Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Are we there yet?

I don't even know where to begin - the last few weeks have been very intense. There is so much on my mind and so much I want to get down but I don't know where to start and I'm sure I'll miss a lot anyway. Here goes.

Pregnancy went from "I feel pretty good" to "are we there yet?" pretty much over night. Again, I think I've had an extremely mild pregnancy (from what I hear and read) so despite the fact that most of this blog is me complaining, I actually felt pretty good for being almost ready to pop. But about 2 weeks ago I stopped sleeping through the night, stopped having cute little fee , stopped being able to eat full meals, and started feeling extremely huge and uncomfortable. People who know me keep telling me how wonderful I look and how pregnancy agrees with me and even if they are lying, I need to hear it because my self esteem has disappeared along with my ankles. People who don't know me (all those random people out there) keep telling me how huge I am, that I look ready to pop, that "that baby must be due any day". I really want to hit them in the face. So yeah, the last few weeks have been a lot of swollen feet, achy hips, sharp shooting pains in my cervix (look at that, another C word) random crying spells, lower back pain, sleepless nights, and peeing every 90 seconds or so. Oh, and Ryder gets the hiccups about twice a day which was cute the first 2 or 3 times and now just drives me nuts.  The good news is, we're almost done and he will be here soon and this will all be behind me (and I'm sure I'll have a whole new cache of things to bitch about)

During this time a lot has happened. We had our big baby shower, I was in a wedding, shit went down at work, and serious matters of life and death have been discussed, among other things. Mike has continued to be my rock through all of this and my mom and I are closer then ever so it isn't all bad. But it sure is a lot for someone who may or may not be overly emotional right now (did I mention all the crying?)

Our baby shower on the 14th was perfect, everything I wanted (and nothing that I didn't want). One of my dear dear friends came to visit and it was so fantastic having her here. It sucks living so far away from some of the most important people in my life and while I completely understand that not everyone could drop everything and come to Tampa (and I've missed many occasions as well) it made the day so much better having her here. We spent the weekend catching up, hanging out, and remembering why we love each other so much. We also spent a lot of time talking about momentous life changes and it made me realize once again that I am very wrapped up in my own life. Many of my closest friends have been dealing with very serious, emotional, tough life problems this year and while I know about them and try to be there for them, it really is hard when I'm so far away. It makes my heart hurt for them to know that they are hurting and that I can't do more. Not to mention I've always had a bit of a guilt complex when it comes to being happy when I know people I love are not. I can sit here and say that I will be a better friend and stay in touch more and reach out more often but who am I kidding? I'm about to have a newborn. Thank God for Facebook and the artificial interactions so I don't feel like such a loser friend.

So the shower was great and a wonderful reminder of just how wanted and loved this little boy is. Mike and I both have pretty awesome families and our little bean is already very spoiled; I don't imagine this changing much over the years to come and we've talked about how it is our jobs to make sure he appreciates everything. In a lot of ways he will have an easier childhood than me or Mike and we hope that we can still raise a little boy who has compassion for others and an understanding of hard work, sacrifice, and achievement.

So we went right from an awesome weekend into one of the hardest weeks I've had in a long time. We had an unexpected round of layoffs at work that included my boss and several people I truly respected and had worked with the whole 5 years I've been there. It took place over two days and the mood at work was like people were dying. I don't really want to relive it but don't know if I can convey just how horrible it was to be at work during that time. There were whispers and rumors because no one knew it was coming or who was next and lots of fear because we could see people being walked out by security one by one but didn't really know what was going down. We had an all staff meeting to go over the changes, which were boiled down to "restructuring" but I have to say that it seemed very personal based on who was let go. I know every big organization has politics and part of it probably was just business but given our history I feel in my gut that this was a very strategic way to get rid of specific people. I wouldn't say my boss and I were really close but he was a great boss and I always knew he had my back or I could go to him for anything. I honestly feel lost without him and my whole department (all 5 of us) feel very confused, scared, and at a loss as to what to do. We are supposed to be reporting directly to the EVP of the whole sales department, and he has been really great during all of this (we can tell it was not his choice and that he isn't happy about it) but he is rarely around and quite frankly doesn't have time for the day-to-day operations at our level. The whole situation is extremely frustrating and stressful and I know without a doubt that it is worse because I'm very hormonal an emotional right now. You know, being 9 months pregnant and all. It makes me nervous because I'm about to be gone for 3 months and honestly have no idea what I'll be coming back to.

