Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

We spent last weekend in Maine for the wedding of good friends. I have known the groom since high school and have really enjoyed getting to know the bride much better over the course of the past year while they have been living nearby. I'm sad they're moving back to DC soon :( We got to spend time with old friends and enjoy the company of other people's kids, including our friends' three year old daughter who had fun the morning after the wedding trying to hit lanterns in the partially-dismantled tent with a beach ball:

And our other friends' five year old son: a ring bearer who couldn't wait to get his tux off:

We met the latter friends' five week old son for the first time, and P held him without seeming terrified, which was new. He held their older son (the afore-photographed five year old) when he was three weeks old, but I had to hand him to him and position him in his arms and take him away when he squirmed. With the new baby, he was willing to take him from me and try changing positions when he fussed. Evidently knowing he might have to do this soon enough has made him realize he desperately needs practice :)

As for the wedding itself, it was beautiful. My brother is an event planner and floral designer (in Newport, RI, if anyone is looking for one -- let me know!), and this was his first solo event (i.e. not with the company he has worked with for years). The bride and groom got engaged in Turkey and wanted a Turkish themed wedding, and he definitely delivered. Sadly, I didn't take many photos during the reception.

{whiny bitch}In the end, I found myself a bit resentful the night of the wedding, though, which sucked. Sometimes I wish that P had to make even the smallest adjustments in his life during pregnancy. Generally speaking, I haven't minded not drinking, modifying my eating habits, etc., but P spent the evening drinking and smoking cigars (and other things) and it was a little harder for me to deal with. I feel bad bitching, and it's not like I want to NOT have to give things up (seriously, I'm happy to give them up) -- instead, it's just that I wish P had to join me in some of it. And, to sound like a very typical bitchy wife, I don't want to have to tell him that I want him to go through it with me -- I want him to want to do it. It's his kid too!{/whiny bitch}

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

24 week appointment

Yesterday's appointment was, as expected, largely uneventful. My weight was up a little more than would be ideal, but the reprimand was pretty mild. I forced myself to go to the gym yesterday, which actually felt good. I've been exceptionally gym-lazy lately, so perhaps it will start a new habit. I also ate a real dinner (i.e. not cereal or snacks), which I rarely do when P works late, which happens very infrequently but happened last night and will again tonight.

The doctor commented that I looked run down. I told her that I had never really gotten that burst of energy that people claim comes with the second trimester. I also mentioned the whole fainting on the bus episode (and a few near-fainting episodes before and since), since I had spoken to the nurse and the midwife at the time. She decided to send me for bloodwork. Note that I told her at my 16 week appointment that I have a history of anemia and that I was feeling run down, and she said then that they normally don't run another round of bloodwork until 28 weeks and that I should try to ride it out. And so I did. Needless to say, yesterday's bloodwork came back this morning and my RBC, HGB, and HCT are all low. Shocking. She hasn't called yet to tell me whether they are low enough to justify doing anything and if so what. I'm going to have to resist the urge to say I told you so.

Anyone know at what point one's RBC, HGB, and HCT are sufficiently low to bother with supplements? I know that the "normal" range is lower for pregnant women, but I had trouble finding a pregnant-person range online anywhere.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

V Day

A much longer post is forthcoming, but for now I just thought I'd note that on Sunday we hit 24 weeks, aka viability day. I harbor no illusions of this being some amazing safety zone, but there's something to be said for the notion that were I to go into PTL at this point, someone might try to do something. Hooray?

To celebrate, I updated the belly shots page with images from 22 weeks 1 day and today, 24 weeks 2 days. Apologies if they appear sideways -- I'll try to fix them later. And I'll try to do them every 2 weeks from hereonout.

I also have my 24 week appointment today in about an hour. I'm not expecting anything momentous -- I assume it will be the usual PIAC, step on the scale, BP check, fundus measurement, heartbeat check. I think my sugar drink test is next month. Fun.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Random work-related good things

This is really neither here nor there, but I got a call at work today from the asst head of my department letting me know that a client had offered us (as in the firm) four seats to tonight's Celtics playoff game, and he was offering one of them to me. A lot of firms have boxes at all the arenas/stadiums around here, so getting to attend events isn't a big deal, but we don't, so this is pretty cool. Of course, I feel guilty taking up a seat that a huge fan could be using (I'm a huge football and baseball fan -- I only catch a few basketball games (on TV) per year), and even said that to the partner, but he said I shouldn't feel bad and should go anyway. So I am. Whoo-hoo!

