Thursday, August 28, 2008 - 02:41 a.m.

Against all odds, I'm still pregnant. I have to keep telling myself very sternly that's a good thing.

We were back in the hospital around 8:30 Monday morning, and they decided to just admit me. (80% effaced, 3 cm dilated, 0 station = WELCOME!) And they weren't screwing around, either. Forget turbutaline - I spent most of Monday out of my gourd on an evil combination of magnesium sulfate and Nubain. Tuesday I was off the Nubain and coherent again, but they didn't start weaning me off the mag until 5 PM. They finally released me, on yet another crazy drug, yesterday afternoon.

And now I'm home. I'm indescribably uncomfortable, tired, aching, and sick of taking crap that makes me feel like something the cat horked up in the corner. A small, selfish part of me wants this over - it's glad there's really nothing left to try if labor starts up again. The unselfish part is trying its best to convince me the longer I feel this way, the better things are.

On a happier note, I have been totally blown away by how amazing everyone has been. The support and love everyone has shown us, how so many people have stepped up to help out while we've dropped everything to deal with this...it honestly makes me tear up every time I think about it (although I freely admit that could just be the hormones at this point). It seems like every other word out of my mouth for the last week has been "thank you" and it's just not enough to convey the depth of my gratitude. Even those of you who aren't nearby, who can't physically step in, we still feel you behind us. And it's helped. Oh, how it's helped. Thank you, all of you.

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Where Things Stand
Monday, August 25, 2008 - 02:40 a.m.

I am the type of person who likes to plan things out. I like knowing who, when, and where, down the best detail possible. Pregnancy has already put me out on a limb - who and where are pretty much locked in, but the when has always been a bit fluid. Our actual due date was October 5, so all the plans I made involved a nice buffer of a week or two. This week, I was going to sit down with my bosses, and my nice project lists, assignments, and deadlines, and make sure everything was covered and organized when I went on maternity leave September 22 or so. I'm really really good at planning.

But I think this child takes after his father, who takes a perverse delight in being spontaneous. Sometimes I think Todd does it for the pure joy of watching my head explode, but more often, itís just his way. And while learning to be more flexible without first having an aneurysm has definitely made me a better person, this newest development is a little hard for me to wrap my brain around.

Thursday night, during (conveniently) our childbirth class, I started contracting. But since I hadn't slept, or eaten much, or really even had much to drink the whole day, I wrote them off as more Braxton-Hicks. (Having your house broken into the same day you doctor tells you slightly worrisome news is a BIT STRESSFUL. And my reaction to stress? Stop eating. Bad, I know, especially now, but I come by it honestly.) The conditions were perfect for more teaser contractions, and besides I wanted to go on the tour of Labor and Delivery. Otherwise, we'd have skipped class anyway, because I'd felt like a hammered dog turd all day.

Well, we made it through the tour, but I don't remember a word, because, uhm, I was Not Comfortable. And so, at the end, as the class was leaving, we just peeled off and checked in. And lo, not only was I contracting every two minutes for 50 seconds each, I was also 50% effaced and a little over 2 cm dilated. At 34 weeks. Translation: oh shit. Also, d'oh.

Long story short, we ended up staying the night while they tried to stop the contractions. Terbutaline works great, for a limited time, but as soon as it wore off, we were right back where we started. But once we had a dosing schedule down, they were able to figure out what it would take to send me home. The next day, we gratefully left the hospital with a prescription for an oral form of terb and I spent most of Friday afternoon out like a light.

And then last night, we were back in again. The oral terb stopped working, so it was back for another shot and another couple hours of monitoring. And this time they went ahead and popped me with the steroid that accelerates fetal lung development. The idea is for the baby to stay put, but we're planning ahead in case he gets his way. They let us come home once things settled down, but now we're just trying to hold out to the second week in September. Really, we just want to make it through August. August.

(Part of my brain just dribbled out my ear while typing that.)

So now my organized, planning self has to deal with the idea that my maternity leave starts NOW, a whole month earlier than I wanted, and that this baby is probably going to be here much earlier than we expected. Iím stuck on bed rest, and as of last night thatís BED rest, laying down, not even sitting up for long periods of time. I'm dealing with it, but not...ah...gracefully. The fact that the terbutaline makes me twitchier than a three-legged squirrel in a room full of cats and also gives me crazy night-time headaches, hot flashes, and seriously mean heartburn isn't helping.

