Archive | February, 2011

I feel like a douche

28 Feb

I just drew up a guest list for a baby shower a family friend is throwing for me in Houston. I won’t lie, I feel horrid inviting people I haven’t spoken to in months… I just as bad not inviting others… and the worst part is, that when all was said and done, I’d put down 28 names, which made me feel bad, too! Like I was being greedy for wanting to celebrate the impending birth of my child with friends and family. I don’t want the family friend to feel like we’re inviting more than she could accommodate, but at the same time, I know that sometimes you just have to ask for things and see what happens.

*sigh* Sometimes you just can’t win.

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xkcd brings the lolz

28 Feb

 

An oldie, but a goodie.  Man I love the webcomic xkcd.  Click through and read through a few of them – you’ll be hooked too.

26 weeks…

27 Feb

Holy cow, this pregnancy is at 26 weeks. This little one has been chilling out in my womb for 6 whole months. Where did time go????

She (or he – that’s still a distinct possibility, even if my intuition says otherwise) has been really active over the weekend. Full on aqua-robics! Last night, the hubs and I were trying to get…*cozy* and she wouldn’t let me forget she was there. Thanks kid, I’ll remember this and get you back later somehow…

No doctor appointments this coming week, thank goodness.

We have another of those lovely monthly sonograms scheduled for the 10th, and then a regular OB visit that same afternoon. Yaaay. I want to work on some of my birth “intentions” for that visit. I’ll probably have a rough outline here next weekend – I have to take a lot of thoughts on the actual interventions and routines, as well as my personal comfort measures, and find a way to boil them down. Oy vey, I could go on forever about that.

On the same note…

24 Feb

While earlier this week, I was freaking out because I wasn’t sure if I’d have job protection to take extended leave to be with my child after delivery, the Human Rights Watch was putting out this report on paid-leave in the U.S.:

Failing Its Families

The part that is being picked up by the media is that out of 190 countries looked at, the United States of America is one of THREE countries that doesn’t provide for paid maternity leave under national law.

We are supposed to consider ourselves fortunate that approximately half of Americans even get job protection…

I’m lucky to have been able to find a position with an employer who chooses to offer some paid leave (though I have to use any remaining vacation and sick pay before the short-term disability will pay out).

trying not to freak out – FREAK-OUT AVOIDED

22 Feb

*sigh*

I’ve put off making solid plans for taking leave for several reasons:

  1. I thought I understood what the big fact sheets were saying and I thought I would qualify for FMLA.
  2. What if I lost the baby?
  3. I knew that my condition as a diabetic could mean that many, many, many things could change with just the results of one office visit and I didn’t want to be overly optimistic.
  4. I just didn’t want to.

Well, that’s all biting me in the butt because I had started to imagine what my leave would entail and it’s not going to be ANYTHING like what I thought.

I called Human Resources awhile ago and they told me that I just don’t qualify for FMLA because I didn’t start “Full-time” until November and it won’t have been a full year in that position by the time I deliver.  Umm, suck?  That means I MIGHT get lucky and get to take a full six weeks off.  I do qualify for short-term disability (which would probably be the 6 weeks) and then they have something called non-qualifying family and medical leave here (not the same as full-federal leave) which is up to 30 days and may or may not be inclusive of the short-term disability.

Ugh, I haven’t received the info pack from HR yet, so I know feeling really blue about this might be premature.  It just sucks to feel that my time here as a part-time employee doesn’t “count” and if I had not been promoted, I’d have almost no job protection.  I’ve been with this school for over a year and a half!  It’s times like these when a woman realizes the challenges that trying to be a working parent will cause.

*sigh* I guess this means I need to get serious about the search for a daycare…

… okay AS I WAS WRITING THIS (to keep from crying on the phone to my husband) I got a phone call from HR… HECK YEAH! They checked my “hours worked” in the last year, and I do qualify for FMLA.  THANK GOD!  I didn’t freak out too much (considering who I am) when I heard I didn’t qualify for FMLA, but now, I am bursting with excitement!   I want to do a little dance.  This is WONDERFUL! I should have known that it was strange that she’d refer to my previous position as “your time as a temp” – she didn’t realize I’d been here for that long, working the hours that I did.  I should have remembered that I’ve looked at the FMLA info sheets online from the government and that I felt from my understanding of them that I would qualify – I should not have let one person, who made a less than fully informed comment change what I thought I knew.  Thank you whomever in HR mentioned that to her or whatever spirit moved her hand to check.

Umm… so in summation, to tie this whole entry up, I guess I would recommend to each pregnant woman to be familiar with her rights by checking independent sources.  Don’t expect that others know what they’re talking about (they might, and if it’s their job, they probably do) – do your leg work first and then consult your source, THEN double-check.

*sigh* Little Salty!Babe, we’re gonna be okay.

Planned Parenthood

18 Feb

I just read that the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, a service that provides reproductive and preventative health services like counseling, STI tests, birth control to men and women, cancer screenings, and well-woman check-ups.

Planned Parenthood is already unable to use federal funding for abortion services, which feels restrictive, but takes the opinions of many tax-payers into account. That’s the democratic process, I can live with that.

