Monday, December 14, 2009


(Warning: This is kind of a bummer post just so you know..)

I'm really getting that I hate December(s).

I've never been a huge fan of the "Christmas Holiday Season," as it's usually called. Just the thought of "December" each year gives me a lot of stress and additional stuff to do (too much to do in a small amount of time), but when things are added to the list, it's just that more stressful.

All of our Christmas "stuff" (cards, shopping, mailing) is done and was out earlier than normal (which is awesome seeing we have a new baby), but we had a snag regarding one of the additions to our December madness.

The new windows we are supposed to be getting were scheduled to be completed before Thanksgiving (or by the first week in December at the latest), but here we sit with the old ones still in tact. I'm fuming over this company we HAVE to use as they are contracted thru our condo association and we have no choice (the condo development literally owns the outside of the building so they get to say who we use). We were told they would be in (not installed) 4-6 weeks after we gave them the check.. came to find out out the owner and our contact didn't order them until a WEEK after we gave him the deposit (which was a large percentage of the cost) so depending how you look at it we are at 9-10 weeks when this is all said and done.

The owner called this morning (after I called on Friday when he said they'd be in) stating that they should be in Wednesday.. unfortunately, the weather is going to SUCK big time starting that day, with Friday being the most hellish (high of 30), so I have no idea when this is going to be done. We are in a bit of a bind as if we choose to cancel the order I'm sure there will be major issues that will go into 2010.. and the main reason we are doing this is to get the tax credit for 2009. We have shared/community heat so there's no real reason to do it other than are windows are old, ugly and drafty. Once again, we are doing this more for Jackie as her room is fairly drafty, but it would also increase the look of our place substantially and we hope will help us on resale.

Anyway, I'm dreading what will happen if they are not in Wednesday.. and we leave to go out of town the following Thursday. I may pessimistic when it comes to things like this, but I'm just concerned if, let's say, one window broke on shipment and has to be reordered or there's an issue installing or there's rain or snow storm.. all these things can delay. Anyway, all of this is just not something we expected and definitely something I didn't want to deal with mid-December.. and yeah, we have a baby so it makes it that more annoying. Luckily our neighbors said we could use their place to hang out (I just have to take Jackie out of the house for most of the day or possibly 2). It will be interesting to say the least.

I honestly just can't wait until December/the holidays are over.. Christmas is my least favorite holiday for a myriad of reasons, but at least we will be at my mother in-laws so I can get some peace there. She's really excited to see Jackie so we'll get a bit of rest while Grandma gets her fill of the little one.

My dream is that one day we'll have a large place where we can host Christmas and not have deal with planes, packing and people on the front end. I dream of that day when we'll have the excuse not to go anywhere.. I thought this year would be the case, but due to some personal things to take care of, we are traveling. I totally get why and thankfully we have a good baby.. but as you may have heard, good baby or not, something always happens on the plane you didn't expect! :) I'm just crossing my fingers that it will be non-eventful.

I guess it's time to turn things around and look for the good and be patient, but just let December be over.. please.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

4 Months and Counting

I may not be able to write daily, but seeing that I write another blog on Jackie's picture site, I thought I would just post that same one here with a few updates. Here's one I just wrote:

Jackie turned 4 months old November 29. When I was taking a walk with her the other day on a beautiful (and oddly warm) afternoon, I realized that a year ago I was pregnant. We had just found out and hadn't even told anyone yet! And now, here we are with a beautiful baby girl, who is growing, learning and exploring every day!

She received her 4 month shots this past Monday and it went better than expected. It seems that she knows what "the doctors" is as when her ped was doing the basic exam Jax was screaming. She actually screamed more during the exam than when she got the shots! Her ped even said, "she seems to be very aware of her surroundings." I totally agree with that, as with anything new, it looks like she is studying it and making mental notes.

I told Joe this evening, that although she may not remember small details, I do think she is remembering basic concepts and making connections.. such as when she has met one of our friends a number of times and recognizes her, or with this doctor example, when she lays down and sees a mirror to her left, she knows she's somewhere where unpleasant things may happen (such as shots, or being cold). It's pretty cool to watch although it does pain me when she is so upset.

On that note.. following up with her weight conundrum, it seems as though she has gained weight steadily since November 11 when I took her in for her weight check. We have been supplementing (either with expressed milk or formula) and she went from the 16th %tile to 21st %tile in a matter of a couple of weeks. Her ped was happy and acknowledged me for the result.

I also found out the possible reason for her weight stabilizing.. sleeping thru the night. It didn't even occur to me as she was gaining weight by exclusively breastfeeding from month 1 to 2, but right after that was when she started sleeping thru the night fairly regular. It would have been great for the first nurse that I spoke to at her peds office to tell me that she may be missing a feeding in there if she's sleeping thru and to make sure she's getting X ounces of milk during the day, but no one told me this until I met with her doc at the 4 month appointment. I happened to mention that she was sleeping thru the night and she said "already?" I said that she had been for the past month and a half or so and she said that maybe that was the issue.. if she was nursing the same amount of time and not being more efficient in her feeding, she was not getting enough ounces. Duh.

I then did some other research with a couple books I use often, and found the sleeping thru the night issue associated with slow weight gain. Joe reminded me that I had stopped reading books and getting advice around that time as it was all conflicting! I just wish I had gone back to my trusted 2 books that I have used since the beginning.. it would have saved me a lot of worry, heartache and upset over the past couple months. These are the things I hope to pass along to other moms and friends with new babies. I'd hate for someone to go thru the same things I have if it can be avoided. As an aside, it seems that most kids will wake 1-2 times per night until about 9 months. So why is it that everyone asks you if your kid is sleeping thru the night starting at about 2 months old???? I just don't get it.

But in the end, Jackie is thriving and doing well. She's laughing up a storm, is more involved with her playgym and just recently started sucking her toes! She's also rolling from back to front more now, although I think she has forgotten how to roll from front to back as she was doing just the other day! I think once she is able to put both of them together, we'll see her sitting up in no time.

