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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the future

 

We moved to our current location in western South Dakota in May of 2012. Since that time I made 37 round trips (800miles each time) back to the east side of the state to complete my doctorate of nursing practice and family nurse practitioner degree. I drove in 100+ degree heat without an AC. I got the AC fixed. I drove, stopping every hour for a pee break and to prevent blood clots, while pregnant. I drove, white-knuckled, in really crappy snow/ice with a baby sleeping in the back seat. I drove through hours of crying, because what else was I supposed to do? I’ve spent many many nights sleeping in a bed that wasn’t my own, and for the last year, bringing a baby along for the ride every singe time but once. I’ve breastfed all over this state.

watching my baby grow from the drivers seat

watching my baby grow from the drivers seat

I owe my friend Karen SO MUCH (I’m still planning on paying you back!), because she’s shared her home with me to stay there when I needed to be at class and because she lovingly watched my colicky baby while I was in class. And, she brought me a life-saving care package when I was in the hospital, nearly septic, after Jackson was born.

love ya Karen!

love ya Karen!

I owe Angie, Nathel, Mindy, Karen, Darcie, Kassie, Jessie and so many others for participating in countless hours of cell phone conversation while I drove.  You’re welcome Verizon… however I will be reducing my minutes package very soon. You gals are my best friends, and you’ve seen me through so much.

he had lots of screen time with mom

he had lots of screen time with mom

I owe my family, Jesse’s family, and our extra family, because they have all taken turns helping with Jackson, whether for a day, a week, or over-night while I was suffering from a migraine. They’ve all given in some capacity to help me/us get to this point… money, time, help, food… we wouldn’t have survived without them.

I owe my husband, who has seen me through these most intense years of my life. He watched me, especially since moving, be at my lowest lows and my most enlightening highs. He’s loved me through ugly, cranky, sad, tired, and stressed. He’s taken his turn taking the baby so I could finish yet another assignment. He’s checked the oil, checked the tires, filled the gas tank and sent me down the interstate with his baby boy in tow, trusting me with his world. Trusting me to come home safely every time.

I don’t know how to repay any of them adequately… except to go out and be the best NP I can (and answering all of their random health questions). I want to make them all proud.

I laughed out loud a LOT at this ad in my NP magazine. Bahahaha!

I laughed out loud a LOT at this ad in my NP magazine. Bahahaha!

I will soon be signing a contract at the local clinic that is affiliated with the hospital where I currently work. I was terribly disappointed to decline my dream job that was offered to me last month back on the east side of the state, but unfortunately there were no transfer options for Jesse, and we made a choice to stay because it truly is best for our little family at this point. And, I am simply grateful to have such wonderful options to choose from, as not everyone is so lucky. I will start in the clinic October 1st in a family practice role… I am excited and nervous. I want to be great at my job, but I know that the next couple years will be a process of learning that is even more intense than school, because the patients are real and the decisions ride on my shoulders. It is an awesome responsibility.

lookin' all professional

lookin’ all professional

I haven’t fully realized the immense change that is about to be my life, our lives. I haven’t soaked in the fact that there is no “back to school” for me, EVER AGAIN, but instead the loans will come due. I haven’t absorbed the fact that I will no longer have RN hours, but instead will be able to count on Christmas and Easter being family time. These things will become real. We’ll settle into our new routine. Our life will continue to morph into whatever God has planned. So, with a happy heart, I look to the future!

supporting the momma alma mater

supporting the momma alma mater

a trusting and grateful heart

I spent most of last week sitting in a hotel about 200 miles away from my baby and 600 miles away from my hubby… for a NP board review. I needed to be there, to focus, and give my self the best chance I can to pass my boards ASAP after graduation. But, besides the 2 nights I was hospitalized when Jackson was a week old and one other random night when I left the baby with Jesse while I went to class alone, this is the only time I have been away from Jackson overnight – and this is the first time he was separated from both his mommy and daddy overnight.  I think this was a big deal.

