30 Weeks!  

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

September 2008: 7 months pregnant
Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

How your life's changing:
You may be feeling a little tired these days, especially if you're having trouble sleeping. You might also feel clumsier than normal, which is perfectly understandable. Not only are you heavier, but the concentration of weight in your pregnant belly causes a shift in your center of gravity. Plus, thanks to hormonal changes, your ligaments are more lax, so your joints are looser, which may also contribute to your balance being a bit off. Also, this relaxation of your ligaments can actually cause your feet to spread permanently, so you may have to invest in some new shoes in a bigger size. Remember those mood swings you had earlier in pregnancy? The combination of uncomfortable symptoms and hormonal changes can result in a return of those emotional ups and downs. It's normal to worry about what your labor will be like or whether you'll be a good parent. But if you can't shake the blues or feel increasingly irritable or agitated, talk to your doctor or midwife. You may be among the 1 in 10 expectant women who battle depression during pregnancy. Also let your caregiver know if you're frequently nervous or anxious.

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New Home for the New Family  

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

September 2008: 7 months into pregnancy

We have had trouble through out the entire pregnancy deciding what to do with our current living situation. At the moment we are in a crowded one bedroom apartment. We wanted to buy a house but the market is in bad shape thanks to the number President George “Dubya” Bush has done on the economy. With all of the foreclosures and the lending companies that are filing for bankruptcy, loans have become increasingly difficult to get, in return causing the rental market prices to sky rocket. We finally found a two bedroom apartment that is almost 1200 sq ft. renting for $1075. This is high for what we have seen in the past, but fair according to the market prices of today. In fact it was incredibly difficult to even find any two bedrooms available around here since the renters market is so concentrated. For years I have stayed off leases due to some unfortunate events with bad office management and Psycho neighbors, but now that John and I are married I am forced to be on it. Very intimidating for me, because if we get declined it's my fault.

John called the office at the beginning of this month to find out if we got our apartment and the leasing agent explains we where declined on our application. This breaks my heart. I knew it was my fault, I felt that I was letting down John, and our daughter wouldn't have her own room because of Mommy's bad credit. I tried hard not to cry, but the emotions and the hormones got the best of me. John was sweet of course and was confident that we would figure something out, but I felt hopeless. Our apartment was already leased out and we may now be homeless. It killed me inside, I knew we could figure something out but this place seemed so perfect and we were so excited about it. Then later that evening the agent called back and said there was a typo when John had filled out the application. Apparently he had tried to get us approved for $11,000 rent instead of $1,100. We were approved after all. This made our day! We move in on September 27th.

Also this month we acquired a temporary roommate in order to help out a close friend working through a slight marriage crisis. It's obviously not the best timing for this part of our lives, but I know if the situation was reversed they would do the same for us in a heartbeat. Although it's a little cramped and less intimate, I can say the roommate has been rather helpful around the house. The living situation cannot last long since John and I have just a couple months left to focus on just our relationship before baby Bailey comes in like a whirlwind and changes our lifestyle completely, but the plus side is that he, the friend, has taken on the chores of dishes, laundry, cat box duty, helped us pack up the apartment and will assist in the move. I am sure that any preggo can relate to appreciating an extra set of hands to help out during the third trimester. At times the stretching, pulling, and separating that is happening in my core can be rather painful, so I have no problems accepting help from others when it is offered.

Fall has started this month, introduced by a cold front that hurricane Ike dragged in. Unfortunately for Galveston and Houston the damages were horrible but by the time the hurricane reached Dallas it was barely a tropical storm. The weather has been rather refreshing lately and makes me want to sit all day outside in the breeze. Candi was kind enough to help us kick off Fall by making a yummy chicken pot pie in a pumpkin dinner that John and I were invited to. It seems to complicated for me to attempt, so I always look forward to the invite for that particular dinner this time of year. She has inspired me to find some of my own Fall recipes this year, to be tested on John, so that I can start some of my own traditions for Fall and Winter. I'll post any that make the cut. I think that the pregnancy (the food cravings) have made me braver to try new foods so it should be interesting. Most recipes will probably have some form of squash or pumpkin for the simple reason that I see so much variety in the market during this season and never get to buy any because I don't know what to make with it. Not this year my friends!

