Monday, December 26, 2016

22 weeks (baby #2)

22 weeks - baby is the size of a Papaya (1 whole pound this week!)

How far along: 22 weeks!
Swelling: No
Stretch marks: No
Sleep: Sleep has been good this week!
Best moment of the week:  We had a nice week and of course it was Christmas this weekend! Harper had such a great Christmas - she did so well opening her gifts, staying thank you, and just enjoyed everything. She was so excited to leave milk, cookies and carrots out for Santa and his reindeers, and couldn't believe it when they were gone the next morning! We spent Christmas Eve at my Dad's with family, then Christmas was at our house. We ended up having my parents, brother and his family all over for Christmas dinner, and we all had such great time. My heart is so full and so grateful for this life!
Worst moment of the week:  This was another great week!
Running/Workouts: Workouts have been good this week - still trying to add more weight training with running.
Missing anything: Laying on my back - I officially can no longer sleep on my back. Thankfully I usually seep on my side, but I have found myself waking up on my back and not feeling too hot.
Movement: We've definitely got a little gymnast or breakdancer in my belly. Christmas Eve night was a first for me though - I had just fallen asleep and I was suddenly awoken with a kick/hit straight to the bladder. I made a loud noise as I woke and startled Phil, then immediately had to run to the bathroom. Made us laugh after the fact.
Things that make me queasy/recent cravings: I had a flashback of morning sickness Christmas Even night - driving home from my Dad's I got a little car sick and by the time we got home I had to jump out of the car to throw up. Not fun, but luckily it was short lived.
Energy level:  Energy is good - finding motivation to do much over the Christmas break has been the tough part (like study for boards)
Labor signs: No
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding ring on or off: On
Mood: Thankful
Looking forward to: Spending the week with Harper and family, and celebrating the New Year this weekend! Friday is also FSU's bowl game!!
Something surprising about being pregnant with baby #2: I'm just loving this pregnancy so much! Sad it's already more than halfway over, but enjoying this growing baby every day, feeling her movement and dreaming about what she'll be life when she arrives.

Some pictures from our Christmas🎄


Tuesday, December 20, 2016


2.5 years
847 days
7 semesters
103 births
More than 100 cesarean sections
192 DNP residency hours
Approximately 800 clinical hours
Countless break downs and tears
More stress than I thought was possible
(that lead to an ulcer my first semester)
Blood, sweat, tears and an immeasurable amount of KY jelly
One amniotic bath to the face and in my mouth

All this and much more for this moment...
I finally graduated from Grad school!
Dr. Amber, DNP (Doctor of nursing practice)!!
It still seems surreal that I am done with school forever.

Next step is to take my boards and officially become a Certified nurse midwife/Advanced registered nurse practitioner! So for the next few weeks, if you're looking for me, I'll be studying!

When I started this journey I had a three week old infant. I know I'm not the first mother to go back to school, and I just have so much admiration for all the hardworking parents in school. Having a newborn though is not an ideal situation when starting grad school.  During my pregnancy,I had so many people tell me not to start school, or to at least take a semester or year off before starting. While they meant well, I am so glad I stuck with it.

I was taking Physiology & pathophysiology, Adult Health Assessment, Health promotion & role development, and Nursing research & theory my first semester. I think I cried every single day the first few weeks, and then at least weekly after that. I had to drive to campus two hours away every other week. I had to do a prostate exam on a live male model. I must say, to this day, I don't know how I survived that first semester. Yet somehow, I made it out alive and in one piece.

The next six semesters weren't easy, I started each one with tears, a mental breakdown, and saying "there is no way I'll get through this". But somehow,  I was able to take on and tackle everything that got thrown my way.  There is absolutely no way I would have ever completed this program or earned this degree without all the amazing people in my life.

My Mom - she was my editor in chief from day one.  Her knowledge, love and confidence in me is the reason I got through so many of my classes. I will never be able to thank her enough for all that she did for me!

My husband - he put up with so much these past 2.5 years. A shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and a statistics tutor. Again, he is the reason I was successful in this program.

Aubrey - my partner in crime. We started this program together, and it's because of her that I even applied to nurse midwifery school in the first place. All the miles to Jacksonville and Gainesville, ridiculous pneumonic to remember pathophysiology, a trip to Albuquerque, countless hours studying together and always someone who knew exactly what I was going through and how much stress I was under. I will be eternally thankful for your encouragement to state this step and helping me reach my goal in becoming a certified nurse midwife.

