Monday, July 31, 2017

Crazy town (or, keep yo head down)

Earlier today I'm sitting at a table eating lunch with my work friend L, and another colleague, T, walks over to us to say hi.  Just then, the cleaning lady at our office comes out of the bathroom, and has the following crazy-sauce exchange with T:

CL: Congratulations, when are you due?

T:  (looking down at her protruding belly) Um, I'm not pregnant.  I'm just eating a lot of food lately.

CL:  Oh, Okay... (long pause)... but really, you can be honest.

T: No, REALLY, I'm not pregnant.  I just get a large stomach when I eat a lot.... I'M NOT PREGNANT.

L and I are watching this thirty-second exchange with our jaws dropping to the ground.  We are stunned and only too late do we make feeble attempts to jump into the fray to help T.

"Yeah, everyone gains weight differently right?  Me, I get the jiggly arms and my thighs don't fit into my pants," I say, a little too wide-eyed and eagerly.

"I gain weight here," my friend says, flourishing her hands from her shoulders down her torso.

The cleaning lady walks away, and I look down at my yogurt.  And grab a peek at my still relatively flat stomach.  Any week now, I could well be the focus of a conversation of such fuckery.

The crazy of my office is a top to bottom experience.  My toxic boss recently stated to a lucky few of us in a meeting that we needed to make sure we didn't hire any "breeders" for an upcoming campaign we're staffing.  Yes, you read that right. Breeders go on maternity leave and we've had a recent flux of staff turnover when people don't ever return to work from their leave. I wonder why?

Of course, she also noted she didn't want us to hire any older, sicker people, and OF COURSE I had to be the asshole to note that if you went with young and healthy on the hiring front, the risk was higher that they might breed. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Like Batman, without the crime fighting

So, I was talking with Viking about G, my researcher.  To call him that doesn't quite do our work relationship justice, being honest, he's my work husband.  He started working with me when I came to my organization over five years ago, we were both new, but he was brand-spanking new, a junior researcher out of college.  I trained him with everything I've got, because dudes like this don't grow on trees, just trust me.  I could write sonnets about how impressed I am with him as a colleague and how trusted he is as a friend.  Our dynamic in the office - we finish each others' sentences kind of thing, and can easily swap out for one another in meetings - has long been noticed by the higher-ups.

And while I'm still his boss, I've trained him to do everything last thing that I do, and even to think the way I think, analytically speaking.  He's approaching thirty, and I like to think in some small way I raised him, I've certainly tried to live up to the definition of mentor.

Well, a few days ago, I shared with Viking how I revealed a little bit of this life with my Director, J.  I also expressed some concern to Viking that G will have work-related insanity thrown at him regardless of how this pregnancy goes down.  If I lose this baby, he will certainly be stepping in my shoes sooner rather than later, while we're swamped as fuck.  And if I am on a six month maternity leave come January (yes, I know, I'm crazy lucky to have that time, a post for another day), he's gonna be running this shit-show.

Yesterday G was walking out for coffee, asked if I wanted any.  "I'll come with you!"

We started walking and when we got half a block from the office I jumped off with my new favorite line: This may be more awkward for you than it will be for me...

So, I'm really trying to get our work-plan solidified, we have so much on our plate next year, and well, there's a possibility I will be on an extended leave, starting in January.  You see.... well, I'm about 15 weeks pregnant.

Here's what was shocking:  He honestly had no idea.  About any of it.  NONE of the miscarriages (even the one I thought was sort of public knowledge).  Not this pregnancy. (I guess I'm really not showing). This particular go-around of doctor's appointments, he's thought I was anemic or something.  My secret life, like Batman, was revealed.  More than anything his mind was blown.  How did you even function?  I can't even imagine doing what you've been doing in this place all these years while going through that.  And he started connecting dots (as strategic thinkers do) about things I had stated in the past, about times when I had requested leave, about all kinds of things that were said and unsaid.  One of the more hilarious moments of realization came when his mind went back to a specific conversation we had about three weeks ago:

Me: So, G, we are launching this new campaign, and I think that we should try to request another researcher for help from NYC to get on our team.  Maybe even someone who only works half-time on our project, but someone we can oversee to take the edge off of all the work you'll have.

G:  Wow, this feels like when Mom and Dad tell you that they want another baby.  "We're not replacing you, we love you very much, but we want another."

Me:  G, I love you very much but I think we need another baby.

I'll say, for a conversation essentially centered around dead babies, it had its share of guffaws.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ten Days

I have just about ten days until my 16 week scan.  It's supposed to be a cervical measurement check, but I'm gonna cross my fingers that we take a peek at anatomy as well.

Ten days of hiding.

Ten days of still not being able to be anywhere near a clove of garlic.

Ten days of emotional outbursts when there are dishes in the sink.

Ten days of trying to stay in my current wardrobe and playing off my thick waist and sweet Baby Jesus, this rack on my chest, I can't even see my feet, like I simply fell off my diet and exercise wagon.

I've been put in an awkward position at work the past few weeks. A few more resignations have been submitted as a result of the toxic atmosphere, and my team is overworked and stressed.  Ordinarily the summer would be slow and easy.  Instead we're swamped. And we are heading into a gubernatorial primary season next year... I'm realizing that I need to start working on next year's work plan in the next few weeks, and maybe put in a bid for some extra help.

