Taking advantage of people, in the good way.

My in-laws are visiting right now — they arrived yesterday for a week-long stay. I’m actually pretty excited about their visit because it means I can leave the baby with them and take some time for myself. It started last night, when Mr. D. and I went to pick up dinner and left the baby with his parents — and that was the first time we’d left her with anyone, for any length of time. I tried to get weepy about it, but was so excited to be out of the house with my husband and know that the baby was well taken care of at home…I guess I’m not as sentimental as I thought I was. I think I’m just too excited about the stuff I’ve got planned for the next several days. Like, today, I’m getting a massage and going to see our daycare provider to pick up some paperwork; tomorrow (if the weather cooperates) I’m hoping to go on a run; and Saturday night, Mr. D. and I are going out on a real, live date.

The flip side to having my in-laws here is that while I’m home (which, honestly, will be most of the time — it’s hard to leave an exclusively breastfed baby for any length of time), I will be spending a fair amount of time one-one-one (or one-on-two) with them. This is new. It’s really the first time I’ve spent any extended time with them without Mr. D. I like my in-laws (I really, really do), but I often struggle to find topics of conversation with them. The baby does make that easier — we can always talk about the baby! — but given that there are suddenly two adults in my house that I can talk to, I’d love to take advantage of their presence and talk about something (anything!) besides the baby. Alas, nothing seems to stick. My mother-in-law brought me a book that I expressed interest in (that she’s already read), so maybe I can read some of it and we can talk about that once I’ve gotten into it, but otherwise? I think we’re stuck talking about the baby. Not that I don’t love talking about my baby, but this goes back to what I said in my last post — it’s nice to talk to people about other things, if for no other reason than to remind myself that I am a whole person and not just a mom.

Still, we’re only on Day 1-1/2 of their visit, so I’ve got lots of opportunities to have real adult conversations over the next 4-1/2 days. We’ll see how well I can take advantage of that; and if I can’t, I’ve still got the time out of the house to look forward to.


Giving thanks.

I’ve been pretty complainy over the last few days, when I should be focusing on the things I’m thankful for. So with no further ado, here’s my thanksgiving:

  • I’m thankful for my wonderful husband. Yes, I get annoyed at some of his habits and sometimes wish he’d pick up more of the slack around the house, but watching him get excited about this baby is one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen. And watching him work three weekends in a row to bank up enough paid time off to take a full month of leave has been amazing.
  • I’m thankful for my family. They drive me up the wall, but no one knows me the way they do.
  • I’m thankful for a healthy, easy pregnancy. I feel lucky every day that my body can do this.
  • I’m thankful for a job that I love and that I’m good at, for coworkers who genuinely seem to care about me and each other, and for a workplace culture that is accepting and accommodating of our growing family. It’s not all sweetness and roses, of course — I can’t imagine any workplace in which management would celebrate an employee taking off four months — but they’ve made it as easy as possible for me, and I am incredibly thankful for that.
  • I’m thankful for good health insurance. I’m so grateful that I haven’t had to stress about deductibles or copays or minimum contributions during my pregnancy. I wish everyone had access to such good health insurance.
  • I’m thankful for the excellent Indian restaurant that just happens to be 10 minutes from our house, and for the excellent shahi paneer I had for dinner last night. It did not kick off labor, but it was good enough that I’m almost OK with that.
  • I’m thankful for my smelly, stubborn, sneaky beggar of a dog. He follows me around constantly nowadays, refuses to eat his breakfast if I’m not close by, and has developed a bad habit of pawing at me for attention (mostly over the last few days, and I think it’s related to having houseguests and all the Thanksgiving hubbub), but he loves me unconditionally and protects me as much as a 17-pound terrier can. I couldn’t ask for a better dog.

But mostly, I’m thankful that, in no more than 10 days, we’ll be bringing home a beautiful baby boy or girl. We’re excited and we’re ready.

I am so over it.

Y’all, I’m done.

For all the complaining I’ve done to Mr. D. over the last few weeks, things haven’t really been that bad. Oh, sure, I can’t bend over. And it’s hard to walk up the hill to the bus stop. And I get heartburn all the time, and sleeping is difficult, and getting up from the couch really is as comical as it looks like on TV. But my pregnancy has been pretty easy, overall, and up until about a day or so ago, I really wasn’t feeling all that bad.

But now? I am done. I’ll be 39 weeks tomorrow, and I want this baby OUT. Now. My hormones are raging, so I am in a foul mood, certain family members are being asses, and I can barely concentrate at work to get done the four minor things I need to get done before I go out on maternity leave. Oh, and I am so effing uncomfortable I just can’t stand it.

