Week 17: It’s an Adventure

Player One
28c795e4db4c71da104642b271964c3a
Player Two
522a9e630c6c0a25d8f921ed5b688f7f
Level 29 Human Bard/Fighter
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 164 +8
Shoe Size: 10
Bra Size: 34A 36B (barely)

Str: 18 16
Dex: 12
Con: 19 18
Int: 12
Wis: 14
Cha: 18 17

Highest skills: Bluff, Gather Rumors, Knowledge (Folklore) (History), Athletics
Feats: Natural Immunity, Iron WillRun, Nap, No Shits Given
Diseases/Curses: Minor Fatigue (-1 Con), Heavy Things Gettin’ Heavy (-2 Str), Overstuffed Sausage Asthetic (-1 Cha)

Level 30 Human Warlock/Ranger
Height: 5’8″
Weight: Redacted
Shoe Size: 11
Bra Size: 36B

Str: 17 15
Dex: 12 10
Con: 12
Int: 20 19
Wis: 16
Cha: 16

Highest skills: Heal, Knowledge (Science) (Arcana), Spot, Listen, Swim
Feats: Alertness, Diligent, Spell Focus
Diseases/Curses: Too Much To Do, Stress Fracture (-2 Dex, -1 Str), General Malaise (-1 Int, -1 Str)

Player Three

Level 0 Human NPC
Height: 5.12″
Weight: 140g (!!)

Str: 2
Dex: 3
Con: 10
Int: 1
Wis: 1
Cha: 14

Highest skills: Grow, Swim, Hide
Feats: Self-Sufficient, Stealthy, Heartbeat, Growth
Diseases/Curses: None

Lady Jr is hardening their soft, cartilagey bones by leeching as much calcium from me as they can. Back to the bone broth, then!

At over 5″, Lady Jr is both the size of a pomegranate and a chubby little chipmunk:

 

 

Overall: My mind is continually blown at how far along we are. Every week I’m like “Lady Jr is so big!” and then Lady Jr is even bigger the next week. And yet I still don’t really feel pregnant. Even the headaches have subsided – at least in frequency. I’m realizing I had an expectation that by 16/17 weeks I would both look fairly pregnant and feel fairly pregnant. Not the case.

Mood: Angry and weepy, but usually for reasons. Dealing with Lady Sr’s insurance and doctors and ongoing foot issues makes me want to wring some necks. But then again, I almost cried this morning because I was wearing the same style shirt as Dr Lady and had to find a different shirt but didn’t wanna. So uh. Yeah.

Clothes: Bah. Two more skirts out of the running. I’m so desperate I’m wearing pants, which fit because I usually buy my pants super big/baggy. But all the maternity stuff makes me look preg and I’m still not ready for that (in public).

Fun(!) New Symptoms: Small bladder syndrome. I mostly avoided this issue up until now, but I have definitely noticed a big difference in the last week(ish) in how frequently I have to pee. It’s a little ridiculous during the day. Not bad at night because I was already waking up at 2am.

Exercise: It looks like we’re taking a substantial hiatus from Crossfit. Mostly because of Dr Lady’s foot and subsequent scheduling issues. I will continue lifting on my own. I re-started the Zombies, Run! 5k program because apparently just running for 30min was too much for me. So I’m going to steadily reintroduce myself to running to keep up my cardio.

I hiked straight up Tumamoc (a well-paved but very steep hill) on Sunday with minimal duress, which was reassuring. My capacity for exercise seems to have (mostly) returned; I just have to be careful about pushing myself too hard still.

Dr Lady: Dear god, where to even begin. After playing phone tag with her doctor for four weeks and telling them that the insurance didn’t even have a peer-to-peer on file, the nurse told her that they were still waiting for the insurance to contact them. Which is BS because the insurance has already closed the case.

So Dr Lady fired her current doctor and made an appointment with a new doctor – today. One who says they do in-house MRIs and don’t wait for pre-approval from the insurance. I’m going with her to the appointment because she can’t even walk to the parking garage anymore – she was on crutches all weekend. I also want to help be her advocate, because I know how tricksy doctors can be.