Aside from the discomfort I have been experiencing from entering the third trimester, I hope everyone can be reassured that since the gall bladder surgery I have been feeling quite well. I still get the occasional case of heart burn from time to time, but it is no where near what I experienced the previous trimesters. I can honestly say for the most part I enjoy being pregnant this month. I did make the mistake of starting a book Candi gave me called Mommy Has Locked Herself in the Bathroom. I say mistake because while the book is giving great advice on positive ways to handle the stress or raising small children through the help of God, it is freaking me out about what is down the road for us. By the time I got to the chapter about how your relationship changes with your husband I broke down. Partially a combination of that particular chapter, the roommate's marriage issues, and that stupid movie John took me to recently called Burn After Reading with Brad Pitt and George Clooney (all about miserable marriages and lives but trying to keep an outside appearance of happiness) and then mix that with hormones and natural insecurities about life changing events equals a recipe for emotional breakdown disaster. Don't worry it only lasted one night, I believe I am fine now, back to being excited again about the baby, but I did have to put the book down and pack it away in a box to be read after baby is born LOL!

There is also a slight chance that I may have prenatal diabetes. I went for my glucose testing about a week ago and the results came back inconclusive. So now I must go to the lab for further testing. To say the least I am not pleased about this. The next phase of testing will be a 3 hour event. First, I will fast for a minimum of 12 hours. Then when I get to the lab they will take my starting blood and make me drink a yucky sugar drink. I will proceed to wait an hour in the lab for my next blood draw, then immediately drink another yucky sugar drink, wait another hour and have a third blood draw. Then I will drink ANOTHER sugar drink, wait a third hour, and have a fourth blood draw before I can eat anything. If I throw up, which they say is quite common since you have to do this on an empty stomach, then I will have to do it all over again. I will not allow myself to get sick because this sounds like a cruel form of torture! To recap: 15 + hours of fasting, 3 yucky sugar drinks, 4 blood draws and 3 hours of sitting in a lab while pregnant! I am sure it's a good thing to screen for, but I figured I would have noticed by now if I had prenatal diabetes... right? Oh well, if I do then I guess that will give me motivation to stay good on my diet during the holidays this year and I hear it's only a temporary condition.

To end things on a more positive note, these are things I am looking forward to for next month: Decorating the nursery, New apartment, Fall weather and meals, BTW this is my favorite time of year so it's very happy for me, Pumpkin carving party, and of course Halloween which I plan to wear my preggosaurus shirt for!

Things I was pleased about this month: No more nausea or severe indigestion, approval of the new place, and kicking off Fall with yummy Chicken Pot Pie in a Pumpkin!

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It's a Girl...  

Monday, September 8, 2008

August 2008: 6 months into pregnancy
The night before our next scheduled sonogram picture, John and I plus Candi and Kobi made a double date to see a movie. The new Batman had just been released, The Dark Knight, and John was obsessed with this movie. I have to admit Heath Ledger, RIP, did an amazing job with his role as the Joker. Well anyway, I guess the movie theater popcorn was too hard on my stomach because once again I was up all night with stomach gas. The pain was excruciating. To the point that when 5 am hit and I was still violently throwing up, I insisted John call the Dr. because I felt like something was wrong. She instructed him to have me take a Phenegran pill and that should help me get some sleep. Exhausted, I stood no chance to the power of the pill and passed out still in pain. A couple hours later John dragged me out of bed for the Dr. appointment. Still under the influence of the medicine, I could barely keep my eyes open in the waiting room. The Dr. performed the sonogram and revealed that we were having a baby girl after all. I was pleased, but no doubt the magic was robbed from that moment from my pain and sleep deprivation. John and I grabbed a quick lunch then he dropped me off at the apartment as he headed off for work. I immediately went back to sleep.

