Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thanks for The Support

I'm still here. Thank you for all of your comments. I go through these moments of doubt until I discuss the situation with outsiders and they all seemed to be appalled. It's good to know that I'm not going crazy. I partially post this information to hear feedback but it's also an effort to document all the madness that is going on.

Xmas was great although it didn't feel the same without snow. It was fun seeing the family and as always really hard to leave. I'm sure work is a little irritated with me because I came back with a wicked cold. I called out yesterday and I'm almost 90% sure I'm not going to make it through a full day. I sound like an old lady who spent her whole life smoking cigs. Thankfully my local pharmacist hooked me up with some good drugs that should help me get over it all pretty fast.

I've decided to start looking for a new job at the end of the month, even if it means changing careers. I really can't job hunt right now with my due date looming so near and I also don't want to lose the 3 months of maternity leave I have accrued. Three months away from work. I have a hard time imagining that amount of time off but I hear it will go really fast. This whole pregnancy just seemed to flown by. I try to enjoy every minute of it, especially when I'm hanging out on the couch and will all of sudden see my whole belly jump and morph into some crazy shape.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Welcome to Crazy Town

It's amazing how things change so quickly. I have continued on my tour of apologies and I have to say this is flat out humiliating. I can keep it together in the hallways and when talking to the people that I haven't really gotten to know all that well or know there is not a chance in hell I could have pissed them off. I come completely undone when I am in front of the people I work closely with and have a tremendous amount of respect for. It would kill me to find out if they are the ones that hate working with me.

Since the "I was testing you" comment of the marketing lady, I have gotten multiple "why the hell are they making you do this" which I really am not able to explain unless risking getting into more trouble and the latest response has been "What the F.... is wrong with your department". Maybe they are being nice, but everyone that I've talk to thus far(with the exception of marketing lady) has told me that they enjoy working with me and don't understand why they are making me do this. This is just embarassing. I still apologize to them profusely as I walk out the door just in case. Surprisingly, I've gotten a job offer from one of our department heads from the engineering side as a result of this madness. I thought that was pretty nice. So to recap I have one negative and 8 positive. Thank god it's the day before xmas break and there are not many people in this office because I don't think I can keep doing this without wanting to off myself (Just an expression of how depressing this is, I would not ever dream of hurting myself or my baby).

And then this happened:

After giving out one of my first apologies, that person went to HR about it and asked if they realized this was going on and wanted to know why (I don't know what else was discussed). HR just found me and told me that I could stop doing my rounds and that it was a bad idea on behalf of my boss. They didn't realize I would actually do it and didn't feel it was necessary afterall. Oh and now I am allowed to go to the engineers and ask questions without holding my boss's or manager's hands. Yippee. As crazy as it sounds, I hope to not have the gag order lifted, then I can continue to come to work and watch these two yahoo's (manager and boss)dig their own graves. I'll save my opinion of that for a later date :)

Hush Money

(Tuesday 12/20/11)

That's what my bonus check was. I had my review today, which was given by my boss and the owner of the company, and received five Above Expectations (4.0 points) and two nearly above expectations (3.5 points). This is phenomenal but was completely overshadowed by the one below expectations on interpersonal skills.

This was the comment: While she has good skills and brings energy and enthusiasm to a project, she needs to work on her relationships with fellow employees.

To say that I'm pissed about this is an understatement. Thinking that this was directly related to the situation with my ahole manager, I said this is really unfair that he wrote this on my review and he knows I've bent over backwards trying to improve the situation but it continually has gotten worse and he, the boss, has not done anything but perpetuate the situation. But this is the kicker, the boss said it wasn't because of my non-relationship with my a-hole manager. It's because I walked out on that meeting with the marketing lady and my idiot manager back in September (see 9/22/11 post). The boss knew that I walked out of that meeting because of my manager trying to do my work because I confronted him about it shortly afterwards which was compound by the marketing manager thinking that people would take a 15 minute survey, at a festival for a temporary tattoo. And now I'm being punished?

By the reaction of the owner of our company, I suspect he did not know that all of this has been going on. I briefly explained that this situation has been escalating for the last three years and in the last two years has turned into a bullying situation. I explained how my manager is very insecure and jealous, refuses to train me and has now withheld work when there are plenty of work to do. I also told him how this situation has led to begin losing our credibility with clients and deeply affects our productivity and quality of our products.

My boss tried to downplay the situation and kept saying "but your a great worker and grant writer" and at least you got a really great bonus. I would gladly give back my kick ass bonus, for a better work environment any day. I just surrendered at that point because I thought there was no way, after bring this to the owners attention, that this situation would continue. I kept it together long enough to walk myself into the HR department to tell the HR person what just happened. I had the ugly cry going on with the occasional hickup in the middle. I can be an emotional person but when I start hitting rock bottom thats when the cries turn into the hickups. It took awhile to even get the ability to speak again so I just showed her my review. I just told her a day earlier that I thought the boss was going to punish me on my review and that I had been having nightmares about it coming. She thought exactly what I thought, that the comment was directed towards my working relationship with my manager. She flipped when she found out he was dinging me on one incident that was already addressed and something he should take a little responsibility for (knowing that my co-worker had been stealing work yet not punishing him for it).

After calming down I left the office to find out that my boss was brought into the accounting office to what appeared to my informant, to discuss exactly how unproductive I've been and the general unproductiveness of our department. Whether this is true or not, I don't know but it sounded like the accounting department knew that I am constantly approaching them and other department heads for work, so at least I know they were not saying I was being unproductive on purpose.

I was so thankful to have a dr's appt scheduled for that day so that I could have a legit excuse to get out of misery. At least the appt went well. The echogenic focus was not noticeable on the ultrasound however the kidneys are still a little dialated over the normal range but the perinatologist thought that as the baby continued to grow it would resolve itself. It's a huge relief.

(Wednesday 12/21/11)

Nobody approached me to address the issue at all until the end of the day. There is nothing worse than getting an email at 3:30 saying you have meeting at HR at the end of the day. Of course I thought that was the end of me so I loaded up all my personal information on my computer to my flash drive.

I have very mixed emotions on how the meeting went. Pissed. Shocked. Betrayed. Self-loathed. Basically the jist was that this whole situation is my fault and that I am a difficult to work with, overly opiniated and nobody wants to work with me. I know you don't know me know me, but the first few weeks I worked here, I made sure I introduced myself to everyone I encountered. I want to have a positive workplace and I don't feel yelling or being rude to others will make my job easier nor anyone elses. My jealous co-worker actually complained about the number of people that stop by my desk on a daily basis. I've go to lunch and drinks (when not pregnant) with just about everyone in this place. This would not happen if people didn't like me and over all, if its one or two people who don't like me, that's ok. You don't have to make everyone like you. I am a ballsy girl. I believe on getting to the top in a way that is respectful, I don't believe on stepping on people, you will never get people to work with you if you do that. When someone asks my opinion, I give it even if I know it might not be what people want to hear. In a job with 100+ men, you need to stand your ground. I'm not a wallflower. I'm not going to lie to your face although I am very concientous about not delivering the news in a cold hearted fashion. I always try to provide two positive comments per negative comment. After saying all that, hearing that "nobody wants to work with me" was like a knife to my heart.

I believed it for a split second, I had to ask "really?" and even the HR person said she didn't believe it either but had talked to a "few" people and that's what they (HR and boss) were told. She had asked these people if they ever told anyone about this in the past and they said no. How do you correct something when you aren't told about your mistakes? I still took it very seriously, I would never want anyone to ever have that impression of me so I listened to what they had to say. And that's when I feel their story started to fall apart. The only person they really could indicate was our marketing lady. They said my ahole manager was not involved (and they were not going to let me talk about anything that had to do with my manager during this conversation) which I have a REALLY hard time believing. I know I can be viewed as opiniated and I know that when people sit around and discuss an issue over and over again and nobody takes a leadership role, I typically will step in when no one else seems to step up to the plate. I work with a number of quiet and insecure people, and I'm sure that my confidence and instinctive nature to lead rubs them the wrong way but after knowing them for 3 yrs, I know they will never make a decision on their own so I tend to expedite the process along. I also am very comfortable contacting one of our many engineers to ask for their input on the safety or viability of a infrastructure project that has been cooked up by our planning department. Our engineers are awesome and they have more than a handful of times prevented us from creating projects that our completely unsafe or unbuildable. The best part is, they never give me a hard time if I ask questions, they know I'm learning.

Their solution was for me to start going around to apologize to people in the office in case I have offended anyone with my opinions. Just apologize to everyone (I work with 170 people, a little over 100 in this office alone). My boss said he will go around the office in about a month or two to make sure I've made all my apologies. Maybe its just me, but that just seemed like they wanted me to get everyone involved in our mess of a situation which I feel is highly inappropriate. I have only talked to HR and four of my closest friends at work of this situation and I really don't want to drag others into it. But I'm going to do as I am told. It will be interesting to see peoples reactions. I figure I would just start off with the "I apologize if I've ever offended you in anyway, please don't feel like you need to tell me if I have or not, I'm not here to make anyones job here any harder than it needs to be and I don't want to foster an unhappy work environment". Something to that affect. I was also told that I am now no longer allowed to voice my opinion unless I am specifically asked for it nor am I allowed to ask my fellow engineers for their input unless I go and get my boss first and let him do it. I feel like I'm being treated like a child.

