Archive for the ‘worries’ Category

Last Day

Today is my last day of maternity leave before I head to school. I flip-flop between being slightly sad to not have the kids around to feeling WOOHOO about not having the kids around and doing my own thing and being nervous about a bunch of stuff…

– Will I be able to cope, especially with my fatigue? It’s still a factor, and some days I get so tired it makes me cry. My other deficits come out more when I’m tired too. I’m scared that this will be a problem at school, and especially during practicum where I have to be in a high school by 7:30/8am and be there all day.

– I’m SO scared of the daycare (and kindergarten) sickness train(s). I’m scare of getting sick myself. I’m scared of having to take time away from classes/practicum to care for sick kids (or myself), and DH having to do this too. I’m scare that it’s going to go on and on and make the next few months a living hell. I’m just hoping the professors and teachers will be understanding of this.

– I’m worried about how all the logistics will work out – between my schedule changing between when I’m at classes (3 days a week I won’t get home until 7pm 😦 ) and when I’m doing practicum, and what that means for pick-up/drop-offs for the boys, which of course will be at different locations and different times. Having to make lunches, how our routines are going to change.

– Last, and probably the most important, how are the kids going to deal with all the changes? How will our family deal with all the changes?

I know once things get going and we get into our new routines, things will calm down and roll along nicely. I know that I’ll enjoy school and think it will be a fun year in that sense, and I know it will be worth it in the end,  but my mind keeps going back to these worries and wondering how the next few weeks and months will go.

What are your own stories (good or bad) of going through a big transition for yourself or your family? How did you cope? Those with kids who have done daycare and then transitioned to school, was there another bout of sickness? Those with more than 1 kids, how was daycare sickness the 2nd (or more) time around? 

Evolving PG Feelings

I was thinking the other day about how my feelings about pregnancy – or, more specifically, getting pregnant – have evolved over time.

Of course those feelings started out as they do in most women – Oh, please God, NO! Not Now! Anything but this! Not now!! …PHEW!

Then, things changed after I got married and we decided to start “trying”. The first few times I POAS*, it was actually kind of weird – like I was being bad or something! I spent so long trying to prevent two lines, and now I was hoping, excited, and almost craving them to appear.

When I got my first positive, I was over the moon excited! We were starting our family! Wow! How amazing is my body to be able to do this!? I wonder if it’ll be a boy or girl? What names will will we choose? How will we decorate the nursery?

Then, it happened. I had a miscarriage. Dreams crash and shatter.

We picked up the pieces and started “trying” again. This time, waiting to see those lines appear isn’t exciting. Instead it’s nerve wracking. What will happen this time? Will it happen again? That ignorant bliss of getting pregnant the first time after deciding to try is washed away forever.

That story ends happily with the birth of Evan, but with some unexpected hardships shortly after.

Then a few years later we decide to “try” for #2. This time waiting for the lines isn’t exciting either. It’s more filled with thoughts like “are we sure?” or “what are we doing?” or “is this a mistake?” or , but also — “woah..family of four!?” and “we’ll be complete!”.

Then, it happened again. I had another miscarriage. Sadness takes over and and hopes dashed.

So, back to “trying” again and waiting for those lines is nerve wracking again, but for so many more reasons. Will I have another miscarriage? Are we doing the right thing by adding another child to our family? Can we handle it?

Then, Carter arrives, safe and sound in a perfect-for-me birth. And then, my brain bleeds. Stroke, caused by pregnancy.

We were never planning on having a 3rd anyway, but now that choice has been taken away because I would be at risk of having another stroke. Even without Evan and Carter depending on having a mother, that’s not a chance I’d be willing to take.

So, now at 35, my feelings about getting pregnant are back at square-one again: scared shitless. But for much different and “weightier” reasons. Not because it would put a hamper on my life, or put things on hold for a bit, but because it would literally mean a choice between life and death — either mine or the baby’s. That’s not a decision I want to make.

*Peed on a stick – sounds so much nicer as an acronym, don’t you think?

Angry Phase?

Not sure if this is normal, but I’ve gotten into an angry pregnant-lady phase. In fact, I would say I’ve been way more angry than weepy with this pregnancy in general. People annoy me easily, and I tend to get frustrated and fly off the handle more quickly than usual. 
This past weekend, I was so angry that I was still pregnant! I was seriously contemplating calling my midwife to schedule a C-section. Kudos to any woman who has been pregnant over 37 weeks, because this is just killing me. I want this kid out…NOW. 
Yesterday afternoon, though, I realized that I just need to take things day by day and try not to let my anger get the best of me. After all, I’m really lucky that I could take the opportunity to go on maternity leave relatively early and have time to relax before baby arrives. So, I’m trying to focus on enjoying these last few days/weeks before we’re a family of four (ack!).
One thing that adds to my anxiety is I keep thinking about the possibility of a still birth. I know that my fear is unfounded and that it’s incredibly unlikely, but I know a few people who’ve had to go through this terrible, heartbreaking experience, and I just can’t untangle myself from the thought of it right now. So, I just want Jelly Bean to be out, to be healthy, and to be safe.
This post seems random and blathering – sorry about that! My guess is that will be a running theme over the next while as I wait for baby.

