Christian’s Birth Story


December 30, 2014

Being the mom of two kids is busy! I feel like it takes the entire morning to just get everyone fed, changed, and looking somewhat presentable (the latter being entirely optional on most days though). I love it though. I love the slower pace of life that a new baby brings and how everything that isn’t absolutely essential to daily survival just gets put on the back burner- no matter how important it was before.

Little Christian came as a huge surprise. Even when we were thinking about trying for another baby again, he didn’t waste any time getting down here, and I am so grateful for that. There were many times during this pregnancy that I had to ask myself if adding to our family was really the right decision, but time and time again I remembered the urging and confirmation from the Lord when we were trying and knew that this was the right step.

Being pregnant with him was very similar to everything I went through with June. People always say that they can tell a difference between girls and boys, but for the most part, everything felt identical. I had an inkling that he was bigger than June, which was right, but other than that I don’t feel that there were too many differences.

Now on to the birth story…

Starting around Thanksgiving, I got a terrible sinus infection that literally kept me on my back for days. It was so miserable and made so much harder by the fact that I had a toddler to take care of and was 8 months pregnant. That was about the point we started becoming hermits and stopped working out and eating as well as I had been. I just didn’t care anymore, which is fine. I also never really felt great after the infection and maintained symptoms of the flu for the next few weeks. I wasn’t scheduled to be induced until January 6, and I really didn’t want to deliver around Christmas, so I took it really easy and made it through the holidays just fine. I started feeling really great again around the Saturday before Christian came. My energy was back, I even started working out again and getting the house totally cleaned and ready for baby. On Monday, December 29, we decided to all go down to West Jordan for Todd’s soccer game since it was early and Dustin and Kaley were going to be there. We spent the entire day cleaning and doing laundry, and I even did a pretty good workout at the gym too (bike, lunges, squats, etc.). At the game I chased June around and chatted with Kaley, and felt totally great- settling into the idea that I was definitely going to make it to my induction date. After the game we went over to Russ and Teresa’s to watch a football game. Right when we got there, I was telling Teresa how great I felt and that he definitely wasn’t coming before the 6th. I took a 38 week selfie and posted on instagram. That must have been his cue… because no more than an hour later I was having contractions! I didn’t want to say anything just in case it was false labor, but as I started timing them, they were already 2-3 minutes apart and felt a little more intense than the menstrual cramp contractions I had with June. I decided to pull Todd aside and tell him I thought I was in labor, and the look on his face was priceless- just blank astonishment and shock! We decided to try and wait out the game before making any decisions about going to the hospital. We were so glad we packed jammies for June and already put her down to sleep at Teresa’s, but we weren’t expecting Christian to come so soon so we didn’t have anything packed for the hospital. As I quietly endured my contractions and the game, I started making a list of everything I would need Todd to go home and pack for me. It was stormy (of course) and I wanted him to get to Kaysville and back as soon as possible- considering the contractions we getting more intense and staying at 2 minutes apart.


Finally we decided that Todd couldn’t wait any longer to go get our stuff, so we told Teresa I thought I was in labor and that I’d go to the hospital as soon as Todd got back. Shelley and Teresa were so great to sit with me while I waited and it helped so much to keep my mind off of what was going on. I just kept thinking there was no way I was in REAL labor and that the baby wouldn’t come fast because June took so long. On the other hand though, I didn’t want to wait too long and progress to the point where I couldn’t get an epidural. We finally decided to just head to the hospital without Todd and he could meet us there. I am SO GLAD we did! My contractions were getting really painful by that point, and it would have taken so much longer if I had waited for Todd.


