Fully Cooked

Ding! Today is my due date. The turkey is officially done, but apparently this turkey wants to be little crispy or something.

The best part about being due today is people asking “when are you due?” and watching their reaction when I say “today.”

I was enjoying this yesterday as well, although obviously saying “tomorrow,” instead of “today.”  One woman shrieked, one man literally ran away from me (was he afraid of my placenta exploding on him or something?), another woman gasped and asked what I would do if my water broke (um, go home?). I had multiple people ask me what I was still doing at work.

And (so far) I’ve been able to respond politely to all of these comments and questions, including the “what are you still doing at work” question, even though it is highly irritating. It’s irritating in part because I would love to be home right now. I’m in a considerable amount of pelvic/pubic pain, which makes walking extremely awful, I’ve developed PUPPP, which is driving me absolutely batshit insane (I’m sitting here at my desk with my shirt pulled up, cool wet paper towels draped over my belly), I have a chronic bloody nose (damn winter), etc. etc. etc.

It’s also irritating because I would like to respond with something along the lines of “if I got more paid maternity leave I would absolutely be home right now.” The company I work for does offer some paid leave – 20 days – which I know is more than most people get in this country. And I’ve been able to save a month’s worth of vacation so all together I have about 3 fully paid months that I’ll be taking once the baby is born. And I’m grateful for that, truly I am. But I find the maternity leave policies (or lack thereof) in this country so offensive I can hardly talk about it. Three months is not enough. It just is not. To add insult to injury, if I were farther up the food chain in my company I would get 6 months of paid maternity leave, with the option to go on partial pay for additional time off.

(Another annoying thing that the higher-ups at my company keep doing is offering advice along the lines of “hire a night nurse – we did and it saved our lives”. SURE. Because night nurses are so inexpensive! And you pay me such an enormous salary! That’s totally affordable for me!)

Anyway, that’s about it. Most thrilling blog post ever. Here’s the tl;dr version: I’m due today. People are dumb. Maternity leave in this country is pathetic.

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Year in Review – 2013

Oh, Christmas. Always such a delightful pull and tug of thank-you-JESUS-I’m-on-vacation and holy-mother-of-god-I’m-going-to-kill-my-family. Some highlights for me this year include Tammy’s mother disowning her children (really); my sister and I spending the entire week squabbling over seriously stupid shit; and me, at almost 9 months pregnant making Christmas dinner from scratch for 6 adults (and thinking the whole time, this is bullshit, this is bullshit). The best part about Christmas this year was that it wasn’t last year. Reading that post makes me sad. I was so depressed and so angry and so deep in my own shit I could barely breath.

Since the post from 2012 was so damn depressing for me to read, let’s dive into the 2013 Year in Review, shall we?