Please please send good thoughts our way that we can at least get a fucking diagnosis soon so Dr Lady can begin some sort of treatment.

Otherwise, she’s super excited about MI and has started telling Lady Jr “good morning!” and “good night!” every day. <3

 

Progress Photo, 16w6d:

may-2

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Michi-CAN

Looks like we’re moving to Michigan towards the end of summer. Dr Lady was offered the fellowship not even a full 24 hours after we flew back home. We talked and she accepted – which is a major simplification.

I didn’t even have time to write about our trip first.

So here, in short: we flew out early Sunday and spent an entire day traveling. Monday Dr Lady met with everyone (literally: everyone) throughout the morning. I went my separate way and drove around the city, trying to get a feel for it.  In the afternoon, I walked across the campus to the biology building to meet up with Lady, where she gave a (stunning) seminar about her current research and her would-be future research. After her seminar, the fellowship people stole her away for a final interview with the whole group and the would-be PI and her crew of grad students tried to sell me on MI. Then the fellowship people took us both out to a (really) fancy dinner.

Tuesday was a tour of the would-be lab and an introduction (for Lady) of the other research going on there. Then lunch and the long drive then flight then flight then drive home. So a very short, whirlwind of a trip, hence the lack of updates.

Dr Lady came away from the whole thing feeling very much like she killed it and that they really wanted her and that she really wanted to be there. She did well and they think she’s smart (always a good thing) and the would-be PI is super supportive and even enforces a healthy work-life balance.

I came away feeling… a bit underwhelmed. But I can’t quite pinpoint why. I don’t know if it’s because the city is half the size of the one we currently live in or if it’s because the flora was so bare still and it’s pretty much May or if it’s the awful shape the roads are in (and I thought they were awful here) or the lack of tea shops (!!) or the general lack of culture and diversity or just the fact that after thinking we were going to France for a good solid six months there, anything else just doesn’t measure up.

It’ll be okay. I know it’ll be okay. I was super hesitant about moving to AZ and now I love it here. I’ll find the charm in MI and maybe even enjoy the winters. It’s just funny that I’ve been 100% ready to leave for the past year but now that we have a job offer and a move date, I’m suddenly digging in my heels.

I made a list of all the good things about moving to MI and I made a list of all the bad things, and the list of good is easily double the list of bad and not only that but half the things on the bad list are easily mitigated. Like, you know, getting a really good jacket for the cold and investing in lots of bright lights for the darkness and learning how to snoeshow for the long winters.

It’ll be fine. I think we’ll actually do well there. I just need to (re)find my excitement.

In the meantime, have a good things list:

 

Pros about moving to MI

  • Can rent a house (finally!)
  • Cheap rent/cost of living
  • Easier on cats (vs France)
  • Dairy store (grilled cheese Mondays)
  • Nerds (D&D and other boardgames)
  • Real autumn
  • Lakes and bodies of water
  • Outdoorsy community
  • River path
  • Highest salary
  • Can move sooner (so before too pregnant)
  • CSAs – a plethora thereof
  • Actual farm-fresh produce from real farms
  • Apple orchards
  • Apple cider donuts
  • Apple cider
  • Several large cities within an hour drive
  • Coast within 2 hour drive
  • Canada within spitting distance
  • Everybody (probably) speaks English
  • Cute Japanese garden (says Lady)
  • Already know a few people there
  • Closer to Chicago and Lady’s family in MN
  • Motherfucking fish ladder (& fish rodeo I don’t even)
  • Kayaking
  • Class on how to make your own snowshoes
  • Gardening
  • Tea season is every season
  • Spring flowers
  • White Christmases
  • Can bake all year round (without dying from the heat)
  • Maple syrup festival in the spring
  • Lots of outdoor summer activities (and won’t die from the heat)
  • Gorgeous campus
  • Five Crossfit gyms to chose from
  • A really supportive work environment for Dr Lady❤
  • Much much easier for relatives to visit Lady Jr (than AZ & France)

