Friday, February 25, 2005

Baby's First Picture

At my appointment on Tuesday, I was surprised with the opportunity to do a sonogram. Not the one with all the bells and whistles that's going to happen at Week 20, but a sneak peak of baby all the same. The little tyke (and there's just one, so either the psychic thinks I'm going to get pregnant again this year--and I bet you can hear my joyful whimper at that prospect--or she was a tad off) was barely 1.5cm at the time. So click here to look at Junior's first opportunity to say "cheese".

Saturday, February 19, 2005

SciFi Friday

Friday nights are great. First of all, it's the start of a weekend, and that's ALWAYS a good thing. Second, I get to hang out with some writers in an on-line forum and toss around ideas and jokes and such. Third, I get to watch three great science fiction shows: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Gallactica. Lotsa fun. Last night was no exception. SG-1 likes to do clip shows on a fairly regular basis, and they usually do a decent job of weaving the clips into a passably entertaining story (defending their jobs to the ever-annoying Senator Kinsey, revealing the existence of the stargate to other world governments, etc). But last night they really outdid themselves. The backbone story for the clip show was about a guy who, seven years ago, stumbled across a piece of Ancient technology at a garage sale. This little device gave him the ability to see SG-1's adventures through the eyes of Colonel O'Neill. He started writing it down as stories (which, of course, were always rejected by the top SF mags). The whole show was about this guy's life and what knowing of SG-1 did to him. His reaction to Daniel's departure at the end of season 5 was priceless. The writers obviously had a good time using this story-telling device to reveal the show's inconsistencies, dropped storylines, fan criticism, etc. It was great.

I'm still waiting for something with all three shows, though. Don't get me wrong: I like them and think they are excellent. But they've also all set themselves up for something more and they're not delivering as yet. SG-1 has had a strange season because they wrote themselves into a bit of a bind by having O'Neill run the SGC instead of remain a part of SG-1. So the usual "go off-world and battle the bad guys" storyline is rarely used. And Atlantis seems to be trying to pretend it's in a third or fourth season instead of its first, so we don't have nearly as much situation set up as I would've expected. Sometimes that's a good thing, but sometimes I get frustrated at the obvious depth of the world they live in that we just don't see. Granted, Battlestar Gallactica just started its series run in January, but a few things already bother me. It seems to me that a civilization capable of FTL travel and such should have medical technology a bit more advanced than our present day standards. I mean, what does it say about humanity if we can populate twelve worlds, chase the stars in ships, create a robotic race like the Cylons, but can't cure breast cancer or speed up the recovery of a knee injury? What exactly have they been doing since they left Earth? Everytime something medical comes up in that show, it always throws me right out of the story. I just can't believe that we'll be so far advanced in everything but medicine in a few millenia.

Anyway, despite my grumblings, I really like these shows and they make for an excellent Friday night.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The DDJ Strikes Again

I was right. The Dreaded Day Job is now even more dreaded. They took away my new responsibilities and the hopes I had of getting a new position. Which is really funny considering this is the second time this has happened, and I've only been aware of the new positions because OTHER PEOPLE in the company have shoved me into their path. I'm getting whiplash here. Do you want me to advance or don't you? Do you want to take advantage of my six years of higher education or do you want to keep me in a job that I could have easily done in junior high? Figure it out, people. It may not be the easiest thing in the world to get a new job while pregnant, but I'll find a way if this shit keeps up. And there will be Hell To Pay if I find out that I was denied the new responsibilities and position because someone got wind of the fact that I'm pregnant. If that's what happened, then I'm going to have a rollicking good time getting the DDJ to cough up the money we need to guarantee that I won't have to go back to work anytime soon after Junior's arrival.

Update: Seconds before I went to publish this post, my manager called me and my counterpart into his office and told us that we would be attending an intense training session with project managers and data management employees about addressing problem areas in the company. Not a new position, but it certainly is a change from the attitude of "no, we won't give you that opportunity and we also won't do anything to help you get any other opportunities". So things might be improving. Maybe. I won't believe anything until it's been happening for weeks and has been signed off by everyone in the company, thought.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The New Fail Safe

Jello. Jello is the only thing that works in the mornings now. Once I've had a bowl of Jello in me for about an hour or so, then I can move on to the apples and yogurts and such. If this stops working, then I'm going to look into the Unisom+Vitamin B6 tablets to see about making breakfast a more successful endeavor. The good news is that the nausea and bucket-hugging is primarily limited to the morning. Sometimes dinner is a challenge, but chicken seems to work very well there, so we're adjusting our menus accordingly. Now, if the chicken dinners keep working, then maybe I'll feel brave enough to start taking my prenatal vitamin every evening. Right now, I have to gauge how stable my stomach is feeling. I'm not too worried about Baby, because the little sack of cells is going to take everything it needs right out of my system. I AM worried about my own health if the prenatal vitamin intake is so spotty this first trimester. Especially with my history of anemia. But the docs are watching that stuff, so I'm sure I'll be fine.

