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How Drum got his name

I wish I had a more interesting story about Drum's name, just like I always wish I had a better story about Mo's. When you give your kids uncommon names, people assume there is a good story to go with it, but what it boils down to in both cases is simply: we liked the name. 

But for all you name nerds, here's a little more about how we landed on Drummond. 

When you have a daughter named Moselle, you can't really follow that up with something like William. William is a great name (I know several little Williams, including my nephew!), but it is in a completely different vein than Moselle. Your second child really cements your naming style: Which way did we want to go? What was it about the name Moselle were most important to us?

When we named our first child, I determined my naming preference was to find names that were a little unusual without sounding made up. As we've lived with a Moselle for nearly three years, I've found that almost nobody has heard it before, but nobody seems to think it's ridiculous or phony. I wanted to land on that same note with the next name.

Mike and I didn't even talk about names until after we found out the sex, and then we only visited the topic every so often. Mostly I thought about names, and then occasionally presented them to Mike. Eventually we got our list down to five names: Levon, Ansel, Tennyson, Cormac and Drummond.

Levon and Ansel were names that I had liked for a long time. Mike was never crazy about either, but liked them enough to let me hang on to them all the way to the top five. But neither made the cut to the top three. The three names we took with us to the hospital were:

  1. Tennyson - This one started as a joke. When we used to ask Mo what we should name Baby Brother, she would always, without fail, answer "Tennis." One day Mike suggested that we name him Tennessee and call him Tennis. It was a joke, but made me think of Tennyson, and then we both realized we actually liked that name.
  2. Cormac - This is the only name that carried over from our list when Mo was born. It has long been Mike's favorite name, so much so that I started to resent it because he had it on a pedastal that no other name could measure up to. But it's actually a name I originally suggested years ago because I do really like it, so it was a real contender.
  3. Drummond - This came to me a couple years ago when I saw the name Drummer somewhere. It sparked the name Drummond for me, which never left my head.

When considering these three names, there were a few things we were hoping to accomplish:

  1. Nickname - We didn't want a good nickname because we believed all names should come with nickname. But we use Mo even more often than we use Moselle, and it's such a perfectly fitting name for her that it seemed to set up a precedent. We wanted a name with an equally easy and cool nickname. Tennyson had a lot of nickname potential (Ten, Tenny, Sonny), but nothing that felt natural to us. Cormac would have lead to Mac, which we loved. And Drummond lends itself easily to Drum, another good one.
  2. Last name compatibility - We needed something that could work with the last name he'd receive, a hyphenate of my and Mike's last names. It starts with a Z, which ruled out named ending is -s, -z or -x because it makes for awkward pronunciation. 
  3. Middle name compatibility - The tradition in Mike's family is to give the first born son his father's name as a middle name, meaning our son's middle name would be Michael. Fortunately, that's a really easy name to work with.
  4. Frequency - Moselle has never been in the top 1000 in the U.S. and I like that about it. I like that the name exists, you might even hear it somewhere, but you're not going to hear it often. I wanted the same for my son's name, and all of our top three met the criteria.

One thing we didn't really take into consideration was the meaning of names. It's just never been important to us. But for those who are interested, Drummond is a Scottish name that means "at the ridge." I do enjoy the coinicidence that Moselle means "from the water" and Drummond means "at the ridge." Those two things seem to fit together somehow.

By the end, Mike's rankings were: 1. Cormac 2. Tennyson 3. Drummond. Mine were: 1. Drummond 2. Tennyson 3. Cormac. When the baby was born, we pretty quickly nixed Tennyson - it just didn't feel like his name - but we were completely torn between the other two. After about 15 hours of visitors the day he was born, during which he was just Baby Boy, we found a moment to discuss his name. We went back and forth for about an hour, testing out both names, weighing the merits of each. In the end, I told Mike my preference. I asked him if he thought we could have a son named Drummond, and he replied, "I think we already do."

We wrote it on the white board in our hospital to test it out, and texted the name to our family with the disclaimer that it wasn't official yet, and we were going to sleep on it. We woke up feeling good about it, and later that day we signed the birth certificate and it was official!


He's been Drummond for seven weeks now, and we love the name. For my family, it conjures memories of summers at my grandparents' cottage on Drummond Island. We didn't name him for the island, but it's a happy connection. We call him Drummond, Drum, Drummy, Drummer Boy, Baby Drum, Drum Drum. Sometimes I sing Little Drummer Boy to him when I'm trying to calm him. I also like that his initials are DMZM while Mo's are MDZM. 

