Thursday, March 27, 2008

Matleave Ponderings #2

About 2 weeks ago, I asked my manager to look into my company policy to see if I could pull off my hair-brained matleave plan. Today he came back to me essentially saying that HR told him flat out that this matleave thing is an all-or-nothing deal. Bollocks, I say! Why would my employer be opposed to having me work part-time throughout my matleave? Sheesh. At any rate, the battle is not yet over. He said he'd speak to a Higher Power about my situation, so we'll see how that pans out. Stay tuned!

PK at 21 Weeks

Today I had yet another ultrasound - yup, 2 days in a row of seeing PK squirming in my uterus. This time it was one that I had scheduled 2 weeks ago so that they could measure PK's spine. As you may recall from last time, PK was not too favorably-positioned, so the sonographer wasn't able to meansure her spine. This time, however, the sonographer was able to get her measurements, so hopefully that means I don't have to do another one of these for a while. While I do enjoy seeing PK on the monitor, the whole water-drinking thing is rather taxing. At least this time around, the sonographer didn't patronize me, and was actually quite friendly. On top of that, I got her to give me 2 pictures of PK. So without further ado, here's PK at 21 weeks! If you look closely, you might just see her wee little mouth open. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Scary Moments

What started out as an ordinary day turned into a few terrifying hours this morning. Although there's a subway station about 7 minutes from where I live, I typically like to get a 20-minute walk in each morning before hopping on the subway, so I always catch the subway a little further down the subway line. I carry a lot of crap to work, so on a typical day, I sport a gigantic hiking pack. I like it because it's top-loading, I can pack all sorts of stuff into it, and it's really comfortable to carry around, even when it's really packed. I bought it so that I could carry my lunch, change of shoes, water bottle, and whatever else I needed in there. Today was a Yoga day, so I had my change of clothes in there, and my Yoga mat.Today, the plan was no different. Unfortunately, that was not in the cards for me.

This morning, the sidewalks were pretty icy. Normally I'm pretty careful about walking on icy patches, especially now that I've got a little bunkmate. Unfortunately that didn't keep me from taking a fall today. I think it was a combination of my being distracted, along with the fact that the sidewalk looked more wet than it did icy which caught me off guard. One minute, I was walking along listening to my CBC News podcast from last night, and the next, I found myself sitting on the ground. The only saving grace about this whole thing was that I had my giant backpack on, and that cushioned my fall. After cursing under my breath, I got up, and was ready to keep walking per my usual route, but then I changed my mind. I fell right in front of the subway station near my house, so I decided to subway all the way to work.

As I made my way to the subway, I started freaking out. What had I done? I was being a horrible guardian for little PK, who must have been all shaken up and disoriented in there. I started becoming increasingly nervous as I passed a magazine stand saw all of the magazine covers with pregnant celebrities or celebrities who had just given birth. What if something had happened to PK? I don't think I could ever forgive myself for that one. I felt my face turn to stone. I rode the subway like a zombie. I wanted to cry. I wanted the hubby to be there with me. I wanted my mom to tell me that everything would be okay. PK must have sensed my worry, because she started kicking while I sat there on the subway. It was a bit re-assuring, at least, but I was still worried.

I made it into work, in a half-daze. The first thing I did was call my doctor's office to see what I should do. The receptionist said that unless I was feeling cramping or bleeding, that there was no reason to go to the ER. Easy for her to say. She wasn't the one who fell. Feeling uneasy about the "advice" from the doctor's office, I waited for the hubby to call me once he got to work. It seemed like it was taking forever. Why didn't he call? I decided to check to see if there was any bleeding or spotting. None. That was a good sign. No cramps, but I was feeling a sharp pain on the bottom left of my pregnant belly. Panic. Then the hubby called, and I broke down. I was scared. I wanted to know that everything was okay. He suggested that I go to the ER anyway, and that he'd meet me there. Poor guy - drove all the way to Mississauga, only to have to drive back down, still in rush-hour traffic.

