June 10, 2012

Curveball #2 - Wilson

Sweet baby Eden is one month old today! Today is a sadder milestone as well, though - four weeks since we've last seen Wilson. Four weeks ago today we brought Eden home from the hospital, home to my parent's house anyway, and Wilson was with us. He'd had a rather boring and confusing couple of days while we'd been in the hospital. Among the many things we did not have figured out, hadn't even considered figuring out, when I went into labor was what to do with Wilson at 3 in the morning should we be heading to the hospital, so we just took him with us. Over the next couple of days, he continued to stay in the car in the hospital parking lot being checked on and taken for walks by Joe and his mom. So, when we got to the familiar, wooded, wide open expanses of my parents' property, he was pretty happy to be free. He'd had a brief introduction to Eden, but he mostly seemed interested in food and adventure. It never dawned on me when we turned him loose at my parents' that it might be the last time we ever saw him. Unfortunately, he wasn't wearing his collar. Joe had taken it off so as not to cause him any discomfort during his days in the car, and we just didn't think to put it back on right away.

When he missed his midday meal that first day, we just assumed that he was still burning off steam, hunting rabbits in the surrounding woods. But, one missed meal turned into the following morning with still no beagle. At this point, we have posters in five counties, listings on multiple websites, even a spot on a local radio station and newspaper, and still no luck.

It's amazing how much you can notice the absence of a dog who mostly spent the whole day alternating naps between his favorite sunny and shady locations. How can it seem so quiet when he hardly ever made noise to start with? Almost every night Joe or I dream that we find him and every day I find myself glancing out the window as if I'll just happen to catch him trotting down the driveway like any ordinary day.

At this point, I can imagine four possible scenarios as to what happened, and it is the reality that I'll probably never know exactly what happened that is one of the hardest things to deal with.

#1) Wilson is off to the great hunting grounds in the sky, a casualty of an encounter with some wild animal. This is a very sad scenario, but at least I like to think of him dying while off on a grand adventure, having the time of his life.

#2) Wilson is currently some little boy's best friend or an old lady's calm, steady companion. In this scenario Wilson is kind of like an angel who had served his time with us and moved on to another needy soul once we had Eden in our lives.

#3) Wilson is currently tied to a dog house or in a barren pen in someone's back yard eating dog food flavored cardboard. This is the scenario I most fear.

#4) Wilson is on his way home. He may have had a seizure while out on his post-Eden grand adventure, got disoriented, and temporarily lost his way. He's made the journey from our house to my parents' house and back numberous times, albeit in a car, but he's a smart beagle. He's currently trekking across the countryside, following an innate sense of direction and a longing to be home with his favorite people. Along the way he has various mini adventures and interactions with people who help him and are in turn touched by his gentle, quiet ways. Any day now, he WILL trot down the driveway, as if he's never been gone, and be showered with ice cream and cheese. This, of course, is my favorite scenario.

It has been a crazy month processing both life with Eden and life without Wilson at the same time. Wilson has been a fixture of all but the first few months of our marriage. I was so excited about Eden getting to spend her early childhood with one of the best dogs ever. I was determined that Wilson would grow old with us, dying in his sleep at a ripe old age curled up by the woodstove or lying in his favorite sunny spot. But, in the end we trust that Wilson's life is following its perfect path, and we were blessed to be a part of it for a while. And, I'll keep looking out that window...

June 02, 2012

Curveball #1 - Eden Loraine

So, I haven't been posting much on here lately, but I have a good reason - and her name is Eden Loraine. Just over three weeks ago, I was 36 weeks pregnant and we were busily attempting to get things in order for the upcoming birth of our child. We went to bed on the night of May 8th assuming we'd be spending the next morning getting the yurt tidied up for when our midwife came that afternoon for our homevisit. I'd been spending the previous weeks washing cloth diapers, washing and sorting baby clothes, washing spare towels and sheets for the homebirth and emailing people on Craigslist looking to purchase a bed for the yurt. Just days before we'd cleared out the "nursery" corner of the cabin and set it up with a dresser full of baby clothes and a bassinett.

All this "nesting" was supposed to get us ahead of the game, well prepared and anxiety free when the big day actually came. I must have sent the wrong signal to my body though because at 3 a.m. on the morning on May 9th, while attempting to roll over in bed, my water broke, and there was no turning back. We missed our homebirth window of 37-42 weeks by just one week and ended up at the hospital. While not the homebirth experience we had planned on, we really couldn't have asked for a better hospital scenario. We were well cared for and allowed to take a very natural course, attended by a pair of competent and caring midwives, and at 7:05 am on May 10th, Miss Eden Loraine made her debut. She was a tiny one at 5 lbs 4.5 oz, but fully functional and pretty much perfect.