On Nesting

Today I’m 35 weeks pregnant, which means there are only 4ish weeks left.  I need to get to 36 weeks before I can deliver at the hospital I hope to deliver at, but then? Ideally after November 1st/37weeks/officially full term? It’s time to have a baby.

My parents have been key in helping with getting my house ready, and I’m so grateful for their time that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to express to them how much it has meant.  My mom helped me move furniture and organize onsies and sleepers by size, while my dad single-handedly installed a new garage door opener (where there hadn’t been one), built garage shelves, and re-organized the bins I had out there.

(My mom noted that he was worried I wouldn’t be able to get a car seat out of the other side of the car because of where shelves had been located – this is a worry I told him about this summer but I didn’t expect the most amazing shelf relocation to come out of it!)(I can now easily get my car in and out and a car seat out too.)

I haven’t been hit with the overwhelming force that is nesting, but I did finally get some diapers, look at how to adjust the straps on the infant car seat do I can install it this week, and a bag for the hospital has been selected and I keep adding things to it. Finding the balance between not being superstitious and still hopeful while patient has been harder than I thought it’d be.

The gestational diabetes has peaked right on time – the insulin I’m needing has stayed the same for the last week, rather than continuing to go up. I’ve found a grove of sorts and know now how certain foods will work, but I am ready for being done with all the pokes. I started twice a week monitoring and it’s meant a half day off work in order to get to the appointments – something I hate doing but I’m making the most of it. Overall the kid looks good – s/he has hair and pretty big feet.

The last of potential names keeps changing, and the only thing I can say is that I hope to look at this child and know what it’s supposed to be. I have a lovely list of family names that round out the middle name list, and they’ll have my last name, but otherwise it’s a bit of a moving target. I do have rules – the initials can’t spell anything and it can’t be a first name that could also be a last name but it also needs to be not offensive when googled. Felix is off the list thanks to that last rule.

I think, even though I still have more to do, I’m ready. I know that I can’t possibly know what to expect until they are here, and if this pregnancy has taught me anything it’s that even the best laid plans can fall apart, so though I’ve got hopes for the delivery, anything goes as long as we’re both okay.

Here’s to the last weeks of October!



It’s been a long and no-so-good week around here, but I’m hoping that pouring it all out there will keep things in perspective.

The trees started coming down today and it’s impossible to capture the gigantic mess of trunks and branches in the back yard tonight. There is at least an area the size of a basketball court that is 6-7′ tall of wood, going in all directions. I’m a whole lot sadder than I expected to be too, but i keep reminding myself that they weren’t safe. It’s going to look a whole lot different out there in another few days.

(And I’m already thinking about what i can plant in their place – what trees do you love?)

I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes after the 2h test. A day after tracking my bloods sugars while following the prescribed diet, it was clear that my levels were too high, and so the Friday before Labor Day I started on insulin injections twice a day. This has since morphed into injections 4x a day (of two types of insulin), and the dose keeps getting cranked up because I’m chasing increasing sugar levels. I’m coming up on the weeks with the highest level of insulin resistance, but the food tracking and the pokes (both to test and inject, which are leaving me bruised and sore) and the phone calls and trips to the pharmacy are breaking me. I’m counting carbs, being told what to eat instead of what I want to eat, and it’s nothing short of humiliating to have to explain why I ate what I did at what time, and listen to the list of things i should do differently.

It also meant leaving the midwives and getting established at an ob/gyn office, and today I tackled setting up the twice weekly testing/monitoring appointments, adding to my cramped schedule of regular ob visits and the diabetes visits. I’m going to have to start missing work, which I’d hoped to avoid, because it cuts into the leave I take after this kid is here.

I’m a pretty private person, and so to have this much going on, with having to explain to work why I’m taking time off, and the fact that I, today, can’t stop crying, and everyone who isn’t throwing advice/criticism* at me keeps asking what is wrong. It’s not helping.

