Year in review

Year End Meme of 2011

I used to do this every year, on blogs hopefully now lost in the vastness of the internet…  Nostalgia!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Got pregnant.  Had a miscarriage.  Got and stayed pregnant.  Traveled to New England.  Stopped being an admin assistant.  Mudded drywall.  Tiled a fireplace surround.  Got some words I wrote published in a real book.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t seem to recall making any.  If I did, it was probably ‘breathe more’ and I’ve actually done okay with that, this year.  Not having any one die helped.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

One of our good friends did, and her son has the chubbiest, munchable cheeks.  I know at least 5 other people who are pregnant now, so next year will be a baby boom.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

*frantically knocks wood* No.  Thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?

We went to LA in March, then Boston and New England in September.  And I met up with my sister in Seattle in October.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Man, next year is such a mystery to me.  I mean, I’ll have a HUMAN BEING TO KEEP ALIVE WITH MY BREASTS.  And will be on parental leave for 10 months.  I have absolutely no idea what next year will be like.  I guess I’d like to have a happy healthy baby next year?

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I’m not really good with dates, but the day where I peed on a stick stand out, and the first ultrasound, and my 30th birthday.  And on Dec 1, I was officially promoted to Technician, so that was memorable, and a lovely birthday gift.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Above mentioned promotion.  I worked hard to get that made official.

9. What was your biggest failure?

For a while, I’d have said my inability to get out of my pink collar role.  But that worked out.  Actually, everything, even the shitty stuff (basement flood, miscarriage, job frustrations) worked out okay.  2011 was good.  (Especially after the wreck that was 2010.  I may not have the best perspective.)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Some of the pregnancy side effects have been annoying, and the round 1 stomach flu -> round 2 stomach flu -> chest cold -> head cold -> endless cough thing has sucked.  It’s been 8 weeks, it can stop at ANY TIME.  But again, last year my legs went numb and took weeks of physio to fix.  This year one physio appointment fixed my sciatica issues.  Win.  (We’ll ignore the rather constant heartburn.  I’m pregnant.  Something annoying was bound to happen.)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Vacations.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My mother wins the Most Improved Award.  She’s so much happier and easier to be around now.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

A family member to be left unnamed did their damnedest to ruin Christmas and a week later I’m still frothing mad.  Also, every single bit of reproductive news out of the States this year.  It’s 2011, how can y’all still be debating abortion?

14. Where did most of your money go?

Vacations!  We leave for Cabo in a couple of weeks.  Plus LA and New England and Seattle.  It’s been fun.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Vacations.  I’m still a little too terrified about having a baby to be as excited as I should be.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

I don’t know.  I listened to Library Voices “Step off the Map & Float” a ton of times, so that one, probably. 

“I’ve got places to be but nowhere I need to go
It’s safe to say, the road less travelled leads to you.
Your existence is a pinprick
On a paper continent”

Last year is was totally and clearly Wintersleep’s “Weighty Ghost”.  I loved the song even before my father got sick, but then it took on weight.  The day he died, driving across town to my mother’s, it came on the radio.  David and I were each driving a car, and listening to the same radio station, and the sky was burning blue and I blasted this song and cried, a little. 

“You can’t kill something that’s already dead
Just leave my soul alone
I don’t need no surgery
Take those knives away from me
Just wanna die in my own body
A ghost just needs a home.”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier.  Much happier.
b) thinner or fatter? I’m 7 months pregnant.  Fatter.
c) richer or poorer?  Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Breathing.  Going to movies and plays.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Holding on to my anger.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With my family and David’s, all together.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

As always, even more so with David.  I got really fucking lucky, you guys.  He’s amazing.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Can’t choose.  Community, Parks and Rec, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, The IT Crowd, Torchwood, Doctor Who, Big Bang Theory…  We watch a lot of sitcoms and British shows, and I love them all.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate?  No.  Really really angry with?  Yes.  Righteous anger lingers.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read over a hundred books.  I couldn’t even start to pick a favourite.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? 

Foster the People.  Library Voices.  Cold War Kids.

26. What did you want and get?

To be pregnant.

