Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time with Grandma and Grandpa Nelson

Nolan's parents had to get going pretty quickly at the hospital, so they only were able to briefly see Jace. They came down this weekend to finally be able to hold him and spend some time with him. He was content and sleepy and did a great job of cuddling with them.

Becky holding him. She commented that he wasn't anything like what she'd pictured him to look like. I'd say he surprised us all! Nolan and I have decided that he's a combo--a little of both of us since we're pretty sure he doesn't really look like either the Nelson or Steiner sides.

Then Grandpa got to hold him.

Jace fell asleep and stayed asleep as soon as Jack positioned him like this. Jace later took a long nap with Becky as well. It was great having them spend some quality time with him!

This and That with Jace

Jace will be three weeks old tomorrow! It seems like he's growing so quickly and I'm not sure I'm ready for it! He's wearing mostly 0-3 month clothes now and only a few newborn size items still fit him. He does have a tiny little waist, though, so newborn diapers are still the right size. We're figuring out his cries and are getting pretty good at determining when he's hungry, needs a diaper change or just tired and needs to sleep. He is still an amazingly content baby! He loves laying on his boppy pillow and looking at the window, or sitting in his bouncer and looking around. His hands are always moving and he's not so fond of when he hits himself in the face. He's sleeping in his room in his bassinet every night now (we would have kept the bassinet in our room except the cats think it's theirs) and usually has a 4 hour and then 3 hour stretch of sleep, with it only taking 30-45 minutes to feed and put him back to bed. We LOVE watching all the funny faces he makes. His most common looks are a very serious scowl and a grin that shows his dimples.

He's had a busy three weeks meeting lot of people! He loves a crowd and is great at showing off how alert he is.

Meeting everyone at the church office... here we are with Jo, Pattie and Chris.

Cami pointing to where his mouth is.

Micah wanted to hold him.

Me, Anna and our kids (how fun to be able to say "our").

My mom's friend, Vicki, threw a baby shower for us before my mom returned to Maryland. It was a sweet time with my mom's friends from Corvallis who all watched me grow up. It was great having Anna and Cami there as well!

Jace decided he was hungry right as it was time to open gifts, so Cami was a great helper.

I baby sat Natalie Smith and her brothers since they were all babies (although I did go away to college when Natalie was still little), and then Natalie was a flower girl in my wedding. It was great to have her and her mom there, and to have her hold my baby.

Vicki holding Jace. She came over the week after we came home from the hospital to hang out and have my mom highlight her hair. She also got some snuggle time with Jace.

Our good friends, Natalie and Jesse Sutter stopped by to meet Jace.

My dear friend Megan and her husband Mike came by to meet our little guy. She's lived in Kansas since going to college there, but after marrying Mike, they moved to the Portland area. It's great having her be near by and be able to see Jace in person!

Jace looking super cute in his bathrobe after a bath.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Birth Announcement

We'll be mailing these out soon!

Welcome Home!

In his coming home outfit. Jace realized he loves clothes.

Web cam to meet Uncle Tim.

With the proud Grandma.

Toby was very happy we came home and loves Jace.

Nap time with Daddy.

Steiner Cousins Visit

Dan and Anna and their kids came down Thursday evening to meet Jace. Cami LOVES babies and couldn't wait to get her hands on Jace. She tried pulling him from me, and while holding him tried to get his blanket off
Auntie Anna, Micah, and Cami looking at Jace.

Uncle Dan and the kiddos looking at baby. Josiah had a hard time with the hospital, so he just observed everything.

Cami's in love.

Grandpa and Grandma with all their grandkids.

Micah was so sweet and gentle.


Both sets of grandparents spent the day in the waiting room, anxious to meet Jace. Nolan's parents had to get going shortly after Jace was brought to our room for a quick visit, but my parents, my brother Mike and his girlfriend Amanda, and Nolan's sister Rayanna and her husband Jared were able to stick around for some special time with Jace.

Grandma Steiner

Grandpa Steiner

Uncle Jared

Aunt Rayanna

Uncle Mike & Amanda

Jace's First Bath

Finally, around 10 pm, Jace got his first bath in the nursery. Nolan was up to the task (with guidance from the nurse). Jace was not a fan of the experience.
Nolan's a great daddy already.

Jace making his angry face... we see this face every time we change his diaper!

His hair is the best!

He did like the water running over his head.

He relaxed and really liked life under the warmer.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Introducing Jace John Nelson!

We welcomed Jace John Nelson to our family on Wednesday, February 3 at 2:42 pm. He made his appearance after 34 hours of labor! Monday evening (our due date) I began feeling some cramping with the contractions that had become normal for me and wondered if we'd be meeting our baby boy soon. A painful contraction that started in my back woke me up at 5:30 Tuesday morning, and after a few more of them, I woke Nolan up to start timing our contractions. They were a steady 11 minutes apart, hitting me really hard in my lower back. Within an hour or two of the start of them, the pain became intense in my back and I depended on leaning my weight on Nolan to get through them. He was a great coach, rubbing my back and making me breathe. A few more hours of the pain in my back and we were pretty sure that Jace was posterior (the back of his skull was against my spine instead of his face, putting a huge amount of pressure on my lower back). As the contractions became more regular, my mom was quick to get on the computer and find a plane ticket for my dad. It was a race, but he made his flight!

