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 🙂


2 weeks away from home

I went “back east” a couple weeks ago and stayed for 2 weeks for school. I’d had this planned out for months… it was such a good plan in my mind. I’d have a new baby and could take him home and he could bond with his family that lives so far away while I did my specialty rotations for school. And on the weekend in between, Jesse would travel back east, too, and we would have Jackson baptized. Brilliant. um, or not…

Yes, Jackson got amazing quality bonding time with almost all of his family. THAT I do not regret.

proud, proud grandpa rog... no pics of gamma mary, as she was usually behind the camera.

proud, proud grandpa rog… no pics of gamma mary, as she was usually behind the camera.

tv time with papa steve

tv time with papa steve

great grandma #1 (she's 85)

great grandma #1 (she’s 85)

great grandma #2 (she's 84)

great grandma #2 (she’s 84)

And the baptism went well. I was so happy to have him baptized by our favorite priest in the church where we were married. Before I went back east I kinda forgot I would need a cake and food for all these people, but ended up ordering what I needed when I got there, and it was great.




if you know us, you are totally un-surprised that Jackson has 4 Godparents instead of the standard 2.

if you know us, you are totally un-surprised that Jackson has 4 Godparents instead of the standard 2.
Jackson loved having the warm water pour on his little head.


BUT… for me? The 2 week stent of having my newborn away from our home and my husband was very stressful.  It made my anxiety boil at times. I was attempting to get (any) sleep at night, be professional and intelligent during the day, shuffle my baby hither and skither with all of his necessary stuff, deal with my mother in law giving me attitude about the amount of time she was getting with the baby (augh…), pumping enough to feed the baby during the day, as well as plan a baptism that 30+ people were planning on attending. Oh, and go to class somewhere in there and get my homework done. PLUS graciously attend a baby shower my in-laws threw us.

{ and just for fun… I got a migraine on the second Monday there. Tell ya what… single mothers are a wonderment to me. How does one get sick with a newborn and no help?? It is beyond me. I had LOTS of help, GREAT help. THANK GOD. }

getting home to my husband was so relieving.  for all of us.


Here’s the good thing: Jackson did great. He was happy. Thriving. He didn’t know momma was nutty. So it was all good.



Happy Halloween!

what i miss.

I love my baby to pieces. itty bitty squishable ones. it’s been an amazing month… (a MONTH, wth, where does time go???)

but there are a few things that are missing, possibly never to be found.

  1. sleep. oh, sleep, how I did not adequately appreciate you. even 3rd trimester sleep beats what semblance of laying down with my eyes closed that I call “sleep” now.
  2. my pregnant belly. it was nice to rub my belly. to talk to my belly. to take care of him without trying. my pregnant belly is completely gone. totally flat, semi-loose skin. crooked linea nigra (how did that happen?) who know I liked being round quite so much?
  3. my posture. seriously… i’m such a sloucher right now. between the “breastfeeding hunch” and hormones keeping everything a little loosy-goosy still, I really feel like I could use a corset to make me sit up straight.
  4. my “normal” boobs. these things are porn-star quality. always thought having boobies would be awesome. but boobies that leak and grow and hurt are. not. awesome.
  5. time. to pee. to shower. to brush my teeth. I’ve relinquished the daily shower… because i’m too darn lazy. (I have actually peed while holding the baby. sorry Jackson. promise I washed my hand(s!))
  6. running. see above reason.
  7. (close your eyes mom) sex with my husband.
  8. life before maxi pads. get out of my life box of always infinity. you’ve worn out your welcome.

I’m sure there are more things. but, because my brain fell out sometime in the last 4 weeks (yeah, I miss that thing, too)… I can’t remember anything else. I survive on lists, small crying break-downs, and mountain dew (don’t judge me).  And yet, it’s worth it. It is. Nothing has been more worth it.


3 weeks


2am. And I’m busy admiring your toes. And the little milk-filled clef in your chin. You just somehow managed to drink, burp, and spit up about 3 ounces of breast milk on yourself. And me. And then fall blissfully asleep, wet sleeper and all. Miraculous. And now, basking in the blue light from the TV, I just want to stare at you. And sleep. Simultaneously.

You have been with us for 3 weeks now, and it’s been a beautiful privilege getting to know you. I am ever amazed by how you’ve filled out those newborn wrinkles already. You’re pushing 10 pounds, based on the exact science of momma weighing herself holding you, then re-weighing without holding you and subtracting the difference. We’ve learned your likes, your loves, your little chatty noises. You’ve taught us devotion in a way unknown to anyone but brand new parents. We love you Jackson. Wooky. Bubba, bubbles, monk, momma’s man. You respond to all of these names. (i hope I am not contributing to a future personality disorder). See ya in a couple hours and we’ll do this all over again.
~ mommy




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.

8 days post-partum

I wish this post was about my baby. About his perfect skin, his pink bow lips, his little cowlick in his sparkly hair. I have so much to tell all of you about him. About our first night at home. And my HUGE overproduction of breast milk.

But this post is about me. I’m in the hospital… again. I haven’t felt great for a few days, but I’ve been rationalizing-away my symptoms. I’m just tired. I’m just constipated. I’m just over-doing it. Yesterday we drove back east for me to go to class and for some family and friends to meet the baby.
But today, in class, I got a terrible case of the chills. I mean, TERRIBLE. Jackson was with me, and being a good little man, I was cuddling him for warmth, because I felt so cold, but I was also worried I didn’t have enough control and might drop him from my weakness and shaking. I knew it wasn’t mastitis… my breasts pump out pretty well and while tender, they weren’t hurting. I was having horrible back pain. Big gushes of blood. I felt like shit. It was just me and Jackson… we drove across town and I called my husband and then my mom bawling… she was in the hospital with my dad, because he had back surgery today (shit just gets better and better, eh?). I asked her to take me to the other hospital in town where my insurance is through. My temp in the ER triage was 103.1 – wow.

Anyway, I have endometritis, and on the verge of sepsis. They admitted me for 48 hours of antibiotic therapy. You guys, I was only in the hospital for 30 hours after giving birth. I cannot believe this is happening to me. And worse, I had to make a mature decision for my health and let Jesse take the baby back to my in-laws. (actually, they’re our pseudo-in-laws, but that’s a different post for a different time). So I’m here, alone, sick, and my only responsibility is to pump milk for my little tookie-wookie. And at this moment, I’m thanking my lucky stars I’m an over-producer and can still give him that… and yes the antibiotics are all baby-kosher. This will be the first big test of my hubby’s daddy skills, and I’m not worried, but I know he’s not feeling very confident in himself.

So, please, if you could say a little prayer or whatever that my fever stays at bay and I can recover quickly and that my hubby and baby have a semi-decent night away from momma, I would surely appreciate it.

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.

our anniversary

~I’m posting this a couple days early, because inevitably we’ll either be having a baby on Tuesday (I actually do NOT want to share our anniversary with the baby’s birthday) or traveling together across the state for another one of my classes… our last possible road trip as a two-some~


a great day to marry a great man.  a great day to celebrate love and family and our future. a great day to start a great life story together.


we’ve had quite the little adventure already, and it’s about to get so much better with the impending arrival of our little man.

i love you jesse. happy 2nd anniversary.

~ps … he asked what I was giving him for an anniversary gift, I said “a baby.” he was totally fine with that …

maternity pics

I am so fortunate to have a great friend and co-worker who also has a photography business. We intend to have her in the delivery room, if at all possible, to capture the birth of our little man (from the … Continue reading