Sunday, February 22, 2009

My stomach is alive and other random notes.

A couple of mornings ago, I was sitting at my computer, typing away, when I looked down and saw the strangest thing—my stomach was twitching from side to side, all on its own.  It looked like some weird special effect from a sci fi movie or something. I almost expected a little green alien to burst out and start doing the macarena.

Such is life in the eighth month of pregnancy.

Other fun highlights?

Childbirth education class. This week, we talked about the wild and wacky world of pain medication during labor, with a particular emphasis on epidurals. Now, I don't know how much you have heard about this "regional anesthetic," but I can tell you, I now know far, far too much.

I know exactly where in your spine they put it in. How much it hurts (supposedly not at all). All the risks and benefit (surprise, it can kill you!). And, thanks to a teacher who has apparently never heard the phrase "too much information," what the catheter, and yes, even the needle, looks like (big. and scary.).

But, not being a big fan of pain, I'm pretty sure I still want one. I'll just have to make sure my husband's out of the room first—even hearing about it was enough to make him dizzy. I don't think he needs to see it done to his wife. Although, by that point, he might feel like jabbing sharp needles into me himself...

Of course, he probably gets that feeling several times a day. My hormones are, well, a bit crazy lately. So he might find himself getting snarled at if he fails to guess correctly what I want for dinner. Or confusedly grabbing tissues for a suddenly  sobbing me when moments before I'd been laughing my head off.  Or nudging me awake when I drift off mid-sentence.

But at 34 weeks, I make no apologies. I'm doing the best I can, and so is he. I'm sure in the end, it'll all be worth it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Valentine's Day Love Letter.

Sixteen years ago today, I sat in a movie theater with my best friend and threw popcorn at the couple making out in front of us. At the time, I was pretty sure I'd finish off my high school career the way I'd spent the rest of it—most likely dateless, definitely boyfriend-less.

Then, two days later, I got the call that, although I didn't know it at the time, would change my life forever. It was Brian, wondering if maybe I'd like to go see a movie that evening.

I was more than a little shocked (he'd had a girlfriend as recently as the Friday before), but I thought he was cute, so I accepted. We went to see Aladdin and then sat for hours in a Burger King, just talking and laughing. It was a fantastic evening.

All told, we went out  four times that week (it was Winter Break)—and by the time school resumed the following Monday, we were a couple. I think everyone around us was surprised at the speed of it—and, quite frankly, so was I.

All I knew was I'd found someone who could always make me laugh, teasing me out of my darkest moods. Who I could talk to about absolutely anything—or nothing. Who had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen—and a darn cute little butt.

I'd found the love of my life, although I didn't know it yet.

We made it through the college years—including a year and a half of long distance dating before my heart called me home. We got engaged in a mall, and married just two weeks after my twenty third birthday. I remember being simultaneously frightened to death and completely overjoyed.

The ten years since have been full of ups and downs. We've bought two houses. Lived in three states. Been so broke we couldn't pay our bills. So lost, we almost couldn't find our way back to each other. And more ridiculously happy than any two people deserve to be.

And now, we're entering a new phase of our lives together. One with a new baby, a new definition of family, and a new, deeper kind of  love.

Someone recently asked me if I still loved my husband as much as I did when I got married. And my answer was "no, I love him more."

Because as a wise woman once told me, we choose who we love. And while we proclaim that choice publicly on the day of our marriage, it's a choice we have to continue to make silently, in our hearts, every day of our lives.

So, I choose you, Brian Christopher Page. For today, tomorrow and all the rest of my life, I choose you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Working Preggo's Insecurities.

For those of you who don't know, I work in advertising. Specifically, I'm a copywriter. As in someone who writes all the words in the ads that you see, hear and try to tune out—not someone who approves copyrights.

And advertising, even advertising at small, way-far-from-glamorous shops like mine, tends to be a stressful business. Especially on the creative side of things. The unspoken rule is, you're only as good as your last idea. Or at least your last several ideas, since we all royally suck upon occasion, and you have to be forgiven for the occasional bout of suckitude.

Like it or not, you're also judged on your willingness to kill yourself for the good of the client. To accept insane deadlines, take on more work than you can handle and deliver a stellar product—even if it means you don't sleep for three days.

I've always thrived in that environment. The more pressure you put on me, the better I do. After all, there's nothing like abject fear to inspire brilliance.

But now? Well, at eight months pregnant, I simply don't have the energy. I've turned down three different projects in the last week and a half, just because I know I'm moving too slowly to juggle more than one or two balls at a time.

And as for ideas? Well, so far I'm doing okay, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before my fogged-up, sleep deprived brain fails to answer the call.

Truth is, I think people are starting to look over and around me. I've already been taken off one account (I can't say I was sorry to see it go, but it still stings).

Soon, I'll be heading out of the office for twelve whole weeks. That's three months. A lifetime in the advertising world.

Will anybody remember me by the time I come back? Will I have any clients left? Will I have a job to come back to?

Rationally, I know the answer to all three questions is yes.  Even if the answer to the first two questions was no, I am more than capable of reminding everyone at the agency of why they hired me—and how proficient I am at kicking ass.

But I'm a quivering mass of insecurity at the best of times. Add in those fabled pregnancy hormones and you've got...well, you've got a mess, that's what you've got.

Is it any wonder it took me ten years to get brave enough to take this step?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Freed From My Comfy Prison.

It occurred to me that I should probably post a quick update, just in case anyone is wondering...the tests came back normal. So I don't have pre-eclampsia (although I'm still not sure what that even means), and I'm not dying.

At least, not as far as they know.

But my blood pressure's still higher than they'd like. So I've been allowed to return to work, but am supposed to be working from home in the afternoons. Obviously, my doctor has never worked in advertising. If she had, she'd know that actually walking out the door before the moon has risen is somewhat of a challenge even on the best of days.

At least, it is when you're as proficient at torturing yourself with guilt as I am. And as good at conjuring up worst case scenarios for every situation—especially in the wake of the lay-offs we had last week.

But I'm trying. So far, I've managed it all of once.

When I do get home, I'm under doctor's orders to live a life of leisure,  lounging on the couch eating bon bons. Well, she'd prefer they were apples, but you know what I mean.

There are worse things, right?