*pts have told me that I look like I’ve gained a lot of weight, lost weight, am huge, must be measuring small, swollen, and why on earth do the older men always comment on how my husband must be enjoying my bigger breasts? I’ve heard that one twice in the last week. Other people at work have told me stories of their births, the horrible stories of their sister/wife/friends who “had the worst thing ever happen…” and they don’t take the hint when I change the subject. Part of the reason I’m keeping all the crazy dx of this pregnancy to myself is that I don’t need any more advice on what I should be eating/exercising and how being overweight to begin with must be why I’m now a diabetic.

People are making me crazy, though some do mean well.

Work at the clinic reached all new levels of insanity when I covered for my pod of providers who were/have been out for a variety of reasons. I’ve never put out so many fires, delivered so much bad news, and filled so many scripts. It’s still up on the air if I’ll be there beyond next June (contract talks are still in progress) but I can really only see until November.

The teaching is going okay but we’re short staffed and that is it’s own craziness. I can’t run 8 1h groups as easily as I could last spring and finding time to check my blood sugar or pee is really hard.

I’m tired. I’m just so tired. I knew that having a child would change my life, but I thought it’d start once labor got going, not 2 months before that.

Someone I truly respect said that she finally understood the spirit of what I meant when I say “Onward” – it’s not trudging and negative, but instead said with a hint of curiosity and wonder about what might be next. Today I’m saying it with a mix of both meanings – I’m ready for a break from the craziness and phone calls and the other awfulness that I can’t touch on here. I’m ready for a break.

Onward indeed.

today marks 27 weeks pregnant – one week left in the second trimester and then it’s on to the final stretch. Overall things are going well – though I failed the 1h glucola test (screening for gestational diabetes) and have to do the 2h test (with a 12h fast) this week. My fingers are crossed those results are normal, but if not I’ll do whatever I need to in order to keep this kid healthy. I still don’t look like I’m nearly 2/3 of the way through – it’s getting harder to deny the bump, but it certainly surprises people when I tell them how far along I am.

My extreme introversion and independence have come screaming through this process in the form of wanting to do all of the baby prep myself. I don’t want a shower, cringe at the thought of a registry, and have been pacing purchases (both of new things and lovingly used things from friends) so that they space out in my budget. The tags off outlet outfits are off now, and things around the house are being unpacked/picked up/put away/re-0rganized in the name of the upcoming child – I can thank my mom for helping to spur on tag removal and sock organization.

Part of the big picture of this fall is getting the yard set up for easy dog letting out – which means I need to get a fence put in. (A fence will also stop the kids in the neighbor hood from walking their dogs through my yard, not always cleaning up after them…) But before I do that, it makes sense to get the six giant trees out of the back yard – they’ve been here since the development was created in the 1960s, and are slowly dying and breaking off in chunks. They are hardwoods, with split trunks, and I knew when I moved in that they’d need work, but I didn’t realize that they were ALL going to need to go until last winter, when it was obvious that it was only a matter of time before they fell down or over. 2-3 of them could possibly fall on the house, so getting them out this summer became a priority.

It took all summer to make the call, but yesterday someone who runs a local tree removal service came over to take a look at them – and he more than agreed that they need to come out. He is the only guy with a full scale operation in the area, and even with a team of 3 guys, it’s going to take them 9.5 days to get the trees out. They’ll grind the roots, remove the wood, and clean up the yard when they are done – all things that a one-guy arborist can’t do in a week and a half. The cost for it is substantial, and even though I have been saving for it and budgeted for it, the estimate came in $2k+ more than I thought it would. I have the money to do it, the time is right, and I can’t move forward with a fence (which will also likely cost a lot) until they are out.

The reason I have the money to do this? It’s the money I had set aside for IVF. Last year, after the debacle that was buying/selling a house, I changed banks, set up different flows of money to accounts, and intentionally set aside money as it came in for the medical procedure that I thought I’d need to get pregnant.

And so, though I can afford to take out trees and put up and fence and then start saving for the next round of house improvements, part of me is really worried about letting this set of savings go.

