Full Term…Chugging Along

Yay, I’m full term today! (For those who don’t know, that’s 37 weeks.) I just stuffed my face (again) and I’m about to take a nap (again), but before I do I thought I would update the blog since the last entry I made was so down in the dumps.

Out of sheer spite of my boss, I decided to continue working until my last scheduled day in the office, 2 days before my due date. I figured I would take Tylenol as needed and just tough it out (read: cry in the car on the way home from work). But a miracle happened! The baby must have moved off of a nerve or something, and as soon as I made that decision my back pain reduced significantly! I was so relieved…and am now just counting down until our last day (20 days!!) that the office is open. And the depression that I was in lifted as soon as the pain eased up. Funny how those things work. Also, being vindictive and showing my boss that I am in fact a strong woman (and not a delicate flower) gave me a new sense of purpose.

I’m hoping that working will keep me preoccupied, because you can seriously go batty with all of the symptom watching that happens in the third trimester. Especially when you start creeping up on your due date! I am getting tired of everyone asking me how I feel, though. And now people keep saying, “Not too long now!” with a grin. I want to punch them. Yes, people. I’m aware that there will be a human being pushed out of my vagina soon. The date is circled on my calendar. Jesus.

That being said, would I kill to be on maternity leave right now as all I want to do is sleep, eat and slowly clean our little nest? You bet your ass. But such is life.

Anyway, some things to note:

I am far more interested in reading baby prep books than regular novels right now. Damn it.

Some days I am in no hurry for the baby to get here. In fact, if I start to think that if I could buy 2 more months, I’d appreciate it. Post pregnancy sounds awful…and as rough as my pregnancy has been, it’s currently my new normal. I hate change!

My husband (who is a scholar and a saint) has to reassure me constantly. On everything. Far gone is the confident woman who would say ‘Fuck it’, devise a plan and then execute. I second-guess EVERYTHING now. Gas to put in the car. Buying anything above $5. If we will be okay when the baby comes because ALL OF THE BOOKS SAY WE WILL SLIP INTO THE SEVENTH CIRCLE OF HELL AND WILL PROBABLY DIVORCE. You know. Things like that.

I live in my bathtub. I can’t comprehend what I would do without my tub. She understands me. She comforts me. I will sit in the tub almost nightly, soaking up to my belly in warm water with a vanilla scented candle nearby. Ahhhhhhhhh. Matter of fact, I’m in the tub as I write this right now! Because of my back and hip pain, floating allows me to take pressure off my joints. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up in pain and ran a bath or how many times I’ve fallen asleep in the tub (I have Husband on a constant watch lest I drown). I’ve also discovered that my magical tub helps stop cramping and Braxton Hicks contractions. Ah-MAZING.

Thanks to the generosity of our family and friends, we have only spent about $100 (if that) on baby gear. I went from being extremely stressed out about how we were going to afford all of the ‘must have’ baby gear on our own to ‘holy crap, we have too much shit, but thank you!!!”. The people in our life are wonderful…and the generosity came from unexpected places (like the exec from my job who decided he wanted to buy us a pack n play…thus eliminating our need to buy a crib). This baby is SET for at least the first year of her life…I’m so grateful.
My boobs are elephant huge. So big they float in my magical tub. Nuff said.

Somehow, I managed to score an excellent performance review from my boss AND complete my second novel. I’m in awe of myself. How the hell did that happen? I honestly have no idea and that frightens me a little bit. I’ve been so preoccupied with prepping for the baby or worrying about prepping for the baby or worrying about my husband not being employed or dealing with excruciating back pain that I can’t remember doing anything else. Very bizarre. The plus side is that if I am officially losing my grip on reality at least I’m being productive.

I have a love / hate affair with my pets. Love them, hate the fur and germs. It’s every fucking where. I don’t understand. On Monday, I dust and sanitize. By Wednesday, they’ve managed to shed about ten tons of pet hair on every single surface in our house. The dog has managed to pee on the couch or lick the shit out of my clean sheets. Husband is on pet duty until further notice because I have thought about tossing my medium haired fat cat out of the window on more than one occasion and have almost lost my mind when the skinny tortie decided she wanted to climb on the baby clothes (gasp!!).

We still haven’t installed the car seat (or taken it out of the box, actually), washed any baby items (clothes, toys, bottles, whatever), etc. I just think she’s going to be late anyway, so I’m not in a hurry. Dangerous thinking maybe. But I’m sticking to that to keep sane.