The funny part (ok maybe more uncomfortable) was when I mentioned that I am embarassed about how the fueding and lack of leadership in our department this affects other departments opinion about us. Worse, how it affects our clients perception. On a recent trip a co-worker from our northern office mentioned how, in general, our company has very few leaders and how he heard our department was the most dysfunctional and unmanaged. I brought it up in this meeting as an example. My boss started saying how he's on the board and he's never heard that before, that's just my opinion. Thankfully HR stood up for me and said she hears this type of comment regarding our department quite frequently. She even gave more examples of situations that fit this description. He just shook his head like we were making it all up. Again feeling fairly defeated, I just kind of surrendered. I agreed to the terms, dropped the fact that my co-worker lies and even my boss has acknowledged that he knows he is doing it and left for the day.

I headed for my second job that day and took a few minutes to share with my other boss what had happened. Out of my own paranoia, I asked him he felt that way about me too and If so, I promised to correct myself and that I do not want to be the cause of a bad work environment. He had the best reaction which made me feel sooo much better. Direct quote: "You work with a bunch of insecure assholes who clearly are covering there own asses by making you the escape goat! F-em! You're our Mary Poppins on crack, quit your job and come work for us full time" I still don't necessarily understand why I have to be equated to a disney character on crack, but I appreciate the gesture. Sorry for the quote, my manager at the restaurant talks like he just got out of prison;)

(Thursday 12/22/11)

I came into work this morning to begin my first apology sessions. I was a little apprehensive and started to really wonder again if what they heard was true. My first apology went to the marketing lady. I walked into her office and asked if she had a moment and apologized with everything I had. She accepted the apology and hugged me and then told me that she was purposely testing me that day to see if I would snap, and I failed miserably but she was glad I came to finally apologize to her and she hoped that I had learned my lesson. Yeah, that was what she said. UNBELIEVABLE, that was the most messed up thing I've heard in a very long time. You were purposly trying to pick a fight, as a "test" to make me learn my lesson? This is what I learned: I have some of the most immature co-workers who just want to power trip any chance they get. I didn't want to start a real fight I just kept my cool and apologized again and left.

The next two people said the exact same thing when I apologized (I just kept making my way down the row of offices), Why are you apologizing? We like working with you and have never had a problem with you, but your department is an unorganized mess. One of them also called us the land of the misfits. It is going to be a long day.

Thankfully I can leave in about 6 hours and bail out of this forsaken state. I just got to keep thinking it's Christmas, it's Christmas and I will have my baby in my arms in just a few short months.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Better Days?

Yesterday was a totally crap-tastic day. I had to put down my favorite cat in the morning. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. I feel guilty and horrible about it but she was experiencing kidney failure and could barely keep food down. Evie cat was awesome. She was really loving and cuddly, would occasionally jump in the shower with me (what cat do you know who likes to get wet?) and she could play fetch with the milk container rings. It's really weird not having her around and underfoot. I think my dog and other cat knew something was up when I came back without her. They both moped around the house all day and neither one of them ate until really late last night.

When I finally got myself together after leaving the vets office, I headed into work only to find out we weren't awarded the huge grant that we went for at the end of October. I was already emotional and that just sent me over the edge. All that work for nothing.

Thankfully, the late evening meeting with one of our long standing client which was anticipated to turn into a blood bath, went sooo much better than thought. Funny enough, I was told going into the meeting that it would just be the new mayor and members of our staff however it turning into a room full of 30+ people that included members of the city council, mayors office, accounting staff and the media. I was told to just be available to answer questions but that wasn't the case either. Instead, I had to come up with a presentation. Thankfully it took 2 hours before the group began to discuss my projects so I had enough time to prepare while sitting in the lounge of the hotel were the meeting was held.
The presentation was really well received and they were asking alot of questions that led me to believe I would have more work coming from them in the future. It wasn't until the group of us got in the company vehicle to head home when I found out that my project was the most contentious project that was discussed. I didn't realize that my project was used as a weapon in the last election. Either luck was on my side, or I explained the project in such away that made them realize it was a wise investment. Either way, the outcome of the meeting looks promising.

I came to work this morning and found out I got my xmas bonus which was double of what I received last year. I nearly fell out of the chair when opened it. I was hoping it would cover the cost of one month of my maternity leave but it ended up covering that and the cost of the new laptop I've been eyeing. I'm trying to not let on that I'm overly excited about the bonus to the a-hole. When he asked how much I got (which just shows how insecure he is) I said it was ok and what I expected. As soon as I said that, his face lit up. Merry xmas ahole! My gift to you.

I also had a Dr.'s appointment this morning. She cleared up the litmus paper situation and said it is possible that I am leaking very minute amounts of amniotic fluid however she said it could also be an infection that is causing the change of Ph. We tested for a number of infections and it looks like there is none present. That of course doesn't mean that I didn't have one two weeks ago. My cervix has also begun funneling but she didn't seem too worried about it and said that after next week I will not be having any cervical length checks. I'm cleared to go home for xmas and am so ready to leave this damn place!! Whoop Whoop. I still have a growth scan on Tuesday but I can't imagine that we will find any problems.

Baby has been back at practicing his ninja skills and is still breeched.In the middle of my presentation at last nights meeting, he decided to assault my internal organs. I was trying not to laugh but I swear the little one is half human and half octopus. With 79 days left (I can't believe only 79 days!) I'm becoming more and more anxious to have this little guy. I still haven't decided on a name yet but I've narrowed it down to Nolan Rhys or Leo Sebastian. I've still have time, and it wouldn't surprise me if I change my mind, but I think I'm pretty satisfied with either name.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still Here

I haven't posted in awhile, mostly because I'm still a little freaked out by last weeks trip to the hospital and also because my a-hole of co-worker has gone on to tell everyone that I am unable to learn how to handle complex problems and that I am worthless, nothing better than a secretary. I just don't want to bitch everytime I blog.

The fluid stopped leaking but I've noticed a decrease in the baby's activity. It could be caused by the baby moving to odd place or my anterior placenta but it still freaks me out. Don't get me wrong, I feel him and know he's alive but compared to the boxing matches he was having with my insides a few weeks ago, I am now barely getting a tap every 3-4 hours. I wonder if I'm starting to get to that point where the baby is getting to big to be doing all his flips. It's probably all FTM paranoia.

I have my review coming up this week. I'm nervous about it to say the least. I'm just hoping asshole's new smear campaign wont affect my review. Guess I will find out soon enough.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It Would Be Funny If It Didn't Scare Me Half To Death

I totally had a pregnancy oops on friday night. Since I seem to lack any sense of modesty or shame during this pregnancy, I thought I would share this little story with you.

I was working at the restaurant on Friday night. About three hours into my shift, I approached a new table and offered to take their drink and appetizer order. Within the minute and half that it took to take the order, I could slowly feel my pants getting wet to the point were I was starting to feel liquid dripping down my legs. I stayed calm infront of the guests but after I left the table I was in panic mode. I passed off the order to another server and hauled ass into the ladies room. I was soaked. The fluid was clear, didn't smell like urine and I felt like I couldn't stop the slow trickle. I had just gone to the ladies room about 15 minutes before this all happened so I couldn't imagine it being just urine. I was trying to rationalize everything but that feeling of "holy $hit" prevailed and I decided this is one of those times were calling the doctor is necessary.

I tried to make myself look somewhat presentable for my long walk across the restaurant, which inluded untucking my shirt and placing my apron in front of me (which probably brought more attention to my wet pants, than if I had just walked out with it in a normal location). I stopped at the host stand where my manager was hanging out. I think I scared him half to death when I told him that I'm having a bit of an emergency, showing him the state of my pants. All he could say was "Go,Go, GO!". I called the overnight service who got in contact with the on call doctor. I had already arrived at the hospital before he called me back so I just walked in.

The admissions woman was this nice older woman, who had some serious lack of computer skills. Who ever thought having a woman who can only type with one finger would be a great person to work the triage admissions desk is a genius. To make matters worse, she kept trying to crack jokes. I sat at the admissions desk for 20 minutes while she was trying to figure things out. Although I wasn't having any contractions, all this time wasting in this little office was just making me more and more stressed out.

I finally got to head in the triage room where they tested me to see if I was leaking fluid. The litmus paper they used will turn dark blue in the presence of amniotic fluid, yellow if there was none present. The test turned half dark blue, half yellow. The nurse sat there and studied it for a few seconds and decided it was inconclusive. I asked her if there was anything else that could cause the paper to turn blue which she said no. Hmm, ok. The nurse decided to do another test with a swab (I don't know what that test was exactly) and that also came out inconclusive. She left the room and called the on call doctor who decided to just release me. The nurse said I most likely just peed myself and that from now on, I should just be doing kegels as often as possible and wear a pad. How embarassing. Two hours at the hospital and probably an $800 doctors bill to tell me I have a bladder issue.

I am now wearing a bulky pad to capture the slow flow so I don't have to sit in pee pants all day long. Although I still have this fear that the nurse is horribly wrong, I have somewhat resigned myself to the fact that I will now have to suffer with stress incontinence issues for the next three months. Lucky me! Why didn't someone warn me about this when I got pregnant?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baby Shower

My baby shower was held on Saturday at my sister's house. It was alot of fun and I was really surprised by the turnout, considering that we had to hold it on a holiday weekend. Although I got very few items that were on my registry, I got a ton of clothes and toys! I don't think I will have to buy baby clothes until he is at least 9 months old.

I said I didn't want a overly traditional shower and my sister did a really good job setting it all up. There were a few games and the food was great. The best part was seeing people who I hadn't seen in ages.