The day it all went down was the bachelorette party for  good friend and lead right into her wedding weekend. I felt horrible but between my physical complaints (that whole 9 months pregnant thing again) and my  mental turmoil, I was not at my best. I did all I could to grin and bare it during the festivities but it was a struggle. I was totally bummed out all day Friday and truly felt like I was in mourning. I was in a horrible mood the whole day and even getting my nails done with friends couldn't cheer me up (didn't help that it was the worst manicure EVER). At that point I was also on day 5 of no sleep which I'm sure didn't help. It was a very emotional, crappy day and I hate that it ruined my experience with the wedding plans. Luckily I woke up very happy on Saturday and was able to really enjoy being in the wedding. The bridesmaid dresses were purple so I looked a lot like everyone's favorite purple dinosaur, but it was still a really great wedding and I was so happy to be a part of it.

Of course, all the wedding/romance/hormone overload led to lots of talk between Mike and I about our own possible marriage. It is amazing how close we've become over the course of this pregnancy and there is no doubt in my mind that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I can't wait to start our family and truly begin our life together. But I also know realistically that it won't happen anytime soon. However, we have talked a lot about it and we have our families' blessings so it will happen at some point. And I kind of look forward to the surprise element of it all, at least there will be some romance left!

I'm rambling on and on at this point so I think this is a good place to stop but I have so much more on my mind! Oh well. Time for our weekly doctor's appointment. That's right, we're going every week now. Ryder Patrick Martin will truly be here before we know it! Are we there yet?!?!?!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The "C" word

There are actually several C words that I associate with pregnancy and lucky me, they are very prevalent in this last trimester. I guess I can say I'm lucky that they've been non-existent or at least mild until now so I probably shouldn't complain, but I feel like I have a right to gripe a little bit...

"Cankles" this is a new one for me and I. Don't. Like. It! My feet and hands have been swelling pretty badly lately and my ankles and cute little feet tend to disappear for hours at the end of the day. I then lay around with my feet propped up on 15 pillows and switch between heat and ice to bring the swelling down. If Mike is home he will massage them for me (did I mention how lucky I am that he spent some time at massage school?). He doesn't even care if they have been in my shoes all day, he rubs them anyway because he hates seeing me suffer. Best. Boyfriend. EVER. But doesn't really make up for the fact that my ankles go MIA. I don't eat fast food (those cheeseburger cravings stopped around week 15), drink soda, or put salt on anything and I drink tons and tons of water so this doesn't happen every day but when it does, oh boy!

"Constipation" this one has been around my whole life, was really bad in the 1st trimester, got better, than got worse again. I stopped taking my iron supplement and started taking a new prenatal vitamin that has a stool softener in it which seems to help a little bit. But I can still go 4 or 5 days without going and when I do, I swear the soft part was left out of softener. I'm surprised I haven't broken a pipe with my boulders. (sorry if this is TMI) I eat lots of raisin bran, prunes, and fresh fruit, stay away from rice, steak, and excessive cheese but I still have this issue and it sucks. This week was particularly bad and when I was finally able to go this morning I felt like I'd lost 30 lbs, gained back the ability to bend over (somewhat, Mr. Ryder still gets in the way) and had no more stomach pains, gas, or cramps. Yay!!! I've never been that girl to talk about anything poop related and usually go out of my way to keep Mike from even knowing that I do poop but not anymore. Nothing is sacred once you are pregnant and poor guy knows all my woes. He is so supportive and concerned and is always reminding me to eat my prunes. I swear he would massage my butt if he needed to just to help me. Did I mention how lucky I am?

"Crying". I hate crying. Crying pisses me off. And lately I do it all the time. Everything makes me cry. Sad songs. Love songs. Happy songs. Romantic movies. Movies that just have romantic scenes. Anything involving kittnes or puppies. Thinking about how awesome Mike is. Thinking about being pregnant and my little miracle. Thinking about work and how much I love my job. Watching hockey. Literally everything. I've never been romantic or particularly girlie so this is all very new to me and I don't like it all. Well, I don't mind feeling all lovey towards Mike and our son but I could do without the tears every time I hear a song I like or see a cute little animal. I think Mike actually likes seeing a soft, tender side of me but he does a good job of not laughing (too much) when I get all mad in the middle of my tears.