It’s a silly thing, really – and it’s not about the trees, but rather that I can’t predict the future. I want to believe that all is going well, and will continue to go well, and that I can finally throw caution to the wind as these weeks pass – but I’m having a hell of a time doing it. I can’t wait until the end of November to get the yard work done, and so the time is now.

And so, dear universe, know that I’m going forward with the projects because I have a newly found faith that it could all work out okay. I’m fully aware that shit happens, without rhyme or reason, but I have to make decisions with the info I have on hand – and now things point toward this baby arriving sometime in the next 3 months. My fingers are crossed that it’s a healthy kid, arriving easily and without complications, who will be brought home to a house that is safe from falling trees.

Onward indeed.

The pup is near my feet, rotating in such a way that she regularly moves to the cooler section of the wood floor, much like how I keep flipping my pillow at night to see if I can stay cool. The cats love that the windows are open again, though we’re still trying to find a happy place for the blinds to be – closed enough that the neighbors can’t see in, but open a smidge so that the cats can sit without getting tangled in the cords. It’s a work in progress.

I’ve also got a baby bouncing around in my lower abdomen – a new development in the last few weeks, this bouncing. The kiddo checked out okay during an u/s 2 weeks ago – moved up due to some abnormal screening labs. The labs will need following, but so far so good, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I’m halfway (give or take) though this pregnancy, and so far? I’m not the cute bumpish sort of pregnant person, instead looking a little thick in the middle – a side effect of being tall, or overweight to start, perhaps? I’m staying active, eating the right foods (though I won’t be surprised if this child has a future love of maraschino cherries, given how many jars I’m going through each week) and so there isn’t much control I have over the shape I am. Though being able to fit into maternity clothes will be a blessing, so maybe sooner than later?

Work is work. It’s not great, but I’m hoping to keep working towards the next thing, whatever that is. My summer is the months of June and July, and though I’m still working full time I have some flexibility with working at home. The clinic is awful, but that’s not likely to change any time soon. I am grateful for the wonder-therapist ™, and the magical coach who help me stay grounded and see this is a blip instead of being something I’ll be stuck in forever.

Onward and, with any luck, outward? Here’s to July, and the goal of always having a cooler place to rollover to.

what’s it worth?

The beauty of writing bits of rambling down each night is that I have a place to put things and then return back to them after a time – without realizing it, a set of themes has emerged over the last week, and it took me in a different direction than I thought I was going.

last night I wrote, at the bottom of the page, “What is it worth? What am I worth?!?”

The question was for two meanings, both financial and self-worth/life-in-the-scheme of things-worth.

Through conversations with friends and people applying for/moving around in jobs, it’s become clear that I’ve likely been underpaid since entering the world of clinical medicine. I can’t do anything about that now, but it’s eye opening to realize that scale of pay/benefits offered for doing the exact same (general) work. And it led me to ponder if I’d leave what I’m doing now to go to a better paying job for a few years, simply so I can pay down my loans and save up for whatever is next?

which led to the next question, worth in the scheme of things. I could leave my insane job, but I love teaching and planning curriculum and some of the people I work with amazing – and I’d miss that. Would it be worth leaving that if I knew I could better afford life?

I’m not sure my mental health is worth it, which is hard to admit, but there it is. The long clinic days with paperwork, demanding and draining patients, and box checking up the wazoo are all the reasons I’m looking to leave medicine, not spend more time doing it. So I’m not sure it’s worth it to leave and go back to that, though it’s tempting to think about being able to be out from under my primary care loan sooner than later.

so what is worth it? and what do I need in my current job for it to be worth it?

it’s worth it to continue to work with the great people I work with. Not everyone I see on campus qualifies for this category, but the few that make it fun and challenging and are great for bouncing ideas around are.

It’s worth it to stay where I am until this baby arrives – for so many reasons.

I need more laughter in my days in the clinic.

I want to work with competent people, that I trust – but this is a stretch and the great medical assistant that I have been working with just gave her notice, and I’m afraid it’s back to newbies who can’t follow even explicit directions. (when the staff who are supposed to be helping me create more work? it’s not helpful.)

