Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I initially chose to interview with The Firm for three reasons: its large office and wide variety of practice areas, its commitment to women and families, and its reputation/prestige. In my initial screening interview I talked about my plans to work and have a family and how important it was to me to find a firm that would help enable that goal. One of my interviewers was about 6 months pregnant, so I assumed this was a topic that mattered quite a bit to her as well. During the callback, I talked to several attorneys with children, and during the post-offer flyback and I requested to meet with even more. I realize this isn't fool proof, but I knew JP and I planned to start our family soon, so I did the best I could to find a firm that seemed compatible with our plans. At my other firm interviews I asked the same general questions and didn't get the same feeling as I did from The Firm. Either the women would talk about how great their nanny was and how much work she enabled them to do (I have no problem with nannies, but I'd rather hear about how the firm is flexible and allows them to work from home/spend more time with their children) or the women wouldn't say much of anything and the male partners would point out the firm's official family friendly policies. I ended up going with my gut feeling on the family/flexibility issue alone- all the firms do great work, have great clients, require the same hours, and pay a lot.
Because The Firm is very proud of their female/parent attorney retention rate, I wasn't too worried about telling them about the pregnancy, but I still kept putting it off. Hearing the heartbeat and entering the second trimester left me out of excuses for not notifying them. So I made the call to the partner I had dealt with the most during the interview process (he also happens to be the chair of the litigation department and flex-time committee).
And... he was wonderful. Very positive, very congratulatory, and certain that 4 weeks wouldn't be a problem. He mentioned that 2 women in his department just delivered their babies within 5 days of each other, one week ago. I know I'm just a summer associate and they want to lure me in, but his excitement was genuine (he has 3 kids and talks about them quite a bit) and I am happy to write that I continue to have the same positive gut feeling about The Firm.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Random funny piece of information: my midwife/OB practice is located in the Playboy Enterprises corporate headquarters. I find this a little ironic. A magazine devoted to making men want sex and an office devoted to women dealing with the result of sex- all just 2 floors apart.
Monday, January 29, 2007
It's nice to think "oh yay, my baby is growing" instead of "oh wow, I really shouldn't have eaten that coldstone ice cream last night."
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Complaining aside, it was really fun to wander among all the aisles filled with mini products and smiling babies on the packaging. I did find several things I liked, but I did not find any nursery decor. It was either way too gender-specific or way too cheesy. If anyone has any suggestions for where to find nice looking crib sets please let me know. It just seems like you could have such sweet looking bedding for a baby- like Noah's ark, sea life, twinkle twinkle little star, etc. Most of the stuff I found had animals that looked scary or just wasn't nice looking or cute.
I dragged JP to Target in the afternoon to register there. He went straight for the toys and was certain our infant needed a giant train set and match box cars and legos and anything and everything requiring batteries or an electric motor... I steered him toward the baby stuff and he was pretty sure our baby didn't need most of it. His method is to randomly pull something off the shelf and declare that's the one we need- mine is to register for lots of things and then carefully read through the online reviews when I get home -- some combination of our two approaches is probably right. I've spent most of today on amazon.com reading reviews- its fun to see what other moms say about the different products, but now I'm really going to start doing some school work. Really.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Tomorrow I'm going to "Babies R Us" with a friend to start building a baby registry. I know its a little early, but Shelley already has hers and she's only due 5 weeks before me. I wouldn't even walk through the baby section of Target while we were trying to conceive or for the first few weeks of my pregnancy. This trip is just to see what's out there and over-register so I can read reviews online later and start deleting. I found with the wedding registry that I liked having a while to play with it before anyone was going to be buying from it.
So for those of you with any baby experience, or if you've heard from others with baby experience- let me know if there's something you couldn't live without or something that was a waste of space (and we have very little space).
Thursday, January 25, 2007
His family lives in a suburb of Houston and the temperature was below freezing during the day last week (of course schools and everything were shut down, just in case it decided to sleet). A local news station had a reporter whose assignment was to stand next to a bucket of water and watch it freeze over, and the 60 min. news show kept cutting back to her to see if there were any exciting new developments. Can you imagine the riveting commentary and action shots? And who did that reporter piss off at the news station?
