Monday, September 28, 2009
I wanted to say howdy and to post a photo from the weekend that Devon took of us. It is so amazing to see your eyes on someone else.
Aidan is growing and developing so quickly lately, but he is a doll most of the time. We had some hard core fussy moments yesterday, but it seems that all is well is Aidan land today. He had a great night of sleep and seems to be feeling much happier.
Life is hectic as JM and I try to balance it all, but we are so happy with our little tillema. JM is currently working on a landscaping project in the front yard. It is looking really amazing and we are so excited about the progress. Upon completion, I will post some photos of the new front yard.
Have a great Monday!
-CBT, JMT, & Aidan
Thursday, September 17, 2009
And, of course here we have Aidan in 2009.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Well, I started back to work last week and so far so good. I must admit that I am totally exhausted, but things are going well. Aidan seems to enjoy daycare so far, though he is totally exhausted by the end of the day as well. JM drops him off in the morning and I pick him up. The first day was rough...I cried the entire way to work, but then as the day went on, I mellowed out. I was so excited to pick up little t, that I had to make myself drive the speed limit to daycare. When I arrived he was asleep in a swing. When I moved him to his car seat, he woke up and seemed quite aggravated that his nap was interrupted. When he realized that it was his mama picking him up, he flashed a huge smile and laughed with joy. It was AWESOME to get that response. I have to admit, I love that he sees me as some kind of rock star super mama. I will take it as long as he feels that way.
Work is going good. Slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things. Missing spending all my time with Aidan, but also glad to have something for myself. Happy to wear makeup and heels at least of couple of days during the week.
I will post some recent photos soon.
Hope all is well,
Christina, JM, & Aidan
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I will be back though, with more to come this week as updates, but for now a quick note with a short video that was too big to be sent through email...
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I just had to post this photo that Oma sent me yesterday. This is a side by side comparison of both JM and Aidan in the same outfit, 31 years apart. 1978 was a good year for baby clothes. Enjoy!
Monday, May 18, 2009
I hope everyone out there is doing great! I just wanted to post a few photos of week 2 of Aidan's life. Oma (Willy Tillema) had saved some of JM's, Magda's, and Ilja's baby clothes and let us bring some to the States with us for Aidan to wear. Here he is in some great retro threads from the late 70s!
Things are going well around here. JM has had to work really hard to make up for staying home with us for a week, but he is so happy to have his little boy around!
Aidan is growing and eating a ton, but is very sweet, minus the cries for milk every 2-3 hours. I am loving having the time to dedicate to him and I am grateful for every moment with him.
More to come soon!
Christina, JM and Aidan
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Jan-Mendelt and I wanted to let you know that we welcomed Mendelt Aidan Tillema into the world on May 4, 2009 (his official due date) at 3:35 am after 48 hours of labor!! He weighed in at 9 lbs, 5 oz. and 22 3/4 inches long. Huge and healthy (we had no idea he would come out that gigantic! I guess I should have just taken a look at his father!)
Our birth story goes like this …
Jan-Mendelt was taking home call the weekend that I went into labor. Friday evening (May 1), I had dinner with friends until around 11 pm without him because he got called into the hospital. We met at home around 11:30 and were both totally exhausted so we went to bed. Jan-Mendelt’s pager went off around 3:20 am early on May 2. The pager always wakes us both up. I got up to use the bathroom while he was calling into the hospital. As I stood up after using the toilet, I felt a gush of liquid fall onto the floor. It was not very much fluid, but I called out to Jan-Mendelt and told him that I thought my water had just broken. We were not totally convinced that it had, but I felt that there no way after just peeing that I stood up and peed more all over myself and the floor. The fluid was clear and did not smell like urine, but we decided to stay calm and wait to see if surges started. I started to feel a little anxious at the idea of going into labor, but was excited and hopeful that we would have our baby in our arms sometime Saturday evening. Unfortunately, Jan-Mendelt had to make another trip into the hospital within minutes and I tried to go back to sleep, listening to the rainbow relaxation. By 3:40 am I had my first surge and I knew that I was going into early labor. I called Jan-Mendelt to let him know so that he could make plans to get someone to cover him at the hospital so that he could come home.
