Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From Infertile to Happy Mom

Hello everyone. I'm sorry I have been such a bad blogger. I have heard other women talk about how time consuming having a newborn is, but I never fully understood the depth of that consumption until I had a newborn of my own. Baby is now 6 weeks old and finally in a sort-of predictable eating and sleeping pattern. Hopefully he keeps the predictability going as I need to return to work in a week and a half.

I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do with this blog over the past few months. I started this blog because of the desparation and despair I felt over experiencing infertility. I needed a place to unload and also to connect with other people who could relate to my experience. I have been very blessed by the infertile blogging community! I consider myself a much better person for knowing you all. Thank you so much for your support and empathy! I still pray for all of you and hope you are all blessed with a child.

Thankfully, I am no longer in that place of desparation and despair. For the first time in my life I feel perfectly happy. I'm not saying that my life is perfect. We do live in a fallen world. However, I have been feeling a deep sense of joy and peace. I am genuinely happy. It is such a nice change of pace and I am very grateful for the experience.

Since I feel like a different person than the woman who started this blog, I have decided not to add any more posts to this blog (at least for a while). I do have another blog that I will continue to keep current. I use my real name in my other blog so I do not want to just post the link here. If you are interested in following my other blog, please email me and I will be glad to share the link with you. If you would rather not follow my other blog I do understand. I will continue to pray for all of you and carry hope that your prayers for expanding your family are answered.

Thank you again for your support!
God bless you!

Friday, October 3, 2008

He's Here

Thank you Justme for posting a comment that Baby had arrived. I don't have time to tell the story of all 36 hours of labor (eek!) but let's just say it took 2 trips to the hospital, 2 doulas, 2 soaks in the tub, 30 hours without medical intervention, 5 hours at 90% effacement and dialated to 9 before finally agreeing to an epidural (heaven sent drug that let me sleep!!), a couple hours on pitocin, an hour off the epidural to begin feeling contractions to push effectively, 15 minutes of pushing, and arrival of the baby 5 minutes before the doctor arrived to "catch."


*Whew*


Here are a couple pictures. The first is fairly soon after he was born and right after hubby put on his first diaper. The hat does not do justice to the *major* cone head he was sporting. The second picture was taken this morning just after he ate. Hubby took some short video clips of his facial expression exercises this morning too. I'll ask hubby to save a copy on my computer so I can post one or two for those who are interested.



Monday, September 29, 2008

Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

If you whine, things will happen... My water broke at 1:26am this morning. I then had contractions every 4 minutes for about 45 minutes. Then they got really intense but slowed to be 20 minutes apart for a few hours. I did manage to sleep from about 4-8am, on and off between contractions. Now, the contractions are sporadic in time and intensity. I did go for a walk, but it is now too warm outside to be comfortable. My next trick is to do laps around my house to hopefully get things moving along. Please pray that things go smoothly and that this baby arrives safe and sound. I'll try to update when I return from the hospital. If nothing else, I'll have a real life friend post a comment to this entry.

Thanks in advance for the prayers!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Waiting

I am 38w2d and I am ready for this baby to come. Periodically I still have some cramping and contractions, but it has slowed down since my 36th week. =( I have to say I am quite annoyed about that! Just when I hit "full term" baby decided to hunker down for what seems to be the long haul. Hubby and I have been doing *things* to try and encourage real labor to begin. Unfortunately, any contractions that result usually peeter off after about 30 minutes...

I don't mean to be whiny. I'm still ecstatic to be pregnant with a live and seemingly healthy baby! I have really had a pretty good pregnancy! I have only gained 20 pounds (metformin had a lot to do with that, I'm sure!) and I'm not even swollen like I would have expected. My heart hasn't had any episodes lately and my platelets seem to be stable. It's not that I am so miserable being pregnant that I can't wait to get it over with. I have had a good pregnancy. I'm just very eager to meet my baby. Also, there is another selfish reason that I am a little ashamed to admit. I have been having some frustrating experiences with one of the ladies I supervise at work and I really need a break from her...

However, I really don't want my baby to come if he's not quite ready. The most important thing to me is that we both are healthy. I am not asking to be induced or anything. I am going to wait until baby decides he's ready (unless I reach 42 weeks and then my doctor will induce). I really hope he comes soon though. It feels like this pregnancy has been dragging on for too long. Why does gestation have to take so long? I think I might have a talk with God about that...

In the mean-time, the carseat is installed, the baby's bed is put together and clothes are washed and put in drawers. We still haven't put the mural up in the baby's room, but we are waiting until my mom comes (Oct. 21st) to visit because she has hung wall paper before. I have had 3 baby showers and people have been very generous. I think we have all the basics that we need. We will probably need some more clothes, but I can buy those as we need them. I think we've got enough to get started. We also have *lots* of blankets. So many that we are probably going to give some of them to a cousin who is due a couple weeks after us.

Anyway, that's the short update. I will try to take a picture of my belly soon. Baby has dropped (which is encouraging) so you can really tell I am pg.

I hope everyone is doing well! Take Care!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Full Term

Today I reached 37 weeks. It is nice to hit this milestone! For the past week I have been taking it easier and working from home half the day because my pre-labor symptoms increased throughout the week. I know it is possible for me to have these pre-labor symptoms for weeks, but I also didn't want to go into pre-term labor. My cramps and contractions would increase when I was standing or walking around. So, I tried to sit or lie down much of the day... or at least not be standing for too long. Of course, the contractions eased up yesterday, just when I was about to enter the "non-danger zone." Today I haven't really had any contractions, just some gas... Go figure.



Anyway, I had a check up today. The good news is that I tested negative for group b strep. I was glad because it would be a hastle to *have* to be connected to an IV during labor to receive antibiotics. Now we don't have to worry about it. =) The other 2 tests I had done today were a blood draw to check my platelets and an u/s to check the size and position of the baby. My doc couldn't tell for sure if he was head down so he wanted to double check. Baby is weighing in at about 6.3 pounds (31st percentile). Hopefully that means that he will be fairly easy to give birth to...



So, now for your viewing pleasure I can share a picture of my son's face. For those of you who have a hard time distinguishing these pictures, his face is on the right-hand side of the picture, with his chin smack-dab in the middle of the picture. you can see the shadows of 2 eyes, his nostrils, and his mouth which seems to be a little open. =)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MIA Update

Sorry for the long period of MIA. Kathy V, thanks for checking in on me! I'm sorry I worried you. I am doing well. I am 36 weeks along and have been very healthy. I am now seeing my OB weekly. Hubby and I took a Lamaze class last weekend and have had our final prep meeting with our doula. Supposedly we are ready for labor/birth. I feel pretty good, but am tired most of the time. For a while now (over a month) I have been feeling like my baby will come early. I think I was right. Over the weekend I started to have some pre-labor symptoms (menstral crampy feelings, braxton hicks contractions, and baby lowering into my pelvis). I haven't lost my mucus plug or had regular contractions, so I am not considered to be in actual labor yet. However, I do kind of expect to go into labor within the next couple weeks. I have to admit, I hope that I do go into labor shortly after I pass 37 weeks... I'm tired of being this pregnant and all the awkwardness that goes along with it. However, I am proud that I have only gained 20 pounds and that my ankles still look normal. For some reason that feels like an accomplishment... Here's a fairly recent picture:






The above picture is from the baby shower my friends threw for me over labor day weekend. I am the huge one on the left. I was 34 weeks at the time. I'm bigger now... The woman to the left of me is due about a month after I am. The third woman on the right is not pregnant. She is "filling in" for our friend who wasn't able to be at the shower and is a couple weeks ahead of me but who looks like she just had Thanksgiving dinner. There was a lot of laughter while this picture was being taken...

It is getting late so I am going to sign off for now. I will try to be a better blogger. I will let you know when my baby arrives and post some pictures. Thank you to all of you who are still checking in on me. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

28w Pictures


My "girls" outgrew the green shirt, so I decided to switch outfits. I think this one will last until my kid shows...

Oh, and I'm officially in the 3rd trimester now! =D

Identity Shift

Lately I have been reflecting on how I have formed my identity as a bodily person. Included in that is how I feel about my body and it's ability to perform (both basic tasks and more complicated proceedings). It's kind of weird to reflect on your relationship with your own body. I think I have had a kind of love-hate relationship for much of my life. As a child I went through several periods of poor health, of varying degrees. Fortunately, these periods were separated by times of pretty good health, so I did have some experience of having a body that worked the way it was "supposed" to (at least in certain aspects).