I made it to the hospital and Teresa and Shelley stayed with me until Todd came sometime around one in the morning. They checked me when I first came in and I was dilated to a 4 and 100% effaced. At my appointment the week before I was only at ½ a centimeter and 60% effaced. That was the point when I started nicely nagging the nurse for the epidural. Shelley thought it was hilarious that that’s all I could ask about, and it felt like it took forever for the nurse to ask me all the questions needed before they could send for the anesthesiologist. Todd couldn’t have come a moment too soon, because I was really trying to be brave for Teresa and Shelley, but as soon as they left I really started feeling the contractions and they seemed so much more painful than with June! The doctor finally made it about 2 am and it was so wonderful to finally get relief from the pain. It wasn’t quite as comfortable as my epidural with June (my right side was completely numb an couldn’t move while I could still feel a bit of pain on my left), but it was still great, and I was even able to get a bit of sleep. The nurses kept me on my right side because Christian’s heart rate dropped every time I rotated to my left. That was great for Todd, since he was able to get some sleep rather than having to flip me every 30 minutes, but it didn’t help with the feeling I had on the left since the medicine was mainly going to the right side. All in all though, waiting to progress this time was great and I actually liked that it was through the night again. I feel like things are more peaceful at that time and I can be more restful and relaxed. I was progressing at about a centimeter an hour, so around 6:45 am Dr. Later came in and I was about a 9. He broke my water about 15 minutes later and then said I was ready to push! It was in that instant that I started getting the shakes and was really nervous. This whole labor came on so suddenly and so fast that Todd and I were still wrapping our heads around the fact that we were having a baby today! It was so exciting though, because we still didn’t know the gender and that helped give me that extra motivation to push and meet our new little baby. I had remembered the pushing with June to be so long and exhausting that I was dreading it more this time, but since I had so much feeling on my left side, plus this being the second time around, it was easier to push through the contractions. I only had to push through two- maybe about 5 minutes, and Christian was here! I remember that Dr. Later said he had a lot of hair while I was pushing which made me so happy! The instant he came out, Todd was the one to look over and tell me he was a boy. I was so in shock at that point I don’t think I had it in me to be excited or disappointed about that news. The whole pregnancy I had been leaning towards wanting a girl, but feel like I always had a gut feeling that he was a boy. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to love a boy as much as I love June, and that made me so nervous. Like June, it still took me a couple days to really feel that mother’s love for Christian, but it is there now in full force, and I couldn’t wish for a more sweet and wonderful baby than him.



After the cord was cut, they placed baby boy on my stomach for a few seconds. It was so surreal to me and he seemed so huge! They took him to be weighed and checked (with Todd keeping a close and protective watch the whole time) and he was 7 pounds 7 oz, 20 inches long, and perfectly healthy! Ever since my miscarriage the year before, I’ve just been nervous about being pregnant and that the baby would be ok. That is why it came as such a relief when baby boy was finally here and everything was normal.

It’s at this point again that things got meshed together, but I do remember the amazing feeling of relief and success when I was able to get him to nurse for the first time, and relatively easily too. The nurse had to help a bit, but this boy has a healthy appetite, and the nursing experience has been completely opposite from what it was with June. He’s a quick and efficient eater and the cuddliest baby ever. As long as he is being held he is perfectly content, which is so sweet and wonderful.


After I was able to nurse him the first time, they moved us to out recovery room. It was a bit difficult for me to transfer to the gurney because my right side was 110% numb all the way down to my toes. I had good feeling and movement on my left, which created an interesting sensation. Once I was all settled in my new bed and room, Todd and I were left to just enjoy our time together with baby boy. Again, I love having early morning babies because I feel like there is more time for quiet family moments before visitors start coming. I was so starved by that point that all I wanted was breakfast. Todd was so great with the baby those first few days, and even now has this sixth sense about what he needs and how best to get him to sleep. In those first few moments after I delivered, all I could say and think to Todd was “You have a son!”. It seemed so strange that we had a boy now and that we were a family of four. One disappointing thing is that June wasn’t able to come visit at all in the hospital because of how bad the flu has been this year. Throughout my whole pregnancy, all I could think of was that moment when June would come through the hospital door, give me a huge hug and cuddle, then see her baby brother for the first time. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation for her though, being happily cared for by Teresa for the first day or two we were gone, then my mom. Brian and Shelley were still in town and staying at Whitehouse’s too, and June was in heaven having Thad and Wes to play with. Again, this was another tender mercy of the Lord. I mean, the fact that we packed jammies and had already put June to bed at Teresa’s so we could watch the game was a miracle. One of my biggest fears was going into labor in the middle of the night and having to wake June, get her packed and out the door and then drive from Kaysville to West Jordan to one of our parent’s and then get to the hospital in Sandy, especially in a storm. Well, had I not gone with Todd to his soccer game that night, that would have been the exact situation we would have been in. Plus, I would have been doing that all by myself. There was a terrible wind/snow storm going on in Davis county, and I would have been incredibly reluctant to get up and drive to the hospital. So all in all, the whole situation was basically a miracle. It’s the times like that that really open my eyes to how much the Lord has his hand in our lives.