27. What did you want and not get?

To not have our basement flood and insurance refuse to cover it and to have to do all the fixing ourselves.  Er, I only wanted that after the fact.  Didn’t really occur to me to wish for that in advance.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Bridesmaids was delightful.  And the Muppet Movie was wonderful.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 30.  I took the day off, got a massage, watched The Muppet Movie, had a nap, went out for sushi and then got presents.  It was perfect.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I don’t know.  It was a pretty great year, over all.  Maybe no basement flood so we could have taken a summer road trip vacation?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Plus sized hand me downs from my aunt make decent pregnancy clothes!  Aka: I am cheap and maternity clothes are stupidly overpriced.

32. What kept you sane?

David.  Books.  Work.  Exercise.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Jason Segel.  Yum.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Abortion in America.  How is this still a debate??

35. Who did you miss?

My dad.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I met a woman who became my work mentor, until she moved back to the States.  She was an excellent teacher and helped me to push myself at work.  I was very lucky to work for/with her for 4 months.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Good things happen.  Sometimes you have to wait, and some times you have to force the issues (babies, and work, respectively) but stuff can, and does, get better.

On finding out

There aren’t a ton of things that most people ask a pregnant woman.  “How are you feeling?” is a common one, of course.  “Are you / did you find out the sex?” is the other.  It makes sense.  There’s not a lot else to ask in a casual conversation.  Maybe questions about the nursery or weight gain or side effects, but really, there’s not that much to ask about.  It’s a small creature hidden away, swimming around in an amniotic sea, safe from prying eyes.  There’s not too much to say yet.

So you get asked about the sex of the baby all the time.   We went to the second (and hopefully final) ultrasound prepared to find out but the kid didn’t want us to know.  But the truth was that we were both already a little ambivalent about finding out, going in to that ultrasound.  We’d been enjoying spending the 16 weeks before that going, “it’s a girl,” “no, it’s a boy,” “you’ll have to stop saying that after our daughter is born,” “no, I won’t, because it’s a boy.”  And so on.  All very lighthearted.  We’re both well aware one of us is wrong and the other is (hopefully) right.  Before going in to the ultrasound, the doctor asked if we wanted to know, and we agreed yes.  But as time went on, and as our it’s a boy/it’s a girl game got sillier, I became more hesitant.  David admitted he felt like it was one of those things that you just kind of had to find out – you know, because everyone does, not because he really wanted to.  And because what else is there to learn at about the baby at that point, beyond the number of fingers and toes and the apparent presence of the requisite organs.  (Those ultrasounds are near impossible for the layperson, if you’re not talking about face, hand and feet.  Yeah, sure that pale grey blob is a kidney.  If you say so…)  Even in the parking lot, I mentioned that we didn’t need to find out, but we both kind of shrugged and agreed that it’s a surprise at 20 weeks or an equal surprise at 40 weeks, so we agreed to find out.  And then the kid kept itself all legs clenched and folded up, so we didn’t.  And have been playing the it’s a girl/it’s a boy game ever since.

And it’s been fun!   It’s oddly nice to not know.  It hasn’t affect much, other than offers of hand me downs.  We both have a certain amount of intent on not raising overly gendered babies.  (As in, either way, the kid’s getting lego and baby dolls and tiny little hockey jerseys.)  If the kid ends up loving trucks or ponies, we’ll go with it, but it will not be the only toy options on the table.  Same with clothing.  Until the kid’s old enough to have a say in the matter, I’m going to do my best to not gender all the clothing.  And what’s with that, anyway?  I was at the BabyGap and bought 2 outfits – one a cream wool onesie with a mother and baby penguin, and the other a blue onesie with a penguin with headphones outside an igloo.  We’ll ignore the fact that penguins and the Inuit are found at the opposite end of the world and focus on the fact that BabyGap found it necessary to peg one for girls and one for boys.  The hell?  Actually, BabyGap doesn’t even have a gender neutral section, not even for infants.  I think I’ll end up buying most of the baby clothes from Superstore, which is at least cheap and not quite so segregated.  Dinosaurs on skateboard pjs are awesome, straight up, for everyone.  (If only I could find them in my size…)

I don’t know.  I’ve always had a ton of problems with the pink/princess shit.  I was a tomboy, and didn’t start wearing pink until I was in my 20s.  (And then only because it’s a really good colour for my skin tone.)  I played with trucks and mutilated my Barbies and played in the backyard all the time.  I also did figure skating  for a decade, and Girl Guides, and loved baby dolls.  And that’s what I want for this kid, either way.  The ability to watch, do and play with things because they are fun, not because they are “girl things” or “boy things”.  And so we’ll at least start off with that intention, and do our best to at least start the kid out with as little enforced genderization as possible.  I am sure it won’t last forever or be perfect, especially if we get a boy who loves trucks or a girl who loves princesses, but at least we can try, and make sure to have as many choices on the table as possible.

