How to hold down a full-time career, get a graduate degree, participate in a social/charity group, and grow a fetus in your uterus all at the same time. The working woman's guide to pregnancy.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In Da House!

Check this.

Guess who's coming to live with me and BD in the month of April? My good friend from high school... who just so happens to be a pediatrician! She's coming to DC for a month-long stint at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Hmmm.... I wonder if she likes babies?

Did I need more evidence that I'm luckiest person alive?

Pregnancy Brain


I've gotten much dumber recently. It's a wonder that I can even successfully write a blog post anymore.

As I explained to BD, I'm have trouble "closing the deal." If I remember to do something, I remember to do 95% of it, but then forget the final and most important 5%. Example: I remembered to ask BD for my new insurance info before I left for the doctor's appointment last week. I remembered to print it out. And then I left it on the printer. This instance alone is not cause for's just when you realize that nearly every single activity I engage in ends similarly.

Apparently I'm not alone:
Brain shrinkage seems to be common in pregnancy, and lasts through the first six months after birth.

So bear with me, my friends. If I'm acting flaky, or forgetting your names, just pat my belly and realize that I have "a condition."

Monday, January 29, 2007

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

I had been ignoring Cletus the Fetus for a while (see previous posts), and so, by popular demand, this post is all about baby.

Kidlet, by all counts, is doing just fine. It's flipping and kicking a bunch. The doctor (who we visited on Friday) seems to be happy with the progress--size, heart rate, movement, etc. Since we're at 29 weeks now, we'll start doing doctor visits every two weeks instead of four. The baby demands a steady stream of baked goods and chocolate, but the scale and iron test suggest I replace some of the cookies and brownies with spinach and high-fiber muffins or something. We'll see who wins.

Other than the new-to-us car, I haven't personally bought anything yet for the baby. But, as I've mentioned, the supplies are flooding in! And we're all really looking forward to two upcoming baby showers (in Florida on February 10 and in DC on March 3). After the showers, I'll have a much better idea of what, if anything, kidlet still needs.

We have our childbirth education class lined up for March 11. I'll keep practicing "breath for birth" from yoga classes until then.

Unkey Matt spotted some interesting articles on breast-feeding: and Enjoy!

Oh, and one more know how I know that I'll be having a baby sooner rather than later? Because people are starting to show up at my doctor's office and yoga class talking about their July and August due dates. Weird.

Friday, January 26, 2007

It's a New Day!

Hallelujah, I've gotten through the week (mostly). A quick update...

*WORK: the campaign launch yesterday was a huge success and the client is very happy. We started the day with a story in the New York Times and on Good Morning America. There's a lot more work to do now to sustain the campaign, but anyone who's worked on a launch before knows how intense they are. Phew!

*SCHOOL: I enrolled in two courses this semester and had my first taste of both this week. One, I love...the other was just not going to work out for me in this final trimester of pregnancy. It's not just that it was going to be a lot of work; it was going to be a lot of work that I was not going to enjoy. So, for the first time ever in my academic career, I dropped a class. I'm really excited about the course I've replaced it with, which is much more in line with my day-to-day job and interests. This semester is still going to be a complicated jungle between school, work, and the final three months of pregnancy...but I think it's doable.

*LIFE: BD and I now have in our driveway our new baby-friendly Subaru. It rules. It has butt-warmers. Need I say more?

*CLETUS THE FETUS: The kidlet has still been moving all around. Last night, it staged a Cirque du Soleil two-hour act in my belly. Freaky. In other news, I pitched a reporter named Rad (short for "Radford") this week and promptly decided it was the coolest name I had ever heard. So you may start hearing me refer to the kidlet as "Rad" or "Baby Rad." Yeah, that's sweet.

*FUN: The program at my women's group meeting this week was "A Champagne and Food Pairing Extravaganza." Even though I didn't imbibe, I did have a yummy assortment of poached pears, almond cookies, mushroom quiche, salad, and pear and brie bruschetta. MMmmmm....philanthropy!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Just Need to Get Through This Week

You may have noticed that my blog posts are a bit thin this week. Well, it's a doozie of a week. I've started my new semester in graduate school (two courses), I had a meeting for my women's group, and--this is the big one--I'm prepping for a Thursday campaign launch at work. When people ask me how the baby is doing, this is the project I think about.