I don't know why I get so weirded out by this, but I'm not use to having all eyes on me during a party. While I was opening my presents, I couldn't stop shaking. I also got a good sense of what it's like to be stalked by the paparrazi. There were flashing camera lights all over the place. I don't think I ever want to be famous.

I now officially have everything I need for baby, with three months to spare. It's such a great feeling.

Next doctors appointment is on Friday. Let's see what fun is instore for me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Perinatologist Appointment update

I finally had my appointment with the specialist today. The ultrasound was long and thorough. The genetics consult was....awkward. The lady kept skirting around the daddy issue. When she finally came out and asked if I knew who the father was, I provided her with the copy of the information I received from the cryogenics facility. Her reaction was "That's all you got?" uuuh yeah. I didn't know if I should be really worried that I didn't receive more information from the clinic or if I should somehow be ashamed that I used a donor. She was a very nice, professional lady but her demeanor when discussing the donor clearly made her act differently which just made me feel uncomfortable. Who knows, maybe its my hormones that made me feel that way and I can't expect everyone to be cool with my decision to use an anonymous donor.

The doctor came in and said he could completely throw the nuchal fold measurement out the window. At this point the baby's head circumference is out of the range that they would use as a comparison for the nuchal fold width (I hope I'm explaining this right). The dilated kidneys seem to have shown some signs that the issue was starting to correct itself (I did not get the measurements). He wants to continue to have it monitored but felt by the time the baby was born, this wouldn't be an issue. Then we discussed the EIF. On this ultrasound, the calcifications were not showing up as dark as bone but where definitely there. Again, it looked better on this ultrasound than it did two weeks ago. He said that could be because they used a higher resolution ultrasound today than what was used two weeks ago and it could also be attributed to the issue beginning to correct itself. He said that even if it didn't go away it should not affect the function of the heart and that it is the only Down's marker that he saw. He said the EIF, along with my age, left me with a 1 out of 200 chance of having a baby born with down's. I will gladly take those odds.

He gave me the option to go ahead and get an amnio to know for sure or do a growth scan in 4 weeks and another one 5 weeks later. I chose the growth scan after he again repeated that he felt that things would most likely rectify themselves. Overall, I feel really good about the appointment and am looking forward to sleeping through the night without waking up from worrying.

Interestingly, he told me that my circlage was considered "controversial". He told me the next time I get pregnant, he would recommend me NOT getting one because my cervix showed no signs of shortening. He also asked me to provide the names of the doctors who told me I needed it. I've been told by two doctors that I needed one due to my previous LEEP, and a third doctor that told me it wouldn't hurt to get one done. I asked if it would be better if I had it taken out but he thought we should just leave it for now. I dont know who to believe.

With all this good news this week, I can head back home to see the family without any worries. The baby shower is on Saturday and I made my sister promise to not do any belly measuring games. I already feel like a whale and I still have another 103 days to go!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just a Brag Post

I really considered calling in sick today but I am so glad I didn't because I found out that I won another $750K in grants! That brings my winning total to $2.15 Million out of a possible $2.4 million in one year. Its a double fist bump day for me:)

Since the bosses are deciding bonuses and raises in the next week or two, I've been shamelessly promoting my big win. It may seem tacky to some but this girl has a baby on the way and nice raise and a bonus could really come in handy!

Hopefully this good news week will continue on. I have my doctors appointment tomorrow to follow up on the soft markers in my previous ultrasound. I did a good job not thinking about it over the weekend but it's been a losing battle today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pulled the Plug

So let's just say my conversation with my friends did not go as well as I had planned. After talking to a few other friends in our circle, there were quite a few people who felt the same way I did, so I didn't feel so bad when I made the phone call. I told them I really hadn't come up with any ideas but casually asked them what they still needed to get before the baby comes home. Alot of it was frivolous stuff that aren't "needs". Example: The crib she picked out was $700, which is insane to expect to get at a shower. Other things on her list were the day-to-day things like diapers (they got a lot at the shower but she has this crazy idea that they need a year supply). I think I did a good job explaining that when you have a baby shower, you can't expect to get everything to raise a child for the first two years, a shower is just something to get you started with the basics. She seemed to be ok with the response but about an hour after I got off the phone I received a call from another friend (who also thankfully stood their ground on the no-fundraising stance) who said she got an earful from the new mommy. Mostly, she feels that her and her husband throw these big parties and outings for our friends all the time and that we all owe them and are acting ungrateful. EEEKS! Our friend suggested that she might be going through some post-partum depression, which I thing she might be right about. I think the plan is just to let everything calm down and call them in a few days to see how the baby is doing. She RSVP'd to my baby shower on Monday (pre-phone call), which I hope she will still attend. Maybe this will all just blow over.

Monday, November 14, 2011

So Annoyed

Before, I start going on a rant, thank you to all of those who commented on my last post. I want to make sure I find at least one childrens book for children born to smc's. This is a good start.

So why am I annoyed? When I decided to try to become pregnant on my own, I tried to plan for the financial and emotional requirements of raising a child. I've saved money and have bought nearly all the necessities without feeling the need to rely on others. With that said a friend, who conceived through an IVF treatment, just had a child that was born prematurely (27wks). The baby should be release from the NICU in a month or two. We held a baby shower for them a few weeks ago because we knew, due to the situation, they hadn't had time to really purchase too many items. Last week we learned the reason they hadn't bought a thing was because they were hoping to get everything from the baby shower. I recently received a phone call informing me that they want me to help host a fundraiser to come up with the rest of the money to buy things like a crib, diapers, etc. I'm so miffed!! I could understand if it was to help to pay for medical bills but their insurance is top notch and they will not have to pay for any hospital bills. His wife is still getting short-term disability payments which provides her 3/4 of her salary so they are not really losing out on much of her salary either. They make double of what I make and have a very nice home and multiple cars. They are also known for blowing obscene amounts of money to impress others. From the outside, there seems to be no reason that they couldn't save money for the arrival of their little one and now they are expecting all their friends and family to foot the bill. I need to call them back today to tell them my ideas for a fundraiser but what I really want to do is tell them to shove it (which I'm sure that's how I'm going to phrase it and then blame it on my pregnancy hormones). What would you do? I seriously want to go off on them and tell them how irresponsible they are being.

I know I'm not painting these people in the best of light. They are both very nice and go out of the way to help our friends and family with regular acts of kindness. They are great to be around and I've never felt like they are not good friends to have. However, they are just incredible irresponsible with money.

Adding to this feeling of being annoyed, on my road trip with my asshole co-worker, he tried to make it sound like him and his wife were still together even though I was present for a phone call between him and his bank while he was trying to get her name off the mortgage. He said he could "refinance at a cheaper rate without her name on it". We had a meeting on friday where one of our clients said to him "I'm sorry to hear about your divorce" which sent asshole into a stuttering frenzy. The client then said "it's ok, I talk with my employees (which he meant more specifically our ex-intern and the person asshole is having an affair with) and they, ahem, told me all about it". Asshole was pretty quiet the rest of the meeting. Later I found out he went to the secretary and finally, after 5 years of cheating on his wife, said that he was seeing the ex-intern, however the relationship just started and he wasn't sleeping with her. YEAH, SURE!!! He also said he didn't want anyone to know because he was afraid it would ruin his reputation at work, like nobody knew this has been going on for the last few years. Duh. And the funny part is, he told this all to a person who is a notorious gossiper so now the whole staff knows. I just get so annoyed with his lying. It just makes the situation even sleazier than it needs to be and it takes all the attention off of doing what we should be doing, working, and places it all on his ridiculous antics.

Friday, November 11, 2011

When Times Get Hard, Look For the Humor In It All

I have a habit of cracking jokes even during difficult situations. Laughter is a great coping mechanism so I try to look for some humor in it all.

I received the paper work I needed to fill out for my doctors appointment. The second question under medical history was "Is the baby's father related to you?" I know that might not seem funny to some people but I have a sick sense of humor and I DO live just north of the Kentucky border where people joke around all the time about brothers marrying sister's, etc. As soon as I saw the question I had to quick text my sister and a friend. They suggested that since I really didn't know who the father is (other than the basic donor information) that I should put a question mark in the answer box. LOL. I sure hope that's not an issue:)

My doctors office provided me with the list of all things that need to be accomplished in your 6th month of pregancy. This includes signing up for birth and baby care classes, hiring a pediatrician and looking into daycare. I signed up for a "Mother and Infant" class and a breastfeeding class today but I just couldn't bring myself to sign up for the birthing class. There are no specialty classes for single moms here; they are all couple oriented. I feel like a bit of a loser for going alone and I really feel guilty about asking a friend to take time out of their lives for a two day birthing workshop. Anyone else for-go the birthing class? I know baby center has some online classes maybe I will test them out.

Next step is finding a daycare provider and a pediatrician. I don't know why I have this incredible desire to procrastinate on this but I do.

