Friday, January 29, 2010

"Ha Ha Ha PUSH!!!!"

     We were scheduled for induction December 29th. due to some health issues I had during pregnancy.  Both my OB and I thought I would have gone into labor earlier but Zion once again proved he was calling the shots.  Taking the spontaneity out of going into labor was quite a different experience.  I thought being the type "A", gotta have a plan type of person I am, that knowing when would take a level of stress out of it.  However, I found it quite the opposite.  Needless to say the whole sleep thing the night before didn't happen and it definitely didn't help knowing we had to arrive to the hospital at 5:15 am.

     The admitting nurse has a cruel game she plays with patients and tries to guess the weight of their baby.  After she did some "hocus pocus" and placed her hands on my belly she sauntered over to the white board and wrote the number 10 lbs 10 oz.  What the???  How the??? Well as if I wasn't anxious enough, you can imagine.  Then the kind Dr. came in and told us that this was not going to be a quick process and to realistically count on the process taking at least 24 hours.  Oh and by the way I think your nurse is totally off your baby will be at least 9 lbs.  What a relief, only NINE POUNDS now!
     Induction began around 10am and we didn't actually meet our man until 4:28 am the following morning.  You do the math... The Dr. was very right almost 24 hours from the time we arrived!  
     On a more positive note I had amazing nursing care and lots of support from my team.  Especially Jeremy who lulled us all to sleep with his very loud rhythmic breathing AKA "snoring." And of course I am being sarcastic.  The only one snoring was Jeremy.  However, I made sure to wake "Sleeping Beauty" when I found out I was dilated to 8!   I had an Epidural that worked brilliantly for the most part allowing me to feel the contractions but just took the edge off.
     When I finally got to 10 cm the lovely Dr. wanted to hold off pushing until I "felt the urge!"  About a half hour later we were all having a conversation with the nurse about those women on TV who come in not knowing they are even pregnant or those that don't even have to push and the baby pops out.  Meanwhile during this conversation I was thinking to myself "is this  "the urge" I am feeling?  So I told the nurse I felt "a little funky."  She responded with a chipper.."Let's check you."  Her next response, not so chipper..."CLOSE YOUR LEGS!"  Apparently, Zion was already crowning. Like the women on television I was virtually unaware, thanks the the beauty of modern medicine.  I was so unaware in fact we were all laughing about the irony of the moment in relation to our previous conversation. The Dr. came in immediately and assumed her position and said "STOP LAUGHING!"  Then she said "STOP PUSHING!", to which I responded "I'm not!"  My body had apparently taken over and was doing the pushing for me. Very quickly the Dr. was ready and jokingly said..."OK YOU CAN LAUGH NOW!" to which I found quite funny and began to laugh.  With a laugh and slight push... OUT HE POPPED!  Zion was literally laughed into this world!  What an entrance!  So although it was a long and tiring experience it ended quite perfectly.  My Dr. said she had never had to tell a woman in labor to "stop laughing."

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. 
       Then it was said among the nations, 
       "The LORD has done great things for them."
 Psalm 126:2

 Meeting our son for the first time face to face was truly magical.  Zion our little warrior was finally here!  


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy 1 month Birthday son!

     It's so hard to believe Zion is one month old today.  Time has so flown by.  Lily is currently planning a "Celebration" for tonight, complete with a cake from her Easy Bake Oven.  She has embraced sisterhood with gusto.  She loves to hold him and has made up several songs about him. She told me last week that she "can't get enough of him!"  I would have to agree with her. It is so beautiful to see them together.  Zi calms at the sound of her voice and just loves to stare at her.

We have had some adjustment "issues" as Lily is no longer "The Queen of the Castle." All in all she has welcomed "The New King" with open arms.  She is quite a helper except when it comes to changing diapers in which she informs us "I don't do dirty diapers!"
     We are finding what works one day and then finding something that works even better the next day.  But we seem to be finding a rhythm.  Zion is a bit more "high maintenance" than Lily was.  He tends to require more holding and absolutely loathes his car seat.  The minute you sit him in it the screaming begins and continues generally until you reach your desired destination and free him.  We are learning to cope by cranking the Taylor Swift and singing to the top of our lungs.

  One of Zi's favorite places to be is in a nice warm bath.  Lily loves to help and it has been a great bargaining tool to get her to do her homework.

     He is also quite content laying on Jeremy's chest during their nightly "man time" which gives me an opportunity to catch some much needed ZZZ's of my own.
     Overall, despite the sleep depravation life couldn't be sweeter.  One of my favorite moments reflecting back on this last month was all four of us cuddled in bed for our weekly "movie night." It was such a simple moment yet the contentment I felt was amazing.  One month down and many more to share.  I look forward to keeping you posted on our future adventures.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"What's up with the name?"