And I'm working really hard not to get stressed out about it all. And yet, my right eyebrow started to uncontrollably (and quite visibly) twitch the other day. It clearly did not get the memo on avoiding stress.

Maybe We Should Name It 'Oscar'

Oh yeah, it's about that time....

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Going Out Part 2

It's 2 a.m., and I'm still awake. This is so exciting! Going out was really fun. The very best part was when the DJ played a mix expecially for me: My Humps mixed with Push It ("My hump, my hump, my hump, check it out!" followed by "Ooh baby, baby, baby...b-b-b-baby"). Loved every second of it!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Going Out

DC is now smokefree, Kate is in town, and I'm going out to boogie tonight! After much discussion with BD and new moms, I've decided that an hour on the dance floor is just what the doctor ordered.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Too Many Christmas Cookies?

Yep, this is me now. I guess it's official: I'm pregnant.

The Hillary Follow-up

I posted earlier that I had become obsessed with the media plan for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign that I had to create for one of my graduate courses. Well pretty much as soon I turned it in, I then became obsessed with finding out my grade on it.

Well I found out. I got an A! And I got some really great comments from the instructor. In fact, it's taking everything in me not to copy and paste the e-mail he sent me into this blog post. It just wouldn't be right.

So apparently I do a lot better with political communications than with blogging (otherwise, how do you explain the A- in my digital age course?).

I apologize if this seems like the blog has become a brag-blog (what with the recent poker win and all). But, um, well, sorry. I just get really excited about these kinds of things. Yes, I know. I am Tracy Flick.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I often think about how lucky I've been with this pregnancy. It has really been drama-free.

Until now!

Turns out I'm the one who's not quite so perfect. I just got a call from my doctor, and even though I passed the diabetes and syphillis tests with flying colors, I appear to be *gasp* slightly anemic.

So bring on the spinach, bring on the mustard greens, and bring on the iron pills! BD seems to actually be excited that we now have a required medical intervention...he loves buying pills.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Work Conversation

One of my goals for the New Year was to start the maternity leave conversation with my bosses. Maintaining a healthy balance between caring for an infant, finishing a masters degree, and moving my career forward is a major priority.

I will discuss all of this in more detail when it is resolved, but I did want to note that I have began these discussions with my employer. Oh what fun.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Day On, Not A Day Off

And one really non-frivolous thing you could do today.... watch the Golden Globe awards tonight! But, like, think socially conscious things while you're watching.

Because I love movies and movie award season--and because they say you don't get to go to the movie theater all that often once you have a baby--I've been really packing my weekends with trips to the theater. I've seen many of the major award contenders: Babel, Volver, Notes on a Scandal, Dreamgirls, Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, Devil Wears Prada, Thank You for Smoking, and The Queen. I still have many more on my list: the Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Children, Bobby, Blood Diamond, the Pursuit of Happyness, Sherrybaby, and Venus.

For what it's worth, Cletus the Fetus loves going to the movies and usually happily kicks and flips all throughout the film.

Happy Martin Luther King Day

Let's be inspired by his words and actions and do something today that makes the world a better place for the next generation (including the one who's internally kicking me right now).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bragging Rights

This post is not about pregnancy, balancing work and graduate school, or any topic that I once claimed this blog would be about.

It is simply about how awesome I am!

On Thursday night, I won a poker tournament. I took down 12 other players, including some who are serious poker junkies. I wiped them all out in just two and a half hours. Booyah!

I am the time for losing...cuz I am the champion of the world!!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Joy of Motion

By popular demand, this is a blog posting on what it's like to feel the baby moving. I was reminded to write this by Cletus the Fetus, who is currently staging an intense gymnastic routine in my gut right now.

I have long heard about how expecting moms can feel their babies kick and I've even seen it before. And yet, I was totally unprepared for how often and how intense the feeling is. It's not the occasional kick. It's a nonstop spin cycle once it gets going.

I mostly love this feeling, because it something that reminds me what's going on and it's something I can share with other people who have a stake in this child (BD, for example). I can't share the acid reflux, but he can certainly feel it when the little kidlet kicks him in the head.

