May 31, 2011

I think I have pneumonia

Last week I had a couple of late nights due to prepping for our big moving sale on Saturday. Mom Kim was also due to arrive Thursday night, so I was also getting her room ready and cleaning the apartment. Saturday morning we all woke up at 6 AM and got things out and ready by 8 AM. Despite the 'no early birds' in my craigslist ad, people started showing up at 8:22. The first guy was a fast-talking guy from India who had highway robbery down to a science. Ah well, everyone else that day was civilized and nice about their bargaining. By 11 AM we'd sold almost everything of value. By 12:30 we closed up shop, loaded everything left and dropped it at Goodwill. Made good money, too!

All that day I had a scratchy throat, but no other symptoms. I was exhausted and went to sleep after we ate lunch. That evening, I urged Jrex and his Mom to go out together and have fun without me. I spent a happy, quiet evening journaling and trying to go to sleep while they closed out a local tapas bar. I kept coughing and having to blow my nose, which kept me up. In the midst of all this, the other development was that I started to trust that the tiny pings I was feeling in the front of my stomach weren't digestive, but were baby. It took until today for me to definitively 'know' that they were kicks. I'm at 21 weeks and obviously good at dismissing physical symptoms!

Sunday I was coughing up phlegm and stayed home from church. Jex wanted me to go to Urgent Care, but I felt silly after one day of coughing and phlegm to run in there like Chicken Little. I lay around all day while Jrex and his Mom went up to San Francisco to visit his cousin at the family restaurant. By the end of the day, I was feeling better. Yesterday I was barely coughing and had no phlegm (sorry for the TMI), instead it felt like it had all moved up from my lungs and throat to my head. I lay around some more and was up for going to dinner at a friend's house last night. We left there by 7:30 PM and came home. Jrex and Mom drove over to Stanf ord so he could show her the new building where he currently works (state of the art St em C e ll In st itut e). While they were gone, I tried to lay down. Each time I shifted position, I ended up coughing like crazy and spitting up phlegm.

It's now 5:30 AM of the longest night of my life.

Sleeping on the couch in a semi-upright position helped, but my brain has been going and going any time I'm awake. Each time I have to cough, or go to the bathroom, it takes 30-45 minutes to get back to sleep. Feels like I've had four cat-naps and that's it.

I'm due for my anatomy scan ultrasound this morning. (Did I ever mention that the amnio results came back totally normal?) Mom and Jrex will be joining me for that, and then we'll troop over to urgent care to find out if this is pnuemonia.

At least it's meant that the time with Mom hasn't been stressful AT ALL. I've barely seen her! And she and Jrex have had a wonderful time reconnecting with each other. Plus the baby is giving me a new understanding of the joy in the phrase, "alive and kicking". So what's a little cough and fleeting sleep?

Oh, wait, the fact that today, one of my new hires is starting? And that I still have to fill two more positions as well as nag my higher ups to make decisions on the three people who've accepted pending those decisions? AND that the account rep for my current project is on PTO this week and I'm 'in charge' while she's gone, the booth is being built at the moment and I leave for LA Saturday to supervise the graphics installation? Don't worry, I'm staying home from work today. I'll manage the call with the client at 2 PM, but otherwise not do a ton of work.

Great timing, right?

UPDATE: not pneumonia. Just a double whopper of major allergic reaction to all the trees around our apartment, combined with a virus. I've been hacking up my post-nasal drip. There aren't you glad you read this blog now? That's a visual for you to enjoy.

May 27, 2011

Help me lower my hyper-boundaries!?

Some people have trouble saying no, or pushing back, or being in conflict. I don't love it or seek it, but I've been well trained by my parents and by other life adventures to handle those sorts of things.

