Wednesday, May 28, 2008

status quo

Back when my marriage was imploding, the stress and anxiety used to wake me up at 4 am. My witching hour. I guess that was the minimum amount of sleep I needed to function, and my body was too tense to allow me any more. I hated that middle of the night anxiety, restlessness, staring out at the darkness worrying. once we decided to work on the marriage, it was back to my normal 8-9 hours a night.

Last night I woke up at 4:30, worrying about the job wrap up. Still no word from anyone at the job, but I had written their lawyer I would be home Wednesday morning and to call me at 10. So from 4:30 - 6 am I went over and over and over the situation, the things I wanted to say, the things I thought he would say, the regrets, the what the hell am I going to do now, the endless racing of the mind.

Luckily I finally calmed down enough to fall back asleep, then my daughter was up at 6:30. UGH. Again luckily, I had done the last series of early morning wake ups, so my husband got the early duty, and I slept til 8. And was tense and nervous all morning, my palms started sweating at 9:50, my heart raced until 10:15, when I finally said this is ridiculous and started organizing all the stuff to pack up. I left the house at 11:30 and didn't return til 5:30. Stupid lawyer had called at 2:30. If I didn't know he was so disorganized, I'd think he was trying to freeze me out. Screw him. But I hope I sleep tonight.

So what's your best middle of the night, calm yourself down cure?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

new week

Sitting here, computer on my lap, trying to get work done but really just surfing since the morning. Lots to update. Where to start -

Since my last post, I'm back to ok, when is this all going to go wrong. I had about 2 hours of pure bliss, but that evaporated quickly. I called and have an appointment with my regular OB/GYN this Friday. We're holding off sharing the news until after that appointment.

It was all exciting on Thursday, and then I got a call from the lawyer from my job (hence bliss evaporating - real world intruding). Luckily I missed the call, but the message was pretty dreary. I called him Friday and still no call back. He's one of those "busy people" who just live totally scattered lives and who only deal with what's right in front of them at the time. So I've decided I'm not handing over anything until I get some answers and, more importantly, some money.

Someone left a comment on one of my job posts - get angry. Regular readers will remember that I rarely get angry. I take all sorts of shit from everyone. Well, no more. I called my lawyer friend on Friday morning and asked if she would represent me. She cautioned that's she's expensive, but screw that, what really matters is she is outraged for me. I want outraged. I want to be treated like something other than a doormat.

And then there's the interview I had Friday. It's a good news/bad news kind of thing. I thought I'd make a great interim director as they got up and running. The head guy liked my resume so much he wanted to interview me for the full position. The interview was great - he point blank told me I was his top candidate and that no one else even came close. The bad news - they want to present a slate of candidates to the Board. In July. So no matter what, a wait to know. It's also outside my field of expertise, and they decided to also hire a headhunter, so entirely possible they'll find someone who is a better match. But my friend who works there is intimately involved in this hire, so if things start to break another direction, she'll tell me. But I do need to start the whole application process for everything I see out there that's reasonably close.

I really need to focus and pack up all the shit from this job and just get it done. But it's so hard to do it. I'm grieving for this opportunity, questioning how I blew it, regretting every piece of it. Clearing it out, moving on, looking ahead will be the best for me in the long run. Heck, in the short run - get this done, spend my time job hunting in the mornings, doing fun stuff for myself or around the house in the afternoons. Spend more time with my daughter (without alerting the nanny I'm unemployed - a delicate dance). Now I'm chained to my desk, but not accomplishing anything.

What's your best motivator?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

CVS results!

As my husband just said, in the midst of what has been a shitty week, I'll take this karmic trade off any day.

Genetically normal.


Thank you, universe. Thank you.

unemployment, day 2

Thanks for the positive feedback. I need it. This really, really sucks.

I spoke to someone from the corporation on Tuesday afternoon. I had known this project had a lot of fits and starts, and I had been trying to navigate often murky waters. When I told this person what had happened, the silence lasted a solid 5 seconds. Then he said, Geez, I am sorry. I've seen this program chew up and spit out a lot of people over the past few years, and you are by far the most innocent person to be caught in it.

So that makes me feel both good and bad. I'm convinced I was caught up in a situation where I could not possibly succeed. I'm upset I didn't see that. I'm smarter than to have been blindsided like this.

