Friday, March 26, 2010


Just when you think you can't fall any more in love with your husband...

You see him holding your newborn son.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Special Delivery

Ah yes... didn't I claim that I would post all about labor and delivery a number of days ago? Apparently I was still delusional about how much time I would spend taking care of my newborn baby boy. But alas- he is sleeping (for now) and I am somehow awake (for now) so I've run to my trusty old laptop and am hoping to get this post knocked out before he wakes up. Thank goodness I'm a fast typer.

Before I get into all of the fun details, I should start by saying that at the beginning of this process I had very specific plans for the way this baby would come into this world. After meetings with a midwife, I wanted a totally natural birth... no drugs, no epidural, and I would labor at home as long as I possibly could or possibly even have a home birth. Then came the blood clot and boy did things change! I remember being in the hospital back in January and looking at Josh and saying, "Honey, my birth plan is out the window. I'll do whatever it takes to get this baby safely into the world." In so many ways, that clot was the best thing that ever happened to me. I decided from that point on to have an open mind and to be flexible and at the end of this process I am not at all disappointed with the way things went. To me, Jacob's birth was perfect and went exactly as it was supposed to go. And nine days later it already seems like a faraway dream that happened ages ago. I already know that I will do it again someday.

But anyway, at 5:45 pm on Sunday, March 14th Josh and I checked in to the hospital. Being a weekend, we had to check in at the Emergency Room and as they wheeled me out, everyone in the waiting room gave us a round of applause. It was oddly exciting to know that we would go up that elevator as two and come back down as three. When we got to the maternity floor, we learned that we were the only ones there. All was quiet and so we were assigned the biggest room on the floor. Nice! Promptly at 6 pm I began my first dose of Cytotek. For those of you who have ever Googled Cytotek, there is some scary stuff on the Internet about it, but we were assured that it was safe. As I have said in previous posts, we have the utmost trust in our baby doctor and he went about my induction that way because it's the closest to natural labor that you can get when being induced. It's a small tablet that is placed next to the cervix and works to dilate the cervix and stimulate the uterus. It does not require an IV, so I was free to roam around as I pleased for the most part. In total, a person can get 8 doses of Cytotek and they are administered every four hours. After getting a dose, I had to lay down for 2 hours for monitoring and then I could get up for 2 hours and walk around, sit, etc. Because of this (and the fact that I was not dilated at all when we checked in), we knew we were in for a long night full of interuptions, but we were in good spirits. The two of us stayed up until about midnight, walking the halls and playing cards when I wasn't in bed. We were both so excited that we could hardly sleep.

Josh practicing his "excited face" for when the baby gets here.

The next morning, the doctor came in and I was dilated to half a centimeter. Let's just say that I was a wee bit disappointed that after twelve hours and three doses we had gone nowhere. At this time, the doc stripped my membranes, which is basically performing a rough exam to manually dilate the cervix and release the hormones and chemicals that get labor going. For those of you who have had this done, I don't have to tell you how much that hurt! Ouch! But my body was not doing it on its own so I happily obliged. Four hours and another dose later, I was only at a two. It was nearing lunch time and my patience was starting to wear a little bit. I had been having minor contractions, but I was not even at the point where we would have left for the hospital had this been a normal labor that started on its own. Instead of feeling them start and stop, I just felt crampy and there was really no pattern to them. So when the doctor came back in right around lunch time, he stripped my membranes again. Fun times. And this time, my water broke. Most of my readers have already had children, so they can attest to the fact that having your water break is one of the weirdest feelings in the world. I had no clue what had happened! They delivered my lunch right after that happened, but needless to say, I had lost my appetite.

After that, I actually started feeling my contractions. Oh what a difference that bag of water makes! Josh was wonderful through it all and put up with my demands of bringing the fan closer to me and then taking it away when I got the chills. After an hour or so of this, I started getting nauseous and threw up. Lovely. The nurse came to check me before my seventh dose of Cytotek (eight is the max) and I had made it to a whopping four centimeters. At this point, I threw my request of natural all the way out the window and said bring on the petocin! It had been sixteen hours and I wasn't even halfway there. I figured since we were hooking up an IV anyway, I might as well get an epidural since I had heard from friends (and many of you) that it allowed you to take a nap. And since I had been up for most of those sixteen hours and knew that I had to push eventually, I needed that potential nap!
It was not long before the anesthesiologist came into the room and began to get me all set up. One of the nurses sat with me and we breathed through the contractions as he explained to Josh everything he was doing as he put it into my back. Once he was done, the nurse pointed to the monitor and said, "Just think, this is the last one you will feel!" We breathed through that next one and I waited for relief. Then the next one came across the monitor and, well, I felt it, too! So okay, maybe that was the last one. But when I felt the next one, we knew that something wasn't right. The anesthesiologist had gone next door to adminster an epidural for another woman in labor (who arrived after me and delivered before me... not cool!) so we had to wait on him. At this point, the petocin had kicked in full force and the contractions were coming on strong. I was doing okay and getting through them until I started throwing up again. Apparently I'm a puker during labor... who knew! He finally came back, readjusted the epidural and the numbness began to set in. I laid down, relaxed, and waited for the nap that I had been hoping for.