I have been chubby for much of my life, which I hate, and have consequently not felt very attractive during certain periods. However, I have also been on the weight loss/gain yo-yo so there have been periods where I felt confident in my own skin and reasonably attractive. It was also during those "lighter" periods where I felt more confident in my body's abilities. For example, about 6 years ago I was practicing yoga on a regular basis. I lost a lot of weight and was in great shape. I was also pretty strong and flexible. This was a time during which I felt capable... of anything...

Unfortunately, that feeling didn't last. I moved jobs and states and experienced the most stressful year of my life. I gained more weight than ever and quit taking care of myself. That year was pretty rough on my self esteem too. The capable strength I had developed the previous year was erroded away. I had some health issues and was very lonely. It was a difficult time. Even though I lost (and gained) weight a few more times in the years to follow I don't think I ever fully recovered.

Fast forward to 2005 when I realized how badly my reproductive system was messed up. Even before I got married I suspected I would have fertility troubles. I have always had bad cramps. In grad school (2002-2005) I had some problems with anovulatory cycles and unusual amounts of bleeding. Add to that the stories my mom told me about the troubles conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy she and my aunt had and you can see why I started to identify with IF women, even before I started officially trying and had trouble. I tried to be proactive and get my difficulties diagnosed early so I could "combat" them before I had to experience years of trouble... After I passed the year mark ttc, I think the pipe dream I had of being the "exception" who could circumvent the "troubles" died. After my first m/c the last sliver of my pipe dream of beating the odds died. It was the final "evidence" that, even on progesterone and carefully monitored care, my body was a failure when it came to procreation... My identity as a failure as a woman was secured.

My identity as a failure stayed with me despite a BFP, despite reaching the 2nd trimester, despite seeing a healthy baby at my 18w u/s. I am tired of feeling like a failure!

The book on healing I read on retreat a couple months ago really helped me pray for healing and find some peace. There were some experiences in my past that really needed Jesus' healing. I had been walking around with the weight of that pain for many years. I now feel a good deal of peace having given over the pain and invited Jesus into those experiences. This new-found peace has lead me to slowly start to change the way I experience life in the here and now. It has also affected how I view myself and how I approach some situations.

Add to my new-found healed self the research I have been doing on labor and birthing options and you get a shift in identity. After watching the movie "The Bu.siness of Being B.orn" I figured out that there were a lot more decisions than I had realized that needed to be made about my labor. I am a nerd so, obviously, I went into major research mode. I started reading up on doulas and various natural birth methods. I especially like the books from the Sears Parenting Library. I have learned a lot about my options... MUCH more than I was told today at my all day "birthing" class at the hospital. I am still researching, but I'm feeling much more confident about knowing my options when my labor comes.

What does all my research have to do with my self-reflection? Reading all these books and talking to doulas has had an unexpected side-effect. The natural birthing culture (if you can call it a culture) is VERY supportive of a woman's ability to do what her body is made to do... to give birth. I have been inundated with a lot of positive, uplifting messages. It's starting to sink in.

Lately I have been feeling empowered and strong. I'm tired of feeling like an IF victim. I like feeling like a normal healthy pregnant woman. I like feeling empowered. I really think that my positive outlook can only be good for my baby. I know that, at the very least, too much anxiety can negatively affect my baby. So, I've decided that I'm going to continue to choose to be positive with my thoughts and behave like a "normal" and healthy pregnant woman.

There is more to blog about on this topic, but I'm tired and this post is already too long. Look for part 2 to come soon.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

26w Belly Shot


Here is the latest picture. I definitely think I have grown since my last picture. I've been trying to wear the same shirt for easier comparison. I might not be able to wear this shirt for much longer, though, because my girls are starting to fall out of it... I think I mentioned my problem with my growing "melons" (as Kathy V. calls them)? Well, let's just say it's still a problem.

Other than that, things are looking good. I think the baby has moved up a bit because I haven't had as much pressure lately. That has been nice! I did have some pain around my belly button for a few days (which I think might have been from diastasis) but I have been more careful about how I move and what positions I sit in and the pain has subsided. I have also been doing some breathing exercizes that I read about on a midwifery site. They have actually helped a lot!

I know there are more tidbits from life to update on, but I am really tired. I'm going to take advantage of the long weekend and go take a nap... =)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

GTT Results

I have been waiting for the results of my glucose tolerance test since last Friday. Finally today I got tired of waiting and called my doc's office. The nurse said that my results were normal and everything was fine. That's good! I would have been really worried if I hadn't passed because I am already taking met...

Mural Decisions

I know it's been a while since I discussed the baby's room mural. After I posted the poll with 3 options my mom heard back about the original idea of the mural I had as a kid. So, we were waiting to see if anything came of that. Apparently, the mural company contacted the artist (Stewart Moskowitz) to see if he would be interested in signing a new contract to allow his picture to be used in a mural again. I guess he agreed, but they are still (as of July 2nd) waiting for him to sign the contract. I looked at the picture on Moskowitz's website and I do like it. The colors are more vibrant than they appeared on the 25 year-old box cut out picture... However, at this point hubby and I are getting anxious about having enough time left to get the room together...

The other part of the story is that I didn't fully love any of the 3 options that I posted for the poll. I loved everything about "Noah's Ark" except the eyes on the animals, which just make them look crazed. I don't really want my baby to dream about crazed animals... I like "Noah and the Rainbow" except for the pink sky and the pastel colors in the rainbow. I wish the sky were more blue and the rainbow was made with more primary colors. I've decided that I don't really like "Two by Two" any more, although I DO like the concept of having the fish and animals visible. Hubby was never fully 100% happy with any of those 3 options either, so we went back to the drawing board (so-to-speak).

Stewart Moskowitz has some other great images (I really liked his Noah Submarine), but he doesn't offer murals through his site and I don't even know if he is actually going to sign a contract for the 1st image, let alone other images. However, I think we found another option that we both like. It doesn't show land animals, but the ocean looks really cool (like you could just dive into the picture and swim with the sea creatures) and it includes the boat, rainbow and dove parts of the Noah story so it would be good for story telling. Here is the link and picture:

Ocean Noah





What do you think? Do you like it?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's all Good

The short story is that even though I still feel the same pressure and periodic pain of the past few days, I have been taken off bedrest. Thank you to everyone who has been thinking of me and praying for me! If you want to know the longer story keep reading.

Yesterday when I talked to the nurse she told me to rest for the day and call back in the morning with an update. Well, this morning's update was that I still felt the same symptoms. So, the doc's office scheduled me for 1:30. I contacted work and took another day off... [I only have 2 days to roll-over to next year, but my anniversary date is in July so hopefully I'll get to keep those for maternity leave!] Then I hung out on the couch until it was time to leave.

Once at the doctor's they combined this appointment with the stuff (GTT test, u/s to check on placenta placement, regular 25/26w check-in) they were going to do on Tuesday. It's nice I don't have to go back next week!

As for the results, I find out about the GTT either tomorrow or Monday. I didn't really feel that weird after drinking the orange stuff... I don't know if that's a good thing or not... I'm still taking metformin so if my blood sugar is off I am in real trouble! I have gained 10 pounds total this pg. Doc said he would be fine if I didn't gain any more weight, or if I even lost some (but I'm not supposed to TRY to loose weight). Not sure how I feel about the weight gain issue...

The baby weighs 1.9 pounds and is in the 84th percentile. (Hubby and I are both shorter so I don't know where he gets it!) As for the other stuff, the answer to everything is "4." My cervix measured 4cm. (It got longer!!!! It was 3.65 last time!) My placenta is 4cm away from my cervix. (Yay!!!! That means I can have a vaginal delivery without worrying about bleeding to death!) You may be wondering where the cervical pressure is coming from... Baby has decided that it is time to put his head right up against my cervix. He's very impatient I guess. Apparently this is not all that uncommon. And, he could still change positions multiple times before it's "time."

I left feeling mostly encouraged. I'm VERY glad to know that baby is doing well and that my cervix is in good shape. I was shocked that it has actually gotten longer! I didn't know that happened at this stage in the game. However, I'll take it (especially over the alternative)!! I felt kind of silly that the nurse put me on bedrest when I am fine and I know so many others who are dealing with much more serious conditions and are on bedrest. When it's your first time this far along in pg, it's really hard to know what is a normal ache or pain and what is something to worry about. My doc said that the feelings I've been having are basically going to be considered my new "normal." So, unless the pressure/pain drastically change or get much worse, I shouldn't worry. I guess I just get to be one of those lucky pg ladies who is uncomfortable for a long time... BUT, I'm not complaining! As long as baby is doing well and staying put, I am happy!!!!

In other more frivolous news, the baby still isn't cooperating in having his profile picture taken. He definitely takes after his dad--he apparently doesn't like to have his picture taken. The u/s tech did get a 3/4 face shot that looks pretty cool and not quite so skeleton like...

