A December to Remember*

Oh, December. What a month you turned out to be.

I can honestly say that almost nothing turned out the way I planned  or expected, but as things almost always do–it all worked out in the end.

Let’s take a look back, shall we?

December rolled in and we found ourselves scrambling to finish our bathroom and get the house decorated before the Hubster’s mom came for a visit. It was a bit of a mad rush trying to balance work + house projects + pregnancy + toddler, but we got it all done and enjoyed a wonderful visit with his mom.

Then the Hubster got sick.

In the eight years we’ve been married, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him, ahem, “lose his lunch”. When the flu / stomach virus hit him, it came on like a freight train and I have never seen anyone be as sick as he was that night. We ended up cutting our visit with his mom a little short, and it took him nearly a week to be able to eat properly and feel normal again.

I was busy trying to quarantine him and look after Ruby before and after work, and I was counting my lucky stars that the virus hadn’t hit us.

Then Ruby started showing signs that she was a little under the weather. It didn’t hit her with the same force it did the Hubster, but for roughly two weeks she just wasn’t… herself. Luckily between some help from wonderful neighbours and some time the Hubster was able to take off work, we were able to keep her home for a few days and she perked back up.

Again, I thanked my lucky stars that I had avoided this plague.

Work seemed to be a little busier as the month progressed–there were units to wrap up, piles of assignments to mark and parents to call. As I plowed through each day, I was hanging on to one thing: December 21st.

Earlier this fall, we planned a pre-Christmas family party where we could all get together, eat too much and exchange our gifts. As my siblings and I are all getting older, it’s becoming harder and harder to all get home on the 25th, so we thought, why not have an “early Christmas” where we can all be together?

I’ve really been missing my family these last few months. I’ve made plans to go see my parents twice since Thanksgiving, and each time something has come up with Ruby that prevented us from going. When Ruby got sick mid-December, I was terrified that it would keep us from going… but thankfully she recovered a few days before the event.

I planned out a fun homemade gift for each of my siblings this year, and (of course) I left everything to the last minute. For several evenings leading up to the 21st, I stayed up late working on their gifts. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get everything done, but by Friday night (December 20th) there was just some painting to finish and it looked like we might make our Saturday morning wrapping deadline.

I tried out a new chicken recipe for dinner that day, and when I started feeling a little funny afterward I thought that maybe the chicken or herbs I had used weren’t agreeing with me. At 31 weeks pregnant there isn’t much that completely agrees with me, so I didn’t think much of it.

By 8:30pm I knew something was definitely off. I put down my paint brush and decided to go up to the bathroom–just in case. Ten minutes later I got sick, but I felt much better after so I assumed it was just something I ate. To make sure I got to bed at a reasonable time, I enlisted the Hubster’s help with our projects to speed things up.

An hour later I was sick again, and this time that awful ache down to your bones flu-feeling followed. I left my gifts in my Hubster’s capable hands and decided to call it a night.

It was a long, long night. I spent more time with my face pressed against the tiles of my bathroom floor than I did in my bed, and by 7am I knew I had caught the flu that had plagued both the Hubster and little Ruby. I was so weak and light headed that I could barely stand, so I threw up my hands in defeat, called my mom, and cried.

I was so disappointed to miss my family’s party, but I knew it was out of the question. There is nothing worse than being very pregnant with the flu and fever, and I knew I needed to rest and make sure nothing happened to this little peanut. I spent the day in bed and began to feel a little better that evening, but I fully expected to need another day in my toasty warm bed before I could say I was through the worst of it.

Shortly after midnight our power went out. They had forecasted some freezing rain earlier in the day so I wasn’t terribly surprised, so I lay awake listening for Ruby until the power came back on again thirty minutes later. After checking that her fan and monitor were back on, I crawled back into bed and fell asleep.

Half an hour later we lost power again. This time, it didn’t come back on right away. I checked on Ruby again, then tossed and turned until I eventually fell back asleep. We woke up a little after 7am to find our power still off. Our house was extremely dark, so the Hubster began hunting for flashlights and a radio as we tried to figure out what had happened. It was then we learned of the severity of the “ice storm” that had hit Toronto, and we peeked out the windows to see everything around our home covered in layers of ice.

At that point, our home was still 17 degrees and we figured we could manage through the morning. After all, the power would certainly come back by lunchtime, right?

As the day progressed and the temperature inside our home continued to dip, I began to get a little nervous. I still wasn’t feel well, Ruby was scared, and we didn’t have a set plan for how we’d make it through the night. We heard a radio broadcast asking people to stay off the roads wherever possible, and also that it could take until Wednesday for power to be restored.

So, I did what any sick, emotional, extremely pregnant woman would do: I cried.

It just felt like everything that could have gone wrong this month, did.

And then our wonderful friends / neighbours / extended family came to our rescue and took us in. After a cold, dark day, we were so grateful to spend the evening playing board games by candlelight, and to sleep in a room next to a woodstove.

We were lucky. It took 37 hours, but we had our power restored and our home warm by dinner the following day. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but aside from feeling a little weak with no appetite, the flu was mostly gone. It had been a long, long weekend, so after we unpacked from our impromptu getaway, I threw some laundry on and got ready for bed. It was December 23rd, and I convinced that after all that had happened, nothing else could possibly go wrong before Christmas.

Ha.

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