Wednesday, September 10, 2014

28 Weeks and Breathing

The motion hearing I had been dreading and dreading for the past few weeks has come and gone. Everything went well, despite being incredibly long and touch and go. I was present, though not arguing, and could barely get a read on how the judge was going to rule until the very last minute, when he finally ruled in our favor. Even our outside counsel, who was arguing the case, was totally freaked out going into it since we found out at the very last second that our regular judge was on vacation and the motion would be decided by a visiting judge.

Anyway, all turned out well and I feel like I can finally breathe. Also, it totally explains my super crummy mood over the weekend, and the state of my cuticles at this very moment. 

But! Now I can concentrate on being 28 weeks pregnant, in the third trimester by all pregnancy guide standards, and (most importantly) on figuring out where those damn footie pajamas went!

Entering the final trimester, I am feeling quite large, though I'm still doing very well with keeping any weight gain under control. As of my last Doctor's visit, I've gained 6 pounds, but I am definitely already waddling. This explains how I was able to wear my suit jacket to court this morning, though only the top button could be done. I'm just relieved to know that my pregnancy hasn't moved to my torso, like it did last time. My pants were black maternity pants, but I still managed to look pulled together enough that our outside counsel said "So, you're pregnant then?" when I mentioned that I refused to buy a maternity suit despite my inability to button my jacket. This is both flattering (Oh, you couldn't tell? Why thank you) and confusing (Wait, I obviously have a large protrusion in my belly area -- did you just think I was enormously fat?). 

I'm now seeing my doctor every two weeks, which feels a bit premature at this point, but will hopefully help break the remaining 12 weeks up into some nice manageable chunks. I guess this is the point at which we start worrying about blood pressure increases and contractions and kick counts, so it'll be nice to check in with someone every two weeks without having to worry about calling in for every little thing I might have questions about. 

I continue to feel lots of movement, and those movements are now completely visible from the outside. I'll be laying down before sleep, and will watch my bump shift completely from one side to the other. I remember this happening with Mia, but I don't quite remember her being being this active. 

On a super mushy note, I'm starting to get really excited about meeting this person that I've felt inside me for the past several months. With Mia, there was so much anticipation, but so much mystery. Of course, this time around, there is still plenty of mystery (how will we handle having two children? how will Mia react to having a baby in the house? will I be able to breastfeed for longer?) but the basic aspects of having a newborn are not unknown to us. How to swaddle, how to burp, how to breastfeed, how to change diapers, how will we handle the lack of sleep (poorly), we know all of that. What we do not know, is who this person is. And finding that out is what I am most excited about, this time around. 

Also? So many things I've read, and so many people, talk about how the second pregnancy just flies by. They say that you're so busy concentrating on the child you do have, and juggling all of your responsibilities, you'll barely have time to think about being pregnant. Well, I call complete and total bullshit on that. This pregnancy has gone by quite slowly for me. We found out I was pregnant the day I got back from France, and honestly, that feels like years ago. So, NO. I have not for one second forgotten that I was pregnant, and I feel like I've been pregnant FOREVER.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Complain-y Moments

I have pregnancy brain to the millionth degree. But at least I'm aware of it. I had two small things to do -- each would take about 10 minutes. I have to start BOTH at the same time to make sure I don't do one and forget about the other. 20 minutes later, both things are done but my brain is exhausted.

I have done everything I can leading up to a motion hearing we have scheduled for Wednesday. I'm not arguing it, of course, outside counsel is, but I've done everything humanly possible for things to go in our favor. I hope. I keep telling myself that I am not my job. This weekend, I'd work myself up over the motion, but Mia's hugs would keep me grounded. This morning, with Mia's scent and arms at daycare, I'm trying to focus on this baby's kicks to keep me stable. It works, until I forget to pay attention!

