Wednesday, April 26, 2006

today's irrational irritated pregnant lady rant

Far be it from me to defend Britney Spears and her chicken-fried husband, but yes, it IS OK to get pregnant 4-5 months after a c-section. At least according to every single doctor I spoke to. So shut up, okay?

edit: this is in no way directed at anyone in particular...i've just happened to hear that comment a lot today and because I'm irrational irritated pregnant lady, it struck a nerve.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Well, how about that

I was all set to write one post this morning, and then things changed. For the better, so that's good.

But here's what had originally happened. It's a long story, but I realized last night that of all the women close to my age that I know who have had babies in the last year or two (and that's a pretty big number), all but two of them left their jobs to stay home. In some cases, they were fairly high-powered jobs: one was chief of staff for a congresswoman, one was a successful accountant, one has a Ph.D., and so on. It never really occurred to me before that so few people I know, and no one I'm close to, has gone back.

This came to a head last night when I was at a fairly new friend's place with another woman I don't know that well. It was hard to begin with because they both had their baby sons with them - one is 19 months old and one is 8 months - and so the conversation was starting to be All Baby All the Time. Then it turned to work, and they both started talking about how great it was that they've stayed home, how well-adjusted and perfect their sons are because of it, how non-well-adjusted their sons would surely be if they were working, and so on. I think at some point one of them realized that I hadn't said a word, because then they started falling all over themselves to point out that some babies, and some mothers, do just fine with working/daycare. I still didn't say anything, so the conversation just died. But it bothered me all night.

I have absolutely no problem with anyone choosing to stay home - I think it's great. I'd be lying if I said I never thought about it. And financially, we probably COULD do it, but it would be a bit of a stretch. But there's so much I worry about - what if something happened to Andy, or to his job? What if I took some time off and then could never get hired again? What if I got bored? What if I wasn't patient enough to be home with a baby? So for me, it makes sense right now to plan to go back. My job has tons of sick/vacation time; they're probably going to let me work a day from home each week; we have a wonderful daycare lined up; I never work more than 9-5. It just doesn't seem like it will be that bad.

Anyway, I was sad today because I was just wishing I had enough confidence in my own decisions not to feel inferior in conversations like last night's. I also wish I had more friends in situations like mine so I wouldn't always feel like I had to defend myself.

Then my manager called me into her office. promotion finally came through! And it comes with a 30% raise, retroactive to January 1. I guess I'm doing something right, career-wise - and if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

I hope this doesn't sound like I'm putting money ahead of my daughter. Obviously this is a decision I can't really make right now - I have no idea how I'll feel when she's actually in my arms. Maybe I'll completely change my mind. But to me, when I think of being the best mother I can be to her, that includes making sure her future is secure, and if I can better do that by working, then so be it.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I am happy to report that I am, in fact, no longer in the bathroom next door. :)

I just haven't had much to write about lately, but here are the updates on my life:

- I'm 27 weeks today...83 days to go (but who's counting? Well, I am, if you look at the very bottom of the page). One thing I notice is that I'm starting to get into the uncomfortable phase way earlier this time. This week I developed that bruised, kicked-in-the-crotch feeling in my pubic bone area that makes walking and rolling over torturous - I know that didn't happen until at least 35 weeks last time. It's harder to get comfortable in bed, too, and this morning I woke up screaming at 5:30 with cramps in both calves at once. YOW. But overall, I still feel pretty good. The Pad is moving like crazy now, which I really do love.

- Oh, and I'm outgrowing some of my maternity clothes. This morning I put on a pair of full-panel khakis to find that they fit everywhere but, weirdly, the thighs. I tried my old demi-panel khakis instead...hahahahhaha. I can't believe I'm outgrowing full panels with 12 weeks to go (and when I've gained less than 20

- Work is ridiculously slow/quiet. Still no word on my so-called promotion. Bah.

