Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Evolution of Husbandkind

Husband has been evolving during this whole "pregnancy" tenure. Men generally "don't get it" because they aren't the ones dealing with the physical manifestations of carting around babies in the womb and generally don't worry about things until they are a problem. Husband's apparent point of view: Babies - yes, we should plan but really, we can wing it. Remember that great vacation where we read the guidebooks on the plane? I am obviously a list maker and planner - I was all over deal closings as a junior associate since I refused to be the reason a deal didn't close or was delayed.

What a difference a big pregnant belly makes! In all honesty it was also two encounters he had last week. I may prattle on and on about how our lives will be different, how much work is involved, what I've read we can expect from my favorite blogs, but sometimes you need a third party to put it in perspective. Husband had lunch last week with a former colleague who had a baby a while ago and raved about a "baby nurse" she used and how crucial it was to helping her get sleep. Then he visited his former boss who had twin girls last August and who generously gave us some adorable baby clothes (for Baby B of course) and equipment. He couldn't believe the "stuff" that is required (after a look around her place) and of course she shared her own stories about how much work twins are.

When I went to my first Mothers of Twins meeting last night, Husband instructed me to find out if it would be worthwhile to have paid help - clearly he has been thinking seriously about it. I had a chance to speak with two members before the meeting was underway and before I even asked I was told in no uncertain terms - "GET AS MUCH HELP AS YOU CAN" - family, friends, paid if you can swing it. Today, of his own free will without my proding (have I mentioned he still hasn't closed out our building permit from our kitchen remodel that was finished in September?), Husband contacted one of the recommended baby nurses to see if she is available (and she specializes in twins). We'll try to swing 2 weeks of help although we'll need to review our budget. I keep trying to get Husband to guest post about financial planning. This is definitely good from my perspective if I need to (or opt to - but that is for another post) have a C-Section and will be less mobile for a few weeks. Plus the nurse can help me figure out how to breastfeed (apparently the hardest thing to do) and figure out some semblance of a schedule and what is "normal" for eating/sleeping/etc. Hmm...I wonder if Husband is doing this because he is afraid all the care will fall to him if I need to rest after abdominal surgery.

I think this is one of those services that some may interpret as an overindulgence but I know my limits and I'm happy we have enough resources to be able to consider this an option. What do you think - worth the cost or self-indulgent? After we speak with her in more detail I'll post other relevant information (cost, timing, responsibilities) in case any of my local pregnant readers are interested.

Quick babies update: I'm already on the twice a month doctor's visits and today was the day. Both tykes had nice strong easy to find heartbeats and apparently my cervix looks good (TMI?). My awesome nurse Toni even told me if I ever get worried about the kids she is on triage on Thursday and Friday and I can come in for a heartbeat check. How great is she? I think I've gained around 15-20lbs so far but to be honest I don't really know what my pre-pregnancy weight was. I also got my first "so you must be expecting" statement at work - I love the shock when they ask me if I know if it is a boy or girl and I say "one of each" with my excited smile.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Organizational Wishful Thinking

On Wednesday and Friday I worked until 11:00 pm. To give you some perspective Husband and I usually commute into Boston together and are at our respective jobs by 8 am. Not too long ago I was used to the 14 hour days although I found it more taxing as my level of responsibility in each deal increased (drafting/commenting on contracts is harder than organizing signatures pages late at night). But I've been in a lull for about 6 weeks and it is hard to get back into the saddle. It is like I was given a taste of "normal people" life and I don't want to give it back. I wish I could say I used my time productively when I was getting home before 7 pm each night but there was TV to watch and I could justify "lazy" for a while after having worked hard the prior couple of months. Somehow I didn't manage to finish that baby registry, paint the sun porch, organize my photos, work out, keep my house neat - well, the list goes on.

And then I think - oh, my god, I can't even do that stuff now when I'm not busy - how will I handle this when work is crazy and I have 2 babies at home? Will it basically mean my husband and I will live in a messy house with dirty clothes on the floor (you don't want to see our bedroom right now), unfolded laundry, Husband's desk disappearing under a pile of junk mail and paper and dishes in the sink and counters? Am I missing the "neat" gene (I know Husband is)? Will my children have frequent visits to the doctors for odd stuff they found and tried to eat because Mommy, Esq. was too busy working to pick up? Husband is no help - in our last rental the cleaning person didn't clean his office for 3 years because there was no visible floor space. And our yard is the embarrassment of the neighborhood.

