Saturday, March 29, 2008

Self-Doubt is Rising Again

This will be brief, because it's just an emotional response to absolutely nothing in particular (damn hormones!) and I want to go home soon.

I met the professors and fellow students in the Comparative Studies department yesterday and actually felt at home, for once, amongst them. I still don't want to teach, but since I have a year before I have to deal with that again, I may get over that. I'm starting to doubt my ability to pull off being in school (15 credit hours a quarter, a mandatory amount based on the fellowship) and being a mother. I'd have these anxieties if I was was going to be a stay-at-home mother because I have serious, serious doubts about my parenting abilities.

Am I making a mistake? What if I'm a terrible mother? What if I don't do enough? What if my depression comes back worse than it's been in awhile? I'm honestly surprised that it hasn't really surfaced that often since getting pregnant, so I'm paranoid that I'm just going to shut-down once the baby's born.

I don't know what to do anymore. I'm my own worst enemy and have been so for many years. How do women do this? How am I going to do this? And the one mainstay that I would usually rely on (in this case, God) I'm still kind of pissed off with right now, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I think I'm going to have to hash out my feelings with God soon so that I can deal with everything else soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blood Pressure

I had another appointment yesterday with my doctor and she said that my blood pressure was a little high. It's not in a danger zone yet, but it's borderline and will be watched closely. I'm worried because we really don't have high blood pressure as a family trait (that I know of) and I want to do whatever it takes to get it down, so I told my uncle my concerns and he recommended that I eat banannas and cut down on my sodium. Fortunately, I'm not a big salt person, so eating more home-cooked meals will help to keep that down, but I hate bananas. I'm willing to eat them because getting my blood pressure down is much more important than my dislike of a fruit.

The Singing Angels, the organization I was involved with for six years, called my family's home two weeks ago to get an alumni update, so I finally called them today to tell them what I was up to. Charles Eversole, the current music director, said that he anticipates seeing an auditioner in 8 years if we're back in the Cleveland area (because, after all, every child is a potential Singing Angel). While I laughed when he said that, I know that I'd only do it if my child really wanted to join; their fees have gotten expensive (currently $200/semester for one child) and I remember all the times my poor grandmother had to drive me all over Northern Ohio for various concerts. I may go to Spring Concert (their big spring show) this year because it is dedicated to Mrs. Kurtz who, apparently, still does the calls for small group concerts [something I remember all too well]. I'm definitely going to make plans to go to the big show next year because it will be the organization's 45th anniversary. It's nice to know that I hadn't been forgotten; I was given what I perceived to be a slight when Mr. Boehm [the founder] retired several years ago because my two girlfriends who had quit before graduating were invited to his retirement party while I, who had actually graduated with the group, was not. Considering that they had to use a phone bank at a hospital to do a phone-a-thon of all their alumni, all is forgiven.

Tomorrow's the big day: I'm going to get to see what it's like to be in the Comparative Studies department for the first time, and I'm looking forward to attending. My concern is that my health (mostly intestinal) will hold up so that I can do the whole thing. There's a dinner at someone's house and there is a dance afterwards that I really want to go to because, lets face it, I love to dance. I won't overdo it; I just want to go out and have a good time. But I can't be out too late because I'm coming in to work on Saturday to try to make up some hours so that my paycheck will be a little more robust than it has been for the past two months. That, and I've been so exhausted lately that I can't stay awake past midnight.

Also, I'm having my ultrasound in two weeks. The heartbeat was very strong yesterday so I'm looking forward to what should finally cement this in my mind as a reality.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm getting a little dizzy...

While I'm still trying to get my head around this whole pregnancy thing, the academic front is heating up. I got an e-mail from my advisor informing me that I was awarded a fellowship for my first year of graduate school! Now, imagine my surprise when I found out that I got something I didn't even bother to apply for because it required a high GPA that I knew I did not have.

What this fellowship means is that I do not have to worry about working for my first year (which is exceedingly helpful considering the circumstances), and I will only lose about $1,000 off of my current income. And that would only be if I had worked my 20 hours every week, which I haven't been doing for the past three months, so the income will be comparable. The way I see it, I need to work even harder in school to prove to everyone that I deserved this fellowship and that I deserve to be in school. It's a national Graduate Enrichment Fellowship, so I'm very honored that I earned this, and I know my advisor had a lot to do with this as he's been my biggest champion in the department since our first meeting last June.

Fortunately, he's not the only person in my corner. I told my mom about the fellowship and I mentioned that these things were for smart people, "so I don't know how I got one" and she told me that she always thought I was smart. She then told me that she always believed in me and that she was proud. All of her siblings [her dad, like mine, had kids in other marriages] are knocked out by the fact that I'm going for a PhD, and my grandmother almost lived to see me get one. A dear friend of the family who was only 55 passed away recently and, apparently, she was proud of me, too; I think she might have been more excited than anyone else when I got my first degree, so a lot of people are rooting for me (but nobody bothers to tell me these things until it's too late to thank them). And then there's my husband who gave me the most support as I was contemplating this insane endeavor, so I've had a lot of people for me and I don't know anyone against me (nor would I care at this point).

It's a little overwhelming to think about all this right now, but I am going to jump on accepting this fellowship before the deadline passes in April.

And, in other news, I have a headache. It's not very important nor does it fit the rest of the narrative, but it might explain why this post doesn't make 100 percent sense. I'll get off work soon, pick up my medicine and library book, and get off my feet for awhile.

And for the ladies who have been through this whole pregnancy thing before: do you have any recommendations for maternity clothing options? Other than shopping online for clothes, I'm stuck for what I can do right now. I'm right at that point where things are starting to not fit anymore, but I'm not large enough for maternity items (and I'm a plus-sized, tall woman). I think my biggest concern is for shoes; I'm already a 12w and I don't know what I can do if my feet get bigger. Any and all advise is welcome, appreciated, and sought with great interest!