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Category archive for: Social Life

18 Weeks

We had an appointment this morning. Some appointments they just check for a heartbeat, weigh you, type information into their computers and send you on your way. The only fun part of these is hearing the heartbeat, which is my favorite sound right now.

Today’s appointment was an anatomy ultrasound. This is a detailed look to make sure the body parts are coming in well. So far so good! The baby was moving, so they said they could not check everything, but she did seem to think most of the important organs are looking okay so far. That was a relief.

I shared with the doctor that I’m having trouble sleeping and getting winded easily. She smiled, nodded, and said it would only get worse. Then she asked, “Any other questions?” and I asked about travel and exercise, and then we were on our way!

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Second Part

Hi!

I’m in the second trimester now – 15 weeks! Here’s something neat I learned: second trimester is defined slightly differently depending on the person you are communicating with. Our doctor puts it at 14 weeks. That’s because they can keep administering certain tests and making decisions if need be up until that point. Online they say the second trimester is at 13 weeks. Interesting, yes?

Since I have been lucky enough to not have any symptoms, barring my period not showing up, I completely understand the people who say, “I didn’t know I was pregnant.” But if you want to be pregnant, the lack of symptoms are jarring. I’m constantly wondering if the little baby is still in there. My bowel movements have been on point, but they’ve been on point since I started the estradiol months ago, so I can’t count that as a symptom. I’m a bit emotional at times, for example yesterday I started tearing up watching New Zealanders do the Haka dance in support of the mosque victims, but I think I might have felt deeply moved by that anyway.

There is one symptom I have that I thought I wanted. The ladies have gotten bigger. I’ve always been humbled by my modest offerings, and I was over the moon in 2001 when Shakira’s Whenever, Wherever came out with the lyric:

“Lucky that my breasts are small and humble
So you don’t confuse them with mountains”

I loved these lyrics! They spoke to me!

But now that I am bigger, not even that much bigger mind you, they are a total nuisance. When I pass a mirror I have to remind myself that “my eyes are up here.” When I cross my arms over my chest, they sort of get in the way. I had free range before. They hurt sometimes. OH, ALSO, THERE ARE GROWTHS ON THEM. WTF.

I’m also wildly confused about weight gain. I wasn’t sure whether I should be or not be gaining. And I am not certain if I have a bump or a perpetual food baby. I had food babies before, and this baby looks like the food babies that preceded her. I honestly thought I had a bump two weeks ago, but when the doctor checked for heartbeat, she put that device somewhere far from my “bump” and I was like, “Uh…so that’s where the baby is right now? WHAT IS THIS BELLY I HAVE?” The doctor just shrugged and said, “She’s down here right now.”

Also my friend asked me if I had any cravings, and I said no, and then I ate half a pint of Phish Food ice cream. But that’s something I would do – and have done – under regular circumstances.

Last night I watched Amy Schumer’s special, in which she is pregnant. It’s time I wrote some jokes and got on stage. I cannot miss this opportunity!

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Fallen Ill

Hello my beloved blog, I have terrible news. I’ve fallen ill.

Here’s what happened:

The first trimester went quite smoothly, with me showing so few symptoms that I was worried that something was amiss. People would ask, “How are you feeling?” and I would reply, embarrassed, “I don’t feel much,” and they would say, “You are so lucky.” I did sleep eight or more hours a night, which is a big deal for me.

Then while watching the Grammy Awards, I learned that Cardi B wrote and put out her Grammy award winning album when she found out she was pregnant. I’m no Cardi B, but I thought I could at least direct a short and perform in a comedy show before most people knew I was pregnant. And this plan was good in theory, but it also meant that I would be around more people than normal, meaning I would also be around more people that might have the flu. And sure enough, I heard people coughing during rehearsal, and I saw on Facebook that our tech operator had a fever.

“Just a cold I’m getting over,” the coughers assured me. I didn’t even talk to the tech operator. And since my body is changing, I was having trouble sleeping.

