Monday, February 27, 2012

Amelia Jean: The Birth Story

Around 2am on February 23, 2012, I started feeling some pretty consistent contractions. I opened up the contraction counter on my cellphone and headed to the living room to rest on the couch and monitor the contractions. The doctor told us that once the contractions get 5 minutes apart and last for 2 hours, then call labor and delivery. After about an hour on the couch, the contractions weren't getting any easier so I decided to run a warm bath and try to get some relief. The contractions didn't slow up so when Jason woke up to go to work at 5:00am, we made the decision to call labor and delivery. Labor and delivery said to come in to the hospital to be examined because I could be in labor. Immediately, I started crying. I'm not sure why but I got scared, nervous and had to have a little cry before packing up the car and heading to the hospital. As soon as I was able to get my crying self under control, I called my mom and told her to get on a plane ASAP. It was 4:00am in Missouri and I was surprised at how alert and excited she was when I told her I was heading to the hospital.
We got to the hospital, parked in the garage and carried all of our bags to the labor and delivery ward. Once we got situated and hooked up to the monitors, the doctor came in and did an exam. I hadn't progressed from my last doctors appointment (2cm dialated and 50% effaced) so she recommended that I walk the hospital and try to speed up the process. If nothing happened after a 2 hour time period, then she would send me home because I was in 'active' labor. Well, after 2 hours, I didn't progress BUT I was showing some signs of pre-eclampsia (feet were swelling, protein in my urine and high blood pressure). After some bloodwork, they decided to keep me in the hospital and induce labor. Me and Jason just looked at each other and knew that we wouldn't be leaving the hospital without a baby in our arms. Once they knew I was staying in the hospital, I was hooked up to an IV, started on Oxytocin and given a foley bulb catheter to speed up the dialation of my cervix. With all the medicine used to induce labor, my contractions really started picking up intensity. By this point it was 2:00pm and I was ready to get the epidural going. My mom was on a flight to Harrisburg and was expected to land at 2:30pm so I knew that I wanted to the get the epidural going before she arrived at the hospital. I was able to get a hold of the anesthesiologist and get the epidural going by the time my mom arrived. The next few hours were pretty calm--the epidural was amazing so I didn't feel any of the contractions, other than pressure. Around 4:00pm, I felt a warm sensation. Since I couldn't really feel my legs, I kept asking the nurse how I would know when I had to go to the bathroom. They were pumping me full of fluids and having me drink constantly so I wanted to make sure that I would be able to empty my bladder. Well...when I felt the warm gush of fluid I was pretty sure that I just peed myself in front of my husband and my mom. I should give myself a little more credit than that (HA) because I didn't pee myself, my water broke. As soon as I learned it was amniotic fluid, I started panicking. The color of the fluid wasn't normal...it had a greenish/blackish color to it. I've read enough books on this so I knew that it was meconium, which can cause some serious issues if the delivery isn't handled correctly. The nurse explained to me that because Amelia had gone to the bathroom already that it put the delivery at high-risk. The NICU team would need to be present during delivery to ensure that she didn't aspirate any of the fluid. The team would need to suck out her mouth before she started crying or she would need some special treatments/tests. Hearing this news made my heart sink in my chest. I knew I was in good hands but I still didn't want anything to happen to my sweet little girl. Around 5:30pm, we realized that we needed to send someone home to feed the dogs and give Muzzy his seizure medication. My mom and Jason's aunt ran to the house to take care of the dogs for us...labor was going so slow so there was no need for everyone to sit around all night and me not progress. Around 6:00pm, the nurse came into the room to perform another exam to see how much I progressed, if any. I usually got checked every 2 hours so after hearing the same thing each time, I was expecting anything different for the 6:00 check. Little did I know, but I was dialated to 10 cm and Amelia was as low as she could get. She informed me that I was ready to push and welcome our little girl into the world. OH MY GOODNESS...my mom is at the house taking care of the dogs! All I could think was that she made the flight to get out to Pennsylvania and she was going to miss the birth!! We made a phone call, informed them of my progress and told them to get back as soon as possible. They were actually parking in the garage so it didn't take too long for them to get up to the labor/delivery room.
The doctor came in, got me ready and explained to me what exactly I would need to do to see our little girl. After one good push, the nurse let me feel Amelia's head coming out and it gave me the motivation to really bear down and push out my angel. It took about 6-7 minutes of pushing (4 sets of 3 pushes each) and she arrived. Hearing her cry, after they sucked out her mouth, was the sweetest sound I've ever heard. Daddy and mommy's eyes filled with tears when we finally got to see her! Seeing her after waiting for 9 months was so surreal...so amazing!
Amelia didn't aspirate any amniotic fluid, thank God, and she was born a healthy little girl on February 23rd at 7:06pm.We were madly in love with our sweet little girl from the first second we saw her! I can already tell that this next chapter of our lives is going to be so sweet!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

