Happy Preg-o-ween! (18w)

This week was so.f’ing.long.

Thanks to the ongoing work drama + regularly scheduled projects and meetings, I spent almost all day M-W in back to back to back meetings, with hardly a moment to sit down and read my e-mail or think about anything else. I’m also an introvert, so spending all day talking was a challenge. I also had evening activities/meetings M-W, which meant that by the time I got home, I was emotionally, physically and socially wiped the fuck out. Add to this that two of my good friends are going through kind of rough break ups and La and I have become the home for lovelorn and abandoned queers, and I was about ready to explode yesterday.

Thank the lord in heaven that I was able to do nothing but sit at my desk and work on non-human-interaction related projects. Hallelujah!

In other news . . . .

1) I got my breastpump! This is a little reminder to all y’all who are currently gestating babies: Obamacare ensures you have access to a breastpump FOR FREEZIES! So don’t buy one, ok? There are some companies out there that will also handle getting the “script” from your provider and determining your benefit so you can get a breastpump. I ordered the med.ela pump in style advanced:

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The “insurance special” doesn’t include the bag (like the retail version) but it was free  so I’m not complaining. Instead, I’m registering for the bag and accessories. That said, this has everything you (technically) need to milk your own teats at work or home. Hooray!

2) I’m feeling seafoam pretty consistently, albeit very lightly and still not “regularly.” But, I’ve felt him now multiple times, usually around once or twice a day. This makes sense, as he is now the approximate size of a sweet potato, and that is kind of a starting-to-get-big vegetable.

3) Also, 18 week fat girl baby bump:

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I’m going to post all of the selfies so far so I (and you, if you want!) can see the progression. Mostly, it doesn’t seem to be so much getting “bigger” as it is getting “rounder” and higher. I did the “hand on the belly pregnancy pose” too . . .is there a reason for that? I just thought I’d give it a shot for once.

4) I am REALLY excited about my halloween costume and I want so badly to spill the beans here, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so you’ll have to wait until I get home, change and take a picture!

5) I called to schedule our anatomy scan on Monday afternoon (as I was instructed to do) and was told the order hadn’t been put it. Argh. Called and reminded them, and they put it in Tuesday morning, which means I couldn’t call until Wednesday (it has to get approved by the hospital) and when I did finally get through, the only appointment they had was for November 25th! I realize that, in the grand scheme of things, this is not SO far away. But, I was really gunning for our U/S to be on 11/14, which is 20 weeks on the nose and La’s b-day. No dice. We’ll be 21+4, instead. Ah well. That’s the breaks.

6) The PND and cough are better, but not gone. If I don’t do my humidifier-muc.inex-netipot-breathe right strip regime, I’m a mess in the morning. But if I keep up with it, I’m good. Last night I had a crazy headache that tylen.ol would not touch and that + waiting to eat = huge vomit after I DID finally eat. I kind of resent being punished by my body for doing what it asked for, albeit a little late.

That’s all from 18 week world . . .Love to the TTC, the waiting, the gestating and the parenting! ❤

“It’s not gas.” (17 weeks)

First, a couple of follow ups:

1) THANKS to all of you who weighed in on the work issue. I appreciated the affirming, the snarky, the critical and the resourceful feedback I got. The saga continues to unfold and, in fact, I got some downright concerning info from one of the youth she works with (not of the illegal/abusive variety, so don’t worry) and that may end up being a game changer. In any case, all of it is helpful for me to become a better manager. I especially appreciate those of you with expertise in the non profit world, and those coming from other industries – it’s SO easy to get locked in our own worldview.

2) RE: my 16w picture (aside: I’m gonna do a selfie at home for today’s 17 weeks since La is just too busy – I’ll post it later) and my comments about my “fat girl baby bump” – Y’all, I’m fat. No no, don’t say I’m not. Why? well, #1- I AM and #2- Fat is NOT A BAD WORD, or at least, I am trying with all my body and soul to make it not be a bad word. Fat is a descriptor, in the same way “tall” or “brunette” are. We live in a culture that actively hates fat people and makes our lives harder, but that’s not the adipose tissue’s fault – it’s our culture’s! Fat does NOT equal lazy, stupid, ignorant, ill health, or anything else. It just means I have more adipose tissue on me than others do. So while I know that your comments came from big, open, beautiful hearts – I want to correct you. I AM fat. I am ALSO pregnant. That’s a complicated thing in our culture, but I’m doing my best to be both and be happy and healthy and awesome, too! That doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with what it means to be fat in our fat hating world, but that I do my damndest to consciously change some of the stories about fatness – for myself and others. ❤

And now, onward!