I have a lawyer friend who has followed this saga from the beginning. She's outraged on my behalf. According to my contract, I'm entitled to 30 days severance once I receive written notice. Of course, no written notice. I'm supposed to be packing everything up to be shipped to their lawyer on Friday. When he calls me tomorrow, I'm not going to give it to him until we resolve a separation agreement, he provides me with a letter explaining my temporary employment, and we resolve severance. My lawyer friend thinks I should demand 4-6 months severance. I've only been doing this since January, but my friend's argument is I was induced to leave a stable, secure job, and they acted in bad faith and never had any intention of continuing with me. She thinks I can make a decent enough case that they need to pay me to go away. She said, look, you're a nice person, but they're banking on that plus the natural tendency of fired people to slink away quietly. So don't give in to their bullying.

At a minimum, I need to demand the 30 days, but I am thinking about making more of a stink. I don't know if I could hire my friend to be my lawyer (she's quite expensive and with a large firm), but it is nice to have someone outraged on my behalf.

Despite my embarrassment, I'm really trying to hold onto the reality that this is more about them than it is about me.

On the flip side, I coincidentally was having dinner Tuesday night with another good friend who works for a small foundation. They've been trying to hire an executive director for their sister foundation for quite a while, and not having much luck. She's been asking me to apply, knowing my job had ups and downs. But it's not in my field - sure, it's non-profit, but it's like asking someone who specializes in AIDs education with at-risk populations to work on decreasing carbon footprints by planting trees in local parks with pre-schoolers. Different worlds within the large do-gooder world. Anyway, they really need to get moving while still searching for the perfect executive director, and she said the Board had just been discussing hiring an interim person. It really might be perfect - a 4-6 month position, doing what I was just doing for 4 months, would at a minimum not make my resume look too wonky - I could pitch myself as a (warning - non-profit buzz speak ahead) "change agent" who helped establish and launch new ventures. So I said I was interested, she pitched it to her boss yesterday, and I have an interview tomorrow! Thank god for good friends. And, even if it doesn't pan out, it forced me to update my resume, and gets me interview practice talking about my skill set.

Back to the bad side, I realized yesterday that way this all unfolded means I have to be the person who calls everyone - the bank, the payroll company, the designer, the various consultants - and tell them it's all off. I made one call yesterday, and need to call more, but not entirely motivated, you know? Seriously, I am being treated incredibly badly by this deal and it does make me angry.

So today I am playing hooky. Heading out to a (nice!) thrift store to check out bargains, including looking for an interview suit that will fit and yet won't break the bank. Going to the garden center and getting some showy flowers to plant in the garden. And just chilling out. Screw wrapping up the job. Not today.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The Board decided not to renew my contact. That's it cut and dried.

I've been kind of cagey about this position, but I guess no need to right now, except to still guard my anonymity. I was hired to be the executive director of a non-profit. The non-profit started as an internal foundation within a corporation, and the corporation decided to make it a stand alone non-profit, funded by a large initial donation. I was hired as a consultant to the corporation, with the idea that after I got it up and running, I'd become an employee. So I've been working on a monthly contract.

I met today with the lawyer and the corporate representative, who is also a Board member. I saw this coming, so thank god I was able to be composed and level-headed. But don't get me wrong I'm devastated. And surprised. And just really disappointed for this cause, too. I believed in what I was doing.

I pressed them both hard to give me reasons, and they spoke double speak that never really clarified anything. Since my contract was up, the Board felt it was a good time to reassess the entire project and the corporation really wasn't sure how it wanted to proceed. There was unhappiness with me, but they wouldn't give me any feedback at all. None. The lawyer did say he had been asked to have this conversation with me, not a conversation to remmediate anything.

My contract runs through the early part of each month. So I'm to close everything up in the next few days, pass along to the lawyer, and they'll pay me the full month. I am proud I said look, I left a very secure position and knew there were risks, but this isn't really adequate notice. The lawyer said he'd take my concerns back to the Board.

So here I am, 13 weeks pregnant, I hope with a viable pregnancy (though still no word from the CVS, argh). And out of work. What the hell am I going to do. And how the hell am I going to explain this? I think I'll explain it by saying the corporation pulled funding, but still. This is Not Good.

The best thing to do might be to play the stay at home mom card. Try and find some consulting work, let the nanny go, and just see if I can handle being a stay at home mom. I really thought it would be good to have the nanny around when/if #2 was born. I don't know if that will be possible. I don't know how that will work, though. There's a whole nanny network in my neighborhood and all my daughter's friends are other kids cared for by nannies who all hang out together. If we let the nanny go, it's not like the other nannies will want to hang out with me! So how unfair is this to my daughter.

Ugh. I'm too shocked right now to think straight, that's for sure. I don't know how to start saying goodbye to the new friends I have made, much less what to do next. This sucks.

