Sunday, December 19, 2010

Where are the brakes?!

(AM Dillon, before the hair battle =))
Every day, Dillon's a little different: a little older. She's ripping through her milestones. Rolling, grabbing, playing, sitting up, teeth, food and now she can move on her belly. Granted, she goes backwards, but I don't think forward is far off. When she sits on your lap, she moves around like she wants to get down. She can't stay still.

I thought we had more time with our little stationary baby?! She's only 5 months old for pete sake! I hope she slows down a bit because we can't keep up!

She's got SUCH a personality. She's a ham for crowds. If she wants something, she lets you know. She's starting to know to smile when the camera comes out. She's chatty and seems convinced she's an active participant in conversations.

Where did out little, yellow, feeble, knobby kneed newborn go?!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Sitting pretty with mamas and Nanny.

I'm thankful for Dillon. I'm not only thankful for myself, but for the joy she has brought so many in the 4 months she's been here. Especially for my family, which has endured some pretty upsetting Thanksgiving holidays over the past couple of years.

2 years ago today my grandfather, my jiddo, choked on a piece of bread that led him to pass away a week later. That was the worst Thanksgiving ever. Seeing him in the ER, intubated and posturing, knowing that it would have been better if he wouldn't have been resucitated, was heartbreaking.

Last thanksgiving my mother was in the hospital dying of cancer, refusing blood transfusions because she was worried she would get AIDS. That Thanksgiving sucked too.

But this Thanksgiving practically erased all of those bad memories because Dillon has come into our lives. She is all my family ever talks about. They live about an hour away so they cherish each visit we make. I'm so greatful that I have been able to bring this joy to them.

I'm thankful that Dillon's 2 great grandmothers are around to enjoy her. It's so cute watching her sit on their lap and laugh at them. Dillon loves old people.

And that is what I'm thankful for. -Nickie

With Sit Sit (great grandmother) and Auntie Rachael

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Community Lost

After 122 years, my childhood church held its last sermon. Because of finances and lack of membership, it could no longer stay a float; a story like many other churches. I went there from ages 3 to 22'ish. My mom was the secretary there for many years. My best friend went there. It was a place I spent my Sundays in Sunday School and in sermon. My summers were spent at Vacation Bible School and church camp. I have fond memories of potluck lunches, singing and end of the year bbq's. The members were a pseudo-family to me. I have exponential memories there that I hadn't thought much about for a long time. Now that my memories are surfacing, I'm at a loss.

I went to the farwell dinner last week and the last sermon today. I brought Dillon. It felt like I had never left. Even when I hadn't been around for years, people still knew a lot of what I was doing. I saw adults that I cared for when they were in diapers. I saw people who cared for me the same way. Everyone adored Dillon and held her like their own. I was hugged tight and long. I was home again.
I have feelings of grief, guilt and many others. One of my feelings is about Dillon. I wish she has what I had. I want her to have a sense of community. I want her to experience people who have a common cause and investment in eachother. I want her to have plentiful interactions beyond electronic. I worry that she'll miss out. I worry that she will lack the positive influences that I had.

Nickie and I have talked about it quite a few times and have both felt that religion is just not important in our lives at this point. I don't know where to go from here with this, but I want to do something.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

No News is Good News

Sorry we haven't posted much. Life is just status quo. It's sad that only anger, stress or chaos are inspiring, isn't it?

Dillon's 4 months old now. She's been a blast the last few weeks. She's dying to become mobile, as witnessed by the continued constant flipping on her belly, realizing she can't crawl yet, then screaming. I'm nervous about how active she's going to be because she's ready to move and groove since day one.

I'm currently listening to the monitor waiting for the scream; this is our first night not swaddling. We're trying out the "Magic Sleep Suit" to transition. So far, so good. She napped in it earlier today for almost 2 hours (which is great when her naps are generally spirits rather than marathons). She's been in bed for 2 hours now and I haven't heard anything since I put her down. The last few nights she would scream like someone was stabbing her after she'd been in bed an hour. No phantom stabbings tonight, so I consider it a success.

What else... I have the week off, which is EXCELLENT. It's been a rough few months since I went back to work. I feel like I'm addicted to my daughter, so leaving for 8-12 hours without seeing her induces pain that is almost physical. Thankfully, Nickie can visit on most days for a quick fix. I can't express the excitement I have over my week-long binge.

Here are a few new pics. As you can see, Dillon had her first bath in the big tub. She loved it. I see swim classes in the near future.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Nickie's working so Dill and I went to see my parents, came home and I put her to bed. Not a very exciting day. She'll have her 10/31 fun soon enough. I didn't take trick-or-treaters this year; Dillon's been asleep by 7pm most nights and Tucker (one of our dachshunds) barks whenever someone comes to the door. It was not a combination I wanted to deal with tonight.
I did a photo shoot just for fun this AM. Though I don't want to rush things, I'm looking forward to Dillon being able to sit up on her own for photo reasons. I spend half the time propping her back up (the other half is spent making faces like an idiot, but whatever it takes to get the shot!).
We hope you had a nice Halloween! -Ros

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On a Roll!

Dillon is rolling over! Back to front and front to back! Though, when she rolls over on her belly, she seems to forget that she knows how to roll back and gets pretty upset. I've enjoyed watching her flip all night. Every time she does it, she looks so proud. The physical therapist I work with tells me how exceptionally strong Dillon is whenever she sees her. She's blowing past milestone after milestone like it's some sort of competition.

She's also been grabbing at things. She made her first mess by pushing a bag of frozen corn over while hanging out on the counter in her bumbo. She seems to always scope the area to find something to get her moist mitts on to shove in her mouth.

Speaking of moist...what's with the drool? She's been a faucet every waking minute for about a month now. All the cute clothes are for not, since they either get drenched or need to be covered by a huge, unfortunate bib. My only hope of keeping her dry is using a portable suction machine...(a girl can dream, right?)