I also had my semi-annual review today and was a bit nervous going in. My hours were really off for the review period (September - end of February), first from post-miscarriage depression, then from lack of work. One of my friends commented that they were unlikely to fire a pregnant woman, but that didn't really help -- if I deserve to be fired, I should be fired. (I firmly believe that people shouldn't be fired because they're pregnant, but I also believe it shouldn't serve as some kind of protective force, protecting an otherwise fire-worthy employee.) What scared me was the fear that perhaps I deserved to be fired.

Needless to say, they didn't fire me. My reviews were good. My hours were commented on, but I think they were glad I brought it up so that they didn't have to (we have to submit a list of what we worked on in the preceding six months when the review period closes and are encouraged to provide additional notes/thoughts, and I noted that my hours sucked and why). My reviewer (the guy who collects and summarizes mine -- I don't work with him otherwise) didn't know I was pregnant until I walked through the door, so that couldn't have influenced the decision, which made me feel better too.

All in all, a good day.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Nature's First Green Was Purple-ish

Back in March, Niobe posted about the emergence of spring. That same day, I took a few photos cataloging the first signs of spring at our house, but I never posted them. Spring seems to finally be well underway around here, but I have yet to have a chance to photograph it. So, here are much older photos. Pansies, lilacs, and tulips, in that order.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The More Uplifting Post I Promised

Thanks for letting me whine yesterday, and thanks to all of you for your support. I had a minor meltdown this morning and (finally) let P know how stressed I was feeling about work and about how much we have to do between now and September. I felt a bit better after getting it out. Plus, I survived a client being interviewed by the IRS this morning and feel like I'll actually be able to get this filing that needs to get out the door today done in time. I will still have a ton of work to do over the next few weeks, but am feeling slightly less overwhelmed.

As for a few more uplifting thoughts:
  1. I finally look pregnant rather than like I ate too much at Thankgiving dinner. I always thought it was a joke when pregnant women said they woke up one morning and felt like they popped, but I woke up the morning after the Walk for Hunger and was twice the size I had been the day before. When I started the Walk, the friend I was walking with joked that if she didn't know I was pregnant she certainly wouldn't guess from looking at me. That is certainly no longer true. Strangers comment now, including the lady at the counter when I got lunch yesterday. I feel like there are periodically little things that make this all seem real, and having the appearance of a pregnant person, as much as it freaks me out, is one of those things.
  2. Along similar lines (i.e. things that make this all feel real), we ordered our nursery furniture last weekend. We got the "regular" (i.e. drop side) crib and the combo unit (without hutch) from this line in cherry. There were other cribs we liked more (such as this one and this one), but we didn't like the corresponding dressers (namely the price -- twice as much as the one we got), and they didn't have the cribs we liked in stains that any other company uses (they mainly had cognac), so we went with this as a compromise. We also got a changing table pad. Crazy. It was also great to feel like we accomplished something off of our mammoth to-do list. And, again, the feeling real thing.
  3. My brother brought flowers for all the moms for mother's day dinner (he is a florist) and brought an arrangement for me. And my mother-in-law got me a card and a Red Sox onesie for Lou (which is what we've been calling the baby in utero). I didn't expect anything from anyone, so both gestures were very sweet and very much appreciated.
  4. I love my dog. He's the best dog ever. This is terrible, but I've often wondered if I will love my children as much as I love my dog. I am sure I will, but I really do love my dog. How could you not?

Buddy on "his bed" (aka the guest bed)

"Rooooo! Throw my red toy!"

His favorite activity -- swimming for tennis balls (none of his constituent mutt parts are supposed to be swimmers, but he loves the water)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Need to Complain for a Minute

Okay, so my last post was depressing, and this one is going to be whiny. I am really sorry for that. But I need to whine for a minute.
  1. I have horrible heartburn. It started around 9 weeks, went away for a while, then came back around 16 weeks and seems to be here to stay. I don't get it daily, though it's pretty close to that, and when I do it's awful. Today, it started 3 hours after lunch and never went away. I feel like my upper chest is on fire and like I'm trapped somewhere between needing to throw up and burp. Half the time, I manage to do a little of both. Awesome. And I'm at work still and have no Tums. I'm starting to think about not eating dinner ever again, since it only seems to make it worse. Or I may just switch to ice cream dinners. Is that acceptable?
  2. I am tired all the time. I thought the second trimester was supposed to be filled with energy. Mine is filled with wanting to sleep at my desk, far more so than the first trimester. This morning I woke up an hour after my alarm first went off, having no idea how I managed to turn my alarm off rather than hitting snooze for 45 minutes like usual. I was ready to go back to bed by noon.
  3. I often feel like there isn't enough water in the world to satiate my thirst. I can drink a gallon or more in a day and still feel like I need more water. Surprisingly, I don't really pee that much, considering how much water I manage to drink. What the hell?
  4. I am starting to get that unmotivated, slowly-sinking feeling that I get from time to time. I have no interest in my job (or anything else, really) at the moment but I have an enormous amount of work to do, none of which I am at all motivated to do. Sadly, I really just want to curl up on the floor and take a nap for a couple of weeks. Or quit my job. Either would be fine, I think. But I earn 80% of our household income, so quitting isn't really an option. I am really looking forward to Memorial Day weekend -- I had to work all Memorial Day weekend last year and ate all my meals at Panera, since it's the only place open on the weekend in the Financial District; this year, we will be out of town for a wedding, which seems a lot more fun.
  5. Oh, and Ps car got broken into while we were sleeping last night. We live in a quiet neighborhood, so this was unexpected and rather shitty. Shittier for him than me, since it was his car. It was the first time in 2 years that he left his iPod in the car overnight (in the center console, so out of sight), which made it even more shitty. The police filled out the report but didn't seem to care much -- the guy didn't even turn off the car or stop listening to the radio (as in music, not the police radio).

