8w0d

I realize I haven’t written nearly as much lately since we found out we’re pregnant. I guess it’s a combination of feeling sick, tired, and just altogether icky. And not much is happening day-to-day. I mean really, the highlight of last week was my new iPhone arriving in the mail, and I doubt many of you want to hear about that! I have noticed my house is a tad on the dirtier side lately, another effect of pregnancy? The vacuum cleaner is still sitting in the living room, where I left it last weekend after vacuuming, assuming it would be needed again. That’s a normal place for it, right?? And I can’t even remember when I did laundry last. I guess that’s a task for tonight.

A huge thank you to everyone who shared advice and words of wisdom regarding my request for part-time status at work, it was truly, truly appreciated. Sadly to say, I’ve decided to stay full-time. Sadly because I really was looking forward to my afternoons off to tend to personal matters, such as rental property, building our new home, moving, baby appointments, etc. Such is life though. I’m able to work full-time, so I might as well be here earning money to spend on our little one. Maybe at some point before June 1st it will make sense to just quit altogether, we’ll see.

So how did it all play out with my boss? I did end up calling an HR representative, without my boss knowing. I felt I deserved to know how this all works from a 3rd party’s perspective, if you can even consider a random HR rep a 3rd party. The rep I spoke with on the phone pretty much confirmed what my boss had told me, that if I wanted to go part-time I’d need to agree to be reclassified as a temporary employee (no benefits) to enable my team to rehire and train quickly. Basically my boss had claimed it was a business need for my position to stay full-time and thus her being allowed to hire another part-time person to pick up my ‘slack’. It’s all pretty ridiculous to me though, as one of the main reasons I requested part-time was out of boredom in my role. What the heck work would I give this other part-time person??

I was able to verify with the HR representative that I can stay as long as I wish. He said my department has proven my position is necessary full-time, and therefore my boss isn’t allowed to request I leave at any certain time, meaning I can give my notice when I see fit. Based on this information, I felt it was just best to stay in my role, not making any changes to my hours. My biggest fear is being let go once I’m classified as temporary, as it’s my understanding temporary roles here are not guaranteed for any length of time. As much as I wanted my afternoons off, I’m not willing to give up ALL benefits and stability.

Last Friday I mailed the first check to our builder, $1,000 for him to get started on floor plans. He has a fairly good idea of our likes and dislikes, so I’m anxious to see what he comes up with. I obviously expect changes to be needed, but I trust he’ll show us something amazing soon. And just this morning I confirmed with our realtor that we want to make an offer on a lot, so that’s exciting too! Things are starting to take shape, moving to Cedar Falls is starting to feel quite a bit more real!

And lastly, why do I feel like an impostor in these maternity pants? Like I don’t belong, like I’m trying to wish this pregnancy along, pretend it’s happening when it isn’t… Does anyone else feel that way? It’s the same reason why I haven’t really bought anything for the baby yet, as the fear is still there that this is all just waiting to be taken away from me, again.

Part-time Status – Another Update

I talked with my boss after she met with HR. Supposedly I’m allowed to go part-time now, or soon, but my boss still wants to hire my replacement soon. That said, I’d be allowed to stay working part-time until May as long as I agree to be reclassified as a temporary employee whenever my replacement starts work, my boss estimated February or March. Temporary means NO benefits.

I’m confused and angry. And frankly very distrusting of my boss right now. I get she has to look out for the team, but we don’t need my replacement hired now, as I’m bored and can still complete all my work part-time.

I’d like to speak with the HR rep alone, but I fear my boss would feel I went behind her back. But how do I know this is my only option if I want part-time? Maybe she is just telling me I have to go temporary so she can rehire sooner…

I fear asking for part-time was a huge mistake. If going temporary is my only option than I’ll stay full-time. Ridiculous they’d rather me sit there bored though. That’s a government job for you I guess.

Ugh.

Part-time Status Update

Yesterday morning, in my yucky state of morning sickness mind, I sent my boss an email to check the status of my part-time request. I was secretly hoping it had been approved and I could leave at noon. No such luck. It took until yesterday afternoon for her to call me into her office for a de-brief.

