Monday, June 30, 2008

Catching Up

After my work meeting ended last week, I got to spend some time with my family on Friday and Saturday. It kind of felt like my last time to be "the baby."

My mom shows her love through food and delighted in making my favorite dishes throughout the weekend. My feet really started swelling at my work meeting on Wednesday, I think a combination of the warmer weather and sitting all day. So, by the time I arrived at my parents' house on Thursday afternoon, they were really puffed up. My mom would barely let me get off the couch, and you didn't hear me complaining.

The temperatures were record-breaking here in the Northwest this weekend. I am not usually that bothered by heat, but let me tell you, it really has thrown this pregnant gal for a loop. The anxious feeling from last week has died down a bit, but I am still constantly breathless and my resting heartrate is still a lot higher than usual. I do have my next OB appointment this week and plan to bring up my concerns. Between those symptoms and my feet and legs being so swollen, I am pretty uncomfortable right now.

My parents have air-conditioning, which was lovely, but my husband and I do not. Which really sucked. At least we don't have much humidity, but last night was still extremely uncomfortable. And in true Northwest-fashion, following a heat wave, there will be no fans or window air conditioning units in stores for at least a couple of weeks. I told my husband that we are going to have to find one for at least our bedroom or I won't survive the summer. Or he won't survive the summer, since he is the one that said that having full air conditioning installed this spring was a waste of money.

He did redeem himself for the lack of air conditioning by having the house completely clean by the time that I arrived home on Sunday. It was nice to walk in, expecting to have to dust, vacuum, and mop, only to find it already done. Okay, I'll forgive him for the lack of cold air.

I did have a second shower this weekend. I don't have any pictures right now, so I will wait to post about it when I get some.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Not-So-Friendly Skies

A year ago, my husband and I flew to Mexico. This was not our first time going, and I fly quite a bit for business as well, so we were used to the inconveniences that flying can sometimes bring.

From start to finish, however, we were incredibly disappointed in the airline. From rude personnel balking at lending us a pen for filling out custom forms, to getting a beverage spilled all over me without so much of an apology, the trip down was not not great. Excitement over being on vacation allowed us to brush off the rudeness.

Our return trip was a disaster. Our flight out of Cancun was delayed due to mechanical failure, so we missed our connecting flight in Dallas. We were given absolutely no assistance in getting another flight. The flight and gate attendants were beyond rude. Although I do not fly this particular airline often, I do fly one of its partner airlines, and I was startled by how we were treated. We were told on board the airplane that gate attendants in Dallas would assist us, but there were no gate attendants there at all. There was another connecting flight that we could have made, but when we finally tracked someone down, they refused to assist us in getting tickets for that flight.

We had to stay overnight in a crappy hotel, wait over an hour for a shuttle to bring us there, were not given the meal vouchers that we were promised, and then had to spend the entire next day at the airport, trying to fly standby home. It was a nightmare. I know that delays are a part of air travel, but it was the way that we were treated that so completely amazed me.

I wrote the airline and we were given a voucher for $200. It had to be used within a year. Due to infertility treatments and then a pregnancy where it was advised that I not fly, we never had a chance to use it. It expired in June.

In April, I called to see if we could get an extension on the voucher, maybe six months or so. I explained the medical reasons behind our request. A month later, I received a standard form letter, explaining that it would not be reissued.

So, I then e-mailed the company's website, asking for reconsideration due to the extenuating circumstances and explained that I was not allowed to fly due to a high risk pregnancy.

I just got the e-mail back today. The response?

"Although we understand your situation, pregnancy is a common occurance and not reason for us to make an exception to our corporate policy. We will not be reissuing your voucher and hope that you will choose us again in the future for your travel needs."

I would rather walk to Mexico than take this airline again.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Worry Wart

I have a new pregnancy symptom that just started last week. It's kind of a strange one: anxiety.

At first, I thought it was anxiety over taking the 3-hour GTT and then waiting for the results. But then I got the good news and the anxiety didn't go away. In fact, it seems to be getting worse.

It's hard to describe, really, but it's this strange feeling that I can't get enough air and a tightness in my chest. I was thinking perhaps it's just the fact that my lungs are getting compressed by the baby. Several friends have commented that I sound "breathless" on the phone lately, as if I am on a treadmill while talking to them.

