Sep 18, 2014

Grateful for Folic Acid

I sit here on the floor watching Kathrynne kick and play. For the past few weeks one thing has been steadily on my mind. In a way it has been on my mind since Chad and I got engaged, maybe even before that. With my Spina Bifida Oculta, what is the chance that my children will have some degree of Spina Bifida?

I have been cautious. I taught myself to light many different types of greens. I have learned to really like asparagus. I eat a lot more beans. I still have more citrus (which isn't a huge problem because I love citrus... especially grapefruit). I have always liked broccoli, cereals and breads, avocados. And I have learned to have V8 juice, mostly the blended fruit ones though. I have done all of that and tried to eat a well rounded diet in the hopes to keep my folic acid levels high.

When Chad and I got engaged, I did everything I could to take prenatals as well as getting a birth control that was fortified with folic acid. I didn't want, by the stroke of luck, to find out that we got pregnant on our honeymoon just to realize that I had not been taking anything with folic acid.

I did all of that. I did all I could. When I actually found out that I was pregnant, I talked to my doctor about it. We were careful and I kept it up, until about the third trimester. The longer I was pregnant, the worse my memory got. I kept forgetting to take my prenatals. So at Kathrynne's 2 month check up and the doctor was concerned about her, in his words, asymmetrical gluteal cleft, I got worried. Dr. Pace wanted to just double check things out, given my history with my Spina Bifida as well as Chad's bad back history.

An ultrasound was going to tell us what we needed to know, did she have any signs of Spina Bifida? Had I not done enough to keep her from that? All of those feelings of inadequacy came rushing off and on until the appointment was made and over with. I hadn't seen anything personally on the monitor. I had convinced myself that everything was going to be fine. I had to believe that, because I had done all that I could. Right?

Well, a special envelope came in the mail today, and as I sit here on the floor watching my daughter play, smile, and (almost) giggle I can rest easy. My efforts were not in vain. All things were clear with her ultrasound. Kathrynne does not have Spina Bifida! Thank heavens!

I am so thankful. I could not be happier about this. I can let her grow up knowing that she won't have the same problems I did. I keep her as the bubble blowing, smile giving, active kicking, little girl for as long as I can.

Photos curtesy of my mom.

Sep 11, 2014

Remembering our Resilience

A lot of people will be remembering where they were 13 years ago, today. Do I remember where I was when those planes were hijacked and hit the twin towers and the pentagon? Yes, I do. Do I remember the heart ache I felt, even as a 4th grader? Yes, I do. I was old enough to remember and to comprehend what was going on. I knew my country was going to be heading for war. I knew many more lives would be taken because of the negative choices by a select few. Many Americans knew what I did. However, did we know how we would fight? Did we know how we would feel more patriotism and pull together as citizens?

I am not a fan of President Obama and his administration. I never was. I have yet to understand many of the choices and bills that they have done. A lot of those decisions have really hurt us as a nation. Those have made us less of a nation. I have actually been one to say that we are not the greatest country in the world anymore, as of late.

Excuse some of the language, but this is the best thing to let you see it. America has really fallen down, however there is something about America that inspires us. 

On that tragic morning, September 11, 2001, I bet there were many Americans that stood still, not sure where to go. But we woke up the next day and begun again. We pulled together. We were fighting for something real. That attack on our home gave us something we had lost. Hope in our country. I fear that we, as American citizens, have lost that again. Where is our morality? Where do we draw the line? What are we fighting for? Who are we fighting for? Fight for the future. We need to begin again. 

There is a piece of art that I feel can really inspire us to do so. Quoting from the videos description:

"New York City Ballet presents NEW BEGINNINGS on September 12, 2013. Filmed at sunrise on the 57th floor of 4WTC in lower Manhattan, this short film captures an extraordinary and moving performance of Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain. It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a tribute to the future of the city that New York City Ballet calls home."

This piece was inspired by the events of 9/11. NYC Ballet was in Europe at the time and had a performance scheduled for that night. The audience showed up, even after the director had cancelled the show, and mourned with the performers. The director announced to the audience, "We came here to dance, it is what we do, but our hearts are breaking and it is simply not possible for us to perform this evening. But we will be back tomorrow, and we will be honored to perform for all of you then." (Taken from the video's description as well) They got up the next day and did their performance.

We are a resilient group of people. America is home to some of the most amazing people that dream, and help, and fight. We need to begin again, and find that resilience that the human spirit has and continue to fight for what we know to be right. Not just in politics, but in anything; art, culture, family, ect. 

I will fight. I will be resilient. I will make a better future for my children and continuing posterity.

Will you?