This summer I’ve been really quiet on social media.
It started off with an awesome family vacation, followed by my boyfriend leaving for a year-long deployment, followed by weeks of not feeling well.
Josh left on July 7th and that weekend I just crashed in bed. I had been traveling for almost a month straight (I followed Josh to Kentucky for an Army training and then we went and visited a few of his family members so he could say goodbye) and I knew my body needed REST.
I knew I had to give it the rest it needed or else I’d end up in a flare.
As the next few days went on, I started feeling worse and worse. I remember talking to my friend Jackie about it and I told her “I don’t know if I’m sick or just depressed.” We both chalked it up to being depressed that he left.
But then I got really sick. Like, can’t keep anything in my system, sick.
At first, I thought I had the flu. My Mom had just been sick the week before, so she was sure she gave it to me. (which now is really funny in hindsight)
But then I slowly started realizing that it was something more than that. I realized that it probably wasn’t a coincidence that I had been complaining that my boobs were sore, or that my new bras were barely fitting anymore or the fact that my period was late. It was then that I turned to my trusty Amazon Prime account to order a pregnancy test. (I was too sick to leave my house people!)
First test: Pregnant.
Second test: Pregnant.
Third test: Pregnant.
. . . . . . . . . . . . Holy shit . . . . . . . . . . . .
About this time a million and one thoughts started rushing through my mind.
Josh just left for a year-long deployment!!
Was my body even healthy enough to have a baby?
I had been taking Otezla since February.
During my vacation, I had taken pain pills because my joints were bothering me.
Up until Josh left we had drunk so much wine.
How was I going to take care of a baby when sometimes my health was hard enough for me to take care of?
What was Josh even going to think? What was everyone going to think?
In summary: I jumped on the cart of an emotional rollercoaster that started doing loop’d loops.
I had taken the tests on a Tuesday evening, so Wednesday morning I called my doctor. Never being pregnant before, I didn’t realize that it would be weeks before my gyno would want to see me. But I guess I sounded really panicked and convinced the nurse to have my Doctor call me.
My Doctor called me back within an hour and talked to me for over 20 minutes. He eased my fears about my medications and everything that I had been worried about. He had looked up information on Otezla and said that it didn’t have warnings saying that it wasn’t safe for pregnancy, but it also didn’t have any studies showing that it was safe for pregnancy. He suggested that if I didn’t need to take it I should talk to my rheumatologist and get off of it.
He went on to say that most people with autoimmune conditions clear up during pregnancy and I should feel pretty good for the next 9 months. I then proceeded to tell him I’d heard that before, but I also heard that once you had the baby it usually came back with a vengeance. He laughed and told me he didn’t want to tell me that part!!
I had already had a call into my rheum and she answered me shortly after my gyno called me. She confirmed what he said about Otezla. That I didn’t have to ween off of it and it was safe to just stop taking the dose I was on. (This was specific to me, always make sure to ask your own doctor what you should do about stopping a medication!)
After talking to both of them, I felt so much calmer about the medication part. BUT, it still didn’t rest my fears of physically being able to handle all of this.
To be honest, one of my BIGGEST fears since being on disability has been having a family and not being able to physically take care of them.
It’s something I’ve thought about for years . . .
I ended up telling Josh over Facetime (never thought that’s how I’d tell someone I was pregnant!) and he was so happy. Seeing his reaction actually made me feel a lot better about the situation.
Over the next few weeks, we tried to figure out what we were going to do. He was soon going to be leaving the country and we definitely had some big decisions to make. We’ve always talked about getting married and planned that once he came home from deployment we’d get engaged and subsequently married. So getting married and having a family wasn’t something that was out of the realm of possibilities for us – we really wanted it. We just were thinking it would happen at a different time. Not RIGHT NOW.
Lucky for us, his unit hadn’t left the country yet as they were still finishing their training. AND they had a 4 day leave before they left the country for good.
We decided that the 4 days he had off he’d come home and we’d get married. With not a lot of time to spare, we planned a small marriage ceremony at the Allegheny County Courthouse with our immediate family.
Ever since I’ve been little I’ve always dreamed of my wedding day. And I have to tell you, this wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned. BUT, it was a perfect day. I mean, honestly, I wouldn’t have changed ONE THING about the whole day.
We started off our day by having an ultrasound to see the baby. It’s the one and only time I would be able to do something baby related with my soon to be husband. It was pretty amazing seeing our little one moving and wiggling around in there.
Then we headed to the courthouse for our marriage ceremony and a beautiful dinner with our family.
We plan on having a big wedding ceremony when he comes home from deployment. I’m Catholic and since we haven’t gotten married in the Catholic church yet (something I definitely want to do), it will still be a legitimate wedding.
Change of Plans
All of this craziness is DEFINITELY not how I thought my summer was going to go. To be completely honest, I thought I was going to have my book completely written by the fall so that I could release it by Christmas. But, with all that’s going on, I only have a chapter and a half written. Sooooooo not going to lie, that’s probably not going to happen this year.
I’m starting to realize even though this baby isn’t here yet, my life is about to drastically change and it’s going to dictate a lot of what I do. During July, August, and September I’ve had to cancel plans and modify my activities greatly as I’ve been SO sick. (I mean, throwing up 5-6 times a day sick)
But, now I have a TON more to write about! I’ve actually started writing a few pieces about my fears and pregnancy that I can’t wait to be published by HealthCentral.
I’m excited to go on this journey and to share it with my readers too. I think it’s important to share because I haven’t come across a lot of great resources on pregnancy and psoriatic arthritis (if you know of any DEFINITELY link them in the comments below!)
Thank you to everyone who has sent well wishes my way – I really appreciate them! I’m humbled by the support you all give me and am so grateful for each and every one of you.
Can you believe I’m going to have a BABY?!!?!?!?!?! Sometimes I still can’t even believe it!!
But it’s so exciting. Scary, but exciting.
Can’t wait to see where this journey leads me!
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!