When I got to the hospital, the adventure began. First, I couldn't find the ER and had to ask for directions. Then I found the ER, and was frightened when I saw someone sitting there on a stretcher. I scanned the room - relatively empty. Whew. I spoke to a doctor in triage (the triage nurse was busy), and he told me that I'd be better off going to the pre-natal triage upstairs, as they would have better equipment to deal with me. He took me to the staff elevators, and up I went. I got to the 7th floor and was disoriented. Where was this triage place again? Ah, found it. I went in, and talked to the triage nurse there, who proceeded to tell me that I needed to go back downstairs to admissions.

I went back down, in the meantime sending the hubby a text message to tell him where he could find me once he got here. I overshot my floor and ended up in the basement of the hospital. Crap. Back up to the main floor. After walking around a bit disoriented, I found admissions. They did my paperwork, and back up to the 7th floor I went. As I went to catch the elevator, I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be the hubby. It was. Good thing I ran into him, because that way he'd know where to go.

Back to pre-natal triage on the 7th floor. Now with the proper paperwork, the nurse took me to a room, where I told her a bit more about my fall, she hooked up a monitor to my belly, and took my blood pressure. Then we waited. And waited. And waited.

Finally, a med student walked in to take my history. He was really nice and his bedside manner was quite good. I described the fall to him. We talked about the pregnancy and how it had been moving along normally. He asked about bowel movements (how lovely), and did an abdominal exam. He poked around, and felt where PK was hanging out, and where last night's dinner had ended up. When he told me about the location of last night's dinner, I started cracking up. Not something I would've expected to hear a med student tell me in this situation. After the exam, he said he'd talk to the senior resident and staff obstetrician, and would get back to me. More waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

Finally the senior resident rolled in with the med student in tow, and with a little portable ultrasound machine. It looked a bit like a laptop. The ultrasound machine wasn't one of those fancy ones that I normally see when I go for my regular ultrasounds. I think this was used more for eyeballing things to make sure that everything was okay. She did a pretty thorough check, pointing out lips, toes, the cerebellum, the spine, the heart, kidneys, etc. I must've been at a weird angle, because everything looked like a friggin' blob to me. The hubby said he had a pretty good view and could see everything that the resident was pointing out. I'm glad one of us could! The resident was also able to confirm that PK is in fact a girl. She said that she definitely saw a labia, so now I feel less reluctant about calling PK a she. :)

At the end of the ultrasound, the resident decided to let me go home. Normally, if a pregnant woman falls, they tend to keep her around for 4 hours, monitoring for contractions and the like, but she seemd pretty confident (especially after consulting with the staff doctor) that everything was okay. So now, here I am, back at work. PK hasn't been quite as frisky as she was this morning, but I guess that was a fair bit of excitement. Still I do feel her moving every so often as I write out this blog post. I'm just glad that I went to the hospital, just to be on the safe side. And I'm grateful that the hubby was there by my side throughout the entire ordeal. It sure made things better. Knock on wood that I don't have any more scares like this one. I'll definitely be extra-extra-vigilant now when I walk outside.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Family Expansion

I just found out this weekend that my sister-in-law is expecting her second child. She already has a little girl who will be turning 3 shortly after PK is born. Now with her new baby on the way, PK will have a cousin only a few months younger. Her second child is due in mid-November. It's a pretty exciting time, and I'm sure that Christmas at the in-laws' will be very very busy!

Kickity Kickity

As I mentioned in last week's post, PK has recently started kicking! It has been a really cool experience, so I've decided to dedicate an entire post to this. Ever since the first trimester ickiness went away, I felt like I've been in a bit of a holding pattern, since, apart from the ultrasounds and my growing belly, I haven't really had any other signs of life from my little lodger down there. I found this really disconcerting, because I had to wait at least 3 weeks between ultrasounds to make sure that PK was okay. What if something was wrong? There was no way for me to know. No kicks to count. No nausea or vomiting or fatigue. So how did I know? Then the kicking started. As I'd mentioned before, it was a little difficult at first to differentiate between kicks and gas. I think I've gotten to the point where I can finally make this distinction.