I finally found a baby memory book for single moms that conceive through donors! The book, made by Tessera, was a little costly but so worth it!! I can't believe there aren't more books out on the market like this. Seems like a new business opportunity to me. Now I'm just on a hunt for children books that relate to being born to SMC's. Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's Going to Be a Long Week and a Half

The appointment with the fetal-maternal specialist is scheduled for the 22nd, 4 days before my baby shower. The nurse really wouldn't give me any details other than it will include an ultrasound and a meeting with a genetics counselor. She said it should last around 2-3 hours. I'm just hoping that the appointment will lead to an answer because I can't imagine being able to keep it together at the shower without knowing. I can barely keep it together right now. I bounce back-and-forth between thinking "everything is going to be ok" to "worst-case scenario". It's mentally exhausting. I would give anything for a week long vacation were I could just stay in my pajamas all day and hang out on the couch with my dog and the remote.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Google is the Enemy

I refused to google the results of my ultrasound yesterday but broke down around 4am when I couldn't sleep. Big mistake. I'm just more confused and anxious. One site tells me the risk of Down's and Edward's syndrome go up with the three markers. Another site tells me that this all means essentially nothing while another, which was someone's blog, stated that her baby demonstrated no markers yet her baby has down's. DAMN YOU GOOGLE!!!

I'm trying to keep a positive spirit but by the time I got out of work, I decided to take the dog for a walk and then go directly to bed so I could avoid any family phone calls. After my intense google research, I decided to tell my parents what was going on. My Mom made me feel a little better but we both fully understand the magnitude of living with a person who has a mental disability. I think if I didn't know what it was like I might not freak out as much as I am, but I know how difficult it was for my grandparents to care for my Aunt Maggie. For all I know these markers don't mean a damn thing and are a complete fluke but if there not, I want to be as prepared as possible. My Mom and I both agreed that if the specialists suggests an amnio, I'm going for it. There is no way I could go through with the rest of this pregnancy without knowing.

Now I'm just waiting on the phone call from the specialist. I wish they would hurry up with this appointment so I can calm my mind down.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Not Panicking But Losing My Cool

I finally had my follow up ultrasound this morning. The good news is that the baby remained in the perfect position to get all the measurements that were needed for the anatomy scan. I even got some great profile pics and one fantastic confirmation pic that showed, without a doubt, that I'm carrying a boy.

The bad news needs to be put in a list because it, overall, was not the appointment I was hoping for.

1) Not only is baby boy's tubes that leads from his kidneys are dilated, but he also shows calcification in his heart and also had a higher measurement for the nuchal fold (did I say that right?). I'm being sent to a specialist to investigate more. My Dr said this could be a sign that there is a chromosomal disorder or it could mean absolutely nothing, just measurements and the angle of the pictures were misleading. I'm still banking on nothing but I'm definitely more concerned about it, especially when she started talking about possibly having me go in for an amnio. I almost started to cry when she started going through everything but I held it together when she said she had to give me the "worst case" scenario speech and that it didn't necessarily mean it will happen.

2) Up till the beginning of October I hadn't gained more than a pound or two. I weighed myself this morning and realized I had gained 10 lbs in a month!! The doctors office confirmed the weight gain too. Looks like tonight I will be re-evaluating what is in my refridgerator and cupboards. I know with the stress of finishing yet another high-profile grant application caused me to eat a lot of fast food so, hopefully, if I convert back to my traditional eating habits I can control my weight gain for the rest of the pregnancy.

3) My blood pressure was so much higher than what it normally is. I think my last appointment had me at 117/73. This appointment it was 147/78. Since I gained a lot of weight and my blood pressure is all wonky, they are sending me into get the dreaded glucose test next Friday.

Overall it was a lot to take in during one appointment. I'm trying to keep my wits about everything but I can't help but to teeter on the edge of despair. The eating habits are a piece of cake (excuse the pun) to correct, but the chromosomal abnormalities and possibly the blood pressure issue may be uncorrectable. If you have received similar results but had a great turnout, PLEASE share your story with me. I could really use the positive feedback.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Consolation Prize

I didn't get the job. It sounds like they decided to go with someone with less experience (which I'm kind of surprised by, maybe I'm too expensive?). I'm bummed out about it because I'm sure that was the last chance to find a new job before the baby is born. On the bright side I took a small portion of the money that I was saving for the move and put it towards the cadillac of strollers, a Bumbleride indie in Seagrass. I've been eyeing it up for quite awhile but could never pull the trigger on buying something so expensive. My train of thought on the purchase is as follows (or in other words, how I lied to myself to make the purchase justifiable):

1)Most people buy a travel stroller but really only use it until the baby outgrows the infant carrier and then they switch to an umbrella stroller because its lighter and easier to maneuver. This stroller weighs less than 20 lbs (like an umbrella stroller)and I can use it with an infant carrier if I need to. The best part is I don't even need the infant carrier because the stroller seat fully reclines for an infant.

2) I love going for long walks, many of which are not on even terrain so I would eventually need to purchase a jogging stroller. Bam! This works as a jogging stroller.

In a long about way, I'm hoping I'm saving myself money in the long run by not needing to buy two or three strollers to meet my needs. I still registered for a Chicco lightweight stroller when I travel and am short on space. The bumbleride does not fold into a nice compact size.

My rational could totally be off but it's my one big splurge for the baby. All the other things I've purchased have been super cheap so I think I can forgive myself. Let's see how I feel about it in a couple of months :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pins and Needles

I still haven't heard back from the company that I interviewed with last Friday. The wait is killing me! It's like I'm reliving the dreaded 2ww all over again. I have those moments where I think to myself there is no way that I didn't get the job and the next minute I think they would have called already if they liked me. What makes it even worse is that I contacted a lot of potential apartment complexes to find is place to live. Everytime I see a phone number from that area I get all jumpy because I think its the job calling only to find out it's an apartment complex returning my call. It's nerve racking.

So I know I've been joking around about baby names but I think I need to start getting a little more serious about the big decision. I hoping you ladies can help. Here is my list so far:

1. Nolan
2. Liam
3. Wyatt
4. Finn
5. Leo
6. Oliver

I absolutely love the name Nolan but my sister's son is named Logan and I'm a little concerned that the two names sounding too similar. Liam is getting really popular around these parts and I don't want my son to have to deal with all the problems that are associated with a common name. Leo is a great name that a couple of friends have suggested, however, that is my infertility doctors name and I don't want anyone to think I named my son after the Doctor that helped me to get knocked up. Too weird. I love the name Finn but my aunt just named her new puppy Finley but they call her Finn for short. I can just imagine my Aunt yelling at the dog (she does that alot and its scary) and having my son think she is yelling at him. Plus having a dog and child named almost the same thing is not right. I love the name Oliver, but my co-worker that just had her twins prematurely named one of her sons the same name. Of course, if I get the new job and am able to move away from here that won't matter. The only name that doesn't have some crazy issue surrounding it is Wyatt and I do like it but am not sure if Im completely sold on the name like I am with the name Nolan.

Man do I sound crazy hormonal and neurotic in that last paragraph!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I've Got a Good Feeling About This One

The job interview went incredibly well and I think this just officially became my dream job. It sounds like the other two candidates that they are considering are straight out of college with a masters yet no work experience. The interviewer, who is really awesome, had a total different set of questions for me and I think I seriously knocked her socks off! I hope I'm not being overly cocky about all of this but when I left, I felt like this is where I want to be.

The job is located in downtown Milwaukee in this gorgeous old restored building close to some of the best shops and restaurants. My office (thinking positively)has a gigantic floor to ceiling window that looks out over the Milwaukee River. Say goodbye to dreary dark cubicle! Since this office just opened, there would be only my boss and I in the office while the rest of my 50 co-workers are located in another nearby city. And get this....they have a company plane to get us back and forth between our office and job sites!! When she told me that my jaw hit the table. I'm so excited about all of this, I just can't stop smiling. The interview was only suppose to last for an hour but at the end of the interview we sat and chatted for about 20 minutes only to realize that we both are from the same home town. It also gave me the opportunity to tell her that I have a couple of political connections in some of the communities that they are hoping to start getting work from. Aaahh the power of the name drop.

I should find out on Monday if they are going to call me back for a second interview. If I get the call, I get to drive back home sometime this week. Let's hope.

Lately the baby has been kicking a lot harder and he seemes to enjoy kicking me straight in the bladder. It doesn't hurt but it makes me feel like I should run to the bathroom. I kept hoping the little man would be on his best behavior while I was at the interview and thankfully he was. I still don't think the interviewer could tell I was pregnant and it probably helped when I told her I gained 60lbs since moving to Indiana.

My family threw a party together on Friday night to celebrate my brief homecoming. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone together. My uncle created some scary creature that stood about 6ft tall and put it outside, against the patio sliding door. This thing was scary on its own but when a brief rain shower came through the wind would catch its clothes and it looked like it was alive. Super freaky! Every once in awhile someone would forget it was there only to catch a glimpse and start screaming. It happened so many times that they finally just had to take it down. I joked that we should put it against the neighbors window (we know the neighbor and they have a great sense of humor) but my uncle begged us not to. He said he could just envision the neigbor getting so freaked out by this "person" looking into the window that they will have 8 cop cars outside of their house investigating this peeping tom.

I knew the question about baby names would come up at some point in the evening so I decided to tell them I was dead set on the name Diesel. My Mom and Dad gave me the dirtiest look I think I've ever gotten. Funny enough, my Aunt thought it was an awesome idea. I finally caved and told them what my real potential names were but Aunt kept calling him baby Diesel.