The rest of our time in the hospital was quite uneventful. It is so true what they say about the recovery being so much easier after the first baby. It’s like everything healed twice as fast as it did with June, and I felt so much better, even during my time in the hospital, which I am so grateful for. Since Todd and I were there over New Years, there was A LOT of football viewing happening in our room. Like a lot, which I’m sure Todd loved since we had nothing else to do. All I wanted were fig newtons, apple juice, and rest, so I was fine. Our last night there was New Year’s Eve, which is typically when they give the parents a ‘fancy’ dinner, so the timing worked out great for us, even though the dinner wasn’t that fancy. It was actually really nice to have a quiet dinner by ourselves, and that I didn’t have to make it. We still hadn’t decided on a name, but figured since we were going home soon we better settle on it. We had been keeping Christian Todd in our back pocket for most of the pregnancy, since it made sense to use Todd’s names and because it’s a family name on both sides. Throughout the whole time I was pregnant, I had the hardest time finding a boy name I liked, and Todd was even worse, because he would only suggest black man names.


We were able to leave and head home the next afternoon, which was just about perfect since I was getting really anxious to see June again. We stopped by Mom’s to pick her up which is where she got to meet him for the first time. I was surprised when she wasn’t that interested and that her affection and interest in him came on much slower than I anticipated. I think it helped a lot that Todd didn’t have to go back to school until January 12, so he was able to take care and entertain her while I adjusted to the baby. Those first few weeks are always my favorite. When the day to day is basically all about just keeping the family fed and somewhat rested. After that point, I start to get extremely restless and itching to get back to design and working. I’m doing my best to find a balance, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out as time goes on.

It’s incredible to me how well our new family has fit together since Christian has joined it. I don’t know if he seems like such an easy baby because June was harder, or if I just know what I’m doing a little better this time around. Either way, the transition to two kids has been much easier than I thought it would be, and I love watching June interact with him. She has been the sweetest big sister and is constantly looking for ways to help and take care of baby brother. I love my little family so much!

Hummus and Bowties

Here is what June looks like when she wants more hummus and strawberries…




June playing ‘Where is June’. A favorite pasttime. Mar201511


Yesterday we dressed Christian up in real church clothes for the first time. I figured we better have a trial run before his blessing next week.


Christian loves himself a warm, fuzzy blanket. And this little number is his favorite. He still loves to be cuddled when he naps, and seems to be pretty popular with all the daycare ladies at the Sportsplex.


March • 2015

Maybe this year I’ll be better about blogging. Here’s what is going on now…

Christian is chubbing up and is all smiles. He loves to be held and wrapped in warm blankets. We are going on 6/6 full nights of sleep, and we are rejoicing. Not that it was that bad before. He would wake up around 3 or 4, then sleep the rest of the night, but it sure is nice to that those few extra hours of uninterrupted sleep. His hair is growing exactly like June’s and I’m nervous I’ll never be able to cut it. I’ve been able to exclusively nurse him, which is amazing, with lots to spare. I think I’m nearing the 600 oz. mark of frozen milk, which makes me almost giddy since I had such a hard time with June.

