Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Good News and the Bad News, or How My Morning Regimen Means I Get to Be a Lazy Head

I have been up for an hour and a half doing the various morning things I have to do -- and now when I could almost be ready to go and do something or get something wonderfully productive done, I don't want to. The morning regimen is already enough -- like since it's the weekend I should get to relax already. Absurdist Lover is away for the weekend, and I had planned to do many many things that are more difficult to do when he's here and we want to spend time together on the weekends. There are many things I should do, such as work on the article that could contribute positively to me on the job market this year, call my grandfather, and go out and buy a number of little things that would make life around the house easier (including flypaper, which I have been having a hard time finding and which we desperately need because for some reason our apartment is a daily fly convention), not to mention work on another thing that I realize now I should tell y'all about.

So let me explain my good news and my bad news first.

The bad news (let's get it over with) is I had my nutritional consult with my nutritionally-oriented midwife and she was basically appalled at my diet of lattes and ice cream. She said that the amount of sugar in my diet had probably already led me to gestational diabetes and could lead to hypertension, a big baby (which means a more problematic delivery), and all sorts of bad high-risk things. So now I'm on this no-sugar, no-caffeine, low-fat, low natural sugar, low-fun diet. Today is Day 3, and I don't feel as terrible as I did yesterday when I moaned to my co-workers and Maude that I was going to die. (Something to remember about radical diet changes: Day 1 is not so bad because you're still full of juice about how you're going to change your life and "it's going to be great"; Day 2 is frigging awful because your body is in total withdrawal and you think you're going to die and you wish you could spend the day sprawled on your bed with the clicker exactly like those hangover days, which, sadly, you now remember fondly; Day 3, so far, is not so bad.) In fact, the rest of yesterday wasn't so bad; I went to El Pollo Loco after work and ate a huge-but-didn't-break-any-rules meal to make up for the fact that I had not eaten lunch (a big no-no) and managed to feel pretty decent the rest of the night. Basically, the midwife has already put me on the gestational diabetes diet, so if the tests come back next week with gestational diabetes, well, I won't be surprised and there won't be anything to change. But please cross your fingers that I don't have gestational diabetes, because that means that for who knows how long there has been rampant un-insulin-controlled sugars kick-starting the baby's growth hormone, leading to a huge baby, making a vaginal delivery increase in potential ickiness. Since we're at 32 weeks (if you can believe that), this is the time of rapid growth, so maybe, just maybe, I can nip that one in the bud by reducing my sugar to practically zero. We'll see. The one thing about being pregnant that really sucks is how I feel already like I've already ruined this little person I love. It's ridiculous, I know, because my mother ate whatever she wanted (though she doesn't have a sugar-sensitive body either and I do), smoked, drank, etc. I figure the smoking probably kept the birth weight down, evening out the all-fast food diet. Ugh. If this baby has anything wrong with him/her, I know that I'm going to blame myself for all my bad pregnancy behaviors. I have to remember that while some of this is productive and will keep me on my diet, some of this is totally nonproductive too -- and hubristic, as if I have all the answers and am totally in charge of how this baby turns out.

So, along with the new diet, there are tons and tons of supplements. In the morning, there are not one, but two different things I have to mix up and drink, plus so many pills I inevitably have a bad time getting them down. At night, I now also have a bunch of pills and one thing to drink -- and she encouraged me to order this other supplement -- so as of next week, I'll have yet another thing to mix up and drink three times a day. So when I say I'm done with the morning regimen, what I mean is that I've taken all my morning supplements, given the cat his medicine, brushed my teeth, and cleaned out the cat box (with a mask and gloves, of course). I haven't, for example, eaten breakfast. But I don't feel hungry because my stomach is full of Vitamin C drink, Cal Mag, and pills, pills, pills. (Part of the point of eating the low-fat, no-sugar diet is to get all the bad stuff out of the way so that my body can actually process the good stuff, including protein and supplements, that will make the baby and me strong for birth.) On a positive note, I don't feel bad or caffeine-deprived, no matter how much I really want a latte. We all know the caffeine-withdrawal headache. I don't have that. I think the reason why I felt crappy yesterday at work really had to do with my blood sugar being way too low -- and not having any quick way of fixing it. Though it was probably also withdrawal.

So on to the good news! On Thursday, Chair of English Department at New Community College offered me two classes: one that he's pretty sure will run, one that is sketchy right now. So I emailed the coordinator of Pretty-Assured Class and got a bunch of materials. There is even a meeting for the instructors so I may get to lobby there for someone to take over when I give birth and definitely need to be out. As much as starting something new when I'm about to have a baby, a new lifechanging event, is a lot, there are a few reasons why this is totally fabulous news. One, definite pay for 3-4 months at a higher hourly rate than SAT company gives me (though of course they don't pay for prep and we know how it happens that we end up spending way way way more time than they ever pay us for). Two, a college that I can put on my CV for going on the market. No matter how I talk about SAT Company and how I've learned a great deal that will help me be a better college teacher in the future, I figure there is nothing better than having some actual college teaching on my sheet. (I have more than five years already, but still.) I also feel like the community college experience will help me be a better, more well-rounded teacher. I realize that universities often don't care about this, but I do think that teaching the SAT and the writing courses I've done recently, plus community college teaching will make me a better teacher -- and a better, more thoughtful scholar. This way I can see a bigger picture rather than just what we do in our classes or our programs. I can see how students are prepared to get into those classes. I have to remember to talk about this is some sort of smart way in my letter. GAH! I have to rewrite my letter! Oy gevalt! Breathe, breathe deeply. Three, I like college teaching better than SAT teaching. No matter how stifling the set curriculum (and so far, it doesn't seem awful), at least I will feel like I'm doing what I'm best at or at least what I've sunk my higher education into. I just plain feel better about myself when I'm doing something that feels like what I'm meant to do. (One of these days I have to explore why it is that teaching writing to others feels so much more important than writing myself. When I visited my grandmother a couple weeks ago, she told me how well-written she thought my writing was. Why don't I write more? Why, why, why?)