But it's more than just feeling short of breath. My stomach is on edge and my resting heartrate is around 100 BPM. I also just have this pervasive sense of dread. I can't go to sleep easily and last night, I woke up around 2:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. I am not worried about anything in particular and Little Man has been performing his morning and nightly kick counts without hesitation, so I don't think that this is related to fear about his well-being, although it certainly could be.

I am leaving for a business trip tomorrow morning and will be gone through the weekend, so I wonder if it's just a bit of anxiety over being out of town and away from my husband. I have found myself getting increasingly dependent on him these past few months. I have never looked forward to business trips, but I don't usually have this awful feeling that has settled over me. That's not normal for me, but then again, when have I ever been seven months pregnant before?

I don't really think that this is a reason to call the OB, but it is worrisome. Which of course, adds to the anxiety. Anybody else have this symptom?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sweet Relief

It is most definitely sweet relief to know that I passed the three hour GTT.

Thank goodness.

I guess my numbers looked great, in fact, my fasting glucose level was so low that the nurse actually told me to make sure that I am including carbs in all of my meals and snacks so that I don't have problems with dizziness or fatigue.

The iron is still really low and so I will have a recheck next Monday. If the levels have not risen, it's iron infusion time for me. But the good news with low iron levels is that they are really common in pregnancy and the baby gets the iron that he needs from my body. I am the only one that will feel the affects of low iron, not him.

I did ask why I failed the 1-hour and she said it was likely because I hadn't fasted before (their directions). I think that they should just make people fast for the 1-hour, because really, the three hour isn't a lot of fun. If they could weed out even half of the people from unnecessarily taking the second test, I think that would be worth it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Big 3-0

I can't believe that today marks the thirtieth week of pregnancy. I am in awe, really.

I told my husband this morning, "We are really and truly pregnant."

He just laughed at me and said, "You think?"

But seriously, who would have thought this truly possible? Not me. I remember when just getting past six weeks was my goal. Then eight. Then ten. Then eleven. It's been one week at a time, some of the them easier than others, but we are finding ourselves fully entrenched in the third trimester.

Polka Dot requested some belly pictures. I am trying to get my husband to take the 30 week ones, so I will post them soon. But here is the video that I took the day that the furniture arrived from the nursery (28 weeks). Ignore the pile of laundry in our master bedroom and the fact that the nursery closet is a MESS! I told you that I am a pack rat!

video

Friday, June 20, 2008

GTT (Good Times Today?)

Thanks to my wireless internet card, I am posting "live" from hour one of my GTT.

So far, it's not too bad.

I had to start fasting last night by 8:30 PM. I am not a huge late night snacker, so I didn't think it would be a problem. What I didn't take into consideration is that fasting means that I can't have the fruit juices that I love to drink in the evening, a cup of tea, or a glass of milk to quell nighttime heartburn. Or my Tums or Maalox that would serve the same purpose.

Due to the heartburn (and probably a bit of nerves), I didn't sleep that great and woke up with a slight headache - and ravenously thirsty and hungry. I had a few sips of water but that was it. I grudgingly gave the dogs breakfast - even their dry kibble was starting to look good! I made sure to bring some work stuff to keep my mind occupied as well as a couple of DVDs and a book. I also packed some almonds and water for the minute I am able to eat again!

I got to the clinic at the instructed time (8:30 AM) and was slightly annoyed that I had to wait a half hour for the first blood draw. C'mon people, I am a hungry pregnant woman! A half hour will make a difference! I was about to complain when they called me back.

I had my first blood draw at 9:03 and then the technician handed me The Bottle Of Orange Goo. This bottle is actually slightly smaller than the bottle that I had to take on Tuesday, but with double the glucose in it, so much thicker and sweeter. I learned my lesson from drinking the Goo earlier this week: the longer that you take to drink it, the more liquid will seem to magically appear in the bottom the bottle. The tech told me that I had five minutes to drink it and that she would start the timer when I was done. She then turned her back to enter some data in the computer and I chugged the bottle of goo. It was actually easy to do so, as it was cold and sweet and I was thirsty from my fasting.

I think I pounded it in less than thirty seconds. This must be uncommon because I said, "I'm finished!" and she turned and looked at the empty bottle and then at me with the most incredulous look on her face. I think she actually looked at the floor to make sure that I hadn't poured it out. I don't think that she understands: This pregnant lady means business - the faster we get this show on the road, the faster I can eat my almonds!