I haven't yet noticed a pattern in the movement, except that I generally feel it more when I rest or relax (which is common). But I'm busy today, running around the office, writing documents and fielding phone calls--and I'm very aware of how much the baby is moving. Maybe it's happy about the chocolate toffee cheesecake I fed it for lunch. I know I am.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Art of Avoiding Stress

Back in November, BD saw a Discovery channel program on fetal development and then reported to me that I should try to limit stress, because it can be harmful to the baby.

Since I routinely operate on a high level (or as I call it-- "a healthy level") of stress, it is a real effort for me not to do too much, go too fast, or think too much.

I love my job a lot, but it is probably the #1 source of stress in my day-to-day life. I just don't care enough about house stuff or things like that to devote my stress to those channels. So, work it is! I tend to juggle about four clients and all of their varying needs, and I'm constantly dealing with "peak time" for at least one of them. Right now, for example, I'm consumed by one particular campaign launch that requires me to chant on an hourly basis "don't get stressed, don't get stressed." I find myself doing lots of deep breathing and defensive laughing.

This is also the reason I didn't watch the President's speech last night. Definitely wouldn't have been able to handle that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Artwork

The new picture to the left is a work commissioned by my mother for the Florida baby shower invitations. The artist is extremely talented, and I'm honored to be related to her.

If others wish to commission pieces from my 4-year-old niece, please send requests directly to me.

Support of Sisters

I'm active in my PEO chapter. PEO is a women's philanthropic organizations that raises money for loans and scholarship for other women (check out It's also a sisterhood, and I'm lucky to have many new moms, experienced moms, and wise grandmothers in the group.

Last night, we had our first meeting of 2007. It was the first time they all got to see my new round belly. In addition to tummy pats, I also got some great advice and even more hand-me-downs (clothe diapers, a baby bathtub, a stroller, water-proof mattress pad, and a soft afghan). My favorite piece of advice... not one but three sisters mentioned that a glass of wine every now and then wasn't taboo--it was the way to go!

I look forward to bringing the new kidlet to meetings. I don't look at this as one more thing "going on in my life" to get all stressed out about. I look at it as a support group. Thank God for sisters!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Mama Drama

So there've been requests for more drama on the blog...catty remarks about other mothers or mothers-to-be, declarations about the right and wrong way to do stuff, juicy details of "getting it on" while pregnant, and so on.

Sorry, ain't going to happen.

For one thing, I'm in PR. That means I live and breathe "message control." I know that anyone could eventually read anything on this board. That includes my employer, my friends, my enemies, family members, and future voters (as if). I've heard too many stories about people who got fired because of the content of their blogs...and I'm not going down that road.

The second reason is that, well, my pregnancy has been fairly vanilla, quite drama-free. And I feel lucky about that. And I don't feel the need to create drama at this point. I'm sure some will naturally occur, so I'm saving my energy for those times.

And finally, as opinionated as I am, I really don't have a strong opinion on a lot of the pregnancy and parenting choices. As I've mentioned before, the "mommy wars" are stupid. Women should not be battling each other over the choices they make...they should save their energy for battling everything else (the system that makes work, insurance, and childcare options bleak and unflexible, and so on). So you won't find too many declaratives here. I'm still just learning and absorbing. Plus I have the superstition that if I go on record on anything, I may look like a hypocrite if I'm not able to achieve the declaration (i.e. my desire to breastfeed exclusively for six months). Karma tends to have a sense of humor about these things.

I'll leave the drama and intrigue to my guest bloggers. Got something to say? Wanna pick a fight? Just let me know and I'll post it.

Monday, January 8, 2007

This Blog is Great Minus

I started this blog as part of an assignment for one of my graduate school courses (Introduction to the Digital Age). I just got my grade back for the semester. It is a....drumroll please...A-.

I far prefer the "A++" Shanna gave me in the comments section.

Regardless, this is definitely the one and only class assignment I've ever kept up with after the course was over.

Sunday, January 7, 2007


BD and I are currently in Pennsylvania visiting friends who happen to be parents of two. We came with a single duffle bag of overnight clothes and promises to make pie (which we did), but we are leaving with the motherload! Breast pump, bottles, nursing pads, nursing stool, pacifiers galore...not to mention the giant crate of maternity clothes (at least 100 articles of clothing easily).

