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January 29, 2001
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Fish Check, Rewards, Interview, and Blankets

The Fish check was mildly painful, but gave some good news. I'm now 3 cm dilated and 85% effaced, which had Dr. Weinberg talking about 5-7 hour labor instead of 10-12. Had bloody discharges through most of the day, sadly, after the check. The kid seems to be doing well, I've stopped gaining weight, and started getting mildly nauseated by all kinds of food again. I think some of it is that he's large enough, now that every time he moves around in my body cavity, my digestive system is getting messed with.

On the way back to work, John was very happy about my progress, as was I, but I was still sleepy from the late night and early morning. So he took us a little out of our way to a Starbucks. Yay! The barista said that it would be cheaper to have a grande latte topped with caramel than a Caramel Macciato without the vanilla, so I got that, instead, and as I picked it up, I realized that he'd done the conversion and forgotten the 'decaf' part of it. Oops. Then again, two shots of espresso have less caffeine than two cups of coffee, and I was so desperately tired. I didn't realize how tired until I drank that latte and the Fish didn't start kicking me and I wasn't terribly buzzed. Just alert enough to deal with work.

One good thing is that I realized that Bill really isn't expecting everything from me that I think he is. I talked with him as soon as I got into work, and I told him about the two missing chunks and he said that the order that I really should do things in is 1) check what I have in, 2) write down what I know about the other things and problems and designs that I've got in my head, and then 3) think about doing the fixes for the problems. So he'd have some place to start when I left, even if I couldn't finish all the things that were left on my plate.

I think, all along, I've expected more of myself than Bill really has and I've been pushing myself because it's my nature to do that and to worry about not being 'good enough'. Got a nice token today that said that I really was good enough, even with all the distractions of this last year. That was nice. It really helped to talk this through with Cera, as she asked some very telling questions of me and they got me to think about my feelings and what was real and what wasn't real. I really love the open-ended questions she gave me.

So I did that list of things. It took most of the morning to get everything in, and Cary was good enough to test everything on Solaris for me instead of making it so that I had to get my UNIX setup to work. I will have to do that anyway, eventually, but I am starting to think that I might well be able to have that particular chore wait until I come back and then just do it once with whatever new environment I'll have at the new building anyway.

I also took a little time for myself and called around Boulder to the various places that had a Stowaway keyboard for the Visor. Called to find out availability and prices and they all seem to be going for the same $99.99. The Boulder CompUSA had five of them, so I decided that would be a good place to get it. It's the same price as directly from the manufacturer and Levenger, for that matter, so I would have the instant gratification without having to pay the shipping charges, though I would have to pay the state income tax. It would even out.

I had lunch with John in the downstairs breakroom, it's nice to just eat lunch with him without having to go out. It'll be nicer when we can eat at the cafeteria in the new place. Since we had the interview with the pediatrician this afternoon, and I really wanted to get the keyboard before going into labor, we decided to leave at 3:45. I had no qualms about leaving early, given that I'd worked all weekend.

So we did. The other reason I didn't want to buy the keyboard on-line was so that I could get a feel for the critter before purchasing. If it was too crowded it would be bad for my hands. So we got there, and they had them out on a shelf, all beat up, broken and cracked, as they'd been pounded by whomever had tried them. But the key size was good, the travel on the keys was good, and, most of all, the keyboard size was definitely adequate. It felt good to type on and was amazingly compact. So we bought it. A hundred dollars on top of the Visor and I have, basically, a low-tech, low-cost electronic typewriter that can transfer text to my home computer, for well below the over a thousand dollars I was contemplating for a 'cheap' just for writing laptop. It'll even work in the dark! It weighs less than a pound and I'll be able to travel with it easily, no more hauling shoulder-hurting electronics just to get my journal entries written while I remember things.

We got out in exactly the half hour I'd allotted, and wended our way north to Longmont and the Longmont Hospital and the clinic outside it. We went to the pediatrics area, told the receptionist we were there, and then I watched the waiting room, which was stuffed full of kids and their parents. 4:45 is late enough that it's likely the worst time in any doctor's office. All the day's late appointments have cumulated in the waiting of patient after patient, so having the waiting room be pretty full wasn't a surprise, nor the long wait to actually see the doctor we had the appointment for. The staff was actually really nice to the kids and parents and everything was as orderly as could be with several toddlers running about. The nice thing was seeing that the staff was very patient even at the end of what was obviously a long day.

