The Story of Jack

April 25th, 2011

Jackson Bradford Dillon
April 2, 2011
2:43 am
8lbs, 8.2oz
20 inches

The last two weeks leading up to Jack’s birth were an emotional roller coaster. The first week, my midwife checked me and I was at 3cm. She said it may be another week, it may not. Monday of the second week came, and I was at 5cm. My midwife laughed and told me to get my rest, because this baby would be here any day. I was ecstatic!

Friday, Brad and I went to Ikea (in hopes of helping gravity to get things moving) and dinner, while Nevaeh stayed with my mom for the night. The whole evening I felt funny, and it kept going through my head that this was going to be the day.

We got home after dinner and were laying in bed getting ready to call it a night. I was checking out my pregnancy forums, like usual, and had just read a story about a woman’s water breaking that night and was wondering if mine would, since it didn’t with Nevaeh. I closed the app, and almost immediately, I felt a huge gush of warm fluid. There was no mistaking what it was. Then the excitement began!

I called my doula, Nadine, to let her know. I hadn’t had any painful contractions, so she said to rest and to let her know when they started getting uncomfortable, because we needed to get to the hospital. Everyone predicted it would be a quick labor and they didn’t want to take any chances. Of course, I was too excited to rest, so I took a shower, did my hair and make-up, and waited.

The contractions suddenly hit like a ton of bricks. I started timing them, while Brad got dressed and made himself some coffee. They started at 4 minutes apart, lasting a minute. I told Brad that I wanted to have five or ten before we left. For some reason, I still had it in my head that it might not be time yet. Brad said, no, we’re leaving now.

We arrived at the hospital at the exact time as Nadine. My contractions were now every couple of minutes and, oh yes, they were all in my back. Back labor, for yet a second time! She helped us make our way to labor and delivery, stopping to put pressure on my back when I was having a contraction. The nurses were getting my room ready and I overheard one say to another, “we better hurry, she’s going to have this baby soon”. I was shaking really bad with every contraction and was already feeling the urge to push.

My midwife, Diane Tandy, arrived and I was dilated to 6cm. I was so upset, because I thought it would be forever before I reached 10cm. She kept insisting to the nurses that they needed to fill the tub for me, but they wouldn’t, because the baby had not had the two heart accelerations and two decelerations that they require before allowing me in the tub. My midwife was explaining to them that he had descended too low and they weren’t going to get the strip they wanted, but they would not budge. At this point I was begging for an epidural. Every contraction was entirely in my back and I didn’t think I could take any more. I felt like I was being tortured. So Diane manually turned the baby to get his head off of my back. Amazingly, I could feel the relief as she did it, but I still wanted an epidural. Diane and Brad kept telling me that I didn’t want it and that I could do this. Diane was amazing. She kept talking to me right next to my face and had me focus on her during my contractions. I kept feeling the urge to push and she whispered in my ear to push if I wanted to. Her calmness and ability to totally take over were amazing. The whole time, I only heard her voice.

The epidural team came in to get my blood and start the bag of fluids (note- the nurses weren’t exactly caring about my birth plan at this point, so they called for the epidural). Diane said, let me check you first. She checked me and said, you’re at 10cm, lets have this baby! I was shocked. So she sent the epidural team on their way and got me set up to start pushing.

Pushing was what I was scared of most, before I went into labor. I had no idea what it would feel like and was scared it would hurt worse than the contractions. And frankly, I was terrified at the idea of tearing. But once I heard her say I could start pushing, I couldn’t wait. I knew it would be the end of the terrible contractions and I’d get to see our boy. I started pushing and felt every bit of it. I wouldn’t say it was painful, surprisingly. At that point, I was so focused on getting him out that maybe I just didn’t notice the pain, but it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. After five minutes of pushing, his head came out and his cord was wrapped around his neck twice. Diane just unwrapped it and told me to push again for the shoulders. As his shoulders came out, she told me to reach down and pull my baby out. Without hesitation I pulled him right out and on to my chest. It was amazing. He was here and I had done it.