The kicks are a really odd sensation. They almost feel like someone sitting in a balloon and punching it from the inside. At least that's how I'd envision it if I were trapped in a balloon. :P One thing I've discovered is that PK has a bit of a kicking schedule. She usually goes into a kicking frenzy in the morning, usually when I get to work. She also kicks a bit at lunchtime and a bit at dinnertime (I guess she likes it when I eat). Most of the action seems to happen at night though, at 9 or 10pm. Up until recently, PK has been kicking around my lower abdomen, and usually in the same general area. This has been great because the hubby has been able to feel some of the kicks. He really seems to enjoy that. Sometimes we just sit around on the couch with his hand on my tummy when PK is most active, and just enjoy the baby's kicks. It's a really neat experience.

I also enjoy the kicking when I'm at work. It's like I have company while I'm working, so it gets a little less lonely. Sure, I like to MSN when I'm at work, but it's a different sort of company. It's Take Your Kids to Work Day, at a whole new level.

Of course, it wouldn't be me if I didn't say that this kicking thing brings along with it a whole new set of worries. I think I spent most of last Saturday a bit on edge, because I couldn't feel much PK kicking during the day, not even in the morning when she tends to be frisky. That of course freaked me out. It freaked me out even moreso because I had big-time gas, and was annoyed that the gas bubbles bursting in my abdomen were keeping me from detecting the baby kicks, or had me thinking that they were baby kicks. Then I started thinking, "What if PK didn't kick enough times today? I don't have my doctor's after-hours number. I haven't been referred to the downtown hospital yet. Why won't he refer me downtown? Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!" I calmed myself down a bit as I felt what seemed to be PK kicks, but couldn't be sure because they weren't repeatable (usually they are).

All of this tension in my mind was somewhat relieved when the gas cleared at night (after an entire day of this nuisance). I also decided to do a nighttime workout (10pm), and PK seemed to enjoy that, because right after I was done, I got a real flurry of kicks. Whew! I know...I just can't enjoy a good thing, right?

Today PK is kicking at my cervix, which feels really odd - kind of like a reverse Kegel. It's neat to take note of how she moves around down there. Of course, for all I know, it's not a kick, and is in actual fact a punch or some combination thereof. Perhaps I have a little boxer on the way? Or maybe they are predominantly kicks, and I've got a future soccer player. It would sure make the motherland proud!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Week 19

This week has been pretty eventful. It started with us finding out PK's gender. It's a huge relief to know, but we seriously need to get back to the drawing board as far as coming up with good girl names. That and the fact that I'm not entirely convinced that PK is a girl. Maybe it's a gut feeling. Or maybe I'm just being myself - never fully convinced until I see the hard evidence: the actual baby out of the womb. Or maybe it's from hearing enough stories from people who were expecting one gender, only to be surprised by the opposite when the baby pops out. At any rate, I still have a hard time referring to PK as a "she". The hubby does it all the time now. It's really cute to watch. I guess I'm just being a bit more cautious. Mind you, deep down inside, I'm hoping that I'm wrong, because I really really want the white and pastel green bedroom set that we saw at Li'l Niblets a couple of weeks ago. :D

Apart from finding out PK's gender, I think I'm finally starting to feel some concrete baby movement. Mind you, some of it still feels like gas, but I'm pretty sure that it's actually PK kicking away. A few weeks ago, in my aqua-aerobics class, when we were talking about the best and worst of pregnancy, some of the girls in my class were talking about feeling the baby kick for the first time. Two things stuck out in my mind from that. First, they said that the baby often kept them awake because of the kicking. Secondly, a lot of them described the sensation as "weird but cool". I was really puzzled by the latter comment upon first hearing it, but now I know what they mean. It IS "weird but cool"! I guess I'd best describe it as someone sitting inside a balloon and trying to push outward. The sensation itself feels like a series of blips. Or maybe "blips" isn't the right word, because it would imply that the movements are slight, which they're not. They're quite pronounced. What surprised me the most though, is that PK likes to kick more than once in the same spot. I don't know why that surprises me, but I guess in my mind, I just expected PK to be all over the place!