I don't know if I ever told this story on my blog but right before my nephew was born, I knew my sister wanted to name her son Logan which has been my baby name FOREVER. To try to give her alternatives to the name my two Aunts and I came up with a list of normal names but as the drinks kept being poured we began to come up with some really crazy ones. The one that stuck the most was "Richard Rodney" aka "Dickie Rod". It became a big hit in the family. So although his name is Logan, our family somtimes still refer to him as little Dickie Rod. Remind me to someday send him an apology letter :)

On another note, I love my ticker!! Only 127 days to go!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another Interview

I turned down the job in Athens. It did seem like a great opportunity but at the end of the day it does make more sense for me to move closer to home. Within an hour of making that decision on Wednesday, I got a phone call to interview with a company that is within a 20 minute drive of my parents house. Talk about destiny! What seems even more remarkable is the fact that they are only interviewing 3 candidates. I like those odds! I told my mom she should make some of her awesome homemade rolls and brownies so I can coerce them into hiring me :)

They offered me an opportunity to interview via a phone conference but I thought I would have a better chance of getting the position if I interviewed in person so now I have an impromptu trip up to WI on Friday morning. I'm so excited, I feel like a girl getting ready for prom. What do I wear? How should I do my hair and makeup? Are they going to like me? What if I say something super embarrassing or don't know an answer to a question? Ahhhh!

I'm a little nervous that they will also be able to tell I'm pregnant. In the last few months I've just appeared fat (especially since I'm chubby already) however I'm starting to get a more defined baby bump. I know I keep going back and forth on this issue but I really don't want them to know I'm pregnant until after I've signed a contract or have been offered the job. Please god let them offer me this job!!

It would be so nice to move back home, especially when it comes to childcare. Two of my aunts are daycare providers and my mom has offered to take the baby on tuesdays for free. I would much rather have a family member taking care of my little one instead of a stranger. On top of that, my job requires occasional night meetings and my family is willing to help me out on those nights as well.

The only problem I forsee is the cost of housing is so much higher there than it is here. I currently pay $660 for my townhouse (including pet fees and W/D). A similar size apartment with the same amenities would cost me closer to $900 - $1000. Ouch that is a lot of money. On top of that I currently live only 5-10 minutes away from work, keeping my transportation costs to less than $40 a month. Because the Southeast WI is so much more car dependent, I'm sure that cost will jump up to $200 or more.

Oh well, I will work it out when I get the job. Crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

IF Medication and Cancer?

I'm blown away by the news that Guiliana Rancic has breast cancer. About a year ago I stumbled upon her reality show when she had her first failed IVF cycle. It was really eye opening tv that hit pretty close to home. Most celebrities hide their infertility issues yet she was brave enough to lay it out there for the world to see.

And now this breast cancer diagnoses.

My aunt went through multiple IVF cycles which resulted in no pregnancies (she later divorce, got remarried, and got pregnant on her own naturally, twice). At age 40 she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer which she has been battling for the last 10 years. Her cancer is estrogen-driven (it's my understanding that not all breast cancers are like this). When she found out that I was using medication to stimulate my ovaries she told me she thought her cancer was caused by the medications she took when was trying to conceive. Of course her doctor really hasn't put much stock into her theory, however it is interesting that the news of Giuliana's cancer is bringing this controversial subject into focus.

Although I heard the original announcement from the Rancic camp stating her doctor insisted on her receiving a mammogram before she went through hormone treaments and potential pregnancy because the increased estrogen could accelerate any existing cancer; I've now heard reporters stating that IVF can cause cancer. I'm sure the reporters are just misinterpreting the news but it does make me pause. Was Rancic's doctor correct to state that IF meds can accelerate some existing cancers? Should we all be required to go through a mammogram prior to starting medicated IF cycles? I know it would give me a peace of mind just to have a follow up mammogram after the baby is born. I did have one done two years ago (which I had to fight with my family doctor to get) and it showed three false positives which were ruled out in a subsequent mammogram.

I just hope, in Guiliana's case that they caught it early enough so that she will not have to go through extensive rounds of treatment and will be able to get back on TTC wagon in the next few years. This woman needs something to go her way!

Thank you for the previous comments regarding my potential new job. My family is the most important thing to me and I have been seriously considering calling the Georgia job and telling them I'm not interested (although it looks like an awesome place to live). I think I can survive working here for a couple more months which in the interim, I hope I can find a job closer to family and friends. It would really be nice to be closer to a solid support system. I have a tendency to be overly independent but I really need to start thinking like a protective mother and not a single person with no responsibilities.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm Past the Half Way Mark!

I'm officially 20wks today! I'm half way there. It's funny but a week ago I felt so prepared for baby to be here and now I'm starting to feel like there is so much more to do. I know I'm just being irrational. The nursery is set up, I have tons of baby clothes, diapers and other essentials. Again, I'm only half way! Why am I doing this to myself?

I haven't heard back from the new job yet and am starting to get anxious. I keep bouncing back and forth on whether or not I want to take it. I think the new job would be great and, so far, I'm pretty impressed with what I've seen of the Athens/Atlanta area. The part that I keep getting hung up on is the fact that I will be that much further from home. It's going to be really hard to do a 15hr drive with an infant. I could fly, which I'm not so sure is much better when you consider trying to carry all the things a baby needs plus my things. Plus, I would need to find a boarding place for my dog while I'm gone and that equals more $.

My mom asked if the thought of moving was more stressful than just staying here. Good question. As of right now the answer would be no but who knows what situation my new place will be in. At the end of the day, I still just wish I could be closer to family in WI and the new job would just have me living further away.

I did come up with a plan to work my ass off to come up with the $3000 to move. Even if I don't move now, I can put it into my emergency fund. The further along I get into this pregnancy the more fear of the unknown I have. Am I really making enough to pay for daycare? I won't be able to work a second job to make more money when I overspend one month. Am I going to be able to stay true to my budget? If I move, that $3k will be forever gone and I won't have more than a couple of hundred available. That scares the crap out of me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What to do next?

I had my job interview yesterday and it went well. They are considering me for two different positions even though I only submitted for one position. I have a strong sense that I got the job but I was so nervous during the interview that I forgot to ask what the pay was! I did find out that they wont pay relocation costs which will make moving incredibly difficult, especially with the holidays right around the corner. I figured it would cost me at least $3000 to move which is a lot of cash to come up with in one month. Can I pull this off?

I didn't tell them I'm pregnant either and I'm feeling really guilty about it. I think I will tell them if they offer me a contract. I just don't want to move only to find out I pissed my new bosses off. That's never a good way to start a job.

I also figured if I move there, I would definitely be giving birth alone. There is no way my family or friends could drive there in time. I don't know why this is bothering me now when there is still a good chance that I will go through the birthing process by myself at my current location.

I'm worried giving up christmas time with family, going through birth alone, and losing paid maternity leave are some big sacrifices in hopes that my new job will be less stressful and more enjoyable than my current position.

If I wasn't pregnant, I would just go for it. But with a baby on the way, I feel 10x's more indecisive. I know I need to move on but I'm so scared that it will backfire and then I'll be stuck 800 miles away from home with no one to rely on.

Uuugh. I just don't know what to do.

Baby boy has been playing some games with mommy this week. He seems to enjoy tucking himself under my rib cage and putting pressure on a nerve. It has caused a tremendous amount of back and hip pain. For two days straight I couldn't take more than three steps without doubling over in pain. I called the nurse (man she has to be tired of hearing from me) A) to ask about what could be causing this pain and B) My co-worker has shingles and is still going to work everyday. The nurse told me I was already exposed to the Chicken Pox so I shouldn't have to worry about getting shingles or passing it on to baby. She also told me the baby was probably just laying on a nerve and that I should go and lay down on my side to see if I could get him out of that position. Sure enough, after an hour of laying on my side, I could feel him move and the pain just vanished. Tricky little man! He's floated back to that area a couple of times since then but at least I now know how to get him away from that nerve.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What a week!!

First and most importantly....ITS A BOY!!

I found out at todays scan. Baby boy was being very difficult and continued to face towards my spine the entire ultrasound. The tech only got half of the measurements that she needed so I will need to go back and repeat the utrasound in a few weeks. The little man had his legs crossed nearly the whole session until a few minutes before the tech was going to give up and then..surprise! At one point he gave us a thumbs up which was pretty funny. Wow, I can't believe I'm having a boy! I'm so excited!

They did find an anormality with a kidney but the doctor told me that this type of anormality tends to resolve itself and I shouldn't worry about it. I'm crossing my fingers that she is correct.

Ladies, don't try to pick up things that are heavy when pregnant. Take it from me. I went to Lowes to pick up a sandbag on Monday afternoon. I figured I could get a clerk to help put it in my cart and take it out to my car. Unfortunately they all seemed to be busy so instead of waiting around I just lifted the 50lb bag myself (I still had someone take it out to my car after I checked out). About an hour or two later, I noticed a tighting in my abdomen but blew it off. It happened a couple more times on Monday and seemed to happen more frequently on tuesday. They weren't painful so I wasn't worried and just figured these were braxton hicks. Tuesday night they seemed to continue to get worse and I noticed I was having a little back pain with them. I'm hard headed and just figured I would drink a ton of liquids and they would dissipate. But then wednesday came along. I had a stressful meeting over my bosses inability to punish sleazy-d. In the middle of the meeting I realized I was getting more BH's. By the time I got out of the meeting I was having them every ten to 15minutes. That's when I started to panic. I called the nurse on duty and she told me to head into the hospitals triage unit. As you can imagine, I freaked out when she told me this.

