26 July 2010


Sometimes you have to make a list
and then
just start doing.

Last night I made a list of a variety of ways of how to help myself in this tumultuous time-- and today? I took some action, wrote some notes, asked for help, made some contacts...


And you all are great, truly. Thank you for your kind words of support. I wish this were different, or at least, I wished it to be true. Now I just wish to be on to something healthy.

As I am sure makes sense, some of the blog entries where I truly spill about the details of my work situation might be getting edited or private soon (including this sentence).

I'm off to do more things from my list!
Action is better than inaction for me right now-- this simple thing, "doing", is really helping.

25 July 2010

sisterlove and kevlar underoos

My sister is here and has been since thursday- a love fest, so helpful, so wonderful, so incredibly supportive as I am absolutely flailing after the worst work week yet.
Truly- after a particularly awful exchange, I almost quit, and had to do everything in my power to make myself stay.
Toxic, abusive, acutely uncomfortable- I cannot believe how quickly this has gone to complete hell- and here I am facing a Monday and my whole day today has been accompanied by fluttery nerves and anxiety about the week to come. This sucks my life force to the point it is hard to even have the energy to do research, to find places to apply, to imagine doing what needs to be done. I want to come home and crawl into bed.
But I can't. I am trying to get my resume together. Any of you work with a remarkable job coach you can suggest? I am in need of creativity with knowledge of technology-- input is welcome.

So as long as I can, I am working in parallel-- which is necessary-- trying to stay as long as I can while looking for work. But I do not know how to take care of my emotional safety. I don't have a thick skin, and find myself near tears much of the time. So as my dear friend Jane used to say, I am going in tomorrow wearing the emotional equivalent of kevlar underoos, and I sure hope I do better with self protection than I did during the disaster that was last week.

On much more positive notes, I am lying here with my feet on my sister who is reading aloud to her youngest (such a Treat, there is almost nothing I love more than being read to), and today marks week 26 of this amazing journey. The baby has been moving wildly between times of rest. I am feeling SO LUCKY even when folks tell me I am mammoth. I am so lucky. And mammoth. But lucky is winning even if it is not quite as noticeable from 100 yards.

And tomorrow my darlin' is home to share the evening with me.
I wish I could just revel in the good stuff, and trust me, I will try.

My next journaling workshop is starting August 13th-- please pass the word! The last one was awesome.

21 July 2010


Here I am, midweek through week 25, and I cannot quite believe it.
I am starting to catch myself thinking "baby" more and more often, and imagining what may come next. I get in my car with my tiny little bag and my keys, and imagine, soon, I will have a baby and baby bag, baby carrier, breast pads, maxi pads, STUFF....

I travel light (no, not my own personal baggage, that takes a caravan) but in my daily life, I don't carry much around with me that is visible-- a wallet, chapstick, keys, cell phone. Even anticipating this change in "stuff", this change in what I'll be carrying is an odd thing-- it is making this whole (holy crap) "baby" thing more tangible, more possible, more real...

I have this dreamy bed, I bought it when I moved into this wonderful little funky house with no furniture except a love seat-- the first thing I did was I splurged and got a really good mattress. It is the kind of thing that usually nearly moves me to tears with its perfection. I sink in, and feel totally comfortable, a truly magical, blissful bed. But now, I look at it as a necessary evil.My whole pelvic everything feels broken when I am lying down. I am better sitting, standing... The best part of the bed right now is that I sink enough so that my belly is supported without having to stick any additional pillows under it, so that's good. And apparently I've learned to sleep for several hours without moving a muscle-- I wake stiff but the stillness keeps the pelvic pain at a minimum. So, sleep is still sucking, dreams are odd and mostly filled with weirdness and sadness and work.
I miss the love affair with the bed, I really do.

Can we talk about the toe cramps? Any toe will do. Always at night. Often over and over.
And the calf cramps?

And oh the bloody horror of my gums?

