Friday, May 29, 2009

On my mind...

This has been on my mind the last few weeks and I’ve decided to document my thoughts since they’re so prevalent right now. About this time of the year, every year, I think about the last few years of my life. This month, 11 years ago, I was diagnosed with Anklyosing Spondylitis (AS). Why? I have no idea, nor do doctors know why people are affected with any of the 100+ types of arthritis. At 19, I was carefree, very busy, in college, super selfish and felt like I could take on the world! I grew up going to church and felt that I “knew” God but didn’t really give my life over to him until right after I turned 19. Three weeks later, I hurt myself, ended up in several different casts, on and off of crutches for 8 months, was misdiagnosed and eventually, in May of 1998, was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis (a few tests later revealed AS). Let me tell you what, being in college, an officer in many clubs, including student government (which was the busiest), working, playing intramurals, and active in my sorority, it was HARD. Very, very hard. No more exercising, sleeping was very difficult which led to having difficulty remembering which isn’t so great when trying to study. I kept a diary about my walk with God and about my disease. I really only had God to lean on. My friends were great and supportive but no one could relate with me. Who gets arthritis at 19? I mean really, who? I sure didn’t know anyone. I’m sure I looked crazy to my roommate with my stiff legs and back, hobbling to the bathroom where I would, after about 30-45 minutes, be able to stand up straight and walk with a slight limp. Old people got that, is what I thought. But, God totally took over my life, helped me deal with the pain and realized that it was just something that I would have to deal with. God is the only one who can cure this disease; it has been treatable but incurable. I remember the day that my doctor told me my options for medicine. I was at the doctor’s office by myself because I had been dealing with things pretty well up to that point. I thought he told me I’d never be able to have children because of medicine I’d need to take. Initially I was okay about our conversation, got the bloodwork over with, went to check out and saw a family friend who happens to be the office manager. I broke down. I can’t put into words how sad I was! I wasn’t dating anyone seriously, Brian and I had broken up at that point but MAN! To think I couldn’t have children was devastating to me. Well, I did misunderstand him. It isn’t SAFE to try to have children while taking certain meds. OMG, I was 19 – what did I know.
Anyway, God has been so good to me. He’s kept me strong, faithful and hopeful. He brought Brian back to me, we were married in 2000. I couldn’t believe he would still want to be with me knowing that I had this thing I’d have to deal with for the rest of my life. God gave me the strength and endurance to run a marathon in 2003 and another in 2007 as well as many other races. He knew that I desired to be healthy and active. He designed me not to want to be still. Sometimes I believe He gave me this to remind me of how grateful I should be for what He’s given me. And, I’m reminded of that often. Having children was something that I thought I wanted but was scared to death about it. Getting pregnant the safest way meant being off all of my meds. I won’t go into details about that but I will say that it took a while and although some days were very difficult (even some weeks), the way I feel now is completely worth the struggles. He kept me strong mentally and physically. God got me through this all the way. He’s provided this little miracle whom I pray to meet in September.
This little baby has no idea how much he’s blessed me already. You see, AS is 9 times more prevalent in males than females and of those females, most have symptoms onset with pregnancy. If you read about it, you’ll see that the HLA-B27 gene is found in 80-95% of people with AS. Yep, that’s me. There’s only one study, conducted in 1998, focused on pregnancy in women with AS. It wasn’t a controlled study and was completed via paper so the results are a little questionable. What is interesting is 4 out of 10 of those women had less symptoms and were more likely to carry a girl when these symptoms were decreased. I, unfortunately, haven’t been benefitted by AS statistics before pregnancy. Fortunately, I don’t have any symptoms now! I found an article about women who have RA and go into remission with pregnancy. The study found a correlation between fetal DNA circulating in the mother’s blood and lowering the RA disease activity. I believe that one of God’s blessings includes Troy putting my disease into remission. I feel like I’m 18 again. Well, not the way my body looks with this stomach but physically, I feel that wonderful. Praise the Lord! I thank my little baby, whom I’m incubating but I feel that he’s incubating me - how amazing is that? My disease will probably come back within a few weeks to a few months after the baby is here but I just want to say that I’m extremely grateful for the way he’s making me feel now.
I feel that if I don’t put my feelings into words, I’ll forget one day. Often I find myself impatient with others who don’t take care of their perfectly healthy bodies they’ve been given. It isn’t right for me to judge but it’s difficult at times (God made me human, too). So, for you bloggers or readers out there, take care of yourselves! You’ve been given such a blessing, by God, for your own health. Don’t take it for granted. I did, for the longest time, and now, although it’s difficult, I’ve realized that it’s important to take care of what He’s given me. My son will never know how grateful I am for him. No one knows exactly how anyone else feels at any given moment but I’ll do my best to let him know I love him already, in so many ways. One of those is for my health. God has allowed him to bless me already. WOW!