Denying funding for a service which provides such basic needs as testing and screening, which fills in the gaps for many people who may not qualify for other aid but can’t afford to purchase services at full-cost at a private provider is just STUPID and NEGLIGENT. That’s forgetting how to be HUMAN. We as the American public should recognize that it is our civil duty to look out for others and reproductive health is a big arena where our small contribution can make a huge difference. An often-quoted estimate says that for each US taxpayer dollar spent on family-planning services, like Planned Parenthood, taxpayers are saved four (!!!!) in Medicaid costs.

This is a time of prayer. May the Senators see that this is a fool-hardy move that will not save taxpayers money. May they understand in their hearts that Planned Parenthood can be a valuable resource and service to the communities.

My boobs hate me

16 Feb

They do, I just know it.

TMI after cut

Continue reading

15 Feb

I’m not going to say I’m sorry for the radio silence. I know I have a couple of readers and I am so grateful to know I am connected through my blog to a “real” audience, but last week was CRAZY.

We had that MFM appointment last Monday, wherein I just barely didn’t have a full-blown panic attack, learned that my baby’s size indicates an estimated due date of 3 days later than we had been working on (which correlates with the previous sonos and becomes ammo for avoiding or at least delaying an induction and all the cascading interventions that one could lead to), and proved that I could do pretty danged awesome with my BG control when given real parameters and a carb-consumption plan. I currently don’t have to see that doc every week, which makes me super excited. I do see her next Monday morning, which makes me sad, but at least I got to space it out. Also, we learned that the baby is “probably a girl” mostly because of lack of obvious penis – baby was chillin’ out in the frank breech position with her little legs straight in front of her face and neither doc nor tech could get a clear enough shot of the genitals.  I’m okay with a little mystery, particularly because I don’t want over-gender the baby.

After visiting with the MFM on one side of town, I got to visit Dr. Endocrinologist. I’ve been meeting with his FNP, Jennifer, who is AWESOME and meeting with her means I can actually have monthly appointments and short wait times, so I don’t mind too much… But this was the big “three-month” visit with Dr. Endocrinologist and I was kind of excited because so much had changed.  And he was impressed. He kept saying, “Mrs. Salty, you’ve got to be really proud of yourself.” Damn right! I love it when doctors are able to be positive with you. He’s definitely one of my cheerleaders. Aaaaaaaannnnnnddd, he agreed that I can hold off on my next visit to the diabetes clinic until after I deliver. 🙂  Though he’s crazy and seems to believe that I WILL be induced at 38 weeks and that I should schedule with him for the week I’m due… hahahahahahaha, not if I can do anything to prevent that.

Tuesday through Thursday were a blur. The weather was cold and I was trying to make up some hours at work so I kept missing out on sleep so I could go to work early. I didn’t pack the lunches and snacks I should have and my diet suffered. Also, I had to skip out on my usual Thursday volunteering with the childbirth education classes because I needed to try to get some extra sleep.

Friday was a bit of the same, plus my “show”. I joined a shadowcast for a movie called Repo! The Genetic Opera in the month I got pregnant (I swear, I just started making all these changes that month). I joined primarily because I wasn’t “hanging out” with anybody on any regular basis and let’s face it, I do better with routine, so a performing “troupe” of sorts who’d have to schedule rehearsals and performances seemed like a great idea… I was also supposed to only have 1 role… which snow-balled into 2 roles… which became 3, and then 4. Now, not one of these roles is pivotal to the story, they just set the scene for the drama to unfold, but I try to take it seriously.  And I’ve been crafting little props here and there when I could, like crocheting a pair of false breasts for a guy who cross-dresses as a female character. I saw one picture on Facebook  and the falsies MADE the woman (though the hairy neckline made for hilarity).  So Friday was our “big show” at a local music spot because we’d been a little hazy on whether we’d ever make it back to the small movie theater that we normally performed at.  Having an actual stage really engaged the audience (having an actual dressing room also kept the cast on best behavior).  It was a wonderful show; the energy of all the cast members was phenomenal and everything “clicked”.  I hope we’re invited back before I have to “retire”.

Saturday was a mess.  See, I didn’t get home until sometime close to 2 a.m. Bad idea.  It was like a hang-over minus the alcohol part.  I was just worn out from the long week.  I spent the whole weekend at home in a sweatshirt and pajama bottoms.  I just zoned out and caught up on news and my favorite sitcoms online.  I even played some World of Warcraft and the Sims2.  It was a really productive weekend…

Now, speaking of productive… it’s time for me to clean the kitchen.  yay.

Show time

6 Feb

This morning I was awoken by our smallest dog licking my hand.  (They’ve been sleeping with us because of the “cold” weather in south Texas.) I batted him away and moved my hand under the blanket and on to my tummy…

and just happened to feel the baby kick!  From the outside!  I could feel him or her movement from outside my skin!

I laid there for what seemed like forever, just waiting for the little one to do it again.  And the baby obliged.  And again!

It was so cool!

