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S: Xander: Year One & Some of What Came Before

FC: Xander Bander Pants

1: Alexander Robert Olsen (better know to friends and family as Xander) was born on April 23, 2009 at 11:03 a.m. by surprise, and emergency, c-section. Xander was born seven weeks early and weighed in at 3 lbs. 7 oz. and 16.5 inches long. A little guy, but quite the fighter, he only had to spend 4 weeks in the NICU. Welcome to our family Xander Bander Pants, we love you. Happy 1st Birthday! | Welcome to the world little one... it's been waiting for you!

2: October 08, 2008 I'm...pregnant... Last week, CJ and I bought insurance to prepare for us to have a baby. The insurance would help us pay for all the doctors visits and the hospital bill. Come to find out, a week and two pregnancy tests later, that baby is already on his/her way and the insurance will do us no good. :) *sigh* Oh well...that's what we get for trying to plan ahead after the fact. We're so happy though. Oddly enough, I don't really feel pregnant. I'm not sick. Although, CJ says I'm acting differently. I think he smells (that's true...to a point...he smells a little different lately). I'm also very tired. I've been waking up at 3 a.m. every morning for 2 weeks. I wonder if that's baby's fault. Probably. I have a feeling he/she is going to be very spirited just like mommy and daddy. We're both kind of crazy...poor kid...doomed to that fate I'm afraid. Ah, well. We love you anyway and as of today, if our calculations are correct, you're nothing more than a mass of cells. Weird, I'm writing a journal entry for a mass of cells. Monday, October 13, 2008 Worry... I started bleeding on Saturday and it continued through Sunday. I was so worried I had to talk to my mom. She said that I might be miscarrying but she | wasn't sure. CJ, Papa, and Larry gave me a blessing and Jen shared that she bleed quite a bit for the first 10 weeks and Edana, my niece, is happy and health and growing everyday! That's good to hear. So I called that doctor today, left a message with a lady about what was happening, and she said I'd get a call back. I'm not bleeding now and after the blessing I've felt a ton better. I'm really not worried right now and my first appointment is on Thursday so all is well in Baby Olsen land...at least so far. We'll see what happens! :) Hooray! Tuesday, October 14, 2008 Stupid Needles I hate needles. The scare the living crap out of me. I know it's the only way to draw blood but at the same time...really?! There has to be a better way...COME ON! Yeesh. The nurse got hold of me after my first class yesterday and sent me to the hospital to have blood taken for some testing. I was freaking out for some reason, mostly because of the needle, and CJ couldn't get off work, Maggie had class, and Jen had left her phone in the car while at IKEA. Yeesh. So Jen called me on her way home from IKEA with a friend Jackie, her two little brothers, and her baby and offered to come. I felt stupid for being so scared and embarrassed to have an entourage of that size come to the hospital for a simple blood test, so I told Jen not to worry about it. I'd be brave. Next thing I know I'm getting my blood taken and my phone is vibrating. A distraction from the needle that was being shoved in my arm, but not really something I could answer at that point. So my blood got taken, I left shaking and my arm a little sore, to find that it was Jen calling me. She had dropped off her brothers and Edana and come with Jackie to be with me. How freaking sweet is that?! She said I sounded terrified on the phone (likely as I was terrified) and couldn't not come. I love Jen, she's so awesome. But I'd already gone through my horrific event for the day so we decided to hang out for a bit and do something. What did we do? We got yummy hot chocolate from Hearts. Made me happy. Very happy, especially since I didn't have to pay! :D I love hot chocolate. Then we went to Jen's parents house and hung out with her little brothers and Edana for a bit. About the same time Jen got talked into taking her youngest brother to the store for the game is the same time I got the wild call of the husband saying that he's home. So Jen dropped me back at my car, I went home, had yummy spaghetti, and ignored all thing homework and cuddled with my CJ. We also watched The Never Ending Story from back in the day. Quite a cute movie but really cheesy ending.

3: Friday, October 17, 2008 First Doctors Visits We had our first doctors visit yesterday, even thought we didn't technically see a doctor at all! We filled out a bunch of paperwork, I peed in a cup, and gave more blood (curses!) and so we begin this journey. I think we've called just about everyone we need to tell individually and if not I posted on Facebook that I'm prego so everyone will know soon enough. I even got to go up to Kaysville this afternoon for a couple hours and see and tell my grandparents, which was really fun. As I sit here typing this my niece Edana is sitting on my lap and I realize that I'm holding two babies. So cool! Friday, October 24, 2008 Am I Really Pregnant? I'm seven weeks pregnant now. Seven weeks of 40 weeks total. 33 weeks to go. That seems like such a long time but when I think that I have to finish this semester, student teach, finish another yearbook, distribute it, and then have the baby...it doesn't seem like enough time at all. Hopefully I'll be able to do it all before the "have the baby" part without too much trouble. I keep having thoughts like "Am I really pregnant?" I mean...I haven't been sick like Jess or Melissa, or nearly as tired or have heartburn as bad as Heather... I mean, my boobs hurt (that's for dang sure) but really...what if I'm not really prego. Seriously...I think my heart would break. I want this baby so badly my arms ache at times. I have faith that I'm pregnant and I'm grateful I'm not sick but...could I get a sign or something that this is real. That it's not just the yearning of my heart. I'm pregnant, a deep seeded part of me knows it. Silly little doubts seem to plague me anyway. Wednesday, November 5, 2008 9 weeks As of today I am officially 9 weeks pregnant (at least I am according to my and Baby Center's calculations). This means that baby olsen no longer has a tail! Hooray! If anything else, this is cause of celebration...my baby looks the least like an alien that it has it's entire life so far. Woot! Not only that but my baby actually looks rather like a baby...arms, legs, eyes, eyelids...even an itty-bitty koosh or peepee (although whatever it is, it's far too small to see yet). It's crazy to me that in just 9 weeks just about all the important parts have developed and are now just growing and maturing to the point that the baby can survive outside my body. Woot for no longer having a parasite sucking everything out of me in 31 or so weeks! I'm so excited for this beautiful baby to come into our lives. | Wednesday, November 12, 2008 170bpm... Seriously? Seriously. Seriously! Who knew that a something as small as my little baby would have a heart rate that fast?! Not only that but how cool is it that we could hear it?! Wow! I couldn't help but tear up when I heard that little heartbeat going so fast! It was amazingly beautiful and incredibly wonderful! I just laid there for a minute and then asked CJ, "Can you hear it?" to which he replied that he could. And I just listened and cried a bit. And when the doctor was done and wiping off that gross jelly stuff I couldn't help saying, "Wow...there really is a baby in there!" To which the doctor just paused, looking confused, and said "Yes there is." Awkward moment...apparently you're not supposed to doubt! :P Whatever! It was one of the very best moments of my whole life to hear the fast-paced little thump-thump. | Outside of Baby Land. . . .

