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.