Saturday, December 09, 2006

In which I completely lose all motivation

To work, that is. Ordinarily, I love my job (that's because I have the Best Job in the World (TM)), but I am so over it right now. Perhaps that's because I am on bed rest and yet still shouldering a workload twice that of anyone else at my seniority level? A workload, I might add, that I am sadly failing to keep up with. I am going to have to swallow my pride and let go of this stubborn need to prove that "pregnancy won't slow me down!" (because, let's face it, I can't get much slower) and just ask to have my workload reduced.

However, it's not that I can't do the work, to be honest. It's that I don't want to. I would much rather spend my days on crazy nesting projects such as researching how to recycle the flatbed scanner we don't use anymore or transferring all the baby clothes we've received as gifts from one shopping bag to another in a futile attempt to organize something. See, since I can't actually do any real nesting, like buying furniture or rearranging the baby's room (still my office, and we have no idea where we're going to move all the office crap to) or doing laundry, I have to channel the nesting energy into bizarrely detailed projects like researching all-natural laundry detergents or obsessing about getting a flu shot.

Speaking of which, here's a WWYD? question for you all. Let me preface this by saying that I am 100% pro-immunization and intend to have my baby immunized on schedule, and that I normally get a flu shot every year (except that one year where there was a shortage). My OB doesn't offer flu shots, but urged me to get one if I had some other place I could. As it turns out, I can get one through work, so after much back-and-forth, I arranged to get one later this month. Up until now, I had pooh-poohed all the "FLU SHOTS WILL WRECK YOUR BABY!" hysteria. The CDC and my OB say it's OK, that's good enough for me. But just out of curiosity, I asked if the flu shots they give at work contain thimerosal. And what do you know, they do. So, because I have too much time on my hands, I'm now obsessing about it. To flu shot or not to flu shot? All the books and websites say that the amount of mercury in the flu shot hasn't been shown to cause any harm to the fetus, but "if you're worried, ask about getting a thimerosal-free shot instead." Which doesn't really help me, since I am physically unable to chase all over town looking for one. The chances of my getting the flu are probably slim, since my husband had a flu shot and since I have few visitors. But I will be having my baby smack in the peak of flu season, so there is some reason to be concerned. So, what would you do?

Other, the baby shower happened last weekend. It was really nice, though too short. It started at 12:30 and people had to start leaving by 2:45 to catch trains and such, and I will admit that I was having such a good time seeing my friends that I was a little hurt that they didn't want to stay all afternoon. But, I guess people have their own lives and I was happy that they put together something at all.

As I mentioned in my last post, I ended up inviting my friend to stay with me after all. And it was fine. She wasn't quite as helpful as she hoped to be--for one thing, it turns out she really can't cook at all, and at one point I found myself standing in the kitchen showing her how to BOIL WATER FOR PASTA--but she tried really hard, and she brought chocolates and trashy magazines and we had a chance to catch up. Though it seems that an unfortunate side effect of all my solitude is that after a few hours, I really don't want to hear another person talking anymore, and my dear friend is apparently incapable of sitting in silence.

I managed to contain the cranky fairly well, though, i think, and only snapped once or twice. The major snapping incident was when I was confiding about how hard this pregnancy has been for me, and how uncomfortable I've been, and my friend, try as she might, couldn't seem to say the right thing. It's not her fault--she doesn't have any experience with any pregnancy or infertility related issues, and we all know that there are times when no one but our fellow bloggers knows the right thing to say, no matter how well-meaning they are. But she would say things like, "But, I don't understand, what's made this so unusually hard for you? Because isn't every pregnant woman uncomfortable at some point?" and I would have to be like, DUH, the fucking bedrest and related scariness and social isolation and you try having 60-second contractions every 20 minutes for three months and see how you like it.

