May 31, 2006

Is Today "the" Day?

Every morning I wake up and hope that today will be that miraculous day in which this horrible morning sickness goes away. So far, I haven't been lucky enough to reach that milestone. My doctor told me that I should start feeling better once I hit 13 weeks. Friends who have suffered through similar experiences told me their relief came at 14 weeks. Here I sit at a little over 15 weeks and I've felt worse the past two days than I have in two weeks.

I thought that maybe after I was done working and could "ease" into my day that I'd start to feel better. Nope, that thought was wrong.

I thought that maybe after I was done working and could eat more regularly and have more choices (instead of just what I'd taken to work that day) that I'd start to feel better. Nope, that thought was wrong.

I thought that maybe once we moved out of Utah and got away from the heat that I'd start to feel better. Nope, that thought was wrong.

More importantly, I thought that maybe once we were moved out of the house and that stress was behind me that I'd start to feel better. Nope, that thought was also wrong.

I can't imagine dealing with this while having other children in the house. Even with my medication I was sick until almost noon today. I would drag my sorry carcass out of bed to throw up, rinse my mouth out and drag it back to bed. My poor dogs were stuck in their kennels in the basement because they kept barking to go outside and play. How would I handle taking care of another child while feeling this way? I couldn't even get out of bed this morning to iron C's clothes for work or make him coffee.

I've heard over and over again that it will get better soon; that I just need to get enough sleep and keep food in my stomach; that I'll forget about all of this once the worst has passed. I appreciate people trying to sympathize, I really do.
I know that every pregnant woman has had to face their own struggles and can only use her experience as a reference. But at times I feel that it's very patronizing and it makes me feel like I'm being overly dramatic or exaggerating my symptoms and how I'm feeling. I apologize to those who have said such things--I'm not upset at you for saying them, I know that you're just trying to help. Unfortunately I'm getting to the point where I cringe when people ask how I'm feeling because I wish I could just say that I had a good day. More than anything I guess I'd just like people to say, "I'm sorry that you're still feeling so awful, I hope that tomorrow is a better day".

I know this sounds incredibly shallow and selfish. After 8 weeks of feeling like this I'm worn down and I'm aggravated. I'm tired of having to cover the broken blood vessels under my eyes because I'm been so violently sick. There are days that I sit on the bathroom floor and just sob because I don't know how much more I can handle (without C knowing any of this, of course). I don't know how many more days I have the strength to endure.

I'm tired of being sick, I'm tired of being tired and I'm tired of feeling like I have to be strong and brave and plug on like nothing's wrong.

May 30, 2006

My Pregnancy, Week 15

How big is your baby?

By the end of this week, your baby is 5 inches long and weighs a whole 2 ounces.

What is happening with your baby?

Your baby's skin is very thin, and his/her blood vessels can actually be seen through the skin. Your baby' ears are continuing to develop externally and continue to look more like normal ears. Your baby's eyes are continuing to move towards the nose from the sides of his/her head. The baby's bones are beginning to ossify, which means that if an x-ray was taken the skeleton would be visible. Babies at this age have also been caught sucking their thumb on ultrasound pictures.

May 29, 2006

Honey, I'm home!

Five hours of whirlwind cleaning on Saturday proved to be enough that I could walk away from our little house and begin our new journey in Idaho. Although I had been telling C all week that I didn't want to be getting on the road late in the day (anytime after 4pm), we set sail about 4:45. The two of us, each in our own vehicles, me with the whiney dogs and C towing the boat. Both packed to the gills with the stuff the movers wouldn't take and the stuff we couldn't bear to part with for 4 days.

Thankfully the drive went smoothly, taking a little less than 5 hours. We battled some rain and traffic through Salt Lake City (as always, the traffic that is) but were welcomed by the beautiful scenery in Idaho just as the sun was setting.

All in all, the company condo is nice and will suit us fairly well until we can find a house to buy. The dogs are in heaven--the front window is low and provides a wonderful view of the canal and it's resident flock of ducks and there is a set of stairs to race up and down. Which of course lead to the unfinished basement where all 3 boys can run around and make a ton of noise, all unheard by the neighbors.

Two major problems though.

