Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More Milestones to Look Forward to

Making it to 20 weeks was a big one. Halfway there!

And for some reason, hearing the heartbeat at 21 weeks felt like one too... maybe because this one was observed with my midwife? I don't know, but ever since that appointment, I've been bouncing all the walls. Way more energy, all of the sudden. And getting all sorts of things crossed off my to-do list! Boring, but good.

The next milestone is 24 weeks. Although I know that is far too early for a baby to be born... when I worked in the NICU, we had 24 weekers survive most of the time. I always said that if I went into labor at 24 weeks, I would run for the hills rather than put my tiny baby through that hell... but still. Technically viable.

Now I have a new milestone. Today the Baby Ticker says 129 days. That number will drop to double digits in 30 days. I don't think I ever thought that would happen. So that's a new (and pretty much meaningless) one to look forward to. Hey, whatever passes the time, right?

After that, there's the end of second trimester. I consider the third trimester to start at 26 weeks (calling each trimester 13 weeks... I figure by 39 weeks, I will be so sick of being pregnant that I really won't care what it's called).

After that... we shall see. I can't imagine that far ahead!

(A not so good thing about working in the NICU is that I consider pregnancy after, say, 35 weeks to be more like a bonus than actually necessary. Even though I read the literature that says even late term premature babies don't do as well as full term ones, long term (slight but significant differences, not necessarily noticeable at birth). I have to learn to change the way I see things with that. Not sure quite how... but I'm working on it.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Intuitive Eating

Anyone out there heard of Weston Price?

He was this apparently brilliant dentist who, in the 1940's, I believe, went around the world studying different "primitive" (read: isolated) cultures to look at their diets and the state of their teeth.

What he found is that "primitive" diets varied in many ways, but had in common a few things such as:

  1. all contained animal fats and protein -- some rarely ate meat, but all consumed animal protein, and certainly none were vegan 
  2. they all ate lots of the naturally occurring fats that we are now taught to be scared of, like saturated fats. none of them ate trans fats, of course. 
  3. they didn't eat sugar, or white flour, or other processed carbohyrdrates
  4. they had wide faces and beautiful, uncrowded teeth
I am grossly oversimplifying here, and I will try to come back and do a better job soon. 

I first learned about this work from Nina Planck's book, Real Food, and more recently her newer book, Real Food for Mother and Baby. Brilliant and inspiring. (I highly, highly recommend the latter for TTC'ing, pregnant, and nursing women.)

I've tried to eat more like this for a while, and then it gets hard. My mother, in particular, is critical of my consumption of, gasp!, whole fat (organic, grass-fed) milk. And it really is "going against the grain" (pun coincidental but nonetheless enjoyed), and it's hard to do anything that's so contrary to what we hear every day... and my convictions start to erode.

It's worth noting that drinking whole fat, grass-fed, organic, raw milk this summer is what seems to have cured me of my lactose intolerance. For what it's worth. (I'd love to drink raw milk in the city, but it's hard to come by. Still a work in progress... I've got a new lead.) 

Truthfully, the low fat (organic) yogurt that I switched to recently... I like it better than the whole-fat stuff, which leaves a greasy feeling in my mouth. But I'm going to try it again. I might just have to skim the layer of cream off the top, though.

Anyway, I'm very committed to not dieting. But at the same time, re-reading these books, and also Nourishing Traditions, I'm feeling a certain pressure to reform my diet. To start eating more protein (lately, my mainstays have been yogurt at breakfast, with fruit, and milk and fruit smoothies at night) so that I know I'm feeling my girl properly. 

But then, naturally enough (if you know me), I feel the urge to rebel. I'm not so good with authority.

So I'm trying to find a way to work on all this gently. 

So I watched and observed as I started rebelling these past few days, before I had even made any changes. I watched as I bought candy, thoughtfully observing... and noticed that I was content with a few bites. And celebrated that as progress. Even if I finished off a package of candy over a weekend, I saw it being broken down into several different occasions as progress. (Even though before this, I had rarely been eating candy.)

I also focused on a new mantra that I created for myself, "better to add than to take away." 

In other words, I'm going to try to avoid thinking about what I don't want to eat, and focus instead on what I do want to eat.

So today, after my appointment with the midwife, I skipped on over to the fish store, and bought myself some... oh dear, pregnancy brain... lemon flounder? I don't remember. Something light and flaky. 

