Disclaimer

This blog is not intended to provide legal advice, legal services or legal anything else. Don't sue me. All I have is debt anyway.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Oddities

I took another day off school to sit around and feel sorry for myself. Also, I have to drop Italian. My weekly ultrasound appointments will be Wednesday mornings, and there's no way I'd be out in time to make it to Italian that morning. Which means I need to come up with another way to fulfill my language requirement for my master's degree. I'm not really in the mood to care if I finish my master's in the Spring or not, but I can always pay a ridiculous $800 for a correspondence course to finish up in Spanish instead and not have to sit in a classroom to do it. (I had this nasty habit in undergrad of only taking either 2 or 3 semesters of a language and never taking the fourth required by my graduate program. I had two semesters of German and Italian, and three of Spanish. That was all I needed to graduate, but then never finished.)

Husband had a really bad night at work last night, and they lost a patient. He works in an ICU and death isn't an unusual occurrence, but with our current circumstances, it got to him. Fortunately, he's off work for the next week. He'd taken off for the holiday for our trip to Chicago, which sadly we couldn't take. I'm really disappointed we can't go. Our friends are having this splendid affair, a large Catholic latino wedding, which is gonna be one helluva party. Husband had planned on drinking both our shares of the open bar, plus some. I planned on shaking my large belly on the dance floor, showing off my sad excuse for dance moves. Bad timing all around.

I am feeling better this evening though. Not fantastic, but better. I guess I finally had enough of sitting on the couch and crying and dwelling on the worst-case scenario. I have to stay positive or all I'll do is flunk out of school, because that would make things sooo much better. Concentrating on school, and the activities I'm responsible for, will help get my mind off things, especially the things I have no control over. Tonight Husband and I left the house and went to our favorite sushi bar. We're allowing ourselves to hope while still being realistic about our situation. Hope for the best and plan for the worst.

It's strange though, I still don't want to talk to the people I actually know though, which is probably why I keep posting here behind the veil of anonymity instead. I finally talked to my mother tonight, which just made me irritated. While Husband was irritated that his mother felt the need to notify every known relative of our situation, I'm irritated with my mother that she refuses to believe that anything is actually wrong with the baby because she "talked with some people" and they said that cysts disappear all the time and so it's no big deal. Unless those "people" happen to be experts in congenital defects, yeah, again, not really helping. I know our mothers are just trying to help, but geez, there's a reason I've been keeping my phone turned off. I just want to be with my husband and my dog and shut out the rest of the world. Yet here I am blogging to the world. This avenue for my random thought process is strangely therapeutic.

But we're just going to ease back into the outside world. We're going to go visit our friends with the new baby this weekend, since they just got released from the hospital and are at home. Tomorrow, should the weather be nice, we're going to take Family Dog for a short drive to the countryside and have a picnic and let her annoy some wildlife. Life will go on, regardless of the outcome.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Normalcy?

I'm trying to figure out a way to establish some sort of normalcy over the next few weeks until we know more about our condition, and what our options are. Stupidly, I skipped class today, moreso because I didn't want to answer questions about the ultrasound (I find I can't maintain my composure if I talk about it) and also I hadn't done any of the reading anyway and didn't want to explain to professors why I hadn't read. I plan to go back tomorrow. I gave Husband the go-ahead to work tonight. He's busy worrying about me, but he's probably taking it harder than I am. I think fussing over me helps him cope though, he's a nurse afterall. We had to cancel our trip to Chicago this weekend for a friend's wedding, and I hope I was successful in convincing her (via e-mail) that nothing's really wrong, but that I'm just restricted from traveling as a health precaution. Also, I finally posted on my personal blog so people would stop calling me and asking how the ultrasound went. My phone is still turned off. I still don't want to talk to anyone. Talking about it makes me cry, and crying about it won't change anything and just makes me feel worse.