I'm not sure what "booster" he put in my drip, but I did not like it! Every time I started to fall asleep I would jerk myself awake because I felt as if I had stopped breathing. I'm not sure if I actually had stopped breathing (I doubt it), but I called the nurse and told her what was going on. Not only that, but my right side was so incredibly numb that I physically had to pick up my leg to move it and my left leg felt like I thought it should as I could still wiggle my toes and move a bit. The nurses checked my vitals and everything seemed normal, but due to the high risk nature of my pregnancy, the doctor had the nurses turn down my dosage until he could get there to see me. About 20 minutes later, he came in to see me and I was doing a bit better. I still hadn't slept, but my breathing did not feel as labored anymore. I was beginning to feel the contractions on my left side, however, so I asked if I could turn the drip back up or if that would make my right side too numb to push. Since I was at a seven (finally I was getting somewhere), he told me that it was up to us since I had some time before I needed to push.

One of my many failed attempts to nap

It was about 9 pm and he guessed that I would be at 10 centimeters around midnight. If I were to opt to turn up the epidural at this point, it might end up being longer. It looked as if little Jacob would not make his way into this world until March 16th. The doc left to go home again, letting us know that he would be back around twelve, and Josh said that the epidural decision was up to me. Feeling like I still needed that nap, I told him that I would hate to prolong this process any longer (it had already been 27 hours since we started this adventure), but I wanted it turned up. We called the nurse and she came in to give me some sweet relief. I'm not sure what prompted her to look, but before she turned it up she took a look at my back. She said, "I'm not sure how to tell you this, but the epidural is no longer in you." Say what?? I tried to stay calm (well, Josh tried to keep me calm as I had a minor panic attack for a moment) and she went to call the anesthesiologist again. Apparently when he had adjusted it, he forgot to tape it up my back again and somewhere along the line it had fallen out. Because my right side had been so overly numb to start with, I was still feeling the effects of it in that side only, but my left side had already started to wear off completely. Josh helped me relax through the contractions while we waited for him to return. When he finally made an appearance again, the nurses checked me to make sure I was still within that magical epidural window and... I was at a 10! Hallelujah! The good news was that it was time to push, the bad news was that it was too late to readminister my epidural, but I did not care. I had gone from 7 to 10 centimeters in 25 minutes and it was music to my ears! They called the doctor to come back (he had just made it home... again!) and we started to push without him.

I remember looking at the clock when I started pushing and it was 10:05 pm. When the doctor came in I told him that I was not going to push for more than an hour. He told me that it could take much longer than that since this was my first baby, but I was bound and determined to get him out of me within that hour window... the process had been long enough as it was! In my opinion, I would choose pushing over contractions any day! Having a "job" to do kept my mind focused on something other than the pain. I did ask at one point why in the world my left side ached so badly and the doctor told me that at this point I was feeling natural labor on the left side of my body and labor with the aid of an epidural on the right side. Most women have to go through labor twice to know the difference (having one baby with and one without an epidural), but I had a perfect comparison right there in my own body! So maybe I did not have the natural labor I had planned on originally, but half natural isn't half bad if you ask me! At some point during the pushing stage I threw up yet again, but the doctor assured me that this was a good thing and actually aided the process. I looked at the clock and it was 10:03 pm... my hopes of being done in an hour were about to be dashed, but that just refueled me and made me work harder. I told myself I had about three more sets of pushes to go.