OK. That's the update. Thanks again for checking in on me!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

1930's Wife?

Well, apparently I would make a good 1930's wife... To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about that.


84

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Bed Rest

Sorry for the silence lately. I did warn you that I tend to post in spurts... I have been reading and commenting, but haven't been up to thinking up a whole post.

So, I am on bedrest today. I have been experiencing some pressure on my cervix and pain in my abdomen. The pain I think is mostly rlp and I'm not that concerned about it. The pressure (which can get painful if I stand for too long) I am a little more concerned about. 2 days ago the baby moved to the lower half of my uterus (I only feel movement below my belly button, my belly is only firm below my belly button, and when I use the doppler the baby's heart is very low below my belly button as well) and I started feeling a lot of pressure on my cervix. It could be that the baby just decided to sit on my cervix. However, I am more worried that my cervix is dilating or that the baby has started to "engage," which scares me. 24w is way too early for that! I know I was excited to reach 24w because the baby is possibly viable, but the odds are still not in my favor. When I talked to the nurse this morning she told me she wanted me to stay home and rest today because I have had cervical pressure before (around 21w) and because my placenta is pretty close to the cervix. The plan is for me to see how I feel in the morning and call to check in. If I am feeling better I might be able to go back to work (if I wear a maternity support belt, which I already started wearing yesterday). If I feel the same or worse, I am supposed to go in to the doc's office. My doc does his hospital rounds/surgeries on Wed's so he's not in the office today anyway. He'll be in tomorrow.

Here is the encouraging news:
1. the pressure does improve (although doesn't disappear) when I sit and even more when I lie down
2. I haven't seen any blood
3. I haven't seen anything that I thought was my mucus plug
4. baby is VERY active throughout the day and seems to be doing well

I have to admit, I didn't expect the nurse to suggest I stay home on bedrest. I wasn't really scared until she said that. I cried after I hung up. Hubby is very worried. He is the one who actually convinced me to call the nurse. I really hope that things improve. I am scheduled for my regular check up and GTT test next week on Tuesday. That's only 6 days away. At that time I am also scheduled to have an u/s to check on the position of my placenta. I was hoping I would be able to just wait until that appointment.

OK. I'm really tired right now. I haven't been sleeping well lately so maybe I just need to catch up on sleep.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Bus.iness of Being Bo.rn

Has anyone seen this movie ("The Bus.iness of Being Bo.rn")? We watched it tonight. I have been thinking about how we will approach the birth of this little one for a while now. I was already leaning toward trying to go all natural and even considering using a doula. Now, hubby and I have decided that we will for sure try to hire a doula. I think the part of the movie that stayed with me the most is how one intervention (e.g. giving an epidural) can have a snowball effect that requires more interventions (e.g. pitocin) and possibily lead to a higher c-section rate. The movie spent a lot of time on covering home births. I'm not really convinced that I want to give birth at home... I do like my doc (although, I am not guaranteed that he will be the one on call when I deliver) and I feel comfortable with the hospital I am supposed to use. However, I definitely see the benefits of having a professional labor assistant who can stay with me during my whole labor. I feel like I will have a better shot at having no or little intervention if I have soemone there who can help me understand what is happening and what options I have for dealing with it.

Anyway, I would recommend watching the movie if you are pg if, for no other reason, to get another view of how labor can happen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

22w5d Belly Shot

Here is my latest belly shot. I didn't think I had really grown that much in the last 2 weeks, but I can see a difference between this shot and my 20w4d shot. So, it looks like the baby is growing. Yay! =)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Friendship...

Well, I finally heard back from my friend. I'm not really sure how I feel right now. Let's just say her reaction didn't immediately make me feel better. She did apologize, but she also gave some excuses and basically told me that she didn't have time/energy to put much more into our friendship (although she really values the time we spent together in grad school and the support I gave to her in her time of need).

I don't know. I think I need some more time to process... I still feel much of the hurt and bitterness I felt before. I don't know if it is something I can work through and be friends with her, or if it is just too much for me. I don't know.

Coincidence?

I woke up with a headache this morning. Well, in truth, I first woke up at 4am and spent about 2 hours awake catching up on blogs, then I went back for a nap and woke up at 9am with a headache. So, what is the coincidence? I have to go to work today after 2 nights of great sleep and 2 glorious days off. It's weird because I don't hate my job. Besides the stress that goes with it, I actually like my job. I think it's important work, I feel reasonably competent at it, and many of the people I work with are great (there are always pains-in-the-*** anywhere you go, but you know what I mean). All last week I was feeling kind of headachey too but this weekend I felt great.

So, there are a few options:
1. Hubby is starting to come down with something and he passed it on to me (he has been headachey the last couple days).
2. I have "selective" allergies that flare up only when I'm not completely relaxed.
3. I am surpressing my feelings again and unaware of how I really feel about work.
4. I really want to stay home with the baby (and can't right away for financial reasons) and am internalizing stress symptoms before the baby is even viable.

I don't know if there are any more options, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my achey head...

Baby Austin is Here!

Head on over to Farah's site and congratulate her! Baby Austin came into the world at 12:02am!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Promised Update

**This post is all about Baby. Feel free to skip if you need to.

Three posts in one day! I'm on a role... I guess my quiet phase is over...

Last weekend we got a new printer/scanner/fax all-in-one so I thought I would take advantage of the new equipment. Here is a picture of our 19 week u/s. The baby wasn't in a good position for a profile shot, but here is an "above" shot of my little skeleton baby. Cute, huh!?!


I went to the doc on Tuesday. Last weekend I had some cramping that got progressively worse, including a cramping/stretching in my cervix area. I wasn't bleeding so I figured I would sleep it off. Monday morning it was improved, but got worse throughout the day. So, Monday afternoon I talked to one of the nurses at my doc's office and she said she thought it was probably normal pregnancy pains, but that I should come in just to check me out.


The good news is that my BP was back down (100/68)! It was such a big change that the nurse actually did a double take when she went to write it in my chart... However, my doc didn't seem phased. I guess the retreat really did help me relax. =) I hadn't gained any weight, which was good. They also did another very quick u/s to check my cervix. Everything checked out ok. My cervix measured 3.65, so that was good. While the u/s was in there (yes, I was reaquainted with the dil.do cam) we found the culprit... 2 little feet kept kicking my cervix! The baby was breech. He must have been completely streched out because I had been feeling movement very low (obviously) and just above my belly button (the top of my uterus) for a couple weeks. I guess he decided that he wanted to stretch out while there was still some room. Little stinker. Thankfully, I think he has rotated some. The other day I felt some little feet off to the side. I was actually glad about that. I don't really want a little foot to kick through my mucus plug. I know that probably doesn't happen, but my imagination can come up with all kinds of crazy things!


I had the day off today (YAY!!!!) so we decided to go to BRU and register. It was kind of a weird experience because we were both just wandering around looking at everything and saying, "I have NO idea what we need!" In the end we decided on some safety stuff (e.g. outlet covers), a stroller and carseat, a co-sleeper, some bath supplies, a glider chair and ottoman, some pacifiers, and a swing/bounce seat. For big stuff we still need a pack 'n play, a dresser, and possibly a crib (we haven't decided if we want a crib or if we will just use the pack 'n play). I think I need to go back with a friend who is an experienced mom so she can help me figure out what I will really need. I also decided, after a lot of research and agonizing, what kind of baby carrier I want to use. I think it will be a good combo of sling and more structured carrier. I'm hoping that it will be a good match/fit for me. I don't want to be one of those people who orders 5 different kinds of carriers before finding the right one (I have a friend who did this).


I also got one of those pg lady back support girdle things. I think it will be good for days I have to stand for long periods of time. I tried wearing it for a couple hours tonight and I could definitely feel the back support. However, I don't think I will wear it all day (at least for now) because I usually end up sitting much of the day. The back support part is kind of itchy and pokes slightly in a couple places when I'm sitting. However, I think it was a good purchase. Now, I just need to find a bra that will work for me. I have already outgrown all of the bras I currently own and I'm only 22 weeks... I think I'm a size F right now, but I keep growing. I'm scared what will happen when my milk comes in! I'm also not sure what to do about my bra problem. I don't want to buy too many bras now that I will only wear for a couple months... especially since most of the bras that will fit me need to be special ordered and are expensive! I found a couple online ordering sites, so I will look more closely at them. However, if you know of any good large lady nursing bra sites you can pass on, I would gladly take suggestions.


OK, that's enough rambling for now.

