And then there were 3

{I promise I wrote this post relatively immediately after the baby was born, I was just waiting for the birth pictures to add! He’s now 11 weeks old and I head back to work next week…}

Remember when I told you I was pregnant five months ago? Well, Baby McMillan #3 arrived on October 20th in HIS own little way.

The remainder of my pregnancy went smoothly with normal complaints, especially chasing 2 olders, but nothing extremely noteworthy. Just a big old belly, of which I have so few pictures.

The last week of my pregnancy every evening contractions would come and then go, but on the evening of the 18th they were more intense, more regular and I knew that delivery couldn’t be much further away. I did sleep that night off and on, and even went to kettlebell class at 5am because I was up and I figured it would do nothing except maybe hurry things along. I went to work. Tied some loose ends up and saw a few patients, then headed to my OB appointment that afternoon, all the while having contractions every 10 minutes or so, stopping my path if I needed to, but more than anything I was okay to have a distraction from an impending labor.  At my appointment I was dilated 4cm and my doc offered an admission on L&D, I declined, knowing I likely had multiple hours of labor to go, and knowing my husband was 2 hours away helping with soybean harvest on my family’s farm. I, instead, headed to the grand opening sale of the the Carter’s/Oshkosh store near the clinic and spent $100 🙂 I then went home, washed dishes, picked up toys, finished a load of laundry and generally made sure the house would be ready for my pending abscence. I called my husband and let him know that once he was done hauling his current load of beans, he should head back home. I certainly knew I was in early labor, and just didn’t know how to predict the speed of it all once active labor started for the third time in 4 years. I also alerted our friend who volunteered to stay with our boys while we were gone that tonight was our night. When she came over she helped the boys eat supper and was keeping them entertained while I wandered around the house generally doing nothing but breathing through contractions – she has not had any children yet, and she confirmed that watching me in early labor was certainly not convincing her that she wanted to have a baby anytime soon. We got the boys settled into bed and then got in the car and headed to the hospital.

It was after 9 before we were roomed in triage – I was still about 4 cms dilated and spent the next hour wandering around, because if I laid down the contractions would slow. It just felt like something wasn’t quite right – I knew I was in labor, I was getting exhausted and I really wanted them to break my water, but my physician wasn’t on call and they were pretty busy that night, so they didn’t really need me rushing along. At 10 o’clock I was still about 4 cms, I as I wandered the halls getting through my contractions and willing them to pick up speed, because them just seemed too spaced out to make changes happen. I had a moment of pure frustration and the tears poured out of my eyes – I was hurting, I was tired, and I was worried them were going to send me home. I laid down to be checked at 11pm, and finally she decided I was 5cm and constituted official admission. I asked again to have my bag of water broken – they asked if I wanted an epidural, and at that point I was still on the fence about it. I wanted to do it without at least once, but this was all moving so slowly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to endure without an epidural. They put in my IV, and my care was exchanged from the triage nurse to my labor nurse – she was a proponent for no epidural if I was, and so we headed down that path, all the while I think I was still just reserving my request for an epidural, not really sure why I wasn’t getting one, knowing that the pain was certainly going to get worse.

I walked the halls, I labored in the tub, the contractions got stronger, but still spaced out if I rested anywhere. Finally at 2am the resident came to break my water. She struggled, because my cervix was still so posterior, and with her “sorry my fingers are short,” issues it took her a little while to accomplish that. With my previous labors I had an epidural in place before they broke my water. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was doing okay, so I soldiered on, thinking, I can always change my mind. My nurse was amazing and kept me on track. Very quickly the contractions picked up pace. No place was comfortable really, but I found myself swaying by the bed or propped up on all fours on the bed most of the time. The tub helped some, laying down was awful as was squatting or sitting on anything. At 3 o’clock I was 6-7cms, so I called the photographer who had a 30 minute drive and I got back into the tub. Things started to get rough. Rough enough to wake up my husband with my “noisiness.” I saw the photographer walk in, but I didn’t even really acknowledge her presence.