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
(1) Lilly, the cat. I don't think this really counts as one of my things because if a fire was in our apartment, Lilly would be the first one out. Unlike the loyal dog, she would not be nibbling our toes and meowing in warning- her ass would be flying over the balcony, hoping for the best. However, despite my past claims that I was "not a cat person", I've grown quite attached to our fat, white furball and would be very sad to lose her. I got Lilly in college when JP and I were on a "break" and I was lonely and needed something to come home to. She was only 6 ounces and had to be bottle fed- she's now a hefty 12 lbs with a stomach that sways back and forth when she trots around the apartment. She has a great personality (when she not going psychotic at dinner parties) and is a major source of entertainment for JP and me.
(2) My cigar box. No, I don't smoke- it was a box of my grandpa's that I decorated at their house when I was little. It holds some of my dearest possessions from childhood: a letter from my best friend Sean when he visited NYC in 1st grade, a card from my 2nd grade class when I was sick with pneumonia, random artifacts from camping trips, birthday parties, and holidays, the snail shell Sean used to propose to me, and the letter he wrote me in high school to tell me he was gay (he promises its not b/c I made him marry me about a thousand times growing up), cards from my family for big events, the church program from my Confirmation, letters from my parents for each State swim meet, and much more. I cry (happy tears) every time I go through that box covered with glue, glitter, and feathers.
(3) My freshman year of college scrapbook. This was the last big and fancy scrapbook I will probably ever make. I met JP on the first day I arrived in Austin to attend UT and by Thanksgiving I told my family I was marrying him- through letters, cards, and pictures, this book chronicles that magical first year together. Also, due to an only somewhat successful hip surgery, this was the year that swimming, so long a dominate force in my life, became something I just "used to do." The book has pictures from parties, emails to/from my parents, and hospital bracelets from my two long stays for a severe case of mono. I go through the book often and it reminds me of a wonderful year for both of us.
There are many more things I would be sad to lose- but almost everything we have is ultimately replaceable: the wedding photographer has all the proofs, so we can order another album, Bailey Banks & Biddle still sells my wedding rings (although I never take them off, so if we're talking about a fire, they're a freebie), and due to our very tiny apartment, any family heirlooms that have been passed down to me are being stored at my parent's house. In a few years, when we have more storage space, this may be a much harder list to make.
What's on your list?
Monday, January 22, 2007
I found this graphic and topic on Magic Cookie's blog and figured that since this is an issue I think about a lot, today is a good day to write about it.
Like Magic Cookie, I have long been pro-choice, and wondered if being pregnant would change my views. I don't believe that it has. In college, I always assumed that if I were to get pregnant, I would have an abortion. When I found out I was pregnant in December, I was immediately ecstatic about the little group of cells on their way to becoming a baby; however, I didn't think of those cells as actually being a baby. I was thrilled they were there, and I would have been devastated to lose them, but they were not a baby yet. I think the immediate connection I felt was because we had wanted a baby for a long time. Without the happiness and excitement, those first few months could be utterly miserable- especially if coupled with fear of your family and/or significant other finding out about the pregnancy or horrible memories connected with the conception. I don't believe the emotional connection is automatic- it was for me because I was in a happy, stable relationship- but if the pregnancy is an unpleasant surprise, there is nothing in throwing up every morning or feeling exhausted all day that makes you feel connected to what is in your uterus. In those first few weeks several of the embryos can fit on the eraser end of a pencil (according to "Pregnancy Week by Week") -- that is not a baby. That is not something we protect at the sake of the health and emotional well being of the mother. Pregnancy takes over your body for 9-months and changes your life forever, there should be a choice as to whether that will happen or not.
A more separate and practical argument is that women have always had and will always have abortions. Back in the dark ages it was through dangerous herbs or the messy, and also dangerous, do-it-yourself approach (which continues today). Abortion is a medical procedure that needs to be performed by medical doctors in a medical environment. It is not an issue for futile debate during every political campaign. A woman who absolutely does not want the baby, for whatever reason, is not going to have it. (Not to mention the fact that even if she is forced by lack of an alternative, there isn't adequate medical care, maternal leave, or child care to help her in that forced decision.) The government's resources and religious right-to-life group's time and efforts would be better spent on education about birth control and safe sex to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.
34 years after Roe v. Wade, I am glad the option to terminate safely is there for women who need it. Pregnancy is an enormous undertaking and the maternal instinct does not kick in at the first signs of morning sickess. As much as I want my baby, I do not feel a need to protect every unborn child- I still believe it should be the mother's decision.