Here's a pic from last week. Her hair is starting to curl more and is beyond her shoulders in the back. It's getting pretty unruly, but I can't bring myself to cut it yet. Like Nickie says, if you're going to go through an awkard hair phase, it might as well be while you're a baby. -Ros

Monday, October 18, 2010

a little something...

Ros's new hobby... LOVE IT! Just wanted to share.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Conception Day!!!

Dillon is 3 months already. It's amazing how time can feel so fast, yet so slow at the same time. That's how pregnancy felt, daily it felt at a snails pace but when you look at it's entirety it was like a blink of an eye. How amazing that a human being can go from a sperm and egg to a real person in less than 10 months, crazy. Today is the day when Dillon was conceived. It's crazy how we know the exact day, but as a lesbian trying to conceive, you know the exact day of everything.

I've been back to work for a total of 3 shifts already. As sad as it is to leave Dillon for that long, it's nice for her and Ros to have their own bonding time. The transition has been pretty smooth, we were concerned about Dillon taking a bottle as she went on a small bottle strike a couple weeks before my return, but everything is fine now. It's great to have some adult conversation now and then, and to be told how beautiful my daughter is constantly isn't half bad either.

The most stressful part for me returning back to work has been pumping every 2-3 hours. The working world isn't set up for nursing mothers, especially when you are employed in a busy ER. Legally your workplace has to give you the time and a place to pump. The designated place in my hospital is a room on the 5th floor where you are lucky if the people up there can find the key. When you work in a busy ER, you try to find 10-15 minutes here and there to go and pump so your boobs don't explode or cause your milk supply to tank. I do not have the time between patients to mozy on up to the 5th floor and pray they find the key. So I resort (and all the other nursing mothers) to pumping in the bathroom in the back where our locker room is.

Pumping in a restroom is almost as gross as trying to nurse in one. There have been many a time when my chance to pump is right after another persons time to shit. So there I am, sitting in a room that smells like a septic tank, boobs out, milking myself like Bessie the cow. Thank gawd that the nose acclimates to its surroundings quickly or I would probably pass out. Another thing to be grateful for is my new IPhone, so now I can pump while listening to Melissa Ferrick or whatever else strikes me.

I am committed to breastfeeding Dillon for at least a year, and I have been toying with the idea that if we can make it that long that I will let her wean herself after that point. There will be a 2 year maximum to that plan of course because I think it's creepy when a 5 year-old is picking up moms shirt looking for a drink.

Dillon is turning out to be one great baby. The first 6 weeks had to be the hardest of my life with her crying all the time and me probably having a touch of post partum depression. Now she is a joy. She is pretty content most of the time minus being tired or hungry. She is interactive and inquisitive. She can keep herself entertained under her play gym for up to 45 minutes (if I'm lucky) in the morning so I can make myself breakfast. Dillon loves being around and watching other kids play. She is almost rolling over, getting about half way there and then getting stuck on an arm. I am totally cool with waiting for her to do that because once she does it that's it, no more alone time on the couch while I run into the other room for a minute. She's found her hands, which put a kink in our professional photos we did today as she kept on trying to suck on her index finger. We have a bedtime routine. Dillon is usually in her crib between 7-8 after Ros reads her stories and I nurse her, she'll sleep til about 2-3 then nurse and it's back to sleep til 8-9. I know we are very lucky to have such a good night sleeper. Naps are a crap shoot, but the night routine is down so we have 2 happy mamas.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Diaper change

I remember as a soon-to-be parent I had some pretty idealistic notions about parenting and the things I would and wouldn't do once our precious Nugget arrived. Once you become a parent and reality hits hard, you learn to take things one day at a time.

One of the things I said I would never do is let the TV be my child's babysitter. Although it's true that I will not let Dillon be a total couch potato when she gets older, I am already guilty of letting the TV mesmerize my child. Dillon has been obsessed with the TV ever since she was about a week old. I didn't even know babies that young even noticed things like TV but boy did she. There were times when she would be crying endlessly until she caught a glimpse of the glowing screen and ta da, silence. We would cover her eyes or divert her view and the crying would start up again, then she'd see it again and voila, silence again. Now even though this worked to stop the insanity, we didn't use it to our advantage, after all we don't want her to develop newborn ADD. But I am guilty of strapping her in her bouncy seat and turning on Arthur so I could take a quick shower. Although it worked like a charm, it will not become a habit of mine, just an occasional pleasure.

Another thing I was hard set against was using traditional diapers. I had fleeting (and I mean fleeting) thoughts of cloth diapering. But the idea of shaking "solid waste" into the toilet and doing endless shitty diaper laundry in addition to all the other responsibilities was too overwhelming. Next best thing in my mind was to use the chlorine-free, fully compostable, hippie sort of diapers. You know, 7th Generation and Earth's Best, etc, etc. I really have given them all a good ol' college try, but I find for our little pooping machine they just aren't worth the extra money to buy them. Whole Foods brand are WAY over sized. I bought a package of their size 2 which were made for babies 6-14 lbs and they were huge on Dillon. She's a big girl and we were using these when she was about 11lbs, I don't know who thought up the idea that these would fit a newborn. Maybe they would work if you wanted to wrap the entire baby into the diaper??? Next we tried 7th Generation. I don't mind the tan, non-bleached color of these diapers, I minded the fact that these weren't made for a girl with a little junk in her trunk. These are apparently the thong version of diapers, not a fan. We haven't used Earth's Best since our first few weeks and I don't remember the problem we had with them, so maybe I'll give those another whirl. For now, we'll stick with my favorite bleached to the nines, earth destroying Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers. They fit her the best, hardly ever an accident even with her massive explosions. We will never use their regular version with the Dry Max as they gave her blisters on her labia when she was like a week old.