She's Here!

Amelia Jean Conway was born in Hershey, Pennsylvania on February 23, 2012 at 7:06pm. She was 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 21 inches long.
Daddy, Mommy and Amelia are doing great! We are beyond blessed, beyond in love and beyond excited to start this new chapter in our lives.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bump Updates: Week 40

Here is the bump update for week 40 (it's a different pose this week because this was the last belly picture taken before Amelia arrived)....
How far along? 40 weeks (Wednesday, February 22, 2012)
How big is the baby? The size of a watermelon, a slightly bigger watermelon than last week!
Sleep? YEAH RIGHT! I'm up every hour to either go to the bathroom or to flip over to the non-numb hip. Sleep has been extremely rare this week!
Food Cravings? I've actually been eating more like "pre-pregnant" Ashley this week. I guess there isn't very much room in there for food so my cravings have definitely calmed down.
Gender? It's a GIRL...Amelia Jean
Best moment this week? Having my last doctors appointment, hearing my sweet baby's heartbeat, feeling her kick and knowing that I will have her in my arms in 7 days or less.
Development? Amelia is as developed as she could possibly get. She has cooked for the full 40 weeks and she is ready for her debut. Her brain kept growing this week but all the other systems are developed and ready to work outside of the womb.
Noteables? We scheduled an induction for Tuesday, February 28th just in case she doesn't come before then.Grandma Reta is on official baby watch...as soon as something happens, then she's on her way!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Last Doctors Appointment

This morning at 8:30am, I had my last doctors appointment for this pregnancy. I can't believe that 40 weeks has come and gone. Time has gone by so fast but yet so slow....if that even makes sense.
I was nervous walking into the office this morning because I didn't know what to expect. I planned out all the questions that I had, expectations and how I would respond in different scenarios..weird, I know.
After the basic questions, she performed her exam and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Amelia is measuring perfectly at 39.5 weeks, her heartbeat was still in the 150s, my cervix is dilated to 2 centimeters, my cervix is 50% effaced (thinned out) and she could feel her head! She said I'm making great progress for this being my first pregnancy!
The doctor even gave me an induction date of Tuesday, February 28th just in case Amelia doesn't come before then. I don't really like the idea of evicting my sweet little girl BUT this mama is ready and just having a date set will really help improve my mood, my attitude and my daily routine.
The appointment ended and I felt a huge sigh of relief as I walked to check out...I made it. No more appointments, no more weigh ins, no more peeing in a cup! We're still playing the waiting game but just knowing that our little girl only has a maximum 7 days before we get to see her is an amazing feeling.
I'm hoping that the new moon tonight, with its gravitational pull, really encourages Amelia to come before her eviction notice! Stay tuned...we're getting closer!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bump Updates: Week 39

