Dog Woes

I swear, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. It really freaking is. This time, it’s not me, or my husband, or even my daughter, but my dog. My poor little pup, Scarlet.

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We have two dogs, a 6 year old lab, Sable and a 2 year old lab mix, Scarlet. They are both inside/outside dogs. They are wonderful dogs. They have both been house trained since they were a couple months old. So, when Scarlet randomly started urinating everywhere in the house, I knew something was wrong.

As previously stated, we went to Thunder on Saturday, so we were gone for the majority of the day. We left the dogs inside. This is not uncommon for them because they stay in the house all day while we are at work and we’ve never had a problem with them having accidents in the house. I still asked my mom to come over and let the dogs out just to be safe. No issues with them while she was there, as expected. Whenever I got home about 4 hours later, I stepped in pee as soon as I walked in the door. I thought, okay, well, they have been in the house all day. I just brushed it off, put Raelynn to bed, and went to bed myself. This was around midnight. I woke up around 6:30 to hear the dogs pacing the floor. I figured they probably needed to go out. I got up, walked in the kitchen, and there was pee. Again. I thought this was a little uncommon, but still brushed it off.

Around 9:00 a.m., I put Raelynn to sleep in her crib for a nap. I have to shut the door behind me or else the dogs will follow me in. 5 minutes later I walked out and there was pee outside of her door. Something was not right. I didn’t feel okay with this amount of accidents. From these three accidents so far, I really didn’t know which dog it was. I hadn’t caught either of them in the act and they were both acting okay. I started thinking, what if they are pissed off at me, or us, or Raelynn? She’s been around for 8 months, but still, could the intrusion of a baby really be affecting them now? This late? Or were they mad that we left them in the house all day? Again, this was not an uncommon situation for them to be in the house all day. I was really confused.

My grandma came over around 3:00 p.m. to see Raelynn. Since we have huge, rambunctious dogs, we always have to block them off from the living room or put them outside. It was pouring rain, so we blocked them off from being able to go in the living room. I put their beds and toys in the other room where the dogs were so they would have them. not even 20 minutes later, I looked in the room and there was pee all over the dog bed. WHAT THE HELL? I was really starting to get concerned. And I still didn’t know who the culprit was. Again, both dogs were still acting fine.

No more accidents after that really. I heard the dogs start pacing the floors again around 3:00 a.m. the following morning, so I let them out and they both went to pee, but no accidents. I was happy with that. I was really leaning towards the fact that one of them had to just be really pissed off at us. I didn’t want to take a chance and leave them in the house all day, so we left them outside. They have a nice little place outside, a huge dog house and a nice little deck on the outside of their doghouse with plenty of shade. I just didn’t want to take a chance of one of them peeing and it being in the house all day long. I could only imagine the stench. When we got home there were no accidents for the rest of the night.

Here’s a picture of the dogs and their outside pin:

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We went to bed around 10:00 p.m. and I woke to the dogs pacing the floor at 11:00 p.m. I walked down the hallway and there was pee everywhere. There was pee in about three different spots and it was huge puddles. And I caught Scarlet in the act of peeing by the back door. I went in the living room and it had went under the couch. I woke up my husband and told him something was wrong with Scarlet. We cleaned up all the pee, let both dogs outside, and tried to figure out what to do. As far as we could tell up to that point, Scarlet was still acting okay. We let them back in and I pulled Scarlet’s bed close to the couch. I laid on the couch and tried to get her to lay on the bed next to me. She would lay down for about 5 minutes and then have to switch positions. Then she would have to go outside again to go pee. She was clearly getting uncomfortable. She was peeing about 3 times an hour. My husband and I basically stayed awake all night in order to make sure she could go outside and not have any accidents. Not to mention, she just continued to walk around the house and only sit or lay in one position for about 5 minutes.

