Friday, December 7, 2007

2 months already

We had Jackson's 2 month check up and first round of shots the other day

The check up went great - we have a fabulous pediatrician. Jackson continues to be an amazingly healthy boy and has reached all of his developmental milestones - most sooner than expected. He weighed 13 lbs 6 oz and is 24 in long... that's 5 lbs and 4 inches in two months. We're so proud of him.

The shots were horrible (more for me than him). That pitiful scream is the worst. Ben handed him to me after the shots and he just looked at me like "how could you let them do that to me?!" Ugh - I asked the dr beforehand if I could just be a hippie mom and refuse the shots and he said no and laughed...little did he know, I wasn't really joking... Unfortunately, we have several more rounds of those shots to go. It's like a double edged sword with immunizations - if I refuse the shots and he gets sick then I'm a bad mom and feel horrible and if I allow them to give him the shots and he has a reaction to them then I am a horrible mom and feel guilty... So, after praying about it, God gave us a peace about getting the shots and here we are. Jackson did well though and slept them off and is back to his normal sweet self again... He's such a big boy and I can't believe how fast he's growing. Hope everyone else is doing well.

From Two Months!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I know why they call it "labor"

Well...our lives are forever changed - Jackson was born at 12:02 pm on Monday, October 1st. Everyone is wanting to know the story so here goes:

I woke up at 3 am Sunday morning with some 'painful' contractions. I hadnt had many contractions before so it was weird that I could actually feel these. I waited until about 5 am before allowing myself to realize that this might be the real thing since they hadnt let up. They were coming every 10 minutes and were, I'll say uncomfortable bc I now know what REAL PAIN is. I called my dr at 9 am and he told me to go to the hospital when they were 5 min apart for an hour. Ben and I went for a morning walk and did some stuff with my mom around the house and around 4 pm decided to go ahead and head into town since they had been five min apart for a few hours. We got to the hospital and praise the Lord my doctor was on call and was actually already at the hospital. He checked me and I was 2 cm dilated and 90% effaced which is a miracle bc the monday before I was completely closed and nothing! He decided to admit me even though the nurse didnt think I needed to stay (she was not my favorite) but only after I walked the floor for an hour. The contractions started getting pretty painful but I couldnt get any medicine or an epidural until I was 4 cm. FINALLY at 11 pm I was 4 cm and they called the anesthesiologist... WE LOVE HIM. Before going into labor I was so scared of that epidural but not after feeling that pain. It sucked. I was then told to "get some rest" - yeah right... even though I was pain free (numb) I was still concerned about Jackson. The nurse mentioned that his heart beat was dipping slightly with each contraction so any time I was having a contraction I would watch the monitor to see if his heart was ok. I kept being told that if it continued or got worse we'd have to have a c-section... my worst nightmare! My theory was that the monitor shifted when I was contracting and that's why it seemed as though his heart rate was dropping even though he was fine. She kept checking me with no changes. At 3 am I was 4-5 and then at 3:45 she came in to check again and I was at 6! wooohooo. She came back at 4:30 and I was at 7. She then tells me that we'll probably have this baby around 7 am. I super excited and now I really can't sleep. Well, she comes back and checks me and checks me and checks me and every time I'm still budging. She then tells me again how I'll have to have a c-section if I dont progress. Around 6 am I start feeling some pressure in my stomach again when I'm having contractions but I dont want to say anything bc I'm thinking that I can handle it and that maybe the epidural wearing off will speed up my labor. Boy was I ever WRONG. My dr comes in at 7:15 and breaks my water to try and help me along and then the real pain starts up. My contractions are now a min apart and 2 min long and I CAN FEEL THEM. It was seriously the worst pain of my life. I call for the nurse and tell her that she has to get someone in here NOW... well - the dr is in surgery and I have to wait for him to get out. I wait over 45 min with contractions that registered off of the paper - it was horrible. I was crying and writhing around - just pitiful. I wanted to die. You know how they ask you to rate your pain "1 being nothing and 10 being the worst of your life" yeah, now I know what a 10 is. When that dr walked in with his big pain easing needle the clouds parted and the angels were singing - he's my best friend by the way. Ok, back to the progression. At 10 am I was at 8 and then by 11 I was 9 and by 1120 I was complete and ready to push! Thank goodness bc the numbing shot was wearing off again. My legs were completely numb just not the part that mattered! My sweet wonderful nurse (we're on nurse 3 now) asked me if I could wait for my dr to start pushing and I said no and she said 'Ok, well let's get started then' God bless her. We started pushing a little after 11:30 and at 12:02 Jackson was born. He was so perfect and weighed 8 lbs 6 oz and was 20 in long. According to my dr's timeline he was 6 days early but was on his 'due date' according to his 20 wk ultrasound. Ben was an amazing coach and is an amazing dad - I couldn't ask for a better husband! Oh and my mom actually stayed in the room when I had Jackson. She was over in her own corner but let's be honest that's a big deal. She was a wonderful support and I'm really thankful she was there.