So that’s what new with me. Still gestating along, gaining weight (gah!), marveling at my swollen ankles and missing my skinny jeans. I’m off to go eat apple pie for second breakfast now…

Sciatica

Writing is cathartic. That’s why I do it. I’ve kept every single diary I’ve ever had, starting with the one my parents bought me when I was eight years old.

“Property of Alisha Howard, HER EYES ONLY” it read. Sometimes, when I want a good laugh, I will pull out one of the diaries and read them. I was so young! It’s mind boggling.

Writing is a way for me to get things off of my mind. A lot of times, I’ll write out events that are bugging me and as soon as I hit ‘publish’ or ‘save’, a weight is lifted off of my shoulders.

Let me tell you what’s on my mind.

I’m dealing with a bulging disc in the L5, S2 region of my spine. I’m 7 weeks out from my due date, and the pain has gotten consistently worse. It’s called sciatica and it’s when the sciatic nerve is compressed. The nerve starts in your lower back and travels down your legs. Because I’m pregnant, the spine doctor and I decided not to go the ole steroid injection route. I would do physical therapy for six weeks and he kindly informed me that even therapy might not help….it would get a helluva lot worse before it got any better with giving birth.

For those of you who have never experienced sciatica, imagine a searing hot butter knife slicing through your butt muscles every time you aggravate those muscles….and they’re always aggravated. Then imagine that specific pain along with weakness and shooting pain in your leg (that is constantly threatening to go out at any moment, but you better not fall!). Imagine all of THAT pain being coupled with not being able to stand up or sit down if things get really pissed off…once you pick a position, you better love it because you’re not going anywhere for awhile.

And all of that is aggravated by sitting upright in a chair for eight hours a day.

That is what I am currently going through. It is what I went through before I went on bed rest at 17 weeks pregnant, when I was working 12 hour days, 6-7 days a week, operating on little sleep and my one daily allowed small cup of coffee in the name of a project that meant a lot to our department.

It came back with a vengeance at week 29 and it looks like it’s here to stay. Because I’m a “good employee”, always taking on extra tasks, coming to early morning critical meetings just to be there in case my boss needs me, eagerly running errands for the office, etc. I didn’t hesitate to modify my hours. Our office usually starts waking up at 10 a.m. So,  I started coming in at 10:30 a.m. instead of my scheduled 9:30 a.m. and leaving at 6:30 p.m. But that still wasn’t enough. The pain was definitely back. So I would have to call in sick or ask my boss if I could leave at 5:30. He never said anything, but my spider senses told me that he wasn’t thrilled.

Last Friday, after I left work at 6:00 p.m., I was in so much pain that I vomited when I got home. “I can’t do this,” I sobbed to Husband. “I need to figure something out.”

That ‘something’ was asking my boss if I could work a modified schedule of 10-3 p.m. and then work from home for the rest of the day. I figured he wouldn’t mind…we’re out of our busy season, it’s only for 6-7 weeks and I’m always available via cell (even on the weekends). Yesterday, I asked him and he told me no. He said he needed me physically present and he would much prefer me to just start my maternity leave early rather than have me here half days. He said that first it’ll be 10-3, and then he imagined I’d start wanting to leave at 1, then not coming in at all!  And that would be very inconvenient for him.

I smiled, nodded politely and told him I would check with HR to see where they were in the process of finding my mat leave replacement. I would also inquire about medical leave. HR informed me that medical leave would only equal 55% of my pay. I thanked her for the information and told her that I couldn’t afford to only bring in half of my pay as it was currently our only income.

The HR lady is a mother and a friend. She scolded me, saying that I needed to do what was best for my health and everything else would work out. “Have faith!!” she said over and over again.

I nodded and smiled and thanked her for her time. But I know there’s no way we can survive on half of my pay. I told her I would just have to work through the pain until my scheduled leave date, December 19 (2 days before my due date and only because my due date falls on a Sunday). She urged me to contact my benefits department (who still hasn’t contacted me back) and see if they could figure something out.

“Hell, we’ll take up a charity for you if you need it!” she half joked. I swallowed a lump in my throat and chuckled with her.

After I got home, I cried. Hard. It was a rough night for both me and Husband. I couldn’t sleep past 1 a.m. despite taking a sleeping pill AND Tylenol.  He tried to soothe me through glassy, sleep filled eyes, but I wasn’t having it. It was a bad night. Plain and simple.

This morning, I’m pretty numb. I told myself that this was my decision. Having a child was what I wanted and this was the penalty. I would work through the pain, making sure I was back on my regular hours of 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and I would plaster a smile on my face for the next 7 weeks. I would also work really hard to make sure I didn’t fall at work.