I knew we needed to get her to the vet. Peeing this much was not okay. And she was starting to become uncomfortable. I called the vet as soon as they opened and got her in for a 10:00 a.m. appointment. They told me they would need a urine sample. I was actually able to get one fairly easily because she was peeing so much. Whenever we got to the vet, they immediately took us back and tested her urine. The vet told me she could see little traces of blood in her urine, but that was it. No crystals or anything like that. She continued to do a physical examination of her whole body and her prognosis was a bladder infection. I had no idea that dogs could get these. She said it’s usually caused by holding their pee for too long. Crazy, right? She gave her a shot with antibiotics it in and told me I should see a decrease in her peeing in about 48 hours. Then we got some tablets she is supposed to take once a day for two weeks to help kill the infection and then in two weeks I have to take a urine sample back to the vet so they can test it to make sure there is no more blood in her urine. The vet told me since I caught it so early, I probably saved her some pain and she will heal much quicker.

SHEW….I was happy that was over with.

We got home and you could tell how tired she was from not sleeping the night before. I monitored her bathroom breaks for the remainder of the day. She went at 11:30, 12:30, 3:30, then not again until around 9:30. In between her bathroom breaks, she mostly slept. I could see a considerable difference in her within hours. I was very pleased.

As I’m sure you anxious people can imagine…my anxiety was in overdrive yesterday. I immediately thought of the worst case scenario. Cancer…dying…But, it wasn’t any of that. I’m glad I listened to my heart and went to the vet when we did. Once we got her diagnosis I could feel the tension float away.

I’ve always said that my dogs are like my kids, even before I had kids. Now that I do have a kid, I still stand by that. Scarlet and Sable really are like my kids. If you aren’t a dog person, I don’t expect you to understand that.

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–The Kentucky Momma

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Trying to Overcome Anxiety

Well, I took the plunge and went to Thunder Over Louisville and even took Raelynn. And I’m really glad I went. I had fun, Raelynn had fun, I wasn’t really worried the whole time, it was a beautiful day. It was just all around a great time. Here are some pictures of our fun day:

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Recently, it’s come to my attention that more people are starting to pick up on my anxiety and me being so uptight. A couple of people mentioned it to me at Thunder. I don’t want to be like this anymore. I don’t want people to think I’m crazy. So, does this mean, stepping out of my comfort zone and go more places with Raelynn, probably. I really just feel like I have to do it. I can’t stay confined to my house and never do anything just so Raelynn and I are both comfortable. I can’t live the rest of my life like this. I don’t want to live the rest of my life like this. I feel like it’s taking a toll on me in so many ways and I really just need to break free.

My biggest trigger for anxiety is Raelynn not being on schedule. I know I refer to this a lot, but the first 4 months of Raelynn’s life, she had colic and it was a nightmare. She hated everything. She literally never stopped crying for 4 months. Morning, afternoon, night, middle of the night, it didn’t matter. She always cried. When she finally started to grow out of the colic, a schedule started to develop. I really followed her lead and we found something that worked. Finding something that worked for all of us after our horrific start with her was amazing. She started to become predictable and we could work things around it. I never wanted to mess up her schedule because it worked. Why in the world would I try to mess something up when it took us forever to find something that worked? And I very rarely do. In doing this, it has caused me constantly be at Raelynn’s mercy. It’s really bad through the week because she is at daycare and doesn’t sleep at all while she is there. Basically by the time we get her she is so tired and so grumpy that it’s not really enjoyable to spend time with her.

Her bedtime is one thing I wish she would be a little flexible on. I shouldn’t complain because she is sleeping through the night for the most part with occasional middle of the night wakings. But, she is ready for bed at 7:00. not 7:15, not 7:04, not 6:59. 7:00 on the dot. So if we are not home by then, she will make sure you are fully aware that you are fucking with her bedtime. When she gets worked up, I get worked up. I can’t help it. And apparently everyone becomes aware of this. This makes it complicated for my husband and I. We have several friends that also have babies and they can go out to dinner and have a grand ol’ time with their baby and they just stay awake and remain happy the whole time or they can just ever so gracefully fall asleep on their mommy or daddy or in their car seat. Not Raelynn. Of course not Raelynn. She refuses all of the above. In order to avoid all of this, both of us or one of us (usually me) just opts to stay at home. Yes, it sucks. No, I don’t like it. Yes, I realize we could find a babysiter, but I am just not that type of person to hand off my child everytime something fun comes up. If that were the case, I basically wouldn’t see her all weekend. Do I realize how stupid this sounds, Yes. Can I explain it, No. Sorry. I know my logic is ass backwards, but, it is what it is.

