Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More Thanks

I’d blame the hormones, but I’m pretty much always this way…I thought today would be a good day to share some things I am thankful for.

I’m thankful for….

Daniel. He is an amazing husband, and my best friend. The first time I saw him and he smiled at me, I knew I wanted to know him. The first chance I had to actually sit and talk to him, I knew that he was someone I would always want to be a part of my life. His smile is my favorite sight. His support is unwavering and complete. He is my partner in every sense. We’re lucky to have found each other.

Mom & Dad. Not many people can say that their parents are also their friends. They raised me to be strong and to have a sense of humor. They’ve encouraged me in whatever endeavor I have chosen to give my time to. They’re fun people, and I admire them immensely. It’s nice to know that they are always just a phone call away.

Nana. Even though she’s been gone for almost a year now (on November 30th) she is with me every single day. I’m thankful for getting to be there with her when she needed me to be. I’m thankful for all the stories. I’m thankful that Daniel and I got to take her to lunch and talk to her about us wanting to have children and how she comforted and assured me we would. Nana knew the names we had picked out for our first and second children. She gave us input and approved – it helps to have that memory since I can’t have her here. Nana is someone I still look to for guidance. Whenever I get scared that I might not be a good mom, I think about my mom…and I think about Nana and how she raised five children (sometimes with her husband overseas) and was such an intricate part of 15 grandchildren’s lives.

Daniel’s parents. It’s one thing to have a good, strong relationship with your own parents…but to truly enjoy and like your in-laws. Well, I hear that’s not so common. Some people might say it’s unusual that I actually look forward to them visiting, but we always have so much fun together. I’ll never forget staying with them when Daniel went away for the weekend. Or when Daniel was late getting back from his bachelor weekend and his mom made me snacks, gave me beer and scolded him for his inconsideration. I love that I feel so comfortable with them and I really love that they get along so well with my family. It makes things even more enjoyable for Daniel and I to have that.

My friends. Alison. Sharon. Mel. I could tell these ladies just about anything. Each of them is very different from the other, but they all are such an important part of my life. Their friendship and support are part of my glue and I appreciate them more than they probably know.

Our new friends. There was a time when Daniel and I felt like all we had was each other. We hated Bakersfield and didn’t feel a connection to the people here. That has changed in the past year or so. We’ve met some amazing people who have shared in our happiness and contributed to it immensely. They make Bakersfield a better place.

Our fertility doctor – “Doc B” and fertility treatments. The first day we met with Doc B, he made it clear that there was nothing wrong with me and that I would get pregnant and soon. I had never miscarried, everything was in the right places and I was in good condition to carry a baby to full term. I was young and healthy. I just needed some extra nudging with the help of some medication to get everything on the right track. His reassurance took a load of my shoulders and I was able to relax somewhat. We’re now told that it is very likely that we won’t need any help in conceiving our next child.

Theatre. Daniel and I are taking some time off from theatre for a while, but this past year our involvement with the theatre community has been so important to us. We found new friendships, had a lot of laughs and it allowed us to focus our energy on something positive and rewarding. Doing a show kept me from dwelling on losing Nana and becoming obsessed with not being able to conceive as quickly as I had hoped. Even though our focus needs to be on Zocon for a bit, we will always be involved in some capacity.

My photography. It’s become something I am addicted to. The enjoyment I get out of taking photographs keeps me young and feeling creative. I’ve especially enjoyed getting to meld two of my favorite things together: Theatre and Photography. I hope the upcoming year will bring more experimentation and growth.

There are hundreds more things I am thankful for, I’m sure. I’d love to keep this going, but I’ve got stuff to do before we drive to San Diego later today. I have a load of laundry to do, then a trip to Target and then an hour orientation at our new OB/GYN. ACK!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thankful

"This is my wife, Keely. She's pregnant and having trouble breathing."

These words came out of Daniel's mouth (quite calmly, I must say) at 1a.m. Sunday, in the ER near our house.

But let me back up a little:

Saturday night had been busy. We got to the theatre at six to eat an early dinner. Daniel's call time was 6:45 and we like to get to the theatre early so he can be relaxed before having to be on stage all night without a break. I gave the actors their photo CD's filled with the best 162 out of 300 photos I took during their dress rehearsals. I goofed around with my friends in the cast. I sat in the lobby talking with friends and blushing a little when they noticed that the preggo belly is starting to become visible. I was complimented on how healthy and happy I looked. I stocked up on snacks and drinks and headed up to the tech booth to watch the show. "Assassins" is a two-hour plus show with no intermission, so the tech booth became my favorite place in the house to sit. Being there gave me the freedom to stand and stretch, eat, and get up for potty breaks as often as need be. I averaged about 3-4 times in a two-hour span.