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Week 16: Almost Normal

Player One
28c795e4db4c71da104642b271964c3a
Player Two
522a9e630c6c0a25d8f921ed5b688f7f
Level 29 Human Bard/Fighter
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 164 +6
Shoe Size: 10
Bra Size: 34A 36B (barely)

Str: 18 16
Dex: 12
Con: 19 18
Int: 12
Wis: 14
Cha: 18 17

Highest skills: Bluff, Gather Rumors, Knowledge (Folklore) (History), Athletics
Feats: Natural Immunity, Iron WillRun, Nap, No Shits Given
Diseases/Curses: Minor Fatigue (-1 Con), Heavy Things Gettin’ Heavy (-2 Str), Overstuffed Sausage Asthetic (-1 Cha)

Level 30 Human Warlock/Ranger
Height: 5’8″
Weight: Redacted
Shoe Size: 11
Bra Size: 36B

Str: 17 15
Dex: 12 11
Con: 12
Int: 20 19
Wis: 16
Cha: 16

Highest skills: Heal, Knowledge (Science) (Arcana), Spot, Listen, Swim
Feats: Alertness, Diligent, Spell Focus
Diseases/Curses: Anxiety, Too Much To Do, Stress Fracture (-1 Dex, -1 Str), General Malaise (-1 Int, -1 Str)

Player Three

Level 0 Human NPC
Height: 4.57″
Weight: 100g (!!)

Str: 2
Dex: 3
Con: 10
Int: 1
Wis: 1
Cha: 14

Highest skills: Grow, Swim, Hide
Feats: Self-Sufficient, Stealthy, Heartbeat, Growth
Diseases/Curses: None

Lady Jr’s placenta is working at 100% and I’m feeling starting to feel the benefits, i.e. fewer negative symptoms. Hoorah.

Meanwhile, Lady Jr is about the size of a Philippine tarsier, whatever that is:

 

 

Two days late this week because we were visiting Michigan. No photo this week either for the same reason. I’ll write more about MI in another post.

Overall: My symptoms are so mild/non-existent at this point that I fully sympathize with all those people who don’t realize they’re pregnant until the third trimester – or beyond. Aside from some stabbing pain in my abdomen and a continued non-interest in wine, I feel fine. A little more easily fatigued than usual, but fine. To the point where I’m starting to get a little anxious for our next appointment which is still (!!) over a week away.

It doesn’t help that my app keeps being like “you could be feeling kicks around now!!” Stop it, app. You’re not helping.

Mood: Mostly mellow, a bit teary. I teared up during Lady’s seminar and I teared up when we flew back into Arizona and I teared up several other times during the week for a variety of reasons. I usually cry pretty easily, but not this easily.

Clothes: My sis-in-law sent me a care package full of her old maternity clothes and it is perfect timing. I’m still in that awkward not-quite-maternity but too-fat-for-my-own-clothes phase, so I’m mixing it up a little. Only problem with the maternity clothes is they actually make me look pregnant, and idk if I’m ready for that out in the world. I can still pass as just-a-little-too-much-cheesecake, although my wife told me she has definitely started noticing that I look pregnant. But then, she knows me best.

Fun(!) New Symptoms: Itchy foot on plane syndrome? IDK what this is, but it’s like I suddenly develop a nasty bug bite while on planes. Not comfortable, but at least it goes away right after. Only one more flight coming up, at least.

Exercise: We’ve switched to doing personal training with our Crossfit coach in lieu of classes because of Lady’s foot and omg it is SO MUCH better. I am pumped after our workouts instead of depressed and crying and feel like I’m actually getting something out of them. I’ll talk about some of the mods in a separate post for other failing-at-Crossfit pregnant ladies out there.

Dr Lady: Welp, we went to Michigan and she interviewed and presented a seminar and talked with every. single. person. ever. I got to watch her seminar and it’s always fun to see how much further she is in her research as well as see how much I understand. She did really, really well and everyone seems excited about her and they said we would find out if she got the fellowship “very soon.” I hope that means this week, but it could be anytime before June.