We went in a bit after five, got ushered to an examination room with a red train all around the examination table, a baby scale and some toys. We waited for only a small while before the doctor came in and introduced herself. The interview started with some of the standard questions we'd come across, how do you work immunizations? How will transfer to their care work from after the birthing? What is the process by which we would actually want to make an appointment? What resources would we have available to us other than the doctor? One really cool thing is that they have an agreement with Denver's Children's Hospital for calling nurses at any time with any question. The service is available to all these folks' patients and Children's is one of the leading children's hospitals in the nation, and the service is so that a parent can call in with anything and not feel stupid. Very useful for first time parents.

She was very thorough and very patient, and happily came up with a couple of books she recommended for us to read, reference and learn from in figuring out what symptoms mean. She was very good with our questions. I then asked some of the harder questions about having dealt with abuse and she was very straightforward about her answers that, yes, it's a problem, and they have to deal with it. That all child care has some risks and assessments of those risks and that it's often better to go with a situation with multiple adults that supervise each other in their care of the children than a single person, unwatched, in a home or at home. It ups the frequency of getting colds, but it does reduce the other risks. She was obviously sad about having had to deal with the times she's seen abuse, but she was very up front about it. I really liked that.

She also had a cold, and was patient with us when she was having problems with coughs. I was impressed that she only had colds two or three times a year, even with all the sick kids she sees. We also had some fun asking her about the area and what she liked about it. She's been here for fourteen years! How cool.

So our fifteen minute appointment stretched to about twenty or twenty-five, and when we came out, the waiting room was empty, so they'd been good about getting through all the waiting folks. I was fairly impressed with that. Both John and I decided that even if I did go into labor before our Thursday interview with the other pediatrician, we'd likely be comfortable with her. We'll have to see.

Tired. The early morning and staying up late last night had me really tired. We found food in Longmont at La Mariposa, a little Mexican place we'd never been to before. It was heartening to have other Hispanics come in as well while we ate, and I got their carnitas dinner. They'd done the slow braise and then cut the meat up into chunks and then deep fried the chunks so that they were crispy on the outside! That surprised me a little, and they'd soused it all in the normal green chile. It was fairly tasty with the rice and beans and soft, puffy flour tortillas. Yum. John had their small combination which had a tostada, taco, and enchilada, and the serving sizes weren't completely insane, but were filling. I ate nearly all of my dinner and felt a little ill after, but not too bad.

Then the Braxton-Hicks contractions started up in the car. Maybe from the food, maybe from the cold, or even maybe from the baby just pushing at the walls. I had a couple on the way to Safeway. The walking calmed them down, some, and we found the gallon of milk we were there for, along with a few small things. Home again, home again. And another B-H contraction when I was inside and sitting down to rest a little.

John found a big box on our porch from a lady in Georgia. I hadn't ever heard of the name, before, though the last name matched the name of someone I knew read the journal frequently. When we opened it there was a note. The lady had said that her son had told her that we were having a baby, and since she didn't know what sex the kid was she sent us *two* handmade baby blankets! One of each color! She said to either keep both or give the other away to someone that might need it, as she liked making them so much. Wow.

The generosity of people always amazes me, especially for someone they haven't even met. The two blankets were, of course, blue and pink, crocheted tightly for wearability, and made from a yarn that could be, easily, machine washed over and over and over again. Really durable and solidly made. They were so cool, I immediately sat down and wrote her a thank you letter. There's a couple that's having a girl, and they're having a baby shower in a month or so, and these heavy blankets are really, really nice in this cold, winter weather.

John was a sweetie and took the monitor back upstairs for me, and I went up there to get the software for the keyboard installed on my Visor. It was really, really easy. Just back everything up, double-click the program from the CD, and with another hot-sync it was on my Visor. I plug the puppy into the keyboard and everything just worked! How cool is that? I could instantly type stuff into everything that took text. Yay!

I also loaded in the iSilo reader that I'd bought. I'd found the conversion software that took HTML to the correct Palm OS DOC format. Took me a little while to figure out which page off the Baen free HTML versions of the books was the one I should use as a root file for the conversion, but I got there and managed to convert a few of the David Weber books and get them installed onto my machine. There was much rejoicing when I could finally read things again.

I thought about loading pedit up, but the version that got beyond the 4k limit for the memo stuff had to do really funky things to hotsynch data. So I decided that I should probably look for something easier or more flexible, and didn't load it up as well. The memos would have to do for now.

It was only eight when I was done, so John and I played some Crash Bash together. I was giggling pretty hard after one game, because of something John did and suddenly had another of the painless contractions. Lots of practice contractions tonight. It's gradually getting more and more frequent. Sleep tonight was hard 'cause John snored a lot, so I finally chased him upstairs at 3 a.m., rationalizing that even four hours of uninterrupted sleep was better than none. Okay, it wasn't uninterrupted, as I got up two times during it, but it was better.

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