The closing night attendance was great and I was so proud of all the actors in the show. Every one of them is so talented and it was a pleasure to photograph them and see them bring their characters to life over and over again. I saw the show ten times and never grew bored. It was awesome.

After the meet and greet in the lobby, the cast and crew got to work on striking the set. I was in charge of the list. Basically that meant I got to tell people what to do and cross things off when they got done. I loved my job.

Strike took a couple hours and then we all headed over to a party one of the cast members was having. We were exhausted, but we felt like we needed to make an appearance just for a little while. We drank lemonade and ate cheese and crackers. We took funny pictures. We had a good time. Then, I started having a hard time breathing. They had a cat (which I'm even more allergic to now that I'm pregnant) locked in one of the bedrooms for the party, but my super human preggo senses still smelled it. And then someone got black paint (it was on the bottom of their shoes) on the white carpet. A very diligent friend got to work on the carpet with an old rag and some type of cleaner. I sat there for a bit watching him scrub and spray, scrub and spray, and then I started feeling light headed and sick. Daniel and I got up and walked in the kitchen to get away from the fumes, but the lovely hostess soon followed and then stood and talked to us with the offending spray and the now soaked rag in her hands. I stood there nodding and smiling for a few minutes and then told her and Daniel that I wasn't feeling well and needed to leave. We said our goodbyes, I joked with our friends a little and we walked out into the fresh night air.

Things slid downhill from there. My trouble breathing turned into me gasping for air. Daniel led me to our car, encouraging me to relax and take deep breaths. We started driving and every breath was harder to breathe. I was extremely distressed. I was scared. I was worried Zocon would be having trouble breathing if I was and I tried to gulp air in. All the time, Daniel was driving calmly and trying to make me feel better. He told me over and over again that everything would be all right. I started crying and eventually I could feel my throat closing up. I told Daniel and he asked me if I needed to go to the ER, I nodded and he got me there quickly and safely.

When we walked into the room, Daniel went straight to the security guard on duty.

"This is my wife, Keely. She's pregnant and having trouble breathing."

The man looked at me, asked how far along I was and sent us to the registration desk where Daniel repeated.

"This is my wife, Keely. She's pregnant and having trouble breathing."

If I hadn't been working so hard to breathe and stifle my tears, I would have laughed. I felt like I was in that scene from Bridget Jones' Diary. You know, the scene at the cocktail party where they're introducing their friends to one another.

"This is my wife, Keely. She takes photographs for the Spotlight and loves theatre."

A nurse came out to the waiting room and ushered me back to a bed. They took my vitals and nurses attached heart monitors to my chest and belly. A doctor was in to see me within moments. I was fine. I was having an allergic reaction, but my oxygen levels were still good and the baby wasn't in any danger. I think I stopped crying the moment those words came out of the doctors mouth. I was never scared for me, it was all about Zocon. I had been kicking myself for being so relieved that my first trimester was almost over. I was sure I had jinxed myself and that I was going to miscarry all because I had tried to be polite instead of leaving the party at the first sign of trouble breathing. They gave me a shot of Benedryl and told me to lie down and relax. I asked for my husband (who was still out in the waiting area registering me). The nurse asked me his name and I told him we didn't know yet.

"You don't know you're husbands name…yet?!"
"Oh! I thought you were asking the baby's name! It's Daniel, my husband is Daniel!"

The nurse left quickly and came back to tell me Daniel would be in shortly. He smiled and told me that Daniel was going to be a great dad. He said he was being very calm and patient and that I should be proud. I was. I was so glad that one of us had remained calm. They monitored my heart rate and oxygen levels for nearly two hours. Daniel held my hand and reassured me. I dozed off a little as he fought off sleep. It was nearly 3:30 in the morning when we finally got to go home and fall into our bed.

It's been two days since our ER drama, and it's all still fresh in my mind. I don't think I've ever been so scared in my life. It is even clearer to me now, how lucky I am. I am so thankful for Daniel and his strength and support. I am thankful for this baby we've been wanting for so long and nurtured for the past three months. I am thankful for Daniel. I am thankful for our friends and family who have been so kind to us and shared in our excitement. As I said in my last post, this is going to be a very special Thanksgiving for us this year.

