Monday, August 31, 2009

They tell me there will be unicorns.

I'm being productive! Like, I can actually produce valuable work on a time scale shorter than your typical ice age! Incredible!

This is especially astounding, considering the crazy day I've had. I had expected to lose my morning to a training session, and was surprised by an additional 4 hour afternoon session. For those who are counting, that's 3 + 4 = no nap for Kate.

Not the best setup for a narco pregnant lady.

Did you know that narcolepsy is categorized as a disability under the ADA? Neither did I, until recently. And let me tell ya, I understand why.

Narcolepsy is nothing like normal fatigue (and I've had plenty of that, believe me...both as a pregnant lady, and as a first year graduate student). No, narcolepsy is in a category of it's own. When I'm narco-ed out, the tiredness is unbearable. I cannot function, because I'm stuck in that never-never-land of waking REM sleep. It is almost painful, and if it were possible, I feel sure that I would DIE OF TIRED.

The only thing that relieves that feeling is a nap, which was not seeming likely when I crashed around 1 pm this afternoon. Out of desperation (in all seriousness, I was going to DIE) I took a nap in the auditorium, during the afternoon's introductory speeches, and woke up to find one of the panelists staring at me disapprovingly. Sorry lady, but otherwise, you'd have a corpse on your hands.

Anyway, I'm getting work done! At 10:30 at night! After a full day of back-to-back shenanigans!

Granted, I had a good nap on Ross's office couch after sneaking out of the training early (ironically, the session I had to skip was on accommodating student disabilities).

But still! Dare I hope? Is this the turning point on the road towards the gilded-promised-land of (gasp) The Second Trimester?

God, I hope so.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Maybe I'm gestating a truck driver...

I'm trying to eat good for the goober. I really am. But sometimes he/she makes it SO HARD. For example, take a look at the current good list/bad list.

Good Food (eat more! EAAAAT!)
*Cheez-its (what I am currently eating)
*Barbecue ribs (what I ate last night)
*Egg salad
*Frozen yogurt
*Boston baked beans
*Pot pie (WANT)

Bad Food (booooooo!)
*Non-frozen yogurt
*Most cheese
*Tomatoes (weren't these just on the good list last week?!)

Detecting a pattern here? Watch, next week it'll be corn dogs and oatmeal cream pies. Seriously.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pregnancy posting

Ross and I were delaying our announcement until we saw the Goober and were sure that everything was ok. So I've been blogging all the way, and keeping the posts unpublished. They are now up and publicly viewable. So have at it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

9-1/2 weeks

There are advantages to having a good friend as our OB. She got us in for an early ultrasound! So let me introduce you to...the Goober!!

It's an active little goober, dancing and bopping around the whole time!

The Goober: a whole lotta boogie, not a lotta butt.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

As if it weren't obvious that hormones rule my life...

I'm currently crying while watching the end of Overboard.

Hormone soup

I'm feeling really low today.

Yes, I know--it's hormones. But knowing that doesn't really help, eh?

I'm really tired of being sick--it just drags on and on. I had this naive belief that since morning sickness feels more or less like food poisoning, that it would behave like food poisoning, showing up one day without warning and then disappearing equally quickly.

But Kate (you say), morning sickness isn't anything like food poisoning.


The truth is, morning sickness doesn't just get better overnight--it kind of drags along, getting gradually (oh so gradually) better--then unexpectedly, dramatically worse--then better again. It wouldn't be so bad, except that my tolerance for nausea is way lower than my tolerance for pain.

Needless to say, I'm not getting a whole helluva lot done right now. This is a bummer, because these few remaining weeks of summer are my last chance to get some work done before I start teaching in the fall. Combine that pressure with the aforementioned hormones and a whopping dose of inborn work-ethic guilt, and I'm bound to start crying into Ross's beard at the drop of a hat, wailing something about how I'm never going to get a job and Ross, the goober and I are going to end up sleeping in a cardboard box, and then we'll all get TB and die.

I'm basically a mess.