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? The sustained pregnancy, obviously. Is that boring and obvious? Sorry. That’s basically my year. You can stop reading now! Phew!
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I actually didn’t do TOO badly on my first one from last year.  I did really well making homemade meals, at least until the first trimester barfs set in. I fell off that wagon hardcore and never made it back on. Oh well. I most certainly did NOT get back into yoga. I also did not take time to do things for myself. Resolution for this year: let go. You do not have to be in control all the damn time. Does it really matter if your mother puts the dishes away differently than you would? No, no it does not. Does it really matter if Tammy doesn’t pass that car when you would have? No, no it does not. Repeat ad infinitum.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes. I had a few close friends have babies this year. Plus my sister in law had a baby in November.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No. Quick, knock on wood and light some candles!! (Not that I’m superstitious at all.)
5. What places did you visit? [pause] Damn, did we not do anything this year? We went to the beach this summer with my family like we always do. We went to visit Tammy’s family a few times. But no, we really didn’t do anything this year. Wow.
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? A happy, healthy baby. A job that doesn’t require me to be available 24/7, and ideally I could work from home sometimes and (even better) be part time.
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? All of the IVF stuff and then the pregnancy stuff. I still can’t fucking believe it worked.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? See above.
9. What was your biggest failure? Trying to control everything.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I’m sick right now with a cold. Nothing super seriously in terms of illness this year, thank goodness!
11. What was the best thing you bought? IVF. Hands down, best money ever spent.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Tammy’s always. That girl is good.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? How much time do you have? I don’t know that my own behavior was “appalling” or anything, although I certainly wish I had done any number of things differently. Tammy’s mother’s behavior appalled me, and it certainly depressed me. I would say certain politicians appalled me, but eh, it’s kind of their job to be obnoxious, right?
14. Where did most of your money go? IVF. Even though it was the best money ever spent, it was damn expensive. Why must it be so expensive??
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Being pregnant. Duh. Right now I’m really, really, really excited about the fact that soon I will no longer be pregnant, and I will have a baby in my arms.
16. What song will always remind you of 2013? Hmm. I don’t really have a song in mind. Maybe this one?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier.
b) thinner or fatter? fatter. Couch-to-5k, I’m coming for you in 2014.
c) richer or poorer? Financially poorer, richer in everything else.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I’d done more to make Tammy happy. I wish I’d done more for my health and fitness. I wish I’d carpe’d more diem.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? I wish I’d been less selfish and controlling. I wish I had worried less. I wish I’d spent less time stressing about work.
20. How did you spend Christmas in 2013? We always split the holidays between my family and Tammy’s – we go to her sister’s house for Thanksgiving and spend time with my family for Christmas. In the past we’ve gone to my parent’s house, but this year we made people come to us. Despite having to make Christmas dinner for everyone (which turned out to be pretty damn good, thankyouverymuch, it was a pretty good time.
21. Did you fall in love in 2013? Fell in love with the baby. Continued to fall for Tammy.
22. What was your favorite TV program? We’re making our way through past seasons of Sons of Anarchy right now. I also started watching Scandal, which is so bad that it’s good.
23. What did you do for your birthday in 2013? Not too much. I was gearing up for egg retrieval and was too sore and anxious to want to do anything. I think we went out to dinner.
24. What was the best book you read? My mom got me into a mystery series about a Chief Inspector in Quebec. I realize reading mystery novels makes me about 90 years old, but whatever. I wouldn’t say these were the best books I read though – that prize goes to The Goldfinch. I’ve been waiting for Donna Tartt to come out with a new book for effing ever and she did not disappoint. An absolutely haunting and magnificent novel.
25. What did you want and get? Pregnant.
26. What did you want and not get? The house to get much closer to done. The number one rule of home owning – everything takes longer than you think it will.
27. What was your favorite film of this year? No idea. We kind of stopped going to movies because after paying for the IVF things were a leeeetle tight around our household.
28. Did you make some new friends this year? Nope. How are you supposed to make friends as an introverted adult? How??
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? See above about what I wish I’d done more of and less of. This question is kind of dumb.
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012? Revolving around the 3 or 4 maternity outfits I own. I dare anyone to say anything to me. Go ahead. I dare you.
31. What kept you sane? Tammy. Always.
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Eh? No one?
33. What political issue stirred you the most? Gay marriage is pretty high on the list again. Raising the minimum wage would be awesome. Providing paid maternity leave would be awesome.
34. Who did you miss? I miss my grandparents. They’ve gone over the deep end into dementia. I miss who I was before I started trying to have a baby. There’s an innocence and a happiness there I’ll never get back.
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013. I haven’t “learned” this; I don’t think I ever will. I’ll have to continue to learn it, over and over for the rest of my life.

Like a Sleeping Baby

Thank you, lovees, for your helpful suggestions yesterday. Last night I had a snack before bed (whole wheat toast with peanut butter), took a unisom, put in ear plugs, and went to sleep, blissful sleep. I only woke up three times to pee. While I wouldn’t say I feel like a new woman, I DO feel like I can function and that I remember my own name. Which is a marked improvement. I’ll take waking up 3 times versus waking up 10 times for all and sundry reasons any day of the week.

I do feel a little silly for freaking out yesterday on my blog. A gigantic THANK YOU and a hearty smooch to everyone for not pointing out that a) it was only two nights, so, you know, buck up and b) I’m going to have a baby (knock on every type of wood available) in threeish months, and perhaps I should get used to sleep deprivation?

Because here’s the thing: both of those thoughts had occurred to me, even in my befuddled state. YES, it was only two nights. Apparently (she said, sheepishly) I had a bit of a panic attack that this was my new reality and how would I function and OMG what if my heart just exploded like one of those Japanese executives that work 20 hour days and end up keeled over in front of my cubicle or oh God what if I’m at home and Tammy’s out of town and the cat runs out of food and eats me and they discover my partially eaten body days later? …like I said, I don’t do so well without sleep.

Which brings me to the next point, which is that we’re going to have a baby soon, and babies, despite being delicious, are not widely known for their sustained sleeping. I am aware of this fact, and have gone into this pregnancy with my eyes open about the difficulties we will face once the baby is here (and there are plenty, believe me). I know that sleeping will be a challenge, I know that. But first of all, I won’t be having to get up for work like I am now (for at least three months, hopefully four if we can swing it financially). And right now (subject to change), we are anticipating that I will sleep in the guest room with the baby in a bassinet once Tammy goes back to work (after two or three weeks) so that she can be in charge of basically everything except feeding and wiping baby bum until I can get my metaphorical feet on the metaphorical ground. We’re basically anticipating that I will be completely useless around the house (cooking, cleaning, laundry, conversating, etc) for a while. Thus my freezer meals. And my parents helping out around the house.

