Wednesday, May 6, 2009


This is the hardest post I've ever composed. Not because I don't know what to say, but because I am posting the most private and scariest of pictures ever... I don't even know if I will go through with this, I'm shaking as I type it.

There have been several kind words offered about my upcoming surgery, as well as a lot of guesses about what I am having done. I just want to share with you all what is really going on and what I am about to embark on.

When I was eleven I began to have back pain every day. I thought it was my mattress or maybe growing pains. When I was almost 14, my best friend discovered that my spine was not straight while giving me a back rub one day. A chiropractor confirmed this with x-ray and began daily treatments to help me with the pain. After a few months he gave up. My back was too advanced for him to help me long term.

I was advised that I needed surgery to correct my scoliosis. Then I learned something that would change my entire life, I was pregnant. At 16 I was not able to have surgery and yes, stubborn me, I refused to wear any type of brace only to buy myself more time... the brace they informed me would not straighten my back, but just keep it from getting any worse. I didn't want to waste my youth in a brace and I don't regret that decision a bit.

After two more beautiful girls, my back reached an all time high in the pain department. I went to see a specialist in Houston. This doctor let me know that I should have surgery as soon as possible, while I am young enough to help speed my recovery. So two years later, I am facing my surgery. A week from Friday, I will have back surgery to straighten my spine and improve my quality of life by taking away my daily pain and limited wardrobe choices (that's a small personal excitement for me...gotta look for ANY bright side).

So I've written this much, the hard part comes now with me showing you all the part I hate most about my body. I don't show my back, and for the reason that I think it evokes fear in others and I'm extremely self conscious about it. I will post after shots sometime during recovery. You will still be hearing from me, I will have about 2 months off from work where I have to take it very easy. During that time I will be moving out of our current house, not sure where to just yet, but it will still be in the Austin area, hopefully closer to my Anthro.


Wow, I can't believe I found the nerve to share all this. I appreciate all the kindness you readers continually extend to me, it means more to me than I will ever be able to communicate back to you, but I truly hope you know at least a little bit of how much I treasure each comment and email that I receive, it lifts my mood so much!!

A few details about all this: The date of my surgery is May 15th. I will spend about 4 to 7 days in the hospital, then I will recover at my parents house for a few more weeks. After that I will be moving back home to Austin, but I do not have a place yet, so there is some worry there about that... just a lot of "un-known" that I am trying to not worry about right now. I'm also scared about getting back into good physical shape after this, so if anyone has some resources that they can share about that, I would LOVE to read up!!!

Thanks so much for reading all this and for accepting my whiny post without judgement.



jen from windy ridge said...

oh wow, how hard to live with that pain! Praying the surgery goes perfectly and the recovery flawless. You are gorgeous btw:)

Lisa~ said...

wow. I am searching for words right now. Whiny? ummm no! You are really brave, not for posting these bare pictures but for going through all this with such an awesome attitude. I knew you had back problems but I had no idea your back was so curved. I look forward to helping in in way you need while you are here and seeing you guys again will be great! God is your healer and your provider and everything will work out in your favor because I know you love the Lord.

((big hugs))

Tonya said...

you are beautiful...

will be thinking about you and praying for a safe surgery and speedy recovery...



jenica said...

brave, brave girl. you can do this. thank you for sharing these truly beautiful pictures.


Megan said...

oh Miss A! I know you have been waiting and wanting this for some time. You are brave to share :)

I am excited for you - a "new" life awaits you in just a couple of weeks!

I so wish I lived close to come and help you recover - bring meals, take your girls, clean, etc :)

Best of luck with recovery and take it easy!!! mwah!

Laurie said...

Awwww Amelia... an exciting, emotional and scarey time for you!
You`re a strong, creative and well grounded gal and I know that this opening door will only lead you down a path of more amazing adventures! Are you guys moving again on top of all this???
I`ll be praying for you...for a fast recovery and that all your highest expectations become reality through your healing!

Big Hugs!

Elizabeth Cranmer said...

Amelia, I love your fearless attitude, your beauty, especially the inner, and the fact that you were willing to share this with us.

First of all you're beautiful! No fear to be envoked. I hope and will pray that your surgeons hands will be guided in every way and that your recovery is smooth.

I am working on a plan of how to get in shape after this baby, and well I am afraid I amnot much help in that department, but if I discover a miracle I'll let you know!

Thanks for the doss of humanity, and bravery for the day.

PamperingBeki said...

You are extremely brave and beautiful!

We'll be praying for a safe surgery and the quickest recovery imagineable.

Laura said...