I'm not behind in my reading as I get most of that done during the week, but I'm not ahead. Every quarter I vow that this will be the one where I don't start outlining 6 days before the final (or like last quarter, 6 days before 4 finals!). But each quarter keeps ending out okay and finals seem so far away in the beginning. I've decided to consider it training for being a working parent -- leaving work behind and truly being home when I'm home. This is somewhat ridiculous as law school has no real deadlines until finals and even then its only my grade thats being affected, but still- "preparing for a balanced life" sounds so much better than just being lazy.
*We actually did attempt shaving the cat a few years ago. We used JP's electric hair trimmer outside on the balcony in Houston. Lilly didn't seem to mind- I think the buzzing was kind of like a massage, but her hair is so thin it wasn't cut uniformly. We gave up after about 30 min. and she had a few bald spots, some stripes, and generally looked homeless. Her hair has grown even longer and sheds even more- probably out of spite.
Friday, January 19, 2007
- "The info below is only as a warning and serves to ensure that all Christians become very aware of the BACKGROUNDS of the people we support (political or religious) and do our due diligence before putting them in charge of anything that may affect our lives and homes. Barack is VERY like-able, smooth, and has easily worked his way into the hearts of many influential Americans."
- "Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim."
- "Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta. Wahabism is the radical teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world."
- "Since it is politically expedient to be a Christian when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background. "
This pretty much made me want to scream. It also stresses his middle name (Hussein) and the fact that his mother was an atheist. It of course fails to mention that he is highly educated, a former Univ. of Chicago professor, and devout Christian (because the Christianity is just a cover for his radical Muslim thoughts to wage Jihad on America after attaining the presidency). What really upset me is that a very well-educated man whom I respect greatly emailed his entire contacts list to warn them all about Obama. Really?! Is he that scary? God forbid you should do some of your own research into his background instead of sending scare tactic emails. And God forbid we should have a bit of diversity in the presidential candidate or a president who is not an idiot and has read the Constitution. Even if you're not a Democrat or a fan of Obama, spreading misleading emails about a candidate is not what a democracy of informed voters should be about.
And on to the next rant... (I apologize for the morning anger, but both of these things were very upsetting). On his show Wednesday night, Bill O'Reilly attacked kidnapping victim Shawn Hornbeck. (See a link to the video here). O'Reilly decides that because Shawn had a piercing when he was found he was obviously "a troubled kid" who chose to stay with his kidnapper because "it was more fun than school." The Moderate Voice has a good blog post about it as well as Fox's contact information. I've already written them a politely restrained email expressing my objection to O'Reilly's comments. I know my email probably won't do much, but I felt that if I was going to bitch about it in my blog, I should complain to the network as well. O'Reilly's comments aren't even political, they're just a pompous man beating up on a boy for the controversy ratings. I could write a lot more, but the above two links phrase most of my thoughts better than I could, and I have a bunch of securities reading to do before class.
I will have a happier post tomorrow.
Update: Someone (I believe the original sender's brother) sent out a link to a website that debunks almost all of what the email said. I was still struggling with how/what to respond, so I'm glad the correct information was sent to everyone. His brother has renewed some of my faith in the South!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I just sat and "studied" for 3 hours and only read 1 part of 1 section of the 1933 Securities Act. And it was a really short section. I looked at the clock in amazement- what had just happened?! How could it be 4pm?! Surely I had done more than read Sec 2(a)(3)...
...and I had! The internet, being the beguiling little seductress that it is, tricked me into reading story after story on msnbc, checking all my favorite celebrity blogs, going through some old emails to see if I could delete them, researching maternity options to my friend's bridesmaid dress choices (style L5707 is my fave), and booking our spring break vacation to Mexico. So I have proven that the old adage is true: time flies when you're having fun.
And then, instead of buckling down and reading Sec 2(a)(4), I decided to write a blog post about it. Now on to the Securities Act!! (or a quick perusal through some shoe sites...)
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
It seems that some doctors will give you the green light to have the very occasional glass of wine later on in your pregnancy. Does anyone have experience with that? My midwife gave the blanket statement of "we can't assure you that any amount of alcohol is safe." While I know that is true, I feel like having a glass of wine on a special occasion at 7 months is really not going to affect anything. But then again you know that if anything happens it was completely preventable and completely your fault. The constant quandary of the pregnant woman.
