Category Archives: My life

on guns

I’ve been travelling regularly to Spo.kane recently for work.  This has been interesting for me, as I live and work in a bit of a liberal bubble.  I mostly read liberal papers.  (I’d actually like to read the WSJ, for example, but they are behind a paywall.)  I’ve begun to think of myself as a conservative because I find my views ARE conservative compared to the prevailing wisdom of Seattle politicians.  But leaving here is an eye-opener.  One of the things that has stuck out most for me is the amount of pro-gun signage.  If Seattle, you’ll occasionally see an NRA bumper sticker.  Certainly, my old company leaned conservative, being full of aerospace engineers, compared to the area at large.  But pro-gun and conservative (ie pro-life) billboards, bumper stickers, and signs in windows are everywhere in Spo.kane.  Well, maybe not everywhere.  But they’re around in a way that they just aren’t on this side of the state.  Living here, I just kind of assume that everyone favors gun control, or most everyone, because . . . why wouldn’t you?  But, they don’t.  They REALLY don’t.

The latest shooting doesn’t change my opinion.  I’d ban all manner of guns and pretty much reduce us to a state comparable to Ireland.  In my ideal world, your average LEO wouldn’t carry a gun, never mind ordinary citizens.  I’m pretty much a pro-gun person’s worst nightmare.  H and I donate a few hundred dollars every year to our local anti-gun organization (they’d call themselves pro-gun responsibility, but come on.  They’re anti-gun.)  Last night I suggested we move to Ireland after hearing about the latest massacre.  I hate it when people do that – bash the US and talk about moving, usually to Canada.  I think living in this country is an incredible privilege that most people under-appreciate, with or without Trump.  But people getting shot in the streets?  It’s just unacceptable, and I really see no end or improvement in sight.

positive thoughts

I was thinking some rare positive thoughts about pregnancy this morning, so I thought I might as well post them.  I’ve reached the cute bump stage.  For the longest time (I’m 23 weeks, folks!), you couldn’t really tell I was pregnant.  I just looked chubby.  (You still can’t really tell when I’m in running clothes.)  Finally, though, I’m clearly pregnant, BUT I haven’t reached yet the whale-like unwieldy third trimester stage where my belly just takes over my body.  I feel all curvy and feminine.  Normally, I am absolutely not a curvy, feminine woman, and I’m totally fine with that, but it’s kind of a nice novelty for now.

L finished out the swim season, and I’m very proud of her.  Swim team is not what you’d call relaxing, and she made big improvements in her swimming.  She can swim 25 yd free in 27 s, which is not bad at all.  She drastically improved her backstroke and learned breaststroke well enough to compete and not get disqualified and look quite confident.  She kind of learned butterfly, though she got DQ’d the one time she competed it.  At the end of the season, she earned an award, along with some other swimmers, for being a good sportswoman, and one of the coaches said some really nice things about her.  I really liked the swim team.  It was very welcoming and they had a good program for the younger kids.  It’s one of the best teams, if not the best teams, on the Eastside.  I always find sports team success interesting.  I think it’s as much about good organization, inclusiveness, and growing kids, regardless of whether they have natural talent, as just lucking into having some athletic kids on the team.  I’ve written before about how my father was a very successful coach, despite (or because of) insisting all kids get equal playing time in games.  I feel like the head coach at our club has been successful for a lot of these reasons.

B is learning how to swim, oh so slowly.  She’s a competent dog-paddler, but definitely not there yet with freestroke.  But it’s nice to know if she was pitched in the drink, she wouldn’t sink like a stone.

23 weeks

It’s funny to me that my last blog entry was two weeks ago.  I actually like having these blogs to look back on and remember how I was feeling.

After getting the previa diagnosis, I had a significant anxiety spike for a while.  Not only was I (and am I) worried about complications directly from the previa – bleeding, hospital stay, C-section, etc. – it just made me feel very vincible.  If that’s a word – basically the opposite of invincible.  My pregnancies have been hard, no doubt about it.  I know some women have much harder pregnancies, but the nausea, vomiting, SPD and feeling lousy after eating means pregnancy has definitely been no picnic for me.  However, I’ve never really had to worry about my health or the baby’s health.  Excluding my first trimester miscarriages, I’ve never had any kind of flag whatsoever indicating any issues.  No failed screens, no gestational diabetes, no bleeding or even spotting, textbook weight gain, no early labor, etc., etc., etc.  I’ve been lucky.  Previa is fairly unusual but not the number one risk factor listed is age.  And being old is a risk factor for basically everything.  I’ll be 39, nearly 40, when this little one is born, and I just started going down this fairly bad road of worrying about losing the baby.