Lastly, I always said we would never give her formula. I am happy to say that aside from the first time she needed it (in the hospital with jaundice) and a couple times after, she has never had any again. Our breastfeeding relationship has improved with a lot of work. It's not easy all of the time, but I know with a little perseverance we can get through whatever challenge is being thrown at us. I am so happy to know that because of my efforts I have grown this child into the 98th percentile that she's in now and I think that's pretty amazing. And the fact that we have no choice but to continue this until she is 1 because she won't drink formula even if we wanted to give it to her. She spits, gags, and acts as if you are trying to poison her. Judging by the smell of that stuff I think I would react the same way. Hopefully my supply will keep up to her growing needs and my return back to work. The new challenge will be finding time to pump every 2-3 hours while working in a busy ER. But feeding my child is my #1 priority, so will be pumping myself like Bessie the cow.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Mother's Guilt

First, some of Dillon's 10 week photos:

Now... Honestly, I'm not sure what "a mother's guilt" is really supposed to mean. I have my own interpretation, which I shall share.

Since Dillon was born, I have felt guilty about everything and anything I do. Here's a list:
-During my leave, I felt guilty for leaving my staff and co-workers for 7 weeks during a staff crunch
-I also felt guilty not making money during those 7 weeks
-I felt guilty leaving Nickie with the baby for those 2 shifts I did decide to go in during my leave
-Now, I feel guilty that Nickie has the baby's lips super glued to her boobs for months on end and I can't share in the inconvenience
-I feel guilty that the dogs are treated like they used to and don't get as many walks
-I feel guilty leaving work with loose ends because I want to get the hell out of there the second my shift is up
-I feel guilty when I sleep most of the night when I have to work the next day when Nickie gets up a good chunk of the night
-I feel guilty when my brain is not into my work, whether its from lack of sleep or just not having my head in the game
-I feel guilty leaving Nickie 40 hours a week
-I feel guilty leaving Dillon for all that time too
-I felt guilty letting the lawn look like crap over the summer. I hope the neighbors don't hate us
-I feel guilty knowing I could be making a lot more money anywhere else so we wouldn't worry about money as much
-I feel guilty that we used an unknown donor
-I feel guilty taking so many gifts from people for the baby. It's just too much.
-I feel guilty that I can't give as much time to my friends as I used to
-I feel guilty if I'm with my friends and not at home with the baby

The fuel for this: I was at one of my oldest and closest friend's wedding tonight. It was the first time we left Dillon with my parents. We had a great time, but I would get these waves of nausea thinking that we left her with people who don't know her quirks (even though its my parents). THEN, I got zapped with guilt that I knew I had to leave early to alleviate this.

In summary, here is my perpetual feeling: Rock--->Ros<---Hard Place
the end

Monday, September 13, 2010

Two Month Update

I'm 2 months old!!

The exciting thing this week... tolerating the Bumbo... It took a while.

Things have been a bit hectic, but our world is starting to settle out. I went back to work.... talk about being thrown to the wolves. I went from being home all the time to being bombarded with 293 teenagers and accompanying parents (I don't know which which group is worse). All I think about at work is how much I want to go home. Nothing feels better than dropping my keys in the mudroom, pulling my Danskos off and scooping up Dillon with her gummy smile.
Dillon's 2 month pediatrician visit solidified our assumption that she's a big girl. She is 98th percentile for her height at 24.5 inches. She's 75th'ish percentile for weight at 11lbs 13.5 oz. And she's got a big noggin too at 15.5 inches. That with her milestone being about a month ahead makes me think she's an evolutionary miracle; a 2 month old that's really 3-4 months old...
Dillon's favorite thing now is blowing raspberries. She's mastered the art, especially when she's pissed. She loves watching people stick their tongues out or make mouth noises. Her mouth noise is when I burp in her face, but Nickie's not a fan of me doing that... Dil started making kissy noises today, which is pretty darn cute.
And, not to brag, but she slept 7 hours straight last night. Thank gawd for a night sleeper!
That's about it! We're happy to be out of newborndom!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The grass is always greener

The grass is always greener is a statement that has proven time and time again to be true at various points throughout my life. The last time I really felt this was when Ros and I packed everything up and moved to California to pursue our travel nursing dreams, only to figure out that I really loved New England and couldn't wait to come back. After all, the grass isn't greener in San Diego, it's all brown and dead because there is just too damn much sun.

I always thought I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Now that I've been one for the past week or so, I am really glad I am returning to work part-time. It's not that I don't love spending time with Dillon, because I definitely do. I just miss having adult conversation throughout the day. I was totally spoiled for the first 6ish weeks having Ros home with me to split all the responsibilities, minus the breastfeeding. I could eat when I wanted, there was always someone home to entertain the baby while I showered, we could chat. I find the life of a housewife to be a bit lonely. I'm going to try and find some activities for the baby and I to enjoy together during the last 4 weeks of my maternity leave besides my breastfeeding support group.

Dillon is 7 weeks old already. It's amazing how time flies. Everyone tells you this will happen, and you can't truly appreciate it until you live it. Feels like just yesterday I was wishing her out of me, now sometimes I wish I could just pop her back in for a little while. She's getting way more fun that she was during the first 6 weeks. Those were some of the toughest weeks of my life. I have never really spent that much time with a newborn before so I didn't really know what we were in for. Boy, did we have a cranky baby. Not only a cranky baby, but one that never slept during the day (thankfully she did at night) and would cry and cry when she wasn't attached to my boob. Now we are able to have fun awake time. She coos, giggles, smiles, and is way more interactive. She still has her moments, after all she has a very strong personality, but we are managing. We definitely have a little firecracker on our hands.