In fact, last night, I started reading through a journal that my Mom started after I was born. Eventually she went from daily, to monthly, to yearly entries. There was one after my 14th birthday where she talks about how I've been challenging, but how many things she likes about me. Tucked in the pages after that were two letters. In one I'm challenging the household rules about not doing phone calls or visits after 10 pm. It was summer time and I felt that was unfair. I end up listing out 9 rules I was willing to follow (not having the friends call me after 10, being on home premises by then--but allowed to sit on the front steps to talk, 'chores before fun', and 'one hug a day'). Tucked in the letter were a bunch of digs and smart aleck remarks that made me want to smack my 14-year old self! (like, "sometimes I need to talk to a friend after 10 pm. You should know the feeling given how often you run over to otrmama's house at that hour". SMACK!) My mom? Wrote back in a very loving, affirming way, didn't respond to any of the digs, did respond to my underlying concerns, and acknowledged that she found herself resenting how few responsibilities I had compared to how many she'd had as a 14-year old (on a farm with five younger siblings). She ended on a positive note, telling me how much she respects me and wants to trust me.

Talk about amazing training in conflict resolution! There were no bad consequences for addressing what was bothering me. She encouraged me to have healthy boundaries, even as a young kid, "If someone makes you uncomfortable, there's likely a reason for that. You don't have to let them hug you. It's ok to trust your instincts." Over the years though, I think I've developed hyper-boundaries. If you cross them, I've got serious walls that bounce up.

Which brings up Mom K.

Last night, Jrex went to pick her up from the airport since I was frantically prepping for the big moving sale tomorrow. She walked into the apartment, gave me a big hug, said hello, then pulled back and said, "Let me see!" and stuck both her hands on my stomach and felt around. A few minutes later she said to Jrex, in a happy tone, "She's getting fat!" I know some of that is more appropriate in Korean culture (the touching, the comments on physical appearance), but it just threw my walls 10-feet high. She's here for a short visit and I want to enjoy her and be gracious to her, but at the moment, I'm behind my wall and it makes me push back on any attempts at intimacy. I know that I still have sensitivities after her visit last year. Which means there's forgiveness work that I've been avoiding. I guess that means I get to do some of that work this weekend, huh?

Sigh.

May 23, 2011

Random Deliciosity

I've had a wonderful, crazy week. Since I don't have the brain for a full post...
  • Week after amnio I leaked fluid and had to do an extra day of bedrest in the middle of the week. Last Tuesday I had a follow-up with the nurse and got an 'all clear' (no more leaking, plenty of fluid inside, great heartbeat). The kid was even waving at us.

  • During the bedrest insanity and general 'take it easy', my Dad came for a visit. He was wonderfully helpful on Sunday. I had a post about that stuff, but then commented via a different log-in and in trying to delete the comment, I erased the post. I loved my Dad's comment on that about preferring to create memories together and being able to help me out being a pleasure.
  • Then, on Monday, I found out that my wonderful friend Ms. Sword would be with us through Saturday. She's a relaxing houseguest, so that was fine.
  • Saturday I dropped her off at the airport then ran around buying plants, pots, dirt and other items for a baby shower in the afternoon. We got to bless Lovey and Dovey with a co-ed baby shower. They're due in July. It was fun to meet some of their other friends and get a chance to pray for them.
  • Sunday I taught the junior high girls during church. It was the last time before the summer that we met so we prayed for them and they prayed for us (the teachers). I loved their prayers for our move and for the baby.
  • Then Sunday afternoon I had small group. It's a great bunch married people, all have kids but us, most older. It's fun to not have to be the big sister (for 7 years I've been one of the oldest people in my small groups). During the dinner after our time together, the kids join us for a potluck meal. Someone asked one of the six year olds why she was so dressed up, "Cause we had church this morning and cause we're having a baby shower RIGHT NOW!" So, she spoiled the after dinner surprise. After we ate, the three youngest girls brought out bags of presents and proudly handed them to Jrex and me. Then they helped open each one. After that the group prayed for us. What blessed me most was that one of my junior high girls was there and prayed for me in front of all the adults, then two of the junior high boys also prayed. The kids prayed in particular for the baby, that he would be healthy, normal, not have any defects, have a happy childhood and lots of friends in our new city.
  • Now, back in the madness of work... Sigh. Only 19 more working days before we move!
  • This coming Saturday we're doing a yard sale to clear out everything we're not taking with us. I have prices to add to everything. AND Mom K arrives Thursday for a week. At this point, the house is in such disarray with piles for the yard sale and move that I feel very little pressure to clean up.

