I LOVED week 26 more than any other week. Now, I know that I’ve said this a few times, but the truth is this week was by far my favorite because I got to go on vacation!!
While at the doctor the week before I received a call from my two favorite people asking when I was coming to visit. Well, I gave Ben “the look” and he said, just go. Now, if there is one thing you should know about my husband is that he “pretends” to hate that I love to vacation. In all actuality if the really hated it, he’d stop sending me. Though, maybe he just needs a break from me!!
After getting the okay from doc and booking my flight there were only a few days separating me and the mountains.
I left on Tuesday, took the day off work, and flew to Denver from Milwaukee. When booking my flight, I only had two options; a 40 minute layover or a 6 hour layover. I figured 40 minutes was more than enough time, until our plane sat on the runway for 25 minutes and I forgot that I was switching airlines. DIA is a great airport, one of my faves, but let me tell you, trekking across it is exhausting!! When I got to my gate they were calling my name to tell me that I needed to check in and board immediately. That scared the heck out of me. When you fly from Denver to Steamboat you take a little plane where you just walk on from outside. Well, my gate for that plane happened to be in the basement and I had to cut through all these other people. Needless to say I made it with enough time, but I’m pretty sure that was my one “freebee.”
April picked Lars Erik and I up in Steamboat and it was off to brunch we went at my favorite restaurant, Creekside. After lunch we went back to relax until Katherine got done with school. She of course was extremely excited to see me and wanted to get to playing as soon as possible. Homework/tutor ruined all that fun, but luckily for her we had five whole days together. April and I spent time cooking a ham and some potatoes for dinner. It was very delicious!!
Wednesday we slept in and then decided we’d do a little shopping around town. Steamboat is the most beautiful place and they have the best little shops!! A trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting all of our favorite stores. After shopping and lunch, Katherine and I played our favorite Wii game Kirby, and just relaxed. We also had to prepare our Thanksgiving menu.
Thanksgiving was finally here and neither April nor myself had ever tackled the meal before. We’d looked through many books and decided just how and what we wanted to make. She was making some of her moms recipes as well. We started the process around 10 and did not stop until 4:31 when we finally sat down to eat. Cooking for Thanksgiving it pure exhausting!! At one point I texted mom and told her that she can stick to preparing the Turkey Day meal. It definitely was delicious and fun to experience, but I was pooped in the end. Not to mention, a nice glass of wine would’ve help smooth out the process!!
Friday and Saturday we spent more time eating, shopping and just relaxing. Katherine and I of course played hours of Kirby, colored, watched movies and more. She is also in the running for Henry’s babysitter, so she had lots of questions about what it takes to be a great babysitter, like myself. If there is one person more excited than me about this baby, it is her. She has everything figured out. We definitely thought that’d she would be jealous, but she is far from it. Apparently she picks out toys and such for him every time they go out shopping and even tells people all about it. It really is so cute. I let her feel him kick and she thought it was the coolest thing ever.
As sad as I was to leave on Sunday, I knew that next time I went to visit I’d be bringing Henry to see my favorite people in my favorite place. Plus, getting home is well worth it when you have a baby coming soon!! Ben claims that this will be my last time flying for awhile, but I know we’ll make the trip with Baby H soon enough!! TSA would miss me if I took time off from flying!!
Hanging out with Nellie and Foxy.
Getting home from Colorado was supposed to be far more exciting than it ended up being. For the few weeks prior we had noticed that Dakota wasn’t really eating as much and started to act “different.” At first, it made sense because we had switched foods. We just figured she was protesting because Bernie wasn’t eating it either. Not to mention, Ben had been gone a lot and she never eats when he’s gone.
When I got home, I was shocked at how thin and sick she looked. Ben said that she hadn’t eaten the entire time I was gone. Right away Monday morning I called the vet and they got her in the next day. I told Ben he had to take her because if they were going to tell us bad news I was did not want to hear it.
Sadly enough, Tuesday got busy for Ben at work and I ended up having to take Dakota. Bernie of course didn‘t want to stay home alone, so he joined us for moral support. When we got to the vet, they noticed Dakota’s weight loss right away. She weighed 12 pounds less than she had a year ago. Normally, that wouldn’t be a lot, but the fact that she had most likely lost it all in the past three weeks was bad. Within minutes of the vet walking in, she diagnosed Dakota with cancer. Those words were the saddest I had ever heard. I sure hope I never have to hear them as a person because I almost lost it when the vet told me. She said she had to do some tests for confirmation, but in the end she told me to love my dog as the outcome wouldn’t be great.