When the baby started crowning, Josh suited up and prepared to be the catcher. Since our doctor is so awesome (and since we have a friendship with him that goes beyond just being our doctor), he walked Josh through everything from that point on and let Josh do everything to actually deliver our son. Unfortunately for me, I was in my own little world at this point so I kind of missed seeing Josh's reaction to it all. He caught our little one and cleaned him off a bit, which allowed me to snap back into reality again. As soon as he handed that sweet boy to me, I started bawling and could not believe the overwhelming joy and love that swelled up inside of me. I just kept saying, "Hi baby" and "Hello, little one" over and over again... it was certainly one of the greatest moments of my life and one that I will always cherish and remember. I'm not sure how long he laid on me, but after a little while I reluctantly gave him back to Josh so that he could go with the nurses to get him all cleaned up. Since my epidural was completely gone by this point, I was able to get right up and clean myself up before they came back and before visitors came in to see us.

First family moments... it doesn't get any better than this

We spent that night (obviously since I delivered at 11:20 pm) and the next one in the hospital and just soaked it all in. It was such a sweet time that I would not trade for the world as we spent time with our new family, welcoming visitors when they stopped by. There is no greater feeling in the world than holding your baby for the first time.

On St. Patty's Day we packed up our things and headed home. Part of me was sad to leave the hospital as those two days had been so quiet and peaceful, but we also looked forward to taking our son home. I rode in the back seat (as most new moms do I'm sure) and Josh drove the speed limit as we now had precious cargo in the vehicle. It was the perfect spring day, made even better by our new sweet little one.

I can't say that I'm ready to go through it all again any time soon, especially since we are having way too much fun getting to know this little guy, but I do know that it's an experience that I will look forward to in the future. Josh was wonderfully supportive and I have never experienced anything like it in my life. I have heard that loving your child can be a form of worship and after this first week home, I finally understand what that means. The entire labor and delivery process and every day after it has made me understand God's love for us. And that love is one that gets bigger everyday. I am so in love that I can hardly stand it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Nine months of wondering what this little man would look like (although now that I'm looking at this picture I'm wondering how my poor back handled that load)...

Resulted in this!

Jacob Stephen Mauney
March 15, 2010
11:20 PM
8 lbs, 10 oz.
21 1/2 inches long
It was love at first sight.

I'm hoping to catch up on some blog posts today... labor and delivery, the first few days home, and all that fun stuff. I have a whole new respect for moms who blog now... those priorities change quickly, don't they? But until then, just know that I'm enjoying our first week home and soaking up every minute.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The waiting game...

For awhile I couldn't stop cleaning. I organized closets, rearranged drawers, and tackled areas of the house that most people will never see. Nesting is a very real, and somewhat scary phenomenon. After that I focused on packing for the hospital. I did not want to pack too much but wanted to make sure that I had all of the necessities (including waterproof mascara, which held up the entire operation for about a week since I had to run out and buy a new tube) so that process took a couple of weeks. The bag now lives in the car and is ready to go. Then I washed every single baby item, even the ones that I'm not sure needed washing, and put things away. The baby room is now completely set up and ready to go. So now... we just wait.

Our due date is still set at March 22nd and we will still be induced this week as I am now officially at 39 weeks. It felt like this week would never get here! Even though we've been anxious, I never really expected to go any earlier than my induction date since kids in this family tend to come late. But now that it's all coming to an end, I can't help but feel mixed emotions. For nine months this little one has been solely in my care. I've felt every bump, every kick, and every roll that sometimes seemed to crush my ribcage. I've talked to my belly, rubbed it constantly, and in some ways it now feels like it's a part of me. And even though I'm ecstatic that I now get to share him with my husband, a part of me doesn't want to share him with anyone else! However, I've spent every night for the past few weeks imagining his sweet face, wondering what he's going to look like and what he's going to grow up to be, and completely overwhelmed by how much love this heart already feels for him. Women always say that it's a love you don't understand until you have your own child, and I'm already beginning to see how true that is. And at some point this week, I will understand it even more. Oh how blessed we truly are!

This will probably be my last post for awhile, or at least until we are home from the hospital with the little one, so please be patient as I am not sure what day that will be. And if any of you know how to fast forward the whole labor part of this deal and magically get this kid out of me without having to go through it, please comment and tell me your secret!