Here is the bump update for week 39....
How far along? 39 weeks and 3 days (Saturday, February 18, 2012)
How big is the baby? The size of a watermelon, a slightly bigger watermelon than last week!
Sleep? Jason has been on night shift all week so I've had the whole bed to spread out in. I had a few nights were the sleep was amazing...I woke up feeling like a whole new person! There were also a few nights were no matter how many times I tossed and turned, I couldn't get comfy!
Food Cravings? Nothing in particular this week. I ate my fair share of chocolate, cereal and sub sandwiches. I guess I just combined all the previous weeks into this one.
Gender? It's a GIRL...Amelia Jean
Best moment this week? Knowing that we only have a handful of days left until our little girl is here. The longest it could possibly be would be 14 days (42 weeks-induction), which isn't that long in the big picture. I definitely don't want to wait that long but we'll see what the doctor has to say at my next appointment.
Development? Nothing extremely new to report this week. Amelia's brain weighs about 14 ounces right now and is continuing to grow until she makes her arrival. Her skin has also gone from pink to white and then after she is born her pigmentation will occur. She is getting all the finishing touches that she needs to make her arrival and I'm hoping she hurries up with those finishing touches so we can have her with us!!
Noteables? This week I had some intense swelling in my feet. I try to keep my feet up throughout the day but it doesn't seem to be helping all that much. I called the doctor, just in case, and he didn't seem concerned. As long as I was resting, drinking plenty of fluids and the swelling wasn't spreading up to my hands or face, then he was okay with some swelling this close to my due date.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

No Baby...Just Yet

Thought I'd update everyone since the blog posts are hit or miss these days.
Amelia hasn't made her arrival yet but we are in the single digits to my due date. I go back to the doctor on Tuesday, February 21st and if I haven't had her by then we will look into some dates that I can get induced.
I'm praying for her to come on her own, when she is ready, but I'm also hoping she gives us enough warning so my mom can make the flight from Missouri to Pennsylvania and be there when Amelia is born. One can hope, right?

It's getting close...I'll be sure to keep everyone updated!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Patience, Cankles And Chocolate

With my due date SEVEN days away, my emotional and physical states are being tested. Yesterday, I was feeling great....energetic, excited and anxious to meet our little girl. Today has been a whole different ballgame. I've officially hit 'the wall' and I'm pretty uncomfortable. The pressure when I walk has intensified, the waddle has taken on a whole new definition, the energy levels have significantly dropped and my patience has seemed to blow out the window. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude because it could be another week plus until she comes or has to be forced out but today has been more difficult than usual.
I can remember thinking I wouldn't be that pregnant person that reached her breaking point in the last few days before delivery...I would be the one that enjoyed every last second that pregnancy had to offer! Well, I guess I'm the first person to admit that I've totally turned into that pregnant lady.
Not only is my emotional state being tested but my physical state is being tested too. My stomach feels so big and tight that if I didn't know any better I would think that it might burst if I bent over too far. Add a contraction on top of the tight stomach and it isn't pretty! Shirts aren't reaching my pants because the stomach is holding them up...thank goodness for long maternity tank tops. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have not had swelling like I have seen others get. My rings haven't felt comfortable for the last few weeks so I put them in a safe spot and gave my fingers some relief. My feet get pretty big at the end of the day but I try to keep them up as much as I can during the day...thank goodness for a desk job. Cankles (where your calves run right into your foot, hiding your ankles) have been spotted over the last few days. I'm hoping that a fresh coat of toenail polish will make the cankles look a little less noticeable. Which reminds me...I need to get a pedicure ASAP!
Valentine's Day couldn't have come at a better time. Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!!! As if I needed an excuse to eat massive amounts of chocolate, my attitude today has driven me to stuff my face as much as I can. I must admit...the chocolate helped at first but when I realized it was just making my stomach tighter, I had to slow down!
Please say an extra prayer for us over the next few days...this uncomfortable waiting game is so much harder than I anticipated! Good thing I have some chocolate to make things a little bit better during the wait...HA!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Saturday And Sunday=Rest And Relaxation