I was at the hospital for a total of three hours. During that time the nurse that was assigned to me told me I was too early in my pregnancy to possibly have BH's and that it was just round ligament pain. I felt like an idiot but then again I thought I could tell the difference between the two. Round ligament pain causes a stretching feeling at my hips and is occasionally accompanied with sharp pains around my lower abdomen and into the top of my legs. I can always walk it off with in a matter of minutes. With the BH's, I could clearly feel my whole abdomen get rock hard for a few seconds and then it would ease up. The nurse went back and called the doctor to tell her what was going on. The nurse was so sweet and said she made a mistake and that I could have BH's as early as 16wks. I guess we both learned something that day. They did a cervical length ultrasound and it looked good at 4cm so they sent me on my way with a warning that I shouldn't return to work for a few days. She didn't have to tell me twice!!

I did come in on Thursday to discuss somethings with HR. They finally talked to the boss on wednesday while I was gone and he said he knew that sleazy-d did not like me but didn't understand why. He also admitted that he knew that there sleazy-d was doing more shady things than even I didn't know about. He told HR that from now on, even if it just one thing, I should immediately go to him about the problem. This just pissed my off because I come to him with 10 things (and proof to back it up) and boss doesn't do anything. What make him think that I will believe he will do anything when I come to him with one problem? I told HR at this point this job isn't really worth fighting for and if I stayed expecting a change I basically fit into the definition of insanity.

And then this afternoon I got an awesome phone call offering a job interview in Athens, GA! I just sent that resume last week Wednesday! I'm interviewing with them on the 13th. I'm a little nervous about moving further away from the family but its just not worth staying here. I guess I'm getting ahead of myself and need to get the job first but what a confidence booster that phone call was. I feel like I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Monday, October 3, 2011

What did you do with your extra unused medication?

I have approximately $3000 worth of unused gonal-f and ovidrel just sitting in my fridge (4 gonal f 900iu pens and 4 Ovidrels). I was just going to keep it for the next baby, but I really don't want to start trying again when this one will only be 5 mos old (some of the meds will expire in august of 2012 or a little later). The fertility clinic nurse told me I could use it up until 6 mos after the expiration date which still does not give me a lot of time between children.

I thought of donating it but my doctor told me it isn't a tax deductible donation. I'm generous but I can't just give away $3000 when I know I have a move and a new baby on the way. I'm thinking about selling the online for half the price. Is this a bad idea? Has anyone else done this? What did you do with your unused medication?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday is Here

And my boss did NOTHING. He brought both of us into the office and went over what we are suppose to be doing for the next week and sent on our way. No "hey, sleazy d, your a lying sack-o-shit and you've been busted". No "We're tired of you wasting company time, do what your suppose to do and stop trying to take other peoples work".

Funny, I felt helpless prior to going back to the boss for the latest complaint. Now I'm just feeling used and worthless.

On the brightside of things, I paid off the baby's crib and dresser and should have them delivered in the next week. I also only have one more week until my ultrasound. It can't come fast enough.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hope....Kind Of.... Errr...Not

Work drama post...IGNORE If you want.

So the boss man calls me in today to see where I'm at with the set-up for our event at the festival. I flat out told him that Sleazy D (my new nickname for asshole manager, to cool sounding? )told me I was not working on it anymore and that he was going to work on it. I also said I have no idea where he was at on the project. We couldn't ask him at this point, because he was gone for a day of golf. I could tell by the look on his face, he understood what I was trying to say, but like usual didn't ask any questions. Moving forward, I said I would be more than willing to get it started. But then the whole situation continued to eat at me. And then I found myself getting red in the face only to fall into the ugly cry at my desk.

I sat there for awhile, once again weighing the pros and cons of talking to the boss about it. He's never taken actions that stopped the situation. Its probably not going to work now, but what is the use about crying and bitching about it all the time if I don't do something about it?

So I went in to his office, closing the door behind me and I layed it all out on the table. The lies, the project stealing, the manipulation and then I said something I may live to regret, I told him I dont feel like going to him will solve the problem but he's the only option I've got. He admitted that the last time I went to him, when sleazy D started crying over me being handed admin work and how he didn't understand why he didn't get any, that he never confronted sleazy D about it. I guess I was dead on when I said going to the boss never results in anything. Surprisingly he said he knows that sleazy d has been lying about his knowledge about certain planning techniques. To further prove that sleazy d was not only stealing work from me while he had plenty on his plate, we headed to the person who runs all of our modeling work. This guy said he gave sleazy d work a few weeks ago that should keep him busy for the next 6 wks to 2 months. Basically there is zero reason for sleazy D to be searching/stealing work from others.

In the end the boss said we all sit down on Friday work this through (he was going to be out of the office on Thursday). I'm planning on bringing HR in so it gets documented. I'm not going to make that mistake twice. I also was given the presentation board project back however I now only have 1/2 day to do it instead of a week and a half. I'm super anxious about this meeting. I know there is going to be a lot of back peddling taking place, I just hope I have enough evidence that the boss will finally take this seriously.

( I wrote the above last night)

I didn't want to come to work today but I did. I explained to sleazy d that the presentation boards need to be completed by noon today and he said he had them ready to go. OK. I asked if the graphics guy saw it yet because as of yesterday he didn't seem to know anything about it. Sleazy d hands me three pieces of paper with enough text to fill a novel and tells me it just needs to be blown up and it's done. HELL NO AM I BLOWING THIS CRAP UP!! I said ok, the boss didn't know that you began working on it and we couldn't find it in the project folder (where we are suppose to keep everything)so we assumed you changed your mind so it was reassigned back to me and I am almost complete with my version (for the second time although I didn't say that). Modeling work guy then grabbed us and he reassigned some of sleazy d's work to me. I wonder what sleazy D is thinking now?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Maternity Underwear

Don't do it!!

Or at least make sure you don't do what I did. I decided to buy a size larger because I just know my ass is starting to grow width wise.

My first day wearing a pair was on Saturday which coincides with a day were I typically work at my restaurant. Big mistake. With ten minutes of running around at work, I could feel them slowly slipping off of me. 15 minutes pass and they are officially balled below my cheeks. Hello wardrobe malfunction! Thank god I have a good sense of humor because my co-worker called me out on it and asked what I was smuggling back there. Do they make suspenders for underwear? I spent most of my day running back in forth between the bathroom so I could pull the dang things up. Too funny.

I sent out more resumes this week. Thank you to those who have commented on my past ranting posts. I swear this situation makes me question my sanity for staying. Its nice to know that I am not the only one who thinks this is pure madness.

Things got worse this morning (yes, its possible) and I am officially convinced he is out to get me fired, although I knew that before. I just am shocked that my boss doesn't see it. Once again I was given an assignment and he showed up with his version of it. I also over heard him tell the boss that he told me to work on the mapping project (the one that he told me was done a few weeks ago, only to find out later that he hadn't started it), however he never told me to proceed with the project. I think he is setting me up. I went to our new head of HR out of frustation and was mortified when she told me she had read the file on the situation and that the file is HUGE. After hearing me ball my eyes out for an hour she made me feel better by telling me that after reading the file and hearing what I had to say she wanted to march over to his office, grab him by the shirt and ask him "what the F@#k? is your problem". She also said she didn't think I have to worry about being fired because there are very few people in the office who have respect for him and although the boss doesn't seem to notice what is going on, others in the company have. I'm glad she said that because at this point, since there has been no action taken against him, I feel like I am suffering with this by myself.

We talked about what I should do and she offered two suggestions: 1) Beat him at his own game. Next time he is assigned something, I should do his work and present it to the boss before he does. I'm not a fan of this idea because I don't like the idea of stooping to his level and I think this is just going to lead to a big fight. 2) Confront him, in front of my boss. Since we've tried this before and now my boss is being extra sympathetic to him because the "poor guy is going through a difficult divorce" , I don't think this will work either. So now I am back to the idea that I just need to find a new job. I was honest with HR and told them I have been once again actively searching (I'm not worried about her saying anything) she told me that I'm just letting him win. I agreed but what benefit is there in staying? I love all my other co-workers and will miss them but I don't receive any continuing education here, I watch my boss do some seriously illegal financial maneuvering (which I will leave at that), the people who are in charge of us do not seem to understand the benefits of good leadership and communication, and the managers don't know what a Planner truly does. Blahhhhhhh!

I applied for a job in Athens, Georgia. I haven't given up hope of getting a job in Denver but I think this would be an awesome alternative. Crossing my fingers and hoping I get a call back!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ignore This Post, I'm Just In A Foul Mood, At The End of My Rope, Hormonal, and Possibly Getting Strep

Could it be the hormones. Possibly. But regardless, I know I shouldn't ever storm out of a meeting but I did. I'm just so DONE with the bullshit. After the battle against the 15 minute survey at the festival, which I won without question when the boss got involved, I didn't know I was about to encounter another battle over another ridiculous idea and to be blindsided by a-hole of a project manager. If I could redo my day over since noon, I not coming in.

I again was given the go ahead on a project by our boss. I told the project manager what I was doing to confirm that this is what we all had in mind before I finished it. "Great" he said. I go to the meeting and I start talking about how we are going to set up our booth at the festival and start showing them what I've done so far for our educational piece. In middle of my mini-presentation, he interrupts and says he is working on the same educational piece and this is what he has. Thankfully people said that his was over-kill and they didn't think we should go in that direction, but still, why would he try to work on something that he knows was assigned to me? I feel like I can't trust him AT ALL. I know that is not any new news but I just can't believe people will act like this in a professional environment. Normally this thing would not rattle me as much as it did, especially when he got shot down but then they completely got rid of the idea of giving out something for those who take the survey (I got permission to give away the 400 travel mugs, which have been sitting in the office closet for close to a decade). Instead they want to hand out temporary tattoos to the kids. Now tattoos are a great idea for another event we will be doing at the zoo (which is specifically geared towards children) however the big festival we will be attending is geared more for adults. What 40 year old wants to take a survey only to receive a temporary tattoo? The funny part is, our marketing person says they just want to hand out the little slips with the tattoo on it, not put it on the kids (which takes 30 seconds per tattoo). I think all this will do is get a few kids to run up long enough to grab the tattoo and then off they go instead of keeping them long enough to entice the parents to take the survey. On top of that, if you don't put the tattoo on people, and make it visible to others, your not going to cause interest in the booth.