Of course, when I got home, my feet hurt (the train couldn't stop at my regular station and continued one stop beyond. I decided to enjoy a longer walk home... and got a bit lost in the Hassidic community. For a god-loving people, some of them sure are mean and aggressive drivers. Yikes. Sorry, that's probably hugely offensive and essentializing and all that. But it has "struck" me multiple times recently). So when I finally got home I was tired enough that I wanted to sit for a few minutes... and that led me to snacking on Raisin Bran (on sale at CVS for an incredible $1.87 a box), first plain, then with albeit organic, grass-fed whole milk.

An aside: ever since I had Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome last October and was on a low sodium diet, cereal makes me feel unbearably thirsty afterwards. It's not like I limit my salt intake in other respects. Weird.

Anyway, so I had the Raisin Bran. I could've been critical of myself, but I decided not to be. Very un-Intuitive Eating (this is a whole awesome movement that I've been a part of for two and a half years now) to beat yourself up. But eventually, not too long later, actually, due to the wonders of pregnancy, I was hungry again! Surprise!

So I mustered up my energy and dusted that lovely white flaky fish in ground almonds (I figured that my friend Weston would like almonds better than white flour) and sauteed it in a mixture of coconut oil and butter. Ol' Wes loves coconut oil (as well as butter), as it's high in... lauric acid? I forget. Something that you can't get from anywhere but coconut oil, and maybe also breast milk. Sorry I'm butchering his work so badly. 

Anyway, I'm pleased with myself.

I'm being careful to avoid any goals of weight loss. In addition to the rather obvious obstacle of being pregnant, I'm very wary of hoping for weight loss, as a) it never happens, and b) it gets my head in a bad, mean, self-hating space.

So I won't go there.

But I would like to work on this possible case of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome I've got. My lab work is dead normal -- no elevated LH;FSH ratio, nice low cholesterol and triglycerides, perfect fasting glucose -- but I've got some of the clinical signs, like skin tags, weight gain (was borderline overweight when I got pregnant, but more relevant, had gained at least 20 pounds in the last few years, after being stable at one weight for five years), a touch of possible hirsuitism (not pronounced, but again, different than how I was a few years back), a little acne here an there... Nothing impressive in itself, just changes from the "old" me. 

So I'm hoping this new way of eating might help me physically... without doing any of the mental damage that I've experienced with diets, many of them with touted health benefits, that I've experimented with in the past. 

I'm curious if this is an all or nothing proposition, this "diet"... I don't do well with rules, as I believe I mentioned before. So if I'm not allowed to have a donut, it'll be all donuts, all the time. But if it's just encouraged to limit my donuts unless I really, really want one... I probably won't think about donuts for months at a time.

But the beautiful thing about this way of eating, so far as I can tell, is that it really isn't a diet. So there are no rules. A blessing and a curse, both. 

Most of y'all probably think this is totally nuts, but if anyone has any knowledge or interest in this, please do contact me. I'd love to chat about it. 

This is kind of a crappy website, but if you are persistent and poke around a bit, you can get a better idea of what his work is about.

Please do read Nina Planck's book! If nothing else, it's fascinating and well researched. Whether you agree with the science or not, you won't be bored.

Visit to the Midwife

I had my 21 week visit to the midwife today.

Happily, everything looks normal. According to her, my belly (and uterus) is just the right size, "a neat little package," as she put it. It's actually quite lovely to have some smile approvingly at my stomach. I'm not sure I've ever experienced it before... but highly recommend it. A wonderful way to feel good about your body.

My blood pressure was just fine (108/64, I believe), and I'd gained another two pounds.

And the heartbeat sounded great. I didn't ask her what the count was, but I could tell it was fine (my months in the NICU stand me in good stead here.)

Before and after the exam, I asked tons of questions. I feel like we're both starting to get to know each other now, and I'm really liking her. A little worried when she mentioned me meeting her backup midwife, in case she's away when I go into labor... but I told her that I'm planning to deliver at 39 weeks (the power of suggestion, little Lentil!) and she laughed and said she expects to be around then. Phew!

The question that made her break down laughing uncontrollably was when I said, haltingly, "I feel this weird heaviness in my lower abdomen. At first I thought it was that I wasn't emptying my bladder... but now I don't think it's that."

When she could speak again, after she wiped her eyes, she explained that yup, that would be my growing uterus and girl within causing that feeling of heaviness.

Ahh yes, the pregnancy. Of course.