Anybody out there had morning sickness at a really bad time? Were any of you visibly pregnant while on the job market (academic or otherwise)? Any coping mechanisms?

A post as scattered as my brain

I'm starting to feel the end of the summer looming. This sucks for several reasons.
1) I hate Michigan winters!
2) Thanks to a particularly cool summer, I have ~4000 green tomatoes on the vine, and have gotten exactly 4 ripe ones.
3) The end of the summer means the end of my high productivity and the start of job-market madness.
4) I have a grant proposal due in two weeks...a grant proposal that is in its twinkle-in-my-eye stage.
5) Did I mention how much I hate Michigan winters?

I still don't know what I'm teaching this coming semester. Good thing classes start late this year--Sept 8th.

On a related note, I have no idea how much I'll be making next semester. I could be teaching
.25 (8-12 hrs/wk)
.5 (18-25 hrs/wk)
.75 (35-45 hrs/wk).
Needless to say, this uncertainty (and the associated income uncertainty) scares me a little bit.

We spent this past weekend moving everything out of Ross's apartment (we're hopefully renting it out this fall). It now looks like something exploded in our living room.

The cats have an ongoing battle over a chair we brought from Ross's place--a chair that will forevermore be known as The Best Chair On The Planet.

We've started training Roxy to be less of a little shit. We're using something we've decided to call "ham therapy".

Ham Therapy:
Step 1: pet cat
Step 2: feed her chunks of ham
Step 3: repeat

She's responding quite well.

Did you know that a package of ham chunks costs less than a similar-sized package of cat treats, and is approximately 1 zillion times better (according to the average cat polled in our living room).

My brain is working about 1/4 speed right now. Could you tell?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

If only I had a giant, gummy-armed robot to signal these things for me

The last week has been tough. There's obviously a lot going on with my personal life. There's also a lot going on in my work life.

Individually, those two things would be manageable. Heck, if the two were entirely separate, I could probably handle both at once. But it's the feedback between the two that's killing me.

I'm going on the job market this year, and as I've already stated elsewhere, this is a make-or-break year for me. I refuse to spend another year of my life here with no clear benefit on the other end. The goober makes the stakes even higher, because...well...I would rather not be unemployed in Southeast Michigan. So I've been trying to maximize the time I have left, getting as much accomplished as I possibly can.

But the goober is now preventing me from getting very much done. I spend a significant part of my morning sick as a dog, and a significant part of the afternoon wishing for a nap. That leaves approximately 3-1/2 hours of productive work time a day--not enough to cap off one paper, write a second, draft a winning grant application, and revise my job market materials.

It's a Catch-22. I need to work hard to get a job for the goober, but the goober won't let me work hard.

And then there's the fact that I HATE uncertainty--hate it to the point that I might call it a core part of my personality. I'm the type of person who prints out reams of information about my destination before taking a trip. I'm also the new girl, cowering in the corner because it's her first time registering for classes, or taking an adult swim class, or eating in this particular cafeteria (who dishes my food? where do I pay? where do I put my tray when I'm done? ACK!)

My level of uncertainty in a job market year is already nerve-vibratingly high. I have no idea how my job market process will go. Will it be easy? Painful? Where I will be living in a year? Will Ross have a job there too? But the goober adds a whole new level of uncertainty. When will I start to show? Will I be able to get a suit that fits me at six months? Will being pregnant affect my chances of getting a job? Will anyone be able to look beyond a growing belly to see me as a researcher? What if the goober comes early? Or has health problems? Will I even be able to do flyouts in Jan and Feb? What if I end up on bedrest? Will they let me fly at 8 months pregnant? If I can do flyouts, what am I going to wear? (The business mu-mu may be my best option yet...)

The rational part of my brain assures me that all of this worrying is a natural part of the hormonal changes I'm going through right now, and that while those are all valid concerns, they are not something I can control, and so it's better to focus on the things I can control, like my grant application (which would free me from any job market responsibilities at all) and my job market paper (which is the thing that really matters right now).