I'm anxious (see above) and can't compartmentalize. This is usually my strength, and how I think I manage to keep myself happy. I find myself getting furious at my boss when I overhear him speaking to his family and responding that things are "great" when asked how he's doing, and that he's "just working hard over here" when asked what he's up to. You are not fine! Don't be so cheerful!

I have a co-worker who was hired in a pretty large role while I was out studying for and taking the bar exam last year. Usually, I'm somewhat involved in the hiring process, but obviously, I was out when she started. I would never, ever, have been enthusiastic about this hire. She is unable to compose a coherent sentence in written form. COMPLETELY unable. She has written 5 word interoffice memos, and two of the 5 words are misused or misplaced. So every time she needs something "written", she comes to me. She speaks, and I write it down. I cannot, CANNOT understand how a person can get through life like this. I also cannot understand how someone like this could ever make it through any form of hiring process. I've brought it up, of course, and have been asked to please help her if I have time.

The weekend ended with me sitting on the couch, declaring that I had not had any fun all weekend. I was whiny about all the football that had been on my television, despite there really not being anything else that I wanted to watch. I spend the weekend doing about 12 loads of laundry for myself, my child, and my unborn child. Then I folded and put away all of that laundry. And organized the girl(s)' closet and room. It was incredibly productive, actually. But not at all fun. I honestly didn't leave the house once.

There is a box of under 6 month old infant clothing hidden away in my house. I've found many many onesies and burp cloths and swaddling blankets but I'm missing a bunch of footie sleepers I absolutely know we had. I've looked everywhere I can think to look, and of course, my husband has been to preoccupied with his fantasy football team to care to assist me in my search. Where oh where are those adorable little clothes hiding??

Sunday, September 7, 2014

MILP Roundup #363

This post should cover all the MILPy updates from the week of September 1 through 7, 2014. It turns out to be a pretty quiet week, but here's what everyone has been up to!

But I do marvels at her two grown up creations, starting school this week.

CP  manages her two boys on her own for the Great Staycation of 2014, at 32 weeks pregnant. And Jacob starts school!

Lag Liv celebrates 9 years of marriage, looking fantastic thanks to all those Barre workouts.

The Queen of Hats eases pH back into home schooling, showing those public schools up, and taking advantage of trips to the post office as teachable moments.

Perfect Yellow Yolk celebrates 34 weeks, and continues to get the best comments from people around her. When will they learn? This week, I got a "Wow! You're really popping out there!".

Daisy, JD has joined some kind of awesome city-wide work out class thing that if I was still in Chicago, would totally be down for (you know, for like 3 weeks until... couch.)

Kate had a big week! She signed a lease, finished a bar application and got her JD (in writing)!

The weekly Mothers in the Legal Profession Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at ButterflyfishGraceBJJ, Law, and Living, Mommy and the Sin City, Magic CookieThe Reluctant Grownup, and Perspectives from a Hard Boiled Egg.

If you would like your blog to be included in this Roundup, pleases email any of the above mentioned hostesses! Magic Cookie's got it next.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

At least it's not a Monday

There's something about the first day back at work following a three day weekend that makes me dread opening my work email. I come up with all sorts of scenarios that could have happened between 5pm on Friday and 9am on Tuesday. I have to remind myself that everyone else was off work too. The post office was closed. The courts were closed. Other businesses were closed. This is no different from a regular Monday, except it has the bonus of already being Tuesday!

During pregnancy, my anxiety levels seem to skyrocket. Not about the pregnancy itself, or about the baby (though I do have my moments), but about everything else around me.The anxieties are nothing new, circumstances are generally not changed, but me? I can't seem to keep it together. I can feel my heart beating in my chest, my blood pressure drops, I get dizzy... it's all very unpleasant. 

Spoiler alert -- nothing new or unexpected happened. There are some stressful things to deal with, but you know. Nothing I didn't know about on Friday and clearly nothing I can stop from giving me the yucks.