Last, we are traveling to MN for the Christmas holiday and I'm trying not to stress about that as well. Right now, we're just trying to get everything in place on our end and also make sure we have an entire nursery set up at my in-laws place! It's so generous of her and for Joe's cousin to allow us to borrow so much stuff. It will be just like home :)

In other news, we just got our first real Christmas tree today and in all honesty we got it because of Jackie :) First real tree and first true snow fall today. I do have to say it was beautiful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sick and Tired of..

..worrying about:

-Wet and dirty diapers
-Milk supply
-Play dates
-No play dates
-Feeling human again
-Dates with my husband
-How to cook dinner tired
-Health and well-being
-Working out
-Losing weight
-Gaining weight
-My hair
-My skin
-My friends not being around as much
-People thinking "I'm busy" all the time
-Dealing with doctors
-Dealing with nurses
-Scales of any kind
-Winter and how to get around
-H1N1 and getting the shot
-Making sure we have everything we need when traveling and away
-Christmas cards and gifts
-Hurting people's feelings
-Not doing enough
-Being my word
-My life
-How to be happy

What my life will look like... ever.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Jackie, 11.5 weeks

Well, I guess I was being a bit over-zealous thinking that I would be able to write every day. I probably could if I liked the Qwerty keyboard on my iPhone, but I just can't do it.

**I also just realized that I did write this week and totally forgot.. wow, I am really tired. I pretty much wrote the same thing I did in the last post, so here I am deleting a few paragraphs so I don't look like a psycho. Wow, I still can't believe I don't remember writing on Thursday...**

The end of the week was a bit more pleasant, and as always, she was great with my friend "S" on Saturday who has been babysitting her since 2 weeks old. I can't seem to figure it out.. all I can determine is that I smell like milk and being around has her want it a lot. When we have S over to watch her, she gets a bottle and falls right asleep. Aye, to be a mom.

My dad and his girlfriend are coming in today to visit all this week so writing may be tough, but I'm sure I can get a few posts in. Hopefully the weather will be better and we'll be able to get out in the sun with Jax. If Mother Nature is nice, those high 50s and low 60s I'm seeing and salivating over will really lift all of our spirits.

Onward and upward..

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Note to Self

It seems that every day I have a day from hell, Jax gives me the next day, and maybe even the next, of rest and joy. I keep having to remember that she is a human being too and maybe on some days she has a bad day, doesn't feel well, or wants to be moody. I mean, she is a girl :)

I also have to remember that her growth right now is insane. For all I know, her crankiness could literally be due to growing pains!

Yesterday and today she has slept a lot, which in the past states that she's in a growth spurt time. Her smiles have been readily available and she's talking to all the inanimate objects in her room.. "learning" to talk. It's actually quite cool to watch, but I keep looking for things to stimulate her. All I do is watch where she is looking and explain each thing that she's looking at.

Earlier today, it was her lamp. Little did I know all the cool stuff we bought at IKEA would be a baby's playground :)

Thankfully I'm almost back to normal. I'm also fairly certain that if I get enough sleep I can deal with anything.

Although there are some tough decisions to make and work to get in action about to re-create my life, I have gotten some inspiration over the past couple days and I guess it's time to act on it.

The life of a mom.. or maybe, it's just the life of a woman.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Inspiration? What a concept.

I just saw that it was exactly a month since I last wrote. Wow. It seems like that was many, many months ago.. it just goes to show that having a newborn has you tethered to the clock and has a day feel like a week in itself.

Yesterday I was feeling somewhat desperate. This happens once and a while. Jax will be crying all day for no apparent reason, and I wonder how I'm going to get thru the day, no less the days following the bad one. So Dr. Phil comes on today (and as an aside, I know people will make fun of me for liking him and watching his show, but for whatever reason, his advice has worked for me on a number of occasions and I like things that work, so there) and show happens to be about "Stay at home moms vs. Working moms." There was this really uppity woman in the audience that was a "stay at home mom" that was very, very angry. She had opinions, but they really were judgments. She made all the other stay at home moms embarrassed and the working moms pissed off. Go Jessica.

On the show, Heather B. Armstrong was in the audience. She has a blog called I checked it out as soon as Phil mentioned it, as I knew it would probably be flooded with people trying to get on. I looked at the blog and found it interesting.. I haven't gone back into much of the archives, but seeing that she is an award-winning blogger, I thought it would be "more" than what I see, but again, that was just at first look.

I bring this up as she gave me the inspiration to blog on my current experience--very candidly. Maybe even daily. I have been told by a number of people how great of a writer I am, and I'm honestly not worried about being candid, etc. I also feel that I have a stance on being a mother that not many have--or maybe it's that we are scared and embarrassed to share so we stay isolated in our houses talking to ourselves or to our babies that don't even understand English yet.

I just ran this idea by a friend of mine as one of my only concerns was that Jax would see this later in life and it would be tough to read. He said if he saw a blog from his mom later in life, he'd probably have a good laugh reading it. So here we are.

I still need to write my "Breastfeeding Basics: The Real Basics" blog as I think I have an obligation to write it. There are some things in life where I feel I need to let other people know, and in this case new moms who choose to breastfeed, that they are not alone. Usually when I feel this, I did feel alone at the time and due to my research and own day to day goings on, I feel it could help others.

I will write that blog and I know I need to fairly soon as the weeks are passing by quickly and I may forget some of the juicy details. But man, were those 4 of the longest and most challenging weeks in my life--ever.

But I digress.

I know that I'll have time to blog each day, even if it's just a paragraph, as you can see from this one, I have a lot of time on my hands. This doesn't mean that I'm up, eating Doritos all day and watching TV.. it just means my baby is sleeping, I feel awake and I now can interact, even if it's on a blog or Facebook, with other adults.

I'm at a point now, at 11 weeks today, that I'm feeling isolated. I feel even more isolated than I did when Jax first came home. I think that was due to people checking in all the time, knowing that my husband and I would be on sleep dep, and generally that's the time when you really need a lot of help. I'm blessed that I got the help I did from a few people and I wouldn't trade that for anything, but what happens now?

