Sunday, April 25, 2010

What a Month! (Introducing Julia!)

This past month will be one I will remember the rest of my life - for good and bad reasons.

It started with the passing of my Uncle Ralph. He died the Saturday before Julia was born. He was married to my aunt for 54 years. He was an amazing man of God and was always there for his family. We celebrated his life the afternoon before we celebrated the new life of Julia on Wednesday morning, March 31st.

Sweet, precious Julia was born on that Wednesday. We went in at 5:30 AM and she arrived at 7:56 (or was it 7:54???) by C-section. She weighed 8 pounds even and was 21 inches long. She had a head full of black hair! She is such a great baby and Audrey loves her! Michael and I are a bit love-struck too. I am recovering well from the C-section and the whole experience was perfect.

Then we brought her home...

On Easter Sunday, I started developing a rash. Long story short, I will officially be diagnosed tomorrow with an autoimmune disease called pemphigoid gestationis. It is super rare and usually strikes while you're pregnant but occasionally strikes a week postpartum. It is an extremely itchy and unrelenting rash that spreads all over your body. My immune system is pretty much attacking my skin. I got blisters that prevented me from holding Julia. Currently, I'm applying a cream to keep it at bay. I also can't touch my kids when I put on this lotion. Hopefully, on Monday, I will receive a steroid that will wipe out this rash. It will be a long road of tapering off the goal is 6 months. The steroid will make me gain weight, have a round face, have insomnia, mood changes, damage to my bones, and other lovely stuff. But the women I've spoken to say that they still consider it a miracle drug. If we ever decide to have another child (we had been before this happened), it would most likely strike while I'm pregnant and be more severe. The baby could get it and would most likely be a preemie.

So that's been my month. I wish it could have been an all-pleasant experience, but I take what has been given to me. I love Michael, Audrey, and Julia so much and I'm very grateful for them. I'm thankful for my extended family, my church family, and other friends that have been so kind and generous. And I'm thankful that I'll have doctors taking care of me and trying to get rid of this thing that I developed.