Pictures and stuff

They're in no certain order, ok? You know how me and Blogger and pictures don't mix. If you want to see all the other pictures, go check out my facebook site, http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=287889&id=545255187&l=e6bd1dd282 or my mom's http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=123773&id=556481762&ref=mf

Finally! Donut Day has arrived!

Hi there!

look how big his feet are!

Merlene was so excited to be there!

My midwife, Lois, and her new friend

no longer a couple, now a family

hi daddy!

Brendon Archer McMillen

Waiting to go home


nice nails, huh? did them myself!


Aunt Sarah

Aunt Beka

this is my angry face!

of epidurals, birthing and donuts

Ok, the epidural. I have a very vivid imagination, and I was 'concerned' that I would be imagining horrible things going on back there. Uh yeah, I wasn't counting on the contractions taking up my every thought. Well, maybe there was a little bit of space left to think about the shakes I had. Wow, you would have thought I was *freezing* with all the shaking and chills I had. They got my feet all the way up to my teeth. I couldn't stop them, even if I tried tensing up, they still came. And even after the epidural they still came. My legs didn't shake, but I'm sure they would have if they could.

So the epidural was a welcome relief. 18 hours of labor and no sleep since Thursday night. You can bet I fell asleep. It wasn't really a deep sleep, so I could hear them talking about me. Saying things like, wow, she's sleeping through a contraction. Um, I think that's the point of it.

Some time after that, the nurse came in to hang pitocin since the contractions were quickly leaving. She asked me to lean to the left (nurses like PG women on the left side, supposedly gets more blood/oxygen to baby). As soon as I did, she left. But she came in like 30 seconds later, not panicked, but more purposeful and focused. I heard the monitor dinging, but it did that a lot. She had me roll on my back, checked me (now I know she was making sure no cord was hanging out), and stuck an oxygen mask on my face. I don't remember if she went out and got Lois before having me flip over to my hands and knees or after. But I did. I was scared, I'll admit it. I glanced up at the monitor as I was moving-which was surprisingly easy even with the epidural. My heart jumped and I got really worried. Brendon's heart rate as in the 50's. Mine was in the 90's. Normal heart rate for an newborn/unborn is from about 150-110. They like it to stay above 100, love it to be above 120. So 50 caused some excitement. I started to cry and told someone, anyone, "Go find Mark, please!"

I made him go get something to eat. The poor guy hadn't eaten practically anything since a bowl of cereal since before we left for the hospital. Maybe he had one or two munchies, but he was hungry. Lois came in and put a scalp electrode in Brendon's scalp. It's two thin wires twisted together with a small sharp cork-screw on the end that basically, screws into his head. It only goes under the top layer of skin, much like putting a safety pin in your finger. It did leave a bruise, but I guess that's a small price to pay to be able to ensure his heart rate was being followed.

After all that excitement, they had me laying on my right side. If a PG woman lays on her back, there's a chance of the huge uterus compressing the major blood vessels and preventing adequate blood/oxygen from getting to mom and baby. Side is better than back. Anyways, you know how gravity works? Well, not only does it work to pull all the blood to your head when you're standing on it, but it also works to pull all the fentanyl in my epidural space to one side when I'm laying on it. I could still feel the contractions, as a pressure, but then I started feeling stuff in my back, but just in my left hip area. For a while, someone pressing on it really helped. Then it started following the contraction patterns. Oh my goodness, did it hurt! I think the drastic difference in that one spot, about the size of MCM's fist, and the rest of my lower body was just astounding. Then my toes stopped tingling. That's when I realized "hmm, I bet my epidural is flowing down to my right side." I called my nurse in, and she got the anesthesiologist to come and give me an extra boost. I really just wanted to be able to move a bit.

We tried going back to the left side, to even things out, but his heart rate dropped again, so that was out of the question. We guess that he has his cord on that side and would compress it with some body part. I did lay on my (shh) back to get things straightened out. And it worked. And so did that extra boost. I was completely numb from my belly button to my toes. I could only wiggle the toes on my left foot. Talk about weird.

I think about 6ish I was dilated to 10 cm. That's when things picked up. My nurse was very thorough, she did a lot of stuff. Can you tell I don't remember much? Lack of sleep will do that to you. She pulled the stirrups up and MCM and Mom were given the jobs of holding my legs and only that. Mom tried to text people, but I set her straight :) Like I said, my legs were completely numb. MCM got the picture and held my leg good, but Mom...she had some learning difficulties. LOL, I think she let go of it once and it just flopped. Then she got on the bandwagon and held it good. I had no sensation of where or when to push, but my nurse helped with that. She cheered me on, she counted to 10, she watched for contractions. She did a good job!