To be quite honest, I don’t even understand the conversation her and I had yesterday, in her office, just the two of us. First she pointed out that she had a meeting scheduled the following day, so today, with her boss and HR to discuss my part-time request. The more she said though, the more I realized the meeting wasn’t so much about my part-time request as it was about her back-filling my position, and apparently before I’m ready to leave.

See, I’ve been quite frank with my boss. She knows I requested part-time for several reasons, one being I’m bored, as slowly she has transitioned my work to my two teammates in anticipation of me leaving when Eric’s residency is complete in June. When I requested part-time I specifically told my boss that I really felt like I could still handle 90% of my workload. That should have thrilled her, right? Wrong! Apparently this scared the crap outta her, and thus she wants to hire another part-time individual now to pick up the work I won’t be able to complete in only 20 hours a week. Work that honestly isn’t there to give. Oh, and this part-time person has to share my desk, as we don’t have space for an additional employee. No wait, it gets better.

Allow me to recap a few of the phrases spoken by my boss during our meeting yesterday:

  • Now that you’ve seen the heartbeat, I figured you’d be more excited and wouldn’t want to be here.
  • You married a doctor, you don’t need to work.
  • You’re not really going to want to drive here in the winter, while pregnant, for just 4 hours a day.

There were more, but honestly those are the only ones I recall before my brain sort of shut down. At one point in the conversation my boss asked if I needed to discuss all this with Eric. I said, discuss what? In my perfect world, I go part-time now, which shouldn’t hurt the team, and I work part-time until May before I have the baby. Her response, “that doesn’t work for me.” Yes, she said those words. Her biggest fear is not having coverage for year-end, which is June. Basically she wants to have my replacement hired and trained by June, whether I go part-time now or stay full-time. This means, for her to have enough time, since the hiring process here is turtle slow, she believes I’d need to quit in January, since she can’t even advertise for my position until I’m gone.

I really wasn’t sure what to say. Me asking for part-time now didn’t have anything to do with when I would leave the University. I mean, she’s known all along when Eric is finished, but I honestly thought it was up to me to decide when I give my notice. Can she tell me when I have to quit so that she can hire my replacement? I’m so confused, and frustrated, and hurt really. How is her year-end coverage my problem? Should a manager even be discussing that with the employee? And why the hell would she hire another part-time employee when I’m so bored? Clearly she doesn’t understand the workload here.

Her meeting with HR is later today, I’ll fill you all in when I know more. I’m not included in the meeting, so God only knows what my boss will tell HR I want… I wish I could be there to say, I want to stay working here until May…

6w6d

I haven’t written in a while, and due to the first item below, this post will be a bulleted list of what’s new in my world. No energy to make this post creative, sorry…

Morning Sickness:  I officially suck as a pregnant person.  Beginning last Monday, so almost a full week now, I’ve felt sick pretty much non-stop.  I’ve yet to actually throw up, but the almost constant nausea is really wearing on me.  And yes, I realize it’s only been a week.  The only times I’ve felt some relief is when I’ve been up and around, moving, walking, etc.  I feel sick as soon as I sit or lay down.  I’ve tried peppermint candies, ginger, acupressure wristbands, B6, crackers, nothing seems to help.  Sitting all day at work is hard, as is bedtime, since lying down is awful.  I’ve been trying to keep busy, stay upright, even cleaned today so I wouldn’t have to sit much, but then I just find myself exhausted.  I keep telling myself I’m lucky since I’m not actually throwing up, but a break from time to time in this nausea would be nice.  I’m trying to eat small amount every few hours so my stomach doesn’t get empty, but most things don’t sound at all interesting to me.  Any suggestions, I’m all ears.  I hear there is a new medication specifically for morning sickness, but I assume it’s only prescribed for those who can’t keep down food and drink, and so far, I have found some items I can tolerate.