After decades of collecting names, it feels strange that I am most likely done naming children. I wonder what my 15 year old self would have thought about the names I ended up using. I think I would have been a bit surprised, but mostly impressed.

Moselle and Drummond. Mo and Drum. Mosie and Drummy. Mosie Girl and Drummer Boy. Motown and Drumstick. 

Mo and Drum


Drummond's birth story

I've been working on this post since Drum was born. He is a challenging little guy, so I don't get much time to do anything that requires my hands, therefore it's nearly impossible to write a blog post. But I don't want to forget the details of his birth, so I've slowly been putting down as much as I can. Here is how I remember it...


At 3:30 a.m. on Sunday November 1, I woke up with a gassy, crampy feeling. It was a very familiar feeling as that is how my labor with Mo started. However, I had my doubts. The Wednesday before I had some false labor that started the same way and fizzled into nothing. The difference this time is that the contractions were coming much more rapidly and intensifying quickly. I sat up in bed shortly after they started and read a book in between contractions, but by 4:20 they were already 5 minutes apart and lasting over a minute (which, for those who don't know, means I was only getting about 3 minutes of rest in between the end of one and the start of the next). Pretty soon I couldn't stand to sit still. The pain was now in my back, butt and thighs so I had to get out of bed and off my backside. 

This was all so similar to my first labor - contractions that came fast and furious from the beginning, skipping any sense of "early" labor, and focusing on my back and butt - that I was scared. My labor with Mo was so horrific that I promised myself if this labor started to resemble that one, I wouldn't mess around. I'd get to the hospital and get pain relief as soon as possible. I had hoped it would be different, more "normal," but it was immediately apparent that was not happening.

I texted my sister Emily, who was going to come be with me for the labor and delivery, at 4:20. She lives 90 minutes away, but because my first labor was 19.5 hours and this one was, so far, an exact replica, we assumed she had plenty of time to get here. Next I woke up Mike around 4:30. By then, an hour after the first sign of labor, I already couldn't talk during contractions and had to brace myself on pieces of furniture to deal with the pain. As Mike was getting out of bed, I called my mom who was going to stay with Mo while we were at the hospital. She lives about 75 minutes away, but at that point I still thought I'd be able to labor at home long enough to wait for her.

By 5:00 I realized there was no way I could wait. The contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting close to 2 minutes. I had almost no time in between to breathe, steady myself, gather my strength. They just kept coming. I figured I was in for a very long and painful labor like last time, and I didn't want to wait any longer to get some relief. I had no interest in trying to do this free of medicine. I tried that last time and it was the most insane experience of my life. So at 5:00 I decided I needed my other sister, Andrea, to come sit with Mo until my mom could get to our house. 

Fortunately Andrea lives much closer, and she was there by 5:30. It was a very long and painful half hour though. I was trying to keep the noise down so as not to wake Mo, but the pains were so intense that I was basically yelling through them. I still can't believe the sounds I was able to produce, I'm not sure I could replicate them if I tried.


As soon as Andrea walked in, we walked out. The drive to the hospital was tough. I couldn't sit comfortably because all the pain was still radiating in my backside, so I grabbed onto the handle above the door and basically held myself up to hover above the seat for the full 20 minute drive. The contractions were still 2 minutes long with only about 30 seconds or less in between. 

As instructed, we went through the ER. Mike didn't grab the hospital bag because he figured he'd get me through triage and set up comfortably with an epidural, then sneak out to retrieve what we needed. Spoiler alert: that did not happen.

In the ER, the security guard tried to bring me a wheelchair. I basically yelled at him that I didn't want to sit down, then I leaned against a pillar and screamed through a contraction. I think I scared the crap out of the poor guy because he whisked away the wheelchair and offered to park the van for us. Valet service is not usually part of the deal, but I think he could tell things were not going well. He even brought the key all the way up to the 9th floor and found us in triage to return it.


On the way to the birthing center, I had to stop and get through several contractions. In triage, we had a nurse who had very little sympathy for my plight. She was very abrupt and not at all comforting. I told her immediately I wanted an epidural, and she said she couldn't do anything for me until I got in bed so she could check me. I did so reluctantly, but fortunately she was quick. She didn't bother with a fetal monitor or anything else. She just checked my cervix and determined I was 5cm dilated. This was somewhat surprising because with Mo I labored at home for 8 hours and arrived at the hospital at a 7, then spent another 11 hours getting to a 10. I knew second deliveries often went faster, but I was surpised that with only 2.5 hours of labor, I was half way there.

