Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mommy and Daughter Trip

 This trip is one of my favorite trips I have ever taken and I know it had everything to do with my company. My dear little Rhyan was such an angel, 
I enjoyed spending one on one time with her.
 Dear Rhyan,
We went on an adventure you and me. We woke up early Monday morning so dad could take us to the airport. The security line started out the doors of the airport and went all the way up the stairs. We ended up missing our flight by 4 minutes. Mommy was devastated and apprehensive about how you would do on a longer flight. Instead of a direct flight we were now stopping at two different destinations before we finally made it to New Jersey.
 My worries were unnecessary, you were the most behaved little girl any mother could ask for. You made everyone laugh and smile and everyone who sat next to us commented on just how well you did. We were on an airplane for 9 hours. You finally fell asleep an hour before we landed, 10pm Jersey time. 
Aunt Sunni picked us up and we headed to Pennsylvania. You were so exhausted that you slept the whole drive and transfer to the hotel room. Mommy even got stuck on the elevator while holding you and you still did not wake up. 
Aunt Sunni had a work conference for two days so it was just me and you hanging out together. We played with toys, went to the pool, walked to the mall and took naps together.
We went out to dinner and our waiter was a young man who I swear was your first crush. You flirted with  him and whined when he left our table. You even asked him to hold you and blew kisses good bye. I hope this isn't foreshadowing of what it will be like when you are a teenager.
After Pennsylvania we went to Sunni's apartment in Edgewater New Jersey. We could see Manhattan, New York across the water. We took you to Carlos Bakery and you got a cookie. Mommy ate a cannoli and lobster claw, so yum!
 Sunni had the whole trip planned out just for you! Every kid friendly thing to do in New York or Jersey was on her list. We took you to Sugar Plum Fairy restaurant where you happily ate shoe string fries and mac and cheese with broccoli. Sunni wanted to take you shoe shopping and you got your first pair of stride rite shoes. You spent over an hour in that shoe store. You wanted to try on every pair. Sunni was in love, she's a shopper too!
Day one in Jersey was a success, we decided to go to New York the next day. We took you to Central park where you got to try a pretzel, play on 5 different play grounds, cruise around at the zoo and ride on a giant carousel.
We strolled around for hours and you took a nap in the stroller. 
Afterwards we went to a fancy restaurant that didn't provide booster seats or high chairs and charged $5 for an 8oz bottle of coke. You liked the shoestring fries, you also liked to push the stroller around while the hostess gave you dirty looks. But soon you won her over with your smile and gibberish. Stuffed with an overpriced sandwich we strolled to F.A.O. Schwartz toy store!!!
  You fell in love with a $300 stuffed dog and desperately wanted us to help you take it home. Mommy found a replacement, a $13 dog on sale that you could carry.
 We played on the giant piano, you had so much fun. We also found a present for brother and hung out in the library portion of the store.
 Finally we convinced you it was time to go back to Sunni's apartment and you dozed off as we strolled to the parking garage.
The next day mommy noticed you were getting sick. We hung out at the apartment and then went shopping at target.When it rains in New Jersey, it RAINS in New Jersey! We had emergency warnings urging us to stay inside because of flash floods. You slept while mommy and Sunni watched the lightening storm and listened for thunder. It was so close to us! You just continued to sleep, you were getting sicker. On Mother's day we rushed you to the ER. You had croupe, and sounded like a seal when you coughed.
  I was worried we may not make our flight home the next day but we did. And you did great on the way home as well. It was great to see daddy and brother again. We decided we must take them with us the next time we go to the east coast!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year

Did you know I have several things to post about regarding last year and I have yet to find the time to do it? I can't pull the three kid card, there are plenty of people that blog that have more on their plate than me. But maybe I can pull the infant card, new borns are A LOT of work. A LOT.  But I hope to back blog one day ;( Just to name a few (more for my sake than yours, let's be honest you don't really care. In fact you stopped reading my blog along time ago. I get it, it's boring. It's all about me and my family and my narcissism is showing big time. But it's a blog, narcissism is expected if not required so get over it.)