The discomfort alone would be bearable, I think, if it weren’t for my shitty mood — made worse, no doubt, by the shitty weather, by the shitty things certain family members are doing, and by the fact that we’re hosting Thanksgiving (IN OUR HOUSE) starting today, when my in-laws arrive. I really like my in-laws — I really do! — and they are helpful around the house as well as relatively self-sufficient, so it could be worse. But, see above about my shitty mood. The last thing I want to be doing right now is playing hostess.  Six months ago, it sounded like a good idea; now it just seems like folly.

So today’s goal is to make it through the workday without bursting into tears (and I never cry, so the necessary coping mechanisms to make that happen are probably not very well tuned in my case), get home with some semblance of sanity left, and put on a happy face for my in-laws. And then maybe bury myself in Thanksgiving prep, because if I’m cooking, maybe people will just leave me alone.

Let me explain….no, there is too much. Let me sum up.

So it’s been a while. Here’s what’s happening:

  • I am 38 weeks pregnant, which means this baby can come whenever s/he wants to.
  • I have two more weeks of work before I go out on maternity leave, but Thanksgiving falls in there, so I really have even less time in the office than that. Add that I’m working from home today and on Monday (having the house cleaned and having some repairs done before the baby gets here), and I’m only going to be in the office seven (7) more days. Holy carp.  (Note that this does not mean I am only working seven more days. I am working today, and will be working Monday and, if the baby is late, I will probably try and pick up some hours here and there even after I officially start my leave, just so I’m not totally bored sitting at home.)
  • I absolutely do not expect this baby to show up any sooner than three weeks from now, and would not be surprised if s/he holds out even longer. (See above note about picking up hours from home.)
  • Our extra car seat base, changing pad for the dresser/changing table, swaddling blankets, and some newborn diaper covers are still at my office, along with about 20 pairs of shoes, three blazers, three jackets, and two sweaters. I need to figure out when I can drive into the office to pick all that stuff up because I am not carrying any of it home on the Metro.
  • In case you didn’t pick up on the sly reference above, yes, we’re going to try cloth diapering. Our daycare provider seems on board, as long as it’s really simple for her, so I have a bunch of pocket diapers for her to use, since they’re the most like disposables, and I’m hoping to use mostly prefolds and covers at home and at night. We will see how this experiment goes. Luckily, I’ve gotten almost all of my cloth diapering supplies secondhand from Craigslist, and our total investment so far is under $300.  If the experiment is a success, that’s hella cheaper than disposables; if it’s not, I can resell pretty much all of it and recoup at least 75%, if not all, of that investment.
  • We are hosting my in-laws (and maybe my brother) for Thanksgiving, which means I have to go do epic Thanksgiving shopping this weekend. At 38-1/2 weeks pregnant. I hear tell that walking around Costco makes labor start, but I kind of hope that’s not true for me, because I really, really, really want to eat my Thanksgiving turkey. The baby can come any time after Thanksgiving, though. (Again, though, see above about how I don’t expect to be having a baby any time before the second week of December.)

So, that’s a lot of stuff to be dealing with here at the end of the longest nine months of my life. Though, actually, it’s really just been a really long three months — the first and second trimesters of this pregnancy really flew by, but this last third? Crawling along at a snail’s pace. You’d think that would mean I’d’ve gotten a lot more done in the last three months, but no. I’ve always been a bit of a last-minute kind of person, and pregnancy hasn’t really changed that about me. Heck, we just went and got our second car (a necessary purchase when you live in the suburbs and have a kid) last weekend.

I may have more thoughts soon about being career-oriented and maternity leave and my various fears/angst/worries. But for now, I’ll just say that I am looking forward to taking a little break.  My maternity leave will be the first time I’ve taken more than two consecutive weeks off from working or studying since I graduated from college! It’s a little strange for me to contemplate such a long stretch of time without some sort of intellectual pursuit, but I’m eager for the experience.

Back in the saddle

Last weekend we took a long weekend to travel home to Texas to spend the weekend with family and friends. It was relaxing and wonderful. My mom (with the help of Mr. D. and my sister and my brother) managed to surprise me with a baby shower, something I wasn’t sure I was going to have here where we live (we haven’t been here that long, so I don’t have a circle of friends to host a shower, and we’re far from any family). The whole thing was a complete surprise — and I am not easily surprised — and was really just what I needed.  I think I really needed an opportunity to sit around with family and friends and just talk about being pregnant — about how excited we are, about how nervous we are, about all the things we just don’t know. I mean, I talk to Mr. D. about this stuff, obviously. But other than Mr. D., I spend most of my time with people at work and I haven’t exactly been sitting around at lunch chatting about the baby! So it was absolutely wonderful to have a chance to focus completely on the baby for a couple of hours.