And, hey. We could end up with a good sleeper. I was, apparently. My mom said by like two weeks I was going down around 7, sleeping until midnight, waking up then to be fed, and then sleeping again until 5 or so. After the early morning feeding I would fall back asleep and go until 8 or 9. Why, that’s downright civilized for a two-week old! As much as my parents like to cackle about me getting a child just like I was (read: a handful), in this instance I hope they are right.

I Need Some Advice

I feel like crap.

For the past two nights I’ve woken up every hour or so, and wake up a final time in the morning feeling like utter garbage. I wake up to pee, I wake up because Tammy’s snoring, I wake up because I’m uncomfortable, I wake up because I’m too hot, I wake up because I’m too cold, I wake up because my back hurts, my arm hurts, my what-the-fuck-ever hurts. And last night I woke up at 3am because my stomach hurt. I was up for almost two hours with stomach pain – menstrual like cramps, nausea, a few stabbing pains here and there.

So what the fuck people. I’m sorry if I’m coming across as a whining pregnant lady to a bunch of people who would love nothing more to be in my shoes, but I’m desperate here. I know it’s only two nights, but I’m a sleeper. I crave sleep. Deep, luxurious sleep that you melt into. When I don’t sleep, nothing works right. I’m clumsy, thick tongued, sore throated, queasy, short tempered, close to tears.

And today I have the added bonus of my stomach *still* hurting. Plus my fingers are swollen, which makes trying to type and do any kind of work freaking annoying.

What do I do? How do I sleep? How do I fix this? Any and all advice is welcome.

A Scolding

Thanks for the lovely comments on my last post. My follow up appointment isn’t until October 1st, so I’m just trying to operate under the assumption that all is well and will resolve itself properly.

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For the past few weeks I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions. I didn’t really realize what they were at first, but after looking it up online I’m sure that’s what they are. (Side note: what did we ever do before the internet?) They aren’t painful, per se, but they are uncomfortable. I feel short of breath and my stomach feels tight. If I put my hands to my lower abdomen, it feels like a hard ball has taken up residence there. If I hold my hands to my stomach I can eventually (after about a minute) feel the muscles relax. It sort of feels like the muscles are melting away.

I feel the BHs most when I do the following:
a) don’t drink enough and get ever so slightly dehydrated
b) refrain from peeing for more than a damn minute, causing my bladder to fill up with a thimbleful of urine.
c) sit for too long, like in the car or at my desk
d) lay on my back

I’ve just been kind of living with the BHs, but I mentioned them to a friend of mine at work today and he told me I should call my doctor. He didn’t think it was normal to have BHs so early. So I called and left a message with the nurses line. A nurse called me back just now and proceeded to scold me for the following:
a) not drinking enough water and getting dehydrated (she said I’m supposed to be drinking 16oz of water per hour. Good LORD. Why don’t I just glue a toilet to my ass now?)
b) not emptying my bladder at the “first urges” (see my comment above about gluing a toilet to my ass)
c) not changing my position enough, i.e. sitting for too long. Does this give me a “get out of boring meetings free card?”
d) laying on my back. I know that laying on your side (“preferably your left side”) is the best position, but I thought the back was still an option.

I’m not really worried that this is a sign of early labor, as my cervix looked good at my 20 week scan (no shortening or effacing or any of that) and I haven’t had any fluid leakage. Also, the internet says BHs are not an indication you’re going into labor if they remain infrequent and don’t form into any kind of pattern. Is 3-4 a day infrequent?

Shit. Apparently not only am I crap at getting pregnant, I’m crap at being pregnant.

Oh well. Off to drink gallons of water, wearing my depends, while changing positions frequently.

Ramblings

Tammy did not get that job that would have required us to move, after three rounds of interviews. On one hand, I’m incredibly relieved that moving is no longer on the table (for now), especially because my parents are closing on a house in our neighborhood on Friday. On the other hand, I had worked myself around to a place where I could view moving as an adventure and an opportunity for us, and a chance for me to stay at home with the baby in January.

Tammy’s getting more and more excited about having a baby. As she puts it “my excitement is directly proportional to the size of your belly”. Even I can’t deny that I have a distinct bump that can only mean one thing. Random people have been more comfortable coming right out and asking me if I am pregnant, which is oddly discomforting. Saying yes feels almost…embarrassing, like I’ve been caught with my hand in the cookie jar. Or like a teenager caught smoking or something.The flip side to this embarrassment is that I’ve become much more comfortable talking about the work it took for us to get pregnant. I drop IVF and frozen embryos into discussions of pregnancy and siblings like it’s no big deal at all. Look at me, normalizing IF and shit.