No one had explained this to me, precisely, so I didn't know that it was going to feel like I was carrying a bowling ball around in my stomach, I guess?

Anyway, we had a lovely chat. I got the all-clear to skip childbirth classes entirely. After reading Ina Mae Gaskin's book, and Michel Odent's work, I really do think that the little I would learn from them would just freak me out. Again, NICU and other hospital experience mean that I know my way around the medical aspect of things pretty well.. all I feel like I need to learn is coping skills.

And I left the visit (conveniently located just a few blocks from work... have I mentioned that she comes to my office to draw my blood, because her son is a student in the school where I work? and how awesome is that?), I was practically bouncing down the street in the bright sunshine. This was the first visit together where I actually got excited about this adventure I have to look forward to!

Tonight I took the plunge and purchased the Hypnobabies Home Study course, complete with many CD's and tracks to listen to. What's cool is that it describes itself as a "complete childbirth preparation class" so I guess I will get all that info, anyway. Except for the experience of meeting other pregnant women. Which could be awesome, or could be... awkward, if it was hard being the only single one. I have a friend who offered to go with me, but you know, I'm not really into group study that much. So I think this will work well for me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shooting Stars

This evening I was lying on the couch, proudly and carefully not taking a nap, when I felt something.

Something which I am pretty sure was my Lentil. Finally making her presence known.

(There was that time a few nights ago when I lay on my belly and it felt like she did a big flip... but it only happened once, so I'm still not sure... and another time when I felt a few tiny flutters down near my pubic bone...)

But this time felt like for real. Especially since I wasn't even thinking about her.

And I felt exactly like when I was a kid at summer camp, and we would sleep out in the apple orchard on the night of the meteor shower. Waiting, scanning the sky impatiently... then see that brief flash... and shouting,

"Whoa! Did you see that one?"

And then someone else asking piteously, "Where? I missed it!"

And then eagerly scanning the sky again, waiting and waiting, thinking urgently, "Do it again! Do it again!"

It was magic, just like that.

(And after a couple more nudges from my drowsy star, I am still waiting, impatiently.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Bump: 20 weeks

I guess I timed my "coming out" perfectly, because two different teenage patients noticed my burgeoning belly in the three days following.

One said, "Abby, you didn't tell me you were pregnant!"

She is 18 and has a one year old daughter, and it felt very strange, indeed, for her to want to compare notes, and for her to share with me how painful labor was for her. I changed the subject as quickly as I could. While smiling and saying thanks.

Then she asked if my "boyfriend" was involved... my moment of truth, for the first time with a patient. I gave her the most abridged version I could come up with.

"I don't have a boyfriend."

"Stop lying." (said with a teasing smile)

"No really, I don't."

"Then how did you do it?"

"I used an anonymous donor. And a doctor."

"So how do they decide which donor to give you?"

(I love this question. An SMC thinker that I met on Sunday told me that her mother asked the same question, and I quipped that she should've answered, "I'm just hoping they don't give me the black one!")

But I was professional and composed and just explained that you can pick your donor, just like an online dating service. Then I asked how her daughter was doing, and the baby's father.

The second patient said, "Abby, you look different, like you are putting on weight." And I confessed my truth to her. At least with this one, she's already graduated from high school (last June... she came back to visit me for a pregnancy test... I pointed out that she could buy one in the drugstore, but she said no, she wanted to come in... and while visiting, asked if I could please [someday] deliver her baby... because she's never trusted another doctor... I do love my girls), so it somehow felt less weird, like we are both adults.

The funny thing was that her friend, currently a 12th grader, and also close with me, then came down to my office to help her friend survive her first Depo Provera (birth control) shot. So in the midst of the drama that unfolds when a needle phobic person decides, sort of, that getting an injection is a good idea... her [graduate] friend tells her [the 12th grader] that I'm pregnant, and the other one retorts, "Abby is not pregnant. Now stop stalling."

She apparently thought her friend was making it up. Which is funny, given my appearance these days. But god bless her for not noticing! It's always reassuring to work with people and cultures that don't really care about a little weight gain here or there.

Little Ms Lentil continues her quiet meditation. I've felt a couple of things this week that felt like movement, but it's infrequent enough that I'm really not sure. After spending one night worrying about sleeping on my stomach, and consequently tossing from side to back to the other side... I'm back to blissfully sleeping on my stomach... assuming that my body or my Lentil will give me a very clear message when I really must cease and desist.