  1. New Jersey Mom and Daughter Trip
  2. Family vacation to the big blue state
  3. Rhyan Turned 2
  4. Bruce Started Pre-School
  5. Kiel's Totally Tubular 80's Party
  6. Everly's Blessing
  7. Christmas Day Fun
 Last year was busy, super fun and brought many blessings to our family. But, it was so. last. year. This year,  i hope, is equally fun and not as equally busy. I want it to be on the less busier side but we just added a third kid so it will probably be on the busier side. Sigh, oh well. Here we go again!

Enough about us, how you doin'?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Everly's birth story, My VBA2C

Everly Antoinette Christensen
8lbs 14oz and 21 inches long
September 24th, 2013
 Change of plans
Everly's birth story really begins in the beginning of September when I cancelled my scheduled c-section for the 16th of September and pushed for a VBA2C (Vaginal Birth After 2 C-sections.) I get a lot of inquiries as to why I changed my mind and the best answer is, I had to follow my gut. I started having bad feelings about having a third c-section two weeks prior to the scheduled date and that is what prompted me to look into a VBAC. 
I first turned to my sister's friend Kelly, who is a certified doula and asked her if a VBAC after 2 c-sections was even possible. My doctor never told me I couldn't she just advised against it and at that particular time I had no desire to experience natural labor so I just followed their recommendations. Kelly told me I could absolutely have a successful natural birth and right away sent me articles to read, connected me with a VBAC group on facebook and suggested that I hire a doula to be there during labor. The next day I talked to my doctor and to my surprise she gave me her blessing with little pushing on my part. The highest risk of a VBAC is a uterean tear but that percentage is less than one percent after one c-section and a slight increase after two c-sections. There are multiple risks for a third c-section but for reasons I have yet to discover, hospitals and doctors claim the third c-section is safer than a VBA2C. 
Anyway, to avoid turning this post into a bunch of statistics, I will skip the mumbo jumbo and just tell my personal story. After talking with my doctor my next step was to get my husband on board which went a little something like this via text; Hi, babe. I changed my birth plan. I don't want a third c-section instead I want a natural birth. Kiel: Ummm, ok. Should I still take my scheduled vacation time on the 16th? Me: Sure! Next my focus was how to have a successful VBAC. In order to insure I had a successful VBAC I made a few decisions; 1. Labor needed to start naturally and not induced by drugs or breaking my water. 2. No drugs during labor. 3. Labor at home as long as possible and 4. Hire a doula. I ended up not hiring a doula, not because they aren't worth every penny they charge but because it just wasn't in our budget. In the end it worked out and I didn't need one. Also note that all of these decisions were ones I made personally, with help from Kelly and another doula interviewed, but all of my choices would not necessarily determine a successful VBAC and had I decided to take an epidural or labor at the hospital from the start of labor, that would not determine a failed VBAC either. I chose not to have any drugs because that played a big part in my first c-section and I preferred not to take the risk. I wanted to labor at home because even though I had a supportive doctor, my delivery hospital was not supportive of high risk patients and I didn't want to worry about them pressuring me into a c-section unless it was a matter of life or death.
 Waiting for Labor
My due date was the 21st. Kiel's time off started on the 16th. I took advantage of him being home and worked my hiney off getting everything ready. Around the 20th I got the urge to scrub and disinfect the entire house. That took about two days. My due date came and went. Every now and then I felt contractions. My doctor confirmed I was dialated at a 2 and 70% effaced. She suggested to break my water at 41 weeks. I talked to Kelly (remember my doula friend?) and decided that was not a good idea. I prayed Everly would come before then. On the 23rd, around 8pm, I started feeling stronger contractions that averaged about 7 - 9 min. apart and lasted for 45 seconds. We played a marble game with my parents and after the first game I called it quits. I decided to take a bath and shave my legs. A very daunting task I might add and my physician didn't even thank me for it. Next time I won't even bother. Insert laugh here. Kiel packed a hospital bag. I called my sister and talked to her for about an hour, while contracting, who confirmed I had plenty of time before I needed to go to the hospital because I was still making jokes. She also texted Kelly who happened to be up at midnight and Kelly sent some helpful links for me to read regarding labor positions. I decided to try and get some sleep.
Laboring at home
Periodically I would wake up with a strong contraction and grab Kiel's hand, breath through it and then go back to sleep. At this time I wasn't able to keep track of my contractions and Kiel was asleep so he wasn't keeping track either. I think both of us were in denial that this was actually happening. I figured I still had a lot of time. I think it was somewhere around 3:30 am that my contractions because so strong I was yelping in pain. I started sweating and I got the shakes and thought I was going to vomit. Kiel had gone to Rhyan's room to coaxe her back to sleep and never returned to our bedroom. It finally dawned on me that we needed to go to the hospital. I was completely helpless and could barely move. I managed to crawl down the hallway to Everly's room and let out cries for help hoping Kiel would hear me and I wouldn't wake up Rhyan. I didn't even recognize my own voice, it was so high pitched. I just kept repeating "help me!" "hospital." My mom was the one who heard me and woke up Kiel, who was in such a deep sleep it took FOUR attempts! That guy, I swear! He grabbed our stuff and I somehow survived the twenty minute drive, having contractions every two minutes lasting sixty seconds, while hitting every red light possible! There was an abandoned bread truck in a left turn lane across from us that made our light take forever to turn green. That was probably the 8th red light we hit and I was ready to scream!

