Friday, October 31, 2014

More Complaining About Pregnancy

Since my blood pressure is 100/60, nobody is worried about pre-eclampsia.  I don't think you can have pre-eclampsia with a blood pressure that low.  Mercifully, nobody suggested a Neti Pot, so I was not required to scream.  (I may have dissolved into tears nonetheless.)

Headaches: hmm, you poor dear, pat pat.  (I do, in fact, practice mindfulness meditation already... but there's a pain threshold of "I can't sit up" where it becomes challenging.)

And... I'm having contractions, a couple dozen a day, which is why I'm miserable and nauseous and in pain.  But the cervix is 'long and closed', as they say, so most likely I'm just in for some deeply unpleasant final months.
It's amazing how little time severe, chronic pain takes to send me into a spiral of fear, depression, and anger.  (About three days, in case you were wondering.)  I won't bore you with an encore recitation of why and how, but there's some serious conditioned response going on here.

Tomorrow I see the midwives (again).  I predict they will a) test me for pre-eclampsia, which will be negative; b) express puzzlement about Weird Headache Shit; and c) suggest a Neti Pot.  At which point I may start throwing things and screaming.  On the bright side, I took half a long-expired vi.codin and did not break out in hives all over!  (I'm also not sure it helped.)

You may also recall that the main reason I didn't want to ever be pregnant again was the two years of illness, pain, and chronic headache.   I seriously can't do this for nine more weeks.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Five Minute Blogging: Were We All THAT Young?

  • I still have four pounds of chestnuts to peel.  ACK.  (From my uncle; both tasty and free.) And then I will go steal more fruit and it will all start again.  Send help!  I can't stop canning things!
  • Because I clearly need more commitments in my life, we have 'adopted' two students from the fine institution at which I teach (Psuedo-Military U).  The idea is that about once a week we'll pick them up and give them a kind word, a hot meal, and a nap.  
  • I picked two young ladies, one of whom is from the Very Far East Of Here, and one of whom is from the Northeast.  I suspect they both have a little culture shock.
  • Maybe I'll be a positive role model!  Pregnant female professor with pearls on!  Ha ha ha. 
  • The cluelessness of the 18-year-old college students!  Seriously.
  • Speaking of which, I tried to (unsuccessfully) hoist my pregnant rear up on a counter so I could reach the blinds in lab, and one of my (male) students was - probably appropriately - all "What are you doing?  Can I give you a hand with that?"
  • I finally got someone to cough up an estimate for Fixing That Big Thing!  It was even reasonable!  It's the husband of a friend!  (He's owns a contracting-and-building business.)  In normal places this would be a terrible idea.  In a small town, where reputation is worth a lot and everyone knows everyone, it's generally fine.  Plus, I know everyone.  
  • The tots are Batman and Robin for Halloween.  Bug wanted his brother to be his little sidekick and I was so tickled that I made them costumes.  (Cape, shirt-with-thing, here's some leggings from Walmart, kiddo).
  • Oh, by the way, it was Tatoe's birthday and he got... a lego set and some whole wheat pear muffins.  Poor deprived second child.  
  • I ate some wheat (and by some I mean four fake oreo cookies' worth) and felt... mildly ill.  But it's getting a little better!  The real test is what will happen when I am not pregnant.  
  • Nine weeks.  I can make it nine weeks.  Right?  Right?  If this baby is late I will be EXTREMELY annoyed.  Third babies are not supposed to be late.*

* I know this isn't really how the world works.  I prefer that she arrive healthy -  but by preference, both healthy and on time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Five Minute Blogging: Just Write


  • House projects are driving me crazy, because they are all piled up behind Fix That Big Thing.  I hate coordinating this all, and in consequence I'm worse at it than I would otherwise be.  (Spouse is more or less hopeless; I accept this, and he gets the things I'm hopeless at, like balancing checkbooks.)  
  • So naturally I started painting Tatoe's room.  It looks better already and it's 15% done.
  • And I have a baby present I need to assemble LAST WEEK because that baby is coming any day now. 
  • So naturally I'm refinishing some end tables.
  • And doing things with pears.  This is not entirely my fault; my dad showed up with a cedar chest and two bushels of pears for me.  I had only asked for one of these.
  • The correct response to free fruit is always "Thank you!  How delightful."
  • On the bright side, my children are still alive, everyone gets fed offered a healthy and balanced meal every night for dinner, I am keeping up with the (endlessly boring) grading, and nobody's caught fire in lab yet.  And we've only broken a combined total of $400 of glassware!  (That's peanuts.  And $200 of it was just due to material fatigue.  Last year they did in $6000 just of crucibles.)
  • I had mercy on three of my students and gave them half off instead of a zero.  Dr. S thinks I should have made them suffer.  
  • I can always make them suffer next time they screw up.  Which they will.  
  • I'm eating too much chocolate and gaining too much weight (now a net total of 10 lbs at 30 weeks but still the velocity matters too) and I just can't be bothered to care.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Nope nope nope nope nope.