That's the whole premise of people using balloons with the organizations logo on it. People see the balloons over the heads of the crowds and the kids want to find out where that kid got the balloons and so they seek out your booth.

What made me flee the room was after explaining this premise with the group, the marketer said that this "balloon/having to physically put the tattoo on people to create a buzz about the booth" doesn't make sense to her (She clearly could never get a job with the Nike marketing team who have become a great company because it's all about getting their logo EVERYWHERE) and then she flat out started to laugh at me and told me that it was ridiculous to think that the visiblity of our logo (via tattoo or balloon or whatever) at the event will not drive people to seek us out regardless so basically no matter what crap we hand out, it wont drive people to the booth. So are you telling me we shouldn't even bother with this event? (Thought it in my mind but didn't say it) She kept laughing and pointing at me and told me that she will never agree and that it is clear that I don't know a thing about marketing, silly planner.

We have a uphill battle to get people to take this damn survey. Why must we make it that much harder on ourselves by half-assing everything?

My boss actually sat with the a-hole yesterday to provide him some sympathy over his divorce. I wanted to shout out "what the hell are you doing, he's still sleeping with the intern!!" Instead I had to leave my cubicle to seek refuge in the bathroom so I didn't have to hear more of the lies from the manager. At least he is finally getting the attention he so desperately wants from the boss.

My co-worker Nicole got fired last week because she wasn't moving fast enough (she just started 60days ago and had never done this type of work before). I can't believe she got fired for this after knowing all the crap my project manager does and he still has his job. Why? I don't get it. I feel so bad for her, she was always nice and friendly. I never saw her screwing around, sleeping with interns, sabotaging projects etc. Why was she let go and not him?

Are you tired about constantly hearing about this crap? Sorry. I get so frustrated and I feel so alone here. I can't talk to any co-workers about it because this place is such a gossip mill. If I did, it will just get more out of control than it already is. I can't call my parents because I think they would freak out if I told them everything that is going on here. I don't want to call my friends to complain about it because I barely get to talk to them in the first place and I don't want to waste that time with me complaining. I would give anything to miracously get a phone call for a new job. I am so desperate I'm even thinking about changing careers.

I get so worked up about everything, I know this cannot be good for the baby. I've been trying to make sure I go for a long walk every night to help me sort out my thoughts and de-stress but it's just not working like it has in the past. The last few days I just can't stop thinking how much I am miserable here. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about how I just want to tell my PM to F-off. I question whether or not I'm just over-reacting and my hormones are messing with my mind. I know I'm getting sick so maybe that is contributing to this feeling of desperation/depression. I want to enjoy this pregnancy and soley focus on the baby but I'm getting to the point that this job (not so much the job, just certain people) take all my joy for life away.

I'm exhausted. My apologies for the second rant in a row.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Venting (Ignore if you don't want to read a post that is riddled with complaints)

AAAHHHHH! I hate it when people commandeer projects without having a clue why things are being done a certain way!

We have created an online survey for our project. The region has a population of over 250,000 people and we have had a total of 109 people take the survey so far. Pathetic. We have done out reach through the media and our committee members multiple times yet are numbers are dismal. We clearly need to take another approach. I have recommended a number of times that we should offer an incentive that will be free to us and could increase traffic for local businesses, i.e. offer coupons to a restaurant or shop. My restaurant I worked at was interested and I'm sure we could talk my boss at the engineering firm (who also partially owns a restaurant) would be interested. People liked the idea except the client and so the idea was dismissed. Now everyone is scrambling to find ideas to increase the participation rate for this survey. We were suppose to close out the survey this week but we can't until we have a better population sample. This problem is now going to push back our project schedule by a minimum of a month if not more.

So we had a meeting last Friday to kick around more ideas to improve the participation rates. Some people just wanted to continue with the same approach that we have been using which I believe will just piss everyone (media and committee members alike). So I came up with what I think is a much better solution. My city will be hosting our regions largest tourism event of the year in the next couple of weeks. This event brings people from all over the place, giving us access to a wide range of people (demographically and spatially). We would set up a booth where people could take a paper version that would be shorter than our online version (so it would be less than 7 mins to take instead of 15 mins), which would than enter them into a grand prize. An Ipad, kindle, something. We would also give out a choice of a magnet, sticker, recycleable grocery bag for just taking the survey. The booth would also provide us with an opportunity to educate the public through posterboards, brochures, etc. We would have a maximum of two volunteers, who would be knowledgeable enough to answer questions regarding the project and ways to get involved. Makes sense right? Everyone seemed to be on board so I began to work with our boss to finalize the plan and put it into action. Great.

Fast forward to today.

My boss and I met with our marketing department to find out what freebies we currently had available to use as giveaways and to also run the idea past them to make sure we weren't forgetting anything. They had a lot of great comments, however recommend that we see if we could set up computers to take the original survey. At first thought I like the idea, but then with the thought of dealing with IP address restrictions of the survey, potential weather issues, theft, time to set up, the length of time of the original survey along with another slew of reasons, we all agreed to scrap that idea and stay with the paper survey idea. Yes, doing it in paper form will cost us time to collect the data, but we can get more people taking a 7minute paper survey (More people can take it at the same time) than a 15 minute survey (Confined to the number of computers we have at the booth). When my boss and I left the meeting, he told me to go ahead and start shortening the survey (I took the original survey and split into three different surveys so we could have a more random sampling of questions taken). It took me three hours but I got it done and was in the process of putting it is a final format when I saw an email, sent out by one of our modelers (Not involved in the morning's conversation), go out to our IT department requesting 2 Ipads to take the full length survey on. He wants to send two people out to walk the crowd and read the survey to people.

So I walked over and went to find out why we were going back from using the paper form. He attended a meeting with the client where our boss discussed the idea. The boss didn't give out details of how the survey was going to be done so the modeler just took it upon himself (with the help of my troll of a project manager) to get the ball rolling. Although I appreciate the effort, the boss never indicated that he was assigning him this task, afterall this guy is so over his head in work that he barely has time to go to lunch, so why would he give him this task when at best he is going to half-ass it. I explained the conversation that had taken place already between the boss and I and how I had already been working on the project for most of the day and it was nearing completion. No big deal right? Instead he tries to fight me tooth and nail on the issue. Seriously, I was told this is a done deal and to proceed. He had no idea that we are doing a giveaway, no idea that we cannot get a power source at the booth, no idea that we were not allowed a tent over the booth, no idea that the boss and I have hashed out the details, or that we are not allowed to walk around the event and survey people like he wanted to do. On top of that he forgot that the way the survey is set up, reading the questions and potential answers would be a nightmare. The survey taker would have to read it themselves. Plus who wants to be approached by a surveyor? Not me. I would rather come up to a booth and explore it at my own pace.

It will be more interactive this way. That's what he said. If the two volunteers are busy running a survey with a person, who is going to be available to answer questions and encourage people to take the survey? I don't see this as "interactive" at all. And personally, I don't want to "interact" with a stranger for 15 minutes when I could be eating carnival food or riding rides.

Man am I fired up!! I hate wasting time, I'm tired of people not even giving my ideas a chance, and I'm tired of the disorganization of this department. Everyone is so use to nobody being in the leadership role that everyone just goes off and does things on their own without consulting anyone else. Their is a complete lack of team work and communication. It may be the hormones but it still doesn't change my mind about wanting to leave. Oh great now I'm going from complete anger to wanting to ball my eyes out. I hate that this place does this to me. I know not every job is perfect but there has to be something better than this.

Ooh and the other thing that got me fired up is having to endure a 5 minute conversation about how my boss's church (he's on the board or in some decision making role) is thinking about closing it's doors and moving to the suburbs because they are starting to get people from the surrounding neighborhood who have (gasp) tattoos and piercings. Oh my god!! Seriously this just chaps my ass! Isn't it more important that they are attending to be closer to god? Gotta love all that judgement.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ahh Sweet Pregnancy

So I'm enjoying the pregnancy thus far. In fact, most days I really don't feel all that different from my non-pregnant self however I've noticed a few quirks:

1: Snissing. Yes ladies that is sneezing and pissing yourself. I was in line at Panera about to order and I sneezed....and peed right through my pants. Of course this was noon so the place was packed and I'm sure people notice the wet marks on my pants. So embarassing. The funny thing is I just went to the bathroom before I got in line so where the hell did all this pee come from???? After I got my food (because dammit I was not going to leave until this prego got her ham and swiss sammy), I had to book it home and then back to work complete with a new outfit on.