Well after a stellar performance Saturday night, potentially one of my last for a while, which a lot of wonderful friends attended thanks to Ian, we all went to a crowded bar. I started to dry heave, so we left after an hour and half, and came home to eat pizza. Well by Sunday I had a 102.5 fever! This resulted in a vigorous and panicked internet search and what this means for our little one. We called the ob-gyn, and the on-call doctor said to take a Tylenol and go to the general practitioner in the morning if it kept up.

Monday morning we went to urgent care, and they gave me a test for flu and strep. I was negative for strep, Flu A and B, and he said the tests aren’t 100% conclusive, so he prescribed tamiflu, and asked that I run it by the ob-gyn as well. I called them, and they said that tamiflu is safe for pregnancy. So then I took a tamiflu and vomited within 10 minutes of one tablet. I believe that was my body’s way of saying, “No.”

Side effects of tamiflu are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and hallucinations. These side effects are exponentially worse than what I was experiencing. Anyway then my mom came by and brought me cooked turnips, which taste foul, but they seemed to help. David and I decided yesterday that I would not keep taking tamiflu, and my temperature dropped too 100 last night before bed and this morning was at 99! Yay!

Today I have a sore throat and phlegm, but I believe that is progress. Tomorrow the ob-gyn will hopefully check on our little one to let me know she’s okay.

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539

I’d like to write a story this year. I started one last year, but it was bleak. So I would like to write a more pleasant story.

It will have characters.

And an arch.

And maybe the world will be compelling.

This is a goal I have for this year.

Will it have magic? I don’t know. I like magic, so maybe. But since I am not a conjurer, and I don’t have wizard blood, it might be challenging to write about what I do not know. And what if wizards are like, “Cultural appropriation!” I would wilt under the criticism.

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New Year’s Eve

I’ve been sleeping a lot this past week, because I figured I’d treat myself. I’ve also been reading the physical copies of The New Yorker. This is going to be the new me, I think: someone who reads the physical copies of The New Yorker. I read something about using facial recognition technology on cows to detect pain early. I also read a Washington Post article the other day about how dairy farming in the US is no longer profitable. I’ve always wanted to have a dairy cow, so I don’t know if this is the universe discouraging me from going for that dream: the technology is too expensive and a lack of technology is untenable. Also I learned you can’t raise chickens in my county, so any attempts at farming are out of the question. I guess that settles that.

A lot of 2018 was about trying to conceive. We did our first IUI in February, and we started the IVF process in July. The process has felt all consuming, but I wanted to point out some other things happened in 2018 that I should feel good about, should the transfer not work out:

1) My animated short was accepted into different festivals, including a pretty big one: HBO’s Women in Comedy Festival in Boston. Strangers laughed out loud in a movie theater screening at something I made. Yay! The short won Best Animation for the Broad Humor festival. Yay! Also three people in the media industry listened to a read-through of the _next_ episode and laughed out loud and told me I should “keep going.”

2) We took some very cool trips this year: Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, Mexico, Greece, Canada, London and Las Vegas: all were AMAZING. We watched some great tennis, ate some delicious food, and enjoyed the time together. Traveling with David, whether it’s a walk to the supermarket, a car road trip, or a long flight, is always the best.

3) The tennis team I captain made it to the playoffs in the Fall! I don’t think I won any matches personally, but I did set lineups, enter in scores, and write inspiring emails, so that’s nice. And to do this, I had to learn about the rules I had been ignoring previous seasons, because we didn’t have a real chance before.

4) My D&D character died and came back to life. This had nothing to do with me, really. The death was accidental, even though I had been trying to kill off my character intentionally for months. The resuscitation was entirely thanks to David who wrote a scathing email about the circumstances of my character’s demise. I was touched by this, and I’d like to think that if I were to die in real life, David would also have some thoughtful, stern words for the people in charge. I think I might make a bullet journal in 2019, primarily to do a better job of tracking my D&D progress. I have a terrible habit of falling asleep at D&D sessions (on account of them running late and my not sleeping a lot), so maybe a bullet journal coupled with a new commitment to sleep will help in some way.