When I complain to work friends they all say - well, why don't you hire someone? We do have someone come and clean every other week. My dream was to have an illegal alien clean and even cook for us but somehow I'm not even organized enough to make that happen. Husband doesn't want to do those "make and take" places for dinner (and I don't cook - even if there are prep stations). Our lawn is about 6,000 square feet so you think we could handle the maintenance ourselves. Despite my current salary we try to be careful about getting used to spending money - but sometimes I really want to just find someone to organize me and my stuff. I'm tired of "hiding" crap when we know guests are headed over. Any suggestions on how to get Husband to throw things away? I have a great deal of resistance to being organized because I refuse to be the only one doing all the work. And it is much more fun to go to dinner and watch Netflix then spend time picking up. How do I get out of this mindset and force myself to "do stuff" around the house when I get home from work instead of falling asleep on the couch to Antiques Roadshow? Maybe the "nesting" thing that is supposed to kick in will come in handy. But I doubt it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Elastic Waists

I was able to put off buying and wearing maternity clothes for a long time - relatively speaking, about 18 weeks. I had plenty of room for the tykes to grow to begin with (nice euphemism) so I didn't abandon most of my regular clothes until last week. I didn't mind showing the growing bump on the weekend but I worried about it being obvious at work. I'm sure many people have been thinking - "Is she getting fatter or is she pregnant?" While everyone has been supportive I don't like the fact the first thing someone notices when I come into the room is my stomach.

I went to Baby Style and didn't like the fit of any of their clothes (Italian male designers have NO IDEA what a shirt should look like on a pregnant lady), Mimi Maternity was a bit low end and Old Navy had nothing. A few weeks ago I actually had a break down in the ugly dressing room in Mimi Maternity. I put on a few outfits and was like "Oh, my god - I look really pregnant!" I called Husband (from the dressing room) and told him I wasn't ready to wear "these clothes" yet - especially to work. He told me (per usual) that I was being ridiculous so I bought an outfit and tried it on at home. Man, was he shocked how pregnant I looked. I couldn't bear to wear just a larger size (since I was a big enough size to begin with) so I toughed it out for a while (Bella bands are not the answer) and gave in last week.

The best option for me has been Ann Taylor Loft Maternity - good work stuff, decent quality and not that expensive. I bought one suit that is a little fuggly but I have a client meeting in a few weeks so I need one. How much is too much to spend total on these clothes? I can justify myself to some extent because I would have bought some new outfits for spring/summer and I can pass these on to one or both of my sisters but we have so much to buy for the kiddos that I feel guilty spending any on myself for such a short period of time. Never mind the casual wear (including bathing suit!) that I need for our family trip to Florida in 2 weeks. I'm ordering that type of clothes from Old Navy. Online only is my game - no need to waste time driving to a mall and returns are pretty easy.

There truly is nothing more comfortable than elastic waist pants. It is the maternity underwear that I fear will be needed in the not too distant future.

Monday, April 21, 2008

OH-IO

We had a quick trip to Ohio for the weekend to celebrate my mother-in-law's 60th birthday. Ohio is about 2 weeks ahead of Boston spring weather-wise but it did rain Saturday afternoon during the party. It was great to see Husband's family and I enjoyed my new role as "vessel for the grandchildren".

We took a small plane directly to Columbus (2 seats on 1 side, 1 across the aisle). Husband and I played the game "how are we going to do this with 2 children". It's always a frightening time. He argues in favor of larger plane with a stop in Detroit whereas I know that with possibly screaming infants one 2 hour flight is much shorter than two 1 hour flights with a layover. So what if we aren't comfortable in such small seats - the babies will be tiny when we go for Thanksgiving and so we'll be holding them. Husband also argued in favor of an 11 hour drive but he is just trying (successfully) to drive me crazy.

My mother-in-law gave me a baby name book she got when she was pregnant with Husband and some baby pictures of Husband for future comparisons. The book includes 417 "alarming" examples of "What Not to Name the Baby". Here are a few fun examples:
-Agathas wear pink, transparent nylon blouses and babushkas and are either overweight or underweight.
-Eric wears expensive shirts and combs his hair a lot. He comes to parties without a date and confuses the girls by flirting with all of them.
- Russ - Things happen to Russ. he is always havnig a wreck, or breaking his big toe, or getting his shirt caught in his zipper.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Babies Update - 18 Week Ultrasound

On Tuesday we went in for our "big" ultrasound - measurements to make sure they are looking healthy. I love ultrasounds so I can see the kiddies since I don't feel them very often and can't tell which one is moving around when I do. Of course I read some article that said ultrasounds might be an autism factor (now they are at a much stronger frequency and done more frequently than historically) but at this point the reassurance outweighs the million reasons why either of the kids could develop autism. A few weeks ago I was "that woman" who made the OB practice check for both A and B's heartbeats since I was convinced something had happened to A. They were very nice about it and it took 10 mins.

Prior to the ultrasound I planned to have some coffee and eat so they would hopefully be awake and alert. The OB practice I go to has a great set up where you can lie down, with your husband next to you and you both have a clear view of the screen. Baby A was up first and there was some squirming, hands in the face, and boom - hello, little boy! I mean it was OBVIOUS and usually I just have to pretend I see what the technician does (sure, those are his kidneys). Husband was disappointed not to get a copy of the "money" shot in all the pictures they printed for us.