And that?  Along with the fun it’s a girl/it’s a boy game, is why we’ve already decided we won’t find out in advance next time either.  Your mileage may very much vary.

The ups and downs of pregnancy

Now, I have to start this off by saying that I have had a very, very easy pregnancy, all told.  It has confirmed my strongly held belief that my body is that of a peasant, designed to labour in the fields and birth babies.  So that’s nice.  The only time I’ve thrown up this whole pregnancy has round 2 of the stomach flu this month, where I threw up nine times in twelve hours, popping a blood vessel in my eye and straining my ribs in the process.  (So, basically, the worst stomach flu I’ve ever had.)  I had some first trimester nausea, but didn’t throw up.  (In part because I refuse to vomit, if even slightly possible.  I am very bad at it and tend to cry like the world is ending if it happens.  David is very kind and doesn’t laugh at me until I feel better.)  I spent a good chunk of the first few months going to work, coming home, cooking dinner and then retiring to my couch/bed for rest, but I know that’s pretty light compared to what most people deal with.    The second trimester was even easier, as the exhaustion mostly lifted.  The 2 rounds of stomach flu followed by the month long wracking chest cold have sucked, but he chest cold is just as bad for David.  And he can have medication, and it’s not made almost any difference, so that made my doctor prescribed routine of tea, a puffer and more tea bearable.

On the whole, I have enjoyed being pregnant.  The pros are many and the cons mild, at least until now, the beginning of the third trimester.

Pros:

  • My E cup boobs still haven’t gotten bigger.  Which is good – it’s hard enough to buy bras already. 
  • My leg hair has started growing way slower.  Given normally that I’d need to shave my legs every, uh, 18 hours to keep them smooth, this has been lovely.
  • My head hair has thankfully not stopped falling out.  I have ridiculously thick hair that I need to get thinned every time I get a haircut, so more hair volume would have been de trop.
  • I haven’t put on much weight, and the weight I have is fully out front in the belly.  Viewed straight on, I still have a waist.  From the side, I am super pregnant, but from the back, I am unchanged.  And that’s nice.
  • I feel sexy.  I feel round and fertile and not-fat.  I’ve always carried by weight in my belly, and now it’s not fat, it’s baby.  Despite the fact that bending down is starting to be a challenge, especially without kind of grunting, I still feel sexy.  And randy.  It’s been fun.
  • I seemed to get all ambitious at work at the same time I got ready to be knocked up, and that’s worked out pretty well for me.
  • After years of feeling like my body was a failure (due to bad eyes, hearing disability, joint issues and digestive problems), my body is good at being pregnant.  I feel strong and capable and like I can, on the whole, trust my body to do this thing.
  • After getting over the whole ‘omg alien parasite swimming around peeing inside me’ thing, feeling the baby kick and roll and such is pretty fucking cool. 
  • I’ve been lactose intolerant since 2003, and while things have got better the last few years, I haven’t had more than a couple of bites of ice cream in most of a decade.  And suddenly?  I can eat dairy!  I’m still not up to a glass of milk, but I can eat ice cream and cream cheese and it’s wonderful.  Ice cream is SO GOOD, you guys!  I had no idea!  So there may be 5 different types of ice cream in my freezer right now.  I feel that between the required calcium and the fact that I’m still not putting on weight (I think I lost 2 pounds last month?), that a small bowl of ice cream every other day is totally allowable.  Plus, it’s about the only thing that seems to settle the screaming heartburn. 
  • Pants without waistbands?  Awesome.  Not having to unzip your fly or make sure it’s zipped back up, or feel the waist band cutting in after a large meal?  Just awesome.  (We’ll ignore the fact that today’s work pants keep kind of falling down as I walk.)
  • I do not miss my period in any way. 