Husband called his parents and my mother last night to explain the situation. My mother-in-law responded by sending out a prayer request to everyone we're related to (which is like a billion people), and copying us on it. Yeah, that didn't really make me feel better. What did make me feel better was Husband's brother-in-law making fun of the e-mail our mother-in-law sent to everyone we're related to. Hehe. At least I still have a sense of humor.

Anyway, we did a bunch of research on the condition and asked one of our doctor friends to conduct some research too, since she probably has access to materials we don't. We will know more once we have another ultrasound on Wednesday, and also an amnio to rule out any genetic defects. Our new doctor was more optomistic after she did some research herself, and consulted with other specialists about the preliminary findings. If growth of the mass eventually "plateaus" then our chances are extremely good that the fetus will make it to full term and surgery can be performed after birth to remove the growth. I'm just holding onto that hope for right now, that we can make it to delivery (which is almost certain to be cesarean). Somehow all the amnio/cesarean talk isn't scaring the shit out of me like it used to, as I have this overwhelming feeling that I don't care what they do to me, if I can just have a healthy baby at the end. Maybe I have maternal instinct afterall.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our first ultrasound

The ultrasound results weren't what we were expecting. We didn't find out the gender. We don't want to know in case the pregnancy isn't viable, because then maybe I can maintain some sort of detachment.

There is a cyst in the chest cavity of the fetus. While everything else is normal, if that cyst grows, there won't be a baby. Its heart would eventually stop. If the cyst doesn't grow, or perhaps even shrinks, we have "options" which include surgical procedures while the fetus is still in utero by a surgeon in a hospital an hour away, and surgery by the same physician after birth should the child even survive.

What I'm stunned by is how much this hurts. And how scared I am. And how we haven't even told anybody yet, but just laid in bed and cried for most of the evening. I just want this day to have never happened. I want to go back to dreaming about what our baby will be like, and not be so afraid that there might not be one. I'm not a sentimental person, or normally even an emotional one, but I can't even describe how bad this feels.

I have another ultrasound scheduled for next Wednesday, and an amnio, although they believe it's unlikely to be a genetic disorder, but just a birth defect, something that randomly went wrong. I will be having weekly ultrasounds from now on to determine whether there's anything we can do, or if I'm just waiting out a stillbirth.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New baby

Our friend just had her baby girl this morning, my husband's new goddaughter, via elective c-section. So cute! So tiny! I can't believe that tiny little creature has been hiding out in my friend's midsection for 9 months. My friend never got very big either, so I'm not real convinced the baby actually came out of her anyway! But Baby's adorable and perfect. It was scary holding her! I don't know why, I've held plenty of newborns before, including my nieces and nephew. But I think there's this sudden realization that four months from now (FOUR? only FOUR???), that warm little bundle of pink skin and (most likely, since we had) a black poof of hair, will belong to ME. And I'll be taking it home from the hospital. And it will be living with me for the next 18 years. And I'll be (jointly) responsible for its well-being. Whew, that's scary.

There's a whole lifetime of potential in that warm little bundle, weighing barely over 6 pounds and fighting to stay awake so she can see what's going on (she's just so alert, I was surprised). And in four months, that warm little bundle is going to have a little friend.

Tomorrow afternoon, we have our ultrasound and we'll find out if our little bundle is a boy, or a girl.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Burden of proof?

From Lawyers, Guns & Money.

I must have missed that day in law school, where the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove he's innocent, instead of on the government to prove he's guilty. Especially when the individual isn't even a defendant, because he hasn't been charged with any crime. I guess I should enroll in crim pro.

Friday, August 24, 2007

One week down, fourteen to go

This week wasn't too bad, although if the temperature were, oh, thirty degrees lower, it would have been a much better week. I managed to keep up with all of my reading and not fall asleep/pee myself in any classes. I'm not sure how I will feel when I start back to work, as I've been struggling to keep awake in the afternoons. But if work is too difficult, I can always cut back on the hours, or stop working altogether (which I would really hate to do).