By mid afternoon, my contractions were a steady 8 minutes apart, but the pain was getting unbearable. We called my doctor's office and were told to come right in and see the on-call doctor (at my doctor's office, the three OBGYNs rotate who is on call and you aren't guaranteed which doctor will actually deliver for you). When we got to the doctor's office, we found out I was only 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced, which was hardly progressed from where I was at the day before at my check up. We were sent home and told not to come back until my contractions were 5 minutes apart. She even suggested I take a Tylenol PM to help me sleep. We felt so discouraged as we left, and even more discouraged as riding in the car made my contractions even worse. Within an hour of getting home, the contractions started getting closer and closer together. We were celebrating as each contraction came 5 minutes apart, and were counting to reach our 12 in an hour. Finally, we had 12 in an hour and left immediately! We got to the hospital around 6 and were admitted right away. We were so hopeful that things were going well. But the nurse checked me, told me I hadn't progressed from my appointment earlier (which made me wonder why all that pain hadn't accomplished anything). She called the on-call doctor who said I had two options: go home and take an Ambien to help me sleep, or stay at the hospital and get a shot of morphine for the pain, which would most likely slow down my contractions and I'd get sent home in the morning. We chose to stay because I couldn't imagine trying a car ride again, not to mention, how would we know when to come back? We thought we came at the right time.

I got the morphine shot at 9 pm, and it only slowed down to contractions to 8 minutes apart and hardly reduced the pain. After those two contractions, I was back to 5 or less minutes apart and in just as much pain as before, only this time I couldn't stand up to move around because the morphine made me light headed. I refused to call a nurse, though, because I didn't want to be told once again that all the pain wasn't producing any results. So we settled in to watching Lost, and I just missed pieces of it every five minutes. Just before 11 Nolan pushed the nurse call button because of how bad he could tell I was feeling. A different nurse came in who was so sweet and couldn't believe I was still awake and in pain. She told us they were transitioning the nursing staff, so she'd find my night nurse to come check me... she even told me she's chose their most compassionate nurse. When she left I cried because it felt good to finally be listened to. I was checked by a new, very sweet nurse, who told me I was progressed to 4 cm!

She called the doctor to see about getting me an epidural. The doctor came in, checked me, confirmed that I was progressing and approved my epidural. By 12:45 I had the drugs in me and was finally feeling good! Jace was for sure posterior, which had been causing all the pain. At that point, Nolan and I were finally able to settle in and get some rest. At 3 am my water broke and pretty soon after that my nurse noticed that Jace's blood pressure started dropping. While every time it dropped it rose back up, the times of it dropping became more and more frequent, and pretty soon it was with each contraction. The doctor came to check on things and explained that most likely he was pressing on his umbilical cord in some way or another. She wanted to give him more of a cushion in my uterus in order to help reduce stress on the cord. They ended up feeding fluid into my uterus with a tube to create a new amniotic sack around him, and we saw his heart rate start doing better. Every now and then it would drop again, though, when I would move or a hard contraction would hit. They did start talking about a c-section if the heart rate didn't improve.

Jace was a fighter, though, and every time they were worried by his drop, he'd recover and bring it back up. Around 7, my wonderful doctor who I love so much became the doctor on call! It was such a relief to switch to her, knowing she really cared and would listen to my needs! She was pretty sure we could avoid a c-section, but explained that the fluid being fed into me had slowed down my contractions (although they were still allowing me to progress), but she didn't want to give me pitocin to get them moving faster because we weren't sure how Jace would respond to the harder more frequent contractions. They wanted to let me labor down to let my contractions do as much as the work of getting him out as possible instead of having to push.

A little before noon, Jace's head was barely a finger tip length from being out, and they decided to see how he handled pushing. He did great! His heart rate did better during pushing than it had during any contraction. We pushed hard for two hours before my doctor determined that it may not be possible for me to get him out on my own--his head was stuck on my pelvic bone. So, the forceps came out, and with two rounds of pushing and my doctor pulling with all her strength (Nolan said she was putting her whole body into pulling him out), and Jace entered the world!

They had a respiratory team present to check on him right away. He was placed on me to get cleaned up (and peed all over me in the process), and then taken to be checked out. He needed oxygen because he was wheezing quite a bit and his oxygen levels were low. After a while, they couldn't get them to come back up to what they'd like, so they told us they'd take him to the nursery and put him on the C-Pap machine, get a chest x-ray and observe him. Nolan accompanied him, and as soon as they got to the nursery, Jace lived up to the meaning of his name (healer) and suddenly his breathing was fine and his oxygen levels were good! He still had to stay in the nursery for a while to monitor him, but things were looking good!

It was a few hours after labor before he was brought to our room, but only for 45 minutes because I had developed a fever during labor and he needed antibiotics. But after being taken back for some shots, he finally joined us for good (minus the occasional trip to the nursery for more shots-a total of 8 over 48 hours) at 12:30 am. It was so nice to finally have our son with us and be able to really start bonding with him! He is precious, sweet, a good sleeper and absolutely wonderful. We love him so much!