And in the meantime, I bought a "Snoogle" pregnancy pillow (could the name be any worse???) to be at the ready for whenever I need it. I assume that time will be obvious? I bought the pillow for $10 off of the Park Slope Parents classifieds.

I also bought this, also used.... half bouncy seat, half cradle... which glides back and forth via battery power, for $20. It seemed like too good of a deal to pass up... but it also seems like probably one too many items of newborn baby furniture. Especially since my sister is giving me my niece's old bassinet, which I would not have bought myself.  I'm justifying it by telling myself that it's the only one I paid for... and at a bargain price, to boot. Everything else is being inherited, which makes me happy. But it's sort of nice, in a mind tripping sort of way, to have a piece of baby furniture in the house now (everything else will arrive the weekend of the baby shower, when my family drives down from Massachusetts... my sister's items are being stored in my mom's basement for my cousin to bring... how convoluted is that???)... I look at it several times a day, trying to imagine a baby, my baby, inside it. It looks impossibly big... how can anything coming out of my body possibly outgrow this thing in just a few short months?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I've heard that women in their second trimester feel fantastic.

So I've been awfully concerned about how I've been feeling. I posted to the SMC (that's Single Mothers by Choice, in case you forgot) Pregnancy listserve, worriedly asking for advice about why I'm so tired.

I think I was pretty much... laughed at. Gently, of course. With love.

Apparently, this baby growing enterprise can be, like, waaaaaaay tiring.

It all makes sense, but I wish somebody had explained that to me before I got my hopes up and, silly me, thought I could accomplish things like I did back, pre-pregnancy.

I called in sick for tomorrow. I feel like I'm still not recovered from Friday and Saturday's busy days... and the cumulative effects of last week, in general.

How am I possibly going to survive another 19 and a half weeks of this?

I was feeling like twenty weeks was such a major milestone... and it is... but now it's occurring to me, my god, I'm only halfway done! I have twenty more weeks of this... and right now is as good as it's going to get?

Please don't get me wrong, I'm ever so grateful to be having this baby girl. I still can't get over my good luck.

But the reality of being pregnant is scaring me. What if I don't want my belly to keep getting bigger? What if I am scared by how soon, already, my feet start hurting (this morning, while showering, after just shaving my legs for example)? Is there some loophole wherein I could still have the baby, but not have my body become completely and totally foreign?

And exercise... I'm scared it's becoming a thing of the past. I'm just too tired all the time. Who am I becoming???

Advice and encouragement eagerly sought from those that have survived this.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Profile Pic

I did it.

I just "outed" myself on Facebook -- I used my Lentil's ultrasound as my new profile pic. And just to make it really obvious, changed my status to "... has a new and very exciting profile pic."

I'm excited and a little apprehensive to see the response. I'm not worried that people will disapprove or anything like that. It's just that "coming out" is an awfully big step.

Also, I'm supposed to go to a "meat party" that started at 1 pm. It's called a Meat Party because the woman throwing it, a new sort-of-friend, just lost her old roommate, who, while having many wonderful qualities. My new "friend" is grieving the loss of her roommate of twelve years... but is celebrating the silver lining by inviting folk to come over and bring meat products.

I bought bacon this morning after my doula interview so that I could make peanut butter bacon cookies. They are pretty quick and easy.

But you know what? This week completely kicked my butt. And I feel that having to make cookies is creating a barrier to me getting to this party -- I would rather skip the party than muster up the energy to make cookies. (And I normally love baking. I'm just so tired.)

The doula interview went great! I totally fell for her. So no more doula interviews. I'm done. We hugged.

And she's part of the NYC doula co-op, which has different pricing levels based on experience... she's only $250 and she lives walking distance from me. Awesome.

After my Meat Party, I'm going glider shopping with a SMC-Would've-Been-Except-She-Fell-For-Her-Donor friend. They just moved in together, and everything seems to be going beautifully. No, she's not pregnant. I think they are working on the relationship for a bit, first. But she offered to help with any baby prep, weeks back, and this is the only thing left on my list, practically. (My mom offered to buy the glider for me as a gift.) So shopping it is. And then maybe dinner with another friend after that, if I can still stand up at that point.

My mom also sent me a gorgeous little pair of white leather booties embroidered with flowers. I got them on Wednesday. My very first present for my little girl!

