Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oh nerves

So assuming things go/are going well, we are having a baby.  In mid-February to mid-March.

We decided because we're private people to wait the 12 weeks to tell anybody (ahem except the whole world here on this blog...), and today starts week 13.

I'm still nervous about sharing the happy news.  Maybe I shouldn't be, but maybe it doesn't matter anymore what "should be."  It's scary after loss to be happy about this.  I kind of guard my feelings and try not to be too invested, just in case, so I don't get hurt too much.

I am really excited that most of the early whacked out pregnancy sickness seems to be better or gone.  Less all day "morning" sickness, less vertigo trending to very little, and a better behaved blood pressure.  It's also scary though, to not have my body hinting every minute that I'm still successfully pregnant.

This weekend is a family shindig all weekend long, so it would be a good idea to tell people what's up.  It's convenient.  I'm not convinced I'm ready though.  Oh life is so complex and I am so indecisive. Arg.

At the moment, I am terribly interested in choosing the perfect stroller.  It's a funny thing, really, my interest in a stroller.  Yeah, we live in town and almost close enough to walk to the store, but it's more complex than that because I'm not persuaded that we need "the perfect stroller."  We've got a double bike trailer and an umbrella stroller already, so really.  It's a cute way to manage nesting without leaving my computer... so suggestions welcome.  I imagine I'll be obsessed for months or until I've actually test driven some and chosen a car seat, so that might be until mid-March...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On adoption

So I should say that, aside from this shocking pregnancy, I had moved on from hoping for our own biological kid #2 to adopting another kid or two.  We as a pair figured that we would rather spend money adopting than hoping IUI or IVF would work.  That was a terribly painful decision (notably as the kid looks nothing like me aside from making faces like me, cuz come on... mini me!) and long considered, and I'm ok with having made the choice.

So some months ago I shifted to reading blogs by parents who adopted, because hey. That's where we were going.  I have kept up with the infertility bloggers I adore, and that's fun and cathartic.

Anyway, there was this part of a lot of books for kids about being adopted that made me really uneasy.  I could never put my finger on it as such, until today! Today I read this lovely article that explained it by the author of Finding Magnolia!

The idea that was bugging me was the idea that a child is destined for their adoptive family.  That makes for a sour piece of destiny if you think about it.  We'd thought about domestic adoption and possibly an older child, and no child ends up in a spot to be adopted domestically because nice things happened.

I'm a person of faith (and which faith is my business thank you very much).  I do believe to some degree that our lives have a plan, but I think it's a plan for the nice stuff.  A few years before the spouse and I met, there was a chance we could have met at a conference, and before that for weeks I dreamed of meeting that person I'd spend the rest of my life with.  It was really weird and, although I didn't trust it at the time, totally accurate.  So I see that as evidence of the plan for my life that included the spouse.

I don't think a child is ever destined for adoption in the same way the spouse and I were destined to bump into each other and fall in love.  I can't believe in a merciful and loving Higher Power who would create havoc in the life of a child so they could end up in an adoptive family.  I can believe, however, that after a bad thing happens in a child's life, a great adoptive family arrives and the child joins up.

So I guess I'd say the following: Consider the G-d you invoke when you say something was "meant to be" or "it was fate that..."  Do you mean that your faith teaches you about a vindictive and cruel higher power?  Because that's what you are saying when some nasty thing "was meant to be."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who are women to know things, anyway?

Being in school is a great way to make yourself feel profoundly stupid and that you know nothing at all.  I think at least graduate/professional programs are designed that way on purpose to remind you not to be a know-it-all and to look things up.

I was just reading this lovely article on the Mother Jones website (in case you didn't know, Mother Jones was a big deal lady in the union movement of the early 20th century and now has a journal on labor/work/equality issues named after her) about men explaining everything.  So it's bigger than me being made to feel I know nothing because I'm a student!  Some of it is that men like to explain things as if I know nothing on the subject and often they refuse to be corrected.  I will say that I don't experience this as often with men 30 and under, but for sure men love to explain things and correct me all the time.  It seems to be some kind of technique to either convince themselves that they are the greatest, or that I'm not as smart as them.  I don't think it's a conscious thing either, just one of those things that happens.