As the pushing went on, we talked-well, my family talked, I was given the task of breathing slow and deep with the oxygen mask-about what time he'd be born. Some guessed 615, some 630. My brother, Marine (he called to talk to us) guessed 730. Hang on, it was not even 5 when he said that, but I wasn't pushing yet, because I remember being devastated that someone would even *think* it'd last that much longer. But anyways, I breathed and pushed and rested and breathed and pushed and rested. For about an hour and 15 minutes I pushed.

Mom and Bekah watched his head start to crown. They brought in a mirror so I could see the fruits of my labor (LOL pun totally intended!!) As he was crowning (meaning head coming out) they told me to touch him. I was a little hesitant, but Lois was instant. She knew it would be good for me. She said, "Mom, that's your baby, touch him" she wasn't mean, just knew it would help me push better. I touched his head. It was covered in dark hair. It felt kinda mushy, but, oh, so soft! In between pushing, when his head was right there in the middle of it, Lois commented, "I wonder what's going through his head right about now." That made me laugh, still does.

Finally his head popped out, they suctioned it, and another contraction and another push, and his shoulder was out. Lois said, "Bring your hands down here, reach down and catch your baby, mom." I did. I grabbed his shoulders and with little effort pulled him from my body and brought him on to my stomach. WOW. I still cry then I think about it. It was amazing. A true miracle from God. The nurses rubbed his body with the blankets and he cried. It was so...there are no words, just amazement. MCM was offered to cut the cord, he declined, so Mom did it. He told me later that he was a bit dazed by it all.

Brendon Archer McMillen. 8 pounds, 4 ounces. 19 3/4 inches long. His head measured 13 1/2 inches. Born July 18, 2009 at 7:33 pm.

I got stitched up, he got wrapped up, and everyone else took pictures. Brendon stayed awake for a long while, probably about 45 mins. I could be off, but it seemed like a long time. MCM followed Brendon and his nurse to the nursery. My mom and sisters made the appropriate phone calls. I got my donut that I had been fantasizing over since early that morning.

Imagine the hardest thing you ever accomplished. Well, I totally outdid you. It didn't "go" as I planned out in my head, but now, looking back at it all, I don't think I would have changed anything. It was my birth experience, and I'm glad at how it turned out.

Since this is already plenty long, I'll do a different post with pictures.


Brendon Archer McMillen

Friday night, MCM and I went on our last pre-parent date. We went and saw a movie....I forget what movie. I'll come back to that part if I remember. MCM's brother-in-law sent us a text saying that this was our last date. Being fully confident and pessimistic, I replied back that nope it wasn't, we're going to have a full weekend. Ha. Little did I know what it would be full of.
Another round of contractions slowly started about 10pm-ish. I'm not sure of the time, but it was around then. We took it slow, put on a movie, and MCM fell asleep. These contractions were pretty intense, but nothing that I couldn't cope with. After the movie (yeah, I don't remember what it was either), I took MCM out for a walk. We stayed around close to the house, but quit after two contractions came because I couldn't walk through them. I wanted to stay home as long as I could, but soon we left, soon being 1am.

I got a wheelchair ride this time, and being checked in and situated to the room happened a whole lot more quickly than a few weeks ago. They hooked up their monitors, and check my dilation. SURPRISE! I was 5-6cm dilated! Yeah, no way they were going to let me go home (but now thinking of it, I could have gone home and come back with plenty of time!!) I convinced them not to put an IV in my hand, but in my arm (my hand was going to be kinda busy...). Once we knew we were staying and having this baby, we texted and called the appropriate family member and friends.

My mom, my sister Blondie, and Thing 2 came down (they didn't get there till about 5 or so). I got up and walked around, sat on the ball, breathed through contractions all morning long. It was kinda boring all morning long. I think I got up to 7 cm by 8am or so. Yes, it was going really slow. The contractions really just felt like really bad menstrual cramps, I get some pretty bad ones, but they were worse than those. The nurses and midwife encouraged me to not stay in bed and to move around and get in different positions. I was very active, well, as active as I could be with an IV and the monitors. About 11am, Lois, the midwife, came back in and it seemed I had hit a plateau. My water hadn't broken, and my contractions were slowing down.

So they popped the balloon. Oh my goodness, I thought they were digging for my belly button. Nevermind the fact that I was lying down and trying to go through contractions with her fingers inside. Then she popped it, and...nothing really happened. No gush, maybe a trickle, but no gush. I was post-due, so they wanted to be prepared for meconium at delivery (there wasn't though). The first contraction that came with my waters broken was like comparing a flash light beam to a stadium light. Oh my goodness! And on top of that, every contraction brought a gush. Every laugh (and my sleep-deprived family was pretty funny) brought a gush, and each gush brought a little laugh--it was a never ending cycle. We got pretty good at changing the pad in 2 minutes between contractions.

