Another work disclosure

Today, we had a department retreat to discuss next year’s goals, calendar, etc., which was led by our new director. This new director has caused a lot of anxiety and difficulties for me as of late and has not made any attempt to get to know me, either personally or professionally, before immediately enacting a bunch of procedural changes. Meanwhile, this is the busiest time of the year for us, and she just continues to pile on the work.

She started the retreat with an icebreaker in which we each selected a strip of paper that contained a question that we needed to answer, and we went around and around in the circle, selecting strips of paper and answering questions, until we’d answered all of the questions. The questions ranged from extraordinarily serious and deep to humorous and silly. I was the second staffer to select a strip of paper:

my question

*crickets*

Obviously, only one subject came to mind, and clearly, as this person has taken zero effort to get to know me at all, I haven’t told her about the fact that I am about to become a mother. I decided to just say it, because, well, I will eventually have to. I gulped, took a deep breath, and said, “Well, I’m sure we’ll talk more about this soon, but, well, my husband and I are expecting a child in the coming year and my main non-work related goal for the coming year is to be the best parent I can possibly be.”

Her response? A very surprised, “Ohhhh…!” There wasn’t time to talk about this more in-depth, which was frankly preferable, and I laid the groundwork for a slightly less awkward continuation of the story.

It’s so funny because I’ve been fretting about how to find a way to bring up this subject in the near future when she hadn’t bothered to try to build any sort of relationship with me. The universe responded. I could have drawn any mystery question, even the one my coworker selected about what role she would be if she worked in the circus, but the one I picked magically allowed me to easily address what felt like an impossible problem. It was a great way to end a very long, tiring work week.

Another one is right around the corner… Is this year over yet?

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What’s in YOUR pants?

If it’s an intactivist information card, then you have something in common with K.

Today, upon putting on a new pair of khaki manternity pants that we recently purchased from Target, he discovered an informational card about circumcision for parents-to-be. It’s from a website called Saving Our Sons and looks like the following:

intactivist card front

intactivist card back

When K first pulled it out of his pocket, he thought it was some creepy religious thing or right-to-life message. Luckily, this card doesn’t say anything that’s outside what we would pursue if we happen to be having a boy, either now or in the future. We both thought it was a clever method to spread the word to an appropriate audience (though we doubt the person who left the card would ever think the message would end up in the pants of a pregnant dad-to-be!).

So true!

Considering someone recently located our blog by searching “what to get for a baby shower if they don’t know the gender,” I figured the following could be useful:

for boy or girl

Feel free to substitute the words “item” or “present” for “toy,” and the person who searched for gender-neutral baby gift ideas should be in luck! I wish I could cite the original source for the brilliance of this graphic, but I would like to thank my friend who sent this my way.

Sleeping at 19 weeks

When I first found out I was pregnant I suspected I would have all sorts of sleep troubles (even early on).  I’ve read that people can have insomnia and, of course back/hip/all over pain later in the pregnancy.  Thus far I haven’t had any sort of sleep issues (but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop).

My biggest complaint is not sleeping on my back.  I know at some point during pregnancy I’m not supposed to sleep on my back anymore.  From what I’ve read when you lie on your back, the weight of your pregnant uterus slows blood to your heart, which reduces blood flow to the fetus.  I’m not really sure at what point this starts happening?

Anyway, my night goes something like this:

-curl up on my left side
-roll onto right side
-C elbows me because my pregnancy induced stuffy nose makes me snore (okay, not 100% true, C usually whispers sweetly if I’ll roll over)
-stumble to bathroom for pee #1
-left side
-right side
-lay on my back and sigh happily until my mind goes crazy imaging the oxygen, blood flow, and nutrients being cut off from Falco!  Agggggg!

Repeat this process about 3 or 4 times throughout the night.  *sigh*

Purchases for parents-to-be

Last night, K and I went to Kohls to take advantage of some of their Black Friday sales that they actually launched before Thanksgiving.

With a rapidly increasing pace at my job, I’ve been enjoying an iced coffee each morning as a way to help me focus. I’ve been in the market for a really good deal, especially with holiday sales, on a Keurig, which I feel would be a lot more convenient (and necessary!) for me once we have a newborn. After a lot of thorough research, I determined that Kohls had the best deal. The model with the best reviews across multiple websites, the B40, had a regular price of $119.99. They had a 15% off coupon, dropping the price to $102. Kohls was also offering $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent, dropping the price to an unheard of $72.

There’s so much on which we can spend our $30 in earned Kohl’s Cash, like holiday gifts, or another necessity – manternity clothes! We saw on the Kohls website that they had a pair of neutral looking pregnancy pants available in plus sizes, so since we were in the store and it wasn’t yet nutty with holiday shopping, we asked an associate to direct us to the maternity section. Unfortunately, this request caused a lot of confusion, as they’d apparently temporarily pulled their small maternity section off the floor to make way for all of the Black Friday specials that they were setting up around the store. I truly expected that this would mean we were out of luck, but the associate offered to take us into the stock room to look at the maternity racks and pull any products we might like to try on or purchase. Even though it meant them having to drag the racks out of a truck where they’d temporarily stashed them, the Kohls associates acted like they were totally happy to help. It was such an amazing customer service experience, in the midst of such a hectic time in their business, that I honestly intend to write a note to the store manager about it.