June is a piece of work. Super sassy, and the biggest tease. She know’s now when she’s being a pill and will call herself a stinker all the time with that mischievous smile of hers. I still can’t take a photo of her doing anything natural, because the moment she sees a camera she wants to look at it. She loves nursery and can count to 10 (minus 5 and 8). She is starting to get better at identifying colors, and is great at matching animals to the sound they make. She had a great time this weekend riding her bike around the neighborhood for the first time, and this morning I found her in her bed wearing her church shoes. She loves to dress up ;-)


Mar201503   Mar201502






The last month has been nothing short of crazy. We moved into the new house, Todd started Physical Therapy school at the U, and we had a rough pet week which included Potato making a desperate attempt to escape and our bees swarming in our backyard. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to some summer fun… plans include St. George, Cherry Hills, and lots of walks around the new neighborhood. Here are a few pics of June and the new house…


Can you say adorable? June is finally tolerating her bumbo, which is awesome. Her hair is starting to grow in lighter, and she even has a few blonde patches in the back. It’s kind of a crazy mess, but I love it. Notice how her hair on the left side is WAY longer than the right? Yep.


To say that June hates tummy time would be an understatement. This precious pic was taken about 5 seconds before she started getting ticked.


Still sleeping with her hands in the air…

And now onto the house:


Please disregard the sleeping baby in the middle of the floor. I didn’t want to move her since she was actually on her tummy.


Master bedroom- I have big plans including crown molding, wainscoting, and a heck of a lot of new fabrics, drapes, and decor. Don’t tell Todd.


June’s room. I must say, I love how this turned out, even though the room is actually T.I.N.Y. The wide angle lens makes all these pics look much larger than reality.



The office. Gross. And yes, that is a garbage can as the computer chair. Now you can see why this room needs some desperate attention.


We decided after much deliberation to move the office to the downstairs family room, just so we can keep this open as a guest bedroom and future kiddo bedroom. That way we can do this… (or something like it)


I also have big dream plans for the main family room… how cool would those columns look?!LivingRoom

Bathroom dreams…


Well that’s it for now. Next time… the big bee swarm. It was a nightmare, but I got some cool pics.


March was a fun month for us. I feel like June was finally big enough for us to feel more comfortable taking her out and being around people. 


SAM_0237Pigtails for the first time!

SAM_0251She’s so dainty and proper with her hands. It cracks me up


SAM_0252Bath time in the sink! I keep forgetting to get a tub for our regular tub, so until I do, she’s stuck with the sink. She’s so big now that all the water drains out hen I out her in!



The crates that would have been the chicken coop



Blessing Day!! 



The bees survived the winter! Now we just have to figure out how to get them to Kaysville, yikes!


Easter in Kanosh is the best. We had so much fun, and June got to go for her first Easter Egg Hunt!SAM_0318SAM_0319

SAM_0321 SAM_0339



It’s starting to hit me now that we’re actually moving (let’s hope… we haven’t officially closed yet!) I’ve really been dragging my feet on getting anything ready, but thought today that I want to tie up loose ends before we leave. One of those loose ends is blogging. I want to be all caught up before we move so I can make a fresh start in the new house. The other loose end is getting rid of anything we don’t need, so if anyone is on the market for a new dining table/chairs, a gliding ottoman, popcorn popper, or electric omelet maker just let me know!

Here’s what was going on in the Monsen house back in February…


My Nephew, Ascher, was in the hospital and we were so sad we couldn’t be there to see him. This was our attempt at a get well card, but June just wasn’t having it.

SAM_0223 June is so adorable with Todd. She’ll always give him a big grin whenever he gets home from work, and it just melts my heart.

SAM_0212This is June’s first experience (of many) with fancy Sunday dresses. She’s looks a little skeptical to me.

SAM_0198Check it out! June is finally big enough for the Bjorn! Big day for us…

021413_0051SMWe finally graduated form the giant green pacifier from the hospital to this little cutie. She loves the paci… and so do we!


I can’t help but creep and take pictures while she sleeps. She’s just so sweet and peaceful. I have about a million photos already

June’s Birth Story at last!

Seeing as June is now a month old, I thought I better get a move on posting about her birth and add some pics (taken by the amazing Mandy Carroll!). Here it goes…


Sweet baby June decided she wanted to come a little earlier than her due date. Well a lot earlier if you count the 3 weeks we ‘skipped’ when Dr. Later told me at our first appointment I was 12 ½ weeks along instead of 9. June must have been very anxious to get here, and I’m so glad she was!