Speaking of normalizing, I’ve been working on acting like a normal pregnant lady who’s relatively assured of a baby at the end of this process. Tammy’s been painting the baby room, and we’re planning what furniture to buy. I’ve been researching day care options (OMFG expensive). I’m planning meals to make and freeze for the early days after the baby’s born and I even made my first one: tomato soup from Smitten Kitchen. I’ve made the recipe a few times before, but this was my first time making it with fresh tomatoes from my mom’s garden. I did the whole blanch and shock thing to get the skins off easily, which worked like a charm. The fresh tomatoes (as opposed to canned) made the soup taste much more…tomato-y, if you know what I mean. Not a bad thing, just an observation.

I’m planning to make a few more soups (potato, broccoli cheese) and casserole type things (lasagna (don’t have a link to the vegan recipe I use), chicken pot pie (again, don’t have a link but it’s from here, which I highly, highly recommend). Any other suggestions, especially healthy suggestions (note my decidedly unhealthy options above) for freezer meals? Keep in mind that I’m vegetarian and Tammy’s vegan, but I’m pretty good at veganizing recipes (i.e. subbing veggies stock for chicken stock, faux meet for real meet, almond/soy/rice/etc milk for cow’s milk, etc).

I have a few posts rattling around in my brain but the biggest one is about religion and faith*. So, obviously a very light post that is a breeze to write. Another one is my struggle to be sensitive to people trying so hard to get pregnant while celebrating my own pregnancy. So, also quite fun and light. Slightly less heavy is the post on the second parent adoption proceedings that Tammy will go through after the baby is born.

Happy Fall, everybody.

*Working title: “On Why I Burst Into Tears When Discussing God and Death, or Spiritual Malaise”

Limitations

Before I get into this post, I want to apologize for how my last post turned up in your feeds. I was trying to post the picture way down so those who didn’t want to have to see it, wouldn’t have to. I realized today that not only did that not work, but the picture would have shown up in your feed next to the title of my post.

That must have felt like an assault, and I’m sorry. I’ll try to figure out something else going forward.

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On Thursday, I had one of those days at work. Rushing to meet a deadline (that I was given almost no notice about), I ended up pushing myself much harder than I should have. Without going into too much boring detail, the project entailed getting a large number of documents shipped to our Chicago office and LA office via overnight FedEx. Thousands and thousands of pages worth of documents. 12 banker’s boxes of pages worth.

Banker's BoxYou know. These things.

My job was the print, organize and prepare for shipping the files/documents we were sending. Easy, right? But then the fast printer on my floor broke, and then fast printer on the floor above me broke, and the floor below me, and I ended up having to use a slow-ass printer to print a 3,000 page document (and make 4 copies of said document) and on and on and on. Everything that could have gone wrong, did.*

By mid afternoon, I realized I might not make the deadline and I started to panic. I’ve been in this situation a million times before, and I’ve always busted my ass to pull it together at the last minute.** And busting my ass can mean literally running around the office, with stacks of paper or boxes in my arms, slapping shipping labels on them, screaming “WAIT PLEASE WAIT!!!” at the FedEx guy, and then collapsing in a blubbering heap.

And that’s more or less what happened on Thursday, except add in the fun twist of 17 weeks pregnant me, running in high heels, hauling boxes and heavy stacks of paper, bending, twisting, (panting, dying) OH and let’s not forget NOT EATING LUNCH. Which, now that I have discovered that food is not horrifying/nausea inducing but actually quite lovely and I would like to eat ALL THE THINGS, is a travesty of international proportions.

Guys, I made my deadline. But when I got home, I felt like my back was splitting into two pieces, and I was shaking with hunger. I could barely move my arms to shovel food fast enough into my mouth.

And I realized, DUH, that maybe I can’t do everything I could do a few months ago. Maaaaaaybe I should cool my jets a little bit? Maybe I should worry less about proving myself at work, and worry more about my own health and safety and the health/safety of the pirate?

Sometimes I astound myself with my own insight.

*WHY am I printing documents across the country and shipping them, rather than people printing their own damn files in Chicago and LA? Because printing there is illegal. Now you know.

**WHY am I so often in this situation? Repeat after me: “A lack of planning and foresight on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. Except when you control my paycheck, and then I guess it DOES mean it’s my emergency to deal with, dammit.”