And last night my pregnant friend C and I went to a pre-sale consignment sale and bought all sorts of baby clothes. I'm inheriting tons of stuff from my sister, but I figured that without a washer/dryer in my apartment, I'm going to be doing laundry a lot less frequently than my sister did. So I stocked up on lots of little onesies. And the most adorable giraffe costume. Because every baby girl needs a giraffe costume, right?

We justified it by the fact that everything was very inexpensive. C and I were terrible enablers for each other, I'm afraid. But we had a blast. I was sitting on my bed last night, surrounded by little piles of pink and yellow onesies and just feeling completely floored that I am the one with stacks of baby chothes in her house. For a little girl, no less.

How did I get so incredibly lucky???

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Check this shit out


I'm having a daughter.

How completely over the moon amazing is that???

Monday, March 14, 2011

19 week ultrasound results!!!

I am beyond thrilled! 

I didn't dare hope for a girl... everyone said it would be a boy... but I'm so happy now!!! 

I really couldn't believe it (and can't now, still). I kept asking the tech over and over, "are you sure?"

She said, "Well, there's no penis, so yeah, pretty sure."

Now I can go buy the Mary Jane socks in tiny sizes that I've been dreaming of! (Strangely enough, that's the only girlie item I care about buying. Go figure.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Journey to Single Motherhood: A Not So Brief Synopsis, Part 2

So yes, about three weeks after I broke up with Tom, I realized that I was ready to have a child.

This was incredibly liberating. The idea that I could realize my own dreams without help from anyone else... wow!

I read some more books, notably Knock Yourself Up by Louise Sloan, my favorite and by a Brooklyn author to boot, and Choosing Single Motherhood: A Thinking Women's Guide by Mikki Morrisette. That was helpful, too.

I decided to go into therapy, to clean house, emotionally, and make sure I was ready. That opened up lots of cans of worms, mainly working through why I was single... I had lots of complex theories about why I wasn't good enough to be "chosen" for long term coupledom (the guys that offered or wanted to be with me long term... they don't count), not to mention why I had few or no friends (likewise, not true). It was a long and painful journey, actually, that continued into the TTC (trying to conceive) phase of life, but along about May, I felt well and cleansed and whole. And by the time I was ready to head off to camp in June, the therapist and I both felt like I didn't need to schedule any more appointments.

So. The logistics of it all. Well.

The idea of a sperm bank kind of creeped me out, frankly. The idea that you just had no idea what you were getting... weird. And I had read a story about a bank where a whole number of kids produced from one donor had this scary, life-threatening form of eczema... and yet, the bank refused to pull the donor from its metaphorical shelves, saying that it wasn't proven that the donor was the cause of this rare illness.

But I'll be honest and admit that money was also a big factor. I was scared of how much money I would spend on lousy old sperm. Well, hopefully, not too old. You know what I mean. Sperm from the most popular banks could easily be $650 a vial. Not including shipping. And you know, one vial is like one fifth of a splooge. (Sorry, I just love the word splooge.) So how they can justify charging that much... it's beyond me. And you can't expect that it's going to work the very first try. So I was very worried about my money running out long before I had to worry about such trivialities as childcare ($1600 seems to be the lowest I've seen for the going rate of daycare in NYC... I had to adopt others' attitudes of "the universe will provide," totally unlike my conservative self, as not having a child for financial reasons just seems dumb. I still don't know how the money will work out. And I still worry about it. And refuse to do any research on childcare options. Lest I get suckered (mainly by my own fear and anxiety) into paying to reserve a spot long before I need it... I really need to save my money.)

But truly, I liked the idea of using someone I knew to be the donor. I felt like it would answer so many question for my child to know the donor, even on a casual level.

So first I started with my dear friend B. He's an amazing person. Who ultimately turned me down. For very good reasons. But not before we spent several months exploring the idea, even to the point of going to see a therapist together.

I briefly considered my ex and best friend, Scott. But we decided together that it probably was best if he was not the donor... because he was 58 (advanced paternal age has an increased incidence of autism and schizophrenia), because he has an [adult] child with Asperger Syndrome (another risk factor for future offspring having an autism spectrum disorder), and because it might affect our friendship in myriad ways. Even though I think we were both conflicted, even as we made our decision. We love each other a lot, and he had always fantasized about getting another chance to raise a healthy child.

So finally, I tried to the internet. God bless the world wide web. And a Yahoo group named Free Sperm Donors. I posted an ad, sharing a little about me, and asking for responses.