I think it’s sufficient to say that I’m officially dealing with Prenatal Depression. Being in this type of pain for this long has worn on me. I’m throwing in the towel to defeat. When I see my doctor in a few weeks, I’ll let her know about it. But, like most writers (and a lot of women) I’ve dealt with depression before…it’s nothing new. Generally, the best thing I can do is go into survival mode until something changes. Keep a list of what I need to do to get through each day. Do it. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Survive.

And fortunately, everyone wants to know how I’m doing. Every day. It’s code for “How’s the baby?”, they don’t really care about you. But it’s good practice for lying. You smile, and say “I’m good!” or “I’m ok, how are you?” and then you fulfill their need to be nosy by regaling them with a story of how hard the baby is kicking or saying yes, you are thrilled for the baby for the millionth time (even if you aren’t anymore) or laughing politely as they make fun of how you now waddle. It’s good for growing thick skin. It’s good for not resenting your male boss who will probably stay true to form and give you grief once the baby comes and he’s inconvenienced by things like you having to take off from work when they’re sick.

So that’s that. That’s my Friday. Oh! And happy Halloween.

On Loving My Husband

I’ve been going through this weird….something for the last few months where I’m back in love with my husband. What an odd sensation.  Don’t get me wrong–I love my husband. LOVE him. Like still get teary eyed and super emotional when I start to think of him getting old and possibly getting sick (as old people tend to do). I don’t want anything to ever happen to him. EVER. Want to see me get super fucking pissed off? Fuck with my husband. Make him feel bad and I will lose my shit. I’m protective of him in ways I never thought I could ever be protective of another human being.

But I haven’t had the school girl crush feeling about him for a long time. We’ve been together for over nine years. That’s almost a decade folks. We’ve grown up together. We’ve weathered hard times together (and still are). We got to a comfortable place where we can fart, shoot soda from our noses and talk about toe jam with one another.  The feelings of OHMYGODISHELOOKINGATME was gradually replaced with “Oh, shit. This dude is my life partner” feelings.

Imagine my surprise when the first set of feelings came back.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned on this blog that he’s been unemployed for four months. He was fired from his job (that was hell on Earth, to be honest) and he’s been looking ever since. Financially, the timing sucked. I was two months pregnant when it happened. Emotionally? Best thing ever.  I don’t think I realized how soul crushing his job was. Despite now being stressed all the time with being unemployed and making ends meet, he laughs more. He hugs me and kisses me more. He doesn’t frown so often.

And on top of all of those fabulous things, when this pregnancy decided it was going to kick my ass, he became my white knight in shining armor again. He’s rubbed my (un)pedicured feet. He’s pressed on my always aching back, helped me use the bathroom when I couldn’t stand or sit, made me countless meals, taken over 100% the bill paying and fort holding, held me when I was crying for no reason whatsoever, hung out by my bedside when I was on mandatory bed rest. Really…the list is endless.  And he did it with NO complaining. None. He would crack a joke to make me laugh when I was feeling like shit about asking him to do something else for the millionth time. He constantly reminds me that I’m pregnant and my body is working hard and it’s his job to take care of me. I didn’t realize that there were husbands that did that.

I’ve always said that my husband is my better half. He is. That’s not a cliché. He’s better than me on levels I didn’t know existed. He’s a better person than me. He’s compassionate and thoughtful and wicked smart. He’s resourceful and frugal and understanding. He’s everything I want to be when I grow up and I’m always looking up to him. I’m all for feminine independence, but it would be a lie to say that I don’t seek his approval on things.  I couldn’t have picked a better partner. He balances me and makes me feel safe when it really matters. Who could want more?

So after nine years, two cats, one dog, four states and now a baby on the way, I am completely, 1000% in love with my husband.

 

And I couldn’t be more grateful.

Holy Shit, I’m in my 3rd Trimester

You know, I’m actually 26 weeks and 4 days along, but the Internet can’t figure out when the third trimester actually starts (some sites say 26 weeks, some say 27 and some say 28 weeks). Either way, I’ll be 27 weeks in a few days and since I’m wading in the third trimester gray area I figured I would do an update post.

It seems crazy that time has flown this quickly…I mean, wasn’t it yesterday that I was just discovering that I was pregnant? And was I really on bed rest over a month ago?? Holy crap balls, Batman!