We walked to a delivery room, which turned out to be the exact same room in which I delivered Mo! The compassionless nurse came with us, and she continued to be devoid of sympathy. Fortunately there was another nurse who was amazing. She let me lean on hear, basically hug her, through contractions; she helped me breathe even though I was blowing right in her face and I hadn't brushed my teeth; and she even put my hair in a pony tail when it was bugging me.

I had to lean over the baby warmer to get an IV in because I didn't want to sit down. The person placing it couldn’t get it because my vein kept rolling. It was very stressful because I was in so much pain and I couldn’t move. She was trying to put it in my forearm, but finally gave up and put in the crook of my left arm. All the while I’m screaming about needing pain relief, and where the [expletive] is my epidural? The impatient nurse kept telling me there was nothing they could do, they had to run blood tests and whatnot first, but I just kept begging. At one point I apologized for yelling at everyone because I was at least aware enough to know I was doing that.

They also gave me some pain meds that made me loopy. They didn't touch the pain at all, however. Because of the loopiness, they had me sit on the bed, which was horribly painful. While I was sitting there, the OB walked in. It was a doctor I had never met. She was new to the OB practice and I hadn't yet gotten a chance to meet her. I was in so much pain and just wanted to have a healthy baby, I didn't much care who delivered me. The doctor introduced herself to me, but I didn’t understand. I had to ask who she was a few minutes later. Even now, I have very little memory of her, but Mike and Emily say she was pretty cool.

It felt like a century, but I was only in the delivery room screaming about needing an epidural for 15-20 minutes before the anesthesiologist arrived around 6:35. With Mo’s labor, I barely registered the epidural because I was delirious with pain, but this time I was slightly more aware. Probably because by the time I got it with Mo, I had been in active labor for 12 hours. With Drum, it had only been about 3 hours. It was hard to sit still, and I couldn’t get in the right position easily, so it took longer than I would have liked.

When the epidural was placed, they wanted me to lay on my side. I truly could not figure out how to get in that position. I kept asking people to repeat themselves because I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying to me. I couldn't process anything but pain, so in trying to lay down, I couldn’t figure out what they meant or how to move my body. I remember saying “Tell me exactly what to do!” 

I finally got laid down and waited for relief, but none came. I kept yelling “Why isn’t it working? Why does it still hurt? When is it going to work?” They explained that I was already transitioning and it was going too fast for the epidural to work. Around 7:00, the doctor checked me and I was a 9. I went from a 5 to a 9 in less than an hour. It wasn’t long after that, maybe 10-15 minutes when they told me I could push on the next contraction. I was glad for that, but couldn’t believe how quickly things were happening. And how much pain I was in. Have I already mentioned the pain? 


I vaguely realized that Emily wasn’t there yet when I started pushing about 7:15. Mike has a text from her asking which room we were in that arrived at 7:19, and I think she walked in a few minutes later. I wasn’t aware of much, but I guess she grabbed my phone and took a bunch of pictures, which I’m so glad for. We had assumed she'd have plenty of time to get to me and be with me as I labored, but instead she barely made it in time to see him be born!

I believe I pushed for four rounds of contractions. They hurt, but I actually felt like the contractions were purposeful instead of just painful. At the end of the last contraction, he was almost out so they encouraged me to keep pushing and bam, he was born at 7:33am.

They laid him low on my chest and he didn’t make much noise. Plus he was purple. I kept asking if he was OK, if he was breathing. None of the medical staff seemed concerned in the least, so I know I was just being paranoid. We laid like that way for awhile as they delivered the placenta and stitched me up. After awhile, they took him to check him, and his body temp was a little low, so he had to lay under the warmer for awhile. The nurses scooted him close to me so I could reach out and touch him the whole time. 

It was such a whirlwind experience. I still can't believe from the first contraction to the moment he was born was only four hours. It was four hours of hell, but I'd take that over the 19.5 hours I did the first time any day! I had a lot of fears about what could go wrong during delivery or what might be wrong with my baby at birth, but it was all beautiful and perfect, and I feel so fortunate for that.


I love the picture above because I think it shows my utter relief, as well as a special moment between me and Mike. Plus my little purple nugget, of course.


Can you tell I'm amazed by him?