4: Wishing & Hoping . . . | Friday, November 21, 2008 Aren't I allowed...? This has been one rough week and none of it because of pregnancy...well some of it, but not really symptomatic. Money, school, yearbook, and a hundred other things have racked my heart, mind, and soul this week. It's so hard to even think about, let alone focus on, this little one on his/her way. That doesn't mean I don't think about it. I do. I think about this baby often and I love it without even knowing it (a weird concept but, here we are). One of my bestest-best friends Heather had her baby shower on Saturday and it was so fun to see and hangout with her and her sisters (also counted amongst some of my very best friends). Unfortunately, Emily and I had a bit of a confrontation at the end of the shower that is still hurting mestill hurting, especially after reading one of her recent blog posts, directed, it felt, at me. A lot of it hurt, but the part that hurt me most, and has me presently in tears and my heart aching and frustrated, was this "Please do not put so much worry into the sex of your unborn child...Be grateful to have healthy, beautiful children. That is what REALLY matters." Yes, this was the central point of our tiff. I feel as though she thinks me ungrateful for a healthy baby. I mean, healthy so far...I don't know if this baby really, truly is healthy at this point and I pray every night for his/her health! CJ and I both do. We've seen the pain, anguish, loneliness, frustration, torture, and just plain old hurt that come from a baby born with problems. A baby so beautiful and a spirit so strong it fills a room and yet, a baby that you may never take home from the hospital. It hurts so much and I would never wish that upon anyone, not my worst enemy, let alone one of my very best friends! Even sweet Megs is suffering, from Emily’s losses and from having never had a baby and going through the same adoption process...I know it hurts, it has to. But why does that mean that I can't want a girl? Why does that mean that while I'm praying and hoping for a healthy baby I | can't also want a girl? Isn't that part of the fun? Of the joy? Of the whole experience? Hoping for, wishing for, wanting a new baby that is not only healthy but also a girl or a boy? I hate that I feel like I can't experience this part (any part!) without guilt and pain. I know Emily didn't mean insult or injury, I know she has a very different perspective on this. I wonder if she remembers that she's not the only one hurting, crying on their birthdays and anniversaries, that it's not just her and Mike that went through the loss of Ryker and Lilly...so many of us were right there trying our best to love and support where we could, although failing miserably I’m sure, especially me. I’m awful when to comes to expressions of love, no matter how hard I try it just seems to make things worse. But truly, how can hoping for a healthy baby girl be any different than hoping for a healthy baby? Honestly, I have no doubt, whatsoever, that it's hard to want, yearn, hunger, long for something and not have it. But it hurts over here too! Have you considered the pain of having and watching when others cannot? Others whom you love and want to have! So badly that they are never not in your fasts or prayers. So badly you ache for them and wish that you had never told them you were pregnant so as to cause more pain. I know this doesn't hurt anywhere near as bad from this side, it simply can't. But it still hurts to watch and to know that there’s nothing you can do but pray and hope. I try so hard to not be insensitive to your pain but I’m also trying to have some happiness for myselfthe excitement, the anticipationbut it’s nearly impossible. Any joy I find is hinderedWanting so badly to call and share the first time you hear the baby’s heartbeat, or the first time you couldn’t even button up your stupid pants, but knowing if you do it won’t be received with joy and laugher, rather pain and lingering regret that you called. | So I don’t call. I try not to say anything. And yet, here I am. I still did. I still feel guilty and horrible and wish that I could just keep my big mouth shut! It’s just so hard to not say anything about something this huge happening to you! Especially to your best friend. Please Lord! All I want is for all of us to have this, to feel this, to be uncomfortable, and happy, and miserable, and speculative together through these 9 months! But if that is not to bethen I guess I’ll be a little selfish and ask that we at least find a little, just a speck, of happiness for me. But maybe, that’s just too much to ask and I suck as a human for even wanting it. Maybe I am just very insensitive. | Babies are such a nice way to start people.

