Phlebotomy Drama

on 31 March 2008

Wow. So I totally missed that 100 days mark with the Boy.


Apparently, am a horrible thoughtless mother already. But wait! I have an excuse! Life is beating the tar out of me lately--does that count?

Friday was a BIG recruitment day that I was the administrative support for--I sort of suspected that it was going to be BIG deal, but then...well, I had been sick for so long that I was just sort of in survival mode and then when it actually came round I panicked and it sort of kicked me to the curb.

I also found out that I spectacularly failed my glucose test from my last doctors appointment.

(Please excuse the long, rambling, parenthetical aside here--BUT--you should know that the Husband and I are ticking health bombs. He has diabetes on both sides of his family and heart disease and cancer in the mix too. I have high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer in my family as well so we both cheerfully admit that genetically we're screwed and try to do the best we can with what we have. My dear sister had gestational diabetes will all 4 of her kids so it's something I take rather seriously.)

So today I got to go in to the phlebotomist's lab for the lovely 3 hour glucose-fasting test. Here's what you do: no food after midnight (I totally forgot to eat a snack before bed so I hadn't had anything to eat since dinner), you go in, they take your blood, they give you a glucose solution to drink in 5 minutes and then they take your blood again at 1 hour, 2 hours and 3 hours after the solution. Yes! That 4 giant needles piercing my delicate skin, thank you for asking! That's also NO food for the pregnant girl for 12+ hours! After having experienced it, let me just tell you, that's just plain mean.

To say nothing of the fact that I've worried about the potential outcome of this test all weekend addition to all the other ways in which I'm already screwing up my child without really knowing it. Poor kid. He deserves better parents.

I should say that when they made the appointment they were very clear about what would happen, that it would take 3-4 hours and that I was not allowed any food before hand etc etc etc. I'm telling you this so that you're able to fully appreciate the inanity of the story I am about to relate.

So I'm sitting reading my way through yet another Potok novel, and in storms this very large, very blond woman in a very pink shirt. Talking about how she needs to get that glucose thing going because she doesn't have all day and she's not one of those women who sits around watching Jerry Springer all day long and can they MOVE any FASTER?!? Believe me when I tell you she was speaking in all CAPS all the TIME!

So the nurse told her that it was going to take 3-4 hours and she should just make herself comfortable and this very pink woman looked at her and said, "WHAT?!? NO ONE TOLD ME IT WAS GOING TO TAKE 4 HOURS I CAN'T SIT HER FOR 4 HOURS ARE YOU CRAZY?!?" She pitched this huge stink about the test taking that long and how could they expect that of her she has 3 other kids at home and she home schools and she has to send out invitations for her baby shower and and AND!

(nevermind the sarcastic redhead sitting at the other end of the waiting room rolling her eyes at the thought of a mother of 3 having a baby shower--shouldn't she have everything she needs already?)

So the big pink woman decided to stay and do as much of the test as she could before she had to leave, and then she proceeded to unpack this enormous bag of laptop, invitations, scissors, 4-d ultrasound pictures of the poor child in utero (they're naming her Marley--after Bob Marley! She admitted this! In public!!) And then she proceeded to tell the entire waiting room her entire life story about how she got pregnant in college and married the father even though she knew that he wasn't the man for her and then she had twins and got a divorce and then got remarried and had another child and aren't they just the cutest blended family EVER?! and how she's been sicker with this pregnancy than with any other and how she's debating having a tummy tuck with the delivery of this baby because her skin is all stretched out from the twins (nevermind that she also admitted that she's 80 pounds heavier now than with her last pregnancy)!

Poor Potok--I'm pretty sure when he wrote, My Name is Asher Lev he didn't intend it to be read in this sort of environment.

There was another huffy woman full of angst and attitude and ANGRY that the Phlebotomist was not FASTER!! Because the phlebotomist also controls how fast your blood flows out of the needled and into the vial.

The really annoying part was that after a couple of hours of the very large pink woman the nurse came out and informed her that her initial test results were so great that she could skip the last 2 blood draws and go home. So she packed up all of her stuff and left. They REWARDED her for being a pain in the arse.