I just completed my first mom's group last week. I had expectations that were not met, and here I am again disappointed. This happens a lot. I did meet a couple women who I'd like to keep in contact with, but I'm also old enough to know the reality of that. Unless we see each other at least weekly for the next couple months, everyone will have their lives and that will be that. I also found when I was in the group that out of 10 moms, I was the ONLY ONE STAYING HOME. Although I guess I should have expected that due to the economy, I had yet another expectation that didn't get met. In a room of new moms, I was still alone.

I just reached out on Facebook and to some past colleagues at Berklee regarding what I could do with an 11 week old that didn't include being stuck in the house. Luckily I got a response from one of my colleagues fairly quickly with some sites to review. I'm hoping there's a listing for mom's like me, because if I have to wait another 3 months before I do anything, I think I will be severely depressed. Why is it that most baby groups start at 6 months?????

Maybe writing will help me stay sane. It has in the past, but that was with the "old fashioned paper and pen method." I still like that method, but I sure can type a lot faster than I can write, so we'll stay with this bloggy here.

To close for now, a big shout out to Heather for the inspiration, Dr. Phil for having her on and having a show on moms, and my friend D for encouraging me to not care about the future so much and do what makes me happy NOW.

That sounds like a plan.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

The First Four Weeks

4 weeks med
Me and Jackie at 4 weeks old

I have been writing a couple blogs in my head the last few weeks.. I am on week 7 of my newborn, Jackie. She is amazing and it's been a lifetime of learning in a few short weeks. My first 4 weeks were amazing and hell all at once.

I hadn't been around babies much and never a newborn. Although I was told over and over "you will know what to do" I knew better. I tend to be a realist bordering on pessimist so I wasn't expecting happy bunnies, rainbows and butterflies when we came home. Well, butterflies, yes, but more on the anxious side.

Regarding my experience at the hospital, the Tufts staff was amazing. My labor and delivery was 12.5 hours and I couldn't have asked for better care. I don't know how nurses do it there. They are dealing with people in extreme pain, possibly on drugs to deaden it, and in a way, out of their minds. All I got from my head nurse was a soft tone, kindness and someone who continued to give me options without any input from her. I was able to make all my decisions on my own (along with my husband) and they had all the confidence in me when at times I didn't.

When I made it to the postpartum floor, it was along the same lines. I did expect that nurses and staff would come in more often, but in essence, they didn't come in to check on you unless you asked. It was kind of "tough love" in a way. You're in the bed, your sleeping baby beside you.. you gotta figure it out. They were there with a push of a button, but basically we were on our own.

Although scary at first, I ended up liking it as it prepared me (somewhat) for being at home. At least at home I'd get a more comfortable bed--but I'd also not have a nurse to take my baby to the nursery if I wanted to get some sleep.

Overall, everything was fine when we returned home, other than some breastfeeding issues. I will tackle that in another blog, but this was an area that I did NOT research enough and I regret it. I am lucky that Jackie is resilient, didn't have any sort of nipple confusion and ate well, but I had no idea that I would be pumping early, that I would be SO engorged that the milk almost wouldn't flow, and that I would be dealing with these types of issues upon our return home.

If I had it to do over? I'd throw away all those "what to expect" books and focus all my energy on breastfeeding. Although I took a class, talked to people, etc., there's only so much you can learn before you actually do it.

My first week started that way.. exhausted and feeling like a milk machine; it was all I could do to not give up. I had a couple bouts of "this was a bad idea" over the week, but thanks to my husband, I came back to Earth and kept moving forward. I had done all my research (as much as I could) prior to the baby, but it really comes down to hands on learning, as I said before.

Things were awkward for both of us in the beginning.. even just changing a diaper was a chore.. what would we unveil every time we changed her?? We just kept going, every 3 hours, and things got easier. It's actually fairly tough though, as babies really don't know how you are at that time and have no long-term memory, so it's like each time they see you it's like the first time. I found it psychologically difficult.. there's no reaction to things you do from the baby.. you just have to trust that you are making a difference.

The following weeks were full of trying to get sleep, working on the breastfeeding and keeping myself sane. It was finally sunny here in Boston, but I was stuck in the house a lot due to just being exhausted or thinking about all I had to do just to get her out in the stroller. I later got over that, but once again, the entire thing is overwhelming. I thought that once she was born, I'd be out gallivanting around, but I forgot about the sleep, or lack of it.

Another issue we ran into is that we had a sleepy baby. I thought something was wrong with her, but later (too much later), we found out we should have been counting our blessings. The kid slept in her crib from day one and wanted to sleep. We were waking her every 3 hours, even overnight. Once again, found out thru another nurse at her pediatrician's office that we could have let her sleep through the night. Oh well. It's the old "live and learn" routine.

After a couple weeks of getting bombarded with advice about sleep from you name it, my husband and I decided to just follow her lead. That was my first major lesson: FOLLOW THE BABY. She knew what she needed and all we had to do was watch and listen for her cues. Once I did that, things got a lot easier and I gained a bit of confidence.

Speaking of confidence, one of my fears about having a baby was that I wouldn't know what to do when she cried. I had an incident when I was 12 while babysitting a newborn. The kid cried, I couldn't console him and had to call my mom. Embarrassing. From then, I swore off kids under 3. Later babysitting jobs were toddlers and older, and even working with kids once I graduated college, they were teens or I could choose who I worked with.. never with babies.

When I had my first encounter with Jackie crying, I found myself anxious, but with tons of patience and peace. I wasn't sure if I was just so exhausted or if something transformed. But after a few bouts of her crying, I actually consoled her, she stopped crying and that incident was "complete." My husband was shocked. It was amazing to experience a completion in the moment, but I knew at that moment I could take care of her and everything would be OK.

From there, all I had to do was focus on the breastfeeding issues and not quit. If it weren't for my husband, the book "The Nursing Mother's Companion," other breastfeeding mom friends, and our amazing Lactation Consultant, Beth, I know I would have quit. It just goes to show "it takes a village."