5: "Babies Are Life's Most Precious Gift" | Thursday, December 4, 2008 Gah! Blah! I hate having a cold. It's the stupidest form of sickness there is. Drives me crazy and stops me from doing so many things! I just want to be able to sleep through the night, sit without getting tired, go 5 minutes without sneezing so hard my uterus hurts, and not take anymore Tylenol. Is that too much to ask? If it was the pregnancy making me sick at least I could think "This will all be worth it..." But I don't have that. I have some dumb virus gumming up my bodily functions. Curses upon you sickening viruses! Drive me crazy... Wednesday, December 10, 2008 Doctors Visit the Sequel We had our second doctors visit yesterday. It was so fun to hear the baby's heartbeat again. It really sounds like it's low down as she gets older which is neat just to hear the growth, not just feel it! Although I have lost 5 pounds since our last visit my pants don't fit very well anymore so something's shrinking but it's not my tummy or the baby! | Wednesday, December 17, 2008 Baby Name Ideas A very creative girl in my Yearbook class gave me two lists of names, one of girl names and the other of boy names. I've listed the names below for fear of losing them. Any favorites? Any to add to the list? | Anneliessa Amory Ashlyn Dezirae Faith Hope Kameryn Khloe Lillian Mieyra Porcha | Sylvie Sophia Evaine Jammulay Amani Kaovae Azalleia Diana Kaysha Kaelynn Layla | Payton Raegan Roxanne Bella Livvy Marressa Rashelle | Brock Braxton Cash Dallas Drex Gavin Gabe Grayson Hunter Kenyon | Karston Kegan Miles Ryker Sawyer Trent Trey Tyke Troy Tristan Taevin | Weston Xavier | Monday, December 29, 2008 Starting to Acutally Feel Prego! Well, yesterday we (me, CJ, Jen, Larry, and Edana) took a drive up to my Grandparents house in Kaysville. We took Larry and Jen's car, Larry drove, with CJ and I squished in the backseat around Edana's carseat. It was a pretty okay drive until...dum, dum, dum...the nausea hit. Hard. I have never felt so naucious in all my life! And I'm pretty sure that I've only been car sick once or twice before this. | Never has nausa ever been so heaving and painful to me before. It kind of made my backache. So I blame this on the little one in the belly. The second sign that I'm acutally pregnant and starting to feel it is that today I was at home working on my Senior Portfolio all day and I somehow, doing nothing, pinched a nerve in my back. I could hardly stand up, let alone walk. It was pretty awful. Blah! So my first two physical symptoms that can unequivically be chalked up to pregnancy. Well..there's also the fact that I can't button up most of my pants, but the rest of my clothes basically fit so I'm kind of ignoring that for the time being. I'm also trying really hard not to say anything to women who had/are having rough pregnacies. It really just doesn't seem fair in my mind. I guess I've had horrible, horrible gas the last couple of months. Gas that would make a terrorist plead for mercy! Poor CJ. Ah well, life goes on...as does this prenancy. :)

7: "What A Life-- Eating, Sleeping, Playing . . . And Being Cute!" | Wednesday, January 7, 2009 I Felt You This Morning... Hey there little baby...this morning, in the oh so very early hour of 6am, I felt you move for the very first time. At first I thought you were a gas bubble but you moved in the wrong direction. That was my first clue that it was you and not something else. I felt you little baby and I cried and it was wonderful. I'm so excited for you to come! I love you so much! 22 more weeks...not long at all! We went to the doctor again yesterday and heard your heartbeat too. That was really fun! I'm also getting some blood tests done to make sure you're as healthy and happy as we pray you are. | Saturday, January 24, 2009 Baby BOY Olsen! Well, he's is definitely a he...and we have the money shot to prove it! I'm a little sad because I wanted a girl but at the same time having a boy feels so very right. This little guy is SUPPOSED to be our oldest child. He'll protect all his little sisters and brothers, play baseball, and serve a mission. How I love him already even if he's still just a little 8" nudger. He'll have his Daddy's eyebrows (poor kid ;) and my | sense of humor (hmmmm...) and we'll love him and that is truly what matters. Our little baby boy on the way! Tonight we decided on a name that I love and that has special meaning for CJ...Alexander Robert Olsen (sounds really good if you yell it out like you're mad cuz you just found out he smeared PB all over the walls and then ran away... ;) We want to call him "Xander" which is the nickname that I love and CJ's dad's name is Robert so that's important and special for CJ.

8: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 One Moment You're Asleep and the Next... We went to the doctor yesterday for our monthly checkup. I gained 3 pounds this month, not too shabby me thinks. You, little Xander, were so active all day yesterday, from about 3am on! It was crazy, I couldn't sleep, sit, walk, eat, anything without kicks and nudges from you. Finally, right around 3:30om you calmed down. I don't know what it was but you settled and it was so nice. Well, it was so nice for about an hour...until the doctor decided to try and find your heartbeat. I think you must have been asleep because your heart beat went from around 120bpm to 160bpm in 10 seconds and then you were back to squirming...for several more hours. If only you could have just slept and we both could have got a little rest. :) Silly little Xander... already an active little boy keeping his mommy up. Thursday, February 12, 2009 You Must Be Getting Pretty Big In There! Last night, little guy, you were moving around so much I could barely get a moments rest! Your Daddy came into the room and you were still moving around a ton and I could even feel you from the outside with my fingers. I wondered if he could too. So Daddy came over, pressed his hand into my tummy, and he felt you move! It was so neat! My two boys getting to know each other. You really are growing in there, getting bigger, and by the feel of it you're running out of room already. Not a good sign for me, but what can ya do? I figure we'll both make it...I know too many others who have made it to think otherwise at this point. :D I love you my beautiful baby boy! Thursday, February 19, 2009 Back Pain and Morphine Yesterday afternoon, Parent Teacher Conference began around 3pm at the high school. Right after that my lower back on the right side began to ache and have random spasms that were really, really painful. After about 3o minutes of pain, and some complaints, Comer talked me into calling my doctor's office and asking if I could take something more than the Tylenol I'd taken, which had done nothing for the pain. I left a message for the nurse and it took her over an hour to call me back. When she finally did I explained to her how I was feeling and she said she needed to speak to the doctor and call me back. | Twenty minutes later, in the middle of a parent-teacher conference, she called me back and told me to go straight to Labor and Delivery at American Fork Hospital. I was in shock, scared, worried, and, needless to say, I started to cry and told Comer that I had to go to the hospital. Comer jumped into crisis mode. (Which I'm so grateful for!) If she hadn't called CJ and driven me to the hospital I'm sure I would've gotten into an accident or fainted or a combination of the two. Comer dropped me off at the entrance to the hospital and then parked her car and walked in with my stuff. CJ pulled up as she was walking in, ran over to her, and they walked in together. When I saw CJ I was so grateful he was there I just fell into his arms and cried for a minute. Comer left us there and went back to the school and we went up to Labor and Delivery. Once in Labor and Delivery they took me to a triage room, had me get into one of those awful hospital gowns and hooked me up to a bunch of monitors. Xander was still there, kick the monitor and heart going strong. My uterus wasn't contracting but my back was still really hurting. I talked to the nurse and doctor and after a load of tests they determined that it wasn't a whole list of things (kidneys, bladder, labor, etc.) and weren't sure what to do other than give me drugs and send me home. So that's what they did, they gave me morphine and sent me home. The morphine didn't really help and I didn't sleep well at all. I kept waking up, rolling over, trying to just get a little relief. This went on until around 3:30am when CJ offered to give me a blessing! (Why hadn't I thought of that before?) The blessing was beautiful and I literally rolled over and went to sleep and didn't wake up until after 7:30am. Hooray! My back is sore this morning but no more spasms or aches, which is a good thing for sure. CJ and Comer encouraged me to stay in bed all day today, which is the plan for about 20 more minutes until I have to go to the school for my Yearbook editors and to make sure everything is ready for my second observation of student teaching tomorrow. I'm so grateful that Xander's okay, that my pregnancy is still going well, and that I only have 111 more days to go! Woot! Third trimester here we come!