I am really trying to not sink into feeling like a failure.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Pregnancy makes you crazy. Well, it makes me crazy. That, and every other piece of crap that's happened to me over the past few years. Which is why I totally lost it Thursday night after Grey's Anatomy. But that's the next post (current posts in draft form: 5).

This post is about my job. I have developed a sudden, I hope irrational fear that I am going to be fired. On Tuesday.

Last Friday - the 8th - I had a very frustrating conversation with the top three people. I hung up (I'm the first person in this location, so lots over the phone) totally and completely ready to quit, and fumed all weekend long. But things were pretty good this past week. It's busy, as with any start up, and I spend far too much time doing administrative stuff that's got to be done (hello potential assistants, insurance brokers, HR specialists, etc) to get us functional. And a lot of time ensuring the basics of our work are actually workable. Not so much time prepping for a public launch, because we're not ready for that yet. But I worry the higher ups think I'm doing nothing and not focusing on the launch. The launch is there in my brain, and everything we're doing now helps inform how we can successfully launch, but until we get the basics down, really, what can I do? Focus on getting the basics done has been my strategy.

One weird thing last week - I felt I sent a ton of e-mails and got extremely minimal responses. Then another bigwig sent me an e-mail asking for something and was upset (and the jerk cc'ed two other higher ups!) when I said we didn't have it yet (though I explained we had a process and I'd have it by mid-June).

Then, one of the top higher ups e-mailed me Saturday and said let's get together this coming Tuesday as she was in town for just one night. With the lawyer. I asked about bringing the newly hired assistant, and the response was no, "just us."

So, in my paranoid brain I'm being fired on Tuesday. OK, I'm leaving out that she actually typed "just us this time." My paranoia has me convinced she put the this time to lull me.

Seriously. I really need the crazy to stop.

Monday, May 12, 2008


It suddenly occurred to me that my in-laws hadn't sent me a Mother's Day card, as they have since my daughter was born.

Then it occurred to me that this was proof that they were blaming me and hated me.

And then I thought, why the hell do I spend so much of my life worrying about people liking me? Specifically these people?

Please like me disease, I think it's called, and I've got a bad case. I guess because of my daughter, I'm inextricably linked to them. While they're bad, they specialize in hovering right in the gray area of bad but not cut out of your life completely bad. I'm going to have to not only see them again, but hug them and kiss them and buy presents for them and spend time in their house and interact with them. And I simply do. Not. Want. To. Do not. When I thought I was getting a divorce, the number one entry in the pro category was never have to spend time with in-laws again. How awful is it I wish they'd really cross over into doing something really, really bad?

Thursday, May 8, 2008


The CVS is done. Thank god.

The last time, it was fast - needle in, a little twinge, and pull out. Easy peasy, a piece of pie. A bit of uncomfortable cramping, but all in all a non event, for something I dreaded so much.

This time? Not so much.

As they say, every pregnancy is different. I had a c-section with my daughter's birth. And the placement of this placenta was right in an area where the scar ran through. So, insertion of needle. Pressure. More pressure, which quickly turned to pain. A lot of pain. Clenching my husband's hand while tears of pain streamed down my face pain. A LOT of rooting around with the needle, moving it, trying to find the right spot. A LOT of the tip of the needle bumping against something (scar?) that wouldn't let it go further.

As the doctor said after, there are times when every bit of my skill and experience is needed, and this was one of them.

She did manage to get a small, but good quality, sample. She thinks it will be enough and the cells will grow well. Results possibly by Monday the 19th. Maybe.

If this sample doesn't work, I'm telling you I'm taking my chances and not doing another. No way. If she had to go back in for a second sample I might have refused.

The good news is no cramping at all, but my abdomen is just flat out sore. It hurts. But the baby sailed through seemingly without noticing a thing.

So here's the thing. I've been searching for the perfectly turned phrase, the way to talk about this, and not finding it. Let's be real here. You don't really do genetic testing to make sure everything is ok. You do it to make sure nothing is wrong. And everyone says to you, don't do the testing unless you're willing to do something about the results. What are you willing to do if the results show genetic abnormalities? What am I willing to do this time? I stared that question in the face last time. And, what I'm willing to do this time may, or may not, be different. So I violated the cardinal rule of genetic testing. I had this test done without knowing what I would do. I had this test done today because I want, against all odds and common sense and experience, a shiny happy pregnancy. As much as I don't want to admit it, I have hope that everything is ok, and I want that reassurance. After everything, I'm still hopeful. Yeah, I overlooked the procedure itself (not realizing how damn fucking painful it could be - that is not in any of the literature!), and have my eyes firmly on the results.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


My husband's family.....defies comprehension.