 

Phew. Can’t believe we’re at 16. Idk but I was so excited about getting to the second trimester I kind of forgot that it keeps going.😛

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Week 15: Things are Looking Up

Player One
28c795e4db4c71da104642b271964c3a
Player Two
522a9e630c6c0a25d8f921ed5b688f7f
Level 29 Human Bard/Fighter
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 164 +6
Shoe Size: 10
Bra Size: 34A 36B

Str: 18 16
Dex: 12
Con: 19 18
Int: 12
Wis: 14
Cha: 18 17

Highest skills: Bluff, Gather Rumors, Knowledge (Folklore) (History), Athletics
Feats: Natural Immunity, Iron WillRun, Nap, No Shits Given
Diseases/Curses: Minor Fatigue (-1 Con), Heavy Things Gettin’ Heavy (-2 Str), Overstuffed Sausage Asthetic (-1 Cha)

Level 30 Human Warlock/Ranger
Height: 5’8″
Weight: Redacted
Shoe Size: 11
Bra Size: 36B

Str: 17 15
Dex: 12 11
Con: 12
Int: 20 19
Wis: 16
Cha: 16

Highest skills: Heal, Knowledge (Science) (Arcana), Spot, Listen, Swim
Feats: Alertness, Diligent, Spell Focus
Diseases/Curses: Anxiety, Too Much To Do, Stress Fracture (-1 Dex, -1 Str), General Malaise (-1 Int, -1 Str)

Player Three

Level 0 Human NPC
Height: 3.98″
Weight: 70g

Str: 2
Dex: 3
Con: 10
Int: 1
Wis: 1
Cha: 14

Highest skills: Grow, Swim, Hide
Feats: Self-Sufficient, Stealthy, Heartbeat, Growth
Diseases/Curses: None

Lady Jr’s legs are now longer than their arms, which will aid them in basketball in the coming years.

Still growing quickly, Lady Jr is the size of a canary (hopefully, minus the coalmine):

 

 

Overall: Things were definitely better last week. Nausea is mostly gone and my energy levels are now almost normal – at least, back to my pre-paleo normal. The continued sleepiness could either be hormones or just all these excess carbs, hard to tell.

Mood: Omg. I cried more times last week than I did my entire first trimester. Mostly out of frustration, but occasionally just because I love my wife so much. Also the general undercurrent of apathy is lifting a bit, letting me feel occasionally anxious and depressed. Yay?

Food: Better. So much better. Salads are still of the devil, but I have been including more and more vegetables and I can eat meat again. I even made kale chips this weekend and didn’t gag! My sweet tooth, however, is out of control and I can’t figure out how to reign it in. Cookies and chocolate are still a daily occurrence.

Clothes: Not maternity, but very close. My sis-in-law is sending a care package with a bunch of her old maternity clothes and it can’t come fast enough. I am down to wearing the same two or three skirts each week because the rest make me feel like a sausage.

Fun(!) New Symptoms: HEADACHES. Jesus Christ. I get them at night, either right before bed or sometime in the middle of the night, so I wake up with a headache. They feel like tension headaches, tight like a rubberband across my brain, and don’t respond to Tylenol. Time (and water [and caffeine]) is the only cure.

Exercise: Crossfit, even though it was awful, some walking about downtown, and a 5mi hike on Saturday.

Dr Lady: She’s been through hell trying to find out what’s wrong with her foot. It’s been three months of keeping weight off of it, no walks, and little to no exercise in general for her and she’s going crazy. She has seen two doctors, had an Xray, and been denied for an MRI. She has another appointment today, but neither of us are very hopeful. :<

Otherwise, she's anxious about her upcoming interview with Michigan. Only a week away! …wait, next week?!

Purchases:  This shirt, which I’ve had my eye on for months and finally came up again on Zulily:

 

Progress Photo (14 weeks, 6 days):

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Frustrated with Crossfit

Throughout the TTC process, I spent a considerable amount of time daydreaming of continuing to do Crossfit while I was pregnant. Because obviously I would. I foresaw nothing stopping me but maybe my doctor, whom I would then cheerfully school on the adaptations I would make and the benefit of continued exercise. Otherwise, aside from dropping the weight on my lifts, everything would be exactly the same.