9: Monday, March 2, 2009 100 Days to Go! Wow...there are only 100 days left in my official pregnancy. That's pretty exciting. Tomorrow I get to go to the doctor and have my official glucose test to make sure that I'm not pregnancy induced diabetic...no worries there me thinks. Better safe than sorry I guess. Woot for insurance! :) "Woot for insurance indeed," quoth CJ. Saturday, March 21, 2009 Swollen... Did you know that helping friends moving, being a brides maid, and student teaching all equal one thing for a pregnant woman--swollen feet! Never in my life have my feet ever felt so stiff, puffy, and down right uncomfortable! Yeesh! I knew that swollen feet came with the gig but had no idea the extent! Ah well, it's all for a good cause. My little baby boy Xander continues to grow, which in turn is causing my belly to continue to grow (shocker, I know!). In fact, I now have a perma-baby belly that doesn't go away. While the back brace does "pop" the belly out even more I can no longer take it off at night. Which brings me to my second point about pregnancy today... Did you know that sleeping with a pillow between your legs is awesome pants? Well, it is. Woot for my little square pillow and all it's leg dividing glory! :D Wow, being pregnant is one big ball of uncomfortable glory.

10: Saturday, March 21, 2009 Swollen... Did you know that helping friends moving, being a brides maid, and student teaching all equal one thing for a pregnant woman--swollen feet! Never in my life have my feet ever felt so stiff, puffy, and downright uncomfortable! Yeesh! I knew that swollen feet came with the gig but had no idea the extent! Ah well, it's all for a good cause. My little baby boy Xander continues to grow, which in turn is causing my belly to continue to grow (shocker, I know!). In fact, I now have a perma-baby belly that doesn't go away. While the back brace does "pop" the belly out even more I can no longer take it off at night. Which brings me to my second point about pregnancy today... Did you know that sleeping with a pillow between your legs is awesome pants? Well, it is. Woot for my little square pillow and all it's leg dividing glory! :D Wow, being pregnant is one big ball of uncomfortable glory. Monday, March 2, 2009 100 Days to Go! Wow...there are only 100 days left in my official pregnancy. That's pretty exciting. Tomorrow I get to go to the doctor and have my official glucose test to make sure that I'm not pregnancy induced diabetic... no worries there me thinks. Better safe than sorry I guess. Woot for insurance! :) "Woot for insurance indeed," quoth CJ.

11: Family trip to Colorado Springs, CO | to visit Larry, Jen & Edana in early April 2009.

12: Sunday, April 19, 2009 30 Weeks at 32 and Some Protein We went to the doctor on Thursday for Xander's 32 week check up and found that while I have gained the proper amount of weight by uterus hasn't grown in two weeks, I have protein in my urine (a sign of preclampsia), and high/normal blood pressure. So out of concern for the lack of growth we'll be having a second ultrasound on Friday, April 24... My birthday! :) Very cool that we get to see Xander again, not so cool reason. CJ gave me a blessing and I talked with my mom and friends and I'm not as worried now as I was. I know that I need to do better at taking care of myself for Xander (aka drinking butt-loads more water (I hate water...eww.)). I love this little boy and the fact that I've drank 4 liters of water in two days (I was lucky to have drunk 2 liters in a week!) is a sure sign of that love. Cute little fetcher, he better start growing or else I'll fight 'em! ;) Saturday, April 25, 2009 Xander's Here! CJ and I have had a very long and interesting week, the plans we had have now gone out the window and fluttered away... but all for a very good cause. :) Thursday morning our little baby boy was born, quite unexpectedly, at 11:03am. Alexander Robert Olsen weighs 3 lbs. 7 oz. and is 16 1/2 inches long. He's skinny and long but so very beautiful and strong. He's presently breathing on his own and his heart rate is strong. He's being fed through a feeding tube 3 cc's of breast milk every 3 hours. Really, we're just waiting for him to get nice and plump so he can come home and be with his mommy and daddy. While we're waiting on him we're also waiting on me to heal and be ready enough to take care of myself, let alone this new little miracle. We want to make sure that this all gets written down so that Xander can truly know what a miracle he is and that he really is supposed to be here with us. He's supposed to be our son at this time, we have no doubt of his timing now! This all started around 2am on Thursday morning I woke up with, what I thought was, a massive stomach ache. I took some tums and tried to go back to sleep while CJ rubbed my back. Around 5am I was still wide awake and my stomach ache was rapidly worsening. I thought maybe I was hungry so I got up and tried to eat a bowl of cereal while CJ googled pregnancy and stomach cramps. The cereal made my stomach hurt even worse so I thought maybe I need to use the bathroom. While I was sitting on the potty my stomach cramps intensified so badly that I begged CJ for a blessing which he gave me right then and there. In the blessing the Lord promised me that I'd be healed and taken care of. I figured that was my direction to go back to bed and start feeling better. Halfway back to the bedroom I collapsed on the floor and CJ said, "We're going to the hospital. Now." So we got dressed and rushed out the door to the American Fork ER. The ER sent us directly up to Labor and Delivery on the 3rd floor. We were taken into a small room and were asked questions about what was going on. As we waited the cramps got worse and worse and I started to scream and cry in pain. My breathing became heavier and harder as I tried to fight the pain. Finally, I was given some morphine which took the sharp edge off but really it just let me feel the pain radiate through my back. The nurse took my blood, a urine sample, and sent us down for an ultrasound to check on my gallbladder, which is what the doctor thought might be wrong. By the time we got back from the ultrasound the nurse knew that something else was going on. My liver enzymes were massively elevated, my kidneys were shutting down (imagine urine coming out the color of coke!), and my blood platelet were really low. The nurse called the doctor and told him to come over to the hospital right then. Suddenly we were informed that we were going to have our baby today. The nurse was talking about whether to deliver the baby right then, or wait and transport me to Utah Valley Regional, since Xander is 7 weeks early, and deliver there. We're not sure exactly what made them decided, I have a feeling it had to do with the rapid nose dive I was taking, but the next thing we knew CJ had a pack of white OR (operating room) clothes tossed at him and was told to get them on and they'd come back for him as I was wheeled down the hall into the OR to be delivered. Sitting on the OR table waiting for the anesthesiologist to start my spinal tap is when it really hit me that I was about to deliver my baby. I start to bawl. It was too soon. To early. He's not ready. We're not ready. None of that mattered. Xander was coming right then or his mommy wasn't going to make it and neither was he.