I know sometime I asked for some pain medicine. I don't know when it was, but I'm sure it was after I had my water broken. They gave me stadol. Now, I still was aware and felt each contraction, but it's like sleeping and realizing that someone turned on the light, but being so tired that you don't care. Oh, and the dreams I had. I remember something about a dragon, flowers, and something else. I could hear them talking about me. Someone said something about it being like Antarctica in the room, but I was sweating and almost said something, but didn't care enough to. I remember the contractions coming and being more aware of them. They were still not as bad as before, but because I had a little break from the intensity, they seemed stronger.

The stadol wore off, and the contractions tapered off AGAIN! Lois didn't want to go as far as pitocin just yet, so she suggested nipple stimulation. I think this about 1 or 2pm Saturday afternoon. Everyone else left the room, so it was just MCM and I. I tried to relax against him, but the contractions got stronger and closer together (it seemed that way to me), but I know that was the point. I was exhausted, I just couldn't cope with it any more. I really wanted to try natural, but knew I couldn't. And I was still at 7cm, stuck again.

Everyone was so wonderful, they were cheering me on, telling me how good I was doing. MCM was wonderful. He kept whispering to me I was doing so good. Maybe he wasn't whispering, but that's how it seemed to me. I think the anesthesiologist was in the room within 3 minutes of me asking for the epidural. I had to endure two contractions while they were doing their stuff. MCM held my head and rubbed my neck (that really helped me stay still) and soon my toes were tingling and the contractions were fading from my senses. It was a weird sensation, the epidural. Think of your legs falling asleep, but not quite there (still in the tingly stage), being able to fully move them--at least in bed, but not able to bear the weight--yet, not feeling anything but deep pressure.

I think I got the epidural about 2 or 3pm. I'll be back to finish later, I need to feed the baby.


Is that a light at the end of this long, long tunnel?

Let's be honest. I'm glad the end is in sight rather than just some foggy future. Midwife doesn't think I'll last the weekend, but they had to be prepared just in case. The earliest they could get me on books for an induction was this Wednesday, but they also put me on the 'on call schedule' for Monday. Just in case someone else was lucky enough to have her baby before then. About 5 this evening, I got the call. A spot opened up Monday for me to slide in to.

At the office, they were sure I was in early labor with some contractions I was having. I was 4 cm dilated, still at 70%, and his head still down at -1. So I guess because of all that, "they" are saying I'm not going to last the weekend. But I have my doubts. I will be very surprised if my labor starts on it's own. I just have the feeling it won't.

There you have it. Monday is the day. Monday at 5am is when we'll be showing up at the hospital. I'm sure they won't even get around to starting all their stuff until 8. That's just how hospitals are, always running late. And besides, there's going to be other women who's labor started spontaneously, and they take precedence over us inductees.

This weekend will be filled with lots of raspberry tea, pineapple, walking, and "other stuff" to try to get things going.


Some times no news isn't good news

I'm still cooking this child. I have another appointment tomorrow, and I might be able to be persuaded to be induced, *MIGHT* I haven't hit the nesting phase yet, at least where I clean and clean and clean. I've organized our new TV stand with our DVD's, BlueRays, XBOX games, and such. I think it looks pretty nice :D We're getting rid of this huge wooden entertainment center that was a hand-me-down, and we're giving to one of MCM's friends. We're also giving him our most comfy recliner *sniff* It was also a hand-me-down. But Alan is ecstatic to get anything for free. I mean, his whole family hoards junk like nobody's business! They'd rather keep and try to fix it, no matter what it takes, than buy a new one. They keep *EVERYTHING* But anyways, to each his own.

I just have to find a place to put our pictures and such that sat on top. I was thinking maybe those wall shelves. But then I'd have to make holes in the walls, and I don't think I have enough time before the baby comes.

I did get asked today when my baby's due. I looked at her, smiled and said "Yesterday." The lady checking out in front of me laughed that knowing laugh. *sigh* I'm not looking forward to the questions at church. Don't know I could citizen-arrest them for harassment?!?!

I just realized, while I was shopping at WallyWorld, that since I'm out of work for a while, I can do my nails all fancy and with tips :D I liked them the one time I had them, but they tore up my nails. I did pick up a french manicure kit. That's really all I like on my fingernails. Anything else gets distracting. and when it chips or gets scratched....drives. me. up. a. wall.