And that's my tale of woe from Monday morning. I'll keep you abreast of further glucose developments.

Yep. I did a dumb thing.

on 26 March 2008

So, our friend The Van D, already heard this story this morning--I was trying to explain why we were late and also trying to remind him to be grateful for home ownership. But since the rest of the Internet has not heard the latest in how dumb I am, I thought I'd advertise!

We've been really lucky in the past two years. We've had fairly quiet neighbors, the woman downstairs has a yappy dog but that's a good reminder of why we have cats, so I don't really mind that much. About a month ago some people moved in to the apartment that shares our bedroom wall. And they are not quiet.

I've heard them yelling at each other, I've heard them throwing things, but more often than not I hear them play guitar.

Badly. And loudly. With an amplifier.

Someone really needs to inform them that they live IN AN APARTMENT.

I try to be a patient person. And in normal circumstances I managed to keep my emotions in check. The Pregnant Version of the Wife--not so much. Everything is very close to the surface and it really doesn't take that much to set me off entirely.


So. I had a really long day yesterday and was very, very tired. We got home, we ate dinner, we cleaned up dinner, I made some lunches for us and then I went to bed. Bed Sweet Bed. At 8 o'clock.

Now, the way that our bedroom was laid out, Bed Sweet Bed rested against the wall that we shared with the aforementioned hateful, selfish, inconsiderate neighbors. So when I went to bed, my head was 5 inches away from this wall. I read my book for about an hour in lovely peace.

And then it started.

At 9 o'clock at night, they think it's a good idea to play guitar. On an amplifier.

I disagree. And also, I was not amused.

But I was already in pajamas and The Husband had gone to walk the lovely dog we're dog sitting for some friends and I didn't want to get dressed, walk over there, knock on their door and ask them politely to PLEASE TURN THE DAMN THING OFF.

So I did the next best thing. I knocked on the wall. Nicely.

That did absolutely no good.

So I banged on the wall as hard as I could. They heard me that time. And it got quiet. For about 15 minutes. And then they were right back at it.

At this point I'm laying in Bed Sweet Bed, seething with RAGE.

I figured my choices were the following:

  1. Get dressed. Go up to their apartment, get the apartment number, go back to my apartment, call the police and issue a noise citation--and yes, I've done this to my neighbors in the past. We're QUIET people, we deserve quiet in return.
  2. Get dressed. Go up to their apartment, knock and YELL at them to STOP. Stomp my feet informing them that I am a 6 month pregnant woman in a RAGE and they'd better not mess with me because I will BURN their apartment to the ground in my RAGE.
  3. Rearrange the furniture so that the Bed Sweet Bed is against the inside wall.
I rearranged the furniture.

And YES, I know I shouldn't have done that being that I am 6 MONTHS PREGNANT--but at the time it seemed a perfectly reasonable choice. I dreamed about blood and premature babies all night and then the Boy woke me up at 3 am kicking me VERY hard as if to remind me that, "Dude--you are still pregnant with me, remember!?"

He's been kicking me nonstop ever since. Which is nice, except that he's getting big enough that when he kicks me the belly moves and it kind of weirds me out a little.

Um. Hi.

on 24 March 2008

Well. It seems it's been a while since I updated.

Sorry about that.

As proof that I really have been very busy I will provide a list of things that I have accomplished since Tuesday--the day when I last updated.