I looked at my nurse from the tub and said, “if I am not 8 cm, I need an epidural.” She nodded, offered that if I wasn’t making progress that “maybe a dose of IV meds and I’ll start your fluid bolus and call the anesthesiologist if that’s what you really want.”

At 3:56 I got out of the tub, I was 8 cm and was now very internally motivated to push. She called the doc and another nurse came to the room. I remember seeing the resident come in and garb up, and I was pushing… on all fours at the end of the bed. I told them he was coming, and they tried to get me to lay down but I physically could not, there was a baby in the way of me moving anywhere. I told the nurse again that he was coming and I remember seeing the resident plastered against the back wall in her sterile gown. With one big push at 4:07 am, my wonderful (and liar, liar pants on fire nurse who was never going to let me get an epidural 😉 ) nurse helped me deliver my third little boy.

The actual physician arrived a few minutes later, LOL. We had known since finding out this baby was a boy that he would be named Lukkes (pronounced like Lucas) because that was my husband’s mother’s maiden name. We had still not agreed on a middle name. After Jesse watched me deliver our son without any pain medication, he deemed it my choice for the middle name, and so, Lukkes Grey was named.

He came out looking just like his older brothers, especially a clone of Thomas. Same terribly furrowed brow, wide nose and big lips, but a TON of hair in comparison to his older siblings. He was (and continues to be) perfection. He weighed 7# 12oz, was 20.5 inches long with a 14 inch head.

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By some miracle of miracles, I avoided needing any repairs – I actually suspect that he was laying OP (sunny side up) for the majority of my labor and finally turned, and BOOM, birthday. In hindsight, I am glad I didn’t have an epidural, because if he really was OP (hence my back labor and cervix that wouldn’t move anteriorly), my ability to move around likely helped him finally flip over, and if I would have gotten an epidural I would have laid in the bed, possibly extending my labor and necessitating Pitocin and who knows what else. However, if there is ever to be a 4th McMillan baby, I would likely get an epidural. Why? Because labor hurts, pain gains you nothing, you get the same baby. And why didn’t I get one this time?? I’ve thought about that a lot – I guess it was kind of a bucket list thing – had to do it once, don’t really desire to do it again.

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The older brothers have taken a liking to him, especially Jackson, who turned 4 in September. Thomas, who will be 2 on Thanksgiving day, likes the baby and is interested in him in small doses, but doesn’t grasp the permanence of this person in our family. I’ve now deemed our family the McMillan Circus, because that what most of our life feels like – truth be told, it did before, too. Lukkes is a sweet baby, but goes from zero to feisty crying – I believe that is purely a third child defense mechanism that allows him to be noticed. He’s a spitty and semi-colicky little guy – he hates burping. He is amazingly awake and alert most of the day, and sometimes at night.

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We tried on multiple attempts for the photographer to get newborn pics with him sleeping – out of 6 hours, he slept for about 45 minutes and woke up if touched. He was deemed “the naughtiest” newborn to photograph. Oh well.. these are a few that we did get (creds to sara dawn photography for birth and newborn photos).

 

So, here we are. McMillan, party of five. Which means my posts will likely become even less frequent, but, if I have anything meaningful to share, I’ll pop in from time to time 🙂

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3 months

The fourth trimester is over and my baby is a quarter of a year old already. Thomas is so laidback and sweet. He is happy almost always, I feel so lucky to be his mommy. (Of course I am lucky to be Jackson’s mommy, too).

IMG_2017Thomas has accomplished some great milestones this month. He sleeps through the night at least as much as he doesn’t, probably more now. He accomplished a back-to-belly and belly-to-back roll… at daycare. I still have yet to see it, of course. He has so much core strength we had to put the bouncer seat away because he would try to sit right up and out of it. Now he chills in the exersaucer… which Jackson didn’t try out until he was at least 4-5 months old in my memory. I should look at pictures to confirm that. Thomas also tolerates tummy time pretty well, especially if there is a person at his level to have a conversation with.

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IMG_2043He eats like a tank. I have gotten a pretty good nursing/pumping routine down, although weekends always throw that off. LOL… I had to wear a swim suit last weekend, and I just grabbed one without trying it on. Terrible idea, as I am definitely more busty than normal right now. So embarrassing.