As I've mentioned before, I LOVE hand-me-downs. Not only do they save me and others from having to shop or think about it too much, they also often come with personal, friendly instructions. My friend, for example, actually taught me how to use a breast pump yesterday.

But the best lessons of all have come from the hands-on experience with their two little ones (newborn and nearly 3-year-old). They are great kids, making the trial run very enjoyable. We've changed diapers and mini-potties, we've provided food via bottles and on Thomas the Tank Engine plates, and we've learned how to diffuse whining and infant cries with different (and brilliant) tactics.


Friday, January 5, 2007

Let the Spending Begin!

Looks like we'll be making a deposit tonight on our first major baby-related purchase: a new-to-us car. We opted for a 2000 Subaru Outback, given its safety ratings and the fact that its the official car of Takoma Park, MD.

So for all of you haters out there who were dissing our current cars' bald tires, questionnable brakes, lack of air bags, and threadbare seatbelts... you won this round!!!

100 Days

I noticed--thanks to the countdown clock doohicky on the left--that we have 100 days to go before the due date. My first thought: Wow! It's cool that the rest of the pregnancy corresponds with the 100-day agenda to be executed by a Democratic congress led by the first female Speaker of the House!

Does that make me a nerd?

No need to respond. I already know the answer.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Grade Me! Grade Me!

Even though 2007 is the "year of the baby," don't think I'm not still obsessing about work and school. My latest hang-up: my professors from the fall semester still haven't posted our grades! I actually got a report card mailed to me that featured the code for "professors haven't submitted grades." There's something to stick up on the fridge and be proud of!

First Guest Blogger: Mama J

Do you have a birth plan? Probably won't really know what you'll want to do until after your class in March. Anyway, I'd recommend it. That way everyone knows what you want (particularly if you're not in the mood to articulate on d-day). It is also beneficial because it makes you aware of some of the things they might do "routinely" that are really optional. I know I learned a lot about labor and delivery just by filling out an online birth plan (even though we didn't use ours -- no time to get it, and no need to give it).

I was also rather taken aback by the post delivery stuff the body goes through. I won't gore you with details unless you want them. It just really surprised me how much women don't share about that part. Maybe because it's too gross. I don't know. Anyway . ..

Ooh! One thing that you'll want to put in your suitcase -- a little jar of Vaseline. The first couple of dirty diapers are meconium filled. It's black, tarry and difficult to get off. I understand that if you use Vaseline on the baby's bottom it's much easier to clean.

Who Wants to Guest-Blog?

Got something to share, but don't want to be relegated to the comments section? Let me know and I'll post you as a guest blogger.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

How to Have Fun

Having fun--kicking back--takes on a whole new meaning when you are pregnant. By way of example, I will describe a typical evening (one much like last night):

Step One: Go over to a friends house

Step Two: Put on your bathing suit

Step Three: Stick your legs in the hot tub but keep your upper body warm with a sweatshirt (goal: don't boil or freeze the fetus)

Step Four: Pass around a six-pack, snagging an O'Douls for yourself

Step Five: Drive home (you're the designated driver, of course)

Step Six: If you need to detox from the O'Douls, try some delicious decaf coffee

Step Seven: Get in bed by 10


Monday, January 1, 2007


Here it is: the year of the baby! Game on!

Okay, it's for real. I'm pregnant. Unbelievably, I'm already in my sixth month. I'm getting bigger daily, and the kid sure does love to kick me. So, it's time to get serious and start doing some real planning and preparation. Here's the list so far.

1. Sign up for childbirth class (Check. We're on for a full day one Sunday in March.)
2. Talk to work about my maternity leave plans (I'm hoping to do this the week after next.)
3. Start getting the house ready (Check. We made big progress this weekend with my brother-in-law moving into the basement apartment. His old room will be the nursery.)
4. Start getting gear (Setting up the registries was a good start. BD is also checking out video cameras and cars.)

I'm feeling good...kind of excited actually. Here's to a happy, healthy, a peaceful 2007 for all!