  • Mostly finished 9 tables of data for one of the women I work with. It's a 3 month long project. I'm practically blind from staring at them.
  • Finished editing a dissertation for a doctoral candidate.
  • Finished Chaim Potok's The Chosen. Excellent book, I highly recommend it.
  • Started and finished Chaim Potok's The Promise. Not as good as the Chosen, but I still highly recommend it...I learned a LOT.
  • Watched an Ideal Husband with my ideal Husband. Hilarious!
  • Watched the Importance of Being Earnest with my ideal Husband. Also Hilarious! It was an Oscar Wilde filled weekend.
  • Watched the Business of Birth in America withOUT the ideal Husband as he knew it would depress him. (He's studying health policy and trying to make a difference and newsflash, people, our health care system is MESSED UP!) I found this documentary quite provocative. It was interesting but biased. And it has a rather ironic ending which cracked me up to no end. Go watch it! It's worth an hour and half of your time.
  • Hosted Easter dinner at Burnstopia for the first time EVER. It involved much planning and then much cooking in our tiny kitchen, much of it done by the Husband because he is a bit bossy in the kitchen. I mostly cooked vegetables for me, the token vegetarian, and spoke in soothing tones about how he needs to take a deep breath and calm down, it will all get done. It's such a novelty being the calm one that I have to post it on the internet!!!
  • Took 3 very important naps, one on Friday, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. I count them as singular accomplishments.
  • Laundry laundry laundry.
  • Sewing. Yes. I know how to sew, but I treat it as a point of pride that I only know how to sew badly.
  • Cleaned Burnstopia. Well. The Husband does the bathroom because he thinks if I inhale the chemicals the Boy with have a 3rd eye or something...
  • Groceries. Apparently, and apple and a bowl of ice cream is not a sufficient dinner for The Boy. What? The apple was the healthy part. For HIM. I ate the ice cream, for ME.
  • Much laying around with the cats on top of me. The Agnes has figured out that when I lay on my side the Belly forms this lovely little shelf that is just Agnes sized. The Boy does not so much approve of this set up.
  • Looked at apartments. Yes. We're moving. So a few months ago when Whimsy was in New Flooring Hell, I was musing about pregnant women's need for home improvement projects and yucking it up with the Husband about how since we RENT that CAN'T be us! We're saved from ourselves by our lease agreement! And then we found out that our Evil Leasing Agency is raising our rent AGAIN and they only gave us 1 week to decide if we're staying or not and dude, seriously, the Husband and I are really good tenants, you don't treat good customers this we're FLEEING. And get this! I will be 8 months pregnant when we move. Because I am not CRAZY enough.
So as you can see, I have been preoccupied if not outright busy. Nevertheless I will try much harder this week to not forget about the BLOG, the Very Important Blog and my Equally Important Task of Entertaining all of you!

PSA the First

on 18 March 2008

Can I please make a public service announcement?

If you, oh Internets, happen to know a pregnant woman, and you happen to be in conversation with said pregnant woman about how far along she is and how the baby is doing--

Will you please REFRAIN from telling her that her baby is now VIABLE and then proceed to tell her what the chances are of SURVIVAL depending on medical care and then please also do NOT tell her all the things that could be wrong with said child if the child were born at this point?


We're all very impressed that you know this information--PLEASE KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

Thank you.

We will now resume our regularly scheduled programming.

24 weeks

on 16 March 2008

Voila. The belly. At 24 weeks. My Mayo clinic books claims that the Child is about 11 inches long and weighs about a pound.

That's one big pound, no?

I must admit, I'm becoming increasingly curious about this little person currently residing in my belly. I wonder if he'll be serious or funny, cautious or mischievous, quiet or rambunctious. Or all of the above. I wonder if he'll look more like the Husband or me.

I was chatting with my sister the other night and my carefully groomed skepticism is beginning to falter and fade as I realized that The Love must be pretty damn amazing given what women go through to get children here, and then all that they go through to care and maintain them. And most women choose to do this more than once.

That Love must be pretty astounding. All she did was smile and say, "Yes it is."

Public Apology; the First of what will probably be Many.

on 14 March 2008

Do you ever have those moments where you sink to the worst version of yourself?

Maybe it's just me.

I'm pretty sure that most men don't understand this, but pregnancy is not and easy state of being. Aside from the physical discomforts there are all these additional hormones floating around, which totally mess you up psychologically. I've always theorized that overly hormonal women fall in to two categories: weepy or angry (I'm sure we can all think of a more graphic term here, but I'm trying to keep this family friendly).

Let's just say that The Overly Hormonal Version of the Wife is...well, angry.

