Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Now that I'm pregnant, my life has taken on a different perspective when it comes to work. My husband and I are both professionals in the tech industry, and have carved out pretty successful careers for ourselves. I myself am a manager, and have worked my way up to this level over the last few years. I get a pretty good paycheck, and DH and I have created a comfortable life for ourselves in terms of our home and the other various items we can afford to splurge on based on a decent amount of disposable income.

I try to picture what it will be like when Kiwi arrives. Will I want to work anymore, or will I have the unending desire to be a stay-at-home Mom? Most of the Moms in our neighborhood stay home, and I have heard through the neighborhood grapevine (not that I partake much in that sort of thing) that the general view of these women towards working mothers is not a good one. Not that this would make or break the decision for me; it's just an interesting side note.

My husband is against me being a stay at home Mom, because he thinks I can do both. He tends to look at things more pragmatically when it comes to this issue. He figures we have both paid due diligence in our careers, so why should I give mine up and the lifestyle that we have come to enjoy as a result? Don't get me wrong, he is not a materialistic shmuck like this may make him appear...but I think that he has witnessed his own mother and my sisters doing the same thing and he and their kids have turned out fine. He has also witnessed stay at home moms that tend to lose a bit of themselves in their kids, and when it's time to go back to work - they don't have the confidence and/or tools needed to stick their toes back in the water.

Knowing myself as I do, I don't think I'm suited to be a stay-at-home mom indefinitely. Right now I am planning to take 5-6 months off for maternity leave, but I think I'll be ready to go back when the time is up. But who the heck knows how I'll feel until I'm really in that situation?

So the current dilemma is this - there are some job openings in my company that would allow me to go back to being an individual contributor (read this as a non-manager) and still take home the same pay. I would have less responsibility, and arguably a lower-pressure job as a result. I would also have more opportunity to work from home, allowing me flexibility with the baby's schedule. Although this would be somewhat of a "step down" in terms of my job level, I think this could be a good way to balance the demands of motherhood and career, but not try to be a superwoman amidst it all. I have a week to consider the job openings before I have to decide whether to apply or not. I happen to know one of the hiring managers, and she told me she'd start heavily weeding out candidates next week, and to let her know if I do apply so she can look for my application. So it seems like I might have a foot in the door for that particular opportunity.

My husband is out of town this week, so I'm trying to gather my thoughts so we can discuss more fully this weekend. I guess in the meantime I should update my resume since it won't hurt to have it updated even if I decide not to apply.

I wish I didn't have to worry about all this very adult type of crap, and could just kick back, enjoy my pregnancy, and dream about babies :) But that is not how the cookie crumbles, eh?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Meeting the OB/GYN

I had my first real appointment with the new OB today. He was really nice, and DH and I liked him a lot. I call this my first real appointment since the one last week was with that nursing student, and we didn't do anything in the way of exams.

Today, we discussed medical history, did a pap smear and breast exam, felt the uterus (it is growing right on track), and heard the heartbeat! It was different hearing the heartbeat on a doppler machine versus a transvaginal ultrasound, but still a wonderful sound to hear all the same. It strikes me as a bit passive/odd that this is all we need to do to verify the pregnancy is ok and on track. I would feel a lot better if I could see Kiwi every time, but alas, that is not the fate of how they treat a standard pregnancy...sigh.

Doc did send me home with a lab slip to schedule my 20 week u/s, and I did that when I got home. That'll be the one where we can hopefully confirm that my Kiwi is a girl :) It'll be funny if she turns out to be a he, because I've had it so firmly in my mind that she is in fact a girl...

So I am a happy camper. I'm out of the first trimester and have heard the heartbeat. I've started to tell more people at work. I told my boss last week, and this week I started to tell my team (I am a manager) and some of my peers. It's all good; they have been very supportive. There are a couple of people on my team who do not have children, and not knowing the reasons for this, I was really, really hoping that I was not hurting them when I told them of my news. IF really ups your sensitivity meter, but I think in a good way.

DH and I had lunch with that couple that's been going through IF treatments. They both have IF issues, but she has endometriosis on top of it all. I really never knew much about this condition, but it sounds like it really sucks. Essentially it's uterine-like tissue that can grow outside of your uterus, like in your fallopian tubes and even into your organs and brain. It's a huge cause for IF. So she's about to start on her first IVF cycle in a few weeks, and is also coupling it with acupuncture treatments. It turns out we've been going to the same fertility office, so it was interesting to compare notes about the type of treatment (both good and bad) that both of us received there. I really feel for them and wish them the best.

