Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mysterious reaction....

Hey everyone....this is Chris writing today.  I've got to tell you about the last several days and how I've been battling a skin "rash" on my face.  I first noticed on Sunday, while eating lunch, that the corners of my lips were sore and the plastic cup I was drinking out of, was really irritating the crease of my mouth on both sides....and I mentioned to Amanda that I was going to drink only from glasses, not plastic anymore.  Well, Monday I went to school and all morning my lips were still really sore, and then that afternoon my skin just below my bottom lip began to itch like crazy, and by the time I got home Monday night, my whole chin area had become red and irritated and itched like crazy.  It was hard to notice at first because I have facial hair, but there is no doubt that I was itching all around my mouth and my lips were beginning to develop little "water blisters" around the edges and felt extremely dry and burned.  Well, I took some Benadryl Monday night, and when I woke up Tuesday morning to get ready for school, I looked in the mirror and did a double-take....for the man looking back in the mirror looked like Will Smith from the movie, "Hitch." Ok....maybe not quite that bad....but I'm telling right eye was almost swollen shut, and both eyes looked red and puffy and I had an abnormal amount of "sleep" in the corners of both eyes.

Amanda was not impressed with my new face....and told me that I probably should stay home from school since we didn't know what was going on with my skin.  Well, I took some more Benadryl and stayed home, but by Tuesday evening, I had red bumps behind my left ear, on the back of my neck, and even in the crease of my left elbow, and my eyes were still badly swollen and my cheeks were both red and splotchy and itched like crazy.  Angie and Amanda decided that I should probably go to the hospital and let a doctor check it out, since 24 hours of Benadryl had not seemed to stop the reaction in the least bit.

Well, after getting some blood tests run.....and having some "steroids" given to me in a nice "little" shot in my hand...and given some "cream" to rub all over my face and neck, the doctors sent me home for the night, and asked me to come back in the morning.

Here is what my face looked like this morning.....

This was actually much better than it was Tuesday afternoon/evening.....but I went back to the doctor this morning.  He was pleased with how my face looked, and gave me a prescription of "Prednisonol" to take for 2 weeks or so....and advised me to continue the "cream" as long as my face was itching.

I am so ready to get back to school, as I have been extremely bored the last two days at home.  Amanda has had to substitute for two of my classes, and I know she's ready for me to get back also.  But she has been incredibly supportive, and even sat at the hospital with me last night for a few hours as we waited for doctors and blood work, etc....  I love her!!

Ok....I'll keep you updated on my "condition."  until next time.....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Border Run, Steak, and Maternity Jeans

This week has been quite the interesting week in the life of the Walker family (all 3 of us).  This has actually been the first week that I have felt pretty good the entire week.  I'm still a little tired and want a nap after coming home from school, but I'm not walking around with my nose half plugged just so I don't smell anything that sets off the nausea feeling.  I can take the tiredness over the nausea ANY day of the week.  Sleep cures the feeling of exhaustion :) :)

We also had to make a border run this week, and what the adventure we had!!  We have a 3 month, multiple entry visa, but the government only lets you stay 30 days.  We had to leave the country, enter another country, and then re-enter.  We left right after school on Thursday, and I was a little nervous about traveling in an un-airconditioned car with a guy I didn't know.  I took a Zofran before we left (preventative medicine :) ), and off we went. Raul, a Mozambican Believer, drove us, and he was completely precious.  When he found out I was pregnant he went into protective mode, which Chris and I appreciated.

The "fun" began when we got to the border.  Our plan was to go to the Swaziland border and then come back into Mozambique.  We had NO problems leaving the country and then entering Swaziland, but we hit a little snag trying to get our 30 day visa back into this country. The customs agent said that we had to be out of the country for 1 day, and we were in violation of that rule. Raul talked with him, waited patiently, talked with him some more, and then waited some more.  The entire time this was going on, I was having a dizzy spell and trying not to pass out.  Chris and I went outside to get some air, and then a few minutes later Raul came holding our passports. God had answered our prayers, and we were free to return home!!  PTL!!

Then to finish out our week, yesterday (October 22) was the year "anniversary" of our engagement. So my amazing husband took me out to a REALLY nice restaurant where we had amazing garlic bread, steak, veggies, french fries (my staple), and then finished it off with a chocolate dessert.  I don't tend to eat much these days, so I enjoyed the added protein of the steak, and enjoyed the time with my husband even more.  Last night was also a monumental point in our pregnancy in that I actually wore maternity clothes for the first time.  I received a package from my parents and sis-in-law filled with comfortable clothing.  My pants have gotten tighter with each passing week, and this week it's like I went over the top...literally :) :)  The clothes came at just the right time!!!  The shirts are still a bit big, but I praise God for pants that don't cut off my circulation :) :) sum up this was been a great one full of adventure and new steps.  I love how God is growing Chris and I closer as we go through all these changes!  These have been some incredibly special times for us.  More to come...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Window Within

Chris and I just got back from our doctor's visit, and it was quite the eventful and MOST exciting doctor's appointment I have ever experienced.  We knew we were going to have an ultrasound, but we also hoped we would hear the baby's heartbeat.  God was good in that we got to experience both.  We are 9 weeks and 4 days, but the little guy (or gal) is measuring 10 weeks and 5 days.  Chris thinks it's a boy, and he takes after him :) :)  He's already wanting to sign those football scholarships :)

BUT the amazing part was when the doctor pushed on my stomach and the little one jumped (looked like a popcorn jump), and then he waved his hands and feet back and forth really fast.  Whatever the doctor did, I guess he didn't like it, AND he let us know it. :) :)  I think today it finally hit home that God is growing a life in me, and we are actually parents.  I know he/she is still a little thing, but there is nothing like hearing your child's heartbeat and knowing that it's a little part of you and a little part of your husband.  The miracle of life astounds me!!