14: We'll spare you the gory details of the c-section as we so grateful were thanks to a blue hanging cloth separating my lower half from my upper half. And so Xander was born, via an emergency c-section at American Fork Hospital. He was taken out of my tummy and they said his color was good right away, but he did have to be resuscitated. Once he was breathing fairly well they whisked him away, with CJ in toe, to be assessed for transport down to Utah Valley Regional in Provo. I got left behind in the OR to be sewed together and wait for word on how Xander was doing. Dr. Mumford, Xander's pediatrician, came back to the OR and let me know that he was doing well enough they could let him stay at American Fork in the NICU (natal intensive care unit) right across the hall from me. What a huge blessing this has been! If Xander hadn't been able to be in the same hospital as me then CJ and I would've had to be split up, with CJ and Xander in Provo and me here. How grateful we are for huge miracles like Xander being able to breath on his own so he \ could stay near mommy and daddy as mommy began to recover from the effects of HELLP. Officially I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. HELLP syndrome is a unique variant of preeclampsia and means: H (hemolysis, which is the breaking down of red blood cells), EL (elevated liver enzymes) and LP (low platelet count).

15: It can be fatal to both the mommy and the baby if not treated soon enough. HELLP Syndrome occurs in tandem with preeclampsia, but because HELLP Syndrome's symptoms may happen before preeclampsia's three findings (high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and swelling), they may be misdiagnosed as symptoms of other things (like gallbladder problems). Once we knew Xander was okay and that he would be staying at American Fork Hospital with us all direction turned towards me and getting me on the up and up. Overall I had three blood transfusions, was placed on magnesium sulfate (to ward off seizures), and a clear liquid diet. I spent the first night vomiting all over everything, including myself, and trying not to pass out. I got woken up every hour on the hour to have my vitals taken and blood drawn and, I have a sneaking suspicion, to making sure I was still alive. :)

16: Monday, April 27, 2009 Home... It's nice to be home but it's also really hard. I've already cried several times over the fact that we're home without Xander. I miss him so much. I guess I didn't understand how much of a comfort it was to have him just across the hall where I could send CJ over to check on him at a moments notice. I miss the hospital because of it's comforts and closeness to Xander but I'm also glad to be home where I am find a little bit of semblance and rest. Today Xander's every three hour feeding increases from 3cc's of breast milk to 6cc's. Still, such a negligible amount but it's also a double in size which is awesome for him! Getting him used to the milk and to the amount he needs to be eating is our biggest concern right now... so far he's taking to it well! Hooray for little miracles! Friday, May 1, 2009 1 oz!! It's crazy how excited two people can get over just one little ounce but here we are, and Xander now weighs 3 lbs 8 oz! Woo hoo! Such a small little step but also a huge one when you're so tiny. He's growing! Finally! Hooray! Now, to just get another ounce... It's also crazy how excited two people can get over a poop filled diaper... but when there hasn't been one in two days and your baby stops digesting his milk one messy diaper is also a really big thing! Monday, May 4, 2009 Graduation "Wheel" Well...it's done and over. I am officially graduated from college! Woo hoo! I love this feeling. It's so great! I love that I don't have to register for classes or worry about loans or textbooks. Hooray!! Because of my c-section I knew I wouldn't be able to stand for over a hour as required by graduation tradition so we borrowed our friend Perrie's wheelchair and I got to wheel instead of walk at my college graduation. They look a picture there... I hope I get a copy somehow... Before graduation we stopped by the hospital to see Xander and took some graduation pics. I was so excited to have a cute prego belly graduation photo but these are soooo much better!

17: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. | You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.”