5) I rode 150 miles on the bike in December, which was a big Peloton win for me. And I did this via 30 and 45 minute rides, which I typically avoided. And I recognized I was not as fast as other riders, but I could make up the miles by riding more. This was a valuable lesson I hope to take into 2019: persistence can get you pretty far.

6) I directed a holiday comedy show. This entailed reviewing and editing scripts, setting the order, casting, selecting the music, making sure the tech script was ready-to-go. I also wrote a sketch and performed in the show. And I was really proud of how it came out. The crowd laughed. We tried new things: it was great. I was super proud to invite my friends and family to the show, and it was fun to do.

7) I wrote a tight 5 (4.5 technically) and performed it at an Open Mic. I only did one Open Mic this year, but at least I did it! My friends who came laughed and laughed, and strangers were confused that I was doing a Mrs. Claus bit, which is weird because it was the day before Christmas Eve… so there really should have been more holiday jokes. The only holiday jokes people had were about loneliness and suicide, and they didn’t feel like jokes as much as suggestions. Anyway, my friends who had come from out of town almost felt out of their chairs laughing, because they are good friends.

8) From a work perspective: I personally contributed to at least a 44% increase in sales, with considerably less resources than we had before. And I think it might have actually been more, because I did not count the contracts yet.

9) I think I wrote more blog entries this year, and that’s always a good thing.

10) OH! Here’s a thing I was SUPER proud of: I made mashed potatoes. My family agreed to let David and me host for Thanksgiving, so we were in charge of the menu. David cooked pretty much everything, because he is a better cook. But I used the internet to learn how to make mashed potatoes, and I peeled them, boiled them, and put them in the mixer and added butter, milk and a pinch of salt. They tasted amazing. I also baked cookies this year, and they were well-received.

11) I produced another animated short. I was worried it was not good enough, so I did not show it to anyone. I’m planning to share it tonight.

All in all, this list was helpful. 2018 was a year of some progress!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2019.

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The 2 Week Wait

Someone warned me this wait would be difficult, and it is. We have had a busy couple of days: a holiday party, I did some stand-up at an open mic, Christmas Eve with the family, and I watched THREE movies yesterday and spent time with my parents, in continued efforts to relax and enjoy things. But I’m constantly worried that I’m moving incorrectly or should not be bending over or sitting in the wrong position. I felt a sharp pain I had not felt before that immediately subsided yesterday at 9:30am, so I took to the internet boards and learned nothing.

Here are the three movies I watched:

The Princess Bride – This is David’s favorite movie of all time. I had fallen asleep on all previous attempts to watch it when we first started dating. This had nothing to do with the movie and rather was just a product of me balancing exercise, work, and a beau. The movie was GREAT. David resembles Inigo Montoya a little as well, so that was an added plus.
And I also present you with this: Mandy Patinkin’s favorite line from the movie:

On the Basis of Sex – We saw this movie in the theater with my mom. It was about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and it was lovely. I had already seen the RBG Documentary, which was really well done. The biopic was also really well done. I only cried at the end, when something happens that I will not tell you. I was also emotional in the beginning when her husband gets his initial diagnosis.

The Incredibles 2 – We watched this movie at night. It was so lovely. It had all sorts of things I love: superheroes, an adorable baby, and a couple that works together professionally and of course to keep the family together. Also Bob Odenkirk and this character:

Edna

She’s good.

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Reading, Riding and Magic

I’ve been reading Michelle Obama’s book Becoming, and it’s wonderful. I am having trouble putting it down and find myself weeping through parts of it. I’ve also read the part about the IVF treatment, and I loved her for sharing that she went through it. I also read that she had a heartbeat eight weeks after the injections, and I wanted to call my doctor and say something to the effect of “Doc, you got some ‘splainin to do!*” Eight weeks is only 56 days, and I am well past that!