Two hours later I was awoken in ten times more pain than I was the night before. I tried to take another Phenegran, but I kept throwing it back up. The Dr. had mentioned if I couldn't keep it down then she could prescribe me a suppository. Not thrilled about this option, but feeling helpless I called John in panic mode again. The tears rolled down my cheeks as I described the intense pain I was in. He would need to come home immediately, but first he needed to contact the Dr. To my surprise the Dr. called me. She said that it sounded more serious than stomach gas and that she had a feeling something was wrong with my gall bladder. I would need to report to the hospital immediately to get a sonogram of my organs done. John rushed home to pick me up and rushed me into the hospital. Nikki met us there, also in a panic. I cried and screamed the entire time, feeling very dehydrated, nauseated, my organs wanting to explode and my back throbbing. There was absolutely nothing anyone could do to bring me comfort. As I threw up stomach bile into a large trashcan, the sonogram revealed two freakishly large gall stones measuring over 2 cm, when a typical stone is only a couple of mm, in my gall bladder. They also told me that my gall bladder was severely swollen and so was my liver.

They rushed me up to labor and delivery where they tried to stick an IV in my arm. It took several attempts in both arms before they found a vein that was not shriveled due to dehydration. The pain medication Demerol soothed me instantly, as I passed out from sheer exhaustion. The next morning Dr. Annie Bass came to see me and explained that surgery would be too risky on a pregnant lady and that they would hydrate me and send in a nutritionist to put me on a VERY mild diet. After several days in the hospital the pain never ceased. They couldn't send me home. The surgeon then explained that I would have to have my gall bladder removed and if I do it now I have less of a chance of miscarrying because they can usually stop early labor in the second trimester. I cannot possibly explain how terrifying this news was to the both of us. We just found out we are having a baby girl and now I have a doctor explaining that there is a chance of losing her, but the longer I wait the greater the risk is. With a brave face, John and I made the decision to operate since it seemed to be the direction the surgeon was recommending. Candi once again played the role of calming my fears, always knowing the right things to say and both Nikki and John stayed by my side throughout my entire hospital stay. They would have to put me under for the surgery and I feared that when I woke up the baby would be gone. Mom, David, Candi, Bella, Skylar, Nikki, and of course John were all in the waiting room while they removed my Gall Bladder. The surgery took twice as long as it should have, and the surgeon emerged from the room pale as a ghost. My family described him as looking like the life had been drained from him, and he rubbed his forehead as he explained how difficult the surgery was but the results were successful.

As I was in the recovery room I remember the nurse trying to wake me and before I could even open my eyes I asked if she was still in there. Is my baby still alive? They answered yes, and that the surgery was a success and I was so relieved. I woke up as fast as possible, in half the time that was expected because I wanted to hear the baby on the monitor. They wheeled me back to my room and I immediately needed to use the restroom. When I wiped my toilet paper was soaked in blood. Still a little messed up from the anesthesia I got up and looked in the urine pan which also had a substantial amount of blood. With my heart racing I asked Nikki and the nurse to check me for bleeding as I started to realize what this could mean, but fortunately the blood was actually coming from the incision above my belly button. Kind of gross, but definitely a huge relief knowing that I wasn't miscarrying. The nurses hooked me and Bailey up to the monitors. She was very active for the rest of the day and seemed unaffected. I remember she kept kicking me in my surgery spots (there were 4 of them). Even though it was a little painful I didn't mind, because I was so happy that she was unharmed. I know I am a strong enough person to get through most the trials life throws my way, but this was the first time in my life that if things went wrong that I wasn't sure if I could bounce back from. She had already become such an important part of our lives, and I couldn't think of how life would be without ever getting to meet her. By this point her kicks were strong enough to feel every day, and now we knew that she is a she and it just seemed so unfair to take her away before we could officially meet her.