7 Week Ultrasound:  It is tomorrow morning (Monday, October 13th) at 8am.  I’m both terrified and excited.  If you remember back to this post, where we learned there was no heartbeat at our 7 week ultrasound with our last pregnancy.  Needless to say, I’m very scared of a repeat.  I definitely feel different this pregnancy, lots of symptoms I wasn’t experiencing last time.  But I realize symptoms are no guarantee of a healthy baby.  Please pray for us, for a strong heartbeat tomorrow.

I’m slightly apprehensive about our appointment tomorrow for another reason…  Remember N, the awful male coworker of mine?  Remember the comments he made about racing to see who could get pregnant first?  Clearly he is beyond immature, in my opinion and has no concept for those struggling with infertility.  Anyway, their 12 week ultrasound is tomorrow morning, at 8am as well.  Please God, don’t let me see them in the waiting room, although it’s inevitable, right?  They tried all of two months and are sailing along in bliss.  Something I don’t want to see.  I just simply can’t relate to their experience and I certainly don’t want to be reminded of it tomorrow morning when I’ll be feeling super vulnerable.

Building:  Last weekend Eric and I were back in Cedar Falls to meet with two builders in an effort to narrow down our choice to one, and to decide on a lot.  I think we’ve come to a compromise on a lot, although it hasn’t been purchased yet.  It’s not all that large, although plenty big for the house we have in mind to build.  It’s pricey for its size though, probably because it is set along a pond with a fairly good view of such.  Oh, and there are few lots in Cedar Falls, so I assume most, if not all lots, are more expensive now than in the past.  As far as a builder, we still haven’t decided.  We are stuck between two that have both built a number of gorgeous custom homes in the area.  I think the hold-up at this point is getting an estimate from the second builder on a floor plan we have in mind.  And when I say in mind, we haven’t actually picked one.  Both builders know the general style we are drawn to, and I found a plan online which has many, many elements we love.  I posted pictures of this proposed floor plan under a new page named Dream Home from my main menu or you can view the pictures by clicking here.  I don’t expect us to build this exact home, but I’d really like to maybe start with this plan and make alterations as necessary.  I assume the majority of our coming weekends will be spent in Cedar Falls as both builders would like to start digging November 1st, which is quickly approaching.

Part-time:  I did have a chat with my boss in regards to me working part-time instead of full-time.  If you remember, I drafted an email to my boss…  I never ended up sending it.  She actually called me into her office the day after I posted that draft and we got on the topic of my workload.  I decided then was as good a time as any to share my concerns.  To my surprise, my boss was actually all for me going part-time.  Probably because I pointed out I can still complete all my work, in half the time, for half the pay.  Yeah, I’m that good.  Anyway, she cleared my part-time status with her boss so far, who was also all for it.  My boss’s boss is now supposedly talking to higher-ups and HR.  I kind of expected to hear something last week, but not a word yet.  Maybe this week!  I’d love to start part-time sooner rather than later, especially since my days feel so long now since I’ve felt so sick.

I definitely feel like I’m forgetting some update…  But for now, I just ask for more prayers for our ultrasound tomorrow.  I’ll update as soon as I have results.

5w2d

I don’t have a lot of pregnancy news to share, since it’s still so early.

Toward the middle of last week my waking several times a night to pee ceased, and thus I freaked. I’m telling myself my body is adjusting somewhat to the increased hormones… Feel free to reassure me this is the case!

The bloating has not subsided, and honest to God, I’m going to need maternity clothing soon! I tried the hair-band trick, but most of my dress pants for work don’t have buttons, but rather those stupid hook things, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to make those pants work with my bulging gut. (No laughing!) A few friends suggested the belly bands, so I think this weekend I need to invest in several of those. If I consider my weight on CD1 of this IVF cycle as my starting weight for this pregnancy, I’m only up 1.1 lbs., but I feel huge! I will need a larger bra soon, but I won’t complain about that!

I haven’t noticed any nausea yet, nor have I felt any more tired than usual. Part of me wants one or both of these to set in so this pregnancy feels more real, but I’ll be careful what I wish for… I will say I felt off this morning. Not sick to my stomach, but just different. A very strange feeling. Is this how it starts??