Breastfeeding is going better thanks to daily oatmeal, More Milk Plus herbal supplements, and a nightly Guinness. It's certainly not great, but we are managing... Good thing because Dillon HATES formula; she spits, gags, and lets it stream out of the sides of her mouth. I guess we're in it for the long haul. I just hope my boobies can keep up.

Dillon and her early impression of Brittney Spears. Too bad Brit wasn't wearing a onesie.

Dillon's first trip to IKEA.

Sporting some curly hair after a good washing.

Her gender bending outfit. Love it!

First trip to Rockport. Naked because she hates 90 degrees.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dillon's Big Discovery

I'm a month old!!

It's been a big week! Dillon made her first big trip, had her first real smiles, and she realized that the chubby extremities that have been poking her in the eyes for the last few weeks can be controlled.
We went to Provincetown for a night last week. For those who don't know Ptown, it's the gay Mecca of the east coast on the very tip of Massachusetts. It's a great place to feel "normal" for a while. The trip took an extra hour and the car was loaded for our 24 hour excursion. Dillon slept almost the whole time in the car; sleeping in the car is a new thing and thank gawd she acquired this talent for the 4 hour trip. We stayed at an inn right behind town hall, which was the perfect location for running back to feed her every 2 hours. The room had a kitchenette which was good if we needed to warm bottles. I never thought we would have to "strategize" before a vacation, but I guess this is what we need to do from now on.

Dillon put her feet in the ocean for the first time. She wasn't thrilled about it, but we were. The cold inducing cringe was so cute! The rest of our day and night were totally atypical from our regular PTown vacations. No pregaming, no bars, no t-dances, no Spiritus pizza at 2am... We found a stroller-friendly restaurant, had a drink each (which got us surprisingly buzzed) and passed out at the inn by 10pm (which is late for us). Dillon was up early, so I walked her around town in the Moby wrap in the AM. I watched some folks doing the walk of shame and finishing their night while our day was beginning. Sigh... BUT we had a great time anyways; it was just different.

Here's one of Dill's first smiles while on the way to PTown. She's getting better at it as time goes on. It's nice to know when she's enjoying something. After weeks of just looking at either a straight face, sleeping or crying, I started to wonder if she likes anything at all. She even smiled at her pediatrician (Hi, Jill!) at her 1 month appointment. Obviously, Dillon doesn't know what a vaccine is yet... =P

Lastly, the day Dillon turned a month old, I whipped out the play mat thinking she would just lay on it and stare blankly. I put it down while Nickie was getting a hair cut. To my surprise, she started kicking and batting the toys as soon as I put her down! I grabbed her, worried that Nickie would be upset if she missed it. This is now her favorite place to hang out.

That's our week. Full of excitement!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Breastfeeding woes

For something so natural, breastfeeding is one of the most innately unnatural things I have ever done. I had heard countless times how hard it would be for the first 6 weeks and then how happy I'd be if I could just stick it out, I hope that is true. Everyone said it's going to feel like she's got razors in her mouth, your nipples will bleed, etc etc... Sore nipples were my problem for like .2 seconds, after all a week of something sucking on your boobs every 2-3 hours, they either buck up and toughen up or they mind as well just fall off. Latching has never been our problem, from our first moments of trying this new thing together, everyone has always been impressed with her latch.

As I sit here I am just waiting for 20 minutes to pass by between pumpings for my first time "power pumping". What's power pumping you may be wondering, it's pumping for 20 minutes, waiting 20 minutes, then pumping for 20 more. Sounds easy enough, but pumping your boobs for 20 minutes makes your nipples look and feel gross.

My biggest problem so far feeding my child "naturally" aside from trying to breastfeed her at Ruby Tuesday, has been my afternoon milk supply. By the looks of Dillon when she's at the feeding trough anytime between 11am and around 6pm, it would seem as if the taps were completely dry. She sucks for about 5 minutes then starts pulling off, eagerly latching back on, then pulling back off in frustration. After a few minutes she starts crying when she pulls off, I give them a quick squeeze and nothing, barely a drop. We switch sides but the same thing happens. During the night, when my prolactin is high apparently, boobs are full, she latches on for about 20 minutes, happily gulping and sighing with satisfaction. Why can't all of our feedings be this easy?

I've been to breastfeeding support groups, wrote to breastfeeding support chat groups and always get the same answer, everything is fine. They say I have to just trust my body, that I am making plenty of milk, just relax and let mother nature work. I don't think that mother nature is an active observer for us during the day because I feel like I am in a war between, my body and my baby. I don't want to starve her, and I know I'm not as she is gaining weight and peeing normally. But the sound and look of her during these frustrating times is heartbreaking.

Even more heartbreaking (for me) is that we gave in and supplemented her with formula for 2 feedings yesterday and one today. I will have her nurse and then when the taps are totally dry we'll give her a couple oz of formula. I hate giving her that crap, but I feel like we have no other choice.

After calling a lactation consultant we inadvertently met while Dillon was under the bili lights, we'll try the power pumping for a few days and see if that will make me produce more milk so we can get her off the formula. This stuff must be like cement because she hasn't pooped all day, so unlike her.