These past months have been filled with a  rollercoaster of emotions and pain. Oh boy, the pain. Having a herniated disc in your lower back plus being pregnant equals GRUMPY PREGNANT LADY. Monday through Friday, I get home and decide that I hate being pregnant. It’s then the husband’s job to feed me, help me rotate in bed and keep my spirits up.

He’s a saint, that husband of mine.

Saturdays and Sundays are much better. I’m more comfortable, able to clean which always makes me feel better and able to relax…something I’m unable to do during the week.

Thoughts so far:

I hate being pregnant. Yes, I know it’s taboo to say. No, I don’t really mean it. But I can’t help but think it every now and then. I love my daughter who’s growing inside of me. But the toll it’s taking on my body is never-ending. I keep thinking…I have 13 more weeks of this crap left?! Trust me, having excruciating lower back pain (the kind where you can’t sit, stand, or walk for extended periods of time) plus raging hormones plus first time mother jitters is making me crazy.

We’ll never be ready. Of course, this isn’t true. We’ll get a crib, we’ll get a stash of diapers, we’ll get everything that we need before she arrives (unless she ridiculously early…God, I hope not) because we’re not buying much (minimalists, table of two please!).  But because I’m unable to run rampant buying the few things we do need and organizing said things at warped speed like I usually do, I keep worrying that stuff won’t get done. Husband has admitted that he doesn’t know what I want and has asked me to make him a list, but the control freak in me wants to be the one who does it. I hate not being independent!

All of these other pregnant bitches are crazy. Ok, hear me out: I belong to an online pregnancy group and all of us are due in December. Husband and I have decided that either they have too much time on their hands or too much money (possibly both), because they keep posting pictures of baby showers that Martha Stewart would be jealous of, ‘shower hauls’ of endless amounts of crap and one woman posted 40 bins of baby wipes that her mother had brought her. I showed Husband and his response was, “Where the fuck are they going to store all of that crap??”.  Good question, bro.  I get that it’s fun to be pregnant (for some anyway), but I wonder if these will be the women who become completely fixated on their child for years to come. You know, the helicopter parents.  Yes, I want to get ready for the baby, but NaNoWrimo is also coming up, I have a full social calendar and I’m already planning work projects for next year. Do these women have other hobbies? Am I supposed to be tits deep in Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us catalogs until I go into labor? Yikes.

If I could quit my job, I would. Again, do I really mean it? Eh…sometimes. I’m in so much pain that I often fantasize about not having to wake up every morning, only to be late despite trying to move fast and the inevitable guilt that comes with it because I have a ridiculous work ethic, having to deal  with traffic and then sit through an  8 hour day where I feel like I’m in mini labor.  EVERY. DAY.  The people at work are great, but I desperately want to be at home where I hurt significantly less. I almost regret not taking my doctor up on the ‘stay on bed rest until you give birth’ thing. I know mentally I would be miserable because I wouldn’t be as productive, but physically….oh man. Even as I type this, I feel like I should go take a nap. If I had an office with a door, I totally would be passed out right now. As it stands, I might have to resort to taking a nap in my car.

Those pregnancy books are bullshit.Every pregnancy is different,” they coo and then follow that up with “Here’s what you should be feeling right now”. Let me tell you, months 5-7 have been hell, because the baby had a huge growth spurt and aggravated my back even more. So I missed out on a huge chunk of the so called “sweet” period of pregnancy…the blissful second trimester. I hate every book that says I was supposed to feel great. Now I’m entering into the third trimester with my eyes barely open (fatigue is back, folks) and can’t help but feel a bit cheated.

I love my daughter. Even though she’s kicking the crap out of me, I’m grateful for every minute of it. When I forget if I’ve felt her kick during the course of the day and I begin to panic, she inevitably starts kicking. It’s like she senses my neurosis! Last night, Husband had a really good time playing different styles of music for her and seeing if she would react to them. He was a proud papa when she picked classical music (Claude Debussy to be exact) by kicking at the phone that was playing the music. It was fun to see him have his own little bonding session.

I love my husband. He’s such a good man, and he’s going to be an awesome father. When he feels her kick, and he starts to grin…every pain and ache I go through is totally worth it. It makes me want to start planning more kids with him right now!

So there you have it…almost 7 months into this whole pregnancy experience. Only 3 more months to go before we bring home our sweet baby girl (hopefully we have a name for her by then) and have our lives changed forever. Despite all of my complaints, I’m very excited. The countdown is on!