All in all, I thought the second trimester was supposed to be all rainbows and sunshine and puppies. Bullshit. Mine has been all heartburn and exhaustion and mild depression. Where are my rainbows and sunshine and puppies?

Okay, I'm done bitching. The end. I'll try to post something more uplifting tomorrow.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Reminiscences on Mothers Day

We had all the moms (my mom, my stepmom, and my mother in law, plus her husband), along with my brother, sister-in-law, and Ps sister over for dinner for Mother's Day. Dinner was good. We had fresh pasta with chicken and wild mushroom sauce and roasted asparagus. I am not a great cook, but I can hold my own. My mother is a terrible cook. We thought her cooking was fine when my parents were married, because it was what we ate every night (and we never went out). When my parents split up, my dad told us that we were done eating flavorless food. He started buying spices and mixing up the menu a bit. He's not a great cook either (his mixing up the menu included apple pancakes for dinner and canned chicken a la king), but his meals were better than chicken breast thrown under the broiler served with too large a portion of overcooked noodles, which was a typical meal before that.

My mother showed up already drunk, I would guess from mother's day brunch with my grandmother, since it's the only thing she did before coming over, as far as I know. Drunk enough that she was only allowed to drink water for the rest of the evening. She pretty much just sat like a lump on the couch until I went to the kitchen to cook, then she followed me and asked me inane, largely nonsensical questions (such as "are those recipes?" pointing at the cookbook open on the counter -- WTF?). I had to fight the urge to tell her to go away. Then when we sat to eat, she didn't seem to understand that I couldn't just suck it in to fit between her and the piece of furniture behind her (our dining room really isn't big enough for a luxurious dinner for 10, so it was a tight squeeze), so my stepmother kept having to pull my mother's chair out of the way with her in it, treating her like the lump she is when she gets like that. It was definitely nighttime mommy, which was disappointing. Especially disappointing because my mother always talks about how much she likes and wants to spend more time with my mother in law, who we desperately try to keep away from her to avoid the shame that comes from having a parent like her. Way to make me less afraid to let you into her presence.

Yesterday morning, P sent me to CVS to buy mother's day cards for all the moms. Buying a mother's day card for my mother is hard. The cards are all "you're the best" or "your amazingness showed me all the best things in life" or "I'm so glad I take after you." They don't make cards that say "Thanks for being a drunk and repeatedly crashing the family car and not coming home to read me a story like you promised. It taught me not to count on people which has kept me from being too disappointed in life." Or "Thanks for walking out on us on Christmas. It taught me not to expect too much from holidays." Not that I'd have the guts to give such a card if they made it, but it'd be nice if Hallmark acknowledged that some people have complicated relationships with their mothers.

Happy belated mother's day, everyone.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


What does it mean that there are constantly ladybugs on the outside of the window of my office? Does it mean anything? Would it affect your assessment to know that my office faces south-southwest and is on the 43rd floor? Or that sometimes in addition to a ladybug there are various other bugs?

It's especially strange since I only ever see her underbelly. Such is the wonder of seeing a ladybug from the other side of a very large piece of glass.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Feeling better

But tired and disappointed.

Tired: I did the full 20 miles in the Walk for Hunger yesterday. But it rained for the first 6-7 miles. Wet shoes + wet socks = hideous blisters, leading to awkward walking to avoid the painful squishing, which taxes the joints and muscles in a new and different way, resulting in much exhaustion the next day. (I'm sure the extra 9 pounds I'm carrying around didn't help either.) So. Very. Tired.

Disappointed: All day long I consoled myself with the knowledge that even though I will be forced to be at work through dinner yet again, I at least will get the purple G2 Gator@de out of the deal. Two dinners in a row with no purple G2 Gator@de = me suffering much disappointment.