I might see if I can convince my wonderful loving husband to get Taco Bell for dinner. I really want one of those new bacon burritos. I'm excited about it because I don't think it has beans in it :D


The days seem so long, the weeks forever

Saturday, the 4th of July brought about a sleepless night. We had attempted to make big party plans, because everyone knows that if you make plans assuming you won't go into labor, you will, right?! Anyways, everyone we tried to invite over couldn't make it or was going out of town-we got shot down quite a few times. We did manage to wrangle one couple in to coming over for lunch. And we had a great time. They got here about 12, and didn't leave till like 6! I really had no clue it was that late.

Anyways, the evening brought...contractions with it....I finally started timing them about a quarter till 8. They started about every 10, then got down to about every 6. MCM and I went walking. We walked and we walked and we walked. I think we walked for about an hour or so. We kept saying, lets wait one more hour. Finally about 1, I called my midwife...but she wasn't very helpful. She said, well if you think it's the real thing, come on in. I could have decided that. Anyways, we waited another hour, and headed to the hospital about 2. The contractions themselves didn't hurt as in pain, they were squeeze-y and made me have to stop and focus. But what was different was all the pressure I kept feeling "down under." So off we went.

You know, I should have taken some contraband pics of the room. Whatever. I got all dolled up in my back-less gown with the monitor stuff on my belly and waited. The nurse came in about 230/245ish am and did her nursey stuff. She checked my dilation, called me a 2, and gave me the impression that I should be writhing in pain with these contractions. Whatever. The midwife came in about 4am (she was delivering a few babies), and checked me, called me a 3, said if I get to 4cm and my contractions stay good like they were, about every 4-5 minutes, I could stay. She strongly encouraged me to get out of bed and I jumped at the chance. MCM and I walked the halls. He begged off to go try to sleep. Poor guy, he hadn't slept at all. So I walked and breathed and contracted. He tried to sleep in this recliner chair of sorts. I don't think it worked so well for him.

Back in bed about 530, they checked me again, said 3-4cm, not quite 4, but it seemed as if the contractions were tapering off. I tried walking again to get them going, I tried the birthing ball, but he kept twisting his head down on my nerves and such that it was just too painful to move my legs. I climbed in to bed about 7am with my contractions that were now about every 10 mins again and tried to sleep some cause I knew I was probably going home. How true that was. I had signed my papers and on my way home with my pregnant belly by 8am.

I was really disappointed, really disappointed. I honestly thought that when I left, we'd have grown to a family of 3. *sigh* Needless to say we didn't make it to church that day. Besides who would like to have to answer the question, "You haven't had the baby, yet?" when clearly *looks at my abdomen* I haven't. I know it's rhetorical of sorts, but can't you just come up with a different comment. One that doesn't seem to imply a condescending message. How about..."you look so good for how far you are" or "I love what you've done with your hair. I bet it's quick to do in the mornings." Something like that would be so much more appreciative than "You haven't had that baby yet?!" or "You've been pregnant for years/ever/a long time!"

I have two days of work left. Tomorrow, an 8 hours shift, then on Friday, a 12 hour shift. Although, I'm not sure how good I'll do on Friday. Will you come rescue me if I need it?! Please? And I'm supposed to be team leader. I hope with all my heart that we will have at least 5 if not 6 nurses, cause I will *NOT* be able to take 6 patients AND team leader AND secretary AND everything else they decide to through in my lap. I turned down team leader when I come back from maternity leave. I wasn't really given the option to do it, just kinda thrust into it because I have the mad skillz needed, and I probably would have taken it anyways. But it's nice to be asked. Right?!

Now, back to baby news. I had another appointment today. Let's see. They estimated he weighs around 7 pounds 2 ounces, although it could be off by a pound or two either way. They can tell he's not 'overly chunky' as the ultrasound tech put it. I've lost 2 pounds, but since he's gained, I've actually lost more than that, but *shrugs* oh well, I'm still healthy. I think my uterus is measuring about 37-38cm, which is good. Then came the depressing news. Remember how waay back up there ^ they called me a 3-4 cm? Well, Doc came in (Midwife was busy at the hospital delivery every one else baby but mine!!) and called me 2cm. TWO CENTIMETERS!! *TWO* and he said that was being generous, that anything else than that would be insulting. I was literally devastated. When he left I turned to MCM and just...cried, practically. So I have another appointment next week Thursday. The receptionist was nice about it. She's like, see you then. I replied back (firmly believing) "I hope not!" But I'll probably be there. McMillen babies like to be about a week and a half late. I was on time, so maybe it'll just end up being a week later, rather than two or so.

Ok, I can rest easy now. That is, if I can find my tums...