Grateful.

It’s funny, the more I write lately the more I feel I’m keeping this blog alive (albeit barely, with my ever-more-sporadic posting schedule) mostly as a journal for myself. I’m too lazy to keep a real journal, and I’m on my computer all the time anyways, and some things I just want to remember. 

So my apologies for the ever-more self-indulgent and overly thoughtful posts…

Today I am feeling overwhelmed by gratitude. And it is a feeling I’d like to remember and be able to reflect upon, because I think that in the coming months the doubt and fear and anger might creep back in and I’ll need a reminder that everything will be (and really, already is) okay. 

The gist of it is, I lost my job. Out of the clear blue sky. I’ve worked for that job for 5.5 years, ever since I graduated from law school. I had plans in place. I had 3 months paid maternity leave set up, then I was supposed to work from home with the baby for 4 more weeks, and then it was agreed that we’d put her in daycare 3 days/week and I’d work from home with her the other two. I haven’t always loved (or even liked) my job, but I thought this year was truly going to make it worth it. Generous maternity leave and being able to keep my daughter home with me two days per week… I had it all worked out and I had worked SO hard to get my ducks in a row before I started maternity leave so that once the baby arrived, I could have three months TRULY off of work. Three months to just forget about my job, or anything related to it, and just focus all my energy on my baby girl. I was so excited. 

Then Friday night, at 7:30pm just as we were finishing dinner– I got a call. I was on the phone less than 10 minutes but everything changed. The details aren’t important but the bottom line is that quite suddenly the head of the firm will no longer be practicing law, and thus I am out of a job. Just like that. 

There was shock. And tears (after I got off the phone, I’m not really one to cry to my boss). And unfortunately no baby— at 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I was sort of hoping that the stress of it all would put me into labor, but no such luck. And anger. A lot of anger, over the next 24 hours. Because… really? All I want to do is forget about work and focus on my baby girl, and now I’m suddenly unemployed and need to dive head first into a job search. A rather urgent one, as I have no idea how long finding a job may take and it isn’t like I have a steady income to tide us over until I find something. 

Because I’m a do-er (in that, action is my therapy and doing things makes me feel like I have control over uncontrollable situations), and also because I’m an over-sharer (hence, blog), I went into action immediately. I texted a few of my good friends to let them know what was going on. I put a post up on Facebook basically stating that I was unexpectedly on the job hunt and would love any leads people might have. I emailed our financial planner and accountant to let them know what was going on and get advice for our best moves right this minute to put us in the best financial position for my undetermined period of unemployment. 

And then an unexpected thing happened, although I don’t know why it was unexpected really as I should have already known how lucky I am. People started calling me. And texting me. And facebooking me. And emailing me. The support I’ve received is overwhelming. Just people letting me know that they’re upset for me and thinking of me has meant so much. And then all the people who have told me they’re looking out for me, they’ve already emailed people asking after job opportunities, they have ideas for possible employment, they have my back. I’m not a person who feels like I have a ton of friends, owing largely to the fact that I’m a homebody and don’t make an effort to see people all that much, but I realized that the community of people I have is both larger and stronger than I really ever realized. And I’m so lucky that so many people care, and want to help me find new opportunities. 

Not to mention my wonderful husband. I have to admit that if he lost his job I would freak out a bit. I would try to be strong for him but I honestly think I’d fail. He’s succeeded. He’s shown nothing but faith that this will all be okay. He’s been the strong one so that I can be the one who got to freak out. He’s reminded me that we’ll really be fine (even if it takes a while for me to find work) and also that the only thing that REALLY matters is that we get to meet our kid this week. 

So yes, the timing sucks. And I’m sad that I won’t get to spend the first few months of our daughter’s life focused entirely on her. But I’m also feeling that this situation has shown me just how lucky we really are. To be in the position we are that a job loss sucks but doesn’t mean we won’t be able to pay the mortgage next month. And that we have so many people who love and support us and want to help. You never want to need a safety net, but when you do need it, you’re so very grateful it is there and strong. So today I am choosing gratefulness. And I will try to remember that, and maybe reread this post, on the days when sadness or anger threaten to overwhelm. 

My thoughts on pregnancy…

It’s about to get mushy up in here… you’ve been warned.

