**WARNING: LONG POST & A WHOLE LOTTA PICTURES!**Where to begin? I It's been such a long journey & now that he's here--I look back & think of how quick it all really happened.
My bed rest orders & preterm labor meds were scheduled to end at 36 weeks < the beginning of October>. After my doctor visit that week, they ended up suggesting I stay in Knoxville if possible given my history with this pregnancy & the fact that I was already starting to dilate. That following Sunday, I, along with Cam & my sister who attends college in the area, headed to Knoxville to set up "camp" at my Mamaw's place until Conley decided to make his arrival. The way I had envisioned it, we would be there less than a week at the maximum! No way did I think I would last TWO weeks after stopping all the precautions to prevent labor...boy, was I wrong!
After many visits to Target, eating out every meal (my Mamaw's refrigerator was out), living at the playground during the day, & grabbing Sonic & Zaxby ice by night--I finally realized this baby may not make his move until the induction date on October 30th! We had been anything but laid back <as you can imagine with a 2.5 year old toddler> & nothing.
After constant worry & debate, Cade had decided to go ahead & take the flight he had scheduled for October 20. I thought he was crazy to begin with for scheduling his flight that late (as I mentioned, I was sure Conley would be coming as soon as I came off of bed rest & meds). Once Cade landed, all was right in the world. The only concern we had at that point was the fact that each day Conley didn't come was a day Cade would miss with him <<as he only had two weeks to be home before having to go back to North Dakota.>> Cue the baby fever mode-we were ready for him right then!
While we were waiting on Conley, we pretty much did everything I couldn't do while on bed rest status with a little emphasis on old wives tales to induce labor naturally. Seize the day, right? lol:) We're talking: BOO at the Zoo (where I probably walked 5 miles, did the cha cha slide, & hiked up what seemed to be flights & flights of stairs), shopping, eating spicy foods, watermelon, playing kickball at the park. At the end of my days during that second week in Knoxville, I was very sore & had began having contractions <especially at night> but they would just fade away! Even after everything we were doing during the day--Mr. Conley just wasn't ready to come yet & that was okay.
Then came Saturday night, October 24. Cade & I couldn't sleep. We stayed up talking for hours & after finally getting to sleep at about 2am that morning, I woke up at about 3 am with worsening contractions. I waited for about an hour before I told anybody, but when I realized they just kept getting worse & closer together (similar to the ones I had when in labor with Cam) I woke Cade up. We called the hospital to get advice as to what to do & they told us to come on in. We quickly gathered our things, threw our clothes on, & headed on in. On the way to the hospital, I kept second guessing myself--in between contractions I felt fine, but when one would hit- I just had to breath through it.
When we arrived, we were placed in the triage to evaluate whether I was in true labor & needed to be admitted. Trust me when I say that span of time was very painful & tearful. About 30 minutes or less, we were admitted & given a room to begin delivery! It was time. Conley's birthday was officially going to be Sunday October 25th, 2015! I was so excited to meet him, but I knew I still had a long road ahead before he came. About an hour into getting my room & IV's for my strep antibiotic, the anesthesiologist arrived with the epidural. The part I had been dreading and looking forward to all at the same time. I knew if I could make it through that everything would be more peaceful...
Apparently, I am just one of those people whose water doesn't break. I was practically dilated to an 8 before Dr. B finally just broke my water. No water came. Kind of weird, right? All that time, I had waited for my water to break as the sign to go to the hospital but it seems that it would be far past time to be at the hospital if it ever would happen on it's own? I don't know...weird!
This time was a little different than when I first held Cam. I knew I needed to forget everything else in the world & soak in that moment of seeing him for the first time. For some reason, meeting Cam was such a blur. I was scared to death, I didn't get to hold him for a long amount of time (especially long enough with time to think) & it was no time before we had visitors in the room for the rest of the day.
I held Conley in my arms for a long time & just thought about how everything concerning this pregnancy had changed our lives in August. How we thought he was going to be born any minute. How I had spent the past practically 9 weeks or more, sitting on a couch...in the bed... so that he would stay put & keep developing as he should. He was a miracle. God had blessed us with a miracle. It was a moment I'll never forget.
After they had given Conley all the vaccinations & I fed him for the first time, Cade went to get Cam. It was time for the brothers to meet! Cam wasn't a bit shy, but sooooo excited. He hopped in the bed with Conley, his Daddy, & I & said, "Hey Conley! Hey! That's my brother!" Then, he was distracted by his big brother gift while //always proudly//occasionally introducing his brother to all the family as they came in after their first meet & greet:) My heart melted to say the least.
We had to stay at the hospital for 48 hours after Conley was born because I tested positive for the strep virus. The same thing had happened with Cam so I was kind of used to the idea of a prolonged hospital stay. Little odds & ends happened in that time period...
1. Cam's big brother gift was a hit, but the little prizes from the Target dollar bin doubled as Home Alone style booby traps in the floor of the hospital room. And Blaze the Monster Machine? His stunts were a little too loud & destructive for a tiny room! His life-size Mickey Mouse balloon did it's share of messing with people as well. We finally had to tell him Mickey had to potty so we could save everything in the room from being knocked down while he and Mickey had sporadic dance parties & sword fights. Not that this was the best idea either as every employee that entered our room (nurses, doctors, janitors, consultants) jumped out of their skin when they turned to see a giant mouse waving hello from the toliet seat.
3. The Great Baby Escape. We had signed all the discharge/birth certificate paperwork, consulted with billing & passed all tests/check-ups-we were just waiting on Cam & Conley to have their "brother pictures" made. After the pictures, we just loaded up & headed to the elevator to leave the hospital. The whole floor sounded in alarm as soon as we passed the nurses station...oh, yeah. Conley's ankle bracelet...we had forgotten to get with our nurse to let her remove the ankle bracelet alarm before leaving. I had to capture the picture (& their cute Halloween decorations) it was just too funny.
4. The weather. Yes, I'm going to mention what a great time of year it has been to have a baby. All the leaves & the chill in the air make the perfect snuggling weather. Christmas commercials, holiday shows. The drive home was beautiful & the tree outside our window at the hospital was the perfect color yellow even with all the rain outside.
And as for the ride home...before we pulled out of the parking lot I was crying, they were OUT, & my Mr was playing crazy violin covers of pop music. :)Conley Scout, you are the perfect second addition to our family. We are so excited about bringing you home & into our lives. These two boys God has blessed us with bring more love in our hearts & soul than words can express...Thankful & humbled that God has given me such a precious family with great health. I don't deserve any of it & pray I constantly realize how just how much He has truly blessed me!