 

On getting this off of my chest…

***Note: This is a rant post. A long and wordy rant post. Please feel free to skip if you’re not interested.  ***

I’m struggling with two women in my life right now, both coworkers who I would deem friends if they weren’t so fucking crazy.

The problem is, they’re both negative people. And they want sympathy from me. Which I usually have in spades, but right now I’m pregnant and slightly emotional and in constant pain and stressed out. To say I don’t give a shit about their problems would be an epic understatement.

 

Let’s tackle coworker A:

She’s got a good heart, but some serious past issues have left her in the present with major anger issues. ANY little thing that happens to her is magnified by 100%, and when she’s angry, she literally quakes. She’s a quaking pile of rage, y’all. I’ve often smiled and said “Good Morning!” and her response would be a tirade about so and so who didn’t do this, and didn’t do that!! She sees nothing wrong with it either! She’s not one to apologize, she’s always right of course.  We had a standoff one time, where she snapped at me for no reason (I think I was once again just saying hello) and I called her out on it. She insisted that she wasn’t snapping at me and if she were snapping I’d know it.

*Chuckles*

For the sake of being professional at work, I simply walked away from her and mentally wrote her off. I’ve never been one to need to make best friends at work, and wasn’t about to lose any sleep on not having to deal with her anymore. She realized her error quick and spent the next week being SUPER nice to me. Like, uncharacteristically nice to me (but never apologized).    I forgave her because it’s easier to deal with a friendly person at work than a non friendly, but I never forgot the situation and keep it surface level with her now.

A few weeks after I hurt my back, she hurt hers. The difference between how each of us handled the situation is astounding. I’m a firm believer at leaving your problems at the door when you come to work, and so I hobbled around with a friendly smile plastered on my face as I worked never mentioning my back (or the hobble), despite wanting to cry in the bathroom at the excruciating pain that was radiating throughout my lower body. Coworker A, on the other hand, would hobble by my desk and openly complain about her back. She knew I was having back trouble too, so maybe that’s why she thought I would understand and give a fuck.

But I didn’t. I’m sorry, but go find a healthy person to complain to please. Not the pregnant lady who’s operating on limited amounts of sleep from working a 60 hour week while in excruciating pain and unable to take anything but extra strength Tylenol.   All of my sympathy chips have been given out, did you miss the memo sweetie?

Her boss sits behind me, so she’s constantly at my desk waiting for him to free up so she can talk to him. Which means I’m often subjected to listening to a rant about whatever it is that’s pissing her off at the moment. Doesn’t matter if I’m having a bad day, or if I’m tired, or depressed, or feeling weepy for no reason. I’m there, she has a rant, therefore I have to listen.

Coworker B is completely different. She’s clingy, a needy person by nature. Her husband (who is unbelievably creepy for too many reasons to list in this post) works in the same department as us. She’s on my left, Mr. Creepster is on my right. Fucking fantastic. Coworker B is another person I would consider a true friend if she wasn’t so warped. She’s almost 40 years old, hates her job and secretly wants kids even though Mr. Creepster has made it perfectly clear that he is happy being child free. FOR-EVAH. So she’s currently unhappy and unable to cope meaning she’s grasping at anyone who will give her attention to lean on.

You would think that since her HUSBAND works with her (like, literally across the aisle) she would lean 1000% on him. But not only is he creepy, he’s a bit selfish and insensitive (yeah, a real winner there).  And in her futile efforts not to look weak to him, she looks outside of her marriage for support.

*Sigh* Look, side note? If you say vows of  ’till death do us part’ to someone, and you can’t be open, raw and vulnerable with them for as long as you need to be….you’re doing marriage wrong. Just sayin. Makes me appreciate my husband that much more.

Anyway, Coworker B and I are vent buddies. When one of our bosses is up our ass, we vent. When something work related goes haywire, we vent. It’s fun, there’s coffee involved, etc. We often vent about home life too, sometimes, because that’s what women do. Men are idiots, tiny penises, you get the drift.

Her problem is that she’s become EVEN more clingy since I’ve started working overtime. That means I’m actually really fucking busy. I’m not at my desk, I’m hobbling around on my good leg trying to impress my boss and my boss’s boss. She walks by wherever I am with puppy dog eyes (seriously). She sends emails to me that she misses me and will be glad when the project is over. Not because she’s worried about my well being. But because when I’m back  she’ll have someone to vent to again. Someone who looks like they give a fuck.

I’d like to say”‘No, Coworker B, I don’t care that you’re tired…by the way….are you fucking kidding me? I’m almost 6 months pregnant, hobbling around on one leg, and working until midnight every night including weekends and you’re tired????. Also,  no I don’t care that you’re having a ‘stressful day’. I don’t care. Find someone else to sympathize with.”