Brad and I sat there in awe of our boy. He looked like he belonged to us and he looked so much like his big sister. The nurses disappeared and it was just us with my mom, Diane and Nadine, chatting about the whirlwind that just occurred. Diane chuckled and said I wasn’t really at 10cm when she told me I was. She said I was almost there, but not quite. She knew that I was determined to go naturally and I needed that little bit of encouragement to push me through to the finish line. Diane and Nadine were amazing. They came together and helped carry me through the hardest and most amazing thing I will ever do in my life. With their help, Brad was able to be at my side, knowing I was being taken care of.

About an hour after giving birth I was up and ready to get moving. I didn’t feel like I had just given birth. I guess part of it was a hormonal high, but I felt exhilarated. It was one of the most amazing and surreal moments of my life and I felt so proud.

Lying on a bed of arsenic?

January 26th, 2011

When I first became pregnant with Nevie, I started educating myself on everything imaginable. Something that had always bothered me was the “back to sleep” campaign. For generations, mothers have been putting their babies to sleep on their tummies. So why the sudden rise of SIDS in recent years sparking this new campaign? Well, it must be that babies are suffocating on their tummies (all of the sudden). That makes the most sense, right? Not to me. What pediatricians and the government are failing to talk about is the chemicals used in producing crib mattresses. BPA, arsenic and fire-retardant materials, among other things are being used in the production of crib mattresses. If a baby is on their tummy breathing in these harmful chemicals, surely there could be deadly side effects. And there were. When the back to sleep campaign started making its way around the country there was a decrease in SIDS, because babies were no longer breathing in as much of those chemicals. Government-forbid manufacturers start producing mattresses without these harmful chemicals, instead let’s just tell parents their children may die if they sleep on their tummy.

This topic really got me fired-up when I first became a parent. It made no sense to me to put my baby on her back to sleep. When babies sleep on their back it creates a feeling of falling. They are used to being tucked away tightly in their mother’s womb. The closest way to recreate that feeling is to put a baby on her tummy. Also, being on their tummy aids in digestion. On her back a baby is much more likely to develop reflux. Many parents have suffered sleepless nights, because their baby just simply needed to be put on her tummy to relieve her little tummy. Babies made to sleep on their backs also develop flat heads and in some cases never learn to crawl, because they don’t get that much needed tummy time to learn to push up.

So what’s the solution? Some suggest putting a few layers of 100% cotton towels on top of the crib mattress before placing a tight fitting sheet over it. Another solution are plastic mattress covers with holes on the underside to allow the mattress to breath. And more recently, companies such as Target have started producing 100% cotton, bpa-free, less-toxic fire retardant mattresses at a reasonable price.

When you are a new parent, you worry about everything. The chemicals in crib mattresses shouldn’t be one of them. I purchased a plastic mattress cover for Nevie’s crib mattress. With this new baby, I’ll be getting one of the new natural mattresses and place layers of cotton towels on top of that, under the sheet. As a parent, YOU and only YOU know what’s best for your baby. If you sleep better at night with your baby on her back, then that is totally up to you. More importantly we need to raise awareness of how our every day items are being produced. One of the best things a parent can do is educate themselves. You can’t always trust the info being fed to you through parenting magazines and pamphlets. If something doesn’t seem right in your gut, then it probably isn’t.

Suggested reading:


January 21st, 2011

So much has changed since I last blogged…so in the words of Meg Ryan (circa, before she botoxed her face beyond the point of recognition), “Dear Friend, I like to start my notes to you as if we’re already in the middle of a conversation. I pretend that we’re the oldest and dearest friends.…”

Jack will be here in about 2 1/2 months. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared. OK, a lot scared. This pregnancy has been so good, but being the pessimist that I am, surely he’s going to be a difficult baby and I’m going to go nuts and have to start prozac or something. I tend to think that if things are going really well now, surely they’re about to get really bad. Thankfully I married an optimist who is good at reminding me, at times like these, when my pessimism is taking over.

I really don’t know what to expect with having two children. Nevie has been the easiest baby from the very start. She was never much of a crier, nursed well, has always been a great sleeper and has always been so sweet and independent. What will this baby be like? Am I going to get so overwhelmed that I fall apart? Am I just giving in to my pessimistic attitude and thinking about the most unlikely of outcomes? In defense of my pessimism, or realistic nature as I like to refer to it, if I prepare for the very worst there won’t be any surprises. If the best of outcomes occurs, I’ll be that much more thankful. See, it makes sense… right?