May 18, 2011

Very mild ethical dilemma

Preface: I've done jury duty in EVERY city I've lived in, including Northampton, MA as a college student. Despite only actually being selected once, I feel I've done my civic duty fairly regularly. Jrex in contrast has rarely (never?) been called.

Living here, I already got called once, though I ended up not having to serve. A few days ago, I got another summons. Jrex advised that I just delay it and then tell them I don't live in California anymore. Great idea, but I was nervous it might somehow be illegal and I might get dragged back with an infant to serve my time.

So, I called the courthouse to check.

"Hi, I've got a jury summons, but I'll be out of town that day, then I'm moving out of state at the end of the month, can I just file a continuance?"

Sweet, older woman's voice, "Well, you'll need to pick a date while you're still in town."

Me, probing, "What happens if I file for a date after I move?"

Not so sweet voice, "I suppose, if that's how you choose to conduct yourself, that's up to you. You're the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror every day."

Me, thinking, "Sweet! No legal repercussions", out loud, "OK. Well, thank you."

So I'm 'serving' jury duty in August. I made sure that one of the valid excuses on the form is that I don't live in the county anymore.

Question: should I feel at all guilty? I don't, but I will if you think I should!

May 10, 2011

Do you want to know the gender?

That's the first question they ask before the amniocentesis.

Going into the procedure, I thought the amnio was the big deal, but it's just a minute long at the end. Sure it's a long needle (Though I never looked, so I can't tell you if it's scary. Jrex admitted to not breathing as they did the procedure, so maybe it was). The poke into the skin is like any blood draw, it's when they poke through the wall of the uterus that my muscles bunched in horror at the invasion, but that only lasted a second or two. A little more bunching while they extracted two small vials of fluid and then they were out and done.

What was worse was having to get a Rhogam shot after all was finished. I have A-negative blood and there's a risk that my body could develop antibodies to the baby's blood. It doesn't affect anything this pregnancy, but could mean that if we ever got pregnant again, I'd attack the new life like it was an infection. The Rhogam prevents the antibodies and avoids future issues. THAT shot goes into my butt and it's a fat needle and made my whole side hurt for a while afterwards.

The truth is, the big deal during the amnio is the 30-minute ultrasound before the procedure. Up until now, this baby thing has felt theoretical. I talk about it like its happening, but it didn't feel real emotionally. My barely popping belly also makes it hard to believe anything is growing in there. Watching the ultrasound and seeing something that frequently resembled a baby tipped me toward believing there really is a little person in there. The fact that the kid measures over five inches from head to butt still freaks me out a little. I keep holding a ruler up to my stomach and trying to figure out how it's possible. Apparently the kid is in a headstand position with the head buried behind my pelvic bone (part of why I'm not popping much). They couldn't get any clear head or neck measurements as a result, so I still have to do the 20-week ultrasound where they measure every little part.


Of course when the ultrasound tech would say, "Now we'll look at the kidneys", what was on screen just looked like gray blobs. The "heart" looked like a butterfly: four black ovals fluttering in a sea of gray. As for gender? The headstand position meant that she got a full-on crotch shot, so she just paused and said, "I think you can see it on screen".

The 'rump' is to the right with the legs extending top and bottom. She labeled it so I can send the picture to Jrex's Mom.


Yup. We're having a boy.

