Monday, November 1, 2010

Growing Babies!

Our family continues to stand in amazement at God's loving Grace. William is growing so fast and doing so well. At his doctor's appointment the first of October (2 month checkup) he was 11 lbs and 7 oz. He was measuring in the 21st%tile. This was up from the 8th%tile the month before. He is eating peaches, apples, pears, and rice cereal now and loving it. He eats it for breakfast and dinner right now.

Amber continues to do very well in high school. We are so very proud of her. She joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club and hopefully will join the Latin club soon. She really is enjoying that class a lot. She stays busy with her school work and church. I believe she would live at church if we would let her. She attended her first high school dance the first of October. Although it's so sad to see her so grown up, she's just so beautiful. I couldn't be more proud of her. She is getting ready to attend a youth retreat with the church this weekend. She looks forward to this every year.

I am going to begin doing a little sub work in my former school to earn a little extra cash for the holidays. I only plan on doing 1 or 2 days a week. We have a dear friend who will be coming to our home to keep William. I know she'll love on him while I'm gone. My first day is the 19th. If it is too hard, I won't do any more. I'm very blessed that I don't have to work and can do it at my leisure.

We will be heading to Florida for Thanksgiving! There are still many family members who are patiently waiting to meet William for the first time. My sister will be home with her kiddos this year so mom and dad will have all 6 grandbabies home for Thanksgiving. They are really looking forward to that!

The holidays are such a busy time of year. I hope to continue to post to the blog through the holiday season, however, if I get busy, I wish each of you a very blessed Holiday Season!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

As many of you know, since my last post, we have welcomed our precious baby boy, William Frederic Ashford into this world. However, many of you may not know the journey we took in the days preceeding his birth. I went for my normal weekly appointment with my OB on Tuesday, July 20th. I expressed to him I felt like the baby had dropped. After his examination, he revealed to us I was 80% and 2 cm. I was right at 33 weeks pregnant at this appointment. We could hear the concern in his voice as he ordered his nurse to immediately put me on the monitor while he contacted the hospital. We arrived at the hospital shortly thereafter where we anticipated I would stay for a 48 hour observational period. However, the next 48 hours would reveal to us, we would be welcoming our precious boy long before his due date which was September 7th. After multiple attempts by the doctors to stop the labor, on Thursday afternoon, July 22nd, the doctors agreed to allow my body to do what it would do. I continued contracting feeling only short periods of discomfort. Friday morning, July 23rd I was moved from the bed rest unit, to labor and delivery where we prepared for delivery and consulted with the team from the NICU. For the first time, we were afraid of the unknown for our son. I would not be until Saturday night, July 24th at 6:29 p.m. that William would arrive.

Although William required very little respiratory help, he struggled with his feedings. He was admitted to the NICU by 6:50 with his daddy right beside him. It would not be until 8:00 before I was able to see him again. My mom, dad, Amber, Fred, and I spent a little time with him that evening. After mom and dad left the hospital with Amber, Fred and I spent some additional time holding him and talking to him to reassure him we were there. Seeing him in such an unexpected way, was very difficult. On our way up to see him, Fred tried to prepare me for what I would see, however, it still came as a shock to see so many cords and the IV in his tiny little hand. However, he was so precious and so calm as he laid there. I wanted so badly to make it all better right then and there, but I knew we were going to have to trust God.

I was discharged two days later. Leaving the hospital that day would prove to be very difficult for both Fred and I. As we loaded into the car, we both simply sat briefly, cried, and watched the hospital disappear as we drove off leaving our baby boy behind. We would spend the next 14 days and 13 nights making multiple trips to and from the hospital to be by William. While there, we would rock him, sing to him, and read to him. Although he slept much of the time, Fred, Amber, and I felt he needed to know we were there. Many times, Amber would sit and talk to him while she rocked him. Seeing her loving him and offering him a sense of security was overwhelming for me. I was so proud of her patience and strength during this time. I often felt torn with all the trips back and forth. One day, Amber looked at me and said "Mom, it's okay...I'm healthy and William needs you". I knew then, all was well, and we would soon be home altogether.