My preceptors Missy and Tracy - You took me as a naive and clueless bird and showed me how to spread my wings and fly. Your patience and unbelievable knowledge you have shared with me is something that I will forever be thankful for! Also, all of the doctors and midwives who took the time to teach me so many skills and explain things to me over and over. You all know who you are and I am forever indebted to you for everything you've done for me.

My friends Jen and Xavier - Jen was my main babysitter for my clinicals and final practicum. Without hesitation or asking for anything in return, she would take my baby into her home and love her as her own while I was at the hospital for 12+ hours completing clinical hours. Phil and I will never be able to thank you both for everything you did to help us while I was in school.

My in laws - who also came over to babysit so often when I first started school. It was so hard to leave Harper when she was only a few weeks old - but knowing she was safe in their care helped ease my fears. They have been so supportive this entire time, and flew in from Colorado just to watch me graduate.

My Dad and Debbie - who have been so supportive and encouraging throughout school. Your support has been monumental in keeping me motivated to keep pushing through.

To Joan - who was my reader for my DNP project - and also served as my confidant as to what courses to take, which professors to take, etc. Your insider trading information was more helpful than you'll ever know!

Michele - who loaned me so many text books when I started, and who also gave me insider information and advice for surviving this program.

My friend Jenn S - who trusted me to not only to be her labor nurse, but in the end, who trusted me to catch her first baby. It was by far my favorite delivery ever and you cemented my decision in wanting to become a midwife. You showed me how strong a woman is and how powerful persistence and patience is during a woman's labor.

My friends in the program - the team work and willingness to help one another out is the reason why I passed many of my classes. Thank you for taking me in as a friend!

Each and everyone of my friends and coworkers - Your words of encouragement means more to me than you'll ever know. Random texts and uplifting messages was the fuel to my fire. Doing clinical hours/deliveries where I work was both exciting and terrifying. The labor and delivery nurses at Winnie Palmer are some of the most amazing nurses you'll ever meet. So you can imagine how intimidating is was for me to learn how to be a midwife in front of them.  I am so proud to have worked with you for the past 4+ years. Thank you for being so kind to me while I was doing deliveries and trying to figure it all out - I look forward to working with you all for a long time!

And last, but most certainly not least, Harper. My sweet, sweet Harper. I had no idea what I was getting into when I applied to grad school when I was pregnant with you. The first 5 months of your life were some of the toughest of my life - and not because you were a newborn, but because I was in the first semester of this program. I wanted to quit so many times. But holding you and looking at you was the main reason I never gave up. You inspire me everyday to be a better person, to keep on pushing, and of course, to just keep swimming. Being your mother will always be my greatest joy and most important title I own. I wouldn't have done all this without you. I love you so much.

I know I've missed people, but to everyone from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for all the love and support!

Monday, December 19, 2016

21 weeks (baby #2)

21 weeks - baby is the size of a pomegranate 

How far along: 21 weeks!
Swelling: Nope
Stretch marks: No
Sleep: Sleep is okay most nights
Best moment of the week:  Where do I begin...the week started out great, I brought Harper to Epcot to ride the Frozen Ever After ride, and then we met Anna and Elsa. She was so star struck and had such a fun time. This week I also had my 20 week anatomy scan - baby girl looked great, she is growing right on target, and everything checked out perfect! I also met my New Year's resolution this week - run 1,200 miles in 2016! As of Sunday, I have run 1,208 miles, 358 of which were pregnant miles! The last 20 or so weeks weren't easy, but it feels pretty damn good to have hit this goal!
Finally, this Friday I graduated! Doctor of Nursing Practice! It was honestly one of the most exciting days of my life. I had to write a blog just for it, you can read it here.
Worst moment of the week:  Overall, this week was perfect!
Running/Workouts: Still running 4-5 times/week. It's slow and not pretty, but I'm still getting it done
Missing anything: No
Movement: Her movements truly do get stronger and more frequent each day!
Things that make me queasy/recent cravings: It's funny, I'm pretty much craving the same things I did with Harper - orange juice, popsicles, fruit, water....
Energy level:  Energy is good until about 7-8pm...I go down quick after then
Labor signs: No
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding ring on or off: On
Mood: Cloud 9!
Looking forward to: Christmas this weekend! Happy to not be working and spending the day with family!
Something surprising about being pregnant with baby #2: I know everyone says having a second baby is completely different. I can't decide whether or not I agree with that. I am equally as excited and nervous this time around as I was with Harper. I still wanna take a million pictures of my growing belly. I still get giddy when I feel this little once kick. The only thing I really am lacking are the whole nesting vibes. I remember with Harper I couldn't wait to start planning her nursery, doing laundry and fold her ittybity clothes. This time - I haven't even begun to start planning the nursery and the thought of going through newborn clothes, washing and folding it makes me wanna rip my eyes out (okay, maybe not that dramatic). I'm hoping that changes here soon - or maybe now that I'm done with school I can start using Pinterest again for some motivation and inspiration!