I think I'm starting to turn the corner into the "feel good" trimester. I'm not as tired as I used to be, and don't usually need to nap during the day anymore. I still have queasiness, and fought some off this morning with my standard piece of ginger candy. What's killing me is my heightened gag reflex when I brush my teeth. That's been with my for some time, and last weekend I actually vomited from it. Ugh. Needless to say, I am a bit gun-shy now when I brush, not wanting to get to that point of surprise pukage. Still have heartburn sometimes, and let me tell you -either I am starting to show, or I have a hell of a constant bloat going on. My stomach protrudes now, and I'm wearing the kind of maternity pants that are good for the early stages of pregnancy - the ones without the big pouch. Man, do I love those pants! There is so much give and stretch...I could wear these suckers even when I'm not pregnant! Hah! My face is finally starting to clear up, as I've had pimples constantly since becoming pregnant like I haven't had since I was a teen - and even worse than then! That one has really sucked, because I generally had a pretty clear complexion pre-pregnancy, with a few pimples that would come the week before my period. Maybe that "glow" will come that everyone talks about :)

Well since it is lunchtime and I don't have any meetings for an hour, I'm going to go lie down. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Better Than Nothing

Well I went to the new ob/gyn last Friday, and met with a nursing student. Ugh. It's not like I'm not supportive of nursing students and the profession in general, what with the big nursing shortage. But I was looking forward to meeting with the physician's assistant at the very least, so I wouldn't be met with a blank stare to some of my questions (...Nuchal translucency screening? That must be really new - I've never heard of it!) So there we went, filling out paperwork, she gave me a printout of my pregnancy dates, and key dates that I would have certain tests done. Fine. But when we got to the questions stage, she really wasn't too helpful. So I left the appointment feeling a bit unsatisfied, and stopped at the lab to give many tubes of blood for the tests they needed to run.

The nursing student did make another appointment for me with the actual doctor, and I'll be seeing him this Friday. She thinks he may do another u/s since I got pregnant via DIUI. I hope so, it will be good to see Kiwi again just to make sure everything is ok. I asked her if I should wait for this appointment before announcing the news to my boss, etc., and she didn't think that was necessary. As long as I have seen the baby and heard the heartbeat in the past, that seemed to be the key. So I told my boss the news last week, and she was very excited, etc.

So I guess that news is better than nothing, huh?

In other PG-related news, I bought a pretty journal yesterday with a green cover with flowers and butterflies on it. This is going to be my journal to Kiwi during my pregnancy. I wrote in it today for the first time, and it was neat to be "talking" to her in this way, and connecting with her. I want to document what I went through, the thoughts that were swirling in my head, and other general stuff so I can give it to her when she is old enough to understand it all. I think it'll be pretty neat.

DH and I were in the mall yesterday, and I allowed myself to go into the P0ttery B@rn B@by store. It was very cool. Everything was so precious, and I got to check out some of the cribs I've been eyeing. The lady at the store was very sweet and helpful, and being surrounded by all the pastel blues and pinks...I felt like everything was going to be ok.

Better get back to work now - took a little break since it's been awhile since my last post. Hope everyone is well.

Monday, February 12, 2007

@bducted by @liens!

I have been having the most vivid dreams lately! In one, I was back in my college days, dating some random boy. We feel asleep/were late to see my father, and he was so upset at my date that he shot him! My screams of "Why?!...why?!" in my dream actually came out as a garbled scream that DH could barely understand - and woke both of us up! And yes, in another dream - I was abducted by @liens. There were a handful of other people who had been abducted as well, but luckily when the UFO crashed on earth, the @liens took pity on us and released us back to our families. And finally, I dreamt that I had a m/c, and this was the most heartbreaking dream of all.

I will be twelve weeks on Thursday, and have my first appointment with the ob/gyn Friday. I have been waiting for this appointment to confirm that all is well before announcing my news broadly to people at work. Not that I have any reason to doubt that all is NOT well - I just need that extra piece of mind that comes with finishing out the first trimester.

Yes, I am still more sensitive about this topic because of the m/c I experienced last year, and I've been counting the weeks until I could exhale a sigh of relief and start working on the baby room and other things of the sort. Because I haven't wanted to jinx myself by just assuming all was going to work out. I didn't want to get my baby room plans in motion and then have to be devastated by another PG that didn't work out. So this is a big week for me! And it's only Monday, dang it. I have to wait 4 more days until I can have that peace of mind. What will I do with myself until then?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Are Your Pets Acting Wacky Around You?