We absolutely adore him and he is such a good baby. He rarely ever cries. He doesnt even cry when he's wet or dirty - I have to constantly check him! Feeding has been a struggle but I think we're getting the hang of it. Thanks to everyone who has been checking on us. We love ya'll and we are so happy to finally be a family of three : )

Oh, and here are the latest pictures of Jackson:

From Jackson II

- Bethany

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


It's still hard for me to get my mind around this, but at 12:02 PM, October 1st (on his due date) Jackson Benjamin McGhehey made his entry into the world. He weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and he is 20 inches long. We are so happy, exhausted, overwhelmed etc. but also extremely thankful that it went as smoothly as it did. We give all the credit to God- he turned a scary night into an almost perfect delivery. I'm too tired to write much about the process, but I will write more later on. In the mean time, here are some pictures.

From Jackson

Friday, September 21, 2007

Let the countdown begin...

Historically, countdowns begin with know 10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - .... well - that's exactly where we are today...only 10 days to go. Ummm...what? How can there only be ten days left until my due date? I know that I will go past my due date since I am a first timer and that's fine by me...well as long as we dont go too long past my due date. There is a difference in being fashionably late and just plain rude! Regardless, the fact that he COULD come in ten days or less is a little overwhelming (oh where are those crazy breathing exercises when you need them?)

I was telling Ben the other day how crazy all of this seems since we are coming toward the end. I mean, there have been so many milestones along this journey that have kept my attention diverted from the actual due date that it seems weird to not have many left. There have been so many things that I have been able to tell myself will have to happen before I 'can' have Jackson. For one, we have our family shower tomorrow and I was told not to have him before then or it would be 'faux pas'. :) lol - well as long as I can make it through today then we'll be good on that one. Next is the fact that I needed to finish my internship so that I would not have to go back to work at all once Jackson arrives. Well, as of today I am only 9 hours shy of being finished and have a few feedback sessions set up for next week that will more than cover these hours. What am I going to do then? These were my last two things that 'had to get done' before he could get here... Once they are gone and past we will just be sitting and waiting on him and THEN it is going to sink in and I might have a slight panic attack. I'm going to be someones mom - how scary is that? Who would give me such responsibility?? I can't think about it or I'll drive myself crazy with worry.

I think I'm still in denial about the whole birthing process - I'm pretty sure the stork bringing him to my doorstep is a much better plan than the pain and agony that delivery will bring. Ugh - like I said before - that's a post for a different time and different day. Like Scarlett said in Gone with the Wind - I can't think about that right now...I'll think about it tomorrow.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

always a blessed house

There is something to be said about the peace that only God can give. In church or in prayer circles we are constantly praying for "God's Peace over them" or the "Peace and Grace to deal with this situation". We pray for it so often that I don't think we realize the magnitude of actually receiving God's peace and grace. When we face tough situations and are consumed with fear and shame and guilt there is no price that can be put on God's peace.

Ben and I have gone through so many things in our relationship and every single trial has brought us closer to each other and closer to God. Our current situation is no different. I'm a worrier; anyone who knows me will confirm this. I worry about little things, silly things, things that may never even come to light - why am I not worried about this? Why am I strangely calm and completely at peace with our situation? The only answer I can come up with is that God is holding me...holding Ben. What an amazing God we have. We have so many what-ifs ahead of us and honestly, that should freak me out - but what do I feel instead? I feel excited - I feel rejuvenated - I feel completely comfortable exactly where I am and with exactly where we are going.

Where is this place we are going? What is going to happen in the next few months? Weeks? Days? I don’t know, I honestly have no idea - but I'm ok with it. I have never been so grateful to be exactly where I am than I am right now.

I have an amazing husband, who makes me even more proud to be his wife with every day that passes - this experience is no different. Ben makes me want to be a better person and he teaches me something new each day. I'm so amazed at how he is handling all of this - never skipping a beat. Instead of falling down (as no one would blame him for doing) he is taking every advantage of this situation. He is so positive and so Godly, actively seeking His will for our lives regardless of what that may be. I really am humbled by him and hope that I can provide the same strength for him that he does for me. Ben is one of my greatest blessings.