Or, she would try to make me see the bright side with things like, "Oh, but I'm sure you're really enjoying the good parts, right?" and I would have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, "What good parts?" Because, I don't want to seem ungrateful, truly I don't. I am grateful that I am pregnant, especially when so many of you, who I care about so much, are still struggling. And I'm unbelievably grateful that it's starting to look like I might actually have a real baby at the end of all this. But I don't think it's a betrayal of that gratitude to be honest about the fact that this pregnancy has been a real struggle and that a lot of the time, the sucky parts really outweigh the good parts (which, I'm not even sure what the good parts are--feeling the baby move and seeing her on ultrasound, I guess). In the end, getting the take-home baby will outweigh all of the suckiness by far, but that doesn't cancel out the fact that right now is often hard and sad and uncomfortable and lonely. And I refuse to pretend that it's not.

I do my best not to frighten the pollyanna, pregnant-woman-as-precious-vessel people like my friend, who ask me if I'm "journaling" and "treasuring this time"--but come on, even if I weren't having a hard pregnancy, that is so not my personality, to write letters to my unborn child and have soft-focus professional belly shots taken. Call me Mama Crankypants, I guess.


Anonymous an immunologist in the midwest said...

I would call a few family practice clinics (that take children) and ask if they have vaccines free of thimerosal. Otherwise, maybe your OB can convince a pediatrician colleague to help you out?

If not, I would personally still choose the vaccine. If you get a flu shot, your baby will receive some protective antibodies (passive immunization) from you. This is especially important if s/he is premature. It could be his/her only protection since babies under 6 months of age can’t receive the vaccine. Sadly, the most complications (and mortality) from getting sick with the flu occur in the very young (and very old.) This is a very real danger whereas any effects from thimerosal have never been proven.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Kath said...

Dear Electriclady, I think it is a good idea to ask to get your workload reduced. It's amazing how you've managed so far...

As for getting the flu shot, I have no idea what to tell you, particularly since you just got an expert answer. I have never personally had a flu shot (not out of any strong conviction -- I just haven't), and don't know how I would proceed if I were pregnant.

And about the other thing: Yeah, you pregnant ladies are all such whiners about your little complaints! Just kidding, obviously. I doubt your friend would, upon giving the matter just three seconds of thought, have implied that bedrest and constant cramps are the norm. I'm sorry.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Rachel Inbar said...

Boy, do I ever remember the loss of motivation! I think it happens whether you're on bed rest or not... Maybe it's just one of those pregnancy things?

I got the flu shot when I was pregnant last year. I live in Israel, but was told that the recommendation in the US & Canada is to immunize pregnant women, so I went ahead with it.

Glad you enjoyed the baby shower :-)

8:23 AM  
Blogger Robber Barren said...

I got a flu shot last week, with thimerosal. I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I could have found a thimerosal-free one, but I didn't think it was worth the effort for one vaccine (especially when my consumption of mercury-containig foods throughout the pregnancy, and even before, has been close to zero). The immunity granted by the shot is a tremendous benefit, especially with an increased risk of premature birth.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Meira said...

I did not get the flu shot when I was pregnant with the twins. I have to admit I am vaccination-wary, which is to say that I believe they are mostly safe, but I don't trust every doctor/drug company, etc implicitly. (For instance, no one is going to convince me that my newborns NEEDED to be vaccinated against Hep B during their first 48 hours of life. The first 3-4 years, maybe-- but the first 48 hours??? No. They just got here, can we hold off on the torture for a little bit?? That recommendation is in place for the parents who never go back for well visits, and I'm just didn't feel that it was relevant to me.) Anyway, back to the flu vac: I figured that questionable chemicals have more impact during development, and the flu vac is supposed to have a high amount of thimerisol, and I wasn't willing to chase down the thimerisol-free version (and isn't it possible that the occasional person *gets* the flu, or something flu-like, from the vaccine? I wasn't willing to do that either.) So I didn't get the flu shot but I made everyone around me (spouse, older child) get it to lessen the risk that it would be brought home. And continued to be anal about hand-washing. ;o)
So yeah, that's what I did. Good luck with your decision. (I'm sure it will be fine, no matter what you decide ;o)

11:27 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Oh good!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who is not getting a belly mold made or professional belly pictures taken!!

Everyone keeps asking me if I'm reading to him and I've tried... really I have, but it just seems so strange to read to someone who's not really "here."

Hopefully the next few weeks will fly by for you and then you can start nesting to your hearts content.

2:04 PM  

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