It makes me wonder why on earth it's still a thing.  What's so bad about having an intelligent woman around? Huh?  Is it all bad to admit you don't know everything?

It irritates me that the polite thing to do is to shut up and listen to the wrong explanation of something, and that generally it's rude to correct the guy, but even more irritating is that it doesn't matter if he's wrong.  Men just get away with stuff like that.

So how do we navigate a world where smart women get corrected (wrongly) and have a thing explained to them by men, not just sometimes but very often?

I suppose we keep up the work of arguing even though it's rude and even though it's annoying to have to do all the time.  We fight the urge to stay silent when a man is making a mistake because calling him out would embarrass him.  We stand up for each other, ladies, and we back each other up when we get the chance.

Back in my art school days, I heard this phenomenal poem by a gal titled, "I have not raised my hand in years" about the stigma that goes with being smart and how the pressure is to put your hand down and shut up and quit "showing off."  I should hunt her up and see if she's got a copy of it somewhere.  Because if a high school senior hasn't raised her hand in years to answer a question, that pressure to be smart but silent in front of men starts pretty early.  It was a weird thing to be in class with only women in college, and then to have a class with a single man and to see how much everyone deferred to him and his wisdom.  I would never have believed we'd do it until I saw it several times, men who were young and handsome, men who were old, men who were enrolled in the class and men who just visited, the women deferred to him every time.

I don't know how we fix it, but we need to keep working on that dynamic.  We all lose out when half the world is told to shut up and quit showing off just for acting like a normal person.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What have I been up to?

1. School-ish things
2. Research
3. Eating hummus. nom nom nom.
4. Wrestling with my blood pressure. It's been hanging out at a concerning but not yet to be treated level for the last few weeks.  Upside: less going up and down the stairs! Downside: vertigo!
5. Laying around waiting for the world to stop spinning.  It's been better this week but sheesh.  So much vertigo.  Next week if this isn't a lot better I'm totally getting some drugs to see if it helps.  My concern is that the drugs that work on vertigo are very likely to make me sleepy, and I'm already overly sleep, so that's no good.
6. Watching the kid ride around the block on her bike. Sometimes walking after her, but often just hanging out on the front porch relaxing.
7. Wondering why we have so much stuff. We took a field trip to IKEA last week to acquire new storage solutions for our various things, and most of the time, I just wanted to go home and toss boxes in the trash unopened.
8. Looking knocked up.  Bwah this is weird!  I hadn't really thought about looking different as one of the things to be expecting, which was silly.
9. New doctor hunting. Arg.  I liked my old doctor... *whine* moving is awful!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mothering as slavery to kids?

PAIL book club! I only read the first chunk of The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women, so sorry gang.  Someday I'll get there.  In the meantime, what I think on the subject.

And I'd like to say that as the product of an in-name-mostly feminist household, as someone who went to a variety of feminist camps and workshops and even women's college, feminism is a word I claim as mine.  I'd say my view is very largely shaped by a book on a similar topic called The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much? that I read at the same time as the La Leche League book before the kid was born.  The latter made me feel lousy for opting not to stay home because in our relationship, I am not the lovey-dovey nurturing person while the former really pointed out the lie we're sold about how awful "having to work" really is.  It isn't all awful but if you have a job that doesn't pay much and is awful, you'd rather be at home (duh. Having worked awful jobs, I'd have preferred to be anywhere else and doing anything else).

This is an interesting series of articles/blog posts/whatever about a book I'll probably get to reading in its entirety eventually.  I've read some of Elisabeth Badinter's stuff (as I recall, that was some time ago) but not this book.  The short version of what the book is about is how feminism got derailed by a move to "ecological parenting" where mothers are expected and shamed into breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and attachment parenting babies OR ELSE.

