. All about how big he was, his big hands, feet, mouth, and how angry he was to be so cold. According to Matson, Nixon was super grey (which is normal) and then after a few seconds of screaming he started turning more red. Matson also said the NICU nurses checked everything on Nixon - all his reflexes, body parts, and senses. Then Nixon was weighed. He definitely was not 6 pounds but instead was 8 pounds and 7 ounces! A big boy!

While the nurses worked on him and while I was finishing up, I kept looking at Matson. Matson was so happy. He was smiling ear to ear. I could tell he was just so overwhelmed. The nurse said to Matson, "Dad, you can touch him. He is yours." Matson looked around at my dad and then realized to himself that he was the dad. He reached out and held Nixon's little hands. As soon as the nurses got him a little cleaned up they handed Nixon to Matson and brought him over to me. I was still getting sewn up and such so I was just able to look at him. I instantly loved him so much. He was so swollen yet so beautiful to me. My family took turns holding him and as soon as Dr. Jacob was done Matson handed Nixon to me so that we could do skin to skin. Immediately Nixon stopped fussing and laid there with his eyes open looking around the room. That hour or so of skin to skin time was an amazing feeling. I was amazed that I could bring someone else that much comfort. He already knew that I was his mommy.

Others started trickling in. I am not very sure when but I know Matson's little sister came in to meet him real quick then my brother and his wife. They all were so sweet to little Nixon. After they all came and went, the first thing I wanted was a big jug of water! I chugged that thing down and ate some graham crackers. I then also realized that I had to go pee so bad, but I couldn't go due to some crazy swollen-ness in my downstairs area! Cue the catheter. Seriously felt like an old person with that thing in. Probably the worst thing about my hospital stay was the whole going to the bathroom thing.

After my catheter experience, we had a very tender moment. This was the time when Matson and I sat in the delivery room for a little by ourselves just in awe. We were just shocked and amazed at everything that had happened and that this little human who was completely relaxed on my chest was ours. We were so grateful that everything had gone so well.

The rest of the day was just relaxing. Nixon got his first bath. We sadly said goodbye to my delivery nurse, McCall, and were moved to our new room. It was smaller than the delivery room but much bigger than the rooms at Utah Valley. I was able to relax, rest, and eat some dinner before more guests came to meet him. The hospital dinner was not so yummy so my parents brought me Taco Bell. For some reason that sounded super good! Ha. More of Nixon's uncles came to meet him and friends.

After all our visitors left, we were just our little family. We sat there completely fascinated with our little boy. It felt as though we were holding a little bit of heaven. We knew that this sweet little boy had just said goodbye to his Heavenly Father for a little while and possibly some of our dear loved ones like Grandma GG and others to come down to us. Heavenly Father trusts us enough to take care of His son. We felt and still feel so privileged to have our little Nixon.

Welcome little Nixon to our family! We love you so much!

Photos by Teagan Alex.