Adjusting to a Genetic Disease: Life with Osteogenesis Imperfecta
As a parent, you envision that all your children will be “normal”. No genetic defects, intelligent, smart, normal kids… and yet it doesn’t always turn out that way. When I got married I knew my husband had a mild form of Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Type I for those interested). I grew up being friends with him and his family. He broke three bones before the age of 5 and that was it. In both of our minds, OI seemed to be a “you break a few more bones than normal” and that was the extent of it. And to all outward appearances, that really is the extent of it. For example, my husband leads a totally normal life in every way. My son looks normal and acts normal and (unless you were a doctor and knew what you were looking for), you would never guess that a fall for him could break a bone. We knew, of course, when we got married that we had a 50% chance of passing it on to our children but in our naiveté we kind of just assumed that wouldn’t happen.
We had our first child 13 months after our wedding. A beautiful bouncy fat little girl. She’s about as rough and tumble as a kid can be. And no OI there. I got pregnant with our second when she was 9 months old, a beautiful cheerful little boy and when he was 18 months old, we got pregnant with our third, who turned out to be another bouncy little boy.
Our second son was almost 2 and I was halfway through our third pregnancy when it happened. He slipped on the floor and broke his right leg (a tib-fib). And then two months later, he slipped again and broke his right femur. Reality started to set in. Based off his genetic history he was diagnosed with OI Type 1. And we still thought.. ‘oh, that will probably be it’. We were extra careful. We cut off the feet of the footie pjs which he had slipped in, we made sure slippery surfaces didn’t happen, and we did our best to let him be a kid. Our 3rd child was born, we made it through the year and the next summer. We went to Europe for 3 months and nothing happened (which I now view as not only a blessing but a miracle) and two weeks after we got home he broke his right leg again. Two days before he got that cast off, in a weird incident which shouldn’t have been a problem, he broke his left leg. And two days ago on the first day of 2018, he broke his right leg again.
And reality is continuing to set in. He’s barely 3 years old and has broken 5 bones. And although we don’t have an official diagnosis, we (and our doctor) are pretty sure our baby has it too. (In case someone is wondering, testing for this disease takes a REALLY long time to get results back)
I love Fall: the cold crisp days; falling colorful leaves; crackling fires in the morning; getting ready for Christmas and last but not least, cozy sweaters; leggings; boots; scarves – basically everything about fall fashion!
I’m also a ‘lazy’ shopper. Or I prefer a ‘smart’ shopper. I have three kids four and under and clothes shopping can be a big pain when all your toddlers want to do is go home and take a nap or play or anything except be there and watch their mom look for clothes. And that’s not even taking into account the whole “trying things on ordeal” as you keep the girl from dragging the baby out of the dressing view while the boy loudly proclaims how he wants to color dinosaurs now and they suddenly are all hungry and thirsty at the same time.
Because of that I’ve transitioned to buying most of clothes online. Amazon has come a long way in the past few years in their clothes department to the point where they now have a huge range of items. Also, if you have Amazon Prime, you get free two-day shipping (= you get your items super quickly) AND you get free returns, which means you can easily return things that don’t fit.
With that in mind, here are my favorite fall clothing staples for my 2017 Fall and Winter wardrobe:
Or rather I over estimated my ability to blog while traveling with three small children, and four adults. And then we got home, we moved into a new house, my son broke both his legs one after the other (that was fun.) and finally here it is, the middle of October.
Due to circumstances outside of my control, my posting has been sporadic lately. A big part of that reason is that we’re getting ready to go on a huge 3 month adventure! We’re heading to Europe! With our three little kids! Who are four and under! And yes, I’m nervous and excited at all at once!
In just under three weeks, my husband and I will be fulfilling a dream we’ve had since we got married (and I’ve had since I was 15) and going on a three month international trip, centered in France and the United Kingdom. Hopefully, this will be the first of many as, long-term, we would love to provide travel to our kids as part of their regular education. A lot of decisions have come together to make this trip a reality: from job choices to even how we live on a daily basis.
Starting today, I will be doing a series of posts on traveling: from planning; packing tips; flying tips; things we learn along the way; tips on making traveling with children successful and rewarding and the tools we used to achieve this.
Keep reading to find out how we are making this all work!
As a full-time mom to three little ones (4 years old, 2.5 years old, and 3 months old) it’s not always easy to carve out time for exercise and it’s also far too easy to make excuses for myself! So, I’ve written up my Top Ten Go-To Fitness Products that either help me stay motivated; help me stay on top of my fitness goals; or make it easy to exercise even if I have to do it with all my kids. I’ve included a “Why I love this” description and a link that will take you to Amazon where you can find more reviews and current prices. So, keep reading below for what makes working out with toddlers easier for THIS mom.
When people head into a gym, they immediately gravitate to the treadmill. Or elliptical. Or maybe the free weights. But they rarely head over to the most underused AND undervalued piece of equipment in the gym: the rowing machine. Maybe it’s because they feel intimidated by it. Or maybe they feel like it’s uneffective. But the fact of the matter is, the rower is one of THE most effective exercises machines that you could use. About the same price as a good quality treadmill, the rower is a way more efficient and worthwhile machine to consider for your home gym.
If you don’t have much time you’ll find a short list below of the Top 5 Rowing Machines of 2017. I include a brief description on why each machine is a good rower and a link that will take you to Amazon for the current price and more reviews. If you have more time and want more information, keep on reading for some more information, workouts, how-to videos, some helpful accessories and some fun facts about rowing and all that it does for your body!
