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Marisa's Pregnancy Journal

Entry Two - December 21, 2008
~ The Pharmacy Dispenses More than Medicine

Christmas Card PhotoOk, I was thinking the last entry wasn't the best introduction to my family and my baby, which is, after all, why we all read these things. My baby is Sophia Aurora. She was big at our stat c-section birth (over 8 lbs) and continues to be big . . . almost 19 pounds now at 5 months old.

We went to Disneyland for the first time the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. That was ok, but I was trying a new medication, and it mixed with the wine I had at lunch . . . and then I felt out of control, not there. It was uncomfortable. I fell over once while trying to squat for some pictures next to the stroller. Luckily, my husband's mom and stepdad got us passes for Christmas, so now we can go make up for that one day all year!

I have been grappling with the idea of whether or not to take off additional time since I came back to work. It has been an extremely difficult decision, but some rude students made it easier for me one morning . . . I don't need that. I don't need to work my butt off to be treated poorly. Forget it. I decided if it's an option financially, I need a semester off, if for nothing else so that I don't permanently resent a career I worked hard to get! As my wonderful principal said, it is a job you must be dedicated to, no matter the pay or the circumstances. Up until recently I have been. I have had a shift in priorities. I am finishing out the semester (through January), but it is easier knowing it isn't indefinite, and also that I'll be able to return to the same site in the fall.

I'm definitely doing better overall, especially after re-reading my last entry. I am not much more organized, and I am often still anxious, but I am getting better at letting things go. I'm finding the difficult part is to convince my husband when we as a family need to let things go or to rearrange things for my sanity's sake; he doesn't take on stresses the same way I do, so it's hard for him to relate. Why can't we attend three family Christmases on the 25th, all before he has to leave for work at 1:30pm, and then just Sophia and I attend a fourth at 2pm? In his mind, that's plausible. In my mind, I can already feel the craziness of a day like that. (I finally got him to change the most flexible get-together to be on the 26th instead.)

As lucky as we are to have so much family in town, it makes for holidays far nuttier than anything in that movie Four Christmases. Our characters aren't as extreme, but the plotlines are more complicated. We had my dad's mother's Christmas on Saturday. Today was our anniversary, so Sophia went to J's mom's house while we went to lunch and a saw that movie. Tomorrow my brother comes in, and we're supposed to take Christmas photos. Wednesday evening is a huge extended-family Christmas Eve at one of my mother's cousin's houses, when someone actually dresses up as Santa . . . the whole bit. Thursday we do gifts at my parents' house, brunch at his mother's, and a late lunch at my aunt's. Friday we are doing brunch with his father. Whew.

I went to pick up a Rx the other day, feeling worn out after working yet another day and still lugging home with me a huge bag of papers to grade. While in the pharmacy waiting area, there was a woman with no hair, and a mask over her face, talking gloomily to a younger woman. There was another woman at the counter who was arguing with the attendant about the fact that these were not the right drugs. "Trust me--with chemotherapy, I know what I'm on," she was insisting. This whole scene reminded me that no matter how crazy I feel, and no matter how tired I get, I shouldn't take for granted how fortunate we are to have the luxury of feeling stressed or temporarily run-down. If I don't get to wash my hair for three days, it is still better than not having hair to wash. If I forget to take my medication, I will not get sicker--I just won't get better. It is a humbleness that I have known before, but need to be reminded of every so often.

I am setting aside the work I brought home until next week so I can truly celebrate our baby's first holiday season, with all the craziness it ushers in. May you enjoy every moment of your holiday craziness as well.

~ Marisa

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