Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Photoshoot, 1 Month Old, & "Sister's Weekend"

A Photoshoot

Have I mentioned I have a cute baby? Every mom thinks that though, right? Well guess what. I have proof. Feast your eyes on some of Parker's newborn photos.

Apparently Parker is a natural in front of the camera. Tell me he's not posing in these pictures? Yeah, he's working it alright. Rawr.

I had to start off with these pictures. They just can't go anywhere else other than front and center of this post.

A big "THANK YOU" to my sister Gina for taking these pics and to my other sisters Shelley & Heidi for assisting.

Parker Turns 1 ... month.

Parker turned one month today, and all he got was a prescription for Zantac. Blech. Parker's got the reflux. I think he has a pretty mild case of it, but we all had had enough of his constant spitting up and fussiness while eating. So off to the pediatrician we went. Hopefully this stuff works.

Anyone else have experience with this? Obviously, Parker doesn't enjoy his peppermint flavored Zantac as much as the pharmacist had hoped.

So, a whole month has gone by now, and I'm starting to feel a lot more like my old self. We've slowly started coming out of hiding and have actually taken Parker to a few public places. It feels good to not feel like a prisoner in my own house anymore! Only TWO more weeks until I get to work out again... does that mean I have to stop eating Oreos and ice cream every night, too?

Parker has grown a ton. Its pretty obvious based on the Michelin Man photo up there at the top. His little arms have rolls even where there are no folds. Apparently reflux hasn't slowed down his weight gain! He was weighed at the doc's office and is already up to 10 pounds 11 oz. That's a gain of TWO pounds in the last two weeks. I guess it's no wonder when all you eat is milkshakes. (Him, not me .... mmmm, milkshakes.)

Sam's glorious 4 weeks of paternity leave ended this week too. Big bummer. We were getting so used to having him home all the time. Who knew that life could be so good when you and your husband both don't have to go to work?

Sister's Weekend

My three sisters all flew in from Utah last Thursday for the weekend. It was JUST what I needed. They have 11 kids between the 3 of them, so I was able to do some pretty serious brain picking. Why does that sound gross?

It was such a great time and it felt so good to spend quality sister time, eating ice cream, eating out, eating in, watching marathons of CSI, getting pedicures, taking Parker on his first shopping trips (above), and talking, talking, talking! I am SO thankful they came up! If only we lived closer...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

3 Weeks & Parker's 1st Road Trip

So three weeks have now gone by and I'm still not sure if reality has hit that this baby is ours. But he's here and he's drastically changed our lives and we're still adjusting. It's a big adjustment.

Sam and I have always been doers. We don't like to sit still for too long and we love to just get up and go. This is obviously much more complicated with Parker, but I am proud to say we've still done quite a bit since Parker's been here. Granted, it's just been little things like go for walks, go grocery shopping, or going to watch Sam play basketball, but hey... every little outing counts these days.

This last weekend was a big milestone in Parenthood for us. We took our first family road trip. We went to Clarkston to visit Sam's family and stopped in Spokane on the way to see some friends and my Grandparents.

I was a bit nervous as to how it was going to go, but I'm proud to report Parker did this the WHOLE way there and back:

He slept the whole way, both ways, like a champ. Parker loves the car. Thank goodness. And I must say he looks pretty freakin' cute all chubby and slouchy in his little carseat.

Yeah, he's gotten to be a little chunk. He's gaining weight and already grown out of his newborn onsies. Like my Grandpa said, I must make a good cow. I sure feel like one.

Parker met some pretty important people on this trip. He became acquainted with some of our BFFs as well as his Great-Grandparents. AND, this is a pretty big deal. My Grandpa, Charles Ray Bates, is who Parker gets his middle name from. So yeah, big deal. (And look at how happy Parker was about it!)

We also got to spend a lot of time with Sam's brother Brad and his family. Brad's kids were Parker's first exposure to cousins. So now he's met 3 out of the 18 of them.

We had a blast in Clarkston and were shown a good time by Sam's parents as always. All in all, a successful first road trip.

And now, your moment of Zen. Who doesn't love the cuteness of a sleeping baby?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

1 Week & 3 Days

Time has flown by and we've survived the first week (and a few days) of having a newborn in our home. Parker has been such a sweet baby and only requires a diaper changing and a feeding every other hour or so, and so far I haven't had to employ any crazy baby whisperer tactics as of yet.

In fact, he's been so good that I'm having a hard time enjoying it because this voice in my head keeps telling me it won't always be this easy. I try to ignore that and and just soak in these sweet moments of him sleeping in my arms for the majority of the day.

And yet, fears of colic, reflux, and screaming that can't be consoled continues to haunt my thoughts. Maybe it's post pregnancy hormones that don't allow me to shake these feelings? I'd be interested in knowing others' experiences in this area.

This last weekend was great. We had Sam's parents, my parents, and Jodi and Jason here to stay with us. Yup. Our first week at home with a new baby and we had 6 house guests. But it was fun and we wouldn't have had it any other way.

We blessed Parker this last Sunday. It was one of the most special and beautiful experiences and I am so glad we got to share that with a few members of our family (wish more of you could have been here!)

As for my recovery, I am doing well. I haven't taken any pain meds for 2 or 3 days now and I'm starting to feel human again. My belly has gone down way faster than I could have imagined and I am counting down the days until I have the green light to work out. T minus 4 and a half weeks! I have never gone this long without some sort of work out regime since Junior High, and even then I was in sports, so this lack of physical activity is driving me crazy!

Epidural = FAIL.