My take: yep, demanding that women do the perfect parent thing no matter what else is happening in their lives or what else they might want to do with their lives undermines feminism.  However, it's bigger than simply demanding perfect parenting from moms.  It cuts the other parent out of parenting to expect that mom is the baby's sole provider of perfect parenting.  There's also the issue of helicopter parenting, which I actually think is the pressure undermining feminism and not the pressure to eco-parent or whatever nonsense we're calling it (because that pressure only exists for a slim margin of women with enough money/status to get that set of choices).

In my book, the biggest and most feminist thing anyone can do is to co-parent equally.  Why? Well, it values things that are traditionally women's work even if a man does them.  It demonstrates that raising children is important to everyone, not just moms.  I think it's bad of feminism to say that to be equal, women must be able to do all the things men can do and stop there.  I think we need to go as far as to say that men must be able to do all the (non-biologically based) things women can do, because that's when we're really equal.

On the helicopter parenting front, I think what's happened is that with women being allowed to do what men did traditionally (have a job outside the home, even a career, an education), women who weren't interested in doing those things needed a new way to prove they were "more" than "just" moms, so they'd do a really great job being moms!  Extra developmental activities!  Structured learning at ever-younger ages!  Toilet trained by 18 months or younger!  My kid never had a skinned knee!  This pressure is bigger than just attachment parenting and getting up 14 times a night with your baby until he starts kindergarten.

The extent to which moms have decided to be solely moms and nothing else is unhealthy I think.  Yes, be mom if you choose to be a parent.  But you also need to be a friend and a partner and an adult with interests beyond having the perfect child(ren).

So I guess overall I'd say I'm frustrated that feminism is (still) obsessing about women and parenting and ignoring men in the family equation.  At least in my family, the pressure to do any "eco parenting" came from me and the spouse ourselves because we considered our options, picked cheap ones that suited us and gave us the most sleep, and ran with it.  But we didn't read parenting books because I felt very elbowed to be the perfect kid by parents who worshiped parenting books and fretted about milestones and paid no attention to who I was or wanted to be.  I vetoed the spouse reading any parenting books and being a softie, the spouse went with it.

I think that women don't need to be told how to be good parents, or that being a good parent requires any set of things beyond "don't neglect your kid, feed them well, take care of yourself and trust your instincts on the kid's needs" with the definition of neglect being something like the legal one rather than the "how dare you leave a kid alone for a second?" school of thought.

I also think that generally as a culture we do spend too much time fussing about the needs of kids and not enough considering the needs of parents.  It kind of extends from the "children aren't small adults" movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries (yes, that was good).  Again I think we went too far and ignored that adults remain people once they become parents.  So yeah, I suppose I side with Badinter.  And for further support of the extreme pressure we put on women (well, some women) to breastfeed, check out this lovely blog post and the comments over at Rage Against The Minivan.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back to school!

Soon school starts. Arg.  Exciting! Muddle of arg and exciting!

Because of the vacancy in my schedule, I get to take a few bonus electives this semester, so that's exciting.  I'm taking Spanish, a class on addiction with some long fancy title, and a class on how to study better (that's part of my rehabilitating myself after failing the class in the spring).

My major projects before school starts are:
1. Excavating my desk from the general moving debris. Although in 2 years of pharmacy school I've yet to really study more than a few hours here, I will at least have it accessible and useable for studying this time.  Really. I mean it.
2. Research article draft writing (oh my, so much writing).  This is big and going slowly because I'm not spending all that much time home or upright of late.  This will change and quickly.
3. Mowing the lawn with the fancy reel lawn mower (that means it doesn't have an engine).  Since the lawn is dinky, this should be no trouble.
4. Watch and consider chasing the kid while she rides her bike.  It has training wheels and apparently has been a favorite in my absence.  Perhaps I can start taking her out on the bike while I walk, maybe even with the spouse.
5. Go to the gym where we just bought a membership and spend some time exercising or attending a class.  Possibilities include yoga or loafing in the pool (if my suit fits since I refuse to buy a maternity swimsuit since it will be winter in about 5 minutes).

