Mitten’s orange tree.

Today is very emotional and nerve-wracking for me.

This afternoon is my last doctor appointment before Elowyn is born. Unless I go into labor naturally pretty soon, we will induce on Thursday. While I’m excited … no … thrilled at the prospect of holding my baby girl and introducing her to her daddy and the rest of our family, the idea of labor – particularly chemically induced labor – is rather overwhelming.

It is time. The closing of a long, hard journey. Week 40. The goal my body and soul have been preparing for and working towards for the past 9 months.  How can this not be an emotional time?

On Good Friday, when I was 5 months pregnant, I lost my sweet best friend, Mittens, to cancer. She was my first pet, and only 8 years old. I had rescued her as a stray and nursed her back to health. We’ve been through a lot together, she and I.

She was such a great companion and comfort during my early pregnancy. When I slept, she was snuggled up beside me. Wherever I went in the house, she followed me. She was my little shadow, and she purred constantly, even when she was so sick.

Putting her to sleep was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but she was ready. She knew. She understood and was at peace with her fate.

We buried her in our backyard and planted a little orange tree in her memory. In my early pregnancy I was crazy about eating oranges, and the smell of citrus reminds me of those last few months Mittens and I had together.

Over the summer, the tree barely grew, and often wilted in the stifling Texas heat. We watered it as much we could, but were really losing hope that it was going to make it.

Today, the day of my last prenatal appointment, I looked outside to see blossoms and two little green oranges decking its tiny boughs.

I think this is God and Mitten’s way of telling me that everything is going to be OK.  She is wishing me well this afternoon. I miss her so much …

This is Mitten’s “I love you more than anybody!” look.
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