So, of course it would be a great idea for me to look more carefully through all the things that Course Coordinator sent me, figure things out, come up with questions, etc. And yet. I'm not excited enough about the class to actually go and do that. In some ways, I realize it will be very much like the teaching at Adventure U, which totally didn't fit me. But really it's not that I'm in some working mood, and I just don't feel good about this situation. It's that I'm totally NOT in a working mood. Since my last class with Summer Program for SAT Company ended on Thursday, I just want to enjoy not working two jobs -- and today I want to enjoy not working, period. I want to get lost in a book or something. Or watch TV and movies and do cross-stitch. I want to be a big old Lazy Head.

I thought blogging might help me get in the mood, but I see this post is one big rationalization for not working at all -- on the article or the new class. The new class I figure I can work on during the week, when I would've been working that second job. The article? Well, I have no excuse. Maybe later in the day when I've wasted too much time I'll feel more like a wastrel and get into it. (I should at least make myself work long enough for a ten-minute freewrite.) But for now I'm going to think about the things that have to be done today, such as renewing my library books. Tomorrow, I figure I'll wake up, go to the farmer's market (good healthy food for me, plus I also have to bring snacks to Tuesday's birth class), and then go over to my folks, where I can pick up the bathing suit my step-mom bought me, maybe go swimming if the suit fits (which seems highly unlikely since I'm a beached whale), and call my grandfather on their far-superior phones. Which means today, I can lounge about, post-renewal of books.

I hope y'all out in bloggerland are having a more productive time of it out there! I never did understand how people work all week, then get up early on Saturday to run errands. I just want to sleep and do nothing. August as the month of getting down to business, my foot!


Sisyphus said...

I'm not getting anything done at all, if that makes you feel any better --- I went up to see my family and fall back into all my old habits and routines from before I ever moved out to college and adulthood, which is probably not a good thing right now. But whatever.

Good for you on the low-everything high-health diet! And remember that raising a kid isn't an all-or-nothing, perfection type of thing... it's about keeping up best efforts and making recoveries from mistakes, so don't think that you've ruined things before the baby even gets here! (Besides, lattes and ice cream are lovely things!)

Good luck on all your various productivity fronts! Let's not talk job market stuff until Sept., ok? I just don't wanna go there.

k8 said...

Congrats on the job!

My sister had GD while pregnant with her first. She wasn't good about changing her diet, choosing insulin injections over giving up her pregnancy induced dilly bar obsession. My niece turned out fine. More than fine. Super healthy and happy, in fact. But, I think what you are doing is healthier for you and the baby, which is fantastic!

Hilaire said...

That's great news on the job front!

I'm sorry about the bad news, but you're doing awesomely in your quest to turn things around - go, you!


medieval woman said...

Congrats on the classes - sorry about the no-fun diet - I'm not looking forward to that aspect of pregnancy...

Earnest English said...

Thanks to y'all for the support with this low-fun diet. (Absurdist Lover bought me a "dessert tea" that seems to have no sugar or bad stuff in it, so with my 1 cup daily of nonfat milk, I'm having milky tea. So things are getting better, though I realize now that what I really miss in a BIG way is not the ice cream, but the lattes. I want the caffeine, sweetness, the whole thing. Good thing to know.)

Sis: Thanks for reminding me that parenthood is not an all or nothing perfection thing. I'm totally ridiculous to think I could've "ruined" the baby already. Oy gevalt. (Parenthood? Me? I'm going to be a parent? I'd run screaming for the hills, but the baby would come with me! ;) )
And the job market? I want to ignore it too, but I just realized that I haven't asked my recommenders to update my letters. AGH!

K8: Thanks so much for letting me know about your sister. Of course babies are often fine under myriad conditions -- and I need to stop worrying myself silly!

Hilaire: You rock! That's all. Besides, get better -- I can't believe you're stumbling around on crutches right now!

MW: This particular diet is not inevitable. But the no-sushi, no-unpasteurized or soft cheese (no Brie people!), low-alcohol, low-caffeine part kinda does suck. I've been dreaming about going out for drinks for months now! I don't know if the worst part is the conflicting and nonsensical information you'll find or the fact that some people will make you feel bad about the drop of wine, the one latte you really needed, or whatever. When you're pregnant, don't listen to all this crap -- for some reason being pregnant means that YOU are the one who is infantilized and told to do things that don't make sense as if you hae no brain and no agency. The reason why I'm complying with this somewhat alarmist diet is a) everything my midwife says makes sense to my brain; 2) I trust my midwife; 3) I'd really like to have a natural childbirth at the birth center rather than a hospital birth with Urban City's high rate of C-section. But if you don't eat Ben and Jerry's daily, you probably won't end up with some terrible GD diet! So don't worry!