A Loud Mama with a loud family, living imperfect lives glorified through God and breaking free of the bondage of politically correct Religion. We do things differently around the Viking Homestead, and hope that, by sharing our lives, we can help others feel more comfortable with their differences as well.
16 February, 2012
How to cope with pregnancy when your coping mechanism fails. Or, why I will always miss Soda.
Yes. Soda is a cat. She is the first cat that Cranky Pirate and I ever owned together. She's the MOST amazing cat. She came into our lives in a way that, once we got to know her, was completely in line with her personality. We heard a cat fussing VERY loudly outside of our apartment door. So, we opened it to see what was going on, and she quit fussing and walked right in and laid herself down on the couch. That was is. She didn't urinate anywhere....she waited for us to get her a litter box, which we did the next morning. We were impressed by the big, old soul in this little cat, our Soda. She never got bothered except when she was left completely alone. So, we got her a cat. Yes, I got a cat for my cat. A jittery, nervous girl we called Urd that made Wade Duck(you know, from Garfield and Friends!) look like a member of the Super Hero Squad!! Soda was the mama cat and all was well. The years came and went, we added in more cats, a dog, multiple moves and various crises. Soda is nothing if not loyal. She would come sit with me everynight in the bath, perched right up on the side, just sitting. Being. It was always a very comforting thing. Then, I found out I was pregnant with Little Valkyrie. I was scared and had no idea what I was doing and we were going through a LOT of stress in our lives. Soda would come lay down with me every time I curled up in bed. Right next to my tummy and, eventually, around my bump. Eventually she would start sleeping with Little Valkyrie instead which I couldn't have been more pleased with. While I was pregnant with Little Viking, Hurricane Ike hit. As I laid in bed having contractions and freaking out, Soda laid next to me. She didn't move until I was able to get up. She was great the whole time. Unfortunately, poor Urd, who would get ill from hearing a raised voice, did not deal with the stress so well and, on the day of my baby shower, I had her put down due to kidney failure. Soda didn't cope with this well at all but, luckily, she turned a corner and pulled through, returning to normal-ish and eventually began trying to tend to Little Viking the same way she had with Little Valkyrie. She was there for the pregnancies that I carried, and she was there for the pregnancies I lost. Rubbing on my legs to remind me she was there, sitting on her little perch in the bathroom. Always. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that it wouldn't be forever. A year ago, Soda got sick. She stopped eating. She stopped drinking. She had all kinds of symptoms and lost weight. Even though she couldn't jump, she would come sit on her perch in the bathroom. I took her to the vet. They were puzzled....None of her organs were failing, but bloodwork was crazy. They would syringe feed her, but she would usually just fight it. I consented to have a feeding tube placed and brought her home to care for her where I wrote up a medication and feeding schedule based on the amount of nutrition she needed per day. It was scary, but we were making it work and she was showing some improvement. We didn't have to call the emergency vet once and it was looking like we could place a mile marker at the end of the long road...that we could finally start counting down to a goal. Soda was weak, and we were having to take care to take her to the litter box and things like that, but we were prepared for that and keeping her warm, clean and fed. Then, one Monday, I went in and couldn't find her. Here was this cat that could barely walk, but had managed to go hide herself in a bin in the cabinet under the sink. I knew that wasn't good. I knew what hiding meant. I noticed her respiration when I fed her. She had a follow up that day, so I was relieved knowing she was getting checked out. I left for work and prayed to God that if she was going to die, if she was SUPPOSED to die, then for her to just die while I was gone so that I didn't have to make that decision again. When i came home, she was still alive, but I couldn't shake the feeling that she knew it was time. I packed her up...this time with no resistance and took her to the vet. When they took her temperature, it was so low that it wouldn't even register. Even after they put warm packs on her, for quite a while I should add, her temp still wouldn't register. Her vitals were all going down....who knows...if I'd worked over that day she probably would have died at home. She finally looked up at me, and I knew it was time. The vet was very kind and started an I.V. so that they could bring her back in the room with me to be euthanized. So, again, all by myself, I made the decision to have an animal put down. It was beautiful though, as much as it could be. It was peaceful and fast and it meant the world to me that I got to be with her, holding her, and that the tech and the vet stayed with me until I was ready to leave. It was incredibly hard to cope, but this time I was assured that I had done everything possible to save her and that, it was just her time. I couldn't hold on to her anymore. If love could have saved her she would have lived forever. She'd still be here. I never realized how much I depended on her until this past July. I found out I was pregnant with #3. I was so shocked and surprised! We decided not to tell anyone due to the fact that I had become pregnant after Little Viking but had lost each pregnancy to that point. We set a date to tell people and tried to deal with each little crisis that seemed to pop up. One day, Cranky Pirate surprised me with a trip to LUSH! Now, I LOVE me some LUSH!! If you don't know of them yet, seriously, check them out. Anyhow, we picked up some new goodies for my bath stash and I looked forward to a nice bath that evening. So, it was business as usual, and I ran a bath. When I got in I looked over, instinctually...expectantly. I realized what the problem was. The perch was vacant. There was no Soda. For a split second I seriously expected her to pop up on the side of the tub and stick her paw on my tummy. And then she didn't. Of course she didn't. And then I had to figure out just how to cope with pregnancy and all the stress that comes along with it, while doing it without my coping mechanism. That being said, I do have two other old cats that came along shortly after we got Soda and Urd. Also, we have a cat that was abandoned as part of a litter just after Soda died. We took in the whole litter, bottle fed them, and let Little Valkyrie pick out one to keep. I have knitting and blogging and two children to look after. So, I have things to keep me busy and 95% of the time I do pretty well at getting through it all. Pregnancy is one of those times that is hard on me physically and emotionally. I love being pregnant and I love having children, but feeling so detached from my body, feeling like its not my own, gets exhausting. I do understand the blessing that pregnancy is. I love my babies. There are days though, when I'm hurting and tired and it gets to me that, although it might seem silly to some, the cat that I relied on(yes, relied on)to help me get through the rough times is no longer here, and I've got to actually sort out getting through this pregnancy without Soda.