We have another appointment set up for October 28, and she will do another ultrasound. There is nothing wrong (she said the baby is completely healthy), but she wants to measure his/her neck to check for any abnormalities, which she completely does NOT suspect!  So, in two weeks, we will get to see the little one yet again.  I think we will get "spoiled" to seeing him so often.

So until then...I'm sure we will continue to update you guys on ALL the interesting things that happen during pregnancy WHILE living in Africa.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Africa, Shakespeare, Prunes, and Pregnancy

So what do all of these things have in common...they are things Amanda has never experienced before now!!  I love how God takes you out of your comfort zone and gives you a crash course on dependency and trust.  It's not always easy, and that is what I have experienced over the last two weeks.

I knew that one day I might be pregnant overseas, but I didn't think it would be with my first.  BUT God has been faithful, and HE continues to give me exactly what I need.  For example, HE has given me an amazing husband and a great host family who has been so kind and patient with me.  HE has also given me a mom of four kids to talk to and remind me that I am "completely normal." (at least for a pregnant woman :)  )  Then today HE allowed us to find some prunes...which I normally wouldn't be thankful for, but if you have ever been pregnant, then you know what I mean!!  :) :)  I know that I am far from over in learning what it means to "Cast ALL my cares upon HIM because HE cares for me."  I'm also a far cry away from leaning on HIM for every minor or major issue in my life.  But pregnancy seems to be teaching me some of the things that I lack in my spiritual life.  My husband keeps reminding me that God is good, and we will be OK.  And I love him for that!!

So, if you are in a place of discomfort and wondering what God is doing...keep pressing into HIM.  Though it may seem like you are experiencing all of it on your own, I'm learning that in ALL things HE is present, and HE will see you (me) through.  Do I think I won't cry anymore over the newness and discomfort in my present life?  Ummm...I'm pregnant...that means I cry at everything. :) :)  But my prayer is that I am at least learning a little of the truth that God knows my way, and HE has orchestrated it perfectly!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Day of Peace" holiday in Mozambique

On October 4th, the country of Mozambique celebrates its "Day of Peace and Reconciliation" to celebrate the resolution of the brutal civil wars which officially ended in 1992.  October 4th fell on a Monday this year, so we had a day off from school at CAM.  Our weekend was filled with plenty of rest as well as taking in some sights and sounds from around Maputo.  We'd like to give you a glimpse of our life in Maputo.
Us, with the Indian Ocean (actually Maputo Bay) behind us.
Polo Doce (cheese, chicken, corn, and green peppers) Pizza at "Surf"
Mozambican lady ordering ice cream
Go-Kart track?!?
Saturday Market
Parliament building in Maputo
the "VIP Maputo" hotel
when the tide is out, people can walk a looooong way out on the "beach"
lots of street vendors push around this type of "wheel barrow" to sell their fruits and vegetables
Once we left the city, the streets lost their "paved" character and became much more sandy and rough
Look closely and you can see a soccer field and a goal (with no nets)
rural "country" living in Machava, just outside the capital city of Maputo
typical Mozambican "country" house...notice the "fence" around the front "yard"
local church building at Boa Nova compound in Machava

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blessed with a surprise!!

     To say we've had a busy last year is an understatement.  From Chris coming home from Mozambique in the summer of 2009; dating, engagement, and marriage between June 2009 & January 2010; honeymoon to Hawaii; buying and renovating our first home; Chris graduating from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in May 2010; mission trips to Turkey, Iraq, and New Mexico; Amanda continuing her second year of her doctoral studies at Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth while working as Director of Women's Ministry at Cook Baptist Church in Ruston; moving to Maputo, Mozambique to teach at the Christian Academy of Mozambique in September 2010.....whew!!  It's been quite a year!

   Well, the Lord had another surprise for us...we found out a few weeks ago that Amanda is pregnant, and we are expecting our first baby in May 2011.  WOW!  We are so excited about being parents and can't wait to see if our little "peanut" is going to be a boy or girl!?

     We will be giving birth back in Louisiana, and will have to come home the first week of April because of travel restrictions while pregnant.  Because we are living in the capital city of Maputo, there is actually very good medical care, and we have already met with a OB/GYN doctor this week.  The medial clinic is a brand new trauma center which has a women's clinic inside.  We were very impressed with the care we received on our first trip and look forward to having our monthly checkups until we come home for Christmas, and then again in April.

The week before we left for Mozambique....this is what our "Clearblue" pregnancy test showed!  And yes, Amanda took it twice....just to make sure!
Please pray for us (especially Amanda) as pregnancy in Africa is a little more intimidating than back in the comforts of home, and that Amanda's strength will continue to be enough to teach while pregnant in a new unfamiliar (and hot!) environment.  Please pray for our little one, that he/she will grow up healthy and not have any problems or complications.