Behind the Author

Friday, June 27, 2014

One HUGE Mega Family Update! (Great news/bad news!!)

I know, I know. I keep promising I'm back, only to be gone again. I'm apologize, the moment I think I have free time, my schedule books up and I barely have time to sit down. I guess that's life.  Kuddos to all you, who can do it all! I'm jealous, because I really do miss blogging!

Anyway, some MAJOR life changing things have been going on with our little family, and it was most definitely time for an update.

Major Life Change #1

Let me start back 3 years ago.... Tony's back took a turn for the worse. He's always had back pain, but this last couple of years, the pain has gotten out of control. He has shooting pains down his legs, they go numb, go out on him, he can't stand up straight, it's hard to walk, and he wakes up nightly with leg cramps. It's so hard to see him in pain. He has done Chiropractic care, diets, therapy, pain injections, but the pain has just increased. Finally, after many conversations and doctors appointments, he decided to see a surgeon.

We went with a highly recommended doctor at Barnes Hospital, here in St. Louis. After waiting months to get seen, multiply tests and scans, it was determined that surgery is really the only option and not to wait. We were told basically, that we had up to a year before the symptoms would get to an unbearable emergency situation. Things were already unbearable for him, so we didn't want to find out how it would get worse. So on July 7th, he will under go surgery.

His official diagnosis is a Grade 5, Isthmis Spondylolisthesis/ Spondyloptosis and will under go a posterior spinal fusion from L2-S1/IL. It's a major and very serious surgery, as it deals with very sensitive nerves. We were told by the surgeon that it is one of the most serious back surgeries they do, and while it's an all day surgery, it's the kind that he stays up worrying the night before. However, though rare and serious, it's a surgery that he is highly trained in.

 Above and below are grading scales of you can see Grade 5 is the worst you can get. There is even a special name for it, Spondyloptosis. Apparently, Tony's an over achiever. :(
Below is the new back accessory he'll soon be sporting! We're telling the boys daddy will soon be part robot! ;)

Recovery for this surgery is grueling, especially on him, but really for the whole family, as we have two little ones (4 & 3). He'll be in the hospital a minimum of 4-5 days. Depending on his recovery there, he will either come home or head to a rehabilitation center. He's not allowed to bend or twist for a full year or lift anything over 10lbs. It's going to be hard. He'll be spending most of is recovery time laying down or walking, and will be on a tight schedule of laying down for 20 minutes, walking (flat surface) for 20 minutes, and then sitting for 5-10 minutes, every hour. By one month he should be walking 1 mile a day, 2 months/2 miles and 3 months/3 miles.  He will be off work a minimum of 3-6 months, however we were told at our last meeting that it's probably more like 6 months off and then they will allow him to slowly return to work 1-2 days a week. All this for a desk job!!It's going to be painfully brutal, but we are trusting in God to give us the strength we need to get us all through this and to bring Tony healing and pain relief. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this time.

Now, if all that wasn't stressful enough, we've also have to worry about the financial aspect. Tony's work has great short term disability coverage, however, 12 weeks post op, we will loose Tony's income and our insurance, as his work only covers short term disability.  There's more details, and steps we are trying to take, and I'll try to get into them in another post, but that's the gist of what is going on with that. This is another major prayer request we have.


Major Life Change #2

Back in March, I went on a photography conference for a week. (Side note, it was amazing!!) On the conference I started throwing up every morning and had horrible heartburn! A little light bulb started to go off that I could be pregnant. I was in denial.. major denial.. Fast forward to April 16th, (yes nearly, another month)I woke up with the worst nauseousness. I KNEW. I immediately went to Walmart, bought a test and sure enough...


The pregnant line turned instantly...way before the test line. It was obvious! I went that day to the doctor for a blood test. They measured me and drew blood. Since I had no clue when my last period was, an ultrasound was ordered!Turns out I was already 8 1/2 weeks along! Baby had a great heartbeat of 178! :) We are Due November 30th! Which, if you know our family, our oldest has a birthday on November 29th! So they will be exactly 5 years apart!

Going back to the day we found out... I was in shock. When I told Tony, he sat staring off into space munching on the kids doughnuts for an HOUR! LOL he was so in shock. He didn't say anything. It was so funny. I think we were both in shock. We were done. Our family was complete with our two little boys. We had just decided that a few months before. Thank the good Lord, He had other plans! Once the shock wore off, we are now so excited!!

Note that the timing is incredibly difficult, as we have outgrown this house and need to move, and then now with Tony's major back surgery, but I know we'll get through it. We have too.

Back to more exciting news! We told the boys soon after the ultrasound.. and OH MY GOSH, they are so excited!!! They both want a baby sister. (Dominic's been asking for one for almost a year! ha!) I'll do another post on their reaction, with the reaction video. It's adorable. They are going to make the best big brothers!

We let our little super heroes announce the pregnancy on Facebook, once of course all our family and friends knew. Everyone is excited! I think everyone is more curious over what we are going to name the baby, rather than the sex, although most of our family is pulling for a girl. ;) A healthy happy baby is all I care about!

I'm currently almost 18 weeks and feeling great! I'm definitely feeling the baby move, which is so exciting! For mother's day, my husband bought me a fetal Doppler, so I'm loving the fact that I can check his or her heartbeat every night. Such an awesome sound!

All in all life is good! We are maxed out with stress over the future, but we try and focus on knowing that God is there. He knows our worries, He knows what problems we face and He is in control! Please keep our family in prayer. It's a long road ahead, but one we know is filled with many blessings!


  1. Bless your hearts, what a bunch of changes. I'll be praying for y'all. My father in law just had a spinal fusion so I know they're tough for everyone. Congratulations on the little one!

    1. Thank you! I hope your father-in-law is feeling better!

  2. how did the surgery go yesterday? Maybe there is an update... I just came across this blog post... off to check.

  3. Firstly sorry about the first big news, I can't imagine going through something like that. I'll be praying, Hoping everything is going well on that end.
    Secondly, Congratulations!! I'm very excited for you! I just found out I'm expecting my first! :-)

  4. Hi Rachel! My name is Heather and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer my question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1 AT gmail DOT com :-) I greatly appreciate it!

  5. Good luck with your husband's back problem. That sounds just awful. Will be praying for him.

    Congrats on Baby #3!!! :)


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