My favorite class so far? Insurance. Who knew? I guess all those years of insurance defense work sunk in somehow, but I find it really interesting. Not so interesting? Tax (duh). But I'm also not enjoying the Internet Law class as much as I thought I would. So far it's been all civil procedure/conflicts of law stuff. Blech. Hopefully it will get more exciting. Other classes: Professional Responsibility (ethics? wha?), with the MPRE to look forward to; Economic & Dignitary Torts (torting people in new and exciting ways); and Italian (taught by a woman with the craziest hair I've ever seen). No word on Moot Court yet, not sure when that starts up. Also no word yet on Trial Advocacy Board.

I'm very glad I did not do the journal write-on. My classmates on journal are going crazy right now. Also, I am not participating in OCI's this year. I refuse. What a complete waste of time. Last year I got several interviews, only to find in each one that they had no interest in hiring me whatsoever. One guy even went so far as to tell me that he had "absolutely nothing to offer" me because he practices insurance defense, and I already had four years experience in insurance defense. (Uh, how about a JOB, wouldn't THAT be something to offer me?) Ultimately, I decided to go back to my previous employer, which I was pretty sure I would anyway, because if I'm not going to make the big bucks at a big firm, then I wanted to be somewhere I already knew I liked it. I've worked for a couple other firms in town, and know people at quite a few mid-size firms, and as far as work environment, I think we're tops. Not so tops in pay, but being treated with respect is more important than a slight increase in pay.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Too Hot For School

I'm really hoping Fall starts soon, because even walking the ten minutes from the parking garage to the law school is going to give me heat stroke. 95 degrees. Is that really necessary? It's going to be even hotter tomorrow.

So Day 2 of law school. I've now experienced all of my classes. Today was a short day. I had Italian, then I had Insurance, then I got to come home and have lunch with my husband. I expected to get the syllabus and go home in Italian, but she actually taught us today. However, the opposite happened in Insurance. We didn't go over the cases, he passed out the syllabus, mumbled at us for 25 minutes then let us go early. Not that I'm complaining, just wasn't expecting that at all.

So far things are good. Tax is just awful, of course. One of the professors couldn't be there yesterday, so my professor taught both sections at once, moving us to the auditorium/courtroom instead. Since he had both sections, he just lectured. And then I suddenly understood the reading. I learn so much more from lectures than from the stupid Socratic method. If I already knew all the answers, I wouldn't have to sit in the classroom, now would I? Reason through it myself? Bah, why would I want to do that? I certainly don't want to sit there while my classmates reason through the material. I pay a significant amount of money to go to law school, the least they could do is have the professors teach me the material. Oh well. One of the many reasons I dislike law school.

Anyway, four classes to study for tomorrow, and I have to get to campus extra early if I want to get parking. The rest of the University started today, which meant the parking garage was packed with undergrads. Fortunately the traffic will ease up in a couple weeks when the undergrads stop going to class and/or drop out of school. But the first few weeks will be nightmarish. Freshmen everywhere.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm pregnant, not fat

Okay, so I might be both. I just heard back from our insurance agent with the results of our life insurance physical. It seems my premium went up by $10 because of my "body mass." Okay, so maybe that "1L fifteen" pushed me over the edge from "curvy" to "fat." But I'm five months pregnant, I'm allowed to gain weight. (So what if the weight gain came before getting pregnant? It still counts, right? I was just getting a head start.)

Life Insurance Company can kiss my cellulite-dimpled butt.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sudden realizations and whining

1. I have to go back to school on Tuesday.

2. I actually have to read all those books I bought.

3. I voluntarily enrolled in Federal Taxation.

4. I'm taking 19 credit hours.

5. I'm pregnant.

6. I would much prefer to be sitting on a beach somewhere with a cool breeze, and a fruity alcoholic drink in my hand, while someone else grows my baby and completes law school for me.