How I feel about having a boy

I was so sure I was going to have two daughters. Long before I even had one daughter, my vision for my family was two girls. I have no idea why, it's just what got caught in my head. So, as I said before, finding out I was going to have a boy was quite a shock. It took me most of the second half of my pregnancy to adjust to the idea. I was not disappointed or upset, but I did have to adjust my personal picture of my future family.

Even after it stopped feeling weird to say "him" and "he," I still couldn't actually picture myself with a son. Part of it, I'm sure, is that all I've ever known is what it is like to have a girl, but the idea of a boy felt very foreign to me. 

That is until he was born.

When I met my son, suddenly it didn't seem strange at all. It felt completely natural and even predestined. It felt unfamiliar to think about having a boy, but it felt completely familiar to have this boy. My boy. My Drummond.




Introducing my baby boy

Sixteen days ago I had a baby. Having a newborn and an almost-three-year-old doesn't leave a lot of time to get on a computer, so this is my first opportunity to introduce you to my son:


Drummond Michael Z-M

He was born November 1, 2015 at 7:33am after a four hour labor (more on that in a later post!). He was 7 lbs 13 oz, and 21 inches long. He was born healthy, and it was a blessedly uncomplicated birth.

Drum is now over two weeks old. A few days ago he weighed in at 8 lbs 4.5 oz, so he's eating and growing well! And I've been feeling decent, as well, which is a big change from my experience when Mo was born. I have a lot to say about my post-partum experience, but that will have to be a later post, too. For now, more pictures.

This is the one I used to introduce him on Instagram:


Mo was interested in her brother for about 30 seconds when she came to the hospital to meet him:


Here he is the first night he was at home:


Mike went back to work this week, and I'm home alone with Drummond, and he's starting to stir from his nap. More later!


An update at 39 weeks

At my 39 week appointment on Tuesday, I got to do a 3D ultrasound. I've always found 3D scans to be a bit creepy, and I would not have opted for one if it cost any extra or required a separate appointment. But my OB does in-office ultrasounds, and they now have a machine that can do 3Ds with the flip of a switch. We've never been able to do it at earlier appointments because he wasn't positioned right or there wasn't enough fluid to make a good image. But on Tuesday everything lined up and she offered to take a quick 3D peek, and I said sure!

Now, if you look too closely, this is creepy. I mean, it looks like he has a bat wing! But in order to get his face in focus, the fore and backgrounds get funky, so that bat wing is his arm and some fluid and whatnot, but I promise he can't actually fly (though he may be nocturnal...). Look at his sweet, little face!

The tech said it looks like he has full lips, and that he looks very content in there. Apparently she was right. I thought he might be here by now, but looks like he's staying put awhile longer.

I met with the doctor after the ultrasound and we discussed induction. I'm scheduled for the morning of my due date, November 4. I still hope he'll come before then, but having something on the calendar and discussing it in real terms actually put my mind at ease a bit. I was dilated to 2-3 centimeters and 50% effaced, and because of that small amount of progress already, she said my options for induction would be either Pitocin or breaking my water, and that it would be discussed the day of depending on how things looked when I went in. I like knowing that there are not a million things up in the air, so even if I have to be induced, I don't have to go into it wondering which of several methods might be used.

Baby Tennis still has five days to show up on his own before it comes to that though. And I thought today might be the day. October 29 was my official guess in my family's baby pool, and yesterday (October 28) I started having some signs of early labor. Early that morning, I had the kind of gassy/crampy sensations that kicked off my labor with Mo, and then I had some other less-pleasant-to-discuss signs (ladies, you know that thing that has a terrible name that you often lose shortly before labor? That.). Around 6pm I started having regular contractions that, over several hours, became pretty regular and frequent. About 6 minutes apart. But they were not painful. Uncomfortable, but not painful. Six hours of contractions that didn't intensify, and I wasn't sure if they were Braxton Hicks that just happened to be regular or if they were real contractions that happened to be mild. 

Turns out it was the former. I went to bed around midnight and within an hour, the contractions had ceased - all but a few sporadic ones. I even fell asleep for a good chunk of the night, and in the morning I wasn't feeling anything at all. Still nothing this afternoon. 

So it looks like my guess will be wrong. There is still time to start labor and give birth before midnight, but it doesn't seem likely. I know it doesn't matter and he'll be here in less than a week regardless, but it was hard to have that tease last night only to turn into nothing. 

Any tips to get things moving again? Things that actually might work? Or maybe ways to help me chill out so I don't go crazy with the anticipation?

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