I got at least twenty. I'll try to share some of them here. Some were a little creepy.

My favorite was actually the first responder, a guy named Andrew, who has three young daughters with his ex-wife. And wanted to help someone else, because his sister had been a Single Mother by Choice, and had been so happy. (She since met someone and got married.)

(Off to work out and do laundry before going sling shopping with another SMC. Stay tuned for Part Three.)

Quick Update: 19 weeks!

No more creepily skinny baby legs... thanks Baby Ticker! I'm now down to 147 days to go... yesterday, for the first time, I imagined getting down to double digits. Wouldn't that be wild???

My stomach has suddenly accelerated its growth. It's truly bizarre to see changes in my body practically every day. Last Saturday, my maternity jeans were falling off. On Tuesday, they were not.

How is that even possible, that things change that fast???

Still no sensations of movement. Lazy Lentil!

And my big Level 2 ultrasound is on Monday!!! Hopefully I will be finding out the sex.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Many Thoughts, All Unrelated

  1. Babyticker has changed the position of the Lentil, such that s/he no longer has cute legs folded "Indian style" (does anyone still call cross legged "Indian style"? I remember this from my nursery school days... back before it was called preschool), but now as alarmingly thin, partially unfolded legs. Again. I had to pop over to Shannon's blog to look at her fetus' appropriately portioned legs to unfreak my head. (Oh, and I'm down to 152 days... another "decade" almost done... and only seven more days until the Level 2 ultrasound! When I will probably see more of the Lentil's body parts than I will ever see again, in his/her (or my) entire life... not to mention hopefully finding out the sex!!! I'm so eager to find out... but I will also be strangely tickled if the Lentil doesn't cooperate. I like a good contrarian, being one myself... I think it will make me feel like we are a good fit already. Of course, I'm also worrying that the Lentil is lazy, just like his/her mother, because s/he just lay there cooperatively during the first ultrasound. Does anyone else worry about stupid things like this?)

  2. Las week, I was thinking maybe I should find someone to marry, or at least to date, just to have someone around the house who would put lotion on my back. Apparently pregnancy makes your skin really itchy, typically your belly. For me, it's my back. As soon as I lean back against a car seat or a couch back, I start to twitch. But then, my cousin's four year old son wanted to play "spa" like his sisters had done at Thanksgiving (only with his own manly touch of using Batman washcloths), and "spa" mainly consisted of him, and then his sister also, rubbing lotion all over me. At this point, I hadn't confessed the big news, and was a bit worried they would notice that things with me looked, well, a bit different... but nope, they remained oblivious. Even when the four year old hitched up my shirt a bit to lotion my belly. And now I am beautifully moisturized and no longer require house staff. Fabulous all around.
  3. In all seriousness, I was thinking about the Tom being back in touch during my (back achingly, nausea inducing, kleenex using) ride up to Boston, and it made me realize how incredibly cool  it is that the next time I want to date (whenever that is), I won't have an agenda. I won't be looking for a lifelong partner, a husband, a co-parent, etc. I'll just be looking for someone to hang out with. (Sorry for the dangling participle.) I think I thought I felt this way before, but how can any girl (or person) not have an agenda when they think they may want kids, and have a clock that out of biological necessity absolutely must be ticking? Given the realities of the female body, how can men expect us not to have this? So anway, I think dating, if I ever decide to do it again, might be a lot more fun and light hearted than I ever thought possible. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011


So after bragging in Monday's post about how much I was able to get done after work that day... I was forced to take a two hour nap after work on both Tuesday and Wednesday. And woke up feeling, yep, dazed and confused. Seriously, I didn't even sleep this long during my first trimester naps.

Then I started getting a wee bit frustrated. Why am I still so tired? I'm normally a high energy person. And still, seventeen weeks and change, with the naps?

Well, during a presentation today by the 12th graders of how they want to change the US healthcare system (I was one of three judges on a panel), I noticed I was insatiably thirsty. Even by pregnant standards. Bad sign.

So I came home after work and lay down... and woke up with an aching throat.

I am unreasonably annoyed at the child that was being, frankly, bratty, and coughed in my face when I was trying to swab her throat for strep test a few days back. I'm phobic about getting strep tests myself (as in performed on me... yeah, needles: no problem, a cotton swab: reduced to tears -- not pretty. thank god I can write my own prescriptions for antibiotics when I need them so I don't have to endure this anymore. Yes, I know this is not what others recommend. But seriously, I get a fever and bright red tonsils literally oozing in pus (sorry!) when I have strep, so it's really quite obvious), so I'm normally very sympathetic. But you know, the first day back after break... my sympathy stash was very small. And we'd already been trying to get this swab for ages.