Aaaaaahahahahahah.

Yeah no.

I am so frustrated with my workouts. I have cried after every single class these past two weeks because I’m so slow, so weak, so behind everyone else. Or I can’t even do the movement. I told my coaches early hoping they would work with me, but so far, nothing. I’ve been left to my own devices on multiple occasions and I’m this close to throwing in the towel.

It doesn’t help that we’ve just been doing a lot of stuff I shouldn’t be doing lately, like 1RMs (1 Rep Max, again as heavy as you can possibly go) and workouts at 100%. Take last night, which was the final straw: a 1RM weighted dip and then a 100% full out mile run or 2k row. Hahahah – no.

I tried to do the dip anyway (because I’m smart) and was the only one to fail at it. So I got to spend 30min in the back of the gym while the rest of the class worked on their 1RMs. I ended up doing the 2k row and then just leaving because I. was. done.

It’s hard to tell how much of my frustration is hormonal. I know second trimester is when I’m supposed to start getting extra sensitive, and holy fuck am I sensitive about this. I also don’t know how to dial that sensitivity down.

But I can’t keep doing this. It’s everything I hated about sports growing up – constantly being the slowest and worst, being ignored or skipped over in any group activities. I had hoped Crossfit would be a better environment during this, especially our box, but it looks like I was wrong.

I’m not rage-quitting yet, but I am going to ditch the classes and sit in on Lady’s one-on-one training for a few weeks instead and see how that goes. I am a very competitive person and I may just need to take myself out of that competitive space if I can’t turn that off.

I hate the idea of quitting Crossfit, but as Lady reminded me last night, it’s not worth doing if it isn’t fun.

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Week 14: FINALLY

Player One
28c795e4db4c71da104642b271964c3a
Player Two
522a9e630c6c0a25d8f921ed5b688f7f
Level 29 Human Bard/Fighter
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 164 +5
Shoe Size: 10
Bra Size: 34A 36B

Str: 18 16
Dex: 12
Con: 19 18
Int: 12
Wis: 14
Cha: 18

Highest skills: Bluff, Gather Rumors, Knowledge (Folklore) (History), Athletics
Feats: Natural Immunity, Iron WillRun, Nap, No Shits Given
Diseases/Curses: Minor Fatigue (-1 Con), Heavy Things Gettin’ Heavy (-2 Str)

Level 30 Human Warlock/Ranger
Height: 5’8″
Weight: Redacted
Shoe Size: 11
Bra Size: 36B

Str: 17 16
Dex: 12 11
Con: 12
Int: 20
Wis: 16
Cha: 16

Highest skills: Heal, Knowledge (Science) (Arcana), Spot, Listen, Swim
Feats: Alertness, Diligent, Spell Focus
Diseases/Curses: Anxiety, Too Much To Do, Minor Couvade Syndrome (-1 Con), Stress Fracture (-1 Dex, -1 Str)

Player Three

Level 0 Human NPC
Height: 3.42″
Weight: 43g

Str: 2
Dex: 3
Con: 10
Int: 1
Wis: 1
Cha: 14

Highest skills: Grow, Swim, Hide
Feats: Self-Sufficient, Stealthy, Heartbeat, Growth
Diseases/Curses: None

Lady Jr is starting to move about more and more. They have a heart rate of 160, eyebrows, and their kidneys have started producing urine. Yay pee!

Lady Jr is growing very quickly. They’re either the size of a clenched fist, a beet, a mille fileu, or a house mouse:

 

 

Officially, definitely, most assuredly we are now in the second trimester. I’m still waiting for that magical day when I wake up and everything is awesome, but at least overall things are getting better. For one, I was able to complete an 8 mile hike this weekend, which I would absolutely not have been capable of three, four weeks ago. For another, I can eat (some, small bits of) meat again and I’m beginning to add more and more vegetables back. My diet no longer consists of just pizza and pastries.