I still have some dull aches, almost cramp-like, but not entirely painful, more like twinges, every now and again. I used to stretch every morning before I got out of bed, but I noticed doing such caused sharp, shooting pains in my abdomen. What’s up with that??

My 7 week ultrasound is now only 12 days away, and my last progesterone injection is only 19 days. I picked up more of the 22 gauge, inch and a half needles yesterday, hopefully my last refill of those this pregnancy! I’m used to the shots by now, but they do dictate my schedule a bit. Last Friday night Eric and I went to a movie and had to do my shot early before we left, and then Sunday we were in Cedar Falls house shopping and were forced to do my shot in the car, at a gas station. Classy, I know!

Speaking of house hunting… I haven’t written much lately about our upcoming move to Cedar Falls. Not because it hasn’t been on my mind, but more because baby-making has taken precedence. Eric and I were in Cedar Falls this past Sunday though, and I’m pleased to say, it was a surprisingly productive visit!

If you remember, Eric and I have been working with an extremely pushy realtor since January. Not knowing if we wanted to build or purchase existing we’d asked our realtor to give us options for both. Well, long story short, that particular female realtor showed us several existing homes, one which we really, really liked (I think I shared some pictures of it on here) but she repeatedly told us building wasn’t an option as there were no suitable lots for the home we had in mind to build.

Annoyed with feeling as though we had few options, Eric and I decided to wait on making an offer on the existing house we liked, fearing one should never buy the first thing they see. Well, wouldn’t you know, another couple made an offer on it, and it appears to now be sold.

So what does one do when they need a lot and their realtor swears there aren’t any? Yes, you find a new realtor! Last Sunday our new, younger, male realtor showed us six lots, and offered to make calls on a few others if we wanted more to pick from. Which reminds me, that pushy realtor emailed me again yesterday, even though I’ve asked her several times to stop bothering us!

So the lots… There are two we really liked. One is more sensible… Oh, being sensible really sucks sometimes! The sensible lot is in a new development, this particular lot backs up to a pond, so nothing would be built behind us, which is great. There are already several beautiful homes on the street, with more to come soon. Aside from the pond though, it’s your typical new development, barren of any trees besides those which are brought in after construction. A fence for Kona would be allowed though, which is a huge plus! The not as sensible lot is twice the size, which is really way more land than we need, and twice the price. It’s in an older area of town, owned by a neighbor for years and years. It’s completely wooded. I mean completely. We’d to have clear a portion of the lot to build on. But wow, the scenery would be amazing, a truly unique lot. Of course, since it’s twice the price, and would cost perhaps $30k just to clear space to build, it doesn’t make as much sense to purchase. I assume we’ll forgo making an offer on it, but wow, it would make for an amazing setting.

Sunday evening we also met with a builder. He asked lots of questions regarding our tastes, what we picture for our home, the lot we had in mind, etc. He thinks having the home finished by next August is doable, but would mean we need to start digging the foundation around November 1st. Um, that’s only a month from now. How am I supposed to design my dream house in 30 days??? I’ve been looking on Pinterest, and I love almost everything I see. How does one pick one kitchen, one living room, one lower level bar, one outside sitting area, etc? I’m overwhelmed already. The builder was going to put together our ideas and get back to us in a few days… Hopefully Eric and I can meet with another builder soon so we can compare work and finalize the lot purchase.

Feeling overwhelmed I made a point to talk to Eric last weekend about possibly going part-time at work. I’ve been scared to bring it up to him, as in the past he’s made comments such as, ‘you like to eat, right’, whenever I mentioned cutting my hours. I know he was kidding, but still. I don’t him want to feel like I’m not pulling my weight from a financial standpoint in this family. During our drive to Cedar Falls last Sunday morning I forced the conversation, beginning with how bored I am at work lately since most of my duties have been transitioned to our new team member. To my surprise, Eric was very open to the idea, although curious what was in it for him. I pointed out how much happier I’ll be, less stressed, more time to take care of everything at home, since his time there is so limited… Now though, to convince my boss. I’ve drafted an email to her, but I’m not sure I like the wording, or maybe I’m just too scared to hear it’s not a possibility. Any suggestions on how to approach this conversation differently so it ends in my favor? The draft of my email is below…

Jill, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about a few things, but being you’ve been off enjoying Italy (I’m so jealous!), I thought it might be a good idea to write down my thoughts now and discuss them later when you have more time.