Slowly but surely, we started to see changes in Jackie each week. She initially started sleeping in her crib, was fairly quiet and then it started to ramp up where she wanted to be around us a lot, she was sleeping in with us (or us with her), and she was getting more vocal. I found with babies that nothing really goes in chronological order :) What we expected at the beginning didn't happen and it seems to be going backwards, but really, it's not.

Basically, what we found was that she just wanted to be around us more. She was getting to know us, trust us and wanted to be touched, held and loved. We had, and have, no problem doing that :)

The fussiness also started to ramp up, but as we left week 4 and headed out to week 6-7, that tended to subside. I also have been seeing a recent reaction to my food now (going into week 7) where I didn't before. Again, it's a learning experience every day.. every week.

All in all, the first 4 weeks was the hardest 4 weeks of my life and also the most transformative. I was in a situation that I could not get out of and throughout my life I have always had an out in things. It pushed me to the limits of what I thought was possible with myself, and I overcame it. Yet again, I couldn't have done it without the help of family, a very close friend (thanks Babs!), my loving and attentive husband and several patient professionals. I'm sure I will be calling on all of them (and more) over the weeks, months, and years.

I'm creating my "mom-hood" and it can actually be pretty cool. I have been able to do things I've wanted to do, and some I've had to restructure, but overall, I'm still me. I really don't want to lose myself in all of this.. I just want "mom" to be an additional way of being not take over my identity. My hope and stand in the matter is that it makes me a better person.

Jackie has already turned out to be extraordinary and it brings tears to my eyes to think about where she is now in comparison to the IUI we had back in November of 08. How literal cells can get transformed into an actual human being with emotions, wants, needs, thoughts, etc. is amazing and miraculous.

As I am ending this, my little one is starting to "ask" for food so I will end here :)

More to come...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Advice.. or not

(Note: I ended up going into labor the day after I started this blog :) I am updating it now, September 14, almost 7 weeks after Jackie was born.)

July 27, 2009

I am writing this blog 5 days before my due date. I'm not sure when I will actually post this as I have thoughts now, but I'm sure I will have other thoughts to share after the baby is born. Although this blog is not necessarily for "advice," I have had a few friends ask me about my experiences now that the baby's almost here. I feel that I have had a "non-traditional" pregnancy, meaning that at least with all the books, newsletters, blogs I have read, I seem to have had it easier, or at least different than what I have read.

My goal here is not to inflict my own advice as gospel, but to offer insights on my own journey. I can't say my pregnancy was easy, but it definitely wasn't hard (if I had to compare myself to others I know and I have read about). All I know is that I found myself concerned about many things I shouldn't have been concerned about over time and worried too much at certain times. Although I wouldn't change anything as it was my own road to travel, I also feel I could have enjoyed a few more weeks without the anxiety and concern if I knew what I know now.

If you're interested in learning about my journey, please read on, if not, I won't take offense :)

Overall thoughts
*Have an OB-GYN you trust, admire and love.
-I was very lucky to have had a referral regarding my current OB. The first one I had when we moved into the Boston area I literally hated. She was very cold and I found her way to busy and overbooked most of the time. When I first went to my current OB, I felt like his only patient. He is kind, smart and understood what I was dealing with. When it ended up that I needed to see a specialist due to my irregular periods and possible fertility issues, he had 2 highly esteemed doctors in the area that he personally worked with. To this day, I don't know how to thank him for his referral to our specialist, Dr. Penzias, at Boston IVF and his constant care. Even though I was with IVF for over a year, he always wanted to know what was going on with me and I felt the urge to update him when necessary.

One aspect I will never forget is his love and professionalism when we lost our first baby after the first IUI attempt. He called several times just to check in and make sure I was OK. I'm still floored by his professionalism and humanness. It was something he didn't have to do, but something I so appreciate and it made that difficult process a bit more bearable.

I have found from my reading and talking to people that many women don't have a GYN before they get pregnant (they use their general practitioner) and then have to run around trying to find a decent OB. I say, if your insurance covers it, just find a great OB/GYN and stick with them. Don't be afraid to ask friends or even call hospitals and ask the GYN Department nurses who they use. It's the best way to find someone if you are new to an area or don't feel comfortable talking to friends.

*Be sure you are truly ready to start a family.

-I know this sounds fairly basic, but the idea of being pregnant and actually starting a family are very different. Some people have the expectation that pregnancy will be amazing, easy and you'll be in love with what's ahead. If that doesn't happen, fear and anxiety set in, maybe even being resentful of the situation. Bottom line is that you have no idea how your pregnancy will be and you have to be ready for anything. You could have the easiest pregnancy in the world, or be on bedrest for 10 weeks. You never know until you go thru the process.

So, although you don't have to have everything figured out, one thing to know is if you are ready.

My situation was extremely confusing at times as I have always known I wanted a family, but that "ticking of the biological clock" I never heard. I had several people tell me "you'll know" but even now, 5 days before I am scheduled to give birth, that clock alarm never went off. This is not to say that it's a myth. I have several friends that have shared the yearning to have a child and that the alarm finally rang for them, but for me, all I can do is nod and try to get what they are feeling.

This is not to say that I don't want a family, but yet again, this is another piece of being a woman and pregnancy that people really don't share. You can want a family and not have an alarm go off. I was looking so hard for it and when it wasn't ringing for me I kept saying I must not be ready. Maybe that was the case, but I feel I may have waited a few years longer than I would have if the proverbial "clock" wasn't even on my radar.

So I say have a kid if you want one. Don't wait for the alarm to go off, but definitely know when you are ready. For me, I had to do my partying, going out to shows 3-4 times a week, and enjoy my marriage for a few years before I was ready. I knew I was ready, not due to my alarm going off, but due to my lifestyle changing. I was enjoying being around the house more, not yearning to drink every weekend and enjoyed my solitude. Once that hit me I knew that I would be fully ready to be a mother, even though the fear of "not doing it right" was still there. Some things you just have to do, even if your mind tells you not to.