I have now settled myself out in the waiting room. It's been about 45 minutes and I don't feel too badly. I mean, I am hungry and thirsty (again), but no major dizziness, nausea, or heartburn. I don't feel great, but it's not as bad as I expected, and I think if I ate something, I would feel pretty okay. I keep glancing longingly at my almonds and water, but it's not too long from now and I can go to town.

I am disappointed that they probably won't have the results to me by the end of the day. I am a little stressed about eating carbs before I know if I do have GD, so I was hoping to know by the weekend. I guess some people would see it as my final reprieve, but I just can't enjoy desserts and the like until I know for sure that it won't hurt Baby Boy.

The one fun thing about this test is that the baby seems to enjoy the sugar load. He is doing a Jazzercize routine in their that is keeping me entertained. I'll let you know the results when I do.

Edited: Blood draw #2 was interesting. A different tech (I think she might be new) took my draw and she didn't realize that the vial she was using was an auto-fill - meaning that it can only take so much blood and then it will stop. She kept flicking at the needle, squeezing my arm, and it started to hurt a bit. . . then a lot. . . as the blood started backing up in my vein and swelling up. Then, suddenly, blood was spurting around the needle and onto the counter. I have never. ever. had that happen. Between fertility tests and treatments, IVF, etc., I have had a lot of blood draws. I am definitely going to have a monster bruise.

Second Edit: As many of you commented on, water is allowed after the third draw, which is nice. I am really enjoying these small sips of water. Heavenly!

Third Edit: I'm outta here! I get the results Monday morning. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What I know

I know that both gestational diabetes and low iron levels are common in pregnancy.

I know that neither of those things are dangerous to me or the baby if handled properly.

I know that I have a competent medical team that will handle it properly.

I know that I can follow rules and instructions and be successful on any diet that I am given.

I know that nothing I did (or didn't do) caused these problems.

I know that, in the scheme of complications, GD is nothing. It's not even a complication, really, just more of a nuisance.

I know that, no matter what the test reveals tomorrow, everything will be fine.

I know that Little Man is doing great in there. He was moving and grooving last night like there was his own personal boxing match going on in there.

Even with all that I know, I am still upset about failing the 1-hour GTT. I just hate feeling like a "failure." I am used to not being terribly good at pregnancy, but I had allowed myself to be lulled into feeling like I could do it. Now, I am back to feeling uncertain again.

Proof of this was the bad dream that I had last night. I dreamt that the baby died and that for some strange reason, they wanted me to carry him to term. So, I had to walk around with a dead baby inside of me for 10 weeks. Everyone kept treating me the same, asking when I was due, if it was a boy or girl, and all I could do was cry. I woke up crying. I had to go drink some cold water and push on my tummy until Baby pushed back, no doubt very irritated that I was waking him up for something so trivial. I can just feel him plotting his revenge!

So, I know I am probably being silly. After all, we don't even know if I have GD or not. And so many people fail the one hour, then pass the three hour. I am really getting ahead of myself.

But it still scares me to have anything out of the ordinary happen. I was really enjoying normal.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So Much For Predictions

Yep. The lab tech was wrong.

I failed the 1-hour glucose tolerance test. The top acceptable number is 140 and I came in at 152.

Crap.

I also have low iron levels, apparently extremely low iron levels. 35 is the cut off for normal, 33 - 35 is borderline, 30 - 33 is iron supplements, and anything below 30 needs iron infusions. I am at 27.5. So, I had to start iron supplements immediately and they will retest on Friday when I do the 3-hour GTT. If my numbers haven't responded by then, I will get an iron infusion.

Because I am leaving for a work trip next Tuesday, my doctor really wants to get the ball rolling on the GTT. So, Friday it is.

I am trying not to get too freaked out, as I know many ladies that have failed the 1-hour and then passed the 3-hour. I'll be honest, though, I am a little overwhelmed thinking about it. So, fingers crossed for good results on Friday.

OB Appointment

Yesterday was my seven month OB appointment. This was the last monthly appointment. It's all biweekly from here until August, when it goes to weekly.

It was also the day of the GT test. My doctor's office has you drink the liquid in the waiting room so that they know exactly what time you finished the drink. Luckily, they keep it cold. Overall, the test wasn't too bad. The first couple drinks of the orange brew and I was wondering what all the fuss was about. It tasted like flat orange pop. I got cocky and told my husband that it actually tasted good.