Anyway. The weekend! It really was a glorious one. At some point on Sunday, I felt like maybe we should actually try to do something social and involving a grill, but then I decided to just blow up our inflatable pool and call that Labor Day. And it was spectacular. It was hot enough to make our 8 foot long plastic pool appealing, and Mia and I spent about 2 hours lounging and splashing about on both Sunday and Monday while B was a fuddy duddy indoors.

Even with the daytime splashing about, it managed to be a really productive weekend. We did the things working parents need to do on the weekends to keep up with... life. I even had time to organize my inventory stock for the upcoming holiday opening of the Etsy Shop. I've found that I can be successful in the months leading up to and following the Holidays, but that it isn't worth the time and effort in between. So, look out for some new things starting October 1st, including lots of new handmade earrings! I'm excited for the season, and I am trying to get most of the making and photographing done before I am juggling a newborn on my boob multiple times a day. 

Happy September, everyone! Next week, 3rd trimester and all its glory.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Planning Ahead

It may not even be September yet, but I feel like I've been planning for the Holiday Season since the moment those two pink lines showed up on the pregnancy test. Since my official due date is December 3rd, 6 days after Thanksgiving, I've planned for the Wednesday before thanksgiving to be my last day of work (unless I go into labor before then). I think it should be pretty fun for my maternity leave to coincide perfectly with the Holiday season, so that I don't have to worry about days off, or daycare being closed for so many days, etc. I mean, my Mom will be with us for that time, so if Mia does have to stay home from daycare, at least I won't be on my own with two children!

Anyway, other people thought this timing was pretty great, too. And by other people, I mean many members of my large Filipino family. Have I ever mentioned that my Mom is one of 10 siblings? Well. Many of them still live in the Philippines, and with me being a actual adult for the past 5 years now, I haven't gone back there since winter break of 3L. A combination of that, my due date, and the fact that many of my Filipino family members have yet to meet Mia (including my Filipino Grandmother!), they have declared it Las Vegas Christmas 2014!

I mean, don't get me wrong. I am so excited to see them. They are the funnest bunch, and my Mom's youngest brother is only 12 years older than I am, and his youngest child is only 18 months older than Mia. It's going to be so much fun to have a big family Christmas, especially considering the subdued and intimate Christmases our little family has been having for the past couple of years. I was a little shell-shocked when my Mom told me over FaceTime last night, considering she thought she had already told me but definitely hadn't, so it was kind of like... "Okay, add more people to the list of those coming for Christmas", and I'm like... "In addition to you and Dad, you mean?", and it was more like "No, In addition to uncle 1, 2, 3, 4, you can add cousins 5, 6, 7" and so on until you reach a grand total of about 22 people.

No, they are not staying in my 3 bedroom, 1,500 square foot house for 10 days. Anyone have a very large house with a very large dining table to rent in Las Vegas?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Toddler Sleep Habits, Follow Up.

Not a lot has been going on around here, other than really starting to feel achy and large, so I thought I'd do an update on how things are going with our Mia's previously awful sleep habits.

When I last left off, were were valiantly attempting the ignore-your-childs-delay-tactics method. The basics being: put your child to bed normally, then when they get out of bed, silently return them to bed as many times as it takes until you think you are going to kill yourself. We did this for about a week or two, but found Mia was probably responding to this in the opposite way you would expect. She'd go completely ballistic when we didn't respond to her, it seemed to be doing more harm than good.

Shift to the "completely ignore" method. We spent a couple of weeks allowing her to yell out her requests from the threshold of her room (she was blocked in by a babygate), only to have them fall on completely deaf ears. We made sure she had everything she could possibly need before leaving her: a full cup of water, a potty visit, all the stuffed animals her heart desired, and even the pajamas of her choice. It worked... kind of but completely inconsistently. Some nights, she'd settle herself down after repeatedly getting ignored, either falling asleep on the floor of her room, or back in her bed. Some nights, she'd get herself into such a STATE that she'd still be awake by 10pm, the time B and I usually head up to our room. If she knew we were in our own room, she'd settle down without a peep.