As you know, Eric and I just completed another IVF cycle and it was a success. My due date is June 1st. It’s still very early, and obviously a lot can happen, as I realized last time, but we’re really hoping for a good outcome. My test results look much better this time, leading us to believe the chances of a healthy baby are much more realistic now than with our previous IVF cycle.

That said, I expect more appointments and tests in the weeks and months to come. In fact, my first ultrasound is already scheduled for 8am on October 13th, just two weeks from now, when I’ll only be 7 weeks along.

In other exciting news, Eric and I went house hunting this past weekend in Cedar Falls and actually found a few lots we are considering for building. We had our eye on one particular existing home, but it sold in the past few weeks, so we’ve feeling as though building is now our only option, as surprisingly not much is for sale in that area. We met with one builder so far, but our realtor has advised us to interview at least one more before we finalize plans. And if we want to be able to move by next August when Eric is set to start work, we need to break ground before November, which actually only gives us a month to secure the lot and finalize floor plans. Doesn’t feel like much time!

All that said, I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed with tasks in my personal life recently… and I’m wondering if me going part-time, even if only temporarily, would be an option. My first concern is still work, and making sure the team is supported. I was reviewing my tasks since Jaclyn’s arrival and I honestly think I could keep the vast majority of them, even if only working part-time. The majority of my tasks aren’t deadline based, and I realize month-end is a priority here, but if Nate is taking over A/R, that large task wouldn’t be affected by my absence. I envision me still being able to complete the expenses and 243 portions of the executive summary too, although since Nate hasn’t trained me yet, I don’t have a perfect grasp on the time involved.

Most of our department meetings are scheduled during the mornings, and I think it’s better I be present here daily, as to stay in the loop with the team, so ideally I was thinking Monday-Friday 8am-noon. But again, I realize this may not even be a possibility. If my hours did turn into just mornings, I’d make every effort to schedule other appointments in the afternoons, but my doctors here don’t always have afternoon openings, so I guess I can’t guarantee I’d never need to use sick or vacation time.

Please let me know your thoughts when you have time to discuss.

1-2 weeks

I woke at 3:30am this morning and the first thought that popped into my head was, you need to go pee on a stick (POAS). In my defense though, Eric was on-call last night and his pager went off countless times, so being that I waited until the 3:30am page to POAS is pretty amazing of me, if I do say so myself.

The line on the First Response was no darker today than yesterday, so I didn’t bother taking a picture. Should I be alarmed it’s no darker at 11dpo than at 10dpo? I did receive a bit of reassurance from the Clearblue digital with weeks estimator, as it proudly displayed 1-2 weeks pregnant! I’m making a note to buy more of each over the weekend. Obviously I underestimated the number of sticks required this cycle.

We made it to Friday, and I can’t even begin to tell you how happy that makes me. The past two weeks have been filled with emotional ups and downs. Although I guess this rollercoaster is far from over. The positive test is certainly comforting but just the first of many hurdles. My first beta is Tuesday morning, and if the line doesn’t get darker over the weekend I’m really going to worry. Even if Tuesday’s beta is good, it will need to be repeated Thursday morning. And pending a good result there, my first ultrasound will be scheduled. And we all know how that ended everything last cycle. Terrified doesn’t really begin to explain how I feel every time I think about having to wait several weeks, wondering if a heartbeat will be found this time. How will I get through those weeks?