I’m also still waiting for that day when I can believe this is all real and happening.

I feel like a fat noodle, all waterlogged and gross. 75% of my skirts ride up so far that they’re no longer comfortable. My belly is always there and I can’t even suck it in anymore. But it doesn’t look cute, just like a lot of chub. And then I go and try to compare myself to where other people are at and it’s no good. I wrote a whole long post about it yesterday and then just felt like I was whining, but I am really having trouble with this whole gaining weight thing. :< It sucks and it's hard and I don't know how to turn off the perfectionist voice that says I shouldn't gain more than 25 pounds and I should look like a professional athlete the entire time, so tips would be appreciated.

Other things that suck: random pain/cramps that like to come on right when I'm trying to go to sleep. Then I get to rock and make awful noises for an hour or until it finally goes away. It's muscular pain, for sure, and I assume it's just my uterus trying to shove its way upwards from its retroverted position. x.x

Things that don't suck: Telling extended family. Telling work. Knowing that I'm officially in the first "safe" zone. Not worrying so much. Being able to eat vegetables again. Not needing seven naps a day. Being able to say why I'm so tired/feeling gross. Swapping name ideas with Lady. Knowing that in a few weeks I'll really start showing and maybe then I'll feel better about going so slow at Crossfit. Continuing to dream that I'm going to be a badass second trimsterer who runs and hikes and lifts.

Photo for this week (technically 13 weeks, 6 days). I think from here on out I'll try to do them weekly.

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Rethinking 2015

While we were visiting my brother and new niece last weekend, mom finally got to see my wing ankle tatts. Which, of course, led to me explaining why I’d gotten them and what they meant to me. She’d seen them before via emailed photos, but seeing them in person is always different.

After explaining the impetus – my decision to quit an awful job – I started thinking more about 2015 and what had actually happened that year. Now that we’re well into 2016, I’ve finally been able to look back at 2015 objectively – that is, without the thick fog of anxiety and depression. Before, I thought that quitting was the only big, scary thing I really did, and the only redeeming factor for 2015. But that’s not really true.

I did a lot of big, scary things  last year. In fact, 2015 may have been my Year of Big Scary Things. And because of that, despite the tears and the fog and the desperation, it might even be one of my Best Years. Which is kind of weird to consider.

But lining it all up, it’s hard to deny:

I accepted that I needed help with my depression and found and started going to a therapist.

I stopped waiting and returned to Crossfit, swallowing my pride because of how out of shape I was.

I realized that there was something off with my body and found and went to a fertility specialist – and considering how much I wanted to avoid dealing with doctors, this was a really big thing.

I encouraged my wife to go all out and finish her dissertation so she could graduate in the spring.

I visited a foreign country where I didn’t know the language. Very, very scary for me.

I queried a book that I was immensely proud of, and therefore also immensely protective of. Purposefully opening myself up to rejection and critique is always scary.

I talked to my supervisors about my ongoing issues and tried to agree on a plan that would help save my sanity.

I put in my two weeks notice without any job waiting when I realized that was the only way to stay sane.

I applied for jobs I really really wanted but had no chance of getting.

I didn’t apply for jobs that I didn’t want, but I would have gotten.

I got a tattoo.

I put an end date on our TTC attempts.

I went back to the fertility doctor to try IUI with drugs, knowing the drugs would probably make me crazy and the IUIs probably wouldn’t work.

 

2015 was hard. It was very, very hard. But holy crap, I don’t think I’d given myself credit for just how much I did and how much I survived. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, just trying to revise and rethink what 2015 was for me. It was, by far, the hardest year of my life. But at the same time, I grew so much. I accomplished so much. I saw every fear realized and kept going. I wanted to break down; I did break down. But that wasn’t the end of the world. The world kept going and I did, too.

I have lamented to my therapist that the TTC process changed me and I am no longer the same person I was. That’s definitely still true, but I can see the positive aspects of that change now.

It just took a while.

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