So my husband writes back to his mom and his immediate family. Generic stuff about our daughter and what she's up to (and what they've missed over the past 4 months). Yay husband, he also includes this line: Of course, there is quite a bit for us to talk about before getting together. I don't want to get into it in E-mail, but we do need to get our issues out into the open and work to resolve them.

And his sister writes back. Blah blah her usual idiot drivel, plus: Anyway, don't forget mother's day!!!!!!!!!!!!! And please be on time about it. At least a card.

What. The. Fuck.

Yes, it's perfectly all right for mom to tell her 2 year granddaughter that her dad sucks, and to ignore her completely, confusing the hell out of her. But don't forget the Mother's day card!

Gah! This family drives me insane. I really, really just flat out do not comprehend the dysfunction.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

obstructed by the bowel

So this isn't quite the post I expected today. I tried this morning once again to do the whole what this really means to me thing but it wouldn't come. And then I thought I'd blog this evening about the procedure. Well, there was no procedure. Though I did spend a long time trying to think of a clever post title and that's the best I can do.

CVS can be done two ways - abdominally or vaginally. A lot depends on the placement of the placenta - if it's in front, abdominally might be the way to reach it best, if it's behind, or really low, then vaginally. Say it's in front and fairly high (a long path from the cervix), as mine is. Vaginally becomes a little bit more of an effort. But say you're going for it on the early side and your uterus, while frigging huge, hasn't quite pushed everything out of the way - particularly the bowel. And, if the risk of infection is really the major risk with CVS, the last thing you want to do is nick the bowel on your way.

The doctor looked at a couple of angles and said, I know you're anxious. But the last thing I want to have happen is to really push this, extend the procedure, make you physically uncomfortable, and quite possibly not grab placental material. She strongly recommended waiting a week.

She also spent a lot of time looking at the baby, including the nuchal space. While it's too early for an "official" measurement, the nuchal space was very small. She repeated many times, I have a really good feeling about this. This looks good.

(Last time, while my measurements were just a hair off, she said she was a little concerned and urged further testing, and now I really wonder if she knew - I mean knew knew - even then.)

Dammit. I sort of - very teeny tiny sort of - am starting to think this might actually work and be real. I wish she had not been so positive. Because, as we were going over the procedure with the genetic counselor, I realized that even after the CVS results, it wouldn't be over. CVS picks up genetics, yes. But not a whole host of other things. So, say we actually get through these next few weeks. There's still blood work at 16 - 18 weeks, and the scan at 18-20 weeks.

Silly me, I had in my head this was the high jump, and I find myself in the 110 meter hurdles.

We re-scheduled the CVS for next Thursday.

There were things I expected. I expected the genetic counselor to be extremely empathetic and sympathetic (this must be so hard for you, sitting in this same room...). I expected that would make me cry.

I expected the doctor to be brusque, funny, practical, and business-like, and as expected it helped dry my tears.

I did not expect to rain silent tears while the ultrasound tech did the inital look, took the measurements, found the heartbeat. I'm at 11 weeks now. I had a ultrasound at, what, I think about 7 or so and it was just a bean. There was a heartbeat, but really, that was about it.

This time there was a baby. Kicking legs, flailing arms, twisting head, jumping and swimming around. And I can't....I can't do fucking anything right now. I can't tell my friends, I can't tell my family, I can't ask my sweet "little mother" daughter if she wants a brother or a sister (I die a little every time she hands her doll babies to me - mommy, hold my little brother - always, always it's her little brother). I can't think about how I'm supposed to launch a fucking multimillion dollar project this fall. I can't plan for the future.

And so it's put off another week. But what's another week when the results are 10-14 days after that? And the blood work 2 weeks after that? And the advanced scan 2 weeks after that?

This. I knew this would be hard. Given my history, given my marriage, given my job, yeah, I knew it would be tough. I know others are contemplating going down this road again. I know we all know that we're no longer on the fairy tale path of happy endings and sunlight. We walk in the shadow of fear, of doubt, of death. And yet we push on, hoping, wishing, praying that our path, our valley path, might converge with those on the upper, easy walk. Out twists, our turns, our setbacks mean we'll have gone 100 miles to their every 1.

Someone named Elizabeth Stone, who unbelievably does not have a wikipedia entry, once said, Making the decision to have a child -- it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

I read that soon after my daughter was born and thought, yes. Yes, that is exactly what it is like. And I was, and am, very scared for my fluttering, fragile, vulnerable heart. But this. This time. My little heart is tiring, and falling behind, struggling to keep up as I hack my way through the valley path.