- The weather's been BEAUTIFUL. As much as I hate winter in Boston, it can be almost worth it when spring comes...the change is amazing, makes you feel like you've risen from the dead. All up and down Commonwealth Avenue, the cherry and apple trees are blooming, plus daffodils, magnolia, and crocus. It's hard to be in a bad mood when the weather's this nice.

- My cats seem to have taken it upon themselves to start giving me a taste of what it's going to be like to be up all night with a baby and run around after a mischievous toddler. First Trouble managed to get out onto the balcony off our third-floor bedroom one night when we'd left the sliding door partly open to catch the breeze (screen? what screen? it has a cat sized - well, it's cat sized NOW - hole in it). He then climbed from there onto the slope of the roof, and from there crawled up over the peak of the roof and started to walk down the other side. It was at this point that he must have realized he couldn't remember how to get back where he started. We were awakened at 6 a.m. by plaintive crying through the skylight - we had to take the screen off and lift him through. Meanwhile, Sabrina the Original Nervouskitty has decided she loves the wrappers from my new addiction, Edy's Whole Fruit Bars. She especially loves them, and the loud crackling noise they make, in the middle of the night. On the floor of our bedroom, after she's dragged them out of the trash. Oy.

OK, OK, I promise not to become one of those crazy people who talk about their pets all day. Good thing I'm having a kid.

Friday, April 14, 2006

They're joking, right?

At 1 p.m. today we got an e-mail saying that there'd been a water main break, and all of the water supply to our office building was being turned off at 1:30.

But not to worry! The restrooms in the building next door are still working just fine!

Ha. ha. ha.

I looked at my team and said, "I'll be next door for the rest of the afternoon if you need me."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

July 13, 2006

I had my OB appointment today...once again, everything looks good. I've only gained 15 pounds (amazing, given my appetite), heart sounds great, measuring 28 cm.

The amazing thing about Dr. Riley is that somehow she anticipates every question I have before I can ask it. Today I went in thinking I would ask when they planned to actually schedule my c-section. But before I could, she said, "We're going to get you scheduled today."

So Thursday, July 13, will be my daughter's birthday, unless something changes or I go into labor before then. I'm scheduled for 10:30 am. It's one day before I actually hit the 39-week mark, but the doctor said that was fine.

It's so strange, and yet kind of neat, to know already when she'll be born.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

99 bottles of O'Doul's on the wall...

I don't have a scheduled date for the Pad's eviction yet, but if it's right at the 39-week mark, July 14, that means that as of today I have 99 days left. When I was pregnant with Joseph, we started a countdown on our kitchen whiteboard when there were 90 days left until my due date, and it was amazing how fast that seemed to make it go.

I hope it does go fast. I'm starting to feel like I'm hitting the wall. I'm much bigger than I was at 25 weeks last time, which means that the discomfort of being big is starting earlier too. I haven't really been exercising or anything, so last Friday when I made the mistake of walking 2 miles during a lunchtime errand, it nearly took me down for the count. We had a birthday party to attend that night, and by the end of the evening I felt like I'd been beaten up...back hurt, ligaments hurt, everything hurt. Ugh.

My favorite cousin. V. (daughter of my dad's sister) had her baby on Tuesday - her second, about a week and a half early. I spoke to her mom, my aunt, last night and then spoke to my cousin. I'm happy for them - I saw some pictures of the baby and he's doing great, and apparently his big brother (2.5) is thrilled, if not entirely comprehending what's going on yet.

I did notice something weird, though. Both of them seemed eager to hear how I was doing, but I basically had the same conversation twice in a row, and it went like this:

Aunt/Cousin: "So how are you feeling?"
Me: "Oh, I'm feeling pretty good! I'm kind of big, but the baby's moving a lot, and--"
Aunt/Cousin (interrupting): "But you know everything's going to be JUST FINE, right?"
Me: "Uh, yeah - I have a good feeling about it. I got nervous for a while in the--"
Aunt/Cousin (interrupting): "Oh, of course! It's so normal to be nervous! But everything's going to be JUST FINE!"