I really hope that things can improve for us as far as breastfeeding goes. I think it is the biggest source of stress for me since she's been born. I just want to be able to feed her and not think about it so I can enjoy this short, precious time with her.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Update and a Reality Check

All is well in our hot little house. Dillon is settling into a sorta-kinda schedule. Her colors are coming out... and they're vibrant! She's going to be a little firecracker; we can already tell. Her nickname is DQ (Drama Queen). We're hoping this is some newborn shenanigans, but if this is just her, it's still not all that bad. As long as I can pace and bounce and as long as Nickie can lactate, we'll be just fine.
I had a sobering moment in the last hour. Through some spying and lurking, I'm able to see a few photos of other children from our donor. We originally thought Dillon had Nickie's nose, but after some examination, I'm pretty sure she got it from the donor. It's a very cute button nose that a few kids seem to have. It was nice to think that Dillon was just a clone and "Mr. Invisible" was just a muted 50%....
I read some people's struggles about the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) on a message board. A lot of parents register their kids to be in contact with others who used the same donor. Nickie and I haven't talked about this yet. Apparently, tthe DSR sells contact info to studies on nature vs nurture, which I'm not thrilled about. I also don't know how much I want to know. Does Dillon ever need to know how "popular" her donor was? Is that going to be something she'll see as a negative? I feel like through all of our planning, this wasn't something we thought out very well. I guess if she wants to seek out information, we can help her, but I don't know how much I can stomach right now. I want to just pretend she was an immaculate conception from two women in love for a little while... =)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Ros and I decided to take our longest adventure yet today... all the way to the Wrentham Outlets. Wrentham isn't that far from our house, about a 30 minute drive. But when you take into account that Dillon breastfeeds every 2 hours during the day, taking about 30-40 minutes to nurse, that gives you about 1 hour and 20 minutes before the next milking session is due it becomes quite a task to have to drive for 1 hour.

We are lucky that although she doesn't pass out in the car (of course our baby wouldn't), she does stay nicely asleep when she is being pushed around in her car seat and snap and go. So at around the 3 1/2 hour mark from her last feed (we did let her sleep so we could shop) we decided that we'd go and have some dinner ourselves at Ruby Tuesday and I'd try breastfeeding in public for the first time.

There was some preparation in this venture, as we figured she would probably have to eat during our outing. We brought the Boppy and some special cover your boobs type thingy made for whipping out your tatas in public to feed your child. Although well planned, we learned 2 1/2 weeks ago that the best laid plans hardly ever work out the way you want them to.

So into Ruby Tuesdays we went, unloaded the snap and go into our booth and sat down in the children's section of the restaurant. I got up and went to the salad bar to make the salad I would eat with my one free hand while breastfeeding Dillon at the same time. I sat down, put the Boppy on my lap, then Dillon, then that stupid fabric thingy around my neck, and whipped out the boob. Dillon just wasn't having it, after all we weren't sitting comfortably on the chaise of our couch propped with pillows and allowing the fresh air to blow freely over us. She was stuck on my lap between the table and my stomach with stupid fabric covering her little face. She wouldn't stay latched, it required both of my hands to try and keep her in position, and she would scream every time she pulled herself off of me. Our food arrived, and I just gave Ros a pathetic look. There was no way I was going to be able to eat, so we asked for a to go box. Then I realized, our life was never going to be the way it used to be, it's all about Dillon now.

Of course the woman at the table behind us easily bottle fed her baby while eating her dinner with her other free hand. It's just ironic the contrast, my struggle and her ease. If I didn't feel that the benefits of breast milk weren't so important, I so would have given up the breastfeeding already. It's amazing that something so "natural" is so unnatural in reality and practice. I wish that I was the type of woman with copious breast milk and was able to pump out ounces at a time then we could bottle feed the milk, but I am only able to pump 1/2 to 1 oz at a time.

Hopefully with some practice I will become an expert public breast feeder because I definitely can't organize our lives into 2 hour increments for the next few months.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Double digits

Wow, I can't believe our baby is double digits in days already. We've been home from the hospital for 1 week and I think we are adjusting OK. We had to stay an extra night in the hospital because Dillon's bilirubin levels were a little high so she had to spend 24 hours tanning under the bili lights. This was definitely our worse night in the hospital as we could only hold her every 3 hours to feed and change her and then it was back under the lights. It was also fun sleeping in a room with what seemed to be a huge neon sign. But we made it through and she is no longer the color of a highlighter.
It has been quite an adjustment being home with a new baby. I didn't know how hard it would be to breastfeed. I was prepared for the sore nipples but I wasn't prepared for the constant, around the clock feedings. It kind of sucks to be the only one who can feed her right now, especially at night when all I want to do is sleep, but I have to get up every 3ish hours to feed her. We are lucky that most nights we have to wake her to eat and then she falls back asleep giving me intermittent 2-3 hour stretches at a time. This wasn't the case our 2nd night home as I consumed too much dairy that day (every meal I ate had some sort of dairy product) and we paid the price that night with a fussy, gassy baby. I have since cut way down on the dairy, which is really hard as cheese is my favorite food. But I love sleep more so I'll just have to deal.

Ros has made the transition into parenthood easier for me. I don't know how people are able to do this job on their own. Ros has been taking care of most things around the house so I can be Bessie the cow and basically just heal. She gets repaid in naps, which she was able to take a 5 hour one today...more sleep than she's probably gotten in days. It's been awesome to watch her turn into the terrific mother I knew she'd be.

The baby and the dogs are getting along well. Tucker really couldn't care less about her, although he will give her a quick lick now and then. Avery wants to be Dillon's 3rd mother. She gets very concerned when the baby cries and immediately wants to help, sometimes it seems by smothering her. The hardest thing has been trying to keep Avery's tongue out of her face, which we have been managing.
Overall I'd say we are doing pretty well. The hormones seem to be evening themselves out, as I didn't cry at all yesterday, and I don't think I will today. The hardest part is the sleep deprivation, although I know it's a lot worse for many people. For now, we'll just keep snapping pictures and enjoying everyday with her watching her grow and change.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The other mother's version

First, look at these...

Can you stand it?!
Ok... here goes...
Note: I started this over a week ago. Welcome to motherhood. -Ros

No one could have prepped me for what happened during Nickie's labor. In the months leading up to the event, I had helped her with her hypnosis, typed out a full page birth plan and envisioned the wonderful bonding experience we would share. I never thought things would have ended up the way they did.
There is nothing worse than watching the one I love more than anyone go through the amount of pain she did in severity and length. My life has not been terribly difficult, but I have had to do some tough things in my lifetime. This, by far, trumped any other situation I had been in.