I went to see Dr. Later for my 38 week appointment on Tuesday, January 9th. Everything looked good and I was dilated to 2.5 cm and 80% effaced. Great progress since there had been no changes from week 36 to 37. He told me to go ahead and make an appointment for next week, but he wouldn’t be surprised if I went into labor before then. I must have just had a feeling that it was coming sooner than planned, because for the few weeks leading up I really kicked all my baby preparations into gear. I restocked all the shelves with updated canned food and made sure my go-bag was pretty much ready to go. I had a weird anxiety Tuesday night, and made sure I took a nice long shower (so glad I did, because I remember distinctly thinking that this could be my last shower before having the babe…) and was so happy to find out that Todd had Wednesday off. I put him right to work with about 3 different lists of things I needed done. It was absolutely wonderful on Wednesday knowing that Todd was home and getting all the last minute things taken care of that I couldn’t do. I was also really relieved that the baby hadn’t decided to come earlier than Monday the 7th because Todd had been in Rhode Island/Connecticut since Thursday for his Rhode Island interview. The lord knew what he was doing with all the timing- that is definitely for sure.

Wednesday morning I was feeling pretty crappy. I got to work at around 9 and was having quite a bit of throbbing in my back. It would come and go every 15 minutes or so, and gave me a bit of a stomachache. I decided to start timing the pains and see if there was any pattern to them. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I didn’t really say anything to anyone at work, they all just knew I wasn’t feeling very well. As the day went on the contractions plateaued at 5 minutes apart and lasting for about 1 minute. Now usually they would tell you that you need to head straight to the hospital at that point, but my pain wasn’t getting any more intense, and I could still talk and focus on my work throughout the contractions. I did think it was odd that they were really consistent at 5 min/1 min throughout the whole day. Well I survived work, and decided that I should clean out my desk just in case. By that point I had let on that I was having contractions and thought I was in labor, so I guess Greg and the guys weren’t too surprised when I didn’t show up the next day. I’m just sad I had to miss the baby shower Jeanette had planned for me for Thursday (but had an awesome time at the make-up shower a few weeks later!).


Todd came and got me at 4:45 so we could beat the traffic home. Once I was home, Todd informed me that he had an appointment with the cousins to ‘take care of a skunk’ and left to go about his business. I thought it was pretty funny that he would leave his pregnant wife who was most likely in labor to go kill a skunk with Austin and Alex. I used that alone time to get into my sweats and start cleaning up around the house. I just remember being so worried that I would have to come home to a messy house, and I’m so glad we got it cleaned up before we left. I made sure my go bag was packed and ready, and felt pretty confident that I could pick up and go when the time came.

By this time, Todd was getting back and decided he should try to get the dresser drawer fixed before we had to leave. I humored him for a few minutes, but then realized how hungry I was and sent him straight to Village Baker for a salad. While he was gone, I decided to look up possible reasons for why the contractions were so painful in my back. At this point they were coming every 3 to 5 minutes and had picked up in intensity. Turns out I had a high chance that I was in ‘back labor’ which is when the baby is turned the wrong direction and putting a lot of pressure on the back. I read suggestions that doing squats and lunges can help the baby to turn into the correct position, so I decided to start up my Summer Sanders Pregnancy workout DVD. I was only a few minutes into it when Todd got home with the salad around 6:30. I sat down to eat while Todd used our massage roller to try and rub some of the pain out of my back. Something must have hit in the right place because before I knew it, I felt the strangest ‘pop’ and my water broke! I just stood up crying ‘oh! oh!’. I remember being ticked that my shoes were getting wet and that my Real Salt Lake sweats were totally soaked and I couldn’t wear them to the hospital anymore. Todd was hilarious because this was the point where he started to realize the baby was actually coming and he got really flustered and started running around all over the place trying to get his bag packed. He then asked if it was ok to take a shower. ‘Sure, go right ahead, it’s not like my water just broke and I’m in labor or anything’ was my thought, but I figured the baby probably wasn’t going to come that soon anyway and Todd would feel better if he were clean and not smelling like a skunk.

