Noah Finn's Film Debut.

Here is a little video Dean took of Noah Finn today!
We've also posted new pics to our Flickr album.

Enjoy and happy, happy new year!

With Love,
Joni, Dean & Noah Finn


He's Arrived: Noah Finn Nelson!

So, one week late on the announcement--I know, we're so sorry to have kept everyone waiting and wondering. We thank you so much for all of your phone calls and e-mails and are sorry that we haven't returned most of them . . . yet. We are just now catching our breath from the most beautifully exciting and exhausting endeavor that we've either ever experienced.

Here are the recent adventures of Noah Finn, in a nutshell:

Just hours after our post below (we highly recommend Mexican food and hanky panky for inducing labor--hee, hee), my water broke and labor simultaneously began at 9:30 p.m.

We made ourselves comfy in the livingroom--I, on the couch with the kitty cats close by breathing and listening to our meditation cds and dean, baking cookies for the nurses and packing the last few odds and ends for the hospital. Though the surges were rather strong and frequent, we hypnobirthed at home for the first 4 hours of labor.

At 1:30 a.m. the surges were becomming stronger and were timed at 1 minute long and 1 minute apart, so we headed to the hospital.

Upon arrival, the internal exam found that I was 6 cm dialted--the nurses could not believe that we had spent 60% of our labor at home on our own with no doula or midwife! They admitted us immediately and we made our way to our labor and delivery room.

My meticulously organized and labeled birthing binder (with things for Dean to hang around the room, things for him to read to me, things to give the nurses, etc.) never made it out of our bag. Active labor had begun and we were in the throws of birthing! The Dr. quickly arrived an hour later and announced that I was already 10 cm dialated, but that Noah Finn had not yet dropped into my lower pelvic area and left to give us time to "work him down".

Just a few hours later, I felt the baby bearing down and was ready to deliver. With no drugs or tearing, Noah Finn was delivered naturally after 10.5 hours of labor on December 21, at 7:50 a.m. Weighing in at 8 lbs. and 8 oz. and 20 inches long, he was much bigger and more beautiful then we had ever imagined!

BUT, duh, duh, dun--plot twist. . .

A day after delivery and still at the hospital serving the mandatory "recovery" period stay, a blood test revealed that Noah Finn tested COOMBS positive or ABO incompatible (basically, he and I have incompatible blood types--I am O+ and he is A+). The incompatibility causes my blood's antibodies to attack his and the result is a build up of bilirubins. Bilirubins are naturally occuring components in the body, but when there is too much, jaundice is the result and a period under special lights are required until the body can naturally "flush" them out via bowel movements.

So, the next thing that we knew, our new little beautiful bundle was wheeled away to sun under special lights in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). After a few good days of crying, sleepless nights spent with him in the NICU and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day spent in the NICU, Dean and I were finally able to take Noah Finn home at 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Day. A visit to the Dr. yesterday for one last blood test confirmed that Noah Finn is very happy and healthy.

Our first 48 hours home have been exciting, but we are still recovering from the accrued exhaustion resulting from the birth and NICU ordeal. At least 10 loads of laundry, 100 dirty diapers and 2 continued sleepless nights later, we are happily breast feeding and cloth diapering our way through each day just happy to have him home.

Going forward, we'll do a much better job keeping this blog updated with pictures and updates--so our families do not go simply mad! Thank you all again for your love, support and concern.

For pictures of our Noah Finn,
visit our
Flickr photo album!

With Love,
Joni, Dean & Noah Finn


Three Days Late and a Labor Short.

Yes, we're still around. Three days post due date checklist:
  • Raspberry leaf tea
  • Organic mexican chow fest
  • More vigorous than usual walk including stairs and hills
  • Hanky panky
Still very comfortable, physically, and I am just today finally truly at peace with the fact that he's running a little behind. Perhaps it's indicative of his personality . . . a laid back, calm, cool, and take it nice, smooth and slow kind of guy. Well, we can hope, can't we?

So, until next post . . .


That's The Way This Cookie Crumbled.

7:15 a.m. this morning--in the kitchen--I was naked (getting ready to shower for work--plus, pregnant women like to be naked whenever possible--nothing else is as comfortable as the ol' birthday suit) and putting a batch of cranberry oatmeal cookies for my students into the oven to bake.

When all of a sudden, I felt a slow trickle down both of my legs. I quickly slid the cookies into the oven and ran to the bedroom to awaken a sleeping Dean. After eagerly explaining what I thought was happening, he sleepily smiled, gave me a high five, and rose from bed to join me in my excitement. We both found comfortable places on our living room couches to sit and wait for the next "phase" to arrive.