Then, as the liquid hit my stomach and I kept drinking, I started to feel a bit sick. It still wasn't that bad, but I was definitely glad that I didn't have to drink more than the little bottle they gave me. And I got bad heartburn from the drink, but couldn't have so much as a Tums to help quiet the fire. Still, I didn't throw up or feel dizzy. The tech that drew my blood said that she can pretty much determine a pass/fail by how the person reacts to the liquid. She said that the more bothered a person is by the drink, the more likely that person is to fail the test. We'll see how accurate her prediction is.

My appointment went well. My blood pressure was 118/60, which is lower than prepregnancy for me. In fact, the nurse said it is the target blood pressure for a teenager.

And. . . [insert scary music here] the dreaded weigh in. I knew that after last month's jump when I didn't seem to be eating that much more than usual, this month was going to be bad. I mean, just at my shower alone, I pigged out. And although I did attempt to get more physical activity this last month, I will admit that it was hit or miss.

So, imagine my suprise when I had only gained three pounds since last month. That brings my total weight gain to 23 pounds at 29 weeks, which also keeps me on track for overall weight gain. If I continue to gain a pound a week, I will end up right at 35 pounds. Then again, I have heard that there is another growth spurt around the corner, as Baby Boy really starts to pack on the pounds, but if all remains like this, I shouldn't gain any record-breaking weight as I was starting to fear after last month's big increase.

I am now measuring right on track, too. I had been consistently measuring a week ahead, so I asked if that was okay, and Dr. S said that as long as I didn't fall behind in measurement by more than a couple of weeks, it was fine. He said that measurement, like ultrasound, is approximate in dating.

His heart rate was great, measuring in the 130s, and picked up right away on the doppler. Little Man did not like the doppler and kept kicking at it and even afterwards he was kicking up a storm. It was either that or the sugary drink, but he seemed pretty irritated and even got the hiccups.

Afterward, my husband and I went out for a really nice dinner, to celebrate a healthy beginning to the third trimester. We went to one of my favorite local restaurants for some southern cooking and I thoroughly enjoyed my watermelon lemonade, spinach salad, and gumbo (extra mild).

Sometimes, I still cannot believe that this me. That this is us. That all can be so. . . normal.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Heart Brown Fat

I have a new pregnancy love.

This.

When I was on my honeymoon in Mexico, I remember sitting in the hotel lobby, and two women were discussing their bodies and how they hated the first couple of days by the pool, with their white, untanned flesh exposed. Then one of them said the words that I have loved to use ever since: "Brown fat is prettier than white fat."

And it's so true. I love the look of that deep, golden tan that I have when I am in Mexico. Coming from the Northwest, that golden glow is almost impossible to get, even in the summer. We just don't get enough strong sun here. Also, I can justify getting a tan once a year and figure that it's not too bad for my skin, but I would start to get nervous if I tanned every day. I hate tanning beds and the smell of burning skin that I swear lingers for the next couple of days. I just lie in them thinking about the cancer invading my skin.

Still, having a tan is wonderful. Not only do I think I look thinner, but it smooths cellulite, covers spider veins, and minimizes other blemishes.

I have tried self-tanners in the past, but they all made me look streaky, orange, or made me smell funny. Or my bathroom would look like a murder scene as the clear tanning lotion dried and you could see every fingerprint, smudge, and swoosh from what I thought was a careful application.

About a month ago, my friend Amy suggested that I try my new love. And so I did. And I love it.

First of all, it applies smoothly and has a faint tint to the lotion so that you can immediately wipe up any spills or messes. I haven't had any streaks. It doesn't smell great, not like some of my other lotions, but it doesn't have that strong self-tanner odor. I can put it on in the morning before work and not wonder if everyone is smelling my tanning lotion all day long. I also think the color is extremely natural looking. I have had several people ask me if I went on vacation recently.

A few tips if you do decide to use it:

1) Be sure to wash your hands - especially between your fingers - after you are done applying. Then, use a piece of tissue to apply the lotion to the backs of your hand and fingers.

2) I had a bit of problems with the areas by my wrists and ankles. I just made sure to exfoliate really well in those areas and make sure to really rub the lotion in well there the next time.

3) After you start to get "the glow" (about 3 days for me), I would switch to every other day. The color starts coming on really fast once it starts showing. I find that every other day keeps it from getting too dark.

4) Be sure to wait about five minutes before getting dressed. I broke this rule a couple of times and it didn't ruin my clothes, but I had a couple of "swooshy" looking marks on my legs and belly that night where I think the lotion got wiped off.

