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.


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.


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.


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 🙂


 Baby Two 

The other morning I spent almost 5 minutes riffling through 3 totes of maternity clothes to locate my maternity bands. Because that day my dress pants that button at my belly button did not button. And I refuse to wear maternity wear yet. 


is that like a 2 inch gap???

Baby One I was all about sporting a new wardrobe and a bitty bitty bump. Baby Two, not so zealous. At 15 weeks, I resemble a 16-18 week version of my previously-pregnant self. Does that mean in the end I will look 54 weeks pregnant? Probably.  

I’ve read lots of One versus Two blog posts comparing pregnancies. I would like to think I won’t spend the next 5 months comparing me now to me 2 years ago, but let’s be realistic.  Unfortunately it’s not a fair comparison. With One I took naps. I worked 12 hour nursing shifts, came home and followed a schedule set by me. Sure, I had school work, but I was rediculously efficient when I wanted/needed to be. Now? Forrgettaboutit. Now my life is dictated by Mr “MINE!” :

He’s cute, I promise. He’s also a loud, fast, busy, demanding little boy. Most of the time I forget I’m growing Two, unless One tries to sit on me to watch Mickey Mouse. He doesn’t sit gently. He doesn’t do much of anything gently. 

I am very happy to be pregnant. I am excited to grow another human. In the last week I’ve started to feel the little bugger wiggle, and I love to Doppler my belly during my late nights at the clinic.


15 week silhouette – notice my toddler trying to drown himself in the tub, nice, eh?

We’re headed home for a school reunion, a couple of job interviews, and a 5k this weekend. Can’t wait for a little adventure, although I’m sure I will end up exhausted. And my hubby? He packed up half (okay, more like 15%) of our stuff to move into our apartment this week. Without me. Makes us both sad that we’re having to spend this time apart, he’s especially sad to be missing jackson and their time together. But we’ll get through it. And before we know it, we’ll be back together. In a two-bedroom apartment. With a 2 year old and newborn. Yay! (?) ! 

jackson’s birth photos

My photographer friend gave me the CD with the birth photos on Monday when she did newborn photos for us, too. I waited to look at them until I had the time to truly look at them. And cry over them.

Cry, I did. And I probably will every time. They are magical. Priceless.

And, while very, very personal, I also wanted to share with you, my blog world. So, I made a video.


ps… worry not, there aren’t any va-jay-jay shots.

a birth story.

I want this whole post to be right, to accurately portray our birth story. Jackson’s birth story. Monday I was having plenty of contractions. Some “painful,” some just annoying, and hence I was annoyed. So I cleaned. I walked. I … Continue reading

vantage point.

last night my vantage point looked like this…








But today… today is a new day, and my vantage point is so much more beautiful.



Born on his due date, 9/11/13 at 4:56am, weighing 7 pounds and 9 ounces, is our perfect, precious boy… Jackson Christopher McMillan.

SOOOOOO in love.  

birth story to follow when I get an hour of sleep. seriously, just one hour.

here we are.

still pregnant. Not that I’m shocked and amazed. I have been contracting since my appointment on Tuesday, but not useful contractions, just annoying ones. Last night they were 5-10 minutes apart lasting at least a minute a piece for the 3 hours before I went to bed, and while I woke up to multiple more, they are not labor contractions, they are hard, they are uncomfortable, but they are not labor contractions.

I wouldn’t care, but I feel like my maternity leave, the precious small time I will get with my newborn son, is ticking away. Slipping away.

I want him to be healthy and to come when he’s ready. I’m trying to be patient. But my prayers today are definitely that he comes soon.


It’s labor day. Like, “don’t work” day. Except if you are pregnant… the meaning changes a little 🙂

so, dear baby mcmuffin:

I know it’s 9 days before your “estimated date of delivery” and you’re probably comfortable in there. Momma’s not miserable yet, so it’s okay if you don’t come out today. Really.

HOWEVER… if you have a sense of humor as a newborn human, today would be a fun day to be born. Just sayin’

And your dad is really, really excited and impatient for you to come out. He doesn’t have to push you out, so he’s cool with now. RIGHT NOW. Anyway… we love you, we want you to grow on the inside until you’re ready to be on the outside, but just to let you know, the outside is ready for you. And we can’t wait to meet you!

momma and daddy mcmuffin.

37 weeks. and a “birth plan”

Birth Plans. Even hearing the phrase makes me giggle. Smirk. Plans and babies. The fact that I’m still pregnant and Mr.Muffin hasn’t purposely chosen to go against my “plan,” my schedule, is a miracle.  I wrote a birth plan before I got pregnant. A long time ago, when we were still living in Mitchell, I was still an OB nurse, and we were still oblivious to PCOS. It is truly what I would like in my perfect birthing situation… it is also a total spoof on “real” birth plans. I have tweaked it since then, but it still holds the same core values.

When you work in labor and delivery you learn, quickly, that the “plan” is to have a breathing, pink, heart-beating baby.  The “no Pitocin, don’t augment me, I want the whole town in the room, no IV fluids, skin-to-skin, baby can’t ever leave my side” crap goes by the wayside quickly if your baby isn’t healthy. People are TOTALLY entitled to have preferences. You are entitled to not have your baby vaccinated (but please, don’t ask me my opinion), to refuse pain medication, to have the lights dimmed, or to have your great-great grandmother in the room. Whatever, as long as the nurses and physicians can keep you and your baby safe, most anything can be kosher.  (God help me, I’m speaking in the tense of a current L&D nurse, I miss that job so much!). What I learned was also, when things look scary or dangerous, the nurse will escort grandma to the waiting room.  The physician will do everything possible to make sure you don’t bleed out on the table. The pediatrician will whisk your baby away to make sure he starts breathing.  And… much to your birth plan’s surprise, you won’t care.  You’ll just want things to be okay.

So, in honor of being “full term” here is my birth plan:


happy full-term week to us. anytime now, mr.muffin. anytime.


I went to bed last night feeling not-so-easy about the appointment yesterday. Today when I ran into the ultrasound tech, I asked him if we could squeeze me in today, despite the fact I was supposed to be working (my lame excuse for scatter-brained nursing that I was performing up to that point). He said he had an opening and my co-workers squashed my guilt about leaving them with a little extra work for an hour… I think they knew if I got a little reassurance, I would come back a more normal version of me. So I waddled down to the ultrasound room.He doesn’t have hydrops (the radiologist in me says so) THANK YOU JESUS.  Anatomically everything looked pretty good. I even got to see his little out-stretched hand for the first time (he had always had his dukes up in fists for ultrasounds). His heart is taking obvious pauses, about every 8-20 beats of so.  My nurse brain says, “it’s fine. quit worrying.”  my mommy brain is more concerned, but still super, duper relieved he doesn’t appear hydrops-y.

I have an appointment with the perinatologist next Thursday for a fetal echo… if I’m still pregnant at that point.  At least that will tell us if this is a physiological (caused by something normal) or pathological (caused by a problem) problem.  Until then, we wait. And pray. And be positive.  If it is something, or is the sign of something, we’ll deal with it.

hello everyone!

hello everyone!