Laboring at the hospital
We arrived at the hospital at 4:26am. There was an angel waiting outside for us but he didn't know it. I got out of the car and he ran into the ER asking for a wheel chair because "this lady was going to have a baby any minute." I was rushed to labor and delivery where they checked me and told me I was a ten. I couldn't believe it! For some reason I thought I would only be a 3 or 4 and I just wanted an epidural to make the pain stop. They asked me to change into a gown and put the monitor straps around my waist. Kiel tried helping me, because I was helpless and that's when a huge gush of water just splatted all over the bathroom floor. Kiel jumped back and I said, "I think my water just broke." He replied, "yeah! no kidding. It went all over my shoe!" Ah, the comedy. Even when you are about to have a baby come out of you. 

The nurses quickly ran in and rushed me out of the bathroom. I think they thought Everly was going to be born on the bathroom floor and just wanted to get me to a bed, asap. Suddenly the delivery room was filled with about six nurses, I don't remember it being this way for Bruce's delivery but we were at a different hospital. I had people trying to get me dressed, the heart monitor on, an IV in my arm and then others were in the room getting things ready for the doctor who was on her way. With every contraction I had the urge to push and I had everyone telling me to just breath. I pushed anyway, I figured that one person out of the six could catch the baby if she was born before the doctor came. I hated every single one of those nurses. Kiel became my saving grace, he breathed with me, held my hand and calmed me down. Dr. Stewart arrived just in time, 9 minutes later Everly was born!

She cried right away. Her eyes were wide open and she just looked around the room. We couldn't believe how alert she was. She latched on immediately and nursed for two hours. I was in awe of the whole experience. I felt like I could run the world. I just gave birth, me! What's next America? The whole experience was so surreal.  One minute I was screaming some crazy things, I felt my body split in two and then BOOM, we had a baby. A sweet beautiful baby. 

Everly was 8lbs 14 oz, 21 inches long and perfectly pink. My labor lasted a little longer than 8 hours. The nurses thanked us for not telling them I had never had a vaginal birth before because it would have sent them into even more of a panic. I just laughed. In the back of my mind, I thought the only way this birth story could be more perfect is if I had done it at home and not  here at the hospital...maybe for baby number four?

Many have asked how my recovery has been compared to my two previous c-sections and overall it has been amazing. There is pain but I can laugh, sneeze and get up with ease  to take care of business. I don't need Kiel to hand me the baby every  time she's hungry or help me to the bathroom. I took a shower 12  hours after labor, got dressed in normal clothes and put my make up on. The only medication I took was Motrin. I've been able to play with Bruce and Rhyan, pick them up, give them  baths and get down on the  floor with them. All of these are things I wouldn't be able to do normally, had I had a c-section. Overall, this has been an amazing experience and I am so grateful my body did what it was supposed to do. God is good! 