I am still having awful post nasal drip which results in awful coughing/hacking in the morning and a hoarse voice all day. (This sucks most especially because I am a singer and would like to be able to sing at my rehearsals!) Goofy the Midwife told me to try muci.nex and robitu.ssin, so that is what I will try. I was sort of hoping for a somewhat more confident answer but . . .alas.

I have gained a mere pound in the last 5 weeks (from 12w to 17w) bringing the total to 4lbs for pregnancy. I’m happy with this because I have not limited or monitored myself at all – I’ve just eaten intuitively and healthfully (mostly) and given into what I’m lucky are fairly healthy cravings (I seriously cannot eat enough soup and salad bars!) It’s weird, though, to be eating more than usual + feel bigger/not fit into your clothes and still have only gained a single pound. That’s a definite mind fuck!

Seafoam was easy to find, hanging out right on my left side, and his heart was happily pumping away at 141bpm. It was so much louder than last time! My uterus is just shy of my belly button, which is also somehow a weird thing for me to consider.

Our anatomy scan is coming up – she put in the orders for it today and we will schedule on Monday. I’m excited to see the dude since we haven’t had a glimpse since about 8 weeks. I understand he will look much more human (and less gummy bear) like!

I have also gotten a bit more tipped forward and can feel a bit of a waddle beginning. Also weird.

Finally in exciting fetus updates: I am 99% sure I’ve felt the dude a few times. I felt something I’d describe as a “tickle scratch” last Friday at an early morning work meeting. I thought it might be him, but wrote it off. A few times since, I’ve felt what I’d describe as a butterfly-in-the-belly feeling, but more solid. When I told Goofy this, she assured me it was Seafoam. “It’s not gas, my friend. That is not indigestion.” I’m, of course, looking forward to his movements being a little more intentional, but I’ll take the tiny nudges in the meantime!

Halfway, HO! 20 weeks is in sight!

Perspective

Y’all . . .I need some advice and thoughts on a 100% non-pregnancy/baby related matter. Normally, I’d vent/talk to La, but she’s away supporting her dear friend and aside from physically not being here, she also has enough on her plate and this seems, in comparison, rather trite. So, I’m asking for your thoughts.

I believe I have mentioned that I recently started supervising a new employee where I work. I also want to clarify a few additional details:

1) I didn’t supervise this position prior to the new person coming on. I was promoted while the position was vacant and it was determined that one of my new responsibilities was oversight of this position

2) We are a very small organization – just 5 people full time, another half time, and one “consultant” who is here about 8 hours/week. Of this group of 7, I have worked with four for the three years I’ve been employed here.

3) We have a super relaxed and awesome work culture (ie: flexible hours, option to work from home when necessary/able, casual clothes, we can bring our dogs when necessary*, we’re all a LOT of fun, obvs.) AND we get a LOT of shit done for a teeny tiny staff, and we are (if I do say so myself) a group of f’ing brilliant folks.

So, new person, who I’ll call Babs, started in July. She has a big personality (kinda loud, kinda brash) but that was a good thing, as we are majority introverts and the job called for someone who, well, wasn’t. She oversees the youth program, so this kind of personality is an asset there as well, and the young people seemed to like her. Initially, I had a few struggles with her because she wasn’t super respectful of my boundaries (ie: would barge into my office to ask a pretty low-importance question, sent me tons of e-mails the day before a scheduled check in, etc) but I was able to guide her pretty well and that’s taken care of. But there have been a few things lately that have been bugging me, and I can’t tell if 1) she’s just generally on my nerves now so everything she does I see through a filter of annoyance or 2) she’s legit kind of out of line.

Here are the ‘infractions’:

1) I blogged about this, but: she took on writing a small grant for her program, then wasn’t able to finish it so she decided to just not write it, with 0 notice to me or the executive director. When I asked her about it and requested her to send whatever she’d worked on, she said she didn’t have it (she was offsite and it was saved to a place I couldn’t access it and she didn’t have handy) and when I, effectively, said “well get it” she sent it with some sassy business about how it “really impacted the meeting she was at.” I let it slide and wrote the whole grant in about 3 hours.