And a very important milestone was yesterday, as we welcomed Thomas to the Church through baptism. It was a great spring day with both of our families in attendance. So special. God has some big plans for this little boy. I can still smell the chrism oil on his head, and I could just sit and cuddle him and smell him all night long.

It can’t go without mentioning that Jackson has really blossomed in his role as big brother. He will be 2.5 this week, and while my heart breaks a little thinking about how he is growing up, I am also so proud him… most of the time. But I can’t lie, sometimes I just want to hide from him, you know, for peace and quiet 🙂 one can only handle so many conversations about cows and cars in one day 🙂

So, life as usual in the McMuffin house.

And, in case you were wondering, I am really enjoying Lent (as weird as that sounds). I have been faithful abstaining from Mtn. Dew, Starbucks, and Facebook (turns out you can still post to FB via IG even if you are not actually logged in, so still able to post pics of my sweet babies, just haven’t seen any likes or comments, haha). I have been really bad at daily devotionals, but found a good solution in getting devotionals and meditations emailed to my inbox daily and finding time every day for prayer. And went to confession for the first time in years… felt so good for my soul 🙂 Hope Lent is treating all of you well also! Getting excited for Easter. Oh, and shockingly enough my hubby mentioned joining the Catholic church last night. I have never asked him to or pushed him that way, but he made a comment that it would be nice to have us all able to be together in church, participating at the same level. Talk about melting my heart. I hope he continues to have that on his heart and that God calls him to it if that is what should happen. Maybe next Easter we’ll have another celebration of joining the church.

 

10 months

I’m not sure why, but this turning of double digits in months has me all emotional. Or maybe it’s that I was able to spend a 4-day weekend with him over Independence Day and got to soak up all of his baby goodness.

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He is amazing right now. Truly, every day he’s learned something new. He’s mastered “real” baby crawling and gets everywhere he wants to be in a hurry. He’s gotten the grasp of “no-no,” although he tests those boundries constantly. He possibly ate dog food last week 🙂 if it’s good enough for Nella, it must be good enough for him, too, right? He pulls up on everything, and often greets me in the morning with a big smile while standing in his crib. He wants to walk – but he most certainly can’t. He prances around on his tiptoes and high steps while we hold his hands.

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He is a momma’s boy right now. I fix all problems. He crawls behind me from room to room, needing to know where I am. He uses me as the ultimate jungle gym when we play on the floor. He is my sun, I am his moon. I am already dreading weaning… but I am very ready to ditch the breast pump, so after he’s 12 months I’m planning on feeding him in the morning and at night when we’re home together until I run dry. He can have frozen at daycare until that’s gone, and then it’s moo-moo milk for the little man.

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He likes pretty much anything we’ll feed him for food. He had (pureed) steak 2 weeks ago and loved it… yummy beef! He pops open the puffs containers with his bottom teeth and gets at them himself if we let him. We try not to let him, as he typically dumps them everywhere. He really likes graham crackers, and he likes feeding them to Nella even more. She’s found a new best spot, which is right next to the high chair.

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Mostly, he’s just a normal little boy. He loves baths and swimming and swinging. He loves food, his dog and cat, his mom and dad, and crawling everywhere. He sleeps pretty good now, still up once a night most of the time, and I won’t get real serious about breaking that habbit until he’s weaned.

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And yet… he also the most amazing little boy. His eyes sparkle when he’s excited and are the saddest eyes ever when he is sad – like his daddy, he speaks through his eyes. His blond hair has just a touch of red in it – it is so soft, and fluffs up when he’s swinging outside. His skin is still soft, but his little knees are getting tough from exploring the world while crawling. He still only has 2 teeth – and I hope it stays that way until after he’s weaned. I mean that.  He talks to us in babbles. You know what he’s thinking based on tone inflection from those babbles. I wish he could talk like this forever because it’s adorable – but I also cannot wait for him to say mama and really mean me, not just be another babble in his vocabulary. He chats at himself in the mirror while he’s in his carseat, if only I knew what he talks about with himself, probably about how much he loves his new big-boy car seat because he can see out of the window. He got too big for me to carry in the infant carrier, so we upgraded. (it made me so sad to wash up the infant carrier seat and know that the next time I can use it will be with a different baby).