18: "It's The Little Things In Life That Matter Most"

19: Sunday, May 10, 2009 Growing Baby Boy! Xander is growing like a weed, which I chalk up to my breast milk... or shall we call it breast cream? ;) It's only been two weeks and he's almost up an entire pound (4lbs 6oz!). We're so very proud of him and how well he's doing. So many people are praying for us, putting our names in the temple, and even fasting for us. How grateful we are for the love family, friends, and even strangers, are showering down upon us. Thank you Heavenly Father for each and every tender mercy thou hast blessed us with over the last two weeks! Sometimes it's hard to believe how very concerned He is for each us but there's no doubt that He is concerned and aware and that He loves us. Thursday, May 14, 2009 Nursing In order for Xander to come home there is no weight requirement, only an eating requirement. Xander needs to be nursing well and regularly in order to be sent home. I've started nursing him once a shift and he's doing really well. He nursed twice yesterday, 25 minutes the first time and 13 the second time. I'll be nursing him again twice today. Here's to hoping that he does as well today! Hooray for a growing boy who presently weighs 4lbs 8oz... that's a gain of just over a pound! Woot! Tuesday, May 19, 2009 From Rent to Own On May 19 at around 5pm Mr. Alexander Robert Olsen exited the hospital for the first time in his life. It was a windy, rainy and rather cool evening but it was beautiful none the less. Our baby boy came home from the hospital weighing 4lbs 14oz and 19.5 inches long. That's a pound and 7oz and 3inches more than when he was born. He was still very tiny, but feeding well, and headed for home. It was weird not having the go to the hospital the next day. It was weird waking up several times during the night to feed, change, and cuddle. It was weird being the parents who were charge and taking care of a baby rather than worrying at 2am whether or not the nurses were doing a good job. Xander's been home three weeks on Tuesday and he presently weighs 6lbs 2oz! That's quite the growth spurt for only a couple of weeks. I have a feeling he's grown even longer as well because those two pounds haven't really shown up anywhere other than his cheeks... he's still got those long, skinny chicken legs to fill in! It's been amazing having him home. He's doing well, adjusting well, sleeping well-ish. Of course we wish he was sleeping much better, but what parent of a six week old doesn't? Wow it's weird to think that I have a son, who's six weeks old, and wasn't even supposed to be born for 3 more days at least! We're so glad he's here though, happy and healthy! Xander, we love you! Thank you for coming to our family!!

20: Thursday, June 25, 2009 Some of Xander's Firsts... His first time at church (we went to sacrament late and left early but it was still super fantastic to go!)... Xander's first time at the top of a mountain (pretty sure he got a little altitude sickness and threw up... our bad)... His first time at the Zoo (with two of his bestest buds!)... Woot for firsts! Cute little fetcher! :D

21: Xander Bander Pants

22: On July 3, 2009 Wedding Day! Aunt Maggie got married in the Draper, Utah temple to Matt Weidauer. It was a very sunny day and everyone got sunburned! The reception was so fun and Xander got passed around to just about everyone.

23: And two hearts became one... | Mr. & Mrs. Mathew Weidauer

24: "It was the tiniest thing I ever decided to put my whole life into."

25: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 Baby Blessing Sunday, July 5, was Xanders baby blessing in the Pleasant Grove Timpanogos 1st Ward. CJ gave the blessing and in the circle were Grandpa Mike, Grandpa Olsen, Brent Huntsman, Larry Eyring, Matt Weidauer, Robert Shomaker, and Keith Huntsman. CJ gave a beautiful blessing in which Xander was blessed to continue to grow into a healthy man with the desire to serve a mission, find a companion to take to the temple, good friends who are good examples and the knowledge of the love of his friends and family, that he will turn to the scriptures for guidance and answers, and to come to his mama for advice when making hard decisions (I like that last one a lot!) It was a beautiful blessing. I'm so grateful for the priesthood and a wonderful husband who is worthy to hold and exercise it. The church is true anyway you slice it.

26: Thursday, August 6, 2009 Ahhhh Chooooooooooooooo! Poor little Xander has his first cold! Gah! The sniffles, the sneezes, the coughs and the wheezs are filling our days and nights as we get ready to move into our new place on Saturday. He's having a hard time breathing, let alone eating and sleeping. The humidifier and Tylenol help but it's still just awful feeling sick.

27: Saturday, August 22, 2009 Growing So Fast! Oh my little boy, how big you are getting! People see you and say, "Oh! He's so tiny!" but everyday I hold you and snuggle you and see how much you've grown! You're so strong and beautiful! How wonderful to have you here! We love you! You laugh and smile like never before! You've discovered your hands! You love to sleep with your daddy! You love to talk with your mommy! And smile... And smile... And smile... And smile... Wow... life was never this good without you! Tuesday, September 15, 2009 Gross-ter-smosher Xander went in for his 4 month check up last week and he's officially 11 lbs and 24 1/4" long. Just the right size for a 2 1/2-3 month old! Woot! He's getting there and growing so well. He can do all the fine motor skills that a 4 month old should be able to do but he's unable to do ANY of the gross motor skills. I chalk it up to his small size... he's so smart and knows what he wants to do but gets so frustrated (screaming in anger with tears streaming down his face and a bright red face) when he can't lift his head up during tummy time! Poor baby boy! So now we say "Psh!" to all things gross motor! Give us fine motor or give us... ummm... something else! In another month or two he'll be still two months behind but hopefully a little more caught up! For now, holding a toy for 10 minutes, pulling blankets and clothes into his mouth, holding his hands in front of his face, munching on them, and then just staring at them (so cute!) is awesome, fun, and wonderful! Part of me is glad that I don't have to buy a baby gate or baby proof the house just yet...