A friend of mine who knows that I'm pregnant recently asked if I noticed any changes in my dog. I stared at her quizzically, and she told me that she's heard of dogs sensing pregnancy and acting differently as a result. She thought she read something about them being able to hear the baby's heartbeat, and that's how they knew. My curiosity was piqued, so I did some research on the net. I found an interesting article, which follows. The only problem is that my dog is already so clingy as it is, I'm not sure if I would notice a difference unless he really stepped it up several notches. It's a cute notion all the same, and I'll be sure to be aware of his behavior. One different thing he did the other night - I was sitting on the floor with him, rubbing his belly. Then I stopped petting him to watch whatever was on TV. Every few seconds, he would softly wag his tail a few times, then stop. He never wags his tail unless specifically prompted to do so (by direct attention). Who knows - maybe he was happy to hear Kiwi! :)

Sensing Pregnancy: Pregnancy and Your Pet*
If you’re a pet owner, then you may have noticed your cat or dog acting a bit strange since you got pregnant. Perhaps you paid little attention to the changes or maybe you wondered if they could be related to your pregnancy. Well, if you were thinking the latter, then you would be correct!

Pregnant Belly Syndrome?
Pets seem to have an innate intuition when it comes to important events. An animals ability to sense changes in the weather, earthquakes and even volcano eruptions well before humans has long fascinated many. It has also been found that some dogs can detect certain cancers in humans as well as alert a person that they are about to have a seizure or even a heart attack. With such amazing abilities, it should really comes as no surprise that pets can know you’re pregnant before you even think about taking a pregnancy test.

Pregnancy, Your Dog, and that Sixth Sense
While there is no scientific proof that explains precisely why dogs, or any other animal for that matter, can pick up on pregnancy, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence. Just take a look at what the women in our Reader’s Write section have to say about their pets during pregnancy.

Although your dog may not actually understand that you are pregnant, they do notice any changes in your behavior, posture, routine and emotions. These changes may be so minor that you don’t even notice them yourself. But dogs are very much in tune with such differences and will pick up on them right away.

It has also been suggested that dogs may be so sensitive to pregnancy because of the variations in hormones and pheromones in pregnant women. Dogs have an amazing sense of smell that is vastly superior to humans. In fact, their ability to smell is one million times better than humans; when stretched out, their smelling receivers can cover an area of 130m2. In humans, our smelling receptors will only cover 3m2. This is why, before the pregnancy symptoms kick in, before the pregnancy tests are taken, your dog might start to act a bit…different.

Dogs Behaving…Good?
Just how your dog will react to your pregnancy will vary according to your pet. Many women report that their once husband-loving pet has now abandoned that man for her and her pregnant belly. Often becoming more clingy and protective, dogs have been known to stay directly beside mom’s side, even waiting outside the shut bathroom door or next to the tub while you bathe and sleeping beside your bed every night, for the full nine months.

Other dogs may be more vocal in their protection, barking or growling at anyone who approaches the pregnant woman, sometimes even physically blocking people from the mom-to-be. And if your dog starts to take more notice of your belly, nosing it, smelling it or even trying to sit on it, don’t be surprised. She knows that’s where the change is.

While this extreme affection can be endearing (and likely a bit annoying at times), it can also go the other way. Some dogs may react to the pregnancy by becoming aloof and wanting nothing to do with you. They could become stressed and exhibit anxiety, such as pacing and excessive licking. Worse still, they may start to act up by relieving themselves indoors. If your dog’s behavior becomes particularly troublesome, make an appointment with the vet.

Your Cat Can be Loving
Cats have a bit of a bad rap. Not only can they carry toxoplasmosis, an infection that can be dangerous for pregnant women, they are also known for being standoffish, independent and often unaffectionate. Yet, as any cat owner can tell you, cats can be extremely loving and loyal to their owners. During pregnancy, this affection may become even more apparent.

Many cat owners have noted their cats behaving undeniably friendly once those early signs of pregnancy start to appear. Following you around, sleeping with you or even on you, insisting on sitting on your lap and even cuddling and licking your belly (maybe baby needs some grooming?) are all normal for behavior for cats when you’re pregnant.

However, like dogs, your cat can also turn their tail on you during your pregnancy. They might keep their distance from you, become fussy if you try to handle them or act out by not using their litter box (and that cat urine is not a pretty smell once it leaves the box). If you have more than one cat, you may even notice that one cat becomes more affectionate while the other wants nothing to do with you. Again, if you cat’s behavior becomes too severe, make an appointment with your vet.

Not Just the Indoor Pets
It isn’t just cats and dogs that take on a new personality when you’re pregnant, all animals may react differently to you. Or at least those that you have regular contact with (so don’t worry about squirrels wanting to crawl onto your lap). Women who live or work on farms have reported that their barnyard animals tend to follow them a bit more closely when they are out with them. In particular, horses seem to have a thing for following around pregnant women and nuzzling pregnant bellies. Looks like humans aren’t the only one that can’t resist touching a pregnant belly!

*Article copied from http://www.pregnancy-info.net/pets_pregnancy.html