All temporary, I know. I experience all of this with wonder-- experience it all as being hijacked by some other force that is taking over all my knowns and shaking me up a bit, here and there, this and that, letting me know that CHANGE IS HAPPENING.

holy shit, yes it is.

So-- one word on the workshop: bliss.

It was wonderful. Better than I could have hoped for. More rewarding, more hard work, more intense, more of a feast for the writing kate, the thinking kate, the feeling kate... how cool to feel so many of my pieces and parts working in concert.

I had to let go of expectations (not easy for me, oh, not easy at all), and compromise (ooooh another toughie)-- but it still worked out even if the path I ended up on was not the one I expected.



16 July 2010

summer storm

Tonight we had the most magical summer storm-- rolling thunder nearly full time for an hour, sudden cold breezes, rain and rain and rain. Lightning and a very dark sky--

the power went out

and then the sky turned the most magnificent tangerine color, I cannot begin to describe it in a way that would do it justice, everything was aglow-- we lay on the floor looking out through the big window in the living room and just watched as the sky changed so slowly and lightning kept cutting through.

The power just came back on and I wanted to check in-- I've been busy with work, but also preparing for the online workshop I am hosting this weekend (it started today)-- it is going really well. I wrote for 5 hours today, pure bliss, the kind of writing that spills out and feels like the real thing. So while I worked hard today and am tired, it was really rewarding.

I know that if I could choose something, I would love to make a living doing "this"-- writing.

I've been enjoying a LOT of baby movement, thumping, alien rolling under the surface, the occasional kick to the cervix. I am loving it.

My darlin' works extra in the summer, spending nights away, so for him I am a time lapse experience-- he rediscovers my big belly each time he comes home, and his face lights up. I am not sure anything is cooler than the look on his face.

Ok, must sleep-- but did not want to go too long being quiet.

11 July 2010

24 weeks, HURRAH!

24 weeks!
and a katebelly picture. My mom took this of me today - it was dang hot so I am wearing very little but a big-ole-grin. Those are not my real boobs, they are my impostor boobs. They feel fake mostly, except the ouch factor. Otherwise they are entirely unlike my usual ones.

I want to thank you all of your outrage and up-welling of support for me in the job situation. And thank you sweet new commenters as well as older friends. this does, indeed, suck rocks. And, I do have an update for you and for those of you eager for me to sue, I have some bad news: I do not have a leg to stand on. I reviewed the laws and rules today (thanks to sprogblogger) and in each one there is a loophole my boss can legitimately drive a tank through--something called business necessity. In this economy, with this difficult time financially, we are being financed by him at this moment and not our customers (we are a very very small company so this is possible)- he is personally bankrolling our pay and hoping for improvement. As such, honestly, this can be seen as an obvious business necessity-- both the pay cut and the impending job loss.

And, even if I did feel I had footing to lodge a complaint (which I don't), my friends work there.
And I have to work there until I am either asked to leave or have somewhere to go and have no desire to make things harder/more awkward between now and then. (Did I mention how small the company is? 10 of us, 2 of us with reduced hours, one remote staff member just laid off, and me, notified my job is ending in January)

So yes, it feels unfair, it feels like I've been singled out for a worldclass screwing, but .... if I step back, yes, I have been screwed, but others have been screwed too. I also see that there are no good options at the moment.

In light of my personality and my desire to make-the-best-of-it-between-freakouts, this weekend I read a career book and have spent probably 20 hours job searching, researching and networking. (Anyone out there doing management/organizational consulting for technology companies that needs a creative and intuitive person on staff who has a technical background? Drop me a line! I am very good at what I do which is translate between different kinds of engineers, management, real life workerbees, clarify goals and issues, create and propose solutions, and foster mutual understanding for organizational and individual benefit). (PS I promise I have professional work clothes too).

I have whittled a bunch of things out from my initial go-to list of assumptions and expectations-- as a result of all of this work, I realized just how much I've changed and just how much the parts of me that values connection and creativity want to come out and play. And I realized just how much I want to care about what I do. I mean really care.