He is our amazing, funny, little man.

And in 2 months he’ll be a year old. That hit me last week and I panicked for a second, because I hadn’t thought about a party yet. I think I have one mentally planned now. It will, of course, be 400 miles away from our house, which makes it a big (BIG) pain in the butt. BUT, that is the best way to make sure family can be involved. And my baby brother is getting married 2 days after Jackson’s first birthday, so we’ll be on the other side of the state anyway. Convenient or not.

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5 months

how do you write a post about a 5 month old baby? with him sitting on your lap, reaching for your coffee, watching a half screen of DocMcStuffins for entertainment because the exercauser just wasn’t cutting it anymore. that is a snap shot of our lives, and really, i love it.

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and because my brain is REALLY full, this post is just going to be a little synopsis of the last month. mostly pictures. i have been back and forth for my 800-mile round trip 3 weeks in a row with jackson in tow every time. he has done AMAZINGLY well with all of the car seat time. i know this is probably terrible, but i figured out a way to hang my kindle from the headrest of the seat, and his gets entertainment from videos during his awake time in the car when i can’t play with him or when he’s tired of his toy selection. it works well, and is a good distraction when he’s crabby… well usually. sometimes i just have to pull off the interstate and cuddle him, which is good for his little soul and mine!

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we have a growing baby on our hands, as he’s now over doubled his birth weight. he’s rolling back-to-front and front-to-back. babbling away. eating like a piggy. he started real food, although we’re still on team “mushy stuff.” he LOVES food. loves, loves, loves it. can’t get it in his mouth fast enough. and always wants to help.

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he’s a pretty social guy and is happy most of the time. we still don’t sleep great at our house, but i’m guessing that’s just a personality thing. when he’s awake he must have constant entertainment and stimulation, and i doubt his brain shuts off at night either.  he does take two solid naps every day, so at least the daycare lady gets a little break 🙂

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chattin’ with daddy

mostly we just love our little boy. i thank God everyday he is growing and healthy. i thank God every day he won’t remember mommy constantly needing to use the computer while he plays in the exersaucer next to me. and i thank God i have jesse. he is amazing, both as a husband and father.  he takes over when i need to focus, he does a big chunk of the daycare drop-off and pick-up, and has an at least an hour alone with him before and after work when i have to work at the hospital. it might not seem like a big deal, but truthfully, it’s so awesome that he just helps, no complaints.  this week i’m going to school by myself and jesse’s keeping the baby overnight. please say a prayer that both of my men get some sleep that night!

before the terrible, terrible super bowl.

before the terrible, terrible super bowl. and yes those are Christmas decorations still up on our wall. oops.

and me? (because this is my blog and i get to write about myself, too). i’m so happy to be a mommy. even in the middle of the night when i can barely open my eyes to pick up my crying baby. even at 4:45 in the morning, the time i have to get up to get ready for work and still have time to pump and pack the diaper bag. even when my kitchen table is covered in textbooks and i purposely ignore my to-do list to love-up on my baby. even when i’m stressed. even when i’m tired. i would not change our life… i would not wait a year to add our little jackson to our family.

because… i’ve learned how to type left-one-handed and bounce a baby on my hip. i’ve learned to organize the chaos. i’ve even learned that laundry can wait (most of the time), and that our true friends don’t care if my house is cluttered and a little messy. i have six months left of school and then life can settle down for a minute or two. and then?? then we’ll try to make jackson a sibling, because really, i can’t wait to be pregnant again and do this again with another little person. because it all goes so fast…

20weeks

4 months

there are certain days I’ll never forget. January 12, 2013 was one of them… one of my close friends from my home town lost her home in a fire that day. My sister-in-law was in the right place at the right time and helped saved the day that day. I found out I was pregnant that day. A year ago, already. It amazes me. The year we were trying to get pregnant was the slowest, most painful year of my life. The last 365 days, however, have zoomed by.

bet ya'll freaked out when you saw this picture on your reader page :)

bet ya’ll freaked out when you saw this picture on your reader page 🙂

and now we have a 4 month old. A FOUR MONTH OLD!