After I left the vets office, I had to call Ben to tell him that his dog had cancer. That’s when I lost it for sure. She was his baby and it made me really sad to have to tell him that her fate wasn’t looking very good. We had intentions of going to my parents house for dinner and the dogs joined us. Dakota was so weak from not eating and the cancer that she couldn’t even jump in the car. I had to help her get in and out of it.
We got home that night and knew that we really needed to start thinking about our “plans” for her. It was the worst conversation ever. I felt awful talking about it in front of her because I didn‘t want her to think that we didn’t love her. The vet had given us some medicine and calorie packed food to help make her comfortable. As we talked, she ate and seemed a little bit like her self.
Ben carried her up and down the stairs for the next few nights. We also spent each night with her on the floor as a family. We had decided if the results were positive we would put her to sleep, but if for some reason they weren’t, we take the next steps to get her healthy.
The vet called Thursday to share that the results were positive. I made Ben call her back to find out how bad it really was and sadly it wasn’t looking good at all. Her entire body was basically engulfed with tumors, along with all her lymph nodes. She had one episode where she coughed up blood and the vet told us it wasn’t a good sign. As the cancer progressed things would start to get “ugly.” She wasn’t just going to die. Her body would eventually start to starve itself and then eat away from the inside out. Knowing all that we knew that what we were going to do was the “right” thing.
Originally Ben decided that he would take Dakota with him up north for the weekend and then take her in on Monday morning. Well, after some thought and looking at how she was progressing, it was decided that we really couldn’t wait any longer.
Friday was our last night with her. We went for one last family car ride, came home watched a movie and hugged her harder than we had ever hugged her before. We thought that maybe she knew what was going on as her eyes were just so sad.
Saturday morning we spent our time with her. Ash and Nate came to say good bye and we tried our hardest to remember we were doing the right thing. Ben took me to his parents, where I’d wait, and he took Dakota in. There was no way I could watch it happen. I’d seen Marley and Me which is enough. He stayed with her the entire time, as did the vet and her assistant. After she was gone they wrapped her in the Brewer’s blanket that she loved. Ben drove to his parents where he had dug a hole for her the day before. He laid her in the hole and I watched with a very heavy heart. Besides the blanket, we also decided to place her shaggy bone in her grave.
Burying our dog was the saddest thing that we’ve experienced thus far. We called it our first big decision as parents. Coming home and watching Bernie go crazy looking for his best friend made me cry even more. We knew that he would have a hard time with it as he’s never been alone before. Sunday was the worst, as it was our first full day without D and all we could do was think about her. Bernie had decided he wouldn’t eat any food or touch any toys that she had played with. We went and bought new treats, got some new toys and switched foods. It seemed to help him heal. He also refused to sleep alone at night, so for a few days Ben slept with him on the couch. After awhile he gave up and now Bernie sleeps under our bed, where he feels safe.
Life has been quite the adjustment since losing D. Bernie is taking to being an only child. We’re pretty sure he loves it, but you can tell he still misses her. Sometimes he whines and goes to look for her. It‘s still weird to come home and for her not to be here. As hard as our decision was As hard as our decision was, we knew that we did what we best. She didn‘t have to suffer and our hearts didn’t have to watch her life fade from us.
We had 7 great years with Dakota and know that she is living happily in doggie heaven with all her new doggie friends. She’ll forever be in our hearts. Someday we’ll get another dog, but for now we’re going to have a baby instead.
Bernie of course, still had to be the “star of the show”
I spent a lot of time taking pictures of D her last few days. Didn’t want to forget anything about her.
How Far Along: 29 Weeks 6 Days. Week 26 baby was the size of a head of lettuce and week 25 baby was the size of a rutabaga.
Maternity Clothes: As I get bigger, things are starting to become uncomfortable. Wearing a jacket is impossible. I’ve tried Ben’s jackets, but even those are getting snug!! His sweats are my favorite, but he doesn’t like that I wear them all leaving him with none.
Stretch Marks: Mom seems to think I’m overreacting about my stretchies, that I’m pretty darn lucky, but she’ll definitely agree the belly is extra hairy.
Sleep: It has made it’s way back in full force. I actually nap ALL the time and can easily fall back asleep when I get up to pee. It’s AWESOME!!
Best Moment of the Week: Colorado…it’s where I‘m happiest
Miss Anything: Dakota..it was really hard losing her, but she’s always in my heart.
Anything Making Your Queasy or Sick: Certain foods are starting to become unappealing again. Not sure if this is normal or what!!
Gender: A boy…Henry or Baby H as I like to call him.
Labor Signs: None
Belly Button: Popped out, along with the rest of me.
Happy or Moody: Sad for D, but overall happy.
Looking Forward Too: Third trimester is right around the corner and I cannot wait for this last stretch. The excitement is continuing to build!!