I feel lousy a lot, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish feeling lousy, especially GI lousy, from complications that might result in early labor.  The time from 21 weeks to 24 weeks has just been dragging by.  Obviously, I don’t want to have a baby at 24 weeks (survival rate 50%), but still, I think reaching viability will make me feel better.  I’m 23 weeks today, and at this point, some babies survive, and every day brings me closer to a healthy baby, even if she came early.

I’m also struggling at work.  While my nausea is mostly (but definitely not entirely) gone, the second trimester honeymoon has just really not happened for me.  I don’t feel good.  And it’s really hard to be effective at work when I don’t feel well.  I think I need to level with my boss, but I really don’t want to.  It’s be different if I hadn’t just taken a new job.  I think I really need to take a step back and realize that this season of life will pass.  My baby will be born and grow up, probably faster than I can imagine.  She’ll be in school, and I’ll still have 20 years of career left.  Even if I’m kind of sucking at work right now, I can and will be a strong contributor again.  I just need to keep things in perspective.

whine

Some days, just being alive is hard.  We had a lovely night for the fourth, but because it gets dark late here, the fireworks aren’t on until 10 pm.  (Even then, it’s barely dark enough.)  Anyway, maybe it’s because of that, or maybe because H went hiking today and I also had some work obligations, I am just wrecked this evening and feeling positively lousy.

I’m only a few days away from halfway.  I’m getting through this one day at a time.  But the fatigue is really just overwhelming at times.  I spend a ridiculous amount of time resting – resting in bed, resting on the couch, resting wherever.  My kids think resting is my favorite hobby.  I had so many goals for today that are sitting undone because I barely, just barely, have the energy to type this.

Yup, whine.  Can’t wait til the baby is here and I have my energy back.  Of course, staying up all night with a newborn is not exactly known to energize your average mom.  I think I may be too old for this.  Was I this tired at 31 when I was pregnant with L?  I honestly don’t remember.

Junuary

L had her first swim meet last night.  (She’d previously had a practice swim meet with her team only.)  The whole event went fine.  I’ve noticed in general, swimming doesn’t seem as big or as popular in Seattle as in SW Virginia, despite the much larger population.  Why?  Well, last night’s meet was a case in point.  It was in the 50s and drizzling on and off.  Seriously, folks.  Does weather in the 50s make you want to go swimming outdoors?  The pool is heated, so it’s not that big of a deal, but the kids spend a fair amount of time standing around shivering in their suits.  We’d brought a towel and sweats for L, but it was not enough.  She was frozen, and so were the rest of us by the time we got home.

Oh well.  Life in the Pacific NW has its ups and downs.  It’s definitely different!  We all woke up freezing this morning since we haven’t been running the heat and the temperature dropped below 50 last night.  We finally gave in and turned on the heat for a couple hours.

pregnancy announcements

Something about pregnancy announcements featuring couples canoodling each other gets to me.  I mean, it’s like, we understand that you are having sex and that you are hot for each other and that the magic of man and woman created new life.  I don’t feel this way about wedding announcements or engagements at all – it’s specifically the pregnancy announcements.  I don’t know what it is, but a lot of them are just so ick.  I think there’s something to be said for the old-style thing where you weren’t allowed to acknowledge that a woman is pregnant.  In fairness, that’s the approach many of my co-workers have taken.  I am also very ambivalent about photographing pregnancy tests.  I mean, that thing has your urine on it.  Gross!

Baby and I are 15 weeks along.  It actually surprised me to read that the little one is 2.5 ounces.  That’s not nothing.  The fruit comparisons are another thing that bug me, but this week’s comparison is to a navel orange.  Navel oranges weigh a heck of a lot more than 2.5 ounces.  I think the low density of fetuses at this stage is interesting.

I, meanwhile, am putting on weight like it’s my job.  I am hungry all. the. time.  Also still nauseous sometimes and doing more than my share of gagging and retching, but overall feeling better.  Sadly, I sat next to someone with a case of the bubonic plague at L’s dance recital, and I’m pretty sure I’m coming down with it.  I mean, I’m definitely coming down with something, but whether it’s the apparently life-threatening illness she had is TBD.  In hindsight, I think I should have asked for another seat.  Being sick while pregnant is just not cool.