Monday, December 12, 2016

20 weeks (baby #2)

20 weeks - baby is the size of a banana! 

How far along: 20 weeks - Half way!
Swelling: No, not yet
Stretch marks: No
Sleep: Sleep is great, just want more of it!
Best moment of the week:  I completed my last shift as a student nurse midwife - I delivered 4 babies that day and it was a wonderful end to an amazing 2 years! This week Harper and I also spent some time a Disney, which is always a fun time!
Worst moment of the week:  Poor Harper has had a cough for over a month. Last week the pediatrician gave her an albuterol inhaler to see if it would help...long story short it didn't work and I took her back in this week. This time she got diagnosed with pneumonia and we started antibiotics. She takes her meds like a champ and her cough is practically gone now 4 days in.
Running/Workouts: Running and working out has been good this week - some rainy/cold weather forced me inside to the gym and on the treadmill. It felt good to lift some weights but my legs sure are sore from the squats
Missing anything: Laying on my belly - officially can't lay that way anymore
Movement: Yes! Feeling her every day now! Love, love, love feeling her little movements!
Things that make me queasy/recent cravings: No real cravings, and nausea is still at bay. Had some not so fun dry heaving this week, but luckily those episodes are short lived!
Energy level:  Energy is pretty good
Labor signs: No
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding ring on or off: On
Mood: Overjoyed!
Looking forward to: I will be graduating from grad school with my doctorate in F O U R short day!!!
Something surprising about being pregnant with baby #2: Twenty weeks have flown by, and yet it at the same time, it feels like forever to get half way. For me personally, now is the time during the pregnancy that I love the most - belly is getting bigger, feeling stronger movements by the day, morning sickness is gone, back aches and overall pregnancy discomforts are still a few weeks away. I definitely don't feel like I'm glowing, but I am at the point where I am so in love with being pregnant. Here's hoping the next twenty weeks (give or take) don't go by too fast, and that I am able to soak up every single moment!

Monday, December 5, 2016

19 weeks (baby #2)

19 weeks - baby is the size of a tomato

How far along: 19 weeks!
Maternity clothes: Yep
Stretch marks: No
Sleep: Sleep is good, starting to have some weird dreams
Best moment of the week:  This week was pretty laid back - lots of studying for my nurse midwifery boards and hanging out with Harper. Very thankful that her cough is pretty much gone and she is feeling good!
Worst moment of the week:  This was a good week.
Running/Workouts: Running has felt pretty good this week. Been able to do 5 miles most day outside. Very slow, but feels good to still be running.
Missing anything: No
Movement: Yes! This was definitely the best thing this week. Flutters are getting stronger. I laid bed after I woke up Saturday morning and poked at my belly, and for the first time baby girl kicked back. My absolute favorite thing about being pregnant is feeling these little babies moving inside.
Things that make me queasy/recent cravings: The other morning I woke up and had an epiphany...I don't wake up nauseous any more! Occasionally throughout the day I don't feel great, or I might feel queasy if I go a long time without eating, but overall I feel great! Hallelujah!!
Energy level:  Energy is so-so
Labor signs: No
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding ring on or off: On
Mood: Blessed
Looking forward to: Two more RN shifts and one more student nurse midwife shift before graduation!
Something surprising about being pregnant with baby #2: I am so amazed at feeling this baby move inside of me. It was my favorite thing when I was pregnant with Harper, and it's just as amazing this time around.  I would be pregnant forever just to feel a little baby moving everyday. It is truly the most wonderful feeling in the entire world!