It seemed like such a weird combination of expecting me to be a much bigger wreck than I am, and denying that there could ever be any reason to ever be nervous. It made me wonder just how uncomfortable they are talking to me after what happened.

I haven't noticed the same phenomenon as much from other people - many people have sought to reassure me that everything's going to be fine, but not in that same weird way.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I had sort of an epiphany about my job today, and I need to sort of ramble and write it down before it gets lost in my head.

I don't remember when I first started wanting to be a writer. It must have been in late junior high sometime, because before that, I remember I wanted to be an actress. Eventually I realized that I didn't have the talent, although I did have fun being the third tree from the left in the high school musicals. But I'd always been praised for my writing, even very early on in school.

It's odd, though--I started to say here that in most cases, writing comes naturally to me, but in many ways that's not true. Writing here, for example. I used to keep a different blog, more of a general journal, when blogging first got popular - but I gave up because the blogs I liked to read were more of the "funny essays" type, and I just wasn't good at that. I do better with this blog, but only because it has a focus the other one never had. I've never, ever been able to write decent fiction. Every time I tried, the dialogue sounded stilted and fake, and I've never been able to come up with imaginitive plots. (And don't even ask about poetry.)

I did much better with critical writing for my English classes and with journalism, so eventually, my ambition became to be a journalist. I was good at it--when I got to college and started writing for the student paper, the editors immediately noticed me and groomed me for an editorial position. I was features editor for a few years and then business editor. I got an internship with a business magazine in New York, which led to my first post-graduation job as an associate editor/reporter there.

I loved that job, and I really was good at it. I don't want to sound like I'm patting myself on the back, but that kind of feature writing suited me well. However, I had one major flaw: I wasn't good at coming up with story ideas. Once a week, we'd have a staff meeting at which we'd throw out ideas and then assign them. I DREADED those meetings. I usually had one or two really minor things to throw out there, but never anything big. But give me an assignment, and I'd be all over it, and I'd do a good job.

That pattern held up in my next job as head of a small college's alumni magazine. I even went to graduate school for a journalism degree, and I did well, but it didn't make me any better at coming up with my own ideas. My third job, at the place I'm at now, seemed well suited to me-- it was writing correspondence and marketing copy for a university. I did well for three years, because my boss and her superiors set the marketing strategy. They'd decide what publications we were going to create, and I'd write them.

Now, my boss is gone and I'm in her place. The payoff for all those years of hard work...right? Except that so far, it's not going so hot. I mean, everyone seems to think I'm doing fine, but I don't feel like I am. I'm struggling to just stay afloat within the parameters my old boss set. But I know that eventually, that's not going to be good enough. I'm going to have to come up with ideas, set marketing strategy, all of that--and I don't know if I can.

I feel that I'm a good writer (and now I'm cringing that I put that out there, knowing that this blog definitely isn't representative of what I can do). Writing can be technically perfect and still just not have "it," but I think that most of the time, as long as it's the right type of writing, I do have "it." I'm also a great editor; there's nothing I love more than taking a mediocre piece of someone else's writing and making it better--I find it soothing in a weird way. However, I realized today that I am not the least bit creative. I have no sense of strategy. (I was never any good at checkers as a kid, either.) I'm a pleaser-- every boss I've had has loved me, because I don't complain; I do what I'm told and I do it well. I'm a soldier, not a general. I think that all this time, I've been trying to fit myself into this "creative" mold--I've sought out jobs with more creative control and responsibility, only to find when I actually got here that that's not what I'm suited for at all.

In some ways I think this sounds incredibly depressing, like I'm doomed to life as a small-time clock-puncher. Universities are great places for small-time clock-punchers--I could probably stay here forever and even be praised for my work without having to take any real initiative at all, but that's not what I want, either. I want to figure out exactly what kind of job would play to my strengths the most, and do that. I don't even need to be the boss.

I just have no idea what that job would be, or how to get there. And it is hard, after all this time, to admit that I've been chasing the wrong dream. I feel like a failure, and I don't want to feel that way.