Thursday, May 17, 2007

The end of another day....

Almost 36 weeks pregnant now. Woo hoo! Entering the last month, the home stretch, baby. Delivery at 37 weeks is considered full-term, and my ob is actually talking about inducing me around 38 or 39 because I had such a precipitous delivery with my first, and we want to avoid me giving birth on the highway or at home.

Sleep-deprived, but contemplative tonight. I left Husband cuddling Bean-girl to sleep; they look so precious curled together under her covers. By the end of the day I am typically exhausted; and yet bath time with the Bean is still one of my favorite times. I just sink down next to the tub and let my mind blank out as she happily swishes her bubbles about and makes up surreal stories starring her various bath toys. I let one hand trail in the water, luxuriating in its warmth as she herself is. Even when I'm tired and bored, she can catch me out of myself when she looks up at me with her laughing bright eyes. As she did tonight, as she laughed over a handful of bubbles.

I'm feeling a little bit better about myself... I made some nice money on my contract writing assignment. The previous writer had made a mess of things, and the company needed it corrected fast. Because they were desperate, they paid me a lot! It was only about 10 hours of work over four days, for a nice sum. Of course, fitting in 10 extra hours when you're caring for a toddler at home can be challenging! And my friend (and company contact) immediately got back to me saying that they loved my work, and had another assignment for me! Another rush job, tight deadline, lucratively paid. I turned it down because I didn't feel up to it this week, although I'm having minor regrets. But maybe science writing/editing really is what I should be doing? Maybe I can really make a go at it? Not just for now, as an occasional sideline while I raise the Bean Girls, but even afterwards? Anyway, the feedback I got was so positive that my confidence was really given a lift. Being laid off from my last job was a real confidence-dampener! Even though I know it was function of lack of grant money, not an indictment of my performance; and even though two other very good and smart post-docs were laid off that same year.

We're all adjusting well to the move, I think. Husband likes his job, and his colleagues are all great (as we knew after meeting them during his round of interviews). Grandma and Grandpa have been coming up every few weeks to visit. The Baby Bean and I are enrolled in one of the local "Mommy and Me" type classes. The weather is beautiful; we've found parks and plenty to do; and we've found a good dim sum place, a decent Asian grocery store, and a pretty good pho joint. And just this week we also found a good Thai restaurant and Japanese restaurant in our neighborhood. What more do we need? =)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

35 weeks pregnant sucks

There it is. 35 weeks pregnant sucks.

Here I am in front of the computer at 3:42 am, because, as usual at this time of night, I can't sleep. I'll probably be up for another hour. And then the Bean Girl will wake and come into our room at 6.

I've been up late these past few days, too, working on a contract writing assignment that unexpectedly came my way. So up till midnight several days in a row, including this past night. Two hour spurts of sleep before bladder/Edamame/general "ugh" uncomfortable heavy feeling wakes me up. Oh, wait--flashback--it's like being the mother of a newborn, isn't it? Aaagggh--why does Nature do this to us?

I've been swaying here in the dark, trying to rock the Edamame back to sleep so she stops kicking and digging her feet into my ribs!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Letting go

Finally, the Bean Girl is asleep. Without any fuss. Just dropped off quietly in my arms as I swayed and rocked her after lunch.

I'm actually feeling good right now. It's remarkable what an extra hour of sleep can do for my mood.

It's been a time of great transitions for my family and me. Career changes for both Husband and I--he's left academic medicine, gone into full-time private clinical practice, while I am now a stay-at-home-mom. We moved across the state to a new city for Husband's new job. And, oh yeah--I'm expecting Edamame, our second baby!

I always had a plan. Not the most well-thought out plans, but I was on a track, I had Goals. Grad school, then post-doc, then ambitions for tenure-track faculty position. (Hey, no one said my goals had to be realistic). Boom, boom, boom--one after the other. Then I was forced to confront the reality that I am not competitive for those tenure-track faculty positions, at least not at any major research institution. Now I have no job, now everything is up in the air. Now I don't have Career Goals, now I don't even know what I'll be doing a year from now. That's scary for someone like me. I am staying home with the Baby Bean, I will stay home with the Edamame.... And then what? Science writing/editing? Teaching? Dabbling in literary writing? Full-time SAHM forever, with volunteer work on the side? Or dare I try another post-d0c, hoping to land a perma-post-doc/staff scientist-type position, or transition into a college teaching position? (Husband thinks it's a waste of time, that I should now avoid research like the plague, even if he won't quite come out and say so).

Letting go of plans, of structure, is probably the hardest thing of all. The lack of structure is one of the hardest things about stay-at-home-momdom. When I try to impose a Plan for the day, Baby Bean often has her own ideas. And no use arguing with a sleepy or hungry toddler! =) Someone said that pregnancy is a time for learning to let go. You can't control your body's reactions to the growing person inside--you can't control your mother sickness, the fatigue, the aches. You can only accept them and go with the flow, just as you will have to "go with the flow" throughout your parenting years. It's so hard for me to let go, to try to "live in the moment," as they say. There are isolated moments... Rocking the Baby Bean in my arms, feeling her warm weight against me, and inhaling the scent of her lavendar Johnson's-baby-shampoo washed hair... Watching her in the sunlight, temporarily stunned by her beauty. Only isolated moments, like rocks in a stream, and then I'm back in usual current of list-making, stressing, and worrying about all the future has to hold... Which is plenty enough, for anyone in any life! Why is it so hard to let go?