Child's Room Wall Mural

Well, we are trying to narrow down the options for the baby's room decoration. We definitely want to do a wall mural. It doesn't look like the mural I had as a kid can be located so we are looking at other options. We need the mural to be gender neutral so we can re-use the space for (hopefully) more children in the future... (This is an example of the positive thinking I am trying to adopt.) Hubby and I both like the idea of animals and of fish in the ocean. We also like Noah's Ark. We were trying to combine them somehow and found a few murals that seemed to do that. I am including 3 options below. You can click on the title to see a better picture. Please give me some feedback. Do you like them? Do you have a favorite? Or, do you think we should keep looking? I'll post a poll to the side too, but comments will be very helpful. Thanks for your input!

Two by Two:






Noah's Ark:




Noah and the Rainbow:



Show and Tell

Here is my latest entry for Mel's Show and Tell:



This was my FAVORITE book growing up. If you look closely you can tell that the book cover is well-worn and held together at the top and bottom with clear packing tape. My mom used to read this book with an Irish accent and reeeaaaaaallly emphasize the phrase "Leprechauns never lie!," which is repeated often in the book.


**SPOILER ALERT** The following 2 paragraphs are a summary of the story. Skip if you don't want to know the story.


The book is about a VERY lazy girl, Ninny Nanny, who lives with her ailing Gram and the house is falling apart because never does her chores. The girl finds a leprechaun (who never lies) and tries to convince him to tell her where his pot of gold is. The leprechaun very cunningly tells her all the places his gold USED to be and in the process of her looking for the gold she ends up doing her chores (sorting the wood pile, filling the water barrel, thatching the roof with straw from the pile, digging up the potatoes in the potato patch). Finally Ninny Nanny is so tired from all the work and so frustrated with the leprechaun she decides to let him go.


The good news is that now she and Gram have a warm house and food in their belly. Unfortunately, Ninny Nanny was still too lazy because she left 1 potato plant in the garden. Late that night the leprechaun returned and dug up the remaining potato plant, picked up his pot of gold and rushed off to find a new hiding spot.


*************


As a soon-to-be parent I really like the message of the book. As a kid I thought the book was funny and I would yell at the girl about where the gold really was. I have many good memories of reading this book with my mom. I highly recommend this book for any parents who are looking for good books to read to their children. I looked at Bar.nes and Nobl.es' website and it looks like the book was re-released, with a new cover. If you decide to get the book, let me know what you think. =)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What's in a Friendship? -Updated-

I'm sorry for the silence lately. Sometimes I feel full of words that I have to get out (hence, I started the blog). Sometimes I feel very quiet and just go into "take-it-in" mode. I've been feeling quiet lately... However, I feel like I need some feed-back about something.

I just wrote a "Dear Jane" type of email. Have you ever been in a friendship where you each have different needs/expectations for the relationship? In this instance I had a friend who I was pretty close to during 3 years of grad school. During that time we talked daily, prayed together, and supported each other during hard times. She struggled with infertility for a year before conceiving her oldest daughter (who is now 3 & 1/2). Then, her pregnancy was very high risk and she was on bedrest for 6 months. I visited her almost daily and helped her stay connected with the rest of our classmates.

After graduation we talked on the phone periodically and we have seen each other 2 times, both of which were nice and seemed to go well. The trouble came once I started experiencing my own infertility. I thought she would be a great friend to me. Afterall, she knew how it felt to want a baby so badly and have your body fail you... The last time we saw each other was just after my surgery and the misdiagnosis of male infertility last spring. During the visit she was very supportive and a good listener (even as she held her 3 month old baby...). At that point I was entering into the darkest part of my journey.

The next 9 months were a rollercoaster ride through hell for me. I didn't have extra energy to reach out to her. I could barely take care of myself and my husband. I needed her to reach out to me. She didn't. I got a message in August from her and didn't call her back because she said she would try me again the next day. She didn't call. She did leave another message about a month later apologizing for not contacting me while she was in town for a wedding (she lives several states away) and, again, said she would call me back. She didn't. I did call her back a couple days later and left her a VM. She didn't call me back. When I had my first 1st m/c in September she called again and left me another VM and, again, promised to call me. At that point I was NOT up to calling her. And, I was already feeling very hurt and let down by her, not to mention that I was grief-stricken at loosing my first baby. She never called me back and I haven't heard from her since, until today.

Yesterday I sent an email to all of my grad school classmates (it was a small class and we were pretty close) and told them that I was pg and almost 22 weeks. She replied to my email. She congratulated me, said she had been thinking about me and praying for me, and gave me a small update on her family. She also said she was going to try and call me...

I wrote her back and thanked her the prayers and congratulations but told her that I didn't think it was a good idea for her to call me. I explained how hurt I have been that, obviously, our friendship wasn't as important to her as it was to me. I told her how hurt I was that she hadn't reached out to me more, even though she should know how painful things have been for me, and especially since I was there for her during her difficult time.

I'm not sure how I feel about the whole situation right now. I have been carrying around that hurt for a long time. I'm sad to loose the friendship I thought we had during grad school. However, it's only a friendship if it's a 2-way street. I don't know. What would you have done in this situation? Would you have tried to talk it out with her? Would you have just not responded? Or, do you think I did the right thing by sending the honest email? I'm starting to second guess myself... Thanks for your feedback!

I'll have an update and some pictures in my next post. =)

=====================================

Update:
Three days later: I still haven't heard from my friend. Her silence is deafening.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Trish's Baby **UPDATED**

Please pray for Trish. She came down with pre-eclampsia and is having a c-section at 26w2d. She is scared and asking for prayers.

God please protect Trish and Baby C ("Tater") today and in the months to come. Keep them safe and healthy and help Tater grow big and strong.

St. Gerard, please lift up Trish and Tater in your prayers and intercede on their behalf.

********************************************

UPDATE:
Trish gave birth to Robert Michael C. at 11:22am and he is doing very well! Yeah! Please click over to her blog to give support and to see pictures of a beautiful (and tiny) baby boy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A New Day **UPDATED**


On Thursday, May 29, please click on Allison's blog, Our Own Creation, and help replace that post with whatever is currently up on her blog that day. Everyone needs to visit on the same day--May 29th--because if we simply click throughout the week, it won't bump the day she lost Zoë from that section of the dashboard. I am writing this now to give us time to spread the word. Take the graphic I created and place it on your own blog. Don't worry--I'll remind you to click that day.We need 2,350 people to visit Our Own Creation on May 29th. We need 1,785 people visit Sweet Zoë.
The day that Allison lost Zoë is forever marked her "best day ever" on Wordpress because it is the day that the most people visited her blog. For her own emotional well-being, she needs this post to be taken off her blog dashboard. The way to do that is to create a new record for visits to her blog.
**************************************************************
UPDATE:
Mission accomplished! Allison more than met her goal! Yeah!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back from Retreating

**p-word talk below**


I'm back in the land of activity. My retreat was very nice and peaceful. I was definitely able to relax and to even catch up on some sleep. There was a lot of opportunity to pray and listen, which I really needed. One of the books I was reading during the retreat is called "healing the hidden self." It is about how we can ask Jesus to heal our younger selves so that we can move on from the pain/effects in our adult life. The author says some interesting things about possible traumas that people can inherit from stresses the mom feels during pregnancy and about the trauma children may feel during the birthing process. I started to think about some things from my childhood that I may still be carrying around. It also made me think about how I am approaching this pg and how I plan to approach the upcoming birth. One thing that I think will be important is that I try to avoid (or at least deal with better) undue stress. Also, I have decided that I will have a positive attitude about this pg from here on in. I can't give any more energy to being scared or worried that this baby isn't going to come out alive and well. I still realize that something may happen, but I am choosing not to spend energy worrying about "what if" anymore. The baby is still kicking away, so that is helping with my new attitude...

I took my first set of belly pics. This weekend I noticed that my stomach really seemed to pop out. At about18 weeks I felt like I didn't have a waist anymore, but now I really feel like my stomach is starting to stick out. Of course, there's fat on top of the baby, so I think that many people, if they didn't know me, would just think I was fat... especially when I'm not wearing a maternity shirt. I am wearing my favorite maternity shirt in the pic so I look more pg than in other shirts. I am looking forward to just looking pg, without people being confused if I've just gained a few pounds... This is the first time in my life where I don't mind my stomach getting bigger. In fact, I was actually kind of excited that it was expanding! Passing 20w was good for me.