This week was also my week to do some maternity clothes shopping. Yes, finally caved and decided to buy some stuff that actually fits me. Mind you, I can still pull off quite a few of my old shirts and tanktops. And for the time being, the pants + Bella Band combination is working out beautifully. That being said, my shirt options are dwindling more and more each day, either because I've got too much girth around my belly thereby causing the shirt to ride up quite a bit, or because my new mega-boobs have made it quite difficult to fit into my narrower tops. Hence, the trip to the maternity store. I'd gone into the store intending on buying maybe one or two long-sleeve tops. I wound up coming out with three long-sleeve tops and 2 tanktops. My store of choice was Rhonda Maternity in Yorkville. You'd think that shopping in a boutique in Yorkville would cause me to break the bank, but it didn't. First off, I don't believe in paying a fortune for clothes (don't get me started on my Gucci or Louis Vuitton rant). Secondly, Yorkville is full of rich snobs who think they're better than everyone. Case in point, a husband and wife were at the maternity store that day, and the husband sounded like he felt he was the maternity fashion guru. I've never seen a guy so much into clothes for his wife. Weird... That being said, the prices at this store are relatively reasonable (probably around the same as what you'd pay for at Club Monaco), and their styles are just gorgeous! I'll definitely come back there for summer clothes, especially since I have a wedding to attend in May. Of course, I'll probably end up buying the bulk of my maternity clothes at Thyme Maternity so that I still have money left over to buy that cool baby furniture!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Drum Roll Please - And the Gender Is...

Today I went for my 19-week ultrasound (week 19 started today). As per usual, I was lectured for not drinking enough water. I just mumbled and said that I puked out my water this morning and that's why my bladder wasn't full. It was a partial truth, because, just as we were heading out the door this morning, I did get the urge to puke. Since my stomach was pretty much empty, however, there really wasn't much to hurl out.

At any rate, my lack of water consumption didn't stop the technician from seeing the baby properly, so I don't know what all the fuss is about. Well, okay - the technician DID say that drinking water allows her measure the distance from the cervix to the placenta. This logic still leaves me confused because she did a transvaginal ultrasound, and the whole purpose of doing that one was to make sure that everything was cool in cervix-land. But whatever. I have to come back in 2 weeks because she wasn't able to measure the spine properly. We could actually see it on the monitor, but I guess PK was lying with its front to us, so I'm guessing that it didn't yield the best results for measuring whatever it was she had to measure.

Other than those two little blips, the overall experience was pretty cool. First off, PK is quite bigger now, and it's moving A LOT! It was squirming so much that the technician had a hard time getting good still shots of the limbs. Although I couldn't see it myself, she was able to identify 5 fingers on each hand (not sure if she counted toes, but hopefully she did!) and nostrils! The heart was definitely more visible this time. The little gray blip that I saw in early December has sure come a long way! I think I could actually see chambers! The other cool thing (as I'd mentioned before) was the spine. You could totally make it out properly.

Of course, THE highlight of the whole thing is that the technician was able to tell me the sex of the baby. Mind you, as far as these things go, it's all based on whether or not you can see male bits 'n pieces, so there's always a chance of it being wrong. Still, I wanted to know! If I haven't already told you in person (or via my Facebook or MSN status), maybe the suspense is killing you. :P

Okay, so here goes...PK is a girl! That was a BIG shock to me, because I was CONVINCED that PK was a boy. Either one would've worked for me. Though I have to admit that girl baby clothes and furniture is waaaaaaaaaaay cuter than the boy stuff. That being said, boys have WAY cooler toys than girls do. Not that this gender stigma will prevent me from buying Transformers for PK. Tee hee... Of course, the only snag is that we had the perfect boy name picked out, but were a bit on the fence on the girl names. Time to re-evaluate. Those baby naming sites, while plentiful, sure are a lot to digest. I'll leave that discussion for another place and time.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Righting a Wrong

I am happy to report that I finally have a conclusion to the DBA story. Last week, I finally got up the nerve to set things straight with the DBA. I have to admit that I was dreading this particular encounter. So much so that I procrastinated and procrastinated. I think I waited almost 2 weeks before getting up the nerve to tell her.