2: Pregnesia. I have two examples of this and I have a feeling it won't be the last.
A: I went grocery shopping Wednesday night. On the way home I realized I wasn't hungry for a single thing I bought but I totally wanted chinese food (ummm pork fried rice) so I stopped and picked that up too. I got home and grabbed the chinese food and headed inside. The next morning I got up and was craving a glass of milk. I look in the fridge and its not there. Knowing that I've done a number of dumb things in the last few days, I started going through all my kitchen cabinets to make sure I didn't somehow put it in a place where it didn't belong. And then I realized that my cupboards where a little bare. DUHHHH. I left it all out in the car. The milk was bad. I bought a carton of ice cream that melted out onto my back seat. There is a smell of rotten chicken that has now permeated through out the car. I had to throw away about $50 worth of food. I'm so mad at myself!!
B: Also on wednesday, I went to the doctors office and then came to work. It was a perfectly sunny day but for some reason I turned on my headlights. When the headlights are on after the engine is shut off, the car makes a lound "ding" sound until you shut it off. How I did not hear this is beyond me but when I got out to my car 7 hours later to go home, my car battery was completely dead. Thankfully, some one jumped my car so I could go home.

3. Unwilling to accept advice and low tolerance of bullshit: I love my sister but she is driving my f'ing crazy. She's trying to be helpful by giving me advice but she wont accept any ideas but her own. On the way up to WI my sister called to talk about my registry. She wanted to "approve" everything that was on the registry to make sure I wasn't getting things that weren't necessary. I know it makes her happy so I let her at it. Surprisingly she liked what she saw accept I was missing Baby Einstein videos. I said I really didn't think it was completely necessary and I didn't want to give people the opportunity to buy things that I didn't absolutely need. She laughed at me and told me "its ok, you don't know this yet but you will never be able to take a shower, do dishes, laundry, etc. if you don't have this video to entertain the baby". I didn't want it to turn into an arguement so I just told her I can always buy them later if I feel that I need them. Granted, my sister is pregnant too and two pregnant women = a lot of hormones but she just kind of lost it and kept harping on me to add them. I finally just hung up on her. I never thought I would ever have an arguement over flipping baby eintein videos but I just had. Pregnancy madness.

4: Milking it for all its worth. I normally go to work dressed to the nines but in the last month I've been stuck between my normal clothes and maternity clothes. The non-maternity clothes I can still wear are pretty frumpy looking and are things that I would usually not even dare wear to work. Now I'm not saying that I look like I belong on the "People of Walmart" emails (the emails showing people wearing the most bizarre clothes) however I do look like I reverted back to the college-casual look. I trade my high-heels for sneakers, my khakis for jeans or worse drawstring cargo pants (so comfy though), and nice blouses for casual billowy shirts. I have been hit or miss on putting in contacts, choosing to rock my "hot librarian" looking glasses instead. I haven't entirely given up on makeup however my regimne is now down to strickly mascara and lip gloss. I had a co-worker mention that she was surprised that I have been dressed pretty casual lately. My response may make people a little upset but I totally pulled the pregnancy card. And you know what....I don't feel bad about it one bit! I figure I'm comfortable, I still look somewhat respectable, my feet aren't swelling up like a balloon anymore so this "look" may be staying here for a little bit longer, or atleast until I can fit into my jumbo maternity clothes. Sure I will still get all gussied up for meetings with clients, but my sprawling ass is no longer going to be squeezed into a pencil skirt (picture sausage and sausage casing) just to sit in my cubicle all day.

In other news, I knew I shouldn't have trusted the manager. He pulled another lie again to make himself look good. I haven't had any work to do so I asked him if I could help with any work, in particular, some mapping work for our big project. He said he had almost all of it done and was waiting on a few other things so he couldn't give me anything. He also indicated that he was about to run out of work himself. Today we had a meeting infront of our boss, who also heard me asking around for work from other departments. Boss man asked where we stood with the maps and the manager stated that he really hadn't started them yet and that he has been too busy to work on it. UHHH, WHAT? I just sat around for the last four days and could have totally done it. Then the boss man made a comment "well since lorelei isn't doing anything why don't we get her to help you". I'm just hoping boss man realized that I asked people in our department for work first and didn't just abandon our priorities. Then again he could totally view it as manager isn't "managing". This situation is exhausting. I will be working on more resumes this weekend. Hope luck will be on my side.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

4 Month Dr. Appt.

Everything went well. Unfortunately Dr O. didn't get to see me until an hour after my scheduled appointment but I forgive her, She was off delivering a baby.

Heartrate was in the 160's and the best news is I will finally get another ultrasound on October 7th. I can't wait to find out what I am having (hope its a baby :0 )!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just Another Day

I feel I haven't been blogging much but there hasn't been much to say. I'm slowly watching my belly grow and I think I felt a few kicks here and there but that's about all that is going on. I have been enjoying some extra time on the couch, much to the dismay of my dog. I somehow got sucked into watching bachelor pad which is a total train wreck of a show. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was screaming at the tv screen because of a football game but's because I can't stand Vienna and Kasey along with a host of other insane individuals on that show. Man they get me fired up! Glad this season is over with it.

Work has been fairly calm. Manager actually did something nice the other day and asked upper management if I could go to a training seminar that I was dying to go to. Its a nice gesture but I have such hard time believing that he has turned the corner. I guess I've gotten burned too many times.

I've applied to 14 different jobs in the last month. My mom pointed out that I won't be covered by disability insurance or FMLA if I switch jobs, meaning I could get the job and they could fire me for taking any length of maternity leave.

What's the proper protocol when pregnant and interviewing for a new job. I always felt that honesty is the best policy but if I let them know in the first interview am I just making it easier for them to not consider me for the position. Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

No One Ever Forgets

Two ladies that I follow and respect tremendously wrote conflicting blog posts yesterday that got me thinking.

I only know of two SMC's that I follow who hit the jackpot and got pregnant and carried full-term on their first attempt. I hoped and prayed that I would be that lucky but sometimes you need more than praying and hoping. I'm not alone and I follow many others who have struggled and put their bodies through hell (some who still continue today) just to make their dream to become a mother a reality. Personally, I have had severe widget envy, I have cried and asked the heavens when it would be my turn when I saw a new pregnancy announcement, and I got mad when my 19 year old drug-using neice got knocked up by accident and wanted to get an abortion even though she knew I was trying to have a child (which she thankfully did not follow through with the abortion). In the beginning my doctor told me he wouldn't perform more than 3 IUI's and would insist on me moving to IVF if the third attempt failed. As that third IUI failed, I was left panick-stricken that I might have to give up on my dream because there was no way I could ever finance IVF in the next year.

But I'm not alone.

My three closest friends, two who I have known since 3rd grade, have struggled/still struggle to have children. Carrie got pregnant and announced to the world that she was expecting only to have to call everyone back 2 days later to tell them that she miscarried at 10wks. She went on to have a successful pregnancy only to follow that up with another miscarriage a year later. After numerous tests she found out she had blood disorder and a progesterone issue. This diagnosis finally allowed her to have her 2nd child. She is terrified to try for a third because she can't bear the thought of losing another child. Sara and her husband have been trying to have a child for over 9 years (yes, 9yrs) with no success. With the lack of funds and health insurance (she owns her own business), IF treatments are not an option for her. Meghan and her husband have been trying for over a year with only a chemical pregnancy to show for it. They have been recently diagnosed with unexplained fertility issues and have been stuggling with how to move forward (let nature take its course, IF treatments, adoption).

Although they are all married, they have walked in my shoes of heartache,longing, and fear.

Announcing my pregnancy to them was not easy (maybe not so bad when I called Carrie) and honestly made me scared that I would say something wrong and hurt their feelings with my good news. But like the SMC community, they all were supportive because they have experienced many of the same emotions that I have felt over the years. I admit, Sara was the last person I called even though I consider her my best friend. I didn't want to make her feel bad or give her the impression I was rubbing it in her face. When I told her, she cried (which got me crying) and told me she was so excited that it finally worked for me. Since that conversation, she has called me for the updates, when she is ready. I try to spare her the moments when I want to cry and complain because I can't stop being sick or that I constantly feel like I'm being kicked in my lady bits because I am so swollen. I do this because I don't want to seem ungrateful and I remember when Carrie finally got pregnant after her miscarriages and how I was excited for her and sad for myself all at the same time.

Even when you've finally gotten pregnant, you don't forget what the pain was like when you were struggling to conceive. No one ever forgets.

But isn't it worse to not want to include those who are closest to you in the most important event that has ever occured in my life?

And that doesn't just include my close friends, it includes the people that have commented on my blog. Those who supported me when I stupidly let the drugs make me think that I was pregnant when I was not; those who have helped me to see that becoming a SMC was the right thing for me when I had doubts; those SMC's who already have children and are honest about their experiences and have shown me that you will have your good days and your bad days with your children; those who have gotten pregnant only to loose their beautiful baby at 18 weeks making me realize nothing is for sure.

I haven't forgotten, I have only learned.

But just like the other stages leading up to my pregnancy, I want to talk about it. I'm single and I don't have a husband to talk to. I have you. My followers. For those at the same point or have gone on to have a child, I read what you go through and absorb the experiences you write about like a sponge. For those who are in the same place I was three months ago, I can relate to those feelings and I hope you feel encouraged by my support, like I once was by the many women who have left comments on my blog.

I hope that those who follow my blog and those whom I follow understand that I need to read your words, regardless of what stage of the process you are in. It helps me keep a even perspective on things, it keeps me surefooted and driven. I'm sure many others use the smc blogging community in the same manner. If we become enemies because of jealousy or a lack of understanding/compassion for anothers stage in the journey, we will all lose.

Regardless of where your life takes you, you will never forget