Oh wow!! I read your blog regularly but a lot of times it won't let me reply. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this.

I want to thank you also, for sharing the pictures of your back. My 13 year old son has scoliosis and until he had xrays a few weeks ago I never realize how curved his spine is. So you sharing this makes me really want to see what all I can do to help him!

I'm so glad, as I'm sure you are!!, that you will be pain free soon and you won't have to feel self conscious anymore after all this time!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you really grossed out Casey with your pics! j/k LOL! He was actually very sympathetic as I explained what you were having done and why, but you should have seen his face when he first glimpsed the photos! Priceless!

On a more serious note... I'm sorry you are feeling anxious about your procedure, but you have dealt with the bad part long enough. It is time to take care of this thing. I am glad that you have the means to do so, and the support of your family to get you through this gauntlet. I, for one, am grateful that I am able to help in a tangible way, and we are looking forward to having your girls here for a few days. Hope that's not part of your anxiety... LOL! (Be sure and make lots of happy talk about life with a dog in the house!)

I know it's hard, but try and set aside your apprehensions. You know that God has great things in store for you if you will rest in Him! Use your "down time" to snuggle in His arms, and know that He will never fail you! Already praying for your quick healing!

Amelia said...

Thank everyone, I really appreciate the care and encouragement!! I know life will improve after this, I am really looking forward to reporting the good side of this!


Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog for a long time, and you have written several posts that have resonated with me. Your unique ability at posting such raw emotion always brings me back.
I will be wishing you all of the best.
As for getting back in shape afterwards...well I am certain that there is no holding you back from anything that you ever aspire to are a conqueror: as a young mom, a seamstress, a painter, a baker, and also photographer--you have shown that you posess a rare mix of talent, charm and presence so many of us long for.
Best of luck to you with this procedure and know that your victories inspire and your trials touch and ameliorate others.
You are timeless, beautiful, and courageous...take care, remember this too shall pass. --M

nomi said...

You are definately not whiney if you have been able to live with that pain and and not complain about it every day! I think you look beautiful, and I'm excited for you that you are finally going to have your back corrected. Now you are, without a doubt, going to be the sexiest woman in Texas! I'll be praying for a speedy recovery for you!

Kath said...


I can't believe how much pain you have been going work, you run, you take beautiful pictures, you care for your wonderful family, and you never complain.

I'll be thinking of you on May 15th and wish you a speedy recovery!

Sandi Henderson said...

You're beautiful Amelia. Just beautiful. Inside especially, but definitely outside too. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!!


Anonymous said...

I will be thinking and praying for your continued strength.

Amelia said...

I'm speechless... truly you are all amazing and giving me a lot more peace and confidence!! Thank you for all the support!!


erin {tvp} said...

Big hugs and prayers Amelia!!!

Jenifer said...

We will all keep you in our prayers for a speedy recovery. Many hugs!!!!!


Rebekah said...

It's not always easy to do what's best for ourselves, especially when it includes doctors! Be brave, keep the big picture in mind!

I had my wisdom teeth out two years ago, I know it's not nearly as big as what you're doing, but still scared me because of the anesthesia (things are so different when you have kids to think about!)... I took in my mp3 player with hours of worship songs loaded on it, so that as I went under & as I came out, I heard songs of peace and security from a God I can trust. That was a huge help for me. I actually remember "being out" in the chair but hearing the music. Don't know if it would help you, but wanted to share :)

Melanie John said...

hi ... we don't know eachother but i've been lurking on your blog reading about your daily life stuff for a while ... i think i stumbled on it because we have a lot of the same interests {photography, kids stuff, baby names - i have an 8yr old Avery} and your photography is amazing ... anyway, i just wanted to wish you the best with your upcoming surgury and recovery ... you are an inspiration to me. =} melanie (frisco, tx)

traci said...

You are brave to share because its personal but even with a curved spine you are gorgeous!!!! Take plenty of time to recover fully!!

Vanessa said...

i'm so glad you decided to share this, amelia. thoughts and words of support help so much if we just open the door and let them in :)
i'll be thinking of you and sending tons of healing wishes your way... the time is drawing near and before you know it you'll be in recovery.
hugs and support from afar to you, brave and beautiful one.

Britt said...

I just wanted you to know that we will be praying for you, and when I say that, I truly mean it. If you need absolutely anything please do not hesistate to ask. If you need someone to play with your girls for awhile, or bring dinner over...anything, just let me know! Love, Brittany

Lisa said...