So, there you have it. My latest pregnancy love.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Amazing

Wow.


That's all I can say. Wow.


Well, since this is a blog, I will obviously say more. The shower was amazing.


My mother and sister-in-law put a ton of effort into making it a lovely party and they more than succeeded. The decorations were adorable, the food was amazing, and I was a little overwhelmed by all of the attention.


We got a bunch of really great stuff: books, blankets, onesies, cute outfits, a diaper champ, pack n' play, more blankets, more cute outfits, socks, you name it. I was literally lost in the pile of gifts. Afterward, my sister-in-law took me to this amazing baby store and had me pick out my diaper bag, because she wanted to get me just the "right one."


My best friend went with me and took a lot of pictures - over one hundred. They are dowloading onto the computer as I type this. I have already looked at a few and man, I look huge. But I look happy, too. Glowing, for sure. I also look a little red-faced, because it was really warm in the room and I was a little embarassed having all those eyes on me for the hour it took to open all of the gifts. Also, quite a few of the guests were friends of my mother-in-law's that I didn't know, so I would open the card and see the name, but not know who to look at in the circle of faces.


We played two shower games, but nothing obnoxious like someone trying to measure me with toilet paper, and of course, ate, ate, ate! I was lamenting that my next weigh-in appointment is this week and I had to have gained at least five pounds just yesterday alone. My mother-in-law made these insanely good chicken salad croissant sandwiches, there were platters of fruits and veggies, and this amazing spinach dip, and chips, and candy, and nuts, and yeah. . . it might be more than five pounds.


My friend took half of our loot home in her car and then my husband arrived after the shower so that we could celebrate our birthdays. We had another huge meal and a second cake! Then, my mother-in -law gave us our birthday gift - a video camera!


We are definitely very blessed to have all of these caring people in our lives. I did start to cry when I sat down on the couch and was surrounded by all of the gifts and people. The reality that this was my shower hit me all at once and I was just so overwhelmed by this miracle. Of course, my tears started other tears and everyone was worried that I was getting too warm, so I had to fight them back and get started on my mountain of gifts.


So, even though I think that I look like a big polka dot whale, here are some pictures of the day:

Me and best friend, C.

Grandma J's favorite gift.



The food and cake.


Crazy cousin K gives me a frosting kiss!

Friday, June 13, 2008

If This Is A Dream, Please Don't Wake Me

I can believe that I am going to a Baby Shower tomorrow.

What I can't believe, what I am am having trouble wrapping my arms around, is that the Baby Shower is for me.

Before infertility struck, I used to love showers. I loved the excitement, the glow of the mother-to-be, the cake, the food, the teeny-tiny little clothes. I used to relish in throwing them for my friends.

I remember the first shower I went to after my first miscarriage - about a week after, actually, I was still bleeding. It was for a coworker and so I felt obligated to go. At that point in time, I was very closed lipped about our loss, so she had no idea. I remember her standing there, looking so beautiful, so happy, so pregnant. I tried to get into a celebratory mood, but just being there was almost more than I could handle, so I settled for not crying or doing anything drastic that would ruin the event for her.

Of course, there would be many more showers in the weeks, months, and years to come. If you have been dealing with infertility or loss for any amount of time, I don't need to tell you how hard they are. I don't need to remind you how your heart kind of sinks when you open an invite and hope like heck that you already have something on the calendar for that Saturday. I don't need to paint the picture of how you wonder if you can get away with a gift card or buy something on-line. Anything to get away from that dreaded baby aisle.

Probably the worst shower for me was for my husband's boss's wife. He and his wife knew about our losses, so they were very gentle when they announced their pregnancy. It has never been said, but I suspect some infertility on their end of things, but it's only a guess. Despite my suspicions that things weren't easy for them, I was still horribly upset the day that I found out that she was pregnant. She and I had been the last "holdouts," the last wives who would stand a bit aside at the company picnics and talk about our careers instead of our children. She was the one who would roll her eyes at me when for the sixth year in a row, the company president's wife showed up with a new baby at the summer get-together. I knew that from now on, the only one with empty arms at a company event was going to be me. Her shower was on the EDD for our third loss and only two months after we lost Gummy Bear, and I went, for political reasons.