After making eyes and quietly smiling at one another from across the room for several minutes--in a well-done, we've done it, hooray, we've succeeded, kind of way--we began to struggle with whether I should continue to prepare for work in the case of a false alarm or settle down for the inevitable long haul that could be ahead.

After several minutes of wavering indecision (is it, isn't it?), we decided to alert my work that the big day had definitively come and settled in to our comfy positions on the sofa beneath piles of blankets, cats and the dim glow of lights from our Christmas decorations.

Seconds, then minutes, then an hour passed--nothing. Soon, Dean was asleep once again while I laid fidgeting, unable to rest, and wondering if and when anything would happen.

Nothing did. And, needless to say, it's now 5:16 p.m. following a vigorous walk and many calls from family and friends and Noah Finn is still snugly situated inside my tummy with no signs of an imminent exit.

Despite what it may appear, we're staying cool, calm, and collected. Heck, I even meditated to my hypnobirthing cds today--before my thoughts wandered again and again to chanting the mantra "no inducement, no inducement, no inducement". We promise, despite what might glaringly appear as obsessive neurosis, we really are enjoying (*trying our hardest to*) this beautiful time of preparing for the birth of our little one.

We're now off to Hollywood Video to stock up on all of the comedy we can get our grubby little paws on (Netflix just won't be able to deliver fast enough)--they say laughter helps. "Baby Momma" is on the top of the list--Amy Poehler and Tina Fey never disappoint! We're open for any further suggestions you might have!?

Beginning today, Dean and I are officially off of work until . . . until. Cabin fever must not set in.


A Day Late and A Labor Short.

Due date and one day post due date--the checklist:
  • Ate the famous "The The Salad" (labor inducing maternity salad) at Caioti Cafe in Studio City
  • Prepared and consumed super spicy chili for dinner, lunch and dinner again
  • Took several flights of stairs at work
  • Went on a long, vigorous walk in the park
  • Drank a thermos of raspberry leaf tea
  • Bounced, grooved and moved on the birthing ball
  • Ate fresh pineapple
Feeling relatively physically fabulous while waiting for baby: priceless. The cost of the anticipation, excitement and anguish of waiting to meet your baby and for your life to forever change: mentally breaking the bank.


The Wisdom Of A True Doula.

We just received this e-mail from our Hypnobirthing Instructor and former Doula, Renee, in response to our worried posting from today below. It's so beautiful, we thought that we must share it. It has put things back into perspective . . . thanks Renee.

"Dear Joni, Dean and Noah:

On this cold and rainy day, how wonderful must be to find yourself in the womb, totally sheltered, protected, loved, awaited for... as you are completing your divine perfection and taking the necessary time to do it.

On this cold and rainy day, how wonderful it must be to find yourself ready to receive your dear baby, with the certainty that he will be here at the right time, not one minute earlier, not one minute later. Have the confidence and serenity that the understanding of the process and preparation has given you.

How wonderful it must be to enjoy every moment, knowing that it is unique and irreproducible, calmly building up for the miracle of birth with inner peace and gratitude.

Remember, he is not over due until week 42. Everything is perfect.

Love and light,


Oh Lordy, No Noah At 40.

Today marks our "guess date" and apparent "guess" date it is because there's no sign of our little Noah Finn--despite the fact that Dean has rehearsed the exit strategy with Noah numerous times over the last 9 months. I guess this won't be the first time he doesn't listen to what we say! I still feel great with no symptoms of imminent labor or any pregnancy complaints at all, for that matter. I am beginning to wish for some signal, any signal, that my body is preparing for the feat that lay ahead?!

In the meantime, Dean, who has not had a beard during the 8 years that we have been together (because he has bald patches on his cheeks where hair just won't grow), decided several days ago to not shave again until Noah Finn comes--"like they do in the playoffs" he said. He looks very cute and furry--which is appropriate given this "cold" spell of rain and winter weather that Los Angeles is experiencing this week (okay, it's only down in the middle to upper 50's, but that's COLD for L.A.--I can see my breath!)!

My Grandma Elsie, who called this morning at 8:00 a.m., proposed that he'll be a Christmas Eve baby . . . and many others say he'll be "late" because he's a first baby. My best friend, Jessica, claims it's only natural that he make a tardy entrance because being fashionably late is just the "Surette way" (at least the Joni Surette way!). So, we'll see. As long as he doesn't go past 42 weeks when we'll have to take medical measures to remove him from his snugly home.

We have a Drs. appointment today and will post if we learn anything new and exciting.
Otherwise, Dean with his holey beard and I with my rounded belly are hunkering down to wait and anticipate . . . and will post again soon with an update, if there is one.


We've Got Ants In Our Pants.

So, it's Sunday night and still no Noah Finn.