We have so much to be thankful and joyful for. I have an amazingly healthy pregnancy and child that will soon be gracing us with his much desired presence. I have amazing family, amazing friends and most of all an amazing God. What an awesome God we serve that He would carry us through our storms.

This seems to be the lesson that God is trying to teach all of us lately - it has been the theme of so many lives this year and we are no exception. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mississippi and the Grace of God

A little something I wrote after last weekend's trip to Oxford...

Bethany cried because she just missed it that much. We were sitting in Taylor Grocery, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant about thirty minutes south of Oxford, waiting on our catfish dinners when I first noticed the tears.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“I just miss it”

“This is your home, isn’t it?”

She nodded her head and dabbed at her eyes. Moments before, an elderly man clothed in gray coveralls and a well-worn hat emblazoned with a CAT logo had shuffled up to the table next to us holding tired fiddle; they both looked as though they had seen better days. After he coaxed it through a melody none of us knew, we applauded his effort and he grinned a toothless smile. Through the mournful refrain of the fiddle, she saw her Granddaddy, the one I heard so much about, the one who also played the fiddle, the one who always had a quick smile and a good story. She saw her early years, spent surrounded by family and friends, and rooted deep in the Mississippi way of life. She saw her life the way it had been, the way it could have been- if things hadn’t changed.

Suddenly, I realized that this was more than a place. It was more than just a state on her birth certificate. It was more than a school she had attended. This was the only home she had ever known. It was always tucked away deep inside her heart- through all the moves and all the changes, across continents, states, and schools- this was her home and it would always be. This was her beloved Mississippi.

I looked around the restaurant and began to understand what set this place apart in her memory. Big round tables covered in red-checked tablecloths held plates of piping hot fried catfish and hushpuppies and sweating glasses of sweet tea. Families and friends gathered around swapping stories and letting their children dance in the floor to the homespun music of the house band. These people trusted one another, loved one another and were overly welcoming to those of us who chanced to visit their charitable domain. Never before had I set foot in the place, yet I felt more at home than ever.

From Oxford Trip

We’re all from somewhere; most of us even point to a place on the map we call home. I was born in Arkansas, and that’s just how it is. That’s where my parents happened to be living at the time of my birth. These folks were Mississippi born and they’ll tell you that it was because of the grace of God. That’s how they see it. I can’t say I blame them. Sitting at the table that night, I wished I was born there too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Our Poem

I think every couple has a poem. They should, anyway. We have a song, a drink, a place, even a year, but it wasn't until recently that we had a poem. We wanted to share it with you- it's an old one, but it has become even more beautiful with time.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

by e. e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

"i carry your heart with me(i carry it in". Copyright 1952, �© 1980, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust, from Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage.

Monday, August 20, 2007

So he hoofed and he poofed...

We have our last childbirth class tonight and I'm kinda sad - everything seems to be wrapping up. Ben and I were so excited when we found out we were pregnant - we honestly did not think we would be for a long time. This journey has been so exciting and utterly breathtaking at times (mostly bc I get jabbed in organs that are never meant to be poked and must therefore catch my breath!) At first it was so exciting telling people that we were expecting. Then my thoughts turned to "oh dear Lord I am so tired I want to crawl up and sleep on that rock" and I could have if someone would have let me - there is no way to ever explain the exhaustion that comes in your first trimester! Next was the countdown to the second trimester because I was told my morning sickness would go away (all day sickness is more like it!) then 'are we having a boy or a girl?' to our 4d ultrasound to our childbirth classes to the sit and wait until birth. With all of those milestones behind us, I guess I just dont want it to be over and I know that with every day that comes is another day closer to this all being over. Now, dont get me wrong - I'm so excited about having him (well not 'having' him - that's a different blog for a different day!) and I can't wait to meet him but there is something amazing about this 'being pregnant' thing. I love it and I know that Ben and I will have more children if for no other reason but to feel this way again!