This weekend, with Jason working, the boys and myself took advantage of the empty house and spent most of our time relaxing. I had to snap a few pictures of our day...nothing too exciting but the pictures were too sweet to not take.
--Here is Bazzle in his favorite sleeping position...he loves laying on his sister!
--Muzzy spent a lot of his time in the window protecting/guarding the house.
--Muzzy loving on Amelia...I guess he didn't want Bazzle to show her all the attention so he had to get in on the action.
We watched movie after movie, took naps, made some yummy CrockPot soup, did a few house chores and just enjoyed our time together! This mama loves her boys and it was nice to have some time where it was just us! Gotta spoil them before their little sister makes her arrival!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bump Updates: Week 38

Here is the bump update for week 38....
I even decided to show bare belly this week! My stomach is about as tight as it can get...I'm not sure how much bigger or tighter the stomach can get.
How far along? 38 weeks and 3 days (Saturday, February 11, 2012)
How big is the baby? The size of a watermelon, a slightly bigger watermelon than last week!
Sleep? Sleep this week has been hit or miss. I feel like I say that a lot but it's true. There are nights where I will only get up two or three times and then there are nights where I'm up every hour. Unfortunately, I've started snoring and it's affecting Jason's sleep. He tries to be so polite but some nights I can tell he gets frustrated. I've also noticed that I've been drooling significantly throughout the night. I usually wake up with my hair plastered to my cheek...so gross. Breathing is definitely more difficult so I guess I've started sleeping with my mouth wide open. Snoring and drooling are not how I want to describe my sleeping habits...boo!
Food Cravings? Tuna club sandwiches from Jimmy Johns was my craving this week. I was just introduced to these and it's ridiculous how many excuses I found this week to drive ten minutes in the opposite direction to get a sandwich.
Gender? It's a GIRL...Amelia Jean
Best moment this week? Getting a package in the mail with homemade goodies from my mom and Jason's grandma. I absolutely loved opening that box and seeing so much love!
Development? Amelia isn't so little anymore. She could be as much as 7 pounds. She is still shedding all that lanugo, the hair that helped protect her and helped her regulate her body temperature. She has started producing surfactant like a champ, which will prevent the lung air sacs from sticking to each other when she begins to breathe. She could be here any day!!
Noteables? Amelia got some new clothes this week from our friends, Laura and Steve. She got the sweetest little outfits for when she is a little bit bigger...I'm so excited to put her in them!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Livin' On Love

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
Our first date was on December 1, 2002. It's crazy to think that this year we will have been together for 10 years!
2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}
I moved, about two hours, from my hometown once I graduated highschool to go to college. I was able to find a job at The Buckle, a clothing store in the mall. He can vividly remember walking in and me helping him find a pair of Doc Martens (remember when those shoes were so popular?). I don't remember him but shortly after he came in, he applied and got a job at The Buckle too. From there the flirting started and he asked me to come to church with him.
3. If married, how long have you been married?
We got married on April 26, 2008. It will be 4 years this April!
4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding?
We got married in an outdoor garden at a local bed and breakfast. We were living on the island for Jason's medical school and we planned the wedding, with A LOT of help from my mom, for one of our short breaks in between semesters. Our wedding was the perfect size. I had two bridesmaids and then Jason had two groomsmen.
5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another?
We're not too creative in this area. Usually I call him Jay and he calls me Ash. Sometimes we'll throw in a Babe or a Sweetie.
6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
His sense of humor, his dedication to family and work and the way that he loves me!
7. Tell us how he proposed?
This is kind of funny. We went and looked at rings pretty early on in our relationship so every trip that we took, I was always thinking, "this is it!". We went to Paris and I was certain that this trip would be where he proposed. I dressed cute, wore painful boots everywhere and made sure that my hair and makeup were always perfect. Needless to say, the trip was amazing but ended without us getting engaged. I was pretty heartbroken because I thought Paris would have been the best place for us to get engaged! Well, fast forward a few years. We went to Elephant Rocks, which is a National Park by our house, for my grandpa's birthday. We loaded up our coolers, grabbed the boys and headed to the park with our family. We started walking through the different paths (just him, me and the boys) and we made the decision to climb the tallest rock so we could see all the surrounding area. Up there, away from everyone, just our family of four is where he proposed. It couldn't have been more perfect for us...I'm so glad that he proposed exactly when and how he did it!
8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day presents so we both decided to not go crazy on anything. We'd much rather save our money and take a weekend trip somewhere or buy something for the house. Before we got married and our money was separate, he went all out. I got flowers, teddy bears, a nice dinner and anything else he thought I needed. He's a romantic at heart!
9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
It depends on my mood. I'd love to say that I'm a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl but in reality, I enjoy being a homebody.
10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
I would love to take a honeymoon. We flew back to the island two days after the wedding so even though the island is a beautiful place, it wasn't a honeymoon. I don't really care where we go but I would like to take a week or two and go away.
11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.
Unfortunately, Jason is working the night shift all next week so we don't have anything planned for Valentine's Day. We'll try to go to dinner or something when he has some time off but right now between his schedule and being so close to delivery, it makes things a little more difficult.
12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's Day?
My baby girl! I've been pleading with her to come a week early so we can have her on Valentine's Day but I'm not sure she can hear me!
13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
We have such a crazy, hectic life but I think we make it work by taking advantage of the time that we do have together. We could lay around in our pajamas all day or take a trip to the best beach in the world and we could have some amazing conversations and just enjoy each other. You HAVE to make time for each other!
14. Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dear Amelia Jean