Cheers!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Random Saturday

Going In for the nectar


  • Daniel has his last performance of "Assassins" tonight, a strike of the set afterwards and then...then our nights and weekends are free! Ha...like a cell phone plan.
  • There's been a lot of drama (that crappy kind) that we've been dealing with lately and we're done. While it's not completely within our control, Daniel and I have decided to try to eliminate unnecessary stress where ever we can. This includes (but isn't limited to) too many time commitments, and interacting with people who seem to relish in conflict. Life is too short, and we've got better things to do with our time.
Garden pooch
  • Like take Max to the dog park. We're leaving Bailey at home tomorrow and going for a "Pug Meet up" at one of the local dog parks. We think the interaction with other pugs (without his overbearing sister) will be good for Max and I feel like it will be good for our morale to see cute, fat pugs frolicking in the grass. I love puppies.
  • I've found a OB/GYN. A couple whose temperament matches ours recommended him to us and we trust their judgement. On the website for the office, there is a quote from the doc that his "favorite thing to do is catching babies." I'm pretty sure we're going to like this guy.
  • I need to cancel the "Meet and Greet" with the other doc. I'm sort of relieved. The only thing I could think to ask him was: "Know any good jokes?" and "Do you normally close the door during a procedure?"
  • This Wednesday is "Orientation Day" at the OB/GYN's office. I'll fill out paperwork, find out about the services they have to offer (like prenatal massages and 4D Ultrasounds) and come up with a payment plan for the actual birth. It only takes an hour - the orientation, not the birth.
  • Later on Wednesday, Daniel and I are packing the Prius up with Bailey and Max in tow and heading to San Diego to spend Thanksgiving weekend with my parents. I'm excited to be out of Bakersfield. I'm excited for a change of pace. I'm looking forward to a turkey dinner and the leftovers that will follow.
  • Every year I am extremely thankful for my friends and family and all the amazing things that have happened and the lessons learned, etc. This year I feel elated. We've got a lot to be thankful for.
  • This is my family's first Thanksgiving without Nana. I think it's going to be a little hard on everyone.
  • I am officially in the last week of my first trimester. I hear the second trimester is wonderful. I'm just happy to have come this far and that the percentages of miscarriages drops considerably once you enter the 14th week.
  • When we arrive in San Diego, there is supposed to be a box full of maternity clothes (that my parents ordered me) to get me through the next six months. I'm excited to not have to wear the same preggo jeans everyday anymore. My mom left a message on my cell that I should just bring underwear and whatever I wear for the trip, but I'm bringing a few extra things just in case the box doesn't arrive.

I may post again before Thanksgiving, I may not. We'll see.

Rose 1

Cheers!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Uncomfortable

So, I woke up yesterday with some extreme back pain in my shoulder area. At first it was a constant dull ache, but as the day progressed the pain became shooting. It hurt to raise my arm and there were many points where I yelped out in pain. At bed time, Daniel helped me by surrounding me with pillows - in front of my stomach, behind my back, between my knees. I was a pillow taco. Hmmm. That's a weird phrase I will try never to use again. Anyway, I woke up this morning and the pain had not magically disappeared so Daniel called and made me an appointment for a prenatal massage for this afternoon.

Now I've never had a full blown massage before so I didn't know what to expect, really. I expected dim lights, pleasant scents, (I was hoping for lavender)and relaxing music. I thought there might even be a rock fountain, but I was hoping not because the sound of water would probably make me think I had to pee constantly. I thought I would lay on the table and close my eyes. I worried a little that I might fall asleep and in the process drool on my pillow. I was excited. A nice, relaxing prenatal massage was going to help the pain in my shoulder. I was going to feel rejuvenated once the hour was up.

It's probably best not to put too many expectations on things.


Oh, the lights were dim, the music relaxing. The room smelled nice...some floral scent. There was no fountain, but this was sort of a relief. Initially, I did lay on the table and close my eyes - until my massage therapist started talking.

"Do you work?"
"I do photography and theatre, but basically no."
"Oh, that's nice. You get rest. I wish I get rest when I pregnant."
"Yes. It's nice. This is my first pregnancy and I feel so worn out. Everything is so new and different."