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4 months

He’s so fun right now. He loves to play and loves raspberries on his tummy.   He discovers and learns about everything by putting it in his mouth.  He loves to eat, of course, and he’s taken a new interest in what mommy and daddy are eating. He reaches for our food, too. We haven’t started solids yet, and I’m thinking we’ll go the baby-lead weaning route (it’s easy, google it), so I probably won’t start solids for a few months. He’s finally noticed the dog and loves to watch her run around. He still hasn’t done a “back-to-front” roll, he gets about 3/4 of the way over and quits. He can often be found sleeping in that 3/4 roll position, so I think he just likes it there. He HATES tummy time, but will tolerate bumbo time and loves to stand up on his feet while we hold his hands, so I’m not too worried about his core strength.

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4 months

He’s better at keeping himself content for a little bit. He’ll also watch 10 minutes of DocMcStuffins (mommy’s choice, SO cute!) to let me shower in the mornings. He’s sleeping in his crib full-time now, and still waking up 1-3 times per night. He does 2 solid, scheduled naps per day, and usually a cat nap in the evening. He started daycare and is doing well there. He’s in size 2 diapers and 3-6 month or 6 months clothes. He’s pretty much your average, adorable baby.

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a good baby

we just got home from a whirlwind trip to my parents’ to surprise my mom for her birthday. mission accomplished in that respect. we also came home with a pile of gifts for Jackson. hopefully we didn’t also drag home viruses and all end up sick.

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happy birthday grandma!

anyway, as with any trip home, Jackson was introduced to friends and family who haven’t met him yet. everyone’s favorite question (usually as I’m cleaning up spit up from my shirt, or bouncing him around with my eyes closed, pretending I’m asleep…) “is he a good baby?” and they smile as they say it… because any good mother would look them straight in the eyes and say, “why yes, he’s the best baby ever.” even when they don’t mean it. even when their unwashed hair and deep bags under their eyes say otherwise.

for some reason I can’t get my self to say that. what I do say is simply, “he’s a baby.” because, for goodness sake, he IS a baby.

IS he a good baby? what is a GOOD baby?

if “good” babies sleep, then no, he’s not a good baby. if  “good” babies don’t spit up, then no, he’s not a good baby. if “good” babies don’t cry very much, then no, he’s not a good baby. I could go on and on….

but then, if he is not a good baby, is he a bad baby??

can there be such a thing? a bad baby?

Jackson does not choose to have gas pains, or an immature epiglottis, or to be a light sleeper. he is not bad. it hurts my momma heart to consider him to be anything but good. he smiles and giggles and coos and loves me and his daddy. he has a personality. he is strong willed, not easy going. he will probably never be an easy baby or an easy child or an easy adult. he has challenged me to new heights, and he’s not even 4 months old.

and maybe that’s what people seek to know when they ask if your baby is good. maybe they want to know if the baby is easy to care for. Jackson is challenging. sometimes difficult. that I will concede to.

no, he’s not the best baby ever in terms of being quiet and content all of the time. but he is the best baby at giving morning cuddles. he is the best baby at trying to gum down his sofie the giraffe. he is the best baby at taking baths. he is the best baby I’ve ever had, and I love him to pieces. through sleep-deprived eyes, I tear up when I think about how much I love him. and even though an 8 hour stretch of sleep would be amazing, I can always sleep later.

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the opposite of good is not bad when it comes to babies. babies can’t choose their reaction to this crazy world. but, I can. happy new year everyone… may it be filled with full nights of sleep and a smattering of really long naps 🙂

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time

you have a baby and everyone starts telling you “time flies” “don’t blink” “they grow SO fast”

those people didn’t necessarily lie.