Thanks to all of you who have been commenting! I signed up to be a part of NaComLeavMo and I am in the process of figuring out how to put the icon in my sidebar. I will be around the blogsphere, but it will take me a little while to get caught up on reading all the posts from the weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Retreat Weekend

I just wanted to let all you out in blogland know that I will be away for the weekend. I am going on a much needed retreat. The only bad part of the weekend is that my husband was not able to come with me =(. In my hormonal moody pg state, I am actually really sad about being away from him! The retreat house is very close to my house, so I might just sneak away for a bit and come home to snuggle a little. Hubby is also sad about the separation, but he is very supportive of me going on retreat. At least he has Monday off so we can spend some time together then. I really am looking forward to the actual retreat. It is a silent retreat. I've never been on one, but I think being forced to shut up and listen to God can only be good for me.

In other news, I will be 20w tomorrow. It feels good to hit the half-way mile stone. Now, I'm trying to hold on until 24w. My next u/s is during week 24 too, so that should be a good week (hopefully). Baby is still doing well. Yesterday Baby was kicking up a storm most of the day, so that was encouraging.

I'll be back on Sunday night. Hopefully I'll be well-rested and peaceful too. =)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Late to the Party

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that I am sometimes slow to react to things emotionally. Apparently, this trend goes beyond emotions... I got my first bout of morning sickness on Sunday. I had some food aversions in the first trimester, but I never had any real nausea (only "mini" nausea) or vomiting. At 19w2d I lost my breakfast. I noticed the eggs I was cooking smelled weird to me. However, I had just purchased them, they had an expiration date sometime in June, and they were the expensive all natural, organic, free range eggs. I just figured that I was being a little picky pg lady and ignored my feelings. I had a very healthy meal (scrambled eggs, cantaloupe, english muffin, and OJ). Then, I went to brush my teeth. Then, I saw all of my breakfast again. I do tend to have an overactive gag reflex while brushing my teeth, but this was uncalled for!

Frankly, I was really taken off guard. On the authority of MANY sources, I thought morning sickness wasn't a problem after the 1st tri was over... Monday I had another food aversion warning as I was fixing my breakfast. This time, I heeded the warning and ate something different (and very plain!). I still felt a little queasy, but I didn't loose anything. I had another food smell aversion at dinner time last night and, again, chose something plain instead. This morning I didn't notice any aversions, so hopefully I won't have to look at my breakfast again.

If this problem continues, I will ask my doc about it. Is this normal? I haven't heard of any stories of morning sickness showing up for the first time in the 2nd tri. I guess someone has to be the exception, I'm just not sure I'm happy being that person...

In other news, baby is still alive and kicking. Life is still good. =)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Show and Tell




This was the wallpaper mural in my room when I was between 3-12 years old.



I mentioned to my mom that, in thinking about how to decorate my baby's room I was thinking about that mural and wondered if I could find it or something similar. I was working off of my memory of the wall. I have many fond memories of looking at the wall and using my imagination. I thought it was the coolest room on the planet! I also had wonderful yellow walls that I loved. The only reason I moved out of that room is when I hit junior high I wanted to be farther away from my parents, so I moved into the biggest bedroom in the house, which happened to be in the basement. My childhood room remained yellow with the great wallpaper. In fact, even when my parents sold the house they just freshened up the paint and kept the wallpaper so that another kid could enjoy the room.

Anyway, when I mentioned to my mom that I was thinking about that mural, she said she had some ideas about where I might find it. Next thing I know, my dad has pulled out this box from the garage... The same box they received the original mural in! There are even some left over pieces of wall paper still in the box! Frankly, I was speechless... until I started laughing my butt off! I couldn't believe my mom kept it, even through a major move! She said that she hadn't planned on keeping it at the time (28 years ago!) but that I loved the wall paper so much as a kid she decided to hold onto it "just in case..." The picture up above is from the side of the box so I guess it came in handy... =)

So, now that we have the box we know the company that originally made the mural (although the artist's name isn't anywhere on the box). My mom contacted the company to see if they still carried this mural. They don't. However, my mom seems to have made a friend with one of the secretaries at the company (Wanda). Wanda, apparently, is trying to track down a copy of this for me (even if it is just a poster). Honestly, I never expected my innocent wondering about that mural to have had such a big reaction! If Wanda does manage to find a way to get this as a mural I basically have to buy it because she went above and beyond.

I do still like the mural, but not as much as I thought I would. I remembered it having more colors. I have looked through a lot of kid room murals lately (in the search for this particular one) so I have seen a lot of really great options. I like the idea of putting a solar system mural on the ceiling. Hubby suggested doing a kind of layered effect where we would have under the sea (at the bottom), above the water (in the middle), sky (on top) and solar system (on the ceiling). I do kind of like the idea of that. We have 10ft ceilings so we have some height on the wall to work with. This would all only be on one wall so hopefully it wouldn't be too overwhelming. Of course, we would need to find the right murals to work with so they would flow together somewhat. I guess we'll just have to see what happens. In any case, now you know what my childhood bedroom looked like.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's a...

Very healthy baby!!!! The baby is measuring right on track, has all his organs, plenty of amniotic fluid, weighs about .7 pounds and has a heart beat of 149. I only gained 2 pounds since my last apt 5 weeks ago. YEAH! Also, WHEW! I had kind of gotten myself worked up a little last night. It was bad enough that I woke up after 4.5 hours with my head spinning and wasn't able to go back to sleep for a couple hours. I was just very anxious that something would come up in the u/s to ruin what, so far, has been a pretty good pg. The worst news is that I have to have another u/s in 4 weeks because the placenta is a little too close to the cervix still. (Darn! I have to look at the baby again!) They like to see the placenta at least 3 cm away from the cervix and mine is only 1 cm away. They didn't seem too worried about it because I still have a lot of growing to do and it is making progress. At my last u/s at 10w the placenta was completely covering the cervix. So, it is definitely moving in the right direction and I'm not too worried about it.

The second piece of not great news is that my blood pressure was quite a bit higher. Normally I am around 110/65. Today I was 138/82. I told the doc that I have been stressed and haven't been sleeping well. He told me I needed to take it easy and I shouldn't be working overtime. I told him that my schedule should be better now and that I shouldn't need to work overtime for a while. Hopefully that will help. I think hubby is finally on board to come walk with me in the mornings. I think that will also help us with staying healthy and feeling like we have some time to spend together. If my bp is still high at the next apt I will start to worry about it more. In the mean-time, I will just try to do more "healthy" things to help myself.

Overall I am feeling very happy and relieved. Our DVD worked in the machine this time so hopefully I will be able to figure out how to get some u/s pictures to post here. Hubby is working on trying to get the DVD to play in something. In the meantime, I think I might take a nap. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and for all the supportive comments over the last few weeks. I know I have been kind of chica negativa lately. I think my attitude will be improved from now on. My schedule has finally let up some and I am feeling a lot more confident about this pg. Life is good! =)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Worst News I can Imagine

Please go over to Beautiful Curve and give her some support. She just lost her second baby at 23w. She lost her first baby at 22w. Murphy must hate her. My heart breaks for her!

Nervous

Well, I am 18w6d today. Tomorrow is the big u/s. I am pretty nervous. I have been having some odd aches in my cervical area. The paranoid part of my brain has been worried that it is thinning and dialating.... I am definitely asking my doc to check it tomorrow! I'm really looking forward to seeing the baby, but I'm also nervous about what we will see. I just want all the organs to be present, accounted for, and growing on target. Hubby wants to find out the gender. I feel ambivilent about the gender. I just really want a healthy baby!!! My heart breaks every time I hear about someone who looses their baby in tragic circumstances late in their pg. I know this is really selfish, but I really don't want to join that club! I have been pretty stressed out for at least a month. My heart palpatations have returned.

I know I sound crazy, but I would really appreciate prayers, good wishes, etc. sent my way. Tomorrow, after everything is ok, I will pull out of this self-centered paranoid crap.

Just to end on a more positive note, I felt the baby move "for sure" yesterday. I have had some experiences that "might" have been the baby for a few weeks, but yesterday was definitely the baby. I was sitting at work typing something. All of a sudden it felt like bubbles were brushing up against the inside of my belly. It happened about 4-5 times. It was a beautiful, wonderful, happy moment! I have been checking in on the baby about every other day with the doppler (holding steady at 150 beats/min), but feeling the baby was A LOT more exciting!

Friday, May 9, 2008

What's the Opposite of Infertile?

Michelle Duggar.



http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24537885&GT1=43001

http://health.discovery.com/convergence/duggars/duggarfamily.html


I have mixed feelings about this. It seems like their children are well cared for and loved, which is the most important thing. I do think that letting God guide your fertility choices is a good thing. I also really believe that every couple has to discern what God is calling them to in regards to their family. I feel a "but" or a "however" looming in the back of my head, but I can't seem to put it into words. Maybe it's a little bit of lingering jealousy that it seems so easy for them? I'm not sure. For now, it looks like there will probably be another Duggar in the world in 9 months...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

If I can just make it until...