Yesterday was my first therapy session in several weeks due to my provider’s schedule. I think she had a conference out-of-town last week, and the week before that my boss had scheduled a meeting at the same time as my appointment. Funny how when I need the time to vent and recollect my thoughts the most, my therapist isn’t available… Yesterday’s session made up for lost time though, as I filled her in on the details of the past several weeks, the retrieval, my tears over the fertilization report, our transfer, and then more sadness over the frozen embryo report. I spent most of our 50 minutes expressing concerns over the lack of communication I feel exists between IVF patients, myself included, and my clinic, which is housed in the same facility as my therapist’s office. Having been a patient in this facility herself, my therapist agreed, the medical care we receive is exceptional, the communication is inexcusable at times.

During my recap of the past several weeks I found myself centering on a few key thoughts and feelings, one being my need to follow the rules, to not ask questions, to not make more work for my nurses and doctors, to not stand out, etc. My therapist must have noticed it as well, because toward the end of our session she asked me if not calling the embryologist to question the condition of my embryos caused me more or less stress in the end. My first thought was less, because I didn’t want to bother the embryologist, I didn’t want to request more information than they would normally provide any other patient, I didn’t want to stand out as the patient that called with countless questions… Those would have caused me more stress. And while all of that is true, maybe the reason was more based in fear. Did I not want to know more? Was it easier to use my own imagination, to picture all going well, or all not going well, because that was more comfortable for me? But how could having less information make me feel more comfortable? Because that is what I’m used to…? My therapist asked me to spend some time before our next meeting trying to answer some of these questions. So far though, I’m still in the dark.

Work is still a thorn in my side. My boss is out until the end of the month, and while I originally thought this would be a nice break to catch up on emails and process month-end entries at my own pace, so far, that’s not the case. I’ve found myself with quite random requests, which I assume are tasks she handles, but thus, in her absence, some have fallen on my shoulders. I certainly don’t mind taking on additional work, as I was worried about boredom slipping in, but the complete lack of knowledge I have regarding these tasks has just caused more anxiety. Perhaps I have the wrong personality for this role, as while I’m open to learning, I expect a certain level of training, and to be honest, training is lacking in this department. I don’t feel confident that when I go to my boss I’ll receive a correct, easy to understand answer, or even a justified point in the right direction. Staring at my computer screens all day, in awe of how to solve problems, is rather disheartening. I’ll admit, knowing I’m leaving in 9 months probably isn’t helping my motivation, but this all just feels too difficult at times. My therapist again suggested tying to go part-time. She thinks it would take some stress off me, allowing me more time to handle everything at home since Eric’s schedule doesn’t afford him much time to help. And then there is moving in 9 months, which is looking more toward building a new home that purchasing preexisting. Doesn’t building out-of-town require trips to the building site? How would I manage that while working full-time? And more IVF appointments if this cycle isn’t successful… Or OB appointments if it is, as both require more time off work… And rental property… The list of obligations just seems to go on and on. I’m scared of staying here full-time while managing all these issues, but also scared to investigate part-time further. Scared of what agenda my boss would have in mind… Scared of Eric thinking I wasn’t pulling my weight by only working part-time when he’s working the equivalent of more than two full-time jobs… Is a different job altogether the answer? Who would hire me knowing I’m moving out-of-town in 9 months?

On a brighter, happier note, does anyone have any fun plans for this weekend? Tomorrow I think I’m heading to an outlet mall with a friend who I haven’t seen in FOREVER. Should be fun to catch up! Sunday might be laundry and cleaning as usual. Seems like such a waste of a weekend day. When does everyone else do laundry and clean???

To close I feel I should acknowledge several blog awards I’ve received lately. There is always a ping of pride when I see my website listed on another’s page. I’m really in awe that so many read my words, that so many find themselves in my stories, that common ground… That said though, in the past I’ve refrained from completing the next steps in blog awards. Not because I don’t feel honored, I truly do, but more because completing those posts feels like one more obligation… I want this space to be a place I come to when my mind needs an outlet, not one in which I feel compelled to write on certain topics. I truly hope those who nominated me understand I really am grateful for including me. Thank you!