#1 -- We assumed that we'd put the boat in garage (two-car) and then use the rest of it for storing the stuff the movers are dropping off tomorrow. Clothes, kitchen stuff, etc. will come in the house for use but appliances, furniture and other heavy items would be stored in the garage. Other random boxed could be moved to the basement if needed. The whole point was to make the next move as easy on us as possible. This would have worked wonderfully if the condo had the two parking spaces out front that most condos do. Actually almost all of them in our complex have parking in front of their garages. Why is it not surprising that ours is the misfit? Our garage sets behind the condo, backing up to an alley. You have to come in the alley to get into the garage and you can then walk through the garage to get into the kitchen. No parking at all besides the garage. Unless of course you want to park something out in the back lot on the other side of the canal. So it looks like one vehicle will be relegated to that dirt parking lot (probably C's) and my car and the boat will co-habitate in the garage. Hopefully we can maneuver everything so at least the appliances and the heaviest pieces of furniture will still be able to stay in the garage. Hopefully.

#2 -- Ties in very closely to problem #1. We were told that off the back of the condo was a small deck and then a yard. Which we assumed would be acceptable for the dogs to play in and use for obvious reasons. I'm seeing a pattern here and it's obvious to me that we shouldn't have assumed a dang thing! The kitchen door does open onto a deck. However the deck encompasses the entire space between the condo and the garage. Leaving absolutely no space to turn the dogs loose into. This means that anytime the dogs need to go out, we must take them on their leashes to find a suitable grassy area. I know, for many people (apartment-dwellers) this is an everyday ritual for them. But unfortunately for us, we've been extremely spoiled. Our house had a large, fenced-in yard. I could just open the back door and turn them loose for as long as they wanted to be outside. Or as long as I needed them to be outside. Guess that will just be an adjustment.

Both problems are not insurmountable but are just adding a little extra stress at the moment. I guess, if anything, it just means that we'll be much more enthusiastic and driven in our search for a new place.

May 26, 2006

Please stand by

(This was supposed to be posted at 3:30 but wasn't due to technical difficulties...)

The movers left about an hour ago. All of our stuff (well, most of our stuff) neatly packed and boxed into their semi trailer. It always seems so weird to walk back into an empty house.

Tonight we're off to visit with some friends at a quasi-farewell "thing". Tomorrow will be spent cleaning and trying to keep the dogs relatively calm. My hope is to be on the road by early evening tomorrow or Sunday morning at the latest.

This is my last post from Utah. My next will be from the confines of the company condo. Perhaps the change in scenery will bring with it a renewed sense of creativity and daily blog posts. Perhaps.

Over and out my wonderful friends. See ya in a few.

~ Mandy

May 23, 2006

Turn the Page

And so begins another chapter in our lives.

Six years ago we took the plunge and decided to uproot ourselves from Wisconsin and make the trek to the Wild West. After the decision had been made, work contracts had been signed and the wheels began to turn I began to doubt our decision. I had personally never ever thought that I'd end up in Utah. Especially in the area where we decided to settle. It's an area that is greatly different than anything we had been exposed to, both culturally and physically. I was scared that we'd make the wrong choice and would be even more miserable here than at our previous locale. At first there were challenges to overcome, hurdles to jump. We plugged on day by day. Making the best of the situation and taking full advantage of the things at our fingertips. Little by little we made it work for us. Looking back I realize that making such a drastic move was probably one of the best decisions I'd ever made.

Here I am now, facing the same scenario. About to embark upon a new journey--terrified and excited about what lies ahead. We're tying up loose ends, beginning to pack our belongings and wishing farewell to our friends. I know that we might face a bumpy ride over the next little while but things will settle out soon enough.

Yet again, we'll find ourselves realizing how great of a decision this was. It's just always difficult to see that when you're in the midst of the chaos.

May 18, 2006

Point of reference

I've had a couple of people make mention about putting a pregnancy tracker (i.e. ticker) on the blog to let everyone know how far along I am. There's been one here all along, it's just hard to find. It used to be on the right hand side, way down at the bottom of the sidebar. To appease my fans, I've moved it closer to the top for their viewing pleasure.

May 17, 2006

Chicks dig scars

This one won't go down in the record books for being gory or gruesome. But for us it's a huge milestone. Although barely the size of a pea, I know have a small circle just below my left elbow to mark where my PICC-line used to be!

I got the okay yesterday to have it yanked. C drove straight from the OB's office to the Infusion Clinic at the hospital. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Even offered to drop me off at the front door so I didn't have to wait to park the truck. I managed to check my impatience and rode diligently with him to the parking lot. Figured that after 4 weeks another 5 minutes certainly wasn't going to kill me.

Surprisingly enough, there was a whole lot less mess upon removal than there was upon insertion. I figured there would be blood splatters and all. Nope. The nurse showed me the catheter after she pulled it out and there wasn't any blood on it. No lying--none at all. She patched me up with a fairly small bandage, wished me luck on the rest of the pregnancy and told me to get out. That she hoped she never had to see me again. All in good nature of course.