The TOP 5 Rowing Machines of 2017
Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5: The Concept2 Brand is considered to be the Gold Standard of Rowers. Used by professionals for its similarity to the real thing, the Concept2 Model E provides a smooth low impact and total body workout with minimal noise and set up. It easily separates into two pieces for storage and has a 500 lb. user capacity. It includes a monitor that provides accurate data for each stroke of your workout. There is also a Model D which caters to a slightly different audience. Check here for my review on the Concept2 Model D and here for my review and comparison of the differences between the Concept2 Model D and the Concept2 Model E Rowers.
Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower: This Magnetic Rowing machine allows you to program different workouts as well as adjust resistance and workout time with the touch of a button. It comes with 12 programs and a fitness monitor that tracks distance, time, calories, watts and strokes per minute. This is a perfect rower for someone on a moderate budget who wants a great machine for their home gym.
Are you traveling and need a solution for working out on a budget? Or can’t afford a big set of weights but want to do strength training? Looking for a good core workout? TRX straps are your answer!Inexpensive and yet SO effective, these handy straps are light, easily slipped into your suitcase or used in your home and take literal seconds to set up.
If you are short on time, see below for a list of the top 5 TRX Strap Kits in 2017. I’ve included a short description and the links will take you straight to Amazon where you can find the current prices and sales. If you would like to see a more detailed review, you’ll find a comprehensive review a little further down, complete with pros and cons, how-to videos and workouts.
The TOP 5 TRX Strap Kits in 2017
TRX Tactical Kit: This kit is perfect for those who want an army style workout! It comes with every single thing you need to work your whole body in shape: including three ditigal bootcamp workouts and access to the TRX Force Super App. It also has a one year 100% purchase satisfaction, which means if you don’t love it you can return it for a full refund!
TRX PRO Suspension Training Home Gym: This TRX kit is similiar to the Tactical Kit except that it’s geared more towards home users. It includes an 8 week workout program, 5 video workouts specific to different parts of the body, one total body workout, and 2 extra workout videos. It also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee for one year, making this a great option to try out!
TRX Suspension Training Home Gym: This TRX kit is similiar to the Pro Kit except that it has slightly less extras included. It also includes a one year 100% purchase satisfaction guarantee and comes with six digital home workouts and a comprehensive guide on using your TRX straps to their full advantage.
Lifeline Jungle Gym XT:This is a great option for those who want to give Suspension Training a try but aren’t ready to invest a lot of money in it. These are just as effective, and easy to use but are much more economical and more friendly to your budget.
My littlest man was born at 38 weeks, 6 days weighing 6 lbs. 7 ounces. He is a tiny little peanut but perfect in every way and a champion eater.
I happened to snag one last bump photo a couple of days before he was born which was good because he came a bit early!
My labor was long (18 hours) and hard, but he’s such an amazing baby (just sleeps, eats and snuggles) that I forgave him pretty quickly for making me work so hard to get him out! 😉 I will be doing a postpartum series documenting weight loss; fat loss; and exercise over the next several weeks. I finished the pregnancy at 158 pounds (for a 31 pound weight gain) and after 1 week I’m 142 pounds. My body doesn’t really kick into losing weight until a few months after so I don’t expect to lose any pounds for a little bit but I am hoping to start regaining some muscle.
Once I pass the six week mark, I plan on doing a three month weight training program to help build up my core, upper body and overall body strength. In addition I’ll be incorporating more cardio to hopefully assist in dropping a few pounds. My number one priority will be making sure I can continue breastfeeding the little guy, but with my other two babies, I was able to exercise quite intensely and it had no noticeable affect on my milk supply, so I’m hoping that will prove the same this time around as well!
According to Baby Center, our little guy is about 6ish pounds and 18 inches long. He is still considered pre-term but if born now, would most likely have very few health problems and typically would only require a very short stay in the hospital.
Weight gain: I’ve gained 28 pounds so far. This is the amount I gained total with my 2nd baby so it looks like I’ll be gaining about the same or a little more this time around. I’m still well within a healthy weight gain range and as long as baby is healthy and well I don’t mind.
Body Changes: Still getting bigger. Of course! At my home visit last week, we found out that little guy was breech! At this point I’m not TOO concerned, as both of my other babies were also breech at this point and flipped on their own before birth. That being said, naturally I would definitely prefer a head-down baby for a multitude of reasons (like.. Not wanting a c-section!). As of writing this post, I THINK baby has flipped but I’ll find out for sure at my next appointment on Monday. Edit: He flipped!
It’s been quite a few weeks since I gave a pregnancy update and what and how my exercise has changed as I’ve moved well into the third trimester.
Overall, this third pregnancy has gone more smoothly than my first two despite some life happenings like my two year old breaking his leg TWICE in a space of three months.. Not fun! (He has a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta and although he has Type I, which is considered mild, it still means that he can break bones quite easily.)
He currently is 2 weeks into a 5 week stint of being in a spica cast (I’ll post on that later), so life has been interesting to say the least. There isn’t a lot out there on spica casts and toddlers, so I’ll definitely be doing a post on ways to deal and cope (and diaper care!)… because it’s something I sure would have appreciated!
Thankfully he is a very tough, happy little guy so it hasn’t been as hard as it could be, but it’s definitely not what I would have preferred in the last two months of pregnancy!
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