28: "No one likes | change but babies | in diapers..." | Friday, October 23, 2009 6 Months Old! Xander is 6 months old today... I've been thinking, on and off all day, about what I was doing and how I was feeling 6 months ago today. I honestly don't remember 90% of that day. In reality, what really keeps running though my head is the first time I got to hold my son. Story time! I was feeling so very sick. I was on two IV's, one for blood and the other to ward off seizures, and feeling really glum because CJ kept coming in and out, checking on the baby and givng me status reports but not being able to see Xander. CJ came back from seeing the baby and told me what was going on, Xander had just gotten a diaper change, was off the c-pap machine and doing really well. I was glad to hear this but sad because I couldn't get out of bed to see him in the NICU. The next thing I know CJ says he has a surprise for me and in walks two of the nurses from the NICU wheeling my little boy in a bed between them. I cannot explain the joy that seemed to seep from my heart into the rest of my body giving me the strength to hold him. I snuggled him, held him, cried over him, and had some horrible photos taken (I looked and felt as if I had lost over half of my blood supply, which in had. ag.) and then let the nurses roll him away. Leaving my baby at the hospital was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. Woot for having him home, well, and growing! Happy 1/2 birthday Xander Bander! We love you!

29: Trip to St. George to watch Aunt Jen run in the marathon!

30: Monday, November 2, 2009 Suddenly... I'm not half the man I used to be... I shared this with CJ's mom yesterday and she asked if I had written it down. Well I haven't yet so here I am... writting it down for all of posterity and (most importantly) Xander. Sometimes Xander doesn't like riding in the car. Sometimes he's feeling _________ (mad, tired, annoyed, frustrated, bored) and just wants to cry until we pull over and take him out of his carseat. Well CJ and I have discovered a secret weapon that can be used against Xander in these moments. That secret weapon is... The Beatles. That's right, that wonderful band from the 60's. More specifically the song, "Yesterday." All we need to do is sing this song out, loud and bright, and Xander calms right down. As soon as we stop singing he starts crying again. Now, let's be honest, this song has become quite annoying and we've taken to singing random words to the same tune. But it still works, thank goodness, and who cares if he doesn't know the difference between the words "All my troubles seem so far away" and "Xander please stop crying you silly boy"! | We had a really fun Halloween! Even though we didn't get ONE trick-or-treater (what's up with that??) it was still good. We went to a party at Maggie and Matt's new place down in Provo! Hooray for food, fun, and family. Nothing better. CJ is the owner & operator of the Olsen Family Zoo. And we just got back from a safari in Africa where we picked up this cute little monkey for display! Xander was the cutest little monkey with his favorite Zookeeper (aka Daddy)! Even if he was a tired little monkey! Ha! He slept through most of the night.

31: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 Cute Little Fetcher! Seriously love this kid! Seven months old and eating two level 2 jars of baby food a day on top of bottles... growth spurt here we come!!

32: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 Let Me Feed Me. Xander wants to feed himself. I think he might just starve to death. ;) I know it's only going to get more messy but I couldn't help but take a photo! This was the first time he demanded the spoon and refused to open his mouth even a centimeter until I handed it over. Finally I just got another spoon and snuck in bites whenever he opened his mouth. Score one for the mom. Monday, December 28, 2009 8 Months... Xander is 8 months and 5 days old today! :) Woot! Fun things Xander can now do: roll over both ways, clap, say "dadadada" (although he has no clue what is means), and feed himself crackers and the like. I love Winter Break! Christmas, New Years, no work, lots of reading, lots of baby and CJ time. So awesome pants!! As I'm writting this Xander is leaning aganist my leg eating crackers... hahaha! I wonder if I can get a photo of this... (see right) Hahahaha! My exact view at this moment. :) Anyway, we had a rockin' awesome pants Christmas. We got a TV (50" plasma baby!), a two person hammock from Mexico (Thanks Em and Mike!), some movies (two muppet ones, 50 First Dates, and Up). Xamder got Legos, a red bouncy ball, a cute reindeer hat and matching t-shirt, a bunch of toys from his cousins in St. George that they've out grown (which he loves!), and a cool spinner top from his grandma and grandpa Olsen. So basically we made out like bandits. Woot! Hope everyones holiday was a wonderful as ours! Merry (belated) Christmas!

34: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 Kids on the Move Since the second week Xander came home a program called Welcome Baby has visited us once a month to check on Xander's development because he's an "at risk" baby because of being premature. Well, our beautiful baby boy has moved from "at risk" to "risky" and is officially developmentally delayed. Because of this Xander has been accepted into a program called Kids on the Move. They're going to help us help Xander get up to where he needs to be. I feel really good about this program and what it's going to help us do. I'm so excited and grateful that, of all the problems Xander COULD have, his is something we can work on and have help with. We're so blessed! Saturday, January 23, 2010 9 Months... It's seriously crazy to think that Xander is 9 months old today! He is one stinking cute little fetcher! In 3 months he's going to be 1... That’s so weird! He doesn't seem anywhere near big enough to be 1 in just a few months. Apparently, the slow in weight gain comes with eating more solids. Poor kid has had a rough week after eating uber greasy hash browns at his Aunt Heather's last week he spent 3 days not eating much, being ornery, and constipated. Two Activia's, lots of water, and a HUGE explosion later our baby boy is back to his happy, bubbly self. Hooray! We missed him. ;)

36: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 First Hair Cut Xanders hair was getting so long and uneven... it was driving me nuts! So yesterday, Nana took us down to Salon Vox and Xander got his first haircut! :) He didn't sit on anyone’s lap; he sat on a booster seat all by himself! Such a big boy! He was really good for the first 5 minutes, then he cried for about 2, talked insistently and intently for 3 minutes and then we were done! Hooray! The pictures were taken with my phone, so please excuse the quality. I figured, something was better than nothing! Nana said, "What 9 month old, sits in a booster and lets someone near his ears with hair clippers? The best baby is the world thats who. He was so good." | Tuesday, March 2, 2010 10 Months (and one week)... Goodness! Poor Mr. Xander Pants rang in his 10 month birthday with a cold that has done nothing but get worse and worse. Poor kid just isn't doing so hot with a runny nose, hacking cough, and bloody nose. He's tired and not eating. He just keeps drinking lots, which we know is the most important when you're feeling poopy. I need to take pics of my ill little man and post them for posterity, but since I don’t have those I’ll post our favorite Xander pics from this month.