My surges continued to come every 8 minutes apart, lasting for around 30 seconds. I could sleep in between them, but not through them. I stayed in bed until around 9:00 and then called my doctor to let him know that I was in early labor. We had already agreed that I would stay home as long as possible and periodically check in with him. He was not sure my water had actually broken since I was not having any residual fluid loss throughout my early labor. Jan-Mendelt and I had a light breakfast around 10 am and took the dog on a walk around the neighborhood, stopping by our friends’ houses on our street to say hello. I could still walk through my surges though they were getting stronger and closer together and lasting longer. When we got back home from our walk, I practiced breathing through my surges in some of the different positions we learned about in class. I sat on my birthing ball, got on hands and knees, got in the polar bear position, etc. I was amazed at how good I felt at this point in the labor. I felt that I could really relax through each surge.
Around 8 pm Saturday evening, my surges were coming 3-5 minutes apart and lasting from 45 seconds to 1 minute long. We decided to call our OB and make our way into the hospital. We arrived at Bethesda North around 8:30 pm and went to triage. I had not had a pelvic exam from my OB at all during the pregnancy, so when they examined me in triage, I was happy to learn that I was 3-4 cm dilated and 90% effaced. We were admitted and taken to our labor and delivery room. We dimmed the lights, put on the Earth Mama Angel Baby labor companion CD and gave a copy of our Birth Vision to our nurse. Our nurse was amazing and told us she had two natural births herself. She respected all of our wishes and was very encouraging and supportive. I continued to labor using hypnobirthing techniques over the next hours. We walked the halls, I sat on the birthing ball and Jan-Mendelt and I lied in the bed together to rest in between surges. I found that laying down when a surge started made the surges much stronger and harder breath through, so I abandoned the bed early on. I was checked again around 3 am and had dilated to 5-6 cm. At that point, I got in the tub and Jan-Mendelt sat next to me pouring water on me and talking me through some relaxation. He was an amazing coach and I am so lucky to have him.
Over the next hours we just stayed calm and quiet and made it through the surges together. At 7 am our nurse came in and said her shift was over and that we would have a new nurse. At this point, my surges started to become very irregular both in length and interval. I continued to labor and was checked again around 8 am. I was now 6 cm dilated, but it seemed like something was just a bit off. I continued to hypnobirth until around noon on Sunday, May 3 when I was checked again and was at 6-7 cm dilated. At this point, I had been in labor for over 30 hours and I was getting extremely tired and discouraged at the slow labor progression. I started to cry at that point and I did not know if I could take another 6 hours of labor to gain only 1 cm of dilation. I had been walking the halls all morning, trying my best to move things along, but after such a long period with no sleep, I starting to fall asleep on my feet between contractions. After a few more hours, I was checked again to still be at 7 cm.
We called our OB at that point to discuss the situation, because I was getting emotional. This was really having a negative effect on my ability to breath through my surges. I could not focus effectively anymore and I was getting scared that my labor would last forever. Our doctor called us on our room phone and we discussed what we should do given the length of my labor thus far. We discussed the use of pitocin to help my labor along, and we also discussed breaking my water. (I was certain that my water was already broken and both my nurses confirmed that they could not feel the sack of water around our baby’s head.) We (Dr. Bowen, JM and I) decided to start a low dose of pitocin to help get my labor kick-started again (it had practically stopped!) and I opted to get an epidural at that point as well. I had heard so many horror stories about pitocin and how bad the pain gets that I was terrified to use pitocin without some relief. I was also told that they would not administer an epidural past 8 cm and I did not want to find myself in a situation where the strength of my surges were not natural, but I was trying to cope with them naturally. I cried and was incredibly disappointed and felt guilty. I apologized to my husband for not being able to continue the natural course. Jan-Mendelt was super supportive and made me feel loved and strong again. I was worried about letting everyone down and he erased those thoughts from my head immediately. After nearly 36 hours of natural labor, it was time to get some assistance.