But it doesn't really matter. This baby is far more important than my job and my comfort. All I want is for him to be healthy and strong, and to have the best start he can. If it means staying in bed, or switching drugs, or standing on my head and doing the moonwalk to the bathroom (every fifteen minutes), I'll freaking do it. I'll do anything.

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I haz been robbed!
Thursday, August 21, 2008 - 11:16 a.m.

So last night Todd got home to find out that someone had broken into our house.

Let me tell you, that phone call was a whole world of suck rolled in a crunchy coating of "WTF?" It started out with, "Uhm, hey...did you by any chance come home and get the laptop?" and pretty much went downhill from there.

I kind of have to give the assholes credit, because they weren't total dicks about it. I mean, they closed back the window they pried open and even put the screen back in place. They don't seem to have messed with any of the animals. The place wasn't trashed. They shut the front door behind them when they left. They didn't appear to really screw with anything other than what they took. As far as burglars go, I suppose they were actually quite polite. You know, if you ignore the whole pawing-through-stuff-and-stealing-our-shit thing.

Not that it's not a fairly uncomfortable feeling, going through your house, trying to remember where you left everything that morning, with the thought someone else was here bouncing around in your brain. And by uncomfortable, I mean it makes you want to invest in a nervous badger for the laundry room and possibly a system to electrify all the window screens.

(I'm not wanting security from uninvited persons, so much as I want to cause them maximum pain.)

I'm also little disconcerted by the idea of someone crawling in our front window in broad daylight, but I guess pretty much everyone in the neighborhood was at work. I like to think if our neighbors saw that, they'd call someone. Maybe.

(ADT security badger = WIN)

Still, despite the initial indignation and general unhappiness, we've since managed to find something to laugh at. The highlights of what they got are:

  • A three-year-old laptop that was so slow, we could barely stand to use it. Also, it had a fried USB port and was generally on its way out. Since we both now have work laptops, it was pretty much redundant, too.

  • A point-and-shoot camera with crappy auto focus that I was slowly learning to hate with the fire of a thousand suns. Although I'm pissed it had the good rechargeable batteries in it.

  • A 1 GB MP3 player whose backlight died a long time ago, so it's only useful during the day or with an alternate light source.

  • $160 of the money my granddad gave us towards a crib. Okay, so losing this really sucks. Score one for the assholes, STEALING FROM A BABY.

  • A crappy laptop bag (for the loot of course!) that belonged to the Army. The reason it was there is because Todd couldn't stand to use it anyway. Taxpayers lose $30.

  • A metric shitload of pennies from our spare change fishbowl. Really! They passed up several more lucrative (and equally portable) options to lug around 15 pounds worth of change you can't even use in a vending machine. I suppose it'll be somewhat worth it when they make it to a Coin Star, but in the meantime, we've been wondering if that POS laptop bag would survive such a load.

I guess the silver lining here is nothing of major value was taken or damaged, the animals are all okay, and now we'll get a better camera. Also, now we don't have to roll all those coins. In exchange, they got some junk they can sell and maybe $300. It sucks, there's nothing we can do about it, and life goes on.

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Glad we don't live in Texas
Friday, August 15, 2008 - 04:03 p.m.

Yeah, this whole letting teachers carry guns thing sounds like a great plan. Except, I can't help but think of the teacher at my high school who went all googly one day in class, had a screaming breakdown, then locked herself in the art closet. I'm thinking it's probably a darn good thing she didn't have a gun, because the story wouldn't have been nearly as funny if she'd shot a few folk first.

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We are so weak
Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 12:31 p.m.

One of the reasons I love working with my company is the majority of my coworkers are bleeding heart animal lovers. We're like a small humane society that also happens to do engineering. A great many stray cats and (especially) dogs have been socialized, fostered, and/or adopted by the Huntsville employees. My cat, Lilo, is one of them.

Recently, there's been a tiny, starving, gray and white kitten hanging around our office. We get feral cats all the time, but this one, she's not feral. She's actually incredibly friendly. And cute. And heartbreakingly thin. And weíre a bunch of suckers. So, it was only a matter of time. The moment one of us broke down to feed her, it was inevitable - we now have an Office Cat.

She's not litter-trained yet, but we brought in her food and water, fixed her up a temporary box, and we're hoping she figures it out soon. She's been sitting on my boss' desk all morning, cool as a cucumber and purring as loudly as possible. And everyone is thrilled to have her here. In fact, we all want to keep her as our mascot. We're planning on taking up a collection to get her vaccinated and fixed, and we've already got a space carved out for her litter, food, and water back in the utility room.