When I told her I was going on bed rest, she actually looked horrified (but tried to cover it up). I knew what she was thinking. First the project, and now this? When will I get my friend back? Never mind the fact that I was GOING ON FUCKING BED REST FOR EXCRUCIATING PAIN THAT MEANT I COULDN’T WALK. You know, details. It irritated me that her first thought was about herself. Selfish people amaze me. Since I’ve been on bed rest, she’s emailed me multiple times, called me, texted me wanting to know if I could chat, etc. So far I’ve dodged most communication with her.

On top of all of that, she’s made it weird since I’ve gotten pregnant. She asks about the pregnancy and  her and her creeper husband comment all the time on my lack of weight gain (and the fact that I’m barely showing). When I first found out I was pregnant she started telling me she was suddenly having nightmares about having children.

I’ll let that soak in.

Nightmares. About having children.

“Gosh! I had another nightmare!” she would chirp as I swayed by the coffee machine clutching the only small cup of coffee I could have that day, trying to keep my breakfast down. She would tell me she dreamed she had a baby and it was too overwhelming for her, horrible for her, stressful for her. Her stories would end with, “Ugh! I don’t think I could ever have kids! Can you imagine?”

Um. Ok. Thanks for sharing?

Recently, she offered to buy me a coffee and I accepted.  As we waited, she gave a dramatic sigh, turned to me and said, “I’m so tired! Ugh! Can you imagine if I was pregnant?” She didn’t follow that up with “I don’t know how you do it.” or “You deserve a cookie.” Nope.  And she was dead serious.

 ************

I’m actually dreading going back to work because of these two. They are emotionally draining…and I’m not good with dealing with emotions. I’m a grin and bear it type of gal. Cry in the shower or in the car on your way home. Keep that shit to yourself, you know? The fact that I can’t get away from them bothers me. It means I have to constantly overcompensate my being positive at work to offset their negativity. And I’m not sure how much more I can take before I stop them mid sentence and say, “You know what? I don’t care. Fuck off.”

Ok, I’m done now.

\endrant

Bed Rest!

God help me.

I’ve disappeared these last few months because I’ve been tits deep in a very important and time consuming project at work. Since it started when I hit my second trimester and my energy was revving up again, I dove head first and began working long hours 6 to 7 days a week. Great for the paycheck and experience points, bad for my lower back apparently. I kept ignoring a nagging shooting pain in my leg, until one morning I woke up and couldn’t lift myself out of bed. Literally. I was flat on my back, and couldn’t move. Panic set in and I had Husband come and pull me out.  It felt like my pelvis wanted to snap in two, but couldn’t. The pain was so bad I called my doctor’s office, and the on call OBGYN gave me permission to take a muscle relaxer. The next day was bad, but not as worse and the day after that I was fine.  When I visited my doctor’s office again, she chalked it up to being very dehydrated and sent me on my way.

But after a few more weeks of lonnnnnng hours at work, the pain started creeping up again. My left leg would threaten to go out as I walked, and some days the pain would be so bad I wouldn’t be able to get out of a chair or roll out of bed.  The other day, at my 21 week appointment, my doctor got to witness first hand my misery as I couldn’t get off of the ultrasound table. :( She immediately prescribed me for two weeks bed rest, physical therapy, and an MRI to figure out what the hell is going on.

Drat.

Fortunately, my work project was almost done. I told my boss (he didn’t look too happy, but whatever, I’ve got HR on my side), finished up my portion of the project (so worked until midnight AGAIN) and then hobbled home and collapsed into bed. I’ve been in bed for the last two days now, only leaving to pee and get something to eat and I feel so much better. I realize that I pushed myself waaaaaay too hard and was paying the price. The pain being gone is great, but the fact that I’ve been able to sleep for two days straight is downright glorious.

So here I am, in bed and about to send Husband off to get me chocolate chip cookies and grapes (weird preggo craving). I keep thinking to myself that this whole bed rest thing is going to get old, but honestly I’ve been going non-stop since March and I’m mentally and physically tired. I suppose my doctor knew what she was doing!

On the baby front, we’re having a girl and she’s doing fabulous in the ole uterus. Having a grand ole time kicking the living shit out of me and flipping about. It was really fun to see her on the last ultrasound, she’s gotten so big! Everyone keeps asking what we’re going to name her, but I’m thinking we’re going to be THOSE parents…you know, the ones that wait until AFTER the baby is born to pick a name. Maybe I’m weird, but I can’t imagine naming someone I’ve never met before. It feels wrong to me. Also, I’m lazy as fuck.