Last Wednesday, I finally sucked it up and marched over to the DBA's desk and set the record straight. I started off by apologizing, saying that when she'd asked me if I was expecting and I said no, that I am in fact expecting, and that the reason I'd said no to her before is that I hadn't told my manager yet. So now that the news was officially out I was able to tell her.

She was actually really good about the whole thing - very understanding. Who knows, she might've had a voodoo doll of me stashed under my desk for after I left, but on the surface, she certainly took it well. We chit-chatted a bit about pregnancy, and that was that. Mission accomplished, and a bit weight lifted off of my chest! Whew!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Pre-Natal Class Adventures

Last week I had had my 2nd week of pre-natal classes - Yoga and aqua-aerobics. As I've mentioned before, I'm really enjoying my time in these classes, especially since the first 30 minutes are devoted to pregnancy-related topics. That being said, I do feel like a bit of an outsider. To be honest, I've always felt like an outsider around other women. I could always relate better to guys than to girls. Guys are very WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). Girls aren't. There are mind-games. There are subliminal messages. There's competition. There's sizing up. I don't give a snoot about makeup. I could care less about the crap you read on Cosmo. I think sachets are dumb and useless, and I think that getting smelly soaps from The Body Shop has got to be one of the most useless and annoying gifts EVER.

Having spent 4 years in engineering school followed by almost 7 years of work in IT, I've hung around my fair share of guys. I'm used to it. Most of my close friends are guys. I can talk about computers, and I can be totally silly around them and crack dirty jokes without the disapproving look that most girls would give me. Now, being pregnant, I seek refuge with those of the same sex, since, after all, guys have NO IDEA what I'm going through.

So anyway, back to the main topic.

Monday's topic in my Yoga class was breast-feeding. The instructor had us go around the room, saying how far along we were, and how long we wanted to breastfeed. Everyone around me said that they wanted to breastfeed for as long as possible (which actually translated to 1-2 years). Then it was my turn, and I said, "for as little as possible" - i.e. between 1 and 4 months. Dead silence. Clearly I'd committed some crime in preggers-land. To each his own, is what I say. My personal preference is to not have a kid with teeth and who can walk on its own sucking on my boob, thank-you very much. I know some mothers breast-feed for that long, but it's just my personal preference. Who knows...I may change my mind and do it for as long as 6 months, but that's as far as I'll go.

I definitely appreciate the importance of breast-feeding, and certainly the importance of breast milk. That's why even when I stop breats-feeding, I'll probably still feed PK some breast milk for a little while longer. The session was definitely very enlightening, and I learned a lot (probably more than I ever wanted to know but still had to know). For example, milk ducts can clog, and the best way to unclog them is to have the baby suck on your boob (disturbing, I know). Boobs can get hard if there's too much milk in them, so the best way to relieve the pressure is to just manually squirt some out. There's the right and wrong way for a baby to latch onto your boob. Breast milk digests more quickly than formula, and is therefore better to give to a kid over formula in the early days, in order to prevent SIDS. Kids get confused by boob nipples and bottle nipples, so you have to ease them into things. So ...much...information...brain...exploding...

Thursday's aqua-aerobics class was equally-enlightening. We were asked to go around the room and say how far along we were, and list some of our good and bad experiences with pregnancy. When it came around to me, I started going on about how I was nauseous for 3 months. Then when that was all over and I finally got my energy back, I got 3 colds in a row, in the span of 1.5 months. Then I went on to say that the weight gain was a real shock to me, and that I found it really disturbing at first. Finally, I ended off with, "But I guess it's all getting better now, so I guess that's a good thing..." Awkward silence. I'm sure that if anyone was in both the Yoga and swimming classes this week, they'd start referring to me as "crazy anti-breast-feeding pregnancy-hater girl". Hey, I tell it like it is.

