Amberlie Jordan: Army wife, mother of 2, stroke survivor
By Jessica J. Wilson
Amberlie Jordan’s journey to motherhood began shortly after she and her husband, Anthony, got married. A joyous time quickly turned scary when they welcomed their first son, Caleb, at just 31 weeks into her pregnancy. Caleb weighed 3 pounds, 7 ounces and was 16 inches long. The baby had little to no complications, but Amberlie was transferred to the intensive care unit due to preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome and an eclamptic stroke. She spent 28 days in ICU recovering.
In 2012, the Jordan’s bought their first home in Clarksville and decided to try for another baby. Amberlie found out Christmas morning that she was pregnant with Vincenzo (Vinny). On the brink of another high-risk pregnancy, Amberlie was closely monitored at Centennial Medical Center and ordered to remain on bed rest until Vinny was due Sept. 4, 2013.
On May 28, 2013, Amberlie had an emergency cesarean section after nurses couldn’t detect fetal movement or a heartbeat. Vinny was born a micro preemie at 25 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 12 ounces and 12 inches long. He spent 241 days in the NICU.
Now almost 2 years old, Vinny has doctors’ appointments and therapy sessions throughout the month. Below, Amberlie shares how she manages motherhood and life as an Army wife.
What has been your most challenging time as a mom?
I think the most challenging was when Vinny was born and right after he came home from the hospital. Caleb was 3 years old at the time; he didn’t understand why we kept making trips to the hospital and also that he had a baby brother. When his brother finally did get to come home, he was excited but still didn’t understand why all the attention was on Vinny. Trying to explain that your brother has a lot more needs and doctors’ appointments and therapy was really hard. Now that we have a planned schedule for Vinny’s appointments, it makes it easier to divide that time and spend more time with Caleb. We started doing fun activities on the weekends and letting Caleb pick.
How do you keep up while your husband is deployed or away for training?
It’s really no different than when he’s home, honestly. We try to stay busy. We have a super tight schedule and routine. There are definitely good days and bad days. Don’t get me wrong, I also have really good friends that help me out a lot as well.
How different are your two kids? How are they alike?
Caleb and Vinny are night and day. Caleb, 5, is super active, has a wild imagination and is quite the daredevil and adventurer. He’s the sorta boy who’s never met a stranger, easily makes friends and talks to anyone that will listen (whether you want to or not).
Vinny is super laid back. He likes to sit and observe everything, although he’s a very curious little guy. He is one tough cookie though, and nothing seems to faze him.
They both have a love for music. It doesn’t matter what song it is; they both have smiles on their faces and dance along.
Best advice you’ve received as a mom?
I’ve received a lot of advice. The best advice was don’t compare your child to other children. It will drive you crazy if you do. It’s still something I’m working on but have gotten better at not doing it. Each child is different and does things at their own pace.
Another good advice was everyone is a good parent in their own way. No matter what the parenting style is, we all want the same thing and that is we want the best for our kids. What works for you and your family doesn’t necessarily work for others and their family. So you have to find what works for you.
What do you like to do during “me time”?
Doing watercolor paintings is a huge stress reliever for me. Finding something that I love doing that keeps my mind off of things is super helpful.”