(Fur) Baby On Board: Due Summer 2019
First, a flashback.
The first weekend of June was extremely busy for my family. We were living in Greenville, SC and decided to throw a joint birthday party for our girls at my parents' house. Both girls have May birthdays, 90% of our family live there (yes, John and I grew up a few miles from each other), and my parents have a pool complete with a pool house. And so, the Thursday before, we loaded up our kiddos and the trusted Beagle, Gus, and headed to our hometown of Thomaston, GA.
Friday, our youngest, Sadie, started running a fever. Needless to say, she was battling an ear infection and her first ever sickness on her first birthday party. Luckily, with John being a physician, we knew people we could call to get her seen, diagnosed, and medicated before her party. It was a good time, and we had most of our families there to celebrate.
We left early on Sunday after doing the final walkthrough of our new house. Exhaustion doesn’t quite cover it, and I will not regret never having to make that trip again (looking at you, downtown Atlanta traffic). Also that night, I got a phone call from Bette Lamore, the owner of Whispering Oak Arabians in Paso Robles, California. She is also the owner of the mare and stallion we have been trying to breed.
To understand why this is a big deal, I have to give you the whole story.
So, backstory time.
If you don't know, being a doctor's wife, husband, or partner isn't easy. You're alone most of the time, and when you introduce children into the world, you're a married single parent for a lot of the time (especially during the training years). You learn how to be independent when they're away, and you learn to adjust to their abnormal schedule. You figure out how to budget for whatever expenses you're getting hit with (like Boards, test bank questions, interviews, applications, etc.).
So for me to accept getting him to his dreams, I had to be okay with him working night shifts for three or four months a year, for him to miss family holidays (like our children's first Christmases) and birthdays, for him to never be available if an emergency came up (like when I drove myself to the hospital in labor when Sadie was on the way), and a lot of other things that I'm forgetting. I worked a solid 40-hour week, did the laundry, dishes, cooked, took care of the children, was sometimes mother and father to both of them, and didn't bat an eye if John needed to go out with friends to let off steam.
John and I have always had an agreement. If I helped and supported him to achieve his dream of being a surgeon, he would support me in my dream. For a long time, I didn't know what that dream was. But to anyone who knows me, you know the answer is obvious – so obvious that it should be shameful how long it took me to figure it out.
It didn't hit me that this was my dream until I had to approve Sofie being put down over the phone after she colicked and the vet found a bad heart murmur. I cried for a week. She was my best friend for over half of my life, and to not be able to tell her goodbye or tell her that I wouldn’t ever forget her is something I wish I didn’t have to live with.
Fast forward a bit.
Then, last summer, I got in touch with Sofie’s sire’s owner, Bette Lamore, and discovered she had a mare who is related to Sofie and a mare who shares the same sire as Sofie, either of which she would be willing to breed for me. And so, after discussions with John and him giving me the okay to start my dream a bit earlier than we originally planned, I put the deposit down on a foal who wasn’t bred yet. My horse. After so many years away from horses, I would finally not just be back in the saddle, but back to what I've always wanted.
We waited until summer to ensure the foal would be ready to make its grand entrance in the world when it’s warm outside. So we started in May. But, with a stallion who hasn’t ever bred, and a mare who has all the experience in the world, the stars didn’t align that first month. But that was okay. We had some time.
That first weekend of June, Bette called to inform me that our star crossed lovers were, to put it lightly, dating. We thought after a few weeks with no sign of Beauty going back into heat that it meant a foal was on the way. Alas, she showed in heat a week later than her typical cycle. At that point, we tried to decide if we should use WOA Amazing Grace, a granddaughter of Explodent and a taller gray. The problem? She was a maiden, having never been bred before. That meant more care and work since it was her first time.
So we decided to keep going with Beauty, especially since she and Breakdancer had gotten so close. Bette and her husband kept in touch and kept a watchful eye on the pair, and as the summer started to close, Bette suspected something was up.
And here's today.
Bette caught the pair breeding again, but Beauty didn't seem into it as if she were in heat. Her gut told her to call the vet. And she did. We agreed on a plan if things weren't progressing with Beauty. If there wasn't a pregnancy or any signs that she was going to be able to get pregnant, we were going to move forward with Grace.
The day after the vet visit, I was driving down to Statesboro, GA to hang out with friends of ours from our years at Georgia Southern University (Hail Southern and no place else!). I found out earlier in the day that our oldest, Maddie, was going to get her first puppy in a few weeks, and John and I spent most of the ride talking about that. Then, I got a phone call from Bette. The first thing out of her mouth was, "Congratulations! You're going to be a momma!" And I don't think I've smiled so much in a long time.
IIWP Black Beauty is in foal to WOA Breakdancer. To top that off, I will be joining the riding family at none other than Talaria Farms in Newnan, GA. I’ll keep you all updated as to what’s happening with Fur Baby Allen. It's still incredibly early in the pregnancy (baby was measuring around 21 days), but I promised to share all of the updates as they come. We will be getting another ultrasound soon to make sure it's just one baby.
Pictures of mom and dad are posted below. Breakdancer is the chestnut, and Beauty is the black.
TLDR version: We have a fur baby on the way. Due summer 2019. No name yet. Currently riding at Talaria Farms on their exquisite horses. Maddie is getting a puppy in a few weeks, too. Oh, and being a doctor’s wife is pretty difficult, if you didn’t know.
Peace, love, and carrots to you and your babies, be them fur or otherwise.