Cons:

  • I’ve been having some pelvic floor issues.  Something feel like I’ve spent the last day having rough sex and everything is tender, and some days it really actively hurts.   Some days  I think I can feel my pelvis widening.  It comes and goes though, and I’m pretty careful of what I do, and it’s manageable.
  • The exhaustion of the first trimester was annoying.  Especially while doing an emergency basement reno.
  • Oh, my god, the heartburn.  It started a couple of months ago, and it’s fairly constant.  And I have NO IDEA what will and won’t set it off.  I went out for a team lunch and ate a three course meal, complete with burger with patty the size and shape of a hockey puck?  Sure, heartburn isn’t a surprise.  The day I ate a muffin at a breakfast meeting and got raging heartburn for the next 18 hours?  WTF.  Yesterday, my breakfast of yogurt, raspberries and granola gave me heartburn, but today, I went out for dim sum and am fine.  It’s gotten to the point I’m almost afraid to eat.

But really?  Pros outweigh cons by a mile. 

 

Here’s hoping I still feel like this when we head off to Cabo in 3 weeks!

Money and babies and work

I have a degree in International Relations, specializing in Latin America and Security & Strategy.  My minor is in Management (aka business).  This means I got to take a ton of really cool courses – the history of espionage, colonial history, world geography, history of the Cold War, European politics, Latin American culture taught in Spanish…  I can go off about Conquistadores and the Falklands War and the Suffragette movement.  I also took a bunch of boring classes on marketing and entrepreneurship and the like.  I loved my degree – it was great to be able to take whatever caught my interest (with the MAJOR limitation of course availability) and to create my own program.  I was in the first wave of the program – it was only a couple of years old at my university when I started.  To get in, there were GPA requirements and you had to meet with the Dean.  It quickly became clear that the meeting with the Dean was entirely so that he could warn you that there were absolutely no jobs in this field – an exaggeration but really, not by much, not in Calgary.  (Calgary is an Oil and Gas town.  Yes, some of the companies have international divisions, but it’s a minority compared to the companies working in the Western Basin.) 

Still, I signed on, knowing that I was going to end up in a pink collar job downtown anyway.  I worked for O&G companies most summers and I started as an admin very near the top of a major company.  The money was good, the contacts were better and the perks just lovely.  (Why, yes, I would love to go to another Flames game and sit in the $$$ good seats.)   Still, after six years, it was time to move on and I got another job internally.  (HR requires that I not talk about the drama surrounding this move.)   After six years in Corporate, I moved to the Operations side – the part of the company that actually makes the money.  I ended up in a completions group and it was a total crash course in natural gas and fracing and logistics.  And I kind of loved it.  Loved the challenge and the learning and the data management.  Much less so the admin tasks – ordering stationary, photocopying and the like.  So in April I started pushing for them to make me an engineering technician.  (Which is very much not a usual leap out of admin assistant status.)  I started doing projects for other groups – learning Spotfire and relearning Access, collecting data, organizing data swaps, benchmark tracking, reporting and more.  I started taking online classes at the local polytechnic.  And 2 days after my 30th birthday, I officially became a technician.

I have never been particularly ambitious.  6 years in the same job makes that clear.  I’ve never been in it to win, but in it to make enough money doing something I enjoy well enough so that I can live the life I want.  So that I can book at whim vacations (January in Cabo!) and not need to worry about what I buy at the grocery store and take on whatever fun project strike my interest.  So this sudden surge of ambition was interesting and unexpected.  It was actually surprising how ferocious I became about it after I became pregnant.

I’m sure it’s partially due to Canada’s wonderful parental benefits.  I plan to take the whole year off, collecting employment insurance.  I’m excited to take the year off, and have absolutely no idea how Americans manage with a mere 6-12 weeks unpaid leave.  But it means, I guess, that I was extra motivated to get the change in before I go on leave in March, so that I come back as a tech and not as an admin.  Because then I’d have to spend, I’m assuming, another year trying to convince my (possibly new) lead that I am capable as a tech.  As it is, I go off on leave, my raise comes in to effect while I’m on my 6 week disability leave (so I at least see SOME of it) and then I collect EI.  Less than 55% of my salary: or, in real math, a max of less 25k a year, which is then taxed.  So, not the perfect system, but one that I’m happy to pay in to so that I have this option.  And then get to come back to my job in to an “equal or equivalent role”, which now means technician.  It’s enough to cover, say, half my mortgage and groceries every month.  Enough to get by.  (If I rented, it would be enough for rent and groceries, even in my overpriced city.  Not much else though.)