It took two weeks to fully recover from the surgery. Just in time for the baby shower in Austin that my Dad and Uncle were throwing for us. Well actually I think Sally did most of the work, so all three of them deserve to get credit. Dad bought Bailey her beautiful black crib that converts into 4 different beds to last her through college, and a high end mattress that vibrates and soothes. Earl bought her a new pack and play, car seat and swing that all match. And my cousins loaded us up with other baby essentials. We had an amazing weekend. My Dad and Uncle wore us out completely and it took two days of Rolaids and sleep to recover.

Second Cousins Ellie and Samantha Helping

The morning sickness is officially over. I went in for my check up with the surgeon and he described the condition in which my Gall Bladder was in. Apparently it was “dead”. Gangrene and the size of my liver! It was actually at risk of killing me or spreading infection to the baby, so we made the right choice. I have always believed all things happen for a reason and this nightmare was one of them. This was the reason my white blood cell counts have been so high. This was also the reason for my severe reaction to the pregnancy, and why I can't fight common colds. And now I am healthier feeling than I have been in years. It was definitely a blessing in disguise. My OB appointment was next and Dr. Annie Bass said Bailey is very healthy and active. We couldn't have felt more blessed.
Ellie in the Rain at the Baby Shower

Samantha in the Rain at the Baby Shower
Skylar and Bella in the Rain at the Baby Shower

I am officially to the point where I can truly enjoy every precious moment of my pregnancy. Every time I feel her kick she brings a smile to my face. And by the end of the month you can physically see my stomach shake as the kicks because she has become so strong. John loves talking to her and feeling her. 9 out of 10 times when someone puts their hands on my stomach she gets perfectly still and waits for them to leave, but when it's Daddy she knows. She could be asleep and the moment he puts his hands on my stomach and starts to talk to her she kicks and stirs. It brings tears to his eyes to know he has already created a special bond with his daughter. She will be a Daddy's girl for sure, and I love that.

Bella and Jack Playing Out Back at the Baby Shower

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Fourth of July Butterflies  

July 2008: 5 months into pregnancy

The first trimester is officially over! The motion sickness had disappeared into a distant memory, (thank goodness since the only car we share is a manual which made all car trips a bad experience for the both of us). In fact one time John was taking me out to eat, to Salt Grass Steak House, and he almost missed his turn in, so as a quick reaction he took the turn really fast without slowing down. I immediately had to open my door and throw up out of the passenger's side. I had swung my feet out the door but didn't have enough time to jump out, so I ended up with my feet, shoes, and pants covered in vomit. Needless to say we didn't go out to eat that night, we had to turn around and come home. I was humiliated as I washed my legs, feet and shoes off in the shower. This was not the first time or the last time that the car had made me sick.

I wish I could say that that was the end of all morning sickness, but unfortunately it was just the end for the motion sickness faze and the lactose intolerance. I still got sick regularly, but this time it had turned into severe indigestion. I would get stomach gas so bad that my entire rib area would bloat out, and it would feel like one of my organs wanted to explode inside of me. It would literally take my breath away, which would cause me to go into a panic attack since I couldn't breath. I would take antacids, but they would never stay down. I would try to relax in the tub, mainly to calm myself down. Then I would get on the computer and play some games to try and take my mind off the pain. Eventually, my back would be in so much pain that I would lay down and sleep, and by morning I would feel better. If I absolutely couldn't relieve myself of the pain I would wake John up in the middle of the night to get me some ginger ale from the grocery store. He always did, and never once complained. I couldn't ask for a more supportive and genuine husband. He would return home from the store, typically at three or four in the morning and rub my back for the rest of the night until I could fall asleep. I know he will make an awesome Dad. Many times he would have to get up at 5 am to leave for work and put in a 12 hour day, but still never once did he complain. He always seemed so sympathetic to the pain that I was going through, and genuinely wanted to help me overcome it.