William was discharged on August 7th. Needless to say, we were thrilled to finally bring him home! These days Willliam is growing and eating like crazy. He now weighs nearly 9 pounds. My days consist of diapers, bottles, nursing, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and daily trips to pick Amber up at school. I would not trade a moment of my life for anything right now. Each day brings new joys and a greater revelation of God's love. Amber continues to do well in high school. She is loving her freshman year, but not loving the work load. She is taking 1 Advanced Placement class, and 2 Honors classes. So she stays busy with school and the youth group at our church. We could not be more proud of her, her choices, and the young lady she continues to become. As a mother, there is no greater joy than to see your child walk in the Lord. My prayer is that she'll continue to lead by example as William grows and learns to love God too.

Throughout these past few months, we have learned the importance of family and trusting in God. We have realized the faithful friends we have in our beautiful church and community. In our greatest time of need, our God, family, and friends became our strength to lean on.

Jamie, Fred, Amber & William

Monday, July 19, 2010

Changes Coming!

I am now 33 weeks pregnant! It is so hard to believe how quickly this pregnancy has gone by. We are so excited to welcome William into our family. We are now on weekly visits with both our OB and Specialist to continue to monitor me and William. We have completed his nursery, purchased the stroller/carseat, and washed his clothes. In addition, our bags are packed for that trip to the hospital. As we prepare for William, we also prepare for Amber to begin high school.

I cannot believe my "baby" will be in high school. Time flies, and often, quicker than we ever wanted. Although we couldn't be more proud of her and confident in who she is becoming, I am still saddened by watching her grow up. I know she'll do magnificent in high school, but she'll always be my baby. She continues to follow God in all she does, and that alone, gives me a peace that nothing else could give me.

I am breezing through my doctorate program. LOL....I guess more like treading through on a gravel road at times. Although it hasn't become too challenging yet, time management is my greatest challenge.

I'll continue to post updates as we near William's arrival and Amber's first days of high school.

With Love,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wow! It's been a while!

It has been a while since I updated our family blog. Since October, we have learned we will welcome our newest addition to our family late Summer. William Frederic is expected to arrive toward the end of August or early September. In addition, our sweet Amber will begin high school in August. I cannot believe our baby girl is that old!!!!! She continues to do very well in school and remains actively involved in the youth at Sunrise, our church. We couldn't be more proud of the young lady she is becoming.

As a family, we have decided we will take a leap of faith and I will be a stay at home mommy for a while. I submitted my Leave of Absence form with my school district and as of May 28th, will no longer teach. Although this brings many fears of the unknown, we trust in our God and each other. Needless to say, I am THRILLED to be able to stay home with William as well as be with my sweet Amber as she makes the adjustment into high school.

In addition, I got accepted into a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) program, beginning May 3rd. Another GIANT leap of faith. This will allow me the opportunity to teach at the collegiate level and/or seek out work with educational publishing companies. However, that's several years down the road, so in the meantime, we'll focus on our sweet Amber and our new baby boy while I slowly work through the program. However, it sounds kind of sweet typing a paper with him in my arms. (LOL)

Fred will be coaching both Track and Softball next year. I truly am blessed to have married a man who believes enough in me to allow me this opportunity to be a mom and go back to school. I know the sacrifices are great, but it truly is a symbol of his love for me and his commitment to our family. I often lay in bed at night and wonder how I, yes me, could have been so blessed.

We meet with our OB and Specialists on a monthly basis to monitor both me and the baby, as I have a blood disorder that makes me prone to clot. I'm currently on daily injections of blood thinner (Levenox) as well as baby asprin to minimize my risk of clotting. Therefore, they are monitoring both of us very closely. We return on the 17th and 18th of May. In addition, we are now scheduled for our 3D Ultrasound for Saturday, June 12th. I will be 26 weeks at this point. We will schedule a second 3D Ultrasound for around week 35 just for fun to see him one more time before he gets here. I'll make sure to post these pictures on Facebook. We will also be given a web page to upload them to as well.

May God continue to find each of you healthy and blessed.

With Love,