The Husband and I had this conversation a while back. I was telling him how my Mental Filter works...under normal circumstances about 50% of what I think actually comes out of my mouth, leaving the remaining 50%--stuff that's mean, insensitive, inappropriate, whiny--unsaid. What with the Pregnant Version of the Wife those numbers change. When I have the energy to think before I speak, about 15% of what I think actually comes out of my mouth leaving the other 85% of mean, selfish, cruel, whiny things unsaid.

Yesterday we had a significant malfunction in the Mental Filter of the Wife.

And why is it, that when that happens it can't happen to say...a total stranger, a telemarketer, even better a politician, someone I don't care about and won't have to see ever again? Why is it that it inevitably happens with the person I love best in all the world--the Husband?

As if he's not having a hard enough semester as it is. Poor man. Work, homework, internship drama, computer programming drama, pregnant wife and then suddenly WHAM! Hello, Demon Woman! Wow. I didn't know you had joined us.

I've had plenty of mean things said to me before and I've said more than my fair share. I always thought of The Mean Things We Say in terms of the people we say them to or about. I know that it hurts. That's why I work so hard with the Mental Filter now. But frankly, I've never felt so horribly about anything mean that I've said before, the way that I do now. I've never before wanted to sink into a puddle and cry and wail, "I didn't mean that!! Let's just rewind and I'll say something better this time!"

I'm not sure what's different. If I've just grown up, if it's because this is my Husband, my best friend, the man, the Human Being I love BEST in all the world, the one that I TRUST more than anyone else. Or if it's because I knew at the time that I shouldn't have said it, I had that small moment of clarity but my tiny, petty, mean little Id wanted the satisfaction of saying whatever it thought rather than being calm and rational. I'm not sure if the horrible guilt is because I know that it's hormones (I hate that I sounds like a big, walking, pregnant cliche) and that under normal circumstances I would never say such things.

He's very hard to figure out, he is. He is slow in friendship, but once he forms those friendships there's nothing in the world he wouldn't do for those few people. He's impatient and sometimes quick to anger but slow to show it. He's much quicker to forgive than I deserve. He loves very deeply but rarely shows least in ways that most would expect. His Mental Filter is in excellent working condition even though I deserved a Chernobyl sized melt down yesterday. He chooses silence rather than cruelty 99.9% of the time. I think I've only ever seen him fight once in 4 years and that wasn't with me. He's not destructive in the least, he'd rather chop up a tree into something useful than break, tear, or wreck something. He'll choose a joke over seriousness every single time.

I love him more than I can say. I'm more sorry than I can say. I've written a lot for someone who can't seem to say very much at all.

Reason Why I Love my Sister, #31332

on 13 March 2008

I live about 30 minutes from my sister. But I don't get to see her that much. She's very busy.

She's practically awesome in every way. She home schools her 4 kids and runs her house like a tight ship. She serves in church, she does whatever anyone asks of her, she's been to see my Grandma almost every day that she's been in the hospital or in rehab.** As I said, she's crazy busy. The kids are in art classes and two different swim clubs, to say nothing of their church and boy scout involvements. So when she's not at home she's in the car. Neither of us are phone talkers, she'd rather talk face to face and I love email. And since I know how busy she is, I rarely call, I hate to take up what little time she has.

She emailed me today to check on me. To ask if there's anything that she can do for me. I don't think I remember the last time my family called to check on me because I was sick. It's rather sweet and endearing. Half the time I feel like a less S* so it's really nice to know that they love me in spite of my deficiencies.

How awesome is my sister? I'm totally lucky I know her because she is for sure getting in to Heaven--maybe she could put in a good word for me.

**I haven't been once. I am a chicken. And once I garnered enough courage to go and see her, I got sick and then I couldn't go. I am a bad grand-daughter. I've accepted it and moved on.

Walk Towards the LIGHT

So after losing my voice in it's entirety--the Husband staged an intervention. He called my doctor's office for me (I was on gmail chat at work, y'all--we heart technology) and they diagnosed me with a hefty case of bronchitis (with a fair amount of certainty) and prescribed me some pretty pink antibiotics.