Right before we left, Todd gave me a blessing. I’m so glad that Todd is a worthy priesthood holder and that we were able to start this amazing journey of parenthood with a blessing. After that we grabbed all our stuff, latched the car seat into the back seat and off we went! My contractions were steadily getting worse and by the time we got to the hospital at 7:30 I was really starting to feel them. I was so happy knowing that the epidural was coming soon, but I still had to wait about an hour and a half before the anesthesiologist was available to give it to me. I was at 4 cm and almost completely effaced! The nurse was excited about that and said she thought I’d be ready to push by 2 am, and that because June was so low I probably wouldn’t have to push for too long.


Once the epidural kicked in I was in laborial (is that a real word?) bliss! I laugh when I think about how many times throughout the long night I told Todd how amazing I felt and how much I loved the epidural. For the first time in months it didn’t hurt to lie down! Nothing hurt and it was fantastic! I could still feel my feet pretty well, and my legs felt really heavy, but the numbness wasn’t as bad as I expected.

By 7 or 8 the next morning nothing had progressed and my contractions were beginning to get farther apart, so Dr. Later put me on the Pitocin. Things picked up after that and by 8:30 I was pushing. About 20 minutes into my pushing Todd got a phone call from what he thought was a Rhode Island phone number. Although we were both extremely anxious to be hearing back from any school, I was pretty sure that was the WORST time to take a call, but I think it’s pretty funny that of all the hours we had been sitting around in the hospital, he’d get that call during the 45 minutes of pushing.


Things went pretty quickly after that, and before I knew it she was here! I wasn’t even bugged by her large and lopsided cone head from being sideways so long. I was just so relieved it was over! I didn’t get to see much of her for the first half hour or so. She had quite a bit of numbness on one side of her face because of her position, but other than that, everything looked to be good. 5 pounds 14 ounces and 19 inches long. Todd was amazing. He helped me so much during the whole process, and was so attentive to both the baby and me once she was born.

The rest of the day was a big blur. I was transferred to our recovery room, which coincidentally was the same room Matt and Sayward were in when they had Ascher. Our parents came and it was so fun to watch them with June for the first time. Everyone just couldn’t believe how tiny she was and how much hair she had!

Throughout the 2 days following June’s birth we had so many visitors, and it was great to feel so well loved by all our friends and family. I will always look back on those first few days as a really special time for our little family. Because I was mostly confined to the bed the whole time, Todd really had to step it up, and he was amazing! I grew to love him more and more every time I saw him taking care of June. I know he must have been absolutely exhausted because unlike mine, his body had no idea what hit it. I loved the quiet times (though rare) that we had to spend with each other and with June. It was nice to be able to send her to the nursery at night so we could at least get a few hours of sleep, but I knew I was really her mom when I started getting anxious to see her after just a few hours. The movie Dan in Real Life was playing over and over again throughout our stay, and I thought it a little ironic that it was filmed in the same area as the school in Rhode Island. Todd finally got a hold of them the next day and found out he was accepted! It was bittersweet news coming so close to June’s birth and having to face the reality of leaving with her, but we’re excited for whatever will happen.


Saturday afternoon was the big day. We got to take her home, which was exciting and completely terrifying at the same time. It was nice to be settled, and mom and Teresa were incredible helps. I can’t believe it’s already been 4 weeks since we had little June. I love being a mom, and feel like this is exactly what I was meant to do. It almost seems to good to be true when I think about being able to stay at home with June. Todd is so incredible; I love knowing that I can depend on him to work hard and provide for our little family.

I am so happy. I am glad that we waited, because now that this phase in our lives is finally here, I can fully enjoy it without any regrets. Todd and I travelled, finished school, saved financially, and experienced so many things we couldn’t have done with a little one. The Lord has definitely had his hand in our lives, and I love feeling his love around me as we raise this sweet little spirit.