It's amazing how much more human I feel. I could actually take a shower this morning and not worry about the amount of time I spent under the spray. More importantly, I felt comfortable walking down the street with C to go to lunch. I've learned that so many people must not have had the amazing mother like I did. The one who constantly told you not to stare. It seems as though everywhere I've gone for the past month has brought stares and whispers.

Now I'm sure I'll start to get them as my stomach begins to protrude out. Which is beginning to happen. Although I can report I have managed to maintain my pre-pregnancy weight throughout the first trimester! It baffles me that the scale shows my difference but my clothes obviously tell a different tale.

May 12, 2006

5 down, 5 to go

Isn't it funny how much your motivation decreases when you turn in your resignation at work? It's almost as if the two are directly correlated. I feel as though I turned in all enthusiasm for my job when I gave my two weeks notice. Now I just dread getting up and coming to work in the morning. All day long I watch the clock as the time slowly drags by, creeping closer and closer to quitting time.

I have survived the first week though. Half of my time is done, I only have the other half to finish. Fortunately too next week is filled with appointments (trying to squeak every last penny out of our insurance while we can), meetings and tying up nonsensical projects. I'm hoping it goes faster than this last 5 days have.

To bring everyone up to speed--the movers have confirmed that they will be at our house to pack on Thursday the 25th and load everything on Friday the 26th. This whole situation is beginning to feel more real as the days go by.

May 9, 2006

Relief and Resignation

Yesterday proved to be a record setter in the grand scheme of my life.

Just before lunch, both C and I turned in our resignations. We both work for the same company although have very, very different job functions. Up until about six weeks ago we worked for two entirely different divisions but a recent transformation has blurred those divisional boundaries. We're now "aligned" under the same "process" but fortunately our day to day responsibilities never cause the need for us to work together on a project. Without going into much detail, it was time for a change. I have a good job but it related very little to my education and I fear the longer I am here, the harder it will be to find something that pertains to my field. C on the other hand, has really gotten the short end of the proverbial stick with this transformation. A once scientifically focused job has now turned more business-based. He comes home many nights unhappy with the path his career is taking.

But that's all going to change!

We are both pursuing excellent opportunities out of state. Idaho to be general, Idaho Falls to be more specific. Not a huge move for us, but still 250-some miles to the North. Still a move--a new start and new opportunities. C is faced with the prospect of going into a company and being the pioneer in his position. They've never had someone before with his expertise and he's greatly excited to have some creative (and of course, scientific) liberties. For me, I'm faced with the opportunity of a lifetime. Working for an incredible professor/scientist--organizing, setting up and overseeing research, analyzing data, writing manuscripts and grants. It's pretty much a glorified graduate student but without the classes and with a regular paycheck. The best part however, is that I'll be able to work most of the time from home! No more worries about how we're going to cover daycare costs, how much time I can afford to take for maternity leave, etc.

Two days before I found out that I was pregnant C and I had come to the mutual decision that we would begin looking for jobs elsewhere. I had my sights on the Midwest. Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin. C wanted to stay West, primarily Idaho and/or Colorado. We agreed that we'd start looking, see where we could both find opportunities in the same area. Low and behold that all changed when that second pink line showed up on the pregnancy test(s) on Sunday morning. Fate had decided for us that we needed to stay here in Utah for a while longer. At least through this pregnancy. I didn't feel comfortable starting a new job knowing that I'd be taking leave in less than a year.

But it looks like fate decided once again where our next step needed to be and when we needed to take it. I've been waiting on this job for almost two years now. For one reason or another the prospect gets mentioned and then it disappears. Now it's here, it's tangible and it's real.

And I'm thrilled.

Shortly after lunch came the second incredible aspect of our day. I had my first official prenatal appointment and everything is measuring right on track. My doctor is really happy with my progress since the PICC-line went in. The best part though--C convinced the doctor to check for the baby's heartbeat with the doppler. We knew that it could be hit or miss. I'm at the point (12 weeks) that it could go either way. The doctor warned us that we might not hear anything and we were prepared for that. Not 3 seconds after the probe touched my abdomen we heard the most amazing sound. That heartbeat was music to my ears! All my worries (well, most of them) were instantly washed away. The doc said at this point, now that we've heard the heartbeat, our chances of anything happening drop to less than 1%! One percent!

I credit C for getting the doctor to check. I'm sure that if I would have asked he would have found a way to politely say no.

So it's official.

We're going to be parents!


We're moving to Idaho!

May 8, 2006

A Storm is Moving in...

The first of the nasty weather hits today.

You had better get out your galoshes, because it's gonna be crazy!