Pool aside: I was wandering around the internet and saw someone's discussion of how "drowning doesn't look like drowning" and it's totally true.  In movies, you see the drowning person making lots of noise or flailing a bunch, but in real life when you are about to drown, you suddenly get quiet because you can't do anything but try really hard not to drown by whatever means possible (speaking as someone who nearly drowned in water only a few inches deeper than I was tall).

Additional pool aside: the kid is going to take swimming lessons starting sometime soon at the gym.  MY BABY IS ALL GROWN UP!  I really love this article from one of my very favorite bloggers Katie Granju at MamaPundit about when you realize that every last trace of baby is gone and you have a kid now.  I think I'd been grasping at any bits of maybe baby left in the kid (like sleeping in what was her crib-turned-toddler-bed until very recently) until just lately, and I'm realizing that I was wrong. That baby is all used up...  Hopefully the replacement baby keeps humming along well and we can enjoy baby soon enough.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Ok, so perhaps that's not a fully accurate representation of my general reaction.


I've been having lots of what we'll call round ligament pain, and it was getting worse, more stabbing, and more frequent, so despite being between healthcare homes (since we have discount care where we used to live/where I've been lately and expensive care for the next few weeks where we actually live/where I haven't been) and a cheapskate (why should I spend money on seeing a doctor if I'm going to have an early miscarriage anyway?), I went to see my OB.  Well, I went to see the one I'd pick if I got to deliver at the hospital we used to live near.  With all the shenanigans last fall, I met three of four docs in the practice, which means I get to claim this one as "mine."

And we checked things out, and she says things are fine but let's do that early ultrasound to make sure things are good.

Apparently I'm now ten weeks pregnant.  I'd been avoiding counting because I figured if I didn't know, I wouldn't have to fuss about meeting some milestone.  Ten weeks is totally longer than the eight or nine I've made it to with the three mini-pregnancies, so that's awesome.

The ultrasound saga... so the clinic has an elderly ultrasound machine and the hospital (some miles away) has the swanky set up.

We started with my OB doing an abdominal ultrasound, and determining, yep, baby is in the uterus so that's cool.  BUT she wasn't totally sure she could see a heartbeat, so even though I had to go to the hospital to get the full on fancy ultrasound anyway, she recommended a transvaginal ultrasound to make sure we saw a heartbeat.  That was nice.  It would have been lousy to drive all that way and then to have several more hours to wait worrying.

Eventually later in the day I got in for the fancy ultrasound, and I had the same sonographer (ultrasound tech? radiologist?) who got to deliver the bad news last December, so that was nice.  She wasn't bubbly chatty, just calm and "everything looks normal here, here's this which looks good..."  Nothing exciting happened and the pictures are pretty smudgy.  We're having a grainy lumpy sea monkey!

Highlight:  During ultrasound two, my doc was hoping that the baby would quit facing the "camera" so she could get a measurement but I enjoyed the limb bud wiggling dance for about a minute.  Highly entertaining.  It reminded me of when I was in the hospital at 20ish weeks pregnant with the kid and she wouldn't stay put to have her heart rate measured and even kicked the doppler when one nurse was especially insistent about trying to measure it.  I'm not sure that at 20 weeks you usually get noticeable to other people kicks, but that one sure was.  Tee hee.  rowdy baby.


I suppose I'm feeling a bit more like this won't all turn to ash at any moment, and I'm a bit better at letting go of my fantasies of control, probably every day.  Aside from the dizziness and the persistent nausea, this isn't so terrible after all...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


It's pretty inevitable that you compare each pregnancy to one that ended in a baby, especially when that baby is using the back porch railing as a jungle gym before playing hopscotch on a mutant board she drew... not a baby anymore...

anyway, I realized that at this point in the pregnancy with her, we decided to tell our families.  I mean, what, nine or so weeks is almost a sure thing.

