Thursday, November 29, 2012

Still Waiting...

It’s not even 10 am yet and I’m sitting at my new desk at work counting the seconds until it’s over.  Tomorrow is my last day of work before I start maternity leave.
I feel so strange.
When I return, I will return to a promotion.  It’s not the first time I’ve been promoted; I was promoted at my last job too (sort of against my will though).  In this case I will just finally be getting paid for the job I’ve actually been doing for a year.
Regardless though, it’s nice to get promoted, especially since this is second time it’s happening to me during an extremely stressful time in my life; it seems like that’s when I do my best work.  Most likely because I almost enjoy going to work to have something else to focus on when I have a million other things on my mind.
Which is why next week is going to be weird.  At the rate I’m going, I most likely won’t have baby yet.  So I will just be sitting around waiting.  And not sitting around waiting in my own home where maybe I could get into some sort of organizational project, or blast music, or try a new recipe, but sitting around waiting in my parent’s house, which is much less appealing.  I could work up until I literally start labor, as my doctor hasn’t instructed otherwise, but I really do think that’s pushing it.  So far I’ve gained 33 pounds since the start of my pregnancy and I’m still gaining.  My legs and wrists are swelling from the weight and overuse.  I’m exhausted because I can’t sleep at night.  They are lucky in my office that I manage to brush my teeth since I can’t really clasp my hand around the brush anymore.  You should see the maneuvering I have to do to get it done.  Also, this baby is getting kind of big; healthy, but big for someone my size.  I’m anticipating a rather long labor, and “rest,” even if it doesn’t come in the form of actual sleep, is probably what’s best for me now in preparation for all the work I’m going to have to do.
But I know I’m going to be crawling out of my skin with boredom.  I keep thinking of things I can do next week to occupy myself, but everything I’ve thought of could be crammed into one day and then I’ll still be left twiddling my thumbs.
I have two dog toys I need to patch up…that will take me all of 12 minutes.  I can update my resume in preparation for a possible job search (because while I should be getting a raise, I’m not sure how substantial it will be) but, again, that won’t take long since I last updated it a few months back.
I can only read and write so much because I do get headaches after doing so for too long, and I can’t even take anything for the pain (except Tylenol which does nothing).  The nursery is complete and I already put together all the baby’s contraptions.  My hospital bag is packed.  I made a playlist on my IPod of baby-friendly soft lullaby-ish songs (since his bassinet has an mp3 player hookup).  I bought Chester a toy for when he first meets the baby so he won’t be jealous, and it’s waiting in my car.
If I could work like, half days or something, that would be the best thing for me I think.  It would get me up and out of the house, but I could leave before the point of complete and utter exhaustion.  The way they do the payroll here though, it’s not really feasible.
A handful of people aren’t afraid of me, but most people right now seem to be nervous that if they see me, I’m going to go into labor and have the baby right in front of them.  (If only it would happen that quickly!)  Anyway, as such, I haven’t been hanging out as much either.
It’s lonely.  The person I care about seeing the most is right inside my tummy, but he just doesn’t seem to want to leave, even though I can tell he’s radically uncomfortable.  I keep telling him if he comes out, he’ll have more space, and toys, and clothes, and friends to meet, a great fuzzy four-legged big brother, and I’ve been singing Christmas songs to him too.  He seems to love it, but my guess is he’s waiting to hit at least 7 lbs before making his grand entrance to the world (he was 6 ¾ lbs on Tuesday).  Also, last night my mother was reciting that rhyme about the days of the week and when babies are born.  It starts, “Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace…” but the only two I remember are Wednesday (full of woe) and Saturday (has to work for his living).  Weird, I know.  But my poor little B is probably going to end up with one of those.  So I’m pulling for next Wednesday.
I can always finish my Christmas shopping, even do some wrapping, bake those dog biscuits, and get Sasha washed.  That should bring me to Tuesday of next week.  Ugh.
Until the baby comes, I’m kind of in limbo in regard to EVERYTHING.  I can’t apply for jobs because I don’t know when I’ll be back on my feet and available to go on interviews.  I can’t look for an apartment because I don’t know when I’m returning to work and therefore able to go out on my own (money-wise).  I don’t even know if I should be looking for a divorce attorney yet.  And because of that, I don’t know if I should start dolling myself up for other men.  (Because although it may seem fast, by the time I’m back on my feet, on my own and such, it’ll probably about a year since my husband and I split.  Why should I keep waiting?  Going through the pregnancy alone was hard enough!)
C’mon baby!  I love you and want to see you, and mommy wants to start our lives together as soon as possible.  Please come meet me soon!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving


By the time I finished work on Wednesday I was shot, and then I still had to go to a doctor’s appointment.  Then Thanksgiving came and went, and so did Friday.  So this may be a little late, but that’s ok.  I still felt the need to write it.

This year has been extremely disastrous, for many reasons, most of which I haven’t even touched upon on here.  But I still think it’s important for my own sanity, for me to take the time to think about what I am thankful for.  This list will vary between the big things and the little things, for I think it should go without saying that I am thankful for the big things (but I’m not sure it does) and the little things, while seemingly silly, are what get a person through the every day.