For the record, while the rapid strep test was negative, the hospital lab lost the patient's throat culture. The mom said she'd just take her to the pediatrician since she was concerned about how many days in a row the patient had been coming to see me... hello! Me too! Though "concerned" might not be the word I would use. ... guess what: the patient came by today to report to me that the throat swab with the pediatrician had been WAY more uncomfortable than me. Hello, I told you so. (Apparently she also came by earlier to complain about some physical ailment or other, but I hadn't been available. Shucks.)

Everyone who hates getting their throat swabbed should get it swabbed by someone who hates it just as much. We really do it better.

Anyway, I feel unfairly persecuted by this oncoming cold (yes, I'm quite sure that neither the child in question nor myself have strep, even without the pending throat culture results, and thus, that I have a cold) because, frankly, I think pregnant ladies have quite enough to deal with without even more physical ailments. Seriously.

And given that I haven't been sick since before getting pregnant, despite my hazardous line of work, it has seemed that Fate agreed with me. But someone coughing directly in your face... yep, that'll do you.

And now, it's just past 8:30 and I'm taking myself to bed. Mulling over the idea of a sick day tomorrow. Unlike Shannon, I'm the totally un-hard core type of medical provider. Especially since both my social worker (fairly useless, anyway) and my medical assistant (god's own assistant... how did I get so lucky???) will be at a training, anyway. Dashing back and forth from the front office, with my medical assistant hat on, and my office, with my nurse practitioner hat on... not fun. Not even a little bit.

After work, I get on a bus to Boston to see my cousin Bonnie and her kids. Their house is the site of ICI attempts one through four. I get to tell the kids my big news. My cousin is relieved that I will be on hand so she is not the one to answer "their five hours of questions." The older kid is ten and quite the little biologist. The younger one is eight, and last year confidently told both me and her mother that it wasn't possible to have a baby without being married. Her mother, a former nurse, and I were both smirking about that... I hope her world isn't about to come crashing down when I break my news to her.

And ps, today I went to get dressed and discovered that I could only barely button my pants. In two different pairs of pants. And this was only standing up. I learned from painful experience recently that things that barely button standing up are really uncomfortable sitting down.

And so today was my first day in maternity pants. And they felt really weird. I couldn't decide which was more weird, the stretchy material scrunched down below my belly or pulled up over my belly and slightly flapping just below my breasts. So I alternated between the two. I guess I shouldn't have passed over those intermediate-level maternity pants that only have a panel below the belly. Oh well.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Twilight Zone

The timing is bizarre.

Just yesterday, I blogged here about my breakup with Tom.

Today, out of the blue, he emailed me to say hi.

I shared my news with him. He was congratulatory. And asked if we could be friends now. And added, "I'm a great uncle! I have tons of experience from my nieces and nephews."

When we were breaking up (June 2009), he told me that he'd like to be friends, and moreover, that he'd never felt that way before during a breakup.

I said, "we'll see."

At the time, I felt like, "yeah, I get it why that's good for you -- 'cause I'm awesome -- but why is that good for me?"

But the last time we were in touch (via email), a few months back and the only time initiated by me, I felt like I wanted to be friends as well. That was in December 2010, about eighteen months after we broke up. But then I was too shy to bring it up, worried he would think I would want something more.

So today, I emailed back, and said, "yes, I would like that."

So here's my concern: what if we get on like a house on fire? I'm pretty sure he won't want to replay our romance. But what if my feeble little brain gets confused?

I know he misses his nieces and nephews desperately. What if I mistake his [potential] interest in my pregnancy and subsequent child (god willing... god willing I have a child, that is, not that he's interested in it) as more than that?

I've done a lot of "work" on myself in the past 1-2 years, and I sure feel a lot stronger and more confident in myself that I'm no longer looking for a relationship and/or male approval (for me, I'm not sure I can separate these things... I get that that's not healthy, which is a big part of why I don't allow myself to even consider dating.)

So this will be a big test for me. I want to take it... but I'm a little nervous, too. I hope I'm ready. And that if I'm not, I will know the signs, and be able to call things off again.