 Hey this is Zion, AKA; "Baby Z", just plain "Z", "Zi", or "Zi Zi" as my sister calls me.  I've even been known to be called "miracle man", "warrior" and "survivor!"  I will answer to just about any of them.  If I turn towards your voice at this point just expect only limited eye contact cuz I'm still trying to figure that one out.
     Anyhow, if you hadn't noticed my name is a bit on the unusual side of things.  Not your everyday Joe kinda name.  But, there's a reason for this and I'd like to explain if you would be so kind....
     You see just as my first few days of life "on the outside" started a little rocky.  My first few days "on the inside" were even a little rougher.
     I need to warn you, this is where the story gets a little sad and you may want to grab a kleenex.  I can assure you however, there is a happy ending!  Just keep reading!  Anyhow, on May 21st 2009 Mommy found out she was pregnant.  Unfortunately, just hours later she miscarried and ended up in the Emergency Room.  One sad part was that Daddy had to find out she was pregnant and having a miscarriage all at the same time. This is not the kind of phone call you want to receive in the middle of the day at work.  The weekend was really hard and Mommy spent a lot of time crying.
     Here's where the plot thickens....  Mommy went to her follow up appointment a few days later and the Dr. did a routine ultrasound to see if everything was as it should be.   Well, my mommy just about fainted when she heard the Dr. say..."I don't mean to send you on a roller coaster ride but you still have a baby with a heartbeat in there!!!"  Well as you can imagine my mommy was trippin, to say the least!  I'm sure out of pure shock the only words she could come up with were..." I drank a half a bottle of wine this weekend!"  The Dr. just laughed and reassured mommy it wouldn't give me a third eye or something and it quickly brought mommy back to reality.  The Dr. went on to explain that the baby that was lost was my twin.  Yep, I had a twin!!!  It's called "Vanishing Twin Syndrome" and is actually pretty common.  Look it up on the internet it's really interesting. Well as you can imagine the next phone call to Daddy started out with "Are you sitting down?"
"For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling."
  Psalm 132:13
      Unfortunately, the Dr. warned Mommy and Daddy that the reality of me hanging around too was kinda slim.  For pretty much the next 8 to 10 weeks the Dr's. warned Mommy and Daddy that I may not make it.  A week after finding out about me my Mommy ended up in the ER again with very similar symptoms when they lost my twin.  Mommy just knew she was loosing me too!  But there I was with the strongest little ticker they ever saw!!  Obviously I proved all those Dr's. wrong too, cuz I hung on for dear life and at 39 weeks they finally had to make me come out!
"For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, 
and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.  
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." 
 2 Kings 19:31
     Do I know why my twin had to loose their life and I got to keep mine?  I do not.  I do know from what my Mommy had researched that if one twin is not as healthy as the other it could jeopardize the life and health of the other twin.  My Mommy and Daddy choose to believe that my twin had to give up their life so that I could live.  A nobel purpose indeed, if only for a brief eight weeks of life.  I look forward to the day when I will see my twin again in Heaven.  But until that time I thank God for allowing me the chance to live.
"Sing praises to the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done."  
Psalm 9:11
    Ok, ok, you are probably wondering where the name thing comes in.  So Mommy and Daddy decided since I had proven to have such a strong will to live it would only be fitting to choose a strong name for me.  The name Zion was one they instantly agreed on and it carries with it strong images such as "Mount  Zion" the Jewish "Promise Land" in the Bible.  For Rastafarians it means utopia or heaven on earth.
"Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever."  Psalm 125
     As you noticed there are several verses displayed throughout my story. We all learned a lot throughout this last season.  Mommy and Daddy learned to surrender and have faith and trust that God loves us all so much and wanted to reveal Himself and His love through my life.  I will end now with one of my Mommy's very favorite.

"From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth."  Psalm 50:2

Monday, January 18, 2010

Allow me to introduce myself...

     My name is Zion Elijah Nellist.
I was born December 30th, 2009 at 4:28 am.
 I weighed 7lbs 2 oz and was 20 inches long.

     Although my mom literally laughed me into this world (she'll share her birth story later) the first few days after I arrived here were not such "a walk in the park." I spent my first New Years Eve partying in the Neonatal ICU while my mom and dad toasted the New Year without me in Mommy's hospital room.  A sad night for all of us:( For the next few days I spent most of my time in a tanning bed with this lame mask on and I couldn't see a thing.  My mom and dad came to visit all the time but could only hold me to feed me and then had to put me back so I could loose the yellow hue to my skin.  I met some really nice people and they treated me great, except when they had to poke my poor little heals, hands and arms (at least 40 times) to find out if I was getting better. We ended up leaving on good terms and I actually began to like them.  In the picture below you will see the nice nurses who did such a great job caring for me.  Please excuse the lame outfit my mom put on me to go home in.  One of my nurses said I kinda looked like "Ralphie" from "The Christmas Story."  Anyhow, it was warm and served the purpose for the short ride home.

     On Sunday evening January 3rd my parents got the news I was doing well enough to be released.  I couldn't wait to meet my sister cuz the new hospital visiting policy wouldn't let her come see me after I was born.  We surprised her and rang the doorbell, there she stood as beautiful as I imagined!  I fit in her arms just perfectly.  She was a natural.  It was as if she had this "big sister" stuff all figured out already.

     Over the course of the next few days I adjusted my days and nights, while keeping my mommy and daddy up the majority of the time I figured it out.  So although it was a rough first few days of life it seems to be "the way I roll" and I'm adjusting.  I'm just happy to be home with my family.