I remember standing in the aisle at Target and trying to pick a card out - you know, without reading the inside, just based on how cute the outside is? Then, I made the mistake of reading one anyway, and I was crying in Target for about the ten millionth time in the two years since we had started losing babies. And we still had to go pick out the gift.

I could go on and on with shower stories and crying in Target aisles, but I think you get the point. I know you have and still are living it, too. The reality keeps hitting me in the face that my shower is here, this is for me. Does it make sense that I am scared? That I am nervous? Part of me is just waiting for someone to whip the pillow out from under my shirt and say, "Gotcha!" I am almost afraid that this shower business will jinx us, will steal away this happiness. Stupid? Perhaps, but it's what I am feeling after all.

I am excited, of course, don't get me wrong. But I am scared, too. I am scared that somehow, I have been living in some alternate world and tomorrow, it will all come crashing down. That I will be sitting at that shower and somehow, I will become the woman in the corner, trying not to cry again.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wrapped Up

I love the extra calls and e-mails that I get on my birthday. I end up hearing from all sorts of people that I don't get to hear from on a regular basis. One of my girlfriends and I have a silly tradition that started years ago (neither of us quite remembers how). We call and sing to each other on our respective birthdays. The thing is that neither of us can sing well and we really ham it up for the occasion. It sounds silly, but it has truly become one of the highlights of the day for me.

As predicted, we did not go out to dinner. My husband called on the way home from work, and I was parked on the couch by that time, in my comfy sweats. He asked what I wanted to do, and honestly, the last thing that I wanted to do was get up, get dressed, and go out.

So, he picked up food on the way home from a local pub that has great sandwiches and homemade french fries. He also got me some delicious german chocolate brownies and put big 2 - 9 candles in it. And the sneaky man broke the rules and got me a gift. He bought me a gift certificate for another 90 minute prenatal massage, these really nice slippers that you can put in the microwave or freezer to soothe tired feet, and some lotions and bath stuff. He also got me a card from "the Baby" which was pretty cute.

Of course, now I have to get him a gift, too. Which is hard, because my husband is not an easy man to buy for. I have a couple of ideas, but not a lot of time, so I will have to get to work on that.

Thank you for all of the lovely birthday wishes!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

I am 29 years old today. I can't believe it! My last year in my twenties has begun.

I generally do enjoy my birthday. We don't have a lot planned for today. Dinner will probably be here, which is where I have celebrated my birthdays since I was really little. For emotional reasons, I have always loved this restaurant. It is comforting to me and a reminder of years gone by. The meal is predictable, if a bit boring, and it's relatively inexpensive. My husband is not such a fan, so we only go here once a year.

I am pretty tired from my three days of convention work, so dinner might also come from here.

My husband's birthday is Friday, so we will go out to a nicer place then, and perhaps just consider that a combined birthday dinner. For a present, we are getting each other a video camera, since we thought it would be nice to have one to capture all of the Big Moments coming up. We are going to buy the camera this weekend, so I probably won't have any presents to open today, but it will be fun to go and pick out our gift together.

My first baby shower is at my mother-in-laws this weekend and we will be celebrating both of our birthdays with them on Saturday night. I will see my parents in two weeks when I am in my hometown for a work meeting and then stay the weekend for my second shower. This way, I get a lot of celebrating in!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bad Day At the Office

I don't talk a lot about my job here on the blog. For one thing, I have known other bloggers to get in trouble with employers for doing so. For another thing, I feel that I have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to my career. I work for a great company that is well-respected. If I told you which company, every single one of you (regardless of country where you live) would know of it by name.

I love what I do itself. I have great customers and fabulous products to sell. I believe 100% that what I do matters.

But sometimes, having a job sucks. No doubt, half of what I am upset about is reality and the other half is comprised of the hormonal overload that I am experiencing right now. Little things seem to get blown out of proportion and the bigger things get even bigger. I always have taken my job seriously and I take pride in doing it well. So, when I get called on the carpet for something that I haven't done right, it gets to me under the best of circumstances. But when I get in trouble for something that I actually took care of. . . Well, grrr.

My company is a large company and most of its sales force works from a home office. This means that in order to keep everyone happy and accounted for, there are a lot of Lists. Lists of calls made, calls entered, compliance tests taken and scored, the List of Lists goes on and on. One of my main objectives is to never be on a bad list. There are a lot of bad lists, so from time to time, I have found myself on one. It just happens.