I've been hoping for one. Yes, I like girls, but I've always enjoyed little boys. I like their energy and straightforward emotions. Girls are complicated! Plus they go through that whole princess phase which freaks me out. (Of course, with my luck, I'll have a son that goes through the princess phase instead!) Jrex is more ambivalent. As he put it, "I can read stories and do puzzles, I don't know if I have the energy to chase a 2 - 5 year old."

"Well, that's why we'll have the yard and dogs, he can run around out there without us. Plus we'll be living two blocks from the park, so it's easy to walk over there and let him run around."

The real shocker for me was that when Jrex looked at the list of conservative boy names I'd selected (with the assmption that Jrex would prefer a good, regular name, especially for a boy), he dismissed most of them by saying, "I don't want any Biblical names." What?! That wipes out most of them! He added, "They just feel like clich├ęs." I thought about it and realized that just about every Korean-American man I know has a Biblical name. So now we're off into uncharted territory. Celtic? Germanic? Greek?

We both really like "Aidan", but it means fire. If you combine that with the Korean middle name that Mom Kim picked out (Ye Jun), you get "Fire provided by God" and THAT sounds like asking for trouble doesn't it? One of our friends just named their kid Bryce, so that's taken. At this point, we welcome any name suggestions! Fritz? Wolfgang? Jamie? It can't start with a "K" since our last name does and we'll be living in the south so "KK" for initials just seems sketchy.

I feel sad that the baby isn't the biggest thing in both our lives, but we leave in six weeks (!) and our social calendar is mostly filled now. My Dad comes this weekend, Jrex's Mom comes the end of the month, the baby shower is in June along with many other events. I'm planning a major moving sale Memorial Day weekend and we're sorting through the apartment in a grand purge. I just found out that my job IS going to keep me full-time remote which is a huge relief (and only drop my salary by $5000 as I go back to being 'just' a designer. I thought it would drop back by the whole raise amount of $15,000, so that's a huge surprise!). Since my insurance will now continue, it means that in my copious free time I can look for a doctor, a hospital and prenatal classes. I'm starting to interview for my replacement as Stud1o Manager as well as looking for designers to interview.

Welcome to the whirlwind, Baby K!

May 4, 2011

Strange reasons I'm proud of my Dad

Having counter-cultural parents means that my reasons to admire my Dad are often bizarre by 'normal' society standards. Running a housing firm in the inner-city meant that he knew most of the prostitutes by name. I thought that was really cool. He and my Mom often dragged us to various political protests. Though my feet were often pinched by my shoes and my hands were often freezing, it was cool to be there and I was proud of them for being passionate about their beliefs.

Well, I now get to add a new one: I'm proud of him for getting arrested.

If you want to check out his version of the story, read his latest blog post: http://leadings.squarespace.com/

I like that he knows he didn't truly make a difference in anything global, but that he is choosing involvement over being just a spectator. Unfortunately, I've often been too absorbed by my daily life to think as big as he does and get as involved in things outside my personal sphere. Good on ya, Dad.

May 3, 2011

Fun slang from Down Under

Been swamped at work and did tons of social stuff this past weekend, so little time for the blog world. I just had this email exchange with one of my Aussie coworkers. I love the different slang words and thought you might enjoy it as well:

Hey,
Thanks for the files, we're moving slowly and steadily there..
Just wanted to say a big congrats to you for the bub, it's great news.
Being a parent is awesome fun and action packed, and despite getting a
tad less sleep at points, it's an amazing experience bringing a little
dude into the world.
Good on ya, I guess after E3 you may have other focuses beyond wave
colors... like babysuit colors etc..
Rest up
cheers
j
============

Thanks, J!

It was fun when you, B and I were working together here to listen to both of you talk about your kids. I was in early days then and not telling anyone, but I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a whole new adventure!

==========
yeh, kid banter is amusing, and i know what it's like to have to keep that info quiet for the first semester, seems like an eternity.
i'm sure everyone says it... but... enjoy those lazy lie-ins now and take off for a holiday before you two become a three.
chin chin
j