There be light at the end of this here tunnel of illness--and it's bright and cheery and hopeful looking! And we at Burnstopia are heading towards it!

In other news, the Husband is on spring break and he's attempting to program some data to run for analysis in SAS and it's driving him bonkers. Someone send help. ASAP.

This weekend marks the 24 week mark of the pregnancy (belly picture forthcoming) which means that the 3rd trimester is just 4 more weeks away and it happens to coincide with the END of cold and flu season. Ask me how happy I am! Go on! You know you want to! Although, I must admit that as terrifying as Birth is for me, the past 24 weeks with the assorted illnesses have been sufficiently miserable that I don't care how painful labor and delivery is--it will only last 1 day as opposed to 3 straight weeks of being SICK--bring it on.

The Boy actually WOKE me up this morning at 2am kicking me very hard in an endeavor to get me to 1) wake up, 2) go to the bathroom and 3) eat something. I did the first two but opted for secret hidden option number 4) go back to sleep, rather than eating something. I'm also beginning to suspect that he's either mischievous or downright spiteful when it comes to his relationship with his father--he'll kick me hard enough for it to be visible from the outside but as soon as the Husband puts his hand on the belly to feel it, the Boy FLEES to my kidneys.

We watched Big Fish last night and it was a joy to watch. Really lovely. Here's one of my favorite exchanges:

Dad: You are in for a surprise.
Son: Am I?
Dad: Havin' a kid changes everything. There's burping, the midnight feeding, and the changing.
Son: You do any of that?
Dad: No But I hear it's terrible. Then you spend years trying to corrupt and mislead this child, fill his head with nonsense, and still it turns out perfectly fine.

Smart folk.

on 11 March 2008

First, I feel the need to offer a public apology for the degeneration of the blog of late. I blame the flu...and other pregnancy related discomforts for the overall unintelligent commentary taking place recently.

For something stimulating, head over to Chantelle's site and check out what she has to say about education. It's thought provoking and smaht.

The Child isn't even born yet and people are already asking if we're going to put him in public or private school or if we'll home school like my sister. I feel like an idiot for saying (repeatedly), "I don't know." But that's the honest truth. We will do what is best for The Boy. If he's gifted, I don't want to hold him back by placing him in an inadequate school, or by attempting to educate him myself. I want him to reach his fullest potential. Because of that I don't want to commit myself to a course of action that may not be best for him. Similarly, if he's not gifted who am I to assume that I can teach him better than someone specifically educated and trained for that job?

What I want to say is this: Our house will always be a house of learning. It's what The Husband and I do...if we can be said to have a hobby it's learning--whether that's learning from books or from experimentation, it's what we do. The Child will always be encouraged to read, to experiment and to play. And as he grows and we're able to see more fully what he needs--then we'll make the decision about his education. I'm fully prepared to home school if I feel like that's what he needs. If anything I'm less prepared to entrust him to the public education system as it is now, but time will tell.

For updating's sake

on 07 March 2008

  • Still pregnant.
  • Still sick.
  • Will probably be sick until April.
  • the Husband managed to take his midterms with the Flu--let's all hope he managed to PASS his midterms.
  • It's raining.
  • I love rain.
  • I especially love napping when it's raining.
  • I am at work.
  • So, no napping while it's raining for me.
  • This makes me sad.
  • Our tiny apartment now holds a crib, dresser, pac n' play, car seat, stroller, diaper bag, and teeny tiny clothes. Dear Heaven, What has happened to us? What's next? Leggos?
  • My grandma is still in rehab with her new hip--thanks for asking. But her sister (my favorite great-aunt) died last week, she was 95.
  • I think my sister now has the flu. I would feel bad about it but I KNOW I didn't give it to her. I still feel bad that she's sick.
  • The Husband and I went to PF Changs for dinner last night (thank you Sister In Law Jenn for the birthday gift cards!) and had a REAL date with REAL conversation (we managed to talk about the primaries, the random murder of the UNC student and Foucault because we are smart renaissance people like that) followed by shopping for a REAL infant car seat. It's like we're grown-ups or something.
  • The more the Husband sees of crazy pregnant women (the kind who bring paint samples with them to Babies R Us so that they can color coordinate EVERYTHING) the more he loves me.
  • The Boy is 11 inches long and weighs almost a pound.
  • Judging from what my body looks like in the mirror though, that's one BIG pound.
  • I have officially gained 10 pounds over the last 5 months of pregnancy.
  • Today is TK's last day at the workplace. It's great for her but I'm depressed. One by one my buddies are flying the coop. At least there will be cake. I can drown my sorrows in cake, right?
  • I have tables of data and a dissertation to edit sitting on my desk--any one want to place a bet as to how much I'll actually do on either of them today?