Dr. Bowen arrived shortly after both the pitocin and epidural were administered and attempted to break my water. He was unable to feel a sack of water around the baby’s head, and after a few pokes agreed that my water was indeed already broken. This was around 3 pm Sunday afternoon.
The low dose of pitocin was ineffective and they ended up having to crank it up pretty strong to get my labor on track. I was not totally effaced nor complete until around 11 pm Sunday evening. I finally got the okay to push and I tried with all my might for 2 ½ hours. In the end, I totally ran out of energy (no food, drink or sleep for so long). I actually started to fall asleep during the third breath of each push. I asked for a break and the nurse checked me again and was worried that the baby was not in a good position and called Dr. Bowen to come and check. We found out at this point that the baby was not only posterior, but that his head was at an angle which was making it difficult for him to come out. Dr. Bowen said that at this point, if we could get the baby to rotate, we would be looking at a forceps delivery. He suggested lying in a position called the sim’s position for an hour on each side to see if the baby would turn. It required me to lay ¾ on my stomach with my legs propped up on pillows. In the end these positions did not work and it was clear that our only option left would be a c-section. I was scared of having a c-section, but at this point it was 3 am on Monday, May 4 and I had been in labor for 47 ½ hours with my water broken. There was no other choice but to deliver the baby via c-section.
I was prepped and wheeled into the Operating Room with Jan-Mendelt by my side as we waited to hear our baby cry for the first time. I had pushed so hard and long that Dr. Bowen had a hard time getting the baby out. He was grunting and working hard for about 3 minutes to pull the baby out. Finally, we heard Aidan cry and both JM and I cried tears of joy and relief that he was okay and finally here.
I have cried a few times that I did not get to have the birth experience that I wanted, but I am coming to terms with the reality of a posterior delivery. The Dutch call posterior babies “star gazers” and I have decided to look at the situation in a positive light. My little Aidan is a star gazer, maybe he’s a dreamer and his position reflects that character trait. I guess time will tell.
The most important thing is that he is beautiful and healthy and we are so lucky to have him! He is doing great – breast-feeding well, gaining weight, and sleeping amazing for a newborn (even a few 4 hour stretches!)
Christina, JM, & Aidan
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Well, after a week of being totally knocked out by a TERRIBLE head cold, I am finally starting to feel well again and I am ready to give all of you an update. I missed three days of work last week and barely moved off of the couch for that entire time. My ears were clogged, I was totally congested and coughing and lost all sense of taste and smell for 5 days. After taking it super easy (JM made me stay home and rest!), I am hoping to start the week on the mend.
Yesterday my godmother and my mom's best friend, Vickie, threw us a lovely baby shower in Louisville, Kentucky at her gorgeous condo. It was 75 degrees and sunny and we had about 15 people show up to celebrate the soon to arrive little tillema. Vickie was also under the weather, but still managed to pull off a great party with great food and great drink and great dessert for a wonderful time. She made some of my favorite things to eat and even had lemon angel food cake decorated with lemon slices and yellow butterflies (this may have been Mom's handy work since she knows how much I love butterflies.)
It was a great day and we were given such wonderful gifts for the baby. We are so lucky to have so many people around us to help us get set up to welcome our little guy. Thanks Aunt Vickie and Mom for all the hard work! We love you and are so happy to have you in our lives and the life of little t!
Below are a few photos of some of our new baby gear. The stroller/car seat combo given to us by Jen & Erin, the baby swing from Aunt Patti, and the ever so necessary pack n' play from Ann, Deanette, Susan, Jeanette, & Nancy.
We also received tons of adorable clothes, books, lullaby cds, a bottle warmer, and so much more. Our entire car was loaded down with things for lt.
I did have a check up with my ob the Thursday before last and everything is still going great. Blood pressure is totally normal, weight gain under control, my group b strep test came back negative and the baby is still head down and seems to be in a good position for the birth which at this point can happen at any moment. JM and I are so excited and can barely wait to see little t. I am so curious to see who he will take after most. I hope he gets his papa's cute dimples!!!