The older I get, the less excited I am about hard work and dedication, and more excited I am about enjoying the fruits of those labors instead. I've been having a very hard time sleeping lately, and between the extreme heat/humidity, my lower back pain, and my persistent headaches, I'm not "enjoying" pregnancy very much. Can we just fast-forward to January?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Orienting the 1L's

Today began orientation for the 1L's. They made us get there before 8am, which was awful and unnecessary. I haven't been sleeping very well anyway, and Husband seems to be having issues lately with how to tell time and/or set an alarm clock (i.e. accidently setting it for random times throughout the night and early morning). Last night it went off at midnight. Then instead of turning it off, he hit snooze. So just as I fall back asleep, it goes off again. When it went off for the third time, I incoherently shouted what were supposed to be obscenities, grabbed all four of my pillows, and slept on the couch. I'm still at least 4 months away from being consistently woken up in the middle of the night by crying. I really don't need the practice right now.

So, I got there, quite groggy, at 8 am to meet and greet all the bright-eyed 1L's about to have their little spirits crushed by the harsh realities of law school. At least they had coffee and doughnuts. We had to attend a way-too-long welcome session where four law school deans gave lengthy pep talks and our SBA president talked about the opportunities for free beer. Then we sent the 1L's off to have 20 minute sessions of their first classes, pictures taken for the law school facebook, etc. Then we got pizza for lunch (and not even good pizza, like, crappy pizza), and had a little roundtable discussion about law school with our 1L orientation group. I'm pretty sure I already have a few of them pegged. The party kids, the over-achievers, the apathetic kid, and definitely one of the gunners.

One thing I found funny today was one of the deans talking about law school grades, and how if you happen to be in the top 10% to not turn into a conceited asshole. Good advice. We had one guy who definitely did. What kind of a prick leaves an exam and tells one of his classmates (and supposed friends) lamenting a bad testing experience, "Yeah, I definitely CALI'd that." Screw. You.

Anyway, I'm not very happy to be back. Being in the library lobby chatting with my classmates rather gave me a headache. They're always so... argumentative. I'm supposed to go have dinner with them tonight and the thought exhausts me. I think my goal for this semester is to find a nice quiet place to study by myself and avoid the competitive hostilities of law school.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A rare photo op

Rest assured, there will be no bare belly pictures. I'm disturbed enough looking at it, I won't make all of you.


Me, almost 20 weeks preggo, sans head

There's definite growth, although I still maintain the majority of it is "1L Fifteen" not Baby. Ugh. I felt huge before I got pregnant. I'll need to be airlifted out of the house by the end of the year.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

An experience in family law

Every once in awhile in law, there's a big payoff. Today I got to see a big payoff.

My officemate and I got to attend an adoption hearing today. One of the attorneys in our office practices family law and has been representing a couple in their adoption of a little boy, which was finalized today. It was really an incredible experience. It was as beautiful as a simple wedding ceremony. This sweet little boy, about two years old, went from being a ward of the state, to being a permanent part of a real family. Two parents who love him, grandparents, and family friends all there to share in the event (and video tape!)... along with two law students who stood by teary-eyed in the sweltering heat of the judge's office to observe. The couple has been fostering the boy since he was 5 months old, and he is just so sweet. Although it was miserably hot in the office (you'd think since it's a new courthouse it would have adequate air conditioning), and there were lots of strangers around, the child did remarkably well and even mustered a "Thank you, Judge!" before we left. Precious!

It's made me reconsider my extreme aversion to family law. I learned today that not all family law is the drama-filled misery of divorce and custody battles and removal of children from terrible homes. Sometimes it's getting to see a family become complete. I was especially moved by the adoption because the couple is gay. Unfortunately that means only one parent can legally adopt the child. It made me think about how far we've come with gay rights, and how far we have yet to go. It made me think that it's something I might want to be a part of -- helping people complete their families. It's a definite possibility for the future.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Last week of work

I only have two more days of work for the summer. I'm returning to Mid-Size Firm after school starts, but I'm giving myself a month off to get reacclimated to law school.