(In which I discuss Food Problems yet again.)

Dear Readers, you will remember that I am allergic to so many foods that I keep a spreadsheet.

The one good thing about being unexpectedly pregnant - aside from a cute baby who may eventually turn into a darling child, of course - is that some of the allergic nonsense has turned itself down a bit. For example, I ate some canned apricots and was okay!  (Then I ate the rest of the can of apricots and I was less okay, but I feel that was my own failure in judgment.)

However, this weekend I ate a small serving of something with tapioca starch in it (one of the things to which I'd had less-severe reactions - not the ones that make me wheeze and have trouble breathing; that seemed ill-advised.)  And I was very much NOT OKAY.  My hope that this will all disappear is apparently premature.

(House work is boring.  Getting trees taken out is boring.  Talking about jobs is inadvisable.  I am still pregnant.  The end.)

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Dear My Spouse's School's Students,

Leggings are STILL not pants.

Love,

The Professor's Wife



Dear My Chemistry Students,

The next time I squirt you in the face for not wearing your safety glasses- and I'm sure there will be a next time! - I'm going to put something in the bottle that stings.

Love,

I'm Not A Tape Recorder

Monday, October 06, 2014

On Adjuncting as Optional Work

My mother was asking me how I feel about being an adjunct (in brief: kind of weird!  but it pays me lots of money every two weeks!).  In general, I feel squidgy about adjuncting.  I mean, I don't think anyone gets an advanced degree and thinks 'Yes!  I would love to be a semester-to-semester employee with no benefits, no stability, and no power!  That sounds great!'

However, in my particular case, I love adjuncting.  I don't think I'll love it forever. but for now, it pays ridiculously well for the amount of work I do (very little) and, since this is a small town, involves a five-minute commute.  It's not like there's a better part-time job (or any job!) on offer.  I'm not thrilled about supporting the university in having 25% of their faculty be part-time, but it's also not my problem.  I can be as sarcastic to my students as I want, which is occasionally quite a lot; it's more fun and less work than lecturing.

On the other hand, I am still a little twitchy about being 'the professor's wife who adjuncts'.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Little Immunology, Self As Trial, etc.

(Boring medical detail ahead.)

Dear readers, it will not surprise you to hear that having suppressed my cell-mediated immunity with pregnancy and then knocked down my innate immunity with asthma drugs, when I get a cold... I feel very, very ill.  Also, my immune system was a piece of junk to start with.

(Side note: Sometimes I hear people saying they want to take X - echinacea, elderberry, ginger, whatever - to 'strengthen' their immune system. It finally dawned on me why this thought gives me hives: how the hell do you know it won't just turn the whole shebang up a notch, rather than boosting your specific cell-based response to rhinovirus?  Oh, that's right, you don't.  Even fancy pharmaceuticals have a lot of off-target effects.  Now imagine it's a plant..... I spend a lot of time and effort trying to turn down my immune system so it will stop, say, giving me eaten-by-ants feelings all over my body, so no, I don't want to try elderberry.)

I asked about told the midwives I wasn't taking the asthma drugs any more: less allergies = less immune system = why am I taking another immune suppressant.  Unless then I can't breathe, in which case, just kidding!  Their response was mostly "Um... okay.  Let us know how that goes."

I also stopped taking long-acting antihistamines because they cause lower blood pressure and mine was 96/59 this week.  Plus, additional hit to immune system.

Sometimes I wish I knew less.  Then I would feel less responsible for paying attention to what's going on, what the relative risks are, and what choice to make.  "Oh, the doctor told me to!" I could exclaim cheerfully.  Instead, well, at least nothing too weird has happened yet.