Thursday, March 29, 2012

22 & 23 Weeks

Missed another week, oops!  It was pretty uneventful.  Jelly Bean's movements have scooted higher so I can see them now and occasionally I can see her knee as she rolls over.  It's been fun!  Monday I go in for my 24 week appointment and hopefully all is still fine.  I have some tired days and some heartburn, but otherwise I'm feeling pretty good now that I'm solidly into the second trimester.  I think my weight has jumped up a bit though... probably up about 12 pounds total now according to my scale at home but we'll see what Dr. B's scale says on Monday and whether she's upset with me!  I can say that I've had a bit of a sweet tooth but I've been trying to keep it under control. 

The other factor could be stress.  About once a week I have a meltdown about money and whether I should change jobs or not and all that.  I did have an interview for a full-time position at a veterinary office in Edgemont, about 25 minutes from home, which would've been a good job but they didn't offer it to me.  I decided that was okay, since I'll be taking maternity leave and will probably have trouble keeping up with a full-time job in the next town while breastfeeding a newborn.  If they had offered it to me, I might not have taken it anyway because of that.  Right now, it's hard enough taking care of B and myself and getting everything done that we need to do, plus helping Mom out while she has a marathon cold/asthma/bronchitis thing that happens to her annually.  I don't think I physically could work away from home more than I already am, considering how much I need to sleep on the days I'm not working.

B saw his surgeon on Tuesday and they decided it was time to do a referral for more surgery.  The drain should've cleared it up by now, but there's a hard clod in there that just isn't breaking up the way it should and they can't put a big enough tube in there to pull the bigger chunks out.  Dr. G is in the process of getting the referral paperwork together, but the doctor he was going to refer us to works out of a clinic in Denver that has no financial aid program and would require payment at the time of service.  No matter what kind of cash patient discount they would give, we wouldn't be able to cough up enough that day to cover a surgery like this.  This whole thing has stretched my parents pretty thin too so I've been trying to get ahold of Dr. G to get him to refer B to someone at a hospital that has a charity program of some sort so we can handle this.  No calls back yet of course, so Mom's busy researching every liver specialist from here to Minneapolis.

Mom's church is going to be selling cinnamon rolls at the local home & garden "Spring Fling" at the civic center here for our fundraiser.  That should help us catch up with living expenses a little bit, at least. :) In the meantime, I've decided to start spreading the word about my indiegogo campaign so that after the financial aid paperwork goes through we might be able to pay off the other clinics and avoid bankruptcy.  It's a shot in the dark to hope that enough strangers will contribute to keep us from having to file bankruptcy, but it's not the end of the world if we do.  It will be on B's credit alone since we're not married yet, so if we didn't get enough from the campaign to pay everyone off he'll file and we'll wait to have the wedding until he's through the process.  He has no credit to ruin, but I've been working hard for years to build and maintain mine so hopefully we can keep it away from my credit and we'll still have a chance of being able to get car or home loans when we need them.

I belong to an online group of other moms due in July and these ladies are amazing!  They sneakily chipped in together and ordered the infant carrier/carseat/stroller system I registered for on!  I cried when I found out, that was so sweet of them to help us out with one of our big purchases! It's incredibly humbling when people step up like that.  I can't express my gratitude enough!

Hopefully I can keep my emotions under control a little better for the rest of the week.  Any bets? Ha!

Friday, March 16, 2012

21 weeks

Baby Jelly Bean girl is one active little booger most days!  Every few hours I can feel her thumping around in there.  She's not keeping me awake at night yet, but maybe that's coming next.  I do have to turn over a lot in my sleep thanks to our worn-out mattress.  Alas, the odds of getting a new one are still pretty slim since we're still just barely living on my little paychecks.  We should be able to get food stamps this month once I get all the paperwork together, but energy assistance ran out so we owe the propane company.  If it's not one thing it's another.  Sigh.

B is still about the same.  He had a CT scan yesterday to look at the progress and the abcess is half the size it was when they started, and the doctors are happy with that, so we keep going with the drain.  It's frustrating for both of us because it will take another 4-6 weeks at least to get it cleared up so he still won't be able to work, but now they put a smaller tube in so he's in a lot less pain than he was.  The bigger tube was kinked and poking into the wall of his liver, pushing on a broken rib, and laying on a nerve that shot constant pain up into his bad shoulder... ow!  At least he's feeling better today so he can probably start helping a little more around the house, which he hasn't been able to do since they put the bigger tube in in the first place.  Every little bit helps. :)

