So now I *really* need help

So for those of you who’ve been following (or haven’t), yesterday was the day to find out if the last round of Clomid/hCG injection was successful. And it was! So, yay. Baby Q-Brit (to be known until further information is available as “Stormageddon”) is due sometime in mid-September. Yes, I am at about 4 weeks now. Yes, that is crazy early to be telling people (although IRL I’ve only told a couple).

Here’s why: I do not have the sort of job that’s going to jive well with pregnancy, and I need help on managing the intersection of job with baby symptoms ASAP–both from the minimizing-early-symptoms POV and the juggling-so-I-don’t-have-to-tell-the-whole-world-yet POV.

EDIT: Okay, so some (most?) of you already know that I had to walk out on my job yesterday during a time that I really, really should not have done so. That particular situation is unlikely to repeat—I can probably count on sufficient breaks to keep food in my stomach—but it is apparent that this is something that I need to figure out and fast.

I have a Very Serious job that requires me to be in public on a regular basis in Very Serious situations. The amount of control I have over my schedule is relatively little—for the most part, I need to be “on” from 8:15 am to 11:00 or 12:00 every day, and 1:00-3:00 most afternoons. I can usually squeeze in breaks for a quick bite/restroom break in there if I need to. The upside to this is that I rarely have to work outside my official 8-5 schedule—the downside is that I don’t usually have much say in how I spend the hours from 8-5.

There are 3 of us with this exact job here in my location. The other two are very nice men with school-age kids and we’re all pretty close. We traditionally rotate all duties equally; I can probably get them to cover for me in situations like today’s without needing to explain, at least for awhile. I’m sure they’re going to figure it out if they haven’t already. They may or may not ask, and I may or may not mind telling them.

Our boss is in a different location and as such, if I can avoid more scenes like today, I can probably put off telling him. I’m figuring, BTW, that I’ll tell everyone when I get past the 10-week ultrasound (so let’s say, to the start of March). It can also be a relatively physical job, and because its so public and the office culture is very social, I suspect keeping quiet longer than necessary will be more trouble thank it’s worth.

Yes, I feel better now that I’ve eaten. I’m (almost) sure I can keep eating on a regular basis for the rest of this week and can quickly acquire motion-sickness bands and ginger candy and can keep crackers or nuts with me. (I might even be able to keep ginger ale with me in one of those metal water bottles.) What else do I need to keep in mind?

Also, I have a compulsive need, as Expat knows, to tell the truth, especially if I haven’t come up with an excuse. So I really, really need to have stock answers prepared. Especially truthful ones that stop short of “I’m pregnant,” because there are some people you just don’t lie to.

And thirdly, what else do I need to worry about in the immediate future?

By the way, I’m in a field that most people come to as a second career, and then there’s an influx of people who are starting in it from the start, but those people are mostly much younger than me. So all the women I know either (1) already had kids when they started or (2) don’t have kids. I only know 1 person who’s done this job while pregnant, and I’m going to ask her for advice, but her district is very different from mine. (It’s a district where I interviewed for a transfer 2 years ago, that I mentioned was awesome about letting her work half-time for like 5 years.)


Job Hunting While Pregnant?

Has anyone done this? Aside from slacking on working out too long before I got pregnant again, i was also dragging my feet on the job hunt 1) because updating everything from a portfolio to a website to the resume itself is time consuming and with a 6 month old who wasn’t sleeping I couldn’t handle it and 2) because as much as I dislike who I work FOR I like where I work.

But it has become really obvious in the last few months that staying is probably not good for anyone involved. I actively hope to get fired but refuse to purposefully do anything fire-worthy because being fired in actuality does SUCK A LOT. I updated the resume, thought really hard about the website and my sister-in-law does weekly job hunts for me, because the level of crazy here stresses HER out.

That said, we have surprise baby over here. I have no intention of staying home (not to say fate wouldn’t twist me) but I feel paralyzed by the idea of job hunting on top of everything else. Thoughts? 8 more months here COULD be very very terrible. It could also be livable. Sigh.


Tuesday Open Thread

Happy Tuesday everyone!

A proposed bill would allow women in the throes of difficult pregnancies to park just about anywhere in New York City, including “No Parking” zones.

I tend to agree with this Jezebel writer, who argues that primo parking doesn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things.