I went to a more rigorous than usual prenatal yoga class on Saturday, have been taking longer walks than usual everyday since Friday (including hills and stairs), have been drinking fresh raspberry leaf tea by the pitcher (said to prepare the uterus), eating fresh pineapple (said to aid in starting labor), Dean prepared chili lime tilapia for dinner tonight (spicy foods are said to help stimulate the uterus) and we've even hanky-pankied, all in hopes little Noah may be ready--but no luck.

Technically, he still does have until Wednesday to be officially titled past his "due date"--we just thought we'd give him a little boost this weekend while we were off, ready, and waiting.

We really don't mind if he's "late", I guess, as long as we don't have to have any medical intervention (induction, yuck!) to get things "moving" along because he decides to cook longer than 42 weeks.
Dean's mom and my Grandma Elsie called today to reassure us that this won't be the case. I am confident that they are right . . .

Anyway, still feeling great, so off to work tomorrow--and every day this week until either the term is over or he comes.

We'll keep you posted . . .


No News Is Good News, Right?

Well, we had our last Dr. appointment before our due date today. It was fairly uneventful. We saw Noah Finn on the ultrasound. He is still positioned well and his head has dropped slightly lower into my pelvic area. The amniotic fluid and placenta look great, his heartbeat is strong and regular, and my strep test came back negative--so, no need to arrive at the hospital early for delivery.

I have had no "usual" signs of preparing for labor like lightening, losing my mucus plug, leaky boobs, frequent practice contractions (at least not in the last month)--but then again, none of that necessarily has to happen to indicate labor is close by.

If our little bundle of joy doesn't make his debut between now and our next appointment, which is on our due date (the 17th), then we will schedule another appointment for the 23rd when we have agreed to have an internal exam to finally check for dilation, effacement and softening of the cervix--just to see how things are or aren't progressing. If nothing has happened by the 28th, our Dr. would like to schedule an induction for that day--but we really don't want that to happen. We are really wishing for the most natural birth possible.

I am still teaching in the mornings and afternoons and will continue to until I either begin to feel horrible or give birth to little Noah Finn! The last day of the winter term is this coming Friday, two days after our due date--so, we'll see if I make it to the end! And after that, Dean and I will be off for the holidays and will have nothing but time to wait for our best Christmas present ever!

We put up and decorated a beautiful 8 foot tree and put up the rest of the holiday decorations this week in preparation for Noah's first Christmas! Me, Dean and the boys all have stockings hung over the fireplace (with care, hee, hee) and I have saved a space in the middle for Noah Finn's. I am on the prowl now for the perfect stocking for him that he can have for his first Christmas and many years to come.

Otherwise, I'm keeping active by running non-stop baby errands (even for stuff we don't need but I am convinced we do!), prenatal yoga and walking. I'm drinking lots of raspberry leaf tea and putting flax seed on just about everything I eat. There's a restaurant in North Hollywood that we learned about in our birthing class (and have heard about from many moms) that serves a special "labor" salad. This salad is said to bring on labor within 24 hours of consumption! Maybe by late next week we'll give this salad and even perhaps a dose of castor oil a try if we're still waiting . . .


39 And Pregnancy Is Divine.

Today marks the first day of our 39th week. I feel wonderful with no gripes or groans, calm, peaceful and ready to birth. Being pregnant truly has been so much fun--the planning, the shopping, the bonding with other parents and parents-to-be, the prepping, the anticipation, the closeness you gain with your partner and the daily kicks and taps from within that remind you that a little life is growing inside. Dean and I just can't wait to be parents together. Dean's nightly story time, occasional music lessons, and frequent "exit strategy" overviews with little Noah Finn have already confirmed his post as the best dad-to-be this side of the Mississippi.

Since my belly doesn't look too differently this week than it did last,
we thought we'd forgo a weekly oven shot and post some pics of nesting tasks as of late--we have been washing, washing, washing clothes, blankets, sheets, our cloth diapering supplies, you name it, we've washed it. From bath supplies to bedding to bouncer seats to his diaper bag, we are ready for little Noah Finn's arrival.

Let's start with our cloth diapering supplies. Exciting? We know, we think
so too! Technological advances have touched every aspect of our lives--usually by making things quicker, easier, more convenient. Even the dreaded and unpleasant task of diapering has not been unaffected. The old methods of cloth diapering are far gone--today cloth diapering choices are vast (and pinless!). Velcro one-piece versions, with all of the conveniences of disposable but none of the environmental consequences, are available. They are on the more expensive end of the cloth diapering choices (costing about $17.95 a piece), but perhaps worth it when we're in a rush, traveling, or having someone help us care for little Noah Finn. Other than the few of these that we purchased, the majority of our cloth diapering supplies are comprised of snugly organic hemp prefolds, nifty velcro waterproof covers called "Nikkys" and organic unbleached cotton terry wipes. If he's a heavy wetter, we've also purchased organic hemp diaper doublers to avoid nighttime accidents.