37: Friday, March 12, 2010 Crawler Face! Our cute little fetcher face is crawling! WOOT! I'm so happy and excited. Part of me was worried if this moment would be farther down the road, maybe even after his first birthday. Never fear, Xander Pants the Great is here and growing and catching up just as fast as his little knees and hands can carry him.

38: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11 Months Strong! It's hard to believe that Xander will be turning one in a month! Wow! It's been a crazy month. Xander is an official crawling machine. He has a bottom tooth that just poked it's little white head up yesterday and several teeth on top that aren't far behind. On the down side, Xander has his first ear infection, an uber runny nose, and a weird rash that I'm pretty sure we need to get checked out. Poor kid! Xander's officially 17 lbs 3oz and uber long (I haven't measured him to be honest... whoops!). Ah well, on to our last month of year one! :)

39: Thursday, April 1, 2010 New Things... Some new things that Xander has started doing / have happened in the last two weeks... * He's now pulling himself up at the couch, coffee table, chairs, anything about his chest height. * He can crawl up an entire fight of stairs. * He cruises around things that he's pulled himself up to. * He sits on him bum, uses his leg to push himself around and around (360 degrees) while clapping for himself. * He says "Kit!" every time he see my parents cat. Xander got his first "little boy" injury from said cat after coming to close and the cat not liking it. * He says Mama and I'm pretty sure he knows it refers to me because yesterday I walked up to the car from the UPS store and he yelled, "Ma! Ma! Mama!" and clapped. (That's a sign, right?) * He has four new teeth coming through on top and one on the bottom that's in, for a grand total of seven teeth! * He's now in a "big boy" car seat and it is one high tech, awesome piece of work! (Plus it's orange and that rocks!) He got another haircut but this time it is WAY short and Xander looks JUST like his Daddy! One more thing... the Kids on the Move physical therapist came yesterday and was shocked at how well Xander's doing. He's exactly where he should be for his real age, which means he's ahead for his adjusted age! Woot! She's going to come and do one more evaluation at the end of April and if Xander is still where he should be then we're done with physical therapy! Hooray! :) Thing is going to be a good month.

40: Saturday, April 10, 2010 Colorado Spring Break! For part of Spring Break last week Xander and I got to fly to Colorado Springs to hang out with Larry, Jen and Edana. It was Xander's first time on an airplane and he did pretty well, awake at the beginning and end and slept through the middle. We had so much fun hanging out, going shopping, and playing at the mall and a place called "Focus on the Family." It was such a great trip! On the flight back we almost missed out flight because I didn't anticipate the time it would take to get though security. Whoops! I literally ran across the airport and was barely let on, after the doors were closed! Goodness we were lucky. The plane ended up being 15 minutes late. Whoops, my bad. It was still a wonder trip and I'm so grateful we got to go.

41: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 Roseola Last Friday Xander started running a high fever, up around 103 without Tylenol, and after three days I finally called the doctor. They told me that it sounds like Xander has a virus and we need to let it just run its course. So we kept him as cool as possible and Tylenol'ed up and things have been ok, especially when the fever finally broke this morning. Then I get a text from CJ that Xander has a really bad rash and he thinks it's his Eczema acting up again. About 30 minutes later I get a text from my mom that Xander has a really bad rash. I told her CJ said it was Eczema and she text back that she's pretty sure it's not. So I turned to my source of all baby knowledge, Baby Center. A search for "fever" and "rash" turned up a page on a virus called Roseola which runs its course by having a really high fever for 2-5 days followed by a mass rash out break... Yeah... that sounds about right and the rash looks very much like the illustrations. Poor Xander! The worst part is he was most contagious before the fever even started and so his cousins might get it if they don't have it already. Whoops. Ah well, it's not the worst thing a kid could get... Thank goodness!

42: Saturday, April 10, 2010 Year One Family Pics We got our family photos taken today by a lady named Whitnie Stark. She was wonderful and cheap! Hooray! I hope they turn out as awesome as I think they will.

44: Friday, April 23, 2010 BIRTHDAY! Today is Xander's birthday and he is so dang cute! All morning CJ and I were yelling "Happy Birthday!" at Xander and he just laughed and laughed. I'm pretty sure he just thinks we're weird but I'm so excited! Tomorrow is the birthday party for the two of us. It should be wonderfully fun! Hooray for friends, family, food, fun and presents. Makes me happy, let's be honest. And I know it makes Xander happy too! Just looking at the photos we took this morning make we realize how wonderfully blessed we to have Xander as our son. | The Big O-N-E!

45: Saturday, April 24, 2010 Birthday Party Time! Today is mommy's birthday and our combo birthday party! WOOT! 26 and 1... not to shabby if you ask me.

47: My dear little Xander Bander Pants, Over the last few days I haven't done much more than cry and think about you and the day a year ago when you came into this world and started our little family. It was the scariest and most wonderful day of my life, all at the same time. You were so tiny. When I held you, your little head rested on my shoulder and your bum was cradled in my hand right below. Today, you still like to snuggle, even if you're toes now reach below my waist, but crawling and talking are more to your liking than letting Mama hold you for long. Thank you for your smiles. Thank you for your laughter. Thank you for making life brighter and happier each and every day. I love you my little man, now and forever. Loves, Your Mama | Xander, There are not words to describe the way your life has affected mine. All I can say is I am a better father and husband because of your influence. I was scared to be a father and worried I would somehow mess up my first child’s life but your unfailing ability to learn and grow in spite of my mistakes reminds me that although I am your father here on earth it is your Father in heaven who is teaching you the most important things you need to know. My one word of council at this time in your life and forever is never forget who you are and that you are a beloved child of god. You should always remember that since every time I rock you to sleep it is the song I sing to you (it is the only one I can remember form heart). Love, Dada

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  • By: Abby O.
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  • Title: Xander Bander Pants
  • Xander's first year plus some.
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  • Published: over 6 years ago

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