2) Due to some changes in staff structure and funding, and in part because she had been talking about how she needed a second job because she wasn’t making enough money, we decided to offer her a shift in her current job (more responsibility) to better fit with organizational goals, and a pay raise. (of note, she got an initial probationary increase of 2K recently) the raise wasn’t huge, but it was an additional 2K (which means she’s gone up 4K since July, kind of unheard of in the non profit world.) When we offered her this, her immediate response was to say “I’ll think about it” and ask if it “really fit with the strategic goals” (never mind that my boss and I, you know, WROTE the strategic plan.) Two days later she finally thanked us for the offer.

3) We met again about the offer and she asked for an additional 2K. She’s been here 3 months. She has done her job ok, but she hasn’t like, blown us out of the water or anything.

4) She works unusual hours sometimes (part of working with youth) and complains about it ALL THE TIME (she knew this was part of the deal when she took the job.) She also can take time in exchange. She does. A LOT. She wasn’t logging this time or even putting her time out of the office in her calendar.

5) We reimburse for mileage to required meetings over 10 miles. She submitted a reimbursement for every trip, even those that were just 1-5 miles. She was pissed when I told her we couldn’t pay her for those trips.

4) She bought a dog while me and our ED (who is my boss, I’m #2 in the org) were out of town at a meeting. When we returned, it became clear she was bringing the dog to the office everyday. (See above – not unheard of, but none of us ever brought our dogs daily, and we generally let other staff know ahead of time if we were bringing them.) When our ED brought up making a formal “dogs in the office” policy, Babs told us “I only bought the dog because I thought I could bring the dog with me.” and “The youth told me M (former person in her position) brought her dog everyday, so I assumed it was ok.” She never asked, or even told us, she was getting a dog. She was visibly upset when we told her she would need to find alternative options for the dog for at least a few days a week, and said something like, “well, what am I supposed to DO?”

5) When I checked in with her about the dog incident, she said she’d felt “attacked” and when i clarified that maybe some additional communication prior to getting the dog (like, I dunno, asking your BOSS or the executive director) she basically shrugged it off. She kind of framed having the dog like being a single parent.

Ok, so . . .am I just seeing all of these tiny things and being bitchy, or is this some seriously entitled bullshit?

I’m writing her deliverable tasks/workplan for the next 6 months, and my plan is to evaluate her ability to do the tasks we give her for those 6 months and then decide if we keep her. But the problem is, she isn’t BAD – she does her job sufficiently, she’s just not humble or thankful or grateful. And those things get under my skin.

Ideas about how to supervise someone like this? I’ve LOVED all the other folks I’ve supervised in every other job and have lasting relationships with all of them. This one is HARD.

So, what ya got for me?

The Mondays (16w3d)

I’m lucky to like my job – a lot, actually. So I rarely have the experience of dreading Mondays or feeling sluggish and down and out when the day arrives. But today it is a bit rougher to be Andie.

There are a few good reasons that I’m not quite feelin’ it today.

1) La left for Portland, OR yesterday to attend her good friend’s father’s funeral. I decided to spend my day solo cleaning the house and, because I had no one to distract me or help me or talk me out of it, I also decided to rearrange the kitchen (ie: move every piece of kitchenware we own from one cabinet to another while cleaning every surface in the room) and do some reorganization and culling of our other items (books and bathroom items, mostly.) This meant a lot more lifting and reaching and bending than I usually do and left me with an achy back and some pulled muscle feelings in my abdomen, which now seems to get a pulled muscle from doing damned near anything. So, I feel kinda wiped out in general.

2) The cold I thought I was getting last week has persisted at a consistent low level and that, coupled with all of the pregnancy resources I have telling me about increased nasal stuffiness, has led me to believe I am not the victim of a virus, but of the stowaway and his hormonal friends.  So, I’ve been sleeping pretty poorly for the last week or so. I pulled out the breathe right strips last night and that helped me breathe better (and not through my mouth) but I woke up with a very sore throat and the worst post nasal drip experience of my life. I spent the first 15 minutes after sitting up coughing and spitting and choking on phlegm (sorry y’all. It was way worse to experience.) I’ve been hoarse and coughy all day. I’ve got some ideas for things to help, and I’ll ask Goofy on Friday when I see her, but the idea of this maybe not ending for . . .months makes me feel panicky and anxious.(seriously just got teary writing that because I’m so scared of feeling semi-shitty for so long)

3) La was gone Friday to Saturday to do a theater response (something she does at various schools regionally) and then left Sunday again and even though I am totally an introvert and don’t always want to talk to people, I really like having my boo around while I live my life.

4) I have an after-work meeting that I don’t want to go to, and maybe have committments every other night this week for work or my board of directors service and the idea of not having time to myself also feels scary. In addition, without La around, it means running around to let the pups out and make sure they get walks and love in between work and other stuff.