Hour 1-15: When we were walking the mall, I remember thinking "this won't be so bad". She would lean over the rail, take a few breaths, and continue to walk. I made sure Nickie was drinking and eating. I'd rub her back. We'd chat between contractions. When we got home from our second walk, I called my parents to pickup the dogs. Nickie started to get less chatty. I thought, "Good. Maybe we'll have a baby tonight!". If I only knew then what I know now...

Hour 16-29: Things started getting tougher. Nickie labored through the night and I would wake up every few minutes to her moaning. She could not do her hypnosis, which was the saving grace in my mind. I thought she would get into it and be comfortable. When we got up to walk up and down the street, she started hanging on my during contractions while we walked, which I thought was nice. As we passed the 24 hour mark, I thought that at least things must be getting close, though I worried that her labor pattern was so odd.

Hours 30-36: At 3pm, when we got to the midwife, I was relieved that she was already 5cms. The ride there was awful and dreaded the idea of bringing her home again. I figured we'd have the baby by the end of the night! As I sped down I-90 to get our bags, I worried that I'd miss something. She might even have the baby without me! (Ha!)

The evening nurse, Yanna, was great, Our midwife, Angela, was incredible. They were so invented and caring. Both took care of Nickie as well as me. They made sure I was drinking and got me a food tray. I don't know how I would've survived without them supporting my....supporting.

Through the evening and into the night, Nickie was a trooper. She'd have a strong contraction, hang, then say "ok" and keep walking. Angela was very impressed with her. My job was to be hung on, talk to her and give her the water bottle between contractions. I thought that after walking miles, we must be getting some where. When she got checked and she had only gone 2cms in 7 hours, I started to wonder how much longer she could do this.

Hour 37-43: These were the hardest hours of my life. I started to forget why we were there. It felt like I was living minute by minute to watch my wife slowly rip in half. All of the sudden, Nickie wasn't talking between contractions anymore, which the midwife said was good. Nickie wasn't as confident as she had been and would cry. All I could do is hold her, tell her how well she was doing and that she could do it (not that she had a choice). I really believed she could do it naturally until she got checked again and she had only gotten to 8 cms in the 3 hours of excruciating pain since the last check. Nickie started to lose it and just said "I'm just so tired". So was I. I was exhausted. I had watched her grimace in her sleep all night the night before. It was 1am at this point on night 2 and I wondered how much more encouragement I could give. I grabbed the semi useless night nurse, Joyce, and I told her to get our midwife. Angela came in and sat on the floor next to Nickie, who was inconsolable. I was rejoicing in my head when she said she would recommend the epidural because of her bizarre labor and length.

It was exciting to see the anesthesiologist come up so fast. I thought this was the end. I'd seen MD's get into the epidural spaces of infants during my years in pedi, so I figured Nickie would be easy. After poke 2, the Angela and nurses were eyeing eachother and I realized this wasn't normal. Nickie had the death grip on my hand through her needle stabs and contractions. I thought the ring on my right hand was going to rip through my skin, but I figured it was a fraction of her pain, so I didn't say anything. Watching her hunched over for 45 mins was inhumane, but at that point I was so delirious it just felt like the worst dream of my life; I thought I would eventually wake up.

Hours 44-48: It was such a relief when they got the epidural in and her water finally broke. We could relax and I started to remember why we were there. When her blood pressure dropped a bit, I wasn't too phased by it. I don't know if it was because I was so tired, or if it was from my ICU days where I knew it was eay to amend. After everything settled out and Nickie fell asleep, I cried for a bit out of happiness because she was laying comfortably for the first time in days. I slept for about an hour before waking up and getting kicked out to get food by the staff, who noticed I hadn't eaten much. The only thing that looked appetizing at 6am was a piece of Boston Cream pie and some pudding.
Hour 48-50-Labor: The last 2 hours flew for me. Nickie didn't think her pushing was doing anything because she couldn't feel it, but I could see a little more hair with every push. Angela pointed out the mohawk the baby was getting as she would come out a little when Nickie pushed then sink back in a little. I think that moved the time for me. I kept covering up Nickie's bottom with a towel so she wouldn't see her 'roids in the mirror (OUCH). When things got close, I saw Angela giving the eye to the day nurse, Melissa. When Angela calmly said she wanted to bring in the OB "just in case" because the baby could have a shoulder dystocia, I thought it would just be icing on the shit cake. Luckily, that didn't happen, because the OB didn't have time to get there.
Watching Nickie pull Dillon up on her chest was surreal. I remember pausing and thinking "this is what the best moment of your life feels like". Just amazing.

Hour 50 1/2: I fell in love. Dillon and I hung out at the warmer while Nickie was getting sewn up. I wanted Nickie to see her, but I appreciated the time I had alone for a few minutes. I was told by others that it can take the second parent a while to bond. That didn't happen to me. She was my baby girl pretty quick. I examined her and saw Nickie: her detached ears, the dipple in her chin, the button nose and obviously the super mop of hair. She was mine from the beginning.

Things I learned:

1) Plans are a great idea, as long as you don't plan on following them. We had our birth planned to the minute and it could not have veered further off course, but in the end, it was okay.

2) Midwifes are angels. Seriously. I have no doubt that Nickie would have ended up with Pitocin and a c-section had we had an OB. And I think she would've given in to these ideas due to a lack of support. Angela was with us every step, as opposed to an OB, who would check in every few hours to pop some digits in Nickie. We both agreed that we would not change a thing when it comes to who was with us.