I can’t find much out there, other than a lot of biblical sites and daily devotions, around the subject of worth, but I’m going ot keep looking, and I suspect this will be something that rolls around in my head for another few days. It’s good to have brain whir back again.

thoughts on thrashing

I feel like there should be a kazoo “do doo do do!” opening here – I made it! The first trimester has come to an end (thankfully!) and the end of the school year arrived with a graduation ceremony and a hooding event last weekend.

(the 12th week greeted me with less nausea, but a slight increase in heartburn – a trade off I’m willing to make, and now? week 13? I’m still exhausted all the time, but now I’m functional past 8pm, so there’s that. The news from the early screening tests is all good, so though I am still being cautious, I am starting to feel like things might work out after all.) (I likely won’t believe 100% that all is going to work out until there is a baby in my arms, but then a whole new set of worries will set in. I’m okay with that.)

Working with the magical “life coach” (oh, how I hate that term, but she is worth the title) has led to some great conversations, and though it hasn’t been long, she can see through the bullshit and has a sense of where I’m at. Today, after I lamented that I was in an odd place of waiting, and wanting to know what was next but not even knowing where to start to look for the answer for what was next in my career? she paused and asked if I was still writing, saying, “you thrash around when you’re not writing.”

It’s highly annoying that someone I’ve only met with a few times can see that. She was right – not that I write a lot, but putting thoughts on paper is satisfyingly grounding, and so. I’m putting it out there that now that I can stay up and think cohesive thoughts later at night, I’m digging out my pens again.

The other thing that came up was the idea of continuing to put things “out there” and asking the Universe for things, as she asked what I had put out there re: a possible job change. I had to stop and think, because the last big thing I put out there? Getting pregnant. And now that it’s happened, I’m holding on to it, waiting to make sure it all works out – and that’s all I’ve got in the universal works right now. It is possible that part of the reason my wheels are spinning is because I haven’t been clear with myself, as well as the bigger picture – and it’s possible to put out another request while the first one continues to evolve. Huh.

Onward, onward indeed.

It’s easy to see, looking back, that picking the word “Onward” for the year, has really shaken things up – mostly in a good way. I’m 10 weeks pregnant and things in that department are going okay (though I will not be sad when the evening/all night sickness finally resolves) and things are work are lining up for the med school graduation in a few weeks.

At this moment, I’m tucked into a luxury hotel next door to Walt Disney World for a conference. I’m not a WDW person but seeing all the kids who are SO! excited! to go to the parks/tell the world what they saw? It’s growing on me.

I’m here with the hope of finding my people – the ones who understand the world of family medicine from a teaching perspective, and have hope that the system can grow and change to keep up with the students and residents who are drifting away from primary care. So far, I’ve seen groups of doctors having interesting conversations about patient care and resident educational goals, but the jury is still out if I’ll have anything to add to the conversation. Tomorrow is the first official day, and I think I’ve finally figured out the schedule and where I need to be at what time. I’m ready. And hopeful. (but I’m not going to make a round peg fit into a square hole, so if these aren’t my people, I’ll have a good time while I’m here and keep looking.)

Being here? brings out the intensity of my introversion. I am very happy to sit in my hotel room by myself, looking out at my view of the 5 (!) pools, playground and bar, and read books/journals/magazines and nap. I ventured out for lunch and dinner, but once I was back in the room? I called it a night. I would like to be the person sitting by the pool, but I didn’t bring the right clothes, forgot sunscreen and in the end? Imagine I wouldn’t be very comfortable at all. (Never mind that it was 89F here today – a far cry for the 43F back at home – this sort of heat makes me feel like I’m melting. I hate it – but I don’t complain because I know most would love to be here!)

I have pondered what a trip like this might look like with a child – and it occurs to me that in a situation with them, I’d be all too happy to go down to the pool, hit the parks, and explore. My family vacations growing up were trips to National Parks, smaller amusement parks, baseball games, museums and hotels with pools. I have always imagined taking those trips with my own family.

Perhaps I’ll call it practice when I do make it down to the pool this trip, social anxiety be damned.