A lot of you have asked why the heck I was in so much pain if I had an epidural. I want to know the same thing. I plan on talking to my doctor about it at my 6-week check up. But I'm pretty dang sure the epidural had no effect on my pain once I started transitioning, because I felt EVERYTHING. There was never a time when I couldn't move my legs or wiggle my toes as I've heard is the experience of a lot of others who have had an epidural. I definitely felt the contractions while pushing and the pain of him leaving my body.

But all of that is a distant memory now.

Sam has been amazing and I am SO grateful that he gets to stay home with us for 4 whole weeks. He's taken such good care of us and has really allowed me to rest up and take it easy this last week and a half. When he's not holding Parker, changing a diaper, or swaddling him (he's a much better swaddler than me), he's cleaning the house, doing laundry, or mowing the lawn (what he's doing right now as I type). I have the best husband in the world, fyi.

Well, hopefully we'll be given the green light to leave the house again soon (the pediatrician said to keep Parker out of stores and the public for 2 MONTHS!) and I'll find some additional things besides mommy-hood to blog about.

Until then, you'll have to put up with shameless pictures of this cute baby and reports on this monumental change in my life! Consider yourself warned.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Parker Ray is Here

So much for Cinco de Mayo. Parker had other plans... and they were to come two days before his due date. Now that I know him, I can't imagine having gone another day without him in our lives.

Here's a quick synopsis of Parker's entrance into the world:

Monday (Sunday night)

12:30am - Started timing painful contractions. They were about 8-9 minutes apart, but coming regularly.
- Woke Sam up to let him know I'd been timing painful contractions for the last hour and a half. They were about 6-7 minutes apart now. He turns on the tv.
- Arrive at the hospital, we are put in an exam room and my contractions are monitored along with Parker's heartrate. Contractions are about 4-5 minutes apart now and HURT.
- Nurse tells us to go walk around the hospital halls to try and speed things up. Easy for her to say. Ouch. My water breaks while walking around the hall. Wow, this is happening.
- We are admitted to the hospital and put in a delivery room. All I can think about in between contractions is "Where is the freakin' anesthesiologist? Get me an epidural!!"
- Epidural is put in. I could have kissed that man. I didn't though.

6:00am - 9:00am
- Epidural is working amazingly. I'm able to rest my eyes and relax, and Sam turns on a movie. We watched Angels and Demons.
- Parker is making his way through my pelvis. This is called transition. It should have been called torture. I was made to lay on each side for 30 minutes with one leg up in a stirrup while super painful contractions come every 2-3 minutes. Sam and the nurse do an amazing job helping me breath through the contractions and I realize if I just don't lose my cool and really focus on breathing, I might make it through this. Jodi (Sam's little sister) and Jason (her husband) were here for the last 30 minutes of this. I hope I didn't scar Jodi from the birthing experience for life because of my full body convulsing. I shook like I was freezing to death throughout the entire labor. I wasn't cold though... they assured me it was normal. I think it was a mix of my body being in shock, me being the most emotional and freaked out I've ever been in my entire life, and the epidural.
10:00am - It's time to push. Jodi and Jason leave the room and it's just Sam, the delivery nurse and me. Pretty soon a 4th little guy will be joining us. Don't ask me where the doctor is.
- Parker's head is making progress on the outside. The nurse says it could be another hour or so. I tell her, you don't know how hard I can push. Or, at least that's what I was thinking. This is the worst pain I've ever felt in my entire life.
- I think I'm going to die. I tell Sam and the nurse I can't do it anymore. The nurse says I have to, this baby's coming. In my mind I realize if I don't buck up and do this something much worse will happen. The baby will be stressed out and I would have to be whisked away for a c-section. I'm not sure where us women going through childbirth get the strength to do what has to be done in this situation. I was sure I was going to die.I also yell at Sam at this point to count through my contractions faster. He's counting like "1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10." I really would have preferred "1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10." But alas, the contractions nor the counting got any faster.
10:43am - The baby's head is stuck at the largest point. This is referred to the "Ring of Fire." The nurse says it's the hardest part and I need to push faster inbetween breaths or he'd make backwards progress. I scream as loud as I can (yeah, it was like a bad labor scene in a movie) and push like my life (and my baby's life) depended on it.

10:44am - Parker Ray Nielson is born.

Yup. There was no stop at the shoulders, there was no turning of the baby. His head shot out, and out shot his entire body along with it. The nurse yelled at the top of her lungs for the doctor, who immediately came running in. Sam jumps up and yells, "He's here! He's here! You did it!"Both of us thought what had happened was totally normal, until we realize the doctor hadn't been there and the nurse was freaking out about how quickly he had shot out.

Parker was immediately placed on my chest and was crying the most beautiful cry I've ever heard. He was totally ok. I wasn't. Babies aren't supposed to come out that fast, and I had sustained a 4th degree tear. I don't need to explain what that means, just know that it comes along with a lot of pain and stitches. But, I'm totally recovering well and if that's the worst thing I have to go through to get this PERFECT little baby boy home with us, I would do it a million times more.

Parker has been such an amazing baby and has the sweetest little personality. I know he's only 5 days old, but already I feel like he's grown a ton. Everyday he opens his eyes a little wider and makes a new face. It has been amazing getting to know him, and watching Sam and me getting to know ourselves as parents.

Having him in our house has been fun, and a huge adjustment. Sam has been amazing, and Parker has been very forgiving with our fumbling hands and amateur clothes-changing abilities. But we're learning quickly and I'm so thankful for natural maternal instincts that make it easier than I could ever imagined to love and care for this little baby who is so dependent on me to live.

This little boy is so loved.
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