I keep thinking that as time ticks by, I'll be less scared, but that's untrue.  I'm still scared to bits.  Now I have hormones to fuel my crying jags at the drop of a hat or less.

Three miscarriages at right about nine weeks, and I'm antsy and worried and awake in the middle of the night when I should either be working or sleeping.  And alone, did I mention that?  I'm camped out in a nearly empty house again and that's not helping.  I remember too much here.

I am sure my blood pressure has been continuing to be out of whack, and that's contributing to me feeling dizzy very often, especially when I've been traipsing around at work for several hours without a snack.  A few weeks ago I very nearly fainted, and it was mostly irritating to me, since I know full well how to fix it.  I think I nearly gave my boss a heart attack though.  Sweet guy, but fainting isn't something he's likely to let go as "nothing to worry about."  I'd love to say, "Look. It happens.  As does the perpetual nausea, the weird food cravings alternating with hatreds, and the other complaints you don't want to hear about.  In mid-February to mid-March, you can meet the culprit, I hope."  So far, I haven't, because it feels like the sort of thing I should tell a best friend or my mom (HAH!) first, not my boss.

AND now, of course, the song "We're OK" from Rent is playing in my random assortment.  It's a song where the singer keeps saying that things are OK when they clearly are nowhere near OK.  Because it's a reasonably cheerful musical, in the end, she is OK and ends up happy and in love and stuff. 

In a fit of moping at the end of the semester, I spent a lot of time with the Calming Manatees and some friends, trying to cope with it all.  One of my favorite manatee memes is one that says, "When someone asks, 'Are you OK?,' it's OK to say no."  Sometimes it's my backdrop to remind me that it's still true.

So even if I say this nowhere else, I am not OK. I'm scared and pregnant and the only thing that makes it better is waiting it out and letting go of the idea that I have any control over the whole thing, or any thing.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Just because I thought you'd like to know

I am now wearing the maternity shirt, and it's very comfy.  I may wear it forever, or buy several that are just like it.  The sleeves are all wrong but with a sweater (yay it's almost sweater season!) or white coat at work it will be perfect.

So I have every intention of resisting paranoia, but jeez.  I am so nervous about this whole thing.  When do you tell people you're pregnant?  Do we wait until after the usual miscarriage line, or not wait because who knows anyway, or what?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Really cool thing happening in healthcare

One of the neatest things happening around the world of pharmacy is helping patients get their medications together through medication management.  The short of it is that people with at least two health conditions (say high blood pressure and high cholesterol) tend to have lots of medications and pharmacists can help these patients figure out what's going on with the multitude of meds they are taking.  With help, patients quit taking excess medications sooner and tend to cost less overall in terms of total healthcare (think preventing heart attacks by taking medications properly well beforehand sort of savings.

There's an extra component to this one-on-one coaching about medications deal that's the natural extension.  It's the coaching on how to change your life to help you change your medications.  Like if you quit smoking or lose twenty pounds, you lower your blood pressure, meaning you can lower your dose of your high blood pressure medication.

This part, the lifestyle coaching, is pretty awesome.  The data isn't super solid yet but the early data looks promising and like it's cost-effective to hire someone (as a corporation that pays for healthcare) to help folk improve their health one tiny bit at a time.  National Public Radio's Shots Health Blog has a nice story about a company in Alaska that's doing just that and how it's been successful.  There's some discussion about whether the health coach should also be a healthcare provider (nurse, doctor, pharmacist, etc.), and I'd say it's especially beneficial for people on medications to see a health coach who's a pharmacist to help manage medications along with the health conditions.

In my perfect world where I've gotten my personal health and fitness together, I think this sort of practice would be a really cool one.  I like the small level where I get to work with one patient at a time and it's excellent to see a positive change in health if you can make a little change.  I'm hoping the opportunities are still there when I'm FINALLY done with school.  I kind of think that there may actually be more opportunities by then because (like a pharmacist on the code team which is kind of a no-brainer if you consider the number of drugs being used in rapid succession) good ideas catch on.