But the irrational (nauseous) part keeps screaming DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! DANGER!!!! and demanding saltines, pickles, and peaches.

Makes it rather difficult to ignore...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Any day, I expect to discover that my biceps can make smoothies...

On some level, I understood that there would have to be some retooling with this whole pregnancy thing. I mean, they tell me that the goober is going to get a good bit bigger in the coming months, and he/she has to eat. But the reality is a good bit weirder than I had imagined. For one thing, it's much faster than I'd imagined. I'm only 7 weeks in--the goober is approximately the size of a tic tac--but I'm already looking more like a swimsuit model than I'm entirely comfortable with.

But on a more basic level, there is something very strange about your body changing into something else. You spend your whole life with your body parts performing one familiar set of functions, and suddenly those parts go off and start preparing to do something else. It's as if you spent your entire life as a giant robot, only to wake up one day and discover that you can also transform into a toaster oven. It kind of makes you rethink your identity as a free-willed, independent entity.

Also, I feel like I should be making the chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh-CHUK noise ALL THE TIME.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A pleasant surprise...

I've settled on the phrase "pleasant surprise" to describe our current situation. We'd planned on trying to have kids in the near future, so this really just moved our timing up by a few short months. However, those were kind of a crucial couple of months. Consider the following time table:

~June 23rd: LMP (don't ask if you don't know)
~Dec 7th: 24 weeks and the bleeding edge of viability
~Jan 4th: 28 weeks and the date of the big job conference in my field
~Jan 11th-Mar 1st: 29-36 weeks and the time that I'll (hopefully) be having flyouts for job interviews.
~March 30th: my due date

In case you missed it (or lack a phd in pregnancy-related math) that means that I'll be doing my first round of job interviews at ~6 months gestation (which is, bizarrely, 7 months of pregnancy) and I'll be flying around the country giving talks at 7-8 months gestation.

Ross is looking into purchasing a "business mumu" as we speak.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Goober angry! Goober SMASH!

Foods the goober likes this week:
*SALTINES (eat more saltines! eat them NOW!)
*Plain buttered noodles with lots of salt
*Dry Cheerios
*Plain cheese quesadillas
*Frozen blueberries
*Strawberry yogurt smoothie
*Beef, barley, mushroom soup
*Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce
*Mac and Cheese (only at night)

Foods the goober hates this week:
*Cooked tomatoes
*Chili Peppers
*Anything fried
*Mac and Cheese (I know...don't argue with it)
*Pretty much everything else

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pregnancy is hard, yo

I'm trying to get used to this whole pregnancy thing. It's been pretty difficult this week. There are all of the usual pregnancy-related ailments--the poorly-named "morning sickness" ("morning"--ha!) being the most difficult to become accustomed to. Ross and I have been touring all of the bland Ann Arbor food options these past two days, and every meal is predicated by a thoughtful discussion with the goober, which would make sense if the goober actually knew what it wanted, or...well...had a brain capable of higher thought (Me: what do you want to eat? Goober: Mac and cheese! No, you fool! Not mac and cheese! I want toast! Not that toast! I said toast! Or maybe pretzels! Not pretzels, pretzels!) Fortunately, Ross has discovered the two magic bullets of morning sickness: saltines, and a small plastic baggie filled with vanilla. The former is pretty easy to explain--it is a well-known fact that saltines are the only food on earth consistently acceptable to the average embryo. I've been eating box after box them. (Me: can I stop eating saltines now? Goober: No! I will cut you! Me: Ok, ok, saltines it is, then.) The vanilla helps to placate my new, super-sense of smell, the power of which verges on sixth-sense (my current list of least-favorite smells: coffee, cooking tomatoes, anything sweet). I may look like some kind of bizarre drug addict--huffing from a brown-stained plastic baggie--but at least I'm not puking in my neighbor's espresso.