So back to my original thought (I'm pretty sure I have adult onset add) Our last class is tonight and we are talking about postpartum and newborn care. Last week we saw a c-section and epidurals - no thank you to either one right now although I know everyone reading this thinks I'm crazy for even thinking I dont want an epidural :) Oh and I wish I had my camera! Last week, in a very dramatic demonstration, Ben was the 'mom' giving birth by c-section. you should have seen his 'husband' - a 300 lb black man - it was all so beautiful. LOL. Ben will kill me for posting this. I guess what I'm trying to say is, this experience has been amazing and I never thought it was possible to love Ben more than I do right now - he is the most amazing husband and will be the most amazing dad - Jackson sure is lucky. Ben has been at every appointment, every childbirth class (even participating as the mom in a skit - if ya'll know ben..this is not his usual 'thing') he has gone to the store anytime I have needed anything, rubbed my back, played with my hair...wait - now I know why I don't want this pregnancy to be over - I'M QUEEN OF THE WORLD!!! ok, back to reality. Ben is one of my greatest blessings and I can only hope that everyone has someone that makes them feel as special and as loved as Ben makes me feel.

I needed to get this into writing while I was still semi-sane so anyone who can hear me yelling at ben when he tries to 'coach' me through those awful breathing exercises during labor can refer back to this and remind me of how 'in love' I was just a short time before...


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Needles to Say...

“So this tube thing gets left inside your spine…”

Something’s not right. This person I never met wants my wife to hunch up her back like a cat and let him stick a needle the size of a PVC pipe into her spine? But it’s okay, the teacher assures me, they’ll only leave the small metal tube sticking out. Yikes! I’m getting squirmy in my chair just thinking about it.

We’re on week three of our one-night-a-week, four week childbirth class and tonight’s topic is Epidural procedures.

All of the veteran women in the classroom nod their heads and affirm that the Epidural was the best thing they ever did, but I’m still not convinced. The list of possible side effects reads more like a major surgery disclaimer than a ‘simple procedure’. Nerve damage, brain damage (WHAT??), paralysis, dural puncture, cardiac arrest. Did I miss something? I thought this was supposed to help. This is my wife and baby we’re talking about; my fledgling fatherhood instincts are beginning to kick in.

It seems like each week of this class, the outlook becomes grimmer. Horror stories, painful/gross videos, the passing around of medical instruments that will be used to bring my son into this world that look as though they could double as prison-camp torture tools. How is this helping me? Oh yeah, breathing exercises, *deep breath, release, deep breath, release, hoo hee hoo hee hoo hee…*

Ok, I’m better now.

In the midst of all of the talk of poking, cutting, pulling, sucking, I had a sobering thought: My mother must have really loved me to go though all of this for me. Watching Bethany face this with such courage has given me an even greater admiration for her. She has more courage in her little finger than I have in my entire body. One look at those epidural needles would make we want to forget the whole thing and just look into adoption, but not her. She’s known all along, and it never fazes her. That’s a mother’s love. The way my mother loved me and your mother loved you- we all have that debt that we can never repay. So, if you’re reading this and you are a mom. Thank you. Just in case your kids never tell you- you have my admiration.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Hotter than a pepper sprout...

Ben and I love the song "Jackson" by Johnny Cash and June Carter... we sing it all the time and even more so since we found out we were having a little boy. I know the song is not about a person - it's about a city... Jackson, Ms... Yay, we love mississippi too! Especially me since it is, in fact, the mother land :) We just love anything that reminds us of our little man...our little 'pepperjack'. Here is my favorite picture from Jackson's 4D ultrasound...something about that little face, what can I say... I'm in love.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Starting Out

Blogs seem so presumptuous to me. They always have. Perhaps it’s due to the hundreds of self-absorbed writers with whom I rubbed shoulders on a daily basis while in college.

In case you never take a class in creative writing, this is the drill:

- Get a writing prompt
- Go home and write
- Bring your writing back to class
- Exchange with others
- Go home and read the other person's work
- Critique what you read
- Return to class and share critique

And that’s pretty much it. Now, think of all the writer/artist types you knew or encountered in college- are you getting an image? Ok, now think about the kind of stuff those people talk about (e.g. How stupid Republicans are, how great homosexuality is, how cool Transformers are, the wrongness of the war, etc). Now, that’s what I had to read all the time. Now, I have nothing against the creative types, don’t get me wrong. I am one, after all. It’s just that we tend to have an inflated opinion of our own work. Blogs seem presumptuous because the very concept of a blog implies that people out there want to read what I have to say. That’s hard for me to believe.

Now, that being said, this is our blog. We started it to keep everyone posted on our new addition, Jackson Benjamin, due in October. There will be some random postings, pictures, and interesting links. Bethany and I both spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet (we both have jobs that allow require it), so we should be able to keep it very up to date.

Come back soon and often.