But time in the McMuffin house is a weird vortex. School time is crawling, unless there’s an assignment due, then time slips away. And baby time is warp speed, except when Jackson hasn’t pooped in 7 days, then it becomes a drawn-out slow motion show. (seriously kid!)

He’s growing and changing every day. How can someone change so much EVERY SINGLE DAY?? Jackson gets a little more personality all the time, although the personality is reflective of his impatient mother most of the time… sorry kid (and every babysitter he will ever have). He’s 12 weeks old today and suddenly all of his 3 months clothes are too short. Did someone tell him it was time to switch to 3-6 month sizes?? How did he do that?

But can I make a confession?? I’m looking forward to 9 months from now. Time can zippity-do-dah its way to August. I know that sounds silly. Why would anyone want to fast forward through their baby’s first year?? I just want to be done with school so badly, that I’m willing to speed up a little.

Regardless, a minute is still s 60 seconds, and an hour is still sixty minutes, blah, blah, blah. So, hopefully I can savor the baby time and get through the school time, and by the time my little man is taking off to walk, I’ll be getting a diploma 🙂

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Anyway, we recently spent 5 days “back home” with family for Thanksgiving. That time flew! But it was great to show off our growing little turkey and see our beloveds!

chillin' in the moby with mommy...

chillin’ in the moby with mommy…

little turkey tuckered out.

little turkey tuckered out. can you get a contact tryptophan buzz??

there's a turkey on his butt. OMG!

there’s a turkey on his butt. OMG!

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growin’ boy

as a breastfeeding mommy, I worry sometimes if Jackson is getting an adequate amount of milk with each feeding. I think that’s a common worry. I know when I pump, I get about 5-6 oz per breast, so when he has the patience to eat until a boobie is empty, he should be getting a decent amount. Hopefully. He pees plenty, poops semi-regularly (ooooh doggie does he get pissy if he needs to poop and it’s been a few days). AND, I may kick myself for saying this, but it seems the spitting-up of entire feedings has slowed down somewhat. He’s gaining weight, that’s all I can ask for. OH, and we’ve done some 5 and 6 hour stretches of sleep this week. A-MAZ-ING!

His brain is what seems to be doing the most growing lately. He rolled from tummy to back twice this week. He’s suddenly much more interested in the world around him, crabbing at me unless he’s held looking out. He seems to be grabbing at things more purposefully. It’s so fun and amazing to watch, both as a proud mommy and a nurse that understands childhood development a little bit.  I just love knowing he’s growing new neurons every day!

SO, here are a few recent pics of our cute little man:

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2 months

11/11/13… 2 months.

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Jackson has changed so much in the last 4 weeks. He smiles at us, and chats with us. He loves music, in fact he loves it so much that he gets mad when I take him off of the changing table where he has music and a mobile to stare at. Seriously – if he’s inconsolable, put him on the changing table and suddenly, all better. He still likes his paci, but spends much more time without it now. And, he is the happiest boy in the mornings, all smiles and coos and kicking feet.

chillin' on the changing table

chillin’ on the changing table

My biggest dilemma is his continued spitting up. I chatted with his nurse practitioner, and I still feel since he’s a happy puker, not in pain, the meds won’t help anything. His esophagus just needs to mature. She agrees. It’s very frustrating to get puked on so often. To change his clothes 1,000 times a day. To cover his cute clothes with bibs. To carry bath towels in the car and have them all over the house, because he pukes so much at once when he’s burped that unless you have a towel for a shield, you get soaked. In fact I sleep with a towel in the bed for night time feedings. The towel goes between my head and my hubby’s head. Romantic.

I know it could be worse, I understand that. Yes, he fusses when there are burbs stuck, but his cry isn’t shrill. And yes, he pukes a lot, but he’s gaining weight and staying on his growth curve. So, he’ll grow out of it. Eventually. Luckily breastmilk doesn’t stain 🙂

after our 2 month shots, took 'em like a champ... mommy, not so much. I've given plenty of infants shots, but it's much more traumatic when it's YOUR baby.

after our 2 month shots, took ’em like a champ… mommy, not so much. I’ve given plenty of infants shots, but it’s much more traumatic when it’s YOUR baby.