K tried on the pair of pants and I’m so very glad that we pulled multiple sizes from the stock room, as the sizes run smaller than they claim to on the Kohls online size chart. The pants were a great fit, a good value at $29.00 (WITHOUT a coupon!) and very gender neutral (when not worn with high heels):

more manternity pants

We’ll likely purchase a few pairs of these pants as a staple for K’s work wardrobe. While we were at the store, K also tried on some sweaters and button down collared career shirts from the Men’s Big & Tall section and found a few items that would definitely work with a prominent and growing baby bump. I chuckle whenever I think about what an associate must have thought when he found both maternity pants and men’s business clothes in a singular men’s dressing room stall.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Domino effect, pregnancy style

Lately, we’ve been experiencing a rather unfortunate series of events in our household. Over the course of a few days, both of our dogs have displayed multiple symptoms of digestive upset, which has required a lot of clean-up by their humans. Unfortunately, with K’s epic pregnancy gag reflex, this has resulted in a domino effect that goes something like this:

  1. Young dog starts heaving.
  2. K tries to scuttle her onto hardwood or tile for easier clean-up.
  3. Young dog vomits.
  4. Old dog tries to eat said vomit.
  5. K tries to shoo the old dog away while trying not to barf.
  6. K tries to clean up the mess while trying not to barf.
  7. K starts heaving.
  8. K runs to the bathroom.
  9. K vomits.
  10. I clean up the initial mess.
  11. Rinse and repeat.

Meanwhile, I’ve been dealing with a lot of abdominal pain and nausea for the past several days, so I’m not in the bet state either. I swear, we’re being puked out of house and home.

We remember

Many of our readers are aware that November 20 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day devoted to honoring and memorializing individuals who were killed due to hatred and prejudice against transgender people. It is important to note that many of the people we remember on this day are people of color, having experienced marginalization and stigmatization beyond what was related to their expressions of gender. This is a very somber day for those of us who identify as – and love – transgender people.

K and I were acquaintances for many years, but we actually attribute the Transgender Day of Remembrance as the beginning of our relationship because, 7 years ago today, a TDOR event brought us together. Across a crowded room of understandably solemn faces, K and I locked eyes and began down a path that has brought us to the joyful place we are today.

I can’t help pondering the extremes that this day represents: the elation and hope of a new relationship and the sadness and rage behind the losses of life that occur, year after year, because of the hatred of gender diversity. Like life itself, this day is filled with such complexities, reminding me that something wonderful and amazing can happen when you least expect it and that it is critical to celebrate and appreciate the beauty in this world while we mourn and speak out against injustices.

Gratitude, week 17

I can’t believe it’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve expressed my weekly gratitude! There’s always so much for which I’m thankful, not just during the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays, and I feel guilty for not having kept that top-of-mind recently. I am grateful for:

  • Being financially stable. We’re not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but I want to recognize the economic privilege we experience. None of this – from trying to conceive, to accessing healthcare, to affording baby items and man-ternity clothes, to feeding our baby – would be remotely possible. It’s really important to me to never forget this and to keep people who aren’t as fortunate in my heart and mind.
  • Having the ability to celebrate the upcoming holidays with people we love. We’re having Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws, including my favorite of K’s aunts, and I am hopeful that we’ll have some conversations about pregnancy and our baby-to-be that will further normalize this experience for my mother-in-law. I think she’s really come a long way in her acceptance and understanding of this issue, but I’m sure that these conversations could only help this progress. On Friday, we’re headed up to visit my parents, where we’ll see my aunt and uncle, as well as my ailing grandmother, who is in advanced stages of dementia. It will be good to see them all again. It feels far to infrequent at times.
  • K finally feeling Falco move in a way that he can more reliably identify. Our weekly pregnancy update emails indicated that our little one is starting to hear loud sounds and might react by moving when s/he hears loud sounds like trains, car horns, etc. This information was especially timely because, on Friday evening, that’s exactly what happened. K was stuck driving the van home with the vanpool he shares with a group of 6 others. One of the vanpool members was late getting to his pickup location and the vanpool leader, who was sitting next to K, was yelling really loudly in Mandarin to the late vanpool member. During this ruckus, K felt Falco “swim” quickly, I imagine, to some safe corner of his uterus. Only we would experience such bizarre circumstances related to the first identifiable movement of our baby-to-be.
  • [I’m adding an extra gratitude, since it’s been so damn long since I expressed it!] FINALLY being able to see Falco again! This coming Friday, we’re having our anatomy scan and, if Falco cooperates, hopefully find out the sex of our baby-to-be! I’m so twitchy about this information and I can’t believe we’re finally going to know in less than a week! AHHHH!