Has anyone ever had the feeling of being so busy/overwhelmed that they keep a certain date in their head as their goal because "after that day things will be calmer!"? I seem to fall into this trap over and over and over. I don't know if it is the nature of my job, or if it is just life in general. I'm starting to wonder if this is not a healthy way to go through life. If nothing else, this approach has started to feel like an empty promise. Inevitably, I finally get to "the date" with a lot of built up stress and anticipation about "the promised land" (i.e. time off, or at least less rushing around) only to be disappointed with the realization that my to do list hasn't gotten any shorter, my calendar is still just as full (if not fuller) and there is a new "date" to shoot for. Sometimes I feel like I am walking through the desert to a watering hole only to arrive at the watering hole and find out it was a mirage.

Case in point: May 3rd has been my goal date for a couple months. May 3rd marked the official end of all kid oriented scheduling in my program for this school year. The rest of the events that I am responsible were supposed to be "minor" in comparison and are adult focused. May 3rd also marked the last Saturday I was scheduled to work until June 7th (ahh, weekend sleeping in bliss!). So, I woke up early on May 4th only to roll out of bed and go to work/church. It was the last day of another kid program in my department so I needed to be present. OK, I can handle that because it is a regular Sunday schedule for me. No biggie, right? Except, since I have been so focused on May 3rd, I forgot all the detail stuff I needed to finish for a departmental development day on Tuesday (today...). So, May 4th and 5th were spent squeezing the planning in between regularly scheduled work. Oh, and of course there are those training sessions the 4 Mondays of May that I have to be around for (luckily, I am not leading the training!!!).

What does this mean? It means that I worked a 13 hour day yesterday so that I would be prepared for last night's training and today's "fun and relaxing" development day. I means that I just swapped one set of stresses for a new set of stresses and that the break in the clouds I was promised (I promised to myself?) was a mirage. It means that I am feeling disillusioned by my own schedule.

Does anyone else have this problem? I am starting to feel like I need a different approach to life. I constantly feel like I am living for "someday" rather than living in the moment. Sure, I have brief encounters where I am able to appreciate the "here and now," but these are the exception not the rule. I feel like I am stuck. I have to plan ahead with my job! Otherwise I would be reduced to tears everyday, overwhelmed by the constant barrage of tasks and people that battle for my attention. In one sense, my schedule/calendar/to-do list is my saving grace. However, that same schedule/calendar/to-do list also serves to remind me that there is no end in sight. I need a break in the clouds. How do you create a space of calm in the midst of the storm?

I will gladly accept all suggestions, comments, and assvice.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

10,001

I just noticed that my stats say that I have broken 10,000 hits to my blog (since I installed the counter). Yeah me! =) Thanks for reading along with my craziness!

I have some posts bumping around in my head, but I am too tired to write any of them down right now. Hopefully I'll have some more energy tomorrow or Friday...

'night

You know you're "really" pregnant when...

you loose bladder control when you cough.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's Started Already

*p-word warning*



I was warned about it. I've seen people do it. In my younger days I may have even done it myself. However, I thought I still had some time before my personal space started to be invaded. I mean, unless you've seen me naked to look at my 2 tiny stretch marks (I mark at the sneeze of a fat cell...) there is no way you would know I was pg! As soon as I came out of the pg closet I might as well have painted a permanent bulls eye on my belly. I'm talking, of course, about The Belly Rub. I have already been felt up by several people. It hasn't happened with strangers or new acquaintances yet, but a couple of my acquaintance-friends (more than a mere acquaintance, but not a close friend) apparently feel free enough to just pat, grab, or rub my abdomen. And the worst part is that since I'm only 16w my pudge is still fairly low in my abdomen so their hands are also kind of low... However, this does give my "girls" a little bit of breathing room (at least for now) from the inevitable "brushes" that are to come.

Why is it that people think that a pregnant woman's body somehow becomes public domain? Most people would never consider touching a non-pregnant person in the middle section without permission. Why don't they think it's necessary to get permission just because I'm growing another person inside me? If you think about it, they are actually invading the personal space of 2 people!

I do realize that there isn't much I can do about this. I knew it was part of pg. I've heard friends complain about it. All I can do is whine on my blog and hope that people will at least ask my permission first before grabbing me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chinese Calendar Gender Predictions

**Post all about the p-word and babies**

So, I've been wondering about the gender of this baby I'm trying to grow. In the beginning of the pregnancy, in the milliseconds when I let myself think about it, I felt like this baby was a boy. Lately though (the last few weeks) I've been feeling like the baby is a girl. Hubby wants to find out the sex so I only have a few weeks of wondering before my next doc apt at 19w.

A lot have people around me have been speculating. It's amazing how much people want to talk about pg when they know there's a preggo in the room... Several people have told me to consult the Chinese calendar to predict the sex of my baby. I was curious, especially since my "girl" feelings lately have been pretty strong, so I checked it out. I did the math and converted everything to the lunar calendar like you're supposed to and supposedly it's a ............... BOY. I was actually kind of excited about that. Not that I wouldn't be happy about and love a girl! I know I would. However, For the last few years I have thought it would be kind of fun to be the mom of boys. You know those cool moms who have all boys? I'm sure you know one of them. I'm not very girly, so I think I might be able to pull off being a cool "boy mom."

Does anyone have an opinion about the various methods of gender prediction? I will post a poll to let people make their own predictions...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not Spoiled Any More =(

If you don't feel like listening to whining (about life, not the p-word), then feel free to skip this post.

I miss my husband. I am happy that he finally seems to have a job that matches his skills, interests him, and pays decently. However, I miss the days when he was a student and was home a lot. I basically got to see him any time I didn't have to work... I got to see him whenever I wanted. Now, he leaves in the morning before I do and he gets home after I do. In the morning neither one of us are big talkers. We pretty much just stay quiet and go about getting ready for the day. We both also get home pretty late (between 8-9pm) so we don't have much time together in the evenings... especially lately because I have been so tired and going to bed earlier than normal. Then, for 6 weeks in a row (4 down, 2 more to go) I have to work Saturdays. That means my only day off is Friday... and hubby has Saturdays and Sundays off... Add all these things together and you get a couple of people who don't get to spend a lot of time together (unless you count snoring next to eachother, which I don't).

I miss the days of being spoiled and getting to see hubby whenever I wanted.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Naive or Just Plain Mean?

Yesterday Mel posted about this, and updated with this. I debated about whether to enter the conversation or not. I vacillated between not wanting to give any more attention to something so offensive (on SO MANY levels) and my desire to add some of my ideas to the conversation, to give another perspective to consider. I guess, in this case, I am going to err on the side of saying something. I just feel like I need to speak up because to remain silent feels irresponsible.

Firstly, some of what I was thinking about responsible academic supervision and academia in general has already been addressed very eloquently by Mel. I don't feel like I need to say anything more about this... Just read Mel's 2nd post.

The second issue I wanted to address as to do with the purpose of art. Mel already made some wonderful statements about an artist's responsibility to consider the intent of a piece and the prediction of possible reactions to the piece by others (again, see Mel's second entry on the subject). However, I feel the need to add some comments:

"The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body."

I can't help but wonder about the elephant in the room. This project, in my opinion, did not make a statement about the human body. The most obvious statement made by this piece has to do with the meaning of life. I don't mean just the meaning of a new human life, but also the meaning/purpose of motherhood and reproduction as well. I find the piece insulting and disrespectful on so many levels. First and foremost, in my humble opinion, Shvarts completely dismisses the value of a human life in it's very beginning and most vulnerable state. (I know that many people outright disagree with me on this point, or at least feel ambivalent about this. However, I am Catholic and this is my blog and I feel very strongly about this.) Not only does Shvarts completely dismiss even the possibility that life begins at the moment of conception, but her actions blatantly ridicule that life and those who value that life.

On the flip side, I also think that her piece shows a complete disregard for the genuine anguish that people who have experienced miscarriage and infertility have experienced. Shvarts has trivialized the experience of miscarriage. And, she has also trivialized the anguish that many women who choose to have an abortion have gone through. Her piece has not even taken into consideration the very real and lasting emotions that go along with the REAL EXPERIENCE of miscarriage and abortion. I realize that she is young and naive and has probably never experienced these things first hand. (Although, I do think there is a slim possibility that she has experienced either m/c or abortion and this piece is an attempt to minimize the importance of the experience in her life. However, that seems to warrant another different discussion.) I do think, though, that even if a person has never experienced a particular type of suffering, a responsible artist would, at the very least, attempt to do some research and try to empathize with those who have experienced that suffering. If that can't happen, then I would hope that basic common sense and common courtesy would tell her that her project idea was disrespectful and irresponsible and that she should come up with another way to bring about discussion on "the relationship between art and the human body." Off the top of my head I can think of several different ways to spur that discussion... A discussion that she has completely failed at spurring, I might add.