I would like to slowly try to get out of my comfort zone and take her places and go off the schedule a little bit, and be okay with that. if I see that it works and she doesn’t get too upset, then it will make me more comfortable with doing things more often with her. I really don’t want to sit in the house all the time with her. I feel like Thunder Over Louisville was a really good start. Maybe, just maybe, dinner one day this week? Hopefully I don’t regret that decision.

Have a good week y’all.

–The Kentucky Momma

My Fur Baby Trooper

As stated previously, I am an accountant. So guess what yesterday meant to me….EVERYTHING because it was freaking Tax Day. Even though I am currently holding a full time job, I still do taxes on the side and it has been one hell of year for taxes. I’ve taken on wayyyy too much. Next year, I am definitely scaling back. On top of that, I didn’t forget about, I just didn’t have the time to post about it….it was the three year anniversary since we lost out fur baby, Trooper.

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I still think about him quite frequently. He was technically our first baby. We went to the Humane Society and my husband fell in love with him. He told me as soon as he saw him that we weren’t leaving there without him. BUT he had a sister. They were in the cage together. I don’t know how we did it, but on a Friday, we left there with just Trooper. I thought about his sister all weekend and I couldn’t believe we left there without her. My husband picked her up the following Monday. They were 10 weeks old when we got them.

Obviously dogs die. It’s a part of life. But, we didn’t expect to lose him a mere 3 1/2 years after we got him. It was a cool, spring night. Scott and I were sleeping with the window open. Trooper and Sable were both outside dogs. I woke up to hear a dog, that I didn’t think was Trooper or Sable, crying like a cry I’d never heard before. I finally woke Scott up because it didn’t stop. We have tons of dogs all around us and I really just didn’t think it was our pups. Scott hollered for me when he went outside to come out there. It looked like Trooper had swallowed a beach ball. It was the saddest thing I’d ever seen. He was physically uncomfortable. He couldn’t hardly breathe. We immediatley packed him up and went to a 24 hour emergency vet. He was taken back immediately and the X-Rays showed he had Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV), aka Bloat. Click here to learn more about bloat in general, signs of bloat, prevention of bloat, etc. His stomach had flipped in the middle of the night. I had never in my life heard of this. I had no idea what this meant. The vet basically explained to us that he would need a $6000 surgery and it wouldn’t guarantee his stomach from flipping again. Scott and I were young, 23 and 25, but we had a house payment, student loans, etc. We did not have the disposable income to just hope that a $6000 surgery would fix it. They told me he may not even come out of it. We made the decision to put him down. Literally one of the worst nights of my life.

I wish I had known about this complication in big dogs earlier. Maybe I could have prevented it. Maybe not, but I always think that I could have. I still have big dogs, and I now try to monitor them a little more closely based on the evidence listed above in the article.

One of my co-workers at the time bought me this little black lab figurine and flowers. I still have the figurine. It sets outside on our landscaping. I’d like to think that it’s Trooper.

Ending with this….I like dogs more than people and I wish they lived longer. Especially my Trooper.

–The Kentucky Momma

Feeling Incomplete

I’m not feeling like myself today at all. I even had a therapy appointment yesterday and it just wasn’t very insightful like the last two have been, so I’m somewhat struggling today. I really can’t explain what goes on in my head. Like, everything is fine and well and then all of a sudden, I just get really anxious and start thinking about anything and everything. Nothing triggers it, it just happens. It really sucks. I feel like this therapy appointment didn’t really have a purpose. It was sort of all of the place. At my previous appointment, she had asked me to write a timeline from 0 – 18 years, pointing out major events, to maybe gauge where this anxiety is stemming from. This is my timeline:

1988 – Born on January 4th

1992 – 4 years old – 9/22/1992 – Dad left my mom. He left a voicemail on the answering machine saying he was leaving her for someone else. He had been cheating on her with Devona, which is now my stepmom. They worked together and that’s how they met. Early that year, I remember going over to her house with my dad because they had a cookout and my mom was working late. I would assume they were probably seeing each other then.