So- I'm working on it.

I have an on-line writing workshop coming up next weekend over at heartwork (still time to sign up!)-- I am very excited about it! But I find I am also wrestling a bit with performance anxiety. Breathe kate, all will be well. This is not vascular surgery. This is journaling. This I know.

So tonight as I celebrate 24 weeks with the biggest exhale ever, I am sitting on my stoop, sunlight filtering sideways through the trees. My garden perked up a bit from yesterday's rain. Oh! this morning? First light caught a million tiny raindrops that were tucked up high in the trees, and all was sparkle and delight.

There is so much beauty.
Please please universe, don't let me lose touch with this.

08 July 2010


Hello folks!
I invite you to stop by my other blog, heartwork, starting tomorrow afternoon for a chance at a giveaway-- a few free passes to Beginning: the journaling e-workshop I hope to be running the weekend of the 16th. Come by and comment, and I'll be either giving the free passes to all of you (if there's 3) or three of you if there's more.

Of course, if you are already blogging, you have this journaling thing down. But.... if you're interested, please stop by.


On a baby note, we had a great ultrasound on tuesday- baby looks perfect, and, get this, the placenta has moved a little!... so, we'll look again in a month.
The doctor I saw is one of the ones I like most, a little more cautious, a little more informative, a little less kneejerk sunshine and roses. But he was really positive, not necessarily about the placenta about which he was cautious, but in general. My contractions (blessedly) have still maintained their slower pace (Baby Steps, I hope yours have too! And I hope you are finally past 24 weeks!)

I am tired though, deeply-- but that also has to do with life stuff. My boss told me this week that not only did he decide to cut my benefits (after saying he wouldn't) but also that my job will not be there for me when my "maternity leave" is over come January-- basically I'll be using up all of my accrued vacation and then... no job and no safety net. (He said I was always welcome part time but then would categorically not specify what part time meant). It was a shitty conversation. So I am scrambling, panicked, trying not to be or feel or, more importantly, act desperate.
I'm working my network slowly, starting with folks who know me best. Trying to use enthusiasm or interest as a barometer for what jobs to seek.

I'd just like to say how much I hate this confluence of emotionally charged events-- this wondrous miraculous pregnancy, and this shitty work situation. I am feeling really overwhelmed, like I'd like to be able to step aside from the job issue for now, but now I can't. I had been trying to do just that, I'd decided to deal with the 4 days and pay cut and figure it out later. But now, I have three months to get something ready for "after" (or sooner) if at all possible.

So, this week? Blessed beautiful baby news, and work shite. And tiredkate.
But tomorrow, friday, is My day. I have two appointments and much to do, but it will be at my pace.

Tonight once I got home, I sat out on the stoop and looked at the glorious garden-- I garden like this: there is a sparse area, I find a hearty perennial I like, plant it, water it once or twice, and then... it becomes part of the garden if it so chooses. The garden is surprisingly lush considering my hand's off approach, and tonight, as the sun set, big fat bumble bees were bumbling around the huge mound of catmint, and I have coneflower in bloom already (not usually until August!), and everything just looks so great. Yes, there is a sparse area that needs attention sometime, but that will have to wait. I chose to focus my attention elsewhere.

The cat has spent the evening at the front window yowling piteously for a neighbor cat that sometimes braves our big woods to come and visit.