Jackson stayed partially with my brother and his wife (who also happens to be one of my best friends) and partially with my parents. These guys only live about 7 miles away from each other, but I know it was still a headache for them to haul his stuff from one place to the other. How do you pack for a 8 month old when you know you won’t be there and neither of the places he will be staying have children??? You pack everything. There was even a rubber duck in his suitcase. My Tahoe looked like a BabysRUs. I just wanted to make sure they had any thing they might need. Baby thermometer. Tylenol/Motrin. Socks. Hats. Sunscreen. Pack’n’Play. Jogger. Portable high chair. Jumper. Baby bathtub. Bottle warmer. Sound machine. Toys, toys, toys. Baby food. And plenty of frozen milk. In fact, I brough almost my whole stash – and everything they didn’t use was donated before I went back home…  which was about 800 ounces!

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“so you’re going to leave me with her, eh??”

chillin' with uncle rob

chillin’ with uncle rob

grandpa's sidekick

grandpa’s sidekick

It was a little bit amazing to sleep at night, but I still woke up in the middle of the night and checked my phone just in case my sister in law or mom had called or messaged me with a question of concern… I’m too used to waking up and checking on him! It was a weird exercise of trust.  My family is absolutely capable of providing wonderful, loving care to my son, and I just had to trust them to do whatever they deemed necessary for Jackson. And I am so grateful. So grateful to have people who love me and my little family enough to swap around their schedules to spend the week with Jackson.

thank goodness for snapchat updates!

thank goodness for snapchat updates!

i'm fairly certain this is my dad's first "selfie" - he was so proud of being able nap with Jackson.

i’m fairly certain this is my dad’s first “selfie” – he was so proud of being able nap with Jackson.

HI

Hi Mom!

I missed him like crazy, but thankfully technology provided me (and his daddy) with lots of photographic updates – proof he was just fine. I was never really worried about his safety or their capability to take care of him, but I think it’s just a momma’s nature to worry no matter what. He was in the care of some of the people I trust the most in the world… and I know they understood how much trust it took to leave him for those 3 nights. Like I mentioned, my sister-in-law and brother don’t have children (yet 🙂 ), and I think this gave them a very real look at life with a baby. A real, live, feed me, change me, entertain me baby. And when Jackson was at my parents’ home, which is a farm, he was happiest outside with the animals and hubbub. All in all a good experience for the little guy! And I cannot say THANK YOU enough to my parents, my brother and his lovely little wifey!

feeding the bottle calf with grandpa.

feeding the bottle calf with grandpa.

And, also good for me to be home with my family for a little bit. This is my last trip home before graduation in August. I cannot believe how close I am to graduating, how close I am to attaining this goal for myself and for my family. That deserves its own post at another time, when I have enough time to process it more fully. Until then, once I make it through my project defense on June 24th, it is smooth sailing until boards. So, hard-core school work for the rest of the month. Almost there… I just can’t believe that I am done with my “Jackson and Mommy” trips. They have not always been easy, but they have been some of the most memorable bonding moments with my little boy, just us. It almost makes me sad when I think about the fact that that season of our lives is almost over.

so worn out after a great week with his family!

so worn out after a great week with his family!

This is one of two coolers of frozen milk I donated to the Iowa milk bank. In total it was 6 gallons of milk. This will be used in NICUs in the midwest. I was so happy to "share the wealth" :)

This is one of two coolers of frozen milk I donated to the Iowa milk bank. In total it was 6 gallons of milk. This will be used in NICUs in the midwest. I was so happy to “share the wealth” 🙂

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Happy Halloween!

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.

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

mom pictures

my mom is a creative woman. she has an “eye” for stuff. i didn’t really get those genes.
while we were home mom busted out the camera and captured some maternity pictures. and they turned out pretty dang awesome.
i don’t know squat about “editing” photos, so these are all the raw (is that the correct term??) images.

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i thought they were really good. and glad she’s around to take lots of pictures of the baby 🙂

now, i’m off to the ultrasound. hoping for good news…

baby shower, hometown style

Jesse and I are exhausted.  The baby, however, is still fist pumping and boogie-woogie-ing about our awesome weekend.  Our AWESOME weekend…

972… the number of diapers that were gifted to us. holy poop. and pee-pee.

our wall of diapers.

my sister-in-law, mother, and brother’s girlfriend threw us a perfect, heartfelt, chevron-y, polka-dott-y, navy and orange baby shower.  I don’t use the whole pound sign thing very often, but I threw around #bestbabyshowerever more than once on facebook in the last 36 hours. so here are a few pics to summarize the awesomeness that was graciously given us.

