This is a pic of the proud soon to be daddy the day before his MAOL graduation (and moments after his final paper defense). We are both so glad that he is finished and ready to start this new chapter. He got to celebrate graduation with some APU colleagues and they were all so nice and excited to see me and my belly. LA was so nice and an amazing time to visit old friends and go to Palm Springs. We enjoyed our last pre baby vacation.
So far the baby room is on it's way. It's at least walk-around-able and the basics are set up. Which makes me feel great. And we have a stroller and car seat in the car. So the hospital will let us take the baby home. Yea. Donovan has had several funny moments of "oh my gosh we're really going to be parents" lately. One was when he was assembling the crib and using a clean diaper to wipe down the crib wood. Oh my, how we never imagined our Saturday nights would be so exciting! :) And earlier today he tried to fit his laptop in the backseat and realized there was no room (car seat takes priority!) only to do the same thing a moment later in the trunk (oops, the stroller is there!). Life is changing. Or in his words, life has already changed.
Don is busy developing at Beezwax and trying to get in as many hours as he can. With our recent trip to LA for graduation and our hospital visit last Friday it's been hard to get in the office and clocking the hours. On top of that he's wrapping up some interesting thoughts he was developing while working on his Master's degree and hoping to read more of several texts that he started before baby comes. And last night he was working on making his own database to track student loan repayments. I think he loves order and development and learning! It's interesting to watch. Developing would be like torture to me but he really loves it. I'm curious to see how being a parent and loving the above mentioned will all work out practically. We will see.
As for me, I'm on a daily battle versus the man... Kaiser. I'm trying to stay positive about my interactions with them but every time I have new hope I am met with staff who change my frame of mind. One example is that a tech said a gendered pronoun when talking to me after an ultrasound after I had just said we are keeping the baby's sex a secret. I hope she was just being an idiot and not spoiling the surprise accidently. Another is the following story....
I did a 24 hour urine test last week because I had a bit too much protein showing in my urine samples at the OB. I dropped it off at the requested place and they said, oh, you should bring it downstairs to another floor and they'll take it. The woman down there was so confused but took it anyway. This was at 9:30am. Then at 5pm or so they called and scolded me for not bringing in my urine. This was concerning for two reasons: customer service quality and ... I just did a lot of work to collect that urine sample and they lost it?! I think this is some kind of weird test they do to see how psychologically stable you are before you give birth :) I'm not sure if they ever found it but several hours later they called and said the urine sample still showed an increased protein count and that I needed to come in the following day. So I really am seeing them now 1-2 times a week and having strange interactions with them. The good news is, just one quality person on staff can really change the experience.
I think being new to the area just makes it that much harder too... the Kaiser parking gets me confused and I was shocked to learn that it is a paid lot ($1/half hour!), the buildings are all spread out over 3 blocks and I get lost often, and the elevators are super slow but now I have to wait for them because everyone checks my BP constantly and if I climb stairs it's just bad news. So when I rant a little on Facebook about how homebirthing is really the only option for my next birth this is some of the context to my comments... I just don't know if I can handle the big Kaiser system with all of it's mishaps for another 9 months of my life. Today I had a "non stress test" done and I listened to some really chill tunes ("Making Whoopie", Coldplay and some others) to help me out... turns out my BP was "excellent" according to the tech, great news! My saving grace has been an amazing doula, Elizabeth, who has been incredibly supportive and kind. More on her awesomeness to come.
Today I am making another big mom commitment... I'm washing my first set of newborn things so they are ready when baby arrives. I love looking at the tiny arm and leg holes and thinking about it's little body fitting in there. I can't wait to meet this little person!
I miss family and friends and wonder how life will unfold here. We're getting connected with a few couples that we've met (through Don's work, Craiglist (HA!) and church) which makes me excited. And I am hopeful that Le Leche League and church can provide some more structure and support for me as a stay at home mom. It feels vulnerable and new to start a family in a new city. It also feels exciting and invigorating to be close to SF (20 minutes) and think about exploring this new world as a family.
Well, that's life where we are right now. Update us on what's new in your life too!