So, last week I was having a conversation with my Research Director in New York, and we are talking about the office politics we're both mired in.  And this guy is something of an ally, he's a dad with two kids, funny as hell, and deeply cynical about our organization.  And I realize during the course of the check-in that I have an ally....

So, J, I have something to share that will probably be a lot more awkward for me than for you....


Well, you know how we want to be doing x, y, and z in January?  Well, there's a possibility, depending on news I get in the next few weeks that I will be out of the office for a few six months to be precise....

I left out most of the ugly details, but did share my current state of expectancy... and with it, the general reason why it was just too early to offer me congratulations when he tried ("Awkward for you J, I'm sorry, because in all these years we've worked together in this nut house, I've been pregnant for like 53 weeks - eight pregnancies in all not counting this one.")

It actually felt sorta good, like a ripping off a band-aid that's been submerged too long in the pool and is sticking to a bit of hair on your arm and flopping around, and not doing too much about the wound, which is ok, because the bleeding has stopped.

Ten days though.  J is being great and not asking any questions, as I instructed. As I left it, either he will get some cheerful phone call from me in a few weeks, or, he will get a request for medical leave earlier than anticipated.

Monday, July 17, 2017

looooong three weeks

Today I'm 13 weeks + 3 days pregnant.

My 16 week cervical scan is in a little under three weeks. I'm hoping to make a successful pitch for an early anatomy scan that same appointment. 

These will be some long fucking weeks.

According to the one close confidante at work who is aware of my condition (I broke down and had to share with someone), my waistline isn't currently giving anything away.... but the same can't be said for my bra and the spillage that I am not paying close enough attention to, it seems.  On my 5'2 usually athletic frame, this rack is huge. 

Here's something the Viking told me a few nights ago: he had a dream shortly after my FET.  He dreamed we were taking care of a baby girl.  After watching the ultrasound he's "convinced the little bugger is a boy" (his words).  I am convinced it's an alien.  A really stereotypical, boring alien that demands mint chocolate chip ice-cream and pickles.  Could you just be a little more creative, alien baby?


Monday, July 10, 2017

hahahahahaha (part II)

Yesterday, at 12 weeks 3 days, I started puking my guts out.  Now?  Now I experience actual morning sickness, in addition to the constant nausea?

Today I was something of a wreck.

Just walking into the Genetics Center where we learned of Celine's fate made me feel like I couldn't breathe.  When I laid down on the table I grabbed on to this necklace I chose to wear today.  It isn't symbolic at all,  just a really smooth aqua blue stone that feels calming when I rub it.  The Viking grabbed my toes at the other end of the table, as I stared up into the monitor, trying to test my considerable lay skills at identifying birth defects....

The ultrasound technician made tons of comments.... heart rate is great, 160s.....your placenta is posterior.... it looks like you have an ant baby (??? THANKS TECH???).....head to rump length is measuring 12 weeks 5 days.... abdominal wall looks great (INSERT AUDIBLE BREATH)....And she went on.

It took some time for this baby to allow us to see its nasal bone.  The nuchal measurement was great, but none of my valiant efforts at telepathy worked in moving this baby to give us a face view.  I guess this baby isn't listening to me any more than my one living child does.

Finally, a quick turn.

And wait, is this baby fucking laughing at us?

Friday, July 7, 2017


I'm 12 weeks in.

My clothes are getting tighter.  I've only (thankfully) gained three pounds. I think I look a little 'thicker" rather than knocked up.  Like I've been willfully ignoring the counsel of my evil nutritionist.  Being open with my colleagues about the nutritionist and the change in diet and the A1C number, etc, has hopefully worked in my favor on this front....maybe?

But when I mentioned to Dr. W yesterday that I was planning on not divulging this pregnancy until I made it through an anatomy scan (mine is scheduled at 19 weeks), she actually laughed in my face.

You're five feet tall! You're small! Where do you plan on hiding this baby?

Ha Ha Dr. W.  Yeah, you know, seeing as things go terribly terribly wrong in pregnancy in the second trimester, I'm gonna try hard as all fuck to hide this.

But then life is also making it harder.  Like, my in-laws are popping in on my beach vacation, when I will be between 17 and 18 weeks.  Awkward much?

And the leadership of my organization is adding a fuck ton of work to my team's plates... unrealistic goals and assignments that I know are unrealistic if I make a calendar that includes my leave.


Monday I'm having my first trimester Level II scan -yes, the very scan where my life fell apart when I was pregnant with Celine.  No amount of mediation will prevent my blood pressure from skyrocketing at that visit.  Fuck, I'm expecting to ugly cry regardless of the outcome (no mascara that day justonemore). This time I've demanded that Viking accompany me.  There are a million things that are rare, not even on the radar of the average pregnant women, that can still go wrong later on.  I am going to spare my blood pressure and not start listing them here.  Yes, indeed, I know too much.

But that scan would be a temporarily pleasant hurdle to jump regardless.

Focusing on trivial matters like weight gain is a lot more fun than the reality that tight clothes haven't led to a baby in my arms since I was pregnant with the Nibble.