Admin is also a time of day where I greatly miss alcohol of any kind. It has become the bane of my law school existence- much like antitrust last quarter. I know I will sit in there every day and wonder why on earth I didn't drop the class. Luckily, if you look around Classroom IV everyone looks like they're in pain, so its not like I'm the only person who desperately needs a cosmopolitan at 10:30am.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The absolute biggest complaint is exhaustion. I had a severe case of mono in college and I was nowhere near this tired. Its the kind of tiredness that comes out of nowhere and absolutely knocks you out. I will get 8 hours of sleep, be awake and perky all morning, and then around 2pm my body will start shutting down. There is pretty much nothing I can do about this. During those first few weeks I used to worry it would happen while I was driving because I wasn't sure it was safe for me to stay on the road (I live less than 20 min. from the law school). I also had 2 afternoon finals and I was terrified I would involuntarily fall asleep halfway through. I read everything I could find about the dangers of caffeine while pregnant and decided a few diet cokes wouldn't hurt anything. Diet coke combined with sheer will got me through those exams. I'm now at 11 weeks and the exhaustion has gotten better- I still get really tired, but I can push through it if necessary. The reading takes me longer, but I don't actually slump over the library table in a narcoleptic fit.
I have been very fortunate with morning sickness. While I woke up every morning feeling like I'd been out all night drinking (and then hugging the toilet), I never actually threw up. I credit this partly to the Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy which told me, in its infinite wisdom, that unlike when you've drank too much, throwing up because of morning sickness does not actually make you feel better. I hate throwing up, so even though my body was pretty sure I should, I would force down flat ginger ale and try to remember the days where I woke up to an alarm and not nausea. (I was quite lucky- some of my friends couldn't keep it down no matter how hard they tried.) The queasiness continues off and on, but pretty much went away by the time classes began (I was 9 weeks). There is still a lot of food that I feel like I'll never want to eat again (basically anything that isn't a carb covered in cheese), but I am able to choke down salads and fruit. A benefit is that things like cake, ice cream, and brownies all sound terrible, so while I eat pizza for most meals, at least I don't add on dessert!
Two of my professors know of my "condition" as do a lot of my classmates. Pretty much everyone has been quite congratulatory (even while thinking- "she is nuts")- in fact, my worst reaction so far remains my own family. Even the in-laws were thrilled. One of my professors, who has a 2-year old himself, wrote an incredibly kind email about how wonderful it was and how this matters so much more than school. I have saved the email to remind him of his wise words come exam time...
So that's about it. The hardest thing is battling the urge to fall into a deep, long sleep every afternoon. I can't imagine being pregnant while working- at least now I was able to schedule all my classes to be over by 12:10pm. If I go home and sleep all afternoon, all it means is that I have to hide behind my laptop when the professor calls on people the next day. I have no clients or partners who need me to be productive. I really don't know how they do it.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
I am all for education about food and your health. Adult and childhood obesity rates are sky rocketing and this ultimately has an affect on our economy due to rising health care needs. Type II diabetes is now being diagnosed in younger and younger kids and doctors have no idea how early the typical complications will begin manifesting in children and teens. I ate at McDonald's yesterday (blame the baby, it wanted a burger) and saw that the french fries container had the same nutrition label you see on packaged food at the store. This kind of information is good- people see what goes in their food and can decide whether or not they want to eat it. I saw that it had 380 calories and way too much saturated fat, but I ate it anyway. This isn't McDonald's fault, I just wanted them (still blaming the baby). I could support a law that required restaurants to say which items had trans-fat in them- I wouldn't campaign for it, but I wouldn't have any objections. When you're eating out you often don't know what was used to cook your food and the scientific evidence on the dangers of trans-fat is pretty clear.
We are a society centered around public choice and as long as what you choose to do doesn't affect others, you're generally free to go on doing it (except things like illegal drugs, but that's a whole other issue). Yesterday I wanted my fatty fries from McDonald's. I appreciated the fact they told me what was in them and I made the choice to eat every single one anyway. The baker interviewed in Crain's was saying this would change the ingredients, taste, and cost of nearly all of his goods. I don't think a city should be able to impose a ban on an ingredient and method of cooking food.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The best thing about 1L was that we got married a few weeks before it began. That excitement, love, and additional dimension to my now dimension-less existence, kept 1L from being the worst year of my life. There were times when I was definitely depressed. However, I had JP to go home to every night- to remind me there was SO much more to life than law (it was alarmingly easy to forget that when you're in the law library for way too many hours a day). I remember talking (ok, crying) to my mom on the phone during the spring quarter and saying if it wasn't for JP, I probably would have quit and gone home. He ran errands, cleaned, cooked, gave me pep talks, and didn't freak out when the rational, relatively unemotional woman he married became a weepy, self-doubting mess. (I've since returned to my normal self.)