Dear Amelia Jean,
Wow, little lady! We're definitely in the home stretch now...38 weeks you've been growing in my belly and now we are days away from having you in our arms. February 22nd can't come soon enough but if you are as stubborn as your daddy parents, then you might have us waiting a little longer. So many emotions flood my heart on a daily basis, especially with your arrival getting closer and closer with each passing day.
I'm thankful that God decided that you would be our little girl and that we would be your parents. Some days I catch myself just staring and holding my stomach, regardless of where I am, because it makes me feel so much closer to you. Your daddy loves when we lay down in bed at night...that's your active time! He talks to you, tells you how much he loves you and wraps his hands around my stomach. Feeling you move and kick against his hands melts his heart. He kisses you goodnight and falls asleep to you doing a special dance for him. Don't tell him but with every kick, you take a little more of his heart!
I'm nervous of how I will step into motherhood....will I embrace it or will I panic? I can't even imagine what it's going to be like when you get here. Our lives will never be the same and I'm sure that once I see your face and hear your cry, I'll never want our lives to be the same. I want to be the best mother to you, like rock-your-socks-off kind of mother, and I can promise you that I will do my best. The nerves will probably never fully go away but with each passing day, I'll get better at pushing the nerves to the side!
I'm excited to know I'm going to be a mommy...something I've wanted for as long as I can remember. I'm ready to hold you, console you, kiss you, cuddle you, spoil you, dress you in the cutest clothes, bathe you, share you with friends and family, introduce you to your brothers, rock you to sleep, sing to you, proudly walk you around the block in your stroller, take you to dinner and have everyone sneaking a peek and I'm ready to say, "family of three".
The list of emotions that I'm feeling can be a little overwhelming but the number one emotion that I'm feeling is LOVE. From the second that we saw those two lines, to the first appointment where we saw your sweet little heartbeat, to your first little kick, to the constant hiccuping episodes, to my rapidly growing belly and constant weight gain....I've been head over heels in love! You, my sweet little girl, are such an answered prayer!
Love,
Mommy