I do take comfort in the fact that both pro-life and pro-choice groups have been upset by this project and have made statements against it. I'm encouraged to know that it is possible for pro-lifers and pro-choicers can come together (at least for certain topics). Maybe there is hope for our nation to come together in some way on life issues.

OK. I think that is all the energy I care to devote to this topic.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Us" vs "Them"??

Have you ever had an experience where you start to realize that some people you work with have the attitude of "Us" vs "Them" rather than "We" work as a team? I don't really want to go into details, but I think I may have had a wake-up call yesterday. I am a supervisor and I always thought that my team and I got along pretty well and that we worked as a team. Yesterday I found out that one of my team members has not been communicating with me about something about our working environment. She did, however, talk with my boss about it... I found out when my boss (the pastor) came to talk with me. I don't think she started the conversation with my boss, but she still should have talked to me about it a long time ago rather than just stewing in hard feelings!

I find this kind of situation very frustrating! I can't make people talk to me. However, when we are supposed to be working as a team we need good communication! This team member has very strong opinions (that don't always match mine) so I have struggled for a while with figuring out if she's stewing about a difference of opinion I already know about or if it's something else. I never thought, though, that she would go over my head without talking to me! Uuggh.

How would you handle a situation like this? I have told my team so many times that if they have a concern they should talk to me about it. When they do come talk to me I try to be a good listener and address any issues that are problematic for them. Most of the time we are able to resolve any issues in a way that everyone is satisfied. What else can I do? Are there any other supervisors out there? How do you encourage your staff to communicate with you about things, even if they disagree with what you are doing/thinking (or what they think you are doing/thinking)?

Currently I have monthly staff meetings and I try to check in with the staff individually in a casual way. We have an annual review system in place, but I haven't been meeting formally with my staff individually outside of those annual reviews. Maybe I need to start meeting with each person regularly in a more formal setting?? I haven't done this because 3 out of the 5 members of my team really dislike coming in for their annual review. I thought the formality of the meetings was what made them stressed about their annuals. However, maybe a more formal setting will help bring up more issues?? I don't know. Any suggestions you have would be welcome!

I am also trying to think of someone in RL I know who is a good supervisor who can give me advice. It's hard, though, because most of the supervisory examples I can think of have their own glaring weaknesses. I know nobody is perfect, but I would like to be thought of as a good supervisor... Should I come up with some kind of eval that my staff can fill out on me? We talk about their evals every year and work on their strengths and weaknesses... My boss does my eval, but he doesn't really see me in action very often. Maybe I need to get more personal feedback from my staff?? I think a supervisor eval would be unprecedented at my church...

OK. I think I am just rambling at this point. If you have any suggestions for me, please share! In the meantime I might try to go back to sleep for a while. I only got 4 hours before a "bathroom break" got extended by my overactive brain... Thanks in advance for your help!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

14w1d

Short Update: I'm still exhausted from work and lack of sleep. OB apt yesterday went well. Without a doubt I am definitely in the 2nd trimester! No sono, but hb=156, which is still strong. Refused the pap smear (I've never had one come back abnormal, I'm not sleeping around, and I didn't feel like getting my cervix scraped!) and the nurse humored me. Worked my 3rd Saturday in a row (normally my day off), only 3 more to go before I get a break! Hubby's job is still going well (which is good since he's only worked 2 days!).

Hung out with some friends yesterday and they hooked me up with some maternity clothes. A BIG thank you to them! My stomach is definitely starting to expand and I can't zip up some of my pants anymore. It's nice to have some clothing options again. I highly recommend the belly band! You still get to wear your favorite "skinny" clothes and it provides a little support for your heavy tummy.

OK. I think that is enough incomplete sentences for 1 post... I'll try to write a better post after I am able to catch some ZZZZs.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cardiologist Update

I know I am behind on updating about my results from the cardiologist. I have been very busy (which, I suppose, is normal) and very tired (unfortunately, this has also become normal). I decided to give you the short story now, and maybe elaborate later.

Short Story: All of the tests showed that my heart is normal and working well with one small exception. I do have one valve that leaks a little. The doc said that is pretty common during pg. He told me I shouldn't need to worry unless I start to get a lot of palpitation episodes that lower my blood pressure to the point of feeling dizzy or passing out. So, that's pretty good news. And, apparently, the nodules were on long enough, and close enough to the correct position, to be able to detect my heart well enough to satisfy the doctor.

I have my 14w check up tomorrow, so I should have some more updates after that.

Hubby started his new job today and had a great first day. It was nice to see him happy and even excited about his job! Praise God!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Trusting My Body

** P-word mentioned** This post is about coming to terms with my identity and IF and pg and dealing with my losses.

I think I realized one of the reasons I have had a hard time accepting this pg... Why is still feel anxious at the thought of telling my co-workers and people from church. I don't trust that my body is capable of nurturing a pg. After everything we went through with IF, I learned to distrust my body and it's "motherly" qualities. Now, even though everything is pointing to the fact that my body seems to be successfully carrying this pg, my identity is still "that IF girl." I'm not really sure what to do about that. I do think that, if I am able to let go of my other 2 losses (not forget! just not hold them so closely to my heart), that might help me.

Currently, I think I am holding on to those losses, but ignoring (burying?) my feelings of loss. A couple weeks ago my parents suggested I talk to the baby. I finally did the other day. I told the baby to just concentrate on holding on and growing and that the only reason to stop growing was if God asked him/her to go to heaven. If that were the case, at least he/she would have a brother and sister there to hang out with (we named our babies Lucy and Christopher because a priest told us we should name them and then give them over to God... we did the first part, but have yet to do the second...). At this point I started crying. It would have been sobbing, but I was driving and I didn't want to crash. Obviously I need to work on the letting go part...

Besides letting go of my losses, I'm not sure what I can do to trust my body more. I kind of feel like this pg is a fluke. And, frankly, I'm not sure I should start to trust my body. I don't want to get side-swiped again. I don't know if my realization will change anything about my experience other than to help me understand a little better. However, understanding is good.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Flickr Foto Fun

A couple people have done this today and I thought it was cute. You can join too, if you want. Just pick your pictures from Flickr. =)

My name is...

My relationship status is...


My favorite color is...











My celebrity crush is...



My favorite princess is...
My favorite adult beverage is...



My dream vacation is...

When I grow up I want to be...


Have a great weekend!

What is 27 x 6?

** P-word post warning **



Answer = 162

That is my baby's heartbeat. How do I know this? My doppler arrived about 20 minutes ago! It took me about 10 minutes to open everything up, read all the instructions, and get myself situated. Then, of course, it was time to listen to my baby!!! According to the instructions, the key is to apply a "liberal" amount of the gel and then to move the wand slowly so as not to miss the baby's heartbeat. I have to admit, it was a very exciting moment! I have been having all kinds of paranoid fears that something is wrong with the baby, that I had a missed m/c or some other horrible turn of events. It was very reassuring to hear that heartbeat! It took me a couple minutes to find it because I didn't have the wand pointed in the right way at first. My fat roll got in the way and I had to position the wand under the roll, but above my pelvic bone. But, once I figured out where to position the wand, I was golden.


I have to admit, I'm feeling pretty excited right now. I'm on a natural high! =) I'm also feeling a lot calmer about my situation. According to 16 of the 22 people who took my poll, I am in my 2nd trimester. 4 more of you think I will be in the 2nd trimester tomorrow. It feels good to hit this milestone (especially when I am able to hear that beautiful heartbeat).

I guess it's time to start making some concrete decisions and plans for the baby to come. My mom has been researching diapering options already. Once hubby starts his job I think we need to start making changes to the room that will become the baby's room. We have to clear everything out and figure out a way to fit it into the office or get rid of it. I am looking forward to tackling the last of the clutter in our house. We haven't completely unpacked from moving in June! It's time to get rid of those boxes and that clutter. I'm feeling very motivated to accomplish things at this moment. I just wish I wasn't so dang tired! I think I'm going to have to go take a nap before I can start going through things and cleaning for the weekend.

162! Yeah!

Learning About My Heart

This post is not about feelings. I just wanted to share what I've learned while trying to find out why I'm having palpitations.

1. When you're getting an echo-cardiagram and you "jokingly" say to the nurse, "Do you want to see a baby?" she will not take you up on your offer... even if you bring it up twice...

2. My ob's office is not the only doc's office to hire inept support staff.

3. You should be worried when you are getting blood drawn and tell the nurse that you have hard-to-find veins so it works better to use a butterfly and she looks in all the drawers and says she's not sure they have a butterfly needle... (Does she know what a butterfly needle is?)