I still really don’t have a bump and I think I look like most women looked when they were 13-16 weeks pregnant, not 21 going on 22. I’ve got that pudge thing going on (even though I haven’t gained too much weight, right on target!).  It just looks like I’ve been drinking beer a lot. I’m actually ok with this, because I’ve been told a big belly gets in the way of doing stuff, and I have (as usual) a laundry list of things to get done before baby girl arrives. As long as she’s growing fine, I’m cool with not ‘showing’ as much. :D

Ok, I’m starving (again) and Husband hasn’t moved to get the cookies so I think some motivation is needed.

Till next time!

Some Randomness For This Friday

One of the execs in my office has decided he needs his own theme song. He’s downloaded an app on his iPhone and every time he enters or exits his office, or picks up his phone, he plays said music. I told him yesterday that I might just kill him. I may or may not have been dead serious.

 

Thoughts on being a indie writer:

I’ve talked about how being an indie author is basically running your own business. Now that I’ve come back to the land of the living (also known as entering the second trimester of pregnancy), I’m trying to get a jump back on writing (5,000 words into book 3, ah-thank-you), recreating my author website, and slowwwwwly easing back into social media (God help me, I hate Twitter). But I also have real life to contend with…you know, the husband, the dog and cats, the friends, and my day job which has me working on another huge and expensive project as project manager (great for the experience, bad for the stress). I constantly find that I’m asking myself what’s the priority before I do something, whereas before it was all high priority and I would feel intense, debilitating guilt if EVERYTHING wasn’t completed within a certain time frame. Which is crazy. And a wee bit neurotic. So this is a great development for me because in six months, when my life changes again and I’ll have a little person to work around, I’ll need to become even more efficient in prioritizing.

I’m also thinking about letting my book blog go defunct. I love to read and it’s great to help out indie authors with reviews, but the truth is my first focus should be writing and reading for research on my own projects, not writing reviews on deadline and adding to my stress. I didn’t want to admit to myself how much work actually goes into book blogging…it’s basically a full time job! I really hate to let a pet project go, but I need to be realistic in how much I’m capable of. Because, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m not superhuman and at some point and time I must sleep.

Thoughts on being pregnant:

For the last few weeks I’ve been discouraged because my OBGYN kind of sucks and the 11 week appointment we had included a very unfriendly tech and a five minute ultrasound, where we had no idea what she was looking for and we didn’t get any pictures at all.  It was becoming hard for me to feel connected to this pregnancy at all and the baby was starting to feel like some type of annoying growth rather than a human being.  Fortunately, we went in for a 13 week checkup and the tech on duty was super nice and spent a lot of time with us waking up the baby, getting tons of pictures and guessing the sex. I left that appointment feeling like a million bucks and more importantly, finally feeling connected to the little being that keeps causing me to pee at four in the morning.

 

All in all, I’m glad that my life is slowly coming back together for the time being. I’m taking it day by day which is a totally new concept for me and am trying to enjoy life right now before the baby gets here.

 

Happy Friday!  

Dealing With Change

So I’ve been waffling for the past six weeks over something that keeps bothering me:

What happens to my career after I give birth? I mean, I’ve published a book, wrote outlines for the next 5 books, created a business plan (that did NOT include having a baby), had a burgeoning book blog and was well on my way to the busiest year writing wise I’ve had in a long time.

Then I became pregnant. And the worrying plus constant nausea and fatigue put me on my ass. I haven’t written a book blog post in two months; my writer’s website’s domain has lapsed, my email has exploded (I think the number was around 800 the last time I dared to peek), and I keep revising my publishing schedule.

Hmmm.

I tend to think long term rather than short term (i.e. How will this benefit me in five years?) so trying to just work until the birth is hard for me to wrap my mind around. And it makes it seem like once the kid is born, bye bye career. I found this article and it made me feel loads better. I think I’m going to look at this as another challenge for writing. Just like when I wrote in college with two jobs and a overloaded class schedule, just like when I wrote post college with a full time job and a part time job (why do I keep such a full schedule??).

This current schedule of mine will change, but I don’t think writing will be going anywhere for me. I just need to roll with the punches from here on out (which seems to be the motto for parenthood, too. :) ) Now! Back to wrangling that email…

The Part Where I Gestate

So….yeah. We’re pregnant. 5 weeks and some change to be exact. Let me tell you, it’s been a whirlwind from the moment we found out!