I am thankful first and foremost and beyond all other things, for my little boy that I am so soon to meet.

I am thankful for Chester, the best friend I’ve ever had, and the greatest dog in the world.  I am thankful for his company and for his protection and for his friendship and for his unconditional love.

I am thankful for my family who has had to help me out a lot in preparation for my baby coming, and for allowing me to be excited about his arrival.

I am thankful for my friends, because, above all the usual things, I know positively now that none of them are only fair-weather friends, and that is completely amazing.

I am thankful for waking up early on Thanksgiving morning, burning fall-scented candles, and watching the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day parade.

I am thankful for my car Sasha, that I love so, so much, and how amazing she is because she is both compact yet fits everything I need, and I don’t owe anything for her anymore, so she is mine mine mine.

I am thankful for my job, and for the fact that when I return after I have the baby, I will most likely return to a promotion and a raise.  Although I still want to look for something else, this is still something to be thankful for.

I am thankful that, even though I don’t remember when or how, I discovered poetry, and how much I love it.  I am thankful that I know what makes me feel alive.

I am thankful for yoga, and for being able to wake up in the morning without back pain (well, when I’m not pregnant, that is) without having to take any medication.

I am thankful for my body in all its quirky weirdness, because even though I am short, have big ears, too round a nose, too-skinny legs, a weird cowlick, and unpredictable skin, I think I am quite pretty, and healthy, and when I run, or lift my legs over my head in a yoga headstand, or find the strength in my little arms to do something you can’t…I love myself.
I am thankful for having been able to go to school and study something that I loved. 

I am thankful for things like home-cooked meals, photographs, the smell of clothes washed in Gain, brisk walks in wintertime, the way ice water feels as you drink it when you are really, really, thirsty, Harry Potter, the smell of books, that period of time when I am drifting off to sleep and I think about all the things that I am looking forward to, sleep, sunset, beer and wine, leaving work just early enough to beat the traffic, surprise visits from friends.

The list can go on.

Obviously, there are plenty of things this year that I am missing and/or sad about.  But at this time above all others, especially since I need to have a clear head on my shoulders for my son, it’s important for me to focus on the list above.

So, as for my Thanksgiving.  It was nice and mellow, with lots of good food.  We had it at my parent’s house and it was just my siblings that came by.  My sister spent the night Thursday into Friday, which was nice.  She had someplace to go on the island on Friday night, so she hung out here all day.  He dog was here too.  But when I woke up on Friday morning, the swelling in my ankles had moved farther up my calves and my wrists were so swollen you couldn’t actually see them.  So I basically spent the whole day with my legs elevated and with ice packs periodically on my ankles and wrists.  It seems to have worked, because today the swelling subsided in my wrists completely and in my ankles substantially.  So I used the opportunity today to finish up the nursery.  I put together the baby’s swing, and finished going through everything, washing everything, and putting everything in its proper place.  I wanted to finish today, because I’m sure the work will cause the swelling to increase again, and at least tomorrow I’ll be able to spend another full day resting before my last full week of work.

My room is ready as well with the bassinet and rocking chair.  All I need now is a baby.  Hear that, baby?  I’m waiting for you!

Here are some pictures of the completed nursery:





I have one more week of work left (if I even make it that far).  I have my next doctor’s appointment on Tuesday with a different doctor that I haven’t seen yet (he was the one I was supposed to see after Hurricane Sandy but the office was shut down so that appointment got cancelled).  I will be 38 weeks on Monday and every day I wake up hoping that “today is the day.”

I am disappointed every night when it isn’t, but I just have to keep telling myself that one of these days, it will be.

I at least had the nursery to distract me, because I’m actually pretty down right now.  Usually I would have spent this weekend decorating for Christmas.  I miss my decorations, and the excitement of the way I had been celebrating the holidays for years.
It’s weird.  I have a million and one things on my mind.  Obviously, first and foremost, the baby.  I’m thinking about my job, and/or looking for a new one.  I’m thinking about what kind of place I can afford when I start working again, and how soon I will be able to manage it.

But I’m also thinking about whether or not I will remain married.  And besides the big stuff, the little things creep in.  I’ve been with my husband for a long time.  A very long time.  So when the prospect of eventually being with someone new comes along, part of what makes that weird is just going through getting comfortable with someone else.  You know, I’m used to my husband’s goods, and he’s used to mine.  I like knowing what to expect.  I don’t feel like getting used to someone new.  In any way.  Learning someone’s idiosyncrasies.  Learning how they like their food prepared, their nighttime routine, their morning routine…ugh…it’s a lot of work.

I also feel like I am crawling out of my skin being at “home” at my parents’ house all the time.  I am so lonely.  Because if I were still with my husband, I would be home with him, the person I chose to spend my life with.  Someone who conceivably might watch TV with me at least.  Instead I just kind of traipse around the house waiting for my water to break or the contractions to get more painful and more consistent.

And I cry a lot at night.