Thinking about a VBAC? Here are links that helped me  prepare:
Also watch "The Business of Being Born" on Netflix 

Love to all!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bruce turned 3

I'm sooo lame! I finally looked at my blog while Kiel works a grave shift, I can never sleep when he works graves and realized I haven't blogged in forever. Not even for Bruce's birthday, or my mommy and daughter trip to New Jersey, or our long beautiful family vacation and now Rhyan has turned 2! Where do I start? Don't worry, this isn't going to be a 10 page make up blog. I will start with our baby boy turned 3, in May!

He was so cute that entire week. I took the kids to Costco on a Tuesday so he could pick out his cake. He chose white cake with white frosting and a blue dragon (which was really a dinosaur.) From that day forward he asked everyday when he was going to get his cake. We didn't really have a party planned but invited family over on Sunday for dinner and cake. I picked up the cake Saturday and put it in the fridge in the garage. I caught him about ten times sneaking out to the garage to sneak a peek of his birthday cake. That's the only thing he wanted for his birthday, but he was more than happy when we also got him an addition to his train set and a membership to the California Train Museum in Sacramento.

I'm not allowed to post pictures but dad surprised him on his birthday and gave him a ride in the police car. A three year old's dream just came true! Bruce loves to have lunch at a park so for his birthday I packed a picnic lunch and took the kids to the park down our street. I think he had a great birthday. It was a lot of fun for us because he understood what was going on.

Here's a little info about the birthday boy: His favorite color is yellow, he loves trains and cars. He says he wants to be a dentist when he grows up but we think he gets that from the Rudolph movie. His favorite food is pizza. Favorite song is "I'm a Child of God and Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree."  His best friend is his cousin Luke. Bruce is all boy! He loves to wrestle, jump from the top of the stairs, play with his cousins and make new friends. He is very social and says hi to every one we pass. That can get old in the grocery store but I don't have enough fingers or  toes to count how many people he makes smile by just saying "hi." Bruce is 36 inches tall and 33lbs. Right now he's a momma's boy but he loves his daddy too. He loves his sister Rhyan and has asked me not to make her nap so he can play with her. He talks so much and says such funny things. He makes us laugh every day. He loves to tease and be  teased. He's strong willed, particular, persistent, opinionated, loving, sensitive, and very smart. Sound like any one you know? Kiel's mini me doesn't only look like him but is also exactly like him!

Happy Birthday baby boy! You changed our lives forever the day you were born and we continue to learn from you every day.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Announcing Baby # 3

10 weeks

This year Kiel and I decided one of our family resolutions would be to have another baby. I guess we accomplished that goal right away! This little girl will be born on September 16th at around 7am (gotta love scheduled c-sections.)

As far as names go we are throwing around everything we can think of. I think it's between Ellie and Lily.

My top two names got shut down faster than a dirty diaper pail; Isla and Ever.

I also like Alli and Abbey. Kiel likes Lyndsey and Analena. Oh the pressure, of a name. (anyone name that movie?)

Anyway, the important thing is Rhyan gets a little sister! I'm so excited for her! And she will be a great big sister.

20 more weeks to go!

Palm Springs

Girls trip! This weekend I flew to my friend Cambria's house and then we drove to her parents condo in Palm springs. We met four other girls there, all from my old ward, Redondo 2nd. We had so much fun shopping at the outlets, laying in the pool and eating out at yummy restaurants. We had girl talk every night. After Palm Springs I stayed with Cambria two more nights before flying back to my own family. She showed me around town and we took her kids to the beach club. We also saw the movie Mud, not sure how I feel about that one still. I guess go see it?

 After being away for a couple of days I was greeted with the happiest faces! I love these two kids of mine and feel so refreshed! We went out to ice cream to celebrate my return.

Me and Roman at the beach club

Happy Anniversary

Four years I've been married to my wonderful husband! We always like to go over our life "check list" when this date approaches. This year we added homeowners to the list! And we now jointly own a car or have a car payment whatever way you want to look at it ;) Let's not forget, baby #3 baking away!

For our anniversary we went out to dinner and I came home to 4 dozen roses! Love this man!