While granting pregnant women some form of courtesy while they’re in physical pain seems like a decent thing for human beings to do for one another, offering free parking hardly begins to address the unjust way we treat pregnant women in this country, from workplace discrimination to measly maternity leave to the astronomical cost of childcare. Sonia Ossorio of the National Organization for Women sums it up nicely: “I don’t want to see a short-term privilege like easy parking … create an environment that further stigmatizes pregnancy.”

What say you?

In other news, an adoption agency has sued a Tennessee woman for child support after she sent the child she adopted back to this home country of Russia, unaccompanied on a plane.

Torry Hansen, who had been living in Shelbyville, sent the 8-year-old boy on a plane to Moscow by himself last April with a note saying that she didn’t want to be his mother anymore because the child had psychological problems. The incident created an international uproar.

According to documents obtained by the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, Hansen’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss child support claims made by Hansen’s adoption agency, World Association for Children and Parents, in juvenile court in Shelbyville.

The newspaper reported on Thursday that Russian authorities want Hansen to pay about $2,500 a month to care for the child, who is living in an orphanage.

Such a sad situation. Do you think the once-adoptive mom should shoulder financial responsibility?

Lastly, are you planning to watch the State of the Union tonight? Here’s a handy dandy guide to the promises President Obama has kept– and broken— since last year’s SOTU. I must say, I was pretty impressed.

What’s everyone up to? Chat away!


Thursday Open Thread

Happy Thursday!

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for the election on November 2 – if only to get the f’en campaign commercials to STOP!! I am so sick of seeing the same commercials over and over AND OVER again! Please lord, make them GO AWAY!

By the way, do you know what the difference is between Meg Whitman and Jennifer Grey? Four years. Yup. Meg Whitman is only four years older than Jennifer Grey. I know, I know. I’m being petty. It’s those damn commercials I tell ya!


According to US Magazine, The Parents Television Council isn’t too happy with GQ’s latest cover featuring a few members of the cast of Glee, and issued the following statement:

“By authorizing this kind of near-pornographic display, the creators of the program have established their intentions on the show’s direction,” the statement concludes. “And it isn’t good for families.”

The cast members featured on the November cover of GQ are all of age. In fact, both Dianna Agron and Lea Michele are both 24, and Cory Monteith is 28 – BUT, they all play high school students are are dressed pretty provocatively in this issue. What do you think? Cause for concern? Is this issue courting pedophiles?

Also according to

US Magazine, seems that Beyonce and Jay-Z are expecting their first baby! Congrats to the happy couple!

Now, I feel that I must address an issue that is very personal to me, and perhaps just as personal to you: that of our President, Barack Obama. When I wrote last week about my disappointment with this administration’s decision to appeal the historic DADT ruling, I didn’t mean to imply that I was anti-Obama. I’m just a little confused, and, dare I say, more than a little uninspired.

Let’s go back – WAY back to the presidential primaries. Some people campaigned hard for Barack Obama (me included!), and some people campaigned hard for Hillary Clinton. Regardless of whether Obama or Clinton would have gotten the nomination, it would have been a momentous and historic event. One, a black candidate; the other, a woman.

Personally, I hate the terms: “drinking the Obama Kool-Aid” and ““How’s that hopey changey thing working out for ya?” because they are part of the Republican meme that I don’t subscribe to, along with many other aspects. For example, I have a friend who said that he voted for McCain during the Presidential election even though he, “hates Sarah Palin.” Because he believes very strongly in the military and that every “man” should have a military record – and since all Obama had was a history of being a “community organizer” and no military record, he wasn’t qualified in his eyes. So I asked him what his ranking was and in what branch of the military he served? He gave me a blank look because of course HE DIDN’T SERVE IN THE MILITARY!!!

Another Republican I know is all for keeping the Bush tax cuts because, “making $250,000 in a year is not that much!!” Mind you, he doesn’t even make a quarter of that, doesn’t own any property, and wouldn’t benefit from these cuts. I. DON’T. GET. IT.