*Take any advice with a grain of salt.
-I was lucky that I didn't get much of the unsolicited advice from family and friends. I asked when I needed to, but asked most of my questions to my doc. My doc even told me: "Don't research on the internet, don't read the 'What to Expect' type books and don't get scared if someone tells you something about their own pregnancy." I do have to say he was right.

I got the "What to Expect" book before I had my first appointment with him and the first few chapters really scared me. In my opinion, that particular book is not written well. There's a lot of information, but it's written by several people so the "feel" of the book is not consistent. Sometimes information is given in a soft, understanding way, and others it's thrown in your face. Sometimes less is more and that is not the context of that book. Don't get me wrong, I did have the book and used it as a reference tool, but not as gospel. If I had any questions, I'd check there and then check in with my doc. The first trimester can be one of the most stressful and adding additional information that may or may not happen to you can freak some people out. My advice? Just check in with your doctor. Even friends and family can give you wrong or misleading information.

First Trimester Thoughts

-Know that every pregnancy is different, yours included. Sometimes I felt like an anomaly.
-Some people are sick for 12 weeks, others not. Some don't even know they are pregnant.. I'm not sure how that's possible, but there's now a TV show on the subject.
-Just listen to your body and don't get freaked out by one thing. I had a scare as I started feeling dizzy one day during week 7 and thought I'd be dealing with dizziness for another 5 weeks. Came to find out, it was only that day and I stressed for nothing.
-Create a context that you are building a human being. That takes work and this first part of the pregnancy is what counts the most. There will be stress on your body and it's just what needs to happen.
-Create a good support system.
-You WILL have mood swings. Expect it and let people know.
-Ask for what you need no matter how small.
-Don't try to do it all yourself. You don't get a medal for being a super pregnant woman.
-Eat well, drink a lot of water.
-Share your news only with close friends, family and people you trust. There's a reason they say to wait til week 12.. I learned the hard way with my first pregnancy.
-"Eating for two" is a myth. This is not the time to tell yourself you can have a banana split every day or three hamburgers for dinner. Eat how you would normally, and if your body wants more, she will tell you.
-Remember: This too shall pass.

Second Trimester Thoughts

-As just about everything you read will tell you, ENJOY THE NEXT 12 WEEKS!
-You'll never be so happy to have your energy back.
-Relax a bit and start sharing more with family, work colleagues and friends.
-Continue to eat well, drink a lot of water.. and don't be afraid to eat what you want!
-Keep an eye on your weight, but don't stress over it.
-If you are a very independent woman, the fear of being vulnerable WILL come up. Talk to people about it, don't be afraid of it and know that it's part of the gig. Also know that your power is not all physical. Mental power can get you farther than any physical power you think you have.
-If you have a history of anxiety, depression and the like, keep an eye on it in the second trimester. If you have any concerns, let your doc know.
-Start to create a plan for the baby, nursery, etc. Time will fly and it takes more time, energy and money than you think--even if you don't have a lot to do.
-Schedule child prep classes early.
-If you haven't felt any bonding with your baby, generally now would be the time. I had no idea that our baby would have a daily rhythm and I would get to know it. This also gave me confidence that I'd be able to take care of her when she was physically here.

Third Trimester Thoughts

-Expect to be tired.. again.
-Continue to watch your weight, but don't stress over it.
-Continue to build your support system and spend time with people you love.
-Keep your stress level down and don't be afraid to let people know you need space.
-DO take as many child prep classes you think you need and take them all before week 36 (we took: Infant CPR, Childprep class, Newborn Basics, Breastfeeding class). We found these invaluable and it increases your confidence--even if the information you are given you already know.
-Give yourself 1-2 months to find a good pediatrician. Ask friends and family in the area for referrals (this was one of the hardest tasks for me that I thought would be easy).
-Plan to have the nursery completed, projects around the house completed, etc. at LEAST 1-2 months before you are due. You will NOT want to do much in the last month and this also puts a buffer in for breakdowns and unexpected things (i.e., being sick, not being in the mood, last minute work requests, etc.).
-If you are married/dating, LOVE them as much as possible, continue to create your relationship and don't forget that the two of you are the most important. If you are single, find friends and family that will support you and continue to create those relationships.
-Create a birth plan but know that your labor and delivery may not go as planned.
-Bonding will continue at a faster rate than you may expect. No one told me that I'd be able to calm my baby in the womb. But from singing, humming or just saying her name, I learned what worked to calm her down if needed.
-Rest, rest, rest!
-If you are breastfeeding, GET ALL YOUR INFORMATION NOW! This was the one place I lacked in research and I paid for it. I will be writing another blog on the subject, but the best bet is to ask other mom's what their experience was/is. You will find that 95% of the people you speak to had some sort of problem. It's better to be ready NOW in case you need to be prepared.. with that being said: BUY A BREASTPUMP!! I was lucky to have one at home ready to go.. not assuming I would even use it for a few weeks, but had to as soon as we got home from the hospital. There's nothing worse than coming home late or not being able to run out and get one when you come home. It's worth the money and time NOW.

Other thoughts or questions I've been asked

-No, I never had weird cravings.
Although I have read that many women have the "pickles and ice cream" cravings, I never did (nor do I know anyone that has). I did have cravings for individual foods, but I didn't have cravings for foods I already hated and basically wanted more of foods that I had deprived myself prior or ate already. Oddly, I never thought I would crave fruit in my third trimester. My body obviously wanted the vitamins and I gave it what is asked for.

-I didn't love being pregnant, but I didn't hate it either.
I was comfortable most of my pregnancy, didn't have many sleep issues, didn't go pee every hour, my ankles only swelled now and again, etc.
I did, however, have to deal with my anxiety issues, some bouts of depression, carpel tunnel, and concerns about being a mom. These were tough things to deal with, but it all worked out in the end. Once I had a support system and a plan, all I could do was try to enjoy the ride.