In other news, we were in Las Vegas this past weekend. When we were in the elevator at the hotel, a couple asked us: “Are you in town for the rodeo?” And I thought, “Do David and I ….look like we would be in town for a rodeo?” We were the only people not wearing boots and a cowboy hat. David was wearing a Mickey Mouse sweater, and I was in all black and heels. When we shared that we were not in town for the rodeo, they told us about it! We ended up seeing some of the World Series of Team Roping, which is where cowboys rope a steer in less than five seconds. It was impressive. I found myself cheering for the steers, but I was sincerely impressed by all the people on horseback swinging ropes around. As someone who’s not always secure on a stationary bike, watching roping blew my mind.

We also saw a magic show in Las Vegas: Piff the Magic Dragon. It was very entertaining and I especially appreciated the comedy portion. Now, I don’t know how good the magic was. Not because I wasn’t impressed by it, but because I am just now learning about how there are different types of magicians. I learned a little about it through this incredible profile on Ricky Jay:
Secrets of the Magus
Ricky Jay does closeup magic that flouts reality. But, rather than headline in Las Vegas, Jay prefers to live in the mysterious world of ancient mountebanks, eccentric entertainers, and sleight-of-hand artists, whose secrets he preserves with a scholarly passion, and who are his true peers in the realm of illusion.

For Piff the Magic Dragon I was seated next to someone who was somehow affiliated with the show. She was on her mobile phone the whole time, texting with her friend, presumably because she had seen the show several times before or because she did not care for magic. I wanted to tell her she was ruining EVERYTHING for me with her bright screen, but I felt like that was dramatic, and I had to sit next to her, and she was bigger than me. I don’t think she had more muscle than me, but she seemed like she had seen more things than I had and would be willing to use unconventional means to fight, for example pulling out my hair or commenting on my small chest and suggesting I had not hit puberty yet – both hurtful actions in their own way. So I just sat there and enjoyed the show and wondered whether she was part of the show and the art of misdirection, convincing myself not to let her mobile phone distract me, but to also to keep an eye on it at all times as well, in case it was part of the show.
However at the end I saw her boyfriend/friend/whatever-I-do-not-care-he-is-garbage-because-he-didn’t-tell-her-to-put-away-her-phone get up and go backstage, so clearly he was some kind of assistant.

I also gambled. Specifically, I played Blackjack. And by “I played Blackjack,” I mean I used an app to memorize the highest-odd plays, practiced, and when I finally got to a live table, I was so nervous about losing money that I could not add, so David told me what to do. It was exhilarating and disappointing. So many emotions! So much sweat! I also felt bad for other people at the table for losing! Gambling (via cards) is not for me.

*On an unrelated but also very related note: apparently Ricky never says “Lucy, you got some ‘splainin to do!” in the show. This person has gone to great lengths to explain this on reddit and on youtube. That is the extent of the research I’m willing to do on whether or not this is true. But if it is, that is amazing, because I used to watch I Love Lucy, and in my head I can hear him saying this phrase!

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Day 1 – Let’s start fresh!

My period began its tour de force* on Sunday, and so today I had the bloodwork and ultrasound to provide a baseline for the uterine lining and make sure I was not actually pregnant. I just got the call to begin the estrace medication again after a glorious drug and needle free month.

As you might have picked up, I was a bit nervous about the Saturday performance. On Saturday (during the day) I rode a “pick-me-up” ride on the Peloton where the instructor said you should use how much fun you are having as a gauge for success. As a performer and writer, I don’t love this advice because it has to be about the audience. But I believe it is very important as a performer and writer to have fun. Well, the show on Saturday night went quite well by all those standards! We made some improvements to the Friday show, so the transitions went more smoothly and the edits helped tighten the performance. There were less people in the audience, and the audience laughed less, but they seemed to enjoy the show, and my friends shared that they genuinely liked all the sketches. Most importantly, the performers had a great time. They were laughing all night and seemed elated after the show!