B was up next and unfortunately for B it is never as climactic for the second one after you've been poked and prodded and oohed and ahhed over A already. It wears you out. B was a little jumping bean - probably because B is on top and not squished like A. And the verdict for sex of B is...probably a girl. Little "Miss" squirmy never got into a good position and later the umbilical cord was pooled in that area. I told Husband weeks ago that if the doctor couldn't tell for sure we were going to assume it was a girl. We can look again in 6 more weeks when I have a growth check ultrasound. For the record I thought they might be two girls but that A was definitely a girl. Husband picked the opposite (to be contrary) but he ended up being correct so this will just make him insufferable. It does not mean he gets an extra vote in the names. Speaking of, any good name suggestions? Post them in "comments".

Both are healthy - we saw 4 heart chamers and 2 hemisphere's of the brain. The technician kept say things were "beautiful" in a lovely Eastern European accent. I liked how excited both the technician and then the doctor (who pushed on that wand MUCH harder then the tech did) were even though I'm sure it gets repetitive after a while. The babies were facing each other (A up and B down) which was cute to think they are talking to each other. We all know I was probably talking to my sisters in the womb and I was the one on top so I got the most movement. It is hard to imagine how small they are inside me since they looked so big on the screen. Since I have been eating about 6 meals a day this week I'm sure it won't be long until they are big enough for me to feel them.

Once we get back to Boston from our weekend in Ohio Husband will help me upload some photos and I'll try to add captions so you know which baby is which.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Aches and Pains (in the Rear)

Conversation with Husband while he is cooking me dinner: I am helping by emptying the dishwasher (not really helping, he says). I groan a little and clutch my lower back. "I guess I should just get used to this since it is only going to get worse" I say. "Yup," Husband answers. Not the right answer which I let him know. What is the correct response? "That is too bad, let me give you a backrub later." He is a good cook though so I guess I'll forgive him.

Midlevel Survey

Yesterday I took an anonymous survey for AmLaw about midlevels at my Big Firm. My Big Firm was disappointed in its ranking last year. I suspect that the surveys skew in favor of smaller firms because there are less associates to participate. After deciding to stay in Boston instead of accepting a job at a different Big Firm in D.C., I chose the Big Firm that had the best Boston reputation and was known for its corporate work. I haven't been disappointed. The work is challenging but my colleagues (including partners) are respectful. The last few years have been a bit of a grind hours-wise but now I'm in a bit of a holding pattern which helps me feel additional goodwill. The AmLaw survey asked whether I used all my vacation (I realized shockingly I had last year), what I was compensated, my hours, and I ranked my satisifaction with firm training, support, etc. I think these surveys don't have very much value since the only people who read them in depth are law students who think somehow this will give them insight into making "the right decision". There really is no "right decision". Most of whether things work out is luck, finding your niche (which took me 3 years and 2 very different departments but that is another story), working hard and spouses who put up with your hours.

I got all the way through the end of the survey and suggested that my Big Firm be clearer about partnership tracks and explore non-partnership avenues (which I know they are doing) when I realized there were not many questions relating to work-family balance, support of women with children, mentoring, etc. For the past 4 months (about when I figured out I was pregnant) all I have been doing is worrying about how I am "going to make it work" and I completely forgot about the future kiddos as I filled out the survey. Also, why were there more questions about technology and tech support than about families? It is definitely true that a slow time at work can make you feel like anything is possible - including juggling two kids and two jobs. I'm sure I wouldn't have felt the same way if I got a call at 7 pm (which, by the way, is when most babies are heading down to sleep) as I was leaving the office to start a new project.

Okay, I promise there will be less law stuff this weekend as Husband and I are heading to Ohio for his mom's 60th birthday party. I'll also post about our most recent doctor's visit so you can catch up with the tykes. If I can get Husband's help I'll learn to post photos so we can include some ultrasound photos.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Expectations

Ever since I found out I was pregnant with twins I have been enjoying reading blogs about twin mommyhood. Internet MoMs ("Moms of Multiples" - too cute) have freely shared their pregnancy fears, birth stories and day-to-day challenges for which I am grateful. I have decided to create this blog to share my stories not only as a mom but a career woman. I hope our families enjoy the photos and stories about our children but more importantly I want this blog to serve as a forum for all areas that affect working parents. My husband will be contributing some pieces - a guest financing column - and I intend to pull in news and events that affect working moms, especially "law moms". It may take me a little while to find my Voice but please come by frequently as I hope to update a few times a week. I noticed that at least one mom tried to start this sort of blog before at mommyesq.blogger.com but she only managed to put up a few posts before giving up.