3) My wife is incredible. I knew this before, but it is ultra reinforced. Who can labor for 42 hours straight the way she could? Not me. I don't think a huge majority of women could. And look what she gave me? Have you seen pictures? I have the cutest kid in the world! I can't love her or thank her enough.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Story

So here is the story of my 50 hour labor. Sometimes it sounds like I am exaggerating, but unfortunately, I probably am not. I wrote some of this down once already, but it was so long I had to try and make it more concise so here goes. This is long, but so is 50 hours of labor.

Wednesday at around 9 am I had my first 2 contractions while listening to one of my Hypnobabies hypnosis cd's. I was so excited to come out of my hypnosis so I could let Ros know that I thought my labor had begun. Although only 2 contractions, I just had a feeling that this was it.

Wednesday, Hours 1-14
Decided to get the labor moving by going to the mall and walking there since it was going to be around 95 degrees that day. We went for over 2 hours and walked, looking pathetic when we slowed our pace for a contraction but it seemed to be working as I got my contractions closer together to about 1 every 10-12 minutes. I was proud and figured we were starting to make some progress. We came home and I started trying to relax with my hypnosis and bounce on the birthball. My contractions were there but seemed to have started spread themselves out. I began to doubt myself that maybe I wasn't in labor...but I knew these contractions were a lot different than my previous Braxton-Hicks.

We went back to the mall that evening around 4ish to walk some more. This time we were able to walk my contractions to about every 5-6 minutes apart and way more intense. I can't even imagine what we looked like hanging over the railing at the mall, breathing through the contractions. During this time I really started having some pressure in my butt with each one. When we got home I tried my hypnosis again. This time it was much different. I couldn't relax on the couch anymore because with each contraction I had laying down intense pain would radiate from my ass up through my abdomen. I called these my "let me try to scratch the paint off the wall" contractions. Unfortunately, when we got home the contractions, though intense, started to spread themselves out again. I tried showering, bouncing on the ball some more, pacing...

Wednesday-Thursday, Hours 15-32
Around 11pm we decided to put in a call to the midwife since the contractions were so painful even though they weren't the 4-5 minutes apart that they should be. Sometimes they were, sometimes they were more spread out, we weren't sure so we called. When she called back about 20 minutes later, I explained to her what was going on, she determined that I was still in early labor, and to stay home and try and sleep that night. We went to bed only to wake up every 15-20 minutes moaning with an intense asstraction. I stayed in bed intermittently sleeping because I knew I had to get rest. I pretty much did this until the sun came up.

We got up at around 6am and decided to go out and walk up and down our street to try and get the contractions more regular and closer together. We did and called the midwife back around 7:30. She thought we were making more progress but it was still early and to come to the hospital after rush hour. We planned on going around 9am, but by the time that came, my contractions were irregular and about 10 minutes apart again. Frustrated we stayed home. The next on duty midwife called us at around 11:30am to check on things, she told me to rest and continue to labor at home. We headed to the office at 3pm for a previously scheduled appointment. When we got there, I had my first breakdown and the waterworks started. The midwife there decided to check me to see where things were, low and behold I was 5cm dilated and had a softball sized bag of water hanging in my crotch, hence the reason for all of my previous ass labor. I felt good that I had progressed and all the pain so far was at least doing something. We headed to the hospital.

Thursday, Hours 33-the end around 50
Ros had to drop me off at the hospital because we left our bags at home because we didn't want to jinx anything. I had one of my ER friends walk me up to antenatal where they hooked me up to the monitor. Baby looked good, contractions were about every 5 minutes. Ros came back and we were escorted to L & D. We met our awesome nurse Yana and our midwife Angela. In L & D we did pretty much the same thing we had been doing at home, bouncing on the birthball, pacing the halls, having intense asstractions. This went on for hours and hours. Around 10pm Angela decided to check me to see my progress...7cm. I had mixed emotions about this. I was glad I had made progress, but 2cm in 6 hours was a bit discouraging. So we kept walking and bouncing. The midwife made me do lunges down the hallway and nipple stimulation. Around 1am I started to breakdown. The pain was intense, all the hypnosis I had practiced for pain control for months was out the window from the beginning so I was just dealing with labor taking one contraction at a time. I couldn't stop crying. I tried the nice tub, but I was too far gone. I wanted someone to ask me if I wanted an epidural, I didn't want to feel like a failure in my natural childbirth. At 2am she checked me again and I was at 8cm. Totally frustrated, exhausted, and hopeless, she suggested an epidural...I agreed.

The anesthesiologist was paged, my IV was started (after 2 attempts). The MD arrived and I sat on the bed, pillow in front of me, having my terrible asstractions every 4-5 minutes. I had to sit there with my back arched out like a cat and totally still while he tried 4 times to start my epidural. This was fucking torture. He decided he needed to call another anesthesiologist because he didn't want to poke me again. The next MD came in and try #5 happened...FAIL. By this point I didn't even know if they were going to be able to place it. My mind flooded with the idea that this birth was going to end up with me having a c-section under general far from my ideal situation. On try lucky #6, it was in and I was numb from above my boobs to my ankles. My water then broke, and I finally got to rest after 42 hours. All was dandy until my blood pressure started to drop and the baby started having decelerations in her heart rate. After a shot of ephedrine, 4 liters of fluid, and my epidural being cut in half all was stable. I could only lay on my left side for the next several hours because the baby wouldn't tolerate my changing of positions. They let me rest, and let the baby labor herself down. Finally around 10am it was time to push.

What an odd concept to push with an epidural. I had absolutely no feeling from my upper abdomen to about my knees. They would tell me to push with each contraction but I had absolutely no muscle coordination to do that since I couldn't feel it. It's like telling a paraplegic to just bear down to have a bowel movement even though they are paralyzed, impossible. But somehow after 2 hours of pushing, our baby was here. She had a nuchal cord so that was cut immediately, but Angela had me reach down to pull her out and up to my chest. She was purple and scary looking so they took her over to the baby warmer to be stimulated and then she cried. It was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.

