This Humbly Chaotic Life

I’ve recently had many people tell me that I should write a blog because my life is crazier than a reality TV show, so here goes nothing.

My boyfriend Sean & I have been together for nearly four years, together we have two chocolate labs Gunner & Autumn, and a stray cat that we took in named Luna. I work at a daycare doing something I love and recently, I followed my lifelong dream and started my own dance class, it was a huge success. We started a five year plan to build a new home. Overall, life has been pretty simple, and it has been very good to us.

In mid-April we found out that our party of two was going to turn into a family of three in December. Happy, excited, scared, nervous, every emotion that you could possibly imagine, I was feeling. I went for my first ultrasound June 8th, 2017 and at only thirteen weeks along we found out that we were having a little boy! Actually, we found out by mistake because the tech was showing us the baby’s arms, hands, head, feet etc… when she quickly scanned over the bottom half and Sean screamed “Holy! Look at the package on him!”

Yup. That’s what my babes gender reveal consisted of. We were told by the tech that she was not allowed to tell us the gender because it was still technically too early but in this case it was pretty obvious, our eyes weren’t playing tricks and our little boy was due December 9th, 2016. We already had his name picked out Rhett. We were so excited to meet Rhett and started buying little outfits!

Fast forward a month, and everything has been going pretty good, I was measuring a little bit on the small side but overall I had a dream pregnancy this far (Other than it feeling like the sun was 2 feet above my head and sweating to death, it had been great!). Until July 13th, 2016, at 3 am Sean woke up to our house full of smoke. He quickly woke me up and got us and our dogs outside only to find the entire back of our house on fire. The two of us and the two dogs got out safe and Sean found Luna under the truck a couple hours later. After nearly twelve hours of fighting the fire, it was finally out, however everything was gone, just like that our home,our story, our possessions were all a pile of ashes. I’m eighteen weeks pregnant, with two dogs and a cat and we have no home, if there were ever a time to panic, it would be now.  Looking back I feel like I was way too calm considering all that was going on.

We spent two weeks living in the unfinished garage of our future home, there was no running water, and we slept on an air mattress. It was the farthest from what I expected being 20 weeks pregnant. A friend offered us a home to stay in until we got back on our feet, which we are forever grateful for. We moved in with what little we had and tried to get everything back on track. Sean started going full speed ahead working on the new house trying to get it done before Rhett’s upcoming arrival.

Things start to quiet down in early September, the progress on the house is huge and things are going our way.. Just a recap, baby due in a little over 3 months, our home and belongings burned to the ground, our new home isn’t finished and everything is already chaotic. So naturally, something has to happen to keep us on our toes and shake everything up.

It’s September 7th, 2016, Autumn and Gunner seem to think that things aren’t crazy enough, after wearing a diaper for nearly three weeks (because she was in heat) decide it’s time to join in on the fun. That’s right now not only are we having a baby in December, and our house isn’t finished, we now have puppies on the way. Not only are they on the way but they’re due November 9th , one month before me.

A baby, puppies, and we aren’t living in our own house yet, wonderful. If things weren’t being done in double time, now it is all being done in quadruple time. When we took Autumn to her vet appointment to see how many puppies we should expect we got quite a surprise. Autumn wasn’t pregnant with 4 puppies, or even 6 puppies, but 11 puppies. That’s right, 11. All we could do was laugh, who else would have our kind of luck? No one.

Amongst all of this chaos, Sean’s grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, had surgery and took her first chemotherapy treatment. We are both extremely close with his grandparents and visit them sometimes multiple times a day. This was a tough pill to swallow, but continued to support her and provide humor for her in this terrible situation. After taking her second treatment she was hospitalized due to a high fever, they decided it would be best to keep her and monitor her condition.  Over the next week her condition seemed to get worse and worse. Even in her condition, she called every day to check on me and the dogs and see if there were any signs of puppies. Our house wasn’t quite done and it was looking like they were going to be born in the house that we were renting.

On November 9th, at around midnight I woke up to Autumn panting and pacing around the house, she was confused about what was happening to her, but I knew, she was going into labour. So at 36 weeks pregnant, she and I shared a bed on the floor for the rest of the night so I could comfort her. She got some rest for the long day she had ahead of her, my mom and sister came out to help me. After labouring all day at 3:50pm she gave birth to her first puppy, followed by ten more in the next three hours. I sat there and helped her deliver every single one, helping clean and cut umbilical cords. She did an amazing job and we were so happy that ten of the puppies were born alive and healthy. In total she had 4 chocolate males, 1 yellow male, 4 chocolate females and 2 yellow females. One of her chocolate males was unfortunately born sleeping; in a litter of eleven, having ten alive are amazing odds.

That night was long, Autumn was new to being a mother and she was learning, the puppies were loud and the only place for them in our rental house was in the room next door to us so I don’t think anyone got much sleep that night. After the delivery of the puppies and one long night, I spent the day cleaning. It seemed like the day flew by, Sean came and went all day working on the house and taking Gunner to keep him busy.

It was shortly after supper and we decided to get some wings, Sean ran to the store and made a quick stop at his fathers. I went into check on Autumn and her puppies, I knelt down to admire our beautiful lab’s work when all of a sudden, my water broke. Yes, you are reading this right, our dog just had 10 puppies and now our baby is coming a month early. Sean came home five minutes later and I told him what was going on, he naturally was in denial. Both of our minds went blank and after making a few calls to figure out what to do, we were quickly getting everything ready to head to Labour and Delivery.

Sean’s mom and sister came to the house to keep watch over the dogs and the one-day-old puppies, and my mother followed us to the hospital. We arrived shortly after 10pm and the nurses confirmed that I was in labour. I had not yet experienced any contractions and was told that if my contractions didn’t start I would be induced first thing in the morning, I was also told that because I was only thirty six weeks along, our baby would be in the NICU for at least thirty six hours but likely a week, I was devastated.

My contractions picked up around 1 am and sparing details (we’ll save that for another post) at 12:48pm on November 12, 2016, Rhett was born. He weighed 6 lbs 1 oz and was twenty inches long. He was perfect. But, things didn’t really go that great, he was struggling to breathe and was unable to stay with me after delivery. He was rushed to the NICU, Sean stayed with him while they worked on him. My family came in to quickly visit me; I could hardly keep my eyes open and was told to rest for a while.

Things went better Rhett was released from the NICU in 48 hours and we were released the next day. We brought home our bundle of joy to his cat and his twelve dogs. Do you want to know what chaos looks like? I just explained it! All the  while we still aren’t in our house, but all in all everything is great.

The next day things changed again, Sean’s grandmother was taken to the ICU and was put onto life support.  It has been such an emotional few days; this was not what should be happening. Everyone should be happy, the baby is here, the puppies are here, why is this happening? Why now? The doctors explained how she had developed pneumonia as a result of her immune system being so low, and the pneumonia then turned into Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. This was causing her lungs to harden and making her unable to breathe on her own, they then explained that her chances of survival were very low but they would do anything they could. This hit like a tonne of bricks.

On December 9th, Rhett’s due date, we finally moved into our new home. Our family of three, the cat, and the twelve dogs were finally HOME. With Christmas right around the corner the next month passed before we knew it, and against the odds, Sean’s grandmother got better and better as days went on.

Now, into January 2017, we found 8 of the puppies wonderful homes and decided to keep two, Gator and Sky. Sean’s grandmother is home, and after 75 days in the hospital, was able to come home and meet her great grandson. Everything is finding a way to be ‘normal’ for now. I’m adjusting to being a new mom, and we are rebuilding our life in our new home, four dogs and all.

Keep checking for new posts about everything that life brings!

– Shannah


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