Today I went to the Local County Bar Association women's luncheon. Sadly, Mid-Size Firm did not pay for our lunch. However, it was well worth it. The speaker was one of our state congresswomen who is the chair of the house judiciary committee. And the food was great. Money well spent.

Afterwards, I came back to the office to write the World's Worst Memorandum. Today's law lesson was in Making the Client Happy by Filing Motions Without a Snowball's Chance in Hell of Being Granted. Usually things in law are ambiguous enough to be able to at least formulate some sort of argument. Not this though. It was really hard to come up with anything to say in the memorandum. Um, motion should be granted because, like, well, we want it to be? Ugh. At least I don't have to argue it.

Tomorrow morning I'm attending an adoption hearing, and tomorrow afternoon I have a meeting on campus with our education abroad department in order to discuss the potential of our own law school study abroad program. Which I need to go prepare for now.

I can't believe the summer is over, and classes start on the 21st. And one week after classes start... we have our ultrasound and we'll hopefully know what brand of baby we're having.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Presents!

I was in a teasing mood last night and told Husband that I wanted presents. He asked what kind of presents, I just said presents. I should get presents because I'm growing a baby, and I want presents. He said he would buy me new shoes since it's his fault that they keep getting eaten. (He apparently felt really bad about my shoes, since he swore he had looked around and didn't see any of my shoes in the room when he left her out.) So we're going shopping this weekend! We're driving out to visit Mother-in-Law and she is a connoisseur of shoes, so she'll know where to go. ;)

My mom actually bought me presents this weekend too. She came over yesterday with two big bags of maternity clothes that she just randomly bought for me. Two pants suits, four skirts (that also match the jackets), three shirts and several camis to wear with the suits. I know it probably cost her a small fortune, but that's my mom for ya. When I complained how I couldn't find any business attire, she apparently went on a shopping spree and bought all she could find! She went to several different stores before tracking down the preggo businesswear, and even found it on sale. So I'm very happy, I love my mommy.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Pregnancy anger

Is it bad that I had a clear picture in my mind of me chasing my husband, beating him with my half-eaten shoe? I refrained from actually doing it, I guess I haven't completely lost it yet. Husband didn't lock Family Dog in the kitchen last night, instead, he put the baby gate in the hallway which gives her access to the kitchen, dining room and living room. Labs are notorious for being "boredom chewers" (boredom coming from being unattended) and ours definitely is. Shoes, pens, books, purse, garbage, basically anything and everything that's there. Except her multitude of chew toys, of course. Last night's casualty was my very comfy dress sandals I've been wearing to work, that were purchased to replace the last pair of dress sandals she ate because Husband left her out unattended (she actually pulled them out of my shoe rack in the closet).

I threw Family Dog outside before I decided to beat her with my half-eaten shoe, which was a distinct possibility. Poor husband though, he rushed out of bed thinking there was something wrong, as I'm screaming expletives from the living room. He said if he'd known I was mad at him, he would have stayed in bed, hiding under the covers.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Intolerance

Is it bad that I still have very little tolerance for other people's children? As I was sitting in the university clinic lab for 30 minutes waiting to get blood drawn for the triple screen, someone's child screamed for 29 of those minutes, at the top of his lungs. I have no idea what he was fussing about, he was screaming words I couldn't quite make out between his hysterical sobs, and his mother was cuddling him, trying to calm him down, which obviously did not work. When I left the clinic, he was still screaming. He's probably still screaming now. Is it really bad that my initial reaction is quite similar to that which my mother had with me: she put the fear of god into me that if I made one more peep, my life could very well be in serious danger.

A friend once confessed that she does not like children. She has one of her own, but says that's different than other people's children. I really hope so. Because otherwise, I might be in big trouble here.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sigh

I bought my books today. It hurts.