I have another appointment tomorrow at 1 pm. I will go every week from now until the birth. Nothing out of the ordinary, just the routine check in. I will be happy to update here again after my appointment.
On a side note, about two weeks ago Phoebe came over to give me an osteopathic treatment and to do my belly cast so that I can always remember just how big my belly got during this pregnancy. Here is how it turned out!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I am feeling pretty good considering how big my belly has gotten! Yesterday I got in two walks with Cider and a 1 hour prenatal yoga session. It was great! Yoga instantly eases the swelling in my ankles. Loves it! I thought I would post three shots from this morning because you get a better idea of just how much little tillema has taken over from different angles. The first shot I look super huge! JM took it - obviously the other two I did on my own! Sorry about the funny face on the first photo of me. I look super tired and puffy! Not the best photo - but you get the point!
In other news, our dear friend Phoebe's mother made us the cutest quilt for the baby! She is a professional quilter and does fabulous work. The quilt is amazing and adorable! What a sweet gesture! Here are some photos of the whole thing, as well as a few up close detail shots! The animals are all embroidered on the quilt and the quilting stitching itself is the alphabet! Super adorable!
Monday, March 16, 2009
It has been way too long, but things have been super busy in the Tillema household. This past Saturday Jen & Micah flew in from Denver and Erin and Jen threw me the best baby shower anyone has ever seen. It was so much fun and we are truly moved by the generosity of all of our friends and family. Mem, Heit, Ilja and Magda were skyped in from Nederland, Elaine and Dylan drove in from Pittsburgh and many of our Cincinnati friends made it to our house for the party.
We played really fun games, Jen put out a gorgeous spread of food, and Erin loaded us all up with the most delicious cake I have ever had, there was one raspberry cake and one lemon cake. It was so good that everyone ended up eating a piece of both!
It was a whirlwind weekend that has left me totally and utterly exhausted, but I am so grateful to have had Jen and Erin plan and execute this shower and I am so happy that I got to spend time with them. I cannot wait until I can return the favor!!!
On Sunday, after the festivities, JM made us a lovely brunch and Jen took some very beautiful black and white pregnancy photos for us. One of them is posted above!
In terms of the pregnancy, I am feeling tired from the weekend, but I am still doing really great. I had my 32 week check up last week and everything is going great. Blood pressure in check, weight gain in check (up to 21 pounds now!!) which means that I am right on track for an average weight gain, only very minor swelling in my feet and only at the end of a long day, and the baby's heart is beating strong and he is super active. When we are in bed at night if my belly is touching JM's back he can feel the strong kicks and punches too!
There is definitely more to catch you up on, but this is all I have time for today. Enjoy the photos!!!
CBT, JMT & LT
Here is one of the full house on Saturday!!!
Monday, February 16, 2009
I get the sutures out tomorrow at 2 pm and I cannot wait! The Mohs procedure is great for two reasons: 1) 99% of the time the cancer never comes back; and 2) It is the best procedure for removing skin cancer in the face cosmetically. I will have a small scar that should fade into the background and become almost undetectable within 1 year. So, even if you are not as fair as me, use sunscreen people! Believe me, you do not want to go through this process if you can avoid it.
Later that Wednesday, with a 2 x 2 1/2 inch pressure dressing on my face, I met with my new ob for our first visit. WHAT A RELIEF!!! He is one of the nicest doctors that I have ever met and he is totally supportive, even encourages natural childbirth. I am so happy to have found him this far along in the pregnancy. I also found out that I passed my glucose screening test and that in the last three weeks I gained 1 pound. I have now gained around 14 pounds total and can expect another 10 or 11 in the third trimester. I have been working out and eating right, to ensure that I am in good shape for the natural childbirth that I desire. I have been using my elliptical 3 times per week, doing yoga 4 times per week (2 times in a class and 2 times on my own) and walking the Cider dog all over the place. My new doctor said I was doing great and that everything is progressing as it should - he even told me my belly looks great!
In other news, I finished little t's baby blanket this weekend. It is so adorable. I am posting photos of it here as well as a couple of belly shots I took myself on Friday night.