Labour Plans: Older Child(ren)

We’re starting to get a bit worried about our lack of plans for Evan for when I go into labour. We don’t have family around that we can call any time, day or night. We also aren’t comfortable with asking anyone to be on call 24/7 for several weeks (because who knows when Jelly Bean will decide to make his arrival? He could be six weeks early or two weeks late).
Worst case scenario is that DH takes care of Evan – but that means he most likely won’t be with me during the birth.
If you have more than one child, what did you do with them when you went into labour (especially for those of you who are in the same boat as us and don’t have family in town)?

Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best

As a pessimist, that is my general mantra for life. I always hope things go well, but I’m usually prepared if they don’t – or at least I’ve thought about all the possible outcomes. 
For example, my current contract is up on March 31, 2013. My hope is that more funding will be found to extend my contract, but I am also prepared to start looking for a job a few months before it ends. I don’t care if I’m told “not to worry about it – something will work out”. I’m not one to sit around, waiting for “fate” to intervene. I’ll take things into my own hands, thank you very much.
Unfortunately, I did not think of all the possible outcomes in this situation: last week, the Government of Canada announced that thousands of public service jobs will be cut. This includes a 10% budget cut at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).* Their budget is about $300 million (paltry compared to NASA’s budget of about $20 billion – clearly not scaled by population), so cutting 10% is pretty huge. So, apparently the decision was made to completely abolish the CSA Space Awareness & Learning program – the program that funds 100% of my salary. 
We have one more year on our grant. We’re hoping that they’ll make good on all their current grants and contracts – but looking at our contract with the CSA, it clearly states that they are entitled to change/cancel grants if the federal budget changes. 
So, here’s where I start preparing for any number of possibilities, from best- to worst-case scenario:
1. The last year of our grant comes through, and we have a year to come up with other funding sources.
2. The last year of our grant doesn’t come through, but we find another source of funding. Depending on the source, this could be a short- or long-term solution, and could potentially mean a pay cut.
3. The last year of our grant doesn’t come through, and we can’t find another source of funding. I am out of a job. We have to pull Evan out of daycare. We can live on DH’s salary alone if we cut back slightly on our spending, but we would not be able to do anything else. I have to find another job.
What’s sad is that I’m not the only one going through this. Not only are thousands of government employees losing their jobs, but so will countless of other people who hold contracts or otherwise work closely with government agencies.
It’s also frustrating that, by cutting the CSA Space Awareness & Learning program (and other science programs and employees), the government is sending a clear signal to the country that they do not value science research or education. 
It’s a frustrating and scary time to live in.

*I know there are loads of other cuts being made, all of which are terrible, but in this post I’ll be focusing on the one that is an issue for myself – I’m self-centred that way.

Disappointment

One annoying thing about blogging under my real name and sharing my posts to Facebook is that there are things I cannot write about without catching shit from someone.

There are some things going on right now that are making me very frustrated and disappointed. They are hard for me to deal with, because there is a possibility of confrontation, which (if you’re a long-time reader of my blog) is very scary for me. But, if I don’t do something about these things soon, I will continue to be taken advantage of.

Being an adult sucks sometimes.

Clean Bill of Health

Since Evan’s scare when he was a month old, we’ve been taking him to follow-up with specialists. This hasn’t been fun, since they were talking about some serious stuff when he was in the hospital (developmental problems, liver problems, genetic deficiencies, etc.).

One of the specialists was a pediatric neurologist. When Evan was in the hospital, he had to endure (among other things) a CT-scan, an MRI, and a 48-hour EEG (30 electrodes glued to his head for two days). They found nothing wrong. So, just to make sure things were okay, Evan had a follow-up appointment with him at the beginning of June. The doctor took one look at him — sitting, playing, being a normal kid — and said there is absolutely nothing to worry about, he’s dead on developmentally for his age, and we never have to see him again. YAY!

Another specialist, a pediatric gastroenterologist, was a bit of a different story. During Evan’s hospital say, he just happened to get some blood work done because he had high bilirubin (jaundice) levels when he was born. So, they repeated that test at the hospital and found they had gone down substantially, but were still elevated. This doctor proceeded to explain to us that high bilirubin levels could cause staining of the brain which could lead to developmental issues, etc., etc.. Needless to say, we were freaked out. Good thing we both have good heads on our shoulders, because we asked him if that was the leading cause of elevated levels. It turns out that, nope, that’s not the case — it’s more likely due to breast milk jaundice and will go away on its own in a month or two.

Sigh. Gotta love doctors sometimes.

Anyway, we ended up having to take Evan to this doctor every month (sometimes twice a month) since then. His jaundice levels did go back to normal after a couple of months, as expected, BUT his liver enzymes were ever so slightly elevated. Last time, in April, they did some blood work to test for common liver problems (Hepatitis, for example), and all came back negative, but his enzymes were still out of the normal range.

Today Evan had another appointment. Of course, the doctor started talking about doing genetic testing, liver biopsies (which have a known mortality rate in children), and other things if Evan’s levels weren’t normalized this time. Part of me freaked out, but after talking to DH about how this guy tends to jump to the scariest conclusions, we decided to see what the results were before going off the deep end.

And, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, all is well!

So, FINALLY, we can forget about the whole ordeal back in November and know that our little man has a completely clean bill of health! YAY!

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