The past two days have been unbelievably busy getting everything ready for a long weekend at the cabin. I can't believe how much I got done. I got more done in these past two days than I would have been able to accomplish in a week back when my life was more phsyically challenging. I made homemade tuna salad and potato salad. This amazes me because a couple years ago I wasn't always able to drain noodles. Yesterday, I cooked and drained the hot noodles with out giving it much thought. I didn't get frustrated with my hands not being able to cut vegetables and I didn't have to worry about falling to the floor. I was also able to make Special K bars with Winona. There's just something about baking with your daughter that I now get to enjoy. In between all that cooking, I had several large loads of laundry to get washed, folded and put away (Sharon helped me). Today, I was able to load up the coolers, finish packing and then load it into our vehicle. This was a lot to get done, especially since I had to stop and feed/change John in the middle of those tasks.
It brings tears to my eyes to know that I was able to get my family ready for a mini vacation at the lake. It was a lot of work and my feet hurt from standing on the hardwood floors for such a long time, but I did it. And I did it with ease! I have so much to be thankful for and I don't know if I will ever be able to express my gratitude enough.
I hope that over the Fourth of July weekend you can take a moment to reflect on everything you can accomplish in life. I know that raising a family is a lot of work, but it is SO worth it!!!
The kids and I took advantage of the wonderful weather this morning. I put John in the stroller, the girls hopped on their bikes and the four of us went on a walk. Even though I'm really out of shape, I kept thinking how lucky I was to be able to walk pushing my baby in a stroller. Plus, I was able to keep an eye on the girls who were riding their bikes ahead of us.
Never in a million years would I have thought that after giving birth, just two weeks ago, I would be capable of walking nearly a mile. After the girls were born, it took me about a month to get back to normal. Even then, I was only able to push their stroller a block before I had to turn around and go back home. To be able to walk 3/4 of mile today was a wonderful gift. I can't wait to take John out again tomorrow and attempt to go the full mile!
On May 20th, I was blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby boy that we named John Stephen. I always find it so amazing how fast you can love another human being. I also can not believe how much easier it is this time around.
Like my daughters, baby John is a really good baby. He eats well and sleeps well. Because my mobility is so much better than it was when my girls were born, I find true enjoyment feeding this little guy at 3am. My legs can walk me to the kitchen to make his bottle and my hands allow me to easily change his dirty diapers. It was so challenging taking care of the girls. I could do it all, but it would take me so much longer to snap up there sleepers and fasten their diapers. I may have three children now, but today was the first day that I ever gave an infant a bath. Steve always took care of that for me in the past. Even though John cried the whole time, I loved EVERY second of it and can't imagine ever forgetting that I did it on my own.
My life is very busy taking care of two girls (ages 10 and 8) and my one week old son, but I can honestly say that I have never been this happy. I have everything I could ever want: a great husband, three healthy kids and a safe place we can call home. I wouldn't want to trade places with anyone else in the world and thank God for all the wonderful gifts He has given me.
What an evening. My Martial Arts instructor came over tonight so he could work with me on my kicks. Even though I could have this baby any day now, I stretched and prepared for the lesson. He patiently reviewed several different kicks with me and I did each one a few times. I was really surprised how well it was going since my balance has been off during this last month of pregnancy.
When we were all done going through the kicks he left the room momentary and returned with Steve and my girls behind him. I could see that Sharon was holding something behind her back and was stunned to see her holding a white/gold striped belt that was meant to replace the white belt that I have been wearing for over a year.
My instructor than handed me the official certificate that stated I have earned my white with gold striped belt. I couldn't help but smile and look at my mom sitting on the couch and say, "I bet you never thought you'd see me do this."
Then my instructor handed me a red star patch (goal patch) and had Steve read yet another certificate. As he read it, I could feel the tears in my eyes and could see my father tearing up as well. I don't think anyone in the room ever thought they'd see the day that I would accomplished something in a sport. Certainly not me. This certificate says the following:
This Goal Star Award is Hereby Presented to:
Your Indomitable Spirit, Perseverance, Self Control, and unwavering Integrity is an inspiration to everyone. To have overcome what you have, without spite of others, and always looking ahead to new challenges with the perseverance to conquer what stands in your way, you inspire others to be better then what they are and show them a path to that goal.
I think that these are some of the nicest words ever said about me. The fact of the matter is, I could not have accomplished this goal without my instructor or my family. With that all being said, I think it's time for this baby to be born!
I realized something today. I'm not nearly as strong of a person as I was two years ago. As I look back at how I handled my previous two pregnancies, I don't know how I did it (and with such a positive attitude). Back then, I couldn't do anything for myself. Steve and my mom had to help me get dressed, use the bathroom, drive me to work, make all my meals and so much more. I can do all those things myself this time, yet I feel so exhausted and miserable.