BUT! It’s not all bad! There is always some wonder to find, right?

1) 2014-10-20 09.17.09 This morning when I walked outside to let the chickens out of their coop, I found one of the four hanging out in the yard. Given that I locked this chicken (Sophia) in her coop, that is also inside a fully enclosed run, last night at 8pm, and the other three chickens were still in said coop, I have NO IDEA how she managed to escape! The good news is our spaniel, Eliot, who I always figured would waste no time making lunch (or breakfast) of a chicken outside the run, basically just sniffed her and whined – no eating or even rough housing! The bad news: since I have no idea how she got out, I have no confidence that this won’t happen again.

2) SLEATER-KINNEY IS MAKING A NEW ALBUM! AND THEY ARE TOURING IN FEBRUARY!

http://pitchfork.com/news/57108-sleater-kinney-return-new-album-no-cities-to-love-2015-tour-bury-our-friends-lyric-video/

I dunno if you all are the kind of used-to-be-riot-grrl-dykes that feel as incapacitatingly excited about this news as me, but OMFuckingG, y’all – this is incredible news. Carrie Brownstein was like my #1 crush from age 19-25. I am for sure going to the show, even though I will be like 8 and a half months pregnant. OMGOMGOMG.

And Monday will be over kind of soon, and I generally do believe that things are better the next day. And fuckit, my life is pretty awesome even when the Mondays come along and make things a little hard.

As promised

Well I didn’t get La to take a picture so you get another selfie. .  .

As I said on Facebook: today I am 33 years old and 16 weeks pregnant and in honor of love your body day on Oct 15th, I’m posting a picture of my fat girl baby bump.  Nothing like growing a human being too make you really appreciate your body. 

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Hiatus! (15w3d)

Apologies to anyone out there who waits with baited breath for my semi-weekly updates. Girl was busy.

Last Monday I left for Atlanta, GA for a three day work meeting. On Wednesday, La flew out and met me at the fancy work hotel. On Thursday, we met up with a couple of our besties and our goddaughters, who moved to North Carolina a year ago, and who we haven’t seen since.

So, I didn’t really have time for blogging, ya know? (Although I always have time to read everyone else’s blogs, and am super stoked about the Librarian’s BFP and PepiBebe’s BFP!! Yippee!)

What do I want to tell you about the last week? Hmmm . . .

  • I continue to be grateful to work with people who I find smart, engaging, critical thinkers. And I’m so glad to do work I love and value. I get super excited about what I do every year at this meeting, but after a year that felt so very long with fertility treatments (and therefore really sucked a lot of my identity away), I am even more excited and grateful. I am also now harboring a fair amount of fear about how, exactly, I will be able to leave my job for a few months to take care of baby seafoam – something that, until now, really felt far away and unimaginable.
  • If you haven’t already, ALL of you (because I assume that if you read my blog you are either queer and trying to get knocked up or infertile and trying to get knocked up or both) need to go out and purchase What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg.  WHY? Because it is, 100% hands down, the BEST book for answering that very question, especially if your family’s story isn’t reflected by the vast majority of media.

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I had a really beautiful moment with this book during my trip. Our goddaughter’s were conceived via IVF, and their heterosexual parents needed some help in the way of a sperm donor as well. Thus, this book has been super helpful for them in beginning the conversation (yes, with their not-yet-3-year-olds) about how they came about. But my moment was different. When I got to the page of the book about babies being born (I looked for an image but couldn’t find one) either vaginally or via c-section, the Bug pointed to the picture and asked “what’s that?” regarding the vaginal delivery. I told her, “Sometimes babies are born by coming through the vagina, in between the legs.” “Through the vulva?” she asked. “Yes, bug, through the vulva.” More proof that yes, it works to teach your kids the correct language for their bodies! It made me feel all kinds of fuzzy to be having a good, age appropriate sex talk with a three year old! We also talked about the baby in my uterus (not my tummy. the baby is not in my tummy.) and when she would get to meet it. It was so lovely!