And then my mind finally began to process that I should share this moment with my poor husband.  So far this pregnancy has been so self-centered – I’m the one carrying the child, I’m the one who feels the child move, who gets to go to the doctor, who gets to complain, and register, and be showered with gifts for the baby.

So, I nudged the husband awake and pulled his hand into “position”.

And he got impatient and wanted to go back to sleep.  Hopefully, the little one will put on another show soon… while dad is awake.

5 Feb

I’ve been putting off writing about the visit to the Maternal-Fetal Specialist because I feel really conflicted about it.

Reasons why I disliked my visit:

First of all, I dread going to the doctor – any doctor.  I hate being touched and poked and prodded.  I hate paying to wait for hours to spend less than 15 minutes with someone who is only going to do the aforementioned hateful actions.  Also, I have a bit of white coat syndrome and all the pretending that I’m tough before and after visits means jack-squat because in the end, I rarely stick up for myself and instead just get upset on the inside and become passive-aggressive.

Secondly, I hate that after years of being diabetic, there are few people who can effectively convey your diabetes “plan” in education classes.  I understand that most diabetic people only need the basics to begin with, but when I could teach the class on food choices better than the facilitator (this person could not have possibly a certified diabetes educator), there are problems.  In particular: if “all carbs are equal”, then explaining that a corn tortilla is a worse carb/starch choice than a flour one “because of the corn”, is stupid.  Get me a real nutritionist or at least some current hand-outs.  (There is no reason to give us a hand-out then to tell us that it’s the “old way” of doing things and that we should do the math – mine is so covered with notes that I wrote in or someone at some point wrote in that I don’t remember what is referring to what anymore.  Please just make a new hand-out.)

Thirdly, I’ve noticed that environment has everything to do with my comfort level in an office.  They had lay-z-boy style recliners as examination seats in at least two exam rooms (I know, that’s how many I was shuffled through)… it was weird.  Even though I hate the thought of stirrups, a recliner is not going to make me automatically “comfortable”.  To me, it was just unsettling.  (This might be because I’m rather short and I’ve never found recliners comfortable – ever.  My legs already stick out straight in front of me if I sit back.)  Also, the conference room in which they held the education class was barely bigger than the exam rooms and could not accommodate all of the patients there for the class comfortably.  That’s rather pathetic.

Lastly, it looks like I won’t be able to extend the length of time between visits.  When I met Dr. Endocrinologist and he immediately wanted to put me in the hospital, he understood I was upset, let me have my moment, explained that I could not safely go without the hospitalization and found a way to compromise with me on the length of stay (two nights instead of three so long as I met some criteria).  Dr. McMFM didn’t ask why I felt like I should ask if I could have two weeks in between visits; she didn’t explain that she had no way of allowing me to report numbers in via phone, fax or email; she didn’t even mince her words when she stated, “well if your numbers had been lower early on, maybe…”  I walked out feeling like some failure.  I know that I can’t help that I have a genetic predisposition to this condition, just liked I know that what happens to my body and my baby my diabetes is largely a result of my choices.  Seriously, I get that.  I’ve made some DUMB choices in my life, but in the last few months, I feel I’ve been making the best choices I could, with the tools I had.  It’s not my fault that my OB didn’t refer me out right away, it’s not my fault the endocrinologist didn’t give me blood glucose goals closer to the ones Dr. McMFM wants. Seriously, that statement was only 1/3 of the way through my experience with them and just ruined the rest of my day.

Reasons I feel I should just be over it:

I knew going in that this doctor is not about making you feel “good”. Dr. McMFM’s stance is purely medical and slanted to the “you’re a baby incubator”-side of things.  Seriously, she barely looked up from stack of charts she held and she rattled off an explanation of why diabetes in pregnancy is not good for the baby so quickly I only caught every third word.  I saw the actual doctor for less than 5 minutes out of the entire 4 hours I was there.

I know I’ve got to stop feeling indignant when my experiences with medical professionals isn’t magic.  They’re doing a job.

I know I went in there grumpy because I hate driving on that highway to get there and I hate doctor’s visits, was made grumpier by the lack of attention to me, the speshul snowflake, and my speshul wishes and then made even grumpier by my picking on particulars.

Things I appreciated:

I was able to schedule a follow-up with relative ease.  They made all of the class participants do this while we were waiting for the others to be processed with the nurse and then the doc so that we could meet together as one class.  It filled the time a bit and meant there wasn’t a line at the scheduling desk after class .  Good move.  Also, I was able to actually get an appointment for Monday morning, which, since I have another appointment (maybe the last with Dr. Endocrine for awhile?) in the afternoon, works for me.

I was given a clear target for my blood glucose numbers.  I do not care for some of the particulars of the diet plan (seriously, they want me to eat a snack right before bed that has the same nutritional requirements as the breakfast they’re allowing me) nor do I care for the way they presented it (really old hand-out, see above, and an emphasis on processed foods, ) but I can already see that sticking as closely as I can handle will give me numbers in the targets they want.

I guess that’s all I really have to say about the visit.  I hope I can stand the next one a little better – I get to have another ultrasound, but at least I get to know the sex of the baby.