Look, we can speculate all day and night about how much better Hillary would be as President, but truth be told if she would have won the election, the Obama supporters would be doing the same thing. No one knows how hard the job is until they are the one sitting in the Oval office. Does this mean that I am going to go to my car and peel off my Obama bumper stickers? No. I still believe in the man I voted for – we’ve just got to turn up the heat. Does that mean I am going to give good ol’ Barry a free pass for falling short of his campaign promises and letting down his base? No. He has to remember who put him in office, and I hope to god he does. And, if he doesn’t remember – it’s up to us to remind him, and that’s what I intend to do.

With that said, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is sure making President Obama look bad. Have you seen her “Tomorrow Will Be Better” video? If you haven’t, here it is:

It sure would be nice to get one from the POTUS…just sayin’.

The bottom line is that we’ve had eight years of two very corrupt men digging us into a hole. The current administration has only had two years to fill it.


Am I Nuts?

I’ve always been pretty in-tune with my body. Ovulation has never been a mystery to me, for example. I can tell when a cold is coming on; I think I’ve already shared that I suspected I was pregnant from even before the time the egg implanted (and I can tell you what day that happened). But this pregnancy thing is a whole new adventure.

When I had my 10-week appointment to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, the OB surfed around a bit looking for the fetus. I wasn’t really that concerned that it took her a little while to do so, nor was I surprised when she finally found the fetus on the right side of my uterus. When I noted that I knew the baby was there, the OB gave me a strange look and asked me how I knew. I told her, “Well, I felt the implantation on that side, and for the past several weeks I’ve felt growing pains there.” She looked at me like I was a little crazy. (I believe my exact words were, “I’ve been feeling what I call the cells dividing for weeks now.”)

I know that according to the literature I’m not supposed to be able to feel the baby move until about 20 weeks. (Some mothers can feel later children at about 16 weeks, but this is my first pregnancy.) But I swear that I’ve been able to feel the “cells dividing” from the very beginning; it’s kind of a twinge-y feeling, usually on the right side, and it usually happens while sitting. And now, I can feel stuff going on my right side for the past few days. There’s no indication of anything being wrong (no spotting or anything like that), and I’m still nauseated all freakin’ day long, so I feel confident that this is nothing to be concerned about. So I’m thinking that what I’m feeling is baby Ralph moving around. Or at least, growing.

Is that possible at 14 weeks? Or am I just nuts?

(Oh, and we are calling the baby “ralph” because that’s what the baby makes me do every day. My BIL came up with it, and he’s really proud of that name.)


UPDATED ~ The Pony Diary; Or, Sad News and Happy News

Ladies, I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!! So much for your affirmation, your love and your advice. Our sorrow at the adoption situation seems to diminish bit by bit by the day, though I don’t anticipate it will ever go away (and I know it will come back at certain points, like when the baby is born, etc.). Since we are still friends with the birthmom, I know there will times when we’re a little weepy. But our overall sense is just joy and excitement, and that is growing by day. I feel so fortunate to be able to share with you and learn from your wisdom. You all are INCREDIBLE!!!!

DH and I have sad news and happy news to share. I shared this with the church today and now it’s time to tell the rest of you. But can I just say how freakin’ hard it has been to keep this from all of you? Gah! No more!

First, the sad news: the birthmom with whom we’ve been working has decided to parent her child after all, so we will not be parents in January. This is, in the long run, not entirely unexpected, though of course it is very sad news for us. She has a terrific support network, and we would continue to ask prayers for her to have a smooth and easy pregnancy and a wonderful parenting experience.

Now, the happy news: I am twelve weeks pregnant! We found out both pieces of news on the same day, and five days later, I got on a plane to Costa Rica. Of course, babies aren’t interchangeable, so we still have some grief about the child that we will not be parenting, but our overwhelming sense is one of joy and excitement that, God willing, we will be parents in 2011!! We’d also ask for prayers for US to have a smooth and easy pregnancy and a wonderful parenting experience.

Morning sickness, or as we call it in our house, “all day, intermittent dry-heaving with an occasional bout of puking,” is pretty much as awful as I’ve been led to believe. DH is incredibly understanding, however, and accommodating of my ridiculously reduced palate in this first trimester. (Really, baby? No tomatoes? No Mexican food?) On the plus side, pudding and ice cream stays down.

So, yep, that’s our news. Oh, and I’m due on Palm Sunday. One minister friend pointed out that God clearly wanted me to experience the twin blessings of ministry and motherhood from the very outset. Another minister friend offered to preach for me on Easter. I think the whole timing is hilarious!