With that method being so inconsistent, we switched things up a bit. I didn't think it was going to benefit anyone to have her continue to either 1) fall asleep on the floor of her room, or 2) stay up so late that she was exhausted the next day. So, I gave it a time limit. If she was still making requests/screaming/whatever she was doing after 30 minutes of us leaving her, then I would go up and give her what she wanted, or declining her request if it was less reasonable, but asking her to get back in her bed and please calm down. This is what seems to have done the trick, at least in our case. It was somewhat inconsistent for a while; some nights, she'd settle down after just one 30 minute visit. Some nights, it could stretch out into 2 or 3 visits over a 60 or 90 minute span. But, as of the past couple of weeks, she's back to settling down without any more visits. She's gotten her story privileges back, she's learned to make her requests quickly,  before we leave the room, and reasonably. She'll ask to read a book in her bed, and I'll tell her that she can, as long as she is laying down. If she does get up, we can either talk to her from the bottom of the stairs ("Mama, there's a fly in my room." "That's OK, honey. Flies don't bite.") or, we will go up and calmly put her back in her bed.

While my description is not likely going to give anyone too many helpful tips in dealing with this kind of thing, I can at least say that adapting the methods with some hard and fast rules to your own kid's personality is probably the best way to go, especially if you really aren't seeing any results with the strict rules. I hated getting Mia so worked up by ignoring her, and found that if I put a time limit on that, it made it a lot easier to be patient and calm when I did go to her room. The ignoring-her for periods of time method has only been effective for us because Mia isn't night-time potty trained yet. I haven't even wanted to tackle that monster until her going-to-bed habits were somewhat under control.

I do my best to be completely positive throughout the whole bedtime routine. If she starts to show any negative feeling towards sleeping, I try to change her focus by asking her which story she'd like to read, or which pajamas she'd like to wear, etc. I was finding that I was getting really stressed and unpleasant when she was going through the worst of the bedtime resistance and I've really tried my best not to get stressed in anticipation of her resisting.

I really feel like we've finally pushed through to the other side of this nightmare. Ever since Mia turned 3, I've been lamenting this age as the absolute worst we've had to deal with, but I'm finding that now that we've got sleep under control, all of the other tantrums and difficulties have also fallen off and I really feel like my sweet girl is back from the land of the sleep deprived!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Tidbits

  • Yesterday was a Doctor filled day. 24 week visit for me! While I have a couple of weird and unpleasant things going on, they are (as usual) "normal" for pregnancy and there's basically nothing that can be done to fix it except give birth. So, my numb fingers and heart palpitations will remain in place until Thanksgiving. 
  • I took Mia to the pediatrician later that afternoon after daycare told us that she had been going to the bathroom a lot more frequently than usual. My instinct was to chalk it up to drinking a lot of water/wanting attention, but after going through quite the adventure of getting her to pee in a cup, she's got a bladder infection! It doesn't actually seem to be bothering her much, with the exception of the increased bathroom use, so I'm not terribly worried about it and antibiotics should do the trick!
  • This in-utero child is so much more violent than my first fetus. I don't know if it has something to do with being more aware of movement this time around, having a "looser" uterus, or what, but this child frequently kicks or headbutts me in the cervix and it is not pleasant. Without fail, after every meal, I have to lean back in my chair and give her room to trash about.
  • I've been having some trouble with some anxiety. I'm about 99% sure that it's related to pregnancy hormones, but I take everything stressful so personally and have found myself getting physically worked up about it. It started a couple of weeks ago and has been going strong this week. Luckily, I was able to get some resolution to the stressful issue at work, but I'm getting the feeling that it won't be isolated to that single event. In my head, I can realize that I am overreacting, but I can't seem to tell my heart to relax.
  • We decided at the very last minute to do a quick night out of town. We'll be spending one day and night at Big Bear Lake, in California. I'm looking forward to breathing some fresh air and enjoying the sounds of the lake.