This is completely self-indulgent post of things I don’t want to forget about my pregnancy thus far… (although considering that I’m currently 3 days past my due date, hopefully I don’t have enough time to have many more thoughts on the subject…)

1. The first trimester really was the worst. I felt the worst (physically, mentally, and emotionally) and it sucked even more because no one even really knows you’re pregnant so you can’t really complain about it. Plus it feels like you have FOREVER to go (and you do) so you don’t want to be too whiny that early lest you make everyone who does know hate you. Particularly yourself (because it is totally possible to sort of hate yourself and feel sorry for yourself all at the same time).

2. The second trimester is sort of just-okay. Everyone says it is the best, and I do agree that I felt physically the best during this time. I was over 1st trimester sickness and not yet uncomfortable from big-ness. It is fun to make announcements and find out the gender and start talking names and nurseries. But for me at least, it still felt like things were a bit uncertain (because I wasn’t feeling a ton of regular movement) and it felt like I still had forever to go… so mentally/emotionally it was still a little difficult. Plus I was really nervous about being physically miserable in the 3rd trimester and that “unknown” made it hard to enjoy.

3. The third trimester has been my favorite. Yes, I’m a bit more uncomfortable now than I was before– but honestly it is not that bad. Especially because I’m huge and obviously pregnant so no one expects too much of me. And (knock on wood) at 40.3 I’m still sleeping just fine, thank God. Plus the third trimester is sort of awesome because I got to have my baby showers and celebrate with everyone, actually work on the nursery and finalize a name, and most importantly I started to really believe I am actually having this kid. AND SOON. Plus I can feel her moving all the time now. Which is occasionally uncomfortable but mostly I love it. She feels like a real person, and like my little (maybe slightly parasitic at the moment) sidekick. This whole trimester has sort of felt like a whirlwind of preparation and celebration and excitement. (And I hope if I do this pregnancy thing again I remember this so I don’t spend so much of the 2nd trimester worried about hating life in the 3rd trimester).

4. Maternity clothes are awesome. Something about the combination of not having to suck my stomach in, combined with the fact that I have a limited number of options that all fit will makes getting dressed so easy. Plus I don’t feel bad for wearing the same 8 things over and over again because that’s just being frugal and no one expects you to have a full wardrobe when pregnant.

5. Being able to feel the baby through my stomach is the coolest thing ever. I love that at this point we can feel and identify her butt and her head and her back. And her little feet when she decides to stick them out. If she’s spazzing out flipping around I can sort of put firm pressure on her and calm her down a little usually. If she’s been sleeping for a while and I want to check in I can rub her butt and she moves and it amazes me that I am actually interacting with her. Also, the other day she was sleeping and Stew barked suddenly right next to me and she startled/kicked me. She’s interacting with our DOG. In utero. So freaking cool.

6. The last 3 days have been the longest days of my life maybe…. except for the first week I was pregnant when I was so worried about miscarrying. Even though my whole pregnancy I have said that I’m mentally prepared to go to 42 weeks because both B and I were super late…. apparently that was not true. I’m SO lucky I still feel pretty good physically, but mentally it is hard to go past your due date. Even though I’m *barely* past my due date, you immediately start to worry that you’ll NEVER go into labor. And it is the policy at my hospital to set an induction date as soon as you hit your due date– which means that by choice or eviction, baby will be here by May 17 (I’ll be induced overnight May 16 if she has not yet arrived). And having that date hanging out there, looming, makes every day you DON’T go into labor feel like for-ev-er.

7. Even though I feel like I’ve been pregnant now forever… and even though it’s not really been my favorite thing (while I’m lucky that I’ve had an “easy” pregnancy– it has still been not super fun and seemingly endless…)… it does end. I made it to 40 weeks. My baby will be here in less than 10 days. And all the discomfort and hormones and giving stuff up seems like nothing now that I know she’ll be here soon. In my first trimester I couldn’t imagine why anyone would willingly be pregnant more than once. Now I know I’d do it 10 more times if I had to, to meet our daughter. ❤

8. (That being said, I am incredibly excited to be done being pregnant and have the following back on the menu: wine, margaritas, frozen yogurt, cold cut sandwiches, dippy eggs, and raw milk cheese…….)