The whole month of April has brought lots of changes. I got roped in for a major project at work and was recognized by one of the big wigs in front of everyone. That prompted my boss to give me a small (but very nice) bonus. The project took all of my free time and I worked lunches, evenings and weekends. My back was killing me (stupid pinched nerve) and I was very stressed out, so I had been smoking tons of grass to help me a) sleep and b) relax my muscles (it’s legal here).

I was also craving eel sushi (which is my favorite!) so I made the husband eat that for about two days straight. Oh, and coffee and a McD’s breakfast sandwich was my best friend EVERDAY. Needless to say I gained 4 lbs, but I figured I’d just go Paleo again to lose it. No big.

One of these will be popping out of the ole vajay-jay soon.... (source)

One of these will be popping out of the ole vajay-jay soon…. (source)

On the 18th, my period was about 6 days late and I was starting to get depressed. I really thought they were starting to regulate since I was taking the Metformin and had been trying to keep carbs down (despite my three week, stress induced unhealthy lifestyle). What the hell?

That night, I got angry when I spotted one last pregnancy test hiding in my bathroom cabinet.

“Fuck it,” I muttered, tearing open the wrapper, “I’m going to pee on this and then never buy any more again. It’s not like I’m going to get pregnant any time soon.” And so I did (whilst smoking a bowl) and didn’t even bother looking at the results. I washed my hands and went on my merry way.

The next morning, I stumbled into the bathroom and as I brushed my teeth, casually glanced over to the forgotten test. A faint second line was showing. Holy shit, I thought as I ran to tell the Husband. He suggested I take another test and I declined. It was an evaporation line, why spend money on another one? But after I told my friend, she decided that I really should take one and so that night, I peed again and got another positive.

I went to the doctor the next day and they confirmed that I was indeed knocked up. Over the next 7 days, I had two scares: one that landed me in the ER for 7 hours and the other that had my husband so frustrated he went off on my doctor. All in all though, everything turned out fine.

The doctor ended up changing my due date (which was originally supposed to be 12/13, but is now 12/27) which puts me at 5 weeks and 5 days as of writing this.

We’re both really excited, nervous, scared and thrilled all at the same time. I just want the baby to be here so I can keep an eye on it!!

In the meanwhile, my book blog and writing have taken a hit. I haven’t done anything writing wise since March. I’m hoping to get back on track now that we’ve got things sorted out (for now, anyway) so that I can at least get one book written before the baby arrives.

Ok, you guys are now brought up to speed!

On having a side hustle

You know what’s weird? Having a side hustle.

For about two years, I researched having a way to make money by doing what I love–writing.

I created two business plans before I realized I didn’t need another plan, I needed to just fucking do it!

So, I did and published my first novelette on Amazon. I started a book blog and am making friends with other indie authors and publishers. I’m currently learning how to navigate the murky waters of Smashwords. I learned the basics of Facebook ads, Google ad words, and HTML. Wix.com became my friend. This year’s plan is: write, edit, release, market and repeat.

And so on.

Just now, out of sheer habit I typed “being your own boss” into my favorite search engine. As I read the results, I realized that I’m already my own fucking boss! I paused. When did that happen?! At some point, I became responsible for taxes, production schedules, creating spreadsheets to figure out how much income vs spending was happening in a year, understanding the business of self-publishing and marketing.

I have a schedule and if I don’t stick to it, money won’t come in.

I’m responsible for EVERYTHING, from start to finish.

I sat in awe and then another realization crept up on me: I love it.

Everything about it.

The stress, the uncertainty, the endless drive to do better.

It gets me off, man.

And having a full time day job working for someone else helps me be a better boss. I work directly under the head honcho, so I get to see how things are run from a bird’s eye view. I also get to see how he handles things and how NOT to handle things.

I’m extremely grateful for my job.

Having a full time writing job while continuing to build a writing career from the ground up means I can learn during the day, write during my spare time and continue to live in an expensive but totally awesome city and drive a nice car. It means I can take my time and learn what to do and what not to do.

So I get to be the boss without the epic stress of keeping my lights on.

Sounds like a win win to me!

One of these days I’m going to write a post (or start a sister blog) to help other inspiring authors out there understand that their writing as a side hustle doesn’t happen over night. It takes time (I’ve been at it since 2011) and if you’re anything like me, it’ll just creep up on you before you realize what it really is–a business!

Do you have a hustle?