We've had to move Noah's organic veggie toys from "Auntie" Sara up to the shelves above his changing table because Miles insists on unburying and taking them from Noah's toy basket--strangely the carrot and pea pod ONLY, while the tomato and mushroom remain untouched?! He meows to us that he is "breaking them in" for Noah Finn, but the little teeth holes becoming apparent on the heads of Mr. Carrot and Mrs. Pea Pod have forced us to remove what was clearly too much of a temptation for Miles. We have also made room in my closet for Noah Finn's little clothes organizer. But, he is quickly "outgrowing" it already as all of the shelves and drawers are full. We may have to expand his wardrobe into a closet of his own very soon! Also a recent purchase is his little Svan Bouncer seat. It is made from 100% sustainable wood, organic material and is ergonomically sound.

Both his diaper bag and mine and Dean's bags are packed and ready to go o
n the floor of my closet--waiting for the 3 mile journey to the hospital for delivery. Dean and I plan to spend as much of the labor at home as possible, so hopefully if we've forgotten anything, we'll have time to shove it in at the last minute! Dean installed the carseat in the Volkswagen today and multiple copies of our birthplan are printed and ready to hand out to all of the Doctors and Nurses at the hospital. So, stay tuned . . . we'll keep you updated!


38 And Feeling Great.

We're two days into our 38th week and things are going just beautifully! I am feeling wonderful--none of the typical "woes" of late pregnancy so to speak of thus far--just an extra large belly and a slight waddle!

We had a Dr. appointment today and little Noah Finn is doing just great. He's healthy, happy and has really chubby cheeks! He's still in head-down (ready to launch) position and the levels of amniotic fluid in the womb are very good--meaning, all systems are ready for take off . . . whenever he is. The Dr. doesn't think that he has "dropped" into my lower pelvis yet, but this is not a problem as we still have a good week and half until his projected "due date".

We have opted not to do any invasive internal examinations to check for cervix dilation and effacement, so we are not sure how things are or aren't progressing in that respect. But, as with everything in labor and birth, things can change on a minute-by-minute basis and any dilation and effacement occurring now doesn't necessarily signal where we may be one minute or two weeks from now.

Any day between now and Christmas, he could arrive (38-42 weeks). But, though we're extra excited to finally meet and snuggle him, as long as I keep feeling so great, we are in no rush and are ready whenever he feels that he is!

We have a "lunch date" this Sunday with a couple from our Hypnobirthing class who gave birth several weeks ago. We agreed to bring the lunch if they would share their birthing experience with us--they had a beautifully successful hypnobirthing birth--so, we're eager for the support and helpful wisdom.

Tonight, Dean and I are going on perhaps our last "official" yuppie-married-with-no-kids-date without towing baby or paying a sitter. Though this dinner and movie night will be sans wine and cocktails, we look forward to celebrating the end of one chapter of our lives together while officially welcoming the new!


He's Arrived: Introducing "Owen Vilppu Wilson"!

After a grueling 27 hours of treacherous labor--in which nothing went as planned--one of my best friends and my fellow pregnancy partner, Annaliisa, delivered little "Owen Vilppu Wilson" (a week "early") a little after 3:00 a.m. this morning. Weighing in at 7lbs 1oz and measuring 19 inches long, he is the perfect picture of beauty and health!

It all began at midnight on Sunday when Drew called letting me know that Annaliisa's water broke and her surges were beginning. She sounded very excited and as chatty as ever. Every three hours for the next 27, either Drew called me or I called Drew for updates. Each hour that passed down in San Diego, felt like an eternity in Los Angeles as I waited . . . for an exhausted Drew and surprisingly chirpy Ani to deliver news, updates, an indication of what was happening with baby Owen. Reported ups and downs in the delivery room at every call made each minute that passed, do so with tortoise speed.

When they finally called at 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, I exhaled as deeply if I had been holding my breath for a very long time. Being 9 months pregnant and so far away was a very hard thing to be this week.

After hanging up the phone, I was unable to sleep--an incredible sense of joy and undeniable relief kept me up for nearly an hour as I thought about the happiness that Annaliisa and Drew were at that moment sharing.

Since that call, though Ani is still at the hospital recovering, we have spoken thre
e times today! I just can't get enough of her elation and now well-earned experience. I hang on every fascinating detail as I share in her joy and excitement and prepare for my own birthing experience.

Though things went far from "as-planned" for Annaliisa and Drew, all I can wish for myself, Dean and Noah is that we have as happy of an ending as Annaliisa, Drew and Owen.


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