I messed up one transition: I forgot I was in the next sketch and was taking my time just drinking water and chilling backstage, wondering why we hadn’t started the next sketch. Luckily Jess came and grabbed me. Ooops! The audience didn’t seem to mind because Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” was playing while they waited for me. That song is magic.

Sunday was the first night of Hanukkah, so after a holiday party we had some Peruvian chicken and watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Netflix, which is just exhilarating. One of my friends summoned the strength to leave a job which made her deeply unhappy. I was really happy for her.

Well that’s all for now! I have a goal to write more in December, so talk to you soon!

*Actually it feels like less blood than usual.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! We just got back from a trip to London, England! Well we got back on Tuesday. The trip was great because I was not on any medication and had no dietary restrictions, and the food and drink in London is top notch. But we did hit a snag at the beginning of the trip.

Here’s what happened: there’s a train called the Heathrow Express that takes you from the airport to London. You have to buy tickets for the Heathrow Express. When we were in the tunnel walking toward the Heathrow Express, we bought round trip tickets for a discount price.

We arrived at the entrance to the Heathrow Express, and next to the entrance there is a station to buy Oyster cards. Oyster cards allow you to ride the Tube (London’s subway) and use the bus transportation system. We bought two Oyster cards and put 20 pounds on them, thinking that would get us through the week.

Then we exited to get to the Heathrow Express, but instead of using my Express voucher, I used my Oyster card! Since there were Oyster signs all over the machine, I thought it was an Oyster machine! It deducted 9 pounds and let me through. David said, “No! You were supposed to use the Express ticket!” I was beside myself, because I had just wasted 9 pounds. We found a station attendant who told us this amount would not really be deducted. (He was incorrect.) I felt like I had wasted money the entire ride from the Express to Paddington Station.

At Paddington Station we carted our luggage down to a transfer line on the Tube. Mobile phones don’t work in the tunnel, so I pulled out a Tube map. “Put away that map please,” David said, because he was worried it made us look like tourists. We had luggage with us and David was wearing sweatpants, so I thought we looked like tourists anyway, and we were tourists, so I thought playing the part would be fine. One of the people in the rush hour commute asked where we were looking for, and he told us, so we thanked him and headed in that direction. We boarded our train which was packed to the brim. I had to climb up on a ledge at one point to make space. I couldn’t believe how packed every train car was.

When we exited our Tube train car, David patted his pockets and said, “I don’t have my wallet.” We had been pick-pocketed! The thief made off with 180 pounds, a 20 pound Oyster card, and a lot of credit cards and license information. Unbelievable! We found a station attendant and shared we had been pick pocketed. “Well you’re in a big city, this happens, they work in teams,” he said.
“We’ve never been pick-pocketed in New York,” I replied, to signal we’re not country bumpkins.
“Well you’re not tourists in New York, are you? I bet your tourists get pick-pocketed.”
He had a point I couldn’t refute on the spot. And I couldn’t very well tell him we are tourists in New York too, lest I lose the city credentials I had just established.

Then he told us, “Okay, here is the number for the police department. The chances you get your wallet back are 0.” He made an “O” shape with his fingers for emphasis. “But you can report it for statistics.” We said thank you, and we asked how to exit the station without an Oyster card, and he said to just tell them what happened, and they would let us exit. He was right; people were sympathetic and quick to open the gate.

When we got to the hotel, David cancelled all his cards and got a new license. I learned a valuable lesson about not fretting about small mistakes (the Express/Oyster mishap) because it can decrease your mental acuity and open you up to bigger mistakes! David learned a valuable lesson about not storing his wallet in his sweatpants pocket, which we realized is rife for pick-pocketing.

David was annoyed and very thoughtful about the whole thing. Later in the day he said, “Better us than some kid where 180 pounds would have been their hostel fee or destroyed their month.”

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