Between the bland food diet and the vanilla-huffing, I've more or less got the goober-induced illness under control. More difficult has been the non-goober induced results of going off of Provigil--my narcolepsy medication. Provigil is a class C drug--meaning that while there is no evidence that it does anything bad to developing goobers, there is no evidence that it doesn't, either. So, at least in the first trimester, I've decided to go off of Provigil and take my days au natural. Unfortunately, that means that I've had to rethink my relationship with the world. Previously, I had thought of myself as a person who worked for a living--producing research in exchange for a check from the national science foundation. Now, I'm forced to think of myself as someone who gestates. That is just about all I have the energy for. Last night, I slept from 11:30pm-7:30am. Ross got me out of bed at 8am, and I showered, dressed, and brushed my teeth. At 9am (or thereabouts), I laid back down, waking up only when Ross came home to find me at 11:45am. For those of you who are keeping track, that's ~11 hours so far today. Immediately after my lunch of buttered noodles, I wanted to take another nap, but bolstered by a few sips of (now largely prohibited) diet coke, went off to work where I "worked" (read: stared at a computer screen) for another 2 hours. I'm now seriously contemplating another nap.

I know that this will probably get better, as my mind re-learns the coping mechanisms that I used back in the dark days of 2007. But right now, I'm having a hard time doing anything other than sleeping--terribly inconvenient, considering that I'm scheduled to go on the job market in a few short months. Ross keeps reminding me that goober incubation is one of my most important jobs right now, and that sleeping the day away is now a sanctioned activity, but that is taking a bit of retooling in the ol' brain. Fortunately, I have a couple of cats to show me how it's done.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

So, it turns out that I'm preggers...

Last week, we were in Kentucky for a conference Ross was attending, and I felt so utterly crap-tacular that I thought I had swine flu. I kept expecting the Revolution (as I call it--viva la Revolution!) any day, but it just didn't come. When we got back, I dove right into preparations for the Young Educator's Grillfest (part of the festivities for the second conference Ross attended in as many weeks, for the American Association of Physics Teachers). Once that was done, I had the time to slow down a bit and start counting. I had a very good idea when the Revolution had last been active, and no matter how many times I counted, I kept coming up with one extra week somewhere. I mentioned this to Ross on Tuesday, and he suggested that I best pee on something before our scheduled Thursday cocktail hour with the Physics Cronies (who all happened to be in town that week). On Wednesday afternoon, I bought a stick, and got the bright idea to take the test in the library bathroom, which swarms with undergraduates, even in the summer. That meant that rather than saying HOLY SHIT really loudly, I had to satisfy myself with saying HOLY SHIT in my head. Suddenly, my pee had the power to change the stick a different color! I had magic pee!

I wanted to tell Ross, but his phone was off (!) and my phone died shortly afterward. I sent him an email (subject line: shit just got real!!!) and ran home. When I told him, he burst into one of those giant, mountain man smiles that crinkles up the edges of his eyes and makes me feel all gooey inside. We tried another, different test just to be sure (yep--still magic!). I got a doctor's appointment with my GP on Friday, and she verified the presence of a non-Kate entity.

By the way, we're calling said non-Kate entity "The Goober" for the meantime. It will be called that until another nickname strikes our fancy.

Once we had independent verification, we called our folks. This process was complicated both by time zones (my folks are 1 hour behind eastern time and Ross's are 3 hours behind) and the fact that every one of our beloved friends was over at our house, playing Guitar Hero. (Which brings me to the reason that you all are reading this after the fact--Ross and I have chosen to delay telling everyone else for a while. There is just too much that could go wrong at this point. If all goes well, I'll post all of these blog entries at once in a couple of weeks.) So at some point, we snuck upstairs to call my folks, who were so clearly over the moon that you could practically hear them smiling through the phone. We waited until nearly midnight to sneak upstairs and call Ross's folks. They have a mac, so we talked to them via iChat. Thus, we managed to record my father-in-law's near spit-take at the news. I've never seen him have such a strong reaction in my life! My folks probably heard them in IL. (If all goes well, the goober will be the first grandchild on both sides).

So there you have it. We have a goober!! Approximate due date: March 30th, 2010.