However, yesterday, I ended up on two Bad Lists. The worst thing is that I completed both of the activities that the lists say that I didn't do. One was a compliance test and one was a survey about my personal competencies. They were both time-consuming and I made sure to do both of them before the deadlines, yet I show up on lists of people that did not do them. It is beyond frustrating.

Luckily, I have proof that I did one of them, but the other is kind of a "they said/I said." And the they saids are winning. It just irritates me that I have to defend myself when I work hard and make an honest effort to get things done.

This also was brought to my attention at the beginning of the day-long conference, which has me on my feet for hours on end. It was also brought to my attention in front of my colleagues. This combined to make it even worse than it would usually be.

I am proud that I didn't end up in tears in front of everyone, but I am still upset about it. There is just something about not being trusted that really gets to me.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Simple Math

What do you get when you add the following?

1 weekend of emptying the nursery
+
1 full day standing on my feet at a national sales convention
=
Sore hips, sore back, swollen feet

My massage of last week was wonderful, but the lovely relaxation that I felt afterward is long gone. I honestly think that I should have saved it for later on this week, but then again, what shape would I be in by now?

I know that hip pain is to be expected with pregnancy, but I am a little concerned by how much my hips hurt. Just getting up from a chair causes such stabbing pains that I can't help but whimper. I don't think that I am a total whimp, this just really hurts. It's almost comical until I start to worry about what the next 12 weeks (or so) will bring.

Since this post is about math, let's stop for just a moment, shall we? There is one more very important calculation to note here: I am in the third trimester. Two-thirds of my pregnancy is behind me and "only" one-third remains. Can you even believe it? I can't. Not really.

I guess this is why, in some perverse fashion, I am glad for the aches and pains of pregnancy. Even though it is getting semi-ridiculous how I am hobbling around like an 80-year-old, it is still a reminder that my body is doing what it should and that this baby is growing as he should. For that, I am so thankful.

Exciting News!

Farah is in the hospital about to deliver Mini Vann!

Please go over and wish her lots of love and plenty of prayers!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Progress

Yesterday, we finally tackled the big project of cleaning out the nursery.

In order to get one room completely empty, we had to combine our guest room and office together. I work from home, so I have a lot of materials, supplies, paperwork, etc. that all had to be consolidated with a queen sized bed, antique desk, and our own personal computer. As any big project tends to do, it became an even bigger job than we had anticipated. We ended up having a few disagreements about what should go where, but ultimately, the guest/office room is done. It's definitely crowded, but it's workable, and we don't have overnight guests that often.

The nursery is deliciously empty now, except for his swing, bassinet, rocking chair, and some clothes that we have gotten as gifts and hand-me-downs. The dresser and crib get delivered this evening and we are going to buy paint today. We probably won't get to the actual painting until next weekend, so the crib will stay in its box and the dresser and other gear will get shoved to the center of the room so that we can work around it.

My back is sore and my hips are aching (so much for my massage!), but it feels good to have another major step completed on our way to getting ready for Little Man. Our first shower is next weekend and we have another two weeks after that, so I know that we are going to start getting some things. It is good that we have a place to put it all as it comes in.

Now, if I can just decide on that nursery theme. . .

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fabulous Friday

I pretty much have the perfect day planned.

It is Friday and I don't have to work today. My sales team won a regional award trip to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to fly during this pregnancy, so I couldn't go with them. Instead, I got the money for the trip, plus today off like the rest of my teammates.

For our anniversary, my wonderful husband gave me a gift certificate for a ninety minute prenatal massage at one of my favorite spas. I haven't had a prenatal massage yet and I am pretty darned excited. The spa is located in a fun part of town, so I am meeting a girlfriend for lunch at an amazing New York-themed deli that I haven't been to in awhile. They have the best sandwiches and salads, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Then, perhaps most wonderful of all, I don't have anything planned for after that. I was thinking about packing a few boxes up from the office to get the ball rolling on our cleanout, but I am leaning towards just taking the rest of the day to chill out. I can't do any of the major moving anyway, so I am limited in what I can do without my husband's help.

Either way, it is the start of a long weekend for me. And have I mentioned the ninety minute massage?

I hope you are all looking foward to a wonderful weekend, too!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hello, Old Friend

I think my morning sickness is coming back.

When I transitioned out of the first trimester and into the second, my morning sickness turned into night sickness. I was fine during the day and could eat breakfast and lunch like a champ, but come late afternoon and evening, I was feeling icky.