Monday, February 6, 2012

Child Like Heart

Yesterday in Sunday School, my nephew did something that would be hard for a person at any age.
Let me back up just a little bit...a few weeks ago the Sunday School teacher was talking to the class on helping others in need. He proceeded to tell the class that they would be collecting money to give to kids that needed clothes, medicine and food in the upcoming weeks.
Well, fast forward to this week. This week Brock remembered what was discussed in the previous class, so he loaded up his pirate chest, which was full of money, and headed to church. My mom even tried to talk him through his actions but he wasn't having any of it. He knew what he wanted to do and he wasn't letting anyone stop him!
He was so proud walking into that classroom....all his coins, half dollars and silver dollars were going to make some kid very happy. Right when he walked in, he went straight to the donation box and unloaded his pirate chest full of money. He didn't second guess his decision for a second. He knew that he could help and he made sure that he did what he could. How is it that a 5 year old boy already has so much compassion for others? That his wants are put on hold so he can help others with greater needs? Did he know how many Legos he could have bought with that money? Not that he needs more toys but most 5 year olds don't know that!
His heart was lead to take action and he followed it. I could have cried when I heard the story and then when I got the pictures, I was beaming with pride and joy.
I need to take pointers from my 5 year old nephew! I want to have a giving heart, a heart that doesn't second guess myself when I write out that tithe check or when I feel the need to give a little extra. That's going to be my goal, my prayer and my desire. I want to have a child like heart, a heart so big that it's impossible to hide.
Such a sweet story...just had to share!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bump Updates: Week 37

Here is the bump update for week 37....
How far along? 37 weeks and 3 days (Saturday, February 4, 2012)
How big is the baby? The size of a watermelon
Sleep? Sleep is getting more and more difficult. Trips to the bathroom and hip pain is preventing me from staying asleep for more than an hour at a time. Certain days, when I can spread out and take over the whole bed, I can sleep for a few hours at a time.
Food Cravings? It's still Raisin Bran with extra milk and some toast with butter. I ate this for breakfast every day this week and for dinner a few nights too.
Gender? It's a GIRL...Amelia Jean
Best moment this week? Getting a package from a blog friend, Lizzy, with goodies for Jason, myself and Amelia. Some people are so kind and generous...thanks so much girlie! This week I was also considered full term...woo hoo!
Development? Amelia is still gaining about 1/2 a pound a week and she is still continuing to accumulate fat under her skin. She has approximately 16% body fat right now! Her movements have decreased from hard kicks and punches to more of a wave, rolling movement. She is still practicing for her debut...inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking her thumb, blinking and pivoting from side to side.
Noteables? A lot of people told me this week that Amelia looked like she dropped a little bit so maybe that means she's a little closer to making her appearance. The office girls went in on a birth poll for Amelia's birthday. It's so fun to look over their predicitions...
They also put together a 'Hospital Survival Kit', which was so nice. It was everything that I might find comforting during my hospital stay after delivery. I have some of the best co-workers..they are so good to me!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Spy...

I spy with my little eye...A FOOT. Can anyone else spot Amelia's foot??

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nursery Reveal

Since the nursery was finished this weekend, I wanted to take and post a few pictures. We would love to get some sort of book shelf or toy trunk for the room but I haven't been able to find any that would work with the room...the dimensions of the room have been more of a struggle than we anticipated. As far as a nursery theme, we didn't really go with a theme for Amelia's room. Jason's only request was not too much pink so we tried to go with some fun girlie colors that she could still use when she gets a little older.
Her name behind the crib and the pom poms were ideas off of Pinterest. The lighting in the picture isn't the greatest but they turned out so fun and perfect for the room! I'm not a huge fan of having a lot of things sitting on top of dressers so we tried to keep her dresser as simple as we could. Just the necessities for now...I'm sure once she gets here we'll make things a little more practical, but for now, it's clutter free. The curtains match the crib skirt and I just love the way they look! It took us a little while to find hooks that would hold the curtains open. The curtains have a blackout backing so they are heavier than most curtains and the hooks we had just weren't working. Her closet is already so insane...we have clothes coming out of our ears. Right now, we just have newborn-6m hanging in her closet and we have her 6m-12m clothing packed away in a tupperware storage container. I have a feeling that her closet could go from organized to disaster in 1.2 seconds!Her room is finished...all we need is Amelia! I'm sure I'll be organizing and re-organizing until she comes but that's just the nesting!