I will re-iterate, however, that PK is very much a wanted child. I just happen to be a creature of comfort. What can I say? I like the status-quo. This whole pregnancy thing is totally new to me and it has its ups and downs. In hindsight re: the swimming class though, I should've said that the best thing about being pregnant was PK itself. It's true. I might have a funny way of showing it, but I am glad that PK is on its way.


I've gotten enough of the same PK questions that it warrants an FAQ. So here I go...

1. Why do you refer to your baby as PK?
When the hubby and I first got married, we were completely adverse to having kids. As the years went on, our aversion faded, especially with the birth of our niece. We began talking about when we'd someday have a kid. It became a bit cumbersome to say, "If we have a kid someday", so we started talking about the Potential Kid, or PK. That made family planning conversations a bit easier, for example, "If PK comes along..." :)

Nowadays, friends and family keep asking us why we still refer to it as PK instead of AK (actual kid). Sorry, we're not changing it. Sure, it makes no logical sense - I'll give them that. We've always referred to it as PK, so it would just be weird to refer to it as anything else. That is, until PK is born. I think our kid will already have a bit of a complex knowing that PK sounds like an insult/swear in Cantonese. I wouldn't want the kid further having a complex because we call it PK after birth. Never fear. we'll be sure to refer to PK by its actual name when the time comes. So no, we're not changing it from PK to AK or KOW (kid on the way) or whatever other witty acronym you can think of. That's not the way it works. :)

2. When are you due?
I'm due early August, though my mom is convinced that PK will pop out on July 31st. She has a 6th sense, so who knows - she may be right on this one.

3. Was it planned?
If you knew me in high school or even university or shortly after getting married, you'd know that I never wanted kids, and neither did the hubby. But it all changed after the hubby's sister had a daughter. The idea of a kid grew on us, and after almost 5 years of marriage, we decided to take the plunge into parenthood. Basically, if you are a close friend and you asked that question, I'd totally get it. I think we shocked many friends when we told them that I was pregnant, and rightfully so.

Now, if you're a perfect stranger and you ask me this question, I find it both weird and rude. What business is it of yours if my pregnancy is planned? And for the record, in case it wasn't clear the first time, it most certainly was planned.

4. Are you going to find out the sex?
I know this is a common question, but it really really annoys me for some reason. Maybe because I've gotten it SO MANY TIMES! To answer the question, yes, we are going to find out the sex. It's really annoying to try to buy baby clothes without knowing the sex. There's only so far that green, yellow, and off-white will go. Besides, most of the really cute stuff has boy or girl prints on it. We will find out the sex on March 13th. Hopefully I'll get a new photo from the ultrasound to post on this site.

5. So you're taking a year off, right?
For more details on that one, check out my maternity leave post. In a nutshell, I'm not taking a full year off, and if I hear one more person with their opinion on why this is a bad idea, I will scream.

6. You drive a Civic. Surely you're buying a new car?
I never understood why having one kid justifies the purchase of a minivan or an SUV. Are you carrying the kid's entire bedroom with you? Sheesh. It's not like you're taking a bloody roadtrip with the kid every time you go out. If we were to take PK on a roadtrip, we would rent a minivan in that case. But for day-to-day city living, I hardly see how we could possibly justify a gas-guzzling monster car. The most we'd do would be to get a Volvo station wagon, as long as a) it didn't look tacky and b) didn't guzzle too much gas. I've had friends try to convince me to buy a crossover SUV. I love how car manufacturers are now prefixing SUV with "crossover" to dupe the gullible masses into thinking that somehow a crossover is better. Total horse pucky. Save the Earth and stop buying bigger cars than you need!