1993 – 5 years old – 3/1/1993 – Mom and Dad divorce final

1995 – 7 years old – my mom started dating Mark, my now stepdad.

1996 – 8 years old – early 1996, dad stopped picking me up for visits. I was supposed to be seeing him every other weekend, but that wasn’t always the case. I somewhat remember this, but my mom filled in the blanks; she said I wouldn’t want to leave the house in case he called to come get me. This was obviously before cell phones. More than likely, if he called and we weren’t there he would move on with his life, go to the bar, get drunk, etc. Christmas Eve, Mark proposed to my mom.

1997 – 9 years old – January 1997; my mom’s parents, my grandparents split up after 35 years of marriage. My grandma said she wasn’t in love with my grandpa anymore. They were divorced in May 1997. 7/19/1997  – my mom got remarried to Mark, my stepdad. They are still together.

2000 – 12 years old – started middle school.

2001 – 13 years old – dad wanted to see me for Christmas. he visited me on my front porch in the cold for 5 minutes while Devona (stepmom), Christopher(step brother), and Jennifer (step sister) sat in the car and stared.  First time I’ve saw him since 1996.

2002 – 14 years old – Started high school. Started my first job at a daycare to save up to buy a car when I turned 16. Ever since my first job, I’ve always worked. No breaks in between jobs. Early 2002 I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Main influence was I had a friend that had 3 older brothers. We were in the 8th grade and they were all in high school.

2003 – 15 years old – 4/22/2003 – started dating Scott (my husband). Stopped all recreational drugs in June 2003.

2004 – 16 years old – 1/3/2004 – broke up with Scott. 9/18/2004 – started dating Scott again and we’ve been together ever since. Scott and I dated other people in between, but obviously ended up back together. Bought my first car. I paid for every penny of it by myself. Left first job, and started my second job. My transmission went out in my car. My dad and I communicated through email. I was telling him about it and he came over the next day to fix it. First time I’d saw him since 2001.

2006 – 18 years old – 6/5/2006 – graduated high school. 9/2006 – started college

I also feel like I must point out that I 100% do not believe I had a bad life growing up. I know if some people looked at this timeline they would consider me lucky. Hell, I consider myself lucky. I truly believe if my alcoholic dad had stayed around, my life would have been way worse.

I think after the appointment, i was just feeling really incomplete. It had me thinking about all of this old stuff. At other appointments she had been giving me a “task” to complete each time so I had something to work on and she didn’t at this one. Also at my last appointment she told me that I needed to start crafting again and I simply haven’t found time for that.

Time is a huge anxiety factor for me. I feel like there is not enough time in the world to accomplish everything that needs to be done in a day’s work. I know I’m not alone on that. I know there are millions of people in this world that feel like that. Between work, CrossFit, caring for Raelynn, cleaning the house, the list goes on; I just feel like it’s a complete cluster fuck.

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I’m starting to think I may have a little social anxiety as well. If you’re not from the state of Kentucky or have never heard of the Kentucky Derby, I feel sorry for you. It’s literally the best time to be in Kentucky. The great thing is, there is a two week span of awesome events to kick off the Derby. The kickoff always starts with Thunder over Louisville, which is this upcoming Saturday. Basically it’s an all day party in downtown Louisville. Fried food, all the beer you can drink, the sun is actually going to be out this year and it’s supposed to be 80 degrees, friends, family, an air show during the day, followed by the main event at night which is the huge firework show. It’s such a good time…and I really do not even want to waste my time going. I would so much rather stay at home with Raelynn. I’m already thinking of excuses for me not to go. I just don’t understand. It really sucks. The old me couldn’t wait to go eat all the food in the world and drink all the beer my stomach could handle and rip and roar all day long. That’s just not me anymore. I’m somewhat okay with that, but somewhat not okay with that.

And this is just the first of many, many events that I am used to being involved in. Not to mention, last year i didn’t participate in any because I was pregnant with Raelynn. I feel like this is my year! And instead of being excited, I’m constantly making excuses as to why I can’t go. I don’t even really make excuses, I just flat out tell people, I would rather spend time with Raelynn that go down there. I know I need to have fun and I know I would have fun if I actually went, it’s just a matter of getting myself down there.