Except there's a small problem. One of the girls in the office is TERRIFIED of cats. She reacts to cats the same way I react to spiders. One day we had one sitting on our porch and she wouldn't even get out of her car until someone came out and shooed it away. She's gone for the week (fortunately), but I'm more than a little worried about how this new development is going to go down when she gets back. I mean, I know how I'd feel if they decided to start keeping pet tarantulas. And as stupid as it is to be afraid of cats, we can't exactly change her mind, so I'm thinking the cat may just have to go at some point.

So......does anyone, uh, want a cat? Todd is a big meany who has to be all reasonable and logical and insist we don't need a fourth cat AND a baby, so I can't take her home (woe), but she'd make a great house pet!

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New favorite quote
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - 09:49 a.m.

From a coworker whose wife is about two weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy:

"I would rather shave a wildcat's ass in a phone booth than mess with a pregnant woman."


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Bits and Pieces
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 09:37 a.m.

  • I find it hilarious that women gymnasts, while capable of doing some seriously amazing stuff on a balance beam four feet off the ground, are utterly incapable of correctly performing a pirouette on the floor. It makes no sense.

  • Since the women's beach volleyball teams compete in bikinis, it would only be fair if the men competed without their shirts. I feel cheated.

  • This morning one of our local news anchors, while touching on this story, referred to Harry Potter's "Cloak of Darkness." I believe he must have acquired that during his adventures in the Chronicles of Narneevia.

  • Okay, I get that headlines need to be short and snappy, but the phrase "mental disability advocates" does NOT mean the same thing as "advocates for the mentally disabled." It is, however, much funnier.

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Except it's not a funny one
Monday, August 11, 2008 - 04:33 p.m.

Ah, the Bush Administration, doing their part to make sure that environmental engineers like me have job security FOREVER.

The latest issue? The Endangered Species Act. Because so what if the area of permanent artic ice cover is contracting at a rate of 9 percent each decade? Those ice-cap hugging, whiny-ass liberal polar bears MUST BE STOPPED.

"The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants.

...The Interior Department said such consultations are no longer necessary because federal agencies have developed expertise to review their own construction and development projects, according to the 30-page draft obtained by the AP.

'We believe federal action agencies will err on the side of caution in making these determinations,' the proposal said."

Yes. Exactly. Because that worked so well before.

Seriously now, anyone who think self-regulation works has absolutely no concept of the damage done before all those dastardly environmental regulations were put into place. I keep hearing people say over and over "we don't need the EPA or any government interference," and "the market will regulate," and I have wonder just when that theory has ever been borne out. Last I checked, that's not what happens at all. And while I appreciate the job security that comes with having plenty of toxic shit to clean up for the rest of my career, I kind of went into this field because I'm tired of seeing people try their best to screw this place over as completely as possible before Jesus beams them all up or whatever the hell it is they expect to happen. Self-regulation is a joke - I see the evidence of that EVERY SINGLE DAY.

And now I've gone and gotten my tail all in a twist. I guess I could always go work out my agression by clubbing a fluffy, moist-eyed Guadalupe fur seal pup to death with the carcass of a bald eagle. I'm pretty sure that'll be legal here soon.

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"They take pride in being ignorant"
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 - 07:28 p.m.

You know, it's about time Obama started responding like this. Hell, it's past time.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008 - 04:44 p.m.

Dear sweet jeebus, will this crazy busy week ever end?

(Also, I saw this on the news this morning, and I can't decide which is funnier. The video itself, or the fact that the McCain campaign actually felt it necessary to respond.)

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Home Again
Monday, August 4, 2008 - 07:53 p.m.

The first day back from vacation is always insane, and today was no exception. It probably would have been less crazy had our email server not decided to go tits up this morning, but not by much. I feel a little like I've been hit by a speeding truck. I didn't leave the office until 6:30, and I could have easily stayed the night and still be digging out come morning.

Not that vacation wasn't worth it. We spent last week at Seagrove Beach, Florida with Todd's mom, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and niece in this house. We didn't do much except visit the beach and eat, which suited me just fine. Todd's brother-in-law did us the dubious favor of getting me totally hooked on Dexter (hee, the website slogan is "Power-saw to the People"), and we finished the first season Thursday night. I've been in withdrawl ever since.

So now we're home. And tonight Todd felt it prudent to point this out to me:

I belive this guy belongs to the species Bigassa mothereffera.

Thanks to that, my plans for the rest of the evening include spastically clawing at my legs every time something brushes against them, followed by whimpering quietly in a well-lit, certified spider-free corner of the bathroom. Toodles.

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