Induction is a blessing and a curse. In many ways, I really like knowing that the end is near, but I also know that the fun part called "labor" is right around the corner. So like many other women before me who have no idea what to expect, here are the crazy things I've been telling myself over the past couple of weeks:
  • It can't be that bad, can it? I mean, if it were so terrible women would not be willing to do it multiple times.
  • I can totally do this. I'm pretty athletic and flexible, so this will be a piece of cake.
  • It's just like a marathon I'm sure. There will be a point when I want to quit and then I'll get over it. If I can run 26.2 miles for a shiny piece of metal, surely I can give birth to end up with a baby.
  • My guess is that I'm probably one of those genetically strange women who won't really feel contractions. The nurses and doctors will all be amazed by my smooth and easy labor.
  • My body was made to do this. I probably won't even have to do any work at all.
  • It's only 24-hours of my life... it will all be over before I even realize it began.
I told my doctor at my last appointment about these rosy colored thoughts and he replied that it was a very nice place for me to be. And then he said, "in the next week, however, I do want you to prepare yourself with some more realistic expectations. Labor will become the new benchmark for all pain that you will feel from here on out in your life." Oh the slap of reality. I think I'll stay in my happy place, thank you very much. So here's to every woman's famous last words... how bad can it be??? I guess I'll find out soon!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to...

My Big Sister, Angie! With all of these birthdays in a row I am going to have to start coming up with creative titles instead of using the same one over and over again!

But anyway, I realize that I have 2 big sisters, but as the eldest (ha!) I've always looked up to Angie in so many ways. She was always the "cool" sister (no offense, Mindy) and played sports, had neat friends, and was just a lot of fun to be around. Yep, I spent most of my young life wanting to be just like her, and in many ways, I still think that's true. Afterall, she's now an awesome mom who does a great job raising her kids, still manages to do stuff for herself such as playing on various softball leagues and spending lots of time with friends, and finds happiness no matter what the situation or circumstance. She's pretty special that one. My favorite thing about her though is when she starts laughing so hard that she just can't stop, which makes everyone else laugh, too. Tears will be rolling down her face and she'll complain that her "cheeks hurt," and it is always contagious. I have so many memories of these moments, but for the life of me I can rarely remember how we started laughing in the first place. So happy birthday, sis, and thanks for...

Being the best Matron of Honor a gal could ask for,
Giving great advice and always being a good listener,

Producing two of the cutest, silliest, most fun boys that we have the privilege of being an aunt and uncle to,

Being up for anything, not matter how wacky the idea,

And as I mentioned, before... always making me laugh. So as a gift to you, I am going to post a picture that I know will make HER laugh even though it pains me to do so. You see, a few years back I went camping with her family and was in charge of being the s'more artist. The boys would bring me their marshmallows and I would sandwich them between the graham cracker and the chocolate. I tried to play it off that I wasn't sampling in between, but the next day when we looked at the photos in the daylight, the evidence proved otherwise.

So I hope that makes you smile today, Angie. You deserve it! We love you so much and will see you next week!

Which remind me... the next birthday post that I will get to do will be for our Little Baby Jake... due any day now! I certainly look forward to that one!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to...

My favorite red-head!

Many people in this world have sisters, but I'm fortunate to be best friends with mine! Even though she's still in Florida, I had the gift of 5 wonderful years living right around the corner from her and I wouldn't trade them for the world. Mindy is one of the most thoughtful, genuine, kind, quirky (in a good way) people that I know and I am blessed beyond belief to have her in my life. She's a phone call away and is there for me anytime I need her. Not only that, but she's more of a sister to my husband than he could ever ask for. Unfortunately I don't have any embarrassing pictures of her growing up to post (although I should do an entire post on great hair-moments in history of this woman!) but I do have a few favorite things about her to share.

So first off... I love that we can be silly together and that she is as much of a Disney maniac as I am.
She's pretty darn intimidating when she wants to be

Her behavior is sometimes inexplicable, which makes her very funny

She's a great party planner

And I love that we got to experience pregnancy together

And that we could both sport cute little bumps

And mostly, I love knowing that if she could do it, I can, too. And that she's going to be a great mommy to my nephew.

Mindala, we miss you dearly and hope to see you very soon.

Now I need to go dig up some photos for the other sister tomorrow... I love that I get to do these two posts back-to-back. Very convenient, ladies!

Oh, and I guess I should mention that it's Teeny's birthday, too... the red heads have to stick together I guess. Have a happy birthday!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dog For Sale

One naughty shiba inu for sale- free or best offer. Likes to run away. Loves to look at you like you're crazy when you scream and yell for her to come back. Will make you look like an idiot in front of your neighbors. There is nothing like feeling like a complete moron who is incapable of controlling an inferior creature.