4. If you are adamant with the aforementioned nurse she will eventually go find a more experienced nurse who will come in and open the drawer the aforementioned nurse "searched" and pull out a butterfly needle asap. The experienced nurse will also take pity on you and take your blood herself, but still have trouble finding a vein.

5. If the doc's office is older with 70s decor, then the machines in the office are probably not state of the art.

6. If you know you have to be monitored for 24 hours to see if the doc can "catch" one of your episodes, make sure to take a shower that morning because you aren't getting wet for 24 hours.

7. When they prepare your chest to attach the nodules that detect your heart rhythms, they will "sterilize" your skin with a piece of velcro dipped in alcohol.

8. The aforementioned nodules ITCH LIKE CRAZY for the entire 24 hours.

9. The machine that is attached to the nodules via a series of wires and is supposed do "clip" to your belt will not stay in place.

10. When the aforementioned machine that "attaches to your belt" slips off, it sometimes will fall hard enough to detach one of the aforementioned nodules from your chest. And, when you try to reattach the nodule it does not stick as well.

11. Murphy has a great sense of humor. If your palpitations seem to be stress related, and you're worried about money, your husband will be offered a wonderful job 30 minutes after the nodules have been attached and the machine has been turned on.

12. The aforementioned machine is very annoying when you are trying to sleep because it "clips" very poorly to pajama bottoms.

13. If you have big bbies and can't sleep on your back due to being pg, your big bbies will dislodge the aforementioned nodules, which you will have to reattach during your bathroom breaks.

14. The aforementioned itching is the gift that keeps on giving, even after you are finally able to permanently detach the aforementioned nodules.

15. The aforementioned nodules also leave another gift:




Needless to say, I am glad that this particular test is over... I just hope that I won't have to repeat it because the nodules kept coming off... I see the doc again next Tuesday for results. However, I am very happy about hubby's new job. Because of all our money worries, hubby decided to try and get back into computers. At his first phone interview for a computer job they liked him so much they offered him the job without an in-person interview. Go hubby!! =) I am especially happy because hubby's self-esteem took a pretty big hit the last time he did a major job search and had difficulty. He was really worried that he wouldn't ever be offered a computer job because his skills are a little rusty (he's been out of the field for a couple years). Hopefully this job will be good for his self-esteem as well as our checkbook. It is nice to feel like we don't have to worry about how we are going to pay for this baby...

Monday, March 31, 2008

General Anxiety

Has anyone ever had this feeling? I'm sure it's pretty common in a stressful life. I feel anxious. There really isn't a specific reason (at least not one that I am conscious of). It's just a more general feeling right now. My husband is feeling stressed and overloaded with everything he has to do for work, school, and our yard (I can only help minimally with the yard) so I'm sure his stress is rubbing off on me a little. However, I think it's more than that.


Last night I had my first m/c dream, but it was kind of weird. In my dream, I had already m/c'd this baby and had cycled again and was in the tww. In the dream I went to the bathroom and saw red when I wiped. I was disappointed because my period came, yet again. When I woke up I had to remind myself that I haven't actually seen any red and that I am still pg.


I think part of my anxiety has to do with worrying about my heart. I think another part is because next week is when I'm supposed to tell everyone at work that I'm pg. I was planning on spilling the beans at the staff meeting on Thursday. I have a 14w checkup on Friday. I am scared that I will tell everyone on Thursday only to go to the doc on Friday and find out that my baby passed and I had a missed m/c. I know this is kind of an irrational fear. The chances of me m/c'ing now are pretty slim. I also know (in my head) that there is no connection between telling people and the survival of my baby (Murphy's Law does NOT apply!). My close family and friends already know. The extended family and friends and co-workers do not know yet. I still like the safety bubble. I'm nervous about coming out of the closet.


But, I think there is more to the anxiety. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe I'm just being moody... I am kind of stressed about work. We have entered into a busy time for me. Including this past weekend, I will work 6 Saturdays in a row. Normally Fridays and Saturdays are my days off. Thank God I will still be off on Fridays! Maybe I am feeling some stress because I haven't been getting enough down time...? That's very possible. It's probably everything coming to a head. I am very tired all the time. Most days I try to take a nap, even if it's 15 minutes before I leave for work.


I've also noticed that my prayer life stinks. I have been praying the Prayer for Reconciliation daily about the co-worker I was struggling with. That situation seems to have improved (at least my reactions to her are more peaceful and accepting). However, I haven't really been praying beyond this prayer on a daily basis. I still find myself resisting God some. I don't know if it is the devil working or if the hesitation is a genuine feeling from inside me. I have definitely gotten out of the habit of daily prayer. Part of me wonders if this is one of the reasons for my anxiety, but I'm not sure. When I got to work today I sat in my office and prayed for 10 minutes and it didn't help...


I'm not sure if I figured anything out with this rambling post, but I do feel a little bit less anxious than when I started the post. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cardiologist Appt **Updated**

Monday 10am is my appointment with the cardiologist. Any prayers or good vibes you want to send my way would be appreciated. I haven't had as many episodes (in fact, almost none) since I brought it up with my obgyn, so hopefully it's not anything serious. I'm a little nervous about what the doc might tell me, but I'm trying to optimistic.

Thanks

-------------------------

Well, there's not much to report right now. EKG looked normal, but I expected that. I only get the episodes periodically. They took some blood and I talked to the doc, but they're going to do some more tests. I go back on Thursday for an echo cardiogram and the doc wants me to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours (but he didn't give it to me today). So, maybe I'll know more Thursday, and maybe I won't.

Thanks for the prayers. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blogger Issues

Does anyone know why I am able to edit my blog layout from my work computer but am not given the option on my home computer? I'm wondering if my settings at home are off. When I click on the "layout" tab at home the page doesn't load fully and I am not given the "Add a Page Element" option. And, I can't even see everything that is currently on my blog because the entire page doesn't load. I only see the top half of the page.

If anyone has an idea of how to help me with this situation, that would be great! I really shouldn't be working on this blog at work...

Thanks!

RLB?

**p word warning: this post is mostly about my feelings during this pg**

I have been having trouble understanding the reality of how my life will change when this baby gets here. I think I have basically accepted that I am pg and that it is going to stick. I don't spend very much time freaking out or worrying anymore. And, I'm not completely petrified to tell people anymore. I am still waiting for the 2nd trimester, but it's a more a "just in case" reason rather than being scared out of my mind I will m/c at any moment.

The problem is, though, that I can't fully imagine how our life will change. I am so used to it being just the 2 of us. I can picture us holding a baby. I have ideas about how we will approach raising the baby. I just can't imagine the day in, day out reality of how my life will be completely different. I won't ever have to give this baby back to anyone. Which also means I won't be getting any sleep when the baby is sick, and I am responsible for changing all the diapers and cleaning up all the messes. Ironically, I have such a hard time imagining the reality of my situation that I still feel like I relate most to the blogs of ladies who are still ttc. I know that's kind of weird, but that't how I feel. Maybe I haven't accepted this pg as much as I thought I had...

This Easter mass I sat between 2 of my BIL's 4 kids and I loved it. I got a taste of what it will be like to be a mom teaching my kids about the mass. It was wonderful. I even appreciated the distractions. Whenever one of the girls was distracted, I took the opportunity to refocus her to what was happening in the mass (or, if it was a down time I prepped her for what was coming up).

So, I can sort of imagine all this stuff, but it doesn't really feel like it's happening to me. I don't really feel pg... Sure, I'm tired a lot and I get weird reactions to food sometimes, but I haven't gained any weight and all I have are a few pictures that could come from anyone's belly. I'm not complaining. I am thankful for the easy 1st tri. I just wish this experience felt more real to me. It doesn't feel like it's really happening to me. It all still feels surreal. I am thinking about renting a doppler so I can keep track of my baby's hb (and get reassurance that the pg is on track still). The one major fear I do have is that this pg will go to pot late in the 3rd tri and it will be the most heartbreaking pg ever.

------------------------------

In other news, this is my 100th post. I am actually kind of happy that my 100th post could be about a pg that has made it to 11w5d. I am almost to the breath-a-sigh-of-relief stage. Also, March 24th was my blogaversary. I guess Easter week has been a big week for me.

BTW, when exactly does the 3rd tri start? I have tried to look it up and it seems like everyone gives a different answer. If blogger will let me, I think I will post a poll.

Well, thanks for listening to my rambling. Maybe in my next post I will share a little more about my trip last weekend and my experience at Easter mass (that had nothing to do with the kiddos who were sitting next to me).