We had our first appointment today. It was just an informational class with other pregnant women, and then we had to bleed for the docs. My first one-on-one with the nurse practitioner is next week. And then the next appointment after that will be the one where we'll hear the baby's heartbeat. We're excited about that one. That'll be in a month. I'm pretty sure that we could see/hear the fetal heartbeat with a sonogram either this week or next week, but that's not part of the health plan. So we'll just have to wait. It was hard coming in to work after all that baby talk this morning. I would've much rather spent the day at home with Mark, planning and making lists and being all gushy with the parents-to-be stuff. But there's yet another meeting this afternoon to discuss my new responsibilities at the DDJ. (Basically, they're trying to take them away from me now and just make me go back to the boring world of only faxing and filing. Yes, more fun changes afoot. Gotta love this place.)

On the writing front, I had a great session with my crit group. I was a bit nervous because I had brought a rather racy Masque scene (the word "breast" made an appearance--always a toughie to say aloud in the Borders cafe) and I had no idea if I had written it well. But they liked the scene and had a lot of good comments to make it even better and bring out a few plot points that were a bit too subtle in the midst of a hot and heavy kiss. You'll also note that "Princess Incubus" is now in creation, with a grand total of 407 words. It's a rough beginning to write, I'm finding. Going to need a lot of work in revision. As for getting new words in The Masque, I've got a lot of ideas to work with to push myself past the latest roadblock, thanks to a great Think Tank session at Forward Motion. So hopefully I'll start making some progress there soon.

Things are feeling more normal. But that's been known to fluctuate over the past couple weeks, so we'll see how it continues.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Fail Safe Failed

For the past few weeks, I've been dealing with my new biochemistry to varying degrees of success. But the one constant I had was that apples and yogurt made up the perfect breakfast for me. Not so this morning. I could really gross you out with the details. Suffice to say that my stomach said an emphatic "hell no" to the apple and then to the yogurt an hour later. It's been appeased with Sprite and crackers. Soup for lunch should be OK as well. The really funny thing is this is the best I've felt all week. When I was semi-concious in bed on Monday and Tuesday (yay! more missed work), I remember thinking that morning sickness would be preferable to the insomnia and over-active acid that refuses to let my stomach stay full for more than a half hour. And I'm very surprised to find out I was right. It's amazing what you can tolerate if you've had a full night's sleep and less than eager stomach acid.

Mind you, I'm still very much looking forward to the second trimester when all this fun stuff is supposed to go away. It's like I can hear my bod going, "What the HELL is this new horomone? And you want me to prepare for WHAT? I'm sure the genes are in here--somewhere--for this, but do you know how long it's going to take me to find them and get them going and get this thing ready for THAT? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll do it, but I don't have to like it." I'm thinking I might wear my "I survived the first trimester" badge with more pride than the "I got through delivery" one. That's probably NOT what I'll be thinking in the middle of contractions, though.

On the brighter side, it seems like my writing might just be able to get shoved into a schedule again. I was about to go crazy without it, but I've been so tired at home and busy playing catch-up at work that it just hasn't happened. The one saving grace there has been the Two-Year Novel course I'm doing at Forward Motion. I've had to address something writing related once a week since the beginning of the year. That keeps me from getting too far adrift in my other projects. And it keeps me sane when I just can't get to the other projects.

Saturday, February 05, 2005


About ten days before the home pregnancy test yielded two pink lines instead of one, I had a vague sense of being pregnant. Nothing physical, nothing scientific, just a mild case of intuitive insight. It happened when I went to the dentist and they asked if I was pregnant before doing Xrays. I told them it was possible--something I've had to do before at a doctor's visit and felt absolutely ridiculous doing because the chances were slim, but the scientist in me knew it was possible so I couldn't say no. But it was different this time when they opted not to do the Xrays until I knew for sure that I wasn't. I didn't feel ridiculous. I didn't think much of it at the time, except to file the information away in the "that's interesting" stash in my brain. By the end of the next week, I noticed that I had some mild nausea every morning at about 10. Nothing that a couple of Tums or just a quick bite to eat couldn't fix. Again, it went to the "that's interesting" pile. Then I was brainstorming some writing ideas the following Monday and on a whim decided to take a home pregnancy test. (Yes, not your average whim, but I've never claimed to be average. Or even sane.)