I've got my dad beat in the belly department :)
I’ve got my dad beat in the belly department 🙂
the spread
the spread
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the little girls loved “helping” open gifts. it was hard to keep up!
chillin'
chillin’
the "fuzzy, glowing thingy"
the “fuzzy, glowing thingy”
"bay-beeeee"
“bay-beeeee”

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almost 4 generation picture... the 33rd great-grandchild! all because 2 people fell in love!
almost 4 generation picture… the 33rd great-grandchild! all because 2 people fell in love!
my hostesses... kate, mom, and darcie
my hostesses… kate, mom, and darcie
my bro's
my bro’s

It was a great day! My husband spent the day doing “man stuff,” and that was perfectly okay with me… and my brothers were not at the shower, these pics were afterwards when everyone was relaxing on the deck.

We received SO many wonderful things, many diapers, and SO MUCH bath soap! We will have the cleanest kid ever! (unless he’s allergic to Johnson & Johnson, then we’re in trouble!).  We were able to cross some important things off of our “need” list, received some great stuff off of our registry, and even came home to Amazon boxes on the porch – thank you Jessie VP!

I should have taken a picture of the Tahoe and how skillfully we packed it, because it was FULL! We feel so blessed and grateful. THANK YOU to those who could come, and we missed everyone who could not, I felt that I didn’t get enough time with any one guest, I wanted to sit and catch up with everyone!

oh, and Nella stayed home with some friends who have many dogs… she was in doggy heaven! and SO tired when we got home… she must have missed Jesse, she crawled right up on top of him and fell asleep. Adorable.  Even more adorable? The way Jesse snuck our from under her so she would stay asleep. He’s going to be a great daddy 🙂

nella nappin

31 weeks … single digit countdown …

Holy Moses…. 31 weeks. It’s hitting me HARD that we will soon have a new little man in our life, and like so many others around this gestation have recently expressed via blogging, it makes me tearful and nostalgic. excited. scared. anxious. nervous. all rolled into one. oh, and happy. most of all I am happy to be here, in this place in this journey with my husband.

speaking of him, I’m not sure what prompted such a sweet turning of a leaf, but it doesn’t matter, I love it. I love when he reaches for my belly, talking to “little man,” telling both of us good night… it’s awesome.

31wks

The belly keeps growing, and it’s beginning to get heavy. 12 hour shifts are getting harder, and my run/walks with Nella are becoming more walk and less run… but still some run 🙂 Muffin is a strong little dude in there. I’m so curious to know what he’ll look like, and how big he will be! Still waiting on stretch marks, keeping my fingers crossed, but I know the biggest 9 weeks are yet to come, and I will probably not escape unscathed.  Oh, and my belly button hurts half of the time… weird, huh? Is that happening to anyone else?? It’s pretty stretched out and looks so weird with its scars… maybe the scar tissue stretching is what makes it ache? Hopefully it all holds out until after next Monday, we’re doing maternity pics that day, and would like a couple bare belly ones if possible, especially since I never thought I’d make it this far without stretch marks!

Last night my dad came to visit us and spend the night… he was out our way for business and couldn’t stay long, but it was SO nice to see him and show off our new home a little. I wish he could have stayed later, and of course, cried a little after he left… he’s going to be the best grandpa 🙂 I just wish all of our family could visit more. Luckily, they are hosting a baby shower for us at the end of July, and I’m already so excited to see everyone! Hopefully my baby brother will be engaged by then… I have a feeling he might pop the question to his cute little girl friend soon!  Plus, Mom is going to take a few more maternity pics for us… despite the fact I will probably be ginormicon by then! It will be a quick trip, but with Jesse to drive for this time, hopefully it won’t be quite so uncomfortable spending 6 hours each way in the vehicle.

OH, and I had today off from work (my only day off this week… yuck!). It was a million (104) degrees outside, so I stayed in and completed the mobile for the nursery. I am so proud of my handi-work! I’ll try to do a little post about it tonight too!

Hope everyone is surviving the summer without too much swelling!

nella snuggling with grandpa roger watching a movie... so cute!

nella snuggling with grandpa roger watching a movie… so cute!