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