You poor thing that you have had to suffer this for so long. You are one of the sweetest people I have ever met and I wish you the speediest recovery ever! Sending lots of good thoughts your way. :)

denise lynnette andrade said...

you are a beautiful and brave warrior.

thank you for opening up such a vulnerable part of yourself. by doing so, we see your true beauty.


DollieDimples Boutique said...

Long time lurker on your blog girlie :) Always a great read btw!!
I will be thinking and praying for your continued strength.
I will keep you in our prayers for a speedy recovery. Many hugs!!!!!


Hana said...

I will be praying for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery! You are a beautiful, brave woman!

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

djStoreRoom said...

Hi Amelia,

Hope the surgery will be a success and your recovery will be speedy! Rest well after the surgery and soon you will be up and out again! Stay positive and strong.


Maria said...

Dear Amelia the Amazing

Wow, I can't even begin to imagine the pain the whole situation must have caused you, and it amazes me how you manage to do all you do with the pain.
I guess recovery after surgery will take time, but I hope it'll be as painless and easy as possible.

You go girl!

Leah said... are truly amazing! I don't even think you know how amazing and how many actually inspire to be JUST LIKE YOU! You are talented in so many ways, including being a fabulous mother! You are beautiful, the kind of beautiful that every woman would love to be. Stunning on the outside, and even more stunning on the inside. Looking at your photos, I don't just see the crooked spine...and although it was shocking at first, my thoughts went to "oh my gosh, what that girl has gone through, the hiding, and then actually giving birth to beautiful perfect children..."
And then my thoughts went to "I wish I had your body!"...the rest of you is perfect" and only the kind of person you are...could actually accomplish that. You could have gave up, you could have been weak and you were and certainly are not! The Lord is on your side and what AMAZING GIFTS he has given you and to be such a person that people can and do look up to! Thank you for sharing your story and remind me personally that there are people like you in this world. I will be praying for a speedy recovery and for you to start your NEW life with a rapid recovery!

Amelia said...

Thank you all again, I'm really moved SO much by your kindness and encouragement.

I have to say that I am extremely humbled! There are so many things that I wish I did better, could change, could improve.... I am not one to look up to, there are so many women who inspire me each day, many of YOU!!! I just want to say thank you over and over for reading this and knowing my heart behind sharing.


Anonymous said...

Amelia, I have followed your blog for a long time now and have always thought {known} you were such a beauty and so inspiring in so many ways. This post magnifies those qualities to me. God bless you and I will be praying for you.

Toni said...

It's my first time here, through Shutter Sister's - these shots are being honored as a Sweet Shot this month. Very much deserving of the honor. It must have been very hard to share something so personal, but I think very important, because you are helping people in more ways than you could ever possibly know. Wishing you the best with the surgery and a speedy recovery.

L~ said...

best wishes on your recovery...

Anonymous said...

Found you through "one sweet shot" on Shutter Sisters. My niece and my dad just went through the same surgery as you are preparing for. They have done well. I will pray for you and for your quick recovery, pain afterwards and life without bending as you have up until now. My niece's rods are 3/4 but my dad's are full. I went home to care for my niece for about 4 days so my sister could go back to work. If you wish to contact either of them please email me.
You are brave!!!!!

Daria - Boutique Cafe said...

Amelia, you are my dearest friend. I love you so much, you always inspire me with your strength, beauty and loveliness. I have been praying for you and will continue to do so.

You're so brave and I'm proud of you for taking this step to help yourself. It will be tough, but it will be worth it. I just want you feeling fabulous and up and ready for a trip with me in a few months. We have to be together again!

I'm always here for you Amelia. Love you more than words can say dear friend - XO Daria

awhmom said...

Wow sweetie! I had no idea. I hope everything goes well. I will be thinking of you. You are beautiful back and all, don't ever let you convince yourself otherwise.


melody said...

Hi Amelia ~ You don't know me (came from SS), but I wanted to add my prayers for a problem-free surgery and recovery.

You are a most certainly a beautiful and courageous woman.

Lee-Anne said...

Brave indeed. And inspiring in your honesty. Best wishes to you on the 15th and for a smooth recovery. Looking forward to those "after" pictures very much! All the best, Lee-Anne

Amy said...

I read your story weeks ago, & I bookmarked your page and your story. My daughter has the same issue, she is 12. after seeing the xrays yesterday morning at the pediatric ortho doctors office. He recommended surgery soon on the upper curve which is already near 50 degrees...hopeful her lower curve would come closer to center without fusion afterwards. Thank you for helping give this mom the courage to go ahead and get this fixed. surgery on the spine is a serious thing and it has scared me, but watching you gives me strength to go ahead and fix it now rather then wait...I am scared though!