Monday, November 19, 2012

My First Trip to Labor & Delivery


*disclaimer – this might will get graphic*

So.  My most recent ordeal.  In the middle of the night Saturday into Sunday I got up to pee, just to discover upon finishing a toilet bowl full of blood.  This isn’t necessarily normal as far as I know.  It wasn’t just spotting, it wasn’t just a tinge of blood – it was blood.  So, it seemed to stop, but for the next few hours, I couldn’t relax.  I probably slept for an hour total.  I still felt the baby moving, and everything else seemed OK, aside from some cramping.  But just a few days prior, at one point both Chester and my parents’ dog stopped what they were doing and stared at me for about 5 minutes without moving, as if they sensed something; as if they knew something I didn’t.  Then I had a dream in which was sleeping, and woke up, and my baby belly was gone.  In the dream though, I had the sense that it was because I had lost the baby, not because he had been born.  So the next morning I decided to call my doctor’s office to let them know about the bleeding, just to be on the safe side.  I figured I’d rather call and have it be nothing, than not call and have something really be wrong.

One of the doctors called me back immediately and instructed me to go to the hospital right away.  He said there was a “99% chance it’s nothing, but at 37 weeks we can’t be too careful.”

So, the ride to the hospital was the worst.  Firstly, my dad took the scenic route, (my sister and I later joked that he went to New Jersey to get lost in Newark along the way…because when we were younger it seemed every trip we took involved us getting lost in Newark) and it was almost like he was aiming for potholes which wasn’t pleasant with the cramping I had going on.

I was scared.  Of course I was.  I was afraid I waited too long to call the doctor, and I was already blaming myself if something was wrong.  In the backseat I stayed quiet, and I closed my eyes and spoke to the baby in my mind and begged him not to leave me.  “Please, please don’t leave me alone.”  I put on my sunglasses to be sure that my parents didn’t see the tears in my eyes. 

So, we got to the hospital, and my father dropped me and my mother off.  We went up to labor and delivery, and they hooked me up to the monitors.  The baby’s beautiful heartbeat was healthy and strong, so I finally started to calm down.  I got the most painful vaginal exam ever, but they found no more bleeding.  The ultrasound showed everything looked fine.

The surprise was this: the monitor measuring any contractions measured many strong contractions, and I was feeling them.  The nurse came over and asked if I was (feeling them).  I was allowed to return home, but they told me I was actually starting early labor.  Early labor is a weird thing.  It’s not pre-term labor, during which you go into labor too early, but instead it’s the first part of actual labor.  (I’m 37 weeks as of today; so even though my due date is December 10, I’m technically considered full-term and if the baby were to be born now he should be fine without any outside assistance.)

Anyway, they might have been jumping the gun in telling me I’m in early labor, or they could be right.  I’ve been feeling contractions now for two days, and today they have been more painful, but still kind of random and all over the place.  But I’ve been much more tired, even more uncomfortable, and now the seed planted in my head that the baby might be here VERY soon is driving me crazy.  I just want him to come.  I want to be able to sleep on my back and bend over and not have crazy carpal tunnel.  But mostly I want to meet him and hold him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him.  But who the hell knows when this baby is coming.

I took off from work today in order to rest some more, but assuming that I feel tomorrow morning as I do right now, I’m probably going to work tomorrow.  Because just sitting around waiting is driving me insane.  And I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, so hopefully I can find out some more then.

While I was in the hospital, I was laying in my bed listening to the baby’s heartbeat, counting seconds for each contraction, and feeling the emptiness of my hands.  Soon I will be back in that same triage area, waiting to be admitted because my baby will really be on his way.  And I will be just as alone.

It’s so hard to do this alone.  To wake up alone.  To fall asleep alone.  To worry alone.  Especially to worry alone.  And I worry a lot.

And this waiting is just torturous.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Back Again

Hello blogosphere.  I am back up and running after Hurricane Sandy.  Fortunately I was only inconvenienced by power loss/gas shortages, unlike so many people just a stones throw away from me that lost so much more.  It’s still surreal to me, and it’s heartbreaking that so many people seem to find it so easy to forget that so many others just down the block are displaced still (and will continue to be so).  Luckily that is not everyone (who forgot).

I’m back to work (my office lost power as well) and have spent the last week starting to train the temp who will be covering for me while I’m out on maternity leave and trying to catch up on my own stuff.  I’ve been swamped and therefore extremely over-tired.  The reason I care so much about training her is because if she does well, when I return after my leave she will stay on and I will get a promotion (and a raise).  Obviously, this is something that a new (possible single) mom needs to take very seriously.  Although the raise surely won’t be enough for the plans that I have, but at least it will help in the meantime until I find something new altogether.

My last day of work is slated for November 30th.  Let’s see what happens!

I had to miss a doctor appointment due to the storm, and then I spent a week trying to get in touch with them to reschedule (their phones are still down).  So I went directly to the office and they squeezed me in.  Luckily all is well.  In one weeks time I will be considered full-term.  In a few weeks regardless, I will be a mom, and nothing will ever be the same again.

I used to have time at work to do some writing, but now I don’t and by the time I get home I am completely shot.  I am also dealing with pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.  So unfortunately I have little energy for my many thoughts to make it onto screen or paper.

And I have many thoughts as of late.

And the question that gnaws at me the most, is how can I want so many [opposite] things at once?