Heartburn also frequently radiated through my chest. It is such an uncomfortable feeling. My diet had become very mild at this point, because it seemed that anything would set off the stomach gas and heartburn. I ate lots of yogurt and fruit, but even a simple granola bar would make me sick. On a positive note, on July 4th I felt the baby for the first time. I had been violently sick all night, and then went to bed to play on the computer until the pain passed. All of a sudden I felt a flutter in my abdomen, much like a butterfly. A smile came across my face and for that moment the pain didn't matter. Later that night John gave me a back rub to ease some of my discomfort and again I felt the baby as I lay on my stomach. It is an indescribable feeling, to actually feel life inside of you for the first time. Like a little secret between just me and the baby. Later that month, July 24th, we were scheduled to find out the sex of the baby. By this point I could feel the baby's movement almost everyday. All along people have been saying it's a girl, but we would be excited no matter what the gummy bear turned out to be. It seemed to take forever to get our second sonogram pictures, but finally the time came. This was literally worse than waiting for Christmas for both John and I. With much anticipation leading up to this moment we would finally get our answer. If it's a girl her name would be Bailey Katherine Dunson, and if it's a boy his name would be Reese Allen Dunson. It turns out the baby was in no mood to cooperate. It was such a huge let down. The baby's back was to us, sitting on it's foot with the umbilical chord between it's legs. No way to get a clear answer. The Doctor said she thought the baby was a girl, but couldn't confirm the answer since she couldn't get a clear shot. To make it worse the baby's head was buried into my pelvis so she couldn't even get a cute profile picture. We were rescheduled for two weeks out. At the end of this month John received a job promotion and was transferred from the store in Rockwall to a higher volume store in Dallas. He was finally getting the opportunity to work in a role that is best suited for him in a store much closer to where we live. The commute was cut in half from an hour each way to 25 minutes. His hours have also become much easier on him, very rarely will he have to wake up at 4 am to go to work. I am so proud of everything he has accomplished with his career in such a short time. He is truly dedicated and driven to succeed and reach his goals.

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Poolside Fun and Family Trips  

June 2008: 4 months into pregnancy
The blood tests came back from the physical and everything appeared to be fine. The Doctor did mention that my white blood cells came back with a high count, which my physical the previous year had reported the same thing. She said this meant I have an infection, possibly from a cavity or something, but other than that everything is perfect. She had also prescribed me some anti-nausea pills, Phenegran and Zofran, to help out with the morning sickness. This reduced the vomiting down from three times per day to every other day. At the end of this month I turned 26, but for the life of me can't remember what we did to celebrate. I know I was sick most of the day so I believe John took me out to eat and we took it easy most of the day. I know for sure he took the day off to spend with me, like a good husband.

Bella and Skylar: Summer

Candi and the kids, Bella and Skylar, came over to swim in our awesome apartment pool about once a week. I loved the company they provided, and for some reason the pool made me feel better. John would cook out every now and then by the pool side, and Candi would always bring tasty treats with her. By the end of the summer Bella went from crying every time she got water in her face, to jumping in with her eyes open under water. Skylar also walked away this summer with a new trick, he learned how to swim.

Annabel Lopez: 2nd Cousin

We also took a family trip to Austin for Sally's baby shower. Annie had already been born, but this time Molly was back in town from her travels to Alaska and New Zealand so she threw this second shower for her little sister. John and I drove down there, and so did Candi, Kobi, Bella and Skylar. We all stayed at Earl's house and had a great time visiting the family. This is really the first time we have been able to spend any time with the family aside from weddings because my Dad had shut himself off from us for the past eight years. He had under went some serious medical problems the previous year and made family a number one priority. I am so incredibly thankful to have my Dad back in my life, and for John to finally get to know him. He has turned over a new leaf completely and we all welcome the change!

