In 2005, after being married for five years and thinking my marriage was over as well as my life, I’d had enough. I was diagnosed with RA in 1998. It had been seven years of pain, anguish, fear, and frustration. I’m not a very religious person, but one morning I laid in bed in so much pain I felt I just couldn’t face another day. I thought to myself something has to give or I’m going to have to take matters into my own hands. Then I asked God, to give me a reason to live or take me now! I begged and cried. It was the worst hurt I’d ever felt. Please give me a reason to live or take me now! I just kept saying it over and over. I ended up crying myself back to sleep. When I woke up, I had slept the day way and my husband would be home from work soon. I felt like the episode I’d had earlier was a nightmare. I tried to pull myself together and focus on getting through the day.
A week later, I noticed something odd. My period, it hadn’t come. After years of taking pregnancy tests and getting negatives, I didn’t really feel worried. It did remain in the back of my mind. My husband and I went out to a bar that night. I ordered a beer, which I could normally chug down with the best of them. I couldn’t this time. I couldn’t stand the taste of it. So, I ordered a 7&7. It tasted fine. I drank quite a few and tried to have a good time. The next day, I felt rough. That’s pretty normal after a night of drinking, but somehow I felt different and my period still hadn’t come. I broke down and asked my husband to get a test. Just to make sure. I can tell you, guilt poured all over me when I read the results. Pregnant! It couldn’t be. I didn’t think it was possible. Then I thought about that morning a week earlier when I pleaded with God. Give me a reason to live or take me now. My reason to live, was it growing inside me? I stopped all meds and proceeded to the doctor. It was really happening. The doctor was amazed I had figured it out so early. I thought for a moment about how things might’ve been if it would’ve been even another week before I found out. I had actually miscalculated when my period was due, thinking I was late. When I really had another week to go before it would’ve been missed. My life changed from this moment on. The pregnancy wasn’t easy. I’m not sure if I still had active RA or if the damage was causing the pain, but I got through it. I had a reason to grab the bull by the horns and fight for what I had been blessed with. So, I would just have to make a way for any obstacle that I faced and that was final. Just make a way…there’s always a way.
I’m not saying it was easy, but now.. just because it was hard..I didn’t give up. I couldn’t, because a little life depended on me. This was the end of the beginning for me and the beginning of a new way of thinking. I had my beautiful son and suffered through an agonizing flare up about a month later. There was another factor in my life now. My mom. My husband was deployed to Iraq a couple of days after our son was born, so my mom came to stay with me for a while. She was amazing. She encouraged me and worked with me. She pushed me to take care of myself and helped in so many ways. I think because of her support alone, another amazing development came my way not long after the flare. I was walking better than I had in a long time. I had lost a lot of weight, went shopping for some new clothes, got a new hairstyle, had a few sessions of tanning and in my opinion looked like a pretty hot mommy! I couldn’t believe ..seriously couldn’t believe it was all happening.
When my husband saw me after six months of deployment, his jaw dropped. Tears rolled down my cheek from the look on his face alone. After years of seeing me fall apart and us almost giving up, things were so unbelievably better. Hope returned for us that day. Our little family had begun and so had a new life. The reason I’m sharing this story is for all you who might be going through something similar. Don’t give up. Keep positive and focused. If you don’t have the support you need, find it. I’m not saying the baby is what made the changes. For me, having a baby was the motivation I needed to pick up the pieces and put the puzzle of my life back together. Take care of yourselves. I’ve got a new chapter to write about now. I hope I can be of help in some way.