-Yes, we did want to know the sex of the baby.
I had too many other things to worry about. It was still a surprise either way as there's never 100% assurance. My first question once Jackie "arrived" was "Is it a girl?!"

For any of you that got this far, feel free to ask ANY other questions you may have and I can add them here!

Next blogs: The First Four Weeks, Breastfeeding Basics: The Real Basics.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

3 Weeks and Counting

I can't believe I haven't written since the end of August. Pretty amazing. I had thought about writing, but so much had been going on in May, I guess it just flew by. It also didn't help that June had literally 3 days of sun. This sounds like a joke, but the news said that it had been 109 years since we had a June that rainy. I had thought I would be outside most of June due to my last day at work being May 29, but most of it was spent inside getting ready for the baby or running errands. I guess there was an upside of some sort.

Fast forward to now, July 14.. it's hard to believe I have less than 3 weeks before the baby is due. I have been very, very lucky, as physically this pregnancy hasn't been that bad. I did have some bouts of depression and anxiety over the past few months, but that seems to have subsided. This decrease was unexpected as most docs say this is to increase, but I must have transformed something or God has been looking out for me and allowed me some peace. This is not to say that I don't get anxious, but it seems to be mostly "normal" anxiety of not knowing what to expect and getting overwhelmed at all the information that is out there. I have realized that I really do have everything I need to "know" in all this.. the theory based stuff, and now, it's all about the "doing." I know I will make mistakes and that used to be my biggest concern, but now that reality is here, my biggest concern is figuring out how I'm going to deal with the lack of sleep and getting up every 2-3 hours to feed! I know from my past that when I am put to the test, the mind and body just follow and do what is needed.. I assume it will be the same here.

Just to update on a few things, a lot has happened since I last wrote. A few friends threw a baby shower for me on May 31. Mom came in and it was a good time. Some breakdowns, but overall, it was great to be around about 15 or so women knowing that they all cared so much about me. It was humbling.


There was also a work shower at Berklee that was a lot of fun. Two others in the office are due this month and then me August 1, so there was a combined shower. Once again, it was nice to be pampered and shown so much love. It's hard to take in sometimes.


J and I have also been working hard to get the place ready for Jackie and for ourselves (mostly me), to feel at peace and not have a bunch of clutter around. J has been amazing and working so hard. Not only at his day job, but also around here. I get worried about him, concerned that he is getting overloaded, but he seems to enjoy it and is excited about what all his work will bring in the end.

Jackie's room is done and I'm very happy about the result. The theme is around the Dr. Seuss book "Oh, the Places You'll Go." I love the colors, but mostly the story. It reminds me of my life a lot.. that you will have so many dreams, will fail at times, but the main thing to remember is not to give up. I have given up at times, but still continue to have dreams that I strive for. I want Jackie to know that her dreams are hers and she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to.. and I want her to know that early :)

In any case, I think we have put a number of things together that were not a "set" per se, but it all worked out. I'm very lucky that I can "see" color in my mind and it always turns out the way I have it designed in my head. I will post more pics later, but it's a very airy, sunny and calming space. I think she will enjoy it. Here's her crib area:


We also recently sold my car and got a new Nissan Rogue. It was tough to get rid of my car on one level, but I had some closure on it by the time we traded it in. We tried for about a month to sell it on our own, but we just weren't getting the price we wanted for it. J ended up working out a deal at the dealership that I thought would never happen and we were able to trade the car in without all the hassle of a private sale. Trying to sell the car was a good learning lesson, but in the end, I'm glad that we just traded it in.

I'm happy with the Rogue. It drives well, has a great sound system and feels very "me." I wanted to get a decent looking CUV/SUV (CUV = crossover utility vehicle) and refused to get a mini-van :) After driving about 6-7 cars over the past few months, we decided on the Nissan. I think it will do the job for now and we both love driving it.

We also completed all our Child Prep classes (Infant CPR, Newborn Basics, Child Prep, Breastfeeding basics) and I'm happy that we did all of them. Although we really didn't meet anyone that we were able to keep in touch with (I thought we might), it was still great to be in the classes with other couples and getting all our questions answered. For anyone who is having a baby, I definitely suggest the Childhood Prep class at least. For me, I haven't been around babies a lot and had many doubts about myself as a mom. This class really helped as I had already done a lot of research on my own and it solidified things I already knew and added to my toolchest of information.

Aside from all the "doings" of getting ready, overall, I have been healthy, as well as Jackie. There have been no problems, all tests been normal or better and I haven't gotten so huge that I haven't been able to move around. We were still going to shows and going out as much as possible and we just saw one of our last shows, Gary Gulman, at the Comedy Connection. At this point, it's tough to sit for long periods of time so many shows are out, as well as anything that has a lot of standing, but I've been happy at what I've been able to do and still feel that I can do.

Me and Gary at the Comedy Connection, Boston, 7.11.09

Each day at this point (I'm a bit under 3 weeks til I'm due), I get a bit slower and there's more Braxton Hicks contractions, but no pain. I just have to watch my energy, make sure I drink a lot of water, and what I learned yesterday, make sure I laugh a lot :) I noticed yesterday that I read one of my Child Prep books for 5 hours, trying to get as much info as I could, and then I get overwhelmed.

I have to keep reminding myself that I know what I know and if there's any problems, we can always refer to the books later or call her pediatrician. There's so much out there, I don't think I could really tell myself I'm completely prepared. All I've been told (and from my own observation), I'm more prepared than most and have everything at my fingertips. Not only that but I have a loving and prepared husband and other family and friends that are there if I need them.

For now, I think my job is to relax as much as possible, enjoy the sun (finally) now that it's here and laugh as much as I can :) I just can't believe that the time is almost here and our lives are about to change big time. Although I don't know exactly how yet, this also gives me the space to "start over" and get creative. I can't wait for that to kick in for me.. I know once I get into the role of "mom" it will all start to flow. But until then, I will continue to look for the small things to keep me laughing and calm.. it's tough at times, but I know I can do it.