Dad at the Wedding, Still Recovering From Surgery

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Our Little Gummy Bear  

May 2008: 3 months into pregnancy

At last the medical insurance for me became effective. I could finally go to the OB and see if the pregnancy was healthy. The fears of it being an ectopic pregnancy, or no heart beat for the baby, or ovarian cysts plagued my mind from the beginning, especially because I still cramped regularly. It seemed like eternity to get an appointment, but on May 15th the day finally came. They did blood work and urine tests, a full physical and then finally the first sonogram. We saw our little baby up on the screen dancing all around inside of me. It was so precious and filled us with so much joy. I have seen sonograms before, but they never meant anything to me until this moment. I felt my eyes tearing as I watched our little gummy bear on the screen. John was speechless, with glossy eyes and big smile as he stared in amazement. At that moment it made all of my misery from the morning sickness seem minor compared to the miracle taking place in my body. We watched the heart beat flicker on the screen and all signs pointed to a perfectly healthy pregnancy. Dr. Annie Bass printed out many pictures for us to take home, and I immediately e-mailed them out for the rest of the family to see. From this point on, the baby is referred to as the gummy bear, since we didn't know the sex yet and felt it was heartless to refer to a baby as an “it”.

Ellie the Puppy

The puppy's bladder infection didn't seem to be clearing up, and I was in no physical shape to take care of her since I was constantly throwing up. My sense of smell heightened and the scent of urine in our apartment became overwhelming for me. We couldn't leave her in the apartment unattended because she would tend to destroy anything her little mouth could get around. By this point she had eaten several important charging chords like to the laptop, the digital camera, the memory card reader, the cell phone chargers and several others plus our TV remote. Also furniture was not safe such as our chairs and our couch. The puppy started spending more and more time in the crate. I would try to walk her but every time she pulled on the leash I would throw up. Sometimes the sound of her cries would make me sick because of my migraines. John worked long hours in a store that was over an hour away from us, so he was in no mood to take the responsibility off my hands. We eventually decided that the best thing to do for her is to find her a new home while she was still a puppy. We found a sweet elderly couple with a giant backyard, lots of trees and a swimming pool that had just retired and desperately wanted the company to adopt her. It was a hard day for both John and I, because we loved her dearly, but felt that we were doing the right thing for all of us. We still both miss our puppy and are incredibly grateful for the joy she brought us through the beginning of the year, but we both knew in our hearts that this is simply not the best timing to have her. We did feel good that we were able to place her into a loving home and not a shelter. The couple sent us reports about how she adapted right away, and absolutely loves the swimming pool. So we still feel confident that we made the right decision even though it was a very difficult one to make.

One Last Afternoon Nap Together

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A Two Week Wedding Miracle  

April 2008: 2 months into pregnancy

Cramps persisted into the next couple of weeks. I felt more and more fatigued and I started becoming confused as to what my body was telling me. All signs pointed to me starting any day, but for some reason it never came. One night, early in April, I was kept awake by the cramps and decided to take a home pregnancy test to rule out that theory and to my surprise a second line started appearing in the window. However, when this second line started to appear in never fully came in. It was so faded you could barely tell it was even there. I have taken pregnancy tests before because my cycle tends to be irregular, and never before has there been any signs of a line. If there are no instruction around what that means, then how could I be certain of the results? The instructions said nothing about faded lines on whether it could mean a false reading or a definite positive. I awoke John and showed him the test. Confused, he looked at it and shrugged and suggested we take another in the morning. That night was impossible to get any sleep. Excited and nervous I tossed and turned until morning and tried again. The next test did the same. I felt fairly positive that this meant I was pregnant, but I was still not confident of the results since the tests came from the same box and were both barely ledge able. Later that evening we purchased a digital test which confirmed in seconds that we were undeniably pregnant! Although the pregnancy was unplanned, we both really wanted to have babies together so we were excited... scared but excited.