For the most part, that went away by the 16th week, although from time to time, I have still had moments of nausea and even some vomiting if I eat too much too fast. Then, last week, I noticed that I was starting to feel gross in the afternoon and evening again.

The past two days, it's been undeniable. I just feel awful in the evenings. I am not too worried about it, because I eat like a pig during the day, so I know Little Man is getting what he needs. But I still thought it was crazy that "morning" sickness would return.

Anyone else had/having/heard of this?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Party At Our Crib

We finally did it! Not, not it - We are back on pelvic rest following the bleeding scare, although you can see where my mind is.

Seriously, though, after months of searching, we finally found our crib and dresser/changing table! They are being delivered on Sunday evening, which means that it's time to stop fluffing around. We have to empty out the office this weekend. We figured this would be just the kick in the arse that we need to finally get things moving.

Here is the crib:

Here is the dresser:

But actually, it's in this slightly ligher color called caramel, because the nursery is a fairly small room.

And I have narrowed down my choices for nursery themes to two. I am actually going to set up a poll, so please vote on the following:

1) Clas.sic Po.oh.

I have long been into Clas.sic Pooh and always thought that this would be the nursery theme. In fact, when I was first pregnant two years ago, I fell in love with the set that Tar.get has since discontinued. This set is also from Tar.get, it's cute looking, but honestly feels a bit "cheap" as far as the fabric quality goes. But it's still adorable and I have some great ideas on how to accentuate it. It's also half the price as the other set that I like.

2) Moons and Stars
My all-time favorite children's book is "I Love You This Much," which has a scene in which the baby rabbit says to the big rabbit, "I love you all the way to the moon." The big rabbit says back, "I love you all the way to the moon and back." I have always loved this book and the loving sentiment that it has. So, I thought what could be greater than to recreate that feeling in a nursery. This set feels a bit nicer and I also have some really fun ideas for this one, including some moon and stars artwork and stenciling.


I am really torn and can't decide. Please help by voting! Either way, I think we are going with a nice yellow color for the walls, once again, to keep the nursery feeling a bit brighter and more open to compensate for the small size of the room.

And for those of you picking that they are both ugly, please leave some suggestions in the comments. That way, I can get some other ideas.

Monday, June 2, 2008

He Whistles

Sometimes, in the depths of my own despair regarding our infertility, I forgot about how it all must have made my husband feel. We talked about it sometimes, but my husband is not nearly as vocal or expressive as I am. I know that the loss of our sweet angels made him very sad, but I also know that he felt the need to be strong for me.

I know that, on rare occasions, I would catch him looking at a baby with an expression that could only be described as envious and sad. I would have to look away, because to see his pain magnified my own. I already felt like an incredible failure and that I was letting him down.

One of the worst fights of our marriage was five days after the D&C with Gummy Bear. I was still experiencing the hormone crash and made the mistake of drinking wine for the first time in months. Not only was my tolerance lower, but seeing that I was already depressed, consuming alcohol was probably the worst thing that I could have done. I was by no means drunk, but I was uninhibited and started saying things that I normally kept in my head.

Finally, I just said it, "I think that we should get a divorce and you should find a real woman who can give you babies."

He was beyond angry with me. His response? "If you think that's all that I want you for, then you don't know me at all."

But I meant it. That night, and many others before and since, I couldn't see why anyone would want a broken woman. I couldn't see how anyone could love me when I hated myself so very much. In my heart and mind, I was preparing to leave my husband and give him the gift of freedom, to find that "real" woman.

We found a way through the darkness, but I sometimes think I was so obsessed with my own pain that I avoided thinking about his. Looking back on it, I was pretty selfish. I was depressed, I was in mourning, I had a right to be sad, but I know that I leaned on him far more than he leaned on me. I was lucky to have him as my rock throughout everything, but he wasn't as fortunate. Looking back on it, I think that this has been just as hard on him, in some cases, more so because he never felt that he could reach out to others as I did. Instead, he kind of shut down. He was still there, but there was an unhappiness beneath the surface.

This morning, as I was putting away laundry, I heard a sound coming from the shower that I hadn't even realized was missing. My husband was whistling. He used to do this every morning, and I loved hearing it. I didn't realize that he had stopped until just now, when I heard it again. It brought back a time that I thought was gone forever, where pure happiness just grabs you and opens up your heart.

He is whistling again. I am so grateful for that sound.