Monday, April 27, 2009


This is a word my co-worker and friend uses all the time.. when the time is right, obviously. Today, the timing is right.. it's glorious outside.. and it's about time.

It's also about time I blogged. People used to say my middle name was "blog," but I noticed that it's been over 2 months since I've done so. Let's say it's been a long 2 months.

Although I have mentioned this along other avenues of getting information across to people, what's been going on is that I'm pregnant (again). As some of my readers know (and if not you can go back in the archives of my blog), I had documented a lot along the way of my pregnancy last summer. Unfortunately, I lost the baby at 7 weeks, but I had been going thru a number of treatments for many months to even get pregnant. I was inspired to write about my journey for other people that just might be looking for information or a "friend" of sorts that had gone thru the same thing.

When I lost the baby and we tried again not much later, I was a bit more cautious and chose to keep it private for a bit. We didn't tell many people until the 3 month mark (which is the norm anyway) and I JUST posted it as a status update on Facebook last week and I'm at 6 months now. So, let's just say this road looks a bit different than the last one.

Overall, physically I have been doing quite well. There have been the ups and downs, but mostly great. Most of the time, it has literally been to the day that things change.. for example, first trimester wasn't bad until a few weeks in, really sucked til about week 10 or 11 and then literally on the day of week 12, BOOM my energy was back. There I was running up stairs, my energy level was 10X more than it was and I felt great.

Here I am just starting week 26 and the first week of my third (and final) trimester. Although I still have energy, the swelling has started and I can't be on my feet for long. This now adds to the list of things I can't do or can't do for long periods of time, which includes GA shows at concerts. Luckily, most of the bands I wanted to see have past or are in August after my due date so I'm OK with missing those. However, anyone or anything telling me I can't do something is always a challenge. I guess instead of getting mad, I could just get creative :)

But getting back to "glorious," today and over this past weekend has been extraordinary weather-wise. We've had a VERY long Winter here in Boston and it's well deserved. It's almost hard to explain how the sun and amazing weather affects me. What I noticed, which I hadn't in previous years I have lived here, is the birds singing in the morning, and even now that I'm home and have the windows open. I never knew how much I loved chirping birds until last week. It's amazing what you take for granted when you grow up in a state where most of the year is sunny.

My Winter has been hard.. not just due to the normal cold and cynical Bostonites, but with being pregnant, it also reminded me that my family, but mostly many of my close friends, are not here. I am blessed to have the friends I have here in Boston and wouldn't trade them for anything, but I also have a posse back in my hometown who I adore and miss greatly. I always find it difficult to figure out what to do with these feelings. Generally they subside, depending on the day, but overall, there's just a part of my heart that stays empty.

Also, psychologically, the pregnancy has brought up a lot of my past (I hear this is normal) and I'm dealing with it at another level. It's amazing how many times one can deal with their "past." I have over 20 years of therapy and personal growth work where I've delved deeply into my past in all different areas, but here I am, all of it in my face and having to deal with it (again) one by one.

In some ways, I guess this is necessary. I definitely don't like to live in regret and, once again, although many times I have gotten closure on those events I had/have regrets, they sometimes come creeping back. This is not to say that I was lying to myself, it's just that there are so many levels to getting complete and having closure.

I am learning a lot about myself over the weeks and sometimes by the day. I'm having to keep track of many things depending on what doctor I'm seeing at the time, so it kinda is like looking at your life thru a microscope. Most of the time I am excited to see it this way, but other times, it's extremely overwhelming.

But I am learning, I am maturing and I am transforming, sometimes right before my own eyes. This was what was needed, I think; to be the mom I want to be (even if I have no idea what that looks like).

We have a few more days of this glorious weather, but just like Boston, we get the tease and we are back to colder weather and even some rain (well, it is still Spring). I will enjoy it while I can--keeping my mood high and spirits lifted.

I need it right now, and I also feel like I'm being rewarded for all the hard work I have done over the months. It would be nice to actually think that is the truth, but in the meantime, I will continue to feel the cool breeze, enjoy the quiet and the melody of chirping birds outside my window.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Blatent Plug

Hall & Oates keep it live
Published February 18, 2009 07:02 AM
By Kym Kilgore / LiveDaily Contributor

Daryl Hall and John Oates are getting ready to head out on a US tour that sticks close to the East Coast through mid-April.

The duo is set to kick things off Feb. 20 in Boca Raton, FL, and play a dozen cities, including Orlando, Baltimore, Boston, Atlantic City and Biloxi, MS. Two-night stands are booked in New York City and Lake Charles, LA. Details are listed below.

Oates also has a couple of solo dates on the calendar to support his sophomore solo effort, "1000 Miles of Life," which surfaced in September. Those shows can be found at Hall & Oates [ tickets ]' website.

Last November, the blue-eyed soul duo released "Live at the Troubadour," a CD/DVD package that captures Hall & Oates' May 2008 return to the legendary Los Angeles venue. The two-night engagement marked the first time the performers had taken the Troubadour stage in 35 years.

"John and I have a lot of great memories associated with performing at the Troubadour, since it was our first show in LA," Hall explained in a statement. "It's like going back to where it all began for us. We've always had an enthusiastic following in Los Angeles, and this is a chance for our fans to see us up close and personal in an intimate setting."

Hall & Oates' most recent studio release is 2006's "Home for Christmas," which features a host of holiday classics alongside a couple of originals. They offered up their latest set of non-holiday music with 2004's "Our Kind of Soul," comprising 14 classic soul covers and three originals.

Hall has also been busy with "Live From Daryl's House," a monthly Internet concert featuring him playing alongside special guests. This month's webcast with The Bacon Brothers (Kevin and Michael) debuted last weekend and is streaming at the Daryl's House website, where fans can also watch archived episodes.

During a career that spans four decades, Hall & Oates have sold more than 60 million albums and scored eight No. 1 singles, many times appearing simultaneously on adult contemporary and R&B charts. In 1987, the RIAA recognized the performers as the No. 1 selling duo in music history, a record they still hold today, according to a press release.