The Epic of Meeting Software

on 05 March 2008

Let's say, hypothetically, that you worked in an academic environment. And let's say, hypothetically, that in that academic setting there were professional researchers, writers and instructors on the arts and sciences of management and resource utilization. This bit is important so don't skim.

And let's say, just for fun, that you are a hypothetical administrative assistant in this hypothetically academic environment. Part of your job is to answer the phones, make copies, scan documents, build tables of data for papers, and occasionally assist in setting up meetings.

Since this is all purely hypothetical I can assure you that in this situation the WORST thing in the world is the setting up meetings part. Imagine one of the professional persons schedules. Chock full of committee meetings, faculty meetings, classes, office hours, graduate student mentors and their own research time. There are occasional hours of empty time here and there are various and sundry points of the day. Then multiply that by 6. With various professional interests and backgrounds, differing committees, classes and office hours. To say nothing of priorities. Some have kids, some don't...the ones with kids MUST leave at certain times of day and others can and will come in on weekends or stay late but DO NOT ask them to be here before 10am and 3 cups of coffee.

Now. Do you have a mental image? Now imagine that for hypothetic's sake you have 2 assistants to support 30+ of these professional persons. While you're at it, imagine how much TIME those two assistants spend attempting to arrange these hypothetical meetings.

Now that your head hurts real bad, just know that there's HELP! In the form of a software program designed to assist professional persons in arranging their OWN meetings. It only takes a couple of minutes and who, WHO knows their schedule better than the professional person themselves? The use of this software may have been suggested by a ranking professional person.

Now imagine that as word circulates via the two lowly assistants that the professional persons would be responsible for arranging their own meetings via this simple and easy to use software, how the CRAP hits the fan. Imagine intelligent, well-educated and MATURE adults, hypothetically stomping their feet in resistance to this development. Imagine the emails that circulate the office DEMANDING to know why such a step has been implemented.

Now, imagine that other professional persons join the fray. One of them TEACHES management and suggests that the SOLUTION is to have the lowly assistants continue to arrange the meetings on one piece of software while the professional persons use the other software.

Now, realizing that all of this is purely hypothetical, doesn't it still sound like a lot of DOUBLE work? Setting up the same meeting twice, maintaining two calenders instead of just one and initially, the whole imbroglio was set about to stop the assistants from this mind-boggling task of arranging meetings so that they would be free to devote their limited time to other tasks. Tasks still given to them by the professional persons.

And while we're speaking hypothetically, doesn't it seem like a more efficient use of resources to have the professional persons maintain their own calenders so that the remaining time can be reallocated for the use of those same professional persons for different tasks?

But what do I know? I'm just a secretary.

Movement Required, Progress Optional

on 04 March 2008

So, I'm totally stealing this from the Rickers--but it was so funny to me this morning that I laughed myself into a regular fit of coughing.

a) I've seen my cat do this. It was not funny at the time. It became funny much later.

b) I have OFTEN felt this way. And RECENTLY. And it was not funny. Ok. It was mildly funny. I'm an adult for crying out loud. And fairly rational. And yet. That was me. Clinging to the carpet muttering "won't won't won't."

c) I think The Husband may be heading into a fit of Civil Disobedience what with the flu and also the onset of midterms. Here's hoping there's no water canon in his future.