Okay, so I'm just a tad annoyed by a few things. I am pregnant and hormonal after all...I'm allowed. :)

Week 18

I finally have my weeks straight, so it's time to get back to reporting on PK's weekly progress. I've definitely noticed some more weight gain this week, especially on my abdomen. If it looked like I wasn't showing before, it's certainly more apparent now. Even with my Bella Band on, it won't be too long until I'll have to switch over to maternity pants. I can barely get any of my pants to zip up just a tad. Shirts are becoming a bit more difficult to wear as well. Some of my shirts have some give to them, which is good. That way I can avoid buying those pesky maternity clothes for a little while longer. Other shirts just annoy me. I can't wear many of my dress shirts. And those that I can wear barely fit me. I feel seriously constricted. In some cases, if I wear a sweater-vest over top, I can undo some of the buttons along the middle where it's tightest. One thing that has been nice is that for the time being, I haven't had to buy a maternity bra. I'm sure that'll change soon enough.

At this point I'm supposed to feel some sort of movement from PK. From what I've read/heard, it's initially supposed to feel like gas. As time goes on (probably at 20 or 21 weeks), I should be able to feel some more definitive movement. As some girls from my pre-natal classes have described it, the movement is both cool and creepy at the same time. I've definitely felt some rumblings of late, but I can't tell if it's just gas. It always feels like a bloody cauldron down there, bubbling away, so it's hard to tell what's what anymore.

I've also read that PK should be able to hear things somewhat. I often wonder what things must sound like from in there. Quite muddled, I'm sure! It must be quite shocking when I'm at band practice, playing my Eb clarinet. This term, I've got more Eb pieces (yay!), which means playing at an insanely high register. It's so loud that my ears are ringing at the end of our rehearsals. I can only imagine what it sounds like for PK.

I guess at this point I should be also talking to PK. The truth of the matter is, I just feel plain silly talking to my lower-abdomen - especially if I can't feel PK kicking at this point. The hubby is really getting into things though. He talks to PK every morning before heading off the work, and every evening when he gets back from work. It's actually really cute. Sometimes he'll have conversations with PK where it "answers" back in my husband's falsetto PK voice. It totally cracks me up. If PK ever reads this blog later on in life, he/she will think that mom and dad are freaks. Maybe we are, but that just makes life more interesting. :P

Next week, we find out PK's sex. Of course, part of me is wondering if we'll be told one sex, but then it turns out to be wrong. Imagine being told that PK is a girl, only to find out that it's a boy when PK is born. What to do with all of the pink clothes??? I think that sometimes (okay, most of the time) I get on the hubby's nerves because I'm just not a glass half-full kind of person. With me, it's always "what if..."

I guess it hasn't been a terribly eventful week, but things are certainly moving along. Stay tuned to find out PK's sex next Thursday!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Matleave Ponderings #1

As I've mentioned in the previous post, I was all ready to take my 1-year off for matleave. After my job situation changed and the work became more interesting (and tolerable!), I started to re-think the whole thing.

Over the last few weeks, I've talked to a few people about my plans. Some of the people I talked to had kids. Others were single and just had an opinion based on what they'd do in that situation. Everyone has an opinion, and to my surprise, 99% of the people with whom I spoke disagreed with my revised matleave plans. Even my boss, when I told him about my high-level matleave plans, questioned why I wouldn't take the full year off.

In fact, most people seem to be pretty appalled. I get a lot of the "You only get to do this once". That makes no sense, because if you end up with a ton of kids (a ton is >1 in my world :P), you obviously do it more than once. I also get a lot of, "There's plenty of time for work." and "Work will be there when you get back." and "You'll change your mind later." All well and good, but I would like to point out that everyone is different. We all have different opinions and different situations. What works for one family doesn't work for another. My decision is both hard and stressful enough without having everyone and their brother give me their opinion on what I should do, and thinking that their opinion is the definitive way of going about it.