Yesterday I met with a photographer who is going to take some pregnancy photos of me. I really wanted to be able to capture how my body looks carrying this baby. She is going to take some really artistic and beautiful black and white photos of both me by myself and of me with JM. I am excited to have something to show little t when he is older.
I hope everyone out there is doing great! I just want to give a shout out to Jen and Erin who are planning the baby shower we are having on March 14. They are working really hard and I am REALLY lucky to have them in my life to pull of this together. THANKS GIRLS!! And Jen, I cannot wait to see you! I miss you tons.
Big Kiss from CBT, JMT, & LT
Thursday, January 29, 2009
First of all, thank you for all the sweet comments about little t's nursery. I hope he loves it as much as everyone else seems to! We think it is super cute and I find myself peaking in on everything at least twice a day. We still have some finishing touches left like framed photos/art for the walls, a new futon cover and lamp for the chest of drawers, but overall we are just really pleased with how the room has turned out.
On another note, I am certain that little t had hiccups today and I could finally feel them for the first time. It was the funniest feeling like little rhythmic thumps in my belly for a few minutes. I read that it is towards the end of the second trimester that you can feel these hiccups and sure enough, like clockwork, little t delivered. He must not have been too happy about the hiccups though, because it felt like he was doing some wild acrobatics to get rid of them. Major commotion in the belly all at once. Still, it is so good to feel him move and to know that he is progressing along like he should.
On a not so fun note, but a totally insane one, JM and I have decided that we have to find a new provider to deliver the baby. Since I have been going to a fairly large practice, it is necessary that I rotate through all of the physicians who may end up delivering the baby. Before our hypnobirthing classes started I had only seen one of the six doctors and the only midwife in the practice. I asked them what they thought of natural childbirth and they seemed to be sort of supportive, but not totally enthusiastic about the idea. I was not totally alarmed, however, and continued to see them. Since that time, we began our hypnobirthing classes and I have become aware of the really pointed questions that I should be asking to get a feel for the practice culture and their support or lack thereof of moms who desire natural births. JM and I met with yet another doctor in the practice last week and had the worst experience with him ever!
First of all, he was 45 minutes late and we were the first appointment of the day. We were told that he had a "meeting" and would be 20 minutes late, which turned into 45. Bummer, but after already peeing in a cup, being weighed, etc. it just made more sense to wait than to reschedule. I am glad we waited! When he came in the room, he did not introduce himself to us, but merely sat down and asked, "any questions?" What? No hello, how are yous? I told him about a few minor things that had happened over the past 5 weeks and he seemed fairly disinterested in my concerns. He did not even make a quick note in my Electronic Medical Record chart that he had pulled up on his touch pad hand held computer. I went on to tell him that we were taking hypnobirthing classes and that we desired a natural un-medicated childbirth. I asked him what he thought about natural childbirth in general. He responded by laughing out loud and saying, "I don't really care what you do, because I get to leave the room." Number one, don't laugh in your patient's face. It is rude and condescending. Number two, this implies that I will be one of those "natural birthing moms rolling around and screaming" and that he is lucky that he will not be the one "dealing" with me. I was so mad and shocked that I did not know what to say. Instead of walking out right then, I just kept asking him questions.
I asked about his opinion on fetal monitoring and if I could self-hydrate instead of automatically being hooked up to an IV. I even brought up that I would perfectly willing to have a hep lock so that they could have easy access should I need an IV. I would like freedom and movement and to control my own fluid intake. He again laughed in my face and told me that first time moms get "too tired and nauseous" to self-hydrate and that I would not be able to take care of it myself. He also told me that I needed to have continuous fetal monitoring meaning wearing a belt around my belly the whole labor. I was very disappointed with these answers and wanted to know how that would impact my ability to walk around and to get into a tub of water for example. He informed me that I could walk with the IV pole, but that I "wouldn't be doing much, if any, walking at that point in the labor." I kept thinking, wow! this guy is already totally against me and we have never even met before!