It’s been a crazy journey already, and the birthmom is really excited for us. It was good to finally tell her, as I know she’s been carrying some guilt about her decision (because we’ve known each other since before this parenting journey), so I think this frees her in some ways. We are just excited to be parents, no matter how we get here.

And if it hasn’t been said before, “morning sickness” really f’ing sucks.

In other news, the weekend, HAPPY WEDDING, KATIE!!! The pictures of you two are beautiful and I am soooooo happy you finally get your “happy ending.”


Did You Like Being Pregnant?

My apologies in advance to our adoptive moms, step moms, and non-parents, as I know what your answer is. But for the folks who got knocked up, did you like being pregnant?

This was an interesting question posed by Laurie Puhn at the Expecting Words blog, who is expecting her second child, by the way. Congratulations to her!

I understand her hesitation in posing the question in the first place as she made it clear that she was grateful that she was pregnant in the first place. But I agree with her that I tend to look at happy pregnant ladies as odd and enviable creatures.

A couple of bright lights: I loved shopping for new clothes. Also, the first time I felt the baby kick was exciting. But then I worried incessantly when I didn’t feel the baby kick. As for the other physical symptoms? I could have done without those.

After the initial euphoria of learning that I was pregnant — I have had two miscarriages, so yes, I was very excited to see the two stripes on my pee stick — reality set in. For both my pregnancies, especially my first, 10 weeks of my first trimester were marked by horrible waves of nausea and vomiting. I was relieved to arrive to my second trimester for so many reasons, then dreaded the last three months of pregnancy as I was so freaking tired and couldn’t sleep on my back, my favorite sleep position. A couple of times, I landed on my back in the middle of the night and almost fainted, reminding me to get back on my side.

My favorite part of pregnancy? The actual delivery. Yes, the contractions were horrible and I puked through those, but being done with being pregnant and holding the baby in my arms was the best.

What about you? Did you love or hate being pregnant? Don’t worry, we won’t judge you! :)


Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Does the racism of Arizona Republicans know no bounds? Arizona Republican legislators plan to introduce a bill to deny birth certificates to babies born to undocumented immigrants, according to CNN. Clearly, these folks have not taken a civics class. “‘If you go back to the original intent of the drafters … it was never intended to bestow citizenship upon (illegal) aliens,’ said (State Rep. John) Kavanagh, who also supported Senate Bill 1070 — the law that gave Arizona authorities expanded immigration enforcement powers.” Um, John, no papers were required to allow your colonialist ancestors into the country. Can we please deport this guy?

In somewhat related news, meaning this candidate for governor of California ran racist ads against Latinos — I mean, immigrants! — Meg Whitman scares me. That is all.

Glamour magazine ran a disturbing story about the number of women who undergo breast augmentation surgery and do not know any of the risks, or that they will have to redo the surgery. Breast implants are the No. 1 cosmetic surgery in the country, with 364,000 women poised to undergo the procedure this year alone.

The St. Petersburg Times ran a bizarre story about a religious order associated with the Scientology church forcing young girls to terminate their pregnancies. The official stance of the church, which is the faith of a number of celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, is neutral on abortion.  

Podiatrists are urging pregnant women not to wear stilettos, according to BBC News. Oops, I missed that memo.

Helping run MotherTalkers, I often get pitches from vendors and non-profit organizations. Here is a neat website that includes all the rules and descriptions of the some of the most popular board games out there.

And I cannot believe I overlooked this one. Did you know that our Vegas has a blog? Here it is!

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


Friday Open Thread

Happy Friday!

According to the National Enquirer, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon are expecting twins. I used to ignore the news coming out of the National Enquirer as pure rubbish – until they broke the story on John Edwards. So, I’m guessing that congratulations are an order!

From Perez Hilton, The Christian Newswire director Gary McCullough issued a press release blaming the decline in ratings of American Idol on Ellen DeGeneres. He says:

“I am confident that the producers of American Idol will be shocked when their market share has cratered, and will in all honesty find a dozen other reasons for the drop in ratings. After all, what successful television producer could have a clue what wholesomeness is as long as they see promoting homosexuality as a virtue.

“Network television producers may or may not stop promoting homosexuality; but for certain they will learn to keep homosexual activism separate from the cash-cow of family entertainment.'”