Sometimes, I really miss my old self. Sometimes, I’m glad I’m the person I am now. All the time, I want this anxiety to be gone.

–The Kentucky Momma

Stressed Out and Pumping

I had a really, really anxious day on Friday. I was at work by myself and I was given a list of tasks that I had never completed before and was basically told to get it done. I was very nervous and stressed out because I didn’t want to let anyone down. I take a lot of pride in delivering a good end result. I could just feel the tension mounting inside me. Then, all of a sudden, it was time for me to pump. I knew I wasn’t going to pump good because every single time I am stressed out, I barely get 2 ounces. I was so tense. I tried to relax and chill out before I sat down to pump, but I just couldn’t. Here was my end result, about 2 1/2 ounces:

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I was so mad and it just made me even more stressed out. My daughter just started to eat between 4 1/2 and 5 ounces, so clearly, this was not going to be enough. I normally pump around 4 ounces. My morning pump is usually a little more, so it makes up for what I can’t produce during the day to make a full bottle for her. I kept thinking to myself over and over that I needed to chill out and destress somehow so I could pump enough for the next bottle.

One of my friend’s told me about this app she had on her phone for relaxation a long time ago. it’s called the “Calm” app.

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I’ve had it on my phone for well over 6 months and I’ve never used it. When my next pump rolled around, I figured I needed to try it because I was still stressed out. I hooked myself up to the pump, plugged my headphones in, and started the app up. it give’s you the option to do 5 – 30 minutes of guided relaxation with soothing sounds and a voice guide that somewhat tells you how to relax. I chose 25 minutes.It was a combination of ocean sounds and a very calm voice telling me how to sit, how my body should feel. etc. This was my end result after pumping and listening to this app:

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5 WHOLE OUNCES!!!! I NEVER PUMPED 5 WHOLE OUNCES! I couldn’t believe it. I closed my eyes the whole entire time while I was listening to this app and I looked up and I was jumping for fucking joy. It’s amazing what you get excited about when you’re a parent.

Anyone who has pumped or who is currently pumping while at work will tell you that pumping sucks. I’ve never met a person who enjoys pumping. Whenever you add the additional stress of not pumping enough, it’s a fucking nightmare. if you have a frozen stash, it’s sacred and you do not want to ever dip into that. But, these past couple of weeks, I’ve had too and it feels really awful. I know the purpose of the stash is there for emergencies, but still, it’s just something you don’t want to touch. Ever. I have around 600 ounces in the freezer and I really want to save that for when I am ready to wean, then she can have that. I do rotate out my stash every day. I send frozen and fresh milk to daycare, but I always would make enough to replenish my stash. Except for recently.

Whenever I am stressed out, I’m going to continue to try this app and see if it works. Maybe it will work for some of you mommas out there that are in the same boat as me.

Have a good week y’all!

–The Kentucky Momma

Sick Little Girl

I have a sick little baby on my hands. She just has a little cold, but between a low grade fever, her coughing all the time, and a very very snotty nose, it’s seriously the saddest thing in the world. She just has a little whimper and it breaks my heart. We obviously live in Kentucky and we are basically the allergy city of the whole universe. It’s awful. Everyone in Kentucky has allergies, so it’s no surprise that our little girl has them too. This is the second time since she’s been born that she’s had a little allergy flare/cold like this. This time around, I was better prepared for how to handle this. The first time was a lot of trial and error so I figured I would share some of my tips in hopes to help y’all!