This ob clearly did not want to deal with someone who might rock the boat and interfere with his normal way of dealing with births. I started to think back on the discussions that I had with the other ob and midwife and realized that I was just too scared to admit to myself that I may need to change practices. In fact, when I asked the midwife about natural childbirth she said, "just don't come in here saying you are one of those women with a high pain tolerance." I must have pulled the wool over my own eyes or something. I just did not want to deal with the extra duty of finding a whole new practice at 20 weeks pregnant. But, after last week I knew that I could not accept anyone from this practice delivering our baby.
I called our hypnobirthing instructor immediately after the appointment and asked her for names of docs/midwives that I could call to check out. JM wrote a colleague to inquire about a midwife who assisted in the birth of his baby. Cincinnati is a very conservative city and a hard one if you want to achieve a natural childbirth. There is a 97% epidural rate here, and a 30-something% c-section rate.
I have now made an appointment with one of two obs in the city who supports natural childbirth, but cannot meet him until 2.24. I am also going to interview the midwife JM's colleague used and we are in e-mail contact right now. We are touring another hospital this weekend and I am certain that we will have someone new and improved soon.
I guess I am glad that I found this out now instead of during the delivery. I have heard many many horror stories of docs who say they support you in whatever you want, but when push comes to shove they get their way. If this hypnobirthing will work, I need to be surrounded by people who support me and who will help me through the birthing with good energy and positivity. I am hopeful and I am really looking forward to spending my third trimester in caring hands.
Wish us luck!
cbt, jm, & lt
Sunday, January 25, 2009
We made some more great progress getting little t's room ready for his arrival. JM made the point this morning that we are probably getting this done much earlier than other people, but I am a neat freak (well freak in general) and I feel MUCH better knowing that we are prepared and not having to wait until the last minute. Another reason we are ahead of the curve on this point is that JM and I both have some extra time right now (and for me enough energy) to get this preparation stuff dealt with!
We now have a crib and changing table (thanks much to Mom!) and a nieuwe kast for little t. Robbie and JM spent almost three hours yesterday putting everything together and then I went crazy transferring all of little t's things into his new room. Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure ... Enjoy!
Hopefully, sometime soon we will have some new belly shots to post as well. Growing and showing is the name of the game.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Yesterday, was my mom's birthday so we drove down to Lexington to celebrate. We had a great time and mom bought a new car for herself. She got a GREAT deal in this bad economy. Now she will be styling in her new ride all around town. Mom getting a new car, meant that we have now inherited the VW Jetta that she has been driving since JM totaled the Volvo in Memphis, TN during Elvis Week back in '99. Good times. The Jetta needs some work, but is still in great shape and is really coming to us in perfect timing for the arrival of little t. It would be pretty difficult to still share a car with a new baby here. Thanks Mom for your generosity, it is always appreciated and I love you for always coming through when I need it most.
After many requests to see the proof that little t is actually a boy, I have finally convinced JM that we CAN indeed post a pic of little t's piemel (that's dutch for penis people) on the internet. He felt a little guilty posting photos of little t's junk for everyone to see, but here it is for your viewing pleasure.
Clearly a boy baby!
I am also posting a couple of belly shots - clearly growing and showing. Sorry it has taken me so long to get these online. They are from last week and you can see that little t is getting bigger and making his presence much more noticeable in my belly!
There you have it - two side shots (clearly pregnant) and one from the front (not looking so pregnant).
We spent some time this morning working on the nursery. We have now rolled out the rug and applied the polka dot decals to the walls. Super cute! here are a few photos from today's progress.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Today was probably the most exciting visit to the OB's office during this entire pregnancy. We had an ultrasound today at 8 am and got to see what little Tillema was up to this morning! It was so exciting to see all four chambers of the heart, the spine, the diaphragm, fingers and toes, the brain, a great profile of the face, little t doing some serious thumb-sucking, and arms & legs.
As it goes with two stubborn parents, I think little t seriously had enough of looking cute for the pictures. Little t spent some time hiding, sitting up & facing mama's back, giving the tech a hard time. But after some swirling and a belly rub, he gave his face away (and as you can tell, a little more than just the face)... We are proud to present you the latest photos of little BOY T!!!