Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pooches: Pregnant with Pooches

Where the pups suspect I have gotten bigger by eating all of their treats.
Way back during this instagram post, many of you were able to look beyond the pups' blue wigs, past the Chicago skyline and notice that I was looking a little 'bump-y'.
While the pups have always been our family, and such an important of our lives, I was unsure if things might change being pregnant and adding a human baby to our family.

I actually sat down to start writing this post when I was almost 38 weeks, but it turns out our little human baby decided to come 2 weeks before his due date. 
We've all been doing well, and the pups have been enjoying their new tiny brother.

Do the Dogs Know?
I had heard from a lot of people that their dogs were the ones who knew they were pregnant before they even knew because they could just detect that their person smelled different.
I kept trying to see signs from the pups that they knew something was different, but I'm not sure that they actually knew.
Miss M did start following me around a lot towards the end, and she would lay outside the bathroom.
Maybe she just thought I was getting big because I was hiding in there and eating all of her treats?

Things I didn't expect:
I had heard that you have an exaggerated sense of smell in the first trimester, so I was expecting to have all these problems walking the pups and picking up their poo. I think I was just really lucky that I never got sick and my only smell aversions were Dawn dish soap and people chewing mint gum (strangely enough).

One thing I didn't account for was how hard sleeping would become.
Miss M has been very loyal, sleeping by my bedside each night. Though as I've been sporting a growing 40 pound stomach, I haven't had the same dexterity, and things that should have gone on my nightstand have fallen on her. I have stepped on her in the middle of the night, spilled glasses of water on her, and I even made it "rain Tums", spilling the entire bottle on her in the middle of the night.

I told her I would make it up to her by bequeathing her my fancy pregnancy pillow when I was done with it.

Walking Dogs When Pregnant:
I was able to walk the pups until about 2 weeks before I actually gave birth.
Long ago I was really worried how I could manage the physics of being able to physically walk while sporting a 40 lb "watermelon belly". Especially knowing I would be pregnant during a Chicago winter where things like this happen.I was able to continue my exercise routine of Pure Barre classes throughout my pregnancy which helped a lot with my balance.
Though the hardest part of walking dogs when pregnant was being able to bend down and pick up their poo.
The other hard part was going on our longer family walks, and always needing to stop to find a place to use the restroom.

People will still approach you with their Dogs:
I used to think that people would be sympathetic to a smaller girl walking two large dogs by not bringing dogs over to try to play on leash.
And that they would be especially sympathetic to a pregnant girl walking two large dogs. doesn't work that way.
It was during one of my final weeks, when I was very noticeably pregnant, I had the dog in a sit-stay as I was teetering over and trying to pick up their poo.
One guy walking a small dog thought it would be a great idea to walk his dog up to the pups and let them play.
I think if your pups look confident and well-behaved, people will just want to approach you.

How are you Getting Ready?
We know this is a big lifestyle change, and we wanted to plan ahead to make sure the transition was good for everyone. Our hospital offers this class, which we heard was good (though we weren't able to take it given our schedule). 
We ended up meeting with Rendy from Anything is Pawzible who helped us go through some things we should plan for.
The main thing we realized is that there isn't a set checklist of things that you need to be doing, but a lot depends on your specific dogs and how you decide to set household rules.
For us, the main things we are working on are defining areas of space for the pups and the baby, and Mr. B understanding which toys belong to him and which are for the baby (it's based on smell!).
Mr. B: Professional Stuffy Hoarder
We've had the baby for about 3 weeks now, and while we're definitely not turning this space into a baby blog, we might include updates here and there to show how the pups are living with their new brother.

Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and story lines beyond the blog.
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