But then I think, well kids are part nature and part nurture. So perhaps the reason Nevie is who she is, is partly because of our parenting and isn’t entirely just her nature. Or did God give us such an easy baby the first time, because he knew the second would be much harder? See! The pessimistic part of me always seems to trump the little bit of optimism I try to grasp.

What I am (practicing) keeping in my mind, is that no matter who this little person is, I will love him just as much as I love my Nevie. He’s a part of ALL of us. God has given us this little boy for a reason. Who he is and who we are is part of why we’re perfectly matched for one another. Perhaps he’ll be my little “mini-me”, since Nevie is 85% Brad and only about 15% me. To be honest though, I wouldn’t mind another little Brad running around. I quite like those.

Life as of Late

November 9th, 2009

It’s been a rough year. Last January we started looking at a house to rent because we were growing out of our apartment. After seeking counsel from many people we decided it would be wiser to buy instead of rent. To save extra money and not have to worry about signing a lease that we knew we’d have to break, we moved in with my mom in April. Our plan was to begin the hunt in June and hopefully be in a house soon after. We got everything squared away by July. We started looking at foreclosures mostly. We attempted to put a contract on 3 houses. The owner of the first house was very difficult to come to an agreement with so we walked away from that. The second house was perfect. We submitted an offer and then found out it didn’t qualify for the loan we were getting. The third house we tried to submit an offer on was purchased in cash that same morning. We felt lost after that. It’s hard on the emotions to find a house you like then have it taken out from under you. From the beginning we prayed that if God didn’t want us in a particular house that he would make it known immediately. Sure enough, that’s exactly what He did.

At this point I was losing hope. Nothing was working out, so maybe we just aren’t meant to have a house yet. Our agent started looking around for us and found one that I had completely overlooked. It looked perfect on paper, so we headed out to see it ASAP. It was as perfect in real life as it was on paper. It had everything we had wanted, without having to compromise on a single thing. We thought surely this has to be it. As we were leaving the property another couple showed up to see it. We started praying immediately. We loved this house and we didn’t want to lose it. Our agent called the selling agent to talk about submitting an offer. She was told it was already under contract. Great. Another hit in the face. We loved the house so much, so our agent kept calling to see if anything had fallen through. She got in touch with another agent at the agency and he said that she was given the wrong information and we could submit an offer. We were so relieved and excited! We submitted our offer and came to an agreement with the seller.

I had to go to the bank that day to get a certified check for the seller. The bank teller and I started chatting about the house. She said she and her husband had been looking at homes in the same area and really loved a particular house. She told me the address and I gasped. It was the same house! They had tried to submit an offer on Friday, but were given the same misinformation that we were. Because our agent was persistent, we were able to submit an offer the next Monday. If this wasn’t proof that God was protecting this house for us I didn’t know what was.

We had a closing date in September. About 3 weeks before the big day our lawyer found a problem with the title. The only way to correct it would be to reforeclose the home and push the closing date another couple months- which would mean we could lose the $8,000 tax credit. What a blow. A week later we were told, “They fixed the title, no need to reforeclose”. And a day later, “Oh sorry, we were wrong. It will have to be reforeclosed”. What an emotional roller coaster!

So here we sit. We have no idea what is going to happen. There is the possibility that the house could be auctioned off. If it doesn’t we will have to re-qualify for our loan and go through that process again.

It seemed like this was the place for us, so why all of these problems? I have to admit it has really tested my faith in God. Honestly, I felt like He deserted us. I know in my heart of hearts that isn’t the case, but I’m struggling so much in believing that God will work something out for us. We have grown so weary. I’ve been praying for rest and peace and have felt neither.

Brad and I had a talk the other night and he brought up a recent sermon at church. It was about service. He said, “we’ve been asking God for so much, but what have we done for Him?” I had been so drained emotionally that I couldn’t fathom giving any part of myself to helping others. We stopped trying to get to know people at church because we were too tired to put in the effort. We lost ourselves to self-pitty and worry. So now our goal is to stop focusing on ourselves and put that energy into what we can do for God.

I KNOW that God is teaching us so many things in this process. I’m thankful- well, at least trying really hard to be. Every bad situation I’ve been through in my life I’ve come out thankful and truly blessed. This is just a valley that we have to go through to make it to the mountain top. So, we will continue to be persistent in prayer and believe that God WANTS to and WILL bless us, one way or another.