All I ask for is a little bit of support and faith. I am not going to be cuel to PK. I will not abandon it. Working part-time for part of the year isn't abandonment, especially with both sets of grandparents living within a 30-minute drive from us. Having work ambitions isn't criminal. When I enjoy my work, I take great pride in it. I want to do as well as I can. I work hard, but I don't pull insane hours. If I wanted to do that, I would've stayed in consulting and might have never gotten married, let alone be having a child. I'm a big fan of work-life balance, and I think that PK will bring even more balance to this crazy life of ours.

So smile, and be happy for me, knowing that PK will be loved and will be well-taken care of. :)

Telling the Boss - Attempt #2

Given that my last attempt to tell the boss about my pregnancy was a dud, it was time to try again. Fortunately, he was in the office on the Friday of that week (2008.02.22).

We have a regularly-scheduled one-on-one meeting on Friday mornings to discuss status, issues, and concerns. So the timing was good. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the meeting because of a of doctor's appointment that morning, so I had to re-schedule for the afternoon.

So finally, that afternoon, we went for our meeting. It was a productive meeting. I talked about all sorts of work-related thing. Lots of progress made, lots of status to give, a few issues to report. 1-hour timeslot was almost over! I guess it was now or never. So I just blurted it out: "I've got some interesting news for you. I'm expecting." His reaction was surprising. He took it REALLY well. I guess it's because he has a newborn daughter (born in late December or early January), so he's still gushing. He was genuinely happy for me! Whew! Sigh of relief.

Now onto the hard part - maternity leave. By law, I'm allowed 1 year off without suffering any job repercussions. When I first became pregnant, I was all ready to take 1 year off. Honestly, I didn't really like my job that much and was dying for a year away from it. Then in early 2008, the job situation changed. I got moved to a new team, leading a team of 3 developers. Suddenly, I started enjoying my job. And suddenly, 1 year off seemed like too much. So I started thinking of alternatives. It wouldn't feel right to dump PK into daycare after 6 months. At the same time, being away from my job for 1 year felt like an awfully long time. Could I work out a compromise? Could I take 6 months of mat leave and work part-time or work from home for another 6 months before coming back full-time? Could I take 6 months off and have the hubby take another 6 months off?

The hubby really wanted to do the 50/50 split, but we have one little problem. He's in consulting, having been on the road for a chunk of his 10-plus-year career there. One year after we got married, he finally got an in-town gig. If he took 6 months off, his nice little in-town gig wouldn't be guaranteed when he got back. So short-term gain, but long-term pain. Definitely an unacceptable outcome when starting out a family. I guess that idea was off the table.

So now I've got to play around with my part-time/work-from-home idea. I think it could work. Personally, I find it hard to get back into the groove of things after being away on vacation for 2 weeks. I can only imagine how hard it would be to be off for an entire year. This way, I get the best of both worlds. Time with PK, and steady re-integration into work. Plus this way, I still stay involved with my team. The boss seemed to be fine with the idea. We just need to see if that meshes with company policy. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

One week has passed since I told my boss. We haven't really talked about it too much since then. I kind of wanted to let it sit a bit before bringing up timing on things. Besides, according to company policy, I have to give written notice about 4 weeks before going on matleave. I doubt I'll wait that long to do it, but regardless, I still have time to work something out.

So now the cat's out of the bag. My boss knows, and his boss knows. My pregnancy is still not public knowledge at work, but people are starting to notice. The girl who sits in the cubicle beside me asked last week if I was expecting. Since my boss knows, I was able to say yes this time. Another co-worker (my former manager) didn't come out and ask me, but he kept staring at my stomach when I ran into him in the elevator earlier this week. Of course, I still have one outstanding item. I have to tell the truth to the poor DBA that I'd lied to earlier. She probably feels really bad about the whole thing in thinking that I was pregnant and then getting "confirmation" from me that I wasn't. I actually feel worse, because I had to lie to her about it. I hate lying, but at that time, I felt that I had no other choice. Telling someone else at work before telling the boss is a big-no-no. Plus, having been there only 6 months, I think it would not bode ├╝ber-well. At any rate, I have to fix this wrong. Stay tuned!