It’s interesting, Canada’s parental leave plan.   Think about it. My back of the envelope math says that I pay in to EI with every paycheck, around $800 a year.  I’ve already been working for a decade, so I’ve paid in $8,000 ish.  So has my husband.  Assuming we each work for 15 years, the system has broken even with me and my baby.  Given we start work at 20 and optimistically retire at 55, we each work for 35 years, paying in to the system (and let’s pretend there’s no inflation because this is scratch math)  around $56,000 over our working lifetimes.  The less than $50,000 I get “up front” is something I will continue to pay in to for the rest of my working life.  Taxes allow me to take this upcoming year with my baby, and I will pay taxes so that others can do the same in the future.  I guess this is the so called scary socialism, but it just makes so much sense to me.  It means I can afford to take a year off without huge financial setbacks and it means I don’t have to choose between spending the precious first year with my baby with my career and financial well being.  It’s easier to “pay for my mat leave” over the entire course of my career than to try and save 25K by the age of 30 so I could stay home with my baby.  It’s a blessing, yes, but it’s not a free blessing from on high – I pay in to a system that is designed to protect people.  It’s not perfect at all, but it’s a damn sight better to me than nothing.   

I’ve been talking to various peers about going back to work and keep hearing the same answer over and over.  “Will you go back after a year” is almost always replied with “Totally will after the first kid, but probably won’t after the second.”  The obscene cost of day care out here (averages at $1500/month/kid) is a major reason.  The fact that many people in my small sample group are married to engineers who generally make enough scratch to keep a small family afloat is another.  The desire to collect two years of mat leave has come up more than once, and frankly, it doesn’t seem like scaming the system to me, based on the math above.  I know some who plan never to go back to work, but far more who plan to take 5 years or so off and go back with the kids are in school.  (And therefore go back to paying in to the system.)  It will be very interesting to see what people actually end up doing.  Best laid plans and all that… 

Sorry for all the half formed thoughts.  I keep circling these ideas around in my head.

Old stories

I wrote about calling off my wedding a few years ago and the post just went up on APW. It was an odd one to write – it was like writing about another person, almost. Even the pictures don’t look like me, and that’s just weird.

It’s not surprisingly, though. X loved short hair and “jokingly forbade” me to grow out my hair. So the first thing I did when he went off to the Middle East was to grow out my hair. A small act of defiance that in hindsight shows that I was already figuring shit out. The picture of me at the Omani fort is the only one that kind of looks like me now – that was my second visit over there and my hair had grown out long enough to be forced in to a stubby ponytail. (Also, it was +40oc in the shade that day, and please admire my jeans and long sleeved shirt. The Middle East is so very very different than North America.) When I was going through my photo collection to find photos, it was like looking at the life of a stranger – a stranger with my face. It was hard to summon up some of the memories, until I started surfing through old emails and then it all came flooding back. Except for this time, I was looking at it as a woman with self-esteem, not as a panicky and lost girl child, which is how I felt at the time. Distance does heal, and it did allow me to write that post with far more grace than I would have been able to at any earlier point. 

But not that much grace, because I still managed to mention the prostitutes in the essay. Still not the worst thing that happened by any stretch, nor much of the story, but I still worked it in. Which suggests that some things linger a long time, and you know, that one is a logical one to still bug me. 

Leaving him was the best thing I could have done. Marrying David was the best thing I could do, and I still occasionally wander around amazed – stupefied – blissful – about how I won at life. Sure, things may not be perfect – it’s life after all – but damn things are good.

And, as it turns out, I have really great hair. Seriously. Mid back, rich brown with natural curly waves that require no upkeep to speak of. That was a nice littler perk to what started as an act of defiance.  Little silver linings everywhere.

On baby weight

So, to talk about this, I have to preface the conversation with some of my own issues. I am short and curvy, and by curvy, I mean I’m all tits and ass and softness. I have big boobs, big hips, a relatively narrow waist, a great ass and a big soft belly. This is my shape. This was my shape when I was in high school and swam 5-8 times a week. This was my shape when I didn’t do any form of exercise for months as my dad was dying. This is the way I am. My weight’s been fairly stable since high school. Before getting pregnant, I only weighed 20 pounds more than the lowest number I hit post-pubescent, which was while basically starving myself on the cabbage soup diet. (A banana and cup of soup do not make a full day food intake to me.) I work out 3-5 times a week, not to become thin, but to be healthy and strong and bendy, and because I have long found that exercise endorphins are best for preventing the depressive episodes I am predisposed to suffer. I muscle easily and bulkily, and have to work to make sure I tone instead of bulking. (One summer, I worked a labour job involving setting up 20’x20′ steel tents. I had sculpted biceps 12 inches in circumference by the end. Buff for sure, but bigger than I prefer to be. Most women don’t muscle like that, and can easily use free weights heavier than I am comfortable using.)