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Friday, May 22, 2009

24 Weeks and Coldplay

I'm about a week late posting my 24 week photo but what the hey, better late than never, right? Little one is growing and is getting stronger with his kicks. We went to a Coldplay concert this past Monday and it messed up our schedule a bit. It was COMPLETELY worth it, however. It was the most entertaining concert I've been to...ever. Yellow balloons, butterfly confetti and a free CD...can't beat that! We came home Monday, well, Tuesday morning early. Needless to say, our workouts were pushed to Tuesday evening due to the lack of sleep. If you've never been, I strongly, highly recommend doing so at the next opportunity.

So I made a couple of things for this little one after he gets here. I'm ahead of my goal to make an outfit a week so he might not get one this week - I've had quite a few things on my plate this week. I'm glad to say that I've finally finished the outfits for others for a while. Only a couple of other things to make for babies which have already been born (better late than never, right?) which I should get done in the next 2-3 weeks.

Lastly, we're heading to Niceville this weekend to spend time with the Corbitt's. Everyone is looking forward to it. I just found out that my brother and sister in law and their kids will be joining us. My nephew, Jake, just graduated from kindergarten - Congrats Jake - and they have a blog now. Check it out here. Jake also made all-stars for his area - way to go!


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Friday, May 15, 2009

Colton Andrew Photos

Don't have a lot of time but I thought I'd post a few photos of my new nephew, Colton. I'm sure Troy is super stoked about his new big cousin!!!


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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day, Irony and Random Stuff

We had a great Mother's Day here. We missed Brian because he had to leave early to head to Lousiana for the week. I was able to visit with my grandmother, Crawford, my mom and John. We had a delicious meal (of course, made by me), I hope no one went home sick :o) I made just a few things for Troy last week. The tagged blankets were made a few years ago but they'll be for him, now.

We've also been doing a lot of yard work, I mean a LOT! We have cut down several overgrown bushes in the front yard. Although you may not notice, there's a huge difference, in my opinion. I'm going to put a before and after photo below.

So here comes the irony. We went to a great event which Opelika puts on in the Fall and Spring called On The Tracks. It's a wine tasting event in downtown Opelika, the shops are open late (usually until midnight) and each shop has a few selections of wines from which you can taste. Companies will buy tables which are placed outside and included with the tables is a couple of bottles of wine and some beer. Of course I didn't partake (although last Fall, it was a different story) and still had a great time. I am not a connoiseur but feel that I can smell the taste almost as well as the real thing, so smelling them was just as enjoyable. Yes, it's weird. So, my cousin, Becky, calls me the other day to tell me about this article: As you can see, I was only interested in the food!

On another note, we went to wine country again last summer and, for the first time, joined a wine club, Schramsberg. If you know me, you're fully aware that I prefer red wine over white wines any day of the year. However, after a visit to this marvelous sparkling winery, I was hooked. Not all the time is it that I want to enjoy that wine but for special occasions. What's the irony? I'm pregnant!!! I can't drink the stuff!!! I've included our most recent shipments this year from Schramsberg ( I have to say I'm most excited about the J.Davis Cab on the left side; we'll be saving that one for a very special day!

Lastly, I'm including a few photos of a boring natural area where I've planted some lilies, caladiums (Brian's favorite - who would've known??), radishes and cucumbers in hopes of sprucing it up. The single photo of three green dots is my small Sweet 100 (cherry tomato) plant. The hydrangea close up is our first bloom of the hydrangeas. Don't you just love them? Does anyone know how to dry them? That's a project for the summer - I don't know how to do it yet and I need some tips!

Watch for my 24 week photo next week :o) Troy must be a happy camper because he's kicking up a storm!!!

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Colton Andrew!!!

I don't have a photo (yet) but will this weekend. My sister (Mary) had her baby today. She and Josh now have a new baby, Colton Andrew, born sometime this evening, coming in at 21 inches long and 7 pounds, 2 ounces. I'm itching to meet him!!! Congratulations Josh and Mary. Welcome to the world, new nephew Colt!!!


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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

22 Weeks

As you'll probably notice, my hair is a little wet. We were in a hurry to get the 22 week photo ( a couple of days late) before Brian left for Coral Springs. Things are moving along on our corner. Look for a post within the next couple of weeks with our slightly revised and cleaned up landscaping. If you know me, I love our house but am not a huge fan of the landscaping. My good friend Penny came up with a beautiful plan for the landscaping but we made an executive decision not to go forward with it because of our little tiger on the way. We might need that money for him :o) Brian continues to be a sport with our list of things we want to get accomplished. I'm feeling so great right now that I don't want to waste any time while I can help.
22 Weeks:

Turtle who's been hanging out around our house. Maybe she laid some eggs?

Valence for the Baby's room:

Let's see, we had a busy weekend with On the Tracks in Opelika, another run Saturday morning, yard work, a Birthday party, church, Auburn Baseball (thanks to the Browns for the tickets!) and a little cooking at the church. As you'll see, I'm trying to keep up with my goal of making Troy an outfit a week. I've included a few things here and others on my sewing blog. Hope everyone has a wonderful week!