And finally, I know we touched on this yesterday in the open thread, but I just wanted to express how saddened I was to learn of Rue McClanahan’s passing, especially because Rue has always reminded me of my mother. Not only are they the same age, but I’ve always noticed a resemblance.

Coincidentally, Erika and I were just talking about Rue’s character Blanche in the Golden Girls. Erika reminded me that Blanche was the same age as Samantha in Sex and the City. Go figure.

I thought I’d leave you with the “Best of Blanche”, and see if you don’t recognize a little bit of Samantha…

My heart goes out to her family. May she rest in peace.

Of course, this is an open thread and you are free to discuss whatever you wish. What else is going on?


Does Pregnancy Change Your Body Forever?

Let’s call this the “body image” open thread.

Trainer Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser has created quite a stir in the blogosphere for comments she made to Women’s Health magazine. The magazine did not include the article in its entirety so I will quote from the Huffington Post:

Michaels, 36, tells Women’s Health she is unwilling to become pregnant because of the way it would change her body.

“I’m going to adopt. I can’t handle doing that to my body,” she told the magazine. “Also, when you rescue something, it’s like rescuing a part of yourself.”

I was more offended at her comments about adoption because you “rescue” dogs and not children. But what created a maelstrom in the blogosphere was her not wanting to “do that” her body with pregnancy. To that I say “meh,” although commenters in the Huffington Post and this blog said otherwise. From a blogger named Juniper Russo Tarascio:

I support adoption whole-heartedly; I have two adopted siblings and my husband and I are considering adoption in the relatively near future. However, body-image issues have no place in that decision. I have no fears regarding the physical effects of pregnancy, because I know that these supposed “damages” are easily erased by fitness efforts.

Some moms in Tarascio’s blog and the Huffington Post disagreed with her assessment that a mom’s body is “easily erased by fitness efforts.” As someone who runs up to 9 miles every other morning, I can attest to this. By the way, I spotted all of this in Laurie Puhn’s Expecting Words blog and I agree with her take on Jillian’s comment:

My opinion is that Jillian’s comment should be put in context.  First, we live in a culture that idealizes thinness.  She admits to being overweight as a child and it’s possible that weight is a defining part of her identity.  I can understand how someone who already has body image issues and anxieties would become increasingly stressed and depressed by pregnancy weight gain.  I feel pretty good about my body, but even so, I remember when I stepped on the scale and saw a weight that was nearly 25 pounds more than I had ever seen before.  My eyes bulged out!

At this point my body is back to what it used to be, but even if it wasn’t, my body is not how I make my living.  For Jillian, it is.  And this brings me to my second point.  Jillian is an individual and she should make the choice that’s best for her.  Pregnancy would force her to alter her intense workouts.  If she can’t handle changing her fitness routine, then she should not get pregnant.  At least she knows her limits and admits them.  For that, I give her credit.

Also, what offended readers was the shallowness of her comments. My take is if Jillian is that concerned about body image and “rescuing” children then perhaps she is not ready to be a mother. I say let Jillian live her life the way she wants. But I do think she used a poor choice of words, especially since she helps so many obese mothers on her show. If I weighed 300 pounds after having a couple babies, the last thing I would want to hear from my fitness trainer is that I somehow permanently ruined my body. Yeah, that’ll get me to haul ass on the treadmill!

That said, I also agree with Laurie that not all bodies are permanently “ruined” following pregnancy. No, my body is not exactly the same, but I am very proud of it and what it can do. Despite gaining 50 pounds with each of my kids during pregnancy, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight, physically fit and toned, and can wear a size 2, including skinny jeans. I did not resort to diet pills or crazy diets. I simply eat healthy and at scheduled times during the day and exercise for an hour to an hour and a half every other morning.

Yes, I have that little flap of skin around the belly that jiggles when I run, but I am totally fine with it. Every time I see my kids run around — and they were BIG babies, people! — I think, “I did that.” It is an amazing feeling so I like having proof that I made them. In that sense, I take no offense to Jillian’s comments.

What do you think? How has pregnancy — and parenthood! — changed your body for the good and bad? What do you love about your body? You know what I would like to see on the Biggest Loser? The trainers remain trimmed even after holding down a non-fitness-related job and raising children. Now that’s a reality show I would tune into!