I like my body. I don’t necessarily love my belly or my inner thighs, but I don’t hate them, or hate myself for having them. I accept that I come from a long line of peasants, and that I have a body for field labour. I will never be thin. I could be thinner, I’m sure, if I devoted myself to a low calorie diet and upped the exercise, but I choose not to. I prefer to live in my body and do my best to eat my veggies and lean proteins and to not deny myself that cookie, if I want one. I rarely want to eat more than two, and I exercise in part to allow myself small pleasures without needing to debate them with myself. By not worrying about my body too much, it frees up my brain for books and hockey and oil painting and furniture repair and whatever else I’m interested in that week. I find this freeing, and I’m happy with my choices.

I have a lot of trouble with the BMI system, and I am not alone. And not just because according to the math, I’m either overweight or obese, depending on a mild weight flux. Which, fuck off, random 19th century Belgian mathematician. I refuse to alter my beliefs for a chart that fails to take into account my big bones and heavily muscled body. I eat well enough, I exercise constantly, and am strong enough to do anything I decide I want to, from those years of competitive swimming and mountain climbing and snowboarding to the heavy lifting that furniture restoration and basement renovations require. (“Stand here and hold up this full sheet of gyp rock while I screw it in.” The weak need not apply.) I can execute skull crushers and lateral raises with free weights and maintain perfect form. When I did regular yoga, I could hold a 7 minute head stand. Even pregnant, I can execute a well aligned trikonasana and gaze at the ceiling.

My defensiveness could go on, but suffice it to say, my body does what I want it to, and I am comfortable with my soft belly as a trade off for living the life I want.

So, now I’m pregnant. I am expected to gain weight. According to the govenment, if I’m only overweight, I should gain between 15 – 25 pounds, and if I’m obese, I should gain 11 – 20 pounds. I’ve gain, in six months, um, well. Very little. Depending on the accuracy of my 15 year old digital scale (questionable at best), I have put on 4.5 pounds. Which sounds good, right? But I’ve been a little worried, because as the website says, “Gaining too little weight during pregnancy can also negatively affect fetal growth and increase the risk of pre-term delivery.” And no one wants that! I haven’t modified my eating habits too much – eating when I am hungry, stopping when I’m full, and snacking lightly between meals. (Staved off first trimester nausea and seems to help with the current heartburn.) I still exercise a lot. But still, I’m at the doctor’s, so I may as well ask, right? (Side note – I thought I would be followed by my family doctor the whole time, but I’ve been sent to a low risk maternity clinic, where I seem to see a different doctor each time, for a total of 5 minutes each time. I miss my lovely family doctor, who I have a pleasant and trusting relationship with. She also told me to gain 15-25, knowing my actual weight and lifestyle and having seen me naked.) So I ask this new doctor if it’s okay that I’ve gained so little weight in almost 6 months.

My mistake.

She looks at me, says “well, you are pretty overweight, so you should gain less than 11 pounds, so that when you’re done, you’ll be in better shape than when you started, and that would be good for you” and then left. Seriously. I was glad that David was in the room so I confirm that had just happened. I guess my surprise was because this woman I’d met 4 minutes early judged everything about this conversation from looking at 6 month pregnant me. Sitting down with a prominent belly bump that now solely screams pregnant – I’m long past that ‘kind of chubbier than normal’ look I’d been rocking for a while. It pissed me off a lot – I think because it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever had a medical question waved off due to my weight. I’m aware this is a common problem – there are websites devoted to the issue – but it’s never happened to me. And hey, even if I am that fat, she could have handled it better. “So, are you eating well? Exercising? In that case, this is clearly your body is doing what it needs to do, so don’t worry about. Stay focused on eating well and don’t worry about the numbers.” And done.

I am going with midwife care if I do this again.