Sure, Teeny has run away before. Usually she runs to the neighbor's yard or down the street and then she comes back.... not because I call her and she listens, but because she is done exploring. First it was for five minutes, then maybe fifteen, and at the worst it was an hour. I was a wreck during that hour, but old faithful came back home eventually. I used to run after her and then eventually resorted to hopping in the car and trying to follow her as she likes to "go for a ride" and will usually jump in. But last night, at 9:30 pm, this 9-month pregnant mommy wasn't having it. I was done. Besides, she bolted so quickly that I couldn't even see where she went (which was a first... usually she sticks to the same path). So a half hour went by and I was fine. I was sure she'd be back soon. Then another hour passed with no sign of her and I really wanted to go to bed. I went to the back yard, whistled a few times, and did not see or hear her anywhere. Fine, have it your way, I thought. Let's see how well you handle sleeping outside.

So into bed I climbed. All was well until Josh said something totally unrelated to the dog and all of my pregnancy hormones took over in full effect. "The... dog... ran... away" I managed between sniffles. "I... hate... her... so much." I sobbed. Josh offered to go look for her, but I told him not to because I wouldn't even know where to begin to look. She could've been miles from home by then.

Somehow I managed to fall asleep, but between not sleeping well anyway due to the bowling ball I swalled and knowing that my dog was out wandering the streets, it wasn't very restful.

Then... I heard it. Barking. Lots of barking. And then Minnie heard it and ran downstairs. She was back! I glanced at the clock and saw that it was two in the morning! That dumb animal had been running amok for four and a half hours!!! Of course I let her back inside, but then what? Do I kill her? Reward her for coming back even though she worried her mama sick for hours on end? Tie her up and make her sleep outside? Since I was half asleep and had zero energy, I just opened the door, let her in, and went back to bed. Way to be the alpha. It's no wonder she doesn't listen to me.

I wish I didn't love that stupid animal so much. I really do mean it when I say that I hate her because every time she bolts on me, I really do. There is a voice in my head that tells me that it would serve her right if something happened to her. Then, as we found out last night, there's the outpour of tears that tell me that despite her naughty behavior, I love that dumb animal. I can't even imagine how much stronger that love is going to be when it's my own child... it's terrifying and exciting at the same time. And there is no way I'm running after that animal with an infant at home.

So maybe I'm not entirely serious about giving away the dog, but what I can say is this: my mom is coming this week and if she runs away again, there will be a dog in her suitcase on the way home. She's the only person in this world who loves that naughty animal just as much as I do!

**And just as an update (as of 3:15 pm on Tuesday, March 9th), she has escaped once again and is currently roaming the neighborhood. I'm officially back to hating that stupid dog again.***

Friday, March 5, 2010

Showers of Happiness

Somehow in the hustle and bustle of getting ready for baby, I never got around to posting pictures from our wonderful shower! We had originally planned on having it at the youth building at church, but after the great blood clot debacle of 2010 we did not know if and when I would be back on my feet. So... we moved it to our house just in case I was still on bed rest! The good news is that I was up and moving at 100% by then, but we just decided to keep it here as to not change the location again. Let me just say that having a house full of 50+ women was more fun and special than I could ever imagine! It was a day full of smiles, laughter, games, great food, and more love than Josh or I even knew what to do with. Our Crossroads family has become the biggest blessing and has exceeded our wildest expectations. For as much as we (and by 'we' I mostly mean 'Josh') put into this ministry in terms of time, relationship building, and love, we are rewarded ten-fold. Small Town, Illinois truly is home and this baby has more women vying for his attention then he's going to know what to do with! Thank you to all of our Morrison Crossroads family for an incredible day and for all of the gifts! After the shower we are officially stocked and as ready as we're going to be! Now all we need is baby!

The "spread"... yummy!

Thanks to Deb for my amazing monkey cakes!

GIFT TIME! I loved these handmade booties!

I clearly have a few things to learn about mommyhood. I seem to be perplexed by this rubber ducky! We're in trouble.

The gift we've been waiting for! THANK YOU, Connie, for the incredible quilt. It turned out so beautiful and this will be in the family forever! This one got a round of applause when I opened it.

Seriously? Is my belly really THAT BIG???

Yeah okay, maybe it is. Someone needs to lay off the cupcakes!

The cameraman and his apprentice. Josh loved having a houseful of women!

Thanks to my fabulous hostesses! Katie... you're next!

Alright Jake, we're just waiting on you now, buddy!

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's March...

which means we will be meeting the little one soon! Am feeling so blessed.