I've been agonizing over whether to get another job or not.  I'm already stretched thin enough that I have meltdowns at least once a week (not helped at all by pregnancy hormones, but still) but part of that is money stress.  Getting more income into the house would help a little of that, but it's not like I have all kinds of free time right now anyway, between both of our doctor appointments, aid applications, baby shower stuff, starting to plan wedding, keeping us fed and the house in some sort of order, getting the bills paid, and keeping the hospitals happy with piles of paperwork.  I don't think I could physically work any more than I do already without letting half of that slip, and none of it can afford to be put off except for the wedding, which I haven't really worked on yet anyway.  I have this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that if I go to work full-time it will take care of a lot of our problems, but now I'm not so sure.  Monday afternoons are often full of appointments, both for me and B, and there's another month left of Symphony (which I WILL NOT give up, period), and I know at some point my appointments will get closer together.  That pretty much takes Mondays out of the running for being regular work days.  Then Tuesday I'm always running around like mad trying to get errands done that can only happen during business hours since that's my only day to do it.  How do people get anything done if they're at work all the time?  Maybe when Symphony's over I could wait tables or something on the weekends for a few months until Jelly Bean comes.  Hopefully B can go back to work around then and we can get our feet under us a little bit before I'm worthless.  I'm fairly sure I won't be able to handle going right back to work full-time after she comes either.  I know we can't afford to miss more than 2 of my paychecks so I know I won't get much time off, but it seems pointless to get a full-time job now when I'm pretty sure I won't want to work full-time with a newborn.  Switching jobs is stressful anyway, with new training and getting used to a new schedule and everything. 

I was very excited about an interview I had earlier this week but now I'm thinking it's not such a good idea.  They haven't called me back or anything yet so it may not be an issue anyway, but I had a strong feeling yesterday that I needed to decide what to do before they do call.  Every few months I have this same dilemma for some reason or another and I keep coming back to the fact that I need to be writing in my spare time.  My music will never get off the ground if I don't work on it, so it's time that I treated it like a job and put some real time into it so I can reduce my dependency on the struggling small businesses in this little town.  I'll never become my own person with my own career if I keep jumping from one little job to the next in the hopes that one of them will take me somewhere.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Week 20 - halfway!

First things first... IT'S A GIRL!  She has all her parts, from what I could tell everything measured within a week of everything else (for things that I saw a time/gestation stamp on), and she's got a lovely profile!  I saw Dr. B just after the ultrasound so she hadn't had a chance to look at it yet but if there were any issues or if they needed a better look at something, she would call.  That was Monday, so I'm just going with the "no news is good news" idea.  We have a name picked out but we may keep it quiet for a little bit.  I really hate when people nitpick my choices since it makes me second-guess myself and that's the last thing I want to be doing with my daughter's name.  The people we have told love it though, so I don't know why anyone else would have a problem with it.  :)

Still clear sailing from my end on this too.  I'm having a little difficulty getting comfortable to sleep but if I put the pillow in the right spot I'm fine.  I've only gained 5 pounds since my 8 week appointment, but you wouldn't know it looking at the size of my belly!  It doesn't feel as big as it looks so mirrors still surprise me a bit.  Looking down, it doesn't seem all that big.  Chiropractic adjustments are getting a bit more uncomfortable too, even though he adjusts the table to make room for the belly.  Oh, and by the way, yes most of my maternity shirts are striped.  Why, you may ask?  Well, apparently it's either that or solid non-fun colors.  Yippee.  Oh well, as long as it's not green I won't look too much like a watermelon. :P

Last weekend was a symphony concert, which meant I was in the car Monday like usual, then after work Thursday and Friday and again on Saturday, plus sitting in 2+ hours of rehearsal each time.  Needless to say, my back didn't agree with that very well.  My muscles actually settled into how out my spine was so when I got adjusted yesterday it ached quite a bit.  I should have an ice pack on it now but I keep forgetting to bring one in to work.  What was rather funny was that the little girl would wake up during the lyrical movements and kick around at every rehearsal and the concert.  It wasn't the loud movements like I expected, it was apparently the ones she liked or something.  Born dancer maybe?  Yay!  We started rehearsals for the April concert already, which will be interesting trying to get my horn chops back up to play the Mahler after being on cello for the last one.  Guess I need to buckle down and actually practice a few times this week so I can actually get through the thing.

B's slowly getting better still.  He still has the drain that he has to get twisted and flushed twice a week and it's still draining a lot of stuff but it's getting thicker, which theoretically means we're towards the end of the process now.  Maybe he only has a couple more weeks left of that.  He's had several job offers call back from applications he put in before the accident and he's getting anxious to be functional again, plus I'm ready to not have to support us entirely on my dinky paychecks.  I've put a few applications out myself, but nothing is forthcoming from those yet.  I feel like we need me to work more, but in the fall I won't be able to work full-time nor do I want to start a new job just in time to take maternity leave. I suppose I can't do everything on my own.  It's been pretty obvious to me for a while that I need to just work for myself instead of depend on the small businesses in this small struggling town to support me, the trick is getting that started, making it profitable, and surviving in the meantime.  It's been a balancing act that I've apparently been failing.  The market here is flooded with the typical work-from-home businesses and I'm not a salesperson, nor do I want to be when I'm not selling my own skills.  Tricky tricky.  Not sure what the answer is but all I can do now is keep trying.