Technically I can't say the pregnancy was unplanned completely, we had decided that we wanted kids and since I was so irregular we had no idea how long it would take so we made the decision to not be careful but not really “try” at the same time. I have seen first hand through friends and family what the pressures of trying can do to a person so we figured this would be an easier approach since we weren't ready to seriously start, but we wouldn't be against it if it happened for us early. I say scared because pregnancy is a big deal and I wasn't confident in how prepared I felt. Apparently these are natural feelings to have about a pregnancy whether it was planned or unplanned according to the pregnancy books, but at the time that little tid bit of information gave me no sense of reassurance. Having children is a life changing event. You spend your whole life taking care of only yourself and now in a blink of an eye your life's journey is not about you anymore. It is a tremendous responsibility, not something to be taken lightly by any means. We both knew that this is something we desperately wanted with each other, after all this was why we decided to get a puppy... a sort of trial run with learning the responsibilities of parenthood. However one thing that weighed heavily on my mind is that, like I said earlier, I did not have medical insurance.

Originally when John proposed to me we set our wedding date to be in May of '08, but due to our financial struggles, and those of my parents it didn't seem like it was a possibility to do it this year. Now that John and I were pregnant, the urgency was put back on the wedding plans. I wanted to have a plan before presenting the fact that we were pregnant to the folks, not like I would be in trouble or anything since I was 25, but I felt a little stressed about not having a plan and I didn't want anybody else to make it worse. Plus, being pregnant feels like the worst period of your life with all of the hormones surging through your body. So honestly I couldn't handle any outside stress with a sense of composure in the first place. John and I decided that a Justice of the Peace wedding would have to suffice for now until the funds came in to do a ceremony, possibly the following year. This was a hard thing for me to agree to because neither of us have been married previously nor do we have any intentions on remarrying so it felt like it stripped us from our special moment. I broke the news to Candi and my lifelong friend Nikki first, then Mom and finally Dad. Candi has always had away with calming me down when I am a little stressed about things, so she played a big role in helping me find a JOP and a list of Obs. Mom did not like the idea of a JOP wedding any better than I did and went to work planning an actual ceremony with the help of her sister, my Aunt Kathy, Candi, and Nikki. They threw together a beautiful ceremony in a two week time frame, and it turned out to be perfect. I am not much of a planner, obviously, so this took all of the pressure and stress off my shoulders.
The Wedding Party
Mean while with the pregnancy, morning sickness hit me hard. I was in no shape to plan a wedding for I couldn't seem to keep anything down. I became lactose intolerant, extremely weak, had caffeine migraines, allergies from a tornado, incredibly motion sick, and nauseated all day and night long. I think I threw up on average at least three times per day. Fortunately I made it through the entire wedding, I can't say the same for the wedding night but at least the wedding was perfect. We were married on a Friday night, April 25th 2008. I will never forget how John looked at me that night.
A Kiss to Seal the Deal

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Raising Ellie Just Became a Little Harder  

March 2008: 1 month into pregnancy

John and I had just adopted a yellow baby Labrador Retriever by the name of Ellie at the beginning of 2008. She was a wild thing that the both of us put every effort into training, and she held a special place in my heart right from the beginning because of her resemblance to my favorite childhood dog Roxy. We had failed previously with our first attempt at a dog Jake, so this time we wanted to do it right by taking her to Puppy Kindergarten classes and Obedience Classes weekly from the first month we got her. We set up puppy playtimes for her in the dog park behind our apartment and walked her regularly to make sure she got the exercise she needed even though she was an apartment dog. At this time she started developing a severe bladder infection. This couldn't come at a worse time for us financially because in February both John and I had become incredibly sick, me with a horrible strain of the Flu Virus and John with Pneumonia. This set us back considerably financially since I didn't have insurance and John had to have x-rays of his chest done. We took Ellie into the Vet several times to get her infection cleared up, but for some reason the antibiotics never cleared it up. Eventually, after many tests and cultures, they found a medication that would work. I found myself becoming more and more frustrated with everything and physically unable to keep up with her. Towards the end of the month I began cramping and the moodiness made me believe I was menstrual.

Our Little Hunting Dog

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