Last spring, Hall & Oates was honored with the BMI Icon Award in recognition of their "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." They were also recently honored by Billboard as the No. 15 most successful Hot 100 chart artist from the past 50 years.

[Note: The following tour dates have been provided by artist and/or tour sources, who verify its accuracy as of the publication time of this story. Changes may occur before tickets go on sale. Check with official artist websites, ticketing sources and venues for late updates.]

February 2009
20 - Boca Raton, FL - Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park Amphitheater
21 - Orlando, FL - Seaworld

March 2009
6 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live!
8, 9 - New York, NY - The Fillmore at Irving Plaza
11 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
13 - Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre
14 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Event Center

April 2009
3, 4 - Lake Charles, LA - L'Auberge Du Lac Casino and Resort
7 - Melbourne, FL - King Center for the Performing Arts
10 - St. Augustine, FL - St. Augustine Amphitheatre
14 - Ft. Myers, FL - Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
18 - Biloxi, MS - Beau Rivage Theatre

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Albums That Changed My Life

Forwarded this over from Facebook.. thought it was very cool :)

Think of at least 25 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that, no matter what, they were thought of musically shaped your world. When you finish, tag 25 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill.

No being cool. Which albums have you actually listened to thousands of times?

In no particular order:

1. Mickey Mouse Disco
2. Annie (The Musical) Soundtrack
3. The Chipmunks - Christmas with the Chipmunks
4. Buddy Holly – The Buddy Holly Story
5. The Drifters – Drifter’s Golden Hits
6. The Eagles – Hotel California
7. Journey – Frontiers
8. H20 – Daryl Hall and John Oates
9. Beastie Boys – Ill Communication
10. Enya – Shepard Moons
11. Prince – Purple Rain
12. Prince – 1999
13. Weird Al – In 3D
14. Lenny Kravitz – 5
15. Foreigner – Records
16. Styx – Kilroy Was Here
17. Michael Jackson – Off the Wall
18. Sarah McLaughlin – Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
19. Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine
20. Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy
21. Incubus – Morning View
22. Radiohead – The Bends
23. Yes – 90125
24. Erykah Badu – Baduzium
25. Digable Planets - Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)
26. Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill
27. Woodwork – Viewfinder
28. Sting – Nothing Like the Sun
29. The Smiths – Louder Than Bombs
30. The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
31. Depeche Mode – Catching Up With Depeche Mode
32. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
33. Cocteau Twins – Four-Calendar CafĂ©
34. Crowded House – Woodface
35. The New Radicals – Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too
36. Howard Jones – Dream Into Action
37. Yaz – Upstairs at Erics
38. INXS – The Swing
39. U2 – War
40. Jamiroquai – Traveling Without Moving
41. Two A.D. – Various
42. William Orbit – Strange Cargo III
43. Acen – 75 Minutes
44. Jeff Buckley – Grace
45. Moby – Play
46. Peter Gabriel – So
47. Rick Springfield – Living in Oz
48. Ten Hands – Be My Guru
49. Weezer – Weezer
50. Wolfmother - Wolfmother

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Accessibility and Responsibility

From NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and

It’s nice to see a President accessible and own up to his mistakes – not only via press release, but also on national television. Here are a few remarks that gave me chills and left me with more hope, despite the “mistakes.”

“..I’ve got to own up to my mistake, which is, that ultimately, it’s important for this administration to send a message that there are not two sets of rules… I’m frustrated with myself, with our team, but ultimately, my job is to get this thing back on track….”

“The fact of the matter is Tom Daschle pulled out today, and I’m here on television saying I screwed up. And that’s part of the era of responsibility is not, never making mistakes, it’s owning up to ‘em and trying to make sure you don’t repeat ‘em. And that’s what we intend to do.”

--President Barack Obama

See the video here:

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Sugar Lumps"

Currently my favorite song from The Conchords :) Was on last night! (Not work friendly if you are reading from there :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

People and Things that Suck by Kathy G

1. Waiting in single digit wind chills for a bus that decides to be hella-late.

2. Watching one of your buses go by (not full) with the driver making the hand motion "there's one right behind me" which means, minimum of 5 min more wait.

3. Watching three of the same bus route number go by whilst your feet start to go numb.

4. Single digit wind chills.

5. Getting to work late and finding 2 students already waiting on you.

6. Having a day from hell with only a lunch break.

7. Having students get mad at you due to their own irresponsibility and disorganization.
Quote: :A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."

8. Finally getting the time to write the MBTA a complaint (about the bus issue 1-3 above) and having their website not work to take the complaint (sounds to me there's a lot of complaints happening).

9. Finally getting the gumption to do laundry and finding only $1.70 on the laundry card.

10. Having to go out in the bitter cold to the laundry cash loading machine, only to try 6 times to get my cash to actually be accepted.

11. Laundry cash loading machines.

12. People who think a condo fee going up $22 is worth going around to ask for signatures to "review the financial documents" of the Condo Association. Then getting pissed you don't agree with his opinion. Get a life.

13. A-holes who consistently do NOT shovel sidewalks after snows, so I therefore have to try not to break my neck or get my foot stuck in snow outside their house walking home.

14. Finding that ranting and chatting with friends still doesn't make your "mad" go away.

The End.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Zune crash :)

Sorry.. this is way too funny :)

2008 ends with worldwide Zune crash
Published January 5, 2009 12:01 PM
By LiveDaily Staff

Latent Y2K fears manifested last week when Zune players began crashing in unprecedented numbers. The Microsoft devices have been freezing up while loading, leaving users with a picture of the Zune icon and a loading bar, according to published reports.

Zunes, particularly the 30GB version, apparently began crashing as the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve. The problem apparently was caused by a leap-year related programming bug.

Microsoft has since posted instructions that the company says should get the Zune devices running again.

The timing of the Zune crash has some calling the glitch Z2K, according to Urban's Jan. 1, 2009 word of the day was Y2K9, defined as "the simultaneous worldwide crash of every 30GB Zune during the early hours of the morning on Dec. 31, 2008."