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Heather's Pregnancy Journal

Week 28 ~ July 9, 2002
~ Extraneous Worries

Poor Max, our 90-pound, 4-legged child. He doesn't understand that I'm pregnant and now a lazy slug. He thinks I don't love him anymore, which is why I no longer take him on daily 3-mile walks. He looks up at me with his big, brown eyes and gently wags just the very tip of his tail, as he patiently holds his leash in his mouth. I know that he is saying (in doggie language, of course), "Mommy, you used to love spending time with me. Now all you do is sit on the big soft pillow that I'm not supposed to climb on. Don't you love me anymore?" So, I get up and feed him all forbidden foods. I give him leftover brisket, pasta and crackers. I give him treats without doing tricks-all the things I've lectured other dog owners on doing. I can't count how many times I've spoken with dog owners about the perils of giving dogs human food. I'd say, "Don't feed your dog high-fat foods, such as brisket, pork and steaks. It can cause pancreatitis." I will say, however, that I'm not feeding him bones. I'd hate to have to haul him to the veterinarian's office because of a perforated intestine.

If I'm this worried about the dog now, how will I feel after Sam is born? How will Max feel? Invaded by an alien that cries constantly? I feel so badly for my dog-child, who loves me unconditionally. I wonder if he will like going for walks while attached to a stroller? What if he doesn't love Sam? My worries are silly, realistically. I know that Max is a happy-go-lucky creature that just wants a good petting. I know he and Sam will grow up together-perhaps with Sam becoming his best friend. But the guilt for not caring for my dog as I vowed is overwhelming. If I love the dog this much and think of him as my first child, just how much will I love Sam? The amount must be astounding.

Work is, well, a daily hell for me at this point in my pregnancy. I try to go in, put on a smile, and be productive, but it just doesn't seem to work out that way. I come in, spend half the morning emailing various people, do a little work, go to lunch, do some schoolwork, do a little more work, email some more, nap, then go home. It may sound ideal, but I hate not being challenged. Could I create challenge in this job? Not really, so why bother at this point? I am frustrated because I really thought I'd be every bit as productive during pregnancy as while not pregnant. I really wanted to give pregnant women a good name. I wanted all my co-workers and boss to think, "Wow, these pregnant women can work every bit as much as anyone else." I think they may be feeling the exact opposite. Perhaps if I enjoyed my job more I would care-but I just don't. All I can think about is going home and working on the nursery or sleeping. I know this job isn't my career's final destination, so why should I stress out about being an exemplary employee? Besides, it isn't as if my boss was astoundingly supportive regarding maternity leave. But, I have to admit, he's been pretty open about all the doctor's appointments-of course, what choice does he have other than giving me the axe? Pregnancy comes with multiple doctors' appointments.

Speaking of the nursery-it is looking perfect. Last weekend my younger sister and her friend helped me paint the ceiling and walls. I had planned for sage green walls, but the colors were too dark, so I went with chartreuse instead. Good old citrus lime green-it sounds crazy, but looks great. The ceiling is sky blue, but I've yet to paint the clouds. I bought and hung the curtains-sheers with a short whirligig valance at the top. I put white mosquito netting around the crib to keep the cats out. The netting goes great with a bug motif. I hung some shelves and bought some wooden letters that spell, "Wiggle worm." I painted the letters lavender and hung them last Sunday. The colors are so bright and happy that I'd think you'd be crazy not to walk in the room and smile. I love sitting in there and imagining Sam sleeping soundly in his crib. (I currently have the stuffed lamb nestled amongst blankets in the center of the crib-fully diapered and clothed!) Steve likes to sit in Sam's room as well. He gently fingers all the clothing hanging neatly in the closet. He pulls out some toys and rolls them around on the floor, all the while practicing his baby noises.

Sam is in for a treat when he meets his daddy.

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