And I think right there is when I opened the can of worms. My massage therapist went on to tell me that she farmed for the first three months of her pregnancy...in Vietnam. When she could no longer farm, she was forced to cook for all the farmers. When she could no longer do that, she sewed hats for the farmers...all day. She told me that she only had one child and she would never, ever have another. She told me she was sick for all nine months of her pregnancy. She told me the gory and very upsetting details of the hard birth and pretty much scared the crap out of me. And then I told her I was sorry and tried to close my eyes.

But she continued. She told me about her arranged marriage and how she only shared the "marriage bed" with her husband once before he was taken away and killed. A month later she found out she was pregnant. She told me about the horrors of war (in detail) that she witnessed. She spoke of her screaming baby and how she and the child were kicked out a hiding space because she could not calm her child because of the guns and bombs...so she ran through the fields and jungle seeking shelter. It was horrifying and I felt horrible for her.

The thing is: I'm a good listener. I am sensitive and open minded. I'm good at letting people talk and not interjecting my own thoughts too much so that they feel comfortable. But I have never had to listen to things like this before. I found myself nodding, telling her I was sorry, etc....but also wanting her to just stop. I felt guilty for just wanting to get to relax and be pampered. I felt selfish that I wanted to jump up and run for the door and ask someone else to help me. In a different venue, I would have been better...more open to listening. It just felt so uncomfortable and strange to be lying on a table pretty much naked being massaged by a woman as she told me of all the horrors she's faced. I didn't feel like I belonged there. I felt tense. I felt like I shouldn't be paying for an hour of this. And that made me feel even more selfish and spoiled.

When it was over, I felt so relieved to be out of there. As Daniel walked me to the car, he asked me how it was. I told him (with even less detail than I'm giving you) what had happened. I felt bad that something he'd set up for me to be a good experience turned out the way it had. On the drive home I thought about saying nothing to the managers of the place, but decided other women shouldn't have to sit through that. While I feel like that woman needs to talk to someone (preferably a therapist of some sort) I don't think the people that she gives massages to should be involved. So I called a few minutes ago. I told the manager what happened while also complimenting the lady on the massage. I over compensated with the complimenting because I didn't want to make her look incapable, but I did explain how uncomfortable I was and that my experience was definitely hindered by her inappropriate stories. I told her this was my first massage and that I will not look back at this as a pleasant experience at all...in fact it's difficult for me to get the images of this woman's life out of my head. She curtly thanked me for my "input", said she would talk to the woman and then she hung up on me. Now, I didn't want a refund. I had already decided I would just never go back there again. I just really thought the lady would be more sympathetic and maybe even apologize. But as I said before:

It's probably best not to put too many expectations on things.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Not So Long Ago

Commedia Cast


This photo was taken in February 2001 of the cast of the cast of “Commedia del Arte”. For those of you who know us (or have been reading this blog for a while) the show title may sound familiar. Daniel and I “officially” met and started dating during rehearsals for this production. Notice Daniel (in the navy blue tunic) with short hair. Notice me (in the red corset) trying (and perhaps succeeding) to look like a tart – it was my character. Oh, time…how it does fly. Our younger selves never would have imagined we’d be on our way to being parents four years after this photo was taken.

Anywho. That’s all I got for you today. Hey, two posts in two days…not bad. I wanted you to know I didn’t get lost in the abyss of the office. There’s a ton to do still, but I certainly got a lot done. Stay tuned for more words tomorrow, maybe.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Checking In

Before I sequester myself in our extremely unorganized and cluttered office, I thought I would check in. Part of me thinks it's important to post a message so you all know where I am just in case I get sucked into the abyss/mess that the room has become. I've got art and photography supplies and miscellaneous office stuff piled up on the table, a filing cabinet that is a mess and a closet full of clothes that Daniel and I have barely glanced at in almost four years. In the months that have gone by my answer to this dilemma has been to just keep the door shut and stay out of there as much as possible, but things....they are a changin'. I've decided it's time to sift through the mess and clear the room out for Zocon. I know, I'm only 12 weeks 4 days into my pregnancy, but I like to get things done early and the disorganization is like a thorn in my side. Plus, I've been moving a little slower than usual lately and I feel like there is a plethora (I LOVE that word, by the way) of things to do before the end of May. So I'm taking my iPod and some veggies with ranch dip (provisions, you know are required) and I'm going to get some stuff done. If I don't blog in the next few days, you should probably send a search party.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nutshells & Tangent

So, I've been "Slacker Blogger" as of late. I know, I know....I get pregnant and then I ignore my blog. What is this world coming to? The important thing to remember is : I haven't been ignoring your blogs - even if I have sort of been lurking and not leaving you comment love. I feel bad about the whole thing, really. Mainly, I feel bad about ignoring one of my best outlets...but I'm going to try to be better about that...from now on.