Of course, as soon as we got back, the proverbial excrement hit the proverbial wind machine at work, and I’ve been pretty busy — too busy to worry about baby stuff!  I did take an hour off yesterday, though, for the anatomy scan, which was, frankly, amazing. All of the parts we could see look perfect, growing right on schedule.  Of course, it’s a good thing we don’t want to know the sex, because this baby was just not cooperative.  Baby’s legs were all curled up — so much so that the tech had a hard time getting a good shot of the feet and legs.  She said there was almost no chance she’d’ve been able to get a look at the goods anyway, so fate was on our side.

Anyway, things are progressing. I’m halfway through and the list of things we have to do continues to get longer. And work hasn’t slowed down at all either. One of the partners I work for told me yesterday that he realizes I have a lot of stuff on my plate for him, and to let him know if it gets too overwhelming. Of course, he followed that up by telling me that he’s comfortable giving me so much to do because he knows how capable I am. That’s a nice thing to hear, even if it kind of makes me hesitant to go back to him and tell him I don’t think I can get everything done by our deadline. Right now, I think I can get everything done (though it does mean giving up some of my weekend), but we’ll see how I feel Monday night, when I’ll need to be ahead enough to take a few hours off to take my cousin, who’s in town for her Fulbright orientation, out to dinner.

I do love my job — I feel consistently lucky to have landed at my firm, which is such a good fit for me both professionally and personally — but I don’t feel guilty at all saying that I’m really looking forward to taking my maternity leave in about five months. But that’s fodder for another post.


We said goodbye to my grandfather on Saturday. The services were lovely — my grandfather was well-loved by not only his family but also by his community, and both turned out to celebrate his life.

Mr. D. was also able to make it and I was so glad to see him. It made the whole separation easier, too — seeing him so soon made the time apart so far just seem like a business trip, a short interval — and it’s making the time ahead feel the same. Skype helps with that.

So all things considered, I’m handling both of the upheavals of the last 10 days pretty well. Except I’m kind of not.

First, I’m exhausted from the weekend — I slept in four different beds in the four different nights I was away. I drove the Texas triangle — San Antonio to Corpus to Houston and back to San Antonio — over a 60 hour period. I, of course, attended a rosary and a funeral and a graveside service and a wake (more or less) and a reception; I also went to a wedding shower and several family dinners.

Drop all that on top of plugging away at the work assignment that never ends (I just keep chipping away at it and it never goes away), living in an apartment that is apparently hot sh!t (landlord’s been showing it nonstop since last week — thankfully I was out of town for most of it), ferrying the dog back and forth to and from the kennel, and worrying about general (though mostly temporary) financial constraints and you have a recipe for total weariness.

I have three weeks, more or less, until the movers come to pack me up and take my stuff (and my dog, who is keeping me sane right now) and I’m hoping to spend those weeks regaining my sanity — keeping organized and tidy and rested and healthy. The weeks after that are going to be rough, but if I can get into a good, balanced place first, hopefully it won’t throw me into a complete downward spiral.

I leave you with one tired dog. He looks like I feel.

Loss, part 2

It’s very morbid to make plans to attend a funeral for someone who is still living. But because airlines are less and less willing to make bereavement fares available (or affordable), this is the way it must be.  It looks like Mr. D. will be able to make it, at least, for which I am exceedingly thankful, and that cuts our time apart to a mere six weeks.  (Well, five and a half, if I am generous with what constitutes a half week.) And he’ll be next to me as I say goodbye to my last grandparent — and possibly visit my hometown for the last time.

It’s odd to say that, but once my grandfather is gone, there won’t be any real reason for me to go back to my hometown. Neither of my parents live there, nor do any of my high school friends (at least not the ones I keep in touch with). I’ll have a few aunts, uncles, and cousins still there, but I’m more likely to see them at family reunions in another part of the state, or while visiting my dad.

So this funeral is going to represent not only the end of my grandfather’s long, full life but also the end of my childhood, and in a very tangible way.  Coming as it does at a time of huge transition for me, I’ll admit that I am not dealing with it all very well.