I am all about using breast milk for different purposes than just feeding. I mean, it’s free, it’s healthy, it has everything you could ever need it in! So, as I was researching how to unclog the snot in her nose there were two remedies: saline drops and breast milk. For either of them, you just put a couple of drops in their nose and then suck out the snot. I know, it sounds gross, but that’s what you do! Basically the saline or breast milk just help loosen up the snot so it’s easier to get out. I just put a little bit of breast milk in a syringe, lay her on her back, and put a couple of drops into each nostril. As you can tell, she wanted to help me out this morning:

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Next, what to suck the snot out with…I have found probably one of the greatest inventions of all time to help get that snot out! It’s called a NoseFrida:

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Okay, let me explain this before you freak out about the pictures. Yes, you literally have to suck the snot with your mouth, out of your babies nose. BUT, there is a filter in the middle that will not allow anything to go past a certain point. They also have extra filters you can buy to replace them periodically. In my opinion, it is the most effective way to get snot out of the baby. On top of being very effective, it’s also very easy to clean. The blue part at the bottom pops right off and you can clean it and pop it right back on. I feel as though I must disclose that Raelynn doesn’t like the NoseFrida at all. Every time I use it, you would think I am sucking her brains out. She screams bloody murder the whole time. She can also now anticipate what I’m about to do whenever I get the NoseFrida out to use on her. As soon as I am done, and she realizes she can breathe, all is well. The NoseFrida is SO much more effective than a regular bulb syringe. Not to mention…do you ever really get the bulb syringe clean…It’s almost impossible to get all of the moisture out when cleaning, therefore, it leads to this…MOLD…would you want to use this on your baby? I know I wouldn’t.

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We have also tried things, that again, are solely my opinion, did not work. In order to loosen everything up we tried the whole turn the shower on as high as it will go and let it steam. We blocked off any opening where the steam could get out of the doorway with a towel. Yea, she coughed a little, but I honestly believe we both just left the bathroom a hot sweaty mess and I don’t think it helped loosen anything up. We tried it a couple of times, one time I even got in the shower with her. I made sure the water was no where near her. It never worked. I’m not a fan of this. If it works for you, that’s great! Hey, it’s cheaper than buying the nose saline spray.

Another thing we have tried is a humidifier. Now, this could be because we bought a cheap one, but again, in my opinion, I really don’t think this worked for her. We tried it every single night while she was sick and after she was sick. When we took the filter out, we could clearly see there had been dirt removed from the air, but did it really help her congestion? I’m not sure. I believe if we bought a fancy schmancy humidifier that it probably would work wonderfully, but we ain’t got the time or the money for all that.

The waiting game is the hardest. Every morning when she wakes up, I pray for no poor little cough or no snotty nose. For us, it’s usually gone in about a week which means we still have a couple of days.

Hope this helps some of you mommas!

–The Kentucky Momma

Being Pregnant Sucks

I regret to inform you that I hated being pregnant. HATED IT. I really did not enjoy anything about being pregnant. I didn’t have morning sickness too bad. I had to go to the ER at 14 weeks because I started bleeding bright red blood. I was diagnosed with a threatened miscarriage. I had heart burn in the third trimester so bad that I would wake up in the middle of my sleep throwing up. Sorry, but I had to go there. And then of course growing to the size of en elephant. I gained 36 pounds and broke the 200 mark on the scale. Talk about a downer. I worried constantly about what was going on inside there. I worried all 38 weeks and 3 days until she was born. I did not enjoy the way my body looked and I obviously didn’t fit into anything, so I would just withdraw myself away from our friends and stay at home to avoid the whole situation.

BUT, one great thing about my pregnancy, is that I was pregnant with my best friend.

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Before pregnancy, we were the life of the party. We went out all the time, drank until we couldn’t remember, and then wake up the next day reminiscing over the stupid shit we did. We have pretty much been inseparable since the first time we hung out. We’ve known each other for about 5 short years, but it feels like a life time. We understand each other so much and relate to each other so well. We could bitch to each other whenever we couldn’t go out and drink and all of our friends would. We would call or text each other about all of our annoying pregnancy symptoms to see if the other had ever experienced it yet.

Our precious little babies are four months apart and they are the greatest gift that either of us could have only hoped for:

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Being pregnant with each other only made us closer. Now that we have our own little babies to care for, our visits with each other have become a little scarce, but that doesn’t mean she’s still not my best friend. Plus, we are determined that our daughters are going to be best friends, just like us!

Moral of the story, plan a pregnancy with your best friend so y’all can bitch together and be sober together. The End.

—The Kentucky Momma