And the windows are all open, fans are on, air is moving
and I have the taste of fresh peach in my mouth from one I thought I needed to put in the compost, and just at the last minute decided to bite in and see how bad it was--

04 July 2010

recipes for happiness

a walk early in the morning, that was so great, I turned around and did it again...
cool breezes during the walk, enough so long sleeves were in order...
a home made iced decaf soy chai latte served to self with straw...
a very smart momma who taught me early on to close a house on a hot day, pull the windows down (I have no shades or curtains), and the house will stay cooler. I did, it did. It probably saved my life today...
two paintings that came out as if they'd been waiting...one that I love...
cleaned paint brushes drying in a jar by the sink, paints still on the table, I don't think I'm done...
a day of peacefulness- no chaotic need to Do or Accomplish or Achieve...
a whole book read in a day....
a cat who wanted to snuggle in spite of the heat...and for a while lay across The Belly while the baby moved around...
two servings of the best possible gluten free peach crumble (it started its life as an attempt at pie, and, well, you know.... crumble happened)...
a cool evening, windows thrown open, fans on, all new air....
sitting on the stoop talking to my sister, who, two states away, was sitting on her deck...solace in sharing the same evening...
another walk, this one slower, but a walk...blessed movement...
a thrush singing right now in the woods as night falls...

independence day indeed.

03 July 2010


So after all that, the contractions calmed significantly after about 3 or 4 days of increasing hell. And, for whatever reason, the contractions are less frequent still-- maybe 12-14 a day (instead of 4 an hour)-- oh, they still make me feel crappy (weirdly lightheaded and vaguely queasy) but since they are so few comparatively speaking, I feel relieved. I can manage these.
They are worse in the car for some reason. When I drive (even peaceful country driving) I get them in clusters about 15 minutes apart or less. Must be the position? Not sure.

All in all I am feeling ok-- very tired since sleep is interrupted by peeing and the pelvic pain (good lord, pelvic symphasis horror show).

My belly is big and getting bigger daily, and I finally caved in and got new bras-- much much bigger than my usual. So I look like a complete stranger from neck to crotch. Seriously. A totally different body.

I am still enjoying wiggles and bumps and can see them more and more often.
And I am still amazed each and every day that this is Me and I am Pregnant.
It feels impossible.

It is also impossible for me to forget my target of July 11th, which is my 24 week day---- I have my eye on that date with such intensity I am sure this next week will crawl by. I just want to get to viability please (I say, knowing that it is not ALL I want, just what I want next).

So tomorrow is week 23.
tuesday is my monthly OB appointment with bonus placenta check via ultrasound.
I've gained 10 lbs or so according to my scale. I am sure they will say it is more.
and today I had to take off my brandy new wedding ring since my hands were swollen from a combination of the little one and the heat.

Ok-- honest kate time:
I feel a little dislocated. I imagined at this point I would be sitting and rubbing my belly and just blissing out. Instead, the previa, the contractions, all of my inherent and acquired neuroses, they all conspire to have me just a bit on edge, a bit disbelieving. I sit and try to think of what to add to our registry and I worry I may be acting too soon, assuming too much. Gosh darn.

And even when-- even when I have wiggles and bumps, I feel a little weirdly distant sort of stillness, a watchfulness.
I know some of this is from the heat.
Some is from the acute and now ongoing stress of the work situation and my intermittent success in managing my tenderness and reactivity.
Some is from truly feeling astonished that this pregnancy actually happened, that this pregnancy is actually happening.
Some is from my worry about the previa (most initial bleeds are significant and median date for such a bleed is week 32).
And my worry about this not working out. That it was all a pipe dream. That somehow disaster will strike.
I think about names and then think about what it will mean to carry this little one strapped to my belly, and in the next breath, panic that something Bad will happen.

It is really hard to write about this.
I want to be all sunshine and roses.
All optimism, the hard part is over! Stats are in our favor! Tra la!
But I can't help but be afraid. Not paralysis-afraid, just afraid enough to keep me unsettled.

I wanted to write a funny post about the things I had not expected about expecting-- and perhaps I will another time. I am not reading pregnancy books at all. Just the Your Baby at .... Weeks since I love knowing that this little one is now over a pound! and would require two of my hands to hold. So my list is probably known to all of you pregnant ladies out there. But for me? Boatloads of surprises.

For now, wishing you all a very safe holiday weekend.
Our lightning bugs vanished after those few days with just one.... I am hopeful they'll return.