After all that pushing and labor, my nethers remained pretty much intact except for 2 second degree tears and a horrible case of the roids.

Few things that I have learned from my labor experience. First, I now know what 10/10 pain feels like. Secondly, that having a midwife to birth your baby is definitely the way to go. Our midwife Angela was awesome, she barely left my side the entire time I was at the hospital. She was patient and encouraging and helped me stay focused. The word midwife means "with women" and during my experience I could totally feel the meaning of that. And lastly, that I have the best, most supportive wife in the entire world. I definitely couldn't have made it 10 hours, never mind 42, of hard labor naturally. She stayed calm, cool, and collected the whole time. Even when she was freaking out, my impression of the situation was that everything was fine. I think that this experience, as horrible as it was at the time, has definitely brought us closer together, and has surely made me love her even more than I thought was possible.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Dillon May! Born at 12:23pm on July 9th after 50 hours of labor (41 of which were totally unmedicated). More to come soon! 8lbs 2oz, 21 inches.

Nickie, Ros and baby Dillon

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Things people don't tell you about labor

Well, it's been 24 hours since Nickie's contractions started, and they're petering out a bit at the moment. I'm almost thankful, because she looks like she's resting for the first time since 10am yesterday.

We've called the midwives twice:

1. 11:30pm- when she had pretty ok contractions 5 mins apart. The midwife said "go to sleep!". I thought she was out of her mind, but the second Nickie hungup the phone, the contractions slowed down. We slept maybe an hour overnight, but it better than what I was expecting. I thought I'd be catching the kiddo at 3am in the bed. But, the midwife knew best.

2. 7am- Nickie started revving up again with strong contractions that stopped her in her tracks every 4-5mins. The midwife said, "wait until after rush hour", which would be 2 hours later. Again, the contractions slowed down to where we are now at 11am.
Midwife-2, Nickie and Ros-0.

Even as a nurse, I thought that a pregger starts having contractions, they get stronger, then you eventually have a baby. I didn't know about this whole stalling thing, which is totally normal. People talk about sleeping before the baby comes because the baby will keep you up at night. I didn't know we were supposed to bank sleep for the marathon labor. I feel like that sounds naive, but this is just different from what we expected.

Another thing Nickie was ready for was the way contractions feel. Nuggets in the perfect position, so she hasn't had back labor. She's calling it "ass labor". Between the 'roids and contractions concentrating in her butt, she's totally caught off guard.

Don't babies come from vaginas? Did Nugget migrate to Nickie's colon (no pun intended)?

The moaning is starting again, so I'll end this.

Hopefully, the next post will consist of a photo of a little, naked, red baby with a full head of hair!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sooner than later

I wish the ticker was right and the baby really was here. She's still snuggling tightly in my belly right now, but I think things are getting closer. This morning when I was doing my hypnosis, I had 2 good contractions. Then I had a couple more when I made the journey to the first floor. This spurred Ros and myself to go and do some mall walking so I wouldn't melt outside since it's oh, 92 degrees today. I shouldn't complain, it's cool compared to yesterday. While walking the mall I was having pretty good contractions about every 10 minutes. So I guess we'll see where this goes. I was supposed to work today and tomorrow, but I had to call out. I couldn't take care of patients while having intermittent contractions and it's nice to spend this time with Ros even if the princess doesn't show for the next couple of days. I worked until 40 weeks, I'd say that's pretty damn good.

Hoping things are close, I've dropped over the past few days after seeing the crazy German baby whisperer lady. I've had my "bloody show" since Monday and continue to do so. I'm thinking all signs are pointing to having a baby soon. But I am remaining cautiously optimistic until we are confidently making our way to the hospital. Hopefully we'll be making that trip by tonight, otherwise we'll be driving back to the mall for a few more laps.

Fingers crossed that the next post will have cute pictures of our little Nugget.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Still waiting..

Even though the little baby that's been flying on the left side of our blog has flown off the ticker, still no Nugget. The midwife guessed our cherub was 8lb 10oz right now, so we'd like to get things moving. Our attempts in evicting her has included:
-Eggplant with extra oregano and basil
-Chinese food (for the MSG, unfortunately we realized it was an MSG-free restaurant when the food arrived)
-Walking...Walking...Walking... Circling the neighborhood... Going to the park... Curb walking...
-Evening Primrose by mouth and up Nickie hoohoo
-Booze, per the midwife. Nickie had a margarita yesterday. It didn't seem to do much, but it tasted damn good.
-Doing, well, you know.... Not as fun as it sounds at this point..
-Boob tweeking. Again, not so fun.
-Membrane stripping yesterday
-Even more walking

The midwife recommended the "midwife cocktail" of OJ, vodka and castor oil; we'll save that for true desperation. Nickie was 1cm dilated and 40% effaced yesterday. It's a start.

We'll keep trucking along. If anyone has any tips, please let us know!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Not for the weak

So last night at work I think I started to lose my mucus plug. And then a little bit this morning. We have a midwife appointment today at 3:20 at which time my membranes are going to be stripped. I have a good feeling about tomorrow. I hope I'm right. Fingers crossed.
And if all else fails, we have an appointment with the "baby whisperer" on Monday. I hope we can cancel.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Baby digs...

Since we have no baby to show off yet, I figured I'd post some completed nursery pics instead. See what a nice job Ros did. She's such a good mom.

Only thing we have left to do is get some shelves for that shelfie thing.

All those wonderful books were given to us at shower #1 when we had people bring their favorite childhood book instead of a card. We've got lots of bedtimes covered.

Poop removal station, nuff said.

Nuggets wardrobe. Most of it is in her drawers, or under the crib separated by size.
Hopefully the next time we post, we'll have a baby to show off...Any time now :)