"Comparison" I've always been the kind of person who compares myself to others. I think it relates to that envy/jealousy thing I wrote about a few weeks ago. Some times I feel good about myself when making comparisons with others but normally I am comparing how I fall short next to someone else. Being pregnant adds a whole new meaning to comparisons. I am obsessed with how much weight other pregnant women have gained, how big their bellies are, and how I measure up to them with my size and weight gain. I have to say  that one of the hardest thing about being pregnant, for me, has been mental: wrapping my head around the fact that I am pregnant, that I'm supposed to gain weight, that my body changing is all good - and so far on track according to my doctors. I look at pictures of pregnant women and judge them based on how big they look compared to me and how close we are in our pregnancies. I know this is awful and I know I'd be devisated if others did it to me (and I'm sure there are those who do, in fact I know of 1 in particular) but I can't help it. Part of it is in my nature and part of it is not knowing what to expect with being pregnant and looking to others for clues. Not to mention when I'm smaller then someone I get that little self esteem boost that is so necessary when you weigh the most you've ever weighed in your life!

I'm sure there are some other c words that I'm forgetting (cramps and cravings come to mind) but I think I'm a little complained out for now.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

My best attempt at looking normal & put together since I tend not to have the energy to be bothered most days. 33 weeks! Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the last game

Last night was the last home game of the season (we still have 3 more games on the road but we are out of the playoffs so it was the last game that means anything). The Lightning played a great game and the crowd was so enthusiastic, you would have thought it was a playoff game. It was one of the best games I've watched all season. It was also the most emotional. I always hate to see a season end, I'm never ready for the last game, but this year feels different.

This has been the most challenging season in my 5 years with the team. For starters, I was pregnant the entire season so that presented it's own challenges. And the first 2 months of the season were so early in my pregnancy that no one knew I was pregnant - I spent my days in a fog trying to come to terms with the fact that I was actually really truly pregnant while managing interns, kicking off the season, and planning and executing 4 of my biggest events of the year all in the space of 5 weeks. I still don't know how I got through that time. I spent the rest of the season trying to balance being pregnant with my normal work load and the added pressure of our building being renovated around us the entire year, losing my office, losing some of my favorite projects to other departments, losing some of my favorite clients because they restructured who the sales reps work with, losing inventory because of the renovations, and -oh yeah, did I mention I was pregnant?

Through all the changes and challenges I still worked my normal 50-60 hours of work but I know I was not on my A game. I barely made my sales goal for the season (thank goodness I did hit it, but still!) and I went from being #1 two years in a row to being just another member of the staff (still in the top but not the top). I know I work my ass off, I know my clients love me, and I know that I meet/exceed expectations but I also don't want anyone to think I slacked at all or that I took advantage of my condition. I busted my ass to be "normal" all season and it wasn't until doctor's orders that I started cutting back my hours in the last 4 weeks. The problem is, I know it affected my work and I've been really beating myself up over it. And stressing about what that means for my future with the organization.

I struggled so hard to hit my goal and finish my events in my shortened hours that I have no prospects lined up for this summer. And I won't be working for most of the summer so when I come back to work in September I will be extremely behind. Who knows if my clients will wait or be loyal at all or if they will just buy from someone else in my absence. And I'll have a newborn so how will I work the hours that I need to make up the lost ground? Will I even still want to work those kind of hours?

For the first time in my life I don't feel defined my job. In AZ I was all about Cityscape, living there, working there, with all my friends living and working there. My whole life was wrapped up in that property, along with my self-worth. For the last 5 years I've been 100% devoted to the Lightning, at the expense of my previous marriage, my health, and pretty much every other aspect in my life. Mike and my family have always been supportive but I can see that I've been very selfish about putting this job ahead of everything and everyone else. But that has changed with my little bean - for the first time I realize that my job is not the most important thing. Instead of wanting to spend every minute at work and around hockey I now want to spend every minute with Mike getting ready to start our family. And for the first time in 5 years I know that if I were not to work for the Lightning anymore it wouldn't be the end of the world.

But at the same time I'm not ready to not work there. I keep telling myself it will all work out, there will be a way to balance my family and my job and still be a part of the organization I love so much.  But if my sales are down I won't make the money I'm used to and I may not get a choice in keeping my job if they don't think I'm performing. Right now I'm more stressed out about my job than any other aspect of having this little boy. Staying at home is not an option because Mike makes good money but not enough to support us in our current lifestyle (and he is in sales like me so nothing is guaranteed, income-wise) and he doesn't have insurance, I do. I also can't see myself not working, I enjoy it too much.

So sitting in the stands last night, watching the team I love play their hearts out, I couldn't help but wonder what next season will hold. Will I still be there to cheer them on through the last game? Will I even want to be? Feeling my little boy moving around (he got so excited at the end of the game that he gave himself a wicked case of hiccups - and yes, he was excited, I know he can hear and sense the crowd around us during games because he starts moving and kicking a lot more) reminds me that my priorities in life are shifting and that my life is about to change completely. Where will the Lightning fit into that new life?