I've been thinking a lot lately about marriage and the roles we play in it- especially with the baby coming this summer. The traditional roles in marriage are something I've always feared. While I was home for Christmas my mom kept saying how worried she was about me trying to be a law student and a new mom. About how the 2 years she worked after I was born were so hard- she would hate waking up on Saturday because it meant a day full or errands and cleaning. What I couldn't explain to her is that my marriage is fundamentally different from hers (while my parents' very happy marriage is something I've always hoped for, there are parts of it that wouldn't work for me)- JP goes to the grocery store, he cooks, he cleans, he runs errands, he secretly enjoys shopping for clothes with me- he doesn't see any of those chores as "mine". It's something I can thank my mother-in-law for. She has always had a career and JP really doesn't see gender roles the way I feared (and constantly talked about leading up to our marriage); it was always understood I would have a career and that we would work together as equals in raising our family. His mom thinks nothing of me continuing on my plan to be a lawyer, whereas mine is probably worried sick about my "inevitable" hospitalization for exhaustion.
I think what a female attorney told me at a lunch last year is so true- she said it was important to her that her daughters see her working, but it was even more important for her sons.
Monday, January 8, 2007
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Monday, January 1, 2007
I also cannot decide what to take next quarter. Due to the good news from Corp, I'm going to take the professor's Securities class. I really liked him, but his ridiculously hard final scared me off. I'm also taking a seminar on "Higher Education and the Law" and perhaps administrative law. That leaves one more spot- tax? commercial transactions? I have no idea and I have to go buy my books tomorrow and do my reading for class on Wednesday (can you believe we start this early?). Ugh- I really have no idea what to take...
JP and I had agreed to wait to the 20th (when he flew in to Houston) to tell my family the big news because he wanted to be there, but I ended up telling everyone the night I flew in on the 16th. The whole fam, and my grandparents, were out to dinner for my sister's 21st birthday. My sister mentioned she wouldn't be coming home until the 23rd, and I knew I wouldn't see my grandparents again during the holidays, so I snuck to the bathroom and called JP. He gave me the go-ahead to tell them that night. After the official birthday celebration was over I said, "I have a bit of an announcement- I'm 8 weeks pregnant!". And the response was... SHOCK. Total shock and disbelief. Apparently we did a good job hiding out family plans.
Luckily my grandparents were there and were immediately joyous. My dad said something like "how did this happen?". My mom just looked shocked. I had a VERY hard time convincing everyone it wasn't an accident or unplanned. My siblings didn't look like they really cared. All-in-all it was not exactly the reaction I had planned. I called JP and said "I'm not sure people are happy." He responded that he was glad he was safely back in Chicago. The rest of the night and at brunch the next morning, we pretty much talked about other things. It was really quite strange.
Later, my mom told me that August 9th (my due date) was exactly the same due date of her first pregnancy which she miscarried at 14 weeks. I think that partially explains why she looked like a bucket of cold water had been dumped on her when I told them. I just don't think she can get excited until we've had our first ultrasound and see the baby's heart beat.
A couple friends and I watched "Father of the Bride II" the week before I went home and I guess I was expecting my family to be more like Nina (the mom) than George. I have a family of Georges. The good thing is that George did come around and ended up more excited than anyone. I'm guessing that will happen here. The downside to their reaction was that it totally killed any desire I had to tell anyone else. I never called any aunts and uncles and in the end my grandma "accidentally" told everyone.
JP's parents were immediately quite excited (he is 2 years older, so maybe that helps? 25 seems like more of a parenting age than 23?). I can already tell that planning holidays and baby visits are going to be a giant pain in the neck with two new sets of grandparents in different parts of the US. His grandmother's response was "Well, for Heaven's sake!" - not sure what that means, but I'll take it as happiness :)
Anyway, it was an interesting visit home. Our ultrasound is tomorrow and we can't wait. I have all our Christmas (really New Year's) cards addressed, stamped, and written in, but I didn't want to mail them with the news until we had that appointment. For one of the only times in my life, I'm hoping my life does not mirror my mother's. I won't even print out the Christmas letter (although it is written- including a sentence about how amazing it was to see the heartbeat ;) I'll post the news tomorrow!