I can't help but think that back then I had to prove to everyone that I could do it. I could be disabled and still not only handle being pregnant, but I could be a good mother as well. I can't help but ask myself, "was it knowing that so many people thought I couldn't/shouldn't be a mother that made me so much stronger just so I could prove them all wrong?" Maybe. I guess I'm okay with that.
Everything in our lives has an affect on who we are and who we will become. I always felt that growing up disabled made me a stronger person. As I look back on her, well me, I can't help but think that she was an amazing woman. I'm sure if I dig deep enough I can find that strength once again. I just have to take the first step in doing so.
As I begin my ninth month of pregnancy I have noticed an increase in my DRD symptoms. This morning my right hand has been giving me more trouble than usual. I think I have dropped my car keys three times and I spilled a glass of lemonade (all before 11am). Just call me "Butterfingers!" I've even noticed my hands cramping up and I never had issues with that in the past.
I can't help but think the reason for this is my lack of sleep. My body doesn't make enough Dopamine so I need to supplement it with medication. With my increase of weight, I won't disclose the details of that ha ha , I think the medication must not be enough to really take care of my issues.
The good news is that I only have about three weeks left and then I can hold my little boy in my arms. It will totally be worth everything I've had to experience in the past few months. We are all so very excited!!
I really enjoyed painting Winona's finger nails this morning before school. It was nice to be able to have the dexterity to take off her old polish and give her the new bright color that she wanted. It's the little things that matter most in life.
Well, I'm nearly nine months pregnant and very tired. The laundry doesn't cease and the family still needs to eat dinner. Yet, I am still able to do it! As the family and I watched a movie tonight, I was asked to make popcorn. At first I thought, "You've got to be kidding me." Then I thought back to when I was pregnant with Winona over ten years ago.
Back when I was pregnant with Winona, Steve had to drive me to and from work because I could not do so myself. He would bring me back to our one level Georgia home, help me into my pajama's, give me a quick dinner and then he would head off to Atlanta for his graduate classes. As for me, I would have to spend the rest of the night in bed, because I physicality couldn't move any more for the day. This was a really difficult time for me, but I not only made it, but I brought a wonderful girl into the world by doing so.
So, even though I didn't feel like making popcorn, I did; because 10 years ago Steve took care of me without any complaints. Everyday is a gift and I must give thanks for being able to make my family happy on movie night at the Abbott's.
Well, I have six weeks to go until I meet my baby boy. I am trying to keep a positive attitude. I have so much to be thankful for even though I'm not enjoying being pregnant (not that I thought I would).
When I was pregnant with the girls, I really wasn't able to do anything for myself. I couldn't cook, walk or even buckle my own seat belt. I am trying desperately to remind myself of all the little things I can do 8 months pregnant that I could never do before.
Yes, the heart burn is a pain and dealing with being light headed each morning is difficult, but it will all be worth it in the end. I just need to remind myself that this is much easier than my other two pregnancies. Plus, there is a little boy waiting to meet his mommy. Luckily, that woman is me!
It's really hard to believe that I was diagnosed nearly two years ago. Good Friday will mark the day that changed my life forever. I was so skeptical that day. I wasn't even going to fill the prescription thinking that there was no way I would ever live a 'normal' life, but here I am doing exactly that.
People often ask me if I'm angry that it took the doctors so long to correctly diagnosis me (33 years). I don't know how I could possibly be angry that I now have so many more capabilities. If it wasn't for the correct diagnosis, I would not be pregnant with my third child. How do I answer their question? The answer is simple, at least it is to me.
I grew up as a very happy girl in an unbelievable loving and supportive family. My parents pushed me to do things that were physically challenging, yet I always gave it my best. Plus, I always had a lot of good friends. It was all of my life experiences (good and bad) that made me the person I am today and I like me. Who knows who I would be today if I didn't grow up with the wrong diagnosis. I have to be honest though, I don't know if she would have been as happy as I am. Why? I probably wouldn't have gone to Winona State University where I met my wonderful husband, Steve. Therefore, I wouldn't have my daughter's Winona and Sharon. Everything that I had to endure to make me the person I am today was well worth it!!
Thanks for all of the support! I look forward to sharing even more with you over the next year.
After living the first 33 years of my life thinking I had Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebal Palsey, I was correctly diagnosed with Dopa Responsive Dystonia (DRD). I am on new medication and doing things that I never imagined possible. This has changed the lives of my husband and two daughters. I truly believe that I am living a miracle each and every day. Life can't get any better than this!