  • I’m really glad we are only having one baby right now. I hella respect all y’all who are carrying or have twins, and I adore my goddaughters and I know that I went from 0 (no children) to 1,000 (two three year olds) in seconds, but holyshit . . . Since we got back home, I have been in love with the silence of my life. I will enjoy it while it lasts, and know that even one baby will be mighty loud. mental parenting note: no recorders/wind instruments for toddlers.
  • I’m excited that there may be an end in sight to the same-sex marriage shenanigans in this country, mostly so we can sink resources into other things (like safety and health and housing for LGBTQ folks.) And, I’m excited that after ONE MORE TRIP (our marriage license from June is invalid due to the circumstances, but we can get a legit one any ol’ day we please!) La and I will be 100%, fully recognized as married. And we finally get the shot gun lesbian wedding we always dreamed about.
  • I got a nomination for the “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award” and I sure am grateful, and I probably won’t be playing along because the survey things kind of exhaust me. But, I really enjoy being able to check out new blogs, so I’m going to recommend 10 of my faves:
  • I did some serious maternity clothes shopping with my mom, and am excited to be mostly full time in them these days. I am maintaining my skinny jeans with the belly band (didn’t find any skinny style maternity jeans that I liked) and can do regular shirts as long as they are on the longer side. I also caught some folks giving my belly the once over at the airport yesterday, which makes me think I might becoming more obvious. I’ll get La to take a good picture and show you all.
  • I turn 33 on Friday! (Seafoam will be 16 weeks!) A year ago when I blew out my candles, I wished to be pregnant this year on my birthday. I’m really excited to report this might be the first time I’ve ever had a birthday wish come true!
  • Last weekend, the best mother-in-law ever had an overnight in Denver (she’s a flight attendant) and spent her less-than-12-hours helping us (and when I say “us” I mean “La”) install a new kitchen sink. 6712_10152758891324419_996009956129799100_n 1794534_10152758267659419_3632015748931540653_n

Like usual when it comes to house projects, it was a little more difficult than anticipated, and included sawing down the counters to make room. But I’m so glad! Our old sink was gross white plastic and it got stained like crazy. Plus, it had two sections which is bad when you don’t have a bathtub in your house and you’re going to need a place to wash a baby soon! It took them all night, so I was happy to do my part by shop vac-ing the sawdust off of everything the next morning.

Despite bullet points, this is much longer than I anticipated! I hope you feel adequately caught up on the events of the last week or so. The final news? Apparently I can’t go an hour without either eating or feeling like the hungriest ever. I guess this is better than nausea, but it does mean careful lunch bag packing lest I fall pray to the candy-donut-carb fest that is the break room kitchen.

The big show (13w6d)

Yesterday I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought, “weird. I kind of look pregnant.” But I didn’t think much of it. I mean, I’ve been feeling different for a few weeks, and looking noticeably . . .heftier, for the last week. But usually I can’t pull off anything that could even approximate pregnant unless I have a belly band on, and yesterday I was sans belly band. The round thing? All me.

I also FELT pregnant yesterday. When I leaned over to file some papers in my desk, I felt like I was playing some weird camp game where I had to hold a softball in my belly area so I couldn’t quite lean all the way over. My uterus was actually in my way. They can shove a dildocam up your vagina and show you a picture of a little fetus, but you won’t really believe it until you feel like you swallowed a coconut.

Then, last night as I stood up to go to bed, La said, “OMG you really look pregnant! I think you’re showing. Turn to the side!” So I did, and I felt really awkward about it. “You’re showing! You’re totally showing!” And then she went and put the “first maternity clothes” sticker on the free pre-natal calendar the midwife gave us.

I thought maybe it was a fluke of bloating (which, BTW, has eased significantly with my recent gas-x purchase) but I don’t think it was. Because again, today, I see it. I think maybe La was right.

On Friday at a work event, a colleague from another organization and I were talking, and she asked me if I was pregnant (because I’d been talking about it earlier, I assume) and I told her yes. I was hoping she’d reveal what I had suspected earlier, while watching her in the meeting – that she was pregnant also. And, she did. She is, in fact, just a few days ahead of me. And then my office mate asked if this colleague was pregnant, because she’d also suspected it. And I felt a little bummed that probably no one suspects I’m pregnant because of what I look like. (what a stupid ass thing to feel bummed about, amiright?)

Probably, that’s still true. Probably, you’d have to know me fairly well to see what La and I are seeing. The world at large probably still just sees a fat girl. But, I’m starting to feel a little more ok with this idea that my visibility will be different than other people’s. “Looking pregnant” just might be something other than I imagined. Ay least for now.

I took these pictures in the office bathroom, so they aren’t the best, and most of y’all don’t know me so you might not notice either. But it feels like a big deal to document this and to feel comfortable putting pictures into the world. These aren’t the “official” pictures we have (sometimes) been taking but those are on L’s fancy camera, so those will have to wait.

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