What have I been doing? Oh, you know....

Supporting my husband and the musical he is performing in (Assassins) by going to every performance for the last two weeks (except last Sunday's matinee - I wasn't feeling well).

Watching three days of rehearsal so that I would know the show and lighting for when I photographed 2 days of dress rehearsals. The photos turned out awesome, all 200 of them.

Talking to my parents nearly every other day.

Getting over morning sickness and embracing my need for very small meals 10 times a day. OK, ten might be an exaggeration.

Picking out a ton of maternity wear from catalogs. The preggo belly has started to surface and I'm getting super tired of wearing the same pregger jeans every single day.

Trying not to stress too much when some ass fraudulently used our bank card number and cleared our account completely. Yeah. Luckily it was just a few days from payday and there wasn't much to steal, but still. The good news is we've already been refunded part of it. I guess Wells Fargo isn't as bad as I said they were.

Having our last appointment with our specialist in Thousand Oaks. He gave us the all clear to start going to our doc on Bako now that he'd seen the heartbeat a total of three times and we all got to watch the baby move around and put it's hands to it's face. We got a video of it and I've only watched it five times. Really.

Going to our first prenatal appointment with the doc friends said I would think was hot (Not hot. Not to me anyway. But I only have eyes for Daniel...so whatever.) and who I was supposed to just love. I didn't love him. I don't think I really even liked him. Now, we might have caught him on a bad day. He may have been rushed. I'm sure he is a fabulous doctor, but I think I want to see if we can find a better fit for us.
  1. I got hormonal and started crying in the exam room (just out of nerves). When he came in the room he acted like everything was normal.
  2. He was condescending. "Am I sure August 18th was the first day of my last period?" "Am I sure the conception date was September 4th?" Yes. Yes, I am sure. I've sort of been keeping track of the minor details for the past year.
  3. During the exam, he failed to warn me before he proceeded to do things. It might just be a personal thing (and the doc in Thousand Oaks probably spoiled me forever as far as this is concerned) but I like to know when the doc is going to start doing things like say, pushing at my breast. There were other things he failed to warn me about, but I'm sparing you all details.
  4. He rushed the ultrasound. He acted put out by the fact that I wanted to be told how big Zocon had gotten. Oh, and during the ultrasound the door was ajar. Ajar! Now some might say that I should give up my modesty...not too far in the future I will be giving birth, but please. I want the door shut. Is that too much to ask?
  5. He just wasn't Dr. B. Doctor B. was so great, and understanding, and comforting.
Setting up a "Meet & Greet" with a new OB/GYN. Apparently I will have about five minutes to decide if I like this new guys personality and bedside manner enough to let him examine me and later deliver our child. Hmm. Suggestions on what I should ask? Anyone?

Craving things so bad that when I finally get them, I practically devour them like a wild animal.

Having the most vivid dreams I have ever had in my life. Good ones, bad ones, scary ones. In my dreams I am always hugely pregnant. Most dreams are some sort of disaster that I have to save Daniel, the dog children, me and Zocon, or the entire world from. Last night I saved the world from terrorists. It seems in my dreams I am some sort of superhero - Pregnant Keely to the rescue! Apparently, being pregnant has given my subconscious delusions of grandeur...and it's exhausting. I much prefer the dreams where I am shopping for baby clothes or hearing first words.

Planning a birthday party for a theatre pal.

Relaxing. Cuddling with the husband and watching movies. Taking naps. Looking at my house and trying to figure out where to begin first as far as organization and cleaning go. Etc. Etc. Etc.

And that's my activities in a nutshell. I'll work on posting more frequently. Girl Scouts honor.*

Cheers!

* Tangent - I should probably take that back since I was asked to leave my troop....troop 298? When I was nine I got into an argument with my friend who was the leaders daughter and asked to leave my troop. However, while I was a Scout I was a model one. I had all sorts of patches on my sash and vest...and one year (with the help of my mom) I was the top cookie seller and won a trip to Disneyland. OK. Tangent over. Carry on.