It was an interesting moment when Mark and I saw that positive test. Joy, excitement, peace. All bundled together to make for one of the most amazing feelings I've ever experienced. No doubt. No panic. Nothing negative. Over the course of the next few hours (in which Mark made me take two more tests before we let ourselves get too happy) I was in awe of the sense of focus that pumped through me. I knew everything was going to be fine, that this was right, that this was supposed to be happening. I knew. The only other time I've felt that way was when Mark and I decided to get married. That's not to say that I was so blinded by joy that I couldn't think rationally and consider the challenges of such a life-changing event. Instead, I realized that there would be challenges, and that we would survive them.

Since that Monday night, I've had fears and doubts and negative moments. Kinda hard not to when your body is dealing with an onlsaught of new chemicals and physical changes. But every time those swings start, I give myself a moment to remember how I felt when I first found out I was pregnant, and it takes the edge off.

Now, if only I could have such a focusing, intuitive moment regarding my writing, I'd be set.

Friday, February 04, 2005


I've got a really good reason for the recent lack of posting, so good that ever other reason I've given before seems remarkably dull and inconsequential in comparison. And that's about all the lead-in I can think of. Better brace yourself for some big news.

I found out last Monday that I'm pregnant.

And now I can't think of a way to transition into the post about how that news has been impacting my life. I guess I better get the basics out of the way first: Mark and I have been planning for Junior's arrival for a while now, so we're absolutely thrilled and as prepared as anyone can be for this sort of thing; our families are extremely excited, giving us lots of fun phone calls and well-wishes and warm-fuzzies all over the place; everything seems normal and healthy at the moment; and I'm due October 3 (date definitely subject to change). This child will be the first grandchild for both Mark's parents and mine. The first great-grandchild for both my mother's and father's parents, and I believe for Mark's mother's. I'm pretty sure the first great-great-grandchild for my grandmother's mother. And I suppose now's as good a time as any to mention that when I had a free psychic reading done a couple months ago at the same shop that sports all the great Amy Brown stuff, I was told that I would have twins by the end of 2005. Of course, we're waiting for Baby's First Sonogram before we start buying double.

The immensity of this change is at once both joyfully and terrifyingly overwhelming. The physical impact of this change hit me hard last week. I was up all night with acid reflux and insomnia, one night only getting a grand total of 30 minutes sleep. I stayed at home Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, trying to figure out just what kind of food my stomach was going to prefer and seeing about getting at least a few hours sleep here and there. The stomach fun lasted into the weekend, making it impossible for me to do anything but sit in bed and crochet Baby's First Blanket (I'm halfway done, thanks to the ickiness last week). Things have been pretty good physically this week. My stomach likes the morning routine I've set up for it and is pretty happy with the food for the rest of the day. I make sure to eat something just before I go to bed to last me through the night, and I now sleep sitting up, so the acid reflux is minimal. I'm still pretty tired, I've got to deal with a propensity to be a lot warmer than I'm used to, and then there's the whole "I didn't think I could ever pee this much" issue. Mentally, wow. Having most of last week off was both good and bad. Good because it gave me a chance to sit back and go "This is HUGE!" and actually start to absorb the life-altering reality of being pregnant. Bad because I was so far removed from my normal routine of work and basic health, that the change got a bit too overwhelming at times and I felt like I would never feel "normal" again.

I actually looked forward to work this week. I wanted to get back into a regular pattern of living and start weaving this new piece of my life into that. It worked very well this week. It also helps that the Powers That Be at work finally figured out that it would be a Bad Thing to keep making me do my current job without acknowledging that it's far beyond my original job description. So they're going to update my job description and check with HR to figure out if I should have a new title or salary. That's a load off my mind. And it makes the frustrations of the DDJ easier to handle. I don't care if my new duties don't warrant a raise (which I really think they will)--I just wanted the acknowledgement that I'm not doing what I was hired to do.

Now the big task is to weave writing into this new situation even better than I had before. I'm pushing my way through some Masque blocks, and sticking to as much of my writing routine as possible. I'm still planning on finishing a draft of this book by the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. 2005 is definitely going to be an interesting year.