A year ago today: Thursday, October 27th, 2011
I was 28 weeks 4 days pregnant. In the post about my 26th I wrote how I wasn't feeling well that day. Well after sleeping about 12 hours that night I actually woke up on Thursday feeling the best I had in awhile. I had a good amount of energy. I went to campus to get a lot of work done. I actually even remember what I worked on that day with regards to my research. I will spare you the details on that though. I just know I finally felt like maybe I would be getting somewhere. I never knew I wouldn't be coming back to it the next day.
I also prepared for teaching the next day. At the time I was the TA for a hybrid class, meaning it was part online and part in class. I only taught on Fridays. I had three sections of the class. I made my copies that afternoon before leaving campus and looked through the slides. I set the copies on the edge of my desk to be picked up in the morning before class. They sat in the same spot until about 2 months ago. I just couldn't bring myself to move them for quite some time.
Mike was at work that night and I had plans to go to a good friend's house for dinner. Her sister and nephew were visiting and she wanted to meet them and I wanted to meet them too. Before I headed over I took the dog out to potty. If you know Perk at all, you know that while he's a great, lovey, wonderful dog he can be pretty high energy and that he's reactive to other dogs. We use a gentle leader (head harness) with him when taking him out for walks. It helps a lot. Well that night I was in a hurry and took him out with just a regular leash. He was dark and I didn't think we'd have to worry about other dogs. Well I was wrong. We start coming back up toward our house. We live in a building of four town homes with a shared parking. As Perk and I got back into the parking area there was an off leash dog. That dog caught us both of guard and neither of us realized it was there until we were pretty close. Perk started whining and pulling toward the dog really hard. It took everything I had to keep my balance and not let him pull me over. In fact, I couldn't even keep walking toward the house I only could keep us in a stand still. The dog belonged to a guy in the building next to ours. So not only did he have is dog off leash, but he was letting his dog wander without him. Oh it made me so mad! Leash laws are not just so your dogs don't run away. They are there for a reason. My dog is a rescue dog. We don't know what's in his past that would make him be reactive to other dogs. We didn't have him when he was a puppy to make sure he was socialized properly. We work with him now and do the best that we can. He is a great dog and we don't know what we'd do without him. But people who let their dogs be off leash and wander away not keeping an eye on them really set Perk back and make things even more difficult.
Finally the owner came over and got his dog, not really saying much of anything. I got Perk in his kennel and left for my friends house. That encounter really had me stressed out. I remember being worked up about it the whole drive. When I got to my friend's house I had to vent about it. I've since wondered over and over again if the physical exertion I needed to hold Perk that night or the stress it gave me had a connection to Marcellus being born the next day. I've even wanted to go up to that neighbor and tell him what happened. That my baby was born the next day after having his dog come up to mine. I've asked many medical professionals about it and while they've all said, no that wouldn't cause labor I can't help but think it is related though. That if only that dog hadn't been out there that night, if only I had put the gentle leader on Perk, if only if only then my baby wouldn't have been born. Part of it is I'm looking for a reason why I went into labor. I have no reason why.
After I settled down from that, we had a good time just relaxing and chatting at my friend's house. Her sister was also pregnant at the time. I can't remember exactly how far along she was, but she had a healthy baby girl born in April (I think it was April at least). I sat in one of the recliners while we chatted. I remember sitting there with my growing belly. Nothing about that night gave me suspicion that I would be in labor the next morning. I remember texting my brother. It was his 23rd birthday. He text me back saying something about how he couldn't talk. I told him it was fine because I was at a friend's anyway and we'd talk that weekend or something.
And that means that today is my brother's 24th birthday. His first birthday since his nephew has been gone. He never got to meet Marcellus. He did come see him in the funeral home though. I really haven't had much of a chance in the last year to talk to my brother. But I do remember him calling me the night of Marcellus's death. All he did was cry on the phone with me. Sometimes I wonder how he feels having Marcellus's birthday be the day after his. Is my brother thinking about how tomorrow is his nephew's first birthday while he's celebrating his 24th? I don't know, but I do know he loves and misses Marcellus. And that's what matters.
I went to bed that night like I did ever other night. Trying to get comfortable in my big pregnancy pillow. Trying to make sure I would stay sleeping on my side and not wake up on my back. Feeling my baby kick like crazy as I was trying to get comfortable. Loving every movement, but also getting a little annoyed because I just wanted to sleep. Nothing out of the ordinary, just the regular happens of my 28 week pregnant self.
Marcellus, just one night now stands between us and your first birthday. Today was rough baby boy, really really rough for Mommy. Lots of anxiety today. Hopefully I've worked through most of that so we can spend tomorrow celebrating you tomorrow. Celebrating how amazing of a little boy you are! I hope that interaction with the dog isn't something that sent me into labor. I've thought about that a lot. That if I had only avoided having that happen, you wouldn't have come so early. Also, remember that today is your uncle's birthday. Make sure you give his heart a hug because I know you want him to have a good birthday. I know you love him just like he loves you. I wonder if you remember me telling you about him when we were in the NICU. I hope so. Love and miss you sweet baby boy. Tomorrow there will be a celebration just for you! xoxox